Tuesday, March 31, 2009

weigh day

Tomorrow is my weigh day. As a part of my 2009 New Year's resolutions package, I planned to keep myself accountable to work out five days a week. Each month I have upped my fitness goals and weighed and measured myself to see my results. I know to most people, resolutions are a joke to be forgotten about by January 9th; but in situations like my own, discipline is required to keep my body from spinning out of control.

If I had a weight problem when I was young, it was weighing too little. I entered 10th grade at 84 pounds. Once I finally "blossomed" I put on a couple extra pounds, and once I discovered the smorgasbord they call college, I packed on quite a few more. Now that I'm in charge of my own groceries, I eat what I like to make up for the cup o'noodles and leftovers that were my childhood.

I have the worst sweet tooth. I think tooth #15 is actually a sweet tooth in that it is becoming so eroded by sugar that it is caving into my gums. My weaknesses are ice cream, cookies, marshmallow supremes, chocolate pudding, mounds bars and mr. goodbars, donuts and their holes, and various Starbucks caloric-charged coffees. Starting in April, I'm really going to have to cut some of that back.

In the meantime, instead of eating more healthy foods, I burn 1,000 calories on the treadmill while watching tv. I figure it all ends up evening out. In March I ran 120 miles, which I find to be pretty decent. I know that I'm going about this the wrong way and the best way to maintain my weight is to change eating habits. I guess I just have a real problem with deprivation. I hate depriving myself of anything. If I were Catholic, each lent I would deprive myself of something I didn't use or participate in anyway because anytime there's something I can't have, I have to have it.

I'm a child in so many ways. All this being said, the scale and tape measure will say it all tomorrow. But really, my main measurement is if my pants are still fitting. If I had endless money to continually restock my wardrobe with the same pants I already own in larger sizes, I might not care so much about maintaining my weight and I would live at Dairy Queen. But alas, the curse of the middle class: gym memberships, sale racks, and eating at restaurants with memorabilia on the walls.

Monday, March 30, 2009

back to the ol' grindstone

I rejoined the working class today. Perhaps the worst part of starting a new job is all of the hand-shaking that goes on (I dread hand-shaking thanks to my clamminess). No, really the worst thing about starting a new job is lunch. I never know if I should bring my own lunch, or if it is customary to go "off-campus." So I did what all freaks do: brought my lunch yet left it in the car. I do prefer my string cheese a little warm, but the yogurt was nearly curdled.

Driving home, I rejoined rush-hour. Since I'm from the Seattle metro area, nothing in Nebraska will ever be deemed "traffic" to me. I will call it congestion. I took Dodge from 36th to 132nd at 5:15 pm where I thanked God that I don't keep anything in my car that could double as a weapon. I have seen so many horrible drivers and accidents lately that I am constantly on-edge when I see cars changing lanes: even two lanes over. I assume someone is going to barrel into me and my plastic car will shrivel into a steaming hot pile of parts with me inside of it.

Throughout the course of the day, I took "Unemployment 101." I never realized how complicated unemployment insurance is and how much it varies state to state. It felt good to be learning something again. Sometimes I feel like I haven't really learned anything new since college. That is a horrible feeling. As a kid I had an insatiable curiosity and literally taught myself out of the 1982 Encyclopedia set we owned. Lately, the extent of my learning has been underlining vocabulary words in the books I read and looking them up on dictionary.com.

I'm considering going back to college. My first degree is in a subject I enjoy, but as a hobby. I would like a degree that gives me knowledge I would actually use in the workplace. Nobody cares if I know what hyperbole or catharsis means when I'm punching the old time clock. Isn't it fitting that I come up with an expensive idea right when Steve and I are looking to buy our first home?

Tomorrow will be much better. I know where the refrigerator is and will be taking I-80 home. Part of the excitement of a new job is trial and error. Finding out what to do is the dull stuff: finding out how to do it my own way is what excites me.

