I just listened to Meet the Press' podcast from Christmas day. The guests were Ted Koppel and Peter Jennings and they were talking about the only thing that we can do to prepare for the inevitable outbreak of H5N1 - or Avian Flu.
Basically they said you need to start stocking up to four weeks worth of food so when - and they stressed WHEN the flu outbreaks in your community. They basically all agreed that you have to essentially hole up for the duration in order to avoid getting the flu.
Ted Koppel hasn't done it yet, but he and his wife are going to do it. Peter Jennings and his wife *have* done it.
My dear husband always thinks I over react in times of pending doom - and he's usually right. But I just can't shake the feeling of the inevitability an upcoming outbreak. I live near a major hub airport and many of my neighbors work for the airlines. I can't help but feel that we'd be one of the first communities hit.
So, do I invest in a freezer and start stocking up now or just stock when the outbreak finally hits? I must admit that I'm feeling very vulnerable and need to find things to help me "prepare" 'cause a flu shot right now just isn't going to help.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
I just listened to Meet the Press' podcast from Christmas day. The guests were Ted Koppel and Peter Jennings and they were talking about the only thing that we can do to prepare for the inevitable outbreak of H5N1 - or Avian Flu.
Ever since we had to put down our dog Maxy I have had a dog-shaped hole in my life. Little things would pop up - from food falling down on the floor and having to pick it up because I didn't have a dog to eat it to remembering to bring the dog in from a freezing day.
I was looking at photo's of last year's Christmas with M and we saw a photo of Maxy. That was it. I started looking on-line for a rescue dog.
Each dog I found and called on had already been adopted.
So I ended up calling the vet's office - the ones that had put Maxy down - because we had a good experience with them. They had a male black lab mix and said that he was really sweet.
We went to look at him and I fell in love. He is such a friendly little guy. The nice thing is that he's not going to be huge, but he's not an itty bitty thing, either.
Please welcome the newest member of our family, Mel:
The vet has estimated that he's around 9 months old. He's got almost all of his adult teeth in, is potty trained, and loves to cuddle. I'm pretty happy right now. He likes to sneak things into his crate. We'll have to go and look to see what he's dragged into the crate. He's especially smitten with all of M's things. M likes him, she just gets a little intimidated sometimes when he's jumping up on her. I tell her that she's in charge and that she needs to teach Mel to not jump up on her.
Oh, and Mel's name comes from Jack's Big Music Show. It's a kids show with puppets. The puppet's names are Jack and Mary and they have a dog whose name is - you've guessed it - Mel.
Just got a nice reply from AU.
Here's the note I sent to them:
Sent: Thu 12/22/2005 11:53 AM
To: americans united
Subject: Rob Boston Rocks!
I have been a long time non-member of AU. I get the email updates and
generally am very happy that this organization exists. But I never joined. I
don't know why, but I just never did.
But I just saw the segment on Fox News when Rob Boston took Mr. Gibson to
task for lying about the "War on Christmas". He rocks and I loved seeing Mr.
I'm tired of being accommodating and nice to these folks. It was absolutely
wonderful seeing someone honestly fighting the good fight.
This is why I just joined.
Here's the nice note I got back from them:
Welcome to the AU community!
Thank you so much for kind words. We have received so much negative correspondence (often hostile and with obscene language) about the so-called “War on Christmas.” It lights up my day to read encouraging e-mails from our supporters. Rob is one of our most articulate spokesmen and we were very proud of his performance on Gibson’s show. I will pass your note along to him.
We appreciate your support of Americans United and church-state separation. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to ask.
Okay folks, you need to write the people who are fighting the good fight! They need to hear from you! For every letter we write, they're getting tons of hate mail. Let's keep brightening their day and remind them that they do have supporters.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
We celebrate Christmas even though we're atheists. It's a cultural thing for us as we celebrated Christmas as kids ourselves. Believe it or not, you can celebrate it in as secular a way as possible. I got rid of my nativity scenes years ago. The story of baby Jesus is similar to the story of Santa - it's just a Christmas story.
I love Christmas music, the tree with lights, looking at the outdoor lights of our neighbors. I really love it.
We had a great Christmas this year. We went over to my folks house on Christmas Eve and had lunch. It was really great. M loved helping Grandma cook and everyone behaved themselves. Drinking was only done at the dinner table and it was in moderate amounts.
Christmas morning was fun. We woke up, saw the puppet show theater that she got from Santa, then headed over to our local Waffle House. It's become our Christmas morning tradition to do that. It's fun because the ladies at the WH know us from over the years. We also bring them homemade cookies and fudge. They're always very complimentary when I bring them in. It definitely is something that makes me feel good to do.
We then headed home and opened presents. M had so many presents that she got tired of opening them.
Side story: our neighbors have kids M's age and they have a pretty small Christmas. Santa brought one big present - an deluxo-electric piano. I actually like this and we'll probably try to do that next year. M gets stuff all the time during the year (uh, yeah - I spoil her) and we now have to go on a toy purge to make room for all her new stuff.
The day after Christmas we went to visit our good friends, the C's. We have a standing Friday night family night with these folks and I just love getting together with them. The girls love each other and we're very compatible from a couple standpoint. Same age, been married for a while, had kids late, nerdy.
As we were going home from the C's, M pipes up in the back, "You know who hates Santa?"
I thought she was going to say one of her school buddies. . .
"No honey, who?" we replied.
"ME!" she answered.
Well, I was a little crushed. I knew that feeling so well. I had a little trouble with the whole Santa thing and remember as a kid having trouble going to sleep on Christmas Eve thinking that this strange man would be coming into MY house. Granted, he was coming in to leave toys, but he was coming in using magic. How does he come in? We didn't have a fireplace. The questions kept on running through my head.
