Sunday, August 4, 2002

Deceptive Perception

I keep getting surprised by my lack of personal perception. What I mean is that I am always so surprised to see that I am as fat as I am when I look at myself in the mirror. The thought if that seems strange to me. I am healthier than I’ve been in a while, I feel better, but I’m much larger than I think I am. As you might imagine, I don’t spend a lot of time gazing at my body in the mirror. Not that I have an aversion to it, just that I’m too busy doing other things. In my house-sitting jobs, I have a lot of mirrors around me and from time to time I’ll catch a glimpse of some fat chick in the mirror. Wow, that’s me!

I’m going to have to work a mirror into my new place because it has been motivating to keep my eating and exercising. I am curious to see when I reach the point where my mind’s image of me matches what I see in the mirror. It’s very similar to the way I feel taller than I am and only when I find I can’t reach something does it dawn on me that I’m short.

Last Sunday I went to the beach for the first time in ages. I don’t think I’ve done a “Day at the Beach” in the Bay area since I’ve moved here almost five years ago. My house-sitting housemate, Cabala, has been taking regular treks out to the beach and I’ve been envious, so she invited me to go and I said yes. So I guess this is as good a point to mention that it was a nude beach. Yeah, that’s right, me at a nude beach. Again it gets back to perception. I’m not an especially modest person if the situation merits it. I have no issue changing in the locker room at the gym or walking around nude at Osento (a local woman’s spa), so I decided the same rules would apply. The beach itself wasn’t crowded and once I slathered my ever-so white bits with SPF5000, I was able to enjoy how great it was to feel the warm sun on my whole body. Very cool, I must say.

Then because a trip to the beach isn’t really a trip to the beach without going in the water, I braved the cold Pacific Ocean. It was pretty much the same feeling, except when the cold water reached my tit line. Damn, does the lycra make that big a difference? I’d like to say that sitting around naked on a beach and in an ocean was this huge experience. But it wasn’t. It didn’t seem particularly strange since everyone else was naked and no one was making a big deal of it. It *was* nice not having a suitful of sand when I got out of the ocean, but not a huge deal. The whole experience had a quintessential Northern California feel to it.

The other thing that had been on my mind was that I was getting into a rut, and I’d been feeling a need to do something new. I actually created this spreadsheet that outlined what I was doing, wearing and eating so that I would have the right stuff at the right house. When I sent it to Cat, she wondered if I was actually wearing the same clothes and eating the same food week after week. In a way, I am. It reminded me of the last time I had a long-term house-sitting job. I had been trying to meet some of my online friends and ended up making a weekend of it. It all started with a ride on my friend, Fid’s motorcycle down to the city to meet another friend, Scott for sushi. Afterwards we played poker with Fid and some of his friends and then drove up to the Catskills to meet Barb at her country house. Now I will preface this with the fact that I did let a friend know where I was and who I was with for this weekend. It was my first time on a motorcycle, first time eating sushi, and first time meeting Fid, Scott and Barb in person. I’ve played and lost at poker before so that was nothing new. I did get out of my rut. I did have a ton of fun and discovered some wonderful things, like riding across the Tappan Zee Bridge as the sun set was beautiful beyond words, I love sushi and think it tastes better when eating it with good friends and a cup of coffee tastes so good when you are freezing cold after driving for an hour in the early morning on the back of a motorcycle. I didn’t enjoy the fact that I got sleepy and couldn’t doze off on the bike. My butt was extremely tired sore and my sense of humor damaged after Barb’s directions had us taking a right turn down a cow path (on a Honda CBR – sports bike) and not a left to the farm house. We stopped to ask directions, I insisted, and talked to one of Barb’s Deliverance-type neighbors to learn that the fast way to the old Dietz farm was back the way we came.

But the experiences stay with me and while I don’t do this a lot, I feel energized when I do something out of the ordinary. My house-sitting jobs will be coming to an end soon. By August 22nd or so I’ll be in my own apartment and beginning that new adventure. Last weekend we painted the room (Lithesome Blue) and I can’t wait to be there. I’m still fussing with the logistics, but suspect it’s not going to be as bad as I think it will be. Which wraps around to the original deceptive perception topic. I’ve been making lists like crazy and figure that I’ll just take one thing at a time and eventually it’ll all get done.

So is it just me or do you have these skewed perceptions of yourself and your world?

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