Friday, March 27, 2009

pictures of the new nieces

Steve and I stopped by the hospital to see Matt & Emily and their adorable new babies. Here they are:


They are fraternal twins. They are so tiny -- but big enough to come home from the hospital. We're looking forward to both of the new nieces in our lives. We also have another niece on the way shortly. The Carters love women!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

typical day at the oakview mall

I am not Anna Wintour by any stretch of the imagination, but there are a few fashion faux pas that irk the hell out of me. These are as follows:

1. Denim on denim
2. Velvet (no exceptions: it is NEVER ok-- in fact, my uncle single-handedly ruined all of my mother's wedding pictures by wearing a red crushed velvet suit to the event. We still hear of it)
3. Scrunchies
4. Socks with sandals
5. Muffin top (I don't have the smallest stomach in proportion to the rest of my body, but I will buy pants up a size and have them too large in the legs before having flesh heaving out over the waistband)
6. High waters ("hey coach, why don't you invite your pants down to your shoes so they can party?")
7. Short-sleeved button down shirts with ties (as in Dwight Schrute)
8. Those damn t-shirts men cut up so there is a three-foot hole under their armpits
9. Wallets that connect to your jeans via a chain
10. Jelly shoes (I haven't seen a lot of these lately, so this is just a repressed hatred that I'm finally letting out)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

growing up with holly

Tomorrow my little brother (in-law) is having twin baby girls. My other little brother Joel is applying to college. My little sister Amber just leveraged her way back into her old job with a pay increase. It's amazing just how "adult" we are becoming. I remember my aunts being so polished and grown-up when I was a child, and now I am an aunt.

When looking for a job, I asked about health insurance and projected longevity instead of "when can I start?" Becoming friends with someone is no longer just getting off work at the same time. Spending money isn't calling US Bank and checking my balance, then spending just $1 less than that. Taking a vacation isn't an automatic plan for Spring break, Christmas break, and summer -- now I save my PTO days all year in anticipation of the one week I'll take off in October.

When someone declines a night out, I no longer persist. Hell, I don't party unless I have a day to recover. I'm in bed before 11, and on the rare nights that I'm not, I double up on my coffee the following morning. I now own thirty pairs of work slacks instead of fifty things I could wear to the pool. If there is a new way to smoke pot, I don't know about it (unless, of course, they show it on "Weeds").

I guess I am finally an adult. It's really not that bad: I find much of it suits me. I realize that I have changed a lot in the past five years. Once you learn, you often lose that original curiosity. I've traded in karaoke Thursdays for Netflix nights. I've seen all the "Sex and the City" episodes, and now curl up with "the New Yorker" instead. I have traded a semi-active dating life for a man who won't leave me once he sees my nude-colored bra.

Back in college, I thought I was coming into my own. Now I realized I have finally done so. Who I am is a bit of a homebody who loves a few close friends, a couple good books, and some trashy reality tv. I love to eat foods laden in calories and then burn them off with a long run. I can't dance. I am not musical (and wasted seven years of piano lessons). If I cooked, you can guarantee the first instruction was "boil water." I've found the best friend and companion that I had hoped for and I married him. I no longer picture myself as someone other than who I am.

I no longer want to rebel and pull away from my family: now I look forward to spending time with them. I still do, however, quickly turn down the next aisle when I see an acquaintance I don't want to make small talk with. I still sing out loud in my car when a college hit comes on (now it's on a "Flashback Friday"). I still haven't become open-minded enough to order an entree at China Road. Watching people grow and mature, you see pieces they picked and pieces they've dropped.

When I left for college, my mom told me, "they don't know you, this is your chance to be someone different." I tried that: it wasn't me. Now I'm much the same as I was at age 12: reading books, getting pissed off when I lose a game, scribbling down my thoughts to remember later. Only now I've traded Nancy Drew for Augusten Burroughs. I've traded "FlipX" on the trampoline (you don't know that game: it's a Pelesky creation) for "Loaded Questions" with the in-laws. I've traded my pink spiral diary for blogging.

