Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 253: Investing in My Future


Today I interviewed with an editorial services company. I knew the woman I was meeting with, but I hadn't seen her for years. She greeted me with a big hug and the words, "You've lost weight!", which struck me as a good omen. She is sure that she can get lots of editing work for me, which is great. The bad news is that I'll make $20 less an hour working for her . . . but you know what? Twenty dollars less is still more than zero per hour, which is what I've made three weeks running.

Tonight I attended my last townwide PTO meeting. Slowly, the clock is ticking down on the last of my volunteer commitments . . .

I'm not sure that I mentioned that I plan to be Clerk at my church next year — an elected officer on our "ruling body," the Parish Committee. But that's my only actual volunteer position! No PTO. No Betsy-Tacy Convention. No other official church work (though I'm sure I'll help Kind Tina on occasion). I'm looking forward to it — just work and writing and some church stuff. And weight loss. It will be great.

 At my interview, I had to edit the following sentence:

       Margarine which contains yellow dye number five can be 
   dangerous to your health. 

Here's how I changed it:

   Margarine that contains Yellow Dye No. 5 can be 
   dangerous to your health.


"Good," said my interviewer. "You can go with 'which' or 'that,' but if you stayed with 'which,' you'd have to add commas on either side, as I'm sure you know."

And, of course, since I was on a job interview and trying to make a very good impression, I did exactly the WRONG thing and argued with her.

You can't use "which." If you say "which," you're saying that all margarine contains Yellow Dye No. 5, and I am quite sure that Whole Foods, at the very least, offers an all-natural margarine containing no dyes whatsoever.

I tried to say this nicely.

My interviewer narrowed her eyes at me. "A proofreader wouldn't be expected to know that."*

I got the message and quickly made nice. All was well.

But the incident reminded me of how my old boss used to say, near daily, "Editors are nuts, man." We do have a serious addiction to our "rightness" being recognized, for sure.

Anyway! I'm exhausted and must get to bed. I've had a low-grade headache for the past five days, and I am thoroughly sick of being tormented by my uterus. Enough, already.

Good night!

—Lady C

* Proofreaders shop for margarine at the Goodwill, apparently.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 252 (Week 36): The Right Trousers

I can't remember if I mentioned this or not: Remember a few months back, when the Italian Spitfire zumba teacher gave me a cute new zumba shirt? And I tried it on and it more or less fit, but I clearly needed some better pants to wear with it (rather than my former stirrup pants with the stirrups cut off, which I wore through both pregnancies)? Two weeks ago, I went to Old Navy and bought two pairs of black exercise pants — one full-length and one a capri — and then went to Fabulous Footwear and bought some better workout shoes. I haven't been to Tuesday zumba since I bought the pants, so I haven't unveiled the whole snazzy outfit yet, but I've been wearing the capris.

And it makes such a difference to wear cute exercise clothes that are actually designed for exercise! I LOVE my moisture-wicking capris!!!

Today was a lazy day; I didn't sleep super well last night, and then after church we ate a big late lunch at our Mexican place, so I spent most of the afternoon lying on my bed, reading The Submission, talking to Mom on the phone, and digesting my chicken flautas platter. But then I thought about weigh-in tomorrow, and that was enough to get me on my feet and out the door. I took an hour-long walk at dusk, and it was lovely.

My new goal is to lose my next 10 pounds before Mom gets here on June 15. I may have to do a mini boot camp between now and then! Fun.

Off to lift weights and take a fast shower before the season finale of The Good Wife.

Alicia + Peter 4-evah!

xox
Lady C

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 251: I Have No Ideas

 http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/054/7/c/i_have_no_idea_by_eleth89-d4ofatl.jpg



So I go into Google Images and type "I have no ideas" . . . and this image comes up. How could I not choose it?!

But I have little of substance to say, so here are some random tidbits:
  • My writers group liked my packet just fine, though they did have some constructive feedback that I think I should listen to. So — back to work! But it's all good.
  • Today started with another headache and another ridiculous argument with Husband. He asked me, "Which relative was the Indian, your grandmother or your grandfather?" OK, we're Native American on my dad's side. How do I answer that? I said, "Honey, what are you really asking?" and he snapped, "I'm asking exactly what I said." Okaaaaaaay then.*
  • One reason that I'm especially concerned about finances this month is that our credit card bills are insane. All of the kids' summer activities, three plane trips, a vet bill for the boy kitties — it adds up. I paid the Discover bill today with the cash we had on hand, but I have to dip into our home equity line of credit to pay the Visa bill. C'est la vie — at least we have a line of credit. Life could be worse.  
  • I spent an hour of my life today attending a fairly pointless meeting at church. A professional is assessing whether we're financially able to mount a successful capital campaign, and apparently Step 1 is to determine the "health" of our church. Not our financial health, which would make more sense to me, but our general health. So we sat around and yakked for an hour about how great our Religious Education program is. Which in itself is a worthwhile endeavor, but I don't think it required six of us. (However, I hung around for a half hour afterward gossiping with Kind Tina, and that made it all worth it.)
  • I'm in love with my new shoe repair guy. My elderly caramel leather shoes are repaired perfectly, they're so buffed and polished that they look brand-new, he had them ready in three days, and it cost only $18.
  • I just read a fantastic book called Hand Me Down by Melanie Thorne, who got her MA at UC Davis and lives in Northern California. I think she's my alter ego.
  • Mimosa and I just watched Carrie. I LOVE that movie, up till the last 10 minutes, which are pretty unbearable. I saw it for the first time when I was 14, which Mimosa is now. She loved it too. A great Saturday night date!
  • Tomorrow, Sexy Em's son HoneyBear turns 11 (he and his family are taking Li'l Martini to the circus!) and Nurse Kathy's daughter Princess Princess celebrates her First Communion. A momentous day for two of my favorite families.
  • My feeling of "lightness" has lifted, I'm back to feeling large and heavy again. (I wonder how much of that feeling was weather-related? It's gotten colder, so I'm either bundled up or shivering.) However, I am thoroughly enjoying the look and feel of a properly fitted bra! Mimosa looks great, too; her new bra takes 10 pounds off her.
I could probably write more, but this seems like a good stopping point, particularly since I have no ideas.

I hope your Saturday night is as rockin' as mine!

Kisses,

Lady C

* I did my best; I answered, "We're Native American on Dad's side, does that help?" No, it did not, and he grew further annoyed with me.**

** His actual question: How far back do you have to go on your family tree to get to a full-blooded Native American?***

*** If only there were words one could use to ask the actual question!

English is hard.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 250: A Life Lesson

When you make delicious homemade cupcakes from scratch, put them in the oven, and set the timer for 24 minutes . . .

. . . don't forget to push the "Start" button.

That is all I have to say about that.

Very very tired, long day, gotta get to bed. Good night!

—Lady C, who contributed Cupcakes of Steel to tonight's Movie Night

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 249: I Hope I Hope I Hope

Tomorrow, my writers group will let me know what they think of my packet — and even though their opinion is not the be-all and end-all, I have found their suggestions immeasurably useful and insightful over the years. I am really hoping that they tell me it's great. I just want this grant so much! And I want to be sure that my application is as good as I can possibly make it.

(I've already received feedback from one of the four, and it was very positive. Of my synopsis, she said, "Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing." !!!!! That is the kind of feedback I'm hoping for.)

I'm in the habit of qualifying my deep hope for the grant by adding ". . . though the odds aren't good" or ". . . though I probably won't get it," and yesterday, the very dear, very religious woman who's now in my old job at EDC gave me a stern talking-to:

        "Are you a child of God? Then trust your heavenly Father to open 
        doors for you. [God] delights in you. He wants you to fulfill all of the 
        potential He has placed inside of you. . . . He wants you to have joy
        and peace and faith in Him."


I am a child of God. I don't usually use language like this, but I appreciated the sentiment very much. I've been mentally repeating "God delights in me!" since she said it, and I must admit: It is a much sweeter sentence to live with than "It is very unlikely that I'll get it." 


In other news, I registered for the Wednesday night zumba class, so now I'm taking three in a row through June, and I really pushed myself at Sexy Dancey Nancy's class tonight and got a great workout, so maybe I'll try adding her Saturday morning class, if I can get up and out the door on Saturday morning.

