Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yesterday's convention

I suppose everything went as well as could be expected. At least it was for me. I think other people might have had different feelings on the subject.

G picked me up at my place, on time, and drove me to a restaurant where he liked to have breakfast. I had never been there before. I liked the place, though what I ordered was not the best for a person trying to lose weight. Even after having breakfast, we were still a bit early, as I had been told that the general admission people would not be allowed in til 11:00, and they wouldn't even be sold tickets til 10:15. So we had time for G to run an errand, and we still arrived around 10:30. Not in any hurry, we spoke to a few people in the parking lot, and then a friend came to tell us that they were letting people in a bit early. So I told G that I would see him later, and I went off with my friend. By the time we found where to buy a ticket, there was no line at all.

At least, there was no line for buying a ticket. There was a long line for getting autographs. I wasn't sure that I wanted any because a.) getting an autograph costs a lot more than it used to, and b.) I wasn't sure if I wanted to stand in this line. So I went off in search of something else to do, thinking that the line would go down some and I might do it later.

My club had a table, somewhere. I looked around, but I didn't see it. I went in the dealer's room, not so much looking at the dealers, but looking around for my friends in case they had been moved to this room. I didn't see them. I ran into a few more friends and talked for a bit, then walked around looking again for the club table. I had walked back and forth the entire length of the place twice without seeing it. I found another friend, who pointed out the table for me. I hadn't seen it before because of all the people in the autograph line in front of it. Okay, mystery solved.

So after figuring out where most everything was, I went back to the dealer's room. I didn't see much that I wanted, which was good, cause I didn't want to spend much money. The main thing that I wanted was Nichelle Nichols' autograph. Getting Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) to autograph a picture would cost $30, and I wasn't even sure that included the picture.

There were other people there besides Nichelle Nichols. I had met Anne Lockhart (original Battlestar Galactica) before. Erin Gray from Buck Rogers was there. The girl who had played Batgirl in the 60s was there. The medtech from the now cancelled Stargate Universe was there. But I think most of us wanted to see Nichelle Nichols, Morena Baccarin (Firefly and the new V), and Trisha Helfer and Katee Sackhoff of the Battlestar Galactica remake.

Now, at about $30 each, getting all the autographs would have cost me over two hundred dollars. I already have autographed pictures of Anne and Erin, so that would bring it down to $180. Not much of a Batman fan, so I didn't really need that autograph either. And as much as everyone else loved the new Battlestar Galactica, by the end of it I was mainly still watching cause everyone else loved it so much I just wanted to keep up so I'd know what everyone else was talking about. So the remaining three autographs would have cost me $90. And even if I'd had $90, that's just too much. And really, while I'm still a fan of Stargate Universe, I don't really feel that I need that autograph either. If I spent all the money I had I could get two autographs, and it would have been really nice to have Morena Baccarin sign something, but no.

It did not used to be this way. When I first started going to conventions, the actors who did autographs did them for free (or at least, we did not pay them directly, it was included in the price of the ticket). So either the actors would autograph stuff for everybody, or they would autograph stuff for a limited amount of time they had been paid to do that, or they didn't autograph anything for anybody (I was shocked the first time I paid to see Leonard Nimoy and he didn't do autographs, and DeForest Kelley didn't do autographs at public appearances because he had arthritis), depending on how much the convention had paid them and how long they were scheduled, etc.... So if the actor was doing autographs, the only additional money you had to spend to get an autograph was maybe five dollars for a photo for them to sign, but if you didn't have that they might still sign your convention program.

Then came the VIP tickets and the Gold tickets and the preferred seating tickets, etc.... You had to pay to get autographs, and they probably weren't going to do autographs for everyone, so if you really wanted an autograph you should buy a special ticket that put you at the front of the line and such. I have never done that, but some of my friends always do that. The price of getting an autograph went from free to five dollars to ten dollars to twenty dollars.

I pretty much stopped getting autographs then, though I did still purchase a few, and I got five free for volunteering at a Stargate convention. But it's been about ten years since I've done much of this sort of thing. I miss it sometimes. (But I don't miss it enough to spend a lot of money and/or drive to the other side of Dallas.)

Someone from my club stood in that long line and spent $120 getting three autographs. He wanted two more autographs, but Trisha and Katee were late and he'd have to get them later. He ate lunch and then got back in line.

I talked to a few more people and then had another look at the autograph line. It was about half the size it had been, but it was still a line. And that was just the line to get into the room. You had to stand in line again for each autograph.

And the people with VIP tickets got to go to the front of the line, whenever they happened to arrive. So you could stand in line for a long time, nearly get to the front of the line, and then have dozens of people just walk in front of you. And the preferred seating group was also supposed to go before the general admission people, but there seemed to be some confusion about that. Anyway, I thought that maybe most of the VIP group had already gone through the line and there wouldn't be that many of them walking up to the front. But I still had to seriously think about standing in this line and spending $30.

