Friday, August 31, 2012

The Everlasting Manicure

Licorice by Essie
Okay, so I've been buying nail polish like it's been going out of style, and probably because some of it does go out of style. But anyway, I've been buying a lot because I've been painting my nails every week, and usually a dark color. Mostly because I notice that I pick at my nails a lot less when I can't see what's underneath the nail.

So, I bought black nail polish. It's my first time buying black nail polish and it feels a little Carson Daly 1999, but I did paint all my nails and not just my pinkie. So that should count for something, right? The thing of it is, that this nail polish lasted longer than any other of it's brand or another. It's Essie "Licorice" and I've had it on for two weeks with barely any wear and only a slight touch up. Check it out.

Sadly, this must go because next week kicks off the NFL season and that means it's time to paint the talons Colts blue. Go Horse!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm Not a Fan of the end of August

Apologies to all of those with birthdays in late August. And if your wedding is, was or will be scheduled for late August, you'll excuse me for celebrating a little less joyously. For me, late August sucks.

Not just me, but also some of my friends. You see I've lost a lot of good people in my life and it always seems to happen in August. My grandfather passed away 15 years ago earlier this week, my friend's mom passed away around this time, and my own mom passed away 12 years ago today.

The good news is that while I get irritated and a little irritable on this day, I'm not crying in the fetal position like I used to. The older I get the less rare it is, sadly, to have a parent who's passed away too early. And I wonder if the year that I turn 42, it will feel different. That's the year when I will have lived longer without my mom than with her. It seems weird to think about. It also seems weird to think that I've known my stepfather longer than my mom did. By a lot. I've been in the man she married's life longer than she was. And I'm exceptionally thankful for it. There are many gifts she's given me and that is definitely one.

So today I just put my head down and muddled through like every Wednesday. But I knew and I know that this day hurts less this year than last and more than next. But this week, I'm wishing for the weekend for more than just leisure. I'm ready for September!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First there was a Shooter. Then a Helicopter Crash.

Just a typical Monday in Hollywood. Except instead of those things being in a movie, they were happening all around our office building.

Yesterday around 4 p.m., I was getting ready to go take a walk around the neighborhood. I had eaten my lunch in the lunch room and needed a bit of sunshine on my face to power through the late afternoon. As soon as I had my walking shoes on (because everyone knows that I was wearing some fierce heels to work),    a co-worker said " There's been a shooting over on Sunset and Seward. The block is blocked off and police are looking for the shooter."  It was then I decided that since we were about 2 blocks away from that, I should probably just skip my walk.

So, I stayed in and a few hours later, our office cleaning lady started pointing through the board room windows (big beautiful windows that look onto the Hollywood sign). She told some co-workers that she'd seen a trail of smoke coming from a helicopter. So, we went to the place where everyone finds news quickly: twitter. It was a news chopper that was covering the search for the shooter and it had indeed gone down.

So, it was a little nuts in Hollywood yesterday. And with the hundreds of small earthquakes having people freaked out, it could be an interesting week. However, the best of everything happened. No one was hurt in the shooting and the police caught the guy who had shot a single shotgun shell out his window (not sure if it was on purpose or by accident). And the news helicopter found an empty parking Hollywood.. .during rush hour. (Anyone who lives here knows how rare that is).

Wonder what tomorrow will bring. Maybe I shouldn't ask.

Monday, August 27, 2012

I Should Be Ashamed, But I'm Not

One of the few things I did this weekend. Make (and eat
some of) this Light Butterfinger Cake. Delish!
I had my fourth weigh-in on Friday during my Weight Watchers foray, and it was disappointing. Less than a pound. 0.8. I did the math in my head three times before I accepted it. I had done everything right that week. I had watched my "points" like a hawk. I was about to get super bummed when there was  voice in my head. It was Chef's.

"A loss is still a loss. Besides, we're changing our lives, not just the scale," the voice said.

He didn't say it at exactly that moment because he was still in bed at the time, but he had said it before, so I had that in my back pocket. I did better as I got to work, but still a little miffed so I checked out the Weight Watchers site to see if there were any more pointers. One said something about concentrating on the long term (which echoed Chef's words) so I did the math. 

If I were to have a week like last week, where I ate predominately well but still lived my life and enjoyed a few treats,every week for a year then I would weigh 41 pounds less than I do now. Which actually would put me WAY under my lowest weight ever as an adult and probably around where I should be to be well within the healthy BMI. So I got over the weigh in (clearly I'm sharing here, but I haven't been obsessing as I might've), and had a great weekend.

So why should I be ashamed? Because I did absolutely nothing over the weekend.

