You’d think those three things don’t go together, outside of an unreasonable enjoyment of calorie-filled food that keeps me from fitting into my favourite dress from 2007 (discovering this was a huge blow to the ego, also a theme for this week in my world.), but if you put them together, you have my week.

I haven’t blogged much, and it’s largely because we all have those weeks where, after a few weeks of significant drama, the storm has died down, and everything seems quiet. And, once everything seems quiet, you can’t tell whether relief or boredom is going to set it. That’s pretty much my week in a nutshell.

I’ve gotten used to the fact that my roommate is gone. Like so many other men in my life, our years of friendship and helping each other out counted for little, and he skipped out without paying me or The Guy I Am Currently Dating any of the money he owes us. He gave two months notice, but in reality, it was three days to get the lease signed over, and then he was gone..leaving piles of crap in his half-moved-out-of-room, not cleaning a bathroom that I’m disgusted by looking at, and leaving boxes too heavy for me to deal with sitting in my living room. He’s left no forwarding address, and no longer answers my texts. My intuition tells me that friendship ultimately is a disposable, useful thing for some people, and we’ll never see him again. Yet, I’m struggling financially because I had no notice that I was going to have to spend hundreds of dollars setting up utilities, and paying our rent without any help from him, even though he moved out mid-month. It still makes me really angry when I think about it, but mostly it makes me sad. The kind of betrayal and abandonment I received from him reminds me of betrayals and abandonment that has followed me my whole life. Little is real, meaningful, and nothing is forever. Throughout life, you’ll find most people don’t deserve your friendship, much less your trust. I know this, but every time I let my guard down and someone stabs me in the back, it tears me apart all over again.

As a result, I’ve been feeling particularly vulnerable and not liking people very much. My interactions with other human beings have largely been confined to people I know and love and have earned my trust over the years. On the other hand, my interactions with newer friends in my life have been full of sensitivities and misunderstandings and “Maybe we’re never going to be that close because you can’t give me what I want/don’t know how to be emotionally supportive enough to deal with me/ send out messages that confuse me.” There have been small things that have felt like rejections and criticisms and a general feeling of “Why am I not good enough for you to like me?” in dealing with old friends, new friends, The Guy I Am Currently Dating, and others. There have also been some reactions on my part relating to situations that feel like betrayal from someone I care about greatly…although there is no wrong, no betrayal, no negativity to speak of. It is simply me not adjusting well to change, being reminded that caring means being abandoned, being reminded that I am the sort of person who seeks the attention and affection of those least able to offer it, needing validation and emotional support, and instead of receiving it, hearing “constructive criticism”.

It has made me feel very estranged from the ideas of meaningful friendships, relationships, and allowing new people in my life, in general. It has made me realise that, on an emotional level, I don’t have anyone in my life who truly understands and is able to be emotionally supportive and connect with me on a level that I value greatly. I believe it’s because there’s virtually nobody in my life I love and trust who feels on the same level as I do and is affected by things as I am—the people in my life are largely a far more logical, and often times, emotionally removed, group of people. Rationally, I know it’s a personality difference. Emotionally, it feels like indifference or “It’s not my job to help you deal with your feelings.”

I’ve learned that, when it comes to close and meaningful relationships with others, it isn’t always what people say that truly reflects how they feel about you. It’s what they don’t say that carries the most weight, the absence of support and affection and, as a friend of mine might put it, “validation”. Some people do need that in their lives, because there are so many outside forces and people who “just don’t get you” trying to tear you down. Some of this is anger: people become angry because you will not live life by their rules, and have no interest in conforming to their image of who they’d like you to be, and once that sense of powerlessness kicks in, they have no choice but to lash out or passive-aggressively say mean, hurtful things about you. Some of this is also insecurity: if you’re seen as being too self-confident, too different, too happy being different, there’s an element of that which some mistake as not being approachable. For some reason, particularly in male-female dynamics, the reaction to this is to tear someone down just enough to reveal a level of insecurity and vulnerability, and then attempt to befriend that person.

I see this, I understand this, but when it seems the world is bent on not accepting you as you are and telling you how fucking awesome you happen to be….you want and need people in your life who are going to remind you. Unfortunately, this weekend, my people didn’t offer that, but instead offered a day of being together for 10 minutes and pointing out 7 ways in which my actions, words, or behaviours failed to meet with approval, of telling me I was wrong for wanting that support and validation, and indirectly pointing out “Well,maybe you’re not as great as you think you are.”

