Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Year I Got My Groove Back

The Year I Got My Groove Back actually started just before the start of 2007 during the holidays.

I had slowly been accepting that I was overweight and unhappy about it but had yet the inspiration and motivation to do anything to affect change. I was exercising most days of the week but wasn't eating the best so it wasn't enough.

For Christmas that year we drove down to spend the holiday with my grandparents who live somewhat near San Antonio. At some point during the drive getting into the car, I ripped my jeans just below one of the back pockets.

Luckily, I had a long sweater with me that covered the ginormous hole that was showing my pasty butt. You couldn't miss it. We arrived at my grandparents' house just before it was time to leave for mass so there was no time to change into more appropriate attire that covered all essential parts of the body.

I went to church, Jesus's house, with my ass hanging out. I don't think I need to say this next sentence, but I'm going to anyway: I did not take that sweater off. At. All.

Now those jeans were old and very well-worn. Also they weren't in the least bit tight. For reals. I'm not just trying to make myself feel better. The rip was a long time coming. But for some reason, singing Christmas hymns with a draft up my rear end was it for me. As I closed the hymnal and replaced it in the pew in front of me at the close of mass that night, I vowed that I was going to do it. I was going to lose The Weight. The Weight from college.

So at the beginning of The Year I Got My Groove Back, I joined Weight Watchers. With the combined motivation of those jeans and a wedding in Mexico that summer I wanted to be bathing suit ready for, I did it. I lost The Weight.

Some time during that process not only did I find my inner skinnier girl (I still wouldn't call myself skinny, but I'm at a healthy weight for me), I found my self-confidence. My love for myself.

And just a few months after I reached my goal weight and became a lifetime member at Weight Watchers, I met John.

When I started that Year, I didn't expect that losing weight meant finding a boyfriend. But it was a result of me feeling confident enough to put myself out there and date.

Now it's four years later. I've kept the weight off, and John and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary in a few weeks.

And that's how 2007 became The Year I Got My Groove Back.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hump Day Humor: The Bartender Hates You

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Reptiles

Why are members of the basilisk lizard family commonly referred to as Jesus Christ lizards?

Because of their unique ability to run on water when fleeing predators. Their weblike hind feet make this possible.

Congratulations to Beckles for being the first to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Trivia: Reptiles

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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Why are members of the basilisk lizard family commonly referred to as Jesus Christ lizards?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Unexpected Conversation

Last week John said something that you just don't expect to hear from a man. At least I didn't expect to hear it from him. Ever. And yet there they were. Those six words I never thought I'd hear him say.

"I don't have anything to wear."

He stood in our closet staring at his side that is full of clothes.

Surely there's something you can wear.

And that's when he turned around to my side of the closet and cast a lingering glance along its contents.

As if dude. I wear all of those.


There's just something about this time of year that gives me the urge to clean out the crap. I've yet to get to it though.


But it's on the list. I'll get to it. Eventually. Maybe.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hump Day Humor: Emperor's Escalator

Slightly NSFW (language)



(hat tip Cary)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Stock Market

What famous American helped prevent a panic when the Wall Street stock market crashed for the very first time?

Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, in 1792. As the nation's very first treasury secretary, Hamilton restored calm by having the Treasury buy federal securities to support the market and urging banks not to call in their loans.

No winner this week. Come back next week for a new question.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday Trivia: Stock Market

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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What famous American helped prevent a panic when the Wall Street stock market crashed for the very first time?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gambling

When we first got Cooper, we also bought a dog bed. He loved it so much he tore it to pieces.

Since he was still a puppy and in the destructive phase, we decided to wait to buy him a new bed until he was a bit older and hopefully less destructive.

About six months or so ago, we decided to try again.

So try we did. And failed. Whenever we left Cooper alone in a room, he'd start tearing up the bed.

We're taking a gamble and bought a new bed this weekend. Only this time we're learning from our past mistakes and trying to remember to pick up the bed when we leave the room.

Fingers crossed this one lasts longer.

Especially considering this face:

Methinks he likes it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Looking for a Fix

I realized something last week. It's March. And not just is it March, but it's the frakkin' middle of March. And normally that's not something that pisses me off. Normally I'm quite happy with March because it means strappy shoe wearing and patio drinking weather. Except this March I'm missing something.

Girl Scout cookies.

Last year we didn't have any neighborhood Girl Scouts ringing our door to take my standard order of cookies (Thin Mints - for John, Peanut Butter Patties - well duh, and Samoas - my favorites.

So when our bell rang indicating someone was requesting my presence and I opened the door to find a reluctant cookie sales teen, I may or may not have squee'ed in excitement. I scribbled my order and address on the magic sheet that is supposed to turn into cookies and asked her when I could expect those delicious pieces of heaven.

"Around Valentine's Day."

Do you know when Valentine's Day was?

Last month. 31 days ago. 31. Days.

And while everyone else has already devoured their ridiculously priced, but addictively tasty, treats, I am still sans cookies.

This does not sit well with me.

I should have suspected this was going to happen. Young teen Girl Scout had an unenthusiastic, half-assed sales pitch. I realize she was selling Girl Scout cookies and those things practically sell themselves (see addictively tasty treats), but when someone is asking me to shell out my hard-earned dollars for ridiculously priced cookies, I expect a sales pitch dammit. This chick didn't even tell me her name.

(Maybe it's just me and my over-achiever-ness. Or my parents and their over-achiever-ness. But back in the day, I had a planned pitch that I delivered to each house on my neighborhood cookie campaign. "Hi, my name is Becky Mochaface, and I'm with Troop 109. We're selling Girl Scout cookies to raise money for the Girls are Awesome fund. My goal is to be the top seller in my troop, and I'm only behind by 5 boxes. Would you like to buy some cookies to help me reach my goal?")

