Monday, January 28, 2008

A Conundrum

A problem, a snafu, a concern. I have a dilemma.

You see, I want, very much, to post to this blog regularly. However, usually, the only time I get to post is the time between nighttime chores and bedtime - as is the case this evening. (I'll go out on an old-lady limb and allow that this time is 10:00, which, when staring at 6:00 AM every morning, seems later and later to me.)

Sadly, though, what I've discovered is that blogging, instead of relaxing me, wakes me up. Clearly - though it is probably not readily apparent to you - I'm thinking when I'm writing, and I suppose that gets my blood flowing. Afterwards, sadly, I'm usually up for at least an hour, often more.

It may indeed be a coincidence, but most of my raging insomnia has indeed occurred since I started this blog. (As has the very initial stages perimenopause, of course. Probably shouldn't overlook that in this equation.)

I'll keep blogging, I'm sure; it just becomes difficult to look at the computer when you saw the hour of 3:00 AM the night before, especially if you think it might be contributing to the problem.

Damn kids. It's all their fault. All insisting that they need to "brush their teeth" and "do their homework" and all that. Bloodsuckers.

Diet Lowdown: 1 month in (more or less)

Pounds Lost: 8 (but I can't count those. Those were market correction pounds after the holidays. Anything further, I'll count.)

Times to the gym: At least four times per week, cardio each time, cardio plus weights three out of four days

Classes taken at the gym: None. Still a bit intimidated. Still wish I had a friend there.

Times deviating from diet: I had several glasses of wine the other night; still within my "flex points," but still not adviseable. Went to Mandola's; had a salad, but couldn't resist one lemon Angeletti cookie. (Christ, they're good there. We ALWAYS get some.) And, there's the Girl Scout Cookies, piled up of course all over my living room floor; I've had a couple of those, but probably a sum total of four or five so far, over the past two weeks. So, that's not too bad, I think.

Progress on the pants: The fat pants are now very comfortable. I am so-so on the mid-fat pants. I wore a pair today that felt fine in the morning, but seemed a bit touchy on the outer thigh by the end of the day. (For this, I ate nothing but a Lean Cuisine for lunch? I ask you.) The thin-fat pants are still tight; buttonable, but not wearable, except perhaps with a very forgiving hip-length top.

As is par for the course, lately, I've been kind of squeezing my belly absently every morning, thinking, from whence this muffintop? However - though I freely admit that I could be imagining it - I thought it felt just a tiny bit less muffiny this morning. More of a biscuit, really. So, perhaps there's home.

Pots of Cabbage Soup made: Two

Outlook: Fairly good. I missed working out today, and didn't feel like counting points with dinner (lean pork loin and green salad, so I wasn't really worried - though I did have a Lemonade also). I shall redouble efforts tomorrow.

I've decided that I'm noncommittal on the Hillary vs. Obama question. I think I've come to the conclusion that both are flawed, and both have their strong points, and that it really doesn't matter to me who wins, as long as that person beats John McCain and/or Mitt Romney.

Some say that I'd better support Obama, as he can pull more independents over to vote for our side than Hillary.. but I'm not 100% convinced just yet that he really has the stuff for me.

My idealistic side is warring with my practical side; though I want to believe. I really do.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hillary's Inner "Tracy Flick"

Thanks, Michelle!

I loooved "Election."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Married a Famous Drunk Motherfucker

Through my SiteMeter, I discovered the following interesting fact:

If you go to Google Images, and type in the phrase "drunk motherfucker," a picture of my husband - one I took, from Portland this past summer - is #6 on the list.

What can I say? I'm so proud! (wipes tear)

**Oh, and...if one is at work, and trying this, to verify that I'm not a big liar, one should turn on "safe search," or else one will get a rather jarring eyeful of what some apparently consider to be the appropriate visual - and very literal - interpretation of the phrase "mother fucker."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Awww, Heath.

I gasped aloud when I heard this, driving home from work.

