Monday, October 31, 2011

They Take Halloween Seriously in LA

Cubicles decorated as a mining town.
When you work in an office with 30 people and most are women and more have external meetings on Halloween, you don't tend to celebrate the holiday a whole lot at work. Some candy. Maybe some fun ears. But that's about it.

However, when you work at a place with 300 other people and its within spitting distance of a town known for over-the-top theatrics, you get a Halloween experience on a whole different level. There were two large decorated areas on my floor. The pictures were from one of them that had a "Prospecting" theme. The other one was a  Hollywood Horrors theme. Both included employees who were thematically costumed.

There was a large Halloween party in the warehouse which sounded like fun. The only problem was that being behind a few days in work meant that I couldn't join in. However, I could explain to the person I was conducting a phone interview with why there was screaming intermittently and music. (There was a haunted house in the open warehouse space).

And I'm missing this year (but will probably try to go to next year) one of the nation's largest Halloween parties in West Hollywood. Half a million people crammed down there. Craziness.

I've never been big into Halloween. Never felt more comfortable in a costume than I do in my own skin. I actually have no idea what I'd even dress up as and the pressure of figuring that out makes me just concede to being me. Not such a bad person to be.

What are you dressed up as? What was your favorite Halloween costume?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lazy Sunday: Recharge my batteries

You can't really see the big
snowflakes through this DC
street scene.
I got in from Washington DC last night at about 1 a.m. PST. Which is 4 a.m. EST and frankly my body is still confused. It will be even more confused when I head to Charleston on Wednesday through next Saturday. It's weird to think that at this time yesterday, I was freezing my ass off in DC as big, wet snowflakes came drifting down. I was out and about in it and cursing incessantly at the same time. I'm such a weather wuss now. I was trading texts with Chef saying "So cold!" and he was texting back "So sunny and warm here already". I forget that this thing called "Winter" exists in other places. I think I've tried to block it out of my memories.

Anyway, I got home last night at 1 a.m. and had tried unsuccessfully to get some sleep on the plane. I grabbed my bag and got to listen to the taxi wrangler complain about the LAPD beating him up for "absolutely no reason! Second time in three weeks!". It was the middle of the night and apparently the dude wasn't picking up on my "don't talk to me, just get me a cab" face. I also had to argue with the cab driver to NOT take me through the scary neighborhoods at night to get to my place. I would think that not getting carjacked would be an objective in both of interests, but apparently, I was mistaken.

Yep, that's 85 degrees on October 30th.
Got home. Hugged Chef. Pet a cat. Or four. Unpacked. Went to sleep. Woke to bacon frying. Plopped on the couch. Made a grocery list and logged on to the Colts game while Chef went grocery shopping for us. Which was super awesome of him. Did some writing while trying not to cry in sadness and frustration at being 0-8. Went out for lunch, but was a little disappointed because our first choice was closed on Sundays. But we had lunch outside. Because while I had a freezing day yesterday, today was 85 and sunny. And one of those moments when I said "I love LA!".

Now to lounge on the couch and watch football, the TV shows that I missed all week, and movies. Not too shabby of a Sunday. What are you going to do?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Year Ago. . .

A year ago today (when today was a Friday) was my last day with the American Heart Association. It's actually pretty hard to believe that I've been gone for a year. Sometimes it feels like a completely different life. Some days it feels like I just left and am heading to a new Heart Walk or Luncheon or Gala at any time.

A year ago today, I was crying. Hard. And all damn day. I'm not a big "public display of emotion" kind of girl, especially at work, so it was both cathartic and embarrassing to spend all day as a hot mess. But in my defense, I had been at the AHA for nine years, almost my entire career, and was saying goodbye to my career thus far, but also a lot of good friends.

In fact, it wasn't until a few months later that I realized just how unique it was to have friends at work. Or at least several good friends at work. I still keep in touch with at least half a dozen (or more) current AHA staffers and at least 20 former AHA staffers. Working in the corporate world has some advantages over non-profit. Okay, it has a lot of advantages. Mostly the ability to plea for funding on strategic projects and know that you have a shot in hell in getting it, but one thing I've noticed is that the team concept is there, but a little more underlying than I was used to.And I think part of the reason was that I was lucky enough to have so many people that I liked hanging out with (don't get me wrong, i had plenty that I didn't like). When you like who you're collaborating with, the outcome of what you're doing tends to be better because we all try harder for friends than strangers.

Anyway, it's been a year. I miss my AHA friends and think (or speak) to them often. I miss my volunteers whose passion helped me through late nights of banging my head in frustration.

But I don't miss the Heart Gala. :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pitch Perfect Advertising

I saw this video tonight watching the World Series. It's about a guy who decided he was going to win $1 million by learning to play a video game and win a content to pitch a simulated perfect game. It's a pretty long ad in TV terms-- about two minutes--and it aired during the world series, so I'm sure it cost a pretty penny, but I have to so that it was spot on. Google has been making some great ads lately. The one where the dad sets up a gmail account to email his daughter from birth? Brought tears to my eyes.

