Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday 13: KT

At the end of this weekend, KT is moving back to her hometown of Utica, NY. I know that MJ is pretty bummed, and I am too. Although we understand that she's gotta do what she's gotta do, it just won't be the same without her. So until we can reunite the Black Ponies again (inside joke!), MJ and I will be here in SC, feeling sad that these things will not be the same without our dear KT.


1. Eating Mexican food. Or going to Yesterday's for their yummy chicken and grits.

2. Going to watch our favorite local band, Loch Ness Johnny.

3. Going out for Girl's champagne....crazy drunk men....who knows what would happen???

4. Giggling over the same old inside jokes. ("Belle??")

5. Eating dinner at our favorite special-occasion restaurant, The Blue Marlin. Or, as one of us slurred once, "The Moo Blarlin".

6. Planning our next trip together. (We have been talking about hitting Philly next...but I don't know if it will beat our NYC trip last summer...)

7. Playing with and talking about our dogs. Or, in KT's case, sneaking them into hockey games.

8. Making birthday cakes (or, in MJ's case, pies) for each other.

9. Bowling nights with Mr. Bill & Crew.

10. Going to Goatfeather's (a local restaurant) or Starbuck's for coffee and long, deep discussions about men and our lives.

11. Cheesecake.

12. The St. Patty's Day festival in 5 Points.

13. Pretty much everything. Even turning "blight". (Yeah, we have a lot of inside jokes...can you tell??)

Oh!!! I am getting really sad writing this!!! KT, we will miss you so much. I can't wait until you come back in May to see us. :')

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cruisin' Along

Unlike the last couple of posts, this one is actually interesting. I promise.

Ok, story time.

CN came over the other day while I was home for lunch. This was kind of unusual, so I knew something was up.

"Hey, babe. This is a pleasant surprise. What's up?" I said, greeting him with a quick peck.

"Ok, I was going to talk to you about this last night, but someone didn't answer their phone," he teased.

"Yeah, I fell asleep on the couch. I didn't hear it ring," I replied.

"Well, I was calling to see if you wanted to go on a cruise with me."

[Insert squeals of excitement and the Happy Dance here.]

It turns out that CN's friend L called the night before. L and his wife, C, are going on a cruise in April to the Bahamas, and they wanted to know if we would like to join them. CN wanted to check with me first before committing. (He received a lot of smack-talk from L about this. I believe the phrase "pussy-whipped" was used. LOL) Anyway, CN was worried that I might not be able to afford it ($400 is the cost) because I've been kind of broke lately. So he wanted to check first. But my squeals of excitement proved otherwise.

"OMG, I can totally do this! I know I can! It will totally motivate me to work on budgeting my money, because I really want to go and so I will save up for it!!!" I explained, excitedly.

"Ok, because if you don't have the $400, I am going without you," he replied.

"Ok, that's fine! But I'll get the money together. I promise. Besides, I know I am getting a nice tax refund this year, so I should be fine, anyway. EEK!!"

So, as of right now, I need to come up with at least $400 by April 10th. I am working on a savings budget right now. Yay!!

It will also motivate me to lose more weight before we go, so that I look better in a bikini.

WOO HOO!! I cannot wait! I have never been on a cruise before. Neither has CN. I have never been to the Caribbean, either. Neither has CN. So we are really looking forward to it. The ship will be in Jacksonville, FL and we will drive down to get to it. But so far, this is all I know. I don't know what cruise line it is, or what ship, or anything like that. All I know are the dates, the cost and the destination.

So if any of my readers have been on cruises or have been to the Bahamas, please tell me what to expect and any advice you can think of. I would really appreciate it!!! Does anyone know if we need to get passports?? Can anyone explain duty-free shopping to me? If I don't get motion-sick or air-sick, will I get seasick? How much spending money should I bring? It's a 4 day cruise.

Oh, I would also like to ask my female readers: I am thinking about getting a spray-on tan and a bikini wax for this trip. Are they worth it? Or should I pass? (Sorry if this is TMI!)

I will share more about the cruise as I learn more about it. In case you cannot tell, I am wholly obsessed with this news, so I doubt I will talk about anything else for a while! Bear with me. I'm easily entertained. LOL

Friday, January 25, 2008

PSA: Smurf is Driving

WARNING: My little sister, Smurf, turns *16* on Sunday. This means that, according to the Commonwealth of Virginia, she is legally eligible for a driver's license. If you live within a 500 mile radius of Farmville, VA, I highly encourage you to inform your local authorities, call your State Congressman and lock up your pets and small children. Whatever you do, you should definitely stay off any and all roads. This chick has no business whatsoever driving. According to my mother, she has committed the following moving violations during her practice runs:

1. Did not stop AT ALL for a stop sign -- she just followed the car in front of her!
2. Cannot seem to master lane mergings without almost causing 3-car-pile-ups.
3. Believes turn signals to be optional at all times.
4. Literally not looking at the road -- she has always been a space cadet!
5. Speeds terribly.
6. Uses mirrors instead of actually looking over her shoulder.

