Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My love affair

Like most people out there, I love to shop. Generally it doesn't matter what it's for - food, clothes, home decor, shoes, whatever - I like it. But thanks to blogger dooce.com I was introduced to Etsy. The most fantastic shopping known to man. I am not even exaggerating.

Etsy has become one of the greatest loves of my life for many reasons. How do I love thee, Etsy? Let me count the ways:
(1) It has anything and everything you could ever want on it
(2) All of it is handmade, recycled and/or vintage
(3) Everything is lovely
(4) You can find items in every price range
(5) Everything is unique

When Mat and I were not in the process of buying a house, I used to devote about $20 every two weeks to a purchase from a select seller on the site. Now, however, I just ogle at all the fantastic finds that come through on the daily Etsy Finds email.

On how I love these emails. I look forward to them everyday. They usually reach my inbox around 10am. And once I see the little (1) in my gmail window, I look to make sure it is indeed my Etsy mail. I then go pour myself another cup of coffee and proceed to delve into the deliciousness of the Etsy finds of the day.

I have purchased items for Birthdays, including this little gem for my sister's birthday and these inscribed cuff links for Mat's Birthday (I had the underside inscribed with "Your girl" and "I *heart* you"). I have also used Etsy to purchase DIY (do it yourself) baby shower invitations, which turned out so cute. And I have purchased many-a-items for myself, including these and this.

I have absolutely loved all my Etsy purchases. They have all been high quality and super cool, fun and unique. But a couple weeks ago I spotted a very special find on the daily Etsy Finds. It was awesome and I just had to have it. I immediately clicked on the shop's profile to find that the item was sold out (by the time I get the email, the promoted Etsy Finds are usually sold out). I was devastated. But I decided to contact the artist to see if there was any way that she would be producing more of these, and if so, would she mind contacting me. She immediately contacted me, asked my size, and it turned out that she had one left. I immediately ordered it and it came in the mail on Monday. Here is my newest lovely.
And you better believe I'm going to rock its socks off.

Check out Etsy ... you will too have a love affair.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


In an attempt to not go home and start eating, I decided to go window shopping. So basically I decided to deprive myself of food by putting myself in a situation where I knew I would have to deprive myself of all the consumer good I desperately wanted to consume.

How is shopping - now wait that is a huge overstatement - how is looking, desperately wanting, a good substitution to not eating? I'm sure anyone out there reading this who doesn't know me is thinking, wow this girl has problems. Well, I'm here to tell you that those who do know me who are reading this will confirm.

But honestly, I am just really trying to be good, both with my money spending habits and my intake of food. But it seems almost impossible to find things to do that don't involve either of these things. If I simply go home, there are pop tarts, cheese (lots of cheese), chips, alcohol ... Must I continue? Listing these delicious food items is just making this process harder. But if I stay out of the house what is there to do that doesn't involve money (or food)?

The gym idea has been suggested, but I am a morning runner. I don't want to go running first thing in the morning and then go to the gym after work. Who does that? Not me. But if there is someone who does this, I think they might be more sad than me.

So why am I depriving myself of everything good in the world? Well, the food deprivation comes from a lot of places. I finally have the activity part of weight loss in place. The part I can't quite master right now is the food part. I am always hungry, but the healthy stuff never seems like a delicious option. So I revert to all above mentioned items. Wouldn't you choose those things too?

In addition to just wanting to be making better food decisions in general, I have a vacation coming up. A vacation where I am going to be surrounded by a bunch of beautiful people. First off, in general I am not categorized as one of the "beautiful people" and secondly, I have to be around these people in the worst weather environment I could possibly be in. Humidity. The bane of my existence. I really don't do well in humidity. I am already a sweater. Humidity just exemplifies that. And I'll be inebriated. Most likely very, very inebriated. So, I figure that I should try my hardest to have as few issues working against me as possible. If I feel fat, sweaty and drunk ... I'm screwed. I think I can deal with two of the three. I have no control over the sweatiness. And I'm straight up not willing to go it without the liquid courage ... so that leaves the fat part that I should be working against.

The shopping, money saving, part comes in play because we are buying a house in a matter of a couple weeks (cross your fingers). I don't want to spend any money I don't have to because I know that once we get into a brand new house, I will want to buy a whole bunch of house stuff. So the shopping will come in time, I just need to be patient, which is definitely something I struggle with.

