The Closing Of The Year

All I can say is I'm so happy this year is over with.  It's been such a roller coaster ride.  There were ups, but the downs far overshadowed anything good that happened.  

This is one of those times that I envy people who make writing look easy.  I don't possess the ability to express myself the way I'd like to.  This blog was started, for the most part, to teach myself how to express myself in the written word, and years later, I still struggle.  That's why this post is really nothing more than a list of memories from 2011.  I wish I had the confidence in myself to write a sprawling year end recap, but I'm sure the end result would be embarrassing.  Anyway...

As mentioned in almost every post over the last three months, losing my Mom in September was a huge blow to not only me, but my entire family.  Mom was the glue that held the family together.  Dad has always been the more removed parent, leaving Mom to be chief caretaker, head of the household and more nurturing parent.  I've had such a hard time with losing her, not only for the fact that she's gone, but also where that leaves the rest of my family.  I've spent so much time worrying about the fallout from her death in relation to my Dad and sister that I haven't really had a chance to mourn her loss.  And it seems that just when things are starting to settle down, my sister comes to me with another issue.  She's been put in a tough spot of taking over for Mom.  My sister is 37 and still lives at home.  For the first time in my life, I'm glad about this.  I'm glad she and Dad have each other to rely on, because they need each other.  But my sister looks to me to fix everything that's happening and since I'm not there, I can only offer up advice on what to do.  And her resistance to some of my advice really angers me.  I wonder sometimes why she asks me if she refuses to listen to me?  So I find that instead of feeling grief over my Mom, I'm feeling a lot of anger towards my sister.  Earlier I was feeling it towards my brother.  I know I shouldn't have, but he, too, wasn't listening to anything I was saying.  He's up in the tundra of Canada with no easy way down here and feeling isolated and all he wanted to do was help, but he was so off the mark in his attempts that it just resulted in me getting angry at him.  I want the anger to go away.  I know I'm kind of stuck where I am until that happens.

And I find the anger having huge effects on the rest of my life.  My tolerance for people is at an all time low.  I've withdrawn myself from a lot of my social circles.  I try to tune out people I work with.  If I can get away without having to talk to a single person in a day, I feel like I've succeeded.  Where I find myself withdrawing into is music.  I have leaned harder on my music collection than I ever have in my life.  My secret hiding place has been inside my iPod.  I feel safe there.  I feel protected from outside influences.  And I find that the songs I listen to are expressing my inner most feelings.  

Ken has been absolutely amazing during the last few months.  We have polar opposite opinions on how to care for each other.  When I'm sick or I'm hurting, all I want to do is be left alone.  And since that's how I feel, I assume that's how others do, too, so I try to give Ken space in the same situation.  He, on the other hand, comes from the school of smothering.  If I'm sick, he wants to be all up in my face.  And me, I want to murder him. :-)  He's admitted to me how difficult it's been for him to let me have my space, but he's given it to me.  I'm so grateful for it, too.  And he knows it.

I don't mean to make this all about Mom and the aftermath, but it's been such a huge part of the year for me.  There has been some good.  For example, I got to spend more than a few hours at the New York Comic Con this year.  Last fall, I got to spend most of Friday, which was barely enough time to see the show.  Especially when you consider I got to meet up with some friends, which cut into my geeking out time.  This year I got two full days there (and it still wasn't enough), got to see more friends, got to buy all sorts of shit I don't need but really wanted.  And it was a great weekend to just forget about my life, which I needed.

I also got to spend another week in Texas in August.  This year was unplanned, but so was last year's trip.  Ken and I realized we had frequent flyer points that were going to expire if not used, so I got to take a trip to see some of the best friends any one person deserves.  This year's trip was quite different as my host was working full time and not at my beck and call 24/7, but I still had an amazing time.

