Thursday, June 26, 2014

And I Was Full

The last few weeks have been a struggle. For months I would start each week with that high ambition of making it "the week" that I get back on the wagon of watching what I ate religiously. And by about 3 p.m. Monday afternoon, there would be a bag of gummi bears on my desk.

For some reason, I just couldn't feel satisfied. I don't want to blame it on stress or being busy because I can't think of a person on Earth, who doesn't have those two words and all the feelings around them to justify any poor behavior. Something felt off and different. I didn't seem to be eating all that much more, but weight kept creeping on and for about three weeks I lost the feeling of fullness. It seemed like I could push myself to eat steadily without that feeling that prompts me to stop.

But the real motivation came when I was in the bathroom and closed a drawer on my stomach while leaned over the counter to do my makeup. It's pretty embarrassing to admit. I mean, I have typed a novel with my boobs without even knowing it (busty women out there can feel me on that one), but I've never closed a drawer on my stomach. Here's the scary part: I didn't feel it or realize it until I leaned back. I probably shouldn't admit that but let's just put you all in the frame of mind that I was dealing with when I decided enough was enough.

I knew I had to get a handle on things quickly. I didn't want to end up where I was at about seven years ago when I started my first weight loss adventure. I couldn't wait until I was well over 200 lbs before I righted the ship.

Plus I had enough encouragement from Chef telling me that he thought I had a slow metabolism because I wasn't eating that much. Maybe I wanted some validation, so I decided to go to a doctor and see what I could find out. I had a bunch of tests and it turns out the news was reassuring but also kinda crappy: turns out my metabolism burns about 450 calories less per day than it should.

The doctor asked if I had tried Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or anything else. In fact, WW was the last thing that I had tried about 2 years ago and it wasn't really effective--because even at the lower calorie intake, it wasn't low enough to overcome the 450 calorie deficit that my metabolism was bringing to the table.

I'm now working to "reset" my metabolism and am on a protein and plant-based plan to help drop some lbs again. I know and always know that battling the bulge will be a lifelong struggle for me, but knowing that doesn't make it suck any less.

Wish me luck. . .again.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Making time for Me

If you've been checking back here lately and not found a post, well honestly, you must be a relative. But anyway, you may have surmised that I've been busy. You would be right.  

In the last few months, I've had a stretch of working 38 of 40 days. Then working a ton during the week. Then a few more weekends.  Don't get me wrong. I love my job and I'm thankful for it, but in the near compulsive need to please people (clients, bosses, coworkers, husbands), I've forgotten to please someone pretty important: myself. 

I'm not unhappy, but I'm not as happy as I could be and frankly the fault is my own. I know myself fairly well. I know that I am most satisfied when I take time for myself to do the things that feed my soul. My soul is hungry. And no amount of gummi bears or cheeseburgers or lazy afternoons on the couch will make me feel better. 

So I'm going back to what makes me happy. Unless I'm in danger of missing a client deadline, I am going to leave the office before 7 each night. I am going to workout every weekday. And by workout, I mean work up a sweat. I will do something to move my dreams each day. This will probably involve having fun with my novel in Scrivener, which is awesome. 

And so this post is like so many more where I have to remind myself that I'm important. Taking time for myself is not selfish. 

And all this to say thank God I don't have kids. I don't think I could stand the guilt. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

What Can You Get From a Toilet Seat Anyway?

I get all judgey in bathrooms. People that look like normal citizens in any other setting suddenly become carriers of every exotic disease known to man when they enter the bathroom. It's made a little paranoid and I'm not sure the reasons are all that valid. (Although MERS is a real thing, people).

For example, I'm not a big fan of the paper toilet seat cover. I don't think it really does anything. But there are times when I see someone washing their hands, and notice that the stall I went in to has water that's clearly just been flushed, and I'll grab one. I told you. I'm judgey in bathrooms.

