Monday, August 31, 2009

... And Then I Woke Up.

I have apparently developed very bad sleeping habits. As you will recall from a few posts back… I have awakened in the morning with the mouth guard I occasionally wear in varying locations in my bed or on the floor.

Let me back track by stating that I am a night person. I really do not enjoy mornings at all. I would never have survived in the wild days of yore when womenfolk woke at the crack o’dawn to work the fields, birth the babies and fight off outlaws. (Okay, I might have been able to fight the outlaws, assuming they were not morning people either!) I understand they went to bed at sunset and were therefore awake and fresh as daisies by the time the sun rose. That still would not be me. I could still sleep until 9 or 10.

But, I live in the modern era of alarm clocks and all night cable television/internet access. Because I am susceptible to hitting the snooze button for an hour or so, I have devised a second alarm. My cell phone will put forth a hideous sound about 15 minutes after the alarm clock. The problem is there is a snooze option on the phone two. I essentially spend about 30 minutes rolling from alarm clock to cell phone (each on opposite sides of the bed).

Now, in order to GO to sleep, I set my television on a timer. I will set it for about 30 minutes and I am usually asleep within 5-10 minutes. I never hear the TV click off. EVER. I do not have bedside tables. Instead, I have two short pillars on either side of the bed that serve as tables. There is really only enough room on one for a very small lap, my TV and cable remotes and my cell phone. The other side only has the alarm clock. Nothing else will fit there.

Side Note: My TV is old enough that it has to have a separate cable box. The option for the time is on the TV remote but I can use the cable remote to change channels and monitor the volume.

The alarms started going off this morning. I started my morning practice of rolling from one side of the bed to the other and hitting various snooze buttons. At whatever point I actually “woke up” I found myself in bed with various devices. (Oh. That doesn’t sound good). I not only had dragged the electrical CD/Radio/Alarm clock into the bed with me, but I also had my cell phone and BOTH television remotes.

Amazing. I hate to think what would happen if I were actually married. I mean, er…

Wow. That didn’t sound right either.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Grilling Observations

So... I decided that I would venture into the heat and humidity of the day in order to grill chicken. Yes, Brent, I grilled chicken. ME. A Woman. In the grilling area!

For those three people who read this blog, let me 'splain. My friend Brent has forever deemed that women were not allowed in the grilling area. Not. Allowed. The only time a woman is allowed in the grilling area, per Brent and various other male figures in my life, is if they are bringing grilling utensils to the men folk or are wiping the brow of the studly men what are cooking the meat over the open fire. It's a little chauvinistic, but for me it has been true for many years.

Until now. Now I AM in the grilling area. I am the grill master. Okay, I am the grill mistress... but that almost sounds a little dirty.

I purchased a charcoal grill for my father for Father's Day. Why? Because that is what he asked for. Has he used it? Not. One. Time. Many years back I purchased him a small gas grill. He used it once, I think. That should have been my first clue that the charcoal grill would not see much action. Since I did not want to waste the money, I determined to put the grill to use myself. Here are some observations from the grilling area:

1) When lighting a pile of charcoal, one should begin lighting towards the back of the grill. That way, when you realize you have lit the front and you attempt to light the far end, you will not burn yourself. You will probably only do this once, as you will learn your lesson quickly.

2) If you see one portion of the coals are not lighting and decide to blow the flames toward that area, you want to be careful not to stick your face too close to the coals when you blow. Charcoal is a funny little substance. It may shower you with bright and pretty sparks. You will move away quickly and will be grateful that you did not catch fire. (Not that I'm speaking from personal experience here. It's just common sense. Yep. That's what it is.)

3) If you use a cookie sheet to place your "hot-off-the-grill" meat/chicken/fish/pork, you will not want to put your hand directly under the sheet. That hot off the grill meat really IS quite hot. You'll burn your hand and then almost drop the food you have spent quite some time cooking. It is lively entertainment as you are juggling food, utensils and a hot sheet.

