The Fat Crawler Experience
Journal (May 2004)
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My Journal for May 2004

May 7, 2004
Things have been insane lately.  My aunt's restaurant opened to less than a huge crowd.  In fact, her first two customers came only for the free coffee, didn't eat anything, and left no tip.  How cheap can you get?  The location is just so out of the way, but who knows?  Maybe things will pick up over the weekend.  It will be Mother's Day, after all.  Speaking of which, Mom is going to love her present from me this year.  It's a surprise that took quite a bit of work, so I hope she likes it.  The beast that has become our kitchen redecoration goes unfinished.  It's still all torn apart and about half of our dishes are still in boxes in the basement and the refrigerator is still on a piece of cardboard in the dining room.  I'm beginning to wonder if they will ever fix it, but nobody ever even works on it anymore.  It would be beautiful if it were all done, but the way it is now, it looks like hobos own it.  And no matter how clean the rest of the house it, the kitchen still sticks out, making the whole thing look hideous.  Mom has been on my back lately because she said I'm not doing a very good job of cleaning, but that's because most of the stuff can't be put away!  I'm not a miracle worker!  It's a broom, not a magic wand.  So anyway, yesterday I foolishly attempted to balance my checkbook.  It wasn't that big of a deal, but I hadn't written down the last two deposits I had made.  So after several calls to the bank, I decided to drive out there and see a print off because I kept seeing that I had about sixty dollars more in the account than was actually there.  Well, I finally realized that the deposit I had made that morning just hadn't been applied to the account yet, which they had told me several times over the phone, so I could have saved myself a trip out there if I were a better listener.  But it was lucky that I did, because I hit the beef jerky lottery.  The bank and the factory where I buy my beef jerky are very close to each other.  I was so close to not going, but because it's so far away and I had just run out the night before, I stopped in.  The guy there is really nice.  We were talking about weightloss and what not, because he's doing the no-carb thing, and quite successfully, and he said he had a bunch of clothes that he could give me because he had lost so much, and I was just about the right size for them.  I thought he was kidding, but when he helped me with the beef out to my car, he opened the door to his car and had all of the clothes there already.  He ended up giving me about two hundred dollars worth of clothes.  He had also given me an extra pound of beef jerky.  He always gives me a little extra, but not a whole pound!  So as I was starting my car to leave, he came running out of the factory and said that he had just dropped a tray of jerky on the ground.  None of the beef touched the ground, but only the tray.  He said legally he couldn't sell it, so if I wanted it, I could have it.  How could I refuse his offer?  So he brought me out a huge bag of extra jerky, around what I would guess to be three or four pounds worth.  It was like I had drawn the lucky numbers at bingo!  So the pants he gave me were size 38, which I can't quite sqeeze into just yet, but within another ten pounds or so, I think they will be about perfect.  Now today I have another support group meeting down at the hospital.  I'm actually just waiting out the time until I need to leave.  Melissa and this kid named Aaron are coming with me for the pre-op meeting that is held right after my meeting.  This will be Melissa's second and Aaron's first.  Now I met Aaron through his cousin, who works at the pizza place, because she had told him all about my success.  I didn't know who he was, but I met him when I went in to rent a movie one day, and he recognized me.  He's only seventeen, but will be eighteen really soon.  He has the same insurance as I do, but I don't know if his will get cancelled when he turns eighteen, because as far as I know, he's not disabled.  He seems like a nice kid, though, and I'm sure we'll have a grand ol' time.  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention this.  Yesterday, I got to speak in Spanish, which wasn't such a big deal, but also in French twice.  And I mean have whole conversations.  It was so great, because I so seldom get to practice my languages, and especially French.  And I'm so into languages.  And Monday afternoon I'm going to give a girl from the pizza place a lesson in Italian.  She's going to Italy with her grandmother in about six weeks, and she doesn't speak a word of the language.  I only took one year in college, but the teacher told me I was a natural.  And why not, after all of the other languages I've studied?  I've always been gifted in them, and I love to share that ability with others, especially when they are enthusiastic to learn.  And it doesn't hurt that this girl is painfully beautiful to boot.  Ha ha, but of course that's not why I'm doing it.  I don't even know her that well, but we just got talking a while back about her trip, and I told her I had some books, and she asked if I would be willing to help her out with it.  What kind of gentleman would I be if I refused?  Like I would want to!  But it should be a fun time, anyway.  So for today, I will say adios, au revoir, auf viedersehn, ciao, arrivaderci, anyung, sayonara, tzai-tzen, adieu, antio...oh yeah, and goodbye!
