50×365: DS.

January 26, 2009

There are those of the race of Joseph, and those who come close.  You are just beyond my cutoff point.  In most respects, I think you’re a neat girl, smart, amusing and pleasant – there’s just one little bit of spice lacking.  And I’d bet your assessment of me is similar.

50×365: DT.

January 26, 2009

I don’t know whether you like me or you think I’m crap.  I think this is because often, when I talk with you, I feel you’re about two steps removed from the words you’re saying.  All my memories of our conversations have a bit of a filmy haze over them.

(I was supposed to publish this shit on Saturday, but I suck.  So, catch-up.  Let’s play together.)

50×365: DA.

January 23, 2009

You adopted my sister as your special pet because of her pure, unspoiled singing voice.  I would have been jealous if I’d yet had the ability to process higher emotional responses.  Years later, you complimented my liturgically-inappropriate performance of Geoffrey from Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb.  It felt sweet.

50×253: Dawn.

January 22, 2009

I lost my shit with you, hauled off and yelled because you hadn’t lived up to your promise or potential, and it was my ass on the line – my name and my reputation.  You had said you would finish, but you didn’t get the job done.  We were eighth graders.

50×365: DM.

January 21, 2009

You were the most pleasant of all of our mail delivery personnel, and I don’t understand why you were the one who got the ax when the budget went to shit earlier this fiscal year. You told me I reminded you of Kate Winslet. I rather liked that. Best of luck.

“The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation… all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.”

I believe you.

Intervals and assault.

January 8, 2009

Intervals.

I was gonna do an exercise video in the office at lunchtime, but it looked pretty nice out — rather than the crazy-ass torrential rainstorm it has been — so I changed and walked with the boss-lady over to the post office and then headed south.  I wandered at a pretty quick pace around the campus, running for about a minute, then walking for about three.  (I’m a pansy-ass, I don’t do real intervals, but I wanted to get my heart rate up.)  It started dumping like a motherfucker about, oh, as soon as I walked away from the boss-lady.  Of course, now that I’m back in the office, it’s all sunny and pretty.  Fine, Mother Nature.  I see how it is.

Anyhow, I did my ghetto-version inverted intervals all the way around campus, for a total of about two miles in about thirty minutes.  In the rain?  For an out-of-shape girl like me?  I are champion.

I got back to the office and looked in the boss-lady’s mirror and HAY-SEUSS CHRIST was I a sexy beast.  My clothes were pretty much soaked through, and my hair was (is) all wet and plastered to my head, and my eyes were bugging out, and my face and chest (and rest of me, but you know… clothes) were all red and blotchy and angry-looking.  WHOO.  I am currently the most majestic saturated muppet-girl you’ve seen in weeks.  Also, my back hurts.  Waaaaaah.

Assault.

On Wednesday evening, January 7th, at approximately 8:30 p.m. a female
University student was assaulted while walking north on Avenue South.  The student fought back with her fists and umbrella while screaming for assistance, as the suspect grabbed her by the waist and tried to pull her to the ground.  After a brief struggle, the assailant fled south on Avenue and then east on Street.  The victim reported no injuries.

Shit.  This is like, the fifth time this has happened this school year.  All the assailants are described differently, so it’s probably not one single jerk dude harassing everybody — several jerk dudes, rather.  One of these days somethng really shitty is going to happen and WHAT THEN.  Our campus security is populated by real tools — some good, conscientious students, yes, but not many, and they are rarely the ones responding to the calls.

Another good reason to work out: to punch the rapists in the face.

Picture it: Christmas Eve, 2008. The weather was a cluster and we were all fucked, Blanche.

For the past three years, since I was hired at this particular church, my family and I have done the same thing at Christmas.  Since I conduct the choir, and sing the solos, I have to be at both the 7pm and 11pm Christmas Eve services.  So, to spend any time with my folks at all, we go to dinner before my choir rehearsal, which is usually before the first service.  Then I duck out early, leaving them with the bill, and rehearse my choir; they show up at about service time and sing along in harmony.

This year, the choir wasn’t singing because the snowy weather combined with the media scare tactics about the snowy weather caused everyone older than 55 – my entire choir population – to have a massive panic attack.  I had to cancel all the rehearsals in the frickin’ month of December, which I didn’t mind so much, really.  The end result was No Choir on Christmas.  Ah, well.  It was just me, and my intrepid organist of the multiple kidney failure and short, repetitive comas, and my pianist, and my good friend Meg.