While I was standing there thinking about it, one of the volunteers was trying to explain how the line was now being split into two separate lines, because Trisha and Katee still were not there. If you were waiting for either of them you stayed where you were, but if you just wanted one of the other autographs, you got to move forward quite a bit. You still had to stand in line again once you got into the autograph room, but still, if I got in line right then that cut the wait time by more than half. So I got in line.

Once I got inside the room and found out which line I was supposed to be in, it was okay. There were people waiting for Trisha and Katee. Nichelle and Morena both had long lines, but not near as long as the line outside. There was a very small line of people waiting to get Batgirl's autograph, and a few people talking to Anne and Erin. There was no one waiting for the Stargate Universe medtech. I felt sorry for her. If I wasn't so short on money I think I might have gotten out of line and gone to her table for a bit. It didn't stay that way forever, but she never quite had the line the the actors around her had.

When I was halfway through the line to get Nichelle's autograph, I saw Katee come in. Stuff happens. Planes are delayed, and there are accidents on the freeway, and people are late. It is annoying for them, and it is annoying for us.

I got Nichelle's autograph. I couldn't think of anything interesting to say. I had seen all of the other original cast members in person; she was the last.

Now that I had my signed photo, I went back to the dealer's room to buy a photo protector. I probably had several at home, but I forgot to bring any. It's been a long time since I've gone to a convention. I'm just not organized.

A bit later I see the guy from our group still in line in the hallway, waiting to get autographs from Trisha and Katee. That surprised me, as I had seen one of them come in and I thought the other one was just behind her. But just before he could get into the room, one of them was called away to do a photo op, and not only are photo ops scheduled for a very short time, they cost more than autographs, so the photo ops were not delayed anymore than necessary. He was still waiting in line when I went off to get a seat to hear Morena speak.

The schedule had been changed. There should have been someone else speaking in the main room when I arrived, but the room was nearly empty. There had been an announcement, but I had missed hearing it in the autograph room. But it was not important.

I went to look for G, and did not find him. This worried me a bit, that I would not find him before the other stuff started, and maybe he would want to leave as soon as Nichelle finished speaking but couldn't find me. I spent about twenty minutes looking for him, gave up, and went back to the main stage room. There were a few more people there now, so I did not have the perfect seat that I gave up, but I still had a good one. K came to join me, and I saved G a seat just in case.

Now there was confusion as to where the preferred seating people were supposed to sit. The VIP sections were clearly roped off, but I didn't see anything that said preferred seating. Someone sitting behind me had paid the extra ten dollars for the preferred seating, and she thought that she the general admission people would be asked to wait outside until all the VIP and preferred seating ticket holders were seated, and that this would be repeated again between speakers. I expected that since no one had asked me to wait that other than roped off areas it was first come first served, and I had a good seat and I would be there for the next three hours or so.

Morena spoke for almost an hour, and then Nichelle spoke. At that point I found G, who was not concerned one way or another when we left. We stayed to hear the last panel, which was Trisha and Katee. The other actresses did not speak that day, and most of them were not scheduled to speak on Sunday.

G and I left. I do not know when or if the other guy from our group (who paid a bit extra for the preferred seating ticket) got his autographs from Trisha and or Katee. Except for lunch the only time I saw the poor guy he was standing in line for something.

I was tired by then, and mostly glad that G was ready to leave. Others were going hang around for a bit and then head to a restaurant. It would have been nice, but I didn't need it, and I'm eating quite enough non-diet type food as it is.

I got home and thought how this wasn't my life anymore. I kind of miss it, but on the other hand I kind of don't. I wish I had something else entirely, but I haven't a clue what or how to get it.

But I am very glad that after all this time I have finally seen all of the original Star Trek actors.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New plans for today

At rather the last minute, I decided I might want to go to a convention today. I've known about it for several months but didn't think that I'd really want to go. It's in Plano, which is not the other side of the world, but it is the other side of Dallas and way north of my comfort zone. So I thought I'd just see if I could get a ride. I was pretty sure that I could get a ride with K, but I'd heard earlier that he was driving S, and S has become a ranting atheist and I wasn't sure that I wanted to be in the car with her for that long.

As expected, when I asked the question K offered, and the offer was repeated my someone else going with him, but I decided against it, not because of the ranting atheist, but because it just sounded really inconventient for K in addition to having to run an errand before the convention in addition to already having to pick up S before meeting the other guy. And S lives nowhere near me, and arranging to meet up with the other guy (which the other guy did suggest) would have had the other guy driving in the wrong direction.

But at the same time as the guys offered, G also offered, and he isn't driving anyone else, he just wants someone willing to go to the thing early enough to get breakfast at a certain place near the convention. G and I are not friends, so it was very nice that he offered at all. I accepted his invitation. So far no one else is meeting us at the restaurant.

