The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

The story of my quest to look good naked -- really good.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Ahhh, The Games We Play

I've noticed I am playing more and more games with myself when it comes to food and exercise. If I don't eat dinner (protein & veggies), I'll have some ice cream because the calories are about the same. You know, you really get the same benefit from doing 30 minute of cardio as you do for 60 minutes of cardio, plus if I do 30 minutes, I can get in some weight lifting.

I swear, I can rationalize almost anything, and my eating and exercise patterns are showing it. The thing that makes me real angry is that I KNOW what I need to do:

1. Follow my food plan
2. Eat more protein than carbs
3. Eat 5 servings of fresh fruit and veggies EVERY day
4. Exercise 5 times a week with 60 minutes of cardio and some weight lifting
5. Drink at least 100 ounces of water a day
6. Take my supplements & prescriptions
7. Do not skip my appointments with my doctor or my nutritionist

See, it can't be that hard. I have seriously got to get my act together. It looks like I am going to weigh in at 314 AGAIN this month. And I can't even act surprised. I worked out about 6 or 7 times last month. I probably ate on plan only 1 or 2 days. Heck, it's a miracle that I haven't gained 10 pounds!

What can I do to scare myself straight? How can I stop playing these games with my health and my future?

Monday, March 29, 2004

Another Day, Another Dollar

Boy, oh boy was it hard to come into work this morning! I had a great weekend, enjoying our 88 degree weather! Don and I spent time on Saturday and Sunday out on the deck. My brother and his family were in from Las Vegas, so we had dinner with them Saturday night and brunch on Sunday. Needless to say, I'm staying as far away from the scale as possible until I have a few more on plan days under my belt.

This morning, I didn't come into work until 9 AM, so I actually went to the gym before work. It got the day started off right -- a little cardio, a little weight lifting. Of course, once I got home, grabbed some coffee and collapsed on the deck chair with the dogs, I seriously contemplated calling in "sick" but I have too much of a tan for that to be believable!

Of course, I am still in count down mode -- 10 more working days for those of you counting -- to my vacation. Although I have a lot to do -- getting the carpets & chimney cleaned, general home maintenance, etc. -- I do plan on getting some shopping in as well as a lot of deck time (in case you haven't noticed, I am a true sun bunny). Don will have Wednesday - Sunday off, so that will be nice to be able to spend some time together. With our incompatible schedules, it's hard to keep up with one another, especially when he gets home at 12:30 AM and I am out the door at 7:30 AM.

That's about all from here. As I look out the window, I am once again tempted to get in my car and go home for lunch -- I'm just afraid I wouldn't come back!

P.S. -- For my friends in "cooler" areas of the country, we are actually expecting about a 30 degree drop by Wednesday or Thursday, plus the possibility of showers......

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Almost the Weekend

Thanks for all the e-mails and comments. I have my one-on-one with my manager next Friday and I will bringing up a lot of these points. In the meantime, I have taken a blank review sheet and I am keeping track of all the extras I'm doing so when I do get ready for my year end, it will be almost written! Heck, it's what I suggest to my staff, I might as well follow my own advice.

In the meantime, no real adventures this past week. My most exciting was a last minute meeting downtown. Because of the morning rush hour I took surface streets through, ummm, let's call it, the seedier part of town. I did see a lot of interesting places that I had no idea even existed in the city. The meeting was for one of our city government clients near Union Station. The Union Station security guards were on Segways. I had never seen one in person and I was a little disappointed I didn't get to see them in action. Oh, well....
I should have taken my camera though.....Union Station would be such a cool building to photograph.

It looks like it's going to be a busy weekend. My brother and his family is coming in for the weekend, so there are "event" planned -- dinner at my Dad's on Friday, dinner at my Mom's on Saturday and brunch at my Dad's on Sunday. I think we'll probably only do the Saturday and Sunday events since Don is working late on Friday and I really don't want to schlep all the way to my Dad's during rush hour on Friday. Ok, if you twisted my arm, the real reason is because I don't want to leave the dogs alone (Rebecca -- are you reading??). I don't want to have to leave them alone after I've been at work all day and they've been stuck in the dog run. I'm such a home-body.....

