Friday, March 30, 2007

Grab Bag

So, the Farmer's Market outing was a success!

We got flowers, and radishes, and broccolini, and green beans, and asparagus, and fresh bread, and honeycomb. Then we stopped on the way home to get steaks and goat cheese.

If you've never had fresh wholegrain bread with goat cheese and honeycomb? You are missing out.

The best part? The Man cooked the steaks and the asparagus on the grill. I handled the salad and the couscous and the aforementioned bread. And we ate it out in the courtyard, which should be getting completed sometime in the next couple of weeks. We finally selected a fountain, and we need to get more sand, pavers, and trellis. but it's looking pretty good so far.

Work has been nuts, but satisfying. I did meet with my headhunter and he is slightly manic, but I get to come up with my own lesson plans. I start teaching a unit about reptiles in a couple of weeks. I only am going to teach one class, because I want to see how things go.

The big news: I called the doctor and made the appointment. Bloodwork on Sunday. Potential crazy-making pills will be issued on Monday. So if I start to sound insane in the next few weeks, you can blame it on the hormones. This weekend, it's go time to get the house in shape. Because I can't be psycho in a messy will just make me more psycho. Does that make sense?

If you have will thank me for this for the rest of your life. Get a ScoopFree litterbox. Then instead of buying the refill packs, find a "forever" insert on ebay. Your nose, and your cats, will thank you. It's seriously the best $119 I have ever spent.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

From "FUGE" to "REFUGEE" in three easy letters

Anyone who knows me well will tell you not to play Scrabble with me.

It's not that I am an avid player- far from it. But I always bring my A game, and I tend to win a lot. The problem is that everyone wants to play me and BEAT me, so I get challenged a lot, and then when I win, they get sort of petulant and onery and I get sort of sick of Scrabble.

It's not all about spelling, it's about vocab and craftiness and playing for the max amount of points on any given word. I tend to be pretty good at all of those.

What has happened in my immediate household is that The Man is determined to win a game of Scrabble with me. Just one. (It hasn't happened yet.)

We headed up to Carmel this last weekend, just the two of us, which was sublime. Lots of "top down, music up" time in the convertible. He did most of the packing.

There's no TV or online access at my parent's place. I don't know why I was surprised when The Man busted out the Scrabble board. And a dictionary. I groaned.

"Come on with me! I just want to win ONE game. Come on...."

"You mean, if I lose a game, the madness will end?"

"Yes....but you can't THROW the game!" He said this quickly, because he can evidently read my mind.

We played twice. Both games lasted over an hour, and since he guilted me into the second one, I was a little merciless. I beat him by about 200 points. Although, I only commented on one misspelled word, long after he'd laid it down.

It's been several days, and he is still talking about it.

"WHY didn't you tell me?!!!!"

That's right. Scrabble Drama. Our lives are incredibly exciting!

Another feature of trips to Carmel is our new favorite restaurant, Giovanni's Bistro.

We went on our first night there. The food is reliably amazing, although we seem to have traumatized the staff. The last time we were in there, there was a couple seated behind us who were making out the entire time. Evidently, that is acceptable on some level. However...

Waitress: (laughing) Every time I come over here, you guys are holding hands. Knock it off! Seriously, let go of each other so you can eat dessert.

Yes. It's official- we are puke-inducing!

In other news, we are going to try out a new "date night" idea. We're going to go to the Farmer's Market together, and then bring it home to cook dinner together.

We'll see. I predict carnage, but who know? It could be fun.


So, I was desperate- I had three different things scheduled back to back this afternoon, and just 15 minutes between the last appointment and a tutoring session.

So I hopped into a Walgreens and checked out their sugar-free chocolate selection.

I ate two sugar-free Reeses. Let the fun begin!

The abdominal cramping started on the way home from tutoring. It's been 4 hours since then, and I estimate I have made at least 37 trips to the bathroom.

Can sugar-free chocolate actually liquify your internal organs? Because that's the only possible explanation I can come up with.

How was your evening?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Weekend Wrap-up #2

This was a good, solid week.

