4 Things

Here are four things about me that you may or may not have known, in no particular order. Some directions are at the end.

Four names that people call me:
1. Car
2. Carly
3. Carleener
4. Shithead

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Teacher (University)
2. Sourcing Associate
3. Framer
4. Account Manager

Four movies I’ve watched more than once: (only 4?)
1. All Harry Potter movies
2. All LOTR movies
3. Howard the Duck
4. The Shawshank Redemption

Four places I have lived:
1. Chicago, IL
2. San Diego, CA
3. Ft Worth, TX
4. Mt Pleasant, MI

Four places I have traveled:
1. Toronto
2. Washington, DC
3. San Francisco, CA (far too long ago)
4. New Orleans, LA

Four People who e-mail me regularly:
1. Mom
2. VLR
3. Netflix
4. My work staff

Four of my favorite Foods: (ugh! now I’ll be thinking about food)
1. Mexican
2. Gram’s Lasagna
3. Popcorn
4. Bacon & Eggs

Four places I’d rather be right now
1. NYC
2. California
3. Las Vegas
4. In bed

Four friends I think will respond (possibly…)
1. Whoever is most bored today, besides me

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:
2. Losing weight
3. Quit smoking
4. Women’s Week in P’Town

Four TV shows that I watch:
1. Dollhouse
2. News

Now, here’s what you’re supposed to do….if you want to…and please do not spoil the fun. Copy and paste this in to your MY NOTES (or other blogging method), delete my answers and type in your answers. Then tag a whole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you.


Which Dollhouse Character Are You?

It has begun! (Cross Post)

Yesterday I received my month’s supply of The Cambridge Diet via UPS. Today, I started the program.

I have to admit that the morning was rough. I got up and had my first “meal” – a delightful, rich, chocolate shake. I followed that with a full glass of water and left for work. I got to work at about 6:30am and began my day. Usually, this is where I would break out the blueberry muffin I purchased for breakfast on my way to work. Well, no muffin today!

My tummy did some “I’m hungry” grumbling throughout the morning, but whenever it did, I simply drank more water and/or chewed a piece of gum (sugarfree). By the time Noon rolled around, I had polished off just over a gallon of water. Of course, I spent more time going to the ladies’ room today than I usually do, too! LOL This was a pretty big change for me – I usually drink Diet Coke. But, honestly, it felt good. I didn’t miss the caffeine at all.

However, I did miss the carbonation. So, around 3pm, I got a Coke Zero, which I’m not overly fond of, but I also thought it was caffeine free. It’s not. Oh well. I’ve only consumed half of it.

I got home around 5pm and had my second shake…again followed by a full glass of water. After a day of so much water, I was very satisfied with my “meal”.

Off to workout!

I’ve decided that I will no longer allow the work outs to kick my ass – I shall kick the work out’s ass! And that’s just what I did tonight. I hit all of my targets on the machine and burned 584 calories! I’m finding that the work outs are getting easier each time. I don’t mean to say that I’m not still “feeling the burn.” Oh no…I’m definitely feeling that! However, I find that I’m less winded at the end of the work out, I need less time to recover, and my heart rate is getting closer to the “normal” range (I’m a little high when I’m working out). All in all, good stuff.

Because today is the first day of using the Cambridge program, I also wanted to get a base weight. Turns out that I’ve lost 3 pounds since 4/23. That’s not too bad!

When I came home, I got a bowl of freshly cut watermelon and, honestly, I’m rather full! I need to drink about another glass or two of water for the day. Then later this evening, I’ll have one more delicious shake! (That’s not sarcasm…they really are quite good.)

Overall, I’m feeling pretty good. Hopping Devil

A new theatrical (sort of) adventure!

