… Is this thing on?

Hi.

I didn’t mean to be gone so long.

And I really have no excuse.

Whoops.

First, I had a busy few weeks at work. And then I was having trouble logging into my WordPress account for some reason. (A problem which seems to have miraculously solved itself, which is the way I like my problems to be solved.) And then I started feeling guilty (stupid, I know!) for going all cold turkey on this blogging thing and I waaaaay over-thought it and was all, well, I can’t just SHOW UP someday and start blogging again, not when I just went away for so long, and – ACK. ENOUGH. AM HERE.

Perhaps some pictures will make up for my long absence? Pictures from vacation? In California? Pictures like this one?

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We also biked over the Golden Gate Bridge and saw views like this:

We went on a tour of Alcatraz Island:

And we were cheesy tourists on Fisherman’s Wharf:

We went to Napa and had lots of wine:

Lots and lots of delicious wine:

Then we went to Palo Alto for Liz’s wedding! Here is a picture of our dresses since I didn’t ask if it was OK to post a picture with actual people in it:

And yes, speaking of pictures with actual people in them, that IS me with the pirate up there. Hola! (Is that what you thought I looked like?)

So, there’s much more to update on but I’m afraid that’s it for now as it is, ahem, almost my bed time. (Sad! But true!) But, I promise – I’m back for good!

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You spin me right round, baby.

I haven’t posted about this topic in a while, so I’ll give some quick background:

About, well, I guess it’s been almost a year now, I decided it was time for a change. I had never been really overweight (at my max, I was right at the tippy top of my target weight zone) but I was definitely, positively, for sure not what you would consider to be the pinnacle of health and fitness. I’d been able to eat what I wanted while maintaining a fairly normal weight – and it turns out that what I wanted to eat was a lot of french fries. Then, I started working at a desk all day and… things caught up with me.

I was unhappy, and unhealthy. But I’m proud to say that I’ve changed things. I started eating MUCH better – and as Stefaniedescribed, it was kind of an A-HA moment. Except that I think I had learned that eating healthy foods like fruit and vegetables were good for me by watching Big Bird sing about it. So it’s shouldn’t have been so surprising – but it was! So really, all this bullshit that people talk about like ‘lifestyle changes’ and ‘being good to yourself’ and ‘health being a habit’? Here’s a newsflash: It’s not really bullshit after all. Who knew?

So I’ve been chugging along down this path for a while now. By the end of last year, I had lost about 20 pounds. I fit into my old clothes – a lot of them are too big. Ideally, I’d like to be a little bit thinner, but if it’s not in the cards I guess that’d be OK, too.

The hardest part about this – dare I use the word – journey (oh, god, I hate that word and I can’t type it without laughing) has been exercise. I have never liked it. It has always been something I have suffered through. I had been working out mostly at home, because of an overwhelming (and kind of silly) fear of joining a gym and 1) being constantly embarrassed by how out of shape I was, 2) not knowing the etiquette and/or how to use the equipment, and 3) not being able to keep up with it and wasting my money and feeling the double-whammy of guilt and wasted funds.

Working out at home is kind of boring though. At least it got to be that way for me. I could get new DVD’s and look up routines to try, but there’s a limit to what I can do at home without investing in a ton of equipment that I don’t have room for. Also, I never pushed myself to work out very hard or very long. If 20 minutes into the DVD, dinner was ready and I was bored, the DVD was off. If I didn’t like an exercise or didn’t feel like doing it, skipping it was a piece of cake. But I was still hesitant to join a gym – until…

A girl at work got a 90 day free membership to a local (very expensive) gym. 90 days for free is pretty much un-heard of at any gym, especially this uber-snobby one. No one else wanted it, so she gave it to me. And I signed up for it. And I’ve been using it.

And you know what? The gym doesn’t suck. I actually really like it. Even more shocking – I really like the classes. I’ve been going to strength training on Monday nights, Spinning on Wednesday, sometimes Boot Camp on Thursdays, and spinning again on either Saturday or Sunday morning. It doesn’t feel like work, or torture, or anything like that. In shocking news (at least it shocked me), I actually LOVE spinning. I love that it is hard work, but it’s hard work that I don’t have to really think about – by that I mean that there’s no coreography or anything too complicated. It feels like a REAL work-out, but not like I am going to die halfway through the class. I think I may have finally found something I can stick with.

There’s no real point to this update. I eat fruit now! And vegetables! I go to a gym! Spinning is fun! That’s about it. I guess I didn’t need all of these words to say those things. But it’s kind of cool, actually, knowing that you can actually change your ways. Knowing that a few years spent on the couch doesn’t have to mean a lifetime spent on the couch.

Of course, I wrote this on a day that I had a giant plate of Mexican food for lunch. (News flash: liking fruits and vegetables doesn’t make cheese and fried things any less delicious!)

