Sunday, April 30, 2006

You know the feeling ...

... when you've lost enough weight to warrant a shopping trip to buy new blue jeans?

Wonderful, isn't it? And to me, there's really not much better in the world than buying something several sizes smaller than you did the last time you went shopping.

By comparison, there's also not much worse than sliding on what you once affectionately called your "skinny jeans" after several months of no wear only to find that they no longer fit because you've eaten your way to a Fatsville.

Yes, that's what happened to me this afternoon. And yes, something must be done.

I hate exercising - hate it with a passion. However, I love the feeling I get after a good workout. It makes little sense, I know, but regardless, it must begin again.

My shiny new exercise bike stands in my living room corner as if to mock my very existence. I have to prove that I have the willpower to hop on every day and at least do 30 minutes. There are no excuses. Things have gotten outta hand, and I have got to take back control.

My goal? 20 lbs. by August.

Wish me luck. God knows I need it.

* Any good recipes, advice, tips, etc., are welcome!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Saving money never tasted so good

Every so often CNN has a slow news day, or maybe they just get tired of letting us know just how screwed up our world is. When this happens, you never know what kind of offbeat story they'll be covering, but you can bet it's going to be something lighter than nukes, Bush, war, budgets, murder, gas prices, and the general go-lock-yourself-in-a-closet-and-hide news we watch on a daily basis.

When offbeat rules the newscast, you get something like The Beerbelly ... the mother of resourcefulness, no doubt. (And a clear indicator of just how sneaky, lazy and shameless we Americans can truly be.)

The Beerbelly, featured on CNN yesterday, is basically a Camelbak for your belly that allows you to sneak beer, sodas or your beverage of choice into ballgames, movie theaters, concerts, etc.

The catch? People think you've got a fat, fat belly (depending, of course, on how much liquid you're storing in the bag harnessed around your waist.)

The hose attached to the container of beer can either be used as a straw or a spout to pour the beverage into a cup. The point being that you won't have to pay $7 a can for beer at the ballpark or $4 for a soda at the movie theater.

And the price for the glory of a Beerbelly? You could go cheap and pay $34.95 for your basic setup. But why would you do that? Think of all the money you'll be saving at baseball games this summer ... $49.95 gets you the Beerbelly Deluxe, which includes cleaning brushes and the Pleasure Extender (go to the Web site and figure that one out yourself).

I hear they're going fast. But my question is what does a person do if he (or she) already has a good old-fashioned beer belly earned after countless years of slamming back beer and nachos? ... food for thought on a slow news day.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tagged x2

It's been ages and ages since I've been tagged to do a meme, so you can imagine my surprise when two people on one day decided I would actually finish one of these things. Imagine their surprise when they see I that I finished TWO of these things. I am such a trooper, no?

First, from Barry:

I AM: an optimistic pessimist.
I WANT: my own home, a family and a garden.
I WISH: I had it in me to live a more spontaneous life.
I HATE: the state of our world on so many levels that I will never discuss in my blog.
I MISS: playing carefree on playgrounds, my friends I've lost touch with over the years and my grandfather's wit.
I FEAR: helplessness.
I HEAR: there's more to life than work and paying bills. I hope one day to discover that for myself.
I WONDER: why I always seem to have dark circles around my eyes - no matter how long I sleep.
I REGRET: holding back from so many people.
I AM NOT: Japanese, Chinese or Korean ... though some people would like to believe that based on my last name (which happens to be German).
I DANCE: like I'm J Lo when I'm a bit tipsy.
I SING: loudly in the car when no one else is around.
I CRY: once a month - typically sitting in my closet because I don't have anything to wear. (Silly, I know)
I AM NOT ALWAYS: So depressing sounding. God, this thing makes me sound like I should be medicated.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: loud popping noises with my fingers. Gets on people's nerves, but I don't realize I'm doing it.
I WRITE: much less than I should.
I CONFUSE: boys and myself and my poor parents and my friends ... honestly, I think I confuse most people who know me.
I NEED: a vacation (shocking, I know)
I SHOULD: focus more on now, enjoy single days. (ripped off Barry, who ripped it off Meegs)
I START: planning way before anything happens.
I FINISH: books very slowly.

And the next one is from Laura:

Five Movies You Can Watch Over and Over Again:
1. Almost Famous
2. High Fidelity
3. Moulin Rouge
4. Bridget Jones' Diary
5. V for Vendetta

Five Embarrassing Songs You Know All the Words To:
1. Kokomo - Beach Boys (I love to torment Jim with this song)
2. All Out of Love - Air Supply
3. Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison
4. Rodeo - Garth Brooks
5. Heaven - Warrant
(This is too revealing ... my cover of coolness is completely blown now ... Ha! )

Five Memorable Halloween Costumes:
1. Cyndi Lauper - I think I dressed up as my childhood idol more times than I can count on one hand.
2. A witch (not too exciting, I know).
3. Cinderella
4. Clown
5. I can't think of any more!

Five Celebrities You Believe May Secretly be Aliens:
1. Tom Cruise
2. Katie Holmes, thanks to Mr. Cruise
3. Michael Jackson
4. Courtney Love
5. Elizabeth Taylor

Five Occupations You Could Never Hold:
1. Pilot - I'm deathly afraid of flying/heights/crashing
2. Mortician - I agree with Laura - no can do!
3. Soldier - No thanks, I'd rather not get shot at
4. Accountant - Numbers and I don't mix
5. Waiter - People make me mad when I'm not having to wait on them hand and foot ... You have to give waiters some serious credit for dealing with jerks every day.

Five Books You’ve Recently Read Outside of School:
OK - I admit it ... it's been a long while since I've actually completed a book. I won't lie. I can't remember the last book I read besides my Photoshop for Dummies book that I seem to be referencing a lot lately.