I get to the theatre about once…maybe twice…a year.  I’ll admit, I’m not always all that adventurous when it comes to the shows I choose.  Hell, I saw Wicked five…yes, FIVE…times!  Within 2 1/2 years.  So, yeah, didn’t make many big leaps there.  There’s so much good theatre in Chicago too!  Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Rent…I could go on.  I did see Mame last December…that was okay.  I take my mother and her two sisters (who all have birthdays in December) to a show for their combination Birthday/Christmas present.  One viewing of Wicked was a present for them – and for me.  Mame was their present in 2008.  We took Gram to that one too.  I think she enjoyed it quite a bit!  I know she enjoyed lunch. 🙂

So, as a person who 1) has a degree and back ground in theatre, 2) has friends currently, actively, BRILLIANTLY working in Chicago theatre, and 3) loves, loves, loves musicals, why don’t I go to the theatre more?  Why am I not as versed in Musical Theatre as I should be?  Good question.

I fulfill most of my Musical Theatre needs through what is available on TV or DVD.  Sunday in the Park with George, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Into the Woods – I have them all on DVD.  Sometimes I’ll “cheat” and watch the movie musical version of a show…just to get my fix.  I know it’s not the same, but it’s affordable.

Given all of this, you know I had to be excited when I saw the announcement that Idina Menzel would be appearing in a concert version of Chess.  No, it’s not the same thing.  But, really, how often is Chess performed?  I know I can’t remember it being in Chicago.  (Of course, that doesn’t mean too much – they say the memory is the first to go as one ages.)  I’ll admit that I’ve never seen a production of Chess.  Honestly, One Night in Bankok is the only song I know – and that’s only because it was a “pop” hit back when I was in high school. Hell, I didn’t even know it was from a stage production!

Therefore, I can be counted on to purchase this DVD when it becomes available in June.  If I remember, I’ll even watch the PBS airing of the concert.  I’m looking forward to it.

Next step (cross post)

ve just taken the next big step for me. I’ve ordered The Cambridge Diet. It’s a diet/nutrition plan that my mother and I used a long time ago to GREAT success. So I’m giving it another go.

The thing I like about this plan is the flexibility – it can be used to lose fast, lose steadily, or to maintain. And it’s safe. I’ve discussed it with doctors in the past and again recently. Always there are precautions – notice something a little wonky like being nauseous, then stop using. But, in all, it’s a good plan.

Part of the flexibility is also combining the “programs” to work best for me. There’s the “only Cambridge” plan that means no food at all – just the product. And there’s the “regular” plan that includes one low calorie meal per day. I plan to combine the two plans – one week “on” and one week “off”. So a week with only Cambridge, then a week with one low calorie meal.

I’m sure I’ll find ways to be creative too – I’ll be looking for ways to make water taste better. LOL

Some may believe this to be a “cop-out” and that I’m really not putting in the work. Trust me when I say, “I’ll be doing the work!” Curves is still a big part of my plan. I’m working out there 3 times a week right now and I’m hoping to increase that to 4 times a week by the end of May.

I’m not going to be taking diet pills – I refuse to fall into an addiction like that. I’ve seen it happen to family and friends too often. They either gain every pound back once they stop taking the pills (and gain them back very fast) or they become truly addicted to the drug. No thanks.

I won’t be having the gastric bypass surgery. Though I do believe that surgery is a highly viable option for people – I’ve had friends who’ve had incredible success with it. It’s just not for me. I’m very sure that I would be a candidate for the surgery, I just don’t want to make that leap unless a doctor tells me I have to or I’ll die. I don’t want my weight loss to be the result of a surgical procedure.

The Cambridge Diet is going to help me level my caloric intake, while still providing me with all of the things my body needs to be healthy. I do believe that my intake of vitamins, minerals, and proteins will be a hell of a lot better than it is now!

I’ll let you all know when the product arrives, when I officially start, and will be sure to keep you all posted on my progress/success with this.

Never say never

I need to stop thinking so vehemently about the things I think I’ll never do.  It’s proving fruitless.

I said I would never make the move to ebooks…in February, I bought a Sony PRS-505 ereader.  I love the thing!  Don’t get me wrong…I still love my books.  I still buy books.  There’s something so wonderful about the feeling of the pages between my fingers.  However, I found that my Sony was so wonderful when I was traveling earlier this month.  I only had to carry the Sony and I had my choice of about 60 books to read.  It was quite handy as I sat in LaGuardia for 5 hours waiting for my delayed flight to actually board.