I don't know who's doing their advertising now (and if you google it, you get a bunch of results about "adwords"--coincidence? I think not), but the ads are well done. The question becomes: does google--whose consumer services are free to use--need to advertise? Are they losing market share or is this a tactical move to protect it?

Either way, I think they're good. Check out tonight's ad here--and GO CARDINALS!:

  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'm not a pawn in that game, Walgreens

I went to pick up my prescription at Walgreens the other day. It was a fun activity in the first place because I was standing behind two Eastern European hookers in line. I knew they were Eastern European because of their accents. I assumed they were hookers because of their clothing choices (tight pants that were ruched up the butt crack with a lace thong whale tail that was less than clean poking out) and because they asked the pharmacist for penicillin and female condoms.

When it was my turn, I got my prescription and was told that I needed to have a consult with the pharmacist. I was a a little confused as I was picking up a refill that I've had refilled so many times it seems like a hassle to even pick it up.  I waited for a few more minutes and then was told by the pharmacist that starting in 2012, Walgreens will "no longer be taking Express Scripts." Like the good healthcare consumer that I am, I said "What's Express Scripts?". It turns out it's the technical name for my insurance. Who'd have known? Clearly I didn't. Thought it was some kind of Walgreen's service or something.

Anyway, at this point, she told me that Walgreens and the insurance provider are having issues over something or another and if I wanted to do something, I could ask my HR department to change insurance. She then proceeded to ask me for my work email so that she could send me something I could forward on to my HR department. WHAT?!?!? Am I the only one who thinks it's crazy to ask a COMPANY of MANY people to change their INSURANCE plan so that I can keep going to Walgreens? Wouldn't the more sensible thing be to just take my prescriptions to the Rite Aid that I passed to get to the Walgreens? Or better yet, how about Walgreens and the insurance company to work out their differences without resorting to a siege of emails on our poor HR department?

Sorry, Walgreens. I'm not going to be a little pawn in that game. If you don't want to work something out, then it looks like Ralph's is becoming my one-stop shop.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quick Update from the road


I miss California
and all that's still in it already!
I'm travelling to Washington DC for work. Hopefully I'll have a few pictures to post, but in the mean time, here's my weekly update:
  • Pages of fiction read: 35% of a 400 page book (Mockingjay) and 7% of a 432 page book (World War Z) So, that's technically 170 pages. (not including what I read on the plane today)
  • Fiction read: Mockingjay. The series finale wasn't too bad, but it left me with some questions. Started World War Z by Max Brooks, because my friend Anne recommended it and because I'm on a post-apocalyptic kick. 
  • Fiction listened to via audiobook: Started The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larrson. Maybe I can do via audio what I couldn't do reading--finish it!
  • Five pages written: Yup. Missed a few days, which I hated, but got about 6 pages written this week.
  • Calorie tracking: Check. a whopping 28 calories under than my daily goal, but not bad considering I started cutting back on the exercising.
  • Exercise: 220 minutes of exercise in the last week. 
  • Friends and family: Yup. Called a friend to congratulate her on good news. Love those calls!
  • Weight Loss:0 lb
  • One revised section of novel per week:  Check! Working on bringing a character from one part to the part that's actually already been written. I think this is the biggest gap left so after it's done, I'm just revising and not revising and creating.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday Meal

Meals are always better when Chef makes them. Not just because it's someone else doing the dirty work, but also because, as his name implies, he's better trained at these sorts of things.

In my one week effort (we're in week two now- yay!) to actually cook some meals, Chef got into the spirit by not only making the pot roast pictured, but suggesting it during our pre-shopping menu planning. And I have to say, that it was delicious. One might say excellent (and by "one" I mean me--the one who ate the thing like there was no tomorrow).

We also had a lovely side dish that I've requested for tonight. Because I'm now so bossy that I can request he make something again. Or maybe that's just a bonus of marriage, I'm not sure. But we had a side of Brussels sprouts roasted with bacon. Granted anything with bacon in it is awesome by association, but these had a flair of double awesomeness to them. I'd have taken a picture, but they weren't the prettiest. Brussels sprouts aren't super pretty when they're roasted. Just the tastiest.

One week down and it's been pumpkin ravioli, maple glazed chicken with Brussels sprout slaw, chicken tamale casserole and pot roast with Brussels sprouts roasted with bacon. Not too shabby of a week. I wish I could make more, but I'm off to Washington DC tomorrow for work. Although I'm sure to have some tasty meals there, too.

In the mean time, if you've got any more recipes or web sites to send my way, keep 'em coming! (And thank you).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lincoln Park After Dark? You Don't Know Jacque!

