Monthly Archives: February 2013

Resolved – February Update

feb calendar

So, if you’ve been keeping up with me at all you’ll remember that I’m doing a resolution of the month for 2013. February’s was to get more exercise. Specifically, to do some form of Zumba, yoga or Pilates at least 3-4 times a week. Since I’m being honest, here’s the monthly rundown:

  • Week 1: Technically February started on a Friday, so I decided to lump those first two days into the next week. Which was good, because that was the weekend of my Me-Retreat. Six hours of folk dancing? Surely that counts for a Zumba session or two, right? I think so. But I did two more Zumba sessions later that week too. BTW, Zumba via the Wii is doable, but not nearly as fun as going to an actual class. Most of the fun for me is the energy of the class and people. Plus the Wii belt slips and slides around way too much on my hips for me to really get into it.
  • Week 2: Valentine’s Week. Meh. Chocolate eating? Check. Plenty of that. Zumba once. Some yoga stretches here and there over the three days I got slammed with a massive migraine. Did go for a walk on Saturday before the monsoon hit and we were stuck inside for the rest of the weekend.
  • Week 3: Zumba twice. Walked the stairs once at work. Which I count, since I work on the ninth floor. But the nasty pre-spring H-town weather beat me down. Allergies run amok when it’s 50 degrees one day and 75 for the next three. And I turn into a zombie whenever I take any allergy meds, so entertainment for me on those days amounts to sitting and watching my hand move. Somewhere, the logical part of my brain tried to remind me that if I got my butt up and moving I’d feel better, but it was too hard to breathe. And I rationalized that if I was having trouble breathing sitting still, Zumba wouldn’t make it any easier. Nor would turning my sinuses upside down for some Downward Facing Dog. So I bailed.
  • Week 4: Zumba once. Got drafted into manual labor at work, so I ended up archiving, unstacking, moving and restacking eighteen file boxes across the office. Since I DID break a sweat, I count that as cardio. And I’ve got yoga on the docket for tonight.

Final grade: B-. I DID make the effort to exercise most weeks, and I DID end up exercising more than I have in recent months. So that’s a win. But with summer coming I need to amp up my toning via Pilates. Don’t get me wrong – I love the results – but Pilates involves so much core work that I usually end up feeling like I’m going to throw up halfway through the workout. Not cool. And I also noticed that, on the days I did exercise, I had more energy as a result. Duh.

So I’m going to try to stick with this one. Maybe expand to ‘some form of exercise’ instead of limiting myself to those three.

How about you? How are your resolutions coming? I’m really stoked about my March goal. Tune in tomorrow to check it out!

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The Book of Face


So, I was reading a blog earlier this morning. Someone with whom I experienced the miseries of seventh grade PE is now a successful Author. Yes, Author. With a
capital A. Side note – I’m jealous. But jealous in a good way and inspired.
Someday that’s gonna be me. Back to the topic at hand: How did I find out she’s
a successful Author?

Facebook, of course. And the irony here is that I was reading a post of hers about, well, social media.

What did we ever do without Facebook? I mean, I used to occasionally wonder what happened to certain folks. Get excited for upcoming reunions so that I could see how so-and-so looked, how many kids they had, etc. Now there’s no guessing. You can instantly find out. All thanks to the Book of Face.

Your best friend from Kindergarten? A former globe-traveling military intelligence officer turned SAHM. To eight kids. Eight. Wow.

The elementary school bully? Former CIA operative turned international business guru. No lie.

The Pretty Girls? Now you have instant access to see exactly who has been Botoxed, nipped, tucked and enhanced. Not to mention those who have chosen to age gracefully.

That guy you had a crush on for, like, ever? You know who I mean. The one who always looked at you like you were a total idiot every time you tried to talk to him? Because you were so nervous trying to talk to him that stringing two words together into a coherent sentence was impossible while you were shaking in your fringed white leather boots? Yeah, that guy. Now you can instantly connect and share witty quips via Facebook.

The college friend who left school to ‘find themselves?’ It’s possible to instantly
learn that they’re now the proud owner of their own horticulture business based
in Amsterdam and California. Yup. Really.

The kid who mooned me and my friends before school one day? He wasn’t too bright. See, he dropped his drawers just as my dad was driving away from the curb. Dad happened to be looking in the rearview mirror – and I never thought it was possible to whip a car in reverse quite that fast. Yeah. That kid grew up to be a guest of the state penitentiary system. Shocker.

The only downer? The Memorial Sheet. Updates on who has died just don’t really compute with me. It’s hard to imagine that I’m old enough now that people I knew way back in the day are passing away.

And don’t even get me started on former students. That’s a weird one. Again, just the idea that I’ve taught long enough for little kids to have grown into adults is pretty shocking. I mean, I sure don’t feel any older. At least, not on most days.

