Monday, September 28, 2015

Book Recommendations! Because Reasons.

I'm going to be quiet for a bit this week. I need some mental health time, because REASONS. Instead of leaving you with nothing to read, have a few book suggestions!

It's Banned Book Week, so go here, pick a title, and read a banned book to celebrate your freedom to read! Here in the U.S., no one actually legally can break into your house, steal all your books and burn them! We hope! Who knows? I mean, we don't know what will happen if Trump becomes president, other than that I will be leaving this country for Canada, which is much better in many ways, including health care, ready access to yarn, bears, and also Tim Horton's. While you're reading your banned book, read this article about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks being contested because. to quote the author, "a parent in Tennessee has confused gynecology with pornography."

I've been reading memoirs lately, and here are two you MUST read:

Felicia Day's You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), Touchstone, 2015.

I adore Felicia Day, because she is the sort of quirky and funny I wish I was, but I know I'm not actually cute enough to pull it off and end up seeming much more crazy in real life. I identify so much with her drive to be perfect (yay, 4.0!) at the expense of everything, and reading her book, I could laugh at myself a bit as I read about her struggles in completing the Worst Math Class of All Time. Although unlike me, Felicia actually double majored in violin and mathematics, while I cannot play the violin or math effectively. Whatever. She's hilarious, read her book. I want to be Felicia Day when I grow up.

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess), Flatiron Books, 2015.

Now it is time for a story about how I found Jenny Lawson, because it is funny to me and maybe will be to you.*

Back in the days of dial-up internet, I started a blog in my spare time between college classes and working four jobs at the same time. I gave the link to a few friends, expecting nothing to come of it and wondering if I would give up on this thing within a few weeks. Time passed, and one of my friends came up to me and brought up the blog. She told me my writing style reminded her of The Bloggess and I cautiously replied, "Oh, thank you..." because I had no idea what she was talking about and was afraid I was being made fun of, as I usually am when someone gives me a compliment. **

See, I had no internet at home that could load pictures or frames or sound or colors or words, so I didn't read blogs much. I only knew what blogs were because some lady came and gave a talk at our college about blogging and blog culture. I was like, "Why am I awake for this?" Because she was very boring.

All while my friend was talking to me, I was thinking, "Who the heck is The Bloggess and should I be insulted that she's comparing me to some lady on the internet, maybe I should look this lady up because I am afraid, is my style really unoriginal? I am unoriginal. I am a failure. I suck at writing and life and I will die miserable and alone."

I don't cope with things well at all. My panic/anxiety-riddled visions of the future always end with me, miserable and alone, all my family and friends gone and me curled up in the fetal position, unable to cope with all the loneliness and despair. Somehow, even though my real-life health is terrible, in my anxiety-brain, I outlive everyone and end up aged and alone forever. I cannot decide if this means I subconsciously think I am immortal or if I am just really narcissistic, in which case I am so sorry, friends and relatives, for being a massive jerk.

I then looked up The Bloggess and read about a giant metal chicken named Beyoncé and laughed so hard I cried and then had to use my inhaler. It turns out my friend actually liked me after all. Also now I had a new blog to follow, which made me extremely happy.

As I read, I discovered that I was not the only one who created terrible images of the future out of sheer panic--Jenny Lawson does too. Her new book, Furiously Happy, explores the dark and the delightful aspects of mental illness, and it makes me love her even more. I am super-grateful to the friend who led me to discover Jenny, and to Jenny for being awesome in all possible ways.

If you haven't read it, you should also read Jenny's first book because in it is a story about Jenny running into the corpse of a deer, which she lived through, somehow. Pretty sure if that happened to me as a child, I would be institutionalized, screaming "BAMBI, WHY? BAMBI? WHYYY????" until my voice was gone forever, lost to the void along with my sanity.

Okay. Now you have reading material. Enjoy yourself while I crawl underneath this desk and wait for everything to explode, or implode, or maybe wither into nothingness. We'll see how this week turns out.

* I almost cut this whole section because to me it seemed like maybe I sounded like a self-satisfied jerk, which is something I worry about a LOT. 

