Friday, December 25, 2009

I now remember how I got fat

As the title says, I now remember how I got fat. Well, aside from the whole "hormonal imbalance" thing.

It's Indiana. But it's not why you think.

Yes, the foods we eat here aren't so healthy. There's a lot of "American" food. We like to deep fry things. It's really disgusting. But they do that in Pittsburgh, too. In fact, a "Pittsburgh Salad" is lettuce, cheese, chicken fingers, and FREAKING FRENCH FRIES slathered in ranch dressing.

I digress.

It's not the food. It's that I am and always have been miserable here. It's because of my parents' house. It's the center of all things despair. They're both incredibly unhappy, and unwilling to face or change any of the things that are easily changed.

So, they've done what Americans have been trained to do: they eat. And I grew up in that environment. My mother and I never got along. We still don't, but it was even more acute as a kid, because I couldn't get away. I had no control over my life, because she micromanaged everything.

Everything except for what I put in my mouth.

My adult life has been relatively happy. But periods of great sadness in my life have led to me gaining weight, because in order to cope, I eat. It's something I can control.

But my life in Pittsburgh, despite this last semester kicking me in the teeth, has been pretty happy. I was able to lose weight. I gained some back when things got truly miserable. But coming back to this house, to what feels like a toxic environment where my parents live separate lives, and where my mother is incapable of acting like a human being, let alone an adult ... well, it's really brought my food issues front and center.

I took a big step today. We went up to see the extended family. I'm not a fan. It's stressful, and it's incredibly sad for a lot of reasons. Added to the rest of the week, it's a prime over-eating environment for me.

So, I ate breakfast before we left the house. I had one plate of food at the family lunch, and it wasn't even full. Everything was a reasonable portion. Now, I'm not saying any of it was good for me, but I didn't gorge myself. I didn't even have dessert.

It was a small thing. But for me, it was a really big step.

I've got a get-together with some old friends tomorrow evening. Then Sunday at 7:30, I'm headed back to Pittsburgh. Where Boyfriend will pick me up from the airport, and I'll give him a big huge hug.

In short, my life will make sense again.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why my bank sucks, a love story

So, I know that a few of my readers are banking VPs, and I love you dearly.

But I hate my bank.

For the purposes of this post, I won't name them EXPRESSLY, but I'll just say ... they're headquartered in Pittsburgh and in the past few months bought out my lovely bank that I had been doing business with FOR YEARS with absolutely no problems.

And then THIS BANK came along and ruined all that.

Let's chat, shall we?

So, Bank 2 buys Bank 1. And I get NO notices about the change-over, how I should be doing things, when I should expect a debit card in the mail, nada. Months go by. Still nada. The website changes. My account number changes. I'm told to "keep using my card until one comes to me" every time I call.

Then, 12/9 comes around. They cancelled my old card and didn't tell me. I found out while trying to buy a pre-finals bagel. Luckily I have a credit card and debit card issued by Bank #3 where I have also done business FOR YEARS with no problems. I can still pay for things.

So, I call the customer service hotline. AGAIN. The woman on the phone has a nice Southern drawl. She tells me that oh honey they tried to send it to you and your address wasn't right or something and do you live in an apartment? Why, yes, mystery woman, I do. Oh sweetheart they sometimes can't deliver to the apartments on the first try, because the landlords have them chopped up into so many units and not all of them are registered with the post office!

I swear to the gods that the italics aren't ironic. That's how she talked.

Anyway, she was very helpful. She verified my address. She tried to process my card and have it sent to me. Turns out that the computer wouldn't let her, because it takes 3 to 5 calendar days for the address to verify. Uh, excuse me?

But it's not her fault, and I tell her this as I'm asking to speak to her manager. I indicate that I'm less than pleased that they evidently tried to send me a card, then realized my address was somehow unacceptable, then NEVER CONTACTED ME about the problem. I indicate that I know this isn't the manager's fault either, but that there's got to be a better way to do this than allowing me to realize the problem only when my previous card is inactivated.

And so on, and so forth.

So, I called back today, and got a very nice Indian woman, who processed my card order. Let's see if it gets to me.

However, Indian woman refused to order checks for me (I would do it myself, but the website for some reason HATES everything about me and won't let me order them -- I kept getting error messages). She insisted that I could continue using my Bank 1 checks, even though I now had a different account number with Bank 2. I call shenanigans. I don't want to get called in for check fraud. That's a felony, you know.

I'll be going to my local branch and speaking to a representative in person tomorrow.

Or, I'll be closing out my account and taking my business down the street. It just kind of depends on how things go.

Monday, December 7, 2009

This is just to say ...

... that it is finals time here. And it's been a hell of a month at work. And well, a lot of random shiz has come up.

I'm sorry I'm not around these parts and your blogs more. But I am done with finals on the 16th, and will only have work and family obligations after that until January.

I promise I haven't forgotten about any of ya, and that I'll be back ASAP.

But for now, I've got to get a little sleep before my morning final.