Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 223: Don't Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?

I love the process of getting ready for a glamorous event — a glass of cold Chardonnay by my side, my hot rollers plugged in, a gentle cloud of Poison (my scent of choice) wafting through my bedroom, usually some soft music playing, as I sit before my light-up Miss Clairol make-up mirror (which I've had since my teens) employing every make-up trick I know, many of them gleaned from my Way Bandy beauty book (anyone remember Way Bandy?) purchased on a long-ago shopping trip with Lady Darcy.

I will be very very lovely and glam for tonight's auction, but at the moment I'm still in my nightie, wearing footie socks (as my feet soak in lotion), my hair is in boingy curls all over my head (I don't brush it out till the very last minute), and I look pretty ridiculous. But my face is made up and lovely — I have faux cheekbones, and my very ordinary lips appear lush and full.

I love make-up tricks!

The auction officially starts at . . . crap, I should know this. But anyway, for me it starts at 4:30, when my glammiest church pals meet me in a Sunday school classroom to play with make-up and drink wine and have our auction pre-party. It's always tons of fun, and I can't wait.

Though, thanks to last night's over-indulgences, I may drink more seltzer than wine. Which is probably better for me on so many levels — a drunk auctioneer appears on no one's Successful Event Checklist.

Sexy Em and Handsome Jerry and I have been e-mailing all morning. Sexy Em has a giant cold sore in the middle of her face and says she's planning to stick a rhinestone over it. I told Handsome Jerry that I've prepared index cards of the items I'm "selling," and he replied, "I'm not going to use cards —
I'm going to be free and easy, probably going commando." It's going to be a lot of fun — and hopefully make a lot of money for the church!

I have a few butterflies but mostly I'm looking forward to it.

Breathing in, breathing out.


—Lady C

Day 222: PTO Board Meeting

Seven women. Hotties. Badasses.

In my living room.

Starting at 7:30.

Just ended.

Empty wine bottles . . . oh so many.

Lots of fun.

Also? Got some work done. Because I am a focused leader.

Also a little tipsy.

Tomorrow I'm an auctioneer.

Need to sober up. Drink water, coffee. Paint my nails. Get good night's sleep. Yes.

Off to do that.

Will post more. Tomorrow.

Has taken me a very long time to type this accurrrrately. The numeral eight kee8s showing up. Problem.

Sleep now. And hydrate. Will feel so so good tomorr8ow. I know it.

bye! I think. Yes.

—Lady C

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 221: Sleepy, Sweaty, Clunky, and Other Less-Famous Dwarfs

I just got home from zumba, hence the sweaty and clunky (the woman behind me is so graceful — her arms ripple gently through the air as we do our middle-aged suburban version of hot Latin dance moves. I asked her if she were a professional dancer and she laughed at me. She's just naturally that graceful. It's a little depressing, frankly), and I've been yawning all day, don't ask me why.

But hey — I'm a certified bartender! I passed my distance-learning course, and my final exam score was 100 percent. My certificate of bartending authenticity says nothing about my final exam score, so I will have to drop it into conversation myself. Frequently.

This bartender thing probably seems totally random to you, dear readers, but it's come up a dozen times in the past few weeks in the context of both my upcoming auctions (school and church). Our insurance policies require that we have such a thing on the premises, so there has been much scrambling to figure out what exactly a "certified bartender" is. And then, as I said, my hot pal Artsy Jenny found this course, and the rest is history. I am now an expert on the safe serving of drinks. Really, ask me anything.

(While I found the idea of an online bartending course kinda funny, I think it was actually pretty good — it sure covered a lot of material. Maybe that's why I'm exhausted — from all that learning. It's been awhile.)

In general, today was a day of much better decisions. Light breakfast, healthy lunch, light dinner, zumba. (And even after yesterday's excess, my weight didn't go up that much — which is amazing!)

Tired now. Must do some dishes, read to Martini, and sink into the tubby.

To all a good night!

—Lady C

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 220: Good Results, Bad Decisions

Welcome, new readers! And thank you for the lovely notes you sent me today. I very much appreciate having you with me on my long, slow, and sometimes incredibly monotonous journey.

(I gave my male best friend, Bride Boy, the URL a month or so ago, and he started reading from the beginning, e-mailing me periodically to complain that my blog was making him late for work. "I'm in November!" he wrote. "You're at 266! I'm so proud of you!" . . . Yeah. I stayed at that weight through February, four endless months of plateau, and I still see it on occasion, if I dine on a stick of butter with a side of salt shaker.* Long. Slow. Monotonous. But — say it with me now! — it's a journey.)

So last night, as reported, I zumba'ed my little heart out, and I rarely eat much dinner on zumba nights, and then I sweat some more in a searingly hot bath, and because of all this my weight is always lower than normal on Wednesday mornings. But even though I know it's not "real," I still enjoy seeing that excitingly low number — a taste of the loss to come.

And there it was today, in all its faux splendor: 256! Woo! Well worth celebrating, right? And what better way to celebrate than by making some bad decisions!!
  • Bad Decision #1: Have lunch at a restaurant!
  • Bad Decision #2: Do my local errands by car instead of on foot!
  • Bad Decision #3: Make no time for exercise!
  • Bad Decision #4: Have dinner at a restaurant!
  • Bad Decision #5: With wine!
  • Bad Decision #6: And dessert!
Truly, I can think of nothing particularly healthy I did today. Which is ridiculous. I'm like a toddler — so excited by my present of big shiny weight loss that I promptly break it.

OK, I'm not winning any metaphor trophies for that one, but you get the idea.

Whatever. It's done. I'll floss before I go to bed, and I'll turn my light off by 11 (I have to get up early tomorrow) — what else can I do? It's done.

Tomorrow is another day.**

It's also a free-ish day for me; I have church in the a.m. and zumba in the p.m. and a nice empty stretch in between. My packet for the writing grant is currently in the hands of my writers group, so nothing more to do there (for now!), and I don't expect any paying work to come in, so guess what? I'm going to become a certified bartender!

Artsy Jenny found an online course that will certify us as bartenders in four hours (minimum) for twenty bucks, and we are going for it — and then we will hire ourselves out as hot bartendrixes and make a million dollars. I am very excited.

Nothin' but good times ahead!***

Sweet dreams, y'all.

xx Lady C

* Mmm!

** Thank heavens I don't have to pay royalties every time I use that line.

*** Or that one.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 219: Boom!

Quick post tonight, I gotta read some Catching Fire to Li'l Martini before New Girl starts, but here are two cool things:
  • Tonight at zumba, the Italian Spitfire taught us a new routine, to "Boom! I Got Your Boyfriend," which has a very aggressive in-your-face move during the title lyrics, and she asked me to demonstrate it with her. Apparently I got into character a little too much, because when I "boomed" her, she leaped back in terror. The class loved it. It's a fun song. I ended up partnering with one of our token guys, a good sport, and he said to me, "Can we possibly change the lyrics?" So then I had an awesome time riffing on, "Boom! I got your girlfriend / She's never been so satisfied / Boom! I got your girlfriend / And she ain't coming back." It was a RIOT.
  • Also at zumba, an older lady I love because she also can't reach her foot from behind (like me — and I think we're the only two in the class) said to me, "WHAT are you doing? You look FANTASTIC."
Finally. Finally! My weight loss/body re-shaping is beginning to show!!!! And that is very motivating.

I have a whole new attitude about the glacial pace of this enterprise. Honestly, I am okay with it (as much as I love losing weight rapidly!). I keep hearing horror stories of people who lose a ton and gain it back, and I have to believe that slow slow incremental steps, nothing horrifyingly stringent, is the way to take it off and then keep it off. But only time will tell. And I am still so very far from where I hope to be, it's a tad ludicrous to be worrying about keeping it off!

Off to find my boy. And coffee.


—the shapely Lady C

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 218: Odds and Ends

I feel like I was busy all day but didn't get much accomplished. I hate that.

Well, let's see if it's really true.

My shirts with the gappy armpits are all pinned, and I'm just about to head upstairs and sew them while I watch an episode of Medium.

==> Related accomplishment: I found out how to return a disc to Netflix when the mailing envelope has disappeared, as mine seems to have. (I suspect it blew into the trash can, which Martini emptied on Thursday. In other words: 's gone baby gone.)

==> Related accomplishment: I pinned four shirts and a bathing suit with loose straps.

