Saturday, January 02, 2010
I could not imagine why anyone would have tickets to a play on New Years Eve, it is not the normal part of the festivities for a New Year's Eve. I mean really who goes to a play on New Years Eve?
Well I did because Mom received free tickets to Stick Fly at the Arena Stage in Crystal City. They are building the new Arena Stage in Washington, DC on the waterfront where the old one was. The model of the new theater is absolutely gorgeous and the new theater will actually have 3 separate venues so there will be 3 different plays, concerts, etc. going on at the same time.
Mom is an usher at the Arena Stage so they gave the ushers free tickets to the dress rehearsal. It was a complete play with full costumes but this was oh so much more. I would love to attend another dress rehearsal again for another play.
We were an audience of under 100 for this special performance. The Author of the play came on on stage and was introduced to us which was kind of neat, I had never met the author of a play before. The play was excellent so of course I went to talk to her afterwards to tell her how much I enjoyed it.
Then we met the Director came out and explained to us some background of the actors and just exactly what we were going to experience He said this was the first time many of the actors would be performing in front of a live audience. They needed a full, final dress rehearsal in front of live people to work out the bugs and we were it. We were there to help them iron out all of the bugs.
The Stage Designer came out and showed each of us by row initial stage model he used to build the set. He taught us some tricks of the trade and answered any questions we had. He advised us not to be scared if one of the walls of the set fell down during the play because they had only just been put up.
The Director came back out to talk to us again. He asked us if we wanted to ask him any questions on directing or the cast members. He also said that maybe we would hear - Line - if one of the actors forgot their next line. No one forgot their lines, no walls, furniture, or any other part of the set came crashing down. It was wonderful. It is one of the best plays I have seen in a long time which shocked me due to the name of the play. Stick Fly, what a name.
I will not go into the details of the play because if you are in the DC area I would really recommend this play. The play is set on Martha's Vineyard and it is about the inner workings of a dysfunctional, wealthy black family. One son brings home his fiancée to meet the family and the other son brings home a white girl who he tells the family ahead of time is Italian. Well she wasn't but he was trying to fend off some of the flack he was receiving from his family for dating a white girl. It was hysterical when she met the family because they all started to talk to her in Italian. Too funny! There was oh so much more and a really great twist. I loved it! The name of the play was Stick Fly because it was as if we were flys on a wall observing what was going on in this complicated but crazy family.
The atmosphere of the theater was totally different because you had all of these wires taped down on the floor all over the place, ladders were all scattered about, desks with laptops with the various engineers were set up in sections that were blocked off from where we could sit. (I had great seats. 4th row dead center) They had all of the computers there for the lighting, sound checks, small screens so they could view the play on a computer screen opposed to the actual stage. Why it mattered what it looked like on a computer screen is beyond me. The set designer was there with a n area of tools in case anything fell down or came apart.
It was all a success except for one small part where one of the audience members could not hear to well. He just shouted out, " I can't hear you" and then the Stage Manager came running up and they adjusted the microphones and all was fine. During intermission they normally close the curtain but since this was a dress rehearsal they did not. It was neat to see them clean up the livingroom and kitchen during intermission. They had so many people running around doing this and that. I was amused to see that the chair the Dad had been sitting on was moved slightly when he got up. The stage crew was putting everything back inplace according to the tape marks on the floor. They fluffed all of the pillows and they even took the coffee pot out of the kitchen to wash it, even though they were going to use it during Act II. One of the stage people took food out of the refrigerator to "dress" it for an upcoming scene. Yes they used real food and they really ate the food too.
It was a different and unique experience and I can't wait to do it again if a new play is going to start when I come down to visit.
Friday, January 01, 2010
I, Yvonne aka Travelnista, hereby agree and commit to take the following steps to improve my accountability to myself and increase my chances for weight loss success:
This contract dated 12-31-09 is between the parties of Yvonne and Travelnista. Said contract shall be in effect till 12-31-10. Travelnista hereby agrees and commits to the following steps to improve my accountability and increase my chance for weight loss success:
A.I will faithfully use my Nutrition Tracker, preferably before one morsel goes into my mouth so that I am constantly aware of the number of calories I still have available to me. My calorie range will be between 1500- 1800 calories a day based on a minimum of 60 mins. of cardio M-W-F. Said calorie range shall be adjusted downward as I lose the weight OR it will be adjusted upwards when I am doing cardio 4 to 7 days a week accordingly.
