Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Joys of Clarity

Well blog, I apologize for neglecting you for so long. I neglect things a lot, which is a key reason I don't have any children, or pets, or living plants...

Anyway a lot as happened since my last post. I completed my first semester of graduate school! I'm at Temple University pursuing my Masters of Journalism. Believe me, it was hard, I bitched a lot, I cried, had panic attacks, walked around with crazy eyes but somehow managed to not only successfully complete my first semester but get A's in both my classes as well!

During my final presentation for my Critical Perspectives of Journalism class, I made a 2 minute movie to introduce my presentation: (it was on comparative news coverage of Turkey's recent earthquake and Haiti's devastating one). As the intro ran, I saw my professor exchange looks with one of the Ph.D students in our class. I stood there in the corner, smiling. At the end of my presentation, my friend says "I think you have a future in this field." We all laughed. My professor loved the intro and asked if I put it together on my own - Yes I did. It was a great moment.

Now, I didn't know I was carrying a 4.0 GPA until right before Christmas. I re-checked my grades to see if there were any updates and low and behold I had a 4.0. Then over Christmas break I went to a Chinese restaurant with my parents and received a fortune cookie which read "you are headed in the right direction." Well, that is always a good thing.

Once accepted into grad school, I didn't feel so certain about anything since I joined the RMC program. I love looking back to see how I ended up where I am today. William and Mary Graduate, volunteers for a year and lives with Catholic nuns, works full time for free, gets hired and a decent salaried job, lives in Center City Philadelphia and goes on to Graduate School for Journalism. It all seems like a grand master plan and I'm happy to be going along with it.

Christmas break was nice, short but nice. I like sleeping oh so much. haha I got an Ipad for Christmas and well...I'd addicted to it. I feel the need to hold it just a few minutes each day when I'm not even playing on it. I think at one point I was watching a movie with my mom and I was clutching the Ipad like it was some sort of memorable keepsake. Its awesome, and its going to be even more awesome using it for school.

This semester I'm taking Editing the News and Leadership in Communications Management. I heard Editing is a doozy, so I'm nervous. Way to set the bar so damn high I might not be able to reach it again. The pressure I put on myself to achieve is insane. I haven't cared so much about school/grades since high school! I'll admit it, I could have been in to the top ranks of my class at William and Mary had I actually tried.

As for the New Year, I guess I'm going to redo my bucket list and try to be healthier. I'm not going to say "I wanna lose 10 lbs!" That just sets you up for failure. I just want to be healthier, more active and more cultured. I also want to travel more around the East Coast when I get the chance.

That is about it! 2011, you were pretty awesome. I liked you a lot.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The 100th Blog Post



I've been trying to find a momentous occasion in which the 100th blog post could be dedicated towards and I suppose this is it. Today I turned 24 years old on August 24th. It is my Golden Birthday. It was a pretty epic birthday filled with cards, cupcakes, a delicious dinner with a dear friend, margaritas, and lots of well wishes. I was on a bit of a euphoric haze after an exciting orientation at Temple University School of Communications and Theatre where I will begin my Masters of Journalism in approx. one week. It was so refreshing to be around like minded people my own age. There is great hope that I'll be able to form my own little grad school crew of friends to do fun things with. Maybe I'll find some future bridesmaids. haha I'm kidding

Over the past few months I've learned a lot about myself. I've had to reshape the way I see myself and adapt to interesting aspects never before brought to light until recently. I've been challenged at my job in a way I hoped to never be ever again. I ended up in the ER after falling down steps at work and slamming my head into a glass door. I found out I owe about 9 months of gas money to PGW because I hadn't established an account when I moved in and now...sadly...Gilbert is dying.

Gilbert and I began our journey a little over a year ago. Me and this red and blue Betta fish moved to the big city of Philadelphia where we spent our first freezing cold night with our teeth chattering and I wrapped a towel around his bowl to keep him warm. Since then we've both adapted nicely to our new surroundings. I love this city and plan to stay here for awhile and Gilbert soon grew to love his Christmas present of a 5 gallon heated and filtered tank with castles to hide in and plants to sleep by. About a week ago he became listless and spends all his time on the bottom of the tank. He is not eating or swimming and it is just a matter of time before his little fish soul floats to the surface and I have to bury him. I'm not going to flush him down the toilet. I don't care if all drains lead to the ocean. I'm thinking about burying him by the river where I like to fish. Its ironic and peaceful at the same time.

Despite these downs (with even more downs in between) I've discovered that, like many in the human race, I am quite resilient. I didn't fall and cope with various vices but I probably could have done more healthy things to deal with the onslaught of a lot of shit in a short amount of time. Nonetheless I think I'm on an upswing.

I start classes on Tuesday and will go to school Tuesday and Weds nights. It is going to be tough working full time and going to school part time but I think I can handle it. I'm super excited to be back in school and am going to try my best to be the best. On orientation day, I felt like the first episode of Grey's Anatomy where the chief says "4 of you will make it, 2 will quit, 3 will be asked to leave." I mean no one said that at orientation but I felt a sense of competitiveness within myself. That is good, that is what I need.

So now I'm just waiting for classes to start and enjoying the East Coast Apocalypse with our East Coast Earthquake and now the potential doom and wrath from Hurricane Irene. I hope no one dies but I have to admit, I'm a fan of a big storm. I like hurricanes...probably because I've lived through so many of them. I know they can be destructive but in a weird way, they can be kind of fun too.

I dedicate this blog post to Gilbert, my beloved and surprisingly still living Betta fish, to my dear friends who made me feel so special on the day of my birth, to my family who loves me dearly and to the new friends of my future in graduate school. Life is good today.

Until next time...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Who Says You Can't Go Home?

Alas, I'm on the Eastern Shore of Virginia for what I'm willing to call a "vacation." I'm spending my all time favorite holiday (the 4th of July) at home with my parents. I was starting to get a little homesick for the great ESVA while watching "Friday Night Lights." This show, my new favorite show, portrays a high school football team which is the epicenter of a small town called Dillon in Texas. Now, the Eastern Shore doesn't revolve around a football team, but the small town factor of the show reminds me of well, home.

I can't go anywhere without running into someone I know. Whether its my friend who beat me out for class president my freshman year of high school, or my guidance counselor secretary or even my supervisor from my high school job, the fact of the matter is, you can't go anywhere on the Eastern Shore without bumping into someone you know. Try going to the local Walmart and you'll find people you worked with, lived by, went to school with, dated...etc. And I love every minute of it.