There will be other points to determine I am sure. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Run... therefore I Ache...

So, here I am... a dainty, fresh, spring-like flower determined to run off the pounds.

Oh, okay. I am not fresh and I don't believe I was even born dainty. But, determined I am.

As we all recall (you know... the both of you who actually read this) ... I hit the streets (literally) on Monday and ran the equivalent of a full lap around the track that is across the street from where I live. I survived that night's adventure. Came home. Cooled down. Showered and went to bed.

I woke up on Tuesday thinking I was not going to be able to move. But... I could! I scampered right out of bed (okay, I rolled) and skipped to the bathroom (crawled) and started my day on a high note! (An hour late to work). But there was NO PAIN. None.

And then, my friends, Tuesday evening appeared. Apparently the muscles were happy to move as I willed until approximately 24 hours post exercising event. Then, they rebelled. Oh... the ache. The inhumanity of it all! I wisely determined that it would be very BAD if I were to attempt to run again. So, I exercised in the house instead, doing some simple ab work, etc. Nothing too strenuous... just enough to let my muscles know who was in charge!

On Wednesday morning, my muscles let ME know who was in charge and I found myself crawling up the stairs at the office (Okay, I really took the elevator) and was VERY happy that I was unable to exercise that night because I was going to a small group meeting that was at the church I have been visiting.

Fast forward to this evening. The muscles had repaired themselves and the weather was nice enough (not too hot and humid) to hit the streets again. As I was making my second walking lap (to warm up) I found a few hoodlums had perched themselves on the playground and I didn't feel all that secure being by myself on the track (dainty, fresh flower that I am). So, I modified my route a little bit to stay closer to civilization and decided that since the length was shorter, I could make the run a few more times.

So what if the track sloped downhill for the most of the way? I was still running. My heart was still pounding, my lungs were still bellowing (can your lungs bellow? I am thinking of an old-fashioned bellows that people had next to a fireplace) and my muscles started screaming at me again.

I have survived night two of the running. Survived. Night Dos!

And when I looked up, the Lord blessed me with my very own rainbow. Just. For. Me.

Thanks God!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just a Few Observations

I was pondering a few of life's little details when these thoughts hit my brain and I thought I would share them with you (you know... both of you people who bother to read this blog):

1. Why do you think that when Goldfinger (of the famous James Bond "Goldfinger" movie) had Jill Masterson killed and her body completely painted gold and left on the bed for James to find, that they did not paint her hair gold? Maybe is it because she was already a blonde. I can almost overlook that fact, but then you notice that Jill is gold EVERYWHERE. Everywhere except for her lovely and perfectly coiffed hair... AND her eyebrows and eyelashes.

Yes, ladies and gents, Jill's face is completely painted, including her lips, but she has very BLACK eyebrows painted perfectly on and long UNreal eyelashes. Kinda makes me want to find the person who was responsible for this faux pas and smack 'em in their noggin.

2. I think the reason the Sham-Wow guy kinda creeps me out is not because he is (a) WAY too skinny or that he has (b) one perpetually lifted eyebrow. It is more because of the permanently attached HUGE microphone attached to his face. I have worked in productions before. I have seen the technology and PEOPLE... there are smaller, less noticeable microphones in the world. Let's invest!

3. I received my textbooks in the mail today. One textbook is a hard cover book that reminds me of a history book from my 8th grade Social Studies class. Very, very odd. But, it has that "new book smell" to it, which makes everything all better again.

Now, I'm just waiting for class to start. Countdown is less than a week away.

4. Those muscles that I worked out with last night are speaking very clearly to me tonight. Okay, they are not really speaking so much as they are SCREAMING at me. It's okay muscles! I hear you loud and clear. You are in pain. You hate me. Get over it and get ready to get back to it tomorrow!

Yes... I took the night off from running/walking because I need to return to work tomorrow and if I pushed it two nights in a row, I would be investing in a sequeway or some other mode of transportation.