Lincoln Park After Dark (left)
You Don't Know Jacque (right)
One thing about Fall that I love (aside from Pumpkins, football, people freely giving away candy, chili, and a holiday devoted to gorging yourself) is the shift to darker colors and boots. It's not actually that cold in Cali (clearly) but at first dip into the 60s during the day, I'm ready to put my boots on. And I do. Because while some chicks are okay wearing boots when it's 80 degrees out, that tends to buck my common sense and novelty of great weather all year.

One of the things about darker colors that is an advantage is darker nail polish. And there are two very popular ones from OPI that I finally bought for my home collection. I've had many manicures from pros that used these colors, but had not taken the plunge for myself. Mostly because I'm sloppy in the DIY manicure/ pedicure area. I have no qualms about coloring outside the line, so to speak, and then peeling the excess off in a hot shower. It's how I roll. And the reason that I have photos of the nail polish bottles and not my hands and feet. I just did my mani/ pedi yesterday and haven't peeled yet. It looks bad. And who wants to see someone's feet on a blog post anyway. At least unless there's a bad toe or something.

So, the darker color, for those not familiar, is "Lincoln Park After Dark" and the lighter taupe is "You Don't Know Jacque".  They're replacing the "Russian Navy" that was on my hands and feet. The nice thing about the dark colors on my hand is that I don't see any crud under my nails and therefore don't bite them. So, really it's not only fashionable but strategic to get my nails back in shape.

Any fall weather fashion or beauty things that you look forward to?  What other OPI shades should I try?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Making an Event of Sunday Night

Not pictured: Gummy bears and
gummy worms that I already ate.
Am I the only one wondering what to watch when tonight? The Colts play on Sunday Night Football. The Cardinals are in the World Series. Boardwalk Empire is starting to head up and last week's episode of The Walking Dead was a cliffhanger. Oh, and I almost forgot that Dexter is back too. What to do?

I only wish there were actually some shows on Monday night that I cared to watch because that would help alleviate our cramped Sunday night schedule. But I guess that's why DVRs were invented. Actually, I bet they were invented to make someone a tidy profit (which I hope they have) but you get what I mean.

Anyway, Chef had the great idea last week of making our TV watching more of an event. We have a great TV and a good sound set up, so TV viewing  in our house is better than going to the movies (although we've been doing that a lot more in LA too). So, instead of me sitting with my phone on my lap checking other sports scores or Facebook, we turn out the lights, grab some movie theater candy and watch our most engrossing shows. Clearly we don't do this every night because my waistline couldn't take it. But Sunday nights and Thursday nights (for a taped episode of American Horror Story).

The picture was evidence from our latest Ralph's expedition. It's our candy stash. I'm hoping it will last all week, but there were a bag of gummy worms and a bag of gummy bears that are now in my tummy. Mmmm. Sugar highs are nice. I think Chef was on to something . . .

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Red on the Head

It costs more than the box of Nice 'N Easy I used to color my hair with (Light Ash Blonde #102B). It takes a lot longer too. But it's worth every minute and every penny. I love the color that my stylist has (she says it takes longer than the average mix, but I don't mind waiting). I love the care that she takes in chopping my locks. It is the one consistent thing that I've done for myself since I moved here.

And it makes me feel pretty.  I'll think I'll be a red head for a while. Thanks to Chef and my friends who encouraged me to take the leap.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ordeal for a license plate

Today I worked from home so that  I could go and get my license plate and register my car in California. I'm officially sad about this. I hated changing my Indiana plates for Tennessee ones when I moved, but the fact that Tennessee had an IU license plate buffered that transition. Now I'm losing my Tennessee and IU car connections. Bummer.

And to make matters worse, I go to the registration branch of the DMV and am told that my car needs to be inspected and to pull it along the side of the building and wait. If it weren't for a very nice security guard, I might've waited there all day. But he helped, got inspected and I was ushered inside. I get my number sit in my chair and only have to wait about 10 minutes. Holy crap! I thought. Today's my lucky day! But it wasn't until I got up the window that troubles began. I handed the lady my current Tennessee registration.

Lady at window #13: No, I need your registration card.

Me: This is my registration card. It's from Tennessee.

#13: I see it's from Tennessee but it says "application" at the top. I need the little card that actually is your registration.

Me: This is my registration. I promise you.

#13: No, it's not.

Me: I lived there for 9 years. Every time I was given a registration-all 9 times--this was it. When I was pulled over by a cop, I handed him this.

She then heavy sighs and goes to find a thick book. She consults the book and says "this isn't your registration. I can start your papers today, but you'll have to bring back your registration." I wasn't going to take that so while she was typing away, I called the County Clerk in Nashville and got a very nice lady who when told of my predicament said "Ugh. California calls us about 5 times a week because they refuse to post our samples. The book they look in hasn't been updated in decades."

Me: So if I asked you for a registration card, what would that look like?

TN lady: Exactly what you're holding in your hand. That's your registration.  They do this all the TIME! I'm gonna fax your registration and a blank one. Put me on with your person.

Me to #13: She wants to talk to you. The TN registration person. . .

#13: I can't get on the phone.