No weight loss- I maintained. Which is a good thing. I lost so much last week, I know my body just took this week to equalize. (Which is a normal pattern for me.) I am sure another factor are the parsnip "chips" I got from Trader Joe's. I ate a bunch of them last night, and it's obvious that I can't get them again. While they are legal on South Beach, they are also laden with fat, calories and salt. I am retaining a ton of water, my wedding ring, which was getting comfortably loose, was tight this morning. I suspect those chips were the culprit.

I wasn't supposed to exercise this week, because they were worried that I would rip my stitches. (Nothing like a sanctioned excuse from the dermatologist!) I did keep track of my steps with the pedometer, but that's it. exercise, and I also had a MAJOR cheat day when I was in Carmel. I had a plan of attack going in, so I'm not going to sweat it too much. The Man and I went out to our favorite restaurant, and I ordered the gnocchi, which is my favorite. This time around, it was more "eh". I suspect that like with the alcohol, my tastes are changing. We also ordered dessert (which was still delicious), and I had three bites and let him finish the rest.

The rest of the time, I was surprisingly well-behaved. We bought snacks to keep at the house- he got Nutter Butter cookies, Haagen Dasz ice cream, and peanuts. I got green grapes, sugar-free Fudgesicles, and the peanuts were OK to share (as long as I counted and avoided mindless snacking.)

There was also a ton of walking. We walked to the beach from the house, along the beach, around town, to lunch, back to the house, out to dinner, and back to the house. My calves have been sore for the last two days! Most of the walk back is uphill, which is challenging for me, even more challenging after the post-dinner food coma. Which is another powerful incentive for me not to eat too much.

I guess it's all about finding a balance.

I am doing an online challenge on a weight loss forum, and it is really helping to keep me on the rails. I get points for eating right, for taking my vitamin and drinking my water, for exercise, and for pedometer steps. Who knew I would be so motivated by a "virtual tiara?"

My scale victory for this week is maintaining my previous loss. With all the restaurants, PMS, plus a baby shower, I feel like that's pretty good for this week.

My non-scale victories are more pronounced this week. My legs are becoming noticeably slimmer and firmer- I have "cuts" in the sides of my poor abused calves. My tummy is shrinking- I can see a difference in the mirror. I am feeling a little more confident about myself, and it's showing in the fact that I am getting compliments. The Man, who is always complimentary, is even more so than usual.

I started at a new school this week, and I did my usual intro and asked if the class (second graders) had questions or had anything to say before we started. A little girl in the front raised her hand, and said, "You're so beautiful Teacher! I like your earrings!"

It completely threw me. I mean, it was wonderful to hear, but odd when you're expecting a question about constellations or if the movie "Zathura" could really happen.
I automatically spluttered, "Well...thank you!" and went on my merry way.

On the drive home, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I haven't felt pretty in such a long time. The Man always tells me I'm beautiful (yes, I know...he's a keeper!), but this week, I have been getting comments from total strangers.

Obviously, six pounds haven't made much of a physical change. But people are evidently picking up on something.

I didn't realize quite what it was until I started picking up the living room. I retrieved seven pairs of shoes from the living room alone. Instead of wearing the same tired pair of black flip flop sandals, I have been making more of an effort to look polished and put-together.

I am feeling better, and evidently my attitude about myself and others is more visible than I ever knew. What a thought! Kind of gratifying and scary at the same time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I went to a new dermatologist to see if she could do anything about my acne, and maybe check a skin tag on my eyelid.

I left with stitches. Evidently, there were suspicious moles on my back. So they removed the "most abnormal" one, and it is heading to a lab, along with the skin tag.

So if you have any moles, or just haven't been checked for awhile...get thee to the dermatologist! Point 'em out!

Did I mention that I already have a dermatologist, but he will prescribe no meds for me because I am trying to get pg? Oh, and he has never even looked at my moles.

Of course, the crappy dermatologist is the one that my insurance will cover. Not the dermatologist who actually DID something. I should have known when I saw her spiffy salt-water fishtank that I was in over my head.

Fun fact: they did tell me that I have about 50% fewer moles than most of their other patients.

I got the call from the headhunter last night. He wants me to come up with an eight week series on reptiles. I have a meeting with him next week. I am excited!

In other news, crazy guy my sister was seeing is actually who he says she is. Evidently her digging and background checks almost got him fired. D'oh!

