Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bombs Away!


Everyone hopes that one day they will have a claim to fame. Okay. Maybe not everyone. But put “some people” in place of “everyone” in that sentence and it makes it kind of wimpy. And grammatically incorrect.

Carrying on.

Everyone hopes that one day they will have a claim to fame. Whether that be, “I was once Miss America,” or, “I can put thirty-five marshmallows in my mouth without suffocating to death,” it is that sentence that you state and the whole room goes “wow!”

Without meaning to, I started on my legacy at the tender age of 18. Are you ready?

I have been pooped on by a bird on three different continents.

I’ll wait while you recover from your mind being blown.

But seriously, that is my claim to fame. And I will now share my tragic tales with you.

Time #3 – North America: Standing in line at the Denver Aquarium: Teeny little sparrow. Due to the previous occurrences, I was not even fazed. I felt the little poop hit the back of my hand, looked down, and thought to myself, “hmm. You aren’t even trying sparrow. That’s just pathetic. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

Time #2 – Asia: Running through the streets of Calcutta, India: Albatross or bird of equal size. While in India, there were often moments of I NEED A BATHROOM IMMEDIATELY OR THIS STORY WILL REALLY STINK TO WRITE HOME ABOUT. One of those times started innocently enough, while I was walking from an internet cafĂ© back to the hostel. A few minutes in to the walk I realized I needed to pick up the pace. A few more minutes it was emergency time and I started running like the world was about to end. As I was sprinting along I felt something hit my stomach and looked down. I. Was. Covered. In. Bird. Poop. The poop that I had apparently run into mid-fall from some unknown humongous bird covered me from sternum to pelvis. I was horrified, but none the less kept running because stopping would have made this story a whole lot grosser.

Time #1 – Europe: Walking under a bridge in London, England: Very sick pigeon. I was 18 and with a group of friends on our senior trip. As we were taking a leisurely walk through the city, I felt something on my cheek. At first I thought it was rain and was confused about why it was so warm. I looked down and saw that I had bird poop on my chest and all down my leg. With slowly dawning horror I knew.

There was bird poop. On my face. Bird poop. On. My. Face. Deep breath. Do not freak out. You are an adult. You are in Europe with your friends. You have to be a grown up.

“Um. Guys, there’s,” deep, shaky breath, “bird poop on my,” shuttering gasp, “face.” Everyone turns, looks at me, and then frantically starts looking for something to wipe it up. A well-meaning friend grabs a Dorito bag, out of the gutter, and starts walking towards me with it.

I spaz out. Luckily, another friend yanks me towards her and uses her sleeve to clean up my cheek and crisis is averted.   

So, my goal in life is now this - to be able to say, I have been pooped on, on all seven continents. And don’t worry; there are some horrifying pictures of penguins pooping that show that this is completely doable if I really put my mind to it.          

Monday, June 24, 2013

Scars

I got a massage on Saturday (thanks John!) and it was wonderful. As amazing as it was, there is a major downside to massages – the nekidness. Holy moly, I do not like being naked around strangers (which I’m going to go ahead and chalk up as a positive personality trait). That feeling when they leave you in the room and say, “ok go ahead and get undressed and get under the covers facedown,” is the worst.

After she made the typical pronouncement, I stood there like I had been stun gunned for a few seconds, cursing myself for forgetting how much I hate semi-public nudity. Then I ripped all my clothes off like a Tasmanian devil, because heaven forbid she knocks on the door before I’m safely tucked away under the covers.

She came back in and I tried to will myself to relax:

“I’M NAKED. THIS IS HORRIBLY AWKWARD.”

“It doesn’t matter. I have to get my money’s worth, so brain, RELAX NOW.”

“I like her toenail polish color.”

“There is a weird amount of cymbals in this music.”

“Relax, relax, relax, relax.”

“Ack! My nose is dripping.”

“I wonder if I should dye my hair brown…”

“SHUT UP BRAIN! “

“OUCH! Her strength to size ratio is much higher than expected.”

“Huh. I wonder why boys are made of puppy dog tails. That sounds graphic and violent.”

“Shhhhhhhh… reeeellllaaaaaax.”

My stream of thought went along like that for a while, until she got to my right leg - everything went crashingly silent in my skull when she uncovered it.

I have a 14 inch scar that runs from mid-calf, across the back of my knee, to mid-thigh. When I was 18 I had a large chunk of my calf muscle taken out, and was left with a scar that makes me look like I was filleted open by Hannibal. I’m not necessarily embarrassed by my scar, but I REALLY hate people touching it. I have no feeling on the back of my calf, because the surgery destroyed all my nerve endings in that area. It makes my skin crawl to think about someone touching me and me not being able to tell.

While I was mildly panicking about her touching my leg, I started to think about the strange things she must see in her line of work. She daily has people lying on the table in front of her, completely vulnerable. Their scars, tattoos, bruises, stretch marks, and every other imperfection are laid bare in front of her. She took it in stride, my “disfigured” leg. Well, at least I think she did. My face was crammed into that doughnut shaped torture device, so who knows what her actual response was.  

