Wednesday, September 30

Oh Happy Lunch

I was feeling a bit grumpy, stressed and otherwise crabby this morning. I could blame this on pms or Mike being gone for a week for work or my increasingly loathing for my job or my mom telling me that my attitude is what is making the copier malfucntion (not kidding, she really did), but in any case I was not a happy camper. So at lunch I decided to get my gym clothes on and head out the door for a run.

I started at Clovis and Ashlan and ran to Clovis and Barstow and back on the trail. The weather is beautiful today and getting away from sitting on my ass at the office was glorious (see Adam I am quite jealous of your active job). Plus exercise always puts me in a great mood and as I have repeated over and over, it is, at least for me, the most effective antidepressent. I feel soooo much better now. I have more energy, I feel more awake and generally I feel happier. And with the weather cooling off a bit I can probably do this more often, cheers to that!

Ewww. ick. gross. puke. gag

Yesterday at the gym I was sweating up a storm and when I went to wipe my face I noticed something on my towel I hadn't noticed when I was using it earlier, a short curly black hair. Oh god please let it be from someones head! Oh and the towel wasn't one I brought from home, I get my towels at the gym, although I am now rethinking that practice...

Tuesday, September 29

The National Parks

All this week a new six-episode documentary series called The National Parks: America's Best Idea is airing on PBS. According to the website, "it was filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature's most spectacular locales – from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, the Everglades of Florida to the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska - The National Parks: America's Best Idea is nonetheless a story of people: people from every conceivable background – rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs; people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy."

I have watched the first two parts and have found it fascinating. Instead of focusing only on the beauty of the parks, it really educates you on how National Parks came about and the players and politics involved in their creation. We have really come a long way as a country to change our attitudes from wanting to conquer nature and the natural enviornment to wanting to perserve it. If it weren't for some very passionate individuals a lot of what we have today would have been lost.

If you have any interest in National Parks and the natural world I highly reccomend checking this out. There are four more parts yet to air and you can watch the first two online.

Monday, September 28

I forgot to pack a pre gym snack today which bummed me out. I always eat something before I workout so I have energy and I knew today was going to be a hard workout because I am doing legs and cardio and if I didnt eat something I would be starving and lethargic. Plus I would be so hungry when I was done I would probably rush home and shove whatever was within hands reach down my throat until I was so full I couldn't move thus negating all of the work I had just done.

So anyway I was in a bit of a piss about it until I went to get the mail and found this waiting for me:

Yes! It was the free sample I forgot I signed up for online about a month ago. It is banana nut ceral with whole grain flakes, banana chips, rolled oats, oat clusters, dried apples and walnuts. Thank you Bare Naked, you made me day! I just love it when things work out:)

Weekend Recap

We got a bit of a late start with the wallpaper removal on Saturday, but after about 4 hours of work we took everything off without much trouble. It was a great deal easier than I expected and I actually think I prefer removing wallpaper to painting. I suppose I wouldnt think that if I had trouble with it though.

We started out with a trip to Lowes and came back with scorers, scrappers and spray gel wallpaper remover. This is what it looked like before we started:

The first step was to score the wallpaper so the little holes that were made would suck up and absorb the remover into the wallpaper and it would come off easier. The remover was to stay on for 15 minutes before you started pulling the wallpaper off, but we quickly found out that you didn't need anything at all but it came off dry very easily. So I started on that and I worked ahead getting it off of the dining room and kitchen while Mike and his Dad started scraping the back of the wallpaper, or whatever that layer was between the wallpaper and the wall, off.

I took over the scraping from Mike's Dad when I was done and started scraping my little heart away. I was really suprised how easy it came off. It mostly came off in big strips and there weren't a lot of remnants left. This is what it looked like once it was all scraped off:

I got the rest of that crap off with a wet sponge but I didnt take a picture of it, but that's the gist. Now I just need to patch that hole where the phone jack was and prime and paint. Progress has been made.

This weekend I also discovered that my succulents had started blooming! I love that you never know what is going to happen with those and when so you always have to be observant or you might miss something. One of my succulent groups I planted a couple of months ago that looked like this:

has grown a lot and now looks like this, with a pretty little white flower:

Here is another blooming succ:

They are growing so fast right now!

