Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Sweet Charges

I may have mentioned my new volunteer gig. I've been enjoying cleaning the cat cages at the local PetCo and cuddling with the kitties who are there looking for their forever homes.

As you get to know a cat, you start to really hope that they find an awesome home. If I had the time, space and money, I'd adopt more than two, but my lifestyle doesn't permit it. Millie and Harley are enough for me, but I still have a lot of love for the unadopted babies I see each Sunday.

I celebrated when I found out that sweet little Dora was adopted yesterday. She will make someone an excellent little friend--she is super-affectionate and eager for love.

When I set out to adopt a 2nd cat into my home in December 2008, I looked at cats on AFC's website. I was quite taken with Munique, and I seriously considered adopting her. The next day, I went to PetCo to have a look. Munique was at the Lodi sanctuary...and we all know what happened at PetCo. A little orange dude stole my heart and turned out to be a purrfect match for Millie and me.

Still, I felt a little bad. Older cats are harder to find homes for. While AFC is a no-kill shelter, I wanted to save Munique from always being overlooked and unwanted...and then I fell for a baby, just like most people do.

Imagine, then, my delight while looking through the AFC cat pages tonight. Munique has been adopted! I hope her new home is everything she deserves.

This morning I was on my own with the cleaning duties for the first time. There were only three cats at PetCo (usually four), and all were very sweet.

Zsa Zsa is a Duchess look-alike. She's very sweet but very shy. The last few times I've cleaned, she's allowed me to pet her, but she's been reluctant to let me move her from one side of the cage to the other. This morning, she moved herself and even brushed against the cage door, looking for attention! She's coming along, and I hope someone sees how special she is soon.

Zsa Zsa:


Are they doppelgangers or what?

Charlie Brown is new to PetCo, so this morning is the first time I met him. He's incredibly sweet, and quite the talker, providing more evidence that my vet is correct in his assertion that orange boys are the sweetest and friendliest cats around. He talked to me the whole time I cleaned his cage, and was very eager for ear scratches and butt-pats. Damage to his eyes as a baby caused permanent weepy eyes, but he's otherwise purrfectly healthy.

Also on hand was Shadow, but I can't find a picture of her. She's a VERY shy cat, new to PetCo, and still uncertain about how to act. I cleaned around her and talked gently to her. She seemed reassured.

I don't work with the AFC dogs, but I'm just browsing the web site and I came across Melony. Is she adorable, or is she adorable?

It's rewarding working with the cats--especially when I come back and they're no longer there because they found a home. Sure, I miss their sweet faces, but there are so many--too many--sweet faces waiting to replace them, looking for homes. I wish we had no need for animal shelters. As long as we do, I'm happy to offer support.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got two sweet furbabies to attend to, who are always up for cuddles. : )

The War Wound...Again

I promise, this is the last time I'll post pictures of my Monster Bruise. It's just so...pretty. Pardon the "wubbies,"* I am never without socks when I'm at home.

*"Wubbies" are what my brother and I used to call any and all marks made on our skin by clothing. I just remembered this recently and smiled.

OMG, He's Taking Over My Life!!

An hour or two ago, I was sitting at the computer with iTunes going, and I thought I heard my cell phone give that "You've got a text!" chirp. I paused the song I was listening to, but heard nothing.

Well, turns out, I did have a text. THREE texts. All from the trainer. It was actually one text, but it was so long, it had to be sent in three different messages. Here's what he wrote:

I would like you to eat at least 30 grams of fiber today. Beans, lentils, wheat tortilla, fruit, veggies. And drink lots of water until 11 am. Then fast til 4 and sip on water. We will weigh after your cardio--at the end of our workout.

It had been a while since he sent these texts, but regardless, I texted back:

Do you mean tomorrow?

His reply:

I mean eat those things today, at least some, and lots of water. I want you to have a clean system and be light for tomorrow. Also don't eat a heavy lunch but have a normal breakfast.

I texted back that I made whole wheat pasta with spinach, mushrooms, zucchini and 2 oz. of turkey sausage for tomorrow's lunch.

Only eat a small ammount, and add a cup of Joe for energy, eat more right after weigh in. Pasta takes a long time to burn off. Smoothie sounds great maybe add a scoop of peanut butter, makes to feel full.

Okay, so what about the quiche I made, with spinach and asparagus? Can I have that for lunch? Is that better?


