the gregarious homebody

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I had a plan on Friday for some Me Time. Friday is a short day for me at work, so my plan was to leave at noon, drop over to the mall for a good trashy magazinefor me to read later while waiting for a new movie to start at the theater. The magazine is a prop for people like me who feel pervy for going to a sexy movie alone. If one is reading said magazine before the 1000 previews/ads/whatnot start, one, in theory, does not look like a loser who is waiting for a movie date that never shows.

But I digress.

Why was I going to a sexy movie alone, specifically without my husband? Because it was the new Ewan McGregor movie AND I HAD TO CONCENTRATE.
this looks promising, doesn't it?

It had such promise, this new movie. Annonymous sex clubs. Ewan. Sex. Hugh Jackman being nasty. Ewan. I even liked that Michelle Williams was in it because I feel so bad for her right now (have I mentioned we're close personal friends?). And it started out well, if a little *formulaic*(my most favorite film review word--thanks, Billy). The sex was steamy, if a little too American for my taste (why oh why is it okay to show boobs and bush but not the nether regions of a man??). Ewan was doing his thing, although for the first time he was wearing baggy white underwear and a t-shirt for most of it (I guess that's part of *character development*). The plot was even interesting, but I just wanted more. And then it fell apart and got plain stupid at the end.

Lately, a lot of American movies seem to give me the impression that the conception is that audiences need a lot of BAM (via sex, explosives, car chases) instead of a long slow burn of character development and back story. I know, I know. WHERE HAVE I BEEN?? I know that this isn't anything new, and I obviously enjoy the sex part. But there have been a lot of really fine American movies in the not too distant past that have provided a lot of all of those things. I can think of a couple right now: The Big Chill for one. And....uh.......oh! Even the first Bourne movie did all that, in my opinion, along with some fab car chases.

I don't think movies have to be overlong to do this either. Lately the best movies have given a lot of background in a normal film running time--like Atonement, for example. I think it was really obvious who all the main characters were in that film and why they behaved the way they did. And one of the best sex scenes where you couldn't *see* a thing. You could look at each character and imagine the person. Hell, even Shaun of the Dead delivered. Are these American movies? Sadly, no.

And even though I will admit to enjoying The Island (he just looked so beautiful in it), I just wish Ewan would get back to his Trainspotting/Shallow Grave/Young Adam roots a bit. There needs to be a little more there there. And, of course, some pants-dropping.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Woo Hoo! Revisited

I don't care if I feel like I'm going to barf towards the end. I don't care if my chest is heaving and I cough little chunks of stomachy goodness afterwards.

I am going to keep running!!

It's not because I have discovered a new love of sweating. It's not because I have suddenly dropped the 30 pounds I would like to lose. It's not because of that Zen crap I was touting last time. Oh no.

It's because Handsome Husband told me my butt was looking good.

He did! Now it was at the beginning of some amore, if you know what I mean, but he knew I was a *sure thing* so the effort put forth to lie would have been for naught. And no, he hadn't committed some act of assholery that *some* husbands *sometimes* do. Nope. There was no reason to say it except that HE MEANT IT!

If it wasn't 11:30 at night I'd be shimmying into those hideous underarmor running pants right now. But instead I'll cuddle up next to my HH and dream of the fab thighs that should soon follow....
okay, not this good, but a girl can dream...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Woo-Hoo!...I mean, Ohhmmm.....

I finally broke through my running wall! Today I was able to run, without dying, the 3.5:2 sequence. That's 30 whole seconds of running added on! I know that sounds lame to you *real* runners, but, frankly, fuck you. It's an accomplishment for me! And this is ALL ABOUT ME.

I have to thank the Laurel Canyon soundtrack and the actor who sings on all the songs. It's one of the best soundtracks ever because the music really stands on its own. I mean, I know Saturday Night Fever is the best-selling of all time or some shit, but can you really listen to that album? Anyhoo, one of the songs from the soundtrack came on just as I was about to think about stopping and it really pumped me up and spurred me on. BTW, Laurel Canyon is a really great movie and stars one of my celebrities-who-I'd-like-to-be-friends-with (there's a list, people), Frances McDormand.
Thanks, Allesandro Nivola!
I also think I had a better day today because I tried something new. It's going to sound extremely flaky, but I made myself stop breathing so hard during the beginning of a walking phase (I'm always doing those fab chest-heaving breaths), which, in turn, helped the start of the next batch of running. I just sort of closed my eyes a bit and told myself to calm down, to just breathe slowly, and that's about it. I think I was sort of channeling my inner yogi because I've kind of done the same thing when I've done yoga. In any case, it worked. I have to try it at the beginning of my run on Thursday and see if it helps the run from the start.