A girl can only be on her only real cheerleader for so long, before the input and perceptions of others start to have a dramatic influence. This weekend has changed the way I view some of the people in my life and closed a door that might have led to greater connection and feeling and possibility in life. It has replaced a sense of connection and being on the same page with a realisation that I’d spent time not seeing things clearly, and as every good idealist will tell you, that’s a tough but necessary thing to give up.

In the absence of bonding with people, I’ve spent more time lost in my own little creative world, a world that seems to experience and express emotion freely, and on the same deep experiential level that characterises my life. My whole life, it’s kind of been a world into which I retreat when I am feeling misunderstood. It’s a reminder to my idealistic side that what I seek from life and people does exist, even if it’s complicated, even if I haven’t met the right people to allow that to exist in my world *now*. It’s a reminder that although most people will hurt or disappoint you, life is still one giant possibility.

As a result, I managed to read the entire “The Hunger Games” trilogy in less than three days. I honestly didn’t expect to like it, but from the first book–a fast-moving story which sucked me in with its “reality show gone awry” premise and kept me interested with themes of rebellion and refusing to conform and the battle between love and survival and how some people are naturally wired to choose one over the other, whereas for others, they co-exist–it kept me wanting to read more. One of the most impressive things about the way the books were written, aside from a few particularly well-developed characters and a strong female protagonist, is that I didn’t always know where things were heading. Whenever I thought I’d figure out how the story was going to end, it twisted in another direction, and that always pleases me greatly. I dislike the predictable.

My inner ear issues still haven’t healed to the point where I can handle the movies yet, but I wish they had, as I’d love to see the first movie. I’ve heard they toned things down a bit, in terms of the violence (and none of the violence in the books is of a gratuitous nature; it is often shocking and brutal, but it makes a point. It hits on an emotional level. I’m not a great fan of violence in films, but when it’s necessary to paint the desperation and lack of humanity in a situation–say, in an epic war movie–it serves a purpose.) and they focused a little more on the romantic triangle aspect of the story. Of course, this is necessary to draw in the “Twilight”-loving teenagers, but I don’t think “The Hunger Games” is a young adult story. I think it is far deeper than what your average 14-year-old is going to take away from it.

In a political climate where our government is seeking to limit our rights more and more, and in particular, want to exert inappropriate influence over women and the choices they’re allowed to make about their bodies and reproductive rights, this is the perfect time for this movie to be released. I certainly don’t find that timing accidental.

Last night, after trivia, we also watched “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”. I’d actually never seen the film before, although almost everyone I know told me how much I’d love it. Many of my friends pointed out I’d like it because it’s an atypical romantic comedy–one that says life doesn’t always work out as expected, but still works out, and still has a certain amount of happiness to offer.” Others pointed out the extent to which I’d relate to Audrey Hepburn’s character—and, yes, I see a certain amount of resemblance—and would therefore love the movie. Still others, knowing my love of quirky fashion, pointed out I’d see Audrey Hepburn in this film as a style icon (I now understand why the owner of Dagwood’s said I reminded him of her, due to the fact I’d worn a black dress, my hair in a chignon, and black sunglasses. I just thought he was old and attempting to be complimentary, but, no…apparently he remembered this movie.) *laughs*

The answer is, yes, I did love “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” for all these reasons, and more. I know Truman Capote’s novella was a little less cohesive and a little more scandalous—even in the 1960′s, they had to make reference to important taboo plot points in a very subtle way, and other things had to be removed from the book entirely in order to get it past the censors. The movie’s Holly Go-Lightly is able to pass off her superficiality and life of sin and decadence and disorder as the mark of someone flighty and too innocent for the world in which she’s existing…yet leaves you wondering how much is an act, and how much is part of her true personality, one that has learned the art of scheming, manipulation, and pushing herself ahead in the world. Capote’s character is neither stupid nor naive, and the depiction of her character less endearing. I suspect I may like the book a little more, so I’ll put it on my to-read list. :)

The next time the mother of The Guy I Am Currently Dating calls me up to remind me I’m a trashy, gold-digging whore, someone should recommend she watch this movie. It illustrates that trashy, gold-digging whores can be some of the most charming characters in film history. ;P

As for the hipster bar food—well, that’s just an amusing anecdote. On Friday night, we went to an independent art gallery where some acquaintances of ours were putting on an event to take a look at an art installation and hear 10 local writers read pieces that may or may not relate to time travel. Some were very well-written, some were entertaining, some just lost me completely, but it was energising to spend time with that much creativity and free-spiritedness locked in one room.