This evening I found myself at the Wachapregue Carnival, a small town fireman's carnival where anyone who is anyone comes out for fried food, kareoke, and a few carnival rides. I used to frequent the carnival when it was held in my old town, Onancock. I remember getting all dressed up just to walk around the carnival grounds and show off. Well now, years later, I find myself at this other small town carnival. Now I've been there many times before, but after living in my concrete jungle and working pretty close to the ghetto, its almost like a reverse yet refreshing culture shock to be amongst the small town folk.

I'm standing there, watching a guy sing a country song while wearing a cowboy hat and everyone and their mother is sitting at picnic tables, happily listening. Then I walk by the bingo tables (where I spent some quality time myself). At one point, my friend and I left the carnival for a bit and ended up at a little outdoor gathering/party where we scored some free Miller Light (because everyone is nice on the Shore) and some really good live music. I found myself sitting on a picnic table, with the seaside breeze blowing my hair, sipping on a Miller Light, listening to "Sweet Home Alabama" while overlooking the beautiful waterfront of this small shore town. It was an amazing feeling. I feel sort of displaced from it all. Its hard to realize that I spent my formative years on this little strip of land surrounded by water.

I returned to the carnival and just embraced the whole enviornment. When I come home to the Shore, I tend to look at the beautiful waterfronts and the acres and acres of farmland and listen to the stillness of life, thinking "why in the world did I give this up?" Yet this time I feel differently. While watching the locals mingle at the carnival, part of me was like "people, there is so much more out there besides the Eastern Shore." I know most of them travel to other places, but to be born, live and die on the Eastern Shore has me mystified. I know it is an amazing place to live but I think about all the fun an opportunities I have in Philadelphia and feel sad that everyone here is missing out.

The Eastern Shore is quiet, peaceful and nobody asks me if I can spare some change. It is clean, open, and incredibly friendly. Yet Philadelphia is loud, busy, cultured, entertaining, and in its own way, beautiful too. So for the first time since venturing back home and leaving my city life for a bit, I feel content with my past and my future. The Eastern Shore of Virginia will always be home to me. It will always be a place to come back to and just soak up the peaceful life it holds. However, Philadelphia is my home too. I'm proud to live there and love the city very much.

While both places are vastly different, I still call both of them my home. :)

Until next time....

Saturday, May 28, 2011

How I Became a Tourist in My Own City



My Memorial Day Weekend plans were set to the tune of something like this. Friday I'd leave work with my best friend and we'd go to this Mexican bar we went to last weekend for a happy hour to start the holiday. Saturday I'd fish along the Schukyll River all day while wearing a cowboy hat and listening to my Ipod. Sunday I'd attend church, a West Philly BBQ, and end the day either watching movies in bed or finding something fun to get into. Monday I'd clean the apartment and exercise or something.

That was the plan. Friday was solid, those things actually happened. Saturday, not so much, but I found something else to keep me occupied. As it turns out, Modells and KMart do not sell fishing supplies. I guess they figure people living in Center City Philadelphia have no use for such things. Either that or fishing poles are not allowed on SEPTA buses. Anyway, I was bummed. Fortunately I found this out Friday night instead of wasting a trip to the Gallery on Saturday.

So Saturday comes and I make a delicious and healthy breakfast. By 2pm (I woke up around 11) I'm ready to go. I decided to visit the five original squares laid out by William Penn in Philadelphia. That would be Rittenhouse, Washington, Franklin, Centre (City Hall) and Logan Squares respectively. They make up a large rectangle surrounding downtown Philadelphia. So I walked 5.5 miles, enjoyed some site seeing (and gelato which I've never had before today) and took a lot of pictures. Overall it was a great way to spend a "plan-less" day. Tomorrow should be on track and Monday...well...we'll see what it brings.

In other news I finally submitted something to the Philadelphia Writer's Group. Wait, not just something, but the first chapter and the introduction to my novel, "The Writer's House." That's right, I'm finally working on a novel. I was really excited to submit it and I'm prepared to handle the critiques come June. If anything I need it since I've never worked on a novel before. My goal is to marry this project (divorce my work for a bit but still keep seeing him) and finish it! No set date but just to steadfastly work on it for awhile.

I walked 5.5 miles today. Wow!

Oh, look...a chicken!

I'm kidding. The heat is making me very scatterbrained. That's about all I had to say. Enjoy the holiday! (Wow, that rhymed!)

Until next time...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

How I Survived the Rapture and Made New Navy Friends



For Rapture Day 2011, my cousin, Erin and I decided to hang out in Philly. It ended up being an epic day and an excellent idea.

We started off the day by getting a cup of Chai Tea (the best Chai in Philadelphia) at The Random Tea Room. Then we ventured down to Penn's Landing for Deleware River Day. We got to the River and immediatly gravitated to the USS Kauffman, a giant Navy ship that was docked at the landing. We wanted to tour it but the final tour had just been let onboard so we weren't able to go.

We decided to stalk the Navy guys, kind of blatnetly, and I found one who was absoutly adorable. I wanted to come up with some catchy Rapture pick up line but settled for asking for a picture.



Afterwards we went to visit the tugboats and then found a sailboat where we could take a one hour cruise onto the River for $5. So we did. It was about an hour till the rapture and we were about to "go on a boat, with our flippy floppies..." We met a guy and his daughter on board and had great conversations during our epic voyage. We took some fun pictures too.

Then I went back to stalk the hot Navy guy, to no avail. It was now about rapture time and the sky became dark and ominious. We took a few rapture pictures and then went down to South Street to have some delicious pizza at Lorenzos. After consuming a slice of pizza the size of our heads, we walked back to Old City and decided to have a beer at Mac's Tavern. This is when it gets interesting.

Erin and I were sitting at the end of the bar and I was in direct sightline to the Navy guys who happened to be in there. There were two seats open next to them but we didn't want to sit there and be obvious. Thankfully a guy and his friends tried to play darts behind us and Erin, slighly fearful she'd take a dart to the head, expressed her concerns. The bartender overheard us and relocated us to the seats next to the Navy boys. Call it fate, but I was overjoyed at our new placement.

After about 20 min we started talking to the one guy next to us. We played age guessing games, spattered some flattery back and forth and then the boys left. Erin and I were content with our brief interaction. We went to catch a bus to head back to my apartment so she could see it, and low and behold our Navy boys walked down the street towards us and invited us to come out with them again. We decided we'd go to one more bar but NOT on South Street. I took the guys and Erin to Drinker's on Market Street. I'm not going to lie, the highlight of my life was probably me leading a group of Navy guys down Market Street as if we were our own elite group. We got a table in Drinkers and had a merry ole' time.