Me: But she wants to fax the info to you and talk to you about updating your records.

#13: I can't talk on the phone.

Me to TN: She won't get on the phone.

TN: Of course, she won't Sorry, I'm not fussin' at you (which I LOVED by the way). I'll fax that right now.

I pay and go back to wait while they wait on my fax. Fax comes through, I go BACK up to the window to hear: Okay, all you have to do is bring in your smog test and we'll give you your plates.

Me: I called this office yesterday to ask if I needed a smog test and was told I wouldn't because my car was within the 6 year window.

#13: But you're new to the state, so you'd have to get one.

Me: SERIOUSLY??! I specifcially called to get this answered and what you're telling me is that they gave me wrong information.

#13: Yes. Get your smog check and then come back.

At this point, I'm about to go ape shit, but I just huff out, go get a smog check and then wait in line to get a number, and then wait in line to see a representative. Who then took my paperwork and says "This isn't the Tennessee registration card." Five more minutes of explanation and then I FINALLY get my license plates. Yes, plates, because California is one of those places that makes you have one on front and one on back.

Total time getting this stupid errand done: 2 hours, 54 minutes.

I miss Tennessee. And Indiana.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Success and South Park

Made a new recipe again tonight that actually was pretty good. Chicken tamale casserole from Cooking Light. Chef even liked it. It could use some additional veggies, but probably as a side dish. Chef was also great because he did the prep work on the chicken, which made life easier.

The enchilada sauce, seasoning and chiles gave it some kick. The cheese made it seem more decadent than it was. And isn't that the job of dairy in any good recipe? Decadence.



The other photo is a screenshot from an exceptionally funny episode of South Park that's actually happening to someone in real life. Well, to a certain extent. Read more here.

On another note, if you  happen to run past "Six Days to Air: The Making of South Park"  you should watch it. Whether or not you like the show, there are two things that this documentary does: 1) It really shows how hard working and brilliant Matt Stone and Trey Parker are, and 2) it shows just how much they still don't give two shits about anything that Hollywood thinks or thinks is funny. It's kind of nice to see people so much more concerned about making people laugh than being afraid to offend people. I wish I could be more like that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Last Night's Dinner Theme: I tried!

Maple glazed chicken
with Brussels sprouts slaw
Last night I cooked dinner again. I'm back to at least attempting to cook 3 times a week instead of being my usual lazy self. So, if you have any good places you go to for healthy recipes, let me know (And thanks, Misty, for reminding me about Cooking Light). So I've attempted two dishes this week, both with low levels of success. 


I made pumpkin ravioli with a light cheese sauce and hazelnuts on Sunday. It was actually not too bad, but just didn't have a lot of POP. I think the flavors were supposed to be subtle but ended up as bland. And it's a fine line between subtle and bland. Too fine a line for a cook like me. 


Last night was the meal pictured: Maple glazed chicken with Brussels sprout slaw. I found out a few things: 1) I love roasted Brussels Sprouts but I do NOT like raw ones. Even with a nice vinaigrette and dried cranberries. 2) That maple and red wine vinegar might smell like crap when reducing but don't taste too badly together. and 3) I still overcook chicken like nobody's business. I wish I wasn't afraid to give someone food poisoning, but I am.  And that makes me cook the shit out of things. The chicken was terribly overdone, but did need the steak knife for adequate slicing. 


Anyway, here's where I'm at:
  • Pages of fiction read: 55% of a 400 page book (Mockingjay). So, that's technically 220 pages.
  • Fiction read: Mockingjay. I'm going to be sad when it's over. 
  • Fiction listened to via audiobook: None, but I just got the two final Stieg Larsson books because I can't seem to read them and the Confederacy of Dunces, because I've always wanted to read that, but never seem to remember.
  • Five pages written: Yes!!! Still reworking a new beginning to the book. started a brand new section. I'm now up to 45 pages of NEW material in four weeks.
  • Calorie tracking: Check. a whopping 281 calories OVER than my daily goal. Last week was not a good one. hence the new recipes, etc. 
  • Exercise: 265 minutes of exercise in the last week. 
  • Friends and family: Yup. A friend AND a family member got phone calls this week.  
  • Weight Loss:0 lb (did you SEE the calorie overage? Of course I didn't lose weight!)
  • One revised section of novel per week:  Check! Got about 8 pages of a transition to the main story.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Need Some Help From You-- yeah, You, please!

Am I the only one who thinks these shoes
have a,  um,  "Georgia O'Keefe" quality to them?
I've been stuck in many ruts lately. Not cooking. Not cleaning. Not writing enough. Not doing much of anything or at least doing anything well. One of those ruts is what I wear every day. I'm getting pretty boring. Usually wear the same outfit combos (some of which are combos that I came up with years ago) and some fun shoes.

