Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Healthy Living Goals

I have never been one to acknowledge a new year as a new starting point but this year, why the hell not?

To me healthy living is much more than just eating healthy or not being depressed. It is the whole of my being. It is getting me to interact with people when I want to be a hermit or getting me to not binge or just taking five minutes to appreciate myself.

Many people get caught up in one aspect of healthy living not letting it encompass everything. One decision at a time involving everything.

In 2012, I want a new start. I am going to take this new found optimism and make do with it.

1. Knit More

Why? I haven’t knit in a few months. Nothing. It is cold and time for knitting. It is time. It soothes me. It gives me confidence. I like it. I need to knit more. It helps that I am making a trip to the local yarn mecca, Webs, in a few weeks.

2. Take 1 day at a time and be binge free.

Food has long been a companion of mine. It is time to wean myself for good. Having a goal of one month free of binges is overwhelming. Taking it one day at time is best. When I eat healthy, I feel better. Period.

3. Be Compassionate

Sometimes things are bad. Mom is sick. Dad has been sick. We have made some big decisions this year. I made the best choices I could at the time. I need to stop beating myself up. Another 1 day at time thing to think about compassion.

4. Take More Photos

I carry my Droid and a digital camera all the time. The phone is attached to me and the camera is in the bag. Both are good at taking pictures. I even have some cool photo apps for my Droid. It is time I use them. I do a lot in one day and I see a lot. I vow to take 1 picture of something I see every day and I will post them here.

5. Blog More

I try to blog here every day but sometimes life gets in the way. I just started my new book blog to write about my love of books because I could do it here but it needs its own focus.

6. Laugh More

It is amazing what you can’t do when you laugh. I should do it more.

7. Try new things

I have never had Jamaican food or Russian food or Cape Verdean.

I have never been skiing.

I don’t know how to swim.

I still haven’t used my broiler.

Crocheting and needlepoint baffle me.

8. Make Eye Contact

Yes, as a native person from Eastern Massachusetts, I tend to look down. Looking in someone’s eyes denotes weakness and we have a gruff reputation to live up to. I am going to keep my eyes up. I may be looking at you.

9. Stop Worrying So Much

It will happen no matter what. Let it go.

Yes, it might be a lot but they aren’t overwhelming. I am not going to worry about it.

What are some of your goals for upcoming year?

Thursday, December 29, 2011


One more day until the long weekend.

Guess what, since I have been talking a lot about books and reading here, I decided that I needed a separate place to write about it. All of my reading life will be at Jen Reads and I will be fixing it up over the weekend. It is one of my goals for the new year that I will be talking about.

I am somewhat optimistic (yes, me pessimistic Jen) for 2012. I think some good things will come my way.

I have been feeling better since Christmas. The malaise of Christmas has passed for now. Here’s to hoping my optimistic mindset lasts!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday TV Binge

My long holiday weekend was oddly filled with TV.

On Christmas, my father turned the TV to a Firefly marathon on cable. I became intrigued and in between checking the food, I started to watch it and like it. Too bad I did not know about it when it was on TV. I continued to watch it after they left.

I watched the 1st disk of the Camelot show from Starz, via Netflix. It was ok. I will continue to get the DVDs from Netflix.

I also got the 1st DVD from the first season of the BBC’s Robin Hood, and I liked that a lot more. I will have to get the other 10 or DVD’s in the series.

Of course on Sunday night, there was another Downton Abbey episode. I can not wait until the 2nd season starts. I have my tea, warm blanket and a pillow ready and waiting.

Today was more animal and nature day. First off with Viking Wilderness.

I had a hard time not crying after the bad fox ending. I get so emotionally involved in these animal shows.

Then it was on to Wild Russia.

Russia is very wild. I learned a lot when I first saw this show.

Finally, it was on Dr. Pol and his crazy vet practice.

I love the show, The Incredible Dr. Pol, on Nat Geo WILD.

I besides all the random stuff I caught in between. I don’t think I have watched this much TV in a long time.

Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 Christmas

I survived Christmas 2011 mostly intact.

There was some family drama but really, what is a holiday without family drama?

It just would not be the same.

The drama this year was over my estranged sister. We have gifts for her kids and normally she comes over my apartment after dinner. Well, in my quest to be nice, I said that we could go over there. Big mistake. Secret Sister, who was disappointed over Christmas gifts even though she said she was happy, along with Dad,  were pissed off over this faux pas.

They felt that she did not deserve that treatment since she has virtually forgotten about us, which is true.

I apologized profusely and we went over there. Grumbles followed on the way out.

Like I said, it would not be the same without some drama.

Was your Christmas drama free or a drama in the making?

Other then that, it was good. I cooked some new dishes, one apple and cranberry stuffed acorn squash and a root vegetable casserole with real cream and cheese. It was a hit food wise. No pictures of course because I was to busy cooking, chopping, peeling to bother.

I had a quiet Christmas eve. I didn’t do anything except watch TV while feeling very lonely and staring at the Christmas tree. Not sure what came over me. I have been feeling that I am missing out on things and that I need to be more open. I must send “don’t bother me” vibes a lot.

I am going to post some 2012 goals this week. I need to think up some fun stuff.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Happiness: Offbeat Christmas

I was driving home from working today and I heard this:

It made me smile.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. I have 4 days off and I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Blissful Gifting

This week’s 6 Weeks of Bliss topic is what health and wellness item is on the top of my list this year.

If I could have ANYTHING to help me become healthier, I would want a normal brain.

