It's Christmas!

I was leaving my house this morning when I stumbled upon an unexpected present. I normally don't pay attention to mail/packages in the morning but as I was leaving my building, I noticed an unclaimed package. I checked...and it was addressed to me!! I thought back to if I'd ordered anything and I couldn't come up with anything. Then I noticed it was from the Charleston Animal Society. Well, I know I didn't order anything from there. Nor is it where I got Evie from. I was confused! So I opened up the package to find....

Well, not that exact picture. It was actually this picture: 

I think you get the idea. It is an entire 2014 calender of firefighters holding animals! Mostly puppies/kittens. I mean, really...there's not a lot I like more in this world than a)puppies and b)firefighters. This present totally made my morning (actually my entire day) way better. My friend that sent it to me is beyond awesome. Now to find the perfect place to hang it up...


Everything Will Be Better

As the NPR Music team and others prepared to leave the network's old headquarters, mysterious messages began appearing on the windows and walls: "Everything will be better!"

Here lately, it seems like I've had a slew of people being mean to me. Now by no means do I think that everyone has been mean to me. Actually, as I sit here typing this, I realize way more people have been nice to me than have been mean. So if you are one of those people that think your little acts of kindness don't go very far...they do. You never know when someone is having a tough time and sitting here reflecting on little things - people saying hi, a quick e-mail to let them know you're thinking of them, holding a door open, stopping to have a conversation, offering to buy them a coffee. These are all really easy, really little things that make me realize there are nice people out there.
And by a slew of people being jerks to me - it boils down to 3 people. 3 people are ruining my days. When I think of it that way...it's really silly. And 1 of them is so entirely insignificant in my life that it should be 2 people.
1. She's more of a gnat than anything else. She just likes to run and tattle on me and everyone else. So I guess I should be glad that it's not me being singled out.
2. The office manager. She's besties with the gnat. So when the gnat runs to her and tells her things that may or may not be true (there have been both), the office manager believes her. Then I get the "disappointment" talk and hear about how when I do things, I'm disrespecting the office manager and she takes it personally. Blah blah blah. I definitely do not mean to disrespect anyone. But she actually told me "I see you on Monday mornings and I just avoid you. I don't even want to speak to you." Now, I know I'm not the most personable person in the morning times...but to say "I don't even want to speak to you" seems a bit harsh. She's also told me I come in "looking like hell" (I'm showered, hair pulled back, makeup on every day). Both of those seem like pretty personal comments, right? Am I crazy to take those personally? Please tell me if I am.
3. This stupid boy. He is so not worth it. I knew from the very beginning that he was so not worth it. When my friend told me "drop him. He's a douche." I should have listened. But I didn't. And I thought I was keeping my emotions in check. But then he seemed like he actually liked me. And I let my emotions get the better of me. And I started actually really letting myself get excited...I should've known better. So I've been singing along to Taylor Swift and trying to forget about him. It's been 2 days and it's mostly worked. He's mostly forgotten.

Things to focus on and get excited about or remind myself of:
1. The other boy I've been seeing. He's nice. He talks to me. He's respectful. He meets my criteria (job, doesn't live with his parents, cares about physical fitness, is at least moderately attractive). He seems to like hanging out with me. And while he has never seen Dirty Dancing and doesn't seem to keen about watching it...he seems like a good guy.
2. I'm moving away in 3 months and don't have to deal with that office manager being mean to me. I'm sure I'll encounter other mean people in the workplace but this will make me a stronger person.
3. I encounter so many nice people on a daily basis. I'm going to try to focus on their acts of kindness and use that when I'm feeling down.


Thank you

I checked my email tonight to find 5 emails: 1 spam, 1 duplicate and 3 from friends. 
Thank you friends. I really needed to hear from people who actually like me. Your emails couldn't have come at a better time. 



This is definitely an emergency. I'm having a bad weekend. I'm trying to eat until my feelings go away. Yesterday at lunch I had fries & a coke. No big deal, it's a cheat and gluten free. Then I ordered a pizza for dinner. And had my emergency coke. Today's a new day right? Except I'm about 2 seconds from ordering a grilled cheese. Or cheese fries. I can't seem to get a handle on this. If it weren't snowy & icy out I would drive to Taco Bell. 



Doesn't it just stink when you like a guy and you suspect he may have a date lined up with another girl? I'm sure Taylor Swift wrote a song about this. I should spend some time with my T-Swifty playlist. We can relate to each other.



Happy Thanksgiving!!

I'm going to keep this short: had a good day. Thankful for salt trucks/road plows. Like my family and really happy I get to/want to hang out with them every year. Ate too much. Made it thru 7 egg custards out of 12. Couldn't eat any more. 



I need new workout shoes. I'm currently wearing Innov8's and I like them a lot. They are a minimal drop shoe (the sole is about the same height from toe to heel) and are very light. I got them in a royal blue/green combo.

The only downside? I've had them for about 6 months and the mid-sole is starting to break down. I think the breakdown is from rope climbs (which we rarely do at my gym). I also feel like they are more flexible than when I first got them. I think I can get a few more months out of them...but know I need to at least start looking into a new pair.

Things that are important to me:
minimal drop
pretty colors

Here are a few I'm looking at.  Another pair of Inov8's. I know I like the shoe. I am a little disappointed with the price (approx $120) and only holding up for 6 months. (I got my first pair on sale)
The Inov8 Bare-XF 177. These are supposed to be unsurpassed in rope climbing technology. But again - cost vs durability.

Women's Reebok CrossFit Nano Speed Shoes V46664Reebok Crossfit Nano Speed. These shoes are made specifically for crossfit. They are lighter than the normal Nano and are a crossfit shoe you can run in. I guess a lot of crossfit shoes aren't good for running. Anyways, these retail for about $100. I like this color combo but am worried because the other pair of black shoes I have always make me feel like I'm in a 1988 hip hop dance group. But these are a "ironstone" and not black.

Minimus 10v2, Blue with Diva Pink & YellowNew Balance Minimus 10v2 - I LOVE LOVE LOVE this color combo. It has a 4mm drop, which isn't huge but I'm used to either a 3mm or zero drop. So I'm not sure if the 4mm would feel like I was standing in wedge heels. They are on sale for $90.
Minimus 20v2, Green with PinkNew Balance Minimus 20v2 - I like this color combo. It's got a 4mm drop and is $70. I like this price...but am curious how they differ from the one above it.

Does anyone have any experience or advice on good crossfit shoes?


I almost forgot!!

I almost forgot to blog!! So close to the end. But I have to go pack and unload my dishwasher so this is all you get tonight. 


5 more days!

5 days left NaBloPoMo. Aside from that slight mix up where you didn't actually publish the post I wrote at the beginning of the month, I've felt good about you this year. Some days finding things to write about was hard. Some days it was easy. But I've written (or put a picture up) daily. We've had a successful month.

Highlights of today:
- did my first workout with unbanded kipping pull-ups.
- my boss was in a good mood which encouraged me to be in a good mood.
- there was a really cute paramedic patient in today. We flirted for a bit. I liked that feeling.
- I decided to text someone...just to say hey and not have a particular purpose for the conversation. (For those of you that I do this to regularly, it's not a big deal. But I only talk to like 3 people with a rambling, non-purposeful conversation.)
- It snowed and it was pretty.
- I did not wreck my car in the icy snow mixture.
- I made it into the chiropractor and had a good adjustment.
- I managed to eat healthy all day, including a kale/beet/blueberry juice that turned out to be pretty tasty.


Why Me?

I'm going to throw a quick pity party. You're all invited. Keep reading if you want to come. Stop reading if you don't want to make an appearance.

What is it about me that make people think it's ok to cancel on me last minute? I'm a nice person. I don't think I do this to people. But it gets done to me on a regular basis. I invite "friends" out to dinner and they say they'll come...and then about an hour or so beforehand, "Oh hey, something came up. I can't make it." I get that things come up. I'm an understanding person. But why is it that every time someone is going to hang out with me...something comes up? How does that happen every single time? At what point do I stop trying to hang out with those same people? It's mean. And it hurts my feelings.

If this were one person, I'd think it was just them. But it's multiple people. Which makes me think it has to be something about me. Is it ok to run over me? Do my feelings not matter? Do they think I don't have feelings? It's not everyone that I know that does it. I have a couple friends who rarely cancel on me. I try to focus on them and hang out with them more and the cancelers less...but they aren't always around or available. Which has me making plans with the cancelers and then hanging out by myself.

