New Year’s Resolutions 2008

31 12 2007

I have several resolutions for 2008:

*Since I started subscribing to XM Satellite Radio, I have become enamored with Dave Ramsey (despite the blatant Christian overtones). I am going to incorporate a lot of his ideas into our financial plan, in order to achieve financial peace.

* Every year I resolve to lead a healthy lifestyle, and this year is no different. If I want to have a baby in the future, I need to try to move myself out of the obese zone. We have joined a gym, and I resolve to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, whether it be at the gym or at home. I will continue to use my Fitday software and try to maintain an average of 1700 calories or less a day. I will make a great attempt to drink eight glasses of water a day (and cut back on the massive amount of soda I drink daily). I will try to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

*I will try to read at least 100 books in 2008. This may be a lofty goal, but it will help me to cut back even more on the television watching that rots my grey matter.

*Most importantly, I will spend more quality time with my husband, family, friends and pets.

*I will attempt to blog daily, giving weekly updates of how I am doing with these goals.


The 2008 To-Be-Read Challenge

30 12 2007

I just stumbled upon this blog and decided to sign up for the 2008 To-Be-Read Challenge, as part of my goal to read 100 books next year.

Here is the list of 12:

1. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
2. Shadow Baby by Alison McGhee
3. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
4. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
5. The Appeal by John Grisham
6. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
7. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
8. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
9. Compulsion by Jonathan Kellerman
10. Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
11. The Next Thing on my list by Jill Smolinski
12. Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky

Here are the alternates:
1. The Accidental by Ali Smith
2. The Other Side of the Bridge by Ali Lawson
3. Bride Island by Alexandra Enders
4. Clara Callan by Richard B Wright
5. Everything After by Sharon Pywell
6. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
7. Cold Rock River by J.L. Miles
8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
9. The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian
10. One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
11. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
12. In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason

A Weekend in the Life Of…

30 12 2007

This has been a busy weekend in a busy life…

Friday my husband and I met some friends at Gold’s Gym after work. I spent some time on the elliptical trainer.

Later that evening, my friend, R, came over to make quesadillas on the quesadilla maker my parents bought us for Christmas. When I opened it, I found it to be a strange gift (as I am famous for my food weirdness and dislike of anything spicy). But, I really enjoyed my bean and cheese quesadilla.

Then, R and I, watched the movie Georgia Rule (This goes to show that I really need to put some more movies on my Netflix list. How did that ever get to the top?). I would not recommend anyone rent this movie. The premise is that Lindsey Lohan’s character can’t get along with her mother (played by Felicity Huffman) so she goes to live with her grandmother (Jane Fonda). I never before realized what a bad actress Lindsey Lohan is. Her lines were not well delivered at all and seemed forced. Anyway, it was not entirely Lindsey that made the movie bad, there is also the matter of the script. First she said her step-father molested her, then she said he didn’t, then he did, wait, he didn’t, yes, he did. The film was slightly inappropriate for Lohan’s target audience (tweens and teens). A parent could use the movie as a lesson to encourage children to tell an adult if someone is hurting them, but Lohan’s character does a lot of slutty things in the movie.

Before I met my husband, R was one of my roommates. One thing we enjoyed doing together was renting bad movies and making fun of them. So in a way, Georgia Rule was right up our alley. Watching it brought back some good memories.

After R left, I made a tired dash to Border’s to purchase the book I couldn’t live without – The Year of Living Biblically – One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs. This link will tell you more about the rules the author followed during his year. Thus far, the book is absolutely hilarious and I sincerely recommend the purchase.

On to Saturday…

My husband and I dropped one of our cars off at the dealership to get some brake-work done (new pads, etc…).

Then we took one of the cats to the vet to get his yearly vaccines. We got what seemed like a canned speech from the vet about watching the cat for bad vaccine reactions. I wonder if it is now standard operating procedure to warn clients about reactions because of what happened to our other cat earlier this year.

Came home and went to Gold’s Gym to try out BodyCombat class. Some friends talked us into doing us. I am notoriously uncoordinated, so I didn’t think it would be a good idea. After about 8 minutes of the class, I knew I was right and exited the class. My husband told another couple that we were going to do this class, so I came out to find them on the treadmills facing the class, watching and laughing. Some friends… I ran on the treadmill for a few minutes and then used the elliptical trainer and Treadclimber for a while.

I changed into some non-smelly clothes and we went to pick up the car. Then I drove to Taco John’s and got two chicken tacos for lunch (sadly, my diet doesn’t allow potato oles anymore – and a chicken taco is only 190 calories) before my manicure appointment.

Returning home, I found a message on my answering machine that my prescription was ready at the pharmacy (after my Lasik eye surgery on Friday, I will have to take two Ambien and sleep for 7-8 hours. Sleeping is what helps the eye heal. When I wake up, I should be about to see better than 20/20!). I picked up the prescription and headed to the mall to meet my friend, J.

As a reward for achieving a week of healthy living, I had made an appointment to get a makeover at the Clinique counter at Bergner’s (I have a list of inexpensive weekly rewards made up to motivate myself). I have to get all new eye makeup to use after the Lasik surgery, to ensure that what I use is lacking in bacteria, so I killed two birds with one stone.

Then J and I went to Red Lobster, where I ran into a childhood neighbor. I haven’t seen him since I was in junior high. I didn’t recognize him until he approached me, instead I thought he was staring at me for no reason. I haven’t determined if it is nice or sad that at the age of 30, I apparently look very similar to the way I looked at 12.

