Monday, March 31, 2008

Riding Mrs. Peterson

Well, Cade, just like his mama, has fallen in love with Mrs. Peterson. Hour after hour he begs to “wide bite!” (Translation: ride bike) And, well, despite it being spring, it’s wretchedly cold here – as in, much too cold to ride a bike. But when his begging has driven me to a near psychotic state, I usually give in, just so he’ll stop imploring me with those big beautiful eyes to go “ousside.” So this afternoon, even though it had snowed a good foot or so last night, I took him out bike riding. We donned our hats and gloves (though it looks silly in the picture because I have no gloves small enough for the teensy man child) and started our bike-riding adventure. Because this whole exercise thing is to strengthen my lungs anyway, it’s not easy to not have asthmatic issues with a 25 lb dead-weight strapped to my chest, but with my inhalers(s), I make it just fine. I’m really having a lot of fun bonding with my wee one this way.

Therapy Was Good Today

Me: It’s so hard for me to gain weight when I just don’t see it. Everyone all around me is telling me I’m too thin, but I don’t see that at all when I look in the mirror. It’s so hard to take that leap of faith and trust others to gain weight when I cannot see that I’m underweight on my own.

T: If you could see you were too thin, would you want to gain weight? Would you finally give yourself permission? I’m not sure you would.

Me: You’re right. I don’t even know anymore.

T: It’s time to just do it. Do it Brie! Stop waiting around for other people to say it’s okay to take charge of your life and get healthy. Because you know what? Every single damn person on the face of this earth could line up and tell you that you were too thin, but it wouldn’t be enough. You’ll never believe it. So stop waiting when it’s never going to happen. Just DO IT. Take the initiative. Recovery is far less cowardly than relapse, far braver, and much more admirable. And I believe you can do it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Meet Mrs. Peterson

The newest member of our family has arrived! Meet Mrs. Peterson. Isn’t she beautiful? I love to ride her, and oh, how she loves to be ridden! She’s chicly old-fashioned, and is the most glorious piece of metal I’ve ever laid eyes or hands or butt on. And don’t ask me why she’s married, or whom she’s married to. I do not know these things. I only know we are in love. She’s a bit naked, but I will be pimping her out this weekend with a basket and a bike horn. I’d also like to find tassels to hang from her handlebars, but is that too flashy? Will she come across as a slut? I’m not sure of these things!

I must admit I’m having a really salacious time telling people I’m going out to “ride Mrs. Peterson.” But I’m weak for a sex joke. I can’t helps it. I’m also grateful to her because, rumor has it, she’ll be saving my lungs in dire need of exercise and strength. And if ya have to exercise, you might as well do it while pimped out in pink and hotness - at least, that’s what my grandma always used to say.

So, whaddya think? Isn’t she a beut?!

PS Her seat needs to be raised. I look a bit like an overgrown child on a midget pony. Not the image I was going for, exactly.

Degrassi: The Coolest Show No One’s Even Heard Of

I’m assuming correctly, that not many of you have watched or even heard of Degrassi?
It’s America’s favorite Canadian show! Okay, okay, it might be America’s only Canadian show. But that’s not the point. The point is that this is a smutty, angsty teen drama, and I can’t get enough of it! I just began watching it, out of sheer boredom, mostly because the writers’ strike was so inconvenient to my late night need to veg in front of the TV and watch anything that would make me stupider. Hence, Degrassi. I’ve thanked Canada many a time for not going on any hasty strikes and postponing my brain emulsion. And I’m pretty sure that’s not the correct scientific word for what I’m trying to say here, but it’s only proving my point that I am absolutely loving the fact that Degrassi is making me, well, a little dense.

But how could you resist these plot lines?

Spinner gets “boy cancer,” and in an effort to prove he’s still a man, bullies the school nerd, who’s a bit mysterious and shady. Bullied Boy ends up coming to the school with a gun and goes on a shooting rampage, shooting Spinner’s BFF, Jimmy, and paralyzing him from the waist down for life, ruining his chance at basketball fame and stardom. Jimmy and Spinner no longer speak. Tragedy.

Emma can’t cope with her step-dad cheating on her mom, so she turns to anorexia. After just three weeks, (yes, three!) she passes out and has a heart attack. Because we all know how realistic that is. Three weeks of starvation and you have a heart attack? I think not. I was roaring on that one.

Darcy is in Friendship Club, which is a Christian club, and she’s pledged her abstinence until her wedding night. When she’s raped one night at a party, she turns into a floozy and tries to hook up with Mr. Simpson, her teacher at school. He busts her and now she’s in therapy, but refuses to talk about the rape. She no longer believes in abstinence.

Liberty is the school president, and she’s pregnant with JT’s baby. She hides it until she’s seven months, but once everyone finds out; her reputation suffers because of it. JT, the boy toy, who was a rising TV star, was shot and killed by Bullied Boy, and now Liberty’s all messed up.

Manny gets drunk one night, and Peter, the school creep, who incidentally is the principal’s son, records her topless, then emails it to everyone in the school. Her strict Filipino parents find out, call her a slut, and kick her out of the house. She lives with her BFF, Emma (the one with the eating disorder).

And there are so many more characters with equally thrilling (and unbelievable) story lines! How can you resist such television as this? And…for the record, I counted last night, and I have nearly sixty (yes, sixty!) episodes recorded on my TiVo, with about twenty more coming this weekend. If anyone’s interested in getting hooked on Canada’s smuttiest (okay, okay, and only) television show, come to my place this weekend – we’ll have a Degrassi Party and get drunk on over-dramatized teen drama.

Who’s in?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Funny Despair to Add to Your Despair

If you're feeling a bit down, and well, don't mind making fun of yourself about it a little, this is the super coolest website ever. I just found this shirt there, and I'm thinking it must be in my greedy little clutches soon. You can even order it here, if you like. Muchos thankos to my sister Jan for showing it to me, though I'm thinking it was more of a hint than anything.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

On Commitment

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about commitment. My mom and I had an interesting conversation about it a few days ago, and it hasn’t left my mind. She talked to me about an article she read, in which a woman and her friend were cycling in the Oregon woodlands. One woman biked ahead, and rounded a bend, out of sight from her friend. Not long after the woman was out of sight, her friend heard her scream bloody murder. As she sped up and turned the corner, she saw that her friend had been knocked off her bike by a mountain lion, which had a hold on her, and was trying to drag her into the trees. The woman jumped off her bike and grabbed hold of her friend’s leg. She was trying to scream and hit the lion to let go, all to no avail. Obviously, by now, her friend was in extreme pain and in shock. Her friend was holding onto her leg with everything in her, and maybe a little more, but told her that she would never, ever let go, ever. Nothing could make her leave her and give up. Nothing.

Soon after, two young men in a car stopped and threw rocks at the mountain lion’s head until it eventually let go of the biker and skulked back to the forest. Authorities hunted down the poor animal and shot it, realizing that it had killed another biker when they found his remains (well, half of them anyway).

So, commitment. I was so impressed with the woman’s words, “I’ll never let go.” I don’t doubt that any of us, in a similar situation, would let our brother or sister or friend or spouse be dragged off in the jaws of a wild beast, saying, “Wow, sorry. Rotten luck, but I just don’t know how to save you.” No, of course none of us would do that. But what stirs me so much, is that in the face of absolute, stark raving fear, this woman refused to let go, to give in. And yeah, in a life or death situation such as that, I believe we’d all fight for our life or someone we love.