Hi, I'm Lady Chardonnay, and I am a zumba addict. (Hi, Lady Chardonnay.)


I also talked to a woman I used to know who works at a sort of editing temp agency, and I have a meeting with her on Monday. And a great former client contacted me to ask me to do some editing for her this summer — she lives in California now but still thinks of me as her favorite editor. So, maybe I don't have to register with a temp agency yet (though I did check out two that look pretty good, and if it comes to that, I won't hesitate.)

Despite all the exercise I'm doing, I haven't lost much weight this week, but I feel pretty chill about it. This week's crisis is writing and employment. A weight loss plateau can be next week's crisis.

Bedtime!


—Lady C

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 248: A Little Wallow in Manilow

I had another migraine this morning but opted to treat it with Motrin and caffeine, rather than take my medicine and spend another day in zombie mode. But I was still kinda fatigued, kinda discouraged, so I decided to use some of my Amazon points to buy my mom a Mother's Day present . . . and while I was online, I decided that I needed a few more Barry Manilow albums.

Hush, you.

To me, "The Essential Barry Manilow" is redundant. I don't think he's handsome or hot, I don't want to kiss him, I just love him.

And while I was deciding which new albums to buy, I listened to samples: Barry singing "Cherish" and "Windy" with The Association (love!), Barry singing "If" (so love!), Barry singing "Stardust" (OK, that one I loved less) . . . and then I lost my mind and played samples of Barry singing songs I already own, such as "Somewhere in the Night" and my all-time favorite "Weekend in New England," and by this point — need I say it? — I was weeping, weeping.

And then I went to the bathroom, and the explanation for my two days of migraines and moping became abundantly clear.

Why does my period take me by surprise every freaking month?

Last night at my PTO meeting, my face suddenly became unbearably hot (not the rest of me, just my face) and I know I was bright red for at least 10 minutes. Is this my own freaky version of a hot flash? I dunno, but I don't like it.

So far, pre-menopause is just like pre-pre-pre-menopause, only more so — with a side of Manilow.

In other news, I am very proud of myself because I went to a new zumba class tonight! Right before class I felt nervous (what if they're cliquey and mean? what if they're hard-bodied and scornful?), and I also got lost on the way there (very usual for me), but I persevered, and the class was wonderful — lots and lots of old Russian women! And some were indeed lean and hard-bodied, and some were round and dumpling-ish, and some were thin and frail, and one was a little toothless, but they were very kind and welcoming.

My teacher, the Italian Spitfire, worked us like crazy tonight; we did squat after squat and lots of upper arm work (all in the context of dancey zumba routines, which is the only way I can stand it), and we even had to get down on the floor to do ab work, where I came to the sad realization that despite all my core exercises, I still have abs of cantaloupe. I am nobody's ab poster girl. Alas.

But it was a very good thing to do, and I see few Wednesday night conflicts in my immediate future, so I think I'm going to sign up for this class! Yay, three zumba classes. It will be SO good for me.

Bath time! See you tomorrow.

—Lady C

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 247: Tired

My day started with a migraine, quickly followed by migraine medicine, which wearies me for most of the day. I didn't get around to calling temp agencies (though I got two promising names from Mrs. Cynicletary, my life guru), but I did get a bunch of other stuff done . . . yet still have so much more to do. Well, that's what tomorrow's for.

I am just exhausted, and I feel another headache lurking at the edges of my brain. I think I will collapse in bed with some microwave popcorn and a cold Diet Pepsi and maybe an old comfort movie. (I've been watching Season 2 of Medium and it's very fabby, but I wouldn't call it Comfort TV.)

Tomorrow should be better. I made a rather radical decision to skip the planning meeting for Mimosa's graduation ceremony, scheduled for tomorrow night — there can be one event that happens in my little world that I'm not in charge of planning, right? And I had to miss zumba tonight to lead my own PTO meeting, so I'd like to go to the class tomorrow that my Italian Spitfire is teaching in Belmont.

(However, blowing off this meeting is making my skin all crawly, so I've already e-mailed the planners, both of whom are friends of mine, and said that I would help.)

(Help, not lead.)

(I know, I know. But it is just not in my nature to be a slacker when it comes to these kinds of things.)

I need a good night's sleep!

And a good sweaty zumba class.

And some popcorn. And maybe Breakfast at Tiffany's. Or Brigadoon. Or Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. We'll see.

G'night!

—Lady C

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 246: AWESOME

The day started with a clogged toilet, followed by Couples Counseling. Fun on ice, let me tell you.

Nah, it was okay.

But then I came home to face the fact that for the second week in a row I have no paying work. I should have a bunch next week, which is good, but I have to submit a timesheet on Friday, and as of this moment I have only three hours to put on it.

Tomorrow, I'm calling a temp agency. (Do they still have such things, in these days of excess unemployment? Well, I guess I'll find out.) I'm not allowing myself to stress unduly over this, but I need to have some money coming in.

And if I don't get the writing grant (which is likely), then I will look for a real job starting in September.

Que sera sera. I had a good run.

And I made an awesome dinner tonight, our first meal all together at home in a long time: stir-fried cocktail franks with shallots (elevating the humble dog into something sublime), acorn squash with brown butter and rosemary, coleslaw with homemade fresh dill dressing, fresh pineapple and red grapes, and a yummy rice dish with saffron and three herbs that Husband saw in the paper and asked me to make. Everything was delicious! And whilst cooking I enjoyed a pleasant cocktail, and that was delicious too.

I didn't exercise, though, in fact was pretty sluggish all day, so I will step up my game tomorrow.

But I'm yawning now, and so, to bed.

Nighty!

—Lady C

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 245 (Week 35): Taking Up Less Space On Earth Day

The day started, as my days do, with a weigh-in. (I've decided that Official Weigh-In Day is floating, depending on how I feel about Sunday's weight.) I really wanted to weigh 255 today. I weighed myself and weighed 256.5. "Hmm," I thought and moved the scale, deciding to take the average: 255.5. I moved the scale again (still determined to take the average): 254.5. And again: 254.5.

OK, clearly I need to keep the scale in the same spot! But as I promised myself, I'm going with the average:
  • Today's scale reading: 255.25 !
I totally rock.

The picture I chose for today is a tad misleading, though, since I will celebrate Earth Day mostly indoors. First we have church, and then I'm picking up Mimosa at her yoga class and heading out for a Girls Afternoon: lunch at Watch City Brewing Company, a viewing of Bully (not particularly girly, but she and I are the only ones who want to see it), and then bra shopping at Lady Grace; my chesty daughter is growing in all directions, and I want someone who knows what they're doing to measure, size, fit, and bind her.

Fun day!

I finished A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty last night, it was super-fabby to the very last page, and today I'll try to finish Cameron Post, so so so good. And I'll finish writing this thing for Brunie, too; it's an FAQ document for the Betsy-Tacy Convention, and I said, "Why do we need this? All the info is there in the registration materials" (which I also wrote), and Brunie said, "Because people are dumbasses." So, the title of my FAQ is "Frequently Asked Questions About the Betsy-Tacy Convention (If You're a Dumbass)."

Happy Earth Day, everyone! Even dumbasses.

xx
The ever-smaller Lady C

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 244: Good Reads



Today was great. We cleaned the house, our usual chores, plus the kids and I dusted the downstairs and I organized all my CDs, which was very satisfying. And then I went to a zumba fundraiser for victims of the tsunami in Japan, so I was virtuous on so many levels, plus I bought a yogurt-orange marmalade cake (the fundraiser included a bake sale), which is yummy and charitable. And then I took an afternoon bath, the height of luxury, and started reading my two wonderful books. They are both so good; I read about 30 pages of one and then switch off and read 30 pages of another. Heaven.

Short post tonight, I want to get back to reading!!

Konbonwa. Sayonara!

—Lady C シャードネーワイン

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 243: Dubious Decisions R Us

The day started oddly. Well, perhaps it's True Confessions time: The previous night ended oddly, because Husband and I had the most ridiculous fight.

Technically, it was over which of us was the first to read the obituary of a noted Simon Says impressario.

I know.

The thing is: I am very good at arguing. I marshal my arguments, support them with facts, use "I" statements, and avoid name-calling or getting mean. And I have a lot of patience when I believe I'm right. Like — endless stores of patience.

