I was electrocuted yesterday. I didn’t see it coming. There were signs. For one thing, Armageddon failed to impress, so obviously something else bad needed to happen to the sinners like myself, and what better than a little sudden frying of flesh?
This guy saw it coming and was actually trying to send me a warning message telepathically which, afterwords, I translated as “Don’t touch that fence. Seriously, lady, that wire is charged. Are you a fucking idiot to not listen to me? Stop- don’t- yeah. You’re dumber than a pile of pellets.” It HURT. It was startling and weird. I’ve had little shocks a couple of times before but this went THROUGH me, buzzing. It was also embarrassing. Naturally I immediately had to tell someone. So I told my mother, who was waiting at some distance from the goats with her salivating dog, that I’m as dumb as a pile of pellets. I patted her on the back and told her not to sob too hard over all her shattered hopes and dreams for me. There are still group homes and rousing games of Go Fish for people like me.
All those farmers who say their fences aren’t charged strongly enough to hurt their animals are lying. I realize that those fences are effective, but don’t tell me they don’t hurt cause they do. All this excitement took place at Max’s charter school. These windows you see above are his school building which is located on some church property behind which is goat pasture. He goes to school in the real countryside in an old decrepit gymnasium. It’s not for everyone but as Max pointed out, we’re a funky family. School ends for him in three days. He’s been going for two and a half months and he claims not to have had a single bad day at school. I’m a realist and know he’ll have them at some point, but it’s looking like he might not have his first bad day there until next year. Is it weird that I’m not sure if he’s graduating as a fifth or a sixth grader? Yes. We’re hardly living a usual life and this kind of stuff happens in irregular lives all the time. He’s been doing some high school math, apparently. And he may be ten years old entering seventh grade. I was 12 years old entering 7th grade. The kid will do alright.
A little suddenly, we’ve decided that we can just afford for me to go to Blogher 2011 in San Diego. I wasn’t going to push to go, originally, because I am allergic to southern California. It’s the land of eternal and purgatorially perpetual sunshine. It’s bright as HELL down there unless the smog is especially thick and then you can’t even go outside unless you want to get instant cancer. They have this thing called Santa Ana winds which blow 120° gusts of wind at you and fry your skin until it feels like cracklins. I know whereof I speak. I have been to southern California many many times. I have family down there and consequently, most summers, we took a family trip down to LA hitting La Costa, Carlsbad, and San Diego. I have many poignant memories of our Ford Van crawling up the grapevine, me counting the number of smoking cars on the roadside that broke down because their radiators couldn’t take the crazy pounding heat, me imagining us breaking down and a week later the highway patrol finds our vulture picked sun-bleached bones. When we reached the top and saw Los Angeles sprawling like a malignant sore across the landscape we saw it through visible waves of heat rolling across the road.
On the other hand, my sister has made her home in Los Angeles (she refuses to live her life according to the comfort of my skin) and that’s only a couple of hours from San Diego. I couldn’t possibly go down to the mouth of hell just for a Blogher conference, but the chance to see my sister was enough to tip the balance. So I’m going. Even though I promised I would never travel again as a fat person. Nor see all those cute pretty women looking chic and getting drunk while my stomach protrudes farther out than my boobs. Being fat in hot weather is definitely the worst, the humidity in New York definitely made me look like a really creepy sausage person with a sheen, but I had so much fun anyway. So I caved to my desire to take part in the panels and to see my workmates and bosses. I caved to the overwhelming desire to have a week away from my family, all to myself, with my camera, walking until my shoes fill with blood and I wash them in beer (or maybe the Pacific Ocean).
I’m going. I’ve already been doing things to take better care of myself in general and this trip has given me the push I need to make greater strides. Before this sudden decision to go, I weighed myself. I haven’t done so in months because I know what I’ve been eating and drinking and I wasn’t eager to find an excuse to hate myself. Kindness seemed like not knowing too much and working blind to improve my self discipline. I was surprised to find that I had not reached my highest weight again, or if I did (who can say what truth the scale may have revealed in January?) my recent efforts have kept me 13 lbs under that depressing top weight. This was pleasing. But what’s better is that in the past 5 days I’ve lost more weight. Exercise + less cheese + less beer = less weight. That’s an equation that nearly always works. But do any of you remember all those years when I was plugging in the factors and coming up with this: exercise + less cheese + less beer = 20 lbs weight gain? When I gained weight no matter what I did I seemed to constantly spiral downwards emotionally and upwards weight-wise. So regardless of whether or not I maintain the self discipline necessary to lose weight, what is uplifting is that my body is working like it should again. I have not forgotten (and if I’m being honest, I am still traumatized) all those years of frustration when my body wasn’t doing what it should have been doing. Paxil did me many great services (sleeping at night even though an earthquake could happen at any time is a luxury I didn’t have before paxil) but that weight gain was evil and has damaged my self esteem severely. I’m recovering. Things are behaving the way they should scientifically behave. I’m making effort and seeing results. This gives me hope. It is a world I understand.
After so many times I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and put the boxing gloves back on here in public only to fall flat on my face again, I’m reluctant to discuss it over-much. I’ll probably be fat the rest of my life. I’m not going to record the minutiae of my efforts here with regards to food and weight. Not unless there’s some philosophical angle I’m thinking about. I just thought I owed it to long time readers and friends to report that there really was something working against me all those years that was out of my control and if I do stay fat now, it’s definitely my own doing, and I can live with that. But all those times I complained, railed, cried, and pounded the walls in frustration and gave up and resumed poor habits because- why not?, that wasn’t because I was failing myself. I think I spend enough time taking responsibility for myself, for my life, for my mishaps, that it’s a relief, for once, to know that something WASN’T MY FAULT.
I’m amazingly sore today from practicing forms and walking distances. It’s good to be sore from physical efforts that my body craves. I love walking more than any other exercise. I walk fast, in case you don’t know that from the personal experience of walking with me.
I need a striped sun hat. The kind you can crush in your luggage and reconstitute.
I am really happy that the death penalty is now administered by lethal injection in most places. Not that I’m a big fan of capital punishment, in general. I am a fan of it in very very limited circumstances which I’m not going to explain right now. Electrocution is truly ghastly. Farm animals everywhere think we humans suck. Oh, for so much more than the electric fences. Our crimes are huge, but that one, that one is such an insult. I get it. I’m with the goats. I’ve always loved goats. I now think they may be smarter than humans.