Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Go Lean

So just to try something different, I bought Kashi's Go Lean Crunch cereal--to see what all the fuss is about. Oh, that's a lie. I didn't have the energy to go to Trader Joe's to get my generic cereal, so I went to the corner store to get the Post version, but they were out of it. So I picked up the Kashi.

A couple of things:

The Kashi cereal makes noise. I thought I was hallucinating after I poured the milk over the cereal, but no. My cereal was making noise. Did you know it did this? It's like the snap, crackle and pop of Rice Crispies. Only for grown-up concerned about fiber intake.

The other thing: I know why it's called "Go Lean". It's because you can't eat very much of it. Not because it doesn't taste good. It has an odd taste (and texture, actually) but it's not bad and that's not why you can't eat much of it. It's because its consistency is such that chewing it is a major effort. Like seriously. You could get lock jaw from this stuff. 18 hours later, my jaw is still sore.

Anyway, that's it for this public service announcement.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


...I need to have a cocktail party.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Things Overheard at Thanksgiving

"You've been been selfish for the last eleven years. No, no, no. You've been selfish for the last thirty years."

"You're delusional."

"While she's still alive, I don't want to upset your grandmother. But once your grandmother dies, you can go too."

"I feel sorry for this poor guy you're marrying."

You know what I'm thankful for? Coming the fuck home.


Me: I'm not even sure how I'm doing my hair. Maybe all up. Maybe half up.
C: And what, your hairdresser is doing it?
Me: Yeah.
C: And she's coming to the hotel?
Me: He. He's coming to the hotel.
C: He's a fag?
Me (sigh): Yes, he's gay. I live in the city. It's required that you have a gay hair stylist.
C: Oh. (Pause) Do you think he can put my hair up for the wedding?
Me (picking my jaw up off the floor): I don't see why not.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A Little Bit O' This, A Little Bit O' That

I just have to say that I had one of the most enjoyable days on Saturday. We went to Bredenbeck's and tasted cakes at 9:15a.m., which is fairly early to taste cakes. We were done by 10 o'clock, so we just walked around Chestnut Hill with our coffees to kill the time until our next appointment. It was chilly, but sunny. It was the perfect fall day to walk around with coffee in a little town like Chestnut Hill. After our second appointment, we decided to hit Suburban Square, a place that I think is much ado about nothing, but then again on a great fall day, it was perfect. Saturday night we just ordered food and watched TV. Nothing major. Just a laid back sort of day.

Tomorrow I'm going to my folks' place for Thanksgiving. Tomorrow night will consist of my dad's famous baked ziti. Famous only because it's served the night before every holiday without fail. Also, because it's the only thing he knows how to make. Thursday will be usually routine of me making dinner. Well, most of the dinner. My mom makes mushrooms. Boiled mushrooms.

Anyway. There will be wine. Preferably the kind with a screwtop. Actually, definitely the kind with the screwtop because I'm bringing it.

Actually, I'm looking forward to going home. It'll be really good to see my grandmother. She hasn't seen my ring yet. I'm going to bring home my wedding folder so she can see pictures of some of the things we picked. I'll be in full wedding mode: Embrace the Excitement! (Sorry, that was the theme of my freshmen year Orientation and whenever I try to be excited about something it's necessary for me to say: Embrace the Excitement).

Tomorrow is my last day at the gym until ...probably Saturday. Oh well. For balance, I should probably not have a third helping of dessert on Thurday.

Happy Turkey Day all!

Monday, November 21, 2005


Me: Do you think on your way out you can take out the trash?
R: Well, I'm leaving in a minute...
Me: So am I.
R: Why can't you take it out?
Me: Because I don't want to be late. Mass is at noon, which is like, 3 minutes from now.
R: Well, I'm meeting the guys at noon too.
Me: So?
R: So why can I be late, but you can't be late?
Me: Because I'm going to visit GOD, and you're going to a BAR.
R: Hey, you worship in your way, I'll worship in mine. Don't be persecuting me.


