Monday, June 23, 2003

It's Very Good Jam

We made jam yesterday, 36oz of black cherry jam courtesy of Costco's bulk-buy fruit. Jam worthy of paying a Queen's Lady's Maid. Only every other day though. Yes that is a literary reference my dear, how very kind of you to notice.

I've been re-reading Alice In Wonderland, and Through The Looking-Glass; it's rather disconcerting to realise how much those two stories shaped my youthful internal monologue. Especially my tendency to scold myself in an upper-class accent, just like Alice. I found that I remembered almost every line verbatim, they're stored in my brain permanently, probably the result of having an excellent book on tape version of them, read by Alan Bennet. I was barely reading the book, more opening the door to the part of my memory where Mr Bennet's nasal voice resided, providing perfect inflections to the White Queen's assertion that it's always "jam tomorrow, and jam yesterday, but never jam today..." Because it's jam every other day you see, and today isn't any other day.

If anyone ever accuses me of creative circular logic, I can now point to Lewis Carroll for the reason. Just as I can lay my sick sense of humour at the door of Roald Dahl and Monty Python. I wish the Disney version of Alice had tried harder to carry accross the intelligent surreality of the book, and not just the random cartoonish characters. Alice is a permanent resident in my subconcious, bitchy little asides and all. Such a contrary little thing, but I suppose she can't help it.

Oh dear, I'm rambling in Carroll-ese, it probably only makes sense to me as well. I had better go do something serious and important immediately.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Pros and Cons

What could possibly be wrong with getting closer to a healthy weight? I'll tell you what, constantly changing shape and proportion is what's wrong with it. Even though the general trend is one of improvement, I'm starting to find it disconcerting that my bra size has now changed at least three times in the past six months. I say "at least" because I don't get measured that frequently, so there may well have been more fluctuations than I'm aware of, because I've certainly been having trouble finding ones that fit comfortably. I came to the conclusion that bras for anything along the lines of 36DD or 38D and up are incapable of providing support without looking and feeling like some kind of immobile cantilevered contraption strapped to your chest. So, of course, I'm relieved to be back in the realms of 36D, it's where I'm used to being: I have a significant bosom, I can choose a fairly wide range of attractive styles, but it no longer feels as though a civil engineer had to be called in to calculate the arc of the underwire. Hey! beloved 1940's style bikini might fit again now...

Now I am caught in a little bit of a dilemma. I have just found jeans that fit me. I have just gone to the Victoria's Secret clearance and bought a couple of bras in the new correct size, and even more knickers in frightening colours...and I don't particularly feel like changing the shape of my ass right now. Even though I know I'll feel better after the fact, even though I want to be more flexible and toned, I keep thinking of the pricetag on the fun "I shrank out of those clothes so I need some more now" shopping sprees. I am in a mindset where I feel I'm supposed to try hard to continue my shrinkage, rather than truly wanting to for myself.

The last 40lb I lost absolutely had to go, I hated the way I looked and felt in that version of my body. But I've always been on the large side, I do remember the brief period when I was a svelte size 11/12, but I don't think I ever really registered how it felt at the time, I just know that I was wearing a size 12 with room to spare, but I was still plenty curvy even then. I don't do dainty.

So where does that leave me on the self-improving resolutions? I don't really know, though I do know that I want to be stronger, I know I want to be more flexible, and I know I want to have the ability to work on the speed part in karate. I want to be the woman who can make a spin kick a practical attack because I'm just so damn fast with it. I want to be the woman who snaps out a strike and it looks as though I've been standing there with my fist out all along because the transition was so fast.

When it comes down to it, aesthetically, I like the shape of my body right now, ideally there'd be a little less roundness in the tummy and less squish in my thighs. There will always be such foibles, nobody is every completely satisfied with themselves. What I'm not so happy with is the achey joints and stiffness, the fact that after about ten minutes of sparring I slow down significantly because my arms get tired and that makes me feel pathetic and weak.

Perhaps this spells pilates tape and home weight training. More sparring drills and possibly picking up a shinai on Sundays. Stretching before bed. Ignoring the "dieting and weightloss" stuff for a change and working on feeling relaxed and well exercised. I'll probably end up with a tighter belt as a side effect, but it's not going to make me happy if the size 12 jeans are my goal, rather than a pleasant side effect. I can't allow myself to focus on those numbers, what I want is to feel healthy, to know my body is less of a limiting factor on my activities, maybe even to find some muscle definition in places that haven't had it before.

I suppose this has turned into a declaration of sorts. That what I really want from my body is to be strong, fast and capable. So what if the girl standing next to me has far prettier legs? I don't care how I look in a bathing suit if I can go through my forms and feel every move coming out as it's supposed to. I don't want to look like this or that I want to feel comfortable in my own skin (which requires being small enough to avoid the titanium reinforced brassieres), and to learn to kick ass properly and with style.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

I am, as hoped for, sitting at my desk in the new apartment. I just got it set up, and everything seems to have survived the epic move of about three metres up, and 70 to the southeast. My desk fit back together with considerably less problem than it's original construciton, all of my furniture fit in the elevator, and with the combined help of Brandon and Rachel on Friday, and Bob today, we have everything but the odds and ends moved in and arranged meticulously in large random heaps all over the living room.

Somehow there is still space in the living room, even with most of our worldy possesions and a queen-sized bed in there.

