Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 61: Gettin' Sweaty with My Bestys

I've done zumba with Good Neighbor Anne and Bride Boy — and now I can add Mrs. Cynicletary to the list! I finally remembered to give her the deets about my Wednesday night class, and she came tonight. We were in the front row together, and it was so much fun! She is practically a professional dancer (and party girl), and the Italian Spitfire loved her.

And then it was 8:30 and I said, "Want to stay for abs?" She said, "I think my husband might be here to pick me up . . ." and the Spitfire said, "Your husband's here? Bring him in!" and I laughed and said, "Oh, yeah, we really need her smokin' husband in here while we do abs" (I mean, his name is Handsome D, not Just Okay Looking But With a Really Good Personality D [though he has a lovely personality and is intelligent and witty — he's not just a pretty face, in other words]) and that did it, now Mrs. C had to go grab him, but he is a very good sport and came in and actually did abs with us! In fact, he and the Spitfire had an ab-off, which was truly insane. But so much fun, you know, to watch.

My daughter is marking the days till she turns 16, every day telling me, "This is my last Monday of being 15 . . . this is my last Hump Day as a 15 year old . . ." Today I took her to one of my favey restaurants, Zocalo Cocina, and she had a Mexican pizza. And even though I worship at the altar of their sangria menu, I just had water, lots and lots of plain water. Will my temperance result in weight loss? Ha.

(Will my bitterness result in weight loss? Will anything I do result in weight loss? Hmmph.)

We also entered the raffle at Trader Joe's and I kissed the ticket, my usual practice, and had Mimosa drop it in the bucket for me. I said, "Did you put it in with a good attitude?" and she said, "Oh, yeah, I French-kissed it," and I gave her a look, and she said, "Your kisses weren't getting us anywhere." It is true that we have entered this raffle precisely 19,003 times; we'll see if her kiss does the trick.

Must go bathe, I am feeeelthy. I have Sophie Kinsella's latest book to read — love her! — and the prospect of not one but two Hart sisters to play with this weekend, plus a glorious birthday lunch at Za with my dear friend Sleepy Susan. Nothin' but good times ahead!

—Lady C, tub-bound

p.s. What I've long suspected:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 60: For Today, I've Scheduled Some Happiness and Spontaneity...

Truly, my default setting is "upbeat," and when I have so many down days I know that it's time to take steps, whatever they may be.

Yesterday, I carpé'd some diem by grabbing my darling daughter and taking her out for sushi (she had pineapple shrimp. No one likes sushi here but me. Fortunately, Asian Fusion Hoody-Doody has an extensive Chinese menu, hence the word "Fusion" in its dead-on balls accurate title), which was divine, and then we saw a highly inappropriate movie, so highly inappropriate that I won't even name it here because my Good Neighbor will come over and throw things at me; rest assured, I am going to Bad Parent Hell for taking my not-quite-16-year-old to this movie.

(I will say that we loved it. And that for all the raunchy, filthy talk, there was not a single bit of nudity, which, yay! I can handle talk; I dislike seeing people that I'm not married to naked, whether they're next to me in the flesh or on a big screen.)

And today I set my alarm, got up at dawn (7:20), and walked the Bike Path! I took big strides and swung my arms, and it was a beautiful morning, fresh and dewy. However, I will add that the Bike Path seems to have expanded in the heat and was twice as long as usual; my 45-minute 2.7-mile walk felt like it took two freaking hours. But it felt so good to stop!

And now I'm home and have already turned the compost heap and cleaned up the trash that the raccoons knocked over and started a new Yahoo group (don't ask) and talked down a crazy Australian lady and gently chided a lippy French lady (truly — don't ask) and had some coffee, so now I will take my shower and prepare to face the day with clean hair and and an exfoliated epidermis and lip gloss.

Onward!

—Lady C, sad to report that Brunie cruelly murdered Bashful during a hot game of Marry, Shag, or Kill? last Saturday — so, so sad

Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 59: Lady Miss Cranky-pants

I've been too annoyed to blog.

What an irritating week it's been!!!! (But listen — don't search for "irritation" in Google Images unless you want to be completely grossed out. Who knew the human skin was capable of so much nasty???)
  • Husband is still sick. Still. Sick. Coughing, wheezing, looking and sounding and feeling awful. I think it's just a bad cold (Li'l Martini likewise had one that lasted weeks and weeks, though he didn't take to his bed), but it's compounded by a flare-up of his gout (he's hobbling around like a syphilitic Henry VIII), and he also has a weird blister under his tongue that he wants to show all of us. Ew. I am sympathetic, I truly am, but it's been 15 days of me as primary parent, listening to him cough. And cough. And cough, punctuated with requests to look at his blister. I am sympathetic, but I am also weary. (And yes, he's been to the doctor. Twice. It's not pneumonia, which was a real fear; he's been hospitalized for it two times before. The doctor pretty much confirms that it's a bad cold.)
  • On Saturday, as I was cooking a huge dinner for Brunie and her husband (we had three weeks' worth of CSA shares cramming the fridge — time to cook it all up in one gloriously fell swoop!), I went down to the basement to put the laundry in the dryer (the kids sort the laundry and start the first load, but I'm the only one in the house with the ability to see whether stained items got clean and to make sure that clothes that shouldn't go in the dryer don't go in —no, I am not taking a tone, that's just how my voice sounds) and first heard a weird noise and next noticed that there was water all over the floor. Though everyone else had pretty much spent the day in the basement (playing on their computers or reclining on the Futon Death Bed), no one else bothered to check out the weird noise. No, I am not taking a tone! Turns out, our water heater had sprung a leak, the kind of leak that means Sister, you need a new water heater. So, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, before a dinner party, we had to turn off the water heater and have had no hot water since.
  • (The dinner was magnificent, though, and that is something. See my photo journal on Brunie's blog here — I'm guest-posting this week!)
  • (In fairness, I should add that Husband was a rock star on Saturday night; he pulled himself off his Futon of Death and actually went to Sears, after getting nowhere with the "Sears" guy on the phone, which resulted in an appointment three days earlier than "Sears" guy was offering. He is a hero, and I gave him many strokes and much love. Just so you know.)
  • Though I'm still plugging away exercising and eating less and dramatically curtailing my hooch consumption (except for Saturday, when I pretty much emptied the sangria pitcher myself), I haven't lost another pound, in fact, I seem to have gained a few back.
Ugh. And there are other minor irritations — having to pack a lunch for camping children every single day (my kids buy their lunches during the school year), getting lost in the bowels of Waltham last Thursday during a driving rainstorm while picking up Mimosa from volleyball camp at Brandeis, having someone I don't particularly like join my church committee, a woman I need to get in touch with isn't calling me back, I told my writers group that I need to take a leave of absence — but, whatev. This too shall pass, this too shall pass.