But…what about another situation that requires commitment, perhaps something important, but not so dire? How do we find that kind of commitment in our life? How do we find the desire to stick to a goal or to fight an obstacle without letting go?

I’m reading a phenomenal book right now, entitled Lone Survivor. It’s the true story of a Navy SEAL who, along with five of his friends and comrades, were stationed in the Afghan mountains searching out insurgents and terrorists and members of Al Qaeda. All of them were killed, murdered by terrorists, except for one man, the man who later wrote this phenomenal story. There is a short passage of the book that really hit me, and I think it applies to what I’m trying to write about today:

“Marcus, the body can take damn near anything. It’s the mind that needs training. The question that was being asked involved mental strength. Can you handle such injustice? Can you cope…with that much of a setback? And still come back with your jaw set, still determined, swearing to God you will never quit?”

Isn’t that true? This particularly hit home for me regarding my recovery from an eating disorder. I think, oh, weight gain. But it hurts so much and it’s so uncomfortable and scary, how will I ever do it? But the body can take damn near anything, even a little stomach pain from eating so much food. It is my mind that needs training, discipline, commitment. Why can’t I just commit to recovery? How do I acquire such mental strength, especially in the midst of my own personal stark raving fear? Why can I not consign to the idea that maybe, just maybe life will be okay if I’m at a normal weight? …And then my sneaky eating disorder mind creeps up, and it tells me that I’m fine, and that I’m not unhealthy, and that I don’t need to gain weight or do anything at all. And I think, yeah, that’s right. It’s not like I’m in the jaws of a killer who would drag me off and destroy me. And then I realize, but maybe I am. Maybe it’s a different kind of killer. Maybe it is a matter of life and death.

Commitment: It’s a tough one.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Vocal Chords

Coworker: Hi Brie! How was your weekend?
Me: It- squeak squeak cough rumble crack – it was –
Coworker: What happened to your voice?!
Me: I lost – squeak squeak cough cough cough silence – lost it.
Coworker: Oh no! You sound terrible! Wait, can you breathe? You sound like you’re having a difficult time breathing.
Me: Yeah – asth – squeak squeak crack cough cough cough rumble – asthma.
Coworker: I’m so sorry. You sound terrible – like a generator! (Ha, ha.)
Me: :(
Coworker: You should go home.
Me: :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

'Twas a Wondrous Day!

I never win anything. Ever. Drawings, calling into a radio station to win tickets to a Britney Spears concert, Bingo in Mesquite, raffles…nothing. Ever. Never won a darn thing. And that’s why yesterday was an amazing day.

At work we had a Clue-esque game that consisted of finding clues hidden in Easter eggs all over the office. We were then supposed to use our snooping and deduction skills to find out who “caught the bunny rabbit” where it was caught, and with what“weapon,” that was really an office supply. Well, people were withholding clues to give them an edge, and everyone was waiting to guess the answer until more clues came, but I knew no more would come, so I just guessed, randomly – that it was Ruben, in Beth’s office, with the notebook. And I friggin’ won the grand prize, which was a gift card to a movie theater with two free mugs and popcorn. So I was already feeling good about myself, thinking this is great, God’s smiling down on me today and making up for all the times I’ve never won anything.

So then I shuffled around in the Easter parade, and lost a little of that new-found self esteem, but managed to persevere. Because guess what?! I WON THE EASTER BONNET CONTEST!!!!! (And really, I destroyed it. I won by a fair margin, I hear.)

Here are some pics:

Here’s the actual hat, itself. I shaped the hat out of a poster board, and then put peeps all around it. It took a lot of trial and error work before finally finding a way to get the peeps to stay on. This glorious piece of artwork I have entitled, Welcome to the Peep Show.

Okay, so these pictures were fun to take, and because they’re silly and goofy, I’m going to post them. I made Brandon take a picture of me with my prizes, and I wanted to be jumping in the air, a la High School Musical, but, okay, well let me tell you something you may not know: jumping in the air and not looking like your taking a major dump at the same time is much, much harder than it looks like. But I wanted to post these anyway because my face looks so hilarious! Also, it’s hard to tell in these pics, but the prize of newfound self esteem is in there, too. As good ‘ol Helen Keller would say, it’s something that cannot be seen, or even touched, but felt with the heart.
And here I am with my Leaning Tower of Peepza, so happy I won!

And here's Cade, not so happy with the hat, but happy to be with Mama:

Friday, March 21, 2008

My Public Coordination Skills

I’ve been thinking about something today, because I’ve been somewhat in the lime-light today at work. I ended up making an Easter hat for the contest, and I had to wear it and march in a parade with my fellow contestants around the office, showing everyone in their cubicles and offices our hat-tastic creations.

So, I’m quite a coordinated person. Seriously, for my height, I could be much more frighteningly lurpy. I’ve always been fairly adept with a basketball or volleyball, and I haven’t really tripped over my own feet since I was, you know, trying to learn to walk as a wee one. And even as a model, strutting my stuff on the runway, clumsiness was never an issue. I remember once I was doing a swimwear show in LA, and all of the guys in the show, in an effort to make us notice their rippling muscles even more, rubbed baby oil all over themselves. (Which to me seemed a bit like beating a dead horse. But I digress.) Now, for them, if they’re feet are slippery, no biggie, right? They’re not wearing shoes. But us girls, we were in our swimwear and four inch stilettos, and walking on a catwalk slick with oil was demoralizing. Someone even fell. But the point I’m trying to get at here is that it wasn’t me.

So yeah. I’m coordinated, I can walk in a straight line, maybe even if I was drunk! But today, with that goofy hat on my head (that weighs nearly as much as I do, I’m afraid) I transformed into the nerd in the talent show you all avert your eyes to while they pathetically warble out a Blink 182 song so that you don’t laugh. Or cry. Today was supposed to be my day! I could feel it – the first stirrings of self esteem that resulted from the strained recesses of my brain that made that damn Easter bonnet. But then I blew it by looking like a moron in the parade. Pish.

So what was it that you think made me transform into a mute geek? Was it the hat? It had to be. I’m used to people staring at me, but it’s usually because I look somewhat decent in couture on the runway. I’ve never worn an Easter bonnet. At least in public. Was this my downfall? Can I only have confidence when I feel pretty? That sucks. Because everyday, as my mom always tells me, (even though she's a totally hot older woman) my looks are going to go, and one day I’ll wake up all old and wrinkled and saggy, and that might even be more damaging to my self esteem than wearing an Easter bonnet for the rest of my life.

Well shoot. I either need more (always more, more, more!) self esteem.
Or maybe some botox?

[They’re announcing the winner of the contest very soon. I’ll keep you updated.]

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Mystic? Or Mystically Ridiculous?

I had an interesting encounter today. I was at the bakery, minding my own business, when an older looking woman in a muumuu asked me if I was a Capricorn.

"Um…no?" I told her. Why, are Capricorns supposed to be tall, dark, and handsome? Because then yes, I should be!

"Are you sure?" She asks.

