Friday, February 25, 2011

My new home

I'm sure this is true for others, but nothing is ever easy in my life. I typically count on having to do things at least twice before it's right. Like when my husband and I went to buy a new tv- we actually bought four (yes, FOUR) before we got one that worked properly. New dining room table- two. Even our first apartment needed replaced (but two years of drama at Brooksedge is another blog). The pattern holds for our house hunting saga. But I found this little gem while keeping my eyes on real estate in the area. I think we've definitely found a winner here!

Not really. And that's not the worst of the pictures I've seen. Our active house-hunting should resume (pending any other strokes of misfortune) in the future (not necessarily the near future, but the foreseeable future. Perhaps round 2, when it begins, will be more promising.

And hopefully, the Morris luck does not apply to other members of the family (yes, Sister, I did see your news. Congrats and good luck!)

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Tug. Tug. Suck. Grumble. Squeeze. Zip. Sigh.

Sound familiar? It's the morning battle- struggling to fit into my clothes. I know I'm not the only one. I keep bargaining with myself- "I'll start fresh tomorrow...on Monday...when it gets nice outside." "I'll trade my calories for 2 snacks for this one cupcake." "I slept in today, so I can have a large brunch since I didn't have breakfast."

Enough is enough. Either I just give in and go buy the next size up or I get off my duff and do something about it. Hmm, sounds familiar- like something my husband might have said after a rant. (Not the get off your duff part, he was much too nice for that.) Since I refuse to give up the wardrobe of clothes I actually like (for once) I guess I better get myself in gear. And I did just read this book on running that was pretty motivational... And a couple of family members are having some great success. Procrastinating is fine when it comes to doing my homework, but not when it comes to how I feel about my body (yes, I am sometimes in the 80% of women who are dissatisfied with their bodies). It's time to stop blaming my job (all I do is sit there for 8-10 hours a day). It's time to put down the chocolate (*gasp* maybe not!). It's time to NOT bake cupcakes unless I have someone to give them ALL to so the leftovers aren't hanging around waiting to be eaten so they don't go to waste.

Yes, I have more reasons than just fitting into my clothes. I KNOW I feel better a few pounds lighter. I KNOW my cholesterol is lower when I'm not carrying around extra weight. I'm SURE it'll be better for my bum knee if it's not working harder than it needs to to support the rest of me. I HEAR you actually have more energy when you workout, but I can't remember. I HOPE maybe I'll sleep better too.

For those of you who care about such things:
  • No, I'm not on a diet.
  • Yes, I am watching what I eat- and more importantly, how much of it I eat.
  • Yes, I might possibly be a little bit crazy dragging myself out of bed an hour before I HAVE to be up so that I can get my workout done and out of the way.
  • Yes, I am having a hard time with it, but I'm only 3 days into my new resolved plan with better a better support system in place than on my last attempt and I hope it gets easier.
  • No, I'm not really giving up chocolate, but please don't tempt me with it. I already know Easter candy is hitting the stores and Easter does have the best candy. Mmmm....peeps....
  • Yes, I am on a mission to find a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's this year and I will do an extra workout (or 3) that week to make up for it.
  • Yes, I am interested in finding a workout buddy (but good luck coordinating schedules with me, sigh!)
  • Yes, I am testing out this cool food/exercise/weight tracking device at Ask me in a couple weeks how I like it.
  • No, I'm not going to start eating meat (ok, that has nothing to do with this blog, but it is a question I get from time to time.
  • Yes, checking in with my mama in the mornings when we've completed our workouts does seem to be helpful. Anyone else want in on the accountability program?
  • Yes, I do have a specific goal in mind.
  • No, I am not telling you. It's none of your business.
  • No, I don't want you to tell me that I don't need to lose weight or that I'm fine the way I am or that you'd love to be the size I am. So. Not. Helpful. I'm not trying to be a size 00 or even a size 0. Just more comfortable in the size of clothes I already own. So if you can't say something supportive don't say anything at all.
  • No, I don't feel the need to justify what I'm doing, but if I put it out there maybe it'll motivate me to actually do what I've told- well- the world (or the 2 people who read my blog) what I'm doing.
  • Yes, I know it will actually take a few months to reach my goal. Maybe by then the healthier eating habits will have become just that- habits.
  • Yes, I know myfitnesspal weight loss tracker shows I've lost 0 pounds. But it's got a cute little frog that'll hop along as I make progress!
  • Yes, this list is longer than I intended. *Shuffles off to find some carrots*

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book 2

"The reason some people use their genetic gift for running and others don't is because the brain is a bargain shopper."

