Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stuff I Think is Awesome!

Well, today I had anticipated giving you an introduction to the furry little man in my life, my cat Asher (cue “Crazy Cat Lady” jokes) But for the second day in a row I have neglected to remember my camera camera (not my phone camera) which houses most of the pictures in my shrine of Asher.  Another day…
So instead I shall possibly bore regale you with my first entry in “Stuff I Think is Awesome!”
As a young girl, I wasn’t particularly taken with dollies and Barbies (even though I had them) what always enraptured my mind was the Lego. I would sit and play for hours, enacting scenes in my head with the little lego men. Subterranean cultures mining for gold, building ridiculously unflightworthy aircraft that, in my imagination, never failed to get the job done. You name it. So when my mom mentioned an exhibit coming to our local museum (you know those places where you can look at stuff but no touchie?) that featured artwork completely constructed with Lego bricks; I of course had to go see for myself.
That is when I discovered that Nathan Sawaya is awesome!
Anyone who can do this…

Out of a children's play thing is pretty OK in my book.

Some people might consider his style kinda creepy, but to me it’s creepy in a good way! He can create such powerful images (especially the everyman ones) with a simple block. It’s so different. More than just putting brush to canvas. Love it.

So creepy cool!

Freaky, but still cool!

Ha! Thought it was a photo or painting, did you? Noooppe! Lego!

Been there, my friend...

Bodies were life sized!

Planets!!! For the geek in me.

So if you ever get the chance to check out some of his stuff I would strongly suggest you do. It boggles the mind!

Check him out!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Progress Report (AKA: In Mah Belleh!): Week 1

Yesterday, my good buddy Amy over at Buffalo Roam (Go see her! She misses you!) suggested that I start a segment where I highlight new healthy recipes I’ve been trying with my newborn healthy lifestyle. In a moment of Bridget Jones-like genius I’ve decided to go that extra mile and do progress reports (hopefully each week) of my…well…progress.
                                 ~stands awkwardly~                                
So here we go…
Week 1: Approx 160 lbs. (according to the scale at the gym. Which I say lies…)
Net Lbs. lost: -2
Workouts this week: 4
Cheez-it bags eaten: ~mumbles~ 2
This week, c’est difficile. Babysitting for my best friend and impromptu girls’ night took the place of my regularly scheduled kickboxing class and Tuesday night weight routine. While chasing a most adorable 7 year old boy truly constitutes exercise. I didn’t get nearly the workouts in that I have been. Even going tonight, the rest of my body says yes but my head says “Skiiiipppp it!” The battle is ongoing and we have yet to know the victor.
Meal-wise we are in the “Could’ve been worse but not great or creative” range.
Sunday: Spaghetti and meat sauce with spinach side salad. Pretty normal and not that creative. Moving on!
Monday: Raided bestie’s fridge for something resembling healthy that she said was in there, turns out I ended up eating her husband’s fried rice. Oops!
Tuesday: Girls night! Papa Murphy’s makes a meeeaaannn Veggie Delite pizza. I tell you that. I kinda want one now just thinking about it. ~salivates a bit~
Wednesday: Well, kinda copped out by just doing tuna salad sammich. Creativity points to me though for cutting up some sweet potato rounds and lightly seasoning them with olive oil, lemon pepper, and sea salt and baking them in the oven. Rather tasty.
Thursday: Another semi-cop out day. Frozen chicken teriyaki breast with the creativity points again going to the side dish. Roasted cabbage quarters seasoned with olive oil and spices. (Psst…it tastes even better wrapped in bacon, but I didn’t have any nor did I need it probably)
Friday: Hmmm yet to be decided. Still have a piece of chicken teriyaki however also have half a sub sammich leftover from lunch. I forsee me eating them both at some point tonight…~le sigh~
Saturdays have been reserved for splurges and treats (not too extreme) and we start all over again with another meal plan this weekend! I’m hoping to delve a little deeper into recipes too when I get more creative, this week was just mostly for ease and lack of time.
So there you have it. My own personal health confessional. Hoping that as we go the numbers start getting even better. Will try to get some pics of (gulp) me, as we go too. It’s just hard to take picksures of myself! Expect some cheesy phone/mirror shots (common of teenage girls) minus the stupid lip pucker and booty tooching. (Eeh, maybe if you’re good I’ll give you one someday)
If you’ve got any great ideas about recipes and whatnot, give a shoutout!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The World is Going Mad!!

