Saturday, December 31, 2011

I Can Do Better

2011 had a lot of ups and downs. I rang in the New Year on my couch drinking a few Yuenglings while it snowed outside. The roads were too bad to go anywhere, even in a cab. I had fun watching the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block perform while the ball dropped in Times Square. In February I thought I had found "the one who might be sticking around for awhile." And he did. Until July. I threw out my back in March and gained 15 lbs. over the next few months. I started wearing a beach cover up in the hot days of the summer. It was the only thing that fit and didn't make me feel like a beached whale. And then I was so rudely dumped and lost a few pounds. At the end of July I commiserated with a friend going through a tough time and we became great friends. We ate, we drank, we were merry. And I gained those pounds right back. In August I was able to see one of my best friends get married in wine country. Oh my was the food delicious and plentiful. In September I started my new job going between three schools every day. Each day I was able to get some new and exciting menu item from Erb&Gerb or Panera or Noodles. It was a slippery slope. I wasn't exercising and I was tired each and every day. By the middle of the month, after carrying around a 50-lb laptop for a week, I threw my back out worse than I have ever thrown it out before. This time it included incredible back spasms and sciatica. I couldn't move or even walk to the bathroom. I decided that I wasn't going to play tennis until 2012. And I gained another 5 lbs. I tried getting back into exercising in November, giving the 200-calorie burn per day a shot. I did really well for about 10 days and then relapsed. In December I was going to log at least 10 days in My Food Diary, doubling the amount that I entered in November. I made it to 7 days. I pushed really hard and added another 7 lbs to my body in December. Good winter beers, holiday treats, and superbly bad eating helped along the way. In 2011 I gained a total of 27 lbs. I am officially the largest that I've ever been in my life, eclipsing my wedding weight by 5 lbs. My jeans don't fit. I look like I could line up with Brian Urlacher and the Bear's offensive line and no one would bat an eye. Fleece pants, sports bras, and baggy sweatshirts are my life.

How did this happen? Injury? Gluttony? Laziness? Most likely all of those things. The only option now is to reverse what I've done to myself in 2011.

I can do better. And in 2012 I WILL do better. I have nothing stopping me. I've been having a few "last meals" at local places that I'm going to have to steer clear of in the next few months. I've done this before and I can do it again, but I have to be diligent and stick to the plan, even when I want nommy deliciousness like Noodles or Monkey Sundaes at Grand Old Creamery.

Josh has also decided to work on this goal with me. He joined My Food Diary and is going to stop smoking completely and stop drinking in January. I will be dry in January as well. His goal is to drop 10-15 lbs total. My goal is a little more overwhelming - 55 lbs in all of 2012. I'm sure about 10 days into this I'm going to completely balk, but that's what Josh is here for - to keep me on task even when I beg him to go on a Dairy Queen run. He's a superb cook and will be able to make healthy dinners that might actually include a vegetable or two.

On to the goals:
I'm going to play tennis in January. This was my goal before I tweaked my back in late December and I'm determined to stick to it. I'm also going to run/jog/gimp along at one 5k per month. We're all signed up to do the Polar Dash tomorrow. I just hope I don't puke. The Duluth Inline Half also awaits me in September. I'm definitely worried about this one, but will be rolling around the Metrodome for the next few months with my friend Sten. My goal is simply to finish without any major injuries. I believe that's Sten's goal too!

I know there are going to be hard times ahead. This will not be easy and every day will be a struggle. But I got myself into this mess so I'm the one that's going to have to get myself out of it.

Today I will say goodbye to the mac n cheese at the Wilde Roast Cafe. Then I will pick up my race packet for tomorrow, pick up some warm clothes (30-40 mph wind gusts, ugh!), and bid adieu to my Monkey Sundae buddy.

This evening's festivities include ringing in the new year with some friends. I think being with good friends and sharing laughs is a better way to greet the new year than singing "Step by Step" alone on my couch. 2012 will just have to be a better year - I'm not giving it any other option!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. This week started off with grand expectations. I was supposed to do 4 miles of blading at the Dome, but then it was canceled due to oil on the concourses. Boo. Ended up going to Victory 44 for a delicious meal, topped off with the best dessert ever: apple-squash crisp with squash sorbet. Tuesday and Wednesday brought no exercise and a hot dog and pizza for dinner, respectively. Tonight is a happy hour with apps and tomorrow it's ribs with Missy and Dave. Let's just call this week done with.

2. I had a substitute yesterday while I was in the building for a workshop at Park Center. I was able to watch my kids and see that they were dressed and doing a good job, even with a sub! Even more importantly, when the group of 20 PE teachers from other districts toured our building, I could proudly say that this was my class. The other teachers were impressed with Park Center and I was proud (even more so than normal) to say that I work there.

3. I will be helping to pick out a Christmas tree for the first time in six years. I think I'm *almost* in the mood. Dad has sent out the Christmas breakfast and dinner menus and they look like I'm going to gain five pounds over the three-day stint that I'll be home. I don't automatically change the station when Christmas music comes on. This is a sign that it might be a good season after all.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Monday

Today is December 12th. So far I have logged six full days on My Food Diary (my goal is 10).  On 7 out of 11 days in December, I managed to drink 2+ Nalgenes of water. So far, so good!

I'm still at the same weight, but I haven't been too good on the weekends. There's just too much nommy food out there! Which means only one thing...in January, it's back to playing tennis on Saturday mornings and Wednesday nights. Hopefully my back will stay in line and my cal burn will kick up a notch.

Josh and I have also set a goal of no drinking in January to see if we can shed some of the pounds that have been creeping back on due to winter reds and dark seasonal beers. Hopefully, by Jan 31 I will be a tad lighter. Not giving out any numbers, just want to be lighter than I am now.

Halfway through December, I'm feeling good about my progress. I'm making it to the gym during the week and have started my rollerblading program. Last Monday we bladed 2 miles and tonight I'm going to aim for 4 miles (10x around the inside of the Dome). They are also giving away FREE pieces of the old Dome roof tonight to the first 250 bladers. How cool is that?? Tonight I could have my very own piece of Minnesota history.

If it ever snows (mind you, I'm okay if it doesn't), I'll strap on some x-country skis with some friends and head out to the Elm Creek Park Reserve. That is one thing I'm really looking forward to - great x-country trails, great friends, and a great calorie burn!

Happy Monday all! Stick to your exercise plans this week! And keep me accountable too. :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fun Facts Friday

1. My new favorite breakfast is 3/4 c Kashi Heart to Heart cereal, 1 small box of Honey Smacks, and 1/2 a banana.

2. I am ADDICTED to the new FX series American Horror Story. Addicted.

3. I wore a scarf today because I've been cold in the mornings. When I walked into the high school gym to take attendance, the first comment was, "Someone's got a hickey!" High school kids crack me up!

4. So excited to be going to Key West in February!!

5. I finally put away 5 baskets of laundry this week. There is officially no more space in my wardrobe.

6. On Monday, Sten and I went rollerblading for the first time at the Metrodome's Rollerdome. It was a lot of fun and we did 2 miles. In September we'll be doing our very first inline half marathon in Duluth!

7. Next Monday they will be giving out FREE pieces of the old Metrodome roof at Rollerdome!! I hope I get one!

8. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It reminds me of high school.

9. I'm addicted to online coupon sites like Groupon, Daily Deals, and LivingSocial.

10. I rarely wear pants in any other color than black when I'm teaching. I have about 5 pairs of black fleece pants.

11. I've started cutting back on food and exercising more this week. And all I want are cupcakes. I even want to MAKE cupcakes.

12. I am loving my new trimester 2 schedule. Hours 1-3: DAPE, hour 5: rec sports, hour 6: DAPE. It's great!

13. I've had a 6-pack of Fulton's Sweet Child of Vine in my fridge for about a month now. It's the first batch they made in bottles and I'm afraid it won't taste like it does from the tap.

14. I'm proctoring the ACT tomorrow morning. I get a whopping $103 too!

Hope you had a great Friday!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless-ish Wednesday: Christmas?


I'm thinking about getting into Christmas this year. Maybe. But only if Josh gets a tree. Oh, and if there is egg nog involved... I'm already eyeing up the egg nog milkshake at Culver's. 700 calories of NOM. Ho ho ho...

