Sunday, January 29, 2006

My New Fitness Class

Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Okay people, get ready for this. The newest exercise craze is STRIP AEROBICS. I am not kidding. I don't have all the information yet, but you can be sure I am on the case. This photo must have been taken in the poledance segment of the class.

I can't believe what a great idea this is! You can get in shape and learn a new job skill AT THE SAME TIME! This is great for moms like me who don't have time to both learn new skills AND work out. I have been thinking lately that it is time for me to start a new career but I have been unsure about what to do. Now I know. I do like to keep in shape and I do want to earn some cash. There are a few strip joints in Bloomington so getting a job shouldn't be a problem. Geez, why didn't I think of it before?

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Mid-Life Crisis Continues

Seven Signs?
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Yes, I bought this little vitamin pack today. Olay is a P&G company so I know that their content claims will be accurate ( I used to work with the supplement industry and believe me, you definitely want to buy from a reputable company). As for the claims - "Beautiful Skin and Wellness" - I am skeptical but oh-so-willing to believe and hope against all hope.

These Vitamins claim to fight the SEVEN signs of aging. SEVEN?? I had no idea that there were seven signs. What are these seven signs? They don't say on the package so I will have to guess. Okay, let's see. Sagging, discoloration (blotches, age spots, rosacea), wrinkles. That's three. Or, do they count the discoloration sub-categories as three separate line items? Would creases be the same as wrinkles? Fine lines? This so confusing! As I ponder this, I must be careful not to scrunch up my forehead and create more signs! Well, I will have to write the company and ask what the seven signs are. Because now, I must know.

Why must I know? So that I can determine whether I have all of the signs. Then, and only then, can I mount an effective multi-pronged approach to fight those signs. What these prongs will be, I do not yet know. But make no mistake, loyal readers, I will get some prongs and I will fight ALL SEVEN SIGNS. It would be a pity to fight only five or six of them, leaving the one or two unfought signs behind to tell their dreadful tale.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

My New Favorite Product & Little Jack's Double Bind

Lip Shimmer
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers. Just had to tell you about them. About three bucks each, great colors and feel so great to wear. There. Now you know.

Tonight, Jack called me from his room after we had put him to bed. I went to see what he wanted. He looked a little unhappy.

"Mommy, I don't want you to leave on Friday to go to that place you were planning to go."

"I'm not going this weekend, so you don't have to worry about it. Let me tuck you in. It is time for bed."

(Wailing a little) "I'm still so sad!"

"Why? I'm not going."

"But now I won't get the special treats you were going to bring back for me." Bottom lip starts to quiver. Drops head into hands. Despair.

Ah, the life of a five year old.

Made a fabulous spaghetti squash dish for dinner, in keeping with Dr. Spoilsport's no starch plan. It actually was delicious and filling. Well, it was filling for about twenty minutes. Then, I was starving. I think I get to have a snack of four almonds or something wild like that before bed. Whoopee.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Spoil Sport

Spoil Sport
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Do you recognize this man? If you watch Oprah (which I do not) or listen to NPR or watch PBS, you probably have heard/seen him. Or, if you've been to the bookstore, no doubt you have seen his many books on the topic of aging skin and lately, weight loss. He is Dr. Nicholas Perricone a dermatologist from, where else? Connecticut. The most important thing to know about him is that he may have ruined the martini for me. No small feat.

I don't know what possessed me last week when I bought his book, THE PERRICONE PRESCRIPTION- A PHYSICIAN'S 28-DAY PROGRAM FOR TOTAL BODY AND FACE REJUVENATION. I don't ever buy this kind of stuff - okay, maybe I used to- but I haven't in years. The last self-help book I can remember buying was, well, I can't even remember. Probably WOMEN WHO LOVE TOO MUCH in the aftermath of my disastrous impulsive engagement in my twenties. But, that is a story for another time...after a couple of martinis, if I can ever drink one without great anxiety about my health again.

Anyway, I bought this smirking man's book. Why? Well, it was in paperback and on sale but we all know that wasn't the reason. Why then would I shell out cash for this book? Because I WANTED to believe that in 28 days, I could achieve a total body and face rejuvenation. I wasn't thinking that at the time, but looking back, why else would I buy it? Why would anyone buy it? It's because we want to believe it. Wouldn't it be grand? A TOTAL rejuvenation. Not partial. TOTAL. In just 28 days.