May 8, 2004
This morning I decided to go for a walk with my leg brace.  I figured I would just walk to the end of the driveway and back.  That wasn't such a big deal, but I got to the neighbor's driveway and wasn't even really tired.  A couple of years ago I had tried it and had to sit and rest about ten times on the way over.  So I was sitting there, pondering whether I should go back to the house or try to walk to The Garage, which is about a mile and a half.  I don't know what I was thinking, but I decided to give it a try.  So like an idiot, I headed up our very steep street.  It wasn't long before I wished to God I had drunk some water before I left the house.  I was completely dehydrated and breathing hard while I sat on the side of the road on one of those steel guardrails.  I thought about going back, but I figured that I would keep going on and if a family member drove by, I would just catch a ride home.  So I kept walking.  The rests kept getting closer and closer together, and my heart kept beating harder and harder; my breathing got stronger and stronger.  I finally got to another guardrail that sits at the top of a hill above a graveyard, when my next door neighbor came down the street in his pickup truck.  I had walked exactly one quarter of a mile and was beginning to regret having left the house.  He stopped and asked me what was up and offered me a ride home.  I actually considered continuing on, but I quickly came to reason and accepted a ride home.  Even though I didn't reach my goal, I walked much farther than I have walked in several years.  I later drove up the street to measure the difference.  Frankly, after seeing how far it was, I was so surprised that I could have done it at all.  I was so pleased, and I'm going to start walking every day, if I can manage to motivate myself that much.  If I can walk that far, there is no reason I shouldn't be walking every day.  I really want to change my life for the better, and I'm even getting sick of my own excuses for why it's not time to do something about it.  Time to kick myself in the ass!  But for today, yay me!
May 9, 2004
I'm in a bad mood.  I'm just so sick of everything that I could die.  It's pretty sad when I would prefer death just for the change of pace.  It was Mother's Day, and Mom seemed pretty happy with it at first.  My gift of picture frames with all of her kids in them was a big hit.  She enjoyed the plants my brother gave her, and she got a couple of windchimes, which she collects.  It started out as cool and overcast, but turned sunny as the day wound on.  But I should have known how it would end by the bad omen I got this morning.  As soon as I got in the car, I noticed a long gray hair sticking out right in the front of my head.  After several failed attempts to yank it out, and after a few losses of my brown hair, I gave up and cursed the day I was born.  My body was killing me all day from the walk I went on yesterday.  But I did get to talk to my friend, Ruth, who lives in England, for a couple of hours today.  She can always cheer me up.  She used to be my camp counselor when I was younger at the camp I went to when I was thirteen, and we've stayed friends all these years.  We have loads of fun chatting it up for hours on end about every stupid thing in the book, but what are friends for?  But then after that, I wanted to get out of the house for a while by myself, but my Mom made me take my brother.  I wasn't that upset about it, but I really wanted some alone time because I don't get any that often.  However, I had to forget that for tonight.  I rented a couple of movies and watched them.  Neither one is really worth mentioning, but the last one really rehashed the same old flame that still burns for Natalie.  I don't even care what anybody says anymore.  I still love that girl as much as I ever did.  And I know I'm an idiot and a fool for loving her, but I don't care.  At this point, I've pretty much accepted that, not only will she never love me, but that I'll probably never see her in person again, anyways.  But the way things are going, I'm just as happy with that anyway.  I'm sick of trying to be in a relationship, or find one, or whatever.  I'm just going to stay single forever and give up on the scene altogether.  I hate this place and don't want to date anybody who has ever even visited this hell hole.  Where are all those girls in California that I studied about in highschool who didn't even know Vermont was a state?  I guess they're probably still in California.  I wish I were.  But not for the girls.  I just want to get out of here more than anything in the world, but I simply can't afford it.  I can't get a job until I get my skin surgeries, which won't happen until I stop losing weight, which in theory, won't happen for a long time.  And I know it's the same old bitch and complain argument that I always make, believe me.  I'm sick of giving it about as much as everybody is sick of hearing it.  But I keep going, breathing in out, which is such a chore lately.  I don't even want to try to exist anymore.  I'm sick of this shithole and I'm sick of trying to be happy here when it's evident that I never will be.  Every time I drive my car, I fantasize about just turning left at the bottom of my street instead of right to come home, and just driving until I can't stay awake anymore.  Then I would camp on the side of the road or at a truck stop in whatever state I end up in, and sleep the night away.  Then I would wake up the next morning and keep going to wherever it is... and that's just it.  