Monday, March 30

I just checked the brackets and it is between Ed, my dad and myself. My dad has 45 and that will be his final tally. Ed and I are tied at 44 and we both have picked UNC and Louisville to go to the final, but Ed can only get one more point because he picked Memphis to win it all and I can get 2 because I picked UNC to win it all. Therefore the options are my dad is the outright winner, we have a 3 way tie or I am the outright winner.


Thank You Adam, Muah!

Thank you for posting this, which lead me to purchase this:

Yeah it is a scrable tile that has "G2" on the back. Love it and I will wear it proudly. I certainly won't stay single for long with that around my neck.

Maybe I will wear under my shirt...

What I Did This Weekend

Although I didn't do a whole lot socially, I had a really busy and productive weekend.
First, it appears my new workout is pretty intense because it shocked and exhausted my body. I am still a little sore from the leg routine I did Friday (Ed I did front squats. I looked into variations of the front squat and was a dumbass and didn't think I could hold the bar like I was doing a clean and when I hold the bar like that it is far more comfortable. It actually helps with my balance a lot and I can go down a lot further so I am super excited you brought that up!). Saturday was chest and triceps, and my triceps are still quite sore, and yesterday I did back and biceps.

Unfortunately my energy yesterday was really quite low and I was feeling sluggish so instead of pushing it I opted out of my cardio and I am making today a rest day. I know when I can push my body and I know when it needs rest and right now, it needs rest. One thing new I am incoporating is assisted pull ups and tricep dips. I have alays sucked ass at pullups and perhaps I just do not have pull up muscles because despite the fact that I am a lot stronger in my upper body than I ever have been, I still struggle a lot with assisted pullups! However it has never been something I have worked on so I am going to see if working on it with the machine might help build those muscles up specific to pull ups.

Aside from exercise, I have been a cleaning and organizing fanatic lately. Knowing that I may possibly be moving in the near future if I find a house, I have been trying to go through a lot of my stuff and getting rid of crap I have accumulated. Saturday I cleaned out my bathroom and threw away a bunch of old products I don't use. I must have an affinity for shampoo and conditioner because despite the fact that I have 3 bottles of each in my shower, I also had about 3 of each in my cupboard and threw about 3 of each out. I also got a new wlecome mat after reading a story about how 90% of welcome mats have fecal matter on them that you track into your home. That and it was old and needed to be replaced. But really, the fecal matter thing totally grossed me out.

Yesterday I tackled my bedroom and closet. I swear I went through my clothes this fall and threw out 2 bags of clothes and this time I did the same. A lot of that was old workout clothes though. I am not one to hang on to things for any reason if I don't wear them, I love to get rid of things I don't need. I also bought a shoe organizer which I put together incorrectly but it took me so long to put it together wrong that I didn't have the patience to take it apart and put it together correctly. So instead of holding 16 pairs of shoes it holds 8. Whatever, it did give me some more floor space. I also really need to go to a seamstress to get a couple of items taken in. Mainly 2 pairs of jeans that fit great in the ass and thighs but are too big around the waist. I watch What Not To Wear too often to not know that is an easy fix, I am just lazy getting to the seamtress.

But the most fun I had yesterday was planting new succulents! I had (2) cans of pineapple chunks that I cleaned and peeled the label off of and thought they would make good planters for some succulents. I love succulents, they are so modern yet they have so much personality. I also liked the contrast of the metal can with the green of the plant, simple but striking. So after going to (3) different Targets, I finally found one that had a nursery and I bought 8 of the little guys. Then I took the cans, poked holes in the bottom for drainage, put a small amount of rocks on the bottom and then filled them with potting soil and the succulants. I also had (2) additional containers that I had lying around and made (4) different containers. Now my ledge outside my apartment is full:

Close up of the succulants in one of the tin cans:

A small pot with (3) different succulants:

Close up of the one that looks like a lotus flower:

I can't wait to see them start to take off. They are so adorable and you never know when they might start a flower or have some weird growth pop out. You can guarantee that when I do have a house, these guys will be all over the place.

If anyone ever comes across old coffee cans like these, let me know because I think this is super cute:

And eventually I would love to make this wreath that I also think is awesome:

So thats what I was up to.

Sunday, March 29

It is getting interesting...

Things in our pool are actually getting exciting after yesterdays games:

Dad - 45
Ed- 44
Kasey - 43
Annie - 42
Brian - 42
Mom -33

Here is what is really interesting though, my dad cannot score any more points because all of his teams are now out. Ed and Brian can only get 2 more points and I still have the chance to get all 4 Final Four picks. I like the way this is going...

Saturday, March 28

I need my bush trimmed. As you can see it is getting hard to open my box because my bush is too big and overgrown. I told my Landlord but he said he had already trimmed lots of bushes today and he has already filled up the trash cans so I would have to wait until next week. I am not joking, that conversation actually took place.

Friday, March 27

Yummy Wrap

I would not consider myself a cook, however I don't eat out very often so I prepare a lot of meals. One of my favorite new non recipes is my version of an asian peanut wrap and it goes a little something like this:

low carb or whole wheat tortilla
peanut butter (natural pb is better but I hate the taste so I settle for Simply Jiff which just has a little less sugar)
Diced chicken or roast beef deli meat
salad (from the bag so whatever mix you like, I usually got with the 50/50 stuff)
cucumber (matchstick cut)
carrots (matchstick cut)
sliced green onion
peanuts (I usually toast these in a pan with garlic salt)
Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame dressing and marinade (this stuff is great, really flavorful and low in calories)

Spread a very thin layer of peanut butter on the tortilla. Top with the rest of the ingredients and add a little of the dressing and viola, you are done. Now you can eat and enjoy!

