I'm Back

A couple years ago, I took down all of my blogs. I worked for a conservative company, I was concerned about my professional appearance, and I followed bad advice. (I broke up with that guy.)

I miss my blogs. I miss the outlet. I don't write enough now.

So, I am putting this one back. I uploaded the archive, but there are lots of broken links and pictures. I'll fix them eventually, and I will delete some posts, and import posts from my other blogs. It will be a work in progress for awhile -- a slow work in progress because I have started a new job.

I missed you people.

Why do I have so much self-esteem? I work at it.

Self esteem. Pass it on.

Clearly, I would not be friends with people who are not awesome, so I am mystified by one friend's low self-esteem. I told her that, if I could, I would gladly give her some of my self-esteem because sometimes I feel like I have too much. We were chatting online with a few of our other girlfriends at the time, and one asked why is it that I have so much self-esteem when they have so little. I didn't always.

Why do I have so much self-esteem? Innate narcissism is the most likely answer. Thinking that I am better than most people I meet can't be hurting either.

Kidding! Mostly.

It's much easier on yourself if you are kind to yourself and think nice things about yourself. You can stop thinking negative thoughts about yourself. There's a psychological technique called thought-stopping that is rather simple to master. If you Google it, you'll see that it doesn't work for panic disorders or chronic worry, but it absolutely works for replacing negative self-talk with positive self-talk. Have a couple of positive phrases about yourself worked out in advance. Every time you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself, say, "STOP!" in your mind, then think the positive thought. It is that easy.

I am not the prettiest, or the slimmest, or the smartest, or the funniest, or the anything-est, but I am great. I like who I am. I like most things about myself, and I am actively trying to change the things I don't like. That is the best that I can do, so there is no need for me to be the one to berate myself for anything. I am a pathological overachiever. This makes me come down very hard on myself, but it is almost always about how much I can achieve, not who I am.

Rejection is difficult for anyone, myself included. It stings, but I shake it off with no damage to my self-esteem. When I am rejected (for a job or a potential client, by a man...), I chalk it up to fit. I don't take it personally, at least not for too long. I like who I am, and I can't be anything else other than that, so if I am rejected for something about who I am, it's fine. It means I was not a good fit, and that situation would not have ended well.

It does not mean I was not smart enough, talented enough, pretty enough, funny enough...

I am more than enough. I am awesome.


What doesn't kill me makes me awesomeI don't think I'm invincible, but I do think I'm unbreakable. I believe, with every ounce of my being, that there is nothing in this world that can happen to me from which I won't recover, emotionally. Nothing.

I consider all possibilities. What is the worst thing that can happen? How would I deal with it? I have the answers to those questions and, whether or not I am right, having thought about it gives me the strength to get through it. It's not morbid to think about those things. I am realistic and I know that the worst thing to happen isn't the likely thing to happen, but I want to be prepared. Loss of limb? Death of my spouse or my child or my sister? Loss of sight or hearing? Chronic or terminal disease? Loss of all of my worldly possessions? I've considered them all. I will be distraught if (when) one of those things comes to pass, but I will not be destroyed. One day, many days ahead, I will emerge on the other side.

Last year was the worst year of my life. At the low point of the worst year of my life, my mom was killed in a car accident. It was already bad before that, and it was worse after. 2010 was my nemesis, kicking me when I was down, throwing salt in my wounds, kneeling on my chest every time I tried to stand up. I don't believe that time heals all, but I know that every situation is temporary. My mom is never coming back -- that is permanent -- but every day since she died is a day that I lived, a day that has passed, a day that will never come again. Everything changes, and if I can continue to think, and act, and breathe, and be myself, then I can survive any situation. I may be changed, but I will also be whole, unbroken.

This life is the only one I get and I will never give up on myself.

Hump List: All-Stars Edition

Watching the season finale of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Justin Timberlake with musical guest Lady Gaga, I was reminded how much I would like hump JT. You may recall that JT has made an appearance in a Hump List of yore. (This one, but not this one or that one.) That got me thinking about all of the Hump List veterans. Adam Levine has also been on my mind (in my dreams) lately due to his weekly appearance in my living room via The Voice. The Hump List was due for an update anyway, so why not have an All-Stars Edition?

Justin Timberlake

Tall, cute, and funny. That's good enough for me.


Adam Levine

Swarthy, sexy, competitive.


Henry Cavill

The new Superman is one sexy motherfucker.


Matthew Morrison

A bit short but, oh, so pretty.



Although this one has never been included in a past list, the time has come to reveal my lady crush on Sofia Vergara. Am I right?


I Have a Superiority Complex

I feel superior to you in these areas:

I've never smoked anything.

I've never done illegal drugs.

I don't dye my hair, because it's awesome just the way it is.

I'm a great driver.

I'm smarter and funnier.

I'm not completely heartless, though, so I'll throw you a bone. You're a better singer than I am.

Two Months After Gastric Bypass

I haven't taken pictures yet this month, but I did weigh and measure. The loss of inches this month isn't nearly as dramatic as last month, but I have lost more weight, so that's nice. (Surgery was 11/29/10.)