Before we left, we took a group picture and wished each other well. It was a highlarious night filled with fun, eye candy, and epic stories. Before this weekend, I joked with my co-workers saying I'd spent the Rapture making new Navy friends and sure enough that is exactly what I did.

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How I Got $1 After Escaping from Crazy Lil John



It was getting a little late in the evening on a Monday night. I had just finished up my personal training session followed by my weight management group which I affectionately call "fat class." After picking up some snacks for a work meeting for the following day, I went to 5th street to head back home. I hopped on the EL and got off at 11th street. I wanted to take a bus back because my bookbag was so heavy with the snacks and drinks. I didn't feel like walking home from City Hall.

As I waited at the vacant depot, a guy saunters up to me and sits down on the opposite end of the bench. He is Lil John's doppelganger. This guy even has the golden grill teeth. Maybe it was Lil John. All I know is that he was high, drunk, and crazy. He kept talking and rapping to himself. Then, when cars would stop at the traffic light, he'd scream at the cars and wave a cd around saying "HEY! BUY MY CD ITS HOT SHIIIITTTT!!!!"

Normally crazy people don't bother me. I typically avoid eye contact and find something shiny to stare at. Unfortunately the only shiny thing around was this guys teeth. There wasn't a bus in sight and I had to make muffins for the meeting as soon as I got home. I decided to hail a cab because I couldn't deal with the singing, slurring, crazy guy anymore.

The cab pulled up and I hopped in. Lil John screamed at the cab, trying to sell his hot shit CD. The cab driver, who looked like he could be from Turkey, said to me "what is he selling?" I told him "a music cd...and probably a poor one at that." "Thank you for rescuing me from crazy Lil John." Hailing from a foreign country, as most of the Philadelphia cab drivers do, my driver had no clue who Lil John was so the joke was lost.

I put my bus pass away and stared out the window. The driver interrupted my thoughts by asking me, "so what do you do?" Now, in the past I've had cabbies hit on me. One was a really hot Spanish guy who to this day I regret not getting his number. But this guy was just making polite conversation which was a switch from the Arabs who prefer to talk on their bluetooth the entire ride in their native language.

I told him I was a social worker who helped homeless women and children. I didn't know his scope of knowledge of shelters, transitional housing, and youth advocates so I played it simple. After giving him this information, he reached into the center console and whipped out a $1 bill. He handed it to me and said "for the donation bin."

I was touched and startled by the gesture. I was also really tired yet still managed to not make a crack about how we weren't a church or whatnot. I thanked him and told him I'd put it to good use. We continued our small talk which also included a brief conversation of what he should do with a bag of new baby clothes that a guy left in his cab and were now in the cab driver's personal car. In the end he decided to put them in a donation dumpster. He asked me if they'd reach needy people that way.

Having made the mistake of putting a ton of my clothes in the donation dumpster, I should have warned him that 9 times out of 10 the clothes just get torn apart and the fabric is recycled. Instead I wanted to keep his hopes alive and told him that "of course, the baby clothes will make it to a needy person."

We reached my stop and he said "It was a privilege driving you this evening. I really admire someone who helps others and does good for others. Its a rare thing. Have a great night." He gave me his number in case I ever needed a ride. I appreciated the gesture because he was so sincere. He clearly wasn't hitting on me and he cared about the human spirit. It was kind of a rare situation to cherish.

So the following day I brought in that dollar and told the Executive Director about it. We're not sure how it will be put to use but I assure you, it will help someone, someway. I'm a firm believer in donor intent so I'll be sure a resident or child benefits from this man's nice gesture. Yet, his kind words and thoughts behind the action were worth way more than the dollar.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

M.A.'s Top 10

In light of feeling unfulfilled, here is a top ten list of things I'd like to do before I die:

1. Write/publish a Great American Novel, or at least one worthy of a noteworthy literary prize

2. Skydive

3. Go tent camping with a significant other

4. Interrupt a street break dancing routine with moves of my own and then walk away as if nothing happened

5. Learn to surf and purchase a surfboard

6. Own a boxer dog named Bronx

7. Travel to Italy, Australia, Africa, Ireland for the first time and visit Nicaragua again

8. Write an original song and have someone famous sing it

9. Dance on the Ellen Show (yet this requires me to become famous...oops)

10. Be married in a large cathedral

Eat, Pray, Love

On Sunday, after an epic night of going to the most bizarre yet really fun party in my life, I spend the day watching "Eat,Pray,Love" on Netflix and running over to my friend's house to do laundry. The story of "Eat,Pray,Love" is very interesting. I felt compelled to read it a little after the buzz of the story had died down. A good friend of mine lent it to me and I read a large portion of the book during an RMC retreat. Then, as always, I got really distracted by life and it took me a month or two to finish reading it. It was a great book, but I tend to not finish things when I start them and reading books that are lent to me is always one of those things.

Anyway, so I watched the movie (book was better but I still love Julia Roberts) and I felt so unfilfilled. Not because the movie, as most movies do, left out major and important parts of the plot, but because I found I was longing for my own adventure. Now, I'm not talking about an Italy, India, Bali kind of adventure for I do not have the money, resources, or time off for that. I'd be happy with a local vacay for a few days. But I feel I don't have enough vacation days or money for even the smallest of adventures. Additionally, I'm trying to go back to school and once that starts up (pending my acceptance) I really won't have time for a little getaway.

On top of that, I am not living up to my full potential. Between the weight management classes and work and an ecclectic social life made up of a variety of different people, corresponding into different groups, I don't have time. I feel off balanced, rushed, and like I'm just going through the motions. Here I am, at 23 yrs old and I have an amazing fulfilling job which allows me to make a difference every day. I have a great pay, great benefits, my own apartment in the heart of a buzzing city. Yet I wake up, roll into work, go home, cook, shower, sleep.

Do you want to know what I am NOT doing enough of? Writing. For myself. I don't journal anymore, I just update this blog. I haven't produced creative material in forever. I keep promising myself that one day I'll put myself out there and create and submit work to writing contests...etc But I keep promising and not doing.

What else am I not doing? I'm not praying, ever, unless someone close to me gets stricken with a sickness or a tragedy. I go to church but I just go through the motions, saying the responses, mumbling the words, and daydreaming about what I'm going to wear/eat/do afterwards and beyond into the week.

What else am I not doing? Taking care of myself. I can be the most selfish person you've ever met and also the most selfless. Lately, I feel like I'm living for everyone else but myself. I'm not taking time out to relax, meditate, walk for lesuire and yes...write. I'm too busy planning things for work, attending to my friends' mini crisis and whatever other trivial things that come my way.