One where I could have high self esteem.

One where I would not think of myself as worthless.

Most of my problems have been wrapped up not so nicely in depression and self-hatred. I want to be free but like most of life’s problems, they won’t go away with the EASY button.

I wonder what life would have been like if my brain was on my side for once. Since I can’t go back in time, I would love some true healing, even if  just for a little while.

I am going to give myself the gift of taking care of myself.

I do care about myself.

I could use books or lotion or a purse, but really I NEED to treat myself better and that is my holiday gift to myself.

Today was a day I could have used the self esteem fairy.

My stomach was doing flip flops all day at work and I felt just blah, which is a trigger for my wandering brain.  I felt this overwhelming feeling a hopelessness. It helped that I was allowed to leave a little early but this year, the holiday is having a real feeling of loneliness this year. I am not sure what is bringing it on.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Sometimes I feel like I am a on a seesaw going up and down. Depressed thoughts come and go and come again. Today they were mostly gone. I was in a good mood and topped it off with dinner with a good friend. Can’t be beat.


I won’t have another therapy appointment until after the New Year.

I have been thinking of 2012 goals that I can achieve. I will post them when I think of them all. I need some thing to motivate to get stuff I want to do done. My attention span has gone downhill lately.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sparkling Procrastination

Are you aware that Christmas is next weekend? I don’t want to think about it yet so let me ignore it a bit longer.

Lately, I have had sparkling wine dreams, not champagne since all I dreamed about were from California. I went to a Fireside Chat at The Fireplace in Brookline over the weekend with some friends and procrastinated some more about the impending Christmas holiday. What better than to procrastinate with sparkling wine?


They gave us a paper to write the wines we tasted down. Did I bother to write anything down after the first one I tried? No.


The first one I tried was Barefoot Moscato Spumante, on the left, and it was by far my favorite of the afternoon. It is also the most reasonable priced, a double bonus. I like my sparkling wine on the sweet side and this foot the bill.

We also tried 2 Schramsberg sparkling wine, Blanc de Blanc and Blanc de Noir.


They look the same but I preferred the Blanc de Noir, being a pinot noir fan.

The final two we tried were from J Winery and Vineyards, a Vintage Brut and a Cuvee 20.


These were a little to dry for my taste. I might have added some St. Germain to them. (The horror!)

In between, we were told about the wines and why you should not take a sword and slice off the top of the bottle.


All for $25, not a bad afternoon on a cold December Saturday. They are having other Fireside Chats but I am especially interested in the Colonial Drink ones, being the history buff that I am.

Doing these type of things definitely kept that creeping feeling of loneliness away for a little while. I may have to get some Barefoot Moscato  Spumante to help with that loneliness feeling this weekend. I know, drinking will not help, but it is an excuse to drink some of it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Am Back

With my internet problem fixed for now, I am back. I am going to have to snake it up on the walls since my one telephone outlet is about 15 feet away from my computer and it crosses hallways. I had gone a while without chewing instances so at first I thought I forgot to pay but when I investigated the line, I saw the bite marks.

I did get this horrible bitter apple spray which I sprayed before on the line but it attracted him. Somehow I got it on my fingers and into my mouth and I could not get rid of the taste for a week. It was really bitter. Enough about Boots and his chewing problem, at least he has left the Christmas tree alone for the most part.

I am feeling rather cold and down tonight. I am just going to lay down and relax before work begins again tomorrow. I had lots of posts planned for the last few days, put off by my issues, so I will post them this week. I just don’t have the brain power tonight.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Technical Difficulties

The determined beast chewed another cord but I was not able to grab one today. This blogging from the phone thing is hard but I wanted to check in.

I swear he is a rabbit disguised as a cat.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sleepy Time

I swear some days I just want to curl up and hide under the covers. Today was one of those days. Given the chance I would sleep my life away.  I did begrudgingly get up and get ready for work. With my daily overdose of coffee, I was ready to face the day.

I am working on setting up some stuff to look forward to in 2012. I am going to also put together at 2012 to do list and stick to it. I don’t do resolutions but I will do a fun to do list.

I decided to get a ticket to the Philadelphia Bloggy Boot Camp this year. I went to the one in Boston last year and hopefully, I have continued on what I learned there.  Since I have been wanting to get to Philadelphia, I decided to go again.

I am going to get my Blogher ticket this weekend once I get my Christmas bonus. I will have my two blog conferences this year all settled.

If you have a blog, are you going to any conferences in 2012?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Getting Away to Find Bliss

My quest for 6 Weeks of Bliss continues tonight. Our topic this week is getaways. Over the last few years I have travelled to Ireland, Canada, Louisville, San Diego, Pittsburg, Chicago, New York and Florida but my travel bug while it is quenched now, was not always quenched.

Growing up, we never travelled anywhere. We never went camping or away for the weekend and it was not until I was a teenager that we even actually went away, to Washington, D.C. To satisfy my never ending need to get away, I started to grab business mail reply cards from the back of travel magazines and send away for each and every pamphlet listed.

Yes, from Fiji to Belgium, this then 10 year old got come travel to someplace pamphlets in the mail. I could not get farther away then school but Fiji called me. I would stare at maps of the world in wonderment. I would flip through the books and said to myself, “Someday.”

It only stopped when I began to consider college and the travel pamphlets became college pamphlets to far away colleges, just a different type of travel.

Another way I sought to get away growing up was through reading. It started with Richard Scarry’s Busy Town books and grew from there.