I was always known as a "late bloomer" (god, how I hate that term), but here I am: finally bloomed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

what stays and what goes during the recession

I wouldn’t consider myself overly frugal (I cringe at the thought of jeans from Old Navy or American Eagle), but there are a few things I can’t imagine paying full price for – such as:

1. A $7 cocktail (for the price of two, I could buy an entire bottle of booze – and no tip required)
2. Q-Tip brand q-tips (I now buy generic, but you have to be careful with those – I once stuck one in my ear that didn’t have any cotton on the end)
3. Seeing a movie in the theater for $9.50 (Steve and I are guilty of going to the $5 matinee on Saturdays)
4. A brand new book (the library, garage sales, and Half Price books exist for a reason)
5. Chips (when did they become $4 a bag? Pringles and Santitas for us)
6. Campbells soup at $1.40 each (I’m not that old and I remember them at 3/$1)

Then again, there are some things that I will buy at (nearly) any price -- for example:

1. Peanut Buster Parfaits (truthfully, I started on those when they were $1 each last summer, but now I pay the full $4.27 to get my fix)
2. DVR (if you have it, you understand – if you don’t, crawl out from under that rock and join the rest of the enlightened world)
3. Designer jeans (admittedly, I do usually buy them on eBay, so they’re not that expensive, but my mom almost had a heart attack when I bought True Religions last year for $114)
4. My treadmill (I hate working out amongst strangers – sharing the TV, getting annoyed when people get off the elliptical after five minutes: it gets me too wound up and completely diffuses the purpose of blowing off steam)
5. A Winchell’s old fashioned donut covered in chocolate icing (Steve never has to ask anymore what the 84¢ charge on my debit card is)
6. PopSecret Homestyle popcorn (thanks to Karen for getting me [and Steve now] hooked. We can never go back to ACT II or any other lousy brand which merely pales in comparison)

Monday, March 23, 2009

a matinee movie with two young kids

This weekend Steve and I went to a matinee movie. While purchasing the tickets, the cashier said, “ID?” Steve answered with, “no, I don’t have a student ID” (a lot of people mistake us for college kids). “No,” the cashier responded, “your ID – it’s rated ‘R’”.
“We’re almost 30,” I said while digging into my huge (it’s new) purse. This has happened to us quite frequently recently.

We both got carded for Steve to buy a carton of cigarettes (really though? Kids know how to get cigarettes and it doesn’t entail walking their underage asses into a convenience store). We always get carded for booze, but that doesn’t concern me – the booze age is 21. The cigarettes age? That’s 18. And I believe (I could be wrong though, it’s been awhile) the rated “R” movies age is 17.

Steve and I joke that we will be senior citizens getting carded for the early bird special (“You couldn’t be – you don’t look a day over 45”). I am not complaining – there are much worse ailments than youthful and vibrant skin. After buying the tickets, we hit up the concession stand where, after handing us our popcorn, our cashier said, “enjoy your movie.”

“You too,” I said out of reflex (I’ve said, “you too” to “do you want your lip waxed?” and “perhaps a bigger size”). Then, instead of walking off and leaving it at that, I blubbered. “I mean, you’re not seeing a movie…just disregard what I said…it’s before noon.” I was stammering like a jr. high girl (actually, he probably thought I was one) who just ran into the hot jock who already was sprouting peach fuzz.

This indeed was not the case. Our cashier looked like every other AMC employee: a pimply 15-year-old who was slightly overweight from all that free popcorn (although corn is a vegetable, popcorn is still empty carbs). After our morning at the movies, Steve went on a walk together (we are already preparing for that early bird special with some of our rituals). “Do you think your flustered stammering was blogworthy?” he asked. It didn’t take much mulling over for me to decide on an answer, since I know my standards and they are ridiculously low. “Yes, yes it is.”

Friday, March 20, 2009

job hunt, big dogs, friendly neighbors

I turned down a job today. I know you're probably thinking that I am in no position to be turning down jobs after seven weeks of unemployment. It was a job I would've been great at: helping kids right out of college create resumes, teach them how to act in an interview, etc. However, it is part-time, and not until she called to extend the offer to me did I find out how much it paid. Now salary has never been a big issue for me before, I just want to love what I do, but Steve said it best: "you can't accept that: that's what retards get paid."

After declining one position, I interviewed for another. Now this one was a bit more promising. After my interview, I was told that I interviewed "awesome," so if I don't get this position, they must have found someone who is straight up spectacular. On my way to my interview, I was running a little late (waiting for my shirt to dry -- it was still a bit damp), so I jumped into the trusty Saturn and started backing out. While doing so, I hit the maintenance man's truck. I told him, "if there's anything wrong with your truck, you know where I live," but I highly doubt my plastic Flinstones car could do any damage whatsoever.