Ok, pity party over. I'll find something more upbeat to talk about tomorrow.


Getting Old

I think I'm getting old. I don't know which of these makes that most evident:

1. It's Saturday night and I'm doing laundry.
2. I'm watching The Lawrence Welk Show. And enjoying it.
3. It's 7:15. I've already eaten dinner and am in my pajamas.
4. I'm trying to stay awake until 9pm.


Cooking, cooking...and then more cooking

Since I have to work tomorrow (and mostly because I'm a homebody), I decided to stay in tonight and prep food for the next few days. I've been at work for about 3 hours now. I'm not done. I'm done for the night. Here is what I made:

Breakfast burger sandwiches - comprised of 2 turkey patty "buns", bacon, spinach, mashed avocado & a tomato slice.  They look pretty good. But they are pretty giant. I'm willing to bet they will be incredibly messy and not a good car food. 

Paleo chili - a recipe from crossfitchicago.com.  It's chili with bacon, beef, peppers, onions, and fire roasted tomatoes.  It has good heat and the flavor is tasty. But I like beans in my chili. Beans are not paleo. But if this chili had beans in it, it would be the bomb-diggity.

Egg Stuffed Tomato - It's basically egg salad put into a hollowed out tomato. Simple but it looks pretty. 

That is as far as I got. I still need to make:

Sweet Garlic Shrimp (served over spinach)
Fish & Chips & Mushy Peas (A British classic supposedly. I think mushy peas sound really good!!)
Chorizo & Beef Burgers (also served with spinach)


A Good Night

Yikes. I don't know what has been up with my brain the past 2 days! I forgot my purse at work yesterday. I forgot my keys in the house today. I don't know where my brain has been but not in my head.
Tonight didn't go exactly as planned but it was still a good night. The plan was: gym, cook dinner/lunch/breakfast for the next few days, relax, watch tv. Since my keys were sitting in my house, that didn't quite work out. I did make it to the gym. That's about where the plans ended.
The gym was good - I bench pressed about 80% of my max bench for 2 rounds of 9 & 10 reps respectively.  If you're like..."huh?", that means the most I've ever bench pressed is 80 pounds and to do the exact same lift at 80% for multiple reps means I could probably lift more than 80 pounds  for only 1 rep. I also did some deadhang pullups (starting from a hanging position and not using momentum) at a lighter band that what I'd normally use. Which is good. I need to get some good pullup action going on.
This is where the plan strayed. Instead of coming home and cooking (since I couldn't get in my house), I went to dinner with the maybe-dumb guy. He was heading in almost the same direction as I was, so I tagged along. I didn't want to wander the city by myself looking for a bus. He offered to grab a drink with me if I needed to waste some time. I suggested dinner instead since we had just worked out & both needed to eat. We ended up at a mexican restaurant. I know, I know. Mexican! I love mexican! But! Just you wait. I didn't eat a single chip! I got fajitas with no tortillas, no rice & beans. It was meat & veggies with a side of sour cream & guacamole. I did have a margarita. But only 1. And it was the smallest size available. They ended up bringing complimentary shots of tequila at the end. I think the waiter felt bad that I didn't get any food with my meal. But I really enjoyed the company. I didn't get the impression that the guy was dumb this time around. I liked talking to him. I kinda want to hang out with him more. Maybe this is the tequila talking though?
Anyways, we parted ways, I made it home and the property manager was nice enough to let me in the house. It turned out to be a good night, just in unexpected ways.


Happiness is a Habit

My fake nutritionist (he's not fake. But if you heard some of the stuff he has recommended, it goes against "conventional" dieting advice. That's a different post.) posted this article today. I liked it so I'll share it with you.
I don't necessarily think of myself as a "happy" person. I'm not an unhappy person. I'm not really a glass half full or a glass half empty type of person. There's a glass. There's liquid in it. Depending on the day, my viewpoint changes. I try to maintain a positive outlook....but I'm good at letting things get the best of me. I get annoyed far too easily. And I let things bother me way too much. So I'm going to try to keep these things in mind:

 21 Habits of Happy People

“Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.” ~ Elbert Hubbard
Happiness is one aspiration all people share. No one wants to be sad and depressed.

We’ve all seen people who are always happy – even amidst agonizing life trials. I’m not saying happy people don’t feel grief, sorrow or sadness; they just don’t let it overtake their life. The following are 21 things happy people make a habit of doing:

1. Appreciate Life

Be thankful that you woke up alive each morning. Develop a childlike sense of wonder towards life. Focus on the beauty of every living thing. Make the most of each day. Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

2. Choose Friends Wisely

Surround yourself with happy, positive people who share your values and goals. Friends that have the same ethics as you will encourage you to achieve your dreams. They help you to feel good about yourself. They are there to lend a helping hand when needed.

3. Be Considerate

Accept others for who they are as well as where they are in life. Respect them for who they are. Touch them with a kind and generous spirit. Help when you are able, without trying to change the other person. Try to brighten the day of everyone you come into contact with.

4. Learn Continuously

Keep up to date with the latest news regarding your career and hobbies. Try new and daring things that has sparked your interest – such as dancing, skiing, surfing or sky-diving.

5. Creative Problem Solving

Don’t wallow in self-pity. As soon as you face a challenge get busy finding a solution. Don’t let the set backs affect your mood, instead see each new obstacle you face as an opportunity to make a positive change. Learn to trust your gut instincts – it’s almost always right.

6. Do What They Love

Some statistics show that 80% of people dislike their jobs! No wonder there’s so many unhappy people running around. We spend a great deal of our life working. Choose a career that you enjoy – the extra money of a job you detest isn’t worth it. Make time to enjoy your hobbies and pursue special interests.

7. Enjoy Life

Take the time to see the beauty around you. There’s more to life than work. Take time to smell the roses, watch a sunset or sunrise with a loved one, take a walk along the seashore, hike in the woods etc. Learn to live in the present moment and cherish it. Don’t live in the past or the future.

8. Laugh

Don’t take yourself – or life to seriously. You can find humor in just about any situation. Laugh at yourself – no one’s perfect. When appropriate laugh and make light of the circumstances. (Naturally there are times that you should be serious as it would be improper to laugh.)

9. Forgive

Holding a grudge will hurt no one but you. Forgive others for your own peace of mind. When you make a mistake – own up to it – learn from it – and FORGIVE yourself.

10. Gratitude

Develop an attitude of gratitude. Count your blessings; All of them – even the things that seem trivial. Be grateful for your home, your work and most importantly your family and friends. Take the time to tell them that you are happy they are in your life.

11. Invest in Relationships

Always make sure your loved ones know you love them even in times of conflict. Nurture and grow your relationships with your family and friends by making the time to spend with them. Don’t break your promises to them. Be supportive.

12. Keep Their Word

Honesty is the best policy. Every action and decision you make should be based on honesty. Be honest with yourself and with your loved ones.

13. Meditate

Meditation gives your very active brain a rest. When it’s rested you will have more energy and function at a higher level. Types of meditation include yoga, hypnosis, relaxation tapes, affirmations, visualization or just sitting in complete silence. Find something you enjoy and make the time to practice daily.

14. Mind Their Own Business

Concentrate on creating your life the way you want it. Take care of you and your family. Don’t get overly concerned with what other people are doing or saying. Don’t get caught up with gossip or name calling. Don’t judge. Everyone has a right to live their own life the way they want to – including you.

15. Optimism

See the glass as half full. Find the positive side of any given situation. It’s there – even though it may be hard to find. Know that everything happens for a reason, even though you may never know what the reason is. Steer clear of negative thoughts. If a negative thought creeps in – replace it with a positive thought.

16. Love Unconditionally

Accept others for who they are. You don’t put limitations on your love. Even though you may not always like the actions of your loved ones – you continue to love them.

17. Persistence

Never give up. Face each new challenge with the attitude that it will bring you one step closer to your goal. You will never fail, as long as you never give up. Focus on what you want, learn the required skills, make a plan to succeed and take action. We are always happiest while pursuing something of value to us.