B. I will faithfully get my big butt out of bed at 5:30 AM to get myself to the gym at a minimum of 3 times a week consisting of M-W-F. I will spend 1 hour at the gym working out with the free weights and weight machines for a minimum of 60 mins. I will then continue on into the pool area for cardio and complete a minimum of 60 mins. cardio consisting of a water aerobics class, water jogging, or bicycling in the water on one of those noodle thingys. For the Saturdays the gym offers Pool Zumba I will be there.
It is the intention of Travelnista to get back to a schedule of 60 mins. of cardio daily 7 days a week. I, Travelnista will purchase some exercise videos for when the weather is too bad to travel. We are coming into the icy and snowy months of Winter and there will be no allowable excuses for any cardio on scheduled days.
I will get a better handle on my stress levels. This will be a miracle. Travelnista has worn herself down with that insane exercise schedule and will never attempt anything like that again. The Deep Breathing Exercises would be both an excellent aerobic workout if done properly and will calm her ass down.
C. I will visit ALL of my Spark Buddies pages at least once a month.
D. I will visit all of the pages of all of the Sparkers who chose me as a Buddy but I did not return the favor , at least once a quarter. It was not done out of malice but was after the consideration of time constraints. I do take my Friend Feed Seriously and sometimes need to go check it 3 times a day of I miss some of the activity.
E. Sparking is an important part of this journey to a new me. I must find time to Spark daily no matter what the circumstances. The more you Spark the Better you do. This includes but is not limited to visiting Spark buddies pages, giving Goodies, visiting blogs, writing blogs, posting threads or replies, completing the daily Spark Point Challenges and tasks, and the day to day running of the 50 Pound Challenge Team.
F. I need to work on budgeting my time better to allow time for all of the following: some Me time, work, house cleaning (I hate house cleaning, I’d rather Spark and I need to put some control there), answer all of my emails, answer all of my Spark Mail, and also find time to sleep. Failure in this area results in either a high stress level or an exhausted Travelnista.
G. Planning is key. I need to make sure that I cook at least 2 big batches of something acceptable to my food plan such as either a curry or grain dish, bean soup, clean and chop veggies for salads, etc. I need to make sure I have foods on my plan readily available when I get bogged down in work or my stress level is through the roof. Severe penalties will result if I instead decide to visit Mickie D or the local pizza joint.
H. I will have at all times available for snacking: sweet potatoes, nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, hummus, or edamame (in the freezer for easy zapping in the micro wave). There will be a zero tolerance level for going off my plan due to stress or running late and not having time to prepare something and opt to go thru the drive thru.
I. Said zero tolerance to NOT staying on food plan is only allowed to be breached with previous planning in place. Calories are either banked for this splurge or a plan is in place to counter said splurge.
J. Along those lines Travelnista is smart enough to know “things happen”. Travelnista needs to continue working on her emotional eating issues. However, should there be an occurrence Travelnista is NOT allowed to write the whole day off for making a bad choice. It does not give Travelnista carte blanche to now “pig out” for the day and start over tomorrow because that could easily turn into next week. Travelnista is not to beat herself up but to immediately at the next meal go back to her food plan. Travelnista really needs to work on her all or nothing attitude.
K. Travelnista needs to get a better grip on her relationship with food. Travelnista lives to eat instead of eats to live. Travelnista eats with her eyes and not with her stomach. Travelnista has to eliminate the word diet from her vocabulary. Travelnista needs to remind herself she is following a healthy lifestyle and that it is just that – something she will follow for life.
L . Travelnista MAY NOT cancel this agreement, without any penalty or
obligation, at any time prior to midnight of December 31, 2010. The penalty of such termination will be a lesser quality of life not limited to kidney failure, cardiovascular disorders leading to heart failure, possible blindness or neuropathy, or loss of limbs due to amputation because of your Type II Diabetes, and quite possibly even resulting in early death.
Thanks guys! I have read all of your responses and for those that are asking, yes of course please feel free to copy, cut , and paste and add or delete sections. I forgot to address so many things like the amount of water I am to drink so I am sure you will come up with a few of your own clauses.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
This is the time of year we are all sitting down and writing our New Year's Resolutions and/or goals. It is a time of new beginnings. Can you believe tomorrow will be the start of a new year and a new decade? I urge all of you to map out your new gameplan but I urge you to take one step further. Let tomorrow be I know a number of you have back slided last year so give yourself a free pass. Isn't that what the new year is all about? The past is the past, stop beating yourself up, and let all of us move forward in our journey to a new, improved, healthier YOU!
