Friday, June 27, 2008

Encouraging for week 5

I was nervous getting on the scale this morning because I went over my allowed extra 35 points by at least 10 points this week. I don't know what I was thinking getting these cans of Pringles chips (I know, they're not even real potato chips) this week. But I finished off 3 cans (I didn't necessarily start them or eat them alone) this week. Dumb, blind, bored eating late at night. And when I finally climbed into bed with my salty, bloated belly, I was totally mad at myself for it. I finally was able to stop when I declared to my daughter that if I ate another chip last night I was going to give her a dollar. Amazingly, I was able to put the lid back on.

Fortunately, I got a little mercy from the WW gods and managed to still lose 2.5 pounds and weigh in at 156.5. 9 down, 16 to go. It was good fortune because I was starting to feel I couldn't keep this up and if I gained weight this week, I might have easily said, screw this, it's too much. So this was very encouraging and I'm feeling a little fortified to stick with it a bit longer.

At least another week...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

sometimes the unexpected happens

The 3rd ranked female (Sharapova) has been defeated by the 154th ranked female (Kudryatvseva) at Wimbledon today.

Every once in a while I'm reminded that the odds-on thing NOT to happen, happens.

Just a note to some folks out there: keep trying.

The road to hell is paved

by me, apparently. After surviving some personal turmoil, I really got to thinking about the saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

I used to think the word intention in the saying was defined as "purpose". For example, I told Mrs. Doe that I saw Mr. Doe and his buxom secretary, Judy McBooty, entering a motel room laughing and clutching a bottle of Cold Duck and a Whitman's Sampler. My intention or purpose was to advise Mrs. Doe that Mr. Doe has not been honest with her about their married life. Instead, however, Mrs. Doe comes up to me and screams, how dare I stick my nose where it doesn't belong, that Ms. McBooty was a one-time fling that apparently didn't mean anything and now their marriage and home is broken, with everyone thoroughly unhappy, including their innocent children. That's where a keen observer would chide me, muttering under his breath, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. That is, though my intention was good, I've done more destruction than enlightenment.

But now I've heard that the word intention in that prolific saying is supposed to be defined as "a course of action one expects oneself to follow". So following the same example, I intended to tell Mrs. Doe about Mr. Doe and his secretary, Ms. McBooty, but I didn't get around to it, I didn't have the stones to do it when I had the time, I wasn't up for it, etc. Eventually, Mrs. Doe comes up to me and says that Mr. Doe has absconded with their life savings and run off with some Ms. McBooty and Mrs. Doe found out she caught Herpes Simplex 10 from her philandering husband. And when I sheepishly confess, yeah, I meant to tell you about that...she will proceed to curse me to blazes. Again, a keen observer character would come out of the woodwork to chide me, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. That is, I did no good merely intending to do something and my inaction led to something worse.

So which is it? Frankly between the two, I think it simply comes down to: damned if you do, damned if you don't. There's hell to pay either way.

Or perhaps I'm missing another interpretation?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Open to suggestions

I used to upload to the photo center because their prints are cheap and I could pick them up the same or next day. It also has the "share" option as well, which is ideal because I want to share Velina's class party pictures with the other parents. Currently, however, they're transitioning into a new system where I cannot share any albums and worse, their new uploader requires some java update which the hamster who runs the wheel in my old PC refuses to accept.

Anybody recommend an online photo center? Here's my wish list:

- the ability to share pictures
- the ability to pick up pictures locally, inexpensively

So far based on my need to pick up pictures the same or next day, Shutterfly is the leading prospect.

I'd love any other recommendations!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Broke 160

It's been 4 weeks of diligent Poing counting (well, I goofed a couple of days) and meeting my 120 minutes of cardio a week goal (which I copied from Paul) and I weighed in at 159 this morning. That's 6.5 pounds and it's already felt significant.

But there are days where I just get so tired of recording everything I eat. They say it's a lifestyle change but right now I get exhausted thinking of doing this forever. I know this Point counting and cardio isn't a prison sentence which I get to leave and ignore once I reach my goal weight. But I hope I get to relax a little. Or it just gets ingrained in my body memory and I don't think of watching what I eat as such an onerous task.

Oh well, I guess I'll see when I get there. Which will be a while. Still 19 pounds to go...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Daddy's Day

With a homemade card, pizza, and an Indiana Jones matinee with his lady, his girl, and his own mom, what more could a dad want?

None more. But this sweet loot sure was icing on the cake--

Hope everyone had a good Father's Day.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hitting the road

Driving 4-5 hours up near Fresno for memorial services for Kyle today. An executive decision was made to close the office for the day in honor of Kyle's memory. More than half the office is going up and the company is kindly reimbursing us rental cars to carpool the 500 mile round trip.


So glad (is that the right word?) I went. Sure, I cried. A lot. But it was so moving to hear the words and memories of the family, fiancee, and friends, to see the hundreds of people moved to be there, and to see the slideshow of pictures of him throughout his life. Some pictures and stories made me smile and laugh--like the one where he wanted to surprise his fiancee and hid in another room for 45 minutes and her sister had to finally prompt his fiancee to go in the other room to be surprised. But the mother in me nearly blubbered like a baby when I saw the family portraits. And the pictures of him as a child sleeping.