Until recently, I've dealt with construction workers on a fairly regular basis. I was introduced to a majority of them, but truth be told, after awhile they became nameless individuals who all looked vaguely similiar. It was always a delicate balance with them. On one hand, I wanted to be level with them, so I did my best to learn their language. And by that, I mean their technical language of circulating pumps, soffits, conduits and the like. I was also known to strap on a pair of sneakers and go schlepping through work sites with them. I made a point of saying hello and making small talk.

On the other hand, the fact remained that I occasionally voiced my displeasure at certain aspects of their work, but sometimes that was called for. I know they called me a bitch behind my back, but I know it was a passing gut reaction for them and didn't let it bother me. I butted heads with them, usually the foremen (and I did know those foremen well, both by name and cell phone number), but overall, we all got along fairly well. I think they appreciate my attempts to learn as much as I could. They were all hard workers, I knew that, even though they didn't work for me directly. I knew slackers were fired in short order. But they didn't necessarily do quality work though. It wasn't for lack of trying. From what I gather, a majority of them didn't formally learn a trade (i.e. carpentry) and so they were doing the best they could with what little they knew. They were cheap labor.

Never before did I really experience the issue of class in a tangible way. When I would walk past, all conversation and work would come to a screeching halt. As I would say hello, they would usually grunt in return, not looking me in the eye. Some went so far as to not shake my hand upon meeting for fear of getting me dirty. I could feel that they viewed me as being on some different, but higher, level than them. That I was a female, and one that wore a suit, automatically put me into a certain catergory for them. Some seemed to treat me with respect, others with distain, but never was I really treated as just another person. Like I said, it was a delicate balance.

John was one of the crew. The first time he ever addressed me by name, I was taken aback that he even knew it, because I didn't recall ever meeting him before. He also said my name in the deep Irish brough it was intended to be said with, and I did a double-take. I knew there were a small group of workers here from Ireland, but he was the first I noticed.

I called him Fergus for nearly a year before I learned my mistake, and never once did he correct me. I knew from the beginning that he had a crush on me, I think he took a liking to me because my name and red hair reminded him of home. He was incredibly polite, always made a point of saying hello, and calling me by name. While the others mainly grunted at me, unless I was actually asking a question, John would engage in actual conversation. The rest of the crew would tease him about this mercilessly. Apparently, they thought I became deaf as soon as I was more than 20 feet away. Once, I sheepishly asked John to hang a couple of things in my office, which wasn't really part of his job, of course, but he had a power drill and I did not. He agreed and when I got back, he was feather-dusting my framed degree. He was clearly embarrassed that I caught him with a feather-duster in hand. I smiled and thanked him. Then there was this moment when I looked and him and he looked at me and he looked back up at my diploma. And then the moment passed. I'm not sure what it was.

The crews are gone now. But I think of them for reasons I can't always explain. They gave me a lot to think about. About how you can work so close to someone and yet not work with them. About how a style of dress, or shoe for that matter, can pre-determine your relationship. About the difference between social, as opposed to economic, classes. About how you can sometimes actually feel the line between one class and another.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Few things are better than 3 day weekends (except of course, 4 or 5 day weekends). The following items are on the agenda before Sunday:
-Visit jeweler--our rings are in, they just need to be sized
-Go to cake tasting--yum! We have an appointment at Bredenbeck's Saturday morning.
-Go outlet shopping--Christmas is almost upon us and I need to get some presents!
-Baking--even though my oven is "unpredictable" these days, I still want to try out some recipes.
-Movie--I've been promising the man that we'll go see some movie he wants to see. I can't even remember which one.
-Sleep late
-Go to gym

I think that's about it. Sunday is dedicated, of course, to football. I'm most excited about the shopping trip (Lancaster here we come) and the tasting (I mean I HAVE to eat cake--that's a good problem to have).

Any recommendations on other bakers to try for the cake, by the way?

Happy Day

Last week, I baked two apple spice cakes. Two, because the first one I baked had the consistency of bread pudding.

So did the second one.

I've used this particular recipe at least half a dozen times, and I attributed the first flop to me being too liberal with some ingredient. But when the second one flopped as well, and after careful attention to the direction, I started to think my baking skills had left me.

