Wednesday, January 31, 2007

all in knots

A friend of mine from out of state is coming to town. He's on a business trip, and he'll be here for maybe seven hours between other places that he has to be. We'll maybe go do some tourist stuff and then have dinner with some other friends of mine.

A while back I opened my big mouth and said that I would make one of his kids a scarf like in the Harry Potter movies. Then I thought it would be better if I made scarves for both of his kids. And then I thought it would really be cool if the whole family wore Gryffindor scarves.

I started making scarves with the Knifty Knitter about a year ago. Now everyone wants one. But I can't make one for everyone, cause they take too long. People have offered to pay me, but I still can't do it. A scarf takes at least thirty hours to make that way. So if I were going to sell them, I'd need about three hundred dollars per scarf.

They are nice scarves, but I don't think that they're three hundred dollars nice.

But there were so many people who said that they wanted one, I had an idea.

Several months ago I bought one of those sweater machines when they were on sale at Michaels. I didn't even take it out of the box. That was before Halloween, and I was like way busy until after that, and then some other stuff happened, and I didn't get around to setting up the machine until just last week.

I can't seem to get the hang of it.

Sunday, I saw an ad for a smaller knitting machine. Since I mainly want to make scarves, I thought that would probably work better for me. So today I bought the smaller machine.

And I can't seem to get the hang of that one either.

Anyway, my friend will be here in about ten days, and I don't have any scarves the right color to give him. So I keep going back and forth between the two machines, thinking that I've almost gotten one to work. I'm starting to pull my hair out.

And the person who usually makes me feel better when I have these little problems is gone for the next few days. I miss him. And that's kind of dumb, because he wouldn't be here right now even if he wasn't out of town.

Oh well. Back to work.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Somehow or another during college the first time around, I found myself being friends with quite a few older women. Some of them became sort of surrogate moms. It was kind of nice.

Almost twenty years later, I took a ceramic class, and found myself with yet another older woman. Probably older, but not that much older. Not near old enough to be my mother. More like a stand-in older sister.

I had to take a certain level art class to make up for a lost advanced painting credit. I didn't feel up to trying to take painting again. Beginning painting did not have a high enough number, and I didn't feel like I could just jump back into painting after being away for so many years. Plus there seemed to be an unreasonable amount of work involved, like fifteen paintings. I used to do about five a semester. There was no way on earth that I could do fifteen paintings I would be happy with in one semester.

So I had to find something else. Oddly enough, glass blowing was available, and I probably would have gotten in because I was a graduating senior. But unlike everyone else, I did not want glass blowing. It looks very dangerous to me.

Drawing probably would have been good, but I don't do so much of that anymore either. I decided that I really wanted to try something new. Since I was being forced to take a class due to someone else's screw-up, I should make the most of it and actually try to learn something.

I had a look around the ceramics lab, and a nice lady assured me that ceramics was not that hard if you were really willing to put in the work. And it was not that expensive. And the beginning course was a high enough number but did not require a lot of prerequisites.

So, off I went to sign up for the course.

I had been in the art department many years ago, but I was not welcomed back with open arms. Beginning Clay is mainly for art majors, and you are not an art major. You can get on a waiting list, and if you're still interested you might could get in after all the art majors have their chance. Why don't you take an art history course or maybe print making.

By this time I had really convinced myself that ceramics was what I needed to take, and I wasn't taking no for an answer. Two weeks later, after no art major seniors or juniors showed any interest in the class, I was allowed in. Possibly this was due to someone's secretary being tired of talking to me on the phone, but I didn't care as long as I got in.

By about the third week of class, I was ready to cry. One of my projects kept collapsing. I just couldn't do it.

And I knew better than to sign up for ceramics. I had seen the students at another school cry over broken pieces and all of that. I knew that sometimes you spent weeks on a project that just didn't turn out as planned.

But this was different. This was just the simplest little thing, and I couldn't do it. It wasn't even that I was upset about the way it looked, I just couldn't seem to make anything that fit the requirements of the assignment without it falling over just as I was about to finish it.

The nice lady followed me outside to make sure that I was okay. She said that everyone had the occasional bad day. But they would not all be bad days. She promised it would get better.

I went back in and started over with the project. There was no plan to it. It didn't look like anything. It was the required size, it had the required element of texture on it, it was hollow, and it didn't collapse. And, later, it dried without cracking, and a week after that it was fired without cracking.

The next project was easier to make, and I liked the way it looked. My new friend Susan complimented my work. A few other people complimented my work.