** I think she probably meant that The Bloggess and I both write about weird/terrible things that happen to us in our ordinary lives in an effort to amuse others, not that I am actually good at writing things, because we all know I never edit anything and write these posts on the fly, stream-of-consciousness, when I feel like it and on no sort of real schedule. Also I have no taxidermy-anything at my house, just lots of cheese.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The World's Most Sexist Fortune Cookie

Yesterday I decided I wanted noodles, so I ordered some, stopped by the closest Chinese restaurant (which is in no way authentic at all, but is better than no Chinese food at all), and went home. I gobbled up my noodles, which were delicious, and cracked open my fortune cookie, because while fortune cookies taste mostly of cardboard, I still like them in the same way I like the crust of a pop tart better than the filling.

Here is my fortune:

I am tempted to say this is the fortune of all women, if we let our voices be silenced.
I wanted to send it back to the fortune hell it came from, so I read the wrapper and discovered that the fortune hell it came from was THE UNITED STATES, and the fortune was both baked, written, assembled, packaged, and shipped all within the USA.

Instead I took its picture. This was the caption I chose: "My fortune cookie might as well have said, "TASTE THE ETERNAL BITTER TRUTH OF THE PATRIARCHY.'" And then I sent it out onto the internet so other people would be offended with me and I would feel validated.

Then I ripped the fortune up into tiny pieces and set it on FIRE because it seemed appropriate.

I thought maybe I should check and make sure that the fortune cookie company wasn't owned and operated by the Republican party, but the company didn't say so on their website. It's unfortunate that the company didn't think to include that. I mean, I am all about corporate accountability.

Then as I sat there, fuming, I thought about how lucky I am to live in a place where I can say, "This fortune cookie sucks various anatomical parts and is untrue!" Not everyone has it so good. And we won't keep that freedom, unless we stand up for women, organizations that help women, like Planned Parenthood, our rights to equal pay and fair treatment, and insist loudly that women deserve paid leave when they have babies.

So I wrote this post not because the fortune sucks, but because it is a reminder that all of us should be loud about things that suck, stand together, and make the world a better place.

Monday, September 21, 2015


Fingernails are gross. Mostly I don't notice them, but when I do, it's because of grossness. You know how I feel about feet. Fingernails have the same potential for grossness, but usually people see and care for their hands, leading to not as much disgusting. But sometimes, basic hygiene fails, and that is where our story begins.

Rachael, her husband Joel, and I went to a festival in an undisclosed location over the weekend. We ate yummy food, there were people playing music, and I worried that Rachael would fall face first down various small hills and into potholes or slip in mud because reasons. At one point, we were standing in line and I looked over to a group of people standing in another line.

I regret one thing from yesterday, and it was that I failed to whip out my cell phone right then to take a picture of what I saw in that line, because I don't know if any of you will believe how horrifying this really was without a visual record. * It was grosser in person, guys. Way grosser.

There was a woman, holding some of what I thought was beef jerky. It was thick and twisty, but also a bit round, so maybe, I thought, it wasn't jerky for humans but some kind of dried jerky pet treat? I've seen those come in long strands, you break off bits for your dog. And then your dog gnaws on the treat because it is hard and gross and dried. Who buys that for their pet? This woman, I presumed.

But then I realized she wasn't HOLDING anything.

Then I realized that the strips were attached to her.

Then I realized the strips were not beef jerky at all, but her long, twisted, curling fingernails.

Then I realized that they were over a foot long.

Then I realized that, stretched out flat, they were probably more like three feet long.

Then I threw up a little, in my mouth.

She had painted them ruby, glittering red.

I could not let the fingernails go all day. I kept trying to, but then I'd have a fingernail flashback, look over to Rachael, and say, "She could till the earth with those fingernails." Or, "Why would you even do that, because there is already a hideous record for fingernails like that, and it's for both hands of fingernails, not one hand."

And Rachael said, "How does she brush her hair?" "How does she function?"

And I said, "She was with people. That means she has friends, and the friends let her do that to her fingers."

Then Rachael took this picture of me, which I feel sums up my emotions at the time. I am including this instead of showing you real pictures of real people who have grown out their fingernails to appalling lengths because you can Google that on your own time, it's gross enough in my memory without adding more real life examples.

Photo credit to Rachael, who is my witness to this actually being real and happening.