Sears comes today between 12 and 4 to install the new water heater. I will either take a long walk or check out a new zumba class tonight — break a big sweat, in other words — and then have a much-needed therapeutic bath.

That is, assuming all goes well. But what could go wrong?

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

On the weight loss front, I haven't been documenting my food intake, and I think I will focus on that this week. Clearly I am eating more than I realize. Or else my body is seriously messed up, that's another possibility.

I did get two compliments on how much thinner I look, one from someone who sees me all the time and one from someone I see every four months or so, and that was nice.

I will keep on keepin' on. What else can I do?

July is always my least favorite month. For me, summer means work exactly as hard as I usually do, except everyone else is home lying around distracting me and it's hot. Rah. But July ends on Wednesday. I will focus on that.
Yours in irritation (but not the kind featured in Google Images, thank the good lord),

Lady C

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 54: Ab-Solutely Amahzing!

It's been an odd week. The heat wave has broken, and for that I am fervently grateful, but it just hasn't been that much fun. Mostly because I have a lot of work, and rather than a biggish job that I can kind of get lost in (what I call the editing zone) I have a huge job comprising 90 tiny pieces written by different people, so there's no consistent voice, it's like a constant stop-and-start, stop-and-start, day after day of this, and it makes me edgy.

Also — I'm trying not to be depressed about the abysmally slow progress of my weight loss, but I can't help it. I'm eating so much less! I'm exercising diligently! I'm hardly drinking any alcohol! Why is it so freaking slow?

(Because I'm two weeks shy of 51 and pre-pre-menopausal, that's why. Everyone says it's harder as you get older, and I'm living proof. Rah.)

And Husband is still coughing, and Mimosa's in camp this week and Li'l Martini's home with me, which is always a tad more distracting, and I'm too busy to do anything fun with him in this nice weather, which is a drag. Though today he had Shrieki over and I don't think they stepped a foot outside, not once in six hours. Ah, kids today.

And last night's zumba class was HOT, not in a Paris Hilton "That's hot" kinda way but in an "Is this Hades?" kinda way, I came home drenched. Even my glasses were sweating. And a new girl has joined, someone who's a dead ringer for a former friend of mine whom I dearly hope to never see again, and it was unsettling to have Dead Ringer zumba-ing right next to me. But I won't be back at that class till September, maybe she'll move on.

BUT. Things took a little turn tonight, and I am in a supremely good mood right now! Well, first zumba started out kinda funny; everyone was late except two brand-new people, who asked me lots of questions, and one of them latched on to me and began telling me all about her life, and then when class started she stayed just a little too close, which is awkward when you're zumba-ing because it involves a fair amount of flailing about, at least the way I do it, and I felt like I needed a rear-view mirror to make sure I didn't run into her. But after a while I decided to ignore her; if I cracked her across the face I would be very apologetic, and then maybe she'd back the hell up!

And then after class, as usual, the Italian Spitfire cried, "Time for abs!" and half the class sneaked out while the other half dutifully got their mats and I got my weights. I explained to the newbies that I work my arms while everyone else does abs — "Which is great," the Spitfire put in, which amazed me! So I did my arm work while everyone else rocked their cores — and then the Spitfire had them do the one core exercise I can do, what Mimosa calls throw-downs. I grew very excited and called the teacher over so I could hold her ankles (you need a partner, or something heavy to hold on to), and she was thrilled to have me participating! Though of course she was also very mean and scary and bossy with me and made me do three more than I wanted to, and I hollered like I was giving birth, which entertained everyone. I think. And now my abs are whimpering, as are my triceps, since I always push myself to do more reps than usual on Wednesday nights, but nonetheless, it is a good feeling.

Anyway! I am very proud of myself and I made my teacher happy. Life is sweet.

Off to the tub, I am truly disgusting. Wednesday zumba place is air-conditioned, but we still sweat like field hands.

