Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Have you ever felt like a complete and total failure?

I don't mean the "gee, I'm just not good at singing" or the "one of these days I plan to run that marathon" type of failure. Hey, some people have a talent or gift for music and some don't. Some people have knees that would survive pounding the pavement for 26.2 miles and some don't have cartilage behind their kneecaps.

I'm talking about the "I just ran 26 of the 26.2 mile marathon, the race organizers saw me coming and then they shut down the race so that I couldn't finish" type of failure. (For the record, I totally can't see me ever running a marathon, so that particular fail will never happen to me.) This is how I feel about my weight.

For about three years I was pretty faithful to Weight Watchers. And I did well. I lost 50 pounds in the first 10 months. Then nothing. Not a dang thing. Well, that's not actually correct. I did lose a little. Then gain it back. Then lose a little. Then gain it back. You get the idea. And at $40 a month, I just couldn't afford to spend the cash on something that I wasn't seeing any benefit from.

Please understand, I am fully aware that I will never be skinny. And even if my waist was tiny, I'd weigh more than other people because of the size of my chest. Hey, those things weigh a bit ya know. The worst part is that there are no plus-size clothing stores around here. There's a Deb. And a Dress Barn. But nothing else, really. Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target....

It's not like I spend a lot of money on clothes. I don't even like shopping for clothes that much. Well, I do. But I like shopping for clothes that fit. And that's a hard thing to do.

So I get discouraged. Really discouraged. Could I stand to shed a few pounds? Yep. But I also walk three miles a few times a week. I enjoy my wii fit games. Tex says I'm "unusually strong for a girl." I'm not a complete puff ball. But not finding clothes that fit well and are stylish really gets me down.

Working my tail off and not seeing any progress on the scale is even worse.

I can't be the only person who feels this way. I mean, I'm the only one in my house, but I can't be the only one in the world. Can I?


Thursday, April 07, 2011

The current salary for a member of Congress is $174,000 per year. The President of the United States earns (and I use that term loosely) $400,000 per year, plus a $50,000 annual expense account. In contrast a member of the United States military earns between $17,604 and $60,348. (Well, enlisted, that is. A four-star general's pay is equivalent to that of a member of Congress.)

A family of four making $22,350 is on the federal poverty line.

Tomorrow the federal government is scheduled for a shut down. That doesn't mean the military gets to go home. On the contrary. They'll stay where they are. Go to work, fight terrorism, keep our country safe. Firefighters will continue to risk their lives. Police officers will continue to fight crime. They will do it all without a paycheck until Congress can pull their collective heads out of their collective... Well, you get the idea.

The most offensive part of this is who will continue to get paid. Congress. The President. They will continue to receive their paychecks. The people who put their lives on the line. No.

Just thinking about this makes me angry. Beyond angry. I know what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck. My family has a long line of civil service, of putting lives on the line for the greater good of society.

Perhaps we need to re-think the pay Congress receives. In 1789, members of Congress received $6 per day per diem. Adjusting for inflation, that comes to about $151 a day. Last year (2010), the Senate was in session for 158 days. That comes to $23,858 per year. Even if we paid members of Congress for EVERY day of the year, it would be just over $55,000.

Think of the savings! How many members of Congress would be willing to take a pay cut of more than $100,000 per year? My guess is none... Instead, they will continue to look for ways to "balance the budget" without touching whatever effects them. Or the lobbyists who provide the "extras" they receive.

For whatever reason, Congress can't see the importance of those essential personnel who keep chaos at bay. I wonder how many people will be injured—or worse—because the lawmakers are so far removed from reality...


Sunday, April 03, 2011

Don't ya hate it when a favorite piece of clothing is ruined? I do.

I think one of the reasons that it bothers me so dang much is because I don't have a closet full of favorite pieces of clothing. This pink top was one of them.

And it's ruined.

Admittedly, the ruining of the top was totally my fault. I tried to cut a string and missed. Instead I sliced a huge hole in the chest. Putting a patch there wouldn't have been a good look for me.

So I've spent the past hour or so trying to find a replacement top. I got the shirt a year or two ago at Torrid (love that store!). Of course, it's completely out of style now, so they don't have anything like it in their stores. Then again, I don't live anywhere near one, so it's not like I can scour their clearance racks. I'm limited to searching their website.

Once I realized I wasn't going to find the shirt of my dreams that easily, I began searching for a pattern for the top. One of my favorite parts of the shirt was the back. It was a lower cut back and showed my tat. Sweet, huh? Anyway, as I was checking out the Simplicity website, I found three great patterns that might work. I need to head to the fabric store to check them out a little closer.

Searching the site, however, reminded me of how much I really miss sewing. Yeah, I know. Another hobby. Hole in head. Whatever.

I like nice clothes. Most people wouldn't know it, since I'm often seen in jeans and t-shirt. But I really do. I do wish I was a little more "fashion suave." I really have no idea about body shapes (I think I'm an oval, but I'm pretty sure that isn't one of the official shapes) or colors or any of that.

Maybe I'll just stick to my jeans and t-shirts....