I have had a lot of Sparkers write me and ask what team I would be forming after the 1st because the 2010 New Years Challenge~Lose 50 Pounds By 1-1-10 would no longer apply. Well, we have come up with a new and improved team and we are calling it the 50 Pound Challenge. (more about that in a minute)
When I say we, I am talking about DawnRobin2 ,who I consider to be my equal on this team in the capacity of a team leader. Dawn and I spend hours on the phone working behind the scenes fine tuning the direction this team is going. Dawn is my right hand and you do not make a move without speaking to your right hand. This team is not a dictatorship and everything is discussed before we make a change.
This is in no way diminishing the contributions of the Co-Leaders we have on this team as well. Everyone has a duty on the team and they are all caring, supportive, and motivating individuals who also help make this team function behind the scenes. We could not be the team we are if it were not for them. Our Co-Leaders also work very hard and yet with the New Year some of them will be asked to step down because they are not carrying their weight so to speak. I do not consider a Co-Leader just a title to collect, you need to earn that and for the most part our C0-Leaders are hard working and excellent role models.
Now for the 'New but old Team". We chose the 50 Pound Challenge as a name so that we would not have to keep changing the name of the team each year. When this team was 1st started it was between LadySunbeam and myself, a friendly competition to keep us on track. She had blogged she wanted to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year and I challenged her by saying I would join her in her endeavor, every one needs a buddy to under take such a task. Other Sparkers caught wind of it and decided they wanted to be part of this task and thus this FANTASTIC team was formed. I dubbed a phrase the "Eating Season" as a major reason for forming this team. The period between Thanksgiving and New Years is a round the clock battle against all of the sweets and goodies being shoved in our faces or should I say mouths? It is the hardest time for anyone to be on a diet and most of us have gained weight during this time. Here was a way we could all stick together and support one another and get each other through it. Now silly me thought the "Eating Season" was between Thanksgiving ,the end of November and New Years. Well I learned later on that Canada celebrates their Thanksgiving in October so I won't be making that mistake again. I guess we can't leave out Halloween a chocolate lover's nightmare. The "Eating Season" will always be a major part of this team in the sense we will band together to battle this eating frenzy because let's face it, it will be back to tempt us year after year.
With all of that being said I would love for all of you to consider joining this wonderful team. Pay no attention to the name 50 Pound Challenge. It was
originally set up for the heavyweights in Sparkland to join because trust me we had way more than 50 pounds to lose. You do not have to have 50 pounds to lose to join this team. We have had people join this team with only 20 pounds to lose or people join just for the camaraderie we have on this team. We have become Family on this team and we are all so loving, supportive, and motivating on this team. We have a online Chat Room as a thread on our team and it is always hopping. Trust me, your team mates will hunt you down if they don't hear from you if you are a regular participant in the Chat Room. We really do care about each other's success and not just our own.
There is no minimum required weight to lose. Come and join us even if you have 5 pounds to lose or you are in "maintenance." Everyone can use support and motivation.
It is not a requirement to join the weight challenge on the team and yes we will always have a 50 pound weight challenge running for 5 month periods. We will also have Alternate Challenges for those who do not want to be tied down to amount to lose by such and such a date. We have many that have signed up already for the new challenge starting January 1st but only have 25 pounds to lose. It is just a number. You are a success no matter how many pounds you lose and we will celebrate that with you. We award you a Gold Star Goodie for every 10 pounds you lose during the Challenge whether it is one gold star, three, five, and we have a couple of people working on their 7th Gold Star for this Challenge. Tonight will tell us who has reached which milestone during the challenge as tonight is the final weigh in for this Team Challenge. The new Challenge starts tomorrow, Jan. 1st.
The new thing we have added is that we are also running an Alternate Challenge for those who do not want to participate in the weight challenge. Hopefully we will keep the 50 as a number in the challenge some place but the alternate challenges change monthly. Again you do not have to join this challenge either to be part of the team. The 1st alternate Challenge is to eat 50 servings of fruits and vegetables each week. That is not hard to do and you should be eating them anyway to lose weight. A serving of a veggie is as little as a half cup cooked or one cup of salad greens. A serving of fruit is`as little as a half of a banana. How about a V8 as a serving of veggies. We have also added a 2nd part of the Challenge that you must visit 50 team members Spark Pages or blogs with in the month. This is what you need to be doing to be successful on your quest. The more you Spark the better you do plus everyone needs the TLC an motivation.
You may say that is hard, well Challenges are supposed to be just that a challenge. It is supposed to help get you to your final goal. 50 fruit and veggie servings equate to 7 a day and one day 8. The US Government is considering raising the Food Pyramid to 7-9 servings daily - so you will have plenty of practice and be ahead of the curve. There are days when I eat upwards of 12- 15 servings so I can do this Challenge ina little over 3 or 4 days. The weight Challenge is losing under 2 pounds a week which is safe for anyone. It equates to 8.33 pounds per month. Come on you can do this! We will do it together.