—Lady C, ab-fab in Arlington

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 51: My Worst Enemy? You Might Be Looking at Her

It's been a pretty miserable week, as I believe I've mentioned a time or twelve. Yesterday I waited and waited for my promised thunderstorm, and it never showed. It was another hot bleary humid day, we decided to postpone both Chore Day and Pizza Night (now that our beloved Nicola's has closed, we are on a weekly quest to find our new favorite pizza place, which been lots of fun, but everyone likes the idea of pizza as a post-chores treat, and also Li'l Martini had a sleepover at HoneyBear's and didn't want to miss a chance to vote), which meant that I either had to cook or we were going out yet again. It also meant that I didn't get to experience that wonderful Sunday morning joy of waking up to a perfectly clean house and knowing that an entire weekend day stretches out before me with no chores in it.

Also, Husband has been sick for most of the week with a bad summer cold, a terrible cough, and a weird and painful blister under his tongue; he feels, sounds, and looks dreadful, and that adds another layer of anxiety and oddness to an already un-fun series of days.

Anyway — last night I was Done. After a week of small meals, no alcohol, and regular exercise, I had nachos and two margaritas (after I ordered the second one, Mimosa said, "I guess you're giving up on your weight, huh?" Lippy girl) and a bowl of Ben and Jerry's AmeriCone Dream, which has about 3,000 calories, most of them from fat.

And this morning, of course, is Weigh-In Day.

And the final rotten cherry on this sundae of horrid is that my darling boy kittens, foul beasts that they are, have taken to pooping in my beautiful bathtub — randomly, no discernible pattern nor any clear reason. (They started doing it when I bought a bag of dry food that everyone hated, but that was months ago.) And the incidents are just far enough apart that I can be lulled into thinking that we're past this phase. The last time they did it was, I think, early June or possibly even May, and I truly thought it was over. But no — they left me a special gift last night. Jerks.

It was a banner morning, I tell ya.

So, a couple of things:
  • Having Weigh-In Day on Sunday morning is stupid and self-defeating. I work hard during the week; on the weekend I like to get my ya-yas out. (Ya Ya!) Weigh-In Day is now Friday
  • On my first weigh-in of the morning, I was at 253, up half a pound from last Sunday.
As scheduled, Mimosa and I took our run/walk, and I tried hard to shake off the lemons of my life and make some lemonade. I looked for Good Signs and found the following:
  • Before stepping on to the bike path, Professor John, Husband's BF, sped by on his bike with a cheery greeting for both of us. We love Professor John.
    A few steps in, two Madrigal parents rode by calling "Hi Lady C!" I said, "Did you see Mimosa?" (They've known her since preschool.) Madrigal Mom smiled warmly and said, "We sure did!" Madrigal Dad said, "Was that Mimosa? She's beautiful!" And that is always a nice thing for a mama to hear. 
  • The first song that came up on my iPod was Daughtry singing "Wanted: Dead or Alive," which I love.
All in all, a very nice start. And the heat wave has indeed broken, it's warm but lovely, and I walked my full 2.7 miles. We'll now do our chores in a pleasant climate, I'll have the whole afternoon to chill, and there's pizza to look forward to for dinner. (Tonight we're trying Andrina's Pizzeria and I'm voting for the Romano, the Melanzana, and the Fenway Classic.)

And when I came home from my walk, I sponged off the sweat and weighed myself again: 251.5, 251, and 250.5 (depending on where I put the scale).

You know what? I'm going with 251.5. This means I've lost a full pound since last week, which I honestly think is accurate.

I also have a new strategy (besides switching when I weigh in): Though I'm faithfully doing my zumba/walk/cardio/aerobic combo, I'm much less faithful about my weight-lifting and core work. I now have it on my calendar, three boxes of each to check off per week — it seems like a no-brainer but I haven't done it that way before, and this will help me, I think.

OK! Time to do chores — in 80-degree weather and dry air. Bliss.

—Lady C

Friday, July 19, 2013

Day 49: At the Late-Night Double Feature Picture Show

After steadily decreasing my evening coffee consumption over the past week, here I am tanking up again but for the best of reasons: I'm taking my kids and Angel-Daughter to the midnight movies! Pitch Perfect is showing, a flick we all love (and, yes, own on DVD, but that is neither here nor there), plus it feels like a fun summer thing to do, plus, and probably most significant, it got over a hundred degrees today and we broke a heat record set back in the 1920s for most consecutive days of 90+-degree heat — which, if you factor in the humidity, means we've been living in Hell for a solid week.

Our nerves are a tad — frayed.

But it's due to end tomorrow, sort of, with a massive thunderstorm (though tomorrow will also be on the warm and humid side — still, I'm looking forward to some Large Weather), and then Sunday, glorious Sunday, we'll be down in the 70s again, no humidity, and I will do the Snoopy Happy Dance up and down my cul-de-sac.