* Well, two things. I also stopped on the way home at the home of all cheap pizza, Little Caesar's, for Crazy Bread and accidentally ate all of the Crazy Bread myself plus also some of the pizza I bought there, because it was only $5.00 and I thought, "Dang, I could have pizza too!" But the pizza was gross and no one ate it, so I regret that part. Not the Crazy Bread. I do not regret the Crazy Bread. That stuff is freaking amazing.

Friday, September 18, 2015

In Which Laura Buys BOOTS

Okay, I buy boots a lot. But this time, I did something different, and I didn't buy them because they were cute. I bought them because...

I couldn't resist. I'm not even sorry.

Winter is miserable, and I hate it like a sickness. I am always cold, I have to drive in the snow and on ice every day, there's nowhere to run but on the treadmill at the gym, it is dark when I go to work and when I leave work, and I get seasonal effective disorder every year.

Before I started college, I spent almost no time outside in the winter. But when I started walking from class to class on campus, the cold became a Problem. I decided for my sanity, I would buy the warmest boots I could find, so I ended up with the first version of Uggs released in the U.S. They were (and are) hideous, but I didn't care, because finally my toes were warm. 

That was 13 years ago. I still use the same pair.

Here's the thing, though. Uggs are warm, but they aren't waterproof, even when I spray them with waterproofing sealant every year. When wet, heavy snow falls, I have wet toes. This does not bother Darcy, but it does bother me. They also provide no traction on ice or on wet flooring, which means I fall down a LOT. All kinds of falling. Great, giant bruises. Every year. Darcy thinks this is bizarre and will stand over my prone body as I lie on the driveway or sidewalk, wagging her tail and waiting for me to get back up or die or something. At least she cares.

Last year, I decided it was probably time to buy a new pair of winter boots. But I didn't bother. 

Then spring came and we had so much rain, I had to break out my rain boots when I walked Darcy. And then I discovered that they also leak. Yes, two pairs of utility boots, both with leaks.

I dared Twitter to find me a pair of waterproof shoes because I didn't think that such a shoe existed. And then my friend Kate told me she'd had Bean boots from L.L. Bean since she was 16 and they STILL didn't leak.

The ordering process was a bit confusing, because the sizing is odd. They base what size you should order on the thickness of sock you intend on wearing with the boots. I had no idea what to get. I read many reviews. I read blogs. Finally, I settled on going down a half size and ordering narrow, then buying whatever thickness of sock I needed to buy in order to have them fit comfortably. I hope I made the right choice, because the wait to get these boots is LONG. I placed my order last Saturday, but they won't ship until the 28th. Apparently, people with money order multiple pairs and return the ones that don't work. I could not afford that option.

I hope I don't regret getting the unlined ones, but I can still change my mind. I'll just have another month-ish long wait. Which is obnoxious. But I'll cope.

I hope Darcy understands how dedicated I am to not dying on our walks together. It's expensive not to break your neck on ice.

So, after looking like a college student from the early 2000s, I will now look like a college student from the current decade. That's something, at least. What is it with me and boot fads? I don't buy based on fad, but I still cannot escape trends in cold-weather footwear. I don't drink pumpkin spice lattes, though, so maybe there's hope for me?

(Probably not.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In Which Dad Observes a Cake Walk and Becomes Disillusioned with Humanity

Dad and I wanted to get tenderloins for dinner, and since there was a festival nearby featuring our favorite food truck, we decided to go. The problem was, the food truck had never heard of Square, so we had to bring cash. That is a problem because we don't carry cash, or if we do, it's a few dollars and not enough to buy food for four people.

We visited the single ATM in the tiny town where the festival was taking place. It took me almost ten minutes to convince Dad that purchasing things in a business meant that parking in their lot was okay, as long as we were speedy getting our food. He felt we should leave the lot INSTANTLY after buying breakfast food and using the ATM. "Dad," I said, "It is no big deal. There are no parking police. If we left the car here all night, there would be a problem, but we are going in, getting food, and going home. That is QUICK. Under ten minutes, including wait time."

"Not if I see someone I know," he hedged.

"Smile, say hello, keep walking," I said. "When people greet you, they usually don't want a twenty-minute chat. They're here for a festival, remember?"

