Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 24: Me 'n' the Trekkies*

So, were you having lots of fun at 9 a.m.?

I sure was! Me 'n' my baby took in a moving picture show. And it was a total blast to have popcorn for breakfast and start my day with Kirk and Spock and Benedict Cumberbatch!

And then I ran 95 errands and got myself and the kids packed up for our week on the Left Coast . . . which starts tomorrow at 3 a.m. A 5:15 flight! What was I thinking???

(Well, I was thinking, Gee, this is a great price! Not such a big mystery after all.)

It will be swell. I'll run on adrenaline all day, then get to my parents' house, kiss everyone hello, and crash for 10 hours. Not a problem! It always takes a day or two to get our schedules more or less in synch anyway. (I have to convince the kids not to get up and start watching cartoons at 4 a.m., which is, after all, 7 in their bodies. But they're easier to convince now that they're older. Traveling to a new time zone with a toddler . . . oy. I am so happy those days are behind me!!)

The Star Trek movie is excellent, by the way, and I am not a super Trekkie — I just married into it. But J.J. Abrams' new take on the franchise is lots of fun. Highly recommended.

It is 90 million degrees here and I'm dripping with sweat. Packing, and being hot — my two least favorite things in the world, practically. A banner day!

I likely won't blog from my folks' house, so you won't hear from me until America's birthday. Let my absence make your hearts grow fonder.

Stay gold, ponyboys!

—Lady C


* Yes, I do know that the True Believers prefer the term "Trekkers." But knowing that and acting on it is just a little too inside baseball for me.

Husband and I watched the documentary Trekkies with my youngest brother, mostly chuckling with great fondness but sometimes, truly, with our jaws agape. One particular fellow was showing off his massive collection of Trek memorabilia, and he said, "One day . . . I hope . . . I will have a really, really big — shelf."

We were briefly stunned into silence.

Then my brother said, "Hold on to your dream, guy! Don't let anyone tell you that you can't!"

It was awesome.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 23: I Have My Answer!

I Googled "how to juice a cucumber," and it seemed simple enough: Peel cucumber, puree in food processor, strain pulp. Eureka! So today, when I got home from my nice walk on the bike path, I did just that, and my kitchen was redolent of cucumber as I finished my last two pre-vacay editing jobs.

(Mimosa wandered in and said, "Why does the kitchen smell like pickles?")

And once the sun . . . neared the yardarm (it was 2:30 p.m.), I concocted a perfectly smashing cocktail!!

Lady C's Cool as a Cucumber 'Tini
Juice from 1 cucumber (about 1 cup)
Juice from 3 limes
Simple syrup, to taste
Vodka, again to taste (and keeping in mind how easily you get snockered)

Shake with three ice cubes, strain, and serve in an over-sized martini glass. Makes two drinks — or enough for one thirsty Lady with an iron constitution!

The drink is a lovely pale green; it's tangy, light, and refreshing. A perfect summer cocktail! (Though I may add one more lime next time.)

The bike path was lovely at 8 a.m., also very populated. But it was fun; I saw a church mom I love, then hooked up with a mom I've known since preschool. Her son also got picked for Madrigals, so we congratulated each other on our awesomely raised children. Because I was talking to her and she was walking her bike, I didn't walk as fast as usual — but it was 2.7 miles nonetheless.

But sadly, I don't have a new low weigh-in to report — I'm holding steady at the same weight (and waist size). And my California visit should just about break even; though I do a ton of exercise with my mom (aqua-zumba!!), I also eat like I'm going to the chair. Buttermilk doughnuts! Tostadas with Hacienda dressing! The Starving Student Special at Burger Hut! Baseball Nut ice cream at at a genuine Baskin-Robbins! The California Omelette at Morning Thunder Cafe!

Oh, man . . . Is it time for pizza yet? All I've had today is vegetables and vodka!

Ravenously yours,
Lady C

p.s. Sending much love and many prayers to my good friend Bev in Canada, whose husband was just dealt some crummy health news. Please send a good thought her way, will you?

p.p.s. Also sending healing vibes to my dear Sister Hart, who tore her right biceps in the mean streets of New York last week! City living will kill you, man.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 22: A Dress to Diet For

So I did that thing you're not supposed to do: I bought a dress that's a size too small, promising myself, "I'll lose weight!" Yeah.

Right now, the dress fits like a sausage casing; I can zip it, but I can also see the outline of every hook in my bra.

But I will lose more weight. I'd already decided that my goal is to lose a pound a week this summer, which feels challenging yet do-able. If I'm successful, that dress will be a splendid birthday present when I turn 51 in August.

