Sunday, May 31, 2009

A man is dead. She is silent.

I just visited Ann Coulter's website. I wanted to see what she had to say about the murder of Dr. George Tiller. As of 4:45 CST, she had nothing to say.

Could it be her natural discretion and sensitivity? After all, a man was gunned down inside his church on the Sabbath. His wife was nearby, preparing to perform with the church choir. Could the gravity of those two last sentences weigh on Ann Coulter's soul?

No, don't think so. Miss Ann is one of those "Christians" who have twisted and perverted my religion to her own devices, using her "Christianity" as a hammer to beat up and muddy the reputations of those she doesn't agree with. At a conference entitled "Reclaiming America for Christ," she weighed in:

Coulter’s rhetoric was no less violent. In describing the murders of doctors and health care personnel who worked at abortion clinics, Coulter said the victims had been shot, “…or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure performed on them with a rifle.”

More recently she named today's murder victim, Dr. Tiller, specifically. In ranting about Notre Dame's invitation to President Obama to speak at commencement, she helpfully suggested, "Being such a prestigious institution, Notre Dame could probably get famed partial-birth abortion practitioner George Tiller to do the demonstration at next year's graduation. Obama could help -- inasmuch as Tiller the abortionist is a close friend of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius."

I take my relationship with Jesus very seriously. When I've been sexually active I've been overly conscientious about protected sex -- not because of AIDS, but because I feared an unwanted pregnancy more. I personally do not believe in abortion. But I believe in secular government, the separation of Church and State, and each woman's right to make that choice for herself.

That said, I can state this with a very clear conscious:
This bitch is a horror with blood on her hands.

Fortunately for Ann, the God I worship is a loving God who forgives her. I only hope this wretched bitch can somehow forgive herself.

While I'm not good enough to forgive her, I hope that the toxic rhetoric on the sensitive subject of choice is dialed down. Please, please, please. This kind of thing has to stop.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The Monkey's Meme

1. Name one person who made you smile today: My oldest friend. She knew that I needed to know that Jim Carrey, Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro are going to play The Three Stooges. Really.

2. What were you doing at 8am this morning? Soaking in the tub.

3. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Reading one of the ten thousand articles on Jon and Kate's marital difficulties. Those 8 adorable Gosselin kids are like crack and I'm hooked. I hope they come out of all this OK.

4. What is your favorite candy bar? Butterfinger

5. Have you ever been to a strip club? Yes, a bachelorette party at The Sugar Shack. Most memorable moment: in the car going home, when one of the bridesmaids denied letting one of the dancers put his tongue down her throat, but had to recant when confronted with photographic evidence. Two words: Awk ward.

6. What was the last thing you had to drink? Can of Classic Coke.

7. What was the last thing you ate? Rib tips. Yum.

8. The last sporting event you watched? The Cubs, led by Ryan Dempster and Reed Johnson, kicked Dodger ass.

9. Do you go to church every Sunday? Not every Sunday. My relationship with the Lord is very personal -- sometimes worshiping in public feels right, sometimes it doesn't. I can't explain it beyond that.

10. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? No.

11. What are you doing tomorrow? Monday I am finishing my portion of a Customer Relationship Marketing presentation. It's actually more interesting than it sounds.

12. What do you think of when you hear Australia? Hugh Jackman. Isn't that what everyone thinks of?

13. Biggest annoyance right now? Myself. This place just grows paper, and I can't keep up with it.

14. Last song listened to? "Mary's Place" by BROOOOOOOOOCE.

15. Do you have a maid service clean your house? I did, but I cut it as an extravagance. Sigh. The maid service did a much better job on the mirrors and chrome than I do.

16. Are you jealous of anyone? Gawd, yes!

17. Is anyone jealous of you? I don't know.

18. What do you usually do during the day? See #11. I come up with effective, efficient ways to sell stuff.

19. Do you hate anyone that you know right now? No. That surprises me, actually.

20. Are you thinking about someone right now? Yes.

A sobering note on a sunny day

The sky was blue, the trees were green and I had the Cubs vs. Dodgers was coming in through my headphones. I enjoyed my walk through and around town ... for the most part.

But I was saddened to see three additional stores shuttered. One was a wine store, another was an insurance office, and the third was a T Mobile franchise. It seems that every time I go off wandering, I find that another small business is gone.

This Recession is brutal.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Uninvited

1. Do you mind people to show up uninvited? YES!!!! I'm a slob and need notice to "straighten" things up.

2. Last person you talked to on the phone? My best friend.

3. Last person on your missed call list? Likewise. (#2 was me returning his call.)

4. Who calls you the most? My mom.

5. What is your favorite song about breaking up? "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning." It's an oldie, but some things don't change.

6. If someone sent you an unexpected gift, what would you like it to be? A Visa Gift Card. It would be like found money.

7. Your classic rock station plays the top songs of all time. What is number one? "Lady Madonna."

8. Do you live for today or tomorrow? Tomorrow. Which isn't necessarily a good thing. I'm working on staying "in the moment" more.

9. What movie villain scared you as a kid? James Stewart in The Greatest Show on Earth. He wasn't a villain at all, really: A doctor unjustly accused of murdering his wife who escapes prosecution by joining the circus and never, ever removing his makeup. I was a little girl when I saw it and completely missed the "unjustly accused" part. I was just terrified of what I thought was his pointy, "I just killed me wife" smile.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm not making this up!

Last night, in celebration of my best friend's birthday, we hung around in the hotel bar for a while, consuming a platter of mini-sliders while he caught the end of the Denver-LA play-off game. (It was his celebration, so he got to make all the decisions.) Then we moved on to Eno, the wine/cheese/chocolate salon located in his hotel. We closed the place.

At Eno, you sample a flight of cheeses or chocolates, along with wine paired specifically for your selections. Since we were celebrating a birthday -- and chocolate is closer to conventional cake and ice cream than cheese is -- we stuck with the chocolate. After reviewing the menu and the samples in the display case, I decided that I had to have the caramel apple cinnamon truffle, centerpiece of a recently-added chocolate flight. (I was right, it was divine!) Included in that flight were a fine, but not that memorable truffle and ... are you ready for this? -- a bacon and dark chocolate truffle.

I've been carefully tracking my eating at The Daily Plate, but yesterday I didn't even bother. Yes, that online food diary has the calorie and nutrition listings for many, many dishes, but I bet not even they know how to calculate a dessert that consisted of bacon and dark chocolate and champagne.

Really. Who knew such a thing even existed?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thursday Thirteen #110 -- Why I Can't Afford that House by the Sea


THIRTEEN ADSENSE ADS THAT
HAVE RECENTLY
GRACED THIS BLOG

When I first began blogging, three years ago, I signed up for Adsense because I wanted the free counter you get in exchange for space on your blog. Not long thereafter I discovered Statcounter, which costs money but digs so much deeper than the Adsense counter did. So while I abandoned the Adsense counter, I never removed the ads. Just never thought of it.

Until I noticed the Monetize tab on Blogger Dashboard. I clicked to see what this old blog has earned me over these past three years.

$5.31
Why, that's more than $1.75/year!