We still haven't decided whether or not he is gay. I will have to clue her in on the Grrrl Genius method: You ask who his favorite female character was on Gilligan's Island. If he says Mary Ann, he's straight. If he says Ginger...well, you're in trouble!

I am going to be gone this weekend...I haven't made a lot of contingency eating plans. We'll see how I do.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Set Phasers to Random

A Tableau:

One of the girls in my office is teeny tiny. As I arrived this morning, I opened the door for another co-worker, a young guy who was carrying a huge box of cookies.

Teeny Girl: Who are the cookies for?

Other Co-worker: They're for you. You need to gain some weight, you're a twig!

OK, part of me was a little happy to hear this. And of course, hearing this directed at myself would be like the answer to a prayer. But then another part of me thought, "What if it was the opposite? What if someone thoughtfully bought me a bag of celery and a box of Dexatrim to snack on? Because I was looking extra-puffy lately?

Hmmm. Maybe I'm growing?

A Potentially Disturbing Story:

My sister called me last night, to share with me a harrowing tale about dating in San Francisco. A "really cute guy" asked for her number at the gym. They went out and had an awesome time. Only....

"Only what?"

Evidently, after a couple of drinks, Mr. Wonderful has been quite forthcoming about his job as an FBI operative. Which is odd because FBI operatives, as I understand it, are pretty closemouthed about what they do. Also, two or three other jobs have come up, none of which are checkable through Google. In fact, one sounds ridiculously similar to the plotline of "Hitch".

Okay. So he's potentially a liar.

"Wait...there's something else."

The something else is that she's pretty sure that he is gay.

"OK...why do you say that?"

Well...he showed up to function wearing an open-necked shirt. With gold chains.

"I think he's clueless, possibly trapped in the 70's, but not gay."

"He was also wearing body glitter and called all my friends Darling. Also, I could swear that he was hugging me and checking out simultaneously."

OK, that's a fair point.

"Did he have a Pomeranian?"

Apparrently, no small fluffy dogs. But he keeps calling her, and he is laying it on pretty thick, because now she feels bad.

"Sis, if this happened to me? I would put posters up in his neighborhood with his head Photoshopped onto the body of Michael Flatley. Under the title "FBI! The Musical!" Starring...."

Sadly, I am not her. She still feels guilty.

"Do not let him make you feel guilty. I know you haven't told me everything, and I am already picturing him clubbing you like a baby seal and turning you into a lampshade with pink marabou trim."

I got a panicked e-mail today. She decided to check out his bona fides, and he is definitely nowhere in the FBI, not even as a file clerk.

I think I need to write a horror movie screenplay...stat.

Teaching today was interesting. I had to send a kid to the office for hitting another child. And then throwing a pencil at him. Who knew Science could be so violent?

When I was there, the nice ladies in the office asked me to fill out an "incident report." So I am now eternally a part of little Bobby's educational history.

I saw the kid's file...just the outside, but if the files a few inches thick, and you're only in the first grade...well. Evidently, kid has some issues. Which is great, since the only info his parents thought to share with me is approximately diddly squat. Oh no, wait, they checked the box that says "asthma". Thanks parents! I appreciate the 411 about your little delinquent. "History of violent behavior" would have been good to know. Although, I suppose there is no inhaler for that.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Weekend Wrap-up #1

After trying to maintain a separate weight loss blog, I gave up on it.

It's impossible to separate my weight from the everyday and humdrum stuff that goes on with me, because...well, let's face it. I have been on a sporadic diet for the last 20 years. My weight affects a lot of what I do, how I respond to things, and how people respond to me. My perceptions, my choices, my day-to-day are all heavily (no pun intended) influenced by The Fat.

For example: My honeymoon. After a two-week clash of wills, I finally agreed (reluctantly!) to go to Hawaii. My husband wanted o go someplace tropical. My stated reason for not wanting the Hawaiian Honeymoon was that it was a cliche.

In actuality, it was because I would not be one of those girls wearing a white bikini with "Just Married" Bedazzled in rhinestones across the ass. I didn't want a bunch of pictures of size 14 me wearing a scowl and a sarong. This is probably the first time I have admitted it to myself or anyone else.

