Monday, September 29, 2008

A Week of Naughty...Hic!

It was a rough week for me. I flew every day but two: Weds and Thurs. My boss spent Tues-Fri with me in Nebraska "shadowing" me, as she has to do a few times a year. On the good side, it was certainly nice to have company and we got to know each other better: turns out we have a lot in common! On the bad side, one of our commonalities is that she is a foodie just like me, and we had some nice erm, indulgent meals together. She likes a drink or two....or three with dinner, which is not my usual M.O....unfortunately it doesn't take much persuading when Hot Paolo is bringing the Lemon Drop Martinis and Pear Mojitos.

So I haven't stepped on the scale this weekend because frankly, I don't need the downer. I can tell by my clothes that I have certainly not LOST anything, and if I've gained anything back, I just really don't want to know! Thankfully I'm back on my own this week, accountable to only myself and my Blub Blub Sisters, so I am handcuffing myself to "the wagon." When I get back this coming Friday, that dreaded scale and I have a date.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

White Noise


Monday, September 15, 2008

Psalm of the Blub-Blub Sisterhood

A few may have noticed the button on my sidebar - the link to Our BlubHer Overhaul. A few of us gals have gotten together to do a bloggy support group for weight loss. We vary in what we want to lose, but we are united in our support and acceptance of each other, so much so that we have nicknamed ourselves "The Blub-Blub Sisterhood."

This morning I walked through the cafeteria of the hospital I was helping for the day. I knew that I wanted protein and that was about it. On the way, I had to pass all the homemade goodies of their wonderful cook: peach cobbler, butterscotch-caramel brownies, three kinds of scones, muffins, coffee cake, and cookies. I felt as if I was walking through the valley of the shadow of junk food. And then this idea hit me: a psalm for the sisterhood, based on Psalm 23:

The Lord is my personal trainer; I shall not wallow in sloth.
He maketh me jog through green pastures;
He leadeth me beside the spring water counter.
He restoreth my body.
He leadeth me in the path of fitness for my health's sake.

Yea, though I power-walk through the valley of the shadow of soda and cookies,
I will fear no weakness; for thou art with me.
Thy vegetables and protein bars; they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me of healthy food choices
in the presence of mine fast-food enemies;
Thou annointest my head with monounsaturated oil;
My cup of green tea runneth over.

Surely health and skinny jeans shall follow me
all the days of my life;
and I will dwell in the house of self-confidence forever.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

ABCs of Me, a meme

Saw this on Tiffany's blog, and decided it sounded fun!!

A:Accent: I'm from the Midwest, where absence of accent is well-documented. Rumor has it that news anchors and the like are heavily recruited from this area for just that reason.
B:Breakfast or no Breakfast: I could skip it everyday. I'm not hungry when I wake up. I usually make myself eat something just because I know I will get busy later and I hate to be starving by lunchtime.
C:Chore I hate: Cleaning the floors. JeepMan does all the vacuuming, God love him. But I get the kitchen/bathroom floors. Around the toilet is the worst. Two males in the house, need I say more?
D:Dog or Cat: Don't have either, but someday, a DOG.
E:Essential Electronics: My laptop and my Treo. Can't do my job without it. And I'm addicted to Bubble Breaker - how lame is that?
F:Favorite Perfume: Pink Sugar by Aquolina for everyday, Donna Karan Gold for special occasions. On him? Tuscany por Homme
G:Gold or Silver: Gold shows off my skin tone best, but I like silver too.
H:Handbag I carry most often: Whatever I found that season at Kohl's. I only buy one per season, then use it up and get rid of it. Not a purse person.
I:Insomnia: Used to get it worse than now. I think I'm just perpetually exhausted now!
J:Job Title: "Professional Education Specialist"
K:Kids: Two: Lulu, 4 and Plato, 7. Gifts from heaven.
L:Living Arrangement: Home with the kiddos and hubby!
M:Most admirable trait: I'm a good listener.
N:Naughtiest childhood behavior: Picking on my sister.
O:Overnight Hospital Stays: Yes. Several. Quite the experience for a nurse!
P:Phobias: Heights - more specifically, falling.
Q:Quote: "'Some stories', she'd say, 'the more you tell them, the faster you use them up. Those kind, the drama burns off, and every version, they sound more silly and flat. The other kind of story, it uses you up. The more you tell it, the stronger it gets. Those kind of stories only remind you how stupid you were. Are. Will always be.'" Chuck Palahniuk, Haunted
R:Reason to smile: Don't have a reason NOT to smile. I live a blessed life.
S:Siblings: One little sister (2 years younger) who I am fortunate to get to call my best friend. She's an amazing woman.
T:Time I wake up: Different every day; when I'm not working I like to sleep till about 9am.
U:Unusual Talent or skill: I'm pathetically usual and non-talented.
V:Vegetable I refuse to eat: Raw or undercooked onion. It's a texture thing.
W:Worst Habit: Picking my fingernails, especially in social situations. I think it's genetic - my mom and sister do it too.
X:X-rays: I work around them every day. I've had a few taken of me on purpose too.
Y:Yummy Stuff: Crab legs, chocolate, sushi, cookies, pecan pie...where do I stop? I LOVE food.
Z:Zoo animal I like the most: Sea lions, I could watch them swim around all day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Reincarnation & Hamsters