I don't mean to sound snobby or anything, but that's never going to be enough to help my household budget. So I began monitoring the Adsense ads that appear on my site. Usually I understand the connection between their ad and my content, sometimes I don't. Here are 13 of the most recent. (I am going to keep my day job.)

1) Weight loss tips
2) Bruce Springsteen tickets
3) Watch the Cubs game from a Wrigley Field rooftop
4) Fun kids' haircuts
5) Empire Beauty School
6) Stella McCartney's clothes
7) Cubs tickets at MLB.com
8) Medshape Diet
9) First Rule of a Flat Stomach
10) Cleanse pounds away
11) End binge eating
12) Dr. Oz' cellulite cure
13) Stolen vehicle delivery


To participate yourself, or to look up
more TT participants,

visit the new hub (thursday-13.com).

We have a plan!

My best friend is in town today through Friday AM, and we're having a late dinner tonight. I haven't seen him in nearly six months! Sure we've spoken and of course we have emailed, but this is the first time I've been in the same room with him since there was snow on the ground. And that is simply too long.

Since his birthday is in just a couple of weeks, I'm giving him his gifts in person. First, I was shocked to hear that he has never seen The Godfather from start to finish, and that's just sick and wrong. So I got him the DVD. Since he's such a foodie, I also got him this cookbook because it's by a chef he's mentioned and barbecue season is almost upon us. It also gives him the opportunity to cook a special Italian meal before settling down with the Corleones. (I love birthdays.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Heads or Tails #22 -- Starts with A


The first thing that came to mind is one of my all-time favorite Barenaked Ladies songs:

"A"

A is for angry, which is what you are at me
A is for adult, which is what I'll never be
A is for applesauce, my favorite meal
A is for Adam, which is how I sometimes feel;
Like I'm the only man on Earth, and I've forgotten what that's worth
A is for Arthur, he's a lovable drunk
A is amazing, like Thelonius Monk
A is for argument, A is for apparent
A is for antagonism that's not even there and
it's just you begging for attention or something I won't even mention

And I don't even know why you keep on trying
Like I don't even know why I keep on lying
There are millions of people in worlds of their own
And two of them can't let go

A is for algebra, I learned it in school
A is what Fonzie said, 'cause he was very cool
A is for adversary, A is for affection
A is arousal, you are giving me an erection
C'mon I'm trying to show affection for longer than a half an hour

And I don't even know why you keep on trying
Like I don't even know why I keep on lying
There are millions of people in worlds of their own
And two of them can't let go

I met a woman I used to know
Long before you, long ago
All I could say, after hello
Was "are you still single?"
A is for attitude I can't help but wield
A is for arrogance; emotional shield
A is for acting, A is for abhorrently
A is for asshole, which is what I am, how rude of me.
I owe you an apology I'm sorry

And I don't even know why you keep on trying
Like I don't even know why I keep on lying
There are millions of people in worlds of their own
And two of them can't let go


If you'd like to play along with Heads or Tails, click here.

I can't ignore it any longer

My Cubs, my Cubs, my Cubs. What's going on within The Friendly Confines is not good. We're in the midst of an 8-game losing streak, which I thought would screech to a halt when the road trip ended. Alas, it didn't.

It's times like this when I really love Lou. Piniella has remained upbeat when discussing his team and their "struggles" with the press, and he's encouraging the players to focus on the positive, to try to learn from the successful at bats and not fixate on the strike outs, ground outs, fly outs, etc.

He's right, of course. It's 160+ game season, and while losing 8 in a row is never good, it's not worth climbing out onto the ledge over ... at least not yet.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The results are in!

My best friend completed his 10k race this morning, and his times were posted online. He came in squarely in the middle of the pack, only 3 minutes faster than his time last year.

This confused me.

He's been training for months, and training hard. He joined a health club and had a specific training regimen developed by his personal trainer. He even worked out while he and his wife celebrated their second honeymoon in Hawaii! His goal was to finish the race in less than an hour.

Not only did he not come in at less than an hour, he only picked up 3 minutes? Over last year's time, when he didn't prepare at all?

As I perused the entire race results, it all became clear to me. For there was someone else with his last name, from his suburb, with his exact time. Seems his 11-year-old daughter decided to join him and it looks like he matched pace with her. (For her age group, she came in the top 1/3.)

I haven't heard from him yet regarding the race, but I hope he considers it the triumph it was. He's a very good man.

Thank you, Adam Lambert

Yes, I was Team Lambert from Day 1. Yes, I loved most of his performances, esp. "Feeling Good." Yes, I realize he's gay and no, I don't care.

But one of the best things about Adam Lambert is his smile. Watching him during the finale reminded me it's time to use my bleaching tray again. He has inspired me to work toward a twinkly white and bright smile again.

Icky Nightmare

Saturday night I had a memorable, shitty nightmare. I don't want to have it again, so I'm hoping that this blog entry will vaccinate me!

I'm at my mother's house. I think this is back in the days when we all lived there. Or maybe it's a holiday, like Christmas, when I have occasionally spent the night. My favorite grandma (who died in 1997) was there, so that confuses the timeline a bit.

It's pre-dawn. For some reason, I'm looking out the picture window and am not sure, but I think I see foul play in front of the apartment building across the street. One man appears to be stabbing another beside a car. I saw the perpetrator's elbow go back, and I could have sworn I saw the knife in his hand.

I am horrified and turn away. Yet when I look back, the car is gone, and only the man who had the knife remains. I'm sure I must have been mistaken and go off to do something else. I look back at the window and there he is, looking into my mother's front window! Apparently I have witnessed something nefarious, and the man behind it wanted to know more about me.

I grabbed the phone beside my mom's sofa and dialed 911. I couldn't get through! It was terribly frustrating and scary. I hung up and redialed, over and over. By the time the police finally showed up, he was gone.

Time is telescoped and I'm testifying in court against the man I now know stabbed (but didn't kill). I'm telling my story, reporting what I witnessed, and am very frustrated and embarrassed because the defense attorney makes me look like I'm lying.

I wake up feeling unsettled, wondering why no one was there to help at the time, and why no one believed me in court, and how of all people Burt Reynolds ended up being the perp's dad.

According to dreammoods: The knife crime may indicate feelings of inadequacy or defensiveness … not being able to get through to the police suggests I "have yet to acknowledge my own authoritativeness in a situation" … court could represent a situation that brings me "distress and worry."

No word on the meaning of a cameo by Burt Reynolds.

Because the dream is set in my mother's house, because I am witnessing the action and not the catalyst, I suspect this is about my weird sister's weird but blissfully brief return home.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Permission to whine, please

My mother and older sister have a complicated relationship. They always have. I could go into a lot of detail, but I'll spare you. Quick explanation -- each is disappointed in the other.

My sister, barely a year older than I, never felt my mother gave her enough attention. Not when we were babies, not when we were teenagers, and not now. She has been a colicky, restless baby, a troubled teen and a calamitous adult in an attempt to gain my mother's undivided attention. Unfortunately, my mother has two other children, so she has always been unable to fill my sister's bottomless need for maternal love. I also have to admit that the older we become, the less attractive my sister's quest for attention becomes.

