Friday, November 19, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday

#1-7:

Estimated Due Date: June 1, 2011.

Monday, November 15, 2010

In which I climb on my soapbox...

I subscribe to the Fairfax County Crime News Alerts on my RSS feed. This is partly because I'm nosey, partly because I'm paranoid and partly because I like staying informed about my neighborhood and where sirens are going.


However, this morning they have put out two releases about trying to find the mother of a newborn left at a church. I have issues with this. They say the baby was not born in a hospital, which means that the mother is likely scared perhaps young and perhaps not in the best situation. She does not want to be found. At the same time, she did not kill the baby, nor did she flush it down a toilet, throw it in a dumpster, leave it in a gutter, or in the cold woods knowing no one would find it. She put it in a duffel bag filled with towels, wrapped up and left it on a church's steps on a Sunday morning knowing that someone would be by shortly and find it. She knew it would have a safe haven there and that it would be taken care of.

Sure the police may be "concerned about her health" but I doubt it, I think they just want to know who it was and possibly punish her for her actions. If she has problems she'll go to the hospital and questions will be asked then, otherwise it is my opinion that she did great and without knowing her situation I think it unwise for anyone to delve deeper into it. The more we as a collective people stay out of situations like this, the more likely young and/or terrified girls will make sure to place their babies where they will be taken care of instead of killing them and throwing them in dumpsters.

Yes, she could have gone to a hospital or a firehouse, however keep in mind that she may not be of driving age. She may be from an abusive, controlling situation where a short walk is all she could manage. It's quite possible that she lives near that church and it was the best thing she could think of to do. Thanks to that thinking, her son will get a good home and is in good health. So, police, please leave her alone and spend your time doing something that helps.

Monday, October 25, 2010

30 Days of Me, Day #2

Many apologies, I had a migraine and was down for the count Thursday and Friday.

Day 02- The meaning behind your Blog name
As anyone who actually attempts to follow my blog, you'll realize I'm not the best at writing consistently.  I originally started blogging in 2002 and was a great deal more frequent, honest, open, etc.  I was also going through a lot of changes in my life and I got really tired of anyone reading my blog thinking that I was clinically depressed and feeling the need to talk to me about it.  So I stopped writing about my feelings.  Then people started trying to give me needless advice such as getting career counselling (I graduated right after Sept 11, so sue me if I didn't jump straight into a stable career.  Not surprisingly, there wasn't a whole lot of options out there) so I stopped talking about most things in my life.  Then people started trying to read between the lines to figure out what was going on in my life like I had some uber secret underbelly, and that annoyed me.  The editing of myself continued.  Last, I had a little stalker issue for a bit and I completely shut down the old blog and disappeared out of safety concerns.

The problem with this, is when you start editing so much there really isn't too much left to write about.  So I had two other blog areas that stopped and started a couple times and were so freaking boring I wanted to gouge my own eyes out reading them, so I restarted with this one thinking I may have new stuff to talk about through the wedding and first few years of marriage.  "Talk Less, Say More" was the idea that you don't have to write everyday and minimize substance.  It's also a line from one of my favorite quotes:
Fear less, hope more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Hate less, love more;
And all good things are yours.
I love that quote because I think truer words have never been spoken.  When you focus on the negatives in life, negative things will only come out of it.  If only because you are incapable of seeing the good and how is that truly living?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Days of Me, Day #1

I thought this idea was brilliant since I am in a major blogging rut, and Angela at Craving Cupcakes is doing it too (which is exciting! cause I love learning things about her) so I'm going to jump in.  I probably won't skip any days, even if the day is boring because that's how I do things.  Either all in, or don't bother.  Also, by the end of 30 Days I will have plenty of things to blog about... but for now they stay a secret.

Day 01- A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself

 This is from about 2 months ago when I dyed my hair.  It's not quite this dark anymore (stubborn blond always, always pokes through) and it's longer.

1) I lived in Thailand for the first 3 years of my life.
2) I met one of my best friends as soon as I came back, in preschool, at age 3.
3) The best friend I mention most on this blog is Alaina whom I have lived with for 6 years.  All 4 years of college and 2 post college.
4) My husband and I dated for less than a year before we got engaged.  He was one of my shortest dating relationships.
5) I was named after an actress; Kim Hunter.  My mother pushed for me to be given the full first name Kimberly, my dad actually wanted my name to be Kim Hunter.  That's it.
6) During high school I played volleyball, ran track, was on the swim team and rowed crew.  I also was a member of the Marching Band, regular band, and all the pit orchestras for the musicals.  This may have been because I tried to stay out of my house as much as possible by joining everything I could.
7) I have seen over 20 different musicals performed on stage.  I've seen many of them more than once.
8) I used to play the flute and piccolo.  I was weirdly good at the piccolo because I had really tight embouchure so I could actually play the highest notes on the piccolo softly.  "Tight embouchure" kind of sounds dirty.
9) I went to Virginia Tech, if you meet me randomly it's likely that's one of the first things you'll know about me.  I love Va Tech, I think it's the best college in the world.  I also love Hokie Football to the point of near obsession.
10) I am an only child.  I do not have many stereotypical tendencies from being such.
11) I am a really fast reader.  I could read an average novel in 4 hours if I was completely undistracted. 
12) I majored in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.  My current profession is in the Accounting/Finance field.
13) I seriously considered going to the Naval Academy for college.  I even got the Senator's recommendation and everything to submit.  I decided not to go because I didn't want to carry/touch/learn how to shoot a gun. 
14) I have zero face recognition skills.  It's likely I'll have to meet you in person 20 times before I'll actually remember who you are.  Please don't take it personally.
15) My feet keep shrinking the older I get.  In high school I wore a 8.5.  In college I wore a 8.  After college I wore a 7.5.  Now my 7.5's keep falling off my feet.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, It's Almost October!


1. Growing up, what was one favorite item that you had to have with you at all times?
I had a care bear (nighttime bear, with the moon and stars on his belly) I named PJ that I carried everywhere and slept with every night.

2. Being an adult, what is one favorite item that you have to have with you at all times, and what happens if you do not have it with you? Do you lose your sanity or just go back home to get it?
Now that I have an Iphone it's probably that.  I used to be really lazy about cell phones and mine was either dead or left somewhere all the time, but Iphone's have games ;-) and the internetz!

3. Where is your favorite place to be to just hide away from everything and breathe for a moment?

The shower.  It's perfect since I love extreme warmth and the sound of the water is soothing.  I do my best thinking in there.

4. What is your favorite thing about your partner? (If you don’t have a partner, then someone who is very close and will always be in your life)
He's funny and can always make me laugh even if I'm in a horrible mood.

5. What is your favorite thing about your job? (If you don’t have a job, then what is your favorite thing that you do during your day?)
I love the actual job function.  I like numbers.  It's the extra stuff around the job itself that I don't really enjoy all the time.  That's why I'd love to just do it from home.  That way I keep the actual job and scrap the rest of it.

6. What is your favorite lesson that your parents taught you growing up? Looking back, is it something that you want to use to teach your children when they reach that age?
Seriously the only things (that stuck anyway) my mom would lecture about were 1) sex, as in you do it and you'll go to hell and 2) "don't trust anybody except yourself, everyone else will disappoint you"

I think both did more harm then good honestly.  Who wants to raise a kid who's completely petrified/hung up about sex and has massive trust issues?  After all that kid/teenager will eventually become an adult.  I think honestly she just thought about the moment with the sex thing and was trying to terrify me into listening to her and the other thing was her own issues she was passing down.  So no, neither is something I'd teach my kids.
At least not that way.

7. What is your favorite song, that will always bring a smile to your face and make you think of something happy?
I have a few of those.  I love Sweet Home Alabama and Walking in Memphis, both never fail to make me happy and I start singing along.  I also really love All Summer Long by Kid Rock and Hot and Cold by Katy Perry.

8. What is your favorite things about being an American? (If you not American, what are you proud of in regards to your country)
The freedom to criticize whatever/whomever we want without getting thrown in jail for treason.  Alaina and I were talking last night about how it's nice that we can eat cheese without being terrified that it will kill us.  As in food is regulated enough that generally you don't have to worry much.  Unlike cheese in, say, France.  While yummy it can be dangerous.  My cousin got an illness (parasite maybe?) from it that was really, really bad.