It mostly went smoothly after that. There were a few hassles here and there, a few cracks and such, but none of my pieces actually broke beyond repair.

My last project for the class, I got a little over ambitious. Despite the fact that I had bought about twice the recommended amount of clay, I was going to run out before I finished my project. I didn't realize this until late Friday afternoon, and Trinity Clay is not open on the weekends. Not only was I going to have lose two days work, but the part of the piece I was already working on was probably going to dry more than I would want, making it difficult to come back and work on later.

Susan gave me a whole 25 pound bag of that type of clay.

Not Susan sold me a bag of clay. Not Susan loaned me a bag of clay. Not Susan gave me some leftover clay.

Susan gave me a whole 25 pound bag of clay.


So that was really nice. I got an A in the class and had several pieces that I was very happy with to take home. I like a couple of them so much I might try and duplicate them later on.

I graduated. And I tried to come and visit Susan in the lab to see what she was doing that next semester, but because of security it is really hard for someone not enrolled in that class to even get into the lab. After about a month I quit trying. I heard that she had moved.

So, earlier this week, when I was going to the bookstore to buy clay, I thought I saw someone who looked like Susan. But of course I knew that it wasn't Susan, because she had moved to be closer to a different school.

But then this lady who looked like Susan also went into the bookstore to buy clay. And it turned out to be Susan after all. She had missed one of the classes, and with the weird schedule and the ice and everything, we just kept missing each other.

So this is great. My buddy Susan and I end up in the same ceramics class, years later, at a different school. What an incredible coincidence.

Yesterday I was a bit tired

I think the whole stay at school all day thing will be a good thing. But only for once a week, and maybe not even that. And I think Wednesday is a good day for that, though I might change my mind once LOST is back on.

I went to school and worked in the ceramics lab for about an hour and a half. That was supposed to be a two hour lab session, but the instructor had to leave early. The poor instructor doesn't even know which class I am in, since I've now been to all of them except the Saturday session.

I wasted a few minutes wandering around the job fair that I forgot about. I wasn't dressed for an interview and I didn't bring anything thing with me, but I don't think it mattered. I don't really want to work at Six Flags this summer and I'm not going to join the Army. Thanks anyway.

I spent almost two hours in the library. The class has two recommended textbooks. You don't have to buy either of them, but they are both on reserve at the library, so you are at least expected to go and look at them. And I didn't do any of the reading last week, due to the ice, so I had a bit to catch up on.

I didn't quite make the whole two hours. I was hungry. I left and got a Jack-in-the-Box monster taco. I know, monster tacos do not count as diet food. But I only had the one, and no fries, and I remembered to get the small soda this time.

Next, I went to Hobby Lobby. All Yarn Bee yarn is half off, so I got three or four kinds that I haven't tried yet. And, there was some yarn that I really like that got marked down to a dollar, because that line is being replaced. I admit I like the new stuff a little better, but I might as well buy some extra of the old stuff while it's marked down. And it is a Yarn Bee line, and it didn't have a clearance sticker on it, so it was also half off, and they ended up being fifty cents each. And a couple of friends sent me the link to a 40% off coupon for anything I wanted that was not on sale. So I ended up with the sketchpad the instructor insisted I get plus a whole lot of yarn for less than twenty dollars.

From there I went to the mall. Bet you'll never guess what I did there. There is still a bit of clearance stuff at Bath & Body Works, and I have these coupons for some free anti-aging stuff. The anti-aging stuff is supposed to be half an ounce and it has a suggested retail value of twenty-seven dollars, but doubt that either is true. Still, as long as they are going to give me the stuff, why not try it?

While I was in the mall I also got some free shampoo and conditioner from the survey people. And not little samples either, these are like eight ounces each. If I bring back a questionnaire in two weeks, they are supposed to give me twenty dollars. And since I'm going to try to do this every Wednesday, I might as well.

So then it was back to the library for two more hours. And I still didn't finish all of the reading. I read four out of five chapters in one book, and two out of five chapters in the other. But most of it was stuff I already knew from my previous class, and I should catch up with the rest of it next week.

Then I went to the bookstore to buy clay, which they ran out of Monday. The instructor says I'm buying too much, but I remember last time I used almost twice what we were told to buy. And it is cheaper to buy it at the bookstore than at Trinity, so why not buy extra while I have the chance. The instructor keeps telling us that we're going to recycle clay, and I'm like, recycle it from what? Whatever.

