Thursday, November 30, 2006

What Day Is It? Where Am I Going? What Is My Name?

WOW! What a week. Life definitely has its crazy moments and this week has been full of them.

Saying that - I am going to enjoy today:
> I have the day off.
> I've been to the gym.
> I'm gonna hang out with Bengal fans.
> I'm going to watch a good football game!


Monday, November 27, 2006

I'm Back. . .

I took a journey out of town for the holidays. I did try to exercise a bit while I was gone, but I don't know how much scrunches and leg lifts on a motel bed really counts. Unfortunately, I think my muscles are going to go on strike after the work-out I put them through tonight!

I did get quite a bit of shopping done with MommyMarie on Black Friday. I still have a bit more to buy before Christmas, but the pile to wrap has grown pretty high. Yippee!

BabyGirl, Lucy and I headed up to Cleveland to root on our Bengals. We had a great time tailgating - even with the Browns fans next to us (Thanks for sharing the fire pit, glad there was no camera to record the dare). It was so warm that I left my jacket in the van and was fine with a short sleeved t-shirt and my jersey. My hands did get a bit cold on the walk out, but not so bad!

Loved the win, loved the view of the lake, loved the company, loved watching two (maybe three, couldn't tell who the one girl was rooting for) Browns fans get thrown out of their own stadium - OK, saw one Bengal fan get thrown out too.

The only bad part was the drive after the game. It took us roughly 3 hours to get there (2.75 to get to the motel and about another .25 to the stadium) and 6.25 hours to get back. Does anyone else see a problem with this?

Thank God for Lucy's hot tub. Does wonders for those muscles still in the position of clenching the steering wheel and trying hard not to press on the gas pedal. Thankfully, BabyGirl drove the last 1.5 hours or I don't think I would have been able to get out of the van to get into the hot tub.


"Never mistake knowledge for wisdom.
One helps you make a living;
The other helps you make a life." - Sandra Carey

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Realizing. . .

. . .That moments are more important than things.
. . .That people are more important than places.
. . .That friends are way more important than crossing things off of the "To Do" list.

Tom-san: I regret that it has been four years since we talked. I will always cherish the last time I saw you - the toasts, the laughs and the memories at the bar in Japan. You will be missed.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love, I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,

Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "It's really all right,
I'm out here by choice.

I'm here every night.
It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... An American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother. . .
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "Harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money," I asked, "Or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget,
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled,
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

I don't know who wrote it, but it appeared in my e-mail in-box and is one of those that I wanted to share.

Even though it is a "Christmas" poem, I thought it was worth reading for Thanksgiving as well.
If anyone is sending packages for the Holidays, please be aware that the mail cut-off date is soon.


"My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt." - Anna Sewell

Monday, November 20, 2006

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm. . .

I saw a blog entry tonight with "My list of the top 5 guys in entertainment that really get my blood flowing." There was also a challenge issued for everyone to come up with their own list.

I started thinking about "my list" and I'm drawing a blank. Never fear. . .I will find 5 photos of guys who make me look twice. It may take me awhile since I'm looking solely in the entertainment industry.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Innocence Is So Refreshing. . .

I love the innocence of babies!

Both Princess and Fighter are home now. . .I spent some time with them tonight and I am amazed by the joy, peace and love that they bring into our lives without even knowing that they are doing it.

I don't know that I can explain it, don't even know if I should try. All I know is that I wish all of us could keep that love, peace and joy as we grow older instead of learning hate, war and ignorance.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Trying To Switch It Up. . .

I'm trying to do different cardio at the gym in order to keep my body from getting "used to the routine". That means no more elliptical - time to do some bike. :(

The hardest thing about the bike is that it takes me twice as long to burn the same amount of calories on the elliptical. This seems like a complete waste of time to me. . .But if it keeps my body in weight loss mode, I'm about to do it.


Monday, November 13, 2006

I Needed That!

I think the universe knew that I was getting down with the dieting and the weight loss and all of that stuff. . .And it provided.

My neighbor refuses to call me by my real name anymore. He calls me Slim. I don't know if it is because he doesn't remember my name or what, but it makes me smile and get moving. . .Especially when I'm on my way to the gym and I really don't want to go.

