November 29, 2006

midterm report card.

this morning, after working out my arms "until failure", after punching the shit out of the bag until i was super sweaty, maria took my measurements. if you're interested, here is a summation of my report card:

i have lost 3% body fat.
i have not lost any muscle mass.
i have lost between 3-4 inches from my waist, abs, and hips. (individually, not collectively...)
every pound i have lost has been fat. (maria's scale says 4 lbs today, and i'm retaining water for girly reasons)

maria hugged me in congratulations.

this is the first real progress i have ever had with healthy weight loss. honestly, i still weigh about 30 lbs more than i should--or would like to--but my body is healthy and thriving and metabolizing like it should. i am growing strong. on sunday, helen and i rode a hilly 10 mile route on 3-speeds, and though i bitched and moaned and got a stitch in my side and my ass burned, i did it. and then i worked out the next day, and the next two days after. four months ago, there is no way i could do that. hell, i probably couldn't have pulled it off last month.

next report card comes in six weeks.

goodbye fat. it was nice lugging you around for so long. but now it's time for you to move on.

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November 28, 2006

et cetera.

good boy.
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
1. is clem not the cutest puppy ever born?

2. tomorrow is midterm, so to speak. maria will once again take my measurements to chart my progress. how does one study for a test like this?

3. thank you my greggy for sufjan's new cd, songs for christmas. this is a 40+ song must have. yum yum yum.

4. time to go work out my legumes with maria.
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November 25, 2006

prepare ye the way for christmas cheer.

i realize that i am still wearing shorts. it feels nothing like the holiday season, despite the giant scary nutcracker standing sentinel in my office building.

but, the season has officially arrived, as marked by mandatory overtime and oversized wreaths on sale at walgreens. despite my overt cynicism, however, here's a bananie fact: ask helen. i think i drove her nuts during our first holidays together with my festive zeal.

i love putting up a christmas tree (even when we purchase it at target). i'm a sucker for stocking stuffers. in christmases past, i have forced charley to wear reindeer antlers. i have designs on a clem-sized elf suit. moe will be santa claus, naturally. and lucy? i think i'll just let her remain lucy. for safety's sake.

my house will smell like mulled wine and spruce tree home fragrance. you're invited, of course, to visit.

on my lunch hour at work today, i have officially kicked off the holiday cheer, itunes style. now added to my library are newly recorded christmas songs by aimee mann, over the rhine, and sarah mclachlan. of the three, i can't recommend otr's snow angels enough. karin? linford? how do you keep getting betterer and betterer?

happy holidays, friends. welcome to my sugar plum world.

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November 24, 2006

go kris go!

kris delmhorst was recently interviewed on npr. listen and love here.

i'm so proud!

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a little belated.

happy post-thanksgiving to everyone! i hope you and yours spent a fabulous day stuffing your bellies and hearts with turkey and thankyous.

my thanksgiving felt foreign, yet wonderful all the same. because it is virtually impossible to have time off enough to travel to pennsylvania this time of year, i've spent the past couple thanksgivings with helen's family in houston. this year, of course, was the first holiday without boompie, and no one expected the day to feel the same. however, everyone seemed to make room for the loss, the change, and the day was peaceful.

thanksgiving was held at aunt janis' house, and being texas, it was warm: eighty degrees. dinner was held outside in her big green yard, aka aunt janis' dog park. we left charley and moe at home in the backyard since we were making such a quick trip. and so, it was just lucy and clem who chased squirrels all day.

i must confess that i have never lounged on a hammock after thanksgiving dinner before. sure, i've made my share of post-turkey snow angels, but a hammock on a warm afternoon? totally new. in fact, i even managed to receive a mosquito bite on my ass (a thankful mosquito, helen says). yesterday felt more like an easter dinner than thanksgiving, and maybe that's the point: nothing was familiar about the holiday but the people in it. disorientation isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially when you're beginning something new, like a tradition.

and dearest fambly in pa: i'm coming soon. once i get through the crazy work season, i'm boarding a plane to you. it's been too long, and i miss you too much.

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November 21, 2006


some days, i have absolutely no idea what i'm doing. welcome to my tuesday.

heart aches, breaths are shallow, and as i think of all i'm thankful for, i am way too afraid it will all be snatched away. there has been too much of that around me lately. holding on holding on.

and how do we keep our feet firmly on the ground beneath us?

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November 19, 2006

what we're up to. (non sequitur)

green eyes.
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
yesterday's ambitions for clem training and car cleaning were a bust, as my belly kept me in bed for most of the day. oh but what a day in bed it was!

i did get to play with pictures while in bed. photoshop doesn't work so well with my intel-based macbook pro, so i've been skimming the surface of post-production with the limited tools of iphoto. i've been interested in purchasing aperture, but wasn't sure how well it work with my camera, which lacks the capability to save photos in RAW format. happily, aperture is offering a free trial, and i must admit that it is fabulous, even with my jpegs. and you can couple the work you do in aperture with photoshop etc for extra filters or what have you. thanks to aperture, i was able to show the world just how green gunnie's eyes are. see? ======>

(i think that the full version would make a perfect christmas gift, actually.)