For her part, my mother does not approve of my older sister's parenting abilities. Sis' oldest child, her son, is the apple of my mom's eye and it bothers my mother that my sister is never satisfied with him or his accomplishments. Sis' youngest child, her daughter, is a cutter who has run away and attempted suicide. This has broken my mother's heart.

So why does this incite me to whine?

Most of the time, unless my sister is doing something directly to me, I try to ignore/avoid/forget her. We're in our 50s now, and this sibling rivalry is beyond old. My sister and I live 2000 miles apart, and it's easy for me to rise above the fray and just go on with my own life.

But every once in a while, like now, I am forced to listen to my mother rhapsodize and glow about my older sister. Right now it's this man (but in the past it's been "that man" or "this job" or "that new house" or "the new baby" ...) who will make it possible for my sister to stop lying, become unselfish, and forget her troubles c'mon, get happy.

Listening to this is hard because this time won't be any different than 2001, or 1997, or 1992, or 1988, or … My older sister will do something hostile or stupid or just plain nuts that will break my mom's heart once again. And now that my mom's heart is nearly 75, I really wish this wouldn't happen, and I really, really don't want to hear about it. Not my mom's steadily escalating hopes, and certainly not the sudden crash when reality and/or my older sister's true nature rears its ugly head once more.

But I keep my mouth shut. Much as I want to whine, I don't. (Except to this blog, of course.) This dance is really between my mom and my older sister. They began it before I was born, after all. When I'm forced to think about it, I'll try to remind myself that my mom is, after all, a woman. As flawed as she is strong, facing the end of her life as best she can, just as she raised me the best she could.

And look how well I came out!

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing A to Z


A
• Are you available? Depends on who is asking.
• What is your age? 51.
• What annoys you? People who take up too much space. Why does your briefcase deserve it's own seat on the train? Did you buy a ticket for it? And why is your iPod and water bottle taking up valuable bench space in the locker room?

B
• Do you know anyone named Billy? My beloved cat. He was a gigantic, purebred ragdoll (similar to this handsome gent). A gentle, melancholy soul, I miss him every day.
• When is your birthday? November 22.
• Who is your best friend? The one who is running in the Bolder Boulder tomorrow!

C
• What's your favorite candy? It changes. Right now, Butterfingers.
• Crush? It changes. Right now, BROOOOOOOOOCE.
• When was the last time you cried? Watching Marley & Me last week.

D
• Do you daydream?: All day, every day. Just call me "Sleepy Jean."
• What's your favorite kind of dog? Shelter rescue
• What day of the week is it? Why do you want to know? Do you think I was hit in the head with a hockey puck?

E
• How do you like your eggs? Over easy.
• Have you ever been in the emergency room? Yes. Though not in about 10 years.
• Ever pet an elephant? Not only petted him, I rode him! At the San Diego Zoo. Great fun, but not comfortable.

F
• Do you use fly swatters? No. I have three cats. Airborne bugs don't stand a chance.
• Have you ever used a foghorn? No.
• Is there a fan in your room? Yes.

G
• Do you chew gum? No.
• Do you like gummy candies? No.
• Do you like gory movies? No.

H
• How are you? Lazy
• What's your height? 5'2
• What color is your hair? Reddish brown

I
• What's your favorite ice cream? Mint chocolate chip
• Have you ever ice skated? Yes, and I suck at it.
• Ever been in an igloo? No

J
• What's your favorite Jelly Bean? The green ones
• Have you ever heard a really hilarious joke? Yes
• Do you wear jewelry? Two rings, wristwatch and earrings

K
• Who do you want to kill? Right now, no one. Amazing, huh?
• Have you ever flown a kite? No.
• Do you think kangaroos are cute? Yes.

L
• Are you laidback? At home, yes. At work, no.
• Lions or Tigers? Why the capitalization? Are you asking about the critters or the sports teams?
• Do you like black licorice? No.

M
• Favorite movie as a kid? Mary Poppins
• Ever shopped at Moosejaw? No.
• Favorite store at the mall? Carson's. (Or Bergner's, depending on where you live.)


N
• Do you have a nickname? Goodness, I have many. My friend Chad bestows and revises them easily.
• What's your favorite number? 7
• Do you prefer night or day? No

O
• What's your one wish? To be peaceful
• Are you an only child? No
• Do you like the color orange? Sure

P
• What are you most paranoid about? Suffering through an airplane crash
• Piercings? One on each ear
• Do you know anyone named Penelope? Not anymore. (The one I did know died.)

Q
• Are you quick to judge people? I can be. Not my best quality.
• Do you like Quaker Oats? Yes.
• Know anyone that makes quilts? No.
• Do you think you're always right? Think? No. I'm POSITIVE.
• Do you watch reality TV? Well, the Jon & Kate marathon is on right now.
• Reason to cry? Sad critters.

S
• Do you prefer sun or rain? Sun
• Do you like snow? Yes
• What's your favorite season? Autumn

T
• time is it? After noon
• What time did you wake up? 7:30

U
• Can you ride a unicycle? No.
• Do you know anyone with a unibrow? I can't think of anyone right now, but I'm sure I do.
• Uncles do you have? 2.5. (My aunt married a man I've never met, so he's .5)

V
• What’s the worst vegetable? Broccoli
• Did you ever watch Veggie Tales? No
• Ever considered being vegan? No

W
• What's your worst habit? Lazy, lazy, lazy
• Do you like water rides? Yes
• Ever been inside a windmill? No

X
• Have you ever had an x-ray? Yes
• Ever used a Xerox machine? Yes

Y
• Do you like the color yellow? Yes
• What year were you born in? 1957
• Do you yell when you're angry? Of course not. (Tee hee)

Z
• Do you believe in the zodiac? I'm firmly on both sides
• What's your zodiac sign? Scorpio
• When was the last time you went to the zoo? Two years ago

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Behold my downfall

Each packet is only 90 calories of airy, salty goodness. Thing of it is, there are 6 packets to a box, and today I've eaten all 6. I must never buy these again.

Zach is gonna be a babe someday

Zach is a towheaded preschooler who accompanied his mother into the women's locker room, and was promptly ignored by her. He was wandering about, a towel tied loosely (like thisclose to why bother) around his waist, bored. He stopped next to me, watching intently as I blow dried my short mop. He intercepted the dryer as I moved to put it back in the holder. I watched as he began blowing his own hair dry while admiring his reflection because I wanted to make sure he didn't accidentally put the dryer on "hot" and burn himself. Then I moved back to my locker to put my shoes and socks on. He was still within my sight, though.

I found out his name was Zach when his mother started calling out to him, finally inquiring as to where he was. He didn't answer, of course. I don't know if he couldn't hear over the hum of the dryer, or if he was too entranced by his own reflection, but Mom went unanswered. I was surprised that she didn't just come looking for him. But I didn't see her come around until I was done packing up my gym clothes! She was fully dressed, fully made up, ready to go, and seemed pissed that he was still mostly naked ... but with truly terrific blow dried hair.

