Saturday, 26 February 2011

Once A Pun A Time

1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian .

3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of maths disruption.

5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blown apart.

8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

9. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

12. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'

13. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

14. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab centre said: 'Keep off the Grass.'

15. The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

16. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

17. A backward poet writes inverse.

18. In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

20. If you jumped off the bridge in Paris , you'd be in Seine .

21. A vulture boards an aeroplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'

23. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

24. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, 'I've lost my electron.' The other says 'Are you sure?' The first replies, 'Yes, I'm positive.'

26. There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Friday, 25 February 2011

The end of week One.

It's Friday. I have now been on my regime for a week. As I wrote in my post on Accountability, I am posting a picture of my scales to show how I have done for the week. Regardless of how badly it went, the picture will get posted. It's one way of keeping myself motivated to do well, exercise every day and not cheat, because I know that come Friday, I have to come clean and post my results.

This past week has been the part of the regime called 'The Attack Phase'. It is a pure protein phase, meaning, only proteins can be consumed. There is a list of 72 of these pure proteins which include: lean beef and veal, reduced fat ham and bacon, offal such as liver or kidney, lean poultry, any kind of fish, all shellfish, eggs, non-fat dairy products and tofu.
You also must consume 1 1/2 Tablespoons of oat bran per day, drink a minimum of 1.5 litres of water and exercise by walking a minimum of 20 minutes each day. Salt use must be kept to an absolute minimum. I use exclusively in my cooking the naturally moist and grey Sel de Mer de Guérande, anyway, which has a stronger taste so I use much less. Just a few grains is plenty to season a dish.

I think what has been hardest has been trying to get the water requirement satisfied. I have found that I can't stand coffee without single cream, non-fat milk doesn't cut it, so, I have given that up for plain tea with no milk or sweeteners. That's helping, as I can easily drink 10 cups of tea per day. And the tea counts towards the 1.5 litre requirement.

You are allowed to use onion and garlic, tomato paste, herbs, spices, pepper, pickles, lemon, mustard and soy sauce as seasoning, so the meals haven't been boring. The oat bran is used to make a kind of galette which I eat with ham and eggs in the morning.

I'm pleased to say it's going really well for me. Therefore, without further ado, my weekly results:

I have lost 3.25 kg / 0.5 stones / 7 pounds

I'm very happy with this as it's slow enough to be healthy and significant enough so that I don't lose heart. I'll stay on this 'Attack Phase' through Monday, then switch over to the next phase of the Dukan diet, 'Cruise Phase' where you alternate days of protein and vegetables with days of pure protein. I can tell you, I'm ready to have my veggies back! There are 28 vegetables that are allowed; potatoes, sweetcorn and other starchy vegetables don't make the list. So, all total there are 100 foods one can consume without restriction, as long as you keep to the rules: no cheating with anything not on the list, 1.5 litres of water/fluids per day, minimum 20 minute walk every day and the 1 1/2 Tablespoon of oat bran per day. I expect that my weight loss will slow when I begin eating the vegetables every other day because they are not as much a diuretic as pure protein alone. And my metabolism is like a hydrophilic sponge, if there's water around, I'll retain it!

So, I'll give myself a pat on the back for the week's results and smile!
Go Team Kitty!

Thursday, 24 February 2011



Webster's Unabridged Dictionary: Ac·count·a·bil·i·ty; n. The state of being accountable; liability to be called on to render an account; the obligation to bear the consequences for failure to perform as expected; accountableness. 
«The awful idea of accountabilityR. Hall.
Syn. -- answerability, answerableness

I have a problem with accountability, quite often, because I want people to like me and I hate to admit failure. I'm also pig-headed enough and so stubborn as to not even see when I've done something completely contrary and wrong. Let me tell you right now, because it has happened to me often enough to know: nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong. However, I often fool myself into believing that the mistake is either normal for me or that it's the other person's fault. Until I'm far enough removed from the situation to be able to reflect and see I was indeed wrong. But by then it's often too late to make amends.

People fail all the time; we fall down constantly. It's the picking yourself up and moving forward that defines life.

So that is what I am attempting here, to become more accountable. Mostly to myself but I figured if I put it out to a wider audience, I'd have more impetus and incentive to be truthful and to succeed with my goal. Because I hate being embarrassed almost as much as I hate to fail.

What the heck am I going on about?

I've decided to lose weight. Rather a lot of weight. Something in the region of 35kg / 5 stones 7.5 pounds / 77 pounds. If I can achieve this, I will be the lightest I've been since I was in my 20's. It also means that my knee pain should go away, my heart health will improve, my cholesterol will be in normal range and I will no longer suffer from Type II diabetes. I've been slowly losing weight over the last two years and as a result, I've been able to significantly reduce my use of Metformin. The Doctor's thinking is that if I can get into a healthy BMI range through diet and exercise, the diabetes will indeed vanish completely. This is huge for me because when my blood sugar is out of whack, so am I.

