Archive for the ‘Intro’ Category

Four Years Ago

October 1, 2008

I started dating this goofy guy. I didn’t want to be in a relationship, and I wasn’t sure where it would go. We hung out and were friends, but I wasn’t thinking about the future. How that all changed, I’ll never know, but I remember the week that I fell head-over-heels in love with him. I don’t know how it happened, but at the start of the week, I was scared, worried, cautious. At the end of the week, late on a Friday night, he asked me again.

“Will you be my girlfriend?”

My heart was bursting with “YES!!!” and my mind finally let me forget all the fears and questions I had and I actually said it.

The last four years have not been all puppies and rainbows, but it’s been pretty close. We talk about EVERYTHING and I think that will get us through the next 40 years. And then some.

It’s amazing to feel just as passionately in love now as I did then. I feel like I’m still in that “honeymoon” stage, especially when we’re cuddled up close to each other. I know, it’s terribly sappy, but it’s true. We have brought out the best in each other and pushed one another to grow and try new things. It’s great!

The most recent example of that: David suggested we go get sushi tomorrow to celebrate. Because HE WANTS IT!!! Finally! So tomorrow we’ll be exploring sushi at Japanica. Yummy!

And now, to make this a little less sappy, here are some pictures.

From the first year of our relationship. I think this was around Christmas. When my blonde hair still looked okay.

From cutesy and dorky (we coordinated his tie with my dress):

To the skanky and retarded. Sorry, this picture had to be posted.

From the scary faces…

To the silly faces…

And the silly moments

And all the laughter

And love…

I can’t help but feel like the luckiest girl in the world. We’ll take on the future together. And it’ll be awesome.

Dreams

September 25, 2008

First off, I’m not going to forget to do this. I was given my second blog award (I am totally lame and forgot to blog about the first one) by Ginesa.

I have to thank her, because if anyone’s blog is encouraging, it’s hers! We found each other, thanks to the internets, and have enjoyed cheering each other on in our weight loss journeys. She is doing GREAT! Not only is she losing weight, but she’s training for a race and doing a kickass job on her runs. Plus she has an adorable daughter who just turned one, and posts pictures often. Yay babies!!

Okay, now that I have remembered to write about that…

I had a dream a couple months ago about a bakery. I’m unclear as to whether I owned it, or was just a customer. It could best be described as a dessert bar. It was decked out in black and pink and had a modern, yet whimsical and a not-too-girly feeling to it. Kind Alice-in-Wonderland-ish. It was in a part of town that was part nightlife/part college area. Although it happened to look just like this street of gay bars that I visited in Thailand.

There were big comfy couches and booths where groups of young adults picked off large trays of gourmet goodies. Fancy versions of youthful desserts like Oreos, Oatmeal Creme Pies, Twinkies, and other treats like cookies and cupcakes. It was like a cafe, where people could come in, hang out, study, work, chat, and eat delicious desserts. Or they could place orders to go. It was cool. And it was open late.

I awoke with the insane urge to open this place.

A couple days after this dream, a coworker talked to me about a thought she had about opening a “Wonka Bar.” She had just seem us perform in “Willy Wonka” and had this idea of opening a bar that served candy-themed drinks. It fit in perfectly with my dessert bar idea. It could be called the “Candy Bar” and could serve all kinds of delicious desserts along with yummy drinks.

Just a couple weeks ago, after dinner with my dad and sister for her 13th birthday, we wanted to go get dessert. I racked my brain for places to get dessert, near downtown. We had just come from a restaurant. We didn’t want to go into another one just to order dessert. Kopp’s custard was far away. We didn’t want to go to a grocery store to get cupcakes and eat them in the car. We settled for gelato from Whole Foods. But eating gelato in a car on the way home was not the perfect way to end the night (though close, because Whole Foods’ gelato is yummy).

I started thinking, does Milwaukee really not have a cool place to go get dessert? Shouldn’t we have one? We have plenty of awesome bakeries, but those require planning and forethought. What if I want to GO OUT for dessert, at 9:00 at night? The closest thing I can think of is at the InterContinental, where you can order up some chocolate truffles or petit fours at $2 a pop. Good, but not quite what I’m looking for.

So now I’ve had this thought, this dream, of opening up a “dessert bar” in Milwaukee. I’m not the best baker, but I would learn. I’m pretty good, and if I had the time, I think I could develop quite a nice talent. But running a bakery? I don’t know… It sounds like a good idea sometimes, but then I think about all the potential problems.

