Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ask Me Anything...well, almost anything.

As I sit here in front of my computer, fingers on my keyboard, I have nothing to type about. Yes, me and my big mouth have nothing to say right now. Alert the authorities. This is a day for the record books. I'm not sure if this is going to work and if it doesn't, I am going to feel like a loser so help a brother out. Ask me anything...well, almost anything. If I get enough questions (or even one), I will create a new post to answer the question(s). Put on your thinking caps and fire away.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Remembering Nanny

The picture of Nanny's cross that I attached to my bouquet on my wedding day and Dove dark chocolate. Nanny's favorite!
Two years ago today, Nanny moved onto heaven. She was born in 1915 and lived the life many women of her era would have envied. She worked when women didn't work, she was involved in community organizations and she raised three wonderful children (my mom included!).
When I went away to college, Nanny and I had a phone date every Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. Sometimes we would talk for 5 minutes, sometimes we would talk for 30 minutes but we always connected. My college roommates knew that the phone line would have to be open Tuesday nights at 10. If one of them was on the phone, they would politely explain that Michelle's Nanny was going to call and they had to get off the phone. They understood the importance of those phone calls.
Those Tuesday night phone calls were the highlight of my week. I wouldn't make plans on those nights just so I would be available to talk. My sister had her phone call on Thursday nights. We never really talked to each other about those conversations. They were private and just for us to know about. I liked it that way.
In March of 2002, I made a phone call on a non-Tuesday night to Nanny to tell her that I had accepted my first post-college full time job! I was so excited to share the news. But something wasn't right during the phone call and we soon discovered that Nanny had a mini stroke during that time we were talking. A mini stroke soon turned into a regular stroke and for the next 5 years, Nanny lived in care homes since she could not fully take care of herself like before.
One thing that Nanny did not lose was her mind power. She was a smart lady. She listened to her radio to keep up with all the news and to listen to her beloved Golden State Warriors. Regretfully, I did not visit her as often as I should have. My mom crossed the bridge to the east bay every single Sunday for 5 years. She would buy her diapers, tissue, Oil of Olay (so her skin would stay youthful!), and Dove dark chocolate. Nanny had one small piece of chocolate every night. Oh the restraint she had!!
On February 25th, I went with my mom to visit Nanny and share the news of my engagement. Nanny had lost a few pounds within just a week and looked very frail. But again, her mind was in tact. She shared her thoughts about marriage and relationships with me. I wish I would have written down what she said. She was so wise. And she was so happy for me. She said that she hoped she could make it to my wedding and I said, of course you will!
I got the call from my mom while at work on February 26th. Nanny was taken to the hospital. Feeling like I needed to do something, I drove 90 minutes in the rain to Walnut Creek to be with not just Nanny but my mom, aunt and uncle. Nanny was resting. And the 25th would be the last time I would see her alive.
She passed away on Tuesday February 27th. My mom was by her side and she said that Nanny opened her eyes and looked at her before resting forever. It was as it she looked at her to say, I'll be ok. It is my time. I love you. My mom said she felt such peace watching her pass away.
My sister and I talked about it later and said how strange it is for a grandparent to die. You just think they are going to live forever. We were right. Nanny is still alive. She is guiding us from heaven. She is the reason we are healthy and happy and living each day to the best of our abilities.
In the days after Nanny passed away, there was a small earthquake centered not far from where she lived before she was sent to the hospital. There was a thunder and lightning storm. For my family, that meant that Nanny had made her way to heaven and was letting us know she arrived. She never made a quiet entrance. She always spoke up. She taught us to A.S.U.T.B.C. Always Stand Up To Be Counted.
Nanny, in your honor today, I shall eat some dark chocolate. I will remember your words to always be heard. I will live my life to the best of my abilities.
I miss you Nanny but I'm so glad that I had you in my life.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What are the chances?