It could not be any more simple to prepare, you can add as much or as little of the ingredients that you want and it is low in fat, has protien, provides you with some good veggies and is low in carbs. Now you may be thinking, but Kasey you are anti low carb diet, and you would be right. However too much of a good thing is usually a bad thing. I generally don't find I taste much of the tortilla anyway so the one with the lowest calories works for me and that is always the low carb tortilla. I would rather save the carbs for something else.

Anyway if you want something easy and healthy to make for a dinner or lunch, give it a try and make it your own. Please to enjoy!

I heart Found Magazine.

Standings Update

Dad - 43
Ed - 40
Kasey - 39
Brian - 38 (well done Brian, you were the only one to pick Missouri)
Annie - 36
Mom - 32

And both my dad and Ed picked Memphis to go all the way...

Thursday, March 26

Day Off

Today is Thursday and I try to take Thursdays off from the gym and/or hard exercise. Since I generally lift 6 days a week, Monday is legs and back, Tuesday is Chest and Triceps and Wednesday is shoulders and biceps, it gives me a day to rest before repeating that rotation. It also gives me a good 3 full days rest from doing any difficult leg training which is important because my hamstrings are still sore from Monday.

Anyway today is my rest day and I hate it. I don't really know what to do with myself but I did get my new issue of Muscle and Fitness yesterday so that means it has been 4 weeks since I developed my last routine so it is time to come up with a new one now! This afternoon I will start by going grocery shopping for some good healthy food, my diet is really something I need to work on. I don't eat junk food or overeat often but with the amount I am lifting I really need to get the correct amount of protein and carbs in me so I stay healthy, and that is a lot more scientific than I am comfortable with. I am trying to learn more but it is quite complicated. Simple carbs for after lifting, complex carbs during the day, protein after I lift and don't get me started on how much of each.

After shopping I am going to be looking through all of my books and magazines and figuring out what my routine will be for the next month, I do not want my body to get too used to anything and stop making gains. I would like to incorporate 1 day of plymoetrics, possible in lieu of my second legs day. I like plyometrics and used to do them often when I played volleyball and I really lke them too, great for working up a sweat and leaves you exhausted which is the way I like to feel after a workout.

Once I get that all figured out it is time to make some tofu lettuce wraps with peanut sauce (yum!) watch some NCIS and the Office and then probably hit the hay. In bed at 10? Yeah you are. I am so exciting I have probably put you to sleep with this post.

Yet another reason we are fat

The $20 burger to be sold at Comstock Park will feature a sesame-seed bun made from a pound of dough, five 1/3-pound beef patties, five slices of cheese, nearly a cup of chili and liberal doses of salsa and corn chips.

I am more than a little grossed out by this.

Wednesday, March 25

Ikea Hacker

I added a new link, Ikea Hacker. I don't remember if I have posted about this before or not, but I love this blog. People submit entries about things that they have gotten at Ikea and shows how they modify these products to meet their needs. I also hate this blog because it reminds me how utterly uncreative and unhandy I am.
What is nice though is that it uses furniture and products from one place so you know where to find them if you want to steals someones hack and also gives you directions on how to do it. Some projects are simple and some a quite complex but there is something for everyone.
For example:

The vanity is made from ikea stolmen chest with 2 drawers and only cost $50 with some modifcation. I like that this vanity has storage too, you don't see that very often and it is a good idea to save space in a small bathroom.
So anyway if you like things like this take a look, it might get your creative juices flowing!

Tuesday, March 24

Well damn I just got yelled at again for something that is not my fault. Haven't people heard the phrase don't shot the messenger?? My patience is being tested today but thus far I am holding strong!

Squats - Why you should be doing them

Squats are one of the very best exercises that you should be incorporating into your workouts that you probably arent. A lot of people shy away from squats because they think it is bad for their knees, or bad for their back or they are intimidated by them. If you have never done squats before, I can understand your apprehension but there are ways to build up to squats that make them more accessible.

Squatting works the largest muscles of your body: the quadriceps (front of the thighs), adductors (inner thighs), gluteals (buttocks), hamstrings (back of thighs), the gastrocnemius/soleus complex (calves) and the erector spinae (lower back) and studies have also shown that your core gets as good a workout during suats as doing ab exercises. Squats are also great because they are functional for daily life. You sit, stand up, bend over and reach for things many times during a day but how often do you do anything that resembles a leg curl?

If that isn't good enough, squats also are good for your cardiovascular system. You will be breathing hard after a set of squats, something that you don't neccesarily get with other exercises. Plus, you just look like a bad ass when you squat because you see so few people doing them. Don't get me started on the ridiculous men who have huge upper bodys but seldom or never do lower body exercise and walk around with little chicken legs.

The problem with squats though is they are often done incorrectly. I was a bad squatter for awhile and would use too high of a weight which would cause me to have bad form, which is why squats can hurt your knees and your back.

If you have never squated before start with no weight or use a broom to get a feel for the movement before adding weight. You should stand with your feet shoulder width apart and legs slightly bent and not in the locked position. If you aren't using weight put your hands in front of your chest like you are praying, make a fist with one hand and wrap your other hand over it, this will help you balance and feel more natural. Your weight should be balanced, not too far on your toes or on your heels, but on the balls of your feet so you feel stable. Your chest should be stuck out, shoulders back.

