Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Update and New Item Noted

Well, I'm off for a work trip until Friday. Hopefully, I will have time to devote to my blog (and reading everyone else's) when I return.

Gym - I did make it to the gym yesterday with my work friend. I did 9.18 miles on the stationary bike. Not too shabby. I am a bit stiff today, but a good stiff.

Something to Note

I'm reading the paper yesterday (www.washingtonpost.com) and they were talking about the influence of bloggers on mass media. They were specifically discussing the papers that the Downing Street Memo and how it wasn't until bloggers drew attention to that the media wrote about it.

So, I am going to devote at least one blog a month to a social issue. Shouldn't be hard to do. There is certainly enough going on in the world for me to comment about.

Today, the topic is Grover Norquist. He seems to be a nut-case himself. He apologized (in a manner of speaking) for calling Senators Snowe and Collins "the two girls from Maine," but he did it in an insulting manner. He thinks it is appropriate to call them this because "we were talking to a bunch of college kids." As if that is a good reason. As a former higher education professional, believe me we want the speakers to set a higher bar for the students. If two U.S. senators don't demand respect, then why don't the students call their female professors "girls"? It really was insulting.

However, what is almost worst is the constant barrage of insults that he hurled about Senator John McCain - the only Republican I would ever consider voting into national office. Grover (and all I have to say is look at that name) - anyway - he said McCain is a nut-case or a "gun-grabbing, tax-increasing Bolshevik." Now, McCain seems to be brushing him off, but this is a repeat of recent offenses by Republicans.

When a democrat compared Guantanamo Bay to the Nazis a few weeks ago, he was practically tar and feathered. He apologized on the congressional floor. However, this guy is being brought to task by anyone. So, do the Republicans feel like they don't owe apologies? Because they feel like they are winning?

Democracy is about exchanging ideas, not taking potshots at your opponent. When will the political leaders of this country figure out that the citizens want a country were free speech is respected and respectful? Disagreeing with someone else's ideas and challenging those ideas is a good thing, but disagreeing with who a person is really to denigrate humanity.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Just a Quick Note

I know I've been cheating with the lists and things. So, here's some real stuff.

Weirdness of the Day
My ex-sister-in-law (as of last month) now has a blog. My mom found it (she's an incredible snoop and my silly brother did look at it on my parent's computer). OH MY goodness is all I have to say. So, here's where it's weird. I (and most of my family) are now keeping up with what's happening via my exSIL. My family knows I blog too, but I refuse to get them any information on my blog's name.

Success of the Day
I went to the gym today. Second time this week. My foot is still weak, but I was able to do 9.48 miles on a the stationary bike. Feeling successful.

That's it. I'm off for what i hope is a nice slow weekend. Taking the nephew to see Star Wars tomorrow. Little girl time and only 2 household project are beckoning. Have a good one!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Weird Lists

More Weird Lists of Stuff from same source as last time.

5 Snacks I love
1. Dried mangos, m&ms, and cashews
2. Pringles - esp. Sour Cream and Onion
3. Goat Cheese and crackers
4. Hot Tamales
5. Artichoke and Cheese Bites

5 Songs I Know all the Words to, Even Without the Music
1. Not Gon' Cry - Mary J. Blige
2. Can't Fight The Moonlight by Lee Ann Rimes
3. They Asked About You by Reba McEntire
4. You are my sunshine
5. I'm Proud to be An American by Lee Greenwood

5 Things I Would Do With $100,000,000:
1. Buy a bigger house
2. Buy a convertible
3. Pay off my bills
4. Buy a computer
5. Have Lasik hair removal

Top 5 Locations I`d Like to Run Away To:
1. Guatemala with Allen
2. London
3. Australia
4. Galapagos Islands with the Girls
5. Caribbean (just to lay on the beach, be waited upon, drink margaritas and read)

5 Bad Habits I Have:
1. Smoking
2. Not Exercising enough
3. Always late
4. spending too much money
5. Overthinking my relationships