I'm just shaking my head and laughing.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Between the Storms

I took this picture through the windshield of Mom's van this afternoon. The clouds were stunning. Not sure how long our sun will last, or if there will be more rain coming this week, but I did enjoy seeing Mr. Sunshine today. I needed some vitamin D.

Oh, Good Grief

There's a special deal going on at my gym, where if I buy 20 sessions with the trainer, I get four free. Deal ends tomorrow, so I've arranged to meet with G. at the gym tomorrow morning to pay for the sessions. It's his day off, but he doesn't want someone else getting credit for the sale (I guess they get some sort of commission). Fair enough, and I'm willing to work with him on this.

A few minutes ago, I texted him the following:

Is 9 too early to pay for more sessions tomorrow?

He replied:

How about 10am. Its my only day off and I want to meet you myself. But not that early. I'm going to run.

So I fired back with:

Will still be there suffering on the treadmill, so 10 is fine.

I just received his reply to that:

Cool, see you then. Not suffering, running 20,000 steps closer to your goal.

Well, hell, G., when you put it that way. I'd never thought about how many steps are in four-and-a-half miles. Now I'll probably drive myself crazy counting them or something. But, you know, yay for being encouraging and all that.

Good thing I just bought a set of three Bill Bryson audio books on iTunes. I've read them all in print form, but these are read by the author himself, and they should keep me well entertained.

Friday, January 29, 2010

War Wound, Part Two

Any comments about how white/hairy/fat/strange my legs are will be deleted, and I will put a Bat Bogey Hex on you. Comments about how awesome that bruise is are welcome.

This is the bruise on Day 2--it looks far worse than it is, thought it is a little sore. When I got to the gym today, G. came over and said, "Let me see that ankle!"

"It's beautiful, G. A really gorgeous purple." I hiked up my gym pants and he crouched down to take a look. He poked at it (OW!) and then smiled and said, "Oh, this is way better than I was even hoping. I was really worried that it would be worse."

I took some pictures of it this evening. A war wound like this deserves to be commemorated, don't you think?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

War Wound

By morning, I will have a splendid purple bruise on my left ankle.

G. told me I can call it a War Wound, and so I shall. It's not the first, and won't be the last.

What happened?

There's a step-up exercise G. often has me do. I put one foot on a small step and step up, raising the opposite foot so that my knee comes up in front of me. I did 5 on my left foot, and then G. handed me a 25-pound weight. That was a first. I completed five more reps, then switched to my right foot.

I don't know how many I'd done when all of a sudden, the step slipped beneath my foot and I went flying backwards. I landed on my butt, my hands hitting first. In particular, the heel of my right hand, which still aches a little. As I came down, I dropped the weight, and it ricocheted off my left ankle.

G. nearly had a heart attack. As I quickly clambered off the ground he started firing questions at me. "Did you hurt your wrist? Can you walk? Is your tailbone hurting? Oh my God, Megan, are you okay?!"

"Just embarassed!"

He chuckled at that and said, "Believe me, I've seen a lot worse. People fall all the time here." Still, he made me walk around and test everything out. I told him I've broken four bones in my life and I can already tell that nothing is broken in this case.

Now that I'm home, and have iced it, it's hurting. Maybe I'll take a picture of it later.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Day in the Life

I can't make this stuff up. This is how my day progressed. Some times are approximate, but close enough.

5:15 am Awake. What the hell? ...Oh, nice. Yeah, thanks, neighbor. I really wanted to hear that new CD you've got in the car in the wee hours of the morning and OH BY THE WAY I HAVE TO GET UP IN AN HOUR!

6:00 Generic AT&T ringtone. Hit snooze.

6:15 Generic AT&T ringtone. Hit snooze.

6:25 Generic AT&T ringtone. Hit snooze.

6:30 Generic AT&T ringtone. Hit snooze. Oh, wait. Time to get up.

6:35 Blearily drag myself to the bathroom, using the cell phone LCD screen as a flashlight in the dark. Take care of business with Millie doing figure eights around my ankles and Harley sitting on the shelf across from the toilet purring like, well, a Harley.

6:40 Turn computer on.

7:01 Comment on really stupid comment by a Jez reader about bullying. "The problem is the bullying," I write. "Victim-blaming never works."

7:03 Crap. I really need to get moving.

7:05 Turn off computer, throw breakfast dishes in dishwasher.

7:19 Dressed, some make-up on, and I have deodorant. I'm running a wee bit late, standing in the living room thinking, "I forgot, well, too late now."

