Aug 30, 2008

It Makes Me Want To Touch It

It's nearly that time of the year for me.  I'm just about to start my online Christmas shopping and my tour of the Malls of New England to buy unique and interesting gifts for friends and families.  Luckily I know of no one (except me) who would get a kick out of this shower gel dispenser. 

Available for purchase for a mere $17.95 at Potpourri. The Irish Spring body wash would compliment this device nicely, don't you think? 

Then again, maybe I should just get going on that letter to Santa.

Sexy People

If you're like me then you love looking through old photo albums to compare your younger self to your now self. 
I have photo albums everywhere in my house.  Someday I want to pull every single photo out of their album and categorize them either by a timeline or a subject such as "My Pets" or "Mom and Dad" or "Co-Workers"  I walk a fine line between becoming a careful cataloger of my past or a crazy scrapbook lady.

I found the blog Sexy People this morning and I just can't stop looking at all the old portraits people have submitted of themselves.  The site describes itself as "A Celebration of the Perfect Portrait."

I'll confess - Jakob (pictured here) hooked me.  This has got to be one of the funniest portraits I've ever seen. 

It makes me want to scan in a family photo that is currently hanging in my office at work.  I'm standing with a big happy gap-toothed grin on my face while being flanked by Mom and Dad.  My  Mom looks great with her 'bologna' curls that she was so proud of and my Dad is actually wearing a dress shirt.  (He was a Harley Davidson enthusiast as well as a long-distance truck driver so he never really had a need to dress up.)  In fact, the only time I can recall him dressing up (aside from sporting a tux and walking me down the aisle) was when I graduated from High School.  He wore this trippy silk shirt that depicted an old west scene of the devil riding a big bull with a whip in his hands-very freaky. 

The other funny thing about this family portrait was my Red/White Winnie the Pooh frilly little girl dress and this crazy gold frog necklace that my mother insisted I wear for the shoot.  I remember being very mad at her for making me wear a necklace because I didn't think I needed it what with the big Winnie the Pooh across my upper chest.   Even back then I wanted things to coordinate right.

Why not visit Sexy People when you're bored and looking to peep into someone's life?  You might just want to submit your own photograph.... for posterity sake.

Aug 26, 2008

You Know You're Getting Old When...

You know you're getting old when you TiVo the nightly show  Chronicle on Channel 5 because you want to know more about the local towns of Massachusetts.

You know you're getting old when you actually borrow a copy of The Saturday Evening Post magazine from the library so you can read an article about Dr. Mehmet Oz.

You know you're getting old when you learn the definition for the word SEXILE from your sister-in-law who just graduated from BC Law.

The Queen Is About To Be De-Throned!

I was recently on vacation so I doubled up on my Jenny Craig food and skipped the weigh-in last week.  I exercised a lot and stuck to the program except for one Olive Garden splurge on the day we visited Newport, RI and did the Cliff Walk.  (I figured walking four consecutive hours without rest deserved 1 roll, a glass of deliciously sweet Coke, salad, lasagna and a slice of lemon cream cake.) 

Otherwise every other day trip we took found me packing a lunch:  salads, fruit, carrots, diet iced tea, sugar-free Bubble Yum, etc.  We even did a pit stop at a Target adjacent to the Berkshire Mall to buy a box of plastic spoons and fat-free yogurt just to take the edge off my hunger pains for the very long ride back to central Massachusetts. In fact, our last day trip to South Kingstown, RI found me again at Target buying Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches to hold me over until we got home so I could microwave a dinner. I tell you about these sacrifices while on vacation last week to show you how hard I'm working the program and my dedication to becoming healthy and fit. 

Before my weigh-in today at the center, I took off my watch, earrings and decorative ring. I greeted Laura my counselor and told her I had to get on that scale...right now...immediately.  I was dying to know if I lost weight on my vacation.

Down 3.8 pounds!  I just stared at the digital read-out until it sort of blurred and listened to Laura say, "Great Job!"  I did it.  I actually lost weight while on vacation.

I know without a doubt that starting to consistently exercise is making the biggest difference in my weight loss.  I hate to exercise, but I can't argue with its result.  This 3.8 pound drop brings me to a stunning 17.6 pounds lost in 10 weeks.  It's the most I've ever lost on a diet in my entire life and I'm just so proud of myself. 