There would be no set destination.  I would know I was there when I got there.  And there are a lot of times that I think I might drive all the way back to Puebla and Cholula, where I lived for that year abroad, and just find anybody that may still be kicking around after all this time, and just start my life over again.  I don't know why, because there is nothing there for me.  Cara will be moving back to the states in a couple of months and Natalie is moving to a city I've never visited to live with her boyfriend she's had a relationship (albeit rocky) for the past year or so.  They are all moving on with their lives.  Why can't I?  Why won't I let myself?  Why do I keep hanging and clutching onto the past... or not even the past, but what I imagine as the past.  I keep thinking about how much better it was, but I know when I was there I was miserable all the time about one thing or another.  It's like I'm always trying to run away or look for the green grass just over the next hill, but it's never there.  I can never be happy with what I have.  But I don't have a whole lot right now.  I'm improving at a snail's pace, but I'm still improving.  I just wish I could have been the better man a little sooner, before I lost everything.  Before my adolescent years faded into nothingness.  I wish I could have been better before I met Natalie, and then just maybe she could have loved me the way I loved her.  I wish I could have been better so that I could have joined the Peace Corps right out of college or applied for some high-end job.  But I suppose living a life of regrets will never get me anywhere, but I have so many regrets.  Most of them involve time.  I don't think I've made bad decisions, but I made the right decisions way too late, and now I'm left with nothing.  I used to have potential, but now I have unfulfilled potential and a smaller, sagging body.  And I know it won't last forever, but fuck!  I can't wait much longer.  I've got to move on with my life.  I can't live with my parents forever.  It's not fair to them and it's not fair to me.  I can't keep wishing my life away and doing nothing about it, but I'm stuck in this slower-than-death cycle of waiting for my weight to go down.  Maybe if I really push myself.  Maybe if I start working out like never before and being more strict on my eating than I've ever been, the weight will come off faster.  Maybe I can squeeze my shrinking ass into the plastic surgeon's office a few weeks earlier if I'm closer to my goal weight.  A woman at the last post-op meeting said that the nine month waiting period after meeting the plastic surgeon wasn't really true, but that is just what people get told to expect.  She said that it was only six weeks for her.  And she was still pretty far from goal weight, but had stopped losing for several months.  I don't want to do the surgeries for my skin before my body is ready, but if I determinedly push myself to the limits, maybe I can get my body ready earlier.  Just maybe I can get on with my life, at some level, then.  The ticking of my mind's clock is just so loud.  I know it's stupid, but in the back of my mind I keep thinking that if I could just be a better, normal looking, not quite so freakish, man, then maybe she'll come back to me.  But I have to do it all before she gets taken away forever by somebody else.  And I know I'm setting myself up for disappointment beyond all belief when she rejects me again, but I don't love anybody else and I don't know if I ever could.  Possibly some day many years from now, I could move on, but I won't be the same person.  Hell, I'm not even the same person now.  I feel lost without her.  And it really hurts that she's gotten on so well without me.  And I knew she would, because that's the kind of girl she is.  So determined and self-motivated.  She knows what she wants and she goes for it.  I'm sure she was told that she would break a lot of hearts, and I know for a fact that I'm not the only one that's ever loved her.  But all's fair in love and war, and may the best man win, right?  Well, I haven't been close to being the best man in my entire life, but that doesn't mean that I couldn't make myself into that man... or at least that's how I see it.  She makes me want to be a better person, and even if I'm not with her ever again, there's nothing wrong with making myself into a better person.  And if nothing else, she's made me a lot stronger when it comes to relationships.  I was always so open and vulnerable before.  I'm not closed up completely now, but I'm much more protected and self-guarding than I once was.  And I'm not willing to settle, like I've said so many times before.  I would rather be alone forever than to settle.  Man, this is getting sickening.  I'm even starting to regret having written it.  It really makes me look stupid and naive, but the heart is dangerous territory on which to tread.  Honestly, I can't believe I've even hung on to the idea of us being together this long.  Any other girl I've been interested in or pined after has just become a memory of some ghost whose face I can barely remember, but not hers.  Every detail of every moment I ever spent with her is carved into my mind's eye.  And I mean every moment.  I can remember the color scheme of every room I was ever in with her.  I can remember exactly how every car I ever rode in with her looked.  I remember the color of her lip gloss and her contacts.  I remember the bones and tendons that skimmed down her neck when she tilted her head a little to the left.  