Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Smile Songs

There are certain songs that will always, always make me smile. No matter what kind of mood I'm in (or what kind of mood I go back to when the song is over). I heard three of them in a row on the way home from work today. Maybe God just knew I needed it. Anyway... Here is the top 15 songs that always make me smile.

1. Anything by U2
2. Anything by REM
(No, saying "anything by" is not cheating. I checked the rules)
3. Southern Cross - either Crosby, Stills, Nash or Jimmy Buffett (equally good)
4. Love You Inside Out - The Bee Gees (LOVE them!!)
5. Just Like Jesse James - Cher (it turns out I sound JUST LIKE Cher!!)
6. Proud Mary - Tina Turner (ask me about Tina sometime....)
7. I Fought the Law - The Clash (the only band that matters, you know)
8. Lust for Life - Iggy Pop (I heart Iggy)
9. Prove It All Night - Bruce Springsteen (I saw him from the front row. He held my hand. I touched Clarence's shoe. It was a good night.)
10. Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard (that's when I'm immediately in 6th grade again.... probably at a sock hop.... that I'd had to plan because I was on the "service committee" even though I wanted to be on the decoration committee.... but I'm totally over it.... not bitter at all)
11. Pump It Up - Elvis Costello and the Attractions (makes me run a little faster, too)
12. Crystal Village - Pete Yorn (there's a waiter at my favorite restaurant that looks just like Pete. Really.)
13. Viva La Vida - Coldplay (made me cry the first time I heard it, that whole "I know St. Peter will call my name")
14. I'm Alive - Jackson Browne ( I met him. Actually, he saved me from being crushed by a drunk woman who was attempting to go through me to get to him. And he was so devastatingly beautiful all I could get out was "um.... ah.... thank you....")
15. My Sweet Lord - George Harrison (I treat this one like a prayer, actually)

Monday, January 26, 2009


So, I've been making my way through the entire series DVD set of My So-Called Life. And I'm wondering if it's somewhat odd that I totally relate to the "teen" series. I understand Angela's issues. I feel her pain. I KNOW. It might have been based on my life at points. I cry at every single episode for one reason or another. And when we get to the episode called "The Zit," just hand me a box of tissue and a pint of Ben and Jerry's. I think that's because I'm eternally 16 in my head. It shocks me these days when I'm forced to give my chronological age. Not because I'm embarrassed or ashamed or any such thing. Just because I can't quite grasp that I'm in my thirties. How did that happen? When did I become the grown-up?

And what's normal along those lines? Which of the physical "symptoms" I have can I chalk up to aging? Aches and pains? Expanding hips? Puffy stomach? Lumpiness in unattractive places? Mood swings?

Okay, this is not helping my overall downcast mood these days.

I'm going to go cover my gray now.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I'm having a nice little freak out these days. I'm admittedly a hypochondriac. I know I am. But at what point am I just being a hyper hypo, and at what point should I actually be freaking out?

All of my digestive stuff started a few years ago. And at that time I went though all the stuff to figure out what's wrong, and nothing came up. And I get the blood screening thing every year, and it's always been normal. But does that really mean anything?

I started acupuncture in the fall, and they tell you right off that you could have "healing reactions." They give you a big list of all the things that could happen, and that they could happen at any point during your treatment. Well, I had them right off the bat. But, again, how do I know the difference between a healing reaction and a problem? No one at the clinic seems particularly worried when I tell them things that are happening. Is that good? Or do they just not really know what to say because it's not right at all?

And, honestly, the acupuncture has help A LOT. For quite awhile I was doing so much better, feeling so much better. But then lately, it's like I've taken a big step backward. So, again, what's "normal" and at what point do I need to worry for real?

Now, here's the other thing. Stress. How much of a factor does that play in to everything? Because I seem to have a lot of it. All the time. Like, my shoulders seem to be permanently attached to my ears. And I'm a worrier on top of it. So there's the normal stress of life that everyone has. And then there's all the extra stress I add in myself because I worry about everything all the time. You know, things like being terrified to go to the doctor because I don't what to find out anything bad. Or why my hips have these awful bulge things on the sides and is everyone staring at them in disgust. Or what if someone in my house winds up out of a job? How will we manage? Or? Or? Or? Or?

