Thursday, July 31, 2008

Summertime....and the living is loafing


I had the loafiest day today. It went beyond lazy into pure, unadulterated loafing.  Caught up on news, gossip, blogs and movies.  Even the cats were loafing:

Picture 015

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happiness Is.....

Watching the Philadelphia Soul win the Arena football championship. Not that I am into arena football - but Jon Bon Jovi is the owner of the Soul and they kept showing close ups of him and Richie Sambora.  It was enough to keep me on the treadmill for 45 minutes - I just don't know if it was the increased MPH or the close ups that had the heart rate up!

A side note - when I was bored today, I chose not to eat, or have a glass of wine (and eat), instead I chose to go to the gym. And I actually liked it. R made me a great play list and it really made the time go by....:-)

Saturday, July 26, 2008


It's a real smack in the head when you haven't written anything in your blog when you even bore yourself....boy, that needs to change.

I actually have quite a lot going on - I soon will be changing jobs - going back to a career that I really loved, but was a bit burned out on - it took going away from it to realize that what I needed was not a new career, but a sabbatical.  As I move into it, I'll write more about it.  I'm just thrilled to go back and work with some of the smartest, funniest and maddening people I've ever known.  I'm just not ready to write about it in detail because I want to get settled into it first.

I'm shipping my daughter off to North Carolina to stay with her aunt for a week.  My sister just moved into a new place and needs some help straightening things out. R will help her and in return will get a few days at the family beachfront villa. 

Weightwatchers is a struggle - I'm working out like I haven't in years - 45mins of cardio almost daily. Writing everything down, for good or bad, but its mostly good.  The scale, she ain't budging.  This is a repeat of every attempt in the last year.  I've stuck with this longer and am even in the stage where I'm enjoying the workouts again.  I won't give up the activity, but I'm beginning to wonder if there is something medically keeping me from shedding the pounds.  I'm going heavier on cardio than I am on weight training, so I know (because I've done this before) that it's not building muscle mass - as they say, something just ain't right. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I had my day in court.......among other things

Blogging in the summer is a bitch - I'm not around often enough to post regularly - right now all my discipline is going into managing my food and working out.   So, the good thing is, despite a not so great week with this WW thing (worked about a gazillion hours this week and only worked out twice), I still managed to lose a half pound, so I'm down six so far (yippee!!).   I am on a break from my personal trainer, but with her blessing - I'm focusing more on cardio and building endurance right now, once I start getting a good rhythm down, I will go back. 

On to the most exciting part of my week - my day in court.  As you may have read, I was pulled over and had my Pathfinder impounded.  Today was my day to appear.   I was in court 12 years ago to finalize my divorce, so needless to say, I am a neophyte in this area.  I headed out and went into the court administrator - who told me there was no court today...but wait, it's on my Blackberry!  Oh shit....didn't I tell you?  I got ANOTHER ticket that week (it was bad karma car week) because I drove over some crossed yellow lines at the beginning of the passing lane - after three other folks who'd done the same thing, but I was the one the cop picked - must have been that big peace sign magnet on my car - with my Chico's outfit, I must have SO LOOKED LIKE A RABBLE ROUSER.  I digress... I realized that I had crossed the two dates in the calendar.  So I had to run back, pick up the necessary paperwork and skedaddle over to Edgewater Park court.  I knew I'd be late, so I called the court.  I explained that my situation and was told "Oh, don't worry, honey, our regulars sometimes don't roll in here till noon!"  I assured her I had no intention of becoming a regular but thanked her for letting the court clerk know. 

