Archive for February, 2009

Umbrellas Up! It’s A Rainy Day

Our first Rainy Day Question. From the one and only Jimbo Johnson in Wichita Falls, TX:
If Biggest Loser was not shown one week because the President of the United States had the audacity to speak to the country in primetime, what would you do during that time?

 

Good question Jim. First I would cry. Then I might say a few choice words in the direction of said President. Ultimately I’d realize that this is one of those great national tragedies that I can do nothing to prevent, so I adapt.

 

Tuesday night Stephen and I went to Olive Garden for dinner. We had gotten a gift certificate from my parents for Valentine’s Day and I was craving some never-ending salad and breadsticks. It was delicious. As Stephen was focusing on his fresh-out-of-the-oven breadsticks, I was trying not to focus on the Loser I was missing. However, if Mr. Prez hadn’t chosen that time to speak and I hadn’t had a hankerin’ for some chicken parm, I wouldn’t have this little story to tell you: As Stephen and I were being shown to our table, there was a small mob of people crowded in the entry area. It was hard to maneuver. There was a mom and her two kids trying to shove their way through the crowd to leave. One of the boys was extremely focused on his Nintendo DS. The mom, who was trying to part the river like Moses in order to get her children out of captivity, screamed back at her son, “Christian, quit gaming and pay attention!”  This may be one of those “had to be there” incidents, but I thought that was hilarious. With my right hand raised and my left hand on the keyboard, I hereby pledge to never use the word “gaming” to my children.

 

Back to Loser. After Olive Garden we went home to pick up Rookie and took her to my parents house so she could play with Molly. And so we could steal my parents’ DVR. Then we went home so Stephen could do Loser yoga and I could do my therapy. And no, we didn’t watch the President’s speech. Mr. President, if your Crackberry starts buzzing and this entry shows up on your Google Reader, please please please hear my plea. Don’t mess with my Loser. Tuesday night is my tv night. Mess with another night. Ok? Thanks.

 

Thanks Jim, good question!

 

Another thing. I went to the Biggest Loser website yesterday when I was writing my blog. I couldn’t remember Cathy’s name so I had to look it up. On the front page there is an ad for a new trainer. Anyone have any theories? Who are they getting rid of? Or do you think they’ll have 3 teams again? I love Bob and don’t want him to go. I don’t LOVE Jillian but I think she’s a great trainer and she’s entertaining to watch. Anyone?

 

Also, the application to be on next season’s Biggest Loser is 9 pages long. Plus a 10 minute video and a picture. In those 9 pages and video, they couldn’t see Joelle was crazy? They couldn’t see that Vicky was a little witch? I know they couldn’t learn anything about Heba because Bob picked her and Ed up in a bar. So I guess he’s to blame for that mistake.

 

Have a fantastic weekend. I’ll be spending a good portion of my weekend at Minute Maid Park for the College Classic. I will be a Rice baseball fan for the first time in my life. I even have a hat to prove it! My cousin will be pitching on Sunday and I couldn’t be more excited! Hook ’em. Go Owls!

February 27, 2009 at 9:40 am 10 comments

Loser Week 8: Idiots

This week was broken into two episodes, so I will break my comments into two sections.

 

Tuesday Night:

We began this episode with a challenge. Up downs. In the mud. Whoever got to 100 first got to keep their own trainer. Everyone else had to flip a coin to see who’s team they’d be on. Whoever got in last place definitely had to switch trainers. Of course Tear-a won. She’s a machine. Nobody else had a chance. Sione was only a few seconds behind her so he got second. Helen got last. This is when the drama started. Tara and Laura were automatically part of the black team with Jillian. Everyone else flipped the coin. And it pretty much changed everything. They almost completely switched trainers.

 

Immediately afterwards, Jillian’s new black team got together to talk. They basically discussed how they’d need to get to know each other and learn how they all work. It was straight business. The team (who was mostly Bob’s previously) was upset. They didn’t want to talk and didn’t want to be there. Then they went to work out. Bob’s team meeting didn’t go as well. You could tell Bob was flustered. Kristin, Cathy, and Ron were the only ones there who had previously been on his team. Kristin cried. None of Jillian’s old team mentioned that they were really going to miss Jillian. (Or maybe they did and I just chose not to hear it?)

 

As the blue team headed toward the gym, the black team was leaving. Sione, Filipe, Helen, and Mike stopped to talk to Bob. Now if you were an outsider and had never watched this show, I could see how you’d think the next scene was extremely cheesy and overly dramatic. But as someone who watches this show religiously, I was sad. Bob knows his team. He loves his team. He works with them all day every day. And they were good. Really good. So for those 4 contestants to be taken away from him, I could see why he’d be torn up. So Bob cried. And Helen cried. And so did Sione and Filipe. And Mike. And they all hugged, then parted ways. The contestants caught up with their new team. And Bob made his way into the gym to be the trainer for a group of contestants that would later prove to be the biggest fools that ever walked on campus.

