Thursday, September 29, 2011

So Far, I'm Not Full of It...

Monday, eight miles on the recumbent stationary bike.

Tuesday, eight miles on the recumbent stationary bike.

Wednesday, five miles on the recumbent stationary bike. (I would have done more, but it was getting late and I wanted to make time to iron some shirts for Steinvic. Not that he wanted me to or that he'd have cared if I didn't, but when he's gone, I like to do things to help him out. Makes me feel closer somehow and miss him just a tiny bit less. By the way, Houdini is wonderful in many ways but he is NOT a good helper on ironing. Cute, though...very, very cute.)

I'd be walking and walking Houdini, too, but it's been raining. Houdini does not like wet paws. I know, right? We've already been shopping for boots for His Majesty for when the snow hits. THAT should be interesting.

I'm sticking to the morning smoothie, mixing it up a little with different fruits and yogurts that Steinvic picked up last weekend.

Light lunches. Light dinners. Stretching and moving a little more at work.

And you know something? I pulled on a pair of jeans last weekend, one size smaller. They were snug, but they fit and weren't so tight that I looked foolish or couldn't wear them.

It's progress. Slow, steady, progress, but enough to encourage me to not slack.

Here's to keeping promises, especially the ones that you make to yourself...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Patti Stanger is an Idiot.

When Millionaire Matchmaker first came out, I watched it peripherally, wondering how anyone wealthy would sign up for Patti’s services, much less want to be featured and humiliated on her show.

From the insulting suggestions she makes to date candidates, to the way she clearly delights in cutting down the millionaires she’s supposed to be helping, Ms. Stanger has never been appealing. In fact, the very way she reviews potential clients at the beginning of her show implies that people should feel lucky if she “accepts” them into her Millionaire’s Club.

Lucky. Like, rule #1 of providing good customer service is making your customers feel special, right? Not that they’re fortunate?

I have been reading about how Ms. Stanger opened her botox-riddled face to comment on “the gays” on Andy Cohen’s show on Sunday. One more reason to not like her. As if we needed more!

I think she’s probably lost a lot of viewers over this and maybe even a few of her “gay friends” (or Jewish friends, since she took a swipe at Jewish men, too.)

In my experience, people who have to point out that they’re friends with folks in different race/sexual orientation/monetary groups than themselves usually have some kind of guilt they’re trying to cover. It’s like Archie Bunker saying he has black friends. That makes all the rest of the bigotry and prejudice okay, right?


Boycott Patti Stanger’s show. Let’s hope Bravo cancels it. What a douche.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Get It Together

So, I spent the summer not doing what I needed to do to get fit, feel healthier and look better.

I didn’t do it.

I did whatever the hell I wanted, eating whenever or whatever (which still isn’t as “bad” as what most folks typically eat), drinking when I felt like it and - most importantly - not exercising every day or even most days.

Some days, but not regularly.

I’ve been reading and I’ve been researching and I am back on board. Again.

It’s much more simple this time. And simple seems to work best for me:

Before work, I am taking the time to make a smoothie in the morning with unsweetened organic coconut or almond milk, a scoop of whey protein, a banana and a little strawberry yogurt. In the vintage blender my Grandma gave me, which somehow makes it taste better.

During the work day, I’m getting up at least once an hour at work and going somewhere in the building. I am moving because sitting is killing me. I am breathing deeply and preventing my posture from sucking.

I am packing baggies of vegetables to eat. Cucumbers, carrots, celery. Washington apples. Tablespoons of unsweetened organic peanut butter* to spread lightly on whole wheat crackers if I am starving. But just little bits of this and that. Small amounts of goodness to fuel me as I need it. I’m not on a schedule any more.

And then the evenings…the evenings will have a big walk or a bike ride in them. Not stressing any more about “when” it happens…I used to break my neck to get that bike ride in before 7:00 p.m. because someone once told me I had to have my exercise over by then or I wouldn’t sleep well. To hell with that. If I want to ride my bike while I watch a movie or show between 7 and 8:00, that is what I’m going to do. If Houdini wants to go for a W at 8:15, we will go. The sleep will work itself out. I can't believe how many good, nonstressed workouts I missed because I tried to follow the 7 p.m. rule. Dumb!

