Friday, July 31, 2009

one MILLION giraffes

This guy made a bet with his friends that he could collect 1 million hand-drawn giraffes by 2011.
For more info check out this link:

Note! All giraffes must be hand-drawn, but they can be delivered in various ways (Twitter, mms, snailmail, facebook and so on).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's a Man's World

James Brown said it best. Ugh. Completely disgusted with the world today. It seems like everyone I care about is going through something awful.
First I want to let you know that I am going to be using code names for almost everyone on this blog excepting Jeff and maybe some of my family. I got this idea from the amazing Motorboat McKnickers whose blog is an inspiration and a joy to read.
So I'll begin with my Mom, whom I affectionately refer to as Mamala because I'm secretly an old Jewish lady, who underwent surgery today. It was elective surgery for a breast reduction, and she's fine and will be home tomorrow morning, but it got me to thinking about how breasts, when you don't want them, just seem to ruin everything. It makes me sad that my mom has hated her breasts all her life. They inhibited her as an athlete and garnered her unwanted attention. (When you have big breasts, people often make unflattering assumptions about your character. It's fucking annoying.) My mom has wanted a breast reduction for thirty years. I don't blame her for wanting the surgery, as I have struggled my whole life to find clothes that will fit me in the bust, especially dresses, that don't make me look any bigger than I already am. But I think she hates her breasts because of how other people, particularly men, made her feel about them. Even when it's your own body, you still feel like it belongs to other people. The fact that she looked at a part of herself, one of the fundamental parts of her anatomy that connected her to her womanhood and motherhood, and viscerally hated it makes me really sad. I am proud of her for getting the surgery despite what I have to assume was my father's reticence. Also, here's to looking at breast reduction surgery in thirty years.
I have this friend, I'll call her Ditto because we so often feel the same about so many things, who has been going through a lot for the last year. We've grown even closer in the last few months while she basically has had to start her life over. I grew worried when she told me about this guy she was seeing because he was demonstrating some sketchy behavior. I didn't want to see her get hurt, again, and I was afraid that she was putting her own happiness second to pursuing a relationship with this guy. For every sketchy thing that happened there was some explanation for why it wasn't his fault, it was out of his control blah blah blah. The thing about really good liars is that they create enough doubt to where you can't bust them outright but you know something isn't right. This makes you feel like shit too, as you start to doubt your own instincts, and they turn it around on you for not trusting them. Anyway, it turns out he was playing her, as she found out. Oh, and he was cheating with a friend of hers, who confessed last night What an asshat. I'm glad she's getting out of this compromised and clearly damaging relationship, what sucks is that this guy may have permanently affected her ability to trust men.
All this to say, I'm really glad I have a husband who accepts me for who I am and whom I can trust completely. I hope that if we have a daughter, we can instill in her a sense of worth and self esteem enough so she can grow up to love herself enough not to settle for someone who makes her question her own instincts, and who loves her body just the way it is.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back to the Gym

It has been an embarrassingly long time since I have gone to the gym; somewhere around 6 months. Yikes. And considering I pay $50 every month to these people you'd think I'd be more motivated to go. And yet.
But today I went back, and I definitely FEEL it. It was weird, on our way there I got really anxious and moody and
was yelling at Bagel for really stupid stuff. I realized later that I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do it, mostly due to a shoulder injury I have sustained somehow in the last year. Not to mention that I have gained a lot of weight and I felt self conscious and enormous. Jeff eventually looked over at me and said, "Oh, I know why, it's your medication." That's probably a factor too, as I have been short tempered and downright mean for the last few days. It is after all, a version of the hormone found in birth control and that junk makes me go to Crazy Town. I was on BC for about 4 years and I will never forget what it felt lie to come off of it, it was this huge relief as I wasn't strung out and emotional and most of all angry all the time. God I hope this medication starts to kick my ovulation in to overdrive soon as I am going to hate being on this stuff for very long.
Anyway, We did about a half hour of strength training and my arms are definitely not nearly as strong as they were a year ago. My left knee was not feeling so hot either and I'm really going to have to baby it. My thigh and hip workout is still awesome, however, as I can still do both with multiple sets moving 200 pounds of weights. It's insane how strong my thighs are compared to the rest of my body.
After that I went and swam, but I had to wait for a lane as only one lane was marked off and there were already three people in the pool. As a Whaley I can not walk, run (ha), or swim in a straight line, so I thought I'd just wait until it cleared up a bit. I hung our in the jacuzzi until the pool cleared up and then got about ten laps done before we left. I would have liked to swim more laps but I will work up slowly, I suppose. I remember when I used to swim 100 laps or more 4 times a week. Sigh. As a bonus they had free sushi samples from the swanky place next door, Mura, and it was like the best thing I had ever eaten. It was like beach food, so good because you are so tired and hungry from swimming and being in the sun all day.
I'm so glad Bagel is cooking dinner tonight as my shoulders are killing me. Red snapper tacos and black bean and corn salad!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Calorie Counters are Annoying