Just finished "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall. I admit, I was skeptical when my brother-in-law handed the book to me to read. But merely pages in, I was hooked. Maybe it's because I like to think I'm still a runner (despite the reality of not having run consistently since I don't know when and not having laced up my running shoes in months period). Or maybe it's because it inspired me to find time to lace up my running shoes (or attempt this new barefoot thing). Or maybe it's just a good story- for runners and non-runners alike.

This book gets a CJAM rating of 18.2 (rating scale still in development).

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ken Carson- Part II

How many people, after learning Ken's last name, wondered what Barbie's last name is? I know at least one person who did.
Here's the scoop: Barbra Millicent Roberts was born March 9, 1959. She has six siblings and an extensive network of family, friends, and neighbors. Barbie and Ken have been dating since 1961 (although they broke up between 2004 and 2006 when the Barbie-Blaine scandal occurred).

For more information on Barbie's family visit's_friends_and_family

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ken Carson

So who knows who Ken Carson is? I bet you do.

"Barbie's main squeeze, Ken, turns the big 5-0 on March 11. Ken Carson hails from the (fictional) town of Willows, Wisconsin, and originally cost $3.50."

Need another random factoid?

Twelve- It's the number literature Nobel Prize winners who happen to be women. Most recent American female winner: Toni Morrison, back in 1993.

Hey guess what- March is Women's History Month, so dig out your Barbies and read something written by a female ( maybe something by a Nobel Prize winner-

Random facts found in the March 2011 issue of Real Simple.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I like books. Reading books. Writing books (someday). Books books books.

While in graduate school, I collected books "to read later" when I had "free time" because during school I didn't have enough time to accomplish all of my required reading let alone anything else. Graduation came and went. And I had no desire to touch a book for about 8 months. Then slowly, but surely my desire to read came back. I devoured novels and the educational stuff sat on my shelf. Then I got my NOOK. Endless collections of e-books at my fingertips. And the stack of books on my shelf remained. Then I made a deal with myself. For every novel I read (real or NOOKbook) I have to also read an educational book. It's not like I don't like reading them, novels are just more fun.

Here's the latest book I've completed. Hopefully the first of many book blogs to come.


I was going to post this nice blog about friendship and adventures, yadda yadda yadda. And then I woke up this morning and found something much different to blog about.

Let me introduce to you the monsters, er, cats. In 2008, a friend rescued a teeny little kitten from the streets. Well, the tiny black furball ended up at our place, where he quickly got attached to me, following me from room to room. Being clever we named the all black kitty, Jynx, not realizing at the time how fitting the name was. Our long, slender devil continues to follow me around and has some separation anxiety issues, crying and clawing at the carpet when I dare to want to close the bathroom door with him on the outside and me on the inside. Jynx was a playful little guy who quickly learned he had claws, and promptly forgot how to NOT use them. He sometimes got confused, thinking he was a dog, and would play fetch for hours. Well after a year of bleeding nearly everyday from the loving cat attacks, we considered a second kitty. Maybe, just maybe if Jynx had a little playmate, he'd stop clawing my hands and feet to shreds.

2009: a coworker's barn cat had kittens. Perfect opportunity for a playmate for our four-legged maniac. We picked out a cute little gray and white tiger boy. And thinking that he'd be born in a barn and had to dodge horse hooves, he'd be a tough little guy and keep Jynx in line. Well, it turns out that Fritz is our chubby little scaredy cat (perhaps Jynx pounced on him one too many times). He's usually Mr. Independent, but watch out when he wants some attention! You better be ready to spend some time rubbing his ears, chin, and belly. And he's a drooler when he's happy. Never sit down on the couch without checking under the blanket to make sure Fritz hasn't burrowed in for a snooze. If you can't find him, check under the bed. Or just wait until about half an hour before feeding time, like clockwork, he'll remind you it's almost time to eat.