Well, M is having a similar experience. Last year she didn't want to come out of her room on Christmas morning because she thought Santa was waiting for her in the living room. As soon as she understood that Santa came and went, she was fine with coming out to see what goodies she got (or more importantly, what did Santa remember to bring her from her list).
This year she did NOT want to sit on Santa's lap AT ALL. We tried to see if she'd sit on his lap, but we never forced her or made her feel bad for not wanting to sit on his lap. We recently switched to Vonage for our phone service and they had a deal where you could dial *101 (I think) and listen to a message from Santa. She wasn't really keen on talking to Santa on the phone either, so I pretended to talk to Santa and gave him her list of things that she wanted this year (Barbies, a scooter, a Leapster, a baby doll, and a skate board. . . and that's all). She remembered from last year that Santa didn't give her a skate board, so that's why she put it on her list this year. Reminder: She was TWO last year.
So, since she finally said that she hated Santa, we decided that it was time to tell her that Santa was Mom and Dad.
She was relieved and I can see the happiness in her eyes when she holds up a "Santa" gift and ask who bought her this toy or that toy. Life makes sense again.
Friday, December 23, 2005
I read a lot and haven't been posting anything about my books. I just finished a quick, trashy novel: Honeymoon by James Patterson. It was a pretty formulaic book, but it was entertaining.
I also finished Dance of Death by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs. It was the latest Pendergast novel and I enjoyed it. They've started writing the books like a serial, which is fun because I like the cast of characters. They've definitely improved their writing since The Relic.
I'm still trying to get through The Historian. It's well written, but it's SO slow and it details EVERY STINKIN' little detail of the adventure. I have stuck with the book because it's been a fun read, but it better pay off. All the reviews of the book say that the pay-off in the end is well worth the trouble of slogging through to the end.
Well, I know most of you already know about the so-called "War on Christmas" that Bill O'Reilley is pushing with his pal John Gibson (who's really just trying to shill his book - wonder if BO gets a cut).
Anyway, I just joined Americans United for the first time and it's because of one reason: Rob Boston ROCKS!
Check out this video .
I have been really disappointed with some of our Progressive leaders because they just don't seem to want to lead - they've allowed the Religious Right to run rough shod over the US. Rob Boston really goes on the attack in the above video, and rightly so. These guys are LIARS!
Go Ro-ob, go Ro-ob, go Ro-ob!
Then there's the stupid House Resolution 579 recently passed to "protect" Christmas.
Whereas Christmas is a national holiday celebrated on December 25; and (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)
HRES 579 EH
H. Res. 579
In the House of Representatives, U.S.,
December 15, 2005.
Whereas Christmas is a national holiday celebrated on December 25; and
Whereas the Framers intended that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States would prohibit the establishment of religion, not prohibit any mention of religion or reference to God in civic dialog: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas;
(2) strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and
(3) expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions, for those who celebrate Christmas.
Come on guys! We're at war where real guns are being fired. Can we worry about that war, instead?
I love this video that addresses the silliness of this "war". Congressman John Dingell is a new hero of mine!
I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. It was Quinten. The writers did a good job with bait and switch on this one, and I'm glad they didn't switch it at the last minute - you know, I got a little upset when they pulled in Liz - the evidence didn't suggest Liz at all.
But the shocker was Kit being Quinten's sister. Makes the earlier scenes with them even more creepy.
I was surprised to see Julia get back together with Shawn. That's nice.
Then the whole story line with their son - I can't believe they killed the Nazi.
Once again, Bravo! Great show!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Well, I think I've officially entered into a cycle that won't break itself unless I tackle it head on.
We went on vacation a while back for a family wedding and then the next weekend we had something else going on where I wasn't able to make my WW meeting again.
Of course my weight loss has stalled (luckily, I haven't gained it back) and I keep telling myself that I'll be good this week and lose weight and then go to WW meeting.
I know this is self destructive behavior so I just need to make the next meeting and face the music and get back on the program.
Why do I have to make this so hard?
M has been hearing stuff about where you go when you die from her buddies at school.
"Dead things go to heaven, mama."
"Where did you hear that?" I asked, somewhat alarmed because I'm not prepared to talk about this WITH MY THREE-YEAR OLD!.
"Kelsey," who is a friend from school.
"Where is heaven?"
Long pause. . . "I don't know. I'll have to ask Kelsey. But Maxy dog is in doggy heaven."
"No, Maxy dog is dead and her body lies in a grave."
"What's a grave?"
Ugh. The conversation goes on and on. We're starting to work with her on determining what's real and what's make believe.
Then this morning just before we were getting ready to eat, M said that we had to put our hands together and say our phone number before we eat.
I did it because I was a little charmed. It's better than praying.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Not really much to discuss this time as we see many series start to go on hiatus.
Last week's Monk was good. I usually see who did it a mile away, but find the particulars of the characters worth sticking around to continually watch the show. But this time, the clue was so subtle that I didn't pick up on it until towards the end of the show. I love it when that happens.
I really, really thought that Julia had killed her mother. The writers did a good job with with the ending of the show - I certainly didn't see it coming that Julia had actually killed a different woman. The episode also showed Julia that she has a talent for medicine - perhaps she'll go back and finish med school. I still think Quinten is the Carver.
The big question I hear every one ask: Would you have taken the car or given a car to each of the contestants. I personally would have given the cars away. Most folks I've spoken to today would have kept it. Cindy seemed pleased as punch to have the car - she must have known she was going to be voted out. "I'll think of you as I look at the stars through my moon roof in my new car." I love it. Tell us how you really feel, Cindy! I love it when people who are voted out are visibly pissed.