7:25 Halfway to work, I suddenly realize why everything is so blurry. It's not the morning fog, it's the fact that I forgot to put my contacts in.

7:30 Arrive at work. Realize that while I can see well enough in natural light, those classroom flourescents give me a run for my money...and the beginnings of a headache.

7:50 1st period starts. Uneventful.

8:50 Have delivered first period kids back to their homeroom teacher. I meander up to the office to let the secretary know that I have to run home during my prep to put my contacts in. She laughs at me.

9:05 Pull into a parking spot near my apartment.

9:05:30 Oh. My. God. MEGAN!!! Realize that when I grabbed my wallet, cell phone and car keys, I forgot to grab the "Scrapbook Queen" lanyard that has--yup--my house key.

9:07 Walk into manager's office. Sheepishly explain my predicament. She gives me a key and tells me to bring it right back when I'm done. All I can do is laugh at myself.

9:10 Contacts are in. Hurrah, I can see! Walk back to office, then to car.

9:20 Arrive back at school. Pick up 3rd period kids. That class and 4th period after it are uneventful.

11:30 Guess what else I forgot today? Lunch. Drive to Subway. Ogle three motorcycle cops in front of me in the line.

12:00 Arrive back at school (Subway was BUSY). Have 15 minutes to scarf down sandwich before kinders come for music.

12:15 First kinder class arrives. Show them a gong and some cymbals and play some Chinese New Year music for them.

1:30 Last kinder class leaves. Put instruments away, gather personal belongings, and head out to car.

1:45 Arrive at my other school sight for a staff inservice. It's not required, but everyone has to get 18 hours of professional development a year and I need to pick some hours up.

3:30 Staff development is done. Dash to car. Drive straight to gym. While merging onto Highway 4, I notice a van coming up in the slow lane. I will have to merge in front of him. Speed up as much as I can to prevent him from slamming on his breaks. This isn't good enough for the asshole, and he proceeds to force me over to the shoulder so that I can't merge in front of him as I should have.

3:31 Merge in behind dumbass in the van in front of me. Give him the finger.

3:45 Arrive at gym. Head straight for women's locker room. The bench I normally use (because I'm a dork and I like to use locker number 88 whenever possible) is completely covered by another lady's stuff. Lady herself is sitting on a second bench, hogging that one. Of five benches, she's got a monopoly on two. I give her a dirty look and find myself at locker 57. Because I'm actually sort of insane, I do a quick calculation (5+7=12) to determine that 57 is divisible by 3, and therefore, NOT a prime number. I hate prime numbers. See? I'm insane.

4:00 Stairmaster! YAY! /sarcasm

4:10 Work with styrofoam roller and do some stretches.

4:20 Treadmill! YAY!! /sarcasm

4:50 Two miles: DONE. Megan: GOING HOME.

5:00 Having picked up mail (two DVDs from Blockbuster, a Yankee Candle catalogue, Newsweek, and a postcard from London, sent by blogger friend Sara), I let myself into my apartment--this time with my actual key, on the "Scrapbooking Queen" lanyard.

6:30 Have spoken to Mom and Dad on the phone, had dinner. Reading Comments of the Day on Jez. OMG! I'm sort of a bestie! My response to dumbass commenter who blames victims for getting bullied has been quoted as a good response to a "worstie" comment. I've received a few shout-outs in the comments section for being a badass commenter. Awesome!

6:45 Jump back in the car and drive to St. John's for a choir rehearsal. Five nights of singing this week.

9:15 Arrive home. Exhausted. Decide to blog, have a quick snack, and get to bed by 11:00...because tomorrow is another crazy day.

10:22 Finish blogging, think it might be a good idea to affix a Post-It Note on my bathroom mirror. One that says, "DON'T FORGET YOUR CONTACTS!"

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Trainer and the Trainee

Bear with me. I have to brag. If you absolutely can't stand it, well, turn away now.

I weighed in today, and I was down 2.4 pounds from last week! This is with all my girlie water retention and even a weak moment at work today when I found banana-nut bread with cream cheese frosting in the staff room. Yes, I had a small piece. It was wonderful.

G. the Meanie credits all the running he's making me do, and I suppose he's right. I'm still not loving the running, but he assures me that as the weight comes off, it will get easier. Being lighter equals fewer shin splints. Yay. I could really use a break from the shin splints.