In high school and college, I said I would never like history.  My thesis for my first masters degree dealt with the Civil War.  I became so totally immersed in all kinds of history when I lived in Washington DC while doing the research for the thesis at the Library of Congress.  I’m as likely to watch a historical documentary as I am a romantic comedy on TV.

Fairly recently, I said I would never get into social networking like MySpace and Facebook.  I have accounts with both and have pretty much become addicted to Facebook.  Okay, perhaps “addicted” is a strong word.  (*cough*)  However, I do check in on Facebook every day…even on vacations.  If for no other reason, it’s to keep up with the requests! LOL  I don’t use the MySpace account as much since I don’t find it as user friendly – and MySpace hasn’t gotten me back in touch with so many friends from high school and college.

I said I would never use Twitter.  I now tweet daily.  I still don’t know why.  I don’t think what I do every day is particularly interesting.  Certainly not interesting enough to “tweet”.  Yet, I do it.  I’m not really sure of the fascination.  I haven’t figured it out.  The twitter use has not grown to the same levels as Facebook – again, twitter doesn’t have the scope that Facebook has.  But I’m truly intrigued by throwing out a quick snippet every now and then throughout the day.  While driving home during rush hour, I usually yell at other drivers to get off their cell phones and drive, dammit!  Five minutes later, I’m grabbing my phone to tweet about how crappy traffic is.  Is Twitter turning me into a hypocrite?  Shit!

Perhaps I need to check myself whenever I say “never” from now on.  My own history is proving that “never” never becomes a reality.

Damn.  I did it again.

Angela & Bea – Bosum Buddies

What a great loss this is. Bea Arthur was a true professional…the ultimate entertainer. She’ll be missed.

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Better than expected

Just got back from Curves. They had to do all of my measurements again to get me started on the CurvesSmart program. Here are my results after 7 workouts and my walking tour of NYC:

-0.75″ Bust (bye bye boobies)
-0.25″ Waist
-0.5″ Abdomen
-0.5″ Thighs
-1.10″ Arms
-0.20% Body Fat.

Total: -3.10″ in 3 weeks.

I’ll tell ya what…that CurvesSmart kicked my ass! Usually, members go two times around the circuit for a pretty good 30 minute work out. With CurvesSmart, members are given these little cards with all kinds of information on them – weight, measurements, BMI, Body Fat %, etc. Those little cards are then put into each machine as you go. I ended up not doing as many machines (so not a full 2 times around the circuit), but I sure did work harder at each machine.

This little card with all of my information pretty much told the machine how many reps I had to do. And it wouldn’t let me stop until I finished! Plus, there’s a light indicator that lights up – Green means your energy is high and your working out at the right level; Yellow means you need to step it up a bit; Red means your ass is dragging big time, so get moving! I managed to “go for the green” throughout most of the work out – I think I briefly hit yellow a couple of times. In the end, I burned 538 calories, hit my targets on all but 2 machines (and those were still close).

I need to work on my lower back though. That makes sense since I have 2 herniated disks (L4 and L5) and have pretty much “protected” that area pretty obsessively. Now I need to hit it harder and strengthen it!

I gained 0.4 pounds (about 6 ounces), but I think that may have been attributed to my shoes – I didn’t have shoes on the last time I was measured.

All in all, I’m pleased with these first results.

2009 is looking fine

Perhaps 2009 is my year.  So far, so good…I think.  This is the year that I’ve decided to stop talking about working out and losing weight.  This is the year that I’ve decided to do it!

I joined Curves for Women at the end of March and began my workouts on April 2.  So, I haven’t been doing it for long.  But the important thing is that I’m doing it.  While my mother likes to say that she can already tell that I’ve lost weight, I’m more realistic.  Perhaps I’ve lost a pound or two, but I know it’s nothing really noticable.

What’s clear to me, however, is that I’m feeling better about myself.  I seem to have more energy – even though I’m still tired from my early mornings, late nights, and busy days.  What’s most amazing to me is that I get really psyched on work out days!  I almost can’t wait for the work day to be finished so I can go work out.  I’m pretty lazy by nature, so that’s a big thing for me.  I went to NYC last weekend and was initially bummed out because I would miss my Curves visits.  Fortunately, we did so much walking, I didn’t have to worry about that.