At the end of the slideshow, everyone was invited to go up for a final viewing and to give our respects to his family. Some folks were reluctant to see the body but in some ways, I really needed to. I'd been plagued by a weird delusion that Kyle would lope back into the office one of these days. I guess that's part of the denial stage I hear about. For better or worse, my brain needed some proof that this was for real.

I went up and saw him. I didn't have the stamina that I thought I'd have to really look at him, not more than to recognize Kyle in what looked like a reluctant nap. I turned and realized I was facing his mother. Her expression revealed she had no idea who I was and that I really should have flat-ironed my hair or done something with it when I got up at 4am. I could only manage to stammer that I was a co-worker and how sorry I was for her loss...she nodded and said thank you. His father's face also searched for explanation who I was and I hoarsely repeated what I said to Kyle's mother. He took my hand and said thank you for taking the time to come up. I immediately lost any iota of composure and blubbered, thanking him for the opportunity to be there and he started to tear up and I moved on to the grandparents who so kindly thanked me for coming. At this point, as I saw the fiancee and his brothers, I was weepy, barely coherent, trying to express the kind words Kyle had spoken of them. Unfortunately, I'm sure I came across as this sobbing fool who really should have done something with her hair.

We all left shortly after because a lot of folks in the carpools had commitments back home. In my car, while talking about the memorial, relating what moved us and what made us smile, there it was--a bit of comfort.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Better today

Yesterday's post was pretty cathartic for me. Thanks to everyone who commented and e-mailed me. I really appreciated the words of sympathy and comfort. I was able to reflect a bit more positively today. Though to be frank, I steered clear of his empty cubicle. I didn't cry today and I didn't stare down at my work and think, did I just print this?

To be honest, until a work trip to Sacramento, I really didn't know Kyle that well. We're in different departments but for this trip they were pulling folks from all different departments to interact with participants. He, I, and four others traveled up to the capital for two days, and since we had a bit of down time we got to know each other a lot better. He was the only male in the group but he fit in easily because he's laid back and didn't have a need for macho pretense. You know those movies where you're rooting for the funny, nice guy? Think John Cusack in Say Anything, Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer, Ben Stiller in There's Something About Mary, Steve Carell in The 40 Year Old Virgin and even Michael Cera from SuperBad. Kyle was a curly-headed half-brother of these guys.

Nice guy exhibit A: the book he was reading for the plane ride: "The Front Nine: Nine Fundamentals of Golf That Will Improve Your Marriage". His fiancee had given him this book that translated golf concepts into marriage fundamentals, like, "Loosen Your Grip" and "What feels natural isn't always right". As anyone can imagine, it was vaguely corny and silly, but he was reading it. He didn't leave it in a bag in his closet like Seth Rogen's character in Knocked Up. He was reading it with a bookmark and everything. Kind of refreshing.

In comparison, what was I doing on the plane? Working on my "Not List" of things that drive me crazy:

And, doodling robots:

Yes, I know, not so refreshing.

Anyhoo, we had a couple of funny incidents that happened on this trip and when he heard that I had a blog, he was like, you've got to post about this! As you can imagine, I'm kicking myself that I didn't post about it.

I'm trying to collect my memories about this trip a bit more clearly because I'd like to post them still. What I do remember was that we were up there on my birthday. I've said before, I'm not lucky when it comes to the lottery, but I'm lucky when it comes to people.


I've spent the day and well into the evening in a weird state of shock. A sweet, funny, and kind guy who had just confirmed a location for his November wedding to a woman he was utterly in love with, who visited his family regularly up near Fresno, who was taking business classes at night, who loved golf, who was 26 and embarking on an exciting phase of his adult life, died in a horrible car crash Sunday night.

I can't believe Kyle is gone.

I remember being told that Kyle had passed away and it felt like I was being told that they outlawed bananas because they point too much or that one of The Golden Girls was going to be replacing Robert Downey, Jr. in the Iron Man sequel. I just couldn't comprehend the words. I was being told something unbelievable, unfathomable, unreal. And then when I understood the words, the cruel truth arrived like a hard slap in the face with the tears that involuntarily come with the impact.

I cannot believe I won't be hearing his voice again. Or seeing his curly hair bounce through the break room on his way to his desk with that easy going smile. I won't be hearing him talk about seeing his mom on Mother's Day, how he enjoys golfing with his dad, or trying to find salsa dancing shoes for his fiancee because he knows how much she loves salsa dancing. I won't be mocking his taste for mellow music when he'd swing by my office before the weekend and I'd tell him, have a great night--go blast that new Maroon 5 CD! Or got exciting plans, right? Go crank that Savage Garden!