From there, I read everything I could get my hands on. Books that transported me to far away places or back in time. I could get away for a little while and forget the disintegration of things around me.

To this day, reading still takes me away. Far away. Last night I was reading, Wonderful by Jill Barnett, and I lighted so much for the first time in a LONG time that it hurt. I forgot that Mom is sick and that work is busy. I forgot everything for that hour that I read. I could get away without breaking the budget.

Honestly, as I plan my next vacation far away from home, I like to take these mini getaways right at home or where ever I happen to be. Reading takes me away.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Tree

I am not excited about Christmas this year. I debated getting a tree. Secret Sister’s school sells trees and she was going to buy one but I decided, after the decision to get a tree, I went to Target and bought a fake one.


Notice the menacing presence under the tree…..




I am off tomorrow for that mental health day. I may do a bit of shopping. I don’t know. I have my first pre-surgery weight loss group tomorrow evening.

Television this week will be good. It is Big Cat Week on Nat Geo WILD with lots of big cat information and Downton Abbey returns, with the first series rerun before the second season starts in January. To round out the week, there is a new Grimm episode. It makes me want to run out to read The Household Tales by the Brother’s Grimm, which is close to the original translation.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

5 Things: Happy Single

I was asked three times this week why I was not married. After getting over the uncomforting thoughts brought about by that question and being slightly angry, I decided that I need to embrace my single status and know that at 38, it is not the end of the world.

Last night, I got home late and was too tired to type a post, so today’s 5 things is also my happiness post because it good that I am not reveling in bringing myself down now.

It is good to be single and here’s why:

1. I can go anywhere, at anytime, with anyone, doing anything.

I answer to no one, except maybe Boots, the cat. I can go away on a whim or leave on a moments notice. A man is not holding me back.

2. I can flirt with the handsome guy at the coffee counter if I want to and go out with him if I so choose.

3. I can talk to my cat in my kitty cat voice and not have someone laugh at me.

After all, he is the true ruler. All hail the kitty.

4. I can meet the jerks who actually ask those type of “What is wrong with you that you are not married/engaged/whatever” and thank God, I am not with them.

5. I can enthrall everyone with my dating stories of men who get arrested on the date or have OCD or are attached to their cell phone during the date, etc.

Hard to talk about on going dating hell, when you are married.

Honestly, my mind can go on a rampage thinking of why I am not loveable or marriageable. I am thinking on the positive side of things. Being 38 and single is not bad and there is NOTHING WRONG WITH ME.

Anyone who says they aren’t quirky or that they don’t have baggage at my age is lying.

I also do not have the anxiety of buying a Christmas gift for him. That is the worst gift anxiety.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bliss Wanted

I want 6 Weeks of Bliss. Yes, I do so I decided to participate in Bliss Connect by Glam Media’s 6 Weeks of Bliss Challenge. Over the next 6 weeks, I will posting some posts in relation to this challenge. Maybe it will bring you a bit of bliss as well.

For Week 1, we are to discuss why we started to blog and who inspires us to live a healthy lifestyle.

As you may know, I started blogging when I was a low point in my life in July of 2008. I was having a hard time getting away from the constant shadow of depression with anxiety and I felt absolutely horrible about myself. I thought if I recorded some of my thoughts somewhere, I would be able to purge those thoughts from my system. While, it did not purge my thoughts entirely, it did help to fend off some of my personal demons that I had been struggling with for most of my life.

Since I have been blogging, I have been up and down and up again. I realized how much of a struggle this is and how it will not be won in one day or even one year. It is something that may be with me forever. I have discovered that I am not ALONE. I am inspired by the entire community of people out there who read and write their own stories about their struggles. I used to think that I was alone and that no one would understand. I realized how many of you struggle with accepting yourself and depression.

I have an outlet to talk about how a darn number can control my mood for days or how I feel when I go visit Mom. I know you will listen. It helps more then you can know.

I have met a lot of cool people through blogging and I hope to meet many more.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Shopping? Me?

Another weekend is over and a new work week has begun. This week is shaping up to be somewhat quiet. I am busy a lot except for Christmas. It kind of goes against the norm  but that is me.

I had a weigh in this morning. I was up a bit. Oh well. Nothing good I can say about that. I am going to start to attend a pre-surgical support group on Mondays and do the shake replacement for meals twice a day. I think that will help.

I have felt better and I felt worse. I seem to be stuck in this small rut. I really think I need a mental health day. I am going to ask for a day or two off tomorrow. Maybe a little closer to Christmas. I haven’t even started shopping yet and I don’t know what to get anyone.  I haven’t really thought about it much though. Luckily, I only have to buy a few gifts.

Have you started shopping, an early completer or like me, a tormented gift buyer that has gift anxiety and waits until the last few days?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Harpoon Helps!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in Harpoon Brewery’s Holiday Help event. It is my second year and one that made me stalk the Harpoon Helps website to see when the sign ups started. It is a popular event.

Harpoon is a local beer company and this is the 7th year they have had the Holiday Help event. The event is about going to different charities in the Boston area and decorating for the holidays. We went to a family shelter and decorated their living rooms. These charities might not have decorated without the help. Afterwards, you go back to the brewery for lunch and a few beers, (It is a brewery).

We decorated a Christmas tree. It came out rather nicely.


While we were decorating the tree, others were cutting out snow flakes and adorning entry ways.




The charity was happy with our efforts and it made me happy.

Afterwards, there was a lunch catered by Bugaboo Creek Restaurant and of course, Harpoon beer.