Despite the horrendous torrential heat, some fun things happened this week:
  • Mimosa and I saw 20 Feet from Stardom, which is an awesome movie and highly recommended.
  • We were also very dedicated and did our morning run/walks several times, getting drenched in our own sweat within the first minute, but nonetheless we persevered. And each time we ran into fun friends, including Baby Vivian, the newborn Mimosa took care of last summer. She has a full head of auburn curls now and is so beautiful! She beamed and beamed at us.
  • My Tuesday zumba gym isn't air-conditioned, so I e-mailed the Italian Spitfire to ask, How hot does it have to be before they cancel zumba??? My heat advisory doctor says I don't have to do squats during a heat advisory. She wrote back, Ha ha ha. They just canceled. Tell your doc that you'll be home doing squats in a.c., right??? But I did go to Wednesday zumba and I lifted my weights while everyone else worked their cores and it was all good.
  • AND: Since Tuesday zumba was canceled, I had Li'l Martini show me how to do Just Dance 4 on the Wii (I requested it from the library, like, three years ago); we danced to "Moves Like Jagger" and "Time Warp" and "Livin' La Vida Loca," and it was a blast! I think I "won" but we were very well matched, and this is the first Wii game that didn't make me scream at the TV. 
  • I had a brilliant idea for Mimosa's upcoming Sweet 16th birthday: Like her mama, M dislikes parties and hates crowds; she prefers one-on-one time with her favorite friends — so, instead of one big or small party, she is having a progressive party: breakfast with Angel-Daughter, lunch with Singer Chloe, and dinner with Alex Animation! Each girl has RSVP'd, it is on for August 11! Social stuff is such a challenge for my firstborn angel, but these are three genuinely awesome and wonderful girls, and I am psyched.
  • I tracked down two of the checks owed to me; the big one ($1,575) is now in my hot little hands and the little one ($150) will be mine on August 9. Alas, Penguin is still being a butthead. 
  • My editing work has remained steady but not overwhelming. And the passive-aggressive clients of last week did in fact wait till the very last second to give me the account number to charge, but they are paying me for the full 10 hours, so I won't complain. (Out loud, anyway.)
Dang me but it's hot. I stop to read what I've just written, and my forearms stick to the vinyl of my lovely ergonomic chair. The sound they make when I peel them off reminds me of leg-waxing, or removing a Biore strip. Ughy-pew.

OK — perhaps I'll brush my teeth and blot my sweat before heading out to the midnight movies. I think this is my kids' first time! Ah, a milestone.

— Lady C, sweatin' like an oldie

Monday, July 15, 2013

Day 45: Ughy Drippy Sweaty Ugh

I just read that "sweat is fat crying as it leaves your body," which is a lovely image, n'est-ce pas? Nonetheless, I hate sweating when I'm sitting still. It's gross enough when exercising, but at least there you expect it. I just had a meeting of my church committee, and we are all hot and cranky and didn't even want to drink wine. It's 90-something degrees here with 300 percent humidity. It is HOT and AWFUL and I want to cry.

(Just like the fat as it leaves my body.)

Plus it's Day 2 of my special ladytime, and I'm bloody and crampy and yucky. And our dryer is broken. And . . .

No, I'll stop there. Tomorrow will be more of the same: sit and sweat as I edit scenarios about children being bullied online. But I will also walk with my daughter (early, I said, we have GOT to beat the heat if at all possible) and pick up our CSA share and zumba! — my last Tuesday night class for a while.

Oh! And Eddie Dance Party just e-mailed me that he'll resume his class in the fall, YAY!!!! Love my Eddie Dance Party!

And tonight on Turner Classic Movies is The L-Shaped Room, a movie I've always wanted to see and never have.

And I have two new episodes of Newsroom to watch, plus an enormous stack of enticing library books.

So, as always, things could be worse.

If we can grin and bear it for 99 more hours, the heat wave is supposed to break on Sunday.

Heck! What's 99 hours?

(Weep. Weep. Weep. I am a big baby, and I HATE BEING HOT!!!!!)

love and kisses, wah wah,

Lady C

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Day 44: Do You Know Where You're Going To?


That song ("Theme from Mahogany") came up in my iPod rotation during today's walk (quickly followed by "Theme from S.W.A.T." and "These Boots Are Make for Walkin'"— it's the iPod of yesteryear!) and I had to laugh, because that could also be the theme song to this month's weight-loss efforts.

Today's weigh-in is a good news/bad news kinda event:
  • The actual number: 252.5 (or, more accurately, 253, 253, 252.5, 252.5, and 251.5, depending on where I put the scale)
  • The bad news: I'm still at my plateau weight
  • The good news: I worked off every single one of the 10 pounds I put on in California, plus, to my surprise (and delight) it's Day 1 of my special lady time, which usually makes my weight go up a bit — so my real weight might actually be a pound or so lower
In any event, I'm happy to be on a losing streak again and glad to be rid of that scary excess. And I'm back into some good rhythms, so next week should be an exciting new number. I hope!

The one carryover from my vacation is that I'm still not 100 percent back in this time zone. My usual rhythm is to fall asleep around midnight (sometimes earlier) and wake up when the alarm goes off at 7. In theory I'd love to get a full eight hours, but I can't fall asleep any earlier and I don't want to sleep any later, and this seems to work for me. But since we've been back, I can't fall asleep much before 1:30 a.m., and when the alarm goes off I pummel the snooze button, finally dragging myself off my pillows around 7:45. Yesterday I didn't set an alarm, and I slept naturally until 9:30. I felt very rested, but also slothful, indolent, lazy, and pathetic.

Ah, well. Eventually I'll be back on track.

Mimosa and I did our run/walk this morning, and it was somewhat less glorious than Friday's undertaking, namely because of HUMIDITY. Ten minutes in, I was wearing a sweat blanket. We had to get milk and eggs at Trader Joe's afterward, and the a.c. was blasting (heaven!!) and I felt my sweat forming a thin sheen of frost. Crazytown.

Today's plans:
  • Get to Kohl's to use my $10 credit before it expires — I need a black sports bra and I want to peruse their clip-on earrings; Mimosa's Sweet 16th birthday is coming up! (and she doesn't have pierced ears)
  • Finish listing the 3 million books I have for sale
  • Groom Li'l Martini's feet; he's got a weird peely thing going on
  • Do an hour of yardwork around 7 p.m., when we're not in the full sun
  • See The Heat at Chunky's with Mimosa, Brunie, and my poor gimpy friend Sister Hart, who's in a cast and can't drive; she needs youthful distraction and highjinks! I am very excited
Full fun day!

