Therapy with Amy

Not sure how to start. Not that it was so earth-shattering that I’m at a complete loss — I just simply don’t know where to start. At the beginning, I guess.

Amy came to visit for the Black Swamp Arts Festival this weekend. She ended up being a few hours behind schedule, due to every little errand blowing up into a gigantic WTF sort of fiasco. Stopping by work, taking a "shortcut" suggested by Grampa… Anyway, when she arrived at 11pm, we went to get some pizza at Myles, and were constantly accosted en route by the drunks from campus. I got a high five from a dude that looked just like Nick Lawson, we got offered a piece of pizza from some random guys (who then claimed to have "nutted" on the pizza), and we had one particularly bookish-looking fellow tell us, "the bars are that way!"

Ate pizza, talked, came home, walked some more, and talked some more. Stayed up till Aaron got home, then talked some more. Basically, that’s what the weekend was all about: talking with Amy.

On Saturday, we checked out the artists’ booths. We were underwhelmed this year, and were particularly disappointed that some of our longtime favorites weren’t at the Festival this year. We did end up buying at least one token "I Was Here" item apiece, but we weren’t terribly geeked about them this year.

Things I discovered while talking to Amy this weekend:

  • I miss having someone to talk to like that. I talk to Aaron, yes, but it’s different. We still talk about important stuff, but Amy has a different perspective on things.
  • If I want a new job, I need to work toward getting one. If I can live with my job for now, I need to do the things that make me happy (photography, web design) in my time away from work, to make the mediocre work worth it.
  • I have more of a social life than I give myself credit for, even if it is just on the weekends and with Aaron’s and my mutual friends instead of alone with my own friends. It’s still social, and it’s still fun.
  • I need to stop belittling myself and beating myself up for my shortcomings. I also need to stop feeling like others are focusing on said shortcomings, and instead be thankful that others (especially Aaron) are patient enough to deal with my faults and still like me for who I am.

Rant, defused

I was so pissed. I was driving home in my car, fuming, planning the scathing blog entry about hating my job and twelve-hour days and having to work holidays, all the while driving like a moderate maniac, peeling out from red lights and honking at the stupidity that regularly happens on the roads of Bowling Green.

I pulled into our driveway, maintaining my righteous anger. Stomped into the house. Turned on the computer. Went into the bathroom and peed. Went into the kitchen and got a brownie. Laid down on the couch to eat my brownie and watch a little TV (forgetting that my computer doesn’t take that long to boot up anymore).

Fell asleep.

Sigh… nothing like a half-hour nap to defuse your righteous rant about work and life and stuff.

Anyway, I really am sick of my job. I really do need to find a new one. And I really do need to stop drinking Mountain Dew and eating chocolate brownie stuff if I’m ever going to ease myself into this Atkins thing.

And I really do need to finish writing about P-Funk… later.

Yay, Computer!

Thank you, Sheryl! Thankyou-thankyou-thankyou! *big sloppy kiss*

My computer works! It runs Windows ME at 1.8 GHz and with 256 megs of RAM. Oh, yes. Aaron says he may start downloading some of the videos that his computer won’t play properly, and watch them on mine. And I’m OK with that. 🙂

I only have had to reinstall Photoshop and Dreamweaver — and this gave me the opportunity to get off my sorry ass and upgrade to Photoshop 7 and Dreamweaver MX, supplied months ago by Kris. Thankfully, I did figure out how to save all my messages from Outlook Express before I wiped the HD the first time, and I found how to re-import them, so I didn’t lose any important messages. I think I might have lost my address book, though, but no biggie. Anything I really needed is saved in my various messages, I think.

So, I bid a fond adieu to my Mac, as I’m sure it will sit and once again gather dust until I need to do some genealogy or print something on the laser printer.

