abnormal normalities?

4 JOBS I’VE HAD that you probably haven’t (except the fourth one)
1. assistant supervisor at a hotel
2. live-in housekeeper/nanny at a million-dollar mansion on nantucket
3. wedding cake maker
4. waitress

4 MOVIES I’D WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN that you probably wouldn’t (except the fourth one)
1. the saint
2. wild hearts can’t be broken
3. dangerous beauty
4. lord of the rings

4 PLACES I’VE LIVED that you probably never have (except the fourth one)
1. wauwinet, nantucket island, ma
2. johnston, ri
3. exeter, ri
4. ri (is there an echo in here?)

4 TV SHOWS I LIKE(D) TO WATCH that you’ve probably never seen (except the fourth one)
1. i don’t remember the name… but it was a spanish soap opera!
2. keeping up appearances
3. rescue rangers
4. alias

4 PLACES I’VE BEEN ON VACATION that you haven’t (except the fourth one)
1. carlsbad caverns, nm
2. smuggler’s notch, vt
3. lewiston, me
4. california

4 WEBSITES I VISIT DAILY that you don’t (except the fourth one)
1. go fug yourself
2. postsecret
3. sparkpeople
4. dooce

4 OF MY FAVORITE FOODS that normal people hate (except the fourth one)
1. red, orange, and yellow peppers
2. cream of wheat
3. hummus
4. chinese

4 PLACES YOU WANT TO GO RIGHT NOW where no one would join me (except the fourth one)
1. bed
2. for a drive
3. back in time
4. any place tropical

blizzard mode

whenever there’s an impending snowstorm, i go into blizzard mode. it surpasses the “milk and bread” mindset, and goes for the goodies! when i got outta work this afternoon, i was going to run some errands and just be out so i could remember later on, while stuck in the house, that i did in fact have some freedom before the snow began to fall. i decided against it – too many people with the same idea. i got home, had a bite to eat… but was restless. long story short, i did run my errands, and came home not too heavily-laden: a couple mixes (multi-grain pancake/waffle mix, sans sucre chocolate mousse mix, sf ff pistachio pudding mix), two flavors of torani sugar-free syrup (vanilla and hazelnut), and a “single” serving container of triple chocolate tiger cake (or something like that). oh my.

backstory: i have been looking for a number of diet-conscious products for a while (let’s just forget right now that i mentioned the cake), and didn’t feel like traveling all over the state just for these few items. i get groceries at stop & shop, and while they have a pretty good selection, there are just some things you can’t find. wholefood’s and shaw’s seem to have some snazzy things, but neither of them are close by.

i had specifically been looking for the sugar-free, calorie-free, flavored syrups. there are quite a few brands – torani, davinci, moroni (i think), nature’s flavors, and so forth. some of them are traditionally used in coffee beverages, but think of how neat it would be to add them while baking, or as a topping for ice cream, whatever – the possibilities are endless! i’m thinking of trying the syrup in the pancake mix.

a couple other things – tofu shirataki noodles, which i know are at wholefood’s but were out last i went and sans sucre pudding/mousse mix, which i finally found at dave’s (only a couple flavors, though). i get sidetracked by all the unusual mixes, organic items, and so forth. there were even some yummy frozen meals – some indian style with chickpeas and spices, some with tofu, one chinese-style pad thai. good thing i didn’t have a whole cart, because i just got what my arms would carry.

but the cake… =sigh= i shouldn’t have entertained the temptation in the first place! dave’s has a little section of refrigerated gourmet goodies; some of them are whole cakes and cheesecakes, but some are single-sized, supposedly just perfect for not overdoing it! i’ve gotten the little carrot cake (it’s dome-shaped, like a big truffle), which was really good – but this time i moved onto the huge slab-like hunks of cake. there were plain chocolate (too much for me), lemon, raspberry, orange, and some others… then i saw the tiger cake, a mix of chocolate and vanilla with contrasting icings. heaven!

now, of course i’m getting these foods as part of the blizzard experience. all cozy in my home, watching one of the two dvds i got at blockbuster (haven’t gotten my latest netflix yet), fire roaring in the wood stove, breaking into one of my purchased snacks. well, i got home from errands not too long ago, not a hint of snow in the air… and already i’ve consumed three-quarters of the cake! what’s wrong with me? just say NO! i’m surprised i didn’t polish it off. i’ll wait for that until i see the first few flakes come down. hehe.

so, i keep vearing away from my resolve to eat more healthily. once i mess up, all hell breaks loose! i’m just glad i’ve been keeping up with the exercise; hopefully the residual effects are burning off the cake as i sit here.