So what do I do about all of this? I do yoga daily. I do meditation almost every day, too. I do breathing exercises multiple times a day. And I'm still a huge freaking mess. So what do I do? Countless people have told me that I just have to relax and not let things bother me. Okay, so, I know that. BUT HOW? That's the question I most need an answer to. Besides at what point should I truly freak out because I'm dying.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I watched all of the inauguration coverage yesterday, from the time the Obamas walked out of church until the end of the Neighborhood Ball. And I couldn't help but feel happy the whole time. Quite a feat since I was at work for most of it, and that place tends to make me cranky. But I just feel like, for the first time in I can't remember how long, things will be okay. Not, like, right away or anything. But eventually. Like there's really someone who will actually do something; actually try to make things better, get things right. I really believe that. It's an odd feeling to have about a politician. But I have it about our new president. And judging by the reactions of crowds around the world yesterday, I'm not the only one.

It's funny, because, for me, the history of it was secondary to the relief I feel. But it is awfully good to be around for something "good" historic!

Isn't it a good feeling? Hope. Possibility. Faith. Belief. Like we can all start to breathe again.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More snow

Way cold. But beautiful.


Let us take a moment to praise the greatness of the Boboli pizza crust. So simple, yet so versatile. I used one for dinner tonight. I love them.

Here are the top four most used Boboli "recipes" in our house....

Regular old pizza - tomato sauce (no chunks) and cheese (bleu and mozzarella), with Morningstar Farms sausage crumbles on half (not my half)

Barbecue "chicken" pizza - barbecue sauce on the bottom, Quorn "chicken" chunks, and cheese

Taco pizza - layer sour cream mixed with a touch of ranch dressing, guacamole, taco "meat" (aka Moringstar Farm grillers crumbles with taco seasoning), and Mexican cheese

Roasted veggie pizza - roast your veggies first (I use sweet potato, red potato, green beans or pea pods, carrots, garlic, dill, and pepper tossed with olive oil), then layer ranch dressing, veggies, and cheese (bleu and mozzarella)

It's a beautiful thing!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


It snowed a lot today. Driving has been interesting, to say the least. But you know what? It's so beautiful outside! Everything is. It just glistens and sparkles. Everything does. I just made some cocoa and was just sitting and staring at the woods. It's stunning. The branches are coated, and each time the wind even sighs, this lovely little dusting drifts down, each flake catching the light as it goes. I cannot help but be amazed. The yard is just a perfect, crisp blanket of snow right now. The only thing that's left any mark is the deer who came to eat from the birdfeeder (which should maybe bother me, but doesn't).

And it's only beautiful because it's snow. No one will ooh and ahh over this much rain. My theory is that rain just makes you wet. But snow will make you smile.

Go look at how pretty it is outside. And stay warm.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


It's really cold out today. Even my Buddha's frozen.

Stay warm.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Have you ever thought that maybe you're just not good at being married? Because I think that. Kind of a lot. I love my husband. I certainly don't regret getting married. But I think that maybe I'm not very good at it. I tend to get upset rather easily, especially about things that I think are pretty obvious and others don't see it. And then I'm not so good at letting it go. Like, if you say sorry, what does that really do? It doesn't change it. I'm still upset about it. Especially when it's something that has happened multiple times. So, what am I supposed to do in those situations? That's a real question that I'm looking for someone to answer for me. I mean, I haven't been married very long, it the three year mark not so long ago. And the first two years were really rocky. So it's just kind of now trying to settle in and figure things out. I'm still learning. But I really tend to question my ability in this area. And I can't always turn to chocolate. That will just send me back into the whole insecurity thing. So, anyway..... I'm just kind of wondering this today. I'll ponder more and see what I come up with.

Friday, January 2, 2009


So, today I'm feeling very insecure. About my looks. This happens a lot. Way more that I admit to. Like, I was still changing my clothes at 2:00 this afternoon looking for that one perfect outfit that would hide all my flaws and make me look beautiful. I've been looking for that outfit for years.

See, I used to be heavier. Never actually fat, but kind of roundish. All my life I was like that. And I was perfectly happy like that, too. I made the normal complaints that everyone makes about the size of their thighs or what have you, but I didn't really care. I was always healthy and active. I've been a vegetarian for years and years. Sometimes I wore a size in the double digits, but it never fazed me. I was happy. Then life happened. All kinds of crazy and rotten things that were totally out of my control, but affected me anyway. And I lost weight. Lots of it, pretty quickly. Not that I was trying or even wanted to, but my body reacted to the situations I found myself in by not being able to eat - no appetite, sick to my stomach, all kinds of stuff that made eating unpleasant. I actually became too thin. Kind of skeletal looking. But a funny thing happened. People (okay not a lot, just a few key people who had always been pretty critical of my weight, but still...) started to tell me that I looked good. That's not something I was used to hearing. That's a nice sweater, sure.... The occasional your hair looks nice today. But never that kind of overriding compliment. And I kind of liked it. The compliments. Now, mind you, those closest to me were telling me that I didn't look healthy. The word anorexic was brought up more than once. But I heard the compliments. Not the concern.