My weight has been something that's been on my mind almost every day this year.  But that's nothing new.  This is the year that I thought I finally got things to exactly where I wanted them.  For a good chunk of the year, I was consistently weighing in in the 180s.  This is a huge accomplishment.  Remember four years (or is it five?) ago when I was 300 lbs?  After my Texas trip and then when Mom got sick a couple of weeks later, I lost my grip on the 180s and rebounded back to the 190s.  And I've been there ever since.  I know it's just a few pounds more than I was earlier this year (and exactly where I was prior to that), but after knowing I could be 180-something and now being unable to get back there has been really frustrating.  Part of the problem is I've rediscovered some of my poor eating habits.  My candy intake has risen and no matter how many hours I put in at the gym, I'm having trouble counteracting the chocolate.  I wish I didn't tie up so much of my self-esteem in the number on the scale.  I was 195 lbs this morning.  My goal weight for myself is 190 with a +/- 5 lbs margin.  I'm in that margin, yet I beat myself up because I'm at the high end of it.  I'm a mess, but at least I'm a self-aware mess!  LOL!

This year was the year I took physical fitness to a new level.  The entire time I was losing weight, my exercise program was to go out and walk.  I walked wherever I could.  When winter hit, I'd take my walking indoors by going to the mall and do laps there.  But when we moved to our current home, the mall was no longer five minutes away and I wasn't really wanting to drive a half hour to walk, so I made myself get over my gym phobia pretty quickly.  I joined the gym in October of 2010 and started exercising there.  And because I'm neurotic about tracking things, beginning in January, I started tracking all of my workouts.  I set myself a goal of 1,200 miles to travel by treadmill, elliptical, walking and biking and quickly blew that out of the water.  I'd post my totals here and now, but there's still one day left in the year and even though I'm undecided if I'm going to the gym tomorrow, my tunnel vision drive is going to make me go to push that year end total as high as possible.  So I'll post stats later.

I've got so many amazing friends.  This year really proved this to me.  I mean, I'm fully aware that my friends are awesome, but they proved just how awesome they were.  Equally as awesome, just in a different way, are the ones that threw me to the curb this year.  I'm still scratching my head over a couple of them, but at the same time, there were two in particular that I'm overjoyed that they did this.  It's something I should have done earlier myself, but I think I can be too forgiving.  The only hypocritical, self-involved, unaware ego maniac I want to know is myself, thank you very much.

I'm very much looking forward to 2012.  I'm trying to think only positive thoughts for the new year.  I've got my first double date (which could be a triple date) lined up for next weekend with my favorite lesbians.  I've got Aimee Mann tickets for later in January.  I've got a vacation booked for Orlando in March.  I've got my wedding date rescheduled for June.  I plan on spending even more time at the New York Comic Con in October.  I'm just looking forward to putting 2011 to bed and having fun with 2012.

And my New Year's Resolution...?


Yes Please

I hate that he shaved his chest, but otherwise, I find him so fucking tasty.  That is all.


Note to self - Stop eating until you're uncomfortably full.  I don't care that it was something that was somewhat healthy.  Too much is too much.  Thank you.


Be Careful What You Wish For

For years I've wished that I could have Christmas my way.  And my way would be a quiet day at home.  This year I got my wish.  The best way to describe today would be "a quiet day at home."  Ken played World Of Warcraft while I continued to set up my computer and get things in order.  It was very restful.  However, I hated it.  Christmas Day has always been about family.  Mom would decorate up her house and cook enough for an army to eat.  Last year we changed things up a bit and hosted Christmas at my house.  And I loved it.  And more importantly, Mom loved it.  She didn't have to lift a finger to do anything.

My Dad and sister opted out of recognizing Christmas this year.  I can't say I blame them.  It's been almost three months now since Mom passed.  It was just too soon for them to think about it.  I, on the other hand, have been trying to immerse myself into Christmas.  I think I wanted to convince myself that I was going to love Christmas this year.  Beginning December 1, I've played nothing but Christmas music.  I've got just over 4,000 Christmas songs in my library and my goal was to try to play them all before Christmas is over.  I didn't hit my goal, but I did damn well.  I have just over 1,300 songs left I didn't get to.  Not too bad.

