Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey goal reached

My turkey is safe at home now. Didn't mean to leave you hanging. I picked it up from the office on Sunday. Also, the weather warmed up enough so we could venture to the Thanksgiving party I spent the morning lamenting. But that's not a very good story owing to its lack of mayhem.

Tonight is my first Weight Watchers meeting in 2 weeks (due to my love of traction) and the first since the program change. I just logged into eTools and I'm excited to see they'll be taking protein and carbohydrates into account, since that was how I tracked when I worked with a trainer -- since then calories abstracted into points based only on fat and fiber felt like cheating.

I'll learn more tonight.

I played several hours of World of Warcraft over the weekend, and I'm still trying to decide if I should put my subscription on hold or if I'm responsible enough to handle the addiction this time around. Maybe I'll just play a few more hours before I decide for realz.

December sneaked up on me.

It's pouring buckets, but not snowing. I find this agreeable.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My turkey is in a downtown freezer: Not a euphemism

Originally our Thanksgiving cup ranneth over. We were invited to two parties and I had a smoked turkey flying in from Texas, just in case. It seemed there would be no danger of a feastless day.

Snow changed all that.

It's true we turned down one invitation and accepted the other, thereby slicing our options a third. But it was the snow, the pure white powder that drifts gently from the sky, that's done us in.

As far as I know, the party goes on, up at the top of a steep hill along many icy roads. You haven't happened to see any of the youtube videos of cars sliding out of control around here, have you? The careening bus was a sight to behold... I may be a chicken on this turkey day, but I don't want that to be me. I lose my health insurance soon.

And the smoked Texas turkey? Poor bird. UPS won't deliver to my house without a signature since that package disappeared in October -- the package they say they delivered while my husband was home. So in a flash of premeditated brilliance I arranged to send the bird to my work address. Which I can't get to.

The freeway onramp closest to home featured four jacknifed semis the morning after the first snow dump, closing I-5 for 9 hours and rerouting traffic through the express lanes.

I do try to look on the bright side. So here goes: The snow is pretty and rare. I haven't run out of coffee and Baileys yet. I'm defrosting a couple of chicken breasts so we'll have some kind of poultry today. Cats and husband are here and safe. I remembered to bring in the rosemary plant before it was festively frozen. The power is still on.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snowed in, sort of

I've been playing at domesticity lately, especially in light of the snow trapping us in the house.

Technically "trapped" is hyperbole. It's only a couple of inches. But hey, it's like really cold on my feet.

I baked a frozen pizza -- don't hate, I had to use the oven and everything. I boiled spaghetti AND heated up sauce. Phew. And tonight? I made pumpkin pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon. It doesn't get any better than that. I should have one of those cooking shows, right?

I nearly forgot the brown rice and Tasty Bite we had for lunch. This is the dawn of a new age. I should buy my own set of knives and get my mise en place together.

Outside is still afflicted by snow, which is pretty but leaves me confused. Why does its presence cripple Seattle? Why does it destroy all ability to go from point A to B? Riddle me this Emerald City. How does the rest of the world manage to cope?

The news says "Possible Icy Roads Tomorrow." If you'll excuse me, I will interrupt this post to resume my life of fear. Ta.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good morning, crazy city

Snow arrived in Seattle yesterday, unannounced and fancy free. My commute was not as bad as some. For example, I only waited a half hour on the street for a bus to take me downtown, it only took an hour to go the 10 miles home, and my car only slid once on a straightaway. All in all, I'll live.

Now I hear some folks were trapped in their cars for 10 hours or on the bus for 12. I am not a fan of this. So today, with no city plans to plow side streets and the weather still freezing, I am working from home. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and there are several inches of powdery snow on the ground. We'll make this work.

Seattle, you are not always what I expected. I like that you keep it interesting.

I stopped at the grocery store and bought some overpriced firewood in case power goes out, and a frozen pizza. So we won't freeze and we won't starve. All that's left is to enjoy the view. And drink a pot of coffee.

Caffeine injection in 3...2...1...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm doing this now

This week. Wow. The corporate part of my day is not a suitable subject for this here ephemeral document, but one thing must needs be said. I gave my two weeks' notice and I don't have anything lined up to replace it. So I anticipate some adventures coming up, some wacky hijinx, more frequent gym visits that aren't at 5am. Man, those early mornings... sayonara!

Everything is fine, by the way. Just fine. I will make this work.

Whatever else is true, 2011 will begin very differently than I anticipated.

As I explore new career opportunities, I am also going to write and submit fiction. My online subscription to Writer's Market is good through 2012, so thank you Corporate Me for that bonus. It's high time I wrestled the fiction beast.