9. What is your favorite meal that reminds you of being a child?
Boxed macaroni and cheese.  Honestly, what kids didn't eat that by the truckful?

10. Name 3 things that other people would say are their favorite thing about you.
Some people think I'm funny.  I will always be there for you and help you with anything you may need.  I'm also really loyal and put in the work to maintain friendships.  I'm not one of those girls who ditches all her friends anytime something more interesting comes along.  I've had my friends for 12+ years and I'll have them from 12+ more no matter what happens.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

  • Va Tech finally pulled out their first win of the season.  I chose to think that the season just started, that way I can fully ignore the embarrasing loss to a I-AA school just a week ago.  Egads!
  • The first half still looked rough, but the defense got two interceptions in the 2nd half and held the Pirates to just 80 yards and 3 points.  That's looking up!
  • I have a friend who is obsessed with Pirates.  I'm shocked she didn't go to ECU purely for the mascot.
  • We had a gathering of people on Saturday.  It can't really be counted as a party because it wasn't really one.  But it was nice to sit around and chat nonetheless.
  • Bill and I went out on a date Friday night.  We went to a nice restaurant and even dressed up!  It's fun to do that once in awhile.
  • I am battling a wicked cold right now.  Colds are pesky because you feel like a huge baby for complaining about them, but they are still bothersome. 
  • In related news, my throat hurts.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The No (Sham)poo method

As I briefly mentioned in my list on Monday, I had a horrible reaction to the hair dye I just used to dye my hair brown. It may be a new developed allergy on my part, it may have been a minor chemical burn, we really can’t tell- all I know is that my scalp is not happy which means that I am not happy.

I quickly learned that when my head started itching I should just get my hair wet. To me, and most of us, wetting our hair means taking a shower, which means washing your hair. So for a few days I was washing my hair twice a day in hopes to keep the itching/irritation under control. This worked until it didn’t. I started looking online for some other things I could do until this passed and started reading about shampoo. As with many things we use mindlessly, it’s really not good for you. If you are just putting it on hair, which is dead anyway, it isn’t really a big deal but think about what goes on in your shower.

You grab the bottle, dump some on your head and start lathering. The shampoo/conditioner sits on your scalp which is porous. Maybe you leave it on your head while you soap up the rest of your body or shave, more chemicals are being soaked into your body. Then you rinse it off, during which the shampoo runs all the way down your body’s skin (also known as the largest organ you have). Do you honestly believe that in all that contact all those chemicals on the back of the bottle don’t seep through into your system at all?

The kicker about this is, the chemicals actually don’t do anything for the condition of your hair. You aren’t gaining anything from them and their potential danger. Sodium Lauryl Sufate/Laureth Sulfate is put in solely for the lather affect, because people think that unless it lathers and creates lots of bubbles, they aren’t getting clean. Also, this and other chemical cleaning agents are also found in other household cleaning supplies. If it cleans off the baked on grease from your pans, is it really right for your hair?

Lets assume for a minute, that the chemicals at the levels we absorb them don’t create endocrine, reproductive, skin irritation and eye problems the fact is they are just too harsh to use everyday. The act of these cleaning agents strips all of your hair’s natural oils and your hair follicles go into oil production overdrive to survive. Then you start shampooing more frequently because your hair is unmanageable if you don’t- which repeats the cycle. Your scalp starts freaking out, your hair is limp/dry, split ends form and then we pile more products into our hair to get more life into it. Not only is all that true, but many of us are allergic to the chemicals in shampoo without even realizing it. The signs of the allergy could be itching, dry scalp, flakes, and hair loss. Anyone who has skin sensitivities to detergents or has issues like eczema are likely allergic to most shampoo. I’m allergic to everything, including apparently hair dye, so quite frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if I was allergic to shampoo too, and I’ve had all the symptoms above. (sorry for the TMI)

Through all of this, I realized that my excessive shampooing due to my scalp issue was actually irritating me more, and I found a chemical free, natural, no animal products/testing shampoo which had great reviews. I promptly ordered it, the only issue now was that it would take time to be processed and shipped, so what do I do until then?

In my searches, I stumbled upon this fringe underground community who practice the no ‘poo method as they call it. Yes, I realize I’m late to the party since NPR did a story on this movement two years ago but no one I know has ever mentioned it, nor have any blogs I’ve been to. There seem to be three distinct groups who practice this method:
  1. the hard core environmentalists, for whom even natural shampoo is too damaging to the environment due to the packaging
  2. people with tons of allergies
  3. health-nuts who refuse to consume anything they cannot pronounce; not by eating, cosmetics, drinking, nothing
The interesting thing that some people found is that after a period of gross, greasy hair that one associates with not washing your hair their hair is actually in much better condition then before. People who thought their hair was stick straight had natural curl/waves, people with fine/thin hair had thicker hair with incredible body with no products nor styling, people with curly hair had the defined, bouncy, beautiful curls of their dreams with no frizz. The thing was, that after a specific amount of time- your hair will take care of itself. Your oil production goes down because you aren’t stripping away all of your natural oils, your hair is stronger, healthier, shinier and full of life.

The issue many people have is that they can’t get past that initial greasy hump. For me though, I don’t care what my hair looks like. As long as it doesn’t smell, get itchy, or anything gross like that I could really care less. Secondly, I just dyed my hair brown. Darker colors are much more forgiving of greasiness since you can pull it back and hide it whereas blonde hair actually changes colors when greasy like a flashing beacon that you skipped your hair wash that day. So I decided to try a little mini no ‘poo experiment until my new natural, vegan shampoo gets here.

There are two separate methods of going no poo:
  1. washing your hair a few times a week with baking soda and rinsing with apple cider vinegar
  2.  the water only method

The first method is out for me for a few reasons; one, baking soda strips can strip hair dye color out of hair. I went through a lot of pain and suffering for this hair color so no thank you. Two, I could just imagine how that conversation would go over in my house when I try to explain why there are cooking items in the bathroom. I prefer to avoid that. I’m mocked by my conservative “global warming is mythical liberal propaganda” republican husband for even walking in a Trader Joe’s.
So I’ve decided to go the water only method route. The idea is that you do “wash” your hair when you shower but with nothing but water and your own fingers. First, turn up the water almost as hot as you can stand it (helpful since that’s the temp I take all my showers with) and with your fingers massage/scrub your entire head taking more time at your crown area since more oil collects there. Interestingly, you can actually feel your hair get cleaner- I’m not sure how to explain it more than that, but you can. You can’t rush this step: and bonus! scalp massage stimulates your hair follicles so your hair grows faster/better. Then take a wet washcloth and stroke it down each side of your hair (I’ve heard it’s 100 times each side, but I have short hair and I don’t have the time for that so I do maybe 10). This moves the oil down your hair shaft.

Then rinse with cool water to close the hair shaft. I then spray on a couple spritzes of leave in conditioner because my hair tangles a lot. I’ve heard that some people put some gentle conditioner on the ends of their hair after the water cleaning step but before the spurt of cool water step.

My observations so far (I’m on day 3): When I woke up this morning, instead of being limp, flat and greaseball-looking my hair looked clean and surprisingly had more body then normal. I water washed and then came to work:

This is what my hair looks like right now. Keep in mind that normally, my hair would be so greasy that I would have to pull it back or it would just hang in lifeless limp strips around my head.

Yes, my hair normally looks like that.  I have zero body, and have the thinnest hair imaginable.  That's why I keep cutting it so short.  To prove that it's not body-less due to oiliness here's a picture of my scalp.

The one mistake I have made is that I used a dallop of conditioner on the ends because I was afraid that I was really tangled.  I lost a lot of the body I had when I woke up due to that.  I also don't think it was really necessary.
Maybe there’s something to this no ‘poo thing. I don’t think I’ll continue it once my new allergy-free (I hope!) shampoo gets here, but maybe it will help me extend the time between washes which would save me money in the long run. Maybe my hair would like it too.  Though I do have to admit, I'm mildly curious to figure out how long I could go without washing it without any type of soap.