These things are important but what is really important is finding balance. The weight management plan is stressful when you have to constantly be aware if your food is high or low glycemic. This gets particularly out of hand when your refrigerator dies in your apartment, like what just happened to me, and despite starving, you have to resisit the temptation to order an entire pizza and live off of it for a few days. The program has worked so far, but the demands are higher. I'm supposed to increase my exercise, do personal training, get up early and drink hot water with the juice of half a lemon squeezed in it, eat a big breakfast with protein and vegetables...yes vegetables for breakfast. Please, I'm lucky if I scarf down a banana or an orange before bolting out the door and rolling up late to work.

My job isn't particularly stressful right now, but I really, really HATE that my mind seems to think that the best time to brainstorm ideas for my job is while I'm laying in bed trying to fall asleep. My mind gets going, the wheels start turning, and before I know it, my alarm is going off and I realize I haven't slept. Forget all of those great ideas because I'm so angry I didn't sleep that I trudge into work looking like a hateful hateful person because I'm so damn tired.

All I have to do is find time for the things I love, maintain my responsibilities for the things I have to do and balance life between it all.

But first I have to try to pull myself together because there is no logical reason why I am falling apart.

Until next time...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Joy and then Some



This past weekend was Easter Weekend. Prior to this epic weekend was Holy Week, a week of religious ceremonies that I've come to hold very near and dear to my heart since Freshman year of college. Its the four days a year when I feel like I can be overly Catholic with reckless abandon. I feel happier, a sense of Catholic pride, and I'm reminded of when I was confirmed during my freshman year.

This Easter I chose to spend this meaningful time with the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer. I don't know too many people who would be excited to spend Easter with a bunch of Catholic nuns, but these wonderful Sisters are like family to me. Since my parents are all the way in Virginia, and I took my GRE for grad school on Saturday so we couldn't arrange a visit, the Sisters were the next best thing to family. I got to spend time with some of my favorite people, sleep in my old room where I lived for a year during my RMC service year, and just enjoy life.

I love being transplanted. For example, when I'm home on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, I'm suddenly reminded of my roots. I remember fishing out in the bay or eating fried chicken and drinking beer on Cedar Island. I remember catching crabs off the local dock and working as a waitress at the local nursing home. I remember the simplicity of life and the large and elaborate dreams I once had.

The same goes for spending a night in the convent I once lived in. I was transplanted. I remember the joy I felt when asked to do a reading at mass. I could recall how excited I was to start my RMC year. I remember sitting in the chapel, writing in my orange notebook, trying to "discern" what ministry was right for me. I remember sitting in the living room of the convent, going over my expectations for my year of service, simple living and prayer. I remember my interview, when I pranced around the dining room as if I knew all the Sisters my whole life instead of just meeting them for the first time.

The realizations that came to light over this weekend of being transplanted were actually not of any religious nature. I forgot how much I loved nature, quiet and being outside. The Sisters mother house sits on acres and acres of land, with green trees and beautiful rolling fields. Its amazing. When I went to bed on Saturday night I was amazed at how quiet everything was. I forgot how quiet the suburbs were compared to my street corner in the heart of Philadelphia.

I also forgot how much I missed journaling. Lately I've been writing for everyone except myself. I miss nature, I miss writing, I miss quiet moments of meditation, and I miss not having anything to do. I miss having a choice about what activity to do instead of feeling obligated to do laundry, clean my apartment, go to some event or write for others.

And its sounds conceited, but at times we all need to hear from other people just how special we are. This weekend was full of praise and compliments on my reading, my existence, my writing, and my sense of humor. Sometimes we just need to get knocked over by the wave of accolades in order to remember that we are special and we have a lot to offer to the world.

So today, on Easter Monday, I have a bit of an inner peace. I'm done with obligations for awhile and am really going to try to find more time for myself and my personal writing. I'm going to bike along the river and try to explore some local parks. I'm going to do the things I missed and enjoy the things I loved. I'm going to live in the present.

I'm at peace today. I hope its sticks around because its a great feeling.

Until next time...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Things that go bump in the....Ipod!



There are very few things that I'm actually scared of. The list includes the following random fears:
* fear of climbing up things like trees, rock walls, stools..etc without something to support myself on for balance. (Pretty much scared of scaling heights)

* crickets: don't mind the sound they make but I freak out if I see one

* Getting burned: prefer those lighters with the long rod at the end. Hate lighting candles with matches or a regular lighter

* and the latest....playing Call of Duty Black Ops, World at War: Zombies on my Ipod Touch!

I had played this game before with a friend about a year and a half ago and loved it! I'm horrible at video games since I grew up playing computer games from Donkey Kong to Mega Race to Forever Growing Gardens and eventually the original Sim City. However, I enjoyed the one time I played this epic zombie shooting game and was beyond excited to download it to my new Ipod Touch.

Until I tried to play it...The music is creeptastic and the field of vision on the Ipod is very limited. So you're frantically trying to touch screen your way around the map, hoping that the zombies are not behind you...which they totally are all the time. The first time I played it on my Ipod, I lost in about 1 minute. As the zombie killed me I literally GASPED in surprise! Then I laughed at being scared, pressed restart, and go so wigged out that I had to stop playing. Granted, I was alone and it was late at night. But still, a video game? Come on!

I hope I get better and get over my fear of creepy video game zombies. :) Just thought you could use some amusement for the day. As a side note, I had a very productive weekend which included doing some maintainence on my bike, grocery shopping, two loads of laundry, cleaning the apartment, studying for the GRE and more! I feel accomplished.

Now, if only I could destroy those zombies.

Until next time...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Its not a Diet, Its a Lifestyle Change/How I Became Vegan for a Week

About two weeks ago, I went to the Art of Wellness in the Bella Vista section of Philadelphia to get a massage. I'm addicted to websites such as "living social, deal yo, and eversave" so I scored a very cheap one hour massage through the online discounts. While in their very nice and relaxing lobby, a staff member gave me a tour and told me about their weight management program. I was interested, I've been wanting to "manage" my weight for awhile. I could definetly use the support of a weekly group, fitness coach and a weight loss plan that didn't involve pre packaged meals, shakes, or a sure fire failure when you're done with the diet.

So after an overview of the Transitions Lifestyle System, I decided to do it. I decided to drop the dough (literally and figurativly) and invest in a weight management program that has the potential to change my life. The first portion of the "diet" involves a 7 day detox. This is..well..intense.

