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exercise, weight, Carnie Wilson and me.

May 13th, 2012

Meanwhile, at the haunted rink

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

i kinda love that picture. Happy Mother’s Day, to you mothers out there ;)

I thought today I would write about a subject that’s near and dear to Americans: morbid obesity. Oh, wait… we like our french fries and beer in this country, so very, very, much. Along with our weight loss surgeries. So is weight truly an issue that can be described as “near and dear” to us? Discuss amongst yourselves — I have reality TV to move along to.

I’ve been working out pretty much every day for a long time now. Months? A year? Who knows. I walk on the treadmill and do yoga, mainly. Go for hikes and walks with Steve and the kids, and sometimes make it to the rec center for aqua aerobics. (Zumba! Shake those ta-ta’s, ladies…) I tivo a lot of stuff, but I still run out of crap to watch. Which is why I ended up watching the new TV Guide (?) reality show, “Wilson Phillips, Still Holding On.” Carnie Wilson (daughter of Beach Boy Brian) hates exercise, she sez. Carnie and her sister Wendy Wilson, and Chynna Phillips (daughter of Michelle and John, Mamas & the Papas) are always in a fight. They have their children to raise, their husbands to try to pressure into getting vasectomies, and also? They live in California. It is stressful there, apparently, with all the driving and birthday parties.

Plus they’re trying to make a comeback, and they’re all in their 40s now.

Girls, I feel ya. So Carnie decides to get another weight reduction surgery done, even tho she’s already gained back 2/3rds of the weight she lost with the last one. Girl, i don’t feel ya on this one, but que sera, sera. Just go for some long walks; it’s easier. I’m not into running — i blew out the ACL on my right knee, skiing, and it hurts when i run. It also hurts when i have extra weight on my bod. But unlike Carnie, i f*&@!ng hate surgeons, doctors, hospitals, and i think i would have to be unconscious and toted there before you’ll get me near one again.

it must be tough when weight is something you’ve struggled with your whole life. Chynna Phillips was being quite rude and giggling about going to visit Carnie at the “fat farm” when they were kids. With “sisters” like that, who needs enemies?

i was lucky enough to not experience being a heavy kid. also lucky to have two skinny parents, who ate right, exercised because they liked to move around, and weren’t weirdos about food. I’ve never been more than 30 pounds overweight, and by American standards, I’m svelte. Ha. American standards need to be revised. Thirty extra pounds is uncomfortable. Two extra pounds is uncomfortable. I’ve lost about 20, gained back 6, whatever. I love sugar, and if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know i love to bake, especially when i’m stressed out. Chocolate therapy.

i danced as a kid, always rode my bike, hiked, backpacked, swam, have done yoga since I was 17. i’m not a jock, but i like to move. Even so, it was hard for me to get enough exercise because i was having health problems and the kids were little. We lived in a cruddy neighborhood before, and i had all these visions of taking the kids and dog out for walks and oh! lovely exercise! Yeah. That worked until the dog kept getting attacked by shepherds, pit bulls, boxers and various other doggie fiends. I had a pit bull lunge at me once when i was alone and just about had a heart attack. The neighborhood was polluted (lots of industrial traffic) and my asthma sucked and it was a total hassle to get to the gym because 1) we didn’t have a lot of extra income to pay for a membership and 2) while everyone was pretty happy to dump their kids on me, no one seemed all that keen on babysitting my kids. Even though, hello, my kids are mellow and your kid just trashed my house are you f&@!#ng kidding me?