Plato asked me last night, "Mom, when we die, do we like, shrink up and come out of another mommy again?"

I had to try hard to process this question, but I finally asked him, "Do you mean, when we die do our spirits come back as a baby so we can have a new life?"

"Yeah, that's what I mean."

Plato goes to a very culturally diverse school so it isn't surprising that some of his friends might have these beliefs.

"That's called 'reincarnation,' Plato, and some people think that's what happens when we die. I'm not really sure what happens - no one knows, so it might be possible."

Plato was quiet for a few moments, then declared, "Well, I hope that's not what happens. I don't want to have to get all those shots all over again!"


Doing clean-up today:

Lulu: (holding up a pair of dirty socks) Mom? Where do I put deese?

Where do you think they go, Lulu?

Lulu: In da dirty hamp-ster?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Finally! My Labor Day Weekend Getaway...

I've kept you all in suspense long enough. I just know you haven't been sleeping well not knowing what my mystery picture was all about...


Anyway, props to Monnik for guessing correctly. After dropping the kids at MILs for their annual Circus weekend, we spent Labor Day weekend in Sandusky, OH. Home of the Roller Coaster Capitol of The World: Cedar Point.

This impromptu mini-vacation signified, for me, the fulfillment of a nearly lifelong dream. Many have been the hours that I have stared slackjawed at my television screen watching documentaries such as, "Top 10 Wildest Rides," and "Top 10 Amusement Parks of 2007." I can watch them over and over and never get bored.

As you may have ascertained, I am a roller-coaster aficionado. Only lack of money and means has kept me from teetering over the precipice into Junkie status. Funny thing is, I have always been deathly afraid of heights. Introspection has revealed to me the truth: it is not the height I am afraid of, but the fall. Goofy but true. Send me to any amusement park, and I can tell you without even looking at the map what ride I am most afraid of.

Ready? Don't laugh:

I'm SERIOUS!! Just looking at this picture gives me the heebie-jeebies. I just can't put my faith in these things. They don't look PROBABLE. The cable looks small, the cars look heavy, and the little thingy that clips onto the cable? I mean, LOOK AT IT. It doesn't look right! A large percentage of these horrifying contraptions were made in the early part of last century. Am I the only one who has noticed the bodily expansion of our population over the last 75 years? I mean, what if the thing is running at capacity and more than half its occupants are grossly overweight? No thanks.

But put me in front of this beauty, and my mouth begins to water:

This beastie is called the Top Thrill Dragster. It is an out-and-back coaster that launches the rider from 0 to 120 mph in 3.8 seconds, climbs vertically to 420 feet, then drops straight back down, twisting 270 degrees before leveling out and returning to the station. I counted it: this ride takes a whopping 15 seconds from launch to stop. See? You can hold your breath the whole time!! This ride was recently Tallest AND Fastest in the world. It's a title that is always fleeting, and I believe is now held by an almost identical coaster called Kingda-Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure....a mere 8 mph faster and 45 feet taller than this ride. In my experience, second best was still quite a ride.