However, I have hit a point where my weight has stayed constant and stable through normal eating and refuses to budge downwards, even with increased exercise. A plateau, you might say. I know that decreasing the amount of food I consume (ie: low-calorie diets) will only force my body into it's normal starvation red alert, therefore, I need to change what I consume.

So, last Friday, 18 February, I began The Dukan Diet. I bought the book off and happily it is English-language. I am following this four-part regime until I lose all the weight I need, then will continue with the Stabilisation phase for the rest of my life. I chose this particular diet after researching dozens of different diets over the last three months. For me, it makes the most sense. It is highly restrictive in the initial two phases, but I feel I need that aspect in my life right now.

So where does accountability come in? Right here:

Those are my scales and that is my weight on Friday morning, 18 February 2011. I weighed myself completely nude, I might add, so no taking off poundage for clothing allowed. (Sorry for the lousy picture, but the sole camera I now own is attached to my Sony Ericsson Mobile phone. Unless you count my SLR Canon FT, but that uses actual film!)

Yes, it's rather shocking how much I weigh, I agree.

I will be posting a photo of my scales each week until I meet my goal, or decide I've come as close as I can get and still be in good health. I have no wish to become a stick insect. I can't really see myself with a future career as a fashion model, let alone a fashionista. I am a woman, I indeed have curves, but I want gentle curves, not a drive up Mulholland or Lombard Street.

Yes, part of it has to do with health, but a whole huge part of it also has to do with vanity. I love myself for who I am. I am proud of my accomplishments, most all of which were achieved in the face of enormous and overwhelming odds. My three children adore me. My close friends appreciate me for my warmth, humour and 'me-ness'. Everyone who has dined with me enjoys my food. I've been told I'm not ugly. My breath doesn't stink and I shower daily. As far as I know, I have no disgusting habits. (If I'm wrong, please DO let me know so I can work on that, ok?)

So... if I'm generally 'acceptable'... why am I single, alone and without an *appropriate* mate? (By *appropriate* I mean a partner who isn't just a fifty-something child and requires mothering or someone who wants a fashion accessory to show off, bully and control. In other words, *appropriate* means a REAL honest-to-God man.) And why haven't I had a proper 'date' in years? I think it's to do with how men perceive me. I'm fat, frumpy and fifty-something. (Oh, yeah, I had another birthday on 1 February, so, indeed I'm now fifty-three. Truth and accountability and openness and all that.) I take pains to point out that it's not like I even want to date right now or even would or could; I am still in love with someone and I still have hopes and dreams and yearning that one day... I know I'm fooling myself, I know it won't happen, just, we never gave it a chance, not really, not a proper honest chance. That's the biggest regret in my life.

And... it's just that... when I look into a man's eyes, it would be nice to see appreciation of the fact I am an attractive and desirable woman, instead of seeing something resembling disgust. Or pity.

(Truthfully? Not every man looks at me this way. But a huge majority do. And it's upsetting. Plus it's a huge blow to my already fragile ego.)

Will this attitude I find in most men change if I lose an enormous amount of weight? Will I suddenly turn into a Hubba-hubba combo of Angelina Jolie, Monica Bellucci and a Victoria's Secret Lingerie model? Most probably not. I'm not so facile to believe it will. But at least at that point in time I can hold my head high, know I've done all I can and realise that it's not me at fault here, I am actually 'worthy of admiration' on many levels and all this time I've simply been looking in the wrong eyes, yes, all along, my entire life.

So, stay tuned for weekly updates on my progress. Because there WILL be progress, of that I am certain.

Monday, 14 February 2011

A Love Letter Unread.

"Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes.
Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers' tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet."
~ William Shakespeare ~
Valentine's Day is great when you are in a stable, loving relationship. Well, even just some kind of relationship where the partner is clued in enough to be aware they are supposed to DO something on that date. Or if you happen to be pretty, popular or at least cool or worthy enough to receive cards, gifts, chocolates... flowers. Receive them on the day just for breathing and being alive. Because, heh, you're cool... and popular people get things. Hollywood will verify this.
"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." ~ Aristotle ~

Well, I hate Valentine's Day. Because I have never BEEN cool, popular or attractive, especially while in Grade School. I was shy, meek and very mousey, terrified of others my own age, bullied constantly, my only real friends being books and the teachers who allowed me to stay in during recess, with the pretence of allowing me to help file or do bulletin boards. Children can be so very cruel and being newly arrived from the Deep South, my Californian peers rolled with laughter whenever I opened my mouth to speak. So, I tended not to try speaking out loud but communicated through comic strips and art projects instead of oral reports. My teachers at the time understood and allowed this. For that I'll be forever grateful.
Valentine's Day cards HAD to be given to each child, it was a rule. So at the end of the day your little 'Mail Box' that sat on your desk contained one small valentine in a small white envelope from each child in the class. You could be assured of this. It was 'safe'. Because I'd been forced to give the horrid Deborah a Valentine I knew she had to give me one as well. Deborah was the nasty girl who always tripped me in the girl's room then gave my forearm an Indian burn as I was sprawled across the tiles. I never was able to suss out why she hated me so very much. But she always got the ugly elephant Valentine from me. Always.