(This is one key reason that Bride Boy and I cannot share a life together, because he's the same. Our arguments go on for years. I even referenced one of our old arguments in the toast I wrote for his wedding. Listening to us argue once, BB's husband [possibly the #1 key reason that he and I can't really share a life together] commented, "Thank God he has you.")

Husband, in contrast, is terrible at arguing. What usually happens is that he is quickly undone by my logic and facts (because I'm usually right, says the girl telling the story) and forfeits. But when he truly believes he's right, (a) his emotions get the best of him and (b) he regresses to a seven year old, all but spitting out "Sez you!" and "I know I am, but what are you?"

This then infuriates me, because there is no way to have a rational argument with a seven year old. Last night, I laid out my logical argument, and he sneered, "I'm sure it seems that way to you." And I was done.

So, see, we weren't really fighting about the freaking obituary, because, seriously? Our real fight was You fight like a moron vs. You are a harpy who never believes I can be right about anything.

The night therefore ended on a bit of a downer note. Then, somewhere around 2 a.m., Husband moved in a way that caused his sleep-breathing machine to fly off its shelf with a hideous crash, and then there was a lot of fumbling and ruckus as he tried to put it all back together, in the dark, because he didn't want to wake me, because he's so so thoughtful.

He was so so thoughtful for about 20 minutes, which I watched tick by on the clock.

And then somehow in his fumbling he managed to lose his glasses, which meant that he woke me again at 6 a.m. (he had to be at work mega early today) tearing his side of the bed apart to find them. I am the Finder of Lost Things, so when he went to tear the bathroom apart, I pulled his nightstand away from the wall, heard the sound of glasses hitting the floor, and called, "Honey! . . . found 'em." And tried to get back to sleep.

I tell you all this to explain why I didn't hop right out of bed and into my sneakers and head out the door for a brisk walk. Instead, I stumbled out of bed with half-open eyes, mainlined some coffee, and stared at my e-mail dumbly for half an hour.

And then the kids and I recycled some more cans and bottles and got more doughnuts. And I ate a doughnut. A Verna's honey-glazed twist, ooohhhh so good. And then we took in a local art show (they complained loudly all the while, but I insisted that a little culture was good for their soul). And then I ate a big leftover burrito for lunch. And then, instead of exercising, I spent the afternoon writing something for Brunie — which everyone is happy with, and it was fun to do, and I'm glad to have it off my to-do list, but still. I probably should've exercised.

What with one thing and another (including offering showers to two visiting filthy church kids — don't ask), I didn't strap on my sneaks and head out the door till 7:15 p.m.

Know what's happening around these parts at 7:15 p.m.? The sun is setting, which is beautiful to be out walking during.

Know what happens after the sun sets? It gets dark.

I curtailed my walk and skedaddled home, and I was too starving at that point to lift weights or anything.

SO. That was my day. I did good deeds and a little exercise. I ate many vegetables for dinner but also a doughnut and a glass of wine, and I'm seriously contemplating Doughnut #2. Serious contemplation. I finally finished reading Tempest (a perfectly good book, it just felt like it took me a year to get through it) and will now start The Miseducation of Cameron Banks, which Mimosa adored, and A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, which I believe Brunie liked very much. And where better to start reading than my bathtub?

Perhaps I'll eat half a doughnut and then run and hide in the bath, where the doughnuts can't find me.

And I'll be sweet to my husband when he comes home (today was a loooong work day for him), because my yummy half-doughnut will sweeten my cold, hard soul — that's what I believe.

TGIF, peeps!

—Lady C

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 242: Writing Woman

I am so happy — today I finished my third draft of the packet I'm submitting for this writing grant, and I think it turned out really well. I have to write a five-page proposal, a twenty-line synopsis, and an enticing three-line snippet for the back cover to draw in readers. Here are my three lines (which, due to blog formatting, may be longer than three lines here — don't worry!):

Abby Tennyson expects to ace the assignment: Successfully market an unpopular product to your peers. But when the product she's given is the school’s Purity Club, Abby must work with the group’s rigid president to sell chastity — not only to a wary student body, but also . . . to herself.

What do you think?


Anyway. I'm just so glad to cross that off my list! I'm not done done — my writers group will read it and give me feedback on the 27th, and I'll do one last round of revisions. But I really think I'm close, and I'm expecting their revisions to be minor and do-able. So then I'll get it in the mail by the following weekend . . . and begin the long slow wait till June 29 (I think), when they announce the winner.


It is such a long shot. Still. It's exciting to feel like an actual contender.


Speaking of — tonight we all went to see The Hunger Games again, though Husband was seeing it for the first time, and I loved it even more on second viewing. I also drank two glasses of celebration wine! All good.


I think I'll start my day tomorrow with a long brisk walk. And then, who knows? It's going to be another beautiful day — I'll see how the kids want to spend their last "real" day of vacation.


Shout-out to my friend Zanzibar, who just called me from the quarantine unit at the hospital — get well, honey! And also to my friend Inspirational Kathy, who sent me the most loving and supportive letter today; I told her that I'm going to read it every day for the rest of my life. Good friends are the best.


And now, to bed. Sweet dreams, y'all!


xx Lady C

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 241: Happy "Birthday," Mimosa!

Mimosa's birthday party has evolved into a fancy dinner at a swellegant restaurant with Good Neighbor Anne and her Angel-Daughter. Mimosa's birthday is in early August, when our friends attend their yearly family reunion — and then September is always crazy-busy, then it's Big Holiday season . . . and with one thing and another, we often don't celebrate until February or sometime thereafter. But tonight was the night, and we had a super-fancy dinner at Flora, a lovely lovely restaurant in East Arlington.

I did not eat over-lightly but nor did I over-indulge. And fancy food goes down smooth.

I also took my walk this morning, several miles of briskness, and lifted weights and did core work and stretched. Then I took the kids swimming and we all went grocery shopping — healthy cereal and free pints of Ben and Jerry's. Yum!

And now I'm exhausted and ready for bed, so, short post today.

Love my friends! Love my daughter! Love birthdays! Love good food!

Life is sweet.

Love to all,

Lady C

Day 240: The Incredible Lightness of Being

(Sharp eyes will notice that this is being written the morning after — yesterday was simply too full of awesome!!)

The kids and I planned a truly faboo day for Vacation Tuesday: First, we'd return cans and bottles (the kids like using the machines, and of course we love getting money), then use some of our proceeds to buy doughnuts at the Good Doughnut Place. Then: miniature golf in Saugus! Route 1 in Saugus, Mass., is an amazing adventure, with Hilltop Steak House and its dozens of cow statues (which were beheaded one year by some truly macabre pranksters), a restaurant shaped like a ship, Kowloon, the mysterious Asian restaurant atop a hill and guarded by a tiki (I've never braved it), and our personal highlight, the mini golf course of wonders, with a giant orange dinosaur standing sentry. And after a sweaty game of golf, we'd cool our heels with some giant burgers and shakes at Fuddruckers! ("Nothin's more fun than Fuddruckin'!") And then, Martini would hang out with Daddy, and Mimosa and I would go see Titanic  in 3-D, and we'd wind up the day with popcorn and doughnuts and good TV.

But the day actually started with a quick chore: I went to Swifty's Printing to copy our amended 2008 tax return and then to the post office to mail it, and as I walked this half block of Mass. Ave., I felt so much lighter! There was such a spring in my step! I stood up straight and held in my stomach, and my abdomen was flat! I caught sight of my reflection in a store window and actually said, "Wow!"

It is simply amazing how much of a difference thirty pounds makes. That's four healthy newborns removed from my body. Even though I'm still a big enormous girl, nonetheless — I feel significantly lighter. It is amazing.

I also felt very cute, in my capris and fake-tanned legs and UCSC tank top. My toenails are painted bright yellow with black polka dots, my fingernails are lilac, my lipstick is called Summer Spice. I'm a vision.

We had a glorious day. I hit a hole in one on the final hole and won a free pass! And while the kids ate their burgers and shakes, I had a vegetable salad with grilled chicken breast, dressing on the side, and a glass of water, and felt skinny and virtuous. (And the salad was delicious. And I did have a taste of Li'l Martini's shake and Mimosa's The Works Burger, I'm no Mother Teresa.)