How did she know I wasn't a perv, watching her son? How could she be sure he didn't slip on the wet tile? Get an unexpected sex ed class watching strange women dress? Or scorch his sensitive little skull with the blow dryer? She couldn't. Maybe I'm over protective because I'm barren spinster, but it was everything in me not to bark at that mom. If she's not going to watch him, to keep him with her, why not just send him into the men's locker room?

Any little boy who is so into doing his hair is going to be a heartbreaker some day.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Hot Fun in the Summertime

1. Is summer your favorite season? Why? No. I enjoy that the days are longer, but I really don't do heat well. People who whine about Chicago winters forget how humid and brutal Chicago summers can be.

2. Do you exercise more in the summer because you wear less clothing? I plan on exercising more and the less clothing does have an impact. Not because I look forward to showing more skin, but when I workout at lunchtime less clothes means it's easier to get dressed and I can make it back to work faster.

3. Do you enjoy tanning or are you more concerned about the dangers of basking in the sun? I'm a very pale old gal, and I don't tan, I only burn. And yes, I am very wary of sun damage.

4. You are on the beach when a waiter appears for your drink order. What do you ask for? Strawberry margarita. With salt. Thank you.

5. Do you camp in the summertime? No. I'm not one for camping.

6. What was your favorite summer vacation as a kid? I enjoyed our trip to Washington DC when I was 8. I especially enjoyed the view from the top of the Washington Memorial.

7. Do you enjoy sleeping outdoors? No.

8. Do you throw a summer barbecue every year? No. I don't have a balcony or a yard of my own. But, to be honest, even if I did, I wouldn't throw a barbecue.

9. Have you ever been to a nude beach? If yes, what did you think? Not a nude beach but a swimsuit-optional hotel pool. I was surprised (and a little disappointed) by how not sexy it was.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Let's Hear It for Me!

It's only the 22, and I have already met my exercise goal of 13 workouts in May! I'm celebrating, toasting myself with a mimosa, because I deserve it. I feel very accomplished. I will surpass my own fitness goal and when I weigh myself at the end of the month, I am confident I will weigh less than I did at the beginning.

I'm also celebrating that it's been easier than I dreamed it would be. In the recent past I allowed myself to be confused by all the information out there. (Are carbs good or bad? How much protein do I need? Is it fat or trans fat I must avoid?) If I had understood how simple the basic tenants really are -- move more, eat less -- I would have done this ages ago!

Who knew?

When I was a kid, Bill Kurtis was Chicago's premier anchorman. He was known for the hard news -- he let channel 7 do The Happy Talk. He brought a lot of important stories into our living room, including the 1968 Democratic Convention, The Tylenol Murders, Richard Speck's trial, the term of Chicago's only female mayor, Jane Byrne and the ascent of Harold Washington.

Which is why his AT&T Laptop Connect commercials with Michael Phelps, Andy Roddick and especially Floyd Mayweather are such a surprise. Bill Kurtis is funny!

Speaking of the President


President Barack Obama bends over so the son of a White House staff member can pat his head during a family visit to the Oval Office May 8, 2009. The youngster wanted to see if the President's haircut felt like his own. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What the fu...

Thursday Dick Cheney gave a speech on national security, timed to begin right after President Obama finished an address on the same subject so that Cheney could get equal, unfettered network coverage.

Why? There is only one Pope, only one Heavyweight Champion of the World, and one President at a time. Today the President is Barack Obama. Why should Cheney's thoughts be given the same authority? Dick Cheney not only isn't President, he never was President.

I don't want to hear about Cheney's national security cred. Bush-Cheney had been in office for more than 8 months when Al-Queda hit the World Trade Center. Cheney wasn't protecting me when those planes were headed for the Twin Towers.

I don't want to live in a torture state. Neither do 240,000 of my neighbors who stood beside me last November in Grant Park, when we listened to Barack Obama's acceptance speech. Nationally Barack Obama won 365 electoral votes. The country wants to turn the page on the fear-mongering and the arrogance of the last eight years.

This man personifies fear-mongering and arrogance. Why can't he just borrow a page from Mondale and Quayle and shut up?

If I were to steal a meme …

… it would be from Kwizgiver!

If I were a direction I’d be… left-to-center
If I were furniture I’d be… my green sofa
If I were a liquid I’d be… Classic Coke
If I were a sin I’d be… sloth
If I were a gem/stone I’d be… lapis
If I were a metal I’d be… aluminum
If I were a tree I’d be… a maple
If I were a fruit I’d be… a grape
If I were a flower I’d be… a snapdragon
If I were weather I’d be… sunny, dry, and never over 75º
If I were a musical instrument I’d be… a piano
If I were an element I’d be… wind
If I were a color I’d be… green

If I were an animal I’d be… an okapi (isn't she great?)

If I were a sound I’d be… a cat's purr

If I were a lyric I’d be… "Shall I wait a lonely lifetime? If you want me to, I will." ("I Will" from The White Album)


If I were a song I’d be… "The Authority Song" by John Mellencamp
If I were a music type I’d be… pop
If I were a perfume/cologne I’d be… Lovely
If I were a feeling I’d be… rolling with it
If I were a book I’d be… a biography
If I were food I’d be… a cheeseburger in paradise
If I were a city I’d be… beside an ocean or a Great Lake
If I were a taste I’d be… cinnamon
If I were a scent I’d be… light and powdery
If I were a word I’d be… gubernatorial, because it's so much to say
If I were a verb I’d be… laughing
If I were an object I’d be… a freshly-sharpened pencil
If I were a piece of clothing I’d be… jeans
If I were a body part I’d be… a foot, feeling pretty after a pedi
If I were an facial expression I’d be… amused
If I were a cartoon character I’d be… Bugs Bunny (or Bullwinkle)
If I were a movie I’d be… a tearjerker
If I were a geometrical figure I’d be… a rectangle
If I were one of the 4 seasons I’d be… autumn
If I were a sentence I’d be… "But see, here's the thing."

If you play along, let me know so we can compare answers.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

THURSDAY THIRTEEN #109 -- The Diet Edition


THIRTEEN FOODS
I CAN ENJOY REGULARLY

& STILL LOSE WEIGHT



I had been going about this whole weight loss thing all wrong. I tried giving up "bad" foods I loved, but I have no will power. I tried working out more often, but I often couldn't get away from my desk at lunchtime and felt like a loser, doomed to being fat, unfit and unhealthy.

Then this past month, two amazing things happened!

First I joined another gym (so I can work out at home as well as downtown) and spent time with a personal trainer. She showed me how to exercise correctly and efficiently -- something I hadn't been doing, which is why my workouts weren't producing positive results. (Duh.) In just a month I have found that I now need to belt my jeans and my shoulders no longer ache all the time. (The latter is thanks to lat pulls and the rowing machine.)

Then I began tracking what I ate at The Daily Plate (www.livestrong.com/thedailyplate). I cannot tell you how much I love, LOVE this site! You tell it what you eat, it tracks the calories, fat, sodium, protein and fiber intake for you. I have learned that to lose weight, I don't need to give up any food that I love, I just have to keep track of how much of it I've eaten. This site is free and it's wonderful. Over the last 30 days I have gone over my calorie allotment 7 times, yet I've still managed to lose 3 pounds.