/end geekery.

also in drama-free week, we have done very fun, homebody types of things, such as dress up claira in a turtleneck:

fun with sweaters.

this afternoon, clement knows how to sit for treats. he's not quite committed to the idea yet, but he definitely understands what i am saying as i push his tush to the ground. he also knows how to sing now. i found that out last night, as i sang "ave maria" and he lifted his snout to the sky and belted out a perfect soprano. we're one voice closer to a full dog choir.
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November 18, 2006

pee ess.

this is a nervous smile.
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
just doing a little inventory here. charley would like to know who is out there these days?

she thanks you for your participation.
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a whole new saturday.

"these ones are sneaky," maria said as i stood bent over with weights in my hands. "they feel okay when you're doing them, but later, your hamstrings are going to be very, very sore."

today, my hamstrings (aka ham and cheeses) are very, very sore. i can't cross my legs with much success, but that's alright. "we measure progress in burn," maria reminds me everytime i yelp like a puppy. apparently, i am making progress.

it's a whole new saturday this morning. for one thing, i am not cold. our furnace was finally turned on yesterday, and so i slept through the night in a warm house. oh, and i'm not working this morning. for whatever reason, the scheduling gods at work decided that my workweek will now be monday-friday, as opposed to the thursdays and sundays i used to have off. what all this means is, the weekend before the craziness of the christmas season officially begins, i am home. i mercifully was given four days off in a row, and i didn't have to ask for it!

if this entry seems pretty boring, you have guessed its main theme: no drama.

i have made a conscious effort this week to step back from anything that would pull me in and beg for what little emotional energy i possess. and so, despite an ailing uterus (oh endomitriosis, did you not get the memo that this is no drama week?), i feel stronger and much more relaxed.

today is clem obedience training day, wherein i will attempt to talk him into no longer biting my nose for pleasure. it's also haircut day, and possibly a car-cleaning day.

hooray for boring entries.

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November 16, 2006

happy happy birthday jude!!

Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
dear jude of my heart,

together, we make everything better, not just music. i'd be a lost little bananie without you.
i'm so glad you are here, and that your parents had the foresight to procreate.

i will always be your bicth. and i will be forever grateful that, through knowing you, there are only two degrees of separation between me and bono.

i lub you.
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November 14, 2006

week four.

after a sweaty half hour on the elliptical, at the gym where i spent my lunch break, i weighed in for the week.


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a new day.

tuesday morning, ten am. i've been up for awhile now. already, i've made a trip to cafe mundi for a pound of coffee, because holy crap, it's wonderful stuff. i also treated myself to a chocolate croissant, because i deserve it. why? i can't remember, but i'm sure i have done something to deserve it.

judge clemmie is attempting, once again, to chomp on my crocs. no! five seconds later, he's dragging helen's chucks by their shoestrings. no! oh, and now he has found a papertowel. meanwhile, all his toys lay facedown on the floor, dejected and abandoned.

clem, don't eat the mail.

did i mention that he is illegally cute as he slowly eats the house?

helen is sleeping. the windows are open and the morning sun pours into the livingroom that i scrubbed clean the other day. this is my home. i am in love.

damien rice's new 9 is this morning's soundtrack. he is as bipolar as i am. and on first listen, i am loving this record. i don't think anything can compare to o though. remember? 2002. spring in northern ireland. curtis and jenna and trevor and i are all snug in the caravan on the coast. damien rice sings "delicate" to me for the first time, through tinny old speakers. how does he do it? this is the music i need to hear. my head buzzes with inspiration. my fingers itch to type out something that means something. i devour annie dillard's for the timebeing. "there's no one here but us chickens," i read for the first time. oh chicken.

nearly five years later, i sit on a chair in my home in austin, texas, with dogs splayed out all around me, my love asleep in our bed. damien is singing a new song, and i am awake.

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November 13, 2006

where everything i've ever learned comes in...

on saturday night, moments after finishing the fun, fun photobooth session with charley and clem, my phone rang. it was a close friend in crisis, needing my emergency advice. a life or death moment. this was bigger than her. bigger than me. i trusted my gut. i called the police for help. the details will never be mine to tell. but. my plea to the authorities without her permission escalated the crisis moment further. so much so that she is very, very angry with me. at this point, i don't know if she will ever speak to me again.

drama aside, her anger toward me of course makes me feel like shit. i know i did the right thing. i am not sorry. but there is nothing worse than being rejected by someone you love, especially when you acted out of love to help.

how does a girl who is prone to panic attacks deal with such a blow, such drama? sure, i had a few beers. but then i got up yesterday and worked out hard with maria. i beat out my anger and frustration on the punching bag. i thoroughly enjoyed a brunch made by tara. i walked the dogs. helen and i had fabulous indian cuisine at clay pit with greg (formerly gregg). i slept a healthy night's sleep.

and this morning, helen and i walked the 5 mile loop at town lake with maria and the dogs.

the panic is still here. the grief at the great possibility that i have lost a friend.

i loved as best i knew how. that is all i have to give. i've given all now.

i don't understand why relationships are crumbling all around us, and though i'm grateful that our friends find us a safe place, it is becoming a balancing act not to take on every burden as our own, as my own. i love. i am loved. we are healthy and happy and home. remember, remember.

dear november: enough with the drama. i'd like to celebrate thanksgiving with the warm fuzzies. i'm tired of the clenched teeth.

here's to another day of learning not to internalize the brokenness of the whole world.
thank God for helen, who knows how to hold me until i come back to my senses.

