“My Lucifer is lonely” Billie Eilish

The song has nothing to do with this blog, it’s just what I woke up with in my head. Moving on to the unsexy subject at hand. Diet. Or as some folks prefer to call it “way of eating”. I get the negative connotations of the word diet but my mouth is too lazy to say ‘way of eating’. I save my energy for more important things, like…eating.

I didn’t lose weight on keto but I didn’t gain either. And looking back at when the most recent weight gain began again, it was clearly last December, which is when I fell off the keto wagon and didn’t bother climbing back on. Other hot diets such as paleo or “intuitive eating” somehow justified my renewed craving for carbs in which I began indulging in again in the “healthy” forms of live grain bread and gluten free pasta. I wasn’t eating crap every day but it was definitely more than the once-a-week cheat I allowed myself before. Plus I was ignoring my daily carb intake and inhaling snacks of gluten-free crackers, pretzels and of course my weakness, tortilla chips.

I’ve gained so much that I haven’t weighed myself in a year. Although my clothes, jumping from a 10 to a 14/16 tell the truth.

From the outside looking in, my diet still looks relatively healthy but I know I can’t eat like this and still feel or look good. Although reading blogs from other people with hypothyroid, hashimoto’s, multiple endocrine neoplasia and other endocrine and autoimmune disorders, the path seems to point to keto. Except they also want you to give up soy (check), gluten (check), dairy (ummm…), Coffee (I’m outta here…)

But I did keto for almost two years and although I was gravely disappointed to never experience that weight “flush” that folks with properly functioning endocrine systems enjoyed, I wasn’t carrying around a hashi’s baby in my gut that never came to term like I am now (that’s extreme bloat by the way).

I take a inventory of my current kitchen. bags of crackers, triscuits, leftover cheat pizza in the freezer, and then there’s the 3lb bag of sour gummy bears guiltily staring me in the face that I bought when I was crashing and craving on recent overnight shifts at work. Okay, maybe I have lost control. Maybe it’s time to rein it back in. So I’ll give the gummies to my co-workers and round up the triscuits and pretzel crisps and donate them to my family (even though they shouldn’t be eating them either, there is no way in hell they are giving up carbs). The pizza I will probably finish off in a last hurrah because I can’t throw out pizza anymore than I can’t bring myself to throughout Pizza any more than I can throw out hundred dollar bills. The tortilla chips I will keep but I will go back to counting them out in a bowl, 12, before indulging.

If I start this week, just maybe I can squeeze back into my sequins by our December show. It would be the one-year mark from the last time I could button up my jazz vest. That’ll be my goal.

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“Am I only dreaming? Or is this burning an Eternal Flame?” ~The Bangles

It’s already been a week since I returned home from my belated birthday hiking trip around Mt. Ranier and while the photos remind me of the inspiration of the Cascades, my words fail me. But if I don’t write about it now, I wont write about it at all, as I failed to write about last year’s bday hiking trip through Banff in Canada.

For weeks and days leading up to the rescheduled trip, I watched the weather reports and the hikers notes on All Trails. Sixties and seventies, they all reported. So I packed for 60’s and 70’s. Day one, it was 60’s and 70’s. Days two and three, it was in the 30’s and I had nothing but a windbreaker. No gloves, no hat. No thermals. But I came to hike so frostbite be damned. I managed to keep my digits and most of my dignity intact. The last two days of trudging were a bit like my military experiences: glorious and miserable. Learn to love the suck and feel pride that you endured when others would have said “hell, no.”

I had plenty of company on these hikes too for a change. I usually hike alone to avoid the pressure of keeping pace with someone else or the obligation of any schedule other than my own. But this time, I had friends and acquaintances coming out to meet me readily. My close Army friend, S, who’s sofa I crashed on, my long-time Marine friend “M”, both of who I’ve mentioned here previously. And an old radio acquaintance and true mountaineer who drove in from Yakima to accompany me on that final, snowy third day.

