Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I do love the Spring

Originally posted 5/14/07 on my MySpace blog.

wow, that water must be cold
Originally uploaded by gkp.
Well, Happy Mother's Day to all y'all Moms! Hope you had a wonderful day filled with flowers and rainbows. Me, I hauled the family all the way to Greensboro for MD with my mom and in-laws, and I had a mostly wonderful day filled with Thai food (yum!) and clothes shopping (yay!) and people reminding me that they think I am fat (fuck you!)

In fact, I was going to post a rant about the fact that while I love the moms in my life, every time we get together, they conspire to remind me how fat I am. These are otherwise lovely women who somehow release the governor on their normally temperate mouths when it comes to my weight, either by carefully couching their statements in such interesting ways as "Well, you know, you could buy it in that size and hang it up on your wall as encouragement to lose weight!" or in more direct terms by looking pointedly at my stomach and stating, "You're pregnant, aren't you!"

Y'all, I know I am not skinny, but damn, I'm not fat either, at least not according to my BMI. And even if I was, isn't the point of family to love you the way that you are, especially when you respond to these 'encouragements' by calmly stating that you are very comfortable with your size and don't feel the need to lose weight (times two or three or ten?) What is the issue? I understand that these women are uncomfortable with their size in various ways (one has lost a good bit of weight recently, and the other has an eating disorder and is far too thin), but damn! Leave me alone. I'm not looking to inherit your neuroses.

I am a woman. I am not a girl anymore. My body is curvy and soft and downright pillowy in places, but that's okay with me. I am 5'8" and I weigh 158, and I have a rounded tummy instead of a six-pack. I will never wear a bikini. And I am perfectly happy with that. I don't need to be rail thin, or even taut like I once was. My body is strong- I can work all day in my yard digging holes and shoveling earth and making things grow. My body is nuturing- I can envelop my child in my soft arms and make things right with the world. My body is amazing- I grew a child there for nearly nine months, and pushed him out into the world so that I could continue love him.

And even if you have done none of those things, your body is amazing, too, in the fact that it propels you along, whether by your feet, or by wheels, or by your imagination- your mind and your heart continue to propel you along into this amazing journey of life- and who gives a damn if you don't look like the latest supermodel or movie star- so much the better! You look like only you can, and that in itself is amazing!

But I said I wasn't going to rant. My apologies.

It is Spring, time for new beginnings (pray for my second elderberry bush, for it is not looking happy), and old reconnections (Hey David! And Amy! Squeeeee! So excited to 'see' you again!) And, it's also the time for fucking outside. If you don't already know what I'm talking about, go here:

And listen to "First of May." And his other stuff, because it rocks. And hey, how many singer-songwriters do you know that can work the phrase "in flagrante delicto" into a song?

Love y'all!


for better and for worse

Originally posted 5/8/07 on my MySpace blog.

Originally uploaded by gkp.
I think everyone has one. That one person from your past that makes you feel something, emotionally, physically, every time you think about them, talk about them, see them. You can't help it- no matter how far you've grown past that relationship, you always get that feeling, that twinge, that urge, that dampness in the eyes, when you think about him/her too long, or maybe just at all.

I have that person, too. I thought that things would get easier in time- guess what- they didn't, not for me. Time only amplifies the feelings that I have.

I am a happily married woman, with a wonderful child that I love more than anything I've ever contemplated, and this old feeling is not due to a lacking in my current life. This feeling is deep seated, ingrained in my psyche, and impossible to rid myself of. And I'm not sure I would want to.

It's a reminder to me, a reminder of how fully, and deeply, and absolutely I loved, in a way that I honestly never will again. And that is not to say that I don't love my son, or my husband, because I do, deeply, and in ways that I could have never imagined just a few short years ago. But it is different. Not better, not worse, just different.

The younger me believed in love beyond all understanding, and passion, and soulmates, and fate. The older me still believes in all that stuff, but knows that it's much easier and much more sane to base a relationship on compatibility, and mutual admiration, and friendship, and plans. Neither is right and neither is wrong. The later love has a stable quality that makes me feel content and happy nearly every day for it. The younger love still alternately wrecks and fills my heart whenever I allow myself to think of it. And I feel very grateful for both.

dirt is my weed

Originally posted on my MySpace blog on 5/4/07.

i love nature
Originally uploaded by gkp.
I think I have found my new favorite mood enhancer. Just a little bit, and I feel relaxed, calm, and happy. A lot, and just a short while later, I feel blissed out, slightly sleepy, and completely starved...

