Wednesday, August 31, 2011
My dad, as anyone who knows him has probably figured out, is loosing his hearing. This is unfortunate for all the standard reasons, but is also FRUSTRATING because he'll either be snippy with you if he doesn't hear what you say or he'll just pretend that he *does* hear you, which is also a pain. Also: I'm sure the neighbors five houses down enjoy knowing exactly what my parents are watching on TV because you can hear their TV FOR BLOCKS. (Only a slight exaggeration.)
He got hearing aids probably 10 years ago but he wore them for a day and was distracted by every hair that fell off his head and landed SO LOUDLY on the floor, not to mention the unbearable cacophony of a crowded room, so he put them in a drawer and never wore them again.
He has had other hearing tests over the years and the answer was always that he had nerve deafness, which is the worst kind of hearing loss because TOO BAD, SO SAD, there's nothing they can do about it.
(Thanks for that, Vietnam War and Job Jackhammering for PG&E.)
[Note: If you are aware of my family's immediate go-to thought when we say "Jackhammer," then I assure you, my dad didn't lose his hearing because my brother turned down a job on a gay porn set, but not before obtaining a copy of their latest hit, Jackhammer II...in this case I really do mean "using the construction variety of jackhammer."]
[And now the www will speculate which one of my brothers used to be gay but has since "turned straight" and has a wife and a child to prove it. Answer: Neither. I know for a fact that I am the only member of my family who has seen Jackhammer II. My review: Boring and monotonous. And why not clean the lint out of your crack first?]
[Also: No need to see Jackhammer I in order to understand the plot of Jackhammer II.]
[AND NOW my dad is cringing that a lovely little story about how happy I am that he got new hearing aids has been derailed by linty cracks in the gay porn his daughter studied so closely.]
So his hearing got worse and worse and I would spend time worrying about what the heck he was going to do in ten or twenty or thirty years.
But then, and I'm not really clear on the details here, but he went for another hearing test just for shits and giggles and when the lady told him she could help him, he figured sure, whatever...but okay VA...gimme what you got.
So she did.
And they worked!
The first time my mom told me how happy he was with his new hearing aids, I had to WILL the tears to go back into my head. When I asked him about his new hearing aids and heard about how happy he was firsthand, I maaaaaaaaaaaaaay have gotten a little misty.
And then I realized that the TV was at a normal volume.
And then I realized that SHIT! We can't talk about his Christmas presents in front of him anymore!
But seriously, Internet...of all the things I have to be thankful for this year, the improvement in my dad's quality of life that is coming as part of his ability to hear again? It's in the top two.
I just realized (thanks to the Internet) that the Google Maps icon shows exactly where I am at this exact moment...which is only because I'm stuck in traffic outside of Apple.
The more interesting realization is that EVERYONE with an iPhone probably has the 280 picture...not just the locals. I never thought twice about it, but if it had a freeway sign that was foreign to me, I might have.
Anyway, HOLLA 280!!
Sunday, August 28, 2011
SO. Joanie, a friend I've had since my first job out of college (she interviewed me for that job, actually!), turned 40 LAST MONTH. Joanie and I have been around the block together, LET ME TELL YOU...but she's a wife and a mother of two now, so gone are the days of bubble wrap clothing and accepting rides from strangers and instead of finding ourselves a bit too over-served and nearly getting kicked out of the Seattle Westin, we celebrated her birthday all classy-like and went wine tasting with some homies.
Marci, who is also all grown up with two kids now, was kind enough to shuttle us around minivan-style while we bounced around Livermore on a perfect July day, had lunch outside next to a Corvette meet-up (when I saw the 15 or so Corvettes in the parking lot I suggested we take bets on how many Tommy Bahama shirts would be inside the restaurant...sadly, there was only ONE), drank a lot of wine, flirted with a winemaker or two and found Joanie a new local babysitter (one of the winemakers' nieces, I believe).
