weekend away, stolen dough & forgotten keys

How do the weeks go by so fast?

Last Tuesday, I went to Cafe Cabaret for the monthly reading. It went great. Wednesday and Thursday were days that have passed where I did nothing of significance. Probably watched some TV. Han & I are watching “The West Wing.” We didn’t watch it when it was on TV, but it’s Aaron Sorkin, and we really like him. Han’s already watched all 8 seasons, and is half-way through a second round, plus is watching some of them with me as I start out. Great show.

Friday, I had plans to go to LA to visit my parents. On the way, I met my friend Cathy for happy hour at the Fish Market. It’s always wonderful to see her. She’s cancer-free for a second time (ovarian) and is doing well. After a great visit with her, I headed north. That evening, me & my folks watched TV and chatted before all retiring for the night.

On Saturday, I took Dad to dialysis, and Mom & I went to lunch at Ruby’s Diner where I had fish & chips (my craving from last month still needed to be satisfied). Their fish was pretty good. After that, it was a trip to Target, Armstrong Nursery, and the gas station. Then I went to get Dad. After we got home, Mom & I went out again, this time to Marshall’s and the grocery store. For dinner that night, she made macarrones and breaded pork. Delicious! She even used the white fiber pasta that I talked about. You can’t tell a difference from regular pasta (like I think you can with whole grain pasta). I went to bed pretty early that night.

On Sunday morning, we all found ourselves outside. It was extremely gorgeous weather-wise. I was playing with Lulu when Mom starting digging post-holes. I went over and said I could do that for her. I started, but my hair was falling into my face. My mom braided my hair to hold it back. Though there wasn’t anything to fasten it, it stayed pretty good. My mom braiding my hair brings me such joy and calm. It’s such an amazing feeling. I didn’t tell her that, but it truly is. I remember when I was in high school, and to be ‘different,’ I had one single tiny braid hanging down the side of my face. I have never been able to braid my own hair (weird, I know), but my mom would patiently and splendidly braid these tiny wisps into a lovely braid and tie it off with those miniscule rubber bands that people used for their braces. My friend, Michelle, would give me the rubber bands.  Thanks, Mom!

So I dug the post-holes while my dad fixed a hose and my mom prepped the tomato plants. It all happened so naturally and that’s what I liked about it. No one said, “Let’s go plant the tomatoes.” I’m not capturing it the way I’d like, but it was a beautiful way to start the day. After that, Mom made waffles and bacon. Around 2 pm, I got in the car and headed back south. It was a great visit with them.

Back at home, I caught up on some TV while Han had clients. Then we had dinner, and right before bed, I thought to check my checking account (I’m not quite sure why). That’s when I discovered that my debit card info had been stolen, probably still from the Target fiasco over the holidays. This jackass had racked up over $450 at various gas stations around the LA area. I had my card so he/she had gotten my card number somehow. I called my bank and reported it stolen so it could be blocked. The next day, I went to my bank. They gave me a new card, and I filled out a form to dispute the charges. They said it could take at least 10 business days to get the money refunded, but the teller told me that they’d been handling these types of issues a little faster. I’ll say. The money was back in my account the same day. Awesome.

That was yesterday, also St. Patrick’s Day. Also, my day at Helen Woodward. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned, but I’ve been trained now to handle the dogs, too. So when things are slow in the Cattery, I can move to dogs, which is what I did today. Two of the cats were not having any of my presence, while the third was sweet and enjoyed the attention, but is also very old and tired out pretty quickly. Working with the dogs is okay, but I prefer the cats. A good thing is that I go late enough in the day that all the services have usually been completed so I can pick and choose who to take out (this is true of both the cats and the dogs). What I’ve started to do is that I’ll work with the cats, then I’ll take a walk through the kennels and get a feel for the dogs that are there, then I’ll choose the dogs that seem the sweetest. So far, they’ve all been pretty good. And thankfully none have done their business (unlike the cats, I do have to clean up after the dogs). The toughest part is walking them through the kennels to get to the door that goes outside. Dogs can be mean and loud. It’s hard to avoid the ‘cage fighting’ that sometimes happens when these dog strangers see each other, one outside and the other in a cage.

That night, I went to the grocery store after I got home. That’s a good time to go if you don’t like crowds! Then I brought home some dinner and we watched “The West Wing.”

Today started with laundry and making a meatloaf! Yep, before work. It’s because I wouldn’t have time after work to make it since I had plans to go to a reading. Good thing I did that, because I was late getting home because, d’oh! I locked my keys in my office as I was leaving to go home. It was already 5:30 pm, and most everyone was gone for the day. Thankfully, I remembered I had an emergency services card in my wallet. I called the facilities guy who was able to get hold of someone who was still there. I was in my car by 5:50 pm. Cool. I rushed home, got the meatloaf in the oven, told Han to set his alarm to take it out of the oven, and headed to the reading with a few old poems that I hoped to work on.

