Monthly Archives: March 2009

Whole Foods Jaunt etc….

For some reason, I always seem to leave school with a massive headache. I decided that I would take a walk outside during my break between classes, and maybe the fresh air would help me not get such a huge headache! I guess it sort of did help, because now I only have a small one. Anyway, I went to Whole Foods on my walk, since it’s just a couple of streets away. So I had me a little bit of a spree…

I bought two of that chocolate bar, but one was already open when I got home, so it isn’t in the picture. I’m not a chocoholic by any means — I always said I don’t like chocolate, but I don’t know whether that’s true. I can pretty much take it or leave it. But I did try this. It made me smile a bit when I saw what the squares looked like…

…but I feel so, so guilty about it now. So stupid. It’s just chocolate. (Heh. My nails match my sweatshirt perfectly.)

I was crazy anxious all day today, and I don’t know why. It’s bad enough when there’s a specific reason for my anxiety, but if I don’t know why I feel that way, it’s even worse… it’s like something drastic is about to happen, and I know it will happen, but I don’t know what it is, if that makes any sense at all.

Something good did happen today, though: I got my midterm grade, and I got an A! I totally wasn’t expecting that, so it was very nice.

My shirts also came… I used to hate the style, but in the past couple of years I have fallen in love with babydoll tops. I own more than I can count, and I just keep buying more. It’s really getting to be sort of embarrassing, really! (Sorry about the sideways picture… I’m too tired to figure out how to change it! Well, the pictures are bad in general, and they look better on a person than the floor, but I’m not about to model them!!)

Sometimes I just love this city… I was walking down the street and I saw a homeless man sitting with a cardboard sign reading “You are to nerdy.” The girl walking next to me told him, “‘Too’ has two ‘O’s!” Then she said to me that if he was going to insult her, at least he ought to get it right. I love finding random amusements in the strangest places. The Eau de Unshowered Homeless Man, not so much.

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Not-Costco and Cereal!

My sister is a Costco member. I want to go there, just because I want to have the experience once… but she always seems to go when I’m at work, and I can’t go without her! (Well, maybe I could get in with her card, but since I don’t look much like her, I wouldn’t be able to buy anything.) The past few times she’s gone, it either didn’t work out for me to go along, or she “forgot” to tell me she was going. Yesterday she called me and told me she was going to Costco, and did I want to go? Normally I would have been able to go on a Sunday, but I had made plans to meet someone for Scrabble, of all things, and I hate when people back out on me, so I wasn’t about to do it to someone else. One day, I might actually make it to Costco… but that day has not yet come.

Anyway, in lieu of Costco, I went to Target. (Okay, that’s not true — I go to Target practically every week!) Kashi was on sale. I could quite happily subsist on nothing but cold cereal every day for the rest of my life, so of course I had to buy some! I figured it was about time I try the Honey Sunshine, even though it made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Anyway, turns out that I think I prefer the Strawberry Fields. Honey Sunshine is sort of too dry.

Continuing in the cereal vein, I used to eat Nature’s Path granola all the time. I don’t anymore, because I found that Bob’s Red Mill tastes more “natural,” somehow. But I still did want to try the new varieties (FlaxPlus Vanilla Almond and AgavePlus Sunflower), so I bought a box of each at Whole Foods. I think it would be a good idea to sell sample sizes of new products. I mean, what if someone buys something, tries it, and hates it??

I am running low on tofu, so I bought another case on Amazon. I wanted to bring my total up a couple of dollars and qualify for the free shipping, so I added a variety pack of Larabars — cherry pie, apple pie, and lemon bar. (Warning: distorted thinking ahead!) I have never tried the lemon, not because I didn’t want to, but because it has a higher calorie count. I know that ten or twenty extra calories won’t make or break me, but nobody ever said fear was a rational thing! Maybe now that I’ll have them in my house, I’ll actually eat them. Then again, I do sort of have a lot of things at home that I bought when I was feeling “brave” but never ate because I wasn’t feeling that way anymore once I got home!

Some time this week, my shirts should arrive… I bought three of them last week, solely because they are cute. I don’t need them at all. If anything, I should be getting rid of clothes! Oh, well.

I had a total brainstorm, which should have hit me years ago. Instead of relying on my brother to give me matzah from his seder plate and causing undue amounts of anxiety, I can just have my own… and with whole wheat matzah. Why did it take me this long to figure that out?! (Okay, I know why. Because my parents are freaking out at the notion. Too bad.) And my dad already ordered the wine, but he forgot to get the one I wanted. I refuse to drink the nasty wine that they will… it doesn’t even taste good, and I am not willing to “waste” liquid calories, which are scary enough, on something I don’t even like. As tempting as it is to just dilute “light” grape juice, I am not going to do that. Nope, I will just have to get a couple of bottles of my own wine.

