November 30, 2010

Proof in the Pudge

It's been at least three years since my pants have been uncomfortably tight. So I guess I thought it was time to be uncomfortable in my own skin again. Success achieved. Question mark? What it all comes down to is I need to get some new pants or people will be able to make out the impressions of cellulite on my ass. No one wants that. (Except maybe the cellulite fetishists. I know they're out there.) But I can't afford new pants. Eye, there's the rub.

I've already started to feel the familiar and slow click of knowing when to say no to food. And not working out like I used to is making a big fatty difference. And I've been feeling stale towards Weight Watchers for a while now. It seems, though, that there is a new program in town and it may be the jolt I need in terms of tracking my food. But I wouldn't know. Because I've been trying to log onto the new website ALL DAY and it isn't working for me. All these people on the Facebook page are ranting and raving about this new program and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS HAPPENING. I'm really angry. I understand that something like this will have glitches. BUT WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? WW must have anticipated computer problems. At first I thought it was computer based, but no computer I've tried is working. I can't get past the main intro. I'm furious.

This isn't a resolution. I just need to get my act together. Again. Does anyone else have this cycle? I'd like to not feel like I'm the only person out there with such crazy weight wackiness. I don't know many other people who so obviously gain and lose weight like I do. It's annoying. Why can't I just get it and stop rollercoastering? It's so annoying.

November 29, 2010

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

Does anyone have a favorite holiday movie? We all have movies we very much enjoy when it comes to Christmas. I have my holiday canon that consists of Mr. Bean's Christmas, Love Actually, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, and Elf. If I miss movies like A Christmas Story, Planes Trains and Automobiles (I think the only reason I don't make it on the must list is because of how HARD I CRY), Prancer, et cetera I'm okay with it. If I catch them bonus. There is one movie, however, that if I don't watch it at least once in a Christmas season the whole season is rendered a total bust. And that movie is Scrooged.

I'm sure I've covered this before. There's no way I haven't. But I'm too lazy to look through the archives. And it's been at least a year so for those of you who've been around that long you've probably forgotten. Besides, I don't care. I love this movie that much. It is a work of genius. It's appropriately sarcastic, heartwarming, funny, sad, festive and bah humbug. It truly encompasses everything I love about Christmas. And it's impeccable thanks to Bill Murray. He's hilarious. And touching. And kind of sexy... For a movie made in 1988 it is timeless and frighteningly prescient at times. A Christmas movie where Santa fights assassins? I swear I saw a commercial for that on Spike last week.

A year or so ago Mike and I went with our friend Jessica to see it at a local movie theatre that shows old movies for cheap. And she'd never seen it. NEVER KNOWN OF IT. First of all, it's like Home Alone in that television stations will air it all times of the year and second of all, really? No idea? Here's the preview in case some of you are in the same boat. I hope you can watch it. I'll be watching my worn out VHS until the cows come home. Moo.

November 28, 2010


I posted the original of this song in my post about fall jams that I really enjoyed. Here is an amazing cover by one of my music idols, Damon Albarn.

Credit to Mike for Finding This TOTAL GEM!

November 26, 2010

Barely Made It

I almost went to bed without writing a post!!

A few months before Mike and I became engaged, we went to his family weekend reunion in Beaverkill, NY. Like previous family get togethers a group picture was taken. I was the only significant other to make it from reunion to reunion and there was a new fiance of a cousin in this year. The significant others were always included in the picture in years before. Well, at Beaverkill Grandpa decided that one family picture was going to be taken with the fiance and me included and that another was to be taken without us. But he didn't tell anyone until he announced that fiance and I were to leave the photo. I retreated to my room to wallow in my very public ostracization. I understood- he had no idea which significant other was going to stick and he had all these family photos with jack-asses who were no longer around. I just thought it was clear I would stick.

Well, I did and the other fiance didn't. I actually married Grandpa's first grandson. And when grandpa and grandson were chatting today, Mike found out that Grandpa is crafty with an exacto knife. Grandpa cut my picture out of the shot that included the ex-fiance and myself and taped me into the picture that had neither of us. And he did such a good job that no one noticed until he pointed it out. Grandpa went back to retroactively include me while simultaneously excluding the other dude. Crafty in multiple ways.

Can you tell that I'm missing a torso? Otherwise pretty good, no?

November 25, 2010

Memories of the Way We Were

My mother told me about the first time she made pumpkin pie from scratch. She was probably 18 and didn't realize that when the recipe read cloves, it meant ground cloves. When her family bit into the pie only to find that their pie was extra crunchy, they were none too happy. She told me through peals of laughter and it was lovely to hear her tell me about her youthful gaff.

