Monday, October 31, 2011

Creepy, Kooky, Mysterious, Spooky

So, despite my advanced age, I had not one, but two Halloween costumes this year.

Submitted for your approval.    Here's me at work today as a turkey vulture (aka buzzard).  I am hovering over my friend Colby, who came as road kill.  Sadly, because of the angle of the photo, it looks like I'm about to grab his carrot, if you will.  While dozen of co-workers watch, arms crossed in hostility.

Hippity, hoppity motherfluffer!



Here's a group photo that gives a better view where I don't appear to be molesting anyone:

The pink crayon is a little dirty, even though it's completely innocent.  I know, I know...


It should be duly noted that Colby and I won best duo, even though we did not plan our costumes together and only decided to team up as we were walking into judging.

And on Saturday, this was me as a Day of the Dead lady.  I think it was a good effort, but maybe a little high concept - and the makeup was a disaster.  Plus, my hombre was home with a cold, so I was partnerless...



I might want to look into both teeth and eyeball whitening services.



And, while not a costume, per se, here's me, Natae and Erin at the ALS Walk.  I include it because my bandana has candy corn and skeletons on it.  And because I need sunglasses, and because it makes me look reasonably thinner than I did a year ago.

The one without shades is standing in direct sun.  Nice.


Tomorrow - I don my final costume, of sorts tomorrow night.

Jim,  James and I are heading to TPAC to go see Wicked.  I found a fun little dress at the Goodwill for $7.99 - it's velvet, but not too formal (from Old Navy).  I'll put a bling necklace with it and pray I don't look too dumb.  Or overdressed.  James is wearing a blazer and a pocket square, but no tie.  Jim is wearing jeans and a button-down.  I'll be overdressed, won't I?  Crap.

I haven't dressed up like a grown up in too long.  It's far less painful to look goofy intentionally than to give it your best shot and end up looking goofy as a misstep.

But at least I'll take pictures.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It was the best of times, it was the...best of times, actually.


Tomorrow, I turn 37.  I have to be honest – I can’t believe I’m this old.  I swear to you that I was just seventeen like, last week.  Only, as it turns out, that was 20 years ago.

Did you know that my lucky number is 36?  It is.  And I’m living proof.  With that, I think I’ll sum up my 36th year  -  just so I can look back fondly.

So, to be honest, I barely remember my birthday.  I honestly don’t remember anything about it.  I do know that I had a party at the house about a week before.  Beyond that, it’s a blur.  Did we go out to dinner?  I don’t recall.  Even my blog from last year doesn’t reveal much:  Hippo birdies!

We spent Thanksgiving with Mom and Dad – we were supposed to hit the Mountains, and we did – for a few minutes.  The water was off, so we ended up packing it up and celebrating in Roswell.  That was a long weekend in every sense of the word.

I got to go to Portland for training the first week of December.  There I sampled Voodoo Donuts (with bacon), got my own model turbine and had fun with a ton of folks.

Christmas was quick and dirty – and two days later, we celebrated Dad’s 70th birthday. I also had a good time seeing my old OM coach and teammates.

We rang in the new year at The 5 Spot in East Nashville -  Roaring 20s style!

On January 5th, I walked into Weight Watchers.  Again.  I wasn’t immediately fond of my leader, the group or not eating copious amounts of bad food, but I got into the swing of things.

February – a trip to Peoria, IL. Yep.  That's the highlight.

In March, my  world got rocked as I moved out of the support team and into client services.  Same job, new department, new boss.  We also went to a Totally 80s Sweet Sixteen party for Matt's cousin.

April and May?  A blur.  Something must have happened, but who can say what?  Oh – wait – I won the Weight Loss Challenge at the office.  Hands down!  Oh, and I think that’s when I headed to Philadelphia.

And then, in June, another new boss - my much beloved new boss James - he's awesome.  And a trip to the dermatologist. Not awesome. 

July brought my election to the board of the Soque Club.  Amazing, really.  I also threw another fun party for the 4th of July.

And after that another trip to the dermatologist…diagnosis: pilomatrical carcinoma.  I had a piece of scalp removed and kept on keeping on. 

We celebrated Matt’s 37th birthday and our 6th anniversary.    I got bumped on a flight and ended up spending a night in Reston, VA.  And I took a trip to Texas.  Or two?  No, just one.  I also went to St. Louis.