So there's why I'm depriving myself of all the good things in the world (or most of the good things in the world). But the thing is, even though I am working toward two very tangible situations (a vacation and a house) I still would like to be better at making better decisions when it comes to eating and spending money. So, I need to make life style changes, not just temporary changes. I'm in the process of trying different things and seeing what works and what doesn't for me, but what do you do to stay away from the things that tempt you? What are your tips and tricks? I need all the suggestions I can get.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hello. My name is Katie Fernelius, and I'm addicted.

Addicted to what you ask? Well let me give you a list of this week's addictions.

Food: Hummus spread on a tortilla. Laughing cow cheese grilled in a tortilla. Edamame.

Drink (alcoholic of course): Blueberry Stoli, on the rocks with a cherry.

Drink (nonalcoholic): Plain old H2O

Place: Grape at Town Square.

Music: Bon Iver. Priscilla Ahn. Radiohead. Regina Spektor.

Books: Currently reading The Non-Runner's Marathon Guide for Women ... Get Off Your Butt and on with Your Training

Movies: None at the moment.

TV: All the trashy stuff. The Bachelorette. Gilmore Girls.

Clothes: H&M panties. H&M nightwear. Torrid skinny jeans. Target women's long wife beaters.

Shoes: Old Navy sandals (closest thing I have to gladiators). Black flats. Old Navy Pin-Up looking wedges.

Blogs: Dooce; Design*Sponge; Girls Gone Child

Thoughts: How to decorate my soon-to-be new house. I miss my dog.

Activity: Running

These change often. I'll be sure to keep you updated.

What are you addicted to?

Monday, July 6, 2009

My first five. Please kill me.

Over the weekend I experienced my first five mile run, which proved to be one of the hardest things I have ever done to myself.

I have never really done anything that has made every part of my body scream, "I EFFING HATE YOU RIGHT NOW! WHY HAVE YOU DONE THIS TO ME?!" I really didn't expect this run to be so hard. And had things gone the way I planned, I don't think it wouldn't have been so bad. But when do things really go to plan?

The Plan: Friday night preparations; map out precise 5 miles route, get running gear together including special running hydration belt and water bottle. Wake up between 5:45 and 6 Saturday morning. And because I was so proactive and prepared the night before, effortlessly begin the big five mile run ... the first-ever five mile run of my life.

The Reality: Didn't leave for friend's house until 9pm. Before leaving, did not prepare map of route or running gear. Upon getting to my friend's house, inebriation commenced. Did not leave until 1am (although I did nap for the last hour of the night and slept in the car while Mat drove us home). Went straight to bed. Alarm went off at 5:45. I rolled over. This wasn't happening. The alarm went off at 6. I reset the alarm for 7. Woke up at 7, immediately went for the Advil. Pulled out my netbook and planned my route. However, I couldn't quickly or easily map out an exact 5 miles, so I opted for the 5.4 miles route - as if I hadn't already done enough harm to my body. Started getting my gear together. Couldn't find my special water bottle. Opted for two regular water bottles, neither of which actually fit into my hydration belt, yet I still wore my hydration belt (I didn't figure out that my substitute water bottles didn't fit until I had rounded my first corner and one flew out ...). Got on the road at 7:30am. 

My run didn't start horribly. In fact, my route led me down a few new neighborhood streets and gave me a few new things to look at. But about 40 minutes into my run (have I mentioned that I am a very slow runner), everything kind of turned. The sun, which was in front of me when I started my run, was now directly above me. No matter where I turned, it was beating down on me and on the hot black pavementI was running on. I was almost out of water and almost out of my Emergen-C (my choice for an electrolyte boost). I had a cramp under my butt and my legs were seriously about to give up.

But there, on the side of the road, when my body was completely ready to call it quits, inspiration struck. Pandora knew exactly what my body was going through and just like that, Britney Spear's "Give Me More" started playing. It was as if the heavens were reaching down, giving me a little more energy to push - something I never could have planned. So I gave it more and made it back home. Only for Britney my friends ... only for Britney. 

For those who need a little push ... Britney says it best:

(Apparently I am not very YouTube savvy. I could not, for the life of me, find the original video with the ability to embed it. So, sorry for the Britney homage.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Treading in horse manure ... and lovin' it

I used to consider myself the treadmill queen. I would get to the gym, turn on the tunes and rock out with my ... well not exactly. But I do think that I rocked on the treadmill.

