Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Depressing news

Yep, it's official - they guy they offered the position to has decided not to take the job. He does not want to move to Chicago. I don't blame him, as I told him, he needs to do what is right for him, but it is still depressing. I have been covering for this open position since last July. Yep. For over a year. Bastads.

So it looks like I will be going to Chicago to take care of some things next week. Joy and exhaltation....

I'm trying to decide if I want to take Friday or Tuesday off... I really think I could use a massage. Friday, my parents will be in town (we are going to the fair on Thursday, then I am having a happy hour for my birthday on Friday), and Tuesday is my actual birthday. It's actually kind of depressing working on my birthday, so I think I might opt for Tuesday.

I got up and ran this morning. Yay me. I am out of town (in Superior) for work, and the hotel does not have an exercise room, but I still got up and hit the pavement. It is actually kind of weird - I grew up here. Sometimes I feel a bit nervous in cities, especially at 5:30 in the morning, but today was not bad. It also helped that out of the 5 cars that went by me on the darker streets, 2 of them were police cars. I ran for about 32 minutes, so I figure it was around 3 miles. I am running a 5K on Saturday morning, and don't want to totally embarass myself.

So I am seriously thinking about training for a marathon. In February. In Tampa Bay. My parents winter there, so I would go and stay with them, and I could run. I need the push/incentive to get my rear out of bed in the morning to run, and as you probably know from reading my blog, 5K's are really not any incentive anymore. My attitude is: "It's only 3 miles. That's nothing." And I know it's a deal for some. But just not for me.

I also renewed my driver's licence this week. And yes, I lied about the weight. But not by much. I put down 180. I'm somewhere around 187. I hope to make the number a lie by being too much. The old licence said 160. That would be nice. Thus, the plan to train for a marathon. I did go to two WW meetings, and maintained at the second meeting from the first. And I tried to be good, and write everything down, and stay within my points (okay, so I went over) . And the next week, when I wasn't so anal, on my scale at home, I still maintained. (Didn't go to the meeting the 3rd week.) It's depressing. And yet, I continue to make poor food choices. And I am going to the state fair tomorrow.

Yeah, I know. Excuses, excuses. What do I want? To be in better health, to feel good about my appearance, or to eat anything I want. I want both. I want it to be easy. And nothing good is really easy. I just have to rember that.

On that note, I am getting hungry, so I need to get something healthy before I start wanting to eat absolutely everything in sight.


Friday, August 25, 2006

many directions, lots of links

I have all of these things running around in my brain. Too bad they are not tied to my legs, for running that is...

So my friend sent me this link yesterday, and I spent waaaaaay too much time looking at some of the comments that people were making. The article, I found interesting, if disturbing... I was telling my DH about it last night about it, it basically says that if you are married to a career woman, you are more likely to get divorced than if you are married to a housewife... hmmmm, perhaps that would be because if you (being an educated, employed female) have a job with which you can support yourself and kids, you are less likely to stay in a miserable siutation. And of course there are more two-career marriages that are ending, because there are just more two-career marriages...

The comments on the articles kind of made me sad. Have we become the society that name-calls and bashes people they don't even know on message boards? I know it can be a fun place to go to "meet" people (Hi Jessifer and Snackie!) and to ask questions of folks. But make any controversial statement, and WHAM it turns people into comlete byotches and asshats. I have enough drama in my life to try and deal with that too. And I think some people just do it on purpose, to get a reaction out of folks, and to get themselves some attention. Just back away from the keyboard.... think for 10 minutes before firing off a snarky remark that will make your blood pressure raise and ruin your whole day because some person you don't know, fires off their uneducated, unenlightend, goddammit I'm right no matter what, of course I won't listen to reason or logic, opinion.

Moving on... I made this gazpacho the other day, and it is completely fabulous. I went out and worked at the Renaissance Festival (as a beer wench, as always) and brought it and Tabouli with me, along with some chicken sausages (there's a grill set up behind one of the pubs for the workers) and did not succumb to any of the food there. Well, except a dill pickle, but does that really count? It really was a Woo-hoo, Carrots, moment.

And in another direction. Have I talked about how much I like the Running Times magazine I have been reading? They have all sorts of cool info that I have found. My favorite at this point would be the link they gave to being able to acucrately map running routes wherever you might be traveling, or even in your own neighborhood. Have you ever wondered exactly how far your are going? Try out the fun program! You can even save them for other folks to follow, or you can look up routes that other people have already mapped. Or you can check out the area to which you are going to travel, and see what the locals do.