We've moved out of the introduction phase, through the "OH. MY. GOD. WHO ARE YOU TO MAKE ME RUN?!?" phase, and now I feel really comfortable working with G. He's probably the best of the three trainers I've worked with. Don't tell him I said that. It would go to his head. Still--B the Sadist never let me eat anything like olive oil or avocado--he outlawed feta cheese, for goodness sake!--and C. was sweet but it was sort of easy to just listen to her advice and then go do my own thing. G. acknowledges that I need my healthy fats, but doesn't let me get away with anything. I answer to him on my cardio, and if he's in the gym when I'm on that treadmill, I can count on him coming over to check on me.

This is a guy who keeps a portfolio with before and after pictures of all of his former clients. Success is the only option, here.

Today, I was climbing on board one particularly nasty torture device piece of equipment to do some leg-lifts. G. said, "I wonder...I wonder if all these people are looking over here and getting jealous that you get to work with me, because of all the fun we're having." I withheld my unladylike inclination to snort, and just scoffed instead. "Uh-huh. Having a BLAST!"

In our first few sessions, G. would ask stuff like, "How do you like this exercise?" or "How did you like today's routine?" I'd politely nod and say, "Yeah. Good workout!"

We're past that formality now. My stock answer is usually something along the lines of, "I don't," or, "Hurts like hell." But he knows that I'll do the exercise--he's learned now that I am not a quitter...even if I do whine a lot.

We're coming up on one year from the day I walked up to the trainer's desk and said to B. the Sadist, "I need some help." I weighed 221.8 pounds. I couldn't run, I couldn't do a pushup. My muscles were nonexistent and my body fat was out of control.

Today, I weighed the lowest I've weighed in at least five years--194 pounds. A couple pounds more, and I'm at 30 total. Every pound that comes off means one less shin splint, more flexibility, cuter clothes, a healthier me. I fully expect to see an 8 in the tens spot in another week or two. Suddenly, 180 pounds doesn't seem so far away.

Monday Music: Panic At The Disco

Gotta love a song with a title like "Nine in the Afternoon." Panic At The Disco is good for giving us crazy/weird videos, to go with their quirky songs. I particularly like this song.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Main Type
Overall Self
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test

I'm not so sure I agree with this...I'll have to go back and try again sometime.

Edited to add this one, which I think is more accurate:

free enneagram test

This link has some interesting information.

Sunday Review: Notes From a Small Island

When Bill Bryson and his wife decided to pack up their four kids and move from England to the United States, Bill, an American Anglophile, set off on a farewell tour of the country he had adopted as a young man just out of college. Notes From a Small Island is the story of his adventures and misadventures.

About to set off on my own adventure on that same small island in 2004, I found this book at Borders and thought I'd give it a try. It was the only book that went to England with me (and then I bought about 3,592 books while there, not including those that I borrowed from Kathy, my English Mum), and it was one I made sure came home with me a year later.

Notes From a Small Island is, from start to finish, a hilarious, affectionate and accurate portrayal of the ways of Britain and the British.

If you've never read anything by Bill Bryson, run, don't walk, to your local bookseller, or get online and buy anything he's written (except, maybe, for A Short History of Nearly Everything, if you, like me, don't care much for science). Bryson's humor and ability to take the mickey (a Britishism, there) out of any culture while never truly causing offense is entertaining beyond words.

And he sums up, quite neatly, how I feel about England:

Eating Well

Last night I had a hankering for pizza. I also had to eat at least 700 calories more to make my day's quota (I can't go under 1,200 or over 1,500), so I decided a bit of a treat was in order.

I'm in love with Oroweat Sandwich Thins. Think whole wheat bread that is channeling sandwhich bread and hamburger buns. They're round, and two slices are about the width of one piece of normal sandwich bread. One sandwich thin is 100 calories. Oh, and they're trainer-approved.

Normally I only have one thin per meal, but because I was low on calories, I had two last night. I opened them up and put them on a cookie sheet. I spread 1/4 cup of pizza sauce (30 calories) over the four pieces of bread, then piled them high with mushrooms, zuchini, and bell pepper. I spread 1/2 a cup of fat free mozzarella cheese over the four pizzas (90 calories) and topped them off with black olives. I baked them at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes and ended up with a 430-calorie meal--four mini-pizzas in all.

They were delicious. I scarfed them down while watching "Bride and Prejudice."

Eating healthy does not have to be boring!


A couple of weeks ago, I did a unit on painting with my kids at one of my schools.

