Thursday, March 29, 2007

Let Us Eat Lettuce

Okay, so I am taking some liberties with the quote attributed to an infamous queen. It was my turn to pick out the movie this past weekend, and I picked Marie Antoinette. It was simply beautiful! I'm not going to speak to the historic accuracy of the film, but I was blown away by the visuals. It was eye-candy. I keep meaning to Google her so I can learn background info,but I came away from the movie really sympathizing with the young queen. Chris, not so much, saying she was out of touch. Minor detail...

Also this past weekend, I pushed the envelope a little bit and put in my lettuce seeds. They are starting to come up! As long as a freeze doesn't hit in the next couple of weeks (and the bunnies don't find the raised bed), we'll soon be dining on tender young greens planted in organic soil. I can't wait to whip up a salad dressing of aged balsamic and good cold-pressed olive oil to dress these baby greens up with.

Having plenty on lettuce on hand is a good thing right now because I started Weight Watchers last week. In the first week, I lost 3.8 pounds which I think is pretty good. I'm hoping my Vegas vacation this weekend doesn't derail that. Speaking of Vegas, I am completely antsy to get on that plane tomorrow and am in pre-vaca giddy mode. I'm all pedicured and mostly packed and ready to hit the road for a weekend of girl time in the sun. Ahh vacation...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

15 Minutes

Chris' co-worker produced this pseudo-commerical for some contest. He (the co-worker) won $1000 for it and it is kind of funny. Poor Chris is the "don't-let-this-happen-to-you-guy" in the beginning. He (Chris) says it is his acting debut and he's thinking of moving of hitting Hollywood next. I've always had a thing for those drama types.

Anyway, Chris thought the world needed to see this...or at least the people in the world who read my blog.

Pushing My Edge

I love that moment inside a yoga posture where you don't think you can go any further, you inhale, you exhale and suddenly you are there: past the edge. One of my yoga teachers calls this the "aha moment" because the breath, the movement and the posture click - it's eureka. During yoga classes, students are often told to push the edge; to go just a little further than they think is possible to find what is on the other side of the resistance to fully surrender into the posture. That resistance could be physical (tight hamstrings will make a forward bend more of a forward lean) or it could be mental (fear of falling would leave a student flat on her back rather than in headstand).

I've been stuck on my own yoga edge for the last couple of months. In October, I did a weekend training class to start the process of becoming a certified yoga teacher. In order to complete the first round, I must complete 12 hours of volunteer yoga teach. This has stumped me. Where am I going to find a group of people who want to practice yoga and are willing to do it with an untrained teacher? Not only am I mentally blocked, I have forced myself into a physical one as well. Faced with this roadblock, I slowed down my own yoga process, which has made me less confident in my ability to not only teach, but to have a serious practice.

Tonight at yoga class, though, something clicked. I was again facing my edge. And I found that, yes, I've lost some strength. Yes, it's going to take me a few weeks to ramp back up to my former practice. But, I discovered (during 20 breaths of fan posture) that not only is teaching yoga something I still want to pursue, but it is something I know I can do. So after class, I swallowed my own fear and apprehension to ask the teacher for volunteer suggestions. Conveniently enough she had just been asked to teach a group of teachers at a school, but wouldn't be able to do it. She will pass the info on to me. She also mentioned a couple of the classes might be opening up at the gym and it would be a great time for me to fill out an application. Serendipity. Edge, it's nice to see you again.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Wedding Planning Update