We had a lovely dinner, half of it cooked by Mimosa: orange-crusted chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, greens with onions, fresh cantaloupe. (I asked her what she'd like as a side dish, suggesting rice, pasta, couscous, quinoa . . .? And she said, hopefully, "Mashed potatoes? But I bet we don't have any . . ." And I remembered that I hadn't exercised yet, so I trucked down the hill to Trader Joe's.)

==> Related accomplishments: Exercise! (I also went to UPS and Walgreen's, so all told I walked for about 35 minutes, uphill and down.)

==> Related accomplishment: I now have all the pieces for my parents' anniversary present, which I'll mail tomorrow or Wednesday.

Other accomplishments, not related to anything:
  • Secured two letters of recommendation for my writing packet. (Awesome!!)
  • Wrote and mailed two sympathy cards.
  • Figured out whether Li'l Martini can go to his dream camp (answer: yes!) and what week he's going and which of his buddies will be there then (answer: Mr. Critic, probably not Nonstop. Martini's happy).
  • Got my PTO co-president to write our newsletter piece this week. Yay, one thing off my list.
  • Made the "representations" for three virtual things I'm selling in the school auction.
  • Made an appointment for my handyman to come fix our broken closet door, which has been driving us all crazy. (I kept waiting for something else to break, so he wasn't coming out just for that. But I cannot live with that wretched door another day.)
What I didn't do (bad Lady C):
  • Dust.
  • Lift weights.
  • Write anything for my packet.
  • Keep my vow not to yell. (Martini pushed me to and then over my limit. I am not proud of it.)
What else I didn't do (good Lady C):
  • Drink alcohol.
  • Eat to excess.
You win some, you lose some.

Tomorrow I'll be up at dawn to get Martini to school for math review and make sure Mimosa has a good pre-MCAS breakfast, then let in the handyman at 8 a.m. — and after that, I will devote my day to writing. I plan to have a first draft of my packet ready to send my writers group by the end of the day. We'll see!

Off to sew. And reap. Hee.

—Lady C, pioneer girl

Day 217 (Week 31): Working Solo

(Yes, I'm posting a day late. Yesterday was lost to migraine, exhaustion, anxiety. Something had to give, and it ended up being dinner with Brunie [weep!] and blogging.)

Our church auction is a week away, and now the Auctioneer Team leaps into action. Saturday's task was to cull 12–15 "hot" items from the auction catalogue for our Live Auction, Sunday's task was to perform our final auction skit and fine-tune the "Live list," and this week's task is to get very very comfortable with what we're selling and to dream up some snappy patter.

And now I have major stage fright and a serious attach of the butterflies.

. . . which seems to have helped my weight-loss effort:
  • Today's scale reading: 258 !!
Happy kitten, c'est moi.

But here's today's topic of reflection: Though my team comprises my very best friend at church (Sexy Em) and someone I didn't know well but like a lot and whose comedy chops I admire greatly (Handsome Jerry), I am not particularly enjoying the process of working together, and I finally figured out why.

All three of us are very similar in the way we present ourselves — likable, funny, willing to be a clown — and yet all three of us have a hidden backbone of steel. We take the process of delivering comedy, and our belief in our own comedic skills, very seriously. And what's been happening as we work "together" to create these three skits (with me and Handsome, not so much Em) is less about collaboration and more about clinging to our own contributions and refusing to change them, while at the same time pretending that we really are working very collaboratively. Handsome has actually said the words, "However you want to do it is fine with me — but I think we should . . ." and then repeats the original text he proposed, with no changes. Over and over.

It's been — odd.

Both partners also frequently say to me, "Don't worry about it." Which, of course, makes me insane. If you don't want me to worry about the thing that I am clearly worrying about, give me some data — some factual information that addresses the source of my worry. And if you can't do that, then back off and let me worry!

I know that I am no one's dream team member. I am anxious and impatient and a perfectionist. When I am going to perform something, I rehearse it until it is as close to perfect as I can get it. Handsome Jerry told me that he was the same way — except, he isn't. Our "rehearsals" were more like conversations about what we were planning to do. And the skits were fine — and I do realize the stakes here are very very small, I'm not insane — but again, it's not how I would have done it.

When I work with other people, I need to relax my standards — I know this.

Which means that, for the most part, I'd rather not work with other people!** I really am best at solo projects.

My church, though, sees me as this great leader, one who can attract and inspire others, and they keep trying to get me to head up large projects — whereas I just want to sit in the corner and take minutes. (Hysterically funny, blindingly accurate, astonishingly well-written minutes, beautifully formatted, and available to all within 48 hours of the meeting. Because that's how I roll.)

Oh, well. It's almost over.

A much less busier week than the weeks previous lies before me. My biggest goal is make a significant dent in the package I must put together for a writing grant I'm applying for. I'm unlikely to win, but still — it would be such an awesome thing, and the timing is perfect. More on this later.

Other goals for today include dusting, taking in the armpits of several shirts (including my super-cute outfit for the auction!), downloading a million photographs for Mom and Dad, whose 51st wedding anniversary nears, writing two sympathy cards, and getting some exercise. The weird springy heat wave seems to have passed, and we're back to typical chilly March weather again. Which, I have to say, I find reassuring.

I'll write more tonight!

—Lady C, soloist

** There are of course exceptions to this, and many of you know that I love working with you — whether we were a perfect fit from the beginning or have learned how to deal with our personal challenges to working together. All is well.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day 216: Diggin' Mr. Darcy

Just got home from a production of Pride and Prejudice, plus I had a crepe with Nutella, bananas, and toasted almonds, and spent the evening with two dear old friends I rarely get to see. A pretty darn perfect evening, in other words.

But today was a blue day, I'm not sure why. And right now I'm deeply exhausted and need to get to bed.

My weight's been all over the place this week, so who knows how Weigh In will go. We'll see.

More later.

—Lady Chardonnay-Darcy

Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 215: Not a Treat Day But Close

I had vowed that I would sleep in today, but my traitorous eyes popped right open at 7 a.m., my usual wake-up time, even though that meant I'd only had about six hours of sleep. Whatever, it was very lovely to lie in bed and cuddle with Martini, then cuddle with Husband, then say plaintive things like "I'm coffee-less!" until a hot cuppa appeared in my hand. I was a happy, indolent princess.

Today was going to be dedicated to Accomplishment, and Getting Rid of Piles,* and I've been half successful so far. The enormous pile of Clothes I Need to Do Something With has been eradicated (ironed, hand-washed, tossed into the mending basket for another day, etc.) but the enormous mountain of E-Mail I Need to Do Something With has only shrunk from 201 to 155. Well, actually, that's pretty good, but still — I dream of having fewer than 50 e-mails in my Inbox. I get there on occasion, but it never seems to last.

But: I've exercised! It's another gorgeous spring day, sunny with a hint of breezy, and I enjoyed a brisk 45-minute walk. Flowers are starting to bloom, and I decided that forsythia must be our town flower; every other yard seems to have a bush or three — great splashes of yellow everywhere. It's all so pretty.

Truth be told, I actually prefer a gray day — gloomy skies, the air tremulous with a hint of rain — and I get tired of the relentless sun sun sun all the time. As my friend Angie Angel says, "It's like someone who never stops smiling — enough already!" But again — there is no denying that it's very very pretty 'round these parts.

I remembered some of the things I wanted to say about yesterday:
  • As Good Neighbor Anne and I walked, I told her a story that ended with the words, ". . . which totally made me cry." Then I remembered that according to Bride Boy, this is how every one of my stories ends. Ha ha.
  • I got a phone message from Zanzibar, who is gearing up for our Virtual Boot Camp. (The Boot Camp is real, we're just doing it in different locations — New Jersey and Massachusetts.) She says that she inhaled a bag of chips when she got home from work, but she did it mindfully. Well, that's gotta be better, I would think.
  • Brunie called to say I almost got her fired; she's supervising the MCAS test (our state's standardized horror), which, one presumes, should be done in silence, and she decided this would be a good time to catch up on my blog — and by the time she got to my agoraphobic leg, she was audibly whooping while her students stared. "Did you read it to them?" I demanded, and she said, "Oh, yeah, they're all fans now." (Which totally made me cry.) I said it's her own fault, there are only two appropriate venues for reading my blog: driving and church. Wait, that's not right.
  • Yesterday was Inspirational Kathy's birthday!!! Something I am very happy to celebrate. I will see her in just a few short months, which is thrilling to contemplate.
My walk today was quite fun (and seemed like it went so fast!). As I got past the worst part, the giant hill in front of Nurse Kathy's house, and moved briskly toward the best part, the gentle downward slope along Route 2, with the forsythia-dotted vista of Arlington and Lexington spread before me, the song that came up on my iPod was "Sesame Street Theme" (yes, I have the world's dorkiest play list), and it was a pure delight to go swinging down that hill as urban children sang, "Sunny day — sweeping the clouds away . . ."