And my scalp healed.

Our department came together for a Summit in August, and then in September, a blue-ribbon win at the State Fair, a party to end all parties and the User Conference.

And my scalp healed.

In late September, I made my radio debut on Allison-FM.   Sweet! 

And my scalp healed.

I went to dinner with friends, partied like a rock star and spent time in the mountains in September and October.

And my scalp healed.   And finally, it healed up altogether.  And I went back to Water Aerobics.

And that more or less brings me here.

So you know – it’s been kind of a great year.   Lots of new friends, lots of new experiences (I mean, even the hair cancer was a new experience).  I weigh about 45 pounds less than I did this time last year.  I look and feel awesome.

Can 37 possibly top it?  We’ll find out starting tomorrow.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What I Thought About Bridesmaids



So, even before Bridesmaids came out, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to see it.

I like Kristen Wiig best in small doses, but I think Maya Rudolph has a lot to offer,  I think Ellie Kemper is cute.   Plus – I love me some Wendi McLendon-Covey (I mean, I came as Clemmy one year for Halloween), and I think that if we were to meet in really life, Melissa McCarthy would be a good friend.  Plus, I love funny women.  Being funny myself, I want to support my sisters...

So, yeah – it seemed natural to see it.

I never did make it to the theaters to get it in.

And it’s been tough to get from our queue, so I finally RedBoxed it over the weekend.

Here’s what I thought.    I thought it was incredibly sad.

Hear me out…

So  Kristen Wiig’s character – Annie?  Jeez, I can’t even remember – but – her character is working in a jewelry store because she lost a lot of money opening a bakery during a recession.   HA!  HILARIOUS – money troubles and a dead-end job?  Pure comedy gold!  Her boyfriend dumped her when the business went under, and now she lives with two horrible roommates.

She sees this prick of a guy from time to time – and he’s really mean to her, and uses her.  Aren’t you laughing yet?

So her best friend, Lillian, gets engaged, and she starts falling apart.  I know, I can barely contain the chuckles, myself.

Now, not only does she feel like her best friend is moving on, but there’s this other woman, who you later learn is also really lonely and depressed – and she’s trying to horn in on Annie and Lillian’s relationship.   

So Annie’s vulnerability drive her to do crazier and crazier shit, until finally, she snaps and Lillian kicks her out of the wedding.

And because her self-esteem is so trashed, she ends up losing her job and running off a guy who treats her too nicely.

The nicest scene in the movie is when Megan, the groom’s sister, comes to see Annie and basically says, “I’m your friend, but I’m only going to start caring about you when you start caring about you.”

So, in the end, Annie rejoins the wedding party, gets to know and understand her nemesis, Helen, and the guy she drove off comes to see her and they ride off into the night together.

I actually cried more than I laughed.

So… that’s normal, right?

And yes, there were funny moments:

-          Annie getting incorrectly paired at the engagement party – twice.
-          Megan and the Air Marshal
-          Megan and the puppies
-          Megan, basically every time she appears on the screen
-          Annie’s blow job impersonation
-          Helen’s step kids
-          Lillian’s Dad
-          Annie and Lillian attempting to get free boot camp
-          Annie and the 13 year old at the jewelry store

I’m just saying.  I think I may have bought into the build-up on this one.

See also, Something About Mary, Knocked Up.

But not, inexplicably, Talladega Nights.

Hmmm.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Killing me softly with onions

So, today, I made tremendous headway on my Halloween costumes, got groceries in the house, and made a curried butternut squash soup that was, to be honest, phenomenal.  Now that cooler weather is here, I'm having to find creative ways to get those creamy, savory foods I crave.

And I am really craving salt.  No idea why.  And yes, I checked - my BP is fine as can be, so that's not it.  This time...

Meanwhile, I'm coming up on my 37th birthday.  No plans, per se.  I bought myself a ticket to Wicked with my friends Jim and James.  Beyond that - nothing.  I might have to hit up Publix for a slice o' cake.

And that's more or less it.

I have training tomorrow.  Beyond that?  Nothing.

Well, I have some baking for Matt's office, and then a little for the party...

It's not all pureeing and sewing and glueing.

Yeeha.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What I mean to say is...