Oh, and by the way, 7 days into December and I've already logged 5 days in My Food Diary. Tomorrow: I approach the scale...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Jingle All The Weigh

So...November was a flop. I reached day 11 and that was probably my last day of consecutive 200-cal workouts. Nov 12 brought a football game and a night out watching a friend's band. Nov 13 was recovery from the previous day. I tried a few more times, but mostly fell flat. In the entire second half of November, I only exercised four times. Sad.

But now it's December! It's a new month and I have new goals. I've named this latest feat:

Jingle All The Weigh!

(I thought it was pretty clever, especially since the book I'm currently reading is titled The Pun Also Rises. Hardy har har!)

My goals for this month are pretty simple:
1. Drink at least 2 Nalgenes/day. This is hardest to do on the weekends.
2. Focus more on what I'm eating - portion control and calories. Weight loss is 80% what you eat.
3. Log in My Food Diary. In all of November I only logged 5 days. My goal is 10 days for December.
4. Have one "freebie" day per week. Usually this is a Friday, or it has been in the past.

December will be a short-ish month. I want to do this up until Christmas and then re-assess for January. Tennis may make a comeback after the first of the year, but we'll see... I'm getting really antsy to hit that little fuzzy yellowygreen ball.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon...

I've been reading Garrison Keillor's Life among the Lutherans. It's a collection of his weekly Lake Wobegon updates that all have a story about the Lutherans of the town. I came across a paragraph last night that I wanted to share. I was eating my free Punch Pizza and texting with Josh, who, earlier in the day, had wrapped up the financial arbitration portion of his divorce. I thought it was apropos.

Marital Memorial Day

...and then Arlene looked up over her coffee and said, "You know, there ought to be a Memorial Day for marriages."
"A what?" he said.
"A Memorial Day when we honor those who have been divorced. Our noble fallen."
"Well," he said, "I can think of a few divorced people I wouldn't care to honor."
"Oh," she said, "there were plenty of men who got killed in wars who probably had it coming to them, too, but that's not the point. Marriage is noble. It's admirable and brave and very idealistic for anyone to ever imagine they could live with another person all their life - it's much nobler than going to war and more dangerous - and in the course of things some marriages crash, and others, like ours, pull through, and you know it could've been just just as well as them, so why blame people who failed? All you do is encourage young people to imagine they can learn to avoid mistakes, and that's crazy - life happens to everybody, so why shouldn't there be an event where people who believe in monogamy honor those who tried and went down?"
"Where are you going to hold this?" he asked. "At church?"
She looked at him coolly. "Of course. That's where they got the idea to get married in the first place. Of course it should be in a church. Why not?"
They hadn't gotten much sleep that night, so they took naps that day, and she didn't mention the Marital Memorial Day idea to him again, but he thought about it. He thought, "This could be the idea that, if a brought it up at a church board meeting, would cause them to thank me for my many years of service and I wouldn't have to fund-raise anymore."

I like the idea, but my favorite part was the husband's idea that by bringing this up, he could avoid future church functions. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I took Josh to his first Gopher football game last Saturday. I can't believe that a kid from Bloomington, MN (by the Mall of America) has never been to a Gopher game. Too bad the Gophs couldn't pull out anything even resembling a win against the visiting Wisconsin Badgers. But he did get to see Goldy spin his head! And that is priceless...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Critters

I sent this email to my landlord this evening with the subject, "Scoreboard."
------------------
Allison: 1
Mouse: 0

He met his demise in the trap under the radiator in the kitchen. I will keep you updated if the score changes...
-------------------

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quest for Greatness

So Rudi told me about her Quest for Greatness Mediocrity and I thought I'd hop on that bandwagon. I'm slowly recovering from a horrific back injury and it's about time that I start adding exercise into my eating routine.

It is officially 1/3 of the way through November and I've worked out every single day (including Oct 31)! There have been a few days when I totally planned on going to the gym, but instead went home. Lucky for us Minnesotans, November has been downright mild and I've been able to take walks around the 'hood. Yesterday's 37-min/500 calorie walk included a hike down and then back up Ramsey Hill. About halfway up the hill I was starting to think that it was a bad idea... But I got to the top and thought that, come spring, that will be a good workout. I may even jog up it! (HA)

Today's workout (and most days' workout) was the elliptical at the gym. 30-40 minutes, Dr. Oz and Kare 11 news, and a Minnesota Monthly help to keep me plodding along. I'm pretty sure I can keep this going through the entire month and it's a good challenge! It's feasible and anyone can do it. Go for a walk, rake some leaves, deep-clean the bathroom - anything to get your heart rate up and burn 200 cals. Do it!

Calories burned November 1-10: 4,524 (an average of 452 cals/day)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Three Things Thursday

Well, it's been awhile. School has been hectic, but now with tennis being over, I'm finding a *tad* more time for myself.

1. Rudi and I decided to get back in the exercise/eating well routine on Oct 31. Our goal is to burn at least 200 calories per day in November. So far, so good, but it's only Nov. 3rd. I stepped on the scale and it hasn't budged since last Saturday when I dared step on it for the first time in months. A debilitating back injury and nerve issue has caused me to postpone my tennis-playing until the spring. Halloween was the first day back at the gym since I threw out my back in mid-September. It went really well and my back is holding together nicely (knock on wood). I'm even up to 3 weeks between chiropractor visits. He promised me that one day I'll be back to 3 months. Sure, Tom, sure.

2. I've had Eleanor Roosevelt's autobiography now for a week past when it was due. I needed to write down the quotes that I liked thus far in the book. There aren't as many good quotes as from her Learn By Living book, but it's still a good read. I fear I will have to return it and read the two books I borrowed from the library yesterday - one about the New Deal and another from Garrison Keillor about life among the Lutherans. That should be a quickie - it's pretty short. I'm on chapter 23 in the autobiography, which is a good place to stop and start up again later. I need to start reading every night before I go to bed.

"Somewhere along the line of development we discover what we really are, and then we make our real decision for which we are responsible. Make that decision primarily for yourself because you can never really live anyone else's life, not even your child's. The influence you exert is through your own life and what you become yourself." - Introduction

"I realize now it would have been better to have devoted the time which I gave to hockey to learning to play tennis, which would have been more useful to me later on." - Adolescence, pg. 23

"But the thing he felt most strongly was that there was a vitality in the people that could be slavaged. I believe it was from his faith in the people that he drew the words of his first inaugural address: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - I Learn to Be a President's Wife, pg. 162

"Nothing we learn in this world is ever wasted and I have come to the conclusion that practically nothing we do ever stands by itself. If it is good, it will serve some good purpose in the future. if it is evil it may haunt us and handicap our efforts in unimagined ways." - The First Year: 1933, pg. 180

"Not only his old friends but with various other people my husband had frequent run-ins over the new theory that government had a responsibility to the people. I remember that when Senator Carter Glass insisted that Virginia needed no relief, Franklin suggested that he take a drive with him to see some of the bad spots. The senator never accepted his invitation." - The First Year: 1933, pg. 181

"Soil conservation and forestry work went forward, recreation areas were built, and innumerable bridges, schools, hospitals, and sanitation projects were constructed - lasting monuments to the good work done under these agencies. It is true they cost the people of the country vast sums of money, but they did a collective good and left tangible results which are evident today. They pulled the country out of the depression and made it possible for us to fight the greatest and most expensive war in our history." - The First Year: 1933, pg. 182 (speaking about the PWA, CWA, and CCC)

"Franklin said he thought people had to prepare themselves, that all he could do was to give them the opportunities and see how they worked out." - Second Term: 1939-1940, pg. 214

3. So last night my doorbell started ringing at 6:15 pm. I never answer my doorbell bc if someone's coming to see me and I want to see them, they would have texted or called me. The doorbell rang incessently so I ducked out my back stairwell and walked down the alley, around to the front of the house. It was some middle-aged white guy with glasses and khakis. He had papers in his hands. I thought perhaps that he was wringing the wrong doorbell and he meant to serve papers to the tenants below me. So I walked around a bit and then noticed that he was gone. When I got back to my apartment, there were papers under my door. Turns out the building is being foreclosed. The sheriff's sale is December 1 and they have until the 11th to pay what is owed. If they don't, then the renters are out in six months. At first I was disgruntled that my landlord didn't advise me of this. Then I thought - sweet!! If I get that short sale, this could be my loophole! I emailed my landlord and he apologized for the scare and said that he had just talked with the owners and they are taking care of it. In the meantime, my landlord/his company will continue to fix things, etc. So either I have to finish out my lease or I am allowed to move out in June. I win either way.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is Tennis Over Yet?, My Birthday, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

We are now in the fourth week of school. Tennis will be done for JV/C tomorrow, after we get annihilated by Centennial. Team sections for varsity are Oct 6, with individuals following that. This is the first time I've had to stay on and help the varsity, as a JV/C coach. I'm about done with tennis. I threw my back out a week ago and my left foot and ankle are still numb, which has never happened before. This makes tennis, standing or coaching, uncomfortable. I'm also starting to get a little sick, most likely bc I have yet to fall into a daily pattern that involves a few Nalgenes of water. Simply put, I need a break. Today was the first rain cancellation that we've had all season and I'm very thankful for it. I have a chiropractor appointment at 3 and then I'm headed home for the first school day all year. I'm planning on snuggling up on the couch with some TiVo.