The first day was by far perfect in weather and scenery even if I was distracted by self-conscious feelings of inadequacy from the moment “M”, a stoic John Wayne type, stepped out of the car looking just as much a Marine as ever despite the face scruff and shaggy hair. “You look like a goddamned hippie” I said as I embraced him for the first time in a decade. We both had changed but time had softened and broken me whereas it further chiseled and hardened him. “S” in full wingman mode paved a baited path that went untouched and while I was touched by his matchmaking efforts, it made me hyper-aware of percieved rejection. Like a full plate of hot, salty fries neglected on the table. Who wastes it?

Many reasons why the opportunity may have gone ignored but of course I got hung up on the one: he’s not interested. Ten years ago, both in uniform, the timing was not in our favor when M admitted feelings for me. Now that the path is seemingly clear, he was no longer hungry. Maybe his dick doesn’t work, I inevitably wondered. Sad how that thought always crosses my mind now if a man catches my attention.

But otherwise, it was a long overdue trip that was better than I had expected, rejection and freezing rain aside. My rehabilitated foot held up over nearly 40 miles of rugged terrain while conversations bounced from serious debates to bowel movements to dating over the hill to Belinda Carlisle (which resulted in us =singing “Eternal Flame” up and down the mountain trails). And I reconnected in person with people that give a damn about me. There are still a few left. Even if the one I built up in my head didnt want me for dinner.

“The older the fiddle, the finer the tune” ~ M

Awful nightmare during an attempted mid-afternoon nap yesterday. I don’t think I was truly asleep but I was trapped. My nightmare revolved around a thought that nags me when I’m awake: I’m single with no children. My mother is all I have left and when she’s gone, I’ll truly be alone. In my nightmare, my mother had passed and I felt so alone, I killed myself.


Burned sage around the bedroom and the house to try and shake off the funk. I remember something “L” told me: talk to your past, tell it you are breaking those contracts of regret and resentment and you want to clear your name with your enemies. Bring on the peace. Slept better last night but anxiety set in again as the next day wore on and my weekend ran out.

First weekend out of the boot and I put an insane amount of pressure on myself to get out and dance. Showed up to train for Diavolo on Saturday but they were working on another piece I wasn’t in so training canceled. And next weekend because of Labor day, they decided. Too many people out of town. I should have been one of them.

Sunday, I went to an Afro Cuban dance class but it was more Bomba than Afro. I couldn’t see the footwork under the skirts, understood only every fifth word, and felt like my soul never left the bed today. I used the foot to excuse myself 40 minutes into the class.

I called a friend and said last chance to dance this weekend, let’s hit Sunday Sabrosura! But that event is crazy crowded and if you don’t get there early to make friends and find a place to throw your purse, you’ll spend the entire time painting the wall with your backside. She wasn’t up for that.

So two middle-aged, divorced dancers headed to the waterfront to drink and poke fun of the men our aged, trying to pick up on the women half our age. But truth is, around here, a drink and a box of “touch of grey” beardcolor and they get those onesie-wearing 20 somethings. Can’t really blame them. I might have had a daddy complex at that age too. But now I’m 43 and my friend is turning 60. Good dancers, decent shape for our age, career women, low-maintenance…but men around here don’t go for “age appropriate”.


What helped was calling another friend, “S”.  Divorced and in dating-hell as well but on the opposite coast. I told him he’d have much more luck fishing here. We should trade. We chatted about my birthday hiking trip which got postponed when I broke my foot. He’ll be joining me in a few weeks on a fast, exhausting trip around Mt. Ranier. Somehow we got to chatting about another friend of mine who lives a few hours away near Portland. Well, that is, I consider him a friend. We all served in the same Battalion but different Companies. Plus, “M” and I went through AIT together so I knew “M” a bit better than “S” did. Still, “S” being a good wingman mentioned: “If you told him you were coming here, he would make the drive, I’m sure of it”.

“M” was one of those people you (Okay, I) meet and think, he’s a good person, we get on well, he’s into me and he’s not hard to look at… So what’s the problem? Chemistry.

Ten years ago, I cited lack of chemistry. He poured his heart out to me and I was flattered but also crushing on a former sniper turned philanthropist and a year later, a former Jesuit priest turned sniper. You might say I have a type. M particularly hated the Priest. M also never made a move on me so who’s to say a firm hand in my hair and mouth crushing kiss wouldn’t have gotten my attention?