Ok, now before you panic, keep in mind that she won't actually be legally on the road, driving alone, until about April (you have to be 16 years and 4 months to drive in Virginia). So she's going to practice some more. A LOT more. Smurf has to learn how to drive safely, because right now, my poor mother is carting her all over the place: school, sports (Smurf plays 3 sports), friends' houses, football games, basketball games, parties, movies, etc. For most people, this isn't that big of a burden. But when you live in the boonies, like they do, it takes 45 minutes to get anywhere. So my mother is really ready for Smurf to drive herself around. She's even bought her a used car. A very very large used car. I think it's an old Chevy Suburban kind of like this one.

When I asked The Czarina why she bought such a large car for Smurf, when gas prices are so insane, she replied, "Because I know she's going to get in a wreck. And I feel better if the car is so big, it inflicts more damage than it receives."

"Oh. Ok. That makes sense," I replied. "So how is she going to pay for the gas?"

"She's going to get a JOB!!!" my mother replied gleefully, clapping her hands together.

I snickered, remembering my horrible grocery store job I had in high school. Ah, the days of minimum wage and polyester uniforms....

Anyway, The Czarina has tried to discuss with Smurf the responsibilities involved in operating a motor vehicle. She has lectured, pleaded, begged, yelled and stressed about it. She even went so far as disconnecting the CD player/radio in Smurf's car, in order to eliminate at least one distraction. Of course, being obnoxious older siblings, the rest of us tease her about this incessantly. We even joked about buying her a bunch of CDs for Christmas, which would be useless to her. Tee hee.

I have quizzed her on the Rules of the Road. My brothers have tried to take her driving. She has studied old driver's ed manuals. We share driving tips and advice with her constantly. When we are driving her somewhere, we periodically ask, "Ok, what should I do now?" or "What did that other car do wrong?" -- and her answers are always wrong. She fails miserably at anything even remotely related to driving. All we end up doing is shaking our heads at her.

To be honest, we are all kind of worried about her! Our family is full of good drivers. WLF had one accident when he was 16. That was the only accident he ever had. Fat Dog has never had a wreck. Fungus is a pretty good driver. I have only had 2 accidents, my last one being in 2001. The Czarina has never been at fault in any accidents, although she's the type of driver who backs into poles and trashcans. In short, we have no idea where she got this from. Although we are all notorious speeders in our family, none of us have ever been this clueless about driving.

She's going to be taking driver's ed at school pretty soon. I really hope that will help her out. Because right now, I won't even get into a car she is driving. I guess I was a pretty bad driver at first, too. I really hope her learning curve is better than mine.

Oh! In honor of her birthday, I do have some pics of her when she was little. Here goes:

Here is Baby Smurf. She's the only one in our family with dimples. That is WLF holding her. Yes, I realize he was old to be the father of a baby. What can I say? There were 7 of us. Someone had to be last. This was at Myrtle Beach.

Ok, that is Fungus with Smurf on his shoulders. This pic was taken in about 1992.

I remember Smurf doing this a lot in the car when she was little. She would make these hilarious faces! That is Fat Dog on the left. imitating her, and Fungus on the right. You can see my big ol' feet in the background. This was in our old station wagon, which was the car I learned to drive on. This was soon after we moved to Indiana.
Ok, how cute is this pic? That is my youngest brother, Gulgie, and Smurf.

This is a pic of my four full siblings. Remember, I have 2 half siblings, too. I am not in this pic, and I do not know who the guy is in the back ground. L--> R: Gulgie, Smurf, Fungus, Fat Dog. Oh, and the date is conveniently displayed in case you are curious.

Here she is with a friend of the family, when she was little older.

I have more family pics, but that's enough for today.


Oh crap. I just realized. Today is January 25th. Every year, I have a horrible, horrible day on or near this day. Examples:

1. I have been dumped.
2. My dad died.
3. I have been in 2 car accidents.
4. I found out this guy had lied to me and cheated on me.
5. I have been sick.

So looks like I will be staying in bed as much as possible this weekend!!! I hope I can end my Curse of the End of January.

Shit. I should have called in today. That was dumb of me. Last night, I had a bad dream that CN and I broke up. Ugh. That is bad timing.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I have to go look for some good luck charm, now, before it's too late! Cross your fingers for me!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Half a Thursday 13

I have been racking my brain for blog post topics, and nothing is gelling. Everything I come up with is either boring or not long enough to require its own post. I think I am getting writer's block again. *sigh* I will try to do better tomorrow. For now, this will have to suffice. I suck. I know. I just don't have a lot going on right now, peeps. Sorry.

1. Heath Ledger was apparently taking Ambien, and it sounds like they may have played a role in his death. (Obviously, we don't know for sure yet). I do not take sleeping pills, since my problem is usually trying to stay awake, but I know people who do take Ambien. And I have heard some crazy, crazy things -- my friends have done things while on Ambien and did not realize it until later, almost as if they were sleep-walking. I have friends who have had sex, driven their cars, had arguments with their boyfriends -- all while on Ambien. The scary part is, it seems that no one can tell when they are on Ambien or not. This is really scary to me, the thought of doing things while you are sleepwalking, and no one can tell you are sleepwalking. I'm actually kind of hoping the FDA will take another look at this drug, because I'm starting to think it is not safe.