All day I was in this weird zone where I kept flip-flopping between belief and disbelief. When I passed his empty cubicle, the truth landed and tears would just start. On the flip side, I'm half expecting to see him walk in to work tomorrow. I can see him saying, what? oh wow, that's so crazy, you guys thought I was dead? I can't believe the doctors actually said that! Sorry about the confusion...boy, that's embarrassing. And we'd all laugh, relieved that it was just this horrible misunderstanding.

And I merely worked in the same office with him. I can barely imagine what his friends are going through. What his fiancee who was getting ready for this wonderful wedding to spend the rest of their lives together is going through. What his parents are going through. I've been thinking of them a lot today and it pains me to tears to think what they're going through.

One of the founders stopped by my office and he said that it's so tough knowing mortality at such a young age. He had served in the navy quite a few decades ago and a spent a couple of years in the South Pacific and he remembers thinking, I'll be alright, but what about these poor guys around me? Funny, and so true. Death is sort of this surreal concept--we know it happens all the time and that we're all eventually going to succumb to it but we still have a hard time accepting it when it lands so close to us.

Tomorrow will be better, right?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Welcome to the Hotel Simutown

And I was thinking to myself,
'this could be heaven or this could be hell'

Is anyone else's kid doing "Simutown"? It's where the kids learn the bureaucracies of running a city or town and they elect a mayor, city council, etc. and make laws, etc. On top of that, each kid also owns a store. The kicker is that the kids are going to be selling from their store so they need to make 80 products.

Velina initially wanted to sell kolaches (Czech pastries--kind of like danishes), but she didn't submit her business proposal in before the teacher decided to limit food items. She eventually settled on the idea of making charm necklaces and bracelets. Good girl, I thought, that's simple enough.

Holy cow. This was neverending. Don Henley smugly continued in my head. You can checkout any time you like, But you can never leave.

Velina was assembling these things for, like, ever. I felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day in the first half of the movie. I'd nag her every night, how many do you have now? And the numbers were slowly, slowly crawly up, 28, 34, 38, 42...

I don't think either of us grasped how long it would take an 8-year-old girl to make 80 of anything. Or how exhausting it was for me to keep cracking the whip on aforementioned 8-year-old. Even though the bracelets and necklaces were pretty simple and straightforward, you would have thought that she was crafting the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings for all the time it took. She finished everything down to the wire, including her "storefront":

her pricelist:

The best part was when she finished about 50 necklaces and they all got tangled. I'll confess that Paul and I pitched in to help untangle them well into the night. We figured out a display option to keep them separated--folding cardstock-covered cardboard (she chose the paper) with slits cut in them. The bracelets she hung on pushpins in the cardboard:

Here's a close up of the bracelets:

and the necklaces (arrgh, blurry--darn point&shoot!)

So glad these are done...we are so ready to sleep now...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I made more totes!

Ta da!

With personalized tags--

And check out the lining fabric--I was very pleasantly surprised to find Alexander Henry fabric at JoAnn's!

I think I need to start adding more to these totes--like interior pockets for a cellphone and wallet or outside pockets. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cheat day

I decided to stick with the FlexPoints plan this week again, because the Core plan expects me to trust myself to stop eating when I'm "satisfied". Snort. What is that? I only recognize when I'm grossly stuffed, because I suddenly hear my own voice out loud--did I just finish this entire thing? Gawd, I feel Gah! This says it has 4 servings! 4 servings my a$$. Aiigghh!

This behavior would probably not result in weight loss as expected in the Core program.

Anyhoo, every week in either the Points or Core program, you get 35 extra points to use whenever. So I decided to save them up and use them all in one day, which I refer to as my Cheat Day, aka, BEST DAY EVER.

Yesterday was my Cheat Day and I used those points to eat chips, froyo from Yogurtland, guacamole, and cheese, among healthier things like salmon, cous cous, and broccoli. I still ingested my veggie, dairy, and water servings, so to be honest, those points add up fast. But it definitely was nice to (briefly) have that sense of having whatever I wanted.

In WW theory, I should still lose weight even eating these 35 extra points, but the proof will be when I weigh myself Friday morning. Keeping my fingers crossed...

Monday, June 2, 2008

by invitation

Paul's dad is hosting a big family reunion in Nebraska in July and asked me to make the invites. Loved the excuse to shop at Paper Source and make these:

I didn't have a lot of time to get these made and sent out so these are pretty simple, with the first page printed up in Word Art topped with some flower stamps.

The second page was a huge group family photo from the last reunion, five years ago. And the last page was all the invite info regarding time and date. And in lieu of ribbon, it's held together with eyelets. Sweet and easy...

It was a variation of the wedding invites I made for Paul's sister last year. She wanted jewel and harvest tones, which I totally loved working with:

It's all from Paper Source, including the gold vellum on top (I hand stamped their initials with StazOn ink). The 2nd page had all the invite info and then the last page I made into the RSVP postcard. Since a lot of people wouldn't be able to travel for the wedding, we gave them an opportunity to give their advice and wishes on the back of the postcard itself:

I collected the postcards and put them in a scrapbook with pictures from their wedding.

Pretty sweet and simple!