October 2008 Archives

Halloween 2008

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As of this morning I was undecided if I was going to participate in dressing up at work.  Last night at around 5:00 some of the engineers and myself stayed late to decorate our area of the building.  We had decided on a zombie theme so we trashed the place throwing papers everywhere and turning over chairs.  We blocked off all the windows with black plastic.  We had strobe lights and zombie noises and flashing light bulbs.  This got me in the mood so on the way home we stopped at a KMart and Target to see if we could find shirts to wear that we wouldn't mind tearing up and getting "blood" on.  So we found some, got them all dirty, and frayed the collar and ripped one of the shoulders.  I freaked this morning and felt really lame and almost chickened out.  I got to work and a couple people helped me put some white on my face, black under my eyes, "blood" around my mouth and on my clothes.  It was quite a scary sight.

We ended up winning the "best group costume" award and came in second by one vote for the "best decorated department" award.  Normally the engineering department does not manage to get their act together to participate at all.  This year, nearly all 30 of us participated. 

At 1:15 I had a doctor's appointment.  When I first made this appointment and she told me the date I figured I would not be dressing up anyway so I figured it would be ok.  Since I did end up dressing up, I was debating between changing my clothes and removing the make-up before I went, but decided against it.  I felt really weird going out in public in the middle of the day looking the way I did, but I wanted to keep in costume for the afternoon, and when I got home for the trick or treaters.  It was quite an experience.  There was not another single person at the office dressed up.  I got comments from several people, including the receptionists, nurse, doctor, and even other patients.  I highly recommend going to your doctor's office on Halloween dressed like death with blood all over you.  It's quite entertaining.

Tonight I had only 24 trick or treaters come to my door.  I was quite disappointed.  I am used to the 400 or so when I lived at home with my parents.  I bought 6 bags of candy.  As I mentioned before, I bought all the types of candy that I like.  This could be very bad for my waistline in the coming weeks. 

Food Firsts

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You may find what I am about to say, very difficult to believe.  At least everyone at work that I told this to today found it very difficult to believe.  One person, jokingly, even accused me of lying.

Today, for the very first time, I ate at Taco Bell.  Also today, for the very first time, I ate a Milky Way bar.  I am guessing I probably tried a Milky Way once when I was much younger.  But I don't remember it and it would have been at least 20 years ago.  So it doesn't count.

What was the verdict on both of these new adventures?  I actually rather enjoyed both of them. 

The reason I stayed away from Milky Ways was because, for some unknown reason, I always thought they contained some sort of nut in them.  I guess I got them confused with Snickers?  I have no idea.  Anyway, I found out the other day that this was not the case.  So when I was offered one at work today I didn't hesitate to pop the fun size chocolate in my mouth. 

At taco bell I decided to try 2 soft tacos, mild sauce, nachos with cheese, and a small drink.  I got made fun of about the mild sauce quite a bit, but I'm not that into spicy.  Mild was actually just right for me.  The nachos with cheese were addicting.  Mmm... salty.


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As I have gotten older, I have become more and more of a germaphobe.  It's not to the point where it affects my daily life significantly, but I do find myself thinking about it frequently.  Especially around this time of year.  Stuff that tends to bother me the most: bathroom doorknobs, grocery shopping carts, other peoples keyboard and mouse.  Even though I know that I am overreacting when I start becoming obsessive about these things, they still bother me.  I know that I come into contact with a bazillion (official number, I counted) germs a day and my body does a fine job of fending of most of these without my ever knowing.  I still can't convince that part of my brain to convince the rest of me to just relax. 

There are a few people at work that are sick.  Whenever I touch anything that the someone sick likely touched, like the refrigerator door or the keypad to unlock a door, I want to go wash or disinfect my hands immediately.  I try really hard to remember to wash my hands just before I eat anything.  If I forget, and then remember in the middle of eating, I get a bit upset for a moment.  I also hate eating anything with my hands, like fruit or a sandwich.

I wish that people would stay home from work when they are sick.  I usually try to work from home if I'm sick so that I don't bother people with my coughing, sneezing, and general ickiness.  I also don't want to spread my germs around to everyone else. 

