Saturday, December 31, 2011

That's how I roll...

So, yesterday was payday, and we got our bonuses tacked on unexpectedly.  I wasn't too bummed, let's be honest.

I decided to end my year with a little sussy to say to myself, "Nice work, self!".

So I hit up the Clinique counter at the local Macy's and splurged on two lipsticks.  And because I'm worth it, I had the oh, so pregnant rep help me pick out two colors.

I decided my problem  challenge with makeup is that the dark bold lip colors weren't doing me any favors.  I was looking a little:

Do NOT fuck with Joan Crawford, Mercedes McCameron.


I affectionately call this look Clown Mouth.  Matt would be so proud that I'm referencing a movie he showed me earlier this year.  But let's be honest - I don't need to use  La Joan as my style guru.

So, I recognized the problem and sought a solution.

What I ended up with is two shades I'm kind of stoked about.


Meet Bamboo Pink:




And introducing Heather Moon:


These are lighter, softer shades that make me look a little lighter and softer.  Because as much as I love and have a flair for the dramatic, I have a life that requires a more natural look.

It's like I told the lady at Clinique yesterday - I just want to look like the best, pulled-together version of me as possible.

Now if I could get my nappy head of hair to toe the line, I'd be cooking with gas.

And another thing...I'm thinking of using my birthday spa gift card today for a little R and R with a side of TLC.

Hmm.

But first, breakfast.

And later, a pre-bowling nap.  I am excited.

ae


Thursday, December 29, 2011

A postscript - how could I have forgotten?

So, I forgot the main resolution I wanted to cast out to the universe.

I want to start wearing makeup.

Not every day and not tons of it.  I don't want to be this girl:

This is what comes up of you Google "hot mess".


But I want to be the best, tidiest version of myself.  I mean, a little eye makeup,  little lipstick.  Maybe eventually I'll graduate to some foundation.


But I have to be careful or:

Although, looking that orange would have to make my teeth look whiter.

Still - my friend Natae and I got our eyes done at the Chanel counter at Nordstrom, and it was amazing:

Her, on the right - that's who I want to look like.

Wish me luck!

ae

Promises, promises


I stand, resolute.

So, it’s that time of year, where I make resolutions and, more to the point – let’s see what I promised in 2011 and how I did:


Not bad – I definitely did lose weight, and I’ll keep that up in 2012.  I didn’t cry, and the number on the scale definitely starts with a 1.  My next goal is that I want the second number to be a 6 or lower.  These things take time.

 I definitely stepped up the exercise, with the exception of that period where I was scalped and therefore not cleared for Zumba/Yoga/Aqua Fit…next year, lots more activity!

I made some selfish decisions and they were great.  I’ll definitely keep that up.

I did plenty of good reading – Tina Fey, Susannah Collins, Ernest Cline.  All great.

I ate lunch out less at the first of the year, and then backslid a little.  We’ll work on that in 2012.

I certainly did more writing this year.  I want to keep that up.  It’s cheaper than therapy, and let’s face it – I have a unique voice.

So that brings me to 2012.

I want 2012 to be the year of fiscal fitness.  I’m going to be paying off our new memory foam bed soon (totally worth it), and then I can start throwing money at my credit card and the little nitpicky bills that came up from the Pilomatrical Carcinoma Chronicles.   I’m going to come up with a budget and stick to it.  And while I’ll need some “things” – new clothes, the occasional Kindle download… I need to be happier with what I have.

I’ve also committed to getting the house in shape in 2012.  I want to purge our lives of excess crap.  And that means selling, donating or trashing.  And that’s the plan.   I also want to do some maintenance on the place…I need to repair and paint the rails on the front porch and I’d love to paint the porch and shutters.

Note how fiscal responsibility and home repair are somewhat at odds with each other.   Amazing.

And I guess that’s enough.

For now.

Let's see this time next year where it plays out.

ae

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stagflation

So, I was taking a look back at the year - and what I came to is that I have stayed at the exact same weight as I was at back in June.  I would call it a plateau, but I'll be honest - I've been non-compliant - I've cheated, I haven't exercised enough, I haven't tracked... but the fact is, I've basically maintained for six months.

And while that's not entirely bad, it's time to get back on track.  I've made a decision.

I want to be down 50 pounds total by Valentine's Day. 

It's a love letter to myself.

It's the least I can do.

Of course, it's easy to write that an hour before I leave for what promises to be a decent weigh in.

Ask me again the next time I'm jonesing cake.  Which is constantly.