I remember how a bottle of water smelled that she had given me.  I remember how beautiful I thought she was when she cried her eyes out in front of the Hacienda, and her eyes were so pink that they looked infected, because she had been crying so hard from what I had said to her.  I remember the big toe on her right foot, because she broke it once during ballet, and it forever pointed to the right after that.  I remember how shocked she looked the first time she saw me take a few steps without hanging on to anything.  I remember the white shirt with the split sleeves that showed off how beautiful her arms were.  I remember the gray marble tile on the floor of the museum we sang in a couple of hours before heading to Mexico city, and how excited she was after I agreed to go with her.  I remember the pink and blue speckled shirt she wore the first time I saw her in chorus class, and how she would always flip her hair out of her face when she was singing or trying to talk.  I remember how I tried crab for the first time, and even though I wasn't that into it, I still ate it all because she had put so much hard work into the salad.  I remember the first time she sang with her normal voice instead of her falsetto, and how happy I was that I taught her to do it.  I remember how upset she was when she found out that guy had just used her for sex.  I even remember the jeans she tried on that day, and how perfect they looked on her like they had been made specifically for her........  But I guess all of that doesn't matter because she's got Ivan, now.  She doesn't need me to remember all of that stuff.  She just wants me to be her "friend", and I guess I should be thankful for that.  And I am.  At least I'll always have her as a friend.  And being alone isn't so hard.  Hell, I've done it all my life, so I guess it won't kill me.  But there is always that empty hope gnawing away at the back of my mind that one day, in another time and place, maybe even another lifetime, she will recognize me as the one that loved her all along, no matter what.  And maybe she won't.
May 10, 2004
Sheesh.  I'm such a retarded, naive, gullible, self-humiliating moron that I can barely stand to read that last entry without puking.  I'm such an idiot.  I still love her, but I probably never should have put it in a form that can be used against me like that.  I can't even believe I put it all into words.  Those are things that should be kept in my head, and not written down.  Man, I just feel so stupid right now.  But anyway, I worked at The Garage all day.  Shanna, the girl who wants Italian lessons, called and said she had to postpone until Wednesday.  Tomorrow I am having my wisdom teeth pulled, and I've gotten mixed reviews on just how much it will hurt.  Then on Wednesday, before the Italian lesson, I'm going on a quick trip to middle Vermont with Melanie because she has to do a check up on some house for her job at the insurance claim place... or something like that.  Anyway, at least my week will be filled with oh-so-exciting events to look forward to.  Hoo.  Raw.
May 12, 2004
You know how when you love a food so much, and it's your favorite food, and you eat it for like five meals in a row?  Then you don't hate the food, but you just don't need it again for a long time?  Well, that's exactly what I do when it comes to my music.  I've listened to the first John Mayer album about 236,434,346,896,945 times, and it's getting a little old.  I've done the same thing with all the Dixie Chicks albums, Nickelback, Alanis Morrissette, Patty Loveless, Sheryl Crow, Sara Evans, Shakira, Juan Luis Guerra, Trisha Yearwood, Leeann Womack, and countless others.  You get the point.  What it comes down to is I still love all of those great albums, but I'm running out of fantastic albums to listen to.  There are a lot of great songs out there, but there aren't a lot of albums where you can sit and enjoy every song while driving in your car.  But I always end up going back to one of those previously mentioned albums eventually, but I don't know.  I need a new hero!  So anyway, yesterday I got the bones yanked out of my skull.  Frankly, it was a little unsettling just how easily they came out.  I would have thought that bones would be a little more intact than that, and it made me realize how fragile all of my other teeth must be.  Yikes.  And I hated having all of my mouth frozen for so long.  I couldn't eat for the longest time, then I came home that night and took some of my leftover pain meds from surgery, and was sick as a dog all night.  I don't know if I took too much again, but I didn't think I had.  I wonder if I just react bad to it now because of how sick I got when it reacted with my anesthesia, and now I'm having phantom sickness.  But I don't think so, because I kept getting so sick that it would make me wake up, but it was always worse after I would eat something.  I think I'm going to stick to something a bit less strong from now on.  It doesn't hurt all that much anymore, anyhow.  And in about two hours I'm going with Melanie on our short road trip to Johnson.  There is nothing there but a grocery store and this house she has to do whatever to, but maybe we'll go out for dinner.  Oh, and I have to figure out some way to come up with the money for my credit card payment.  Actually, I have it, but I have to run to the bank to deposit it in my checking account.  The damn thing has to be at the company by Monday!  Crap, I need to get going!  I'm outta here!!!