Anyway, I'm counting down the days until my week off (t-16 working days!). Here's too a relaxing weekend.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Things I've Learned Today do a good job, meet your deadlines, take on extra projects/responsibilities, manage extra staff and you get no raise and less of a bonus than last year on top of being asked to change your hours.

OK, yes a little more job bitterness. I knew in December that I needed to get an overall 1 or 2 on my review to be eligible for a raise this year. I also knew that more than likely I would receive a 3 -- meeting expectations -- despite taking on a lot of work last year. I did struggle at times with the workload, but I always met my deadlines, I didn't bitch about it and always showed flexibility and excellent change management skills. I was disappointed in my review because I thought some of the extras deserved recognition. I also assumed that my bonus would be more than last year to compensate the fact I wasn't getting a raise. In the end, my bonus was about $150.00 less than last year and no bonus, so I am actually "out" about $42.00 a paycheck after taxes (enough to fill my gas tank and get my nails done). It still ticks me off that I worked harder and smarter than I did in 2002, and am getting less for the effort.

Which is why I am hesitant to jump in on the next fabulous project my manager wants me to undertake. As I've mentioned, one of the other leaders is moving on, but we haven't replaced her yet. I have been asked to take on 3 pretty big duties of hers to add to mine until we bring in her replacement. So knowing I'll be making less money for doing more, my boss then tells me (she couched as "discussing" it with me, but there was no discussion) that my hours need to change from 7a - 4p to 8a - 5p. I have been working my shift for about 6 of my 8 years here and it hasn't seemed to bother anyone but her. She claims I need to be more visible, that strong leadership is needed more in the late afternoon than in the morning. I like working my early shift. I'm an early bird as it is. I like getting off at 4p so I can go to the store or the gym before everyone else gets off of work. To have that taken away from me on top of the money thing, really doesn't do a lot for my sense of teamwork or willingness to go the extra mile.

I guess I just see others in the office who make a big show about how much work they have to do and they make sure everyone knows they are staying late and they get projects and tasks taken off their plates. They earn extra days off (comp time) because they are putting in so much OT (since we're exempt, we can't get paid OT). I work efficiently, without a lot of direction. I meet my deadlines. I offer to help out my peers when I can. I have never said no to my boss when she's asked me to finish a project (usually due within 24 hours) because she has gotten behind. I do stay late when it's warranted (people calling in sick and the phones need to be covered). I've come in as early as 3 AM to support our East Coast offices when they are affected by winter storms or black outs. I support my company thought its many changes and work on making sure my staff supports us as well. Maybe it's because I have been so generously compensated in the past that this feels a little like a slap in the face.

If it weren't for the tight job market, I would seriously think about quitting.

Again, sorry for the bitter grapes, but this job situation is the one stress area in my life right now, and the one that is at the root cause of my trying to self-medicate, whether by wine or by Big Macs.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

What's In a Name?

It's amazing how some names really evoke certain emotions. I love my name. In Gaelic, Shannon means "wise one." I'm not always sure if that holds true, but I like to think it is. The spelling of my name is an interesting story. I was adopted. My mom had lost two unborn babies and my parents decided it would be best to adopt. They put as their preference "First Available." They were originally told a baby boy was going to be available, so they thought of boy names and came up with Gavin. When they went down to Children's Home Society on their appointed day, they were told that the boy had become ill and would not be up for adoption for a few weeks, however they did have a little girl (me!) ready to go home. My parents were sent off to go to lunch while the paperwork was completed.