Squat down slowly making sure your knees do not pass your toes. Keep squating down until your quads are paralell to the floor - this is where I used to mess up, I wouldn't go down far enough. Maintain a slight arch in your lower back, keeping your head level and your upper back as upright as possible. Once you reach paralell with your thighs, drive back up focusing on driving up through your heels and squeezing your legs and glutes while you come up.
Bad Form:

Good Form:

You can start doing squats with just your body weight and progress to dumbbells. If you use dumbbells start in the same position and use the exact same form, but hold a dumbbell in each hand, plams facing in and arms at your sides. During the squats your arms should not move much, they are just there to hold the weight. From there you can progress up to squats on the Smith Machine, which is great because the bar is kept stable for you and then ultimately move up to a barbell and do squats freestanding. If you are doing heavy weights and don't have a spotter you might want to stick with the smith machine. It does the same function but the weight is stabalized for you so you won't crash to the ground, but you also won't be losing your stabalzing muscles and core as much.

You can also do variations of squats to work your legs differently. A 1 legged squat can be done by starting with one leg crossed over the opposite leg like this:

Or if you are a complete bad ass as well as really flexible, like this:

That shit is hard and if I could ever accomplish one rep of that I would be super excited.

Other variations include the barbell hack squat:

And one of my favorite, the plie squat, which works your inner thigh very well and can also be done with a barbell or on the smith machine:

So if you aren't doing squats, emrace your inner bad ass and start doing them today. Your ass will thank you for it.
This morning when I got to work I had a nasty voicemail on my phone from a notoriously bitchy woman that we work with, yelling at me for something which I have no control over, color selections. This before I got to take my first sip of coffee.

At first I got very cross and annoyed, and wasn't very friendly to the people around me. After a few minutes though I stopped and thought I know that the situation is not my fault and since this woman has a reputation of just being nasty, then she is probably a very unhappy person. In fact I actually felt a little sorry for her that her life must not be very happy so she takes it out on other people.

After starting to think of it in that way I was able to make a very polite phone call and calmy gave her the information I needed to without getting defensive. Just because someone is rude to me doesn't mean I need to be rude back.

My immediate reaction was still to get mad and want to give her a piece of my mind, which I will have to continue to work on, but at least I was able to eventually calm myself down. Baby steps I suppose.

Monday, March 23

Green Tea and Health (the abbreviated version)

I am a very thirsty girl. No matter where or go or what I do I always have a beverage in my hand or a bottle of water in my purse (with the cap tightly screwed on so I do not spill it in my purse again simultaneously ruining my cell phone and ipod...again). My beverages of choice are tea and water and as of late have been enjoying green teas.

I was at Target today when I saw Crystal Light Metabolism+ On the Go Peach Mango Green Tea. I love green tea, I love peach tea and I love mango so I thought, why not give it a try. It only has 5 calroies a serving and boasts green tea antioxidants and caffeine to boost youe metabolism. Well I am not convinced this is some diet elixer, but green tea is shown to have several health benefits that I looked up when I got back to the office. Here are just a few medical conditions in which drinking green tea is reputed to be helpful:

rheumatoid arthritis
high cholesterol levels
cariovascular disease
impaired immune function

EGCG, a powerful anti-oxidant found in green tea, is twice as powerful as resveratrol (found in red wine which limits the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet), which may explain why the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-five percent are smokers. The research involved in the use of green tea and cancer has been somewhat inconsistent however.

For all of you IBD suffers out there, green tea may help reduce inflammation associated with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two types of IBD. For centuries traditional uses of green tea include treating flatulence, regulating body temperature and blood sugar, promoting digestion, and improving mental processes.If green tea proves to be helpful for preventing colon cancer, this would be an added benefit for those with IBD because they are at risk for colon cancer.

More recently and more importantly for the diet industry, green tea has been found to help dieters. Clinical studies suggest that green tea extract may boost metabolism and help burn fat. One study confirmed that the combination of green tea and caffeine improved weight loss and maintenance in overweight and moderately obese individuals. Some researchers speculate that substances in green tea known as polyphenols, specifically the catechins, are responsible for the herb's fat-burning effect.

The good news is the only side effect of consuming green tea is insomnia due to the caffiene so just don't drink a lot at night.

The Crystal Light version is probably less effective than versions of green tea
in more pure forms, but it is convenient, it tastes good and it is low in calories. If you are looking for something to drink that is refreshing and you are tired of water you might want to pick some up. Otherwise get your green tea in some other form because it is definitely something that should be incorporated in your diet. This has been around for many centuries so the research is a lot more diverse and concrete than other diet fads that come and go.

You bet your sweet ass!

Health and fitness news like this makes me happy. Harvard researchers recently examined fat in mice and discovered that women with bigger butts actually have a lower risk of diabetes. Turns out that fat on the butt contains a hormone that helps you lose weight everywhere else. To reap the benefits, you're supposed to have a small waist in addition to an ample booty. Maybe this is why I cannot gain weight very easily on my upper body but can't lose weight on my ass. Not that I want to lose weight on my booty, anymore at least. You gotta love what makes you unique.
Here some more info:

And here is an ass song for you, just because it is topical:

Standings Update

To answer your question Ed, no one picked Arizona to be there.

Dad - 40
Ed - 37
Kasey - 36
Brian - 35
Annie - 35
Mom - 30

And even though I can look ahead and see how different everyone's Final Four picks are, I am not telling you what they are. You will just have to wait and see:)My Dad hasn't clinched it yet and it is still anyone's game, except my mom. She is pretty much out of the running.

Friday, March 20

Standings Update

There were some great games tonight that included a couple of upsets and a couple of overtimes. Hope you all got to enjoy some of the action.

Dad - 27
Brian - 23
Ed - 22
Kasey - 22
Annie - 22
Mom - 21

Why is self reflection so painful and changing so hard?

I say this in all seriousness, however I have a story to illustrate my pointthat you may find funny.