18. Be Proactive

Accept what can not be changed. Happy people don’t waste energy on circumstances beyond their control. Accept your limitations as a human being. Determine how you can take control by creating the outcome you desire – rather than waiting to respond.

19. Self Care

Take care of your mind, body and health. Get regular medical check ups. Eat healthy and work out. Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water. Exercise your mind by continually energizing it with interesting and exciting challenges.

20. Self Confidence

Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. After all no one likes a phony. Determine who you are in the inside – your own personal likes and dislikes. Be confident in who you are. Do the best you can and don’t second guess yourself.

21. Take Responsibility

Happy people know and understand that they are 100% responsible for their life. They take responsibility for their moods, attitude, thoughts, feelings, actions and words. They are the first to admit when they’ve made a mistake.

Begin today by taking responsibility for your happiness. Work on developing these habits as you own. The more you incorporate the above habits into your daily lifestyle – the happier you will be.



Winter Has Arrived

Winter is here. How do I know that? The trees have been stripped of their leaves. There is a chill in the air that never goes away. Winter jackets are appearing everywhere. Fur-lined hoods are being seen. It takes people 5 minutes to disrobe upon entering a building. Snowflakes have drifted about. The radiators have been clanging. (Seriously. It sounds like someone is banging on my radiator with a metal spoon. All. Winter. Long.) The barren trees are now flaunting holiday lights. Christmas displays are in the windows. (Let's be realistic though - they started appearing at least two months ago).  Thanksgiving shows are in abundance on television. My stomach is excited about stuffing and egg custard. My heart is aflutter at the thought of seeing my puppy girl. But the thing that most tells me it's winter? This finally has been broken out:


I bet you thought I forgot...

Well I almost did. I was out at the Eli Young Band concert. It was fun but really crowded. I guess I'll probably never be at a big artist like that giving me a private performance....but I hate constantly getting shoved! I set up camp in the corner where I could halfway see the band.  My friends tried to get closer - they managed about 2 feet further up. So the view was the same and they go shoved around. I guess I like live music but I like my "bubble" of personal space more. It was a fun time with everyone though. 


Crazy winds & flat tires

I'm supposed to be at home blogging from my computer but I'm not.
I went outside to drive over to K/H's new house. I remembered to check my oil. And as I backed out I realized I had a flat tire. I've seen enough tires changed so I decided to give it a go myself. I gathered the tire iron, spare and a jack. I jumped on the tire iron and was able to get the ....those....off. Lug nuts? I don't know what they are called. They came off. I jacked the car up, put the spare on. Started lowering the car down and realized the spare was flat. Eh. Called AAA. They came to put air in the spare. Went to Firestone...and they are closed Sundays.  As is Midas and Walts auto World. 
Went to Wal-Mart. I know, I know. But I didn't really have any other options. Oh. I almost forgot: throughout the entire day numerous people kept asking me if I was ok...I guess there were tornados in the Chicago area. Ok, fast forward to wal-mart. The store shut down due to a tornado touching down not too far away. They corralled everyone to the shoe department and let us hang out for 10-15 minutes. Eventually the storm passed and I got my car but there are supposed to be high winds the rest of the night, there are trees down all over and semi trucks are flipped on their sides on the toll road. So I'm hanging out another night and will try to make my way home in the daylight tomorrow. 




Steak Au Poivre & Meatzza

I'm in charge of cooking while I visit my brother's girlfriend this weekend. (She's my friend too...but easiest to describe her relation to me as the bro's gf)  My brother is out of town. He tends to do most of the cooking when I'm around. I asked if we could try to maintain my paleo diet and she said yes....if I cooked. Since I'm cooking for myself all week...I figure I can cook for her too. I don't really like cooking for other people since sometimes the food turns out questionable (Remember the raw chicken & burnt rice?) I saw this recipe on The Chew and thought it sounded a)paleo and b)delicious.

Steak Au Poivre
  • 3 pounds Sirloin Steak
  • Salt
  • Coarsely cracked Black Pepper
  • Butter
  • 2 Shallots (chopped)
  • 3 Garlic cloves (minced)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half
    I'll serve it with brussel sprouts & maybe some mashed cauliflower.  I'm most excited about the bourbon cream sauce.
    I'm also going to make meatzza. "WHAT IN THE WORLD IS MEATZZA?" you might be wondering. It's pizza but made on a meat crust. "THAT SOUNDS DISGUSTING" you might be thinking...except it's actually pretty good. I'll try to remember to take pictures. Picture, if you will, a thin sausage crust, topped with pizza sauce, cheese and more meat. It's better than it sounds. Promise. 



    I want to juice. I don't want to be one of those crazy "I only eat liquid meal" juicers. But maybe one a day to really pack in my veggies. I'm working on taking in 2-3 servings of leafy greens per day. I don't actually know how big one serving should be. (ok, I just looked it up. Each serving is approximately 1 cup.) Smoothies and juices were recommended.

    I had my first one on Tuesday. As I blindly combined ingredients, I had this look on my face. Ew. It was sounding pretty gross. Coconut water or filtered water? Coconut? Kale? yes. Spinach? yes. Green apples? ....yeah? I was instructed to add some fruit because right now I pretty much just had a warm smoothie and that wouldn't be very good. The grocery store that was making this smoothie froze all their fruit. So bananas and pineapple found their way into my smoothie. I was pretty terrified taking a sip...and wow! It was actually pretty good! It tasted mostly of banana. And it was very green. It was about 2 servings of my leafy greens for the day!

    So the smoothie was delicious. But it was $5. I can't spend $5 a day on smoothies. That seems ridiculous and excessive. So I want to buy a juicer. Or a blender that can handle all of those ingredients. I don't know much in the way of blenders vs juicers. It is definitely time to do some research. Does anyone have any input? A favorite blender/juicer? Any favorite ingredients to throw in?


    You Better Work!

    I have some things to work on. These are things that will probably better me and make me, in general, a more pleasant person.

    1. I should wake up at least 1 hour before I need to leave the house. This way I have time to shower, do my make up and (this brings me to #2):
    2. I should eat breakfast. I should allow myself enough time to cook breakfast. If I choose to have a shake, that is my choice. But I should make sure I have enough time to make it.
    3. I should eat 3-4x daily. I have a bad habit of sending my body into starvation mode. I can think of at least twice in the last week that I have only eaten once per day. It's probably been more than that. Because I can only think back 3 days.
    4. I should be better about taking my supplements. I take fish oil and magnesium. I should be taking 4-6 fish oil capsules per day to help aid recovery from my workouts and give me a healthy source of fat. If I remember, I take 2. I don't always remember. The magnesium is supposed to help me sleep. I don't remember to take it very often. I also should be taking Vitamin D, a multivitamin and maybe HCl. The HCl is a maybe because it seems to be giving me acid reflux, which means maybe my stomach is already producing enough acid on it's own. I'm taking a few days off to see if my sudden onset of acid reflux goes away.
    5. As winter sets in, I tend to want to hibernate instead of working out. I need to maintain working out 4x/week.
    6. I should work on taking in more water. I aim for 80-100 ounces per day. I'm usually right at 60. Hydration is a good thing.

    These are all fitness/diet related. That is my main focus right now. There are probably other areas in my life that could use a ton of work but this seems the easiest to start with.



    Is it a deal breaker that the guy doesn't know what chamomile is? What about the fact that he pronounced it shamomile? Ok maybe I'm being a little picky....but what about chevre? Doesn't everyone know what chevre is? I bet Steve Harvey would make sure a guy could pronounce such common words as chamomile and chevre.

    I feel like I owe you something more. I've had short posts for you the last few days. So, for my good friend, I will post this: I think my friend is one of the most awesome people ever. He can make me laugh or at the very least smile even in my darkest times. When I need advice, I can hear his voice in my head "You know I've believed in you for years babe." He is always on my side, even when I'm wrong. He'll tell me I'm wrong. But he's still on my side.
    If I could clone him and make one of him for me - I'd do it in a heartbeat. But that would be weird. I can't clone him.
    So, friend, there you go. That's what I think of you. I miss living near you and wish I could hang out with you every single day.


    I Owe You

    I owe you a long post. Yesterday's post was pretty bad. I can elaborate. I was on my way to a friend's house for game night. I had pretty much no free time between working, a quick nap and getting ready. So I blogged from my phone in the cab ride down there. It was a fun night.