I really hate getting sick. When I get sick, I get really sick.  I don't just get a minor cough and the sniffles.  When I get a cold it pretty much kicks the crap out of me.  And that, is not exactly what I consider to be a good time. 

Incredibly, I've managed to stay healthy through all of September and October.  I almost always get sick this time of year.  Of course, now that I have written this, I have probably jinxed myself and will be sick within the next week.

Last Night's Dinner

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I am not much of a cook -- to say the least.  But I am slowly but surely adding to my repertoire of meals I can cook.  My mom was recently telling me about a meal that my older sister makes.  It sounded really good, and simple enough for even me to try, so last night I finally decided to try it. 

The recipe includes cream of mushroom soup.  The boyfriend doesn't much care for mushrooms.  Sunday night is the night I usually fend for myself in terms of dinner.  So I decided last night would be a perfect night to try out this new meal.  See how I was using my awesome logic skillz to the fullest right there? 

I had to run to the store for a couple of the items as well as a large casserole dish with a top to it.  It turned out It was about 5:45 before I finally headed out to the store and do a few errands.  I got to the store, successfully grabbed what I needed, and got out.  I get home, start setting things up... chopped veggies, preheated the oven.  I go to open the casserole dish.  I open it and find the dish in 3 broken pieces.  UGH.  Now what?  It was too late at that point to go back to the store to return it and to get another one.  My 2 choices were:

1.  Use the much smaller casserole dish with a top that I had and only cook half of what I wanted to.  (I wanted to cook enough for a second meal as leftovers).

2.  Use the large casserole dish I had but did not have a top.

My mom had stressed that this particular meal definitely required a top as it expands while cooking and I definitely needed a top.  Instead of just deciding on my own like most normal 30 year old women would do, I called my mom.  HELP!  She said to try just putting foil on top of the larger casserole dish and see how it went.  So that's exactly what I did, and it ended up working out just fine.  I'm still mad that I have to go through the trouble of exchanging the dish though!

So the recipe, if anyone is looking for a super simple, low fuss meal idea:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
3/4 of a can of milk (use same can soup came in to measure)
broccoli flowerets
chopped carrots
chopped onions
chopped celery

Preheat the oven to 350.  Throw all ingredients above into a large casserole dish (with a top!) and stick it in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and enjoy the yummy goodness.  Perhaps with a side of rice or bread or nice side salad.  So easy.  If you don't like mushrooms, I'm betting cream of asparagus or broccoli soup would work well too.


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I am anosmic.  It's a fancy way of saying that I do not have a sense of smell.  I was either born without it, or I lost it when I was an infant or toddler.  It's seems to be a difficult thing for other people to comprehend, which I totally understand.  They find it difficult to believe that you have NO sense of smell at all.  They also tend to forget that you can't smell.  I have no clear reason why I have no sense of smell, and I don't know anyone else with the same condition. 

The story behind my discovering that I was different from everyone else is a bit funny.  When I was in elementary school I didn't really KNOW that I was missing the ability to smell and would always just agree with people when they put something up to my nose and would say something like, "oh, doesn't that smell awful?" or, "this perfume smells soooo good".  I know it sounds funny that I didn't know I was missing this sense, but if you think about it, how do you know you're missing something if you never had it to begin with?  I was at the hospital for a different reason when I was in probably 3rd or 4th grade.  I remember sitting on the high table with the white paper draped across it.  I think I was waiting for my doctor to come in or waiting for her to come back.  I remember another person coming in saying they were doing random smell tests on patients at the hospital that day.  They had several viles filled with liquid and a list of different smells.  I was supposed to smell each vile, and then match it to one of the items on the lists.  I could not distinguish between all the different viles and just randomly picked something from the list each time.  I failed miserably.  They basically told me that I had no sense of smell and then have a nice day.  I can only remember 3 itmes that were on that list; peaches, roses, and  mothballs.   The only one I got right was mothballs.  They informed me that this was not because I could smell them, but because I could sense it through the pores in my face. 