The diet is pretty much shot for the month now. For breakfast I will probably order something that is more calories than I normally have for both breakfast and lunch. And then tomorrow there is pizza at the meeting, and then the next two weekends there's other things going on which also involve eating stuff that one shouldn't eat while trying to lose weight. So I guess for now I'll just try not to gain anything back rather than stick to the diet and not participate.

Back to the convention.

It isn't much of a convention. It sounds like the Creation Cons I used to go to, with the only point of being there is to see Nichelle Nichols (and debate if I should spend that much money to get her autograph). Nichelle Nichols is the only one of the original group that I haven't seen in person. There will be other actors there, and it will be nice to see them, but I just can't seem to get that excited about seeing actors, or at least not the way I used to. And that's all there will be at this convention, or at least that's all that has been scheduled, so there's no contest or fan-run panels, and there's only the dealers room and the main stage.

Got to go now. Must get ready early today because of the breakfast plans.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Week three

Okay, so at the end of week one I was trying to keep myself from jumping up and down, that I'd had some weight-loss but probably not as much as it seemed. But that first week was pretty much perfect, with me eating only what I was supposed to eat and not drinking any regular sodas.

The next two weeks were not perfect. By the second week I should have been doing the whole eight glasses of water per day thing, and then on the third week I should have been paying more attention to the whole 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables thing. Well, I'm only just now getting around to the drinking enough water thing. I have lost some weight, but either it isn't much more than that of the first week, or else I just read the scale wrong the first week. I've stayed away from the regular sodas, but it has been a while since I've written down what I was eating. And in an attempt at keeping my husband from going totally nuts with the food, about half the time I eat what he is eating. And his diet isn't about losing weight, so sometimes this is bad.

Sometimes he eats something that is in the 200-300 calorie range, and that's fine and I eat that too. Other times he eats something that is more than 500 calories, plus it has side dishes that aren't very low-cal either. The first few times this happened I ate half a serving of his food, and that seemed to go okay. But the last few days have been bad. We had this little fish, which I thought would be good, but I guess there was something high calorie on the fish, and then the fish came with potatoes. It was small already, so eating half didn't work. And then after that there was this small Asian chicken salad, and it was just too small, but it still had about four hundred calories. So not only did I eat the tiny salad, but then I was still hungry and ate a cereal bar. So that probably didn't do the diet much good.

After getting upset and having this discussion about the expensive food that he would probably end up throwing away, we have gone shopping again, and I guess he just doesn't get it. Yesterday we threw out what looked like a pound of spinach. And the frig is full of food, and I doubt that he will cook most of it before he heads out of town again.

Also my mother took me to Burger King, cause we hadn't seen each other for a bit and she had this coupon. The coupon was buy one get one free stuffed Whooper. The stuffed Whooper is 600 calories. My mother wants to lose weight too, so she asked for the sauce on the side.

A stuffed Whooper with sauce on the side is still a stuffed Whooper.

Anyway, at the time I was still being very good with the diet, so I ate half of the Whooper and took the other half home for breakfast the next day.

I think that soon I will have to stop eating stuff from my husband's diet, but the social stuff is still going to be a problem. There is a lot of stuff coming up soon. Saturday, I might go to a convention, and I guess that I'll have to pack lunch, and then there might be a dinner after and I have no idea where so I can't prepare much for that. Sunday is the annual meeting. I'd totally forgotten about the annual meeting, and of course I will be going, and I'm pretty sure that I will be eating, and it will be pizza this year.

More about the annual meeting on a later post.

Then there is the usual monthly stuff next month, plus a party, plus another party. Two parties. Two parties where the main thing I do is eat.

Here is how we ended up with two parties, and I forgot that it was two parties.

Some friends had a party in February. I don't think it had a Valentine theme or anything, but it was in the middle of February and there's dancing and dressing up and such (though this is a group of Trekkies, and our idea of dressing up is a bit different). The second year they invited more people, and I went either the second year or maybe the third year. And then one year they had scheduling problems and the party ended up being in August. I thought August was better anyway. So they've had this party four or five times and I've been to two or three of them.

In this group of friends there is C. One year C had his fiftieth birthday party at the same place as the other party. I think that his actual birthday is in January, but they decided to have the party a bit later so that it was on the same day as his son's birthday party, and that way they could just rent the room for the whole day and the kids could have their party at noon and C's adult party would be in the evening. For C's party we were asked to wear black. C had such a good time that the next year he had the "Goth Ball" again.

So it was pretty much the same group of friends at the same place, but they are two different parties. But now the first party has moved from February to August and now back to February. So now C's party is the first weekend of February and the other party is the second weekend. Somehow in my mind I'd forgotten that they were two separate parties, and that C's party wouldn't necessarily be cancelled just because the other party was the same month. And the other party is partially a fund raiser for a local charity, and you have to buy tickets, and I've already bought one, not realizing that I'd be going to parties two weekends in a row.