I really couldn't imaging working out in any other fashion. I liked my treadmill - fifth one from the left; strategically placed directly under the air conditioning vent; on the old school model that most gym-goers shied away from, but was perfect for me.

I'm not really sure what happened, but I have pretty much done a 180 (or is the expression 360 ... well whatever) since then. Through the past month, over 50 miles (by the way, expect to hear that number a lot ... I'm pretty proud of it and plan on throwing it in as many conversations as possible) I have run only 4 of those over 50 miles (told ya) on a treadmill. The rest have been run on the pavement around the neighborhood. And not only have I been running outside, but I've enjoyed it. Enjoyed it, so much in fact, that those four miles that were run on the treadmill were hell. They weren't even done consecutively. They were done in two, two mile increments. I wasn't on my beloved treadmill from the old days. And things just weren't quite right, but considering what running is like outside, this change is quite shocking.

Let me detail some of the regulars I experience out on the road: one day last week, as I was just getting my run on - feeling the rhythm, feeling the rhyme - I noticed that along my route was a homeless man meandering along. I am not a judgmental person, but put me face to face with someone I don't know, someone who could be dangerous, with nothing to help me should this person decide to hurt/steal/rape/whatever me, I get a little uneasy. This sounds like a pretty negative experience ... one that could have made me want to jump right back on that treadmill, but there was a positive aspect of this experience. I had the fastest run I had ever had.

Another regular ... at least once a week I get some jackass who decides he wants to see how fast fast-drying polyester bend running shorts actually dry. And you know how he conducts his experiment, he proceeds to drive as fast as he feels comfortable toward me, apparently pretending that he is going to run me down, then at the last minute, of course after I have peed a little, he veers back to the road. Let me tell you, those fast-drying polyester bend running shorts didn't get that name for nothing. Remarkably fast - let me tell you from first-hand experience - remarkably fast.

Want another one ... did you know that Las Vegas has horses? Yep. Straight up horse back riding, stable living, hay eating horses. Want to know how I know this. Every morning, as I pass oh about every 10th house, I get hit, smack dab in the face with the smell - the smell of horse dung. And by the time I feel like I'm finally breathing clean, fresh air again, I get hit with it again. It is extremely unfortunate, and it leaves my already hard to breath body gasping for anything but horse manure contaminated air.

So you may be wondering just why in the hell I enjoy running outside more than a treadmill. And honestly, after putting these experiences in writing, I am asking myself the same question. But what I can say is that I have accomplished so much more outside and pushed myself so much more than I ever would have in a gym on a treadmill. Even if it was the most perfect treadmill, located in the perfect place with fresh air constantly blowing right on me, I don't think I would have challenged myself to ever run as far or as much (over 50 miles) in a month.So I'll take the horse dung while pushing myself to run 60 miles next month.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Year Twenty Three

Let me start by apologizing to all my readers for being unfashionably absent from the blogosphere for the past two months. My life has been turned upside down on itself, leaving me a little out of my element and with so many thoughts, I don’t know if anyone out there could make any sense of it.

But with a recently past birthday, I thought what better time for new beginnings.

Twenty three is not one of those years that you hear people say, “That’s a great year.” In fact, after twenty one, you hardly hear that. But twenty three was a good year for me, and because much of the goodness happened away from my blog, I’ve decided to share some of the highlights:

May-June 2008: This is a little before my birthday … but I’m counting it. I officially graduated from undergrad. I had actually finished classes the previous December but couldn’t walk with my fellow graduates (Who schedules graduation 4 days before Christmas … UNLV). Had a huge party at Mat’s parent’s house. This was the first meeting of our families. And the first time I was tipsy in front of my family … yes that is a highlight!

July 2008: Mat and I traveled to Indiana to attend the two-day Dave Matthews Band festival with many of his back-home friends. We camped, got inebriated and watched and listened to great music.

September 2008: I met my new bff Liz.

October 2008: Pumpkin carving party at the house. Many of our friends came. We ate pizza, drank spiked apple cider, and carved some amazing pumpkins. I love my friends. Some of them have moved away, and I miss them!

