Friday, March 30, 2007

Thursday 3.29.07

¾ of a banana
Tropical fruit smoothie with plain yogurt
Handful of Omega 3 Trail Mix
Green tea
Hot chocolate
Thai Chicken Salad
2 mini Snickers
1 box Animal Crackers (yes, the ones with partially hydrogenated oil)
small piece of going-away cake
Homemade chicken quesadilla with avocado

spin class
5 minute walk across studio lot

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wednesday 3.28.07

In honor of my slippery slope post, I decided I am going to post my daily intake and output (exercise). We'll see how long I can keep this up. It's looking like I'm leaning a little heavy on the sugar category. That's the bottom of the pyramid, right?

Tropical fruit smoothie
Chocolate croissant (mostly the chocolate)
2 tacos from Baja Fresh plus chips stolen from Brian
1 small Peppermint patty
2 Hershey kisses
1 cup hot chocolate
"Small" frozen yogurt that was the size of China. I threw out half.
5 spoonfuls of leftover Chinese food

unless organizing an office counts, none.

On the Move

Life is busy right now. Plain and simple. Okay, life is always busy. I’m moving. We decided to move into my fiancĂ©’s apartment. Not mine. Not the $2300 one next to the Venice (CA) canals or the $2100 one near Montana Avenue off of Ocean Avenue without a view of the ocean so that we’d both have to move. Nope, just me. I’m moving.

This means that I have to give notice on my apartment this week. Like tomorrow or yesterday or even today. I HAVE TO GIVE NOTICE. In the past, I liked to move. I never stayed in one place for long. It was exciting in a pain-in-the-ass-never-collect-too-much-stuff kind of way. But when I moved into this apartment, I said I was staying until I moved in with my husband. I never thought it would take three years to find him and piles of stuff. So here I am. Moving in with my-soon-to-be-husband. I’ve lived in this apartment for four years. I made it mine. I painted. I rearranged the furniture, thrown out furniture and bought furniture until it finally all worked well together. It’s my home. It’s my past. It’s my single girl pad. And it is packed full of crap.

All of it is familiar to me. The closet is packed to the top with clothes, beach towels, fabric for sewing things that I never sew but I might. I have a rack of a rainbow of thread that reminds me I was, and still am, a sewer. Where will this go in the new place? The cupboards are full of cooking things like my clay pot for brewing Chinese medicinal teas and my Christmas ornaments that I’ve never used in Los Angeles. I have boxes of yarn stashed under my bed next to big drawing pads from my drawing classes. Things I can’t live without, but I rarely use. Not too long ago, almost all of my stuff fit in my Jetta. Now? I need a mid-sized U-haul and a storage bin.

On top of sorting out the tangible stuff, I’m dealing with my feelings of letting go of my past. My apartment was my sanctuary from the craziness of LA. I won’t be able to curl up on the couch and watch bad reality television without defending why I watch it. I won’t be able to come home and inhale leftover Chinese while cackling on the phone with an old friend (okay, I can still do that). When my friends come to town now, they will stay with both of us. We won’t be able to stay up late talking up hair products and asshole guys. We’ll edit ourselves. I’m mourning the loss of my single self. The same one who moaned about being single.

Luckily, I’ll still be able to fart.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Think twice before shaking

I used to live in Boulder, Colorado. Recycling was a way of life. The idea of throwing out a can was akin to running over a small child. You just didn’t do it. Then I moved to California. I tried for a little while, but my building doesn’t have recycling. Recycling meant that I had to find room for bins in my small apartment, and then find time on Saturday between 8 and 12 to take my items to the recycling center. I never did it. Not once. I took some magazines to a recycling bin close by, but that’s it.

I quickly figured out that entrepreneurial (also usually homeless) people collected bottles to cash in for the deposit. That became my out. I was helping people who helped me save the planet. I felt a little better and ignored the rest.

That worked well until Al Gore released his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth, which I still haven’t seen. It opened people’s eyes and got the discussion going again. It is now cool to love the earth and eat organic. No longer do I feel okay throwing out my magazines and cardboard boxes that bring me inventory for the website. I am again looking at how I live my life, and rethinking that drive to the recycling center on Saturday.