(It is the one pictured on yesterday's blog post. The hem is funky — I think it's called "handkerchief" or something like that, it's all points that hang at different lengths, and the middle front panel is shorter than I usually wear — daring! But the fresh-lime color is great on me, and my cleavage looks fantastic, and Husband gave it a thumbs up, so there you have it. And the price was right! $19.99 in New Hampshire means exactly that — live free or die, and pay no sales tax. Sweet!)

Despite eating at Chunky's (whose motto might as well be, "Want some extra lard with that?") it was a good health day for me: an hour of strenuous yardwork, a light lunch of vegetables, and then a turkey burger and side salad at Chunky's. Plus I eschewed the traditional post-Chunky's Dairy Queen treat (I love a Buster Bar, but the dress! the dress!), and I plan to get up early tomorrow morning to walk the bike path before commencing a day of industry. (I have to finish a big editing job, do three loads of laundry, clip the cats' claws, and groom Husband's feet, like the adoring geisha I am. Busy busy!)

Oh! And at some point tomorrow we must stop in at Nicola's, our beloved favey pizza joint, which is closing its doors after decades as an Arlington Heights institution. The owners are retiring, and they are such characters; we can only wish them well as they guffaw into the sunset together.

(But oh! how I will miss their White Roman pizza!!!!!)

It's only 9:30, but I've been yawning for an hour. I sawed off five tree limbs today, man — a girl gets weary.

Sweet dreams, peeps!

— Lady C

Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 21: The Confounding Cucumber Conundrum, and Other News

It's CSA time again! So far I've picked up two shares and we're already drowning in greens — but then I had brainstorm; an entire kitchen counter full of greens cooked down (in three batches) to half a ziplock bag's worth, and they're now in my freezer. We should be able to eat the rest with no problem, though our meals have been quite produce-heavy. So far I've made:
  • Asparagus Vinaigrette
  • Crustless Tomato Tart
  • Stir-Fried Summer Squash with Basil
  • Pasta with Fresh Peas, Mushrooms, Scallions, and Sage
  • Cucumber-Dill Salad
  • Kale Chips
  • Caprese Salad
. . . and tossed green salad with something like 27 raw vegetables in it, including kohlrabi! I love kohlrabi.

The thing about a produce-heavy diet is . . .

Well, there's just no dainty way to say this. We visit the w.c. a lot, how's that? And my colon is whimpering, a little.

But it's early days! We'll toughen up.

The one vegetable I'm stymied by is the cucumber. I like them okay, but no one else here likes them at all, so I can't sneak them into salads. People complain about the ubiquitous zucchini, but I have no trouble using up zucchini! Worst-case scenario, grate it and hide it in pasta sauce. (But I love blackened zucchini, so no need.) What am I to do with two whole cucumbers? And there's more to come. Truly, I'm at a loss.

However! At lunch today with my beloved Mrs. Cynicletary, I had the tastiest cocktail: a Cool as a Cucumber Martini! I'm not sure how much cucumber I can use up in one drink, but you can bet I'll be finding out.

Tomorrow we're getting up on the early side to do an hour's worth of yardwork before it gets too hot — it's a jungle out there. I can pretty much point my kids in any direction with any garden tool, and they'll find something they can do. And then we'll do our regular chores, and then, to reward everyone for their cheerful and dedicated effort, we're heading to Chunky's in Nashua, N.H., to see Monster's University and enjoy fried appetizers and cocktails! We love Chunky's. Also, I want to visit Burlington Coat Factory and see if they have the dress that was featured in Good Housekeeping month; it's lime-green with diagonal thin white stripes, and so cute and summery! And only $19.99!

In four days we leave for a week in California, so I'm not going to over-worry about making the yard pretty before I go; that will be July's project.

Let's see, what else? I billed 35 hours last week and 35 hours this week. That's a full-time job!!!! And on top of all the other stuff I've been doing and dealing with . . . crazy.

I am ready for a vacation!

Though I am ever grateful to Sexy Em for pointing out that "a family visit" is not synonymous with "a vacation," which is for sure true. I'm bracing myself for the unrefrigerated condiments, the over-warm house, the ever-present television, my mom's need to have a schedule, my dad's inability to read the newspaper silently.

But also: a swimming pool, great Mexican food, lots of wine, and overflowing love and affection and kindness. We will have a great time. Mimosa and I have a pile of enticing library books (Martini has library books as welll. He is somewhat less enthusiastic), and Mom says she's already stocked the fridge with Kendall Jackson. Sweeeeet!

I know I had other things to say, but I've been sitting at this computer all day, my midsection is crampy and aching (it's my very special ladytime — which I'm thrilled about; let's get it over with before I have to deal with doll-size airplane bathrooms), it's time to call it a night and head for the tub. Possibly with a library book, possibly this one:

I'll let you know.

