For our God is a consuming fire.

-Hebrews 12:29

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Drive-by Lewding

I was reminded today of a very early episode of Sex and the City, where Miranda was vocally recognized by construction workers each time she entered the Blockbuster. In Baltimore for some work appointments, I was walking on Pratt St., the main drag along the Inner Harbour. Admittedly, I was wearing a pretty cool outfit. I don't say that out of vanity. I do like the outfit, but after yesterday, I've got some 'objective' input that the dress is a keeper. (I like to re-wear stuff before washing it, if it hasn't received a full use. Better for clothe's longevity and my water bill.)

After yesterday's work presentation, a gentleman approached me and said,

"I have a question for you I bet you don't get very often."

"Well, try me. You never know" I replied.

"My wife is a fashionista, and she would love the dress you're wearing. Who is it?" He asked.

"You know, it's Ann Taylor Loft. But I bought a few months ago, and I'm not sure you can even find it online at this point." I said.

"Ann Taylor Loft? Really?" He was incredulous. "It looks like Diane von Ferstenberg!"

"WOW! That is high praise!" I exclaimed.

I kid you not. This is almost verbatim how the conversation went down. I could not believe my cool dress, which I proudly bought on sale after waiting and waiting, was mistaken for a Diane von Ferstenberg. I also couldn't believe that this guy 1. was straight and knew who she was 2. recognized a print and cut that resembled her work and 3. I had not thought of the simliarity myself.
And I hadn't. It wasn't until I got this crazy cool compliment that it dawned on me that YES, this pattern and fit DOES look like Diane's signature style. I left the presentation feeling really good about my outfit, and made a mental note to keep my mind open in the future for designer influences of my bargain buys.

Meanwhile, today I wore the same dress to Baltimore. Walking down the street, a car driving towards me in the lane closest to the sidewalk slows down and a 30-something balding man sticks his head out the window. "Awesome P*ssy, Baby!" he shouts at me.

WHAT THE !?!?!?!? Who says something like that? How degrading! How ridiculous! The nerve and audacity. I stopped walking...I was so taken off guard I just forgot to move. Completely shocked and offended. The idiot buttmunch nastyman drove on, thank goodness. But his offensive words are still giving me shudders. Complete ick. I refuse to let him taint my opinion of a great dress. A person like that probably makes such unfortunate remarks regularly, no matter the type of person or attire.

I wish I had kept walking, even though the driver was probably down a few blocks in no time at all. At least I didn't turn around. I think I'll wash the dress and rewear it this Sunday to church, hopefully giving the dress a positive spin once more. Sheesh.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Be Still And Know

Last week was my first work related trip of 2009. This is pretty incredible considering "Q1" (someone please pinch me hard for allowing corporate speak to so densely infiltrate my world) is almost over. Prior to August of 2008, I'd traveled basically every other week for several days per trip for two solid years. I was so tired of leaving home, my husband, my friends, any semblance of a routine, community and sanity to fly up and down the east coast on business.

Business travel is so rarely glamourous. One has little free time to see their new location as your schedule is jammed packed with work (at least for those of us who are trying to pack 4 days of work into 3 or 2 so we can get back home more quickly). Evenings are in your hotel catching up on all the admin you didn't have time to address during the meetings and appointments that were the reason for your trip. I was estatic at the opportunity, and oh-so-grateful to my supervisors, for allowing me to demote myself last year. I'm more grounded - literally - I'm not flying as much, and - figuratively - I'm more aware of what is truly meaningful to me: my family, friends and home.

This life lesson came much earlier than I anticipated, and it's been a gift. The luxury of a job I enjoy again and the down time to appreciate other important elements of living. So, I wasn't at all bitter about this 2 day, 2 night trip I had to attend team meetings at our HQ. Unfortunately, the productive meetings ended with a real low blow. 2 members of our 18 member team were being let go due to the downward spiralling economy. These members were selected not because of any performance lack, but for other revenue related reasons.

It was an upset to everyone, and did nothing to encourage me to take care of myself over the weekend. The weather in DC was dreary and overcast from Friday til well, still. I drank too much and lay around the house eating take out and watching Tivo. That previous sentence consists of 3 very enjoyable pasttimes for me, but nothing in excess in a good thing. I was so proud of myself for working out at the dinky hotel gym both days I was on the road. Bringing healthy snacks instead of indulging in the eclairs the meeting planners had delivered to our room. Yet I allowed the bad news, concern for colleagues and general worry about the future to have the upper hand.

Today, I got back on track eating healthy, working out at the gym both cardio and weights. I don't readily enough turn my fears and concerns over to where they belong. If I believe (and I do) that the Lord in charge, that He has a plan for us all, that He works everything for good...then why am I not always chipper, perky and confident in the outcome of events? The human condition seems to be a cop out response to my own question. So, I'm signing off with some thoughts for me to ponder and internalize:

"Be still and know that I am God." -Psalm 46:10a

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." -Philippians 4:6

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chewin' Down The House

What a funk I've been in today. Not the funk-y dance around your house in your skivvies kind either. I had every intention of working out, taking advantage of the beautiful spring weather with an outdoor walk, thinking it would be a light work load day. I had the time for the walk (still do actually) but this funk has being weighing me down. I feel to tired to move...and knowing from experience that if I just get out the door and move a little, I'll get enough energy to continue and be so glad when I'm done.

