Archive for January, 2008

Better Things Ahead

January 31, 2008

Except for Monday, every day this week has felt a little bit like Friday. That’s obnoxious. Thank goodness today is Thursday. Which means tomorrow, it’s finally here.

What’s here? Well, my Friday plans aren’t anything super fancy, but they will be fun. First, I am seeing a “cabaret” at my old high school. My neighbor boy is singing in it and he’s like my little brother. In fact, I got him involved in theater and now he’s quite good! He even just won the part of the Tin-Man in East High’s spring production of The Wizard of Oz. I’m so proud of him! So I have to go see this.

But as soon as it is over, David and I are rushing downtown to move onto the exciting plans. We are having dinner with our favorite double-date couple, Chuck and Lisa. And not just any dinner, we’re going to The King and I for Thai food! I am very excited because it has been MONTHS since I’ve had Thai food. Also, I don’t deal with spicy food very well. I have 15 days to break myself of this!

We always have so much fun with these two and we plan to have a long night of fun. Confession time- we are in talks about going to Silk Exotic after dinner. We’ve gone as a group before and it was a lot of fun! I’m actually really interested in going for several reasons… For one, Friday is “Ladies Night” which means a glass of champagne when we walk in the door, and $5 martinis all night. Score! Also, I’m VERY curious to watch the girls do their pole tricks since I’ve started my pole classes. Maybe it will inspire me!

Also, tomorrow is PAYDAY! Woohoo! But don’t worry, those strippers aren’t going to get too much of my cash.


Lost the Battle

January 31, 2008

But I’m looking ahead…

I ate like a cow yesterday. Or a pig. Or a bear after hibernating for two years straight. I dont’ know why. It was one of those days where I just couldn’t feel full. I’m fighting it today. I can’t have two days like that in a row.

I had the best intentions to work out yesterday after work with David. But as usual he flaked out on me. I’m not mad at him, really, but annoyed. We’re cancelling his gym membership today. If only we had done it four months ago and saved the headaches and the money.

He is done with work at 4:00, but waits for me to pick him up after I’m done at 5:00. I can understand how waiting around in a hospital for an hour waiting to be picked up can sap any motivation to hit the YMCA for an hour before dinner. But such is the life of a one-car household.

We were productive and ran errands and did some grocery shopping, and did some crunches and stuff while watching TV. But that doesn’t make up for my missed workout. Last week I worked out FIVE times! 3 times at the Y and two Pole classes. It felt great! So far this week- ONCE.

I’m going at lunch today, but lunchtime workouts just don’t do enough for me. I have it down to a science, though- 10 minutes to get to the Y (remove jewelry and put hair into a pony-tail in the car on the way); check in; 5 minutes to change into gym clothes; 15-20 minutes on the elliptical (including cool-down); 10 minutes to wipe down and change back into work clothes; 10 minutes to drive back to work (fix hair and makeup in the car).

It’s hard to be okay with getting all sweaty when I know I have to rush back to work. But even if I really push myself for those 20 minutes, what can I burn? 200 calories? The reason I do it is because it’s better than nothing. But I’m not going to lose serious weight with a couple lunchtime workouts a week. I need the hour long time after work. I know David will be willing to take the bus home on occasion so I can head straight to the YMCA, but sometimes, like when it’s 3 degrees outside, that just feels cruel.

I just thought things were going to be different yesterday. David and I had a “discussion” on Tuesday night which went as most of our “discussions” do- I cried while we talked things out. I told him that, with his family history of health problems, I worried about his health and felt that he was in a much bigger risk group than I was, but we both need to get healthy. He told me that we would work out Wednesday night.

And then we didn’t. Sigh.

We actually have an elliptical machine at home. It’s in pieces, never having been fixed or reassembled after our move a year and a half ago.But it’s there. He wants to put it together. I applaud this. But the problem is our house is in a state of disaster. We’ve never fully unpacked or organized and there are two rooms in our three-bedroom duplex that are practically or totally unusable because they are full of storage and junk.