I need to get a fire in my belly.

And more vegetables.

And less sugar.

And more water.

And more exercise.

Easy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Whew.

One of the great/terrible things about my parents is that they're both amazing cooks.  So, we had an off the chain weekend with them, culinarily and otherwise.

Dad made his potato salad (which involves bacon and green olives and it's just amazing).  Mom made hot fudge sauce, and cookies.  They had a low country boil Christmas day.  And there were bagels and almond tart, and pimiento cheese.

Can you tell I'm hungry?

I didn't have breakfast until after Yoga today - then it was a few pieces of cheese and some fruit.  Lunch was a Lean Cuisine.  And now I'm waiting to go to dinner with Matt.  We were supposed to have sushi together for lunch, but one of us dawdled and waited too long (his name rhymes with Schmatt).  I am now waiting for Matt to take a fifteen minute nap, then get a quick shower, then get dressed and then FINALLY, I'll get my sushi.

As it turns out, that's been a late entry into the nice surprises of 2011.  I never thought I particularly liked sushi, but then, the only stuff I'd ever had was from Publix or Whole Foods.

Several weeks ago, I went to a place called Bodeli with a colleague - they make the stuff right in front of you.  And it was amazing.  I couldn't believe it.  

To make sure it wasn't a fluke, I took another colleague last week.  Again.  Amazing.  And he was kind of new to sushi, too - and he loved it.

Now, I'm taking Matt - or, since I'm kind of broke, he's taking me.  Which is fine.  I love a good meal, and I've been doing most of the driving, so I'll take payment in California rolls.  Or whatever.

One of the things I love about the place we are going is the layout.  It's a big square bar with a conveyor belt, and you just pick things off the belt that you want to eat.  I'm feeling a night of "all-you-can-eat" coming on, but you can also pay per plate - and the price is determined by the color on the plate rim.


Like this, but in a strip mall in the suburbs of Nashville.


So, that's pretty cool.  It feels both modern AND Modern Times.




And with that, Matt has had 15 minutes.  It's sushi time!!!

ae

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Low Impact Joylessness

I had today off.  Well, I took today off - and so I decided to get a little pre-Christmas workout in.  And what to my wandering eyes did appear?  An 8:30 AM Aqua Zumba class at Maryland Farms Y.

So I strapped into my suit, got in the car and drove down.  To learn that Amy, the Aqua Zumba instructor had a sub.  Lynn.

Lynn gave us water aerobics with music.  Shitty music, like a disco remix of "Tomorrow" from the musical Annie.  And a slowed down version of "Hit The Road, Jack".  And what sounded like a cheap knock off of "Chariots of Fire" played on an even cheaper synthesizer.

It sucked.  I may have gotten a little workout, but mostly, it was just pitiful.

Plus the Maryland Farms pool isn't as nice and sparkly as Green Hills, their locker rooms are kind of weird, and there was a creepy old dude lurking and watching us work out.

I was put off and put out.

I might have burned 200 calories.  Maybe I earned one activity point for Weight Watchers.  Let's not even talk about how badly that is going at the moment.  Badly.  Very.

And we're leaning hard into the curve that is the holidays.

More soon - for now, I have a date with my husband.  And his new internist.

ae



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Until they holler stop!


I was a Girl Scout.  Like practically every other girl in my neighborhood.  It’s just what you did.  I mean, we were in the ‘burbs, so 4-H wasn’t an option, and that’s long before soccer, which certainly wasn’t an option for me anyway – I had no skills of any athletic kind – I didn’t play softball – and EVERYONE played softball.

So,  Scouting it was.    And I was terrible at it.  Ok, I could sing songs and eat snacks with the best of them, but that was about my limit.  I wasn’t much into the crafts because they never had lefty scissors, so my objets d’art looked more like objets de merde.  I remember being frustrated to tears, repeatedly.

The uniforms were hideous.  This would have been early 80s, which were sartorially problematic in their own right.  I wanted the Tangerine Knit shirt to be different.  I then realized, not for the last time in my life that although I thought I wanted to be different, I really just needed to blend the hell in.  The polyester in “cocoa” was hideous,  and hot.  


Nice tunics there, bitches!


Our leader was an overly stern woman who once got pissy when we mentioned ditching the uniforms.  I notice now that she didn’t wear the Adult Uniform.  I should track her down and mention that to her.  She got pissy a lot, but she also taught me to add black pepper and dill weed to tuna salad, so she had at least one redeeming quality.