The four weeks have gone by super fast though. Every weekend has been jam-packed and this weekend will be no different, aside from one slight detail...someone is turning 32! I'm keeping it low-key this year and have just planned a trip to the magic table on the West Side, some cuppycakes, appetizers, a fire, and some beers. For my actual birthday, I'll be working at Lifetime and then maybe I'll watch some football and have a nommy birthday dinner. Not sure, but that sounds like a good plan to me. My birthday present to myself is to try out acupuncture on Saturday morning - fun!

In the past two months I've been reading a lot of Eleanor Roosevelt. I read My Year With Eleanor and while I didn't care for the author, I've very much enjoyed getting to know ER. I read Learn by Living and liked it so much that I bought it for Josh and highlighted all of my favorite passages. I also requested a copy for myself for my birthday. I'm currently reading her autobiography, but it's quite lengthy and I'm on renewal #3 at the library. I may end up buying that one as well...

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Learn by Living:

I find that life is much more satisfactory when it forms a kind of pattern, though I do not believe in too rigid a pattern. In the first place, you will create a pretty uninteresting and sterile atmosphere if everything is set so rigidly that it cannot be changed. Inflexibility will make your life an unnecessary burden and it will also make it dull. Worst of all, it will make you a burden to other people.  (pg. 51)

I think one of the basic things to recognize is that the only valuable development is the development of an individual. If you try to change that individual so that he loses his personality, you have done something that has destroyed the most important thing about a human being, his essential difference from anybody else. Any one of us who tries to make someone over and force him into an image of what we think he should be, rather than encourage him to develop along his own lines, is doing a dangerous thing.  (pg. 69)

Not to arrive at a clear understanding of one's own values is a tragic waste. You have missed the whole point of what life is for. (pg. 73)

Unhappiness is an inward, not an outward, thing. It is as independent of circumstances as is happiness. Consider the truly happy people you know. I think it is unlikely that you will find that circumstances have made them happy. They have made themselves happy in spite of circumstances.  (pg. 82)

Human relationships, like life itself, can never remain static. They grow or they diminish. But, in either case, they change. Our emotional interests, our intellectual pursuits, our personal preoccupations, all change. So do those of our friends. So the relationship that binds us together must change too; it must be flexible enough to meet the alterations of person and circumstance. (pg. 86)

To respect one's fellow men is perhaps more difficult that to "love" them in a wide, vague sense. In fact, it is possible that to feel respect for mankind is better than to feel love for it. Love can often be misguided and do as much harm as good, but respect can do only good. It assumes that the other person's stature is as large as one's own, his rights as reasonable, his needs as important. (pg. 102)

Your ambition should be to get as much life out of living as you possibly can, as much enjoyment, as much interest, as much experience, as much understanding. Not simply to be what is generally called "a success." (pg. 118)

This is your life, not someone else's. It is your own feeling of what is important, not what people will say. Sooner or later, you are bound to discover that you cannot please all of the people around you all of the time. Some of them will attribute to you motives you never dreamed of. Some of them will misinterpret your words and actions, making them completely alien to you. So you had better learn fairly early that you must not expect to have everyone understand what you say and what you do. 
The important thing is to be sure that those who love you, whether family or friends, understand as nearly as you can make them understand. If they believe in you, they will trust your motives. But do not ask or expect to have anyone with you on everything. Do not try for it. To reach such a state of unanimity would mean that you would risk losing your own individuality to attain it. 
I never can understand why so many people are afraid to live their own lives as they themselves think is right. You can get rid of your neighbors but you cannot get rid of yourself, so you are the person to be satisfied. (pgs. 124-125)

Why should we shy away with shame from having made a mistake? No human being is all-wise; no human being always lives up to the best that he is capable of. Failure comes to everyone, except when one does nothing at all, which in itself is a failure. All we can do is to be honest with ourselves, be humble and try, as we gain wisdom, to rectify our mistakes and possibly to avoid some of them. (pg. 154)

For one thing we know beyond all doubt: Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, "It can't be done." (pg. 168)

I think she's a pretty neat lady and I'm excited to read and learn more about her.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chilly Weather

Right now it is a chilly 52 degrees in St. Paul. This morning it was in the 40s and I had purposely left all of the windows open overnight. When I woke up my room was nice and chilly. It reminded me of Tutu's bedroom and that made me smile.

Tonight there is a frost advisory, but most likely it won't hit the Cities. The suburbs may feel the freeze though.

Yesterday Comcast installed my cable and high speed internet and I couldn't be happier! TiVo is currently recording and I can now upload all of the State Fair pics to Facebook via reliable internet. All is right with the world.

I'm extremely happy, tired, and content right now with every aspect of my life. Actually, I'm just tired from work. I could use a nice long summer break right about now! I have a bunch of fun things planned this week and I'm looking forward to the Autumn Brew Review with some of my best buddies on Saturday.

So now I'm going to crash on the couch with my comforter, blankies, and some mindless TV. Tired, but content.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

All Moved In

So it's Sunday, one week after I officially moved in. I only spent two nights sleeping on my futon in the "lounge" and then set up my bed. This may actually be a record, as I usually spend many more nights on the futon before I get my act together and set up my bed.

The lounge (it's so cool, I just might capitalize it) is my favorite part of the duplex. It hangs out in the back of the building on the other side of my room-sized closet. It has French doors on one side and windows on the other three sides. When they are all open there is an amazingly wonderful breeze flowing through. Matt and Josh graciously moved my vintage fridge back there ("graciously" might just be an exaggeration...) and cold beers are currently chilling within it. There are flower twinkle lights set up above the futon and my radio/iPod speakers are tuned in to Jazz 88. Last night I listened to the Bing Hour while a cool breeze wandered through the apartment.

Comcast, on the other hand, has not been as relaxing. It would have been nice of them to tell me that I needed in writing a note from my landlord saying that they could work on the place. I had a verbal ok from him, but apparently that wasn't good enough. So now I have to wait another week+ until someone can get back out here. And even then I'm going to have to leave tennis practice early. It's a good thing that I'm stealing internet from the oh so technically savvy tippy. What kind of person doesn't lock their internet? Unfortunately, tippy's signal isn't strong enough for my TiVo to hook up to it. Bastards. I do have my BluRay player hooked up to the tv so at least I can watch movies. Last night's selections were The In-Laws and A League of Their Own.

Yesterday I decided to play "Apartment Tetris" and re-arrange everything that had accumulated in my bedroom and living room. I now have all of the bathroom things arranged in the hall closets, the bookcases positioned, the rug laid down, and the coffee and end tables out of my bedroom and into the living room. Heck, I even vacuumed the baseboards! The Lounge is also all set up, complete with chairs, stools, and pictures adorning the walls and baseboards.

Today's task (after watching The Help, finally) was the kitchen. I am proud to announce that the kitchen is all set up, minus the extra table that I can't fit into the back stairwell because two of the legs need to come off first. I vacuumed the floor and bought a Swiffer Wet Jet, which I will try out later tonight or tomorrow morning. I was going to put the books on the shelves and set up my shoes, but I'm thinking it's time to relax, have a couple of beers, and start watching movies. I was also going to clean the bathtub and bathroom today, but I think I'll hold off on that until tomorrow as well. Perhaps this lack of energy is the pot from the downstairs neighbors, seeping into my brain...