(It's very dangerous to quote TV theme song lyrics now that Bride Boy is reading my blog, but I'm feeling confident about this one.)

A glorious weekend looms:
  • Tonight: Li'l Martini and I are having dinner at Macaroni Grill (YUM) and then seeing The Hunger Games! Mimosa saw it with her class this morning and told me all her favorite parts. I can't wait.
  • Tomorrow: Sexy Em and Handsome Jerry and I are practicing our final church skit, and then I'm going out with two of my favorite Betsy-Tacy friends to have dinner at Mr. Crepe and then to see a production of Pride and Prejudice, starring and directed by some of my favorite church friends (worlds! colliding!).
  • Sunday: Performance of said skit! I'm wearing one of Mrs. Cynicletary's former bridesmaid dresses, which fits like a dream, plus a sparkly crystal necklace that Zanzibar just gave me, plus my grandma's vintage earclips, and I shall be slinky and glamorous – and then it's off to Beverly to dine with Brunie at the Good Guac Grotto (not its name) and put the finishing touches on an icebreaker I dreamed up for our July Convention. (As you all know, I like to get things done well ahead of time. Brunie — aka Big Convention Chief Number Two — is more chill, but she's happy to join me for good guac any time.)
OK — time to get back to eradicating e-mail, which will help me kill some time before I can get my boy.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

—Lady C

* This is not a reference to hemorrhoids.

Day 214: Lady Chardonnay, Dedicated Blogatrix

It's freaking midnight, people! I should be in bed. And I will be, soon — I just finished editing this dreadfully dense Egypt proposal, and I am SO happy to be done with it!!! I told Good Neighbor Anne that I will NOT get up early to walk with her tomorrow, I'm sleeping till noon, and she chirped, "...but you'll still blog tonight, won't you?? Otherwise your people will suffer withdrawal!!"

I am a slave to my pallies.

Quick tidbits before I fall asleep in my chair:

I did in fact walk with GNA this morning, and this picture is my version of what the bike path feels like: I trudge along middle-agedly, and hardbodies on bikes go zooming by, exhaling disdain. It's kinda funny, actually. Good Neighbor Anne, who is thin and fit and jogs instead of trudging, communes with nature (she saw an opossum today!) and enjoys the eye candy, but we are having somewhat different experiences. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful morning and lovely to be out.

. . .

I feel like I had all these other things to say, but am now totally blank. Though I know a lot about science and math education in Egypt, ask me anything.

Oh, as expected, I did not weigh 256.5 pounds this morning. But I'm still down by quite a bit, and that is thrilling. We'll see! And I ordered a very cute blue dress to wear to my auction, so I hope it looks as good on me as I think it will. I'm getting psyched. Also a little nervous. But it will be tons of fun to be an auctioneer.

OK. Gotta get to bed.

When I work this late, I always wonder about the last pages I edited — did I really do a good job? I think I probably missed a few things. Hopefully, I won't incite an international incident.


—Lady C

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 213: Stupendous Scale Surprise!

My weight had gone up to 266 again, more or less, and it seems like the mid-60s are my body's new set point. But this week I gritted my teeth and muscled through (and didn't eat at restaurants — another thing that happened almost daily last week)* and have been losing a pound or half a pound a day. Which was great — at that rate, I'd be back at 259 (what I think of as my real weight) on Sunday and could start my real efforts anew.

Yesterday, for a variety of reasons (but mostly because we're getting low on groceries), I ate lightly throughout the day, though I did have a breakfast sandwich at Starbuck's with Nurse Kathy (turkey bacon, egg whites, whole wheat English muffin — still, I know there had to be butter in there, it was so delicious!), and then our zumba class was insane — my Italian Spitfire teacher seemed determined to make us lose half our weight in sweat. I weighed 262 that morning, but when I weighed myself after my bath, I was 261 — and usually I don't weigh less at the end of the day, so that was pretty funny.

(Yes, I know I'm weighing myself a lot. I find the variation interesting.)

So then I got up this morning (after wrestling with Li'l Martini for a few minutes; I said to Husband, in plaintive tones, "When will he be too old to climb in bed with us in the morning?" and Husband sighed, "Apparently never"), brushed my teeth, voided (hee!), and weighed myself. And then did it three more times, in different parts of the bathroom, because I couldn't believe my eyes.
  • Today's scale reading: 256.5 !!!!!
Obviously, you don't lose this much real weight in one day; this is water weight. But still — the fact that I can still lose "water weight" (I thought that was something that only happened at the beginning of a diet?) tells me that I really am "re-setting" my body — that my body now accepts that it weighs 260-something, rather than thinking it weighs 280-something, my starting point. And even though that's still a million miles from where I want to be, nonetheless, it feels like progress.

A very encouraging beginning for the day!

I'm having lunch with my elderly friend Mrs. Professor, and then doing my thang at Martini's after-school program (totally fun), then taking Martini to basketball at 5. The kids and I will do a lightish dinner and will be home in time for Survivor and Modern Family, yay! It should be a lovely day. (Though at some point in there I am getting some paying work, a longish document cryptically titled "Egypt proposal." I can't wait to hear what they propose to do to Egypt.)

Oh, and I just read an article that says I'm going to die. (That's exactly how I said it to Husband this morning, and please try to imagine the look he gave me.) No, it says that people who sit for long periods are some huge number of times more likely to die sooner than people who get up every half hour and move around and stretch for two minutes. So this is my new goal, though every half hour seems extremely disruptive to me. But maybe it's one of those counter-intuitive things, and I'll actually be more focused and more able to concentrate. Anyway, I'm going to try it.

Off to seize the day! (With breaks every half hour.)

Lady C

* I just said to Brunie yesterday, "Apparently, there are people who learn from their mistakes, but I don't know who those people are."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 212: A Week of Extravagant Self-Care

 (aka Boot Camp)

This week is going well, health- and fitness-wise, for whatever reason. I am losing weight and feeling much leaner — my body is actually reshaping itself. Amazing!

Today, my dearest darling friend Zanzibar, who is battling her own fitness woes (note: she is ten feet tall, with long lean legs, and so beautiful and sexy it is hard for me to imagine that she ever has woes), pitched me an idea: Would I be willing to join her in a week of virtual boot camp?

Would I?! Oh, yeah. It is ON.

Here's the plan:
  • We start April 1 at dawn, and stop April 7 at sundown. (Both of us are scheduled for serious drinking on April 7, so we have to stop then . . . as we laugh at ourselves.)
  • We set individual goals for the week (see below).
  • We check in with each other daily to see how we're doing and give pep talks as needed.
  • We compare notes at the end of the week (once we've sobered up, ha ha).
My Goals
  1. Log everything I eat, and eat no more than 2,000 calories per day. No alcohol, no white sugar.
  2. No eating after 8 p.m. (I stole this one from Z)
  3. Do 40 core exercises every day (doesn't have to be consecutive! I can only do 14 before I feel like I'm going to die). 
  4. Do something cardio for at least 30 minutes every day. (Hear that, Good Neighbor Anne? Yes, I will get up at dawn and walk/run with you.)
  5. Lift weights three or four times during the week (you're not supposed to do it every day, right?).
Zanzibar's Goals
  1. Make healthy choices while eating out.
  2. Get my butt to the gym for which I paid for and have not been SINCE AUGUST – to parallel your workout schedule tasks.
  3. If no curling, go to Friday night open league for volleyball.
  4. Drink more water (vs. nothing at work or non-fat milk at home, which messes with my sugar levels.)
  5. Eliminate “husband junk food” (he is the one who buys it and then I seem to eat it): no cookies, no chips, no bakery items.
  6. No eating after 8 PM.  (I would do earlier but getting home before 8 may be a challenge…)
  7. Be more conscientious about portion control and feeling of fullness, vs. eating “what’s there.”
  8. Make a doctor appointment for blood work. 
"Eight is enough!" she says, but adds: "My big goal is to have either lost weight at the end of the week or increased muscle/decreased fat — I know a week is not enough to take in fluctuations but that is the long-term goal. My short-term goal is to learn how to read this fancy scale my husband gave me MANY years ago, since I don’t know what all the % numbers mean…"
If anyone would like to join us, let me know! And let me know if I can post your goals here.