May 16, 2004
Man, I am exhausted.  But let me start at the beginning.  Yesterday I took the kids to the park, and after that, I ran up to the hospital to get weighed.  I wasn't all that surprised to see I had gained about a half a pound.  I was still within the same pound, but I was half expecting to see that I had gained.  I've just been eating crap and not doing anything in the way of exercise, lately.  So I came home later and did about four hours worth of laundry.  When I was all done, I gave Meggan a call and we talked for a while.  She is having surgery this week and I am so excited for her.  I'm always a little jealous of people who are going into surgery.  Disturbing, I know.  But it's almost like watching one of my kids taking a step toward adulthood.  But I digress...  So I was whining like a bitch-ass little girl about how I wish I could lose weight faster, and Meggan just said, "I don't even want to hear it.  There is no reason you couldn't be losing faster than you are if you would just stop eating junk all the time."  At first I was a little put off, but after I got off the phone, I said to myself, "You know, she's right."  And she was.  So I decided that today I would just jump back on the ban-wagon full force.  So this morning I got up and did a Richard Simmons video, started logging my food on, and went for another quarter of a mile walk.  Only this time, I just walked up and down our long driveway, which is flat.  When I did it last week, it was all uphill.  It was much easier this time.  I also realized, after logging all of my calories online, that I eat a lot more in calories than I thought I did.  I still don't eat a lot, but it's a substantial amount.  I don't plan on logging it all that often, but just once in a while to keep myself in check.  Then this afternoon, Dad and I went canoeing.  I didn't think we would go all that far, but we ended up paddling about ten miles when all was said and done.  I had a really good time and got the old heart pumping for a couple of hours.  We brought Curt's dog, Precious, with us, too.  She's a Brittany Spaniel and kept trying to jump out of the canoe every time she saw a stupid bird.  But it was still fun, and I think I got a slight burn that will probably tan.  Let's hope.  Well, I'm going to go and grab some dinner and go to the movies again.  Let's hope it's a good one.
May 18, 2004
Tomorrow will be one whole year since I had my surgery.  Unbelieveable that it has been that long.  In the morning I have to shower, run to the hospital here in town to get weighed, fill up with gas, and go to New Hampshire to the hospital where I had surgery and where I have my monthly support group meetings.  I want to weigh in before I go because the scales at the other hopital always say I weigh about five pounds more than the ones I use here.  I don't really know which ones to believe, so I go with the lower weight that I can use more often!  I've also been doing so well with my eating and exercising.  It hasn't been easy, but I've been hangin' with Richard Simmons and lifting weights.  I can really feel a difference and I'm glad to be getting out of the slump I was in.  I think I'm doing so much better, and the warm weather certainly doesn't hurt.  I can't wait to go canoeing again.  I also am itching to check kayaking off of The List.  I've wanted to go walking the past couple of days, but it has downpoured every time I got some free time.  But that's okay.  I'll get to it.  I'm keeping up with the exercise anyway.  Well, happy anniversary to me and things get better the more I try.  As it is a special day tomorrow, I'll be sure to fill in all of the wonderful things and do some kind of re-cap of how far I've come.  And please, please, please, please, please let me have lost weight!
May 19, 2004
It's my big anniversary extravaganza!  Okay, it's really not that big of a deal, but here it is.  I went to New Hampshire today.  I weighed in this morning at 266, meaning I lost the weight I gained last week and another pound to boot.  After all the work I put in this week, I was honestly expecting more.  But anyway, I've also been concerned about my caloric intake.  Over the past few days, I've been tracking how much I've been eating, calorie for calorie.  I was more than shocked to learn that I was averaging around 2,500 calories, which is about 1,500 more than a typical one-year post-op, according to the nutritionist today.  I think that number is rather low and idealistic, but I'm not just a little over.  It's a substantial amount.  But the one thing I kept hearing all day today is, "I don't want to discourage you, but you probably won't lose much more, and if you're not careful, you will gain it back."  Apparently my "constant snacking" is a precursor to bad habits forming.  It's probably true.  I mean, all those calories come from somewhere, and it does seem like I eat constantly, so I'm making a true effort to consciously reduce my calories.  But the negative comments I kept getting all day have honestly just given me an incentive to try that much harder.  I have a very "I'm gonna show them!" attitude, which I guess is a good way to look at it.  The doctor told me my goal of 130 pounds is possible, but he would be surprised if I ever get lower than 200.  Yeah, that would be great, but if I was that close, would I simply roll over and accept it?  Not bloody likely!  I fully intend to push myself to the absolute limits of what it's going to take to get within striking distance of my goal.  I came home, purposely ate 1,000 calories less than my average, and did a harder Richard Simmons video than I have in a long time.  Then I lifted weights and did my crunch routine.  I won't take this lying down, and I won't let myself be disuaded from doing my absolute most with this.  I realize it wasn't their intentions to deter me from working out, but it was there doubt that I would succeed that really is driving me.  I guess only time will really tell, but hell!  I want to have one heck of a story to tell!  And I want to be dead sexy!  Ha ha, okay, that may be a stretch, but I've certainly got plans for this life, and I'm going to rush to the limits as fast as my stubby, flabby, short little legs will take me.  Oh, and happy anniversary to me!
