Does anybody read these?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Do these pants...

We all know there's no good way to answer the age-old question: "Do these pants make my ass look big?"

But sometimes the pants answer the question for you.

Recently I noticed that my black dress pants were a little snug. They still zipped up and didn't look horrible, but I wouldn't have made any sudden movements in them.

So, when I saw that Lane Bryant (where big girls shop!) had pants on sale, I picked up a new pair of black pants just one size higher.

Because surely if my pants were a little snug one size higher would fit.

Except they didn't. They wouldn't zip up. They wouldn't even lay-on-the-bed-with-a-clothes-hanger-in-the-zipper-to-pull-it-up zip. It was not happening.

At this point I have two options. I can go to Lane Bryant and trade them for the next size up (you know, two sizes bigger than what I normally wear). After all, they were a new style (read: I have no underwear that you will not see when I wear these pants). Or I could lose weight and wear my damn pants.

I chose the latter.

I have been eating things only rabbits should eat (and those little 100-calorie chocolate-covered pretzel packs). I have been going to the gym everyday and have even become a regular at something called "Water Wake-up with William." William is also known as Hot William Who Teaches Yoga. It's a good class except that it's at a time when I normally like to sleep.

I have lost six pounds so far. So, realistically, that is 6 percent of my goal. (Arggh.) I am trying to ignore the nay-sayers, although that's hard when people actually tell you they think 10 is a plus size (they don't have it where the big girls shop!) and that Kate Winslet (who might be a 10) is obese.

Wow, we have really allowed our brains to be screwed up with some misconceptions about body image, haven't we?

But, anyhow, I lost six pounds this week. Next week, I hope to get the pants on. Maybe in following weeks I will zip them up and even make sudden movements in them.

I guess at that point, I'll also have to look for new underwear.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

This is not about fans. (Sorry.)

About a month ago, when I was home for my brother's wedding, I went in the day of the wedding (thanks to my grandma who scheduled everything for me when she was getting her hair done) for a manicure, polish change on my toes and hair cut and style so I could look half-way decent at the wedding. The hair salon I still go to is the one that I went to when I lived in Ohio, and, since it was two blocks from my office when I worked there, many of my coworkers went there too. (We used to go tanning on our lunch break. True story.)

While I was there last month, one of my former co-workers came in to get her hair cut. She had also moved away, although she had some bizarre commuting thing going on because she and her husband couldn't/hadn't sold their house there yet. It took me a while to figure out who she was, so by the time I did, I didn't really have time to catch up with her. Clearly she is working elsewhere or she wouldn't have the bizarre commuting situation.

Not to mention I don't really feel the urge to communicate with most of the folks there. It was just a year of my life that I generally gloss over and pretend it never happened. If I could hit the mythical rewind button, I'd change a lot of things that happened in that time period, both personally and profressionally. In fact, I'd probably still be in Detroit because I would have never, ever taken that job. But hindsight is 20/20, and life is good now, so I guess it was just a speed bump in the road.

There are a few people I really miss and wish that I kept in better touch with, and those are Erin and Robin, who were kind of my assistants but not really because other people were massive control freaks who didn't really let me do my job. Other than that, I'm not really interested in keeping in touch. And frankly, I'm guessing since no one heard my side of the story that they all probably think I'm a flaky loser anyhow. They don't know that every idea I had was abandoned mid-stream (not by me) and that I was essentially set up to fail. They probably don't know that the position that I was offered and brought on board for was different than the one when I arrived at the office (after moving my life 250 miles). For example, in some great scheme to pay for me (because my former employer had a great scheme to pay for everything) she'd basically sub-contracted me to another person for 10 hours a week. Another person an hour away. (I could also say another person completely unqualified for her job and all over the map, but that'd be mean of me.) And I couldn't turn in my mileage. But, this was something I learned after I'd worked there a few weeks.

