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Archive for January, 2009

This is your challenge, should you choose to accept it:

  1. I need some new workout tunes. Preferably something upbeat that will inspire me to keep running when I feel like quitting. What should my next music purchase be?
  2. I don’t watch a lot of TV. I don’t have cool channels like HBO or Showtime. I don’t have a DVR. Just last summer I watched my first ever episode of The Sopranos on DVD. I finally finished Season Six a couple of months ago. Since then, I have also watched Seasons 1 & 2 of Dexter. What other awesome TV shows should I put into my Blockbuster queue?
  3. I’m pale. It’s unnattractive. I don’t like tanning beds. Please recommend a sunless tanner that won’t turn my skin orange or leave streaks.
  4. I’m thinking of taking up a new hobby. Which one should I choose?  A) learn to play guitar B) learn to play drums C) learn Spanish D) learn to shoot a gun     (You thought I was going to say stuff like “learn to cook” or “learn to play golf” or “learn to scrapbook” didn’t you? Nope, I’m a rebel maverick).

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Less Winter, More Football

After my last post, I thought I was pretty much done bitching about the winter weather. Unfortunately for you, I wasn’t.

It took me over an hour to get home last night. A commute which typically takes me about 25 minutes. It didn’t appear as if the roads had even been TOUCHED by the DOT, so I essentially slid my entire way home. My vehicle is not four wheel drive, however it does have traction control which seemed to help. So that was last night. Then this morning, I showered and got dressed, thinking I’d be able to just drive through my snowy driveway and make my way to work. Wrong. There was no way I was going to make it out of or back into my driveway without shoveling it first. Shoveling a driveway isn’t THAT bad, unless you can park three full-size vehicles (maybe four) bumper to bumper in it. I got my workout in for the day, that’s for damn sure.

Although I will say there is one good thing about winter. A friend shared this image with me earlier:

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Can you see that? In the snow? Let’s zoom in.

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Heh. I am easily amused.

In other news, today is my nephew’s fourth birthday and this week is very special for him.

1) Monday was his INCREDIBLE fourth birthday party. Check out his suit.

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 The whole family wore suits just like this, I heard. I wasn’t there. They live hundreds of miles away, so I only get pictures, just like every other far-away aunt. Sigh.

2) Today is his actual birthday, which means more cake, cookies, presents, etc. And he should receive his present from us tomorrow. It’s a pretty awesome Transformers toy. I kind of wanted to keep it.

3) Sunday is the Super Bowl which is a very big deal to a boy who is named after one of the teams competing this year (and his name is not Arizona, Cardinals, or Pittsburgh). In fact, he’s a pretty big football fanatic in general. At just 3 1/2, this kid could name every football team in the NFL just by looking at the logo. He is also the first to tell you that if you like any team other than the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Ohio Buckeyes, then your team “stinks.” He’s not afraid. He just tells it like it is. So if you have no allegiance to the Arizona Cardinals, I suggest you root for the Steelers this year. If for no other reason than not making this little boy cry, because if they lose, I’m pretty sure he will. Just sayin’. No pressure.

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Winter can suck it.

Seriously. Any “winter lovers” can just stop reading right now, because you will find no love for the brutally cold, sunless season here. And trust me, this is not just me being a pansy and “oh my toes are cold  and my skin is dry so I hate this time of year” kind of rant.

No. I can handle cold toes and dry skin. It’s called lotion and socks, folks. What I can’t handle is nature’s effect on my mood in the winter time. Example: When I have a weekend full of possibilities and no responsibilities Winter has this power over me that instead makes me choose to stay in bed because the thought of hibernating under the covers a little longer and watching every single episode of Man vs. Food is suddenly the epitome of comfort and at the time, seems like a perfectly rational way to spend the day. Or the entire weekend. So that’s what I did. ALL WEEKEND.

Let’s cut to the chase. Winter makes me a loser. It grabs a hold of my underwear, pulls it up my asscrack, then dunks my head in the toilet before shoving me in a locker. And it stole my lunch money. So I spend the majority of my time moping around the house in my flannel pajama pants and slippers, without even enough motivation to take a shower. That’s what winter does to me. And I hate it.

Summer, on the other hand, is my BFF. We shave our legs, dare to bare in teeny bikinis (Summer is all about the bikini. I’m more of a tankini type of girl) and frolic to the pool to catch some rays, dive into a great book, and sip on some fruity drinks. We drive around with the windows down, singing at the top of our lungs. Then, at night, we throw on a cute halter top, a flowy skirt, and spend the night socializing with friends until the wee hours of the morning. If one of us starts to feel tired or like we might want to go home, we slap each other on the back and hand the bitch a Red Bull. That’s how Summer and I roll. We’re a team. We have fun together. We’re there for each other. Well, at least until the end of September. Then Summer becomes a total bitch and leaves me for her friends down in Florida. I hear they have pools open all year long and drive convertibles. I don’t blame her, I guess.