We were definitely in a beer warehouse!


If you are in Boston, Harpoon Helps from Harpoon Brewery is a great way to get out and give something back. I will be doing it next year, you should too.

I was in no way compensated or anything for this post and I did this event of my own volition. I am just like that.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Happiness: $1 a Bunch

This is something I never do.


I was walking home from work and passed a florist in Quincy Center . In front of the store, they had several buckets of $1 a bouquet flowers. I can’t remember ever getting flowers from anyone or even buying them for myself.

Until today. I bought 2 bouquets of daisies, my favorite flowers.

I need to buy flowers for myself more often. They smell nice and make me smile.

After I type this, I am going to go have a cup of tea and this:


One kiss that I put in my purse at my job’s Christmas party today.

Tomorrow I have Harpoon Help’s Christmas decoration event. I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Depression Blank

Last night,  I stared at my blank Live Writer entry and could not put my feelings down. I was feeling pretty shitty, thinking horrible things about myself and I wanted to write about it but I could not. I wanted to get it out of my head, purged but I kept it close instead.

I have never been one to shy away from my depression and lack of self love here. Last night was a first. I felt that I was falling down the hole of depression again. I felt unlovable, hopeless, stuck….I wanted to curl up and sleep forever.

I feel better today.

I hate it. Depression is a hole that I can never fully get out of. A shadow that follows me around, sometimes closer and sometimes from a distance. I am beginning to know my triggers like pain, disappointment, fear, loneliness.

I try to point out good stuff about myself when I notice it, hoping that it brings me up. One day at time. My therapy appointment is tomorrow morning. I can’t wait to also talk about it and work it out of my system.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winner Up!


Congrats Marla! You should have gotten an email from me.

I still feel like leaving on a jet plane today but I can wait to plan out a vacation. I have always had a case of wanderlust and the urge is strong. It is a form of escape. The grass is greener on the other side syndrome but I would be happy if there was a grass on the other side.

I am trying not to feel so blah this winter. I go outside and the gray look of everything just makes me sad. At least until Christmas there will be some lights on some houses. Christmas can at least be pretty even though this year, it will be quiet.  Winter just seems so long and bleak. I need a light at the end of the tunnel. Travel is that light.

Other than thoughts of travel, today was a normal day. Nothing special, nothing bad. Just another day at work and otherwise. I will take it as a good day and I set the alarm!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Got to Get Away

Tough was rough! I forgot to set my alarm and well, you probably know what happened from there but the day was salvaged.

I have been thinking about trips for next year. My motto lately is anywhere but here and I am itching to go away or at least plan to go away.

But where?

I am hoping I will be getting in touch with my Italian half if I have to sleep in hostels across Italy. Italy has been a dream for a while. The flights are looking to be $900 which is not sending warm fuzzy feelings in my travel mind.

I am also sort of looking to start investigating places to live when and if I ever leave Boston. I have lived here 95% of my life with exception of a 3 year mistake in western NY state. I am tired of it. So I am compiling a list and so far Denver is on that list.

One place I could visit is Boise. I have read a lot about Boise and it intrigues me.

I could go with Not So Secret Sister to Texas. She thinks she wants to move there and has been asking me to visit with her so she can check it out. She thinks life will be better in Texas.

I would love to go to Alaska, Montana, the Dakotas, anywhere really. I am just antsy. I have also thought about Halifax in Nova Scotia.

Then there is Blogher in New York. I have to buy my ticket when and if I get a bonus this year at work.

I just want to go away. Maybe run away. Just get away.

This post is a little disjointed but I feel a bit disjointed today.

 P.S. I choose a winner tomorrow and the odds are good if you enter my Real Simple giveaway.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

5 Things: Dealing with Loneliness

I woke up this morning feeling alone. Very much alone with a cat three inches from my face, but alone. I decided I must GET OUT of my apartment no matter what. I didn’t want to sit at home watching Indiana Jones movies yet again.

I decided to go into Boston and just roam around. It felt like the right thing to do even though lots of people around, I still felt alone. It was something I could not shake.

I roamed around Barnes & Noble for a while. It is a new habit of mine to find books and scan them into Goodreads on my phone to get them from the library or through Amazon. I could go through stacks of books and spend all day doing that.

I bought more clothing and a purse with a coupon. Feeling shitty shopping should be banned.

My five things tonight and things I should have done when I feel lonely.

1. Get a cup of coffee and actually sit in a coffee shop.

Even sitting reading drinking a latte, watching people, would have been a good day. I meet some interesting people that way. Sometimes people are compelled to talk to me when I am sitting, reading while drinking coffee.

2. Taken a walk

After getting the coffee, I could have taken a walk. I live near the beach and it is about a 15 minute walk from my apartment. It was a gorgeous day here in Boston. I did walk this afternoon from Copley Square to Park Street station.

3. Call a friend.

I have never been a phone talker. I am not one to call someone just to talk. Maybe I should have. A friendly voice would have been welcome today.

4. Visit the library

The library in my city is awesome. It is one of the best libraries around. I could roam about for a long time. I have my list of books to get on my phone and I could have looked around for a long time.

5. Visit Dad.

I have been avoiding my family specifically my Dad. I don’t know why. I don’t want him to see me depressed. We will talk about the past and then I will leave more depressed. Though he would have liked to have seen me and if he is feeling ok, he would not have talked about the past and I would have felt better. I am sure.

I went to see Mom yesterday so there was no need to go today. She was sleeping when I was there. She is usually sleeping and I just sit and watch her. I talk to her softly so I won’t wake her up.