Here we all are, accidentally standing in height order:
I was wearing flats and Walkera was wearing some pretty significant wedges, so she got to be the tall one for the day.
The last winery we went to had a big grassy yard and we were a "few" glasses of wine into our day so we abandoned our things and took like 50 photos. There are many that I can't show you because I value the friendship of the subjects, but here are some safe ones.
Purses and wine, relaxing on the lawn:
Marci looking all "I'm a casually sexy farm girl."
A TRACTOR!!!! This was WAS going to be my 2011 Christmas card photo but I took an even better one at my birthday party a couple weeks ago:
Marci, petite flower that she is, could actually ride the mini tractors:
(And if Walkera ever DOES send me those pictures she's holding hostage, I might have to show you how glamorous I look in photos of me tap dancing! On a stage, even!)
We eventually piled back into the swagger wagon and headed back to Joanie's to play with her kids and eat her birthday cake:
I seem to have a lot of pictures of Walkera laughing. I'm glad she does it so often.
Happy birthday, Joan. I always enjoy celebrating milestone birthdays with you.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Busy eating something? Something that involves chewing?
So as we've established, I am currently doing a ten day juice fast. I am on day ten and I am totally looking forward to waking up tomorrow and having a damn english muffin.
CAN YOU STAND THE EXCITEMENT?
Those of you who are my Facebook friends will wonder why I'm pussing out with the english muffin when I've been dreaming of chow mein FOR NINE DAYS but the problem is that you can't get chow mein for breakfast. I thought about getting a bunch of people together for a OMG YAY I CAN EAT AGAIN breakfast but then I remembered:
1. It's possible that I'll barf up whatever solid food I eat.
2. I'll probably feel like crap.
3. I don't really like breakfast anyway, so why waste the excitement on an omelet I don't really want?
So instead I'm gonna have a couple eggs and a high fiber english muffin -- the same breakfast I've had 100 times before.
AND THEN I'm gonna get me some chow mein and a tuna sandwich from Subway (the only other thing I've really been hankering for this whole time) and I'm gonna go sit in the big chair at my parents' house and watch the Real Housewives on my Tivo and see what happens when I suddenly introduce a bunch of salt and grease to my very-well-cleansed system.
And bite your tongues with all the "Why would you do that if you just finished cleansing?" and the "You'd better have something really bland to introduce food back into your body" blah blah blah because I don't care. I didn't do this for the cleanse...I did it for the challenge. And now that it's (almost) finished, I'm having me some damn chow mein and a tuna sandwich.
But hey...did you ever in TEN MILLION YEARS think I'd stick with this the whole time??
ME NEITHER. I thought for sure I'd be DONE after two days...but not-so-suddenly, it's 240 hours since I last chewed a meal. (I had dinner on Wednesday night so TECHNICALLY it's 10 days from my last meal right now!) I say "meal" because I did cheat and eat the following:
* 4-6 radishes (one of which was a "French breakfast radish" that Leslie gave me from her CSA box and I wanted to know what such a fancy radish tasted like)
* 1 stalk of celery (though this was in an attempt to chew off the waxy buildup detailed below)
* 1 strawberry
* 1 blueberry
* ~10 half pieces of Trident (This one pisses me off because I didn't even realize I was doing it until yesterday. I don't spit out my gum, I just swallow it...and yesterday I realized that I don't recall ever spitting out my gum this whole ten days which must have meant that I swallowed it, DAMN IT! And yeah, half pieces, because I think whole pieces of gum is TOO MUCH GUM IN MY MOUTH...even Trident.)
I am NO BONES ABOUT IT, a food addict. And it shows. I do a pretty good job of managing my urges most days, but if I did a pretty good job of managing my urges ALL days, I wouldn't be as fat as I am.
True fax, yo.
So anyway, going for TEN WHOLE DAYS without eating anything that is good or comforting or particularly filling? I was never going to be able to do it.
Except that somehow, I DID IT. And you know what? It was awesome.