Queen Latifa has lost 20 pounds on the progam so far.  I'm sorry to say the current commercial of her being in a recording studio and then walking out of the sound booth in her skin-tight jeans to show off her twenty-pound weight loss is very, very contrived and way lame.  But she does look thinner and I think to myself that pretty soon people might be noticing that I've lost some weight, too.  Jillian at work told me my face looks slimmer and quite coincidentally my JC counselor Laura said the very same thing today during our session. 

Obviously I can't see it, but I know how I feel wearing my current work wardrobe.  Several of my pants are loose in places that were once embarrasingly constricting. It's such a thrill to get up in the morning and not have to make that awful decision about which pair of pants will hurt the least to wear.  Now I take my pants off at the end of the day and I don't see the outline of the pant's waist pressed into my skin like an angry red tattoo. 

I'm so close to achieving a 20 pound weight loss just like Queen Latifa. Dare I say it's so close I can almost taste it?  And what, might you ask, will it taste like?

I dunno, but I'm about to find out.

Aug 18, 2008

My Dark Knight Movie Review

Hey Christian Bale - Corey Feldman called and he wants his voice back.

(aka Edgar Frog from The Lost Boys)

Aug 15, 2008

Minnie Howling

It takes a little bit of work, but Minnie sure can howl up a storm when she wants to.

73-year-old porn star bedazzles Japan's aged

Who says you can't teach on old dog new tricks? This man is an inspiration.

Justin Timberlake Why I Love Sports 2008 ESPY Awards

Just another example of why I LOVE Justin Timberlake. Now there's talk that he has been shortlisted as a potential host of the 2009 Oscars. Just another example of how Justin is taking over the world.


Promise me you'll watch all six minutes of this video. The last few minutes really turn the whole concept of a Jedi Gym for nerds around!

Trust me.

Simon's Cat 'TV Dinner'

I'm going a little crazy here with all the Youtube posts, but if you own a cat (or a dog) this one's for you. I am officially a fan of Simon Tofield after watching this animated short.


Can't stop laughing....

Aug 11, 2008

Little Things Mean So Much

We might be in a recession, but this morning I noticed our cafeteria at Corporate had sparkling new silverware. It was the topic of conversation this morning at breakfast.  My coffee required just one of those little stirring straws so I didn't get the use the new silverware, but I did notice the forks had three tines instead of four.  Needless to say, I was itching for lunch time to come.

The heft of the silverware made me sit up straighter in my chair and eat my Jenny Craig rotini and meatballs with a sense of grace and style never before experienced in our cafeteria.  I took slower than usual bites enjoying the steely crisp taste of the new silverware and I secretly hoped that I'd forget and bring a fork or spoon home with me in my lunch bag.  Just kidding! 

It's small little pleasures like this that make coming into work on a damp rainy Monday worth it. 

Aug 10, 2008

My Crazy Neighbors Moved!

My crazy neighbors moved! I don't know exactly when this blessed event took place because I certainly missed it. I was walking Minnie recently and mentioned to Spencer that it was weird not to see any cars or trucks in their driveway. The place just looked empty and cleared out. Sure enough, they are gone.

I definitely know this because the pile of trash on the left side of their house (in their other driveway) is completely gone, all the big plastic toys that littered their back yard have been removed and there aren’t any curtains in the windows.

Why did I consider them crazy neighbors? I’d have to first point out the Amber Alert a couple years ago when the young girl's boyfriend allegedly took an axe to the front door of the house and kidnapped the girl, but left their infant son at the house unharmed. There were the countless domestic disturbances always followed by visits from the police and the freakishly loud swear-fests that took place on any given day.

Also, I never knew exactly how many people were living at the house on any given day and there were always expensive and junky vehicles coming and going at all hours of the day and night which indicated to me that drug deals may have been happening. I’m glad to be rid of the strange man with the protruding beer belly who would creepily walk to the edge of the driveway in the dark of night and just sort of stand there doing nothing It made walking Minnie sometimes by myself a little scary. I won’t miss seeing him.