 

Time for another challenge. I loved this challenge. As a team, you had 24 hours to put as many miles as you could on a bike. The winning team got a 3 pound advantage and a Trek bike. The black team had a great game plan. Each person would bike for 30 minutes and then take a 2.5 hour break. This would allow each player to bike as fast as they could and get a good amount of time to sleep or eat or rest. The blue team had no plan. Just ride until you can’t ride. After a while, the blue team decided they had enough. They wanted the black team to agree to quit so they could all get some sleep and be able to work out the next day. Sione (I love him) gave an inspiring speech about how he couldn’t quit because quitting is what got him fat in the first place. The speech gave everyone a little boost. In the end, the black team won. By a lot.

 

Wednesday Night:

Last night was only the last chance workout and the weigh-in. I enjoyed watching the last change workout, I always do. I love seeing them sweat and cry and complain. And then succeed. It was also interesting to hear the contestants talk about the differences in the trainers. I think if I was going to be on Biggest Loser, I’d choose Bob. I like the way he encourages and gets excited. He doesn’t just yell yell yell until he gets what he wants the way that Jillian does. Don’t get me wrong, Jillian is fantastic at what she does. But I’d cry too much.

 

The weigh-in was great. There was a shocking amount of weight lost. But, as you could probably expect, the blue team fell below the yellow line. Cathy lost the most weight so she had immunity. So the blue team had to decide between Kristin (not going to happen, she’s a fierce competitor and her mom would never vote her off), Aubrey ( not my fave, but not likely to get voted off since her sister was there), Mandi (once again, not likely to get voted off), Ron (the obvious choice since he can’t lose much weight for the team), and Dane (the best asset to the team).

 

To me, this was a no-brainer. Vote Ron off. He has a hurt knee and a hurt shoulder. He can’t compete. He can’t pull big numbers and will hurt the blue team’s success. Apparently the blue team is a bunch of  “no-brainers”… apparently they’ve never seen the show. They pulled their vicious teeth out wayyyyy too soon. I’m all about game-play. But when you have SIX people left on each team, it’s way too soon to make decisions based on your own strategy. At this point, it MUST be about the team. So the blue team did the dumbest thing in Biggest Loser history (even worse than keeping Joelle when they had the chance to get rid of her). They voted off Dane. WHAT? Are you kidding me? Dane? The biggest guy? Really? And now you have four girls and RON? Oh my gosh. Ridiculous.

 

I want to go hug Bob and tell him I’m sorry. I think he’s had the worst week of his life. I want to tell him that America knows he has a team of fools. Come on Kristin, I thought you knew better. I thought you were smarter. This episode depressed me. Jillian will probably mourn the loss of Dane for about .6 seconds and then do a happy dance because she is sure that her team will win. Tear-a may go into a state of depression after learning her other crush is gone.

 

As always, I can’t wait until next week! Looking forward to hearing your comments.

February 26, 2009 at 9:22 am 9 comments

“Awesome! Awesome!”

Have you ever felt like you’ve gotten something you don’t deserve? I don’t mean that you got a speeding ticket when you were only going 5 over. And I don’t mean that you got a D in the class when you thought you deserved a B. I’m talking about the opposite. Like if you got off with a warning when you were going 15 over. Or you got a job that were weren’t qualified for because your father-in-law works at the company. These are more like hand-outs or favors. And very often they are wonderful blessings. But there are times when it’s just flat out degrading.

 

This is why we have a hard time taking money from our parents when we are at that awkward “beginning of adulthood” phase. We want to do it on our own. We want to be good enough. Can anyone relate? This is also why we often feel that we “owe” someone a favor. “She picked up my tab when I forgot my purse, so I need to pick up her tab next time.” Even if it was a favor. Even if she didn’t want or expect anything in return. We don’t want pity hand outs.

 

I experienced this last night. I was playing Space Balls and losing horribly. If it were real life, you’d all be dead. At least one of those asteroids would have hit earth and that would have been the end of all man-kind. It was a disappointing game. My paddles were just no match for those speedings rocks of death. So I was bracing myself for that stupid lizard to come on the screen and give me some speech about doing better next time. Instead this lady penguin with a pink bow on the top of her head came on the screen. She clapped her arms (or fins? or something?) together and said “Awesome! Awesome! You successfully completed this level!” I sort of wanted to punch her in her cute face. I did not do awesome. Don’t tell me I did awesome. I did awful and you’ll find out in a few seconds when one of those meteors finally makes it to earth and smashes you on the head and turns you and your bow into a pile of ashes. I did nothing successfully. She’s probably the coach of her son’s little league team and probably lets all kids get the same amount of playing time. They all probably get MVP plaques at the end of the season and she probably tells them all that she thinks they can go far in baseball. Stupid lady penguin and her fake praise.

 

The truth, though, is that I didn’t do so bad. I didn’t fail. And I should be proud of myself. But I think there is a lot of pressure on us to be better than average. But how can we all be better than average? Statistically, that’s impossible. I recently heard a song that I think is fantastic. It puts this into words perfectly. (Not my struggle with Space Balls, but the struggle to be perfect at everything.) If you ever listen to Christian music, you’ve probably heard it and would agree. If you don’t, give this song a chance.