So I worked in the lab for about two and a half hours and decided that was good enough and went home. It's good to be back in a class, but some of it I am tired of already.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Please excuse my absence

Today is a bit of an experiment. I plan to stay at school all day, or at least in the general area of the school. I will not be coming home for about twelve hours, and I will probably not be using a computer while I am out.

So please forgive me, and do not take any of this personally.

Today, I do not plan to do any of the following:

Writing in my blog (other than this little note).

Responding to comments on my blog.

Leaving comments on other people's blogs.

Answering the phone.

Returning phone calls if you have left me a message.

Writing or answering emails.

Okay, now I'm going to have breakfast and head out.

Thanks, and I'll talk to everyone tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cleaning out the Refrigerator

Well, I must get around to cleaning the refrigerator eventually. Because it just needs to be done. And because that is a good thing to do when you want to start watching your weight.

I am tossing out the following:

About half a gallon of chicken broth. I meant to make soup with it, but I got busy with something or other and now it's too late.

Some leftovers from a Mediterranean restaurant. I really liked the food, I just forgot it was there.

Half a piece of chicken from Popeyes.

Some leftover tortellini that I don't even remember having.

About half of a duck with orange sauce. That's too bad. I don't have duck often enough to even know if I like duck, and here we had a whole duck and I don't think that I even ate any of it.

Two pounds of green beans that I never even cooked.

Four packages of turkey bacon, unopened, but now about a month past the sell by date. I was thinking that I'd start eating right again soon, so I bought some stuff that was on sale, and then I didn't do anything with most of it.

Most of a breakfast from Denny's or IHOP that must be more than two weeks old, cause I haven't been either place for a while.

About two dozen eggs from when I thought I should be ready in case we did any holiday baking.

Another unopened package of turkey bacon that is about a month older than the other four.

About five pounds of celery and other stuff that I meant to make into a vegetable tray and take to a friend's place when a bunch of us went over to watch DVDs. I totally forgot I even bought this stuff and ended up taking something else to my friend's place.

A piece of fruit that I bought from Central Market cause I couldn't remember if I liked it or not. I forgot I had it, didn't eat it, and I still don't remember if I like that or not.

About a pound and a half of carrots.

Something in a produce bag that I cannot identify.

Four sausage links and seven hot dogs.

Two pounds of pork sausage, unopened.

Three unopened packages of smoked sausage, hot dogs, and pepperoni that I thought my husband would want for lunch sometime. He says I forgot to tell him they were there. Right there, in the same drawer with all the other stuff that he normally takes to lunch. They look perfectly good, but the date on them is from about two months ago. Weird. Out they go.

I am keeping the greenish blue science experiment. Somewhere under all of that are the seeds of something I spent two years looking for. I ate a couple of bites of it (before it became the science experiment and still looked like a dragonfruit), and then I had to go out of town for a couple of weeks. And then I didn't want to take it out of the box. And now I really don't want to take it out of the box.

But, that's okay. Except for the science experiment and a few sodas and the recent leftovers from the last Mexican restaurant we tried, I now have lots of room in the refrigerator if I decide to go buy some heath food.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

My computer has become a Tardis

I have somehow managed to read a blog entry from two weeks into the future.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Review of diet drinks

Okay, so I keep saying that since I've already lost a few pounds, now would be a good time to start watching what I eat and try to lose a few more pounds. And I keep saying that. And I keep not doing that, and I keep going out for lunch. So I'm probably headed for the same problem that I had before if I don't do something. It has been like nine months since the other weight-loss started, and I really should do something.

Next week would be a good time to start.

Any good diet plan will include 64 ounces of water per day. Water is good for you. The stuff that you are made up of, way more than half of it is water. Without water, you would be a handful of powdery stuff that was on an old episode of Star Trek. You need lots and lots of liquids to stay healthy, and the best way to get it is to just drink plain old water.

Taz hate water.

Water is not my favorite beverage either.

I love sodas. As a kid I mostly liked the fruit flavored sodas and 7up and Sprite. As an adult, I mainly like Coke and Pepsi. I could easily drink 64 ounces of Coke per day.

64 ounces of regular soda is about 800 calories.

You know what else you could have for the same 800 calories? I mean, if you were careful, you could make breakfast and lunch and dinner for 800 calories. That wouldn't include snacks, but you get the idea.

So what else can you drink instead of regular soda for less calories?

