Friday, September 26, 2008

Gaiam's Pilates

As part of my cholesterol-lowering quest, and just simply a desire to be in better shape, so that I don't die of a heart-attack say, oh, this year, I pulled out my Gaiam's pilates with Ana Caban. I purchased this set of tapes - yes tapes!- so long ago that they are VHS tapes. Shocking, I know. I have the A.M./P.M. Pilates Mat Workout. I faithfully practiced along with these tapes for a couple of years, then stopped, then started, then stopped for the last time roughly two years ago. How cow batman! What a difference two years will make!

I am not the limber gracefully dancer that I used to be (well, okay I am in my mind). I struggled to make it through the P.M. portion, which is designed to relax and help you stretch at the end of the day. Nothing too intense but I still had to take breaks. And my back! I seriously did not realize how poor my posture has become. My back hurt and yelled at me, telling me how much I've let it slack lately. (I have scoliosis - an S curve- whole 'nother post.) I was somewhat sore and very disappointed in myself last night.

This morning? This morning I woke up feeling less stiffness than I've felt in a really long time! Normally it hurts to get out of bed in the morning. My feet and back usually feel incredibly stiff and I shuffle along like a penguin (so the kids tell me) until my feet have loosened up enough to walk normally.

I didn't do the A.M. version this morning. I remember it as being much more intense than the P.M. tape. I work a double shift today so I decided to stick with just the night-time version when I get home from work and start with the morning version tomorrow. We also went for a short walk last night, something we need to do on a regular basis as it would do Mr. Irony just as much good as it will do for me.

Today we are serving up sunshine and good breakfast blend coffee. May your neck of the woods be just as sunny!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Handbag Planet Giveaway

I love bags and purses therefor I will take any opportunity to win a new one that is beyond my current budget. Handbag Planet will be giving away 24 purses in 24 hours on October 15th. Go enter and see if you might be one of the lucky 24! Thanks Leanne for posting it on her blog.

Cholesterol and Coffee Dates

As I expected, I did not receive good news at my heart-health screening. I won't get the EKG or CT scan results until sometime next week but I did get the following information: BMI (body mass index) 27.5; HDL level (good cholesterol) 27; total cholesterol level - 283. I wish you could have seen the nurse's face when she read my cholesterol level. Apparently she hasn't encountered that many 38 year old females with a cholesterol level nearing 300. Just this info makes me worry about what the rest of the results will be. Although, I can't say that I'm too shocked about all of this.

So, in response to this alarming new information, I'm going semi-vegan. Semi-vegan? I will be eating vegan but allowing myself the occasional temptation (such as real ice-cream). This is fairly easy since Mr. Irony is vegan and I'll eat whatever you put in front of me as long as I didn't have to cook it. We also went for a walk last night and I'll be taking up Pilate's again and am considering yoga.

On another front - my twitter friends are aware of a long-standing weekly coffee date that my SO has with a female friend that he met around the same time he and I met. This week I was finally able to attend that coffee date with him. I tried to be neutral, giving this woman the benefit of the doubt and thinking that I could possibly walk away with a new friend. FAIL! The only time she spoke to me was to say hello and then upon leaving to say it was nice to meet me. Her body language, dress, and conversation left me believing that she's into him. She kept the conversation on topics that they had discussed previously, never once addressing me, and I was just left stunned and frozen. Even with the encouragement of my dear twitter friends (yes I was twittering during this) I barely got out a few words.

I've been in the position of having a close male friend and when I've met his girlfriends I've done my best to ask questions, include them, and get to know them. She made no such attempts. In my opinion it was painfully obvious that she didn't want me there, in fact she acted as if I wasn't there.

I voiced these opinions to the SO. He was clueless as to all of the vibes I had picked up. He assured me that he had no dating interests whatsoever in her. In fact, if we break up he plans to move out of state and possibly out of the country (oversea's contractor type of gig). He said he's never picked up that she might be interested in him that way but admitted that he can be kind of clueless. He apologized for how I was left feeling. I did not insist that he stop meeting her for coffee because I don't believe in ultimatums like that. If someone did that to me, I'd probably dig in and do the opposite, just because. I do hope, now that he's aware of my feelings, that his outlook might change a little. He told me that the only contact he has with her is that coffee date and an email that she sends to set the time. We'll see what happens. If I'm not invited to any more of their coffee dates then we will have a problem. I will assert myself. For now I want to see how this goes. If I'm honest with myself it bothers me extremely. There's a lot more I could write about this but I'm running out of time right now.