If you are curious how your hair/skin/makeup products stand up:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

DayMan, defeater of the NightMan.

I’ve seen this topic brought up quite a few times lately and it’s made me wonder myself- are there really natural morning people and night people? Or are night people just lazy and have bad habits which lead to their schedules? I examined this issue from a few different angles:
  1. I asked my husband who says its laziness and bad habits, which I actually find rather amusing because he’s exactly the type who, when on leave, stays up until 4 or 5 am and doesn’t wake up until mid afternoon. Granted he’s playing video games usually so an argument could be made that it’s a bad habit but at the same time I’ve met plenty of people who literally could not do that. They would fall asleep on their keyboard/game controller/whatever and/or they’d wake up at 6am even if they only got an hour or two of sleep. Furthermore, he claims that my need for 8+ hours of sleep a night is not real and that I need to train myself to exist on 6 hours, because that’s all I should need.
  2. I thought back to my college years when my roommate was what I would define as a morning person and I was a night person. Granted in my later years, I was up really late because of reasons that were not school nor productive in the least bit, but freshman year before all that started, I stayed up hours and hours after she did. She scheduled her classes to start at 8am. I scheduled mine for noon. The one class I was forced to take at 8am, there was no other option, I went to in my pajamas and slept in the back row.
  3. Some people love eating breakfast, some people never eat breakfast. I’ve found that tends to correlate with if they are an early riser or not. This may be antidotal since obviously you would be hungry in the morning if you woke up at 5 or 6 and you would not if you wake up at 10 or later. If you are forcibly awoken, you would be less hungry and more cranky.
  4. When people tell stories about their children and/or when they were children it seems that children love getting up early. Their parents have many methods of making them keep to themselves until the sun comes up, including watching Saturday morning cartoons. I did not watch Saturday morning cartoons, I was asleep. I also did not wake up early on Christmas because I was asleep. My mother would have to wake me up at 10am begging me to get up so we could open presents. True story. 
    Also, as a baby, I slept through the night the first night I was home. Obviously this is not supposed to occur since babies need to eat frequently. My mom used to have to put ice cubes on my feet to wake me up to eat. I blame that for why I’m such a bear to wake up now. She also says that I would be awake and moving around in utero at night but not during the day, at one point she had to go in for her ultrasound at midnight because they were worried that I never moved during her regular appointments.
  5. If you think about history, it would make sense that some people would be predisposed to night productivity and some would be predisposed to day. When we lived in small villages, you’d need people to serve all job functions including night watchmen for safety. Someone who falls asleep at sundown (before coffee was widely available) clearly would not be fit for that job. That is, unless you like being eaten by wild beasts and your village pillaged by criminals.
  6. In the working world many people talk about waking up at 5:30am. I am not aware there is even a 5:30am, so this does not compute. I think having to wake up at 5:30am every morning would be akin to having all of my teeth pulled out one by one with pliers without Novocaine. These same people leave the building by 3 or 4 every day and they think having to work late is similar torture to what I described above.
  7.  If I were being completely honest with myself, I do not reach productive levels until noon or 1pm. Obviously, I try to force myself to work earlier and leave earlier but that’s because I’m lazy and I hate working. If I had my way I’d work from noon to 4 everyday and that’s it.
  8. There are people who get up and exercise in the morning. I prefer to exercise at 8pm. Those who exercise in the morning would find my statement crazy talk. Once again, at times I try to force myself to exercise in the morning but that’s also due to laziness and a desire to sit on the couch and watch tv all night.
  9. If left to my own devices I will never wake up earlier than 9am. If I happen to go to bed the night before at 7pm and wake up at 4am, sometimes Bill and I will get breakfast and then I’ll go back to sleep until noon. That’s the closest glimpse I will ever get to a sunrise.
    **in full disclosure, this would never normally occur.  If it does, it's wholely due to my being excited about something else like a huge blizzard bearing down on us or a hurricane hit.  See also: Kim is a weather nerd.**

My highly-scientific conclusion: I am not a morning person. I require a lot of sleep. This may mean that I am indeed lazy or it may just mean that I’m built that way. I think in order to test this properly we should force society to “opposite week” during which we all live on a schedule more conducive to night peoples’. Then when the morning people are asleep on their desks we can call them lazy.

Ten on Tuesday, Travelling edition


1. Favorite way to travel (plane, train, automobile, etc.)

Plane. I am way too impatient for the other modes.

My limit on car trips is 4.5 hours. (which coincidentally is exactly the time it takes to get from my house to Virginia Tech’s campus). Beyond that point I get fidgety, whiny and if I’m driving my leg starts cramping up.

After my last train ride, the only way I will EVER get on a train again is if I am knocked unconscious and stuffed into a duffel bag. Except for maybe a commuter train if we end up moving to Maryland or further south or west in Virginia and it’s necessary.

2. Where’s your favorite place to travel to that you’ve been to?
I haven’t been to a whole lot of places, so I’d have to say the resort we went to in Cancun for our honeymoon. It was all inclusive, everyone was very helpful, it was away from the party areas, quiet and during the off season so we didn’t have to wait for anything.

3. Where’s the place that you want to go but have never been?
Greece and Ireland.

4. Do you deal with traffic well?
No. I am not a patient person. (understatement of the year) Actually, correction- I AM a patient person with other people unless they are causing it to take more time for me to do something then I planned for. Thus the traffic issue.

In my mind I calculate the time it should take me to do all things. Drive to so and so, go to the grocery store, get something at target, pick up take out. If it takes even 5 minutes above that time smoke starts coming out of my ears, my toes start tapping, I start sighing and if it takes too long I start contemplating hitting people with my car purposely. I haven’t done it yet.

5. Ever had an emergency while traveling?
No, not by the true definition of emergency.

6. Do you have a passport? What countries have you been to?
I do, although it’s not valid. I think one of the stupidest things about waiting to get your passport until you need it for your honeymoon is that you go through all the steps to get your passport only to have it immediately become invalid because once you get back your name change paperwork goes through.

Just Mexico.

7. Are you’ve light packer or do you pack everything but the kitchen sink?
I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I make a list of everything I could possibly need and try to account for all possible situations. So I’ll have outfits for every day, but then a couple in case it gets cold suddenly, extra socks and undies just in case, an extra pair of shoes just in case I fall into a river and lose one, etc.

The limit comes because I refuse to take more than one bag anywhere. So I tend to look like a much more efficient packer on long trips then short ones. ;-)

8. Do you take the fastest route or the road less traveled?
Fastest.

9. Do any activities on the road? (like road games, reading, sleeping, etc. )
I am usually the one driving, but if I’m not I’ll never go to sleep if I’m the only passenger because I feel guilty. I usually just jabber, I could talk to a fencepost.

10. Use a paper map or GPS?
GPS now that I have an Iphone.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hello, again!

I’m back!

In the time I’ve been gone:
  • I took a train from Alexandria, VA to Salt Lake City, UT.
  • I then got a refund for the return trip and booked a flight home instead.
  • I learned that Amtrak is stuck in 1980 since they not only have no Wi-fi on their trains, some of them don’t even have OUTLETS.
  • I learned what FMLA leave is.
  • I spent some time as a visitor in a hospital.
  • I learned why all nurses are woefully underpaid no matter what their salary; their jobs are not something most of us have the patience for, nor want to do.
  • Virginia Tech has their first 0-2 start since 1995.
  • I went to a football game.
  • We learned how to hook up our computer to our tv, now I can play Farmville on a 42 inch screen!
  • Alaina and I FINALLY had our second training session. It was hard.
  • I’ve learned a ton about assisted living.
  • I’ve also learned a ton about memory disorders.
  • I watched the VMA’s and was disappointed in the current state of music.
  • I’ve eaten some sort of fast food for dinner for at least 12 of the last 14 days.
  • I started the fall semester of school.
  • I learned that Alloy.com has the worst speed of shipping in the world. I just want my one off white sweater that no one else has!
  • I dyed my hair brown.
  • I learned that I am allergic to hair dye.
  • I will never dye my hair brown again.
  • I realized that I’m actually probably allergic to my shampoo too.
  • I ordered vegan shampoo, making me feel like I’m supposed to start growing dreads. ;-)
  • I watched a lot of football.
  • I fell in love with waist-cinching belts.
  • I did abysmally in my NFL pick them week 1.
  • The weather patterns changed and now it feels like Fall.
  • I added a ton of new shows to my Hulu subscription list.
  • I became reannoyed that the CW and CBS do not post their shows on Hulu.
What have you been up to?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hiatus-

Due to a family emergency I am on hiatus until further notice.  For those who pray, keep us in your prayers please.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, college edition


1. Where did you go to college?

Virginia Tech. Go Hokies! #6 in Pre-season polls... booyah!

