Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I HATE grocery shopping

Can you tell?

I hate it so much that lately I've waited until there is literally nothing but condiments and maybe, as you see here, some grapes or half of a tomato remaining in my fridge.

I desperately long for a store like Whole Foods to come to Chattanooga - where I think I may even slightly enjoy looking through aisle upon aisle of interesting foods. But here there are no Whole Foods. We do have a Fresh Market, and although I like it, their selection often is quite limited.

My only other options are Wal-Mart (no thanks), Bi-Lo (ick) or Food Lion (slightly better than Bi Lo). What ever happened to Kroger, Publix and Harris Teeter?!?

Am I the only one who thinks about these things?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Exercising my curiosity

Exercise balls make me laugh at how silly they look. But at the same time, I must have one.

All the cool (and fit) kids seem to be working out with them these days. And several new magazines I've fallen in love with illustrate a zillion different workouts you can do with one of these simple, plastic balls. It's truly amazing.

So, I need help. A simple search for one of these balls on Amazon.com turned up 680 results. Who new there could be so many sizes, colors, strengths and brands of these things?

Have any of you workout out with one? Is there anything I should know about all the different sizes (55, 65, 75 cm, etc.)?

I realize I'm a little late on the whole exercise ball revolution, but I guess it's better late than never, eh?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Joan Cusack, Mariah Carey, Jeb Bush?!?

What celebrity do you most resemble? I'd never really thought of it until I stumbled upon this nifty site via Kate (aka "Jennifer Garner", and I swear, I've been scanning just about everyone's faces I know to see which celebrities they resemble most.

OK, so I can see the Joan Cusack thing (pictured) a little bit ... and surprisingly when you put one particular photo of me next to one of Mariah Carey, there is a slight resemblance (it's all in the chin), but please - for the love of God tell me I really don't look like Jeb Bush! Please?!?

Yep ... some how, some way, this Web site thinks that 56 percent of my face resembles good ol' Jeb. I think they're wrong.

Try it, and let me know who you look like!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A gym rat, I am not

With much anticipation (and dread), I swung by Chattanooga's newest fitness center on Tuesday to have a look. One killer offer from work made it hard to resist joining, but I wanted to see for myself before I signed on the dotted line that stuck me in a 36-month contract. ... And thank God I did.

After filling out a 1-page questionnaire about my fitness level, weight-loss goals, how serious I really am about shedding my extra pounds and other fun inquiries, I was told by a nice girl with waaaay too much makeup on her face that a representative would be by shortly to give me the grand tour.

Several minutes later, a college-age hottie escorted me to his desk, and after looking over my answers on the form I'd filled out, he informed me that, with a personal trainer working with me about three times a week, I would be at my ideal weight and fitness level in 8-12 weeks. Sounded great to me, so I listened intently as he rattled off how a personal trainer would work different parts of my body each time I came in, making it easier to lose the weight and tone my muscles at the same time. There would be no questions as to whether I was using the equipment right, because my trainer would be guiding me throughout each workout. That was music to my ears, considering it's been since college that I'd stepped foot inside a fitness center, and the equipment has changed a lot in six years.

I was beginning to get a bit excited about the prospect of my very own personal trainer ... Visions of working out like Jennifer Anniston or Jessica Simpson ran through my mind. I fantasized about wearing a size 4 and fitting into my bikini again. Things were coming together quite nicely.

Next it was time to tour the gym. He escorted me into the main fitness area, which was surprisingly very dimly lit. Machines crowded the space occupied by sweaty, beefed-up men and a couple of teenage boys flirting with a cute high school girl. It wasn't at all what I'd expected, but if I was going to lose weight and look good, I told myself to just look past the clientele.

Because it was new, the gym was still undergoing its transformation from a furniture store into the 40,000-square-foot facility. The temporary 20,000-square-foot space was only the beginning, according to the hottie representative. A pool would be put in, the miniature rock-climbing wall would be much larger and classes including yoga, belly dancing and spinning would be offered in August. Hmmm ... that could make up for the muscle men who were kind of creeping me out as they grunted and groaned while lifting gigantic weights in the corner.

After showing me around a bit, I had my doubts but I was willing to listen to more information. The hottie escorted me back to his desk, and that's when it began. It was time to talk numbers ... BIG numbers.