And this is in addition the usual stuff the weekend after that.

Also, there is the crew dinner, which is the day after one of the parties. I don't always go to the crew dinner, but this one is in Irving, and it is at Souper Salads, and they are pretty much expecting those of us on diets will want to go.

Maybe not so much.

I am sure that you can go to Souper Salads and eat something very sensible, but I never do. I can eat something sensible that tastes better and cost less money at home. My husband wanted to go there last week, which we did, but I really didn't see the point. He mostly ate sensible stuff that we already had at home. I ate a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I ate much less that I normally do, but I still still think it was way too many calories. After we got home I looked up the nutritional information. Some of the prepared salads were like a hundred calories per serving, but sometimes the serving was listed as 1/3 cup. I'm pretty sure that I didn't eat anything that small, and I had at least four salads. And that was me trying to be good, instead of eating what I usually eat, which also involves bread and dessert and seconds of everything.

Anyway, for the next four weekends, I have something to do socially, sometimes more than one thing, and probably all of the things will involve me buying and eating food with too many calories.

After that will be the end of my husband's six week experiment, and if he quits he'll be back to suggesting we go out for ice cream and such.

I'm going to have to give this whole diet thing some thought.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Water is being cut off again

That will happen today, in a couple of hours. But at least we had a little warning this time. Soon I will have a bath and all of that, and then I will fill empty plastic jugs with water, and then after that I will fill the bathtub. So it is still a bit inconvenient, but not so much as last time.

My husband just woke up, which is good, because I forgot to ask him when he wanted to get going, and it would have had to be by eight or so cause I have to be finished with the water by nine. Anyway, he has to go out of town today, but only for the one night, and he's already done all of the cooking he needs to do so it shouldn't be the big hassle that it was before. Of course, we will have to do it all again for Monday, but I will worry about that Sunday.

Despite having a bit of help yesterday, there still isn't much of the cleaning done yet (and I just found out yesterday afternoon that about the water being cut off today so I don't imagine getting it all done today either), so I think going on the trip is out now. Almost for sure about that. I just don't think that I would get everything done Sunday, even if I have some help on Sunday, and even if I skipped stuff I plan to do Saturday, and I don't plan to skip anything on Saturday.

As for what I'm going to eat on Saturday, I still haven't decided. I'm planning to go to both restaurants, though I'm starting to wonder if I should just skip the second one. I'll see what happens. Once in a great while someone else cancels, and then someone else cancels, and then we all decide not to go. Except when it is Miss Allergies who cancels first, and then the rest of us pick a different restaurant and go someplace that we never go to when she's around.

Of course, if we go someplace else, I will have no idea what to order. I have ideas of what I could order after studying the nutritional information area of our usual restaurant's website, but if we go someplace else I'd totally have to start over. The stuff that you'd think would be low calorie sometimes isn't, and they usually don't tell you that on the menu. And even the lower calorie stuff usually isn't as low as I would eat at home. It usually isn't meant to make you lose weight, just that maybe you wouldn't gain much of it back.

Anyway, I can't decide. I'll just see what happens tomorrow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Other things going on now

The bug guy is coming a week from Wednesday, which means that I have major amounts of cleaning to do. So far, most of it isn't getting done. The whole diet thing seems to get in the way. There's always more dishes to wash, and there's all these groceries and I have no idea where to put them, so there are just all these bags of stuff on the floor.

Last week I felt good about the cleaning, having finally gone ahead and scrubbed off whatever sticky stuff was on the kitchen floor. Not that you can tell that now. We had some interesting weather and a couple of times we had to dash outside and deal with the pump, and afterwards we just tracked more dirt into the house. So the floor will have to be cleaned again, though I doubt that it will be as difficult this time, with just the dirt and not so much whatever the sticky stuff was.

Anyway, I haven't much made a dent in the backroom, the living, the bedroom, the bathroom. Except for the sticky stuff on the floor, the kitchen and dining area are worse than before I started. And of course my husband has done little or nothing in this room or the bedroom. It just seems to require mental energy that we don't have to spare after the whole dieting thing. It isn't like you can work until you get hungry and then go take and break and eat pizza. No, you can't start anything, especially in the kitchen, that might interfere with whatever you are supposed to be eating the next meal.

Sometimes I can eat something from his diet (or maybe half of something from his diet), and once he ate something from my diet. But most of the time he's eating something that I'm not, and then we both have to take turns in the kitchen, there's just not room for us both at the same time. And then there's a mess that has to be somewhat cleared away before one of us can cook the next thing.

And of course when we are cooking in the small kitchen we have to make use of the space on top of the washing machine, which means that until the cooking and cleaning is done we can't do the laundry.

But I must get on with it anyway, cause the bug guy is coming whether or not the place is clean and/or the diet is going as planned.

