Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Stop Playing With Your Beard!

My husband nearly had a conniption last night while watching Biggest Loser. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating, but at one point he did 1/2 jokingly yell "Stop playing with your beard!" at the TV. Anyone else notice how Mark ("Maaahk") kept playing with his facial hair throughout the entire episode? I mean, that is a definite tick, my friend.

And I was happy happy happy that the girls laid the smack down on the boys. They were getting way to big for the britches. So full of themselves. HA!

A funny side note about Loser is that the two brothers are from my hometown. Well, at least Jay is. Mark is from the next town over. How crazy is that?! It's not like I'm from some major city with 1 million+ people. My hometown has around 100,000. No uber-tiny, but certainly not a big city either. So, even with his weird beard touching, I still have to root for him and Jay because they are Mass-holes from southeastern New England who probably say "bubbler", know what "coffee milk" is, and run in their "sneakers".

Practice...

I didn't make it to Mysore this morning. I was too pooped! It was 5:45am and my body said "Nooooooo!". So I listened. I slept another 40 minutes, which felt like 5 minutes. Next time I opened my eyes it was 6:20. Then 6:45. At which point, I got up.

Coupons...

What is this Grocery Game thing? I am intrigued since I *love* a good deal and have a severe case of penny-pincher-ness. Apparently, it requires the clipping of coupons and getting a list of weekly deals from the site to match up with coupons. The negative is that we do not shop at a big grocery store. We shop at farmers' market type places and Trader Joe's. Trying out this grocery game thing would mean I would have to start shopping in the local Vons. Don't get me wrong, it is a nice Vons. Better than the Vons I was forced to shop at in the IE. But it is still Vons. With less than ideal produce prices and selection, and less of the funky, organic, natural, whole grain products. And the thought of having to go to like 3 different grocery stores (sometimes 4!) seems completely wacko. I mean, I like deals, but I hate making 14,000 stops. I will make 89 stops, but not 14,000. My husband already bitches about having to stop at two stores when we do our Sunday food shopping and they are on the same road, about 1 mile apart.

So, I don't know. I am very tempted to try this thing, but I am also feeling loyalty to my existing grocers. We'll see. I suppose I could try for a few weeks, but I am libel to get complaints from the Hubby. Especially if after a month or so I decide to go back to my regular shopping habits.

All in the name of a buck.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hello, Moto!

Well, I love my new phone. Not that I am one for gadgets, but at least I can take some pictures of my dogs where you can actually make out the species of animal. My last phone was very low-end, since Verizon is stingy on giving you good deals on phones. You have to pay at least $50 to get something that isn't already obsolete. I paid 9.99 so you can imagine the phone I had. No wonder it crapped out. We went with T-mobile via Amazon. Now I can be the annoying doggie mommy who thrusts her cell phone in people's faces so they can see how cute her puppies are. And text messaging! Yes. We didn't have the additional package with Verizon and the hubby was all 14 years old sending and receiving over 100 texts a month. Now, we have at least 400 a piece to burn through. He can text to his heart's content, and I don't have to have a coronary when I see the bill.

Speaking of coronaries, I woke up around 1am last night after a horrible dream. I'm not sure where we were and exactly who I was with, but wherever I was, it appeared to be the Armageddon. Nuclear war. Or whatever my imagination thinks is nuclear war, which still sucks. Through windows I several saw large smoke/dust clouds mushrooming up from the earth, and there was dust and debris whipping through the building we were in, and we were breathing it in, getting it in our eyes, scratching everything. I started to try to breath through my t-shirt and then around that time I woke up. It was horrible. Took me a while to fall asleep after that - it was like I was afraid to go back to sleep for fear that (a) I might have another horrible dream, or (b) some other bad thing would happen in real life while I slept, so better stay awake just in case. I haven't had a bad dream like that in a very long time. I don't know why my head conjured it up, but it did. Hopefully, it is hormonal or stress related and not some weird premonition (which why would it be? I think I am just a paranoid freak).

