Thursday, July 20, 2006

losing weight, mortality, living

Since Dr. Marshall read me the riot act, I find myself thinking an awful lot about my mother. Dr. M. said in essence "lose weight or die." I'm at 280. I don't know what my mother weighed when she died.

Mother died at age 33, two months shy of 34. Since I'm not close with her sisters or brother, I have no idea what kind of life is ahead for me. Don't know what diseases my sisters or I might face; don't know exactly what I'll look like; don't know what my life expectancy really is.

As I type, I feel hunger. I've felt it several times since I began this process. I don't remember, prior to this, when I've felt actual hunger this often. Probably when I was a kid, depending upon others for my food. As soon as I began to work, I really started packing on the pounds.

It took 27 years to creep up to 280. I have no idea how long it will take to creep down -- toward my first goal of 28 lbs, my second goal of 250, etc. All I know is that it has to go slowly or it won't stay off.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I quit my job.

Effective May 31, I am a free woman. My partner insists I take a month off to decompress. To read, to lay out, to veg. She is a good woman. She knows I need it more than I know it myself. Maybe we can afford to treat me to a day at a spa. I don't need beauty, but some pampering and maybe a new do would be nice.

My boss continues to give me the cold shoulder for the slightest infractions. Today it was being an hour late - when everyone I know who lives in So. MD had a devil of a time getting to work. The range was between 2+ hours for bus riders and 3.75 hours for drivers. My beloved and I made it in a scant 3.25 hours.

Still: the cold shoulder. I've worked for this woman for three and a half years, and I have always felt her doubt when I've come in late because of traffic. If she'd have bothered, at the first suspicion (long ago) that I was lying, she would've educated herself about the Southern Maryland roads and the commuting snafus that can be caused by just a little precipitation, or one or two well-placed accidents.

But it's much easier to doubt, to be a bitch, to offer the cold shoulder to a woman who has been with her for this long, who has made mistakes but has nontheless been dedicated, loyal, and has cared deeply for her personally.

I don't want to write her off completely. We won't have a relationship after I leave the office. But if she continues to assume that, since I gave notice, I intend to phone it in, SHE is going to burn the bridge for me that I want to keep in place.

I have just fourteen days left working for this sometime sweetheart, sometime harridan. I hope I make it. With the gods and xanax I will.

before I moved to Maryland

before I moved to Maryland
I'd never heard a whippoorwill
never seen a robin or a cardinal
never heard a woodpecker's call
nor heard peepers - nor even known the
difference between a toad and a frog
(toads don't have waists)

I hear a whippoorwill now
and a cat eating dry food
and my beloved's TV show
I'm home in Maryland
and far from home in California

for now, I am just lost in these sounds
and I just keep swimming

whippoorwill sings
joy returns
joy returns
joy returns
joy returns

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Saga of Quincilla, She of the Unrealistic Expectations

Sometimes when we're having problems, it helps to look at other peoples' problems!  So -- here!
Here is the latest in (cue James Earl Jones:) the Saga of Quincilla, She of the Unrealistic Expectations:
She calls at about 10:15.  Says she's on her way to get on Amtrak but needs her computer and several documents.  Will stop by here and ask me to carry them down, and out to her in her car.  Fine.
She keeps calling back every few minutes, adding things.  Then she calls to ask if I can get our messenger to take the stuff to meet her at Union Station.  I can't reach the messenger, so I tell her better not plan on that. 
She asks me if I'll get in a cab and take the stuff over there.  I decline -- I get sick in cabs.  I have to convince her that I really, really, really, really, really, really don't want to do this. 
She has me call her newest associate to ask him to do it.  He will.
He comes down at around five past eleven.  I burden him with documents and I am unplugging her computer to hand to him when I think -- does she need the power pack?  I call.  She says no, she does not.  But she needs me to turn it on and open Outlook so her email gets sync-ed. 
That process takes nearly ten minutes.  Edgar, the associate, leaves at 11:17.
Quincilla calls at 11:33 and says, "Well, Edgar never showed up."  I say "I sent him off, he's on his way, you don't see him?  He should be there by now."  She says "We're already on our train, it was the 11:30 train, so call him and just tell him forget it."  She says she'll call later, tell me where she's staying so I can fax her the documents.  I ask if she wants me to send her computer.  By now she is so petulant that nothing I say will do anything but irritate her, so after her negative response I almost hang up on her.
By the way, it takes 10-15 minutes to get to Union Station.  And did I mention that she never told me, and as far as I know never told Edgar, what time her train was?
Finally (cue drum roll) guess whose fault this is?! (cue crashing cymbals crash crash crash crash)?  MINE!  Bwahahahahahaha!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Miserable At Work