I don’t really care for it to be Monday… I’m not feeling the whole back-to-work-and-school thing!! Hmm.

Registration and Woes

Ever since we got back, I haven’t felt quite “right.” It’s hard to put a finger on it — I can’t seem to decide whether I feel dizzy or nauseated or just plain tired or jet-lagged, but it’s really getting annoying. I’m not someone who gets sick. Like, ever. (Knock on wood…) If I do, I prefer to have it be of the “you have X, take Y medication for five days and you’re all cured” variety of illness. But this is the polar opposite of that, especially since I’m not sick. I just feel… off. Kind of like a residual migraine. Thankfully, I don’t get migraines nearly as often as I used to, but every time I do get one I spend a couple of weeks in terror of the next one!

Thinking that it is lack of sleep which is making me feel so crappy should inspire me to get to bed at a decent hour, but Thursday night (12:01 AM Friday, actually) was registration for the fall semester, and I was afraid that if I didn’t do it at 12:01 exactly, I’d get shut out of my choice classes. (I would think I’m being paranoid, but someone told me she logged on at 12:17 last registration and the class she wanted was already full!!) So I battled my way through writing up my assignment for Monday, which I think is pretty awful, but I was so exhausted that I could barely see straight so I couldn’t muster the energy to care too much just then. I ended up going to bed at 11:00 and setting my alarm for 11:45… and I did get into the classes I needed, so that worked out, at least!

Friday was an interminably long day because of how exhausted I was… everything seems to drag out forever when I’m sleep-deprived like that. And I couldn’t even go to sleep as soon as I came home, because I had to cook a kabocha squash. To make a long story short, my brother, for some reason, wants to turn orange, but apparently he isn’t eating enough carrots for that to happen. My nutritionist told me that when she was younger she used to eat a kabocha squash every day and she did turn orange, so I told my brother about it, and as he’s never tasted it before, he asked me to buy one. So.

Then I had to contend with this bar mitzvah kiddush today… infuriating on so many levels. First of all, maybe I’m a bit overly sensitive about this subject, but around here I think women are perceived as baby-making machines who can, if they so choose, do something fairly typical like teaching or being a secretary, but only until they begin to procreate. As I am — gasp! — not married, it is often (erroneously!!) assumed that I am doing one of the two. This ignorant woman asked me if I was teaching… if you knew me, which she seems to think she does, you would understand why this is such a ridiculous question altogether. I told her I wasn’t, and she asked what I do, so I told her where I work. To which she replied, “Oh, you’re a secretary?” Um. NO. Why is it so inconceivable that maybe, just maybe, a female has a brain or a desire to use one?! This same woman also told me that she heard that my brother is in medical school. She is a little confused, since it is me who is in school, and he hasn’t taken the MCAT yet. But I guess I’m just supposed to be sitting at a desk answering phones, so the very notion of my being in school is just too difficult for her to grasp.

On another front, the kiddush was located in, to put it euphemistically, very tight quarters. I was trying to get through a narrow aisle between two tables, and there were chairs on both sides of me, back-to-back. Two of my nieces were sitting in these chairs, and a third niece (the one whom I find madly triggering) was in another chair next to them. I said something, I don’t remember what exactly, asking them to scoot in a little so I could get through, and the third niece said — I am quoting verbatim here, not reading into the statement at all — “You’re too fat.” Maybe that’s her idea of a joke, and I’m sorry if I’m being oversensitive here, but I don’t find that at all funny!! If she was a little kid, I’d be more easily able to brush it aside, maybe. But she isn’t a kid — she’s eighteen!! And she has her own crazy hang-ups. I met my sister in the supermarket tonight, where they had come because this niece couldn’t eat since they didn’t have the “right” kind of pasta sauce… you’d think that someone who clearly has issues of her own would be just a little more sensitive to such things, but I guess I’m being stupid and presumptuous to think that way. I have what most people would consider an off-brand sense of humor too. I know that. That’s why, even though my sense of humor is one of the few things about myself I actually like, I will rein it in if I don’t know someone well enough to use it. Apparently tact is not in my genes, though.

Funny how I can’t stop thinking about this stupid comment, but if it were a compliment, it would have flown out of my head before it even had time to get in.

Blah

It’s been a gloomy, rainy day. Also a “fugly” day for me… it turns out I am not imagining that humidity causes one to retain water. Just another reason why I hate rainy weather; it makes me “feel fat”! Blah.