I wish more went wrong when I was growing up. It seems one only remembers what went wrong- be it a funny mishap or even something not so funny. I don't remember much of many Thanksgivings growing up. They were fairly uneventful and therefore all the same. Perhaps I should just be grateful that the drama didn't begin until my parents split up. No. I AM grateful. After the divorce, the holidays went to pot. There was the one where my stepmother disinvited me to Thanksgiving and my father and I had to spend it in my mother's house while my mother was out of town. There was the turkey day when my brother and sister spit out the corn bread I made from scratch because they didn't like it. And there were the Thanksgivings that shall remain unnamed.

There will be more Thanksgivings that will be successful. Mike and I will have children and we can begin our own Thanksgivings. I can host friends and families. I can drink wine while cooking and laugh my way through dinner. It will become memorable again. But for all the right reasons.

November 24, 2010

Me Oh My I Love Pie

On Tuesday I asked my mother in law if she had done all the shopping for Thanksgiving and if not, what could I be responsible for? She asked me to pick up a pumpkin pie. Now, I know she means pick up a pie at the store and that she's not being passive aggressive and infer that she wants me to make her one totally from scratch. But what do I hear? "Katherine, Thanksgiving will fail this year if you don't make a pumpkin pie from total scratch. You MUST SAVE THIS HOLIDAY WITH YOUR PIE." I bought some pie pumpkins for Halloween decoration and thought this pie recipe I found would be a great way to use one. And I was right. However, it's 1:20am and I'm up waiting for my pie to finish cooking. Oh the things I do for familial acceptance.

On one hand the pie will be done and I don't have to worry about it. On the other hand, I'm effing tired. I'm trying to see the silver lining of being up right now. For example, this post will count for a new, fresh day. Also, there was so much extra pie filling that I made pumpkin muffins and a little crustless pie. But. BUT! I'm afraid this pie is going to be not so good because I forgot to put three tablespoons of shortening in the crust or three tablespoons of butter to replace it. It was east to work with and it's pie crust- the filling is what counts, yes? I'm gonna say yes. Does shortening keep? I'd hardly ever use it.

Are there any dishes you're looking forward to on Thursday? I like the pumpkin pie (obvi), green bean casserole, mashed turnips and mashed potatoes. There's very little I won't try or eat but cranberry sauce is something I most certainly will pass up. Just never got into it. Unless my sister made it from scratch using an old school kitchen grinder. Then there was something awesome and special about it. So in the spirit of self discovery I found out that a dish I avoid holds a significant memory for me. How cool.

I will of course blog on Thanksgiving. But I want you to know, that I wish you the most warm, comforting and thankful Thanksgiving yet. Enjoy.

November 23, 2010

For Those Wondering

My time was 3:01:49. Fifteen minutes longer than last year. Sad panda. But if you take out an eight minute bathroom rest stop, that's only seven more than last year. And that's not bad considering lack of training and hills.

OH THE HILLS. It was as if the hills were strategically placed to make everyone want to cry. And some did. I was one of them.

Miles seven and eight went by fast! I couldn't believe when I saw the mile markers. It made me smile a mile wide.

I think mile 5 was my fastest because that's about when I took the bathroom break and needed to find my pace buddy. I kept losing pace buddies because of the break and then there were so many people! SO MANY.

There were some great signs. Like, "You paid for this?" But my favorite sign has to be "13.2 would just be ridiculous."

My dream before the race had to do with the fact that I was in the last heat. I dreamt I was late for the race and when I caught up everyone ahead of us was gone leaving us in a wasteland. And the only people in my heat were old as crap folks and people with walkers. Yeah. I have no faith in my ability. But I'm working on that.

November 22, 2010

Taking What I Can Get

My foot is elevated at my desk tonight because I think I really effed up my arch by running in really old shoes. My hip isn't in a terrible amount of pain but that leg hurts on the whole more than the leg with the effed up foot. Why didn't I wear my inserts? Oh that's right, they hurt and cause huge blisters. Then again, I should try normal running with dry socks instead of when my socks are wet from the swimming part of my triathlon training. Maybe that's why I get blisters on my arches... Hmmm.

When I badly sprained my ankle a few years back I found out my arches were bad. But I had no idea HOW bad. Apparently I have the flattest feet my podiatrist has ever seen. And he's not a new podiatrist. He actually raised his eyebrows when he took a fancy foot picture of my arches. When a doctor raises eyebrows I get concerned. For some reason, I don't take pride in my incredibly freakish feet. If my feet were Roman aqueducts entire civilizations would have died.

My dad always said he has totally flat feet. I have no clue how he got in the military with such offensive anatomy but whatever, he got in. I never felt the need to check into his claim. Why would he lie about that? It's not like it scored him any chicks. Well, I never really understood when he said flat, or should I say how literal he was being, until I saw the "elevation" picture of my feet when I first went to the podiatrist. Where there should be arches there was nothing. Looking at something that appears to be a map of the barely varying depths of the ocean floor is instead my lack of correct physiology. Total bummer.