Now, I don’t claim to be a die-hard football fan. You won’t see me subscribing to Sports Illustrated or paying a bajillion bucks for season tickets to a Yankee’s game in this lifetime, however once in awhile I get caught up in a headline that draws my attention (and just so happens also pertains to sports)

This just helps me to realize that the world has really gone bonkers when a guy is sent death threats via social media for fumbling the football…wait for it…in a game!
I feel for this guy, Kyle Williams. I may have no clue who you are and vagely remember from the article that you play for the 49ers, but no one deserves to have their family threatened (even in jest or other non-seriousnesses) for something like this.
Point Uno: Tis just a game people!!! Chill out!
Point Deux: I’m positive he just feels sick about it already without you offering to put an exploding football in his car. How would you like it if you did something on accident and then hundreds of people pointed, laughed, and rubbed your nose in it?
Point Three: Takes a big man to just be able to stand up after something like that and admit fault.
Give him a break! We’ve all been there in some form or fashion (Just maybe not on as grand of a scale as thus) but I’m well versed in the sweaty, red, hot flashes that come with extreme embarassment (Today is not the day for sharing stories however ~shifty eyes~)
I know a lot of people would just say “Oh, I didn’t really mean it!” or “It’s all just talk” but in my head if you’re angry enough at the outcome of a game (defined as an amusement or pasttime for entertainment) that you feel the need to spout off death threats at someone you don’t know over a social media forum of other strangers just because things didn’t turn out the way you wanted, it might be time to step back and re-examine your existance.
Maybe get a dog? Or a girlfriend? (We’ll put boyfriend in there too just to be fair…)
It helps to see that the dude is getting support from his fellow teammates and others, but I look at this and how we respond to fellow human beings (even strangers who we don’t cohabitate with!) and it’s no wonder we're all heading towards the zombie apocalypse…

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I want cheesy potatoes…
In a bad way…
With bacon…
This is what’s running through my head like a mantra this morning thanks to my newly revised struggle resolution to achieve this…

(Thank you, Pinterest Home Page, for always posting such similar images when I’m in the middle of a food pinning binge. The guilt feels nice.)

Maybe it’s not so much a resolution as it is a continuous cycle that started back when gas cost $1.09 a gallon, O.J. was acquitted, and Montell Jordan showed us how we do it. Needless to say it’s been a constant battle with more physical and emotional ups and downs than an episode of the Bachelor (well, maybe a tie)
It always seems to ramp up this time every year though with the start of a new year and new goals (usually after a particularly brutal holiday season). Fresh year, fresh start, fresh fruits! It all jives, right?
I know I will likely never have the body as seen above and it’s truly more about being healthy than being thin. It doesn’t make it any easier to rid myself of that ideal image. Just chalk it up to a form of motivation and work with it right?
One of the hardest obstacles I find though is getting past that initial New Year’s hungriness (and as a direct result, crankiness). Right now I find myself in that place where I just want to eat everything in sight. These are the times that even the weeks old English muffin sitting in my fridge covered in some sort of green fuzzy frosting, starts to look the slightest bit appetizing. Each time I keep telling myself that if I just control myself, eat only good and healthy snacks, then my stomach will eventually shrink to a decent normal size after heavy holiday meal abuse. I’m waiting, stummy!
(Promise me one thing though. If I ever become one of those women who eats half a pea and says she’s full, please feel free to shove a steak sandwich down my throat.)
The process has been a long time going, but it has worked for me. For someone who has always battled with her genetics, I’m at a healthier weight than I’ve ever been before. I’m more active now than I ever was back in school. It’s also helped me in turn to become more confident and happy in myself. I know it’s not all about what’s on the outside, but when you’re not entirely happy with what’s on the outside it’s harder for that inside confidence to shine. I'm not quite where I want to be yet, but it's getting closer and closer by the decade!!
In the meantime, while I wait, I will sit here and chug my water like a fiend. I will walk to the fridge multiple times in an evening and open it just to make sure it’s all still there. I will exercise a ridiculous amount and hope the burnout holds off as long as it can. I will allow myself some rewards every now and then for my good behavior, lest I lose self-control entirely some lonely weekend night and eat a whole pizza myself (I've never done this, ever....~shifty eyes~).