The Fat also is a big factor in why I didn't go to my high school 10 year reunion. Not because I thought people would judge me so much, but because I hated high school, where my weight and the nickname Double Bubble, en homage to the triple G boobs (yep) haunted me for four long, angry years. I seriously didn't want to relive all that ten years later.

As I get older- maybe it's the fact that my husband is pretty accepting, maybe it's the fact that I have fought with my weight for TWENTY years now, maybe it's because I just can't be bothered anymore- I am realizing that what other people think is not that important. Does it really matter what the waiter will think of me if I order dessert? When I order fast food for my husband and I, do I need to state that fact to the drive-through guy so he knows that all three cheeseburgers aren't for me?

Studies show that there's a good reason behind feeling this way. Plus sized women are definitely treated differently when they shop. An experiment was done where a large woman who came into a store with a diet beverage, and discussed losing weight with the sales clerk was treated in a much more positive manner than the same woman in the same store if she was holding an Orange Julius and no dieting was mentioned. Go figure!

One of the students that I tutor has this fantastic mom. She's a really attractive woman, maybe 5 years older than I am....really petite, thin as a rail, always well-dressed. And last week, she confessed that she hates to have her picture taken.
Actually what she said is, "I always look like a wrinkly, mis-shapen dwarf in pictures."

Nothing could be further from the truth in real life. I laughed and said that I had the opposite problem, I felt like I looked like a hippopotamus on film. We both ended up laughing about it.

Women are too damn hard on each other, and even harder than that on themselves. I wish I had something profound to say about it, but I can only sum it up with: That totally sucks.

So, the purpose of the weekend wrap-up is simply to talk about The Week in Weight Loss, how it's going, and what I am doing. I guess the significance is that I no longer want The Fat to run my life, but I am accepting that The Fat is always going to be a part of it, and it's OK to be open about that.

This week has been good. I did my four days of exercise, interval running/walking on the treadmill. I didn't panic about waking up late on Friday, I still exercised, but not as long. And that's OK.

I re-started South Beach Diet, because it's really easy for me to incorporate that into the way I like to eat. And lo and behold, it's working. I have lost almost 6 lbs. this week, which is amazing. I am getting back into that groove of planning ahead, of making sure there are going to be good food choices in the fridge when I open it.

So I saw a major scale victory this week with the loss, and I had several non-scale victories. The exercise, I feel really good about. I can already tell a difference in the way my clothes fit.

And I went out to dinner twice this week, and didn't even falter. I had a salad last night when my buddies had fried appetizers, and then for girls night out, I got a turkey burger with jack cheese and avocado, and I just didn't eat the bun and ordered cottage cheese instead of fries. Both nights, I had one drink and took about three sips. For some reason, alcohol isn't appealing to me lately, and I remember that this happened the last time I did SBD too. My tolerance has gone out the window too, half a martini in three hours, and I still could feel the buzz. I also remember that the one time in my life when I drank too much and threw up and blacked out and had the worst hangover ever? I had been on SBD. (Note to self: don't do that again!)

I know it's easy now, when I am gung-ho. It's down the line when I get sick of my usual stuff that I will hit some major bumps, so I guess I need to prepare for those in advance.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I haven't called the headhunter yet.

I have 15 freaking messages on my cell phone. I know, I know....I got behind. I think he is in there somewhere.

In other news...a conversation I had today. It was with the 4 year old sister of my new tutoring clients.

4 y.o.: I know you!

JSQ: Yup- I was here yesterday, remember?

4 y.o.: You came back!

JSQ: Yes, I will be here all the time now. I am helping your brothers with math!

4 y.o.: I want to see the picture of the bird. (There is a picture of my parrot on the cell phone. I comply.)

4 y.o.: I want to see a picture of your little girl!

JSQ: Sorry, I don't have one of those.

4 y.o.: You don't have babies?

JSQ: No, not yet.

4 y.o.: Why not? Do you hate kids?

At this point, she is starting to look upset. Of course, I probably am too.

JSQ: No, I don't hate kids- I teach kids all day, remember? I like kids!

4 y.o.: Then why don't you have any?

At this point, her mom came in, gave me what can only be described as a wry look, and mercifully carried her off.