5 Things I like Doing:
1. Reading
2. Mosaic Design (it's my newest hobby)
3. Cooking
4. Snuggling with my boyfriend, Jay
5. Sleeping

5 Things I Would Never Wear:
1. pants that are too short
2. empire waist dress (makes all tall women look pregnant)
3. intentionally ripped clothing
4. all one designer from head to toe
5. ugly stuff (whatever I decide it is)

5 T.V. Shows I Like:
1. West Wing
2. the 4400
3. Everwood
4 . Gray' Anatomy
5. Desperate Housewives

5 Movies I Like:
1. Sweet Home Alabama
2. Ever After
3. Harry Potter
4. Steel Magnolias
5. X-Men (both of them)

5 Famous People I'd like to Meet:
1. Reba McEntire
2. J.K. Rowlings
3. Julia Roberts
4. Hillary Clinton
5. Drew Barrymore

5 Biggest Joys at the Moment:
1. Garden - It's blooming - lilies everywhere
2. Friends - Hung out with Rose and Anne earlier this week
3. Cat - Duchess is so funny and she's after crickets now
4. Home - Really love just hanging out at my place, especially when my roomie isn't around.
5. Life - I am trying to take my time and enjoy it while I can.

5 Biggest Frustrations at the Moment
1. Garden - There is so much still to do.
2. Roommate - It's like have a bad teenage husband. Without any sex!
3. Boyfriend, Jay - I really like him, but he's clueless
4. Family - Trying to guilt me into traveling to BFE in September
5. Work - Need to get a promotion, a new job, something

Monday, June 20, 2005

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

I got this over at Jennifer's Blog which I found through Leesa. I made a few adjustments..

10 Years Ago, I...
1. ...Was 21 years old
2. ...Was in undergraduate
3. ...Was dating a hot 18 year old guy
4. ...Was drinking a lot
5. ...Was going on my annual beach trip w/ my high school girlfriends

5 Years Ago, I...
1. ...just finished my first year advising at a private university.
2. ...was dating a nice guy in the same field of work.
3. ...dreamed of owning my own home.
4. ...was still figuring out who I was.
5. ...went on vacation with my high school girlfriends and learned that friendships don't last forever.

1 Year Ago, I...
1. ...was finally getting the hang of my new job.
2. ...was dating a guy I met at a party.
3. ...spent my weekends gardening and working on my house.
4. ...was prepping for my annual visits with cousins from the mid-west.
5. ...decided to end a friendship of over 10 years.

Yesterday, I...
1. ...spent the day with my parents. Dad and my brother-in-law helped me to install a screen door on the back of my house and built a raised flower bed for me. Sister, niece, nephew and Mom came over for lunch.
2. ... took a 2 hour nap.
3. ... started re-reading Harry Potter 5.
4. ... talked to my best friend, Rose about a job interview she has today.
5. ... said good-bye to J as he went off to Canada for almost 2 weeks.

Today, I...
1. ... am working
2. ... am going to Sephora with my work friend.
3. ... plan to have discussion with roomate over my frustrations with him.
4. ... probably won't do much actually work.
5. ... read some new blogs, including... Junebugg's Blog

Tomorrow, I will...
1. ... workout.
2. ... read more blogs.
3. ... pick up my dry cleaning.
4. ... work on my neighborhood traffic calming issue.
5. ... bring my lunch again (always eat healthier when I do).

Friday, June 17, 2005

Summer Dress - the policy, the abusers, the uselessness

Let me just say right now that I love the business casual dress policy. I am glad that they turn it into to the summer dress policy for three months. I love being able to wear clothes that are more in tune with the weather. But, I have to say some people push it too far. The policy was driven primarily legend has it by the woman who was second in charge of the department. She was stickler for the rules.

The Policy
Basically to summarize, it is:

  • No denim pants
  • no capris
  • no sweatpants
  • no shorts
  • no t-shirts
  • no tank tops
  • no tube or halter tops
  • no mini skirts
  • no spaghetti-strap/sundress (unless covered by a sweater/jacket)
  • no sneakers
  • no flip-flops
  • no beach-type sandals

So, what's the problem?

