Monday, January 31, 2011
So I know the title of this blog is weird (it got you to click on it, though, right? See, my plan is working ....). But the song works because we had -- oof -- a bit of fun in the house a few days ago.
I will set the stage for you.
My husband and I live in the Brighton section of Boston, which is the West end. The house, depending upon who you talk to or where you look it up, was built in either 1896 or 1921. Either way, it's old and creaky. It's a Victorian one-family and, as they say in the real estate biz, it's a fixer-upper.
We have lived here since 1995 and have done some fixing and, er, upping, but time and money tend to prevent same, and often those two things do not arrive together. The first few years we were there, we would leave an upstairs window open. I do not honestly know why as, like everywhere else on the planet, there are bugs in Brighton. We are not talking about a big opening here, but still maybe an inch up. But it was the third floor. When there are only two of you, and you live in a six-bedroom place, the third floor tends to be forgotten. It could fly off in the next hurricane and we'd probably notice about four years later, as one would turn to the other and say something like, "Do you feel a draft?"
Anyway, open window = critters come in. And Mr. J had to deal with him. The man kills the big bugs and does critter removal services with aplomb, often clad only in a towel. It doesn't make the critters depart any faster if Mr. J is only clad in a towel but, for whatever reason, it often works that way. Once that window was closed, the number of Close Encounters of the Critter Kind diminished significantly, and we had last seen this particular type of critter (which I will tell you of in a moment, gentle reader) in a good thirteen years or so.
Anyway, it was a work night. Thursday, I think. We were sitting in the Computer Room, doing computer-y things. And he says, "There's something flying around in here." And I'm thinking: moth.
I look out of the corner of my eye and it is bigger. And it's black. And it's flapping.
Yes, folks, it's a bat.
Now, the last times we had a bat in the house, I shivered, got under a desk or table or covers and screamed incoherently. I am proud to say that, in the past thirteen years, I have matured considerably. Yes, I still cowered, but this time I was able to actually say a word. Which was, of course: "BAT!"
Mr. J sprang into action and followed all normal protocols. These involve the following steps:
(a) Get bat out of current room and into hallway
(b) Close off current room
(c) Turn on lights in hallway
(d) Close off all other rooms
(e) Get the Bat Persuader 9000 (an old tennis racket)
(f) Proceed to persuade guest down the stairs
(g) Repeat steps a - d as needed downstairs
(h) Open front door or back door as is most convenient (in this case, it was the front door)
(i) Persuade guest out of front door
(j) Close front door
(k) Begin breathing again
Now, Mr. J was normally clad and not only in a towel. There simply wasn't enough time for him to get into his standard critter removal gear. We will, of course, allow him to slip and be out of uniform for this particular incursion. He performed admirably, despite the fact that he was fully attired as for work (and he does not wear a towel to work -- he's an Engineering Draftsman, not a model advertising saunas. Or is he? ;D).
Me, I also followed normally protocols. These, for me, are:
(a) Cower in fetal position
(c) Repeat a and b as necessary
Everyone performed above and beyond the usual and our guest was persuaded out to wide open albeit chilly Western Boston spaces. Mr. J wore a towel later. And I eventually got a chance to say something other than "BAT!" although that took a while.
I wonder how many calories that all burned?
Monday, January 24, 2011
So, it's 9 AM and it's still in the minuses in terms of degrees. These are Fahrenheit temps, not Celsius. We passed the freezing point of water quite a while ago.
It is COLD.
I selected this song because, let's face it, beach scenes are coming one of these days but certainly no time soon. I wanted to look at beaches, swimsuits and people with tans. Bright colors. Cute guys never hurt, either (hey, I'm married, not dead, folks).
As for weight loss, it is stalled. Again.
I am back where I was two weeks ago, exactly. Now, for those of you who have followed my exploits in snow removal and the like, you'll see that I have -- I kid you not -- done at least 60 minutes of cardio every single day. And, a lot of times, it's more like an hour and a half. For those of you who are following my nutritional exploits, you'll see I've been keeping within range.
So, heh, WHAT GIVES?
Actually, I know the answers:
(1) Probably too much cardio. I suspect I could use a rest day somewhere in there, but the fact of the matter is, the snow's gotta be removed. And another major storm is coming on Wednesday. As for non-snow removal cardio, I have NEEDED to get out and outta the house. This tends to be either for a walk or to the gym. So reducing the cardio is not, heh, in the cards right now.
(2) Probably not being absolutely perfectly honest when it comes to portion sizes. This is not a big lie, like a half a twelve-pound chicken and say it's three ounces or anything. It's more like I'm saying something is a quarter-cup when it's closer to a third. I do need to watch more closely, and I could stand to measure more. I don't love doing that -- about the only thing I measure is, of all things, cereal. I admit I need to get more on the stick with that.
(3) It's winter. Yeah. It's freakin' winter, folks. The body, I feel, has a lot of biorhythms that we do not understand. But one of these appears to be clear -- we gain or maintain in the colder weather. Why? It should be obvious. It keeps us warm.
So, while I will redouble my efforts to do a better job at measuring, I won't go insane with everything. My own personal measurements are actually pretty good. A blazer that felt tight a few months ago is better. Things are improving. I suspect there is muscle coming on, and we all know that it weighs more than fat does.
In the meantime, though, I need to be somewhere warm, and a vacation is NOT gonna happen right now. Maybe I'll just get in my swimsuit, throw a towel on the floor in the plant room, get a trashy novel to read and pretend.