 And hey, if you've got cucumber recipe suggestions, send 'em along! I'll try anything.

Happy first day of summer! My least favorite season, I'll admit, but it has its perks.

—Lady C


Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 17: Lest You Think I'd Lost My Mind (Plus, Important Waist Update!)

Goodness! Of course I know that 252.5 is not skinny. I'm just very excited to be losing again. Life is sweet.

And! I just measured my waist (which I've been measuring daily since I began Phase 2 — I'm a little waist-obsessed, for sure). And guess what: My waist now measures 43.5 inches, down a full half inch from Day 1!

Life is sweeeeeeet.

I'm technically taking a sick day, though I worked several hours this morning and since then have been a whirling dervish of pile eradication — I got so many things done that have been mounting around me. Of course, I still have a trillion more to do, but just like my approach to weight loss: It's a journey. Small but sure steps, one at a time.

What I really want to do is get rid of this freaking cough. I shall now go sit and drink hot beverages and think about how I can con my family into eating all the veg in the fridge before tomorrow's CSA share descends on us, while I dine on hot 'n' sour soup at Szechuan's Dumpling. Hmm . . .

—Lady C, incontinent cougher

p.s. Here's another random thing that Husband and I say sometimes:
The universe owes Li'l Martini a lolly.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 16: I'm a Skinny Beeyatch, Plus I Love My Daddy, Plus Yes That Was Me Coughing in Church

Today's weigh-in made me squeal — did you hear me?
  • June 16 weight: 252.5
Fat Secret says that at this rate I'll be at my goal in nine months.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

I know that will not and can not be, but it is still lovely to think about. Fat Secret has not been such a fan of mine in the past year — it's nice to be on its good side again.

And finally, sturm und drang are workin' for me!!

Also, I called my sweet dad to wish him a happy Father's Day, and we had a jovial chat. He usually hands the phone to Mom within moments of my calling, so keeping him on the line and engaged for 15 minutes felt like a major victory. Highlights of his Father's Day (besides talking to me, natch):
  • Reading the clipping I sent him about a TV show called Oh, Sit!, which is a game show about . . . musical chairs. He and I share a finely tuned sense of the absurd, I knew this would be right up his alley.
  • Corn fritters for breakfast!
  • A day of golf tournaments, televised baseball, and rotting in his favorite chair
  • A martini, garnished with one of Trader Joe's World's Largest Olives, one of his gifts from most thoughtful daughter-san
  • Fried oysters and apricot crisp for dinner!
Sounds good to me.

Husband is also having a splendid day, I believe, though he's been gone for most of it, driving about and taking in the new Superman flick. He'll be home soon to tell me all about it.

And finally: the dry cough that Bride Boy brought here from the West Coast has re-emerged, and Li'l Martini and I are its victims. I have malaise in my throat and I cough and cough and cough. I never touched her, but I still blame Catherine Zeta-Jones.

I've been working all day, in the hope that if I finish everything on my plate I can take a sick day tomorrow and just wallow and drink hot things and pull a blanket over my head. Now, why don't I take the sick day today when I'm sick, you ask? Because I am too Type A to be able to wallow when there's work on my plate. Work first, wallow later, that's my Type A motto. And my blood pressure is picture perfect, thank you very much. Each to her own.

But I'm petering out now, so I am in fact calling it a day and will likely work a little in the a.m.

But then I wallow!

Unless I feel better. You never know.

In the meantime, I shall revel in my four-and-a-half-pound weight loss and go pose for my children.

Happy Father's Day! Love my daddy. And you all too.

xxx
Lady C, cough cough cough

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 13: OK, Ready for Some Good News?

My daughter's music teacher took her aside for a little chat about being more social and not withdrawing from the group (which is a challenge for her, but also a fair assessment) and concluded it by saying, "This needs to be our secret for now, but . . .

"I'M INVITING YOU TO JOIN THE MADRIGALS."

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Shh! — don't tell anyone yet! The results won't be officially posted till next week.)

Mimosa is over the moon and through the roof and high as a kite and walking on air. Hate letter, shmate letter, she's feeling no pain.

And I really think that being part of a group — an elite, specially invited, best of the best group — will be a huge confidence boost for her and give her a sense of belonging, which will go a long way toward her social success. Right now she tends to approach every social interaction with the mindset of "This person probably doesn't want to talk to me." This summer, she will work hard in therapy on her social skills and confidence and then hit the ground running in September.

So so so happy!!!!

In other news, there've been a few developments in the saga of Crazy Karate Kid but nothing definitive to report as yet. Thank you x a million for your notes of encouragement and support. They mean the world to me and my family.