I’m getting a little weirded out. I mean, I’m an adult, right? I have no apparent IQ or learning disabilities at first glance. I think. So why shouldn’t I know my own astrological sign? "Yeah, I’m a Leo," I tell her, trying, but failing, to smile. I end up giving her one of my nervous smiles.

"Step aside here, please. I’d really like to give you your fortune. You'll be interested in hearing this."

WTF?! I am not a believer in horoscopes and fortune-telling. Well, unless it’s one of those coin-operated fortune-tellers like they have in the movie Big. Then I’m a believer, because that movie was really cool. Is she going to tell me I'm going to die because I'm not a Capricorn? Or that thankfully, because I'm not, I'll be spared and live a full and happy and complete life with a handful of kids and a dog named Bluebell? I don't want to hear bad news. I don't even want to hear good news from a woman who asks random people for their fortune. I start to wonder if there's a hidden camera somewhere, and people are having a hearty laugh at my expense. I decide not to stick around to find out.

I’m shifting uncomfortably, and suddenly I feel guilty for not being a Capricorn. "No, thanks, I need to go." Another nervous smile.

And I walked out that door without even getting my roll with honey butter. How did I let an old muumuu wearing fortune-teller run me out of a bakery?

Because she was creepy as hell, that’s why.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Missing Creativity Chromosomes

So, every year at work for Easter, we have a giant Easter egg hunt as well as an Easter hat contest. The winner of the challenge receives a $50 gift card to Target, but more importantly, a whole lotta self-esteem – or so I’ve fantasized. I usually shy away from contests like this, because I never win, and I do not need yet another reaffirmation that I’m a loser. A loser in every aspect of life, it seems. Plus, I know that if I go out on a limb and enter the contest, if I lose, because I have low self-esteem, I’ll never enter this or anything else ever again. I thought about entering the Valentine’s Day contest of decorating a valentine box, but shied away from it for these very reasons.

Also, I do not have any creativity cells in my nearly six foot tall frame. Not one. Scrap booking for me entails getting a piece of computer paper, (colored, if I’m feeling adventurous) taping a photo on, then writing a caption underneath it with a black ball-point pen. Sometimes I’ll perhaps doodle a heart even, but those often come out looking like a three year old did it, and I do not want someone commenting on the cute heart my son drew, when it was me.
That would sting.

So I’m in a bind. Do I be social and fun and enter some contest I’ll lose? The girls in the QI Department always win this crap…the Halloween costume contest, (By the way, dressing up in ‘80’s aerobic garb is so blasé.) the Christmas soup contest, the Valentine box contest…and now the Easter hat thing. Oh how I want to take down those over-achieving QI girls! (Maybe I’m being so vicious because I’m jealous much? Gah. I hope not.)


I need help. If I buy the supplies, anyone wanna help me (or rather, make on your own) a bomb diggity Easter hat? Please? It’s for a good cause – my self-esteem is on the line!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Salad Fingers

This is deliciously creepy. I've found I'm suddenly fascinated with rusty spoons. There's an entire series of this on YouTube. Go crazy. I just did. Hence the rust fascination.

From Behind Bars, Part XII, On RAD

I realize that I have kept you, my dear readers, awaiting my next installment with bated breath for far too long. And I am particularly excited to write to you all today about RAD, (Rape Aggression Defense) because it holds a dear, dear place in my heart. The place in my heart where ridiculous humor is stored. So here goes:

Once us prisoners have been inpatient for at least seven weeks, we are shipped off to RTC – the Residential Treatment Center – that is basically just another part of the top-security prison where we supposedly have a bit more “freedom,” which actually translates into having even more boring groups (methinks it was not possible!) and less therapy. But once on RTC, we got (or were made to, depending on your point of view) to participate in RAD. A few of the recreation therapists were certified in teaching us, and every Wednesday afternoon, it was time to get trained. We’d all go into the upstairs group room, push aside the chairs, and learn how to protect ourselves from rapists or robbers or whatever. Now for me, because I’m quite boisterous, this was not an issue. I’d cheerfully punch the rec therapists and scream “NO, you rotten bastard scumbag!!” at the top of my lungs. But for some of the more shy inmates, this was not an easy task. I’d slowly watch their faces and necks turn scarlet, and they’d pathetically take a swing at the rec therapist and weakly whisper, “no…?” I mean, if it were really a rapist trying to attack them, the poor things would have been overtaken in like 3.48 seconds. Or less, even.

I also suspect this training was somehow supposed to give us more self-esteem, because screaming in fake horror and taking a swing at someone who is actually really nice and in no way looks like a man, let alone a rapist, requires the skills of a seasoned actor. And I don’t know if actors really have self-esteem, but they sure act like they do. And acting like any of us have self-esteem is not a gift that any of us were really given. We were, however; given the gift of wanting to destroy ourselves and our bodies, and that in no way helps us protect ourselves from evil men wanting to steal our treasures.

So every week, we’d trudge up and learn how to accurately punch someone without breaking our thumbs, or the best ways to get away from someone if they’re lying on top of us, etc. Oh, by the way: this was especially humiliating, because when we were asked to partner up with someone to practice our new bad-ass skills, when it was my turn to lie/sit on top of them and wait for them to pull their sweet moves to throw me off, the whole time I’d just be apologizing for my heavily gross body on top of them. It made it incredibly difficult to think about raping someone when you are solely preoccupied with the fact you’re probably killing them with your mammoth frame, and you can’t stop theorizing that they probably think you weigh more than anyone else on the face of the earth, or at least in the room, and it sucks. Sucks big time. How can you be a proper rapist when you’re loathing yourself and not the person you’re supposed to be raping? It always posed a problem.

So, after the six or so weeks of training were completed, and we’d properly learned all the moves that will save us in a dire situation, it’s time to get tested so that we can officially be certified. And it’s not some fake kindergarten certificate they give you. It’s a for realsies certificate you get from the police department. I’m supposed to get it renewed every year, which means re-taking the course, which means sitting on top of someone again, which means being reminded of how heavy I am, which means NO WAY. So my certification has expired, but once, dear readers, yes once, I was an official certified RAD’er.

So D-Day had come. I think we were all a bit nervous, because actual policeman were coming to rape us. (Or I hope pretend to?) Now, these were not little squirrelly men whose thighs resembled string beans. No. These were huge men, who could easily have been sumo wrestlers on their days off. They were without doubt at least six-and-a-half feet tall, and seemed nearly as wide as they were tall. And to add to the terror, they were wearing huge black pads all over their bodies that were reminiscent of a transformer. And not one of the good ones. The evil ones that were trying to kill Shia LaBeouf.

So getting certified entailed essentially getting attacked and being able to defend yourself and get to safety. Getting to “safety” meant reaching a corner at the other side of the room that was outlined in masking tape. We were in the exercise room, and it wasn’t a small room, it was overwhelmingly big, especially that day. The transformers would give you a “situation” that you are in and would have to act out, and then the attack would begin. As you can see from the picture, we were required to wear a helmet and elbow and knee pads, because it got rough, and I more than a few times was picked up and thrown to the floor. Before I went in, I could hear girls ahead of me screaming their lungs off before getting thrown into a wall. I could also hear girls sobbing who had been traumatized in a real life similar situation, and that was always sad. But those damn transformers didn’t care one whit.