 

Its by Francesca Battistelli and its called “Free to be Me.” You can go here to hear the song on her website. These are the lyrics to the chorus:

I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
And on my own I’m so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me

And You’re free to be You

 

Oh my! How true! And how encouraging! I think the world could be a better place if people would keep in mind that “perfection is your enemy”. We aren’t supposed to be “perfect”. And I think women struggle with this a lot. It’s not enough to work full-time. You must also be a great mom, cook dinner, grocery shop, keep up with the laundry, keep a clean house, be attentive to your husband, be wonderful with your children, and look put together.

 

So last night when Stephen made a completely innocent comment in my direction that included the words “thick” and “thighs” in the same sentence, it was hard to take. He immediately realized how it sounded and shoved his foot in his mouth. I know I’m not fat. He knows I’m not fat. So why should I be offended? I shouldn’t be. Striving for perfection will get me nowhere. I think it’s about time we all climb up on His shoulders and see how free we are. Free to be happy and normal and YOU!

 

And you want to know what I think about that? Awesome! Awesome!

 

 

*Biggest Loser update will come tomorrow. This week was split into two one hour episodes. One Tuesday and one Wednesday. But, gosh, it was fantastic last night!!

February 25, 2009 at 9:51 am 4 comments

The Cure for the Common Writer’s Block

There are many days of my life that aren’t exciting. Like yesterday. I went to work, came home, did yoga, went to Bible Study, came home, did eye therapy, and went to bed. Not that exciting. Nothing funny or ironic or out of the ordinary happened. So what do I write about then? I could write about how I have to cheat while I’m doing Biggest Loser yoga because I’m not strong enough yet. I could write about how delicious our venison manicotti is and how I’m sad that the leftovers are gone. I could write about my frustrating dermatologist appointment this morning and how I’ve been seeing a doctor for 10 months about this condition that still won’t go away. But none of that is exciting.

 

So now it’s up to you. A couple days ago I did A-Z trivia. In one of the comments my friend Jim said, “If I were writing the survey, I would ask…” And a little light bulb went off. Ironically, that very same day some girl came to my sight. To all of you non-bloggers let me share a little something with you. The blogger can see a lot of info. I can see how many people visit the site, links you clicked on from my site, links you clicked on to get to my site, etc. So this girl came to my site, from her site… which meant her link showed up on my stats. I visited her site and her post that day was a Q&A. All of her friends had emailed her random questions and she responded. (Examples: What would you do with a pair of chocolate shoes? or If you could be invisible for a day and follow one celebrity, who would you choose?)

 

That’s what were going to do. Email me any questions, topics to blog about, ideas, etc. and I will save them for a rainy day (or a brain-dead Friday). If you just have one question, that’s fine. If you have a whole survery, that’s fine too. Beggers can’t be choosers, I’ll take what I can get! I can include your name on the blog, or not. It’s up to you. I know I have some ridiculously entertaining and hilarious friends so I’m anxious to see what you can come up with.

 

I’ve also decided that when we get to 5000 hits, we’re having a blog party. Not sure what a blog party looks like… maybe just more exclamation marks?! Maybe I’ll actually put the stats up on the site. When I started this site I was a bit nervous that my only readers would be my sister, my parents, and Stephen. So to protect my ego, I chose to hide the stats. But I’ve had a lot of people ask me lately how many people read, so maybe I’ll show that info.

 

Anyways, sorry today is lame. To prevent future lame posts, email me with ideas! (Just took my email address off because I was told I’ll get stuck on spam lists! You should know my email or facebook… or just use the comment section!)

 

Biggest Loser tonight!!!

 

Also, I think it’s a bit ironic that the WordPress spellcheck does not recognize the word “blog”….

February 24, 2009 at 10:58 am 6 comments

The Curious Case of Me

You know how on your birthday there’s always those few people who ask “So do you feel older?” It’s a ridiculous question. There are very few people who can say that they actually feel older. Unless it’s one of those monumental birthdays, you pretty much feel the same as you did the previous day. I remember when I was 12 years and 364 days old. I was so excited for the next day. I was going to be a teenager. As someone who has always been a step or two ahead of her age, this was huge. Finally my age would reflect how I felt. (I still think its possible that my parents are lying about the year I was born. Pretty soon I’m going to find out I’m almost 27 and Justin and I are twins.) I remember setting my alarm clock for 12:00 am so that I’d wake up the exact second I turned 13. The alarm sounded, I woke up and said, “Yay, I’m a teenager!” and went right back to sleep. True story… I honestly thought I’d take that one to the grave with me.  So when people asked me if I felt older on my 13th birthday, I absolutely did. I was a young adult, I was no longer a kid!

 

Then comes the next “big” birthday… 21. I wish I could say that it was a big birthday for me. It wasn’t. By 21, I was tired of the party scene. I didn’t go to 6th street and get my party shots. I went out to dinner, ordered a drink, didn’t get carded and went home. We then had a party at my apartment. Shockingly the cops came, apparently neighbors don’t like loud radios. They didn’t want to see my ID though. I know this because I asked. I so desperately wanted something to change on this birthday. Nothing. So to anyone who asked me if I felt older on that birthday, no. A resounding no.