Before all of this madness, I took tucker on a walk. We were walking through a neighborhood when he decided to stop and squat. At that exact, inopportune moment, a large German Shepard came bounding towards us, barking as if he were rabid. Tucker and I both took of running and I started shouting, "oh my god!" until the rabid dog's owner called him in. Tucker and I snickered (I know you doubt dogs can snicker, but my dog has a personality like I do) as the big bully was scolded and he sulked on inside. Thinks he so tough...what a pussy. But I could be mistaken here, perhaps Tucker was just snickering at me: being seven times his size and more of a pansy than him -- how pathetic. That neighborhood is home of a rowdy gang of dogs; there's a St. Bernard, that damn Shepard, and a bunch of large mangy mutts that look like strays but are caged behind fences. Tucker was jumpy all the way home, knowing I would be no help in time of trouble.

After all of these events, I went to Hy-vee and picked up Steve's booze for the weekend. There I made small talk with the manager, who always seems to be working when I buy the weekend booze. I am quite sure he thinks me to be an alcoholic. When unloading my car, I recounted the backing out incident to the other maintenance man. While walking towards the mailbox, he shouted after me, "are you coming to the spaghetti feed tonight?" (our complex is always doing community events for their residents like this and i never attend). "We'll see, but I just had spaghetti last night," I replied (I really had Don and Millie's chicken fingers). Then he tried to convince me: "I did too, and (trying to one-up my lie) for lunch today. But it's free and you won't have to do dishes." I smiled at his persistence. I rarely do dishes, anyway. Nothing makes you popular with your neighbors quite like unemployment.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

teenage booty texts

Apparently my phone number used to belong to a girl named Anh. I know this because I receive random “booty texts” every few months, always on a weekend, and always late at night.

The texts are from a boy named Jared. I know this because I responded to his first text (“hi Anh”) with “sup, baby?” and then to his second with, “I don’t have your number in my phone. Who is this?”

Then, thanks to our favorite local networking sites, I found out that Anh and Jared are as follows:



They are both 17. Jared is Cadet Sergeant Major and is also known as “Bust a move.” I’m assuming this guy is a real player and Anh got fed up with him and changed her number. So my question from here is how does Anh II (me) proceed?

Do I stop responding to his texts now that I see what a complete loser he is (that is an Aztec couch in a dingy basement) and how cool I am? (sunglasses indoors: obviously I’m too hot to handle). Or do I give this loser false hope that just maybe a girl like me really would go out with a guy like him?

After analyzing this dilemma, I realized that maybe my number never belonged to Anh. Maybe I’m the fake number she gives out (this formula: invert two of the middle numbers) to creeps like Jared. And since many women use that same formula to give out fake numbers, maybe she is the one getting texts from the creeps I’ve met. If that is the case, I would like to publicly apologize, Anh: for I’ve met a lot of freaks. And so far, it sounds like you only know of one. Ah, to be young and unsullied again.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

pilates video

During my 30-minute pilates video, my mind has plenty of time to wander between doing “the hundred” and “the frog.” As a result, I have created lives for these pilates characters as if I knew them. Ellen, who is the main instructor, was competing for her leading role against the hotter girl with the braids and the pink sports bra. I know this because Braids is always giving her the stink eye throughout the tape. What a sore loser, I think aloud.

There are a couple characters who are completely unremarkable, and I have no idea how they were cast into a video. Perhaps Crunch fitness just went and picked some people out of a gym instead of having a casting. There is a girl wearing too much green who is slightly heavy. She seems to be thinking “I think I can, I think I can,” on every move, yet it all looks to be much too hard for her. I imagine her love life to be non-existent. After pilates class, she drives through Wendy’s and gets a frosty, then goes home and gets online to check if anyone has commented on any of her myspace pictures.

There is the poster child of a soccer mom: not a stylish one, but a woman with frizzy hair and Fred Meyer clothes. The woman who does modified (easy) exercises is Plain Jane in every sense of the word. There are no surprises in her life, other than the fact that she decided to put on these spandex pants that seem much too immodest for a woman who exercises while wearing barrettes. There’s a young, artsy type gal, too.

