Friday, August 31, 2012

A Sigh Of Relief

bigdeepbreath......


I made it through today without losing control. 

Trader Joe's oatmeal for breakfast.
Six baby peaches.
My beans and sausage for lunch.
Out to dinner with Gay for dinner.

And I tried to be like my friend, Barb.  I ordered what I wanted (salisbury steak, corn on the cob, and a salad) but also got a to-go container at the beginning of my meal.  I put half my steak and corn in the to-go container......

..........................................and miracle of miracles...................

..........................................................................................................................I left it there.

Now, I have dinner to give Tyler when he comes over later this evening. 



I, Jennifer Jean Branch Neil, didn't do this.  I still feel like I have NO control. 

So, I believe my Higher Power or my guardian angels or God or my healthy subconscious (which I don't even think I've had the privilege to meet!) or something outside myself was in control. 

Have you ever made a good decision when in fact you were more set up to make a bad decision? 

 It's like somehow the good decision makes you rather than the other way around. 

That's what it was like tonight.

Personally, I choose to say 'thank you' to God for being in charge of the food decisions today.  Good job, God.  Much better than I would have done.

So, here's my tentative goal:

I want to have more good days than bad.  It's a humble goal, but that's how I feeling right now. 

Deezer, my blog friend who lives across the ocean, basically suggested yesterday that I get off my butt and quit complaining.  Deezer, thank you!  You suggested I set a goal of losing 30 pounds by Christmas.  I don't think I can do that, but I do think 21 pounds off by Christmas can be done.

So here I am, taking your challenge:

Today -  221.  (Oh, God.... how I hate to type that!)
December 25th - 200. 

My goal.  My GOAL.  My GOAL.   I have a goal again.  I've been goalless for the last couple or three months. 

It feels good to have a G.O.A.L.

I did read back through my blog posts and figured out that my weeks of out of control eating has taken me back to the weight that I was at last January. 

But it didn't take me back to the weight I was at last September. 

Screw you, out of control eating!!!!!!!!  You're not the boss of me!

Love,
Jenny

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Answer To All My Problems

 
I love this.

But why does it look like Obama?

Have a great Thursday!

Love,
Jenn

I HAVE IDENTIFIED MY PRIMARY ENABLER!

And this is who it is......


This is my ONLY enabler. 


Somehow, last night I insinuated that Kara and Barb had enabled me by bringing food to my house.    I don't consider that as enabling. 

I am the one who opens my mouth.  
I am the one who closes my eyes.  
I am the one who makes the decisions. 

My lack of control right now has nothing to do with anybody but me. 

Something is missing.  I don't know what it is,  so let's call it a spark
It's the spark of motivation.  The spark that makes one able to make daily choices based on the future, not on the base needs and wants of right now. 

It's the spark that I had from last September until June.  Right now, it is undetectable. 

And, believe me, I have looked for it.

I don't know know what it is, where it comes from, or where it goes.  I just know that I don't have it right now. 

Do you know where it is?

I love y'all.
Jenn

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NEW BLOG NAME: Jenny's Stupid Out Of Control/Overeating Diary

Damn.

I did it again. I did great all day while I was at school. After coming home, a friend called and wanted to talk. She offered to bring dinner over.  So Kara came over, armed with wine and the makings of burritos - chicken, beans, cheese, green chile, and tortillas.  We had a relaxing evening visiting with each other and with Barb (that's another story).

However, I made two huge, thoughtless burritos and scarfed them up.   Along with wine.  Not one burrito (like Kara), but two.

And Barb brought decadence.  She brought....
Peanuts...
Covered in toffee....
Then covered in chocolate.....
Then covered in powdered sugar.

Not only did I eat - many - but I ate them like a five-year-old.   I sucked on them until I had sucked everything off, all the way down to the peanuts.   Then I took them out of my mouth and made a little pile of the sucked off peanuts on my lace tablecloth. (But I'd already dropped ketchupy beans on it so who cared?).  Then, when I had fifteen or twenty sucked off peanuts, I stuffed them all back in my mouth.  I did that about twice.

Isn't that lovely?

