Monday, January 31, 2011
The other night, my husband and I went to Starbucks to unwind with a cup of coffee. He got plain 'ol coffee, even though I warned him it tastes like charcoal. We joke that I like my coffee strong enough to take the paint off a Grand Am and he likes vesh (literally, Russian for "thing" or "stuff"; his grandpa used to complain in Russian about that the weak coffee my in-laws made, and the only word my husband remembered from that tirade was vesh. I'm guessing it was in the context of, "What is this stuff?!"). Anyway....
We were the only people in Starbucks, aside from the baristas, and we took our seats at a table in the back. We enjoyed our coffee and conversation for a good hour (we're slow) and then..... kids showed up. Two little boys carrying personal-sized pizza boxes from the Target Cafe walked back to the area where we were sitting and set their goods on the "bar" that butts up against the windows. One little boy sat on the "bar stool". The other boy turned and said, "We need some peace and quiet back here!" and proceeded to bring down the blinds on all of the windows. Meanwhile, the parents and two more kids meandered back to the area where we were sitting. The dad and the youngest child, probably about 2-3, sat at the next table over from us. The kid's coat fell off the back of the chair; no one bothered to pick it up. Keep in mind, this is Minnesota in winter and the floors are constantly wet from the snow people track in. The child commenced devouring breadsticks; when the family finally left, there was a veritable mountain of crumbs on the table. I'll bet you could have made another breadstick out of that. My husband and I wondered (sotto voce, of course, so as not to piss off the parents) if you have to try to be that piggy -- I mean, no one is naturally that much of a slob, are they? My husband asked me, "Why do people leave messes like that in public? Do you think they do that at home, too?" I told him it was because they know someone will always clean up after them, so they don't have to be responsible for the schmutz they leave behind. Sure enough, just as I was saying that, one of the baristas appeared with a rag and bottle of disinfectant spray to wipe down the tables and such.
Where was I going with this...? Oh yeah. Apparently, I'm pretty good with kids. Granted, I did have a naked 6-year old jump on my back while I was in the locker room at the YMCA once (her mom said the girl was "excitable"), but... The problem is, I don't like kids. At all. Looking at pictures of other people's babies and whatnot inspires nothing in me. My ovaries crawl up inside my thorax at the mere thought of having children (same thing happens to my husband, except with the corresponding gonads). The thought of nuturing what is essentially a parasite for 9 months, squeezing it out through an opening that really seems ill-designed for this purpose, and then having the thing expell various fluids on me doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun. Finding out recently that the hormone relaxin, which causes ligaments like the pubic symphysis to soften, will cause my already enormous Italian hips to get even bigger and my already defective lower back to hurt even more -- gosh, that sounds like a real treat! Where do I sign up?
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
She's got her fitness regimen listed for her to lose her 10 holiday lbs. I do harder cardio and lift more weight, yet I'm still considerably heavier (granted, I am 4 inches taller, but still... and by "considerably", I mean 8 lbs.). It seems like the only way I can lose weight is to have a Ron White situation (i.e, "Ever taken a crap so big your pants fit better?").
Last night, we went to the YMCA and I did the following:
- 35 minutes on the elliptical, level 5
- Biceps curls: 2 sets of 12 reps with 15-lb. weights; then 1 set of 7 reps with 20 lbs.
- Triceps pushdowns: 3 sets of 12 reps at weight plate #6 (~20-25 lbs.)
- Pec deck: 3 sets of 10 reps at weight plate #5 (stupid machine doesn't have any conversions)
- Overhead press: 3 sets of 10 reps with 15-lb. weights
- Some kind of thigh-related maneuver I saw in a magazine (stand with back to a bench, place toes of back foot on bench, use front leg to squat till thigh is parallel to floor)
- Curl-ups on exercise ball: 2 sets of 10 reps. I had to stop because two women were actually pointing at me and talking about what I was doing. Like I couldn't seen them! There's a mirror right in front of where I was doing the sit-ups.
- Assorted stretches
I don't think my diet yesterday consisted of the best things, but only because my husband and I had an argument and he went to bed without dinner. So, I didn't make anything. I ended up eating an apple, a piece of string cheese, and a Toaster Strudel.