On a more positive note:

The thing I am doing is going well...the excess weight that hatched over the fateful Sonoma weekend has been banished, and I managed to hit my goal of four days of exercise this week, which is amazing, considering the crazy schedule I have had.

How are you doing? Anything good planned for the weekend?

Mine involves reclining on the couch. Daylight Savings Time plus wacky schedule plus new diet and exercise program has done me in!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Head Hunted

I am not good at being positive about myself, but this week has been a pretty good week. This has been an amazing few days at work (note to self...consider that you would have to leave your job if The Man's job offer pans out).

So far today, I have had two teachers interrogate me about any other classes that I teach, so they can be sure to book me.

"We want YOU!" they said. "Can we request you? It'll be next year. Are you booked already? If you are, we'll wait."

I can hardly believe this. Am I booked next year? Are you serious?

Three years ago, I was working at The Company Which Shall Not Be Named. I was practically glued to my desk covering for my boss, who was never in the office. I worked my ass off and got no credit, appreciation, or recognition. My boss was one of those people who took the credit for your accomplishments, but if you screwed up! The finger of blame would descend upon you. (Now, imagine that you are having to run interference with Vice Presidents of the company for this person. Holy Crap!) I came home ANGRY every night. I was constantly stressed out. I felt completely value-less as an employee, and the harder I worked, the more useless I felt.

Now I go to work in a different place every day, but the schools are are becoming more and more familiar. I am getting a lot of "repeat customers' through my company, people like those teachers mentioned above. It's a great feeling to be appreciated. To me, that is worth more than a title change or a 3% raise. (which, when you're making $12.00 an hour, is so ridiculous as to be laughable.)

The kids are also wonderful. Sure, there are stinkers, but on the whole, it's a fantastic feeling to walk into a classroom and 25 kids start shrieking, "She's here! She's HERE!" with manic glee. They want me to see that they've lost a tooth since that last time I was there. Or to tell me they got a book on volcanoes, and can they show me? Or they saw Jurassic Park, and can scientist really do that thing with the bug in the amber? Is that what I do in my lab? Or do I blow things up? Blowing things up is cool. Hey, did I bring rockets this week? What do I have in my big crate to show them today? Are we going to make a project today? What is it?

At the end, I get the occasional hugs, and loud choruses of thank you's. They all want to tell me what their favorite part of the presentation was, and when I am coming back. When I head across campus, kids from past classes will see me, and evidently tell their friends. It is like being a rock star, or Spongebob Squarepants or something. I have been mobbed a few times, which is just hilarious.

And as of yesterday, my worlds have started to collide. I showed up yesterday at a new tutoring job. The boys didn't recognize me without my lab coat, but when I mentioned that I taught science, their eyes got big. "You helped us make volcanoes in our class!!!"

These two boys are ten (and adamantly opposed to having a tutor). I had no problems with them after that. I figure, if you can hold the attention of a 10 year old boy, you can basically do anything.

So today, I finished up class, and headed out to the parking lot. I got stopped by a grown woman, which is unusual. (Adults usually give me indulgent smiles and a wide berth, like I am wearing a Big Bird costume.)

"Did you teach my daughter's class yesterday?!" She didn't stop for an answer. "That little machine you gave her...I can't believe everyone in her class got one! We all played with it, even my husband. It was fascinating! What a fantastic program you have! Do you do birthday parties?"

I chatted with her a little and gave her a flyer. I continued rolling on through the parking lot, and was reaching for my car door when a white Saturn swept up next to me and the driver dramatically announced, "Wait!!! Are you Jenna? I need to talk to you!!!"

Um, OK. Guy knows my name. I waited.

The upshot is, this guy wants me to work for his company and develop and run the science section of his after-school programs for a school district. He says he wants to talk to me, and that he is sure he can pay me enough to make it worth my while to leave my current company.

I gave him my number, since I am sure it can't hurt if I talk to the guy and see what he's going on about. But I am still in shock. And part of me is wondering if he followed me or got a tip off or something...I mean, what are the odds? Granted, I do tend to be paranoid. But...!!!!!

I suppose I should be happy that my life isn't boring.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Deal with the Devil

Cue fiddle music!

The Man is nearly done with his Business/Marketing degree.

I am really proud of him, and when he is done with school, it will be my turn to go back and finish my English degree and get my teaching credential.