I think I work for one of the most miserable people on the planet.
When I mess up on the job, it takes her DAYS to get over it, to quit riding me about it.
I get wafts of resentment whenever I mention my other half.
She works her freaking ass off, for so very little.  I realize she is not me, but even so, I wonder at one point -- if ever -- she will ever pull back & spend more time with family or friends or digging weeds or training horses or fishing or composing music or whatever -- just not working.  I am really lucky to have been born free in this regard:  This is not my career.  I punch out and my time is my own.  I don't have to think about work every waking hour and as a matter of fact I don't.  The freedom is something I am unwilling to compromise.  I am happy as a drone, and I wonder if the boss resents that, too.
I even wonder if I'd be writing this, even if only to get it off my chest, if I were not at the office.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Ode to a Staple

A staple is lodged in my keyboard
I can see one lonely crimped end
if I had tweezers or maybe a magnet
I might free it

I flipped the rattletrap over
and shook it for all I was worth
all I got for my effort was dirt and pieces
of Cheez-It

Often I'm tempted to HIT ANY KEY
for now my dilemma's not solved
if I can't free the staple from between Y and I
I can't write FCK IT

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bertha makes her DC Metro debut # 2

About thirty people at work have commented on my new stardom. It's been fun but I'm ready for it to stop. I don't want fame - thanks for the little lesson, karma.

Inexplicably, the Baysox left the fabulous Bertha off their list of "approved anthem singers." Maybe I'll give them another chance next year.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bertha makes her DC Metro debut.

A bit of my audition was on the channel 5 news last night. Having seen it, I know I won't be singing the National Anthem at a Baysox game. Not this year. I am embarrassed.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Update on Theoretical Moral Dilemma

Refer to post of March 2

The Jim Croce Martin I posted about is no longer available. Another one's available, for just $3,000.

I still wouldn't buy it if I had $3,000. At least I think I wouldn't.

Memory # 43

my memory sucks
old age setting in
i never know
which decade i'm in

i slog through each day
my eyes on the ground
i talk to some folks
whoever's around

did i talk to you
yesterday or last week?
did we talk about
what we're going to eat?

did we talk about
the war or the O's?
or a trip to the beach
or the trees when it snows?

some days i can't even
remember my clothes
did i wear this already?
do you think this spot shows?

i'm just forty-three
this is an outrage
when i was a kid
"old people" were my age

now i look at kids
they know everything
i'm not young enough
to know everything

and since i can't
remember my name
or . . . or . . .

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Impeach GWB? Reach a more important goal first.

Harold Meyerson in the Washington Post today:

Dereliction of duty and lying us into a war may be mortal sins, but that doesn't make them provable high crimes. Domestic surveillance without a court order, by contrast, does look to be a flat-out violation of the law of the land. But it's hard to believe that Arlen Specter's Judiciary Committee will recommend any punitive action even if it concludes the policy was against the law. For that you'd need a different Judiciary Committee -- one controlled by Democrats.

And for that, of course, the Democrats need to win in November -- a goal that looks increasingly within reach, and the goal on which the growing legions of Bush haters should focus their attentions. To dwell on impeachment now would be to drain energy from the election efforts that need to succeed if impeachment is ever truly to be on the agenda. To insist on support for impeachment as a litmus test for Democratic candidates would be to impede those efforts altogether.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Play Ball!

Saturday morning I will audition to sing the National Anthem at a Bowie Baysox (minor league baseball) game. The Baysox are the Baltimore Orioles' AA affiliate.

I'm nuts. I haven't sung in six years. Singing in the shower and the car don't count.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Theoretical Moral Dilemma

I have found the guitar I've wanted for years on eBay. It is a Jim Croce Martin, of which Martin made only 73.

I think of how many people can be helped with $3,500, and how many animal shelters really, really need right around $1,500 cash right now.

House of Ruth needs money. The Humane Society needs money (my own tiny feral TNR program needs some money; vets don't neuter my stray toms for free because I say "but I'm paying for this out of my own pocket!"). Food for Friends needs money. So does Doctors Without Borders, AMFAR, the MS Foundation. So do homeless people and the charities that serve them.

So much need in this world, and I want a guitar.

I swear I honestly don't know what I'd do if I had $5,000 to spare. It's easy to say "I'd give it away" when I don't have it.