November 2008: Mat and I went to New York together. I went for work; Mat tagged along. Maybe the greatest three days of my life. It was a much needed trip for our relationship. I loved New York. It was the first time I had ever been to the city, and I hope not my last.

November 2008: I started my blog: JustMeInMyTwenties

December 2008: I truly feared for my job.

February 2008: Mat and I both got acute pneumonia. Quite possibly the most pathetic days of our lives.

February – May 2009: Mat and I decide to look for a house to buy together. This was a long, frustrating, tearful process, but is soon to end with a very positive outcome – we hope.

April 2009: Mat and I celebrated our 4th anniversary. We lived it up at the Stratosphere!

April 2009: I traveled to Montreal, Canada and Dusseldorf, Germany for work. Had a great time. Experienced new places. And even though I had to leave Mat and my animals at home, I got to see them every night, thanks to Skype.

May 2009: Mat and I go from an almost 2,000 square-foot house to a 10x10 room. We moved out of our subleased rental house that we spent the last year in together and into his parent’s house. Things are not bad. But I miss my animals so much and all my stuff and space.

June 2009: Mat and I find a house. Closing date is July 20th. Cross your fingers that everything works out.

June 2009: I start training for a half marathon with my sisters. I have run over 50 miles this month. That is probably more than all the miles I have run/walked, up till this point, in my life combined.

June 25th 2009: I turned 24. Looking forward to another great year!

I know there are so many other events that happened in my twenty-third year, but these are main ones that come to mind. I feel really lucky that this past year was full of good friends, good music, good goals and good times in general.

I don’t want to jinx anything but I feel like the years keep getting better and better. I make better and closer friends who have become my family. I learn from my mistakes and try to be a more complete Katie. One of the most important goals for me is to constantly evolve. To have a good idea what my likes are; dislikes are; what my style is and what makes me happy. It doesn’t matter if the list is cohesive or not. I just want to be content, strong and secure, emotional, physically and mentally. I would be lying if I said that aging does not scare me a little. It does. But the solace in aging is that I like what I see.

Here's to a great twenty-fourth year.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday morning music

Monday morning music has turned into Monday lunchtime music. Got caught up this morning and just couldn't get to it. But I didn't want to skip it all together, as this video and group has been on my mind a lot over the past few weeks.

Royksopp was introduced to me by the boyfriend who found them on Pandora. The music and videos have now become a standard in our house. It's just so cool and different. This video in particular just makes me happy. I know there are references to some video game throughout it, but that is not my forte. So I can't say much about that, except that the boyfriend has told me on several occasions that this has something to do with a video game, which one, I can't even remember.

Anyway - check out more Royksopp. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday morning music

Another Monday, and here's a video I love. Christopher Walken is just as interesting and funny to watch as he is to listen. Hope this helps start your week off right.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A table only a mother could love

Two days ago I sold this table to a couple that responded to my craigslist ad. I had it listed for a few weeks. First at $100, then after a week of no interested buyers $75. So, when I finally got a call I was a bit relieved. But more than relieved, I was sad.

This table was a special piece of furniture. It was the first piece of furniture I acquired while on my own. A classmate my second semester of school gave it to me. Her name was Shelia - a cute little lady probably in her late 50s early 60s. Shelia and I became pretty good girlfriends. She told me all about her life and I told her all about my roommate's and my wild and crazy apartment adventures. I told her about our fine furnishing, which consisted of a cardboard box and a tent in our front room in order to use up some of our space. After hearing all my stories I think she was torn between three distinct feelings toward me (1) I think I reminded her of her youth (2) I'm sure she felt sorry for my lack of well everything and (3) I'm fairly certain she thought I was crazy. The feeling sorry for me part won. She offered to give me, for free, a dining set that her sister and husband were getting rid of. I promptly went over to her house to see the table. And it was truly a treasure.

What stood before me was a 1970s brown-tinted glass-top table with four beige leather chairs. And the fixtures were light-stained wood and brass tubing. The glass was cut in an octagon, giving any room a little geometric flair!

I loved this table. This table moved with me to all of my apartments thereafter - my studio; the boyfriend's and my loft and then the house. It wasn't always being used; it was often in storage. But I could never get rid of it. We moved it from the garage into the house for our Halloween pumpkin carving party last year. And we never moved it back. Instead we gave it a semi-permanent home in the kitchen even though we already had a nice kitchen table. And when anyone came over instead of sitting at our nice table, everyone congregated around the 1970s table.