So it's not really a diet. I'm developing a new way of living, moving and eating. I feel good and I'm enjoying it. And I'm thrilled that I'm still able to consume all of the following (in moderation, of course):

1) Coca Cola Classic (OK, so I still guzzle it)

2) McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese

3) Bud Light

4) Peanut butter

5) Spaghetti with meat sauce

6) Five Guys Famous Burgers and sometimes Hot Dogs

7) Mimosas

8) Battered shrimp

9) Screwdrivers

10) Ribeye steak sandwich

11) Frito's

12) Bacon and eggs

13) A big Au Bon Pain chocolate chip cookie

I admit that by tracking what I eat, I have begun eating better, too. It's just a natural side effec of monitoring what kind of fuel I put into my tank. There's a lot of oatmeal and rice cakes on my Daily Plate now. I drink more milk and water, too. But that wouldn't make for an interesting post, would it?

To participate yourself, or to look up more TT participants,
visit the new hub (thursday-13.com).



Today is a better day

We had a good meeting with the client this morning.

Our office building had a fire drill and this time the fire captain didn't yell at me. (Last time I got scolded for bringing a can of Coke into the stairwell, thereby placing all my coworkers in peril of slipping if I spilled.)

I can relax, knowing that my older sister is leaving town today. She's just so much drama.

While I whole-heartedly support Adam for American Idol, I have made peace with idea of Kris.

My best friend resurfaced briefly to reassure me he's fine, even though his beloved dog may be facing her final illness. (Even when pets grow to be as old as she is, no owner has an easy time coming to grips with the inevitable.)

Over a 160+ game season, one Cub loss to the Cards isn't that bad.

I unearthed Beatles 65, and as long I've got the Lads, how bad can life be?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Unsettled

I'm in a strange mood. Work was stressful today, but then again, I'm in advertising, so stressful should be the norm. I was short-tempered with my coworkers because we were making a rather simple assignment needlessly complicated. Had a decent workout at lunch, but that didn't improve my mood.

I watched American Idol, but it wasn't as exciting as I wanted it to be. Tuned into the Cubs vs. Cards -- one of baseball's great rivalries -- but I can't lose myself in it.

I'm uncomfortable, unsettled, uneasy. Can't relax, can't focus.

Oh well. If I can't relax, can't unwind, I can take a Xanax. I really don't take them often, but the fact of those pills helps. It's comforting to know I won't come completely unglued.

New spiky haircut in glorious color

This is how it really looks, after a day at the office and a trip to the health club, where it responded in its own way to your basic locker room humidity. Of course I'd prefer it if my layers didn't turn into cowlicks or wings, but hey, such is life. I like it still.

Why the sunglasses? Because as soon as I post this, I'm logging off and going home! It's been a crazy day and I can't wait to get home to my Cubs and the American Idol finale!


That was weird

So I went to dinner with my mother, my lunatic older sister and her new husband, who looks so eerily like our dad that I wanted to page a Freudian shrink right there on the spot.

Now you would think that the reason my older sister came in would be to check on our mother, who has been ill. And, to be charitable, I'm willing to credit that as part of the reason. Then there's the facade she's trying to maintain for her new husband's benefit -- the fantasy of being the hub that holds our family together, even though none of us likes her that much. Ok, whatever.

But the BIG reason for the trip was to ask me, face to face, in front of her husband and our mother and God and everybody, whether I would be willing to administer her children's inheritance should she and new hubby die at the same time. She apparently has a very large life insurance policy and doesn't want her kids to touch that money until they each reach the age of 32. (They are 21 and 19 respectively.)

She and her new husband are worried that, if they died together, his kids would try to take her kids' money and vice versa. She believes that his brother and I are the logical choices to watch over all this, especially because she knows I'd "fight" if anyone tried to take anything that belonged to her children.

Well, yes, I would. I hate bullies and have a highly evolved sense of fair play. But I wouldn't fight for her kids anymore than I would for anyone else's. I don't like her and I barely know them.

But since I responded in the affirmative, it made my older sister happy and my mother appeared proud that we were playing nicely. Plus Sis and The Hubs bought me dinner (I had jumbo shrimp). So I guess in all it was a successful, albeit weird, evening.

Monday, May 18, 2009

At least there's no Cub game tonight. No AI, either.

So what the hell. Why shouldn't I stop by my mother's house tonight to visit with my older sister? She's only in from Los Angeles until Wednesday.

Because my older sister is psycho and I don't like her.

But spending a little time with her tonight will make my mom happy. And it will save my older sister embarrassment. She got married again recently and wants her new husband to think she's an integral part of a family that loves her. If I don't make an effort to see her, she may have to explain the unpleasant truth to him.

How often do you get the chance to do something this inexpensive that can spare another person discomfort? Of course, let's face it, I might not be this Christian and giving and selfless if there was a game tonight, or if American Idol was on Mondays instead of Tuesdays.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What made up my day?

One hour spent with my personal trainer

15 sit ups ended our last session together

30 minutes getting a massage in the club's spa

Hot dog, fries and a bag of M&Ms to celebrate how fabulous I feel. (It won't kill me once in a while.)

Cub game and a nap

Now off to do two (or maybe three) loads of laundry

I should have done housework. This place is overrun by paper and that shower curtain liner isn't going to get less icky with time. Oh, well ...

He always makes me smile

Ron Santo just "sang the stretch," as we like to say at Wrigley Field. While his rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" is not the most tuneless one of the young season (Denise Richards will undoubtedly retain that dubious honor all year long), it was gravelly and off key. And completely delightful.

Ronnie, This Old Cub, is the face and spirit of the Chicago Cubs. A great third baseman (more than 300 homers and 5 Gold Gloves for fielding excellence), he's been very open with his struggles with diabetes (it's cost him both of his legs) and has raised tens of millions of dollars for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Currently he's the engaging, corny, and passionate half of WGN radio's broadcast team.

It was an privilege to watch him play, and a joy to listen to him through my headphones -- even if he's croaking "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

Sunday Stealing


Sunday Stealing: The 29'er Meme

1. What bill do you hate paying the most? My monthly contribution to my personal IRA. Technically it's an investment, not a bill. But these days it fills me with anxiety. Since I'm investing for the long-term, I'm trying to take advantage of Dollar Cost Averaging. But what if I'm wrong? That's the thing of it -- no one really knows what's going on with our economy.

2. Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner? The Cityscape Bar. It has floor-to-ceiling windows and offered beautiful views of the city everywhere we looked.

3. How many colleges did you attend? Just one. And I attended it fitfully, at best.

4. Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now? I'm wearing a nightshirt right now. If that counts, it was carefully chosen because it landed on top of the other nightshirts in my pajama drawer.

5. First thought when the alarm went off this morning? Sigh. It was a random sweet, sexy thought.

6. Last thought before going to sleep last night? I don't remember. (Sorry.)

7. What do you miss being a child? My grandpa. He had a big influence on me, and when I recall how loving he was, I wish he was here to tell me how he feels about how I turned out. (Also, if I was a child again, my mother would be young and healthy again.)