But what was really great is that I could tell the prior 2 weeks of working out really helped me with all of that walking.  Sure my feet hurt.  Yes my calves were screaming at me for a while.  But overall, I was okay. When I got back to the work out at Curves, I expected it to be more difficult because of that walking.  But the reverse happened.  My work out was that much easier!  I like this feeling.

So the plan is to continue Curves 3 times a week for now.  I’ll eventually move to 4 times a week OR I’ll go around the circuit 3 times rather than twice.  Then on the “off” days, I’ll walk on the treadmill here at home.  I’ll take Sundays off as a day of rest. LOL

I know I need to change other habits in order to really see the difference…I’m working on that.  I’m trying to incorporate more vegetables into my eating pattern.  Eventually, I’ll quit smoking all together.  The main thing for me right now is the consistency – I need to get into the routine and stay in the routine.  Then I’ll start branching out.

For now, I’m feeling pretty good about things.  I’d like to lose 20lbs by the time I go to Orlando in July.  I won’t be a size 4, but I’ll have more confidence in me…and that will make the difference.

We thought you were our friend, Amazon!

I buy books. I buy lots and lots of books. Being the ranking internet geek in my family, I end up buying books, CDs, Movies, etc. for family members, as well. And I bought primarily from Amazon.com. With a few exceptions, I was always sure that Amazon.com would have what I was looking for. Sure, new releases from Bella Books and sometimes Bold Strokes Books would be delayed by as much as 2 months because they “couldn’t locate” my books…but I would get them eventually. It was okay because 1) I’m so far behind on my reading anyway that I wouldn’t be able to read the book right away and 2) the price was right (normally $5 less expensive than directly through the publisher…and no shipping cost).

But NOW! Ugh! Mark Probst has written in his blog about what Amazon.com is doing to the LGBTQ community. They are stripping LGBTQ texts – fiction and non-fiction – of their sales figures and rankings, and removing the titles from any searches. Unless of course, it’s available for Kindle…then it will appear! Of course, need to keep their little corner of the market going!

This is a PRIME opportunity for companies like Sony to expand their bookstore to include LGBTQ titles. Fictionwise.com needs to take notice and take advantage!

The outcry from the community has been fast….people are pissed! And rightfully so! This is so damaging to authors and readers alike. Amazon.com – you’re fucking with people’s livelihoods!

Here’s what some are doing – I did too!

From JD Glass:
Hack the planet! Go tag ALL amazon crap with “gay porn” and crash the ranking system!

I tagged this: http://tinyurl.com/dcdl64 as gay porn – and you should, too!

From Kim Baldwin and numerous (and I mean numerous) authors and readers:
I’m furious about Amazon’s new policy stripping GLBT books of their rankings. BSB and so many others no longer qualify for best seller lists, and won’t turn up in some searches. Please join in the battle to get this new policy overturned and sign this petition. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/in-protest-at-amazons-new-adult-policy

From Smart Bitches, Trashy Books:
I’ve created a page with the definition for “amazon rank.” LINK TO http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/amazonrank with “Amazon Rank” as the anchor text. The link should look like this:

Amazon Rank

This is known as Google-bombing.

Again from JD Glass:
for those that are more inclined to…talk…rather than write:

Amazon Board of Directors:

Thomas O. Ryder (914) 244-5782
William Gordon (650) 233-2750
Myrtle Potter (650) 225-1000
Alain Monie (206) 266-1000
L. John Doerr (650) 233-2750
Tom Alberg (206) 674-3000
Patricia Stonesifer (206) 709-3140

People are petitioning, closing accounts, emailing, calling, spreading the word. So I’m doing my part as much as possible. I’m asking that people do one or more of these things. Let our voices be heard that this is NOT acceptable. Nor is it a “glitch” that can be used to avoid the blame and the label of idiocy that is sure to be placed on Amazon.com.

Amazon Rank