my oldest started taking keys off of the laptop. he's much too old for that shit so i grounded him from electronic entertainment for two weeks. other than that, the only mishaps have involved my toddler pushing the 15.6" laptop on the floor. amazing that it still functions well despite multiple drops.
my primal journal:
And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.
PART ONE: As a cub, Gay Panda had a long array of monsters lurking in the mental closet.
The spectrum ranged from the physical world to the supernatural to the sensory, and contained such things as an inexplicable fear of monkeys as well as the very explicable fear of Freddy Krueger. I was afraid of drowning for no reason, and afraid of fire for a good one*. I was afraid of time stopping while I was on the can, trapping me there forever in an embarrassing position, and I was afraid of wearing something inappropriate to my strict religious school. I was afraid of serial killers and angry teachers and the number 22** and that one day, the TV might flip from The Smurfs to Nightmare on Elm Street all on its own, freeze my feet to the floor and refuse to turn off, forcing me to watch it.
By the time I was twelve, a new monster barged into the mental closet and pushed most of the others into obsolescence. The monster was my swim coach. An older woman with short hair, a thick Russian accent, and a fiery temper, she had taught Olympic swimmers in her day yet somehow ended up at a ritzy gym full of my hometown’s rich people, and also people pretending to be rich in the hopes that osmosis would transfer funds between bank accounts. We were the latter.
She spoke at whatever decibel level encompasses The Shriek. At any point in our Olympic-sized pool you could hear her cries of outrage, and I’m confident those in the tennis courts and up in the treadmill room and over in Idaho and Mars could hear her, too. She shrieked about technique and speed and tardiness and laziness and the butterfly beat; she shrieked about lap times and race times and how often one’s head came up for breath. When clouds gathered and the sky turned dark and rain began to fall, meaning we were supposed to get out of the pool in case of lightning, she shrieked at the heavens and told us to keep swimming.
Well, no. ‘Told us’ is such a polite way of saying, “KEEP SVIMMING! YOU KEEP SVIMMING! EIGHT BY FOUR HUNDRED FREESTYLE THEN TAKE KEECKBOARD FOR EIGHT BY FOUR HUNDRED MORE!!! FIVE SECOND BREAKS EVERY ONE HUNDRED BUT NOT WITH THE KEECKBOARD WHERE YOU GO STRAIGHT THROUGH!!! THEN WE DO BUTTERFLY!!!”
“Coach, I think there might be lightn-”
“NO!!! THERE IS NO LIGHTNING!!! IT IS TIME TO SVIM!!! LINE UP!!! ONE-TWO-THREE-GO!!! GO FASTER, LAZY PANDA!!! I SAY FASTER OR I TALK TO YOUR PARENTS!!!”
Being of placid and amiable nature, I lived in terror of Coach Shriek. Sometimes she hung over the side of the pool, her cheeks reddening as she shrieked, “GO! GO! GO!” at every swimmer passing by. Other times she went into the poolhouse and watched us from the dimness within it, her features indistinct but her eyes aglow with demon fire. I was never good enough (nor were most of us) for Coach Shriek, who favored a whiny little boy who shot through the water as if propelled by a cannon and one day forgot to change into his swim trunks and almost jumped into the pool in his underpants.
Last edited by Gay Panda; 07-08-2012 at 08:26 AM.
UPDATE: (in explanation of * and **)
* Ah, the Flaming Marshmallow Incident when I was eight. Mother Panda allowed one of the Sticky Panda Siblings and I to roast marshmallows unsupervised in the backyard under the caveat we did not allow our marshmallows to catch fire. I stuck my marshmallow on the tines of the Long Fork and concentrated with every fiber of my being on keeping it at the exact level that allows the skin to brown but not blacken. Then I lost my sweaty grip on the Long Fork, and the marshmallow blackened and burst into flames.
Frantically, I looked around for a bucket of water. Nothing. If Mother Panda heard me blowing gusts of air, she’d know I disobeyed and let my marshmallow get too close. Then I’d be in trouble. Far more terrified of Mother Panda’s temper than fire, I extinguished the flames with my paw.
** I have only theories, not an explanation. The first theory is that I had an angry teacher in grade school located in Room 22, and my mind made an association between fear and the number instead of fear and the teacher. The second theory is that I saw something on Unsolved Mysteries or the like about fateful numbers and just picked one of my own in my subconscious.
I was raised by slightly older parents in the 60's who kind of ignored me. I think I had/have a bit of brain damage for I'd sit or walk around in a passive daze for most of the day until I woke up (a little) at 4 or so. One of the few times I was fast was when I was flushing the toilet. I was convinced a demon would come out of the toilet once I flushed, so I'd do my business, wash my hands, stretch as far away as possible and flush. Then I'd run as fast as I could away from danger. Silly me. Then a bad man visited our home and gave me a REALLY good reason to be afraid of the bathroom (whenever he was in it and my parents were not around). Blech. Between that and sanitary phobias I cannot and will not use a porto-potty. Ever. Nuh UH! And sometimes my heart will race and the urge to flee will wash over me in the cleaner public restrooms. But since I have to use various paper towels or tp to handle anything including handles, doorknobs, you name it, I'm kind of impeded so no-one has been treated to the sight of an overweight 47 year old woman streaking out of a stall and out the door.
Somehow, I completely understand your fearing the number 22. I always thought the number 3 was evil and out to get me.
Off to the woods with my son to walk off these angst. Thank you for posting again, GP, it's been a dry week without your lyrical prose.