And that's if the person is actually washing their hands. If they are just making the motions or messing with their hair and it's obvious that they haven't even attempted cleanliness, I'll just move on out of the stall and hit the next one.

But honestly, despite this paranoia, what actual diseases can you get from a toilet seat? The first rumor about any new disease is that you can't get it from a toilet seat. HIV/AIDS? Not the toilet seat. The Clap? Not from the crapper. Cancer? Yet again, not transmitted through porcelain.

Seriously, I'm probably still going to be judgmental in the bathroom (and don't act like you aren't. You know you are), but do I have anything to be afraid of (Except MERS, of course)?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Shaken and Stirred

An earthquake isn't the best form of alarm clock that I know of. I would much prefer something a little more soothing and that doesn't freak the crap out of my cats.

I actually was drifting back to sleep as I had decided after my alarm went off at the normal 5:45 that my aching feet from an event I worked yesterday didn't need to hit the treadmill quite yet. The shaking started and it rattling the windows pretty hard. A little before the shaking started, I heard the cats scurry from their shelf-perches. Then they all ended up in bed with me. Chef, on the other hand, didn't wake up at all. That man can sleep through just about anything.

But the earthquake was just the start of a jarring day. It wasn't particularly bad or remarkable or even unusual in the sense that nothing happened that was out of the ordinary. But for some reason I was a little shaken in more than the physical sense today.

I thought of a question on my way out to my car. Pondering life and art and all those things that only seem to pop into my head when I'm trying to think about other things, less important daily duties, I thought to myself: Do you have to sacrifice something for your dreams?  Is that a prerequisite?

I honestly don't know the answer or am not sure there really is an answer. Do you have to sacrifice family to be a true artist? Or a career to have a true passion (assuming it's not in that career field, of course)? Clearly, there's no secret formula to making dreams come true. Other than luck. I'm a firm believer that luck (or timing or coincidence or faith or whatever you believe in) plays a bit role in making things happen. And yes, the harder you work the "luckier" you seem to get. I've heard that.

But I guess I found it appropriate on St. Patrick's Day to wonder: Is it luck or sacrifice that plays a bigger role in making dreams a reality?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Indecisiveness Strikes at the AutoMall

It's time to get a new car. The Sentra is up and running like a champ, but it would better serve Chef than me at this point. Knowing this, I ventured out to my local Carmax last weekend wanting to look at about six different car models.

After careful consideration, I am no closer to choosing one than I was before.

I like one because it's fuel efficient and newer and from a  reliable brand, but it doesn't have as many luxuries for the price. One is slightly older has more luxuries and is also reliable, but is rumored to require the sale of a kidney for upkeep in its later days. Some are new but basic, others are older (less than 3 years old) but pimped out. And frankly, I just can't decide.

So I've decided to put off the decision, because that's what all reasonable people do.

What kind of car do you drive? Would you recommend it?

Saturday, March 08, 2014

I Got Called A "Bitch" By A Total Stranger. . .again

I was unloading my groceries as my car was parked on the street outside my apartment building when I was approached by a wiry, shirtless man who had been pacing the sidewalk while carrying what looked to be t-shirt that was wrapped around something and held tight by duct tape.

"You going into that apartment complex?" he asked.

I nodded.

"Will you let me in? My son lives there," he said.

"I don't know you, dude. I don't let people in that I don't know," I replied.

At this point he was still pacing around me on the sidewalk.

"My son lives here. He lives with his grandma who is like 85 and can't hear the phone to let me in. I can go by the leasing office with you if it makes you feel better"

Me: "How about you just call the leasing office from the main gate and have them escort you to the apartment?"

He didn't wait for me to finish, but bounded down the sidewalk away from me towards the front gate. Thinking this was settled, I grabbed my bags and headed to the side entrance that's locked and for residents only. I was unlocking it when I noticed the guy was right behind me.

"You don't mind, do you?" he asked again.