Finally, I visited Annie and her babies Reagan and the brand new one Kiera on Sunday. Reagan is always adorable and full of energy and life so it was hard to get her to stand still. This was a rare moment captured on film:

And her little sister who is two weeks old today, Kiera (she was not hard to get to stay still):

She is so little and hasn't done anything but sleep when I have seen her (apparantly babies do a lot of that, lazy little bastards) but she has probably gained about 2 pounds already so she is growing fast. I can't wait to see her personality develop like her sisters.

That is all. Happy Monday!

Friday, September 25

Big Weekend of Home Improvements

After far too much procrastination, I am finally tackling some more projects around the house this weekendwith the help of Mike and his dad. I had been paralyzed with fear over the wallpaper removal and it taunts me everytime I walk into the kitchen and the bathroom and I can't take it anymore. Everyone has given me their 2 cents on what to do and what to use to get the wallpaper off but I have decided to score it, use whatever spray product to remove the adhesive and scrape. I am not sure what condition that will leave the walls in but I will soon out.

I have also finally decided on a color scheme for the guest bathroom and the kitchen/dinning room. I found this picture of a bathroom that is similar to mine, the toilet and the tub are the exact same color, and I like the paint color they chose:

I like that the yellow isn't too bright and I think that color scheme looks modern. The flooring isn't going to change yet, it is white linoluem with little gray/blue diamonds, but it should all go together until I can afford to get that done.

The kitchen has been difficult for me to figure out but I think I have it finally got it. I will definitely be removing the nautical wallpaper and I am also going to paint the cabinets a greenish color similar to the color on these cabinets:

I don't want to do anything too dark in the kitchen, but the counters are a cream tile with dark brown grout so I couldnt do white. I also love bright happy colors and I think this qualifies. The paint in both the kitchen and the living room is going to be a neutral, light khaki color. That way I can add punches of color for decoration and I like how khaki and green go together. Of course I will also be changing out the hardware, not sure with what yet though.

I am bound a and determined to get this all done before my sisters baby shower that I am hosting at the end of the October. I can't wait to walk into my house through my garage and not be greeted by nautical wallpaper, it is just so not me. It will feel even more like mine when I get this done, which is something I struggle with to this day. It doesn't completely feel like mine yet and I know that wallpaper has a lot to do with it. Wallpaper be damned, I am going to scrape the life out of you!

Also before and after and progress pictures will be taken, stay tuned.

Thursday, September 24

Sex Degrees of Separation Calculator

According to Lloyds Pharmacy's Sex Degrees of Separation Calculator I have had 7,164,299 sexual partners. I can't wait to tell mom and dad!

Being in this office kills me sometimes

I generally feel quite isolated at work but this is especially true when it comes to the difference in my sense of humor and everyone elses. Case in point, my mom gets an email today from some random person saying that she won money and that she just needs to fill out her bank account info and yada yada to claim her money. I think most people (at least those under the age of 45) ignore these emails or don't even open them in the first place. My mom on the other hand prints the email out and shows it to everyone. She walks into my office and goes, "look at this email, can you believe someone would send this??". Susan composes a my address is none of your business which makes them both roar with laughter and they save it for my dad to read when he gets back from his meeting.

Yet when I am making copies and the copier keeps getting jammed and I say, I am just going to have to put em on the glass then, no one even realizes I am making a joke.


Tuesday, September 22

Yummy Breakfast Casserole

I got this recipe from my sister and made it last night and it was a definite keeper so I thought I would post it and share it with all of you. The beauty of the recipe is that if you keep the basic ingredients, you can make it completely to your liking or change it up everytime you make it. Plus if you make it for dinner you will have breakast all ready to go in the morning.

Breakfast Casserole

1 cup fat free or skim milk
1 small container egg beaters (southwestern flavor if desired)
4 whole eggs
4 cups thawed hashbrowns (or amount desired)
1 yellow onion (if desired)
1 red or green pepper (if desired)
2 cups cheese (or amount desired)
meat if desired (I used one half of a soy chorizo sausage. Also good is bacon, ham, turkey sausage etc. or no meat at all)
veggies (if desired)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all of the wet ingredients together in a bowl. Saute meat and onion, set aside. Cut up veggies desired and saute. Combine all the ingredients in a 9 x 13 pan, cook for 35 minutes at 350.

My sister put bacon in hers and she said it was very good. I also think ham would be good with veggies, I might try that one next week. You can put in whatever your little heart desires.

I love eggs for breakfast but it is hard to wake up early enough to make a good egg breakfast on a work day so this works well because I can make it the night before and it will last a few days so I can just cut off a square and pop it in the microwave.