2. I need to start planning something for Valentine's Day, and I need your help. CN said he already has mine all planned out. I know he is taking me out to dinner, but I don't know where. He won't tell me anything else.

I asked him what he wanted for Valentine's Day and he looked shocked. "What? You don't have to get me anything! It's Valentine's Day! I'm supposed to do something for you!" he replied. (Reason #5201 on the List of Reasons Why I Date Him). He told me that I should not do anything for him at all. Which basically went in one ear and out the other. So........does anyone have any good ideas?

I already have a small surprise for him. And I did talk him into letting me make him dinner the day after Valentine's Day. But I was thinking about getting him something small and inexpensive. Maybe a gag gift. And what should I cook? Steak and mashed potatoes? Spaghetti? Lemon chicken? I think I'm going to make him a heart-shaped cookie cake, too. Complete with a sappy message written in icing.

Yeah, I know. Barf.

But it is nice to finally have a good Valentine's Day, after last year's totally crappy one. So please, if you have any really good ideas, please share!!!!

3. Thank you, everyone for your supportive comments on my last post. I have lost a total of 3 pounds, somehow. I have good days, where I am totally on-track diet-wise, and other days, where I have the self-control of a toddler (helllooo, chicken fingers for dinner last night!!). It is nice to hit the gym again. I'm back to being able to run 2 miles without stopping, so that is good. Hopefully, I will get to my goal weight eventually. I am sore today from running. So I'm proud of myself, at least today.

4. I think that DVR will be the death of me. One of the ways I reward myself for going to the gym is by....sitting on my ass, watching all the shows I missed while I was at the gym. And for that, I am forever grateful to the inventor of DVR. But now, I have approximately 12 hours of tv watching to do. And I have to hurry, because I'm falling behind. Every week, there are new episodes of all my current favorite shows:

~Nip/Tuck (obviously!) -- and I haven't watched it this week, so don't spoil it for me!
~Biggest Loser -- thank you, CN, for getting me addicted to this 2-hour-long show!
~Celebrity Rehab -- I swear, VH1 makes the most vacuous-yet-addictive reality tv shows.
~My Fair Brady -- the new season just started. This is probably the most ridiculous waste of time on television, but I can't stop myself. They are just so dysfunctional!!!
~Any IU basketball games that happen to come on tv down here -- IMHO, they should ALL be broadcast down here, because we are ranked 7th right now!!!! YIPPEE!!!! Go Hoosiers!!!
~random shows from Courtv, History Channel, TLC and Discovery.

Oh, I almost forgot. There is a new show called Cashmere Mafia. I thought it was going to be a cheap SATC-wannabe, but I figured it probably at least had great clothes, so I recorded it just to check it out. And I was instantly hooked!!! If you liked SATC, give Cashmere Mafia a chance, girls! It's done by Darren Star, the same guy behind SATC, so it has the same vibe.

So that is about 13 hours of tv a week. Yeesh. The good news is, there's always something to watch. The bad news is that it's hard to watch it all in time. I have forced myself to set up the recordings to be automatically erased in 14 days. So I'm on a time crunch.

If any of you are also hooked on any of these shows, tell me so we can chat about it!!! What shows are you hooked on right now? Do you have any recommendations for me?

5. OMG, I cannot wait to pay my taxes!!!! I know that sounds crazy, but this year I should get a nice tax refund, thanks to my house. I am using all of my refund (Ok, most of my refund) to pay down some credit card debt. I can't wait! It will feel so good to write that check.

6. KT is moving back to her hometown in New York state, and MJ and I are really bummed. We only have 2 more weekends with KT. :( It won't be the same without her. It's like we are going to become the Two Musketeers. It's just not the same. I have that Paul Young song in my head: "Every time you take a piece of me.....with you......" *tears up* But I'm trying to stay positive about it, and I'm grateful for the fact that we live in a modern world, complete with airplanes, cell phones and myspace.

7. Jeez Louise...that's all I have going on??? My life is practically one big yawn. I apologize, guys. But between gym trips, work, errands, cleaning and hanging out with my peeps, I haven't had a lot of extra down time for super-great blogging lately. Something cool will happen soon, and then I won't have writer's block anymore. CN did send me some funny videos recently. MJ didn't like them, but I thought they were hilarious. Hopefully, I can at least make you laugh today. Enjoy! WARNING: These are NSFW videos, so wait until your boss leaves or your kids are napping before you watch them!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday 13

Thirteen Diet Thoughts

1. This f**king blows. I want cake. Any cake. A big piece, with lots of chocolate frosting. And then I want a whole bag of Spicy Nacho Doritos. And I want it all inside my body as soon as possible.

2. I have to diet, or else I will continue to blimp up like a whale, and then I really will be fat enough to be on Biggest Loser. And then I won't be able to take it off, and I will die an early, weight-related death. Which would really suck. So this has to be a permanent lifestyle change, like quitting drinking or quitting smoking. But unfortunately, unlike cigarettes or alcohol, it is impossible to quit eating entirely. Which is why I think this is so hard for me. I am really good at quitting stuff. Not so good at cutting back. Cutting back is a slippery slope to me. My brain doesn't compute that concept.