In other news, I have to work tomorrow at 8am. Yep, Aaron’s got the day off and I have to work a full fucking 8-hour day. WTF. But back to general happiness…

Yesterday, Aaron and I headed out to The Taste Of Cleveland festival to eat lots of food and watch P-Funk. Such a great day. Beautiful weather, fresh breeze off the river (this isn’t the fiery Cuyahoga of yesteryear), festive atmosphere, all made for a perfect day trip.

Traffic on the turnpike was smooth on the way, and we found our way to the venue parking with little incident. Parking was six bucks, but that was an expected expense, and the traffic flow there was carefully managed. Parked in the Tower City garage, walked across the street to the venue (with the assistance of traffic cops), and found ourselves at the top of a hill overlooking the entire festival. Tents, booths, games, food, and a large tented ampitheatre area. Oh, yes. This looked promising.

We headed down the hill to the ticket booth: five bucks apiece to get in, with the $2 coupons Aaron found online. That done, we went in and bought our initial batch of food tickets for $20. (That’s where they get ya.) After wandering around agape at all the food — ribs, Thai, Indian, Mediterranean, BBQ chicken, burgers, sausages, almost anything you could want in festival food. We opted for the gyro booth, and the Seafood Delight, which was indeed delightful. Shrimp and imitation crab chunks were sauteed with sweet onions and squash in a delicious saucy juicy liquid, then slopped onto a flatbread pita with some shredded lettuce, wrapped with foil, and served to us with a plastic fork and napkin. Oh, so good. Those cost six tickets apiece, so there went most of our food stash. The rest was gone with two Mountain Dews from the booth next door.

We wandered over toward the ampitheatre to find a neutral place to eat our Delights, and found one of the tall tables for standing and eating at. I managed to dump the delicious sauce down my front during the course of the meal. 🙂 After dinner, we decided to take a closer look at the displays and booths, since we had been so hungry when we arrived that we’d beelined for the food. Overall, the most interesting thing we found was the booth for the Gravity Games that we’d already visited on our way in, and the setting sun was totally beaming us right in the eyes. Gah. So, we bought some more tickets and went to enjoy some frozen custard. Mmm… custard. If you’ve never had it, get some whenever you have the chance. Oh, so good.

(Damn, I should be getting to bed… It’s 1:00am and not even really today anymore…)

All right, I’m going to stop here and continue tomorrow. I don’t want to be totally dragging when I finally get home to Aaron after work on everyone else’s day off. Sigh. I’ll tell all about the show (that quite possibly could be the best show I’ve ever attended) later.

Work and Non-Work

Latest on the computer saga: Sheryl called 1-800-2-MAXTOR to find out WTF was up with my second hard drive. She says they told her what to do to make it go, so she’s going to try it tonight and hope it works. See, fdisk was saying the partitions were non-DOS partitions, which makes things difficult. Hopefully this portion of the general computer stupidity will be solved soon. Let’s hear it for Maxtor Tech Support!

I’ve discovered the joy of SHOUTcast, now that I don’t have my many-GB collection of mp3’s to keep me company. My current favorite (when normalradio isn’t on, of course) is Club 977: The 80’s Channel. Right now it’s being a little bitch, losing Glenn Fry’s signal, but this is the first time I’ve had any load problems with it after a couple days of listening. Great selection of tunes, no repeats, wide variety of genres and levels of popularity. I’ve heard songs on here that I never even considered downloading and had successfully forgotten about for years. Not to mention songs I’ve never even heard before. Check it out.

Aaron’s doing so well with his guitar-playing! I’m excited for him. Today when I came home early from work, before he left, he showed me how much he could play of Wish You Were Here. I’m quite impressed, considering that he has about zero musical background… not including that summer he played trumpet in the backyard facing toward the turnpike in 4th or 5th grade.