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November 11, 2006

why we never have to leave the house ever again.

or. saturday night fun with photobooth:

bad asses. moments before i lost my nose in a tragic yawning accident. twins, held by an alien.
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milestones, chapter one.

ooo, cold front.
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
1. i decided yesterday to let my armpit fro grow for the winter. i predicted cold weather if i stopped shaving.

last night, while i was sitting on the porch, and two days since i'd last shaved my pits, a cold front blew through, dropping the temperature at least twenty degrees.


2. vanessa just got a new camera, and so she'll be photographing my hottening bod, but for now, i have lost between five and seven pounds, depending on the scale.

3. my ass jeans fit once again. they have been hanging sadly in the closet, along with the other clothes from my skinnier past, for at least three months. as of yesterday, i can button and zip them without risking bodily damage, such as the collapse of my uterus.

4. despite a few setbacks this week, including (but not limited to) fish n chips, beers, and a couple more beers, as well as being too effing tired to work out yesterday, i have not quit this endeavor. and i am getting stronger. watch out!
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November 10, 2006

clem's first movie.

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November 6, 2006

week three: let's step it up.

for all one of you who are anxiously awaiting photographic evidence of my fitness metamorphosis, hang tight. they are forthcoming, although you can't really see much yet.

the change has, thus far, mostly been in my brain. i hate the routine. i hate waking up to drive over to maria's every other day after i've slept a spotty night's sleep punctuated with clem potty breaks every few hours. but i go. every time. and maria and her greeneyed catahoula, etta, are waiting at the door for me. etta hugs me with the grace of a mama dog, and maria hands me a water bottle. "and how are you today?" she asks with her fabulous german accent, and i reply, honestly, every time: i'm really tired. "oh, we'll fix that," she counters. "hop on the bike, let's wake your legs up. let's get your body all warm and ready to work." thus begins the hour. pedal pedal pedal. more more more resistance. and then upper body, lower body, middle body: push and pull, lift and squat. squeeze and sweat. face flushed. drink some water, girl.

and then? it's over. i've survived yet again. i'm awake. my legs and arms and abs and ass are all humming a tune of accomplishment for another day.

i'm doing it. i'm doing it.

so, i don't think i have lost any weight yet (but of course, i'm still fond of the beer and wine, so...) but my body is awake. my frame feels stronger as i move through my day. legs are firmer, and my arms are coming out from hiding underneath the flab, finally.

it's week three now, we're stepping it up, maria says. more weight. more reps. less rest. more sweat.

i'm doing it. i'm doing it.

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November 1, 2006

happiness is a warm clem

he is our puppy now :)
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
disclaimer: i am fully aware that this announcement firmly places us in the "crazy ladies with the pets" category. but: look at this photograph. if crazy is bad, i don't ever want to be good.

on friday, our friends tamara and celesta called and asked us to stop by their house to make sure their litter of seven week old doxiedoodles (ie dachshund/poodle mix) had plenty of food. we're good friends suckers, so of course we did it. and, of course, we promptly fell in love with a bashful brown furball. we looked at each other with a mutual expression of "i'm caving. be strong or we'll have four dogs before the sun sets on this day." i held the pup in my lap, kissed on his ears, sniffed his delightful puppy breath. ah shit. it's my BIRTHDAY! i proclaimed. i've never gotten a puppy for my birthday! i've never raised a puppy! and so we decided we would adopt the pup our friends called buster. and then we drove to houston for boomp's funeral.

i don't know about helen, but the thought of enormous cuteness awaiting us back at home really helped me walk through the sadness of the weekend. every time i felt overwhelmed, exhausted, panicked, or simply sad with grief, i said to myself, "but i have a puppy."

"new puppy" is the safest antidepressant on the market. no weight gain. no sexual side effects.

we adopted our little boy on monday. his name is (judge) clement earl pickles mccarthy.

maybe we didn't exactly think through the whole puppy responsibility thing before we took him home, because the thoughts of potty training and puppy-proofing had not even occurred to me until he peed on the floor and ran off with my flipflop.

we adapt quickly, and so has clem. i can count his accidents on two fingers. he sleeps between us, and for now, we are setting an alarm to let him out every three hours overnight. for a puppy whose feet had never touched the bare ground before monday, he has taken to the yard like a champ. he understands that is the place for evacuating bodily stuff, as well as the best place for wild romping with his new siblings, who, incidentally, are okay with him joining the pack.

this afternoon, i am the queen of really bad cramps, and empathic little clem is napping snug against my belly. he'll be awake in a little while, i'm sure, and i'll be once again practicing my calm and assertive "no" as he tries to eat my computer. again. for now, however, he is my angel boy with whom i am already deeply in love.

schmelen and clem

proud mama, sweaty after a wonderfully vigorous workout.
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