Basically you're Vegan for 7 days. However, you're like super restricted vegan. No nuts, no tofu, no bread (even whole grain), nothing to drink except water and herbal decaffinated tea. In addition to consuming nothing but 3 servings of fruit and unlimited vegetables, you also take a Fiber clensing kit thing. So in the morning I take two capsules that look like they have microbes on them and drink a glass of water with this fiber powder in mixed in. The fiber powder tastes delicious. In the evenings I take four supplements before bedtime.

Honestly, with each day its gotten easier. My first day I was craving carbs like crazy. On day two I went to work. Of course this day was the day the bread truck donates tons of pastries to my workplace for our residents. The stupid shelving unit with the bread is set up on the hallway to my office. So I had to smell that delicious bread all day. On top of that, my boss had leftover hot dogs to share with the staff in honor of the Phillies season opener. Hot dogs are by far one of my favorite foods. Needless to say, day 1 and 2 were very hard.

But today I'm on day 4 and I'm fine. My co-workers have been pretty supportive to. Today when I went to get my lunch there was a big platter of brownies on the table. My boss saw me look at them and covered them up. haha Plus apparently several co-workers are eating healthier because of me. They're not going full jungle vegan but they are eating more vegetables.

Once I get through this week, I'm able to incorporate some protien into my system. I'll be able to eat chicken, fish, and other lean meats into my diet. I'll still be eating vegetables as if they're going out of style but it will be worth it. The hardest part is the 6 week pasta/grain/bread fast. I can't have any pasta, breads, grains, nuts, cakes, or any kind of pastries for 6 weeks. This is to change my need for carbs and even my taste for them. I guess if I can get through one week eating nothing but fruits and vegetables, I can do anything.

I've already lost almost 5lbs. I'm pretty sure its just water weight. I do feel cleaner and even more energized. Maybe it is all in my head, but I feel a lot healthier, empty (in a good way), clean, and peppy.

The program lasts 12 weeks. I'd like to see a siginificant change by then. I won't make it in time for bathing suit season to try on that bikini, but at least I won't ooze out of my plus size swimsuit as much. :)

It's not a diet, its a lifestyle change.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring, Where are you? / What's with the noose?



Why hello, it has been a while. I haven't dropped off the face of the earth or anything, just been hiding in a busy corner of it. The past few weeks have went by in a blur of illness, major events for work, and a slow yet growing social life.

Highlights have been a successful academic awards ceremony for the kids at work, a highly attended book fair for work (my brainchild) and an epically successful major fundraiser that I sold my soul to (at least for the night).

So there are two major things on my mind. I really want to be like Peter Griffin from Family Guy and say, "You know what really grinds my gears?" Well, I'm frustrated that it is March 30th and the weather is still cold as shit. Ok well literally, shit is not cold, but I'm unhappy. I was hoping to retire my winter coat days ago. Now, they're predicting a Nor'Eastern with snow and crap this weekend. WHY??? This winter started early, is lasting forever, and is horrible. I know I sound like a whiney brat, but I am so sick of the cold weather and ready to break out the flippy floppies and t-shirts. In fact, on the four warm days we had, I did just that. My fellow Philadelphians thought I was crazy and they stared at my exposed feet while wrapping their heavy jacket around their body out of habit. I knew what I was doing, I was milking the warm weather for what it was worth.

Second thing. So today I'm on the EL, commuting to work, late, and this guy gets on the train car that I'm on. He's wearing a big green trench coat, and a variety of other clothes. I figure by the look of him, he might be really poor or homeless. I don't judge so I just sat there minding my business. He took a sip of something from his water bottle and then took off his jacket. He reached into his bookbag and pulled out a rope. Then he stood in front of us, the confused passengers. I figured he could be an old navy vet or something and would demonstrate how to tie knots in exchange for money. Its not a crazy idea, I've seen the evangelists, the people preaching the world will end soon, trumpeters, drum lines, break dancers, acrobats and just about everyone out in the streets of Philly trying to earn some money. Then you have your "hungry please help" people, handicapped people with cups, and the occasional, "do you have a quarter, $1, $5, anything?"

So I'm sitting on the EL, wondering why this guy has a rope, and then see its actually a noose. A feeling of awkward and discomfort started to come over me. The woman sitting across from me got up and either left the EL or changed seats. The people behind the man were oblivious to his...awkward display. I sat there, wanting to move but also trying to figure out what's with the noose?

I thought of the practicality of hanging yourself in a SEPTA EL car. He was tall, it wouldn't work. Plus, his rope wasn't that thick. It would probably snap if he tried something crazy. Maybe he was an exhibitioner, or and old member of the modern day Black Panthers that hold rallies outside the convention center requesting all black men to find Jesus, become better husbands and sons, and overcome the adversity of the majority. Or perhaps he'd whip out a sign that read "hung out to dry, need food and money" and the noose was there to prove a point.

He also had a fanny pack in addition to his bookbag and I didn't want to think what could possibly be in there. Thankfully my stop came before I could figure it out. I might never know what he was doing in that EL car unless it makes the news. I know I was uncomfortable and for the first time, really alarmed by a "strange person." There are tons of reasons as to why he had a noose draped over his shoulders. Right? I guess we'll never know.

Until next time...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Relaxation Fail

So last night, after a particularly not so great day, I decided I was going to take a nice hot bath. I really wanted the relaxation experience so I lit candles, put on classical music and poured myself a glass of wine. Now, I have never taken a bath in my bathtub in the apartment but it looked a lot larger than most bathtubs I have been in. So I figured I'd fit nicely in it and maybe have to bend my knees for ideal soaking comfort.

The problem is, I don't have a plug for my drain. I decided to use a coffee cup because it turned out to be the perfect size to cover the drain hole. I began to fill the tub and put a whole bunch of bath salts, bubble bath mix and even one of those gel bath balls. The tub filled up with hot steamy and bubbly water.

I stopped the water after the tub was a little over half full. I figured my body would cause the water levels to increase significantly. So I turned the lights off, put the candles on the ledge of the the tub, and stepped in.

The heat from the water felt awesome on my feet. As I submerged myself into the tub I realized I could use some more water. I turned on the faucet and alas, nothing but cold water came out. I had used up all the hot water! Giving up on that, I tried to lay back in the tub, bending my knees so the water would cover my stomach and chest. Well, this failed for obvious obesity reasons.

While lying in this awkward position I heard the faint sound of water draining. It was then when I realized that my coffee mug was not sufficently blocking the water drain. So I ended up sitting in the tub with water barely covering my legs until there was no water. I then got up and took a cold shower since I had used all the hot water.

After my cold shower, I blew out my relaxation candles, chugged my glass of wine, proceeded to watch my fish swim around for a half hour, and then decided it would be a great idea to read the cards from the Cranium game. I tested myself to see if I knew all the Humdinger songs. Then I pulled down my high school journal.