Second, this slight by the cookie gods is made worse that we had a second cookie sales girl stop by the house when I wasn't home, and John told her we already bought some cookies. Ok, that's true. But the number one rule this time of year is when someone asks if you'd like to buy some Girl Scout cookies, YOU DON'T SAY NO. EVER. Because obviously.

So in case you're keeping count. That's two chances at obtaining cookies. And zero cookies.

Sads.

Anyone got some spare Girl Scout cookies they're willing to donate to this cookie fiend? I don't know how I'll be able to survive until next year when, hopefully, a new Girl Scout stops by.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hump Day Humor: Tom Hanks & Tiaras

I completely missed this after the Oscars last month. A little long but the ending is worth it.



(hat tip Cary)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Cars

What sports car is named for a relative of the crocodile?

The Porsche Cayman, which was named for the caiman because it is "small, agile, fast and a little bit aggressive," according to a Porsche exec.


No winner this week. Come back next Tuesday for a new question.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday Trivia: Cars

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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What sports car is named for a relative of the crocodile?

Monday, March 14, 2011

I hope you have a big trunk, because I'm putting my bike in it

A few weeks ago, John and I wandered into a furniture store with the stated goal of finding something for our dining room where we could keep our wedding china and crystal. It may have been a little much to expect to find something in one stop. But by some miracle we did.

And Friday, our new server table was delivered:


Only trouble I'm having with it is which wall to put it on. One wall is too small. And the other too big. I'm Goldilocks looking for the wall that's just right. Or how to make one of my available two walls work.

As you can see, we wasted no time in putting wine in the bottom. I also started to pull out the china and washing it so we can maybe have a guest bedroom that is all guest bedroom and not also partly wedding storage still.

A bonus of all this, we actually ate a meal on our wedding china. Who says you need to have a fancy pants dinner party to eat off the nice china? Not this girl. Steak dinner for two while watching The 40-year-old Virgin thank you very much.

It's the small things in life. They bring a smile to my face.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pure Bliss

Last weekend John and I went to a family friend's wedding. It wasn't the first wedding we've been to since our own. It was, however, the first time since our wedding that I was incredibly aware of all that goes into such a life-altering event (the first one after I our own I must have been drunk).

While waiting for dinner to start, I actually pondered (no, really, I pondered) how long it took the bride to put together her favors and who she had help her. I became curious as to whether it was the bride or the groom who was the big fan of York peppermint patties.

John and I discussed how long the programs took to put together.

And on the bride's face, I saw the reflection of how I felt on my wedding day. Like she was on the verge of bursting from happiness. Shiny. Aglow. Pure bliss.

That level of happiness is a beautiful, rare thing. It's a result of some combination of relief to be done with such a huge event, unbridled joy at marrying the love of your life, the love and support from family and friends who took the time to witness and celebrate this huge life step with you.

Thus begins a new baby family.

At least that's how it was for me. And what I saw in her face.

When a bride's face looks like that, well, that is why I love weddings.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hump Day Humor: Sticky Simon

A new Simon's cat video!



(hat tip Cute Overload)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Products

For what product - still being sold today - were the first promotional coupons offered more than 100 years ago?

Coca-Cola, in 1894. Asa Candler, the enterprising druggist who purchased the Coke formula, distributed handwritten tickets through employees and magazines, offering a free glass of what was then a soda-fountain drink.


Congratulations to Yellaphant for being the first to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday Trivia: Products

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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For what product - still being sold today - were the first promotional coupons offered more than 100 years ago?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blue Thumb

As Spring springs, I've begun to think more and more about our yard.

The previous owners had some irises throughout the yard that when in bloom look quite pretty. But I never quite figured out what to do with them the other 11 months out of the year they weren't in bloom.

Sure, I could have asked the great and powerful Google for its sage wisdom, but I don't love the irises that much. So last summer, John and I ripped up most of the irises, especially in the flower bed that runs along the side of our garage perpendicular to our patio. Which has left us with an empty flower bed for many months.

And now that Spring is springing, I'm longing to get something in that bed. Something that is low maintenance because I do not have a green thumb. It's more like a blue thumb. I can grow some things, but nothing that requires a lot of effort or yearly re-planting.

I'm thinking maybe rose or hydrangea bushes. Now if I can just find the time to get to the nursery and get something planted.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Book Review: The Kitchen Boy

The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander

Set during the Russian revolution, The Kitchen Boy is the story of the final days of the Romanovs’ captivity and tragic end told from the perspective of their kitchen boy.

Part of what I love about historical fiction is the opportunity to learn a piece of history that I either never learned or forgot soon after I learned it. All in a way that is more imaginatively stimulating and memorable.

So reading about the last days of the Romanov family was incredibly fascinating for me. Given that I could remember nothing about this piece of history that I may have been told in school. So much so that I forgave Alexander for not developing a better, clearer pictures of all members of the family instead of just the parents and their son Aleksei.

Alexander’s creativity in this book is remarkable. Even more obvious with the ending twist that you don’t see coming. (Ok, I didn’t see coming.)

The Kitchen Boy is a great, easy, short read that will trigger a need for more information on the Romanovs. (Or maybe that’s just me.)

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion to do this review.

Next month - Night by Elie Wiesel and The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hump Day Humor: How to Write a Love Song

So wish I had found this before Valentine's Day.

Love the sweater vests.



(hat tip Cary)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Literature

What literary classic is about a man who was imprisoned on the tiny Mediterranean island of If?

The Count of Monte Cristo,
by Alexandre Dumas pere. If, located two miles off the port city of Marseille, France, was home to a fortified 16th-century castle that was later used as a prison.

Congratulations to charitymom for being the first - and only - to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday Trivia: Literature

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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What literary classic is about a man who was imprisoned on the tiny Mediterranean island of If?