Tales of a wandering lesbian

Old habits

People often ask me why I don’t drink. Honestly, I think I was just a really lucky self-aware kid. As I watched most of my high school friends start drinking, going to parties, and into the woods for keggers, I started to plan. Sure I’d like more friends, sure I’d like to socialize more. But in small-town Idaho, those opportunities aren’t had at the mall. Here’s what the plan sounded like:

Plan A: I will begin drinking small amounts daily, gradually increasing until I can drink anyone under the table.

Yes, this was the plan in my 15-year old brain. Build up a tolerance so I could compete. Not so surprising, really. It’s a lot like athletics. Work-out harder and longer each time, preparing your body to do more than your competitors’. I was an athlete, so this was just like any other training routine. Fortunately, I was also already a little Type-A, so I had a Plan B. Here’s what it looked like:

Plan B: I will never drink.

Now, it’s possible that these two scenarios are a bit extreme. I’ve been known to tend toward this type of binary thinking. However, it was the realization that I was thinking in just this way that allwoed me to pause and say to myself, “self, perhaps we should give serious consideration to Plan B”.

And that is why I don’t drink. It’s also why I don’t smoke, do drugs, or engage in very many things that could lead me to that place known as “rock bottom”. Don’t get me wrong, I have my vices. I realized I had a problem with coffee when one of the judges I worked with walked into my office – where the coffee-pool kept its coffee and coffee pot – looked at me, looked at the third pot of the day, and said “you know, the definition of insanity under the DSM-IV includes mania, aggitation and other elements related to consumption of substances.” When I removed myself from the coffee-pool, daily consumption went from 3 pots a day to 1. Yeah, 2 pots a day might be excessive. Just maybe.

I didn’t totally give up coffee until the prilosec I was taking for acid reflux (due to coffee) wouldn’t work anymore. And sugar. Blessed sugar.

You know, it’s entirely possible that the sense of euphoria I felt the first time I was in Italy was due to the fact that I suspended my 2-year coffee embargo and 1-year sugar ban for the duration of the trip. The coffee made my head swim and the sugar induced a little mania. In hindsight, I was probably high for the entire trip.

When I got back, I was able to cut out most of the sugar again, but the cappuccini stuck. And now I’m back in the land of caffe and pastry. For some reason, the coffee hasn’t torn up my stomach yet, so I’m still drinking it. That means I’m pretty much dependent on it if I don’t want to be a raging jerk everyday. As long as I have 3-4 cappu a day, and a pot of tea, I’m good to go.

The sugar, however, is a problem. It started as a cookie every now and again, and a lovely pastry – or two. Then it became a pastry or two, and another snuck in the kitchen. I know it’s getting bad when I start eating sugar alone…

Yesterday, I hit a place that I’m not proud of. Nutella is the devil. I mean, really, I think there are stories in the Bible about the temptations that Nutella poses to the mortal world. I am mortal. It began as a little bit spread on a piece of bread with everyone else, maybe once a week. Yesterday, faced with the stress of the internet I snapped. While Sandra napped on the sofa I tiptoed into the kitchen to find bread and a knife. The Nutella was already purched a foot from my elbow as I typed – and it had been whispering to me. Okay, maybe I sound a little insane, but I’m fairly sure that most anyone reading this who has lived with a jar of Nutella understands what I’m saying. Or I’m projecting. Either way, it wasn’t good.

The scene rapidly devolved from slices of bread, to one giant knifefull shoved into my mouth. When you go to bed thinking about sugar, and wake up thinking about sugar, it’s time to admit you have a problem.

Fortunately, along with the Nutella, I discovered something else yesterday. Deb and Sandra have an elliptical trainer! Yes, it’s true! It’s hidden in the studio in the garden. I had no idea it was there! My daily routine in the states was to wake up, workout on the elliptical (on on the wind trainer), watch recorded SURVIVOR episodes, and then get ready for the day. Waking up in the morning with the prospect of a workout and SURVIVOR was one of the best parts of the day. So, along with sugar plums dancing in my head, the vision of working-out and watching SURVIVOR sustained me through the day and night.

This morning I entered the studio in my ridiculously short running shorts, turned on my computer and loaded SURVIVOR. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to trade my old habits for the new ones. The 45 minutes of bliss that followed left me lighter and more awake than the caffeine and sugar I’ve been relying on. Of course. I know this. But sometimes I need a little reminding. This morning was a good reminder. Don’t get me wrong, I still had my cappuccino this morning, but I left the Nutella completely alone. Baby steps.

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November 18, 2009   7 Comments

A very good day

Today was a good day. First of all, it was Friday. Fridays are good usually, but for my office, during the summer if we work extra during the week, we can take off at noon on Friday. This makes Fridays extra good.

This Friday, there were only three of us in the office. The summer is quickly winding down, and we’re anxious to take advantage of all possible fun, so, when I suggested heading to my place for some Rock Band, the three of us wrapped up work and headed out.

I’m not sure about you, but the last time I had an honest to goodness “play date” was a long time ago.

Armed only with hard cider and cookies, we fired up the wii and started playing. For two hours we pounded on the drums, clicked the buttons of the guitar and sang our lungs out. By the end, Celia’s eyes were watering from staring at the screen, Michele’s hands were cramping, and I had nearly lost my voice.

Rock Stars!

We rocked. Hard.

When we emerged from the back of the house, Leigh, who had actually been working (state workers don’t get “half-day Fridays”), said “you play the drums loudly.” It’s true. I do. And Celia has a wicked rock star scream on vocals.

After Celia and Michele headed back into the adult world, Leigh and I tried to figure out what to do for dinner. After a couple of half-hearted tries, Leigh suggested that it might be a nice night for ice cream. We decided to venture out in search of the Girl Scout Tagalong Blizzard at Dairy Queen. We’d tried a couple of weeks ago, but they were only carrying Thin Mint. Peanut butter being the critical element, we were determined to experience this triumph of modern flavor engineering. Tonight’s adventure featured a couple of different DQs (the first one was out of peanut sauce), Friday commuter traffic (as we foolishly thought we could pop into Vancouver to visit the closest DQ there), and a walk around a park (Mt. Tabor is a beautiful park, but the people running there make someone with a Dairy Queen cup feel a little slothful).

Given the lack of refined sugar in our lives, Leigh and I ended up a little jacked up. Here is a photo montage to help illustrate:

Leigh pondering the beauty of the Blizzard

Leigh pondering the beauty of the Blizzard

Kristin pre-sugar

Kristin pre-sugar

Kristin mid-sugar

Kristin mid-sugar

Kristin post-sugar

Kristin post-sugar

It was a good adventure.

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August 28, 2009   2 Comments