This week has been the property value and tax week. Today, I paid the 2nd half of this year's taxes (ouch! nearly 3 g's). In San Diego County (as it should be anywhere else, I would imagine) you can get a re-assessment of your home value if you believe it has fallen below what they have on the rolls. Boy howdy, has it. I took some time yesterday gathering comparable sales from the last 90 days. I calculated an estimated value that is $77,000 lower than what we paid. This would be a loss 14.5% in one year. Good times. All our equity is gone. We are officially underwater. Soooooo. Why should I pay taxes to the county on value that isn't there? They had better approve this shiznit because in no way, shape, or form, is our house worth what we paid last April. I will appeal it if they don't. And the value will only be worse in July. The house down the street is for sale; it is 300 square feet bigger and has a in-ground pool. Asking prices is $12,000 *less* than what we paid. Yeah. It's been on the market for over 6 months. Yeah. They'll be lucky if they get within $20,000 of their asking price. That's if they get offers at all. I am still thankful we sold our other house last April. That bad boy has dropped even more than our current house, believe it or not. Down almost $100,000. Nearly 20% in one year. We have been more fortunate by the coast. I hope we are nearing bottom out here in So Cal - it's definitely unsettling. Maybe that's why I had my armageddon dream: I realized we owe more to the bank than the house is worth, and my head interpreted it that way. Seems kind of an extreme reaction though.

I am back on the bandwagon with practice. Yee Haw! I guess. For now. Three days in a row. Going for four tomorrow morning. I managed to balance in kukkutasana this morning, but my arms weren't completely through. A practice neighbor was kind enough to try to pull my arms through my nearly non-existent lotus leg holes. She got them only so far (looking at me to make sure I wasn't contorting my face from pain as she pulled); it was enough though for a decent turkey attempt. The rest of the class was already done, and guess who was holding up the show? Yours truly. So everyone got to watch me pop into kukkutasana (thank God I was able to balance and didn't fall on my face). I still felt like a ginormous dork. But I grinned, like the class clown that I am.

Tee hee! it is almost three! Whoopee! Well, not so much, it just rhymed. Two more hours and I am off to teach my hatha level 1.

Friday, March 21, 2008

No One is Perfect (Cliche, I know, but true)

I've mentioned before that I teach yoga. A fair amount of it. I also tend to be a self-deprecating person - probably in an effort to make people like me, I suppose. How does this relate to teaching? Well, sometimes I find myself in a position where I am teaching something that I, myself, am still working on perfecting. This makes demo-ing a little difficult, seeing as if I can't do it well, it's not going to be demo-ed well. Therefore, I am honest. I give verbal instructions, but also tell the students "I am still working on this pose." I am not there with this one yet.

The question is whether this a good choice or a bad choice: to tell your students you can't do a pose well. Personally, I have never seen it as a negative thing. I have never been someone who thinks students should revere their yoga teachers like they are infallible or perfect. Yoga teachers are humans and students just like the people that attend their classes. They have the same limitations they are working through.

Now, I see the point that people would like to think they are learning from someone who has done it all and just to be instructed by them, they will be able to do it all too because their teacher is the bomb-diggity. I get that. I understand it. But does that mean as a teacher I have to ascribe to that? I don't know. On plenty of occasions I have heard teachers say they can't do a particular asana. Two teachers at a studio I work at, in fact. Does it make me think less of them? No. Does it make me think that I don't want to take their classes because they can't do something? No way. Why? Because there is a plethora of knowledge and perspective on other poses they can offer me that I don't already have stored in my brain.

I think that in Ashtanga, there is more ego present than other types of practices. It's not that Ashtanga tells us to have an ego (to the contrary - we are to let go of it), but the people that are drawn to the practice and the nature of the practice (this progression of poses that you must perfect before moving on) breeds egoism. In students and teachers. It's not something I like. I like the practice because it gives me something concrete to focus on, a concrete path, but I don't know that I like the environment that goes along with it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Something Else Has Shit the Bed

That would be my cell phone. Last night, after class, I pulled it out and set the volume back to medium from none (since a teacher can't be having their cell phone yakking off in class), threw it back into my bag. At which point, it makes a weird beepy noise like I got a text or something, or the battery was dead. I pull it back out and it is in the process of rebooting itself. From this point it never came back. It remained with the "Verizon Wireless" splash screen trying to boot up. No amount of pulling out the battery, pressing 18 million buttons, did anything at all to knock it out of it's persistent reboot state. It's like that run-level in linux environments (rc6.d) where it continually shuts down and reboots. Yes, I am a dork.