Those 3-time a week personal trainers come at a hefty price (read: $60 per hour, 3 times a week at $180 or simply $720 per month). Ummm ... I'm not made of money, mister. So eventually, after going to talk to a manager, he brought the figure down to $40 per hour, or $480 per month. Still no sale, but I did get the odd sensation of buying a car. I seriously felt like I was at a car dealership attempting to get a good deal.

Looking rather disappointed in me, the hottie explained that deals like this don't happen every day ... in fact, they wouldn't happen again. This was a one-time-only offer, and it would be best that I took him up on it.

I suddenly felt incredibly fat and pathetic - miserable, to be exact. I could not spend $480 a month, plus the cost of the gym membership, to get back in shape. It was just not feasible. So, I thanked him for his time, picked myself up off the floor I had tried to sink into and left.

A few hours later, I had a good conversation with myself that resulted in the realization that I can do this on my own. I don't need no stinkin' high-dollar trainer standing over me telling me what to do. I did it last year on my own with my exercise bike and counting calories.

I can do it again. And I will.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Oh, the suspense!

Tonight, apparently, the country will have a new American Idol.

I'm wondering if I should be more keyed up over the prospect of a prematurely gray, spastic dude holding such a coveted title, or if I should try not to roll my eyes if another America's sweetheart takes the crown.

Maybe I would be able to look past the cheap tears Paula Abdul sheds over performances, Simon Cowell's snide remarks and that other dude (I'm sure he does something annoying), if I watched the show on a regular basis. But I don't ... and for good reason - I work nights and I'd like to think there has got to be more interesting programming than American Idol. ... Right?!?

I guess it's an American Idol thing, and I just don't understand.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

To do list:

1. Laundry ... lots and lots of laundry
2. Check out a new gym in town ... Great membership offer from work makes it silly not to at least have a look. God, I'm overweight. I don't know if I've got the confidence to join a gym.
3. Go to work ... It's been 7 days since I've worked. I hate the first day back from vacation - It just seems wrong to be there when there's so many other wonderful things to be doing.
4. Get going ... It's 11:40 a.m., and I must get started!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Cheap sneaks alert

I must share the bargain of all bargains I fell into this past week!

After somehow managing to get white primer all over my favorite pair of tennis shoes while painting, I knew it was time for a new pair of sneakers. Little did I know I would find the Mecca of shoe shopping at Discover Mills in Atlanta.

I stumbled upon the Adidas outlet, and, thinking it would be like every other so-called "outlet" that boasts low prices that I could probably find at any department store, I had little hope of getting a deal on my new sneakers.

But I am able to admit when I'm wrong, and boy was I ever w-r-o-n-g.

$21.99 later, I walked out of the store a very happy girl with my new Adidas tennis shoes. Did you hear me? $21.99!!!

Who knew there were still true outlets left in the world? And who knew you could find sneakers for less than $60?!?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I'm heading to Atlanta for several days for some much-needed time off with friends. Plans include shopping, "The Da Vinci Code," shopping, good food, shopping, shopping and shopping.

Have a happy rest of the week!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Reason No. 634 why I wish I were a natural beauty

Eye brow waxing ... In a nutshell, I hate it.

After the night I had, I have NO idea why I subjected myself to such torture, but I did - and I've decided that from here on out, I'm paying someone to do it for me.

I understand that for most of us it's a necessary evil, but I sincerey wish they'd think of a way to make it hurt less. Not that ripping your hair out from it's very root will ever be a pleasant experience, but I think it could be less brutal.

Every month or so we put ourselves through this, and each time I wish bushy brows were in style, because Lord knows I'd be IT!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Because I was curious

Jen over at For the Birds posted this on her blog, and it made me wonder about all the world's events that coincided with March 10 - my birthdate. Some were very cool, others weren't so hot. Here's what I did:

Go to Wikipedia and put in your birthdate (not the year) and then list 3 events, 2 birthdays and 1 death.

OK ... I'm listing more than that, but it was interesting!


1876 - Alexander Graham Bell makes the first successful telephone call by saying "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you."

1964 - The Ford Mustang is first produced by the Ford Motor Company. ... Now I know why you love Mustangs, Kelley!