So here I am, just me and Winter, hating each other over here. I tell Winter to suck it, and she throws ice rockets at my head. Or worse, she gives me a cold. It’s a fan-fucking-tastic time over here, chillin’ with Winter. And tonight, she told me she has some fabulous plans in store for us – an exciting and titillating drive home in the sleet and snow! I can’t wait.

Summer, if you’re reading this, please come back. A pitcher of margaritas is on me. And I promise we can go skinny dipping, just not in the kiddie pool this time, okay? We almost got arrested for that last year.

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Career Counselor

I’ve been a little remiss in posting lately, due to the fact that I’ve been meeting with a few recently unemployed friends over food and drinks this week. I’m not really sure why they chose to spend precious job-seeking time with me, considering my best advice usually goes something like this:

Friend: The economy is just awful and the job market is even worse.

Me: Oh I know. I’ve been reading all about it. Here, have a beer.

Friend: Yeah, and my former employer laid me off right before Christmas too.

Me: Really? Wow, that sucks. Maybe we should move on to shots.

Clearly I know just how to make a person feel better.

Anyone else want a free career counseling session with yours truly?

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A Day With Myself

Today is my day off. Unfortunately, my husband still had to go to work today, but since he doesn’t exactly have an office he needs to go to, we were still able to enjoy the morning together…wake up at nine, have a cup of coffee, helpwatch him pack, and take some time to watch MLK Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech all before he left.

Now it’s just after noon and I have no idea how to spend the rest of my day. Usually, when I’m anticipating a day completely to myself without the husband (which happens maybe twice a year), I start to plan a list of things I’d like to accomplish that day in my head. It’s always unrealistic, like scrub down the entire house, catch up on  laundry, make a meal plan, clean out the cabinets/fridge and replinish my shelves, go to the grocery store, get a haircut, paint my nails, hit the gym, drop a box or two of stuff off at Goodwill, catch up on my scrapbooking, groom the dog, finish the book I’m reading, etc.

Apparently I’ve convinced myself that I am Superwoman when no one else is around.

Instead, I will probably go to the grocery store, visit the gym, and call it a night. I don’t want to set the bar too high for my next day off.

How are you spending this lovely MLK Jr. Day? And if you don’t have the day off, tell me what you would have done.

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Stylin’ and Profilin’

I’ve been to the gym five times in the last five days, and in those five days I’ve somehow managed to GAIN four pounds. Feeling a little desperate when I looked at the scale, I considered taking my clothes off. But then I realized I was already naked. Then I considered trying to use the bathroom, but remembered I had already done that today. Feeling defeated, I realized the only thing left to do was to shave. Every little bit helps, right? Well, not exactly. The additional water in my hair after the shower added another .2 lbs. Though quite disapointing and unfortunate for me, I think it was more unfortunate for the scale. I’m taking comfort in the fact that inanimate objects don’t have feelings…and also that they can’t call the abuse hotline and report you for verbal and slight physical abuse. I swear I only kicked it once!

Anyway, now that I’m back into my gym routine (four pounds be damned!) I’ve been on the look out for the ever-popular Candy.  If you weren’t reading this blog back in October, you can catch up on Candy here.  Basically, she’s one of those girls that always wears the sexy workout ensemble with a face full of makeup and hair so blonde I could do a load of whites with a strand of her hair in place of Clorox. That’s Candy.

Well, Candy wasn’t there tonight. Instead, there was Bambi. (I apologize in advance if I offend anyone reading this whose name might be Candy or Bambi. These are just my go-to stripper names. I could use a different name if you’d like. Or, you could just change your name, which is really what I would recommend doing because honestly? You have a stripper name.) I had never seen Bambi at my gym before and unlike Candy, she was be-yooo-tiful. Think Vegas stripper rather than East-side stripper. Her butt was toned, her boobs were perfect(ly fake), and her long blonde hair didn’t require me to wear sunglasses when looking directly at it. I found myself thinking all of this as I walked behind her in the parking lot. And after about 30 seconds, I began to feel bad for assuming all skinny blondes with excessively long hair and (possibly) fake boobs are strippers. It’s a horrible stereotype and I should know better than to judge people based on appearances. What the hell is wrong with me anyway?

I climbed in my car, ashamed of myself, and began to back out. That’s when I noticed Bambi placing her gym bag in the trunk of a black Mercedes convertible, which can only mean one thing: Former stripper turned trophy wife to wealthy white-collar exec 20 years her senior. Damn, I would have made a great profiler. CSI? I’m waiting for your call.