The other thing that is taking up my mental energy is deciding about social things and possible travel plans. I've never done much of either while I was trying to lose weight. So I'm trying to decide what to do about Saturday, and whether or not I should go on a trip next week.

Of course at this point I can't seriously think about the trip next week, because the house has to be clean before that Wednesday, and I would have to leave that Monday, so not only would I not be here to see the bug guy (and I don't suppose that is actually necessary, but it does make me feel better to be here and see that it is done with for another three months) but I would have to have the cleaning all done by Sunday, and I'm already feeling rushed to get it done before Wednesday.

Anyway, if I go on a trip, if I want to lose weight I'll have to keep it up even on the trip, which means that I won't be doing things that I would normally do on a trip. No restaurants. No sodas. No snacks (or at least, not the usual ones). No Starbucks type high calorie drinks. And then I'd have to cook food ahead of time and take it with me, as he will also have to do, and then we'll try and stuff everything into a tiny motel frig, and we won't even be eating the same food so I'm not sure that there would be room for my stuff anyway. We'll probably have to pack the electric cooler, which means that there won't be much room for my knitting, and without the knitting to keep me busy it is usually a really boring trip.

So that probably isn't going to happen anyway, but I haven't totally made up my mind.

But I do have to decide about Saturday, and then I have to decide about every other third Saturday, and a party next month, and maybe a family dinner (date unknown at this point). Saturday we are going to two restaurants. The first restaurant I had already decided did not have good enough food for me to waste my money on, and I now that I'm counting calories I have another reason to not want the food. But I do usually buy and drink a lot of soda while I'm there. So now I have to decide should I go there and not buy anything, not even a soda, which seems a bit rude. Or, should I buy a regular soda and just attempt not to drink much of it. I could drink diet soda, if I brought something to put in it, but I'm wondering if that might be messy. Or I could even attempt to drink diet soda as is, but I would probably give up and end up replacing it with regular soda.

The second restaurant as not my favorite either, but sitting there and not ordering anything seems even more rude, as we do not have a private room for me to hide in there. And the food is even more expensive. I had found something to my liking that didn't cost too much, but it wouldn't fit in with the whole dieting thing. I could spend more money to buy something that I like less, eat half of it, and take half of it home. Or, I could spend even more money to buy something that I like a bit better, and again eat half of it and take half of it home. Or I could buy this weird tuna thing, which sometimes is pleasant and other times almost makes me ill. Not that the food is sometimes prepared different, just sometimes I feel different about eating it, and I never know until I actually try some of it. Getting something that I know I'd like either is expensive and/or very high calorie.

Maybe just once or twice a month I should say the hell with it and not think about the calories. But even if I was going to do that, I'd rather save that for something I'm really dying to have (like cookies), instead of whatever looks good at this particular restaurant (which we have to go to because of Miss Allergies).

Next month there is a party, and I don't dance, and right now I'm not doing much in the way of dressing up, so that leaves eating weird food being the main thing that I would normally do at the party, and there's no way of figuring out the calories there. My main healthy option there would be to bring several things I know are safe and only eat those. But that sounds boring, and it would cost more money than I had planned to spend.

I'll have to decide this stuff at least once or twice a month, sometimes more. Should I be good, or should I just say the hell with it and have a good time?

So far the lack of regular sodas hasn't gotten to me, and I haven't eaten any cookies, and I don't think I've even had any chocolate, and the just plain being hungry bits haven't been that bad. So in some ways, the diet is going better than I expected. It just sometimes isn't as easy to deal with as I had imagined, and I wonder if the social stuff will turn out to be the main problem.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First week

My husband is on some weird diet, and I am trying to lose weight. I officially started on the 4th, while he started a bit earlier than that. I choose the 4th to make sure that a.) I got to enjoy the New Year's Eve party and then eat whatever I wanted afterward to recover from it, and b.) starting on the 4th I had a few days to myself, and these things are always easier for me without other people around trying to get me to eat things other than what I have picked out. When my husband is around, he offers me food from his diet, and since his diet isn't really about weight-loss, it isn't always a good idea.

Anyway, I'm going to say that the first week was a success. I've had no regular sodas or other regular sugary drinks. I've had no cookies. I don't think I've had any chocolate, or if I had it was one square of dark chocolate, but I think the last time I even did that was before the 4th. I've not gone to any restaurants or eaten any fast food. I try to write down everything that I eat or drink, and then I write how many calories I think I've consumed. I think most days I'm just right around 1200, which is what I wanted. And I think that I've had three servings of lowfat dairy everyday, with one of the servings always being a cup of no sugar added yogurt.

And I think that I've lost a few pounds, though I doubt that I've lost as many as it seemed this morning. I think that it's just hard to read regular bathroom scales (unless they are digital, which mine is not), and there might be some other factors at work, like maybe weighing first thing in the morning is not accurate, or maybe I was wearing too much clothing during the first weigh-in but not enough now. But I'm not trying to do anything silly, only two pounds or so a week, and maybe even a steady one pound per week would be okay for a bit. So I think that I've at least done that much, and I can be happy about that.

