Wednesday, January 31, 2007

January Update

It's officially the end of January and tomorrow will make the first five weeks of working towards the goals I set out for 2007. I am determined to exercise more, drop 60 lbs by blood, sweat and lots of tears, and write 1000 words a day in January.

I promised to be pretty open about how things are going. Which will be easy when I'm doing well, and not so easy when I'm gorging myself on oreos. Nonetheless, January has been a pretty good month for me. I feel great, which is the most important part.

So how am I doing on my specific goals? Check it out:
  1. Write 1,000 words a day in January for a total of 30,000 words. Right now I'm up to 29,340 with plans and time set aside to write tonight and go over my goal. I've written 109 pages for a novel that I am actually going to finish. Not only that, I'm going to continue writing every day and have a goal of 15,000 words for February.
  2. Lost 60 lbs. Every morning this month I've gotten up and walked for at least 20 minutes. If I had an early meeting, I'd go after work. Sometimes I'd walk before and after work. I've walked to the grocery store up the way to get an item or two that I've forgotten. Mostly, I've just walked to zone out. I have to say that I've walked before many times. Usually walking at night and three times a week, but this time, I'm on a mission to do it every day. This is getting harder because its cold as balls here, but I'm still doing it. Other than walking, Chef has made me promise to eat breakfast every morning. So now no matter how late I am for work, I eat a bowl of cereal. I've got it down to two minutes. I can spare two minutes to not feel absolutely ravenous by 9:30 every morning. The combination of the walking and eating breakfast has helped me a lot and so far in the last 5 weeks, I've offically lost 8 pounds. I just went and weighed myself (yes, at work--we have an old doctor's scale in one of the bathrooms). Eight pounds in 5 weeks is healthy, so I'm happy about it. Hopefully with another couple of weeks, I'll crack the ten pound mark.
  3. Work towards being happy at my career. I've done something every week to help myself with this and so far I'm seeing some of the fruits of my labor. If that turns into anything larger, I'll be really happy. But for now being proactive is enough.

So that's where I'm at after January. Eight pounds lighter, walking more, feeling better, more than 100 pages written and new opportunities popping up. Not too bad a start for 2007. Now comes the tough part: keeping the momentum going.

Speaking of momentum, the weeklong festivites leading up to the Superbowl are killing me. Mostly because I can't wait for the game for the first time in years. Only four more days. . .Go Colts.

Monday, January 29, 2007

It's my Birthday!

Yes, this is a self-serving email and not because I'm excited, but because I'm having a good day so far. I took the day off of work (although I had a deadline this morning that I had to log onto my email for) for the first time in my tenure as a "professional." Mostly because my last two birthdays were on weekend days.

Anyway, I got up this morning at around 9 a.m., went for a long walk and then walked to the post office to pick up a package. At the post office, I saw Todd Snider, a great musician that I love. Even in my poof ball hat and sweats (I look oh so lovely but oh so warm when I walk), I went up to him and said hello. He was very nice and it wasn't a disappointment meeting him, as it is when you sometimes meet people you admire.

Now I'm back at the house and finishing up the work that was due. Actually, I just sent off my last email and I'm waiting to make sure there aren't any snafus before I get ready for the rest of my day. Chef and I are heading out to a huge mall here to do some birthday shopping and then a birthday lunch/dinner. And because I'm a big geek, my birthday shopping will include a bookstore visit that I'm totally excited about.

I'm also excited because last night I hit the 100 page mark on my novel. True to my goals, I have written more than 28,000 words and 100 pages this month. With three days left, I have time to get to my 30,000 word goal for January. It's been wonderful so far and I'm really excited to keep going. I'll give an official end of the month review of how my 2007 goals are going in a few days.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Riding high, not dirty

After investing many hours of time and an amount of money that I can't really calculate, it seems like my interest (devotion seems too strong a word) has finally paid off. The Colts are going to the Superbowl.

Some friends have asked me if I'm going to throw a Superbowl party and the answer is a voracious 'No.' Not to be rude to anyone, but I'm almost embarrassing to watch a game with. Even regular season games have gotten to the point that Chef either leaves the room or just leaves me alone. He has described my mannerisms during sporting events as autistic in nature. Although I think that actually does a disservice to those who are autistic. I think I'm actually spastic. I clap my hands repeatedly and tend to rub them together like the evil characters in melodramas do when they're talking about their maniacal plots. It's not attractive, so I'd prefer to do it alone.