I also made a really good banana date smoothie last night to go with it. It was inspired by the banana date smoothie at Bob's Coffee Shop in Shaver. They used cashew milk and a hint of vanilla but I didn't want to look for cashew milk so I just used soy milk and it turned out pretty good:

Banana Date Smoothie

1 cup light vanilla soy milk
about 5 pitted dates, chopped
1 small ripe or overly ripe banana or a frozen banana
4-5 ice cubes
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (if desired)

Throw it in a blender, blend and there ya go. Easy, simple and good.

And by the way, Bob's Coffee Shop also makes an excellent pumpkin spice latte that blew Starbucks version out of the water. They have a rather large selection of good teas. I got an iced blueberry green tea that was delightful, so hit that place up next time you are in Shaver. It is behind Bobs Market in town.

Please to enjoy!

Monday, September 21

Shaver Trip Recap

Mike and I headed up to Shaver this weekend for a little R&R and to get some hiking in and we had a great time. We got there Friday and headed to Sunset Rock for the sunset, but the trees were a little bit in the way but we made do:

The gnats were in full force and if we set our wine down for more than 15 seconds we were greeted with a bunch of gnat lushes swimming in our cups:

The next day we got a bit of a late start because we made a breakfast of eggs and soy chorizo. And yes I said soy, it is fantastic and you should all try it. I promise you you won't miss the meat and your stomach will feel a lot better the rest of the day. We made it to the trail head around 11ish and started out on our hike to the top of Bald Mountain:

It is a beautiful hike, a lot of granite and is approximately 6 miles in length round trip. The first part of the hike is a very steep incline but the trail meets up with a 4 wheel road where we encountered a few people. It was also the start of deer hunting season so every once in awhile we would hear a gunshot, which I thought was a bit unnerving until we hiked past a group of 4 guys shooting various firearms at the targets at the same time and I felt like I was in a war zone and THAT was actually slightly more unnerving.

At the top of Bald Mountain is an old Fire Watch Tower, so you are pretty high up there and there are some great views:

This is the Fire Tower and pictures taken from on top of that:

We had lunch on top of the mountain and then headed back. The weather was perfect and there was light cloud cover so it never got brutally hot. On the way back we saw this tree stump that was really cool looking so we took a pic:

It wasn't an extremely difficult hike but it wasn't terribly easy either and there was a great view from the top.

That night we went to Sunset Rock (across from Indian Rock for those who have been to the cabin), which lived up to it's name and provided a much clearer view of the sunset.

And the obligatory cheesy self portrait:

The next day we did a little nature walk to Rancheria Falls:

Not very streneous but it was good to stretch the legs.

It was a great weekend. I wish I could do it again next weekend:)

Wednesday, September 16

From out of shape to fit, a time lapse

Ed has posted some time lapse videos before that I have liked so when I came across this one, I decided to post one myself. It is of a guy who took a picture of himself everyday for a year as he tranforms his body with diet and exercise. It is pretty cool to see his body change in this format as opposed to the standard before and after pics. It is quite the tranformation.
EMBED-365 Days Of Exercise - Watch more free videos

The Biggest Loser

I watched The Biggest Loser last night for the first time and I have mixed feelings about the show. I really didn't know anything about how the show was structured before watching it and was under the impression that they are in teams that compete against each other to lose the most amount of weight. For the most part that is true but what I didn't know was how much of a game it was and that a contestant gets voted off each show and that is what I had a problem with. I understand that ratings is something that all tv shows most contend with and making it more of a game will make it more dramatic hence make it more fun for people to watch, but a show where very obese people are basically fighting for their lives makes me uncomfortable with that mentality.

For people who are in such an unhealthy state, and we are talking over 50% body fat for some of them, they really need help and to send one of them home after 1 week seems a bit cruel. I can see how this might be a motivating factor for some people to work harder so they don't get kicked off but when you are that overweight motivation is obviously something you lack and it is hard to just turn that switch in your mind so quickly. Spending more time in an enviornment that will foster discipline and teach the contestants how to exercise, how to each and how to work hard will be a great benefit instead of sending them hom to fend for themselves. There is however a caveat that if at the end of the season they come back and have lost the most weight they get a sizeable amount of money so that is what is supposed to help keep them motivated. I like that they do this but I still think they could still do this show with competition without kicking anyone off.