My friend Brian today told me I didn't seem all that stressed about wedding planning...I must be hiding it. I'm doing a good job of hiding it from Brian anyway, but poor Chris and my parents are getting the brunt of the wedding stress. As of Saturday, the wedding is only 7 or 8 months away (depending on how you count). Either way, the countdown is on! I've stopped visiting because it likes to annoyingly point out to me how many things I have left to check off of their list (169). I have to visit it, though, because this is where the guest list is currently residing (and growing by the minute). To make me feel better and to keep you all filled in, here is what I have done so far:
  1. We have a date, a church and a reception site.
  2. We've met with the Priest and he's on board (even though we live together and Chris isn't Catholic).
  3. We went to pre-Cana (marriage prep) class and got the certificate. Actually, this was a really good experience for both of us. (I'll try to do a future blog on that later).
  4. I bought my dress and it is gorgeous.
  5. I'm pretty much 100% decided on the bridesmaid dresses and have changed the color scheme of the wedding from brown / green / pink to cranberry / green / pink.
  6. We hired a photographer who I absolutely adore and feel confident he will be able to capture not only the events of the day, but the emotion as well.

And that's pretty much it. Yes, I'm a little stressed, but am so looking forward to my marriage with Chris that I'm dealing with it. However, if I snap at any of you or randomly start crying while discussing the menu, you'll have to excuse me because I have 169 things to do and 242 days in which to do them.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Marketing Gone Wrong

Words intrigue me. It's amazing to me how letters make up words, which then make up sentences to communicate ideas. I love letters, words and sentences so much that I read everything around me. Toothpaste tubes, ink pens, buses...really the list goes on. Today, though I was assaulted by words I would rather not have read: the wrappers of my tampons started trying to communicate with me. They told me things like "Practice Your Victory Speech!" and "Play Offense" and worst of all "It's Not Winning or Losing, but Playing that Matters."

Uh, why am I getting motivational messages from my feminine hygiene products and who thought this was a good idea? As if I'm not cranky and tired enough during this time of the month, now I need my tampon to tell me it is my biggest fan?

I'm all for viral marketing, I give a mental "good job" to whoever creates a message that cuts through the clutter of everyday life, but I don't think this is a good idea. I just don't need these types of message in the restroom me. I knew the perky pink box was a bad idea, but it was on sale at Target. Sales, now those are marketing messages I respond to.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Here's a tip for you: if you are going to make the tofu cake recipe, skip the icing and make a different version that contains actual sugar, butter, and milk. Also, when having the family over to eat the said cake, make sure you have plenty of ice cream to hide that odd this-tastes-like-it-might-be-good-for-me taste and lots of champagne so people just don't care. These tactics seemed to work for me anyway. Actually, I'm sitting here staring at an empty bottle of Cook's Brut right now. Nothing but class around here.

Speaking of class, I'm afraid we are turning into "those neighbors" who people just don't want around. The woman next door to us has had her house for sale for at least 9 months. The housing market around here isn't all that bad, but it's not looking to great for her as she has been through 4 Realtors since we moved here in July. Anyway, I don't think we are helping her house moving prospects any because we still have a HUGE Christmas wreath on our front porch. Like I said, nothing but class.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Tofu Cake?

It's clear Clintonville, home to Columbus' remaining hippies, has worn off on me. At the moment, I have a tofu based cake cooking in the oven. What I have licked off the beaters so far isn't half bad - a little bitter from all the cocoa powder, but not bad. It will be interesting to see how it turns out for my mom's birthday tomorrow. Before dessert at our house, we're going to Cameron's for dinner. It's always been a favorite of mine of the Cameron Mitchell restaurants, although it doesn't seem to get as much coverage as the rest. It might be because it is off the beaten path, but I think it is always worth the trip.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Down at the Rock

So I was going to write a really interesting and insightful look into Fraggle Rock. After all, before Sex and the City, Fraggle Rock was the (my) reason to watch HBO. Instead, I am going to link here because whoever wrote this did a much better job than I would at his point and go take a nap. Oh, and I'm thinking of the Fraggles because there is a special showing of Jim Henson movies / exhibit at the Wexner Center for the next two weekends. Go check it out if you're local. For the non-locals, reflect on your favorite Jim Henson work.