But first a shower; the sweat-frost sheen has melted, and I am just about as glamorous and daisy-fresh as you'd imagine.

—Lady C, sweat-sheened sweat queen

Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 42: The Corn Is as High as an Elephant's Eye!

OK, not really (or maybe it is — what do I know from corn?) but it is indeed a beautiful mornin', which I just experienced up close and personal. Mimosa and I did our first run/walk of the summer, though in her case it was mostly walking and little running (and all walking in mine), and I convinced her to walk farther than her usual mile, for optimum aerobic health.

(We just got her report card and her "Fitness Gram," which was pretty funny. She can't do a single push-up but her core strength is off the chart. My biggest concern is her aerobic capacity, which is low low low, so that will be our focus this summer.)

So, I'm trying something new that I just read about: a 15-minute walk right after dinner, which aids in both digestion and weight loss. Last night was my first one, and since I didn't know how "long" a walk 15 minutes was, I took our kitchen timer with me, figuring I'd walk in a straight line for 7.5 minutes then turn around. Except there are no straight lines where I live, so I meandered (briskly). But now I know the route, and it takes me past several friends' houses, and I met the sweetest greyhound named Cocoa, and it was all fun. Though with stopping to pet doggies and chat several times it was more like 25 minutes, and when I got home Husband greeted me with the words, "You saw a dog, right?" I'm all, "Are you stalking me??" but he just knows me so well. Anyway, 15 minutes is just enough to get a little sweaty and feel it a little bit in your thighs, and I felt great afterward! I'm definitely going to try to do this as often as possible, maybe get the fam to come with.

I'm also trying to cut down on my evening coffee consumption, and, as with any addiction, I knew there'd be withdrawal to deal with. Yesterday I went kinda cold turkey, partly because we didn't have any leftover coffee from the morning, so my last cup was at 10:30 a.m. — and when I woke up this morning, I could feel a migraine brewing. I'm weird about my migraine medicine, often preferring to attempt to stanch the headache with other measures before grabbing my pills (if the headache is in the early stages — if it's a full-blown 'graine, believe me, I grab the drugs). But I live in fear of my drug losing its effectiveness (which happened to me with my first drug, Butalbital), so if I can cure the migraine another way, I'll take it. Today I rolled the dice and gambled on a cup of coffee and exercise doing the trick.

And it worked!!! Exercise is MAGIC. No trace of headache or nausea.

And (I'm whispering now, because I'm afraid to jinx it) at the moment, my clients have given me no work for today. This is beyond exciting to contemplate!! What should I do with my free morning?
  • Finish reading The Hate List, which is due back at the library today?
  • Read the stack of newspapers, catalogs, etc. that have piled up on my dresser?
  • Pull some weeds in my (disgraceful) front garden — especially since the weather is pleasant and un-humid?
  • List the books I have for sale and get them out of my dining room, where they've been for five months?
  • Finish converting three T-shirts into tank tops while watching season 7 of The Gilmore Girls?
Such exciting options!

One thing I'm doing for sure: lunch with my darling Mrs. Cynicletary! in just a few hours. Hmm, I guess I should shower first. I am a true friend. 

—Lady C, all about the giving

p.s. After my walk last night, I hunkered down in front of the TV and watched Moonrise Kingdom with Mimosa (loved!) and then my new favorite TV show, Hollywood Game Night, which is destined be my new obsession — I must get on this show!!!! And I mended three pairs of black leggings, cut off the neck and sleeves of one T-shirt and pinned its collar hem, and converted two bathing-suit tops of Mimosa's from halter to tank for better boob support. Productive!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day 40: Hot Zumba Kicks Hot Yoga's ASS!!! (Namaste.)

Two nights in a row of zumba and three gallons of lost sweat later, I am a limp noodle with trembling muscles, though man am I flexible.
I love the Wednesday night class because it has magnum a.c. and fans, but I'm still sweating like a tar pit by the end. And of course this is the class with 15 minutes of the dreaded abs. I tried to slink out as I always do, but tonight the Italian Spitfire was even bossier than usual and barked, "Lady C! Get a mat! You're not leaving!" I whimpered, "My ab doctor . . . I have a note . . ." and the teensy old lady, my Ab Nemesis, who can hold The Plank for like 20 years, said, "Ab doctor?? I have now heard everything," which was pretty funny. She is my Ab Nemesis but I totally love her.

I grabbed a mat and gave it a try, but (a) I have abs of barely set JELL-O and (b) I always hurt my back. Yes, I'm sure that actually doing the ab work would help with (a) but I'm not risking (b), I have too much to do this week!! I tried to discreetly roll my mat and slink away AGAIN, but the Italian Spitfire gave me a look and said, "Why don't you do arms?" Eureka! I love doing arm work! So I used 4-pound weights (at home I use 5-pound for biceps, 3-pound for everything else) and did 60 bicep curls, 30 arm extensions, 50 tricep curls, 20 things that don't have a name but help my shoulder muscles, and then a random assortment of other things (parallel-bent-arm lifts, doorknobs), and I know I'll be feeling it tomorrow, but still. Arms for abs, that's a trade I'll make any day.

But I will do some throwdowns tomorrow before my shower (the one ab exercise I can actually do), how's that for a compromise? And I still need to do some wall push-ups before I hit the tub.

My weight is moving back down again but I'm afraid to jinx it, so don't read the first part of this sentence.

I'm reading two books that are both so good, I don't want to stop reading either one:

The problem is that neither is exactly soothing bedtime reading; I had the weirdest nightmare after falling asleep reading Unwind last night. Shirley Jackson said that she had to read a chapter of Little Women before bed every night while writing The Haunting of Hill House, and that sounds like a good strategy.

My kitchen is redolent with the scent of ripe nectarines. Small healthy meals, daily exercise, copious sweat. Onward!

—Lady C, nobody's Ab Nemesis

p.s. Cindy Glamour asked about my cute avatar. It started with Book Club Girl, who's got one on her website. I coveted it (I covet everything Book Club Girl has) and made one for myself, then for Lady Darcy and Brunie, who have theirs on their blogs as well (Kelly's Channel and Book Splat, respectively). Check 'em out!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day 39: A Wanted Woman

 http://cartoonsnap.com/blogspot/images/YouAreInDemandIfYouCanDraw_9DEC/in_demand_thumb.jpg



My white-hot editing star shows no sign of burning out — not this summer, anyway.

Man, I was annoyed last night! But I think I nicely C'd my A, if you know what I'm saying, by reporting the following snippet of convo to my Snippy Clients:
I meant to share with you all the conversation I had with my daughter yesterday (she's 15):
  • Me: The piece I'm editing is about getting more women interested in science and technology.
  • Daughter: Huh.
  • Me: Like, you — you always get good grades in science, but I never hear you mention it as a possible career. What would make you consider it? Would it help if a female scientist came to talk to you about how awesome her work is? Or how much money you could make?!
  • Daughter: Maybe. Or maybe if she told us how we could do something really amazing that would help lots of people.
I loved this because it supports one of the points in your proposal: Men get excited about the gadgets and equipment, women get excited about helping people.
 Both clients responded with what seems to be genuine appreciation and delight:
  • Client 1: Thanks for sharing that conversation!
  • Client 2: Wow, thanks so much for sharing this!
I may get paid for the full 10 hours after all.*

And I've already scheduled enough work for this month to sit back and not worry about beating the bushes, but today the following emerged:
  • A chance to edit a 400+-page novel for a woman in my writers group — I like her novel a lot, this will be a fun job
  • Something completely different: turning 60 PowerPoint slides into a training manual, which will involve a fair amount of writing on my part (sort of the opposite of what I did with the huge dry dense document, that I condensed into short lively webpages). I am psyched about this! And also, of course, terrified that I won't be able to do it — I've never done anything like it before. But mostly psyched. These things tend to work out, as I am now old and wise enough to realize.
I haven't had any alcohol since the 4th of July. I'm also eschewing the cider doughnut that is sexily reclining in my kitchen as we speak, calling to me, calling . . . And why hasn't this steely determination and temperance resulted in more weight loss, I ask you? Jeeminy. I might as well drink.

Zumba tonight, and the weather is perfect! This girl is ready to sweat.

(Note to Mrs. Fog Dog: I finally watched Episode 1 of the Jeff Daniels-Aaron Sorkin-news show whose title I can never remember, and I was enraptured!!!! Does it stay this good? If so, you were so right!

(I know you know this already.)

—Lady C, whose clients like her! they really like her!


* But if they're jerks and only pay me for eight — que sera sera. I've already moved on. Remember that this my year of Forgiveness? Here's a new quote I'm in love with:
If you don't forgive, it's like letting the person who hurt you live rent-free in your head.
I have enough excess crap in there, believe me! Like, the lyrics to "Le Freak" and the names and birth order of every single toothy Osmond. I need some mental floss, frankly.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 38: I RAGE Against the Machine

I had an editing job scheduled for today: 15 single-spaced pages, a proposal about women and STEM fields, I'd get it first thing in the a.m., they needed it back by 5 (though they have two more days before they submit it to NSF). That's a tight turnaround but certainly do-able. (I edit five to seven double-spaced pages an hour, and I read everything twice.)

Got to my computer (sweating) by 7:30 a.m., saw the job: 18 single-spaced pages, plus a 2-page Summary, plus 4 pages of references. All single-spaced. It made for some dense reading, with a ton of cross-checking. (They even got the name wrong of their own project at one point.)

I did my level best, but there was no way I could make their 5 p.m. deadline. (It didn't help that I had to get Li'l Martini off to LARP camp with morning snack + lunch + afternoon snack + sunscreen + bug spray, all labeled with his name — we've taken advantage of school lunches for years now, I haven't packed a lunch bag in I don't know how long. And we don't have cookies lying around here any more, Husband is likewise trying to eat leaner and meaner and he's a big cookie monster, so for lunch dessert I ended up giving my cherub a small handful of mini chocolate chips and three marshmallows . . . ! Also, I had to take Mimosa to buy the needed meat for her chosen dinner — she's our Monday night chef now, Martini is doing Thursdays — plus a visit to the post office, and then of course I had to help Mimosa with dinner prep [she's good, but not quite ready to solo on ginger applesauce, yeast rolls, steak tips, and sauteed sugar snaps — but everything was yummy, especially the rolls, which I contributed only a soupcon of effort to! My budding Julia Child!].)

So I e-mailed the client at 5, saying, in essence, So so sorry, but, you know . . . the job is almost 10 pages longer than I'd expected — but I sure will try my best to get it to you by 7.

I guess I expected, I don't know, a response along the lines of, Oh, please, don't rush on our account, we know we screwed up; you enjoy a nice dinner with your family, any time tonight will be fine!