Here’s the story- David’s dad bought a foreclosed house that needed a TON of work. So he left a lot of stuff in an extra bedroom in our place. We have slowly been adding our own mess to his mess. Now, you can barely open the door because it’s full of boxes, office supplies, theater costumes, etc. Ridiculous! I’m in the process of getting the rest of our house organized before attacking that room. It will eventually be our office/den. We’ll have a couple desks and the elliptical set up in there. But now we might set it up in an obnoxious place in the living room. Fine. Whatever.

BAH!!!!!! This is all so frustrating. I am not in control and I hate that feeling. I’m not in control of my health, weight, bills, and my house. This must be remedied. Being an adult is HARD.

But I must remember that I will get out of this. I will figure everything out. I like to think I’m a lot more grown up than I actually am. I need to have some patience. As I grow up, I will learn more about handling these issues. And I need to remember that living independently from my parents is really the best thing ever.

This was supposed to be an entry to motivate myself to have a good workout today at lunch and it turned into a whine-fest. How lame.

Oh well. It felt good. And I have something fun and exciting to write about later. I just had to get this off my chest.


January 29, 2008

Here is a video of my little sister sledding down the hill behind the Domes.

I admit, the funniest part might be my laughter. Or, that could be the obnoxious part. I don’t care. I still laugh.

Summer Lovin’

January 29, 2008

Whoa Natasha, you say. Just because it’s 40 degrees today, does not make it summer. No, it does not, but in 17 days it will be summer for me. Oh, did you hear I’m going to Thailand?

Anyway, the latest news is the heat. I don’t know how I’m going to go from freezing temperatures to 90 degrees in 24 hours.

Seriously. Look at today’s weather in Bangkok:

Look at that humidity level! Crazy considering the temperature here will drop to ZERO overnight. I can’t even fathom 90 degrees.

Yesterday at lunch, rather than working out, I went shopping at Target. They have some summer stuff out already. Normally I roll my eyes at this, but in this instance it’s helping me!

I’ve been doing a lot of research on how to dress in Thailand. On the one hand, it’s incredibly hot and humid. On the other hand, they are a very polite, conservative country. Things like tank tops are shorts are not allowed in temples and can be frowned on in the streets. I’ve been on a quest for light shirts and some long skirts and light pants. This is difficult to find!

I spent about $100 at Target, but I will return some stuff. It’s hard to know whether things will actually keep me covered but cool when there’s still snow on the ground here. Perhaps I’ll conduct some tests with a steamy bathroom and a blowdryer? I actually found two cotton 3/4 sleeve button down shirts. I figure I can carry those with me and throw them on over a tank top when I need to be a little more modest.

After work, I met my mom at Boston Store for a little more shopping. I was hoping to find a long skirt since I’ve heard that recommended for women in Thailand. My mom works at Boston Store and lets me partake in her sweet discount (25%!!).

My mom has turned into a killer bargain shopper. One might think with her discount, she’ll buy whatever she wants. Nope. She shops sale racks and yellow dot clearance like a pro. She found me a GIANT pile of clothes to try on. All light fabrics and short sleeves. All yellow dot. Summery stuff! On clearance! I am amazed at her skills.

I left with FOUR skirts (two long, light ones for walking around, one shorter denim for nightclubbing, one really thin one to pull on at the beach), a brown Cotton crew-neck t-shirt, a white button down short-sleeved blouse, a white short-sleeved tie-back shirt, a light blue polo shirt, and a light tank top. And maybe another shirt that I’ve forgotten about. All for $91.

I did a rough estimate based on the actual price tags. Some of that was nice stuff! Karen Kane, Calvin Klein, Nine West. That pile of clothing is worth about $400. !!!!!!!

I love my mom, and her discount.

So now I have to decide what to take with me. I think I’m going to take everything from Boston Store, but I won’t take the tags off until I wear it. That way if there’s something I don’t wear over there, I’m only out the suitcase space and I can return it when I come home. I’m keeping a long sleeved shirt, a pair of pants, and a pair of shorts from Target. I’ll be returning about $50 worth of stuff.