How would I get started? Where would I find money/space? Would I be able to sell stuff? What about equipment? What about health insurance? What about health codes and regulations? What about the potential of financial ruin? What if no one thinks it’s as cool as I do? And so on…

I keep thinking about working towards it, though. Maybe devote my weekends to baking. Learning about it and trying out new recipes. I have a couple friends who own theatres. Maybe they would let me sell some treats on show nights. Maybe I could develop a small following. Maybe I could start a by-order-only business, and then hope for it to grow. Maybe… what if… what about…

I don’t feel like I’m cut out for the 8-5 job that I’m in right now. My creativity is stifeled. I need more. I want more. I deserve more. I wish I could jump into this RIGHT NOW. But I have to step back and think. Maybe I can go to MATC and get my associates business degree. I hear that gives you some good entrepreneurial information, and it wouldn’t take half a lifetime to finish. Maybe in five years, I can really start something. Or maybe in five years I’ll think it’s even more foolish than I do now.

And it’s time for my favorite Disney quote. Belle, from Beauty and the Beast sings,

“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere; I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand to have someone understand, I want so much more than they’ve got planned.”

Catch Up

September 5, 2008

This will be a long one. But there will be pictures! This is what happens when I have to catch up on some pictures and stories from a couple weeks ago…

The story behind my cousin Nikole is a long one. She’s a few months younger than me, and we’ve grown up together. When we were young, her family moved up north, but we were always close. After graduating high school, I helped her move to Milwaukee and we were BFFs all over again. But she’s one of those people that I need limited doses of. She’s… exciting. We’ll say that. She met a guy at Summerfest who lived in Phoenix. After a couple visits and months of talking, she decided to move there. It was a good fit, and she always wanted to live somewhere warm. Well, things didn’t work out and she moved home. They missed each other, and long story short, she lives back out there and they now have a 9 month old child.
 
We’ve seen each other a couple times since then, and it’s always been crazy. I love her, no doubts about that, but she’s exhausting sometimes!

Her younger sister is getting married next fall, and she wanted to get all the bridesmaids together to do a little planning and dress shopping. We picked a weekend and Nikole (to our delight) planned to fly in from Arizona. And by herself! Not that I don’t love her little boy, or her boyfriend, but after 9 months of baby, she needed some free time!!
 
She was supposed to get in on Thursday night, at 11:55. Fortunately my dad offered to pick her up and have her stay at his place that night, because her flight was delayed and she didn’t get in until 2 am! I met them at Hector’s for dinner after work, and had a fun night. I went out with some friends at Trocadero and then met up with David, Nikole, my dad, my dad’s brother, and some of their friends at Euro Bar. From there, we went to La Cage. It was a good time, though going out with my dad is always an interesting event. The nice thing is he pays for everything and knows how to have a good time, the bad thing is he’s my DAD!

When he FINALLY got out of the cage, Nikole and I went up and danced for a while. There were two hot, half-naked, sweaty dudes making out with each other right next to us. It was weird and awesome at the same time. Nikole almost got picked up by a pretty, though very butch woman, who smelled really nice.

I love La Cage because they play good music, and (almost) everyone is nice, friendly, and is just there to dance and have a good time! There was one downfall this time. A very creepy dude kept following our group around. There were these two girls in our group (somehow friends of a friend of my dad…) who were drop dead gorgeous. I’m talking, model beautiful. They probably were models. I think they were Russian. Oh, and to top it off, they were SO nice and friendly, even though I just met them that night!! Needless to say, eyes were on them wherever we went.

So anyway, this creepy dude kept trying to rub up on them. In a nasty way. As one girl put it, “That guy just rubbed his little boner on me.” But in a Russian accent. David, the perfect gentleman, got our dancing circle turned around so that the boys were between creepy dude and all the girls. (Also, when I confessed to Nikole that I was maybe feeling a little drunkenly whiny about David having spent all evening with these maybe-models, she told me that he barely looked at them and talked to her all night. Nice! 🙂 Hell, even I could barely stop looking at them!)

When creepy dude tried to dance with one of the model girls again, she said no thanks, and we moved to a different part of the dance floor. He eventually made his way over there! After a while of sitting on the sidelines, staring at the model girls, trying to dance, and getting rejected, he moved onto Nikole. He came up behind her and tried to dance with her. She turned around and yelled in his face, “NO!!!!! Can’t you take a hint?! NOOO!!!!”

He left us alone after that. It was fantastic.

I’ve never had an experience like that at La Cage. Why would a straight dude come there to try to pick up chicks?? Any chick who is there is either gay, or just looking to have fun with friends and DANCE (or both)!! Not find a dude to go home with. DUMB.

The next morning we got up to drive to Madison to do some dress shopping at David’s Bridal. This took pretty much ALL DAY. It was fun, and I was excited because Samantha (my sister)

was coming down from Eau Claire for it too. The bridesmaids are me, Nikole, Samantha, and two friends of Katie’s. Only one friend showed up, and Katie was half an hour late, despite the fact that she lives the closest!

She spent somewhere around two hours trying on dresses. We all enjoyed it, but we were just itching to try on our own dresses! There were two finalists, but this is the one that really made Katie happy. It will be in “Cornflower Blue.” I think it’ll be great.