And a word to the wise, it's not a good idea to stay up playing darts at the local dive bar until 12:30 a.m. on a school night.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Looking Back Tonight

Huh, the Ahi tuna steaks I am cooking for dinner still seem to be suspiciously frozen even though I pulled them out to defrost this morning. Oh well, the extra defrosting time gives me a time for a stroll down memory lane...

If you ask Chris and I how we met, you are likely to get some flustered story involving yoga and a bar. It sounds fishy and ends up to be confusing because we actually met twice. The first time, we did meet at yoga. The yoga class we were both taking at the time was at a local gym where you had to show up early or chance not getting a spot to lay your mat down. A line forms outside of the door to the class, which is a little awkward because the line snakes through stationary bikes and free weights. Ordinarily I don't talk before yoga because I'm beginning to get focused, but one summer evening, Chris started a conversation with me and what could I do? We chatted for a couple of minutes and then walked into class together and ended up next to one another. At the end of class, he looked over and said "Not like I was looking, but you're really good." I giggled. This started a couple of months of flirting before and after class. One time, he fell asleep during savasana. It was cute, but he was really embarrassed when I asked him if he took a nap during class. Yoga is great, but I have to admit there were weeks when I was bummed if he wasn't there (or worse yet, if he was there and flirting with the girl with big boobs).

I'm not sure what would have happened if we never would have seen each other outside the confines of yoga. But we did, so no worries! One night, my friend Julie and I had plans to go to a special invite only holiday party thrown by a local band. The Randy's are kind of a quirky band and have a random following, so it was hard to know what to expect. Plus, I was coming off some bad scenes in the dating world, so I really wasn't interested in meeting anyone that night. Still, this guy kept looking at me and he was attractive, but I couldn't quite place him. I asked a friend of Julie's who the guy was and he said he used to work with him (stick with me here). The friend remembered his name was Chris and that was all I needed to put the pieces together. It was yoga guy! Chris normally wears glasses, but for sports (and yoga) he puts in contacts. It gives him a whole different look. I had recently dyed my hair back to my natural shade, so I looked different to him also. This was all established when I went over and talked to him. We ended up hanging out all night that night. We danced, we drank, we laughed. After the band's last song, Chris gave me a sloppy kiss somewhere near my ear (I think he was aiming for the cheek). It was super cute and I was smitten.

So that's our story, and after I cook that tuna we are going to see The Randy's again tonight. We might not have a song, but we have a whole band and that's better.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cat's in the Stroller

When Chris moved into this house, one of the first things I noticed was the previous owners had left a jogging stroller in the rafters of the garage. I was instantly enamored with the idea of using the stroller. Chris wouldn't get it down for me to use, since we clearly don't have a baby. We do, however, have a cat. I pointed this out and Chris still wouldn't get the stroller down. He insisted that people don't take cats for walks in strollers and I finally gave in.

Today we found out people do, in fact, take cats for walks in strollers. We were walking down High Street after dinner and a normal (looking) guy was walking toward us pushing a hot pink stroller. The stroller didn't seem quite large enough for a baby, so as he passed I looked in. Sure enough, there was a small tabby cat sitting calmly in the back of the stroller.

Chris is so getting that stroller down this weekend.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I've Over Chick Lit

Admittedly, I loved this genre when it debuted. Bridget Jones's Diary is an all-time favorite of mine. I still reach for it about once a year. It's great for a snowy night in or a long Saturday by the pool. Escapism at it's best. Bridget said and thought the things I was saying and thinking (although as a college senior I was a few years shy of the demographic and I chose to think of Bridget as more of an older sister rather than a happy hour buddy). However, by the time Bridget made it to the edge of reason, I started to regard her as the silly older sister I could only deal with at large family gatherings. Sure, she was great to have around when I needed a pep talk about living the single life, she was always super fun and would make me feel better about myself, but as matured, I began to look for something deeper.