Five Ways to Perfectly Spend an Afternoon:
1. Having a drink with friends at an outside restaurant in the springtime
2. Shopping (when I have money, of course!)
3. Walking in a park
4. Driving around town and finding new places
5. Riding a bike

Not Your 5 Favorite Foods, But the 5 You’re Most Likely Eating:
1. Granola bars
2. Lean Cuisines
3. Life cereal
4. salad
5. pizza

Five Lines You Blatantly Stole From a Movie, TV, a Commercial, or Song:
"Not that there's anything wrong with that." - Seinfeld
"Abso-f**kinglutely!" - Sex and the City
Oh no, my mind is a blank . . sorry . . I know there's more.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Instant fatification

Question: What does it take to make a person who may be just a little pudgy feel like a whale?

Answer: Take them to a professional bike race where everyone is not only in shape - they're s-k-i-n-n-y with muscles!

Despite feeling rather frumpy among all the fantastically fit cyclists, I had a great time yesterday at my third Tour de Georgia. It never fails to amaze me how fast and agile these cyclists are. They are simply incredible athletes.

And their bikes are also something to stand in awe of. Jim and I were walking around through the vender area during the race, and we happened upon a bicycle company that was displaying its products. One bicycle that I picked up weighed a mere 13 lbs. It was made completely of carbon fiber and cost $8,500 - which was less than I thought, but more than I could afford. Can you imagine a 13 lb. bike? It was very cool.

The weather held out, thank goodness - but it looked as though the sky could open up and unleash some serious storms the entire day. And that's exactly what happened as I was walking back to my car, but all was well!

This weekend I'm heading down to Atlanta to hit up IKEA with Allison. Then it's off to Snellville to hang out with Jon. I'll be back Monday or Tuesday, and I'll be sure to post something then!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

20,000 cycling fans

That's how many people are expected to be in downtown Chattanooga this afternoon - all packing in to catch the end of Stage 3 of the Tour de Georgia. And you can bet I'll be one of the 20,000 lining the street watching the cyclists make their final sprints to the finish.

People from all over the world make the trip to Georgia every spring to watch the race, and this year for the first time it's crossed over the Tennessee state line. Although Chattanooga is barely in Tennessee (I literally live less than a quarter mile from the Georgia state line), we're all excited to have the Tour come to our town.

Hopefully I'll get some good pictures to post for you guys. And cross your fingers that it doesn't pour buckets, as the forecast is calling for!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Oh, the shame!

Yes, this is what I'd let my patio area become. Shameful, I know.

So, this afternoon I headed to the nursery and bought a flat of flowers to perk up the place a bit. After more than an hour of mess-making, I think I did pretty good.

Scroll down for my planting progress. :)

Cat vs. Flowers

Anna (with the glowing eyes on the right) had issues with the flowers from the start. She hissed as they were carried in, and made her disdain known by staring intently at them from the floor. She thinks she's so tough.

Getting there

The process of planting wasn't at all glorious. I somehow managed to fling dirt into every corner of my kitchen. I love plants and flowers, but I'm not too good with dirt (as you can see by the lovely mess I managed to make.

And finally:

And finally ... the end to all my potting work! I truly wish I had a larger patio area, or better yet ... a place to do actual landscaping! But alas, this is what I have to work with, and I think it looks pretty good, considering.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Flowers, flowers everywhere

It seems that everywhere I go lately, I pass nurseries filled to the brim with brightly colored flowers ready to be planted in someone's flower bed. It's spring, and there's no denying it with all the gorgeous plants and their accompanying sneeze-inducing pollen.

And I love it! (my nose doesn't ... but I do)

Monday holds a much-needed day off and a trip to a nursery for some flowering plants to spruce up my tiny deck. The winter has killed off any hope of re-emerging color from last season, and I've been dying to play in the dirt.

Now that I've got my Internet up and running again, watch for some pictures from my shopping and planting extravaganza!

I hope you all had a happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I'm in love

How did I live without my Comcast high-speed Internet? No more dial-up problems, no more modem issues and no more sloooooooow connections.

Yes, this is true love.

More later (and super fast), I swear.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

You have got to be kidding me

Six brutal words:
"DSL isn't available in your area." — BellSouth representative
(Apparently I live in the sticks.)

So now it's back to square one. Still no modem, still no Internet ... still losing my mind.

Oh joy.

Time flies

It's hard to believe it's been an entire week since I last posted. I'm still alive, and although I still don't have Internet access at my house, that will change very soon I hope.

After searching high and low for a Mac-compatible external dial-up modem and not finding a thing, I've decided to join the 21st century. Spending the extra money on DSL will be well worth my while - even though my budget is somewhat tight these days. At any rate, I'm calling several companies in the morning, and hopefully I'll be online by early next week - if not sooner.

Thank God. Once again I'm keenly aware of how dependent upon the Internet I've become. What did we do without it?!?

In the absence of my beloved daily blog readings, travel searches, news updates, etc., my time has been spent reading a lot of magazines and newspapers. I haven't picked up a book in several months, which is shameful - but I'm just not able to commit to a novel at the moment. It's surely a phase ... I hope.

Monday was spent in Atlanta with Allison - a much-needed girls day/night out that included a nearly 2-hour stop at a gigantic Crate & Barrel, Starbucks, shopping in Alpharetta and a de-lish dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (Mmmm ...).

Other than that, not much is new. Spring is in the air, and pollen is turning everything green - but I'm so thrilled that I can finally shelve my winter sweaters and pants. I'm just not sure my body is ready for shorts and a swimsuit ... I must get back on my exercise bike. It's mandatory. I think that's what I'll do next.

Happy Thursday!