And now it’s my turn: I was more than a little nervous, I won’t lie. After watching girls exit the room battered and bruised, I knew that this was going to be harder than I had anticipated. The transformers shook my hand, then told me that my “situation” to act out was that I was at an ATM and and two rapists come up behind me and would start oogling my goodies. There was a rec therapist in the room refereeing with a whistle in case things got too out of hand. The only place I was not allowed to kick or punch the transformers was in the side of the knee, because the padding was weak and I could actually break their knee. The groin was fair game, and I knew my ticket to freedom lied therein.

So I’m facing the wall, pretending to punch buttons on the ATM, and I hear one of the transformers growl in a really scary voice filled with evil and testosterone: Hey, there. You look like a pretty bitch.
I swear on my life that is a direct quote. How could you forget something like that?! I was a little taken aback that the transformer, however evil, would actually say that to me, and I lost my guard. I mean, wasn’t this a game, after all? Suddenly I was picked up from behind and thrown to the ground. I could see the transformers lumbering toward me, and I screamed. Like for real screamed. Bloody murder, actually. I turned to the one on my left and kneed him in the groin as hard as I could, then punched the other one in the face. This didn’t seem to faze them, and they kept calling me a “feisty little bitch” and throwing me to the floor to try to pin me down. I was screaming help! and fire! because that’s what we had been taught, but I knew that no one was going to come rescue me, though at that point, I was entirely convinced these really were rapist transformers pretending to be cops. Now, even after a minute or two, I was incredibly winded, and that’s putting it lightly. Adrenaline and asthma and running and kneeing in the groin will make you really tired, especially when you’re already dizzy and in pain from getting thrown all over the place. But I didn’t give up, dangit. I kept fighting. And eventually I won! I got to safety!! I collapsed in my safe corner of masking tape and started crying. I think what I was most overwhelmed with was that these cops did not go easy on any of us at all – not even a little bit. There were some there who were really small and petite (though by then most of us had all gained our weight) and I can’t imagine what those giant oafs did to those poor girls. At least I was nearly six feet tall, I’m sure that gave me an edge, no doubt. But it was scary.

As soon as the transformers and I could catch my breath, they heartily congratulated me, telling me that I had been quite the little hellion and for sure would have scared away the rapists long before they could get my precious woman treasures. That made me feel good, though the bruises on my arms and legs begged to differ.

But it was actually incredibly empowering. And just so you know, all you voyeurs or potential rapists out there, blog stalking me, you can pass this bad-ass up. Cuz I will kill you with my mad, mad skills.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I Don't Do Text Talk

Hi. How RU? I12cu tom. CU l8r, k?

I know this text/IM shorthand is all the rage and what the kids are doing these days, but really, it totally makes me LOL when I read this kind of stuff. It also makes me nervous, like some new pseudo language is going to come out, like Ebonics or Pig Latin, and everyone is going to start speaking it and behaving like some lesser species - like monkeys or maybe the French. Plus, if everyone starts talking and texting this way, I'm totally not going to be in the know, and I find this unnerving. I prefer proper grammer and language, thank you very much. So for all of you reading this,

@TEOTD, Pls JSN 2 txt tlk. Txs.

For all you highly educated folk out there, if you had trouble understanding me, you can check out text shorthand dictionaries here and here.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Wreck

Okay, so I woke up this morning, and somehow pulled on the nearest clothes I could find that didn’t smell without even taxing myself enough to open my eyes. I then half-heartedly ran a comb through my hair and dabbed a bit of makeup on. It was 7:30, and I was just getting ready to leave for work – very begrudgingly, I might add. So I stumbled out into my living room and found this garbage pile:

And I laughed. (For what feels like the first time in a very long time.) And instead of cleaning it up, I decided to root around the mess till I found my camera and snap a picture. A mess of these cataclysmic proportions ought to be documented, no? Because then it hit me, and I realized that my chaotic living room is metaphorical for how my life feels right now. If you could peel away my insides, and peer directly within, that’s what I’d look like, I swear. All muddled and unorganized and jumbled. I guess it should make sense that my physical environment matches my innards.

So I guess I should plan on cleaning everything up, or at least manage things a bit more efficiently. I hate when I feel so out of sorts.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

You will die in seven days.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I’ve seen a few other people do this, so in celebration of my 100th post, I thought I’d treat you all to 100 things about me. You’re so lucky.

1. I once got beat up in a movie theater. I was ten, seeing Apollo 13 with my grandparents, cousins, and sister. Some mental case used me as a punching bag. It sucked then, but makes for a great ice-breaker now.
2. My legs are 35” long. That’s loooooong.
3. Avid gardeners would be thrilled to garden my eyebrows, for they are vast and massive and wild. A jungle, if you will.
4. I have nine siblings. Yeah, nine.
5. I also have a twin brother who is a pretty cool guy. His eyebrows are actually jungle-esque, as well. Here is a pic of us our senior year of high school.
6. I want to take a strip aerobics class.
7. I have asthma so horribly that I end up in the ER more than a few times a year.
8. I used to model, but don’t much anymore. I decided to take a moral stand against it.
9. I hate shaving and it takes an incredible amount of willpower to get me to shave my looong legs. So much surface area, so little time.
10. I hate to fight or argue unless I’m really close to you, because then that means I trust you. I only really dare fight with Brandon and my mom. Everyone else can walk all over me.
11. I’m left-handed, but am bad at it. I write with my left hand, but almost everything else is done with the right.
12. I luuuurve animals but am allergic to most.
13. A huge pet peeve of mine is when a dentist tries to carry on a conversation with me while there are seventeen dental instruments in my mouth. He must think it’s so hilarious. I do not.
14. I am a republican, but I’m not so uptight about it. I like to call myself a liberal republican.
15. The only bone I’ve ever broken is a toe, which is sadly uncool. I’d really like to break a good femur or appendage or something, just to know what it feels like.
16. I cannot cook. I also cannot bake. I can, however; push the start button on the microwave and have moderate skills with a toaster.
17. I’m married to this really awesome guy. You might have heard of him. His name is Brandon. And he’s hot. And sweet. And mine, all mine.
18. I live in Utah, the place with the greatest snow on earth. And yet I hate to ski with a fiery passion.
19. I’m a very passionate person. When I do something, I give it my all. When I quit something, I quit with my all. There is no in between for me. I am either all for something or all for being completely lazy.
20. I suck at cleaning, mainly because I get so caught up in all the dirt and crap that’s getting all over me. I have a phobia of getting my hands wet, and this unfortunately is detrimental to my cleaning duties as a wife and mama.
21. I attempted to play the guitar for a day. But when I didn’t turn into a rockstar, I gave up.
22. I’m writing a book, even though it’s no good.
23. I somehow produced the coolest kid on God’s green earth. I still don’t know how I did it.
24. I’m a sucker for young adult shows, like stuff on the Disney channel. Hannah Montana fascinates me in all its corny popularity.
25. I am in love with my two cats. I also think I may be in lust with them.
26. I used to have a deep and abiding obsession with the X-Files. I think you all already have read about this.