8. What errand/chore do you despise? It's not a regularly-scheduled chore, but I know it's time to switch out the shower curtain liner and doing that is such a drag ...

9. Have you found real love yet? Yes. Unfortunately it didn't work out.

10. What do you get every time you go into Wal-Mart? I never shop at Wal-Mart. There are too many kids there. Not that I don't like children, but when they're running about unattended, it makes my nuts! Aren't their parents worried that they could trip and get hurt, or break something, or worse, end up abducted? It genuinely upsets me. My best friend says I must be border collie because I have an overwhelming desire to round them up and keep them safe.

11. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual? To be completely honest, I don't know.

12. What famous person would you like to have dinner with? My answer to this question changes. Right now, the answer is Elizabeth Edwards. I have much to tell her and much to ask her.

13. Ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purpose? No. But this question intrigues me. What other purpose would it be used for? A former lover was amused by the my insistence on double birth control (I was in the Pill and I insisted he wear a condom, too) and teased me by bringing my fire extinguisher into the bedroom, asking me if I wanted to add pressurized nitrogen and chemical foam to the mix.

14. Somewhere in California you've never been and would like to go? I've been to LA, San Diego, San Francisco ... can't think of anywhere else I'd like to visit. Californians, am I missing something great?

15. At this point in your life would you rather start a new career or a new relationship? New relationship. It would be nice to be in a love relationship.

16. Do you have a “go to” person? Yes, but it's a different person for different crises.

17. Are you where you want to be in life? Sometimes. Depends on when you ask me. Right now? Yeah, sure.

18. Over the years, what about you do you think has changed the most? My waist. It's gone from well-defined to MIA.

19. Looking back at high school were they the best years of your life? No. NO! For the love of God, NOOOOOO!

20. Are there times you still feel like a kid? Yes.

21. Where was the hang out spot when you were a teenager? The Mall!

22. Who do you think impacted your life the most? I suppose my father, though the impact wasn't good in every way. (BTW, he would be observing his 76th birthday this month. I say "observing" because my poor dad wasn't much in to celebrating anything.) For the post dedicated to my dad, click here.

23. Was there a teacher or authority figure that stood out for you? My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Kessel. I loved her.

24. Do you tell stories that start with “when I was your age”? Yes.

25. What is the scariest thing that has happened to you as an adult? Last September, I almost got creamed by a cab.

26. What advice would you give to someone about to get married? Ask someone else for advice. I am certainly not a credible authority in this area.

27. What advice would you give someone starting their first job? Even the biggest city is really "a small world" when it comes to work, and behave as though you'll see all these coworkers again someday.

28. If you could go back and change one thing you did, what would it be?
I said something very cruel to someone, and I dearly wish I could take it back.

29. If you could go back and change one thing someone else did, what would it be? I wish my friend Kathleen wouldn't have switched jobs when she did. We worked at the same agency -- she got me this job -- and she was my best friend's boss. If she had remained a year or two more, he never would have been let go. I miss him terribly, and that lay off was a massive blow to his ego. (Of course, she would have someone else go instead, which would have been a blow to that person's ego ...)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

After 8:00? Really?

Where has today gone?

Got my hair cut. Visited with my mother. Let the Cubs take 10 years off my life (up 4-0 going into the 9th, squeaking by with a 5-4 victory). Read my new Entertainment Weekly. (More fun than going on Quicken and paying my 15th-of-the-month bills.) Dozed off on the sofa. Started watching the NCIS marathon on USA Network.

How can it really be after 8:00 when it feels like it's about 5:30? Weekends are too valuable to slip away like this!

Saturday 9


1. Who do you think is sexy? Oh, geez! My mind is a motel. I'm always fantasizing about someone! Right now, the the lucky man that comes to mind is Jon Hamm/Don Draper.

2. When does it become love? When he's the first one I think of when I open my eyes.

3. Are you a good dancer? No

4. What magazines do you read? Time, Newsweek, O. Allure, Glamour,US and People.

5. If you could have any name, what would you call yourself? Grace. Maybe I'd live up to it.

6. Have you ever ridden in a limo? If yes, when? To and from the O'Hare, every time I go. (They charge a flat airport rate, so they're easier to budget for than cabs that go on the meter.)

7. What is something you really like to do? Fantasize about Jon Hamm. Sigh.

8. Last chance: Who wins Idol, Kris Allen or Adam Lambert? I'm 100% Team Adam. But I'm not sure he'll win. In addition to his edgy stage persona, photos of him performing in drag have ended up on AOL's splash page. I wonder if America is ready for him.

9. If you had to, what animal would you choose to be? One of my cats. I'd love to have a tail.

Saturday 9: Do You Think I'm Sexy?

Friday, May 15, 2009

You and me, both, Sister!

This little girl expresses my mood perfectly. It's been raining so hard all day that the Cubs-Astros game was postponed. I really was looking forward to the distraction and diversion my team would have provided.

I didn't get to work out today, which leaves me grumpy because the world feels just feels a bit more right after I exercise.

I guess it's possible that I'm suffering from a touch of PBD, too.*

Oh well, I'll be leaving work soon. Maybe I can shake this ornery mood on the way home.

* Post-Boss Depression = the inevitable letdown that comes after having the E-Street Band rock you and enthrall you for more than three hours.

Why I don't watch ANTM

I realize a lot of people are hooked on this show. I am not among them. For I simply don't have the bandwidth! Not when I'm so devoted to American Idol, the Cubs and Grey's Anatomy. (Still reeling over last night's season finale!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thursday Thirteen #108 -- All Good


THIRTEEN POSITIVES ABOUT
THE GAL HERSELF

The idea for this post came from Kwizgiver, who listed things she was good at. Since so many of us concentrate on our faults and flaws and weaknesses and peccadilloes, it was a refreshing read. And so I am stealing it. I encourage everyone else to steal it. Looking at yourself objectively and liking what you see is a natural high.

1) I think fast on my feet. I never freeze up. It's funny, but when I'm under pressure I see things with greater clarity and the path is clear. It's a very helpful talent to have, especially in my chosen industry -- advertising, where deadlines and pressure are the norm.

2) I'm a good public speaker. I realize that many people are afraid of making presentations but it simply has never been an issue for me. I'm not perfect -- I have a tendency to speak too quickly. But I know how to put my audience at ease and I'm usually able to see my topic from their point of view, which makes it easy to anticipate and then field questions.

3) I work quickly. I'm a writer by trade, and words come easily to me. There are many, many writers who are more talented than I am, but to be honest, I don't know of many who are both as good and as fast. In an industry where we're often on deadline and billing by the hour, that has made me valuable. (At least until now. Let's hope management here continues to value this so I won't get laid off.)

4) I'm still curious and enthusiastic. There's always something new that grabs my attention and hangs on. Recently it's been First Lady Abigail Adams and blues singer Marcia Ball. Right now it's eating better and working out. I'm glad I'm not closed off to new things.