I arrived at court (not at all late - the judge was running a bit behind); and found it FULL.  I entered my plea with the clerk and asked to speak with the prosecutor.  I took my seat and watched the circus begin.  This town is essentially a blue collar town that borders a low income area.  While there are some lovely areas that are being restored (the kids' dad bought in on that restoration trend), there are still many more areas that are home to a lot of immigrants, first generation Americans, and a transient population.  As a result of that, this town has a pretty tough reputation that may or may not be deserved and the police don't cut many breaks.  All I can say is that it was a surreal experience - watching the "regulars" trot up to the judge, greet him and because of their "experience", they have an astounding knowledge of the law.  Two guys were up there because of restraining orders - one, the parents of the victim were vouching for him and he ticked off what was permissible and what wasn't, and the other guy had a mediation agreement not to see some other guy's kids.  They were back in court because the father had seen this other man with his kids, taking them to the bus stop and in the supermarket (I'm assuming the man with the mediation agreement was the present boyfriend of the kids' mother - it seemed there was a relationship between them and she yelled out in the court room).  The kids' father had taken out the complaint and when the judge questioned the defendant, the defendant noted that the father had CALLED him and asked him to pick up the kids!  The father allowed that he had not seen the man around the kids in some time (since the phone call) = there was no crime. The mediation turned into a court order and the men dismissed.  You could hear them out in hallway screaming at each other.  

When they called for everyone that wanted to talk to the prosecutor to make a plea agreement, I went with the crowd.  I do mean crowd.  The line stretched through the ENTIRE building.  It took an hour just to reach the guy - by the time I got to him, he was cranky and ornery, but I got the charge reduced to failure to present insurance and registration, and because it was a first offense, charges were suspended and I only had to pay court costs.  Cool! Great! I can just go pay and leave, right?  No lady, he says, you can just go wait back in the court until the judge calls you.

The next drama was this guy who sauntered up when called and knew as much about the penalties for driving on the revoked list as the judge - except for one thing - when he cockily told the judge he wasn't worried, it was just a 10 day sentence - the judge told him, "Wrong, for you, it's a 20 day sentence"  Everyone in the courtroom cracked up.  The rest of the day went on with DUIs, vandalism and the like.  Three hours later, I finally get called, questioned by the judge and sentenced to pay the court costs.  I leave to go to the court clerk and find an absolute party down by the clerk's office - This one woman who was pressing charges against one person, and trying to get another bailed out of jail had her three kids in tow, her boyfriend trying corral the kids who were bored, tired and hungry and therefore screaming their heads off.  She was chatting with the 20 day guy who was entertaining the took another 30 minutes to just get to the window to pay the ticket.  My head was splitting, because one screaming kid was positioned on a bench, right next to my ear.  The clerk told me, "I told you this was old home week - what a party!"  I smiled, paid my court costs and said, thank you so much for your help, but this is one party I hope to never attend again!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Unsettling, Satire, Fear Mongering....Take Your Pick


For those of you who have not seen the cover of the latest New Yorker, here it is in all its glory:


Now, I love the New Yorker.  I agreed with Miranda in Sex in the City, when she called the New Yorker her porn.  I've been a subscriber for years.  It's smart, it's thought provoking, it can make you incredibly angry or laugh right out loud.  I've turned my kids onto the New Yorker (which means I'm lucky if I even get to read it on a regular basis - I usually have to ferret it out from under R's bed two weeks late), and I usually save back issues to savor again and again.  

This cover is gives me pause.  I realize that its meant to be satire - and heaven knows there were enough pundits to say so.  Many of them said sneeringly, "it's just a joke - the New Yorker audience gets this sort of thing". Well, I AM the New Yorker audience, and I DO get that it's satire, but I would have felt a whole lot better about it if the cartoon, entitled "The Politics of Fear" were an accompanying article about that very subject - instead, there is an article about "Making It" how Chicago shaped Obama. It's an excellent article and I think on the whole, pretty positive, if you agree with the fact that in order for Obama to rise as meteorically as he has, his practices are much more than those of a studied outsider.  The article paints Obama as a master of the political game, albeit one with a social conscience and is genuinely concerned with doing the right thing.  I'm fine with that. I'm not naive enough to think that you can be successful in this day and age without mastering the art of the game.  I respect Obama for that and that's why there's an Obama '08 sticker on my car (and I live in one of the few overwhelmingly Republican towns in a blue state).  It's satire out on its own with no content supporting it that, I think, is a problem.