I was watching the President's press conference this morning about the budget he is going to submit. He mentioned that he and his cabinet members have found ways to cut millions if not billions of dollars to cut the deficit. One item he mentioned cutting was a mentoring program that is similar to what many other agencies are already offering to students. Rut-Roe. The funding for my job is federal money for a high school-middle school mentoring program. What are the chances that my program is the one he is cutting? Or am I part of the "other agency" group? Or nothing at all? Let's hope. I don't feel like being unemployed.

One Year of Blogging

1 year ago today, I wrote my first blog post! I was at the peak of wedding planning and just 3.5 months away from my wedding. I have enjoyed blogging so much and I am very happy that friends and family have also started blogging so we can share our lives together. Thanks for all of those readers who comment and read my blog on a daily (or weekly) basis. I really appreciate you! I can't wait to see what the next 365 days bring!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

6th folder, 6th picture

I was tagged! Here are the rules: The rules: open the 6th picture folder on your computer, open the 6th photo and blog it. Write something about it. Then tag 6 more people to do the same. I'm too lazy to tag 6 people so if you want to do this, do it! This picture was taken last summer when me and my brand new husband went for a kayak ride on Lake Natoma. We kayak out about 10 from the launch pad to this set of rocks and rest for a bit. On a warm day, there is nothing better than laying back in your kayak, with your feet over the edges and relaxing. And then racing your husband (and beating him) back to the launch place.

Baby come back....

I noticed that yesterday I had 23 blog followers and today I have 22. Hmmmmm..... I hope my previous post didn't cause someone to give up on me. Baby, come back! Don't leave!

Most Awesome Class EVER

This is a line from the syllabus for the class I am starting next week: YOU MUST HAVE ACCESS TO TELEVISION TO COMPLETE THIS CLASS. One of my assignments for this class is to watch tv. Sure, it is a kids program but still. I love any class that includes required television watching. And, having never met my professor, I already love her: Nothing is more distracting to me and others than students whispering, reading magazines, text messaging, or doing homework for another class. Be on notice that you will be called on it, perhaps asked to leave class, and, if it continues, dropped from the course. Any public embarrassment you experience as a result will be of your own making. Awesome. I love strict professors. They rock. I need to make sure I sit alone so no one tries to talk to me. "Didn't you read the syllabus? DO NOT TALK TO ME!" My only concern is that we will never be dismissed early so I will be 10 minutes late to watch Lost each week. Thank goodness for my dvr.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Personal Responsibility

I live in an apartment. I paid off my car in 5 years, having never missed a payment. My bills are on time every single month. I didn't open a credit card until I was 27 years old. We don't plan on buying a house until we know we can afford each and every payment that we will be required to make. I live my life responsibly. The only person I expect to bail me out in a time of need is myself. I don't make bad financial choices. I don't look for a handout to help me when money is tight. I adjust, cut back and make good decisions. It makes me sick to my stomach that our country is now rewarding people who made bad choices. The government is swooping in and saving people who made purchases they could never afford. On the radio this morning, I heard a story of a school bus driver who purchased a house for $800,000. Yes, that is right. $800,000. I know some places in this country are more expensive than others but $800K is a lot of money and can you get a lot of house. Except she is a school bus driver. According to the salary schedule in one school district, the lowest range for a bus driver is $2,200 a month and increases at the highest level to $3,100 a month. The report didn't say what her husband did but considering they received a foreclosure notice, I'm sure it isn't enough to cover the cost. Do I feel bad for this lady and her family? NO. Call me cold hearted but I don't care. This lady had no business buying a house that was this much. And don't you dare go say that she was pressured into it. Give me a break! Get a backbone and figure it out. Think a little bit before you sign on the dotted line. The more we continue to bail people out because of their poor decision making, the more we are doomed to have people make poor decisions. People will just assume that the government will drop money on top of their roofs and poof! Problem solved. I'm not okay with that. I would rather my tax money go to something worthy than Joe Schmo down the street who made bad decisions. Bad decisions are being rewarded. When you reward bad decisions, people continue to make bad decisions. It never stops. We need to lay down the law here in America that by making bad financial decisions, you will not receive help. You will receive a U-haul in front of your house to move you to a house or apartment that you can afford. And if I haven't already alienated some of my readers by being a cold-hearted meanie pants, well, let me do it more. This is the "change" you Obama supporters voted for. It doesn't stop here. Personal responsiblity is going to continue to go down the tubes because our President wants to save everyone. No wait, he wants to save the people who made bad choices. Welcome to Welfare America. Hold your hands out at the gate!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar picks 2009