Since it was lunch time, my parents decided to grab a bite to eat at a well-known Mexican place called El Cholo. Over a few margaritas, my parents tried to come up with a girl's name. They wanted something that honored my soon-to-be father's Irish heritage and came up with two -- Erin Elizabeth or Shannon Michele. My mom is an artist, and therefore a visual person, so she started to doodle the names along with Gavin. Because of the "i" in Gavin, she started spelling Shannon as Shannin and that's how I came to be named Shannin Michele.

Growing up, I never loved my name -- it was always spelled wrong and it wasn't "cute" and I could never have a nickname (Tina from Christina, Patty from Patricia, Shelly from Michelle). Of course, now that I'm older, I appreciate the fact that Shannon/Shannin will never be one of the top 10 names -- heck, Shannon was considered a boy's name for most of the 60s. I became very posessive of my name. I loved the fact no one shared my name -- at least the spelling.

Which brings me to my last Leadership Meeting last week. I knew we had hired a leader at one of our on-sites and her name was Shannon, but I had yet to meet her -- until last Thursday. When we did finally meet face-to-face, she said, "Oh, so you're the OTHER Shannin." What do you mean, the OTHER Shannin???? Hey, when it comes to this group, I am THE Shannin! See what I mean about becoming posessive? Oh well, at least I spell it different!

The other funny thing about names, are the images that they can conjure up. In the end, when my mom did finally get pregnant, she had a boy who she named Gavin (their original name). I don't know too many Gavins, but my best friend's cousin is named Gavin. We "hooked up" in college, but it was a very short-lived relationship. I finally confessesd to my friend I just couldn't imagine lying in bed saying, "Ohhh, Gavin....yes, harder....." Just too weird.....

Friday, March 19, 2004

Hey, None of Us Are Getting Out Alive

I got some bad news yesterday. My mom's best friend, Nancy, has been given 3 - 4 months to live. Nancy and my mom met when I was 2 and Nancy's daughter was also 2 -- we're actually only 3 weeks apart in age. My brother was 6 months and Jackie's brother was 3 months, so you can see our families were very similar.

Our families used to do summer vacations together. Even though as we grew up, Jackie and I kind of went our different ways, we remaind friends. I was there for Jackie Nancy was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was there for her when her aunt had a radical masectomy. I was there when Jackie discovered a lump in her breast. This has not been a lucky family. One of Jackie's aunts died of ovarian cancer. Jackie lost her second child, a 3 week old boy, to SIDS in 2001. Nancy survived breast cancer only to find that some of the cancer cells settled in her liver and bones.

I had been relying on my mom for information about Nancy, not wanted to bother Nancy. I had left a message for Jackie a few weeks ago and she finally called last week and we had about a 2 hour talk. At this time, no doctor had answered the question, "How much time?" Jackie had come to terms about her mom's impending death, sort of. She admitted she knew it was going to happen, and knew it was going to be sooner than later, but I don't really think she realized that we were talking soon, real soon. My mom, in total denial, still thinks that Nancy can beat this, that she has a year. After a very long phone conversation with her last night, I think I was finally able to get her to acknowledge that Nancy will probably be gone before the end of summer.

Death is not something I'm comforable with. I was not exposed to it a lot -- when my 4 grandparents passes, my parents opted for no ceremonies. I think my first memorial service was when I was in junior high and one of my friend's brother died in a hiking accident. I hadn't even been to a funeral (with a body in the same room) until 7 years ago when my friend Shoba died in a plane crash. Even then, it was a closed casket because of the nature of the accident. My first open casket funeral was in 2000 when a friend's wife died of cancer (didn't handle that well at all -- I ended up having a panic attack). Needless to say, it's not a topic I like discussing, writing about or even thinking about.