Yes, that's right. A music teacher teaching painting techniques. You can imagine how that went. It was messy, and I learned the hard way that you have to tell the kids beforehand that mixing all the paints into one big shit-colored blob on the palette is NOT okay.

And there is a TON of prep time. I put fresh butcher paper on the tables every morning, and had to constantly wash palettes and brushes. We went through a lot of tempera paint (fortunately, it's inexpensive).

But it wasn't all bad. Some of my kids just half-assed their way through it, but some gave me some awesome paintings. The ones pictured below are going to be displayed at Stockton's Haggin Museum, in the 79th Annual Robert T. McKee Student Art Contest and Exhibition.

I've saved the best for last. This student came to my school in December. The kids were finishing a costume design project, so I handed her a piece of paper and told her to do what she could, using a body form to trace, etc. She didn't even trace. She just knocked out TWO designs in one class period, both beautiful. Obviously, she's quite artistic. Her painting blew me away.

Furring Purries

I have a few random shots of Millie and Harley. They're the sweetest, cutest babies, so of course I have to share. : )

Harley can be a total twerp. That arm around Millie? Not so much a sign of affection as much as it's a little brother being his usual twerpy self. It's usually not long before he's biting her butt or her ears and poor Millie is growling and twisting out of his embrace.

But it's cute while it lasts.

Sometimes they share the Sweet Spot without drama (though in this one, Millie has a monopoly on the "sweet").

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Let's Have An Adventure

I've been musing a lot lately on the state of my personal life. I suppose it started in December, when I realized that Date Boy was not going to be Relationship Boy. I've been feeling like I should really be dating a lot. Which may be true, or may not be.

Then a young friend from Jezebel tweeted on Twitter her anxiety on discovering, "OMG IN TEN YEARS I'LL BE 32!!! I'M GETTING OLD!!!"

I calmly replied to her tweet with, "Oh, hon...I'll be 32 *this* year, and my 30s are my best decade yet!"

But it got me thinking. Wow, I'll be thirty-two this year. My Mom at thirty-two had been married ten years, and she gave birth to me, her second child, a month after her birthday that year. Many of my high school friends, and even college friends, are settled into marriages, with babies and children and even teenagers. Part of me wonders if I should be striving for that.

But it doesn't do to compare. Mom is a different person, and she grew up in a different time. Just as it doesn't do to compare myself to what looks "normal" in the world of love and romance and having a family. I just want to continue to improve myself, and have all of the fun adventures I can. Because in the end, an even bigger part of me doesn't want to settle down and have the same life as everyone else.

I want to go to Monterey for a few days of Spring Break. I want to jump in my car in April and drive to Indio, California for the Coachella Music Festival. I want to visit England as many times as I possibly can (money would be nice), and just live my life as I have been since college ended and my life really began.

Photo credit: xkcd Shamelessly stolen after seeing it on Sara's blog.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


"Guys never make passes at girls who wear glasses."

This is, apparently, not true, but it didn't stop me, six years ago, from getting contact lenses. For me, though, the decision to get contacts wasn't as much about vanity as it was about not going crazy. I had only worn glasses full-time for a year, and already, I was sick of them constantly sliding down my nose (always fun when in the middle of a squat, with weights on my shoulders). They were constantly dirty because I never remembered to clean them. I had those awful, cheesy clip-on sunglasses for driving. Years of being able to push my sunglasses up on my head resulted in a lot of pain when I tried it with glasses--the nose grips would get caught in my hair.

Contacts enabled me to function normally again. Cute, cheap sunglasses were back in my life. My peripheral vision was once again reliable. I took to my lenses like a duck to water, and I've never looked back. Once in a while I wear the glasses to work, if I need to, but most days, it is simply easiest to wear my contacts.

As I've gotten into my 30s and my tastes in what is "sexy" have changed, so has my outlook on glasses. The right frames on the right face can be quite attractive, and even downright hot.

No one is doubting that Tina Fey is gorgeous:

And Jennifer Garner is lovely, too:

Buddy Holly was rockin' this look long before it was cool:

And Johnny Depp could wear just about anything and pull it off, so why not glasses?

And, of course, I can't leave out two men who pull off glasses beautifully, Richard and Tim of Keane:

That picture of Richard reading the paper gets me every time. Because even sexier than any glasses on any man, is a man with a BRAIN.

Random Bits and Pieces

Just a few nonsensical ramblings from Meg of the Little Pink Blog...