Anyway, back to the original topic at hand -- clown food. My husband and I refer to McDonald's food as "evil clown food" because he knows it's unhealthy and very bad for him, yet he desires it greatly. And Ronald McDonald is a creepster. When my husband goes for his yearly check-up next month, he wants to celebrate by going to McDonald's. He's planning on getting a rich and artery-clogging clown burger; I told him I was going to get a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait. He looked at me and said, "Well, that's not any fun." Says the guy who is the same height as me, weighs less than me, yet still complains about being fat. Just because I have the metabolism of a Neandertal....
Anyway, go check out the contest and try to win yourself some artery-clogging clown food! It ends today at 3 PM CST, so HURRY HURRY HURRY! :-P
Monday, January 24, 2011
Over a month later, I received an e-mail from someone else at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. She said the person with whom I had been corresponding initially was "unfortunately ... no longer with the company." Her e-mail went on to say, "After going through [her] emails and mail files we did not find your Verification form?" I can just hear that whiny voice in my head, the voice the cutesy talking heads on CNN Headline News use so they can tell you bad news without you thinking it's bad news. The voice that takes declarative statements and turns them into questions because it makes them seem cute, mild, and inoffensive: "A bunch of people in Russia died today? But it's ok because I said it like a question?" Of course, I could just be taking this the wrong way because I'm irritated by this situation. To top things off, though, she even forwarded the original e-mail that said "your form has been approved"!
So, I had to fire back. I replied, "I'm curious as to why you claim to be unable to find my verification form, since you even forwarded me the e-mail from [her recently-departed predecessor] stating '[y]our verification form has been approved and you should expect to receive delivery in approximately six to eight weeks.' If it was approved, surely it had been received and processed." I concluded the message by saying I would send them a new form if necessary.
When she replied, I her tone had changed from the ebullient "OMG congrats on winning!!" to a more authoritative, "Yes. Send us a new form." Sigh. We'll probably have just closed on a house by the time the oven shows up, given all this hooey. Well, not really.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
The focus of this contest is 2011 resolutions. So, let me break it down for you:
Like everyone else on Earth, I resolved to work on my fitness more. As you may have noticed in a previous post, I spend a lot of time in the gym. However, I want to try and mix things up for 2011. I could slip into some Alo High End Yoga Pants and a cute prAna tank top and work on my flexibility. Or, I could slap on a pair of Asics GT-2150 running shoes and hit the treadmill more. Heck, forget about the treadmill -- I could take it outside and hit the trails in a pair of Montrail Mountain Masochists. Of course, I could just forgo the whole "working out" thing and go bowling. I've always wanted a pair of my own bowling shoes, since the idea of putting my feets into a pair of shoes that other feets have been in creeps me out a lot. I could get something stylish, like the Etonic Retro Neon bowling shoes.
On the topic of stylish, I think I need to expand my boot collection. This year, I resolve to be more fashionable. There's resolution number two. I mean, just look at these Carlos Santana lace-up boots! They're delicious, but the chances of me getting them over my thighs are as fat as the thighs themselves. Back to the fitness resolution, I guess. At least my ankles are normal-sized, so I can wear styles like the Diba Brandy Lee, the Report Electra, or the Sofft Reiko Anthracite Cow Metallic Pumps.
Maybe I should just make a list of shoes that belong in my closet. There's resolution three: purge the closet. Exchange shlubby shoes for beauties like the Isola Dalia Black/Bordeaux Pearl pump or the Nina Clorele Gunmetal Crinkled Micro heel. My husband would just prefer to see me in these boots, though. :)
If you want to win shoes too, you can tweet the following message or something like it (Wait, wut? You don't have a Twitter account? Go get one.):
- I heard from @one_of_three that @Onlineshoes_com is giving away a metric crap-ton of shoes in their #shoestakes. RT to get in on the action!
- This year, I resolve to get in shape. What? Round is a shape. @one_of_three @Onlineshoes_com #shoestakes
- This year, I resolve to become more flexible. The TV remote isn't going to reach for itself! @one_of_three @Onlineshoes_com #shoestakes
And so on.....
As long as you include my Twitter handle @one_of_three and the hashtag #shoestakes, there shouldn't be any trouble. Right, Vinnie?