For all of my stressing, my nutritionist didn’t expel me. That must be because I’m so powerful that my worrying about things can render the worry itself useless, hmm?? I’m sure. Apparently, I did lose weight, but not as much as I could have. (Huh?) No point in explaining how annoyed that made me, on so many levels, because it doesn’t make any logical sense! I showed her my pictures from Israel, and she kept exclaiming how she was “so proud” of me… through some faulty wiring in my brain, when someone says that to me, I am immediately flooded with guilt. As in, I should not have eaten any of that pasta, let alone as much as I did, because now I am clearly a pig. And I don’t think I was meant to finish that ice cream / bagel / frozen yogurt / lettuce leaf. Somehow, I am never happy with anything!! I don’t quite know what happened to me… I used to be able to hear anything and not have it bother me, but now the slightest things can trigger me and send me into a tailspin. It really is extremely annoying.

My nutritionist said that it is imperative that I “show a significant gain” next week, partly because Pesach is coming and I’m going to lose weight then!! I told her she should not have told me that, because in my mind that’s translated into You need to lose weight over Pesach or you are a disgusting gluttonous cow. Anyway. She wants me to fax her my food log every day. So that she can “yell” at me if I haven’t been good. Which I can already tell is going to be a struggle, because on Shabbos I have to go to the kiddush for my nephew’s bar mitzvah. Yes, this is the same nephew … it’s the Bar Mitzvah That Never Ends! Given my feelings about catered food and eating in public, I am obviously not so happy with this.

My therapist (no, I did not ditch my appointment) mentioned to me that if I completely planned out what I am going to eat the night before I actually eat it, it might help me stop being so obsessive about it. I don’t know … I do do that sometimes, but I guess I’m generally an obsessive person! It isn’t even completely that, either… it wouldn’t solve anything for me because even if I know I’m supposed to do XYZ, I will still be anxious about it. I’m just too uncomfortable in my own skin. Sometimes I feel like I live in a sort of bubble. I’m the only one in there — I can do it for a day or two, but longer stretches just don’t seem to happen.

On another note, I am very overwhelmed with all that I have to do right now… I have an assignment due on Monday, and I am a bit mystified as to how I’m supposed to do it! And I have that fifteen-page paper due in a couple of weeks. It is so unlike me to leave things to the last minute… I must finish it up. Plus I have a mountain of magazines to read… they accumulated while I was in Israel. I hate that something which should be relaxing becomes so stressful because I feel like I’m constantly playing catch-up!

Quite the photo album…

It really takes a special kind of moronic idiot to forget to take along a towel when going to the pool. Sadly, I am apparently just that type of idiot! It made an already irritating experience all the more irritating… generally my swim time is for relaxation, but I had to renew my membership card, and the word “slow” does not even begin to describe the process in that place. So I only got to do five laps, and I didn’t even have a towel. Oh well.

Okay, so now that I have more decent Internet service again, I can post pictures. Hooray. Sorry that they’re different sizes, but some were uploaded and some are just being uploaded now on Blogspot.
First, this is just one small reason why I love Israel: the topography is just so incredible. You can see this:

Drive for a few minutes, and then you encounter this:


I absolutely love it. It’s gorgeous, of course, but the variety is just incredible.

Okay, so… here is the “scene of the crime,” the restaurant where we went for the bar mitzvah dinner. It was a cool place, at least.

But the portions were seriously huge. Check out this salad (this is the second, dressing-on-the-side salad)…

…and then I ordered what my nutritionist and I had previously discussed, but we neglected to mention that it might be that large. I just about ran out of the place screaming when this was placed in front of me!!

And for the frozen yogurt fiascos… First are two that were smashed and squashed. Then I actually got one to stay just because it’s too pretty NOT to do that.

There are some things that I can get in Israel which I can’t get here. Like Dannon yogurt. (Or chobani, for that matter, but I didn’t buy it.) Or the Nature Valley Chewy bars … they’re not kosher in the States for some reason. But they’re something like $6USD a box in Israel, so…yeah.

But what did happen is that I got to ride a camel! Frankly, I prefer horses. But I’m glad I got the experience!

I’m leaving to see my nutritionist in a few minutes… and I am quite anxious about it. Ulp.

Home, Sweet Home

Well, I’m back home again! The flight back was seriously interminable… it was packed, for one thing. If I didn’t need to be at work today, I would have been able to be bumped and gotten a free ticket. It totally sucks that I couldn’t. Didn’t help that I was feeling claustrophobic already before I even got on the plane because I knew it was so full! And the air wasn’t circulating well at all in my cabin, so it was nauseating and all that. Oh, and at the very crowded baggage claim carousel I had the great fortune to be squashed among a bunch of people who seem to have not yet been enlightened to the modern invention that is deodorant. So that wasn’t so pleasant! But it’s all done with now.