"Yes. I absolutely do mind. But I guess you're not going to care about that at all and just do what you want to do."

At this point he followed me into the complex and started raising his voice that FINE. I could follow him down to the leasing office and he'll prove that he's been there before if it makes me feel better. Fine. I told him that it would be great if could go down there and at least have them escort him to the apartment he was to visit. He started to head down there and then he stopped when he thought I wasn't looking and muttered "Fucking bitch."

Me with groceries still in my arms: "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?"

"I said you're a fucking bitch. All uppity and shit. I told you we could go to the leasing office together but you still didn't want to let me in and then you gave me attitude."

Me: "I didn't give you attitude. I told you twice that I wouldn't let you and yet you still followed me in."

At this point he came back towards me and went from being about 20 feet away to about three feet away.

"You had to say that 'I was gonna do what I wanted to do anyway," after I said I'd go to the leasing office and everything."

Me: "I would say that I had a pretty accurate accessment since you did what you wanted to do and we're sitting here with your finger in my face instead of actually going down to the leasing office. But come on. Let's go."

We proceeded to go to the leasing office where Alex, our leasing agent, verified that the man had a son who lived there (and wasn't a resident himself) and the guy acted like he was vindicated.

"Should he be let into the premises against a resident's wishes?" I asked.

"Well, no,"  Alex said.

At this point, the guy bounded out and towards the apartment he was visiting. The leasing agent told me he'd call the apartment and make sure everything was okay. To make things doubly creepy, the kid he was visiting was the family that lives in the apartment across from us. And when I say across from us, I mean that our doors are about 4 feet apart. 

Next time, I'm calling Chef out to help. Although I have a feeling if Chef had been there, there might have been some hand to hand combat.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Unintended Consequence of Traveling Alone: Selfie Abundance

Amsterdam was awesome. The city was beautiful, the people friendly and the food (for the most part) delicious. It was a great work trip and I was really lucky to be able to go. The only thing that would have made it even better was if Chef was able to go. Maybe if I'm lucky enough to go back to this conference I'll plan far enough ahead to bring him along too.

Anyway, one of the things I learned after looking through my pictures was that I apparently took a lot of selfies. I think this was mostly because I was alone, vain, and have been taking them before they went digital and had a name. I literally have hundreds of pics from holding the camera out in front of me all my life. So it really is no surprise that I have selfies galore from the trip.

Since I had them, I thought I'd tell the story through myself. Or my selfies.

This was right outside of the Anne Frank House. It was touching and amazing. And no photos allowed inside. 

Me and a piece of art at the Rijks Museum. I wanted a Rembrandt selfie or a selfie with Van Gogh's self portrait,
but they were always busy with crowds.

Selfie with a Kendra, my DC co-worker on our last night

Last Dinner selfie. I have to say that the tablescape was prettier than any wedding I've been too (sorry, friends)

"I'm on a boat" selfie. We getting ready to glide through the canals with champagne.

Selfie with my NYC colleague, Ed, while we made some pastries and chocolates.

Not technically a selfie because my hands were full. Here I am filling chocolates with a ganache.
Chef would've been so proud. 

Again, not a selfie, but me and another DC colleague Amaris making Dutch Apple Pie (of course)

So, I went to McDonald's. So what. After 4 days of meals with 10 ingredients per dish, you'd probably want a cheeseburger too. Plus they're a client, so that's technically just doing my job, right?

This used to be the Capitol building in Amsterdam
but the prince decided at one point it was too nice to be government and took it over. It was pretty sweet. 

Some large statue that someone told me was important.
There were always people gathered around it, so I bought in. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What Do You Want Me to Bring You Back From Amsterdam?

Don't say hookers or hash. I won't be able to get either back in my luggage.

I've been so busy preparing lately that I haven't been able to blog or even think about my trip. I'm heading to Amsterdam this week for work. I'm so excited to go. At my last job, I left a mere two weeks before a trip to London was scheduled. So the fact that I'm getting to go to Europe (again) and the Netherlands for the first time is awesome. (Another bonus reason I LOVE my job.)