Well, I decided to sell my little vintage table. The boyfriend and I are moving soon, and most likely we will be moving into storage. So we don't want to have to move, store and then move again anything we aren't going to end up using. But I was determined to find the perfect owner for this table. I wanted to find some cute person who loves vintage items. And who would find this table just as special as I found it. Is that too much to ask? I just wanted this table - that has really accompanied me through my adult life - to have a good home and good owner that would appreciate all its 1970s flair!

Said person was not found. I'm sure the table has a good home and fine owners now, but I'm sad that the perfect person didn't come-a-callin'. I'm sad that I totally sold out and sold my table for a measly 65 bucks. But the good news is that I sold the table, and I think I sold the table to a couple that needs a table. Maybe the love and appreciation for that fine piece of furniture will come in time.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday morning music

I guess this music video was pretty popular a few months ago. But I just recently discovered it and have fallen in love with it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday morning music

This video is awesome! And I love that the guy uses proper grammar to relay the fact that he cannot play the drums or the piano (end of video: "I can neither play the drums nor the piano.") But he must have some kind of musical training because the song itself is pretty amazing. Hope you like it too!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Word on Weightloss: Month 2

February was a tough month. Not only was it shorter, but this month had a couple celebrations for me - Valentines Day and Mat's birthday. That's two out of the three weekends that were not easy.

Even though I did have a few special events - and special events always include food around here - I was still fairly successful. This month I lost 7.8 pounds, for a total of 13.

I can't see too much of a difference. But I have noticed differences in some of my clothes. Like the fact that I don't have to do squats when I put on my jeans after they get out of the dryer. I can definitely feel a difference in the waist of my pants, and the mid section of my shirts feel a bit more loose. There is also a bit more room right above my knees in my jeans.

I am still not working out. Although I have been itching to run again. The only good thing about not working out has been that I haven't lost much weight in my boobs. The first time around, that is were I lost all my weight. My boobs seriously went from a D to a B. It was so sad. And the boyfriend was quite depressed. My boobs have since grown back into a C, and I don't really care to lose them again. I used to always say, "I wish I could lose weight in my thighs and ass, and not in my assets!" I'm sure once I start running again, the boobs will shrink. Oh well, I know it's worth it. Boob implants are cheap!

I feel really good about this month. I had all these celebrations and was still able to lose weight. I feel like this time around I am able to see the bigger picture. This really is a a lifestyle change. And I think the first time around, I was so perfect with the plan and worked out at least 5 times a week that there was really no way that I could have maintained that throughout my life. Things happen. Life happens. And I was so stressed about life happening the first time around. I couldn't enjoy celebrations. The only things that were not so picture perfect were my weekends. I would be perfect all week; go to my meetings Saturday morning and weigh in and then be horrible the rest of the weekend.

Things have definitely changed. I would say that I am conscious everyday. I give into my cravings on a daily basis, there's no doubt about that. But I'm more reasonable about it now. I have three tootsie rolls everyday instead of the whole bag on Saturday. I can enjoy myself at a restaurant or at celebrations, but I now will look up the restaurant's menu and nutritional values before we go. And I can try to practice portion control (although still my biggest weakness).

I have about 10 more pounds until I reach my goal with Weight Watchers, but I have decided that I want to set a new goal. After talking to my mom about her body type and really analyzing my first time around at Weight Watchers, my new goal is 135. Crazy I know - especially after all the "being realistic talk" above. But it's not that I'm not being realistic, I just want to have something to really work toward. And if I ever got to that point, I can only imagine the self confidence I would build. So I think it's a worthy goal. And I have decided that after I reach my WW goal, I am going to train to be a leader, and I am really looking forward to that!

*Camera is being funny. So no picture this month.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I don't want to grow up

I can honestly say that I don't remember the last time I felt like a kid. I feel like I have always had to be the adult. My parents constantly put me in situations that not only aged me well beyond the years I was, but also made me step up and take responsibility for everything.

I remember hearing my name during just about every fight my parents had, and being blamed for their problems. And on more than one occasion, my step dad would tell me that their problem, whatever it was, was all my fault.