Being “green” is the new cool. The web is teeming with great sites on how to live a more ecologically sound life. I’ve been combing sites looking at ideas to make our wedding more eco-savvy. My eBay dress is a fabulous step in that direction since I am recycling a huge piece of chemically treated fabric. We are using local flowers, and I asked our caterer to use as many local foods as she can. We’re using rented plates and dishes because they can be reused (and look so much better than plastic). We are doing pretty well in the big picture and I felt good about it all until I started reading more. There is always more to do to lessen the impact on the earth. Like not using toilet paper.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Slippery Slope

Tropical fruit smoothie made at home
Green tea
Handful (or 6) of Trader Joe’s Omega-3 Trail mix
Top of chocolate muffin (why waste the calories on the sucky bottom half?)
3 pieces of leftover BBQ chicken pizza (cold)
Hot chocolate
2,453 Hershey kisses
1 mojito
Skirt steak and fries

Yesterday’s list is pretty much how my life feels. It was very healthy, and then somehow, I’ve become a steak, pizza, fry-eating woman. WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN??? Is this why married people gain weight?

A year ago, prior to meeting my soon-to-be-husband, I worked out regularly (2-4 times a week) with a variety of exercises including but not limited to: spinning, hiking, yoga and running. Today, I went to spin class out of pure guilt for the first time in a month. Yoga? Please. My toes are somewhere south of Mexico and I am not reaching them from up here. A hike? That would entail getting in the car on the weekend to do something other than dress shop or go to a wedding, which seems like all we’ve been doing (two in March!).

I should also point out that two years ago, I regularly made myself lunch to take to work. It usually consisted of organic lettuce, organic beets, organic carrots, organic nuts, homemade salad dressing with organic olive oil. Sometimes I brought a cheese snack, which wasn’t organic. I know, crazy. I took pride in what I ate. Then, I realized, the company would pay for my lunch on the days I stayed in if I wasn’t so picky about organic. On the few days I don’t have to stay in, it is much more fun to meet friends for lunch out. So, I stopped making my lunch and started to eat salads and other healthy stuff out. When, exactly, did I switch from organic salad to BBQ chicken pizza??!

When I got home from dinner last night, my belly hurt with a greasy, heavy feeling. My heart-burn, stress-meter was on (pain in my throat), and did I mention my belly was bloated out to Palm Springs?

On top of the exercise and food, my hair hasn’t been cut in months, a grey streak is taunting me to get back on track, my eyebrows are untouched by wax since way before Christmas and we won’t even talk about my bikini area. On the plus side, I had a pedicure prior to one of the weddings in March, but my shoes smudged the polish. Needless to say, I haven’t fixed that.

This could be my future. I could turn into my nightmare of a lumpy, out-of-shape, out-of-style (I’ll discuss the wardrobe issue later) wife. At the rate I am going, I will be a lump of lard by our wedding in August and my fiance won't want to touch me. I’ve heard the stories of letting yourself go once you get a man, but really, this is ridicules. I don’t even have the real ring yet!

Today, I am turning it around. I went back to spinning. I ate salad for lunch. I’ve only had 4 Hershey kisses. I scheduled a haircut. I’m not going down without a fight! Or at least not without decent hair. I still have some standards. Low as they my be, they are mine.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Stupid NCAA

I'm screwed. Texas lost to USC, which is in the city I live in now. And of course, North Carolina is still hanging in there. When do all the top seeds actually advance?! There is always an upset! Of all the years for me to lose my loyalty.

Friday, March 16, 2007

A Betting Woman

It is that time of year again, kids. The one time a year I pay attention to the sports page. Fuck the Super Bowl. Screw the World Series. The Olympics are only every two years, and quite honestly are ruined by the lame commentary and plethora of commercials. The Tour de France is only on the Outdoor Life Network, and I don’t have cable. This brings me to my favorite sporting event: the NCAA Basketball Road to the Final Four. Yes, for years I have filled out a bracket with no clue as to who plays well.

Last year, after years of being screwed by my home state basketball players (how many times can the Blue Devils make me lose a pool??), I picked non-North Carolina teams to win. In one bracket, the one that ended up not counting, I chose the long-shot team of Florida to win. Who won? Florida! Naturally, in the bracket that actually counted, I don’t remember who I picked because they lost which means I lost.

So, game on! As of right now, I am doing decently. Luckily, I didn’t have the Blue Devils going very far since they already LOST!! My pick for the champions? University of Texas. Why? Because I want to move to Austin, or at least I think I want to move there. And everyone wants to live in a city of winners. We’ll see how they play this afternoon. Cross your fingers!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sleep in a Tube

I am not usually one who sings the praises of make-up. I wear it. I love buying it, but I am the most un-loyal cosmetic customer who ever lived. I pride myself in wearing small, label brands that no one has heard of and carrying lots of different brands. Currently, my make-up bag has such random brands as Sue Devitt (love her if you have never tried her stuff), Laura Mercier (everyone knows who she is now), Nars (orgasm blush because who doesn’t want to look like they just had an orgasm?), Lorac, the requisite Shu Uemura eye-lash curler, Sonia Kushak (yes, Target) and who knows what else. I will buy whatever the salesperson at Barney's or Fred Segal suggests (yes, make-up is all I can afford at those stores). I feel so special when I walk out with my little black bag. I hate that the bag makes me feel good, but it does. Way, way better than the blue bag (and I’ve had a few of those given to me).

So, the fact I am giving the Stila Perfecting Concealer a shout-out means that you really, really should run out and buy it. The woman at Fred Segal knew what she was talking about. It covers the circles. It goes on smoothly. It doesn’t crease. It makes you look like you got a great night of sleep. Even my mother who thinks I look beautiful with no make-up on, thought the concealer was amazing. If you only have three things in your make-up arsenal, I suggest this, the Shu Uemura curler and some cheap mascara. Seriously. Okay, maybe a lipstick or some of the Burt's Bees trying-to-be-lipstick-stuff, too.

The Secret

Since I got engaged I have been filled with… well, anxiety. It’s not about whom I am marrying as much as what are we doing with our lives? These jobs are not our life calling. This apartment is not where I imagined I’d be at age 35 or where I want to raise a family. The idea of buying a half-million dollar condo just so we can get into the real estate market is disheartening especially since it only has one bedroom.

When I admitted to a woman slightly older than me that I was completely freaking out and losing it during planning my wedding (and thinking how come no one else feels like this?), she told me to go buy a book called “What No One Tells The Bride.” In the desperate state of looking for any solution, I rushed back to my computer and promptly ordered it from Amazon. And thank god I did. I’M NORMAL!!!

What no one tells the bride is that all (or most) brides feel lost and freak out during planning. Marg Stark, the writer, tells me that most people decide to make tons of other major life changes while they are planning their wedding. Like a wedding and marriage isn’t enough to worry about. Other crazy people move, change jobs and start families at the same time or right after! Just like we are talking about! We are all insane!She talks about power struggles and feeling lost in the middle of singledom and married life. She talks about hearing the pencil as single friends cross you off their list of people to call. She talks about changing or not changing your name (I’m not changing, much to my fiancĂ©’s disappointment). This book couldn’t have come at a better time.

My friend in Boulder is getting married in June. Last week, she admitted to me that they are working through bumps and renegotiating their relationship. I wondered for a second if maybe she shouldn't marry this guy. The relationship is supposed to be perfect in everyone's eyes. Even though people keep telling us we are living a fairy tale, we are living real life. This is why we freak out. No one wants to admit they are having a bumpy time, but we all do. We are crossing into new territory. We are joining lives and families together. Marriage is a major change.

I’m telling my friend in Boulder about this book because she should marry her guy. He’s perfect for her even with their disagreements and bumps. It's normal to have a few doubts and to question whether or not you really want to join lives with this man. I think it's healthy. When my next friend gets engaged, after she’s buried herself in wedding magazines and is ready to implode, I’m handing her this book, too.

Cheers to Marg for telling us all the truth. This is one bride that is sleeping more easily. Who doesn’t like being told they are normal??!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Trying to live the organic life

I started thinking about the “green” life. I usually eat local, organic produce that I buy at the farmer’s market. I try to buy mainly organic meats, but of course, I fail often. I replaced a few bulbs in my house with new compact fluorescents. I’m getting used to the different glow. I try to be kind to the earth. I don’t try especially hard, but I try.

I picked up a book the other day for my website called the Organic Pregnancy. I thought this would be a good thing to check out since we are thinking of getting pregnant in the next year or so, and hey, I can write it off. It is scary. Like super, really-I-have-to-completely-change-my-life scary. I wash my clothes in Tide. I know it isn’t great for the earth, but I like the way it smells. I clean my glass table with Windex. My housekeeper uses Pine-Sol to clean who knows what, but my house has a just cleaned smell when I return from work. And now all I can think is, oh my god. I am breathing in chemicals. Toxins. I am filling my lungs, my skin, my house with toxins.