Saturday, January 22, 2011
That's why I especially like the ONE giveaway from the blog Momma Told Me. The grand prize is 500 condoms and four runners-up each get 100 condoms. I know it's not her intention, but this giveaway may quite possibly prevent the creation of new mommy blogs. It's not that I have anything against mommy blogs, but really... I don't want to see pictures of your kids (they're not cute to anyone but you, srsly) and I'm generally not interested in any of your other content. If anything, reading mommy blogs and learning how infants' various secretions hinder your sex life, how relaxin will make my already considerable hips look like I'm wearing jodhpurs, and how kids destroy everything precious to you, makes me less and less likely to even consider thinking about future motherhood. It's like when you had to take health in 8th grade and they showed you slides of pendulous genital warts and everyone in class involuntarily took a vow of celibacy.
Hmm. That came out a lot more sarcastically than I had intended, but I still think this was a pretty good post. I'm getting my old snark back! Forget How Stella Got Her Groove Back, let's do How Erin Got Her Snark Back!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
For anyone not in the know, Chobani is just about the best yogurt out there. I started eating it because it doesn't have high fructose clown syrup, aspartame, sucralose, or any other less-than-savory ingredients. It also has a ton of protein, as it is a Greek yogurt. According to Chobani's website, it takes 3 pounds of milk to make one pound of their yogurt, so it's proportionally creamier, richer, and protein-ier.
If you're a vegetable-arian, Chobani yogurt contains no animal-based thickeners. Yeah, that's right, if you've been eating Yoplait or FiberOne or whatever other fruity yogurts are out there, you're probably eating animal byproducts. Chobani is also low in lactose, so it won't make you poop uncontrollably, either. Hey, I'm just telling it how it is.
In addition to plain nonfat and 2% varieties, Chobani also offers
- Black Cherry
- Strawberry Banana
- Very Berry
If, like me, you live in Minnesota, chances are poor that you'll be able to find more than about 9 of these flavors. It looks like there is a paucity of Lemon, Honey, Mango, Very Berry, and Honey-nana around here. That gives me a sad, since I love lemon-flavored yogurt. And honey-flavored yogurt. And mango-flavored yogurt.
And, if you are hesitant about shelling out $1.40 for a cup of yogurt, Chobani offers a coupon for you to print.
Anyway, I want to extend a big "THANK YOU!" to Cake Duchess and Chobani for giving me the opportunity to gorge myself on delicious yogurts! Looks like someone won't be having a calcium and Vitamin D deficiency again!
Friday, January 14, 2011
My current routine consists of going to the YMCA about 4-5 days a week, where I bust my ass on the elliptical or treadmill for 30-45 minutes and then lift weights for 20-30 minutes. I routinely get my heart rate into the high 170s-upper 180s on the elliptical (from a resting heart rate of 50-55 bpm) and sustain that level of exertion for 15-20 minutes; the remainder of the cardio workout is spent with the heart rate in the 140s-150s. Occasionally, I switch up my routine by riding the bike or jogging on the treadmill, thought both are rough on my knees. As far as the weight training goes, I've always been able to lift a considerable amount for a woman (I have to laugh when the magazine recommend using 5-8 lb. weights, since I use up to 25 lbs. depending on the exercise). I don't have a steady weight training routine, but my only guideline is to work antagonistic muscle groups on the same day (e.g., biceps and triceps, chest and back, hams and quads) and not to do the same thing two days in a row.
Here's my problem....
I hit 150 lbs. and the scale doesn't so much as twitch in the lower direction. The lowest I had gotten to was 146, but it quickly went back up. As I mentioned above, I've gained about 5 lbs. in the past ~4 months. It doesn't seem like much, but it's enough to annoy me. Since I know what caused it (enjoying life), I'm confident that I'll be able to shed the weight. But I know from experience that the number will refuse to drop any lower. I'd like to lose at least another 5-10 lbs. beyond that, but in spite of my vigorous workout routine, nothing seems to happen. That's why I wonder -- am I overtraining? Is my body trying hard to hang onto all my fat? I read somewhere that overtraining causes fat to be deposited in the lower abdomen (one of my trouble spots) because of excessive cortisol released into the bloodstream, and the more a person tries to exercise off that pooch, the more the body is stressed, and the more cortisol is released. So, it's a vicious cycle of attempted gunch-removal leading to gunch-retention.