For now, hope you have a great day, and will try not to mourn the loss of the pumpkin spice lattes, which have now been replaced (for me) with hot chai tea made with soy milk. Would it be heart healthy to have a pumpkin spice latte made with soy or would the taste just suck?

Monday, September 22, 2008

ABC, No It's an EKG

You have to think the tune of that Jackson 5 song "ABC" when you read this post's title. It's stuck in my head as that.

Today I'm taking a step in being proactive in regards to my health. There is a history of heart disease in my family and after the results my dad got a couple of weeks ago, I figure I'd better start looking after myself.

Both of my parents went in and had heart-health screenings. This includes checking non-fasting cholesterol, an EKG, CT Calcium score (amount of plaque in your coronary arteries), blood pressure, and Framingham score (risk of developing heart conditions). Mom's was great, Dad's was not. Since I tend to take after my father in everything except having healthy teeth, I figured I'd better get myself checked out also. So today I'm going in for the screening. The hard part is that is takes up to two weeks to get your results back.

I know that I have high cholesterol. I actually took a medicine for it for a couple of years. Then, I did a bad thing. I stopped. Why? I knew that I would be losing my health insurance as part of quitting my job. If I had not taken any meds for any conditions for at least a year then I have a chance of them not counting as a pre-existing condition when I do find new health insurance. Stupid? Absolutely. I also stopped my anti-depressants at the same time. Not quite as stupid as stopping the cholesterol meds, but still not a good idea.

I'm quite positive that the results will require me to see a cardiologist. At the very minimum, they'll recommend that I see a physician in regards to the cholesterol level.

Ah well. At least it will be interesting to watch the tests run today, particularly the EKG. Then maybe, just maybe, I'll actually stop for that pumpkins spice latte I was craving last week, but never got around to buying.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An Average Day

Busy day today. Hostessing over lunch, wine tasting class this afternoon, and then a job interview towards evening. Not to mention Anime's volleyball match and Action's soccer practice, both of which I will miss.

Job interview, you ask? Well, yes. At the beginning of my job hunt I had applied for an assistant manager position of a retail clothing store. I hadn't heard anything back so I just assumed I wasn't what they were looking for. Lo and behold, the district manager called yesterday to ask if I'd come in to interview while she is in town today. I figured, it never hurts to interview so I'll go in today to see what they have to offer. I am a little worried about the stability of income at my current job. Not to mention that I've figured out that in order to make my previous income I'd have to work 4 split shifts per week plus one to two single shifts. That's six days per week, with four of them being double shifts. Granted, they are a new restaurant and it is the slow month here for dining out, but it never hurts to keep your options open, right?

I'm off, feeling better today, with visions of a possible pumpkin spice latte this afternoon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Where'd I go? I miss me so . . .

After what seemed like years of job hunting (okay it was really two weeks) I started at a new restaurant last week. It is an organic restaurant in a green building, which is pretty cool. The food is AWESOME! I know this because they feed the crew at the end of each shift (lunch & supper shifts). I like the people I'm working with (so far). They seem just about as nutty as I am. Plus?! I am in the middle of the age spectrum for the servers there! Apparently experience counts there, not looks or age. None of the servers are the "typical" twenty-somethings, which makes me feel good. I've agreed to work as the lunch hostess and an evening server until they can work me into the server rotation more. While that's not the ideal, they very graciously bumped up my hostess wage to make it more tempting to stay until they can get me more server shifts. So this week I'll hostess Tuesday through Friday, train for the last night as a server on Wednesday, and work my first server shift on Saturday night. We'll see how it goes. I like it so far, except that I had to run out on Friday and purchase a pair of Skechers for Work (Skechers brand) because I was in pain! I can't wear my Shoes for Crews shoes here because they are not black and I can't wait the week or more that it would take for me to get a new pair through the mail. A couple of the gals at work wear Skechers for Work and love them. We'll see. I love my Shoes for Crews shoes and am going to order a black dressy pair as soon as I get a little ahead financially.