What was worse, there started to be a lot of Bridget twins popping up and the covers of these books really drew me in. Some notables in my library are the set of books from Jennifer Weiner (which although heavy on overweight Jewish girls with low self-esteem at least had some heft to the themes) and Anne Maxted books (while still London based these featured longer reads and more meaty topics than the Bridget Jones duo). There were also a string of non-notable books with some variation of girl-meets-boy and then another boy and then learns a lesson about love and friendship while sipping cosmos and strutting around the city in Mahnolos (pretty much anything by Jane Green would qualify here). I read a slew of these.

This is all background to prove that I did give chick lit a chance, in fact, several chances and while I do respect the genre for reaching a new audience of women who might otherwise not read, I am over it. Here's why, like a bad Lifetime movie, these things suck you in and you can't get out. I was up until 12:30 last night reading Something Blue by Emily Giffin. I don't like the characters, it's not believable and the writing is somewhat loose and unstructured. Yet, there I was, exhausted, at 12:30 reading it. What's worse for me (other than feeling like I'm hung over from the lack of sleep), is that I'm not getting anything out of this book. It's not forcing me to think or challenging my thought structure, it's just entertainment (and conversely which while it is addictive, it isn't really all that entertaining). So I am bidding chick lit goodbye (when I'm finished with this book and at least until this summer). Like any good chick lit heroine, I've learned my lesson: I'm not the same girl I used to be and it is time to leave chick lit behind me.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Day Light Savings

For an arbitrary date chosen by Congress in an attempt to conserve energy, the beginning (or end? I always get that mixed up) of day light savings time has really been a true single of Spring. My walks around the neighborhood, first with a friend as exercise and later with Chris for coffee and groceries, made me think back to that idea of sense of place. Today I had a true sense of place as I walked up High Street on the first truly warm and sunny day of (almost) Spring. People sat outside of locally owned coffee shops and talked to each other. Bikes were dusted off and taken for a spin. on neighborhood streets. Dogs were set free of leashes and released to play in area parks. Even Prada got to sniff the outside and watch the action from her window.

The night ended, as any good night does, with a yummy dinner of olives, flat bread, artichoke, salad and eggplant Parmesan. Along with a couple of glasses of wine, of course. And I just put fresh sheets on the bed. Does the beginning on Spring get any better than this?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Sense of Place

This week I went to an annual meeting for work. One of the speakers was Scott Russell Sanders who from my quick Google search is the author of several books and is a professor at Indiana University. He teaches English, but a lot of his work centers around the practice of community or a sense of place. There has been a lot of discussion in Columbus recently about a sense of place, who we are and where we are heading. Task forces have been formed to stop the Columbus brain drain and retain our young professionals. Columbus blogs are debating it and the local media is finding it interesting enough to report on.

Part of the argument of why people are leaving is because Columbus lacks a sense of place. It's been there said there is no easily recognizable symbol or perception of Columbus. You know what you're getting into when you fly to Boston, visit New York, drive to Chicago and vacation in Miami. Not so much with Columbus. In my line of work, what I hear repeated over and over again is people telling me they never knew Columbus would be so hip, so fun, so diverse or even so clean.

Columbus may be where I grew up, but it is also where I now choose to live. My sense of place is a Columbus that was with me for my partying early 20s, has a good business climate as I'm now furthering my career and will grow with me as we start a family in the next several years. Columbus is diverse enough that it doesn't need to be the same thing to all people all the time.

This topic won't be going away anytime soon and it will be interesting to see how it evolves and what comes of it. I'll keep you updated...

New To This Game

I started getting into blogging over at my MySpace page after my friend Sara went a little a MySpace crazy. After searching for lost friends and seeing what was new with everyone, I found that MySpace really limited what I wanted to do...which was blog. So after a week of not being able to post a new entry on my blog, I have decided to enter the grown-up world of blogging and start one here.

Ignore the title of the my blog, I had writer's block and this is the first thing I came up with. I have to give love to Nicole for coining that phase back in our single days.