This is not going to be "fun" exactly, but I keep thinking of something Sister Hart recommended ages ago — that when I'm stuck, I need to mix things up a bit — and I'm looking forward to having some company (in my misery) as I do it.

In other news — zumba tonight! And the weather is getting warmer, which means fewer clothes, showing more skin, and an added incentive to make my ever-more-exposed flesh look a little better/leaner/tighter.

Rockin' on,
Lady C

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 211: Long, Lean, and Strong

This is the mantra I recited to my legs as I walked around my 'hood this morning. I'm 5'8" so my legs are relatively long, but they have never been lean in my life, except possibly during my elementary school years, and I'm not sure how strong they are.

But they're getting stronger and also firmer. Not smaller — I have always had really large thighs, larger than most people's who are otherwise my size, and I fear that only something drastic like liposuction will really make a difference. But that is tomorrow's problem.

What they also are is achy. They've been aching for months but this week they're really bothering me; I sit in bed and rub rub rub my legs. Yesterday, before I got up, I was lying in bed bemoaning my achy-breaky state to Husband:
  • Me: I think I have polio.
  • Husband [prone, eyes closed]: You don't have polio. You had the vaccine.
  • Me: I think I have rickets.
  • Husband: You don't have rickets.
  • Me: I have a haunted leg.
  • Husband: We'll get an exorcist. But I don't think you have a haunted leg. You have a sore leg that wants you to stop exercising for a few days.
  • Me: So . . . my leg wants me to stay indoors and sit still?
  • Husband: Yes.
  • Husband: [sighs]
  • Me: You know, it's probably just leg cancer.
  • Husband: I wondered when we were getting there.
We were SO made for each other. I am a lucky girl.

So far, it's been an almost perfect day. I've adjusted to the time change (meaning: I wake up when it's time to wake up, and fall asleep when it's time to fall asleep), and as of 7:30 a.m. (the time I arose) I had no work on my plate for today — so rather than dash to the computer to confirm (or deny) that fact, I sat in my comfy green easy chair with the book I'm trying to finish (Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr, my new favorite YA author; it's very fabby and I love it, and it's due at the library today) and Husband brought me coffee. Then I got dressed, in my favorite UCSC tank top (a gift from Lady D), enjoying the warm air and slight breeze through my bedroom; it's a perfect spring day.

I set off on foot to meet with my PTO co-prez; she lives about six minutes away. We had a lovely and productive meeting, and I flirted with her cutie-patootie four-year-old son. Then I walked to Dallin School to drop off some auction stuff, then to UPS to drop off a package, then to the Post Office to drop off the rubber-band ball I made out of the 4,000 rubber bands they have delivered to my house, wrapped around my mail.

(And I can hear Brunie now: "If only there were something one could do with an unwanted rubber band — a receptacle, perhaps, designed for such a purpose . . ." And I don't know if it's my Native American heritage or the fact that I was raised by a near-hoarder who was raised by a child of the Depression, but I could no more throw away a perfectly good rubber band then I could throw away . . . well, anything else perfectly good. Waste! Destruction of the earth! I shudder. But I'm not stockpiling a drawer-full of rubber bands, either, I'm passing them along to someone who can use them. See? I'm better.)

My final stop was Trader Joe's, where I got some garlic and fresh sage for tonight's yummy dinner, and I bought myself an armload of beautiful tulips, which are now gracing my dining room table and looking like spring. As a nice treat after climbing Heart Attack Hill, I saw Daisy, my favorite neighborhood dog, sitting outside her house all alone, so I sat down in her driveway and enjoyed 10 solid minutes of doggy love. She is the cutest dog, and her owner is quite ancient, but I suspect it would not be politic to inquire whether Daisy's future ownership is addressed in anyone's will . . . Yeah, even typing these words makes me want to give myself a smack, so I'll just let it go. But I do love that dog.

One thing I thought about as I walked (and got very sweaty) is that doctors/experts always say to have breakfast first, before exercising, to give your body some fuel to run on, and I always ignore this if I take an early-morning walk. Ever since my thyroid was mostly removed and my morning begins with a thyroid pill, which I have to take on an empty stomach (and leave my stomach empty for an hour), my relationship with food in the morning has entirely changed. I love breakfast, but I don't want it until 10 or 10:30. My body will simply have to make do with the tablespoon of half and half I add to each cup of coffee. (That's fuel, right?)

But now it's noon, and I do have work (four short easy pieces for a nice client), and I must make myself some lunch; I'm planning to eat leftover pasta and chicken and a big salad. (I never did have breakfast.) And for tonight's supper: pork chops, pasta (half whole-wheat) with fresh sage and garlic, green beans, sauteed mushrooms, and red-hot apples. Yum!

A good day.


—Lady C

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 210 (Week 30): Blog v. Bath = Not a Fair Fight

Well, it's Week 30, and I would LOVE to announce that I've lost 30 pounds. Alas . . . My weight has crept back up in these last two slothful, heavy weeks, for whatever reason.

BUT - it was lower today than it has been.

AND - I am giving serious thought to Good Neighbor Anne's equation: If calories burned are greater than calories taken in, the result is weight loss. Even though that doesn't feel true a lot of the time. But in any event, I do have control over both those things.

SO - I took a long walk today, and tried to walk at a slightly faster than comfortable pace, as my doctor recommends, and my leg muscles were definitely humming at the end. And then Martini and I lifted weights and worked our cores, and I am now sore all over. And I ate my leftover Thai food for dinner but didn't eat all of it because I was full. Which is HUGE for me, I'm a Clean Plate Kid.

WHICH MEANS that today's post is short, because I need to soak in a hot hot bath before The Good Wife starts at 9. I'm reading three awesome books, so I will read 20 pages of each in turn, which is always fun.

Gotta go soak!

—Achy-crampy Lady C

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day 209: Seeking (and Finding) Inspiration

I have been in such a physical funk this week (perhaps you've noticed?). I'm feeling bloated and sluggish and heavy and blah, and I can't seem to shake it! In particular, I haven't been making great food choices — and I'm having way too many of what Katniss calls "hollow days," where no matter what or how much I eat, I don't feel satisfied.

But last night in bed I had a brainstorm: Today, I was going to photograph every meal I ate, as another way to be more mindful. And for the most part I did, though I didn't photograph the two (small) cookies or the two cups of coffee I had as mid-day snacks, nor the seven reduced-Triscuits I had as a pre-dinner snack. In any event, it was an interesting exercise, and I definitely ate less and ate better than I have been.

Here's my breakfast: 

Fat-free raspberry Greek yogurt, a six-inch banana, and a half-cup of high-fiber Kashi cereal. And three cups of coffee in my favorite mug. Husband broke the handle off, so I glued it back on with hot glue. Then Li'l Martini broke the handle off, so I reattached it with hot glue. Then Husband heated a cup of coffee in the microwave, using this mug, and the hot glue . . . was not more. And at the point I said, You know? I love this mug. And apparently I'm not meant to have a handle.

No morning snacks. Here's lunch:
Roast beef sandwich on whole-wheat bread with lettuce and horseradish, multi-grain pita chips, grapes, water. Yum.

Then we went to Mimosa's music festival — and found, to our horror, that we'd missed the part where she sang. I am furious about this and will take it up with her teacher. Communication was uncommonly bad around this event. But — what can you do. And my sweet daughter was stoic about it; she came home and took a bubble bath, and I gave her the new Entertainment Weekly to read and brought her hot sweet tea and cookies in the tub. All good.

True confessions: I didn't take this picture. We walked to our local Thai place, and I had Crispy Tofu Basil (which looked a lot like this) and white rice. The four of us also shared fresh rolls, Thai rolls, and crab rangoon, and I had two glasses of wine. We took away tons of leftovers and walked home, scaling Cardiac Crest. So — I got a little exercise, anyway.

I also cleaned my house and did a final final proof of The Cheerleader, and now I'm going to get ready for bad, fix a cup of coffee, and curl up to watch Young Adult, which I am so excited about.

Tomorrow I've got three different things going on at church, but after that a lovely free-ish afternoon and evening stretches out before me. And next week has MUCH less ink on it.

I don't know if I'll continue to photograph my meals (or necessarily post the pictures here), but it was a nice trick today, and I'll keep it in my back pocket.

One other thing that really helped me today was talking to my darling friend Inspirational Kathy. She is such a sweet cheerleader for my blog, always giving me pep talks, and I told her about this awful state of torpor I've been in. Is it age? is it hormones?