With today coming to an end, it's the second of the four big days I've been dreading.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are now done, Mom's birthday and the anniversary of her passing are on the plate for 2012.  

Tomorrow I'm starting fresh.  I've got the holidays behind me now and I'm going out there and I'm going to look for something good to grab onto.  I'm so tired of moping and frowning.  However, I need to go grocery shopping and the thought of getting out into public with the unwashed day-after-Christmas masses is sooo not appealing.

Christmas at The Davenport's



This has to be one of the cruelest weeks of the entire year.  Hands down.  Cruel in what way?  Well, it's the week before Christmas and that means every single person in my office (and offices everywhere) is baking up a storm and bringing it all in to work.  And people with little will power can't help but eat all this garbage.  It's no secret I've struggled with my weight my entire life.  For the first time ever in my life I'm at a healthy body weight and I'm so desperate to keep it that way, but my lack of will power is my own worst enemy.  I tried to keep it together today, but failed when it came to cinnamon bread, cookies and chocolate.  Tomorrow all the bosses are treating us to pizza and wings and I'm so afraid of going overboard.  Especially since Ken's mother is coming over tomorrow night and we'll be going out to eat.  

As much as I love this week in regards to food, I can't wait for it to be a distant memory.  
Doctor Who Timeline Infographic
Via: CableTV.com



Today was my first day back to work after being on vacation for the last week and a half or so. We were originally going to take a cruise last week, but the final payment for it was due right at the time my Mom went into the hospital. After a quick discussion, Ken and I decided we should cancel it, not knowing what the situation with Mom would be come December. Little did we know she passed away fairly quickly. A few weeks back, Ken started researching cruises again and made the executive decision that we were going and we needed to go. I'm glad he booked it. I needed to shut myself off from the world more than I ever thought I needed to. Ken was amazing in giving me the space and breathing room I needed on this vacation. We'd spend the early morning together, get breakfast and then part ways until either lunch or late afternoon. He found plenty to keep himself busy, either going to the casino or watching movies or just poking around the ship. I would grab a stack of comics, head up to the top deck and sun myself while reading and listening to Christmas music. There's something totally fucked up about laying out and listening to "White Christmas" and "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" I'd do that for a while, then drop my stuff off in the room and head to the gym. Usually by the time I was done, I'd meet back up with Ken and we'd spend the rest of the day together.

I did something on this cruise that I find very, very hard for me to do. I lived in the moment. Typically on vacation, I'm always thinking about the end of it. For example, on Monday, I'm starting to panic because we only have five days left before we go home. But not this time. I shut my brain off to all the reality of my life and just enjoyed myself. It took me a solid day to be able to allow myself to relax, but by the time I did, I was in heaven. Laying in bed the last night was difficult because reality started seeping back in and I had a little breakdown.

Now I'm home, I started back to work today and I'm staring in the face of what I anticipate to be one of the hardest weeks in recent memory. Christmas without Mom is something I've been dreading. Christmas was very important to her and she always made a big deal out of it. My Dad and sister have decided not to celebrate this year and that's still hard for me to wrap my brain around. They may not be celebrating, but Ken and I decided to ignore them. We're going down to Dad's on Christmas Eve, bringing presents and picking up roast beef subs for lunch (long story, and too dull to go into here.)

Christmas Day should be a quiet affair here at home. I've already received my present (new computer) and I still need to wrap Ken's gifts. He'll be angry with what I got him, but he'll just have to get over it.

Most of this past weekend I spent setting up my new computer. I always love getting a new one. All the old crap that has accumulated on my old computer is now gone and I'm starting fresh. I spent quite a bit of time organizing bookmarks and stuff like that. I spent two solid days trying to set up my iTunes library. I wasn't thinking when I started and ended up importing my library twice and then deleting a good chunk of it before restoring it via my backup. I set up lots of new playlists and crap like that. I love that I didn't transfer over my email from the old computer. I'm starting fresh. If I didn't answer something before I switched computers, I've decided I'm officially off the hook.

