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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September 1

It's back in the saddle today. I've got a heating pad, ice coffee, a trusty ballpoint, two notebooks, Thom Gunn, a blank piece of paper, and an old quilt congregated on and around me. I am flu-ish, but I am determined to work. I am not quite all there when I am not writing. I want to take advantage of my last free Wednesday until the Christmas holidays. I want to have something to show at the end of this day.

Monday, August 30, 2010

an update


I have to admit that I looked forward to writing this post all week. I was rather fabulous, and wanted to tell you all about it. But I restrained myself. Until now.

A quick summary: I exercised for at least 30 minutes every day this week except Friday. I ate chocolate zucchini cake. But I also declined fat-free ice cream at my mother's house, because I realized that I didn't want any. I drank my tea without sugar for the first time in about a year. I ordered and enjoyed a small instead of a large hot chocolate at Transcend (where I have graduated to free drinks status, since Tim has started working there). I biked in the mist and rain, I biked in the middle of a bout of cramps, and I walked after work when I usually fall into a stupefied sleep. I tried to note the food I was eating and the time I took to exercise. I also laid out to tan my legs. I have never, ever in my adult (or teen/tween) life worn shorts outside long enough to get a tan. Am I going to become some strapping brown Amazon?

Thinking about this plan, and the goals I hope to achieve through it, I recognized with a shock of surprise that, four years later, I have finally learned to feed myself. All other future milestones aside, this is worthy of my celebration.

When I began recovering from bulimia, I felt sick every time I ate. I starved myself all day, then ate far too much, too quickly. Eating scared me, and being hungry scared me. I was too distracted to concentrate on my health - I just wanted to survive exposure to food, and my body's need for food. This week it felt so wonderful to eat small pieces of cake, to eat large bowls of blueberries, and to cook with Tim. I wasn't worried. I wasn't nauseous.

As for my goals (and stats), here they are:

Weight: 159 pounds
Jeans size: 10
Time I'm able to run without stopping: 4 minutes
Number of push-ups I can do in a row: 4
Activity over the past week: 4.5 hours

And I ran outside, in public, twice
I did four push-ups in a row
I bought a jump rope


This week I'd like to run around my block once without stopping, and I'd like to get to five push-ups.

Kate, my pony ((that is, my bicycle) (that is, Kaylin's bicycle))




some of the last of the summer


Friday, August 27, 2010

beet soup



I wouldn't mind being known for this recipe. "Lizzy's famous borscht." It has a lovely ring.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A plan for strength, for sanity

As I think I make quite, quite obvious, I would like to be skinnier.

I would like to be stronger, saner, more energetic.

Since January I have concentrated (sometimes more effectively, sometimes less) on eating well and exercising, but I have decided that it is time for some accountability. As much as a part of me cringes at using this blog as a medium for it, I do think that my health is crucial to my happiness and creativity, so I will be devoting one post a week (on Mondays) to updates on a plan:

I plan to eat normally. I do not want to waste time and energy worrying about calorie counts. I do not want to start eating fat-free yogurt when there is Liberte yogurt in my fridge. I do not want to feel trapped or deprived. What I want to do is pay very careful attention to what I eat. What I want. How much I am hungry for. Whether my body needs protein, or carbohydrates, or just water. What I will truly enjoy - while I am eating it, and afterwards. What will make me feel best.

I plan to weigh myself only once a week. Weighing myself every morning seems to discourage real progress, since the small gains and losses are so arbitrary on a day-to-day basis. I want to concentrate on how I feel, the way my clothes fit, and what I see when I look in the mirror.

I plan to try to find ways to exercise every day, whether by biking, running, hula-hooping, climbing stairs at school, swimming, or walking.

I plan to start going to a tanning salon for a few minutes every week or two, since the light is getting shorter, and I am soon to feel the effects of seasonal depression.

I plan not to beat myself up over this plan.

So, in order to see progress, here are the current stats:

Weight: 164 pounds
Jeans size: 10 (at Superstore, where I do a lot of clothes shopping)
Time I'm able to run without stopping: 4 minutes
Number of push-ups I can do in a row: 3
Average bike trip: 8 km
Activity over the past week: approx. 3 hours

And what progress would I like to see? What would I like to do?