But then you might inquire about my eating habits. For breakfast, I usually have a David's whole-grain bagel with "natural" peanut butter (i.e., that which is made from peanuts and oil, not partially hydrogenated crap) and organic jam; when I get bagel fatigue, I'll have oatmeal with brown sugar and dates, Grape Nuts flakes with almondmilk, or rarely, scrambled eggs. For lunch, I usually have leftovers from the previous night's dinner. Dinner can be a wide variety of things, ranging from salmon and corn chowder to wild rice casserole to homemade Chinese food to tacos to.... you get the picture. Everything I cook is from scratch (except things like bagels) and often includes organic produce and dairy. For snacks, I try to have fruit, beef jerky, pickles, etc., though I do like Chex Mix and granola bars and the like. I don't drink pop and I don't use artificial sweeteners, except for stevia. I have an affinity for desserts, but I do try to limit them as much as possible. I realize that if I cut them from my diet entirely, I'll crave them more. So, I'll have a little bit of chocolate or candy every now and then, which ends up being just about every day. I will admit that I overeat every time my husband and I go out to eat -- when we go to Perkins, we both clear our plates; at other restaurants, we both gorge ourselves on pizza and chicken wings and burgers. One time, we went to Red Lobster (before we discovered Darden Group supports seal culling, but that's another topic for another post) and my husband inhaled almost 60 shrimp in the all-you-can-eat special while I had a lobster tail, 5 large shrimp, 4 scallops, about a cup of rice, a Cheddar Bay biscuit, and a Bahama Mama cocktail (ouch. it's a little painful to recall all that). I eat out more and drink more now than I did before we were married, but I know that's the cause of my RECENT 5lb. gain.
My wonder is this -- why did I hit the 150 lb. plateau and have been unable to get the number any lower? Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Then, something occurred to me. I'd take out the recycling and be pleasant to him. As luck would have it, though, he had his back to me as I walked out with my sack of mixed cans and bottles. I filled up the respective bins outside and strode back toward the building. That sneaky so-and-so was standing next to the handicap parking sign, making himself nearly invisible in the snow and darkness, chatting with another one of the residents (my husband and I refer to this guy as Pseudo-Wayne, since he looks like Wayne, the on-call maintenance man). Filled with panic and a little nausea, I approached the two men. I turned to the downstairs neighbor, gave him my sweetest little smile, and dribbled saccharine: "Thanks for shoveling the walkway!"
He replied, "Yeah, I like shoveling. You want to help?" and thrust his shovel toward me.
"Oh, I can't. I have a bad back."
"Me too, but I take that naproxen for it."
"Doesn't that cause stomach bleeding?"
"Yeah, and heart trouble. I already got that. But I got a bypass five years ago and now I'm out here shoveling. I'm ok. Doctor said no restrictions, so I'm out here shoveling."
"Well, good for you."
He was pleasant toward me and didn't swear once. And really, what's he going to do? Complain to the landlady that I'm too nice?
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
What's your take on this?
Sunday, January 09, 2011
First, it was the upstairs neighbor.
She left us a typed, half-page note secured with twine on our door handle. She claimed we slammed our closet doors and cabinets and made all manner of noise during the night while she was trying to sleep. Riiiiight. We brought this to the attention of the landlady, who said, "Oh, she complains about everything all the time. She brings me notes too, real insulting ones." The upstairs neighbor has been quiet ever since.
Now, it's the downstairs neighbors.
They are weird, paranoid, ultra-suspicious, cranky old gits. They argued and yell loud enough that we can hear them through the floor, and sometimes when it's really quiet in our apartment (exactly the opposite of what the upstairs neighbor alleged!), it sounds like the woman is in the room with me.
Last week, the man watched us walk out to our vehicle and get in; he did the same with his car. We drove out of the lot; he drove out of the lot. We went down the hill to the stop sign and signaled left; he went down the hill to the stop sign, waited for us to start turning, and did a U-turn to go back to the parking lot.