I was so angry at myself for DOING. IT. AGAIN. that I first decided to not blog tonight and to wait until September 1st to start trying to pay attention/take care of myself/be diligent/DIET again.

And then, by the grace of God, I thought BBBBBEEEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPP!  BAD IDEA.

So, I'm blogging.  I'm blogging failure.  I'm blogging how not to be.   I'm blogging "Oh God!  I Did It Again!".

I gotta have a plan.   I'm definitely not in a place where I can celebrate (be with people) without having a celebration in my mouth (cramming it full of crap).   Obviously "recognition" of the problem isn't enough for me.  Right now, I'm  likely to get into a place where I go, "Oh, look at how I'm fucking up. Heehee!  Give me another sucked off peanut. Heehee!".

So, here's my plan.   I really need this since this is a three-day-weekend and I'm going to Albuquerque for the weekend. I think there's gonna be lots of celebrating.
1.  When I am celebrating and drinking:  NO BREAD OR CHEESE.    This will make it easier to choose salads and healthier stuff.
2.   No celebrating with desserts.    Or chocolate/toffee/powdered sugar peanuts.
3.  Only one helping.     I'm not even saying "serving" because I'm cutting myself some slack.  I may be an overeater but I'm not stupid. I know that a "serving" is much less than a "helping".   One "serving" should be my goal - but if I can just get to one helping, I'll be happy.   

On top of tonight's failure, I've got to tell you how my ego came back to bite me on the butt.   After losing 40 pounds, when I was  prissing around like nobody's business with my peacock plume in full bloom - I gave Kara some of my shirts that were too big on me.  They still fit her (I smugly told myself.   And her.). 

Well, Kara has now lost 30 pounds and brought me a shirt that was too big for her.  NO!  THAT'S NOT THE WAY IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE!   By this time, I was supposed to be 185.  Not 215!

But.   Unfortunately, that's the way it is.   

I HAVE to keep on trying.  

Love, 
Me. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Forgot To Say I Don't Have To Eat My Party Mood

......... and I did tonight.  :-(

It's funny.  Today before I blogged, the phrase self-imposed exile kept going through my head.   I started to blog about that but then I thought -there's really nothing to say except for the fact that I only went to work and to home last night, and because of that, I did good.

What happened today kind of came out of left field.  (I love it when I use baseball imagery since I know absolutely nothing about it!)

After work today, we had a staff meeting.  Right at the end of it, someone passed me a note that said "Let's go to Gabriel's".  For those of you out-of-towners, Gabriel's is a wonderful Mexican restaurant between Santa Fe and Los Alamos.   It has it all - great food, wonderful margaritas, a beautiful patio, guacamole made at your table, lots of ambience.  I love it there.  I immediately said 'yes' and was finished with one margarita, guacamole, chips and salsa before I R.E.M.E.M.B.E.R.E.D.

Remembered:
Who I am.
How I'm trying to be.
What I need to do.

And by the time I remembered, it was too late.  I had already ordered another margarita, a shredded beef enchilada, and a bean and cheese burrito.

Wait a minute.  It wasn't 'too late'.  I just chose to blow it off tonight. Let's try to stay honest, Jenny.

I will be back in a conscious, vigilant state tomorrow but I really do need to look at how to not eat my party mood.  Because, let's face it.  That was basically the problem this summer.  It was one long party where I over-indulged.

Self-imposed exile is not the answer - though I do think it might work.  My problem is that I couldn't do self-imposed exile any more than I could do 7th grade math.   Both are concepts far beyond me.

I've got to learn to honor that part of me that loves to be with people and loves to be in a state of celebration - just about life.  I just need to know how to do it without having a celebration in my mouth.  That's what a year of blogging has circled - without touching on an answer.   That's the whole "Jenny" thing, I think.  Embracing the playful, fun, celebratory part of me without letting it take over.  

It's all food for thought.

(AND WHAT IN THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?)

Love,
Me

Today

216.5

I felt sad about things last night. 

It was the first night that my old dog Mo was too old or too achy or too tired to walk up the stairs and sleep with me.  My bed felt empty and cold.  I got up two times during the night to check on him.  He was comfortably sleeping on his dog bed in the living room. 