What terrifies me the most is not the fact that my arches ached two miles into the race- it's that the arches affect the way I hold my feet- which affects the way I walk- which affects my back. And all the bones and joints in between. Spraining my ankle appeared to be a good thing when I learned to walk less pronated and use my inserts. But now all I worry about is an impending hip replacement. And ironically, my high rate of activity isn't going to improve my chances. But I guess I'll take a new hip because I used it to much (albeit incorrectly) than from just being old and fat.

November 21, 2010

Homemade Halloween Costume

I'm tired. So can you guess what we are? Surprisingly, some people couldn't. And please keep it appropriate. You pack of pervs. And if you so want, I'll tell you how we made them.

November 20, 2010

I'm Gonna Eat My Cake. And Cookies. And Cheese.

Tomorrow is the Philadelphia Half-Marathon (Marathon for Mike) and I am really excited! I haven't been training like I should but since I did the twelve on Monday and felt the same way I did when I ran twelve last year I'm feeling fairly confident. Also, there are at least three other friends running in it. I think there's a fourth but I haven't touched base with her about the race yet so I don't know if we're hanging out at all beforehand. But I'm sure another friend has and we'll all be together running a distance that people should only run in an emergency. Excellent!

I'm also excited just to see my friends. To be the cherry on top of this cake I won't feel bad about working out- because we'll be doing it at the same time! Whenever we all get together it's a really, really fantastic time. Since I have to work so much around Thanksgiving next week I might not be able to see everyone who will be there tomorrow. Big bummer. But since we're together tomorrow? Very small bummer. Sunday night's going to be a night of eating and drinking debauchery. Since I don't have to work until the afternoon and Mike is taking Monday off, we can have a nice, relaxing time. Eating almost anything we want. (He can eat whatever he wants. Me not so much but I'll come close.) Man I cannot wait!

As for Mike- I don't think he's as excited. Though he did 22 miles last week and could walk not too long after I know he's going to do so great! I am really thrilled for him. He's going to have a great route and he's going to keep a great pace. I need to make a sign for him and have one of our designated non-running friends (who thinks we're nuts) to hold the sign. I would get so sick of carrying a sign for 2.5 hours. I mean, I'd throw it away and all my glittery hard work would be for naught.

So. Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you all about it. Or maybe just post a pic of the before and a pic of the after. How's that?

November 19, 2010

Got Nothing

I got nothing today because I just want to sleep. I don't even want to eat bad food. I just want to be warm again- something that is proving elusive. So here's what you get:
  1. If you find yourself with a wilty head of lettuce, non-iceberg lettuce, all you need to do is chop off a thin layer from the stem and put the lettuce in a cup of water. After all, the lettuce is a living plant and putting it in water freshens it up. The lettuce will crisp up and it's like you just found the freshest head of lettuce ever. This may or may not work depending on how wilted the lettuce is. The sooner you discover it's wilting the better.
  2. I think that The Lion King is a piece of crap. I hate it. Yeah yeah yeah- it's based on Hamlet. And I like Hamlet. But I think that The Lion King makes it cheap and stupid. The song writing is schmaltzy and lazy. "Hakuna Matata?" More like kiss my ass.
  3. The Neti Pot is the second GREATEST non-over the counter medicine remedy ever. It really works. I swear by it. The first? Ear candles. Open flames near the ear? Um... Open flames that make the pain and pressure go away? Yes please!
  4. A great, quick dinner is to chop up some chicken sausages of whichever variety- Italian, feta and spinach, smoked apple, etc- and bake it in pre-cooked polenta at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or so. You can add vegetables or fruit based on the sausage. It's a cheap, filling and tasty meal.
  5. My cat is the prettiest kitty in all the land.

November 18, 2010

I've Got to Wear Shades

Today I got to shadow the manager of Market Block Books in Troy. When I contacted the owner of The Bookhouse in Albany she suggested I shadow the manager of the Troy store because it's smaller and I would be able to see more stuff hands-on. After some confusing phone calls the date was set for November 18th. TODAY! I was really nervous about it because I didn't want to be in the way. Perhaps even be a help of some kind. Well, not only was I not a bother, I learned some stuff and was something of a help!

I planned my bus route to get me there right at 10am when the store opened. I was a little early so I headed into the local health store to get some homeopathic head cold stuff because my throats is starting to itch. And now I'm all stuffy and my eyes are swimming in haze. But that's beside the point. I walked right in and asked Stanley, the manager, if he was ready for me. He looked a little surprised and I realized he forgot. I asked him if he remembered and he said he had forgotten but it was still okay. We'd go to the bank and get some tea. And that's exactly what we did.

The rest of the day was simply great. I got to check a section for the correct books, do some shelving, and see the joy in Stanley's eyes when regulars came in to pick up their orders. I cannot wait to have my own store. Today taught me that yes, it's crazy to run a bookstore, but it will be so rewarding and everything I thought it would be. This is going to be awesome.