While reading my high school journal I was embarassed. One, because the writing is AWFUL. It screams hormonal teenager who can't write for crap. (I've improved in my writing so much by now) Two, because I did some really stupid and embarassing crap in high school that unfortunatly I still do today. I found a quote that I think I came up with on my own. It read:

"Don't make someone your world only to become their option."

Wow. If I wrote that, that is the most profound thing I have ever said! Words to live by.

So tonight I'm not going to try any cool relaxation technique. I'm going to get off work late, go home, watch Grey's Anatomy and go to bed early. I can relax in my sleep.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Life is Not Like the Movies



You know in the movies how the couples work? Usually you have one person who is really busy or going through a rough patch in their life. They're trying to figure themselves out and do what is the best thing for themselves. Then you have the other person swoop on in and completly turn the stressed out person's life upside down. The couple starts going and doing things that the one person wouldn't do on his or her own. The other person brings the life out of the crazy stressed out one. I think the words, "just live a little" are uttered at some point.

I always thought I was going to be the creative and wayward life changing one. I never even considered the possibility of being hit by a Mack truck of surprise and having my world turned upsidedown. I didn't think I would be the one laying under traffic lights or taking random road trips without a concrete plan. Nope, never considered it.

I wish I could tell you that all of those things are happening but they are not...and that is ok. I'm not even complaining for once. I think I just realized that I need to be open to getting the wind knocked out of me as I am swooped into the arms of some crazy adventure. The thought of laying under traffic lights or road tripping spotaneously, makes me happy. The thought, that is...of course with my structured life and marriage to my job, there is no room for such spontaniety.

So maybe I don't have to be someone else's whirlwind. Maybe someone will come along and save me from myself. Maybe he'll be MY whirlwind and once I'm slapped out of my work clothes and stressed out outlook, I'll be a whirlwind too. We could be whirlwinds together. However, I prefer to be more like a hurricane.

Until next time...

Friday, February 25, 2011

You are Destined for Greatness

I pondered the idea of writing "You are Destined for Greatness" and taping it to my bathroom mirror. It sounds like an incredibly cheesy idea straight out of a self-help book, but I thought it was worth trying. Upon further relfection of this idea, I realized it would fail. Not because I would laugh at that statement daily, but rather, I take 100 degree showers. So the ink would run and the paper would crinkle. Plus, I need the whole mirror to examine myself in the morning anyway.

What is greatness? Is it the attribute of world leaders and life changers, or is it a quality in which we can all possess? Is greatness a thing we strive for? Does the prospect of greatness motivate us?

I think it may motivate me. In high school, countless people told me "Mary Anna, you are going places." "Mary Anna, you're going to do big things." "Mary Anna, you're going to be somebody big someday." I'm trying to capture some of that high school MAness I had. Back in the day, I wasn't scared of anything. I felt I had nothing to lose. I wore confidence like a Coach purse and felt...powerful. Maybe it was all the potential people bestowed upon me. Maybe it was because I was president of my class for three years, prom queen, homecoming queen, president of the FLBA, vice president of the PTSA, and played God in the school play. Maybe because I got into one of the most prestigious schools in the state, or because I had a closeknit group of friends always at my side.

I remember walking the halls of my high school, when this freshman girl bumped into me. She said, "What do you say?" I looked at her, trying not to laugh at her rudeness when her friend whispered to her, "Don't you know who that is?. That's Mary Anna Rodabaugh!" Of course, the scrappy freshman said, "I don't give an *bleep* who she is..she needs to say excuse me." I was already past her and down the hall, laughing to myself that her friend had a sense of awe in her voice.

I know this sounds like a horribly concieted memory and you might be rolling your eyes at my bragging but it is important to note these things. When I arrived at William and Mary, I carried my confidence around with me until about 12 hours into my freshman orientation. It took 12 hours to knock down a spirit of fearlessness that had been built within me for 18 years.

I trapsed through college, enjoying various nitches. I felt accepted by my sorority, reveared by the radio station, and respected by my workplace. However I couldn't help but think I reached my peak in high school. With a life full of potential infront of me, how could I possibly think that high school was the high top to my mountain?

Looking back I still want to believe that I am destined for greatness. I guess I've done "big things" by solidfying myself in the Youth Advocate position at my work. After all, there was no position until I started volunteering and some may say that I made myself a bit indispensible. I try to help people everyday, isn't that greatness?

It is, to some extent. But I feel I am destined for more. The world is going to know who I am. I'm on the brink of making some exciting life changes which I will share with you later. However, I find myself following my passions and designing my path to greatness. It will happen. I took the confident and fearless high school spirit and coupled it with the mature and slightly cautious and responsible adult I am today. Coupling these two extreams and balancing them into one person...I can only become great, I can only change lives each day through my compassion, my love, and my passions.

Until next time...

Monday, February 14, 2011

I HATE Valentine's Day. :-)

I hate Valentine's Day with a fiery burning passion. However, I've learned a lot of things over the past few weeks. One of those things is that Singles Awareness Day sucks a lot less if you hate it less. So instead of plotting the death of couples and projectile vomiting when I see engaged facebook status updates, I decided to embrace the holiday with all the love I could muster.



I'm at work today with a bright red dress covered in tiny little hearts. My mom made me this dress a few years ago for Valentine's Day. I'm also donning a heart shaped necklace, a red bow around my high pony tail and yes, bright red lipstick. My Valentine's Day didn't start the way I wanted to because the Cupid's Choice Donuts at Dunkin Donuts were all sold out...everywhere. I knew this would happen but I was really discouraged when reality set it. Everyone and their mother wanted those donuts...shaped like hearts with pink frosting and little sprinkles. I wanted to start my day with that donut, but not everything works the way we want it to.

Anyway, I encountered a rather awkward experience two weekends ago. I was at a bar with my friend on a Friday night. There was a guy sitting one seat over to my left and from the side profile, he looked kind of cute. My friend, a juke box junkie went to pump some dollars into the machine so we could hear some old school hip hop. As I sat at the bar, I started at the liquor bottles displayed in front of me, trying to think of something to say to this guy. He was alone, drinking a Miller Lite, looking kind of angry.

I thought about saying "so what is wrong?" but then realized that was the social worker coming out in me and that question was far from flirty. I considered asking him if he lived around the area but thought that was lame as well. I also was hit with a huge amount of insecurity. In my mind, if I spoke to this guy, I imagined him saying hi and then excusing himself from the conversation only to leave the bar. I imagined that in his eyes, I was just that "big girl," that the guy I bumped into on the street called me on a summer evening.