3. It is a miracle that the package of Oreos I bought on Sunday remain sitting on my kitchen counter, unopened. Oreos are on my list of "Foods I Would Possibly Cut Off a Pinky Toe For". (I am making an Oreo-crust cheesecake this weekend for a dinner party, and then promptly donating all leftover Oreos to someone who can enjoy them without crying as they eat them.)

4. For some reason, this time around, the exercising part is fun and not so bad, but the dieting part is making me cranky and bitchy. And I'm really REALLY hating it. I feel punished, I feel deprived, I feel resentful and I am hungry. Every other time I have tried to get in shape, the dieting part hasn't been so bad. But this time is different for some reason.

5. Then again, it could be my hormones...they are also being blamed for #1. I read somewhere once that when a woman is having her "time", her body burns an extra 100 calories per day. This statement was obviously written by a man, because any woman of menstruating age knows that it's more like an extra 90,000 calories per day. Seriously, y'all, I could clean out my fridge in one sitting right now. And my pantry. And then hit Taco Bell. I hope this aching hunger goes away next week. I am starting to have a deep suspicion that I am possibly addicted to sugar and melted cheese. And it kind of scares me.

6. I am currently keeping my hands occupied with typing this blog post in order to stop myself from grabbing a spoon and a jar of peanut butter. I just knocked on wood that I will soon grow too sleepy to have enough energy to eat. Sometimes, this works. Thank God I am not a night owl.

7. This would be a good post for my readers to leave comments like, "You can do it!" and "You are Willpower Queen! Don't undo all your hard work in one moment of weakness!!" and "Take it one day at a time!"

8. This would be a bad post for my readers to leave comments like, "You are SO not fat, VB! You are incredibly thin, actually! Go eat those Oreos!" or "CN will like you no matter how fat you get! Who cares?"

9. I have lost a whopping 1 pound since January 1st.

10. Which is why I am now treating myself like a child and literally writing down everything that goes in my mouth. I figure, if I'm going to act like a child, I will treat myself like a child. I have this little notebook where I write it all down. The pages are all wrinkled from the tears I cry as I list everything. Ok, not really. But it paints a sympathetic picture, right?

11. This means that months from now, I can tell you what I had for lunch on March 2nd. Which seems vaguely scary to me....

12. The anonymous blog comment I received on my cooking blog telling me that I am "still fat" didn't help my self-esteem much. And he's fucking stupid if he thinks I can't figure out who it is.

13. But it did motivate me. And now, I am one hard-working fat girl, with a determined, little, skinny bitch inside, clawing her way out.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Babies R (Not) Us

Like many young women, I want to have kids one day. I'm thinking at least 3, maybe as many as 5. (Hey, I come from a big family, so this is normal to me.) And although I am absolutely positive I want to be a mother before I die, and I have a couple of names picked out, that is about as far as I'd taken this thought.

Until this weekend.

Don't freak out -- I'm not having a baby! *knocks on wood to be sure*

But lately, I can't seem to escape the thought of babies, and it's starting to wig me out. Let's make a list, shall we? Yes, let's. Because VB's heart rate is rapidly accelerating, and lists make her feel more in control of her world. Here we go.

1. I had a dream two nights ago that I was talking with an old friend about what it's like to be pregnant. We poked at her belly and discussed her due date. I think that in the dream, I was trying to get pregnant. Whoa.

2. Last week, CN and I were sitting on the couch watching Biggest Loser. I mentioned how it would be so easy to lose weight if you had kids, because you'd feel like you'd have a really good reason -- something to motivate you to live into old age. He replied, "Yeah, but you'll have kids one day. You should start being healthier now." (He's right, as usual.) He was visibly surprised to hear my answer: "No. I don't know if I'm going to have kids. It may not be in the cards for me." And I shrugged, because I am not one to count my chickens (or children?) before they hatch. And then I changed the subject, because the conversation was getting a little to "real" for me. I'm not ready to talk about that with CN yet. Heck, I'm not ready to talk to anyone about that!

2. CN and I were invited to a baby shower this past weekend. So we had to go pick out a present at Babies R Us, which, if you've never been, is like Wal-Mart, only it's filled with pregnancy/baby/toddler stuff. And it's FULL of women who look like this:

Now, I don't know if any of you have ever been in a giant room full of women who look like their water is about to break, unless you are an OB/GYN, but it is terrifying!!! I wanted to run up to each soon-to-be mom and play traffic cop: "Everyone! Now just back up! I need you to keep at least 10 feet back! She's gonna blow any minute!!!" I'm not kidding -- some of those women HAD to be at almost ten months of pregnancy. My fear of accidentally bumping into them and causing their water to break left me temporarily paralyzed. I didn't move an inch.

I looked around some more. There were approximately 7.3 billion baby items to purchase for your baby and/or your pregnancy. Now, unlike some women, my Baby Experience Resume is pretty extensive -- tons of babysitting, the oldest of 5 kids, lover of all things small and cute, oozing with maternal instinct, and a Master's degree in diaper changing.

But nothing, and I mean nothing, could prepare me for the Baby Bonanza that is Babies R Us.