Fast forward to February 2011. I thought it was be nice to have a fishy friend on my desk at work. So I found a couple Betas and got them all set up in a tank at home over the weekend. Freud and Siggy seemed to be adjusting fairly well to their new environment. Jynx found them, of course, and sniffed and sniffed at them. The cats were never left unattended around the fish. All was going well.

I should have known better. I should have. I really should have known. After all, we had to buy a bread box for our bread. We had tupperware gnawed on because there was a biscuit inside. I found teeth marks in a rubber spatula left in the sink of dirty dishes. Jynx once pushed an entire pie off the counter trying to break it free from the pie container. I should have known.

The fish were safely closed in the bedroom for the night, away from the monsters. I mean cats. In the morning they would make the trek to work with me. All their paraphernalia was packed away in a bag. I hadn't slept well, so I decided to give myself an extra 15 minutes of sleep. Fritz had other ideas. It was, after all, time to eat. I trudge down the stairs to feed him and see the mess. Someone (my guess is Jynx, but I cannot prove it- yet...) had gotten into the bag of fish supplies. He got out the box that was in the bag of fish supplies. He chewed open the box that had been in the bag of fish supplies. He got out the canister of fish food that had been in the box that was in the bag of fish supplies. He got the lid off the canister of fish food (say it with me) that had been in the box that was in the bag of fish supplies. He sprinkled fish food flakes all over the floor, thought he'd eat some, and then when they didn't agree with him, barfed on the carpet.

Even though I was already (intentionally) 15 minutes behind schedule, I couldn't very well leave the disaster that had occurred in the time span of three hours between when the husband tried to sneak into bed without waking me and when I got up. Three hours. Plenty of time for mischief. And red vomit on gray carpet. Throw food in the cat bowls. Trudge back upstairs for carpet cleaner, the handheld vacuum, and an old towel. Back downstairs. Vacuum (sorry sleeping husband). Spray. Scrub. Repeat. Currently 45 minutes behind schedule. Typical leisurely morning preparation for work is out the window- now I am at risk for actually being late to work. Throw the towel over the wet section of carpet (sorry landpersons, I'll try to remove the stains later). Scrawl quick note to husband so he's on alert for more puke. Begin morning routine in high speed. Don't forget to take Siggy and Freud to work (sorry guys, I'll get you more food tonight, you'll be okay for one day, right?).

Phew. Barely made it on time (thank you traffic for actually cooperating today!). I wonder if I'll still have two cats at home after work today...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Noteworthy news

This seemed noteworthy, er, blog-worthy.

Maybe it's the field in which I work. Or maybe it's because I was once a teenage girl. Either way, I want to cheer when I see things like this. Sadly, I think we need to target kids long before eighth grade, but at least we're starting somewhere!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Welcome to CJam's Random Ramblings

I finally did it. I started a blog. I have been contemplating blogging for some time now and just couldn't quite get my act together. What would I blog about? How often would I blog? What if my blog sucks!? The answers: whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like, and who cares. For an aspiring writer, writing something is better than writing nothing, right?

So here you are, my blog, in all its glory. Feel free to suggest topics, leave comments or questions, or ignore it completely.

I know, I'm off to a great start with this super-exciting introductory blog. Hmm, let's see if we can spice this up a bit...what to write...what to write...Nope. I got nothing. The pressure of writing a blog is getting to me and it's only day one!

I could go with the obvious, but I really am not in the mood to complain about the weather. Besides, I've mentally been at the beach since December. Ooh, the beach. Can you feel that nice, warm sunshine and feel the sand between your toes? The waves are the only soundtrack I need! Mmmm, that's good lemonade I'm sipping. I think I'll see what trashy novels I have on my NOOK to entertain me while I'm marinating...