Mar 292007
 

The universe can go fuck itself right in its rosy red ass.

While my Mom, K. and A. were out buying flowers to take to the funeral tomorrow her fucking house was broken in to.  Amazingly enough, they made a beeline right for her bedroom and only took the $500 of change she had in there.  No electronics.  No jewelry.  No booze from the fully stocked bar. 

Amazingly enough, there was another theft in the family a few weeks ago.  Somehow or other, in that case, the ONLY stuff that was taken during that particular break in belonged to my nephew, who had left the stuff in the household while he went off to boot camp.

Did I mention that my nephew used to live in my Mother’s house, or that the place where his stuff was stolen from belongs to someone who had been in my Mother’s house with him?

Suspicious much?  Me?  No way.

This was an inside fucking job.  Someone knew my Mom wasn’t going to be home (normally she’s working on Thursday) and knew exactly where she kept that money.  There was NOTHING ransacked in her house.  Nothing out of place except the things on top of the money.

I’m so fucking angry right now I can’t see straight…and I’m getting angrier writing about it, so I’m done.

Mar 292007
 

Sunday night I lost the last of my grandparents.

I suppose I should qualify that.  Peg Patterson wasn’t related to me at all.  She was Richard’s Mother, so when I tell people who she is I have to give the long and convoluted “if my Mom and Dick had ever gotten married she would have been my Grandmother” explanation.  I wasn’t even allowed to refer to her as my Grandmother.  When I was a kid, she hated that term.  She said it made her feel old.  I was to call her “Peg,” and nothing else.  It wasn’t until my generation started having kids that she accepted being called “Granny Peg.”

My relationship with her is hard to explain, as is my reaction to her death.  It was…unexpected.  I didn’t even know she was sick, really.  Yes, she was old and living in a nursing home.  Every time I saw her, though, she seemed to be in fine health (for an 86 year old).  I guess she was having heart problems, though, and was in the hospital waiting to have a pace maker put in.  Mom says she must have decided she didn’t want it.

I don’t think I’ve let myself really stop to think about how I feel.  Maybe I just haven’t felt like I could.  Is it odd for me to say that I feel as though I’ve had so much death around me in the last few years that I’ve kind of run out of license to talk about it?

I don’t know.  I wish everything would just calm down for a few hours so I could really sit back and take stock of the situation, but life just doesn’t work that way.  There’s always something, right?

Anyway…Peg is dead, and in true form her granddaughter didn’t bother to mention my Mother or us kids in the obituary.  You know, never mind that she has spent every major holiday, birthday, and various and sundry other events with us for the last 20 years.  Or that it was my Mother who she called every night to talk about her day, and who helped her with her finances. 

I’m sad Peg is dead, I really am, but I’m really glad that tie is gone. 

Nothing quite like familial ties to dead fucking weight.

Meh.  This was supposed to be kind of a euology and it’s turning into bile.  I didn’t intend that.   As I said, I don’t think I’ve really been able to sort out my own feelings on all this just yet.

Anyway, funeral is tomorrow. 

Yeah, that’s all I’ve got for now.

Patterson, Margaret M., 86, of South Pasadena, died Sunday (March 25, 2007) at Palms of Pasadena Hospital, St. Petersburg.

She came here in 1956 from her native Philadelphia. She was a member of the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle and enjoyed bingo. Survivors include a granddaughter, Mary K. Scott, Tampa; four great- grandchildren; and a great-great-granddaughter. Brett Funeral Home & Cremation Services, St. Petersburg.

Mar 262007
 

Ganked from

From www.TBO.com:

IKEA Opening In Tampa
Posted Mar 26, 2007 by The Tampa Tribune

TAMPA – Swedish retailer IKEA today plans to announce that it will build a store in Tampa. It would be the third Florida location for the seller of assemble-it-yourself furniture.

Construction of the store may begin next spring, with the opening tentatively set for the summer of 2009, according to a press release. IKEA earlier announced plans for a 310,000-square-foot store at the Mall at Millenia in Orlando. That store is to open this fall.