I hated camping.  In fact, my body reacted violently to all the wholesome outdoorsy-ness, because within eight hours of arriving to Sludgy Meadows or Camp Beaverwood, I’d have a raging sore throat, upper respiratory mayhem and a body ache.  Every.  Single.  Time.

Cookie sales were brutal.  Since every little girl in my elementary school was a scout, our customer base was tapped out early.  I was not terribly aggressive, either.  It paved the way for a lifetime of not wanting to go into sales.  I don’t care how lucrative it could be, it’s not my bag of cookies.  Honestly, I didn’t want to sell the cookies, I wanted to eat them.

Which brings us to the raison d’etre of scouts everywhere:  badges.  I couldn’t tell you what badges I earned.  I actually have them in a box – my mother found them and gave them to me.  Now, in theory – they could be my sister’s  - that’s how memorable  the badge earning process was.   The problem is that badges where always for things like “Nature Appreciation ” and “Fun with Textiles” and “Your Friend, The Encyclopedia”. 

There is not, to my best knowledge, a merit badge that you get for memorizing every line of dialogue from the movie Airplane, or one for consistently picking out the best item on any menu, or one for reading every book in the “All of a Kind Family” series thereby gaining a strong understanding of a Jewish family living in 1910 NYC and many minor Jewish holidays.  I’ve yet to receive my WTBS badge, for watching hours and hours of Channel 17’s afternoon programming.

Anyway, it wasn’t totally pointless.  It taught me grace under pressure, and that tangerine is not my color, and I learned that adults aren’t always nice, and that neither are kids.

It was good prep for being in a sorority, it taught me to get along with people who aren’t my BFFs, and it was a serious rite of passage.  I loved it, I hated it.  But it’s a part of me.

I should sew a few badges on my bag for fun.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Silver and Gold

I love my friends.  I think I may be the luckiest dame in the universe.



I managed to get everyone in this picture to pay money to paint and hang out.

And eat, and drink and be merry.

In short, it was AWESOME.

I love us.

ae

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In Alabama, the Tuscaloosa

This is Margaret Dumont:



This is me, circa September 2010 looking vaguely Dumont-y:


Here's me circa January 2011 looking decidedly Dumont-ier:



Of course, the fact that it was a Roaring 20s themed party kind of helps sell it.


Heres me as a young, urban Margaret Dumont:






Point is, I think I want to play Margaret Dumont in her bio-pic.

Why not?

Or, if they're planning a bio-pic about the Marx Brothers...

Because let's face it - who could they cast that would sell it any better?


Uh, no.


Who is Margaret Dumont?  Here:


Call me, Hollywood.

ae





Sunday, December 11, 2011

Party like a rockstar, only quieter and with finger foods.

So I went to the family Christmas party last night.  Matt was under the weather, so I went solo.  I think it says a lot about my husband's family that I would go to their party without him.  They're awesome.


Matt's Aunt Flora won a stripper pole as a door prize.


I ended up with a pair of breast-shaped stress balls.  Which, beats massaging my own mammaries to relieve anxiety - not that I have been, but still.


And I ate a ton of fatty amazing hors d'oeuvres.  And I didn't drink.


I am home now, and prepping for my party I'm throwing with my friends.  That one has me excited.


Honestly, I've decided what I'd really like to do for my Christmas present is throw a party for New Years.


I don't think it will pan out, but that's the truth.  I don't need any "thing" really - except to be surrounded by people I love, laughing.


So, you know buy-in and a Kroger card for snacks.


I found this the other day, and it's how I'm feeling:





1266621322fake.gif


Now, to make some pumpkin dip.


Stretch Armstrong

It's the holiday season, and along with that comes the feeling that I'm doing too many things and none of them well.

I'm up way too early, having driven home from Dalton, GA late last night after gathering with the in-laws.

I am feeling guilty for not spending the night with them.  It's 8:30 AM and I should be doing housework.

We have dishes to wash, dog hair to sweep, laundry, laundry and more laundry to wrangle.

And no food in the house, and I don't want to do any of that.

I want to go to Michael's and buy crafty things for our party on Thursday.

But that really needs to wait until payday.

Along with the remainder of Christmas shopping.

Matt isn't feeling well - he didn't even make the party.

I just feel overwhelmed.

Or overtired.

But, the dog hair ain't gonna sweep itself.

So, I'm out.

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!

So there have been some changes.