One thing that I did not get done this week was the whole eight glasses of water per day thing. I'll try to work that in later.

The other thing that did not get accomplished this week was a neat and tidy frig. I had imagined the thing being half-empty, with about thirty things in containers just waiting for me to eat, and a few other things waiting for me to cook, and then a gallon of skim milk and the diet drinks and the V-8 and a few bottles of things like mustard and ketchup. Well, even after the cleaning, there's still a lot of bottles of stuff, some of which we are using right now, and some of it we expect to be using soon, and just other things that we like that we don't want to throw out cause we'll need them eventually.

And that's just my side of the frig. I tried to divide the frig into stuff I'd mostly be using on one side and stuff that he'd mostly be using on the other. But now it's a total mess again, and we squeeze in things wherever they will fit.

And then there are all these vegetables, which I hope will get eaten, but some of them won't. We haven't actually thrown out that much yet (a couple of pears and some watercress and chives), but that's mostly because I ate a few of his things when he was away, and then when he got back I just started pulling out stuff and asking him what he intended to do with it, and then he'd cook something.

Of course, cooking something usually meant that we needed yet something else from the store, so as soon as I get rid of something it is usually replaced with something else. But that did keep most of the cauliflower from being wasted, and yesterday we ate the zucchini and the eggplant. Still, I think that today or tomorrow I'll be trying to rearrange the whole thing again.

I remembered it being much easier before. But of course, last time I had the place to myself for most of three months.

Friday, January 07, 2011

It's called women's work cause men aren't bright enough to do it

I think that I've mentioned before about the difference between how most men cook and how most women cook. It isn't that men literally can't cook. They can cook most things that do not require mixing ingredients, like, they can fry bacon and sausage, etc.... And they often can do some big production thing like barbecue. And maybe they can fix about three things if they had to cook dinner once in a while.

This is different from the day to day cooking that most women learn to do. Women figure that they'll have to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner, day in and day out, often for themselves and for their men and for their children (who complain about everything put in front of them). No big production stuff here. Just figure out how to get everyone fed in a reasonable about of time. Most women probably know how to cook lots of different things, depending on the occasion and how much money they have and how much time it takes to prepare, etc....

It seems like my dad knew how to cook about three things. I forget what one of them was. The thing that he cooked most often was pancakes. Mom usually didn't have to cook on Saturday mornings, cause dad made pancakes. If ever mom wasn't there or mom didn't feel well, dad could make a few other things. I don't remember this ever happening, but if mom had been sick for more than two days and unable to cook dinner, I'm pretty sure that on the third night we would have had pancakes, probably with a side of bacon or sausage.

So it isn't that men can't cook. We've seen plenty of men cook things that are perfectly edible. We've even seen them cook things that we look forward to eating. It's just that most of the time they aren't motivated to do much of it. My husband can cook. My husband can open a cookbook and follow a recipe and cook something nice. Recently, my husband made fudge and divinity. And not just desserts, he can cook regular food too. It's the mundane kitchen stuff that causes him to drag his feet, like making Hamburger Helper, or even opening a can of soup to put in a bowl and microwave.

And of course before one does any cooking, one has to go to the store and buy groceries. If this isn't their regular thing, men can be pretty clueless. They don't know where things are, they don't know how much things are supposed to cost, etc.... But the really baffling thing is that when they can't figure out when/if you've run out of something and to go buy more of it. I don't drink coffee, I don't make coffee, and I usually don't put limes on everything I drink except coffee and so forth. My husband likes coffee, and he really likes limes, while I rarely touch either of those things. So I would think that he would know when we've run out of those things rather than me. Also, he seems to be under the impression that I buy groceries so that I can hide them from him. I'm like "I bought this for you, and when you get hungry, eat it" and then I put it in the frig and it rots because he never eats it cause he never looked for it.

Sorry, the frig didn't come with neon signs. You have to look around for stuff.

Anyway, we've both decided that we need to go on diets, though we are not doing the same diet for the same reason. His has something to do with getting rid of wheat and dairy. Mine will be about trying to eat smaller portions and lowering fat and calories, etc.... To get started with this, I've cleaned out the frig and we've thrown away a lot of stuff, and I'm trying to even divide the frig so that stuff he mostly uses is on one side and my stuff is on the other side.

I haven't paid much attention to his diet, I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do about mine. I bought a diet cookbook. I didn't really need another cookbook, and I even didn't really need another diet cookbook. But, briefly, I had it in my head that I was going to follow the six-week plan in the front of the book. The plan has a daily calorie intake of between 1300 and 1400 calories, plus there are a lot of veggies and some fruits that you can have extra of and not count. I'm guessing that the six-week plan would take you through most or maybe all of the recipes in the book and that after that you would pick your favorites and keep eating those. Or, maybe, someone went through and decided that this six-week plan would have a near perfect mix of everything. But I'm not going to follow the plan, cause I found a couple of problems with it.