Drinking only a lovely glass of wine or two if I feel like it. Eating a typical meal…which is almost always healthy and homemade for us. Lots of water…not forcing it but drinking it when I’m thirsty.

Not stressing it and pushing this new norm on the weekends. Not abandoning the new norm, but not beating myself up if we have pizza one night or I have some cocktails with Steinvic.

Herbal teas. Foods and drinks that smell dark and earthy. (I am on a quest to find figs. I crave them. I need to find out what the main nutrients are in them to see what I’m missing because I borderline obsess over them, and not the Fig Newton kind...the little, fresh hard-to-get kind.)Good things that make sense.

I’m doing this because it’s time. And I feel better already.

*So, while label-reading, I learned that even in the sacred organic aisles, horrors can lurk. You’re buying peanut butter. It should be…peanuts mashed up, right? So, why did every brand but one have tons of other ingredients?

Friday, September 16, 2011

"If In Doubt..."

"...don't." This is a wise bit of advice my precious Grandma gave me and reminded me of throughout my formative years.

I have to admit that any time I didn't apply that bit of wisdom to my decision making, I regretted it horribly and found myself in a bad way.

So...when I see the headline that Scarlett Johansson is among the other unfortunate women who have taken nude photos of themselves with their phones and had their accounts hacked, I find myself wishing that they had someone in their lives who loved them as much as my Grandma loved me.

I mean seriously...what did I miss? When did it become a good idea to snap photos of yourself naked, and save them to your phone and carry that phone around with you? Like...would you carry your diary around with you? Noooope! (Chuck Testa!) You would not. You'd hide it because it had private thoughts and feelings in it that you didn't want anyone to read or know. And those are just words! Don't you think nekkid pictures would be more private than a diary? I would! And I wouldn't be carrying them around with me...on my phone! A phone that could get stolen or lost! A phone that has a network attached to it. No!

And before you snark something like, "If you had a body like Scarlett Johansson's, you might understand," let me explain...

It isn't just Scarlett or Vannessa or Rihanna. It's apparently all kinds of young people...heck, older people, too...guys and girls, men and women...they've all lost their minds! What on Earth compells someone to do this?

I'm totally not a prude. I honestly don't care about nudity...if you want to be naked and take little freaky photos and have the whole world see you and your goods, rock on. That's totally your business. (Literally...ha!)

BUT! If you take a photo of yourself on your cell phone and it ends up getting out there for the whole world to see, you're not allowed to complain about it.

If you're in high school, and your boyfriend begs you for an intimate shot and you cave, BOOM! You've probably just porned yourself. That's right, I just made porn a verb. You've porned yourself and at some point, that silly boy is going to show his friends your private parts or forward it to someone else or post it online and then there you are. You're going to break up with that dude and you won't be able to get those pictures back and where does that leave you? Embarrased, ashamed, regretful...and naked. For everyone. Which isn't what you intended, but it happened anyhow.

If in doubt, Scarlett...if in doubt, ladies and gentlemen...don't. Think beyond five minutes from now. Those thoughts will be a good investment.

(It's so scandalous every time it happens to someone famous that I can't help but to think celebrities WANT this kind of attention. By now, if I were famous and it happened to one of my celebrity colleagues, the first thing I'd do is run home and delete any of the images I may have unfortunately and foolishly taken of myself.)

By the way, the other thing that my Grandma used to say to me when I was lamenting over not being like everyone else/doing what everyone else was doing was, "Don't be common."

Damn, I miss her.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Do You Live in D.C.? Watch For Sassafras!

I saw this story online this morning and thought I'd share it, just in case there is anyone reading this blog who lives in the Washington D.C. area.

And...also because it is heartwarming how devoted this family is to Sassafras. Reading how the community is chipping in to help find a lost pup is really moving.