The Apprentice: The Donald
I liked how the show allowed the contestants to pick their own teams. The tasks that the apprentices do for the final two were always high visibility events - why sabotage them with the nitwits and dig bats? I thought it was interesting that the contestants wanted the same people and had to negotiate for their teams. It is a good way to do it. I hope to see this to be the norm. Also, it'd be nice if there's monetary compensation to the players who are picked to come back to help the contestants out - It certainly would make folks be kinder to each other and not so cut throat.
OMG! Abbey is pregnant! I certainly didn't see that one coming at all! It'll be interesting to see if she decides to keep in given her staunch stance on no kids because she doesn't want to pass bi-polarism to her kids. It's also interesting because I think Luca is having difficulty with dealing with not having his kids around - which has been a recurring theme, and rightly so, for his character.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Okay, I now officially feel middle aged at 39. I just had a birthday and can't avoid the realization that it's all downhill from here.
Sometimes I do a weird mental gymnastic while glancing over the obits. I look at the age they died, split in half, and count how many times my age is over the halfway mark. Sick, I know, but it always made me feel okay. The numbers started to get smaller and smaller when I turned 35, but now that I'm 39 - I can't deny it. I'm middle aged.
But the funny thing is I wouldn't want to be any other age. I wish I had my 16 year old body, though. Mentally, however, I'm really in a great place in my life right now.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Well, I got tired of making little pot holders over and over (I'm making an afghan) and decided that I needed to step out of my comfort zone, so I made M a poncho. ("Is this my poncho, mama? It's so pretty")
I used Lion Brand Velvetspun yarn (which is REALLY, REALLY soft) and trimmed it with Fun Fur yarn. It went together fairly quickly and I'm very pleased with the finished result.
I now am trying to get brave enough to make a robot but I think I'll need some help from my neighbor since the patterns are incredibly complex.
So for the time being, I'm going to go back to making little pot holders till I'm brave enough. I have a lot of pot holders to make: 63 in all. I only have 12 of them done, so I have a lot to do. To be fair, each square is a different crochet pattern, so I'm actually learning new techniques as I make each one.
Okay, I saw the whole Kimber being kidnapped by the Carver coming a mile away. I still don't understand why the Carver has focused on Christian. This tends to make me want to steer away from thinking it's Quintin. I just don't know who the Carver is now.
I am anxiously awaiting seeing the spliced together film. It'll be interesting. The new information regarding how the doors are blast doors makes this even more interesting.
Where did Donovan go? Did he join the Others? I thought it was interesting about finding out what Kate did as her original crime and why she's fighting her feelings for Sawyer.
The Biggest Loser:
I had a great time watching this show. It's very inspirational for someone who has given up on the idea of having WLS. I'd love to see the show do a follow up contest a couple of years later to see if the folks have kept the weight off.
I still wish Gary Hogeboom was in the mix. He was truly fun to watch. Another show I think I'd like to see is to have the spouses/siblings/children of previous contestants to compete. I was surprised to see Judd to go last week. I can't wait till the jury questioning session - if Cindy's not one of the two, he's gonna rip folks apart (although if Rafe is one of the final two, he has a reason - Judd didn't pick his mom while it was pretty obvious that Rafe is a bigger threat than Stephanie). Go Rafe, go Rafe!
The Apprentice: The Donald
I think it's pretty clear who is going to win this one. It's been pretty clear from the start. We're going to have the first black winner of The Apprentice.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I have gotten the shit beat out of me this week emotionally.
I have a very bad client - they don't pay on time, they always change the project without consultation with me and insist that I do free work - I'm truly sick of it.
This week just put me over the top . I have one more project that I have to finish for them and it is a very complex project. As I have been having excruciating problems with the construction phase of simple projects that I've done for them in the past, I've finally decided to punt on the project. I've lost SO much money and time on the project, but it will be worth punting if I can get away from these guys. I took my name off of the plans, burned a CD with the files and sent them to the client.
I feel somewhat free!
Right now my company is slowing down, which we usually do this time of year. I'm pretty happy about it because it means that we've been able to get rid of most of our deadbeat clients and will allow us to concentrate on going after municipal clients - who are wonderful to work for.
My cleaning woman ended up bitching at me about how we haven't been picking up the house for when she comes. I've been paying her a little extra when she does, but last week J paid her and she didn't get the extra that she was expecting. Then she informed me that she didn't want to come to the company Christmas party because she doesn't work for me (I guess she means that she doesn't work for the company) and that she feels uncomfortable around A's wife, C. A works for me for the past 3 + years and D, the cleaning lady, has come to our company Christmas party for the past three years - hey, it's a free dinner at a nice restaurant . . . We went to The Melting Pot last year and are planning on going to Buca di Beppo this time. I had scheduled the party on Monday to fit with D's schedule. Then she said that she wasn't going to come.
We do a lot for this woman. I've bought several (yes, several) plane tickets for her over the years so she can go home to see her family. I feed her and pad her check occasionally when she does a little extra or seems to need some more cash. For her to pull attitude on me because she didn't get an extra $10 in her check pisses me off. She's been cleaning our home over eight years. I honestly don't understand where all this is coming from. J and I are going to cut her loose. We spend way too much for this service and will do fine with a company that comes in once a month. I certainly won't be dragged through the emotional roller coaster if I do.
What a crappy week.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Well, I have to admit that I love trying on new clothes.
I finally let go of my size 32 jeans today. It's really tough to do because I worry about sliding back to 350 pounds. I made my 10% (34 pounds lost) at Weight Watchers, but I gained half a pound back a week later. I still feel great and want to get under 300 pounds by January 1st.