Ummm, I love me some good, sweet, green-smelling dirt!

I used to be a big fan of that other wonderful, relaxing mood-enhancer colloquially known as Weed, Ganja, Chronic, MJ. Back in college, of course. When I worked in a restaurant. With a lot of nice country boys and girls with good connections. College age + service industry + nice country boys/girls = lovely, lovely memories.

But now, I am older, and I don't partake of the wacky weed anymore, for several reasons. Here are my top three:

1- I am much older now, and have less brain cells to spare. I need to hold on to as many of those bad boys as I can.

2- I am much older now, and have many more fat cells than necessary. I need to prevent as many of those bad boys as I can.

3- I am much older now, and have a child, and currently, no arrest record. And as much as I loved the Chronic, I love my Little Dude even more, and only have one of those to spare. And unfortunately, the green stuff is illegal, and I just can't chance that. Nope. No way.

But duuuuuuuuude, sometimes, when life gets hairy, and I need a pick me up that won't put me down in the dumps, I fantasize about it. Oh, I could use some of that. That happy, sweet, smiley feeling.

And then I found that feeling again- in the dirt!

Planting just one little plant, fingers deep in the dirt, hollowing out a place in a pot of soil, or working a hole in the ground, gives my that calm, happy feeling in spades. (Look, I made a gardening joke!) And the more plants or bulbs or seeds I have, the more that feeling multiplies, and wells up in me, and gets under my fingernails, and the feeling lasts for at least a day after- a much better rate of return than 30 minutes...well, maybe an hour or so if you got some really good shit...

If my young self could hear me now, she would take a swig of her beer, tuck her wavy blonde hair behind her ears, and eye me very suspiciously while reaching for her bong. She would note that she doesn't like keeping up with her laundry, and there is no way in hell that she'd enjoy trying to keep up with some damn plants, unless they're already picked, dried, and ready to smoke. And then she would laugh to think that she's gotten so square.

My older self listens, takes a swig of her beer, tucks her bushy red hair behind her ears, and eyes her with amusement. She notes that she still doesn't like keeping up with her laundry, but now she's able to keep up with a four year old, and hopefully, a few plants that have already given her as much, if not more peace, than that beloved 18 inch hand-blown glass bong. And then, she laughs too.

Let me tell you your fortune...

Originally posted on my MySpace blog on 4/27/07.

Hold on one second while I go get a cookie.

Since Jason has been laid up with a bum knee, I have been in charge of the cooking. Actually, I *should* say that ever since Jason has supposed to have been laid up with his bum knee, I have supposed to have been in charge of the cooking. The first day, I drove about 20 miles to get Chinese take out. The next day, I offered PB&J all around. The third day, Jason decided he was okay to stand up a couple of hours a day and cook. What a trooper.

Anyway, when I so valiantly hunted down the Chinese food, we received fortune cookies along with our meal. Our fortunes were eerily prescient:

Jason: Your good deeds are never forgotten.
It could only have been more appropriate if it said: Your good *cooking* is never forgotten.

Noah: A great pleasure in life is doing what others say you can't.
This one needs no explanation at all, as he is four years old.

Me: A chance meeting with someone from your past is in store.

Now, don't get me wrong- I have had some real happy chance meetings here, on Myspace of all places, with old friends and acquaintances I thought I would never get to see again, and I am so incredibly thrilled! And I can think of a few more old friends I would love to get in touch with again.

And then, I can think of some folks from my past that, well...should probably be left there, in the past, as memories.

So, my mind has been racing- who will it be? The old friend that I haven't seen or heard from since his wedding seven years ago? That would be awesome! One of the guys or gals that I used to work with at Granny's or PieWorks, way back in the day? Sweeeeet! The pretty boy I dated for a very brief time a few years back that told me I had "too many opinions"? Ewww. No. Not cool. (And dude, if you thought I had too many opinions back then, I would blow your tiny little brain into a thousand and one pieces now. Especially since you've probably fried those few remaining brain cells with that industrial strength bleach you used on your coif. But I'm not bitter.)

But thankfully, every single person that I have re-met in the past few years, the past few months even, has been an incredible experience for me. Previously, I thought Myspace was just for teenagers and child molesters, but thank goodness I learned differently.

