Day 31: After Charlottesville


I’ve been up since 4:30, getting myself awake enough to cook in the blessed cool while it’s dark outside. I’m feeling the fade already, but I have a pot of pea soup done and a pan of chicken thighs in the oven. My roommate and I may both be exhausted from the events of the weekend, but we will be able to eat something besides sweets and pizza. That much I can do.


Watching the events in Charlottesville from afar, I felt, and still feel, helpless, which slides into useless if I don’t determine to not let it eat me entirely. I’m not losing weight because of some abstraction, some attempt to emulate some perky woman half my age. I’m working as I can to try to be more able to affect the world around me again instead of sitting at home in helpless rage watching my country tear itself apart. I don’t know if the pushing myself to work, to argue, support, and comfort where I can while I get the body able to do more will make a difference in the long term or not — in my grimmer moments I doubt it — but it’s what I can do.

Day 27: Weigh-In and Other Adventures

Yesterday was my first trip to the neurologist’s office since the lifestyle restart.  He’d wanted a pound a week, and I’ve lost seven, so I’m down to 283 pounds. That accomplished, it was time to move to the new goal: 1200 calories a day instead of approximately 1800, which should move me to about 2 lbs a week if I continue to work at my current pace.  That’s not too bad; last week I was under 1200 three days out of seven without trying just by filling up on vegetables and fruit instead of bread or noodles, along with one bag of buttery popcorn in the mix every day so I wouldn’t feel deprived. Still, a third of my calories still sounded like a lot, so I was not so delighted as I might have been when I left. It was warm, perhaps 90 degrees, when I caught the second of three buses home, so I stopped at a Jack in the Box near the transit point for the biggest diet Dr Pepper they sold with an idea I might have something light to go with it for lunch.  Nothing sounded worthwhile to me in my disgruntlement, so I ended up with a small bag of curly fries that were not hideous but proved my initial assessment correct. After lunch, I had half an hour to kill, so I went to the gas station behind the bus stop and bought five tickets for tomorrow’s super lotto.  The odds are of course ridiculous, but as I see it, the solution to my most pressing problems is more money; the other stuff will take time and/or creativity, which I am already applying to them, or they can’t be fixed. Half-price Ferrero-Rocher truffles got the taste of sad curly fries out of my mouth, so I was pretty well satisfied by the time I got on the bus.

I had to change buses at the terminal closest to home because the bus I was riding went out of service at that point.  The terminal is a great place to see urban wildlife.  Not just pigeons, but wild species of songbirds that nest in the trees and eat the ornamental grass seeds, and so on. Well, as the last passenger was getting on, he and the driver noticed a young roof rat, not much bigger than a mouse, had come on board.  The driver tried to run it back out, but it turned and ran back into the bus. I’d sat down and leaned my cane against the wall, and wouldn’t you know it? The poor thing ran down my side of the bus and then it disappeared. While everyone else was up on their seats looking for the rat, I felt a wiggling beside, then behind me. By this point I was already trying not to laugh.

“I’m not sure,” I said loudly enough for the driver and the others near me to hear, “but I think it might be here.  I’m feeling something moving behind me.”   I leaned forward, and the rat was climbing the loose back of my tshirt, so I jumped up, and it fell off. I sat down again and pulled my legs up so it could get on where it was headed, which I guessed was as far from the shouting as possible.  By this time, a woman across the aisle from me was gasping for air but the rest were shouting and laughing as the poor thing ran across the aisle and started climbing a pole next to the open back door.  At that point the driver knocked it down, and it headed back toward the front where it had come in. Eventually it ran back down the wheelchair ramp and made its escape.

Ten minutes later I was home without further incident.  My sister came over with her grandson, and we got a good laugh out of the story.  I figured you might as well.

Day 21: Being Offline Wasn’t Bad

Due to circumstances beyond my comprehension, I was offline for a week.  My notebook would shake hands with the local access points — I tried three nearby — but then cut off the data flow.  Eventually, I got on for a few hours and Annienygma suggested I restore the computer to factory settings; the website she sent me showed me how, and now I’m back.  That worked, and, in the process, took off the traces of the two previous owners, so the computer is most essentially mine.  I’m very fond of the previous owners, but it’s nice to see my name on the login in page.

While offline, I stuck pretty close to the diet, generally under the goal until the day before payday, when I started munching on bacon and tortillas.  The next day was all cashew chicken — read zucchini and celery punctuated by chicken and an occasional carrot — so I’m satisfied I’ll be down at least the requisite four pounds.  I also got a lot more physical activity in, as I attacked the clutter pile despite the heat, sorting and trashing as I went.  Some days were more difficult than others; it was hard to stay hydrated in temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and my back needs stretching and flexing before I can bend over a dozen times picking things up from the floor.  Even so, I made a lot of progress and dug up another two bushels of paperwork that needs to be scanned and shredded when it’s too hot to do heavier labor, as well as the thumb drive that stores the scanned files.  The drive is now on a ribbon, hanging on a nail between my bedroom door and the head of my bed.  I did some other organizing as well, but that belongs in its own post.