I am bored with my closet, but too cheap to buy new clothes when I feel like I'm going to be losing more weight. I have a fair amount of clothes that are currently my correct size and actually fit. And by fair amount, I mean about five shirts/ blouses, two pairs of pants, two pairs of jeans, one skit and three dresses. Everything else is either just slightly too big or WAY too big. The kicker is that that includes my belts, which are too lose and have elastic so cutting another belt loop isn't an option.

All of that is beside the point because even if I were to have my entire wardrobe fit properly, it would still bore the hell out of me. When did I get so boring?? I need help!! PLEASE, for the sake of my sanity, help me out by  sharing with me any or all of the following:

  • Cheap clothing or accessory web sites or stores (especially hidden gems)
  • Any budget fashionista-type blogs for inspiration
  • Any looks that can actually be worn to a legitimate workplace without being mocked for being ridiculous
  • Looks that COULD be laughed at for being ridiculous because on second thought, I might try them
  • Tips or advice for how you've freshened up your closet or look
  • The least practical-seeming thing you ever bought but ended up loving (For example, I used to only buy shoes that were black or brown because they matched everything in my closet. Now, not so much--colored or interesting shoes only, please).
  • Any trends you're thinking of trying (Are booties silly or cute? I can't decide on this one)
Thank you, in advance!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blast from the Past: High School Style


Who doesn't love a cheerleader? I certainly did, for a while. In 8th grade, I broke my father's heart by announcing that I did not want to play basketball any more. I wanted to be a cheerleader. 

There are several theories that I have toyed with over the years about why I wanted to cheer on other people who were playing sports, when I was an avid athlete myself (at least at the time-playing both volleyball and softball). It came down to two things: 1) I got into all the basketball games for free. 2) I loved wearing the short skirt. 

Yup. That's it. I wasn't a particularly good cheerleader, but I also filled out another role for the squad: the fat cheerleader. Okay, I look at the picture above and realize that I'm not really that fat. Not the skinniest for sure, but no where near where I would top out at. But at the time, my perspective was very skewed and I thought that I was by far the fattest chick at my high school. But mostly it was the big boobs that threw things off. 

That was both figuratively and literally. I wasn't able to tumble as I had before because the girls got in the way or threw off my balance. And this was the era of rapid growth for my chesticles. Also, they aren't lying when they call them "little sweaters" for cheerleaders. My mom and I had to stretch my middle school cheerleading sweater over the back of one of our large kitchen chairs, wet it and stuff it with newspaper for three days for it to be stretched enough to not choke me. Seriously. That happened.

But in the end, I decided that two years of cheering was enough for me. It was fun while it lasted, but I was someone who actually liked watching basketball games instead of facing the crowd. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sorry, Robert Downey, Jr--Can't do it

Credit: Eric Charbonneau/WireImage
Robert Downey Jr asked Hollywood to forgive Mel Gibson this week when Downey received an award  from some self-congratulatory organization or another (there are a LOT of acting awards out here--like every other day someone is being recognized by some organization or another).  While I appreciate what  he's saying I just can't do it. I love Robert Downey, Jr, and I realize that I hold absolutely no power, but Gibson kind of deserves to feel some consequences for his actions.


Everyone has a right to speak what's on their mind, but the First Amendment doesn't mean you're exempt from consequences from your speech. You can spew crazy about Jews, but don't expect to be invited to Temple and hugged. And considering the melting pot that Hollywood is, the only safe group of people to make fun of seem to be Republicans.


Downey Jr. compared his stints in rehab with what Gibson is going through saying that alcoholism is powerful. And I appreciate that. I also appreciate that Gibson gave Downey Jr another chance, but that doesn't mean that I have to give Gibson another a chance. There's no pay it forward for second chances. Besides, as I stated above, I hold no power. The only power I have are my dollars and my voice. My voice will always tell people to make decisions for themselves. And my dollars didn't really ever support Mel Gibson in the first place.


Here's my problem: Gibson made "The Passion of the Christ" and there were complaints that it depicted Jews excessively wrong and offensively. Gibson's defense was"For me, it goes against the tenets of my faith, to be racist in any form. To be anti-Semitic is a sin. It's been condemned by one Papal Council after another. There's encyclicals on it, which is, you know -- to be anti-Semitic is to be unchristian, and I'm not."


That was about two years before he was pulled over and went on the giant anti-semitic tirade. Isn't alcohol supposed to be a truth serum? Which are we supposed to believe? Honestly, it's easier to believe the drunken tirade, because (and I say this as a PR person), it hasn't been passed through media training and a publicist. Which is why I also like to think that Mel Gibson calls every women "Sugar Tits' in his head. I also like to think that he would call me "sugar tits" if I met him. But that's just wishful thinking. 


Also wishful thinking? That everyone can forget 5 years of crazy after less than a year. People don't like feeling lied to and while they root for a comeback, it takes more than Robert Downey Jr to make it happen.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fine, I admit it. I'm lazy

Lazy like Genghis
When you get up every weekday at 5 a.m. to work out, then go to work, then come home, work out again eat dinner and then spend a few minutes with Chef before passing out on the couch. Maybe it's the getting up at the butt crack of dawn, but it's hard to feel lazy when I cram so much into my days. Including writing and blogging.