So we are at this huge family shindig, and well...

I guess I would have enjoyed it more if we didn't feel like the poor relations.

My sister is a lawyer. My brother is in real estate. If we expand to extended family, you get a few major judges, a big time buisnessman or two, a few more lawyers, and a computer mogul. There are a smattering of teachers who are on the edge of retirement, married to the posessors of the aforementioned Big Impressive Jobs. They live in the Bay Area, they have vacation homes and brand new cars and designer clothes and timeshare condos in Hawaii. The younger ones all have kids. And they all look like they live at the gym.

My husband is in the military. I work with kids in a part-time capacity. We squeeze by every month, mainly because I quit my full-time job at The Company Which Shall Not Be Named, and because The Man's college education is freaking expensive. We have no kids. We're not into wine or gourmet meals. (They're nice, but not really a part of the big equation for us.) In short, we have nothing in common with most of these people.

Anyway. These people love me, and they don't intend to make me feel "small." And it pisses me off to no end that I couldn't just sit back and enjoy myself, without constantly comparing and analyzing everything.

There were moments that were awkward..."You've NEVER had a massage before?!!!" This was uttered in a tone like I had just swung in on a vine, wearing a loincloth.

There were moments that went beyond awkward to agonizing. Like the part where someone offered to sell me her three-year-old son, who was acting up, at a discount. It was one of those laughing things that mothers say because their kid is on their last nerve. I just sort of laughed and said, "Name your price!" in a jokey way. It was worse because I am sure her husband took her aside and talked to her afterwards, because she was visibly uncomfortable around me after that.

I guess I do have a point, and I am getting to it.

The Man was constantly asked if he was going to have to go back to the Middle East. They would thank him for all he did, thank me for giving up my husband for six months to defend our country. They's ask what was going on with us, so we'd tell them about his college, eventual job search, etc.

The Man has a job offer from a family member. However, it's a loaded proposition. We would have to to move to the Bay Area, but lodging is provided, which is a big part of the cost up there. The huge down side is that it's a trailer park, which we would have to live in. It bothers me more on the level that we already have a house, and I already feel like a "poor relation". Let's face it, there would be something of a stigma attached to it. And I am not sure how much I want to work for family. I worry that if we hate it, we couldn't just change our minds.

The upsides are huge too. Stigma or not, we would triple or quadruple our current income. This place may be a trailer park, but it has a fantastic location, with a view of the bay. SF is right there, and housing would be free, which means that we would be able to take care of our debts and have huge financial freedom in one fell swoop. Family would be close by, especially if my parents move to the Carmel house when they retire. We would be able to save money to buy our dream house fairly painlessly.

The more I look at the up and down sides, the main drawback (let's face it) is "What Will They Think?" Which is a crappy way to run your life. There is a lot of time to think things over, there are a bunch of details that we don't have yet.

Thw more I think about it...My main condition would be that we keep our house. I have so many friends here, and I am not giving up being a homeowner.

I know this is disjointed...I am just so incredibly conflicted, it is making my head spin!

Ah, Sonoma!

My cousin's husband threw a huge bash for her 40th birthday this weekend. And when I say bash....

I may still be in recovery for the hangover. But when someone offers you 40 year old port, you can't say no, can you? Can you?

It was a three-day thing, with brunches, continental breakfasts, tours of wineries, dinners, desserts, cooking classes, cheese plates, wine tastings, name it. All sponsored by my cousin's husband. Let's just say the house in Sonoma is next door to Danny Glover's, and I spent three days feeling like a bumpkin in town on the egg money. Albeit, a very well dressed bumpkin.

Anyway, we took the convertible.

We pulled up to the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa.

We saw this, and I said, "Well, GOLL-LEE!"

I am being pretty self-deprecating, but we had a great time. I had my first massage, which was lovely, and we ate and ate and ate and ate and ate. And drank and drank and drank. I knocked a few "dranks" aff because I stopped after the boozefest at the winery the night before we left. I couldn't take it anymore. The sad thing is, I was done by the end of the second day. I just wanted to be home in our nice squishy bed, in close proximity to Crystal Lite and regular, every-day chicken breast meals.