Let me rephrase that. I clearly did some things. In fact, I did things that I really wanted to do. But leaving the house wasn't one of them. I actually left the apartment ONCE from Friday night until I left for work this morning. Chef did the grocery shopping on Friday night, and ran out when we had any "urgent" items we needed.  But for the most part, I did this:
  • Did not put on make up all weekend, and mostly pajama-type clothes
  • Leisurely read the two huge Fall fashion mags that I had been stockpiling
  • Took baths and read the novel I just started
  • Watched the "Weight of the Nation" documentary series (not all of it)
  • Watched various detective movies, most but not all featuring Al Pacino
  • Ate copious amounts of french fries and beef (on my cheat day)
  • Played with cats
  • Downloaded an iPhone app called "cloth" that allows you to store and sort pictures of your outfits (as well as weather conditions)-- I'm hoping this will eventually help cut down on the amount of time that I spend picking out clothes in the morning
  • Pinning about 100 new weight watchers or skinny recipes on Pinterest for future use
  • Repainting my toes and fingers
  • Having a wonderfully lazy weekend with my husband
  • Made a "light" Butterfinger cake from this Pinterest recipe that was actually damn good
It was glorious and this morning I feel great! So I'm not ashamed that I did exactly what I wanted to do this weekend. Which was nothing much. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Can you define the word "forced" for me?

I always thought that when you were made to do something against your will or did not give consent that that was being forced, but I guess I'm wrong. I guess it's only "legitimate" if you have a knife stuck to your throat.

Yes, I'm talking about Todd Akin, Missouri State Senate GOP nominee, and his asinine comments about a woman being able to "shut the whole thing down" in cases where pregnancy occurs in "legitimate rape."  I guess "illegitimate rape" results in illegitimate kids, right? Is that how this works?

Seriously, I know people have strong opinions about abortion--and I do too--but rape is never a good thing. And to say that one rape is more legitimate than another is like saying it's better to have one kind of cancer over another. There's no "winning." There's never a good outcome.

Can we just agree on that? I also agree on giving someone slack when they make a mistake. But this guy didn't make a mistake. He didn't say "legitimate" instead of "forcibly." He said "legitimate" and then went on to make his comment seem legitimate by dragging some "doctor:" who told him this absolutely stupid fact. I wonder if that doctor told him that on a bet. Like "Let's see what we can get Todd Akin to believe" and now he's having a good laugh.

But if we elect people who actually believe this stuff, who's the joke really on? Shudder.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Leave Britney, I mean Kristen, Alone!

I'd make a caption about her not having
expressions, but that seems too easy.
Or not. I could care less (which is the correct use here, because I care enough to write and read about it, so I could care less). Kristen Stewart is getting skewered in the tabloids for cheating. She seems to be getting more heat for cheating on Robert Pattinson than being the other woman, but let's be honest: who had more to lose in this scenario? An unattached starlet with at least one more blockbuster to come out or the director of ONE film with a wife and two kids? I rest my case.

But in the mean time, I've been glancing at the coverage. Until Jodie Foster's diatribe on The Daily Beast yesterday. At which point, I scratched my head and said "What the fuck?". I even took the time to read the whole damn thing, which was a chore. Mostly because I had to stop myself from having the Jon Lovitz voice go off every time the words "ACTOR", "ACTRESS" or "ACTING" were mentioned. Let's be honest, the arts are exceptionally good for the soul: both the people making the art and those receiving the art. But in the end, art will not cure cancer or feed the homeless. So, let's put things in perspective.

After reading the whole thing I thought two things: 1) Jodie Foster thinks an awful lot of Jodie Foster, and 2) Jodie Foster likes to use a lot of unnecessary words to make a point or sound smart (which might've been the point). Then I had to quickly admonish myself because Jodie Foster would've been mad that I made snap judgments about her when she just told me not too.

Anyway, it's a long-winded kind of confusing essay about how hard today's actors have it. But let's be honest. It's not all actors. Just the ones that get cast in mega-blockbusters and then think it's a good idea to have a relationship with their co-star of the mega blockbuster that had millions of rabid fans before it was even a movie. Maybe that's just a bad idea. Adding fuel to the fire.

But that's just an outsider's opinion.

I'm not an ACTOR.

Monday, August 13, 2012

You Otter Know

One of the otters. Pic from Chef.
Chef and I totally geeked out at the Aquarium of the Pacific this weekend and it was GLORIOUS. I was totally psyched before I got there to see the penguins, but turns out penguins were the lamest. We got to touch sea stars, sea urchins, moon jelly fish, sting rays, baby sharks, and bat rays. I had never touched (or at least as an adult for sure) those animals. The bat rays were the awesomest because they were so playful. They would come right up to us on and nudge their little noses towards our hands. Of course, we now want one as a pet. I think it would totally not freak the cats out at all.

In the end, it was cute, playful, darty sea otters that melted the polar ice cap of my heart so fast that Al Gore didn't have time to make documentary about it. And my awesome husband bought his 30-something year old wife a stuffed otter to commemorate the trip. Genghis has already beaten up Otter a little, but he's none the worse for wear. We plan on going back soon. It was great!!