Lots and lots and lots of things about it sucked though. For example:
1. The tops of my chewing teeth feel like they're caked in wax. Organic juicing is stupid expensive so I did non-organic juicing, and I suspect the wax is from the look-how-pretty-this-apple-is wax or something and that without the hot food and the chewing to melt it off, it just sorta builds up.
I started brushing my teeth with hot water and it sorta works, but I'll still be glad to feel clean teeth in my mouth again.
2. Speaking of clean teeth, palatable juices have a lot of sugar in them. Sugar makes my teeth hairy. I'm dying to brush my teeth by the time I get home from work.
3. Juicing sucks for a girl's social life. It was 80 degrees and perfect today and Lauren and I were lamenting the fact that we couldn't go sit on a patio and have cocktails because I can't have cocktails. Watch it rain or something next weekend just to mess with me.
4. Juicing is a pain in the ass. It would be a lot easier if someone else could be in charge of the juice preparation and clean up.
5. I'd read a warning about drinking your juice too close to bedtime because it would keep you up for hours. PSSSSHHHHHH, I thought. In the beginning I was DOG TIRED almost from the moment I woke up and could only think about how long it would be until I could go to bed...no way was JUICE gonna keep me up! But then I transitioned past the detox/adjustment phase and I had a tomato/celery/lime juice an hour or so before bed and HELLS BELLS, I was up until 2AM. I just could not quiet my head.
No big though, right? Drink juice earlier, go to bed, all is well. Except that then I found it difficult to go to sleep with hunger pains...which I hardly ever felt until it was time to go to bed, conveniently.
6. Despite all the energy I had almost from the moment I woke up until the moment I finally fell asleep, I noticed that my muscles would tire out really quickly. I went and did a couple of Dailey Method workouts and both nearly killed me.
It all sounds pretty crappy, I know, but there were lots of awesome things too:
1. Once I got through days 1-4, which I didn't realize were as bad as they were until I was on the other side, I felt GREAT.
2. My mood has been good this whole time -- even in days 1-4. Everyone I know was gearing up to "deal with me" while I was fasting but the chicks I work with -- the ones I spend the most time with -- were even like "Dude, please keep juicing. You're so positive and pleasant!" (Byatches!)
3. Being around people who were eating was not difficult AT ALL. (Which doesn't mean I was willing to go to lunch with a bunch of people from work and just sit there, even though one of the chicks I work with thought that sounded PERFECTLY REASONABLE because she'd done exactly that when she'd been on a crazy diet a while back.)
4. Appetite, schmappetite. I remember being S-T-A-R-V-I-N-G on day two. I'd gone through a TON of juice and was still hungry. That all went away somewhere around day three or four and every day this week I've come home with leftover juice that I may or may not have for dinner. Most nights I've just skipped dinner and had the leftovers for breakfast the next day.
5. My muscles may be tuckered out, but MY FAVORITE THING about this entire fast is how much focus and concentration and mental endurance I've had. Conveniently, the fast coincided with a HELLISH week at work where I was there for 10-12 hours a day and doing things that required me to be paying attention and being smart about stuff the whole time. Each night when I finally went home, it wasn't because I was tired or really *wanted* to go home...I just knew that I should.
Case in point: Last night I had big plans to leave work by 5 so I could suffer through another Dailey Method workout but I left a bit too late and traffic was a bear so I missed my class...but no worries because YAY! I could go sit on my couch and work for a few more hours ON A FRIDAY NIGHT. Suddenly, it was 11PM and my butt was tired of sitting there and I'd produced a pretty KICK ASS [work thing that nobody will care about] and I was SO PLEASED with myself.
6. My second favorite thing is that I figure I've lost about 13 pounds in these last ten days. I officially lost 9.2 at Weight Watchers this morning, but that was just for seven days. I did the math and averaged it out and multiplied by ten and yeah...just over 13 pounds.
And now my goal is to not gain more than 2-3 of that back next week.
[This post is getting lonnnnnng, so here -- let's break it up with some pictures!]
