Too old for this shiiii

Growing up, I could have bought a McMansion in a crowded subdivision if given a penny every time my Mom would tell me that any social ills were caused by my advanced maturity. Trite phrases such as, "Girls mature faster than boys!", or "You're 12 with the mind of a woman in her mid-20s Pru; others will catch up eventually!", rang in my ears each time I could be found crying under my duvet (you may find this a constant in my life, even now -- LOVE duvet seclusion).

I'm two months off the advanced age of 31, yet give me five minutes on Facebook and I'm feeling 61. Tell me, is it only recent generations that just cannot give up the bar/drunken fool stage? As a non-drinker I'm biased, I know, but really - you're in your 30s, is there a need for half of your online photos to be various incarnations of your Drunk Asshole face? I get it, you're YOUNG! FREE-SPIRITED! ZANY! One picture of this would suffice.

Most people think that those who don't drink (or to excess) are boring. I'm sure I am frightfully dull to a very large subset of the population, but I don't care. If asked to brainstorm as to what would constitute an evening with friends, the word "bar" would only be included if it meant I was going to play trivia there. Ideally I would want to spend an evening in, have a nice dinner, talk, watch a movie, do things that respectable grown-ups do. Bottles of wine with casual tipsyness - fine, but as soon as a picture is taken of someone making googley eyes and sticking their tongue out, I'm gone.

I have tremendously fond memories of my drunken times in my late teens/early 20s. I have a fair amount of drunken photography taken by me and of me, some involving cleavage asparagus, others featuring a heavy-lidded Pru smoking cigarettes despite being a non-smoker. Thing is, I was in college, and that's what you do in college.

Once we hit our 30s surely it's time to pack up the frat and grow up?


A Call to Arms

Let me just dust this thing off, excuse me. I hope to soon look at my Google Reader feeds without being gripped by a paralysing guilt assuaged only by pretending blogging is actually all fake.

My mother has left, which means no more half-assed compliments, so consider yourselves spared. I thank you for bearing with me while I whined about not being sufficiently rewarded for my troubles by my mother, since it seems that I'm still six years old and craving my Mom's validation. I swear, I'm not this needy in real life, really. No, really.

Changing topics entirely, I need your advice on things media. The Dude has made my life by telling me that I can shop for my very own special gadget - iPhone, iPod Touch, or Blackberry tomorrow evening. It will be an early birthday present, but as we're trying to rack up air miles in time for our US trip in July, this is a quick way to accumulate them. I'm very gadget-adoring, and had you been here a few weeks ago when I was setting up my BIL's iPod Touch you would have felt you were witnessing an unnatural union between woman and machine.

Despite this love, I'm in three minds as to which one I want. It's me, so I will research the hell out of this mother before making up my mind anyway, but I know you are clever, tech-savvy ladies with opinions. I don't use my mobile enough to warrant a monthly contract of £35, or whatever ridiculous sum they want for a monthly iPhone contract. There is a pay as you go option which is much more feasible for my kind of usage, but now I'm worried what would happen if I moved to the US. Anyone have any idea if you can just take these things when you move to another continent and carry on as normal?

I know the Touch doesn't have the phone element, and though I don't use my mobile enough, I'm wondering if I'll miss that part in not getting the iPhone. Basically, I think I want to know if the only difference between the iPhone and iPod Touch is the actual phone part. Otherwise, can you still use the apps to the same extent? I am madly, enrapturously in love with the notion of using magical, amazing apps standing in the middle of the street. I don't want to get a Touch and discover that half the apps aren't applicable.

I've saved the Blackberry for last because the extent of my knowledge about them is that people call them Crackberries. Oh, and that Debbie Whatsherfacegreekname from E! got carpal tunnel from hers. I said that like it was a communicable disease and not a hell of her own making. The iPhone/Touch is just so damn purdy, and I'm finding it very difficult to resist its siren song.

To save this post from the tragic whingeing of the spoiled middle class, I'd like to know what you people are up to media-wise. What are you watching? Listening to? Reading? We have spent weeks trying to catch up on DVRd TV, I've managed to forget that music exists, and it's taken me 3 weeks to read 20 pages of Cold Mountain. Obviously I need a wee gadget to distract me from the important things even more.


