It’s been a few weeks since I wrote that I wouldn’t be writing very much, and although I have been tempted to dash some gripe or another off in that time, I’ve resisted on the basis that aside from that gripe, I didn’t have too terribly much to say. And it turns out that I was right, so the temptations came and went and nobody’s lives were changed for better or for worse.
But since it has been awhile, I figured I would make like a diarist and get a few things down. That’s one of the best things about blogging, or least about blogging for as long as I’ve been doing it (it was better when Ye Olde Olde Blog was still in existence, although I don’t entirely blame MySpace for erasing the content after I and everyone else abandoned it for a period of several years). And while old blogs do contain some cringe-worthy moments – for me it was an uncomfortable level of verbosity and also the amount of alcohol I used to drink – overall, they’re far less unpleasant than reading my old actual diaries. I much preferred reading a for-public-viewing version of what I was doing in 2005 versus the depressingly insane shit I wrote in my private journals. Sheesh.
So. Here’s what I’ve been doing since I said I wasn’t going to write about what I was doing anymore:
Not long after I wrote my last blog entry, I had a small personal crisis over hitting a weight loss plateau. It was my own fault; I’d stopped logging the food I was eating and had caved to the laziness that I still think was (is) perfectly understandable after waking up at 4:30am every day and not getting home until 5:30pm, after which I still had to do chores like make dinner, do dishes, scoop cat poop, etc. One rainy, pre-sunrise morning, I stood slumped at the bus stop in my bulky layers and consoled myself by thinking, “hey, relax, you’re still down three sizes and you’re not that fat.” It was at this precise moment that the elderly Chinese woman at my bus stop asked me when my baby was due.
Uh. I’m not pregnant. Which is what I told her. She then apologized and helpfully (?) started miming sit-ups, which she says she does every morning. So that was nice, and I got to spend the rest of the day (and a couple of weeks after) obsessing over it and have since realized that I will probably never get over it for as long as I live.
While I went back to religiously logging my food and counting my steps after this, I knew that a few days would be totally lost thanks to my visit to St. Louis. It’s one thing to log what you’re eating on the app that you could finally get thanks to an upgraded phone (yippee!), but quite another to realize that you can’t possibly quantify all of the beer and pork you’ve shoved into your face while on some version of vacation. I tried in the beginning. I did. And although I consumed more calories than I’d been limiting myself to (1,800 per day), I was still burning more than I ate (although not as high as my previous deficit standard of 1,000). But then I realized that part of the joy of going back to the Midwest is the food, and that I was being a real dick to myself by policing that aspect. So I ate and drank whatever I wanted and still managed to get a tiiiiiiny bit of exercise in (2.6 miles with my dad, 5.5 with Vern and Stepanie) to futilely balance it out.
During my visit, one friend commented on how she misses my rants here, and how I don’t write as often or as vitriolically as I did when I still lived in St. Louis. My response was “I’m not as angry as I was when I lived in St. Louis.” A huge part of that was leaving my old job and old managers, both of which created as atmosphere I described as “rife with dick-suckery.” Believe it or not, this is a nice way of talking about eight of the most professionally frustrating and demeaning years of my life. Old job and compliment about my old writing style aside, overall, moving to Seattle has made me a more content, satisfied person, so even though I’m not writing as much anymore, it’s cool that a visit home made me realize this.
As for the rest of going back to St. Louis, I purposefully kept my visit smaller this time around. I stayed at my dad’s, hung out with his cat (see below, her name is Mommers because she’d had beaucoup litters by the time my dad took her in as a stray), and kept my social visits modest. I got to see a lot of the people I miss most (although some never showed, ahem, THANKS FUCKERS), I got to feel pangs of envy at cheap places for rent in decent neighborhoods (which are still unfortunately surrounded by the rest of St. Louis) and I got to leave invigorated by my visit rather than drained, and excited as hell to get back to Seattle and it’s mountains/water/cats/walking/vegetable-based meal plan again.
Library books read on the plane: “Mrs. God” by Peter Straub, sort of a gothic-inspired English pastoral horror novella that I’m not entirely sure I understood but it was an okay way to kill a flight, “Hallucinations” by Oliver Sacks, which I gave up on because it was dry and more repetitive than even this one book on astral projection that I can’t fully remember but that’s not the point because I thought I’d love it but didn’t, “A Caress of Twilight” by Laurell K. Hamilton, which is decent enough for what it is but I have got to stop being disappointed by my favorite short story horror writers when it comes to their full-length novels, and, finally, Greg Sestero’s “The Disaster Artist,” which is hysterical and almost as weird as The Room and I’m almost done devouring it.
I’ve also been trying to set up an appointment at the vet’s office for The Cat, who has spent the last year and a half getting the perfect beach body. Let me explain: The Cat has always been, shall we say, husky. Substantial. Not obese – he’s really long and tall and as more than one vet has told me, he is a “skeletal giant,” but he’s always had some belly swag and was sleek and meaty, as cats go. But over the past year and a half, he’s lost weight. A lot of weight. I understand that he’s old – fourteen and a half – and that nothing else, from his appetite to his affection seeking to his obsessive love for treats has changed, but the speed at which he has lost weight and the way I can feel all of the bones of his spine are concerning to me. The Cat has been my best friend since 2002. He has accompanied me across the country multiple times. I am aware that we are nearing the end of our time together, but whether that end comes from simple old age or something more sinister, it is my responsibility to remain a good steward for him. And if this means getting up early this Saturday and spend a boatload of money on blood tests and x-rays, then so be it.
Like rent, utilities, and groceries, any The Cat-based expenditure is considered necessary; however, all other expenditures are not. The time has once again come for me to buckle down and stop spending money except on the necessities of living; I’ve been playing a little more fast and loose with my cash than normal, and as a result, I’m a couple of thousand bucks away from where I’d like my bank account to stay. So no more online shopping. No more “I deserve it” nights at bars. No more expensive meals, no more new book purchases (library only), no more Uber, and no more using my debit card if I can help it when cash from Graham’s share of the rent is available. I’d like to get my account balance back into a comfortable (for me) range and start saving in earnest for our Buenos Aires trip next year, so it’s back to living small and hoping that my friends understand that for the next few months, I’m all about reading, writing (ahem, not here), and watching Netflix at home.
Which means I’ll have even less to write about, although it is probably better to have a few diary-like entries to remind Future Me of what happened rather than a whole slew of overanalytical nutjob entries that will undoubtedly be either embarrassing or tedious later on.