Aaron also got home early last night — 2:00am instead of 3:30 or four. I shouldn’t have been awake, but I was, so I got to see Aaron for a few minutes before I went to sleep. You know, part of me wishes I could get to see him more often, but part of me thinks that maybe having schedules like this helps us to appreciate the time we do have together, instead of taking it for granted. I mean, I always get so excited when I can spend time with Aaron during the week. Sure, we’re still newlyweds, but we’ve been together for over seven years total, and living together for a year and a half. How many people out there have been with someone that long and still get all giggly and smiley when they spend time together? I think it’s cool.

At work, our supervisor has instituted a new schedule of mail pickups. See, usually the courier shows up with the mail from the Toledo post office between 9:30 and 10:15am. It takes about half an hour to open all 80-some-odd bags with mail in them, and another few minutes to get some work ready for me, Rama, and Loni (or, this week, Andrew) to process. So, we don’t usually get started with our day until at least 10:30am. It’s a good thing we do have such long Mondays, since the rest of the week usually consists of 7-hour days, give or take a half-hour lunch.

The new and improved plan means a much earlier day for everyone. The couriers head up to Toledo bright and early, to get a run of mail to us by 8am. The preppers open the mail and get the heaviest accounts ready to process. We start processing the work at 9am, what there is of it, and the second, normal run of mail shows up between 9:30 and 10:00am. But that’s an hour of work we got done earlier—so even if we have to stay and scratch our asses to get a full 8 hours in, it means staying until 6:00 or 6:30, not some retarded time like 7:30 on a Friday. I’m OK with the earlier start time. I’m sure Loni will be too, when she comes back next week.

Oh, did I mention? Loni’s out on vacation because her daughter-in-law had her third child. Loni’s first granddaughter, out of five grandkids total. Her daughter, Maria, lives in Indiana with her husband Mike, and they have two young boys. Loni’s son, David (aka Crockett) lives around BG with his wife Jolene, and they also have two young boys, in addition to little Lena. So, Loni took the week off of work to help Crockett and Jolene with the boys, and to spend massive quantities of time with her new grandbaby.

Aaron’s massive vacation extravaganza starts in a couple weeks or so. Four weeks straight. No work. Dang. So… this weekend, we’re going to the Taste Of Cleveland on Saturday to eat lots of food and watch P-Funk for $7.00, then next weekend is Black Swamp (which I assume Amy is still coming to…?), and the following weekend is the beginning of Aaron’s massive vacation. I still have about a week total left of vacation, personal, and floating holidays, so I’m planning to take some of that time off to spend with Aaron. This is going to be so cool.

12-hour workdays and moving sales

I’ve gotta find a new job. One that doesn’t require a 12-hour day on Mondays. Ugh.

But the good news is two-fold: 1) UPS was overstaffed yesterday, so Aaron got to come home early, and 2) while he was home (and I was still at work), Sheryl and Sarah came to get my computer. Yes, Sheryl has taken pity on me and is in the process of figuring out what the fuck I did to my PC. I hope she doesn’t have to erase my second hard drive… although I would be happy that my computer was once again functional, I would be extremely sad that many gigs of downloaded material (mostly .mp3 and .shn files) would be no more. Still, though… I have faith in you, Sheryl! *grin*

To Sheryl: Thank you so, so much for making my computer go. I feel bad for embarking on what was supposed to be a super-cool Upgrade By Diana and having it end up Sheryl Saves Diana’s Ass Yet Again. I feel like I must be putting you out, even though you volunteered to help. (You always volunteer to help…) 🙂 Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I really, really appreciate your help, especially since you live all the way up in Toledo now, and I’m really the only thing in BG besides, oh, Pollyeyes. (Well… not the only thing… I mean, there’s a college campus and a post office and a mall of sorts… but you know what I mean.) End of speech.