I'm about to head to bed even though it's not even nine o'clock yet. I'm exhausted. We got home Thursday from the cruise and I've stayed up way too late every night since and have gotten up (via four pawed furry alarm clock) way too early every morning. This morning the real alarm clock got me up a mere five hours after falling asleep last night. I'm ready to drop.

Good night.



I'm going to make a blunt statement.  I do not like the person I currently am.  At all.  In fact, I really haven't liked me for the last couple of months.  

I know I promised myself I wasn't going to turn this blog into the "My Mom Died" blog, but so much of my life right now is wrapped up in the aftermath of her passing that I can't not keep bringing it up.  I have so much going on in my life in regards to it and so much to still work out that it's hard to function some days.  I never in a million years thought that losing my Mom would be quite like this.  I knew it would be hard, but absolutely nothing like it's been.  I'm not going to go into the specifics of what all the issues are, but it's all contributing to the kind of person I've been since Mom died.  

I have no patience for anyone.  In fact, I snapped big time at Ken the other night over pudding.  Pudding!  Who does that?  Apparently the current version of me does.  I find little joy in the hobbies I love.  I'm still reading comics, but I find I have no passion for them right now.  I'm still dvr-ing all my tv shows, but I'm watching very few of them.  Video games have been a chore to play lately.  My online socializing habits are nearly non-existent.    I don't really want to leave the house.  Now I know I'm pretty much a homebody to start with, but that version of me is way more likely to go out and have fun than the current version.  My bitterness quotient is through the roof.

I'm guessing not a lot of this shows on the surface, though.  People at work seem to think I'm a little off, but mostly the same old me.  And that's one thing I've always been good at, I guess.  Putting up a shield.  I try putting it up with Ken, too, but he knows me too well and sees right through it.  And he worries, which in turn adds to my stress.  He doesn't know how not to worry, so I can't fault him for that.  But sometimes I just wish he'd take me at my word that I'm okay and I'm working though my issues.  I know it's killing him giving me my space.  We're so opposite when it comes to things like this.  I need my space.  Lots and lots of it.  It's the only way I can process.  He is my polar opposite at times like this.  He wants to smother.  How we've made it nearly 18 years is anyone's guess.

I just wish I could take a vacation from myself.  I think it would do me a world of good.  But in the meantime, I'll just have to settle for a vacation with myself.  We've got a little getaway planned for the near future and it's something I desperately need.  I plan on cutting myself off from the entire world to give myself a chance to breathe.  I really hope I remember how to.


Hawkgirl & Flash

I saw these posted on another blog and just fell in love with them.  Had to share them here.


Every weekend my plan is generally the same.  I plan to do nothing but the essential things that need doing and spend the rest of the time relaxing.  For some reason, I have lost the ability to do nothing.  I find things to do that take me away from relaxing and then I regret it the rest of the weekend.  

This weekend was different.  Sure, I still managed to find a distraction, but it was one I needed.  On my way to the supermarket yesterday afternoon, I got the urge to go find the street I grew up on.  I've been feeling very nostalgic again, probably because Mom is still heavy in my thoughts.  The place I consider the house I grew up in is one I lived in from the time I was about 2 until 10.  After that, my family moved around a lot before settling down in my mid teens.  Driving up the old street was pretty sad.  The first house on the street belonged to the Kelly family.  There was a SOLD sign out front.  Mr. Kelly passed away shortly before my Mom did.  His wife passed away a few years ago and their son lives in western NY now.  The house next door belonged to the Talberts.  I recently reconnected with Nancy Talbert, who is about my brother's age.  It was then that I found out that her brother Tommy, who was my age, passed away a couple of years ago.  Next to their house was my old house.  It's weird, but the house looks so small now.  It was huge when I was growing up, but now it isn't.  None of the houses on my old street are.  It's funny how the eyes of a child and the eyes of an adult view things so differently.  

I enjoyed the drive through my old town.  It's been years since I've done it, but hopefully won't be before I do it again.