I'm going to escort and help a brand I work with present to some very exclusive movers and shakers in the food world. But the whole conference is set up to be fun and with free time, so I'm looking forward to going to the Anne Frank Haus and the Rijksmuseum. Have any other suggestions? When someone mentioned the red light district to me in front of a client, he replied "she can't go there. But she could go to the red head district." It made me smile.

Anyway, I leave on Thursday and come back next Thursday. If you don't hear back on an email or text, just wait. I will have Internet (theoretically), so I hope to post some pictures and document the trip. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Birthday Wrap Up

I took it nice and easy and even took a day off for my birthday. Which meant that I've been buried in work to catch up since I got back (it's that time of year--but honestly, it's always that time of year in PR). So instead of blogging, I've been working off cake and a week of decadence.

But here is the long overdue recap of the wonderful, awesome, super relaxing birthday that I got to share with Chef.

Nothing says party like some bubbly on the actual birthday. 

It sparkles so nicely. Champagne went well with the dinner he cooked me.
Apparently I ate that too fast to take a picture. 

The beautiful flowers he also surprised me with. 
This was not about cat CPR, but a book on screenwriting I've wanted forever. Good call by Chef. 
I managed to work in a much needed root touch up. Gotta keep red on the head.

I used my Sephora gift cards to do my annual "on my birthday" Sephora trip.

But the birthday just kept on going! I took off Friday to have some fun and we celebrated on Saturday too. That's how we roll in our household.  Below are more spoils from being spoiled (that included a two hour massage--somehow I've managed to tighten up again). I'm a lucky gal! Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Maybe it's Not So Bad

Yup. I'm loved. Thank you!
Let's be frank: Working on your birthday sucks no matter how great your job is.

But that being said I am having a terrific birthday so far. My friend Meredith made me the BEST. CAKE. EVER. I'm one of those plain people: white cake with white butter cream icing. It's a challenge to showcase talent with that, but she did. Meredith made me a Tahitian vanilla cake with coconut custard filling--mixing my favorite desserts--white cake and coconut cream pie. And she got an assist from Alexis. (As an aside, the coconut cream pie is from Dick Clark's--grandma's recipe is still the best. If you find yourself in Princeton and hankering for pie, go with Coconut Cream every time. You're welcome).

Tasted even better
Anyway, I am still at work (yes, I'm blogging at work but it's my birthday and I finished a lingering project today so I can celebrate with a 5 minute post--I'm not billing time for it).  Getting ready to head home where Chef is preparing a home cooked steak dinner, but not until after I make my annual Sephora trip. I always go in on my birthday so I can get my free gift. Yes, I'm one of those. Plus I got some birthday gift cards burning a hole in my pocket.

More posts to come from my further celebrations on Friday and Saturday. It's not been so shabby so far.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Birthday Angst

A few years ago I was feeling all weird towards mid-January. I mentioned this at my writers group (which I DESPERATELY miss like crazy) and Sue mentioned the anxiety people get around birthdays. And thinking about it then, it totally made sense. Why I used to run around like a chicken with my head cut off when I was younger. Why I get all mopey now that I'm older.

Don't get me wrong. I love birthdays. I'm big on birthdays. I get that from my mom who was also big on birthdays. From breakfast to goodnight kisses, she found big and little ways to make the day special. I used to kid her and my dad that it was because they were usually gone to a company retreat on my actual birthday. They felt so bad that I had birthday celebrations during our Christmas vacation to Grand Cayman, in the summer so that I could have a pool party like my brother used to (my "un-Birthday") and so on. Then they'd leave me with grandparents who would feel equally as bad on my birthday and ply me with cake and attention like no other.

This is probably why I was set up for a lifetime of disappointment.