I know it is beginning.  He is already quite deaf.  His sight is going, too.  He has been a wonderful companion to me since my divorce.  I am his person.  Even when his sister was still alive, I was his person.  He and I have slept downstairs on windy nights so the pine trees in the backyard won't hurt us if they fall on the house.  We have taken V8 baths together after Mo got sprayed by a skunk.  Mo's traveled with me to Arizona and Texas and Colorado.  He is a good traveling partner.  Mo really likes anything -- as long as I'm with him.

Shit.  I hate this.

And there's more.......

Tyler is planning to move to Phoenix again in December.  Tyler needs to move to Phoenix.    Being 26 year old and not going to school - he needs to be out of little Los Alamos.  He needs to make a life for himself.

I will miss him.  But I want what's best for him. 

Remind me of that.  Remind me of that. Remind me of that.
Remind me to think of what's best for him, not what I want. 

OK.  I've told you about my two little anticipatory losses. 

Now, I don't need to eat my sadness.

And there's still more........

It's that time of the year where I need to make an appointment for my annual physical and my six-month oncology appointment.  Even the idea of scheduling the appointments fills me with dread.

Note to self:  That means I need to schedule the appointments today.  It's stupid to be carrying around dread just about calling and scheduling a date for a doctor's appointment.

For the last couple of years, some physical problem has shown up at my yearly physicals.  Usually it's been something in my blood work that's off, necessitating more doctors' appointments and tests (and lots of anxiety), but resulting in everything being OK. 

Note to self:  Look at what you wrote.  "...... resulting in everything being OK".  
Not resulting in all hell breaking loose.  
When I start dreading what's going to show up in my blood work I need to carry the fantasy 'what ifs' all the way to the usual end - "everything being OK".

And my oncology appointment.  The purpose of the appointment is to watch for recurrences.  But I've been told - numerous times - that my kind of cancer doesn't usually reoccur.  And if it does - we deal with it. 

OK.  I've told you about my two little anxieties. 

Now, I don't need to eat my fear. 

Today, I will eat to nurture my body - not to feed my feelings.

Love you,
Jenn

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sometimes

218.5 on my scales this morning. 

Sometimes, I want to read through my old blog posts and see when I hit 218 on my trip from 244 down to 204.  But I think I would find that depressing.  And I've had enough of that. 

So instead, I'm just going to focus on the fact that, today, I can write 218.5 rather than 221.... or 244. 

Sometimes, it's hard to be grateful for what you have when you used to have so much more.  (Or so much less, in this case.) 

Wow.   That statement brings up lots of stuff. 

Sometimes, when I'm in a negative place (which, thank the Lord, I don't get into very often), I think about all I had in my other life.   The one where I was married and had a 3600 square foot house and a hot tub and a camper and money to buy basically whatever I wanted.  Oh, and a husband. 

Sad to say, but it's the husband part that I miss the least. 

Sometimes, I think that if I had that house and hot tub and camper and money I would be happy and I wouldn't eat my feelings like I do.

Then I have to remind myself that I was fat then.  Even fatter.  And that telling myself anything different is just hogwash and pulling the wool over my own eyes.

Today, I feel somewhat centered.  Other than pulling the wool over my own eyes.  My house is in order, my office is in order.  It's important to me to have things orderly around me so I can be orderly on the inside. 

Whoa.  Never knew that.

I need to stop blogging/facebooking now and make myself something to eat before I get too hungry.

I think I'm back on track.

And I told you I was going to blog every day.  I didn't tell you that it would be interesting.  ;-)

Love you,
Jenn




Saturday, August 25, 2012

With A Little Help From My Friends

Thank you, my friends, for you support today.  For your kind support,  and your "put on your big girl panties" support.  I needed both.

I really do have to blog every day.  It needs to not matter whether I'm feeling like I have something clever and witty to say.  I have to do it for ME.

I learned something in my earlier blog when I said "I'm lost.  Blogging helps me know where I am."  That was one of those truths that I didn't know until I wrote it.

Blogging does help me know where I am.  It's like saying,

I AM HERE.

And if I know where I am, I know better where I want to go.