Woo hoo! Something to look forward to!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


So begins what I call the Metamucil holiday. I call it that because no matter how much charoses I eat, my colon is blocked by a matzah wall that cannot be permeated by a mere prune. Oh no. I need the Value Size Metamucil.

Speaking of asses, I attended a family seder last night and I have to say, with the exception of one attendant's behavior I had a really fun time. Now this particular seder site is not described as *fun* as a rule. No. No it's not. Usually a few family members (you know who you are) make all the family events bearable because we are united in a sort of "can you believe we're part of this family" way. We have our own malicious fun totally on the down low from other peoples' watchful eyes. But this year my father-in-law had the lovely idea that we would all take turns leading the seder. It sounds so simple, but I think it really kept us engaged. My two kids even wowed me and Handsome Husband by reading Hebrew so well we were kvelling (I had no idea my 9 year old could even read Hebrew).

But back to the ass who will hence-forth be referred to for all eternity as:

The Rabbi.

The Rabbi is someone who loves to hear himself speak. While I would normally categorize him as a very nice man, he is also someone who likes to tell you the things he knows --NOT because he thinks it will help you in some way but because he wants you to know he knows them.

Throughout the seder he would stop and explain the significance of each part of the story to a room full of Jews. It was no one's first seder. We all know that the salt water is symbolic of the tears that were shed by the Jewish slaves in the land of Egypt. See that apple mixture? That symbolizes mortar in bricks of the Egyptian cities. NO SHIT. My poor nephew had the dubious honor of sitting next to The Rabbi. He was constantly being Taught throughout the seder. He is 15 years old and learned all this stuff from birth. While no one would ever call my nephew a shrinking violet, I think it showed amazing restraint that he didn't choke The Rabbi with a shank bone.

I finally told The Rabbi that we have all been to seders in the past BECAUSE WE ARE PRACTICING JEWS and that if he wanted to be a rabbi he should've done that. I think that stopped him long enough in his soliloquies to finally drink a little of his Manischevitz. But just a little.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A New *Strategery*

I think I've started to break through my running wall, but only because I've come up with a modification of The Program that, I think, better suits me. Instead of trying to do the 40-50 minutes of running with the 3:2 sequence, I'm running a route that I know is about 2 miles. It's soooo much more heartening to be able to actually finish than to have to come crawling/walking home because I'm exhausted from the 3+ miles The Program had me doing.

Is this new way a breeze? Uh....NO. In fact, it's still incredibly hard for me. In fact, look at this:

But this is the glamourous proof that I'm actually still at it. So, my idea is that I keep doing this 2 mile run, increasing the sequence to 3:30 minutes next week with a walking time still a nice 2 minutes. The Program would have me going from 3 minutes of running to an extremely-hard-to-imagine 5 minutes. That just is not going to happen without me blowing chunks along the route. Lovely, I know, but the truth.

For the nonrunning folk this has been the most boring post ever. Don't worry, though. I'm off to NY later today for Passover and I'm quite sure I'll have stories to tell.

*I realize that this is not the correct way to spell "strategy." It's just my favorite Bush-ism ever. I don't think he's evil like a few of my commie friends and I will dearly miss his grammatical foibles in the coming year.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Free Pass Five + bonus

I was going to write a post today about my Biggest Foot in Mouth Event to date in which I told the health inspector woman who came to inspect my kitchen today how much I appreciated her kindness and professionalism because the woman who did it before was such a douche, all the while not realizing that I was in fact talking to the douche and did not recognize her as such.

But then I saw this neato list on another site and thought this would be much more fun.

Ready, kids? Here's how the game works: You pick 5 men/women (depending on your proclivities) who, if you could get a "free pass" from your significant other, you would have raunchy dirty sex with (or at least that's how I imagine it). They can be celebrities or the guy who delivers your UPS packages (brown IS the new black). Let's play!