She said, "I tend to blame it on the body's tendency to stay where it is used to being. I think the battle we have to fight to succeed is a hard, hard one." She told me about a mutual friend who lost 60 pounds a few years ago and has gained much of it back — SO frustrating! — and another friend who is taking "drops" and eats 500 calories a day; when she stops the drops, she gains it all back. In other words: This is hard stuff.

And she concluded by saying, "You are doing everything right on this diet. Everything you are supposed to do. And we all know all too much and too well about plateaus. Keep up the good work!"

And that was a lovely thing to hear from a friend today.

Movie time! 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

—Lady C, a colleen

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 208: Wait, Wasn't I Supposed to Collapse Tonight?

  • Woke up with a migraine, barfed. Migraines are no longer restricted to my womanly time; apparently I now get them every time my ovaries spit out an egg. Awesome.
(Bride Boy once commented, "I can relate to so much of your blog . . . except all the parts about your period." C'mon, BB, talk ovulation with me! Hee.)
  • Dragged myself to Starbuck's to meet with PTO Co-Prez. She spaced on meeting, didn't show up.
  • Worked.
  • Glanced at our school newsletter and saw that my diva editor titled my article, a recap of a recent PTO meeting where we talked about chores and allowance, "Child Labor." Awesome.
  • Drove down my street behind Good Neighbor Anne, which was fun. The community will be encouraged to know that she is a frequent and accurate turn-signaler. She reminds me that we're supposed to start walking the bike path in the a.m. "Yes!" I said. Then she mentions her dream start time: freaking dawn. "Hmmm," I said.

    Yes, I know it's good for me. I am SO not a morning person. In any way.
  • Had nice lunch with the woman in my job at EDC; she promises to send me tons of work. So that was cool. Though our waiter was sloooooowwww.
  • Came home, worked.
  • Very nice thing: My friend paid me almost double what I charged her because she was so happy with the work I did on her novel.
  • Made pancakes for dinner. We needed them.
  • Worked.
  • Mimosa just got home from her junior district rehearsal; once she's out of the shower, we're going to hunker down and watch Ringer together, one of my favorite parts of the week. And then I'm going straight to bed. Collapse, here I come.
Weight-loss score: Exercise, 0; healthy diet, 0.

Banner day! Ha.

Tomorrow will be better. Or not. But I hope it will be better.

—Lady C, a tired tired tootsie

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 207: Drama!

Lots and lots on tap today — family drama, Betsy-Tacy Convention drama, and literal drama, in that I just practiced my church skit for Sunday. (It will be hilarious, I think.) Also, my insides were having their own drama, and I spent a lot of time in the bathroom today. I'll say no more.

For whatever reason, I just haven't felt particularly well all week. (I blame Daylight Savings Time. Because it sucks.) I'm achy, tired, and slightly nauseous. And my solution, of course, is to work harder, not get enough sleep, and keep eating.

But tonight I did zumba, and it was so wonderful to have my sexy-dancey teacher back, and I am very very happy to have two zumba classes in my life again.

But once again — it's late, I'm exhausted, and I have got to go soak these aching legs in a hot hot bath.

I am so excited to have "free" nights both tomorrow and Saturday. Young Adult arrives tomorrow via Netflix (yay!!!!), and I may invite Nurse Kathy to come over and watch it with me and drink wine. We had wanted to see it together in the theater, but it skipped out of Arlington after five minutes. And that would be a very fun date.

Gotta go soak. See ya!

—Lady C

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 206: Tickets Secured!

Li'l Martini and I will be at the 7:30 p.m. show on Opening Day. We are psyched! (Mimosa is seeing it earlier — her class is taking a field trip, which of course sounds wicked educational. Whatev.)

I did not exercise today.

I ate relatively healthy meals and lots of vegetables, but I also drank two glasses of wine.

My head is swimming with my 90,000 responsibilities, and I feel a tad . . . disconnected from my weight-loss efforts. And tomorrow will likely be no different. My morning is free, but I need to finish editing my friend's novel — and then after that, it's all systems go: Mimosa has a doctor's appointment, I have zumba, my church auction team is coming over to rehearse this Sunday's skit.

On Friday, I have a coffee date at 9 to discuss school auction (I don't have to be there, but we're hoping to charm a particular fellow into doing the online auction for us, and I know he likes me), then a 10:30 coffee date with my PTO co-prez to go over the state of the state, then a birthday lunch with the woman now in my job at EDC (I must come up with a name for her), then getting Martini to his Points & Powers class. And then I will collapse, because I don't have anything scheduled for Friday night yet, so a collapse will fit in neatly.

Wings was awesome, by the way; I enjoyed it very much. Though I did fast-forward a bit toward the end because I was getting so sleepy — and extended shots of planes flying flying flying may have been ground-breaking at the time, but I kinda got the idea early on. But the boys were cute, Clara Bow was as luminous and heart-breaking as ever, and Gary Cooper lit up the one scene in which he appeared. Two hours well spent.

And so, to bed.

—Lady C

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 205: Proud Mama

Li'l Martini played glockenspiel in the townwide concert tonight — at one point, he was the solo glock player, and you could hear every note he played — and he was simply wonderful. And he looked adorable, though his clothes are slightly too small (he just had a huge growth spurt) and his hair is way too long. He kept begging me to let him grow it long, and I didn't care all that much, but tonight it just looked messy.

In any event, the music is the important thing, and the music was grand. The fourth-graders played (not so great), then the fifth-graders (Martini's band — they were swell), then the middle school band and jazz band (who did a medley of Queen songs — it was hilarious to hear a brass section doing "We Will Rock You"), and then the high school band and jazz band, who brought down the house. Arlington has an outstanding music program; I feel so lucky that my kids have all these opportunities. And I love when they get a chance to see the older kids in action, the superstars, the pros — I think it's such nice positive reinforcement. This is where you're headed. This is what you're working toward.

I'm back on my crazybusy treadmill of many commitments, all hitting at once, plus some paying work (which is good), plus a million things going on with the kids this week. The weekend is fairly busy as well, but next week should be calmer.

No time for exercise today, and I also forgot to eat breakfast and then ate a very late lunch, which threw me off and I've been alternately ravenous and slightly nauseous all evening. Tomorrow will be better.

Now I'm going to drink a cup of coffee and watch Wings, the first movie to win an Academy Award, and starring Clara Bow, whom I wrote an encyclopedia article about last year. I really like her but haven't seen many of her movies. (Most of them were not preserved correctly and don't exist any more.) Unlike my other research subjects, Jean Harlow and Carole Lombard, who were fairly happy until their untimely and tragic ends, Clara Bow's story is pretty much tragic from first to last, so researching her was fascinating but a bit grim. She's so luminous and lovely onscreen, though, you'd never guess how miserable and unhealthy she really was.

Well, there's some food for thought.

Good night!

—Lady C

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 204: Solo = Snooze

It was a gorgeous sunny day, warm with a hint of breeze, and even though I could've sat at my computer all day and done stuff, I was determined to exercise. I needed to pick up Li'l Martini at 2:15 (it's glockenspiel day, and that thing is HUGE, so one day a week he gets a ride to school), so I counted backward: To take a one-hour walk and get to school early enough to hunt through my PTO shelves for a basket (don't ask), I needed to leave my house at 12:55.

And so I did. I decided to return to the bike path I'd walked with Good Neighbor Anne a few days ago. I've lived in Arlington for close to 14 years without discovering this little gem. Crazytown!

So I set right out, walking briskly, and quickly learned two things:
  • I am a pretty sociable creature, and it's in my nature to smile at people as they pass me, so I smiled at every biker, walker, cyclist. Learning #1: With the exception of one brown dog, no one on the bike path wants to be my friend.
  • Learning #2: Without Good Neighbor Anne to chat with, the bike path is pretty freaking boring. It's just a long straight line. Flat. Not much to look at.
When I walk around my 'hood, I am entertained by seeing small children playing in their yards, and friendly (or yappy) dogs. I monitor the status of people's gardens, the progress of home construction. The road twists and turns, lifts and dips. I walk by friends' houses, pass cheerful neighbors. Every walk is different.

In contrast, these are the high points of the Arlington Heights section of the bike path: (1) the stinky spot, (2) the field of dead yellow stuff, and (3) the bridge, which means it's time to turn around.

So: learning! And learning is good. Just ask Husband. (I heard him snort over something he read. "What are you snorting about?" I said, expecting a funny, quick two-sentence answer. Twenty minutes later . . .)