One of the other things that gives me pause here is that while the New Yorker plays to a particular audience, it is a nationally distributed publication that reaches audiences that are more Fox News alarmists than those who think themselves sophisticated.  It's been demonstrated over and over again that we are a nation that is educated by sound-bite and those sound bites are easily manipulated - swift boats anyone?  Some yokel, flipping on the news will see this cover, not bother to listen to some or any of the description of the satire and firmly believe that Obama is a muslim terrorist.  Think I'm kidding? The Pew Foundation released the results of a survey last week noting that 12% of Americans still think that Obama is not a Christian, but a Muslim.  Hell, 1% think he's JEWISH!!  We are fed so much information and misinformation, that its difficult for even the media savvy to sift through the dreck to get to the heart of the real story - let alone to digest it and form an opinion of it.  No, we basically receive a sound-bite where the political views of the network brass place a subliminal message to bubble up some time later. Whether we question it or not is can determine the outcome of an election.

All that being said, I'm conflicted about criticizing this. I think satire is good, especially political satire - we should expect to think about all the garbage that whirls around us in political campaigns.  It forces us to separate the speculation and the partisanship from the issues. We SHOULDN'T buy everything we're told.  However, we should also avoid hate mongering at all costs - and I think this doesn't just satirize the politics of fear, I think it plays into it.

First Weigh In

Down 5.5lbs!!!

Cardio/Weights - 3x a week.

From experience I know that it won't be like this every week, it'll be more like a 1/2 lb to a 1lb - but for me, this was important to me psychologically.  I tried to do WW a year or so ago, and when I did a 1/4lb the first week - and nothing the second -  it was so disappointing that I quit on it almost immediately.  I had to see some movement in order for me to keep up the motivation.  This is a good start.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Wonderful New Discovery

Today, I'm going to give a shout out to a great new blog that I found, called The WW Chick.  She combines vegetarianism with Weight Watchers.  How dynamite is that?  (sorry if I date myself horribly, but it was my birthday last Saturday and now I am. officially.older.than.God. but younger than my mom, who is WAY older than God). 

As the few loyal souls who read my blog know that I've been struggling to get my ass back in shape, it's been somewhat of a losing battle. Yeah, I feel a lot better and I was making the attempt to exercise, I wasn't giving up certain things that are crucial to weight many glasses of wine, the occasional (ok, not so occasional) french fry.   Dropping the meat was great, but adding some more of the grains actually added about 10 pounds. 

Well, over the last few days, I've had a few close friends remark that I'm not my old self, I'm a good bit more than my old self.  These are the folks who can tell me anything and it's okay - it's done with love and yes, there are many times when I NEED to be told off what to do. I was not hurt by this, okay, yes, it's always a stinger to hear it, but instead of a slap, it was like a light going off.  You see, I am the queen of rationalization.  If I look in the mirror a certain way, or go for those skinny mirrors, then I can kid myself that I don't look so bad (come on, you know you've done this), so it's okay to have another glass of wine - or a cookie. I have PMS, and I'm thankful that I still HAVE a period, so chocolate is okay.  The executive team of my company must have had group lobotomy rates, and they took advantage of cheap surgery, so I really need two martinis.   See where I'm going with this? 

Anyway, my bestest is on WW and is doing great, she looks FABULOUS, not only do I envy her great skin, but now I get to envy her figure.  She offered to support me in going back to WW (where I lost a person about 12 years ago and kept most of it off until last year or so). So, I'm taking her up on it.  I've started back online and if I feel like I need even more support, then I'll go back to the meetings.   I've also started to haul my ass into the gym more than just when the trainer wants me there.  Say a prayer, kids, that my resolve stays strong....

Anyway - back to WW chick.  One of my concerns was that I'd have to go back to meat.  I'm not anti-meat at all, I'll eat it occasionally -primarily fish or chicken, but I like to keep that to a minimum.  WW chick's site offers tips, recipes and vegetarian ones at that.  She rocks!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

And the story almost ends.....

Well, $250 later, my Pathfinder was returned to me.  Two registrations, compounding fees and the eventual tank of gas later, my Pathfinder is parked in front of my house. I am considering selling it, it's had a good run, but I really don't need a second car.