The character who really intrigues me is the only guy in the mix. At first, I assumed he was gay, probably because anytime I see a ratio of more than 3-1 women/guys, I assume the guy present is gay. This usually occurs at scrapbooking stores, the theater showing of “Sex & the City,” or Jenny Craig. Since I do this tape often, I have had time to rethink my hasty judgment. No, he couldn’t be gay; no proud gay man would choose yellow mesh shorts when he knew he was filming an exercise video that day. Then, perhaps he’s just an extremely smart straight man who’s looking for the right woman. Of course he would want to come to a place where he has no competition and can take his pick of the litter. And the next time I did pilates: but then, there is the tight black wife-beater that he wears. As of yet, I’m still undecided on the matter— but perhaps it’s for the best that I will never know for sure; I am a firm believer that you need to make your workouts interesting.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

reality tv #1

Tuesday night is TV night, so Tuesday blog is now (reality) TV blog.

I will actually start with Sunday's news: I'm not sure who still watches "Rock of Love" (it is season 3, after all -- I think we all realize that Bret Michaels isn't really looking to settle down), but only very few viewers know that the first new episode actually airs at 10:30 am on Sunday mornings. Call me a die-hard, I just can't get enough of all these trashy strippers vying to be Bret's #1 groupie.

This week, we found out that Ashley's tit tattoo "James" doesn't actually refer to her son, but to her ex-boyfriend. Did I say ex? I mean, they live together and still hook up and when she saw him she said, "damn, he looks good." Obviously things aren't over there. This was a big disappointment to both Bret and myself. Bret was REALLY into her. He still loves strippers, even though we all know that his heart was broken by one (thus "Every rose has it's thorn"). In the end, Bret let Ashley choose her own fate, and when she hesitated, he knew he didn't have a shot against her beefy, tattooed Mr. Universe (can't imagine why, Bret; you don't look a day over 60 with that leather bag face and those stringy extensions).

Now, all that is left on the bus are the pathetic, whiny brunettes. Mindy is OK, i guess if she would ever change out of that damn vest of her's and take it easy on the accent. I, however, was not impressed by her "interview." She sat in front of Heather and Ambre and immediately went into some cliche about how she did cheat on her boyfriend, but she was in a very bad place in her life, and she's grown from it. That's what recruiters call a "professional interviewer." They know what to say and what not to say, so they get the job, but it doesn't mean they're truthful or the job is a fit. I was waiting for Heather to call her out, but she didn't. I think she actually gave her a standing ovation, instead. Heather, you're not the hard ass I fell in love with. With polite manners, you don't make for good TV, you just look like Paula Abdul.

Speaking of, American Idol: This season is pretty good, thus far. I like a few contestants, but my standout has been Matt Giruard from the get-go. I also like that sexy little singer Alexis, but tonight wasn't her best. I thought it was funny that Simon told Danny that he hated his coat, because the second he stepped onto stage I gasped. I love that coat! It looks just like my black canvas coat with too many pockets! I will go search eBay after I finish this blog for lookalikes (oh, and I wasn't impressed with Alexis either that she didn't know what "soundalike" meant. Try to figure it out before looking like a moron).

Onto the Biggest Loser: first of all, I am GLAD that Helen ate that damn cookie so Sione won the challenge. We all know he deserved it because he would've finished before Tara if he hadn't stopped because of his knee. Tara is getting a bit crazy anyway. No one likes a bragger, and she is always rubbing winning and being an "athlete" into everyone's face. Not cool. Back onto Sione: is it weird that I find a man on a weight loss show attractive? I love that beard he's been sporting, and I've always been a fan of curls. Not that we would work out anyway: with his tan, I would look like a corpse (oh yeah, and because we're both married).

Ron (or "Papa" [shout out to Lydia, even if it is in brackets]) actually earned two points towards my favor this week. I have been an outspoken hater until tonight based on the way he's always bossing around the votes and acting like he is the final say. OK, at the beginning of the show, I was very annoyed. He didn't even attempt to finish the half marathon. What was it he said? "I knew I wouldn't finish"? Well then why don't you volunteer in the next elimination to go home (since you know there will be one next week: you are on the blue team). There are people who can and will finish. I hate a quitter. But at the end of the show, I was quite moved that he finally lost weight -- and over 100 pounds total (even though his "before" and "now" pictures look identical) and that he didn't automatically vote Aubrey out. I thought it showed real class. Speaking of Aubrey: when she was talking to her dad, didn't she sound exactly like Jillian? That was a little eerie.

