Archive for the ‘Futility’ Category

Haven’t written anything in a few weeks. I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been incredibly busy doing something worthwhile.

It’s not that.

I just haven’t really felt inspired.

Truth is, I haven’t really been feeling that much like myself.

So, I thought I’d start writing and see where it leads me.

The post-op toes. Stubby is on the left.

The post-op toes. Stubby is on the left.

I’m currently back in the Boot of Shame. I had a small procedure on Monday morning that straightened three toes on my right foot. It’s the same one I had on my left foot earlier in the year. It’s kind of a pain, but it’ll be for the better. The downside is that it’s really hard to walk while wearing the Boot of Shame, so no training for Brian this week. At least it’s not a long time in the boot. I should note that the reddish discoloration on my foot is a result of the prep Betadyne scrub. I can’t get it wet for a week, so it just needs to be discolored.

I know what’s causing most of my internal strife… it’s a job issue. I’m not going to go into any details here because there are coworkers who read this, but recent events have really torn me up and I know I need to get over it, but it’s so freakin hard to do. I guess after giving 13 years, countless hours of overtime, and training people, I feel a sense of betrayal. I guess it is what it is.

In the good news department, my Avon fundraising continues to go well. I actually upped my goal to $1,000.00. Currently I’m at $811.00, so I could really use some help to get there. The link to my page is located right here and any contribution, whether it be $5.00 or $50.00, is welcome. Now, many folks in the community have brought up the point that breast cancer hasn’t impacted them directly… they’ve been much more impacted by skin cancer or colon cancer, etc. To that end, they are right, but what if a breakthrough in breast cancer can be adapted to other forms of cancer? After all, scientists and researchers do talk and share information. What if that new chemotherapy for breast cancer works equally well on colon cancer? It’s all worthwhile… and for a great cause.

Thanks for reading… I hope to have some foliage pictures from the overlook as soon as I’m out of the Boot of Shame. Until that time, be well.

So, I had to go get a haircut today.

Now, it may seem weird, but I travel 35 miles for a haircut.

Why, you may ask.

I go there because I’ve been going to the same person for over twenty years. She does a good job, knows how I like my hair and charges a fair price.

Winneba-Gogh, perhaps?

Winneba-Gogh, perhaps?

However, the parking lot has a very interesting vehicle. It’s a 1977 Winnebago painted to resemble VanGogh’s Starry Night. The colors are rather faded, but you have to love it. Apparently, it’s for sale… only $2,495.

After my haircut, I headed back home. On the way, I passed a Kreider Farms truck that was advertising their status as a “micro-mooery” The back of the truck also offered some interesting graphics. Gotta love Lancaster County.

Also got news at the office last night that I had not gotten a position I had applied for. I won’t deny that I’m actually pretty bitter about it. Kind of sucks when all the hard work you’ve put in learning your job for the last 13 years is basically swept under the rug in favor of some other folks who aren’t nearly as experienced, regardless of how much training they have. It isn’t the first time this has happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I’ll still continue to do whatever is asked of me, but the next time I’m asked to train people or the powers-that-be drop a shitty job on my desk, well, it will take every ounce of self control to not tell them to get one of the new all-stars to do it. I know I’m not fooling anyone… I will do what I’m told. It’s how I was raised. This is, however, a shining example of why some people who deserve a better skill classification don’t even apply for it in the first place.

My first instinct was to run for the food. I did have a Klondike Bar, but that’s as far as it went. I’ve come too far to let them beat me.

OK, rant over. Now back to your regularly scheduled bitterness.

I also got 3.25 miles in this morning around the neighborhood. It was cool, but very humid. I also did it in just under an hour. Yay me.

At any rate, that’s all I have to offer today.

Song of the Day: Metal Health (Bang Your Head) – Quiet Riot

Currently Reading: The Millionaires – Brad Meltzer

Warning: This isn’t exactly an upbeat piece. There’s some profanity. If it bothers you, my apologies.