 

I wonder if anyone has ever felt older on a day that had nothing to do with their age. I ask this because I feel that I went through that aging process this weekend. I know it’s not normal to age 3 months after your birthday, but since when have I been normal? Remember when you were younger and everyone seemed so old? When you were in elementary school, high schoolers seemed so grown up. When you were in junior high, college kids were so old. And when you were in high school, people in their 20’s were adults. Apparently I’ve decided to fit into a high schooler’s stereotype of me… I’m becoming an adult. And you know what? It’s not half bad!

 

Below are some adult-like behaviors* I experienced the past 5 days.
(*according to the stereotypes I had of adults when I was in high school)

-Wednesday we had somewhere to be at 7. I had things to do though. I went straight from work to the grocery store. I came home, unloaded the car, put the groceries away, changed the wash, unloaded the dishwasher, reapplied makeup, and left. Adults are productive.

-Thursday night I went to the bank to deposit my pay check (can you believe we don’t have direct deposit?! Are you kidding? It’s 2009!), went to Michael’s to buy supplies to cross stitch for therapy, then went to my parents’ house to have dinner with my mom. Adults go to the bank. Adults buy needles and cross stitch pattern books. Adults also hang out with their parents.

-I began my Biggest Loser yoga video. I hurt terribly the rest of the weekend. But I plan to continue it. Adults care about their body. Adults hurt after exercise. Adults do it anyways.

-Friday evening we picked Stephen’s sister up from the airport and then went out to dinner with her and a lot of the family. It was a fabulous night. We went to Goode Company Taqueria and then to some beer garden for a drink. Adults pick people up from the airport. Adults go out to dinner on a Friday night with family. Adults have kids sitting at their table with them. Adults play bocce ball at beer gardens. Adults leave because they are tired and cold.

-Saturday was another family filled day. Stephen’s sister and parents came over for lunch and a little bit of Wii game play. I made my mom’s delicious chicken salad and we cleaned the house. Adults wake up and boil chicken on a Saturday morning. Adults serve rolls from the bakery instead of Mrs. Baird’s bread. Adults are exhausted at 4:00 on a Saturday after a day of cooking, baking, and visiting with family.

-Sunday after church we went to my parents. About 7 guys were called to my parents’ house to lift a tree. They lost two huge trees in Ike. My dad bought a new tree and needed help lifting, lowering, and planting. We had a wonderful lunch and then the guys went to work. I left to run some errands. Adults help their parents with home-improvement tasks. Adults return things at Lowes. Adults don’t buy a sundress that they really want because they feel guilty about the purchase. Adults only spend $15 on a hair trim because they can’t bare to waste $60 on something so ridiculous. Adults even refuse the “blow dry and style” option since they can “do that on their own at home, thank you.”

-Last night was the first time I ever watched an awards show. I’ve never really cared. I never watch the Grammy’s because I am either sick of the music or flat out don’t care. I don’t watch the Oscars because, well, I don’t watch many movies. The only reason we watched was because Stephen has a man-crush on Hugh Jackman. So I thought I’d give it a shot. It was fabulous. I really enjoyed it. I plan to watch it in the future. Adults appreciate awards shows. Adults have a glass of wine and eat leftovers while they watch television. Adults wish there was more singing and dancing by Hugh and less red carpet junk. Adults wonder why they come on so stinking late at night!

 

All of my sister’s friends are probably thinking, “You’re not old. Stop saying you’re old.” I’m not old. But I am an adult. And I’m settling into that role nicely. I budget. I have a bed-time. I am not scared of babies. I have high-waisted pants. I’ve accepted adulthood. It is a bit curious that I’ve decided to do it in spurts on random weekends… but hey, the Lord has his timing for everything. I guess He set the alarm without telling me… it went off this weekend. I woke up and said, “Yay, I’m an adult!”, turned on Discovery Channel, and took my multi-vitamin.

February 23, 2009 at 11:23 am 13 comments

Thank You For My AZ

A little A-Z Trivia:

 

A
Available: Happily taken, with a pretty ring and everything.
Age: 24
Annoyance: Smacking, being late, when Stephen takes the dish towel out of the kitchen as he’s drying his hands and then leaves it random places, when neighbors tear down your fence, laziness
Animal: Dogs, specifically Rookie

B
Beer: I prefer wine and champagne, but there’s nothing like a cold Bud Light on a hot day
Birthday: November 17
Best Friend: Stephen (my mom and Lindsay are close seconds)
Blind of Deaf: I am neither. If I had to choose one, I’d choose to be deaf
Best Weather: 80s, I like hot weather but low humidity
Been in Love: Currently, and forever
Believe in Magic: Nope, but I believe in miracles
Believe in Santa: Yes. When you quit believing, he quits coming

C
Candy: Dark chocolate and Reeses
Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate, Vanilla is wasted calories
Chinese or Mexican Food: Mexican!
Cake or Pie: Depends. I can’t say that I like all cakes more than all pies. That’s as ridiculous as someone saying they hate all soup. 😉
Continent to Visit: Well, I’m not really educated enough to know. Haven’t traveled much. I’m sure I’d like Europe.
Cheese: I love all cheese. My favorite is probably brie.

