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Grand Opera, Act IV, The Fat Lady Sings

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.  In the past, I’ve called them New Year’s resignations, as I resign myself to another year of falling short of my own potential.  Classic underachiever, don’t you think?

This year, however, I’ve decided to throw away my old convictions and set a goal worthy of a good self-flogging on December 31, 2008.  Er…I mean, to set a goal that is lofty, yet attainable, even for a sloth like me…uh, well…you know what I mean…to give it my best shot!

Those of you who are registered “members” of Gooblink know that I went on a diet a while back and I promised to keep a diary of my progress.  I was so disgusted at myself for getting fat that I knew this time would be different and I’d find the will to lose it and boy, did I! 

I lost my will, that is…but I gained ten pounds.

Last spring I reasoned that what I lacked was support.  You know, a group of like minded individuals working towards the same goal.  Armed with new fervor, a renewed sense of purpose, I joined Weight Watchers.  The first meeting had me so pumped and ready that I was sure this was my ticket to size 6 jeans.

It was Weight Watchers, all right.  I sat at each meeting and watched while everyone else lost weight.  After 10 weeks I’d lost 4.9 lbs.  That just wasn’t fast enough for me, so I dropped out and gained my 4.9 lbs. back in about 4.9 weeks.

Over the summer, one of Chuck’s business acquaintances mentioned that he’d bought his mom a Nutrisystem package for Mother’s day, but she didn’t like the food, so he had a whole box of stuff to give away.  Chuck asked me if I’d want to try it and I jumped at the opportunity.  We’d been accosted by ads for NS for the past several months; all these super skinny women talking about how they feel so sexy and energetic and how easy the program was to follow, and men who boasted that their wives didn’t think they were disgusting anymore.  I’d watch longingly and think, gee, I wish I had her body.  Chuck would watch longingly and think, gee, I wish Cindy had her body.

So, I got the box of food – minus the program instructions, mind you - tried the food and it was awful.  I was famished the whole time and 3 meals a day of food that doesn’t require refrigeration is just wrong.  Defeated, again, I decided a lifetime of Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) just wasn’t my cup of tea.

But, you know me and my convictions…

Back to my New Year’s resolution for 2008; since I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ve decided to make this year be the year that I lose 50 lbs.  70 lbs is my ultimate goal, but given my current age (44) and the fact that I’m not as active as I used to be, it may be a bit unrealistic to think I can get back to my high-school graduation weight.  At this point, I’m just looking to get back to my pre-fourth-pregnancy weight. 

So far this month, I’m down 5 lbs.

How, you might ask?  I decided to give Nutrisystem another shot, and signed both Chuck and myself up for the program.  This time, I got the program instructions and what I found was that the MREs are just a small portion of the plan.  We’re supposed to supplement with dairy, fruit and veggies.  Duh!  That makes sense. 

We’re 10 days into the program and I haven’t felt hungry, deprived or even a small tinge of buyer’s remorse.  The program isn’t cheap, but given the drop in our dining out budget (I track our spending with Quicken), I think it’s going to work out to about the same monthly expenditure.  The biggest budget savings I expect to see will be reflected in the business register.  Chuck dines out nearly every day and by bringing his NS lunch to work with him, he’s no longer spending that money.

Anyway, I feel very positive.  I think this time will be different.

Stay tuned.

 

21 Days to a Bigger Vocabulary - Day 9

Friday, 18 January 2008
Is it time for another word?

How about this one:

fleer

Pronunciationsheesh, just like it's spelled.  Shall I give it to you slowly?  f l ee r.

DefinitionAccording to my Balderdash cards it means to sneer, leer, or jeer.  According to the dictionary, it's a mocking laugh or smirk.

When you might use this in a sentence:  "A better question is why would you choose to use fleer in a sentence," she spat, fleeringly, "when sneer, leer or jeer mean the same bloody thing.  You sound like you have a wadded cotton rope stuffed between your lips and gums.  Get away from me." 

Honestly, how do these words make it into the English lexicon?
 

Winter Reading Challenge

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Winter Reading Challenge

 

Trish of A Joyful Heart has thrown down the gauntlet to all fellow bibliophiles:  How many books can you read between now and the beginning of Spring, March 20?

And, there's a $25 Amazon gift certificate to be awarded at random to a registered challenger!  Head on over to her site to read the rules and register.

This is timely for me, because one of my Christmas presents from my beloved was a $200 Barnes and Noble gift card.  Talk about speakin' my love language!  After about a week and a half of pulling out the card just to caress it, kiss it and rub it against my cheek Chuck finally said, "Spend the thing already!"

So, I did.  Mostly.  I left just under $50 on the card to save for later. 

Not all on my list are from my two-day B&N bender, and many of these I've started, but here are the books in, on and around my nightstand:
books on my nightstand

Fiction and Literature:

The Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan
The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
Gilgamesh, translated by Stephen Mitchell
Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift

The Stranger, Albert Camus
The Trial, Kafka
Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
Collection of five Charles Dickens novels
Possession, A. S. Byatt
The Tenth Circle, Jodi Picoult
S is for Silence, Sue Grafton (A gift from my boys.)

Non-Fiction:  Writing

The Fiction Editor, The Novel, and The Novelist, Thomas McCormack
Easts, Shoots & Leaves, Lynn Truss
Chapter after Chapter, Heather Sellers
Page after Page, Heather Sellers
The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, Meg Leder, Jack Heffron, and the editors of Writer's Digest
The Writers Way, Sara Maitland
Writing to Change the World, Mary Pipher
Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg

Non-Fiction:  Religion

Timeless Writings of C.S. Lewis:  The Pilgrim's Regress, Christian Reflections and God in the Dock
Total Truth:  Liberating Christianity from it's Cultural Captivity, Nancy Pearcey
How Now Shall We Live?  Chuck Colson and Nancy Pearcey
The One Year Life Verse Devotional, anthology compiled by Jay K. Payleitner (I got a signed copy from one of the contributors, Jinny Henson)

Non-Fiction:  History

The History of the Ancient World, Susan Wise Bauer
The Art of War, Sun Tzu
The Histories, Herodotus
The Peloponnesian War, Thucydides

Non-Fiction:  Other

The Well-Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer (from which my literature list was largely derived)
The Mislabeled Child, Brick Eide, M.D., M.A., and Fernette Eide, M.D.  (on loan from Sprittibee )
The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches:  A practical (and fun) Guide to Enjoying Life More by Spending Less, Jeff Yeager (A buddy on the Writer's Digest forum and guest on NBC's Today Show!)


 
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