There were these strap-things, which hold your big pregnant belly up. Like a giant seatbelt or something. I don't know. There were covers for your nipples. I don't know why nipples need covers, and I'm wondering if it's because they don't make bras big enough for pregnancy-sized boobs-- a terrifying thought. And I have never seen so many thermometer options in my life. Did you know that pacifiers come in sizes? Yeah. Neither did I.

Between the pregnant women, the bizarre baby items for sale, and the umpteen newborns in the building, my head began to spin. I looked over at CN. He was white as a sheet, and also seemingly cemented to the floor.

"Oh. My. God. There are pregnant women everywhere...." I trailed off, speechless with fear.

"Yeah. And babies," whispered CN.

"This is totally freaking me out. Let's get the hell outta here ASAP!" I said.

We printed off the registry, grabbed the closest thing in our price range (which happened to be a Breast Friend, a product I was actually familiar with) and practically ran to the register. On the way to the register, I explained to CN what a Breast Friend does, and he proceeded to make jokes about how he wants one so he can be my breast friend. Har. Har.

3. On the way to the baby shower, I realized that never in the History of Baby Showers has there only been one baby or one pregnant woman. There were going to be more. And I was right. CN and I walked into a nest of new mothers and fathers, all discussing their new babies and baby products and baby philosophies and organic baby food and....well, you get the picture. There were two babies in addition to the one being celebrated. There were baby-themed cakes, decorations and party favors. Everyone was coupled up, either engaged or already married. It felt like everyone was expected to either have a baby or want to have a baby before even walking through the front door. Like it was a requirement to attend.

It was so overwhelming, I completely forgot that I had a boyfriend. My inner Single Girl said, "Shit! I hate parties like this! I'm single and I can hear my biological clock ticking now more than ever! Why do they never invite more than one single girl to parties like this?? Don't they realize it's torture? Oh. Wait. I am here with someone...Right. Ok." And then I spent the rest of the party trying to see if there were any single girls there, so that I could introduce myself and comfort them. Old habits never die, I guess. Or perhaps I just don't see CN and I as a couple couple yet. Because we haven't been dating long enough to discuss the possibility of making a little VB or CN yet. Does that make sense? I dunno. It felt too soon for us to be in that room with all people.

Consequently, I kept to myself and stuffed 3 chocolate-covered strawberries, 4 ounces of dip/chips, one brownie and 17 petit-fours down my gob.

PMS hormones + too many babies + weird baby items + freakishly swollen bellies + a party where I know no one = Time to eat.

Ugh. I am getting a headache just typing this.

Anyway, our gift was a hit, and many "Breast Friend" jokes ensued.

4. After the party, CN and I had hoped to return to the Land of the Childless by attending W's birthday get-together. No such luck. My friend Y was there, and she is about 6 months pregnant with her first child. And a couple was there with their 3 month-old little girl. She was adorable. And they let me hold her. And she was so little! And she had that powdery baby smell! And she stuck out her bottom lip when she cried! And we all cooed over her adorableness.

CN was watching me do all of this. I cooed to him about the cute baby. He said it was impossible to escape babies that day. I nodded and continued to coo.

"You don't want one, do you?" he asked, terrified.

"Oh my God, NO!" I shouted. CN had jolted me back to reality.

And that's when I realized that I really like the idea of having a baby and being a mother. Possibly even with CN. But the whole pregnancy and labor thing totally freaks me out, and I am nowhere close to being ready to have one any time soon!!!

I wish the stork story was true. Because that is the kind of pregnancy/labor I want! Just thinking about how scary labor must be and how pregnancy totally f**ks up your body makes me feel like I'm going to faint. Why can't a nice little bird just drop if off on your doorstep? This is much more logical to me. It also sounds cheaper, safer, faster and cleaner. Scientists should look into this and see if this is indeed a viable option.

I explained all of this to CN and told him that I can't wait to be a mom, because once the baby has arrived, I think I would like it, because I know what to do. It's the whole pregnancy/swollen belly/scary labor stuff that bothers me.

He totally disagreed, saying that the baby's arrival is when all of his fears would start!

I guess it's good to know that we are on the same page about all of this stuff. Kinda.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

First Fun Friday of 2008

I don't know about y'all, but this week has draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagged.

It is only through the little Fun Friday-type tidbits that I make it through weeks like this.

1. Take for example, this AMAZING concept: losing weight by writing. Yeah. It's a new diet. Talk about my kinda diet! Sign me up! I can actually see how it would help to get your emotions out on paper so you don't smother them with food instead. It makes sense. Unfortunately, I'm not an emotional eater. In fact, when I'm upset, I stop eating. But I digress.

2. Over the holidays, my cousin (son of Favorite Aunt) proposed to his girlfriend. I have not met the bride-to-be yet, but Favorite Aunt adores her, and the bride's family adores my cousin, so everyone is happy and excited about this news. We haven't had a wedding in our family in several years, so this is really great. It turns out that the bride-to-be comes from a well-to-do Chicago family (ie, her parents paid for her out-of-state college tuition without using ANY loans), so the wedding should be pretty snazzy. It will be in May of 2009, and I'm already excited about it. My cousin is a sweetheart, not to mention super smart and ambitious.

It runs in the family, don't ya know.