Here are some highlights:

This was a tiny "comb jelly fish" that is "bioluminescent" and I never would've seen it without Chef calling me over to the tiny little exhibit. These things were about the size of a dime. And totally awesome. 

Chef leans in to pet the sting ray. That thing was HUGE.

One of my Otters cheesing for the camera.

There were three high school kids that screamed "Look it's Dory and Nemo together!!" about 10 times. It made me sad for the future.

Chef feeding a Lorakeet. Which was also awesome.

Because I'm sadistic, I felt the need to eat some seafood after our day at the aquarium. This was a bowl of delicious coconut snails.  Awesome!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Why I Joined Weight Watchers. . .this time

To say that losing weight is hard is just stupid. It's like saying that you need oxygen to live or that ice cream is delicious. It's so ridiculously known that everyone already knows it. It's dumb to say.

And while I've done it successfully (I consider it a success that I've kept 70 of the 90 lbs of weight loss from 5 years ago), I still need help. Or motivation. Or both. So last week I decided to join weight watchers online. I have never tried Weight Watchers before and have seen so many success stories (including Jennifer Hudson who looks amazing) so figured it was worth a shot. Plus my aunts, my friends and countless others who have used the plan and it worked for them.

Weight loss would be great. But I'm also looking to get healthier. That's actually a big key of choosing this particular plan. I have used MyFitnessPal for nearly a year and it has helped me (when I've made the concerted effort to use it) count calories. But I was only counting calories. So if I wanted to use my daily allotment on gummy bears, so be it. It was just calories.

Since this program also takes into account fat, fiber, carbs and protein, I have to choose more wisely. And the fact that fruits and veggies in their purest forms do not count against my daily plans means that I've already eaten more bananas and raspberries and veggies in the past week than the last several combined. And that can't be a bad thing.

We all need to mix it up and I'm mixing it up this way. I need to get back on track. Even if I never end up looking like Jennifer Hudson, I'll have hopefully established or reestablished some healthier habits.

The odd thing is that I seem to have these urges to get healthy around this time. The first time I lost weight, I started on August 2nd. I've kicked my butt into gear around this time for the last couple of years and I officially joined Weight Watchers on July 31st. What is it about the end of summer that makes me want to kick my own ass?

Have you lost weight or had success with Weight Watchers? Any advice for the newbie?

Monday, August 06, 2012

And Then Richard Simmons Did Jumping Jacks

Last Friday I finally got to be a tourist. Well, kind of. My new place of work had their summer staff outing and it was in one of those open-air buses that float around Hollywood and Beverly Hills taking tours of stars homes and the like. I had always wanted to do one, but had been too chicken to ask Chef, so this was the perfect opportunity to get my geek on in semi-privacy. 
Can you spot him? No sign of the Dalmatian.

Because it was a corporate tour, the tour guide was a little less professional than I think he probably normally is. And by professional, I mean that he made stops at Ralph's (aka Cali Kroger) for snacks and bathroom breaks, as well as just vaguely pointed out things on the tour. However, it was still a good time. 

The highlight of the trip was pulling outside of a massive Hollywood Hills home and having Jeremy the tour guide say "If you yell loudly here, the celebrity has been known to come out and say hi." That was all it took to get us screaming at the top of our lungs. Low and behold out pops Richard Simmons who started doing jumping jacks and telling us that his dalmatian turned 18 just that week. Yes, he really told us that. 

The rest of the trip was a bunch of garage doors and gates of celebrity homes, but nothing can top Richard Simmons. (Can you ever, really?) Squint really hard at the fence and you can see him in my crappy picture. 

Friday, August 03, 2012

Olympics Crazy or Just Crazy?

I like the rest of the world (or the rest of the world with a TV and a slight interest in sports, patriotism or both) have been hooked on the Olympics. But the tape delay is killing me. And you can't get on Facebook, Google or anything without having the results spoiled. Hell, I couldn't even open my US Weekly app looking for the latest on Robert Pattinson's broken heart without spoiling the women's all-around results.

Pre-Olympics my friend Greg mentioned that he had heard the opening ceremony included Mary Poppins beating Voldemort in a battle. I laughed and asked him if he had heard this from a crack head because the British wouldn't possibly be interested in that.

I was wrong.

Now that gymnastics (at least the really riveting stuff) is over and swimming is winding down, what is there left to watch? Do you notice how everyone suddenly because an expert in odd sports they'd never bother with otherwise? My husband's random water polo trivia enthralled my co-workers at lunch. mostly because we couldn't believe how large some of the US players were and how vicious that sport is. There were boobs just popping out from the scrambles.

What's been your favorite thing from this Olympics? I probably should say something meaningful like Phelps's new all-time Olympic medal record or the first African-American all-around champion in gymnastics. But I'm instead going to say it is thus far a tie between watching one woman stomach punch another under the water at water polo and any hot male swimmer.


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