A new summer wardrobe for about $150? I can handle that! Most of it is “polite” and modest enough to wear to Thailand while touring temples and the Grand Palace. But it’s definitely cute enough to wear back home this summer.

As our temperatures drop rapidly throughout the day here, I will just look at this 10-day Bangkok forecast:


I’ll Give You a Canadian Goose

January 28, 2008

 David cooked last night.

This isn’t a strange occurrence as he actually makes us dinner most nights. I hardly ever touch a pot or pan unless it is to bake.

I was feeling kind of down yesterday and it was made worse by the fact that my body was really sore. So he said he would make a yummy comfort food dinner. We’re both a little tight for money this week, so I figured it would be something along the lines of a pasta with one of his delicious wine/garlic/butter sauces.

I took my little sister and her friend sledding (pictures/video to come once she uploads them to Youtube) and came home tired and even more sore. As soon as I reached the top of the steps, I smelled something delicious.

He made a whole beef tenderloin. And risotto. A giant pot full of creamy, delicious risotto. Holy dear God. It smelled amazing. And looked as good as risotto can possibly look. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. He added sauteed mushrooms and spinach and then a whole lot of Italian cheese.

Hold me. My knees are weak.

He told me he spent about $40 (!!!) on all the food. But that number seems to matter much less as we have 2 or 3 nights worth of meat leftover and probably twice that for the risotto. I would estimate that at around $10 per meal for the next 3 or 4 days. Not too bad for something so delicious!

It brought back memories of Christmas 2006 when his family came over for dinner. He and his sister put on quite a cooking show. And David and I reaped the leftover benefits. We had dinner ready for over a week! I have clear, fond memories of sitting on our bed, playing our new-to-us Game Cube (Mario Kart and Mario Party) with a TV tray in front of us stacked with openfaced sandwiches of risotto and tenderloin on his dad’s freshly baked bread.

Normally, for a meal this well prepared, we’d clean off our little-used dining room table and eat there. In the idea of comfort, however, we curled up on the couch and ate at the coffee table while watching the movie Failure To Launch, a favorite of ours when it comes to silly romance.

I’m feeling much better today, and I definitely credit it to David’s amazing risotto (and his first time cooking it, no less!)

Speaking of romance, we saw Atonement on Saturday. Oh WOW. What a story! I fell in love with the characters and the story so completely. It’s so powerful and every time I think about it, I’m discovering new themes and messages. I am still thinking about the sympathy I still feel for each character, and the heartbreak. It’s amazing how much you can truly hurt the people you love and who love you.

Aside from the story, the look and feel of the movie is completely gorgeous. The colors, the lighting, the music, it’s all top notch in my opinion. There is a haunting one-note theme and often a typewriter provides the percussion. One of my favorite shots was when Robbie hands over a letter to Briony… the letter is glowing in the sun.

The film does a cool thing with the timeline. There are multiple times when an event happens and all of a sudden it rewinds to show another view on what actually happened. I thought it was so creative. I often have trouble following timelines like this, but only felt a little lost towards the end after multiple sub-headings like “6 months earlier… 3 weeks earlier…” but it is all explained in the end and I wasn’t left with any major confusion. Just tears.

The acting is superb, but the story is the star. Of course this is now my favorite for the Best Picture Oscar. However, David and I like to see all the nominees before the awards, so I have my work cut out for me.

Spending Money

January 25, 2008

So I’ve been doing pretty good at sticking to my budget. I haven’t been perfect, but I also haven’t been using my credit cards at the end of my two week pay period!

I have multiple bank accounts- Normal checking, normal savings, a CD, my checking account from a credit union for my car loan, and a savings account with nothing in it from said credit union. I finally added up my “extra” money in these accounts right now and, minus the CD which I’m not touching, I have my “estimated” Thailand budget. I also get paid three times in February which will give me a little EXTRA over my original budget.

This has totally made my day. Then, I can put most of my tax return (fingers are crossed that I’ll get one) towards my credit card bills. I’m just so excited that I won’t have to put Thailand on credit cards. Also, I saw today that I am halfway done paying off my car loan!