Having said that, death is inevitable for all of us. The person who served you your latte this morning? He's going to die. Your co-worker? Boss? Workout partner? Yep -- we just don't know when or how most of the time. In Nancy's case, she does know. Most cancer victims die of liver failure due to a drug overdose. Ironic -- the drugs they give you to relieve the pain is what essentially kills you. Not the cancer, but the drugs. She even knows, for the most part, how much time she has. She doesn't have the strength to take the trip to Europe she's always wanted to do, but she does have the chance to gather those she loves and tell them that. I guess in a way, that's one of the benefits of knowing.

So, how am I going to handle this? This is the first time that I've really known anyone who has been given a time limit. I know my role is going to be supporting my mom and Jackie. I also know I am going to have to go and see Nancy within the next few weeks, no matter how hard it is for me.

The upside of this is the open discussions I was able to have with my dad. my mom and Don. These aren't easy conversations, and there were some tears, but they are important, and I do encourage you all to have them with those you love.

Anyway, not to put a damper on everyone's Friday, but I wanted to get this down before I let it fade to the background like I do on all uncomfortable topics.

"You can't choose how you are going to die, or when. You can only choose how you are going to live, now."

Wednesday, March 17, 2004


That's "To your heath," in Gaelic, in honor of my national holiday.

Despite my Irish heritage, I tend to down play St. Patrick's Day. Seven years ago, I got a call on St. Paddy's Day to tell me that one of my close friends had died in a private plane crash. Ever since then, my taste for green beer, drunken happy hours, etc. has dwindled. Don and I will probably grab a bite to eat, but no green beer (I mean, really, what's the point?).

I'm a little calmer than yesterday. I really sat here and stewed about the way my boss treated me. I even typed up a fake resignation letter (in Word, not in e-mail so there wouldn't be any "accidents"). I found out later that right before she spoke to me she found out she was losing an account and she would have to lay off 2 people including 1 who is still out on maternity leave. I guess I'll cut her some slack. I'll just try and be a little more proactive about making sure the office is covered when other leaders are out.

I am in another rather annoyed mood. I went to Aaron Brothers to pick up my mats I had custom cut and they weren't ready. The woman told me that they should be ready around 5P. Of course, when I placed my order on Sunday, the guy didn't tell me that. So that was one wasted trip. I went to pick up my B/W enlargements from Marina Photo and discovered the negatives got mixed up and all but 2 of the prints were wrong! back to the drawing board on those. I should be getting my digital photo enlargements from Shutterfly today so I can start working on getting those bad boys framed.

Off to finish picking my NCAA bracket. Don and I always play against one another. I think he's won the last two years and it would be nice to beat him this year, although it's hard since I don't follow college hoops like I follow college football. Let's just say, my "good" picks are more luck than anything.

Although I have several Irish toasts, here is one that I think is especially appropriate:

"As you slide down the banister of life,
May the splinters never point the wrong way!"

Hope everyone has a safe and relatively sane St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

So This is Why They Pay Me the Big Bucks

There are days where I seriously hate my job. The other leader in the office was off yesterday and will be off today. I work 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM and she usually works 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. I came in yesterday at my usual time and left at my usual time. I got a voicemail this morning from my boss wondering why I didn't stay until 6:00 PM since the office needs a leader here between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM. This means, I have to stay until 6:00 PM today -- forcing me to cancel two appointments and make alternate arrangements for other plans. I mean, at least she could have called me at home so I could have 24 hours notice.

It's not that I'm asked to work extra hours (and don't get compensated for them, being exempt and all). What really gets me is that when I am off, no leader comes in at 7:00 AM, and no one is expected to work 11 hours.

Admittedly, I'm in a rather pissy mood. The other team leader has taken another position (a step down) and my boss hasn't even hired a new TL (we've done the interviews, but the one she wants needs a green card) so I am expected to take on a bunch of extra work for no extra compensation. This is the second time in 2 years this has happened and I've had it.

Sorry for venting this early in the morning, but I'm really ticked off......