To sum it up, Perricone's premise is your face is what you eat. Well, let me be more specific. Your face LOOKS LIKE what you eat. In his book are two "diets". First, is the "Three-Day Nutritional Face Lift." He claims (and has before and after shots to back it up) that if you follow his plan to the letter for three days, your skin will look better. Key to getting results is eating salmon twice a day. Wild Alaskan salmon if possible. (According to the doc, Salmon has DMAE, some chemical that tightens up your muscles and actually lifts your face.) On this regimen, there is no coffee (by some weird pathway it increases stomach fat and must wreck your young looking skin to boot), no alcohol (especially hard liquor which is apparently the Antichrist), no bread or any other similar starch, no short, you pretty much eat egg whites, salmon, a few nuts, salad, cantaloupe or blueberries and drink green tea. Oh, yeah, you can have half a cup of oatmeal for breakfast but only after you eat some protein. And, you drink a bazillion glasses of water a day, or eight or something like that. Tell me again why this is better than surgery?

"The 28-Day Wrinkle Free Program” comes next. This is the plan that promises to give you that TOTAL rejuvenation. It is much like the 3-day program except it allows more kinds of foods. The regimen includes exercise, vitamin supplement and facial care recommendations. Conveniently, he sells supplements and facial products on his web site, which, is listed in his book. Perricone shows before and after photos for this program, too.

While I have to admit that I am pretty much your average flaky woman in a mid-life crisis about her looks, I do take these miracle cures with a grain of salt because I was trained as a scientist. I read Perricone’s book with a skeptical and critical eye. I started thinking that his claims were outlandish and not backed up by enough clinical data. The complete collapse of my faith came when I browsed his skin-care web site and found a small bottle of some miracle serum for sale there for the whopping price of $574.00. Okay, I thought, the guy is just trying to sell something.

But, still, some of his ideas DID seem to make sense. Why not try it for a few days? What did I have to lose? Maybe a few pounds and some edema around my eyes? Okay by me. I could certainly give up wine and martinis for three days.

Well, that was a week ago. And I am amazed to say that my skin looks a WHOLE lot better than it did when I started this thing. True, it is probably just from not drinking and eating sugar, but who cares? Plus, I have lost some weight, which always makes me feel like a million bucks. The downside is that I can no longer pour myself that perfect martini with abandon anymore. At least for now. (Anyone who knows me knows that this too will pass.) The reason for this should be that too much alcohol is just not good for your liver and other cells. But, just between us chickens, I don’t care all that much about that. It’s the facial puffiness that I don’t want. No martini = no puffy eyes in the morning. WHEN DID I BECOME SO SHALLOW AND VAIN???

Okay, I have calmed down now. Seriously, I have to admit that this guy might be on to something. Not only for your face, but for your body as well. I am not following all his suggestions to the letter, but I do think he has some good things to say about health and disease and proposes ways to eat to minimize the factors that might cause excessive aging and diseases. I am eating much healthier than I was leading up to the holidays (who isn’t, right?) and I feel better.

But, I admit it. I miss the martini. Maybe one a week?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Random Notes

I just don't seem to have any time to write lately, thus my few and far between entries. I thought I would just post a little life update before I went to bed. Maybe tomorrow, I will get it together to post something more interesting.

All goes well here. Chris is on the phone with his dad planning a vacation. We are going to Florida with Chris's parents at the end of February. They are easy to travel with and we all enjoy ourselves. I'll say it again...I am lucky in the in-law department. I think that we will go back to Siesta Key, but we are going to stay at what appears to be a better place than last time. The beach there is so gorgeous. Jack can't wait.

I am thinking of going away either this weekend or next to visit my friends John & Val, also in Florida. I'm planning to leave Jack here with Chris and go solo. Wow. Could be pretty relaxing... I just have to book my flights and off I go.