How was your Saturday?

PS I am giving away a free Real Simple subscription for year. Entering is simple so you should enter Smile

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Friday Giveaway

Nothing could get me up at 4 am to brave the lines at Target or the mall.  I would rather sleep until 11 or 11:45, as it was, have a leisurely few cups of liquid gold aka coffee, watch a Nat Geo Wild show on moose in the Northern Hemisphere and then stop by a local Talbots outlet and get some discounted clothing for work. I came home and watched one of my favorite movies of all time:

It was a good day.

Now on to the fun part, a giveaway!

I can once again renew my Real Simple subscription and get a free one to give to someone, one of my readers. The subscription should begin with the February magazine.

If you would like to win the subscription, just leave a comment on this post. There are no hoops to jump through. It is simple.

Unfortunately, this is only valid for US residents. I will pick a winner on Tuesday.  Good luck!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Thanksgiving

Another Thanksgiving survived without massive fights or some other insult. Of course, we missed Not So Secret Sister who worked. It felt kind of sad with just Dad and my brother there for dinner.

The turkey came out well.


There was just something sad about the whole thing. We talked about Mom and some issues surrounding here. It just felt empty. Hopefully Christmas, which I totally not looking forward to this year for some reason, will be happier.

If you are in America, how was your holiday?

I have a little giveaway tomorrow. Stay tuned Smile

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Case of the Gigantic Turkeys

With Thanksgiving on Thursday and since I am the only one that has room to host Thanksgiving in my family, I hit the local Hannaford’s to get a fresh turkey and all of the fixings tonight. Since there will only be 4 of us, it is just going to be a small meal – turkey, gravy, squash, veggies, stuffing and crescent rolls. I want left overs but not a massive amount where I eat turkey for a week after.

There are lots of fresh turkeys to be had. I start to shift through them and trying to find a less then 18 pound bird was hard. Finally, in the back I saw a 14 pound bird. Why is it so hard to find non-gigantic birds?

Not everyone has a large family and needs a 20 pound turkey. Just saying.

I have been feeling slightly better the last 2 days. Maybe because after 3 pm tomorrow, I have 4 days off! I need a mental health break badly.  After work tomorrow, I am just going to relax and I will probably go see Mom. It has been a long couple of weeks.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I could have happily slept all day today. It would not have helped my mood however. I have been struggling keeping my chin high for the past week or so and it is getting harder. Maybe it is the approach of the holidays or the fact that winter is coming.

I am going to try to keep somewhat busy over the next couple of weeks. When I am busy, my mind is too busy to get depressed. I am not moping about at home, letting loneliness take over. The opposite is staying home and not getting out of bed.

I am going to try to think positive and make a consistent effort not to not let the shadow take over. The holiday will help, I think.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Happiness: Gobble Gobble

My favorite holiday is next week and I am looking forward to it. Family, lots of turkey and cranberry sauce, Pilgrims, football, tryptophan and pumpkin pie.


It is a holiday where I don’t have to wrack my brain to buy a gift, which I am never good at. Where I will have 4 days off and possibly a shopping trip or a marathon of bad TV on Friday. A day to try to think of the good things. I plan on cooking dinner for Dad, Not So Secret Sister and my brother. It will be a small gathering.

It is not much to make me happy but just the thought of it makes me smile. It has been a tough week mood wise. My outlook has been hopeless and I would rather stay in bed all day with the covers over my head. Right now, my light at the end of the tunnel, is the holiday weekend next week.

Will you be cooking on Thursday? Relaxing? Plotting getting up at a God awful hour to hit the mall the next day?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Another day, another outlook.

I woke up early (!) today thanks to the furry beast and maybe it started me out on the right track. I don’t know. I felt a little better, not quite as down on myself.

It even lasted through not veiled comments of “Jen, you NEVER talk” by people I work with.  Most people who know me, know that once I start talking, it is hard to get me to stop and once the talking with my hands start, it is over.

I just don’t want to talk.  I have nothing to say or if you don’t have anything nice to say, I don’t say it 99% of the time.  Why people tell me these things, I don’t know, but it just slid off of me.

Tomorrow will be a good day as well, maybe because I am looking forward to this:

I saw a commercial on PBS for this Nature special and I was totally giddy. Yep. I would like to be a turkey, though not quite now. It is not a good time to be a turkey here in America.

Monday, November 14, 2011

On The Hamster Wheel

Today was a kick in the stomach to my self esteem.

I had my last nutrition appointment at the hospital where they weighed me. I could tell that it was not good. The look on her face was not good. She took me into the room and basically to my convoluted mind, said yeah you stayed the same. Fail. No surgery date for you.


Yep. I left that appointment beating myself up, thinking about how I fail at everything. All day long I ruminated over it, chewing it up, down and around. It brought its friends, ugly and stupid along as well.

It makes me thing how precarious this self esteem thing is. How one bump sets me back. Thirty plus years of thinking one way is difficult to change but with constant reminders, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Do you have any tips on kicking yourself off of the hamster wheel on days like today?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

5 Things: A Night Out

Sometimes I don’t mind doing things alone like going to the movies or even to a concert. If I can’t get anyone to go, I don’t want to sit at home saying that I would of, should of, could of.

I went into the Wang Center in Boston last night to see Noel Gallagher. I love his new song, If I Had a Gun and of course, when he was with Oasis, I was a fan. When I saw that Rue La La had a deal for the tickets, I could not pass it up. I am so glad I went.