So This is Why They Pay Me the Big Bucks

There are days where I seriously hate my job. The other leader in the office was off yesterday and will be off today. I work 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM and she usually works 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. I came in yesterday at my usual time and left at my usual time. I got a voicemail this morning from my boss wondering why I didn't stay until 6:00 PM since the office needs a leader here between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM. This means, I have to stay until 6:00 PM today -- forcing me to cancel two appointments and make alternate arrangements for other plans. I mean, at least she could have called me at home so I could have 24 hours notice.

It's not that I'm asked to work extra hours (and don't get compensated for them, being exempt and all). What really gets me is that when I am off, no leader comes in at 7:00 AM, and no one is expected to work 11 hours.

Admittedly, I'm in a rather pissy mood. The other team leader has taken another position (a step down) and my boss hasn't even hired a new TL (we've done the interviews, but the one she wants needs a green card) so I am expected to take on a bunch of extra work for no extra compensation. This is the second time in 2 years this has happened and I've had it.

Sorry for venting this early in the morning, but I'm really ticked off......

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Ahhh...the weekend

I guess the good news is that I didn't have to fight with food cravings/desires too much this weekend. I did have a steak and a baked potato last night (I did nearly orgasm over the potato -- hey, it's been a long time) but I stopped when I was full (the dogs got lucky!). I also made it to the gym for 30 minutes of cardio on Saturday and took the beasts for a 1 1/2 mile walk today.

The bad news is I really don't feel like I'm making much progress on the weight loss fight. I know I have benefited from some of the weight loss I have had -- looser clothes for one. But I am still feeling like a lard ass. Despite some of my "old" clothes fitting better, I feel like I'm in a bad plateau. I've even considered asking my nutritionist about a 3- or 5-day fast to "re-start" my engine.

I was able to get some of my photos framed and hung. I'm just waiting for some mats to be cut and some enlargements to be delivered. I even ordered some 8x10s -- which is a huge step for me because I worry if my work is "good enough" for something that big. I am really excited to see some of my works printed "big" and to get them hung. My secret dream is to get them displayed at either my gym or my hairdresser's to see if they will sell. I'm not sure if I have the confidence for that right now, but we'll see.

Friday, March 12, 2004

A Lady of Leisure

I'm amazed how quickly time passes. My day off is mostly over, and I've hardly done anything -- although I think that's the point of a day "off." I went to Macy's and Bloomie's (Lancome & Clinque gift with purchase) on my way to the doctors. Ran to Trader Joe's to get some essentials for the weekend. I was very tempted to go next door to Panera, the bread store so many of my fellow bloggers have recently written about. Despite knowing their cinnamon rolls would go directly to my thighs, I have been wanting to try them for a long time. As I was walking up the steps to the two stores, my feet carrying me in the direction of Panera's doors, I noticed the rating -- a big 'ol B. (For those who don't know, Los Angeles County gives any place that serves food a letter grade -- A, B, C, D). I have a personal thing about only eating in places that have an A, so the decision was made for me. I even did well in TJ's -- I only got what was on my list, so there is nothing tempting me in the house tonight. Came home, had lunch with Don and sat on the deck for about 1 1/2 hours. Don just left for work, and I don't have any plans for the rest of the day.

Now, there are some things I should do -- go through some magazines & catalogs, order some photos for my new frames, etc. Whether I get them done or not remains to be seen. I may just decided on going through my virtual mall and trying not to do too much damage.

One thing I noticed while driving to my doctor's office in Beverly Hills, is just how much entitlement some people feel. Driving through the streets, I noticed a lot of drivers just coasted through stop signs, totally ignoring who might actually have the right of way. I saw two people (in Mercedes SUVs, natch) pull into traffic with nary a thought about oncoming traffic. At the office, I was waiting for the elevator and this older typical BH matron (velour matching sweatsuit which probably cost a few hundred of her husband's well-earned money) stepped right in front of me as I was getting on the elevator. She, of course, had to get out before me and even though we were both going to the same office, she didn't even hold the door. When we got in, the receptionist asked who her doctor was, and her answer was, "I have a test at 11:30." Luckily, I see a different set of doctors, and didn't even have chance to take my seat before I was being shown into a room. When I left about 10 minutes later, she was still waiting.