Or on New Years Eve, when I porused the bar, scoping out the seemingly single guys. I asked a bunch of guys where their girlfriends were. They both responded, quite quickly with "at the bar." I smiled, recovered quickly from this awkward moment (I might have been buzzed at the time) and simply stated that the bar employed me to make sure all the single guys had a lady to kiss at midnight. I then retreated to a safe place to pick up the broken shards of my dignity. When I went to the restroom about an hour later, I glanced over at that same cluster of guys only to find that there wasn't a single girl around them. They totally rejected me with a lie. I'm probably a lot better off for it, but it stung for a hot second. I then proceeded to rant in the girl's restroom about the encounter only to be hailed a gutsy hero of the single woman world (according to the fellow ladies in the bathroom). Right...

Back to the awkward encounter: My friend came back and a huge group of people took her spot at the bar. Apparently one of them just got engaged...engaged people follow me everywhere. Upon my friend taking that vacant chair, the guy immediately lit up and began talking to us...more so my friend than me. I knew he wasn't her type so I wasn't worried about her "stealing" this guy from me. In fact, as he started talking I realized he was pretty wrong for me. But I couldn't help but envy her for a hot second. Line us up on the side of a gym and ask the boys to pick a girl to dance with and they will most certainly choose her. She is petite, sassy and half Cuban. I'm the poster child for the average obese American. :P

I came to the realization that I might be incapable of being in a relationship right now. Not only is my time spread so thin with activities and work, but I also require a bit of alone time to decompress from the work week. I might be socially incompetent right now to be with someone. I say these things not with despair or loathing, but actually with a sense of thoughtfulness. I mean, I've been pining to be with someone when in reality...there is still a lot of self exploration to be done before I can add a guy into the equation. For once, I'm not distraught at that realization. I'm actually at peace.

So that experience coupled with the severe mood swings/depression/unexplainable lows that my doctors blames on my medications...has led me to spend Valentine's Day in a special way. Tonight I'm going to help out with a dessert/game night for homeless men. Its a service event the church I sing at is sponsoring. I've decided that Valentine's Day is about loving everyone, including yourself. Why not spread some love to some people who might not have anyone to love them right now?

So last year I adopted this "love hard and love fully" philosophy and it was great. Valentine's Day really sucks less when you hate it less. Embrace it, eat a lot of chocolate and smile at the couples instead of glare. You'll feel better. I know I do.

Until next time.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Here It Comes

There are a lot of things coming up. In about 5 posts, the 100th post of Life After College will debut. It is huge because I can never commit to anything so I'm proud of keeping up with something for over two years. Spring is coming up and that is good. It was in the mid 40s all weekend which was actually warm to us frozen Northerners. I actually saw poor souls in tank tops and shorts because they wanted to embrace the chilly springish weather. If I wasn't on a heating strike with PECO, I'd be out there donning my short sleeves too. (Last month's bill was OUTRAGEOUS so I'm engaging in a heatless strike). It doesn't benefit me or PECO but I like the perserverence. I'm not using my heat for the month of Feb. They don't get my money and I bundle up like an Eskimo. Valentine's Day is coming up. I hate Valentine's Day. But it is going to be about 50 degrees on Vday. So maybe I'll go out for a walk along the river after work. All the couples should be having dinner together so I should be able to escape the dressed up guys with flowers and the girls looking head over heels in love. Enjoy it peeps.

The past few posts I wrote were never published because they were too full of depressed stories and self loathing. While I'm pretty certain I may be suffering from clinical depression and I'm too stubborn to seek the professional help that can cure it, I will spare you a boring, sad sad post. Instead I thought I'd just share some interesting things about myself for the sake of entertainment. After all, that is what I live to do.

So here we go:

5 Random Trends/Fads I Never Caught On To:

1. Jeggings - I tried a pair on one day and was terrified with what I saw. I think they were made for skinny people only.

2. Reality TV - Yup, I don't really watch American Idol, Survivor, The Bachelor, The Amazing Race...etc. However, I did get engrossed in Project Runway last season. But I don't watch that anymore either.

3. Glee - Never jumped on the "Gleek" bandwagon. I watched about 10 minutes of it and thought "nope not for me." It could be because I don't really care for musicals...which is like a Christian saying they don't really care for God if you're a theatre major (which I was).

4. Victoria Secret Apparel including the "Pink" collection - I just can't bring myself to buy a $35 bra when I can get 3 bras for that price at the Hanes store. Now I know there is some sort of sex appeal when you walk out of VS carrying your pink bag which you tend to use as a lunch box, purse, and whatever means which allow you to flaunt your bag in public. I never caught onto that trend. It seems expensive and pointless.

5. Apple mania - I have to admit, I own an Ipod and I will probably purchase the new nano soon. I was against the Ipad until I learned you can compose digital music on it which peaked my interest, however, I do not own a Mac, Iphone, Ipod Touch, or any other Apple project (minus an Ipod...Gen 1). I loved the Motorola commercial where everyone is wearing white...because its true the world is brainwashed by Apple Products. Crackberry Lover For Life! (cradels Torch).

5 Random traits that make me seem like a man (sometimes a gay man):

1. I find sentimentality in everything: "oh boy! This is that parking lot where that song came on and we sang at the top of our lungs together" enough said.

2. I despise wearing heels. I know they make me look sexy and jazz up any outfit but I hate that they are so uncomfortable. I'd rather be comfortable over looking jazzy. Therefore, I'm a dude.

3. I think pizza and beer is one of the best meal inventions since the beginning of time.

4. I'm starting to grow a blonde mustache. Trust, I don't embrace it and it makes me uncomfortable.

5. I use words like "bro" "dude" and "yo" on a daily basis. I take pride in belching and tackling others and not only do I like sports, but I actually understand them.

5 Elements of My Current Life Crisis

1. Physically, I'm a disaster...I'm obese, I have one of those grandma pill containers filled to the brim with daily meds, I can never get my hair to look normal, and I've been sick three different ways in the past month.

2. I lack the self esteem I once had. I feel insecure when I have to call the phone company let alone talking to strangers or GULP guys.

3. I'm suffering a severe bout of self-loathing. Nothing anyone says or does makes me feel like the multi-talented and valuable person that I supposedly am.

4. I'm terrified of rejection in all forms. I'm scared to submit my writing to anywhere because I'm scared of rejection. I'm scared to talk to guys because I assume they will just dismiss me because I'm so insecure right now. I'm terrified to try new things for feal of failure and thus rejection of myself.

5. I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I'm doing well in my current field but I am uncertain I want to pursue this field as a longterm career.