My selections are in bold:

Motion Picture of the Year

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Milk
  • The Reader
  • Slumdog Millionaire

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Richard Jenkins in "The Visitor" (Overture Films)
  • Frank Langella in "Frost/Nixon" (Universal)
  • Sean Penn in "Milk" (Focus Features)
  • Brad Pitt in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
  • Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler" (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Josh Brolin in "Milk" (Focus Features)
  • Robert Downey Jr. in "Tropic Thunder" (DreamWorks, Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Doubt" (Miramax)
  • Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight" (Warner Bros.)
  • Michael Shannon in "Revolutionary Road" (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage)

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Anne Hathaway in "Rachel Getting Married" (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Angelina Jolie in "Changeling" (Universal)
  • Melissa Leo in "Frozen River" (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Meryl Streep in "Doubt" (Miramax)
  • Kate Winslet in "The Reader" (The Weinstein Company)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Amy Adams in "Doubt" (Miramax)
  • PenĂ©lope Cruz in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
  • Viola Davis in "Doubt" (Miramax)
  • Taraji P. Henson in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
  • Marisa Tomei in "The Wrestler" (Fox Searchlight)

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" )
  • "Defiance" (Paramount Vantage)James Newton Howard
  • "Milk" (Focus Features)Danny Elfman
  • "Slumdog Millionaire" (Fox Searchlight)A.R. Rahman
  • "WALL-E" (Walt Disney)Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • "Down to Earth" from "WALL-E" (Walt Disney)
  • "Jai Ho" from Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight)
  • "O Saya" from "Slumdog Millionaire" (Fox Searchlight)

Original screenplay

  • "Frozen River" (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • "Happy-Go-Lucky" (Miramax)h
  • "In Bruges" (Focus Features)
  • "Milk" (Focus Features)
  • "WALL-E" (Walt Disney)

Adapted screenplay

  • "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
  • "Doubt" (Miramax)
  • "Frost/Nixon" (Universal)S
  • "The Reader" (The Weinstein Company)
  • "Slumdog Millionaire" (Fox Searchlight)

Achievement in directing

  • "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Paramount and Warner Bros.)David Fincher
  • "Frost/Nixon" (Universal)Ron Howard
  • "Milk" (Focus Features)Gus Van Sant
  • "The Reader" (The Weinstein Company)Stephen Daldry
  • "Slumdog Millionaire" (Fox Searchlight)Danny Boyle
Animated Feature
  • "Bolt"
  • "Kung-Fu Panda"
  • "WALL-E"
And for the random categories: Art Direction: Benjamin Button Cinematography: The Dark Knight Costume Design: Australia Documentary Feature: Man on Wire Documentary Short: Smile Pinki Film Editing: Slumdog Millionaire Foreign Language Film: The Class Makeup: Benjamin Button Short Film, Animated: Presto Short Film, Live action: New Boy Sound Editing: The Dark Knight Sound Mixing: WALL-E Visual Effects: The Dark Knight I'm predicting that I get 13 out of 24 correct. That is a horrible percentage but I usually suck at guessing. Enjoy the Oscars! Edited to add: I managed to get 15 out of 24 correct, including both documentary picks. How random!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Say My Name...Wait, what is your name?

The story below is based on actual events Diana has a pen and a post it note Au Bob: Diana, write my name. Diana: Ok....M? (She writes an M). What is next. Au Bob: I...C...H...E...L...L...E.. Diana: Like this? Au Bob: Yes, that is awesome. Au Bob realizes that Diana does know her name is actually Michelle. Impressive. Au Bob holds up the post it note: What does this say Diana? Diana: Au Bob. Au Bob laughs hysterically. I love this child. Those are L's. She is just 3.5 years old people. Other than thinking that this says Au Bob, I think she did a good job. And yes, she does know how to write Au Bob but she refuses to verbally acknowledge to me that my name is Michelle. REFUSES.