Afterwards, a friend of mine suggested a bar called the Bookstore, which appeared to be the kind of hipster hangout where all the girls behind the bar were dressed more like Velma from Scooby-Doo than your typical Atlanta part-time-model-working-behind-the-bar employee, which is what you get virtually everywhere in this city. (People are NOT shy about showing off their $2,000 implants and $700 hair extensions.)

We sat at a giant table on the patio, which, even though there were five of us, 10 people could have easily fit. It was like having Thanksgiving dinner, where you have to yell to the other side of the table.

In addition, everything I ordered, they didn’t have. A friend of mine ordered some sort of disco fries, which I love—but they came with bacon. I asked the waiter if he could hold the bacon, and he mentioned it was in the gravy. I then asked if he could just make me cheese fries, to which he said “No.”. Apparently, the restaurant doesn’t have shredded cheese. They use cheese curd. Finally, I gave up an ordered cheesecake, which was a weird creamy texture custard type thing on top of the world’s hardest sugar cookie.

Ugh. Frustrated, I just wanted a martini. I asked if they could do a chocolate martini. Of course, the answer was “No.”. Despite the fact that the city’s biggest liquor store was right across the street, they didn’t have the stuff to make that. He offered to make a chocolate cake martini, which arrived in the form of clear “cake” flavoured vodka with a sugar rim and slice of lemon. Nothing about it tasted like either chocolate or cake. I don’t know what he was smoking, but they should rename it to “Slightly Less Bitter Lemon Drop”.

I then asked for my standby, an apple martini. In what I see as a theme for my evening, the response was “No”. They didn’t have stuff to make that either. I asked what kind of martini they could make that wasn’t just vodka in a glass with some olives, and he said, “Anything. Except the things you wanted.”

I settled on a raspberry martini, which was, again, a glass of raspberry-flavoured vodka with a sugar rim, and a lime.

Dear Hipster Bar Owners: A martini is not vodka poured in a martini glass with sugar around the rim.

That is all. I don’t think I care for hipster bar food. *laughs*

Today was actually quite a good day, for a Tuesday. Since I was a little light on work, it worked out perfectly that I had some time to catch up over a nice lunch with an old friend of mine, one I don’t always get to see as much as I should but often enough that it’s always a good time.

I’m a city girl at heart, but I have a soft spot for certain charms that only the central areas of small towns seems to offer, particularly in the Southeast. Sitting in the shade on a summer day (and although it’s March, at 84 degrees, it felt like summer here in Atlanta) with a good meal, good company, or a glass of wine is a particular love of mine that I don’t easily find in the bustling metropolis-like places of the Northeast I typically so love. Listening to a mellow singer with a guitar, strolling around little independently owned shops, and enjoying the world going by is enough to make you forget just how stressful life can be, if just for a short while. In some ways, it reminds me of cities I’ve loved, like New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale, where there’s something simple and romantic in the air that appeals to someone with my imaginative, artistic temperament.

If I should leave the South, there are a few things I’ll miss…and the type of restaurant I had lunch at today (where I’ve also had dinner with The Guy I Am Currently Dating on a few occasions) reminds me of exactly what and why.

I also made myself useful around the house, digging out my much neglected Crock Pot and using some of the ingredients that may otherwise have gone to waste to create a somewhat healthy, low-glycemic version of chicken pot pie; the Southern style, served without the crust, but instead over biscuits (which I may omit entirely, as I tasted the concoction when I was finished, and it was rather rich and filling.)

I must admit, I don’t enjoy cooking or doing most domestic chores—I’ve generally made it a goal in my life to eventually make enough money that someone else can handle such things for me—but spending time doing so once in awhile is a good way to make a place you live feel a little more like home. That’s something I need right now, in the midst of a lot of insecurity.

I also have to admit that I’m rather proud of myself that my chicken pot pie came out successfully! Despite dating a few chefs, I’m not the most inclined when it comes to all things culinary, and I’m a picky eater on top of it all. While I was going through the prep work needed to make the dish (something many find relaxing, and I find tedious in every way possible), I had my computer in the living room, streaming a Muse playlist from Spotify. A friend of mine pointed out I had a kitchen Muse (*lol*), so I will credit the inspirational band for helping me not screw up my recipe for the week.