Last Sunday, however, for the first time in months, Chef was home during a game. He works the weekends, so he's been spared for most of my drama. He's worked through the entire playoffs until the meeting against the Patriots. In fact, he even had a friend over. Not to watch me or the game particularly, but they ended up doing both.

They got to see the agony of the first half when the hope that I could cling on to was a last minute half-ending offensive charge that ended with a field goal. My dad, who embraces technology on Sundays to be able to chat with my brother and I, sent me a text message that read "A glimmer of hope?". A glimmer indeed.

As we all know by now, the game ended with a bang and not just the sound of me jumping up and down in my living room. Now I'm merely counting the days until February 4th. I don't even mind rushing through my birthday (which on a side note, is the same as Oprah's. The only thing this means to me is that when she dies there's a remote chance that my birthday could become a national holiday. Then I wouldn't have to take it off!). Although I'm not letting Chef off the hook on that one.

And so I leave you with this. . .only 10 more days until Superbowl XLI. Let it a good game. That's all I'm asking.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Philanthropy is the new Apathy

Remember when celebrities were apathetic? Or perhaps they weren't really apathetic, but instead decided to keep their causes to themselves?

Okay, so perhaps adding a little star power isn't necessarily a bad thing when it comes to drumming up support for a cause, but you can go too far. And that's what Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have done by moving their international brood to New Orleans. Are the celebrities in a contest to see who can be the best person in the world? It's getting old.

It's not enough to adopt children from impoverished countries, deliver your child in an impoverished country or vacation in an impoverished country and report your findings in a poorly written article for a woman's magazine. You must live in an impoverished country. Except living in them would make you too far away for film shoots and 21st century health care, so you find the next best thing: New Orleans.

Here's the thing though, Brad and Angelina aren't living in the Ninth Ward. They're living in the French Quarter. Their children aren't going to run of the mill public school, but International Public School that one normally has to wait on a list to get into. No such trouble for little Maddox.

I can only imagine how the two of them compete. Angelina grows her hair out and donates it to Locks of Love. Brad, not to be outdone, decides to donate bone marrow to a matching fan. Then Angelina donates a kidney. It's never gonna stop.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Seriously? Ben Seaver?

I don't really have time to write a blog but considering I haven't had a break at work today except for the 30 minutes I spent running an errand PLUS I came in about 45 minutes early. So I'm taking the time now.

Is anyone else out there upset about the McDonald's Dollar Menunaires commercials? The commercials themselves don't bother me too much. It's just the big where Jeremy Miller springs up and says "These people live like money grows on trees- Trees they can't find."

Okay, for those of you who don't remember, Jeremy Miller is Ben Seaver on Growin Pains, a kid that started off so incredibly cute he was irresistible and then ended up so not cute as a teenager that the "Ben Seaver Syndrome (BSS)" sprang up. BSS meaning a cute kid that grew uglier the older they got. Some could say taht Danny Bonaduce would fit into this mold.

Nonetheless, I find it a little insulting that Ben Seaver is springing up in the middle of the commercial making fun of me for ordering off the dollar menu. McDonald's, is it really wise to insult the people you're trying to hawk food to?

Ben Seaver, we all know where your money tree is growing: McDonald's.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I Got To Play in Who-ville

Yesterday morning I got to do something that I'll probably never get the opportunity to do again. In fact, there are probably not a lot of people on the planet that get to do it, so I feel really lucky.

I got to play with a robot. Not the Johnny 5 kind of robot in Short Circuit, but a robot used to operate on people. To be honest, this robot probably never reached its two robotic hands into a human or used its third arm to peer inside a chest. It was a robot used to train doctors.

I was on a special tour of a facility and we got to try this robot surgeon out. Its used in all kind of less invasive procedures. One part of it was a large machine that sat next to the patient. It had three arms: two to hold various tools and one to control the camera. The other part of the machine was where a doctor sat. He or she would put his or her head into a view finder and see what the camera was seeing magnified ten times. . .in 3-D. As the doctor sits there, he or she places his or her hands on top of two controlling mechanisms that are intuitive--meaning whatever move the doctor makes, the robotic arms mimic.


