The Me Project: Day 15

Still sleeping weird patterns. Still haven’t cleaned out the fridge, so still haven’t bought groceries, and still haven’t stopped buying the fast and easy junk food.

Doesn’t help that I’m feeling the omgihavetogetajobreallyreallyREALLYsoon panic building — and panic makes me eat. EI is taking the full 28 days to make a decision about restarting my previous claim. I have no idea why. It’s not complicated, but they did the same thing last time. I have to call them tomorrow morning (Monday). My request to get a lump sum transfer value of my unlocked-in pension is also straggling — turns out that, despite my having mailed it in 3 months ago, it never actually hit someone’s desk until my call lit a fire under someone’s butt; and it also turns out that they were waiting for a copy of my birth certificate. I have to call them later on this week to see what else they’re waiting for. Once they have everything from my old HR department, Superannuation has up to 45 days to issue the payment. (If they’re anything like EI, they’ll make sure they take the full 45 days — after all, why make it easy for the punter.) *sigh*

I may not have been doing a lot of weight-loss related stuff over the last couple of days, but I have been doing a lot of thinking (in between the O’Henry chocolate bars). I’m a little bit closer to knowing what I want to do, where I want to go, so it hasn’t been a completely unproductive weekend. I’m going to go try to get some normal sleep and then start my December by (a) getting at least my kitchen cleaned and (b) getting stuck back into some contract work I’d let slide while I was working (they may have given up on me).

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Nada NaNo

Never managed to get around to actually writing as part of this year’s NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. Mind you, I didn’t get around to doing much of anything else either so welcome to my life, NaNoWriMo. Think I can write 49,000 words in 21 hours?

While surfing around tonight, which I’m doing since I am still overstimulated by an excess of caffeine and Pink’s “Sober” on autorepeat, I came across NaBloPoMo, the National Blog Posting Month. The idea is to post at least once a day, every day, for the whole month. It’s way too late for me to take part in the official November prizapalooza — I’ll have made 30+ posts but not at least one every day — but I’ve signed up to take part in December. So that’s a promise of 31 posts at least in December. The suggested monthly theme is “THANKS!”. Maybe I’ll take it as a sign to start that gratitude journal that I’ve been promising to start.

Mumbai in chaos

I avoid deliberately watching or reading news wherever possible. I don’t read newspapers. I don’t watch the evening news. I get more than enough from accidental glimpses and helpful friends and colleagues. More than that and I get bogged down and overwhelmed by the pain and distress that is the usual news fare. Too much and I cease being able to function on an acceptable level on a day-to-day basis, either because I’m too immersed in the news or I’m too affected by it.

Sometimes it’s hard to avoid major news stories. The visceral horror of watching the towers crumble on 9/11. The mind-numbing death toll of the 2004 tsunami. Bombings here, Mother Nature gone wild there, man-made disasters somewhere else. It’s everywhere you turn.

This week, it’s Mumbai. Suketu Mehta’s article in today’s New York Times, What they hate about Mumbai, is one of those things that makes me glad that trickles of news reach me despite my best efforts.

“But the best answer to the terrorists is to dream bigger, make even more money, and visit Mumbai more than ever. Dream of making a good home for all Mumbaikars, not just the denizens of $500-a-night hotel rooms. Dream not just of Bollywood stars like Aishwarya Rai or Shah Rukh Khan, but of clean running water, humane mass transit, better toilets, a responsive government. Make a killing not in God’s name but in the stock market, and then turn up the forbidden music and dance; work hard and party harder.

If the rest of the world wants to help, it should run toward the explosion. It should fly to Mumbai, and spend money. Where else are you going to be safe? New York? London? Madrid?”

Anything less gives terrorism the upper hand.

John Barrowman sings

jb_frontWatched him on Thursday’s Paul O’Grady show. Can I just say again how much I love him? He is such a funny, cool person. With such an infectious laugh.

And he has a lovely singing voice. He sang the new single from his latest album (Music Music Music, which was released on Monday), called “What About Us?” (written by Gary Barlow of Take That). The album isn’t available on iTunes Canada. Too bad, though having heard some of the songs on the album already, I suspect that “What About Us?” owes most of its charms to Gary Barlow’s writing skills, not John’s singing. Don’t get me wrong. He has a nice voice, but it’s a very ordinary, lovely voice when he’s singing covers, which is what most of his albums are. It’s a Broadway musical voice that is only elevated when he’s singing something original.

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If you laugh and no one hears, is it still funny?

I don’t usually laugh when I’m watching or reading funny things when I’m alone. I might think “Ha, that’s funny” or I might even smile, but I rarely ever actually laugh.