As I wrote to Inspirational Kathy at 8:08 this morning, "Now, why isn't my stress resulting in weight loss? And is it too early for wine?"

—Lady C, proud proud mama 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 12: So, As I Told the Nice Officer Last Night . . .

Gee, how was your Tuesday?

Want to know how mine was?

C - R - A - Z - Y. With a capital K.

But first: Mimosa's tryout for Madrigals went fine, I believe. Thank you for all your good thoughts. A couple of kids from our church Youth Group tried out too and hung out with her, and they all had a good time, and afterward she got a frozen yogurt and seemed happy. I don't know when we'll know if she made it, and the wait is a tad excruciating.

"Fortunately," we have a distraction.

Yesterday a thick envelope addressed to Mimosa arrived in the mail, sealed with masking tape, sporting a return address label with the name blacked out. Something told me not to let her open it by herself. Well, actually, many things told me; the whole thing had the look of "I could be laced with anthrax. Open me if you dare!"

In any event — the letter is from a girl that Mimosa did karate with five years ago. The girl basically accuses my daughter of stealing her childhood and ruining her life. She says that my daughter hurt her, badly and repeatedly, in the context of karate class, and ignored this girl's pleas for her to stop. (Note: "Pleas" may be misleading; the girl refers to her "taps" being ignored. In karate, tapping is the sign you need to stop. Like a safe word, for kids.) The girl throws around such phrases as "post-traumatic stress syndrome" and "conditioning."

Her accusations actually go farther, but I think I'm going to leave it at that. If you want to know more, write to me privately.

I am not one of those mothers who can't see any faults in their children. But having said that, this letter is crap. The girl claims that she was hurt repeatedly, no one intervened, and there was no one she could tell.

Reality: There are at minimum three adults in the dojo at all times to make sure that the kids aren't being hurt, inadvertently or on purpose. The teacher ended every class by having the kids sit in a circle to talk about feelings, etc. The girl who wrote this letter is home-schooled, i.e., has more access to her mother than most kids. And I know this girl; she is no shrinking violet. The idea that she had "no one" to tell is ludicrous.

And my daughter, the all-powerful monster she is accusing, was a 10-year-old fourth-grader at the time.

Not that 10 year olds can't be monsters. But still. Mine was pretty much a marshmallow in fourth grade.

The saddest thing is that she considered this girl a friend — her best friend at karate, in fact. As you can imagine, this letter completely devastated her, she is questioning every memory she has of those years, and she feels vulnerable and frightened to be the target of an angry crazy person. I am doing everything I can to make her feel safe and strong and protected and able to protect herself.

But if I see this girl on the street . . . heaven help us all.

And we did call the police. Nothing in this six-page letter could be called an actual threat, but nonetheless it is deeply unsettling, and I wanted to lay the groundwork in case we need to file a harassment complaint. But I'm hoping it doesn't come to that.

The officer was very nice and gave us some very good suggestions, which we are following.

All sorts of other "fun" stuff also happened yesterday, but nothing really holds a candle to one of Arlington's finest standing in your living room.

Zumba was very therapeutic. And I just took a long walk and lifted weights and worked my core and sublimated all sorts of rage through sweat. And as I walked the last few blocks toward home, I took the longest stride I could and felt the muscles rippling down the backs of my thighs. I felt like a gazelle! And the song on my iPod was the deeply awesome "Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque,"* which felt very celebrate-y.

All will be well. I've alerted the key players in Team Mimosa, we are closing in in a protective circle around her. Everyone is on her side. All will be well.

But if she doesn't make Madrigals in the midst of this horror show . . . Katy, bar the door.

I'll keep you posted!

Off to shower, I am disgusting.

—Lady Mama Bear C

* Youngsters, this was a hit song by The Partridge Family** in 1970, from the episode where Keith falls for a skinny-dipping hitch-hiker played by Laurie Prange, wispy constant of 1970s' TV.

** Oh, OK, The Partridge Family was a TV show in the early 1970s. The Partridges were based on The Cowsills,*** a family pop music group from the '60s.

*** No! No more footnotes. Go to Wikipedia.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 11: Lady Slug

Turns out . . . sitting on your bum all day and eating starchy leftovers is not an A+ plan for weight loss! Who knew?

(Well, all of us, probably. But I'm doing the research, nonetheless.)

Yesterday was packed with work, as per usual — I'm editing a 170-page monster this week — and it was also an angsty day, Mimosa's having Troubles again, which sent me to the wine bottle at 4 p.m. (we're icons of mental health in this house, I tell you — icons!), and I thought: You know what would make me feel better? A good long walk. And I vowed I would do this after dinner, say, 7:30.