But anyway, I took a two-mile walk and also lifted weights with Martini, and hopefully my scale will reward me. Of course, right at this moment I'm drinking coffee and eating the last four Thin Mints. C'est la vie.

A nice thing happened at church yesterday. $u$an, my pal and financial guru, pulled me aside and said, "You are noticeably smaller. How much weight have you lost?" And that was the first time (I'm pretty sure) that someone who has no idea that I'm doing this commented on it! It made me feel good.

It is taking so long to get anywhere! But then again, I'm hardly starving myself or doing anything that anyone would recognize as a stringent diet. (See: "Thin Mints, four," above.) So . . . it is what it is, I guess.

Oh, and here's one more good thing: the woman who has my old job at EDC e-mailed me today and asked about my availability; two of her freelance editors are going to be tied up with a year-long project, and she'd like to give me more work, if I'll be available. Will I?! It's not like it will be a steady stream of work, and it certainly won't be predictable, but still — the timing is very good. Maybe everything will be okay. Maybe I won't have to get another job. Maybe, maybe.

But now I'm going to take a hot bath and read the last of my library books, or possibly the new Good Housekeeping that just came in the mail — we'll see which holds my attention. Bye!

—Lady C

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day 203 (Week 29): Already Black with Ink

Looking ahead to next week, I see seven jam-packed days — and I don't even have any paying work scheduled! (Seriously. At the moment, I have zero hours to put on a timesheet. Though I think I have a client who's ready to send me something, I just need to give her a gentle nudge.) I'm already tired, and I haven't even started. And I've added several more things since I took that picture. Sigh.

But today I finished one project: doing what I believe is my final read of The Cheerleader (just checking for weird spacing and things like that, though I did catch a funny typo: "hug explosion" instead of "huge explosion." Enjoy that visual), to get the files ready to become an e-book. All good.

And here's something else that's been on the to-do pile next to my computer: providing the recipe for the awesome frittata I made the other night, which Inspirational Kathy requested. Enjoy!

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces baby spinach
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Set the oven to 450 degrees. In a skillet that can go in the oven, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, add the onion, bell pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for another three minutes.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, Parmesan, basil, black pepper, and remaining salt. Stir in the vegetables.

Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, then add the egg misxutre and cook for a couple of minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the eggs start to get firm around the sides. Put the skillet in the oven and bake for 12 minutes or until the frittata is puffy and brown and cooked in the center.

  • I didn't have baby spinach; I used dark salad greens (what was left in a bag of Field Mix), and it worked fine.
  • I sprinkled additional Parmesan on top (less than a handful) and also added a little bit of grated cheddar to the mix. (Again, less than a handful.)
  • The recipe actually calls for 8 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped, but I didn't have it. I think fresh basil would be amazing in this, but the dried worked fine. And I have to say: the basil was a key ingredient. Don't skip it.

Oh, and here are two weight-loss notes:

  • I've decided that I won't log my weight on Fat Secret unless I've actually lost weight on Weigh-In Day. I know what I weigh, and I'll do what I need to do. But having to report a gain is just too depressing. (So, if you're reading between the lines here, yes, I was up a little this morning — which is so annoying after being down all week! And having to record that would be even more annoying. I am much happier with this new approach.)
  • Even though next week is crazybusy, I will make time for at least a little exercise every day. I've learned that this is a good coping strategy on crazybusy weeks. Of course, did I do it today? No. But I will take a long walk outdoors tomorrow morning, and that will get my week off to a good start. And sexy-dancey zumba starts this week, yay!!! I am so ready to be back to two zumba classes!!
But now it's bedtime. And even though it's only 10 p.m. in my body, I feel like it's midnight. Long day, and I'm exhausted. G'night!

—Lady C

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 202: Tired But Happy

Dallin School, my kids' elementary school, has hosted an annual Pancake Breakfast for the past umpteen years, and it is just so much fun — blueberry pancakes and freshly grilled sausage, and a chance to socialize with dozens of Dallin families. I got there at 7:45 to help set up our PTO table (we sold T-shirts and Dallin water bottles and collected money for the Annual Fund), and then I roamed, attending to what was needed, for the next four hours.

It was a blast, but when I got home I collapsed. Then lunch and chores, and THEN I got into the bathtub and didn't get out until after 6.

Though I didn't have much dinner (an apple and a handful of nuts), I'm still fearful that my giant breakfast (three big pancakes! three and a half sausage!) and large-ish sodium-packed lunch (leftover Thai eggplant, rice, crab rangoons, and shu mai) will not result in much weight loss tomorrow. What can you do.

Husband and I are going to have a date in 10 minutes; we're going to sit in the living room and watch the original The Broadway Melody, the one that won the Oscar, and I'm going to paint my nails bright hot orange.

A wicked hot Saturday night, in other words. But we'll have fun.

—Lady C

Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 201: Fifty Years and Two Weeks Ago . . .

 . . . my best friend was born!

(But I was still crazybusy with work on the actual date and didn't have time to write anything of length then.)

When I arrived at college — September 21, 1980 — my roommate (Tina the Beautiful) was nowhere in sight, but the girl next door was home, and I knew the minute I saw her that we would be friends. She looked just like all my high school buddies — not a jock, not one of the Popular Girls, just a nice girl who would be a fun friend.

She was also roommate-less (her roommate had actually been reassigned elsewhere, I have no idea what mine was doing [she eventually showed up, and I adored her, but she was definitely a flighty chick]), so my mom invited her to join us for dinner. That cemented our already certain friendship, and we've been BFs ever since.

OK, maybe it took a couple of weeks. But by the time I was learning the bus system and riding downtown with my friend DRAMATIC ANGST!, D.A.! told me that she was best friends with Miss Perfecter Than You (Lady D's roommate), and I said that I was best friends with Lady Darcy, and D.A.! and I decided that we were each other's second-best friends.

Yes, we were complete dorks. In those days.

Our Crowd also included my roommate Tina the Beautiful, and Space City, the cutie-pie next door to Lady D. The six of us were very tight and had a lot of fun together, and one of the ways we had fun was to CRY. Good lord, from September 1980 through June 1981, we were always slightly damp with someone's tears.

Oh! the drama of freshman year.

Lady D and I decided to get married our sophomore year of college. It wasn't a great year for me; I'd been dumped by Boyfriend #3 and had just ended a boring relationship with Boring Boyfriend #4, and needed something fun to perk up my spirits. What better than a really fabulous party?! Hence: our wedding.

Lady Darcy wore white, because she was still Pure, and I wore . . . Not White.

(Actually, this was the dress I wore to a T.W.I.R.P. — The Woman Is Requested to Pay — dance my senior year of high school. My date was a very sweet boy, a math nerd, who stayed a good friend and later attended my wedding to Mr. Lady C. But that is neither here nor there.)

(I wonder what became of that dress? It went to a LOT of college parties!)

The summer after our sophomore year, we decided to stay on campus and work, and to save money we shared a room. This turned out to be a mistake: I had to get up early to get to my breakfast shift, whereas she didn't have to be at the Boardwalk until noon and HATED being awakened at dawn by my alarm clock. I was also used to having my own room and bringing men home whenever I wanted to, and she was used to having her room be a sanctuary. (Very reasonable!) It was not a good fit, and by the end of the summer we were barely speaking.

But we recovered, obviously, and that was it — the one blip on our otherwise unblemished record.

Over the years, she's visited me in Chico (that's us with my dad, in front of the portrait an art student painted of me during my senior year in college) and San Jose and Boston, and I've visited her in San Francisco . . .

. . . and Petaluma and (I think) Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park. (She moves a lot.) I also visited her ancestral home in New Orleans (solo) and had a picture taken on her grandparents' front porch to send to her mom. That was lots of fun.

We've seen each other through many men and many jobs and many crises and many haircuts.

Random memory: One night in college, neither of us had any plans, so we reclined on Lady Darcy's bed, heads at either end, and chose random dates in our high school diaries to read to each other. (As in: "What were you doing March 17, 1982? I was . . .") It was a riot. We often talked about how to create a stage show from our high school diaries and make some dough, but apparently people actually do this in clubs now — for free. Our ship sailed without us. C'est la vie.

When she met her husband, CPA Boy, I was bummed when they decided to elope, because I'd always dreamed of being her maid of honor. But then her mother insisted that they have a wedding reception anyway, so I got to be a pretend maid of honor. I cleaned her apartment and baked homemade bread and got everything ready for the guests who'd be coming back after the party, and then I helped her get dressed — which mostly involved crimping her hair and dismantling the hideous giant hair ornament her mom had purchased. (Her mom meant well.)