I'm only slightly kidding. But watching last week's episode of New Girl where Jess has these insanely large expectations for her birthday and is usually let down, I could relate. Not because Chef doesn't do a great job in making the day special (he does), but just because.

So this year, I'm trying to recognize the angst and know that I am working on my birthday so it can only be so good by its nature. And I will try to remember that I am off on Friday to have a celebration, a mani-pedi, get my hair done, eat copious amounts of seafood and then spend half of my Saturday getting pampered at the spa (see? Told you I am spoiled).

Until then, grr. I say.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My Opinion on Richard Sherman (Because I Know You Want to Know)

After the Seahawks defeated the 49ers on Sunday, cornerback Richard Sherman had a microphone thrust in his face a few minutes after making a game-saving play and thus sending his team to the Superbowl. His, um, exuberant response has been the talk of the sports world and beyond ever since with every one giving their opinion and adding racial tilts and personal attacks. So of course I knew it was time for me to weigh in.

I don't have a problem with Richard Sherman acting like a WWE wrestler after a nationally televised game. It made for interesting TV and I know why he was excited. I mean, it is the Superbowl.

But I do have  a few problems with his actions-and a few of his words. First of all, the whole choke signal at the opposing team. No bueno. This isn't just a team he might play every once in a while. It's a team he will play twice a year and will probably face in the playoffs quite a bit. Sherman can never know when one game or one play will shape a season--it could mean the difference between a first and sixth seed in the playoffs. So egging his divisional rivals on with a gesture that will FOR SURE remember it for the next two times (if not every time) he plays them, not a good idea in general. This wildly inappropriate gesturing and snubbing goes for coaches too.

Second, calling out Crabtree. I have rarely seen a rivalry be one-sided. It's why it's called a rivalry. And private smack talk is one thing, but know that words are meant to be eaten. I think just about every person that called themselves the greatest of all time has fallen from grace. Want to know some of the company he's in now that he's done that? LL Cool J and Will Smith. Richard Sherman just put himself in the same category as them. Congrats.

Lastly on the negatives, the gesture cost the team 15 yards. Sure, it meant jack squat here, but sometime it's gonna mean something and then the team won't find it quite as amusing.

On the positives, Richard Sherman is a genius (and if you haven't heard it yet, he went to Stanford so that helps prove it). Cornerback is not exactly the highest of profile positions on the football field and in one short interview, he just became a nationally known entity. That's pretty genius in my book.

All that said: I'm still rooting for Peyton. I just can't quit him. Unless he's playing the Colts. Then he means nothing to me.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

An Open Rant to Macy's

This says "opinion". It can easily
say "Macy's Customer Service."
Dear Macy's,
I used to be a fan. You support an organization that I used to work for and still love, and I appreciate that. However, any residual goodwill I had with you dissipated when after FOUR attempts to return a wedding ring that did not fit.

Here's the situation: Macy's stores don't carry all sizes of rings, so when my husband and I ordered a size in store (being incorrectly sized by one of your associates), it was delivered to our home. When we learned that the ring didn't fit, that's where things got interesting. The package didn't include a packing slip, so I called the customer service line. . .three times.

Call #1: Took my info, tried to have me reprint my slip online until I pointed out that jewelry wasn't an option for that. Then she promised to email a shipping slip and a reorder of the new size for exchange.

Three days. . . no email.

Call #2: Repeat of call #1 with some apologies for the first experience and a repeat of the first call.

Four more days. . .no email. Check spam settings to make sure emails aren't being shifted. Nope.

Call #3: Immediately let the rep know it was my third attempt and I wasn't happy. Rep refused to give me info because although my credit card (with my name) bought the ring, it was shipped in Chef's name. Did I mention this was a wedding ring? Rep says that it is to protect the billing information, I say it was my card and my name. No go. Furious, I ask to speak to a supervisor. Wait 3 minutes (yes, I timed it). Rep says that all are busy. I say I'll wait 10 minutes. 10 minutes later rep says STILL no supervisors are free. I hang up and write furious email.