Short term:

Feel comfortable enough to run outside, in public
Do FIVE push-ups in a row
Bike to school (about 10 km round trip, with more hills)
Buy a jump rope

Long term:

Learn some hula hoop tricks
Use the pool/weight room at MacEwan
Buy a bikini
Run my usual 8 km bike route
Get a tattoo
Do a cartwheel

The contest winner

is Laura!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

post 200

Good lord I feel amazing. Yesterday I bought these:




which are my first ever pair of running shoes and which were appropriately expensive. I've decided to name them Brett and Sally. Today I put them on (with a pair of neon blue leggings) and spent the duration of Sainthood, by Tegan and Sara - who else? - running, jumping around, punching the air, and doing more boy-push-ups than I ever have at one go.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

hair and legs



Green onions are an elegant vegetable.

I could cry with relief

As you may have gathered from my recent posts, the comments attached to them, and Candace's wonderful blog, I have lately been brushing my teeth and sitting down to write. Today, after three hours spent making hesitant notes for a story, journaling, and copying down poems by Sylvia and Emily D., I came out with this, all in a rush:


A fire somewhere
thickens the air
and yellows the hair
of this city.

And ash comes down
and the church lungs drown
and planes fidget
around a city

where acid drives rain
and women complain,
since there is no one to blame
in the city.

OR

A fire somewhere
yellows my hair.

Ash comes down and
planes fidget around

the city where women complain
since there is no one to blame.


I can't call them more than exercises, but they are something, they are a product.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

a new place to write



Today Tim and I hauled things around so that my desk could be moved from the front room to our bedroom, so that I can be alone to write.

Now I slowly begin to rearrange our objects, and soon I will have something of a study. As for the front room, it will have something of a seating area, which I'm sure our guests will appreciate.

Tonight I plan to cook a pot of borscht. Tim is unconvinced of its luxury, but then, he hasn't tried it yet.

tart

Speaking of which, I bought some citric acid today.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Perils of Work

I have sunk low.

I wrote today in the petrifying knowledge that I have not published in over a year, and that I may be no good.
I couldn't ignore it, like I could last week.
Another rejection email sat in my inbox, and I wanted to cry.
Scream and cry. Cry and scream.

I wrote for over an hour,
but I do not feel productive.
But I wrote.
But I wanted to write something golden.
But I sat in a cafe and wrote about clothes that I want.
But I am trying to make writing a practice.
But I am not commanded to like everything that ekes out of my pen.
But I wrote, and I wrote alone. And solitude is another practice I am trying to implement.

(I have to admit that Etsying is adding to my stress. I haven't made any sales recently, which is not the end of the world, but a little disheartening, since I have spent quite a lot of time lately spiffifying my shop. Also, stupidly, I ventured out into the Critiques forum again on Sunday, and received some advice that did not seem very lovingly intentioned. I have re-decided

- that I prefer to make fewer sales with greater personal connection
- that I do not plan to whip myself into a stressed out frenzy over my shop
- that I am not trying to appeal to anyone and everyone
- that I don't need people I don't especially respect to tell me how to create
- that the main reason I opened an Etsy shop was to share my work with people who will love to receive it)

That's the deal. And I will write. And I will publish again.



*It's only a polite, and not a truly sincere apology, but I'm sorry for all the resolve and manifestos of late. I want to begin again, to work and live better than before, and I have to keep saying it.*

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I lost someone
A million to one
Ten thousand people
Under my thumb

Someone, the one, my one
The only one
That's the someone
The someone
The only one
That's the someone
That I lost

He's nothing but a stranger
Come on home to me
I'm so weak on my knees
Help me, help me please
Please, please
Good God Almighty I love you

I lost someone
One trillion to one
A million people
Under the big old sun I see
My one on the street
Looking like a bomb
That's my one
That's my someone
He's the one
Please help that one

He's nothing but a stranger
Bring him home to me
He's so weak on both his bended knees
Can you help me, help me please
Gee whiz, I miss the one that I need
I lost someone

Saturday, August 14, 2010

ugh

I am terribly overwhelmed. Today at work, my coworkers were lovely as usual, but the customers walked all over me. I seem to be coming down with a flu, and my surroundings are in a state of chaos. I am so tired. There is so much to do. I was meaning to announce the winner of the writing contest today, but am not yet decided.

To tomorrow.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

peas and avocado





Pouring rain outside, and very dark even though it's almost noon. Tim's off at a job interview. The window is open, the lights are off, and I'm in bed. I'm planning to update some Etsy things a little later, read Steven Pinker, and go eat hamburgers at Tim's parents' place.