So, I am phone-less. Which is weird. Not that I am a cell phone talker anyway. But it's unnerving that I don't have one - like if I get stuck on the road or something. And this f'ed up state of phone also means my phone numbers that were stored in there are probably not retrievable. I suppose I could go to a Verizon store, but we have been planning a provider switch for a while now, so I don't want to get a new Verizon phone and have to resign a 2-year contract. Further (yes, further), the fraud alert on my credit report says to call my cell phone on credit requests, so that means hubby MUST be the owner of the new cell phone account (which isn't the case now), and I hope that doesn't screw up the procurement of new cell phone service which needs to happen ASAP. Phew!

Twilight Zone?

The other weird thing last night was the content of the studio's shopping center parking lot. The farmer's market store closes around the time I get out of class. I was out probably 5 minutes after it closed. The lot was almost completely empty aside from 4 police vehicles (3 cars, 1 SUV) which were all empty. No one in them. The one cop car next to my car had the engine running. With no one in there. It was bizarre. Then my phone died. I had momentary paranoia that the apocalypse was coming. But Sirius CNN was blabbing on about Obama stuff so I figured, unless it was a taped thing, no major catastrophic events had transpired while I was teaching my class.

Finally, Practice.

Well, I am bummed that Friday is a moon day. Means no Mysore for me which means no practice until Sunday morning. I will have to squeeze in a class on Saturday morning and I am debating staying local, going to Ashtanga Improv (which ends late, 11am), or going to an Anusara class. I am limiting my options to either free classes at the studios where I teach, or classes at the "shala" (since I am paying the unlimited monthly there). Gotta conserve - the economy is freaking me out.

Anyway. Practice. Yes, back on track after those rabbit holes.

Today's practice felt better than the noodley practice on Monday morning. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana continues to annoy me, royally. Marichasana D was worlds better than Monday. Took minimal effort on Tim's part to get me into the pose. I was pretty close on my own - though when I mentioned that he said close is only good for hand grenades and horseshoes.

Anyway.

The other thing I got help with (significant pulling of arms by Tim) that was better was garba pindasana! And that was without the coconut body butter help (last, last Sunday he wrenched me into it, but I had put lotion on my shins/calves that morning which helped immensely with the sliding of the arms through). Hands did not reach face but I could roll around on my own. I attempted Kukkutasana about 14,000 times (ok, at least 5, I lost count). For two times, I held for like a second and fell back. The last one, I landed on my face and my lotus fell apart. But I will take it. Thank you, universe, that was fun! Got some yummy adjustments from another teacher whose name I don't know but she is super-nice. I need to get her name, already. Sheesh!

The other thing that made me feel better was that I actually had someone practicing next to me who wasn't plowing through 2nd series. Thus, I am not the only schmuck drudging through the beginning stuff. Looked like she had similar sticking points - mari D, garba pindasana, supta kurmasana, though I may be a tad closer on those, but her back bends rocked the party that rocked the party. We've all got something.I know I should leave my ego at the door but it felt good to see someone in Mysore around my level for a change!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Water, My Ass! Get this Guy Some Pepto-Bismol!

Because I love Spaceballs. Anyway.

We were rid of the parents' presence as of yesterday morning. Only for them to arrive back at my house this morning. Why, might you ask? Well, it's a long story but it ultimately comes down to vomit and loose poo. Mostly the latter. My cousin, who lives in a Carribean US territory (not too give too many specific details), was here for a convention. Here being about 40 minutes south actually. She was supposed to leave for Vegas-baby-Vegas yesterday with her buds with whom she was traveling. Her flight back home is out of Vegas...

Here's where the uncontrolled bodily functions come into play. And guess who had to pick her up yesterday? The hubby. Guess where she is at now? The house.

I am hoping to avoid catching this, if it is a bug. I have no desire to be sick even if it results in losing a few pounds to the ceramic gods.

I suppose this is another example of a good side-effect to having your parents within driving distance. Otherwise she would have been all by her lonesome at my house, getting lick-attacked by Nikki, and bumped into by cone-head. Instead she gets to hang out with my weirdo parents which is better than nothing. Better than a poke in the eye with a stick! And, they'll be driving her to LAX tomorrow to fly to Vegas (which works better for our work situation...).

