Thursday, November 29, 2007

broken binder

A great tragedy has occurred. My binder, which I have not even had for a full 12 months, has been damaged in such a way that it will not function in an effective manner. I trustingly lent it to a friend for a play that she was in, and it came back to me with rips by both side seams. It's not that the seams themselves have been ripped, it's the fabric. Even if I have someone stitch up the sides, now that the fabric itself has ripped it will be more prone to accidents in the future, and it will also have two bulky seams that will itch.

Really, the good thing is that I am going to have help converting it to a shorter binder, not the full body tank top style it was. Still, I am saddened by the loss, and the "conversion experience" won't occur until winter break.

I am freaking out a little bit because I'm finding it difficult to function without the binder. As the semester has gone on and it's gotten colder, that binder became my second skin. Unfortunately, since I've been stressed out and a little depressed this semester I have been letting myself get bogged down in feeling negatively about my body. And I know, that's not good to do. I'm doing what I can to not beat up on myself. Thinking negatively will not change anything.
Nonetheless, I do need to figure out something for the really bad days, and I don't want to go back to using an ace bandage. It's really bad for my back muscles, I've already bruised my ribs using that method before, and it is difficult to breathe if you don't wrap it properly. Still, there are just some days when the sports bra, although the two i have are mighty indeed, just aren't enough.

Oh well. On the upshot, I will be getting my october paycheck soon so if I decide that I want to have two binders, I can consider purchasing another one from underworks. Until the time that I have a binder again, I will try and think happy thoughts and also try and think of alternatives to the Ace bandage.

Monday, November 26, 2007

tiny revelations

Today when I was walking to the Union to drop off some mail and eat before class I got hit with a big gust of wind and I realized all of the sudden that I am alive. This might seem a little obvious, but it's also something that I've forgotten somehow. I had forgotten how wonderful bodies are, that I somehow start a signal in my brain, which travels down my spinal cord to my legs and tells them to move, that my lungs breathe air, that my heart beats. Then there's the fact that we have the capability to learn, and to create. The fact that humanity can create music, art, literature, philosophy, architecture. Remembering that floors me in a way that reminds me of how I felt about god when I was younger, which now I realize was not so much feelings of joy about god, but joy in being alive.
After my little revelation this morning, I was trying to think back in my childhood to the first moment I remember being alive. The first moment that I was self-aware of my existence. I haven't remembered it yet, and I don't know if I ever will. Either way, it's good to think about. I've remembered a lot of little events in childhood I didn't remember before. Like laying on the hill behind our house in Illinois looking at constellations and feeling vertigo, like I could go spinning off into space.
This evening I was walking across campus and realized again how amazing it is that the gravitational pull of the earth keeps the moon in orbit, and causes the waxing and waning of moon, and that the moon causes tides, and that the earth orbits the sun, and that our solar system orbits in our galaxy, which is speeding through the universe. Crazy.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Pineapple

So it's Thanksgiving again. While the origins of the holiday remain questionable, school lets out for a few days, and people are generally a little nicer to each other for a few days.
One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories is from sophmore year of high school. First, you need to know that my dad loves to cook. He will watch the Food Network with pen and paper nearby so he can take notes on his favorite recipes. He's quite easy to shop for, any time I buy him a gift I just go to a culinary store. This particular year my dad thought up one of his craziest cooking schemes yet. He decided that we were going to get a huge turkey because we were having around 30 family members over for Thanksgiving. Personally, I thought it was a little crazy. Either way. My parents get turkeys every year from the Schmidt's who do the whole free range turkey and chicken thing. I think they also raise goats and one cow a year.
Either way. So at the beginning of October my parents find out this turkey is probably going to weigh in at over 40 lbs. This turkey isn't going to fit in our oven. So my dad decides that we are going to cook it luau style. So over the course of October we dig a huge hole in our backyard. This thing is about 4 feet deep and wide. Thanksgiving Day we get up and set a fire in the bottom, put a grate over it, and put the turkey on top of the grate wrapped in foil. Then we put a sheet of metal over the hole. And then we wait for the turkey to cook.
So around 11:30, my friend Monica shows up at the door with a surprise for us. We let her in, exchange pleasantries, she tells us all to close our eyes and pulls out a pineapple and gives it to my dad. I had told her about the whole turkey cooked in a whole in the ground thing and she decided that the perfect thanksgiving present for us would be a pineapple. Every year after that we've gotten a lovely thanksgiving pineapple.
Luckily, the turkey in the ground thing actually worked. Also luckily, my father hasn't ever tried cooking food in the ground ever since.