The worst part were the photographers, capturing our every move. I am dreading getting the link to those pictures. There are some pix of me that we took, and I look like I have been inflated. There is no nice way to say it. I could feel it happening on a daily basis, and it was hard to avoid, what with the squab and the rack of lamb and the chicken ctuffed with ham and gruyere cheese and slathered with cream sauce. Holy Mackerel.

So, the atonement starts today. (yet again) I am getting on the treadmill as soon as I finish this!

Update: I went on the treadmill and didn't die. FitDay has been implemented. My water jug has been dusted off. The Battle of the Bulge is officially back on!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


So, I went shopping.

And I managed to find the ultimate bra (yes, really) and my very first pair of Seven Jeans.

Photos shall be forthcoming.

Well, of the jeans. But probably not the bra.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

You make me wanna soup

Soup, soup eh loop, soup eh loop eh loop eh doop....

Yeah, you can slap me for that one. Seriously, I know I deserve it.

I am cooking up a storm, which is what having a clean kitchen makes me want to do. Sadly, when I cook, the kitchen becomes a mess again, so the cooking never lasts long.

Having a sick man in the house (he is still alive, by the way, mainly because I have spent the weekend so far hooked up to my iPod so I am effectively deaf to his suffering)evidently inspired me to make....soup.

The top recipe is Potato Spinach Soup from Recipezaar. The bottom recipe is taken from the packet of split peas I bought at Trader Joe's. It's official title is something like Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Rosemary.

Both of them are beyond heavenly. I seriously believe that soup in the freezer is like money in the bank. And while usually it's my fallback for lunch, I have been known to eat it for breakfast and dinner, too.

Yeah, I know. I am weird about the soup. But it's quick, easy, cheap, and gooood...not to mention, filling and good for you. How can you miss?

Since I made such a prudent decision re: making soup, I decided to make some cookies.

These are Aunt Zana's Amish Sugar Cookies, once again, from Recipezaar. I know, I am such a ho where the 'zaar is concerned.

I did dust the tops of some of them with multicolored sugar before I popped them in the oven. They are yummilicious.

Now if you'll excuse me, I am off to steam-clean my andirons.

Yes, I am kidding.


HOW many????!

I mentioned in my previous post that I went to a dive bar last night...accompanied by a good friend who shall henceforth be known as Bow Girl.

Bow Girl is going through a lot of stuff lately. Stuff with her husband has reached the point where they decided to stay married, but basically lead totally seperate lives. She's also currently battling cancer, and is getting radiation once a week.

We didn't start out at a dive bar. We were actually hanging out at The Elbow Room, where we had drinks, steak sandwiches and split a creme brulee. We were out on the back patio, but I was sanwiched between a big heatlamp thing and an enormous fireplace, so I was nice and comfy.

Anyway, we dished and laughed and had a great time, and ended up deciding to go to a slightly less upscale establishment- in a strip mall. For more drinks.

Man, that was a rude awakening. We sat and chatted, and watched the ridiculous things that people ordered get created. One guy kept ordering a vile concoction which is evidently known as an H2- Hennessy and Hypnotiq.

I only know, because I asked. Anything that is blue and brown at the same time can't be a good idea.

"That has to be the most ghetto cocktail ever invented."

"They must be good, he's ordered 5 so far."

"I don't think it should be called an "H2". I think it should be called, "A Prelude to a Vomit."

"Maybe they'll take that under advisement."

At this point, the genial, tall, bald, tattooed, cute-in-a-bad-boy-way bartender got in a huge yelling altercation with a large bearded guy who was trying to order a beer. Most of it seemed to be bellowing back and forth about who was the bigger asshole. The large bearded guy eventually gave up on his string of profanity and stormed out.

"Who was that?" I asked the other bartender, wide-eyed.

She adjusted her studded belt. "Oh, he's just a *&^%$#@ asshole."

Yeah, I gathered that.

Anyway, BowGirl and I were in there with our wifely wedding rings flashing in an incriminating way, when someone plunked companiably down on the barstool next to us. She proceded to explain why we should never date a man like her boyfriend.

As the conversation progressed, we learned that she helped him pay rent on a house she didn't live with, and that she payed the utilities as well. And that he was out sulking in her car because he wanted to leave...he had work early the next day. She wanted to stay at the bar and drink black widows. (She'd obviously had several already.)