Anime and Action have fit right in and made friends quickly here while Actress is struggling. Part of it is her attitude. She hates everything here and seems to be determined to be miserable. She wants to return to our former town and school. I can understand that. She was popular and an "it" girl there. Here she must start over. She's also unhappy with the new family situation and is attempting to but heads with Mr. Irony. She wants to be in control of everything. She complains about everything. I'm trying hard to be patient. I moved to a new school at her age and it was so incredibly hard. So hard and so bad, my mother tells me, that I've blocked an entire TWO YEARS from my memory. I have NO memories of 5th or 6th grade. So I can understand how hard this is for her. But my almost 11 year old has turned into a moody bratty teenager (mood swings) and I just don't know how to help her through this. She's choosing to make herself miserable most of the time and it is affecting everyone in this house.

I feel lost because I just don't know what to do here. I've unpacked about as much as I can, as many things left are things that need to stay boxed until we remodel the basement and there's actually somewhere to put them. There's not a lot I can go out and do as I'm broke currently. I don't feel like reading and have been reluctant to write. I'm insecure over a situation that I know I shouldn't be insecure over but it's there just the same. I'm not sure if I should write about it here as sometimes Mr. Irony reads my posts and I'm just not sure I'm ready to discuss this with him yet.

I've been having a hard time this past week. I feel lost and somewhat adrift, insecure and unsure. Part of me just wants to hide out and cry because even though I have a plan (sort of, it kind of hinges on being actually accepted to nursing school next fall) I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing. Like I'm drifting through life. I realize that my life has been so consistently inconsistent over the last several years (okay basically all of my adult life) that having some consistency and normalcy feels strange to me now. It is somewhat disconcerting to look at my new home and think that this is where I plan to be for the next 11 years (when Action graduates from high school).

I've been realizing how I've dropped the ball with my kids. They are slobs, have no understanding of putting things away, don't do what they're told without having to be yelled at, and generally treat me like a doormat. I guess because I have been a doormat. I've been realizing how I well and truly gave up on myself and became Mr. Ex's doormat and thus, everyone else's in turn. He treated me with very little respect the last several years of our marriage and I just shut up and took it. I convinced myself I was supporting him in his goals when really I was just trying to not be noticed so that things would be calm . . . no waves. I reacted by being passive-aggressive. Now I see my children treating me the same way and I'm trying to break the cycle. It is hard, though, very hard. They think I'm being mean when I'm not. I'm trying to teach them to be responsible. See, they aren't this way with everyone, just basically me. When they are at other people's house or school I get complimented on what great kids they are, what good manners they have, how kind they can be. At home? Those children disappear.

I remember the me of my late teens and early twenties. I was kick-ass, people! I set goals regularly and I accomplished them! I had a circle of friends. I debated with others and spoke my opinions. I stood my ground. I was fun and interesting and not afraid to let people know it. Now? Now I'm just trying to get by, unnoticed, am scared of speaking my opinion because I'm scared I'll sound stupid. I don't accomplish much and feel pretty "meh" about most things. I want the old me back, but an improved old me, as I've had so many experiences over the last 19 years that make me even more interesting and knowledgeable than before. The question is . . . how do I get there?

There's a song by Fort Minor that, although the video deals with deployed soldiers, the lyrics make me think about the last 15 years of my life. Where'd I go? Where'd my world go? Did I really give up everything to schedule my life around someone else's desires, waiting for them to decide they wanted to be with our family? I want me back and I want the will back to not subjugate my dreams and hopes to someone elses.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Better Late than Never

I have been remarkably slow in acknowledging an award that was bestowed upon my little blog by two people that I love to read. My sincere apologies go to Frogdancer and the Grammar Vandal for the delay in getting this posted on my site. I admit my blogging stupidity in that I didn't know how to get the picture of the award from their sites to mine. Thanks to Vanessa for clearing up the matter for me!