Instead, I've eaten away the day, still tracking my points but I'm already into the weekly flex points and it's only 6:00. (I'm also WELL into the weekly allowance from other days this week. My WW week s start on Friday.) A lovely, still light outside 6:00. I need to just get off my arse and move. I'd love to start this day from scratch. Do over, please? I was up very early and working straight away. All good signs for a productive day. I just got angry at some emails' content first thing - like our refinancing company straight out lied to me like 8 times on the same matter, and I'm just finding out after we closed. That put a big bummer on the day. But I've been letting that effect my entire mood and I've been stuffing my face with (oven baked) fries. Now I just feel like a glob on the couch with too many simple carbs in my system slowing me down and distending the belly.

I've been feeling angry-ish for well over a week now. Last week after several days in a row of feeling cranky it dawned on me that I was PMS'ing. Relief! An explanation for the irrational, mad-cow behaviour. (mad as in angry. cow as in large female. I know that true mad-cow does not bring about anger but rather forgetfulness and dimentia. dar.) But it's been well over a week and I'm still frothing at the mouth at small things and not focusing on all the good of life. No offense meant to anyone who may have asked me simple yet stoopid questions, and I've gotten myself all into a complete snit about it.

Sometimes I feel like I'm surrounded by blessings and grace, yet all I seem to focus on is the negative. Knowing this, sitting in the middle of it, I still can't seem to pull myself out of the funk. There is much worse than I'm experiencing going on in the world, and I'm throwing myself an 'everyone-leave-me-the-blank-alone' pity party. It's pretty pathetic, yet there it is in all it's honesty. Perhaps tomorrow I will roll out of bed and do a work out even though I'm not yet fully awake. GET IT DONE and start feeling better early on in the day.

Three hours after typing the above, I'm back at my computer. I went to visit a girlfriend whose father had recently past. I brought with me some "I'm thinking of you and love you" red velvet cupcakes. This friend is skinny, fit AND fabulous so there was no reason to 'lower the point' value of the cupcakes I was making for her. But that's how I've been cooking everything lately, so I followed a low-point (translation: high fiber, low fat) recipe and they came out rather well. We chatted about life and random issues, and I left feeling so much better! Here is someone going through some REAL stress and grief; not the stoopid elementary version of malaise I've been waddling through of late. She was chipper and chatty and admitted that she will probably attack the cupcake basket as soon as I leave. That's EXACTLY what I would do in her shoes and I'm so glad I visited. D - thanks for the pick me up. I hope I was half as good for you as you were for me!

And to anyone interested, here's a shout out to this amazing WW recipe blog where I got the cupcake recipe. I doctored it extensively though. I added 1/2 cup of puree'd pumpkin to the mix and diet dr. pepper. I also made the frosting from scratch with low fat cream cheese, raw sugar and soy milk in the microwave. THAT is a genius concoction for frosting on anything. I'd mix it with whole wheat pasta or yams or cupcakes of any flavor and go to town. Or that's just the tapeworm I've been dealing with all day talking...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Frugal Fannie's Bluegrass Blast

For date night this Friday, J and I used a $25 coupon at a Spanish restaurant on King Street, Las Tapas. When I was traveling all the time with work, I was building up small amounts of frequent flier miles on multiple airlines (saving HQ money on the cheapest flight, yet not amassing enough miles on any one airline to get me a free ticket. oy.). Using some miles from United, I purchased several coupons from We had a great meal with wine, and it only cost us $38 out-of-pocket.

That being said, I'm not sure I'd purchase these coupons w/out using airline miles, unless it was for a restaurant I already knew and loved. There are eight grillion restrictions: many don't apply the amounts toward alcohol purchases, many only allow use on Mon - Thurs, the most popular restaurant's coupons are sold out at the beginning of the month. It's a lot of hoop jumping, and I have small measures of both patience and dexterity.
After dinner, we walked a few blocks West to Tiffany Tavern. They advertise having the best burgers, bluegrass and open mic in town. I don't know of any other bluegrass in town quite frankly, and we'd just had dinner, so I can't vouch for the burgers either. That and I've been eating mostly vegetarian lately. But they looked HUGE and delicious for the meat-eating among us. I had a few Canadian Clubs, and J imbibed Smithwicks brew while we listened to Over Under Down Yonder. No cover charge for great bluegrass! I think their sound is much better than their My Space page would have one believe. The live OUDY had less twang and more speed.They had me tapping my boots on the bar stool and playing air washboard on my thighs.