Damn. 28. That is just too sad.

I had a minor Heath Ledger thang, as I believe I've mentioned in the past. For a "conventionally handsome dude" - not my usual type at all; I generally like 'em geeky and skinny - I found him sexy as all hell, and an outstanding actor to boot.

I'm genuinely going to miss looking at him up on the screen.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Es Enero En Austin...

...y esta lluviendo. (Is that right? Am I even close? God, I should be better at this by now; it's just that high school Spanish is SO far away.)

This past couple of weeks, it's been that up-and-down Austin winter weather; highs in the sixties (or low seventies) some days, lows down below freezing, though not as many of those nights as you'd think. The Sunday wash consists of items from the full spectrum of one's wardrobe; shorts and t-shirts, but also one's heaviest sweater and thickest jeans.

(As a side note, I think I still have nearly EVERY fairly nice sweater I've bought since I moved to Austin. Honestly, they don't get a whole lot of use. Sweaters are, most of the time, doffed right after noon, so I've been kind of relying on a small, rotating group of disposable cardigans.)

Mostly, when I think of winter in Austin, I think, This is the time when it rains. It hasn't rained a lot, sadly, but there was a fairly steady drizzle today. Three days inside together - I was busy putting YG's bedroom together this weekend, which is NEARLY FINISHED, but there is still a large amount of nursery room detritus piled in and around my bedroom - had a somewhat deleterious effect on the delicate tissue of the sibling rivalry.

After threatening, and enforcing, numerous punishments and banishments and separate-cornerness, I finally had it the fuck out with the OG on Sunday, which I HATE doing, but it really really needs to be done sometimes. (Again, not NEARLY as often as I used to. Thank you thank you thank you.) YG is being more than a bit willful and bratty just recently, unhelpfully, and she got her share of stern glances and time-outs herself.

For what it was worth, after the OG's chewing out, and the YG's big time out for hitting her sister, they were reasonably civil with each other for the rest of the long weekend.

They really are cute, when they play together nicely. The OG secretly enjoys "visiting" her old dolls in YG's room, and YG makes a completely willing participant in any game the OG devises. (And, I'm certain that it's completely coincidental that these awesome games always pop up RIGHT BEFORE BEDTIME, when I have to come in and break it up.)

Anyway, 'tis cool here. Except when it's warm, or when it's downright freezing-ass. It's January in Austin.

Sounds like Hillary has the momentum now...hmm. Interesting.

I still like Obama better, but I can see her appeal to women. (OG is VERY excited that there is a woman in the race. She's totally declared her support, as has my mother. She - my mother, that is - called me tonight, and said, like she regularly does, "Are you watching the (Democratic) debate?" I - like I regularly do - said "No."

She then went on to say "I have a problem; I don't like Barack Obama." I replied, "Well, a lot of people don't like Hillary Clinton." And she replied, "Yes. THAT'S OUR PROBLEM."

Lord, I really, really hope that the Democratic party doesn't dissolve into the circular firing squad that we ALWAYS morph into. The country is on our side, damn it! We need to sweep in and TAKE IT this election, not lose to John effing McCain, who - illustrious history aside - has been NOTHING but a mealy-mouthed Bush supporter for EIGHT YEARS.

It has been fun to watch 9u11iani go down, though, hasn't it? Good times!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I Got Nothin'.

No muse today.

But, I haz funnees!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Conversation with the OG

OG: "Mama, what's a dyke?"

Me: " what context?"

OG: "Huh?"

Me: "Erm...where'd you hear it, honey?"

OG: "Right here, in this National Geographic article about volcanoes and rivers."

Me: "Oh, yes, a DIKE. It's a dam."

Monday, January 14, 2008

I'm watching a Food Network special on my new favorite Kansas City joint, Grinders.

All kinds of awesome beer, good food, hip/arty/punkish'd hardly guess it's in Kansas City, the home of Applebee's and multiple AOR stations. It's the kind of place that I desperately wanted to hang out at when I lived there...but, sadly, it's a fairly recent addition.