November 17, 2010

Is There a Twelve Step Program for This?

I have this on-going problem with having great disdain for women I really look up to. It's the jealousy and admiration tug-of-warring in my mind and heart that makes me be stupid and irrational about the following:

Gwenyth Paltrow is beautiful, can sing, can act and is Be-Fri with Beyonce. She has deep fryers in each kitchen- her English kitchens and her American kitchens. Oh and backyard pizza ovens. She's married to the lead singer and songwriter of Coldplay so her children probably already know how to write top 40 hits while reciting Shakespeare with their cute little half-American/half-British accents. Ms. Paltrow admits to eating like a normal person who simply cleanses and works out a lot for movies and stuff. That and she's naturally skinny. She didn't have to take archery or horse riding lessons for Emma because she had all the lessons she needed in prep school. She appears to be really generous and kind and I want to be her friend and throw red wine at her blonde hair all at the same time. That inner conflict makes me convert my confusion into hate and then project it onto her. And it's not fair. Or nice.

The Queen to-be of England, Kate Middleton, is my age. She comes from self-made millionaires and met Prince Willy at University where they did college things like normal people. Well as normal as the future King of England can be. Ms. Middleton wants to be in fashion and has recently interned in fashion houses. She and Willy have broken up and gotten back together as much as any college-aged lovers and that makes me think that she knows what she wants. And that takes bravery if it means dumping your country's future sovereign. But that's not what makes me evergreen with jealousy. She's beautiful. If I could look like anyone else, it would BE Kate Middleton. And oh, do I wish I didn't look like myself. Her taste in clothing is impeccable, the English love her and she's down to Earth and simply FUCKING LOVELY. I want to be her friend. Oh the laughs we would have over bottles of red wine. Except our lives will never intercept and I must admire and loathe her from a distance.

Who doesn't know the face of the Harvard-educated and incredibly articulate Natalie Portman? I don't have such an issue with her as I do the other women in my list but what's a list with only two items on it? So I added her. She's pretty, wears ethical clothing and jewelry, picks fantastic film projects and I don't know if you've noticed- has a PERFECT FACE. I don't think there is anything physically imperfect about her. She sucks.

Yes. I only have a problem with these women because I am insecure and unhappy. But that's okay. I don't have the money they do and that entitles me to be bitter. Except it doesn't. There is no excuse for me to dislike or, frankly, like these women. I don't know them. All I know is what I read and project onto them. But you know what? I think they are all wonderful. And how can one strive to be better without role models?

November 16, 2010

Or Stupid Enough?

My friends who had the baby boy had his baptism on Sunday and were kind enough to invite us to share in this very special day for them. Mike and I carpooled with our other friends who were invited, Pat and Lyndy, and we all sat together in the church pew. We take stock of who else is there. We see some parents and some other friends but not everyone is accounted for. Mike asked me if I saw our friend Jeff's dad anywhere in the church. Jeff's parents are divorced and his father has a habit of dating younger and younger women. His current girlfriend is Jeff's age and since he lives far away he's a mythological creature to us. Besides, we didn't know if he'd make the trip for his grandson's baptism- not being a Catholic himself, Jeff's dad may or may not care. We don't know.

I asked Pat if he saw Jeff's dad and he agreed with the hypothesis that he wouldn't make the trip. I replied, "Here's how we find out: we look for the youngest woman here and whoever is with her is Jeff's dad." The final words leave my mouth as Pat grabs my knee and the young woman in front of us turns her head to look in my direction. She doesn't look directly at me but I realize that there is something wonky going on here. Pat, with tears of laughter in his eyes, tell me that the man sitting DIRECTLY in front of me is Jeff's dad. That can't be, I think. He has much longer hair. He would be in a closer pew. I COULDN'T HAVE JUST SAID THAT WITH HIM RIGHT THERE.

But I did.

He turns just enough for me to confirm that yes, that is the dude who boffs women young enough to be his daughter. And somehow I made myself out to be the bigger asshole. I begin to cry out of mortification and hyperventilate to Mike that I had to go to the back of the church. He offered to go with me but assured me no one else heard the comment since he nor Lyndy heard my comment. But Pat reiterated that no, the comment was not missed. I wanted to puke. In the Catholic Mass there comes a moment when everyone turns to their neighbors amongst the pews and that means he would turn around and I would have to face this man. Literally. Luckily there was some shifting of bodies when people moved around to check out the baptism. And I was spared.

Everyone involved decided Jeff had to hear the story as soon as possible. It was just too "awesome" to wait until after the brunch. So we told him over plates of ziti and baked chicken. He laughed and said, "I'm glad you told me this now because I wanted to introduce you to her. You all run marathons and I thought you'd like to talk about it. Now, not so much."