I just find it interesting how some people interact with the strangers around them. So many don't take into consideration how their actions affect other people. "It's my way, when I want it, how I want it and damn the little people."

On to better things -- I did forget to mention the other day that one of the real benefits of being a Gold AMEX card holder is the ability to get tickets early for certain events. AMEX had a promotion where I could get tickets to Sting & Annie Lennox 2 days before they went on sale to the general public. I was so excited! We have great seats and it took all of about 5 minutes at Ticketmaster. Anyway, enough gloating about that.....

Well, off to enjoy the rest of the day at my leisure.....

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Oh, Yes, Another List

Thanks to Southern Belle, here is something to ponder:

Emotional age? 40

Hairdo you wish you could pull off? Long & wavy

First word? Probably “Mama,” like everyone else.

First written word? My name.

Famous person(s) people say you look like? People have said Queen Latifah, but I don’t see it (plus, I’m white!).

Eat your vegetables? Yep! Fresh & not overcooked, preferably from the local Farmer’s Market.

God, or a god concept? God concept. I’m a neo-Paganist at heart.

Most lengthy phase you ever went through: Horse-crazy from about 3 until 17.

If you're a boy, do you like baking? If you're a girl, do you like grilling? Grilling!!

Language(s) you'd most like to speak: French, Gaelic

Favorite names for people: Dude!

Death row last meal: Full on Mexican feast, including margaritas!

Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA

Do you have an accent? I don’t think so!

To-MAY-to or To-MAH-to? To-MAY-to

Most exotic thing you've ever eaten:Jellyfish in Hong Kong

Superheroes or the supervillains? Superheroes – I love being the good guy & saving the day.

Marriage is...a lifelong commitment to the one who you love and who loves you.

Love is...the greatest gift to give or receive.

Down pillows or plush pillows?Extra firm – down is too soft!

Bush. Love him or hate him? I don’t think I’d say hate, but I don’t like him, trust him or believe in him (mind you, I don’t feel like this about all Republicans).

Favorite color? Deep blue, but almost any jewel tones.

Favorite flavor of ice cream? Godiva Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.

Dream job: National Geographic wildlife photographer.

Elvis or the Beatles? Beatles, but I like “old” Elvis.

Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke with Lime.

Bad speller? Oh, yeah…..

Friday night. You're tired enough to stay in for the night, but not too tired to go out. Which one do you choose? Stay at home, open some wine, light some candles, put on some good music and just veg our with the dogs.

Favorite cuisine: Mexican.

Show you miss the most: Homicide, Stark Raving Mad, Sports Night

Were you popular in high school? Not really.

What do you like in your brownies, nothing, nuts, or weed? Nothing.

Do you like to read? Oh, yeah.

How many serious relationships have you had? It’s all relative – my “serious” relationships in high school were no where on the same level as my “serious” relationship at 30. Having said that, 2 in high school, 1 in college, 2 after the age of 21.

How old were you when you had your first kiss? 11.

How old were you when you first partied? 16.

Favorite season? Autumn, Summer, Spring, Winter

Marshmallows: burn em, or toast em? Toast them, but dark!

Do you enjoy dressing up? Yes, but not often.

Do you mind getting dirty? No, if it’s for a good cause.

What did you think you were going be when you grew up? The NBC correspondent in the USSR (journalism/political science/Russian language major in college).

Number of mortal enemies: None, I hope.

A New Wardrobe Without Spending Any $$$

My body is going through a lot of changes -- after 4 weeks of dealing with this stupic bronchitis, no exercise and eating way off plan, I am actually down 3 pounds. I guess not being able to taste food is a good thing -- I make choices like fish instead of a hamburger.