I guess if I ever move to Arizona (which is not likely to happen, but if it did...), I should think about dragging them with me.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Looks like Someone Has a Case of the Mondays!

Arizona was fun as usual, but no yoga was done. For a number of reasons. Ranging from my laziness to husband's whininess about it. Made for interesting practice this morning since it has been over a week since my last practice.

Weather was great - not the blistering 95 degrees we had last year. Eighties and dry - even got some color, so I'm not the usual winter pasty color anymore. I swear, each time we go I feel like I want to move there. But then I think I might melt in July when it's 115 so maybe it's not ideal. I love Tempe, though. We found a great Indian place that is all veg - Udupi Cafe. Had some great Ethiopian, good beer at the brewery (Four Peaks), and even had some wine tasting. The only The one thing I was bummed about not finding earlier in the trip was South Mountain Park. We a 45-minute hike up the Javalina trail before we had to get to Maryvale park to see the Brewers game. The views of Phoenix from this park are fabulous. Lots of bikers on the trail - made me want to have a bike so I could ride, too. After California, I think Arizona is my second choice of places to live. It is beautiful - the Grand Canyon is only a few hours north and is the most amazing place I have ever seen.

The drive was tedious - I definitely felt the extra time it took now that we live further south and close to the coast. It was an extra 40 minutes... It used to be that we could make it to Phoenix in like 5 hours or a bit less... now it's closer to 6. I guess it's one of the few reasons you might want to live in the IE. I stress the word FEW. And, by the way, gas in Arizona is about 30 cents cheaper per gallon. What is that about? 30 cents? Why do we Californians get slammed like this for gas? It can't possibly be all taxes. Massachusetts is called "Taxachusetts" and the gas is like 30 cents cheaper there, as well.

Rusty is status quo with the paw affliction. It is not bad but it's not good, either. Still coned, still washing paws daily. He's not cool with the whole daily paw washing but there are no other options at this point - so he has to deal. I hope this situation improves soon... this is a long time for him to be in this state. Poor guy is not liking it.

As I mentioned earlier, practice was interesting this morning seeing as it had been 7 days since my last practice (and these are my sins... hehe, kidding. Flash back to Catholic school). It wasn't horrible, but Marichasana D on the right barely happened with muscling from Tim. It's like I was back to where I was a month ago. Weird. Supta Kurmasana was no worse - in fact the same, or maybe better. Which was again weird. Backbends were the same - I didn't fall on my ass coming up so that was a bonus. Always a bonus when you don't fall on your butt in front of 20+ other people. Hopefully tomorrow will be improved!

Lastly, I am enthralled by this Spitzer fiasco. It is too interesting - all this info is coming out about the girl ("Kristen" who is really Ashley Dupre who is really Ashley Youmans). And it seems like everyone who knew her like her - like nothing bad or mean to say. The whole situation is interesting - it's like a soap opera. It's hard to believe it's actually real. Something else to read about other than Clinton-Obama...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

These Snazzberries Taste Like Snazzberries

I think inappropriate studio owner has picked a new teacher to seduce. I walked in a few minutes after the earlier class ended and he was chatting it up with the teacher about an upcoming retreat. She was talking about how if they wanted her to work the retreat (i.e. teach), they need to pay her way there. "Get me there, and I will work for you". My head was spinning with how this guy was going to misconstrue this. Apparently he had also taken her class before this conversation. Boy, while I'm glad I'm not the object of attention anymore, I am thinking she has no idea what is coming to her. It is ridiculous how this married man carries on. She is probably younger than me, so we're talking over 20 years age difference.

I am really bummed about not being able to practice since Sunday. I probably could have today, as far as ladies holiday is concerned because it looks to be practically over. Only 2 days - that is short, which is fine by me. But the reality is, I couldn't because we are leaving for Phoenix tomorrow and I need to leave the office early in order to get the dogs straightened out before my parents arrive at the house. And I have to teach tonight. And pack when I get back at 9pm (because we are leaving at the ass-crack of dawn - 5:30am). And clean out my ridiculously messy car. And explain to the parentals what they have to give Rusty for meds, the cone, cleaning his paws with peroxide, etc. It was a necessary sacrifice but that doesn't mean I'm happy with it.