I promise I'm going somewhere with this. I am really hoping that the bride doesn't have a wedding cake like this one, because this is just creepy as hell, not to mention, ego-maniacal.

3. And thanks to MJ for sending me this hysterical video today. Apparently, there's a whole series of these on YouTube, but I have never heard of them. I will probably be spending the rest of the afternoon watching them, though...[Warning: arachnophobes should skip this!]

4. Now here's a cool concept: Ever wish you could sort of test-drive your dream job? It turns out, you CAN!!! Which is a very exciting concept, especially if you are pretty much always looking for a job that is nothing like your current one, like *someone* I know. (Shhh!) I haven't read the fine print yet, but I think this is a free service. [Update: Ok, yeah, it costs an arm and a leg! Sorry! You basically buy a package where you get a couple of days job shadowing someone in that career.] Check out Vocation Vacation if you are interested.

5. Oh! If you love your pooch, or if you have a friend who loves their pooch, you may want to check out this other website recommended to me: SitStay. It has everything for dogs, from soup to nuts. Er, make that treats to beds. Or whatever. You know what I mean. It's nice to find websites for stuff like this, because PetSmart just doesn't have everything you need.

6. Before I go, I am going to tell you my most recent dream -- I have had a bunch of wacked-out dreams this week. I think someone was yelling at me in one dream, and something bad happened to Sammy in another. I can't really remember.

Luckily, I can only remember this one. It was nice. I dreamt that my grandfather (The Czarina's dad), whom I've never met, came over to me and said, "But I've given you $2,500! It's right over there!" And then he showed me a big stack of money! I was so excited, and I ran over to him and gave him a great big hug.

Hmmm...sounds like I need to check my lottery ticket I bought the other day, huh?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!! Happy Friday!!

Not Myself Today

CN and I were watching "Biggest Loser" last night. And he has definitely gotten me hooked on it. The good news is, watching it makes me want to go to the gym and work out to the point of passing out. The trainers are very motivational like that. The bad news is, although everyone on that show weighs more than I do, I feel like a total heifer when I watch it. I think it's because I can relate so much to the contestants' shame and disappointment with themselves and their eating choices. Exercise seems positive to me, whereas calorie restriction feels negative.

Sometime, during the show, I got a visit from the PMS Fairy. Or should I say....Demon.

Earlier in the evening, I tried to give CN a heads up. "Sweetie," I said. "Just so you know, it's my time. And I can tell already that I'm going to be really weepy, because I cried at a TV commercial today. So just keep that in mind for about the next week-- I may be acting kind of weird."

"Ok," he said, slightly shrugging.

Gotta love hindsight.

It should have gone like this:

VB: "For the next week, my brain and body will be taken over by The Evil Psycho Hormone Demon. I advise you to stay in a hotel and make no contact with me until then."

CN: "Right. I'm out." *runs away as fast as he can*

I hate stupid hormones. Because for the next few days, Normal, Happy and Rational VB is abducted and tied to a chair in a basement somewhere. Her mouth is covered with duct tape. She is ignored, threatened and/or abused by The Evil Psycho Hormone Demon, who has managed to not only succeed with a hostile takeover, but is now Supreme Evil Dictator over my mind and body. She will not stop her rampage until everyone who encounters me this week is convinced that I have totally lost my mind.

And this month, she's being extra cruel and obnoxious. She has actually grown black horns, acquired an evil laugh and her eyes are now seeping blood. Imagine the devil from Rosemary's Baby, only in female form. I don't know what the hell I ate this month (I would like to blame all the salad and veggies, of course), but for some reason, the little gland in my body which controls my moods has set the dial all the way to the right, which reads "Bat Shit Crazy". It's that part of the dial where it's in the "red zone". And there is a little warning light which has turned on. It's blinking with a terrifying urgency. I encourage you to lock up your children.

Right now, if you were to glare at me, or even just stare at me, I would probably burst into tears. Then, 45 Kleenex later, after calming down, I would rip your throat out with my bare hands and stomp on your bloody body--while screaming-- until it is mashed into something resembling roadkill. And then I would start crying again.

Needless to say, I am not myself today. It feels eerily similar to what I imagine an out-of-body experience must be like. It's like I'm sitting in the driver's seat, but someone else is driving.

Based on this description, you would stay far, far away from me. And this would be a wise decision.

Unfortunately for CN, he was sitting on the couch, watching TV with me when all of this went down in the Hormones Department.

I'm not going to get into details, but let's just say that Evil Psycho Hormone Demon (EPHD) would not shut up about how fat I feel, which led CN to try and comfort and reassure me in a way that totally backfired right in his face, because no matter what he said or did, EPHD took his words and actions, twisted them into something completely different, and told me that CN was saying this:

"I don't like you anymore and I don't care about you."

You see? Do you see how evil and manipulative she is??? She is evil, I am telling you.

So that is how I went through half a box of Kleenex last night. That is why I had nightmares and woke up at 5:15 this morning. That is also why I just finished writing CN a very long, apologetic and explanatory email about how I am insane until further notice.

This sounds terrible, doesn't it? You are thinking, "Oh man, she needs to do some serious damage control." or, if you are a man, "Women are bat shit crazy."

