Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cat vs Internet

This post is brought to you by special guest blogger, Daisy The Cat.

I don't like so much the stayin' home alone thing. My Nicki and my Adam go away this time of year, and it seems no matter how entirely awesome I am, they are not tempted to stay home and play with me.  So while they were gone, I got online - all cats and toddlers can do this now - and I looked to the Internet for guidance.  This is totally weird, but I got distracted.  My fellow cats had really funny facebook posts.  If you think cats are not on facebook, by the way, you are sadly disconnected from reality.  All cats and toddlers are on facebook.  Infants are now issued a facebook profile along with a social security number.

Anyway, my bestest bud Stanley posted about his siblings, Dusty and Marbles, and then mean old Howard the dog called him a dumbo and I read up on my poor friend Sage's flea situation.  (I think he is in remission, thank goodness!)  I changed my facebook pic so more people would be aware of flea infestations.  'Cause I'm a Cat with Causes, ya know?

Anyway, while Nicki and Adam are cleaning and grocery shopping and doing other non-catcentric activities (I know, I do not understand it either) I thought I would take this opportunity to post this link for the benefit of all cats.  WE WILL BE HEARD! Cat Power! 

Stay tuned for my next post: Plumbing: What's Up With That??

Friday, December 17, 2010

What I Want For Christmas

Last year, I was pleased as punch to get normal, white toilet seats from Home Depot.  This year's wish may be a tad harder to obtain.  What I want is the ability to stop time.

Allow me to explain:  I LOVE this time of year.  I love buying presents for all the people I care about, I love Christmas carols, and I love getting cards with cutesie pictures of all my friend's kids.  (They are growing up SUPER fast by the way!)

But, unfortunately, this is not a good time for most engineers/architects.  For some reason, every owner wants to get their building permit in before the end of the year, as though the world will end when the Times Square Ball drops.  (In which case, their building ain't gettin' built anyway...)  So, we designers have to work our butts off trying to make deadlines, and AFTER Christmas, we tend to sit for a month twiddling our thumbs.  This leaves us little time to enjoy said buying of gifts, singing of carols, and writing of amusing yet presumptuous "summaries of our year".

As it is, I think these emails I sent today may give you a taste of my frenzied days of late:

  • Hey, it's me.  I forgot I volunteered to make brownies for the party tomorrow night.  Do you think you could make them?  We don't have any sugar, and only one egg...so while you are out, you may want to pick up some toilet paper and dishsoap.  Maybe stop for some beer.  Oh, and while you are at it...just buy the brownies!!

  • I won't be able to make it to the party tomorrow - we have another one to go to.  But we should hang out after the New Year - loved your Christmas card!  I'll send you one when I get around to it - estimated time of arrival: February.
  • Hey, its me again.  Probably working late...can you pack the car?  Don't forget the air mattresses...

  • Sorry, I thought I would have time for lunch but got stuck in a meeting all freakin' morning.  Maybe next week?
  • (To Architect on Construction Job):  Here is the submittal you asked me to review yesterday.  Sorry, I didn't get to it until this morning.

  • (a few seconds later):  Oops, forgot the subject line on that last email and thought it might go to your junk mail.  Please disregard if you already got this.
  •  Sorry, (insert name of relative here) I haven't really had time to make a Christmas list - but I always like what you pick out!  I still have a few  all my Christmas shopping to do too!
If only I could pause time, squeeze in about 37 hours of work, plus maybe a few hours of shopping, THEN I could really sit back and enjoy Christmas.

Is that too much to ask??

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Diet, Week 2

So, ask me how the dieting thing is going.

C'mon.  I DARE ya.

(Chorus of Constant Readers)  HOW BAD IS IT??

It's bad.  It's gosh darnitall freakin' annoying, is what it is.

I don't think I had super crazy expectations.  I am not out to starve myself, just to be healthy. And to avoid purchase of size 13 pants.  I just want my Wii Fit to tell me that I am "normal" instead of "overweight."  Just ONCE.

So, I started up a spreadsheet and allotted myself meals for a week, with reduced caloric intake.  I had a birthday dinner to attend, which included a gallon sized sangria.  One cannot really plan for such things, but, well, I adjusted.  I went to the gym for an extra class that week, and I walked a bit longer at lunch.  I didn't get around to weighing myself until the end of the week, but when I did, I set a modest goal to lose 2 pounds in 2 weeks.  Nothing nutty.  Just keepin' on keepin' on.  Right?

Wrong.  This past week I have had one beer after work.  One!

I had one serving of cookies when they put out a tin chock FULL of servings in the kitchen at work.  One!

I ate my stupid egg white omelets with kale, and my (actually delicious) turkey chili daily.

I went to the gym three times, and I went on walks at lunch every day despite it being 18 degrees out side.  Every.  Freakin. Day!!

And, I gained 0.2 pounds.

My Wii Fit informed me (after pointing out that I am overweight) that if I continue with my current pace, it will be very difficult to achieve my goal.

Which is now to lose 2.2 pounds in one week.

Un-freaking believable.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Three Hour Diet

After deliberation, denial, debate, and ultimate acceptance, I have come to admit that I am ready to diet once again.  I actually decided this a few days after Thanksgiving (of course AFTER, I am not totally nuts), and I started to blog about it before.  But dieting is just not fun, and not funny, and my blogs were super booorring.  I have spared you, my (hopefully) Constant Reader, a blog about setting up a spreadsheet, another one about the joys of egg white omelets (painfully short), and a rather long-winded complaint about how beer and brownies are so very hard to plan into a spreadsheet unless one has unlimited energies to run on treadmills.  Which, by the way, are also boring.