Well, the calories aren't the problem. I'm thinking if I could get down to 1200 that would be better, but this stuff is not that far off. If I'm going to go on a diet, I think that it needs three servings of dairy a day, and that at least one of those servings has to be yogurt. I see that the plan has one or two dairy a day, and maybe if I really looked and added everything up it would be three a day, but rarely is one of the three yogurt. So, I would either have to take out one of the dairy to replace it with yogurt or else I would have to add a yogurt which would add around a hundred calories a day.

The other problem is the shopping. I'll give you an easy example that is not in the book or in my planned diet or his. Let's say that on day one of the plan you are supposed to eat half a grapefruit and a piece of toast. Breakfast on day two is different, and day three is different again, etc.... By the time you're supposed to eat another half of a grapefruit, the one you had has gone bad and you've tossed it out. And what about that piece of toast? You have to buy a whole loaf of bread to make that one piece of toast, and even if you had a piece of toast everyday for breakfast that would only add up to seven pieces of bread by the end of the week, and then the rest of the loaf is moldy and you have to throw it out. And I have tried freezing bread, and it usually doesn't work very well. So, if I did this, for day one and meal one, I would have bought a grapefruit and a loaf of bread, at least half of which will be thrown away. And then most of the recipes in the book aren't for one serving, but usually more like four to six. So if I followed the plan I'd be throwing away several servings of food with most lunches and dinners, as well as a couple of servings for breakfast.

I feel bad enough about the food I already waste without intentionally buying tons of groceries that I know I won't eat. But I'm probably not the target audience for the book, and probably they weren't thinking of single people either. Probably most people who buy this book have a spouse that will eat the other half of the grapefruit and at least seven slices of bread per week, plus they have children or other family members who will eat the three or more servings of leftover pasta.

But I don't have that, and for the most part all the food cooked will be eaten by me and just me. So for lunch and dinner I'll be making maybe mac and cheese and some other pasta thing and maybe a soup and then maybe a sort of Chinese thing or maybe Mexican, and then I'll rotate leftovers until it's time to cook something else.

Okay, no six week plan for me.

I guess my husband didn't think all of this stuff out the way I did.

So, he has a book (which I didn't really look at after I found out it wasn't what I wanted), and the idea is to get rid of wheat and dairy and a few other things and see if you feel better because maybe you have an undiagnosed allergy. And then you are supposed to add healthy Omega 3s and stuff like that. It isn't much about calorie reduction and it isn't much about weight-loss, other than what would come about just because you've stopped going out for ice cream.

Anyway, in this book, there's another six week plan. And there's a shopping list for the first two weeks. So my husband prints out the shopping list, and we head for several stores and spend lots of money, mostly at Central Market, cause we went there to get a few things that I'm not sure are easily found at the places we would normally shop at. Some of what we purchased were whole grains and other dry goods, and that's fine, but we also bought fruits and vegetables and fresh herbs, etc....

We're not Martha Stewart. We don't usually buy fresh herbs, except for a lot of cilantro, which is cheap at Mexican markets, and the rare bunch of parsley, which tends to cost about twice as much as the cilantro. That day we bought cilantro and two kinds of parsley and basil and bay leaves and watercress and a couple of other things and fennel.

I have never before bought fennel. Fennel seeds, yes, but not fresh fennel. I have no idea what one does with fennel.

After having bought fresh herbs and vegetables and fruits and dry goods and fancy cooking oil and tofu and a number of other things and filled the frig so that I cannot tell that I just cleaned it out, we were about to go shopping again for meat and fish, and it seemed to me that we really had a lot of stuff already, and that it seemed like he was planning to buy a lot of meat and fish for just a week or two.

And it was then that I saw the recipes that he was going to make, which were mostly recipes for four servings, and that we did not need anywhere near that much food.

Lets do the math again.

If you are one person, and you need breakfast and lunch and dinner, that's three meals a day, which would be twenty-one meals per week, or forty-two meals for two weeks. If you make recipes that are four servings, and you make a different one each meal, that's twelve servings a day, and if you make different things everyday, that's eighty-four servings per week.

So he was buying everything on the two week list, which would have made about one hundred and sixty-eight servings.

And he wasn't even going to be home for the second week, so I don't know why he was buying that food at all.

And in addition to the extra servings there's that whole thing about the wasted half grapefruit and most of the loaf of bread. Not that he bought either of those things, but he did buy that fennel, which cost four dollars, and you only use a fifth of it in one recipe.

At least I caught on in time to not have a frig full of rotting meat. But we do have watercress going limp, and pears going mushy, and then he bought sprouts and other things to take with him, which he forgot and left in the frig.