Look what I made!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Delicious Work

It started with a new journal, and yesterday's mushroom post. In the front of the journal (which is covered in brown paper) I made six lists. One of them was called

Some First-Semester Goals:

- to journal every day
- to run every day
- to keep the apartment clean
- to stay on top of my homework
- to publish another poem
- to put out Tom-Tom #8
- to reach 35 sales on Etsy
- to do 10 push-ups in a row
- to brush my teeth 2x every day
- to finish the first draft of the sea-monkeys story
- to stay out of debt
- to get straight A's
- to keep my journals neat

And then I wrote, not trying to force out a poem, or anything else. I just wrote. About my day. About my knotty emotions. Only afterwards, at two in the morning, did I pull out a stack of notes that was stubbornly refusing to come together, and I finished a first stanza I began this spring.

Much later on Monday, while I was posting the fungus photograph, I decided it needed a description. I wrote one, something like this: "They popped out like a cancer, showing their fists and their organs. Frightening how they suddenly appear fully formed, deeply rooted, and with shockingly extensive networks." An hour later, I divided the description into some lines, hardly thinking about these facts:

1) I have not spontaneously written a poem in over ten months.

2) I have not published anything in over a year.

I edited the lines seven (edit: eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, FIFTEEN, SIXTEEN) times more, one or two words at once. I added a title. This morning I have this:


The fungus

pops out like a cancer
showing its fists
and its organs

appears in a fine form
spreading its legs
its lurid networks



which is not my best work, but is a fleshed-out poem, with its own form and metaphors. Lately I keep saying "I'm back" -- but it's true every time. I'm back again. I feel wonderful.

Contest Deadline

is today! But if you happen to send me something in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, I will not reject it...

The competition will be stiff, based on the entries I already have. So: defend your honor! Put up a good fight! Send me your best.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A shortcut to mushrooms



The fungus

pops out like a cancer
showing its fists
and its organs

appears in a fine form
spreading its legs
its lurid networks

Friday, August 6, 2010

excerpt

"Of her tricks for enduring a job, the most successful was to narrate herself into a tragic novel along the lines of The Tin Flute, by applying lipstick before she left the house, nursing wry despair at work, and moving smoothly and self-consciously while she wrapped the customers' bratwurst."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Progress



That list is coming along. I stayed up until six in the morning stitching up the last of the zines (while watching The Girl Who Played With Fire). They look so good. Heavy paper, clear black type, bright stitching. I biked to the post office a couple of hours ago, and now I am sitting in bed, looking forward to reading and writing in my journal. I scrubbed some of the cupboards yesterday, and Tim and I took turns battling several years' worth of grease from previous tenants above the range top. I also washed the sheets, and my shoes. Progress.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A red letter day

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.



This is the best political news I've heard in months. These words are strong and reasonable and true. To celebrate, I'm listening to some Tegan and Sara.

days of the week socks from Superstore



7 pairs for 6 six dollars.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Darling face and hands -

I am sorry to have
made such fools of you
in public.
Forgive me, mouth, Pie-Hole,
for the simpering agreements,
the affected giggles,
the gummy silences.
Eyes, accept my apologies, both of you.
From now on,
do not pretend
you don't see almost everything.
I am sorry to you too,
fingers,
for the helpless way
you had to flap and twist,
and for keeping you
from dirt
and interesting gymnastics.





I found this poem whilst reprinting #2 (see, I'm actually working on my list). It's old, but just as important to me as ever. I thought I'd show you all.

Tegan and Sara. Seriously.

a much-needed list

After reading this post, I suddenly noticed that my life has become something of an organizational scandal, and that I had better start developing better habits before school starts again. Since getting married in May, I've been astounded by how difficult it is for me to write, draw, read, print magazines, or do Etsy work when Tim is around to talk to. Sometimes by the time we're both out of bed, showered and dressed and chatted and cuddled (and made-up, for me), the day is half-gone. Sometimes I need to throw on old clothes, ignore my hair, lock the door on our bedroom and work, even when it doesn't feel like enough, even when I'd like to be sitting at my desk at eight in the morning, calm and scholarly and collected. But I'm also in sore need of a list of things to attend to while I am locked away. Things that have been left unfinished, that chafe at my conscience because they are important, but not done. This week I am going to chip away at this list, just chip steadily away.

THE LIST:

- reprint and stitch Tom-Tom #s 1, 2, and 3
- post off Etsy orders, the postcard to Glynis, and the letter to Crownology
- make a few necessary edits in the magazine listings on Etsy
- renew, and then finish reading, all my library books
- finish reading The Stuff of Thought
- scrub my filthy cupboard fronts
- cut out and iron the shirt pattern drafted last week
- go the deli, and earn some cash
- transplant the spider plant
- clean out the fridge

Also. Have I mentioned how sexy Tegan and Sara are?