The rest of us decided it was time to get in on the dress action. By this point, we pretty much had the store to ourselves. We all grabbed armfulls of dresses. Katie wanted floor length, and blue, but we were free to choose our own styles. Somehow, we all looked best in the same style, so we’re all going with the same dress anyway!

So, admittedly, part of why I was excited about trying on dresses was my weight loss. I went bridal gown shopping at DB several months ago, and was disappointed by how things fit me. I was excited to get into a smaller size and hopefully be happier with the way I looked. It happened! This dress is a 14! It didn’t zip up ALL the way in the back, but it fit in the waist! When we order in January, I’ll confidently order a 14, but by September, I’m hoping to have it altered down to at least a 12!

We tried on several other styles. This one made us feel like pageant girls. It didn’t quite jive with everyone, but Nikole liked the black and white version. The colors I’m wearing are Katie’s colors. Our dresses will be the color of the light blue inset.
 (PS- This was a 14 that DID zip up!)

The rest of the evening was spent driving around the little BFE towns up there and visiting family. We stopped by our grandparents’ house and her parents’ house. It was a treat to see everyone, since I usually see these people only a couple times a year. However, by the time we left to head back to Milwaukee, it was around 11:00! We were in Westfield, which is about 2.5-3 hours from Milwaukee if you drive the speed limit. Nikole wanted to get to MKE and still have time to party, so I floored it. We parked downtown at around 1 AM. Good lord. I dislike driving in the country, especially in the dark, especially while speeding.

So after HOURS in the car, I’m one big ball of stress, but we meet up with my dad at Euro Bar. But Nikole doesn’t like their music. But it’s already nearing 2AM! I wanted to just go home, but we finally leave in search of a “better” place. I certainly wasn’t going to pay cover to dance in a place for a matter of minutes, but we wandered Milwaukee St to see if anywhere “cooler” was still open. Everything was closing. She finally had to accept that we were just going to go home. After that crazy day, it was hard for me to believe that she wasn’t leaving until TUESDAY.

Sunday was nice. We had brunch with my dad, sister, uncle and other cousin. It was kind of funny that all this family happened to be in town on the same weekend. The best part is Leila and Sophia wanted to order a Bloody Mary like the grown ups. So they got a Virgin Mary. It was NOT what they thought it was (maybe they were picturing Mimosas?) and didn’t drink any of it. Growing up too fast FAIL!

Monday morning I dropped Nikole off at her grandparents’ house before I went to work. After work I picked her up and we went to visit our aunt, uncle, and cousins in Stallis. The plan was to stay there for an hour, max, after which we would pick up Kopps for us, and David, and head back to my place. Well, she wanted to hang out with a friend, but he lives in Oconomowoc. She asked if I could drive her out there. (?!?!) It was after 6 already, so NO, I was not doing that. It would be easier for him to pick her up from Stallis, but he was doing something and she could not get ahold of him. WTF?

After lots of back and forth and not knowing what was going on, she finally just told me to go and leave here there and she’d make him come get her. It was about 7:30 when I left. I was PISSED. The whole point of going to Kopps was for her, but I had promised David that I’d get dinner. And now I wanted Kopps anyway! So I drove out to pick it up. It was dark by the time I got home. SUCK.

After eating and watching the Olympics, we decided to get to bed early. As we were getting ready we hear the front door. Nikole comes up with this friend of hers!! If she had asked if he could come over, I would’ve said yes, but it was a big surprise to have a random dude show up with her. Whatever. He wasn’t going to stay for long and it gave me the perfect excuse to get to bed early.

Tuesday morning. The end was in sight! I dropped her off at my mom’s house before I went to work so my mom could take her to the airport in the mid afternoon.

I get a voice mail from her around 2:00, telling me to call her. I assumed she forgot something, so I gave her a call. Oh, she forgot something all right. Her return flight wasn’t on Tuesday. It was on WEDNESDAY.

Oh dear lord. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I think I did a little of both. Sure enough, after work, she called asking if I wanted to do something that night. I had my final Pole 2 class, and wasn’t about to skip it. I apologized, and told her she was on her own. After the class, I called her to find out how she was going to get to the airport. Being the nice, patient, understanding soul that I am, I took an hour of my precious, dwindling vacation time to have a two hour lunch to get her to the airport.

And with that, the whirlwind was over. I love her, but the crazy drama never fails to surface with her. And maybe that’s part of why I love her. Who else, with a job, a baby, and a boyfriend in another state, would not know the exact time and date of her return flight?! But she’s my family, she’s my friend, and I’ll miss her until we see each other again.

Freaking Out

August 7, 2008

I have to have a root canal.

And that’s the BEST case scenario.

I have had problems with my teeth for a long time. I had braces when I was younger and my teeth have always been a little unpredictable. The dentist was trying to shift my lower teeth to the left. I came back for a follow-up appointment a few weeks later, and they had shifted too far. He had never seen that happen, so he had to adjust the braces the other way. I spent a lot of time in that dentist’s chair.