I am giving you five photos from last night.

1. The Wang Theater used to be movie theater. Dad talks about going to see movies there when he was a kid. It must have been an impressive movie theater. The walls are beautiful.


2. The opening band was called The Hours. I can’t say I had heard of them or really would seek them out otherwise.


3. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Bird came out with a bang.


4. The music was awesome. He did sing If I Had A Gun but possibly the best song of the night was the last encore song, Don’t Look Back In Anger (my favorite Oasis song). I tried to take a lot of pictures but my memory card was filled after not that many pictures.



5. I could tell just by the seats that it is an old theater. The guy two seats away was 6’5 and it was a tight squeeze.


If he stops by your city, I say you should go.

In some blog news, if you are on Google +, I have a new blog page.  If you are on Google +, stop by.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Happiness: The Weekend is Here

Coming home to an empty apartment with only a cat to greet you can be hard, especially on a weekend night but realizing that you can get caught up on TV, read some trashy romance books and find one of these left in the fridge, I call it a good start to the weekend.



I ended up buying a ticket to the Noel Gallagher through one of those deal sites and the show is tomorrow night. I am looking forward to it. Honestly, I don’t really mind going to a show by myself because I just want to listen to some music. I may even see Anonymous as well. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Falling Back

Sometimes I just need a break. That is what my body is telling me. With the time change, work being crazy and the fact I have felt less than ideal in body and mind, I think I need a mental health day at some time soon to recharge.

I feel sort of down and definitely my self esteem is lacking. That shadow has been creeping up behind me, staring at me. I have had to push myself out of bed the last couple of days. I tell myself over and over to take a shower, you will feel better. Generally I do and then I commence with my day.

Actually walking to the T station each morning has helped a lot. Getting a burst of cool crisp morning air helps to get me moving. I try to ignore the trees that are becoming bare and the bleakness of the houses, which just gets me down. If I look ahead, take a sip of my coffee and charge on, I will be better.

My parent’s 40th wedding anniversary is in 2 weeks and I am thinking of doing something for Dad. I am not sure if it is something that he wants to celebrate but taking him to dinner might be a good thing so he is not alone. 

My Mom has a wedding picture in her nursing home room of my Dad and her standing close and face to face. She is touching his face and he is touching her face. I love that picture. I know Mom did too. When she was still talking and even though she had no clue who I was, she would point to the picture and say “That is my husband.” and giggle. Now I just look at the picture in combination of my Mother lying down and generally sleeping when I see her, it just makes me sad.

Driving home from the supermarket tonight, I heard a song that I liked. It made me smile and it was sort of appropriate I thought. The song is Back to the Races by the Chadwick Strokes. I heard they were doing a free show at Occupy Boston today but I didn’t find out until tonight.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I was in Starbucks the other day getting my birthday free drink, a Pumpkin Spice non-fat latte, when I spotted this bracelet.


For $5.00, I got it. Not only does it go towards helping Americans find jobs but I love the “Indivisible” message.

I believe we are indivisible as a nation but I really want this to sink into my brain.  There will be no love-hate divide going on in my brain.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Life is a Highway

Today I had to go up to Ipswich, MA. Being the South Shore gal that I am, it was an adventure. (It is a Boston area North – South thing). I get lost whenever I go up there. What excited me most about the drive, was the driving itself.

Sometimes, I just like to get into the car, get on the highway and punch it. I was running late and that is exactly what I did. Music blaring. Me singing. Car barreling north. Makes me feel like a true car loving American.

I am just itching for a road trip. Pack some clothes and sandwiches and get in the car and head west. (I won’t get very far heading east since I am about 1/2 mile from the ocean.) When I went to college, I drove myself out out to Illinois.  I loved it, especially when I was alone.

I played car tag. I found obscure radio stations out in the middle of Route 80 in Pennsylvania. I could stop when I wanted to. It was awesome. I used to drive out to Rochester, NY before moving there and I loved that ride.  Now, I don’t have a reason to go on a road trip but the bug has gotten into my brain.

Thinking back to college, I wonder what happened to the would be pig farmer who dumped me because his mother said since I am Catholic, I would want 15 kids. Is he a pig farmer today? Who knows!

The drive today, while not a road trip, set my mind at ease. It was calming. I don’t feel the regular Sunday night malaise taking over.

Maybe it was that extra night of sleep last night. Though this early darkness thing must go soon.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Happiness: A New Crush

Since I am hopeful that my 38th year will be better then my 37th year, I am going to focus on Friday happiness and try to name at least 1 thing that made my week happy. It could be anything – a cute cat, a song, a guy, a thought, food, a book, anything.

It is time I turned my thoughts to optimism and not be so darn pessimistic all the time.  Friday is the day that the work week melts away. All tension releases at 5 pm when that whistle goes off in my head – “Freedom!”

Tonight, I am writing this after watching Grimm. I am liking the show and have discovered the lead actor, the Grimm, himself. The actor that plays the main character is David Giuntoli. I have a little weakness for American guys of Italian descent.



I have found something to watch on Friday nights, when I happen to be home, like tonight.

Here’s to relaxing Friday nights.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 3, 1973

November 3, 1973 was a Saturday. 

Good Morning America premiered on ABC with David Hartman and Nancy Dussault.

The Mariner 10 launched on a mission to Venus.

A National Airlines plane's engine exploded near Albuquerque, killing 1.

My Mother gave birth to a baby girl at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston.

38 years have passed by since that day.