Now if we are changing the name we have to change the team logo or icon, whatever you want to call it. This icon represents our love/hate relationship with that square thingy with the numbers that one of our team mates coined in a blog. Simone, I laugh every time I think of that. Yes we all have a relationship with this square thingy and sometimes it is nice to us and sometimes it is not. I personally have gotten better with the square thingy with the numbers on it because I no longer weigh myself every day and drive me or my team nuts. Who can forget that STUPID Challenge I made for myself not to weigh myself for a whole month. It drove me nuts and my team too because they were supporting my whining as well as many of my other Spark Buddies.
I am sure you have all guessed it by now but here it is. I give you the new team logo. Only the Co-Leaders have seen it thus far, without further adieu:
So come play with us and join the team.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Yvonne on a normal day in the Mortgage Department
This is me today. I couldn't find a picture of a woman shooting herself in the head.
I need a joke so here is one the Attorney's office sent me because she just had the pleasure of speaking with me on the phone. She asked me if I was wound up. I said, "Ya think?"
Irritation, Aggrivation, and Frustration
This joke viewed 1339 times with a rating of 3.00 from 3 votes
A boy asks his father to explain the differences among irritation,
aggravation, and frustration.
Dad picks up the phone and dials a number at random. When the phone is
answered he asks, "Can I speak to Alf, please?"
"No! There's no one called Alf here." The person hangs up.
"That's irritation," says Dad.
He picks up the phone again, dials the same number and asks for Alf a
"No -- there's no one here called Alf. Go away. If you call again I
shall telephone the police." End of conversation.
"Then what's 'frustration'?" asks his son.
The father picks up the phone and dials a third time:
"Hello, this is Alf. Have I received any phone calls?"
Monday, December 28, 2009
Travelnista is NOT the Biggest Loser. Oh I made my 50 pounds for the Challenge on my team but I am in no way proud of how I did it. A Leader should lead by example and I definitely do not want anyone to follow my lead on this one. I am not saying a Leader has to be perfect because we are people too and as long as we learn from our mistakes that is a good thing
This latest stunt I pulled to make sure I met the 50 pound goal was insane. I put in 3 hours of exercise on M-W-F in the form of one hour weight training with the machines and free weights and then 2 hours in the pool. On the off days I did 2 hours of cardio in the pool. Well, that pace lasted exactly one week and almost killed me. Had it not been for that big snowstorm we got before Christmas my exercise routine would have been greatly diminished because I was exhausted. I put in 2 hours of snow shoveling on Saturday after going to the gym in the morning before it started. Sunday morning I did 3 straight hours of snow shoveling and then I was done, finito, caput. I was afraid I was not going to be able to crawl out of bed the next day.
I am supposed to be leading by example and I am always on my "soapbox" handing out advise but I need to start listening to myself. I keep saying that this must be a lifestyle change. There is no way in Hell one can keep up that exercise routine 7 days a week, I think 5 days a week would kill me too. It needs to be a sensible one that one can do every day of their life. I am returning to my M-W-F weight routine and daily cardio of 60 to 90 minutes. If I take the weekend off or one day, I will not beat myself up.
I love the Biggest Loser but it is not a realistic way to lose weight. First of all it is a quick weight loss because all they do is exercise 24/7. Can you imagine all of the hanging skin as a result of that quick weight loss not to mention what it does to certain body organs. If 3 hours killed me, can you imagine doing it all day and at that intensity of those workouts? Those people do not hold down a job or take care of a household while competing on that show. I have a day job and a very stressful one at that. It is insane to think that one could sustain that workout.
I am embarrassed for what I did even though I achieved my goal. I actually feel horrible about it almost as if i cheated. Well, I did cheat because that is not my normal lifestyle. I am stressed tighter than a drum and I am am exhausted. I have not had the time nor energy to be Sparking like I normally do. I have not blogged in days and have only managed to do the very basics on Spark like the Nutrition and Fitness Tracker, birthday wishes, and congrats to Team Members of the day. I have managed a few posts here and there along with reading some of my Spark Buddies Blogs but I am way behind on that too. I do take my Friend Feed seriously. Trust me, I am not happy about that either.
I am publicly saying that do not follow my lead in this stunt to squeeze out the final pounds for any competition or challenge you may take. It was stupid and I was WRONG! I promise to do better!
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