After yelling the f-bomb in conversation next to two grandmothers all that was left was for me to desecrate the church. But at that point it was too late. So much for the trifecta. I guess I blew it. Word on the street is I'm not invited to the next one. Maybe that is the safest option.

November 15, 2010

Am I Ready? Sure, Why Not?

Today I ran twelve miles. And for twelve miles it felt pretty good. I ran a totally new route through three surrounding Albany suburbs. The weather was just right- cloudy with a slight breeze. I wanted more Vitamin D but I still got to be outside for about three hours breathing relatively fresh air (I ran along some pretty well traveled roads with TRUCKS!) I was afraid of my hip acting up because when I planned a 9 mile run my hip starting twinging at 6 miles and by mile 8 I had pain like never before and called it quits after 8.5- not a huge cut I know but the route I planned made it that way. I had to do today's run since the half-marathon in Philadelphia is on Sunday and I've been a terrible weekend warrior. So I had to do it to make sure I'd be okay. And to see how my hip would hold up.

Turns out it held up well, actually. I realized my shoes probably played a bigger role than I thought when my hip started to hurt after one hour of simply standing in them. I had another pair that I use for my triathlons since I don't care if they get wet and I realized I probably didn't put in as many miles with that pair as I did in the pair I've been using. I figured I'd give the triathlon pair a go today and if my hip hurt well then I would be simply screwed. I looked for the telltale ache around 3.5 miles and there was a little but nothing as sharp as before- so I worked on my form to see if moving a different way would help. I think it paid off because I only experienced the normal aches and pains. I know I won't take three hours for the race even though it will be another 1.1 miles. The adrenaline will help carry me through, I'll have a running buddy and it will be a totally new route that I can't landmark (that way I can't focus too much on distance and just run.)

Since it was a running route that I'd never done I made sure I knew where my three turns were. Well, I forgot that there was an additional turn I could've made. I couldn't remember if I ran until a street stopped and then turned or if the street continued and I had to turn before it ended. I found myself at a literal cross-roads asking little old ladies if I had to go straight to a street or if I was standing on the street. The first car gave me two answers (which were both right but I asked the wrong question- how to get to the grocery store when I really needed to know how to get to a certain street.) So I asked another nice old lady. I felt like such a creep! But they were all really nice and strangely all had a hard time opening their automatic windows.

All in all I'm no longer so terrified of Sunday. I think it will be good. The weather should be temperate and the crowd amazing. There's thousands of people doing these two races so it should be super exciting! And then Mike can drink beer again and I can stop feeling guilty for not sticking to a training plan. Sweet!

November 12, 2010

How to Heal Thyself?

Have you ever felt so lonely that your chest feels like a hole? Filled with nothing but a suffocating emptiness? More than I would like it happens to me. I don't even know how to talk about it. All I know is it's there and the depth of it radiates outward enveloping those around me. The cat doesn't notice that much but Mike does. And I don't know what to do other than retreat into myself to let the hole fill itself with trifles and distractions.

I've dealt with this waxing and waning for long enough to know that I'm the only one who can help myself. And to help myself I need to reach out to others. But that's exactly the last thing I want to do. I want to wallow because in my past experience wallowing has given me the time for introspection and resolve. Lately that time isn't working. It was so that all I had to do was have a good cry or a good night in by myself to sort it out. Now it's taking longer than I'm comfortable with.

Smiling doesn't come as naturally to me anymore. It takes more work for those around me to help me out of my funks. Those around me deserve better. But I don't think that I do.

November 11, 2010

Who Doesn't Want to Feel Pretty?

Baking is something I've always enjoyed. Starting at age ten I would just start baking. Somehow my mother had no problem with that... Anyway, I didn't burn the house down or anything so it turns out she was right. Hear that Universe, she was RIGHT! (I need some karma points. But I really mean it. Really.) I kept baking when I got my own apartment. I didn't do too much scratch baking in college- I made a lot of muffins from a box. But I baked nevertheless.

When I started Weight Watchers AGES ago (I'm so tired of it) I started cooking for myself. I really couldn't tell you what I ate before WW. I made a lot of stuff from total scratch. And loved it. It would take me hours to make something that now takes me no time at all, even if it's a new recipe. It was learning the quick ways to chop vegetables and fruit that made it easier for me. And now that I've been doing it for so long has made it easier for me to know what goes well with what. So I'm turning into quite the connoisseur of herbs paired with meat.

I'm always looking for new stuff to try so when my friend Teresa started her food blog I kept my eye out. I stopped cooking frequently for a while but recently I relish the time to make a real dinner and I've been on her blog almost every day. It helps that she posts every day. She puts her attempts at making recipes she finds all over the place. I made her peanut butter-chocolate chip-oatmeal cookies and they were AWESOOOOOME! And tonight I made the kale/chicken hand pies she adapted from Martha Stewart. I haven't eaten them yet but let's just see how they look:

Hers looked less like diseased balls of dough and more like this. What is the matter with my cooking? I mean it was really nummers and I would make it again (only remembering to chop the kale up more) but why can't my food be pretty too?