And then I drank lots of champagne and made out with the best man. Just like I dreamed!


I hate that we live so far apart. I hate that I wasn't there when her baby, my second godson, was born (though I knew she was pregnant before CPA Boy did. Shh, don't tell!). I wasn't there when her closest cousin died, I wasn't there when she went through some breast-y medical stuff, I wasn't there when her mom died. I wasn't there when she turned 50. Three thousand miles and a three-hour time difference are pretty powerful barriers.

BUT. We do what we can. And even though she is so far away, I still feel incredibly lucky to have the best friend I have. She is smart and funny and wise and kind and good, she loves me unconditionally, and she knows me better than anyone else in the world, better than my husband, better than my mom. And that is a very cool friend to have.

We celebrated when our friendship hit the quarter-century mark, and this year we'll celebrate our milestone birthdays together. I can't wait!

Happy birthday-plus-two-weeks, my darling friend. I love you to pieces.

Lady C

p.s. My weight has stayed in the '50s pretty much all week, which is cool. Yesterday, I had this conversation with Kind Tina (I was wearing my good black pants and a slinky black T-shirt and looked very cute if I do say so myself):
  • Kind Tina: You look fabulous. How much?
  • Me: I am 2 pounds away from 30 pounds.
  • Kind Tina: WOW. Only two pounds?
  • Me: It's making me crazy.
  • Kind Tina: Can't you just poop?
Oh, how I love my friends.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 200: My First Instinct Was, "Yes! Of Course!" . . .

. . . but I said no.

I got offered a weekend editing job: 93 single-spaced pages, paying $50 an hour, due first thing Monday morning. That's at least a 20-hour job, you do the math.

How could I turn down such a wonderful paycheck?

"YES!" I typed.

And then erased it.

I have so many plans for tomorrow. I'm going to my first PTO meeting of the year at Mimosa's middle school. (I'm PTO Queen at Martini's school, not Mimosa's. I barely do anything at Mimosa's, other than help at the Book Fair twice a year.) Mimosa's favorite teacher from 6th grade is doing a presentation, and I'd love to see her. Then I'm having lunch with Kind Tina, always a treat, though we'll also get quite a bit of church work done. And I will do some paying work (the novel I'm proofing for a friend) and make a yummy dinner for my family. And I will also tackle some of the many other items on my never-ending to-do list and, hopefully, take a walk and enjoy some of the beautiful weather we're having (if it keeps up).

On Saturday, I'm helping to staff the PTO table at our annual Pancake Breakfast, and I just agreed to help with clean-up. I've attended at least eight of these breakfasts and have never worked a single shift, so, for my last one, I can help out a bit. We'll do our chores in the afternoon, and I'll cook another good dinner. Sunday is church, and then getting our daughter to her various activities (yoga and Coming of Age).

There will be family time and cooking and hopefully some reading and movie-watching. I will get a lot done and feel the happy warm glow of accomplishment . . . but at no point will I be stressed or crazed or overwhelmed.

And giving that up just doesn't seem worth $1,000. (Though I may regret it.)

So — I said no. And haven't regretted it yet. Though it's only been 20 minutes.

Today has been ridiculously busy, but with fun stuff: Lectio Divina at church in the morning, then another breakfast with my church boyfriend (he's helping me figure out something), then off to buy flowers for my former boss, who did me a solid, then lunch with Mrs. Cynicletary (SO fun), then home again to answer the 40 e-mails I got while I was away; in a few minutes we're off to watch Li'l Martini play basketball (the championship game!) and then we're having a celebratory dinner at Not Your Average Joe's. And then I will come home and collapse.

I'm exhausted.

Yet another reason not to take on a 20-hour job!

Yep. Still no regrets.

Wish my boy luck!

—Lady C, basketball fan

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 199: Walking in Rhythm

It's a gorgeous day in Arlington, Massachusetts, though I'm experiencing most of it from my dining room, tending to dozens of little things: editing my friend's novel (for pay), determining on which dates my children will graduate so my mom can buy plane tickets, canceling my Angie's list membership, trying to find a cheap flight to Minnesota, helping Kind Tina plan a children's sermon for this Sunday on immigration. Busy busy!

And I needed to hang out at Li'l Martini's school for an hour, as the official Kid Zone Coordinator (meaning: I make sure that each kid shows up for class and is picked up by a parent or other designated adult – such responsibility! And for this, Martini gets a free class), and also pick up some groceries and acquire coffee. (Husband's university is on break this week and he's home all the time, which is lovely in some ways — particularly if one wants to know the exact number of delegates each Republican presidential candidate has acquired so far, because he will tell you, in detail — but it means that there's very little coffee available for me to drink all day.)

But Good Neighbor Anne called and said, "It's beautiful out, let's go for a walk," and I am determined not to say no to her enticing exercise invitations — so at 4:00 I stuffed my bosoms into an exercise bra, and off we went to enjoy Arlington's bike path! She's a runner, not a walker, so the plan was that she would run as far as she wanted, then turn around and run back and walk the rest of the way with me. (That makes sense, right?) But first we needed to catch up on a few things (re: her life; she reads my blog, she knows everything about me already, so I was silent, silent! the whole time, just ask her) — beau, health, family, daughter, work, finances, ex, church, mutual friends, school, future plans, the hatefulness of treadmills, bike path etiquette, our inability to drink during the day and be productive . . . and then we were done with our walk and she hadn't run a step.

There's just always so much to talk about!

It was great, though; GNA says we walked 2.7 miles, and my feet are definitely sore.

Tonight I'm going to a meeting for my upcoming school auction; I've agreed to help with food, which will be totally fun, and I'm looking forward to the meeting — lots of Dallin School moms I don't know, and WINE.

Which I may dip into now.

Good Neighbor Anne asked me if my blog was turning out to be helpful in my weight-loss efforts, and that is a very good question. It certainly isn't what I thought it was going to be. I think I thought that I would feel so accountable to you, my dear and faithful readers, that I would be hyper-aware of what I was eating and how much (or little) I was moving, and I would be too embarrassed to maintain my gluttonous and slothful ways with you as my audience. And I suppose I do feel a little of that . . . but you are my friends. You are kind and generous to me. You're not going to yell at me for eating a doughnut. (And don't, okay? Because that would piss me off.)

Writing something every day takes discipline, and I have to believe that discipline is a good thing. But is it helping me lose weight and get healthier? I'm not sure. And if it isn't, is there something I could do to make blogging a more useful tool for me? I will have to think about both those things.

But first, some wine. And a little more work before the meeting.


—Lady C, thinker

p.s. Just got this note from Good Neighbor Anne:

Did you notice all the cuties on the path?  Better than a treadmill in the basement for motivation. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 198: Treat Day!

Today was dedicated to treats and joy and fun and NO WORK, and it was glorious!!!!

Starting with: My weight was a pound lower this morning! Always a beautiful start to the day, even if I don't officially count it until it's official. Still — all good.

Husband and I went to vote for president and then had a hot hot breakfast date. One thing I always notice when we're out is that the two of us never run out of things to talk about. Possibly because each of us as individuals never runs out of things to say — truly, we are born monologue-ists. But we will never be one of those silent couples you sometimes see (who may be happy in their silence, I'm not here to judge); even if he grows deaf as a post (which is where he's headed), I'll still talk.

For breakfast I had potato pancakes, which were delicious and came with a side of sour cream about the size of a lemon. I dipped my fork tines into it and ate it sparingly, and when I was done, a helping about the size of an apricot remained on my plate, which I thought was pretty good. (I ate all the applesauce, which it also came with.)

Then I came home and looked at old photo albums for a project I'm doing, which was totally fun, and then I was off to a morning of shopping with other people's money! I had a $25 Bed Bath & Beyond coupon, and I got such lovely things, including an assertive new bath brush; the one we have is so wimpy, and I really need a good one to scrub my back. And then I exchanged some earrings at Lane Bryant that my sister-in-law gave me; they're perfectly cute earrings, but they're the exact size, color, and shape of my glasses, which is not a particularly good look for me. I got some adorable bracelets instead.

And then — lunchtime! I went to Legal Seafood, where I knew I could get a relatively healthy yet deeply delicious lunch, and had Caesar salad and a sandwich called Seafood Trio: shrimp salad, crab salad, and lobster salad. I ate the fish and the lettuce and left most of the bread, and it was SO YUMMY.