27. I’m 98% sure I have been on every anti-depressant modern medicine has ever invented.
28. My birthday is July 28th, God’s favorite day.
29. Up until two years ago I slept with a baby blanket that was wrapped around me the day I was born. When it fell to pieces, I put it somewhere safe and began to use a pillow, which I call my “hugger.”
30. I am recovering from anorexia. Have you heard of it?
31. Pears are my favorite fruit, but apples are the fruit I eat most often.
32. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.
33. I can type 90 WPM.
34. I feel like I produce more ear wax than the average human.
35. When I was pregnant with Cade I was put on bed-rest for ten weeks.
36. I delivered Cade with out very much medication (i.e. an epidural) because the doctor tricked me and turned it off. My family could hear me screaming from behind closed doors clear down the hallway.
37. Growing up I hated my name because it was so unique. Now I love it for that very reason.
38. My favorite restaurants are Red Robin and California Pizza Kitchen.
39. After life was hard for so many years, I decided to get funny. It helped neutralize out all the serious and sad in life. And it’s worked for me.
40. I passed out after watching the third Lord of the Rings movie in the theater. Apparently the long movie cramped up my uber long legs, and I keeled over, hitting my head on the cup holder on the way down and spilling all my Diet Pepsi all over me. Some guy with a million tatts and piercings was hovering over me when I came to, and totally freaked me out.
41. I used to play volleyball in school and competitively. I actually used to be pretty good at it, too.
42. I am a very punctual person, and I work hard to not get annoyed with others who aren’t.
43. I suffer from debilitating road rage.
44. One of my biggest pet peeves is hair on soap.
45. I’ve popped my knuckles since I was eight years old. I have tried many times to quit, all to no avail.
46. I love to read and can always give you good recommendations for a book.
47. I sweat when I get nervous.
48. I get really bad gas at night and early in the morning.
49. I have olive skin, so in the summer, I get so tan I swear I look black.
50. I once not so long ago peed in a pull-up to see how well they worked.
51. I also peed in a Gatorade bottle because Brandon dared me to.
52. I like my eggs no other way than scrambled. I can do hardboiled, too, actually. I just need my egg to be thoroughly cooked.
53. I hate tomatoes with American food, i.e in sandwiches and salads, but love them in Mexican and Italian food.
54. When I’m pregnant I crave very spicy food.
55. I hate drinking water and mostly subsist on diet soda.
56. I also hate exercising, mostly because it’s so hard with my asthma.
57. I hate doing my hair, and usually pull it in a pony tail.
58. I always wear some makeup, but usually very little.
59. I have 26 nieces and nephews, with one on the way.
60. I get incapacitating nausea when I ride roller coasters. It gets worse with every trip to an amusement park. I feel like such an old person. I can hardly ride them, nor do I enjoy them.
61. My favorite Disney princess is Belle, mostly because we have the most in common, and because I look most like her.
62. The worst job I’ve ever had was being a waitress. It gave me several panic attacks a day and I relapsed while in that job.
63. Cade once accidentally ordered a porn movie off of On Demand and I watched about five minutes of it until I realized what it was.
64. I hate scrapbooking maybe even more than cooking. Yeah, even more than cooking.
65. We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. I ended up getting a massive bladder infection because some rough waves on the north shore got all up in me, and it was bad. Really, really bad. 66. I have an intense fear of deep water. I can barely even watch shows on TV that involve lakes or oceans, etc, because it is scary and deep and unknown and puts me on edge.
67. I am blind without my glasses or contacts.
68. My full name is Brienne, pronounced Bree-ENN. No one calls me this, mostly because most have a hard time pronouncing it.
69. I have big scary man-hands. I get them from my dad’s side of the family.
70. Aside from my hands, I look much more like my mom.
71. I suck at math, always have. I don’t think I could pass a 6th grade math test right now without first studying. Even then, not sure I could.
72. I believe one of the greatest American authors is John Steinbeck. The Grapes of Wrath changed my life.
73. If I could change one thing about me physically, it would be my teeth/smile.
74. I would rather poke out my eyes than go to the dentist. This is on my mind because I have to go tomorrow morning.
75. I often still use 39 cent stamps and the post office takes them. They never get returned to me.
76. I have a fear of heights because when I get too close to a high ledge, I always have the overwhelming feeling I am going to jump off – even though I don’t want to.
77. To my utter amazement, I was nominated for prom queen my junior year of high school.
78. I always felt lame in high school because I felt like my twin brother had more friends than I did.
79. I had lots of boyfriends growing up, but never had one that I really adored and loved until I met Brandonius Maximus.
80. I hate eating anything with gills and/or shells.
81. I am phone phobic, and would much rather (usually) communicate with texting or emailing.
82. I was astoundingly ugly while going through puberty.
83. I was an aunt when I was just five years old.
84. Homemade bread of any variety – pumpkin, banana, white, wheat…these are my favorite foods.
85. I’m not a big meat eater, though I try for the protein.
86. I’ve never been to Disney World but would love to go someday.
87. I am desperately trying to get over my fear of drinking liquid with calories, and have found that I thoroughly enjoy OJ and chocolate milk.
88. I own well over sixty pair of shoes. I’d give you an exact number, but I reallllly don’t want to go count.
89. Blogging has become my new passion. It gives me something to do so that I don’t focus so much on my eating disorder.
90. Leaving Cade for two months to go into treatment was maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. It still plagues me, for I feel like such an inadequate and selfish mama. Here is a pic of us on Christmas Day 2006. I was on a day pass from treatment.
91. I’ve held an alligator while I was in Brazil. I also held a gigantic snake, but I think I’ve repressed the memory because now I can’t remember what kind it was.
92. I’ve also been Piranha fishing which was really scary but sweet.
93. I have really gross toes.
94. I love nothing more than a really good back rub.
95. Although I am straight, Whit and I have a more than year long running joke of being in love with each others breasticles.
96. Being pregnant was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be…emotionally. Physically it was worse than anticipated.
97. I used to collect porcelain dolls. After watching an X-Files episode that Stephen King wrote about an evil doll, I packed them all up and have never unpacked them since.
98. I used to be self-conscious about how tall I was, but now embrace the Amazon woman in me.
99. I enjoy sleeping almost above any other one thing.
100. I’m 66% sure I’m a pretty cool person, even if I don’t believe it the other 34% of the time.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Go Eat A Sandwich!

I really don’t want to blog today because I’m in no mood to be clever and funny. My head hurts and I have to be a single mom today. I had a loooong night with little sleep. My allergies are acting up (again). Blah blah blah.

But Racher and I were texting, and I thought I’d share our convo with you:

Racher: How are you today?
Me: Suck.
Racher: Eat a damn sandwich and be happy - that’s all it takes.
Me: I heard killing yourself works too? (I’m being sarcastic here, folks)
Racher: Actually it does work more permanently but I think the ‘make yourself be happy and eat a sandwich’ is less dramatic besides you need to buck up and suffer some more life is easy…but hum it’s not easy or something…
ME: You’re right. There’s so much more suffering I don’t want to miss out on. I’ll be a greedy little bitch and stick around.
Racher: Yeah, Bitch!