1977 - Rings of Uranus: Astronomers discover rings around Uranus. ... Har, har. I get the joke, but this happened on the actual day I was born. Cool, eh?

1997 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer premieres on the WB network. ... Another tidbit for Kelley


1928 - James Earl Ray, American assassin (d. 1998) ... Not so cool

1940 - Chuck Norris, American actor and martial artist ... Think about it, where would we be without "Walker Texas Ranger"??

1957 - Osama bin Laden, Saudi-born Islamic extremist ... NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS ONE

1958 - Sharon Stone, American actress

1966 - Edie Brickell, American singer


1913 - Harriet Tubman, American abolitionist (b. 1820)

1988 - Andy Gibb, English-born singer (b. 1958)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

All new adventures for my stomach

Note to self:
Salsa, sour cream and tortilla chips no longer can be chased with chocolate milk less than 15 HOURS before bedtime. Otherwise, you won't be able to sleep for fear of drowning in your own bulch.
If you'll excuse me now, I think I may need some Pepto. And, yes, I realize my choice of food and drink didn't necessarily jive.

It. will. never. happen. again.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Oh yeah, I'm the Painting Queen

2 coats primer
2 coats yellow paint
1 finished guest room
There you have my afternoon.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Breathing deeply

You know it as well as I do - Life can be distracting. Even more than distracting, it can be a real kill-joy sometimes.

Yesterday I had one of those days. You know the kind - where you feel like throwing your hands in the air and proclaiming how finished you are with life.

I won't go into the details of how I made a complete ass of myself, but after work I crawled into bed and told myself that tomorrow would be a new day - secretly not believing it, but trying hard to nonetheless.

Lucky me. Today was a whole new day. A wonderful day, at that.

And it's been one of those perfect days for no particular reason. But taking care of several errands I've been neglecting, discovering that one of my favorite musicians has free downloads online and making myself a healthy - yet yummy - dinner might have something to do with my joy.

Here is a (somewhat bright) snapshot of my evening. Yummy black bean quesadillas with no-fat sour cream, a glass of pinot grigio and free Joshua Kadison mp3's online.

Life is good again. And I hear it's supposed to rain tonight. There's not much better than a good nighttime rain.

Sometimes you just have to breath. Allow yourself to and soak up all the goodness in your world that most of the time you let sneak by with little more than a thought. Simple things can be the best, and I'm realizing that more and more lately.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Mad props to my homeboy, yo.

This man has just completed 100 miles of cycling in one day - ONE DAY!

Add to that three states and three mountains, and what you get is a grueling ride that would, quite literally, kill this chica.

On Saturday, Jim and a couple of his friends rode in the 3-State 3-Mountain Challenge. I tip my hat to all of these crazy folks who decided a 100-mile trek through the Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama back country would be a good experience. They're much better than me.

Congratulations on your accomplishment, Jim!

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Although I didn't think the pain would ever go away, the pinched nerve issue is nearly a thing of the past! I wouldn't wish such a pain on my worst enemy. Thanks for everyone's suggestions and sympathy ... it just took time to get better - no amount of medicine or repositioning did much good.

Now, on to fun things ... I am so excited. I think I'm going to plan a cruise vacation for my mother's 60th birthday this year. It's amazing how inexpensive cruises are during December! Thank goodness she wasn't born in July or August when rates are at their highest. I could hardly pass up a 4-night cruise listed at $299 per person + port taxes. It's crazy, I tell ya!

Mom has never been on a cruise - or to the Caribbean, for that matter. She's always talked about wanting to go, but isn't one to drop money on a vacation for herself (which I keep telling her is practically a crime against humanity). I wish I could surprise her, but getting her down here would be next to impossible. So I'm guessing I'll have to give her fair warning, but that's OK.

At any rate, I think a 60th birthday calls for one heck of a party, and I think this could be a perfect way to celebrate!

I love planning vacations, as most of my friends know. I swear, I should have been in the travel industry (other than my fear of flying, I think I would be great at it!). Planning this vacation in particular is going to be one fun time. I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

3 words:

1. Pinched
2. nerves
3. suck

I can't turn my head to the right. I can only raise my right arm so far before the searing pain shoots through my shoulder/neck. And I'm going stir crazy after "resting" for an entire day at my house.

I need a cure. Quick.