That is the only downside to my new place - the downstairs neighbors like to toke up and whatever they are smoking reeks to high heaven. I've only smelled it twice, once last Monday, and once today, and it is horrible. I've emailed my landlord twice. Right now I have my windows open because it's nice out, but if this continues during the winter I will raise holy hell. I've already stated that I am a teacher and smelling like pot is unacceptable. It's also written into the lease that there cannot be any illegal drugs on the property. I like this place and the area and if anyone is going to have to move, it's the people who are smoking illegal drugs. I am not, by any means, a prude. Smoke it if you got it! Just not in my house where I can smell it and where it makes my clothes and things smell like it. I think I'd prefer the girl who yelled at her kid in the duplex below me over these people. Or the crazy guy who would run the length of the duplex, even he'd be better. Those people were at least friendly to me when they ran into me. This girl (and there seems to be a guy and sometimes a little girl) has never said hi to me or introduced herself. I will have no qualms about getting rid of her, if necessary.

Aside from that, I'm so happy to be back in my old neighborhood! I'm enjoying walking to breakfast and to the local bars, restaurants, and shops. I'm so close to everything that I've missed. I'm close to the interstate and my commute is only about 35 minutes. I hop on, drive 25 miles, then hop off again. It's perfect! The neighbors I've met have been extremely friendly. They've introduced themselves and it's nice to know some people. The couple next door have a very large dog named Millie and they seem very nice and welcoming.

I still have a lot of work to do on the place, but it's coming along nicely. I bought a nice new flat screen tv for my bedroom and I'm excited to be able to watch movies and football in my room again, even if it is only steps away from the living room... It's a great place with lots of personality and I think I'm going to really enjoy living here. What amazes me the most is that when all of the windows are open, this amazing breeze whips through the entire place. It's the coolest thing to have a breeze throughout the entire house! And since I'm on the second floor, I can keep the windows open all the time and not have to worry about creepers, thieves, or peeping Toms.

And now I think I'm going to get a beer, curl up on the couch with the comforter (it's 64 degrees, dropping into the 40s tonight!), and pop in a DVD. This is the life!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Insomnia Friday

So it's almost 6 am on Friday and I cannot sleep. I'm not sure why I can't sleep, I just know that by planning to see a 9:20 movie this morning, I will most likely sleep right through it later...

1. My kitchen is the first room that's officially all packed up. Looks like I'll be eating out from now until August 28th, but that really is no different than my real life.

2. I'm obsessive about checking email and Facebook. They are always open on my computer.

3. Does Comcast install on Sundays? I really want to have internet/cable ready to go BEFORE I move in. Like, a week before.

4. I have a ton of fabulous friends who have already volunteered to help me move. A BIG thank you to: Josh, Jody, Jodi, Jen B., Jen L., Paula, Molly, Matt, and possibly Barbie & Rhys. You guys ROCK!

5. I'm becoming increasingly nervous/vomitational about going back to school.

6. This summer has had its ups and downs, but overall, it's been a super awesome summer. I feel like it's really lasted a long time and I'm not quite ready for it to be over.

7. I've worked out maybe three times in the last two weeks and it's only been playing tennis. I have a 5k on Sunday, Aug 28 at the State Fair and I'm starting to get worried. Not quite worried enough to actually get my butt out there and do some jogging, but worried none the less.

8. I have three overflowing bins of laundry to wash before I move.

9. I took seven bags of clothes to Goodwill this week. SEVEN.

10. I like ridiculously large undies. They're comfy.

11. There are 16 days until I move. I'll be in California for four of those days. Which brings me down to 12 days, three of which I'll be in new teacher workshops/tennis practice. So I have a total 9 days in which to pack everything, change all of my addresses, do a bazillion loads of laundry, and conquer my fear of creepy crawlies in the basement.

12. I'm worried that I won't be able to re-connect all of the cords and stuff to my electronics and that I'll have some mysterious cord leftover and my internet won't work.

13. If my internet will not work, you will be able to find me at The Muddy Pig. Wallowing.

14. My new neighborhood is the Selby-Dale section of St. Paul. It even has its own Facebook page. I lived very close to here from 2006-2008.

15. I will miss my West Side neighborhood and my West Side neighbors, but I'm excited to be back on the Hill. Cathedral Hill, that is.

16. F. Scott Fitzgerald spent a good chunk of his childhood in this area of St. Paul. He even went to school near my new place - at the intersection of Summit and Dale. There is a bronze statue of him sitting on the stairs leading up to the school. Here's a fun walking tour of F. Scott's haunts.

17. I'm still planning on seeing The Help in three hours...

18. I'm currently reading My Year With Eleanor by Noelle Hancock. I'm increasingly apathetic about the author, but am finding that I'm very taken with Eleanor Roosevelt. What a neat lady! Will have to read more about her.

19. I never travel without my blankies. They have been to Australia, Spain, Hawaii, and all across the US. They are very well-traveled blankies.

20. I think I'm ready to go back to bed now. Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Food Trucks!

Today Josh and I walked down to Kellogg Blvd. by the courthouse where five food trucks were lined up: Magic Bus Cafe, Chef Shack, 128 Mobile Cafe, Gastrotuck, and Fork in the Road. A detailed list of trucks in the Twin Cities can be found here. These trucks are part of St. Paul's Food Truck Court, which appears every Wednesday.


We looked at all of the menus and then decided to get some specialty hot dogs at the Magic Bus Cafe.


Josh totally dug the bus and it also matched his shirt. :)


I got the Magic Chili Dog and Josh got the Buffalo Springfield Dog with buffalo sauce, blue cheese, celery, and cream cheese. They were so delicious! There were also grass-fed and tofu dog options. Maybe next time...

We waited in line for the pulled pork grilled cheese at Fork in the Road, but noticed that they had run out of it. The food trucks are only parked for a few hours around lunchtime and once they run out, they run out. So, instead, we went to the Chef Shack.


We decided to try the pork tacos and the organic mini donuts. There was a nice spicy cheese sauce on the tacos and the pink cabbage made it both visually and orally interesting.


I will be gone next Wednesday for Missy's wedding and I'm bummed that I won't be able to go back to the food trucks. Teacher workshops start after that and soon I'll be back in school and unable to walk around and enjoy this summer delight. I will definitely add the Wednesday food trucks to my list of things to look forward to next summer.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fun Facts Friday

1. I love planning things to do, but sometimes don't follow through with them. Especially work-outs.

2. I'm becoming addicted to Netflix's instant queue. I sit on the couch, put a movie on my instant queue on the computer, and then it plays through the TiVo. Awesome!

3. I have a sad Garmin watch. I just realized its charger is still over on Grand Ave. "No worries. I'll bring it over tonight," was the text I rec'd yesterday morning. Hmm...still no charger.

4. I'm very proud of my sister, who will be running her very first half marathon this weekend. GO RU!

5. I'm starting to mentally pack up my house. Basement first, kitchen second, dining room third. Then I grind to a halt.

6. I have a tennis drill at 10:30 this morning. I should probably get going...

7. I have no dating prospects at the moment. This is weird for me, but I'm okay with it.

8. A friend asked me if I'm okay being alone. I've been thinking about this for a few weeks now and I've decided that I am. I enjoy company, but still spend most of my time alone.

9. I loved Friends With Benefits.

10. Asparagus is my favorite vegetable.

Have a great weekend! I'm off to tennis, lunch date with a PE teacher, and a massage. Not a bad way to spend a Friday. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...on Thursday

This past Tuesday into Wednesday I went here:


My friend Traci, an adapted PE teacher in Edina, has a cabin in Crowmwell, MN, about 2 hours north of the Twin Cities.

On Tuesday night we had some cocktails, some taco dip, and went for a cruise around Upper Island Lake on her pontoon boat.


The next day it was overcast, having rained hard all night. This made for some excellent 4-wheeling through puddles.


The trails were very scenic and were lined with wildflowers like these Black Eyed Susans.


I had a great time on my first 4-wheeled adventure, with Traci as my driver.


