Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I don't know what he thinks a wildcat needs money for.

Phew! Today will be day 12 of the 30 Day Shred, and I'm still alive. And that's about all I can tell you. As far as progress, there isn't any difference in my weight yet, but I feel like I can tell a difference in certain areas even without weight loss. Plus Jillian says the goal is to burn fat AND build muscle, so weight loss isn't imperative and it may just be that fat is being replaced with muscle. We're going to stick with it as long as we feel like it's giving us a good workout, probably beyond 30 days, and then when we're ready to move on, we'll switch to another of Jillian's DVDs which I ordered at the same time as this one (for a small discount) on Amazon.

And that's enough about that snoozy topic. This weekend we had a family reunion in the upstate. It was great, and it gave Mike another opportunity to show that he excels at each and every thing. This time it was corn hole. He got those dang corn bags on the board or through the hole every single time! You'd think I'd have learned my lesson from the Bowling Incident of 2007 and insisted on being on his team. It was my dad's side of the family. His dad was one of five brothers, so the family is fairly large now and spread out over the state, so we don't see each other often. My dad's aunt Nancy had all the 'kids' get together and ask each other questions so that we could get to know each other better. It was adorable as well as a little awkward. There were also lots of pictures of previous family reunions, and those are always good for a laugh. What was everyone thinking in the eighties? I take no responsibility for my dreadful appearance up through about 2002, because I am convinced that nobody had any idea where to go from shoulderpads and stonewashed denim, so we all just swam around in a sea of wardrobe confusion for ten years. Tight clothes? Baggy clothes? Greasy hair? Poofy hair? Who am I supposed to be??? It was a dark time for fashion. All I can say is I'm glad to have made it out. And I sure am glad I didn't get married back then. Heh.

Then yesterday we went to the zoo! Which was as fun, and smelly, as I remembered. Reportedly the Columbia Zoo's animals live longer than just about any other zoo's in the world, which makes me feel incredibly proud of my zoo. There was an adorable mom at the zoo with her baby who talked and talked to that baby like she was her best friend, just another grown-up to talk to about llamas and the rain, and it was so darn cute I almost melted. Then at a wildcat exhibit, a zoo trainer was playing with some baby wildcats using one of those sticks with a bunch of felt shapes attached to it, and a little boy explained to his brother that she was "teachin 'em how to make money." Which is when I flat out died of cuteness. Kids are hilarious.

I'm going home now to eat some salmon and broccoli because I can feel Jillian shaking her head at me whenever it's meal time. How does she know I only want to eat cheese and oreos?

Monday, May 18, 2009

You do the math, Jillian

Yesterday was day 3 of the 30 Day Shred. I got the dvd in the mail on Friday, and after dinner that night, my mom and sister and I got to work. The workout is only 20 minutes long, plus 5ish minutes of warm-up and 5ish of cool-down, so we hardly had time to start complaining before it was over. We have since learned to get our whining in ahead of time and after the workout is over, because Jillian has us moving non-stop and it is difficult to talk about how much you hate someone mid-jumping jack. The two worst parts of the workout, for me, are when we have to do push-ups (well. modified push-ups. lest you think I could ever complete a real one) and this horrible simultaneous side lunge and weight lift that makes me want to snap off my arms before the pain causes me to meet my maker. Also I always seem to get a stitch in my side during the jumping jacks and jump rope, but I think I'm just not breathing properly or I ate too recently. Other than that, it's really quite manageable, and Jillian mixes up the steps so we're never doing the same thing twice. The workout is broken into several 3-2-1 circuits, composed of 3 minutes of strength, 2 of cardio, and 1 of abs. And you have never seen 3 people so blissfully excited and thankful to get to lay down and do some crunches. You'd think Jillian was telling us to eat french fries for a minute. Really though, it is over very quickly, and I know I'm getting a better workout than I used to by using the treadmill for 45 minutes. If all the sweating didn't give it away, all the lactic acid certainly would.

So I'll keep you posted, but so far I'm feeling pretty good about this exercise system. It's quick and easy, and all we need are some hand weights. Plus, the dvd has 3 levels of the workout, so if we decide level 1 isn't doing it for us anymore, we have the option of moving up to level 2 or level 3. But as sore and sweaty as level 1 is making me, I can only assume level 3 is 20 straight minutes of push-ups. If that's the case, there's a better chance I'll quit eating altogether. And there's about a .0001% chance of that ever happening.

Friday, May 15, 2009

We're going to need a few more jars

Bahahaha. Thanks babe, for telling me the books you enjoyed. I will for sure look into that dinosaur book.

The softball game was great. I still cannot get over how free everything was. I worried that there'd be some large hulking guards at the gates, and if they didn't automatically recognize me as Invaluable Legislative Staff for whom the event was free, they would force me to fork over a hundred dollars to get in, or they'd escort me right back to my car, in which case haha!, joke's on them because we parked about 9 miles away. But there were just two sweet women handing us ticket stubs so they could keep track of how many people came. We just walked right in. We could have been anybody! And THEN, once we were in? All the food in the land was there. All for us. And for free! There were hot dogs, burgers, barbecue, baked beans, corns on the cob, cole slaw (boo), chips, cookies, popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, sodas and beer. In cute commemorative cups! And they set up 3 different tables of food and several drink booths so there weren't even any lines! I mean. Y'all. Sometimes the general assembly is a real pain in my side, but I am not kidding when I say that all of their transgressions against me were pretty much atoned for right there at the hot dog table. Those hot dogs were SO GOOD. I am not one to use the word weenie, but I was looking all night for some event staff person who might be able to tell me where I could buy those weenies. Mike doesn't even like hot dogs, and he ate one. It was amazing, and let's not forget the part about how much it cost. Thank heavens for friends like Laura who work for Senators and can tell me about things like that.