It was a big hassle getting him off to work for the week. It is always a bit of a hassle, but we've gotten used to it. And if you forget anything you can always buy something while you're away. Except, if you're on a diet, you aren't supposed to eat out and on this diet he isn't supposed to eat wheat or dairy, so no stopping at fast food places, not even Subway, and he can't even buy a loaf of bread. So I'm trying to get him to think about what he needs to take with him, to cook things ahead of time and such, and he just drags his feet. This isn't the fun cooking that he likes to do, and he waits til the last minute to do it.

I'm still finding food in the house that I think I should get rid of, but I don't want to until I know if he's only going to do this for six weeks or if this is going to be a long-term thing. I hate to throw out food that we could eat after the six weeks are up, cause we'll just have to go out and buy more stuff anyway. If I stick to my little project, I think it would be a minimum of five months, but probably longer. We'll just have to wait and see if I can handle that.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

No money, no sugar, no fat, etc...

Today Target's (or, the two that I've been to today), have 90% off Christmas clearance. Not that there's anything left really, but that was not so much the reason for giving up on the idea. No, I'm just out of money again, otherwise I would probably go look at one more store. Then I'm thinking that I might find just a bit more money, but that I still should just stay around here, maybe buy a few more things I saw at the grocery store, and then maybe on more grocery type things like a loaf of bread instead of Christmas stuff that I might not even use next year.

And I should have bought a bunch of nuts on the 31st, but again I didn't have that much money left, and mostly ended up buying things for the party. Anyway, both of us have decided to watch what we eat, and the nuts would have been something we would use anyway (him more than me), but I figured that if he really wanted them he could go back and get them himself, which he did not.

Really trying to restrain myself here and not go to that store.

Besides that it would probably be a waste of time, and perhaps wasted money (assuming that I can find some to waste), then there's the waste of gas. Nearly three dollars a gallon for the gas. Not time to drive around and look at stuff I'm probably not going to buy.

Anyway, I really should stay here and clean. The bug guy will be here in two weeks. And I've somehow managed to spill something, and it's gotten to that point where I've put off the cleaning so long I'm almost afraid to get started on it.

Must stop being lazy.

My husband is gone for the week, but it looks like it will just be the one week. The job sucks again. So, one week away, and then we don't know. Maybe nothing.

The club is having dinner, not right here, but close enough that I would normally go, but I don't think that I will go. There's the whole watching what I eat thing, and I can't sit in front of bowls of chips and salsa and not eat them. It will only be six weeks or so before my husband is back to asking me out for ice cream (if he even makes it that long), and I'm really trying to do nothing of that sort until then. So I won't be going out Sunday, and I even have to decide what to do about the next Saturday. Of course, I will go out then, but then I have to wonder if I'll eat anything or get a soda or what. To go out and buy nothing is rude, to go out and buy things I shouldn't eat is bad, and going out and then special ordering something like broccoli seems a waste.

Guess I will figure it out.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

They are right, but they're wrong too

So I was hanging out with my friends at the New Year's Eve party, and one of my friends is sort of asking advice about dating. This person doesn't date much. After having an account with eHarmony, she is switching to, because it is less money, and because in her opinion eHarmony takes too long.

Except for switching to a different dating website, it seems like this person had this same conversion last year and got mostly the same advice from mostly the same people.

This person doesn't date much, but I suppose that she's decided if she's ever going to have someone special in her life that it is time to do something about it. I'm guessing that she decided this a few years ago, but she still hasn't found anyone. And she hasn't dated much in the past, so she's a bit worried about dating now. She's also worried that if she does meet someone that she wants to be with that they will get married and she won't like being married after being single for so long. She has quite a list of things that she is either worried about or just flat out does not want.

I haven't seen her list. I haven't heard much about what is on the list. But I don't see that having a list is a bad thing. You probably go out on fewer dates if you have a list and stick to it. But I don't see that as a bad thing either. How can it be a bad thing if you don't date someone that you already know you wouldn't want to end up in a serious relationship with.

Everyone else seems to be telling her that she's doing this all wrong, and that she should just start dating and enjoy meeting different people, and that she shouldn't be so worried about what might happen. They tell her to stop worrying and just let it happen. She's not going to have a good time dating if she's always thinking about getting married.

I think that is the whole point of dating, so I think that they're wrong. Maybe it isn't as much fun, but if she's really looking for a husband, shouldn't she stop dating someone as soon as she's decided she wouldn't marry him? Wouldn't it be better to not date at all rather than waste time with people she doesn't want. And I'm guessing that dating isn't all that fun for her anyway, or she would have done more of it.

And I do think that she has valid concerns about finding someone nice, getting married, and then not being happy after finding out what actually living with this other person is like.

Maybe she has such a long list of things that she wants and does not want that she will never get a date, and maybe she should shorten the list, but I don't think that she should be talked out of having a list or even told what things she can have on that list. If she's that worried about ending up with someone who snores, why can't she be honest about it?