I often butt heads with my mom, mostly because we are so much alike. Unfortunately the characteristics that we share are the characteristics that I hate most in myself. When I see or hear her being negative or speaking with a particular nasty tone in her voice, I immediately cringe because it sounds so horrible and reminds me of myself. It is putting a mirror in front of my face and seeing that part of me that I try to ignore is there. The reality though is that I have these negative qualities to my personality and as much as I want to change them, they always seem to creep back in.

During my lunch hour my mom and I went to look at some new houses. I was dissapointed because the houses that I liked I could not comfortably afford mortage payments for along with property taxes, etc and the houses that I could afford were apartments pretending to be houses. My mood was negative yes, but I felt I was justified because buying a house is a really difficult and frustrating process and I was dissapointed and stressed.

Well my mom didn't really think so and she basically told me she hated to be around me when I am negative (or rather, she hates to be around me when I act like she does because it reminds her of how awful she is to be around when she is like that). I raised my voice and reiterated that I wish she would be more understanding of what I am going through. On a side note, my mom started dating my dad in Jr. High. They briefly broke up in college but once my dad graduated from college they were back together and they got married and had her first baby by the time she was my age. We have lived completely different lives and as much as I don't understand what it is like to be a stay at home mom and have a husband and children, I don't think she always realizes that life isn't so easy for a single woman in her late 20s either.

In any case she responded by telling me that even though I might be stressed I should basically suck it up and be more positive, which is sooooo incredibly ironic because she often acts the exact same way. If she is having a bad day at work (usually because something insigificant like the printer jamming)she will start saying "shut up" in a really nasty tone to the phone everytime it rings.

Anyway we continued bickering because we feed off of each other and by this time we had arrived to pick up some lunch at Quizno's. As we were walking from the parking lot she said something that really made me mad (I don't even remember what she said anymore) and I stopped, turned around and said "Forget it, I will just wait here" and headed back to the car. I know, so dramatic right? This is my signature move though, when someone really pisses me off I will want to leave the conversation as quickly as possible in order to cool down so I don't say something I will regret and also because I really don't want to be in the company of that person anymore.

My mom replies "oh come on you are beng ridiculous" to which I say "I am not hungry anymore". So my mom walks back to the car to leave and I tell her she should get her lunch and she says, "I will be fine, I don't need to eat" and I tell her that she is being just as ridiculous as me and then I turn to go back to Quiznos to get lunch (god this is painful to tell people, I am so stupid and dramatic sometimes). I wouldn't have been suprised if my mom drove off without me but she didn't and I ordered her lunch as well and when I got back into the car I said in a lighter tone of voice, "it is ridiculous that you get mad at me for acting the same exact way as you do and vice versa". We both started laughing and the disagreement was over.

We did continue to talk about how we hear that negativity in each other but can't seem to put a stop to it in ourselves. My mom is the same way as her mom was and my sister can be the same way as us as well. I don't know if this is genetic or learned but I find it odd that I can develop a characteristic in myself that I have such a contempt for in other people. But I suppoose that is how the cycle of abuse continues through generations and how people can inherit the tempers of their predeccessors.

Part of the problem is that even though I know that I can speak in a very negative manner and tone, I usually don't mean anything by it and it is suprising to me that people take it wrong. I also like to try to attribute that the other person being sensitive. I realize I will never be one of those people who is just as sweet as pie all the time, but I need to work on my tendancy to immediately react to things because that's when I get myself in trouble.

I would really like to be more like my dad when it comes to those things and for a long time growing up I was a lot like my dad. I am not sure what happened (hormones perhaps?) but he doesn't immediately react to things but stays quiet and thinks before he speaks. On many occassions I have witnessed someone who was incredibly angry yelling at my dad (this is usually work related) and he never reacts at all but lets them scream and hollar and all the while he remains calm, rational and level headed. 9 out of 10 times they cool down, realize they are acting ridiculous and the problem is resolved without it escalating. He does it to me all of the time and that is the quality that I admire most about him and that I most wish to emmlate. Unfortunately I feel like half the time I do the exact opposite thing.

I feel like I am at least aware of all of this but the hard part for me is to figure out how to change my behavior. I want to be a person that people find likeable and friendly and nice and I know that I generally am, but this damn other side of me likes to jump in the middle of things and before I know it, the bitch comes out. I am very lucky that I can talk to my mom about this honestly and we can laugh at how ridiculous we are and remind ourselves to work on it, but it is the main thing I want and need to change in myself.

What are your top ten foods?

I was browsing through my regular blogs and came upon a link to an article from Epicurious regarding people's top ten foods they can't live without. The author listed the following as her top ten foods:
Chocolate (usually dark)
Wine (usually red)

Readers then proceeded to list their top ten foods they can't live without. So I wonder, what are your top ten foods? I struggled with this for a bit but this is what I came up with:

Citrus Fruits

Your turn, tell me what foods you can't live without!

NCAA Basketball Bracket UPDATE

My upsets did not transpire ysterday so I did not fair so well, but we are al still pretty close. As of this morning here are the current standings:

Dad - 14
Brian - 13
Ed - 12
Annie - 12
Mom - 12
Kasey - 11

Yes it is a small pool this year, we had a lot of bailers.

On a related note, I apparently have very vigilant neighbors. My newer neighbors upstairs next to me seem very friendly. They are a married couple from southern California and the husband is a big time talker. I guess he saw Ed putting his bracket in my mailbox on Wednesday night and proceeded to tell my landlord that he saw someone suspicious looking through my mailbox, ha! Ed it looks like you are quite the shady looking character.

My landlord is the one who told me this and when I said that it must have been my friend Ed that he saw because he was leaving a basketball bracket in my mailbox that night, my landlord proceeded to inform me that it was illegal to put something that wasn't the US mail in mailboxes. I gave him a quizzical look and said, he was just dropping it off and I didn't want him to have to go up the stairs because he has a bad knee. Whatever Bob. He can be so odd sometimes.