November 10, 2010

I Need a New Kind of Harmony

Today I presented my business plan for the panel of judges. I wish I could say I killed it- that I totally won them over with my whimsy and business savvy. Maybe I did. But I don't think so. I was my usual quirky yet pointed self. I got a few chuckles with my little aside about how moving here for my now-husband five years ago luckily worked out and each judge made comments and had questions- even made eye contact. So it's not as if I feel like I presented to a bunch of disinterested ass-holes. I just feel kind of empty about it.

Thing is I was really psyched about making a case for my business plan. Not totally because I think I have the most banging plan- after I turned it in I realized some things I could've put in or changed. (That's okay because that means I can make those changes before I start peddling for money.) But because I love making presentations- it's a different kind of performance I can make. I love performing. I really miss getting up and engaging people, whether I can see the people or not.

Every once in a while I feel that I should get back into a choir. Find a nice group of people who just like to sing together and have a new creative outlet. I used to love, LOVE, being in a choir. Something about human voices blending together to create something new really makes the world seem brighter. I just have so little time that I'm afraid if I give myself another commitment, even one that would make me a happier person, I will really start to strain myself. Then again, I won't know if I don't try. And I think it may be time I do.

November 9, 2010

Fire Up the Quattro

When Mike and I got DVR I discovered that opened up BBC America to us. Holy crap was I excited. BBC had a great little Friday night comedy line-up with Coupling, Little Britain, Hardware, and Spaced. Each show was really enjoyable and awesome. But once the shows' series were run through BBC America decided to stop showing comedy shows- like the UK runs out of comedy shows, I mean REALLY- and showing total crap. The channel now pretty much only shows Gordon Ramsay programs, reality shows and Top Gear. The news programs are great and all but otherwise it really kind of stinks.

Those shows aren't bad. They are quality reality shows. It's just that reality television isn't really our bag. My problem is that British television is solid. The Brits now when to put a good thing down. And knowing when to quit makes for strong shows with pointed storytelling. The shows that we're lucky to catch- like Spaced, Ashes to Ashes, being human, and Little Britain- are just amazing. But since we don't watch the channel outright the only way to know when these programs are on again is to stalk the BBC America website. That's fine and all but come on! Why does the station make it that difficult to watch them?

It's such a waste that the station is now showing marathons of Star Trek: The Next Generation when it could be showing the third season of Ashes to Ashes or the first seasons of The Trip or Psychoville. I get the feeling that the station assumes it's not worth showing other stuff since no one watches. But I know lots of people who would/do! ME! So, yes, I enjoy the occasional Doctor Who episode- Emily and I watched it instead of this year's Super Bowl. But there's more to the BBC than that. So show me what you can really offer BBC. I'm waiting.

November 8, 2010

What a Champ He Is

In order to get ready for my business I signed up with the Albany/Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce for a class they have about making a winning business plan. I already had the bulk of my business plan together but I decided to take the course anyhow because I would meet a lot of different people who could help me and teach me all kinds of things I didn't think about. It's proven to be really great. The only problem I have with the class is that it's Tuesday and Wednesday nights and since I work on Tuesday nights I miss half of the classes. I get all the materials from the classes I miss and I'm able to meet with different presenters outside of class so I feel it's not really an issue missing the class.

There were some classes, however, that I really wanted to be able to attend but I couldn't get off of work to make it happen. I asked the course coordinator, who is really very accommodating, if Mike could attend some specific classes in my place. She said that yes, he could go for two classes. So I asked Mike if he wouldn't mind doing that for me and he was, no problem-totally. When I found out that the marketing class involved a presentation of my marketing plan I got him as prepared for class as much as I could. I felt terrible. He's in front of people all day so it's not as if he gets stage fright but I thought it pretty stinky that he couldn't just take notes. But! When he was giving me the post-mortem of the course it turns out he got sandwich wraps from the girl who wants to open a restaurant and he got cake from the girl who wants to open a bakery! So he got rewarded. And it turns out he's a hit with the ladies in class. When I went the next night they told me how great he was and how nice he is and oh, what a great job he did.

The next class I asked him to go to was about how to make a good presentation to the panel of judges. (This is also a competition for the best business plan. The winner gets a $1,000 grant and a free membership to the Chamber; second place gets a printer and third place gets some computer classes.) Unbeknown to me there was a presentation in this class as well. And food. This time the class got pizza. I think it's funny how he ends up making presentations but getting food. I didn't either make presentations of get food. And I paid for it!

Truly, I don't mind. I'm glad that he got something out of the classes. He did me a huge favor, twice, and got thanks from me and from the Universe. Grateful is the way to be.