When I'm not blogging, I'm most likely living with my eyes shut and making hedonistic choices based on what feels best to my body at the moment.  Not what's good for my body, but what I W.A.N.T.

Do you know what I mean? 

I need to realize (and remember) that my hedonistic tendencies are my ENEMY.  I just googled "hedonistic tendencies" and this is what showed up:

A hedonistic tendency would be a tendency towards anything pleasurable or too self-indulgent. Things that generally fall under hedonism are sex, excessive partying, alcohol, gluttony, drugs, living excessively, living lavishly, being greedy, wasting money, wasting money on yourself, etc.

Uh, helllloooooo.  All of that pertains to me except the sex and the drugs.  And they left out food.

Obviously, the people who wrote the definition weren't overeaters.

Love,
Jenn




Struggling and Self-Hate. Where's My Effing Bottom?

221 on Elisa's scales in Albuquerque.

Fuck.

I hate myself right now.

I will pull out of it.  But, God, please help me pull out of it with renewed dedication to being healthy and losing weight rather than pulling out of it by going back to Jennyland again and stuffing myself with hotdogs and burritos!!!!!

I have to remember that, for me, overeating is a disease.  The disease of addiction.  Looking back on the last few months, I see a laughing, frolicking Jenny who was so proud of herself for losing 40 pounds and as each physical pound went away, she gained a pound of ego and self-celebration. 

I cannot do this by myself.  I did not do this by myself. 

Ah, fuck.  I don't even know where I'm going with that.  I'm lost. 


Today, I was supposed to walk in the Albuquerque Color Run with Barb, Natalie, Ron, and Pat.  I even had silent visualizations of running at times in it - like whenever I was 'last'.  After signing up for the Color Run earlier in the week, I started giving it lots of emotional importance.  The Color Run was going to be my "jump start" back to eating healthy and moving more.  The Color Run was going to ritualize my "Beginning Again" - which coming home from my vacation, starting school, and Nina leaving to go to school had failed to do. 

Note to Self:  Right there should be a key.  The day after vacation, the first day of school, and Nina's leaving were all days you told yourself were "first days".  You just did them more quietly and they didn't cost $35.  The lesson:  Making an outside event your "starting point" is a fucked up idea.  

I hurt my back on July 17th.  It has slowly gotten better.  However, driving to Albuquerque yesterday in a somewhat emotionally stressed mood set it back three or four weeks.  By the time I got to Elisa's house last night, I couldn't stand up straight and was pissing off Nina by whining.  (That's always a bad sign.)  My back was spasming to the point of hurting horribly every time I tried to turn over in bed last night - even after taking a muscle relaxer.  I knew at 5:30 this morning, when I got up to take another muscle relaxer, that I was going to blow off the Color Run. 

Now.   Why I say blow off.  Walking actually helps my back.  My back primarily hurts when I get up after laying or sitting down.  It's like it "locks down" and I can't straighten it out.   However, after a few minutes of walking, the muscles begin to let go some and it feels better.  BUT.

There's always a BUT with me.  I was afraid I couldn't walk the whole three miles.  I can't tell you the last time I walked three miles in one walk.  Even last spring, when Barb and I were walking on the canyon rim, I could only do about one and a half miles.  By the end of that, my feet would be numb and I'd be shaky. 

So, here I sit in my damn CLEAN Color Run teeshirt, kicking myself in the butt for fucking up. 

Can this PLEASE be an emotional bottom?  Do I really have to go all the way back up to 244 to start over again? 

Ugh. 


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

215.5

Slowly, but going the right direction again.

Today, I unfortunately forgot one of my previous blog topics, HALT.

HALT
Don't get too ...  hungry
                      ...  angry
                      ...  lonely
                      ...  tired.

I got T.I.R.E.D.

After a summer of staying awake until 1:00, 2:00, sometimes 3:00 in the mornings and then sleeping until 10:00, 11:00, or 12:00 --- I wasn't prepared for returning to work yesterday. 

The last two days have been middle school registration and I have been in charge of doling out P.E. uniforms.   Yesterday, I whined because I was bored because of the 250 8th graders who registered, only a few came to my station in the gym to get a P.E. uniform.  Most students use their uniform from 7th grade unless they lose it, outgrow it, or burn it in a end-of-school ritual.  Jussst kidding.  I think.