I have spent far to many birthdays wishing that I had never been born.

Wasting away in those thoughts.

Finally this year, I hope that my 38th year will be a wondrous year and there is a flicker of hope in me. 

Here's to 38 more birthdays.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Come Back Google Reader

Sometimes you should just leave a good thing alone.

I am talking to you, Google Reader.

I read a lot of blogs. Rather then forget all of the wonderful blogs and stuff I read, I add them to my Google Reader. I happily check into Google Reader every day and keep track of some of my favorite people.

Then yesterday, I found it changed. It is difficult to move about the new Google Reader. It does not like the size of my monitor. When you scroll down to read a post, put the post on top of another post to make it difficult to read.

It just annoys me to no end.

Google Reader, can you give me the choice to go to old view? I would appreciate it.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Another Halloween has come and gone. I bought candy but very few kids came this year so I will be hauling in candy to work tomorrow much to the chagrin of my coworkers. I may keep a few Hershey bars for myself. There is something about a small Hershey bar that I like. I know many people think Hershey’s is subpar but not me.

Lately, I have had a huge aversion to computers during the weekend. I do not want to turn it on. I don’t care about checking my email except to look at my mail on my phone and to check Twitter every now and then. If it wasn’t for my phone, I might be out of touch on the weekend.

and I feel so guilty that I start crying. It is a never ending cycle.

over the phone and blogging, well, takes a back seat.

I didn’t go see Mom this weekend. I couldn’t do it. I was feeling a little blah and I just could not bring myself there. Sometimes I need to control the trigger points and this weekend, it might have propelled me downward. The guilt I feel about not going also brings me down. I go and I leave crying. I stay home and I feel so guilty that I start crying. It is a never ending cycle.

I confessed to Dad that I didn’t go see her and he said, “Yeah, it is getting hard.” He went this weekend however.

At least the snow fears I had did not come true this week but some parts of the state got over 21 inches of snow – in October.  It was just rainy and wicked windy on Saturday. All of the leaves came off of the trees, which makes the area look even more dead and depressed. It was an excuse to stay under the covers. A place I am in all to often during the weekends lately.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Friday

I will not bitch and moan about the weather.

I will not bitch and moan about the snow before the pumpkins are gone.

I will not.

I will say I am happy that it is Friday. I was listening to my two new favorite songs on my drive home tonight and actually bouncing in my seat. Not like I have a hot date or any wonderfully exciting things this weekend but I just was bouncy. Since I was stuck in traffic, I think I got a few strange looks from the disgruntled drivers on the Southeast Expressway tonight.

I just was not one of them.

What songs made me bounce?

The Airborne Toxic Event is one of my favorite bands lately and this song just inspires me to jump but since I am driving bouncing along as I go.

I used to like Oasis a while ago but I LOVE this song for some reason. It makes me want to sing. I may have to get a ticket to his show in Boston at the Wang Theater in November.

Since the commute home actually made me happy, I thought I would share it with you guys and forget about the crappy weather tomorrow.

I am off to climb under a blanket and watch Grimm. Have a happy Friday and Saturday.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Support Wednesday: Taking the Edge Off

Have ever heard Brad Paisley’s song Alcohol?

I am not a huge fan of country music. I am more of a bitter rock music gal myself but a lot of Paisley’s songs are just good.

One of the things that sometimes worries me is replacing food with alcohol. In information sessions and just in general, I have heard that people are often shocked that after a person loses weight they drift or swim towards alcohol. When that coping mechanism disappears, you often fill it in with another.

I like to drink. I will admit it. I like the way it makes me feel. I like how it takes the edge off.  I don’t drink every day or even every week.  When I lost weight before, I found that wingman of food slipping right in while food was not looking.

When I want to drink slowly, I will order beer, since outside of pumpkin beer, I would not miss it. When I don’t care then cider or mixed drinks are called for. I never touched alcohol until I went to college and then for a while, it was my new best friend. I stopped after college for a while, only to pick it up again like 10 years ago.

I know that alcohol defeats the purpose of taking anti-depressants. It is the downer to the upper. I know that I could easily slip that line to abusing alcohol.  I can see it totally filling the void if I am not careful. That is one reason why I am working so hard now to fill that void with other things. 

Do you take one unhealthy habit and replace it with another?

My appointment yesterday was my second mandatory psychologist appointment before surgery. I am cleared in that department. Apparently my mind is in the right place. Between my therapy and psychologist appointments, I don’t need any more mental health appointments.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Another Day, Another Guy

So, guess what happened to me again today?

I was walking down the escalator at North Station on my way to take the Orange Line from work over to my doctor’s appointment this afternoon. I was feeling pretty shitty and not looking my best. A man comes up besides me and said, “Hi, I am xxxxxx, how are you?”

I said hello back. He said he just got out of court and was acquitted on all charges thanks to his mother and mumbled something about drugs in the past. I said congratulations.

He said, “I am a nice guy, I have friends. I love women who wear boots, tights and a skirt. Would you like to go to the movies some times?”

I got asked out again. Granted the whole court thing and drugs totally are a no-go but still, am I am emitting some sort of vibe? Is it just that I actually talked to someone on the T?

I was feeling and probably looking horrible.

I am shocked. Really. Maybe I should get back into online dating or hit the bars again or just aimlessly ride around on the T all day.