what is everyone else planning on doing with the amount of snow we’re supposed to get (or what do you like to do in similar situations)? i’ll be home all by myself (well, nala will keep me company), watching movies and stuffing my face. probably writing e-mails, hoping i have friends who still love me! i just might use the time to fold some laundry, clean/organize the house… yeah, good-intention stuff.

i blew it

i blew it, i blew it, i blew it. doing so well, having a treat here and there so i would be satisfied… and today i just couldn’t stop craving sugar. i think because i’ve been reading cookbooks. i’ve been desperate for low-cal dessert ideas, but of course all the good stuff isn’t low-cal! i was doing fine… but i think because i kept going over it in my head, i just got used to the idea and set myself up for failure.

i don’t even want to begin adding up all the calories. i had had a couple pieces of german chocolate, which brough me to about 1,300. i should have stopped there – i would have been fine, if not somewhat overindulgent. then i had to go and pack my brother’s lunch for tomorrow – i eyed the four no-bake chocolate peanut butter cookies i had been saving for him, and popped ’em one by one into my mouth.

that’s alright – i still had the chocolate cake left over from a couple days ago. i made a really yummy peanut butter topping (tastes like reeses – sooo good!), and while wrapping that up for him indulged in three pieces for myself! plus some peanut brittle, complements of my grandmother. it was supposed to be for philip, but he hasn’t been eating any – can’t let it go to waste!

debating whether or not to stay up all night and exercise. (pause) telling myself that as long as i start fresh tomorrow, not much damage is done. good thing i don’t own a scale! i know how fast i gain weight, so now i’m a might scared.

i know i tend to be an emotional eater – being by myself all the time and having to contend with negative thoughts and emotions can be a real bummer, and just making my mouth happy with yummy flavors momentarily fools my mind. ah, what fleeting pleasure.

on another note: i did have a couple yummy, healthy, snacks that i would like to share.  1 cup dannon light ‘n’ fit vanilla yogurt with a serving (1/3 cup?) of mandarin orange segments canned in juice, plus some chopped walnuts (a tablespoon or so). you could use different fruits, omit the nuts, whatever. i also made a waldorf-type salad with chopped cabbage, some more of that vanilla yogurt, chopped celery, chopped walnuts, and dried fruit bits.

for dinner last night i tried something different: polenta. i made a single serving, which consisted of mixing 1/4 cup of yellow cornmeal with about 3/4 cup cold water; bring that to a boil on the stove, stirring constantly. since i wanted a savory meal, i added some jane’s crazy (my favorite salt mix), paprika, and italian blend. after cooking for a few minutes, i spooned it into a bowl, topped with olive oil and grated parmesan cheese, and – voila! pretty good. oh! i also sauteed some spinach in some balsamic vinaigrette and put that in the bowl before spooning in the polenta. mighty tasty. it was suggested to have polenta for breakfast, topped with ricotta cheese and maple syrup – but i don’t think i like ricotta cheese by itself. the maple part sounds good, though. :)

duplicity

the other day at work, i got talking with a patient on the phone. she just kept blabbing away, and i obliged, adding to the conversation. she said i have such a cheerful outlook on life, i sound like i should be a “sunday school teacher,” yadda yadda. my boss has told me before that i am social, “self-assured.” i hear what people say about me, and wonder, “are you crazy?!”

i’ve always thought i was a rather shy, reserved, “glass-half-empty” type of individual. then i hear the impressions of others, and it hits me: they don’t come home with me at the end of the day! seriously, i get home, walk in the door… my shoulders droop, and i swear i audibly sigh. groan, even. how is it that i can be these two totally different people? and which one is the “real” me?

my mom says that you feel you can just be yourself at home – and i know what she’s saying. it’s just so puzzling. which is it? why can’t i be positive all the time? (pause) or, rather, come across as positive and fool myself in the process. i’ve always thought of myself as a “nice,” perhaps “friendly,” but… it’s just so strange. i feel so guilty for leading people astray, fooling them into thinking i’m this great person when really things make me so upset that i swear at the cat, slam cupboard doors, and want to bang my head against the wall (i would, were it not for the ensuing headache).

well, it’s my sister laura’s 30th birthday today. woo-hoo! i called her this morning, wished her a happy birthday, and asked what it felt like to be thirty. she said it didn’t feel any different… except that when she went to her health club, she had to enter her age on the treadmill, and hitting “3-0” was rather mind-boggling. hehe.