But today, the 250 7th graders who registered needed uniforms.  So I spent six hours pretending I had experience fitting clothing on teenagers who refuse to go to the gym bathroom to actually try anything on.  It was a lot of standing, bending, getting up/getting down.  The joy of the day was that there was also a lot of hugging new 7th graders who had been at the elementary school where I used to be counselor. 

For lunch, I had salad, fruit, and cold baked chicken from yesterday.

OK.  And a few chips and dip (I'm pretending that had been breakfast).

But I did turn down the seven different kinds of pizza that everyone else was eating.

Until after registration.  Then, feeling soooooo tired it was hard to put one foot in front of the other and having back spasms, I found the pizza in the principal's office and ate FIVE pieces before 4:00.

Nina kept saying "Why are you eating pizza?" to which I responded, "It's my dinner." 

Like, "Duh.  Don't you know that I always eat dinner standing up in my office at 3:52 in the afternoon?"

So, since I got home, I've stayed either in the bathtub or in the bedroom - my food safety zones.  I've also been nursing my back by a hot soak and laying down.  That's why I'm officially in my room.  But I also think I'm hiding.  From food.  From my kitchen.  From the compulsion to eat "dinner #2". 

I realize that hiding from food is not a good coping mechanism.  But sometimes,  you've got to use whatever you can pull out your butt.  So, today... hiding it is. 

Love,

                                                         "You-can't-see-me Jenn"













Monday, August 6, 2012

The Party Is Oooooverrrrrrrr

Today I am transitioning from SUMMER FULL-TIME FUN mode into RESPONSIBLE SCHOOL COUNSELOR mode.

Or the way I see it, the control and management of this vessel known as MY BODY is being transferred from Little Jenny to Grown-Up Jenn.  Who is at the helm of this body ship says a lot about where it goes and what it transports.

I recognize that this boating symbolism sounds really crazy but it has been a summer of swimming.

To me, "summer" ended yesterday as we drove up to our house after our last summer adventure.  That doesn't mean that I'm through with adventures and it definitely doesn't mean that I'm through having fun.  But, for me, work does start tomorrow. 

Ah shit.... In the never ending symbolism that I just can't seem to get away from even though it makes me sound as schizy as possible------------------------

----------------------------grown-up Jenn has got to wrestle the steering wheel of this boat away from Little Jenny's grubby hands before Jenny turns this tugboat into the size of an ocean liner and rams it into the the muddy, shallow bottom of the Brazos river!!!!!!!

I mean, we've gotten WAAAYYYYY off course here...
The Brazos isn't anywhere close to the deep, calm. tropical waters where we're supposed to be!

******OFF TOPIC*****OFF TOPIC******OFF TOPIC******OFF TOPIC
(If the topic is anything other than schizotypal water sports......)

Right after my divorce, I dreamed that I was going to take a cruise.  I walked along the dock looking for my ship to board.  I passed three huge vessels called HMS Queen Mary, HMS Victoria, and USS Abraham Lincoln but I didn't think any of those were where I was supposed to be.  Finally, I came upon a large, rickety ship with broken boards and tattered sails.  She was tilted in the water.  But painted on her side was the name MRS Plywood and I knew that was my ship.

My dream, for reals.
Oh My God, what did that say about my marriage????
OH MY GOD, WHAT DID THAT SAY ABOUT MY MIND????



Anyway...... just to clarify....... the boat in today's lesson symbolism is not the MRS Plywood.  Its the USS My Body.

***********************************************************
The USS My Body weighed 218 today.

Rather than focusing on the fact that at the end of last May, it was down to 201 for one day, I'm choosing to focus on the fact that at the beginning of last September, it was up to 244.

I'm too tired and disinterested in feeling angst to go to a place of guilt or remorse or self-hate.
What is, is.   And all I can do is start right here.  Starting in an emotional place of self-loathing doesn't help anyway.  It's like starting a race carrying an 175-pound suitcase.  I'm already starting the race carrying extra weight - I don't need to carry emotional luggage.