Let's start at the top...

Capris -- what is that about? I love capri pants. So how does one define capri pants? If they come to mid-calf are they capris or just cropped pants? If they come to just below the knee or shorter, then they are capris? Below are what the magazine called cropped pants, not capris. I thought they were capris -- so legal or not?
Posted by Hello

Sandals So, sandals are allowed, but not flip-flops or beach type sandals. Pretty clear? Not really...

These ones are a no. They look beachy and have rubber soles

Posted by Hello

And these are probably a no. Just too bare and thick soled for work. Maybe not...
Posted by Hello

These are a maybe. They are thongs, but I wouldn't call them flip-flops. And they are adorned. One of my co-workers wore a pair similar to these, but with a bit more sparkle and two people said they thought they were too beachy. I didn't think so. I thought they were pretty.
Posted by Hello

Sundresses Now for sundresses, it is still a bit tricky. Define sundress. And is the rule no sundresses or none with spaghetti straps -- not clearly written.

This is an obvious no...spaghetti straps...
Posted by Hello

This is a yes... nice fabric, professional and pretty. However, the catalog called it a sundress.

Posted by Hello

And probably another yes... It is not spaghetti-strapped, a good length, but it does look like something for a picnic. I would wear it to work.

We have one woman in admin who always breaks the rules. And it wouldn't matter so much if it didn't make her look even worse. The other day, she wore a razorback tank top with a regular bra, so the straps showed. Now, I know that is popular with teenagers, but she's about 40 years old. She has worn capris at least once.

However, even when she basically meets dress code, she can be a bit of a disaster sometimes. She has some great clothes, but sometimes they just don't fit right. The other day, she wore a white t-shirt (border-line appropriate), but all you really saw were her nipples staring at you. Very distracting.

Now, in my last office, I had a woman who always met dress code, but dear lord, she almost always looks terrible. She's in her early 50s and really nice. But, somehow she thinks wearing pastel lime green corduroy pants with a pink and lime green top is good. Plus, she has the pastel lime shoes. (It might work okay if they were exactly the same shade. But, that it next to impossible.) Anyway she was like a walking disaster zone in pastels. Whenever she wore anything that was flattering at all, I tried to tell her. Most things were too tight or too ugly to tell you the truth.

The honest truth is that I really don't care too much what anyone else wears (after all, not my business). I am bothered by the nipple shirt. However, the problem is in part of the department they don't enforce the dress code at all. When I first joined the office years ago, I took my cue from other women in the office who had been there longer. They didn't provide copies of nor recite the exact rules of summer dress. So, I wore capris and the next thing I knew I was in the supervisor's office being reprimanded. Yet, the other older employee just kept wearing them. I was angry. The supervisor in this office did say something to the admin woman, so I feel like enforcement is somewhat even.

So, it's with annoyance (and a bit of envy) I watch others stride by in their cropped pants in the rest of the department.

I don't think the dress code makes people dress professionally. Either they will or they won't. Even if they technically don't meet dress code, they can still look very unprofessional. By trying to be specific, they have only made things worse.

Anyway, that's my current rant.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Co-Worker Blues -- Can I smack her?

Okay, I just read about being careful about blogging about work and I'm going to do it anyway. I have a co-worker who is making me crazy. She's a few years older than me and tries to come across as a damn saint here at the office. She works overtime, but she doesn't need to be comped for it. Of course, she's available via telephone on her days off. While on vacation with her son, she will of course be stopping by the New York Office to check messages. And she's always checking her e-mail. Behind the boss' back, she talks about how she dislikes her, but then she is so sickingly nice to her that it seems obvious to me. She comes in early, so she's here at the same time or before the boss. But, when she leaves early, even when we are teaching class, nobody notices. So, she irritates me considerably.

First, we do the same job. So, when she is not here, I can handle whatever comes our way. If she was invaluable, I could see her needing to do some of these items. She is not my boss, just my team lead. She has no impact on my performance appraisal. Technically, I believe I am actually better at most parts of our job.