    I had planned to give you a little more today...except I just got asked on a date. I think it's a date. I'm so bad at knowing people's intentions. He said "Do you want to get a drink sometime?" That sounds like a date, right? He asked if I was free tonight...and I am. Plus I'm bored with being in my house. So I'll jump at the chance to get out. So I'm off to a gin bar. And that means you get another short post. My apologies. If this goes horribly, I'll brainstorm ideas for a better post during the (?) date.


    Chatty cab drivers

    They are not my favorites. That is all. 


    North Carolina or Bust

    I made the decision to move back to North Carolina. It didn't take a ton of thought. Well, the location did. But leaving the city did not. There are aspects of city life that I like. I'll start with those.
    1. the wide variety of restaurants
    2. the variety of things to do - improv, music, theater
    3. The summer time is easy living!
    4. Being close to my brother & his girlfriend (Guess that's not so much big city living as the location)
    5. ......I thought this list would be a lot longer.

    Let's move onto the things I don't like:
    1. Everyone is always in a rush and thinks the smallest things inconvenience them far more than it actually does.
    2. There is a wide variety of people. Which isn't a big deal. But it's easier when everyone is like you. I like being able to say Merry Christmas. Here in the city, you have no idea if people celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, Serbian Christmas, the month of December, nothing at all....you get the idea. And if you say Merry Christmas to the wrong person...oh no! You've insulted them and their entire family and everyone they know and they'll let you know it.
    3. People don't think about how they treat other people. And since I'm accustomed to being nice, I get run over. A lot. People don't think twice about cancelling plans with me last minute. People don't think twice about making me work extra without asking me. People don't think twice about anything. And when I try to be like that, I have a bad attitude and I'm not being myself.
    4. I don't like the person I'm turning into. I don't want to rush everywhere. I don't want to think only of myself. I don't want to feel like being a nice person means I'm going to get run over. It shouldn't be that way.

    So the lists are actually about even. Which is surprising. But here's the tipping point: I want to be closer to family. I grew up in North Carolina and that feels like home to me. Even though I won't be (and don't want to be) living in my hometown, I'll be close enough that when I have a bad day and just need the comfort of familiarity, it's within reach. I like the food down there. (This should probably be a post for another day) I like the weather down there better.

    I toyed with the idea of moving back to Charleston. It was between Raleigh and Charleston. Both are familiar. Both have people that I care about. But I tried Charleston and it didn't work for me. I don't know that enough has changed in the last 2 years that it will work for me. I don't want to put everyone I know in Charleston through that - my former coworkers, my friends, etc. How do I ask them to accept me again and then decide it's not for me? If I up and leave again, it's just not right. So I'll give Raleigh a try and see how it goes. I'm excited about the move. I'm excited to be back in the South. I'm excited to have manners again. I'm excited to be treated like a person again!


    What A Day!

    When I started this blog, it felt like all these unrealistic things were happening to me. Like I'd tell a story and people would stop me midway thru the story and say "What, are you for real?" And I'd be like "Yes, seriously. These are for real things. I'm not making up any part of this story." It gave my life a surreal feel. Well, since I moved to the city and got more adapted to big city life, it felt like these things stopped happening. Maybe I just didn't notice them or maybe they weren't happening. Either way, my life quickly lost it's surreality (Is that a word?).
    Today - all of that changed!
    1. I woke up (easily) at 4:45. Now, I know you're thinking, whatever. You could do that every day if you wanted. And yes, perhaps I could. But me getting out of bed at that time is kind of a big deal. And for me to be happy at that time? Unheard of. It happened today. I got to the gym, had time to sit and warm up to the idea of being awake before I had to interact with anyone. I got to enjoy the silence of the morning. And it was nice.
    2. I went to meet with the director of a movie. This actually might deserve it's own post but I'll come back to how I thought this was a hoax. Long story short, a friend of mine works in the movie industry and she put something on facebook about looking for someone that could contort or dislocate their shoulders. I replied and said I could, sent her a video and a couple pictures and she set me up to meet with the director. I could be a stunt person! I met with the director today and I don't think anything is going to pan out. But, still! She wants someone that can just pop their shoulder out and let it hang by their side. I can't do that. But I was on a movie set! (It seems like a pretty crappy horror movie - it's called Anguish. Look for it in the future and know that could possibly maybe be my shoulders!)
    3. THE STEVE HARVEY SHOW CALLED ME! They were inviting me to be a guest on their show along with 4 of my friends. I was going to meet the man of my dreams that my friends picked out for me. I'm sure Steve Harvey would have helped. His input would have been the special touch. However, my work said that I could not have the day off to go for filming. So I will not be meeting the man of my dreams. Not with Steve Harvey's help at least. Maybe we'll find each other on our own....but with my track record, I'm not betting on it.


    An Early Night

    I don't really have anything to blog about today. And I should have been in bed 30 minutes ago. I'm starting a new job at my gym tomorrow. I'm hoping to pick up 1 day a week in order to cover the cost of my gym membership. Right now I'm only working tomorrow and then waiting to hear about more available shifts. But that means I have to get up at 4:45. I don't do mornings. I have no idea how this is even humanly possible. I'll let you know tomorrow how it goes.


    Big Gains


    " data-width="550">
    > by Crossfit">https://www.facebook.com/CrossFitChicago">Crossfit Chicago.

    Let's see if that works. I'm so bad at posting links/videos. But anyways on to the point of this post...

    I don't know how many of you know this about me but I'm in a cult. This cult is sickening. It takes over your mind and, more importantly, your mouth. It's easy to allow it to consume your life. "What is this horrible thing you speak of" is I'm sure what you're thinking right now. It's...crossfit.
    For those of you that don't know, crossfit is workouts that are constantly varied, functional movements executed at high intensity and scalable to your fitness level. Constantly varied means every day you’ll tackle a new or different workout. Functional movements are the normal movements your body goes through in life like running, lifting, squatting, shoving and pulling. We want to help you find your intensity while making sure the workouts you are doing are manageable based on your individual capabilities. Blah blah....what in the world does that mean, you might be asking? It's workouts that prepare you for real life. Now I'm pretty sure the only time in real life I'd need to do the above movement (handstand pushups) is....well...when would I need to do that? Maybe if I fell in a hole and was stuck upside down and needed to take some weight off my neck? Ok so maybe handstand pushups aren't the best example. Let's move on to squatting. I need to be able to properly squat to lift things or to help move things or if a zombie were attacking, a squat is a good starting tackle position. I'm fairly certain that crossfit prepares you for 2 things in life: zombie attacks and burning buildings.
    I've been doing this for a little over a year at this point. When I started, I'd never lifted a barbell. And pullups? Why would I do those? Unless there is a piece of cake on a shelf and I couldn't find a chair to climb on to reach it...I think you get the point. I've seen some really big gains over the past year and each and every one is exciting. I'm nowhere near the really awesome people who do this. But my gains are big for me! I can actually lift over 100 pounds in a couple different ways! I never thought I'd be strong enough to do that. The above video (if it works) shows me doing my first workout with handstand pushups to 1 mat. I'm actually pretty good at those. I like gymnastic based movements. Tonight, I did my first kipping pull-up. I'm a little out of progression here. I should have a deadhang pullup first (kipping: uses momentum to get chin over bar. deadhang: starting from a hanging position) and I've been working on those, but we were working on kipping pull-ups in class so I thought I'd try it...AND IT HAPPENED! I did like 4 of them as I had to then run and show different people.
    I like doing crossfit. It's the first fitness thing (aside from cheerleading) that I've ever really been able to stick with long term. I like noticing my new muscles, which is a little vain...but I've never really had muscles before! So if you see me rubbing on my arm...I'm probably just feeling my tiny little forming bicep!


    Get to Know Me

    Well, let's go back to 2001 and complete one of these. It most definitely counts as a valid post.