And *why* is this time change kicking my rear end all over the place? I keep waking up in the morning feeling like it's 3am. I slept until 7am this morning and I had to DRAG my BUTT out of bed like someone had drugged me. While I miss the mornings being light (because now when I go to practice next week, the dogs will be out when it's still kind of dark), this whole time change thing is messing with my circadian rhythms.

And one more thing. Because I like to begin sentences with "and". What is the tarnation was Eliot Spitzer thinking? Lord, did he screw up royally. I mean, I'm a registered Dem, but I cannot rationalize this away. You can't be hard-nose about breaking up prostitution rings and then go and use one. Often. On the order of $80,000. That is complete hypocrisy. I don't care so much that he used a prostitute (because it's not my business how he has to please himself outside his job), as much as the fact that he was all about fighting them (amongst other criminal activities he was no-nonsense about). If you're going to do something bad, make sure it is not something you are steadfastly against on your platform. This just seems like common sense to me, but I think people in power get caught up in it and stop using their brains.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Post of Whiny Whininess. I am the Queen of Kvetch-ing.

I graduated college ten or so years too late it seems. My alma mater has followed suit with the other Ivies stating that parents making under 60K wouldn't have to pay anything, under 100K wouldn't have to pay tuition (just room and board), and any students receiving financial aid wouldn't have any student loans. Well, my parents fell under 60K and they paid out over 60K over 4 years. I still owe 12K and have paid 8K. It's kind of irksome just because I am STILL paying for this stuff 8 years after graduating and we were under the 60K bottom rung of income. Still paying. Blah. I will be paying for probably another 5 years and students will have already graduated with a free ride. Why didn't they figure out that it was unfair back then? Tuition was 30K+ in 1996. That's just as ludicrous as it is now. Phooey. I'm glad they did it but it's still poopy for those of us from lower-middle families that got stuck paying an awful lot.

Rusty is recovering after yet another paw(s) flare up. Vet still thinks it's still the demodex - I have no idea at this point. It looks like he has finally stopped bleeding everywhere. The tile floor is disgusting but I saw no point to mopping it when it would just get dirty as soon as I was done. If I can find some time tonight and I'm not tired, I might mop it... I just hope he can stay OK while we are away. It would be a little too much drama for my parents to handle if he regresses while they are watching the pups. I'll have to stress to them that it is super-important to cone him because it's impossible to watch him 24-7, and any licking is going to throw the last 3 days of healing out the window. Boy, I hope this clears up - vet thinks it could take like 6 months - we're in the 3rd month now, so half-way there? Hope so.

In an effort to organize my kitchen better (because it is the smallest kitchen you will find in a 2000 sq ft house and we're not doing the addition with a potential recession), I got this under-the-cabinet trash thing that slides out. Well, it appears it may be a complete waste of money. We'll see. I installed it, recessed a little - like 2 inches into the cabinet. Went to pull the bag out last night and I couldn't get it out because 1/2 the bin was still under the cabinet. So. I un-installed and re-installed the tracks to be further forward. It's it as close as you can get it - I have maybe 1 cm between the handle and the back of the cabinet door. When I pull it out it still looks like I won't be able to pull out a full bag. It's poorly designed. It'll be a waste of 16 bucks. I'm a little peeved because kitchen cabinets are a standard height and they designed a trash bin that doesn't work with that height. Basically, it has to be not full to be able to pull out the bag. If it doesn't work this time I will have to just get a plastic trash bin that fits under there with no sliding business. What a rip-off.

And it seems appropriate that we'd be making a road trip to Arizona just when the gas prices are hitting all-time highs. Good timing, definitely. I mean, $109 a barrel? That's just super. Let's go drive 760 miles this weekend. Can someone whack Bush 43's across the head for putting us in this financial nightmare? Seriously. This isn't the Texas Rangers where if you f**k up, someone bails you out. There is no one to bail us out. Ugh, it's pointless.

How much did I bitch this entry? Geez Louise! Ladies holiday = no yoga = a tad cranky.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I Can't Put My Finger On It...

Maybe because it's more than just one "it", but I don;t really want to go to Italy this year. I feel like it's a combination of several things...