The more they stay the same

Greetings children. Apologies for the absence and inconsistent blogging lately - my Mom has graced our shores to talk of my flat ass, I've been running a lot, I work full-time, and they tell me I have a small child reliant on my mothering. Who knew?
I was excited about my Mom's arrival, believing that though we only saw each other at Christmas, she would be impressed by my weight loss since then. Or, perhaps not. Instead, all I got was the general comment referring to my overall weight loss, "You look nice. Do you feel as if your clothes are any looser?" Que? Well, when one loses 15 pounds or so, it's usually a bit more than slightly ill-fitting clothing. In three seconds I went from being proud of myself to wondering if I have imagined the extent of my weight loss.

Mothers always have that supreme ability to say deflating things, intentional or otherwise. My Mom is of the otherwise variety, but it still hurts. So far, The Dude and one friend are the only ones to say anything about it all, which again, leads me to believe that this profound weight loss thought that is dancing about my head is due to my clearly potent anti-depressants rather than anything based in reality.

I know, I know, I should shut the fuck up already about my body issues, but people - I have worked HARD in the past nine months to get where I am. I run 20-25k/week, I lift weights, survive on healthy foods and little junk; if I don't look significantly better, what's the point? Yeah, I feel better, and it's great to know that 2.5 miles is a casual, easy run that I do when I don't have much time. Me of a year ago would have sputtered and coughed at the very notion of running for 2.5 minutes. Still, I want to look better too. A lot better.

Those privy to my Twitter outbursts of morosity the other day will know how much my Mom's lack of reaction bothered me. As punishment I only had one cup of coffee (my main source of sugar)instead of the usual two or three, and did sprints/3 miles one night, and 2.5 miles the next night. I am glad my Mom isn't around all the time to not notice weight loss, or else I would be out every night pushing myself until I passed out in the bushes.

I have no idea where all this body-based neediness comes from. I wasn't neglected as a child or deprived of compliments, so I have no excuse. I think a lot of it results from me hating (not an exaggeration) my body for the past 12+ years without trying to change it, and now that I have, any encouragement has to come from my own drive or The Dude's obligatory support. Don't get me started on my Mom's throwaway statement from her last trip, "You can borrow some of my trousers if you want" and how that doozy nearly pushed me toward wearing a vinyl weight loss suit in the Sahara whilst subsisting on lettuce leaves and grub blood. Oy.

Let me gather myself again and try to limit the drama. Ahem. If you see me on the street, just make sure to tell me how fine I'm looking lately. You'll make a girl's day.



I'm not prone to doing posts comprised of random little thoughts, but I wanted to address a few things that don't warrant their own posts. Apologies for the schizophrenic nature of this and lack of segue.

First up, I *finally* managed to run 10K tonight, for the first time ever. My average runs are 5K-ish, so to be able to conquer that distance by quite a considerable margin was quite a victory for me. I'm pretty sure my legs were preparing to detach from my torso toward the end, but I'm proud to say they're still present and accounted for. Yes, I may be unable to walk properly tomorrow, but that's no different from any other Friday night - hey-ohhhh!

On the topic of running, I have such an odd affinity for reading about other runners' stories of what they have done. A paragraph about running makes me all giddy, even if the writer is way more prolific than I am (not that it takes much). So, if any of you are runners, write about it sometime on your blog so I can grin at the screen stupidly and dream of running.

Also, to the runners (sorry to bore the rest of you who don't give a shit) - how often do you have off days, and are they really off? I struggled the other night to even run a couple of miles, like my trousers were weighted down with a gathering of pebbles. I got all pissy about it and moped for at least 34 minutes upon my return home. I know we don't all have great days, but jesus, it was as if I was just starting my Couch to 5K programme again.