"Okay..." Dad clearly did not believe me. I would call this rampant narcissism, but he is a pastor and is usually in demand at all times. But this time, I would ditch him and walk home if he decided to do a counseling session next to the tractor pull, I resolved.*

Dad had gotten money from the ATM and promptly used it to buy groceries. This made me concerned because we hadn't bought the tenderloins yet. I envisioned myself walking all the way back to the ATM to take more money out because we'd bought groceries. Who knew how psychic I would turn out to be?

From the first step into the festival, Dad saw someone he knew. From prior experience, I knew that standing there was of no help to me or anyone, because I would only be ignored and the conversation would be longer because I was there, so I kept walking. I got to the food truck and thought, "Yep."

Then I saw someone I knew, so we both said hello and moved on with our lives like normal people do, not like Dad does, because we were not pastors. I kept waiting. Soon I saw Dad, wandering toward me, looking both confused and horrified. I thought either someone had thrown up in front of him (that was how weird he looked) or he had just learned a Startling Truth. Eventually he saw me. Then I went back to the ATM because OF COURSE.

At this point, I had reached the Hangry stage, called The Brother, and nearly broke down into tears on the sidewalk because he'd not been at work all day and I had, yet I still ended up dragging myself to the festival for food because no one gave me any other option. Why did I have to go? I hadn't wanted to go. I resented going. Also I had already forgotten Dad's pin number, and it had only been two minutes. The Brother told me we were even, but this was a lie (and remains so), because he never goes to the festival for food, and I go every year. Clearly The Brother wants me to suffer. I hung up.

Then I called Dad four times trying to get him to tell me his PIN number. When he did, I pulled out more money. $5.00 in ATM fees later, we had enough money for food. We bought it and went home.

During dinner, Dad was abnormally quiet. I figured this was because he knew how close to the edge I was. But I ate and felt better, except for the exhaustion.

"What is it?" Mum asked. Dad just sat there.

"Seriously Dad," The Brother said. "You look weird."

"I was at the festival," Dad began. "And there was this man. He had a microphone. He had very bushy hair and a beard and a mustache that he curled up at the ends. He was wearing shorts and flesh-colored socks."

"Oh yeah," I said. "I saw him."

"He was doing the cake walk," Dad said. "He was talking into the microphone and saying over and over again, "Find your number, I need more dollars! I need more walkers here!" Over and over again. Then he would put on music."

I nodded because this is what cake walks are like. You buy a ticket, stand on a number in a big circle, and walk around to music, like musical chairs. When the music stops, you stop, and if you end up on a number that matches the number of a cake, you win the cake. This has been going on for longer than there have been grocery store bakeries. Longer than bakeries. It has been going on since back when white sugar was too expensive for normal people to buy, so instead you cooked with molasses and whatever bug-infested flour you could scrape out of the bottom of the barrel you kept in your kitchen in between bouts of Typhus and Yellow Fever. You were lucky if you survived to the end of the cake walk without dropping dead of something, because there was no doctor for over 100 miles, and all that doctor had in his kit was a bottle of castor oil and a hacksaw. Also everyone wore petticoats to hand-milk the cows, except the men who were busy killing bears with clubs and hunting knives. **

"These people were walking in a circle," Dad continued. "They kept walking and walking."

Clearly this was bothering Dad for some reason. I did not know why.

"They weren't even smiling!" He exclaimed. "They just wanted cake!"

This was when we all started laughing.

"Nobody was smiling! Not even the children!" Dad said. "I thought, "Have I walked into MORDOR?'"

"Yes," I said.

"I mean, why are you even doing this if it isn't fun?!"

"Because cake," I said. That is my motivation for a lot of things.

Dad just shook his head, because he had Seen Things at the festival and nothing would ever be okay again. In fact, the world had been broken all along and he'd never realized it. For some reason, he'd just walked past all the other cake walks of his life, never noticing the horror.

This is from my new favorite Tumblr, Nihilisa Frank

"You realize this is a metaphor for the human condition," I said. "We all keep walking and walking, hoping we'll get cake, knowing we probably won't, but we keep walking anyway because the chance of getting cake is better than giving up and never having cake at all."

Dad nodded sadly. We collected our plates and took them into the kitchen to load into the dishwasher. There was nothing more to be said.

* Tractor pulls are things that happen. I don't even know why. From an outsider's perspective, it seems to be a method of finding out how manly you are but using a tractor and a BIG measuring tape instead of the other way.