21 hours later I receive a cut and paste email telling me how I can return the items including giving me the customer service line and the website link that isn't an option. (At this point I know I am returning to the store to return, but am pissed).  The email had the gall to say that "Returns are easy at Macy's!".

Below is my sarcasm-filled response:

First of all, it is my credit card information that was used to purchase the item--a wedding ring. It seems like if I am using my credit card to purchase a wedding ring two things would be evident: 1) that you should be trying to protect the billing information as the credit card holder (because we know how security has been an issue for major retailers lately), not the address where the item was shipped and that was on the credit card, and 2) if I was trying to pull one over on Macy's it seems like buying a wedding ring for my husband and both of us having the same last name and address would probably blow my cover. 

I probably would have less of an issue if ALL three of the service representatives had listed this as a concern. But only the last person refused to help me. The inconsistency was exceptionally confusing and on my THIRD call, which I told the representative immediately that this was, it was infuriating. 

Next, I appreciate your 'cut and paste' approach to customer service. It really helps clarify where I stand as a Macy's customer. I'm clearly just a number. I certainly don't expect customer service to know the return policy for every item it carries, but to help mitigate this, a cursory glance at the item ordered on the website would be helpful. You and two of the previous customer service reps tried to lead me to the website to reprint my return label. This is impossible for two reasons: 1) there was no return label in the first place (which has been mentioned) and 2) the website link reference does NOT list jewelry as an option for reprinting labels. If you can find it at the link you gave me (, I will gladly apologize. 

And lastly, I am happy you included the customer service telephone number, as it has been oh so helpful in the past. Sending me for a fourth time to have my call taken by someone who  may or may not talk to me, and then promise to send a return slip and reorder the wedding ring only to have me wait in vain by our email for the promised answer to our customer service quandary and be disappointed sounds like a wonderful option. God forbid there was a specialized hotline of different customer service reps for people who have tried FOUR TIMES to exchange an item. At this point, I am crossing my fingers that going into a store for this will make the fifth time a charm. I'm unsure whether to exchange or just return because if the next wedding ring doesn't fit and I'm forced to waste more precious hours of my life trying to get the correct size. I will probably end up just divorcing my husband. Frankly at this point a divorce would be quicker and easier to than dealing with the Macy's customer service department. 

Order #10281XXX

aka Ashley Loar

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Things that Don't Get Easier The More You Do Them

Some days deserve a French Fry
happy ending.
There's a big myth that I used to subscribe to that things get easier the more you do them. The older I've gotten the more I realize that this blanket statement relates to a LOT of things in life, but certainly not everything. So I started thinking. . .what are things that don't get easier the more you do them:

  • Doctors appointments
  • Bikini waxes
  • Writing a novel
  • Colts and/or Hoosiers losses (particularly in the playoffs, Super Bowl or NCAA tournament)
  • Bathing cats
  • Pitching stories to journalists that your client/co-worker/sponsor expects to see place and you know you don't have a shot in hell (clearly, that's PR specific)
  • Exercise--yes, technically it exerts you less the more you do it, but it's still hard to want to do it. AND if you skip a few days, it's almost like starting back at square one, which doesn't seem fair.
  • Diets-duh
  • Calculus- this could just be me, but I despite my B, I never did get Calculus. 
  • Watching bad stand-up comedy--particularly in person
What would you add to the list?

** Despite the fact that I'm not advertising McDonald's, I am required to mention that I work with the brand. They are a client. (Yes, I'm very lucky). I will also testify, which MANY people can back up, that my love of the McDonald's french fry goes back longer than my current job. Because they rock my socks off. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 Golden Globes. . . Let's Discuss

Matt Damon will never
be a "garbage collector"
to me. 
I hadn't really been a big awards show fan until I moved to somewhere were traffic, business and viewing schedules revolved around them. Now, I watch. I especially like the Golden Globes because it just looks like more fun. It's TV and Movies and really there isn't an uninteresting category all night. Plus they got Tina and Amy to host twice now, so I'm totally down.