The other upswing is that I am finding skirts (3 so far) that have been buried in the back of my closet because they have been too tight. The are all now on the loose side! I guess one of the things I will be doing over my week off in April is cleaning out my closet and actually donating some of the items that are on the "biggish" side.

And this all on the eve of my being cleared to get back in to the gym today! Of course, staffing issues may postpone that until tomorrow, but I'm feeling better about my body. Which hasn't stopped me from eating like someone who has never heard of the word "nutrition." I mean, 1 Diet Coke, 4 small chocolate eggs and 1 piece of garlic bread is all I ate yesterday. So far today, I've had juice and some Chex Mix. Of well, if I continue to lose weight, I may write my own diet book -- The Venice Beach diet.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Witnessed Today....

....single man (guessing -- no wedding ring), 40s, flipping through a Soap Opera Digest while waiting in line at Target to buy 1 liter of Coke, 2 containers of Pringles and car floor mats.

....middle-age man in a suit on his cell phone walking down Sepulveda Blvd. at lunchtime with a blow-up Spiderman under his arm.

Both just struck me as odd.....

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Spring fever has officially set in. I don't want to be at work, I don't want to be inside -- I just want to be outside, reading, hanging with the dogs, which is pretty much what I did all of Sunday.

Saturday, Don and I went and had our taxes done, and for the first time in the 4 years we've filed as a couple, we'll be getting a refund. Woo-hoo. I always am aprehensive about getting our taxes done since it's been bad news in the past, so this was a pleasant surprise. Of course, the money is already spent on things around the house, but it's a nice feeling knowing that the money will be in our checking account in just 2 weeks.

Sunday, Don had to work and I did a major grocery/supply shop -- CostCo, Ralph's, Trader Joe's. It actually only took me about 2 hours to get all of my errands done. Didn't do too much damage at CostCo, which is a challenge. I tried to stick to exactly what I needed, rather than going up and down each aisle to make sure I wasn't "missing" any good deals. I spent the rest of the very sunny and hot (85 degrees) lying on my deck and reading. I even have a nice tan started. I've always been a sun bunny, and I feel so much better about myself when I have some color. I have light olive skin anyway, so I'm never really pale, but I love to get a dark tan!

Sunday night, in preparation for the return of The Sopranos I made wonderful Beef & Cheese Manicotti along with salad and garlic bread. Totally not on either one of our plans, but it was a good cheat day. I was very happy the way it came out, and the leftovers are even better.

Tonight we are taking some of the tax refund and going shopping for some window shades. We have a very nice window seat in our living room and there are no shades, which can leave us feeling a little exposed at times. I'm looking for the ones that are similar to this, so wish us luck. I'm not always very good with the home decorating stuff -- I have great ideas, I just am not very handy unless it's IKEA-type furniture.

Off to present my first round of reviews.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Oh, boy, am I glad it's Friday. Of course, 2 people called in sick, 2 were on approved vacation and I have 2 leaving early. The airlines just raised their fares last night and now we have to call the carriers to honor the original fares that were supposed to be good through today. Ahhh, the joys.....

On top of it all, I will have to deliver my reviews next week. The thing that kills me is that I sent them to my boss on Feb. 23. She is just now getting back to me with revisions and additions. Oh, and when are the reviews due, you might ask? Next Friday, of course. Geeze....she's on my back to get them done early, which I did, and then they sit on her desk for almost 2 weeks, and now I have to rush to meet deadline.

After reading Denise however, I'm not sure if I really want to present the reviews! I do have to agree, I have a great staff. The one thing that gets me every year are those who fill in their self apprasials with all 1s (we rank on a scale of 1 - 5, with 3 being Meets Expectations and 1 being Exceeds Expecations Plus).

My big success last night was building 2 bookshelves and 1 table I purchased yesterday. I put these in the guest room along one very bare wall. I really need the shelf space more than anything for photos and knick-knacks. I swear, I can't imagine where I would have put all this stuff if we were still in our old apartment. We went from a 900 sq. foot apartment to a 1500 sq. foot house, and I'm always in seach of storage space.