After taking care of some chores around the house, throwing everything in the Crock Pot, keeping up with e-mails, writing in my journal (today was a poem-inspired kind of day), and putting a piece of mixed media art given to me by a friend in a proper frame for hanging (yeah, I still don’t know how to do that), I felt quite accomplished on a day when most people I know were suffering due to the extreme pollen count.

In terms of pollen, “extremely high” is defined as between 500-1000. Today, Atlanta hovered around the 9,000 mark. We don’t need so many freaking trees and flowers. We are, after all, a city. :P

So, it was not surprising when, on the way to trivia, I started feeling very lightheaded, panicky, and having symptoms of what my doctors call “aura”. “Aura” freaks me out in an emotional way; my body starts to feel numb and tingly, I’ll get this floaty feeling, my vision may seem blurred or spotted or as if someone poured lead in my eye sockets, and my blood sugar typically plummets, as does my pulse rate. I then start to experience extreme anxiety, and if this problem is not addressed correctly, it can lead to a panic attack.

One of my difficult problems is that I am hypoglycemic, and while I feel like I eat a ton of food, I either in reality eat all the wrong food that doesn’t nourish my body but gives it empty calories, (lunch today consisted of half a salad with chicken, and then gluten-free chocolate cake, which I felt should be enough food to hold me over to 8 PM without incident, but it was not.), or I simply don’t eat enough. (I’ve been known to feel like 800 calories a day was binging on food.) Old me used to be able to solve this problem—my body would demand something from me, and I would eat that type of food. Ironically, since my diet has gotten healthier, my blood sugar issues have become more of an issue, because they’re not being masked by Coke and Oreos. The problem is, the medication I’m on forgets to let me know I need something—my blood sugar is too low, I’ve put off eating for too long, I’ve had too many carbs, I took my pills off-schedule–until it’s too late. The cure for this is a simple one provided by my doctor: I need to eat between 1,200-1,500 calories per day, work to build up my endurance to the weight I’ve gained via exercise, limit “bad” carbs, and eat 5-6 small portions of food per day rather than what I’ve done my whole life—eat a small lunch, pig out at dinner, and fortify myself with Coke the rest of the day.

Ironically, although the weight the medicine has put on my body is not healthy, my diet is possibly the healthiest it’s ever been. Yet, I still forget to eat enough, or enough of the proper things.

When I do this on a day when the weather plays havoc with my life, the result is simple: I have a migraine. Fortunately for me, my migraines are short-acting, and are not debilitating in the way some people experience. The scariest part is the 15-25 minutes of “aura” I will experience before the migraine, and the sense of exhaustion I feel after it is gone. The migraine itself rarely lasts more than an hour…just enough to totally screw with my day.

Today, I didn’t let it. I knew it was coming on the way to trivia, but still managed to handle the “aura” sensation without too much anxiety—a pit stop for a candy bar and an Advil helped. After that passed, I realised I was unexpectedly ravenous and needed protein; the more protein I put in my body, the better I felt. However, we didn’t do well at trivia, and that, along with the migraine, made me grumpy company. The Guy I Am Currently Dating has been extraordinarily stressed lately, and my life has just been all over the place…so I don’t often feel like we connect or talk or have things in common. Sometimes, I wonder if we even enjoy spending time together, because there seems to be this great divide between us. I so often feel like we’re not on the same page by the wonder of natural understanding that some people share, and that frustrates me. It is sometimes difficult to communicate with someone who naturally thinks and feels so differently from you, and doesn’t understand what you’re trying to say unless you explain it in detail..and even then, it’s not always so. The result has left me feeling frustrated, and rather alone and misunderstood in the world.

I was simply going to go to sleep early, but then I purchased “The Hunger Games” for my Kindle. Yes, it’s taken me 100 weeks to get around to reading it…and my inner ear problem means I can’t go to the movies, so I’ll need to wait 6-9 months to see the film on DVD. Yet, I am so shocked by how engrossing this story is. It didn’t sound like something I’d enjoy, but all I keep thinking is, “Wow…this is reality TV taken to the next level.” I already know that part of me will just want to sit around for the rest of the week reading this….and then the two sequels. Grrrrr….boooks. *laughs*

So, perhaps I’ll read for another 30 minutes before bed. However, I’ll leave you with this little Muse-ing, as I actually didn’t know I liked this song until today. It’s not typical Muse style, and the video is bad..but the words are compelling and meaningful, and the music reminds me of mid-1980′s Depeche Mode.

Muse, "Undisclosed Desires