So there you have it. Maybe we should all be grateful for our suffering and just go eat a sandwich (because I hear that solves everything!)? I think so. I think if we all lower our standards a bit and realize life has lots of letdowns and sadness ahead, then we’ll make it just fine. :) Anyway, it’s sarcastic and weird but I actually feel better. Thanks for your twisted sense of humor, Rachel, you helped out this ‘ol treasured (I’m sure) friend of yours.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Public Bathroom Etiquette

In lieu of some unnerving experiences I’ve had in public bathrooms as of late, I’ve decided it’s time for a course on what and what not to do when you’re in a restroom with other people. We’ll call it Public Bathroom Etiquette 101.

Rule 1: If you walk into the bathroom at the same time as someone you know, do not, under any circumstances, engage them in conversation while the two of you are in different stalls doing your thing. The only exception to this rule is fear of imminent death or being sucked into the toilet. It’s incredibly awkward. And demoralizing. And weird.

Rule 2: Do not look at the person’s shoes to your right and tell them you think they’re cute. This is because they’ll inevitably have to say thank you, and thus disclose who they are. And this is unsettling. I do not want to reveal myself. I want to remain anonymous. Granted, I do usually wear some pretty hot kicks, but please do not tell me you like them. Do not ask me where I bought them when I am tinkling. Please do not make me give up my anonymity.

Rule 3: If you walk into a bathroom, and there are enough empty stalls to have a decent pick of the litter, do not choose a stall right next to someone when you could otherwise give you and your friendly neighbor some privacy. I always feel angry when someone cozies up next to me when they could have given me some breathing room. This is when I begin to feel claustrophobic and want get out of there, even if I’m not even done. And that just puts me in a bad mood.

Rule 4: If you and your fellow bathroom citizen are both nearing completion, the rule of thumb should be that whoever was in the bathroom first should get to leave first. Don’t flush as soon as they do, because then that freaking means that you’ll have to unveil your secret identity, (that is, if they haven’t already figured out who you are because your kick-ass shoes have already given you away) and you don’t want your identity revealed because then that means some really awkward conversation will ensue while washing your hands. Now, keep in mind you could be best friends on the outside, but in the loo, you are like awkward strangers that got drunk at a party and made-out. You feel obligated to speak, but in reality wish you could go back and erase time. So be kind. Don’t show your face till someone leaves, then go out and wash your hands, and hope the person behind you has the same respect and waits for you to leave. And this brings me on to my next rule.

Rule 5: If you’ve already washed your hands, just leave. Don’t sit in front of the mirror and pop your zits or check out how big your butt looks in the mirror. Do your bathroom mate a favor and leave, because there is a 73% chance they are holding their biz-nass in until you leave, and sometimes waiting just builds unnecessary anger and pressure, and really, no one wants that.

I realize these rules are very different for guys, because their bathrooms are different and scary and weird. After consulting my husband, he told me that the only significant rule that truly applied to the men was number 3. So I’ll re-state that one: guys, if you are straight, and want people to continue to think you are, do not choose a urinal next to someone if you could pick another. Because even if you have a girlfriend, or are an uber manly man who wears lumberjack shirts and gets muddy playing football, no one will ever believe you are hetero again - even if you have so much testosterone you require thrice a day shaves.
And don’t look over, either. That’s creepy.

Okay, well, I think this concludes this painful but necessary instructional. I really, really hope I don’t have to do another post on bathroom etiquette. But after someone told me they liked my shoes, I decided enough was enough. Here, as in life, the golden rule applies:

Do unto others as you would have done unto you. In the bathroom.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Carousels and Thieves

Today Missa and I took Cade to the mall, because it's still too cold to take him outside, and he was desperate to get out of the house. He kept mournfully saying, "buh-bye, buh-bye," because he was so bored. So after a delish lunch at Subway, we rode the carousel, which he loved, he couldn't stop laughing the whole time, telling everyone around, "Hosies! Hosies!" He's just learning his animals now, and I was pleased he knew they were horses, because he usually calls any mammal on four legs bigger than a cat a cow. So here's a couple pics:

Afterward we did a bit of shopping, and this is a pic of the glasses he stole from Buckle. I swear, if I were a thief, my kid would be the best crime partner ever. He's stolen countless things that I've had to return, including these glasses today, which were so hot. I totally wanted them, but decided to choose the right, yo, and return them.

So I'd say it was quite the fun day. I got my nails filled. and spending time with my niece Marissa (Missa, as Cade says) is so much fun. Sometimes I think she feels obligated to be my friend because we're family, but I work hard to stay up on the "cool trends" the kids are doing these days so that I fit in. :) And I think I achieved that with the hat today, yes?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Lots 'O Things I'm Sure You're All Dying to Know

Shannon posted this on her blog, and for lack of any better ideas to blog about today, I decided this one was a winner:


1. Ten years ago I was 13, and in the midst of my sad, pubescent implosion into “womanhood.” (Yuck I hate that word.) So I’d say one of the things I was “doing” was being extremely depressed about the way I looked. I was a head or two taller than the girls and boys in the rest of my class, I rarely did my hair, and I wore big baggy sweaters all the time. My eyebrows looked like giant shrubbery on my face, for I did not yet know that tweezers had been invented. And I had braces. And no sense of style. And really, I could go on.
2. Though I’ve always loved reading and writing, my knack for writing began to develop then. My English teacher treated me like a little prodigy, which I loved, because in no other way, shape, or form could I ever be considered anything remotely like a prodigy. I always got the highest grades and scores, and it was her attention to me and her coaching and probing me to be different, and to try new things, that really helped inspire me to begin writing, and more importantly, believing that I could write.
3. Having no boobs.
4. Sleeping everyday. Thus began the loooooong years of my depression.
5. In junior high, I played basketball, volleyball, and ran cross country. I was even voted athlete of the year, which is still one of my crowning glories. If they had given me a plaque, it would indeed be hanging on my wall. Above my mantle, where everyone can see it, of course.


1. Five years ago…I was 18. So, I was definitely “doing” my eating disorder. Fo shizzle.
2. I was working at my brother’s deli. Taking orders for turkey sandwiches and toast with grape jelly was, I found, my forte.
3. Having no boobs.
4. Having no friends.
5. Living with my aunt and uncle, which turned out to be a train wreck. Worse than a train wreck. Exponentially worse than a train wreck.


1. Getting out of treatment for the third (and final, I swear) time.
2. Beginning to work for my current employer, Molina Healthcare of Utah. If you’re poor and qualify for Medicaid, then we’re the boom diggity. Call me.
3. Getting boobs.
4. Being a mom to the coolest. Kid. Ever.
5. Beginning to recover from Ed, who is Satan in a clown costume. I've provided a picture for reference.


1. Popsicles. I have a fever, and the only prescription is more popsicles!
2. Red Robin fries with their super duper secret recipe fry sauce. Which, incidentally, is Mayo, ketchup, and BBQ sauce.
3. Cereal. I love Golden Puffs, except (and this is really personal) it makes my pee smell like the cereal. I pee Golden Puffs.
4. Care Bears fruit snacks. It has to be Care Bears. They’re so joyful and attractive and fruity.
5. Peanut Butter M&M’s. Cade and I get in fights over them because he always hogs the bag.