When I got to sit at the machine, the camera was set upon a tiny area of colored foam protrusions. There was a penny in the midst of the protrusions that looked HUGE in comparison. We could use the hands to pick up the penny and then use them to pick up even smaller rings and move them from one brightly colored glob to another. The doctor told us that the small area we worked on was nicknamed "Who-ville" in homage to Dr. Seuss.

It was truly one of the neatest things I've done in my life. To be honest, a few years back I probably would've passed on the opportunity, afraid any lack of ability I had might affect my cool status. Now I'm smart enough to know that I'm not cool at all and therefor can make a fool of myself at will for a good experience. And this was definitely a noteworthy experience.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I Hate Donald Trump and other useless things

I don't know why he really started getting under my skin, but Donald Trump is pissing me off. The man has never heard of the "high road" and his bickering with Rosie O'Donnell is ridiculous. Not only that, but I've finally had enough with the self-indulgent everything is named after me God complex.

Mostly, I just caught the last 30 minutes of The Apprentice last night and got fired up. I, like most people, haven't watched the show in forever. Mostly because its boring and they must have hired a new casting director because instead of the new contestants being interesting or relatable, they're mostly just annoying egonmaniacs who were cast because they worship Trump. The fun part of the show in the beginning was watching them crap out on the challenges and then bicker a bit in the boardroom. I tuned in about 20 minutes into the show, completely missed the challenge, watched the losers suffer in this season's oh so creative twist--the tents, and then wasted nearly 20 minutes (including TWO commercial breaks) watching the two biggest losers argue about which would be sent home. By the end, I was hoping everyone would be fired and the show FINALLY cancelled.

Then you have Ivanka on the show. She was brought in for sex appeal. I get it. It's a little creepy that Donald's pimping out his own daughter, but it's kind of like watching an hour-long interaction of the Watson's girl. And I know this chick is a Trump, but when I watch her, I think of the years she dreamed of being a model and people would put her in their show because her mom spent thousands with them.

Okay, enough about the Trumps. Tomorrow is Presh's birthday. I'm so excited for her!! Happy Birthday Presh!!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Less than 2 weeks until my 2nd Blogiversary

Only thirteen more days until this humble and somewhat lowly blog is two years old. Not to sound too proud of myself, but I honestly didn't think I'd last more than a few days until I got bored with it. So, yes, I blog less and they're less interesting, but at least I'm still doing it. And I'm averaging more than 7 visitors a day. Yes, I know it's no google or perezhilton, but I also just write about nothing. Mark your calendars and treat yourself to something nice on January 18th, my second blogiversary.

On another note, I've got to break down and buy a scale. I've tried using the scale in our office bathroom, but it's an old one that uses the sliding weights and makes you feel even shittier as you have to push it up one more notch. And that stupid level arrow makes the most humiliating "DINK" as it clangs on the bottom. In scale words, "DINK" translates into "You didn't really think you weighed that little, did you?".

Nonetheless I'm still walking every day. And yes, I'm probably going to write about it because I also planning on writing about when I don't walk. I'm holding myself accountable to you all. I've also written my 1,000 words a day--not including this. It's really been a great experience so far to struggle and realize that there's no formula to writing. I can write the middle of the story now and go back to the beginning later, if I want to. A part of me has always been holding to the writing chronologically philosophy. It's very freeing.

On another note, I will be inconsolable this weekend if the Colts lose in the playoffs to the Chiefs. Last year's Pittsburgh game pushed so much adrenaline through me and had so many ups and downs that I didn't go to sleep until 4 a.m. that night. This year, I'm just hoping for a good, old fashioned ass whipping by the Colts. I have a feeling, however, that it's not going to be that easy.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

3,000 down, 27,000 to go

Okay, so I've written the first 3,000 out of my goal of 30,000 words for the month. It's not that bad now, but I know by the end of the month I'll be wanting to kill my characters off out of mercy. The story is crap, but since having a shitty first draft is the first step, I'm going to trudge along and know that the smell belongs.

I'm almost a week into my exercise program and have kept up with that, too, so far. No idea if I've lost any weight, but I do have more energy. In fact, last night I had so much energy that I was tossing and turning until nearly 4 this morning. With an ass early meeting, this meant about 2 hours of sleep. I'm about to fall asleep at my keyboard, but I still have to walk when I get home.

Wish me luck, suckers.

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