Just . . . a perfect day. And when we got home from Titanic (Mimosa had never seen it before, and how fun to watch that movie with a teenage girl!) I had this itchy feeling of I haven't exercised, really, so I dashed down the hill to Trader Joe's for some milk and dashed back up again. I'm not sure it really counts as exercise if you do it in flip-flops, but it was still pretty cool that I both had that feeling and immediately acted on it.

My goal is to start Wednesday with a long walk and some weight-lifting and core work; I haven't done any of that for a few days now. But first, some coffee.

Aloha!

—Lady C

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 239: It Ain't Fittin'

Today I had an unexpected migraine (I told Good Neighbor Anne, my co-Menopause Warrior, that I was going to have to start charting my menstrual cycles again, like I did in junior high, so I can be somewhat prepared for the Danger Times, and she said, "I don't think we can ever be prepared." She says that she blames every new ache and cramp and twinge on our incipient menopause. It is all so annoying, I'm not using my uterus for anything, can't we just get this over with?) so I moved slowly through my morning. Also, it's 80+ degrees here, poor Marathoners, which also gave the day a sultry, drowsy feel.

When it was time to get dressed, I decided to dig out some shorts from the back of my closet. On top of the stack were some white shorts that I bought last July. As I pulled them out, I said, Well, I've lost 30 pounds, they should fit better — and I pulled them up and fastened the button at the waistband.

And they fell right off and puddled around my ankles.

Un—freaking—believable!!!

Those shorts were miles too big for me!!

And I know people say that how your clothes fit is a better indication of how your body is changing than a scale reading is, but all my clothes are old and large-ish and stretchy. I like things that are roomy and comfortable (think tunics and leggings, oversize tanks and maxi skirts); everything basically fits the same, maybe just a little roomier. But these shorts were new and fitted and not stretchy at all. This is the first thing I've tried on that clearly didn't fit — in a good way!

It was pretty cool.

In other news, we all had dinner at Handsome Jerry and Lovely Tina's house tonight — delicious food and great company. Our kids were well-behaved and played happily with our hosts' dog; we were very proud. And it was a lot of fun — wine, laughs, talking into the night. They are great new friends, and the kids are dying to go back and play with the dog some more.

The weather is supposed to be warm and beautiful for at least one more day, so I will see if a mini-golf place is open and take the kids there — or maybe we'll walk along a beach or something. Something! I have no scheduled work, and we are going to have fun, doggone it!

Plus, I need to work off some of tonight's dinner. Grilled steak and turkey tips and potato salad and wine and two caramel-cashew bars (my contribution, plus brownies), ooh la la. A long walk somewhere will be a good thing.

(No zumba this week, did I mention that? Both classes are tied to the school system, which seems crazy to me, but no one asked me.)

I'm now going to watch Smash in real time with Mimosa — such a treat! Though my migraine meds always make me so weary, I'm not sure I'll make it past the first commercial.

Nighty-night! Happy Patriots Day.

—Lady C

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 238 (Week 34): It Is ABOUT FREAKING TIME

Let's get right to it, shall we?
  • Today's scale reading: 256.5 !!!
I can finally say that I've lost 30 pounds without adding an asterisk!

I did do yardwork today and worked up quite a sweat (which poured into my eyes every time I bent over — which was often), and my front gardens look swell. Last year, my mom came to visit for Mother's Day and she and I got Very Serious in my gardens, planting all kinds of pretty things, then laying down brown paper and covering it with mulch (a weed-prevention tip I got from Godiva), and it looks like everything we planted or transplanted is coming back beautifully, except for one sad little transplanted bush next to my front door. It's not dead, it just looks morose. I pruned it quite a bit today, to encourage new growth, and as soon as I've got some good compost going I will give it a healthy compost meal — we'll see. But my lilacs are budding, the azalea should bloom soon, my bleeding heart is already flowering, and my hydrangea has tiny green leaves. Within a month or two, everything will be stunning.

Which is all I care about. I do not enjoy gardening, I just want it to look pretty. My trick is to use shepherds' hooks, lots of them, at all different heights, from which I hang a variety of flowering plants. Easy-peasy, and it gives the illusion that I have a bounteous flower garden.

The weather is so gorgeous, in fact, I want to buy my flowering plants now — but this is Massachusetts, it's only April 15; we've had snow after this.

Still. It's spring, and the crocuses are gone. I'd like to see some flowers.

I didn't do a big sweaty workout, since my gardening ended up being so sweaty, but I did walk down the hill to Starbuck's with Good Neighbor Anne, and we sat and enjoyed afternoon drinks. Such a treat! I never hang out at Starbuck's. It was very fun, and we got all caught up on each other's lives (except I forgot to ask about her parents, whom she visited last week — GNA, remember to tell me how they're doing when we see each other next).

I'm off to have dinner with Mimosa at Madrona Tree, our local locavore eatery. (The boys are going to Burger King, which I eschewed even before I began eating better; I'm a McDonald's girl.) This evening I will groom Husband's feet (my sweet honey can't reach his own toes; I soak his feet in warm scented water, then clip his nails for him and exfoliate his heels, it's all very Biblical), then do my own nails and fake-tan my legs and get all glammy for the coming vacation week (it's so warm! I'll be wearing sundresses and shorts and capris all week, and my legs are winter-white) and also watch The Good Wife. All good.

I am VERY happy to have officially hit the 30-pound mark!

—(a little less of) Lady C

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 237: So Clean You Could Eat Off Me

I spent the day cleaning cleaning cleaning, mostly in Li'l Martini's room, which was a multi-step process: (1) remove 90 tons of crap from every surface in his room, (2) go through it with him and determine what to keep, what to toss, what to donate, (3) clean said surfaces, (4) move everything away from the walls and vacuum behind, (5) take apart the bed and vacuum underneath, and (6) put everything back to rights. It was a huge job, his room was a den of filth, but now it's clean and sparkly, and you can't believe how many bags of junk I carted out of there!! (Where does it all come from??)

I also had the kids take everything off the kitchen counters and scrub behind them; we have tons of loose crumbs on our counters and now we have tons of ants, and I assume there's a connection. I cleaned behind the microwave, and Husband scrubbed the floor, and I'm about to lay down traps. Lady Chardonnay the Ant Slayer, that's me.

I also dusted our bedroom and the upstairs bookcases, vacuumed everything, and did three loads of laundry.

And THEN I sank into a hot tub of bubbles around 6 p.m. and didn't emerge until after 8. I finished The Flight of Gemma Hardy, which is one of the best books I've read this year, I think, and am now reading The List, which is disturbingly engrossing. I have an enormous pile of library books, and they all look so good!

Today, I declared, was No Diet Day; since I was doing so much cleaning, I thought I should be able to eat whatever I wanted. The ironly was that after a hearty breakfast of chopped hard-boiled egg and bacon and leftover cheesy flatbread from yesterday's lunch, I didn't want anything else all day. For diner, I had a giant all-vegetable salad and two pieces of Margherita pizza. Yum! I did however enjoy some wine, two glasses, so that was my No Diet treat, I guess.
Tomorrow I will do a little yard work, just some spring sprucing up, and then paint my nails and read some more. And call my new accountant and gently harangue him for not having our taxes done. Isn't tomorrow April 15? What is he waiting for?? I will also do a big workout of some sort and get good and sweaty. And then maybe another bath!

I worry about not having work, of course, but I LOVE not working on weekends!

xx
Lady C the Idle

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 236: Love My Girl

Today was crazy, I went from thing to thing to thing. ("The best was me, right?" said Mrs. Cynicletary, the lady with whom I lunched. Of course, darling!)

Tired now. I just want to collapse in front of accumulated taped television shows with Mimosa — Ringer! Smash! Inside the Actor's Studio with the cast of Glee! An orgy awaits us.

Though I'll be mending Li'l Martini's pants while I watch. Is it really an orgy if I'm mending? I suspect not.

Oh, and the kids are on vacation now. They'll be home all next week. Even though it's challenging when I have work, nonetheless, I love having them home for a week. We're going to have so much fun!

But TV calls, and so does my daughter. Bye!

—Lady C

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 235: Say — You Wanna Be In a Movie?