1. I went and saw my new PCP, Dr What’s His Name, who, incidentally, is the most glorious piece of manhood God has ever placed on this earth. Except my husband, of course. I sauntered into my appt with a nasty pony-tail and baggy clothes and no makeup with my glasses on, I was a tad mortified. Because, even though I’m married, we all know that no guy makes passes on girls who wear glasses.
2. Shopped for my new bike. It’s a Hello Kitty retro cruiser, and it will be in my greedy little clutches very soon. My doc said that I need to exercise more because my asthma is so bad, and it’ll strengthen my lungs or something, and I tried to argue with him, telling him on Saturday when I tried to take Cade on a walk, like a good mama ought to, I ended up wheezing my guts out at Fashion Place Mall, nearly passing out from lack of oxygen. Funny, I know. But he said it’ll make them big and strong In the long run, so I’ve decided the only way I can ever enjoy exercising it to get a bike that is a) pink and b) Hello Kitty. I’ll get a baby seat for the back, and Cade and I will cruise around the town all pimped out in pink and hotness.
3. Went to work and worked so. Hard. I’m an asset to this company.
4. Got in a mini fight with Cade due to the aforementioned hogging of the PB M&M”s. I’m so mature.
5. Blogged, of course.


1. My first job was working at a movie theater selling tickets and concessions. The assistant manager was a freaky little pervert who would drop his pens so he could watch me bend over to pick them up.
2. I worked at Hair Diamonds selling those fake hair pieces that you clipped into your pony tail. Oh how I detested this job with a passion. A fiery passion.
3. Slaving away at the deli as I’ve already mentioned.
4. I gave facials and makeovers at Origins. I especially despised this job because my manager once asked me if her artist boyfriend could paint me nude, then use me as a tattoo. Except, he wanted to give me elf ears. Not like the Christmas elves, like the elves of middle earth. Apparently that was a compliment.
5. Where I currently work at Molina, doing contracting work.


1. The Office. Michael, Dwight, Pam, Jim. These characters will be immortal.
2. America’s Next Top Model. I love it. I can’t help it. It’s so fun to watch the contestants compete, and think, “Ooh! I’ve done that!” or “You couldn’t pay me any amount of money to make a fool out of myself the way they are.” I get so into it.
3. I just discovered this new show on A&E called Intervention. They film documentaries on people who struggle with various addictions, but the people don’t know that their family is staging an intervention to get them to go into treatment. I just watched one about a girl who was spending $150 a day on Heroin and Cocaine. It was cool.
4. Project Runway. Heidi Klum’s German accent is so cool, and I love it when she says “Alls Weiner sheen” to the contestants when they’re kicked off. And I like the clothes and crazy gay designers.
5. Okay, let’s be honest. I’m a sucker for any reality show, almost. Watching your average American make a fool of themselves on national television never ceases to be inspiring to me.


1. Pay off our student loans.
2. Get surgery on my arm to get rid of my scars.
3. Buy a house.
4. Buy happiness, of course.
5. Shop and shop some more.


1. Changing Cade’s thrice a day diarrheas.
2. Getting my hands wet or dirty.
3. Putting on lotion.
4. Obligation and/or pity sex.
5. Weighing myself.


1. My man-child and my man.
2. My friends. Where would I be without you crazy bi-otches?!

3. Reading and writing.
4. I’m wild for my cats. I can’t help it.
5. Recovering from Ed. I’d say that gives me lots and lots ‘o joy.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Can We Have An Honesty Moment?

So, the last time I flipped my hair out, I was, I think, like a Sophomore in high school? Or maybe...I dunno, it was actually sixth grade. Or second. I think.

So, I was bored yesterday, and decided to give it a shot. It made me look ten years younger, which isn't really a good idea when you're only 23. What say ye? Should I leave this style in the '60's where it belongs, or should I bring sexy back with it?

I thought I'd post a picture of my twin hermano y yo. I made him pose for the shot yesterday at work, and it's not a very good one of us, because he was embarrassed and just wanted to get it over with before anyone saw us. Understandable, I guess. He's such a guy. And yes I mean that in an insulting way.
Man, I dunno folks. Not sure I can do the flip up thing anymore. It's weird. Like watching a dog walk on its hind-legs. And every time I see something like that, it gives me the willies, just like looking at this photo. Sad.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hairy Jowls

You might want to run for cover! It's another post about my cats...

Dev and I took these pictures actually a couple weeks ago, but I was looking at them on Facebook today and they gave me a laugh, so I thought I'd post them.

My cat Hairy is, honestly, like the furriest thing I've ever had to deal with. When she grooms herself, I feel so sorry for her because she gets so overwhelmed with her over-abundance of fur. Once, while she was grooming, I saw fur sticking out of her mouth, so I pulled it, and I gave myself chills deep within my body, because she started gagging and this huge glop of fur came out of her throat! I screamed. Sometimes I still think I can never be clean again.

So back to her jowls. She's got them. Only it's not loose skin or fat, it's fur. Coming out of her armpits, to be exact. So a couple weeks ago Dev and I decided she needed a trim, and she looks nice, really - I cut it in layers so she looks uber stylish. Furry jowls, begone!

I wanted to cut more fur off, but Dev said I would compromise the very essence that is Hairy, or something, so I finally conceded in defeat when she refused to give me back the scissors. But still. All in all, I'd say it was a successful trim. If anyone needs a haircut, lemme know.

Oh, and PS: My coworker just made a comment on how huge Hairy looks, and I kind of got offended. She's not fat. She's just...really, really fluffy. Besides, the camera adds ten pounds. So please do not judge my sans-jowls baby girl!

From Behind Bars, Conclusion

I must admit folks, I’m a little sad to be ending my chronicle on the shenanigans of inpatient girls with eating disorders. I got a bit more attached to writing it than I had originally anticipated. Thanks to the few of you who suggested I write this, it’s been so fun.

I’ve decided that this account will never end. It’ll kind of be like The Never Ending Story, minus the mythical creatures (and the fact that, you know, the Never Ending Story did end). I won’t write a new chapter daily, but I’ve had a few alumni from CFC point out to me that I missed so many delicious things to talk about! What about the infamous unit freezes when someone pukes and won’t fess up to it? What about yoga, and nutrition class, and crazy Art With Andy?! I could talk about the backpacking trip we went on, and how one girl refused to eat and bet Dr B a hundred bucks that she hadn’t lost weight, and when she was right and he wasn’t, he totally paid her?! Music listening…choir…RAD…Saturday afternoon outings…Friday night snack…phase advancements and going into Staffing…caution status…ah, there’s too many good things to conclude for good! So I will write more. And I hope ya’ll will enjoy it as much as I will.

If anything, writing this crazy epic of monstrous proportions has totally reminded me not only of how much I coughhatecough inpatient treatment, but it’s also reminded me that I had some fun and silly times while locked up and made some irreplaceable friends. It’s also served as a friendly warning to never, ever go back in. RECOVERY NOW (because I like hot dogs, and, you know, living)!!!