Now as an adult, I apologize and take responsibility for anything and everything. I will apologize for the weather. I will apologize for anything not going right in my life, in your life. It doesn't matter. I will apologize.

And I have learned over the years that this is not a very good trait. First of all, it's irritating. People tell me all the time, "stop apologizing." And because I do it excessively, people have told me that when I apologize for something I actually should be apologizing for, they can't take my apology seriously. It doesn't seem sincere, since I will say sorry for anything. I completely understand this, but it has been so ingrained in me to apologize, that it's hard to stop.

I remember I was living at my mom and her husbands house during my senior year of high school. That was the year I went a little wild. And as an avid journalist, I wrote about all about my crazy year.

One day, my step-dad, looking for a fight, read through all my old journals. A fight inevitably irrupted and I was basically kicked out of my house.

I spent that night at a friends house, balled my eyes out and listened to my mom's frantic messages about how she wanted me home. At 17 years old, I typed a letter to my step-dad telling him how sorry I was for doing the things I did and how much I knew I was wrong and how much I wanted to come home. The funny part was that I was not sorry, I really didn't want to come home and I didn't and don't think I was wrong. But I also knew that he would never take responsibility for his actions. I knew he would never apologize to me, and most importantly, I knew this fight would further tear apart our family. Something I could not bear the weight of.

So I gave him the letter and he told he how much he appreciated my apology and that was that. I was back in the house, hating him and hating every minute of it. But it was resolved, so I would deal with it.

Even though I am out of the house, I still feel like I am a character actor and the role is "grown up." I just want to play the part of a kid again. I want to be able to throw a tantrum and it be justifiable. I want to be upset and it not get chalked up to hormones. I want to be irresponsible and have someone else pick up the pieces. I just want to be a kid.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Home Decor

There is one word that can describe every place I have lived, whether with my parents and family, or the places I have lived on my own. And that word is comfortable.

My mom's home was always really warm and comfy. And that has transcended into my own places. My apartments and house have also been really nice and comfortable. Friends have commented that being in my house feels like being at home, which has always made me feel really good. But recently I wish other words could describe my house. Words like cool or stylish would be nice, but I don't have anything really cool or stylish, which poses a slight problem.

In the past few months, I have been reading some design blogs, and they have some extremely stylish and cool ideas for the home. I fall in love with something everyday. Some people out there are just so creative and so stylish and it makes me terribly jealous.

Most of the stuff I see is expensive, really expensive. So it not only makes me envious, but it also makes me kind of depressed that I won't be able to have all of this home decor and style right now. But I'm thinking that even on a budget - a very limited budget - I still might be able to add a few little items here and there. So let me introduce you to my first stylish home addition:

I ran over to the crafty people store, Michael's, and found these. I thought they were pretty cool and perfect for the usually empty vases that live on our kitchen table. They remind me of over-sized dandelions, and I like that. These were fairly inexpensive and make me excited for my next item. So hopefully, I be able to share some more new home decor in future blogs.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A drunken mess

Based on not just one, not just a couple, but quite a few bad drunken experiences, I have come to the conclusion that I am not the best drunk.

I have been known to wander off, pick fights with the boyfriend and black out. If you couldn't gather, making sound decisions is another struggle while under the influence. Luckily for me, I have someone who is there to take care of me. Unluckily for him, he is there to take care of me. I imagine babysitting his drunk, crazy girlfriend is not the recipe for the best night of his life. He has to keep track of me, to make sure that I don't walk into the the men's restroom or try to drive home. He has to hold my hair while I'm bent over the sidewalk, trash can or toilet. And he has had to deal with many unnecessary full-blown fights, which only escalate due to the fact that I am so drunk I would walk in the men's restroom, drive home, puke, black out and believe that fighting while drunk is an excellent idea.

Just a few weeks ago we decided to go out to the clubs (not a normal activity for us) and it resulted in many of the things mentioned above. I got trashed. I kept ordering drinks. I couldn't add. Resulting in $42 bills with $10 tips that totaled $75. How does that work? I have no clue. Thankfully, the boyfriend caught my excellent adding skills and promptly took away my debit card. This drunken night resulted in me wandering off more than a couple times, where no one in our group knew where I was. And to be quite honest, I can't remember where I was. This also resulted in puke in my front yard, my hair, all over my clothes and bathroom. Now that was a classy night! The one positive thing I can say about that night is that the boyfriend and I did not fight (as mentioned above, a common occurrence while drinking). The sad part was that when I woke up the next morning, I was afraid to ask how the the night ended up, for fear that we had fought and I was just too drunk to remember.