Happiness Is....

-Baking and frosting cupcakes to give to hard working basketball girls! -Feeling my husband kiss me goodbye each morning as he leaves the house at 4:45 a.m. to provide a better life for us. -Pants not fitting tightly against my bum bum -Quizno's for lunch with my friendworker -Salsa Chicken -Seeing family -Sticking with it -Going to bed before eating a carton full of mint chocolate chip ice cream, knowing that I would regret it in the morning -Thinking positively about potentially running 8 miles this weekend. I think I can, I think I can.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WWYD, Blog Readers?

I am in my 4th week of yoga class and am starting to find it a bit boring. My sister warned me about the evils of community college yoga classes. She took one years ago and the teacher was loony. My teacher seems sane enough but it is just not challenging enough. I give up two nights of hardcore cardio work to go to yoga and I am just not impressed. I know it is Beginning Yoga and I know the class runs for another 11 weeks, but those two nights I am missing of burning calories is all I can think about when we are laying in the cobra position for 5 minutes. I'm not burning enough calories laying on my darn back. And stretching to touch my toes is doing nothing for me. I want to do some downward facing dog. I need some sun salutation in my life. What about the warrior pose? Those poses are on my Wii Fit for goodness sakes! I don't want to sound like a know it all and email the instructor to ask if we will be learning additional poses. In class last night, she gave us a handout of the poses we have learned "so far." I am going to assume that by saying "so far" we are going to learn additional poses and tweak the ones we already do to be more advanced. Dear blog readers, please give me some advice: 1. Should I stick it out and just enjoy it for what it is? 2 hours a week of time to relax, do some semi-challenging moves and hope for the best? 2. Should I drop it and spend 2 extra hours a week doing heart pumping cardio at the gym and use my Wii Fit to do yoga at home?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Birthday for Chris, copied from The Office

Yes, this post is weeks late. Chris' birthday has come and gone and I am just now showing you the awesomeness that I created for his birthday. But be thankful I am showing you at all. It is hilarious.
If you missed The Office the last two weeks, you won't understand. Seriously, start watching it. What is wrong with you? For fans of The Office, you might recognize a few things in the following pictures:

A replica of the sign Dwight made for Kelly. "It is more professional"

The barely blown up balloons masking taped onto the wall.

My handsome husband posing with the decor

I thought Chris would like a pretty princess balloon. And he did, can't you tell?

I wanted to time it so I was standing in our entry way when he walked in the door. I really wanted to get his reaction on film but since it was a Friday night, traffic was unpredictable and I was annoying him calling every 10 minutes to see where he was. But I did hear him LOL when he walked in the door.

He was impressed.

I'm awesome.

Mii loves Wii

The Wii Fit is a lot more fun than I thought it would be! I was on a roll yesterday as I bounced around from strength training to aerobics to yoga. Each time I unlocked another activity, I would give it a try. Before I knew it, I had logged in 45 minutes for the day, I was sweaty and needed a shower. Here are some fun pictures from my Wii Fit experience.
Me and my husband as Mii's. We have a little extra junk in the truck. And in the front. And on the sides.
Here I am hula hooping. This is the super hula hoop that I unlocked. That thing is no joke. 3 minutes of swinging those hips. I was exhausted! My super hula hoop score! I did the left spin second so I was a bit tired.
Au Bob rules! Uncle Tiss drools.
Uncle Tiss, who is that? That is Chris, of course. When Diana says his name, it sounds like Tiss and since I called myself Au Bob, Chris named his Mii Uncle Tiss. We are cute. And we love us some Diana! I even nicknamed the Wii "Au Bobbio." I've told you many times but being an Aunt is the best!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Eat This, Not That Contest Winner...

As you can see (or not since the picture is so small), the random number generator picked #3. That means that sunflowerramos, you have won your choice of 1 book from the Eat This, Not That series. Please email me at formerlygood@gmail.com so I can get your mailing information. Thanks for those that entered the contest and remember there is always something better out there to eat.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Most Awesome Youtube video

If you don't love The Office, something is wrong with you. If you do love The Office, you will understand this video and you will love it.