Now life is life and the bad times eventually get better, and I eventually started eating again. And when I did, I started to put some weight back on. Not nearly as much as I had lost, but some. Like, I looked like a human again, instead of a corpse. No one has yet to say anything about it, the gaining some weight back. But now I'm all self-conscious about it. In a way that I never ever was before. I'm so critical of how I look in (or out of) clothes. Hence, days like today where I have to try on everything I own to find something I'll feel okay in. And the thing is, I know, logically, that I look fine! I can look at pictures of me from that unpleasant time of life and see that I look like a skeleton; see that I don't look healthy at all. But.... I have to admit that I kind of liked being that way. I liked having thighs that did not touch at all. I liked having a stomach that was flat without having to suck in at all. I don't have those things anymore. And I really didn't have them for long, but I did have them. And I did like it.

Of course, I don't ever ever ever again want to go though anything even remotely like what got me to that level of thin. And I don't want to deprive myself of things like chocolate to stay that way. And there were lots of not so good side effects of the thin thing (like losing what little bust I had to start with, and digestive issues that are still being dealt with). But I still can't help but beat myself up about my appearence on a semi-regular basis and sort of kind of pine for that way I was for that brief period of time.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Yes, another post right away. Because I want to. I want to expound on the greatness that is chocolate. Is there anything better? Really? Quite possibly not. Think about it. It wants nothing from you and loves you for who you are. It is there for you in times of joy and times of sorrow. And times of stress, and times of anger, and times of frustration...... It's always there! Let's face it. There are some times that chocolate is the only thing I feel that I can really count on, and sometimes, I'm pretty sure it's the only reason I survive a day. I've actually instituted a rule in my life that I can't eat chocolate until after noon, (somehow I felt that it would limit my chocolate intake when in fact it really just means I eat more as the day goes on to make up for what I didn't eat before noon..... but I did have good intentions!) and there are days that I'm just counting the seconds until the clock hits 12:00 (that's usually work related, though). Is that bad? Is it kind of odd that I think that way? Should I be concerned about that? I'm not, but should I be? I can't be the only one who feels that way. I know that Work Friend feels that way, too. And that sometime Best Friend feels that way. I think even Hubby feels that way sometimes (but I'm not sure if that counts, because he's a boy).

There are countless varieties of chocolate to choose from, so you can always find something to fit your mood and your needs. It's good hot, for those times when you are cold. It's good cold, for those times that you are hot. Like right now, I'm partially existing on hot chocolate (although I prefer to call it hot cocoa.... not that there's a reason for that). I will drive myself all the way to the nearest Barnes and Noble just to get a Godiva Hot Cocoa, because that's the only place you can get them (at least that I know of). Not everyone understands that. Because I do have hot cocoa mix sitting right in my kitchen. And it's good! Don't get me wrong! But it's not the same, and sometimes you just have to have a Godiva Hot Cocoa. Like maybe right now. Even though I should probably start dinner. But I guess that's another post. At least I've posted one more entry, so that's another reason to have some chcolate (even if it's not Godiva Hot Cocoa. Yet).

Enjoy your day.

Starting out....

So, why am I here? Good question. Why are any of us here. But it's more managable to answer the question of why am I here in this blog. See, it's like I have this continual conversation going on, with myself, in my head. And I quite often would like to say the things I'm thinking out loud, but who would I say them to? No one really wants to sit and listen to other people blather on about themselves and their opinions. And I tried the whole "if you keep a journal and just write your thoughts out, it will be like sharing them." But that didn't work either, because what's the point of spending all that time writing if no one is going to read it. Then I realized that I read blogs. And I know other people who read blogs. And what is a blog but a written document of people blathering on about themselves and their opinions? So, here I am.

Who am I? Another big question. I think the nutshell version would be best at this point. I am a girl. From the midwest. In my thirties. I have a husband, and we live in a house, with some pets, but no kids. I have a job where I work with tweens (a term I don't really like but use anyway because it does kind of fit that odd in-between age) and sometimes their parents. I'm a yoga practitioner in mind and body. I'm a runner in mind and body. I love reading books. I love music. I love baking things. I love taking pictures. I love chocolate down to the very core of my soul. I will use any excuse to indulge in its wonderful richness.

I think that since I've managed to create my first ever blog post, that's another excuse to eat some chcolate right there!

Enjoy your day.