So this coming Saturday, to celebrate the boyfriend's 26th birthday, we are going to Studio 54 with some friends. This will no doubt result in a drunken night. And I have been prepping myself for a better night.

My goal is to limit myself, take it slow and still have a good time. I am hoping that I will accomplish this by making this night about the boyfriend. For once, he shouldn't have to be the one keeping track of me. He shouldn't be the one calling a cab for me and holding my hair. I'm hoping that I can keep reminding myself that this night is for HIM. And maybe if it turns out to be a successful, still fun night, it won't be so hard for me to have some self control next time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Word on Weight Loss: Month 1

I know I said that I wanted to get serious back in December, but come on. It was December, right before Christmas and all that food - that deliciously bad food! So, I think we all knew how that was actually going to go.

But the news in not all bleak. The 1st of the the year came, and I decided, once again, to be serious. The difference this time was that Christmas was over, one; two, I had a friend who also wanted to get serious; and three, the first of the year is always a good time to make a change.

On January 12th, I put my close to 25lb. overweight butt back into the Weight Watchers program, where I hope it will stay this time around!

I have found myself reverting back to some of the old ways. Measuring out my cottage cheese in the morning. Counting my crackers. And keeping my handy little food tracker open and next to me daily. This might sound like work. And I'm not going to lie. It is. It is irritating and can be embarrassing depending on the situation, but I know the results are worth it. And once I do it, and incorporate it into my routine, I know it's not that bad. And honestly, as lame as it sounds, I am addicted to routine, so doing all this on a daily basis makes me feel good.

Although the food part is not too difficult and I'm embracing it, the exercise part is quite a different story. I cannot seem to do it. I'm not even trying. I think to myself, "Ok, today I'm going to make it to the gym." One thought,that's it. It doesn't enter my mind - in any positive, proactive way - again. Well, until the next day when I have the same conversation with myself. It's very simple: I just don't want to. And convincing myself otherwise has, so far, been impossible.

As much as I want this, and I will do what I need to, to get back to the weight I want (at least 150) I recently had a revelation about my character. A few days after I joined Weight Watchers, I met up with a friend that I've had since high school. She has been having some family issues, familiar ground for me, and we were swapping tricks of the trade. She was very nervous that characteristics that she hates about her dad are unfortunately coming to the surface in her own personality.

I then relayed my experience with bad characteristics rubbing off on me. My step-dad is someone who needs constant praise. I mean the man needs a congratulations for simply breathing. I definitely do not take it this far, but I do need constant praise in my life.

I didn't ever think that this stretched so far into my life. But after this conversation, I was reminded of another conversation I had back in August 2007 with the boyfriend. I was telling him how nervous I was about hitting my lifetime weight at Weight Watchers. Sounds crazy, I know. But I was nervous because I felt like after I hit my weight I wouldn't have anything left to work toward. Well that was half of it, but I think the bigger half was that without the weekly praise from the boyfriend, my mom, my sister, his family, etc. I wouldn't have the motivation to continue. After a while, no one would think/hopefully say, "Oh wow, look how much weight you lost ... you look so great ... you worked so hard." It would eventually just be commonplace - what I accomplished would eventually just be commonplace.

Maybe that sounds vain. I'm sure it does. But, it's the truth. The truth for me anyway. And I'm glad that I know this now. That I can vocalize it and acknowledge that this perspective, this personality trait can be dangerous. But it can also be managed now that I'm aware of it. So I figure that I can either work hard at curbing this feeling - this motivation. Or I can make the boyfriend sign a contract to tell me how must weight I've lost and how great I look. Either way, I think it's a win-win situation. (That is if I lose the weight!)

Oh and by the way, this month I lost 5.2 lbs!

Link Correction

I posted a link for the Bull Shit episode Recycling, but the link was bad. Here you can find Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Hope this helps for all my interested, avid readers!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

We are so messed up

A good friend of mine recently sent me a few links. They both are so sad and give such a vivid picture of everything that is so fucked up in this world, especially the United States.