My sister, Lexismoo, gave me an awesome card over the weekend!
It almost made me cry. : )
OK, I'll be honest - it teared me up!
I LOVED IT! (front says "happy new you!")

This morning, I saw a coworker from over-seas that I haven't seen in a few years. . .
"SassyMarie-san? SassyMarie-san! You are skinny!"
Now, I know that he never would have said it if he wasn't jet-lagged, but it gave me a laugh and even gave me a feeling of pride.

Right before I left work, I got a
"You're doing AWESOME" email from a co-worker with a picture she had taken of me in 2004. To be honest, I did not recognize myself. . .And I almost cried - I never realized that I looked like that.

The only thing that I can think of is: I see myself in the mirror everyday, so I don't really notice a change. I know that I am doing good because of how my clothes fit, but I was getting discouraged and wondering if it was worth it. I guess I needed the
reactions that I was blessed to get recently. Granted, I didn't get positive reinforcement from everyone and even though it may hurt for a few moments, I realize that it's okay - I am doing good and not everyone has to be happy for me. I just need to be happy for myself.

15 more to go!


PS. Peter King sure had a lot to say about the Bengals in his Monday Morning Quarterback (, some good, some bad (take a deep breath - there's a lot here to read and I only included the stuff about our game):
Quote of the Week II: "We'll be back with the second-half tipoff right after these messages.'' -- Cris Collinsworth, in the NBC viewing room Sunday, after the Bengals kicked a field goal in the fourth quarter to climb within 42-41 in Cincinnati.
Quote of the Week III: "Being involved in that game, it was almost like a cartoon. Like it was animated. It was unbelievable.'' -- San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who scored four touchdowns in the 49-41 San Diego win at Cincinnati.
Quote of the Week IV: "It's the kind of game that makes the National Football League the most popular sport in the world.'' -- Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer, stunned after the Chargers came back from a 21-0 deficit to win in Cincinnati going away.
The Awards Section - Offensive Players of the Week (tie): Carson Palmer, QB, Cincinnati. No one needed a big game more than Palmer this weekend. The Bengals had lost four of five, they led the league in supercilious bickering, and Palmer knew he had to get the ball to Chad Johnson to avoid an eruption. So what does Palmer do? Complete 20 of 23 for 283 yards and two touchdowns ... in the first half. Talk about coming up big when a 4-4 record mandated it. It's not his fault the defense (and Chris Henry, see below) didn't hold up its end. Palmer finished 31 of 42 for 440 yards, three touchdowns and no picks.
Goat of the Week: Chris Henry, WR, Cincinnati. Chargers up 49-41, 1:05 left in the game, Bengals ball at the San Diego 15, second and 10. Henry lines up on the right, and just as he starts his curl two yards into the end zone, Palmer throws a perfectly roped spiral right into his gut. And Henry drops it. Maybe the Bengals don't make the two-point conversion and lose 49-47. Maybe they make the two-point conversion and it's tied 49-49 with 50 seconds left and we see if Rivers has one more miracle left in his backpack. But Henry saw to it that we'd have no more drama with his horrible drop.
Ten Things I Think I Think:
1. I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of Week 10: k. Bengals-Chargers. Ninety points. 90! l. Chargers: 42 points in the second half. 42!
2. I think this is the game I see the Colts stumbling: Dec. 18 against the Bengals, even though it's in Indianapolis. With the Bengals out of the playoff picture then, it'll be their World Series.
4. I think, hmmm, now that I've opened that can of worms, let me close it. King's top long-haul quarterbacks if he was starting a franchise right now, in order: Peyton Manning, Brady, Brees, Marc Bulger, Rivers/Matt Hasselbeck (tie), Carson Palmer (just because I'm not sure of the mental scars from his knee injury right now).

The only thing that I think was missing from his article - a mention of the cheap head shot on T.J. during the fourth quarter.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thank God!

Final Weigh-In Tomorrow. . .And I am so ready.

I can already taste the big baked potato with chicken and cheese that I will be enjoying tomorrow for lunch - I've been craving that thing since before this competition started.