5) I'm good with kids and critters. I don't believe the actual phrase "Bless the beasts and the children" appears in the Bible, but no matter. The impatience I suffer with adults is absent with kids and critters. Naturally, the attention and affection I lavish on them has been returned to me tenfold.

6) I'm smart. I don't have very much school (didn't even make it to my Associate Degree) but when it comes to subjects I get (mostly politics and marketing), I'm pretty sharp.

7) I'm loyal. I stick. Cub fandom is good training for that.

8) I'm independent. I enjoy my own company and require little hand holding (most of the time).

9) I have a good sense of humor. Finding just about everything funny (or absurd) in one way or another protects me from ever really going under.

10) I believe. As Anne Frank said "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart." My faith in God and my fellow man, like my sense of humor, stops me from making Stoney End my permanent address.

11) I'm easy to talk to. I don't know why, really. I tend to interrupt a lot and talk over people in conversation. Yet it seems I'm often singled out as the "go to girl" when people are in trouble, personally or professionally.

12) Many things make me happy. Watching my cat Joey power nap. Singing with the oldies in the shower. Settling in for an I Love Lucy marathon. The world is filled with little joys just waiting for me to enjoy them.

13) I give good gift. I am very imaginative when it comes to gifting. When an old friend wanted to know what she and her sister could do to honor their father on the anniversary of his death, I came up with a list of ideas (the first being scathingly brilliant) in less than half an hour.

To participate yourself, or to look up more TT participants,
visit the new hub (thursday-13.com).

Baby, Take a Bow

Look what I received from Mimi, Queen of Bloggingham and author of Mimi Writes. She said that I "write from the heart" and my musings have made her life richer. That's a compliment any way you look at it. To receive it from Mimi makes it especially special. For she's a fearless blogger and a very good writer herself who has shared much with her readers -- as touching as she is funny, and her words stay with us.

Me and more than 20,000 close friends

We were all "Working on a Dream" last night. Yes, we were at that famous traveling rock revival meeting hosted by BROOOOOOCE!

For a man who turns 60 this year, Bruce Springsteen is in great shape. Oh, hell! What am I saying? If he was a man who turns 30 this year, Bruce would still be simply delicious. As my fellow fangirl Snarkela might say, Bruce deserves to be commended on delivering primo arm porn.

And he rocked. I miss hearing rock and roll, and The Boss had the cure for what ails me. He opened with "Badlands," for Christ's sake! But of course, he was more than that. With "The Rising," which always reminds me of how we pulled together after 9/11, "Land of Hope and Dreams," "American Land" and more, he reminded us of our responsibility to one another. Because we're all Americans, and that's big and it's special and it means something.

So he touched on it all: love, lust, redemption, longing and patriotism. There was so much JOY & HOPE in the United Center last night. The Gal was definitely in her element.

Above left is my fantabulous new Bruce t-shirt. (Such a deal! Only $20!) And now, here's last night's set list:

May 12, 2009
Chicago, Illinois
United Center

Badlands
Spirit In The Night
Outlaw Pete
She's The One
Working On A Dream
Seeds
Johnny 99
The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Raise Your Hand
Trapped
Candy's Room
Mony Mony
Waiting On A Sunny Day
The Promised Land
The Wrestler
Kingdom Of Days
Radio Nowhere
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Born To Run

(Encores)
Hard Times
Jungleland
Land Of Hope And Dreams
American Land
Dancing In The Dark
Rosalita

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Countdown Meme


Memeing so I won't get too excited about seeing Broooooooooce tonight ...

Name --

Five of your favorite songs: Thunder Road, No Surrender, Prove It All Night, I'm on Fire and Rosalita (This isn't distracting me from the Springsteen concert, after all.)

Four things in your purse, briefcase or glove compartment: In my purse you'll find my wallet, glasses, contact lens solution, contact lens case, and my BRUCE ticket (concert starts at 7:30 ...)

Three books you have read: The three on my Shelfari shelf at right (none even contain a reference to Bruce)

Two TV shows you try not to miss: Law & Order: SVU and American Idol (which I'm missing tonight because I'm seeing Bruce)

The last person you spoke to on the phone: The Walgreens pharmacist -- my prescription is ready for pick up. (Can't figure out how to tie my dermatologist to Bruce ...)

If you play along, let me know so we can compare answers (even if yours have nothing whatsoever to do with Bruce).

Snip, snip

I wore my hair short and dyed it red for decades. I had been cutting and coloring it for so long that I'd actually kinda forgotten what its natural state was. So I stopped dying it and let it grow. I'm happy with the color as God intended it, but the length ... Eh. My hair has become a high-maintenance mass of cowlicks and unruly curls and they have to go. This Saturday morning. Snip, snip. Bye bye.

My search for an example of what I want to show the stylist had me landing in KatieLand with both feet. I really like the no-muss, no-fuss style Katie Holmes wears. But she's much younger than I am. I was afraid I'd look tragically jeune fille.

Then I saw what that other Katie was up to. Katie Couric is older than I am, and she looks just fine.

So now I have a plan. I just wish I didn't have to wait until Saturday. Once I make up my mind about these things, I want to do them NOW.

Bad Andy

Back in 1957, a virtual unknown named Andy Griffith played a virtual unknown named Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes. His easy, "aw shucks" charm covers a dark heart and massive ego. Thanks to his natural talent and a knack for knowing what the public wants, Lonesome rises rapidly from a 2-minute radio curiosity to a national TV sensation, selling his loyal audience on everything from his sponsors' products to the candidates who bribe him. He's a complete, charismatic fraud.

This movie, A Face in the Crowd, was made years before Andy Griffith became Sheriff Andy Taylor and put Mayberry on the map. It's rattling to see him as a hard drinking, coarse, cruel womanizer and opportunist. I guess I forgot he was an actor, not a small-town lawman. And the comparison between Rhodes and a certain right wing radio commentator who today is drunk with his own power and importance is inescapable.

If you get a chance to see A Face in the Crowd, don't miss it. I'm watching it on TCM right now and am hooked.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oh, no you don't. Not again.

I was the first one to arrive at a meeting this afternoon. The second was the art director I work with most often. Just making conversation, I told her that I was getting my hair cut this weekend. I have tried it longer and it's just not working. After my workout today, it just went BOOOOINNNG -- curling this way and that.

She told me I just hadn't tried hard enough. I need to get a "better" cut, with layers. Then I could just add a little product and scrunch. Or maybe take a round brush and blow it dry. A "better" cut and the willingness to make my hair look nice -- that's all I need.

I do not intend to blow dry my hair every day twice a day -- once after my shower in the morning and then again after my workout. As my hair gets longer, I can't control the curls and cowlicks, and so it's got to go.

I also didn't ask for her opinion.

Last time the Art Director did this to me, she hurt my feelings. Then she told me that all I needed to be very nice looking was new clothes, new makeup and new hair. It left me feeling sad that I was so homely. Today I just remembered that it's my hair, seeing as it's growing out of my head and all, and so if I want it cut off, it goes. She'll just have to adjust.

Welcome my new addition

... to my workouts. The lateral pulldown. My shoulders are such a mess from years of hunching over a keyboard that these actually feel gooooood.