My teeth were always pretty strong. I never had a cavity. But that seems to have changed now. I have a couple tiny cavities now. I’m not too worried about those, and neither is my current dentist.

Her big concern is my broken molar. I have this molar on the left side that is seriously fractured. I’ve known about it and it’s been this way for over a year. It doesn’t cause me much trouble, but I knew something would have to be done about it.

I went to the dentist yesterday and found out some details about my mouth that have me freaking out juuuuust a little. Mostly related to my broken tooth.

Best case: it can be saved by a root canal. I’m going to see a dentist out in Germantown next week. If the remaining tooth is strong enough, he will perform a root canal and my dentist will top it with a permanent crown. With proper care, it will last quite a while.

Monetary cost: $500-$800 depending on my insurance
Emotional cost: HIGH

I’m not scared of the dentist. I don’t mind regular cleanings, even though it can get uncomfortable. I am, however, scared of dental work or anything close to surgery. When I had my wisdom teeth removed, I asked to be completely put under. I guess a root canal is much more minor procedure compared to that, but still… I am already scared as hell. Especially since…

Worst case: They cannot save the tooth. Then we have more problems to consider. I still have two baby teeth. They are the second premolar/bicuspid on each side of my lower jaw. I’ve known this for a long time, but never really knew what would happen with them. This is not uncommon, according to my dentist. She says they still look mostly healthy and with me being young, she’s not concerned about them right now.

Eventually, they will need to come out. They’re baby teeth, and not meant to last my whole life. I guess they’ll start to wither and die, or something. Basically I will need a dental implant. I think a bridge is also a possibility, but my dentist doesn’t like bridges and thinks implants are worth the initial cost. After doing some preliminary research, I understand her reasoning.

SO… if my broken molar cannot be saved, it will have to come out. And since it’s right next to my baby tooth, it would be foolish to make a bridge on a tooth that will have to be removed. So I would get a dental implant there. My dentist recommended that if that’s what they have to do, that baby tooth might as well come out at the same time. And then I would get TWO dental implants.

Monetary cost: HUGE. Insurance doesn’t like to cover dental implants. I could be looking at around $6,000 for both implants.
Emotional cost: Even huge-r.

If this is what happens, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’m about halfway out of my mountain of credit card debt. I’m that much closer to being able to save for a wedding. And now this. I know I live on a very loose budget. I do fun stuff all the time. But even if I really tightened my wallet, it would still take months and months to pay off or save $6,000. That’s about how much credit card debt I have, and it will take me just under a year to pay that off.

If I manage to get by with “just” a root canal, it will wipe out just about all the savings I have right now. That includes the small CD that was the start of my “wedding fund” and the money I put aside for David’s birthday vacation next year.

If that is the way things work out, I’m not totally off the hook with those implants. My baby teeth will need to be dealt with eventually. Probably within the next 10 years. So again, at least around $6,000 for the both of them.

As my dentist told me, “You might as well start saving for them now.”

But… but… in the next 10 years I’d love to go back to school, get married, buy a house, have kids. I know that $6,000 is not that much money, in the grand scheme of things. But right now, to me, it is a fortune. A fortune I was planning on spending on OTHER things.

I love my teeth and I want to take care of them. I believe this implant thing would be money well spent. Meaning, I can’t NOT get them. I don’t want a nasty, rotten mouth. But I’m feeling such a whirlwind of emotions right now with how this could have such a huge impact on my life right now. It’s scary.

David and I are both considering finding and taking on second jobs. I really can’t imagine that existence, but would be willing to handle it for a short period of time. I think I wait to figure out that option until I know the deal with the broken tooth.

So please bear with me as I continue to throw myself a pity party and worry myself sick until my root canal appointment next Wednesday. Then I’ll know how bad it really is.

Hope

May 29, 2008

Lately, I’ve been feeling very scared and nervous for this presidential election. Things like the possibility of McCain getting to chose some Supreme Court judges freak me out. Goodbye Roe v Wade! I used to be okay with McCain’s stance on some issues, but as the campaign has continued, he has moved further to the right to please, it seems, his fellow Republicans.

Reproductive rights are a huge issue to me. See this article for one major reason why I no longer can agree with McCain. While I feel you can still argue the merits of abstinence-only sex education (though I’ll find it laughable), to rule out other options and methods seems ridiculous. Not that abortion should ever be an “option” for birth control, but I do believe that it should be available in a regulated and healthy way.

I have too many major issues this election season to pick just one. The war is a big one too. I really believe that we need to GET OUT. I feel that what we are doing is NOT WORKING. I like Obama’s plan to slowly remove troops and urge Iraq’s leaders to take more responsibility while still addressing the refugee and humanitarian issues.