(1) I will only have 6 days of vacation time to spare and I will be vacation-day-poor at the end of the trip
(2) It's a total of 14 hours flying time and I am not someone who enjoys flying. 6 hour flights already push my limits.
(3) The cost will be high. High. The dollar has taken the biggest dump in 30+ years. This trip will cost 4 thousand, easy. And that's if we don't do any shopping. And we won't really be doing any because, again, thank you Mr Bush, the dollar is in the shitter.
(4) The dogs will need to be boarded. This one could end up being a real pain because of Rusty. He has started up licking the back foot now - he is back to phone-ing home with his satellite dish because he can't be trusted. So, it will be tough to find a boarder that will put up with that cone thing. Might have to appeal to the rescue to see if she'll take him for the week... ugh.
(5) the lack of extra vacation means no jet-lag recovery time. I will be back to work all jet-lagged and tired. That ought to be fun.

So, yeah, I'm not gung-ho. I should be, I mean, how many people even get to go to Italy, and then on top of it, not have to pay for lodging, etc. I should be grateful. But I just don't feel like going :(

Taxes!

Ok, so the trip was worth it and the fees were lower than I expected... which was weird, because I could have sworn we paid close to $400 in 2004. But it was $285, so I was a happy camper. And we got back more than expected, so at least it'll pay for some of the upcoming costs we have (property taxes, home insurance, car insurance, Italy trip). It won't cover all of it, but it'll cover a sizable chunk, Too bad I won't be able to save any.

The Mortgage Crisis.

What a f**king mess. I can see the banks are all freaking out like little girls at a Miley Cyrus concert. But not in the good way. More like they get to the concert and it's Barry Manilow and they freak out.

We got a letter from Wells Fargo about our home insurance. They stated the balance of our loan (duh, I have been paying it for almost a year now), and then stated what the insurance was covering for rebuilding costs in the event of a total loss (it's about 190K less than the loan balance), and then suggested we call our insurance company to make sure the rebuilding costs are in-line with current costs.

Seriously? We all know that the cost to buy an existing house in Southern California is way more than it would actually cost to build it from scratch (not counting land). Even with the loss in home value - you still can re-build our house for less than the market value. Not to mention the reality that building materials and construction/labor costs have dropped considerably from lack of demand. So, I am thinking that last year's estimate is still good, if not better since last year, we weren't in a complete real estate melt down.

What a mess. I hope we get out of this sooner rather than later. November cannot come soon enough.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Long Day Today...

Tonight I drive 70-90 minutes (depends on traffic) north to get our taxes done. We used this guy 3 years back for our 2004 taxes when we sold the townhouse and bought the house(and I had a 1/2 year of 1099 income to complicate matters). He's done our friends' taxes for years and they have a mondo-complicated situation with rental properties, 1099, W-2, etc. I figure it's worth the drive, though his fees are quite high. I am hoping it will be under $500. Last time it was around $400, I believe. Hopefully, this year's level of complication is not much more than 2004 and inflation hasn't jacked it up over $500. That will be a painful check to write even if I get a handsome refund.

I am getting excited for our spring training trip next week. I love going to Arizona. I'm not exactly sure why I like it, I just do. Maybe I just like Arizona. We've only gone in March when the weather is tolerable so perhaps I wouldn't like Arizona in July when it's 116 degrees. I am a heat seeker, but that is HOT. I don't care if it's dry.

If the forecast holds up (which who knows if it will because it's still a week away and my faith in meteorology has waned since my childhood career dream of being a weather-girl), it should be sunny and around 80 degrees. That's pool weather for sure. So maybe we will be able to get some sun and pool time. Maybe. We are going to a game every day though, so I'm not sure if that will happen, unless it's still fairly warm around 5pm...

My yoga plan is to take two classes. One Anusara on Friday - this will be the third time I frequent this class. It's becoming a tradition. Hopefully the same teacher is there from last year, she was excellent. The second class will be a led primary series (from the only authentic Ashtanga I could find in Arizona). So I'll still get at least three ashtanga practices in next week; maybe four, depending on Aunt Flo, whose anticipated arrival is today or tomorrow, but it is highly possible she will be late seeing as my body is still working it's way back to regulating itself.

Well, dinner tonight will be at the office. How crappy is that? Haven't had to eat dinner at the office in YEARS. This tax trip better be worth it!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Munchies Are Back...