I vaguely recall an article based on some supposed scientific study years ago about how we are instinctually attracted to people with symmetric features.  M is asymmetric in a John Wayne meets Daniel Craig sort of mash up. It’s been more than 10 years now since I’ve seen him in person but in a recent photo, on the day of his military retirement, he is reclining, foot propped on an ammo can, thumbs hooked in his belt loops and squinting into the sun. I think “Lookin good, old man” and I know he would reply “The older the fiddle, the finer the tune”. 

I usually hike solo but I’m staying with “S” and he’s taking time off to hike with me. Would S want to share our time together? I think not but again, I assume he’s just being a dutiful wingman suggesting I mention it to “M”. But it got me thinking.

So I text M. Said it was only three days, I was staying with S, understood it was a far drive…he text back immediately “Shoot, it’s only a three hour drive. I’m down for a hike and a drink.”

I panicked a little then and laid the groundwork of expectations: “I’m fat and slow now so don’t judge.”

He replied “I’ll leave it to the Christians to do the judging.”

I said “Great! Can’t wait to pee in the woods with you next month”.

“That’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever said to me” he text back.


Maybe he wont be able to make it, I think. Maybe I don’t want him to. I don’t have any mojo currently. Especially after Friday night’s costuming attempt at home that became a private humiliation, discovering I couldn’t squeeze into pre-laced corsets that I fit just two months ago. I was big then and I’m even bigger now.

So there I was: Prancing around feeling like I was caught in a giant Chinese finger trap, singing “Look ma! I’m a sausage!” and wondering if I was going to have to call for backup before I finally Hulked and ripped the zipper clean off. Fuck, that was my leather Gamora / BDSM corset too.

Meanwhile, M looks the same. And I’m obsessing “Maybe he wont come. Maybe he wont want me anymore. Maybe I wont want him. Maybe he will want me but still won’t make a move. Maybe his dick doesn’t work either, I mean, he is ten years older than me…maybe I should just stick to hiking alone. And don’t nap in the afternoon. And for g-d’s sake, don’t wear that tunic with those pants anymore…”

Another blogger I follow just posted this:

“Until the new moon in Virgo on Friday, we stand in the liminal darkness of the waning Moon, the dark of the Moon. Slowdown your pace, reflect, contemplate, clean, cleanse, purge, stretch, create space for the wisdom to enter, collect the strength from the Earth, lay low.”

But I’ve been “laying low” for 7 weeks while my foot healed. But if this weekend proves anything, it’s that Something or Someone is still holding my arms and trying to tell me “pace, reflect, cleanse”. Heal. Create space for wisdom to enter. These thoughts racing through my head this weekend do not come from a place of wisdom. Okay, okay…I’ll try to do better.

“Shout when you wanna get off the ride” ~ The Kills

I slogged (slow jogged) a 10K today across the Skyway today. This time last year, I was in ‘okay’ shape and made it across without too much damage but this year, I probably shouldn’t have done it. Sitting here with ice on my knee and unsure what is going on with the pain in my left heel that started less than 2 miles in. My time sucked too. I hope I can walk tomorrow because it’s a quarter mile from my car to my office.

Speaking of, I did a year at the VA, took stock of where I was heading, and put in my two-week notice. Then I promptly accepted my “old job” back, more or less. I tell myself it’s temporary but at least I wont be living paycheck to paycheck while I have it and that will be nice. Meanwhile, I still jump through vetting hoops for the local police dept and hope, if/when they offer me a position, that the salary is negotiable or it will be right back to paycheck-to-paycheck I go.

But it’s also exciting to be back in the saddle so to speak. I didn’t miss the traffic on the commute or waking up at 4:30 AM but I did miss the smell of the flight line. Back to wearing flip flops to the office and changing into heels. It’s too early to say how I’ll “like” being back but already, I’m grateful for the professional relevance (as well as the breathing room financially). It will be difficult to walk away again if the PD job pans out. Finally, I know this will sound arrogant as fck but it’s nice to come back to a job where I’m not the smartest person in the room and the toilets flush automatically (yes, two completely unrelated ‘pros’). Where I worked within the VA felt like a repository of people who couldn’t function or hold down a “real job”. Now I’m surrounded by high speed, moderate drag (because it IS still the government after all). But no one that I work with acts like they eat paint chips for breakfast.