Healthcare and educationare biggies for me too. David sometimes sees insurances at his work that have $10,000 deductibles. My mom’s cheapie insurance doesn’t even cover all of a preventative visit. But these people have it better than millions of Americans who have nothing. I didn’t have insurance at my last job because it would have been a minimum of $250 per month! I am incredibly lucky to have the insurance I do now. Is Obama’s way the right way to go about it? I’m not certain, but I think it’s something to strive for.

Our educational system right now makes me nervous about having kids. I did okay in school. I even liked school thanks to some great teachers. But what if my kid doesn’t have that? You see so many kids now that seem so developmentally behind based on their age. What kind of adults will they grow up to be? Education is often at the core of who we are and what shapes us into the adults we will be. I believe it is a SHAME that education and teachers are poorly funded and that college costs are astronomical. No Child Left Behind, while good in theory, did not and does not work. Kids need more than standardized test knowledge. We need a change.

Change. And hope. Opponents of Obama say that’s all he talks about. That he’s an idealist. I guess that is the difference between those who support him and those who don’t.  Those of us who do don’t see anything wrong with that. What’s wrong with striving for an ideal solution? What’s wrong with wanting a change for our country? Hoping that we will once again be a country that is respected and admired. I’m not suggesting that those who don’t support Obama DON’T want some of that. But Obama has filled some of us with the hope that it is achievable and the desire to help achieve it. How can that be a bad thing?

David showed me this video last night from the Move On site. I don’t know much about Move On, so I can’t speak at much length about them, but they are a grassroots organizations working for liberal issues. They sponsored a video contest and you can see the results here. But I’d like to share the one that won in the “Funny” category for two reasons. One, it asks when hope became a bad thing. Two, it has Rider Strong whom I still have a crush on from my Boy Meets World days.

Planning For Life

May 13, 2008

At 23 years old, I often feel like I should have more of a purpose, direction, or plan. I know that 23 is still pretty young, but it won’t last forever, and there’s still so much I want to do. I’ve touched on this theme before, but it’s weighing on my mind again.

I work full time. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it (usually). I took a break from theater to get my house in order, and it will get there, slowly but surely. But I feel like there’s so much to do in my LIFE and I don’t know when to do it all.

Here’s some of what I want to do:
– Go back to school and get some kind of degree in something!
– Get married
– Have or adopt kids
– Find a job that I love
– Move somewhere new
– Travel

I have long wanted to work in events. I love acting, but I don’t think that’s where I’m meant to make a living! I love photography, but I don’t know enough to work in that field (yet). Events (or public relations, marketing, etc) seem like the perfect place for me to use my creative AND practical sides. It just so happens that David’s sister feels the same way. In fact, she recently got a great job working events. We have talked a lot about opening our own event-planning business, and I really love the idea.

I would like to at least get my associates degree (if my past credits transfer, it wouldn’t take THAT long) in business. It seems like the program at MATC has a lot of practical courses on starting your own business. That would help both of us out.

The big time thing to me is kids. I think I want them. I’m 99.9999% sure I do. I think David is almost as sure as I am. I don’t know if I want to have my own or adopt. Either way, 30 seems like a deadline there. Sure, I could probably push it to 35 for bio kids. Could I adopt up to 40? Probably, but I don’t know that I’d want to. 30 seems like a good time. Not too old, not too young. I want to be able to keep up with a baby or two! Plus, I’m too selfish with my time right now to even have PETS, let alone kids!!

The “problem” I run into while trying to think about where my life is going and what I should be planning for, is that there are SO many things I want to do before I have kids!!

My degree should definitely be done before kids. I will obviously be married before having kids.

David and I have talked a lot about picking up and moving somewhere. Just for the heck of it! To experience a new city, to start a life together, to get out there and try something new, to go on an adventure! We’ve done a lot of casual browsing, taking “Where Should I Live” quizzes, etc. We’ve thought of Portland OR, Richmond VA, Baltimore MD, and many others. We like the feel of Milwaukee, but want something a little different. Of course, my dream is Chicago or New York, but David doesn’t like the thought of living in those places.

My current obsession is Lexington or Louisville KY. I know, I know… Kentucky??? What am I thinking? Well, my dad recently came back from a road trip where he visited some friends in Louisville. He could not stop raving about how nice of a city it is. He literally said “I want to move there!” I could barely take him seriously. I mean, it’s Kentucky! But after seeing pictures and browsing the Wikipedia and Craigslist pages, it doesn’t look that bad. They’re on a similar scale as Milwaukee. They’re not TOO far from home (Lexington is about 8 hours from Milwaukee). They are affordable and plenty of major corporations call one of those cities home. They’re safe. They have tons of art and history and culture. They both have summer festivals. And lots of theater. They look pretty good! Don’t believe me? Read their Wikipedia pages (linked above).

Ideally, we’d like to try out a new city for maybe a year or two. If we like it, we stay. If not, we move back to Milwaukee. I want to do this before we have kids for many reasons. But after we’re married. But then what does that say for the hopes of an event planning businesss?