Also the way they kick someone off is a bit strange. The teams consist of two people and if their combined amount of weight lost is the least amount, then one of them goes home as is voted by the other contestants. So the two contestants give a speech about why they should stay and they vote. The way they voted (last night at least) however was by sending the person home who seemed to be the most motivated because they had a better chance of going home and continuing to lose weight. Uhh ok so the person who wants to be there the most and is working their ass off is sent packing so the less motivated person who is may not be working as hard gets to stay?

I have a lot of respect for the contestants though because they work their asses off and it cannot be easy for them to engage in such a high degree of intense exercise at their weight. If you put someone who is in great shape in a 200 pound body suit and ask them to do their normal workout they are going to have a hard time and basically thats what they are doing. I also loooove the trainers, especially Jillian Anderson, she is such a potty mouthed bitch, it is fanfuckintastic. I have one of her books and she seems a lot nicer in it then she is on tv! She gets in their faces and drops the F-bomb every other word. They are both really intense. I love that the trainers don't pity them or baby them but can actually be pretty mean. The contestants need someone to tell them like it is and give them a wake up call.

I will definitely keep watching the show. I find it utterly fascinating that a person can lose 19 pounds in one week! It is inspiring to see them start seeing themselves differently and believing in what they can do.

Tuesday, September 15


I have been trying to ignore my left back tire going flat for a little while, I put some air into it a week ago hoping it would magically fix it, but this morning it had enough and deflated. I was able to get it to the tire shop where I received the bad news, it had to be put down. Even worse, the other 3 had to be put down as well, they were quite worn. The tires held up pretty well for their age though but 700 bucks stings, a lot. Especially since the credit limit for my emergency credit card was dropped recently. Such is life.

I also got summons for jury duty today, fanfuckintastic. I don't have to go in until October 20th and hopefully I can avoid getting chosen to serve like last time. I will get my crazy face ready though, just in case.

In good news Mike and I are going to go up to Shaver this weekend. I can finally get that hike in I have been wanting to do since the beginning of the summer that I never got around to. I am not sure which one or ones we are doing, I am leaving that up to Mike, the expert hiker, but I am sure there will be pictures to post.

Monday, September 14

Booze Cruise!

On Saturday Mike and I participated in the first annual Booze Cruise. His boss organized the event and basically it was a bar hop on beach cruiser bikes around North Fresno. We started at his house near Willow and Herndon where quite a breakfast spread awaited us:

Two monkey breads, 3 egg caseroles, fruit, bagels (not pictured were mimosas, but they were definitely consumed) was a bit outta control but delicious. Here are all the bikes lined up and ready to go:

This wasn't actually all of the bikes, about 10 more people came at the last minute so I guesstimate a total of about 30 people (excuse the fingerprint smudge, I think some monkey bread got on the lense).
The show stopper bike was definitely this one with the ridiculously big ape hanger handlebars:

Then we rolled down the street in a big group, causing quite the spectacle and headed to Grog's.

We stayed at Grog's for about an hour, enough time to have a drink and watch the end of the Fresno State game (boo hiss). This was my favorite bar of the day, definitely the closest to being like Landmark, and we took over the place:
Before leaving Grogs we made a quick stop at Stevens Bicycle to fix some flat tires (a recurrng theme) and buy some bells and whistles for our rides.Then it was off to a bar called The Office:

The bartender was happy to see us as the bar went from completely empty to completely full rather quickly.

I had warm Guniess here (thats more authentic right?) and we stayed here for about 45 minutes before we went to one of the very generous participants houses for a lunch break and more beer. I dunno but I think Mike was having a good time:

Then it was off to The Red Zone.

This was a very small sports bar that I didn't even know existed but had views of tvs everyowhere you went (including the bathroom).

This is also where I was introduced to bubble gum vodka. This was surely invented for 19 year old sororiety girls but I have to admit, it was really good. It went well with sugar free red bull and even though I loathe vodka I couldnt taste the alcohol at all, good but scary combination.
Finally it was off to Aqua Shi, which opened just for us. It looked like a typical north fresno fancy shmancy bar but I thought that was pretty cool of them to open up for us for an hour.

Finally we ended up at another generous particupants house for swimming (well at least for those who were told to bring a swimsuit) and BBQ. I was a bit worn out by this point and once the girls in bikinis started taking shots while getting piggy back rides from guys, it was time for us to go. But Mike just didn't have enough to drink yet so he got this dainty little beer at I Love Sushi:

We started at around 11 and didn't get home until after 9 and the day was filled with booze, sun and bike riding and man was I was tired at the end of the day. I had a great time though and I think everyone else did as well. I was really impressed with how well organized it was so kudos to the organizers. I look forward to the next one.