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More Wildlife

Tom the Turkey has not made any more appearances (at least not that we’ve seen), BUT last night Ricky the Obese Raccoon came to visit. Ricky is apparently living the good life, because Ricky is so fat that he doesn’t walk, he waddles. I don’t think Ricky is the same raccoon that came and tapped on our window last year, unless he became this massive over the course of the past year. But who knows.

Also, Ricky would like you to know that he is NOT SCARED OF YOU. You can bang on the window all you want, but he is a Bad Ass Raccoon and he will stare you down. And then he will possibly go knock over your garbage can. That Ricky is a real tough guy.

Also, I would like the guy who sits in a cube in the next row to know that just because he has a speakerphone button on his phone doesn’t mean he needs to use it. It’s bad enough that I have to tune out your obnoxious, name-dropping voice; now I have to drown out the voice of the annoying people you talk to. Pick up the receiver. And stop wearing pink shirts. You think it makes you look secure in your masculinity, but it just makes us question it even more. No one thinks you’re cool.

That is all.

P.S. I really hate name droppers.

P.P.S I don’t mind it when guys wear pink, I just hate this particular person’s wardrobe choices.

P.P.S. Now the other really annoying cube neighbor is talking on the phone with her husband and get this – she just called him Schmoopy. SCHMOOPY. Now that is just priceless.

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Filed under Home Sweet Home, Kwit yer bitchun, Life in New England

Wild Turkey

Not that kind, silly. This kind:

He (or perhaps she) was wandering around our yard yesterday. We saw him three times, but every time I ran for the camera he got away just in time. We only managed a fuzzy, far away picture with Matt’s camera phone.

We’ve joked about wildlife since we moved into this house, since the realtor that was selling got a little… carried away with the description that she posted online. Obviously, we liked the house, but we got some good laughs over this realtor’s exagerations, especially the part about the ‘abundance of wildlife that will make you feel like you reside in an exotic wonderland’. Um, ok, exotic wonderland? Really? I was pretty sure that we were looking at houses in a suburb of Boston, but whatever you say.

So, every time we’ve seen a deer, or a raccoon, or the one time that I saw the coyote, we’ve joked extensively about the wildlife in our exotic wonderland. Of course, we were feeling pretty sarcastic since deer, while a bit unexpected given that we don’t live in a rural area, are not exactly exotic. Yesterday, though, we were feeling exotic. We had a wild turkey. We would name him Tom. He was eating the bird seed that the squirrels had knocked out of the feeder, because – HA! – HE’S A BIRD!

An exotic bird.

It was only about an hour after our conversation about how cool it was that we had a wild turkey running around, and wondering where he lived, and whether he got cold in the winter, and musing after the fact that we just couldn’t believe that a creature like that was running around New England, and we were feeling kind of bad for eating his friends and relatives every year on Thanksgiving, and using the word ‘exotic’ about ninety million times, that we suddenly turned to look at each other:

“Oh man, we’re such idiots.”

“I know. You’re thinking the same thing I’m thinking, right?”

“Probably. But, he just SEEMED exotic, you know?”

“I thought so too, but, I mean, DUH. PILGRIMS.”

“Poor Tom. I guess he’s not so exotic after all.”

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Filed under Home Sweet Home, Life in New England

This Means War

Tonight when I got home from work I attempted to take a picture of the ugly-but-awesome-all-at-the-same-time bird feeder for your viewing pleasure. But when I stepped out into the back yard, my attention was distracted by the fat squirrel’s rear hanging out the side of said bird feeder. Yes, friends – the squirrels strike again.

I did the obvious, logical thing, and immediately threw a rock at the squirrel. (Oh, calm down. I missed.) Then I felt really guilty for throwing a rock (albeit a small one, more pebble than rock, really) at a poor, defenseless squirrel. And just as I was feel particularly guity (doesn’t HE deserve to eat just as much as the birdies?) the fat ass stuck his head out the bird feeder, turned around, and looked directly at me. I waved my arms and shouted at him, thinking that this would scare him off (or, at the very least, alert my neighbors that they should call the men in white coats, and then I would be taken away to a nice safe room where I could sit in the corner and mutter about the squirrels and their EVIL, EVIL ways) but instead, he stared at me for a few seconds before resuming the stuffing of his chubby cheeks.

So then, I thought that AT LEAST if I couldn’t foil the squirrels, I could get a good blog-fodder type picture. But WOULDN’T YOU KNOW that as soon as I zoomed in on that furry squirrel rear-view, the little shit hopped down and scampered away.

I know I could have taken a picture of just the bird feeder, as originally intentioned, but somehow it had lost its luster at that point.

I’LL GET YOU YET, MY FAT SQUIRREL FOES.

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This is totally a sign that we are getting old.

(The scene: Matt and I are perusing the aisles of Christmas Tree Shops looking for cheap stuff for Project Make the Yard Not Look Like Crap – 2008 edition.)