Turns out, it was probably the oven, which has been my arch-nemisis for the last year. I've had to coax it into working by leaving the oven door open so that the pilot light will ignite all the burners underneath. It's been dying a slow, sad death.

But, happy day, my landlord finally called to say we're getting a new oven. Happy Day! It'll be delivered on Monday. Just in time for me to try baking that cake one more time before Thanksgiving. I'm delirously happy about this new oven!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


So I've been cleaning house, as you know, and the other day I came across a box that I hadn't opened since I moved to this apartment. Turns out the box was a catch-all for things I packed at the last minute, things I didn't know where else to put.

There were a ton of pictures, some dating back to my teenage years, but mostly from college and a year or two after that. Some of them are so funny, especially the ones that include my bridesmaids. We were a classy bunch back in college. In one picture, I'm flanked on either side by Kimberly and Hope, each of us with a Yuengling in one hand and a red-colored shot in the other. Boy, were those the days. Today, if I chased a shot down with a beer, I'd drop dead on the spot.

I found a contract written in my old friend Bob's hand. It was written in the fall of 1993 and signed by both of us. It promised that we would be friends forever and gave me the irrevocable right to visit any place he lived in, anytime I wanted, for the rest of our lives. It didn't work out that way, though.

There were also lots of postcards, both ones that I picked up at different destinations and ones that other people sent me. From all over the United States, but also from Rome, France, London, Sweden and Germany. I found a letter from my brother that he had written to me when he was 14. Pictures of the last vacation Guy and I took together. Poems that I loved ripped out of magazines. Shopping list. Pieces of my whole life right there in that box.

It made me terribly sentimental and it made me laugh out loud.

Monday, November 14, 2005


So as part of my renewed effort to eat healthy (well, except for the hree servings of sweet potatoes I had yesterday and the two helpings of apple pie...a la mode), I've revamped the work out routine. I'm back to going to the gym in the mornings and then again some evenings. Next week, I think I'm going to add in a power yoga class.

Anyway, there's a disturbing trend at the gym. The other day I noticed this woman wearing boy shorts on the eliptecal. Not bike shorts; boy shorts. Very, very short, very, very tight boy shorts. White boyshorts. And a thong. The reason I know she was wearing a thong is that it was black and the boy shorts were semi-transparent. That was bad enough. The next morning though, there she was IN THE SAME OUTFIT. I refuse to believe that she has more than one pair of these shorts, or that she happened to do laundry the night before. Indeed, I think she's a dirty whore.

And while on that topic, there's another woman who comes to the gym not wearing a bra. Like, OBVIOUSLY, not wearing a bra. She's no kid either, so we're not talking about perky ones. There's all sorts of jiggling and crap going on there. She's not small-chested so I'm not sure how she doesn't find that distracting and/or painful.

At any rate, I'm not pleased.

Animal House

On Saturday night, I had a pack of wild animals stay at my house. Otherwise known as Ron's frat brothers. It's only been, oh, 15 YEARS since they were in college, and they are otherwise upstanding citizens who hold down decent jobs, but when they get together in the name of the BROTHERHOOD, let me tell you: all hell breaks loose.

I awoke at 3:30am to 5 dudes, including my dude, who were eating Geno's cheesesteaks and smelling like a brewery in my living room. And in one case, drooling on my throw pillow.

I had known about this arrangement in advance of course, and in truth, I do like each of these individuals, so if they wanted to crash on the floor of my living room while they sobered up, that was fine with me.

But it was the first time that I ever wished the mice would come out while company was over.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Clean House

I've let my apartment go. It's a mess. While it's not "dirty" ever, it could use an overall cleaning and it sure as hell needs someone to organize it. Oh. I guess that will have to be me.

I'm fortunate enough to have a huge, walk-in storage closet in my front hall. Anyone who lives in an apartment in a city can tell you what a luxury that is. For me, however, it's become a dumping site for things-I-don't-know-what-to-do-with. With the prospect of wedding presents coming in the near future, it's time to clean house. I'm going to need somewhere to store all this stuff until I get a house.

