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“This is not to say that camp is a panacea for socially isolated people with disabilities. ” Nope, but for me it was a panacea for someone who didn’t know they were socially isolated (until they weren’t) who has no major disabilities.

Matan Koch's Blog

“Holy sh**, that’s Matan” – Unknown shmirah (on-duty counselor) late July 1994.

These were the words I heard during the execution phase of a critical step in trying to sneak me across camp, from boys’ camp to girls’ camp on the last night of the first session of Eisner Camp in 1994.

Sneaking across camp, or raiding, was a time-honored tradition, especially on the last night.  I like to think that it was a little more innocent when I was a child than it is now, with the stories that I hear of rampant teenage sexuality, but there is no question that hormones were a motivating factor.

Despite being as motivated as any other 12-year-old boy, there were some significant complexities in the idea that I would participate.  The first was that sneaking across camp involved, well, sneaking, and I was in a large and very loud power wheelchair. …

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no distractions

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Read my acquaintance Julie’s reasoning for not replacing her iPhone (which is virtually the same as my reasoning for NOT getting one in the first place). Neither of us wants to be plugged in and available ALL THE TIME, boundaries are good!

Why I am on an iPhone Detox.

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Sorry I’ve been quiet on the blog-o-sphere for so long. Busy + happy = no time to mope around and blog. Ben and I have been doing a lot of local exploring lately with friends, which means I’m shy about bringing my camera along and then using it when I do bring it and posts without photos are just dull.

Anyhow, I just wanted to let any remaining readers know that I haven’t abandoned you, I’ve just been busy. Also, I’m tired and cranky today and that seems to be my trigger to blog!

Why am I tired and cranky? The fire alarm in our apartment building went off THREE TIMES yesterday. Once at 3:30 PM (no big deal, we went for a walk). Then again at 11:10 PM (thankfully we were running late with the whole bed time thing and hadn’t gotten in the shower yet, though normally one of us would be all clean and brushing their teeth while the other showered right then. Than again at 12:45 AM this morning. BLECH! Apparently there is some sort of pressure issue with the sprinkler system in the parking deck next to/attached to our building (not the first time this has happened) and it was so drastic that it set off the alarm for the apartment building too!

What I’m wondering is that there are over 100 units in our building, most of which are 2 bedrooms, where were all those people!? There were about 40 people milling around outside the building for the afternoon alarm, then maybe 20 for the 11:10 PM alarm, and then only about a dozen people milling around the front door for the 12:45 AM alarm. Did people sleep through it? HOW!? Did they stay inside? WHY?! What kind of person ignores a fucking fire alarm and stays inside? I knew there was a 99% chance of it being a false alarm, but I still put on a coat, boots, hat, mittens, and grabbed my nook HD (it’s an awesome little Android tablet I bought myself for hannukah with leftover birthday money), cell phone, and purse each time. If I’d actually smelled smoke I may have made the stupid choice to grab a few choice items (change of clothes, meds, laptop, ketubah, jewelry, and viola). But the hallway was cool, smelled like curry (not usual in our building), and no one seemed panicked.

I suppose I can save this post from being whine-fest 2014 by summing up some of the awesome things we’ve done over the past few months, you can see why I say we’ve been busy:

  • Ben was on partial leave due to the shutdown (only allowed to work 5 hours/week “to preserve property”)
  • Becca came to visit from Calgary! They went and did touristy things and made me some awesome dinners while I continued to adjust to my new job
  • Visited the Maryland Renaissance Festival, where we met up with some friends to see an organ recital in the woods
  • Attended a CU alumni event focusing on the NASA/CU collaboration on MAVEN
  • Saw CAVALIA at the National Harbor with my dad and got a VIP tour of the stables after the show
  • Hosted a cooking party where we cooked fondue bread pudding in a pumpkin with vegan “bacon,” yum!

baked pumpkin

  • Visited the White House for the Fall Garden Tour (post forthcoming)
  • attended the National Kidney Foundation masquerade gala (sans masks, but with peacock feathers!)

Kidney Foundation Gala photo

  • watched a rocket launch from Wallops Island Spaceport from the roof of our apartment building
  • Cooked a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast (served with a side of turkey, for those who wanted it) at my parents house for my dad, my brothers, and a friend of ours
  • Went shopping for some very specific good deals on Black Friday, then stopped by my parents house to eat leftovers for lunch and finish my shopping online (new carry-on suitcases, nook HD and cover, etc.)
  • Hosted a friend for Shabbat Thanksgiving to help sooth her nerves before arguing before the Supreme Court
  • Attended a last-night-of-Hannukah holiday potluck (yum!)
  • Attended and helped deep fried a kosher turkey at “Friendsgivikkah” pot-luck feast
  • Attended my office holiday party and Secret Santa gift swap at a nice steak restaurant downtown (we each had a beautiful, huge, salmon steak)
  • Went out for pre-Christmas Dim Sum and a movie [the Hobbit, part 2 of 3] with my family (even Gramma came!)
  • Attended Ben’s uncle and family’s holiday party
  • Spent a whole day visiting the Newseum
  • Attended a potluck New Years Eve party at a friend’s apartment building’s party room downtown
  • Spent a whole day cooking party with Andrea and company preparing a Turcchetta with a sues-vide machine and then deep frying it and serving it with other modern-American Thanksgiving fare
  • Had pizza with an old friend and her family in McLean and then went to see the Capitol Steps show at the community center

What else…. My weight loss goal is going SLOOWLY, but mostly steadily down. It’s frustrating when you keep weighing in at -0.4 lbs per week, but then I realize that that adds up to almost -2 lbs/month, and that .4 lbs is just shy of two sticks of butter (eww!). Slow and steady supposedly stays off more easily and more permanently than binge dieting, but sometimes I just want to fool the scale and be done with all this meticulous attention to my food intake and exercise-earned flex points allowance. Re-learning proper portion and teaching myself to have self control and around tasty foods is HARD. F’ing cookies, salt water taffy, home made caramels, and other holiday treats. I’m just grateful that I’m allergic to most traditional treats (no nuts, peanuts, chocolate, or berries, plus lots of other things too). My allergies are a good reason not to try something and great and easy excuse as to why I’m not eating something at parties. SELTZER WATER IS MY FRIEND, but then I have to occasional be seen with an alcoholic beverage or folks start to stare and my mid-section (which is still kinda plumpy, but not in a baby-filled way, just a food-baby way).