Milk? Well, actually, whole milk has more calories than soda. 2% lowfat milk still has a few more calories. But, milk has all kinds of things that are good for you, and sometimes a glass of milk will make you feel less hungry. 1% milk has about the same calories as regular soda, but still has the benefits of drinking milk. Skim or nonfat milk has a bit fewer calories than regular soda and the benefits of drinking milk, but let's be honest and say that I really don't care for it.

Coffee and tea. Black coffee is probably the ideal diet drink, as long as you don't drink too much and you drink most of it before lunch and don't have any after dinner. It has a bit of caffeine in it, and a bit of caffeine may help with the diet. Just a little bit of caffeine. A lot of caffeine will make you nervous and lose sleep, and then you'll just eat more to try to feel better, so don't do that. On the news there's always some health benefit from just a little bit of coffee, and the same goes for tea.

But I don't really like coffee. And I really don't like black coffee. I can go to Starbucks, and they can make me something with enough cream and sugar that it hides the taste of the coffee, but it's probably going to be a least 400 calories. If I wanted to waste that many calories, I might as well get something that I really want, like a small milkshake or a hot fudge sundae. So coffee doesn't work for me, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

Herbal teas are good for a lot of things, but I personally don't like the taste. Usually, they are blends of things that sound pleasant, but then there's always something in it that's probably good for you but I don't care for, like hibiscus or rose hips. I usually have to add too much sugar to make it drinkable.

Plain peppermint tea is not too bad and I can drink that if I add a little sugar. Peppermint is also supposed to have all sorts of health benefits. It aids the digestion. Unfortunately for some people it also stimulates the appetite, so maybe you should have your plain chicken breast or your Eggbeater omelet ready to go before you drink it.

Sparkling water. Okay, it is still water, but it doesn't seem so boring. It's pretty. It has bubbles. I like carbonated drinks. And if you have a couple of minutes to play Martha Stewart, a slice of lemon or a twist of orange zest adds a nice smell and looks really good. And it goes with just about everything, and it has no calories. Be careful when you're buying it so that you don't pick up a high calorie flavored water by mistake.

There was a Coke product that tasted a lot like regular Coke but only had half the calories. I liked it a lot. It was sort of half diet Coke mixed with half regular Coke. I still shouldn't drink 64 ounces of the stuff, but if I did that would only be 400 calories instead of 800. I don't remember what it was called. I haven't seen it in a while. I not sure that they still make it.

While we are talking about stuff with with half the calories, mixing half a glass of orange juice with half a glass or diet orange soda is not bad.

Diet Coke and diet Pepsi I don't like so much. I just miss the regular stuff. But sometimes I want a little caffeine when I don't want the calories. A bit of lemon helps. Actually, I think a lot of lemon helps. I would put so much lemon in it that most people couldn't drink it.

Probably the best low calorie drink is diet lemonade. I think it is about 5 or 10 calories a glass and tastes almost as good as the regular stuff. Tropicana and Minute Maid both have excellent products available in 12 ounce cans and 2 liter bottles. And, unlike sodas, you don't have to worry about the lemonade going flat after you've opened the bottle, because it didn't have any carbonation to begin with.

But I like my carbonated drinks too. You could probably make a really good drink by making something like Crystal Light lemonade with sparkling water.

Fresca is probably the all time best diet soda. There is no such thing as a regular Fresca with sugar. They are all diet drinks. They are supposed to be grapefruit flavored. And since I have never had a sugared grapefruit soda to compare it too, I don't keep thinking that it isn't quite right like I do with a diet cola.

Diet ginger ale is not bad at all. Regular ginger ale has just as much sugar as any other regular soda, which is weird considering that it is not a very sweet tasting soda. So making a sugar free version is a good idea; you hardly even miss the sugar.

The 7up Plus products are not bad, though the have a few more calories than some people like in their diet drinks. Also, the fruit flavors do not always go with what you're eating, so I think those are best when you just want a drink by itself rather than when you're having a meal.

Other diet sodas that a best enjoyed without food are diet root beer and diet Big Red. The regular versions of root beer and Big Red are a little weird to begin with, so the weird taste of artificial sweeteners seems less noticeable in the diet versions. I'm sure the same is true of diet Dr. Pepper, but I really dislike Dr. Pepper anyway.

I have just tried the black cherry & french vanilla version of Jazz Diet Pepsi. Not as bad as a Dr. Pepper, but not as good as diet root beer or Big Red. And I don't have any nice childhood memories of Jazz Diet Pepsi like I do with root beer and Big Red. I haven't tried the strawberries & creme version of Jazz Diet Pepsi yet. I'll have to come back to that later.

