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May 2003

My Journal for May 2003


I am becoming a nomad. I like stability. I am not an unstable person. Yet, I cant seem to stay in one place. I hate moving, its not that I enjoy it. Although each move does give me a chance to get rid of stuff thats just sitting around. But as a single woman who doesnt want to live alone (for many reasons, primarily the high cost of living in Southern California), I just havent been able to find a housing situation that meets my needs.

About 3 years ago, I was living with my parents, I had been there about 5 years. But it was time to move on, I needed to be on my own. I had a friend that owned a house, had 2 dogs and 2 cats. She was taking a job that required her to travel every Monday through Thursday. She asked me to move in with her. I would pay lower rent, have 2 rooms and bathroom and take care of the pets in her absence. It started out well. But the truth is, she didnt really want a roommate. And there was a part of me that wanted a "Friends" roommate situation. It just wasnt happening. Our friendship began to sour. There were fights and unreasonable expectations. She asked me to move.

At the time she asked me to move, my life seemed to be very chaotic. I was nursing a break up of a long term internet relationship where I had gotten way too involved. My mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was facing a mastectomy. I simply didnt have the time to look for a place to live. So I took the first opportunity presented to me. It also seemed like a good thing at the time. One of my co-workers had a sister who was looking for a roommate. She was recently divorced and thought it would be nice to have someone living there. I didnt ask enough questions and I certainly didnt get to know her well enough. I just wasnt in the right mind frame to make a good decision. Within a month of moving in, I knew I did not want to stay there for long, but I really had no energy to do another search or go through another move. I decided that it wasnt horrible and I just had to make the best of it.

Things started out okay, we were getting to know each other and seemed to get along. I had a small room in a 3 bedroom home and we shared a bathroom. She had a half bath in her room, but we shared the shower. Previously, I had two large rooms plus my own bathroom. So right there it was an adjustment. I was trying to cram 2 rooms worth of furniture into 1 room and it always felt crowded. Before I moved in, I had asked her if I could store some stuff in the garage, since I knew it wouldnt all fit in my room, she said that wouldnt be a problem. I also asked if I could set up a craft table in the garage, she said that there was a work bench that wasnt used and I could use that. We talked about me having friends and dates over and she mentioned that she would expect that. So I began the process of unpacking my boxes, finding the right fit for my furniture, etc. I found I spent a lot of time in my room, because I didnt know her well and felt uncomfortable with her. Sometimes we would go out to lunch or dinner or out for some drinks or something. I figured in time we would become friends and things would be more comfortable.

One day I invited a friend over for a BBQ. She came over with her son for a few hours. We had a nice time, stayed outside on the patio most of the time. After she left, my roommate complained because I hadnt asked/told her about it with a few days notice. So basically, I needed to pre-plan all events. Well, I like life to be a bit more spontaneous than that.

When I moved in to the house, this woman had just finalized a divorce and was in a severe depression. The house was a mess, papers and crap everywhere. Not dirty, just extremely cluttered. In the kitchen, there was not an empty spot of counter. Every cabinet was crammed full of crap, stuff she never even touched. There were shelves that were jam packed with knicknacks and dust. It was horrible. She kept saying she was going to clean it up but it never happened. I couldnt stand to cook in the kitchen. She never even gave me space for my food. Also, she had an entire cupboard filled with homeopathic remedies. Not that theres anything wrong with that, but she never used any of it. She was constantly buying more stuff, but never using it. My main job was to clean the bathroom. She told me not to do the dishes because once I broke a dish. She treated me like a child, like accidents dont happen. But that was fine because then I never felt guilty for the dirty dishes. I just wondered how she was going to be when and if she ever had kids. They were bound to break more than one dish. Once she asked me to be responsible for watering the lawn. I didnt really think that was fair since it wasnt my house. I just rented a room. The craziest thing she asked me to do was be responsible for watering her plants. Uh sorry lady. I dont even own plants because I dont want to be responsible for watering. Your plants, you water them. But really, the worst part was that if I was even a day late cleaning the bathroom, she would get all over me, but the kitchen was always a mess and she would clean it whenever she felt like it.

After a few months of living there, she asked me when I was going to get my stuff out of the garage. When I told her she said I could store stuff there, she just didnt remember and acted like that conversation never happened. So I had to get a storage space. Then I was talking about finally getting my craft stuff set up on the work bench. She forgot that conversation also, said that she was going to use the work bench. Whatever fine.

As summer approached, I started having a friend of mine over regularly on the weekends to go swimming. She didnt seem to mind that but one day we invited a mutual friend over to join us. After he left, she told me that she didnt want me to have people over that I didnt know, not friends of a friend, etc. I explained that he wasnt a friend of a friend, although I had met him through my friend, I knew him too. She said "its not because hes black" which to me means, "its because hes black but I dont want you to think that it is". Thats like the dead giveaway to me. So then I knew that she was prejudiced.

One day, she got a bug up her ass that she needed a new mattress. She went out that day and bought one. The old mattress belonged to her parents and they wanted it back but didnt have room it right away. So she took the old mattress and left it halfway in the hallway and halfway in the living room. She slept on the new mattress for one night then left on a 10 day vacation. She left the old mattress sitting in the hallway while she was on vacation and for about a month after she got back. Now I ask you, why couldnt she have waited until she got back from vacation to buy the new mattress?