I sat in the Nerd Lair Monday night, opened the bottle of John Jameson and had a drink. This is not something I do often anymore. See, alcohol and insulin aren’t always the best of bedfellows.

It’s not that I’m a teetotaler. I have my share of nights I don’t remember. Granted, that was mostly back in college. Suffice it to say, I had a day Monday that was simply booze-worthy.

Not sure why it was so bad… just one of those days I felt like King Midas in reverse. Everything I touched turned to shit. So, I sat in the half-light, nursing a whiskey on the rocks and feeling sorry for myself. That’s the one thing I was excelling at yesterday. That and generally being very down.

Now, Supportive Partner Woman (Very supportive!) has been good at attending to my moodiness. She always asks what she can do to make me happy (or at least happier), but I never really seem to know what will boost my mood for the long-term. That’s pretty sad, when you stop and think about it.

I don’t really know what makes me happy anymore.

That’s not an indictment of SPW (Best friend I’ve ever had!)… not by any stretch. If there’s a better match for me out there, well, I’d need to see some serious proof before I was convinced. Maybe the issue is that I don’t seem to have any dreams any more. I just can’t conjure up enthusiasm for much of anything. What I do find myself enjoying winds up being a quick fix and it’s all too soon back to cold reality.

Maybe I just stopped trying to have fun because I figured I’d screw it up anyway. The awkward part of myself is like a bull in a china shop and the uptight side of myself tells the other side, “See? This is why we can’t have nice things!” It’s like I just broke the collectible Elvis plates that mama had stashed around the double wide.

The only thing I feel I’ve ever been marginally successful at is being fat. And yet I still manage to mess that up by not being jolly. Pretty sad when you can’t even be a proper fat guy.

I can’t help thinking that maybe what I need is some success. Something to just go right. A break. Maybe a day when my commute to work is not filled with red lights, tractor trailers, cement mixers, Amish buggies and the armada of complete dickholes who think that them getting to a stoplight 2 seconds before I do is important.  Maybe a day when my hips and ankles don’t hurt. Maybe a period of time when I can stop being so judgmental of everyone and everything. Maybe a day when I’m not angry and bitter about one thing or another.

I certainly wasn’t raised to be this way, but it’s been this way for a long time.

I’m not kidding about the long time part, either. The last time I can truly remember being generally happy would be third grade. See, when I went to the fourth grade, I changed schools. I was the new kid, I wasn’t popular. I was bigger than most of the other kids and I was bullied. Bullied for being new, for being awkward, because my family wasn’t in the right tax bracket.

Bullied for being different.

I wasn’t physically bullied very much… I was bigger (taller, too) than most of the other kids and I could hold my own. It was mostly mental… the taunting, the insults. The worst bullying really came from my sixth grade social studies/reading/spelling teacher. That was pretty much just a mind-fuck (excuse the language) by a vindictive bitch of a teacher who had about as much right to teach kids as a pedophile does to be a camp counselor. My crime? I made the mistake of arguing over the spelling of a word that was mistyped on the vocabulary sheet. According to the sheet, “Research” was spelled “Reasearch”. I pointed it out and for that I was branded as disruptive, my desk was moved to the corner and I spent most of the year being basically ostracized. Bad enough it happened with that particular teacher, but she passed the word to the other teachers that I was trouble and it took an awful lot to work out from under that shadow. I don’t know that I ever fully emerged. The really good news is that it’s my understanding that she went on to be a guidance counselor. How’s that for a kick in the teeth?

Where were my parents during all this? Well, they were old school. They believed that the teacher was always right. Apparently I was neither the first nor the last target for this particular teacher and once the parental units found out about that, they apologized for not listening to me.