1. Ewan McGregor. Anyone who knows me at all could've picked this one as my first. He's sexy, he's funny, he's got a Scottish accent, and the man will drop trou' at the drop of a hat. And, though my friend Mimi says his sex scenes are "just acting," he's either the best fucking actor in the world (and, c'mon, we know he's not), or Mrs. McGregor, that bitch, is getting some deliciousness right where she needs it.

2. James McAvoy. Another Scottish guy with an amazing accent. And his voice. Oy. Saucy. Unfortunately for him, he's short and doesn't photograph well, but he smolders on screen and can make a dude who tears up seem very sexy.

3. Jason Bateman. I have enjoyed his comedic talent since Silver Spoons and have really enjoyed the results of his adolescence. Now he's funny AND extremely cute. I've replaced Vince Vaughn with Jason because I think Jason needs my help. Everyone loves Vince. He's doing just fine, thanks very much. But just look at this guy; he's got a puppy dog thing going on and he's funny and he's a pretty good actor too. Yep. He stays.

4.The Guy Who Plays Mohinder on Heroes. Okay. I know he has a real name, but I can never remember it and I couldn't spell it if my life depended on it, so I prefer to think of him this way, although, to be honest I couldn't care less what his name is. Just look at him. Wow. The hair, the jaw, and again, the height. *swoon* And he's got this amazing voice. Those Heroes people knew what they were doing when they decided to have him narrate the show. The guy could read the phonebook and it would sound hot.

5. Dave Grohl. You soccer moms are saying "Who?" and those of you hung up on classic handsomeness are saying "Huh?", but Dave, former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighter, is the smart, cool and funny Everyman, the guy your brother was friends with who talked to you and didn't treat you like the 12 year old dweeb you were. And he plays the guitar and sings. Nice....

Bonus: It was suggested that there should be a bonus person listed for this game and I agree. The bonus person should be someone who you would pick if you --ahem-- switched teams (I hate that expression, but there ya go). And that lovely lady, for me, has always been:

...Jodie Foster!

I've loved her from afar for a long long time. Maybe even since Freaky Friday. She's smart, she's cute-but-approachable, and, yes, she's gay so maybe she'd dig me too.

Who's in your Free Pass Five List? Let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

See that wall over there? Yeah...I hit it.

I am seriously stuck. I just got back from my run. That would be the *run* in which I WALKED the last 15 minutes. I can't seem to finish all 8 reps in this 3:2 sequence. I get incredibly tired after 25-30 minutes and just can't keep running. I'm so frustrated because it was going so well before this. I'm thinking that the "5K in 13 Weeks" program that Neighbor Bob turned me on to is not geared toward the large-assed community, of which I am a member in good standing. Maybe my *community* needs to follow the "5K in 18 Weeks in Which One Walks the last 1/2K" program. Here's how bad it is: I couldn't even Foo myself out of the funk.

I am a quitter from waaaay back. My attention span and my length of time keeping with a particular exercise regime are totally in synche with each other. Both are short. THIS time I won't quit! I am sick and fucking tired of being a sit-on-my ass kind of girl who moves on to the next diet/exercise program/self-help shit, hoping it will be magically easy.

So, here is my new plan: Keep Going. Yes, it's hardly revolutionary, but it's dramatic for me. I'm going to keep doing this sequence until I only feel like I'm going to barf a little but can actually finish the 8 reps before moving on to the seemingly-unattainable 5:2 sequence.

Other stuff:

I found a new blog to waste some time on. It's called Dooce. The blogger is hilarious--she's a F-bong-slinging, former Mormon who's interested in DIY, pop culture, family junk, and spewing her daily stuff. Just my cup of tea. Check her out because she's actually making a living with her blog because of the ads on the side. You have to admire getting paid to rant.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Delicious AND Healthy

I was cruising around Blogland recently and found a great recipe for a delicious breakfast. Unfortunately I can't remember the blog, so I can't give credit. My apologies!