May 20, 2004
It wasn't my fault completely.  I'm just a big jerk sometimes.  I can't say that I'm not a morning person, but I have a tendency of being a big grouch in the morning.  But there is reason for that.  I am the kind of person who likes to get up to silence for at least the first hour or so I am awake.  Or at least, not chaos and rambunctiousness (I don't care if it's not a word!).  But seeing as my family is extremely large and consists of of a majority of ADD affected individuals, the mornings here are quite loud.  This puts me... out of sorts.  In college, I would turn on the radio within the first five minutes of being up, but I didn't have to deal with the radio's problems and if it was too loud (which was quite often), I could always turn down the volume if need be.  If only my family had a volume knob.  So anyway, since I was so rudely awakened for the infinitissamal (I still don't care!) time this morning, I was in my usual crabby mood.  But I was up, so I figured I would get an early start on my exercise for the day.  Tricky Dick wasn't even two minutes into the first song when my dad came in dancing all goofy and making weird faces.  I quickly turned it off and said, "You can be a real asshole sometimes."  I know, I was shocked at myself.  I can't believe I disrespected my own father like that.  He started yelling, saying he just liked that song and I said he was picking on me, and he said he wasn't and was just enjoying the music and that I can be a real ass sometimes.  It's true.  I can.  I was.  I seeped for a few minutes and then apologized, saying I thought he was picking on me.  So even though it's over, I feel like the biggest jerk in the world and even more guilty for talking like that to Dad.  Even if he was picking on me, I shouldn't have said that to him.  But after he and Mom left for work, I kept going with the video.  I hardly broke a sweat, mostly because I was thinking about what happened so much that I wasn't really concentrating.  I just wish I could take it back.  Oh well.  My and Dad's relationship has actually always been pretty good.  We never get all that deep, though, except when there is a family crisis.  I know if I could just ever get him alone for any substantial amount of time, I would learn volumes about him and his life.  But I wonder if subconsciously I know our relationship has problems.  I've dreamt about five times this year that he has died, usually of a heart attack, but I think he was stabbed to death and in a car accident in a couple of them.  I've never dreamt my mother died, and I think it's because Mom and I get along so well.  We tell each other almost everything of every little detail of every day.  We disagree about everything in the world, and have some great arguments over how stupid the other one is, but it's all done with love... well, most of time, ha ha.  But that just makes me worry.  I'm always wondering if Dad will die young.  I don't know why, because everybody in his family lives to be about ninety or so, except his own father, who died when Dad was thirteen, but I've always just been paranoid about it.  I don't worry about Mom dying, even though I probably should.  Physically she's a big mess, and she doesn't take care of her health in any way.  I really wish she would because I've seen so many people that have awful complications with diabetes, and with being overweight in general, but I just think Mom would be so much happier if she knew she was going to live a lot longer than she probably will.  But Mom is a fighter, so even if she gets sick, I think she'll be okay in the long run.  She's too mizzable to die, anyway, ha ha.  (And yes, that was mizzable.  Not miserable.)  There are so many times I just wish I could help Mom to be happy, because I know she's not.  Her life has turned out nothing like she wanted, but whose doesn't?  I certainly didn't want this.  And I'm not saying she has to be ecstatic about everything, but I just wish she could find some level of contentment with the way her life is now.  I don't know.  As much as I wish I did, I don't have all the answers.  But I love both of my parents dearly, and I wish there were some way that I could help them for a change.  They have both done so much for me that I don't deserve.  So many times I think their lives would have been a lot better if not for me and all of my physical problems, but I know they would never say that.  I know I mean a lot to both of them.  I just wish I could make them proud for once, and be an independant man that they could look upon with honor.  Who knows.  Maybe I'll get that someday.  But for today, there is lots of work to be done and the sun is shining brightly.  Dad's birthday is also in a couple of weeks, and Father's Day, and my parents' anniversary, so maybe I can plan something special within all of that.  I sure hope so.