Friday, September 11

I Want This

(Longboard not Hawaiian)Well in reality I would probably get one, use it a few times and then it would sit in my garage but I still think it is pretty rad. It is the land version of stand up paddling that uses a longboard and a big stick to motor yourself around:

See, cool people like Matthew McConaughey like them so they must be awesome. Right on, right on.

I have jumped on a skateboard a time or two and am generally find it hard to balance but you use a big stick (wonder how long it took for them to come up with that) which would help with balance and incorporate your upper body into the "exercise" - yes I am afraid as fun as this looks it is also excercise. They are also quite cute (well they aren't ALL cute, they have very manly ones as well):

I am not sure where I would cruise around with this thing but how much fun would that be? We could start a longboard/big stick gang since that bicycle gang thing never worked out.

You can order them from Kahuna Creations and prices for the boards range from $150 and above and sticks are about $80 and above. Check out the video below to see them in action. You have about 3 months to save up to buy me one for Christmas;)

Wednesday, September 9

Ya know, I don't think I would remember my lines if a naked Danny Divito climbed out of a couch and started grunting at me either...

Season 5 (shown here in this preview clip) of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia starts September 17th. I just got the first season from Netflix because I have watched this show somewhat sporadically in the past and want to start over from the beginning in case I missed anything.

Good thing someone had that christmas wreath...

Tuesday, September 8

Labor Day Weekend Recap

I finally got a chance to go to the coast this weekend! It the first time all year that I got to go to the beach and I had a great time. Mike, who none of you have yet to meet, seen here on the pier:
asked me to go with him on a quick trip to the coast. I didn't bring my camera so all of the great pictures of us trying on hats in an antique store and a beautiful sunset are unavailable at this time. He is quite a handsome devil though, if I do say so myself:)

We went stayed in Arroryo Grande but went to Pismo and had the world famous clam chowder (some say the best in the world even though they haven't tried all the clam chowder in the world) at Splash Cafe that was delicious. I had never had the sea food topping on it but Mike said it was good so I tried it and THAT is the way to eat clam chowder. We sat on the beach and ate our chowder and got sand in every crevice imaginable, which is what sand just seems to love doing. There were a ton of people in Pismo though and despite that I loved seeing all dogs of every kind, there were just a bit too many people there. The next day we went to Morro Bay though and that was much more low key and more up our alley.

We had a nice lunch on the pier watching the seals enjoying their lunch of fresh fish and then strolled through the town. My absolute favorite place we went to was the Garden Gallery which has the most impressive displays of succulents that I have ever seen. It was amazing, I wanted to bring them all home with me. Instead though I got this for my mom:

and also one for myself and for Mike. Seriously though I had to hold myself back and only bought one that I didn't have for my collection.

It was a quick trip but it was fanfuckintastic. Good food (a bit too much of it but these things happen), great weather and absolutely wonderful company. Good times:)

Friday, September 4

Free Workout Music

Podrunner offers non-stop, fixed tempo music for your running, walking, or cycling workouts - for free!

When I was in Spinning class this week I started to think about where spin instructors got their music since the workouts are typically organized around them. At the end of Wednesdays workout we did an interval workout called the train. When you heard the train in the song you would either stand up or sprint until the train went away so the music coincided with picking up the tempo, which I liked.

The site offers free workout playlists to help keep your pace constant, with ranges between 152 to 181 beats per minute. Podrunner also has mixes designed for interval training. You can download these music mixes online or through iTunes, and the MP3 files can be played on most digital music players. The playlists are all electronica, and the music is energetic and upbeat. I put some on my ipod and will try it out today at the gym.

Uhh, Seriously?

I look at Craigs List almost daily to see if I can find a good deal on a piece of furniture or something for the house and sometimes I am just dumbfounded by the prices people set for their items. For example, take a look at this lovely plaid chair that is in "excellent condition":

What would you think someone could get for this chair? I would say around $50. The seller has some much higher hopes however and is asking for $200, cash only. WTF? You can get a brand new chair that is not plaid OR pastel for less than that. I highly doubt they paid 200 for it when they bought it. And they are selling two of them, together ONLY. The stupid, it hurts.