So that's most of what I've tried that I can think of at the moment. If you want to tell me about something that I left out, or what your favorite diet beverage is, or what you think is the worst diet beverage, or if you just want to disagree with me about something, please leave a comment.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Arctic Blast and my first week back at school

Well, they warned about it all last week. Bad weather was headed our way, and it was supposed to get here last Friday. It would get cold, and there would be ice on the roads, and life as we knew it would come to a complete standstill. Thursday they talked about it a lot. Friday, they were still talking about it, but it didn't really seem to be here yet. It was nearby, but not really here.

I went out and bought supplies. We do that. It's an odd thing to do, like you're really going to starve to death after being iced in for three or four days. I mean, let's say it was really bad and we had to stay in the house for an entire week. What is the big deal? There are probably still a few edible things in the refrigerator. There are at least a half dozen cans of soup in the cabinet. There are lots of cans of other stuff in the cabinet. We have spaghetti. We have frozen dinners. We have potatoes that are starting to sprout, but they don't really look that bad.

But, the grocery store parking lot was nearly empty by the time I got there, so I went in and got the gallon of milk and the loaf of bread and the dozen eggs that you are supposed to get. I also got half a dozen more cans of soup, a bunch of sodas, and a few other things. I really didn't need to go out at all. We already had toilet paper and shampoo and everything.

But I pictured being nice and comfortable in my warm house that I wouldn't want to leave for three or four days.

But not that much happened Friday, or Saturday, or Sunday, or Monday. There was stuff happening nearby, and there was some ice on the roads but most of it quickly melted except for on the bridges. There were accidents and such, but mostly early in the morning. It just wasn't that bad, and we ended up going out for one thing or another everyday.

And while we were out, we might as well eat something, so very little of the groceries I bought have been used, except for the milk and sodas.

Monday, some Martin Luther King Day stuff was cancelled, just in case.

Tuesday was my first day of ceramics class at the community college. I've had one other semester of ceramics, but I'm just taking Ceramics 1 again. I just need a lab to work in,:I don't need the credit.

So there was good news and bad news. The good news is that the teacher doesn't care of we work on non-assigned pieces, just as long as we do the assignments first and we don't bring stuff from home to fire and bury him in extra work. The bad news is that except for the other class periods, the lab is always locked, so I can't just stay after class and work on my own stuff.

Fine. He's promised that the actual class assignments will mostly be simple and shouldn't take up much of my time. And if I want to come in during the other class times I can do that. And, the bookstore already has clay in the back, so I can buy most of it from them and won't need to keep going to Trinity Clay for it. And, he's promised us lots of free glazes that he will be mixing. So I go to the bookstore, buy some clay, and head home.

The next day I am up earlier than I need to be, because I plan to go to the Wednesday morning ceramic class to work on my own project. But I am up way to early to head straight to class, so I come in here and answer my email and read a few blogs. A couple hours later, it is light outside, and....

There is ice on the street.

Actual slide around on the street and wreck your car ice. Not melting and going away ice. Ice. Ice that they said was coming Friday or Saturday or Sunday or Monday. Ice that was supposed to have all melted and gone away before Tuesday. Ice that they started predicting again on Tuesday after I had stopped paying attention to the "Arctic Blast" weather reports. Ice that cancelled Wednesday classes until noon. Ice.


So, I planned instead to go to the Wednesday night class. The ice was melting, if not fast enough for me. But the roads were mostly clear at lunch time, so I planned to go to the night class.

They decided to be on the safe side and cancel everything until 10 am on Thursday.


Thursday morning I got up and checked to make sure that the classes would go on as scheduled starting at 10, and then I ate breakfast, put my clay and stuff in the car, and headed to school.

Some of the art classes are in a separate building, which was locked when I got there. Someone else was already waiting. I have to drag my stuff to the door. My coat is such a hassle. I waited with just my sweater and a scarf. (It's a big scarf.) Another student came to wait with us.

Three maintenance guys unlocked the other end of the building and went inside. It would have been nice if they could have bothered to unlock our door for us, but no. A fourth student got out of her car and went in the other door. I wonder if we could get in that way. Probably not. Probably the doors in between are locked. The fourth student tried the door from the inside, but couldn't get it open, so we went in the other door too. I had to make two trips, because I had all of this stuff with me. By the time I got everything where it was supposed to be, one of the maintenance guys was running us out. You can't be in here without an instructor. That's not exactly true, we can't be in here without a staff member, so what's the big deal if you're here? We're not faculty; you can't be in here. Blah, blah, blah.