Anyway, back to a new passion. I've shopped at Lane Bryant since I was a teenager. I've always been big and have never really been happy with the selection at the big girl stores.
I actually got down to a size 10 once in my married life (I was on Nutrisystem) and I LOVED shopping for new clothes. I was able to go into any store and wear anything I wanted. It was heaven. Of course with prepackaged food diets, once I got off it, I went nuts and gained everything back, and of course the wonderful bonus pounds.
Since I went in to Lane Bryant a month ago, I ended up earning some awesome coupons - essentially everything was half off up to $150.
I am an engineer and I am very "girly" impaired. I work out of my home and most of my contact with business people are with men. I guess the best way you can describe my "uniform" is that I wear knit shirts with collars (the standard 80's polo shirt) and a pair of jeans (since they don't rip as quickly as the Docker type khaki pants). I also wear a ratty pair of suede brown tennis shoes. I've been described as being very "dykey" by many people.
Flash to walking into Lane Bryants. I'll walk into a LB and look around and not like anything I see. It's either really old looking or too young. I get intimidated very easily so I usually just leave. I'm normally looking for my standard uniform and they just don't sell stuff like that.
Yesterday I just walked up to one of the girls who work there and showed her how much I'm able to spend and let her pick. It was great. I ended up spending $118 on clothes (I wanted to only spend $75), but the clothes I bought looked great. I initially rang up $280 worth of clothes (and that was with the $75 off coupons). I had to cut. It was really hard to do and I ended up with two pairs of jeans, a raspberry shirt, and two tee shirts. I'm still fat, but the clothes make me feel pretty. I wore the raspberry shirt, the brown cammy, and the new jeans I bought today. I felt really great.
Those Lane Bryant sales ladies are GOOD. I think I need to stay away from their stores for a while because I end up wanting to spend over $100 every time I go in.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Well, I took some heat from J about the last post ("You have taken passive aggressive to new heights"). Sorry J, I wasn't trying to get you to put the dishes in the dishwasher, I was just pointing out an observation I had.
Lost was a good one last night. We got some of the loose ends tied up.
1) The back plane folks *were* the ones on the radio when Boone was in the airplane.
2) The others didn't kill the guy with the pole, Anna Lucia did - in self defense.
3) We now know why the back plane folks had a ready made pit.
4) We now know why some of the people were taken by the Others: They were strong and good.
Why did the Others take folks from the back of the plane, and not folks from the front? I still don't understand why the Others stay away from the people.
Anna Lucia has demonstrated herself as being one tough cookie - and smart! I didn't process that the guy from the jungle was dry. I did rewind back to verify this and sure enough, he was (I love my PVR). I did, however, figure out that he was the mole early on - mainly because he was the one who found Bernard (who was in the jungle). And secondly, I pretty much pegged it from story line point of view - it was more interesting to have it turn out the way that it did.
Lost is still the best drama show on television. My Name is Earl is the funniest (with Boston Public a close second)
Oh, and I'll have my chicken McNuggeted, thank you. You can hold the sweet and sour dip as I'm a honey mustard kind of gal. (You will have had to have seen this week's Earl to get the joke).
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
This morning after breakfast, I walked over to the dishwasher to put my bowl in it. I glanced over at the kitchen sink and sure enough, J had left his bowl in it. The dishwasher is right next to it - why is it so hard for him to put it in?
I should talk, though. J washes all the clothes and it's my job to fold them. More times than I can say, we end up with a huge pile of clothes that M loves to climb.
I guess we all aren't perfect.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
M & I were riding around over the weekend and we had gone to the library. The local city was decorating for Christmas (yes, it's the beginning of November and we're seeing Christmas decorations).
Last year the library had a great event that had a guy read The Polar Express and then Santa and Mrs Santa showed up and gave everyone jingle bells. M went to the bathroom to work up the courage to sit on Santa's lap (she was thirty four months old and terrified). She sat on his lap and rattled off a whole list of stuff she wanted.
Flashback to last Saturday. I mentioned to M that we could go to the library again and see Santa. She then informed me that Santa doesn't really give you everything that you ask for. She had asked for a skateboard last year (I seem to remember that - vaguely) and she hadn't gotten one.
Friday, November 11, 2005
I love to visit Las Vegas. We used to go many times a year before M arrived in our lives. Cheap haunts are really what we enjoyed the most - mainly for kitsch value and because they're a whole lot more fun to hang out at than the high end places.
November 17th at 5 pm, Westward Ho is closing their doors for good. The Ho was a place we visited almost every time we came to town - they had ice cream sundaes in the afternoons, the worlds largest hot dog for a $1, great margarita's, and low limit black jack tables. The tables were always filled with nice people (some of the downtown places can have some really mean old guys who yell at you and smell funny). They always had something going on. J & I once went to a seminar held locally and got a couple of free nights stay - which was great because we can get super cheap round trip tickets for $100 each.
I'm gonna miss her.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Didn't see that one coming!
I did not see Shannon as the character that was going to be killed. Just when I started liking her and enjoying seeing her story flashbacks, they kill her off.
I really liked that Sayed had finally found love again (he's a cutie).
I also have to applaud the writers - going back to show what happened to the folks in the back of the plane is really great. I like that they also have introduced the leader of the group - she's the anchor for the series.
I also think I'm way off about the Others now. Why are they taking people? Why are the people staying with them (I assume).