    1. Will you talk to the person you like on the phone tonight? No. Nor will I text him. (Did I mention today that I don't like him?)
    2. Ever had a near death experience? No.
    3. Where’s your cell phone? On my stomach so I can change the song I'm listening to.
    4. What is the last thing you thought about? What music I wanted to listen to.
    5. Do you regret anything? Not really.
    6. If you found out you were pregnant who would you tell? My priest. Because there'd be some praying going down.
    7. What are you going to do this weekend? Work Saturday. Beyond that, not a clue.
    8. When was the last time you talked to one of your best friends? Tonight on the phone.
    9. Do you prefer revenge or just pure jealousy/envy? I do not prefer any of those. I'd like to think I've outgrown revenge. And I hate jealousy/envy.
    10. Who would you like your next “fling” to be with? If you've read any previous posts, I think you know the answer to that.
    11. Would you curse in front of your parents? Sometimes. But mostly not.
    12. What kind of camera do you have? uhhhh...an Iphone? (This must have been written in 2001 when people actually used cameras...)
    13. Would you rather go to a party or out of town? Out of town.
    14. Are you slowly drifting away from someone close? Aren't we always drifting?
    15. When was the last time you held someone’s hand? Friday night? I'm questioning because I don't actually remember. But hand holding just to hand hold? Last December.
    16. Who can you tell everything to? Mary Beth, Heather. Julia, if I am ok being told that what I'm doing is wrong. Sometimes I don't want to hear that because I already know that answer.
    17. Can you play guitar hero? Not very well, but yes.
    18. Do you like www.facebookcraze.com? I don't know what that is...
    19. Is any part of your body sore? My butt/legs. Rough workout day.
    20. Are you missing someone right now? Maybe. I don't know. I'm on the fence about that.
    21. Is there someone on your mind that shouldn’t be? No
    22. When was the last time you saw the person you last kissed? Friday night
    23. Do you like your phone? sure
    24. Last alcoholic beverage? Bourbon, beer and a taste of absinthe.
    25. Have you ever slept in a bed with the opposite sex? ....is my mother reading this?
    26. Have any of your best friends ever back stabbed you? yes
    27. If you had to move in with a friend, which one would you pick? Julia or Mary Beth
    28. What’s the seventh text message in your inbox say? Cool
    29. When is your next road trip? Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving
    30. What did you do this weekend? Got my hair done, went out with friends.
    31. Met anyone new in the past week? No one that is relevant in my life at this point
    32. What does your bestfriends call you? Neighbor, Kristin, Noodle
    33. Who was the last person to go to the movies with you? Jessica
    34. Are you currently fighting with someone? No
    35. Last time you had butterflies in your stomach? Friday
    36. Who/What would you like to see right now? my pillow. I'm tired.
    37. Are you mad at someone right now? No
    38. What’s the nicest text in your inbox say? "Hey cheer up. Don't let that places funky mood get you down. You know you're a great hygienist!! There are going to be good and bad months!"
    39. Do you mainly use your house phone or your cell phone? Do people still have house phones?
    40. Is there an empty place in your heart? My heart is an empty hole.
    41. Do you count down the days till anything? Yes
    42. Are you looking forward to something as of right now? Not really
    43. Have you ever been called a tease? Probably
    44. What are your chances of getting with your crush? Not good. Half because I don't think he knows I'm interested. Half because I don't think he's all that interested. And half because I don't know that I want to date him. (3 halves equal a whole, right?)
    45. What is the farthest you’ve traveled with a friend? The Outer Banks from Chicago. I don't really do road trips with friends...
    46. Are any of your friends so close that you consider them family? Yes
    47. Anyone told you a secret this week? Not that I can think of
    48. Do you ever turn your cell phone off? Sometimes when I need to disconnect
    49. Do you hate anyone? No
    50. Last time you wore the opposite sex’s clothing? About a month ago
    51. What do you want in your life right now? Happiness. Peace. Predictability.
    52. When was the last time you laughed so hard you thought you were going to cry? Wow. It's been entirely too long. I don't even really know.
    53. Did you tell someone something today? I mean, I spoke to people today. I told someone they should floss their teeth. Do those things count?
    54. Do you trust people easily? Not at all.
    55. What were you doing at 9pm Friday night? Sleeping on my couch. I'm awesome. I know.


    Why I Don't Date

    I seem to be getting in conversations lately about dating. I try to end the conversation quickly with "I don't date." Sometimes this ends the conversation. Sometimes this leads to questions. So here is why I don't date:

    1) I am horrible at it. I start out all super cool and awesome. And then when things get more serious, a switch flips. I don't mean for it to flip. I try to stop it. It's like watching a horror movie. You're all like "No! Don't go in the house!" But I go in the house anyways. Except instead of going in the house, I make snide comments (Who? Me??). I try to stay the super cool girl. But it always fails. I don't like to be crazy. And until I can find someone to date who will actually tell me "Yo. You're acting crazy. Stop it." I don't need to date.
    2) It always ends badly. I know what you're thinking. You only marry one person and if you breakup, then in theory, that's a relationship ending badly. Except I always ends up with a broken heart, sitting on my couch with a pint of melting ice cream. For like a month. It's not worth it. When it's all over with, I don't even like the guys that much. So a month of crying/ice cream eating/couch sitting may seem a bit of an overreaction (who? me??) but at the time, it seems entirely appropriate.
    3) I lose track of things that matter. I get wrapped up in the person and pass up on hanging out with friends, going to the gym, taking care of myself and my house. Then afterwards, I'm all like "Oh my house is so messy." And I notice it because I'm just sitting on my couch, adding to the mess. And eating ice cream when I haven't been in the gym in so long.
    4) I can't actually land a date up here. I know...that's not so much my decision not to date as it is circumstances. But seriously? It's nearly impossible. I don't get it.
    5) I hate emotions. I mean, I like happy emotions. But that feeling when you're starting to fall for someone? It's more like drowning. Which is not a happy emotion. Granted, it's drowning in happiness. But it's still drowning. Still bad. (If I have to drown in happiness, I'd like to drown in Mr. W's gravy. That would be the ideal thing for me to drown in.)
    6) I'm not known for picking winners to date. I try to switch things up, try different types...but they always end up the same type in the end. Douchebags. Yes, it's true. They can start out so nice...and in the end? They are all jerks. So the question is, are they jerks when I meet them and I don't see it? Or do I somehow turn them into jerks?
    7) I'm terrified of getting hurt. (See #2) That's a horrible place to end up in and knowing that the odds are in favor of things ending (And in my case, poorly), it makes me not want to go there.

    Maybe one day, I'll meet a guy who makes me want to throw caution to the wind. But right now, I've got my wall up and it's not coming down anytime soon.



    I blogged from my phone yesterday. About my adorable hair. AND IT DIDN'T SAVE! I hit publish. It said it was published...but then I get on here today to blog - no post. Boo. So I'm going to change the date on this because I did post it yesterday. Long and short of it - my hair was adorable yesterday. I went to go get it cut and was flipping through a magazine while she was doing it. I commented on a hairstyle being adorable and she said she could do it before I left if I wanted her to. Score! (Will try to post a picture from my phone. Let's see if it actually works this time) (I just saw my failed publish from yesterday on my phone. So I know I didn't imagine posting it.)


    Welcome to NaBloPoMo 2013

    Hey there everybody. It's that time of year again. You get me - every day. For an entire month. Lucky!! What shall I kick off this year off with?

    I mentioned the other day that I'm moving back to North Carolina. Well...wouldn't it just work that now is the time that people want to be my friend? Don't get me wrong. I have a handful of friends here in the city. But not many. And suddenly in the last couple weeks, a couple girls from the gym are wanting to hang out with me. And there's this boy. Why does this happen when I'm ready to go? I'm going to go hang out with them...but where were they 6 months ago? Sheesh. Isn't that the way life works? But I'm glad to be making more friends. (Sorry this was a pretty crappy post today. I'm in a bit of a rush - plans with that boy that I don't like but I wanted to post before I met up with him.)


    Yo Quiero Taco Bell

    I made a deal with my nutrition guy - when I get to under 19% body fat that I can go get Taco Bell. And I can go get it once a week so long as I can maintain under 19% body fat!! Well guess who just eeked in under that? This kid right here! 18.5%! I am excited....but I didn't go to Taco Bell tonight. Mostly because I also made a deal with him that if I cheated, I'd do 100 burpees the same day of the cheat meal. And those 100 burpees are not fun at all. I'd be able to go eat Taco Bell penalty free...but have dinner plans for Saturday night at my favorite Italian place. That meal would equal burpees. (I'm allowed a cheat meal penalty free for every 5 days I can get through eating clean) I'm trying to remember to eat good food when I cheat...not Taco Bell.