And I will dream of this:

~in my mind~ It's so worth it, it's so worth it.........

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Want Me a Scooter Now!

Over this past holiday season I indulged in a bit of home cinematic entertainment (translation: I watched a lot of DVDs). As a result, chances are pretty good that my next few blog posts might be pretty heavy on my world famous movie reviews. I’ll do my best not to disappoint.
To start us off is a movie that I really didn’t hear much about when it was in the theaters but is a special little feel good gem, Larry Crowne. 
                                           Here's my quickie synopsis:                                      
Larry Crowne (portrayed by the One and Only Tom Hanks, and yes you’re required to use “one and only” in the introduction) is a divorced, middle-aged retail salesman. He’s loving his job at U-Mart (translation: Walmart) and very good at it until he is fired for lack of a college education. (Aside: U-Mart must think pretty highly of themselves to require their floor people have college degrees. Some of the workers I see everyday at Walmart look like they can barely spell Walmart)
Underwater on his mortgage and unable to find another retail job, Larry decides on a major life change and starts taking courses at a nearby college. Larry finds his mind opened to so much more than just communications class and microeconomics as he makes new friends in classes and finds himself inducted into the campus “scooter gang”.
It’s during his Speech 217 class where Larry meets Mercy Tainot (played by screen goddess and all around “Pretty Woman” Julia Roberts). Ms. Tainot (Tay-no, not Tie-knot or Tae-Bo), who teaches 217, has become disillusioned with her job and her life in general.  Cynical, a bit of a boozehound and married to a porn-seeking, unemployed former professor turned “blogger”, Mercy also finds her own life changed with the unexpected new arrival to her class. Fun and hilarity ensue.
Now for the meat to this cheese: My take
I really wasn’t sure what to expect of Larry Crowne. Sure it has two of the biggest A-listers in Hollywood in it and was written by Nia Vardalos (my mad respect to anyone who can tell me her biggest claim to fame), but it didn’t really make any huge screen buzz and couldn’t be anywhere near considered a blockbuster. When it was over, I was so glad I took a chance on it (Figured any movie with Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks in it couldn’t be half bad). It was a lighthearted look at reinventing yourself when life takes a turn for the worse. Larry is a lot braver than I might be in a similar circumstance. I suppose in this case you could say necessity was the mother of reinvention. He gets fired for lack of education so he goes to get more education. He is spending hundreds a month on gas for his big honking SUV so he gets himself a scooter. Things old Larry Crowne wouldn’t normally do.
Tom Hanks is a good match for the optimistic and amiable Crowne. He creates a character that is likeable and relatable. One way or another we’ve all been in Larry’s shoes at some point in life. In contrast we have Mercy who seems to have more or less given up on the joys of life (minus the more than occasional margarita). It isn’t until Larry with his infectious personality comes into her life that she finally begins to see what’s been missing in hers and finds her joy again.

The plot was a bit contrived and very predictable and the comedy not exactly of the “laugh out loud” variety, but I still got much amusement out of watching Larry get into what would normally be very awkward situations for most middle-aged men (c’mon now, riding around on a Zipper and giving a thumbs-up to the guy on the Harley?) We don’t get overly dramatic here so if you’re looking for that then best move on from this movie.
I also quite enjoyed the ensemble cast. The free-spirited, Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and her gang of scooter enthusiasts, Larry’s outrageously self-promoting neighbor, Lamar (Cedric the Entertainer), and Steve (Rami Malek) and the rest of his fairly clueless Speech classmates just add more personality and fun factor to the variety of people that come into Larry’s life throughout the movie.
 If you’re looking for something extremely thought provoking and intense, this is not your movie. Go see Inception or something similar. If you’re looking for lighter fare with a good cast of characters then give this movie a try.
On my own personal scaling system I would give Larry Crowne 7 out of 10 stars.