And then the heavens opened, and there went my walk.

I went back to the computer to do more work, idly considering other exercise possibilities: treadmill, basement zumba, weight-lifting . . .

And instead I yawned over my work (which took longer than expected) and trudged up to bed at 8:45, deciding that a good night of sleep would solve a world of ills.

Oh, and my dinner of leftovers consisted of pasta, baked beans, and eggplant cooked in cheesy custard. Also the aforementioned wine. I have no idea why digesting all that made me so sleepy . . .

Ha.

So — I'm up early this morning to make my daughter a Power Breakfast, drive her to school, and give her a pep talk. Today she auditions for Madrigals, the high-level singing group at the high school. Last year they didn't let in any freshmen, so this is her first real chance, and she has her heart set on it. I try very hard not to pray to "get" specific things, I usually pray for strength and courage and grace and the ability to handle whatever comes my way — but in this case . . . God, I really am begging. Please give this kid a break. She has had enough to deal with this year, and we really need something to go right for her.

And if it doesn't happen . . . then please, please, an extra helping of strength and courage and grace would be most excellent. Thank you.

Off to play "Phillip My Sparrow" one more time on the piano (actually, four more times — Mimosa sings her part, alto, while I play all the others. She is amazing in her ability to stay on tune and on key while I'm playing completely different notes. She's well-prepared and I think her chances are good. It just depends on whether 10 other girls are amazing-er).

Wish us luck!

(Do you like my blog picture today? This is what came up when I Googled "sitting in a chair eating starch." Thank you, Goggle Images!)

—Lady C, lardy lass

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Day 9: Weigh-In Woo-Hoo!

I've lost a pound and a half! In possibly the most ridiculous diet week ever! Friday, remember, was my Day of Excess and Gluttony, and then last night with my girlfriends I put away a fair amount of my signature drink, also one or two or who knows how many Key Lime Martinis. But I didn't eat dessert and I ran around like a crazy thing all day, and that seemed to do the trick.

Even though I felt "happy" and "animated" rather than "drunk," when I got up at 5:30 to pee and reached for the toilet handle to flush it . . . and missed  . . . I guess certain facts need to be faced. But it was a hella fun dinner party.

We did play one game, my favorite, called Character Mash-Up, when you've got a character from one book, movie, or TV show and the plot of another one, and you need to put them together somehow and get people to guess both. Here are some we came up with (answers appear below):
  1. Could these four sisters in Concord BE more poor?
  2. Awwwwwww, Ricky! My friend the witch is so popular, and I'm hideous and green! I want to try defying gravity, Ricccccckkkyyyyyy!!!!
  3. Benjamin. I'm tired from working in an ad agency in the '60s with all these males, and if you don't come over here and unhook my brassiere, I don't know what.
  4. Gee, Mrs. Cleaver, you're looking swell today. Want to watch me sing and get judged by Simon Cowell?
  5. [Exhale] [Exhale] Luke . . . I am your father. But I only have eyes for Kathy. Want to meet "Ralph"?
So fun! Try it at home!

Today the kids and I are reorganizing our closets and drawers, moving winter stuff to the back and getting rid of everything that's outgrown; at 15 Mimosa's more or less stopped growing, so her pile mostly consisted of things that fit fine but that an increasingly picky teenager will never wear; Martini, who's 12.5, had a pile of outgrown stuff that could fill a Volkswagen. Buying him new clothes seems futile, the kid sprouts a new inch every week. Can't I just wrap him in a sheet for the summer and deal with this in the fall??

Time to do my own closet. I'm not outgrowing things, thank goodness, but my goal is to "defrump"; despite my best efforts, I end up with a lot of soccer mom outfits. But if Joan Holloway wouldn't be caught dead in it, then neither will I. This is my watchword.

(Last night, Brunie and I argued over which of us is more Rizzo-like. She is more of a bad girl, to be sure, and I'm a goody-goody rules girl. Nonetheless, Rizzo would never water down a cocktail, and, I argue, would NOT shinny down the drainpipe in brogues, Brunie's footwear o' choice. Brunie insists that if Rizzo were shoe-shopping today, she'd be all about the Crocs. Weigh in with your opinion, please!)

Off to defrump. Whee!

(I'm not hung over, but boy am I sleepy. Lying on my bed with the fan on and doing the Sunday crossword puzzle sounds so appealing . . .)

—Lady C, feeling a full 24 ounces lighter!


Answers:
  1. Chandler Bing and Little Women
  2. Lucy Ricardo and Wicked
  3. Mrs. Robinson and Mad Men
  4. Eddie Haskell and American Idol
  5. Darth Vader and Forever

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Day 8: Weigh-In Eve

My weight's been up and down all week, as peer usual, but also lower than when I started, and I was expecting to have lost as much as four pounds by the weekend. So I weighed myself this morning, anticipating a certain number . . .