Thursday, March 19

You know who is dumb?

Me. Work started out just fine but this afternoon I could feel a big mood shift and I started to feel really anxious and agitated and I didn't know why. Then I thought back at what I had to drink today and realized I was on a severe caffiene overload and probably dehydrated on top of that. I brought a Sugar free rock star to drink this morning but when I got to work Tennesse asked if I wanted something from Starbucks, well heck yes I did. So he gave me some money and I escaped work for a few, went to Starbucks and ordered a Venti (thats the big one that already has 3 shots of espresso in it) skinny iced vanilla latte. While I was witing for my order the guy asked if I wanted an extra shot for free, again heck yes I did. I enjoyed my latte and then went ahead and finished my rock star, which brings me to 460 mg of caffeine for the day. Then I ordered a large iced tea for lunch which is approximately another 100 mgs of caffiene. So in total I have had around 600 mgs of caffiene and no water (I am usually much better at drinking water too).

So that explains to panic attack I feel like I am having. I am not even going to the gym today because Thursday is usually my rest day so I won't be burning any of this off.

I feel like a crazy person.
I think eharmony needs more diverse "Closed Match" messages or they should let you send short answer closed messages of your own. The "Closed Message" is what you send when you aren't interested and they let you pick things like "I think the physical distance is too great", "I am persuing anoother relationship", "I think our backrounds are too different" yada yada.
Sometimes those options just don't do it for me and I feel like I need more options. For example they don't have an option that reads, "Because you use too much hair gel" or "Beacuse you posted a picture of yourself posing without your shirt on and you definitely greased yourself up for it" or simply "You look like a complete douche bag". I think these might be a little more helpful because it gives some concrete feedback.
As of right now, if the guy looks like a nice guy but I am just not attracted I send the "I am persuing anoother relationship" because it is the nicest closed message to get. Much better than "Other". I get annoyed when a guy who looks like a total douche sends me that message. I want to reply "Really? Because you never even had a chance".
Matches thus far on eharmony = 0
Months Left Until My Subscription Expires = 2
Centerpoint now has a tanning bed. It appears they got rid of the massage room and it is now a tanning room. I know that there are many gyms that have this but I still find it strange that a place that promotes physical health has something that is so bad for your health. Even so I still sort of want to use it (see picture of my pasty legs in the post below)but I would feel way to ashamed to use one there. At least at a tanning salon you know no one there will judge you. But I will stick to my spray tan, I know it isn't worth it in the long run, especially for someone fair and freckled like me.
The other issue I have is why would Centerpoint spend money on a tanning bed when they have had a leaky roof for years that needs to be fixed. I think that money would be better spent going towards fixing a few of those holes so when it rains the machines don't get wet and rust. During the last storm I was doing squats on the smith machine with water dripping on me the entire time. Plus it is just ghetto when you walk in the weight room and there are buckets catching water everywhere.

I do realize a roof is more expensive than a tanning bed, but I am doubtful they are going to make much money by having that. I could be wrong though, that gym has been there awhile and they havent gone out of business yet so they must have some sort of clue of what they are doing. I just found it to be an odd business decision.

Wednesday, March 18

I Think We All Knew She Was a Whack Job...

That is anyone who watched the last season of Project Runway. According to TMZ Kenley Collins, the whiney, whiney contestant with the retro style (did I mention she was whiney?)is behind bars right now for attacking her sleeping ex-fiance with anything she could get her hands on -- including a cat, a laptop, several apples and water. And if in real life she is anything like she was on the show, she will blame someone else for this incident (watch out Tim Gunn!) and take zero responsiblity. She's had a rough life! (I totally loved her Steve McQueen dress though, even if it was a rip off)

Today, I am a human highlighter

Spring weather is finally upon us! I love the warmth in the air and I also love that I can start wearing dresses comfortably again. One of the many gripes I have about winter is that figuring out what to wear is so much more difficult. When the weather is warm I pick a dress, throw on some heels and I am good to go.
Today, I am stepping somewhat outside of my comfort zone and I am sporting a bright pink dress. I don't really like the color pink because I don't really like to be seen as a girly girl and pink is the ultimate girly color. I bought this dress from Kmart of all places for a measely 22 bucks and was psyched about the deal. When I put it on today I realized just how bright it was and I felt like a ginormous highlighter. I didn't realize just how accurate that was until I put an actual highlighter up to my dress and saw that it was the exact same color:

I do love the dress though and I am trying to embrace my inner girly girl side by wearing it. It certainly brightens the room at the very least.
That picture reminds me that I need to start spray tanning again too.


Don't forget, NCCAA Tournament Brackets need to get to me either via email or left at my place by tomorrow morning. Spread the word, the more people we get in ths pool the more money one of us will win!

Tuesday, March 17

This weekend I was at Venice Beach and saw a peddler selling Obama merchandise. He had just about everything from blankets to coffee mugs with the depiciton of Obama and his slogan "yes we can" plastered everywhere on the various items. As odd as some of those products were, I have found some even stranger items thanks to gigglesugar and their slideshow of Crazy Obama Products.

I am not sure which I find the most odd, the Obama dildo(in democratic blue of course), the Obama thong , Germany's Obama fingers or the nude Obama on an Unicorn painting.

Even though Obama's approval rate as slightly declined, there is apparantly still a market for this bizzare and inapropriate crap. It begs the question, what the hell is wrong with people? He is the President, not a sex toy or a bar snack - well maybe to Michelle he is but not the general population (sex toy not bar snack). The nude Obama on a Unicorn though cracks me up, that is so ridiculous.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Do you not tan well? Are you the spawn of speckled sperm? If so, you might be Irish! They say everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, but I actually do have a wee bit of Irish blood in me. However I also hate beer and I am not a meat (or corned beef, yuck) and potatoes kinda gal so the real Irish would probably be ashamed of me.