What I got instead:
  • Client 1: You weren't supposed to edit all the other stuff. She only sent you 18 pages.
  • Client 2: Gee, it was 18 pages when I sent it . . . not sure what happened.
Seriously? SERIOUSLY??? Why would they send me six pages that they didn't intend for me to edit??? And trust me, when you edit a proposal, you also edit the Project Summary and the References. In fact, I usually edit all the supporting Appendices as well.

In any event, I got the whole shebang back to them at 8 p.m., and now I'm stewing because I spent 10 hours on this thing and I think they won't pay me for it all. Because it was only 18 pages, don'tcha know.

While I'm on the subject of wretchedness, here are some updates:
  • No word from Crazy Karate Kid's family. We sent them a copy of the letter (the karate school director was pretty sure the parents hadn't read it) and as Husband says, What can they possibly say after seeing that? Their girl is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs and needs serious help. We asked them to refrain from contacting our daughter again, and they seem to be abiding by that. Certainly, nothing has happened at the school, where we all still go. My hope is that we can write "The End" now — but who really knows. 
  • Speaking of karate, remember my beloved coach who was accused of child molestation, whose innocence-until-proven-guilty I clung to like a life raft? Yeah. He just pleaded guilty. Two years in jail. My heart breaks.
  • Penguin still hasn't paid me. Currently, I'm owed $2K+ for editing work (spread among three clients). Ah, the easy breezy life of a freelancer. It's a power position, I tell ya!
  • My weight is stuck in California weight, and it's been too hot to walk even a block — though I've got back-to-back zumba this week, and tomorrow Mimosa and I resume our early a.m. run/walks, which will be great. I found a Monday night zumba class, which I'll check out in two weeks, so my exercise schedule will be Monday and Wednesday zumba, Tuesday and Friday 2.7-mile walks, plus weights and all that. All this exercise should amount to something! I'm still eating very lightly, as I sweat sweat sweat.
And it's still freaking hot but suddenly feels a little cooler. I HATE BEING HOT. Possibly even more than having a migraine.

OK, time to wrap up the wretched and take a bath. Oh, tubby —you never fail me!

(It's just another Manic Monday, I guess.)

—Lady C, Hot In Boston!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Day 36: The Art and Elegance of Sweating Like an Ox

http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/knue.com/files/2012/07/Sweat-630x420.jpg 


I got up at 7:30 this morning and was already sweaty from the neck down. (We still have flannel-ish sheets on our bed — they're more like T-shirt material, but I don't think they're helping the cause. One of today's chores is to switch to crisp cotton sheets, mmm!) So, again, I didn't walk anywhere.

Tonight the thunderstorms begin, scheduled to last all week. I am THRILLED to get the temps out of the 90s!!! But poor Li'l Martini, who's doing LARP camp all week and prefers outdoor adventures. Well, weather forecasts aren't always accurate — more will be revealed, as they say in AA, or so I've heard anyway.

So in any event, I have nothing to report on the exercise front, though I did sign up for a second zumba class, starting this week (again with the Italian Spitfire). Now I need to decide whether to keep doing the Tuesday class (no a.c.) or find something else for the summer. There's a water aerobics class on Monday nights, which I might check out — though I found, with Mom, that aquacize is harder on my knees than zumba! which of course makes no sense. But I was quite crippled in California. Was the culprit two aqua classes or our nightly pool volleyball games? Who can say?

But foodwise I'm doing very well; the only good thing that results from a heat wave is that I don't want to eat, so yesterday I pecked lightly at whole-wheat toast and fat-free Greek yogurt. We did have a kick-ass dinner (Chinese sausage, dun-dun noodles, horseradish beets, and a big green salad), and I could easily have had seconds on everything, but I didn't. (I did eat ice cream, though, one small bowlful, while watching Gravity Falls and Date Night with the fam, two fans blowing at all times. Fun!) And I was down another half-pound this morning. Slowly, slowly.

Today we'll do our chores and I'll finish dealing with the various piles and lists I've been making, and then perhaps an air-condiitoned matinee? The boys want to see Star Trek and the girls want to see The Bling Ring, which always reminds me of the time we all went to see Iron Man and Letters to Juliet; the ticket taker glanced at the four tickets with no visible expression, tore them in half, then intoned, "Boy movie, Theater 3, girl movie, Theater 6." Too funny.

I guess another good thing that results from a heat wave is that I don't push myself to get things done quite as frantically, and I've actually been sitting in my comfy green chair and reading in the afternoons, something I almost never do! But I've got so many good library books right now, thanks to Brunie and her awesome summer reading lists for Beverly High (see BookSplat blog link to the right). Latest love: YA author Julie Halpern. I'm reading Into the Wild Nerd Yonder, and it is so much fun!

I do not expect a new low at tomorrow's weigh-in, but I will certainly be lower than I was last Sunday, and that is all I care about at the moment.

I did not lose a single pound last year. From July 2012 to July 2013, I stayed at 252. This blows my mind! How did I not notice? Anyway, it all changes this July. This is my vow!!!

"The dress" is hanging on the closet door in my bedroom. It would be more motivating if I hung it downstairs, I suppose; my bedroom is wicked hot, and I don't go in there much during the day. Perhaps I should hang it in front of the fridge.  

Or the liquor cupboard.

Ha ha.

(Another good thing that results from a heat wave: I am too hot to drink alcohol — it just makes me hotter. A margarita would cool me down, but the effort of making one seems insurmountable, especially now that Zanzibar has turned me on to "homemade" margaritas, which involve squeezing my own limes. So delicious! So worky! Hee.)