Separately, I was bitching trying to set up my accounts at work because the questions to reset passwords were all “Where did you meet your spouse?” and “What is the middle name of your first born child?”. One of my coworkers said another comedian complained of the same thing: Where are the Single person’s security questions? You know what we (single people) get? “What was your phone number when you were 10”. If I could remember that, I could probably remember all my passwords and wouldnt need security questions.

Getting back to the old job means getting back to my old schedule too which was more conducive to catching a 4:30pm ballet class or a 6pm aerial silks class (because Gym Sock Burrito class doesn’t sound as sexy). Most folks are triggered by the New Year, New You but I needed a new job and a compatible schedule to recommit to my health. So as soon as I started the new/old job, I re-upped my membership for ballet and purchased a few other packages on Groupon. Plus, I started a 6 week poi spinning foundations course just to learn new tricks that might come in handy for Cabaret performances. Or not because I can’t stop socking myself in the head with the poi.

I also took inventory of my closet. Going back to work in a professional environment, I needed to face the facts of what fits and what does not. I have a bin of clothes in the garage labeled “Do not open for 20lbs”. Over the years, I’ve packed and unpacked and repacked that bin as my weight yo-yo’s with my endocrine problems. This time I changed the label to “30 lbs” and added more clothes.

But I’m not going to beat myself up because I’m back on track for the time being. I think. It’s too easy to blame my wonky lab results for the way I look and feel but I also wasn’t trying. Now excuse me while I hobble away for a fresh ice pack.

Miss Congeniality

Bored of the sex blogs; the crudest, most poetic descriptions of fucking. I’m critical of the Selfish Suicidal even as I daydream, “hypothetically” blowing my brains out while doing dishes. I wonder if my military career is really over, like falling just short of reaching the summit of Mt. NORQUAY so I don’t buy the t-shirt. No retirement, no celebratory t-shirt. But if you’re “out-out” you can apply for medical marijuana and live pain free, I tell myself. And sleep without pills and booze. I hate every picture of me. I’ve hated every picture of me for years but now I REALLY hate them. And video is worse. I entered an impromptu swing dance competition at a rockabilly party last weekend and lost. I didnt expect to win (maybe I expected to place) but the assurances of “Oh it was close! We loved your attitude”. Yeah, I got the ‘tude going for me. Miss Congeniality. I dcowled watching the videos afterwards – my terrible posture, hunched shoulders, jutting chin…FAT. off balance too. Couldn’t even get a basic tandem Charleston right, so out of practice. If I ever said I could dance, watching the videos, I take that back. And I untagged myself.
But I got the tattoo for my deceased dance partner, “DOMB” last Friday night. He wasnt selfish. He was in pain, losing a battle and decided to end it on his terms. I blamed my temporary departure from dance on grad school, then the after-work-job-hunting then the yo-yo’ing health but fact is, I lost my enthusiasm for it when DOMB died. Corny as it is, that Wham song plays in my head when I think of him. CK has zero interest in dancing and I won’t force him. “You’re not Alice anymore. You’ve lost your muchness”. I know that movie got terrible reviews but I rather liked it. First one anyway. Well, this is a fizzle drizzle end but I’ve got nuthin…

Lola Schmoozy the Aging Showgirl

41 for 24 more hours.

When did my headlights begin pointing toward the ground?

And note to self: any comedic value of a pratfall is lost if you sell it so well that the audience thinks you really did hurt yourself. Admittedly, jumping into the splits and then pretending I couldn’t get up during our Cabaret troupe’s performance Saturday night might not have been the best idea after 6 months out of my fitness/dance routine. The girls made a show of helping me get back up while I flopped and limped and groaned about how I was getting too old for this (and yeah, I felt it the next day). I thought it was funny but maybe it was just pathetic, the sight of a 40-something overweight woman sausaged into a corset tighter than Beyonce.