A veggie-heavy one:
Remnants of a beet-heavy one:
My very last juice for this fast -- an entire bunch of kale, a cucumber, a pint of blueberries from the farmers market and two peaches:
[And now back to the blah blah blah.]
People all seem very interested in "the plan" I'm following, but I tell you this: There really isn't much of a plan.
The dude in the documentary I saw appeared to have gone cold turkey, so that's what I did. He broke his fast with an apple (not chow mein), but whatever...I'm not doing that. He has a website that has a whole program, but I didn't follow it. I just woke up one day and started juicing.
I did follow the recipes on the site for a few days, which was handy because I wanted to be sure I was drinking the juices with the most protein, but I eventually just gave up and started shoving anything in the fridge into my juicer.
What will I take away from this, you're wondering?
Some really great things:
1. I really really really love how well my head is working these days. I think it's possible that this is somewhat attributed to the fact that I haven't had caffeine in ten days.
I know that too much coffee makes it really hard for my head to work correctly -- I have trouble focusing and I can't stand sitting in my desk chair for long, so if I have to pay attention to something (like...say...WORK), I try to regulate my caffeine so I have enough to perk me up but not so much that my thoughts are darting back and forth inside my head. I'm hoping that maybe this incredible focus and attention to detail that has suddenly emerged is perhaps what my brain is like when it's well rested and caffeine free, so I'm going to continue living caffeine-free for another ten days to see if my magical new brains stick with me.
I even bought a 12 pack of caffeine-free Diet Dr Pepper that I'm excited to crack into tomorrow!
2. I'm excited about the new brains, but I am even more excited to have proven to myself that I can do this.
When I was cleaning out my fridge before I started I thought about what I should do with all my condiments...Would I be so desperate in a few days that I'd dip my finger in the hoisin or squirt some ketchup into my mouth? I decided to leave them there, but I did take any even remotely tempting dry goods over to my parents' house.
I hope my half-eaten box of multi-grain Cheerios is enjoying its vacation at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
As it turned out though, I wasn't even the tiniest bit tempted by anything in the fridge...and when my neighbor brought me Rice Krispie treats as a thank you for holding her UPS package for her, I put them in the cupboard and didn't even think about eating them. They're still there, actually.
I'm really really really really really proud of myself and I'm really really really really hoping I can turn this all into a lesson about not letting food be the boss of me.
A week or so ago I was telling Lauren that this experience is sort of like that time we hiked Mission Peak together and how it was uphill for the entire two hours it took us to get to the top and how the only reason I kept going was because I wanted to be able to say I finished it and I didn't want to ever have to do it again, so I might as well suck it up and drag my ass the rest of the way up the hill so I wouldn't have to come back another time and start over.
A week ago I would have told you that I never ever ever wanted to go on another juice fast again, but I was already a few days in and I didn't want to waste those few days or ever have to start over again, so I might as well keep my head down, take 100 steps and then look up to see how much closer I was to the end...just like I did on Mission Peak.
TODAY I will tell you that I do plan on doing this again someday. It has been an incredibly rewarding journey and I am so grateful to my dear friend Lauren for planting the seed that it could be done.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
The monotony of juice is broken up by an assortment of allowable beverages. From left to right: water, orange essence sparking water, chamomile tea, 100% orange juice and a nasty water that is flavored with mint and berry essence so it smells like berry flavored gum.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
The NASBPOTDs will have to turn into something else the later the sun comes up! I don't have a real light in there and you can't tell that I'm wearing a super cute military-inspired dress. It just looks like a blob.
Awwwwwwesome hair day today too. Big and boomin, but not touchable. CRUNCH!
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
It's only been half a day, but so far, so good.
That long list of produce only cost me $54, so that wasn't too bad. I'll note though that 90% of it cost me $44 at the pack-your-own-stuff discount grocery store that my coworker sorta correctly called "The Used Food Store" but I had to go to Safeway for a honeydew and two bulbs of fennel and that tiny purchase alone was $10. I was impressed with their selection and flattered that the fetus-aged cashier thought he knew me from junior high.