Monday, November 19, 2007

morning questions

I'm taking a quick procrastination break from my paper. I thought I'd blog a few questions that have been running through my head today.
Have I made a mistake?
Will I ever find someone like that ever again?
Is the distance worth it?
Was I too hasty?
Why am I such a procrastinator?
Could I skip my classes to finish this paper?
Should I really go to grad school?
I don't think I'm as smart as some people think I am.
Why do I feel the need to lie to my parents sometimes?
Where did I leave my coffee cup?

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I've been realizing lately that I have problems opening up to people. I don't have problems making friends, or caring about people. Dont' get me wrong, I care deeply about a lot of people. At the same time I like being able to hold people at a distance, to keep parts of myself from other people. I think it's partially because I'm scared that if I open up to someone completely, I won't have any defenses left. I also think that part of it is also that I have a bad tendency to just close off and shut down when I feel out of control, or threatened, or scared. It feels easier to shut down and not feel anything than to feel hurt.
For example, my dad called today. We talked about the fact that I am flat broke, mainly why I didn't tell my parents I didn't have money. He asked me how I was doing, and I just shrugged it off and said that I'm doing fine. School is busy, but I'm fine. What I really should have said is that I'm going through a rather difficult time emotionally, I have no motivation to finish school right now, I'm trying to talk to people about it so I can work through it and function again but it's difficult for me to ask for help. It's difficult for me to admit that I'm having a hard time. But I didn't. My parents love me, I know this. They managed to survive me coming out to them three different times, which is quite astonishing as it is, and they have always supported me in many many ways. If anything I should be able to open up enough to just say that I'm having a hard time but I'm getting through it. But I couldn't.
And of course the strangest thing is that I'm willing to just throw this up on the internet where anyone can read it. There's something to be said for a sense of anonymity I suppose.

Monday, November 5, 2007

bad body days

Just a warning, this post may be a little whiny, a little emo, and possibly a little self-centered though I'll try to keep it to a minimum. So if that's not your thing, you've been warned.

Today has been a bad body day. Usually, I'm able to get along with my body pretty well. I can ignore that I have breasts, and the day goes pretty well. Unfortunately there are days like today where I just feel them all the time. They shift around, they feel like they are bouncing all over the place, they itch, they generally feel huge and cumbersome.
Days like this are just really hard. I try to remember that there are many people in the world who have it a lot worse than I do, and my problems are small potatoes compared to a lot of shit people deal with. Still, it's difficult. It's hard to have a good day or even an ok day when I can't stop thinking about the breasts. And unfortunately my binder is getting ragged and stretched out so it isn't as effective. I still have my ace bandage, but that does horrible things to ones back. I've gotten bruised ribs before and that's just not comfortable either.
I've been realizing more and more this year that there is a huge disconnect between what my mental image of myself is and what I see when I look in the mirror. Its rather disconcerting. I know that that's me, but some days its like "oh right, I have those breast things."
Either way. Tomorrow will be a new day.


This semester I finally settled on a name. Instead of the rather feminine first and middle name I was given (Amy Elizabeth) I wanted something different that wasn't exactly masculine, but certainly wasn't that feminine.
On more than one occasion I've enlisted the help of my friends to think up names, and that was very helpful in thinking up options. Eventually after much consideration, I settled on Dylan for a first name. According to one book on name meanings I read it means "born of the water" which I think is a good meaning. Some of my earliest memories are at my grandparents house when they lived on Lake Arrowhead in Wisconsin. When I was in high school and I was stressed out, I would go to the park that overlooked Lake Michigan to think. So I thought Dylan was a fairly appropriate name. It also was the first name that really felt like it fit.
My middle name gave me more difficult. Elizabeth is a family near on my mother's side. Her great-grandmother was named Elizabeth. When I was at my grandmother's earlier this year, I was looking through her genealogy stuff and decided that I would use Moss as my middle name. Moss was my grandmother's maiden name, and it was my great-grandmother Elizabeth's last name.
It's kind of a strange middle name, but it's better than the options on my father's side of the family where everyone's middle name seems to be either Gene or Jean.
I did consider coming up with something completely new, but over the past year I've been realizing how important my family has been to me. It's not like we're perfect or anything, we definitely have issues. Even so, my biological family is part of who I am, and I don't want to erase that.