My Army BFF “S” told me that midst his own depression, one of his coworkers committed suicide. It sobered him up. The man jumped ship with five kids, a gorgeous wife and a $100k/year job. It’s a reminder that even for someone who appears to “have it all”, it may not be enough to keep them grounded. I think we all wonder “What would be ‘enough’?” What would it take to make us happy and if not happy then content? I don’t recall which book or essay I read it in and of course I’m paraphrasing but C.S. Lewis mentioned that we can only glimpse happiness in this life. We are not meant to be content here or we would never wish for something better, which is promised to us by G-d. That’s if you believe in the Happily Every Afterlife story in the first place.

Depression has been rearing it’s ugly head in my life again too. I may just be very, very tired. Constant hum of pain in my body, up too late doing school assignments after work and entire weekends spent doing the same. I woke up this morning with a sore throat, congestion and thought “C’mon, the day before I leave to hike Canada?” I hope it doesn’t turn out to be another “Scotland trip” where I was sick, tired and in pain slogging over the land miserably and coming home even more exhausted than before I left. I expect to be physically tired from this trip but refreshed. At least, that is the intent. So I took Mucinex, swabbed my nose with Zicam and brought a bag of Ricola to work. Now the countdown to 4:30pm begins. I still have some gear packing to do and I want to be in bed by 8pm because Im up at 4a to catch the 1st leg out. I wish I had the leave time to take today off just to rest and prep.

The itinerary the rest of the week will be strenuous. I planned it that way. Hiking, biking, and rafting. Headwinds, incline, miles and miles. I don’t do relaxing vacations. I plan scenic punishments. Partly to prove I can still do it. And if I fall off a mountain and don’t make it home, I’ve proven myself wrong.

I also changed the settings on my Facebook page so I don’t have to clean up 100 generic “happy birthday” comments from people who don’t think of me 364 days out of the year until Facebook prompts them to tell me “happy birthday”. Bah humbug.

I feel like a raindrop over a waterfall – Kenny Chesney

Sorry Mr. Chesney but that lyric is lame. The Flake quoted it to me, not because he was feeling introspective but because that’s the song playing through his speaker at the moment. I can relate to that feeling of insignificance but a raindrop over a waterfall becomes part of the waterfall, something bigger than itself. Offering an alternative perspective to someone who may or may not be listening and may or may not ever suffer from feelings of insignificance.

I told him “goodnight and I miss you. Or maybe I just miss the idea of you” Because how can I miss what I never had?

Is this week of sleepless nights, heightened aches and bouts of hopelessness a result of my body struggling with hormones or a keto diet? Maybe both. My mind feels like a butterknife. My body an uncooperative, aged machine.

Sharing conflicting knowledge and personal experiences with Hashimotos and hypothyroid sufferers in a keto group in social media, I lament, in addition to the challenging dietary restrictions of keto, we must also limit our dairy and cruciferous vegetable intake? My staples are broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, cheese… what CAN we eat? A woman replied “I heard we can have ice cubes”. I laughed heartily at that one. Frustrating but funny!

I also officially took a Hiatus from the samba troupe. They scheduled a publicity photo shoot for the group which I knew was coming. I told them I had hoped to be in better physical shape by the time it came up but that hasn’t happened. I admitted to them that
being excluded because of my size still bothers me and I’ve decided to temporarily pack up my feathers along with the rest of my wardrobe that I haven’t been able to part with since my relapse. I told them thanks for letting me hang but I’m just going to dance with my clothes on in the meantime. What I didn’t admit was that I was not going to subject myself to a photographer who would try to hide the big girl in the back or under a feather fan.