This one, The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard, details all problems with American consumption. It is so crazy.

Leonard basically takes the viewer through the process of production through disposal and describes what is wrong with each step. Although every single thing she says made total sense and made me question my consumption and disposal of stuff, it also - because of all the problems with the system - made me completely sick and discouraged that this will never change.

Leonard mentions this toward the end. But she says the people who don't believe the system can change are the people who don't want it to change. They are happy with how the system currently operates and don't understand, don't believe or don't care about the consequences.

I am not this person. I promise I am not this person. I try to have hope that the system can change. I would do as much as possible to assist in this change. However, I feel that for a 23-year-old female, I am fairly average - possibly even above. I mean I work in a field that revolves around green practices. So I hear about a lot of green behaviors. I have reusable grocery bags. I buy remanufactured cartridges. I don't use paper plates and I try to conserve my use of paper towels. I use both sides of my paper and I just requested recycle bins for my home.

But when I look at some of these things individually, I am really not that green. I mean I forget my reusable grocery bags probably 60 percent of the time. I print on both sides of my paper, yes, but then I simply throw away that paper. Sometimes I tear off three paper towels, proceed to dry my hands and then realize that I just used three paper towels to dry my hands. And I just barely requested recycle bins, bins that won't arrive for another six more weeks because there is a waiting list. And although I know I'll feel better about using them once they are here, I also know that that system is flawed. A couple examples of the defects in the system: Recycling paper often results in bleaching, which just pollutes the air more. Even though we are asked to separate our plastics, paper and glass, there have been many reports that our trash men simply dump it in the same trash container. Pen and Teller do a whole Bull Shit episode on this (A preview of "Recycling" can be found here).

One of the fundamental reasons I have a hard time believing this system can change is not because I don't have faith in the people. I simply don't have faith in the government. Again, maybe this makes me a pessimist, in fact I'm sure I am a pessimist, but even with a new president who has a lot of hope, I don't believe much will change. I wish I believed that. I wish things would be different. And honestly, I believe that Obama wishes things would be different and that he could change things, but the truth, or what I believe to be the truth, is that Obama is not in charge of this country. Special interest groups, or corporations, rule this country. And they are so fucking greedy that nothing will change. Everything will remain exactly the same.

Now I will continue to do my part. And I will strive to remember my grocery bags more often. And I will continue to have hope because I know its the right thing to do. And I know that even a small change is a change.

One of Pen and Teller's main points in their episode is that recycling, as ineffective as the system may be, still makes people feel good. It makes them feel like contributing, active citizens and sometimes, just sometimes, that attitude alone triggers change in and of itself. So I guess that, most of all, is what I will hope for!

As a side note, the other link my fine friend sent me is a preview of the documentary Flow. The two-plus minute trailer is enough to scare the shit out of anyone, so I'm sure the full-length film is unbelievable. I have requested it on Netflix and will probably have much to say and blog about then. Until then ... get green and stop buying and throwing away stuff!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A good example

Over the past year, I have become friends with a lady who has become one of greatest examples in my life. She has become my sage, my mentor, my friend and my boss. I have learned a lot from this woman. I have listened to her talk about her children, husband, siblings, parents and friends. I have watched her interact with people personally and professionally.

I find myself turning to this person a lot. Her opinion and perspective means so much to me. We are completely different. She is older; I am younger. She is black; I am white. She is in advertising; I am in editorial. The list goes on. But although there are so many differences, we are friends. And as corny as it sounds, I can’t imagine not seeing her five days of the week, confiding in each other, swapping stories and getting each others’ feedback and advice.

In fifteen days, we might not be around each other very much as both of our jobs are in question. I’m not going into detail, but due to the economy and our industry, things where I am standing are on shaky ground.

Things are OK, and we will both be fine. Thankfully, neither one of us are the kind of women who sit around and wait. We are the kind of women to make things happen. And that’s what we will do. Unfortunately, we probably won't be working together for very much longer.

Part of me hopes that we are able to sustain this friendship after whatever happens, and the other part reminds me of my personality - my horrible trait of giving up on things/people when it’s not convenient (although this is something I am really working on!). But even if we do stay in touch, I know it won’t be the same. But regardless of what happens, I wish this lady the best. And I hope she knows what an impact she has made on me, the way I live my life and the person I am and want to become.