August 31, 2009

Katherine 1, Fate 0

Through my friend Emily I've signed up for this weekly email alert that tells me about all the sale items that are my size and from stores and brands I like. I've signed up for Gap, J Crew (no success here because even their sale items are insanely expensive and when something is close to affordable it's sold out by the time I get to it), Old Navy, New Balance, Nike, North Face (see J Crew) and some other things. Boy, is it super awesome! I've gotten some great deals on some wonderful items. I don't go to the mall for a few reasons: 1) I'm never near the malls so if I'm near a mall, that's where I'm going. 2) I need to go with a purpose. Nothing bothers me more than willy nilly shopping when I have no money- always the case- and wandering gets me antsy. 3) I feel old when I'm in the mall. So this email is fantastic. I avoid the mall and save money and annoyance.

My most exciting purchase so far was a pair of white jeans I got in the mail last week. They are Gap pants and sell for $60. I got them for $11. I made sure I wasn't too fat for white pants before I placed the order. (I did this by asking everyone I knew if they thought I was too fat for white pants.) I also debated the white pants for various other reasons: I need to buy bleach; I need to make sure they don't get washed with anything of color; I mustn't rub my hands on my pants for any reason; I will have to wear high shoes with the pants because they are long; many of my knickers are eliminated from the white-pants ensemble because I like to wear bright colorful knickers. I had to include two people in my discussion I was so full of trepidation. But when it came down to it, they are jeans and a little thicker and heartier than slacks and how often will I wear them anyway? So I went for it.

I was planning my white jeans outfit for days and Monday was the execution of my plan. I wore a mustard top, brown belt, heels (!) and big earrings. I think the ensemble was a success despite getting my heel stuck in a grate. I didn't get anything on my pants but boy, did I tempt fate. I rode public transportation risking schmutz on my ass; I had strawberries and raspberries for a snack risking fruit juice on my crotch; I ate a BLT slathered in mayonnaise for lunch risking grease smears on my thighs; I ate outside risking nature and I am within a day of starting my period risking... period. The fact that I got home with nothing on my pants was such a victory that I took them off immediately and did a dance in my panties. I may wear them to a stag party this weekend. Sort of a last hoorah for my friend and for my pants. The season of white pants is over. Too bad it took me a week to realize that that was why they were $11.

August 26, 2009

A Champion is Gone

My mother was a wreck when Jackie Onassis died. A snotty, teary ball of mess during the news broadcasts. Our house was littered with every possible magazine about her life and her death. Then when her son died five years later it all happened again. She was just fascinated with the Kennedy family- like all women of her generation. That family really was the closest thing America had to royalty and my mother ate it up.

The Kennedy family really is fantastical. Rosemary was lobotomized and made incontinent, mysterious and tragic deaths abound, all the men were known philanderers, the family made its initial fortune illegally back in prohibition, one of them married THE Terminator and they all have ginormous teeth. But man, was that family beloved by America. The fact that John Jr. was so darn good looking didn't hurt my passing obsession. He was so dreamy even his terrible bouffant hair couldn't take away from the good looking-ness. You could say my mother's fascination has rubbed off on me.

But where she's obsessed with the surface, I am much more intrigued by what made this family interesting and influential to me. The Kennedy family is fucking rich and powerful but they are, Mrs. Terminator and a few others aside, Democrats. The political agenda of the Kennedys consisted and still consists of social and economic reform that favors the little guy. They helped repeal literacy tests and poll taxes; founded the Peace Corp and Special Olympics, not to mention other service driven groups; spearheaded the civil rights movement in Congress; wrote the Americans With Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act, and No Child Left Behind. (No matter how messed up NCLB is in practice, they meant well. The road to hell after all...) These are all just a taste of what the Kennedy family has done for America. They could've sat around on their privileged asses doing drugs and being Irish all day, okay they kind of did that too, but they did more with themselves. And I have deep respect for that in spite of the despicable things they did in their private lives. The good they've done far, far outweighs the bad.

And that brings me to the point. Ted Kennedy. My mother's boyfriend HATES, well HATED, Ted Kennedy. Bob works with many politicians and I asked him if he had particular disdain for anyone and his answer was only Ted Kennedy. In fact, I think he may have mentioned wanting to punch that man in the face. I'm sure Bob had a professional reason but mostly I'm convinced his feelings are based in the crap Kennedy pulled in his personal life. I'm not denying that it's reprehensible to let a woman drown in your car after you drunkenly drive it into a river. Or that he was probably cheating on his wife with her. Or other stuff. But I'd like to think that Bob can't deny the fact that that same douchebag did some amazing things for the American people. For all his faults he was a brilliant and incredibly effective politician. Many of the life changing policies I previously mentioned he wrote, backed up or implemented. That's not an easy feat. There probably won't be such an influential, powerful champion of the forgotten Americans like Ted Kennedy again. He will be missed. And may that sonofabitch rest in peace.

August 22, 2009

Looking Ahead While In the Moment

I have my last solo triathlon of the season in a week. I've got such mixed emotions about the whole thing. I'm scared because I know what I'm getting into on the bike. I'm excited because I enjoy triathlon so much. I'm sad because this is my last one of the year. I'm already setting goals for myself for next year. I'm trying to decide if I want to do the NYC Triathlon or the Lake George Triathlon for my first Olympic distance. Maybe I'll do both. Maybe next year I'll do all the triathlons I can find (and afford.) Why not? What's to stop me?