That being said, I also find the Irish stereotype quite humorous, so in the spirit of the Holiday, here is a musical number from Family Guy from the episode "Peters Two Dads". I looked everywhere for the full clip of this song, but could only find these compilations of different clips because of copyright issues I suppose. Anyway the lyrics are below, please to enjoy!

Peter: Oh, he doesn't smell like Irish Spring,
And he never taught me anything,
But still I slap my chest and sing -
Of My Drunken Irish Dad.
Oh, his face looks like a railroad map,
And he never shuts his freakin' trap...

Mickey: But all the ladies catch the clap
From your Drunken Irish Dad.

Peter: Ask a Hennessey, Tennessey, Morrison,
Shaughnessy, Reardon, and Rooney...
They'll tell you the same
McNulty, Mulrooney, and Connor and Clooney,
All feel the same mixture of pride and of

Mickey: Finnegan, Hannigan, Kelly, and Flanagan.
Look to the ground while their dad passes by
Cafferty, Rafferty, Joyce and O'Lafferty,
Fight for his honor and then start to cry!

(People in the bar dance and brawl while others play the fiddle, flute, and accordian.)

Both: Oh, we Irish lads are all infirm,
And our moods infect us like a germ
'Cause we're all the spawn of a pickled sperm...

Mickey: (Spoken) And we don't tan well either.

All: ...From a Drunken Irish Dad!!

Monday, March 16

St. Patrick's Day is On Its Way

With St. Patrick's day being tomorrow, two things have come to my mind. First, I need to make sure that I pick up a good pair of ear plugs before tomorrow night so I can sleep and second, just exactly how many calories are in those Irish beverages we all love to consume?

The answer to the second question turns out to be not so bad for me since I am not a beer drinker and Jamison would be my whiskey of choice:

Draft pint of Guinness Stout = 210 calories
12-ounce serving of Harp Lager = 142 calories
Two-ounce shot of Jameson Whiskey = 138 calories

Ahh Whiskey, you never let me down.

Although I probably won't be drinking any of these beverages tomorrow night (it is a school night afterall) I thought this might be helpful to others and it is also good to know for future reference.

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

The tournament bracket for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament was announced yesterday which means it is time to do your research and pick your winners. I need your bracket by the start of the first round on Thursday, March 19th and if we could all use the same bracket, that would be helpful for me, so please use this one.

Email me your bracket and there is a $10 buy-in you can give me whenever you see me next. We are going to determine the winner by most wins and the loser will be determined by he most loses.

If you know of anyone who would want to participate let them know, the more money in the pot the better! The final game on April 6th will be watched at Hero's downtown for those who want to attend.

*Note: I updated the link to the bracket with a bracket that has the records of the teams so make sure you are using the "Maddux Sports 2009 Printable NCAA Tournament Bracket". Also, the play in game for the 16 seed in the the Midwest pool will not be counted.

Thursday, March 12

Glow in the Dark Tattoos...

Some of us were discussing the existence of glow in the dark tattoos last weekend and although I was reulctant to believe that they exist, indeed they do. According to Wikipedia:

UV tattoos or blacklight tattoos are tattoos made with a special ink that is only visible under a blacklight. UV tattoo ink is not commonly known or used, as very few varieties of UV inks are approved for use in the US. It is also many times more expensive than regular tattoo inks. Some people have had reactions to ingredients in the ink, ranging from minor itching to dermatitis. Several UV inks are suspected carcinogens and allergens and at this time, no research has been conducted into the possible side effects of long term exposure. Some UV inks are known to yellow or turn slightly brown with sun exposure.UV inking takes a little bit longer than normal, due to UV inks being a little thinner and harder to work with, and because the tattoo must be wiped and checked under a blacklight frequently during application.

Personally I prefer regular ink, but if you are looking for something to impress people at the next rave you go to, you might just want to consider it.

Oh Online Dating

I don't recall clicking on being interested in this particular type of man when I filled out my profile but at least half of the matches that I get are 5'4" asian men. I admit that as a race I am not usually very attracted to asian men, probably because they tend to be a little shorter and I am 5'6" and wear 4 inch heels. Maybe that makes me shallow but I am attracted to a taller man.

There are very few matches that I am interested in, but maybe I need to give people more of a chance. I just find being physically attracted to someone important. I have never met someone that I didn't find attractive initially turn into someone I was attracted to because of their personality. I like those people yes, I am just not romantically interested in them.

As of right now there is one person that I am communicating with and he lives on the coast which is problematic. Ideally I don't want to become involved with someone in a long distance relationship. I have done that in the past and it's not terrible but it is definitely inconvenient and if things work out then there is the whole problem of one of us having to uproot our life and move. So I won't rule it out, if I connect with someone I am not going to ignore it because of that reason, but I really would rather find someone locally.

And the search continues...

Long Post Adressing My "Obsession" with Working Out

*Note: This post was spurred by a conversation I had with someone yesterday, but I have had to address this at other times with other people as well so I am setting the record straight

I have been accused more than once about being obsessed with working out. I am not going to argue with that assessment as I understand why people would think that since I do go to the gym 6 days a week and the only reason I don't do 7 days is because it isn't good for your body (otherwise I would because I literally have to force myself to take that day off). The misconception that I want to address however are the reasons that I exercise.

Obviously one of the reasons that I exercise is vanity. Yes, I want to look good and feel good about how I look and I want my clothes to fit well. Shopping is a whole hell of a lot easier when you are in good shape and we all know I love to shop. The catalyst for me working out a long time ago was definitely vanity. I wanted to look good. Since then however, I have developed many other reasons for working out that have become just as motivating for me as wanting to look good.