2. What did you study?
Biology. With a minor in Chemistry. I also was trying to double major in Psychology but then I had a semester long meltdown and I got too behind to complete the double major without taking another year.

3. Was college really all that it was cracked up to be?
Depends. It got me away from my mother which I desperately needed. It was where I matured, figured out who I was as a person and learned necessary skills for adulthood. Like how to keep personal feelings out of the workplace. However, I also came to the conclusion that college is a really expensive way to get a piece of paper that tells people to hire you (or if they would have hired you anyway, to pay you a higher starting salary), many times for a job that has nothing to do with what you studied at all.

4. How far were you from home?
4.5 hours. There was no direct trains there and since my mom didn't drive and the Greyhound took about 18 hours to get there she could never show up unannounced. It was perfect.

5. Did you have the same roomate all four years?
Yes, the frequently mentioned Alaina. One year we tried to add two others to our housing situation and like most things we try to add others to, it did not go well.

6. Where did you order food from at 2am?
Gumbys Pizza. They gave you ranch dip to put your crusts in and made possibly the worst pizza on earth. However, it was cheap and tasted delicious when drunk or up doing the paper you procrastinated for two months and now have to write in 4 hours, which is really all that college requires.

7. Did you date in college or were you tied down?
Both, sort of. Technically I had a boyfriend for the last two years (I met a senior at the end of my sophomore year). But he lived in DC and I lived there, we saw each other maybe once every few months and I was a massive flirt and immature. Honestly, in retrospect, we probably wouldn't have been together for as long as we were if we lived in the same location.

Historically, I didn't do well when I feel neglected. I didn't cheat on people per se, I just tended to start looking around and getting affection elsewhere. (not affection in a dirty way- I just mean someone to talk to, hang out with, hold hands with, cuddle with, flirt with, that kind of stuff- just wanted to make that clear)

I grew up enough to learn to say "hey you, you are neglecting me and this relationship"or to break up with them instead of just finding someone else to fulfill my need for attention while staying with the original person for way too long. Not fair to either person.

8. Funniest drunk college moment?
I went through a phase where I would drink like half a wine cooler and dump vodka into the bottle to fill it back up (yeah, nasty- right?). Well one night I had a few of those, someone picked me up to carry me into the apartment and I kicked my ex boyfriend in the head while we were walking past him and he was exactly at foot level. It wasn't hard or assault charge worthy or anything, but it became the running joke for the rest of the time we were there. "Hey remember, that time that Kim kicked Avi in the head? Hahaha!"

Then I fell asleep on their kitchen rug.

9. Did you make it to class on time?
When I went to class, I was always on time. In my defense, in a college of my size and in some of my classes it wasn't really necessary to go to class. Some professors would just talk about their research the entire time instead of anything that would actually BE on the test. I'd teach myself the stuff from the textbook and just show up to take tests. I had one class that took attendance but he did nothing but talk about his research, so I used to do the Washington Post crossword puzzle.

I do wish I tried a lot harder in school though. That is a huge regret of mine. I was intelligent enough to get As, but I was lazy and more interested in the social aspects.

(Note to parents: This is what happens when you hold your children down with an iron fist their entire lives, never let them make any decisions for themselves nor show them one iota of respect as a person. They go completely insane at the first whiff of freedom.)

10. What was your favorite class in college?
Calculus and Analytical Chemistry (also heavily math based). Two way tie. Crazy, right? A bio major who preferred math?

I think the one thing I'll tell my kids when they are making those sort of decisions is that you don't always have to go with what you need to work really hard at to do. Go with your strengths.

Math just makes sense to me, it always has. I didn't really even have to try to get A's, once something would be explained to me once everything would click into place and I'd never forget it. That easy. Whereas in some of my other courses I could study for hours and never quite get it. I think I thought you were supposed to have to try super duper hard or you were taking the easy way out, or something.

The other issue was that at Va Tech, you apply for a particular major, so you pick your major as a senior in high school. In my high school we had a superb biology teacher, so it's not surprising that that's what I picked. By the time I realized that I actually wasn't as interested as I first thought, I had already finished the first two years, which is all major involved classes. It wasn't practical, nor financially feasible to start over with something I really wanted to do.

At liberal arts colleges, you do your core requirements first so you can kind of figure out what you are interested in before you pick a major. For someone like me, that may have been better. However, I can't imagine having gone to any other school.

Read more here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Party excuses

Someone over on my other site (if you haven't visited yet, why not?  Go now! Go!) requested that I do a blog post on our excuses to have parties.  Here are the ones so far:
  • Guitar Hero World Tour
  • Dance Dance Revolution
  • 4th of July
  • Beginning of Summer
  • End of Summer
  • Misc BBQs thrown in during the warmer months
  • Come Sit on our Deck
  • "Pre-Thanksgiving"
  • Gingerbread
  • Christmas (with White Elephant Gift exchange)
  • New Year's Eve
  • Halloween
  • Super Bowl
  • March Birthdays
  • April Birthdays
  • June Birthdays
  • Melanie's Birthday (she's the only one with her own month)
  • Dinner club- a theme potluck night once a month for just the girls. Ones we've done so far: Fondue night, Indian, Mediterranean, Mexican. Next up is Chinese
It generally works out that we have a party of some sort every 2 or 3 weeks.  In our area it's really pricey to go out, so it's just more fun and a ton easier to just go to someone's house.
I would love to do theme parties where people dress up or like a murder mystery thing but my friends have nixed that idea over and over.  Boo! I love costumes and I love dressing up.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, August 10th


1. Do you have an innie or an outie?

A deformed innie. I had an umbilical hernia as a baby and had surgery done on my belly button so it's scarred.

2. What kind of milkshake do you order?
Chocolate and banana if they have it. Or chocolate and peanut butter.

3. How often do you repeat outfits at work?
Usually not more than once every 3 or 4 weeks. I'll wear the same items but paired with different things. Like I have two pairs of black pants but I'll pair them each time with different shirts/sweater combos. I have a lot of clothes.

4. What are your feelings about thank you notes?
I think they are important to do. However, in practice I'm horrible about it. I never sent out thank you notes for our wedding presents. Yes, I realize that makes me a terrible person.

I just find thank you notes awkward- I never know what to write on them, they are time consuming and I just never seem to get around to writing/addressing/mailing them.

5. Do you like spicy food?
Love it. I think I actually seared off all my taste buds and the only ones left are my spice receptors.

6. How many toilet paper squares do you use?
I use enough to get the job done.

7. Were you in Girl Scouts?
Yep. I got the Silver Leadership Award and then quit sometime after that. I had other stuff to do, plus once you are at the Senior Level no one is in Girl Scouts anymore. It's not like Eagle Scouts.

8. Notebooks/Journals: College ruled? Wide Ruled? No lines? Spiral Bound? Plain front? Decorative?
Wide Ruled, Spiral bound and usually decorative. That's just for my to-do lists and shopping lists though. I don't keep a journal.

9. Do you snack throughout the day? What do you pack for snacks?
Yes. Well more specifically I graze eat. It's not really snacking when there aren't defined meals. I have a fridge in my office so I actually grocery shop for work. Right now I have bread, peanut butter, honey, granola bars, yogurt, blueberries, tuna salad packets, V-8 juice cans, Skinny Water, Instant Oatmeal packets, Microwave popcorn (cheese flavored), Wheat thins, Laughing Cow cheese wedges, Weight Watchers brand ice cream cups, and frozen veggies (steam in the package).