. . . and saw that my weight had gone UP! By half a pound!!!!!

But after I recovered from this horror, I remembered a few key things:
  • I didn't exercise at all yesterday, unless you count one round of kitchen zumba. (Yesterday's song: "Club On Smash" by Kat DeLuna. Peppy!*)
  • At our "last" Math Practice meeting (we're having one more but we didn't know that) everyone brought treats, and I brought The Original Boston Coffee Cake, loaded with sour cream and walnuts, and one piece has 250 calories, and did I eat just one piece? Ha. (Note: I brought home the leftovers and grazed on them all day — I didn't shove five pieces in my mouth at said event. Just so you know.) And also there were glazed doughnuts and dark-chocolate brownies and hazelnut scones. And fresh cherries, of which I did partake so I wouldn't die. But in any event, my calories for the day were pretty much blown right there.
  • Craving something crunchy and spicy, I had half an order or chorizo nachos for lunch. 
  • For dinner, we had hot dogs. And the insanely good baked beans from Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q ("flavored with molasses and beef brisket trimmings"!). And coleslaw and mac 'n' cheese and pickles. Plus HoneyBear came to spend the night with Li'l Martini and he brought cookies from our local crack den, Lakota Bakery, and I had a Florentine.
In other words, I ate my weight in treats. But what's a little scary is that I didn't even realize it. I've been ridiculously sleepy and out of it this week, and it's easy to blame the opium, but I finished that on Thursday and yesterday was all about E. coli.

(Yes, I feel your envy. Believe me.)

It's been taking me forever to fall asleep at night, sometimes not till 1 or 2, but I pop up at 7 a.m. and get to work, every day, so clearly I'm not getting enough sleep. (And I'm not a napper.) I think the time has come to stop drinking coffee (or switch to decaf) after a certain point in the day. It breaks my heart, but it seems reasonable, right?

And I also know that lack of sleep plays havoc with my metabolism, so that on top of the 45 million calories of yumminess I consumed . . . yeah, the fact that I was only up half a pound is in itself a small miracle.

So! Today! Here's de plan: I'm off to zumba in half an hour, where I will leach** out a small child's worth of sweat. Then I will eat lightly throughout the day, almost solely plants. My palllies are coming to dinner, but it's a veggie-heavy meal, so that will be okay, and I'll just have small portions of all the yum.

The problem will be the hooch. These girls are such enablers. I'll try to stand firm, but seriously. the peer pressure, you can't believe it.***

Off to zumba! And to say goodbye to Eddie Dance Party, boo hoo.

Wish me luck on my day of Purging and Diuretics!

xx Lady C

* On reading this, Husband will cry, "Pepe — that's me!" A random utterance, to be sure, but a recurring one.

** I said, "What's a word that means 'to eject from your body'?" and Husband helpfully said, "Sweat!" But then he came up with leach, he's a star. It pays to increase your word power!

*** This is a lie. I'm the drinker. Blogger Dawn claims that she'll be "dry" tonight, she's tired and stressed; Brunie takes three sips and then switches to seltzer; Sister Hart can hold her own, for sure, but wouldn't care in the least if I teetotaled it for a night. I'm the hostess who gets everyone drunk. And also, a liar. Is there any hope for me?????

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Day 6: After a Day of Opium, A Girl Needs a Hunk o' Cow

I finished the opium job, finally (spoiler: it's not good for you!), and Husband had a 6 p.m. meeting, so the kids and I headed to Madrona Tree, our local organic food joint. Note that I say "organic" rather than "healthy"; it's all free-range beef that never met an antiobiotic, the frappes are made with milk from contented cows fed on organic corn and clover, the fried potatoes are hand picked from loamy natural soil free of pesticides, the big fat spongy buns are made by Iggy (as in Bread of the World) . . . and nowhere in there did I preclude the use of butter, sugar, and salt, oui? I'm sure I ate a thousand-calorie dinner.

(I did not have a frappe, I hasten to add! I'm dieting, people! Ha. Though I did take a sip of Martini's chocolate-mint divineness, and it was flavored with real mint, you could just tell from the way the flavors exploded across your taste buds. Amazing!!!)

We gorged, it was SO delicious, but I ate just the right amount and don't feel overfull. And now I'm drinking coffee, and soon I will head out for a dusk-time walk. (Once again, I did kitchen zumba every time I needed to stretch and move today, and the song du jour was "Pound the Alarm" by Nikki Minaj. A sprightly little number!)