They've got me hooked - but I'm pissed that Shannon is dead.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Okay, I've got my list of stuff I like to watch:
1. Nip/Tuck (No real drama going on right now - the writers better get with it)
2. Surface (It's kept me interested - I've stopped watching Invasion and Threshold)
3. Commander In Chief (A great fantasy - I like Geena Davis)
4. Lost (The network keeps jerking me around - but it's good enough that I'll keep watching)
5. Survivor (Yep, I still watch it - mainly because I want to see how far Hogeboom goes!)
6. The Apprentice (with The Donald - Martha comes on at the same time Lost does)
7. ER (I'm surprised at how I still like watching it even though Noah Wiley left last season)
8. My Name is Earl (A show that actually makes me laugh out loud!)
9. Boston Public (William Shatner is just great in this show ("Denny Crane!"))
10. The Simpsons
Oh, and to clarify - J was the one who fixed the problem with my friend, not me. (J - will you now quite whining about this?)
Monday, November 07, 2005
One thing that I do that is really, really bad when I know I'm disappointing someone or am behind on something is I ignore the problem.
Ironically, I don't really ignore the problem. I obsess in my mind over and over again. I lose sleep over it. I worry about it. The only thing I don't do is head off the problem.
Case in point: I'm behind on a project at work for various reasons: difficulty of project (I'm cleaning up another engineer's mess), personal matters and commitments, failure to pay on the clients behalf (I put projects on the back burner for clients who are slow to pay - or who refuse to pay until the end of the project). This client is actually a personal friend from way back. I'm re-doing the storm drainage of a subdivision that he'd inherited from another engineering firm. My friend has owed me a lot of money for quite some time. I've been patient with him, because he's a friend. He called up and cussed out my technician last week.
I should be mad, but I'm worried about losing the friendship. So I act like an ostrich and bury my head in the sand.
J is great. He knows I need to address the issue now rather than later. I confronted the friend and we've worked out a deal that's fair to both. I think I'll be getting some good sleep now.
I just got back from the family wedding. It was way worth getting the nice clothes from Lane Bryant. I felt pretty for the first time in - well, years. I danced and felt wonderful. J looked great, too.
What was nice about this trip was being able to sit in the airplane seats - this is one of the reasons why I've not flown in quiet some time. When I was at my heaviest, I couldn't even fit in the seats that have the trays on the side (they have dividers between the seats - last time I couldn't fit in one). I also am proud that I didn't need a belt extender. I still can't go down the aisle facing forward and people visibly move out of my way, but I'll take the little victories.
Oh, and J & I went to see Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain last week. We ended up walking up the stairwell steps in the parking garage after the show. I wouldn't have been able to do that a couple of pounds ago.
Now I have to get back with the Weight Watchers program. I haven't been to a meeting in two weeks and have gotten away from eating well and being held accountable (i.e., the dreaded weigh in). I am determined to make this work - not just for my health, but for the health of my daughter. She mimics me and I want her to mimic good eating behaviors.
All in all, we had a great trip - even though M & J got some type of stomach flu. It was a wonderful experience to get together with family without all the drama! My dh's family is so nice.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Just went shopping for some new clothes for a family wedding we're going to this weekend as I have NOTHING to wear that fits. Plus, the last time I went to a family event I was at my heaviest and didn't really do a good job of dressing up.
The ladies at Lane Bryant must have been a little bored last night because they were actually able to give me some good clothes advise. I bought two new outfits, got a proper sized bra (I'm a DDD - who'd a thunk), and some much needed confidence.
Now that I've slept on it, I only like one of the outfits - I know I got caught up in the moment. It's nice to have clothes that look good on you. It's hard to find stuff when you're as large as I am.
What was shocking was I ended up buying clothes that were much smaller in size than I usually buy clothes in. I started at a size 32 pants - and those were tight. I bought a size 24 pant last night and a 18/20 shirt.
Friday, October 28, 2005
I was putting the clean clothes away the other day and needed some hangers. I went to my closet and pulled out the empties - which were scattered on throughout my hanging clothes.
Then I went over to J's closet to get his empties. They were all nicely grouped in the middle of the bar.
Either J had a stroke of Monk going on, or he just reaches into the closet and puts on the first shirt that he sees.
My vote is for the latter. It was just a funny observation.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Well, just as the title suggests, I "tooted" in the car last night - quietly - and thought everything was okay. Then I heard a very grumpy, "Something is stinky!" from M in the back seat.
I rolled down the window quickly and got rid of the stench. Sorry guys!
Kids certainly call 'em like the see 'em!
Friday, October 21, 2005
I just got a quick IM from J. He's always sending me cute tidbits.
Since I recently got back into crocheting, he has demanded that I crochet him something. It changes from day to day.
The picture above is what he wants done now - but adult size for himself.
Sorry, J, but I have a princess costume and an afghan to finish. I wouldn't have the first clue as to how to do something like this.
Nip/Tuck has been a favorite show since the first season. The story is amazing and the writers do a good job of keeping you glued to your seat.
Latest plot: A guy is going around and carving the faces of models (they call him/her The Carver). McNamara/Troy has been fixing the victims for free. The Carver in the previous season went after both Sean & Christian because they were fixing his victims. This season, Christian was arrested for being the Carver. Kit, the investigating police woman, went under cover and has a threesome with Christian and his girlfriend, Kimber. Kimber leaked Christian's arrest to the news media, and the Carver struck again while Christian was locked up. The victim: Kit.
GOAM and I have debated on who we think the Carver is. She thinks it's a woman Kit or Ava. I think it's a man. I've thought initially that it was the new pseudo partner, Quentin. Quentin was a character last season and he has a man crush on Sean.
But I do like Goam's theory about it being Ava. After pontificating on this a little, it could also be Ava's first "husband", played by Alex Baldwin.