Russell Brand is one of the few people who will make me laugh regardless of who is (or isn’t) around me. I’m watching the second series of Russell Brand’s Ponderland right now and I’m actually laughing out loud. I mean full-bodied, audible laughter. It’s scaring the cat.

The Me Project: Day…what day is it again?

Just kidding. It’s day 13.

I know. I’ve missed a few days. The last week has been what can only be described as “blah”. Did nothing. Thought about nothing of any import (as you can tell from my posts here LOL). Started new Me Project posts each day, but realized I had nothing to say about things. Battled a fruit fly plague. (Isn’t that one of the signs of the Apocalypse?) Watched a hella lot of TV. Ate too much junk food. (Still haven’t cleaned my fridge.) Went offroad in my head. But I’m veering back onto the track now.

My scale tells me that I lost 2 pounds, but it’s a pathological liar and I don’t believe it. And I’m ignoring the siren call of my nails. (“You know you wanna.”)

Applied for a very short-term freelance job. Looked kind of interesting for a couple of days work, but who knows. Started properly looking at job postings. I need to get out of the house — I’m going stir crazy. Saw a contract for an HTML Converter. It pays less than my usual rate, but it might be nice, mild work for awhile. So I’m waffling over whether or not to apply for it. (It doesn’t say how long the contract is.)

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The crafters graveyard

Via Karen’s Wild Coast of Bohemia blog:

Cake Wrecks where all bad cakes go to die (some of those turkey cakes are burned into my retinas)

Craftastrophe “because handmade isn’t always pretty”

In a similar vein, one of my favourite sites was You Knit What?, which was a blog devoted all things horrible in the knitting pattern world. Too bad they abandoned it a couple of years ago, but the archives are still a fun read.

Just a little OCD

My sister and I, while completely different on the surface — different body types, different interests — suffer from very similar psychological issues. Poor body image and food issues are two prime examples, though we’re on opposite sides of those coins.

Nail biting is something else we share.

Years ago, I bought a palmistry book from the bargain bin at the local bookstore. One of the chapters dealt with what you could tell about people by what nails, if any, they bit. It mentioned that it was rare to come across people who bit all of their fingernails (what planet were they living on?) and that it was invariably a sign of severe psychological issues.

Ahem.

My sister was a more thorough biter from an earlier age. Unfortunately, she took a liking to that liquid crap they suggest you put on your nails to make you stop biting them so that backfired. I took awhile to build up to her level. But what I missed in time I made up for in severity. I also developed a compulsion to bite the skin on my fingers. I never told my mother about that until recently — she and the dermatologists she took me to always diagnosed a skin allergy and I let them. (Hey, anything that got me out of washing dishes was a good thing.) It gets worse when I’m stressed. I feel like a cannibal sometimes. It’s a weird compulsion in someone who doesn’t like meat. I was interested to read today that it is sometimes called “wolf-biting”. Neat. My mom likes wolves. Maybe I can convince her it’s natural and OK if she knows the word “wolf” is associated with it. 😉

I didn’t even know skin biting was it’s own illness until I read the Wikipedia nail biting page while linking to it tonight — I thought it was just a natural extension of nail biting. After all, once you run out of nail to bite and peel off, the compulsion is still there so what’s the next logical step? Right. The skin on your fingers. (For those of you who thought “toe nails?”, can I just say “ew!”) I really had to laugh when I read mig3X5’s recent “Hello, I’m a Wolf-Biter” post while I was looking that up — could be talking about me (except for the “wee lad” part, of course). I’d promise to tape your hands down but you’ll just start biting other things, and at least you can hide your hands.

Still, a couple of times a year I “break” the habit and stop biting my nails. It usually lasts for a month or two at the most, until I either get completely frustrated by them (how do people function with nails? they get in the way of everything) or a nail breaks — the sudden reversion to short nail kicks the compulsion into high gear and the remaining nails don’t usually last for very long after. They’ve lasted about 2 weeks so far, but boy it’s a hard slog. The problem with chronic nail biting is that it permanently changes the shape of your nail beds and fingertips. Unless you rip off the nail and start from scratch again.

Don’t look at me like that.

I considered it at one point. I’d shut my pinky finger in a car door , ripping the nail off completely. The ER doctor tacked the nail back on to the nail bed to provide a template for the new nail to grow against. Painful as hell but the nail, when it grew back in, had a normal length nail bed. It’s still longer than the pinky on the other hand but I’ve had years of biting it since to whittle that down from where it was. It’s a tough habit to break, especially if you’re an orally-fixated person.