After a weekend of moderate cheating - I'm back on the diet! 15 more to go.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Time of Change

I normally avoid political discussions. It's one area that I realized long ago just leads to nasty arguments and bad feelings. I do have some friends who are able to discuss and listen with me, even if we don't agree. But this is the exception, not the rule.

I was watching the voting results trickle in - WOW - big change across America! The majority in the House will most like [has - update Wed. morning] change and the Senate is going to be anyone's guess [49-49-1, with 2 undecided]. Ohio has a change in governor affiliation as well as many other key positions. Amazing.

I am most happy about Issue 4 failing and Issue 5 passing. Both were smoking issues. . .I can now go out to public places, not worry about my throat closing up and not being able to breathe!

The best thing about this election - the hate ads are now done. THANK GOD!


Monday, November 06, 2006

Serious WOW!. . .If I Do Say So Myself!

I got weighed and measured tonight at the gym. . .For the first time, we compared the numbers to when I started this transformation almost 11 months ago.

I have eliminated:
* 7 inches from my Shoulders
* 7 inches from my Chest
* 3.5 inches from my Arm
* 7.25 inches from my Waist
* 8.5 inches from my Hips
* 5.75 inches from my Thigh
* 2 inches from my Calf

And drum roll please. . .I have lost 60 pounds!

Wooo Hooo! And I'm not done yet!!!


"You [are] the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. . .Your entire life. . .Not just the life of your mind, but he life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul." - Anna Quindlen

Sunday, November 05, 2006

4 - 4

Did a bad "no turn-over" call (the announcers agreed) make us loose the game today?
> No - but it would have made us loose by 3 instead of 6. . .

Did a bad "no interference" call make us loose the game today?
> No - but we would have had an opportunity to try. . .

Did 5 minutes of horrible offense / special teams (the 5 minutes that I missed, mind you) which resulted in 14 points make us loose the game today (keep in mind we lost by 6)?
> Looks like it played a major part. . .

Did a defense that just couldn't stop the 1st downs make us loose the game today?
> Would play a critical role, though they only allowed field goals other than those 5 minutes. . .

Did this game disappoint me?
> Absolutely.

Will I be there next week cheering them on to a win?
> You can count on it!


Friday, November 03, 2006

Thoughts Running Around In My Head. . .

-I opened an email tonight to see "Holiday Countdown - Only 8 Weekends Until Christmas". WHAT!?!

-Ever had a relative that you love to see them for a VERY short period of time, but they seem to want to stay for awhile? They cause you to get cranky and all you want to do is eat? Yep, I got one - her name is Aunt Flo and dang if she just won't go away!

-I was craving a pumpkin pie blizzard from Dairy Queen. . .Really bad! I talked myself out of it.

-Then my mind turned to the craving to a "small" pint of ice cream from the grocery store. I talked myself out of it.

-Then the craving turned to a scoop of ice cream from UDF. OK, this one may be doable, but I kept debating with myself as I drove there.

-UDF's fat-free yogurt of the day was pumpkin pie - funny how it tastes a lot like a pumpkin pie blizzard from Dairy Queen!

-I really need to get working on the decorating in my bathrooms!


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Getting Tired Of. . .


Yes, that has been my dinner every night for the past week. Yes, until I can find some different lean meat (I hear Walmart has good lean beef), it will be my dinner every night for the next week.

I will be so glad when this weight loss competition is OVER!

OK, I admit - I may have to do it again if my weight loss creeps to a stop before I'm ready for it to. . .But for now, I'm going to pretend that won't happen.


"When you rule your mind you rule your world. When you choose your thoughts you choose results." - Imelda Shanklin

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Bruises. . .

I found one as I was pulling up the sleeve on my right arm yesterday to give blood. Yes, the vampires were at the office for Halloween (ha ha). It was not only the black and blue color, but it was swollen as well. Didn't feel too good, I must admit.

Today at the gym as I was changing to work out, I happened to glance down and realized that I had matching bruises on my forearms. Hmm. . .Now that I think about it, this second one didn't feel too good either.

Now as I type, I realize that my legs are mighty achey as well. I'm afraid to look to see how many bruises are in residence there.

What have I learned from this?
>Don't move big furniture by myself!
>Pay more attention to my body!