If any of you have more ideas to write about, please send them my way.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

From Behind Bars, Part XI, On Evening Snack and Music Therapy

Evening snack was always something that could be easily pulled out of a box or a wrapper because the cook’s went home after dinner, so it was something that didn’t require really any cooking or time. That, of course, meant that it was usually a bakery item, or maybe popsicles. If you’re thinking the fruity kind of popsicles, you’re sadly mistaken. I once had to eat two Haagen Daz chocolate ice cream bars AND a fruity popsicle in fifteen minutes. I had like the worst brain freeze ever. The only thing that gets me through evening snack is that it’s almost time for bed, and this means that I won’t have to eat anything else that day and can go to sleep and preferably die or have something equally horrible happen during the night so that I won’t have to wake up to face another day of weight gain. It didn’t work out as I planned, but I still prayed to burst into spontaneous combustion or get abducted or something so that I wouldn’t have to wake up in my sad prison. And obviously, nothing paranormal happened, other than my fast and significant weight gain. But, you know, I’m over it. Obviously.

Our last group of the night was music therapy (or, at least, it’s the group I’m going to talk about on this lovely afternoon). I usually loved music therapy. The therapist leading the group was an absolute sweetheart, and aside from being a wee bit too thin, I was a complete and total fan of hers. But for the purposes of this series, I am going to write about an incredibly painful music therapy session that we had to participate in once every six weeks or so: karaoke. And yes, you heard me right. Karaoke.

I am not a singer, just as I illustrated in my previous chapter that I am not a dancer. God left me sadly bereft of these two talents – or any, really.

So, picture this: On my first, yes, first day of treatment during my second stay, Karaoke Torture Night happened to fall on the same day as my admittance. I was sick – really, really sick. I had been in the hospital the entire week prior, so I was weak and slightly homicidal and a tinge yellow. Really, I was. Yellow I mean. It was weird. So I’m in no mood to go to any therapy, let alone friggin’ karaoke.

So, the music therapist’s only rule for this sacred ritual was that you had, absolutely had to sing. Naturally, I thought I was the exception to this rule, so didn’t bother choosing a song, like all the other girls who were huddled around the CD’s choosing the shortest song, or at the very least trying to avoid a painfully high soprano song. So at the end of the group, after everyone’s already sung, there’s me. And everyone’s waiting for me to sing. I keep stubbornly thinking to myself that I’m not going to give in, that I’m going to stick to my guns (albeit small ones) and not sing. Yeah, didn’t work. So I get up, and I’m singing a song by No Doubt, Hella Good. Have you ever heard this song? It contradicted every single thing I was feeling and thinking that night:

You got me feeling hella good
So let's just keep on dancing
You hold me like you should
So I'm gonna keep on dancing keep on dancing

A performance deserving of standing ovations
And who would have thought it'd be the two of us
So don't wake me if I'm dreaming'
Cause I'm in the mood come on and give it up

I’m feeling Hella Good so I’m going to keep on dancing? Um, I don’t think so. A performance deserving of standing ovations? Yeah, why don’t you just call me Beyonce or Shakira and we’ll call it good? Yeah, right.

So, needless to say, the experience was mortifying. More than mortifying, actually, but I can think of no other adequate synonyms to describe my experience. As soon as the whole fiasco was over, I was desperate to find a corner so that I could promptly sit in it and begin rocking like an overgrown autistic child. But CFC doesn’t allow rocking. I checked.

Apparently this exercise was to to help us get over our anxiety and our fear of life or whatever, but the only thing it gave me was a fear of another six weeks rolling around so that I’d have to do it all over again. Once I had to endure a girl singing a song from Phantom of the Opera, and she was not an opera singer. Or a singer, period. So, I mean, it was interesting. Just as Rachel’s sole motivation to recover is so that she’ll never have to go back to treatment to do Nia, (Recovery now! Nia never!) my motivation is to recover so that I’ll never have to unleash my vocal styling’s on innocent bystanders ever again. I’m sure you’ve all seen My Best Friend’s Wedding, yes? Well, Cameron Diaz’s singing was almost (but not quite) as bad as mine. And that’s the truth.

Okay, okay. I said this was the last chapter, but I have a bit more to say, so I’ll conclude tomorrow.

Monday, March 3, 2008

My Nervous Smile

Yesterday at church, I was called to be a teacher in the Relief Society. When the bishop called me to the position, he asked me to stand in front of the entire congregation. I was none too pleased about this. I was sitting in the very back row, so once I stood, over fifty people turned their heads and craned their necks to get a good look at me. I panicked. Tried to smile. Didn't quite make it. I unfortunately whipped out my nervous smile, which has been known to injure and/or trauma many. Behold:

Most of them looked at me in horror, as if I were standing in front of them naked. Under flourescent lights. I was trying to make myself stop, I really was. But I couldn't. I've thoroughly humiliated myself, but on the plus side; I now have something new to talk about in therapy.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

From Behind Bars, Part X, On Mail Time and Nia

Mail time was always my favorite part of the day, because I was able to have contact with the outside world. It reminded me that there were sane people in the world who weren't hell-bent on destroying themselves, which was always cheering.

I wasn't a big cryer while in treatment, but getting letters from my family always made me cry, because it was one of the only times I allowed myself to think about how much I really missed them. Leaving my son last year was especially difficult, and that's putting it lightly. It was the worst thing I've ever done. To him and to myself. Man I suck.

With each stay in treatment, I received less and less mail, which was always more than a little disheartening. My mom faithfully wrote me, but my siblings, by my third round of treatment, didn't really bother. This, of course, bugged me a lot, but who can blame them? I suppose it'd be tough to have a sister who they never thought would get better. Brandon (the husband) wasn't always the best letter writer, either. He faithfully came to visit me every week, and we talked on the phone twice a week, but letter writing wasn't one of his strong points. I tried not to be offended by this. I remember once I even wrote him a completely scandalous letter that was pretty much porn, seeing if I could get a response. I did, but not the written one I was hoping for...

After mail time is over, it was time to get ready for Nia. Oh, Nia. How I hated this with a fiery passion. Really I had a special hatred I reserved just for this crazy, modern, eclectic dancing the CFC called therapeutic.

I always loved the first month or so of treatment, because I didn't have to go to Nia. This was because I wasn't exercise approved because my heart or electrolytes were out of wack or whatever. But as soon as I was healthy enough, (I took this to be fat enough) going to Nia was mandatory.

Thus began the longest hour and a half of the entire week. We'd go down the exercise room, wearing shorts and gym shirts and feeling fat and insecure. Many girls loved Nia. I could never get into it. I wasn't about getting "in touch" with my body and depicting my pain and rage or whatever through dance and movement.

Cue weird, creepy music, and it was time to start moving. Our exercise routines included things like making clouds and hearts with hand gestures, marching around like robots, leaping around with scarves, holding hands and running in circles, and doing tribal incantations.

I could never keep a straight face, and always tried desperately to claim the back corner of the room before another self-conscious freak did. I was never more painfully aware of how tall and fat (I thought, at least) I was than when I was leaping around like a monkey, all arms and legs in all their lurpy glory.

The over-exercisers loved Nia, and would always go above and beyond the routine to burn the maximum amount of calories possible, while I, on the other side of the spectrum, tried my damndest to move as little as possible, which mainly consisted of me looking at the floor with my arms crossed and shuffling my feet.

Nia was excruciating. Worse than excruciating. The one positive thing about it, however; was that often I was able to sufficiently work off enough food in my stomach that I wasn't so full I would burst by evening snack.
Because it was next on the schedule.

One more chapter, folks, and this crazy epic will be complete! I wonder if it is you or I that is more thrilled about this? It's debatable, I'm sure.