The whole things flabbergasts me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Under the Covers

I wish I could say that yesterday, I cleaned or was somewhat productive. No, that was not how the day went. I had plans that I totally forgot about. I had been up late reading. Just a book that I could not put down. One chapter became two, etc. I went to sleep, woke up and realized that it was cold in my apartment and I might as well stay under the covers. I did and I picked up the book again.

I got up to make some coffee and some breakfast and was freezing. I decided rather than actually turn the heat on, I would get dressed, eat and get back under those covers and guess what, read. That is what I did from about 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. I read. You might ask what?

Another book series with a hero that is tempting and you will probably only find on the pages of a book, Alexander (Shura). Oh my. All of the sudden I want to read more Russian historical fiction. I have already downloaded the second book, Tatiana & Alexander to read.

Maybe all the Russian sites that seem to find their way to my blog will now have a reason for coming.

One thing I am looking forward to about my surgery is that I will have a lot of reading time. I can not wait! My Goodread’s list is wicked long and growing.

I was also out of sorts yesterday. I fought with Not So Secret Sister at dinner, who said “I would write about it here” during the fight. I should have just stayed home. Some days are just a big no win situation and yesterday was one of them. I was still a bit out of sorts today but no one really came to talk to me today at work. It was probably for the best.

All I can say, I am happy the day went by fast.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Yes, I did.

You are all probably wondering, did I go out with the Algerian? Yes, I did, last night. I was wavering on the staying home or going out and he called after work and we decided to grab dinner. Being a tad wishy washy, I had no clue what I wanted so we went into Chinatown.

The T was running will long delays so we had lots of time to chat on the train about the usual stuff, work, family, hobbies, etc. He seemed nice and was somewhat easy to talk to. I did most of the question asking. When we got off the train, we walked around a bit and found ourselves at Shabu Zen in Chinatown. There was a wait so we did most of the talking. I asked about Algeria, where he had travelled, etc.

Shabu was a first experience for me. I had been to Chinese hot pot restaurant and of course the wonderful pho. I will have to try another time when I am more at ease.

When we were called to go into the restaurant, we went into the bathroom to wash his hands. I thought nothing of that. Once the food came he went again to wash his hands. Then during and after the meal, he also washed his hands. I thought that was a bit weird. He said I should wash my hands. Ugh. I had to go to the ladies room but my hands were fine.

I have my problems. I tried my hardest to hide them and make a decent first impression. I got dressed up, put make up on, smiled, laughed, talked a bit much. I did not want to come across as a depressed downer of a gal. I did not mention Mom and some of the other issues. This hand washing thing bothered me a bit, even more so that he wanted me to wash my hands as well. I am not some disgusting barbarian. I had showered before and wash my hands as appropriate. Maybe I am being a little too nit picky but it bothered me. 

The rest of the date went as expected. He tried to get me back to his apartment. I wanted none of that at this point. He was nice but I am not sure if I want to go out with him again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Umbrella Carnage

It was an umbrella graveyard in Boston today. It poured most of the day and that Boston wind whipped off of the water in between the buildings and your umbrella was either destroyed or useless.  If there is one thing I do not like about my home city is the weather. Blah! The whole city was a big grump today. Traffic was awful. At least it is over.

I dropped a plastic storage container of oatmeal on my little toe this morning and that started the day out correctly. The toe is a bit swollen and purple but I will survive.

I was correct about my admirer being from the Middle East. He told me he is from Algeria last night. Interesting.

At least the rest of the week is downhill from here. One thing I must do this weekend is get some clothes on sale to last the winter like long sleeved tops, etc. Since it is a bye week for my Patriots, Sunday will be a shopping day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hello Goes A Long Way

Today started as a normal Tuesday. I woke up late, ran around, spilled coffee on the front of my coat, tripped on the way to the T and was sort of asked out. Yes, you got that right. I was walking along in my lack of caffeine coma induced stupor by where you get the buses at the T station near my house.

I figured that someone would be passing me but he started to walk next to me and said hello. I was a little mystified. Is he talking to me? I said hello back and proceeded to have a little chit chatty conversation as I made way into the station. As I went to go through the pass area, he asked if I wanted to get dinner sometime.

I said to myself why not. I have been on some crazy dates. Can’t be any worse.  I gave him my number. He already called me at work. I did not get the call. I should call him back tonight I suppose.

I did not recognize his accent but I am thinking that he must be Middle Eastern. He also probably lives near me since he was also walking. 

Once I got on the Red Line, it was running with delays so it went back to being a typical Tuesday and my head was in my book that I am reading, The Wolves of Andover. Someone was leaning on the pole with his whole body and was practically sitting on my lap. A typical day on the good old MBTA.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Once Upon A Time, I Watched TV….

For a Monday, today was fairly normal. My stomach was in knots and for whatever reason, I just could not feel right.

I was up later then normal last night watching Masterpiece Mystery on PBS.  I read all but the newest Kate Atkinson Jackson Brodie mysteries so I was not to miss this.

Since I haven’t been watching much TV lately, I am sort of looking forward to two shows that will be premiering soon.

Grim on NBC

Once Upon A Time on ABC

Luckily, there are two PBS stations here in Boston so since Once Upon A Time will conflict with Masterpiece Mystery, I can catch it on another night.

I used to be so hooked on TV. I watched lots of it. Now, not so much. Maybe because the computer is not within viewing of the TV so I can’t do both at once. The only other shows I have started watching, but I catch it On Demand is Revenge, about the woman picking off the Long Island socialites one by one to revenge her father – very good.

And of course the various animal programs on Nat Geo WILD or Animal Planet on the weekends.

Have you gotten into any fall TV?