5. There is a nice shaded area in the parking lot where I work that EVERYONE wants to park their car in. I used to be one of those people, until my office hours changed. Now, all the good spots are taken. What to do....? Well, I realized that most of those people head out to lunch between 11 and 11:30. So, at about that time, I take a break from my work day and move my car to the shaded parking lot.

Then I laugh manically as I return to my desk to work.

I Know You're Wondering...

I am certain that both people who read this blog (I am grateful that two people actually read it) have been sitting on pins and needles and wondering how I am doing with the weight-loss plan. Well, let me tell you. It stinks. Probably because I have not been true to it.

You know, that first week I drank enough water to fill a bathtub. The next week I just did not. I would forget to clean out my 64 ounce container. Or I would clean it and forget to bring it to work.

I had a friend who promised to start this journey with me as well. But, they were not "ready" to begin right away. They needed a week of self-indulging carnivorous eating. Not that I have planned to become a vegan. Nosiree. Give me a big hunk 'o meat and I will revel in its protein-ness.

Is proteinness a word? I think not.

At any rate... my friend then left me high and dry for a few days and I found that it was easy to put off my own plans for someone else. Actually, that was just my own veiled excuse to eat whatever the heck I wanted. And I did.

Then I used Kristin's wedding shower as a crutch. I HAD to eat that CAKE. It would waste! It would mold! It would take over The World!

Then I used my period as an excuse. Yep. I said it. Period. I can eat my weight in anything that is essentially edible during that week. It's pretty hateful.

So, today, I realized that I was tired of coming up with excuses. I needed to take some control. I called that friend who was going to take this journey with me, but they were unavailable. So, I came home and changed clothes and hit the outdoor track that is across the street from my house. I walked a couple of laps and then decided that I needed to try and run a little bit. I need to get my heart rate up. I need to exercise that all important muscle.

So, in starting off slowing, I picked a place that would be my starting point, and I had a goal in my mind for the ending point. I started off slowly and about 1/2 the way through the run, I wanted to stop. I was breathing VERY hard. I wanted to drive home and get in the recliner and not move for another month or so. But, that was not going to help me. (I couldn't drive home either, since I walked to the track. My car was at home. That's just the desperateness of the moment speaking)

So... I kept running. I saw the goal and I would not allow myself to stop until I made it there. When I did make it, I thought about doing the happy dance... but realized that I would have passed out if I tried to do the happy dance at that point. Instead, I kept walking.

As I was nearing that starting point again, I decided I could make another run. I did. I hurt. I wheezed. I sweat. I did all those things that an overweight girl who is running does! And yet... I persevered. I made it back to my ending goal and began to walk again. My breaths were sawing in and out and I hoped that the Firefighters across the street didn't think I was dying and rushed over to perform CPR.

Oh. Hang on there. Maybe that wouldn't be so bad after all.

I digress.

So, I have effectively run the equivalent of one full lap today. Not too shabby for someone who has not run in close to 10 years. I thought that was what I would tell Mr. Fireman if he asked what the Sam Hill I was doing.

Who is Sam Hill anyway?

I came back to the house and drank a gallon of water. Then I called my friend to see if they were interested in working out with some weights. They declined, but said maybe tomorrow.

I'm not waiting on anybody else for this anymore. It is now Woman versus the Scales. I will be triumphant.

Game. On.

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's a Great Dress... but...

I bought this really cool purple tie-dye dress over the weekend. I am planning to wear it to my niece’s rehearsal dinner in July. She tells me I should wear jeans, because she is going to wear jeans. She is going to wear jeans because the groom’s family is bringing in Blue Coast Burrito for the rehearsal dinner.

But, I am going to wear a dress. I can’t wear jeans to the rehearsal dinner. I just can’t. It is not in my make-up to do that. I don’t want her to wear jeans either, but it is her rehearsal and she’s a big girl and she can do what she wants.