The fact is, I was miserable in that job and it wasn't working out from the minute I got there. As a matter of fact, I'd already made up my mind to move to Nashville and had several interviews here the day that she basically told me that she'd hoped I'd failed with the to-do list that she'd given me because she had no money to pay me. The decision for me to leave was a lot more mutual than she let on, and the whole situation was dealt with very poorly.

But, like I said, hind-sight is 20/20.

I had an amazing team, and I do often wonder about all of the girls and what they are doing now. They are all strong, amazing women with good heads on their shoulders. I'm pretty sure they could do whatever they want to do in life. And I remember all the fun times, like when our team had Secret Santa and I kept leaving everyone presents to confuse them. Or when one of the girls posted a photo of her politician dream crush (yes, I used to work with political nerds just like me) and it turned out to be our boss's brother-in-law (and co-worker's brother).

Sometimes I even think maybe I'd like to do more of the nonprofit fundraising stuff. I help Carol when I can, but fundraising has never really been where my passion lies. Writing brings me joy (although yesterday when I had the writer's block that was debatable). And fundraising isn't bad when I have a passion for the organization. I get all excited about it when I am reading a proposal for Carol or working on the Vision Walk, but if it's a cause I'm lukewarm about, it's harder to get behind it. And while I'd love nothing more than to singlehandedly save Appalachia, there were roadblocks there. Community perception means a lot when fundraising. I've learned that along the way. And I just read last week that professional fundraisers should never be expected to shake down their personal connections. So, when I was hired for a job because I had the same last name as a lot of people in the area, it never should've been expected that I bring them all to the table, especially by an organization that had a perception problem in the community.

I think I'm going to start working on my Vision Walk fundraising sooner than later. I have the Alzheimer's Walk for work, and then I'm doing the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure because it means a lot to Shay and I need to get in shape for the Las Vegas Half Marathon in December. It can't hurt to have another skill set, especially if it allows you to raise money for charity.

I really don't know how this relates to fans. I really should've found a way to do that.

Actually, hold on -- sometimes a fan of going down memory lane. Not often, but sometimes.

There you go.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I have a little writer's block, and a whole lot of shit to write.

I have done everything in my office that does not require me to write copy. I have updated the website, prepared some course evaluations, did the pagination for the next issue of my magazine, went through all my press clippings, caught up with PRSA on the Internet. Yep, all done.

So, it's time to write magazine articles and press releases, and I can barely eek out a blog post. It's going to be a very long day, isn't it?

While I like all the layout and creative stuff I do (although I'm less creative than I used to be), I dislike not having standing weekly writing assignments. Because when I do have to write, it's like pulling teeth sometimes.

(I know what you are all thinking. If you wrote here everyday, you'd be sharper. I know that. I'm doing much better, aren't I?)

I'm going to go try to write something. I'll start with the easy stuff. Maybe that will help. It'll all get done by Friday. Maybe I just needed to wait until it felt like I was on deadline. I'm not sure.

So, today I'm not a fan of writer's block. But since I'm supposed to be telling you things that I am a fan of so you can learn more about me, and the subject of this post is "Block," I will tell you (in case you didn't know) that I love New Kids on the Block.

Love them.

I will not, unfortunately, be partaking in this whole NKOTB-Backstreet Boys nonsense because I don't actually know who the Backstreet Boys are aside from JT. Oh wait, JT's from 'NSync. Maybe I meant Nick Lachey... Actually, no. After I became a grown-up, I was pretty much off boy bands, so this is pretty much how it goes: NKOTB, yes; JT, yes; Nick Lachey, hell yes; and all other boy bands and their members, no.

My favorite New Kid: Totally Jonathan, even after all these years. I follow him on Twitter. He sent me a direct message one day, and I squealed like a teenage girl.

Yes, I'm working on getting a life. Give me time.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I was all excited about my $30 Lane Bryant dress that I look absolutely wonderful in today. Then Michelle Obama went out in a $29 Gap dress and looked even better. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

I went to Kroger at lunch today and bought Smart Ones/Lean Cuisines/Healthy Choices for breakfast and lunch for all week, along with a bottle of Pepsi Max and some sweet tea made with Splenda.