Mayor Pam Iorio is expected to join company officials for today’s 2 p.m. announcement. The company will be seeking approvals and infrastructure improvements from the city before beginning construction, according to the release.

IKEA showrooms are built around furnished spaces that simulate different areas of a home. The settings include furnishing, lighting and decorating suggestions.

Furniture typically is packed flat in boxes. Customers are expected to pick up purchases in a self-service area, transport them home and put them together on their own.

The company promotes its family-friendly atmosphere, including a supervised playroom and demonstration toys in the children’s department. Stores also include restaurants serving breakfast and lunch, including an assortment of Swedish and daily specials made from local produce.

Mar 232007
 

I’ve written several times about masks in my life.  Hell, one of the better poems I ever wrote back in high school was called “Masks.”  For as long as I have been studying people, I’ve been curious about the things we hide behind when we put ourselves out in front of other people.  From something as obvious as our clothing or style choices, to more subtle things like facets of our personality or the people we associate with.  We construct these images…facades, really…of who we think the “ideal” us is.  Carefully constructed personas designed to fool the rest of the world.

Sometimes they work.  Many times they don’t.

As acutely aware of masks as I like to think I am, it often comes as a surprise to me when I realize I’m still wearing them.  Oh, as the years have gone by I’ve certainly taken a lot of them off.  There are still a few lurking around, though.  I’d like to think I’m familiar with the ones that are still around, but every once in a while one sneaks up on me.

Just last week I saw one for what it was, and it’s so obvious to me now as to be embarassing. 

What was it?

The way I wore my pants.

Yes, I finally realized it – I’m pretty sure that a lot of you (especially the women in my circle) have been keenly aware of it for a while, but the magnitude of it just hit me last week.

For those of you who don’t know me in real life, I shall explain.  Up until last week, I wore my pants very high for a man.  Like, at or even above my belly button.  I would justify the fact that I did so by saying that it really was my waist, and that guys who wore their pants lower were just trying to hide the fact that they should be wearing a much larger pant size than they were.  While that may very well be the case, they aren’t the only ones who were hiding.  See, when I was wearing my pants up that high it made it more difficult to see how much my belly bulged out over my waist, and I didn’t feel as though I looked as big as I was.  In all fairness, I believe this started when I was a kid and had to wear adult sizes because of my weight.  My long pants were VERY long, and I had to wear them that high in order to keep them from dragging on the ground.  In time, though, it got to be something more.

Of course, I was also causing my “junk” to be crammed into my pants and outlined clearly for the world to see (a condition I have learned is known as Moose Knuckles, the male equivalent of the Camel Toe).  The whole “underwear riding up my ass crack” factor was pretty annoying too.  I could also wear much smaller t-shirts than I should have been able to getin to.

I wasn’t just trying to fool everyone else, either.  Wearing my pants like that worked to pretty effectively hide it from me, too. 

It smacked me in the face last week when I posted an old picture of myself to our guild web site.  In it I was wearing a pair of shorts with the shirt tucked in (a practice I learned to get over).  When I saw it, I realized just how bad it looked…and the reality of what I have been doing for the last 20 years smacked me right between the eyes.

So I started wearing my pants normally.  I didn’t say anything to anyone about it at first, and it’s only now that I’m feeling brave enough to write about it.  I think the embarrassment of 20 years in which my lower half has looked goofy and/or pornographic caught up to me at once.  When K. asked me about it I wouldn’t even talk to her at first – it actually took me an hour or so to finally voice everything I was thinking. 

Now I’m getting used to wearing my pants in the proper manner.  The biggest thing I notice, of course, is my belly.  It really is noticeable how much bigger than my waist it is when I have a pair of pants on.  I think though, in many ways, it’s helped to motivate me more than mortify me.  I want it GONE.  While it’s awkward to suddenly have the top of my pants so close to my ass crack, it’s nice to not have to constantly be adjusting myself.  I don’t look like I’m wearing high waters when I have long pants on anymore, either.

And, yes, I’m wearing pants that are smaller than I was when they were higher.  So I guess all those guys I maligned for doing so get the last laugh after all.

So to any of you I’ve scandalized in the past with my overly tight crotch, I apologize.