The landing was really rough, for some reason. While we were standing in the stifling aisle waiting to get off the plane, I just mentioned in passing that I felt nauseated (due to the aforementioned conditions!) and my mom snapped at me that of course I felt that way since all I had eaten was “a yogurt and half a piece of bread.” Which isn’t true at all (especially since there wasn’t any yogurt to be seen anywhere!), but of course even just hearing her say that made me feel like crap… since I don’t want to think about that, I’m not going to elaborate!

I am feeling sort of ambivalent about being home again. On one hand, I love Israel and didn’t want to leave. But it’s also a bit of a relief to get back into a routine… to know what exactly I’m supposed to be doing and when. (Even though I am SO overwhelmed with work already, I’m afraid to even think of it all!!) It actually crossed my mind to just cancel my appointments with my nutritionist and therapist this week because I might have screwed up badly and need to “rectify” that, but somehow that might just make it worse, so… it’s all my fault, anyway.

It was a real relief to get back to the gym this morning. It’s partly in my head, I’m sure, but still… working out makes me a little less anxious about being “allowed” to eat. I was so tempted to get on the scale, and I very nearly did… for the moment, I think I’m glad that I didn’t, but I don’t know… I’d kind of like to know if I totally blew it and lost too much weight, but I wouldn’t know whether or not I did since I didn’t weigh myself before… and if I didn’t lose weight then I would hate myself and restrict, so there really isn’t any point in getting on the stupid thing.

Last night my sister brought over the first edition printing of my next book, which was exciting! It took a lot less time than expected, so it’s actually copyrighted May 2009, but whatever. As my mom would say, “Nobody pays attention to things like that.” Unless you’re like me, or a cataloging librarian? I don’t know… I’ve always read the title page verso! Maybe I’m just weird.

Conflict, conflict!!

Today was a long long long day. Probably because I woke up WAY earlier than I usually do on Shabbos, just to have to the experience of going to the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. All to be reminded of why I absolutely don’t like chazzanus… I really don’t see why it’s necessary to drag something out for four hours if you can do it in twenty minutes. Yes, all that singing and harmonizing is nice. For the first few minutes. After that, I start to get ants in my pants.

My parents, my brother and I are staying in a VERY small “suite.” We’re on top of each other. (Practically literally in the case of my brother and me, given that we’re sleeping on a sofa and rollout bed.) This is not the best living arrangement for people who can’t stand one another. Apparently this is how my mom feels about me… we went to this caterer in Kfar Chabad to get food for Shabbos. I’ve found it to be a global fact that caterers are major, ardent fans of heavy use of grease. Just the thought of walking into that place is nearly enough to make me hyperventilate! Excuse me for being self-centered, but it did not help matters that my mom chose that particular moment and location to throw a tantrum at me about how it repulses her to look at her daughter. (She didn’t use that word, she used a non-translatable Yiddish word that has that general connotation, but still a very lovely thing to hear.) I believe another part of her rant included something about how this is “such a stupid sickness” that she “never heard of.” Well. I’m glad we’re in agreement on something.

Just one more quick little rant on my part… I’ve discovered this frozen yogurt shop in Ben Yehuda that has fat-free soft-serve. Now, it is beyond me why this country does not seem to have heard of those clear plastic tops that you can put over a cup of frozen yogurt, but they haven’t… if you take it to go, they just mash a lid down on it and the pretty swirl gets all squashed. Okay, I am weird, but that bothers me. Tonight when I informed him that I wanted it to go, he didn’t even do that — he took the whole cup and upended it into a larger styrofoam coffee cup and put a coffee cup lid on it. Obviously that made quite a mess. I was one of those already, because eating after a certain time just makes me anxious for no good reason, and it just really upset me that he did that. It was clearly a mistake to have the audacity to verbalize that, though, because my mom wanted to know how I would ever be able to be a mother if everything “makes you nervous.” (Yes, I dislike it when people sit on my bed or use my towel. I have obsessive compulsive tendencies about such things. So sue me.) Um… what? Who said anything about that?!

Wow, so that wasn’t so short. Next.

We did go to the Kotel on Friday night… and even though it was freezing, it was still so beautiful. There really is nothing like it in the world.

Friday morning we went to visit my great-aunt. She is my grandmother’s sister, and she is 79 years old. I haven’t seen her since the last time I was in Israel, about three years ago, I think… back then she was in full possession of all her faculties, and now she’s just… not. It’s kind of scary, really. Like, she knew who we were and all… but then she asked my mom where the “little ones” were, meaning my brother and me, and she was startled that we were the “little ones.” Spookiest of all was the way she effusively kept saying we should send her regards to my grandparents. Both of whom are no longer alive, and have not been for quite some time. It’s scary to think that life comes to that — not even knowing that a sister whom you loved to death is not alive, and even worse, not having a clue that you don’t know. That is why I don’t want to get old.