The sweet plan: Enjoy a romantic lunch date with Husband at our local Mexican joint; part ways (after a tender kiss); and walk briskly to Walgreen's for needed supplies (both kids have colds, we're out of shampoo) and then up Cardiac Crest for my daily 30-minute walk. Spend the afternoon updating my writing packet with the helpful feedback I received from one of my writers groupies.

The reality: Eat something that disagreed with me, violently and immediately and audibly, prepare to portray Maya Rudolph's character in Bridesmaids, mince my way to Walgreen's taking baby steps, expel a large and noisy amount of g*s in the hair products aisle (THANK GOD I was in a Bizarro Walgreen's and didn't see anyone I know — which never happens), and take baby steps up my hill, bent over like Quasimodo. After seventeen hours, finally make it home, get extremely loud and incredibly close with every toilet in the house, and spend the afternoon in a flannel lounger, holding a cup of hot tea to my beleaguered tummy and reading The Flight of Gemma Hardy, which is SO FREAKING GOOD. And not get a damn thing done, other than read a dozen pages of Gemma (I kept falling asleep. I did not feel good at all.)

But then I had to go to a meeting tonight, and it occurred to me that I was pretty hollowed out, so for dinner I had nineteen bite-size Snickers and a handful of yogurt-covered raisins (they were in front of me). Plus a dozen glasses of seltzer. I am hollow.

And I expect to have lost 10 pounds tomorrow, given the quantity of my insides that left me today.

Sorry, I know this is the grossest post I have ever written. Sorry. Sorry.

Just keepin' it real.

—Lady C, girl on the street

(Not like Maya, though. That would have been grossser.)

(But it was close.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 234: Say Aaaahh . . . and Wish You'd Started Flossing Earlier

My day began with a visit to the dentist and a conundrum: One of my back teeth looks like it's about to split in two, and my dentist (whom I love and trust) thinks we should put a crown on it. However, my insurance agency is being extra-noodgy about reimbursing for crowns on teeth that don't "obviously" need one (in the way that they define "obviously," obviously), so I would likely have to pay the entire $1,300 myself. If the tooth breaks, I lose the whole tooth. She said that we could try doing a filling, but given the location of the tooth, the pocket near it, and the presence of the "line" (along which she believes it will crack), she doesn't think that will work.

So there you have it. Having written it all out like this, it's fairly obvious that I should have her do the crown and take my chances. Right?

Sigh. I hate spending money on dental stuff. This dentist is very open to payment plans, though, so I can do that — or use my jazzy new home equity loan to pay for it, either way. I still hate it, though.

And I've had very little work, even though people keep dangling jobs in front of me. Two that I thought I'd have this week will instead appear next week, when the kids are home for spring break.* But it'll be fine, neither is huge. Still — I gotta make some dough!!

Quick note tonight, I need to read to Li'l Martini before Survivor. Today I ate lightly (very small dinner!) and took a long walk at dusk, my new favorite walking time, and I'll do some core exercises on my bed. My weight loss efforts are going okay.

It is what it is, as they say.

Off to see what Katniss and Haymitch are up to. G'night!

—Lady C

* I was talking to Dad in California, who said to me, in tones of great puzzlement, "Apparently next Monday is a holiday in Washington, D.C. What's that all about?" I said, "It's Patriots Day, ya Commie."

Oh, well. He gets Admission Day and Cesar Chavez Day and we don't. What're you gonna do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 233: It's Time to Bite the Bullet

(The "bullet" in this case is Weigh In.)
  • Today's scale reading: 257.5
So. I still can't say that I've lost 30 pounds. Well, I can say it, of course; more accurately, it is still inaccurate to say I've lost 30 pounds. After a week of weighing 256 and 255, even 254 one blessèd day, this is very disappointing — but clearly those were Boot Camp weights, akin to Post-Zumba weights, and not Real Weights.

Whatever. I'm a half-pound lower, and I will celebrate that any day of the week.

Yay!! Celebration!

Yeah.

My BMI is now 39.1. Has it been in the 30s before? I don't remember. In any event, I'll celebrate that too.

yay!

And now, to work.

xx Lady C, shrinking sloooowwwwly

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 232: Pie, Pie, Me Oh My!

Fresh-baked pie, made by me, is my favoritest dessert in the whole world. I'm baking one right now for the school bake sale tomorrow, using all the slightly aging fruit in my kitchen* (strawberries and nectarines) plus some fresh blueberries and an apple to round it out. A barely sweet bottom crust, fresh fruit and lemon juice and tapioca and sugar, topped with a brown sugar/oatmeal/butter streusel that is the yummiest thing evah. Hot and crunchy and slightly tart and sweet . . .

I LOVE PIE!!!

But I'm donating it to the school. It's my last bake sale, and I'm starting to get sentimental about all my "last" things.

I'm not working a shift, though, I do have limits.

And I don't know what's wrong with me; three days in a row now, I've eaten too much dinner. I blame the Jews, the Chinese, and Pioneer Woman. OK, not really, I blame myself. But a midnight Passover dinner, an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet (which I always take as a personal challenge), and tonight, Pioneer Woman's recipe for Make Ahead Muffin Melts (comprising hard-boiled eggs**, English muffins, bacon, mayonnaise, and cheese) . . . my days comprise light meals and light exercise, my nights comprise excess and gluttony. In the immortal words of that sage Dusty Springfield, I just don't know what to do with myself!

(Weigh In Day? Que?)

(In other words: Ask me tomorrow.)

After my two — two!— Muffin Melts, I took a brisk walk down my hill to buy a large bag of pet food, then briskly walked back up the hill, the long way, as quickly as I could. My Italian Spitfire zumba teacher honked at me, which was a surprise — what was she doing in my 'hood? Then I got all excited and wanted to invite her to come over, but she was long gone. Anyway — will the walk be enough to work off two Muffin Melts?

I doubt it.

(My kitchen smells amazing. I'm gaining weight just inhaling, I know it.)

Today was a bit sketchy. I went from here to there, from one thing to another, all day long. Tomorrow I aim to stay put and get some serious work done on my writing packet for the Boston Public Library grant.

After the pie comes out of the oven, I'm going to take a bath. I'm reading three really good books right now:
  • Tempest (I think that's the title), a YA about a time-traveling teen
  • The Flight of Gemma Hardy, a retelling of Jane Eyre
  • The Submission, a novel about choosing the 9/11 memorial
I also picked up Conversations with the Fat Girl (I think that's the title), which looks good too, but I'll finish these first. Plus, I'm rereading The Dieter, always a good time.

Tomorrow, I will eat lightly. All day long.

Yours in resolution,
Lady C

* There is nothing more forgiving of aging fruit than pie. Except maybe jam, or compote, but I never make those.

** All these hard-boiled eggs are left over from the Passover dinner, so technically this is you-know-who's fault again, but Brunie says I should stop blaming the Jews for my not losing weight.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 231 (Week 33): A Happy Easter

The Seder was very cool and very long. We didn't eat till 10 p.m. and I didn't get home until after 1 — and still had to fill eggs with the Mister and hide them for our children, who no longer believe in the Tooth Fairy but insist on an egg hunt. And after a week of Boot Camping, while I'd love to have a glorious weight loss total to report this morning, last night I (1) starved then gorged, also drank ritual wine, (2) ate late into the wee hours, (3) only got six hours sleep, and (4) basically told my metabolism to go flay itself. This morning's weigh-in was not pretty.

Today I did a little work and cleaned up the kitchen and made a cake (two-layer vanilla cake with lavender frosting, decorated with three different kinds of Peeps and chocolate shavings — it looks awesome and the kids are very happy), and then we all went to see The Secret Life of Arietty (very sweet) in Brunie's neck of the woods and had dinner at an awesome Chinese buffet, Mandarin Danvers, which, among other delights, serves decent sushi! I didn't discover this until after I'd mainlined an entire plate of food, but of course I had to try the sushi, so I am now overfull and very mad at myself.

As penance, I took a long walk in the sunset, which was lovely; no dogs out, but I got a sweet hello from Beast, Nurse Kathy's son, who was playing hockey in his driveway. And I went home a different way, cutting through Poet's Corner (Browning Avenue, Homer Street, Shelley Circle), and reflecting that while I know Browning and Shelley's first names, I have no idea if "Homer" is Homer's first name or last name or if he's the original one-named star, like Madonna or Pelé. If I had a smidgen of intellectual curiosity . . . well, I'll leave it at that.