Since last month, I have lost:

  • 9 pounds (31 total)
  • .75 inches off my chest (2.5 total)
  • 0 inches off my hips (5 total)
  • .75 inches off my waist (2.75 total)
  • .25 inches off my neck (1.75 total)
  • (arm and leg measurements were a little screwy)

I found a great support group to go to once a month. They do a clothing exchange before the meeting, which is cool. I have a lot of 3X stuff to bring next month. I am continuing to do well with protein and I am doing better with the fluids. I am still not doing well with my supplements. I don't know how to make myself get into the habit on this one. I have always been terrible about. I also need to motivate myself to exercise. That's another thing I have always been terrible about.

Things I had been doing well with but I have not been doing so well lately are: eating things of little nutritional value, and consuming caffeinated, carbonated beverages. I am already back on track with the food. That part was actually pretty easy. (New tiny tummy helps immensely.) Oh, but I love diet soda. I can't drink it the way I used to, so there is no danger of returning to my former levels of mass consumption, but I can't seem to cut it out entirely.

When I Was Sixteen


That's me in the front row, in the purple shirt with very heavy eyebrows. This is the Cast B photo for The Matchmaker. I was the Assistant Director. In Cast A, I played the same part as the blonde girl in the blue dress.

When I was sixteen, I was a junior in high school. I tried to take zero period Driver's Ed. at school, but zero period started at 7 AM, which was ridiculous. I couldn't take it after school because I had a job at the movie theater. (Free movies! Free popcorn! Half price candy!) I paid $125 to take Driver's Ed. privately. I had classroom instruction all day for a few Saturdays in a row. During the lunch break on the first day, I walked to the Wendy's around the corner. One of my classmates (tall, dark, and handsome) asked if he could join me at my table. I said yes. (Ooh, la, la.) His name was Omaya Yousef. His family had moved to the United Stated from Kuwait during the Gulf War. He was my age but he wasn't in high school. He had taken the GED and was going to the local community college, planning to major in microbiology. He walked very close to me on our way back to class, so that our arms occasionally brushed. We ate lunch together a couple more times, but I never saw him again after the class ended.

For the driving training portion of the class, an instructor picked me up after school on the days I didn't have work. Since I had already been driving (both illegally and permitted) for a year, the instructor didn't have a lot to teach me. He usually napped while I drove around town for an hour. When I took the DMV driving test a couple months after my birthday, I scored 100%. It was the easiest test I have ever taken.

I had small parts in a couple plays that year. I played Snug the Joiner in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Gertrude in The Matchmaker (the play on which the musical Hello, Dolly! is based). I wasn't any good. I was too self-conscious. I was involved in the production of six or eight plays in high school, usually as the Assistant Director. I was much better at that than acting.

Wardrobe In Memoriam

I convinced my mom to buy a green, animal print (sort of) top by Michael Kors a year or two ago. She rarely paid that much money for clothes, but it looked good on her and she needed to stop wearing such frumpy tops on the weekends. I tried on the same top, in a size larger, but it didn't look good on me. It made me look bigger than I was.

Today, I am wearing her top. It is one of the only things I kept from her closet. I'm glad it fits me now. I'll be a little sad when I am wearing a smaller size and it no longer fits, but then I will be able to wear a green sweater of hers that I kept.

A core that pilates can't touch

Reverb 10: Day 31

What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)

I don't know that I have a core story that I share with the world. I have core values: honesty, integrity, accountability, reliability, humor, awesomeness.

Almost Done

Reverb 10: Day 30

This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

The most memorbale gifts this year were the ones that were the most thoughtful. I don't want to list them here because I would hate to leave one out. Several friends and family and coworkers gave me some very thoughtful gifts this year, gifts that showed me how well they know me.

Not My Favorite Prompt

Reverb 10: Day 28

What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

The thing I most want to achieve in 2011: A normal weight.

How I will feel when I do it: Relieved, pretty, sexy.

Ten things I can do or ten thoughts I can think to feel that way now:

  1. Get my braces off
  2. Keep up with my skin care
  3. Wear make-up every day
  4. Get a haircut
  5. Continue to buy nice clothes
  6. Exercise
  7. Get regular manicures
  8. Get regular pedicures
  9. Sleep around (kidding!)
  10. Pretend I already feel that way

I love my baby

Reverb 10: Day 27

Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

When I was on maternity leave with my second baby last year, I sent my oldest one to daycare still. I wanted time alone with my new baby. Since then, I've only had her to myself for a few hours at the most. A couple weeks ago, she and I stayed home all day together, something we hadn't done in over a year. It was wonderful. She is such a delightful girl, so sweet and funny. It is completely different hanging out with her alone, than hanging out with my both of my girls together. I am looking forward to tomorrow when my husband and oldest daughter spend the day at the Rose Parade. I'll be home, chilling with the baby.

Food: My Lover, My Nemesis

Reverb 10: Day 26

What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth and touched your soul?

I don't think any food I ate "touched my soul," but here are some highlights:



Reverb 10: Day 25

Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.


What this self-portrait says about me:

  1. My eyes are my best feature
  2. I care about my skin
  3. I like fake eyelashes
  4. I would rather sit in my hotel room with a mud mask on, watching TV, than socialize with strangers

A post that isn't a post

Reverb 10: Day 24

What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

I can't really answer this one here. I would have to be so vague that it would be meaningless to you. I promise to tell you all about in six months.

What's in a name?

Reverb 10: Day 23

Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

I like my name. Michelle works for me. If I were to choose a different name, however, I would choose something more French, like Odette.