Now for something completely different… I’ve talked about Ellie and her blog before, and you might find me strange for taking such interest in a complete stranger and her activities, but you’re entitled to that. It’s not one of those envy-type interests, nor is it one of those point-and-laugh-at-a-stranger interests. Rather, I find myself thinking that I would have wanted to be friends with Ellie and her crowd, had we gone to the same college — but it probably would have been kind of like a few friends I have now, where I’m kind of a friend, but more of an acquaintance, and not really someone they’d hang out with all the time. Someone I’d want to be closer friends with, but they just must not think I’m cool enough. —Yeah, that’s a lot to read into a stranger’s blog, I know. 🙂

Anyway, Ellie has a great SHOUTcast stream called normalradio. Ellie has great taste in music. She’s a big Morrissey freak/fan, but in the past several minutes of listening to normalradio, I’ve heard The Counting Crows, James, Dashboard Confessional, and the Lightning Seeds. Currently she’s playing Dubstar, whom I’m not really familiar with, but I’m digging it anyway. I don’t think Aaron would particularly like normalradio, but I’ll bet Sheryl would listen for a while and be happy with a few choices (like James). She’s not always on and broadcasting—it’s whatever she’s playing on her own computer—but when it’s up and running, I’m loving it. *sigh* And I can’t find all the cables to my cool-ass AppleDesign speakers… Damn you, quiet little internal speaker.

Now that I’m using my Mac so much more, I’m contemplating getting some more RAM for it, and maybe blowing $100 on a G3 upgrade… but I’m not going to, since my PC will eventually kick this thing’s little ass. I’ll always keep my Mac, but since more applications are available for Windows, I’ll probably always use it more, unfortunately.

I have got to get myself some James. Ellie’s playing another James song, and I’m finding myself hooked. Sheryl, I see why you like this band so much.

Speaking of music and bands… I’m not much into popular music these days, so whenever I find a band I like, I’m all ecstatic. I know you guys who read this don’t generally share all my musical tastes, but these are the bands and artists I find myself listening to the most these days (and no, this isn’t a comprehensive list):

  • Coldplay
  • Bob Mould / Sugar (not a recent band, I know)
  • Matthew Sweet
  • Catherine Wheel (another 90’s alterna-pick)
  • The Flaming Lips
  • Alanis Morrisette

This past weekend, Aaron and I bought something cool at a garage sale. Actually, it was a moving sale, the kind that’s held indoors because most of the items are too big to move outside more than once. We almost didn’t go in, because we were kind of creeped out by having to go inside to see the stuff—but since we ended up not being able to just drive through the alleyway to the next street, we were forced by our good natures to check it out, anyway. And it’s a good thing we did, because in the entry hallway of the guy’s upstairs apartment was a gorgeous black electric guitar, labeled with a $200 price tag. Aaron and I didn’t want to discuss our potential purchase there in front of the guy, so we looked around and left under the pretense of “we’ll think about it, and maybe we’ll be back later.” In actuality, we drove out of the parking lot, talked it over, took the money out of the bank, and came back for the guitar sooner than the guy probably expected.

So, we have a 1969 Kay Vintage electric guitar (this model was manufactured with a Les Paul body), an Epiphone bass amp, electronic tuner, three picks, soft case, cables and cords, all for a very good price. Aaron looked for more info about our "new" guitar online, and found that the same guy we’d just bought it from had tried to sell it for that same price on eBay. Apparently the high bidder stiffed him, so he sold it to us for the same price at his moving sale.

It’s a bigger purchase than we generally make at a garage sale, but we figured it was worth the investment. Both of us have been playing more often now that we have a decent axe. The Kay is far and away much better than the Silvertone Amp-in-Case model we had before, with the fabulous twanging sitar sound. *smirk*

My, what a novel I’ve written. Even though I have to handcode now, maybe I ought to update more often again…

My Blog Is Too Mac-a-licious For Ya Babe

Nope, the PC is still not fully functional. I’m about this close *thumb and forefinger one centimeter apart* from taking the stupid thing down to Virtual PCs and making them fix it. OK, guys, don’t hose the second hard drive—this is not an option…

I guess the good news is that I haven’t gotten any of the new viruses going around. Very few hackers bother to make Mac viruses. 🙂

Now, let’s see if I can properly segue here without telling you anything my employer doesn’t want you to know…

Hey, guess what? Our e-mail was down at work yesterday. And our fax server. And, well, hell, the whole goddamn network was down. Never you mind why. It’s a bunch of fun to manually fax clients who either are usually faxed straight from our computers or receive their deposit reports via e-mail. It’s also a barrel of monkeys to work harder than usual to get less done than usual, all while the rest of the building is cleaning their workstations and going home early because they have nothing to do without their computers. Ahh… there’s nothing quite like having your primary workstation on a network separate from the corporate domain.

