Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a nice, fun holiday weekend. Out of respect for my friends who work retail, and out of respect for the human race, I decided not to go shopping on Friday. First of all, I'm not getting out of bed insanely early to stand around and hope to get one of a very few doorbuster items. Actually, to get those, you have to get in line around 11pm the night before. Forget that. I'm sleeping in. Second, they just didn't have anything I wanted.

I had a nice 5 day weekend. On Thanksgiving, we had duck instead of turkey. It was good, but greasy. Friday we watched Casino Royale, and I think it's probably the best Bond film ever. Daniel Craig is awesome as James Bond!

Over the weekend, I did some holiday baking. I made a couple batches of different cookies, which promptly went into the freezer so I wouldn't be tempted. I had two small cookies last night and had a stomach ache all night long. It's been so long since I had sugar and junk that my body can't handle it anymore. I'm looking forward to eating my salad and apple today to get back on track. I also made some Christmas presents for friends and family this weekend while watching a bunch of movies at home. All in all, quite a nice, relaxing weekend.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

So Long, Sprint!

We've had it with the dropped calls, the cross-connections, the poor customer service and the locked-out website. The last straw was when I couldn't make a call for 2 days without getting dropped and kicked into roaming, then when I went to the website, it wouldn't validate my password and instead of mailing it to me, it said to call customer service. Well, my phone won't frakkin' work!! How am I supposed to call?

So we drove to the Verizon store and talked to them for a long time. We ended up with two new phones and a discount to our service plan. Plus my new phone now has Bluetooth, and I like it a lot. Hrm, now how do I get my phone to display the length of the phone call?

Then we stopped by Kroger to pick up a couple things for Thanksgiving. I could handle the crowded aisles, but at the checkout, the guy in front of us was taking stuff away from his bill so it wouldn't cost as much, then he paid for some strawberry milk separately, then he paid for all the stuff he didn't get the first time. I was ready to strangle him. Time to avoid all stores now until January.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm done!

I'm done with the weight loss portion of my Medifast journey. I've lost 80 pounds in roughly 9 months, and I've inspired several other people to lose weight, either through Medifast or on their own. I have to say, I'm really happy with the results. I've gone from a size 20 to a size 10 (sometimes I fit into a size 8!). I can jog, and I actually enjoy eating plain salad with balsamic vinegar as a dressing.

I debated for a long time if I should put up my before pictures, because they are so incredibly awful. I avoided the camera whenever possible, and when I started, I knew I needed some before shots. But man, are they awful. Oh well, maybe they'll help inspire someone else to start. At the least, they'll inspire me to keep it off!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

It's Sunday

And I have discovered hell on earth. It's Burlington coat factory on a Sunday afternoon. I needed a couple of sweaters because I've been freezing lately. Must be the side effect of losing my insulation. Anyway, curse me for looking for cheap clothes, because I think I'll just shoot myself before I ever step foot in that store again. I hate going into places that automatically assume their customers are thieves. I really, really hate it when they say only bring in 6 pieces of clothing to try on. It's a huge pain when you're trying on different combinations, and then you have to get dressed again to go out and grab another six pieces of clothing.

And today, the cashier in our line must have been trying out for the slowest cashier west of the Mississippi. He probably would have won. I don't know how I kept from exploding after standing there watching him try to undo the theft tag and scan up some kids' clothes and it took him over 20 minutes and three phone calls to his manager. I would have gotten in another line except that as soon as we got in line, every other cashier went on break, and the lines got crazy long. I was proud of myself for not acting like a child and kicking the counter or making snide remarks under my breath. I only made one snarky comment about how long would it take when he made his third call for help. I'd have walked out if I hadn't already spent an hour in the damn store.

On the good side, I lifted tonight. My squats are getting nice and deep now, so I'm getting more flexible. Still having some balance trouble and some trouble finding the best place to position the bar on my back. Matt told me I need to work on pinching my back together to give the bar a shelf of muscle to rest on. I have to do something because right now, it's resting right on my shoulder blades, and there's no padding there. My back is all bruised up, and that was just with 135 pounds on the bar.

We've been watching the Ali G show on HBO, and I have to admit, the guy's a comic genius. Sometimes , it's painful to watch, but it's also funny. I don't know how he manages to get where he does and interview the people he does. He interviewed Boutrous Boutrous Gali, the former Sec-Gen of the UN. And he got him to say a rhyme about don't fight and listen to Bob Marly. Impressive. Donald Trump saw right through him and walked off. That was funny. Guess I'll have to try and see Borat. Everyone says it's hilarious.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cleaning house

Managed to get rid of 4 more bags of clothes that don't fit anymore. Donated them to a local women's shelter. Also took in 3 coats that were too big for me to wear anymore. No going back for me! Exercise is getting easier, or maybe I just didn't push myself hard enough. Only meant to do 20 minutes on the elliptical, but was able to go for 43 because I was watching an interesting show. And we cleared out some space on the DVD rack by selling back some games and DVDs we weren't going to watch anymore.