The only good thing about these neighbors was their Boxer dog named Rosie. We'll miss her. She was a beauty and boy could she run! She used to startle me all the time by simply appearing behind me when I was in our driveway or in the yard--I could never hear her coming. I’ve never been around such a quiet dog. Trash Day on Tuesday mornings won’t be the same around here without her. She was a good trash bag ripper and drove the other neighbors’ nuts. I also found she was a good deterrent for keeping some of the annoying local kids away because she used to like to chase after them in excitement which lead to the kids being afraid and staying closer to home. We also used to toss out Minnie's old Dingo bones in our front yard for Rosie to eat if she happened to be passing by and most times we carried a little treat in our pockets while we walked Minnie just in case Rosie happened to join us.

I don't know why the crazy neighbors left, but I can tell you this has made my entire weekend!

[photo of Rosie taken in our backyard]

Grape Ape Cartoon

Aug 5, 2008

Staycation All I Ever Wanted

Definition of Staycation:
A vacation that is spent at one's home enjoying all that home and one's home environs have to offer.

Spencer and I are taking our first Staycation together the week of August 18th. I typically take that week off from work because it’s the week of our wedding anniversary – this year we’ll be celebrating 22 years together and 18 years of it we’ve been married. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Our original thought was to take a quick trip to Las Vegas to see Penn and Teller’s show, visit the Hoover Dam and the biggest M&M store in the US and then head home. But I’m not that savvy a traveler and I’ve discovered that the expense of flying to Las Vegas for a three-night stay is cost-prohibitive. I actually thought if I planned a flight really close to the time I wanted to leave that I’d get a better deal. Sadly not the case this time. Leaving on a Wednesday and coming home on a Saturday is right now very, very expensive.

There are definite downsides to air travel as well. Getting up wicked early to be picked up by Worcester Airport Limousine so we can arrive at Logan Airport five hours before our intended departure time just so we have enough time to get through the myriad of security checks. Fluids and luggage are now also an issue – not in that order, but I’d have to seriously consider my toiletries and that’s simply too stressful. I shouldn’t have to measure my Listerine and I most certainly should be able to bring however many sticks prettily tinted lipstick and pressed powder that is necessary for me to look my best. Also, paying $25 to check a bag is a rip-off considering I’ve had my luggage lost one to many times. Not to mention that if we buy anything on our trip, we would have to haul it back in luggage that could be potentially misplaced.

We talked last night about our vacation options because Spencer was able to switch around his work schedule so that we have Wednesday through Saturday completely together without any obligations. After deciding it’s just going to cost too much to fly to Las Vegas right now, we thought about looking into maybe staying a few nights in different places in New England. Thus the concept of our 2008 Summer Staycation was born.

Right now we’re looking to visit Arcadia National Park. We may stay a night in Bar Harbor, Maine. We might do two nights in Vermont. There are so many travel possibilities here in New England that don’t involve flying or a passport and I think this upcoming vacation will be the start of something wonderful – we’re getting as far away from our house as possible to appreciate the sites and sounds of somewhere other than our backyard.

I’m looking forward to mapping and planning our upcoming New England adventure. The benefit of traveling by car is we can make our own flexible schedule. We don’t have to get up super early to be somewhere so we can fly to another destination. The car gives us the luxury of stuffing our trunk with as much liquids and luggage as possible and should the need arrive to buy lots of stuff, we can charge up a storm and not have to worry about our purchases getting lost. I can’t see a downside to this at all.

If you have any suggestions on places we could visit to find clusters of little shops where I can buy unique things not found in a Target that would be great and much appreciated!

Check back here a little later in the month to read more about our 2008 Summer Staycation.

Aug 4, 2008

A New Temptation

I’ve been on Jenny Craig for seven weeks now and have successfully resisted a handful of mild to medium temptations that would derail my weight loss program. However, I have just read about a new Eggo breakfast product (and we all know how much I salivate over “new” products and packaging!) that is going to haunt me for the next year: Eggo Bake Shop Swirlz frozen pastry.

It’s like a frozen Cinnabon Cinnamon roll without the 300 calories and 15 grams of fat. These little beauties have 150 calories and pack a mere 3 grams of fat. If you’re on weight watchers that would translate into 7 points Cinnabon compared to 3 points Eggos.