I’d hired Meg to play clarinet for both services, mostly so I wouldn’t be bored out of my fucking mind.  I picked her up at about 4:30 so we could head up north toward the church.  We had dinner reservations, and my folks were all planning to meet us before service.

However!  Earlier that day, my mom had to leave her car at the bottom of our not-really-all-that-steep driveway.  The wintry mix-y Christmapocolypse-ness of it all ensured that her tiny Honda with no traction would NOT be making it up the hill without the intervention of a few dieties or a demon.  Or, as it turns out, a neighbor with towing capacity.

SO Meg and I were sitting at the bar, enjoying a bit of a drinkiepoo, when Mom called.  Dad had no luck getting her car up the driveway, and when he tried, it did a 180 in the middle — not a fun trick on ice, when one side of the slim driveway is a fairly steep dropoff.  Whoops!  So somehow he got it back down.  What next, he thought?

He drove his truck down the driveway and chained Mom’s car to it.  But not correctly, apparently, as the chain snapped off when the truck was about halfway up.  Whoops.

So then what happened?  Well, there were TWO cars stuck at the bottom of the driveway, and time was creeping along, and it was still fucking snowing, even!

Mom had been in contact with me all evening.  By this time, Meg and I had each had a glass of wine and shared an appetizer, and the three of us — Mom still an hour south with the rest of the family, Meg and I north at the restaurant near the church —  concluded that the family would NOT be joining us.  SO we split some risotto and ate salad, talked about dieting and pretty much drank a bottle of wine.

Then, we hauled ass through the inclement weather to the abandoned church building.  One of the best things about the blizzard was the quiet — standing outside the church, you heard very little but the intense blanket of quiet snowfall.  Attendance was slim at both services, of course, because the general population of attendees couldn’t shovel themselves out of their driveway and slick their Buicks the three blocks down the hill to the parking lot.

Meg clarinetted and I descanted and we generally had a passable time praising the Lord.  One of our best moments came at the end of service, when my organist went ahead and did her traditional Joy to the World modulation – up a half step between each of the four verses.  This, of course, puts my descant in the stratosphere, and forces Meg to transpose from the original key of the LBW not just the usual interval, no, ALSO another half-step, in her head.  Huzzah!

Oh and then of course, my organist didn’t just plain old take half steps, for which we were prepared.  She did something appropriately wackadoo, like a whole step and then a half step and then another whole step.  It was a surprise!  The anticipation was tremendous. WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO NEXT, LADY?

Anyhow, between services, we intended to go and get a drink.  But of course, by the time we got out of the church, everybody was closed up tight.  We couldn’t even get decent service at Denny’s.  At least Tiffany had the courtesy not to charge us for our crappy, burnt coffees while we waited an hour for a banana split that never came.  Long time ago, in Bethlehem, I just wanted some goddamn ice cream.

So then I had to go pick up our organist, ’cause she’s simply too tottery to drive on the ice rink that was the network of roads.  Got her!  Awesome.  Second service!  Done.  Got the organist home!  Mission accomplished.  And then Meg and I finally, hours and hours and hours later, without even the cushion of a hazy buzz to support us, headed back home.

The evening had started off really well, with that bottle of wine and our mutual enjoyment of each other’s company.  Laughter!  Glee!  But then of course, all that church, and the drag of the time between services, and then MORE church, and no ice cream, then all that extra driving… it just got worse and worse.  When we finally left the organist in her driveway, I realized how desperate an haunted I was beginning to feel.  And, of course, I was anticipating dropping Meg off and then driving a further forty minutes back to my place.  It sucks to be a musician at Christmas. So my mood was progressively darkening from azure to indigo.

But when we got back to Meg’s folks’ place, their cheery, warm home brightened me immediately.  You can imagine the almost overpowering sense of joyous relief I then felt when those wonderful, laudable people, her parents – friends of mine in their own right – invited me to stay the night.  My god, I was nothing but thrilled to consent.  We ate wontons and several kinds of cheese and delicious, oniony-sweet beef stew with crusty bread.  We drank wine and mocked the Pope on television.  I borrowed an old pair of red fleecy snowflake pajamas and had a sense of Christmassy contentment theretofore unknown.