So my question here is this: Do you use social media to catch up with people that you only wonder about in passing? Or do you limit your contacts to close friends and business contacts ? What made up your mind on that?

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This article is right on the money! Can’t tell you how many times these issues cropped up in my thirteen years of teaching. Coming soon – my next series of teacher-related posts. Title? ‘Apples and Trees.’

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February 27, 2013 · 1:16 pm

Dear Nemesis…

I’m writing you a letter today. Granted, it’s an open letter. But hey, any letter is better than none. And I really just need to clear the air here. I’ve let you bug me far too much and it’s time to let it go.
Of course, you’re never going to read this. That’s OK. Even if you happened to read it, you probably wouldn’t catch on that it’s you I’m writing about. That’s OK too. I’m not writing this letter for you. I’m writing it for me.
See, I’ve really resented you. A lot. And I’ve held grudges, held them in, and let them simmer. Until I finally exploded. And you know what? I’ve realized something. By sitting on that negativity and letting it simmer I was giving you power over me. That’s done. I’m a wife, a professional, a woman, a working mom. I don’t have time to spare on you.
Why did I even let you bother me? I guess because you embody so many of my pet peeves. It’s amazing, really, that almost ALL of my pet peeves can exist together in one body. You should pat yourself on the back for that one. It’s quite an achievement.
So, what are they? The pet peeves I mean. Aren’t you curious? If you’re not I don’t really care. You’re going to hear them anyway. Here we go.
• Your self-importance. In casual conversation, you refer to yourself as ‘generally average.’ But that’s not what you really think. I’ve heard you praise your vast intelligence, superiority over other women, and even taste in reading material many times. You’ve even gone so far as to say that people can become ‘an annoyance.’ Just the superior tone of that one comment makes me bristle. Who do you think you are? Obviously Someone.
• Your (again) self-professed Grammar Nazism. That actually could be a good thing. I can be a bit of a Grammar Nazi too. But what gets me is that you feel the need to brag about your habit of correcting others’ grammar (yes, adults’) when your own writing tends to be full of grammatical errors and typos. Walk the Talk, Chiquita!
• Your intentional over-use of British-isms. Come on, honey. You grew up in Texas and the Midwest. Not the UK. Yes, I love Downton Abbey and Dr. Who as much as the next Anglophile, but I don’t make an effort to substitute good ol’ American words. On this side of the pond, it’s ‘math.’ Not maths. We drive people ‘crazy.’ Not mad. Etc. Etc. Etc.
• The way you tend to flaunt your lifestyle, as if you are somehow more privileged than, as you put it, ‘people who work.’ Your Spouse works countless hours to enable you to sit home eating bonbons and handcrafting various items while your offspring educate take care of themselves. Remember, these are the kids who told me that they love being homeschooled because, “Mom forgets a lot and we don’t have to do school every day.” That’s the choice you made – great. But the rest of us don’t need our noses rubbed in your superiority.
• The fact that you’ve got your family snowed. Convinced that your college degree is ‘unmarketable’ in the job world. Um, it’s a college degree. That means that, with any small degree of effort and a measure of work ethic, you could find a job. Even a part time one.
Do I sound jealous here? I admit it – I used to be. But the more I thought about it, the more I started feeling sad for you. Why? Because I’ve spent enough time working on me over the last year to recognize some patterns here.
It’s obvious that you are incredibly insecure. Why else (unless you truly are a More Evolved Specimen of Humanity) would you constantly feel the need to talk yourself up? Affect fake ways of speaking? Remind the rest of us of your innate abilities? Correct others? Rationalize your choice to be a SAHM? Heck, you wanted to be a professor and aren’t. Maybe this is your way of making yourself feel better about not achieving that particular goal. I don’t know. And it’s not my job to try and find out. But I feel sorry for you. And I’m REALLY working on not getting irked at all of the little things.
So what’s next? Well, since I’m working on cleaning my side of the street, I need to let all of my pet peeves go. And pray for you. Yep, that’s right. I’m going to start praying for you. And no, I’m not going to start praying that someone really tells you off or that you suddenly realize how annoying your habits are. That would be totally missing the point.
No, I’m going to pray for peace, enlightenment, and open-mindedness for you. Among other things. But that’s a start.
And you know what? I feel better already.

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Filed under honesty, Personal growth, Relationships

Ten Things I Love – About My Job

AdminOfficeAssistRemember my January resolution to be more positive? Well, in an effort to bring some of that back today, here you go. The Top Ten Things I Love About My Job. In no particular order other than the way they happened to pop into my brain over lunch.

