Middle Fingers and Hard Work

After returning from an unpleasant visit to my relatives, I vowed not to make another visit to them until further notice. The visit, back in December, was O.K. until the differences between Cutie and #dumbfuck (my brother’s boyfriend) clashed over Cutie’s idea of wanting to make a salad for my brother’s New Year Party.

(Sarcasm) A threat to tradition, according to #dumbfuck.

A threat to tradition, according to #dumbfuck.

Traditional Caribbean Christmas food is so greasy, fried and lack of veggies that it makes European/Western dishes look like NutriSystem Food items. Of course, such an innocent thing as a salad should not have forced Cutie and I to an unexpected exodus from my brother’s house. But it did and so we vowed that once we returned to the U.S. we would a) never visit them again and b) detox and exercise as much as possible. Enter the Fit Bit Zip (the Tamagouchi for Adults):

It's happy only when you are walking or exercising.

It’s happy only when you are walking or exercising.

It’s a digital pedometer that sticks its tongue at you if you are sitting at your desk for too long or not walking. If you sleep for ten hours, it shows the image of a dead spider. Or it occasionally shows an image of a heart. But it also records how many calories you burn (by syncing it to your laptop or mobile device), and allows you to keep track of what you eat based on ingredients or brand-name food items when eating out. This thing is a dietitian/nag that is discreet enough to be worn everywhere. Oh and it tells the time :P.

Cutie and I set individual goals on our little FitBits based on the post-holiday damage and became more picky eaters and more active. We measured everything we made/cooked and walked a lot. When I wasn’t biking to campus (a good 12-mile round-trip) I would go to the gym before my first class. Since Cutie and I were lucky to live close to the extensive walking/bike trail, it helped us go on long walks we needed for the day (10,000 step minimum). The purchase of a treadmill was halted due us unable to find an affordable one from a store that would deliver it to our place (yay for trails!).

Downside to a restricted diet/exercise program: you are hungry a lot. But unlike juicing, your muscles won’t hurt after exercising  from the lack of protein. I felt like I was in starvation mode more of the time, fighting my body’s urges to eat more. It was more like arguing with a child that keeps asking “why?” to every answer you give him/her. I found some relief in drinking a lot of tea (Organic Jasmine and Green Tea) while Cutie drank gallons of regular Organic Green Tea like a fish.  We hope that if our weight loss plans are successful, we can switch our FitBit Dashboard goals to “maintain the damn weight” mode.

Counteracting High Anxiety

I am enjoying my visits to campus every week: free math tutoring, clean bathrooms, clean water to drink, healthy food variety, nice professors (so far), career counseling, unrestricted access to gyms and computers. No wonder the university charges so damn much: if you stay on campus all day, even while working on your homework or studying, it is 10x less stressful than an 8 hour day at work. Those rumors about universities in the U.S. becoming adult day cares are becoming true. If anything, it motivates me more to work harder to get a good GPA in my classes and make the best out of all it has to offer as much as possible. Especially the career counseling. Before I graduated from my old alma mater, the career counseling center was a sad joke and job fairs were far few in between.  As an alumni, I am never sending money to that place or recommend anyone to go there.

Time, the Eternal Enemy

I don't want this to happen!

I don’t want this to happen!

Time is the worst enemy of man and women. Trying to use time to your advantage is the biggest challenge of every person’s life.

Especially when you are:

1) Not so young anymore

2)Trying to start a new career through getting new skills (Hello college!)

3) Visiting loved ones who have succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease

I stayed  about 3 weeks with my family. During that time, I tried to help my mom out as she took care of my grandmother who has Alzheimer’s disease. It was at times frustrating and heartbreaking the transformation in my grandmother. Her memory has been reduced to fragments: she can recognize all of us but she can’t remember how to take care of herself in terms of hygiene, counting money or even driving. Her behavior can be as best described of that of a worn out 2-year-old’s: crying, barely eating and reteaching simple concepts over and over with a heavier dose of diaper duty.  Such observations sadden me because the possibilities of my mother succumbing to the disease herself are possible. Should such an event happen, I would prepare myself to become her caretaker.

Becoming her caretaker would not frighten me, although it would sadden me because I would be giving up a career and the ability to earn money again.  What frightens me is the possibility that I would get Alzheimer’s myself and become a burden to Cutie. It frightens me because I am already scattered-brained and slow to retain new concepts  (especially math!). I curse at myself whenever I study for hours at different math problems and how I am unable to remember everything I studied. I wonder if such work could delay or prevent the disease. I can only hope that should such a disease would happen it would happen in late adulthood for me.  That is why I try to learn new things, in spite of not having a talent for them but I still try. Because time is against me more than ever.

Small minds are found in the unlikely of places

After a long hiatus from blogging (Christmas and New Year’s Activities) Cutie and I decided to retreat to a place where there is Air Conditioning and away from people for the weekend. Don’t get me wrong: I do missed seeing several of my family members but there are some I needed to get away from because of some unexpected drama/B.S./misunderstandings.

Which is why I needed this Mojito at the local Tapas bar. Because beer just wasn't cutting it!

Which is why I needed this Mojito at the local Tapas bar. Because beer just wasn’t cutting it!

I was getting tired of explaining/playing diplomat to family members because do not have thick enough skin to accept assertiveness or different points of view about things.  I am also sick and tired of hearing excuses:

“This is not traditional”

“You know how things are around here and such comments are not appreciated”

Well, they can kiss my ass. And no, I will NOT control my Cutie because a bunch of narrow-minded people can’t handle him. Not my fault some people were raised to be pussies.

This is why I also took Cutie to Rincon, PR, away from that B.S. and the NOISE!

No one judges you at the sea: everyone becomes seafood at some point in their lives.

No one judges you at the sea: everyone becomes seafood at some point in their lives.

For our anniversary, instead of giving ourselves presents, we went to the Tres Palmas Reserve and Para sailed together.

I was nervous because I’ve never done this before, but after we saw a 90-year-old woman return from her trip, my nerves calmed a bit.

High as a kite, without getting high!

High as a kite, without getting high!

The experience was worth it: Cutie and I got a bit nauseous,  but the view of the ocean off the coast was spectacular: the sea filled with emerald tones of blue and green glistening against the midday sun. We spotted a sea turtle bobbing out at sea, without a care in the world. We truly felt like we were being flown like kites, not knowing when or where we will be dropped. Lucky for us, we glided back into the boat without incident.

Dealing with small-minded people opened my eyes to appreciating the experiences I went through when I was challenged/pushed to do things. Of course I hated experiencing half of the B.S. that comes with traveling/moving/working in different places. But my Cutie was right: if I didn’t challenge myself, I would have been missing out on unique experiences and not learn anything.  Or worse: I would have ended like my small-minded relatives (thin-skinned, anxious, racist, etc).  Yeah, so glad for that Mojito!