The next morning, I woke up sweaty in not-my bed, in a pair of not-my pajamas, to the unmistakable sounds of domestic discord.  The next-door neighbors were exchanging the gifts of “Fuck you!” to celebrate the birth of the Jesus. I burst out laughing.  I have never had a Christmas that has felt so adult.

Merry fucking Christmas to all of you.  Especially you.

HEALTH. GODDAMNIT.

January 6, 2009

You will not believe the flavor payoff, says Rachael Ray.  Oh, Rachael, I will totally believe the flavor payoff.  When you come to my house and make this meal for me.  Which you’re not gonna do.  But that’s okay!  Maybe eventually when I get some chicken and ginger and greek yoghurt.

This evening, I am going to bake off a couple of crab cakes for lunch tomorrow and Thursday, and a pair of pork chops for dinner Thursday and lunch Friday.  I watched Oprah last night and she was just sad, and desperate, about her continuous struggles with her weight.  I don’t want to be you, Oprah.  I’m sorry that YOU have to be you.

My mom wants to work out and lose weight and etc.  But of course, she doesn’t actually want to do any of the work that’s involved with it.  I would love if she would work out with me, if she wanted to do a little Jillian Michaels Bitch-Tastic 30-Day Shred action.  We did it yesterday and beforehand, she was like, “You gonna torture me with this?”  Which made me mad.

Dear Mom, YOU are the one who supposedly wants this.  I am gonna do it whether you join me or not.  Don’t try to make me feel guilty about wanting to fit into these smaller pants.  You are congratulatory, but with an undercurrent of ‘fuck you’.  That sounds harsh, and I know it’s unconscious on your part, but I feel it a little and blargh.  What do you want, Mom?  What’s the deal?  I, personally, would like to have you around as long as possible — and your smoking and drinking and lack ‘o healthy eating habits are NOT going to contribute to longevity.  Mostly, though, I want you to feel GOOD about yourself.  You’re always complaining about your size and your pants and your belly and blah blah blah.  So take the Special K challenge, or DON’T, but don’t try and make me feel bad about continuing without you.  I am not going to nag you, and I am not going to abandon my own goals.  So that’s what.  Love, Yvanka.

I know I’ve talked a lot about this weight-loss festival recently here on this blog.  I don’t want to be That Girl — the one who is always focusing on her weight — and I hope I’ve avoided that in my general real life.  But at the same time, it’s a part of my life.  I’m trying to do a good job, for my general well-being.  I want more energy, I want more sexy clothes. I want to avoid entirely the sort of stab of self-conscious deep hurt I felt that time I was walking to Ann Taylor and my friend asked if I wanted to stop into Lane Bryant.  Because no, I don’t want to stop into Lane Bryant!  I never want to stop into Lane Bryant.  I do not have the bone structure that portends Lane Bryant, I am descended from people with bones as tiny and birdlike as actual birds.  Neither side has passed down Lane Bryant genes, so if I need to shop at Lane Bryant I have failed myself.  My mother is five foot nothing, and her weight complaint is that she’s at 110 pounds.  The women in my father’s family are slight and stooped and easily crushed.  I weighed 120 pounds all through high school, and the ideal weight for my height is 135.  I should not be wearing clothing that Lane Bryant sells.  I am not built like a model, or a twig — I am going to have a bum and some boobs, always.  But you know what?  For me — for ME, not for everyone — that bum and those boobs really should not be in double-digit sizes.  (Except the ribcage part of the boobs, of course.  34-B, baby!  LET’S GO!)

This is not to say that women who wear double-digit sizes are fat or unattractive.  Far to the contrary — my most pervasive lady-crush is a statuesque woman.  I have several wonderfully sexy friends who are probably in the double digits.  You know, truly, when I was in double digits a mere month ago, I was still pretty goddamned hot, thank you.  But I — me, myself, I — don’t NEED to carry around this extra weight.  And I love food, I love love LOVE food, but I am learning what I need and what I don’t need. I don’t want to be described as Rubenesque when I could be a leaner, quicker version of myself.