November 7, 2010

We're Moving Up

This year NaBloPoMo has said it's okay to have wordless weekends. So today I'm posting a music video that I found thanks to Pandora. I hope you like it like I do. The rest of the album is pretty great as well.

Two Door Cinema Club with "Something Good Can Work"

November 6, 2010

Collect the Moments One By One

Feist's "Mushaboom" was what I woke up to on my alarm this morning. It's a lovely little ditty about one's dreams versus the reality of the situation. I find it oddly perfect for how I feel about my life. There is so much I'd like to do, feel like I have to do, but what I really want at the end of the day is to sit by a fire on a winter's night with my husband and kids.

Helping the kids out of their coats
But wait the babies haven't been born oh
Unpacking the bags and setting up
And planting lilacs and buttercups oh

But in the meantime we've got it hard
Second floor living without a yard
It may be years until the day
My dreams will match up with my pay

Old dirt road,
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
knee deep snow
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
Watching the fire as we grow
(mushaboom, mushaboom)

I got a man to stick it out
And make a home from a rented house oh
And we'll collect the moments one by one
I guess that's how the future's done oh

How many acres, how much light
Tucked in the woods and out of sight
Talk to the neighbours and tip my cap
On a little road barely on the map

Old dirt road,
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
knee deep snow
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
Watching the fire as we grow,
mushaboom, mushaboom)
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
Old dirt road rambling rose
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
Watching the fire as we grow
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
Well I'm Soldddddddddddddddd

Yep. That sounds about right. Sigh.

November 5, 2010

I Still Prefer My Chai as a Latte

NBC's new show Outsourced baffles me. It takes place in an American call center located in India. I assume Mumbai. I can't tell what it's going for. Is it engaging a new audience in Indian-Americans? Is it a new way to make culturally insensitive jokes? Is it a new context for tasteless jokes? I haven't figured it out yet. I can't tell if it truly represents Indian people. I watch it though. I want to support cultural diversity in my television. But I can't tell if it's actually being culturally diverse or being ignorant. Or even if it's accurate. I suppose I keep watching it in order to put my finger on what bothers me about it.

On the other hand, I love Indian culture. You know, besides the caste system and all. I have two Bollywood dance work-out DVDs, watch Bollywood movies, went to a Bollywood dance tour, practice yoga and meditation (most days) and fucking love Indian food. Oh do I love Indian food. It's the one cuisine I have a hard time convincing Mike to eat. It's the spices that get in the way. So he says. Whatever. I probably wouldn't eat that much of it anyway since it's not the healthiest. It's all my daily calories in one meal. One delicious, life affirming meal.

So here's this show that can expand a lot of American's view of the world, but in the context of taking American jobs overseas. I don't think that's the best way. I do appreciate the knocks on American culture and ignorance. The jokes aren't the smartest or funniest but they are there to be made. If this show fails it will be a long time before networks try for diversity. Margaret Cho's show was amusing but since being taken off the air there hasn't been anything for Asian-Americans. It's decades between shows featuring Hispanic people. It's 2010 and television is still very white. (And upper class for that matter. I miss Roseanne.) How long will it take before television can really represent people again?

November 4, 2010

And We'll Celebrate With Burritos

For four years I hated my job. HATED. I worked for a place with such bad juju it affected my life in ways it shouldn't have. Though a little part of me died each time I walked in the front door I don't regret it. I don't regret the people I've met and all the wonderful experiences I've had because of it. For example, my friend Sarah got press passes to Duncan Sheik's new musical and took me to see it. And it was amazing. I even got to meet Two-fer from 30 Rock and Duncan Sheik himself. (That's huge. I almost played his debut CD down to a pulp I loved it that much.) It's a job that I wish I never had yet wouldn't be who I am without it.

One of the amazing people I met while working there is organizing a read-a-thon of To Kill a Mockingbird to raise funds for a literacy group in the Albany area. She asked me to be a reader and I've never been so honored. I'm up at 7:00 on Saturday and I, shockingly, don't know what to do with myself. Do I embrace my ancestry and read with a Southern accent? Or just do a Southern accent for the voices? I was advised to just do the voices and keep it real the rest of the time.

I'm going to confess something to you all. I've never read To Kill a Mockingbird. I've seen the play and I know the story. But the book and I never crossed paths. There were many books that weren't on my required reading list. Catch 22, The Sea and the Fury, Animal Farm, Catcher in the Rye. I've read many of them since. And I've liked most. Don't get me started on Catcher in the Rye. Seriously, don't. So I picked up TKaM in order to prepare for the reading and OMG I LOVE IT. I was immediately taken with the cadence of the prose. I felt like I was putting on a comfortable pair of jeans after wearing pantyhose all day. Every time I pick the book up I'm taken to a better place. It's wonderful.