I hope to do much more cabin/lake/Minnesota stuff! What a great time!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fun Facts Friday

1. Today would have been my 6th wedding anniversary.


2. I have lost 9.6 lbs since the breakup. Yay! -10 lbs and I can treat myself to a Monkey Sundae at Grand Ole Creamery.
3. The super cool lights over the tennis desk never stay on. This annoys me.
4. I’ve never played with two of the same racquet until this summer. It makes me feel like a “real” tennis player.
5. Everyone is getting into this lululemon athletica craze. I just can’t do it - $100 ($75 with my Lifetime discount) for a zip-up “define jacket”?!


6. I think I know about as much about relationships as I do about physics. But relationships are more fun to try and learn about than physics.
7. I started singing, “Lincoln, Lincoln I’ve been thinking, what the heck have you been drinkin’?” this week and my friend didn’t know what I was talking about.
8. I hate when people have tags sticking out of their shirts.
9. Even the word “tag” creeps me out. *shudder*
10. I don’t think I could date someone who wasn’t into sports at all.
11. I would much rather see a movie by myself than with someone else.
12. I like to sit in the same seat every time (class, movie, restaurant).
13. There’s a place in St. Paul that I like to visit. It’s my secret spot and I’ll never tell anyone where it is.
14. My current favorite beer brand is Lagunitas.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Closure & Crazy Humidity

After contacting M three times, I finally received the last thing I was waiting for from him. It's bittersweet, but now everything is over. All ties have been severed and I can finally work on moving on. I was pretty upset today because, while the breakup hurt, him not talking to me about this hurt even worse. I think that, sometime way in the future, we could be friends. We did have a very good friendship. But for now, I just don't want it to be awkward if we see each other at Target or on Grand Ave. Things have ended well and I'm okay with it.

Today started the first day of Minnesota being as mucky as pea soup. It is 88 degrees, feeling like 106. And so I thought I'd take Amy up on her offer to play some tennis outside this afternoon! I went over to Kelly's to hang out in the backyard. There was a bit of a breeze an it didn't feel too bad. By the time 4 pm rolled around, the breeze had stopped. We puddled on the tennis court for about an hour until it started to rain. Then I headed back to Kelly's to cool off in the AC. The rain seemed to make things worse though.

So tonight I'm sitting on my couch, watching the boob tube, and I'm content. My heart's still broken, my knees are still sweating, but I can see that sometime, somewhere, I'll be excited about a boy again. And until that time, I'm going to do what I want to do and have a good time. Because "life is good." :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. Life is getting better. It's almost been a week since I was so rudely ditched and dismissed and I only cried once yesterday. I'm really digging my doubles tennis-relationships analogy. Sometimes you win and sometimes it's a struggle to win; sometimes it's easy. Sometimes you have a string of wins for five months and then you lose, badly. Ironically, this is what happened to me in both my romantic life and my tennis life. But I know that I will play another match and I'll win. And I have to have that same mindset when it comes to relationships. I'll win again, but in the meantime, I will practice and get better and be a better person. "And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous."

2. It's cold and rainy here today and I'm enjoying it. I've opened the windows and am liking the fact that I'm a tad chilly in the middle of July. I'm planning to run my mile later, rain or shine.

3. I've been having a hard time coming up with a third thing. Last night I met up with a friend who's going through a similar situation. We had a good time and we got each other to smile. We know we'll get through and that something better will come along, but we also know that it's going to be hard for awhile. But we have friends and that's priceless.

"Remember no man is a failure who has friends." - It's A Wonderful Life

This part always makes me cry.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

I've been having a tough day today after a good day yesterday. There was absolutely nothing I could have done to prevent this breakup because I was acting like myself. If I was too clingy, too present, there is nothing I could have done.

I've always loved this song:

Standing Outside the Fire

Here are the lyrics:

We call them cool
Those hearts that have no scars to show
The ones that never do let go
And risk it the tables being turned

We call them fools
Who have to dance within the flame
Who chance the sorrow and the shame
That always come with getting burned

But you got to be tough when consumed by desire
'Cause it's not enough just to stand outside the fire
We call them strong
Those who can face this world alone
Who seem to get by on their own
Those who will never take the fall

We call them weak
Who are unable to resist
The slightest chance love might exist
And for that forsake it all

They're so hell bent on giving, walking a wire
Convinced it's not living if you stand outside the fire

Chorus:
Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire

There's this love that is burning
Deep in my soul
Constantly yearning to get out of control
Wanting to fly hiher and higher
I can't abide standing outside the fire

Repeat Chorus(twice)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Correction

Yeah, I realized after I posted that today is only Tuesday. Le sigh.

Tennis wasn't so good - we lost 1-6, 0-6. I thought there was an interesting connection between doubles tennis and relationships. You can't do anything if the other person decides to return the serve to the opponent at the net. You have no control over the other person. You simply have to trust. And sometimes you win the match and sometimes you don't.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 11, 2011

Friends

Today ended up being a good day. After being violated at my annual exam, I returned some stamps that M had purchased for me, got a pedicure that looks super cute!, picked up Ru's bday present, and then went to the chiropractor. And I only had about 10 crying breakdowns. Then I went over to my friend Jen's apt to swim in her pool, but of course it was closed today. Just my luck. So we decided to head out to Mac's Industrial, the bar we go to on kickball nights, a little early. It was still tough and I almost cried, but I managed to get some salad down. Since I just had my toes done, I did not play, but rather cheered everyone on at kickball. We lost, but it was close and fun game. I got a lot of hugs and it cheered me up to be with friends.

On the way home I cranked up the tunes and sang at the top of my lungs and I feel pretty good right now. I'm sure there are still tough days ahead, but I'll take this bout of okay-ness.

When I was picking up Ru's present, I found this sign and I've made it my Facebook profile pic. I like it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. This morning I went to a 4.0 tennis drill. It was the pro, two other guys, and myself. I thought I could hang at a 4.0-level drill since I'm a 4.0 player, but I quickly realized that my back and my lungs are not ready for this level of play. At one point the pro even told me that once we can get me to breathe, I'll be pretty good! So I think I'll work on my mile and the elliptical to increase my cardiovascular fitness and go back to drilling at the 3.5+ level. 

2. On Tuesday I consumed 125.3g protein. On Wednesday I consumed 110.9g. How cool is that?

3. I'm really enjoying The Help. It's an engaging summer read and Wuthering Heights was killing my summer reading groove. The movie is coming out in August and it stars Emma Stone, one of my favorite new actresses. I have yet to see Jane Eyre and Water for Elephants and I'll probably have to catch them on Netflix. Other books that are on the docket for summer: American Brutus, My Year With Eleanor, Bossypants, Marriage Confidential, and At Home.
Emma Stone in The Help

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

West Side Wednesday

Today I ran a mile on the Henry Sibley track and took 14 seconds off of my mile time from yesterday. Oddly enough, the second time I ran the mile last July, I also took 14 seconds off my time. Tomorrow I'm going to do a tennis drill at Lifetime, but I may be able to sneak in a mile too...

After entering my food for the day, I was happy to see that, without even trying, I hit my first 30-30-40!! (And also learned how to take a screen shot, as witnessed from my actual screen shot.)
(Click to enlarge!)
I only added 44 calories of a delicious chocolate and toffee thing, ending the day at 31-29-40.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Garage Sale Results and Other July Things

I made $99.25! Not too shabby for a bunch of stamps, scrapbooking stuff, and shoes. Missy and I are off to Elite Repeat on Thursday to see if any of our stuff is consign-able. Everything else is off to Goodwill or the recycling center. No one, NO ONE, is interested in tube TVs anymore, not even my small bedroom TV. Maybe I'll try posting on the free section of Craig's List before I hit the recycling center.

I had finally lost about 2 lbs in two weeks and then the 4th of July weekend hit. I was down in the dumps about waking up to gaining those 2 lbs back. Then I made the mistake of trying on dresses at White House|Black Market. I will NEVER go in there again. Everything was way too small and the girl picking out "suggestions" for me was obviously not grounded in the reality that is my body shape. Thanks for the horizontal stripes and frilly dresses...

So it's back to diet, exercise, and no beer. I may never see my -10 reward of a monkey sundae at the Grand Ole Creamery if I'm not perfectly strict. I've found some diet-friendly foods that I'm absolutely in love with though: the bacon, egg white, and cheddar muffin melt with avocado and spinach at Subway. I could eat this every morning for breakfast! Then there is the Balance bar. I've tried the almond brownie, which tastes like one of those Little Debbie brownies with nuts, and it's by far my favorite! I tried a lemon one today and it was pretty good too.