But you are reading this entirely out of context. Let me explain. You see, as much of a wack job as I am right now, I am still totally golden.

By coincidence, CN recently told me a little bit more about his ex-girlfriend. I will call her Psycho Emily, because that is her name. (Tee hee.) When they were dating, CN had to take a business trip to Vermont for about a month. It was during the winter, and he was really enjoying the snow, so he invited her to come up and hang out one weekend.

They were standing in the kitchen of his hotel suite, talking. She was chopping veggies for dinner on a cutting board. That's when it happened: she proposed. Emily proposed marriage to CN. Because he is wise beyond his years, he thought to himself, "This girl has psycho tendencies. Perhaps getting married is not a good idea right now." But, because he is a man, and therefore, totally ignorant when it comes to female hormones, he made the unfortunate reply of:


Now, I couldn't possibly be sure about how Psycho Emily's EPHD interpreted his answer, but I bet it went something like this: "I do not care about you and I do not like you. I have been using you for sex this whole time, and you are an idiot if you thought that I ever gave a rat's ass about you. You are fat, ugly, crazy and stupid and I'd rather die poor, sick and alone than spend any more time with you than is absolutely necessary for me to get my rocks off."

Keep in mind that during the delivery of this interpretation, Psycho Emily is wielding a large kitchen knife.

So she did what any woman under the powers of her EPHD would do in that situation: She tried to stab him.

He managed to avoid the attack and get the knife away from her. That's when she ran outside. Into the snow. Barefoot. In nothing but her bra and a pair of jeans.

Where she proceeded to climb a tree and refused to come back down.

Surprisingly, they continued dating for a while after this whole fiasco.

So, my little meltdown last night? Not a big deal. CN has experienced The Mother of All Evil Psycho Hormone Demons, and lived to tell the tale. By now, he is a battle-worn veteran.

"I am a terrible girlfriend! I jumped to conclusions and expected you to read my mind!" I sobbed last night.

"Oh my God, no you're not! You're the best girlfriend I've ever had!" he said.

"I am?" I sniffed, voice quivering.

"Yeah. You don't even pull knives on me." he replied.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Ugh. Going to the gym now makes me want to barf.

Not because working out really hard makes me barf, although that is true.

Not because I'm hating the whole process of getting back in shape -- on the contrary, I am excited about it.

What makes me want to barf when I go to the gym is the fact that every time I cross the threshold, I now risk running into any or ALL of the following former romantic interests*:

Dr. Seuss (a guy I used to date who ended up being a total wack job)
Fed Sucksy (a guy I used to date who stood me up, only to refuse to apologize or explain later-- asshole!)
Small World Guy (a guy I sorta dated for a bit, but there was no spark)

and the two newest additions--

Hot Neighbor (who has moved, btw) and.....


Hoo-fuckin'-ray. It's official -- every guy I have dated or liked in this town now goes to my gym. I saw HN there 3 days ago and then ran into Repo last night. Oh. The. Joy.

Look, I know Columbia isn't that big of a city, but DAMMIT does everyone have to join my gym? There are several other gyms they can go to!!!! The true irony is that the only guy I want to see at the gym, CN, goes to a different gym than I do.

What used to be my aerobic oasis, my sanctuary of sweat, has now become a place of dread and awkwardness. It is only a matter of time until I do something to embarrass myself in front of one of them. I have never been known for my athletic abilities, let alone my coordination. I work out with dirty hair, little makeup and old t-shirts! This is not the way I want to look in front of former flames! AAARRRGH.

Oh well. I guess this should motivate me to work out extra-hard, right?

Maybe they are all stalking me. Ha ha!

Ok, yeah, that's probably not the case. I just have bad luck.

My membership runs out in a year. I am counting down the days.

* If you want the back story on these guys, just search this blog for their names. Or click on the tags below.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy 2008!

Hi, Everyone! Sorry I've been away so long. Some of you might know that I work for a school, so I get extra-long holiday vacations. Today is my first day back at work since my last post.

And yes, I have internet at home, but it's very slow and so I rarely post from there.

Thank you to everyone who send me Christmas/Holiday/New Year's wishes. Y'all are so sweet. I love my bloggy buds. I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season full of yummy food, great presents and lots of love.

Ok, I have lots of news!!!! For the ease my readers, I will write this post in an imaginary interview way, so that all of your questions can be answered. In theory.

So, VB, how was your trip home to The Czarina's for Christmas?

Well, the good news is, I did not kill my mother. WHEW. We got along better than usual, actually. Not that I have a bad relationship with her. I love my mom. But, well, you know how it is. Those of you who have a loving-yet-domineering-control-freak mother know what I mean. I got to hang out with Smurf and my brothers Fungus and Fat Dog, too. I also got to see one of my oldest friends, a girl who lives in NYC. (She lives near Chinatown, if you are curious).

Wait, weren't you going to post about New Orleans again?

Um, yes, but I left my photo CD at home. Sorry. The pics weren't very good, anyway.

So what else is new?