That being said, I've started cleaning closets out. I always find that in the beginning of cleaning, I make more of a mess than anything else. The goal is to have a clean, organized, tidy apartment. To get there however, I have garbage bags all over the apartment that I'm slowly filling with either items to be trashed or items to be donated. So right now, my place looks worse than when I started. I'm also struggling with the fact that not all the items in the apartment are mine, therefore I have to consult with my other half before getting rid of some things.

But I'm going to stop consulting and just start chucking stuff. Like the hand-me-down plates that Ron's been holding on to just in case I kick him out. Can we get rid of these please? If I ever do kick you out, I promise you I'll give you a plate to take with you. And the 10-speed bike circa 1989? It hasn't been used in the entire time I've known you. The bike's gotta go. And the broken TV? We're never getting it fixed, so it's going to the curb too. And can we talk about the 700 medical journals laying around?

So cleaning house: that's what I'm focusing on these days. First I'm purging, then I'm having a massive dusting/vaccuuming/cleaning extravaganza. After all that, I'd like to host a cocktail party one of these days.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Hasta La Vista, Donut

Oh, the torment!

I'm going to try eating healthy again. I've posted here before about my eating habits. Post-South Beach, I had developed some relatively healthy eating habits that stuck for a long time. At least they stuck longer than any other time I've tried eating healthy. And there are some the stick still. Still get whole grain bread over white. Still don't down two glasses of OJ in the mornings. Still try to each fruit or veggies during the day. But dessert has crept back into the daily routine, as has the morning donut. Candy bars, about once a week, whereas they had been banned nearly all together. A lot of eating out, which isn't bad in and of itself, but it usually consists of an appetizer like nachos or spinach dip (wait, that's healthy right?) or onion rings. Lots of fried foods when eating out and of course, dessert.

Slowly, the bad foods have snuck back into the daily routine. I'm not against bad food in its entirety. But even I have to admit that there is such a thing as too much. Eating like this is making me feel like crap.

So I'm back on the bandwagon, effective yesterday. To prepare for this, Ron and I ordered take-out on Sunday night: BBQ cheesesteaks, megga fries (with two cheeses, bacon and ranch dressing) and hot wings. That's it. No more. Yesterday I had fruit and yogurt for lunch. I had low-fat cheese and whole wheat crackers as a snack. And I made chicken roll-ups stuffed with part-skim ricotta and spinach for dinner.

Today, part-skim mozzeralla sticks as a snack, yogurt and non-fat pudding. Dinner will be tricky: I have to eat out, because I'm working until 9 p.m. I may have to resort to some sort of turkey sandwich (with NO potato chips, or Sunchips, which I usually try to pretend are a healthy alternative). However, this morning, I did pick up a donut with my morning coffee. It's hard to give that one up. I feel the need to snack on something while drinking my beverage. There's no real healthy, non carb-loaded alternative that goes with coffee.

No donut tomorrow though.

My real motive for trying to eat mostly heathly is so I can cheat. The holidays are approaching. I am itching to bake apple pie, apple spice cake, holiday cookies, etc. I want some egg nog, and pecan pie. I can justify eating these things and enjoying them if I'm having healthy meals. It's all about balance, my friends.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Strangely, I'm craving a banana. I don't have anything against bananas. In fact, I enjoy bananas. I just think it's an odd thing to crave.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Viable Options

In my adult life, I've been working on being a more grateful person. You know, in general appreciating what is around me, the things and people I have in my life. I'm learning to be grateful for the things I don't have as well, like an abusive ex-husband who repeatedly raped me and continues to stalk me.

I teach self-defense, usually to young women who have never been attacked. I like that the women in my class usually feel empowered and more confident after taking it. I can see the change in them. I hope that they never have cause to use what we teach them. But there are other women, not many that I've met, but a few, who need what we teach as a matter of survival. Women whose day-to-day lives are filled with fear and violence. Women whom the legal system has failed miserably. I find it so frustrating to recommend that women press charges and get restraining orders only to know that in the real world, that doesn't amount to much. That doesn't really offer them protection.

We need to take care of our women better.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Like It Never Even Happened

Well, it's Day 2 and it still looks like it happened, ServPro.

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