But i digress.

i was scrawny for years — 5’10” by the time I was 15. I remember walking home from school (theme in my life ;) I’ve always walked a lot) and having my hip pop right out of the socket. I took my hand and popped it smack back in and kept walking. Ouch. That happened more than once. I was growing so fast, everything was loose and limber. I’ve had thyroid problems (hypo and hyper, so alternating between being exhausted/unable to sleep, restless/listless and go-go-go). I didn’t realize my calcium and potassium were messed up because my doctors were quacks and no one bothered to refer me to a specialist. I didn’t even know what an endocrinologist was until years later. I had my throat cut the first time when i was 14. I had my throat cut for the 2nd (and hopefully, last) time when I was 27. i had my tonsils out when i was 6, c-sections when the babies were born (they were both 10-pounders) and had a long-needed hysterectomy a few years ago. Along the way i had to have a bunch of “procedures” and “bloodwork” and “tests for cancer” (i’m good, thanks) and all kinds of other invasive shit.

so let’s stop for a moment to ponder all that. I hate the health stuff.

But you know what hurt the most? My sister, screaming “You’re a fat f!@#$ng cow!” at me in my own kitchen. With my own kids right in the next room.

1) Am not fat f!@#$ng cow, thank you.
2) If someone is, you think they don’t already know that?
3) Not helpful, and kind of destroyed our relationship, along with some other crap.

So Chynna, that’s nice that you’re skinny and blonde and all, but sweetheart? Please don’t lord it over people. Work on the humility a little bit.

what has helped me (please talk to a doctor, though, i’m not a professional here):

1) drinking more water

2) getting enough sleep

3) the kids getting older, so I don’t have to arrange care for them in order to work out

4) having a treadmill in my office. I get up early sometimes, use it while i’m watching TV, or late at night, even, if i can’t sleep. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, a full hour, whatever. I go until I unwind.

5) working my yoga practice so it’s just mine. I can’t stand “competitive yoga” and haven’t done an inversion in years. I get dizzy, have extremely low blood pressure, and get embarrassed by how stiff I am. So i do a weigh-in on the scale in my bathroom and the Wii every day, do yoga and work-outs with the Wii and my favorite TV yoga teacher, Priscilla Patrick. I do it how much I want to, when I want to, and I customize it every day so it suits me.

6) I try to walk on the treadmill or out in the neighborhood for an hour a day, but if it’s less, who cares. If it’s more, that’s fine, too. All of this can be hard to start, but once i got into a routine i was okay. Now I know if i’m stressing out it’s cuz i need to stretch or go for a walk. Usually the endorphins kick in after 20 minutes or so, but damn. Sometimes it’s an hour! Then i think, That was a lot of stress to release, but it’s gone now.

7) eating right. my cousin taught me the “take 6” trick. She fills up a platter with pea pods, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, asparagus, whatever she wants. Makes a dip out of BBQ sauce and Thousand Island dressing and puts it in the middle, then tells my little cousins to take 6 pieces. It works and is really pretty to look at, too. I like protein shakes, but i don’t drink them every day. I try to have one meal a day that’s just a protein shake (with yogurt, fruit and lots of ice), OR soup (if it’s cream soup, a lot of calories, with a handful of croutons, no i do not care. (and sometimes it is just a simple bowl of vegetable soup, which has, what 40 calories? ha, and that’s fine, too) OR cereal (i’m like a 6-year-old about cereal) (non-fat milk) OR a salad. I’m not into bacon or bleu cheese dressing, but I do like chicken, or taco salads (plain yogurt, usually, instead of sour cream).

That works, if you just sub out a few meals. Don’t torture yourself, life is too short.

8) I stopped drinking any and all booze. I’m hypoglycemic, on verge of diabetes. The mixers and the white wine (with its sugar) were doing a lot of damage. I didn’t drink very much, and have always been a lightweight, but even that small amount was doing damage. I also was having a hard time working out because even 10 or 15 minutes would make me dizzy as hell and sick. Duh, it was low blood sugar, along with the damn low blood pressure. So now i stop and have yogurt, a banana, a rice cake or an orange, and that helps. Sometimes I just say forget it, eat a real meal and then work out half an hour later.

9) i feel good. mainly because anybody in my head, screaming at me? I imagine that I’m putting them, their words, their put-downs and all the rest, into a big manila envelope. I seal it shut, and in my head, walk it out to the trash and put it in there. Then I shut the lid. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Because you wouldn’t want to take something out of the trash and keep it, would you now? So the next time it starts to run through my head, I remind myself, Naw, that’s trashed, remember? It works, try it sometime.

