Friday, June 30, 2006
I wake up three, maybe four, times every night, and then always way before the alarm is set to go off. Is this my body and mind getting older? I heard that you need less sleep as you age. But I still NEED the sleep, I just can't "achieve" it. I wake up more and more tired as each day passes.
I would kill right now to have a cool breezy bedroom where the only sound is the lapping of waves on a soft sandy beach.
I need a vacation.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
By 66 yeas to 34 nays (Vote No. 189), two-thirds of the Senators voting, a
quorum being present, not having voted in the affirmative, Senate failed to pass
S.J. Res. 12, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States
authorizing Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the
United States, agreeing to the committee amendment.
Want to know more about how your senators are doing? Visit THIS SITE.
But I digress.
I love to eat. Yes. I love to cook! But I don't really have a sweet tooth. Nothing makes me happier, seriously, than a big box of brownberry seasoned croutons. You can't even find this brand anymore, which is probably a good thing. Once the box is open, I cannot stop myself. It's such a strange craving, but I remember being about 6 years old at the pediatrician's office and he asked me, "What is your favorite food my dear?" (the first, perhaps, of many not-so-subtle conversations about my childhood weight issues). I happily responded, "Croutons!". He said, "No, I mean like a real food". I didn't get it. Croutons aren't real? They're THE BEST. Crunchy, salty with bits of garlic and italian seasonings. I liked the ones that still had a bit of crunchy crust on them. I think I would go so far as to lick the bag clean. That's sick, I know it. You have your own vices I am sure.
This week's weigh-in markes my 8th straight week of loss, totaling: 2.8 Pounds. Grand total loss:
Dude. That is nuts. Have you ever held 14.6 pounds in your hands? That's a lot of stuff. Where did it all go? Did it evaporate? I bet if I got a good haircut, it would push me over the 15lb mark. Haha. Just kidding.
When I hit the 20lb mark, I am partying like it's 1999. I might even accept Carrrrrrrmen's challenge to a dance-off. Might.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Well, my lovlies, I have not been able to wear my favorite blue striped shirt in nearly 4.5 YEARS because I couldn't button it up over boobs and tummy. And this morning, with great trepidation I approched said shirt and said, "by God, maybe you shall fit now!". And LO and BEHOLD and BEHOLD and LO it did.
I am giddy.
I am extatic (though I can't spell it)
I am like a kid with candy, instead I am a grown woman with a salad.
I, in fact, will show you pictures of the last time I wore this shirt, while still living in Amsterdam and at some party. I was so happy because I was wearing my favorite blue striped shirt, even though I was already starting to bust out of it a bit (haha, pun intended). That was 4.5 years ago, did I already mention that?
Monday, June 26, 2006
So, the weekend before last I went down to NY to meet Damir's family. I know! It has only been two months, but there ya go. I was really nervous since they really don't speak much English, and you all know about my Serbian. Da? I have to say in the end it went pretty well. I met the parents, and a cadre of other family members. But there are still many more left to meet down there; Damir is immersing me slowly into his familial culture. I have to say, thank god for the World Cup games that are taking place right now, we depended a lot on the international language of soccer. GOooooaAAlllLLLL!
I bought Croatian language CDs and intruction book this weekend and have already gotten through lessons I and II; a fun way to pass such endless rainy days. I practice my new funny sounding words on the phone with Damir and he laughs at my accent, but says its cute. Why couldn't they speak French or Spanish in Montenegro? This slavic language is not easy. But I am looking forward to greeting Damir's dad with a hearty, Dobar dan gospodin, kako ste? Jesam dobro, hvala. Croatian isn't exactly the same as Montenegrin, which doesn't have many language resources available, and it is easier to learn than Serbian which uses both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. It has been a long time since I really tried to get a new language under my belt, and the mental exercise feels very nice indeed.
I am heading back to see them this weekend and get to stay until Wednesday because I've extended the long 4th of July holiday. That should give me plenty of time to practice. How do you say 'fireworks' in Croatian?
In other news, a belated happy bday Twinner!
We threw E a rocking surprise party last Friday night. We got her good! Everyone loves a surprise party. Except people who don't like surprises. Screw them. By the way, she isn't really naked in the above photo, she was wearing a hot red strapless dress.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
After a few tough weeks, I did really well this past week despite the dinner party I held and a splurge of thai food with Damir last weekend. This week's loss was: 3.2 lbs! That brings my total loss to:
I am really proud of myself so far. Hopefully the weather will stay decent so I can keep biking to work. I really like this program (Weight Watchers) and the group I am doing this with is very supportive. I've never done anything like this before, except for a stint on the horrendous Nurtrisystem (tm) when I was in jr. high school when I was nearly 40lbs heavier than I am right now.
Funny, I just saw an ad on TV for nutrisystem for the first time in forever, and they have totally reworked thier marketing to appeal to men. One quote from the ad found in this article on CNN Health:
"Since NutriSystem, my sex life is excellent," a male dieter says in one testimonial that claims a loss of 62 pounds.
Yes, the first part of their pitch to get the men on board a diet is lose weight and bag a babe!
The second part of their pitch (taken from their website):
"Let's be honest. A man just doesn't feel right unless he can eat real food—beef, burgers and pizza....NutriSystem foods are packed with the protein and nutrients a man's body craves, and deliver great taste without any of the guilt. "
Me Man! Want Pizza! Want Burger!