My typical breakfast prior to joining Jenny Craig was 2 Cinnamon Pop Tarts or 2 blueberry Eggo waffles or a heaping bowl Cookie Crisp cereal. No wonder I’m a fatty, right? My typical breakfast now consists of a chopped banana sprinkled with cinnamon, dipped in no-fat Cool Whip and a low-fat banana muffin. Sadly, this is my treat breakfast during the week. I’ve even gone so far as to substitute one of my frozen breakfast scrambles for a blueberry muffin so I could have 2 muffins a week. I’m working up the nerve to ask the counselor if I can three a week because this is the best breakfast I can have in my new healthy regimen.

It’s going to be so hard when I finally see these in my grocer’s freezer. I’ll have to develop a strategy of walking down the aisle to the very left of the freezers so I don’t even peek in to see if my local Price Chopper is stocking them. I highly doubt I’ll be able to talk to my counselor and get her blessing, but I sure would like to ask her anyways. These Eggo Bake Shop Swirlzs look absolutely delicious. I want to try one so bad.

But every time I successfully resist something such as this new frozen treat, I know that I’m taking a step in the right direction. I’m making an investment in myself to put healthy food in my body. I have to continue on the program for the next year, achieve my weight loss goal and learn how to incorporate food such as these new Eggos into my breakfast.

I have to remind myself that this weight loss program is not forever. Someday I’ll be able to have one of these. The result of being successful in losing all this weight will be that I’ll grow to appreciate an occasional treat such as this new Eggo breakfast pastry realizing that my new relationship in food is all about moderation and less about indulging in gluttony.

June 2009 is a long way away. I’m hoping these new breakfast pastries make it as a permanent part of the Eggo family. But if they don’t, I have no doubt that some other company out there will launch something as equally yummy for me to savor and appreciate.

I’ve just got to hang in there.

Aug 1, 2008

Lost (and Found) in Translation

We have a new member of our team at work who will be staying in the US for the next year to help with demand planning for Europe.  His name is Andries and he is from the Netherlands.  He speaks Dutch, English, German and by his own admission - very poor French.

Over the past week during lunch, the girls and I have schooled him about common phrases that routinely come up throughout the day such as Skank and Ditz.  But another interesting thing about him is he didn't know what a Beagle was and had never heard of Falco.  Obviously my love for Falco knows no bounds and I immediately brought him back to my office so we could watch 'Rock Me Amadeus' and 'Der Komimssar' on Youtube.

Andries didn't recognize any of the songs until I landed upon the video for 'Jeanny' - then his face lit up with recognition and excitement.  Apparently this was " one of the Top 100 songs in Germany!"  Really?  I promised him that I wouldn't bring in any of my collection of specially imported Falco CD's for translation and clearly he was relieved.

So when I came across this Flickr photo with a description of the picture written in German, I simply had to email it to him.  For one thing, he'd get to see what a Beagle looked like and most importantly-I could task him to translate the paragraph below the picture. I'm all about education people.

This is what it said:  Unter viel Gestöhne und Geächze macht Sally Morgengynastik. Ein abschließender heulender Laut, den man nur mit viel Phantasie als "Bellen" bezeichnen kann, fordert mich auf "Los, nimm schon die Leine, ich will meine Morgenrunde!"

Here is how it's translated using Babelfish: Under much Gestöhne and Geächze Sally Morgengynastik makes. A concluding howling sound, which one " only with much fantasy as; Bellen" to designate can, demands me on " Loosely, already take the line, I wants my morning round! " 

Finally, this is Andries email back to me~priceless!

Thanks for the challenge, just the thing I need on a Thursday!

“With a lot of gasping and panting Sally does her morning gymnastics. Then she utters a whining sound, that can only be called “barking” with a lot of fantasy to let me know: “Come on, take the leash, I wanna go for my morning round!”

Hopefully you won’t ask me to translate the lyrics of Falco next time…

Isn't it great to know and work with someone who can speak foreign languages? Sadly the only thing I can offer in return is advice on which of the four elevators works the slowest and who to contact should the laser printer run out of paper.  Clearly I could learn a thing or two from Andries. 

Oh! Just one more thing: Did I mention that I love listening to him speak Dutch to his friends on the phone every day.  It's hypnotic.