I don't know where the Carver got all the evidence to frame Christian. Perhaps Kit was absolutely convinced that Christian was the Carver that she planted the evidence.
Ah. It's fun to just ruminate on trivial stuff! Christian is dreamy! I wouldn't kick him out of my bed for eating cookies. :)
Thursday, October 20, 2005
I just had a follow up doctor's appointment today and right across the street is a Dairy Queen. I felt an undeniable pull to go through the drive thru and get a Chocolate Xtreme Blizzard.
For the uninitiated, a Chocolate Xtreme Blizzard is made with the soft serve ice cream, enough chocolate fudge to make the vanilla be chocolate, chunks of fudge brownies, and they drip some of the chocolate that hardens into it, so it has just the right amount of crunch.
I was successful in fighting the urge, but I wonder if alcoholics feel the same pull when they go by a liquor store.
I like the characters. I love the way the writers flash back in time to show their lives before the accident. It really helps to build the characters, and character development in prime time shows is almost non-existent now. I think the reason is because the writing is very good for a prime time show. Yes, we wait too long for the payoffs, but at least they payoff. I just stopped taping Invasion because it just keeps going - and the story isn't very original.
I saw the ring being found by the buried bottle a mile away.
Things that keep me watching Lost:
1. Who are the Others?
We just got a peek at their feet for the first time. They look like they've been stranded on the island too as they're white and some of them are obviously female. I always considered the Others as possibly original inhabitants of the island. I also think there are two different groups - not just one - as I don't think the Others are associated with the guys in the motor boat (or the pirates, as they were dressed as such).
2. Why do they keep on killing off the people?
3. Kate loves Sawyer. I think Sawyer is going to be the one who gets killed in the next episode (which is three weeks away!).
4. Where is Walt?
5. Who is "HE" (Donovan kept asking about)?
6. What happened to the experiment we saw on the training film?
The Others are a part of some type of experiment and are still being observed. They've been told that there was a sickness they could catch, but since they've survived, they think they're immune. They are killing off the passengers because they're afraid the passengers will catch the virus and they don't want to get it. I initially thought the Others were killing the passengers and eating them, but when I saw the Others were white and they killed the passenger with a spear (i.e., they didn't get close or eat him) it essentially killed the cannibalism theory.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
J hates politics.
I grew up with parents who debated politics on a regular basis and I do enjoy talking about it.
But J hates politics.
So over the years I've dialed back the rhetoric and stopped watching the Sunday news shows.
Well, now almost all of the news shows podcast their shows! Yay! I can listen while I work. It's been great - in a nerdy sort of way.
Okay, this will be dated at some point in time, but this is worth going to look at:
It's a truly disturbing look at a Jesus Freak.
My apologies to folks who stumble on this at a later date. It was really a great video of a Jesus wack job.
This is a toy that my daughter picked up at our local McDonald's. Isn't it hideous? As an overweight person, this just offends and horrifies me. I mean come on, when you press the button on the back, the belly mouth opens and closes. There's even a butt crack and back fat shown on the back.
The fact that it comes from McDonald's isn't lost on me. I'm sure most folks have seen Supersize Me by now. Now McDonald's even has a toy that shows how you'll look if you continue to eat their food!
And of course, M loves this toy and thinks it's very pretty. She likes anything that's pink.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
We have a bona fide crazy person who lurks around the neighborhood. He's pretty innocuous, but it's somewhat unsettling to pass him when I drop my kiddo off at school in the morning. He's an older person and walks every where while pulling a toy behind him.
Today he was carrying his pull toy monster truck while wearing a witches hat and carrying a large inflatable hammer. He waved the hammer like he was hammering everyone who passed him by. It was actually pretty funny in a disturbing sort of way.
J joked that some day we'd read in our local paper that the old guy was killed in a hit and run accident, and ironically was killed by the same type of vehicle he was pulling.
Sick, I know, but funny in an inappropriate way. J's always good for an inappropriate joke. :)
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
The new television season is filled with new sci-fi shows - presumably to try to duplicate the success of Lost.
I don't think any of them are going to really stick.
Surface (NBC - Monday nights)
Invasion (ABC - Wednesday nights)
Threshold (CBS - Friday nights)
Surface, so far, the only one with some promise, but it just doesn't have the charm of Lost. It's almost as though a whole bunch of Godzilla's are going to eat everything in the world up. Where's the mystery? The little lizard-thing eating the shit-bag dog was a nice touch (I am a big dog person - little dogs remind me too much of my grandfather's weird preoccupation with his toy-poodles).
I wanted Invasion to be good, mainly because I have some loyalty to one of my childhood crushes, Shawn Cassidy. The show is written and produced by him. He wrote and produced a great show a while ago that got cancelled (American Gothic). But it's just invasion of the body snatchers - and it's just not all that well done.
Threshold has been a little of a surprise and I definitely stumbled onto this by mistake. First of all, it's shown on Friday nights. That's pretty much a death knell program slot. The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. was doomed when Fox put them on Friday nights, and I have a feeling that Threshold is not long for this world.
It's another alien invasion show - this time the aliens take over humans through audio transmissions.
Ugh, how LAME! And it's another alien invasion show. I just don't particularly care for alien invasion shows ever since the television mini-series V.
I also had high hopes for this one when I saw some of the actors who were in it. There's Data and the angry dwarf guy from Elf/The Station Agent. Plus the plot keeps on repeating itself over, and over. I don't see this one continuing next season, either.
Current favorite Sci-Fi shows:
The 4400 (USA - currently on hiatus)
Lost (ABC - Wednesday nights)
Battlestar Galactica (Sci-Fi - on hiatus)
"Momma, I'm gonna make a Happy Plate!" M crowed proudly.