So, if you could 're-meet' an old friend, lover, acquaintance, etc...who would you choose? And why? To rekindle and old friendship or love, to set things right, to say 'fuck you'? For myself, I can think of quite a few folks that fit the first two...but I can't really think of anyone I want to bless out. I've tried to be very forgiving towards anyone that might have slighted me, because Lord Knows, I have needed that forgiveness so many times in the past and will again before I die (Jason, baby, I am sorry I can't cook anything that doesn't involve a Bundt pan, pie crust, or cookie sheet! Please forgive me! Here's a Toll House cookie!) But that doesn't make it wrong for you... Feel free to take the time to scream "You go to hell, bitch! You go to hell and you die!" to that special someone in your mind. I'll wait.

There. Hope you feel better!

Now y'all go and have a wonderful weekend...I've got a glass of wine, a clear blue sky, and about 30 more minutes of Happy Friday!


updated 5/16/07: OMG, I called it- it *was* peeps from my PieWorks days! First the lovely Amy, and then her bro David! Sweeeeet!

choppin' broccoli

Originally posted on my MySpace blog on 4/25/07.

broccoli is hardy
Originally uploaded by gkp.
Today, while Jason was making lunch, I took a mini-work break. I work alone, in my bedroom/office, for 9 hours, 5 days a week. Yeah, I'm at home, but I act like I'm at work, so it's kinda like being in a cubicle, except there is no one to yell to over the gray fuzzy walls. It's a bit lonesome, so in addition to calling up my work buddies to chat a few times a week, I have tried to get in the habit of taking 10-15 minute breaks every couple of hours, like I would naturally in the space of talking to coworkers if I was actually at work. (Who am I kidding? I would take MORE breaks if I was at work! I am actually more productive now than I ever was in the office, due to the complete lack of distractions, made possible by a stay at home spouse whose full-time job is corralling the kid. I love you, Jason!)

Anyway, I smelled something really good wafting from the kitchen, so I got up to investigate. It was TVP Sloppy Joes, vegetarian baked beans, and baked french fries- yummy! (And coincidentally, this was exactly what I had told Jason I wanted to eat for lunch today the night before. Did I say I love you, honey?) Noah looked up from his toys and went in to check it out with me.

"What we having?" (Preschoolers aren't too concerned with 'helping' verbs most of the time.)

"Sloppy Joes."

(Yucky face) " I don't tink I like dat."

"Yes, you do, we've had them before."

"Well, they not healthy." (They are actually- we make them from TVP- texturized vegetable protein, which is made from soybeans and is so much more tasty than it sounds. It's also shelf-stable, so we can stock up when we go to the big city, and use as needed without worry that it will go bad, unlike any kind of meat. In any recipe that calls for ground beef, like taco filling, chili, sloppy joes, or meat sauce, you literally cannot tell the difference if it is cooked well. And Jason is an excellent cook. Yes, I am spoiled.)

Noah again- "We should haf broccoli. I want broccoli. Can we please haf some broccoli?"

I am not making this up. The kid loves broccoli. It is one of his favorite veggies. He also eats lentils, any kind of beans, hummus (another favorite, with 'piter' bread, of course), sugar snap peas, carrots, etc. I don't say this to gloat- I am as amazed as you may be. I think his love of veggies comes from our reluctance to fix him special meals, due to our own upbringings where you got what everyone else in the family was eating, and if you didn't like it, too bad- you don't have to eat it, but that's all there is. I'm totally not going to get into parenting issues here, because I think everyone should do what works for them, The End. I am not Supermom, and I ain't giving anyone advice, since frankly, I am unqualified.

But every time he says something like this, I am amazed and grateful that my kid loves veggies.

And when he's fifteen and wants nothing but cheeseburger, fine- he can buy his own damn food and learn how to cook. And fix Mom and Jason a cheeseburger while he's at it.

Turds are dog twinkies.

Originally posted on my mySpace blog on 4/20/07. And no, I didn't. I'm a mom now, and not *that* cool of a mom. Sorry. (Actually, no one is sorrier about that than me...)

*Headline courtesy of my husband, Jason, who noticed that our dog Sadie just loves those delightful treats that other dogs leave behind when they traipse through our yard.*

You know, while I was trying to type that, I accidentally typed,"Turds are god's twinkies." And that made me think, "Well, gee, that explains a lot about my life." As the mother of a four year old, the owner of a two year old dog, and the roommate of 2 ten year old cats (you are NEVER the owner of a cat- you are merely its roommate, as the cat will be happy to inform you), I've seen, cleaned, and unfortunately, handled, a *lot* of turds. But if turds are God's twinkies, then my friends, I have surely been blessed.