My company got acquired today by Underwriters Laboratories -  UL  - you know, the people who stamp every plug and lightbulb with their mark?  Them.

Anyway - I've been hearing a buzz about it for about a month, and the buzz got really loud about 2 weeks ago.

And today, it happened.

So far, the only thing it means is we'll get better benefits, a new logo and a new corporate boss.  No layoffs are planned, and as far as I know, they're not going to abuse us with money.  Does that ever happen?

It's not the first acquisition I've stumbled through, and it may not be the last.

But apparently, it had me more stressed out than I realized.  After the announcement today, every muscle in my body relaxed, and I was sore like I'd gone to some sadistic class like the ones Missy teaches at the Y.

Now, I wait to see what happens next.  What I'd like to happen is a big check with my name on it and a note in the memo line saying "We think you're awesome and know you could use a little cash infusion".  It's kind of like post-holiday let down, only it's too early for it.

In other less corporate news, we're going to my husband's family this weekend for a big bad Christmas throwdown. I could not be gladder - they're always a hoot.

My friends and I are throwing a huge shindig next week at one of those drink wine and paint a picture places.  I am kind of excited.

Who are we kidding?  I'm stoked.  At the moment, that party is my raison d'etre.

I need to start planning.

But for now, I'm going to wind down and maybe try to get some sleep.

I'm probably going to take a little Chlor-Trimeton to get me there.

It's like Calgon, only with drugs in it.

ae

Saturday, December 3, 2011

You go, girl!

What a great, fun day!


Well, I woke up way too early.  It was 6:30, to be exact.   But that put me in a good place to head to Water Aerobics for the first time in far too long.


It was good though - good workout, the class didn't drag, and I feel better.


After the class, I stopped at the brand-spanking new Container Store.  AWESOME.  It was so neat, and the people were so friendly.


I got a few boxes for Christmas presents, I got some cute wrapping paper, and I came home.  We had a nice breakfast together and I did some work around the house.


Around 11, I got the call from my friend Jim, checking to see if I was still in for a trip to The Porter Flea Market - a one day local Art Market in East Nashville.


I said I was, and he planned to pick me up at 1PM.  So I went to Costco and grabbed our Christmas cards.  They're OK.  I had hoped to put together something either funny or unique, but time keeps on slipping away.


After a whirlwind trip to Costco and a quick stop at Publix, I came home.  Matt and I had a quick sushi lunch (hence, the Publix run) and I met up with Jim.


We got to the Market, and it was packed.  Really cool, though - we saw Jim's friends Brian and Randy there.  I guess you could argue they're my friends, too - though I met them through Jim.  Aaanyway... I could have spent some serious scratch there, but ultimately, I just picked up a few little things.

I found a great birthday present for Dad.  It's this:



Just add plant, and stir.


It's a terrarium kit, and all that's left is to buy a small plant to put in there for him.  I think it's the coolest thing ever.  And I would know.




For myself, I got a little something:



il_fullxfull.191417166.jpg



Not these exact earrings, but the same vendor.  I got one pair that are bicycles and the other is some little bunnies.  They amuse me a great deal.

After we shopped, well - I shopped - Jim patiently watched me shop - we went to the food trucks outside.  Jim had this gorgeous looking Mac and Cheese concoction, I had a hot chocolate with a chocolate/hot chili marshmallow, courtesy of the Bang Candy Company.

I feel like the most interesting person sometimes.

After we snacked, Jim brought me home and Matt and I watched LSU crush UGA in the SEC championship.  The good news, such as it is, is that Vanderbilt gets a bowl game (albeit local) and UGA will get a pretty good one.  And that just about every SEC team but Tennessee gets to play in a bowl.  Love it.

We had some dinner, I worked on Christmas cards, and tomorrow, I get to spend an evening with this guy:
arlobio.JPG.jpg
I don't want a pickle, I just want to ride on my motorcycle.



It's been...way too many years since I've seen Arlo in concert.  He's at the Mother Church - The Ryman - tomorrow night, and I'm going with my friend, Meg.  She's coming to town for work, but really, to come to brass tacks, she's coming for the show.

Since Guns and Roses is also playing downtown tomorrow night, I need to make plans for somewhere to have dinner.

And then, it's back to work.

And even that promises to be pretty good.

ae


Friday, December 2, 2011

Awwwkward!


The beauty of Facebook is that it allows you to stalk people from your past.  The crime of Facebook is that it allows people from your past to stalk you.

And we’re here to talk about that latter scenario.

