Thursday, January 28, 2010

Failure is an Option, Apparently...

Remember that whole "I'm going to bring my lunch every day" plan I had? And how for the first two or three weeks of the year I was pretty good about it?

Yeah. This week, not so much. Today is Thursday. Let's do a little run-down of what I've had for lunch this week:

Monday: brought a Healthy Choice lunch, decided I'd rather have a BLT. With fries. But, man, that thing was good. I can eat the Healthy Choice lunch tomorrow.

Tuesday: still not thrilled at the idea of eating that Healthy Choice lunch. I want a sandwich. So I went to Subway.

Wednesday: Healthy Choice? More like Healthy Chump! I'm going to get a salad. Huh. That salad line is really long, but the pasta line is empty... I do get a salad with my pasta... yeah. Pasta it is.

Thursday: Who am I kidding? I want another BLT! (nom nom nom)

Yeah. Let's just say that this doesn't bode well for tomorrow. Or for any potential weight loss that might have happened this week. But who knows. I could surprise myself and actually be in the mood for that Healthy Choice thingy.

Also: I almost ordered Chinese food last night. I got home from Happy Hour a little buzzed and really felt like eating something salty and greasy. I don't have anything particularly salty and greasy in my house. But the thought of waiting for the Chinese food wasn't appealing at all, so I settled for a peanut butter sandwich, a pickle spear, and a 100 calorie pack of cheddar Chex Mix. So I guess that's a small victory.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I'm in a rut. I'm not happy. I'm happy with some of the changes I've made to my life, but that's not enough. There are bigger things about my life that don't make me happy.

Right now, the only things I truly enjoy are my TV shows (and only new episodes, apparently, because I had no idea what to do last night when "How I Met Your Mother" was a rerun) and planning my 30th birthday party in Vegas - which I can't even do properly right now because I don't know how much money I'll have or even which weekend the party will be. I don't think that's good. And this realization has put me in a very bad mood.

There are small things bugging me today, too. The socks I'm wearing keep sliding off my heels and into my shoes. I've got a headache. I'm either too hot or too cold depending on whether or not I'm wearing the fleece jacket I keep at my desk.

But those are just little things. There are big things.

I'm tired of my job. I'm not tired of the people I work with, or even the place where I work. I'm sick of the actual work that I do every day. I'm not very motivated - the only reason things get done is because I'm a stickler for deadlines. I want more responsibility, but at the same time, I'm afraid that my lack of motivation will carry over to new tasks I might learn, and then I won't really learn them very well and I'll no longer be good at my job. Because I like the fact that I'm good at my job right now. The problem is, I'm also too good for my job. And now I've grown used to it.

I've been talking about getting my MBA for a long time now. You know, getting those promotions that are currently out of reach and becoming "The Man" and all that. Except... do I really want that? Or do I just think I'm interested in things like finance because it would be a good idea for my career? My student loan debt is finally under $10,000. Do I really want to see that go back up for a degree I don't even really care about?

Yesterday, a friend and I were joking about going back to school to get a degree in meteorology because we like talking about the weather. The University of Minnesota does not have a graduate program in meteorology (which is surprising, considering how popular a topic weather is around here), but my friend said that the University of Utah (where she lives) does. And instead of just brushing it off, I actually went to the University of Utah website and looked up the degree program and what their application guidelines were. Not that I particularly want to leave Minnesota and move to Utah, but it was the idea of change that appealed to me.

You know what I really want to do? I want to write for TV. I don't want to write about TV or write reviews of TV. I want to write TV itself. I want to be a television writer. I don't know how to get into that business, though. I don't even know where to begin. For novels, sure, I know where to begin. But TV? I don't even know how to format a TV script. So, what, do I go back to college for TV writing? Can I do that here in MN, or do I have to move to LA or New York? And is it worth turning my whole life upside down for a career that I'm sure is very competitive and probably unlikely to make a decent living with? Did that last sentence even make sense? Why do I think that I can be any kind of writer?

Yeah. That's what's going through my head today. And, to make matters worse, it's Tuesday and I've already eaten out twice this week. The lunch I brought yesterday is still sitting in the overhead bin at my desk. *sigh*

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ah, Football, or Brett, You've Got it Going On

A few weeks into the football season this year, when the Vikings were still undefeated, I thought to myself (and may have spoken it aloud) that the Vikings would make it to the NFC championship game only to blow it in the end. They are, after all, the Vikings. They are a Minnesota pro sports franchise. They are champions of disappointment.