Last night’s weigh-in was bad, but I kind of knew it would be – you cannot cheat the scale.  And more to the point, you cannot eat hot wings with reckless abandon and expect to see positive results.  See also: Eating Mexican the night before weigh-in.  Totally my bad.  On all counts.

I should also cop to the candy.  I’ve eaten some.  And not just the new Skinny Cow candy bars, which are delicious, yes – but I’ve eaten some “real” ones too.    And a few Little Debbie snack cakes.

Basically, it’s time to come clean and start anew.  I’ve eaten today:

2 Fat Free Hot Dogs
1 banana
1 piece of WW string cheese

I’m doing good.

All of this to preface last night’s meeting.  The topic was, “Are The Changes You’re Making Affecting Other People?”

Now, I love Weight Watchers, and I believe it works.  I think that the only place where it falls short is in dealing with the emotional issues that got us to the point where we needed to join Weight Watchers to lose the weight.

I’ve had about 5 different leaders, and none of them were/are standouts in this area – and Weight Watchers doesn’t equip them to be.

But this is one of those topics where we had the material to go really deep, but instead, we stayed well above the surface.

So, since I’ve had therapy, and I have a few free minutes, here’s my thoughts on that.

The biggest way I’ve affected other is in trying to feed them.  Since I can’t eat it, I’ll encourage you to have it.

Let’s look at this from a different angle…

I was having lunch with some friends last week and commented on a mutual friend who I admired for her openness.  They agreed that she was great and we moved on to talk about other things.

So, I’ll tie this together.

In lieu of being able to express emotions to people, I’ve been trying to feed them.  And it appears that right now, that means candy.

In the past six weeks, I’ve given candy on five separate occasions.  Instead of saying the following:

  • I want you to know that I am listening to you and want you to be happy.
  • I am glad you are my friend.
  • I want you to like me and think I’m nice.
  • I am proud of you and I support you.
  • Thank you for putting up with my crazy.  I have your back.

Because, let’s face it – people aren’t expecting any of those things from me.  They want the clown, not the poet.

That said, none of that is specific to joining WW.

If you were to ask 100 people who know me what’s the first word they’d use to describe me, I doubt any of them would use “sweet” or “nice”.

When it comes to sweet and nice, I let the Junior Mints do the work for me.

And that, if you must know, is how I would answer the topic of the week.

ae


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lighten up - it's just fashion!


So I’ve alluded, within the past few posts about having trouble bra shopping.  So, I might as well get it all out there for you – in hopes that maybe you can offer some advice.

As you have likely read, I’ve lost weight this year – nearly 50 pounds – and I aim to make it at least to 52 by the end of the year.  So that we can say that I lost a pound a week average.

I think we can safely say I’ve been screwing around/plateaued since July – and that’s kind of a shame, but this is a lifetime thing, so if it takes awhile so be it.

Anyway, you’re not reading this to see me self-flagellate about my stall out in the Weight Watchers journey.

The point is this .  I started  the year in a 42DDD bra.  Matt points out that the Triple D is for D-D-Damn!  But a 42DDD on a 234 pound woman is nothing – it’s not really even proportional.  As I started to lose weight, I realized I’d need to rethink the bra situation, and I ended up with two new bras – 40DD – Bali brand.  Which made me pretty happy, actually.  Now, I ended up getting minimizers, because I was looking a little down and out and the minimizers  brought everything a little more front and centered.

But, in the process, it also smashed everything down a little, so I looked heavy and flat-chested at the same time.   I don’t know – it worked, but I knew I could do better.

Add to that, I’ve been wearing two bras (one black, one tan) for the better part of this year and they’re starting to look rough.  So Saturday, I headed to Macy’s for a little refresher.

I thought I knew what I wanted.  I thought.  But I pulled a few and learned I had no idea what I was doing.

I borrowed a  tape measure from the sales clerk, who didn’t even try to offer to help me – hooray for apathy.  Turns out, I’m not so much 40DD or even a 38DD.  I’m a 38DDD.

Damn.