5 Random Talents I Have:

1. I'm one helluva radio dj

2. I get myself into the most awkward and interesting situations, most of the time without even trying.

3. I can make people laugh until milk comes out their nose.

4. I am a damn good writer.

5. I am great with working with people, from college kids, to the elderly, to homeless women and children.

5.5 I'm a damn good performer.

5 Random Guilty Pleasures/Quirks About me

1. I enjoy watching Jeopardy and answering with a question aloud

2. I like saltine crackers with cake icing on them as a snack

3. I'm slightly addicted to Grenadine Syrup

4. I sleep with a stuffed dog named Scrappy...and I have since 1st grade

5. I feel the need to clean my apartment every weekend.


Thats it, no more.

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hold On To 47 Degrees



On my way to work this morning as I walked the streets of North Philadelphia, I did something I haven't done in a long time. I SMILED on my way to work. I still adore my job and things are busy but not particularly stressful. However, during this walk I recalled a time when my friend and I were at Penn Treaty Park eating sandwiches and sweating buckets while an elderly man with his shirt raised over his stomach kept running laps around the park, making comments each time he passed. Why did I remember such a bizarre memory? Because it was 47 degrees outside...the first time in two months where I could walk to work without seeing my breath. This weather has been horrible and apocolyptic. I think I've devloped that seasonal disorder where you get depressed because the sun doesn't shine...ever. No wonder people in Alaska go crazy! I take Vitamin D twice a day and I still don't feel all that happy and perky.

I need abundant sunshine. Warmth. Blue skies and an occasional rockstar thunderstorm.

This week has been anything but easy. I've battled "normal" reactions to my new medications, stomach cramps that make you want to go to the light, and general uneasiness/moodiness with a nice slap of pessimism.

On Saturday I had a great day with my friend David from William and Mary. We went to the Academy of Natural Sciences and enjoyed a fun day of nerdin out. What was refreshing about being with David is that I could be my silly self....a certain part of myself I tend to conceal when I'm with older or new people. There is just something liberating about sticking your head in a dinosaurs mouth for a picture or pretending you're falling head first into a snow covered fountain. For one day, I was a kid again and I loved it.

Saturday night marked the beginning of "the week of the pain." That night my stomach and female organs rebelled against me in such a way I thought I was going to die. I was exhausted from a long and fun day. All I wanted to do was sleep but sleep I could not. Not with all of that pain. I think it finally subsided around 1:30am or so. It was just a rough night....that led to a rough week of pain, fatigue, and ill feeling all over.

But I'm married to my job and lack common sense so of course I come in to work to make everyone else miserable! I spend the day, strapped to my desk chair, being non productive and complaining about everything. In my mind, its the right thing to fight through the pain and come to work to do my job. In reality, I should have stayed home, recovered properly, and came back to work refreshed and ready to be very productive. Fail.

So today is the best I've felt in awhile. I finally picked up my new TV at Walmart and have become somewhat addicted to it. The stars are aligned and I can start focusing on what is important.

That would be....trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life because I love my job but I'm not sure this is the career path I want to head down, sticking to a firm and disiplined fitness regieme, actually practcing my 12 steps to happiness, learning new things like increasing my proficiency in Spanish, writing something to submit to my montly writer's group, and actually being social. I'm too young to be a hermit.

Let's work towards getting these things accomplished!

I'll start tomorrow...or maybe Friday.

Until Next Time...

Friday, January 7, 2011

*insert sound of noisemaker here*



Happy New Year everyone! I had a post about post-Christmas fun but I never had time to finish it. Christmas was great, got snowed in, had a wonderful time with family. Got to stay home an extra day because of the crazy snow. A true highlight would be my dog, Ralph, on Christmas morning, barking and wagging his tail like an excited 5 year old because Santa came and he was allowed to rip up paper. Ralph was very happy. :)

The end of December went by in a blur. One day at work which was a late day. Then New Years Eve. I went out with some friends to a bar in Old City and rang in the new year with the best of them. Had a few drinks, watched some fireworks and went home to thankfully my own bed. Went to the Mummers parade on New Years Day and enjoyed some mummery. Then spent the rest of the day recovering from my escapades.

I didn't make a resolution but rather a 12 step plan to happiness. I thought that if I made 12 individual goals and worked towards each one I'd be a healthier, happier and better person.

With fitness being a top priority, I decided to take a Bikram Yoga intro week set of classes. My first class wasn't as bad as I was expecting. It was hard but it was fun and I could get the just of a lot of the poses. When I went to take the class again two days later, I could barely stay in the room. I was suffocating in the heat, I couldn't hold a single pose, I cheated throughout the poses just to get through them.

I left that second class feeling tired and defeated. I swore I'd never give up but I was really considering doing so. I spent the evening feeling sick and just not in a great mood. I take my third class on Sunday morning. I hope it goes better than before. Afterwards I'm planning on switching to a new Yoga studio closer to work and see if I like their yoga better. I'll be able to take a variety of classes including Yoga for Fat People (politely termed, Yoga for Larger Bodies). I'm excited to be in a room full of my people as we wobble and groan our way through the postures while constantly readjusting our tanktops to stay covering our massive bellies.

I was recently put on Metformin, a drug used to help with insulin production and regulation. I do not have diabeties, but my endocrine specialist thought that maybe this drug will help me lose weight and regulate things better. It causes heartburn and an upset stomach the first week and then it is supposed to reduce your appetite. So I thought this drug combined with healthy eating and exercise should help me lose weight and become a healthier person!

I knew it would take hard work with diet and exercise in combination with the drug but I didn't know it would come with huge sacrafices. I am almost forbidden to drink alcohol on this stupid pill. I have to take it twice a day. An occasional glass of wine is acceptable. This news is nothing short of devastating. For someone whose mini bar consists of Long Island Ice Tea mix, Tequila, Pink Lemonade Vodka, Everclear and Rum....this is just sad. Now, I do not drink as much or as frequently as I did in college. When I go out with friends, I'll have a few mix drinks or a few beers. When I'm home in the apartment, I might have a glass of wine once a week with a nice dinner I cook. However, I feel like this restriction put upon me is unfortunante. It means when I go out with friends I have to be happy with a beer. The drug interactions are so terrifying (chance of developing a disease which has a 50% mortality rate increases by drinking alcohol while on this pill) that I don't want to drink at all.

Cutting down on drinking was not part of the 12 step plan to happiness. Guess it is now. So I'm pretty bummed but hopefully I'll save money on cab rides and booze since my going out on the town has been cut down. Bring on all the museums, concerts and church events because the bar scene is going to become a less important part of my life.

Until next time...