This week has been quite a whirlwind. Monday afternoon, I left for GSO to take my second professional exam, for which I felt terribly unprepared. Basically, we had to learn a textbook full of medical material on our own. Now I have taken many insurance industry self-study courses before, on every topic imaginable- customer service, regulatory rules, and supervisory skills, just to name a few. I have a long list of acronyms to show for it now- ACS, PCS, AIAA, AIRC, and the mother of them all, FLMI. But the exam I just took was very specific to my current job, and while I passed the first exam, on Risk Selection, last year (all the while feeling as if I failed), this exam was on...medical knowledge.

I deal with more than rudimentary medical knowledge every day as part of the risk selection process as an underwriter, but this textbook was off the hook detailwise. I have so many sources at my fingertips- I don't have to memorize much of this stuff, although it does get stuck in your head after you see it all the time. But seriously, this book went down to minute details. What did they expect us to know? Just an overview, or detailed shit like percentages and exact death rates?

The exam wasn't as bad as it could have been, but I still don't feel great about it. We'll see in about a month whether I passed. It's a paper exam that has to be graded. The good news is that it's not a job requirement- in fact, it's brownie points for me and my other colleagues just to try, as most people in our profession don't pursue professional certification. The bad news is that I tend to be a little Type A when it comes to my job, and always want to do the best possible work, and I will be SOOOO super embarrassed if I fail. Even though my boss is all, "That's ok if you fail- there's always next year. At least you tried." And I'm all, "Noooo!" inside my head, because I just know he will hold it against me, even though he said explicity that he could care less.

Which is really hilarious considering that I am a total non-Type A slob when it comes to my home life. No clean towels? Let's go to Wal-Mart!

Then, Wednesday afternoon, my husband wrenched his knee playing fetch with our dog Sadie. Not being a whiner, he stated that 'it wasn't that bad.' Until the next morning, when he could barely walk. I responded that he was going to the ER, stat. Many hours later, the docs determined that nothing was broken, it was probably a bad sprain, and sent him home with script strength Aleve. But we have to wait a week to know for sure, since our down home ER only has x-rays, not an MRI. And, here's the pisser, he has to stay mostly off of the knee for a whole week. You know what this means? I am in charge of cooking for the family until he is well. Lord help us. I hope they don't revolt after day 4 of faux chicken nuggets and/or fish sticks for lunch! I did order out (pick up 20 miles round trip, so it *was* an effort) Chinese today for meals. Hey, I had to work. And stuff. Now maybe y'all will believe me when I say Jason doesn't work for money, but oh boy, does he ever have a job.
But now that I am done with school and ordering food, I have time to do cool things like watch movies and read for pleasure. Yay!

And also peruse teh intarweb. You should, too. Especially these linkypoos:
OMG, LOL at dis websit. U cannot resist de cheezburger and catz.
I am a Pandora newb, but I love it. And now they are going to take it away from me! Just goes to show- Maybelline did the same thing with my beloved "Wine and Everything" lipstick, those mother fuckers. If you also love internet radio, go here:

And finally, linky goodness from my Google Reader that shows the complete non sequitur that is my brain:

My brain is a wonderland.
Love, Gabs

so I have this other blog...on MySpace...where this post came from...

originally posted 4/10/07 on my MySpace blog...shut up. Everyone's on MySpace these days. Really.

I should be asleep and stuff, but I've been studying liver disorders, cancer, and mental disorders all night, and I can't relax. So I'm having a glass of wine (which, according to my reading, will likely increase my risk of all of the above, the thought of which is further inhibiting my ability to decompress), and I thought I would tell you about my other blog.
I've been keeping this blog for about 2 years, and it's been an intermittent diary of sorts. I may have mentioned it to a couple of friends, but as far as I know, no one keeps up with it. And that's ok with me. I generally post things that I'm not comfortable talking about all the time, which to my mind can make it kinda boring, as those sort of topics tend to be my crazy family and my various nervous tics. But now I am sharing the love with you! So, if you aren't already bored to tears, here's a linky poo:

Warning: I have recycled some of the blogs from here, because I felt they captured really well the way I was feeling at the time, so there is some overlap. Because I am often lazy.
If you just can't get enough of me (hahahaha!), here's a link to my Flickr account:

I love taking photos, but I am a very amateur photographer, so please keep that in mind. I appreciate the input of more seasoned photographers or photography lovers, so please comment with constructive criticism if the mood strikes you.
There you go. I am going to study more on colon and rectal cancer now. I would hope that viewing my photostream is not quite that painful.