However, more to the point, this effing show is making me HUNGRY. Salmon, cream cheese, and pesto pizza? Tandoori chicken pizza? CHILI AND TATER TOT PIZZA?

Fuck, I hate dieting.


On that front, how many of you Weight Watchers-lovers out there make that zero-point cabbage soup that they're always espousing?

I do. I know I'm deep in the throes of dieting when I start to crave it. And there's a BIG BIG container of it in my fridge, right now.

By the way, to hell with the proportions in that recipe. Use your biggest pot, cut up the whole cabbage, and throw whatever green vegetables you want in there and sautee them in Pam. After they're soft, shake a random and unspecified variety of common spices onto the top of it, and pour a few boxes of chicken broth over it. Let it simmer. Finally, not too far before it's done, put in some diced zucchini. That is all.

I actually like the way it tastes, and eating it will assuage minor hunger pangs.

However, it is oddly soul-crushing.

You know?

The big news around the Mags household is: I've fired the opening salvo in the Younger Girl Bedroom Floor Reclamation Project.

The Big Girl Bed and Dresser were delivered on Friday, and I spent Sunday breaking my self-imposed IKEA moratorium to purchase and assemble a new bookshelf and toy shelf.

Most of the toys and books are still sitting in containers in my living room, but there is slowly developing an infrastructure in which to replace them that is NOT the middle of her floor.

Huzzah. I'll post a picture when I get it done. And the best part? It's Princess-A-Riffic!

(All you with girls out there...are they all as crazed for Giselle, from Enchanted, as mine is?)

Hey, South by Southwest is coming soon!

Who's going? I'm up for Film, anyway...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tonight, Tonight

...won't be just ANY night...

Actually, yes, it will. I've put the kids to bed, I'm having a cup of Get Some Zzzzs, and I'm watching "Ace of Cakes." The cats and dog are sleeping, The Man is out for a drink at the new beer bar that just opened down the street, and I'm weighing the options of sleep vs. Stephen Colbert.

Uncompelling as far as stories go...UNLIKE "Ace of Cakes!" (That is an oddly compelling little show! You watched it yet? Those are some badass cakes, man! Makes me want to get married again.)

I have such mixed emotions about Hillary Clinton.

On one hand, I used to really like her, back in the day. I thought she was a smart, tough-assed chick that suffered no fools, save one. I was very impressed by her win in New York, and THEY love her, no matter what the rest of the country might think. And, I bristled at jokes or insults I heard from all sorts of Bubbas down here.

Then, well...she really, REALLY lost me when she supported this war. And, when she could have apologized, SHE DIDN'T. I became gravely disappointed in her, and put myself in the "not a Hillary fan" group. I've remained there for the duration of this election, so far...I thought that I liked Edwards best, and then I moved to Obama. Fearing her high negatives, I really, really didn't want her to get the nomination.

HOWEVER, I still bristled - and continue to do so - at people who say that they don't want her to be the nominee simply because she's "not likeable." Since when, I want to ask these people, does the notion of "likability" have ANYTHING to do with their choice of politicians? Um..George Bush is a PRICK. Rudy Giuliani is a PRICK. Fred Thompson? Prick. John McCain? Yes...that John McCain, who dropped "f-bombs" all over the Senate this term...he's a PRICK, too. I just think that it's sexist to assume that, since she's a woman, she has to avert her eyes or speak in her higher register to make people like her.

That being said, though, I DO think it's VERY appropriate to say that you don't like Hillary because of her stupid stance on the war, and her significant drift toward the right. And, though I do think that her high negatives could be overcome - as they were in New York - it may be too big a risk to attempt that in such an open year. (My lesson: It's OK not to like her. But, don't like her for the right reasons.)

Still, though, I WAS pissed at the way Edwards and Obama were tag-teaming her. I was VERY pissed after Edward's supercilious comments about her tearing up, implying that she's not fit to govern because she showed the strain of the campaign for a second. (Shit, I'M about ready to cry, and it's just January!)