High school Valentines were given between my girlfriends and myself, I can't ever remember receiving an actual Valentine from an actual boy. A boy who was two years older than I, sent me a soppy love letter once. I remember it made me feel rather embarrassed since it spoke of things and feelings and wants and needs that I hadn't yet a clue about. I did not share his feelings. He lost interest the next week.

I went on a first date on Valentine's Day, quite by accident, with the man who became my first husband. I had finished work and went to a local restaurant to meet my housemate for a drink. She showed up and then he did as well a bit later. How awkward. He just sat there blathering away and wouldn't leave. I went to the loo and came back to find she had bailed on me and gone home, so, there I was stuck with him. I was too polite, I should have just bailed myself. I remember him proposing the following year on the same day with the aside that this was probably the best offer I'd ever get, so, marrying him was really rather an honour for me.

I can laugh now, but at the time, my self-esteem was nil... and I accepted. We were married Valentine's Day 1987. And he left in 1993, taking our son with him. Well, physically he left in 1993, mentally he'd left me years before.

Husband Mach 2? Let's just say he even forgot my 40th birthday... and I was NINE months pregnant with our first child at the time... so, no, Valentine's Day was never what you'd call significant. Unless I reminded him. And what fun is that?

Now this isn't supposed to be a pity party, ok? It might seem like it's headed that way but it's not. I'm just underlining how rotten the date 14th February actually IS for me.

It rather sucks, up to now.
"It's not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts."
The wonderful thing about being an adult human, is that you can decide that you'll do something different. I'm not bound to hibernation or migration and if I decide that I am going to change, well I can! I don't NEED to wait for evolution to wind it's way around. I can just think, "Right, this is how I will now do this." Then do it. Simple.

"The important thing, is to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are...  for what we could become." ~ French critic Charles Du Bos ~

So, I decided that's how I'll look at Valentine's day from now on.


Today is a non-sectarian day to tell people whom you care about that you are happy they are in your life. I mean, you can do that at Christmas, but there's the whole religion thing that wraps around it which people can get stuffy or silly about. So today can be a day that is for everyone regardless of religious flavour. Or even non-flavour.
"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination, full of hope." ~ Maya Angelou ~
I want to tell those who mean so much to me that I appreciate them. I want to say that you have made a difference in my life. That I am where I am today because of your love and support. And I know that I would not be in this safe and happy place had you not been there to help me through so much. Thank you, you mean the world to me.
"Love is strong yet delicate. It can be broken. To truly love is to understand this. To be in love is to respect this." ~ Stephen Packer ~

To the person I adore and cherish, who took me from a most horrid fate ahead of me and restored me to the whole person I had lost along the way, thank you. I will always and forever love you. I will always and forever be grateful for your love, care and attention. For everything you did for me and for us. I can never repay your kindness, but I hope, one future date, you will allow me to try. I hope you know that you will always and forever own my heart. The small sure flame will eternally and unremittingly burn; secret, guarded, certain. Please know that and remember. You will always and forever be The One.
Hug them, kiss them and tell them that you love them. Don't miss the chances that life is giving you to spend with people you love. There are no rewinds.
I know time and space and circumstances now separate us. I know that you have someone else now and that this outpouring of love I have for you will never be read, still, I needed to put it out there, to write it down and make it real, at least for me. If I could whisper in your ear, I would ask you to come back to me. I would ask you to give us another chance, but I know it's too late. That regret will ever lay heavy upon my heart.
A quiet thought, a silent tear, a constant wish that you were here. Words are few but thoughts are deep, memories of you, I'll always keep.

"A successful relationship requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. Always with the same person, but deeper and deeper every time. Each time on a whole new level you together open in love and discover the truth of your beloved anew. There is no limit to the beauty of your beloved. If you think you've reached the end, stop generalising."
Some morning, when I've met you in that sacred in-between place where we still laugh and smile at each other, that dreamworld of mine you inhabit, where there is sunshine glinting off the water, where there is peace and quiet, birdsong from the shore and long loving glances between us. I will look into those beautiful blue eyes again, face-to-face, the eyes I could swim in forever, happy, safe and secure. And you will smile, and my heart again will thrill. And that some morning, please, before you lean over to kiss her awake, the one you love now, think of me just the once. Think of me in the long pink dress, forever now hidden away from view and remember me with my hair falling down around. Remember the love we shared, the life we planned, our future together. Make peace with that and with me, please. Then, think of me just the once... and smile.

Because I will forever be thinking of you.