In last month's magazine, they had an article about some of the common mistakes that people make with their running workouts. The one I found most informative, was the mistake that people make about not refueling properly after a hard workout. You need to eat/replenish as soon as possible, and really, within two hours at the most. They said that liquids were more easily absorbed than solid food, but you do need to get some protein into the mix. So you know all of those "electrolyte balanced" sports drinks with all of the carbohydrates (sugar) to get your energy stores back correctly, and to keep your metabolism performing properly? You'd actuall be better drinking chocolate milk. Sugar, nutirents, and protein. Who'd have guessed?


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

and more on the fair

honestly, who thinks this is a good photo to advertise for the fair? (The top photo). When they handed out the schedules, with the top photo the first thing you see, the staff (DH being one of them) thought it was a gag.

Hmmmmmm wonder if it was a guy that approved that photo...

Let's all go to the great state fair

It is starting... 12 nights of sleeping by myself.

Yep, Eric is working overnights again. He drives around at night, taking care of the garbage at the assorted Park and Rides that are used by the fair goers. His shift is from 6pm until 7am. It really sucks, 'cause I pretty much don't get to see him. Makes me wonder how people who work different shifts on a regular basis can live with "passing each other in the night" or so to speak. At least he will be bringing in a bit of overtime money, which is always welcome.

So at work, they have finally hired someone to fill the position like mine in the Chicago Service Area. He is here this week, trying to get some oreientation, and up to speed on things. But.... he came in this morning (day 3 of the job) telling me that he thinks he is going to turn down the position. It just does not make sense to him financially... he is not going to sell his house, and relocate his wife who has a good job, to move to Chicago, and he lives 150 miles away from where his office would be, and if he rented an apartment, he would pretty much be making less money than he is now, 'cause there are no cheap apartments in Chicago. Well, there are, but I would be scared to live there.

We talked to the boss, and he said he was going to see if there was a way to headquarter him somewhere closer to his house, so when he has to be in Chicago for meetings, etc, he can expense a hotel (as the company would be saving serious $$$ by not having to give him a relocation package). It's a postion that has a lot of travel involved, computer work, and conference calls, but I'm not sure that the Service Area Managers would like having him not officed where they are. So it's seeming like I am alone in the game once again.

It was so close, and now it seems like it is so far.

It really sucks.

Damn fucking reorganization crap.

How do I really feel?

On anoter note, I got to visit one of my favorite/dangerous stores yesterday, and I scored a set of Queen size 500 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets. For $39.90. And they are completely fantastic. 16" deep, with elastic around the whole fitted sheet. They fit over our fat mattress, with the memory foam pad, with extra to spare. As one of my friends tells me - "It's just not a bargain if Anneke can't tell you about it!"

That's my story, and I am sticking to it. Send positive thoughts my way, so we can keep this person on board in his position. I want the nightmare to end. Make the lambs stop screaming.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's a Wednesday...

The menu for the evening, with me hosting book club is lovely. Makes me wish I had not used so many flex points on Sunday.

Marinated grilled veggies and mushrooms
carrot spread (carrots, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, cumin)
cheese and crackers

Chilled tomato

Main Course:
Pasta with sauce made with shrimp, roasted garlic, chard and tomatos
Bread with cheese, peppers and onions

Lemon Curd Mousse with fresh raspberries

And I am looking forward to sitting on the patio with my girlfriends. I have not decided if I am going to drink wine or not. I am leaning towards not, just so I can use the points on food! Hey, this points thing still needs to be a shiny new toy!

So today at the office, I talked to one co-worker that I try to avoid talking to... she drives me a little crazy. She's one of those people who tries to complete your sentence for you. She hears you start the last word, and rushes to say it along with you. Okay, I know I have a tendancy to complete people's sentances myself, but I do it when people are pausing, searching for a word. I had an ex-boyfriend tell me that I needed to stop doing that. I guess he thought that his friend was thinking I thought her dumb, but I was just trying to be helpful. My co-worker, on the other hand I think does it to show that she is listening to what you are saying... but it is freaking annoying! If you are listening, don't speak!

And another co-worker is setting up a meeting, she's the new admin person here. I talked to her yesterday about it will be the same as the meeting last year, she just needs to find a meeting room and block off some rooms at the hotel. She came back to me today telling me that the list from last year (the attendees) was not complete, and that she needed an accurate accounting of who was going to be invited, so she could give the hotel the numbers. What about the message was I not communicating - plan for the same numbers as last year... so what if I don't have all of the exact names, it's two freakin' months away! I admit it, I raised my voice.

And they wonder why I go out in the field to get out of the office.


Well, off to get more water and coffee - 0 points in those, and I am saving up for tonight!


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Fold or Scrunch?

I think I have found something new to obsess about:

Toilet paper.