Plastic Snoopy Dishes

While I've gotten pickier and pickier about what Snoopy stuff I'll buy (I'm not the one who bought me the Snoopy Kleenex, okay?), every once in a while, I see something Snoopy and I buy it just because OMG IT HAS SNOOPY ON IT! Such was the case a year or so ago, when I found plastic Snoopy dishes at Dollar Tree, and bought them. I now have four plates and one small bowl.

I got home and thought, "Oh, good grief, WHY did I buy these?!" Too lazy to return them, but not quite wanting to toss them in the eBay or Goodwill pile, I put them in my dish cabinet. And I have found that I actually use them. They're perfect when I want something unbreakable. Tonight I found myself eating sweet potato bisque and a peanut butter and honey sandwich off of them.

I am thirty-one years old, and I use plastic Snoopy dishes. I suppose there are weirder things.

Helloooooo, Hot Stuff

At my gym, there are several staff people, and because I am there pretty much every day, they all know me. Eliza at the desk always greets me with a big smile and a "Hi, Megan!" before I even show her my ID card. The three current trainers all know me at least by sight, and the two I don't work with will stop from time to time and ask how I'm doing. The admissions people, who get interested people signed up for memberships, see me and will say hello.

One of these admissions people is a truly handsome--I mean totally gorgeous--speciman whose name I don't recall. But he is male beauty. Dark hair, perfect smile, perfect body. The way his booty looks in his black trousers...oy!

Anyway, today he was wandering around working out before his shift started. He wandered by the treadmills, where I was patiently waiting for a machine to open up. He had been working out near me earlier and we hadn't really acknowledged each other, but as I moved out of the way to let him pass, he flashed that devastating smile at me and said, "Hey, how are you?"

"I'm good. You?" I did my best to keep the drool in check. He replied with a cheery, "I'm fine!" and as he walked away, obliged me by letting me check out his ass.

Suddenly, I didn't even mind that G. upped my daily run/walk from 1.5 miles to 2.


Most of my conversations with G. the Trainer revolve around my form, my diet, and whether or not I am getting enough cardio into my life, but sometimes we get into discussions about other stuff. He knows, for example, that I am a musician. Last week he asked if I watch American Idol.

"Heavens no!"

"What do you mean? You're a singer! You don't watch American Idol?!"

"Half those kids can't sing, dude!"

He was baffled. Here they are, on American Idol, and I'm telling him they can't sing? Look, some of them can--Jennifer Hudson is AWESOME--but some of them are so friggin' unhealthy in their shouting, that I just can't support the show that celebrates singers a style that will render some of them mute before they hit their 40s. I explained this to him and he said, "What about Adam Lambert?"


"What do you mean, 'Eh?!'"

"I don't really know much about him."

So G. gave me homework in addition to all the crazy running he makes me do. YouTube Adam Lambert. Fine, okay.

This was last week. Yesterday, I gave HIM some homework.

"Get on YouTube. Look up Keane. That's K-E-A-N-E. Now that's a dude who can sing, says the music snob!"

He said he would. I fully intend to test him.

Gym Rat

Can you tell I'm becoming a gym rat? I am there every day. Every. Day. I work with G. on Mondays and Thursdays, and seven days a week, I am running and doing the Stairmaster.

Earlier this month, I spent nearly $200 on proper running shoes, fancy inserts, and a pair of really cool socks that let your feet breathe. Of course, I wear them once, then wear regular cheap Hanes socks the rest of the week until I do laundry. But still, these socks are awesome.

I take TWO pairs of gym shoes. My Super Cardio Shoes with their inserts are for cardio, and G. recommends I use my old shoes for the strength training. I will have to replace the running shoes in June, so I may as well use them only for cardio.

I even have one of those armbands for my iPod, but I don't use it much because it just sticks to my sweaty arm--gross.

The good news is that all this time at the gym is making my clothes feel looser. I was down two pounds from last week when I weighed yesterday, so YAY!!

Rain, Rain, Go Away STAY, STAY, STAY!!!

California has been getting absolutely DUMPED ON this week, and I love it. LOVE. IT. I close my eyes and pretend I'm in England. It makes me want to sip hot tea and watch movies, all cozied into my apartment with the cats. I did that a lot this weekend, but alas, now I've got this thing called "work" I have to do on the week days.