    I just wrapped up a nutrition challenge and got an invitation to start another. I should do it. It keeps me motivated and honest. It keeps me eating clean. I made it (mostly) through the last 6 weeks with eating good. I had good results with the last one but know I can see better results if I will just stick with it. The rumor is I got 2nd place - only to lose to a girl who lost 20 pounds and 5% body fat. (I lost 8 lbs and about 1.5% body fat)....the consequences this time are much more severe though. Before and after pictures in skimpy shorts and a sports bra - to be posted on the gym blog along with my reasoning why I wasn't as successful as the winner. (Is Taco Bell enough of an answer for that?) I'm on the fence. I should do it...but it's an 8 week challenge. Holidays. Egg custard. Stuffing. Yumminess.


    Ready to Whine

    Here I was, all set to whine about how horrid my day was and how unfair my job is being...but I'm not going to do that.

    I heard this song and it completely distracted me from my worries. I'm most definitely not in this place right now...but the song is so pretty and it just instantly transports me there. So instead of whining, I'm going to share this song with you - I love this girl's voice.  (Sure hope this link works!!)

    Every Time I Fall in Love - Clare Bowens



    I need to get better at blogging...

    *sigh* I've gotten really bad at updating this thing. But NaBloPoMo starts Friday and I've participated (I think) every year! I shouldn't skip this one. So I'm going to get better at updating.
    What's new in my life?
    1) I'm moving back to NC. That's the big thing. It's not exactly common knowledge but I'm not exactly hiding it either. I don't have an exact departure date. It will be March 31 or April 30 or something like that. I'm excited about it. I'll fill you in more throughout November, I'm sure.
    2) I'm still doing crossfit. I feel like I may have finally gotten somewhere with figuring out how to eat somewhat healthy...just in time to move back to the land of biscuits and fried chicken. So maybe I haven't figured this stuff out. But I'm getting stronger and am not very actively working on getting a pullup.
    3) Work is work. It monopolizes my life. It stinks. Is this what being a grownup is like? I don't like it, if that's the case.
    4) I met a boy. I am absolutely dead set against liking this boy. It is horrible timing. I will not like him. I still see him from time to time. But only so I can further determine that I will not like him. (Do you believe this? Because if I say it enough, I'm sure I will.)
    5) I'm going to need a new car in the near future. This saddens me beyond belief. I love my car. She's mine. I'm hers. How will we get by without each other?

    Alright folks, that's it for my life! See you Friday and every day thereafter!



    I took myself out to dinner tonight. Why? Because I wanted to. Because I deserved to. But mostly because I had 2 hours to waste on that side of town. I decided to take myself out to the only steakhouse I've been to in Chicago - David Burke's Primehouse. They have a 40 day dry aged ribeye that makes me want to punch someone. It's that good. Throughout the entire dinner, I felt like I was hanging out in a field in the countryside of Spain (Spanish wine, that's why Spain), licking a cow. The dinner? Amazing. I felt like I couldn't eat another bite and then I got to the bone. The flavor changed! It was earthier and cow-ier. I had to keep going! I left dinner, smiling and quite content, despite the high cost of dinner.
    I decided to walk a bit while heading back to the car -and it was so relaxing. You know how after a really really good date, you just smile and feel like the world is such a good place and you just want to hug somebody? Well, that's how I felt tonight. After I hung out with myself. I walked around feeling so light-hearted and like the city was such an amazing place to be. It's been a long time since I felt that way and I realized - this has nothing to do with a boy. This has nothing to do with a new place. This has nothing to do with anything. This feeling has to do with me. And that makes me smile even more. (But maybe this is just the beef-nebriation kicking in.)


    Give me a treat...or else!!

    The cravings are hitting. I want a milkshake so bad. I don't even know what I would do for a milkshake right now. I'm a little scared to leave my house because if I pass by a Baskin Robbins...it's going down.
    This week I wanted a pumpkin muffin so much. A patient brought fresh baked ones with homemade  cream cheese icing to work. I didn't eat them. I made a deal with myself that when I get down 6 lbs (3 more to go) OR my body fat gets down under 20% (2%) to go, I can make myself paleo pumpkin custard. But earning that treat means no milkshake today.


    Day 2

    Well here is day 2. My first official full day eating paleo. I ate some dried fruit yesterday which took my carbs way too high. Today? No fruit! I feel like I've been eating meat. all. freaking. day. 3 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 turkey burgers, turkey jerky and fish wrapped in prosciutto. Am I at my designated protein levels? no. ugh. So frustrating. I also ate some vegetables and almonds.
    I wish I could say I felt better today. I guess I did while I was working out. This is my first day with a running workout where I didn't get shooting pain in my shins!! But I've felt like I was in a fog all day - not sure if it's lack of sugar/carbohydrates or girl issues or the weather. I'll give it a few more days and see if my fog lifts.

    Here is a picture of my dinner today: fish in a blanket. It's basically whitefish wrapped in prosciutto with some pesto. And roasted tomatoes with a ton of garlic. Tasty.


    Day 1 of My New Life

    I'm making a change. I should probably make a lot of changes. But that's a whole other post. This change is in regards to my nutrition/lifestyle.  I met with the nutrition guy at my gym. I call him the nutrition guy because I don't think he's an actual nutritionist. But he has taken courses on nutrition and maybe he knows what he's talking about. The first rule he gave me? NO TACO BELL. He said his challenge to me was to not eat Taco Bell for the next 30 days. It made me a little sad but maybe it's for the best.
    I'm going to follow the Paleo diet for the next 30 days and see how it goes. I'll modify it from there based upon what's working for me and what's not working for me.

    Tonight's meal: Tarragon Turkey Burgers with Citrus Fries.  That is misleading though. They are not citrus fries. They are roasted carrots with some lemon juice and garlic. They were good. But they were NOT fries. Let's just be clear on that. The burger was good, although I think I may need to double up on the burger tomorrow at lunch.  If anyone is interested in the recipe, here ya go:

    1 lb ground turkey
    1 egg
    a bunch of fresh tarragon
    4 cloves garlic
    4-5 carrots, sliced into "fry" shape
    juice of 1/2 lemon

    1. Place "fries" on baking sheet, sprinkle with 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic & lemon juice.  Bake @ 350 for 40 minutes or until desired firmness.
    2. Mix turkey, egg, garlic & tarragon into bowl.
    3. Form into patties. Place on grill pan and bake for 25 minutes.


    Oh Geez, I'm Quoting Presidents.

    "History and experience tell us that moral progress comes not in comfortable and complacent times, but out of trial and confusion." - Gerald Ford

    I came across this quote today and it was perfect timing. I've been feeling a little overwhelmed and tired of the "I only care about me" attitude that it seems like 90% of the people I interact with seem to have. (Side note: some people I interact with seem to actually be nice, caring people.) I went in to work today, determined to adopt that same attitude. I get tired of reversing the situation and thinking about how I would feel if I were in their shoes. So I was going to do what they do - think only of myself and not care how it affects anyone else. I didn't do very well with that attitude. I probably wasn't as concerned with helping others as I typically am but I did do a few "extra" things. Mostly because I was pretty sure if I didn't do them then the people who are actually genuinely nice people would have to pick up my slack. And I didn't want them to feel the same way I'm feeling right now.
    So my moral progress didn't come too far today...but tomorrow is another day.



    So I'm stuck. I am at a total loss as to what to do...things seem to be getting better here, then life rears it's ugly little head and I'm back where I was. Now, things aren't actually all that bad.
    1)My friend situation isn't exactly flourishing but maybe I'm getting more ok with that. I spend a lot of time by myself but I tend to like myself better than I like other people so hanging out with me isn't so bad. It would be nice to have a friend to be able to grab a bite to eat or a drink or a movie with...but that doesn't seem to be in the cards for me. It seems as though my friends are a)not speaking to me, b)dating someone and wrapped in that, c)have no money or d)busy. I've tried reaching out to new friends but it seems to go nowhere....So I don't have a plethora of friends here but I've never really had a plethora of friends anywhere....so no big changes there.
    2)My living situation is good. I like my apartment. It's a little on the small side but that means less to clean!! In Charleston, I felt like a maid was a necessity...and it kinda was with a 3 bedroom apartment. And cleaning 2.5 baths?? No thanks! Here? Easy peasy. I can get my whole apartment thoroughly cleaned in under an hour.
    3) The weather. Oh the weather. Will it ever warm up here? I think the answer is no. I'd like to feel my toes.
    4) My job. I like half of it. The other half is filled with a jerkface doctor. I don't know what to do about it. I don't know whether to find a new job and quit. Whether to suck it up and let myself be treated poorly. I just leave there feeling a little more beat down each day. And that's a bad feeling. But finding a new full time job is hard. It would be worth it...but I'm not sure how to go about finding a new job without my current job finding out. The dental community tends to be a small one.