I'm trying to up my protein intake and reduce my carb intake and go by the 30-30-40 rule:

30% fats
30% proteins
40% carbohydrates

The Balance bars do just that. On My Food Diary it gives you the percentage of your diet that is fats, proteins, and carbs so I'm trying to get close to 30-30-40. As of breakfast and lunch today I'm at 35-26-40 so I'm close. My three main goals are increase protein and decrease overall calories while including three 32 oz Nalgenes per day. Last week when I lost 2 lbs, I did just that.

On the work front, I was denied unemployment since I pretty much have a job lined up for next year. So I've upped the amount of hours I'm working at Lifetime and The Depot. This weekend I worked a 7-hour shift at the water park and tomorrow I'm working 8 hours at Lifetime. Friday brings 8-noon at Lifetime followed immediately by a shift at the water park until 5. (Then I play a mixed doubles tennis match at 6:30.) Saturday I picked up another shift at the water park from 8:45-3:15. Phew! I'm hoping I'll make enough between those two jobs to help cover the cost of the security deposit on the new apartment. The water park is shut down for major cleaning after this weekend, but I upped my August request for hours.

I also started running a mile again this morning. I took it easy and ran it in 13:04, which is still better than when I started last July. On 7/18/10 I ran my first mile in forever in 13:24. I'm glad to see that I haven't regressed completely. I'm just sick of being back up in the 170s after losing close to 15 lbs last fall. My back injury and a depression-fueled eating and drinking binge for three months completely killed me, my motivation, my previous weight loss, and my confidence. I am planning on taking July to get all of that back.

Lastly, yesterday marked five months that Mike and I have been together. We spent the day hanging out with my friend Jodi and her friends at her mom's pool. It was really relaxing and we both got some exercise and some color and had a good time! I'm very happy with how things are and I feel so lucky to have found such a great OUTSTANDING!!!! man.


July Goals
1. Drink 3 Nalgenes per day.
2. Get mile time back down into the 11:00s (best time was 11:19 on 9/22/10).
3. Increase protein intake and consistently log in My Food Diary.
4. Decrease weight, even if it's only 1 lb in all of July!
5. Watch more movies (had to include one fun one!). 

 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bursting Echo

This afternoon I packed everything for Missy's yard sale into my Echo. Trunk, back seat, floors, front seat = all full. I'm hoping that I don't get pulled over at some point for not being able to see out of my rear view mirror. I also hope that I sell a lot of stuff.

Small TV, small DVD player, my very first interview suit (which I will donate to one of those places that get people back on their feet if it doesn't sell), my giant scrapbook totes, half of my rubber stamps, shoes, purses, jewelry, about 10 glasses that I've stolen from bars, 6 still-in-the-wrapper scrapbooks, you name it, it's going in the sale!

Tonight I'm going to take everything over to Missy's and we're going to price things. That will probably be the hardest part. I want to price things so they sell, but not so I don't make any money. I have two dresses that I bought for $40 each that I never wore. But other things I don't care about - I'd rather try to get some money for them, but otherwise they're going to Goodwill. I'll also have to barter like the guys from Pickers! I hope I'm as good as they are...

And now...pics of the packed Echo:



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Cleaning Up & Reducing

There was a showing of my house the other night at 6 pm. So I had to do this:
 You can see the futon! And the rug!
 Clean and uncluttered steps!
ALL dirty clothes in the basket and you can see the floor!

And before that, I was working on getting things ready for Missy's yard sale. I even reduced all of my stamps down to one stamp shelf!
 Look at all of those purses!
Today's job: start sorting through clothes...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Reducing Effort Foiled By Rain

This is what happens when weather.com lies straight to your face and tells you that there is only a 15% chance of rain at 2 pm.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Worcester Fire Dept. 5k

Since this summer's theme is to reduce, I decided to join Rudi and some other friends at the Worcester Fire Department's 11th annual 5k.

Trying to "reduce" makes me do things that cause me to end up looking like this:
It's not an entirely pleasant picture, but I matched my current mile PR (12:19) even though I was going downhill. I started off innocently enough thinking, "Well, this isn't too bad!" I looked down at my Garmin and it was giving me a pace that started with an 8. "Oh crap, better slow down or I will die," was my next thought.

The scenery through Heebner Park was awesome though. I had never been through the park since they created it when I was off at college. There are ball fields, soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts! I wish they had that there when I was a kid. Aren't we the up and coming township. The course started off nice and flat and I thought perhaps they were kidding when they announced that it was all uphill on the way back.

We jogged through Heebner Park and then down Heebner Road (for those of you not familiar with Worcester Twp, are you catching a theme?). We turned right at Hollow Rd, which has a surprising number of houses on it. When I graduated from high school it was an old gravel road. There was a large ladder truck stationed at the intersection of Hollow and Fawn Rd where we cruised around an orange road cone whose top looked like it caught the business end of a fire at once point. Then it was back uphill. I was pretty much jogging (and I use this term loosely) until the halfway point. My shins were hurting and my lungs were burning, which all means it's time to walk. I walked alllll the way back up Heebner Rd. and then jogged at spurts through the park. With just a few minutes until the finish end, the album I was listening to (The Donnas - Spend the Night) stopped. I didn't want to waste time finding a new one to listen to bc I was already at 40 min.

I crossed the chalk finish line at about 41:44 but couldn't get my watch to stop until 41:49. The "official" time was 41:50, but I wasn't at the head of the pack at the starting line. My Garmin said the course was 2.99 but I'm not sure how accurate that was. I bet if I had stuck to the right side of Heebner and Hollow I would have made it a little closer to 3.1. Everyone did a nice job though and they were surprised by their times so it was probably a short course. My goal was to get under 43 minutes, which is what I ran/walked it at the beginning of the week in St. Paul. Goal achieved!

Ru and I went home to a spectacular breakfast prepared by Master Chef Byron. I almost had two scones, but resisted. They were totally nom-worthy though.

I'm proud of the time that I ran because I really haven't had really any practice or exercise since I completely messed up my back in March. I really enjoyed this race because it was just me and Worcester (and the gnats, which were pretty bad, but worse if you had a visor on). There were only 99 people running, which made it pretty much a solitary event. There were no dogs' leashes to get tangled up in and no crazy women pushing strollers who just decide to stop in the middle of the course and walk. I very much prefer this type of race to the type of races that I've been participating in in Minnesota. Towards the end there were two gals in yellowy-green shirts that had been around me the whole time. And that was all. The gal in yellow totally took off for the last leg. I believe I beat the gal in yellowy-green since I started jogging the last little bit.

Now I'm looking forward to dinner with the fam to celebrate Mom's retirement. I forget what the restaurant is called, but there was a crab mac and cheese on the menu, which I will totally be ordering.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2011 Summer Theme: REDUCE

I've chosen the theme of reducing for this summer. I need to reduce not only the things that I own, but also my body. Thanks to my back injury, laziness, and a touch of depression over not being able to play tennis while injured, I am now back at a weight/feeling that I am definitely not comfortable with.

My plan (stuff):
- Go through one room in my house at a time and pare things down to the minimum. The first room that I want to tackle is the dining room. This is where all of the scrapbook stuff lives. I know I have a lot of stamp pads that have dried out. I have stamps that I've never used. I have a scrapbook bag (okay, two) that hasn't seen the inside of an Archiver's in well over six years.
- Donate shoes, purses, and clothes that I haven't worn in the past year (or two). I know I have some ridiculous PE track suits that I will never wear again. Man, was I dorky. Ru mentioned sweaters. Even though I live in MN, I rarely wear sweaters. I have my stand-by LL Bean button down sweater that I wear with EVERYTHING. I would gladly give away all of my sweaters and just get another LL Bean sweater in another color.
- Sheets. Do I really need five sets of sheets??
- I will also be taking all of my CDs to Cheapo. Even if I only get $0.15 for each CD, that's better than hauling them to a new apartment.
- Le sigh. Memory boxes. I think these will finally find a home at a storage place. I can't bare to part with them just yet, but I also don't want to keep moving them all over St. Paul.
- Dishes. Man alive do I have a lot of dishes/glasses. I even have a box of dishes, unopened, from the wedding registry (you know, just in case we broke some). I've stolen more beer glasses than any one person should ever own as well.
- Ru also made a good argument for throwing out all thongs from college. Old sports bras, bras, and undies should get tossed as well as old socks that only see the light of day when I'm desperate and haven't done laundry.