And, yes, I had two glasses of my signature drink. Which were also very yummy and made me very happy.

And I capped off the afternoon with a matinee, decidedly not an Oscar nominee but great fun nonetheless: Wanderlust with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd. There were four people in the theater (counting me) and no one laughed except this one girl, who guffawed loudly, several times. OK, it was me. F' 'em if they can't take a joke.

When I got home, I curled up in my comfy plushy green chair with a cup of coffee and finished Trail of the Spellmans, which was awesome. Book 4 was my least favorite and I feared the author might be losing her touch, but this one, Book 5, is as charming as ever. I love this series.

I just got back from zumba, all sweaty and gross, so I will watch New Girl with the kids and then take a hot bath. Tomorrow's a busy busy day, but I'm ready for it: rested, replenished, and rejuvenated!

A Treat Day is a wonderful thing. Highly recommended.

Hasta maƱana!

—Lady C

Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 197: Seeking Motivation

Often when I sit down to write my blog post for the day I have a general theme or idea in mind, but there are many times when I sit at the computer for several minutes, fingers idle, brain whirling like a slot machine but coming up empty each time (it should be clear from this metaphor that, to the best of my memory, I've never played a slot machine in my life), as I ask myself, What did I DO today? What is there to write about?

Today I was industrious and busy and had a quite nice day, in fact, but nothing of it was the stuff of creative blog posting. I bought plane tickets and made hotel reservations, I sent dozens of e-mails, I ordered some new clothes (I had a gift certificate), I lined up a smallish editing job, I made some necessary phone calls. All good, and the pile in front of my computer (as well as the one on my dresser) is significantly reduced.

The most "interesting" thing I did was to plunk my breast into the hand of a stranger, but she was a medical professional holding an ultrasound thingy. I've got some likely benign nodules in my left breast, which they've been tracking for a while; the news was all good today, and after one more ultrasound (in September — which seems years away, doesn't it?) they will likely declare me the breasty equivalent of good to go, and I won't do the twice-yearly ultrasounds any more. Which will be very nice, indeed.

After having my boob mauled, I decided to get a treat at Au Bon Pain (I hadn't had lunch yet) and then had to laugh at myself; Au Bon Pain publishes the calorie counts of all of its sandwiches, so my "treat" was a low-calorie chicken and vegetable wrap and some high fiber cracker/chips and a bottle of sparkling water. Tempo del partito!

Oh, another interesting thing (possibly just to me, the ambitious home cook) is that I made a new recipe tonight, a pepper-onion-spinach frittata, and it turned out sensationally — everyone loved it, even Li'l Martini, and he is a ridiculously picky eater. And it was easy to make and not unhealthy, so, yay! New dish for my repertoire!

But now . . . here I sit, trying to convince myself to walk on my treadmill, at least a little bit. So I Googled "seeking motivation" to see what would come up, and there was this wonderful dinosaur. What a marvel the Internet is.

So this is how I'm going to trick myself: I will say that I only have to walk for 20 minutes. And maybe that's all I will do, and maybe I'll push myself and do more. But either way, it's more exercise than I've had today otherwise.

Perhaps I'll hum the Chariots of Fire theme song as I'm slipping on my sneaks. That will motivate me.

(I finally made it all the way through. Yawwwwwnnn. Next I think I'll watch Wings.)

Moving slowly,
Lady C

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day 196 (Week 28): Pretty Pretty Princess

I was a vision in ice blue this morning, to promote our upcoming church auction: "Rhapsody in Blue: From Ball Gowns to Blue Jeans." Everyone told me I looked like Cinderella, and Handsome Jerry and I got a lot of laughs. My church is fun.

I also got a bit teary-eyed, as two of our adorable church teens played guitar and sang "Happy Together," the Turtles song, which has choked me up ever since it was used as the opening theme for Freaky Friday; for me, for now, forever, this song is about mothers and daughters, and I get weepy every time I hear it.

I had a chance to talk to my own dear mother today, who's been coughing for the past three weeks. The doctor has ruled out bronchitis and pneumonia and asthma, she simply has a Bad Cough, and she's swilling cough medicine like it's hooch, but she still sounds terrible. My mom is a bit of a drama queen around illness, God love her (I think it's the only way she can get my dad, whom she waits on like she's his own personal Mammy, to take care of her), and if she's determined to Be Sick, nothing will stop her.

But when she forgot to cough, we had a very fabby conversation, and I thought, as always, how lucky I am to have a mom I love and enjoy so much. If all goes according to plan, she will come to Massachusetts for a few days in June and see both my kids graduate, and then I will see her at the end of August, when we'll spend a few glorious days in Mendocino, California, one of my favorite spots on Earth, celebrating our milestone birthdays.

Oh! Before I forget:
  • Today's scale reading: 259.5
So, up a half pound from my last glorious weigh-in, BUT significantly down from where I've been for the last two weeks; my weight crept up to 266 again, and I was in great despair. But today I'm happy.

I wanted to exercise but didn't. Instead, I ate sparingly. In fact, I'd really love to have a big sandwich or something right now, but I'm going to stop eating for the night and wait till breakfast. I am really pysched by today's weight and am determined to stay on track and lose another few pounds before the auction. (My dream is 10, though I know that's unlikely. But it's still my dream.)

I have no scheduled work this week, which is a tad alarming, but we have money in the bank, I can ride it out for a bit. Tomorrow I will start checking in with other clients and tackle a few more things on my to-do list while I have the time, and Tuesday is still going to be a day of treats and luxury (can't wait!!!). It will be okay.

And if I have to change my life a bit and get a real job, I can certainly do that. Hmm, maybe I'll register with a temp agency, though I imagine they're deluged with potential tempers in this economy. Well, we'll see how it all plays out. A new client may come out of the woodwork.

You never know what's coming next. I sure as heck never have.

But tonight, my weight is back down, and my favorite TV show will be on in an hour and 20 minutes, and I'm reading an awesome book (Sweethearts by Sara Zann), and Husband is bringing me coffee. Life is very very sweet. And my sexy-dancey zumba class resumes next week. Sweeeeeet.


—Lady C, back to her fighting weight

p.s. Ha.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day 195: The Joy of Sweat

What a great day!

I slept in, first time in ages, and it was wonderful. Husband and I didn't get out of bed until 9. (We could hear Li'l Martini and HoneyBear scurrying around downstairs, and I believe they had ice cream for breakfast, and I just didn't care.)

Oh, and I should mention that I got a great night's sleep last night because I started watching Chariots of Fire for the umpteenth time (I got it at the library yesterday), and, as always, I was comatose within 10 minutes. Greatest insomnia cure evah!

We did our chores and I dealt with various piles of things, tracked down some financial info for our new accountant and wrote three sympathy cards and updated the March calendar — (scary) — and the kids cleaned the doors of all my kitchen cupboards, which have been bugging me for weeks, and the laundry is done and the cats claws are clipped and the house is happy and shiny.

And at 2:30, I got on my treadmill and pounded out a 2-mile walk at the brisk and constant pace of 3.1 miles per hour, my fastest yet, and it felt wonderful. And also boring, but I hammed up my walk with some hot hot dance moves (sarcastic italics), which only disconnected my iPod once. And then Martini and I lifted weights and worked our cores, and I did my stretching and took a hot shower.

And then I curled up on the couch and read I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella; I don't read a ton of what people call "chick lit," but I love love love Sophie Kinsella, and this one was a pure delight.

I had yogurt and high-fiber cereal for breakfast, a chicken breast and four mini chicken tacos and a handful of grapes for lunch, and for supper I made mini hog dogs sauteed with shallots (fancy!), sweet potato fries (OK, "made" is perhaps not as accurate as "defrosted, baked, and broiled"), coleslaw (now, that was from scratch — I love my coleslaw dressing, and it's very low in fat, comprising mostly plain Greek yogurt), and red-hot apples, and ate sparingly; I really wanted a glass of wine but refrained, and I really wanted some Girl Scout cookies but instead ate a handful of cashews. I am very very very hopeful re: tomorrow's weigh-in. We shall see.

Anyway! It was a very lovely day, full of virtuous accomplishment and happy leisure and fun family moments. (Martini and I finally finished reading The Hunger Games, weep!)

I will now clean my teeth and paint my nails blue for tomorrow's church skit, read a bit more and, when I'm ready to go to sleep, turn to my ever-reliable soporific Chariots of Fire.

Vangelis 4-evah!

—Lady C