I decided I will start buying non-toxic cleaners. When the Tide runs out, I’ll get a natural detergent. These aren’t too hard to do. I’m not going to completely panic, but make small changes. By the time we are ready to conceive, all the really nasty toxins should be out of the house. At least cleaning supplies. We’ll talk cosmetics and my favorite hair products another time.

I was just starting to relax when it hit me. We just moved into new offices at work. I know the company is not using natural, $43 a can paint here. Workers are sanding the new PVC windows behind my desk (yes, I have windows) releasing toxins into my work place. They are painting these windows with more toxic paint. Yesterday, I had these windows open to air out my freshly painted office as per the book. It said something like if you have to sit in an office all day with toxins all around, open your windows as much as possible. So I did. Until they put more toxins on my windows.

Being green isn’t easy. I think I am starting to panic… I think I need a drink of my water that was bottled in the south pacific and flown here. I think I have a long way to go to get to “green.”

Monday, March 12, 2007

My Best Friend Ebay

The dress arrived from Texas, and it fits like it was made especially for me. Me, with slightly bigger boobs, but I'm a sure Frederick's can help with that. It is pouffy. It is white (silk white). It has a train that bustles. It's silk. It's light. It's elegant. It didn't suck all of my money. It is like a three-ton weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I have a wedding dress, and I like it. A real, life, looks-like-a-wedding, wedding dress. I am a bride.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Get in the box

The wedding industry is a racket. I’ve already said that about a million and one too many times. But I’m saying it again. If I hear “it’s only once in your life” again, I might vomit. I also only graduated from college once (and was that a fun party!), had sex for the first time once, turned 16, turned 21, turned 30, and got confirmed once – oh wait. Never did that one. Yes, god willing, this wedding will be my only one this lifetime. If we both stay healthy and sane (mostly me on the sane side), this will be our only wedding.

The cost of weddings, as discussed before is mind-boggling. Hopefully, I only have to throw a large party for my friends once, too. Unless we win the lottery or one of our hare-brained ideas flies. Then, I’ll be happy to host because I can pay someone else to do everything and all I have to do is show up.

The main thing I am realizing is that it is much easier to be a bride in a box. There is a reason that these weddings are done in such a cookie cutter way. And yes, there are different shapes of cutters, but they are cutters all the same. I started out fighting this tooth and nail. I wasn’t going to wear a big white dress (am now), wasn’t going to have bridesmaids (am now but NOT in matching dresses), wasn’t going to have aisle to walk down (might now) and, well, I guess I always planned on food and dancing. It’s hard to get out of the box. I tried. I scraped and screamed and pleaded. I wore myself out thinking of different ideas. The reality is that it is so much easier to just do what everyone else does. I’m starting the think the box is pretty comfortable.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Now we're really cooking with gas!

After completely freaking out and almost losing it last week, I've come to a peace with the wedding. I decided I really want to get married in North Carolina. As much as I love Big Sur and the idea of a simple wedding, I know I will regret not doing more just because it is cheaper. And how much cheaper? I can't believe I am saying this, but what is $5,000 in the big picture? Of course, we'll probably spend more than that, but my dad is giving us some money and his dad gave us some money. After some discussion, or what I would consider to be the closest we'd gotten to a fight, he agreed to support my female desire to have a wedding.

In an effort to cut costs so we can still afford a house, we decided all but the closest friends and the family are being invited. We moved the ceremony to my mom's mountain house, which sounds much fancier than it is. It's a great house. Not huge, but with a spectacular, breathtaking view. And the view is what we are going for. The list is cut, the location fee is cut, the frivolous nonsense I was stressing on is cut.

I'm not sure how the whole thing will be pulled off, or if it will end up looking a little white trash in the process. I have ideas for white lights on the deck and a few trees. Some tiki torches lighting the way down the otherwise pitch as black driveway. Maybe even stringing up some mason jars with candles in them a la Martha Stewart. Maybe white trash meets Martha? She'd die. No, I seriously think we can pull off a pretty wedding for a decent price. When my mom suggested picking the wildflowers ourselves, I had to say no. I can cut the list and the nonsense, but hell if I am stomping through woods looking for flowers to cut so we can save $100. I mean, I still have some dignity and hello! I am asking people to FLY to the wedding. I also put a kabosh on the potluck idea. All fine and well when you live in town, but I'd love to see my friends traveling and driving to Ingles to attempt to get their ingredients to make their special dish. I have a feeling they'd just get bread and I don't think 60 loaves of bread makes a good meal. So yes, I am still paying for the caterer. If my fiance had it his way, we would be having 60 loaves of bread.