It poured all morning, then got sunny this afternoon. When I came home from the gym, the sun was out. I sat down and relaxed at the computer for a bit. By the time I got up to have my shower, the sun was gone and the rain was coming down again. Work it, storm system!

Busy Girl

The next couple of weeks are kind of crazy-busy. Tomorrow I have an after-school inservice, followed immediately with cardio and an appointment with G. I can't meet at our normal time on Thursday because I've got a mandatory meeting for all VAPA teachers, but I'll still have to get to the gym and run that evening.

Next week I've got singing all five nights. Chorale on Monday, and rehearsals for a Pops Choir on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I did the Pops Choir last year and it was great fun. The concert for that is Friday night. In addition to these rehearsals, I have more of the staff inservice on Wednesday, and my normal two appointments with G. I've started showering and washing my hair at night because getting up before 6:30 is damned near impossible with all this stuff going on.

And this reminds me, I have to reschedule the hair appointment I made for next Wednesday. Just not gonna happen.

...And That's All For Now, She Wrote.


Monday, January 18, 2010

What's Up?

Aside from a couple of scheduled posts, I haven't had many blog updates this weekend. I've been getting over the cold that set in after my immune system got compromised this week by all that running.

I haven't given up yet. I have continued to walk/run every day, even when feeling lousy. Saturday and Sunday were the worst days as far as the cold goes--yesterday I could not stop sneezing--but I still managed to do my full round of cardio. Saturday's assignment was FOUR MILES, minimum speed 3.7-3.8, on the treadmill. It was difficult, but I made it. I'm proud of that.

Having today off has been marvelous. I did a few minor chores (couple loads of laundry, scooping the litter boxes, emptying the dishwasher), but have otherwise been quite lazy. I put "Anne of Green Gables" in the DVD player and sat around in my toasty pajamas, listening to the rain come down. And rain it did! The sun is out for now, but we're supposed to get a good dumping of rain the rest of this week. Bring it on!

In fifteen minutes, I'm off to the gym (again) to run (again) and meet with G. the Trainer (again). Then it's a quick dash for dinner and off to Chorale rehearsal. I missed last week because of my greusome introduction to running, so I can't miss tonight. Depending on how my voice is faring, I might leave at the break.

And that's it. Nothing too exciting this weekend, but plenty of time to rest and recover from the Nasties.

Monday Music: Felix Mendelssohn

Today, I take you the more classical route, featureing Felix Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise. (Also known as "Lobesgang.")

I feature "Lobesgang" because Chorale is tackling it for the next few months. We will perform it in March. Buy your tickets now!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Review: America's Women

I picked up America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines by Gail Collins about six years ago, hoping it would be an interesting and inspiring book.

It very much was.

Collins documents the female participants in United States history going all the way back to the first colonists, even briefly touching on the mysterious female infant, Virginia Dare.

Collins leaves no one out in her quest to honor America's Women--everyone from Pocahontas to the women accused of witchcraft in Salem, the nurses, wives, mothers, pioneer women, teachers, and everyone in between. Collins discusses all things that drove a woman's existence in her time in history, from catastrophic wars to sexual expectations from her husband, corsets, menstruation, careers, suffrage, all the way up to burning bras. She concludes with the tumultuous Sixties, leaving the last three decades of the Twentieth Century for another time, or another writer. Still her book, at 450 pages a lofty, but very interesting read, is an excellent overview of how women have fared in this country's history.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Beautiful Burnham

I just found a lovely little profile of Burnahm-on-Crouch on the Guardian's web site. It made me smile to see that someone else could be so utterly charmed by this gorgeous little town.

I spent a year living in Burnham, documented, of course, in the earliest days of The Wild and Absolutely True Adventures of Meg. While the job was stressful, and I was sometimes homesick, Burnham never disappointed me. I loved it and miss the relaxed lifestyle it provided.

And just 'cause I feel like it, I will post some pictures of my favorite little English town.

The Crouch at dusk

Burnham's clock tower

The pharmacy--also the post office and place to get your pictures developed (this was before I went digital!)

Burnham Marina

An adorable old building

This is where I dropped a lot of outgoing, US-bound mail.

One of many large fields surrounding the town. So green!

I lived on Barnmead Way
Kathy and Derek (my English parents!) had a lovely home. (The lady with me in the picture is my Actual Mom, not my English Mum!)

St. Mary's Church

Kathy's gorgeous garden

The quay (pronounced "key"). I walked along the quay many, many times.

An old dock