I eat combos of that food throughout the day.

10. What is your favorite month? Why?
October. Fall is my favorite season, Halloween is my favorite holiday and it's the month we got married.

Monday, August 9, 2010

How I Spent my Sunday

You know how I said that we had no damage done to our property by the storms that moved through?  While that was true, we are house-watching for our friends/neighbors that live 2 streets away and go back to their hometown every year for the months of August and December.  They seriously have the worst luck with their trip timing.  Last December they left immediately before we were hit with Snowstorm #1 and their neighbor slammed into the car they left parked in front of their house.  This time they leave and this is what happens to their yard.


Yes, that is a tree.  Well, not a whole tree, a lot of very large branches that fell taking out a section of the side fence and landing on top of their cable line (you can see the black line to the right side of the picture).  Luckily it was not an electric line or we wouldn't have been able to do much on our own.

The winds also took out a portion of their back fence.

You can see it on the back right, that is not an intentional opening or gate.  You can also see another fallen branch.

Bill went over to borrow their saw to cut up the branch that fell into our yard and this was what he found.  (in our house-watching defense, we did go over after the storm to check the place out but didn't go into the back yard.  Just made sure there wasn't a tree on the roof or on their car or anything big like that)  Obviously we couldn't leave it like it was for them to come home to in a month so this was our Sunday afternoon activity. 



It took awhile, it was hot, and I discovered that I am not very good with saws but a few hours later the mess of the yard became this:

With a neat brush pile in the back corner and a pile of new logs for them to use in their fire pit once they return. (their log pile is hidden behind the tree to the left)  We pushed the back fence back up before we left but didn't do much to repair it, maybe we'll head back to do that this week.

Yes, that's my husband.  I didn't realize I got him half in the picture until I was uploading.

We have always been a bit jealous of their shaded backyard, now we have been cured of that.  We'll take our hot, sun filled area over tree limbs falling and taking out fencing. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

7 Quick Takes: August 6, 2010

1) Tonight we are having a Guitar Hero World Tour night, otherwise known as our latest excuse to have a party. We make a lot of excuses to have parties.

2) We got a line of wickedly bad storms through our area yesterday. Click here for some photos via The Washington Post. The cats were so freaked out by the time I got home that they were edging around the very center of the house to get around instead of lounging in their normal by windows spots.

I was at work when the storms occurred but if the wind and rain was anywhere near what we witnessed from our office windows I'm sure they were terrified. Probably thought the house was going to blow over.

This has been a crazy year of weather for us.

3) Speaking of photos; I've started a new site "Snapshots From My Day." Please go over and check it out. The idea is that I will post pictures throughout my days; some days will get multiple posts, others only one, depending on what is going on. I'm also accepting submissions if anyone else wants to post a snapshot from their own day.

4) Alaina and I took a BodyJam class at our new gym on Wednesday night. The description of the class is "the cardio workout where you can enjoy the sensation of dance. An addictive fusion of the latest dance styles and hottest new sounds puts the emphasis as much on having fun as breaking a sweat. Funky instructors teach you to move with attitude."

Now, I'm not sure anything can teach me to "move with attitude" but it's a really fun way to burn around 600 calories in an hour.

5) We originally were going to try to go to Aquaerobics but we got there late, then we went up to the workout machine level where we got bored in 20 minutes. Then we wandered back down to see what classes were going on and ran into the BodyJam group and instructor. I'm glad we did :-) I'm also glad that it seems that this gym is good for just getting there when you get there and still being able to find SOMETHING to do. There's a ton of options!

6) I made a quick and easy corn salad/salsa last night when realizing that I was in need of a vegetable to go with my enchiladas because all my salad stuff froze in our old decrepit fridge.

In a medium saute pan heat up about 2 tbs of olive oil with 1 tb of butter (you can skip the butter if you want but mixing the oil and butter keeps down steam) over medium heat. Dice 1/2 of an onion. I used Vidalia because that's what I had but red would work great. Add to pan and cook until onions soften (about 5 minutes). Add one bag of frozen corn and a few jalapenos diced finely. You can add more or less depending on your desired spiciness. Cover and cook until the corn is heated through stirring a few times.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once everything is cooked through, let cool for a few minutes and then add cherry tomatoes cut into fourths. If you realize it's a bit spicier then you meant it to be, adding more tomatoes will help.

7) Has anyone tried Skinny Water? The Acai Grape Blueberry is pretty good but the Goji Berry Fruit Punch is rather nasty. I'm not sure if it's just me or if Goji Berry is something that takes a bit of getting used to.

Speaking along the veins of flavored water drinks- did you see the news about Vitaminwater? Corporations amaze me with their greed and stupidity.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Most true valedictorian speech ever given:

...I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contend that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I'm scared.

John Taylor Gatto, a retired school teacher and activist critical of compulsory schooling, asserts, "We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness – curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity for surprising insight simply by being more flexible about time, texts, and tests, by introducing kids into truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then. But we don't do that." Between these cinderblock walls, we are all expected to be the same. We are trained to ace every standardized test, and those who deviate and see light through a different lens are worthless to the scheme of public education, and therefore viewed with contempt...
Read the rest here.

Brava to her.  This is exactly how I feel about the educational system of this country.  My defining moment?  When I turned in a thought out, well written paper only to have it returned with a F-grade because my english teacher thought I interpreted the book in question "wrong."  My fault? "you responded from the female perspective whereas the book was written and should be read from the male perspective."  The paper read out loud in class and lauded as an example of an assignment well done?  One spliced together from her parents "help" and cliff's notes.  There was not one iota of original thought contained within, but therein was the point.  He didn't want MY interpretation, he wanted me to write out the same old recycled drivel that everyone else thinks.

In that moment I decided that school was a complete waste of my and everyone else's time.  It's only purpose was to ensure that one did not have to work as a fry cook for the rest of their life.

Dear English teacher,

in·ter·pre·ta·tion   /ɪnˌtɜrprɪˈteɪʃən/ [in-tur-pri-tey-shuhn]

–noun

1. the act of interpreting; elucidation; explication: This writer's work demands interpretation.
2. an explanation of the meaning of another's artistic or creative work; an elucidation: an interpretation of a poem.
3. a conception of another's behavior: a charitable interpretation of his tactlessness.
4. a way of interpreting.
5. the rendering of a dramatic part, music, etc., so as to bring out the meaning, or to indicate one's particular conception of it.
6. oral translation.

No love,
Kim

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, August 3rd

1. What is your current favorite television show?
Current as in showing new episodes right now? Havoc on the Sci Fi channel. Check it out on Hulu, it's entertaining.

During regular programming my favorite is Glee, hands down. They are doing a Britney Spears episode this season which has me in fits of excitement.

2. Apple juice or orange juice?
Apple. I'm allergic to orange, I think. Or am sensitive to it. At risk of oversharing, if I drink more than a minimal amount of orange juice I vomit within 15 minutes. Even if it's mixed into something else. Damn you tequila sunrises! I just can't digest it.

3. It’s Shark Week on Discover Channel. Do you watch? Why or why not?
No. I've just never been interested in sharks.

4. What are the non-blog websites that you visit regularly?
Washington Post, Cooking Light, Faith and Family Live!, Facebook, Twitter.

5. What is your favorite way to prepare green beans? Asparagus? Potatoes? Carrots?
Green Beans and Asparagus with salt, pepper an a bit of olive oil. Stick in oven at 450 degrees and roast about 10 minutes.

Potatoes, roasted with whole heads of garlic a la Pioneer Women.

Carrots- raw, dipped in ranch or hummus. I hate cooked carrots, the texture just seems off.

6. What is your favorite flower?
I'm allergic to flowers so my favorite is silk. Or a picture of a flower taken somewhere far, far away.

7. How do you feel about handkerchiefs?
They seem germy and gross to me. As someone who does all the laundry in my house, I wouldn't like having to wash them. I can barely handle picking up used kleenex.

8. If you could only shop at 3 stores for the rest of your life, what would they be? (You probably should include a grocery store.)
Target
Giant Food
JC Penney

I think that covers all the neccessities; food, clothing, pet stuff, furniture, cookware, etc.

9. If you could only use wine for one purpose for the rest of your life, which would you choose? To cook with or to drink?
Drink. Just use chicken broth for white wine or cranberry juice for red.

10. What’s your bedtime?
I am trying to get better about that. currently it's approx 30 minutes after Bill finally shows up at home which is anywhere between 10-12:30am some days.

It should be no later than 10-11pm to get a full 8 hours of sleep before I should wake up in the morning.

Monday, August 2, 2010

They have towel service!!!

Alaina and I have this problem. We have a bad habit of looking at "high-end" stuff (even though we know better) and then it completely destroys everything under it in our minds.

For example, we found a neighborhood that we thought was cute so we went into the sales office to see the prices. While we knew they would be high we never expected exactly what the interiors were... nor what the resultant price tag would be. Now, to expect us to be able to ever go into a normal townhouse and think it's cool would be nearly impossible. However, if we had just not gone in we could have lived in a state of blissful oblivion.

This past weekend, we went to check out a gym. Not just any gym but this gym. You should know that we are currently members of Bally Total Fitness; not because we really want to be, but because they send us cheap "renewal" offers. Since we fulfilled our original soul sucking contract entered into 6 years ago, we get yearly offers that breaks out to about $10 a month which is way cheaper than any other gym or class or anything else you could sign up for.

It's like the buy one get one free paradox. Yes, you would get something for free but if you didn't actually need the first item in the first place, buying it is actually costing you the price you didn't plan for. No one thinks of that in the moment though, you just get dazzled by the word free and nearly subconsciously the debit card falls out of your wallet and you are headed home with two of "such a fabulous deal!!"

Yes, $10 a month is a great deal! Except that Ballys sucks so hard that I never go. You can never find machines, their locker rooms are icky, half their machines are constantly broken in some way, the temperature of the place is always wonky, their receptionists are snotty, their Personal Trainers are unprofessional and their classes.... oh their classes! You have to sign in at least a half hour ahead of time, still the classes are overcrowded, they keep cutting down the times they are offered making them even more crowded, and anything that you want to take? Pilates? Zumba? You pay extra. AND they let non members come in for them (they just have to pay a bit more than you)

At one of the Ballys locations here, the line for Zumba actually goes up the stairs and out the door. If you aren't there at least an hour ahead, you'll never get in. To add insult to injury, non members will get in but you won't because your monthly fee means nothing to them. Seriously.

/rant over

This is going somewhere, I promise.

So, Alaina and I decided that we should start lap swimming. One, it's fun. Two, it seems like a great activity in the hottest summer of recent memory. Three, it burns like 3-4 times the calories as walking and jogging. One of the Ballys locations has a lap pool. We could use it for free since we're already members. However, there was this other gym and they have a cool looking pool! The plan was made to check out new gym then compare it to Ballys pool and then decide.

Bad plan.

Bad.

We should have seen it from a mile away. This plan should have been stopped as soon as it was hatched.

Once we walked in the -beautiful, clean, wide open, new equipment, 3 floors, towel service, salt water lap pool- gym we were never going to leave. Ballys didn't stand a chance.

ETA: if you are wondering why I am so enamored with towel service- before my wedding I got a personal trainer from Ballys in an attempt to lose weight.  I did not lose any weight, nor inches, however I did learn that when working out at a time that requires showering afterwards (or, swimming) you have nothing to do with a damp towel.  I would lay it out on the surface of my hatchback trunk so it could get sun and dry though stuck in my car.  I ended up having to drive around in a musty smelling car for 3 months.  To not lose any weight.  Did I mention that part?

Friday, July 30, 2010

7 Quick Takes, last of July

1. Woot! My student loan interest was reduced. I have a feeling the "oppressive socialist government" is to blame for this. Thank you socialists! I love you!

2. It's about to be reduced even more because starting in the fall I'll be enrolled back in school more than half time. Here's the story of my school journey (in powerpoint form in homage to business degree):

Click to make it larger.

3. This is quite possibly the most amusing (and true!) thing I've ever read.

...But a few times a year, I spontaneously decide that I'm ready to be a real adult. I don't know why I decide this; it always ends terribly for me. But I do it anyway. I sit myself down and tell myself how I'm going to start cleaning the house every day and paying my bills on time and replying to emails before my inbox reaches quadruple digits. Schedules are drafted. Day-planners are purchased. I stock up on fancy food because I'm also planning on morphing into a master chef and actually cooking instead of just eating nachos for dinner every night. I prepare for my new life as an adult like some people prepare for the apocalypse.
Click the link.  You want to click it, trust me.  My favorite line is "...leaving me almost completely useless for anything other than consuming nachos and surfing the internet like an attention-deficient squirrel on PCP. "  The picture with it is priceless.  It's me!  The picture even has blonde hair.

4. I am moving to a new work schedule next week.  Suffice it to say, I've been a bit overwhelmed and my hopes are that this will help that out a bit.  However, shifting schedules around is always difficult so pray for anyone seeing me next week since I'm sure to be cranky.

5. My lightbulb went out in one of my office lamps this morning and I discovered that I did not have any more in my supply drawer so I've had to use my overhead lights.  If I had any doubt that overhead lights DO give me headaches, they are now squashed because I have a headache.  Stupid flourescents!

6. I am going to try out Bikram (aka hot) yoga this Saturday.  Pray for me on that one.  Hope I don't die!

7. I honestly am at a loss to fill 7 slots today.  Sorry, I'm apparently boring.  Hope you have a great weekend.  Mine will (hopefully) consist of movie rentals, a couch and not much else. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's getting hot in here...

Man, am I ever tired of this heat.  Normally the DC area only gets really bad in August but for some reason this year we've been hovering around 100 since early June and every time we think we're getting a break the temps shoot back up.  It's like the heat version of our extreme snow winter.  DC weather fail.

Reasons I hate the heat:

1) I went running outside and had a brief moment of panic thinking I was going to pass out and no one would know.  Then I'd die and mutant creatures from the nasty Potomac River would eat my face off.  Then realized, hey! this weather is probably the perfect moment to try hot yoga since my two options are to run outside in 105 degree weather where I can only get water when I pass my car or to do yoga in a 105 degree room where there are witnesses if I pass out and die and I can drink as much water as I want.  Within those perimeters the choice seems clear.

2) I can only wear each article of clothing once before washing it because of the sheer amount of sweat I'm producing.  I do not blame my deodorant, there is only so much it can do before crying uncle.  This fact is tripling my laundry load.

3) Our office building A/C was lowered even more than normal meaning that in order to stay warm even with my space heater and pashima I have to wear a certain amount of clothing.  That amount of clothing when going outside for even 5 minutes is unbearable.  Plus the shock to the system of freezing, HOT, freezing, HOT is giving me constant mini colds.  Not cool.

4) Our house A/C sucks under normal conditions and REALLY cannot keep up with these temps.  This means that the upstairs of our house (where the bedroom is) can only be kept cool if we set the temp to about 40 which will then freeze my BIL who is currently sleeping in the basement and anyone who may venture to the main floor.  Not to mention, the ridiculous electric costs keeping it this cool would create.  It's just not feasible.  Thus...

5) I woke up this morning and was completely swollen.  I think I had been swelling little by little as the temperature raises and my ring finger was actually discolored and going numb.  I had to coat my finger in soap and keep it under running water to finally wretch my rings off.  Then my finger was revealed to look like this:

Pictures don't really do the grossness justice, I have raised welts all the way around as well as a bunch of bumps and patches of rough skin.

Now, I'm really not too sure what caused this.  Maybe it's the irritation caused as my finger swelled.  Maybe I should remember to take off my rings once in awhile since I do everything with them on including swim, do dishes, shower, cut meat, etc. 

Needless to say, I won't be wearing them for awhile- not that I could get them back on anyway due to the aforementioned swelling of my extremities. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Open Letter to Urban Outfitters

I like your clothes, I like your furnishings. I have spent days upon days on your site and browsing through your store but now? I will not do so anymore. Why you ask?

Because of this:


This shirt should never have been made. It promotes an all too common idea that women are not supposed to eat and are supposed to be as thin as possible. However, what's even worse is the model you chose to put it on. The image that projects is that the girl shown, who is a size 0 after eating a couple burritos from Chipotle, needs to eat less. What does that say to the millions of healthy women out there who do not look like that? Who have real thighs and breasts? Who don't look like they are about to fall over in need of a hamburger?

Oh, my bad. That's not popular. Anorexia is much better. I love weakening my heart, losing bone density and ending up in a hospital being force fed via tube. It's tres chic.

From the women of America- F- you Urban Outfitters.

Double middle fingers up, no love,

Kim

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, July's almost over?!?


1. How do you take your coffee on an average day? How do you like your coffee if you’re splurging?
Strong, with enough milk to make it a tan color. Sometimes I'll add a half packet of Splenda.

Splurging?  Lately I've been obsessed with the Mocha Iced Coffee at 7-11.  It's so much cheaper than Starbucks and tasty.  It's not a splurge due to price, it's a splurge due to calories.  A small has 140 calories in it, and who can have just a small?!?

2. What is your genre of books to read?
Fiction.  I love escapist books that don't require a lot of thinking.  Thus a lot of chick lit, Jodi Pinoult and light hearted mysteries.  Reading is an indulgence, I'm not going to make it seem like work.

3. Where do you want to retire, if you could go anywhere?
Somewhere near a beach where I can see/hear the water.  Hurricane evacuations are totally worth it.

4. The 17-year-old you is told to write a 10-minute speech. What topic would you have picked?
Probably music or a random biology topic.

5. What word describes you best?
Hard working.  I rarely do anything half heartedly regardless of what it is.

6. What is the next “event” that you are looking forward to? (ex.: vacation, moving, date, job change, etc)
We are going to try to go on vacation somewhere fun in October for our first anniversary. We don't get to spend a ton of time just relaxing and having fun so that's always a treat.

7. Do you like to discuss controversial topics or do you prefer to avoid those types of conversations?
I can heatedly argue with the best of them, but I generally avoid.  Two reasons for that: 1) I married into a family with opposite political beliefs then my own so it keeps the peace and 2) sometimes things like that can destroy otherwise great friendships.  Why risk it?

8. Would you rather add 4 free hours to each day, or add 1 extra day to the week?
4 free hours to the day.  If we added an extra day to the week I'm sure my company would just make me work it.  No thanks.

9. If you created a sports team; what would your colors and mascot be?
Why create one when there's a perfect one already in existence?  Maroon and orange, hoke bird.

10. If you had to be a teacher, what subject would you teach?
Biology or math.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Vacation is wonderful... even when you only get 3 days.

We left at about 1:30 on Monday and halfway there Alaina realized she forgot her suit.  Yes, we were headed to a resort for the express purpose of swimming/sunbathing/etc and she forgot something most needed- so we took a bit of a detour at a mall to purchase the needed item (plus a few extras for each of us).  We didn't end up getting to the hotel until about 5.

We checked in, explored the hotel and then went to the club suite and took some free snacks and wine out to the balcony to enjoy this view:

Not a bad way to start out- eh?

Then we settled into our room.  Opening the windows we were greeted with this:

The pool complex lit up.  In the background you can see some lights from the marina so that's where the bay was.

We spent a LOT of time at the pool.  Entire days, enjoying some drinks and food served to our chairs poolside:

Floating:

Playing around:


And taking pics to post on our facebook walls in order to make our stuck at work friends jealous:

Does that make us evil?

Nah, this face isn't evil:

What better way to wrap up our last night then toasting our trip with mudslides?

I don't like to share my drinks.

So, maybe I'm a little evil.

Hope you had as great of a last week as I did!

Even if now it's back to a full work week grind, chores, and schedules.  It was a nice way to recharge.

Friday, July 16, 2010

7 Quick Takes

1. Yesterday while in the grocery store line I saw a tabloid with the headline "FINALLY, a baby for Jessica!" (referring to Jessica Simpson) According to IMDB, she was born July 10, 1980 making her 3 months younger then me. Basically the tabloid called me an old barren maid. Thanks tabloid.

2. This was after I had lunch with my mother on Wed and at the end of lunch she said, "I was hoping you asked me to go to lunch to tell me that you were pregnant." Ouch. One two old barren maid punch.

3. Alaina and I are doing a last minute trip to a resort in Maryland next week. We usually go to the beach but I can't take off a full week this year due to work reasons and when going for just a couple days, we get more lying in the sun time if we go somewhere closer. Thus, we are only making it to the Bay, not the ocean.

4. Take a look and get jealous. We are getting a water view room which should be gorgeous.  See, being an old barren maid comes in handy sometimes in that you are old enough to have a good job to pay for nice hotels, you can take last minute trips on a whim and you have disposable income. Booyah!  Take that tabloid and mother!

5. I got mad at Lizzy this morning because I thought she had randomly decided that breakfast time was at 5am.  She kept meowing and headbutting me, then jumping up and off the bed and meowing some more.  I locked her out of the bedroom.  Now I feel bad, because apparently it was the exact time that we had an earthquake this morning.  Too small for us to consciously feel but I bet she did and that's what woke her up.
 
Awhile back, I just happened to work in an office that had one of those huge file rooms just full of file cabinets.  I was in that room when we got another one of this area's small earthquakes but that time I noticed because it made all the file cabinets rattle against each other.
 
6. When I was a teenager, I lived literally on top of a fault line up in the Rocky Mountains.  The high school was also on the fault line and we had to do earthquake drills in addition to fire drills.  They were ridiculous.  An alarm would sound and then they'd play earthquake noises over the loudspeaker while we covered our heads and climbed under our desks or stood in door frames. 
 
The one thing I did take away from that time was to never, ever hang anything over your bed.  If you do and an earthquake hits in the middle of the night, it will likely fall off the wall and land on you potentially knocking you unconscious or worse depending on the weight of the item.  I cringe every time I see bedrooms with large, heavy frames hung right over people's heads.  I'm sure this tidbit was just mentioned as a side note in a much longer lecture and that's the only thing I can remember.  Just another manifestation of my neuroses.
 
7. I ran/walked 5.5 km yesterday.  It has been hovering near 100 degrees here since June.  I don't think I have ever sweat that much in my life.  I think I also pulled a groin muscle.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dropped out!

I am a Weight Watchers drop out. Did I mention that earlier? I may have, I don't really remember. Since dropping out in May, I've been plodding along with my habits gaining and losing the same 5 lbs that I did while in the program and then... I started Pilates.

This is not a wow! after one class I had abs! story because let's face it, I would need about a year of 5 times a week Pilates to give me abs PLUS a ton of cardio. This is a my goodness all the extra weight around my waist is beyond uncomfortable while crunching up into pilates positions story. Also- staring at yourself in a mirror for 50 minutes isn't pleasant either. Every fat bulge starts to look larger and larger. Add to that the recent pictures of me at the picnic and you end up with my going- my lord, I'm fat*, this really needs to be taken care of. Some may say, this was the rock bottom of my food addiction.

Enter my current program. I keep a food journal. I literally write down every single morsel that crosses my lips. I don't eat sugar, I don't eat processed foods. I cut out soda cold turkey. All soda (diet is bad for you). I am drinking water, I am eating veggies. I'm taking the one a day metabolism booster vitamin. If I crave something sweet, I eat fruit.  Now, I am always hungry. I do not take this fact to mean that I am being overzealous about this and can never maintain it, I'm not. I think the "you'll never feel hungry" is one of the biggest lies these "I'm going to be nice and easy for you" programs do. You are retraining your body. Of course you are going to think you are hungry. You aren't. It's because your body is used to constant snacking and large portion sizes so you are being lied to by your brain. Usually drinking some water and/or eating a 0 calorie snack will do the trick.