I know, its her house and so she has the right to do whatever she wants in the house, but it seemed to me that she wanted the best of both worlds. She wanted a roommate to pay half the bills, share half the work and pay rent, but at the same time, she didnt want to share any space, share any decisions or have people in her home that she didnt know. For many months, I would dread coming home and would hope that she would be out when I got home. I never left my room. I never cooked. I didnt even like going to the bathroom because I might run into her. But I was trying to stick it out for a full year and get past the holidays.

The final straw came in October. I had dated a guy several times. We made plans for him to come over and hang out and watch a movie. He took classes on line and had a quiz every Friday so he was going to come over after taking the quiz. He wouldnt get there until about 10. I gave her several days notice and explained that he wouldnt be getting there until late. About 15 minutes before he got there, she said that she didnt want me to have strangers in the house. I explained he wasnt a stranger, I had known him for several months and we had gone out several times. She said that since she didnt know him, he was a stranger. I said that if he never came over he would always be a stranger, that I would have to have people over for her to meet them. Then she said, well I dont like people coming and going in the middle of the night. I had already explained why he was coming over late. Then she said that she didnt let her friend bring guys over to the house (her friend who is married but likes to pick up guys for some extra-marital fun). I replied back that her friend didnt live there and pay rent. Then she said, if he really cared about you, hed take you out. I said back, he had taken me out and tonight we just want to relax and watch a movie. Finally she said, I dont want you to have anyone over except your family and I told her that I couldnt live there under those rules. Way too restrictive.

I know it is her house and she needed to be comfortable, but she really needed to think about all these things before deciding to have a roommate. She just didnt know how to share space. And she was so paranoid too. She was a cop and just saw the worst in people. If she couldnt find something, she would automatically assume that it was stolen. Like, she never assumed that it might just be lost in the MESS she called a house. Everyone who met her thought she was weird. So I moved.

The place I am living now, I really thought it would be good, and the truth is, its nothing compared with where I was living. I wouldnt even be looking except some friends of mine moved back into town and we decided to get a place together.

So whats wrong with the place I am living? Well, I dont like being far away from family and friends, so thats part of it. But also, my current roommate has taken to sleeping on the couch every night, which makes me uncomfortable. I really fell like I just rent a room, when really we share the rent equally on the apartment. His computer is downstairs in the living room. Mine is upstairs in my bedroom. His idea of decorating in a Lakers poster, beer cans and music posters. I have a slightly different idea. Plus, hes loud. Its a two story townhouse style apartment. He plays his stereo and TV really loud. The stairway just amplifies the sound like a big speaker. Everything that happens downstairs, I can hear in my room as if I was right there with him. Even with my door shut. Every TV show, every phone conversation. Its horrible. And this is the kind of guy who doesnt know about peace and quiet. There has to be noise at all times. Like, I can read a book and just be quiet. He has to have the TV or stereo on at all times. So, like I said, its not that I would seek it out, go looking for a new place. But this other situation has just sort of dropped in my lap and I am going to go with it. So this turns me into a nomad. I have only lived in my current place for 6 months. And the place before that, I only lived there 8 months. The one before that wasnt too bad, I was there about a year and 4 months. I just want to settle down in one place for a while. We are going to sign a one year lease so I know Ill be there at least a year.

So, on the weight loss front, heres how things are going I was supposed to work out last week. Didnt happen. There was some lame excuse everyday. But Im not going to get crazy about it. One night, I decided not to go to the gym. I decided I wanted some fried zucchini. And I was all set to have it too. Then as I got in my car to go home, I changed my mind, went to the grocery store, bought some rotisserie chicken, some celery and cream cheese and had that instead. It was a small victory, but Ill take it.

I have been good about avoiding sugar and simple carbs, making much more of my meals protein based. I have also been better about protein supplements, usually eating a protein bar every day. I think I have also increased my caloric intake which should stimulate my metabolism. Well see if any of these things have had an effect. The celery has been really helping because it gives me something to crunch. Im still drinking my water everyday, and I am taking my iron and thyroid consistently now. I take the b-12 every day that I work, I keep it at my desk here at work. Gradually Ill get there.

As far as working out goes, the truth of the matter is that I have been having a lot of trouble with my knees since I worked out that one day, so I dont know if I went back too soon, or what. Also, in the next two weeks, Ill probably be moving so I will be too busy to go to the gym as I pack and move, and also, the moving itself is exercise. Do I sound like someone who can justify anything??? Yeah, thats me. So heres the new plan. For the rest of May, Ill be moving and getting settle. The first two weeks of June, Ill be on a business trip. When I return from the business trip, then Ill get serious about working out.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I have this picture at my desk taken at Halloween 2001. I am wearing a pair of jeans that are skin tight. I gained about 20-30 pounds after that picture was taken. I am wearing those jeans today and they are loose. Amazing. Look at the pictures in the picture page.

Sorry for the long entry, but life gives you what it gives you.