I was thinking about going back to school in the fall. But how will that affect my debt-free goal? They say that student-loan debt is “good debt” and hopefully with a degree, I’d be able to get a job that pays more than my current one. But still. I am really against owing ANYTHING right now, and I don’t want to think about making more payments to anyone.

Also, how am I supposed to justify saving up buttloads of money for a wedding, when that money COULD be going to student loans? Argghh!

If money didn’t get in the way, I’d go back to school in the fall. At most, I’d be done in two years. At that point I’d get or be married. We’d take a kick-ass honeymoon somewhere exotic. Then we’d look for a job in the city of our choice, and move there for about two years. At this point it would be 2012 and I would be around 28. Perfect time to settle down in Milwaukee and do the kid-thing (close to family aka built-in-babysitters). Having kids seems like the ideal time to kick start a home business.

Even if I don’t start that plan for another year, to save money, or what not, I’ll be around 29 when I’m ready for settling down/kid time. That’s not too bad. I’ve thought that my life might be over once I have kids, but I don’t think that has to be the case. I’m sure my mom or David’s sister would be willing to baby sit while we went on vacation. And when they’re older, they could come along.

This is all pretty overwhelming. I like to live in the moment and be spontaneous. I don’t want to plan everything out. But I also don’t want to turn 30 and feel trapped or feel like I didn’t do anything with my young years or like my dreams of adventure can’t be achieved.

 

The Weight

May 1, 2008

I have always been heavier, since the age of 10. I thinned out a little in high school as I grew taller, but I was never skinny. I didn’t really care. My family always ate nutritious meals that my mom cooked. She has a degree in nutrition, and is an amazing cook, although I didn’t appreciate all the foods she made back then.

I don’t know where my problem with food came from. We never had much junk food in the house, but instead of not caring for it, I inhaled it every chance I got. Sleepovers? Baby sitting? I’d eat bags of Doritos or sneak into the kitchen for another handful of cookies. So here is my history of the last few years, complete with pictures that made me do a double take.

I was neither fat nor thin in early high school. Honestly, at that age, I didn’t really care. I was just coming out of my awkward middle school years, and that was enough for me! I was about a size 10/12 and carried about 150 pounds on my 5 foot 6 inch body.

This is me before a dance in 9th grade, at age 15 (in a dress I designed and my mom helped me make, I might add!):

The summer between 10th and 11th grade, I took a great tap dance workshop at Sunset Playhouse. There ended up being only two other girls in the class. About half the time I rode my bike there and back. And the dancing was intense. I learned more that summer than I had learned in years of lessons through the Wauwatosa Recreation Department. John Cramer, artistic director at the time, taught the class, and really pushed me, even when I was the only person who showed up. We learned a kick-ass routine to the Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week.” You know how fast that song goes? Yeah, I tapped that fast. It was awesome.

So I lost some weight that summer and toned my body. I didn’t really notice it until my friends pointed it out to me. Here’s me, happy and healthy on the first day of 11th grade, probably about 140 pounds and a comfortable size 10:

Junior year, I got less exercise and lost some of that tone that I worked so hard for. I also went through my teenage depression and gained weight. It didn’t really phase me. I had other “important” things to worry about. The dress I wore to prom was a size 12, and it just barely fit. I was back up to about 150 pounds. Here is my dad and I before prom, April of 2002:

My boyfriend broke up with me a week later, but the spring weather kept me from wallowing for too long. I didn’t have an exercise routine, except for walking to to school, and when senior year rolled around, I had gained a little more. My dress for senior ball was a size 14 and I was around 160 pounds. Early 2003:

I worked on singing and acting all winter in hopes to get a role in our school’s production of “Les Miserables.” The work paid off- I got the role of Madame Thenardier! There were weeks of long rehearsals, which included lots of junk-food snacks and fast-food dinners. Plus, they made my costume big on me, to make me look more plump, and strongly hinted that I could gain weight and look more like the Broadway pictures. I never bothered to step on a scale, but a couple months after the show, I was shocked to realize that I was up around 180 pounds! Yikes:

My mom discovered the Atkins Diet, and I tried to follow it with her. The last two months of school I went to the gym and worked out for at least an hour almost every day. I felt great! By graduation I was back down to 160. I don’t know why I don’t have any pictures of my high school graduation, but I wore a super cute black dress from Express. It was a 14, but it fit comfortably.

I stayed on Atkins for the first couple months of college, but the cost was a big deterrent. Ramen noodles and Mac & Cheese were much more budget friendly. Combine that with the late night pizzas, drinking parties, and living next to a George Webb, and the weight started creeping back on. In July of 2004, I did the Rocky Horror Show, where I met David. I was around 170 and feeling bad about it. I’m including this picture for laughs. No, that is not David, yes, I had blond hair:

David and I started dating soon after and I gained the happy relationship weight after a while. I guess that will happen when you’re dating someone who loves to cook and is damn good at it. I went to Florida with my family in the late spring of 2005, and was so embarrassed of my body. When I saw these pictures, I knew it was bad:


Yikes.

