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…

Design Cravings, Part 2

This entry is actually only about a half hour after "yesterday’s" entry — which was in itself a misnomer, since it was written at about 1:30am.

I just got done surfing around my own (outdated) portfolio, and surfed off of it to one of my "inspirational" sites, PrayStation. God, I just want to cry. How did I manage to drop the ball? How can I feel justified in calling myself a web designer? I’m better than your average non-web-designer, sure, but can I run with the rest of my genre? Even just looking at Schavitz, I’ve long been tempted to say no.

Even just looking at CoolHomePages.com, I feel inadequate. Would any of my pages ever end up there? No. What would I need to do to break through that barrier from mediocrity to coolness? I feel like my brain just doesn’t do cool. Some will say that this is a good thing, because I have a "classic" style and could design for more "conservative" clients.

Well, that’s just great. "Conservative" won’t get me a design job. Versatility might. Self-confidence would sure help, too.

As would actually looking for one.

Quit beating yourself over the head with your own inadequacies, Diana, and go to bed. *sigh*

Design Cravings

I suddenly have an insatiable urge to design something. Not redesign my website, but just make something for the sake of making it, à là Timmay. Something clean and modern with straight lines and interestingly stark graphics and a unique color palette.

I don’t remember how I found them, but there’s this group of friends who all went to school in New Jersey, I think. They all have blogs: Steve’s is Blind Spot, Garrett’s is Maniacal Rage, Shawn’s is Morrison Film, and Ellie’s is Something Normal. I found Ellie’s first, as I recall, by surfing from somewhere or searching for something… I don’t recall where or what, exactly. I might have been looking for mp3’s. Anyway, I liked Ellie’s design, so I bookmarked the page. Eventually I surfed to her friends’ sites and found that they were as design-conscious as she, and relatively well-spoken/written, too. If you’d like to do some random blog-surfing, as I sometimes do, start at one of their sites and just go. The results will be rewarding, IMO.

Anyway, it’s not meant as a slam to any of my friends, but these guys all have great design skills, and I’d be willing to bet that they inspire each other. I wonder if they were inspired by a certain class or professor at the school they attended. Only fly in that ointment is that Ellie graduated Fairleigh Dickinson University with a degree in Biology, not design.

On the other hand, I think they all use Movable Type, so that could have something to do with it, too.

I feel like some elusive Zen puzzle piece is missing from my life, and I think it’s the constant challenge of school. Yeah, college sucked, and yeah, I’m glad I’ve got my degree (and my $40,000+ worth of consolidated debt) and I’m out. But even just submitting my pictures to the Wood County Fair gave me a little of that old preparing-for-graphic-design-critique feeling. (And yes, that feeling is entirely different from preparing-for-photography-critique feeling. There’s less "craft" involved there — you print out your picture and pin it to the wall. In graphic design class, if you suck at mounting and matting your piece, your grade suffers.)

I know for a while there, I was taking a notepad to work and doing design sketches during my lunch. I’ve been trying to walk during my lunch instead, but maybe I could switch off or something. It’s rough trying to improve multiple areas of my life at the same time. Wash more dishes, clean house better, be more active, work my brain more… the list goes on. Aaron says I should start doing crossword puzzles or something if I feel like my brain isn’t working hard enough. I don’t know. I miss conversations with Amy and design pow-wows with Tim.

Part of me says, "What I wouldn’t give to be back in undergrad…" Another part of me bitch-slaps that first part. See, I think I’d love to have that whole experience again, except that half of the whole experience is your friend base. I wouldn’t want to make another friend base, and certainly not at this point in my life. That, plus the fact that you will never have a schedule of classes with non-moronic teachers, no busy-work, relevant subject matter, etc., etc. I guess what I mean to say, then, is that I can really appreciate the experience I had: living in the dorm, not having to work more than 10 or 15 hours a week, having great friends (and a swell roomie), sharing classes with people I jived with, having intellectual conversations (or so they seemed at the time), walking to Grounds with Amy, walking across campus at night with a cool breeze, sitting in the computer lab websurfing or working on design homework or staffing the lab, walking up to Donna’s room or Tim’s room or across campus to Beth’s room, late-night group projects… no, on second thought, I don’t miss those at all. 🙂