But man, I gotta suck it up and try to "Grin and Baer It".  Dieting IS fun, and funny...if you put your mind to it.  A few chocolatinis probably wouldn't hurt either.  So, here's hoping my Constant Readers are drunker than I am:

Diet Attempt #1 (approximately three hours before defeat was admitted): the 28-Day Detox Diet.

I came across this little gem while I was cleaning.  I searched for room on my crowded bookshelf, and found a little book called "The 28 Day Plan".  It's one of those mini-books that are strategically arranged along the bookstore line (or queue as this very British book would call it).  Alas, I am a sucker for the crap they set out out there. 

The book has a picture of a skinny chick doing a handstand on the beach, so naturally, I bonded with her as this is so like me.  Inside, there are four plans lasting 28-days each, all of which are intended to help a person feel and look better.  I started with Plan #1, the Detox Diet.

It consists of a list of foods that can be eaten:  fruits, vegetables, seeds, fish, and "non-dairy products" which includes a bunch of soy/almond milks and yogurts.  Foods to avoid?  Everything else.  And oranges for some reason. 

It then lists drinks that can be consumed:  water, juice.  Since this does not take up enough space on the page, they elaborate with drink recipes.  For instance, there is "apple juice":  Place apple in juicer, drink juice. And there is "grapefruit juice":  Peel grapefruit, place in juicer, drink juice.  "Carrot juice":  Put carrots in juicer, drink juice.  Last, there is "Peach juice":  Peaches, juicer, drink.  At no point is it suggested that the juices be mixed, or say, purchased at a store.  Drinks to avoid?  Alcohol, coffee, "fizzy drinks" and anything which is not juice or water.

I looked at the mug of coffee I had poured to sip while I read about my New Diet.

I took another sip.

Next section - planning.  It was in this section that I really began to enjoy the "Britishiness" of the writing style.  So upbeat, yet telling me in a round about way that this diet is going to be arduous and awful.  Like the tips on how to succeed on the Program:  1.  Adopt a positive attitude from the beginning, 2.  Stay focused and remember why you are doing this, 3.  Regard each day as a new challenge.

In the planning section, I was told that I would be in luck if I hate cooking, because most of my food should be eaten raw.  Yippie!

Next section:  exercise and relaxation.  This is where I am told that exercise is good for me and should be fun, and then it lists "housework" as an exercise.  "Its official", it claims, "A vigorous burst of housework can be as good for you as a trip to the gym."  Well great!  No volleyball for me tonight guys!  I'm gonna scrub the toilet!  Woo-hoo!

I took another sip of coffee.

Another exercise listed is "Bouncing".  They suggest jumping on a mini-trampoline in my living room, where I can "bounce in time to the rhythm" of my favorite music.  A picture of a well-endowed woman bouncing on her knees with arms extended accompanies this one.

Finally, it gets to the "relaxation".  Here, it is suggested that I exfoliate my dry skin every day with a skin brush, and that I take some time daily to soak in an epsom salt bath.  Also, if it has been a long time since I had a "jolly good laugh"  I should "hire a comedy video" and enjoy a few chuckles.

So, that's about it.  Eat nothing good, drink nothing exciting, and practice deep breathing regularly.  The following pages are suggestions on how to implement this simple plan.  It begins with some suggested recipes, including, of course, juice (mixed together!) and porridge.  Porridge?  Did I miss a "grains" section in the "Foods I am Allowed To Eat" section?  I flipped back to discover that "eat only foods from this list" apparently means, "eat mostly foods from this list."  Suddenly, the diet had potential.

My enthusiasm waned slightly when I got to the dessert recipes and found that "Strawberry Delight" is soy milk yogurt with strawberries on top.  Joy.  Turns out I had already eaten "Banana Bliss" before I poured my coffee.

I considered a second cup.

Last, a "typical day on the detox diet" is laid out.  As you will see, even a working woman or a busy mother at home will seamlessly incorporate the plan into her daily life.

7:00am - Drink hot water with lemon or lime juice and then invigorate skin with a dry skin brush followed by a shower.

8:00am - Breakfast of muesli (again with the grains) over soy yogurt.

9:00am - Give yourself a facial.

11:00am - Time for relaxation and breathing.  You know, since you have been working so hard all morning.

1:00pm - Lunch, eaten slowly, which will give it more time to digest.

2:00pm - Relax for a while.  After all, you have earned it.  Read a book or watch TV.  Then, go for a brisk walk.

4:00pm - Time for pampering before you prepare your evening meal.  Give yourself a massage and drink some herbal tea (not on the allowed drink list, which is becoming more and more flexible and will soon include Jack and Coke.)

6:00pm - Evening meal of steamed vegetables.  Mmmm...

7:00pm - Visualization.  Sit in a quiet room and think positive thoughts.

8:00pm - Pleasant aromatherapy bath.

That's it!  Sounds pretty good in the end part there, does it not?  Oh, and the next 28 days?  Should be spent in almost exactly the same way.  So, just have Jeeves take care of the cleaning, and send the children to Mumsie's for the next few months.  You may want to get your workplace to hire an intern - one that can perform massages a plus - to take care of your next few projects, as you will be in the bathtub.

I actually did make it through the first few hours - I had a nice skin brush and shower, and I drank most of a cup of hot lemon juice.  The skin brush was totally awesome and I have been doing it every day since.  This is the first winter I haven't rubbed myself raw with itchiness.  Unfortunately, I had to go grocery shopping, get the car oil changed, rake up about a bazillion leaves from the yard, and paint a shed ramp that day.  And Jeeves was off.