Secondly, they are getting ready to finally announce a full-time permanent position for our jobs. It will be a higher pay grade (government speak for promotion) and better salary. The boss sees my co-worker coming in early, willing to not take comp time, acting like she knows everything about our system, and that she constantly in touch. So, it looks like she would be better. She is definitely better at the politics of the department than I am. However, when people need help, they usually prefer to have me. Most staff seem to believe that I am better at helping them. I also consider myself a better teacher for our classes. I am much more thorough than she is and am able to reach many different kinds of students. She treats it like a presentation, instead of a training and there is a difference. She also has zero organizational or writing skills. She hates doing written product for anything. I do know if she applies for the position, they will hire her because of what they see.

Lastly, yesterday a friend I work with overhead my co-worker bad-mouthing me to the supervisor, saying I refuse to do this or that. I was pissed. I did not refuse outright. I said there was no reason to ever do it the way she wanted. I offered alternatives. She didn't express a problem with my alternative. I don't understand her issue. I never mention that I wait weeks to get feedback from her on written product or that I do all the written products for our area. I never mention when she leaves class earlier, although she is the first to complain when I can't get there earlier enough.

I just do not like working with her. Especially since I now know, she is trying to undermine me for this position. I just want to smack her.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Flying -- The Ultimate High

Jay (my boyfriend) took me flying last weekend. He is a licensed pilot. He wanted to fly F16s for the military, but he's color-blind. (Let me tell you - I don't think he ever got over it.)

But, he loves to fly. This is one of the first times he's shared part of his world with me. So, that made it special within itself. He was so excited and really wanted me to enjoy it.

I helped with the pre-flight checklist and got myself settled. I was a bit nervous and made a joke about nothing better happen to him, because I had no idea what to do. So, of course, he explained to me what I would need to do if something did. This did not assail my fears.

The plane was a small Cessna 152. With two seats only, it's a bit of a tight squeeze. He put me in charge of the GPS monitor and writing stuff down. Once we got up in the air, it was breathtaking. To soar over the trees and the clouds, it was amazing to see the land below.

Unfortunately, due to the bizillion restrictions on airspace in the D.C. area, we couldn't fly over my house. I'm in the flight plan for DCA airport. Jay was also on the radio a lot as we switched from one tower to another and had to ask permission to enter different airspace. He told me how he misses the days it was easier to fly in this airspace.

He allowed me to pilot the plane for a few minutes. I found it quite challenging. Unlike a car, you don't have to worry about it going forward -- it will as long as the engines are running. But, you do have the additional problem of the altitude. I struggled with maintaining our heading while maintaining the altitude. And to tell you the truth, I found it a bit overwhelming. He asked if I wanted to learn to pilot and I was honest. Why should I learn when I have him to be my personal pilot? Plus, I didn't find it enjoyable enough to put that much time and effort into becoming a pilot.

I have to say I loved it. And I was so happy that he included me in something in his life. It was breathtaking views of Virginia, Maryland and the river in between. It was an awesome way to spend an afternoon.


On a side note, I did find out that his family doesn't know I exist. We've been dating almost 8 months and his parents and siblings don't know I exist. Strange, huh? I swear...he's an odd duck.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Romance Novels -- I Should Give Them Up!

Okay, so summer's here. My favorite time to sit outside and read. And right now, it's high romance season. But, I swear sometimes I feel I should give them up for the sheer frustration that they bring me. I don't want to think when I read, I want to feel. Unfortunately, afterwards, the feelings aren't quite the same as while I am reading.

Romance Posted by Hello

The girl and guy meet -- there is some kind of big reason they can't be together - they solve the problem - they marry. There's no small, persistent problems. There are no doubts. There are no complications. They have all the time in the world for each other. Nothing makes them depressed or is too scary. By the end, they can talk about anything.

And the guys are always amazing. They bring/send flowers. They talk about their feelings or if not then are extremely expressive in some other ways. They can't wait to get their hands on the woman they love. The men want to hold them and will stand up for them against anyone and anything.