WHAT THE FUCK why am I even ranting about this?  You guys are not the ones who need to hear this.  Nobody needs to hear this, really, but me.  I blame Oprah.  She got in my brain last night.  Bob the Trainer said to write down the answers to two questions, and I’ll do it.   Why are you overweight, Yvanka?  I am overweight because I don’t think, because I don’t have anyone appreciating my physical presence on a regular basis, because it’s easy to ignore what it is I’m putting in my mouth and just focus on the relationships I do have with the people who don’t care how fat I’ve gotten.  I am overweight, but I am working on it.

What is keeping me from losing weight?  Sometimes I actually feel guilty for feeling successful at weight loss, when I have conversations with people who are struggling with losing weight themselves, or not yet feeling ready to embark on a ‘weight loss journey’ — I feel like I need to temper my joy that I have less of myself to haul around.  I even feel guilty that I’m going to post this on my blog, to tell you the truth.  It feels like I’m cocky, somehow, that I’m shouting that I AM DOING IT!  I am making a change in my body and it is important!  And then I’m frustrated about feeling guilty or cocky, because this is something I’m doing for myself.  The first real thing I’m pursuing for my own benefit in a LONG time, actually — most the things I do ‘for myself’ I am usually really doing for someone else, or because it’s my duty.  This is something for me, so I can feel slim and sexy and good.  And I do.  And I will.

As a post, that was crap – there’s no narrative thread, and I’m not going to bother putting one in.  If you read that vomitous mass of raw expository feeling, thank you.  If you’re still my friend even after reading it, thank you again.  Now I’m going to go move my laundry from the washer to the dryer, and then I am going to drink a glass of water, work out with Jillian, and eat a sugar-free pudding snack.

Love,
Yvanka

Praise be to 2009!

January 5, 2009

Welcome to the future, everybody.  I’m updating my blog at work because there are too many things on my desk and when I have too many things on my desk I disengage entirely.  Oh, let’s go get a cup of coffee and hash it out, shall we, hmm?

Refilled.  Glorious coffee.  In a beautiful, hand-made ceramic mug.  Let me tell you about the first five days of the new year, my friends.  Let’s begin with the Big Fat Feelings.

EMOTIONS OF 2009

Glee! Because I passed my statistics class with an A-!  What sort of bullshit miracle strings did some angel have to pull for that to happen?  I don’t know, but I’m not complaining.  Thanks, Angel of Applied Statistical Analysis!  When I get to heaven I’ll buy you a beer.

Apathy! Because I’m back at work, and who wants to come back to work after two weeks off?  Though really, I wasn’t ‘off’ per say — I had church job interfering with a perfectly good  vacation, pretty much every other day or so.  Oh, forty-hour-a-week-job with excellent benefits and fun coworkers, somehow I can’t get excited about you.  And yet I am grateful for your existence especially in these Troubled Economic Times™.

Confusion! Of the ‘why does my thumb still smell like salsa, a week and several washings later?’ variety.  So bizarre.

Pleasure! In both the end of my vacation and the beginning of the school year.  I like routine–I was pretty crappy at being home during the day and getting anything done.  I planned to do a lot of things, like clean my mother-effing room and give some clothes to my sister/goodwill and make a bunch of jewelry.  Instead, I did a lot of gmail chatting, food network viewing and Wii Music record-beating.  But then the evenings, being unencumbered by grad school, were filled with revelry and socialization and movie-watching.  I’m lucky – those can mostly continue through January, ’cause I don’t start Finance and New Venture Management ’til February.  Huzzah!

Political Stirring! Go see Milk.  Now.  It will make you want to pick up a sign and hold a meeting and wear a t-shirt and campaign for hope and change and equal rights.  And if it doesn’t, well then.

Yet Further Glee! Speaking of movies, Emma Thompson is in a new movie and I love her.  I love her, I love her.  And she’s lovely.  And, at the end of January, I want to go see this movie.  (It’s the little things in life that give me glee, apparently.)

Fiscal Irresponsibility! I bought myself some presents, including (but not limited to) this sexy jacket in black and a really cute shell-ish sort of light sporty coat for outside-time, from Eddie Bauer Outlets.  I didn’t need ’em.  I wanted ’em.  Now I have ’em.

Disengagement! About most things, really.  Whatever!