I was watching some show, I think on Discovery Health, or some such cable program, and they were going around a couple of public bathrooms, trying to determine if the Women's or the Men's bathroom was dirtier, accorning to cultures that were taken. Fecalform bacteria if I remember correctly. They discovered that the women's had more. Attributed it to the fact that women are more likely to bring children into the bathroom. Then, they did a study to see if there was difference with the amount of Toilet paper you used, and if you got bacteria on your fingers. 3 sheets, folded, 6 sheets, folded, and 9 sheets, folded. There was a difference, of course, with the 9 sheets having the least amount (they had the volunteer take the sheets then press them on the bacteria, then press their bare fingers on a petri dish.)

Then, they had the voulnteers scrunch the paper, 3 sheets, 6 sheets, 9 sheets. And this experiment showed that scrunching the paper was more effective than folding the paper. To the point that the 3 sheets scrunched had less growing than the 9 sheets folded.

So there you go. You need to scrunch your TP.

But all still had some bacteria growing, so you still need to wash your hands after doing your business. And since it is shown that while 90% say that they wash after, other studies have shown that only 50% do, so use that paper towel to open the door!

Yeah, yeah. All interesting you say, but how am I doing?

I have journalled everthing since Friday. Drinking my water, eatin' my veggies. Woo-Hoo, Carrots!

Found a new crunchy food to eat. They talked about it at my WW meeting on Saturday, the Gerber finger foods in banana flavor. 1 cup, which is a lot of pieces, is 1 point. I even looked on-line to see about ordering Vita-Muffin mix (you add the egg whites and water) but am balking at spending $40 on six boxes of mix. I can make brannies for a lot less than that...

Now I need to get my rear moving in the exercise front. I am signed up to run a 5K on September 2nd. I should really run some before that... I would like to have a halfway decent time. It's just a little hard to get motivated for a 5k... it's only 3 miles. Am I sad or what?

And a last reminder - wash your hands!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Too much of a good thing?

As I was driving last week, I was listening to a lot of public radio... it engages the mind and makes the miles seem to go faster.

So in one of the stories, they talked about was too much water. There really is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and it does not mean desert. I found it kind of interesting. Especially the part where they said that caffeine gets a bad reputation for dehydrating you. But, that's not actually the case. Yes it makes you pee, but if you were ingesting that amount in plain water, it would do the same thing for you. So I guess I should not feel as guilty about the 2-3 cups of coffee I drink at work each morning. Except for the fact that my doctor says that it hinders the absorption of calcium, which is definately important in women...

Well, I did as I said I would, I went to a WW meeting on Saturday. I suppose it could have been worse. Now I just want it to be better! I need to treat it as a shiny new toy again. I was actually pretty good on Saturday, I gave myself 5 extra points for the day, since I dontaed blood, and I did not dip into any of my flex. And I had a very relaxing, tv-watching, doing a lot of nothing day.

Sunday was another matter. I slept until about 9:30, then I got up and started doing some stuff around the house. Laundry, kitty litter cleaning, (washing of hands, of course), some food prep for the book club I am hosting on Wednesday (check out the book), then Eric came home from being rained out while fishing. We decided to go out for some lunch - I had not had anything to eat yet... and we got to the restaurant at about 2:00. I was starting to feel a bit hungry at this point... if you can imagine! I did pretty well there, considering. Ate half of my sandwich. Had a cup of baked potato soup, some coleslaw, and about 6 fries. Felt extremely full, and stopped eating. After that, we ran some errands, and went home for a bit, before going to a friend's "happy hour" for his birthday. One large margarita, and a large beer, and chips and salsa, and then a trip to DQ for some ice cream later, I was about 23 points over for the day.

Remember: shiny new toy! I want to journal! (The good part is that I did track everything) I want to make like this is a new adventure, not just some place I have visited, and liked, but could not live there for longer than a few weeks. Eat to live, don't live to eat.

And there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. All things in moderation.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Four things about me

This was sent as an e-mail from a friend of mine, but instead of answering her back, I thought I would do it here....

Four Things about me - - - - - - - -
A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
  1. McDonald's
  2. Lifeguard
  3. Normal Volunteer (at the National Institues of Health)/Research Assistant
  4. Telemarketer for NordicTrack
B) Movies I could watch over and over:
  1. Princess Bride
  2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  3. Highlander
  4. GI Jane

C) Four places you have lived:

  1. Sheboygan, WI
  2. DesMoines, IA
  3. Saint Peter, MN
  4. Superior, WI

D) Four TV shows you love to watch:

  1. Grey's Anatomy
  2. Desperate Housewives
  3. House
  4. Big Love

E ) Four places you have been on vacation:

  1. Jamacia
  2. London, England
  3. Rome, Italy
  4. Charlotte, NC

F) Websites you visit daily:

  2. (e-mail)
  3. my bank website
  4. various blogs

G) Four of my favourite foods:

  1. Cheese
  2. Popcorn
  3. Scallops
  4. Bananas (but they can't be too ripe)

H) Four places I would rather be right now:

  1. Marty's pool
  2. On the beach
  3. Snuggling with DH
  4. At my parent's house

A weekend with no plans?