I am going to the gym after work to run. Yes, run. I am really, honestly starting Couch 25k today. Honestly. I even committed to run in the Susan G. Komen 5K in the fall. I am even going to get another pair of my Susan G. Komen pink ribbon running shoes for the occasion. And, I'm actually excited about it.

After all, I figure if a 400-pound man can run an entire marathon, I can do a 5K. And then a half-marathon (Nashville next April?). I don't know that I'll ever do whole marathons, but I need to get addicted to half-marathons again. I was in the best shape of my life when I did them. And that was -- agh -- 90 pounds ago.

Yes, I have 90 pounds to lose. At least. Yes, I'm pissed about it. But the only thing I can do is start running. I just need to watch what I eat and work out everyday, and I will be fine.

I know how to do it; I just got lazy and let other things take priority. That's no way to live. Sometimes you have to be a little selfish, especially when it comes to your health. And while I've been able to stay healthy so far, I'm not silly enough to think that will last forever at this weight.

We're switching our schedule at work for the summer, which will make it challenging to squeeze the gym in, but I just have to do it. I have to find that girl who worked her ass off 8, 9, 10 years ago to look awesome and feel great. She's in here somewhere. I don't think the fat's completely suffocated her yet.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ooh La La!

Today I went to get my free birthday treat from Panera Bread. Despite the entire case of delectable goodies, it didn't take me long to decide what I wanted. Yes, the cookies were cute, and the bear claws looked heavenly, but there is one pastry that holds a very special place in my hear and remains my favorite after many, many years.

The chocolate croissant.

My love for chocolate croissants started on a trip to France almost 20 years ago. I went with my friend and I didn't actually speak any French (Hablo Espanol.), but I wanted to see the world, so I saved babysitting money for years to take a 17-day tour of Europe. It was one of the most amazing trips of my entire life.

Because it was sponsored by the French class, the trip started with 3 days in England, then had over a week in France, and then about a week divided between Austria, Lichtenstein, Switzerland and Germany. It was a nice introduction to Europe.

We had an interloper for a third roommate, so by the time I arrived in France, I was pretty much over hanging out with my classmates. So, when there weren't organized activities, I'd just wonder around the little French towns and take in the sights. This meant that I was by myself for lunch everyday, and I didn't speak French.

I figued out that "l'eau" meant water at dinner the first night, so that solved one issue. I'd drink "cafe," or coffee, in the mornings and "l'eau" with lunch. At dinner, it was always vin. I love vin, and in France every town has their local vintage.

So, I knew enough words for beverages. That's good.

Lucky for me, some words in Spanish are very similar to French. For example, "pan," which is Spanish for bread, is very close to "pain," the French word. This is how I figured out that "pain au chocolat" meant chocolate croissant and christened it my new lunch food. (Yes, I had a a chocolate croissant and bottle of water everyday for lunch. Don't judge.)

If you ever go to France, make sure you have a real, authentic pain au chocolat. They are amazing. The ones here in the United States are pretty good too. But there's no way to describe the feeling of sitting on the steps of an old French church in an old French town eating a chocolate croissant.

So, even when I have the Panera bread version of pain au chocolat, it still takes me back to that trip in France. The bright lights of Paris, the exhilliration of looking down from the Eiffel Tower, le chateau, the tales of Marie Antionette, and many, many more memories. Some day I'd like to get back, drink a lot of wine, maybe even take some cooking classes. I'd like to visit the South of France, because I've never been there. I could spend a lifetime in Paris and never see all the sights. And there's so much more champagne to be drunk.