Three or four of their other giant coasters have been routinely voted in the top 10 best by coaster enthusiasts in recent years; and one, Maverick, got best new coaster of 07. I did not get to go on this one as after we waited in line 30 minutes it broke down and I had to pee so bad we just got out of line. 5 minutes later it was running again, but I wasn't about to start waiting all over. Something saved for next time, I guess!

Cedar Point is home to 18 rollercoasters. A few are wimpy, and though technically qualify as rollercoasters, do not count toward the thrill factor at this park. They do, however, serve nicely to offload some of the crowd. Lines were long by my standards, but hey, my local amusement park has 3, count 'em 1-2-3, rollercoasters, two of which will chip your teeth or send you gimping to the nearest chiropractor in screeching agony. If I have to stand in line more than 30 minutes, that's a long line in my book.

Coaster designs were varied, ranging from wood to steel, with one wooden/steel hybrid racing coaster that was lots of fun. In the steel variety (my favorite for smoothness and speed), there were stand-up, suspended, traditional, and minimal-restraint varieties. The Millenium Force was one such coaster, with just a lap bar and no sides to the cars. Once the Tallest and Fastest, it was a breathtaking ride with unbelievable smoothness.

I found this side-by-side comparison of the largest rides at Cedar Point:

The one on the left is probably comparable to the biggest thrill at my local amusement park. You can see that this was a HUGE treat for us!

As an extra treat, this whole park takes up almost an entire penninsula in Lake Eerie. Temperatures are moderate, and the views are spectacular

Aside from the park, we found a great little place to eat. When I go on vacation I don't want to eat at chain restaurants. I want to find something good and local. Asking locals where they eat is a great idea, but we couldn't find any locals at Cedar Point (go figure, they probably avoid it like the plague). So we turned to our handy-dandy GPS. We decided we wanted Barbecue. Voila! Two local restaurants, in opposite directions. We drove East 11 miles, and ended up in the middle of a trailer park as GPS-Aussie-lady announced perkily, "Arrah-vang at deistinah-tion..." Opting not to go knocking on trailer doors demanding BBQ, we punched in the other location, now 22 miles away. As we pulled up to this destination, this time a dark underpass in a run-down residential neighborhood, we gave up on BBQ and decided to go somewhere close by.

An "All Foods" search by Garmin revealed a restaurant called Crabby Joe's. Down a gravel road and out to the shores of Lake Eerie (Marblehead), Crabby Joe's was a bar with a deck enclosed by a permanent wedding-tent. Sounds seedy, but to us it was just local. A 50-ish man played keyboards in a corner with a pricey sound system singing covers of anything from Neil Diamond to Elvis Presley and more. We ordered the house special, "Drunken Mussels by The Pitcher," and some beers. What a lovely surprise when a beer-pitcher full of mussels and filled to the brim with a butter-garlic-wine sauce arrived, complete with tongs and soft lovely bread for dipping. We joked later that we should have just ordered 2 pitchers! After the appetizer I had local fresh-caught perch fillets, and we danced to "Fools Rush In," our song from our wedding, only done by UB-40 in 1996.

We played pool, got invited onto a 30 foot yacht by some creepy guy named Stele (yes, he spelled it for us), and I got hit on by some local thugs who were trying to sneak their 18 year old hoochie-mamas into the bar.

All in all, a vacation to remember. We'll definitely be back.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Omnivore 100

Kind of a fun meme-thingy, as I love to try new and interesting food.

Here’s what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. (I hate having to do the html to get the crossout, so I'm going to italics them)
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.
The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche (cajeta crepes, yum!)
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (on a wharf in San Francisco!)
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (skinny cigar - uck)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal (vindaloo almost killed me...)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu (love sushi, but it CAN'T be that good!)
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (the midwest equivalent, not the original deal)
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (yum, yum, yum and yum!)
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate (mayan)
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Wow!! 73...not bad. I'll try most anything once. I DO draw the line at insects, though. And anything made of blood.

How 'bout you?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Check One Off My Bucket List!

Any Guesses as to Where I Spent Labor Day Weekend?
Be Back Soon to Tell You All About It!!