Not much else to report. Tomorrow is packed full of work: my final Math meeting (and it is final, as I've decided not to do this again next year —did I say that already? The impact on my life is too great to justify how little I get paid. But I loved it and I'm so glad I did it), then two editing jobs. But I've got some fun stuff planned for the weekend: my last Eddie Dance Party class (weep!), dinner with Brunie and Sister Hart and Blogger Dawn, my favorite drinkin' buddies, my last OWL class for this term (and we're having a panel presentation, I don't even need to plan a lesson), and some of my favorite teen girlies are going out after Youth Group and invited me to accompany (drive) them. All fun!

And Sunday will be my first weigh-in of the new regime. I know my million-calorie dinner didn't exactly help the cause (I feel the calories growing as I digest them) but I've been doing very well otherwise, and I feel hopeful of being at least a couple of pounds down.

Time to shimmy into a sports bra and get out there before the sun sets! Our neighborhood is safe — I'm more in danger of encountering a raccoon or a coyote then a biped with malicious intentions — but still. Walking in the dark is problematic for a klutz like me.

Sweet dreams, y'all!

—Lady C

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day 5: Poppies!! (Say it like Margaret Hamilton)

(I love my new day-numbering scheme! Though I guess it'll be harder next month. Maybe I'll start over on the first day of every month. There's got to be a morning after . . .)

I spent the entirety of today editing a dense document about opioid addiction, and maybe it was power of suggestion but all I did was yawwwwwwnnnnn. I had to keep getting up to zumba a bit, just to keep the blood flowing and the eyelids upright. "Scream & Shout" by will.i.am and Britney Spears was my song of choice — it's great for kitchen zumba. Eddie Dance Party would've been proud of me.

OK, true confession, I did take some breaks:
  • I am dying of anticipation for the Veronica Mars movie!!!!! I have watched the trailer approximately 9.2 trillion times. Approximately.
  • Mimosa has me hooked on this ridiculous Help site. My conversation with my ghost (Help! I have a ghost) was particularly instructive.
  • Husband took me to Starbucks so I could use the freaking HELOC credit card. I also bought Mimosa, my karate kid, a smoothie. Two down, one to go.
Today I booked two jobs for July. My white-hot career continues to blaze. 

I have got to get to bed early tonight! Early-ish. Before midnight. I'm not done with opium (you know what I mean), and I really need to finish tomorrow; I've got two, count 'em, two jobs for Friday. No weekend work! Finish the opium! This is my rallying cry.

Good night!

—Lady C, who ate salad at two, count 'em, two meals today, also fruit and salmon and whole-grain cereal

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 4: Sometimes a Day Is Just a Day

I typed "random utterances" into Google Images and got some truly strange pics, but also this one, which I fell in love with.

Today I sat at on the patio at Starbucks with a nice medium-sized dog, whose owner assured him she would be right back, she promised, very very soon, and he's gazing at her adoringly with a look of "I don't understand a word you are saying but I love you" and it was very cute, and then when she finally did come back, he was all over her face in a frenzy of licking joy, and she smiled at me and I said, "Listen, I have teenagers; nobody in my house is that happy to see me," and every person on the Starbucks patio guffawed.

Is it because I'm from California that I call that outdoor dining area a patio? I'm pretty sure that's not what Starbucks calls it, but I can't think of another word.

I have to go to Starbucks three more times before Thursday because of my Home Equity Line of Credit; I have these two credit cards (which are associated with our HELOC rate in some complicated way that I've decided not to understand), and I have to use each of them twice a month or I get charged $15. Apiece. And I don't have to use them at Starbucks, but at $2.41 for a large coffee, I can go a long time before I have to add money to either account, and one less account I have to add money to (the kids' lunch accounts, Mimosa's bus pass) is a good thing.

So. I'm hanging in there with the weight loss thing, dutifully logging my food, eschewing snacks that I might have eaten out of boredom, choosing protein and fiber, rah rah rah. Scale goes up, scale goes down. I'll weigh in on Sunday, as per usual. And tonight is zumba, but I'm seriously considering going tomorrow instead. It's been hot, I haven't been sleeping well, I'm fatigued, wah wah.

(I'm sure I'll go, it's just fun to consider playing hooky.)

I must admit, my Tuesday night class isn't as fun as it was. The population has changed, there's a new clique of front-row girls, and I don't like them as much; they're very posture-y. And the Italian Spitfire's routines feel less dancey and more exercisey; like, we do a dozen jumping jacks, and what's fun about that? Particularly if you're arthritic and (it turns out) a little incontinent.