Please remind me to post about the White House tour if I forget by the end of the week!

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In early October we celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary! We started with brunch on our awesome patio, where we discovered the biggest, most evil looking caterpillar EVER had been causing our tomato plants to look leggy and bedraggled. Stupid tomato hornworm! Ben didn’t want to get stabbed, touch it, or have much of anything to do with it, so he put on his heavy work gloves (also helpful to assembling and disassembling the sukkah), grabbed a water glass and a flat-head screwdriver, and pried that big thing off and flushed it down the toilet (we don’t have a compost pile to bury it in, as my grandmother suggested and were afraid to open the garbage bin and see it crawling around in there later).

That was our relaxing morning at home…. Oops.

We made up for it with a lovely drive to Brunswick, Maryland, for Brunswick Train Days. Brunswick is a cute little town, about 1/2 way to Harpers Ferry. We didn’t get tickets to ride on the train, but wondered around a bunch of antique stores and had a rootbeer float instead. Then we stopped at the Wegmans off 270 on the way home and bought lots of goodies.

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Here’s my take on it: I like baking bread, cookies, canning, entering recipe contests, etc. because they give me projects, goals, and satisfaction when I’ve completed/entered them! Sending resumes out into the great void of employers is demoralizing and depressing (I send out 12-20 cover letters  and resumes per week, I hear back maybe 3-5 times per week, most of those being something like “We have received your resume and will contact you if we would like to interview you.” If I don’t get some curt, reply-all, email I don’t know if a person or a computer has screened me out but I typically don’t get so much as a note saying “Your application has been received” to let me know that the email and attachments even went through. Thank goodness for mailer daemon or I might think they’ve all been rejected!

And Emily Marchar‘s take on the subject of why my peers and I like doing stuff is why she’s a writer and I’m not:

There’s a degree to which this New Domesticity helps people justify and feel good about the choices that they basically had to make. A lot of women are pushed out of the workforce, and nobody wants to feel like they’re a pawn, nobody wants to feel like they don’t have any power.

D.I.-Why?: Emily Matchar on the Allure of the “New Domesticity” | The Hairpin.

home made sushi

home made spicy tuna and carrot maki rolls, for a gluten-free friend’s birthday in 2009

UPDATE: And while we’re at it, THIS! Our life isn’t ready for a baby but I am: let’s talk about dealing with baby fever” | Offbeat Families. I just wanted to throw that our there too, to add to this morning’s general “Woe is I” feeling. I ♥ you, ladies of the interwebs.

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I don’t really like blogging about my Weight Watchers success. It makes me feel weird, like I shouldn’t have let myself go so far before I had to look for outside enforcement, but that’s the nature of having a problem. You won’t accept help until you look for it yourself. Going to a WW meeting mustn’t be too far off from an AA meeting, food addicts, alcoholics, we’re not that different. Well, maybe our stories are less depressing at WW, but we’re there to be supportive of each other and to share what’s working and what isn’t and learn the science behind the whats and whys of the program.

Anyhow, it’s working slowly but surly for me. Since Thanksgiving 2012 I’ve lost 20 lbs (well, I hit that milestone a month ago and have been near it since, but I haven’t been great about limiting my birthday/wedding celebration consumption either). Yes, that’s 9 months to loose 20 lbs, or about 2 lbs per month overall. I’m actually quite proud of it and expect that because I’ve lost it so slowly it’s more likely to stay off.

Every time I hit a setback it’s been 3-4 pounds over 2 weeks after some major event revolving around food: baby shower, road trip, baby shower, wedding, birthday, etc. Then it takes me a month to get back on track, and loose what was there before too, which is really frustrating because I feel like I’ve lost the same weight over and over again. It also means that sometimes I loose 6 lbs in a month when 1/2 of those were pounds I’d already lost and yo-yoed back because I ate too much salt/fat/whatever and just had an awful weigh in previously. FINALLY though I’m starting to see that I look and feel different. My waist is back where it should be and old clothes not only fit but are a tad roomy! And the best part is that yoga is getting easier, not because I’m getting stronger, I feel I may have in fact lost muscle tone because I’m not as active as I have been in the past, but because there’s less belly to have to modify around!

The biggest milestone for me is that my wedding dress not only fits again, but it fit without the Spanx I wore underneath for my wedding! WOOHOO!

wedding dress on 30th birthday

pointing out my favorite wedding photo in my wedding dress almost 3 years later
PS- please ignore the mezuzah that appears to be sticking out of my head

Go me! Oh, and I got new glasses too. Not a huge change, but I also got my first pair of prescription sun glasses rather than the magnetic/clip-on sunglasses that went over my regular glasses that I had in the past. I feel like a real grownup now. Watching my food intake, trying to track my physical activity, and real sun glasses. I guess 30 isn’t so bad, it just can’t the tequila/beer and nachos/pizza festival that 23 was and I am 100% OK with that; I like veggies, whole grains, and lean protein!

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