It's not just propaganda crap put forward in the fitness magazines: Adding to my workout repertoire really does make the time go faster, and leave me feeling better afterward. Today I did cardio (bike), lateral pulls, leg lifts and sit ups. If I get to the health club tomorrow, I'll try to remember to do the treadmill instead of the bike, and maybe some leg machines instead of the pulls.

It feels nice to have exercise as a meaningful part of my day again. Since I've been working with my personal trainer (we only have one session left), it feels less like drudgery and more like a gift to myself.

Monday Movie Meme

This week's movie topic is
Your First R Rated Movie


It was Serpico. I wasn't old enough to see it, so the drama of getting into the theater outweighed the drama on the screen. I'm told the movie had something to do with police and New York City and corruption, but you couldn't prove it by me. To my teeny bopper virginal mind, the real take-away was that you could actually have sex in a bathtub.

To play along yourself, or to compare answers with other bloggers, click here.

Me & the Boss -- Together again!



I'm seeing BROOOOOOOCE tomorrow. That would be Tuesday, the 12th. It will technically be tomorrow because as I write this, it's nearly 1:00 AM Monday morning.

I'm belatedly excited about tomorrow night because I got the ticket back in February. I was so focused on getting in to The United Center, so pleased with my seat (ground floor, and I paid face value, thank you very much!), that I kinda forgot about the reality of enjoying the show.

Here's the setlist for his recent concert (University Park, PA). I must not get too excited about those fabulously cool encores because he's been known to switch those up. The E Street Band is, at heart, a bar band. While I love the idea of hearing "Bobby Jean" and "Devil with the Blue Dress" live again, I'd also love to hear "Rosalita," "Expressway to Your Heart" (yes, they're covering that 1960s classic), "Mustang Sally," and "Thunder Road"* close the show.

Badlands
Out In The Street
Outlaw Pete
She's The One
Working On A Dream
Seeds
Johnny 99
The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Raise Your Hand
Ramrod
My Generation
Spirit In The Night
Waitin' On A Sunny Day
The Promised Land
The Wrestler
This Life
Radio Nowhere
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Born To Run

Hard Times
Jungleland
Land Of Hope And Dreams
American Land
Bobby Jean
Detroit Medley
Wooly Bully

To those of you who aren't Bruce fans, and who feel that I've been speaking in tongues, I apologize. I'll be okay once I'm in possession of a tour shirt. (Preferably this one.) Then perhaps I can cease what one Chicago critic called "bovine Broooocing."

* To my mind, the most romantic song ever written. Maybe it's because I'm scared and I'm thinking that maybe I ain't that young anymore. "Show a little faith, there's magic in the night." Sigh. Brooooce. Double-sigh.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday was cancelled


Deleted from my diet/exercise regimen, that is.

I've done very well at tracking my calorie intake and exercise at The Daily Plate at Livestrong.com (sample page shown above). I have been working out weekly with a trainer and have taken what I've learned and revised the way I exercise on my own. I am committed to getting stronger and healthier.

But I am not obsessed.

I got into this with the encouragement of my best friend, who is determined to finish the Boulder Bolder (a 10k race at the end of this month) in less than 60 minutes. I, however, am not training for a race. I'm changing the way I eat and move for a lifetime.

So if today I have a pair of mimosas at lunch with my mom (and I did), if I have eclairs and cheesecake and strawberry shortcake in the same day (and I did), if I take a cab from my front door instead of hoofing it to the bus stop (and I did), all is not lost. I will begin again tomorrow.

On second thought, I think I'll do a few sit ups before bed. I'm not obsessed, but I am motivated. A much better approach.

A Special Lunch for Mommy & Me


Today we celebrated Mother's Day. Because of my mom's recent illness, the day felt especially poignant and meaningful.

She loves, LOVES Barack Obama, often beginning her comments about him with, "Not since JFK … " So I got her the Time Magazine coffee table book about his campaign and inauguration, and her very own Barack Obama action figure. I also gave her a Subway gift card so she can treat my niece and nephew to lunch next time they come over. (Subway is several blocks up the street, so it will be good exercise for my mom and healthy for the kids.)

Then we went to a special Mother's Day brunch. It was fancier than her usual lunch haunts, with free mimosas for both of us (I drank hers while she had decaf) and a pair of complimetary roses for her. She went up to the buffet twice -- taking pork and dumplings the first trip and salmon and salad the second time. For dessert, we both had strawberry shortcake. It was great to see her eat and eat AND EAT!!! (My sister's family took her out to dinner yesterday, too!)

We talked a lot. When she was really sick and kind of out of it, she referred to everyone's pet (hers, mine, my sister's, my uncle's) by the name of her girlhood cat. She didn't remember doing that, but it didn't surprise her. She explained how much that cat meant to her, and why. I also heard tales about the other pets she and my uncle had while growing up.

Then we talked frankly about her illness. She has COPD and emphysema. She gets it now. She will always have to take special care of herself now, from here on out. Every day. It doesn't have to stop her from doing things she wants to do, but she will have to change her day-to-day life. She explained that she was in denial at first. She thought that if she resisted what the doctors told her, she wouldn't be letting her condition get to her. She realizes now it was crazy, but she was being honest and I appreciate that. It explains so much about her frustrating behavior after she came home from the hospital.

Most of all, she promised that we would do this again next year. That was her wonderful gift to me, even though Mother's Day is her day.

Sunday Stealing

1. What is on the walls of your room? Since I live alone, every room is my room. Thomas McKnight is my favorite artist, and I've got 3 of his prints displayed throughout my home.

2. What type of music do you listen to? Lately I've been listening to a lot of Bruce Springsteen since I'm seeing him this coming Tuesday. (Yea!)

3. What do you want more than anything right now? To be thin.

4. Do you get scared in the dark? I have, but not often.

5. What's you worst fear? Suffering in a plane crash.

6. If you could anything right now, what would it be? Talk to my best friend.

7. What’s the meaningful gift that you’ve received? My friend Kathleen gave me the press plate for the front page of the Chicago Tribune announcing Obama won.

8. Do you have a crush? Yes!

9. Who is your favorite celebrity? Favorite? Um … I'm Team Aniston. Does that count?

10. Could you fall in love with someone that you know must leave? Yes.

11. Share a favorite quote of yours. From Groucho Marx: "East is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does."

12. What’s your weakness? Complete lack of discipline.

13. Do you believe that we all have a soul mate? Yes.

14. What were you doing before Sunday Stealing? Putting clean towels in the bathroom.

15. What do you get complicated about the most? I can be pretty complicated all on my own, nothing/no one needs to "get" me that way.

16. What turns you off the most from a potential partner? Smoking

17. What is you worst habit? I'm a slob.

18. When was the last time that you were jealous? This past week.

19. Have you ever had a “friend with benefits?" Yes.

20. Do you use sarcasm? Use it for what?

21. At the moment, what’s your favorite song? "I Will." The Beatles

22. What is you favorite day of the year? My birthday.

23. Describe your love life. Non-existent

24. When was your last one night stand? I've never had one.

25. How many past lovers are too many? For what?

Sunday Stealing: The 2 for 1 Meme