Sunday, February 28, 2010

It Does Not Rock, It Sucks, It Sucks

Wow. I know that Charles Barkley was a man whore, but the Taco Bell commercial has really crossed the line. I mean, he's almost in the sphere of Gene Simmons with that one. It must take a good agent or a big ass ego to think that he could rap effectively enough to sell some tacos.

He used to be known as the "Round Mound of Rebound" and now he's just a round mound. Sir Charles, what the hell were you thinking? I would be remiss if I didn't mention Lamar Odom. I'm sure this was exactly the kind of endorsement deals he was hoping for when he married the big
Kardashian (aka Khloe). This probably paid for the marriage so anything else he gets will be BONUS money.




I don't understand all the promotions between athletes and fast food. The NBA and Taco Bell, McDonald's and the Olympics. How many athletes really down a bunch of fast food on a regular basis? Will sweet chili dipping sauce give the edge to win a bronze medal? Will cinnamon twists and tacos improve my vertical?

Look I understand that some athletes eat fast food. I've been around enough NFL guys and had to direct them to NOT mention that when talking to kids about nutrition and physical activity. However, the idea that a burger is going to give me the competitive edge is what led to me being 80 pounds heavier.

Okay, maybe it was the french fries and years of self-delusion.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A New Addition to My Life and Budget



It was bound to happen. In fact, last week Chef told me to bite the bullet and go car shopping. I didn't listen to him, which he has pointed out, and therefore was left in a minor panic attack that had to be witnessed by upper management at the AHA.

It started on Thursday morning when I went to pick up a friend who was, oddly enough, having car trouble of her own. My car had been having some noticeable transmission issues (namely getting out of first gear), but this morning was different. This morning I couldn't get it up the hill near my house. By some miracle, it got us to work. I knew that I would use my Friday off to shop for a new car. The decision was made.

I didn't have to drive it during the day, but when I hopped in to leave I could back out fine, but couldn't go forward. The Cam literally not move another inch forward without the aid of my friends and a visiting manager from work. All the while I was crying hysterically trying to figure out how to get home and to a dealership. Nothing spells desperation like pulling up in a cab.

After about 5 minutes of crying and the logic of my friends and co-workers, I got a ride to the car rental place (a mere two blocks from work) and rented the cheapest thing they had. It was a Chevy Cobalt. I got in and felt the luxury. That's when I started realizing how many things had gone wrong with the Cam.

Chef and I spent most of Thursday night researching cars, our budget, and trying to see where we wanted to go to find my new vehicle. Then after a night of ambien-induced sleep, I got up, got nervous and went to Church's chicken. Nothing says big purchase like stress eating. So I had a chicken biscuit. It was delicious.

We headed to Petsmart to get cat food and then to Carmax. I had narrowed it down to three moderately priced models the night before. It was going to be a Toyota (I mean, it did last me 15 years despite the recalls), a Honda or a Nissan. After three test drives and some serious debate, I had made my decision. I was the proud new owner of a 2009 Nissan Sentra.

I got a reliable, used car that only had 13,000 miles and one previous owner. It looked and smelled brand new without the new car price tag. It is perfect. At least in my eyes. After riding around in a 1995 Camry for the last 10 years, there are some things that are normal for a car today that are a luxury for me. Here are some examples:
  • A radio-The cam lost it's radio two years ago by blowing a fuse. The junction box was located directly behind the dash and would've required too much labor to make it worth the effort.
  • Getting out of the passenger seat-the inner door handle didn't work to get out. You either had to wait for me to be chivalrous or roll the window down and let yourself out.
  • Getting into the driver side- The lock had been stripped because of a bad key copy.
  • Oil and automatic transmission fluid use-despite no discernible oil leak the car needed oil and ATF to be added to it every other day.
  • Transmission- for the last month or more, the cam needed to be really warmed up to be able to shift between gears
  • the loudness- Chef was embarrassed to start my car in the morning because of how much noise it made so early in the morning
  • no back lighting on the odometer, speedometer-the fuse that took out the radio eventually took out that too. I had a taplight that I used to see my speed and gas after dark.
  • shocks, suspension--my car shook between the speeds of 60-70 mph on the highways and interstate
Seriously, it is a pure joy to know that the car that I'm heading out to in the morning will start, will run with no problems and that I can plug a phone charger into. Plus it's pretty and didn't break the bank. I hope I'm just as happy once I start making payments on it.

The buying experience wasn't nearly as fearful as I thought. Carmax was great, the salesguy wasn't pushy and I got my car relatively easily. They financed quickly, but what I appreciated was that my salesman recommended a person to give me a better rate somewhere else. I went to his suggestion and got a 3 percent break on the interest. It's enough of a deal to make me go back to Carmax again.

Now I need your help naming him.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Olympics

Is anyone else simultaneously excited and dreading the end of the Olympics? I mean I'm not the biggest Winter Olympics fan, but at the very least if nothing else is on I can put it on and be entertained.

There are some questions that come to mind. First of all, when did Korea and China get so good at ice skating? I mean whether it's figure skating or speed skating, they seem to take it very seriously and be good. Am I the only one in the dark about this?

Does anyone else feel like it's cheating for the US to have snowboarding in the Olympics? When I think that, I then think about the fact that softball was taken out because the U.S. was too dominant and I get pissed.

Why is it that I can live without curling for four years but toss it on MSNBC at 3 p.m. on a Saturday and I'm all in? Suddenly I become an expert on technique and strategy because I watched it for 30 minutes, which is about 25 longer than the average person.