I'm usually not so good at eating a healthy, sustaining breakfast because all I want is a cup of tea and some toast if I have to eat right after I get up. Unfortunately, that usually means I'm starving later in the morning and grabbing at anything I can get my hands on. It requires some advance planning (hard for me sometimes!) because it has to sit overnight in the fridge, but it's worth it.

I've followed the original recipe exactly and I've altered it to my taste/refrigerator stock and it's delicious either way.

Oatmeal Yogurt

The night before, mix together

*4 ounces plain yogurt (especially good with Greek yogurt)

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 cup oatmeal

1/2 diced apple

Dash of cinnamon

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!

*even works with Dannon Light and Fit. If you use vanilla-flavored, then skip the honey

Monday, April 7, 2008

Diary of a Bad Mother

Oy. Today was one of those mornings when I have to try very hard to remember that a lot of the things that really really annoy me about my wonderful 9 year old daughter are the things that I also love about her. Like her strong opinions. Like her sense of self. Like her...well, I was going to say "drama" but that just annoys me.

Mondays are always hard at Chez T. I hate them too so I can understand where she's coming from. A lot of Mondays are all about me trying to haul her ass out of bed and get her moving. Today wasn't like that. Everything went well. Hell, I even made pancakes despite my "rule" about not making a real breakfast on any day I have to feed 51 girls at work. Anyhoo, all was fine until she started working on The Bangs. She has beautiful naturally curly hair--not too curly to be unmanageable but just curly enough to make bangs that are growing out become a problem. Much hairspray is involved, along with much misty eyed-ness. I did my customary ignoring of the meaningful looks thrown my way (how am I supposed to respond? Do I suggest we cut her bangs to the scalp? Do I help to lacquer them down? All my attempts in the past were WRONG so ignoring is my new attempt to "help").

Then it was time to leave for school. Lunch was packed, study chart signed, shoes on feet. It's all good. Hah! First comes the request to drive her. We live 2 blocks from school. So comes the first "no." Then the injury to the leg from scootering is remembered! "What do I do about the PAIN????" she askes. My "it'll get better" is met with much scorn. "Can you please drive me?!" Second "No." The invalid starts off on the walk with only a minor amount of muttering and I can see from the safety of my bedroom window that she's going to make it thanks to the walking stick found in the wood pile.

I'm out of the woods, I think foolishly.

Starting to think about showering, I hear a door slam and a decidedly unlimping person who resembles my daughter storms up the steps and makes one more plea because of her "pain." Third "No" followed by the following interchange:

"You don't care about my pain!" ("daughter")
"Right." (sarcastic mother)
"It's true!" (righteously indignant offspring)
"Right." (evil noncaring don't care-giver)
"Because you're a bad mother!" (mutant fire-breathing devil spawn)
"Right." (beaten down, but still trying not to laugh despite herself Arch Enemy of Adolescence)
"Thank you for finally admitting it." (victorious martyr)

Have I mentioned that she is NINE??

Watching from my bedroom window again, as my daughter who I would gladly throw myself in front of a bus for (albeit, today, a slow-moving one) mutters loudly (how does she do that??) and throws dagger glances back at the house, I am struck by the battling forces of motherhood I face weekly with her. I still cannot help but want to laugh at her drama. She is FUNNY when she's mad. It's almost like she's channeling all the great Teenagers of sitcoms/dramas past. But I'm also hurt that she would feel this way about me and sad that she feels this...let down by her Mother. And the awful, sinking, horrific thought that, in the movies, this would end with her being abducted by someone and me remembering Our Last Conversation.

I realize I'm insane. Did I mention my taking antianxiety medication ("Mommy's Crazy Pill)?

These are the days when I really wish I could call my mother to have her tell me all the times I was a crazy annoying self-centered hormonal loon. To hear about those stories and to realize that I have turned into a truly fabulous mother would be so reassuring.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Week 9: I thought this whole running thing would eventually get easier. I'm finding that "eventually" is relative to how large one's ass is and how truly out of shape in general the runner is. Today was the first day of the ninth week so my running time increased and I always find it incredibly hard the first time that happens. I got to my 3rd rep and felt the wind in my hair, blah blah blah, and felt good and then 30 minutes into the run my head hurt, I was heaving and I felt a nap coming on.

