Friday, February 19, 2010

The longing for adventure

It has been 16 days post surgery, and my life is pretty much normal. I am almost 100% despite this protrusion from the left part of my stomach which is where the access post lies beneath the skin. School, has gotten rather boring as of late, leaving me hoping and praying that our professor will be so kind as to just let us go home.

The problem or rather the root of the problem, is I have been in Sacramento stuck here since last July when I came back from comic-con. I need to leave, escape at least to someplace 100miles or more away. This place would have to have no connection or relevancy to me whatsoever. Then I could just be the lazy tourist.

I was thinking lately of all the cool places I have lived that I wouldn't mind going back to. One of those places was Ranchos Palos Verdes. It has a low crime rate, ocean views, and lots of people far more snobby than I am. I also would not mind going back to the Sunnyvale area. They have a bunch of great universitys nearby, Mr. Chow's Chinese fast food, the shoreline amphitheatre, etc. When you live in Silicon Valley you really get the feeling of being in the "it" spot. It is as if all the world sort of revolves around everything that happens there, like google, yahoo, apple, Lockheed martin etc. I want to be a part of the "it" community. Sacramento is neither hot nor cold when it comes to this. IT is neither rural, and it definitely doesn't have the rush of a big city to it. I also very much loved living in Pacifica. Being just 15 minutes south of San Francisco and lying between natural cliffs and the ocean, one can feel as if they are on their own island. The community, has virtually the same weather all year long, it will never be below 40, and never hotter than the 90's. I loved how the fog would roll in during the fall and be trapped by the cliffs, keeping our town in a sort of Stephen King like spookiness. I miss the Taco Bell at the beach where I used to sit and watch the people training for surfing wipe out. Half Moon bay, a spot notorious for surfing is less than an hours drive away.

Alas, here I am, stuck due to finances, obligations, University enrollments, and job security. While establishing roots early, like I have was an intelligent thing, it has made it very difficult to escape. Perhaps I should join the circus. Sadly, I am spooked by clowns. I know I must keep hope alive. It isn't as if I have never seen the world. I have been all over the northern hemisphere. It is a very nice perspective to have, when you complain about things that do not matter, like waiting in line at a grocery store (at least we can buy food), complaining about movie prices (it is a blessing to have so much disposable income), and weather or not the water is hot enough in the shower (many people will never see water so clean, and could care less about temperature).

After a recent slew of DNA tests on various relatives in my family, it has become known that my grandfather, whom oddly my father was named after, is not in fact the biological father of my dad. Apparently, my grandmother had relations with an Ashkenazi Jewish man. A person of a recently immigrated family from Ukraine. That makes me a whole lot of Jew considering my mother. This experience has been very mind opening to me. I am as white as they come, and for all I knew growing up, I was a textbook WASP. Now I know that I am Hebrew, from a region of the world where pogroms, rapes, and cullings were near annual practices inflicted upon the Jewish minority. As I researched more and more my family history, and the history of the Ukrainian Jew, I began to see things through the eyes of the Jewish, something I was ignorant of before. It is no wonder in today's world so many Jewish people regardless of sect are so hesitant to have anything to do with anything Christian. For the last 1700 years, Jews have been made to suffer in the name of Christianity. So I have a message for the world. Love one another. Aren't we all children of the same G-d. We are all genetically 99.9 percent the same. We are one of the least diverse species despite the way we look. Other animals do not commit genocide against themselves. It is funny how we consider ourselves so intelligent as human beings.

In other news, My taxes are done, I will get a lot of money back, and now I need to file the F.A.F.S.A. to get my financial aid. I guess around this time, which is my late junior year, I should really start looking into grad schools for history. I need to stay in the California area out of practicality, I am not for dorm living 3000 miles away. When I said I wanted a PHD I meant it. I want to be a professor (If of course i am not famous for being amazing). If a child fails in K-12 schools they blame teachers or parents. When a person fails in college, they say it is the students fault for not studying hard enough. I would rather teach at a college level. Of course I may find a great job outside the teaching world. That would be nice. Sadly hit man is too in demand right now and highly competitive. I don't have skills for much else sadly.

Here is the music video of the day
"Higher" by Creed


Creed MySpace Music Videos

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Red Hearts

I was very pleased to see that the sun has come back to Sacramento. Lately, I have been sleeping in a lazyboy instead of my own bed. This isn't because I am lazy or weird (although I am), but because I am a belly sleeper, and I am tender after my surgery on the belly parts. There are advantages to sleeping on a lazy boy. For one, I get to watch the big TV, late into the night, as well as fall asleep in place, rather than have to get up and physically go to bed. I do hope I will be back in my own bed in a week however.

The Surgeons staff told me I needed a medical I.D. bracelet so in case something happens, the paramedics wont try to stick anything down my stomach while the lap band is in. So I ordered a bracelet online (Amazon, almost always has the best prices, if you are willing to wait a week to ship free), and needed to find an engraver to simply put "LAPBAND" on it. I figured the best place to do this would be the mall, because there are tons of stores and many jewelry and jewelry repair shops. The Galleria in Roseville, was built while I was in high school. It was a whole lot smaller then, and I remember frequently making it an after school hang out. It is sort of ironic, because the mall is so crowded that when I see high schoolers not buying anything and just hanging out, I want to throw something hypocritically at them. I digress. I found an engraver here in the modern mall which is easily double the size it was when it was first built, and now with 4 times the people. I had to kill a half hour while they worked on my medical ID. I walked around, went by the food court, and felt as if all eyes were on me. Perhaps they thought I was going to order a ton of food, or make myself miserable by ordering a pea on a plate. I showed them though. I walked by all the food establishments and then simply left without ordering anything. That must have been odd for the fat people watchers. Of course I have been known to overreact and be quite paranoid, but I assure you I took my medicine.