So, finally, I present to you what was presented to me.

I was very touched by that fact that these two lovely bloggers read my own blog and thought enough of it to pass on their awards to me.

Now to pass the torch, so to speak, here are the seven blogs I am passing my award to:

Bella at Bella's Bold Brilliant Blog

Hayley-O of The Cheaty Monkey

BohoGirl of Chronicles of Me

Nichole of My Thoughtful Spot

Swishy of Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

Sunshine at ...and the pursuit of happiness

PrincessB whose blog is currently private so I won't link to it from here

and of course, even thought it makes eight, the one who started it all for me with her book "Bitter is the New Black"

Jenn of jennsylvania

This was really hard to do, people. There are SO MANY people that I read and love. I went back to those blogs that started me on my road to blogging. There are several that I didn't nominate that have already received this award, but whom I was also reading in the beginning. So thank you all, for blogging and inspiring me to begin my journey into the blogosphere! And thank you, to all of who who read my posts and share in my life!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Rest in Peace Grandma

Today we will drive back the town we just moved away from. Tonight we will attend the viewing of my grandmother's body at the local funeral home. Tomorrow we will attend the funeral and I will carry her casket to the grave along with 5 of my 14 cousins. How odd that I have been a pallbearer at both of my grandmother's funerals.

I was never close to my father's mother. It's only been as an adult that I have been able to see what kind of woman she was. She raised six children with little money and an alcoholic husband. I'm told he was not a mean alcoholic, but rather a congenial one, one that everyone liked, but an alcoholic just the same. She worked whatever job was available and ran a tight ship. She watched three of her children become alcoholics, two that died from it, and one that managed to pull himself out of it. She buried a seventh child as an infant. She loved each of the fourteen grandchildren, one of whom she never even got to meet, and loved each of her 20? great grandchildren (I've lost count of all of them now). She adored my son and he loved her back in a way that I never could. She lost her husband 28 years ago, moved to a new town, and in her late fifties took a job as a home health aide. She continued that job well into her seventies. In her seventies she suffered a leaking blood vessel in her brain and, amazingly, had a full recovery from it.

She was an independent, outspoken woman who did what was needed without complaint. She loved but didn't necessarily show it, as that was how she was raised.

I'm sorry grandma, that I didn't take the time to learn more about your history, where you came from, how you grew up. I'm glad that my children got to know you in a way that I didn't. I'm glad you didn't have to suffer long and that you are at rest.

Even though I never once heard you tell me that you loved me, I know you did and I'm glad that I did tell you I loved you, because I did and do.

I will always remember how you had candy corn for me every time I visited. I will always remember how you always had a dollar bill and a candy for each of my children when they visited and how, even in the hospital after your stroke you wanted me to find your purse so as to give each of the kids their dollar and their candy. I will always remember you grandma. I didn't expect to feel it as much as I do, I didn't expect to take your death so hard but I am. Thank you for being my grandma.

I will bring my camera and document the gathering of your large family with photos. Morbid as it may be, some of us only see each other at family funerals. Hopefully it will be many years before your remaining sons and daughter pass away, therefore it will be many years before I see these cousins again. I will take the photos and, at some point down the road, make a funeral book for each of your remaining children because you will not be forgotten.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Jobs & Hospitals

Update at bottom of this post.

Well, I had a second interview at yet another restaurant yesterday. I was brought back to meet the server manager so that she could "get a feel for how I would fit with the restaurant". I liked her and liked her descriptions of how things run there. But, I was told they needed to make a decision soon as they needed to hire one more server and they would get back to me shortly. I was also asked to give them a call if I was offered any other job over the next couple of days ( to counter said offer maybe?). This. Is. Frustrating.

It was brought to my attention that maybe I am too old? The plus is that I don't look my age. When people meet me they generally don't guess I am in my late thirties. Granted, I don't look like a twenty-something but people tend to guess my age to be around thirty or early thirties. I feel a little disheartened in that I have all of this experience and am getting nowhere fast with searching for a restaurant job. So today I am interviewing for a big department store for the position of lead sales. Not real excited about that but the fact remains that I need a job yesterday.