May 24, 2004
How do I start this?  Okay, I talked to Natalie last night... for three hours!  She said she had never talked to anybody that long, and she also told me that she's kept in contact with me longer than anyone in her life besides her family.  We talked about so much, and it was just like old times.  She's living with this awful guy right now.  They just moved in together.  I think he lies about connections that he claims to have in the music world, and I think she stays with him because she wants to believe he has them.  She's been waiting for a year to record a demo that never seems to arrive, but anyway.  I jokingly suggested that if it didn't work out, she should come to the states and we could get a place together.  She sort of joked back that she would, but then kept going on seriously about how she would really like to do it.  We both want to move to Los Angeles, and we both want so many of the same things out of life.  And this guy is just awful to her.  He's jealous beyond all rational belief and puts her down for talking to other men, even just friends.  It really kills me to see her with somebody dominating like that.  I also talked to her mother earlier in the day, by accident.  We talked for a long time about how concerned she was for Natalie and what an obvious piece of crap this guy is.  But we joked and told stories, and we sang songs we had written, to each other.  I swear, I almost started crying when she sang to me.  She is one of the best song writers I've ever heard, and English is her third language!  And she has really developed her technique from what it used to be.  I mentioned that fact to her, and she said it was all because of me and how I taught her to sing.  If that girl cut a CD with just her voice and her guitar, it would sell right off the shelves.  But she has all of these other desperate musicians in her life, trying to make it on her shoulders, adding in instruments that simply take away from the heart of her songs, and I told her so.  She agreed with me, and that's part of the problem.  She doesn't have anybody in her immediate life that tells her the truth.  I was that for her for such a long time, but I'm so far away.  And I can just hear her boyfriend's resentment of me when he answers the phone and hears my gringo accent.  I know he's grinding his teeth over our friendship.  It's funny how our conversations have evolved.  It's almost like we're having an affair, the way she never wants to talk to me when he's around or about to come home, but when he's gone, we flow like we were born to be together.  Then she pulled the old "Best Friend" card again, though.  It's great and bothers me at the same time that she considers me her best friend.  I love her to no end, but I haven't seen her in person in over two years, and I'm the closest thing she has to a best friend?  And last night she told me again that it's been ages since she could be so open and honest with anyone about her emotions, and that I'm the only person she's ever been able to open up to like that.  And she pretty much told me that she's not in love with her boyfriend (who, by the way, is recently divorced, has three kids, and is nine years older than her).  She's even planning on going to see a therapist to, what I think, try to convince her that she does love him.  She keeps saying that she likes who he used to be, but the relationship has pretty much gone to shit.  I mean, they've both cheated on each other, for crying out loud!  And she just keeps talking like she's out of there as soon as this magical, imaginary demo get recorded.  I heard the last demo she did with them, and it was junk.  They did some kind of African traditional, jazz mix crap with her guitar playing in the background, and you could barely hear her voice.  It was really garbage, and I told her that last night.  Too many influences coming from all over the place, and she could do so much better than settling for this life.  Then she kept trying to convince me to come and stay with her and this crazy jealous old man for a week, and I was completely refusing.  Besides the fact that I figure I'm not ready, I'm not about to go and let this guy take me out in one of his nutso jealousy rages.  And I can tell by the way she's talking that she won't be with him much longer.  I can read that girl like I'd known her my whole life.  I told her how much I missed her, and she said the same thing.  I really do.  I really just want so much for her to be happy.  I wish so much that I could help make her dreams come true.  But on with life...  Today I made a valiant attempt at eating only five hundred calories.  I was on the right track until eight o'clock rolled around and I couldn't take the hunger pangs anymore, so I decided to just go with my normal one thousand calories and to just keep sticking with those.  I ate horribly over the weekend, and tomorrow I have to attempt to get back on my exercise schedule.  Oh, and I felt like going for a walk last night.  Not for exercise, but just to get out and stretch the ol' legs for a bit.  I made my way over to the neighbor's house.  While I was resting in their driveway, I spotted the giant lilac bush sitting in the yard of this guy who lives across the street.  He's well known on my street for being a weirdo.  The word was created for guys like him.  He's in his mid-forties, has never been married, and acts suspicious around female children.  He has volunteered for the girl's softball team at the local highschool for years and years, and many days we see him just sitting in his car across the street staring at the neighborhood girls while they're playing basketball or just sitting around talking.  I've only talked to him once, and he seemed normal enough, but he always keeps the lights off in his house and is always staring.  It's really creepy.  But anyways, I broke off a few of the lilacs and high-tailed it back to the house.  I was all sweaty and covered in mosquito bites by the time I got back, but I had the lilacs (which are my favorite flower and smell deevine!) and I put them in my room.  I know he'll never miss them.  I'm not even sure the bush is on his property, but it's huge and I'm sure he won't miss a couple flowers out of the hundreds that are there.  I wouldn't really call it stealing.  Who can own a flower?  And if it wasn't on his property, it's on the edge of an empty field.  And there are so many lilac bushes in our neighborhood, I guess it really didn't matter where it came from.  So anyway, I got out and walked and that's what was important.  Well, I guess that's it for now.  Time to hit the hay!