** I actually had a great-great-great grandfather somewhere down the line that killed a bear with nothing but a club and a hunting knife. He also once hurled a hatchet through the air and killed a wolf, which was asleep. That only proved he could throw a hatchet, not that he was a good hunter, because killing a sleeping wolf is not sporting at all, and is a sucky move. Also he was so afraid of his wife finding out that he bought a new rifle that he hid it in the barn from her because they were pacifists and pacifists don't buy guns, even in the 1800's. Even though they kill sleeping wolves for no reason.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Yep. See what I did there? Pup update...PUPdate? Heee. This is all related as it was told to me by Mum over the phone, which could mean that some details were left out because Mum doesn't remember the names of medications like I do, because she is normal and I am a freak of nature with the memory of a computational device.

Mum stopped by the shelter yesterday and wound up volunteering to be a driver for them, because the little lost dog had an appointment but no ride. The dog, henceforth known as Padfoot because that's what's on all her charts at the vet so now it's official, is in very good health considering the circumstances! Her heart and lungs are healthy, she is heartworm-free. She's filling out a bit now that she's getting regular meals. The vet also told Mum Padfoot's around two years old. Mum called me yesterday after work to report all this, because she knows how worried I've been about the poor dog and thought I would be relieved to know she wasn't seriously ill.

Padfoot's only real problem is the skin irritation that caused her to itch out her fur, but that can be treated with an antibacterial wash. Apparently, malnutrition can cause dogs to get skin infections? News to me, because I don't run into lots of malnourished dogs. Usually, dogs I meet have been spoiled rotten with lots of cheese and other goodies. Padfoot is still in quarantine at the shelter, just in case, but can move in with the rest of the dogs soon.

I can't tell you how much better I feel about Padfoot than I did when we dropped her off. Mum says she's getting lots of attention and love from the shelter workers and volunteers. The vet and his assistants were lovely with her. Mum brought treats for all the dogs as well as a new collar for Padfoot without another dog's information on it. I can sleep better knowing she's being treated well by good people. It also feels better knowing that we didn't do what the horrid people did to her before--we haven't abandoned her.

I have no idea how much I'll find out about who might adopt her in the future, but I do know how careful the shelter is during the adoption process, so I know she'll go somewhere nice. Hopefully with one of the MANY library patrons I keep ordering down to the shelter to meet her...because I'm that kind of librarian. "Oh, you like dog books? I know a little dog at the shelter that needs a home. Her name is Padfoot, you know, like in Harry Potter, and she's lovely. Go meet her! No really. GO MEET HER."

This means you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What I've Been Up To Lately

Reading. I've been working on a few books at once, including The Poet and the Vampyre. I wanted it to be something that it isn't, but it's still informative and makes me want a restraining order against several Romantics-poets even though they're dead. Especially Lord Byron. What a jerk. I'm also beta-reading my friend Lindsie's new book. It is amazing and you should be jealous. Also my friend Allison sent me this link which made me laugh my sides off, which is always a good thing.

From now on when someone says "corndog" I will think only of this.

Crying. I found a little lost dog last Wednesday night. The poor thing was hungry, frightened, and had fur loss either caused by anxiety or a skin condition. She was incredibly well-behaved, trained, and had such a sweet disposition I wanted to keep her forever, but Darcy is not cool with other dogs. She had tags from our vet, so we waited until the office opened and took her there, only to discover that the tag on her collar was actually for another dog. We had to take her from the vet to the shelter (which is no-kill), but it was completely heartbreaking. I spent lots of time sobbing after that. Mum called for an update on Friday, and she's eating well and getting medical care. We were both still all upset about it, though. We started feeling a bit better after we decided to go to the shelter a few times a week to play with her and help in any way we can.

We've named her Padfoot. If you're looking for a dog, she's your girl. She's a black dog, between 20-30 pounds, looks like a lab mix, and is better behaved than Darcy is--something I did not think possible. Call the Wabash County Animal Shelter and go say hello!

Cooking. I've stuck to my vow to have only vegetarian, clean-eating lunches from now on. This means I'm cooking at home a lot, not to mention spending about 30 minutes every night trying to figure out what I'm packing in my lunchbox for the next day. Thinking up lunches I won't hate has been hard. It's so much easier just to swing through a fast food place and get fries. We'll see how long this lasts, but as of now, I'm liking it. I spent yesterday making Minestrone soup. I froze a bunch and saved some for this week. I'm also eating a lot of hummus.