D
Day or Night: Evening.
Dancing in the Rain: I don’t dance. And I’m sure I’d be too cold to stand in rain for an extended period of time.

E
Eyes: Don’t work properly. But they are a very pretty green color. I actually love my eye color.
Everyone’s got: issues.
Ever Failed a Class: No, came close a few times.

F
First Thoughts Waking: “Noooooo! No No No No!!! I don’t wanna!! Nooooo!”
Food: I love sour cream enchiladas. I also love fondue. And I loooove filets.

G
Greatest Fear: Snakes, knives, losing my husband or a child
Goals: To have a happy, healthy, Godly family
Gum: I love sugar-free minty gum. I like Trident Splash and Ice Breakers Cubes.
Get Along With Your Parents: Very very well

H
Hair Color: Boring, non-brown with gray. Eww. So I dye it a darker prettier brown.
Height: 5’12  🙂
Happy: Most of the time. I may not always be happy but I have the joy of the Lord. And that’s much better!
Holiday: Christmas (the week before and after, because it’s full of family!) and Easter because of the meaning of it
How Do You Want To Die: Quickly, quietly, and in a way that won’t hurt my family.

I
Ice Cream: Baskin Robins Peanut Butter and Chocolate
Instrument: I don’t play. I am enjoying listening to my husband play piano though!

J
Jewelry: My favorites are my engagement/wedding ring(s) and my necklace that my MIL gave me as a wedding gift.
Job: I work for a glazing company. I do anything and everything. The fancy title for that is Project Administrator.

K
Kids: I don’t have any. Hopefully I will one day. We think we’ll have 3.
Kickboxing or Karate: Neither for me, thanks.
Keep a Journal: You’re reading it.

L
Love: I love love. Is that the question? I love Stephen, Jesus, Rookie dog, my familes, pilot pens, chapstick, vanilla Dr. Peppers from Sonic, our car, rainy days, baseball, blog comments, wine, Texas, chick flicks, ………. I love a lot of stuff.
Laughed so Hard You Cried: Yes!! Many times. I get that from my dad and grandpa. The best time was when Stephen dreamt he was brushing his teeth and spit all over his pillow. I have never laughed so hard in my life.

M
Milk: I am very picky about my milk. I used to drink it all the time. Now I only drink it if I’m eating chocolate, cake, breakfast food, or pizza. And I wont drink milk unless I bought it and it’s at my house.
Movies: Chick flicks. Hate scary movies. Hate sci-fi. I laughed through X-Men because I thought it was so ridiculous. (Don’t hate me, I can’t help it.)
Motion Sickness: Nope. Unless I have a migraine. In which case, staying still even gives me motion sickness.
McDonalds or Burger King: Chick-Fil-A! I like Burger King’s onion rings though.

N
Number: I’ve always liked 44. I also like 28 because that’s the day Stephen and I got married.

O
One Wish: More wishes.

P
Pepsi or Coke: Diet of either. Neither if it’s regular.
Pizza: Angelo’s pepperoni. Pomodoro’s canadian bacon.
Piercings: Good question. Only my cartilage and belly button actually every have rings in them. There may be 4 more if the two holes on each ear are still open. Who knows? Earrings infect my ears so the last time I wore earrings was my wedding.

Q
Quail: What does this question even mean? I enjoy eating quail. I can’t shoot quail. I’ve held a dead quail. I’ve seen a headless quail. I have quail in my freezer. I don’t know how to cook quail. Does anyone remember Quail Man from Doug?

R
Reality TV: I love Biggest Loser! And Jon & Kate Plus 8. That’s it. Never even seen an episode of American Idol.
Radio Station: In the mornings I listen to Roula & Ryan on 104. During the day it’s either 104, 89.3, or Pandora. And when all the PM’s are in meetings, I turn off my radio and enjoy peace and quiet!
Roll Your Tongue: I can. I don’t.
Ring Size: 6 I think? I dont know.. Stephen?

S
Song: I dont have a favorite. “That’s All” by Michael Buble was the song Stephen and I danced to. And “I Will Be Here” by Steven Curtis Chapman was sung in our wedding. Those two mean a lot to me.
Shoes Size: 10
Salad Dressing: And of the kinds that Jennifer’s mom taught me. I also enjoy a good blue cheese dressing! Oh and I just had this amazing Tomato Basil Ranch at my mom’s.
Sushi: Seeing as I hate the word “raw” and Stephen is allergic to all shellfish, a sushi bar has never appealed to us.
Shower: I shower in the dark with my eyes closed. I thought we’d been through this.
Starberries or Blueberries: What is a starberry? If the question is a typo, I choose strawberries. If there is actually a starberry, I choose blueberry because I clearly don’t know what a starberry is.