It's all rather disgusting. Yet, I keep reading them. I lose myself in their world, imagining each character in my head and hoping that everything works out for them. And like all romance novels, it does - every time.

I must be glutton for punishment.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Life is so sad sometimes...

I don't know what it is going on, but life has become so sad. I don't know how it happened, but suddenly I am reaching an age where people are starting to die. Not just old relatives I hardly know - that happened when I was a child. Now, it is people that I work with, people who I am friends with in my neighborhood. It's so strange.

Last week, a guy at one of the regional offices died. He and his wife were killed in a car accident. How random. He was an older guy, nearing retirement. A nice man, who struggled with some of the changes that my office was making, but he was learning.

Last night, I was at a neighborhood meeting and found out that an elderly gentleman that attends neighborhood watch with me had died. He tried to attend on a fairly regular basis. He seemed just fine when I saw him in April. He was a Scottish gentleman with the most amusing cadence to his voice. He just seemed so healthy.

And this morning, one of my favorite neighbors called and told me that his wife had passed away yesterday. I was just shocked. Even though I knew she had been ill, it was still shocking. And he called me to apologize for missing the meeting last night. I told him it was not a problem at all. Then he tells me about his wife. And all I could say was that I was sorry, just so sorry.

Each of these people I did not know well. It just hurts that they are gone. I fear that my family is next. My great grandmother is actually 94 years old. She's in a nursing home now and they don't expect her to go home. She looks like she is all veins, skins and bones. And she hates not being able to live at her own home anymore. She hates being in a setting where is dependent on others. My mama (Dad's mother) is not doing well either. She is having a hard time taking care of herself, but refuses to discuss moving into senior complex where she could have some assistance. I just fear the next call will be about one of them.

But, I fear even more is something like the car accident -- unprepared, unable to say goodbye to anyone. The sheer randomness of it -- that is the hard part. You never know who is next.

It's been a strange day so far.

Monday, June 06, 2005

I'm slipping back...

That's right. I am slipping back into my addiction. At first, the drugs kept it at bay. I avoided places where it was readily available. I was stoic in the face of temptation. I thought I could hide from the pressure. I thought I could deal with my life without my vice. Now, I've been kicked off the drugs -- all the friends are doing it around me. My boyfriend is even having the occasional one. Everyone seems to have forgotten, including me, how hard it was to kick the last time.

I was wrong. Again.

For the third time in the past 5 years, my attempt at smoking is faltering. The last two times I tried to quit, I didn't make it more than 6 months or so. And it's been just over 5 months. I broke down on the way home last Thursday and bought a pack. I had three cigarettes on Thursday, four or five on Friday (a friend came by and had a few with me), and then another six or seven on Saturday. By Sunday, I had to buy another pack. And I smoked like eight of them. I can't stop myself. It's so much easier than the alternative. My cravings were kicking in. I needed something to help me kill off the edge. So, I smoked.

And I hate it.

So, I'm going to try to keep it under control. See if I can go without for the whole work day. I wish I could get away with being a social smoker or just having one or two a day.

I may have to pick up some patches. Right now, I think it's mostly psychological. I just need to push myself. I need to stop. One day at a time. Hopefully, when I start to exercise again, it will be easier to quit. I hope.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I found this just browsing on the internet. I can't remember who's blog it was -- sorry!

You May Be a Bit Borderline ...

Your mood swings make a roller coaster look tame!

When you're up, you're a little bit crazy...

And when you're down, your whole world is crashing

Scary thing is, these moods can change by the minute!

What Personality Disorder Are You?

Madagascar Review

Thought I would share with all of you my thoughts on the new movie "Madagascar." On Memorial Day, I took a 4-year old girl, a 6-year old girl, and a 8-year old boy to see the movie. I have taken them to almost every cartoon movie for the past 3 years.

I would give it 4 stars (out of a possible 5). Not as good as Shrek or The Lion King, but much better than Shark Tales. Up there with Aladdin and Pocahontas.