It's amazing how a two-dollar pastry can evoke such memories. I'm glad I took the time to share a few of them with you.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


I love to grill out. So, I was quite distressed when I found out that my condo association actually enforces our city's grilling laws. This means that because we are in a multi-unit dwelling with vinyl siding, we aren't supposed to have charcoal or gas grills. It's absolutely ridiculous, and I don't think anyone else enforces this rule. At least, when I drive around other developments or visit my friends, they all have gas grills. I understand banning charcoal, especially with wooden decks, but I really don't see how I am going to burn down my house with a gas grill on a concrete patio several feet from my house.

I bought an electric grill. It actually works really well except that it uses the entire 15 amp breaker that it's on, so we can't watch TV or turn lights on or anything else while it's running. But the steaks were good.

I am glad that my neighbors don't set my house on fire with wayward charcoal grills. I just wish there were some consistency in enforcing the law. It seems pretty ridiculous if you ask me.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Computer problems

I am also not a fan of computer problems.

Technically, this should be last night's post, but see above.

I don't even remember what I was going to write about. However, I think my cousin's husband has solved my computer issues, so that's good. I just need to order an external hard drive and move shit around. The, real question, however, is how did 50-some pictures from my brother's wedding, 2 CDs, and my BlackBerry software fill up my damn hard drive?

I guess we will figure it out when I start to move stuff, eh?

I deleted tons of shit last night, which was like the proverbial cleaning of the closet, but it didn't even make a dent in my hard drive space.

And, despite it all, there was some stuff I just couldn't delete. We'll see how I'm feeling when it becomes time to move things. I guess deep down even though now things make me grumpy and want to bitch slap people (I have a list) until they cry, at the time I was happy and having fun.

Sunday, June 05, 2011


I am not a fan of getting old.

I will spare you all the gory details, but in addition to having more gray hair, I'm also fatter, moodier and have the face of a 12-year-old girl.

I'm trying to lose weight, but I'm not sure if there's any point as I hear more and more people saying that in your late 30s, you're pretty much screwed.

I'm just tired and grumpy and I am thinking I should probably get some rest before I attempt to stuff myself into some clothes in the morning.


We could have used some extra fans today.

Not the kind that love us, the kind that makes things cooler.

It wasn't as hot as 112 degrees outside, but it was warm at this year's Top Dog & Cat competition at Belmont Pet Resort. As usual, we ran out of water.

But that's a good thing; we met a lot of fans of Brown Dog Foundation who showed up to support us. We raised a lot of money to help the pets get medical care.

I am worn out and ready for bed. It has been a long day.

Thanks to everyone who supports Brown Dog. It's amazing group that's really helping a lot of animals and people. Every time I hear the story of another pet they've helped, it's hard not be proud of all the hard work, even if you can barely keep your eyes open.

Friday, June 03, 2011


Tonight, I made myself a nice, frosty cosmo. It was a good way to end a very long, short work week. 5 p.m. on Friday couldn't get here soon enough.

As I drank my cosmo, I thought about Carrie Bradshaw, the fictional woman in the "Sex and the City" show. I love Sex and the City. I have the entire box set of DVDs of the show and both movies. I just love the whole premise of it. Four women living in the big city, who tell it like it is and are there for each other as they navigate their crazy lives. I think we all have our close friends that we can share anything with. It was a great show.

One thing female fans of the show do is to figure out which character they are most like. And I've always identified with Carrie Bradshaw. I'm neurotic, single, a writer. Sometimes Carrie tries to sabotage her relationships, usually unintentionally, when things are otherwise good. And, I really do love a good cosmo.

Somedays I wish I were more like Carrie. I'd love a cute little walk-up apartment in a real big city (Nashville is nice, but it's not hustle and bustle like New York). I'd love to write books and have my face on the side of a bus.

Well, maybe, all that attention comes with a lot of scrutiny. Here I'm kind of anonymous, and I still have had to deal with a whole bunch of shit from some loony tooneys along the way. Maybe I'll write my great American novel with a psuedonym.

We'll see. I'm nowhere near worrying about that yet.

Cosmos. Writing. Friends. One of my all-time favorite shows.