I didn't make it to the gym today due to not falling asleep until 7 this morning. This insomnia is for the birds. I did, however, keep track of the nutritional information for everything I ate today. And it was a HUGE pain in the ass. If anyone knows of a good calorie counter on the interwebs, let me know.I also started an experiment in cooking that comes from the folks at They give you a grocery list with fewer than 30 items and then you have the goods to make 5 low fat, low calorie, healthy dnners. So far they have twelve weeks of dinners. I am starting at week one.
Tonight I made Teriyaki turkey burgers (flavored with a homemade cajun spice mix, garlic powder, black pepper and Trader Joes Soyaki sauce.) They included some awesome sauted onions that carmelized using only cooking spray. Surprisingly delicious. I also made my new favorite side dish, Archer Farms Butternut Squash Risotto (only 5 grams of fat for half a package) and some broccoli sauted in a little chicken broth and flavored with garlic, Siracha and a
little of the Soyaki.
If all the recipes are this easy and delicious this should prove to be a good tool for fattening up my recipe book while hopefully slimming down my ass.
Also found this beauty:

Oh! That's the way you do it!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

So. The Wait Begins

Deep breath, shallow exhale, pale shaking hands, heart beating in my throat: I'm really doing this? I mean we're really doing this? We're going to try to get pregnant?
Well, it's not that simple. That's why I'm doing this, writing this blog. The truth is I'm more scared of not getting pregnant than getting pregnant. But honestly, getting pregnant is pretty terrifying too. I mean, you spend your whole sexual life trying not to get pregnant, then you suddenly throw all that worry out the window? It's hard to retool one's hard wiring if you know what I mean. This is a pic of me and my husband Jeff taken a few weeks ago. He is very happy that we are retooling the wiring.

What do you need to know?I'm 31 years old, I'm on my last year of school for two undergraduate degrees in English and Sociology, I've been married for less than a year, I most likely have PCOS , a leading cause of infertility. This could be exacerbated or caused by the fact that I am overweight and have struggled with my weight for years. I recently changed OBGYN's because the one I kind of went to for the last 15 years was a total jerk and it took three months to get an appointment with her. If I had any kind of female
emergency I always had to go to Planned Parenthood. I love Planned Parenthood and I support them in all the good work they do but I once saw a doctor there who couldn't find my cervix. I'm not kidding.
I have a lot against me at the outset of this adventure. I have never had regular periods and this led to a diagnosis by the jerky former OBGYN of at least one faulty ovary.
She also told me my uterus is tilted , just like Verona in Away We Go. Mine, however, is not a secret.
I'm now seeing a very nice and very optimistic Nurse Practitioner. Our plan for the next three months is to get me ovulating again, and to lose 15-20 lbs. The plan is thus thrice pronged, a Neptune's trident of a plan, if you will: I will go on a low fat diet; I will return to the gym; and I start taking Medroxyprogesterone, for which the Wikipedia page I just linked to scares me a little bit.
So. Why this blog?
At the beginning of Seamus Heaney's gorgeous and sui generis translation of Beowulf, (Beowulf, who also battles three antagonists by the by), Heaney begins this unbelievable epic poem with a simple word that changes the entire telling: he begins it "So." A deep breath, shallow exhale, pale shaking hands, heart beating in your throat kind of beginning, the kind reserved for the greatest adventures, the most frightening journeys, the most rewarding outcomes.
This blog will be the narrative of my adventure, this post is like my "So".
What can you expect? Well, outside the fact that I have NO IDEA
what this will be like, I think I'll be telling you about trying to lose weight, and trying to eat well, and whether my periods start coming back and if my ovaries work or not. I will be telling you what the Doctors say, what my husband says, what my family says, and what I feel. I think I'll be telling you what the wait is like, to find out if I can have a baby, and if I can have a baby, what the wait for him/ her to be born will be like. It's about the weight, and the wait, and the next wait, and then hopefully it will be about baby weight.
EB White said in Charlotte's Web that "Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch". I think this is true, and I hope to take some of the magic and anxiety that accompanies what's happening next and spend it here. I hope you come wait with me.