See how I so subtly changed the symbolism from boating to the Olympics?  Pretty cool, huh?


I've got lots to think about, and blog about, over the coming weeks.   Like how blogging helps me and how there is a direct correlation between me blogging and me "remembering" who I want to be.  I knew that intellectually but I lived that this summer.

I also need to look at the possibility of going into next summer with a plan --  uhh, like maybe a JOB so I won't get so off course.

I also want to explore the spirituality of weight loss.  I think I specifically want to look more closely at Marianne Williamson's A Course In Weight Loss.  I bought her CD last year but didn't spend much time with it.  She is a student and teacher of A Course In Miracles and has written books, using those principals, for weight loss.  Here are some of the quotes off her Facebook page:

"The only way to break from your subconscious belief that eating is the source of your comfort is by building on your faith that God is the source of your comfort."

"By seeing that you are a child of God-by recognizing
the unwavering love and mercy He extends to you every
moment of the day - you begin to realign your attitudes
toward yourself with His attitudes toward you.
You no longer need to model anyone's neglect of you;
you need only model God's love for you
."


"Once you've aligned yourself with the lightness of your true being, the dense, heavy energies of addiction and compulsion will fall away of their own dead weight. No longer backed by the emotional force of your unprocessed issues, they will have no life force at all."

I like what she says and how she says it.  And my gut is telling to me learn more about it.

And finally, while switching back to Facebook to copy Marianne's quotes in the process of posting this, I checked my Facebook page and found a comment from a friend that I want to look at more closely.  Here it is:


Karen PetersenI think your job is just right for you. It is a job and a lifestyle. So fun to have the summer off, even though it seems to so by faster every year that I live.

 My job is just right for me because it's a job and a lifestyle.  Karen, help me with this more!  If my job is a lifestyle, I'm assuming it's a healthy one.  So, when I'm not working............

I really want to look at this.  Most stuff Karen says to me comes straight out of God's heart into Karen's mouth into my ears.  You know how you have people like that in your life?  I think this is profound.

And, as usual, I DON'T UNDERSTAND IT!!!!!


So.........  I'm baaaaccckkkk!

And I've miss you.
Love,
Jenn

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sloths, Penguins, And Sawfish. No, This Isn't A Food Blog Today.

 I promise I didn't eat them.

Today is the last real vacationy day of my vacation.  I forced myself to get out of Shawnna's pool tonight for the last time until next summer.  Next week, I work registration at the Middle School.  Then, official work starts the following week.

It's been a fun summer.  Full of.......  well, I'm full in more ways than one.

We'll get back to talking about my physical fullness (and the fact that my clothes fit like sausage casing) next week.

Today, I want to share my pictures.  So, if you're looking for an weight loss blog, don't look here tonight because I ate..
..McDonalds' for breakfast
..Spaghetti Warehouse for lunch
..Red, Hot, and Blue BBQ for supper
..plus banana pudding

Like I said, today this is not a weight loss blog. 

Shawnna (my friend for 45 years), Donna (my friend for 25 years), and Nina (my daughter for 19 years) and I rode the DART train to downtown Dallas today to go to the Aquarium.  Then we met Shawnna's husband Melvin and went to as many museums as we could on a Friday afternoon.  That ended up only being two (we were trying for three) but it was majorly fun.
I like to say that Shawnna is my oldest friend but that pisses her off because she is a little bit younger than me.  But please note:  SHAWNNA WILL BE 58 A WEEK FROM TOMORROW!
Then, we won't have to worry about me being older.

Now, pretend that you and I are talking and I pull out my wallet and show you a bunch of grandbaby photos.  But, unfortunately I don't have grandbabies (well, except for my pretend granddaughters Ady and Avery) so instead I'm going to show you a bunch of pictures of animals.
Grandbabies.... Animals.... There all cute and cuddly.


To my children Tyler, Nina, Elisa, and Josh:  This is how people get babies.

You write a letter to the stork who lives at the North Pole with Santa.  You ask him for a baby.  And if you've been good and haven't touched anyone's private parts, he will bring you one in nine months.  The stork, not Santa. 

Trust me, this works.