Off to muscle through the sweat and clean my house!

Stay cool, my peeps.

—Lady C

Friday, July 5, 2013

Day 35: Turns Out, They Were THOSE Kinds of Pounds

Five pounds already dispatched, just like that. I think it was airplane bloat.

I did not get up at 6 a.m. but I did wake naturally at 8, so I'm slowly getting back on the right time zone — and it's already 90 degrees, I'm not walking anywhere. Plus, I have a headache. A banner day lies ahead! I plan to sit in front of fans and lie low. (Though I do have a list of 20 projects, inspired by one of my vacation books, The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster — loved! In particular, the drawer where we keep travel-sized things for, well, traveling, as well as small zippered cases, is out of control; it's booby-trapped like a spring can full of snakes, and we have 99 bottles of lotion and only one of conditioner. Today I shall attack it with vigor and vim and utter ruthlessness! [Apparently, I'm weirdly sentimental about small zippered cases and can't bear to throw one out. That ends today.])

As a shout out to my dear old college friend Andy Mc, I will now share a few more details re: that tantalizing vacay tidbit I dropped yesterday: "I was dissed by a palomino."

After my Good Uncle died, my dad was sufficiently motivated to take better care of his own health — namely, get out of the chair he chooses to rot in (his words; I ask, "What are your plans for the day?" and he says, "Just rotting") and walk a few blocks. One of his favorite routes takes him to Juniper Street, which I remember as the former home of my elementary school "best" "friend," the Treacherous Songstress, but is also where the palomino in question has a nice field to roam in. (Chico is an agricultural town, there are at least seven horses within an easy walk of my house.)

On our first night there, we stopped to visit Horsy on our way home from dinner, but I was recovering from a migraine (I had one my first day in California, I'm having one now, my first full day in Massachusetts — my head dislikes transition, it seems) and while my parents and kids greeted and petted and made much of the lovely steed, I elected to stay in the car.

Which the horse noticed, apparently.

The next morning, I was up at 6 and bounded out of the house for a long walk, culminating on Juniper Street so I could pay my respects. Horsy was not at the fence this morning, but I could see him in the near distance. "Good morning, Horsy!" I cooed, making kissing noises.

Horsy regarded me for a moment, then sauntered forward, taking his sweet time.

He stopped about a foot away from me and presented his backside. I had to lean hard (over a barbed-wire fence) to barely brush him. In my sweetest animal-loving voice, I said, "Horsy, can you come a little closer? I would love to pet you, for you are magnificent and handsome!"

And then Horsy SNORTED and walked away from me.

I was crushed!!! Only the loving attentions of the enthusiastic dachshund in the next block could restore my spirits.

Later, Mom and I headed out and passed Dad on his way home from his walk. "Did you see that diva horse?" I demanded.

Dad nodded. 

"Well?" I said. "Did he mention me?"

Dad said, "I said, 'Heard you met my daughter,' and the horse went—" and here my dad made the most dismissive grunting sound.

Unbelievable.

(It should be noted that I saw Horsy several more times and all was well. I got in some good horse-lovin'. But our relationship was definitely not a meet-cute.)

I'm trying to see if I can cure my headache through coffee before I give in and take drugs. So far . . . I think it's too soon to tell. I'll try one more cup.

And by the way, today's blog image is brought to you by the search phrase "hot and headachy." Thanks, Google Images!

Off to lose five more pounds through sweat, and possibly barfing, depending on how my headache progresses. Wish me luck!

—Lady C

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Day 34: I Can't Believe I Ate My Whole Vacation!!

Zoo-wee mama! I gained 10 pounds in California!!! Turns out, doughnuts for breakfast and margaritas all day by the pool . . . are not on the fast track to weight loss. Who knew?

Yes, I'm kidding — I knew I was eating like a gestating sow, but oh man did we have good food. And the usual counterbalance of exercise was somewhat absent, since it was so freaking hot. We played a lot of pool volleyball, though.

It was an awesome vacation, full of laughter and fun and great memories. Some highlights:
  • I finally tasted a pineapple tamale, something my mom and her besty, Tia Gabi, have raved about for years. My verdict: a little weird. But I'm glad I tried it.
  • The kids and I taught Mom how to play Marry, Shag, or Kill?, which was a riot. (She kept messing up the word "shag" and saying "shack" — "I'm going to shack James Bond!" — which amused us highly.)
  • Mom, Mimosa, and I saw The Marvelous Wonderettes, a fabby musical comedy about a girl group in the '50s. Great fun! (And air-condiitoned!)
  • Mom, Li'l Martini, and I saw White House Down, a *craptastic* flick about terrorists in the White House during the Jamie Foxx presidency. Great fun! (And air-conditioned!)
  • I got dissed by a palomino.
  • I fixed salmon and coleslaw and apple salad and strawberry shortcake and perfect chicken and nachos and tossed salad with a billion vegetables and who knows what else, and we ate well.
My parents are not getting any younger, and I wish I could get out to see them more often. It's just so darned expensive!!

More to say, but it's 90+ degrees here and I'm wilting.

We didn't get to bed till 2:30 this morning, and slept till 10:30. I'm wondering what the odds are that I can get up at 6:30 tomorrow and walk the bike path before it gets too hot. Time to get back on my quest for the dress! Ten pounds, holy cow.

But it was worth it. 

Gluttonously yours,

Lady C