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Delurking Day

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It’s that day again – Delurking Day! If you read this blog and rarely/never comment, please leave one today. Comments make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

If you’re having trouble thinking of something to say, then allow me to give you a visual prompt:

Drew Barrymore at the Golden Globes. Discuss.

drewbarrymoregoldenglobes

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Notes from the Weekend

  • Date nights are better when spontaneous and unplanned. Like when you run out of clean jeans and sweatpants so you have to wear dress pants and heels just to run out and grab dinner. And dinner is at a place where you stand and place your order at the counter. Once you’re dressed, it’s inevitable that you will look in the mirror and think, “what the hell. Let’s go all out. After dinner, let’s go to OBERWEISS!”  Special non-occassion = ice cream, in my world.
  • My work outs are twice as intense when I use a personal trainer. Apparently my desire to please people extends beyond my office walls all the way to doing jumping jacks to the tune of “Pump the Jam” just so I can hear the words “good job! Keep it up!” from a woman in spandex.
  • If you walk into a salon and the girl designated to cut your hair begins by telling you that she lost her glasses and has to make due with her reading glasses, run. Run like hell. Or at least demand a different hairdresser, because the bitch can’t see! Don’t just sit there and let her tell you that this is just a part time gig she picked up after 13 years out of the work force and oh by the way, only half of your head has a short layer in the back but “it’s not that noticeable so let’s just leave it.” Professional hairdressers also don’t say things like “The right side is the easy side. I always have trouble getting the left side to be even.” That’s what I get for trying to save a buck on a simple trim. JC Penney Salon? You owe me a haircut.

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Inspiration Award

The lovely Nora presented me with a cool new award today: The Inspiration Award

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So here are the rules,  followed by the winners and why I deemed them worthy of such an award.

 1. Please put the logo of the award (above) on your blog if you can make it work with your format.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate  7 or more blogs. (I just did six, because I’m tired. I also don’t like rules.)
4. Put the links of those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them. (or don’t. It sometimes fun to see if they figure it out.)

I now award the following blogs:

La Dolce Vita: She’s fearless, a little crazy, and completely unapologetic. And I totally adore her. If there was ever a girl I was convinced had a set of balls, it would be this girl, and she wears them proudly on her chest. I mean all of this in a good way, of course. And wish my stories and weekends were even half as interesting as hers.

Operation Pink Herring is not afraid to embrace her inner dork and confess to completely irrational crushes on fictional teenage vampires. Well, just one fictional teenage vampire, I suppose. She’s the reason I wanted to read Twilight, she introduced me to lolcats, and her trips to Spain and Scotland have inspired my own. I learn a lot from this girl, and I always look forward to reading her blog posts.

Janet at Love is Blonde has it all. An intriguing job in politics (working for the good guys!), a fabulous wardrobe, gorgeous blonde hair, and a good head on her shoulders. She’s beauty AND brains and I only wish she updated more.

Pelletier the Chocolatier is a friend of mine in real life. Though he doesn’t get into his past life much on his blog, the man spent a lifetime working in the PR field before he decided to throw caution into the wind and take his career in a completely different direction: making chocolate. Now, he’s happier than he’s ever been and beating the odds – and the economy – by turning his little dream of making chocolate all day into a successful business venture. Now THAT’S inspirational!

Jen and I often find ourselves moving down the same life path. We’re both happily married, twenty-something, Christian women who enjoy beach vacations and home improvement projects. We find ourselves facing some of the same issues: balancing budgets, trying to be healthier, and planning for an eventual family. Recently, she’s done a few things that I’ve wanted to do. She’s taken steps toward learning how to sew, has spent time learning how to cook things that didn’t come in a pre-packaged box or frozen bag, and last year she ran a 5k (or was it a half-marathon)? I’m starting to feel like quite the slacker in the wife-skills department.

Nora (the rules didn’t say I couldn’t award the same person that awarded me) is a daily reminder of what “new love” feels like. Once you’ve been married for awhile and regular life starts to get in the way, you begin to forget about the time when all that mattered was that the two of you were together. You forget about the butterflies and all the sweet little firsts – like the first time he said “I love you” or the first time he told you that he thought you were “the one.” The first time you met his friends, the first time you met his family, your first Christmas together  and the first time you ever discussed living together. With each little first she writes about, I’m reading on the other end, remembering my own firsts and falling in love with my husband all over again. Though he doesn’t know it. :)

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It took a few days but I think I’m finally ready to set some resolutions in stone and tackle 2009 full steam ahead.

1. Lose 20 lbs by May 1, 2009. If I cut back on my carb and sugar intake, up my water intake, and work out four days per week, I should be able to lose five pounds per month, getting me to my 20 lbs weight loss goal. I’m pretty stoked about hitting the gym again. In 2008, I kept track of every day that I worked out. The total? 62 days. Not very good. That’s more than 300 days that I DIDN”T go to the gym. This year, I’d like to break 100 days at the gym.