All in all in was a fun evening for two and under $75.00 for dinner, several drinks and live music. Score!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

How Much Pee Would You Need to Pee If Your Pee Needs Need Meet Here?

This true life image stopped me in my tracks today. I was walking to a WW meeting in downtown DC over my lunch hour. (It's different one than I normally attend. It's the location where I joined 3 months ago, but I started going to one on Fridays in VA b/c it was more convenient for my schedule. Nonetheless, I needed a jumpstart back to eating well so today to WW I go).

On the corner of 14th and K Street was a PORT-A-JOHN sitting in the median between the service road and the main street. This is a major intersection of DC! K Street: where all the politics and lobbying happen. 14th Street: another major hot spot for both business and in more recent years clubs. Yet here is this temporary commode unhidden on the median, with no construction anywhere around, no fencing to rope it off. It's just hanging out, waiting for someone so desparate to do their business, they don't care if they drop trough amidst speeding cars, crossing pedestrians and world decisions being made.

Seriously, I really want to know why that plastic poo box is hanging out in this particular spot. It was hilarious. I got some pics with my bberry as that was the only camera I had. Hopefully, the thing will gone soon; but I had to capture this image or no one (besides the other 10 thousand people that will cross that intersection today) would believe me!

This is a great convenience for the homeless folks who hang in Franklin Square Park across the street. Shoot, their life is hard enough. They deserve a close-by wash closet. (Prior to the port-a-potty siting, I'd given a few bucks to my favorite homeless guy this a.m. on the commute in. He hangs out across from the US Treasury right past the 14th Street bridge each day. Sometimes he's selling Washington Times. Most days he's just leaning against the railing. Today he looked really bad, and my heart went doubly out to him. This poor guy needs more than a bathroom. Someday when the traffic is really thick and I'm stuck for a long time, I'm going to ask him his story. Or maybe I'll walk up to him and do the same. ) But why in the middle of an intersection?

How bad off would the rest of us have to be bladder-wise, to use this particular option? The intrigue and suspense of it all.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Ears (and Navel) Still Ring

We went to see George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic this weekend. It was a great show. At one point I counted 22 musicians and/or dancers on stage. Old school 4 wheel roller skates, faux fur, ubiquitous rainbow hair extensions, man-baby in XXXL diapers...all the expected ephemera of GC&PF. But I felt a tad on the *old* side. True, of the many 50+ aged concert goers surrounding me, I was well below the funkafied ceiling. And I still got plenty o funk, which I shook and shouted throughout. But I was not nearly as impressed as I may have once been with the hoochie mama onstage, or the gold lame bikini wearing roller girl both there mostly for visual effect. (I guess I didn't as much mind the shirtless muscle man dancer, but to be fair he was there soley for eye candy purposes too.)

I think I was most impressed with Clinton's granddaugher who joined him on stage. That girl had a voice and soul and she was sharing them both. The point is that GC came across as more washed-up than funked-up, and his band of merry makers were less real band members than extras on stage to give the jam a little sometin sometin extra. Weren't the P-Funk once so over the top that any extra was impossible? This is where the *sigh* old feeling part enters. It felt more extra than large. I liked the large. It's fine line between the two.

My ears were still ringing the next day, and I'm glad I went. I just need to remember that my genre appreciation has expanded to included a lot of americana and bluegrass and things more subtly inspired. I'm a fan of music for the sake of the music, and George can bring it! So can his granddaughter. Thank God for the next generations. Traditions can continue and hopefully prevent a jumping of the shark.

Wanting to chronicle my concert goings this year, I started a(nother) list on this site. I'm missing one from January - a small group I'd never heard of before that played at the Galaxy Hut in Arlington. But venues so rarely post their past shows. Dang. Guess I'll use the list so I don't forget anymore.

And in other news...I've lost 9 pounds since mid-December. That's about 3 a month so far. It's some slow going and this week has been bad news bears on the eating front. I determined about day 3 of being completely pissy all the time that I was PMSing, which also explained my hoover like suction of all things edible. I have been tracking, but I've already used up all my weekly allowance points with 2 days left in my track week to go. Can we say exercise? Yes! Can we do exercise!? Well, does my 25 minute walk earlier today count enough for the entire week? Need to focus more on consistency with the exercise program fo shiz.

Not to dismiss the 9 lb loss. That is fabulous and I can tell the difference in a lot of my clothes. To celebrate, I ordered some new belly rings which arrived today. Haven't had a new one in well over a year b/c I was so displeased with the belly. (both first, second and third if we are counting in belly rolls.) Since the rolls are slimming, maybe we'll try a new ring soon.
Also, in today's mail was a postcard I wrote to myself several weeks ago at a WW meeting. It was a mini goal to be reached by March 31st. My goal was to fit into/wear my blue gap work pants sans shame. I haven't tried them on in I can't even say how long. I have 4 weeks to go to reach that goal, but I like the postcard to self idea. Good motivator. That and maybe my new sitting-cat-that-moves-at-neck belly ring.