Carnie, I love you.

— nancy

conversations with my kid

February 3rd, 2012

It’s true, what people say. The best time to catch up with your kid is right after school.

My 4th grader, yesterday afternoon: “The school counselor came in and we learned about segregation. Usually we just learn about bullying. We talked about why it’s not good to leave somebody out just because of… something. Some of us got stickers” (holds up his hand and shows me the sticker that’s plastered to it).

“Yeah, they’re scratch n sniff, they smell like Play-Doh. Then the kids got asked, How did you feel about that? And they were all, Oh, it was really bad, it was unfair. But really, they were lying. They were glad they got stickers and the other kids didn’t.”

me: “Do you think the lesson was maybe because of Black History Month?”

kid: “Nope. And that’s how we got… Punxsutawney Phil!

And then we had a talk about Malcolm, and Dr. King.

me vs. the U.S. Post Office

January 23rd, 2012

Post Office for the win. Don’t gloat, USPS — I’ll be back next week for the re-match. Oh, yeah. Next time I’ll have my passport on me so you’d better watch out…

In the words of the nice lady from Goodwill: Mahalo, Aloha, Happy New Year and Have a Nice Day ;)

xo

wm

happy Sunday from Wacky House

January 22nd, 2012

Haystack rock

(photo by Steve Rawley)

Year of the Dragon begins tomorrow — Year of the Water Dragon, at that, I have been told by friends who keep track of these things.

“THE WATER DRAGON 1952 AND 2012

Water has a calming effect on the Dragon’s fearless temperament. Water allows the Dragon to re-direct its enthusiasm, and makes him more perceptive of others. These Dragons are better equipped to take a step back to re-evaluate a situation because they understand the art of patience and do not desire the spotlight like other Dragons. Therefore, they make smart decisions and are able to see eye-to-eye with other people. However, their actions can go wrong if they do not research or if they do not finish one project before starting another.”

xo

wm

from Zoot and Sarah and others…

December 30th, 2011

King Woogie takes a nap
(photo by Steve Rawley)

thanks for the writing prompt, y’all.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? Started working out every day.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I always pledge to get more writing done, and this year I did.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My girlfriend C! She had a little girl. Happy mama of four now. And K’s mommy had a little boy. Sweet babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes.

5. What countries did you visit? USA and that’s it. Would like to travel to Canada next year and check out Butchart Gardens.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? World peace. Again.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Hmmm — the kids’ birthdays, probably. And Steve’s and mine, too.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting my first novel published. Also I quit drinking. Christmas Eve made eight months for me. It feels really good, and we’re saving a load of money, too.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not going there.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No, knock wood.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Food.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My kids’. They make me proud every day.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? People who are in charge who should not be.

14. Where did most of your money go? House and food and utility bills. And gas.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Planting our first garden at the new house.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011? Probably “Forget You,” by Cee Lo Green.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier, for sure.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner.
c) richer or poorer? More content, that’s all I care about.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Played.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Cleaned house.

20. How did you spend Christmas? At home. It was peaceful and good, and we had good food to eat (in spite of a broken stove). For New Year’s Eve, we told the kids to invite their friends over for a kids-only party. Should be lively.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011? Man, I fall in love with Steve all over again every day. Thank God, cuz otherwise we’d throttle each other.

22. What were your favorite TV programs? Revenge, New Girl, Raising Hope, Glee

23. What was the best book you read? Whatever one I’m reading right now. Today, it’s Ruth Reichl’s memoir, “Garlic and Sapphires.” Funny and wicked.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Pop music! The kids have established full and complete musical domination over us.

25. What did you want and get? Love and time with Steve and the kids.

26. What did you want and not get? For all of my friends (and for me, too) to get (and keep) jobs. Also for everyone to stay healthy and for no one to die.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? The final Harry Potter.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 47. My family made me homemade ravioli and cake poppers, it was awesome. We celebrated at home, and we celebrated after the fact, but for some reason, this just made it more special. Awww…

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If it had worked out at my last job. But it didn’t. Next!