I asked her who taught her about Happy Plates.
"Miss Kristy," she answered.
Miss Kristy needs to teach her own kids about eating right - she's just as overweight as I am.
I hate hearing M talk about making Happy Plates, but she's just so happy to aspire to do so. I'd rather her make a happy tummy - i.e. just eat until she's full.
I still have the problem of eating everything on my plate - especially if I'm eating out. What's weird is that it's more of an economic choice rather than making myself feel full. It's so expensive to eat out, that I want to make sure that I get my money's worth. And of course, restaurant portions are huge and have gotten larger over the years. Perhaps thats one of the reasons?
Makes you wonder.
Friday, October 07, 2005
I bought some material for M's costume, and it's too flimsy. I've actually made it RUN (you know, like pantyhose can run).
So, I'll have to make a new trip to the fabric store and get a better material. You know those material suggestions are actually good to follow!
I've crocheted two squares so far. One is just not measuring the right measurements. But the second one is right on.
Surprisingly, I actually like to crochet while watching TV. It makes me feel a little productive - even though all I'm doing is just making 7" x 9" squares of single stitch crochet squares.
Oh, and I've been reading a really terrific book: Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell. Sarah is really great and the book is really entertaining to read. I discovered her on her occasional stories on This American Life and she's also the voice of Violet Parr, from the movie The Incredibles.
I am getting ready to read The Historian. It's been on my local library pull list for literally two months. I just found out that I can go pick it up. Guess my next two weeks are going to be spent reading!
Monday, October 03, 2005
My husband had on some show on one of those learning/discovery channels the other day. It was called, Half Ton Man and talked about this guy who weighed 1,000 pounds.
One thing that was interesting to me was the attitude of the Bariatric Surgeon. He's had RnY and has said that even though someone has lost weight, check them in 10 years time to see if they've kept it off and he'd bet that they didn't.
Not an encouraging statistic.
He also said something regarding feeling full. I remember when I was on Phen Fen, I actually got full and didn't want to eat. It was a new feeling and I finally understood that I'm genetically different. I can easily eat after a meal - especially dessert. I hate that Phen Fen was pulled from the market because it was really a wonder drug for me.
One thing that I know that I've done since I work out of the home is to not pay attention to how other people struggle with their weight. Even people I consider as being healthy really have to work hard at keeping the weight off.
And really it comes down to work. I know I'm obese because I'm lazy - I ate out a lot because I was too tired to cook dinner, or needed to get out of the house. Portion control is much more difficult to do if you're at a restaurant. I know all the tricks about cutting the meal in half and boxing it. . . but when you have already made up your mind that you want to eat the fetuccini alfredo noodles, even halving it doesn't help. It's a bad choice.
I have to get an exercise program going. I was swimming at the same time my kiddo was taking lessons, but the stinking pool changed the lap swim time up by an hour, so I can't fit it into my schedule as easily as I was able to. It was great, too, because my ankles wouldn't get arthritic feeling. I'm hoping they'll go back to the old schedule when swim season is over. The pool is crowded, but they could still allow at least one lane open for public lap swim.
It was a crafty weekend.
Since I watch entirely too much television, I decided that I needed to do something with my hands. About two years ago, I tried teaching myself how to knit by reading a book. I did okay, I just don't know how to recover when I drop a stitch. I have a couple of projects that I've started and haven't finished because I screwed them up so much. It's not easy to recover with knitting.
So I thought maybe I ought to learn how to crochet. J & I were at a local craft store last week to buy some pirate gear and I saw a flyer that said that they'd teach you how to crochet or knit for free if you show up on Saturday. It's an effort to Warm Up America. We will make squares that are 7" x 9" and they'll be put together to make afghans. I can make a 7" x 9" square, so I'm trying to contribute to this. I learned how to crochet the basic single stitch and I think I finally understand how to do it. I'm having a little trouble with gage. My first block measures 8.5". I'll get it.
Another thing I did was buy a pattern. I have a great memory about going to the fabric store to look through pattern books to pick out our Halloween costumes. My mom was a really good sewer. She took all the classes and I had t-shirts that actually looked store bought (which was really important in the 70's).
My kiddo picked the pattern and the fabric. She wants to be a pretty pink princess. It's going to be more expensive than if I had just bought her costume, but she can use it for dress up later on - which is something she is having lots of fun with.
Of course my sewing machine isn't working right now. The bobbin threads tension is too loose and I just don't know enough about the machine to know any better. Hopefully I can get it fixed so I will have plenty of time to sew the costume.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
I maintained my weight this week - that means I didn't gain or lose weight.
The meeting topic was really good. It was about labels and attitude. What I took home from it was how I've been allowing myself to not stay on the WW plan.
Sandy, the WW leader, told us a story about when she went to Applebee's recently. It was a Tuesday night and their all you can eat rib night. A woman and her husband entered and she said, "Oh, wow! All you can eat ribs! I can be out of control!"
So, this woman planned on being out of control, she set it up by going to Applebee's on that specific day, and she did eat - out of control.
I can't tell you how many times I've done this. Not the eating out of control bit, but the deliberate mental thought process to eat something that I know isn't healthy for me. I actually set it up and it happens.
For so long I've bought into the whole, "I can't keep my weight off" argument. No, I can. I just choose not to - then I don't take ownership of that decision.
Just knowing this won't automatically change my behavior overnight. But recognizing it will help me to at least try to work on it.
Another thing that came up is the fact that if I don't think I'll make my goal weight, then I probably won't. I have so much weight to lose - it get discouraging sometimes to even think about it. But I didn't get here overnight, so it won't get fixed overnight, either.