Each character is well done. I would have liked for Gloria, the hippo, to have had more lines, as she is hilarious. The giraffe was quite amusing, but his story line isn't really followed through with. And Alex the lion is a bit annoying, but everyone has friends like him. The Penguins are the best. Very funny -- listen carefully to their lines. They really make the movie.

Penguins - Show Stealers Posted by Hello

The action is good. The dialogue is great - lots of movie references. The kids thought it was funny, but so did I. We all jumped in a few places, but it wasn't too scary. None of the kids had to go to the bathroom - which is my gauge of a good film.

I highly recommend this movie for everyone. For adults, I would even pay to see it at the theater -- although probably only as a matinee as it is not that long.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

100 Things You Didn't Know

Here's my first attempt at one of these lists. It shouldn't be too hard. I take it back...It is difficult to par down experiences and my life into short sentences.

1. I'm the oldest of four children.
2. My dad was in the Army - I'm a military brat.
3. I was 5 foot, 7 inches tall in 6th grade.
4. I am the only person in my immediate family who has a college degree.
5. I am the only one of my grandparents' 30 some odd grandchildren with a master's degree.
6. I took 5 years to complete my undergraduate degree.
7. I have been trapezing.
8. I took a rifle class in graduate school.
9. My hair color isn't naturally red, but I believe it should be, so I make it so.
10. I love crappy romance novels.
11. As a child, I read every book every published about panda bears.
12. As an adult, I can spend hours just watching panda bears -- something about them fascinates me.
13. My favorite feature is my hair.
14. I broke my leg when I was 3 or 4 years old playing bumper cars on the slide.
15. It was actually the second break of that leg -- they found an old, never treated break from when I wrapped my legs around a chair and tipped it back.
16. I broke my elbow standing on a basketball.
17. The only anesthesia that I have ever had was for wisdom teeth removal.
18. I attended at least 6 different schools as a child.
19. I had my first alcoholic beverage at 11 years old in Germany.
20. I went to college in Indiana.
21. I once dyed my hair chestnut brown -- what a mistake.
22. I have kissed over 60 guys in my life.
23. My mother is 20 years older than me.
24. My mother's parents are 50 years older than me.
25. I had my first pair of high heels in 5th grade.
26. I went to graduate school in Illinois.
27. I love to travel.
28. I have hiked all over Manchu Pichu in Peru.
29. I stayed at the most romantic hotel on a inverted volcanic lake in Guatemala (we had to take a boat to get to the hotel).
30. I sunbathed topless at Caesar's Palace.
31. I once went to shooting range on a date.
32. My first kiss was at age 12 with a boy who was 16.
33. My first date was at a Chinese restaurant.
34. My first boyfriend was a year younger than me.
35. My first celebrity crush was on Rick Springfield, when he sang "Jessie's Girl."
36. I went on motorcycle rides with my father and his friends before I turned 5 years old. (I was one of the tallest kids, so the guys didn't mind taking me.)
37. I graduated number 65 out of 365 students in my high school class.
38. I have a slight skin allergy to tomatoes.
39. I lived in Germany for about 8 years of my childhood.
40. I weighed over 50 pounds less than I do now when I was in high school, yet I never thought I was thin.
41. I have a best friend I still keep in touch with from seventh grade.
42. I have known my best friend who I see on a weekly basis since I was a sophomore in high school.
43. When I was little, I told my mom I wanted to president of the United States.
44. I went to Berlin with the Girl Scouts (before the wall came down).
45. I almost got gored by a cow in the Swiss Alps as a child.
46. I went to Mardi Gras once and did earn my beads from a balcony.
47. The longest I have every lived in one city is 5 years.
48. The longest I have lived in one apartment/house is 3.5 years.
49. I bought my first home three years ago.
50. This is the first home I've lived in that someone in my family has owned.
51. I am an avid gardener.
52. My favorite flowers are roses and tulips.
53. I love herbal tea.
54. African Bush Tea or roobious is my favorite store bought tea.
55. Lemongrass is my favorite home grown tea.
56. I grew so much zucchini the past two years that I still have some frozen in my freezer.
57. I am growing brussel sprouts even though I don't eat them.
58. I love home grown vegetables.
59. I am growing pumpkins this year just for Halloween.
60. I have done all the landscaping on my property and I love it.
61. I do believe in survival of the fittest in the garden and I try not to coddle plants.
62. My garden sculptures are all about cats, women or squirrels.
63. I love to cook.
64. I just started cooking seven years ago.
65. I just started eating broccoli 10 years ago, but only on pizza until 5 years ago.
66. I just started eating artichokes 6 years ago.
67. I just started eating tofu 5 years ago.
68. I just started eating bell peppers 4 years ago.
69. I just started eating sweet potatoes 3 years ago.
70. I just started eating goat cheese 2 years ago.
71. Two years ago, I found I love butternut squash and pumpkin soups.
72. Last year, I started eating cheeses from around the world.
73. And this year, I started eating Thai food - anything with peanut sauce.
74. I hate beets and radishes.
75. Although I don't know how else to eat it, I do enjoy rhubarb and strawberry pie and jelly.
76. I learned to cook by selling Pampered Chef -- they send you videos and free recipes.
77. I never made any money at Pampered Chef -- just spent it on their products.
78. My first job was at 15 years old -- bus girl at a country club.
79. I couldn't find a job for the first three months of college.
80. So, I took a job as a Santa Helper at the mall.
81. I went on to be a Santa Helper for three years in a row and worked two seasons with the Easter Bunny.
82. I once met Sharon Pratt Dixon, a former mayor of Washington, D.C.
83. My mother used to tell people when I was little that I wasn't bossy, I just had better ideas than everyone else.
84. I volunteered at the National organization for Women when I was in high school.
85. The past few years, I have volunteered with the American Red Cross, the Linus Project and the local homeless shelter.
86. I marched in the 1992 and 2004 March for Women's Rights in Washington, D.C.
87. My parents raised me in the Southern Baptist Faith.
88. I consider myself an agnostic.
89. I love TV- always have - probably because of the cultural significance placed upon it.
90. All my favorite shows keep leaving the air, including Dawson's Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Cupid.
91. My never miss shows now are Desperate Housewives, Alias, Smallville, and Extreme Home Makeover.
92. I cry at every episode of Extreme Home Makeover.
93. I love to read.
94. I will read just about anything - the backs of cereal boxes even.
95. My day doesn't feel right if I don't read my Washington Post.
96. I can't stand network television news.
97. My favorite childhood book was "Charlotte's Web."
98. My favorite adult series is Harry Potter -- huge fan.
99. I did meet Gloria Steinem at a university speaking engagement.
100. I have her autograph two of her books for me.