We Have A Wii (again)

Back in 2006 when the Wii first came out, Chris took a voyage to a store at midnight to pick up his pre-ordered Wii. He then was up until the wii (pun intended) hours of the morning playing with some friends. As someone who is not a fan of video games, I became quite hooked on playing Wii Sports. I became fairly awesome at playing golf and even knocked Chris out in boxing a few times. I think right around the time we got engaged, my life started to revolve around wedding planning and since the Wii didn't have a wedding planning game, I stopped playing it. Chris didn't really play that much anymore either so he decided to sell it. This was about the time that it was still near impossible to just go into Best Buy and find a Wii for sale so it was pretty shocking that he would sell it. I wasn't really into other games for the Wii and Chris is a PC Gamer so it just became useless to us. Fast forward to last night, Valentine's Day. Chris said he spent Friday night going around trying to find my present. I was sure it was a new Ipod*. He sat me down on the couch, told me to close my eyes and he placed a box on my lap. I knew immediately that it was a Wii Fit. Not sure why I knew, but probably because I am psychic. "We don't have a wii...or do wii?" (it doesn't stop being funny to me.) Chris walks into the closet of hidden video game systems (he hid his Playstation 3 in there for a few weeks too) and pulls out the Wii. He said that it is MY Wii so he can't go selling it like last time. His reasoning for buying it was cute. Since he is working 7 days a week for the next 8 weeks, he wants to give me something to do on weekends. I do get pretty bored sitting at home alone until 8 p.m. and there is only so much running I can do outdoors. He also said that if my yoga class gets cancelled (which it did last Thursday), I can switch on the Wii Fit and do some tree poses to relax me. So cute. I was planning on taking a 6 mile run outside today but geez, with 30 MPH winds and some rain, I don't think I should go outside today. Scary. I guess I will have to just read a book...or bowl, golf and play tennis on the Wii. *Me: "I thought you would get me an Ipod" Chris: "I was going to." Me: "A blue one" Chris: "I had a blue ipod nano in my hand. And then I thought, she can buy her own damn Ipod. She has a debit card."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cuteness Overload

This is the envelope that my niece (with the help of my mom) sent to me and Chris for Valentine's Day. She loves writing her name and will spell it out loud (D-I-A-N-A, it is a pretty fun name to spell) whenever she writes it. But to see Au Bob and Uncle Chris written pretty much had me near passing out in the parking lot from cuteness. I will treasure this envelope forever.

For the record

I have been a People Magazine reader for a few years now and enjoy reading a good mix of celebrity stories and real life people stories. I'm always tempted to cut out and save articles showing a new celebrity couple gushing about each other or a wedding that takes place between two celebrities. Mostly because most of those unions are doomed to fail and I want to look back and see how long it took before the relationship hit the rocks. Sure, that is pretty lame and sad of me to do but whatever. Don't judge me! I just came across a story that was broadcast on the Today show this morning. Oh me, oh my. I want to make this story public record in my blog so if, God forbid, anything happens to this girl, I can look back and shake my head. Why are women so naive? Drew Peterson was never convicted of anything but the cloud of suspicion hangs above his head. It is a dark cloud and this young lady (the same age as his last wife who "disappeared") seems to think nothing of it. I hope their relationship is as normal and boring as she hopes it will be but I can't help but wonder why this man seems to keep dating young women. Actually I know the answer but I hope it is not true. Here is hoping her face isn't on a future cover of People Magazine for me to read.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hey you, guy in the car....

Why did you flip me the bird today, huh? I don't get it. I was just driving along in my lane when I saw in my mirror that you swerved behind me into the lane on my right. I glanced over at you and there was your finger, staring right at me. I didn't cut you off. I didn't make any yo momma jokes. I didn't even make fun of your ugly car. I do not think I deserved a middle finger with your ugly mug staring at me. Take it back, please.