Friday, June 06, 2003

The building excitement of our impending move was somewhat dampened yesterday by the news that they still need to replace a drainage pipe behind the washer/dryer. Which requires access through the wall of the master bathroom, and the hall closet that backs onto the bathroom. There is still a functional bathroom, and it'll be done in a week or so, but Red asked us not to put all the bedroom furniture in the master bedroom in the meantime, so that the plumber can come and go with equipment and not have to worry about smudging our bedroom set. So we shall be camping out in our living room for a little while.

Funnily enough this is starting to sound like fun. It's a perfect excuse for not having it all set up perfectly immediately, we'll be able to get used to the space before we put the furniture in a more final arrangement. Not to mention the fact that it emphasizes how huge our living room is. I am leaving a generous studio, a large open rectangle given the appearance of an interesting shape by a slightly reccessed patio door and window. The main body of the living room in the new place, not counting the dining area branching off from it, is larger than my entire studio. For now we're going to have a queen sized mattress and boxspring in one corner, Matt's living room furniture, plus his dresser, plus my bed leaning up against a wall, plus a bunch of boxes and a large heap of unstowed bedcovers and blankets...and we'll have space to spare. It's positively cavernous. Without the attending fanged beast lurking in the background, and less moss on the walls than is usually seen in your standard cavern style abode.

Once we had made it clear that we still wanted to move in asap despite the inconvenience of the pipe replacement, Red stopped by with the keys, a day early, we were somewhat nonplussed at first, but then realized we had just been given an extra evening to get a head start on moving in and began to haul boxes for all we were worth.

I'm pretty useless at work today, I can't wait to get back to North Park and get moving. I can't wait to truly live with Matt, we spend so much time together it's been much more a frustrating timewaster to accomodate two apartments. Neither of us got housekeeping done, and whatever thing we wanted to wear on a given day usually ended up at the wrong apartment. It was a neccesary stage along the way, now we know for sure that we want to be together, we're moving in together to be together, not for financial reasons or some ideal of playing house.

Alright, I am going to do some work now dammit. I will justify my paycheck by labelling 15ml tubes for Dianne and braving the darkroom yet again to see if another three year old antibody has died from neglect.

With luck the next post will be from me sitting at my desk in the study of our new apartment.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Oooooh, Blogger redesign. I can't see where to republish my archives if I change the template, I'm sure I'll figure it out.

Tonight is the last night in my studio, I'll have to pack up the last bits of my kitchen once we finish eating. Aside from coffee-making apparatus, which is essential for morning survival.

Meanwhile I'm heading in to work a bit early, so I can get finished up and get out earlier.

Monday, June 02, 2003

What a great weekend, and surprisingly productive too.

As if a four-day working week following Memorial Day weekend wasn't enough slacking, I took off from work at 12.30 on Friday to go pick up Monica from the train station. Yes, I did say Monica, she made it to San Diego! Only for about 18 hours, but it was enough for her to get a taster of "sunny" San Diego, and enough to show her a little of my life here. The June gloom was in full force when she arrived, but during lunch it burned off and we got to sit in the sun for a while in the courtyard of UTC mall.

I had completely neglected to inform her of the layering rule of dressing here. It may be sunny most of the time, but the gloom and breeze make some variety of sweater a neccesity. I must remember to make this a standard part of any invite to visit me here, soomething along the lines of: "Come see me, we can go to the beach, bring a bikini, sandals, and a big fuzzy sweater!"

Eventually we got back to my place, with the slight chaos excused by my impending move (nice cover for the usual state of dissarray in my apartment). Matt wandered down and met us there. Monica got the full experience of my apartment, right down to the shower flooding itself again, this time while I was doing dishes. Got to love those interconnected drains. So we made a hasty exit and headed down to Ocean Beach to watch the sun set behind the marine layer. The rocky cove Matt discovered is fantastic, the waves make a great show splashing up against the crags, and we managed to avoid getting splashed full on until the very end. There were a few narrow escapes, but that's all part of the fun. My poor shoes are now officially dead. Two occasions of a saltwater soaking spell doom for any suede.

After we dried off somewhat we met Bob at the Cheesecake Factory, he and Monica bonded over the atkins diet, which is still a mystery to me, being allowed to eat eggs and cheese till the cows come home, but no tomatos because they've got sugar in them. Wierd.

Back to Matt's place for the night, since my bathroom was somewhat out of commission. Up at 5.45am (bless the coffee machine with a timer function) and back to the train station by 7, so Monica could go back to LA and schmooze more Democrats.

That only covers Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. After we got back from the station, we watched The Ring, Matt did a bunch of packing while I had a nap, then I went back to my apartment to find the building manager attacking my drains with a motorised snake, he got the blockage cleared apparantly, with another flood on the bathroom floor in the process. So instead of packing my kitchen I went to the laundrette to wash my towels and bathmat. It was ok though, because the laundrette had the History Channel on one of the TVs and I got to learn about how insane Ivan the Terrible really was.

The rest of the weekend was packing, until I ran out of newspaper to wrap kitchen stuff in, a short cycle up to the Antique Row Cafe for lunch on Sunday, Costco for supplies for this week, Lane Bryant, Express and DSW for (in order) jeans that FIT, more tshirts and a pair of maryjane clogs.

Oh, and Brandon and Rachel called by for a while, so we have another helper for the move next weekend.

Four more nights until we spend the first night in our place.