No, I do not expect this to be easy. Perish the thought. But I have the benefit of this being my choice, having a supportive husband and network, favorable circumstances, and a sense of urgency. It's the urgency bit I've been missing. And now that I prod the wound, I also find an undercurrent of Why the Fuck Not? (Not so couth down there, I'm afraid)

So that's how it is. I'm about to go live in my head full-time, until it's time to rock the business casual again. Who wants to come along?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In my head again

A lot of things are changing right now and I'm not sure what the landscape will look like when it's over.

I have my health, my house, my husband, friends and family. I've lost over 16 pounds since August 3, and have been to the gym 12 times in the last 13 days. (One day off for recovery)

I feel stronger than I've felt in a long time and I'm letting the momentum of small successes propel me forward. If you'll excuse the metaphors... it feels as if there's a tiny spark inside (nothing to do with being pregnant) that wants to take over. I just have to add fuel until it catches.

I have no idea what 2011 will bring, but that's the fun isn't it? Not knowing opens the door for hope. And as Emily Dickinson wrote, "Hope is the thing with feathers."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

On the floor and impatient

An overcast Saturday morning here in Seattle. I'm drinking coffee (Tully's) and sitting on the living room floor with my back against the orange couch. To my left hangs the new artwork I bought off eBay last week. It's a very nice painting from an artist in Canada named Milen. The fall colors are vibrant and the paint is applied thickly, impressionistically, blurring in a way that seems entirely normal.

The world melts; no one notices.

Because it's happening so slowly.

I mentally prepare myself for the gym and yell at Chiana for using her claws on the couch. My clothes are laid out. My hands are cold. My small victory for the week is that I went to the gym every morning at 5:10am, Monday through chilly Thursday (then on Friday night). After the first day it was not such a struggle, but I must always be vigilant. It is too easy to backslide. This is not second nature, or even third. It is seventh to the second power.

My body is shifting under my clothes. I can feel my clavicle again and see the shadow of muscles under my biceps. It is a strange thing, like falling asleep and waking up with an adamantium skeleton. One day it's squishy, the next it's not. And I am just beginning.

The major downside to mental body sculpting is how slow the scale is to catch up. I am tearing my muscles then rebuilding them stronger so that they're heavier but take up less space. Expecting to be immediately rewarded for all this work is normal but it is not realistic. I have to be patient.

And patience is my least developed virtue. Even less developed than my glutes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WW Weekly Weigh-in Update

I'm down another pound, which while nothing to sneeze at, is just a wee tiny bit disappointing after spending the last five days at the gym.

Not fishing for compliments, not looking for sympathy. Just stating it.

For awhile now I haven't been happy with the carefree way I've frittered away my free time, so I created a time budget. It works for money; why not time?

Then I got annoyed and closed the notepad file it was written in and decided to just try some things. No commitments. Jury's still out on its effectiveness, but it's had its moments.

For example, normally at 5:15am I am asleep. The last few days I was on a treadmill. I have no idea how long I can keep this up. It does not feel sustainable. So I will just take it one day at a time and be nice to myself.

The best part about working out in the morning is getting it over with.

I may need to work on my attitude. I will pencil that in for phase 2.

In summary, since August 3, I have lost a total of 14.8 pounds on Weight Watchers.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

A break to talk about food

I've been trying not to post until I finish up the Paris, Prague, Rome narrative, but I'm tired of torturing myself.

Lately I've been scouring the web for either Weight Watchers or gluten-free recipes. On the WW site I found a recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Paprikash that was excellent -- I made a batch last weekend and served it with brown rice. For tonight I picked out an Artichoke Chicken recipe. Looks delicious. Chicken is defrosting in the refrigerator now.

Years ago I received a Zojirushi Fuzzy Rice Cooker as a present and it's perfect for cooking brown rice. I just love it -- two cups water, 1 cup of rice using the little plastic cup it comes with, and about an hour later you're in business.

This is new: Once a week Jer and I are playing in a Dungeons and Dragons game (real people with dice and rules and everything), and I've been stretching my cooking imagination by volunteering to bring a gluten-free dish. Last week I made Buckeyes, which turned out very rich and very tasty and very not WW-approved. (They are cold balls of peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar, dipped in chocolate. You can't fail unless you're allergic to peanuts or hate fun.)

I increased the PB to 2 cups and reduced the sugar to 4 cups. Please note this especially if you are me from the future attempting to recreate the magic. Hello, future Christy. I also used MaraNatha creamy organic peanut butter with a hint of sea salt.

In making this recipe I learned 1) it is easy to melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave, assuming frequent stirring. 2) Using an ice cream scooper to dip the PB balls in makes it simple not to drop the thing you're dipping into the hot chocolate soup.

Next week I'm thinking of making these pumpkin muffins if I can figure out where to buy all of the ingredients and assuming I don't have to spend $100 to make 12 muffins. I am however excited to learn about the existence of Bourbon Vanilla extract.

I am down a total of 13.8 pounds since I started WW on August 3. Three months, already? Geez. At my 19 pound loss I'll get a decorative keychain. My secret I will share with you is that I am kind of excited about that.