At first I did not want to tell anyone.  And I continued to pretend to people that I smelled what they smelled.  I think it was sometime in high school or college that I started to tell people whenever they asked me to comment on a smell.  By the way, if you haven't noticed, people comment on smells A LOT.  There are a few common reactions that I get when I fist tell someone about my being anosmic.  The first is, "oh, you are stuffed up?".  Another is, "you have no sense of smell AT ALL?"  And finally I also get, "wow, that's awesome!  you don't have to put up with all those nasty smells out there like when people fart or have awful B.O.!"  Infrequently people will ask more questions about it.  Have you ever had a sense of smell?  How does it affect your life?  Does it affect the way you taste things?

I recently confided in my boyfriend that I wished I could smell him.  I've been told that each person has their own unique scent.  I wish I knew what his was.  He kind of laughed and told me that I was weird.  And then he said I didn't want to know what he smelled like because it was probably bad.  Haha. 

There are definitely some negatives to not having a sense of smell.  I've heard that the sense of smell is strongly tied to memory and that nothing can bring back a memory as vividly as a certain scent can.  I kind of wish I knew what that was like.

It's a bit of a pain in my day to day life.  I can't just sniff a shirt or other piece of clothing to know if it is clean or dirty.  I always have to err on the side of caution and wash it anyway.  I can't just sniff something from the fridge and know if it is still good or not.  I have to err on the side of caution and go strictly on the expiration date.  I can't tell when I am cooking if something is burning or not unless I am right there looking at it.

When I was in junior high or high school I remember one day that my mom had put the laundry basket on the kitchen counter right next to the toaster oven and then left to do some shopping or run some other errand.  There were papers on top of the toaster oven and the edge of the laundry basket and hit the lever to start toasting.  When my mom came back she came running into the house.  She could smell the burning from the porch.  I was sitting at the kitchen table just a few feet away with my back turned to it and I had no idea anything was happening.  The papers were about to burst into flames and I didn't know.  

I think it was November of 2005 where I actually think I smelled something for the very first time.  I went to the refrigerator at work to get a morning snack of 2 clementines.  I punctured the first one to start peeling off the skin and I got a puff of air.  I also got a very strange sensation that was what I imagine smelling would be like.  Apparently clementines can have a very strong scent, especially if they are cold from being in a refrigerator.  I have no idea if what I experienced is the same as what everyone else experiences, but my guess is it was similar, but not the same.  It unfortunately only lasted about 5-10 seconds.  I sat at my desk for several moments in shock.  Asking myself if it was possible that what I thought had just happened, had actually happened.  After a few minutes I got up and started telling a few of my coworkers around me.  This same thing happened once or twice more within the next week or two and hasn't happened since. 

The only other experience I've had with smelling happened shortly after that.  I was in my old apartment and decided to cook some garlic chicken.  I cut up a clove of garlic and put in in a pan with some olive oil.  As soon as I added the garlic and it started to heat up, I got another stange sensation.  This one was a bit stronger and lasted a bit longer.  I actually bothered me to the point where I tried to open all the windows to air it out. 

About a year ago I finally decided to go see an ear, nose, and throat specialist.  I also have severe ear trouble on planes and thought I could ask about that as well.  I had high hopes that maybe he could tell my why I couldn't smell.  I had high hopes that there may be something he could do since I had the recent moments that I was actually able to smell.  I read about different tests they could do for smell and taste.  I was highly disappointed.  The doctor took a peek up my nose and said he didn't see anything abnormal.  No polyps.  He said since I had had the problem since I could remember that there was no way to determine the cause and no need to look into it.  I felt as though he trivialized the condition.  He also made several comments that made me feel like he thought I was faking.  Faking?!  Are you kidding me?  He said I could do the smell and taste tests if I really wanted to, but he didn't want to put me through that and didn't think it was necessary.  "It will probably just show what you already know anyway," he said.  He made some comment about only doing that for people they didn't believe.  So yeah, I got absolutely nothing out of that appointment.

I often wish I had a sense of smell.  I wish I could smell my boyfriend, roses, coffee, the ocean.  I think I would enjoy food and cooking more if I could smell it.  If I were told there was some surgery they could do to restore my sense of smell, I'm not sure I would do it.  It would take a lot of serious thought before going ahead with it.  I imagine at first it would be quite overwheling and every smell would bother me at first.  Smells are everywhere and I would just be bombarded.  I guess I'd eventually get used to it though, right? 