I guess it is best if one of us is more responsible with money, but COME ON!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What's happened to parenting?

The New York Times ran an article about these women who are seen as baby gurus. I watch SuperNanny because I think she has some really good points on behavior. I guess, in the big picture, these baby gurus are just a more expensive, personal version of SuperNanny.

But, my question (and keep in mind I don’t have kids), is what have we all come to when people can’t control their own kids? Or trust that we know what we are doing? We rely on professionals for everything. Career counseling, weight loss, organizing our homes, cleaning our homes. But child rearing? I always thought that was something I could just call my mom for help with or ask my friends how they dealt with sleep issues. Click on some books on Amazon, and have an expert packaged in a book arrive on my doorstep.

I hear kids in shops ordering their parents around, and the parents acquiescing. I am appalled at how many ill-behaved, self-righteous, selfish children are out there. I’ve spent a lot of time babysitting and even being a nanny, and I wouldn’t let my charges speak to me like that. I am not going to pretend I am even close to SuperNanny Jo, but I can say no to a two year old.

Of course, check back with me in a few years when I am saying yes to my bossy, out of control two year-old so I can just get out of the store. It’s easy to be self-righteous when I don’t have kids. Who am I to judge? I might be begging for those numbers when I am holding my six-month old, screaming and crying. But, I have a feeling I’ll just be begging for my mom.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Flower Girls

Two of my flower girl posse looking through the railing at view from the new location.

The Dress Part 2

I said I wasn't wearing a "wedding" dress. I swore it. I planned on pulling a Carolyn Bessett Kennedy. Looking stunning in a simple, clean-lined, sexy dress. Well, guess what? Bias cut dresses look like shit if you have any sort of hips. I am far from "hippy," but the bias dress is not my best friend.

I tried on pouffy white confections with Rebecca, and felt like, well, not me. I tried on filmy, goddess style dresses with my mom, and felt like, well, not me. I tried. I stood in Nicole Miller and stared at the woman in the mirror. The one that made my mom cry. I thought I looked pretty damn good. Even a little sexy, but it still wasn't quite right. The dress itself felt great - really light. I dragged my mom toLoehman's in an effort to find the dress like a hunk of gold hidden on the river bottom. She was completely claustrophobic as we squeezed ourselves between the tightly placed racks, and said more than once that she needed to leave. I didn't let her. We found it. A grey-ish, white Badgley Mishka gown. I felt like a super ball winner. We paid the $350 for the originally priced $1200 gown and floated out of the store.

By the time we reached the stationary store in Beverly Hills all of fifteen minutes later, I knew the gown wasn't the one. My mom asked me what I wanted to wear. What did I picture myself in? I imagined a gown I designed with intricate cuts, layers of fabrics - chiffon, organza,charmeuse , taffeta - all together on one gown that was slightly deconstructed. The gown I imagined would look a lot like the $3000 ones at LesHabitudes. The dress hunt has made me miss my sewing machine like... well, like something missing. A chunk of me sitting dormant.

I started imagining the wedding at the house in North Carolina, and in the process, saw myself in a traditional wedding gown. I started scouring eBay because there is no way in hell I am giving up another Saturday to shop instead of hike or think about sewing (note: I didn't say sew because really, who am I fooling?). I finally found one that appeals to me. I'm sending her the check tomorrow and then I just get to wait. I pray to god the dress fits like a glove and I can stop thinking about this. I have way better things to spend my time on. Like designing a new website presence.

Junior High Moment

I spin almost every Tuesday and Thursday morning before work. I've been going to the same classes for over two years. In my ideal world, my classmates and I would all greet each other by name and wave when we passed on the street. It's the real world and I barely know anyone in my class. I stumble in, half asleep and get set up on my bike. I watch, with eyes at half mast, as everyone comes in. They grumble and get on their bikes. A few people chat and laugh.

The other morning, I started feeling particularly pitiful and wondered why everyone didn't come in and say, "Hi Sarah!" Then I remembered why I was so tired. Three weekends of friends visiting me. I remembered my bridesmaid dilemma of narrowing my long list of important women down. And I remembered why I am so glad I am no longer in junior high.