Back in college, for a brief time, I dated a guy we’ll call “Leroy” – because, it’s my blog and I can.

Anyway…  I met Leroy in Elementary School.  We went to different schools but were both enrolled in a once-a-week enrichment program at a magnet school.   I decided that among these people, I wanted to be known as “Allie” because it was friendlier than the longer, stodgier Allison.  It didn’t take.  Except with Leroy.  I kind of think we “liked” each other – and he was nice, and geeky and funny.  And once a week, I’d get to hang out and geek along with him.

This was our 5th grade year, and at the end of it, he gave me his phone number.  I didn’t know what I should have done with it, but it was a nice gesture.  I never would have called him, it wasn’t done.

It’s possible I ran into him in High School a time or two – again  - different schools-  and in fact, rival schools.  I seem to remember seeing him at a football game once.  That’s about it.

And then came college.  We were both at UGA.  Now, I don’t remember how he found me.  He may have seen a letter I wrote to the school paper, or he may have seen me on campus.  But he got my number, and talked with my roommate who confirmed that I was the Allie of his youth.   

From there, we met up one night on campus and talked for hours. We caught up and made plans to see each other again over Spring Break, that following week.

Now, for those of you not intimately familiar with my sad dating history, this was my sophomore year, after I’d had my heart stomped by another geek from a different rival high school.   So I was glad to get back in the game.  My mother was glad, too.  I remember with chagrin, we went clothes shopping so I’d have nice things to wear on dates.  Plural.  She had hope for me.

Our date took us to a carnival where we rode a ferris wheel –and that’s the sum and total of what I remember, except that I wore a pair of shoes Mom and I bought on our spree.  They were Keds that were made out of a burlap looking fabric.  Yeah, it’s the little things.

When we got back to school, he invited me to his apartment.  We were going to watch a movie.

Now, given that I have never been saddled with a lot of religious guilt, I thought we were going to have a sleepover.  That was not a correct assumption.  We definitely made out, we did not watch the movie – and I used to remember which movie it was and cringe whenever it came up in conversation – but I hinted around about staying over and got the brush.   He had some marching band obligation early in the morning.

I had this bad habit of falling for guys who were really uncomfortable with the idea of sex.  

Anyway, a few days later, he calls and explains that basically, he’s not that into me.  Or, that he’s not ready to be that involved.  Or, I don’t know,  that I’m a whore and it makes him feel icky.

I don’t remember the actual reason he gave, but ultimately, I had come on too strong and freaked him out.

And that was that.  I didn’t see him again.  I had a pair of Keds and nowhere to take them.  I couldn’t exactly explain to my mother why we weren’t seeing each other.

Now, Leroy had one lasting legacy.  He had recently lost his father and was seeing a therapist in the counseling center.  I didn’t know we even had a counseling center.  He told me where it was, and I ended up getting linked up with Diana, my therapist for the remainder of my college career.  She was the best free shrink I ever had.

Cut to this week.

I got a friend request from Leroy.

So as not to appear desperate, or weird, I waited awhile, relived the whole squicky incident, then accepted.

Later that night, I got a message from him that read, in part:

“The last time we communicated wasn't positive - and I want to apologize for that. It was a very emotionally charged time in my life, and I should have handled it much better.”

So I replied that it was water under the bridge and I hadn’t given it a second thought.  Even though I totally had.

So the question is – why now?  Well, here’s how I think it went down.  A friend of mine from college, who we’ll call Kitty, made a post on FB Monday, and I made a HILARIOUS comment on it.
And as it turns out, Kitty’s had a roommate in college, Lorraine, who married Leroy.   

So I bet Lorraine is reading Kitty’s post and show’s Leroy my comment.  And he says, “Oh, I know her, that’s Allie!”

And I speculate this because he mentions Kitty and Lorraine when he sends the message about his negative communication.

And here’s where it gets a little weirder.

Guess where Leroy lives?

If you guessed Nashville, you win.  He also commented that it was funny we ended up in the same city.

So, I got to relive all that awkward all over again.

It doesn’t seem likely that we’ll run into each other.  He’s married, has kids – works at Vanderbilt, goes to church.

Whew, dodged a bullet on that one!  Now, as my colleague Jim would tell you, while I'm thinking that, he's looking at pictures of me and thinking, "She looks like a freaky wild woman.  I'd like to get some of that strange."

I doubt it, but his spin definitely makes me feel less awkward.

For the record, though, Leroy - I am a freaky wild woman, and my husband appreciates me for it.