In other news, why was I Googling random utterances? Because it's something I keep meaning to mention. Husband and I both do this — suddenly say these out-of-context things— and I find it hilarious, both the saying (which in my case is usually inadvertent — only after I say it do I realize how ridiculous it sounded) and the hearing. For example:
  • Me: What are you giving me for Cinco de Mayo?
(Ah, the joke was on me, as he did in fact give me a present on that festive day — a tea-bag-squeezer thingy that he informs is called a Tea Infuser, except I think he just made that up.)
  • Husband: What does a donkey know about fruit compote?
(He's actually quoting someone, but I don't know who or what.)
  • Me: Do you think other people think much about our bathroom towels?
(His response: Noooo . . . do you?
Me: Yes. Yes I do.
Husband: Do you think about other people's towels?
Me: When they're awful like ours are, I do.)
  • Husband: Jackets for everyone!
(Again, a quote. But also a great line. And motto.)

Never knowing what the other person is going to say — it keeps life juicy-fresh!

Time to go change for zumba. Yeah, I'm totally going. Woo.

—Lady C, whose stomach is growling — and I'm just early enough in this new diet to be kind of thrilled by that (like, my fat might be eating itself right now!)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Day 2: Look at the Pretty!

My dear friend Sleepy Susan took this picture of me at the party I hosted two weeks ago, and I totally love it.

When Bride Boy visited, he asked me if I still thought of myself as fat, and I said, "Duh, 250 pounds, yeah I do," and he said, "Sure, you could lose some weight — but I expected you to look a lot worse" (he hasn't seen me in 10+ years). Maybe I'm not communicating this well, but it was an amazing compliment and meant a lot to me. I'm more or less in proportion — though I'm a pear and quite bottom-heavy, I am also an hourglass, and it's easy to hide bottom-heaviness if you wear a lot of skirts. Or longish shirts and snug leggings, that is also a good look.

Because also, and I can't stress this enough: My goal is to look cute, always. And when you're a big fat girl, you do the best you can with what you have.

Two of my bestys say that "looking cute" is their future goal. One says she'll worry about how she looks after she loses all the weight she wants to lose. The other says that her 50s are going to be about her looks. (Her 40s, which she's currently in, have been about career development — and to give her props, she's done amazing, achieving every goal she's ever set.) But I don't get this at all. There is no guarantee that we'll ever lose all our weight or reach a certain age (sorry, Brunie, but I've seen how you drive). All we have for sure is today, and it's not that hard to put on some lip gloss and wear clothes that fit and flatter. My opinion!

Anyway, Days 1 and 2 of my new weight-loss plan have gone okay. Yesterday I did my zumba with Eddie Dance Party (only one more week! weep!) and then frenziedly cleaned the house and cooked for my dinner party (which was hella good — the salmon turned out perfect, and we also had green salad, potato salad, homemade French bread made with half whole-wheat flour, garlic butter, fresh fruit at the peak of ripeness, and of course the pie — and now I have tons of leftover salmon, also a huge bag of arugula, my favorite green, so I shall lunch on salmon and salad and white wine all week, a perfect meal and healthy too! And I'll be home for lunch, which will be awesome — my post Math Practice restaurant lunches at 2 p.m. were killing me).

Today I haven't moved much (it's HOT) but nor have I eaten much (ditto). Husband and I plan to split a deli sandwich at 5, then I'm off to teach OWL. I did exactly zero editing work this weekend, but tomorrow a long lovely uninterrupted day stretches before me. I can't wait.

—Lady C

p.s. Mimosa is happier. I think we've turned a corner. Thank you for your prayers.

Day 1: A New Hope (Updated with waist measurement!!)

Eeek, gotta write fast, I overslept and need to get dressed for church, BUT two things:
  1. It's time to stop calling my lack of weight loss a plateau. My body reset itself, and while I'm glad I kept off 30 pounds, 10 have crept back on. It is time to start again, from a new beginning.
  2. Pretend I wrote this yesterday, on June 1. It will be easier to track my days that way.
SO: Back to logging my food and numbering my days. In addition to tracking my weight, I will also track my waist size, which is currently 40+ inches. (I'll update later; the only thing I have handy to measure it with is a ruler.) I've been told to strive for a waist that is half your height, so mine should measure no more than 34.

(OK, I couldn't resist, I just tried it with the ruler. The ruler says 46 inches. I'll let you know how accurate that is.)

My starting weight: 257. My goal weight: 149. I still want to lose more than a hundred pounds but not quite half myself — so, more doable, right? In theory anyway.

The good news is that I don't eat as much when it's hot. I also don't drink as much wine. The bad news is, I don't feel like moving either. But we'll see how it goes. I plan to make early morning exercise my new best friend.

Church calls. Onward!

—Lady C, ready to carpe some diem

UPDATE
44 inches. Hmm.