One of my most favorite animals at the aquarium was the sloth.  Sometimes, I pretend I am a sloth.  I do this on those low energy days when I just can't get it up.  Figuratively, not literally.

Have you ever watched a sloth move?  Other than in the Ice Age movies?  They move very slow.  The aquarium's sloth (who I have personally named Peggy) only moved fast when she was handed some food.  (Uh-huh, we know what her problem is.....)

Here's Peggy:

 Scratch it where it itches even if it's in your ear.







Once Peggy worked her way to the dinner table, she only moved to scratch and to eat.

I've had days like that. 

Y'all know how I feel about birds.  Well, there were a lot of birds at the aquarium - most flying freely around the room.  I was walking around entertaining the idea that I would make this the year that I got over my fear of birds.  I was thinking about how I could reward myself for facing my fears by getting a real bird (or a tattoo of a bird) next summer.  These were my thoughts until, while watching the manatee, a leaf fell on me and I screamed in front of a mother and her three innocent little children because I thought I was under bird attack. 

But I did like this bird.  Because it was caged.  Good thing... because it is like the Frankenstein of birds.  It's called a Hawk-headed Parrot or something like that.  Sounds pretty much like a nightmare, huh?

And I like these birds because.....  well, because they're pink.

Now, we also saw war-sees --- as Josh used to call horses. 

Do you remember when we used to order these out of the back of magazines???????

Did we really get seahorses?  Were they freeze-dried or something?

Did I dream this???????

Mom and Dad......


Baby.....


And I don't know what this thing is.  It was a fish laying on the sand, looking like the sand.  Very strange.  You tell me what it is, you win.
Can you see it?  It was alive and moving.

The penguins were cute.  But, to be honest, they weren't nearly as cute as animated penguins are.  I want my penguins to be fat and waddley, and not stinky.   Phew, these stunk.


And I don't think of penguins as birds.

Now, I did think of these things as worms but they were really eels.



These wormy eels (or eely worms) didn't like the fish and would go lower into the sand when a fish came near.



We also saw monkeys, giant crab, J.R. Ewing's cowboy hat, and the extremely moving JFK Exhibit on the 6th Floor of the Texas School Book Depository from where Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy.

But NOTHING today gave me as much joy as watching the sawfish chomp down on already dead squid and other fish for their lunch.  (I'm an overeater, remember?)

They were just so. dang. cute.

I have no idea about the real anatomy of a sawfish - nor enough interest to google it - but their bottom sides look like they have eyes, lips, and penises.  Well, the boys do.  Obviously what looks like lips really are lips because that was how they ate.  But what looks like eyes are probably gills or some other fish thing.  And what looked like a penis probably wasn't.

But, I tell ya.  That's what it looked like.  And, on top of that, the sawfish look like they have lipstick on their lips.  That warmed my heart and made me feel an instant bond with them.

I carefully videotaped the sawfish having lunch.  On the videotape, you can see them maneuver the squid into their mouths and swallow and you can hear me yelling "GET 'EM! GET 'EM! GET 'EM!" and Nina saying "Mom, shhhhh.  Mom, be quiet.  Mom, you're embarrassing me."

But, alas.  In a moment of sloth-like dullness, I accidentally erased the video.  So you'll just have to make do with pictures and your very own imagination.




Aren't they just the cutest things you've ever seen?

With their "eyes", lipstick lips, and little penises, they look like little Asian crossdressers.

No offense intended.  They are my favorite animal in the whole wide world.  Except dogs.


But the fact that something that is really not their faces looks like a face makes me want to share the following picture with you.  About a month ago,  I became aware that I see faces in inanimate objects.  I know.  It's a little like seeing dead people.

I see a smiling face on my bedroom ceiling.
My fan always looks like it has a face.
I look for faces where there are none.

Shit.  I'm scaring myself.

I took a picture of the following face.  I imagine it as Mr. Bill saying "Ohhhhh, noooooo!"
 
Now, I can't get into my bathtub without replaying all the old Mr. Bill sketches from SNL in my head.


Can you see it?  Oh, please tell me you can....

Otherwise, I'll have to institutionalize myself.

Love,
Vacationing Jenny