And since we're supposed to be learning new things about me, I will tell those of you who are new that last year, on my birthday, I won a contest to be a VIP at the Sex and the City 2 sneak preview. I got to see it before everyone else, best seats in the theater and got a prize pack from California that included SATC martini glasses. It was very cool because I never win anything.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Betty Crocker

I love to cook. I am a big fan of baking and cooking things. Especially when I'm stressed out. Although right now my stress level is pretty low, and I'm still going to go a little crazy in the kitchen tonight. I want to make a pie and some muffins and some Italian pork chops plus throw a butt roast in the crock pot for pulled pork tomorrow night.

I am trying to decide if I'm going to have some vino this evening. I am thinking about it. I have a Malbec at the house that will be tasty. I just don't drink wine fast enough when I'm alone, and it's expensive to open for one glass before you pass out on the couch. Maybe that's why I generally prefer hard liquor -- longer shelf life.

I have a zillion cookbooks. In fact, the bookshelf on my den is completely filled with cookbooks. You'd think I'd always know what I want to eat, but that is not the case at all. It's a constant struggle for me. If I were a fan of planning ahead, then I'd probably never have to worry about it, and I surely wouldn't go to the store as much as I do. It seems like I stop on the way home almost every night. No telling how much extra money this habit costs me.

Maybe that will be a goal for next week -- to plan out my menu and make one trip to Kroger. Maybe I'll just eat mac & cheese all week and save money. I guess it will depend if I am over this baking and cooking craziness by then.

Probably not. I never really get over it. So, I think my goal next week will be to try at least one new recipe from a cookbook that is already on my shelf and report back.

And, while we're on the topic of fans, I should report that most people are fans of my cooking. In fact, the guy at work who doesn't eat at potlucks because he's afraid of germs from other people's kitchens, always asks me when I'm going to make another treat for my co-workers.

The answer to that would be that I will channel the "muffin madness" into goodies for Monday's staff meeting.


So, this is my post from June 1. We are going to count it as my post for June 1 because my Blackberry ate it and my computer was already turned off, or it would've been posted June 1. It counts. I am going to make my blogging goal this month. Or at least be slightly more respectable.

For most of June, following the theme "FAN," I will be posting things that I am a fan of. There will be other things, but think of this as a way to learn 30 new things that I like. OK, knowing me, there may be a few things that I am not a fan of. But, you'll still learn more about me. Maybe I'll even learn more about myself.

So, if you've been here a while, you have probably figured out that I am a fan of Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. Love them. I watch just about everything they are in. And, if either of them is in a film with Adam Sandler, I am the first one at the theater. Hilarious guys.

Last night when I was returning "No Strings Attached" (a very cute, funny movie) to the Redbox, I saw they had "The Dilemma." The previews looked hilarious, and it's Vince and Kevin. I had a buck and nothing better to do, so I rented it.

It really wasn't that funny. There were a few funny moments, but it wasn't bent-over-in-your-chair, clutching-your-sides hilarious. I definitely didn't laugh until I had tears running down my cheeks, which often happens when I watch movies with these guys (Four Christmases? Grown Ups?). It was just a disappointing movie, partly because Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman (who knew she was funny) killed it in the movie I'd watched the night before. They were so good, I've even made my peace with Ashton replacing Charlie on "Two and a Half Men," which seriously had me laughing so hard the other night that my roommate came in the living room to check on me.

Not sure what happened with The Dilemma. I still love Vince and Kevin, and I'll still watch whatever they make (separately or together) in hopes that it will have me rolling on the ground laughing. They're really funny guys; I just think this movie just wasn't that funny. Not their fault. It was a little dark, but it had the potential to be hilarious. It just wasn't. Not sure whose fault it was. From what I've read on the internet, people seem to be blaming Ron Howard, but he's usually an exceptional director. I guess it will just be one of life's mysteries.

Not sure what movie is next. Summer's a good time to catch up with nothing on TV. It's too hot to go outside.

Any good movies you're a fan of that you'd like to recommend?