I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to the weekend or not. Don and I are seeing our tax guy tomorrow, and don't know what to expect. We paid a little last year, but not that much. With Don's employment issues last year and some of the freelance he did, I'm not sure if we're going to take it in the shorts or come out on top.

Other than that, I really don't have any big plans for the weekend. I really need to get my nails done -- they look like shit. I'll have some chores and errands, but I'm really praying for a sunny weekend so I can spend most of my time out on my deck reading. Ahh, the simple pleasures of life.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I love lists. In fact, I just posted under FUN STUFF my list of Pet Peeves and 100+ About Me

On one of my daily blog reads, I came across this Countdown:

10 Movies You Would Watch Over and Over:
1. Braveheart
2. Moulin Rouge
3. Footloose
4. Shrek
5. Dances With Wolves
6. Fargo
7. The Lion King
8. The Joy Luck Club
9. The Man From Snowy River
10. The Ususal Suspects

9 People You Enjoy the Company Of:
1. Don
2. Dad
3. Mom
4. Dean
5. Patty
6. Sally A.
7. Sally F.
8. Phil
9. Jay

8 Books You Can't Live Without:
1. The Eight (Katherine Neville)
2. River God (Wilbur Smith)
3. London (Edward Rutherford)
4. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
5. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
6. Venus Envy (Rita Mae Brown)
7. The Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
8. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)

7 Things on Your Mind:
1. Don
2. Baja
3. Jager
4. Money
5. Food
6. My job
7. My schedule

6 Objects You Touch Everyday:
1. Don
2. Baja
3. Jager
4. Water bottle
5. My hair
6. Chapstick

5 Things You Do Everyday:
1. Tell Don I love him
2. Play with the dogs
3. Read something (book, magazine, newspaper)
4. Obsess about food
5. Sleep

4 Bands or Musical Artists You Can't Live Without:
1. Madonna
2. Bruce Springsteen
3. Seal
4. Patty Griffin

3 Of Your Favorite Songs of the Moment:
1. Love's Divine (Seal)
2. The Rising (Bruce Springsteen)
3. Come What May (Mouling Rouge)

2 People Who Have Influenced Your Life the Most:
1. Don
2. My parents

1 Person Who Has Been Nice to You Today:
1. Gloria

I actually changed the 8 items from 8 Items You are Currently Wearing, since I'm not wearing 8 items. Plus, you can't have music without books!

Monday, March 01, 2004

The rain has come again. I actually don't mind this weather, especially because I was home before it started. I was able to get off work a little early because my boss called me late last night to ask if I could get into the office before 6:30 AM to reboot our phone system. The curse of living the closest to the office, I guess. It did make for a very long day.

My weigh in this morning held no surprises -- I'm the same weight. Since I haven't worked out in 2 weeks and my eating has not been on plan. I guess I'm a little bit disappointed that I didn't do better, and I feel like I've been on this plateau forever. I just don't feel on track, and that's making me feel out of sorts. I don't know how to get back on track.

The first thing would be to get back into the gym, but looking at my schedule this week, that won't be possible until Saturday. I have something after work every night this week -- nail appointment, hair appointment, nutritionist, client event. I guess I should actually try something easy like stretching.

The second thing would be to stop eating all of this crap. I know I have been sick, and that's been my excuse for the last 2 1/2 weeks, but I really need to focus on what I am putting into my body. No more processed food (canned soups), no more fast food, no more skipping meals just because "nothing sounds good" (and then later overeating). I have to start making my breakfast and lunch instead of buying those meals (hey, and I save money!).

Lastly, I will be seeing my doctor next Friday to have more thyroid tests so we can come up with a game plan for some new meds.

Hopefully these three steps will get me back on the losing track!