My plan (weight):
- Elliptical during Kathie Lee & Hoda (10-11 am). I need to elliptical during a show and this gives me an exact time in which to do it.
- Run/walk a 5K distance at least once a week.
- Play tennis at least once a week.
- Drink at least two Nalgenes per day. I even bought a separate Nalgene for water with lemons.
- Add more fiber into my diet. I used to be super good about this, but have let bad sugars and starches creep into my diet.
- No Punch Pizza. No Noodles. No Grand Ole Creamery (except at -10 lbs - then I get a Monkey Sundae!!).
- Limit alcohol to one day a week. When I lost 30 lbs in 2006, I was very good all week and then celebrated the end of the work week with loaded potato skins and a few beers on Friday. Saturday and Sunday I played tennis and then it was back to the elliptical on Monday.
- Starting My Food Diary fresh today. I had logged for the past two years, on and off. I deleted all of the entries and am starting new on June 14.

And with all of that blogged, I'm off to Lifetime with Kathie Lee & Hoda.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. If you don't count my professional life, I am ridiculously happy and content at the moment. Yay! Professionally, well, I just don't know what's going to happen. But being so happy with the other aspects of my life, that's okay for right now. Just because it's always worked out in the past doesn't mean it's going to work out this year, but I have my fingers crossed and none of the pideys in the house are on the chopping block.

2. I have two interviews next Wednesday - 8:45 and 11 am. I really don't care about the 8:45, but would definitely take the 11 if it were offered to me, even this early in the job hunt season. And then I'm going to get a cheesesteak (great place by school #2) and a massage.

3. Today is Dining Out For Life. Restaurants donate part of their sales for the day to an organization that helps fight AIDS. I ate at Wilde Roast Cafe for lunch and I'm hoping Mike is up for Pizza Luce for dinner. I'm already hungry!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Fun Facts

1. I still haven't played tennis yet, but my chiropractor keeps telling me that I need to stay active. I'm just a little scared that I will re-injure myself.

2. You all know that I've been dealing with losing my job once again. I'm really torn with what I should do - stay or try to find work elsewhere. It's really been weighing on my mind and I still don't know what will happen or what I'll do. I feel like this is a sign to try something new and I'm so glad that I have people who support me, whatever I decide.

3. With that being said, today I got a call to interview for a job that I never even applied for. I had applied to White Bear Lake in the past so my application was on file, but I never applied for the specific job - .95 health for the '11-'12 school year. I talked to the principal today and he said that the gal who has the job is taking a year off to be with her family. She could come back or she could stay home. But it's a job with benefits that pays what I'm currently getting paid.

4. On the other side of things, my personal life is making me really happy at the moment. (Hopefully that didn't just jinx it...) I'm interested in making cards and making plans again and I'm content, happy, excited, and nervous.

5. I'm also looking forward to Memorial Day weekend. Stink-o-phonic is coming and will be able to meet all of my crazy friends on our crazy camping weekend. SO EXCITED!!

6. My house, on the other hand, is a mess. I simply do not have the energy or chutzpah to even tidy up. I'm nearly out of socks and underwear too. Things are approaching apocalyptic.

7. I suck at coaching softball. I suck so bad that I feel bad that I'm even getting paid.

8. Last weekend was beautiful and in the 70s. This weekend is another story. It's supposed to snow 1-2" tonight with lows near 30. Seriously, Minnesota. Pull it together. But I should know better. I've been here when it's snowed at the END of April. This is why I still have my electric blanket on my bed.

9. I went to the Ale Jail today after softball and picked out 6 of my favorites. Unfortunately, they were all warm so I'm stuck drinking Mich Golden Light until they cold up.

10. But, alas, it IS the weekend. I don't have to deal with kids throwing chairs into the diving well or cheating on my test for a whole TWO DAYS! And next week is a 4-day week filled with tai chi and karate and an AIDS video. And to top it all off, a Saturday night on the town with my beau.

I see a light at the end of the tunnel...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Yeah Parking Lot!

So today I jogged/trotted from the overflow REI parking lot, across the street, and into the regular REI parking lot. This was after I worked at Lifetime, standing for 6 hours. "Why is this important?" you might ask. Well, no back pain. NO BACK PAIN! There was a little stiffness in my lower back on the left side, but that's kind of normal. This afternoon I *almost* signed up for a tennis drill on Thursday night at Lifetime. I think I'll even try working out a little tomorrow before softball. This is so exciting!!! After three weeks of hobbling around like an aged old lady, I'm back to walking quickly, with a spring in my step. Those three weeks were horrible and I contemplated never playing tennis or walking completely upright again and that made me very sad and scared. But now I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I guess injuring myself in my 30s is just going to take longer to heal. This getting older stuff sucks.

And with that, I am going to have a Yuengling and watch How I Met Your Mother and toast to a very good weekend: my back is feeling better, I had a delightful Friday at the Lexington drinking strong girly drinks (I finally had a Cosmo, Carrie Bradshaw!) and then watching Hot Tub Time Machine, slept in on Saturday, and had a wonderful 3 hours on Sunday with a certain someone before dragging myself back to go crazy on the REI website. April 8-10, you done good.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Break and Pain

Today is the official last day of Spring Break '11. I truly enjoyed my week, but it went all too quickly. A recap of my frivolity:

Monday
I broke into spring break with a BANG! I guarded at the JCC in the morning, hit up the chiropractor in the afternoon, and got shellacked with Mike at night. (Thank you, lemony vodka concoction!) I was in a lot of pain, but said lemony vodka concoction took away the pain. We shared iPod playlists, talked, and ended up at Billy's. It was a fabulous night.

Tuesday
I slept in and guarded at the JCC at 3. My back was killing me, but the guard chair and then the hot tub helped. I still think that I should purchase a guard chair for my living room...

Wednesday
This was a fantastic day! I started it off by getting my butters whipped - I cut off 6" of my hair and took away those pesky grays. Then I met up with Jen L. at Wilde Roast Cafe. Heavens to Betsy, what a great place! I got a delicious mac and cheese with a side salad and then we split the sumptuous carrot cake. In the parking lot Jen gave me this:


I then went to Kohl's to pick out a dress for Saturday night's trip to Ruth's Chris before heading to the chiropractor. Dinner was at the Cheesecake Factory with Chuck, some of her work friends, and new baby Evelyn. Total calorie count for the day: approximately 500,000.

Thursday
This was kind of a slow day. I slept in until 11, which was bliss, and then went to complete my Lifetime tennis desk training. I celebrated spring with a new pedicure, which I LOVED! They also matched my dress for Saturday night. I iced my back for the remainder of the night while sipping on some Yuenglings and a delicious Odell Myrcenary.

Friday
Oh boy was I crabby on Friday. I guarded at the Depot from 11:45-5 after yet another trip to the chiropractor. My back was not any better and I had cried myself to sleep the night before. I wasn't looking forward to being social that night, but I'm glad I was able to. I went to Carly's and hung out with Chuck and her sisters and Matt. We had dinner and played Battle of the Sexes. It was so much fun and it was great to be around people who know me, accept me, and can make me laugh so hard that I snort. The girls won with a classic question - What was Rambo's first name? Of course, John. When I got back home I took my 4th muscle relaxer of the week and was still in enormous pain. Finally, I got an ice pack, took a lot of deep breaths, and fell asleep.