Here are my initial thoughts on last night's show:

  • Opening monologue was a little disappointing but the George Clooney zinger had me laughing pretty damn hard.
  • Jacqueline Bisset was probably drunk and altogether unprepared for her train wreck of a speech. Sorry folks, rambling is not endearing. And she only got away with it because it was the beginning of the show. I could've probably forgiven the speech if I wasn't so pissed that she just rolled out of bed with that hair. Even a pony tail would've looked better. Just sayin'.
  • Can we please have a lifetime achievement award go to someone who isn't a child molester, accused or convicted sex offender or has some kind of violence against women in his background? Are there any of those left in Hollywood to honor? I'm not a big Woody Allen or Roman Polanski fan, but it would be nice to perhaps save the accolades for a less public venue. To be honest, I felt the same way when Ray Lewis did ANYTHING in front of a camera, including playing and his current stint on ESPN.
  • P. Diddy, please shut up. You can have them call you "Sean Combs" but everyone remembers that you have a ridiculous name you insist on calling yourself and no one cares about your St. Bart's vacay. 
  • The guy who won for best original score had a better hairdo than Jacqueline Bisset.
  • Matthew McConaughey seems like he spent his entire life  preparing for his role as David Wooderson, even though Dazed and Confused was 21 years ago. (Don't you feel old now?)
  • I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
What did you think? Insert your own snarky comment in the comments section.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Let's Play A Game

When I used to cashier at various places, I used to try and guess what people were doing by their purchases. It was a fun way to spend the a work shift.

If my cashier at Target played that game today, probably only chocolate would've screamed "I'M HAVING MY PERIOD!" more than my purchases.

I remember a time when I would've been embarrassed to have to bring the box of tampons up to checkout. Now I just plunk them down like a veteran.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

What if. . .?

I've been working more on the book lately. Mostly to figure out some plot and character issues and to basically rip it apart to make it better. It's simultaneously horrifying and liberating. Okay, less horrifying. I'm really enjoying doing it. I probably should've done it before I actually began the meat of the project, but I'm going to say that it's my first attempt at a novel so I'm allowed-no, EXPECTED-to take the long way around.

Anyway, one of the questions really got me thinking. The question was: "What if. . . ?"

I think that question gets a really bad connotation sometimes. Most of the time when I think of what if? it's looking backwards.

What if I had swung at the called third strike in my last travel softball game?

What if I had continued with teaching as my minor instead of German?

But the exercise for this book was more about looking forward. Making choices for the characters and seeing how they'd turn out. Taking a moment to imagine things rather than presume. Letting your mind wander. And I've found that I enjoy letting my mind wander. Taking some time to focus and think and not be bombarded with the latest text that just popped up on my phone.

We all need some time to dream. I've forgotten that in the midst of the daily grind. What if I remembered to take some time to dream?

What if. . . .?

Monday, January 06, 2014

What Every Colts Fan Felt Like This Weekend

I, and I assume all my fellow Colts fans, felt the following emotions when watching the playoff game vs. the Chiefs on Saturday. This is a fairly accurate play-by-play of emotion from kick-off until morning.