And almost three years later, I am even heavier. Ladies and gentlemen, I broke the 200 pound barrier. For the past 6 months, I have hovered around 200, the highest being 213. It makes me sick to admit this. How did I let that happen? So now I decided to make a real change. I realized I needed to devote time to this, as I would any other work. I turned down theater to make time to improve myself.

Two weeks ago, I weighed in at 204.5 on my scale at home. This morning I checked in at 194. It feels SO good to have some distance from that 200. I also hit a landmark at the YMCA. They have one of those old school doctor’s scales with the sliding weights. Since I started going to the Y near my work, about 8 months ago, I always slid the “200” weight over first. I don’t have to anymore. I can just use the “150” weight!! Of course, I have to move the single pound slider all the way up, but still- it is thrilling!

I am determined to keep this weight loss up. My dream weight is 140, but I will be thrilled with 150. My goal for the end of the year is 170. I know I will hit some roadblocks and will probably stall at some points, but I will come back and look at some of those early pictures of 150 and 160 for motivation. I wish it could be faster, but after all, it took five years to get to this point. Going back can’t be easy, but it will be worth it. I know I can do this!

Motivation

April 29, 2008

I have quite the motivation problem. I don’t really know where it came from. But it sucks. It’s not like I sit at home and do nothing all the time… but sometimes I do! And sometimes that really is all I want to do! I think it comes from being so heavily involved in theater for the last few years. When almost every night is involved in rehearsals or performances, I tend to want to collapse into a ball of nothingness when it’s all over. I usually don’t have a problem doing things I want to do. Just the things I need to do.

Right now, this is causing a major battle with my apartment. It is messy, and dirty, and it makes me angry. But after a long day at work, it is SO difficult to work up the motivation to deal with it.

The problem is that we started off on the wrong foot. We live in the upper flat of a duplex where David and his family lived for many years. For the last handful of years, David’s dad lived in the upper, and his mom in the lower (they were all but divorced, but he stayed close to help with her medical needs.) Long story short, his dad decided to buy a foreclosed house/duplex down the street. He offered us his old apartment for a nice rental discount, providing we take care of basic house stuff.

So that’s where my living situation came from. We have a beautiful three bedroom duplex with a kitchen, dining room, and living room! It’s way more space than we needed. The house that David’s dad bought needed a lot of work, so although he moved in, he was working on renovating much of the house, including the foundation. So he didn’t need and didn’t have room for all of his stuff. So we moved it all into the front bedroom at our place.

We had moved in during a show (Grand Hotel) and during the hottest weekend of the year! There wasn’t much time for cleaning the place between David’s dad moving out and us moving in. Then, we stupidly decided to have a cast party/housewarming party ONE WEEK after we moved in. This was dumb. DUMB! We tried to get unpacked, but it just wasn’t going to happen. We put non-essential boxes and junk in the front bedroom and closed the door. We bought a ton of booze and food, and threw the party.

It was a great party, everyone had fun. But we were just never motivated then to go through the boxes and junk that had been shoved behind that bedroom door. Worse- we added to it! We never got the chance to really deep clean the apartment. Instead, it has felt like we’ve been living in a little bit of limbo. We plan to stay here for a long time, so this spring I am trying to really make it ours.

That means deep cleaning. And unpacking. And organizing. And uncluttering. And decorating. I’d love to be painting by June. That’s our goal. We are not in any major plays right now, so it should be attainable.

Last night I started deep cleaning the kitchen. I am using these spring cleaning checklists as a guide. I work better with a list. I didn’t get much done yesterday, due to a lack of sleep Sunday night. I started washing down the walls. I got one section done, and I washed out one set of cupboards that were not being used. We threw out excess serving utensils (we don’t need two ladles!) and moved our Tupperware containers from the pantry to the cabinets.

I hope to finish washing all the walls I can get to tonight. I don’t know if I’m just not cleaning hard enough, but there seems to be some stains on the walls that are NOT coming off. I hope that’s okay, and we can just paint over it.

I’d also like to finish organizing and cleaning the pantry. It’s nice to have, but we haven’t made the best use of it. Now that we have an extra shelf cleared from the Tupperware, we can spread out our pots and pans to make them more easily accessible. Also, we have many cabinets in there that aren’t being used because they need to be washed. I haven’t done this yet because… there are spider webs! And spider webs usually mean spiders. GROSS!

I’m really bad at organizing. I’m fine with washing dishes, cleaning walls, dusting window blinds, etc. But when it comes to putting things away, I’m at a loss. I like to be organized, but I have too much STUFF. I am trying to be objective and throw things away that I don’t need. This is difficult for me because of theater. You never know when something might come in handy. I could throw out this weird skirt, but what if I could use it for a costume down the road? Or what if that old cell phone could be used as a prop?