Also, I’ve lost 4 pounds since the beginning of the month! Just by exercising and eating a LITTLE bit less.


January 24, 2008

That is the approximate reaction to quickly pulling on gym clothes that have been sitting outside in your car all morning.

I am going to try to get back to my lunchtime workouts! It saves me money (I am forced to make myself a lunch rather than going to a grocery store and buying whatever my stomach tells me), I get good value out of my gym membership, and I come back to work to face the afternoon energized and refreshed! Remind me why I haven’t been doing this lately?

 Oh yeah, that’s right, there was the sickness. And the soreness from my pole dancing. Shut up, it hurts! I fought through it today. I did the elliptical on a low level for 15 minutes. Just enough to burn some calories (150!) but easy enough not to hurt myself even more.

By the way, I kicked some booty at my pole class on Tuesday! I don’t know how I managed, because I was seriously awful at the first class. That class is FUN once you really go for it and are able to spin around the pole rather than just falling on your butt.

Candy Everywhere

January 24, 2008

There is candy everywhere in the office today. Someone filled a communal candy dish with full sized candy bars and cookies and bags of M&M’s. Someone else has Twizzlers sitting on her desk. It feels like everyone is forcing it down my throat! I caved and had a Snickers, because that has nuts, which have protein, right…?

I am twitching in my chair because the sugary sweetness is getting to me and making me want MORE. Rather than eat more, I thought I’d write about wanting it and how I am avoiding further temptation.

In other news, I tried on wedding dresses yesterday! Nevermind the fact that I have NOTHING planned (but tons of ideas) and don’t even have an official date. But I played dress up for an hour at Cloud 9 Bridalin Gurnee, IL. A little far, but they talked me into it at the Wedding Expo I went to over the weekend. They were so nice and totally didn’t care that I had nothing planned. They weren’t evil tag rippers and had dresses in bigger sizes to try on. And they were very pretty!

Wow wedding dresses are major pieces of equipment. I felt like I was wearing a tent at first, with all the layers and the long trains and the crinoline. But I got used to it. Now I can’t wait to go somewhere with my girls- Mom, sisters, or future-sister-in-law. Or anyone else that wants to go.

I’m bad- I totally showed David the pictures. My excuse was that no one else came with me. And I didn’t fall head-over-heels in love with any of the dresses. He was actually excited to see me in these pretty dresses!

Here are some of my favorites:
I don’t remember the designer of this one, but I love, love, love lace. And sparkles!

This was a beautiful “latte” color and wrapped in sheer tulle and beading. I loved the lacy look and was surprised by how much I liked the mermaid style. Although I think I need to lose a couple of tens of pounds before I would consider going with this style.

This one was totally interesting. I didn’t think it would be my style at all, but I had seen it in a magazine and wanted to try it. I liked it more than I thought I would. It has a corset back and a girly train and lots of glitter, but I kind of liked the modern stripes. Imagine how stunning it would be on someone tall and thin!

So that was my superfun afternoon!


January 22, 2008

24 days until I leave for Thailand. It still does not seem real that I will be on the other side of the earth for a WEEK. It definitely does not seem real that I will be on a plane for 13 hours. Or that I’ll be travelling for about 20 hours total.

I have my ticket and I have my passport. I don’t have any clue what else I really need. I don’t own shorts right now. That’s a problem. And what do I do on the plane?! I can’t sleep for 13 hours. And I’m a pro at sleeping!

I’m so scared and nervous and excited!!

And I’m sad, because I realized today that my long travel time means I won’t even be able to have contact with David for about two days. I won’t be able to have contact with anyone! I’ll be on a plane over the Pacific Ocean for 13 hours…

Not that I’m freaking out or anything…


January 18, 2008

I had a dream last night about the Packers!

I was involved in this text-message bidding war on a group of four tickets to the NFC Championship game on Sunday. Except for some reason I didn’t quite think about the numbers I was entering. I accidentally won these four tickets. I say accidentally, because I had to pay $1,807 for them!!!!

I think it was the best and worst dream I’ve ever had.