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Work-out attire, 101.

31. What kept you sane? Walking on my treadmill daily, doing yoga, meditating.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Occupy protesters.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? Occupy and everything they’re doing to give our country a shove in the right direction.

34. Who did you miss? (Same answer as Zoot’s) As always: My Dad. My friend Frank. And, for our entire community cuz we’re all missing him, Rob. Frank and Rob’s families are in my thoughts daily.

35. Who was the best new person you met? My friend A, who I hope to spend more time with in 2012.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. Drinking makes you depressed. Who knew? hahaha.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year you can’t get out of your head.

“All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you’d better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet.”

Cheerful, no? Music is a sign of the times, that’s all.

Happy Year of the Dragon, everyone.

— wm

Thursday Thirteen, Ed.#69: A Christmas Celebration, In Thirteen Parts

December 24th, 2011

Our Sorrowful Mother

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

(this originally ran Nov. 30, 2006. happy reading :) wm)

And now, for the Thursday Thirteen you’ve been waiting for: A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION, IN THIRTEEN PARTS:

1. Mom and I decide to take the kids to the Grotto, the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, for the 18th annual Festival of Lights. Petting zoo! Puppet show! Strolling carolers and people dressed like olden times, who ask you, “Do you know the way to Bethlehem?” (No, I don’t. But if you figure it out will you take me?)

2. I tell Mom I’ll buy her dinner first, c’mon, it’ll be fun. She is game. She tells me she’s never been to the upper level of the Grotto. I am floored by this. “IT IS SO COOL UP THERE!” I tell her. The kids: “CAN WE SEE IT? NOW, CAN WE? CAN WE TAKE THE ELEVATOR?” Me: “No, it’s dark. And there are cliffs. But next summer!” Also, I forget to bring donations for the food drive. Mom brought some stuff from her cupboard. And she insisted on buying us dinner. Wouldn’t let me pay for tickets to the festival, either. Moms are like this.

3. Both kids, shouting: “LOOK AT ALL THOSE LIGHTS! AND THE ANGELS, LIT UP! THERE ARE PEOPLE SINGING!” Followed by, “What are all those candles for?”

4. We go to the petting zoo, at Wacky Boy’s request. The volunteer gives us warnings: Don’t let the goats grab the whole ice cream cone full of feed out of our hands. Spin around if they try to. And around and around and around. Don’t give any to the alpaca. Or the horse. Or the rabbits. I lose track of all the instructions. We spin and spin. We are mauled by goats, anyway.

5. Wacky Girl: “HEY! I do remember this place!” (Good, since it’s the seventh time she’s been.) She and mom head off for the puppet show. She is the only one to call out the answer when the puppeteer asks the audience: “What does Feliz Navidad mean?” She is proud of this. She and Mom like the puppet show. Mom is wearing a cute hat, and her warm jacket. It’s not raining. Or snowing.

(more…)

singin’ and dancin’ their way into Christmas

December 23rd, 2011

http://youtu.be/NpC-dZpD7eI

http://youtu.be/kTQrNQm3yZQ

happy xmas from Terry Gilliam

December 22nd, 2011

Our Favorite Christmas Books

December 20th, 2011

I’m on vacation this week and next. Here is a column that originally ran Dec. 3, 2007.

enjoy! and happy 2012.

wm

I published the BEST round-up last year, or the year before, who knows. All of these holidays run together. It was our favorite Christmas books, and it was a thing of beauty.

Then I hit delete on what I thought was a DRAFT and no, it was not a DRAFT, it was the published version. And poof! No more round-up.

I’ll try again…

Hershey Kisses,

WM

The Best Christmas Books Ever:

Year of the Dragon, my year

December 12th, 2011

Camillia

(Photo by Steve Rawley.)

2012, coming up!

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