The game itself was also fun, though the Senate made a bit of a sad showing. Several of them sent their grandsons, pages, security staff, and other athletically inclined friends to play in their stead. Which is okay, I guess, since they worked till 6:00 on the budget (and they didn't cut my job!). A few of the actual Senators were there, so those of you reading in the northwest section of the state can rest secure in the knowledge that if government were to come down to one big baseball game, your senators would still have your backs. The rest of us are in some trouble. But the Representatives were mostly there live and in person, though they were clearly distraught at the prospect of playing against a team of 15 year-olds. And rightly so. Ultimately the Senate Filibusters pulled it out over the House Amenders. I can't remember the score. There was a smooshie little girl with curly hair sitting in the section beside us with a hippo ballerina 'pocketbook' (her word), so I was a bit distracted. I am a sucker for a curly-haired girl who knows how to accessorize.

Which reminds me of a hilarious incident. Several years ago at a vacation bible school, one of the four-year-olds in my class had a teeny Polly Pocket that she wanted me to hold for her while she played on the playground. Only we both forgot about it and she never got it back. So I threw it in my purse, and recently during a cleaning spree, Mike discovered Polly, so he put her on the bathroom counter, because he is a good husband who doesn't throw your things away even if they are really weird. Also on the counter we have a jar where we put our loose change. So he set her on the lid of the jar so she wouldn't inadvertantly get knocked down the sink drain. Neither of us thought much about it I guess. Then, when we had a bunch of our friends over for our birthday last month, they used our bathroom to get ready. Several weeks later, seemingly out of the blue, our friend Ali asked my sister "...are Erin and Mike saving up for a baby?" Emily was totally confused. "Uh, I don't think so. Why?" "Well I saw that jar of money with the little Polly Pocket on it..."

Hooo boy, did we have some laughs about that. Polly Pocket reminding us to save up our pennies like when the jar gets full we're ready for a baby.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Boy did I love books where everyone went to summer camp

So tonight there is a sporting event in town. The 16th annual South Carolina Senators vs. South Carolina Representatives softball game. With free food! And maybe free booze! We are going to go, of course, and I will report back with what is sure to be an extensive injured reserve list. I don't know much about softball, and I don't know much about government, but I can guarantee that when the two are combined, a very good time is in store.

Meanwhile, please tell me about your favorite book(s) from childhood, or your siblings' or children's or nieces' or nephews' favorite books, or books your students loved, or books you like even now, and possibly tell me why you like(d) said book(s). Children's literature is my favorite, as I have said before, and I'm reading a great book now called The Mysterious Benedict Society, and I'm afraid it will soon be over and I'll be left with nothing. You can certainly tell me if your favorite books were something like The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew or or something horrifically sad like Charlotte's Web or Old Yeller or Little Women, but I make no promises because I just am not one for the scary or the sad. Also if you like(d) Little House on the Prairie, talk to me about that, because I've never read those. Some part of me just feels like prairie life = boring. For the record, my favorite book as a kid varied depending on which Babysitters Club or Sweet Valley book I was reading.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Take, for example, Nickelback

1. Unless you count the frozen waffles I eat for breakfast every morning, I haven't had a meal at home, or even one from home, yet this week. For a change, tonight we will have some tacos prepared in our very own kitchen. ette. Kitchenette. It's probably not a real kitchen unless it has walls around it and ours is all open to the rest of the house. Incidentally it's also making me rethink my stance on carpet. Which is to say, I don't feel all the crumbs sticking to my feet on carpet like I do on linoleum. Not that I'd re-do my floors in linoleum, but I suspect even the fanciest hardwood won't be self-cleaning. We should probably just get a dog. See how I started with waffles and ended with dogs? It's a wonder and a shame I don't post more often.

2. Monday I played Bunko for the first time. I'd have spelled it with a c, but the women who hosted spell it with a k, so Bunko with a k is what I played. Many women would probably tell you that the beauty of Bunko is that it requires no skill whatsoever. But those women are wrong. Dead wrong. Because the beauty of Bunko is that everybody has to bring some food. After 18 rounds and more simple addition errors than I care to admit (I can add together a bunch of 1s with little trouble, but throw some 5s and 21s in there and it's a different story.), I wound up winning 9 and losing 9. I think. All I know for certain is that I paid five dollars and got a better dinner than if I'd eaten at home, so I felt like there were really no losers. I am supremely excited to play Bunko again. Just as soon as I buy a calculator or do some remedial mathematics.

3. Today at work we had an employee appreciation luncheon where I was relegated to the overflow table for people who didn't get there on time or whose 'friends' didn't save them a seat. SO awkward. I did what I could to make conversation, but we all knew what table it was, so mostly there was a lot of errant glancing over at the cool table and laughing when everyone else laughed, hoping somebody would realize we belonged with them and there had been some sort of terrible seating arrangement faux-pas. Eventually, enough people trickled out that I was able to filch my way in, just in time to watch a coworker attempt to eat 10 brownies for twenty bucks.

4. Whenever I see someone in great shape all showy-offy with their tiny clothes and bottled water, or really when I see anyone skinnier than me, I get pretty angry. It probably really does stem from a place of sheer rage, and not any sort of secret envy or self-doubt, but that's beside the point. I just need them to cover it up and please be uglier for crying out loud because nobody wants to see that. Right? Well I've decided that instead of yelling at the skinny people to eat more doughnuts, I'm going to try Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred and see what that does to my attitude. And my fat. So I will keep you posted on that front, unless it goes to pot and I'm to embarrassed to tell you. I am expecting to be highly sore, plus I'll probably just redirect my anger toward Jillian, which seems like exactly what she wants. Is it possible to gain strength from other people's hatred? History points to 'yes.'