May 28, 2004
In the morning, I always try to avoid talking as long as possible.  I have believed for a long time that the first phrase, word, or sentence that one says at the start of a new day sets the tone for the rest of that day.  Some days I forget, and I wake up remembering something I had forgotten and say, "Oh crap!".  Others, I wake up and see the bluest sky and say, "Thank God it's a sunny day," because we see so few of them around here.  And so many other mornings I wake up and start by yelling at the kids to stop fighting, or somebody to turn down the blaring television, or at the stupid dogs for incessantly barking at some menial twig on our lawn.  This morning I got up, though, without any distractions.  It was a normal day.  I just talked to my dog, Baby, about how she needed to wait for me to get dressed so I could let her outside.  Nothing spectacular.  That's not the worst way to wake up.  So I sat on the back steps while she muddled around, and Precious, my brother's dog, wanted to go out, too.  So I was sitting there with the two dogs, and it was just so serene.  It was one of those times where, if you hadn't just looked at the clock, you would have no idea what time it was.  The dogs were sort of on edge because some other dogs in the neighborhood were barking, and there was a thick, cool breeze blowing through the many trees in our neighborhood.  It was very much a scene from any calm before the storm.  It made me feel like I was in one of those movies where the animals knew something was going to happen, but the human had no idea what was going on.  So I closed the door and came back inside.  Anyways, yesterday I went to Burlington with Melissa.  I had to go and pick up Dad's birthday present.  There was also some part for his motorcycle that needed to be picked up.  I had a good time, and Mel and I got to do a little shopping.  I picked up a whole case of some protein shakes in a can.  I could never find a powder I liked, but these drinks were pretty good and kept me full all afternoon.  I stopped counting calories on for two reasons.  The first was that I had only planned on doing it for a day or two, but wanted to continue because it was helping me control my caloric intake.  But I also noticed a bad change in my eating patterns.  I started eating smaller amounts of food, but it was of foods that were really bad for me.  I was eating a lot more of bad fats and sugars.  I'm still going to keep my calorie count down, but I don't want to become a junk food junkie again.  Somehow I've got to find a happy median.  I am also going to get together a surprise package for my friend, Bethany, who joined the Peace Corps last year and has been living in Paraguay.  She's sent two emails in the last month, and she just sounds a bit down, so I thought I would send a little of her home culture so she doesn't feel so lonesome.  I know when I was in Mexico, it was like winning the lottery for anybody who ever got a package from home.  It's funny, because you end up hoping for the most mundane things when you get there, like a favorite candy bar or just a long letter to remind you that at least somebody remembers you and you still matter to somebody somewhere.  It hurts to think that you can so easily disappear from peoples' lives and they don't even think about you, especially when you spend so much time thinking about them.  So that's my little project for today.  I've got to call her mom to find out all the details of things she likes and also where I can send to the package.  I might pick up a couple books for her, and maybe another pair of pants.  She wrote that one of only three pairs got destroyed in some freak accident.  I also want to make her a mixed tape, because she only has one to listen to, and she's hinted that it's gotten a little boring.  Ooooh, I feel so giddy just knowing that I can do something nice for her like that.  I don't get that much of an opportunity to really make my friends feel special, because you can't really appreciate those simple things in life until you don't have them anymore, and I know how that is.  Well, gotta scoot!

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