The thing I think I love the most about triathlon is that there are different challenges each time, there are different goals, and there are difference circumstances. There is always something new to learn and I just can't take enough in.

Triathlon is something that distracts me from me. Sure when my tri-suit is a little snug I'm reminded of the fact that I'm ten pounds heavier than last year. But at the same time, I'm probably a fitter ten pounds heavier. I'm running longer distances, feeling better on the bike, and I've found a swimming technique that makes my freestyle strokes less strenuous. Each race I'm pinpointing where I can improve and I do it. I just can't wait to apply what I learned this year to what I'm going to do next year.

August 20, 2009

Time For A New Leaf

Weight Watchers doesn't have too much original material for me to read. It's been five years of being a subscriber so I understand that the whole idea of weight loss isn't full of revolutionary information. But every once in a while there is an article about attitude and loving yourself just the way you are that I read immediately. I'm not very good at loving myself and I welcome new insights and approaches.

The article that I read the other day was about loving your body before you embark on any weight loss journey. I find that to be terribly ironic since people lose weight because they don't like their body- not because they do. (I understand that many people lose weight for health reasons but they are a minority in the American weight loss community.) Despite my initial attitude towards this approach I am beginning to find the merit. So lately I've been putting more effort into loving my body the way it is. Why shouldn't I? It's my body. It's my vehicle to live my life the way I want. Why waste energy hating it? Once I can let that frustration go I will be free.

That's really my goal- to feel free and in love with my publicly lauded ass. I guess I felt losing weight was the only answer. It's really not. The article really drove the point home when it gave me the perspective of being my own best friend. I'm disgusted with the way I speak to myself. Would I tell any of my friends they are a disgusting fat-ass? Or a lumpy tub of goo? Or will never look as fit as they feel? No. NO. I would never say that. So why do I say those things to myself? It's ludicrous. And crazy. I make jokes about things I don't like about myself to bring levity to my negativity. "The only part of my body that got wet in today's rainstorm was my ass. Because it didn't fit under the umbrella. Zing!" Why zing myself? To make others laugh? I need to find a new hobby.

I'm going to redirect my hateful energy into saying supportive things to myself. Truthful supportive things. There's no use in telling myself I have could be a Sports Illustrated model. That's just not real. (Nor are they. See what I did there? Haha.) I think I'll start with liking my skin. Mikey tells me I have such lovely skin. I should really start listening to him. And I need to stop listening to my negative self.

August 16, 2009

The Toughest Thing I Ever Read

Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying" was the most difficult book I've ever read because of the narrative. Faulkner wrote each chapter in the voice of a different character. The intelligence of the character and the vocabulary of the character varied significantly from one another. The younger or less well read each character was, the more focus it took out of me.

It was most definitely worth the effort because I felt a real sense of accomplishment when I finished. It was also a wonderful story told with the voices of fascinating people, filled with secrecy and heartache. A truly rewarding literary experience.

I'm an Asshole

Dear That's Just Wonky,

I'm so sorry I've neglected you so much for the past month. Who knew unemployment could be so time consuming? I ache for quiet time alone for weeks at a time but when faced with an unknown length of loneliness I panic. I didn't want to wallow so I made sure I was busy. Luckily I still had the part-time job that called me in for some day hours and my free-lance writing assignments to give me some structure. You can check out a post that has Mike's name on it but I wrote it and took all the pictures and here's one that has my name on it, though I wrote it before I was canned.

I was also away on a pre-planned vacation in the Adirondacks for five days. Every year I treat the trip like a fitness spa. I swam a total of 2 miles on the lake, ran a total of eleven miles, and biked a total of twenty. I loved every minute of it. It really helped me feel prepared for the triathlon that I have in two weeks. The road was pretty much the terrain I needed to train on so I'm feeling very strong this year. I'm also slowly building up my mileage each run for the half-marathon. Running in the mountains was great because the air is clearer and the roads aren't as bumpy as Albany's sidewalks. But for all the time I spent outside I didn't get much sun. The air was too cold and the wind was too fierce for sunbathing but perfect for flying my kite. Mike and I tried to fly a kite for thirty minutes before I gave up on it and tried the other kite in the kit. It turns out the first kite we were using wasn't even made with all its parts. We were flying a kite with no skeleton and no rudder. I looked pretty stupid for a while there. I want my money back.

The Monday after we came back, which was last Monday, from the wonderful mountains I started a new job. It's a job in theatre and I couldn't be more excited. As my friend Karen put it, I started my career on Monday. It was a crazy, stressful week but I've already been doing the kind of work I've always wanted to do. I am just beside myself. It's only up from here.

My softball team has also been busy with make-up games and kicking ass in the play-offs. I was second base for two games last week and I haven't played that position in two years. But! I made two outs, stopped a hard hit and scored a run on my own hitting and base running. It was a pretty exciting few weeks in the Colt .45 nation.

I know these are all just excuses but believe me, I've missed you too. I've been thinking about you constantly but every time I was in front of a computer more urgent things would require my attention, like finding a job and looking at porn. One day, I was in front of my computer for five hours, sitting in my triathlon suit, because I was just going to check my email before I worked out but the next thing I know I applied to three jobs and organized some important data. Not to mentioned getting my wonderful job offer. That whole time wearing what amounts to be an adult onesie.

So never fear Wonky. I'm back. And I won't neglect you like that again. I promise.