My writing group resumed today and there are a few new women in it. They read their stuff and I was really impressed. I love to hear all of the different voices in this group. I signed up to do a longer reading later in the semester...I have to find something to write about. I am known in the group for my "down-below" humor but I am thinking about writing about this think that Kate and I did together way before Marie got sick. One night, we decided to rent movies and have "Cry-Fest '99" (or maybe it was 98, can't remember). We got some junk food and rented some tear-jerkers. I can't remember why Meg and Chris weren't there. Anyway, we rented Stepmom and One True Thing. We started watching Stepmom and thought it was really stupid and unrealistic (!) so we stopped and watched One True Thing. It was a beautiful film about the value of homemaking and being a devoted wife and mother. How Kate and I cried at the end when the mother died of cancer. Ironic that both movies were pretty much about what we would be living in the not so distant future. We didn't know then. How long ago it seems now.

Well, off to bed. I find that I am so tired by this time of night. Jack keeps me hopping.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dinner with Friends

Dinner with Friends
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Tonight we went out for dinner to a place we hadn't tried before downtown and had an EXCELLENT meal. Then we walked over to the Waldron Arts Center and saw the play, "Dinner with Friends". It was well written, well acted and right on about marriage, I think.

The play was written by Donald Margulies who teaches at Yale. It takes place in Connecticut. I felt as if I were at dinner with people who felt familiar. As a result, I am feeling a bit nostalgic for my old friends in Connecticut and for the rhythm of life there. I love Bloomington but the people here are different from those in the northeast. Not in a bad way. It is just different. I guess you can take the girl out of the northeast but you can't take the northeast out of the girl.

Anyway, it is time for bed and WAR AND PEACE. Believe me, it is much more interesting than SALT turned out to be. I never got past the second chapter of that one. It isn't a book I really wanted to read anyway. I just wanted to HAVE read it. You know what I mean? It is like that Stephen Hawking book that everyone wanted to have on their coffee table many years back. A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME. In good faith I started out to read it and in equally good faith, my eyes glazed over and I fell asleep. Several times. But, I kept it out for viewing anyway. How rediculous is that? I know I wasn't the only one.


Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
I am absolutely on a boot frenzy. These yummy beauties are being sold on ebay today. I am considering them because, again, Bloomington needs them and I am just the girl to wear them. And sadly, I had to return the Pucci snow boots that caused such a little stir here. They just didn't fit right and I couldn't justify the money for a not-right fit even though I LOVED them. I don't know if I will buy the ebay boots. We will see how I feel later, I guess.

I am really posting this blog so I can get warmed up to do some writing for my class, which, starts on Monday. I just can't seem to get going for it and I thought that this might help.

Jack is at school and the house is quiet. I am loving the peace but I have to admit that I am frustrated that I set this time aside to write and I have nothing worthwhile to say. Maybe I should shop on the internet instead? Hmm. There's a thought.

Well, I am going to give it another try. I am not hopeful, though. Perhaps I should stick to baking.

Monday, January 16, 2006

More Boots!

More Boots!
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Greetings Loyal Readers! Here is a shallow and boring entry. I have had so little time to write lately and this is the best I can do tonight. Please forgive...

Kate was home last week and had her wisdom teeth out. Between pureeing her favorite foods and shopping with her (when she was up to it, of course), I have been quite busy. I had forgotten how much fun it is to shop for clothes with Kate. I must publicly thank her for reviving my old sense of fashion fun. I was on my way to becoming quite the heartland frump in a grumpy slump.

Speaking of fashion fun, my last post was of the FABULOUS new snow boots I had ordered on-line. Two of my readers were compelled to opine about this apparently controversial fashion find. One, posted her very bold comment right here on this very blog. “Absolutely Hideous,” she wrote. Another reader, sent an e-mail recommending I not purchase this unattractive footwear. But, a third reader wrote and said that the boots were definitely me. Now, she didn’t say she liked them - and I imagine she wouldn’t wear them unless forced to. But, she knew the happy truth right away. Those boots ARE me. They are SO me.

I received the boots and was disappointed to find that they were too small. Not to worry, though. A larger pair is on its way and is due to be delivered tomorrow!!!

The boots pictured on this entry are ones I bought at a sale last weekend at my favorite store here in Bloomington, “Relish”. I did not need another pair of boots, especially black ones, but these were so comfortable and I must admit, so great looking on my little foot. Sexy even! They just do something for the ankle.