I am going to ask myself, “Can I easily buy something similar if I DO need it at some point?” If the answer is yes, I will toss it. If the answer is no, I’ll have a big bin of “theater stuff” for things like costumes and props that can be stored in the attic, NOT laying around my dining room.

I’ve been trying to embark on a cleaning and organizing mission like this for quite some time. I grew up in an orderly home, and I am determined to achieve that for myself!

Resolutions

January 3, 2008

I’m sure everyone is sick of reading about other people’s resolutions, but I just had to write mine down. I feel like last year was nonexistent. I had some good times, but it just seemed to go by so fast that I didn’t accomplish much. I didn’t get fired from my job. I didn’t move. I had a hilarious part in an awesome play at a theater that I don’t normally perform at. I took a real live grown up vacation with friends.

It obviously wasn’t a bad year. It’s just that I don’t really feel different than I did at the start of 2007. I’ve grown up a bit, but not as much as I feel like I should have. I think I’ll always be a kid at heart, but I wanted to take some adult action and really get my life in order. Maybe 2008 is the year…

  1. Lose weight, get healthy. This was a resolution last year that never quite worked. I am more determined this year and I have David in the same boat. We have a better understanding of what works for us and we have more motivation. We are re-starting South Beach as of this weekend and working out 3 or 4 times per week. I might start going on my lunch break again, as well. My ultimate goal is to lose 50 pounds. That would thrill me. However, I hope to lose and keep off at least 30 this year.
  2. Stick to a budget and get out of debt!My credit card debt has wavered up and down for the past couple of years. And now it is at an all time high. I was down to almost zero after college. Then David had knee surgery and couldn’t work and it went back up. Then I opened another one to go to New York, saying I would pay it all off when I got back. Didn’t happen. Then I opened another one to transfer balances to a 0% apr, saying that I would pay it off before it starting accumulating interest. Didn’t happen. We got into a car accident last February that totalled our car and forced us to get a new one- which meant a car payment, which we weren’t dealing with before, plus insurance. I have drafted a budget for myself and I really hope to stick to it. By this budget, I will be thisclose to being debt free by the end of the year. I have wedding motivation for this. I can’t save or pay for a wedding with tons of credit card debt.
  3. Be more organized! This is kind of a broad one. I really want my place of residence to feel like a home. To me, this means keeping up on laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc. I don’t want it to look like a college dorm anymore. I live in a beautiful old duplex that has so much potential. I want to keep it clean and do some home decorating. I also want to keep my schedule straight. I don’t want any more of my common thought- “Wait… what are we doing on Saturday? Didn’t we have something going on?”

Those are the big three. They all boil down to one thing, however- Motivation. I have a major motivation problem. I feel like I never have enough time to do everything, and so it seems that I don’t even try. Or that things are too hard, like losing weight. I am really going to try to push myself to be the best ME that I can be. It’s easier to do it now than 5 years down the road.

My fear of my resolutions- Money means so much in this world. Eating healthy requires more money than eating mac and cheese or pasta every night. Our gym membership costs money. How about gas to get to the club or energy to wash our gym clothes. Organizing costs money too. My house is a bit of a disaster and I know I need to buy some organizational tools to give it an overhaul. Money, money, money. And I want to save and pay of debt as much as possible. But I still want to have fun and enjoy myself. It’s going to be a tricky balance, but I am going to put real effort into finding it.

Chuck Norris is the Reason Waldo is Hiding.

October 3, 2007

This is the third online journal I’ve created since I was a senior in high school. Usually the “NEW! SHINY!” factor keeps me updating. But it seems as though eventually that wears off. And then I stop writing for weeks and months at a time.

 Maybe life has finally gotten too busy?

 I am always busy with something. Between working 8-5, being active in theater, and needing lots of beauty sleep, there’s often not enough time in a 24 hour day to do everything I want or need to do. I try though.

I’m a terrible friend. Seriously. I’ve been in theater too long. I have become a “theater friend.” I am an expert in making quick friends and still being friends in my head, even if I don’t see or talk to that friend in weeks or months. Then we see each other and we don’t skip a beat.

Unfortunately, not all the people in my life subscribe to this mindset. And so I forget to call people back. And I lack motivation to plan to get together with my friends. Also, I love my downtime. If I’m not working or acting or running around with a million things to do, I like to sit on the couch and do nothing. I rarely get to do that. So when I do, I immediately forget about the people I need to call back and the people I haven’t seen in a month and the BEST FRIEND that I haven’t talked to in two weeks.

 I guess I just pray that when I finally see these people or talk to them, they internally roll their eyes and think “that’s just Natasha.” and can continue the friendship as easily as I can. And when they do, I know I have good friends.

So… I guess this blogging thing is pretty addictive. I just wanted to post an entry to say hi, but it seems I’ve ended up with a confessional.

But… HI!