When people ask me if it affects how I taste food or if I can taste food, it's not usually a yes or no answer.  I tell them that I can still taste some stuff.  I can detect if something is sour or salty or bitter.  But I can't distguish much finer than that.  I usually put salt on everything.  Otherwise, it will be very, very bland.  So I think I do taste things, just not the same as everyone else.  I've heard people say if you are sick of stuffed up you can't really taste very well.  Or to get something nasty down your throat, just plug your nose.  I suppose my ability to taste is similar to that.

And that, my friends, is the longwinded, disjointed story of my experience as someone who is unable to smell.  It feels kinda good to get all that out there.  I'd love to hear the experiences or comments of anyone else who is in the same boat I'm in.

Get Organized

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I like things to be neat and organized.  I love lists and the stores that sell all the different organizational materials.  If I walk into one of those stores, I want to buy every single item.  I like everything being neat and tidy and it its proper place.  Being organized makes me relaxed and happy.  When things aren't perfectly organized, I feel like a mess.  I have this picture in my head of reaching the peak or organization, but I can never quite seem to get there. 

I suppose I can't be too horrible at organization since I never miss doctors appointments or meetings and I can usually find whatever I may need to get my hands on without too much trouble.  My biggest problem is probably keeping the kitchen counters uncluttered. 

At work Outlook is my biggest ally in terms of organization.  I put all my appointments and meetings in there and have the lovely little reminder pop up telling me when I'm supposed to be somewhere.  The one little glitch is when I am away from my desk and am not there to see said lovely 15 minute reminder.  So far I remedy that with looking at my calender in the morning and memorizing everything on it for that day.  I also love the little feature where you can flag and email for follow-up.  If I don't have time to reply right away when I see the email I'll flag it so I can easily find it later when I have time to reply.  Without this, many emails would get lost in the shuffle and I would forget to get back to them.  In terms of organizing emails, I create a folder in outlook for each year, then create a folder under that for each customer, and then a folder for each individual project under that.  When an email comes in regarding one of those projects I just move it to the appropriate folder and can easily find it later.  My problem there is what do I do with all the other miscellaneous crap I get that doesn't neatly fit into one of those folders.  Right now it just sits in my inbox and continues to pile up into one big mess.

At home I have a somewhat cheesy solution where I have a bunch of shoe boxes that I keep bills, cards, paystubs, and other important letters in.  I have one shoe box for each year.  When mail comes in, like a bill, I have a cute little wooden organizer that my mom bought me for my birthday a few years ago that it goes into.  This is my little "to-do" pile.  Once a bill is paid I write the date it was paid on the front and add it to the box.  I also keep some various coupons or retaurant menus in the little wooden thing on my kitchen counter. I really need something else to keep the small cut coupons in but I haven't been able to find one yet after checking at target and wegmans.  I have a binder that I keep all bank statements in.  I also have a little filing box with hanging folders for stuff like taxes or maps/directions I've printed out.

When I bought my house at the end of last year I decided I needed to start tracking my finances a little bit better.  So I decided to create and Excel spreadsheet and list all of my transactions.  I create a new tab for each month.  A couple times a month I log into my bank's website and view all the transactions from my credit card and my checking account.  I enter them all into my spreadsheet and include a category for each transaction.  I then sum up each of the different categories and create a pie chart with totals and percentages of how much I spend in each category.  I can see exactly how much I've spent in gas, or groceries, or out to dinner.  I also do one total sum of incoming and outgoing so I can see how much I am spending vs. how much money I am taking in.  This seems to be working well.  I feel like I have definitely control and all the knowledge I need to make good spending decisions.  It also doesn't take that much time or effort to do.

My favorite organizational thing to do is create lists.  If I just have a huge list of things bouncing around inside my head it makes it hard for me to concentrate on any one item.  When the list gets over a few things, I write them down and prioritize.  Then I simply work on one item at a time until each thing gets crossed off.  It just much easier for me to deal with that way.  And then at the end I can see everything that I had accomplished and that usually feels pretty good. 

Somehow, despite my best efforts, I feel like my life is still a disorganized mess.  Mail somehow piles up on the kitchen counter during the week until I can get to it on the weekend.  My desk at work is still messy with various documents related to different projects I'm working on at the time spread across it.  "Stuff" is just out and not in its proper place.