Well, just before I went home for the holidays, if you remember, I was having car problems and was ready to start car shopping. So Czarina called the Pontiac dealership in my hometown. The Belle family has been doing business with them since the 1960s. No joke. Needless to say, we are on a first-name-basis with everyone who works there. They are very trustworthy and the prices kick ass. So she called them to see if they had any used Hondas or Toyotas -- I told her I was never driving another GM car again as long as I live.

Czarina called me back. "Ok, they have a Ponti--"
"Hold up. Time out. No, Mom. I said no more American cars. Japanese only."
"I know, I know. Just listen. They have a Pontiac Vibe, which has a Toyota engine in it. They just stick a GM body on top when they make it."
"I'm listening," I said.
"They said they'd give you $7,000 for your trade-in--"
[Picks up jaw from floor] "Um, did you say '$7,000'?"
"Yup! And it's a 2004 with only 40,000 miles on it! It's red and it has a sunroof!" she gushed.
"SOLD!" I said.

So here is a pic of a car that is identical to mine! I love that it's red, because as you know, I am a major Indiana basketball fan, and red is the team's color. Woo hoo!!!

I miss having a V6 engine and a couple other features, but I'm loving the better gas mileage and sunroof already! Plus, it is SO much more reliable. I can sleep at night now. It's cute, but I am worried that it's kind of a "mom-ish" car. I always imagine myself in a red convertible...

Maybe one day. But for now, I want reliability and good gas mileage!

Yay! That's great! We love your new car and don't think it's "mom-ish" at all! Now, give us what we really want: some updates on CN! What's going on there?

*sigh* He is still wonderful. I will try not to gush too much. I gave him an ipod shuffle for Christmas, because he admired mine so much -- he loves it! I got major girlfriend points. He gave me a DVD I wanted (a horror movie called When a Stranger Calls -- the original one, not the re-make) and a very pretty silver necklace -- it's a heart with teeny tiny diamonds in it. YAY!!! Good boyfriend!!!! He had asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I replied, "I want you to get me something only a boyfriend would buy." Which, as my female readers know, means, "Jewelry. Preferably real." -- Ok, I'm kidding. It didn't have to be real. So I was pleasantly surprised.

Wow. CN is fantastic. You must feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

He is!!! I am!!!! We are super duper happy!!!!

Ok, now you are making us want to barf, and we like you. Can you stop gushing about Mr. Wonderful?


Any other news?

I got a new cell phone, and it's waaaaay fancier than my old one. Does anyone know a website that is good for ringtones? My provider's website doesn't have some of the songs I want.

My sister got me a gift certificate to Sephora, my most favorite store of all time, as I am a total makeup addict. As much as I lovelovelove it, I am paralyzed with indecision whenever I attempt at making purchases there. I honestly cannot decide. It's like asking a parent which one of their kids is their favorite. So I will hang on to the card for a while.

My brothers gave me Best Buy gift certificates, which will be used to buy more RAM for my home computer. Right now I am operating on a whopping 156k (if I remember correctly -- it's abysmally paltry in any case) and am chomping at the bit to buy some RAM so I can use the Internet from home without wanting to scream at my monitor.

MJ and KT got me yummy coffee that is hard to find. They also got me a gift certificate for dog boarding -- an excellent idea!

OH! I almost forgot!


While I was at home at my mom's house, I was talking to her neighbor. He told me a sad story: his coworker had a Jack Russell terrier and he spoiled the bejeezus out of it. We're talking outfits, pork chops for dinner and a heated dog house. Anyway, one day, while he was at work, someone STOLE his dog!

Aw, that sucks!!!

Yeah, tell me about it. So the neighbor told me this guy was heartbroken and looking for a new dog. "Well........." I said. Then I told him about Toby. How I was sick of him eating my shoes and being hyperactive and how I just don't think Toby is a good fit for me.....etc.

So he told his coworker about Toby, and I gave Toby to him free of charge! He is super happy and was talking baby talk to Toby the last I heard. I'm sure Toby is munching away on filet mignon or something by now. He's hit the doggy jackpot!

Yay! All's well that ends well!

Yes, that is a great ending. Everyone is happy. So, what is your New Year's resolution?

The same one it is every year: lose 40 pounds! Only hopefully this year, I won't stop at 20 pounds and re-gain them back! Argh! I do it every time! And being in a happy relationship is really bad for dieting. I know CN will still like me no matter what I look like (several rough mornings have already proven this theory), which sort of deflates my motivation to eat healthy food. Especially when he takes me out to dinner all the time. Evenings at the gym have been replaced with evenings on the couch, snuggling.

But enough is enough. I'm running out of pants. So I gotta start running on a treadmill. I am breaking in my new running shoes tonight!!!!

And I would like the record to show that I ate a SALAD for lunch today. I. Hate. Salad. But dammit, I'm pissed off at myself, so it's time to shape up.

So yes, Healthy VB is back. Feel free to leave motivating comments for me! They are much appreciated!!!! How do you stay healthy? Have any tips or motivating thoughts for me? I'm having a hard time getting rid of my candy and pushing myself at the gym. I am watching Biggest Loser, because CN swears it motivates you to work out.

I also like to have a fun resolution: This year's fun one is to take more pictures! YAY!!! I know you are excited, because this blog has few, if any pics. But soon, that will change!!!

I want to know your resolutions, too. Share with me!