Men are such silly creatures sometimes.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
It gets stuck in my vocal cords, and frankly sounds a little strange to me. I've never really liked the term, but then again I have not had many serious boyfriends upon whom I would have bestowed that title. It sounds a little silly and juvenile to me, I guess.
Recently I was out with a friend who was asking about the state of my lovelife. After filling her in on some of the broader details she asked me, "Is he your boyfriend?" and then giggled. Giggled I tell you!
I stuttered...I stammered. "I..I.. I don't know.".
"How could you not know?!" I don't know how I couldn't know, I just didn't. "What do you call him then?"
"I call him Damir, or the guy I am dating, I guess."
She laughed at me and changed the topic of conversation, she made me feel a little silly for not having figured out yet the parameters of boyfriend vs. non-boyfriend status. When does one cross that line? Does it have to be mutually agreed upon? I once heard Damir refer to me as his "girlfriend" but it was in passing and quite a while ago. Plus, it could just be a language thing (though his english is near flawless).
It's like the word "date". To "date" someone in Europe, well, at least in Amsterdam doesn't mean the same thing as it does where I learned English. Here it implies a romantic connection. There it just means meeting up. I was very excited to go on a date (what he called it) many years ago with David the Dutch Dude, and was quite disappointed when I realized it had no romantic connotation whatsoever. Ah, well.
So this weekend I just flat out asked him. "Damir, can I ask you a silly question?"
"what is it about then I will tell you if you can ask it"
"definitions? What do you mean?"
"Well, just let me ask you the question and you'll see."
"Um, ok. What is your silly question"
"How do you define me?"
"What are you talking about?"
"If you were to talk to me to someone, what would you call me? A friend, a girl you are dating, your girlfriend, you know what I mean?"
Yes, and still more laughter, along with a big hug and a kiss.
So, yes, I am his girlfriend and I suppose he is my boyfriend. But I prefer to find another term. Maybe sweetheart. That sounds a whole lot nicer for some reason to me.
In conclusion, here is the photo of the weekend taken in the Public Garden of me and my sweetheart.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Problem: my bank account has a distressing lack of funds.
Solution: Hmm. I'll get back to you on that. But for now, let's talk about where we are going.
So, where are we going? Right now I have Sarajevo on the brain. Since meeting Damir, I have been learning a lot about the former Yugoslavia and the culture of the Balkan states and I am truly fascinated.
I just finished a really good book called Pretty Birds by Scott Simon:
Pretty Birds is the fictional story of a muslim teenager, Irena, during the Siege of Sarajevo that lasted from 1992-96. The story chronicles how this teenager goes from carefree high school basketball star to ruthless sniper high up in the rafters of Sarajevo's bombed out buildings. It's really unimaginable... yet based on real events.
This weekend Damir and I rented a fascinating film called No Man's Land which won the Academy Award for best foreign language film in 2002. This fantastic movie is about two "soldiers" (really, just two guys stuck on opposite sides of a war) who get caught in a trench between the Serbian and Bosnian front lines. The banter back and forth between Ciki and Nino is at times very very funny, but the movie is also very troubling. It depicts very accurately how Bosnia and Herzegovina was "helped" by the media and the UN, which is to say not helped at all.
If you are the type of person who doesn't mind subtitles, I definitely recommend this film, however having at least a broad understanding of the conflict between Serbia and Bosnia/Herzegovina is helpful.
So, I was saying I am thinking about Sarajevo. After looking at the horrible images easily found all over the web you might think it a strange choice. For a very brutal and graphic testament to the war, this NY Times piece is very powerful. A more poignant example might be the Sarajevo Library, which was destroyed in August 1992 (right around the time I was starting college I guess) after being targeted by Serb Nationalist Forces.
Library before and after:
I know this isn't your typical destination. But I've done pretty. I've done resorts. I've done ruins and art museums. I've done fruity cocktails... and yes, I love a good fruity cocktail on a sunny beach, but my brain is looking for something a little more substantial. The story of this remarkable city is unlike any other. I want to check it out for myself.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Did you know there has been a big measles outbreak here in beantown? Read this article to hear how it all started. Apparently a co-worker of mine has been diagnosed with the virus and so all of us in my department have to show proof of vaccination by 2pm today or be sent home.
So of course I have no documentation of either time I have been vaccinated. My mom is certain I got the shots when I was an infant, and I am relatively certain I got them again before sailing on Semester at Sea. However, I have no idea where these records could be. I tried to look up my pediatrician, but he has long since retired. I feel suddenly old.
*sigh. I guess there really isn't anything I can do about it. Just suck it up and get the shot.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Naturally I am spending more time on the phone recently. I don't have a land line anymore, so there's just my cell. I don't give my cell phone that much thought, I've always had more minutes than I could possibly use and my bill is automatically deducted from my bank account. I get good coverage and decent service, so I am happy with my carrier (Verizon).
I happened to glance at this months bill the other day... and holy crap. It is nearly $230 more than it usually is. Yikes!!! His bill, as it turns out, was about the same. Do you know how many plane tickets our collective phone expenditure could have purchased for us? At least 4 or 5! He's not an email kind of guy, doesn't even have an email address, so we spend a lot of time on the phone or SMS'ing. I didn't realize it could get so pricey, but thankfully he is going to look at changing his phone service to Verizon so we can save big $.