  • Let's do this! I think the Colts can win.
  • Damn, the KC offense looks better than I remember, but at least Charles is out (Sorry he got hurt though).
  • Okay, the Colts scored in return. No panic.
  • Seriously? At least it was only a field goal.
  • WTF?!? Richardson cost a first round pick and does this?!? Why isn't Donald Brown doing the running?
  • Alex Smith is making this look too easy. This might be a long night.
  • A field goal? TOUCHDOWNS, PEOPLE! We need touchdowns!!
  • Oh dear God. Another one. Down 21. Maybe this will be like the first half of the season? Maybe we'll pull it out.
  • Thank God it's halftime. KC can't score during halftime. 
  • I miss you, Tony Dungy.
  • ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!? ANOTHER turnover and ANOTHER Chiefs touchdown. Time to open up that bottle of wine. 
  • Well, at least Donald is running well. Only down 21 now.
  • Hooray! Another TD totally works. Cut it to 14. Is this something?
  • Damn. Well, at least it was only a KC field goal.
  • SWEET strip sack, Mathis! We can always count on you.
  • Fleener for the score! 
  • Give it to Donald. He hasn't fumbled in his entire NFL ca-WHAT? Wait. Oh, THANK YOU! They don't call him Luck for nothing. 
  • Can the Colts actually pull this out?
  • Phew. Another field goal. Okay, I can handle that. 
Of course, it ended with the second largest comeback in NFL playoff history. And I had to celebrate silently because Chef was asleep. 

Still worth it. 

Friday, January 03, 2014

I Wore My Good Underwear to Get My Hands X-rayed

Not so much my hand
Sometimes I've been known to not think things through the whole way. Yesterday would be one of those times. You see a few weeks ago I visited a new rheumatologist. I've had some progressively aching hands to match a hip that aches every now and again, and my dermatologist recommended it. I could deal with my hip hurting because it's just a hip. But my hands?!? No way. I use them too much.

So I went in for my appointment and because it was just my hands, I didn't expect the exam to be too invasive. But she's apparently a very thorough rheumatologist (plus she's a HUGE college basketball fan, Kansas, but I'll forgive a little rock chalk jayhawk for someone who at least knows where Indiana is). She talked through my family history, and then had me strip down to a gown and my undies for the rest of the exam.

I had not expected this and as I'm apt to do on occasion was not wearing undies. So there's that.

I vowed never to let this happen again. She ordered a bunch of x-rays on my hips, wrists and chest and I was well-prepared. So when I got called back in for my hands x-rays this week, I was ready. I went back to the radiology lab and was jumping into the room that I'd been in the week before. I put down my purse and started to take off my clothes when the tech just looked at me.

"You get to keep your clothes on today. We're just x-raying your hands."

Between the no undies and the strip down, I'm pretty sure my doctors all think that I'm an exhibitionist. Oh well, I have a gynecologist exam soon and I know they need me to be naked.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

When You Look Like Your Passport Photo. . .

On left, my photo circa 2006.
On right, my photo circa last week
"When you look like your passport photo, it's time to go home." - Erma Bombeck

I didn't know the true depth of that funny little phrase until I got my first passport for my trip to Germany about 7 years ago. I had to get my passport updated with my new name and got a chance to right the wrongs of my old photo.

I cannot believe or rather I choose not to believe that even on my worst day I looked as poorly as I did in my old photo. I'm okay with the new photo. The woman taking it messed with my bangs because she said she needed to make sure my eyes were completing showing, but other than that, I'm happy. If I actually looked like the second photo on a trip home, I'd be ecstatic because I think I look MUCH worse after travelling.

What's your passport photo look like?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Cheers to a New Year!

Mimosas for the win!
Cheers to you on this new year! May all your hopes, dreams, changes, and wishes come true.  (If you're taking note of mine, yesterday was clearly a better day to do so but I didn't mention a wish I have that clearly is not a resolution-- I wish the Colts a playoff victory this weekend. So, there's that to toast to).

One of the things I didn't make an official resolution, but I'm determined to do is the daily picture thing. I found there were long stretches of time that I didn't bother to take a picture and I know things happened. Even if I'm only walking around my house, neighborhood or workplace, I'm hoping that by taking pictures will
My actual first picture of the New Year:
Cute Khubla
help me see beauty in the everyday and get me to appreciate my surroundings a little more. I mean, I live in one of the most diverse, beautiful cities in the world, might as well take advantage of it.

So cheers to you and a year of documenting the every day!


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