T
Tattoos: Don’t have any. Considered getting one. Glad I never did.
Time For Bed: I’d like to be asleep by 10:30. That rarely happens. I get realllllly cranky at night when we haven’t gone to bed and it’s past 10:30.
Thunderstorms: Love them. But they often give me headaches. Still love them.

U
Unpredictable: Well I don’t think I’m unpredictable. I always know what I’m about to do. Do you think I’m unpredictable?

V
Vacation Spot: The beach, Disney World, New York. I think I’d like Greece.

W
Weakness: Jon & Kate marathons, cheese, buying things when they are on sale, hoarding (we’ve been through this), the snooze button
Which Friend Acts Most Like You: Hands down, Lindsay.
Worst Feeling: When I don’t have chapstick.
Worst Weather: Anything cold. Even remotely cold. Or even anything cool, because that’s cold to me.

X
X-Rays: Yes, at the dentist. And my wrist when I fell off of a trampoline and broke it. And I’ve had x-rays of my spine. That’s how I found out that my neck curves like this ” ) ” when everyone else’s curves like this ” ( “…

Y
Year It Is Now: 2009
Your Favorite Year in Your Lifetime: 2009. And 2007. And 2005.
Yellow: Is pretty. And is the color of our guest bedroom. And is also the color of many cheeses, and the book where you find phone numbers, and taxis, and the submarine we all live in.

Z
Zoo Animal: I love seeing the monkeys. I also live seeing any of the baby animals. But I stay away from the reptile area.

February 20, 2009 at 10:32 am 11 comments

Lost in Translation

You all know how I feel about communication in a marriage. It’s not easy. To be honest, it stresses me out a bit. Men and women definitely speak different languages. Last night we went to a farewell party at a local bar/restaurant. As we were getting ready to leave I asked Stephen if he was ready. His answer was, “Yes. Maybe in a little bit.” What the heck does that mean?? Yes? Or maybe? Or in a little bit? Who even knows? I think we need a live-in interpreter.

 

At the bar, I was at a table with a bunch of guys. Two married, one engaged, two single. The conversation turned to girls, as I’m sure it normally does. I took a big swig of my beer and tried to blend in. This could be interesting! I’m not quite sure how the conversation started. But it was fascinating. Because I’ve been on the complete other side of the conversation many times.

 

One topic they covered was the “Is this a date?” confusion. It appears that if a date-like activity is involved, girls should know it’s a date. I whole-heartedly disagree. If it was never made clear, there is no reason we should assume this! As someone who was “tricked” into a date, I know that this assumption by men is a good way to annoy a good girl friend of yours. Men, if you normally hang out with this girl as a friend, she’s going to assume you are friends. This is not her fault. My question is this: If you know that women often misinterpret your dates as non-dates, why don’t you just make it clear to begin with??

 

Another interesting thing came up. One guy shared, “Okay, so if you ask a girl a yes or no question, we as guys assume that there are two possible answers. Yes. Or no. But oh how we are wrong! In a woman’s mind there is actually this middle non-answer. And we have no idea what to do with that. I really think that if you have that non-answer for over a week, you really should just take the ‘no’ and move on, because her answer will be much worse.” Okay, guilty. Women know that a yes or no question doesn’t have to be answered with a yes or no. There are millions of answers. And really, I feel for the guys on this one. Half the time we don’t know the answer, so how are they supposed to? So ladies, maybe we need to work on this.

 

I heard some stories from these guys about how nervous they were to ask girls out. (“I opened my mouth but nothing came out.”) How if they decide to ask a girl out, the time leading up to the actual question is pure torture. (“I couldn’t concentrate. And then there were too many people around. And they wouldn’t leave. Just leave!!!!”) I heard stories of guys getting dumped, left, and screwed over. (“Yeah, and after all of that, she dumped me after two weeks.”) I heard stories of awkward confrontations with girl’s dads. (“I was talking to her dad and she put her hand on my leg. I couldn’t think. I stopped in mid-sentence and had no idea what I was talking about. Or where I was. What did she think she was doing??”) And at the end of it all, I was stressed out. Being a guy is rough. Being a girl is rough too but mostly because of hormones. A guy’s life is rough because of us!

 

So to all of you single ladies out there, give him a break! Or use this as your soapbox and give him some hints. I haven’t changed my loyalties. I still wear pink and cheer for the girl’s team. I am still 100% against the “assumed date”… it’s deceiving and weak. But on many other topics, yeah, I can see how we are difficult. I can see why men think women are irrational and confusing. But I’d also challenge men to do what I did. Spend a couple hours at a table of women. Listen to their side of the story. You may also realize how ridiculous you are.

 

As the conversation was coming to a close and all them men were worn out and stressed from the discussion, Stephen and I looked at each other. With a heavy sigh he said, “Thanks for making sure that I never have to go through all of that again.” So yeah, we avoid some of that confusion, but we still have quite a bit of our own.

 

Now taking applications for an interpreter. Must be impartial and fluent in both male and female.

February 19, 2009 at 10:15 am 10 comments

Loser Week 7: Life Without a Gym

Hallelujah. Praise God. God Bless America. Dane speaks! And shockingly, it’s not awkward. So what was the deal with that?