Time, blessed time - all to myself.

That's what I am going to have this weekend. And I think I need it. Life has been crazy nutso. But what else is new?

Last Friday, I left work early to go shopping. I needed to get food etc. for the party I was having at the house on Sunday. So, I went home and picked up the truck, and headed over to Trader Joe's. I made the find of the week there, I think... they are now making 100 calorie pack snacks - oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate graham cookies. Can we say yum? Picked up some other food stuff and 2 cases of wine. (for the party...) And I was doubly glad to have the truck instead of the car because a) it's an automatic and it was getting into rush hour and b) it's very BIG, and you can see everything in front of you in rush hour! Two more stores later, I was headed home to do some food prep.

So food menu for the party:
deli meats and cheeses for sandwiches (with buns)
marinated and grilled mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant
cabbage salad with ramen
tuna noodle salad
hummus with veggies
shrimp with cocktail sauce
cucumbers in rice wine vinegar
cucumbers and onions mixed with sour cream

It was nummy, and pretty healthy too...

So why was I having a party? My stepdaughter got married on May 30th, and she and her husband were going to be in town, so I wanted to have the family meet them, so I threw a party. I sent out 25 invitations, and probably had about 30 or so people come through on Sunday. I think it went well. My sister came to the house on Saturday to help me straighten up, and to help prep the food. Thank goodness. She helped me keep some sanity.

And this whole week, pretty much, I have been traveling for work. I had a 3-day conference on Mon, Tues and Wed near Milwaukee, WI, then I needed to be at a meeting in Fargo on Thursday. After getting into the hotel on Wednesday evening at 10pm, then firing up the computer to do some work until midnight, knowing I needed to be on the road at 6am was quite fun... I was wondering how I had managed to start burning the candle in the middle, along with both ends!

But I have a weekend to destress. I have nothing planned. No committments that I have made, except maybe to myself.

I have decided that I need to get myself back to WW meetings. I need the accountability. And goodness knows I have not been doing it on my own. I am planning on going to a different center - one that will be closer to my house, so I will not have more excuses not to go.

That's my story and I am sticking to it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Our house has been shot

Well that statement caused my husband to panic a bit...

I was sitting in my living room on Tuesday, reading a book, minding my own business, when I noticed something was not right with our front window. Looking closer, there was this odd shaped chip on the storm window. Looking even closer, I notice a small round hole in the outside window. Evidently someone in the neighborhood thought the house windows were threatning, so they decided it needed to be shot. There are two holes in one of the front windows. At least they are only in one window (There are 5 panes in the front bay window.) And the pellets did not go through all of the panes into the house. But still...

So I called the police to make a report, and I swear the officer that came to the house looked like he was about 12. Am I becoming one of those people that thinks that people look too young? Anyway, he came and looked at the window, asked if we knew who might have done it (no) if we saw anything (no), and if we had anyone mad at us that might have done it (no). Then he told us that he could not really do anything without more information. I knew that going in, but I wanted to make the report for (a) insurance purposes and (b) in case anyone else in the neighborhood was having any problems so there is a record of it.

It is just irritating, and it will likely be pretty expensive to fix the window.

In another direction - I was staying at a hotel last night and invited my sister and nieces to come join me for a bit to swim in the pool there. They have all been staying at my parent's house, where there is a lake, but a pool is just different. There was, however a huge group of kids in the pool area for a birthday party. It was just mass chaos. One of the kids about jumped on top of my niece's head - she didn't look before she jumped, so my sister went to go tell her that she should watch what she was doing, because she could hurt someone. Then said girl's mother told my sister that she should mind her own business - "I run a daycare, I know how to watch kids!" Evidently that was not the case, as she pretty much just chatted with the other adults there, drinking a frozen (I am assuming alcoholic) drink, and nipping outside to have a cigarette. It just drives me nuts when parents don't watch what their kids are doing, or when they put infants in the hot tub. I kid you not, there were about 12 kids with floaties in the hot tub. A mom even put her kid (who was under 1 year old) in a inflatable in the hot tub. HELLOOOOOO, what the hell are you thinking?

It was just massive craziness. We wouldn't let my nieces get in the hot tub. I wouldn't get in the hot tub. With that many kids, and warm water, who knows what kind of bacterial growth was running rampant?

It was a relief to drag our two out of the pool, and to get out of the area.

And that's what I have to say on that subjet...