While walking out of the food court, I found one of those 80's style instant photo booths. I decided it would be fun to get my picture taken. One should know that I am 25 years old, yet I had issues figuring out the machine. I didn't ask for help, but some nice high schoolers were willing to help the old man figure out the machine, before he threw it over the railing to crash into the Mall's first floor. What do you know, those kids I was just complaining about proved good for something. I should re-think my life. Anyways, the photo turned out somewhat nice, and my head actually doesn't look like a basketball.

I returned to the non-English speaking engraver. He seemed to have trouble remembering me from a half hour prior, so I basically broke out into charades, and he figured out what I was looking for. They did a good job. There wasn't a typo that said like "life-bland" instead of Lapband. Sadly when I returned to my motor vehicle and attempted to put the bracelet on I found out it was too snug and that I should wait a few pounds before I wear it forever. I could also just wear the bracelet anyway and break my wrist when I lift something heavy, but that didn't sound fun.

I haven't made much progress in the last few days on my weight and just to clarify that isn't a bad thing, in fact it is a good thing. The most important thing about the first month is recovering and making sure you get plenty of nutrients especially proteins. If you don't eat a lot of proteins, you heal a whole lot slower, and when you do begin to lose weight your body can eat your muscle with the fat which is a bad thing, because the more muscle a person has the more calories they burn. I am like an expert on this stuff, which is ironic, because I am the one with a weight problem. OY VEY.

In 3 weeks I will get my first Saline injection into the band, which will inflate the tube around my stomach. I cant "wait", because that is when I lose the "weight". Pun Pun Pun. Monday I have no school and no work, but I will be spending my day catching up on homework I haven't done in a couple weeks, while I have been procrastinating and in recovery. Luckily most of that homework is watching movies. Yay, modern college is cool. Modern art is not so much. That is just an opinion. Have a good day, and I will keep on Trucking.

Below is my music video of the day, by the band "Skillet"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Times they are a changing" -Bob Dylan

I decided I wanted to blog about the things going on with me. I to often find myself thinking out loud and looking for someone or something to vent to .

Firstly, It has been 8 days since I had my surgery. I have to admit that the recovery for this laproscopic procedure has been quick (Not necessarily painless). It is all worth it I think. My father suffers from many problems relating back to his weight including the most horrible of all diabetes. I know that I don't want that to be me and that I would do about anything to make sure I don't follow in those footsteps. While my lapband is installed, it is not yet inflated with saline. Therefore, while my stomach heals, food can still fall in to the lower stomach where the digestive juices are waiting. In around 4 weeks, I will get my band inflated a little. If I still manage to have food slippage and thus hunger, I will have to go back and get more solution added to the band. This is sort of a trial and error system to find the sweet spot, the point where I can still eventually drop food to the lower stomach, but also have it sit in my stomach pouch long enough to release the chemical hormones that tell my brain I am full to the brim.

Once the sweet spot is established, I should see a significant drop in weight, that continues for years. I don't want to make a modest goal for myself like 200lbs. I want to be 170 or less. I want to be truly thin and truly healthy. I weigh myself everyday. I have a long way to go, but it is a journey I have taken before. I lost around 150 lbs towards the end of my senor year in high school (2002 Woodcreek), I joined the army when I lost my sense of direction. I wanted to be hero too, heck it all seemed like a good idea at the time. Sadly, I found it very hard to adapt to the harshness and grittiness that came with being an arctic soldier. I soon fell into depression, and despite running 5 miles a day for 3-4 days a week, I began to stuff myself in hopes subconsciously of filling the emptiness I felt inside. I went back to a bigger weight then where I started. I felt like a real failure. How could I let myself get fat once again. I began to realise that what I had wasn't an eating or self control problem. I began to see what I had as a disease, one that needed to be cured.

Sadly, there isn't a cure, but there are treatments. No matter how much weight I lose, the disease will be there still lingering, still waiting for the perfect opportunity it can sneak in and take control.

I don't want to be fat for 3 main reasons. The first being acceptance. It doesn't matter where I go, people respect fat people less. They are often seen as dumb or the walking dead, the disgusting, the losers with no self control, and often we are overlooked for a job, told we need to pay for an extra seat on the plane, or that we aren't "fit" for the role we are auditioning for, or simply too much of a risk to sky dive, or do anything fun for that matter. I walk into a restaurant and get an automatic audience of people who continually glance with smirks in my direction as I need. Rodney Dangerfield had an expression for this. I need not repeat it. The second reason not to be fat is health. Extra weight causes extra stress on organs and especially the heart. The heart has to pump harder to reach more surface area, making any physical activity enough to wind a big man. Also fat leads to Type 2 diabetes, which is slowly killing my father. That cannot and will not be me. I vow this. The 3rd reason to not be fat, is that the world is built for the small. Nobody likes to sit next to the fat dude in coach, who has squeezed into a chair that is small for a normal sized person. It is even more uncomfortable for that fat man. He doesn't really want to be all over the people next to him, nor no matter how bad he feels can he morph into a 150lb man. When you are skinny you can "fit in" literally. There is a 4th reason, unless you are from the Sudan or another remote starving 3rd world country, fat isn't sexy. And in order to prolong your genetic material one must procreate, and to do that attract a mate, and then be physically capable of mating. You can use your own imagination.

So I embark therefore on a journey. Not just a journey of struggle, as I try to become healthy, but a journey of self evaluation and reflection as I fight all the demons that lay buried in my psyche that perhaps put me in this predicament in the first place. I am very very blessed, to live in a country where food is available and cheap. I took advantage, and now it is time to be responsible. I am also blessed in the way of friends and family who are so willing to run in and help me walk when I feel like collapsing.

After 60lbs lost so far I am excited for the future.

....I will share more soon