Exercise, Weight Loss, and Smoking

Okay...So, my plans are falling apart. I had high hopes for this year. I wanted to quit smoking, lose 20 - 25 pounds, and start exercising.

So what happened? My life as usual!

Smoking -- I did okay from January until a few weeks ago. I was on Zyban and the patch -- then the damn insurance people said they wouldn't pay for any more of it. So, I'm on my own. Everyone I know is still smoking -- despite pledges from several to be supportive. Even Jay smokes occasionally -- and you know what he said to me the other day -- well, just smoke one a day. I just looked at him. If that was an option, don't you think I would have done that? Smoking is an addiction for me. And I am having major cravings. I've had about 20 cigarettes in the past month. I dug out one last Zyban pill - probably not the wisest idea but I need to take the edge off somehow.

Losing Weight - I am plateauting -- no matter what I eat or how much I exercise. I seem to keep the same weight. Since I started this pledge in the middle of April, I've lost nothing!!! Very frustrating. I do know I've been exercising more. Maybe I'm eating more, too. I hate monitoring my food -- it makes me nuts.

Posted by Hello

Exercise - Before the accident I was up to 3 or 4 workouts per week. Now, I'm down to pretty much nothing. I did go lift weights yesterday and am going to try the exercise ball at the house tonight. My workout buddy and I are going next week to the gym and I'm trying the bikes there. Figured they wouldn't be that much of a strain.

I want a cigarette!!