I will now take a hot bath and drink some coffee and eat no more tonight, and hopefully that will be enough to make up for my sodium-heavy indulgences, and I'll be able to make a glowing report tomorrow, Weigh-In Day. And if not, I am going to be coy and pretend that I forgot it was Weigh-In Day. I'll just tell you that now.

Maybe next year I will get it together to come up with a ritual that will have spiritual meaning for me and my family — but this year, Easter was about friends and food and fun and holding my family close, and that feels pretty good.

Peace and love,

Lady C

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 230: Boot Camp, Final Day

(Yahoo.)

No, it hasn't been that bad, really, and obviously I didn't achieve 100 percent fidelity except for Day 5 (My Day of Living Perfectly), but nonetheless — I'm ready for it to be over, and I plan to celebrate its completion with several glasses of wine tonight.

Which will likely knock me on my keister, since I haven't been drinking. But whatever. It's allowed.

I didn't do a single core exercise yesterday, I think I forgot! (I also forgot to call Zanny — so sorry, honey! It was just one of those days.) And I also had a tiny glass of red wine with dinner. That was for medicinal purposes, though; it was either that or shriek like a harpy. My mental health required it.

(Just one example of the many challenges to my mental equilibrium: I was soaking some slightly aging lettuce to perk it up and remove all the slimy bits; Mimosa came into the kitchen, saw a sink full of water and lettuce, and still thought it was okay to rinse out her smoothie cup on top of it. My children, God love them, are utterly simple.)

Today I will do my chores (vigorously!) and lift weights with Martini and take a brisk walk to the store because I need more eggs, also coffee cream. For tonight's Seder, I'm bringing 15 perfect hard-boiled eggs for the ritual and then an additional egg dish: hard-boiled eggs cut in half, on a bed of steamed asparagus, covered in horseradish sauce (plain yogurt, sour cream, and horseradish), served at room temperature. When my friend gave me the recipe last year, I thought, " . . . huh." But it was surprisingly delicious!

Fifteen people are coming, and it's a vegetarian meal so eggs are one of the few protein sources, and I want to make sure to have enough. That's a lotta eggs to boil! I'm currently cooking 37, which is all my pot will hold (and all I had), but I think I need 7 or 8 more.

I'm looking forward to the Seder. I've always wanted to attend one, but for whatever reason, all of my local Jewish friends go to Seders elsewhere, so I never get invited. And then I became friends with Godiva (so-named for her waist-length hair, not any reference to chocolate), who isn't Jewish but who has been hosting a Seder with her two besties since college — and in one of those amazing small-world coincidences, one of those two besties (who no longer lives in the area) was part of the same Boston Area Rape Crisis Center speaker training that I attended, which was how I met Mr. Lady Chardonnay! I marvel at this. Anyway, I've been friends with Godiva for about four years, and this will be the third Seder I've attended at her house.

Godiva is something of an odd duck — her circle of church friends and mine don't overlap at all — but I love working with her on projects; she is my organizational soul mate. I also find her interesting and kind and thoughtful; we have lunch every few months or so, talk fast and furious, and leave after two and a half hours with still more to talk about. I think she's awesome.

She's also polyamorous, and both her sweeties will be there tonight. This I find less awesome. I try not to be judgmental about people's personal lives, but polyamory makes me nuts. But hey— it's her life and there are no kids involved, so, whatev. If you need to call if "polyamory" rather than "screwing around without making a commitment," so be it.

*    *    *    *    *

We just had a Rite of Passage. I need a moment.

A few minutes ago, Li'l Martini came to me and said, "Mom! I have no money!" And while my first instinct was, And how is this my problem?, I suddenly realized:

F**K ME, the kid lost a tooth yesterday!!!!!

I gazed at him, stricken.

His gaze was steady. "The Tooth Fairy didn't come," he said.

"No," I said.

He didn't blink. "So, since the Tooth Fairy is you, can you just give me a dollar?"

I stalled. "Is that really what you think?"

"Yes."

"How long have you thought this?"

"A long time. I've known for a long time."

I swallowed. "So . . . if we go upstairs right now and I give you a dollar, you're not going to cry?" My eyes were moist. "It's not going to be traumatic for you?" My stomach clenched.

He was calm as toast. "Nope. Let's go."

Up the stairs we walked, our arms around each other. (I am so slender now, we fit together on the steps perfectly. But perhaps that is not the point of this story.)

(And also, I'm really not that slender. But we did fit nicely, and I did make a mental note of it. Even in my grief.)

I called Mimosa out of the bathroom (she was taking some cold medicine) and told Husband to sit up (he was still in bed). "This is an Epoch In Our Lives," I said, solemnly. I retrieved my stash of gold dollars (what our lame-ass forgetful Tooth Fairy leaves — on occasion) and the envelopes of their teeth that I've saved over the years, plus some notes they've written to the TF, plus the tiny containers of Martini's giant teeth that had to be pulled and still have the roots attached and are the size of a cashew. "There comes a time . . ." I intoned, and my children looked at each other, their eyes clearly saying, Oh, Mom. But it was fun — they tore into the envelopes and reread their old notes, marveling at their little-kid handwriting. They seemed pleased and not traumatized at all.

And then I went to Husband's side of the bed, and he gave me a sweet hug while I wiped my eyes.

End of an era, man.

*     *     *     *     *

Off to do chores! Happy Passover, happy spring, happy Easter Eve — whatever you're celebrating this weekend.

Love to all,

Lady C, mother of young adults

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 229: Boot Camp, Day 6

I had planned to sleep in this morning and enjoy the fact that it's a holiday (though not my holiday) — no meetings to get to, no kids to transport anywhere — but instead, a little imp plunked down next to me in the wee hours of the a.m. for a session of Mommy torture:
  • Li'l Martini: You should get up.
  • Me: Bleh.
  • Li'l Martini: We miss you.
  • Me: Isn't your dad downstairs?
  • Li'l Martini: Yes, but we miss you.
  • Me: Bleh.
  • Li'l Martini (staring at me intently): You have nose hair.
  • Me: You have nose hair.
  • Li'l Martini: But yours is sticking out of your nose. You also have really big pores.
  • Me: Sigh.
  • Li'l Martini: What is up with your nose?
(Husband's footfall is heard on the stairs, Li'l Martini dives under the covers, hissing, "Don't tell him I'm here!")
  • Me: Hi, I'm talking to myself.
  • Husband: I thought you were talking to our son.
  • Me: I was, but he left to join another family.
  • Husband: Oh. Okay.
(I contemplate getting up, but Husband is now in the bathroom, where my toothbrush and scale are, so what's the point?)
  • Me: Why is Daddy still in the bathroom?
  • Li'l Martini: Maybe he's trying to accept the fact that I've left the family.
It may be a headache, but it's never dull around here, I'll tell you that.

I just weighed myself and laughed out loud. Keep in mind that this weight isn't real; it's a post-zumba-and-I-ate-like-a-dieting-gerbil-yesterday weight:
  • Today's scale reading: 254.5 !!!
It's nice to see it, even if I'm only visiting Xanadu.

My plan is to strike out on a long walk now, "first thing" in the a.m. (yeah, it's 10:30 — whatev), then come home and shower and start a lovely day off with my children. We have no particular plans, but we'll think of something fun.

Tonight Martini has his mysterious Points and Powers class and then he's talking about a sleepover at Shrieki's house, and Mimosa and I will watch two episodes each of Ringer and Smash (we are having the hardest time successfully recording [or remembering to record] those shows!), and it will be a lovely evening. Tomorrow we do chores, of course, and then I'm going to a Seder at my friend Godiva's house, and somewhere in there Husband and I have to fill and hide several dozen eggs. And on Sunday, we will do an egg hunt, and then I had an inspired idea: We will pretend to be Jews at Christmas-time, and go to a movie and have Chinese food. Everyone is very excited about this.