    So that brings us to my being stuck. I need to figure out where I want to live after August. Do I want to stay here a little bit longer? Did I really give Chicago enough of a chance? Do I want to move to NC? That's where my roots are and I could be closer to family. Charleston? Or would I end up unhappy there again? It would sure be nice if there were a clear path outlined...
    What would you do if you were me?


    Don't Mind If I Do!!

    I went grocery shopping tonight at this new-ish grocery store that everyone raves about here. It's called Mariano's. It's similar to Whole Foods in that it's a little more "upscale" than a regular grocery store. It's similar to a regular grocery store in that they have normal brands like Kraft and Nabisco. Now a big reason that I went to this grocery store tonight was because it was a long freaking day at work. I wanted to get to the store, grab a drink and do my grocery shopping. Yes, that's right. You can drink while you grocery shop!! That's a perk that Mariano's has in common with Whole Foods....except not my Mariano's!! Horrible! Apparently they only serve beer & wine at the downtown Mariano's. Well, little do they know, I'm not easily deterred. Actually I am. But an employee there was very encouraging. Said that he's seen one or two people walking around with a six pack and drinking from that. He even opened the beer for me. I like grocery shopping - but grocery shopping with a beer? Way better!
    The only downfall is impulsive shopping. But I've been sticking to paleo long enough (not really) that I didn't super crave absolutely every carb that I walked by. My big dilemma: what do I want for dinner tomorrow? It's Easter Sunday so I would like something special...but I need to get back on the paleo kick. So, shrimp scampi? I do make pretty good shrimp scampi...but that pasta. Or steamed shrimp with broccoli? Tough choice. Hope I make the right one!!


    I'm A Nice Girl!!

    Work has not gotten any better. It all came to a head today and well...we'll see if it gets any better. I'm trying to be optimistic and think it will...but I'm also realistic and not exactly convinced that this will be the case. I encounter nice people all the time. Most of my patients are very friendly with me. Most of my coworkers are very friendly with me. Most of my fellow gym-goers at least say hi and are friendly in the gym setting (working on outside of the gym setting...not going well there...). But right now I am so desperate for people to think I am nice, I sat and had a 10 minute conversation with the RCN tech about pretty much nothing, just normal every day things. It was while we were trying to get my cable box working and there was some downtime...but I wanted to just talk and have a normal conversation. So we talked. About the home shopping network. About how they don't outsource to India so the guy that initialized my cable just happened to have a really Indian accent but was here in America. About just normal things. It was nice. She was nice. I was nice. It was a nice conversation. I am capable of having nice conversations.


    Restoring my Faith in Humanity

    Wow this past weekend was rough! I feel like I'm being bullied at work by a sorta supervisor and it SUCKS. Like super sucks. I'm not sure what to do. It makes me hate going to work and one of the things that I've always liked about my job is that I really enjoy going to work. I feel like people up here are just....different. Not in a good way either. Obviously, not everyone up here is a giant jerk-face. I have met some very nice people. But it seems like most people I meet here are just not overly friendly. I've spent my time since leaving work on Saturday trying to restore my faith in humanity and to remind myself that there are nice people out there.
    I went out with a girl I used to work with for St. Patricks Day...perhaps not the best day to find nice people but it wasn't horrible. I had fun at least but drunk people are not always the nicest people...but I did laugh a lot, which was a nice feeling.
    Sunday was spent movie-hopping with my friend and then today - I had to temp in a different office and was totally dreading it! Which was ridic because I knew I wouldn't see Jerk-face but I was still not wanting to go in. Since I couldn't cancel, I stopped by Chick-Fil-A for some comfort food and made my way in...and it was good. Everyone was nice - the staff, the patients, everyone. My faith is somewhat restored.


    Roasting a Chicken

    I don't have much to say. Except that I'm roasting a chicken. Well, two chickens. But I'm only roasting two because apparently Whole Foods thinks it's cruel to pump chickens full of hormones so they get big enough. Actually, I wouldn't have bought the hormone chicken anyways. But if they'd just let the little chickens live a little bit longer they'd get to the proper size that I need.
    This is the first time I've roasted a chicken since...I don't even remember. Probably in the last 5 years. I've got big plans for this chicken though.
    1) It's a maple-mustard glazed chicken. It's going to taste amazing. That's the plan at least....
    2) It's going to turn into Thai chicken coconut soup. That's going to be so good with the slight sweet/tangy mustardy syrup taste. So good.
    3) I might get wild & crazy and make my own chicken stock with the carcass. Might. I know, that's quite ambitious. The bag of organs was not included in my tiny hormoneless chicken...which would really add to the stock. But we'll see. I don't have a lot (anything) going on tonight.

    I will say, one of the things I like about doing paleo challenges is that I actually cook. I like cooking. But it's so much more convienent to swing by Taco Bell. It's probably cheaper too.


    Oh, friend!!

    You know how when you hang out with someone that you truly enjoy their company and you feel great and revitalized afterwards? That was tonight...dinner with Chase. Nothing fancy -well it was the chicken place near me with the booty call waiter. Chase thought he was being flirty with me too so I'm not making these things up....
    Anyways, I miss hanging out with people who just make you feel good about yourself. It probably helps that Chase has known me since I was like 10. Things should slow down at work for him soon so maybe there will be some c2 time in my future!!


    Sleeping with the Fishes

    I decided to grab dinner from a place around the corner from me last night. I had to park halfway there anyways and didn't have any food aside from 4 day old leftover frozen pizza...so going out to eat seemed pretty appealing.
    As I sat down, the waiter approached me and said "Hi, I'm Flounder." (name changed to protect the...innocent? guilty? shameless?) I told him I knew, I'd been in there before and he actually remembered me. He asked where I sat - I pointed to the corner and he said "yeah you were in here with your mom. She was from out of town. You live a few blocks away." I was quite impressed with his memory - as the only thing I remembered was his name because when he told us the last time I said "Flounder? Like the fish?"
    Anyways, as it was Wednesday night and I didn't have to work the next day I decided I'd have a drink or two. I imbibed on a Ladybird and it was delicious - coconutty, pineapply - like summertime except that it was 20 degrees outside. The chicken curry? Also quite tasty. At the end of my meal, Flounder came over and gave me the bill. He also gave me a comment card (which I noticed he had not given the next table over) and said to leave my name, email, phone number...whatever. There was no spot on the card for a phone number though...As he walked away, I realized he was asking for my number!! Score!! Side note here - Flounder is really cute, in a pretty boy kinda way. He's also very charismatic, quite the charmer. He seems like he'd be a lot of fun to spend time with. Plus I found out he's 32 and knows about the NKOTB2M98D tour. So, after a few minutes internal debate, I figure I have nothing to lose so I leave him my number.
    Fast forward to an hour later....I get a text:
     "Hey, it's Flound'er." Wait...what??? Flound'er?? There is no apostrophe in Flound'er. Oh geez. That's a dumb way to spell that name.
    "Want to hang out? I can come by your place...." - come by my place? That sounds like...WAIT A MINUTE....did I just initiate a booty call? That is not what I thought I was doing...
    Fast forward another hour:
    Phone call - I was already asleep at this point. But wow, I completely didn't see that one coming.