This event is going to be big for me on many levels. I get to do something for a cause that deeply matters to me. That there are adults who can't experience what I do when I pick up a book like TKaM breaks my heart. My friend/mentor Karen was a volunteer with the literacy group. I loved hearing about her time with her mentee because she was directly helping someone better herself. It was inspiring. This event also gets be to sort of perform again. Though it's 20 minutes of me reading, it's 20 minutes of me using my voice- something I've told sounds pretty cool.

It's safe to say that Saturday will be a very good day. I can't wait.

November 3, 2010

Ramble Bamble

It is 9:19am and I've already done my workout (35 minute swim), got ready for the day, gone grocery shopping for the next two weeks and made breakfast and lunch. I'm exhausted. However, this means once I'm out of work I'm FREE!!!!


Now it's 8:11pm and I really don't think I can make it much longer. I thought I would watch a French movie since Mike's not around and bake some cookies. Well, I've baked half the batch and will not be able to watch the movie. In fact, I think all the blood that should be in my brain is now in my stomach because I ate more Taco Bell than a pregnant woman with an aversion to vegetables. I didn't need to. But I wanted all this stuff. I'm not upset about anything. I can't even blame emotional eating. I blame gluttony. And lack of judgment at home. Not that Mike judges me. Or so he says.

At least I've been working out consistently. If I go to sleep in the few minutes I expect I will then I will get enough sleep to work out tomorrow morning. And not eat food all day. Holy crap that was a lot of Taco Bell. Man, I can really put food away. My mother called me her little garbage disposal. I wasn't even a very good one. But dude, did that moniker do a number on my psyche. Oh my God no matter what I do my kids will think I fucked up with something. Why even try? That is a question for the therapist I cannot afford. I miss my therapist.

I got to play with a baby today. The little guy cried more than he didn't. That sucked. Especially since my friend who held him said he was the quietest little dude ever. Yeah. Maybe that's why I ate all the Taco Bell. Babies hate me. That's why I won't try. If my children can't even like me when they depend on me for total sustenance then why would they like me when they can get their own food? Balls.

November 2, 2010

How Old Am I?

Mike asked me if I wanted to run in the Stockade-athon 15k this Sunday. I said I would. I didn't do so hot last year but I did it. We want to use the race as part of our training for the Philadelphia half-marathon. He's going for speed I'm going for stamina. But then again, he always goes for speed and I always go for stamina. I'm so slow he'll never run with me in a race. It gets pretty lonely.

I get it. He's faster than I am and running with me would really, really get in the way of his goals. And at least we stand at the start-line together and he'll wait for me at the finish line. It just sucks how slow I am. I've been spotty with my training but even when I'm on my game I'm at best a 10:30 mile. He runs an 8:30. So it's a huge slow-down for him. And I'm just whining about something kind of silly. Right?

Anyway, lately my right hip has been hurting me after my run. Yesterday I did a comfortable and enjoyable 5 mile run. Today I thought I would build on it and do 7 miles or so. But when I was not very far into it my left Achilles Tendon started to ache and my hip was twinging. So I ended up doing 1.5 miles because pain=no gain. I want to gain so I stopped with the pain. And went to vote earlier than I had planned. Where I was almost on television picking my underwear out of my ass.

November 1, 2010

How Did it Go? Eh.

The Harvest Cleanse started for me on Saturday, the 23rd, and ended Friday, the 29th. To be specific, it ended at 4:45pm on Friday. I couldn't take not eating anymore and had some popcorn. Then I had macaroni and cheese for dinner. I was starving! STARVING. For breakfast I had a pear with some almonds. Then for lunch I had a few bites of a left-over squash meal that did not reheat well in a microwave. For a snack, I had an apple and some peanut butter. The day before was not much better. So there is no hyperbole when I say STARVING.

A mental post-mortem brought me to the realization that all week I've been eating the same textures. Textures that I can only have in moderation on a good day. Legumes and squash and baked fruit is fine if I only have one serving a day. If it's all I have in a day I start to gag. It got to the point that I just forced myself to eat things. Nothing tasted bad. It all tasted really wonderful. But if I had to eat one more lentil soup I was going to vomit. I couldn't even force down the salad I made to eat with the mac and cheese.

I could've just eaten some more apples or made some hummus but really, at that point I had so little energy I couldn't do much. Mike actually microwaved the popcorn for me because I was lying on the couch drooling in exhaustion. I was looking forward to going on a run when I got home because it was such a lovely day but there was no way it was going to happen. I would've collapsed 100 years in.

Though I ended my cleanse a few hours early, and then ate like a fat person on death row the next day, I still did a great thing for my body. Besides, I went to a birthday party, a breakfast, and a book club without eating anything that wasn't on the cleanse. I really pushed myself. And learned that I have waaaay too much sugar in my diet. Oh my God that headache was all abot sugar withdrawal. So, let's see if I can cut that back. No more ice cream and only one hot chocolate a week. I can do this!