So we went back outside. It's nearly ten, the instructor should be here at any minute. The maintenance guys leave the building.

It is after ten, and most of our class has shown up, but not the instructor. How long do we have to wait until the class is allowed to leave without penalty? I heard twenty minutes. It's been nearly fifteen. I'm leaving. Me too. Let's all sign a piece of paper to prove we were here on time.

So we're all leaving, except that I have to go get the police to unlock the door so that I can get some of my stuff to take home. I know that he has a rule against working on things at home, but I think that he might bend the rule this time since I've lost nine hours of lab time this week.

Someone finds the instructor's phone number and calls him. He isn't coming in. Since the class was supposed to start at 8:30, he thought it was cancelled. Most of the students thought that since we have both the 8:30 class period and the 10:00 class period that we were still expected to be there at 10 am. And since he did not call and cancel the 10 am period, the staff was not notified to even put up a sign saying class was cancelled.

That was a half hour drive time wasted, plus more than half an hour wasted at school. Just so that the day would not be a total waste, I went to Hobby Lobby for a bit of yarn, and then on to the mall and my recent favorite store--Bath and Body Works.

Okay, so now a few things are actually 90% off, so I got a few Christmas things and a few Halloween things at the upstairs store. I didn't really think that the downstairs store would have anything else that I wanted, but it doesn't hurt to check.

And there was a ton of 90% off stuff. I got a fifty dollar candle in this big gold snowflake thing for five dollars. Who really pays fifty dollars for a candle anyway, but paying five dollars for one with a fifty dollar price tag on it is cool. And I got a pumpkin scented candle for like a dollar and a half, and five pumpkin scented Wallflowers for like a dollar twenty five each.

That was fun.

So then I have to drop the husband off somewhere, and I got to go to two more malls on the way home. I didn't find much at the third store, but I bought two pear scented candles for like a dollar fifty each, so I guess it wasn't a total waste.

At the Irving store I found a lot of Halloween stuff. I bought ten anti-bacterial soaps in the jack-o-lantern bottles for a dollar each. With that many, I might just use a few of them for hand soap now and keep the bottles to put lotion in next year. I bought an eye mask for a dollar and four Christmas candle-holders for seventy-five cents each. I bought a Halloween candle-holder for one twenty. Then I bought some mints in tiny gift boxes for forty cents each.

All way cool stuff. Makes up for missing an hour and a half of class, doesn't it?

I did not even bother trying to go to a class today, and I don't plan to go to one tomorrow either.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The watch movies and eat popcorn diet

So I kept saying to myself, I should try to lose weight. I looked so much better twenty pounds ago. I could look that way again, if I would just do something about it.

So I had some diet cookbooks, but I hadn't used any of them. My husband's favorite thing is going out to eat. And it is hard to start a diet when your spouse insists on going to restaurants all of the time.

Then my husband had to go out of town for most of three months. So I am in the apartment, by myself, and I decided now is the time.

First, I just got a notebook and wrote down everything I had to eat or drink. After about a week of that I went back and tried to add up all the calories. Okay, so that told me I ate too many cookies and that with the soda calories added up to more calories by themselves than what I was supposed to have if I wanted to lose weight, and I hadn't added the calories for the actual meals yet. So the sodas had to go.

The rest of my meals weren't that bad, now that I wasn't eating out as much anymore. We used to eat at a lot of buffets, and I used to think if I was going to pay to eat at a restaurant like that, I might as well get my money's worth. So that was a lot of calories right there. A lot of calories used to come from my not wanting to waste money.

Other things changed when I had the apartment all to myself. I'd go buy groceries, and the cookies were on sale, buy one get one free. So I'd buy like four pounds of cookies. Now part of that was motivated by the sale, but partly I just wanted the cookies. But when no one else is home, I have to realize that I didn't mostly buy these for him, and I didn't buy these to share with someone. If I bought four pounds of cookies, that meant that at some point I would be eating four pounds of cookies.

The other thing about the cookies is that once the package is open, even if I only meant to get two cookies, I'd just keep eating the cookies. So I started putting two or three cookies in sandwich bags. So if there was ten servings in a package, I put one serving each in ten sandwich bags. That doesn't prevent a person from opening a second or third sandwich bag and eating nine cookies, but it at least makes you aware that you've eating three servings when you originally said you'd just have one.