I’m working on becoming a counselor, and I realized, I am asking the same of my clients. We all have scars. They might be from trauma, loss, heartbreak, or any other number of sources. We might feel funny about people seeing them, or we might be paralyzed at the thought of anyone knowing about them. Some are deep, and some are shallow, but they can hurt, embarrass, and cause discomfort regardless.

I was struck by how brave someone is to seek out counseling, to lay there naked with all of their skin exposed. I can only pray that God will use me to help people heal and adjust, and that I will always take what I hear in stride and never make a person feel alarming or too damaged for help.

So, my hat is off to those who are struggling with their scars and taking the brave steps to heal them.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Some Insight into My Scary Brain.

A little background and/or context.

I was not raised in the United States, and all joking aside, I really didn’t have a weight problem before we moved back here.

“But Anna, how can you blame an entire country (and/or region depending on how you use the term ‘America’) for your weight problem?”

Well. Let me tell you why.

Many moons ago this was me:




I know. Adorable. I mean, you can practically hear me thinking, “pssh. Yeah. I know I’m the shiznit.”

Now here’s me in the context of my childhood:





One of these is not like the others. And another one of these is going to play in the WNBA – I mean for reals, look at the girl in the yellow hat. She’s got hops.

Anyway, I stuck out like a sore thumb. And apparently never understood field day, but that’s not the point. In the town we lived in when I was a little itty bit, I stood out so much that I could get in a taxi cab and say, “take me home.” And they would. When we went to the market people would flock around me and give me free gifts like flowers and candy. People would take my picture, pet my head, and fawn all over me. Seriously.

Now, keep in mind, I had no concept of the fact that I was white, or blonde, or different in any way. So in my mind all of these interactions affirmed a truth that I lived my life by: “I’m adorable! Look how they love me! The whole world must center around my awesomeness!”

Needless to say, I’m prone to grandiose thinking, which often leads to dramatic statements. So, it’s much more my style to say something like “America made me fat,” vs, “a new culture full of a variety of unhealthy foods that are easily accessible, puberty, poor lifestyle choices, and reality made me fat.”


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Completely Unhelpful Book Reviews. You're Welcome.

I love to read. Anything. Everything. It doesn’t matter.

Due to this fact, I envisioned having some posts on here with book reviews. What better place to share my passion! Oh what fun we could have talking about literature!

Until I realized something … I have terrible taste in books. Scratch that, I have no taste at all. I love everything from Great Expectations to Sweet Valley High (why, oh why, wasn’t I born a twin?!) Thus, my reviews would be completely useless.

In my mind book reviews should go something like this:

::Twinkly dream sequence music:: Picture me sitting by a fire, in a leather wingback chair, nodding sagely, cleaning my monocle – “Mmmm. Yes. The juxtaposition of the themes about the different natures of good and evil made for an enthralling journey that was only marred by the author’s inability to alliterate in an appealingly appropriate attitude.” Thoughtful silence.

In reality:

Me bouncing around like a small child – “THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD! So good. Oh, the story! The love! I laughed! I cried! I lost my monocle I was so excited!!FIVE STARS!! TWO THUMBS UP!!! SQUEEEE!!!” There’s very little silence in my world. Thoughtful or otherwise.

So. I will probably write about books that are "OMG IT’S SO PERFECT YOU HAVE TO READ IT RIGHT NOW OR YOUR SOUL WILL DIE." Don’t believe it. It will only be true, like, ten percent of the time.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pressure coo... HOLY CRAP!

People often say "I feel like I am in a pressure cooker," or something along those lines. This is a saying that has been ringing true in my life recently, except I have a very vivid picture in my head of what that means for me.

When I was twenty I lived in India for a summer. Before that summer I had never seen a pressure cooker, let alone used one, but it is commonly used there so it quickly became a normal part of my life. When I was taught to use it the instructions went something like this - fill the pot with water, clamp down the lid, boil on the stove, when it's done spin this little top to release the pressure, duck and cover because you'll probably lose an eye. Check. Got it.

One night a friend and I were standing in the kitchen, using the handy, speedy little kitchen gadget, when it all went wrong. The stove we were cooking on had a glass cover that could be pulled down, so that when it's not in use it can provide more counter space (genius!). I reached over, twirled the pressure release thingy, ducked and covered, and boy howdy am I glad I did.

That sucker EXPLODED. To this day I have no idea what happened technically. What I do know is that one minute I was standing happily in the kitchen waiting for my potatoes to be done and the next second I was under fire. Not only did the cooker explode boiling potatoes all over the kitchen it somehow managed to shatter the glass cover in an explosion of alarming magnitude.

What happened next was a reenactment of the scene from Boondock Saints after they shoot the cat - lots of scrambling, screaming, checking for mortal wounds, and then shocked staring. No one was hurt but that kitchen will never be the same.

I'm hoping this blog will be a place to relieve a little pressure form life, and if not, at least a place to be able to stand in the middle of the kitchen covered in potato and laugh hysterically about it.