Enjoy...and please send good wishes to Sassafras and her humans!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Not All Fruits & Veggies Are Safe for Dogs!!!

I am totally stupid.

When we got Houdini, I already knew we’d give baby carrots as treats. A friend did that with her dog in college and I was impressed by how white her dog’s chompers were. We have other friends and families who do this so we followed suit. Houdini loved them at first, then got bored with carrots and so I quit buying them.

But since I’m a pescetarian – and Steinvic thankfully eats anything I prepare – there are lots of vegetables in our house at all times. In fact, I probably really only eat fish once a week, then the rest of the time it’s Veggie City.

So, whenever I labor at the cutting board, if Houdini begged for a bite of whatever I was chopping, I’d toss it down to him. We don’t really give him lots of table food…he gets a plain piece of pasta or a few bits of cooked bacon here and there, but veggies and fruits we felt good about, because they’re natural and unprocessed and Houdini could encounter these items in nature and eat them.

Boy, was I wrong.

Two of the cute, compact foods that we give Houdini regularly are toxic to dogs: grapes and tomatoes.

Who knew? We sure didn’t! And if the chatty bagger at the grocery hadn’t informed me of this yesterday, oh so casually (because she and the cashier were marveling at the grapes I bought, and I mentioned that our dog would be thrilled,) I’d have never googled it and we’d still continue to give Houdini all the grapes and tomatoes he wanted.

And he would probably have died.

And then what would we have done? Life without Houdini? And life without Houdini because we fed him something that harmed him?

THANK GOODNESS for the bagger at the grocery store! I feel so dumb…

Thursday, September 1, 2011

If It Ain't Broke...

I just saw the trailer for the remake of Footloose. One word:


And now some more words about it;

I don’t get it. At the time that Footloose came out, musicals had made a bit of a resurgence and soundtracks for films dominated the music charts and our lives. Saturday Night Fever, Annie, Fame, Stayin’ Alive, Grease, The Wiz, Tommy…just to name a few.

My soundtrack to junior high school included Purple Rain and Footloose. Good times. I can remember making up dance routines to songs with friends and buying those lyric magazines (remember those, J?) and learning the words to every pop song on the radio.

It was a musical time that was becoming visual. MTV still played music videos all the time and the marriage of miniature stories with music was ideal. The videos weren’t always even that good, but you got to see the band, a little of their attitude and hear some good songs. It stood to reason that a movie jammed with pop music worked - it was like seeing an hour and a half long music video.

And of course, the story of Wren McCormick just trying to have a little fun in a repressed, sleepy, danceless town was enough to get teenagers into the theaters and out buying Footloose cassettes. (yeah, I think I still have mine…) It did not hurt that Kevin Bacon was terribly cute and a great dancer. All of the elements of the classic, perfect musical were right there – song, love, rebellion, conflict and a happy ending.

So…28 years later, Hollywood thinks it can remake this story and it will resonate with today’s teens? Kids today do pretty much whatever they want to do! They wouldn’t go through the trouble of organizing a secret dance across county lines. They wouldn’t care so much about what their parents thought. Kids grew out of rules and lying about secret dances in the 90s when Raves were all the rage.

Today, kids would hop online, find out where the party’s at and just go. They may or may not tell their parents where they were going. I’m not bashing kids of today, but they are WAY more independent (this is good and bad) than they were in the 80s when this movie was created.

My point – today’s kids don’t need to be encouraged to think independently or to rebel...they do it naturally. I don’t mean to sound like an old fogey, and I haven’t seen the whole movie obviously, but unless there are some major twists to the rest of the plot, I’m not getting how it’s relevant today.

Also, not to blast…Julianne Hough is lovely, but she looks like she could be Kenny Wormald’s (who?) very young-former-teenaged-mom or way older sister in a family where Kenny was a menopause baby. Kinda creepy. I know she's only 23, but dang.

The only thing worse than this remake is if they’d done a sequel where Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer are now adults with children who are rebellious in some other scenario, or if they portrayed parents trying to convince the PTA in some other small town to have a dance.

Let’s stop with the remakes, ‘kay?