According to my program, the runner should never be out of breath--you should be able to "carry on a conversation the whole time or you're training too hard." Whaaa?? I was contemplating the idea of having to walk part of the way at the 5K in June and getting more and more pissed about it when Stacy drove up and asked me how I was doing with my run. Her response to the talking-while-running thing was basically, "Yeah. If you're a marathon runner." So I feel a tad better about feeling like a lard ass on the verge of needing a defibrillator.

*3:2 is the sequence I'm running right now--run 3 minutes and then walk 2 minutes, repeating 10 times.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

OOPS! and a few more humble displays

Please forgive me while I try to *oops* my way through blogland. It's so hard to make things look nice that I'm forgetting key things like when to add the reserved chicken poaching liquid from the previous post. I'm sure you're saying to yourself, "For the love of G-d, WHEN DO I ADD IT?? WHEN???" Well, just add that stuff to the lime juice mixture and then call it a day. Whew. That was close.

I'd Like to Eat Here Too

Nothing says fun at the end of a day spent cooking two meals for 51 sorority girls like coming home and cooking again for my family. The fact is, I spend much more time "heating up" than cooking for them. I feel bad about that sometimes. "Somtimes" because there are instances I can recall when I've come home and made a *real* meal for them only to be met with lovely comments such as "WHAT is THAT?" or "Can I just have fish sticks?" The truth is that it's actually easier to cook for my "girls" than it is for my kids because I never hear the first question asked in the same way. It's usually more like "Ooooh! What's that??" because they've never had, say, Ratatouille or Balsamic-Glazed Scallops before.

I've gotten smarter as of late, though. I either take the raw ingredients with me to work for my family's dinner and cook it while I'm working, or I bring home leftovers from the previous night's meal (if there is any). Here's the recipe for a dish I wish had been leftover to bring home. Even though I'm probably better off serving fish sticks tonight anyway.

Thai Cilantro and Lime Chicken

2 chicken breasts

2 tablespoons lime juice (bottled is fine)
1 tablespoon chili paste
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

*Chopped fresh cilantro

Poach or steam chicken breasts until done, reserving some of the poaching liquid. Set aside chicken to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, combine lime juice, chili paste and sugar, ,whisking to dissolve sugar.

Shred chicken when it's cool enough to handle and dump into the lime juice mixture. Seasont to taste with salt and pepper and toss with fresh cilantro.

* do NOT substitute parsley if you don't like cilantro. It wouldn't be Thai Cilantro and Lime Chicken then, would it, genius?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Take Two

This is my second attempt to start a blog. I've made a promise to myself to keep it up because I love to write but I can never seem to keep going with a traditional diary.

I've made a few promises to myself since my birthday a few days ago. It wasn't a particularly "big" birthday, but it made me think about a few changes I need/want to make. Follow along if you want to hold me to them!

1) I will take better care of myself. Unfortunately I'm not talking about more hot stone massages or buying myself things. It's much more boring than that. I've decided that I need to eat as well as I tell my kids to. I've felt like shit a lot lately (tired, grumpy) and I think my diet has a lot to do with it. And I've decided to start seeing exercise not as a means to an end (those size 10 jeans I wore for 5 minutes in 1992 are loooong gone), but as a way to feel good and look good. I would, however, not mind if I ran off at least HALF of my current ass. I've signed myself up for my first 5K in June. Yay me!

2) I will learn to sew. If you haven't left for a more exciting blog, here's why: I'm scared of my machine!! I've had it for 5 years maybe and I've used it once. It's nuts, but there ya go. But there are so many things I'd like to make for my house (inspired by other blogs) and I'd really like to be more productive than I am lying prone on the couch with a book on my face. Not that I'm stopping that.

3) I will talk to my husband as much as my friends. Or at least I'll tell him the important stuff instead of just thinking I have when I really told Lynn or Judy.

I'm sure there should be a LOT more I should change, but it's a start. It's a weird place to be for me right now. My kids are getting older and needing me less. I've started thinking about a different career after only ever cooking for a living since I was 22. Sheesh, that sounds a lot worse than it is. Life is good, really and I think I should look at the idea of these changes as an exciting period. Really! I have cool friends, a great hub, funny kids, and let's face it, I've got quite the project ahead of me even if I only concentrate on reducing my ass.


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