To any costume designers (*cough*[info]actorkat*cough*) who have had to make me look good with this silly insistence of mine, I’m sorry.

To anyone who has tried to politely point out how bad this looked only to have me shut them down, I was wrong.

I’ve taken off one more mask.  It feels good.  Strange, but good.

Wonder how many I have left?

Mar 232007
 

Your current weight |   277.6 lb
Weight change since your last recorded weight |  -3.2 lb
Total weight change to date |  -141.6 lb

Just out of curiosity…

52 pounds in 52 Weeks
Week 12 Goal : -12 pounds
Week 12 Total : -6.8 pounds
Difference : -5.8 pounds

Wonder if it’s possible and/or healthy to catch up at this point?  It’s not really my long term focus anymore, but I have to admit to being curious as to how close I can get.  Made it a point to really stick to it this week, even though I didn’t have a big loss last week.  The irony is that this includes eating some truly horrendous food at the Renaissance Festival last weekend (hello fried Snickers).  Thing is, I tracked it all and still didn’t go over my weekly POINTS allowance.

And on that note, I need to go finish paying my bills so I can possibly get a workout in before work.

Mar 222007
 

Hell, more than a ray.  The sun just came out and I’m whistling zip-a-dee-do-da.

A little backstory here.  I refinanced my home mortgage just over a year ago.  I did so in order to roll over a home equity loan I had taken out as well as a loan I had taken to get the windows put in.  At the time I did this, my credit rating was pretty crappy (thanks to late payments on the previous mortgage during periods of unemployment or crappy jobs) so I had to get into a credit fixing program.  It was basically a higher rate ARM that was fixed for three years. 

My interest rate on that loanwas 8.75%, and my payments did not include my taxes or insurance.  After three years my rate would have started to adjust.  As most of you probably know, I suck at saving money, so when the taxes and insurance came due I found myself in a bind.  I got the first payment made on the insurance (and got the friend who spotted me the 1k paid back), but I still have another $1000 to pay on the insurance and a $1300 property tax bill. 

Plus the need to start saving for this years taxes and insurance.

So about a week ago my loan company calls me back and wants to know if they can see about refinancing me again now that I’ve had some time to straighten my credit out.  I tell them to go ahead, and lo and behold they can!  My credit isn’t perfect yet, but it’s improved back to right around the “average” credit rating.  They tell me they can get me into a fixed mortgage at 6.5%.

Hook me up, fellas!

They wanted me to pay for the appraisal up front.  Told them I couldn’t do it, so they waived it if I “promised” I really wanted to refinance.  Then they said they couldn’t put the taxes and insurance into the loan, but I told them I really wanted them to do so if at all possible.

I just got the final details on my new loan.

They are putting the taxes and insurance into my monthly payments, which are going to go up by around $200.  I am TOTALLY ok with this, because it means I don’t have to worry about it (and as my payments are automatically taken out of my bank account it’s even less of a stress for me).  Not only that, but they are required by law to include any payments I owe within 60 days of the closing of the loan into the package.  So those property taxes I owe and the balance of my property insurance?  Part of my loan. 

My first payment is due in on May 1st, and because it’s closing at the end of March I’m still going to have to make the April payment so that I’m still on time (and really, it’s not worth the effort to go through all the trouble to stop they payment from the third party company I use just to have to call them again to tell them where to send the new ones).  So I should be getting that $1100 payment back somewhere in the first part of April.  I’m also getting $1400 back from the loan itself. 

So to sum up – Lower interest rate.  Taxes and Insurance included in the loan.  Back taxes and currently due insurance payment paid.  $2500 in cash to put towards credit cards sometime in the next few weeks.  Lower, and more importantly, fixed interest rate.

Oh yeah.  I’m a happy camper.  This whole situation was causing me quite a lot of stress.  Feel like a great big burden has just been taken off my shoulders.

Yay!

Mar 212007
 

Holy crap I’m tired.

For realz, yo.

I would go out to my car and take a nap, but I forgot to bring my cell phone today.  With as worn out as I’m feeling at the moment I’d probably sleep way too long.