Cleaned out the back yard too. Took down the camo netting over the fish pond since the sun is getting weaker. I'm sure the lawn care crew will appreciate not having to duck when they walk under it.

Dinner was a yummy chicken Parmesan dish with my homemade canned spaghetti sauce. Turned out really well and the chicken was nicely spicy. I am so looking forward to cooking real food once again. I'm collecting recipes and making plans for what I want to cook. I have to come up with something fun and interesting for our Christmas potluck at work in a couple of weeks. Not sure what I want to take in, and they asked for people to donate door prizes, so I thought I might try to craft up something for that.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Training is fun

Been in a training class all week. Supposed to end on Thursday, then I found out I'm schedule (I think) for another training class Friday and Monday. Sheesh. At least this one is fairly interesting. All about evaluating contract proposals. Yeah, I didn't think it would be interesting, but I was wrong. Or maybe it's just more interesting than the craziness waiting back at work. Although I checked my email and nothing appears to have blown up or self-destructed, so it can't be that bad.

Been looking at something called Once A Month Cooking. You take one day to do a marathon cooking session and end up freezing dinners for a month. Not sure I'd do that, but freezing a couple weeks of breakfast and lunches would be handy. So I've been writing down ideas for sandwiches and other meals I could do like that. And they have to be healthy too.

My weight seems to be stabilizing, so I think it's time to start transitioning off Medifast. I'm ready to have some real food for a change. :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006


2 ouches today. First was finding a really great upgraded video card for my system. It was Neverwinter Nights' fault. It was running too slow and clunky on my system, and I found a great card for a terrific price. I have a GeForce 7900 now. Oooh, ahhhh. Now all my games run great, but I'm still optimizing the rest of my system.

The second ouch is purely physical. I smashed the ever-loving f**k out of my finger tonight while doing squats. Thank goodness I smashed it on a warmup set, so I only had the 45-pound bar in my hand. But I rammed my pinky finger nail between the bar and a J-hook in the rack. It's killing me. Who knew a pinky finger could hurt so much. Apparently, I could get rid of the pain if I'm willing to burn a small hole in my fingernail and lance the hematoma out. Not sure I'm ready to try that. We'll see how bad it gets.

I had more to say, but honestly, I can't remember it because my finger hurts too much. Oh, I officially have lost 80 pounds since I started on Medifast!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Heh. I just scrolled down to see the last time I posted. Almost 11 months ago, last December, when I was still lifting strong.

Well, since then, I've gone on a radical diet, lost 80 pounds, lost a lot of strength, and had an absolutely insane schedule at work for the past 2 months. I haven't lifting since June, maybe May. I just didn't have the calories for it. The last 2 weeks, I've started exercising again. I can actually run on the treadmill for 10 minutes without feeling like I'm going to keel over and die. I can do a pullup with only 40 pounds of assistance. My goal is to do one unassisted pullup. And to have sexy legs. Both of those will take a little bit of work.

I'm back to squatting and deadlifting with Matt and his group, but on Sunday nights now. He's busy with kids during the week, and my work schedule is too hectic to get away regularly. So I'm doing some light conditioning weights at the gym at work during lunch. I still don't have the calories to do big heavy workouts, but right now, I'm focused on losing weight and body fat. I can always get strong later.

I've also been learning a lot about lapidary this summer. I joined the Houston Gem and Mineral Society (HGMS), and I've been learning to cut and polish gemstones of various types. I gave a lot away when I visited family and friends, but that's okay. It gives me an excuse to make more of them. I've also learned to do wire wrapping for some of the cabochons, so I need to keep practicing that. That'll probably be some Christmas presents. :)

Other than that, the summer was pretty quiet. It was too hot to go out and do much. Now that it's November, we have the house open and it's nice to go outside and do stuff. A big change from living in Virginia.

I return

Yes, I let this languish in disarray for a long time. I was always thinking of what I should be writing, but I must confess, I found another journal site for a few months. But that's over now. It's you, baby, and it always has been, I promise.

Just to prove it, I'll link to my picassa web albums so I can show my friends all the interesting things I've been up to. Although I only have a few pictures up at the moment. It's hard work selecting the best pictures, compressing them, uploading them, captioning them and linking them. whew. Time to go have some chocolate protein pudding.

Oh, did I mention my big news over the summer? I lost 80 pounds! Yeah, that's right. 80 pounds gone, gone, gone. Actually, 100 pound from my highest weight. In one sense, it's cool. In another, it's sad. I should never have let it get that high, but I didn't know how to control it. Now, I think I have the answer. In another year, we'll see. I have to maintain that weight loss, but I'm motivated now. Wearing new, skinny clothes is much better than eating candy and junk food.

So let's see if I can figure out how to link Blogger and Picassa...
(hrm, well, the website is ...)
And this is what Picassa gave me as a link.

We'll try them both.