But I've been lazy and I'm ready to admit it. I've been lazy. At least in some areas of my life and that includes cooking. Chef generally makes dinner but I haven't been bad about pushing ideas that actually require more than just reheating ready made meals.

So today I did a couple things. I actually looked up some recipes to try including pumpkin ravioli with a light cheese sauce and hazelnuts. I kept a few of our standard easy options in the line-up so that if I don't want to cook, we have something other than a trip to get fast food.

And I also did something better than just watch football today. I got so disgusted with the abundance of cat hair and litter around our floors. I ended up scrubbing the kitchen, the bathroom, the cat's fountain (yes, they have a water fountain. They're spoiled.) and the floors. I'd still be cleaning or at least vacuuming if Chef hadn't fallen asleep in the bedroom. Can't really vacuum without waking him up. So I'm at a standstill for now.

Which I guess means that I can go back to being lazy again.

Friday, October 14, 2011

It's Funny AND includes a Wilfred Brimley Shout out!

I'm not a huge Maroon 5 fan, so I wasn't intimately familiar with the song, but the parody is very funny. And I love Wilfred Brimley shout out. He just makes diabetes sound so appealing.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Who's the Materialistic One in your relationship?

I don't really know the answer to that question. I'd have to say that both Chef and I probably fall into the moderate category. We admire the expensive stuff and, depending on the item, will buy it if possible, but on the by and by, we also like to save money. It's such a situational decision.

I bring this up because I saw a new study out today (although not published by my company which is odd because we tend to do a lot of these things) that said that materialistic couples have more problems--even if they actually have money. And if BOTH parties were materialistic, then the number of problems rose even more than if just one party was materialistic.

Weird. So, who's the materialistic one in your relationship?

Sidenote: Why is it that when you look for an image that describes marriage, all that comes up are wedding pictures? That's only one day. The marriage itself can be much, much longer. Or sometimes not, I guess.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"He laughed at pretty much everything I said"


The above is a quote from Sara Leal, the 22 year old who reportedly slept with Ashton Kutcher a few weeks back. US Magazine is doing a teaser on the affair and promoted it as "the duo talked astrology (they're both Aquarius), religion, love, even politics. I'm having a hard time wondering why Ashton Kutcher would give two shits about the political affiliations of his latest piece of tail, but maybe that's just me. Maybe I'm not giving him enough credit. Either way, I love that she explains his encounter with her as a way for him to break away from it all and be "real." I'm thinking it might've had something to do wtih you being hot, honey. Just sayin'.

Anyway, I do not have a goal around sleeping with celebrities, but I do have other goals. Here's where I'm at:
  • Pages of fiction read: 65% of a 391 page book (Catching Fire). So, that's technically 254 pages.
  • Fiction read: Catching Fire. Page turning (or page clicking on the Kindle).
  • Fiction listened to via audiobook: FINALLY finished Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner.
  • Five pages written: Yes!!! Reworking a new beginning to the book. Am at 16 pages (mostly new) so far. in fact, since I started concentrating on the writing/ revising, I have finished 37 pages of NEW material in three weeks!!!!
  • Calorie tracking: Check. a whopping 54 calories lower than my daily goal. 
  • Exercise: 345 minutes of exercise in the last week. 
  • Friends and family: Done. 
  • Weight Loss:0 lb
  • One revised section of novel per week:  Check! Got about 16 pages of a new beginning finished and a transition to the main story.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sorry, but You're No Billy Mays

There have been a lot of Flex Seal commercials lately featuring Phil Swift. And while he's sporting the oxford shirt, big smile and enthusiastic line delivery, he's no Billy Mays. Maybe if he did a little cocaine.

 

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Little Down Today for No Good Reason

Bagels and bread look
like porn to me right now.
Not a good sign.
I had a case of the Mondays today, but not in that dread kind of way. I'm just a little depressed, but I've tried to figure out why and I can't seem to put my finger out it. Have you ever had one of those things where you are a little blue for no good reason and then feel bad about it?

I feel bad because it feels like I'm not grateful for things that are going well and I am--really, I am. I just feel moody. Not particularly driven to excel these last couple of days. It's taken all I can do to get through my workouts. I'm having a hard time caring about what I put in my body. I feel the need to eat loads of carbohydrates, particularly of the bagel or baked good variety, which is almost ALWAYS a sign of me wanting to mood-eat.

It's not the crappy season for the Colts so far or the Cardinals blowing game 1. There's nothing unusual going on with Chef. We're doing great. My job just got finished with a jam-packed period but seems to be back to normal now. I'm being productive in my personal life. What the hell is it? Maybe I just miss my friends a lot :(

Sunday, October 09, 2011

What I'm Loving Now: American Horror Story

The ads and billboards around town were very bizarre, but they must've worked because I tuned in. Or at least recorded, American Horror Story.