The soda was restricted to half a can a day, sometimes less. I had to drink the whole eight glasses of water a day before I had anything else to drink.

I had turkey bacon and two servings of something made with Eggbeaters. That was less than two hundred calories. I had a bit of lite yogurt during my morning break, so that's about a hundred calories. At lunch I usually had pasta, but it was very light on the sauce and it had tons of broccoli and other veggies. I only worked mornings, and I tried to run all of my errands right after lunch, when I wasn't hungry, so I wasn't as tempted to stop for ice cream or anything while I was out.

Now, here is the movie and popcorn part. On the way home, I'd pick up a couple of videos. I'd make tons of popcorn, air popped, with a light butter flavored spray and lots of salt. All of the diet books say avoid salt, but I can't tell that the salt itself really has calories, and so far as I know I don't have one of those problems that forces you to give up salt. So, I watch the videos, and I eat the popcorn, and that keeps me from eating anything I'm not supposed to for the next four hours. Even if I finish all of that popcorn, at most it was four hundred calories, and I usually didn't finish it.

By the time I'm finished watching the videos, it is probably time for dinner, which usually meant more pasta with veggies, or sometimes chicken, and sometimes more turkey bacon and Eggbeaters. If I was still hungry after dinner, there was probably left over popcorn, otherwise I had cookies or pretzels or something that I had divided up into the sandwich bags, or maybe another bit of lite yogurt.

Three months later, I was a much happier and fifteen pounds lighter person.

Then I got a different job, went out of town a lot, had to eat big lunches to get me through the breakless work schedule, and put all the pounds (and then some) back where they were.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Why I'm not exactly fat

Today we have all decided to explain to the world why we are fat, or why we should not be called fat, or why we can't get fat, or whatever. As I have already taken up a lot of space with comments on someone else's blog, I should write the rest of it here.

Okay. I'm not fat, or at least not at the moment. I'm 5' 5 and about 140 pounds. I am average (in appearance, anyway). Average size, white (really boring white too, not Jewish or Italian or anything interesting), medium brown hair, green eyes, etc... I might be what you'd call a little overweight.

But I'm not fat. Right now, I can't take a credit for not being more overweight. I had a problem come up in my personal life, and I lost about fifteen pounds. I got some bad news, and I couldn't eat anything for a couple of days. After that, I would try to eat, but it was very hard. By the time I felt like I wanted to eat normal food again, my stomach had shrunk. I would buy a kids meal for lunch, not be able to finish eating it, and end up taking it home and eating the rest for dinner, and possibly still having some left over for breakfast the next morning. That lasted for a couple of months. So, I am now a bit smaller. Still ten or twenty pounds from my ideal weight, but I do look a lot better than I did a year ago.

And the year before that, I think I actually weighed more than 165 pounds. I still didn't consider myself fat, but if I wasn't fat, I got damn close to it. I didn't like the way I looked at all. The funny thing about getting to be 165 pounds, was I meant to start dieting. I meant to start on a diet the next week for about a year. I was just going to have this one last splurge before I got all serious about eating stuff that was good for me. I was going to do that right after the holidays, and then right after some party I was going to, and then right after graduation, and then right after this trip, and then I'll start next week, or I'll start the week after that. So I put on ten more pounds enjoying my last "week" of normal food.

I actually spent my teenage years trying, and not usually succeeding, to gain weight. I would go to the mall and buy some shirt actually meant for a size 11 or 13 girl, cause it was the eighties and that's what we did. But I would look at the size 11 or 13 pants and think, who wears this? Two of size 3 or 5 little me would fit in these. I just could not imagine.

During college I got a job at a place selling hot dogs. I got free hot dogs, french fries, nachos, pretzels, and lots of soda. I didn't get free cookies or pizza, but I could often trade for them. After several months of that I gained about five pounds. I did a dance.

I also tried to be healthy and put on weight by working out. I had to get a PE credit anyway. It didn't help much, and after the class was over I quit trying because lifting weights and such even two or three times a week left me feeling awful the rest of the time. Enough of that. Sure, I'll eventually look like a regular person, but I can't have a life if I hurt all of the time.

The only annoying thing was I gained about five pounds after my wedding was postponed, and it was hard to squeeze back into the dress.

When I got to size 7 I was really happy about it. No more looking at the two or three small things at the end of the rack. There was a whole store full of size 7 and up.

When I got to size 9, that was unreal. I'd grown actual size 36-C breasts. I looked great. I had to buy all new clothes, but that's okay, mom's always wanting to buy me something. And did I mention that I looked great?

