Sunday, March 23, 2008

Full(er) Disclosure

Re: my backside. Yes, I have an awesome ass, and yes, sometimes this knowledge sustains me in times of trouble. Thank you for the nice feedback; it did cheer me up. I wish I could promise that you too will get one from running, but mine is a genetic gift; I perhaps will maintain it longer by running, but I had it before ever I stuffed my feet into clompy Nikes.

But I also have a great stomach, which is something running can foster:

BUT. As anyone can plainly see, I lack a rack. In that picture up there? I’m wearing a padded bikini top. This state of affairs is more than fine with me – I love not needing a bra – but it does lower my overall hotness quotient. When I’m out running in warm weather, I don’t get hoots and hollers until after I’ve gone past someone and they’ve gotten a look at my hinder.

(You’d never know that belly once housed a fetus, would you? I was an absolute freak when I was pregnant, keeping a death watch out for stretch marks—mainly because my mother has truly horrifying ones. When I went into labor and realized I’d escaped without getting any, I kept babbling to everyone involved in the admission process that night, “I didn’t get stretch marks!” They all smiled politely while secretly adding me to the list of Most Self-Centered Laboring Women Ever.)*

Re: BadCat. Not to worry, he’s been the recipient of all that modern veterinary medicine has to offer, and then some. I would love to have him on antidepressants, but even the vet has acknowledged that he cannot be pilled. Even if one is so foolish as to pay $64 for specially compounded liver-flavor liquid medicine to squirt down his throat, he forces himself to vomit it back up. I did not know that there was such a thing as a bulimic cat, did you? He is unmoved by Feliway. Our lovely vet has agreed to supply us an injectable anti-inflammatory medicine. It is not approved for more than one-time use, but injections are the only way to go, and when he’s feeling stiff and arthritic, he’s worse than usual. We have our house arranged something like a ship, fully swabbable.

He’s actually a very loving, curious cat who has never injured anyone who was not trying to pill him. I got him from the shelter when he was seven years old and near-unadoptable due to his slow-to-warm personality and his obesity—he was so fat he had to lie down to eat. (We trimmed him down by seven pounds.) He’s behaving himself this week … and HellBoy has finally learned that if he throws a tantrum, BadCat may pee on something beloved, e.g. HB’s fireman costume, his spelling computer, his guitar case … not a bad tantrum deterrent.

Re: HB. It finally occurred to me in a rare moment of clarity that the thing I need to work on with him is his anger. He is who he is, every strange inch of him, and I love him, but the ability to control his anger is something he must develop in order to become a successful person and a positive force in the universe. I know he can do it—I’ve watched him turn his mood around on a dime—so rather than stress about his personality, I’ve been focusing on pointing out and then not tolerating the ugly outbursts. For instance, “I know you’re mad at me for not letting you take a shower with me, but if you stand here in the bathroom yelling and screaming instead of going to your room to do it, we’re not going to Target.” And so far, IT’S WORKING, PEOPLE!

Re: the snake. Yes, it is a reticulated python, and no, I didn’t pull it from the ocean. The story is much less interesting than that: the poor creature was being pimped by the beach photographers who take pictures of drunk tourists with monkeys, toucans, and snakes and charge mucho dollares for the resulting prints. My stepdad snuck this shot in with his own camera, but I did the honorable thing and ponied up the money anyway. The python seemed pretty happy; he had a huge rat-shaped lump in his midsection.

Re: the bicycles. No, it’s not a phase—more like an old flame. TrophyHusband was on a cycling team in college, but turned to running in medical school as it’s much less of a time and money suck. Then I came along. But over the past couple years he’s been plagued with a strange toe injury (in my opinion brought on by running too fast when he wasn’t running with me), and couldn’t run, so his thoughts started to stray to his old love. He was already using a bike for commuting (and for taking HB to daycare), but then he started going on some group rides, then he bought a better bike, then a real racing bike, then he joined a team, and before I could say “Tour de this, buddy,” I started getting emails like this one:
From: TrophyHusband
Date: Wed, Sep 5, 2007 at 3:22 PM
quick-ish ride tonight ...

... with my guy friends....80-90 minutes, meeting 6:15 if I can (hopefully) make it (so shorter than usual thurs ride).
And I was like, when did 90 minutes become “quick”? Who are these “guy friends”? Where’s my TrophyHusband? Waaaah.

I’m happy for him, really I am. And I know I have no real right to complain. But damn, he loves those bikes. Sometimes I feel like this woman.

Re: the job. Oy vey. The less said the better right now.

One sort-of nice thing coming up next weekend: I get to go stay in a hotel room for TWO nights all by myself. (I have to give a presentation that I’ve not yet prepared, but I’ll figure that out somehow.)

*Note: NOTHING prevents stretch marks. There is NO magic cream or potion. Strangely, they seem to occur more in women who have their first pregnancy at a younger age – I guess infertility can pay off in unexpected ways. (That photo was at 30 weeks; it got even weirder looking from there.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bikini 'n' Snake

Now that I’ve drawn you in with that title, I will take advantage of your attention to complain:

I once read somewhere that a lot of working women say that a good thing about working is that even if things aren’t going great at work, there’s always home to escape to, and vice versa. But what about when nothing seems to being going right anywhere?

I used to love my job. Adore it. But for the past year or so, I often hate it. I really don’t know what to do about this. Today I had my first (near) panic attack in years. I just got back from vacation to get some very bad news at work. Then today I was busy busy busy and got to the cafeteria just before it closed, only to discover that they were out of grilled cheese sandwiches, OH MY GOD, NO GRILLED CHEESE, and there was nothing else I wanted to eat … and suddenly I felt like I just couldn’t take it. And I don’t even particularly like grilled cheese sandwiches.

Then there’s home. Something I haven’t blogged about at all because I really hate to whine about him is TrophyHusband’s relatively recent obsession with cycling. LATELY ALL HE THINKS ABOUT IS HIS FUCKING BIKE(S), there, I’ve said it.

Then there’s HellBoy being hellish. While he was out sick, his usual bud Justin started playing with Jack instead, and now they won’t play with HB, which makes HB come home in a fouler mood than usual, which, trust me, is saying a lot. He is so ill-tempered, this kid.

Then there’s BadCat, who has escalated from peeing on things that are not his litterbox whenever he’s mad to defecating on things that are also not in the litterbox category. He is also half blind now and looks like he’s giving you the evil eye all the time:

So it feels like everything kind of sucks. Many nights I fantasize about checking into a hotel all alone.

Do you still want to see me in a bikini holding a snake? Here you go:

Proof of the mysterious unpredictability of phobias. I know, I’m wearing the same dumb shirt and hat as in last year’s picture. Same bikini too. At least HB got upgraded to a Superman suit. And even if everything is falling down around my ears, baby’s got back.