Last week, Kate and I spent a few hours at said Relish and emerged with bags full of lots of new looks for us both. I felt a little guilty about splurging but I got over it pretty quickly. Kate helped me rationalize my purchases. I can count on her support in these things and I am truly grateful. Besides...she did pretty well herself.

Yes, I am on a bit of a shopaholic binge. I do know it. I won’t be on it for long. It comes and goes about every two years. Last time was right before we left CT. I shopped like a woman possessed. I had lots of little outfits put together and for a time, I dressed pretty well. Then, time passed and I fell into my old ways. And so it goes...I am in a shopping/dressing phase now.

Well, I must go to bed because chances are Jack will be up a few times tonight. He came down with this nasty cold today, poor kid. He didn’t have it when he got up this morning and now it is a full-blown thing. And I was just thinking how healthy we have all been. Geez.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

True Love

True Love
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
I can't write much because I am quite tired and it is late (for me). So a quick one...

I couldn't resist these boots. I might say "Are you serious?". That is what my husband said. But, yes, I am serious. I love them and ordered them this morning. Bloomington needs them and I am just the girl to wear them.

More tomorrow when things have settled down here. Katie had her wisdom teeth out today, so my schedule has been a little hectic. Jack is very excited about the prospect of Katie getting to eat as much ice cream as she wants. Life from a five year old perspective is simple and good.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A New Year's Idea

Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Do you know what I dislike most about the beginning of each new year? It is how $%#$!-ing crowded it gets at the gym. The previously spacious parking lot gets full, the locker room is crowded and every machine that I want to use is occupied by people I have never seen before. These new faces belong to the hundreds of people who for about eleven months out of the year wouldn't even drive near the gym even if someone were chasing them with a gun. And here they are, taking up valuable space better used and certainly more deserved by those of us who go all year round. I just want to go up to each of them and say, "Face it pal. 95% of all new year's resolutions are not successful so you might as well go home right now. Don't waste your time every January pretending that this will be the year when you get into shape. Because it won't be. And chances are that you are going to get injured here because you are in such sorry shape to begin with. So quit now while you are ahead, okay?"

But alas, one cannot say such things. So, the faithful gym goers are left to wait it out until the end of January when things start to thin out to normal. By Valentines Day, just about every one of these January Warriors will be nowhere to be found, back to their old ways, sitting in front of the TV with the remote and beer and a bowl of Cheetos. (Don't get me wrong, I certainly have nothing against beer and cheetos...) But you get the picture.

Even though I am an elitist who pretends to pretend otherwise, I don't really wish any of these people ill. I do, in my tiny heart of hearts, wish them well. But I just don't want them at my gym, screwing up my normal routine. So, I propose a solution would keep everyone happy and solve the January gym explosion to boot. Here it is:

You know those temporary stores that spring up in malls during the Christmas shopping season? The ones that sell, say, only games or only calendars, or (in our case) just Indiana University stuff? When you see them, you can't remember what used to be there and after they are gone, right after Christmas, you can't remember where they were and what stores took their places. Anyway, why not put temporary gyms into these retail spaces for the hopeful hopeless mass of folks who resolve to finally get in shape this year. The owners could charge by the week for membership or they could take advantage of the New Year Delusional and charge for a couple months. The place could be furnished with a few treadmills, some stationary bikes and two or three Nautilus Ab machines with very low tension settings. These machines could be rented for the two months that it would take to weed these folks out. In the event that someone was still working out at the end of, say, February, that lucky and deserving person would earn the right to purchase a membership at the regular all year gym.

If nobody takes up this idea, perhaps I will open a few of these temporary work out centers. I might need something to do when Jack goes to school full time next year...this might be just the thing. Who knows?

Seriously, I do realize that this hoard of January people actually keep the costs down at my gym by purchasing memberships, which, after January, don't get used. But still, it is incredibly annoying.

Of course, I know that I have not offended any of my loyal readers. Even if you are among the January warriors at your local gym, you and I both know that you will be in the 5% who succeeds at keeping a New Year's Resolution.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Nice Dress, Eh?

Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
I got this pic from someone on email and couldn't resist posting it. Not much else to report. Going to bed. We had a thunderstorm last night that kept me up (once you get struck, you just don't feel immune anymore) and Jack got up early. We also had a whopper of a thunderstorm this afternoon.

Guess we should get those lightning rods after all.