I don't like horror films and not a huge fan of being scared, but I figured since it was on TV it couldn't be too graphic. And I was right...kind of. But what I found out about American Horror Story is that it is AWESOME.

I would hate for this show to take a huge turn in the wrong direction, and it will probably happen, but for now, I'm hooked. It's scary, bizarre and actually has a back story. And Jessica Lange is perfectly cast. Chef asked me if she was so good because it was well written or because she's just that talented. I think it's a combination of both.

I love well written shows, and this one definitely is. It's bizarre and scary and well acted and fantastic. Give it a whirl. Chef and I are gonna stick with it for a while for sure. We can't wait for next Wednesday.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Can I be a Vegetarian for a Week?

I'm feeling the need to try and shake things up a little. I tried earlier this week when I was determined to start running again. That was probably not a good idea. I woke up this morning with sore, tight ankles and a tight knee. I also had the hip issue again.

I also woke up feeling weird. I got on the elliptical, got about 10 minutes in and it seemed immensely harder than usual. Not that I was exerting myself particularly hard, but I also couldn't kick it into high gear. It took everything I had to finish my hour and peel myself off. I also felt the need to do nothing today. We still went to the grocery, and I made black bean burgers for  myself for lunch, but I don't plan on doing much more. I also feel the need to stuff my pie hole with, well, anything.

So lazy, not wanting to exercise and the urge to eat too much, I guess that's not so unusual.

But that made me think: Could I purposely be a vegetarian for a week? I've accidentally been a vegetarian for a few days, but never made the conscious effort.  I think I could do it, but I want to do it without reverting to eating tons of cheese and bread. It's not for any political reasons or even for a permanent lifestyle change. Mostly just for the challenge.

What kind of meal ideas do you have for vegetarian entrees?

Friday, October 07, 2011

Too Old for Treadmills

This is clearly not me.
Okay, maybe I'm not too old as there are lots of people older than I am that are running on treadmills at this very moment (or at least I assume there are). I guess I should say that I'm too decrepit.

Last night I decided that it was time to up the ante on my workouts again so I could sweat. I read a nice article on heart rates and keeping them high, so I thought that I needed to try running again. I always push myself harder when there's a fear of falling flat on my face and skidding off the back of something rather than just stopping with the elliptical.

This didn't work because I ran the whole 30 minutes, but my hips have hurt like a son of a bitch all day. I guess it's back to the elliptical for me. Anybody out there got a challenging elliptical workout for me??

Thursday, October 06, 2011

iSad: My one (sort of, kind of related) Steve Jobs Story

1998's iMac in "Bondi Blue"
"iSad" was my favorite twitter tag for Steve Jobs's demise. It made me chuckle and then feel bad about chuckling.

Aside for my love of the iPhone, I only have one brief brush with Steve Jobs, which clearly didn't happen directly. When I was interning at a plastics manufacturing facility (the largest in North America--which I was taught to say because part of my experience was to give tours of the facility--to who, I have no idea, but I digress), I got my own tour of the site. There are actually four separate divisions of a large multinational conglomerate all under one site. One of those divisions made audio quality plastics used in CDs which required the workers to wear those particle free spacesuit looking things all day.

But one section of the plant that I got to see (it's a perk of being in PR--you get to be in the know on things--most of which you really don't want to know) was a room built for the CEO of Apple. This was 2000, so the iMac that was all in one and colorful had just rolled out about 18 months before. They originally came out in "bondi blue," a color I'm sure we all know now. But they soon rolled them out in many colors and thus began the modern boom of Apple.

The plastics for the iMac came from the plant that I worked out and the room that I got to see was about 200 different color prototypes for new versions. At the time I had to sign a non-disclosure form to enter. There were tons of different lighting set ups so that the Apple execs could see the prototypes in any kind of lighting that might come up. "They're really that detailed?" I asked. "Yeah," said my co-worker. "The CEO comes in to the plant himself to check on the colors. He's into details, apparently."

Little did I know that Steve Jobs was visiting this big ole factory. I was too young to really care about giants of industry (and to a certain extent, I still feel I'm too young to really care). Either way, that's my Apple story.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Hungry for The Hunger Games


I started it late and I'm loving it now. The Hunger Games rocks my world. It's throwing my reading into overdrive, for sure. Plus it helps that it's aimed at someone half my age (or less--stop laughing). 
  • Pages of fiction read: 41% of a 384 page book (The Hunger Games) and 35% of a 391 page book (Catching Fire). So, that's technically 294 pages.
  • Fiction read: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Page turning (or page clicking on the Kindle).
  • Fiction listened to via audiobook: Trying to finish Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner, which I started over a month ago. It's hard to finish it. It's not really good, but I have the same compulsion to finish fiction on audio as I do on page.
  • Five pages written: Yes!!! Reworking a new beginning to the book. Am at 12 pages (mostly new) so far.
  • Calorie tracking: Check. 289 calories lower than my daily goal. 
  • Exercise: 315 minutes of exercise in the last week. But I missed two work outs because I was sick.
  • Friends and family: Done. Called my lovely, remarkable grandmother.
  • Weight Loss:-0.8 lb
  • One revised section of novel per week:  Check! Got about 12 pages of a new beginning started. Working on finishing that and one more section for next week.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Who takes their political advice from Hank Williams, Jr?