I think I started dying a little on the inside at that point. I know I stopped trying in school, figuring if I didn’t always get great grades, maybe other kids would like me. That didn’t work too well… they just made fun of me for getting lower grades. I put on a big show of  “I don’t care”, but the truth is I did care, and it hurt. It hurt a lot. I tried that whole “sticks and stones” thing… yeah. That didn’t work so well. Because even a small trickle of water will eventually cut through a rock.

It came down to me trusting no one… not even myself. I never went to anyone about this. I just became adept at bullshit. Call it my coping mechanism. Well, fast forward 30+ years and my gift of bullshit is deserting me. Maybe it’s not deserting me, maybe I just realize I’m getting older and other than SPW and a few close friends, I don’t have anyone. I have plenty of acquaintances, but few friends.

I’ve been on the fence about the surgery for several months. I guess a large part of me was scared that even if I do get down to a normal weight, I’ll still hear the comments, the snide remarks about the rhino in the room. You know what? I’ve spent my whole life worrying about what other people might think. The people who don’t matter.

You know what I say?

Screw ’em. Screw ’em all.

I’m doing it because it offers the best chance for me to improve my physical health and my mental health. I’ve been cowed for 30+ years and I’m not going to put up with it anymore. Gotta move on.

All that being said, I made a lot of mistakes in my life. I don’t deny that. I caused hurt to people and I regret that most deeply. If I ever hurt you and didn’t apologize, well, I’m truly sorry. On the other hand, if you were an asshole to me and it never bothered you, I’m sorry for you. But if figuratively kicking someone who’s down made you feel that much better about yourself, well, I’m so glad I could help.

So, there you have it. I’m getting the operation. And it’s going to be a success.

God knows I need one.

I also want to point out that I have a lot to be thankful for and it’s not all gloom and doom. I have a good family, I’m not living on the streets and I have the best wife I could ever want. She’s my rock.

Or is it a sign of me starting to crack up?

I say this because I had another appointment with the dietitian today only to find that I gained five pounds. I hate the scale like nothing else. I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. I want to beat every scale I see with a large sledgehammer. I feel that the scale exists to completely destroy any sense of accomplishment I may have.

I know… there are all sorts of theories why one scale weighs differently. and maybe that’s part of the problem. I don’t think that a five pound swing is likely.

I think the problem is plain and simple.

Stress.

It hasn’t been a good food week. I know that. Supportive Partner Woman (Liker of Mexican food!) and I have been eating out at a rapid clip, which is not good. There’s been so much going on that it’s hard to know which end is up, and sometimes, the best option is to grab something on the run. So, we wind up eating lunch out. I’m still eating my breakfasts at home and I take dinner with me, but according to the dietitian, I’m eating out too much. Couple with the reduced activity thanks to Wayne, well, I’m not getting as much exercise as I should. It all adds up… it’s not just because we’ve been to Chipotle multiple times in the course of a week.

See, the only part that doesn’t show results are the weigh-ins. I’ve been able to steadily increase the weights and workouts and my clothes fit better. In fact, I’m wearing a pair of jeans I haven’t been able to wear since the winter before last and they are actually a little baggy.  I can’t believe that the bariatric center didn’t take measurements when I started. I’d really like to know how many inches I’ve lost.

The other stressor for the week is thanks to my wonderful employer. It’s annual enrollment time again and that’s never any fun. Not only because of the hoops they make you jump through, but because every year they find yet another way to nickel and dime you. This year’s big surprise is not only are my premiums going up 12%, they are cutting the amount they pay by 5%. That’s really a 17% increase. And because it’s not complete without one more thing, they are also doubling the deductible. Basically, it seems that if you have a chronic condition, like the Beetus, you should just save everyone the trouble and off yourself before your next doctor’s visit. Couple that with the federal legislation that limits FSAs to $2,500 a year, well, it’s a complete shit sandwich.

As my late father would always say, “I don’t mind getting screwed, but at least kiss me first.”

I hope the next post will be free of the negativity… it’s just so frustrating to put in the time and the sweat and see that you gained five pounds. Makes me want to go and eat. A lot.