I got to Rebecca’s coffeehouse and settled in, but sure enough I was the second person called up to read, so I half-assed it with a poem in progress. Oh well, at least I got to announce my big news! Starting in May, the third Sunday of every month from 2-4 pm, I’ll be hosting a new open poetry reading at the new Java Joe’s, now in Normal Heights! I’m pretty excited to get back into hosting again. It’s once a month so hopefully I won’t burn out. I haven’t thought much about the format or features or anything yet, but I have some time. I’ll be going around to some of the readings this month and next to promote it.

In my weight news, I doubt that I’ve lost any, and I’ve not been tracking my food this week (since Friday), but I’m still aware and continuing with my high fiber foods. I’ve found a good high fiber/low calorie cereal that is seriously yummy: Fiber One 80 Calories-Chocolate. Oh my goodness, add some raspeberries to that and you’ve got a downright tasty breakfast. A couple things I must improve upon: drinking water and being active. At work, it’s easy to down 3-4 pints of water, but after work? Forget it. And exercise? I need to get it in during the weekday, not just do it (sometimes) on weekends. I always tell myself, “You can take 15 minutes and walk around the buildings,’ but I always get caught up in work. Got to do better. My sister joined a walking group through Weight Watchers. I’m not sure if she is walking with them or that they commit to each other to walk and then report back, but I should try to get in on that action somehow.

Tomorrow is my nephew’s 16th birthday. It is insane to realize that boy is already 16! Happy birthday, T!

quiet Wednesday

This morning I went in for my annual physical. Unfortunately, I didn’t know I needed to fast so now I have to go back tomorrow morning to have my blood drawn. Happily, I had lost 3 pounds since I was there in January. Doesn’t seem like much, but I’ll take it. Other good news was that my blood pressure was excellent (120/74). Everything seemed pretty good other than my weight which is no surprise.

Went to work and had another kind of blah day, but I did get started on figuring out my trip to Austin. I’ll get my ticket tomorrow, yay! After work, I stopped at the bank and the grocery store. When I got home, Han was already gone to rehearsal. He’s playing a CD release show with Lisa Sanders whose CD he produced. I’ve had a quiet evening. Did laundry, made dinner (mac & cheese with ground beef – not called horseshoes I discovered, I’ll have to ask why Han calls it that), made cookies, got organized. I’ve been putting off many a task lately so I tried to get back on track with that. And I’ve caught up on some shows that were recorded.

I also finished a book! I discovered that there’s a Kindle lending library for Prime members so I had borrowed Book 1 in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s pretty cool to read it now knowing what I know about the whole story. I just returned it and borrowed Book 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Fun!

Friday is Han’s birthday. We’re having some friends over for a finger foods/dessert potluck. It should be a good time!

stormy weekend

The sky to the west has slowly darkened with storm clouds as the afternoon has worn on, so I’m just waiting for more rain. I just heard some thunder so there’s hope!

It rained most of the day yesterday. Unlike many San Diegans, I like days of rain, even with the dumb drivers and the terribly overwrought newscasts. So here’s what’s been happening this past week.

On Monday, I worked with the kitties. Dog training was put off again to next Monday, but as long as there are kitties, it’s fine. Butters was there again, and two new ones from the same home, Meow Meow and Lee Lee or something like that. They were all really great, but they all shed a ton. My clothes were covered in cat hair. That night, I just made myself some pasta and shrimp since Han had a late lunch. I’ve been very diligent about tracking what I’m eating in regards to fiber and calories. The calorie thing is definitely tough, but the fiber thing is not as hard as I thought it would be. All week, I’ve gotten in the fiber range (25-35g), and it’s been by eating food that I actually like!

On Tuesday, I made meatballs with brown gravy served over brown rice (you’ll notice that my weekly recaps in this post will mostly be about food!) By the way, all week, I’ve been working til around 5:30 pm which means I get home around 6 pm, which means there’s not much time to hang or relax when I get home just because I want to eat dinner at a not terribly late hour.

Wednesday was a bit off the regular schedule. It was my friend’s 50th birthday, and we were celebrating by singing karaoke at a bar in La Mesa. Marcia is a good friend, has been the bass player in many a band I’ve loved. Her daughters put together a great party, and it was great to see some friends I just don’t see very much anymore. Oh, and I sang two songs: Son of a Preacher Man and Respect. The folks there, all amazing & talented singers and musicians, all were very complimentary which sure felt good. It was a really fun time, and with the beer I drank and the rolled tacos I ate, well the calorie count was kind of a lost cause. But you can’t deny yourself all the time!