i got together with her and mom today, and we had lunch at a haruki east in providence, and then went to wholefoods. following that i badly ditched my diet when we each got a yummy dessert and shared all around. i found myself eating the last bites of each. =sigh= later on at home, making the goodies for her actual birthday celebration with family tomorrow, i started snacking in the kitchen… then i couldn’t stop! why do fat and sugar taste so damn good?! alone, i think they’re gross – butter, granulated sugar, yeck! but harmonized in just the right food makes for tastebud nirvana.

i did end up getting a snazzy new pair of sneakers at dsw. i wandered the store for quite a long time, trying on various pairs, sometimes two different shoes at a time to compare the feel, standing on my tippy-toes to feel how flexible they were. then i would put the shoes away and try again with a couple other pairs. i wanted to go with new balance, because i’ve heard good things about them, but they didn’t have my size in the styles i was interested in. i ended up with a pair of silver/grey/yellow saucony running sneakers, and so far i love ’em.

another week gone by

well, not much to report, really. i’m still plugging along. i did meet a wonderful woman on spark, and she and i have been corresponding, encouraging each other and so forth (rm, you should get a xanga journal!). i probably wouldn’t be the best in a big group, but i find i like the one-on-one; although i think i find it hard to call on help when i need it (in any type of friendship situation, i mean). i don’t mind offering all the wisdom i can possibly give, but sometimes i’m ashamed to show weakness. like, if i’m lonely and want to get together with someone, i talk myself out of it because i might be melancholy, and don’t want him/her to have to “put up” with me. why do we feel we always need to be strong, level-headed? so what if we’re not? that doesn’t make us bad people – just human.

i’ve managed to stick pretty well and healthily to a low-cal diet. i’ve never been big on counting calories or measuring portion sizes, but i’ve just been sticking to some things that are working for me. besides, the way spark is set up, it’s fun and easy to record your meals. i’ve also been trying some different workout dvds. i check them outta the library, and then when they’re due or i’m sick of them, i exchange them for something else! so i get a variety and don’t have to spend money on them. nikki, how are you doing on spark?

yesterday the weather was simply gorgeous! i went for two walks, go me! first, after cleaning for my boss’s wife, i took their dog holly for a walk around the block (or, rather, she took me for a walk); then i got together with my mom and we took a stroll around her neighborhood.

after burning off, maybe, five calories between the two of us (hehe… our bodies are stubborn), we went to panera for coffee and a snack. tip: the chai tea latte is really good… but a little too big for my taste. because of my inescapable position, i’ve been thinking a lot about kids and marriage these days, how to reconcile your ideas with the opinion of others, and what to do with your conclusions. mom had a lot of good, if somewhat sobering things to say – and i concluded that, as far as some things are concerned, i’ll have to just rely on god’s grace and forgiveness because i cannot seem to do the “right” thing. =sigh=

i oftentimes find it hard to express my ideas and opinions and certain matters, because i feel i’m not as educated as the majority of people. of course, i could change that… but i just don’t have the time (or don’t feel like making the time) to persue all those things. because i feel limited in my knowledge, i feel i have to cow to the other person; they know more, are significantly more eloquent – they must be right! well, i don’t think this is always the case, and if i feel strongly about something i shouldn’t deny that.

one situation in particular is about couples having children. i am probably wrong about this, but the only place in the bible i can think of that puts this subject in terms of a command is when god says “be fruitful and multiply.” and he doesn’t give a time-frame. yes, he says children are a blessing (in those words and other ways)… but i feel it’s one of those things where we have a choice in the matter (unless he has already specifically laid it on your heart).

for instance – i’ve been in a number of unsavory job situations, and after a while i’m torn between what to do – just ride it out and hope things get better, start looking for another job, quit and see what comes up? there are times when, even though we ask for god’s guidance, there isn’t necessarily a “right” and “wrong.” sometimes you may try something, and it doesn’t work out… and other times you find it’s perfect for you, and feel that’s “where i’m supposed to be.” the bad jobs – even though they were bad, i feel there was something to be learned from them, and the good job i’m in right now… well, it’s just better all-around. does that make any sense? we can choose to marry or not to marry (no right or wrong), choose to have kids or not. sure, if we don’t have kids, we may be missing out on one of god’s blessings, but that doesn’t mean we’re disobeying him. note: it appears that 1 timothy chapter 5 deals with widows, not married women in general.

eh… i’m sick again, and not really feeling like leaving the house… but i need to run some errands. i really want to go to wholefoods and find some health food i’ve been looking for, and maybe get some new sneakers (can anyone reccomend a good brand?). toodle-oo.