Au Bob x 2

My sister emailed me and asked me why I had not yet blogged about becoming Au Bob x 2. Yup, my sister is pregnant with her second child/my second niece or nephew and my parents second grandchild. I have mentioned many, many times how great it is to be an aunt. I feel like my life revolves around what is going on with Diana and I am sad that I can't see her every single day of my life. I am really looking forward to creating such a special bond with another little one. I am secretly hoping that this baby is a girl so Diana can experience the joy of being a big sister to a girl. Me and my sister have such an incredibly fun relationship and I would love for Diana to share that experience. No matter what, I will have a special bond with the new baby as we will both be youngest siblings. Youngest siblings rule! That is unless my sister and her hubby plan on having a third. But lets just take one pregnancy at a time. I'll be super cheesy right now and ask that my dear readers send good thoughts out for my sister during her 9 (well, 7 now) months. Nothing is more important than her health and the health of that baby. And for her pregnancy announcement, click here. It is a good one. I can't wait for Diana to introduce me to her brother or sister as Au Bob. "Hi baby, this is Au Bob. I know it is weird but that is what she wants to be called so just go with it. I can totally say her real name but I just play along because it makes her happy. And when she is happy she brings presents so seriously, it's Au Bob."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Really?

This portion of my blog is ripped off from Weekend Update. Really, T.I.? These are your thoughts on your friend Chris Brown assaulting a female: I spoke to him today," he said. "He's cool, you know. He's a little concerned about the situation, but he's still the same Chris. I told him, 'This too shall pass.' " A little concerned? He's cool? Still the same Chris? Really? Maybe he should be really concerned. Maybe you shouldn't always back your friend up when you know, he assaults a female. But I guess I don't have high expectations coming from you considering you have a lengthy rap sheet involving concealing violent weapons and assaulting a female officer in Florida. Really? Not shocking that you would defend and blow off these very serious charges. You are an idiot. And really octuplet mom? You started a website to collect donations? REALLY? This makes me so angry that I almost don't know what to type. I wish the media would stop giving this woman attention. What she did, what her doctors did was unethical and immoral. And you want people to help you pay for the kids that you created despite being on food stamps and disability? Really? What is wrong with you? People like this make me wish we could start some electoral college to vote idiots out of our country. And not people who say dumb stuff or say things you don't agree with. No, the real idiots. The people who dare ask for donations on a website to help care for her 14 children. And the people who defend violent abusers. And violent abusers. And Paris Hilton because well, she is just a waste of air.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Eat This, Not That (Contest Alert!!!)

I have stated before that knowledge is power when it comes to eating food and losing weight. If you ignore the calories in the food you eat, you are ignoring the key tool to lose weight. My awesome mom gave me the book "Eat This, Not That: Supermarket Survival Guide." There are a few versions of Eat This, Not That but I like the supermarket version and plan to be a super nerd next time I go grocery shopping. Yes, I will reference this book before putting anything in my cart. Nerd Alert Bel-Air. Geek on the loose in the cookie aisle!!! This book is broken into sections of the grocery store. Meat, fish, beverage, frozen foods, breads, snacks, ice cream, sauces, condiments, etc. Sadly, many of my favorite things are on the Not That side but I also spot some current items in our kitchen on the Eat This side. Go me. I'm going to highlight some popular items below and then we will move onto the contest portion of this blog. Butter: Eat This-Smart Balance Not That-I can't believe it's not butter (sorry Fabio) Packaged and Seasoned Noodles: Eat This-Dr. McDougall's Ramen Chicken Not That-Maruchan Ramen Beef (1,580 mg of sodium and vegetable oil is the second ingredient) Wholesome Cereals: Eat This-Cheerios Not That-Life, Raisin Bran Sweet Cereals: (My husband only eats sweet cereals. This is going to be disturbing) Eat This- Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Cookie Crisp (None of these are great choices but better than...) Not That- Reese's Puffs, Cap'n Crunch, Lucky Charms Potato Chips: Eat This-Baked Lays Not That- Ruffles Cheddar Cheese, Pringles Meal Replacement and Protein Bars: Eat This- Kashi Go Lean Roll, Clif Bar Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Not That-Power Bar Protein Reduced Sugar, Clif Builder's Chocolate Mint Frozen Pizza: Eat This: DiGiorno Thin Crispy Crust, Kashi Mediterranean Not That: DiGiorno for one, California Pizza Kitchen Pizza's, just about all of them. Candy: This is tough Eat This: JuJubes, Life Savers Gummies, Jelly Belly, Red Hots Not This: Skittles (NO!), Laffy Taffy (NO!!!), Starburst (NO!!!!), Mike and Ikes (NO!!!!!!), Sour Patch Kids (NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!) Now that you have run to your kitchen to see what items you have that I listed above, I will announce the contest. It will be here when you return, don't worry. By commenting on this post with yourpersonal favorite "Eat This" item and your personal favorite "Not That" item, you will be entered to win 1 of the 3 "Eat This, Not That" books. There are currently three types: The supermarket guide, the fast food and sit down restaurant guide and a guide for children. If you are the winner, you choose! The contest will close Friday February 13 at 9:00 p.m. and the winner will be drawn randomly using a number generator based on your comment number. The announcement of the winner will be posted Monday February 16. Just for kicks, my personal "Eat This" item is a green apple. I love green apples. Apples are high in fiber and in quercetin which is linked to better heart health. My "Not That" item would be nacho cheese. Pretty sure that is not good for you! And yes, page 181 in my book confirms that. I look forward to reading about your This' and That's. Good luck!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Fun Day

Today was an all around fun day. I got a chance to hang out with my family and my husband's family. I took a nap, ran a 5K, ate dinner at Chili's and it rained which always makes me happy. But I will have to say that the highlight of my day was running side by side with my favorite little, my niece Diana. The race I took part in had 3 kids runs. Diana took part in the 1/4 mile run and she picked me to run with her. She was so excited to run it was unbelievable. I wish I felt that excited to run everyday. She was jumping up and down, stretching her legs and impatiently waiting for her turn to run. When the horn blew, we took off hand in hand but I soon let go of her hand. She didn't need me to run. Diana had a smile on her face the entire time she ran. Even when she ran into a little boy that wasn't looking where he was going. She still smiled. She crossed the finish line huffing and puffing but glowing with pride. It was so adorable to hear her breathing hard but not giving up. Her parents cheered her on from the sideline and her dad ran with her the last few steps to the finish line where she picked up her finishers ribbon. Being an aunt is the greatest joy I have known. I'm sure when I become a mother one day, that will no longer be the case but hearing Diana say "Au Bob" innocently and for no other reason than just to say it, well, it melts my heart. And to chant "We Ran Fast, Yes We Did" together while walking to the car, that just made my entire day. This is my 300th post!!! Wow!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lisa P., this is for you!!!!

For some reason, Chris and I decided to watch youtube videos of The Tom Green Show last weekend. I couldn't help but think of you. The video below is dedicated to you my friend, in honor of the 10 year anniversary of our friendship. I love you and miss you. Take care of that baby!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Yoga Week 1

I realized a few things during my yoga classes this week. -A middle school gym is not the most relaxing place to have a yoga class. It is cold, the lights are making buzzing sounds and the night time janitor making an appearance to fill water jugs and slam doors does not create a relaxing environment. -I'm not as good at balancing as I thought I was. Sometimes for fun, I do the tree pose in my kitchen. I rock it. Yet at yoga class, I was wobbling all over the place. I will need to practice my poses at home so I can be the best in class. Oh wait, this isn't a competition? Whatever. Everything is a competition. -I enjoy the diverse population that enrolls in a community college evening yoga class. Young, old, skinny, not skinny. It is cool. But damn that dude in the corner that is way more flexible than anyone else. He is for sure winning so far. You know, if this was a competition. -I really, really, really enjoy the corpse pose. Laying flat on your back, eyes closed and breathing. I am seriously considering starting my own class of just the corpse pose. Here is my ad for the local paper: Do you need a place to relax? Do you find that trying to catch a minute to close your eyes at home just doesn't give you the kind of relaxation that you are in need of at the end of the day? The tv, the kids, the husband, the phone, the chores. Everything is standing in the way of relaxing your mind and body. I have the solution! Attend my twice weekly corpse pose classes. For two hours a week, enter a calming, quiet, warm environment where you can lay down, close your eyes, breathe and allow the stress to melt away. I know what you are thinking. "I can do this at home." Try it. Most of you will find that getting an hour in your house to relax is near impossible. The Corpse Pose class meets Tuesday and Thursdays from 6:30-7:30. Bring a yoga mat and a pillow if you would like. The cost for 16 weeks is $20. Now you tell me, who would turn that down?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Frankie Says RELAX

A question for my readers: Does the sound of a person's laugh cause your blood pressure to rise? Does it cause your anxiety level to shoot through the top of your head and onto the ceiling above you, leave an anxiety chalk outline? Perhaps this is a personal issue that I need to learn how to deal with but I am listening to the sound of laughter coming from a person and I feel like I am going to scream. I also get angry at the person who is making her laugh. I just can't take it. I really hope to learn some techniques in yoga class that will help me relax in stressful situations like this. Usually laughter is such a great sound. It ellicits feelings of joy and puppies and rainbows. But not this time. I see rain clouds and roadkill. Oh joy, what a great Tuesday morning. I hope my google ads can help me with this. I am sure I will see ads for anti-anxiety medications within the next couple of hours.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl Halftime Show: Past and Present

The crowd at the SB party I attended had this reaction to The Boss yesterday. Yes, that is a blank space. There was no reaction. We watched it in silence and when it was over, it wasn't discussed or commented on. I took that to mean that we were not impressed. Thanks to Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, there will probably never be another "young" Super Bowl act. Lets review some of the acts from the past shall we. From 1967-1984, a varitey of college bands were the stars of the halftime shows. A group called Up With People performed during these years as well. According to wikipedia, they are a motivational, community service focused singing troupe. 1988 marked the first year that a mainstream musical act performed. Chubby Checker and The Rockettes took the stage. In 1991, New Kids on The Block took center stage which had to be the best show ever. I don't remember watching it but I'm sure I did. 1993 was the infamous "Heal The World" act by Michael Jackson. Remember the people in the stands had those cards that made out faces of children? That was pretty awesome. I do remember watching that. Diana Ross headlined in 1996, The Blues Brothers in 97, and Stevie Wonder in 99. 2001 was another one of my favorite shows. Aerosmith, Britney and NSync collabrated on a fun, upbeat halftime performance. U2 paid tribute to 9/11 victims in 2002, while Shania and No Doubt rocked out in 2003. We all know what happened in 2004. And here are the acts that followed: 2005: Paul McCartney 2006: Rolling Stones 2007: Prince 2008: Tom Petty 2009: Bruce Springsteen Average age: 59 years old I understand that these artists are very succesful and known worldwide. They have some great songs and their staying power alone is impressive. But I want to see excitement and a great performance on Super Bowl Sunday. You can't please everyone though. I'm sure most people were juiced to see The Boss perform. Not this girl. At least it wasn't the Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus. I shudder at the thought. What would be your perfect halftime show? What has been your favorite over the years?

Being an Aunt

Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone so quickly! I had a great time hanging out with my family on Sunday. We ate yummy dip (cheese and steak! YUM) and everyone loved my football cookies and cake. Diana thought they were really funny. When I said that I might make basketball cookies, she really freaked out. But then my sister said that I should make ballerina cookies and well, the child went balistic. "BALLERINA COOKIES!!!" She screamed it about 5 times. I guess I know what my next adventure is in the kitchen. Diana wasn't really into sitting and watching football for hours on end so I moved myself to her play area and played with her while keeping one eye on the game and the commercials. She understood when I wanted to watch the last few (exciting) minutes of the game. It is always fun to take time to play with her since I do not get to do it that much. Being a good aunt is important to me and I plan to always make the most of my time with my favorite little gal.

I've had my camera pointed at her face for 3.5 years now. I'm glad she cooperates.