Lastly, on the running issue, don't forget, I have my big 10K coming up in July for Cancer Research UK. I need sponsorship money, and I'm not above begging in this case. I'm not looking to garner cash to go to BlogHer for god's sake, so any donation is appreciated. No seriously, any amount. One pound, fifty pence, whatever. I'll even post a photo of myself post-race, plum-faced, glistening with sweat, with my eyes likely to be rolling into the back of my head. Funny story about this - I got my race t-shirt in the post, and when I proudly showed it to my dear husband, he said, "Are you sure that's big enough?" Har har, if it was meant sarcastically anyway, which it WASN'T. He backtracked, saying he thought it was a child's shirt, ergo, it wouldn't fit. It's a woman's medium, and yes, it fits. Bastard.

Oh yes, donations. Widget is in the right margin. I'll even show you a boob if you donate. The right one though, the left one is a bit smug as it is.

Changing subjects entirely, jobs. Who needs them? As you may know, I'm in the process of trying to get a job in the US, and the whole thing is so much of a kerfuffle I'm kicking myself for making this decision. I've applied for one position, but realised yesterday that though I made it clear in my cover letter that I'm free to fly over for interview/relocation, I didn't say that I would pay for it. In these troubled times there aren't many employers that would want to shoulder that financial responsibility for someone who may not even get the job. Dur. Lesson learned.

This particular job is in my wee home region of Central PA, so flying over isn't a problem since I'll have a place to stay. However, I am looking further afield as well - all along the Northeastern seaboard actually. There are a lot of good jobs out there, but obviously I can't afford to fly back and forth for a handful of interviews in places I've never been before. How do people even find jobs in locations in which they do not currently live? I know my situation is a bit on the extreme side given the distance, but still. It's not as if we'll move back to the US sans jobs and just give life over there a go, temporarily unemployed. As it is my plan is to go back with me being the only employed one until The Dude finds work as well. Hmph. Grown-up life is hard.

So yes, a post equal parts "go me/woe is me". How fun for you. Stay tuned for Sunday/Monday night, when I might actually be motivated enough to do a Music Monday post again, at long last. Yay!


Judge Not

This post has been bopping around my brain like a jacked-up crackhead for months now. It's not like I'm going to break any blogging barriers here, discussing the played-out, godawful Mommy issue of judging, but I do want to discuss it anyway. People seem to call it "mommy wars", which just makes me think of catty little bitches with perfectly coiffed hair, driving their dreadfully suburban-named kids around in minivans. Therefore, I take no part in such endeavours.

I'm not against judgement - how can you not judge other people at all? If any of you are clear of judgement, parenting or otherwise, please tell me your secret. Is it ok to judge if the judgee isn't aware of your views? Do you only become judgemental once your views are known?

I've got this bee in my bonnet because I was reading a post on another blog about crazy Dr Laura's new book on how the only good mom is a SAHM, or something equally vitriolic. I have no time for that crazy witch, so I don't really care what she has to say. However, within the comments section a SAHM said that it is known that children with a stay-at-home parent (which, let's face it, is almost always the mother) are unequivocally better off than a child whose parents work full-time. Really? REALLY? Say what?

Fair enough to say that one way or the other is best for you, but is there a reason to tell us working mothers that we are raising our children in far less than ideal situations? Can't you just say "I love staying home with my BAYYYYYYBEEEES!" and be done with it? I get The Look all the time - the one that says "what are you doing here at work when you have a child?" Some people are so bold as to ask where P is during the day and how long she's in there, imprisoned. I know it's a well-tread topic on my blog, but each time I get The Look I feel like it's the first time I've been outwardly judged.

I judge all the time in my head - I have opinions on smoking and/or drinking around children, bottles, juice, bottles WITH juice, vaccinations, lack of discipline, blah blah blah. Am I still judgmental? I would never dream of vocalising my differing views to anyone but The Dude, but even with that limited audience I still do it from high atop my soapbox. My rationale is that at least I don't make people feel shit for their choices, choices that were best for them.

This rambling load of nonsense is just my way of petitioning people to just keep their opinions to themselves. It's fine to think that I'm a poor mother for abandoning my latchkey toddler, but save the raised eyebrows for someone who cares what you have to say.