Wow Gay Panda…I just joined the site last week and I just read this whole journal in about 5 days. I think my eyes might fall out. You are a very eloquent writer and it was better than many books I have read.
I wanted to say a few things, even though some of these are from posts almost a year old. Since I just read it…it is like it just happened.
First I want to say Thanks! I am losing weight so SLOW! It was reassuring to hear that others lose weight slowly too. I kept feeling like something was wrong with me when I gave up wheat and the pounds failed to go poof! It has been three weeks of primal and no poofing is going on here. I started reading the journals to see what other people were doing, because CLEARLY I was doing it WRONG! I had hoped to learn the secrets of the universe, thinking maybe people who lost weight ate exactly 42 grams of carbs and thus 42 really was the secret of the universe…Sadly…no.
I’m a Scorpio too and Scorpios ROCK! We’re a little psycho…but we rock.
I cried when Grandmother Friend passed away.
I can’t believe anyone else in the world read Jackaroo. Not just one of you…but two people who read and loved Jackaroo. I read that book over and over in JR High and LOVED it! I have to add Tad Williams to your list, especially Tailchaser’s Song.
I cried again when PC kitty passed away.
Lady Friend: I LOVE your lambs. My dream is to own a little farm one day and have a handful of sheep, among other animals. I am partial to Finn sheep, but may go with the St. Croix since Texas is so hot…and then I don’t have to shear them.
NOOO Not Great pumpkin cat too!
Namelesswonder: Thank you for the links for the Mood Cure related amino acids. I bought that book today. I have struggled with depression most of my life and I am intrigued with the ideas she has. I am glad to know her plan is working for someone.
I have never read nor seen a Twilight book or movie. I was more of an Ann Rice/Buffy vampire kind of girl. I liked Spike…but I thought Giles was totally hot.
I have decided NOT to paint my lady bits with iodine…it’s not really a good color for me. Clashes with my complexion…
My 4 year old daughter LOVES tractors. All construction vehicles are “tractors” and her fervent dream in life is to ride in one. Well that and to keep an orca in the back yard. She would have LOVED the tractor pull.
Speaking of marshmallows…did you know that they blow up in the microwave? We used to draw little faces on them and then watch the faces go from tiny little surprised faces to giant faces full of terror and then they exploded…wait…you mean everyone didn’t do that?
I am a little dissapointed I read all 391 pages of your journal. Now I have to wait for updates.
You are awesome Gay Panda! It was very inspiring to "watch" you take your dream of being published from a dream to a reality.
It's just another day in paradise
As you stumble to your bed
You'd give anything to silence
Those voices ringing in your head
You thought you could find happiness
Just over that green hill
You thought you would be satisfied
But you never will-
Learn to be still
Panda, I love your stories. When do we get to read the next one??
welcome to the nuthouse, Periwinkle.
Primal since March 5, 2012
SW: 221 | CW: 182 | LPW: 166 | UGW: 140 (80 lbs loss)
PART TWO: My relationship with Coach Shriek soured further after I entered high school. Involved in bell choir, voice choir, church youth group, music lessons, and orchestra, I was also in my school’s swim team and being tutored because I met my academic Waterloo in geometry. I had mounds of homework. I worked daily in our backyard pedigreed kitten mill. I spent long hours babysitting the youngest and stickiest sibling. I couldn’t figure out how to part my hair to look attractive, and I spent much time devising ways to flash my ID with my thumb partially over the picture* so no one could see how badly the part had gone the day the camera clicked. I was fourteen, and I was so very tired.
My packed afternoon schedules forced me out of Coach Shriek’s swim classes at the gym two of the five days a week I was supposed to be there. She had a tantrum of awesome, frothing proportions, questioning my dedication to the Craft of Svim and bemoaning the laziness of my generation, all expressed with her thick Russian accent at an ear-piercing decibel level. Unable to figure out how to be in six places at the same time, I chalked it up to personal failure**. A better and smarter and more magical panda cub would know how to do the undoable, but I let the sky be my limit. Shame on me.
And so I dropped out of Coach Shriek’s lessons entirely, but I’ve never forgotten her voice. After I went to college and anti-depressants gave me a case of The Fats instead of curing The Sads, I used the memory of her voice as an exercise motivator. Gay Panda has never been high on the energy scale, preferring a comfortable sofa and a book interspersed with a comfortable recliner and the television, and exercise to me is fighting my (ever-losing) battle with my hair and going for the mail and ambling around Wizard Quest looking for clues to the locations of the four missing elemental wizards. I don’t enjoy exercise one single bit. My mind is engaged in frequent exercise (see other blog for current insane all summer NaNoWriMo trilogy experiment in which I am engaged) but my body is disinterested. It is simply there to prop up my mind.
Lest anyone suggest that I have simply not found the right exercise, let me stop you right there. I have tried aerobics, water aerobics, regular yoga, affirmation yoga, Super Power yoga, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, walking, dog walking, power walking, jogging, running, sprinting, weightlifting, swimming, football, basketball, ballet, tap, ballroom, bowling, cliff climbing, Pogo sticks, hiking, judo, ju-jitsu, skateboarding, biking, stationary biking, jump roping, shotput, tennis, gardening, and pillow fights. The only exercises in my life that I found remotely rewarding were hurling javelins and smacking the most obnoxious of the Sticky Panda Siblings on his ass with my beloved plastic knight’s sword. It delivered a viciously stinging slap, had a fantastically etched guard and the most delicate apple of a pommel, and it came in a gold scabbard.