Obama's comment in the debate - "You're likeable enough, Hillary" - just irritated me further. Cripes! Like you need to be outraging the pissy women right now, Barack! Maybe he's NOT experienced enough to be president.

Anyway...I guess I'm still with Barack. But, as an official member of a focus group, I'm just letting him know that he needs to do a little better, with us, VERY QUICKLY.
The Man is officially snipped, BTW. No pain; he went to work today and is out partying right now. It didn't sound totally pleasant, but it was EXTREMELY fast; he was in, altered, and out in half an hour. (They do these things without scalpels now. Amazing.)

I am at peace with it. I still think that, somewhere, there is a little boy that I should know. One that looks just like The Man, and nothing like me. (That's probably a pipe dream. My father's genes? COMPLETELY dominant. Every one of his grandchildren is a carbon copy.)

Who know? Perhaps I will meet him later.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Snippage Angst

Aieee, you guys!

(TMI forewarned...)

The Man is planning to have THE PROCEDURE on Wednesday! And I'm freaking out (a little) because I (almost, sorta) wish that he wasn't! (But not really.)

Sigh. I don't want any more kids. I really don't. Except sometimes. Like now. NO! I'm tired of paying day care! And I want to go see movies again! And I don't want to have to buy any more diapers or Baby Bjorns or cute widdle snuggly footie sleepers or anything like that. Because I'm just...done with babies.

I'm done, with babies.


Saturday, January 05, 2008


Wow, as a formerly jaded political observer, I am shocked at how thrilled I am that Barack Obama won Iowa. And I'm TOTALLY stunned. A black man - not a LIBERAL black man, but a reasonably progressive one, anyway - carried this state, arguably the nation's biggest bastion of corn-fed conservatism.

Iowa? Iowa! That's nearly my neck of the woods! Perhaps there's hope after all for the region of this country that I had personally written off as hopelessly reactionary and boring?

Lord, though, after the initial joy ebbed, I realized that I'm completely scared for him. (There's a good blogger article about this fear here, if you are so interested.) I was born at the end of the sixties, but I remember the mood of the country in the years immediately following, when the Kennedys and King were still fresh in people's minds. A brief survey of the crazies over at Free Republic confirms my suspicions. The vitriol they have been spewing about Hillary will just be transferred to Obama, if he wins the nomination, and I'm 100% certain that this means that his life will be in danger at every public appearance. (I'm getting the vibe that they'd prefer to "character assassinate" Hillary, but this may not be as easy with Obama.)

Please, let his security detail be strong and vigilant. I don't want to be scared for him every time he comes on the TV.
Resolution check: So far, I've been to the gym three times since joining on Jan. 2. I've done the EFX and lifted weights, and - get this - I've even STRETCHED afterwards. (Those Type A's among you will likely relate, I'm thinking, to my COMPLETE impatience and boredom with any sort of exercise that does not directly burn calories. I KNOW, I know, I need to do more yoga and Pilates to "strengthen my core" or some such - and I'm committed to trying to incorporate these - but, quite frankly, it's hard to convince me to do anything, exercise-wise, that is not going to specifically allow me to eat more bacon cheeseburgers.)

I miss having Karla exercise with me, though. It's easier to get through it if you have another person to push you, you know? Even if we were mostly listening to our Walkmans (yeah, that was a few years ago) rather than being chit-chatty, I appreciated the company.

The diet is going fairly well. I'm not rejoining Weight Watchers yet - it's possible I will do so next week - but I'm spending so much on the gym, that I hate to throw another $40 a month into the mix. I'd like to see a few pounds off by next week, and if I don't, then I'm going to have to rejoin. Again, I wish I had a buddy, though. WW meetings are best if you have somebody to laugh with at the golly-gosh earnestness of most of the leaders.