Throw out all the gimmicks, points, Smart Ones meals, fake sugar free diet food crap, weight loss pills. Stop paying people to tell you what to do. It's not the way to go about it. Losing weight is simple- you put in less calories then you use. A deficit of approx. 500 calories a day will make you lose 1 lb a week. A deficit of 1000 calories a day will make you lose 2 lbs a week. That is well within healthy range.

Figure out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This is how many calories you burn on a given day based on a formula that uses your height, weight, age and gender. (http://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-How-Many-Calories-You-Need-to-Eat-to-Lose-Weight)

Then you account for your activity level.

The number you end up with is the number of calories you would eat if you wanted to remain the exact weight you are at the moment. Follow the above guideline for weight loss. If you hate to exercise, technically you can just subtract out the calories and eat less but keep in mind that it's unhealthy to drop below 1200 a day for women (plus it may lead to weight gain since your body will go into starvation mode clinging to it's own fat stores for survival). A much easier way is to try to hit that 500 or 1000 calories is through a combination of exercise and cutting food. Here's a great calorie calculator for pretty much any exercise you can think of (http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc). And here's a database to look up the calorie amounts in foods/drinks (http://www.calorielookup.com/).

If you are someone with a faster or slower metabolism then the norm, this will become obvious after a few weeks. Either you gain weight or you lose too fast. You can adjust the numbers accordingly until you find the trigger point.

See how I know all this, but yet just didn't care? That's laziness defined right there.

I WILL lose 30 lbs. This isn't a "I'm going to try to" it's a I WILL. I'm done with the excuses. I'm done with being asked constantly if I'm pregnant. I'm done with hating the way I look in clothes because I'm lumpy. I'm done with feeling uncomfortable when I exercise due to the extra weight. I'm just done.

My starting weight was 160lbs. My goal is 130lbs. But even more, my goal is to fit into clothes better, to slim down my face, to firm up my arms and for my thighs to not rub against each other anymore.

 
The way I'm going about this is:
  • My BMR is 1665 calories a day. I am trying to lose 2 lbs a week so I would hit my weight goal by mid October (just in time for Halloween costumes!). I need a deficit of 7000 calories a week (or 1000 a day).
  • I have a journal in which I write down everything I eat and everything I do. 20 minutes of housework? Goes in the activity log. Everything counts, no matter how small. Writing down everything you eat makes you pause and second guess what you are eating. Yes, it's a pain but I point out to myself that I won't do it forever. It's about retraining my body to be able to make healthy choices for itself.
  • I am trying to drink water constantly. At work I have a 24 oz bottle that I refill and leave on my desk. I find having it there makes me subconsciously drink more water then I ever thought I would. At home, I try to get up and drink a glass of water every hour. Not a large glass, just 8oz. Sometimes when we think we're hungry, we're just thirsty. This combats that. Plus, it makes you feel full.
  • I hate salad. Really, I hate lettuce. Weird- right? So I will never be someone that eats a salad for dinner and that's it. Instead we are eating from Cooking Light's recipes. They put all the recipes from each issue on line and they are tasty. I am trying to cut out as much eating out as possible (our household has a fast food/Chipotle addiction) and I refuse to eat extra and tell myself I'll work out later. I never do. It's just another lie I tell to myself. I work out first and THEN eat something extra. Everything that isn't processed or sugar is allowed, I didn't cut out carbs or bread or anything like that. Those are gimmicky and completely unsustainable. The key is moderation and going for the healthier options. Homemade is better than processed. Fruit and veggies is better than chips and french fries. Water/juice/milk is better than soda. Common sense really.
  • I hate the gym, so I will never be a gym rat. I hate everything about the gym; the time it takes out of my day, having a plan in my head and then not being able to do it because someone else is on the machine, the culture, the smell, the temperature they keep it, the guys who stare inappropriately at you, the monotony of being on a machine. I hate it all. My plan instead is to sign up for things like my Pilates workshop, some dance classes in the fall, maybe a Yoga package, continuing to do 5/10Ks which force me to prepare for them, Sunday morning walks with Alaina. Things that are fun, I look forward to, with concrete goals and end points.

 
I'll let you know how it goes.

 
*Please bear in mind that fat means different things to every one. To some of you I may appear thin, or completely fine. I am also not saying that because I view myself as fat I think anyone who is larger than me is obese. I think an overall goal is just to be comfortable in our own skin. To have bodies that are proportional, that we feel healthy with and that does not equal a specific number or weight across the board. It's different for everyone.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, Vol. 24

1. What is the worst movie you have ever seen?
Battlefield Earth, hands down.

Coming in second is Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time which if you are my twitter friend you've heard my thoughts on before. If you aren't my twitter friend? Why not? Click my link on the right.

2. Do you have a favorite Disney/Pixar film?
Finding Nemo.

3. Do you have a favorite movie from the 80′s?
The Breakfast Club.

4. Are there any movies you saw more than once in the theater?
I saw Ever After 4 times in 3 days. In the theater. Purely because that was back when I was living in my mom's house and I would never say no to anything people asked me to do. I was that desperate to be out of the house as much as possible.

Also, back in my dating days I saw quite a few of the popular movies twice because I would date a few guys at the same time and they would both would want to see the same movie. (Disclaimer: I would not be serious with more than one guy at the same time or anything, I mean like early stage casual we're hanging out trying to figure out how much we actually like the other.)

5. What is one city/area of the US (or country you live if you do not live in the US) that you have not seen but would like to see?
I would love to see Texas. I know so many people who live there or used to live there and I've never seen any part of the state except for the San Antonio airport. It is a common stop for Utah bound persons to get stuck while travelling in the winter and SLC is delayed or closed due to snow.
6. What are your favorite toppings on an Ice Cream Sundae?
Hot fudge and bananas.

7. How many proms did you go to? What color was your prom dress? If you went to multiple proms, what color was your favorite prom dress?
Two, one junior year with my best guy friend and one senior year with my on again, off again high school boyfriend. I think my senior year one was the best because it was a princess dress.  It was just fun to wear.
It was a light blue color.  You can't really tell in the picture.

8. Is there a sport or extra-curricular activity that you didn’t get to try as a child that you wish you would have? (e.g. gymnastics, piano lessons, ballet, etc.)
I loved gymnastics and always, always wanted to do it. All my friends took gymnastics, but for two reasons I never could. 1) there was no where to take them that was on a bus line and we didn't have a car and 2) my mom was neurotic and determined I'd hurt myself.
I went through a phase as a kid when I told everyone that I was a gymnast training for the Olympics. I was a big old liar, liar.
9. How many siblings do you have? Are you the oldest, middle, or youngest?
Zero. I have two stepsisters but I was a big snot to them back when one was really trying to befriend me. Now I regret it because family is important and you can never have too much of it but I wouldn't even know where to start trying to find them.
Actually, technically I have three stepsisters but the first one is so much older than the rest of us that it would never have been practical for any of the three of us to be close to her. she came to a bday party of mine when I was like 8 I think. She was married with a kid who was barely younger than me. See what I mean?
If I count all of us (from my dad's three marriages) I'm the second to youngest. The oldest is by far the winner, then the bottom three of us are all within 5 years of each other.

10. Do you feel like you fit in with your age group? Or do you feel younger/older than your age group?
I've always been older than my age group, I think that comes with the territory of being an only child. You spend a lot of time around adults. It also comes from growing up with my mother who didn't really believe in childhood- once you were technically capable of taking care of yourself, you did. I was responsible for myself before/after school starting at 8. I got myself around on buses by myself when I was 10. I was completely paying for my own clothes/spending money/school stuff by 15. Funny enough though, my mother consistently tells people that I was an irresponsible teenager who put too much on her and didn't help her enough. She just isn't the most "maternal" person I've ever known, it was just easier for her to always think of me as a mini adult that lived in her house. The only area of my life that I have ever been immature about was relationships with others in my peer group and guys.

True story: Once I applied for a job and they called my old place of employment for a reference and asked if my age hampered my job at all, like if I would go out all the time or be focused on things other than work. Their response "if you weren't looking at her you would have no idea that she's as young as she is." Which is true.

Sometimes I feel as old as dirt.