So what types of things do you do, and how well do they work?


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This is my first Halloween in my current house.  I have no idea how many kids to expect to come to my door on the night of the 31st.  Every time I see a neighbor I forget to ask.  While I was at Wegmans on Sunday night I decided to stock up on candy for the trick-or-treaters.


I think I went a little overboard.  In case you can't see what I bought, here is the list:

Skittles and Starburst pack
Blow Pops
M&M Mix
Reeses Mix
Crunch bars

That is also the list of "kinds of candy that erin likes".

I Agree

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Productive Day

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When I left work on Friday, I was in a pretty poor mood.  I had been struggling with a project all week.  It really should have been done before I left on Friday.  It wasn't done, and I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be able to figure it out and get it done. 

Then when I came home I looked at the yard and noticed that the lawn needed to be mowed again and there was a monstrous amount of leaves cluttering both the front and back yards.  I like to have a nice looking yard.  I am fairly anal about it.  I want it to be something I can be proud of, even if most people may not even notice it.

I decided that yesterday I just needed a break after the rough week at work.  I needed to improve my mental state.  Of course not doing anything productive yesterday meant that it would still be there for me this morning.  I was able to put both things out of my mind yesterday (for the most part) and thankfully woke up this morning with much more motivation than I did yesterday morning. 

I worked for about 4.5 hours on the project for work and think I figured it out.  I haven't finished testing yet, but for the most part everything seems to be working.  I also spent 2.5 hours out working on the yard -- raking, mowing, sweeping.  It will probably be covered with crap again in another couple of days but at least for now it looks much better. 

I just love that feeling of accomplishment.  I love that feeling when a huge weight is lifted from your shoulders and mind. 

Now it's time to run off to the grocery store.  Then maybe I can make some more headway on my book that I wanted to finish this weekend before I head to be.  Between my mind being eased and all the physical labor I did today, I should sleep pretty well tonight  :)


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I got an iTunes gift card for my birthday last month.  I felt like being extremely lazy this lovely Saturday afternoon so I sat down at the computer trying to find songs to download and new songs/artists I haven't heard of.  I text messaged the boyfriend and he sent me a few songs that he was listening to.  The first was an indie/folk artist named Meiko.  We don't tend to overlap much in our taste in music, but on this one we definitely agree. 

Her MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/meiko

YouTube Video of her performance on Conan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obs6WeNQv18&feature=related

I love indie/folk musicians.  I love songs with piano.  I love acoustic versions of songs.

What songs or artists have you been listening to lately?

Bulletized Thoughts

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  • We interviewed another candidate for an engineering position at work.  I hope he accepts the offer I assume we will extend to him.  It took all of 30 seconds to unanimously decide we all liked him.
  • We are hiring lots of new engineers and doing a re-organization of the engineering department.  I am really looking forward to the changes.  Really, really looking forward to it.
  • I discovered last night that the interest rate on my money market account is pathetic.
  • I discovered last night that I can change my yearly interest on said account from $300 a year to $1000 a year simply by switching banks and opening an online only account.  Awesome.
  • My only real goal for the weekend is to finally finish reading "The Condition".
  • I have lost 2 pounds this week and I am proud of myself today for having the willpower to eat a nice salad at work for lunch rather than go out to a diner and eat something bad for me.
  • This morning when I woke up I actually felt decently refreshed and ready to start the day.  This is the 2nd time that has happened in the last 3 months.

Beautiful Baby

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I have been following Amy over at Amalah.com for 3+ years now, before the birth of her fist son.  Today, she gave birth to her second son.  And good lord is he cute.  Go see for yourself here: http://www.amalah.com/amalah/2008/10/ezra.html.

I am so thrilled for Amy and her family.  She has been given a precious gift, and I know it didn't come easy.  I wish her, and her newly expanded family, all the best.

Blanket of Leaves

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This is my first October and Fall in my house.  Sunday afternoon I mowed the front yard.  I normally don't do both the front and back at the same time since it is a lot to do at once.  As I was finishing the front I decided to go ahead and do the back as well.  All the leaves building up were driving me crazy.  So I mowed the back and things looked much better.  Monday morning I looked out and the lawn was COVERED in leaves.  Even more so than before I mowed.  Then I looked out the window Monday evening right after work and the leaves were falling like crazy.  It looked like it was raining leaves.  Now, I knew there would be a lot of leaves.  I knew there were a lot of trees.  I was here and did all the cleanup this spring.  I guess I just wasn't expecting there to be quite this many.

We have had a beautiful week here.  Sunny and lower to mid 70's.  The leaves are all changing and are magnificent colors.  Absolutely beautiful.


Picture Time

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I just wanted to post a few pics of the rooms I painted recently:

The Spare Room: Woodland Mystery



The Dining Room: Simplify Beige



The Living Room: Simplify Beige

About 6 or 7 years ago I suddenly found myself 40 pounds overweight.  At 5'2" tall, that was a lot of extra baggage.  I say suddenly, but of course you do not gain 40 pounds overnight.  It was a gradual thing, that probably started my junior year of college. 

I was extremely active in junior high and high school.  I did a sport every season, including the summer.  I did basketball, softball, volleyball, tennis, indoor track, and outdoor track.  Then I went to college and stopped doing all of it.  I was not good enough to play at the college level.  I could have played in rec leagues or intramural, but I was intimidated. 

The week after I graduated college, I moved an hour and a half away from my family and was off on my own.  I didn't know how to cook, and I didn't learn.  It was stressful living entirely on my own and starting my first "real" job. 

So, there were clearly several reasons for my weight gain.  It took a while to actually look at myself in the mirror and realize what I had done to myself.  I was finally ready to face it.  I decided to start by researching nutrition and paying attention to what I was putting into my body.  I started walking on a treadmill occasionally, and going for walks outside when the weather was nice.  I eventually became bored with walking and started jogging, and going farther distances.  I felt great, and the weight came off.  That was all it took to get back to a reasonable weight. 

Ever since that time, I have had horrible body image issues.  I still always saw the girl that was 40 pounds overweight when I could force myself to look in a mirror.  It was painful to go clothes shopping, so I just avoided it.  A little over two years ago I started dating my current boyfriend.  I started eating out a lot, and choosing to spend time with him over exercising.  Not surprisingly, the weight has gradually crept back on.  Around this time last year I was determined to lose the weight again.  I was better about what I ate, and I joined a gym.  I even went to the gym regularly.  I kept a journal of everything I put in my mouth.  I religiously tracked calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat.  I talked with my doctor about it and showed him my exercise routine and what I was eating.  He did not have much comment other than to say that it looked like I was doing everything right.  After about 6 months of nearly no progress, I pretty much gave up.  I was frustrated.  If I was doing everything right and I wasn't looking or feeling any better, then why bother?  I didn't feel like I was being hasty after trying for 6 months.  I felt like I had given it my all, and failed. 

A couple of months ago I started on two different medications that both have the side effect of weight gain and I have gained several pounds since I started taking them.  This has motivated me to try again.

I know that now I am not giving it my all or doing everything in my control to make myself healthy and lose the extra fat.  I eat out too much.  The only exercise I get is mowing the lawn and cleaning the house.  I feel like I am ready to try again.  I want to look and feel healthy. 

If someone were to ask my what my image of my body is today I would say the following:

I have a small round head.  I am like a short rectangle.  Straight through the hips with no waistline.  Shoulders that are way too broad.  Stomach that looks like a tire.  My upper arms are round and jiggly.  My thighs are rotund and extremely flabby.  Short, stubby little legs.  My boobs are gigantic for my height and sag almost down to my belly button.  I have an almost non-existent torso.  I feel like someone took a much taller and thinner person and pressed down on their head until they were about a foot shorter than they were before.  I actually opened up Paint and drew a quick sketch of myself, and pasted below.


In the past I have felt my best at about 120 pounds.  That's 13.5 pounds less than what I weighed myself at this morning.  I know it is not a ton of weight to loose.  I also know that if I do not get it under control now, I will find myself once again 40 pounds overweight. 

I am still at a loss about what exactly it is I need to do.  So I will start with writing down everything that I eat, and going on nearly daily walks.  I will not go out to lunch with my co-workers more than one day a week.  I will cook dinner and eat in Monday-Thursday and Sunday.  I am a believer in variety and moderation so I will not cut anything out.  I will allow myself occasional treats.  I will try to drink more water.  Whenever I am being lazy and avoiding doing something, I will acknowledge the laziness and actually do whatever it is I am trying to avoid.  I won't put off going downstairs to do that load of laundry that really should be done, or running to the grocery store for those few things that I need.  I think I'll start there and see where it takes me.

I know I need to do this for me, and that it has to come from within me.  I can't rely on anyone else to motivate me or make me do the right thing or make the right choices.  I am sure I will have some support, but the main supporter/motivator needs to be me.


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In the last two months, I know two couples that got engaged, two others that have been ring shopping, and another that has moved in together.  I've also been asked a handful of times when I will be getting a ring on my finger.  I know very few thirty somethings that are not married.  Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one left.  There is definitely a lot of peer pressure.  It does feel like "everybody's doing it". 

I still do not really plan to get engaged/married any time soon.  I am not entirely sure I ever want to get married.  Really, I would be perfectly happy just living with my significant other and building a life together.  The high divorce rate also does not make me want to rush to the alter.  The things that make me lean towards getting married are the benefits that married couples get that single people don't, the complications that would arise if I ever adopted, and the way I perceive society would look at me if I were say, 40 or 50, and never married.  I feel people  would think something was "wrong" with me.  They might judge me or look at me differently.

Apparently there is a book called "30 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do Before Turning 30".  I am sad to say that I know how to do very few of the items on the list.  If only I had found out about the list when I was still 29....

1. wrap a present
2. start a successful fire in a fireplace, at a campsite, and in a barbecue
3. finish a piece of furniture
4. get a raise
5. order wine at a restaurant without getting stiffed
6. parallel park in three breathtakingly beautiful movements
7. dance a 'slow dance' without looking like an idiot
8. use a full place setting properly, including chopsticks and Asian soup spoons
9. clean your place in under 45 minutes, when friends, relatives, or prospective lovers are coming by unexpectedly, and soon
10. hold your liquor
11. cure a hangover
12. do the Heimlich Maneuver
13. use a compass
14. change a flat
15. jump start a car
16. open a champagne bottle
17. send a drink to someone's table
18. cook one 'signature meal'
19. whistle with your fingers
20. take good pictures
21. fold a fitted sheet
22. remove common stains
23. sew a button
24. carve turkey, lasagna, and birthday cake
25. hold a baby
26. change a diaper
27. keep a plant alive for more than a year
28. make dogs and cats love you
29. help someone (an older or ill person, a woman you're trying to impress, your mother) out of a car
30. write superior thank you notes

Last Cupcake Standing

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Just before my birthday a good friend from work baked a dozen "butterfly" cupcakes and 4 other plain vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting and fancy/cute candles.  This was awesome for a couple of reasons.  1.  I love cupcakes (who doesn't?).  2.  They were hand made and obviously took a lot of effort. 

Tonight, I finished the last of these cupcakes.  The last cupcake standing has fallen.  It's a sad, sad day. 



Meal Plan

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Every night The Boyfriend and I struggle with what to have for dinner.  We have the same conversation each night.  Neither one of us has any idea what to have.  A few nights a week we'll manage to make something at the house, but a lot of times we'll go out.  I have no idea what to buy at the store in terms of food for dinner so the options here are limited.  My goal this week is to eat in Monday - Thursday and Sunday.  At the store I bought food for stir fry, tacos, marinated chicken breasts, rice, and vegetables.  I figured that would cover me Monday through Wednesday.  I asked The Boyfriend what he thought we could have on Thursday and he said emphatically, "I have no idea!  It's only Monday!"   He is not one to plan meals ahead of time.  He likes to figure out what he feels like eating when it's time to eat.  Which makes sense, but maybe not all that practical unless you go to the store almost every night of the week.  I think I'd be happy enough just deciding ahead of time and not have to worry about it each night.  I hate going out to eat so much, but I am not much of a cook (to say the least).  I am also too darn tired after work to have the energy to cook, and then clean up afterward.  I need to find stuff that I can make on weekends that I can freeze and just pull out later.  Also, now that fall is here, and it seems winter is just around the corner, I need to find some good croc pot recipes for that croc pot I bought last winter and only used once.  

What is your usual routine when it comes to dinner time?

No More Hair

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I went to the hair dresser yesterday as I had planned.  I have gone to the same girl for nearly 3 years now.  In that time not a single other person has cut or highlighted my hair.  I always go on Saturday afternoons.  The girl who does my hair usually works from 9-5 on Saturdays.  Apparently yesterday she left at 3.  I am assuming because it was slow and she wasn't needed anymore.  I went at 4:30 so she wasn't there.  I wasn't too worried, I figured I wouldn't have anything drastic done and it wouldn't look pretty much the same as when Deb usually does it.  When they guy asked me if I just wanted a trim I said, "Sure, but I'm also open to other suggestions if you have any."  I have been getting kind of sick of my hair and thought it might be good to get another stylists thoughts.  If any suggestion was too drastic I would just say no and stick with just a trim.  He said his only suggestion would be to put in a few more layers in the back to give it a little more volume.  I thought that sounded fine.  Then he proceeded to chop off several inches in the back.  He chopped so much my hair is maybe half and inch to an inch long in parts of the back.  Before I went it I could just barely pull it back into a ponytail.  Oh.  My.  God.  I am in shock whenever I pass by a mirror.  I THINK it looks ok, but it will definitely take some getting used to.  I am afraid to go into work tomorrow.  Anyone have a hat I can borrow?

Unfun Weekend

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I thought weekends were supposed to be for fun and relaxation -- a treat after working hard all week.  It seems my weekends are mostly filled with chores and things I need to do that I didn't have the time or energy to do during the work week.  I guess it's not all bad though, 'cause at least I get to sleep in  :)

Today I really should go grocery shopping, mow the lawn, get my hair cut, and do some more painting.  I'll leave the house cleaning, laundry, bill paying, and hopefully the last of the painting for tomorrow.

This weekend did not start off particularly well yesterday.  The Boyfriend and I went out to dinner and had probably the worst service I've ever had.  We never actually got our food.  We went in and got seated right away.  The waitress came over and got us our drinks.  The Boyfriend got his salad.  Great.  Then, we proceeded to wait about another hour.  In that time the waitress came over once to tell us that it would be a few more minutes until our food came out.  She finally came over again about an hour after we had sat down and said, "I don't know what's going on.  Do you guys still want to stay and wait or....".  She was basically trying to kick us out!  Or at least it felt that way.  So yeah, we decided to leave since we had no idea how much longer it was going to be.  At least they didn't make us pay for the sodas or salad we had.  I'm sure other people have worse stories to tell about service they have received at various restaurants, but I am pretty sure that is the worst I have ever experienced.

The Glass Passenger

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Several years ago I was introduced to a little known band called Something Corporate.  I loved them immediately.  I used to fall asleep most night to the 9 minute song Konstantine.  It is still one of my favorite songs.  I was ecstatic when I heard the lead singer, Andrew McMahon, was starting another project called Jack's Mannequin.  As I expected I really loved this new band as well.  MFEO (Made For Each Other), Dark Blue, Kill the Messenger, The Mixed Tape, Holiday From Real.  Love them all.  Yesterday their latest album was released.  It's called The Glass Passenger.  I've downloaded the song The Resolution, and am very much looking forward to listening to the rest of the album.  I'm filled with anticipation.  It's almost the same feeling when you are a kid and it's the week before Christmas.  You're all excited about all the gifts you will get to open in just a few short days.  The difference for me now is that I'm not impatient, and actually enjoying the anticipation.  I like having something good to look forward to.

I can't say why exactly I like these 2 bands and Andrew McMahon so much.  I often can't explain why I like or dislike something, it's just a feeling I have.  I do know that the music and lyrics and the sincerity in the voice speak to me.  Please go check them out and see if they speak to you too. 



About This Blog

Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

Many people in their thirties are dealing with common issues and concerns. Some of these include buying a home, establishing a career, starting a family, and dealing with aging parents. I will blog about all these things as well as other every day stuff as I make my way through this third decade of life.

You can read more about the author behind thirty-something blog on the About Me page.





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This page is an archive of entries from October 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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