2. Pay off BOTH cars. I’m about six car payments away paying off my car, or three payments away if I continue to double up every month like I have for the last several months. By mid-March, my car should be paid off (a whole 14 months ahead of schedule) and my husband’s should be paid off by the end of the summer (a year ahead of schedule).

3. Continue the healthy habits I started a couple of years ago: taking a daily vitamin, flossing, and drinking less soda (regular and diet). In fact, I’d like to cut soda out of my life completely, but sometimes a Diet Dr. Pepper just tastes soooo good and can really save me when I’m dieting and having one of those massive sugar cravings. I’d also like to continue and probably increase my church attendance and involvement with non-profits. They help keep my heart healthy. :)

4. No smoking. Most people don’t know that when I drink, I smoke. My husband is the same way, in fact when we first met, he was a full-fledged smoker, polishing off several cigarettes every day and taking regular smoke breaks at work. He’s since reduced it to just social smoking, like me, having a few with a beer or a glass of wine. But over the last several months, even just a couple of cigarettes leaves me feeling like an ashtray the next morning. It makes me sick, makes my clothes reek, and isn’t so great for anyone else around me, so why do it? It’s stupid. And the closer I get to contemplating procreation, the more serious I am about getting – and staying – healthy, even if I don’t intend to become pregnant for another couple of years. So I gave myself a head start on this one and took my last drag a couple of months ago. At the end of the night and feeling like ass after only three cigarettes, I resolved to stop smoking completely. I almost caved in one night a month later when out a the bar with some friends and all three of them were smoking, but after fighting with myself for about an hour, the smoke-free me won. Let’s hope she always wins from now on.

5. Visit another foreign country. 2006 was the year we traveled to our first foreign country: Mexico, for our honeymoon. In 2007 we went to Mexico again, this time on the Pacific side, and in 2008 we visited the Bahamas, and took our first trip to Europe. We visited Spain, Malta, Italy, and France. Now, one can’t complain about all of that traveling. Especially considering everything we saw in 2008 alone. But the ever-present baby-making deadline is fast approaching and there are only a couple of years left before we kiss our freedom and leftover paycheck dollars goodbye. Maybe I shouldn’t look at having children that way, like it’s impending doom on my comfortable, carefree lifestyle, but I do and I bet anyone with young children would agree that I’m right, even if the good parts outweigh that loss. Still, I’m not yet ready to give it all up, so every vacation day, every three day holiday, every weekend with no obligations is a gift. Time to be used wisely, making memories, exploring new places, and simply enjoying our youth. So we take vacations, even if they’re not entirely practical (like the one to Florida we have coming up in a couple of weeks). In 2009, I’d like to add another stamp (or two) to my passport. Specifically, England and Scotland. Maybe Ireland, if time allows.

6. My usual goal is to read five books throughout the year. According to my GoodReads profile, I read seven books this year. Or 7.5 if you include the fact that I’m halfway through Eclipse (the third book in the Twilight series). Though I’d like to try and make in “nine in ’09”, I realize that’s quite ambitious of me. But what the hell. Resolutions are really just goals, right? Let’s hope that if there’s one I don’t make, it’s this one.

7. Find a general practitioner and visit him/her for a general check-up/exam/physical/whatever you call it. I haven’t had a family doctor since I was still covered under my parents medical insurance. And even then, I had never met the doctor they used. I’m just lucky I guess. Anyway, I need to find one, just because. I should also probably schedule a visit with a dermatologist. I’m a little…uh…moley, I guess you could say. I should probably have them looked at.

8. Finish two major house projects: The deck and the downstairs bathroom. Earlier this year, we tore down our old deck and rebuilt a new one. All by ourselves. We even stained it. What we didn’t do is add some trim/lattice work around the bottom and do some landscaping with bushes and flowers. This will be a springtime project. The downstairs bathroom we remodeled – also by ourselves, with some help from dads and grandpas – but we made some mistakes. Specifically with the tile laying. The floor was uneven (even though my dear husband insisted it was level) and we rushed it just to get it done, and it shows…in the grout lines and the one broken tile that cracked due to the uneven floor. Over the weekend, hubby tried to take up the broken tile with a hammer and chisle but I’m thinking we must’ve bought some damn good cement because it wasn’t going to come up without the help of a jackhammer. At this point, we just don’t want to deal with it, and have decided to leave the tile work to the experts. Not sure when we’ll have our floor redone, but it will likely be this summer when my husband’s work schedule is a bit more flexible.

9. Learn a new skill. Whether it’s taking steps to learn a foreign language, guitar or drum lessons, sewing, golfing, cooking, whatever. I need to pick something and take steps to learn it.

Phew, that’s a lot. Let’s hope I can actually do all of this. Bring it, 2009!

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