“Don’t get me wet because the bandages will all come off” ~ Dresden Dolls

Maybe it’s the rain that smells like ocean and keeps the heat at bay. Maybe it’s the caffeine as I allowed myself Mountain Dew for the first time in half a year. Maybe it Grouplove, Band of Horses, The XX and Modest Mouse mixing through my stereo. Maybe it’s the comfort of a well-fitting bra after finally admitting to being a 40D and no longer a 38C. But I think it’s the people.
Hospitable human interaction. From the friendly folks at the car dealership where I mooched Wi-Fi and fresh coffee and worked on a laptop with my dog beside me as my car was getting serviced. To popping over to the dog park where the guys playing tennis next door tossed over fresh yellow balls for my pup to chase. And down to a new gourmet sandwich shop curated by a couple of cheesemongers from Detroit and Brooklyn respectively. I was content to sit outside under the awning until the drizzle turned into a torrent flying sideways. Even my dog was looking at me like “What the fuck?” until the owner came out and invited us inside, saying “Don’t worry, everyone here is dog friendly and the health inspector isn’t due for five months”.

Heterosexual men and women cannot be “just” friends according to my mother. She said there is always a sexual tension between them and at the time, I argued, using my best friend “Dirty” as an example. He’s like a brother to me. An asshole Big Brother. And there is zero chemistry between us. Or so I thought until two years ago when he proposed us having children together since both of us were feeling that biological clock chipping away at our fertile years. I thought he was proposing IVF but no, he wanted old-fashioned sex. Perhaps in his loneliness and desperation, he even entertained the idea that the two of us could be something more than friends or even co-parents. We always joked that When Harry Met Sally was us, minus the sex and happy ending. But now I realized wasn’t opposed to that. So maybe my mother is right and I’m just clueless as another one of my closest friends admitted to me in a frank conversation, as our conversations always are, that if I was itching for intimacy on our upcoming trip that he was all for it. I told him I valued our friendship as is, entirely too much to muddy it with sex. Which is partly true but the other half of the equation is I am not sexually attracted to him. Or to my best friend either.
And yet I wanted Amanda and Brian from the Dresden Dolls to hook up. Or Suzanne and Ben from HoneyHoney to live happily ever after. I encouraged it even, as they both laughed and looked away during an radio interview ten years ago. You’re telling me “Lets Get Wrecked” wasn’t about hooking up with your best friend and bandmate out of convenience and loneliness? “Pulling at our jeans now, honey, and biting at our necks…”
“I am the girl anachronism…” Kat von D bad girl looks with a June Cleaver sentimentality. A freak in the bed who wants to meet your parents. But I’ll drive you crazy like the rest of them. I ride with the windows down and air conditioning on. I steer with my knees not because I’m multi-tasking with lipstick and the cell phone (although I might be doing that too) but just because I can, curling my arms behind my head rest flaunting it to passing traffic. “You can tell from the scars on my arms, and the cracks in my hips, and the dents in my car, and the blisters on my lips that I’m not the carefullest of girls…”

Which one of these is not like the other…?

Guess who’s not performing samba this weekend as scheduled? Just me. Big girl out. I guess the client didn’t want a fattie in feathers. Nearly 3 months of rehearsals and $400 sunk into sequins, I even nailed the routines in our “school play” but 3 days before the gig, informed of client aesthetic preference. I was hurt, embrassed, begging for vindication on social media and asking who wanted to buy my hot pink and black feathers (only worn once). I soothed my ego with comments like “Youre a wonderful dancer, their loss” and “So you’re not a tiny dancer…” but then my mother put it in perspective: You can be the best dancer and performer and you still wouldnt make the Rockettes. Thats show business.
Shes right. Ive been passed over because I didnt look the part before. Close your eyes and I could sound like Stephanie Mills or Karen Carpenter bur I didnt look like them. Still, try not to take it personally when you’re excluded from performing because of the way you look. Although two years of ballet and zero cellulite, my ass looks good in a thong, thank you.
Maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, after my body image insecurity at our dress rehearsal but I watched the video and it didn’t translate to my performance. I shook it with abandon! And I do love this costume. It’s beautiful and I worked hard on it but I told the group leaders that I’m going to take a break until they either have a new routine to learn or there is a paid performance opportunity that would not discriminate. We’ll see if that call ever comes.
The next day someone posted a video of me doing a sexy as hell bachata routine. I was wearing my Samba heels so the investment isn’t a total loss.