I just have to keep on plugging. I won't be perfect - but as long as I keep trying and don't give up, I should at least see myself at a healthy weight.
Friday, September 30, 2005
The biggest disappointment of the new television season is the show Bones.
Let me start out with the fact that I really, really wanted to like this show. It has the guy from Angel (who I know is a cheesy actor, but I have a soft spot for him from his Buffy days) and was based on the books written by Kathy Reichs. I love her main character, Temperance Brennan, and have read all of the books in the series.
I hate the TV show Bones. First of all, let me preface this with the fact that I am not a purist. I am one of the rare few who found the movie The Firm to be better written than the book (I'll elaborate in another blog entry).
So I understand when writers have to change things to fit the screen - be it television or movie. But this show is SO bad, I just can't stand it.
I hate that the Angel guy keeps calling Tempe, Bones (shutter). It's demeaning and just irritating. It's like when someone calls you, "hey" all the time. You know they haven't even taken the time to learn your name.
The three students are irritating and smack of FOX Tools trying to make the story more hip for younger viewers. Young viewers don't need people they can identify with - look at X-files as an example - we didn't have three young, hip, students tagging around Scully & Mulder.
One of the young students looks just like Rick Springfield and is playing the part of a nerd. Uh, hello. Rick Springfield WAS A TEENAGE IDOL and handsome as hell. To believe this character isn't getting laid (and yes, the show immediately had a subplot about how the kid couldn't get laid) is just silly.
The dialogue is bad. The effects are really gory - which from a horror fan side, is actually pretty good.
In the episode I saw, the end, which is what you've been working up to the whole time you've been watching the show, just cuts away after one of the kids asks if she can have a deal if she tells all she knows.
Then cut to commercial.
Resume show by having principal characters telling the mother of the victim that he didn't commit suicide but she should feel good that the two kids who killed her were going to go to jail.
Hello, audience here! There was NO pay off. I actually felt like I totally wasted my hour. I want my hour back, dammit!
I will be pulling this show off my PVR timer list.
Another show I got to see was Everybody Hates Chris. It's cute, but I won't be missing any more Survivor episodes to watch it.
And yes, I still watch Survivor even though the show has gotten somewhat predictable with regard to the stuff they have to do. It's a game show to me, and I watch game shows over and over to see what happens.
I also like The Apprentice, although I don't like the new rule they instituted - mainly that the team gets to vote on whether or not you will get immunity if you, as a project manager, wins. Duh - no one is going to get immunity. If I was a contestant, why the hell would I want someone else get a free ride?
It's just like Survivor when they have the opportunity to give the immunity necklace to someone else. Sorry, but if I was a contestant and someone won the immunity necklace and had the hubris to give away immunity, their name is going on the card.
I haven't really been able to see the Martha version of The Apprentice. But these shows aren't that hard to catch up on.
Crap! My name was still showing on bloglines. I had to change my name under the edit profile setting. Hopefully that will fix it.
On to TV talk:
Lost: Finally saw the second episode. The writers did a good job - they really didn't move the story forward, but enough loose ends from the season premier were explained that I didn't find it too terribly irritating.
New things that are interesting:
Donovan, the guy who's been down in the hole, was obviously waiting for someone ("Are you him?"). Who?
Was the meeting with Jack and Donovan in the past a set up or a coincidence? Is Jack "him" and he doesn't know it yet?
Why is Donovan worried about getting sick? Are the people really susceptible to sickness or was this just a ruse to keep Donovan down in the hole?
The numbers have been given a little bit of an explanation - Donovan has to type them in every 120 hours - who is monitoring the numbers? Why is it important for Donovan to check in? He was obviously panicked to make sure the numbers were typed in.
Who are the others who were chasing Chen at the end? I think they're the passengers from other part of the airplane. Chen washed up on shore, and doesn't speak a lick of English. Makes sense that they'd tie him up if things have been as weird with this group as what has been going on with the other group.
Where's Walt? Why did "they" take him instead of the baby?
Thursday, September 29, 2005
I'm trying to use this blog as a way to be anonymous. I don't really want some of my clients or people I work with finding this blog. I took my name off the Blogger Template, but when I check to see if bloglines is being fed the updates, there was my name, bright as day.
I changed the settings of my main account to withhold my name. Hopefully this will fix the problem.
So this was a test.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
I am addicted to television. It's really terrible, but I am.
I just saw a new show that really appeals to my feminist side: Commander In Chief.
First of all, I like Geena Davis as an actress. I've seen almost everything she's done (even the crap) and I enjoy her stuff. She's really great in this show.
The problem is that it comes on at the same time that My Name Is Earl comes on. So, I have PVR'd the CIC show upstairs and watch it on the sly.
My Name is Earl is actually good, too. It makes me literally laugh out loud, and I've not laughed out loud at a network show for years. I essentially avoid all sit-coms now. I find them predicable and boring.
I also really like Lost. This was a surprise show from last season. I thought it was a fictionalized Survivor clone and didn't watch it at first. It's a good thing that ABC re-ran the first episodes after the buzz got around about how great the show is. And it is.
I love stories. I can probably say that I'm passionate about them. When writers get lazy, I get a little mad. I guess that's why I really like Lost. There's a story and it has me hooked.
Although, I must admit that I was getting a little impatient with them towards the end of last season. The story was stalled and it was pretty obvious that they (the writers) didn't know where to go with it. I'm glad they finally got their crap together and started moving the plot forward.
Enough. I have more to say on television.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
I'm an angry woman and I just need a place to bitch and complain. I'll also talk about being on a diet, too, as I have over 100 pounds to lose. I joined Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago (11) and have lost 27.5 pounds to date.