Running. It's been hideously hot outside, and I'll admit, I've not been very enthusiastic about exercise lately. That tends to happen when I get anxious. But I've been forcing myself to run a few times a week. For extra inspiration, I've subscribed to a running magazine so I can have a monthly reminder to tell me, "Yes, you do need to run now. Go outside, lady."

Marathoning. The X-Files (because new episodes are COMING, Father Brown (series one is cute, but someone give this show a bigger budget!), and now Partners in Crime (which is Agatha Christie's Tuppence and Tommy mysteries. I want to live on the gorgeous sets, especially T&T's house. Those windows).

Knitting. Lots of stuff. I can't show you because all the projects are SURPRISES. I did start a Harvest sweater because I have to have SOMETHING I can knit outside of my house. I want it to be biggish and cozy, so I'm thinking I'll size up a bit. I'm letting Rachael tell me what size that should be. Surprise, Rachael!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Okay, here's what lunch on day two ended up being:
  • Organic, preservative-free, happy macaroni and cheese. It's happy because it wasn't doused in chemicals before landing in my lunchbox.
  • Baby carrots
  • Hummus
  • Yogurt
Sure, no meat, but did Laura bother to make the tzatziki sauce she was going to make last night? NO. Instead, I went for a run and when I came back, I was sweating so much that the sweat went into my eye. It was both gross and painful, and I thought no, I am taking a bath now, and then I watched The X-Files and knit. At about 9:30, I thought, "Someone should make me lunch." That someone was me, so I went and packed my lunchbox with as little care and attention as one could possibly give a packed lunch.

This is why I never stick to things: because they involve planning and careful execution and are OPTIONAL. I am, it turns out, rather lazy and not good at Adulting.

Will I make it a full week? Will I last longer than that? I'm taking bets.

Lunch Plans, Week One

So I went to the grocery store with no plan at all. I had no idea. I mean, I suck at making lunches. I usually make dinner, divide it into single servings, and bring the same lunch all week until my will to live is sapped and I am a broken shell of routine. Or, more often, fail to make any lunches at all, and end up eating many bowls of soup at Culver's.

As I have decided to change things, Mum and I went to the grocery store to pick out weekly lunch things yesterday after work. I really had no clue what I was doing. Here is what I ended up with:

  • Cheese (cheddar, feta, Philadelphia cream, and pepper-jack.)
  • Avocado
  • Cauliflower (who knows why)
  • Carrots (itsy bitsy ones)
  • Herbs (sage, thyme, etc.)
  • Berries, mixed
  • Cantaloupe
  • Hummus
  • Tomato bisque
  • Bread (sandwich and flat)
  • Yogurt (plain and Pumpkin Noosa)
At home I had:
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Onion
  • Potato
  • Peas
  • A lot more stuff
And the meals I'm planning include:
  • Deluxe grilled cheese sandwiches with cheddar, pepper-jack, tomato and an herb cream cheese spread with tomato bisque (this lunch is code-named Risky Bisqueness, because technically I shouldn't eat tomato at all. But it's yummy.)
  • Flatbread sandwiches with hummus and mixed veggies or feta, mixed veggies and tzatziki sauce. You get the idea.
  • Roasted cauliflower curry with potato, onion, and peas. I will make that up as I go along.
  • Something with avocado when the avocado ripens. It needs a day or two.
That should cover meals until this weekend, when I will reassess. The plan will be to do all the prep work (cooking, shopping, and so forth) over the weekend for the following week. This will eat into my sitting and doing nothing time, but it will be better to do all of the prep at once so packing my lunch will be faster.

I'll be making vegetable stock over the weekend, then hopefully a couple different soups which I will freeze in single servings. I'll whip up a few sandwich ideas, or I'll prep some veggies to bring along with cheese, crackers, and olives or pickles to nibble on. We'll see. The goal is to have satisfying lunches that aren't just peanut butter and jelly sandwiches day after day, because I won't stick with that. I will quickly grow to resent it and then give up this whole exercise.

Wish me luck. I'm going to need it. I'll be happy if I just make it through this week and next week without crying with frustration, or sneaking out to eat something fried.