Ground Hog Day will be here in 10 days.
Stay warm, folks.
Monday, January 17, 2011
I like this song a great deal and -- you guessed it -- snow shoveling has been a major source of cardio for me for days. I have done almost 5 1/2 hours. I will be doing more today.
It's tiring and my left elbow is bugging me a bit, but it's ultimately rather satisfying. My driveway is done. Right now, the only thing that needs doing is the front sidewalk, which is maybe 1/3 cleared. It's clean enough that we would not get ticketed, but more snow and rain are scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday. Plus it will get cold again, so it'll all refreeze. Better to just get the old stuff cleared out as much as possible.
Oh -- and the 5+ hours wasn't just me. My husband has probably done a good 7+. And, heh, one of my hours was spent digging out my parents. Hence I have dug out from this storm from two separate states (NY and MA). Eek.
It is, though, paying off elsewhere. I lost a good 1.8 lbs. And I lost inches or stayed at status quo in all eight categories that I track. This includes the band and the waist, where I lost 1 3/4 inches in both areas and the thigh, where I lost 3" (most likely due to measuring in a different area but, heh, I don't care. A win's a win!).
So I highly recommend snow shoveling (if your heart, back and knees can take it) for cardio.
But it is kinda tiring.
So excuse me if I nap for a while. Zzz.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Okay, that is one odd music video.
The song is ... for a few reasons.
My folks came up for a few days and they brought most of my Dad's old patents. Then the patents had to be hung on the walls. There were 34 of them (no lie). Plus there were a few other things, like Honor Society things for me and whatever. There was a lot of hammering yesterday. The house looks awesome. I will take photos, er, someday.
Now I am going back with them for a few days. Eating and exercise will be weird, spotty and, hopefully, not completely outta control. I will be bagging two networking events and a haircut in order to do this. But I am doing this (here's one of the reasons for the song) because my folks are leaving their house. This is why I got the patents. And so I'm going to help them pack up and cull and I'll get some stuff to take back with me as well. And it's a bit of saying good-bye to the old house, although I've made my farewells to it before. There isn't yet a buyer for it and my folks don't have a new place yet. It's not like it's imminent but it is looming so I figured, get in and do it now, before things become even more unrecognizable. Fortunately, nearly all of my own stuff was gone. I have little of my own emotional investments, at least in the context of my own physical possessions.
But the other part is -- you ever notice, with your folks, you can sometimes just revert straight to the old roles you all played? It is suddenly High School again. I am suddenly a teen. But the reality is, I'm 48 years old. I graduated from High School 31 1/2 years ago. At some point, the roles reverse, I know. As they say, the child becomes the father (mother) of the man (woman). I know that time will be here, soon enough.
In the meantime, though, this is the song I played RIGHT before I left for college. It was the last thing on the old turntable before I packed it in late August of 1979. I came back, of course, for summers and even for a few months after I graduated Law School, in order to study for the Bar. But that moment was the one that got fossilized, petrified into stagnation. When I am with my parents long enough -- and this is, most likely, all on my side rather than on theirs at all -- I am there, August 31, 1979, almost 17. I suspect I'll be there again, for the next few days. I'll have the laptop and will escape to Spark -- an option I wish I'd had in '79.
Y'know, I'm probably just neurotic. After all
You should never argue with a crazy mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mind.
Monday, January 03, 2011
I wish the video had the full intro as it is one of the greatest rock riffs ever -- it builds with all sorts of instruments, almost like how an orchestra does its thing.
Anyway. Onto the blog entry.
I came across a great cartoon in the Sunday paper yesterday and I just had to share it. It was a buncha teenagers and tweens, and the caption was just, "We're bored with 2011."
And I was thinking -- now, I recognize that life isn't always perfectly exciting. Most of our lives are spent doing things like waiting in lines, filling gas tanks, paying bills and washing clothes. Life has few moments of greatness, like the moment you say "I do" or you see your child for the first time, or you say good-bye to someone you loved very much, or you graduate, or the house lights come up to thunderous applause for you.
It's funny because we, as a civilized species, have been this way forever -- we record and commemorate and celebrate the hole in one, the prize heifer and the handing down of the tablets from Mount Sinai, but what is often missing from our historical accounts are the way we REALLY live, and have lived. It's hard to know how the ancient Egyptians really lived. I mean the working people, not the Pharaohs. I bet they scolded their children when they were naughty, argued with their spouses over money and forgot to pick up their dirty clothes, sometimes, too.
We, as people, as dieting people for, let's face it, that's the segment of the population we are all in -- we tend to celebrate the big successes all too well. The Personal Record in the run. The new low on the scale. The mastery of a new recipe. The triumph of saying no to the candy dish for the first time.
But what about all of those other times? The ones where we forget to celebrate? You know, where you go out and run because you like it, and you do eh, but you don't care, because it's fun and you got exercise and you spent time with friends and supported a good cause and just plain did something out of your comfort zone? Or where you don't even notice the candy dish because you've passed it by so many times? Or where you make the good-for-you-and-good-for-everyone foods because you just do -- because that's how you cook and you don't even think about it and no one else does, because that's just what you cook?
They have meaning, too. They are the fabric of our lives and, for real, they are more. Because there's only one first time. There's only one best time (although it can change). But there can be a million other times.
Let's not forget about those as we seek out the first times and the best times. We're going to have an awful lot more of those "other" times.
Let's give them their due.
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