But what's really bringing me down is that last week my only remaining grandmother had a stroke. I started to write about it last weekend but couldn't finish it. It was bad in that it impaired her ability to communicate and to move on her own. Knowing her independent nature that totally sucked for her. My dad called this morning and she took a bad turn last night. Fluid filling the lungs and the best they can do now is to keep her comfortable. Dad didn't think she'd pass away tonight but has been told that it will more than likely be within the next week. Maybe this is wrong, maybe it's morbid, but I hope, for her sake, that it happens sooner rather than later. I don't want her to suffer, trapped in her shell of a body, unable to do anything for herself, or to communicate effectively with those around her.

My dad is at the hospital now (this is his mom). The kids and I will be heading up there tonight to sit for a while at the hospital.

Update: 3:00 pm

My grandmother passed away this afternoon. At least she didn't have to go through days of suffering, waiting to die. The one week following her stroke was enough hell for her, in my opinion, and I'm glad she doesn't have to go through any more.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Would you believe that I have to go back for a second interview with the restaurant operations manager after passing the interview with the server manager?! What the heck, people!? I had to go through less to teach children!

Show Me the Money

We are all moved in and are now into the joyous? process of unpacking. The necessities are out and put away (sort-of) but many boxes remain to be gone through. Several of mine contain winter clothes and blankets, not to mention books. And more books. Mr. Irony is graciously leaving space for me on his (many) bookshelves. But I feel kind of, well, dumb, putting my mystery novels and other such books next to his history volumes, classic works, and biographies. I've read many classics, I just don't own them. Ah, well. I'll get over it.

The big job hunt is on. I've filled out and dropped off several applications at various restaurants in the neighboring city. I've even included a resume of all of my experience as a server (going back over the last twenty years. Man, how does that sound? Yes, I've been a server on and off for the past twenty years.). I've targeted the restaurants that are either the busiest (think major mega-shopping areas) or those that are downtown (classy, moneyed area). I'd really like to get in downtown as I am in love with the downtown, not to mention that it's about 10 minutes closer than the shopping district. Of course, the restaurant that was on the bottom of my "want to work for" list is the one that called right away to set up an interview. There's nothing wrong with it other than it doesn't appear to be as busy as the others. However, everyone I mention it to says, "Oh! You should do well there, we love eating there." So we'll see. If they offer me a job I'll take it as I need income soon! I did have two walk-on interviews at two of the places I'd really like to work, but both said they'd pass on the info they'd gathered to the server managers. One restaurant is an organic restaurant on the river, very classy & upscale. The other is an Italian places that is always busy & that is my favorite place to have Italian. At the Italian place I was told that they are hiring 4 - 5 more servers and they'd pass along my info to the appropriate manager, who would call me for a second interview. Ugh. Seriously? People, I don't mean to be snobby, but this is the restaurant biz. Servers are in and out like a revolving door. What place does second interviews? Am I auditioning for a movie, waiting for a call-back? Please. In every restaurant job I've ever had I've been hired right at the first interview. Ah well.

Keep your fingers crossed that I walk away with a job today. I just want to start somewhere quickly so as to get through the training period and get on the floor soon so that I can start seeing some green!

I am also dropping off my application to be a substitute teacher in the local school district. Subbing sort of sucks but it does pay $90 a day.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Procrastinator Strikes Again

So yes, I'm procrastinating on everything again, blogging, unpacking, job hunting, exercising. I am "The Procrastinator"! That sounds so cool, I want to start my own comic. The only problem is I can't draw! ;)

I did update my personal finance blog so hop on over there today (or swim over there if you're anywhere that's getting all of the rain from Gustav!) and check it out.

I am off to drink more coffee while I fill out 3 more restaurant applications that I will drop off this afternoon. I saw that Macy's is hiring. Maybe I should apply there? Except I couldn't afford the clothes even with the employee discount! ha ha.

I promise to be back later today with more stories for you, my lovelies. And for me so that down the road (like, mmm, this weekend) I won't have forgotten the events of the past month.