 

This was one of my favorite episodes in Biggest Loser history. We began with an awesome challenge. The gym was locked up and there were only 2 keys. There were about 100 keys at the top of this mountain (hill?) and the contestants had to run up the hill, get a key, and try it in the lock on the gym.  This would continue until both keys were found. The two teams that found the keys are the only two teams that have access to the gym… all week. Awesome. So of course Tara (of the green team) and the two blue guys were amazing. They were sprinting and lapping people. And once again, these contestants prove to be “above the game”. Members of all teams were helping Ron up and down the mountain. He has two bad knees so the steep parts were too difficult for him. But each time, someone was there to push, pull or lend a helping hand. In the end, the pink team and brown team got the keys.

 

This meant that everyone else was forced to work out outside. And this is where Biggest Loser history was made. Jillian turned into a girl. It was odd. She went on a rant about how she hates being outside because it’s dirty, your shoes get dirty, you get stinky, etc. It was sort of endearing. So instead of working out outside, she turned the living room into a gym, doing 80’s style aerobics classes. I honestly thought it wasn’t going to be enough. I thought her team would suffer this week during the weigh in.

 

Bob’s team on the other hand, adapted well to the outdoors. The used lawn furniture as step blocks and weights. They worked out on the beach and carried giant stumps around. They sweat. A lot.

 

The other challenge this week was the type I like. It was fair. It wasn’t the type that rewards the weakest links. Each contestant was on a rowing machine. You had to row at a certain pace. If you dropped below that pace, your light turned yellow. If you didn’t speed up, your light turned red. Then you and your partner were out. The winner won immunity. I thought it was going to come down to the purple team and green team yet again, but Cathy wasn’t able to keep the pace up. So the final two teams were the green team and black team. Since Blane left last week, it was up to Dane to keep rowing. And keep rowing he did. Tara is a machine, so she had no trouble with this challenge. It was Laura that quit first, leaving Dane as the winner. And at that moment we saw that not only can Dane speak, but he can celebrate. He can jump. And smile. And pick people up. It was refreshing to see that personality come out of him. I was proud of him.

 

Quick side note. I think it’s disgusting that Jillian pronounces Tara’s name “Tar-a”… it’s pronounced “Tear-a”. Gross.

 

At the weigh in, we saw Kristin excel. She lost 12 pounds this week. Although I’m not quite sure how accurate that is since I’m pretty sure she “cheated” last week. It was still nice to she her shine that way. (Once again let me point out that I don’t actually think it’s “cheating”… It’s game play. And I’m all for it. When you win immunity, you win the right to strategize.) The brown team impressed me as well. I just love that father/son combo. I really want Mikey to do well. It was ultimately the pink team that was below the yellow line (despite being one of two teams with access to the gym). They sent Shanon home… all claiming that they were “respecting her wishes” but I think they sent her home because she has more weight to lose.

 

My closing thoughts:

-This season is awesome. I love these contestants. They are so nice. They genuinely care about each other and went to see each other succeed.

-I think there was a mistake on Shanon’s birth certificate. There is definitely a missing “n”.

-I hope we see Dane shine throughout the rest of the season. He and Blane can take both prizes this year.

-Stephen is no longer a big fan of Tara. He thinks she’s a big flirt. She was crying over missing Blane. And did anyone see her climb over Filipe when they were mud wrestling? Inappropriate? They have wives! I’m just saying…

-I hope they break them into individuals soon. (I think that’s coming this week with that coin toss thing.) I just really want Mike to do well and he can’t keep carrying his dad each week.

-Anyone think Tara and Laura’s friendship is hurting now that Laura is watching these episodes?

-I still don’t like Aubrey.

-What the heck is roller derby? I’ve heard of it but it just seems weird.

-Tune in next week… Bob cries.

February 18, 2009 at 10:31 am 9 comments

Judgment Day

We are extremely judgmental people. We can’t help it. We all do it, it’s human nature. That doesn’t make it okay, let’s just be clear on that. But if you see a woman yelling at her waiter, you make a judgement about her. If you meet a man who stays home all day and watches soap operas, you may judge him because of that. And if you are one of those people who claims to never make snap judgements, I’m judging you. As a liar.

 

When I got to work today a coworker said, “You really look good driving that new car.” I tried to ignore the fact that it’s never really appropriate for a male to tell his female coworker she looks good doing something. But this company has never been one to abide by corporate America norms, so why start now. It did make me think though. People make extreme judgments based on cars. Old men with sports cars must be going through a mid-life crisis. Women in vans must have a few children, and certainly one of them plays soccer. Anyone owning a Hummer must be a jerk who doesn’t care about the environment. Men on motorcycles are selfish, unsafe, and have a death-wish. I can remember when my brother turned 16 and got a Ford Ranger. My friend Kendall said, “Oh my gosh! That screams ‘Howdy Doody, I’m a hick!'” So we see that all truck owners must be hicks and probably have guns and cattle, or at least wish that they did. (Please note that these opinions are not necessarily the views of the writer, her immediate family, employer, etc. Please hold all hate mail. I love Hummers.)