I’m not going to, though.

Morning.

I’d say “Good morning”, but I’d be lying.

I got home from work last night and removed my shoes and socks, only to discover that I had a blister. A big blister. Right on the bottom of Stubby the Wonder Toe. A large piece of skin had sloughed off and, well, it wasn’t particularly pretty. I was tempted to post a picture, but Supportive Partner Woman (photo critic!) put the kibosh on that. You can thank her later.

GAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

This has my feelings of frustration and futility measuring off the charts. I’ve been doing this for months and no sign of a blister. I was even at the foot doctor yesterday and he didn’t see anything. The toe was fine when I took a shower yesterday, but somehow, while I was at work, I get a blister the approximate size of Los Angeles County and I didn’t even go for a walk. It’s enough to drive you to drink.

My first thought was, “What’s the point?” Why the hell am I doing all this work? I’ll just get another blister, and another, and another. I’ll never reach my goals. This was followed by a general thought of just bailing on our vacation and letting SPW go by herself. I’m sure if I tried that, she’d hurt me.

These feelings are followed immediately by that sense of loathing. Like Stubby is an actual person instead of a toe. I know I joke that my toe has adopted a gangsta personality, but in reality, it’s just a toe. But I hate this toe so much right now. I hate it more than I hate peanut butter. I DESPISE peanut butter. I even confess to wanting to go to the garage get a saw, and take the whole foot off. Then I can’t get any blisters on the toe, right? Yeah… I didn’t think that was an option.

So, what do I do? I emailed my trainer who is sadly off for a long weekend, and I guess the gym is right out for now. I’ll have to rock the Boot of Shame for a while and just have to keep my calories down if I want to make any progress. I see Rachel, the CRNP extraordinaire on Monday… maybe she’ll have some suggestions. I can’t let the blister stop me, though… I’ve come too far for that. Maybe this is nature’s way of telling me I was working too hard. When this heals up, and it will heal up, perhaps I just start using moleskin every day and padding the hell out of my toe. I don’t know. But I’m going to find out.

Hope you have a better day than mine has started out to be.

Ever sit down and wonder, “What’s the point?”

Have you ever been just struck by a feeling that what you are trying to do is totally pointless?

Have you ever been so discouraged for no apparent reason that you start to doubt your own state of mind?

I’ve been there the last few days. I’ve gone through the motions at the gym, worked up a sweat, but have been totally second guessing my reasons for embarking on this journey in the first place. It makes no logical sense whatsoever for me to be feeling this way, but I still do.

See, this is danger time for me. This is the time when I start to snack when I shouldn’t. I’ll start skipping days at the gym. I’ll be “too busy” or some other bullshit excuse. Even if I don’t have a good reason, I’ll take a bad reason and make it sound good, the entire time trying to justify it to myself.

Why the hell does this always happen? I kid you not… if I could just learn to listen to the sheer bullshit I was spewing at times like this, well, I probably wouldn’t be so damn fat.

I guess you could say that my biggest (no pun intended) enemy is myself. It’s not the weight, it’s my mind. How do you battle something that knows everything about you?

Logically, I know I’ve made strides. I’m getting encouragement (thanks, folks!) and not just from the folks I see on a daily basis. Still, the biggest inner voice is the one screaming, “You suck! You’re such a loser! You’ll never amount to anything but a big, fat pig!” and as much as I try to silence that, it screams all the louder. The more I ignore it, the more it keeps eating away at my willpower until eventually, I cave. I always have.

Maybe it’s time to just stop listening to that inner voice, or better yet, bitch slap it into submission. Granted, I have NO idea how to do that, but if this is going to work, I need to figure it out pretty quickly. Maybe I should just write it a memo. I don’t know.

One day at a time, I suppose. This way, if I have a bad day today, I can have a better day tomorrow. Maybe it’s not totally futile.