My favorite WW memory was of the time that the MOST Pollyanna-ish of all of the leaders passed out popsicle sticks and had us do a sort of visualization exercise, in which we focused all of our determination and conviction to lose weight onto our popsicle stick. I was fine until she uttered her closing directive, which was "Now, when you feel the temptation to eat something you shouldn't, all you need to do is hold your stick." I thought I was going to explode from holding in my giggles.
For those of you that have inquired, my mom's doing fairly well; thanks for asking. She has her good days and her bad days, for sure, but she sounds all right most days.

My dad didn't tell her where a lot of all of his important papers were, so she's had to spend a lot of time calling around and digging in file cabinets. Perhaps she'd disagree with me, but I kind of wonder if that isn't a blessing in disguise, as she's got so much to figure out that I think it's taking her mind off of things.

I'm not in the funk I was in for several weeks afterwards, but I definitely know what people mean when they say that losing someone in your family gives you a sort of "phantom limb" feeling. The pain takes the form of a hole, rather than a jab.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Years Revolutions

Oh, no, I didn't misspell it.

I'm plotting an overthrow. Of the old Mags, that is! Hah!

Because you care, these are my official blueprints for self-improvement:

1. I will stop procrastinating.
Today, for example, I re-joined my old gym, purchased furniture for the badly-needed YG Bedroom Floor Reclamation Project, started a diet, cut back to two cups of coffee, called the insurance company about some odd charges here and there, fixed the wireless connection, and finished a book that had been sitting on my bedside table for three months. Tomorrow, I shall take down the Christmas tree, take my children out for our Bi-Annual Shoe Shopping Nightmare Festival of Empty Threats, and will meet with a personal trainer.

For the past little while, I have been the best-intended person EVER, and yet, sadly, nothing ever got, well, DONE. This will change. I am now a Woman of Action. (And you can stop your smart-mouth jokes about that comment RIGHT NOW, darling husband o'mine. I can't help that my number is bigger than yours.)

2. I will stop making assumptions.
I shall endeavor to refrain from judging others, and assuming that I know what they are thinking, by their reactions to me. I love to work myself into a tizzy over what I KNOW someone is thinking about me, and it seriously wastes my time and shreds my psyche.

3. I will be impeccable with my word.
This goes along with the procrastination. I will do what I say I am going to do. And, I will not promise that I will do something when I cannot.

4. I will branch out of my comfort zone more often.
I read a study once that suggested that, if you have not tried something by the time you're 40 - like a particular kind of food, or music, or some such - that, statistically speaking, the odds are that you will NEVER try it. I was like 25 or something when I read that, and I was flummoxed...surely, I thought, I would never be like that!

Well, now, I'm 38, and I'm very, very afraid that that is EXACTLY what is happening. So, for those who know me, please encourage me to get off my couch and go out to see music, or movies, or to go eat at restaurants, as soon, and as often, as is fiscally responsible. Which brings me to number 5:

5. I will be fiscally responsible.
Um...for once.

and, finally, and most importantly:

Every day, without fail.

Something bad happened to my face over break. I'm not sure if it started in Vegas or in Kansas City, but suddenly my face became VERY red, VERY dry, and puffy and swollen. Then, yesterday, I realized that it is peeling, all over, like I had a sunburn. (I suppose that's not out of the range of possibility, since I was in Vegas, but I don't think it's very likely, as I was mostly inside of casinos the whole time.) I tried to put creams and stuff on it, but they really burned my maybe it's an allergic reaction or something?

And the best part - the BEST part, of all this, is what I noticed today, out in the harsh daylight of the CVS parking lot: Apparently, my face, when it is completely dried out, looks EXTRA ESPECIALLY OLD. And wrinkly. It is reminiscent of nothing so much as a piece of crumpled parchment, actually.

So, again, I prostrate myself upon those who know something of the unguent arts. I bought $30 worth of Aveeno products today...they don't seem to be burning my skin, so that's something. Anyone have any other advice?