I returned home and watched two episodes of the ‘Big Love’ DVD that I have out from Netflix with my husband. For some reason, watching the polygamist lifestyle of Bill Henrickson and his three wives is like watching a train wreck. I simply can’t stop, even when my husband says it is horrible and goes upstairs to listen to bad metal music.

Now it is Sunday and very little is on the agenda. An RPM class later this afternoon and a trip to Panera with friends afterwards.

I guess the whole point of this post is to find out, are other people this busy? A lot of it is my own creation – time with friends, trips to the gym, etc… But, I really think those things are important for my emotional well-being.

Devil In The Details…

29 12 2007

Hearing a story on “Good Morning America Radio” yesterday about a Louisiana town getting rid of their 666 telephone exchange on January 2, reminded me of a strange thing that happened to me in the workplace.

All of the vehicles in the fleet are numbered. The vehicle regularly assigned to one of my employees broke down. I handed him the keys for 12345666, which was not being used that day. He threw them to the ground like they had burned his hand, and told me that he was not driving the devil machine. He admonished me with quotes from the Bible stating that 666 was the mark of the beast. Mind you, this employee is a hard-living alcoholic, not someone I would have pegged as very religious. I gave him another vehicle and went into another room to laugh and laugh.

I have never understood how numbers or words could be offensive. I don’t curse (much) because I think that it makes me sound uneducated and like to use more descriptive words when letting loose or describing someone that has irritated me in some way. But I don’t care if someone drops the f-bomb around me. I don’t care if someone takes the Lord’s name in vain, but since I am very non-religious, “God damn-it” is tantamount to “Santa damn-it”.

How can 666 really be the mark of the beast? Why is there no 13th floor in some large buildings? It all seems so silly and superstitious to me. A black cat crosses my path many times each day and I am still here to tell about it. I have broken mirrors and even walked under a ladder a time or to, but drive 12345666, never! Hellfire and damnation would rain down upon me and all of the other drivers in the quaint town in which I work.


28 12 2007

I am exhausted, but it seems important to blog before giving way to sleep. Usually I read a book before I go to bed, but none of those tottering on the to-be-read pile appeal to me.

I heard an interview with A.J. Jacobs on Broadminded yesterday. He is the author of one of my favorite reads of 2007- The Know It All – One Man’s Humble Quest To Become the Smartest Person in the World. Jacobs read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z and wrote about his experience doing so. The nerdy girl in me would love to complete such a daunting task, but the scatterbrain in me would not be able to focus on the entry at hand, I would be all over the set, learning more about things related to the current topic. But, I digress, Jacobs has written a new book, which I completely intend to purchase tomorrow in hardback. It is called The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible. The author is not a religious person, so this should be quite interesting. He describes his self as Jewish “in the same way that the Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant” (hey, I love the OG). He doesn’t shave for a year, pays his babysitter in cash at the end of every day (the Bible says that you should not hold the wages of your employees overnight), etc… I really can’t wait to read it. If I wasn’t so tired, I would be at Border’s right now. Thus, I blog about my excitement over reading this book. Will it live up to the fervor?

Oh, screw it, I’m on my way to Border’s now. Who am I kidding?

The Abortionist’s Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde

27 12 2007

I finished reading The Abortionist’s Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde today. It was exactly what I was searching for – a fast, can’t-put-it-down read. I started it before I went to bed on Tuesday night and finished it tonight. I was guessing who-dun-it until the very end, when the perpetrator was finally revealed. I give this book a rating of 8.5 on a scale of 10, and would recommend it to other book-lovers!
Along with the mystery, the book touched on many different issues. The two most interesting to me were abortion and stalkers.
I once heard or read that something like 1 in 10 people have had a stalker (luckily, I am thus far not stalkable). That is a scary statistic and a very bad situation for those involved. The police don’t seem to be able to do much unless threats or harm is involved. Yet constant unwanted attention can be emotionally harmful to the stalkee.
The abortionist’s perspective on her trade was that she was helping women ‘push the reset button’ on their lives. This was not, of course, the perception of the protesters and lobbyists that she interacted with. It was very interesting to see the views of both sides portrayed. I can see both arguments, though I have never been in a situation where an abortion was a possibility.
As I reflect upon my life, I realize how that my views on abortion (for myself, not others) have changed dramatically as I reach the point in my life where I am thinking about having a child and wondering how easy it will be because I have suffered from endometriosis for many years. In the past, I thought someone would be available to ‘push the reset’ button if I ever needed it. I was glad that option was available for me. Now, it is no longer even a remote possibility. In the future, when I become pregnant, I will be ecstatic.

Glutton for Punishment

26 12 2007

Today I tried a new machine at the gym- the TreadClimber. Although it may look like a normal piece of workout equipment, it delivers a little bit more punishment than your normal treadmill, elliptical trainer or stair climber. I REALLY wanted to stop after 20 minutes, but I kept on keeping on. At 30 minutes, I was covered in sweat and done. The heart rate monitor tracked my heart rate steadily around 160!

This combined with a 62 minute RPM class earlier this week, make me ask myself WHY? Why do I live such a gluttonous life, that it becomes necessary to partake in such inhumane torture?

Like Katie, I am trying to start one of my Resolutions early. Yeah, yeah, I’ve said it all before. Maybe this time it will stick. I have lots of weight to loose (again). I need to stop stress eating. Today I engaged in some “primal scream” therapy on my way home from work, which seemed to help. Perhaps I will exchange screaming and sweating for mall pretzels and Coldstone Creamery.

Ta ta for now, fair readers. I am off to partake in some exciting evening activities such as trying to trick my husband into watching Georgia Rule (not likely to happen) which arrived via Netflix today or reading The Abortionist’s Daughter (which kept me up way past my bedtime last night).