Easter is just a weird holiday for me. I don't like how my UU church does it, so we eschew church that morning; I don't have any particular rituals that carried over from my family of origin that I want to recreate with my young; and while I'm a Christian, the resurrection is the part of the story that resonates least with me. We do the egg hunt with our kids because they love it, but even that feels weird to me — what do hard-boiled eggs and chocolate bunnies have to do with Jesus and everlasting life?

I would love to come up with an Easter ritual that has spiritual meaning for me and that I can start doing with my family, but it's been on my "long-term to-do" list for years, so I don't see it happening any time soon.

But at least we have a plan for this year, and we're all happy.

Off to walk. One consequence of a week of Boot Camp is that all my sports bras are dirty! I will have to do laundry a day early.

More later, probably.

—Lady C, yearning for spiritual meaning but stuck with pastel M&M'S and a giant rodent

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 228: Boot Camp, Day 5

I certainly ate three good meals today, plus a snack, but for whatever reason my calories are low low low — I didn't even hit 1,500. It helped, I guess, that my dinner was a giant salad, with a little bit of turkey and blue cheese, and balsamic vinegar for dressing. (Yum!) And then I did zumba.

And now I'm home, sweaty and tired, and won't eat any more. I should have a happy scale tomorrow.

What I would really like to do is get down to 249, so that I can say I'm closer to 200 than 300 (a huge psychological difference!) and then hang there for a while and let my body get used to it — and then go back to losing weight again. I hated that four-month plateau I was on, but in retrospect, I think it might have been a really smart thing to do — lose 20 pounds, give your body time to accept this as its new set point, then lose another 20. Only time will tell if I'm right, but I think I'm on to something.

I need to go lift weights with Li'l Martini and then see if I can do 10 more core exercises (I've done 30 already today) — and if I can do that, then for the first time this week I can actually check off every single box on my Boot Camp Log! (Except for yesterday I've done very well for the most part, but those core exercises have killed me every day. And on Tuesday I ate after 8 p.m. Oh, well! Perfection is not a human option, as they say, but that doesn't stop me.)

In other news, I'm seeing a million black spots in front of my eye again (it's driving me crazy — we have ants in the kitchen right now, and I keep thinking there's an army of ants racing down my wall), and I just agreed to do a job in May that sounds insane. Here's how it was described to me:

           "The review team is in Lebanon, and there are a lot of reviewers and 
            approvers. This document is high profile and highly political. It is likely 
            that this schedule will change. You have three weeks, and we won’t be 
            able to get more time. Also, we may have to do this section by section 
            as the timeline for editorial review, design, layout, and approval is very 
            tight. It is 200 pages."

She concludes: "Any concerns?" No, I answered, not a one.

High-profile? Highly political? Review team? Lebanon? Ha-ha! I laugh in the face of these challenges! I will make a great deal of money. That's what I'm focusing on.

I've had little jobs all week, nothing huge, but I'm not concerned. Because I am a sleek suburban kitten, remember?

Ciao! (Miao!)

—Lady Kitten Chardonnay

p.s. Congratulations to Good Neighbor Anne, who is also doing Boot Camp this week (she calls it Bootie Camp) and who had a very happy scale reading this morning! And Zanzibar reports that she's also losing weight and her BMI is much lower (I am coveting her high-tech scale). Booty Camp is the best!

The word "booty" reminds me of a conversation between me, GNA, GNA's Angel-Daughter, and Mimosa as we all walked to school one morning when the girls were in first grade:

Mimosa (dawdling)
Me: C'mon, Mimosa, move your booty, we're going to be late.
Angel-Daughter (looking up with great interest): What's a booty?
Good Neighbor Anne (frowning at me): That's Lady C's silly word for bum-bum.

I truly hope you all see the irony here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 227: Boot Camp, Day 4, Which Started at Freaking Dawn


Good Neighbor Anne is insane.

Okay, no, she's not — she's a smart cookie who has figured out how to fit fitness into her very busy over-full days, which means getting up early to run on the bike path before (1) it gets crowded, (2) she has to get ready for work, and (3) she has to make breakfast for her daughter (which she really does have to do, trust me on this).

However, for me, "getting ready for work" means (1) turning on the computer, and (2) that's it, and my daughter gets up by herself (all alone in a dark house — she is a good girl); what was I doing on the bike path at 5:45 a.m.?

Insanity? J'accuse!

I have to say, though, that it was lovely. Well, not so much at 5:45, when it was pitch black, but after the sun rose (and Annie had run on ahead) it was so quiet and calm and peaceful and beautiful, and there was a palpable sense of God's in his heaven, all's right with the world.

The only problem is that when we do it this way (me walking and her running ahead), I end up walking for only half an hour, and even though I push myself to walk as fast as I possibly can (and oh, did my calves protest!), I'm walking half as far as I would walk otherwise. Sadly, it's not a great workout for me.

I think that "early walk on the bike path with Good Neighbor Anne" will be an occasional way to start the day, rather than a key part of my workout routine — though it will be a great thing to do in the summer, before the day gets so hot.

Anyway! Both Zanzibar and I are struggling with the "no eating after 8" rule — I ate a little too lightly before zumba last night and really needed some more dinner (and class doesn't end until 8, so "after 8" was my only option). I also lifted weights and did some core work right before and then was exhausted three-quarters of the way into class — though who knows, Italian Spitfire worked us really hard, I might have been just that exhausted anyway. Zanny's challenge is that she often doesn't get out of work until 8; last night she said she had to choose between eating dinner before 8 or working out and eating a late dinner and decided that working out first made more sense. She is being my Solidarity Sister and trying to keep up with my workout schedule, but, as she said in yesterday's phone message, "I didn't realize how much you exercise!!" Hee.

One thing that's been surprisingly easy is logging my meals! I'm totally out of the habit of doing it regularly, and I thought it would be a huge pain, but it's been a piece of cake. I'm going to try hard to keep doing it after Boot Camp week, I think it is such a useful tool. And also, my Type A personality loves having a check-off chart — another habit I may try to keep up. If anyone wants a copy of my chart to adapt for your own use, let me know — I'm happy to share!

It's very thrilling to have already checked off "Did something cardio for 30+ minutes" before 7 a.m.!

As I said to Zanzibar, I'm really glad we're doing this — I clearly needed to shake things up a bit to get the scale moving again — but one week is plenty.

More later, probably.

—Lady C, ready to carpe some diem

UPDATE

Yep, can now pretty much confirm that starting my day at dawn is not for me. I wandered through my day like a ghost girl, too tired and vague to do anything physical (though I did some work, and wrote four things for PTO, and that was something). But I was too tired to cook dinner, so the kids and I went out and I had two tacos — which felt like a smallish meal, until I came home and logged it and saw that I'd well exceeded my limit of 2,000 calories! And that made me discouraged, so I did have a glass of wine at my auction meeting tonight . . . which promptly went straight to my face, which turned bright red. Such a becoming look for me!

The meeting was fun, but I regret the wine. Oh, I regret so much.

Tomorrow will be better! I have an 8:30 meeting with the school principal and then nothing scheduled until zumba. I plan to be serene and chill and treat my body like a beautiful temple.

And then a three-day weekend looms! Thank you, Boston Catholics! I accept your Good Friday and plan to make much of it!


 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day 226: Boot Camp, Day 3

This morning I made a wonderful discovery: I can do my core exercise in bed!

It's not as good as doing it with another person, but it's okay. I think I've described it before, but in any event: My core exercise involves lying flat on your back, with someone standing on either side of your ears. Grasping their ankles from behind, you do a simple leg lift, using your abs and keeping your legs straight, and not letting your heels touch all the way down. There are dozens of variations on this exercise, but I like this one best because it doesn't hurt my back, and all the others do. Holding on to my headboard (our headboard is a bookcase — [of course] — so there's lots of nooks and crannies to grip) is almost as good, but ankles are better.

Still! I started my day with 16 abdominals, and that was a good start indeed.

And the food thing is going fine, I'm easily staying within 2,000 calories (FatSecret allows me 2,300. FatSecret wants me to lose weight very very slowly, which is probably good for me, but FatSecret is not my boot camp ally), though I was amazed to learn what the most caloric and fat-laden thing I ate yesterday was. Here are the nominees:
  • Fat-free Greek yogurt and high-fiber cereal
  • Two kinds of hummus, pita chips, and raw veggies
  • Half a Mediterranean Veggie sandwich from Panera
  • Half a Greek salad from Panera
  • An apple
  • 90,000 cups of coffee with half and half
And the winner — by a MILE — is . . .