First, exercise for me is the best anti-depressant there is. When I was living in Austin I went through a period of time where I felt very depressed to the point where I realized I had to do something about it because I was miserable. I considered going on an anti depressant drug but after looking into that I didn't want the side effects that come with using anti depressants and I really didn't want to be medicated. So instead I decided I would train for a marathon. I thought having a goal like that to accomplish would keep me focused and the exercise endorphins themselves would also help. I started running before and after work and for 3 months was a running machine. When I finally ran it and finished, it was one of the happiest moments of my life. Anytime I feel depressed or antsy or stressed out, exercising helps alleviate those negative emotions for me 100% of the time. They don't go away completely but they somehow seem more managageable and I always feel better after a workout.

Second, exercise is a passion for me. Much like people paint or get involved in politics or hell even civil war reanactments, I love to exercise. For a lot of people exercise feels like a punishment that they have to force themselves to do because of health reasons or because they don't want to get fat. They find the act of exercise uncomfortbale and exhausting and just hate to do it. Because of that mindset they sometimes assume that I am also forcing myself because exercise could not possibly be enjoyable and thus I am obsessed with not getting fat. That is incredibly inaccurate.

I find the science and biology behind exercise absolutely fascinating. It is amazing to me that you can change and shape your body in any number of ways and how particular movements and amount of weights can achieve this. There are so many ways to exercise and numerous debates over things like bench presses versus dumbbell presses, the amount of reps you should do, what parts of the body should be worked and how often, the amount of weight you should use to get the best results, how frequently you should change your workout, cardio versus weight training versus yoga or pilates, etc. etc. Exercise is one of those things that you can read about and study and then you can physically see the results of all of these ideas and philosohpies on your own body. I am my own science experiment.

Additionally, exercise not only trains your body but it also trains your mind. When people are new to exercise they often have trouble telling the difference between good pain and injury pain. When their muscles start to burn their brains think there is something wrong and tell their body to stop. It is difficult for them to push through that pain at first because they are not accustomed to feeling it. Once your brain starts telling the difference between good pain and bad pain though it allows the body to push further and make gains. It absolutely burns and is "painful" when I lift, but my brain knows that that pain means I am making strength gains so it helps me to push through it. If my quads don't burn when I am doing leg extensions then I do not have enough weight on the machine. Your brain is trained at the same time your body is trained and I like to think that that also helps away from the gym and teaches me discipline in other parts of my life.

Finally, I love a challenge. I love working hard and seeing the results of that work. I have always been a very physical person and like to do things that require me to use my body as opposed to using just my mind. I love pushing myself to see if I can do just 1 more rep or if I can go up 5 pounds on a particular lift. It is incredibly satisfying to see muscle growth and to know that my hard work caused that to happen. Overtime, you start to push yourself in ways that you never expected to and you are able to do things you never knew if you could do.

Because of genetics and my body type, my upper body has always been considerably weaker than my lower body. I always felt disporportiante and when I looked in the mirror and I used to think that was just how I was and there was really nothing I can do about it. I didn't neglect that area however, I basically just didn't have high hopes of achieving much success. Overtime though I began to notice a little more definition and then I noticed a little more bulk and even though I still want to improve that area, I have acheieved strength gains there I didnt expect and feel a lot more porportinate now. I am not bringing this up to brag, just to point out that the act of challenging yourself in any area of life, can help you acheive things you didn't really think were possible and opens your eyes to possibilities you may not have seen before.

For all of those reasons, I am "obsessed" with working out. Sometimes I feel it is a no win situation for me. A few years ago when I was running a lot and not weight training as much everyone thought I was too skinny and looked unhealthy. I do the work to gain muscle and look and be more healthy and now I am obsessed. I know that my eating and exercise habits although more extreme than most but they are healthy and I feel good about how I look. If you still want to label me as a nut job then ok, thats fine. I just don't want the incorrect assumption that I am torturing myself just so I can fit into a size 2 to go unaddressed. The person I had that conversation with that caused me to write this doesn't read my blog but I feel a lot better just getting it off my chest.

Wednesday, March 11

I Need This!

I have an emormous love of Mexican food. In the summer I probably make tacos or burritos at least a couple of times a week and I could easily eat fresh salsa on a daily basis. One of my favorite ingredients in any mexican dish is avacado, which I also love to put on sandwiches in lieu of mayo.

Unfortunately my relationship with avacados is love/hate. Living alone it is hard to eat an entire avacado and I usually only eat just half of it. Anyone who has ever dealt with avacados knows how quickly they get brown and gross though so I usually end up throwing out the other half. Until now.

Allow me to introduce you to the Avo Saver:

It reduces a cut avocado's exposure to air, greatly slowing the destructive oxidization process saving money, time and aggravation.

I am so getting this.

March Madness!

The big tournament is quickly approaching which begs the question, who is in for the pool this year? As always there will be a small buy in (suggestions as to how much the buy in should be?) and there will again be the prize for the biggest loser. Last year we awarded the winner by the most overall wins but if there is another way people would like to do it, just let me know.

The bracket selection takes place on Sunday, March 15th and the opening round game is on March 17th, so I would need your brackets by then.

The Final Four takes place on April 4th and 6th also so if anyone wants to host a viewing party, that would be super!

Leave your feedback and express your interest in the comments please:)
The Good News: The time changed so it is still light out at 7! I just feel so much more productive and happy when there is daylight later into the day, I love the sun.

The Bad News: It is still butt ass cold at night. What is that about anyway? I do not enjoy being cold and I am dying for some warmer weather. I get it, colder weather helps you appreciate the warmer weather more blah blah, just warm up already.