I really only started getting into football this year. I watched a few games last year, and I've been to a couple games at the Dome. But this year, thanks largely in part to HDTV, I really got into the Vikings. I watched most of the games. This year, I became a real fan.

Last night's game - the NFC Championship game - was easily the most intense, exciting, and heartbreaking game I've ever seen.

We had it in the bag. Tie score, in possession of the ball in field goal range with seconds left on the clock... and BAM! Interception. Yet another red-zone turnover.

I don't blame you, Brett. Especially after how beat up you got in that game (especially considering none of those hits were actually sacks). I think it was a poor decision at that point in the game, but it's not your fault that the Vikings lost. I blame Butterfingers Baloo (formerly known as Adrian Peterson). And I'm a little peeved with Percy Harvin (I had your back, man) for following Butterfingers' example. The whole point of the game is to HOLD ON TO THE FRIGGIN BALL!

Sorry, got a little carried away there. I apologize.

So, Brett, I hope you decide to come back for one more year before you retire. Clearly, something is working right with you on the team if they were able to get so close to the Super Bowl. I'm sad it didn't happen this year, but I have hope that next year will be different.

Oh, and in other news, I'm now down 8 pounds. 3 cheers for baggy pants!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


No, that title does not refer to how I feel right now. I was thinking about a recent line of Weight Watchers commercials, featuring a furry little guy named "Hungry." Like in this commercial:

Cute, isn't he? I want one. So I started doing some research. Apparently Weight Watchers sold them at their meeting locations last year, but they were discontinued due to a recall. There's no information on whether or not they'll start selling them again.

The thing is, I really want one. Really. I have a thing for adorable monsters. You already know about Domo (and if you're friends with me on Facebook, you've seen some of his adventures). I also have a little guy named Schmorg (sorry I don't have a better link for him - that was all I could find - I picked him up at Target at the after-Halloween sale). And, my favorite monster doll of all, Razzie, who I can't find anywhere on the internets (yet - I'm going to keep looking, I'm frustrated now). You see? Hungry would be a wonderful addition to my collection.

So, please, keep your eyes peeled. Let me know if you see anything about a Hungry doll for sale!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mercy Me

As you may or may not know, I'm addicted to television. I'm one of about four people out there who regularly watches the new hospital drama Mercy. (Honestly, I'm surprised it hasn't been canceled yet, but after all the shenanigans NBC has gone through lately, maybe one show's poor ratings aren't really at the forefront of their mind). But right now, other than American Idol, it's the only show I watch on Wednesday nights (until next week, when new episodes of Psych start up again - moving away from Friday, which pleases me immensely).

I have a love/hate relationship with Mercy. I enjoy the show. I like the characters. I like the writing. But I hate that every single week, without fail, the dang show makes me cry. Horribly cry. But that's really not why I'm writing about it now. I'm writing about this show because of one of the story lines from tonight's episode. There was a patient in the hospital who was in a coma for ten years, and he woke up.

This really made me think about things. A lot of things. Ten years. I've been thinking about decades a lot lately - just look at my blog posts from the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. Ten years is a big deal, a big milestone. I have a lot planned for the next 10 years.

What would you do if you woke up and learned that ten years have passed? What do you think would stick in your mind? Family aside, who do you hope you will remember? Anything you hope you'll forget?

It's interesting to think about, really. And part of me wonders what sort of world events would transpire, and what kind of changes those events would create for the people in my life. Of course, there's no way to predict what could happen. You can't expect the unexpected, or else it wouldn't be unexpected. Sometimes, though, it's fun to imagine what could happen. Fun. Or scary.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Two Weeks Later

It's been two weeks since I started my efforts to become healthier. I've brought my lunch to work most days, and haven't ordered pizza or eaten out very much at all in the last two weeks. I've saved more money than I thought I would (yay!), and I've found a lunch routine that works for me. I'm eating the most well-balanced diet in my life... at least, in my adult life. Back when I lived with my parents, we ate pretty well.

So far, two weeks into my little adventure, I've lost six pounds. That's pretty dang good, considering I only worked out one of those 14 days, and that was only for 15 minutes. I'm going to gradually integrate the exercise into my daily routine, because I know that getting myself into shape will help form a more all-around healthy me.

You may not be able to tell by looking at me (after all, six pounds is nothing on someone as heavy as I am), but I have started slimming down. Of course, it's all from my lower gut.

My what, you ask?

My "lower gut." As you all know, I'm a Big Girl. I have everything you'd expect me to have - big thighs, hips, butt, chubby ankles and feet, and humongous arms. But the part about me I hate the most is my gut, which is divided into two distinct parts: my upper gut and my lower gut. The equator, if you will, of my gut is my waist line where I've always worn my pants. I've just sort of... grown around it. I hate my upper gut. It's normal for women to have a lower gut - we're naturally built with more fat there to help protect the special woman parts inside there. But nothing in my upper gut needs added protection, and that's really what I want to get rid of. But as I looked at myself in the mirror today, I realize that my upper gut hasn't changed in the last two weeks, but my lower gut looks smaller. Of course, this just works to further emphasize my upper gut, which gives me a very pronounced "muffin top." It looks like I'm wearing pants that are too small for me, since part of me is ballooning out of the waist, but really, that's not what's going on here. I actually need a belt. Over the weekend my jeans were practically falling off. The khaki pants I'm wearing today are a bit on the loose side, as well, though thankfully I don't need additional help holding them up. My hips are good for something, thank goodness.

You get the idea, right? Of course, the apparent shrinking of my lower gut is probably all in my head. After all, it's only six pounds... but I like to think it's making a visible difference. In any case, I'm really starting to feel good about myself, and the changes I'm making.

Now, if only I could find an answer to why I haven't been sleeping well...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

For the Record: Periwinkle

A few days ago, I got a message in my Facebook inbox about how I should post the color of the bra I was wearing as my status update to raise awareness for breast cancer. My first thought was "meh." Breast cancer isn't something that I feel passionate about, and I like my clever, witty (ok, sometimes mundane) status updates better. Besides - I was just wearing a boring old beige bra. Where's the fun in that?

As the day went on, I saw more and more status updates with colors in them. I thought about playing along because it seemed the cool thing to do. But I didn't. It's not like I was raising money for charity or anything.

Last night, one of my friends posted this link to an article about the fad. It wasn't started by any of the major breast-cancer-awareness organizations. But according to those organizations, the little Facebook post-your-bra-color trend actually did raise awareness for breast cancer.

... really?

I mean, come on. Breast cancer is by far the most popular cancer (colon cancer tried for a while, but do you hear anyone talk about it anymore? No, but you can still buy a pink Kitchen-Aid stand mixer). Did breast cancer really need any more awareness? Weren't we all already aware of it? People still get breast cancer, but thanks to all the awareness out there, fewer women are dying from it (this article sums it up nicely, including this statistic: "Mortality of it has dropped over two percent a year since 1990 and rates remain to go down," or this article if you like tables).

Did the fact that countless women posted their bra colors on Facebook cause even one woman to say, "hey, I should schedule a mammogram?" Somehow, I doubt it. I think our culture is over saturated with breast cancer awareness, and the women who are going to get checked out are already getting checked for it regularly. The women who aren't getting their mammograms will continue to ignore the need - or, like a large percentage of Facebook users, are young enough to not require regular breast cancer screenings.

All right, maybe the Facebook game did raise some breast cancer awareness - but it's awareness in people who are already aware. Does that count as successful?

I think we should "raise awareness" for prostate cancer next. Men of Facebook, I ask you: boxers or briefs?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Breaking the Rules for a Good Cause

I told myself I wasn't going to spend money I don't really need to spend. It hasn't even been a week, but I'm already seriously contemplating breaking my own rules. I came across something... well, I don't need it, but it's something that's really cool to me.

I've recently been reading the book The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It's fantastic. I love it. One of the best books I've ever read. The only bad thing I can say about it is that it's the first in a trilogy and the sequel isn't out yet (the current publication date listed on is June 1, 2011). I wouldn't be surprised if I end up reading this books multiple times before the next one comes out.

There's the set-up. On a message board I read online daily, someone posted that Pat Rothfuss is having a charity-fundraiser event on his blog. So, naturally, I went to Rothfuss's blog to see what the deal is. The charity is Heifer International, whose mission is to give animals to impoverished families (not pets, but animals like goats and chickens to give families necessities for life). You can read all about it in that link. Rothfuss has his own project, raising money for Heifer International, and it includes a lot of cool prizes. Here's his blog post about the whole deal: Fundraiser.