I have a court date later this month in which I fervently hope I can reduce the tickets by producing said insurance card and registration.  Geez, I feel like such a slacker kid...if I could only fit in those size extra teeny jeans they wear....;-)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous


It's the end of the weekend. I'm sitting here, spent. I'm utterly exhausted.  Thursday, I picked up my sister and her partner at the airport - we stopped back at home to see my mother and my kids, then the three of us went out for sushi at this little place in Haddonfield. It was pretty good, but very expensive. 

Friday, we shopped, ran around and bought up groceries we needed for our party scheduled for Saturday. I ran errands while my sister began prepping for the party.  We barbequed burgers and dogs and sat under my new gazebo and just talked - I've really missed my sister and it was lovely catching up.  After dinner, my daughter decided to meet her friends at the high school to catch the fireworks.  We live across the street from the high school, so I strolled over with her then walked back to the yard - we were so lucky, we could sit in my backyard and watch the fireworks without having to fight the crowds. 

Saturday, was the big party day.  It was also my birthday.  We had a huge spread (pictures to come - I took them with my daughter's camera and I think she took the camera with her on vacation).  We had quite the spread - Thai chicken wings, carnitas, marinated skirt steak, tossed salad with red/green leaf lettuce, mesclun, red onions, grape tomatoes and queso fresca.  We had grilled tortillas, corn vidalia salad and watermelon and jicama salad.  Everything was fabulous.

The wine and the sangria flowed.  We made white sangria, with watermelon, strawberries and peaches.  It was a very eclectic crowd - my best friend and her husband, my sister's friends, my neighbors, golf partners and friends - everyone mixed quite well.  The night went on and on, we finished the night at 3 am after a couple of logs in the fire pit.  Folks slept over and we all woke up feeling pretty fuzzy.  The was the beginning of the ridiculous. 

The ridiculous became surreal pretty quickly.  I had to drop the kids at their dad's house by 10.  We jumped in my SUV and drove off.  I noted that my car was due for inspection - hmmm, I didn't recall getting my registration in the mail, I made a mental note to go to the DMV the next day.  I dropped them off and saw that I needed gas and due to the hangover, I was in dire need of a diet coke and a hamburger.  I pulled out onto the highway and headed off to McDonalds, grabbed my burger and returned to the highway.   I was driving the speed limit and a few minutes later flashing lights popped up into my rear view mirror.   I pulled over and when the cop approached me, I asked what was wrong - my registration had expired!  I reached over and dug out my registration, damn, if she wasn't right.  I next took out my insurance card....sinking feeling in my stomach.  It was the card that expired a  few months earlier. Shit. I had the clear memory at that moment of laying the insurance card on the table in the front hall. Two. Months. Before.

I'm sure you know where this is going. A second cop pulled up - a nasty, arrogant guy.  Told me to get out of the car, and leave my keys because they were going to tow it and impound it.  I asked if I could drive it over to the diner (about 20 yards up the road) and park it.  Nope, it's illegal to drive it without the proper paperwork. I said, leave it here on the road unlocked?  But what if it gets stolen?  It's on you, he replied. Are you going to leave me on the side of the road?  I could, he replied, you have to call someone to come pick you up because you can't walk along the highway.  I'll get the other cop to give you a ride to the WaWa convenience store.  I asked a couple of more questions and he started to give me real attitude about my needing to stop wasting his time.  I said back to him, hey man, I have never had a ticket before, I have no idea what to expect.  Well that's too bad, you know well enough that it's illegal to drive this car.  Ok, but can't you just manage my expectations here? 

Get OUT of the car.  Ok, Ok. I got out of the car and stepped up on the curb and began walking back to the first cop car.  He yelled at me "where are you going???" I replied that I didn't want to walk in the road and risk getting hit.  What a jerk.  Opened the back door of the cop car and wasn't the most gentle guy helping me in.  

The woman who was the first cop, took me 20 YARDS up the road to the diner and let me out.  She was almost apologetic for the idiot's behavior and let me know that if I brought the appropriate stuff to the police station tomorrow, and to court in a couple of weeks, I would have the charges reduced.  She said, look this stuff happens, you just have to take care of it - take it easy okay?  

I think women make for better cops.