Saturday
I awoke on Saturday to an almost pain-free back. I was shocked and couldn't believe my luck. The shooting pains up my back weren't there. I don't know what did it - maybe it was the constant icing at Carly's, maybe it was the muscle relaxers - but I finally felt a glimmer of hope that I might actually be able to play tennis again. I guarded at the Depot from 8:45-3:15 and it was glorious! While standing I made sure that I kept my hips moving in a figure 8. That seemed to keep my back from freezing up. We even got 40-minute breaks and it was sunny outside! I sat outside during my breaks and read Jane Eyre, which I am enjoying immensely. After work I came home to get ready for my big night out on the town with Mike. I had a $50 gift card to Ruth's Chris courtesy of my credit card points and we had a reservation for 7 pm. I got all gussied up and totally wow'd Mike. We had a great night out - steak, mashed potatoes, au gratin brocolli, and then stops at the W and Nye's. I had the most delicious cocktail at Ruth's Chris - citrus mojito. I had two! We had a terrific waiter named Bjorn, who was obviously gay, and kept calling Mike "Mr. Byron." He recommended the specialty mojito. At the W I had the pomegranate martini, which was also very yummy. We took it down a notch at Nye's and had Mich Golden Lites. It was such a fun night out on the town and it made it very hard to wake up on Sunday morning.

Sunday
This morning came way too early. I had to be at Lifetime by 8 to work my shift. It was still fun, but not as fun as sleeping in. My drawer balanced and I didn't have any problems. An afternoon nap with a cute Polack and a Punch pizza later, I decided to ice my back yet again while catching up on TiVo.

My back is better and I no longer have pain shooting down my legs and wrapping around my pelvis. I'm not sure why this episode was so much worse than it has previously been, but it sure makes me appreciate my health. I've been so jealous watching everyone play tennis, pain-free, while I am gritting my teeth and wincing at every step. I have another appointment at the chiropractor tomorrow afternoon and I'm looking forward to recovery. I've been pretty down in the dumps this week about this whole situation. I've cried myself to sleep twice and have been in a bad mood. I think I've explained the whole extra vertebrae thing to about 20 new people. I've considered back surgery and the thought that I might never play tennis again. Just thinking about that makes me tear up. The thought of taking something out of my life that is such a big part of it scares the crap out of me. I will do everything in my power to get my back back on track. I will do my exercises religiously. I will ice every night. I will not sit on comfy chairs (aside from at Ruth's Chris and the W...darn those comfy chairs!). I will sit on the floor in my living room for the rest of my life. I just want to be able to play tennis without pain. My friends have been good sports - Jodi has been cool with me missing softball practice to go to the chiropractor. Mike has given me stiff drinks and has helped me tie my shoes. I'm supposed to partake in a 5k on Saturday morning. I will be going, even if I have to walk the whole thing. I hope I can jog a bit though. We'll see.

Tomorrow I go back to school. I'm not looking forward to it, but I have to go. Bridget Jones says that when one thing starts going right in your life, something else tends to fall apart. That's how I feel right now. So I will go upstairs, take my muscle relaxer, snuggle up with my blankies and an ice pack, and get ready to face tomorrow. One quarter left until summer...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. I finished my last day of training at Lifetime today. I am still really enjoying working at the tennis desk. Tonight I get to order my uniform online. The only bummer is that I have to actually PAY for it. Kind of silly, but at least it's not too outrageous. I'm going to get gym shorts, track pants, and a track zip up jacket. Until I get it I have to wear black. Sunday is my first day all alone. I will be in charge of opening up the tennis desk and pro shop, checking in two drills, and then doing the money drop at 2 pm. I'm a little nervous, but also excited!

2. Today I got my first pedicure with "fun stuff." That's what the girl asked if I wanted. I said, SURE!

She even put little jewels in the middle of the flowers. I tipped her extra, which is so unlike me, but I really loved what she did!

3. This Saturday I'll be going to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for the first time since I worked there. I'm very excited...not only for the delicious food, but also for the delicious company. :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. Tonight was my first night of training at Lifetime's tennis desk. It was a lot of fun and I picked up on the computer system pretty quickly. The gal that trained me in also has an extra vertebrae but hers is fused. Lucky girl! It reminded me a lot of working at Pioneer Hall, which I really loved. It was probably one of my most favorite jobs ever!

2. My back is on the fritz again and I'm frustrated. Here I have this great job where I can get free court time and I can't play. I am forced to work around people playing tennis and having fun with their carefree backs. Yes, I can admit it - I am jealous. I went to the chiropractor yesterday and I stopped having searing pain shoot down my legs, but my back is still stiff. I've taken to sitting on the floor in front of the couch while icing my back. It's a hot time in the old town tonight!

3. I absolutely love The Middle. This family is so dysfunctional, but so real. They have a teenage son and daughter that I can totally relate to, working in a school. Every episode is a good episode. Watch it once and tell me it's not hilarious!

Alrighty...muscle relaxers are kicking in. Getting very, very sleepy...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Memorizing

I have a meeting with the general manager of the Bloomington South Lifetime Fitness tomorrow afternoon. At this meeting I have to recite, by heart, the mission and vision statements of Lifetime and the tennis departmental goal. So far I have the two easiest ones memorized:

Mission - Our mission is to provide an educational, entertaining, friendly and inviting, functional and innovative experience of uncompromising quality that meets the health and fitness needs of the entire family.

Tennis Dept - To help families learn and enjoy tennis as a sport of a lifetime by developing a variety of instructional, competitive, and social programs to players of all ages and abilities.

See? I just typed that up by heart. And I only forgot one word (players).

The vision statement is a little harder...

Vision - To be a premier employer by making every team member more valuable each year while building and expanding a macro healthy way of life company and brand that is respected and coveted by customers, vendors, and competitors.

Talk about wordy...coveted? Really? Well, okay...I covet the free court time I may have in my future. :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Finally Friday

It's been a long week at work. I cannot wait until something changes. I had a great night out with M last night, only to be brought into another ridiculous situation during hour 1-2 this morning. Le sigh. Looking forward to this weekend though. Tomorrow is going to be great!! I'm going to start it out by sleeping in like it's my job.

And then me, A-Z, brought to you by Katie and Rudi:

Age: 31.5 (on April 2)
Bed size: queen - it's about 10 years old and still awesome!
Chore you dislike: (Rudi - HEY!!) Hmm, cleaning the tub? Dishes? Shoveling? Do I have to pick just one?
Dogs: Sophie puppy! She lives with her dad, which works well for me.
Essential start to your day: During the week it's checking email/Facebook while eating breakfast and watching the news.
Favorite color: Not sure...pink? I like brown too.
Gold or silver: Mostly silver.
Height: 5'6" - thank you extra vertebrae!
Instruments you play(ed): Violin, bells
Job Title: junior high PE and health teacher (aka: Saint)
Kids: NO THANK YOU!!!
Live: In an awesome house on the West Side (and, fingers crossed, in an awesome house on Dale by fall!)
Mom's name: Nmac
Nicknames: Al, Alliy Al, BYRON!
Overnight hospital stays: none
Pet peeves: Bad drivers, people you can't count on
Quote from a movie: "My favorite's gouda!"
Righty or lefty: Right on most things. Left for batting and cartwheels.
Siblings: Stink-o-riffic
Time you wake up: M-F alarm goes off at 5:45.
Underwear: I have enough pairs to last a few months.
Vegetables you don't like: Carrots. Peas. Yuck.
What makes you run late: Farting around on the internet.
X-rays you've had: Teeth, ring finger, back
Yummy food you make: Baked ziti, mac n cheese
Zoo: creepy

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March

I am back on the diet and exercise wagon after a month-long absence. In all of February I went to the gym twice. Now today, March 1, I went to the fitness center at school and rode the bike for 30 min and then after guarding I went to Lifetime and did the elliptical for 30 min. I'm on a roll! I ate super well today, making a dinner of turkey, cheese, whole wheat tortilla, and guacamole. And for the first day in who knows how long, I did not have a Coke. I didn't even have one of my little 7.5 oz cans.

Tomorrow is going to be tough because I'm going to have another interview at Lifetime right after school and then I have to drive up to Blaine to my chiropractor appointment (which I desperately need). I'm going to have to find something quick and easy to eat for lunch. I'm thinking Chobani and a banana. After the chiro I need to go to the gym. Then the night is mine! I bought these new garlic chicken spring rolls from Lean Cuisine and I really want to try them out.

I printed out a calendar from iCal and I'm keeping a journal of net calories, exercise, water consumption, beer consumption (none today!), and my day's ultimate cals lost per week total (today -1/wk, which is my daily goal). My fridge is stocked and another goal is to eat at home (or eat food from home) instead of eating out.

Today My Food Diary told me that if every day were like today, in one month I'd weigh 161.2. So that is my goal weight for April 1. Let's keep this motivation train rollin'!