That is all for now. Carry on.

Tuesday, March 10

Interval Training Re-visited

So a couple of weeks ago I posted on the benefits of doing cardio intervals as opposed to the steady burn long cardio workouts. Basically I am just pating myself on the back here (which I can do quite well now that I have been stretching again)but one of my favorite fitness blogs had a post about that very same thing:

Here’s the details of the study: Researchers had three groups of overweight women ages 18-30. One group exercised for 40 minutes at 60 percent of peak oxygen uptake (yeah yeah, it’s all V02, but if that means nothing to you it’s probably good enough to know they were exercising at a steady but not super-super easy state and built up to 40 minute sessions.) The second group did 8 seconds of high intensity work followed by 12 seconds of relative rest for 20 minutes. These two groups worked out on spin bikes for 15 weeks. The third group was the control, a.k.a. the “feel free to just sit on your ass” group. No dietary changes were made for any group

And the results of the study are, you guessed it, the high-intensity group was the only group that showed significant reductions in fat mass, total body mass, belly fat and fasting insulin levels. The very best part though is that this can be accomplished in 20 minutes as opposed to 40 or more. So next time you think you don't have the time to get a good workout in, your excuse is no longer valid. Get your ass in the gym or outside and up your intensity level for a measely 20 minutes. That isn't even the lenght of time it would take to watch an episode of The Soup!

I did an interval workout last night on the stair stepper (which I secretly love now, somethng very retro and also really difficult about that machine) and even though I only stayed on for 30 minutes I was drenched in sweat, more so then when I ride the bike steady for twice as long, and I like to think my ass and quads are a little tighter. There is something about being completely exhausted and dripping with sweat after a workout that is incredibly satisfying. I can think of other times that outcome is also very satisfying but I am on a hiatus from that so I will just focus on interval training for now:)

English Fail

A very sweet hispanic woman gave this to me outside of my apartment the other day. I didn't look closely at it until just now. To be fair it doesn't say speak english and spanish well. She appearantly does a great job though, my neighbor reccomended her so if you need someone to clean your place, give her a call.

Free Credit Report.Com Sucks

I have always loathed their commercials but they must be effective because when I wanted to check my credit, that is the first and only source that I could think of to use. They do give you your credit report for free but not very suprisingly charge you 14.95 a month to monitor your credit for you if you haven't cancelled your membership within 9 days. Our internet was down all day at work yesterday so I didn't get around to trying to cancel it until today. After searching fruitlessly for 5 minutes for the place you could cancel your membership online, I gave up and called them. I was then put on hold and oddly the music they had playing was the wedding march. Weird. Anyway I finally get someone on the phone and it is about another 10 minute ordeal of answering questions and then (3) different shpeals on why I shouldn't cancel, how I could get a discounted service instead and only pay 4.95 and the new services they are offering.

I try to never get mad at the people on the phone because I know they are just reading the script they are given and they are just doing their jobs, but my god is it annoying. The fact that you can't even cancel your membership online is BS because it so obviously is done that way in hopes that people will postpone cancelling because it is a hassle and then forget and incur the cost.

In the end I got it cancelled though and my credit is good so alls well that ends well I suppose.

Thursday, March 5

My Personal Trainer is Fat?

A Personal Trainer in Austraila is purposely gaining weight in order to better understand what his overweight clients go through in their quest to lose weight and get fit. The 32-year-old former underwear model has ballooned from about 180 pounds to 233 since last month. He has given himself until the end of March to get to his goal of 265 pounds, a weight he intends to keep for a few months. Once there he will start training to take the weight off, most likely sometime in July, and plans to take a few of his clients with him so they can lose the weight together.

What prompted this rather drastic action was his inability to understand why some of his clients skip classes and have such a hard time getting to the gym. He figured that in order to better understand where they were coming from he would become them. So after loading up on doughnuts, fried chocolate bars, pizza, and pasta with creamy sauces his clothes no longer fit, he is noticebly fatter, his blood pressure has risen slightly and he reports being more lethargic and having a hard time motivating himself to do anything.

He is also getting a lot of criticism saying that what he is doing is dangerous and that he is merely seeking attention. I am not convinced about how dangerous this really is. Obviously your body will go through negative health consequences but it is so short term that there is nothing that couldn't be reversed and he has no risk of becoming diabetic over that length of time. Perhaps he is seeking attention but I also think you can't really understand where another person is coming from unless you walk in their shoes, even if it is for just a little while.

Personal trainers should be role models for their clients but I feel there is insight to be gained by understanding how life is different in the skin of someone who is overweight. It is easy to tell clients to exercise but if you have 60 pounds of fat on you, exercise isn't as easy as it would be if you didn't have that excess weight. I also think that people respond better to someone who they feel understands them. There can be a major disconnect between people who have been fit and healthy their whole lives and those who have developed unhealthy habits over time. It may not be the eaxct same situation (obviously it doesn't address the emotional reasons people overeat etc)but knowing that the person who is telling you to do 10 more pushups has been there may be helpful or at the very least give them one less excuse.

I admire his dedication, I don't think I would ever be willing to gain 85 pounds just to see what it is like. I wish he had a blog, it would be interesting to hear how his weight loss goes and what insights he may gain from going through this.

Been Sick

So I haven't posted in a week because I had a head cold/allergies simultaneously and have felt like shit so I have been sleeping, a lot. Fortunately they have also been doing construction on the apartment downstairs and with the paper thin walls have felt like I was trying to sleep in the middle of the job site. Thank god for sleeping pills. I am feeling a lot better though and now it is just allergies which I can deal with.

So just to let you all know that I am still alive, I give you dog sleepwalking: