Whatever Happened to Macauley Culkin Anyway?

I recently had to stop watching Criminal Minds and if I’m being honest, I’m still mourning the loss of some regular Shemar Moore action.  He is a fox, and if I had one of those celebrity freebie lists, he’d totally be on it but I long ago decided those lists were not for Garrett and I you see, because Garrett has poor celebrity judgment.  The only evidence I ever need to present is the fact that before we started dating he had Lindsay Lohan posters adorning his walls — IN THE LIVING ROOM.  Um, case closed.  Granted, that was back in 2004 pre-rehab and she was pretty cute, but still.  I think we can all agree that based on that information Garrett is NEVER allowed a celebrity freebie, so obviously it’s only fair that I refrain myself.  

I used to get my Shemar fix almost nightly watching old reruns but our rendezvous ( wait – how do you make that word plural?) eventually had to come to an end because of my house.  You see my house is old — old and creaky and did  you know old creaky houses make noises when the temperature changes?  Well they do, and because I have watched way too many episodes of Criminal Minds I can tell you that my house makes the exact noises that a prowler would make if he were slyly shuffling on our hardwood floors.  My old, creaky house also makes the exact noises that a crazy rapist serial killer would make if there were one living in my attic.  And they say television isn’t educational!  The point is watching Criminal Minds was not helping me relax at the end of a long day, so I had to call it quits.  But I miss it desperately! 

Speaking of desperately missing, Garrett is in New Mexico for 11 days visiting his parents and I can count on one hand how many times we have slept apart for that long in our 5 year relationship.  I know that sounds terribly Liza Minelli/David Guest, but it’s the truth.  Sure we do weekends away from each other a lot, or overnighters here and there, we’re not total psychos, but this is like A WHOLE WEEK LONGER THAN THAT. To say it has disrupted my routine is not surpring.  With no kids and no pets, coming home and downloading my day to the artwork hanging on the walls just isn’t quite as validating you know?  There’s no one waiting for me at home to have dance parties to bad 90s music or to throw steaks on the grill so when I pull into the driveway our whole yard smells delicious.  The vibe is a little different and I am vacillating between acting like a total single gal and feeling sorry for myself.  Consequently I have also watched like 900 episodes of Who’s the Boss — I’m not sure if that counts as acting single or feeling sorry for myself, but at least it’s been quite entertaining.  That was a good show and I miss those kinds of happy family comedies.  When does Modern Family come back on, by the way?  Anyway, as you can probably imagine all of this alone time has helped me harness my inner-spaz so tightly that I am now so afraid of every little creak in the house that I may officially qualify as medically paranoid.  Which is why waking up this morning to find a man with a mask on and chainsaw in my backyard was more than a little unpleasant. 

Apparently this man  was just there to cut down a portion of my next door neighbors’ dying tree that was hanging in our backyard but I will let you know that was of little consequence for a multitude of reasons, including:  A) DUDE IT WAS SEVEN IN THE MORNING and B) IT WAS A STRANGE MAN IN A MASK WITH A CHAINSAW.  I had let myself hit the snooze a few times — mostly because I had woken up no less than 5 times throughout the night certain there was a masked man in my kitchen — but instead of that enjoying that extra sleep time and waking rested and refreshed I was startled awake by the sound of Leatherface outside our bedroom sliding glass door.  Oh City of Sacramento, had I wanted that much adrenaline before 8am I would have just added a shot to my Go Girl, mmmkay?  Please take note. 

So pre-coffee sparring with Leatherface aside, I had actually made a plan of how I was going to enjoy this time while Garrett was away.  Determined to not spend my evenings at home alone counting my heart palpitations, I had committed to a vigorous workout and socializing schedule which was fine in theory, but pretty much blew up in practice last night.  When I got to my weightlifting class yesterday all the platforms, weight bars, and dumbbells were taken, even though I was 15 minutes early.  Jerks!  I love that class and I had actually been excited to workout only to be totally dissed by a room full of spandex clad cougars.  There I was stuck at the gym with no iPod to speak of, on a treadmill, parked in front of the only TV showing Bill O’Reilly of all things.  Every other TV had nice normal gym programming like The Food Network, and I get Bill Effing O’Reilly.  I will save you the suspense and tell you that my workout did not last long and I went home feeling a bit dejected, mostly because that was supposed to take up a good hour and a half — what with working out and then showering afterward — and instead I got home about 30 minutes after I left and I hadn’t even broken a sweat.  At least my package from Amazon.com had arrived while I was gone so it wasn’t a total bust.  

Tonight I think I’m going to try working out again (I will bring my iPod for backup just in case) and I was hoping to then have a leisurely night catching up on my DVR, but when I stopped home for lunch this afternoon I discovered my cable AND my internet were out. 

No cable.  And No Internet. 

You know what this means, right?  There is a high probability that tonight it will just be me and the house. 

Home Alone.

And well, I think this pretty much sums up my feeling on that: 

In Case You Ever Need To Know

A mid-day meme, because…well, because why not, really?

Six things I could live without, but it wouldn’t be pretty:

1.  Internet
2.  A Book Light (Hello, I’m a nerd, and must read in bed Every Single Night to fall asleep)
3.  Coffee (I mean, that’s like not even an option.  How will I do it when I’m preggo?)
4.  Cell Phone
5.  Reality TV
6.  A Huge Purse (Garrett calls my purse my gym bag, but you know what?  I like to keep a lot of shit on hand, ok?  And I’m not gonna change anytime soon!)

Six movies I’ve never seen before:

I don’t really like watching movies, except in the theater, so this list is long.  Here’s the abbreviated version:

1.  Casablanca
2.  Schindler’s List
3.  Annie Hall
4.  Die Hard
5.  Julie & Julia (Couldn’t get through it, what a slog!)
6.  New Moon

I know, Roger Ebert would be ashamed.

Six pet peeves:

1.  Gum Smacking
2.  Passive Aggressive Behavior
3.  Automated Phone Systems
4.  Telemarketers calling my house in the evening
5.  When someone walks in a door before me and lets it slam in my face
6.  People who whine and complain (even though yes, I know I do this at times myself — that doesn’t mean it’s not annoying)

Six things I really love doing:

1.  Taking Naps
2.  Cooking dinner after a long day at work (especially if it involves lots of chopping)
3.  Road Trips
4.  Curling up with a good book
5.  Getting up early
6.  Having conversations when you feel like you just click with someone

Six TV shows I really enjoy:

1.  Criminal Minds
2.  Any sort of Dateline/48 Hours/20 20 type Mystery
(Though both of these shows made me feel certain that someone was breaking into my house every single night when the house would creak, so now I am trying to cut back on the anxiety inducing television, ya know?)
3.  Psych
4.  Mad Men
5.  Jersey Shore  (I’m sorry, I am in love with this show and I don’t care who knows about it!)
6.  The Soup

Six jobs I have held:

1.  Barista – Starbucks (groan)
2.  Barista – Peet’s Coffee & Tea
3.  Manager – Peet’s Coffee & Tea
(10+ Years in the coffee industry — it’s partly why I can not even go a day without it. Ever.)
4.  Commercial Underwriter
5.  Insurance Trainer
6.  Um, I haven’t had 6 jobs?  I have only worked for 3 companies over the last 16 years.  Call me loyal!

Six books I’ve never read:

1.  Anything by Faulkner
2.  Anything by Jack Kerouac
3.  Anything by George Orwell
4.  Anything by Joseph Heller
5.  Anything by L. Ron Hubbard
6.  The Final Twilight Book — what’s it called again?  Yeah, didn’t read it even though I invested the time in the other 3.

…and, hey look, they still gave me an English Degree, so there!

Six movies I will always watch if they are on:

1.  Legally Blonde
2.  Shag
3.  The Sound of Music (If you turn this off, you are a communist!)
4.  Son-in-Law
5.  Old School
6.  Love Actually

Monday Musings on a Tuesday

*For the record, I can not get enough of 3 day weekends.  It is so nice to go back to work feeling refreshed rather than my usual chorus on a Monday, which is:  “WHY NOT JUST ONE MORE DAY???”

*I have started reading these books by Kathy Reichs.  You all are probably smart and already know all about her, but I am perpetually late to the party and just found out about her.  She writes series books about a Forensic Anthropologist and her books are the basis for the TV Series Bones.  Did you know this?  I totally didn’t know that show was based on books!  I’m DVRing it now, even though I need another show to DVR like I need a hole in the head.  The thing is I love series books, and my secret fantasy is that someday I will do something glamorous like analyze dead bodies and stuff.  I know, you all think I’m morbid and weird now, but I promise I’m not.  I’m just fascinated by Forensics in general, so these books are a fun brain candy gem of a find.  Do you know how I found them?  Amazon sent me another dumb email recommending her.  It sort of freaks me out how Amazon knows me so well.  But the day I got that email I also hear an interview with her on NPR, so the coincidence sealed the deal and I hit up the library.  And I’m so happy I did.  Do you have any good series books to recommend of the mystery/thriller/sciencey  genre?  Do Tell. 

*So every since my naturopath recommended I do some carb-cutting and find some freaking balance, Garrett and I have pretty much switched up to a completely Paleo/Primal diet.  Oh you guys, I feel so douchey every time I say that because really, who needs to qualify their food choices with a catchy name, right?  But HOLY SHIT IT WORKS.  I’ve lost almost 20 pounds, which is nice, but more importantly I feel amazing.  And I’m not eating anything weird, counting calories or points, or flagellating myself for wanting to eat real food.  In fact I enjoyed the most bad ass grass-fed burger with smoked Gouda this weekend and woke up this morning and had lost weight.  Score!  It’s basically a diet that includes lots of veggies, meat, fish, fruit, nuts, and seeds.  The only things I’ve really eliminated are sugar and anything with grains.  And let me tell you I miss that stuff about as much as I miss the 20lbs I’ve lost.  It’s been awesome. 

*Totally Random:  Can we discuss Harem Pants?  Does anyone besides Gwen Stefani wear them?  Why do people want to walk around wearing something that makes them look like they’ve dropped a giant load in their pants.  I can not wrap my brain around this.  They even sell them at the GAP.  Don’t even get me started on what the hell has happened to the GAP.  I think I might be getting old. 

*Speaking of getting old (Just Kidding!) today is my cousin Kelly’s birthday and this is a very exciting birthday indeed.  Not only is she turning 23 (+10), hat tip to Kristie for that one, but also she is about 3 days shy of her due date.  As in, she is about to have the cutest baby girl on the planet (I’m sure of it!) and honestly, I really can’t wait.  Kelly is pretty much my best friend in the whole wide world, and as an only child she is the closest thing I have to a sister.  And after all of our years of debauchery and stupidity and silliness (and that’s just the good times) she is about to become a Mom!  And you guys I CAN HARDLY FREAKING WAIT!  I’m pretty much counting the minutes to snuggly new baby smell and I’m excited. 

So that’s what’s new around these parts — What kind of trouble did you all get into this weekend?

On Balance and September Goals

So I made some goals in July — actually more like 900 hundred goals, or at least it kind of felt that way. 

Then I made some goals in August — which pretty much was the reactionary “effing relax why dontcha? Jeeeez” 

And this, friends, it the pace of my life always.  Conceive, Commit, Complete…and then Collapse for a bit. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  I have so much I want to dream and do and be, and I just have no idea how to be balanced about it, but it is starting to become a struggle.      

As you know I have been writing about my quest to become healthier before Garrett and I have a baby over at Bodies in Motivation.  There are many parts of this whole quest, but the biggest one for me initially was figuring out where I am at currently, healthwise.  I started seeing a Naturopath and he started with a battery of bloodwork, hormone tests, and neurotransmitter tests.  (What the hell is a neurotransmitter?  They are the chemicals that are involved in synaptic brain function — the common ones you have probably heard of are Glutamate, Acetylcholine, Dopamine, and Seratonin.) 

Scientific gobbledygook aside, the results were pretty interesting, definitely shocking and can  be drilled down to one thing:  I’m kind of a stress mess.  I’m delving into the specifics over at Bodies this week, so if you are interested in that, check that out, but the biggest worry the doctor had for me was about my lifestyle — and we aren’t talking diet, weight, exercise or any of that normal stuff you think about when you think of a doctor lecturing you. 

“You need to find more balance.” 

Apparently a few systems in my body have crashed from stress (actually his exact words were “People with lab work like this generally have problems getting out of bed”) which I thought was funny because I said to him “I certainly don’t feel stressed.”  And he agreed that I definitely don’t come across as someone who is down in the dumps or freaking out.  But upon further examination of my activities, my habits, my goals and my timelines he shook his head and said”

“It’s nice to want to be a better person and make the world a better place, but what good is it really doing if you are killing yourself at the same time?”

And really, I can’t argue with that.  Pretty simply, no good can come from that.  So I have spent the last week or two trying to figure out what balance looks like for me and seriously, THIS IS HARD, YO.  I can always think of something to get done, something I need to squeeze in, something I should be doing, or a goal I could be working toward.  And frankly, I really like that part of myself — it’s what gives me drive, motivation, and completing those things gives me a huge sense of self worth and self esteem.  It’s hard to put the brakes on that. 

But there is definitely work to be done.  I mean, I think deep down I know that it is not normal to get up at 5am to read.  If I am too tired to read in the afternoon or at night, maybe I need to take a listen to what my body is trying to tell me instead of setting my alarm for an hour earlier to circumvent the issue, you know?

With all of that said, September’s Goals are going to be a little anti-climatic:
*Sleep at least 8 hours per night
*Prioritize leisure activities like reading, cooking, and writing
*Continue exercising 3 days per week and quit feeling guilty that you aren’t doing it 5-6x
* Notice when I am pushing myself and ask “Does this have to be done right now?”

Some people might say that looks like the easiest goal list known to man — a lazy man’s manifesto even.  To this overactive, overachieving, overcommiting crazy person, this may just be my greatest challenge yet. 

So since you are here, let me ask ya:  How do you find balance in your life?  I would love any advice you have to give — from mini, to life changing!

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