 

But then at the same time, there is always a reason for a stereotype. Yes? Most women with vans do have a few children. Maybe they play tee-ball, but some may argue that that is a minor detail. ( I am not one of those, soccer and tee-ball are worlds apart.) Next time you have a motorcyclist drive past you between lanes or on the shoulder, hear yourself say “Wow, he must have a death-wish.”

 

I am extremely thankful that I never judged Stephen based on his car. His tiny Nissan Sentra with an electrical cord hanging out of the hood was definitely not what drew me to him. I can remember the first time I saw it. I did make one snap judgement: This man is appreciative. Here he was driving a car that may or may not start, with an AC that only worked on high, and he was extremely thankful for what he had. I’d hear him explain it to people. He laughed about the cord, how he bought it for $1 from his uncle. He liked that “silver” car. (I say “silver” because that’s not the color I see it is. I call it “metal”.) Anyways, I guess I did judge him. But the judgement I made that day was true. He is appreciative and takes great pride in the things he owns.

 

There is a car out right now with a massive stereotype. The Smart Car. If you drive a Smart Car, you must be environmentally friendly. You must be concerned about finances and the state of the oil industry. You must be green. But, to the man in the yellow Smart Car in front of my this morning, I apologize for judging you as a rational man. Your driving behaviors taught me something. You swerved between drivers, running the risk of someone crushing you and your car like a potato chip. You honked at a man not willing to run the red light. You sped up only to tailgate the car in front of you. You, my friend, have showed me one thing. You are not concerned with bettering the state of the world. The bottomline: Smart Car drivers do not have to be… smart.

 

Oh the irony.

February 17, 2009 at 10:37 am 2 comments

Don’t Ever Ask Me To Save The World

Growing up in Houston it was not unusual to have some connection with NASA. Living in Nassau Bay, it was common to know an astronaut or two or seven. They lived around us, went to church with us, their kids went to school with us, etc. It was normal. I’m not going to go so far as to saying it was not exciting. Because, hey, they’ve been into space and we all know that is cool. But anytime a non-Clear Laker comes around and they get that awe-struck glaze over their eyes, I realize how commonplace it is over here.

 

I remember when I worked at a bank over by the Galleria, one of our customers was a retired astronaut. Every time he came into the bank, the tellers acted like Brad Pitt just walked it. At one point, one women even got his autograph. That just doesn’t happen in Clear Lake. But don’t get me wrong, I am still aware that it is a unique and ridiculously cool career choice. Little boys dream of being an astronaut. I’m sure there are many little girls out there that sit on spinning chairs, push fake buttons, and “blast off” into space. I was not one of them. I learned at a very young age that a career as a pilot or astronaut was not in my future. Besides my feminist view that those are “boy’s jobs,” I also knew my vision wasn’t good enough. Technically I don’t think astronauts have to have perfect vision, but I think it has to be correctable to 20/20… meaning ‘perfect’ with contacts. And that’s not me.

 

Let’s just be thankful for that requirement.

 

It finally happened. After all of my internal bragging and puffs of confidence, I failed. At Space Balls. Apparently the Amblyopia Software developer thought that on day 5 of Vision Therapy, we should have experienced some improvement. So in all of my games last night, movement got faster, distractions got more frequent, and asteroids got a new mind of their own.

 

Space Balls was one of the harder games to begin with. I think it’s a lot like pong. There is a small ball (or asteroid) that flies across the screen. You have to use your little paddle to keep it from flying off the screen (into the depths of space). The trick here is that all four sides of the screen have paddles. Your mouse controls all of them. If you move your mouse up and down, it moves the left and right paddles vertically. If you move your mouse left and right, it controls the top and bottom paddles and moves them horizontally. I honestly think that even if you have great vision, this is difficult. Well like I said, things got harder last night. The skiier went down the mountain faster, I had to search through the entire alphabet instead of 10 numbers, and don’t even get me started on Laser Ball! But none of them compared to Space Balls. If I had been having a bad day, I would have cried for sure.

 

I failed. Over and over I failed. When my five minutes of humiliation was over, I was excited for the animated animal to come on the screen and tell me that I did a great job. No such luck. The big lizard comes on the screen and says “You almost had it, better luck next time.” Ouch. I wanted to yell back at that ugly lizard and tell him that I would never have it. It’s unreasonable to think that someone who can’t hardly see can save the world from speeding asteroids. They’re coming from all directions for Heaven’s sake! Give me a break here. Even real astronauts have help. Yeah, okay, maybe they don’t hit asteroids with paddles, but if they did, they’d have help. They wouldn’t be left all alone in the depths of space with four small paddles. All I’m asking for is a little understanding here.

 

And now I’m scarred. And bitter. Mark my words: If the world is about to come to an end and I’m the one trusted to block the asteroid on its path to earth, I will refuse. Because when I fail and we all die, there will be a lone lizard hanging out on earth with all of the roaches that survived. He’ll look up at me (you know, since I’ll be in Heaven) and say “You almost had it, better luck next time.” And I couldn’t bare that.

February 16, 2009 at 9:39 am 1 comment

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