Monday, April 30, 2007

Carb Rehab

This year instead of fighting it, I've been relishing the annual winter weight gain. It's been so cold that I needed the extra 5 lbs of padding to stay warm. It's been a blissful winter, happily shoving cookies into my face while sprawled out on the couch. I didn't care a whit that I was not my usual svelte self. I just threw on a baggy sweater and some fat jeans and I was in business!

But now Spring has come, and with it my non-fat friendly Spring/Summer wardrobe. Alas, it's time to bid adieu to my lovely little pounds if I want to avoid looking like a sausage cased in capri pants.

This Sunday I started the South Beach Diet. I'm only doing the first 2 weeks - which promises to remove between 8-12 lbs (significantly more than I gained) - before I go back to my regular crap-based diet. The idea here is to quickly shed those winter pounds and then I can maintain pretty well with my regular routine of bad eating and sporadic exercising.

I rarely diet and it's clear that the thing I forget about this diet, and dieting in general, is how HARD it is! I've only been doing it for about 26 hours and already I'm ready to throw in the towel. I've had to cut out all sugars and carbs - and I truly feel like I've been checked into Rehab and I'm in Carb Detox. I should be locked in some facility with white metal bedframes and plastic water pitchers on the bedstand. I'm one Duncan Hines commercial away from having the shakes. I want some carbohydrates so badly! My fat cells are screaming out: "Feed Me, Seymour! Feed Me!"

I can only hope that as I get used to this diet (thank goodness it will only last 2 weeks, max) I'm hoping that the obsessing over food and the raging cravings will mellow out. If not, I may not be the nicest person to be around. I've been told that maybe this diet "isn't for you" - but despite the mood swings I end up doing it every spring anyway. Tortuous, painful, mind-altering as it may be, it delivers results. And after all aren't all challenges character building? That's what I keep telling myself, as I sit in the rec room weaving a basket and trying not to think about spaghetti bolognese.

Friday, April 27, 2007

My Current Obsession

I'm in love with these bags by Tano Bags. I need a bag that's big enough to carry my lunch and shoes to work. Carrying a purse AND a shopping bag chock full of other stuff is just too ghetto. Only problem is that these little babies are pricey ... and so I'm left wondering if I'm prepared to become an expensive bag owner. It's a whole new level of consumership. I think I'm just about ready.

Here's my favorite bag the "Brady Bucket":

A Word Please

Sometimes a word gets stuck in my brain, and when I'm not actively thinking about anything else the word rolls around and around my brain ... much like a screensaver. There it is -- scrolling along. Over and Over again:


(Maybe my pants are too tight.)

Tulips in the Garden ...

Tulips in the Garden
Tulips in the Park

But my favorite kind of Tulips
Are Two Lips in the Dark

Wowee! The Tuplip Festival in Skagit Valley, WA was a sight to behold! Fields and fields of tulips. All colors, All styles. I'm all about festivals, as you know (here and here), so I couldn't miss a chance for another - and I'm glad I didn't. Here are some selected shots.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

One Ring to Rule Them All

Young Hadley reminded me of the pleasure of a simple favorite thing. My favorite thing is my Rose Ring. Imagine the picture below as a beautiful pepto-pink and you'll get an idea of what my ring looks like. But they say the the value is not in the having but in the getting - and so let me share the tale of Gretchen of the Ring. (By the way, I apologize in advance to Tolkein fans).

My quest for The Rose Ring started when it caught my eye in my Lucky mag. When I saw that it was only $6 I immediately went to Middle Earth ( to get one for myself. But some fashionable Dwarves got there first and bought them all for their fat-fingered masters. Discouraged, I thought my quest was doomed, and I would never be a keeper of The Ring.

But good things come to those who wait. And before long I was on my way from Mordor (Washington D.C) to The Shire (Portland, OR). And there it was. Snuggled safely in some unassuming shop in downtown The Shire. Without raising any suspicions I smugly slipped it onto my finger and paid the shoplady.

Little did that silly woman know what she had. A ring that fits perfectly on my Jimmy Dean fingers! A ring that makes every outfit cooler! A ring that garners compliments on all sides! This is the Ring to Rule Them All! And now it is mine. All mine. My precious, precious Ring.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Decisions that Count

After years of internal (and sometimes external) debate, I've finally made a very vital decision. If I had to choose whether or not I'd be Blind or Deaf, I definitely choose Deaf.

Being deaf would certainly be inconvenient, but it wouldn't cripple my life the way being blind would. How could I survive without having a book or three in the works? How would I do my desk jockey work? How could I blog? Without my sight I'd be out of work and bored.

So, you ask, why now? Why have I suddenly made my final decision on this issue? It's all due to a spate of binge reading in low light. My eyes are feeling strained (however not strained enough to need glasses yet - this is an awkward period). Contemplating eye failure has left me in a state of distress! How could I cope with my life as it is without being able to see? Everything I do relates to seeing and reading. My work, my entertainment ... everything! Not being able to see is unthinkable.

I'll miss not being able to hear, and I'll hate to give up my iPod. But Reading is my passion, the one thing I continually turn to, the one (and only) thing I favor over sleeping and eating. In short, Reading is the love of my life, and given the choice, who would give up the love of their life?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Cherry Blossoms Time Again

I went downtown to the Cherry Blossom Festival after work this week. This is one of my favorite DC-isms; one I've attended practically every year. You know me, an overpriced Hot Dog and dodging morons that stop too abruptly to pose precariously close to the edge of the murky Tidal Basin and I'm a happy camper. (One year, one lucky year, someone is going to be taking an unscheduled swim.)

I think I waited a bit too long since the blooms were a touch past peak, but I couldn't resist holding out until the warmest day of the week. There aren't many things I enjoy more than walking around the monuments on a beautiful spring day. This year there were a lot of couples taking engagement shots. I've never noticed them before. They were right in with the melee of tourists, and didn't seem to mind if a bunch of strangers were in the background of their engagement photos. There's no accounting for taste, I suppose.