Just like me.

Here’s the dress:

And make no mistake... the dress is purple. It is NOT blue. My mother thinks it is blue. My mother has cataracts and SWEARS they do not affect her daily life.

My mother cannot differentiate between colors. It slays me sometimes. To her purple is blue and brown is purple.

At any rate, I am wearing the dress today, because I wanted to make sure I LOVED it as much on as I do on the hanger. I do love it because it is INCREDIBLY comfortable. I doubt that Stacy and whats-his-name from What Not to Wear would like it on me. But I’m okay with that too.

There is only one problem. The dress is made from a silky/smooth material… which is one of the reasons for the comfort level… but my office chair is leather. Which means my booty is sliding all over the office chair. Every time I sit down, I slink a little further than I intended. It is okay to slide my chair BACK from my desk, because my chair has a really tall back and arms. But sliding UP to the desk? That’s another story all together.

If I fall out in the floor, I will laugh hysterically and use it as an excuse to file a worker’s comp claim or something. My attorney bosses will LOVE that!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Taming of the Shrew

Last night Brent, Heidi and I met up at Centennial Park in Nashville for the 22nd Annual Shakespeare in the Park. This year, there are two different performances. The first was Taming of the Shrew and was performed by an apprentice troupe. They did a very fine job.

Everybody just shows up and brings their own chairs, or blankets and picnic baskets, etc. They have some concessions there, but it is just easier to lug everything in from your own kitchen. Some people bring enough to share with their neighbors. That's typically what we do... although we decided at the last minute to make this show. We didn't go all out as we usually do. Still, it is a nice sense of community. Just hangin' with a few hundred of the closest friends you've never met!

These are Brent's feet. I took pictures of both Brent and Heidi, but they made me swear an oath and sign my name in blood that I would not print them ANYwhere. Since I work for an attorney, I didn't want to mess with the legal hassels they would no doubt inflict upon me.

I didn't say I wouldn't post a picture of Brent's feet.

I am not exactly sure this was the context that Ole Will had in mind when he penned his works lo those many, many moons ago. Then again, I doubt tye-dye had been invented then. I love tye-dye. I don't think I'm spelling it correctly. But I love it nonetheless.

That was one confident actor who could perform Shakespeare in bright yellow spandex with hot pink hair.

Heidi and I loved it. We laughed and clapped and thought he was great.

Brent... not so much.

This was intermission. I took this picture so you could understand how many people were there to enjoy the show. And, enjoy it they did. We sat behind the man who started Shakespeare in the Park 22 years ago. He loved that we have been to more than 10 performances over the years. He thought we were so cool. We thought he was so cool because he came up with the idea in the first place.

If it weren't for him... these guys would never have taken a bow before hundreds of people last night.

And speaking of cool... the weather last night was PERFECTION for an outdoor theatrical event. There was very little humidity and the temps were in the low 70s, high 60s. Wonderful. All of our friends who didn't come (you know who you are) really missed a great evening out.

But don't fret. Next weekend through Sept 13 the real Shakespeare troupe will be doing a 3-man show entitled the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). I can hardly wait. I will try to let people know when that excursion will be.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Random Thoughts...

1. Why does morning rush hour traffic irritate the smack out of me, but afternoon traffic is not that big a deal? My mood getting out of the car first thing in the morning is most likely directly related to the amount of time it took me to get to work.

2. I passed a man who worked for a landscape company as he was sitting on one of those large commercial-type lawnmowers. It was raining. But, he was wearing a garbage bag over his shoulders. JUST covering his shoulders. It reminded me of my baby brother when he tied a bath towel around his neck and ran through the house acting like Superman. Or Batman. The gentleman on the mower was completely drenched. Except for his shoulders. Those were, apparently, nice and dry.

3. I'm officially a junior in college. However, at this rate, I will be graduating about the same time that I am eligible for Social Security.

4. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, there is a song in my head. Actually, most days when I wake up in the morning, there is a song in my head. The problem is the song is never the same and completely runs the entire spectrum of music that is out there in the galaxy. Everything from old hymns or praise choruses, to full-out symphonic pieces or Broadway show tunes. There is no rhyme or reason. One day last week, the music from "The Music Man" stayed in my head so long, I was forced to come home and watch the DVD. Twice. It did the trick and I don't have that music in my head. Now, it is "Oklahoma" with the wind sweeping down the plain, and all that.

5. Here's a bit of advice for those people planning to make a video/DVD tape of your most intimate moments. SOMEONE, Somewhere is going to find that footage and happily post it on the internet. They will probably make a lot of money off of it too. So, stop being sooooo surprised, Hollywood, when your private moments are made public. I'm just sayin'....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Kristin's First Bridal Shower!!

My baby's first bridal shower was yesterday. I call her my baby because I don't have any kids of my own... so I adopted my nieces and nephew. Unless they are being bad. Then, I had absolutely nothing to do with them. BUT... when they are on their best behavior... I take all the credit for it. I'm sneaky like that.

Here's my baby when she played dress up bride:

And... here she is now, with her Nana putting on her bridal shower corsage:

She looks happy, doesn't she? She has an unhealthy fear of being stuck by a pin!

We would not have put together such a fine shower/spread without the help of these two beautiful women: Aunt Sisy and my cousin Dawn. They jumped right in the midst of things and cut out heart-shaped sandwiches and arranged fruit, etc. They were mucho fun!!

It was a great day! The only problem was the temperature. It doesn't matter how large your home is... if you have 30 people crammed into a space, the body temp is going to affect your thermostat. If it is in the 90s outside... your AC is going to run CONSTANTLY just to keep the indoors at 80. We broke out a fan to help keep the air flowing, but it was still quite a task! I think the temp in the house finally came down around midnight last night.

But a lovely time was had by all... and Kristin's kitchen is now fully stocked with appliances and cooking utensils. And... some recipes as well. We wanted to give her family recipes she enjoys now as well as some from family members long removed from this world. (Some made as copies from their very own handwriting. Precious)

So... here's to Kristin & David's kitchen! Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

That's what friends are for...

So... after having lived with the Klampet kitchen faucet for a couple of weeks, it was time to take action. Specifically, I wanted the faucet fixed BEFORE the bridal shower here on Saturday. My friend Brent has exchanged faucets of various shapes and sizes and therefore I knew he would be up to the task.

I called him on Monday and made arrangements for him to come out on Tuesday night to determine whether this would be beyond his ken. He called back to tell me our mutual friend, Joel, from Michigan was in town and would be coming along to help. Or jibe at him. Or just generally make us laugh out loud... Joel is really good at that.

After perusing the current faucet situation, and determining that they were more than capable to complete this task... we went off to Lowe's to purchase a new, shiny Price Pfister kitchen faucet. We picked Price Pfister because Brent refused to touch a Moen faucet... he being a Price Pfister man, and all! So we return home with the new faucet and without Brent's tools.

Did I mention that the last thing I said to Brent before he left his house was to bring his tools? Well. I did. Did he respond by telling me he would bring his tools? Yes. He did. Did he actually bring his tools? No. He did not. Was this a problem? Yes, it was. Mostly, because I am a girl and I don't have a good tool set.

This will be remedied in the VERY near future, by the way.

As Brent stood around a watched, Joel crawled up under the sink and began removing the faucet hardware. Wait! Wasn't BRENT changing the faucet and Joel there to help? Yes. That's right. But... it takes a village to raise a child and it took the concerted effort of Brent AND Joel (plus a trip to the older brother's house for a vice grip... because there is apparently a HUGE difference between that and a monkey wrench) to remove the most STUBBORN of bolts from under the sink.