  1. The park across the street
  2. Lunches in the park across the street
  3. Lunchtime shopping within walking distance
  4. Lack of women = lack of daily needless drama
  5. The ability to go to the bathroom whenever, without alerting the media (If you’ve ever taught school or supervised little kids, you know this one’s priceless.)
  6. People-watching
  7. The constant buzz of energy when all the sales guys are on the phone cranking out deals
  8. Uninterrupted time to work in my cube – and actually pace myself to get my own stuff done
  9. Ever-present coffee
  10. And my fave – don’t ask me why, but it is – the office-y smell coming off of the elevator. It’s a mix of paint, coffee, cleaning supplies, printing toner, paper, and who knows what else. It makes me feel productive and I love it.

What are your work-related Top Ten?? I’d love to hear!


Filed under Careers, work

Caught Between the World and – Kansas City?

Ok, I’ve gotta give a shout-out to Jenn of People I Want to Punch in the Throat here. I found inspiration in her post yesterday.

I have GOT to go to Kansas City. Forget Paris, New York, Montreal and London.

Kansas City is Where It’s At. Why?

Why, the Stiletto Fitness Class, of course!

Forget the hype around H-town about S-Factor workouts. With the Stiletto Fitness class, I can ” get the heartrate up the SEXY way.” And for added benefits, I can learn “simple traditional and contemporary dance moves combined to create short routines you can take with you and do at home or at a party.”

Thank goodness! NOW I have an excuse to go out dancin’ at the club. And when everyone is amazed at my moves, I can coyly remark that I learned them in Stiletto Fitness class.

My personal fave gem from this site is this one: “Stiletto Fitness is a class for those that are interested in just starting out to see if you might like it all the way up to the more advanced who are looking to improve sexy skills.”

What qualifies me as ‘advanced?’ Do I have to dance for a living to be ‘advanced’ or what? If I think I’m advanced does that count? Is there a test? I’m confused.

And what kind of ‘sexy skills’ should I be looking to improve? This partly-southern chick needs more explanation. Or an example. Or a picture. Zumba is plenty complicated enough for me.

Obviously I’m not sexy enough for Kansas City. Good thing I don’t live there…

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Go Texan Day – In H-Town


Contrary to popular stereotype, Houston is NOT full of cowboy types sporting boots, Wranglers, belt buckles and full cowboy duds on a regular basis. That’s Fort Worth – Cowtown, folks! But once a year H-town pulls out all the stops. And that can mean some pretty scary sights here. For instance:

Every year there’s an unwritten ‘Rodeo dress code.’ At least for chicks. Unwritten because I have NO idea where it comes from. But without fail, every hipster female under the age of 50-ish will show up at the Rodeo dressed exactly the same. One year it was flowery mini-sundresses, blue jean jackets, straw hats and boots. Ok, that was doable. And almost flattering to most. But the next year it was – wait for it – plaid shirts (short and tight of course), boots and Daisy Dukes. Seriously. Flattering? Not so much. All I could hear was the endless replay of Stacey and Clinton in my head the entire time.

“Just because it comes in your size doesn’t mean you should wear it.”

Ouch. Really. It was painful.

And that’s not all. Once a year every dude, businessman, CEO, skater, gangsta – all of them – whips out the fullblown western duds. It’s a mix of comical and downright frightening.

But H-town doesn’t stop there. My diverse city is big enough and diverse enough that People of Walmart-worthy sights can be found each and every day. You just have to open your eyes and see what’s around you.

Examples? Yes please.

Take, for instance, the guy I saw the other day in front of my office building. Stopped at a red light, he used the opportunity to jump out of the car and check something in his trunk. Well, more of a hatchback actually. And he spent some time rearranging. Hey, it was a REALLY long red light. That’s not the crazy part. That’s normal. The crazy part was that I thought he was talking on the phone. With one hand, while the other rummaged in the trunk. Until I noticed his Bluetooth headset. Huh? Double phones? Nope. The item I thought was a phone in his hand was actually a razor.

The dude was talking on the phone, rummaging in his trunk and SHAVING. All at a red light. Really.

Or take this other one. It rained the other night. Not unusual in a city that averages 80 percent humidity in December. Thursday is mowing day for the city. So all the landscaping guys were out doing their thing on the medians during my commute. Again, nothing out of the ordinary. But, using their common sense, they were trying to stay dry. Most of them had fashion-worthy protection made out of garbage and/or grocery bags. Tunics, capes, gloves, you name it. It’s amazing what those guys can fashion out of plastic bags. Seriously. Again, not unusual.

But when I saw the two guys who had made PROTECTIVE HEADWEAR out of ziplock bags I was floored. One dude had fashioned a pretty sweet shower-cap lookalike to protect his do. Even though it wasn’t raining. But the other guy? He gets an E for Effort and Creativity.

He’d used the same kind of ziplock bag to make a protective cap for his… baseball cap.

Yep. No lie. Even though his head was dry from the cap, the CAP needed protection.


Who says city life is mundane? Open your eyes folks – you can always find free entertainment if you just look for it.

Wonder what kind of creative plastic fashion the cowboys will come up with this year??

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