On Thursday, I got a pedicure! I didn’t get polish, I just wanted to be pampered a bit. It’s always interesting how the set-up is for pedicures. Some places have full-on chairs with the soaking tub built in, others just bring a bowl over. This place was the latter. The nice thing though was that the nail lady was not interested in chatting during the pedicure so I got to read a bit (I’ve started over in the Harry Potter series). Meanwhile, Han went to dinner with D, so I had pasta with shrimp again. I found this amazing white fiber pasta that was really good. And because I can have popcorn again, I had some of that. I found some 100 calorie serving bags (microwave) that was way more popcorn than I expected, plus it’s 5g of fiber! Score. I also tried something another friend of mine suggested, I melted a little bit of butter and added sriracha to it and poured it over the popcorn. So good!

Last night, Han had the supergroup over to write and rehearse. I made burritos. Yet another find: whole wheat tortillas that are only 100 calories each and have 8g of fiber! Also yummy! Oh, and here’s one other discovery I made. It’s a website that has so many nutritional breakdowns of foods, it’s made it so easy to figure out the calories I’m ingesting (approximately): http://www.fatsecret.com. Dig it.

Today I thought I would have acupuncture, but I didn’t get the usual ‘see you tomorrow’ text from her, so I texted her about 30 minutes before we were supposed to meet, and she didn’t have the appointment in her calendar 😦 So we rescheduled, and I checked the movie schedule. Today’s viewing (along with a popcorn!) was “12 Years a Slave.” Oh my. I can’t believe shit like that happened. Chiwetel Ejiofor was awesome. Reviews have said it’s “far from comfortable viewing.” That is the truth. It took me the whole movie to realize how he’d even gotten to where he ended up. It shows that I’m too trusting I guess. I’m glad I saw it. I expect it to win some Oscars. So I’ve seen only three of the nine movies up for Best Picture (American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, and 12 Years a Slave). Each actor from those is up for Best Actor. For Best Actress, I’ve only seen the performances of Amy Adams (AH) and Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine). I still think Cate will win. She was absolutely phenomenal in Blue Jasmine.

I have to let you know that since I’ve been writing the rain has starting pouring down, and now the sky to the west has lightened a bit as the sun is starting to go down. I have the kitchen window and the front door open to hear the rain come down. So awesome.

Tomorrow, I will do my grocery shopping for the week. Then Lindsay and I are meeting for our monthly writing date. That’s at 5 pm, so I’ve recorded the Oscars for Han & I to watch when I get home (and hope that he’s done with work). Right now, I’ve got laundry going, Property Brothers on TV, I’m planning on making cashew chicken (cashews!), and settling in to read more about Harry Potter in his first year at Hogwarts. Enjoy!

the rest of the week

One thing I did on Wednesday (that I didn’t want to ruin my parents’ anniversary post with) was that I went to the dietitian. She didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t know. Reduce my calorie intake, watch the fats I eat, increase my fiber and water intake, reduce my red meat intake, and watch my portions. She did give me a list of foods that are high in fiber, mostly beans, some veggies and fruits. But the best news she gave me is to let me know that the ban on nuts, seeds, and popcorn is off! The most recent research shows it does not lead to increased diverticulitis attacks. Yeah! To celebrate I bought smokehouse almonds! Yum!

That night I made dinner (horseshoes – something easy). The rest of the week was pretty low-key, work, home, dinner. Thursday night I made crunchy parmesan chicken (a favorite around here). I decided not to go to Elevated! I think I can only take that once a month. Friday night, Han had a gig. I stayed home. At the end of the week, I’m usually pooped out. I did make dinner (pork tenderloin).

On Saturday, I was supposed to have dog training but it got postponed. So once I got myself together (and after watching the rest of the Tonight Show episodes from the first week), I went for a walk/hike. I went to Tecolote Canyon which is near my house. I went around 11:30 am, and the day was a bit overcast. The area also boasts a few baseball fields and it was opening day for the Tecolote Little League. My walk/hike lasted close to an hour. It felt good! After that, I helped Han get his ticket to the UK for July and then I went to a movie. I saw “The Monuments Men.” It was okay. It all seemed a bit disjointed and there wasn’t much character development so you didn’t really get to know any of the guys. I would like to read the book it’s based off of, or read more about the operation. What they did was truly amazing. In other movie news, I had popcorn for the first time in about 3 years, and it was glorious! In the evening, I was going to make dinner but the movie got out pretty late and Han had to go listening so he brought me home some Mexican food. After watching what I’d been eating for the past couple days and trying to eat fiber and more healthy food, I can say the Mexican food did not make me feel very good.