My 90-grams-of protein-and-30-minutes-of-exercise-a-day diet died a quick death. Like, two weeks. I’m trying to convince myself that just because I’ve been off the diet for as long as I was initially on it doesn’t mean I’m necessarily a failure. *smirk*

Aaron told me today he’s been contemplating the Atkins Diet himself. Yes, I slammed it earlier, I know, but if he’s willing to give it a shot, I’ll do it with him. He hasn’t totally committed to it yet—he wants to double-check what’s legal for the first couple of weeks to a month and figure out some potential meals first. Chicken, burgers, and tuna would get kind of tedious after about a week, we’d imagine. Anyway, both of us need to lose the same amount of weight (and, oddly enough, have the same starting point), so if we managed to coordinate our weight-loss efforts, I think we could succeed. All I know is I’m tired of being frumpy.

When Mom visited last weekend, she told me she thinks I don’t eat enough. Gee, thanks, Mom. That’s just what I need. —Anyway, she’s probably more correct than I want to give her credit for. I think eating, for me, is a social thing. When I’m by myself at home, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass if I eat dinner or not. I say to myself, “Hey, I’m hungry.” I look in the kitchen, and if nothing strikes my fancy, I don’t eat. I pay my stomach about as much attention as I would a headache (and Aaron always bugs me about not taking anything for my headaches when I have them). I just don’t give a shit. If it’s the weekend, though, and I’m out with Aaron or other people, I tend to order up something huge and full of pasta. Lately, I’ve ended up taking half of it home, but still. Maybe I have more of a laziness problem (like, not wanting to actually make anything for dinner). I’d believe that, too. Actually, that’s probably right on the mark.

Part of me is sad that all my pretty code will probably get reorganized once I put this back into DreamBeaver. The rest of me smacks the first part and says, “Dreamweaver lives on your GIGAHERTZ machine, and you’re currently coding this on your 275 MHz PowerPC. Get a life…”

*sigh*

Downloaded BBEdit to my Mac. I’m a much happier coder now.

I feel so crappy. Just generally mentally worn-out and physically blah. I should be happy — Mom’s coming to visit tomorrow, and I got my camera back from Blue Ribbon today (just in time for the Mom Weekend). I also got 5 hours overtime this week, which could be considered good or bad. I also got paid today, which is definitely good. I borrowed Donna’s Windows CD last night, and am about to use it today, and that’s good, too.

I don’t know… I guess I’m just bored and lonely. I called Sheryl about my cranky computer, and she was hanging out with friends. I thanked her a lot for helping me out with my problems, and she wasn’t bitchy or anything, but I’d already agonized over calling "my personal tech support." But the internet wasn’t helping, and there was no one else to call, and I wanted to get this fucker working, so I called and interrupted her social time. *pouty self-deprecating sneer*

I think that just drove home the fact that I have absolutely no fucking social life. Not during the week, not on Friday nights, and only with Aaron and our mutual friends on the weekends. Not that I don’t enjoy hanging out with all of our friends… but sometimes, on Friday nights or weeknights, I feel isolated. Unloved. Everyone else has a group of friends to hang out with. Either that, or they live two or three (or more) hours away. I find I’m missing the days of the dorm, when I could call up Beth and go to the Founders snack bar, or go up and see if Donna was in her room, or IM Timmay and ask what he was up to. Or before that dorm experience, how about with Amy? She was almost always there, either playing PlayStation or studying or reading, and we could go on spontaneous walks around campus or to Grounds or Hatter, and talk about important things like God/Tao/Force or where we were going with our lives or our Tarot or a smattering of other mind-expending concepts. Or we could just hang out in the room with the door open, and Sheryl or the RA or someone would wander by and say hello. Or we could head down to the computer lab and play on the internet side-by-side and wait for someone to think we were on duty. None of you except Aaron know my roommate and friends before Amy, so I won’t even go into what we used to do… suffice to say it involved holding drumsticks for ransom and listening to Dream Theater with Asshole Steve.

Now what do I do? Play on the computer. Read. Nap. Watch HGTV and TLC. Avoid eating. (I’m hungry right now, but I really don’t give a shit.) I actually just played PS2 for the first time in months today. SSX Tricky. Anyway, sometimes find something to clean (but not often), and I sometimes lay on the couch with a potential new design for my genealogy website that can’t seem to get off the ground. Lately I’ve been leaving Instant Messenger launched, in the hopes that someone might want to talk to me, but no dice. Amy never even calls on Tuesdays like we’d agreed.

Excuse me, please. I have to dig myself out of my hole of self-pity before my Mom shows up tomorrow at 11:00am.

I *heart* my Macintosh

Finally couldn’t stand having an un-updated blog. Since I’ve been downloading fix-it stuff on my Mac, zipping it to floppies, transferring it to the broken PC, reconstituting it, and attempting to fix it, I’ve been feeling the love for my trusty Mac. I ended up using Fetch to grab the code for my blog, and (since my blog is too large to be opened by SimpleText, and I don’t seem to have BBEdit on my computer) using MS Word 98 to edit code.

Also, I have to give it up for me. By using stylesheets, I have made my little blog so much easier to update manually. It’s so much easier to type <p class="entry"> than trying to set all the font sizes and colors, indents, and all that crap. I’m also editing the HTML straight just to try to trick Word out of reformatting everything for me, as it is oft wont to do.

So, here’s the skinny on the PC. I was a little too eager to get my kick-ass system going, and failed to note that I had no driver disk.

This is bad, mmm-kay? So, between my existing Win 98 SE cab files (thoughtfully stored on my computer by Sheryl), Aaron’s Win 98 Update CD, and downloading/transferring files from the internet, I have seriously fucked up my OS. It refuses to recognize that I have an onboard nVidia video card, and sound card, and it keeps giving me errors when I try to install the drivers for the onboard LAN. I finally did download the drivers I needed, and get them on the PC (which required nine, count ’em, nine floppies), but Setup.exe doesn’t launch. I had to attempt to load the drivers manually… but I think the damage had already been done.

I asked Loni at work if she had a Windows 98 Second Edition disc I could borrow, and it turns out that she does. I’m planning to bring it home tomorrow (assuming she remembers to bring it to work), install the fucker, and hope I don’t have to wipe my entire C: drive. …Though it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Most of my important stuff is on the other, newer secondary drive.

On the weight loss/fitness front: I have been attempting to raise my protein intake to 91 grams a day. That’s harder than it looks—yesterday, I felt like all I was eating was meat. Today I made myself a yummy dinner: two chicken breasts baked with a glaze consisting of honey mustard, organic honey, the juice of one lemon, one teaspoon of soy sauce, and two slices of sushi ginger. (Hey, we didn’t have any ground ginger, OK?) Because I was feeling the need for some noodleage, I also made some ramen noodles, topped with a little butter, parsley, and lemon pepper. And, just to be silly, I garnished my plate with two lemon wedges. (I always find it silly to think about food presentation when I’m the only one going to be eating it. But I need to realize that the look of the food is half of the experience. —OK, maybe not half. But some.)

I have also eaten a banana for breakfast every weekday this month, and have exercised at least half an hour (with the exception of Tuesday, when I thought I was making progress with the computer-beast, and didn’t want to quit).

Wow… I haven’t spent this long coding straight HTML in… years? And to think I used to take pride in this ability. Maybe I should do this more often.

Oh, yeah. On the job front. (Did you even know there was a job front?) I sent an e-mail to one of the managers in Sky’s Marketing Department today, detailing my desire to work in said department. I told her where I currently worked, how long I’d worked for Sky (almost a year, fyi), and gave her my qualifications, including my bachelor’s degree and my experience in graphic design, web design, multimedia authoring, and video editing. I requested that she (or the appropriate person) let me know if there would be any positions opening up in the department anytime soon. She sent me a prompt reply, and copied the two VP’s of Marketing, and told me she was forwarding my message on to the people who did the hiring for the department. So… the ball is rolling. We’ll see what happens…

Unk. Now to upload and make sure I did this dang thing right.

Yup. Another Entry.

Not much to report. I am proud to report, though, that I ate breakfast *and* lunch today, and I jumped for a half hour on my trampoline. I opted against a walk/jog due to the severe thunderstorms and the tornado warning that was issued as I was driving home from work. Yipes. Anyway, the trampoline was fun but challenging, as I actually jumped for 30 minutes straight, instead of giving up after I got tired. (Probably should have stopped after 20 minutes, though, since that’s when my knees and ankles started actually hurting on every impact.) I did it while watching the 10:00 Fox News—while the news was on, I’d do the jog-bounce in place thing, where the balls of your feet don’t really leave the mat. During the commercials, though, I’d do full-on six-inch-high jumps (much to the dismay of my bouncing boobies). Forty-five minutes later, I can tell that my heart rate is still a little elevated. My breathing has long since returned to normal, though — I’m not that bad off.

Ended up staying at work a little longer than I needed today in order to get my 40 hours, so I got 45 minutes OT. Sweet. Andrew and I stayed after all the work was done in order to compress some little-used files on the server to reclaim some hard drive space. He was in rare form today, though, so we ended up having some particularly pleasant time together. Who’da thunk it? I found out that he turned 30 on Wednesday (we all thought he was in his early- to mid-30’s already), and had kept it ultra-low profile, to avoid any embarrassing "you’re old" parties. I’m considering writing him a "Gotcha Card" (remember, those are like RCC Pizza Points at Sky) just to say Happy Belated Birthday. Ah, what the hell.

I also narrowly missed having to work two weekends in a row—Loni’s husband has been in the hospital this week with major heart blockage. She was on vacation out-of-state on Monday and Tuesday, then Wednesday morning she came in to work, but left at 10:30 to take her husband to the doctor. Seems he was having difficulty breathing while mowing the lawn or climbing the stairs in their house. Turns out he had one 90% blockage and one 60% blockage, but they didn’t find this out until they admitted him to the hospital and ran some tests. Anyway, Loni has only been to work for about three hours this week, so we were assuming she would want to be at the hospital or with her husband this weekend. Well, we were wrong. Her husband is being released on Saturday, so she’s coming in to work. At first I wasn’t sure whether she was stir-crazy from being at the hospital, or if she was antsy just to get back to work. Turns out that she wouldn’t have been able to take my next weekend to work, so she opted to just work the schedule as is. Hmm.

Hey, I just managed three decent paragraphs out of "not much to report." I think I’m getting better at this blogging thing. ^_^

My Weight-Loss Plan… For Real This Time

All right, guys. I’m going to proclaim my goals out loud (so to speak) and unashamedly, so that I cannot renounce my plans.

I am fat. More than fat, I am obese. I can’t seem to locate the entry where I discussed how I’m not-quite-morbidly obese and linked to the scary Flash BMI calculator (Beth? Do you remember?), but we’ve gone over the fact several times in the months before the wedding. I am still the same weight I was in November… which could be good or bad. I choose to be grateful that I haven’t gained any more weight. I maintain that there is some validity to the concept of a weight setpoint, since I seem to have stabilized around a given weight.

Oh, hell. I’m not going to dance around it anymore. I weigh 250lbs. *collective gasp*

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am 70 pounds overweight by the most conservative estimate. Being my ideal weight (my personal ideal weight, not what "they" say) would put me back in middle school — though I’m now about three inches taller than I was then. (Yeah, I hit my growth spurt in sixth grade. Oh, the horror…)

So, you say, whatcha gonna do about it? Well, I’m glad you asked.

First, I’m going to create a little spot for current weight info in my sidebar on the main page. That way, everyone can cheer me on (*nudge, nudge*). I’ll include my current weight (embarrassing though it may be), BMI (body mass index), and body fat percentage, and indicators as to whether each is rising or falling.

Next, I’m going to set goals. Actually, let’s do that right now. *scribbles math problems on scrap paper* OK, let’s assume I can lose one pound a week. That’s fair and relatively simple, right? Right. So, that would put me at my ideal weight on New Year’s Eve 2005. Not this coming New Year’s, but the following. (Good God, that’s a long time.)

But I need short-term goals, too, so let’s figure I’ll aim for ten pounds in ten weeks? That means I’m shooting for 240 by… oh, let’s say October 1st. Certainly I can do that… right?

— There. I just wrote it on my calendar. Hang on, do I need a five-pound mark? Oh, OK… *writing on calendar again* There. The end of September.

…Oh, yeah. Don’t I need a diet and exercise plan now? D’oh!

Actually, I have several books on the subject (yes, yes, Aaron and I have the Atkins Diet book…), but my favorite is The 200 Calorie Solution. No, it’s not a super-starvation diet. 🙂 It tells all about thermogenesis, which is the body’s burning of calories after a meal, and explains how to get the most out of your exercise by walking or doing other exercise within an hour after a meal. The idea is that if you can boost your metabolism just a little, that will be enough to raise your basal metabolic rate so you continue to burn calories at a higher rate. The process expounds upon itself, and eventually your body actually becomes an efficient fat-burner. Theoretically. I like this program because it strokes my food-ego; I don’t think I eat more than your average person, nor do I eat worse food. I do eat too many starches, though, and I’ll admit to being a pastaholic. I’ll give you that. Overall, though, I think I’m just too sedentary. (Case in point: I’m sitting here blogging while I should be out practicing what I’m preaching.)

Another favorite book of mine is The Setpoint Diet. It’s more dietary than exercise-based, but it’s portion control rather than calorie-counting. It also includes an exercise factor, though, as should any good weight-loss program. The hook to this diet is the groupings of foods into the stardard food groups, plus an "A list," a "B list," and "freebies." The concept is that complete elimination of any food group (ahem, Atkins Diet) is unhealthy for the body itself and a dieter is less likely to remain on a diet which completely removes a given food or group of foods. Eventually you’ll go off the diet, or just cheat, and the weight will come back. (Yes, I know there is a throng of Atkins supporters out there… I side with the anti-Atkins bunch, even though I haven’t tried the diet myself. Call me a skeptic, call me hypocritical, call me stupid, but I still say it’s just not sound.) Anyway, on this diet, you’re allowed to have, say, a couple beers or a piece of cake or some real mayo. Just not a whole lot of it, and not all the time.

The reason it’s called the Setpoint Diet is because the author is one of the believers of setpoint theory, which says that your body tries to stabilize itself at a given weight, just like it does with temperature (with shivering and sweating). If you kick-start your metabolism with exercise, and reach the lower setpoint without your body thinking it’s starving, your body will attempt to stabilize at the new, lower setpoint. Setpoint theory has also been supported with underweight people who try to gain weight, fyi. (I’ll look up some references later, for the skeptical.)

So, yeah. My first obstacles are a.) walking for 30 continuous minutes a day, and b.) eating breakfast. Speaking of, I should go for a walk now.

Anybody need a diet buddy? Come on, I know you’re out there…