"Well," said BowGirl, soothingly, "At least he HAS a job."

"Yeah," I mused. "If he's got a job, why are you paying for all this stuff?"

"He has to pay a lot of child support."

"How many kids does he have?"

It was loud in the bar, so I thought I mis-heard her.

"HOW many?"

Ten. Ten kids.

By the way, this was not an old guy. I know, because he came into the bar to get her, and she shrieked at him that she wanted her keys and he could "use his Air Jordans to walk his dumb ass home."

I had another drink. It was crazy- like some ghetto OZ that I had stumbled upon.

Sorry, I am still reeling. Ten kids!

Friday, March 02, 2007

"I don't feel good"

Crap. When my husband says those words to me, the icy fingers of dread reach out and suffocate my soul. I think that a sick man in the house is right up there with the plagues of Egypt. Locusts and rains of blood may even be preferable.

I love my hubby. Oh yes I do, but if he's sick, injured, or otherwise under the weather, he is just a giant baby about it. Ask me about the time he was cooking something (it must have been sometime in the early dating days, because he hasn't once touched the stove for at least 6 years) and he somehow accidentally touched a hot pan with his fingertip.

There was yowling. There was rushing around frantically. I stood there in disbelief when he grabbed an egg from the fridge, cracked it open, and immersed his wounded finger in the egg whites. At the time, I thought it was a show put on for my benefit, and HEAVEN help me, I thought it was endearing.

As you can surmise, he is a little bit of a hypochrondriac, and also...well, let's face it, he's a drama queen. When you live with someone who screeches "FU_K!!!!" from the kitchen and you run from the back of the house only to have him lamely announce, "Oh- I dropped my spoon." Or if he's using the chainsaw in the backyard..."FU_K!!!!" And you think he's lost a limb, but it's actually a splinter.

Yeah. Nonplussed does not even begin to describe it.

After a few years of living with The Overreactor, I've learned that making a big deal of it only reinforces the behavior, so I just let ignore it and let him take care of it. Plus, I am the crappiest Florence Nightengale ever.

So. He came home last night, and said, "I'm not feeling 100%."

This should have set off alarm bells, since normally, there would be an announcement of imminent death, dramatic coughing, and perhaps some swooning and weak demands that I fetch a poultice or some smelling salts.

However, I went out to a dive bar with a friend last night, where I consumed many WhiskeyandDietCokes, and by the time the relevant announcement was made, I was feeling no pain.

OK, I was wasted.

I patted him on the head in what I hope was a sympathetic manner, said, "Hope you feel better...." and promptly passed out into an alcoholic stupor. He presumably tucked himself in. At least I hope it was him, because I hazily remember that whoever it was took the opportunity to grope me playfully a few times. And he was there in the bed with me when I woke up.

Actually, he woke me up, to say:

"I don't feel good. My head hurts."

"Well, why don't you take some Advil?" I said, more or less reasonably for someone with a hangover who has been woken up at 7AM for no reason.

"I think I need to go to the doctor." He looked at me expectantly.

At this point, my penchant for sarcasm really sucks. What can I say to this?

A. "I'll alert the media."

B. "Do you want me to call your mommy?"

C. "Hug it out bitch!"

D. "Shut up and get me a Bloody Mary."

E. "No, I'll just put a knife under the cut the pain."

I know. I'm a horrible person.

I settled for muttering "Okaaaaaaaaay" and burying my head under the pillow. It seemed like the least potentially damaging option at the time.

The Man went to the doctor, and returned around the time I was up and around and ready for work with a sack of medication. Uh-oh. My heart sank.

"I have strep throat," he said, heavy-eyed. "Do we have any soup?"

I made him soup- it was actually earmarked for my lunch, but I felt guilty for not taking him seriously. I even put Goldfish crackers in it to take advantage of their magical healing properties.

I realized later that he ate all the Goldfish crackers off the top and then put the contaminated soup back in the fridge. Crap. I am married to a five year old.

It wouldn't be so bad if we hadn't JUST dome this a week ago- I had chills and fever, and he had a runny nose, and it was the end of the world.

He's off work for the next three days. I seriously don't know if I can make it. Would it be selfish to ask you all to pray for me?