. . . the Greek salad! Did you guess that? I was astonished! I'd be better off having the entire Med. Veggie sandwich (yum!) and skipping the salad.

It helps my calorie and fat intake a lot that I eat very little meat, I'll say that.

Tonight I have zumba, so there's my cardio, and maybe I'll lift my weights after that. Or I'll do it right before, as a warm-up — we'll see. But it's always easy to eat lightly on zumba nights.

The hardest thing so far about boot camp (besides trying to hit my core exercise total!) is not eating after 8 p.m. — I'm amazed at how often I catch myself reaching for a handful of nuts to have with my last cup of coffee! And nuts, while a relatively healthy snack, are laden with fat and calories — probably not the thing I want to be eating right before bed. But I'm not really a sweets girl — Trader Joe's honey-sesame almonds, or Emerald Island cocoa roast almonds, are my night-time sweet treats.

The other thing that's going to be hard is not having alcohol at the auction sub-committee meeting tomorrow night — these are drinkin' meetings! Zanny says I can have a glass of wine for every extra mile I log (she totally made that up). I'll see how tomorrow goes — maybe I'll do some amazing a.m. workout, after my meeting with the principal (my co-prez and I are going to urge her to spend some of this wild money we've raised), and "earn" a glass of wine that way.

It's funny that I'm cheerfully willing to ignore my own core exercise rule but feel so honor-bound to obey my "no alcohol" rule. I am bewitching in my inconsistency.

Today I worked some more on plotting out my novel and rewriting my five-page synopsis. It's much stronger than it was, and now I'm more excited about it. (When you don't "do" writing for a while, it starts to feel like an enormous chore and a burden — but once you're back into it and doing it every day, it's totally fun again.) Also, I'm inventing a dreamy boy, and I named him Marco after a Betsy-Tacy character. Right now, his name is Marco Lucas, but I'm not in love with his last name. Feel free to suggest one! 

I just requested 100 books at the library and am about to start the newest Laura Lippman (and have The Flight of Gemma Hardy on deck), and so far my life as a slinky indolent rich suburban lady doesn't look all that different from my life as a hard-working suburban bookworm. Except that the snacks are healthier.

My weight was down this morning, so technically I've hit the 30-pound mark — but it's not "real" unless it happens on Weigh In Day, so don't cue the parade yet. But. Still. Pretty cool!

Back to my synopsis, and then I'll lie on my bed and do some more core work. Maybe today I'll actually hit 40!

—Lady C, workout queen

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 225: It's Boot Camp, Day Two . . .

. . . and yet, here I sit.

Well, I did park my car at Martini's school and walk to my accountant's house rather than drive straight there, and I'm proud of myself for that — otherwise, it's been a pretty sedentary day (other than corralling Fenton and Duke and carrying them to the vet). I haven't done a single core exercise (nor did I ever do all 40 yesterday — and no worries, Zanny, that's 40 single exercises, not 40 sets! But still — I never got past 27, and now I owe the universe 13 of 'em).

I also didn't sleep well last night, so I'm yawwwning my way through the day.

Part of the problem is that I don't have any paying work, which always makes me restless and anxious, and I find it hard to really focus on any one thing. But I have gotten some other things done — answered e-mail, summarized the actual business decisions that came out of my wine-soaked PTO meeting on Friday, updated Betsy-Tacy Convention materials for taskmaster Brunie (ha! I kid), did Kind Tina's evaluation, finished reading Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult, and plotted out my next novel, though it's still missing a big climax/turning point/high-stakes complication. I need to reflect on this some more.

(I have a good idea for what my novel's "about," I just wasn't as clear on how the story actually progresses, step by step. But my writers group felt strongly that I needed to have more of an outline in the materials I'm submitting for the grant application, rather than refer to the plot in vague terms, and that seems reasonable to me. But I've got lots of time, the application isn't due until May 15. Which, me being me, means May 5. But still — lots of time.)

So, like I said, the auction was super fun, though for the entire two hours before it began I was fairly sure I was going to barf — which I loudly announced when I visited the bathroom two minutes before start time. The Woman In Bathroom Stall 2 said, "What's the worst that can happen?" and I promptly answered, "No one will buy anything, our jokes will be lame, and Handsome Jerry and I will have to start going to High Rock" [the 12-steppy church across the street, where they're so busy jumping up to praise all the time they hardly ever sit]. She laughed and then said exactly what I needed to hear: "You're among friends."

In my opening words I thanked her, Woman In Bathroom Stall 2, for her impromptu counseling session, and everyone laughed, and the tone for the evening was set. And from then on, it was a blast.

And I looked pretty cute, though I will say: I asked Artsy Jenny to give me subtle blue streaks with my hair-spray-paint, and she instead gave me a solid blue head. But everyone said it looked great, and she's an art professional, what're you gonna do.

And! I hardly drank at all. And hardly flirted with anyone, so focused was I on the task at hand. (Sell! Sell! Sell!) In short: a very different auction experience for me!

It seems like I had other stories I wanted to tell, but I really am sleepy — and it's only 4:37! I think I should get into my hobo exercise clothes, do some quick core work, take a 30-minute walk, and do some more core work. That will wake me up, and I'll feel less like a bum. And then I'll call Zanzibar and flex for her over the phone.

(We have been calling each other every day, true to our word. She says she is dismayed to find out that fat-free milk has fat in it. I would be dismayed too! My fat-free milk is fat-free, so I don't know what is going on in New Jersey.)

Oh, almost forgot — it's Weigh In Day!
  • Today's scale reading: 258
It is killing me — I am thisclose to being able to say that I've lost 30 pounds! But I can't say it! Because it would be A LIE.

Killing. Me.

Off to sweat (maybe —it's kinda chilly out). And yawn (a given).


Lady C, 29-pound loser

UPDATE

I just returned from my walk, glowing and virtuous. Exercise is magic.

(Sometimes.)

But I had fun, petted two super-cute dogs, waved at three friends, rocked out to Dionne Warwick singing "Solid Gold" (yes, I am quite aware that I'm an ultra-dork), and had two epiphanies:
  • Rather than obsess about doing 40 core exercises, I am simply going to aim for two sets each day and try to increase the number I can do per set. (Today I did 16!)
  • Rather than obsess about the paying work I don't have, I'm going to think of this as a week off and pretend that I'm one of my friends, the Sleek Suburban Ladies, whose daily lives I've always envied. For one week, I shall be an idle rich suburban kitten.
(Now watch, a huge job will show up. But that will also be fine.)
Another realization: I've now lost more than I have during any other "big weight loss" period of my life! Twenty-five pounds is the most I've lost at one time. Ha-ha! In your face, 25 pounds!

And I will have lost 30 by the end of the week. Of this I am sure.

Thanks for reading!

xx

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 224 (Week 32): Boot Camp, Day 1

As I said to Zanzibar today, I think the first day of any new regimen is the easiest: It's something new, you're very motivated, trying to remember all the various bells and whistles keeps you entertained . . . Day 1 rocks.

Days 2 through 7 — yeah, those are going to blow.

But so far so good. It "helps" that I drank to excess on Friday, which will definitely help me walk the path of abstinence this week. So far today, I've logged my meals, did 27 core exercises (my goal is 40 per day, we'll see — the second 12 made me cry), walked to Trader Joe's and back for some cardio, and lifted weights. I've had no alcohol or sugar and am planning a nice dinner with Brunie at Good Guac Grotto (which will also involve a walk — we're walking to the restaurant from her house). And it's good that we're going to that Mexican place in Beverly, rather than my beloved margarita-in-a-spigot restaurant, because I'm not sure I could resist that margarita . . . whereas the margaritas at GGG are merely average. I will cheerfully enjoy a diet cola with lime.

The auction, by the way, was FANTASTIC. Our goal was to raise $16K, and we raised close to $20K. I need to go mop up my sweat and get ready to dine out, so that's all I'll say for now, but some funny stuff happened that I want to tell you about.

Off to groom!

Good luck to everyone else who's boot-camping this week, whether officially or unofficially. The more the merrier! (Misery loves company.)

xx Lady C, whose triceps just moaned, a little