Now, Macy’s was clean out of all of the styles I wanted in my new fun size, so I started walking toward Lane Bryant.  And I passed Soma.  So, you know – I thought I’d give them a shot.  I bought from them once before and was a little disappointed.  But how soon we forget, then remember.  The clerk there was trying to juggle me and another lady.  She determined the same thing I’d determined on my own at Macy’s. That I’m a 38DDD.  Now, they don’t have much in that size, so she was going to bring a few other sizes just to see.  Which means she was determined to get me into a bra, whether it fit or not.  She ended up bringing me the perfect bra – but they only had one of them, and it was a 38DDD – the size she told me they didn’t even have in that style.

So, rather than acknowledge her mistake, she started blustering.  No thanks.  I left braless and dejected.

I looked on their website, and they do make that style in that size, but I’ll be damned if they have any in colors I can actually wear under clothes.

So I’ve been keeping my eyes open.

I also tried on a few of my older bras – and I have a Lane one that seems to be working, and would be great in a better size.  So I may head over there later this week and give those a try again.

I don’t know – I just feel a little overwhelmed. 

I had to spend a little money on clothes so that I wasn’t coming to work naked or in clothes that made me look like I’d gained back the entire 46 pounds  – so I have a few new things and they look nice, but I’m so sick of spending money.

So I may just have to settle on looking flat for a bit.

Any suggestions?  I swear I’m not a mutant.

ae







Monday, October 17, 2011

Here we go 'round in circles.

I finished up the thank you notes and mailed them, because that's the kind of girl I am.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, which is to say, at work... I talk.  I talk a lot.  Training.  And that's the long and short if it.

My throat hurts - it's that time of year.  Even without my pesky tonsils, it's rough.

I'm going to Zumba tonight.

To be honest, I'm a little down - it was a good weekend, and the week looks a bit lackluster after all that. I have a customer coming in on Friday, and normally, I'd be delighted.  But they're giving us a half day on Friday, which means I can't partake, and that pisses me off.

Well, it's not all beer and roses.

And on that note, time to throw on the workout gear and get to it.

What I'd prefer is a plate of hot chocolate chip cookies.

You know - for the throat pain.

Ha,

ae

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Remember that time we went to a party? That was awesome.

Great weekend.  Started out with a Friday night early bedtime, and grew into a whole bunch of fun.

I did some housework on Saturday AM, then went bra shopping, where I learned I am a freak of nature.  What else is new?  I didn't buy any bras as a protest of the fact that Soma underwhelmed me with their service/selection.  Thanks for the "fitting" though.  It confirmed exactly what I learned 15 minutes before with a tape measure and my own two hands at Macy's.

I texted my boss to see if he was in the mood for lunch, picked him up and we ate salads at Bread and Company.  Curried chicken salads, but still.

I came home, made some dishes to take to a party, got some beer, then got dressed.

My boss met us at the house, and the rest, I'll tell you photographically.

Since it was an Oktoberfest, Matt and I opted to bring it, Munchen style. Wish we'd taken a real photo but oh wells...


Here is a photo of me with a bottle of (root) beer in my ample bosom.  Don't I look cute?


Here's a blurry photo of Matt in his Tyrolean hat. Ausgezeichnet!

Me and my lady friends - Bethany, Natae and Erin.  A small harem?

I changed into street clothes after giving everyone a good look at my großen Brüsten.


My delightful bossman, James.
So, I was a designated drived - I stuck to diet Root Beer all night.  Yes, I was sober in every last picture.

Because of that, we ended up delivering a car down to Franklin this morning to my boss, then he, Matt and I hit up Chuy's for homemade tortillas and queso - nectar of the (Mayan) Gods.

After a late afternoon nap, I grocery shopped, hit up Subway for their $5 Anytober Foot Long Special, and I am now avoiding writing thank you notes to the people at the radio station...

But since I'm out of pictures... 

Damn.

Time to write thank you notes.

ae

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cheating at Blogging

So, my company has an initiative to try to get their Social Media into high gear, involving lots of different departments.

And so, I submitted this:

But There's So Much More You Need To Know...

And they published it - so I'm linking to it here because I don't feel much like writing and yet, I wanted to update my blog.

We'll call it multi-tasking and leave it at that.

Peace, yo.

ae

Friday, October 7, 2011

Don't let the sun go down on your anger...

Yom Kippur begins at sundown tonight.

For those of you not in the know, it’s the Jewish Day of Atonement.  And it falls about a week and change after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  Kind of like back-dated resolutions…kind of.

So, if you recall, I’ve done some atoning on this blog before.


And since it’s been two years, since my last atonement – forgive me Rabbi, for I have – well, not sinned, per se.  I’ve just been less than the best version of myself.

I  would like to once again atone for any neglect I may have perpetrated on Lola.  Including the fact that I kenneled her just this morning to run to Atlanta for the weekend.  Don’t worry, beasto – I’ll give you a warm bath and a home-cooked meal once we get home.

And speaking of home-cooked meals – would it kill me to get some fresh food in the house for my sweet husband?  The last few months have been hectic, but Man cannot live on Hot Pockets and overripe bananas alone.

For any of those times I came in late to work because I needed iced coffee or a Sonic run – I’m sorry.  I should never let my chronic need for caffeine morph into chronic tardiness.

Sorry for those few times I used all the hot water, landing me in hot water with the mister. 

I regret my overuse of the phrase “douchecanoe” when describing people.  Not that they weren’t being douchey, because chances are they were.  But I can use my words more effectively.  I’ll take suggestions for a replacement phrase.  Just to be clear:   douchecanoe > douchebag > “db”.

Still working on decreasing that debt.  And, with the Great Hair Cancer Debacle of 2011,  I managed to rack up a bit more.   You can safely assume I’ll be stimulating the economy for the next year.  Or seven.

I can say I’ve tried and mostly succeeded in my battle against the vicious, pernicious (and sadly, delicious) calorie.  Down nearly 47 pounds, and I’m looking to finish the year strong. I ask for forgiveness, though – as I was wasteful.  I bought slices of Publix cake, but ate only the icing.   Threw out perfectly good candy bars, half eaten.   To say nothing of leftovers in the fridge that went to waste and not to waist.
My bad, yo.

I could have done better about returning voicemail.  And for that matter, remembering to pull my out of office messages in a more timely manner.  Oopsie.

Again, that whole “lack of patience with colleagues” reared its ugly head this year.  But to be fair, three bosses in six months?  Losing my work husband to a different department and gaining in his place a little douchecanoe – er… feminine hygiene kayak of a co-worker?  Please.  PLEASE.  That said, I should atone.   Because though I’m paired with a guy who is built like a fire hydrant with a personality to match… I ended up with my new awesome boss, James.  Yay James.

I’d like to atone for not using Social Media to better more lives.  It has bettered mine, yes… but it has so much potential that I left untapped this year.

I wish I’d kept the house cleaner, the laundry under control.  I would like to have exercised more and spent less time on the interwebs.  I should have loved on my husband some more, written more thank you notes,  and accepted compliments more graciously.

Honestly, though – I think it’s only going to get better.  So what say I’ll just take another year to sand down the rough edges, and we’ll do this again next Yom Kippur.

Deal?

Deal.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

To have one is to be one...

When I was in college, I read Elizabeth Berg’s Talk Before Sleep.  I’ve since read other things that she’s written, and have to say this is really her best.  I mention it because of a line near the beginning of the book when the protagonist is describing her friend:

Ruth has friends like other people have wardrobes. I mean that there's someone for every occasion.

And I remember thinking what a nice feeling that must be.

Well, it only took fifteen years, but I finally have a closetful of friends.

When I first moved to Nashville, the only friends I had here were the ones I inherited from my husband.  And that was great, but it wasn’t enough. 

I had fantasies where I’d be at a coffee shop and meet a nice group of ladies and they’d ask me to join their gang.

It never happened.

What did happen is that slowly, I started putting feelers out and making friends.

Rosie was first.  Rosie and I share a common enemy, similar political beliefs and a love of Project Runway.  

But  for a long time, Rosie was it.  And though I love her, she wasn't really enough.  You can't have a wardrobe of a single evening gown...

And then, I started a new job.  And for some reason, this job, and the people here spoke to me. Both literally and emotionally.

And I started making friends.  Lots and lots of friends.

In fact, I learned that I’m kind of a social person.  I still have anxiety, but the fact is – my social life in Nashville is booming.  Last night, I went to a killer party at the Parthenon because a friend had an extra ticket.  I had lunch with pals yesterday, there’s another lunch on tap for today.   And then, next weekend, an Oktoberfest, and in November – I’m going to see Wicked.  In December, Arlo Guthrie.

Having a life is kind of awesome.