I could talk about reality tv all day, but I do actually have to get to work tomorrow...oh, but one more thing about "Rock of Love": that Jaimie girl -- what? She does not fit into the mix at all: First of all, she is just as pasty as I am. There is a reason us ghosts watch tv and don't try to be on it! Being on "Rock" (yes, I did that) is all about fakeness: fake tans, fake tits, fake hair, fake eyelashes, fake nails, faux fur. She has none of that: just a ghostly goth girl with B-cups. I can't believe she's in the final four -- maybe Bret hasn't noticed her hanging around yet.

Monday, March 16, 2009

friend required traits list

There is a reason I don’t have many (minus the “m”) friends. It is because of the following list:

Traits I look for in a friend (must have all to be considered):

1. In conversation, both speaks and listens, and a fair amount of each.
2. Will at least act (but prefer to actually be) excited when I recount the story of how I scammed the Express guy by using my coupon on redlined items.
3. Hates the same things I hate (such as: denim on denim, “LOL,” and cats).
4. Would never ask me along to a Mani-Pedi.
5. Knows the difference between Old Navy and Banana Republic.
6. Does not comment on how eating all that ice cream just canceled out my workout.
7. Doesn’t buy his/her clothes at thrift stores, but also doesn’t mind that I buy mine on eBay (I know it’s a double-standard: see opening sentence).
8. Doesn’t have to be a drunk, and doesn’t have to be completely sober, but definitely doesn’t rule either option out when trying to have a good time.
9. Cares less about how much money they make than about enjoying their job.
10. Is technologically savvy enough to text, email, and Facebook. Prefer to type at least 60 wpm.
11. Will take a joke too far.
12. Is never trying to “save” anyone they’ve never met before. No street evangelists or people who say “I’m praying for you,” to complete strangers.
13. Doesn’t even cringe when I use two curse words in one sentence.
14. Watches the same shitty shows I do (pretty much any reality tv will work) and comments about it afterward.
15. Would never leave me stranded if they got too drunk.
16. If they don’t get it, they will pretend they do before acting like a complete ditz.
17. Finds certain traditions charming and essential: like watching “White Christmas” each December.
18. Offers to drive when we go out together without me having to ask because they know my car is a pile of shit, but don’t feel the need to point it out.
19. You don’t have to be a crazed animal lover (actually, I prefer that you aren’t: that is creepy), but you do have to at least tolerate my dog.
20. Will also refer to scary-looking strangers by titles that would offend other listeners--such as: “pedophile,” “molester,” or “circus freak.”

childproof, albino skin, lobsters

Kraft macaroni and cheese boxes are now childproof. I tried to open the box by prying the sides of the cardboard. After that didn’t work, I stabbed a steak knife violently into that damn cardboard until I made a hole large enough to fit my fat fingers in (which was pretty much the whole top of the box). I don’t understand why they would change it up. Let’s face it: only kids and myself even eat Kraft macaroni, I assume (as they market it with a large yellow dinosaur of sorts); if neither of us can open the damn box, they’re out of business.

Other things I can’t open include jars of jam, twist off Crystal Light containers, new CDs, and aspirin. I’m not sure if it’s my clammy hands, or just the fact that I’m a moron when it comes to simple tasks. Give me a sentence to diagram or ask me who the Roman god of the sea is, no problem -- but tell me to buy the groceries or plug in the PS2 and I become more useless than the dog. This is one of the perks of being married, although sometimes waiting for help requires patience (another one of my weaknesses). I once spent 12 minutes standing next to two slices of bread and the peanut butter until Steve came to the rescue after Tucker finally took a crap.

Earlier in the day (before the macaroni), I was out at the lake on my run. I got my first color of the season – the first peek of pink on my shoulders that will soon turn into a third degree burn and flake off into tiny particles as the summer wears on. Actually, I do believe, although I was slightly tipsy at the time, that my skin color was compared to that of an albino’s on Friday night. Actually, I’m completely positive that this happened. Well, no more of those comparisons: now I will be better compared to tomatoes and lobsters.