Scroll down on that page and learn a bit about the prizes and the Golden Ticket. For every $10 I donate, I get a chance to win one of those fabulous prizes. And the Golden Ticket. Of course, the Golden Ticket is also up for auction on eBay, but considering the bid is already over $15,000, I've got a feeling I won't be winning that one.

If you scroll down farther on the Fundraiser link, though, you'll see the "sure thing" section. There, I could get a personalized copy of The Name of the Wind. Hardcover, and he'll sign it with whatever I want. Yeah, I could just watch his schedule for a time he's doing a signing somewhere, but this is easier, for a good cause, and it'll get me a nice hardcover copy of the book (sadly, the first editions are sold out).

I'm going to at least donate $10 for a chance at something cool, but I'm still mulling over whether or not I want to spend the $45 on the hardcover. It's a lot of money for someone who is trying to save.

Side note: Apparently Rothfuss lives in Stevens Point, WI. I have a feeling that if I started stalking him, it would take even longer for the rest of the trilogy to be published. Phooey.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tummy Growling

Today is Thursday. Really? Only Thursday? Man. I just can't get used to this first-full-week-of-work-after-the-holidays thing.

I'm hungry. It's almost time for lunch, which is good. I'm hungry. Wait, did I already say that? Well, then it must be true. I know that eventually I'll get used to eating smaller meals, but this week is especially difficult. I'm almost constantly hungry, and that makes it really hard not to think about food. Thinking about food is bad, because that makes me do things I'll later regret. If I think about food, I end up eating shredded cheese straight out of the bag (in my defense, there was only about a quarter cup left, so it wasn't very much). Of course, all this talking about thinking about food is making me, naturally, think about food. And since it's lunch time, I'm thinking about going out and getting a really big salad from the place downstairs, or a giant sandwich from Subway. Something huge to fuel my enormous appetite.

I told myself when I resolved to save money that I could go out for lunch once a week. I also found out today that my paychecks in 2010 are a little bigger than I was expecting (thankfully that didn't go the other way - I was doing one of those hope-for-the-worst things, and it worked). I can eat out today and tomorrow, I'll eat the lunch that I brought for today. It's not cheating. I don't have to feel guilty about this. Unless I get a bacon cheeseburger with fries. Then I feel guilty. But I don't want a bacon cheeseburger. I want a salad.

Oh! Speaking of salads, I've been eating this salad dressing on my salads at home, and it's really good: Kraft Light Sicilian Roasted Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 1: Commence Healthification

Today's weight: **8 (those first two will always be secret - if things go as planned, you'll probably be able to figure it out eventually by doing some math, but I'm not going to make it easy).

Food so far: Pop Tart, 2 cups of coffee with sugar-free French Vanilla creamer, Marie Callender's Homestyle Creations Creamy Chicken Parmesan, Archer Farms Organic Raspberry Fruit Strip, 6 Golden Oreo Cookies (don't ask), 1 breath mint.

Planned for dinner: Salad (small) with Light Roasted Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing, leftover pork fried rice (I meant to eat it over the weekend, but I didn't have time). Maybe a cookie or two for dessert. Oh, and I'm going to have an after-work snack of cottage cheese and applesauce.

Yeah, I don't plan on posting all this every day. But every once in a while I will. I'm also going to be tracking this in a journal that I'm going to write by hand, and also keep track of exercise and my general feelings during this whole healthification thing. So far, it's tough. It's good that I started it while at work, since if I were at home, I would have eaten 95% of the food in the kitchen by now. Having nothing here to eat makes it easier to control what I put in my mouth. It'll be tough when I get home, but hopefully I'll be able to keep it to the snack and dinner I have planned. If I don't have a cookie or two for dessert, I'll have an orange sherbet push-pop. They're only 90 calories, and quite tasty. A very suitable option for when I want something sweet at the end of the day.

In other news, it was really cold out this morning. Waiting for the bus when it's dark and zero degrees out is not really very fun at all. I'm really getting sick of this whole cold thing. Why does my nose run when it's cold out? That's probably the most frustrating part of all. That and the fact that my boots don't actually keep my feet warm.