Matt: Oh, we should get a birdfeeder.

Me: Didn’t we get a birdfeeder last year?

Matt: Yes, but the squirrel masterminds figured out how to climb down from the deck onto the birdfeeeder and eventually their weight was too much and it crashed to the ground. In my expert opinion, it is beyond repair.

Me: Stupid fat squirrels.

Matt: Look, here are some birdfeeders. I like this wooden one.

Me: Great, it’s only $9.99. Sold. Let’s look for bird seed.

Matt: I think there’s some over there on that display.

Me: Which one?

Matt: The one with those… what are those? They’re so bright.

Me: I think…? They’re birdfeeders? But who would paint a birdfeeder those colors?

Matt: I don’t know. But… they’re kind of interesting.

Me: I like that it’s on a stake so you don’t have to hang it.

Matt: Do they have any that aren’t so… gaudy?

Me: Doesn’t look like it.

Matt: I find myself sort of strangely drawn to them.

Me: Me, too! It’s like, my brain is telling me they’re hideous, but my heart is telling me to love them.

Matt: So. Do you want to buy one.

Me: Oh hell yeah.

 

So we are now the proud owners of a brightly colored bird feeder. It is on a (brightly colored) stake in the far corner of our back yard, and while it may just be the New England equivalent of a pink plastic flamingo, I can’t help but love it.

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Blinded by the Light

Believe it or not, this week’s sucktitude(I’ll get to that in a minute) is actually made WORSE by the fact that this past weekend was so nice. On Saturday, Matt and I went on our first mini-golf adventure of the season, complete witha lunch made entirely of ice cream (all lunches should be this good). Matt also wanted to use the batting cages that the mini-golf place had, because he just joined his company’s softball team and he didn’t want to embarrass himself at his first game. (To this I say, Dear, you work at a software company, and I’m fairly certain that most software developers aren’t known for their software prowess. Now, if you found yourself competing at Dungeons and Dragons, that might be a different story. Oh, but I kid!)

Anyway, Matt somehow convinced me to try the batting cages, and I really don’t know how I let myself get talked into this. Sure, it was slow pitch softball, but please remember that I have never played an organized sport in my life. My parents enrolled me in the science club and Girl Scouts instead of t-ball and soccer, because they clearly wanted a little nerdlingas a daughter. But I tried the batting cages anyway, and I am proud to say that I hit 3 balls out of the 30 that were pitched to me. I consider this to be a rousing success.

On our way home from this outing, we drove past a driving range. Matt asked to stop, and since I had a book with me I figured, sure, I’d just sit on the bench and read while he hit a bucket of balls. (Bucket of balls! Heh!) So I sat on my bench reading, and kind of watching the people, and I thought, “Hey, that looks kind of fun.” It didn’t hurt that the girl using the tee directly in front of the bench I was sitting on was really (REALLY!) awful, so I figured if I sucked at it, at least I wouldn’t be worse than her.

So I asked Matt if I could use his clubs. And I didn’t suck! I didn’t suck at all! I could hit the ball straight, and by the end I could actually hit it pretty far. I don’t think I’d really like to play a round of golf (I’d get bored by the 4th hole and end up sitting under a tree reading a book) but it was pretty satisfying to hit a bucket of balls (Heh!).

As you might have guessed from all of the weekend activities, it seems that Spring has finally arrived here in New England. The weather has been pretty awesome, and the only cloudy day was Monday, and since that was Marathon Monday and I don’t imagine it’s very pleasant to run 26.2 miles AT ALL, let alone in the blazing sun, I was willing to let that one slide. I was not, however, willing to let it slide when the police were puttingup barricades at the end of my street a full hour before they were supposed to start closing the roads. The marathon runs down the road that our street emptys onto, and while there are many ways out of my neighborhood, all of them involve getting onto this road at some point (or else going about 15 miles out of my way). So I made sure to check when the roads were being shut down. Luckily they took pity on me and let me out. Which, really, maybe that wasn’t such a good thing, since if I couldn’t get out of my neighborhood I certainly couldn’t be expected to go to work!

Work has been the source of this week’s sucktitude, as you might have guessed. It’s been very busy, meaning that I have come in to the office at around 7am each morning, and I have not left at a time before 7pm. Twelve+ hour days do not make a girl happy, especially when the weather is so nice and the sun is shining, and I have books waiting to be read while sitting in my Adirondack chair on the patio. Perhaps while sipping a glass of wine. And eating some of the delicious pasta salad that I made last weekend. But alas, it is not to be, the sitting and the reading and the sipping and the eating. Instead, I am here in my cubicle.

It’s OK though. Today it is supposed to get up to eighty degrees, so I have decreed it to be the first skirt-wearing day of the season. And so, if anyone annoys me today, I’ll just flash them a little leg. The light glaring off of my pasty whiteness is sure to make anyone run for cover.

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Filed under Life in New England, My Sweet Babboo