Two hours and many drops of sweat (and another run to Lowe's for some sort of tubing, whose purpose truly evades me) the new faucet was in place. Brent and Joel did a fabulous job and my house won't look so hillbilly-ish come Saturday.

Hillbilly-ish. Is that a word? Well, it is now.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I drink... ergo I pee.

My friends are constantly amazed at my ability to “hold it” for hours at a time. I believe this trait arose from many long-distance trips while my father served in the Air Force. My father was not one to pull over for a small child’s bladder to empty. I developed “holding it” patterns for years. Therefore, I typically go three times a day. Yes. I know. I’m a freak. Get over it.

However, with the pending nuptials of my eldest niece and her beloved, I realized that I really, REEEELLY need to lose some weight. I drink far too many soft drinks and not nearly enough water. So, I am intentionally drinking more water. Because the tap water in our office tastes a little funky, I come in with a large container of water from my house. (NOTE: I am not spending thousands of dollars on bottled water. There’s just no need)

So, every day I am now ingesting 64 ounces of water. Sixty. Four. Ounces.

And even my bladder cannot contain that amount of liquid and “hold it”. This, of course, means now I’m racing to the bathroom every other hour. Seriously. I am going to have chapped hands from all the washing at the sink.

SIDENOTE: Ladies…. What is it about us/you that leaves drops of water EVERYWHERE in the Ladies’ Room? There are water drops all over the counter and on the floor. Do you wash your hands and then just FLING them dry? A little consideration. Please.

So… I drink, ergo I pee. I figure the racing back and forth should be my cardio for the day as well.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Shark Week? Seriously?

I was perusing along my Facebook page over the weekend when I came across my friend Dave’s Facebook status, all excited about the fact that we were in the beginning throes of Shark Week 2009. My friend Dave lives in Orlando with his beautiful wife Vickie, their baby Mason, and baby-in-the-oven… along with Gracie the faithful family Dalmatian. I suppose since Dave & Company live in Florida, one gets more excited about Shark Week than say those of us who are living in middle Tennessee. Sharks just aren’t that big a deal.

I can take or leave Shark Week. I may even be surfing along the television channels and momentarily stop on the Discovery Channel to watch some huge, frenzied eating machine jump out of the surf and chomp down on its prey. Whatever. My problem with Shark Week?

Well. It is my birthday week.

That’s right ladies and germs… my birthday is fast approaching. I am getting older, and it is likely that my brothers will enjoy ribbing me about this fact. It’s okay. I can take that in stride. But… to have my birthday correlate with Shark Week is bothering me somewhat, and I cannot for the life of me, figure out why.

Maybe it is that some sharks have rather silly names. Everyone has heard of the Tiger Shark or the Hammerhead Shark (the only shark I can actually pick out of a line up!) and of course, the Great White Shark (thanks Steven Spielburg). But did you know there was a Cookie Cutter Shark? I imagine it floats around the great blue deep wearing a frilly apron and oven mitts.

Or, there is the Silky Shark. Do you think it longingly wishes it posed for Victoria’s Secret? But, because it over-indulgenced on that baby seal, it has been shunned as being too hippy?

I think I like the Gulper Shark best. I can see it stopping by the closest 7-11 to grab a Big Gulp of freshly brewed seawater.

Maybe it is because these animals are removing the focus of my yearly celebration from… well… me! Or maybe it is because my birthday is now sandwiched between Shark Week and ELVIS Week.

Makes me worry that I have something in common with sharks and Elvis. I swim. I can sing. But I don't want to thrash about and eat baby seals and I don't want to die on the potty of a drug overdose. But that's just me.

So, go ahead and celebrate sharks and Elvis in the days to come. I am going to slink away somewhere with friends and overindulge in chocolate and be lavished upon in my own way.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

I have a new camera... and I want desperately to get a book on how to work it. I have read the little manual, but it does not help me UNDERSTAND the camera. I am going to budget to get the Dummies book for SLR digital cameras. It is out there. I have seen it. I will have it. Later.