There was no "Are you ready for some football?" on last night's game between the Bucs and Colts (which made me cry but not because of the lack of song, but the end result). If it wasn't pointed out, would you really notice?

Hank Williams Jr's song was not played by ESPN because he made some ridiculous comments saying that Obama playing golf recently with GOP House Speaker John A. Boehner was like Hitler doing so with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It's not only a bad analogy because it mentions Hitler (rule of thumb: mention Hitler or the Holocaust in your analogy and it's a bad analogy), but it didn't even really make sense. It brings me to my larger point. There are two things that I don't look to celebrities for: sports advice and political opinions.

I don't care what Madonna thinks about our natural resources or Ben Affleck feels about labor unions. I encourage celebrities as US citizens (Madonna is still a US citizen right? The fake British accent didn't affect her citizenship, right?) to voice their opinions and take action. I even realize that as celebrities those opinions will automatically get more attention because they have access to a larger platform.

My problem is with people who hear celebrity's opinion and think "Damn! Let's make that celebrity president because they are SO right." Slow your roll. That celebrity probably has a high school education and I prefer my leaders to be smarter than I am. If I can predict that Battlefield: Earth was going to be a flop but John Travolta couldn't see it coming, then I don't want him as an elected official.

I don't blame ESPN for pulling the song and I'm okay if they keep it off the air from here on out. Not because Williams said something inappropriate but because the song doesn't add a darn thing to my Monday Night Football watching experience. Until the day comes that celebrities stop saying stupid things or skinny women dancing to horrible football related songs (talking to you, too, Faith Hill and the horrible "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night" song), can we just make a pact as a people to ignore them both?

Monday, October 03, 2011

Arrested Development is BACK, Baby!!

Grab your frozen bananas, people, because Arrested Development is coming back. . .sort of. It was floated out in a  "not official, but what we'd like to do" way that they are hoping to do a limited run of a half season of episodes leading up to the Arrested Development movie. There's still debate as to where these episodes are going to air, but it should probably be FOX. I halted my boycott of FOX after GLEE came on the air, and I'm kinda digging the New Girl show with Zooey Deschanel. But that's all I've knowingly watched since they took Arrested Development off the air

Here are a few things that I'd like to see play out in the upcoming episodes/ movie:
  • George Michael and Maeby finally getting together, and it going disasterously. 
  • Michael finally getting a good love interest.
  • Bring back Bob Loblaw. If nothing more than Scott Baio could use the work and I just love that name. 
  • I think Tobias needs to start a new band.
  • Buster and Lucille 2 should elope.
  • Gob should have an illusion showdown with David Copperfield and Tony Wonder (Ben Stiller).
  • Larry David should be worked in somehow, just to round things out. 
What are you wishes for Arrested Development?

Sunday, October 02, 2011

What I'm Loving Now: The Band Perry

I'm definitely WAY late to the party on this one, but I've been listening to more country music lately and I've come to love "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry. While I'm not so sure of the creepy sibling vibe they give off, I do like their songs--melody and songwriting.


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Notable Things from September

from @andrewchen blog
I know that I concentrate on my goals every week and I'm proud of that, but what does those weekly goals add up to? Well, I've noticed a few things last month that made me proud, so I thought I'd share. Here are a few of them:
  • I'm only 4 lbs away from my lowest weight EVER (since the age of 14-yes, 14)
  • My skinny jeans are looking good again. I wore them yesterday and didn't have trouble breathing or standing muffin top. (Who out there doesn't have some sitting muffin top? I ask you this in all seriousness. I think even models have a slight fold of skin when they bend in two, right?)
  • My clothes are looking way too big. And when does someone NOT like to buy new clothes? Not that I have yet, because I'm waiting until I'm lower than my lowest. I still have some clothes from the back of the closet that I need to bust out.
  • My "hack around" shorts, the shorts I put on when I change out of my work clothes but before bed, are so big that I have to really use the drawstring to keep them up, not just use it for show.
  • I topped my own record from last month for most blog posts in a month. Previous record was 24 and I got 25 in. Not too shabby.
  • I also topped my most blog posts in a YEAR--beating out the first year that I started this blog. I guess California makes me want to share more or I'm prioritizing blogging more. Either way, I'm happy to keep on, keeping on.
  • I feel happy about my novel and am less attached. These are both good things. I'm able to move things around and cut things with little internal debate. It's actually fun!
I'm sure October will be even better! Any big goals that you have coming up or completed?

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