How come hockey isn't the biggest sport in the Winter Olympics? Was anyone else surprised that the US-Canada game was relegated to crappy cable?

Monday, February 22, 2010

It Started Off Bad and Got Progressively Better

There was a time not so long ago that I would've woken up and gone outside to a flat tire and it would be over. My day would be predetermined to be crappy and my mind would be made up. Thankfully, I have Chef. And with him I know that even if my tire is flat and I end up being 10 minutes late for a pre-meeting, I have him to count on.

He came outside when I ran back to the apartment and knocked on the door with a loud "HELP ME!" whine attached. He stepped right in, told me not to help too much, not because I couldn't or wouldn't but because he didn't want me to get dirty. In 10-15 minutes, I was back on the road, as good as it was before.
It's been more than five years that we've been together, but it's mornings like these that make me more appreciative of him than ever before. I hope that 5 years from now (and WAY past that) that I always remember to be thankful for the little things he adds to my life, as well as the big things.
Because he turned that flat tire into a good reflection instead of a crappy day.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My I Don't Have To Run Day

When I was a kid, I dreaded Sundays. There was never anything on TV (It was before I became a football fan) and it was the day that we didn't really do anything. Now Sundays are my favorite day of the week. And this one particularly.

Since I had yesterday free, I was able to do my errands then AND had a fabulous night with my stepdad Jack, his fiance Sara and Chef. Jack and Sara came into town for my birthday, and we went to Ruth's Chris. It was my first time there and will not be my last. The steak was awesome and covered in butter. Which makes me think back to Julie & Julia and the revelation that butter makes everything better. (Except for your arteries, but that's a different scenario all together). Everything was delicious, down to Jack's Banana Cream Tart. Yummy.

Then we went to the Patterson House, which has become a frequent haunt of mine lately. Chef and I went there on Tuesday night for our late Valentine's celebration. It was just as good this time, as well. Plus Jack had said that he's never been to a place like it. When you can introduce him to something new, you've found a good spot.

But I digress. After a lovely evening, I was happy to climb into bed. Where I've been spending and plan on spending the majority of the day. No errands. Only have to put finishing touches on something for work. I only ventured out of the bedroom this early because Chef told me that I needed to watch The Time Traveler's Wife so he could delete it. The joke's on him, though, because it's not where it's supposed to be and I can't watch it. I did, however, manage to watch 6 episodes of My Life as Liz. I have to say that the promos made me uneasy and the fact that it was on MTV made me even more uneasy, but it's a pretty good show. Enough to spend two hours watching, I guess.

So now, it's back to bed and maybe later I'll make some taquitos. That's pretty much taxing the limits of my ambition for the day.

Monday, February 15, 2010

It Only Took Me Three Times To Get Through the Door

It snowed again. Damn you, mother nature. You can be such a bitch. I realize you're nicer here than in the Northeast, but still . . .

I wore rubber soled flat boots today in hopes that they would shield me from falling. Unfortunately, I forgot to factor in my klutziness into the equation. I was walking up the sidewalk into my boots and despite noticing the layer of ice, I still didn't really pay attention to it. . .the first time. I promptly fell right on my face. Then I tried again. And fell again. The third time was the charm.

However, an hour later I walked two blocks to my doctor's office for an appointment to find out that they had closed the office. So I promptly walked back to the office and yet again had to face the icy uphill sidewalk. Despite a different tactic, I fell two more times.

So basically my shins are bruised to hell and I wore flats for no reason. DAMN YOU SNOW!!!

Perhaps this was nature calling me to a winter sport. I was watching Ski Jumping and think that my Wii Fit skills would translate into Olympic Gold. A 31 year old can totally make it to the Olympics, right?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

We Got Donuts for Valentine's Day

When Chef and I first started dating, I would get so anxious about Valentine's Day. I wanted to make it special and had to find the right gift. Chef would try too, but I knew while he wanted to show he cared, he was begrudgingly doing it for that specific holiday.

First of all, it's not quite fair on him that Valentine's Day is only a little over two weeks from my birthday, which is only a month after Christmas. That's a lot of gift giving and creativity to use up in 6-8 weeks time. But I digress.

It's amazing how five years of coupledom will change your perspective. Now we're both like "Wanna go out for drinks together? Cool. Let's not do it on Valentine's Day because it will be too crowded out. Let's go out on Tuesday." It's like we've blended into one low maintenance mind in that way.

So for Valentine's Day today, we cruised over to Krispy Kreme and in a sweeping act of romance, got some HOT FRESH NOW heart-shaped glazed donuts. It was perfect. Now we plan on eating them, doing nothing and enjoying the day together.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

And with only dropping about a dozen f-bombs. . .

Last weekend was the Nashville Heart Gala. It's like having 400 people over for dinner. And my role was to make sure they were charged for their meals properly. Well, not exactly.

We had a staff member leave about 2 weeks ago, so my friend Jennifer and I were given the role of learning the software system and running the behind the scenes. It was not a fun thing. Actually, the night of the event was cake. It was the two nights leading up to it that stressed me out. Lots of things to enter and lists to pull, but only so much time.

And to add to the fun, Friday was National Wear Red Day. So our fantastic volunteers were out making things happen so that I could be available to do other things. It was like being in 6 places at once.

But just in the midst of everything, when I was coming home at 10:30 for the second night in a row, I looked up and saw three buildings that I had coordinated in going Red for the night. They were three of five. Suddenly, I felt more productive than I had all week. It was a good feeling.

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