When I got to size 11, that was kind of annoying, cause I had to buy all new clothes again. But I had size 38-C breasts, and I looked good. Real good.

When I got to size 13, I had to buy all new clothes again, and there was nothing to really be happy about that time.

After that, it was just really annoying. I had a lot of size 13/14, then 15/16, and eventually a couple of things size 17/18. I didn't buy anything bigger than that. I just refused to buy nice new things until I at least got back down to 16.

So that's pretty much where I draw the line. If I get much over 150 pounds, I need to think about doing something. If even the size 16 pants are tight, then it's time to do more than think about something.

I lost fifteen pounds or so one other time, but that time I did it on purpose by being careful about what I ate. I'll describe that in another post.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Bizarre Billboard

My husband and I used to travel a lot, mostly within Texas. And when you are driving out in the middle of nowhere, you tend to notice the billboards. This is the only time I notice billboards. Billboards in the city are a complete waste of space.

Dumb things get advertised on billboards, and I don't know why. Billboards advertising specific things are useful. As I said, we used to drive around Texas a lot. So you look for Billboards telling you which motels have hot tubs or free breakfast or whatever. Billboards advertising nearby tourist attractions are a good idea. I like to know that if I need gas there's an Exxon at the next exit, and if I get hungry there is a KFC ten miles down the road. Stuff like that. And if I were a truck driver, I'd like to know where I could get a free steak dinner with every 100 gallon fill-up.

Those are all very useful billboard advertisements.

I don't think a billboard advertising alcohol is a good idea. I really don't like that truck driver to decide he needs a couple of beers after he's eaten his free steak dinner. People just shouldn't be reminded that it's Miller time or whatever while they're driving on the same road with me, or anyone else for that matter.

And I don't get the cigarette advertisements. The people who smoke are already hooked, and the rest of us aren't even going to read it. Now, maybe billboards advertising the quit smoking stuff would be a good idea here. The guy that just got a ticket because he went 20 miles over the speed limit after he realized that he'd smoked his last cigarette at lunch and he's going to need another one real soon, well, he just might be in the proper mood to think about trying to kick that habit now.

There are billboards for movies and other things that I don't think anyone ever reads. The only place we really notice advertisements for movies is at the movie theater and the video rental place. Or maybe the newspaper. But we're usually not going 60 miles an hour down the road looking for giant movie posters. Surely nobody cares about it then.

But the really puzzling billboard ad, the one that just doesn't make any damn sense, advertises vasectomy reversal.

I just can't imagine that anyone has ever been driving to Houston and saw this sign and thought, that's what I need. When I get to Houston, I'm going to call and ask about getting my vasectomy reversed. I had a vasectomy back when I was young and stupid, and I have regretted it ever since. But thankfully, I am going to Houston, and now I know that while I am there I can have it all undone. How wonderful.

I just can't imagine that they get any costumers from this sign. Is vasectomy reversal an impulse buy? Is that want people need to know on their way to Houston?

Apparently they need to know that on their way other places as well. But that is unfortunate for those people, because they have to turn around and go to Houston to get it.

Has anyone ever in the history of this place gotten a vasectomy reversal from them because they read a billboard?


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Years Eve

I have this friend who every year tries to get us to write all of our problems on little pieces of paper so we can burn them.

A year ago, I didn't have any problems (except for that one lie that my husband told all those years ago, that I had learned to live with) and the credit card debt. So I don't even think that I burned any little pieces of paper. And I think my New Year's resolution was something like I was going to quit worrying about the debt and quit bothering my husband about it, cause he'll have to grow up and pay it off eventually. Maybe just giving the man some space would help.

A lot of good that did.

So I did not burn any little pieces of paper this year either. The only thing I want to burn is a certain person who doesn't even live in this country. Burning little pieces of paper is no fun. Can't even burn a Barbie doll that is supposed to be her, cause they don't make fat-ass slut Barbie dolls.

Speaking of cows....

Well the evening the evening wasn't a total loss. Someone told us a story about a childhood buddy and a cow. Not that kind of cow. The kind of cow that lives on a dairy farm until they get made into hamburger. The useful kind of cow. Perhaps the more intelligent kind of cow.
Anyway, the buddy got drunk and decided that since he wasn't getting enough from the local girls he'd try it with the cow. And hearing no objections from anyone else present, he unzipped his pants and proceeded to f*** the cow. And the cow proceeded to shit in the guy's pants.

If only the other kind of cow had done anything that nice.