A few days ago, my husband had just gotten back from work, parked in the lot, walked toward the door, and the man stopped him just in front of the door to the apartment building. Apparently, this man is very bitter and nasty and hates EVERYONE (last night, I could hear the guy telling his wife, "I hate that fat f**king b*tch at the library. All she does is sit on her big fat ass in front of the computer all day. She practically has the whole f**king day off working there, but she just sits in front of the f**king computer!").
Last night, we got back from the gym around 8:30 PM. My husband wanted to plug in the truck, since it was predicted to be -27 F overnight (without windchill). I went to take in some groceries we had picked up along the way and left my husband to his plugging-in. A couple minutes later, he got into the apartment and said, "I couldn't plug in the truck. They were staring at me through the slats in the blinds!" I started to put away groceries while my husband took off his boots and walked toward the living room window. The man from downstairs had gone out and was sitting in his car. Just sitting, with the car off, waiting for my husband to go back out to plug in the truck.
Saturday, January 08, 2011
- Sammi's Blog of Life is giving away:
- North Carolina BBQ (ends January 18, 2011) a winner is me!
- Omaha Steaks (ends January 20, 2011)
- Omaha Steaks (ends January 20, 2011)
- Head over to Eighty MPH Mom where you can win a Pork's Perfect Pairing Prize Pack (spices, cookbook, $25 meat & more) $125 ARV! (ends January 15, 2011)
- Leite's Culinaria has lots of meat books:
- Super Bowl Party Package from Emeril's Red Marble Steaks (ends January 17, 2011 at noon EST)
- The Bacon Cookbook (ends January 19, 2011 at noon EST)
- Primal Cuts: Cooking with America's Best Butchers (ends January 24, 2011 at noon EST)
- The Art of Charcuterie (ends January 31, 2011 at noon EST)
- The Bacon Cookbook (ends January 19, 2011 at noon EST)
- Texas Kitchen is giving away Bacon Hot Sauce (ends January 19, 2011)
- MomStart is giving away Sara Lee deli meat coupons! (ends January 31, 2011)
More to come.....
In the video, they've got two light-skinned black women who are OUTRAGED that a black woman was taken from "mocha" to "cafe au lait" on the Elle cover. One of the women makes a reference to the "beiging" of Hollywood and that black women have been told they were "lucky because they were 'high yellow'". The only problem is, she's about as black as I am, a woman whose brother refers to her as a "skinny white girl". Certainly, her skin color shouldn't diminish what she has to say. But when she alludes to black getting through life better when they're beige -- ok, she's beige too.
All video-related comments aside, who is this woman and why does she grace one of four Elle covers for the month? The three other cover models are skinny white girls who most people have actually heard of. Having Sidibe on a cover almost seems like a joke -- like, "ha ha, let's put a fat black chick on here because we're like, super diverse and stuff. Wait, she's too black. We have to lighten her up first."
I dunno. I already forgot what video I had been looking for, so here's a picture of some weiner dogs:
Friday, January 07, 2011
Tonight, I'm planning to make barbeque chicken sandwiches. I really should post pictures of the whole process, but my camera is out of batteries. I know, excuses, excuses...
The last time I made barbeque sauce was New Year's Eve, when I made cocktail meatballs from scratch. They turned out pretty well, since my husband ate almost all of them. My Dad refers to him as a "good trencherman" because of how much he can pack away.
Anyway, enough of this drivel. I have to make noms.
Maybe I'll write about food. Maybe I'll write about fitness. Maybe I'll write about married life. Who knows?
Maybe that's why the only person who ever read my blog was one of my college friends.
So, why am I starting again?
It would be easy to say, "Oh, I just need an outlet for my emotions" or something of that ilk. Truth is, I miss writing. It's been a long time since I've sat down and written anything other than a long, rambling e-mail.
And why "Coffee Level Critical!"?
I like the title. I wanted something short, relevant, and not too cutesy. I've noticed a lot of "mommy blogs" and the titles make me cringe. No offense, fellow bloggers. Maybe I'll "get it" when I'm older. I don't have any kids and plan to keep it that way for a while. Anyway, I like coffee, and the idea of my coffee level getting too low amused me.
Do I really think anyone is going to read this?
We'll see. I hope I'll someday have a readership of >1.