Today, I got outside a little earlier, around 9:30 am. This time I went to Marian Bear Memorial Park. Another walk/hike. This one is in the area right next to the 52 freeway. The day was much warmer, and the whole thing was awesome. I was out for about 45 minutes. Right now, I’m feeling the soreness in my legs. It feels good though. The rest of the day was pretty mellow. I got Han & I some lunch, did some laundry, put a shopping list together. Han had a gig so he went to that and I went to the grocery store. When I got back, I made dinner (chicken puttanesca & steamed veggies) and then he got home. We ate and watched “True Detective,” an amazing show on HBO. Now we have the closing ceremonies on, though we lost interest pretty quickly.

Have a great week!

end of week, end of month

Happy Chinese New Year. It’s the year of the horse.

Here’s what’s happened since I last wrote.

On Wednesday, I had a vendor dinner for work. We went to George’s at the Cove’s Ocean Terrace. I arrived late, having gotten hung up at work, but it actually worked out great because everyone was ordering by the time I got there. The Ocean Terrace is outside, and it was foggy and a bit chilly, but it was okay. There were heaters. I had a Stella and I ordered the Steak Frites (mostly for the bleu cheese butter). It was pretty good. I didn’t have an appetizer or dessert because I’ve been trying to stay aware of my portions. When I got home, I worked on Han since he wasn’t feeling very well.

Thursday, I went to the podiatrist. He was able to cut out most of the black spot on my right big toe, then I got some anti-fungal solution to put on the toe twice a day for three months. He couldn’t do anything to help me with the swelling in my ankles. I completely forgot to ask him about something for my heels, but the lady at Zen Sanctuary gave me some good ideas for that. If the heels don’t get smoother with that treatment, I can always go back to the podiatrist.

The other thing on Thursday was we had layoffs at work. We lost two people in marketing and numerous other co-workers in other departments. Layoffs suck ass.

Today was a long day at work as we have some big things coming up. I got home around 6:30 pm. Han was still working (and still is). We had a quick yet productive conversation about a variety of stuff. Then I relaxed for a bit and watched DVR’d episodes of Community and Parks and Recreation. Those are some good shows. Then I made dinner. Something new tonight: Ginger, Beef, and Green Bean Stir Fry. It was pretty darn good. Han & I both enjoyed it. Seems fairly healthy, too. I also started some laundry, watched a brand new Ghost Adventures, then cleaned up the kitchen and ran the dishwasher.

But enough about this day-to-day stuff. One thing I pondered again today is my seeming inability to name something I’d like to do in order to relax or unwind. And I mean, not just looking at Facebook or playing iPhone games, but seriously relaxing just for the sake of relaxing. Isn’t that weird? I know there are things I enjoy doing, but I very infrequently think, like at the end of the day or a long week, “Gosh, I can’t wait to X tonight/this weekend!” That thought struck me today, and it made me a little bit sad. There seems to be a serious lack of joy in my life. I’ll have to be more conscious about that.

Enjoy your weekend!

I keep forgetting

So this day will have two.

I’m enthralled in my current book, Shadow of Night. I’ve been late for appointments & distracted at work.

Went to lunch & shopping with Mom today. Lunch was good. Shopping was not. It had been some time since I’d seen myself in a full-length mirror in a state of undress. Not pleased.

But I’ve been seeing a lot of positive body image articles springing up which helps a little. Such a battle.

Tonight, we fall back.

today I wore a dress

It may not seem like a big deal, but for me it kind of is. I almost changed my mind because this morning, looking at reflections of myself, I kind of felt like a whale. But when I got back from getting coffee, Han said I looked nice and that was enough to make me go for it. Also, I was thinking about my last post and my own perceptions of beauty.

My true body doesn’t reflect my perception of my body and that is a tough thing to deal with. It may usually work the other way around, where you think  you’re heavier than you are, but I go around thinking I’m lighter than I am so that when I see myself, I’m kind of taken aback. I could definitely stand to lose some weight, there’s no question about that. And while I try to watch what I eat, my exercise levels are pretty inconsistent and lately, mostly non-existent. I tend to go in waves.

Yesterday at work, we got some great news. Since I refrain from talking about work, I’ll write in generalities, but it was a HUGE decision that went our way and relieved A LOT of people. But I must say that work has been stressful. The new boss, who I like a lot, is way more involved with what’s happening so I’m being challenged more than ever. That’s good, but it’s taxing. To be in a creative position is difficult because sometimes your spark just isn’t sparking, know what I mean?

I went to see Han play tonight. He was really good and there was a nice crowd. Tomorrow night, I’m going to check out a different poetry reading in Old Town which should be fun. Then Saturday night there’s a house concert but in the morning I get to go to acupuncture! It was supposed to be last week, but she had to reschedule. I sorely missed it and am really looking forward to it.