So $54 for two days is manageable.
And look how pretty it all was when I unpacked it and made a display:
1. I'm finding that the recipes I'm following are yielding much more juice than I expected. That's lovely and all, but I had trouble figuring out how I was going to transport it all to work. I bought a big jug, but it turned out that I needed a big jug (for two servings' worth of a fruitier juice), my big Sigg bottle for one serving's worth of a savory juice, and then was left without anything to store my morning juice in but I poured out the rest of a mid-size bottle of seltzer water and was able to get most of it in there.
2. I've only made four servings' worth of juice so far and I get two more when I get home. I'm thinking I'll do one more savory and one more sweet.
3. My coworkers think the sweet one (creatively named "Apple Cantelope Honeydew Kale Swiss Chard") smells really good (it does). They think my lunch -- Great Greens(apples, spinach, swiss chard, cucumber, celery, fennel and basil) -- smells like a garden (it does).
4. My breakfast -- ABCs (Asian pears, apples, beets, carrots, chard and cabbage) -- was pretty good too. The beets...uh...don't seem to have made it through the ol' bladder yet, which is interesting, but I keep going to the bathroom wondering if THIS is the time I'll forget that I drank two beets' worth of juice and instead think that I'm hemmoraging.
5. Dinner will be the V28, which amongst many other things, has THREE beets.
6. The recipes, by the way, are available on the site I'm sorta loosely following. "Loosely" because I didn't ramp into this and I'm not planning on ramping out, NO MATTER HOW MANY people tell me I'll get sick if I jump right out of juice and into nachos. All I know is that in the documentary that inspired this, the dude ended his 60 day juice fast with AN APPLE. Snoooooze.
7. Speaking of breaking the fast, I did bump this up by a few days so that I could enjoy days three and four over the weekend because they're supposed to be the bitchiest. The double bonus there is that when I break my fast, it'll be on a Sunday, which means that I can have nachos for breakfast and spend all day with my very own toilet at my disposal.
8. My last meal, by the way, was NOT nachos. It was a chicken cesar salad because that's what I planned to eat on Wednesday night and since the rescheduling of the fast didn't happen until Tuesday night, I felt obligated to eat the food in my fridge.
So there you go, Internet...halfway through day one. Nine and a half left to go. My mood is good, I'm hungry but not dying, everything is fine. I'm mostly interested to see what happens when the crazy in my head kicks in and tells me that I MUST! EAT! EVERYTHING! NOW!, but until then, everything is fine.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
So I came home today and made my shopping list and was blown away at how much produce I'll need for only TWO DAYS of juice. My pocketbook is shaking in its boots, just thinking about how much all this is going to cost:
2 stalks of broccoli
2 white peaches
10 fuji apples
2 asian pairs
1 head of cabbage
3 cups of chard (Is this different from SWISS chard? I'll find out!)
1 knob of ginger
17 cups of spinach
12 leaves of kale
21 leaves of swiss chard
12 tomatoes (THESE I can get for free from my parents' garden!)
17 stalks of celery
1 red onion (mmmmm...onion juice!)
2 cups of parsley
4 green apples
2 fennel bulbs
2 bunches of basil
8 cups of parsley
So we'll see about that.
Unrelated: Today was my darling nephew's first day of preschool! MY BABY IS GROWING UP! WAAAAAAH!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
This is technically a young adult book but it has come up in my world multiple times in the last few weeks so I broke down and bought it as beach reading.
And dudes, I ripped right through it...which is exactly what the recommenders said would happen...that it was an easy and engrossing read.
But now I need to get the other two
books to see what happens next!
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Except then she started talking out loud about how wellllll...something can be minty or lemony, so I guess why NOT penisy? What makes minty okay but penisy not okay?
And then while she was having this debate with herself about "penisy," my dad came in and agreed with me that yeah, some people are just PENISY.
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