    Kingsbury Street Cafe

    I know yesterday wasn't Sunday...but I tried a brunch place yesterday. I didn't have to be at work until 11:30 so I asked that guy I went out with a few times if he wanted to meet me at Kingsbury Street Cafe for brunch. He is a big breakfast fan (and maybe a big me fan?) so he agreed to meet me.
    I'm not sure if I can give the wait-time a fair rating - after all it was Saturday. Maybe more people go to this place on Sundays? But there was no wait which was nice. The wait staff was nice and willing to give recommendations. I got the lemon pancakes per the waiter's advice...and...well...I don't know that I want to listen to him anymore. They were borderline mushy, almost like they hadn't been cooked enough. The lemon sauce coating them was good, but I think I would have prefered syrup.
    The guy got the Kingsbury Street Cafe Sampler or something like that - it's your basic breakfast. Eggs, bacon, a scone, roasted tomatoes (looked good!! He didn't eat them...), and potatoes. He said it was good.
    I'd give this place a 5 - the atmosphere was nice. It was a good crowd. But the food was mediocre at best.

    I got to do part of my giving challenge here though. I asked the guy if he minded if I left a tip. I explained the giving challenge and he said it was fine. I left the waiter a 50% tip - I remember waiting tables. When you are so accustomed to getting 10-15% (my times have changed since I waited tables...now people expect 20% minimum!), getting a big percentage of the bill is such a rush! I hope it brightened up his day.


    Gift of Giving...

    A friend of mine recommended I read a book, 29 Gifts. It is a movement started by a lady with multiple sclerosis who was feeling down and having a pity party (sound familiar anyone?!?!?). One of her friends was an African spiritual advisor or something like that and gave her a prescription to give away one gift each day for 29 days. It could be anything from a smile to kind words to loose change to anything that you "give" someone. In the book (which I'm surprisingly enjoying....kinda thought it would be lame!!), the author notes how almost immediately upon starting the challenge that good things start happening for her. She also noticed how good it felt to give things to people. She notes in the book that if you got 100 or 1,000 or 1,000,000 people to all give something each day that the world would be a better place to live in. She started a website/wrote a book - and that brings us to today.
    I decided to take this challenge. Today was Day 1. I pondered all day about what to give as my first gift. I mean, this seemed big. It sets the tone for the whole challenge. I felt like I was friendlier to all my patients and coworkers today because I was in this "giving" mode. A coworker asked if she could have a bit of my Coke and I said yes. But I didn't think that should count as my gift. First, because she had to ask. Second, I would've shared with her even if I weren't doing this challenge. Then a different girl (think the dumb one from an earlier post) asked if I would try her food she brought. She was so excited about it and was very eager about me trying it and liking it. I don't think my trying her food should count as a gift. That seems like every encounter with me is a gift....well...hmmm....
    Anyways, after a good workout, I decided that I'd go to McDonald's for dinner and I'd pay for the car behind me in the drive-thru. EXCEPT NO ONE PULLED UP!! Seriously. 6:30 pm. McDonald's in the 'hood...no one. I went to plan B - there is this homeless guy who is standing by my exit off Lake Shore Drive every day. He's always holding a sign asking for coffee (side note on homeless people - where do they get the marker to write signs with? Why do they all have the same handwriting?) and I always avoid eye contact and try not to stop at the stop sign. Well today is a different day! I rode over to the exit...and he wasn't there!! Man, this giving thing is hard! But he was walking up to the stop sign so I waved him over and gave him the gift card. For some reason, despite the bright red card with the big M, I felt the need to explain to him it was a McDonald's gift card and that I see him there every day and I never stop. Meh. I'll get better at giving as the days go on.
    Part of the challenge is to keep a journal and to be aware of all the things that you give. I, fortunately, have never really felt like I had nothing to contribute to the world...but today alone has made me realize I have so much more to give than I would have ever thought. I'm looking forward to going through the challenge and giving things!! I'll update on here from time to time but probably won't give daily updates on my gifts. However, if you are interested - check out her website or read her book. Time to start giving!


    Over Easy Cafe

    H & my bro joined me on the brunchquest. We hiked through the freezing cold (bad choice on my part...) to Over Easy Cafe. Fortunately I am never on time and Gene was...so he had put our name on the waiting list. It was still about a 20-30 minute wait but the cafe seems to be on good terms with the coffee shop a few doors down, which provided a warm place to wait.
    As we sat down for our meal, a water-refiller-guy/busboy approached and asked if we'd like anything to drink. It was nice that we didn't even have to wait and the drinks were there almost immediately. Our waitress approached and began describing a few of the specials. This was the description on the menu: "cornflake-crusted brioche french toast layered with vanilla bean cream & fresh strawberries, served with house-made strawberry syrup, powdered sugar & whipped cream"....but when the waitress described it? My mouth was watering and I knew I had to get it. Everything she described made it sound like I had to eat it! I pretty much fell in love with her - she was awesome. I wanted to befriend her so that she could go out to eat with me and describe my food to me. all the time.
    I ordered a drink called a "freckled oj" - it was orange juice with strawberry puree. Why have I not been adding strawberries to my orange juice my entire life?!?! This was the best orange juice I've had...well...ever. And my food? Well, when the girl delivered it she said "I'm so excited for you" which I took to be a pretty good sign. She was right, she should've been excited. This french toast was seriously good stuff. Everyone at the table (I shared....begrudgingly) agreed it was pretty freaking good. The vanilla bean cream with fresh strawberries definitely made it!!
    H's Sassy Eggs (two eggs served over chorizo-potato hash with cheddar cheese, red peppers, jalapenos, guacamole, sour cream, & ancho ketchup) was my second favorite dish at the table....although I find that when I order savory foods, I don't end up as satisfied and wish I'd gotten something sweet. But hers was really good for the 2-3 bites I had.
    The bad things about Over Easy Cafe? The wait - it is a small establishment, seating about 35 people. I suppose good things are worth waiting for. And that's it for the bad things.
    I'm giving this place a 9. I know. That's pretty high. But it was really good. And I fell in love. 3 times. Girl. Juice. French Toast.

    What A Weekend

    Man, this was a good weekend! H & my bro were in town...and we did it right! They stayed at The Drake (fancy!) and that hotel is just impressive. It's old and beautiful and there are so many chandeliers! It's supposedly haunted but I didn't see any ghosts while I was there and they said that none were hovering over there bed at night...so that's disappointing but the hotel? Gorgeous! Stay there if you ever get the chance.
    On to what we did...we ate. A lot. Not that that should be surprising. We went to La Scarola, my favorite mob-connected (maybe?) Italian restaurant on Saturday evening. La Scarola is always a fun experience - reservations? We had them...but they don't do you much good. We sat down about 45 minutes past our reservation time but the host was kind enough to give us a free tequila shot for our inconvenience. *shudder* We had our standard grilled octopus followed by soup - Pasta e fagioli for me, escarole for Kevin and an asparagus salad for H. Then our main meal...I ordered the gnocchi with portabellos and sausage. There was enough on my plate to feed all three of us. H's risotto could've fed the next table over. So much food....so good! We went back to The Drake for a drink and dessert.
    Sunday morning? Let's start all over again! Brunch....I'll write up brunch in a moment since it is part of brunchquest but let me just tell you - I fell in love - with a girl, some juice and french toast. Yes, it was that good.
    Last night we went to David Burke's Primehouse for dinner. Now this was my first experience at a Chicago steakhouse. Go. Now. It was so worth it. So what makes David Burke's cool? He has his own bull. I tend to think anyone who owns their own livestock is awesome. He also has a Himalayan salt lined aging cellar on site. I want my own salt-lined aging cellar. I opted for the 40 day old ribeye and man was it good! It was beefy and in the extra good bites and it tasted like I'd eaten this big bite of beefy earth....and I liked it. The flavor in the dry-aged beef was so concentrated that I'm pretty sure I could go bite a live cow and it wouldn't be that flavorful. The term beefnebriated got coined last night - I'm fairly certain I was drunk. on beef. Oh but I almost forgot about my pre-dinner drink!! A poison-berry cobbler. It was like drinking blueberry cobbler in a glass. Delicious. Now that my tastebuds are full of berries and beefy earth...I don't think eating will ever be quite as satisfying as it was last night.


    More later but....

    I never want to eat again. 20 oz of dry aged beef...and wow. That's it for me.



    I didn't realize how much I missed my friends!! I haven't felt this relaxed in...well....it's been a few months at least. I don't know if it's being back home, seeing my cheerleaders rock their routine at competition or seeing my friends...but I feel so good and happy and content right now. I'm so glad I came home this weekend!! It's like I'm refreshed and anything that's been bothering me can be forgotten/forgiven/doesn't even really matter. Now when I go back to work on Tuesday....well...check back then!