I have the munchies again. This week has been very grazy, like a goat grazing a hillside - if there were a bag of chips on my desk right now it would be really hard not to mindlessly put chip after chip in my mouth.

Could it be PMS? Does this happen, maybe? I am on month 2 without the pill and I can't remember if munchiness was something I experienced 7 years ago sans pill. If I did, I didn't care because I was like 102 pounds, I could eat whatever. I am hoping it is something hormonal and will go away next week.

On a positive note with this whole cycle thing is my skin is holding it's own since the large cyst appeared between my eyebrows a couple weeks ago. The cyst is still there (it takes months for those things to flatten and disappear), but it's a lot smaller. I keep waiting for some crazy zit frenzy to happen since my face is usually a mine-field waiting to be detonated.

Because of the munchies, I had an additional morning snack after my oatmeal: a Special K bar which was not so special. I mean, it has good flavor and is only 90 cals but it the smallest thing you have ever seen, not to mention it is mostly air (nothing dense about this thing). It has barely 1 gram of fiber. I'm not sure I'll buy them again because I'm willing to eat more calories if I can get some fiber in there. Eating that thing felt almost as pointless as eating a rice cake.

Practice...

Was less like lead than the last two days. I have now bound to wrists easily in mari A two days in a row. This is truly an accomplishment for me seeing as I have dwarf arms.

The other thing that seems to be progressing is bhujapidasana - I can, though not super-gracefully, get my legs through arms with head on the floor.

Other than that, I was disappointed that this morning there was no Kiran to give excellent adjustments. Aside from Tim, she is the best adjuster at the studio (in my humble opinion). I did get lots of tips from this other adjuster. I thought she looked familiar and then when she adjusted me in urdvha mukha pascimottanasana, I remembered her from the first Sunday morning led primary I took back in July of last year. At least I know my memory is still mostly in tact.

This is the song that doesn't ends. Yes it goes on and on my friends!

We started singing it now knowing what it was, and then continued singing it forever just because... this is the song that doesn't end...

You get my point. I am referring to the race for the Democratic party nomination. Hillary came back from the dead last night, though she will maybe net a 10-15 delegate increase, putting her around the same place as she was before, behind Barack by nearly 100. No matter, these wins, however pointless they are, give her raison d' etre in this race. She will undoubtedly continue. Not that I have anything against her - I actually thought her speech in Columbus last night was good - she delivered it well. I didn't get to hear Barack speak.

But I am so over this race. I don't know which was has a better chance of beating McCain. Hillary won in a Republican-esque fashion - meaning she grabbed all the rural areas while Barack won the big cities. Does this mean she has a better shot beating McCain? I don't know. I tend to think not just because those rural areas will pick McCain over Hillary in November. Democrats are strong in big cities, so going with the Dem that is not strong in big cities could be disastrous.

I am still in the Obama camp, for now. Next states this month are Wyoming and Mississippi. I think they will go Obama. Mississippi for sure, and Wyoming is a caucus and Obama has kicked Clinton's behind in caucuses so this should be more of the same. So her gains will be kaput again - maybe even deeper of a deficit than before March 4th. Then comes Pennsylvania... I feel like it's Hillary territory, but you never know. It could go the other way. Man, this is a wacky race.

Ok, diet coke and samoas are calling and I simply can't ignore them anymore :o)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Breakroom Vending Machine....

Contains a snack that has been taunting me as I walk by the last few days.

Snoballs.

I don't understand it. Why am I attracted to their obnoxiously loud pink color? Why do I want to eat those fluffy coconut dusted balls? They just look so tasty -- it is wrong.

Calorie Count's website says they have 340 calories, 10 grams of fat of which 7 grams (7!!!) are saturated fat. 34% of your daily value of saturated fat (if you're daily calories are 2000. For me, I am around 1500, so that would be about 44% of my daily value. Nice. I think I might eat less than 7 grams per day as it is.

I will continue to pine away for the snoballs. Maybe one day I will cave and report if it was worth the health splurge.

Effing Credit Crisis

Maybe I should have figured this out seeing as I have half a financial brain, but I didn't. Hindsight is always 20-20. Last April when we bought our current house, we, of course, did not have the requisite 20% down. We had 11% leaving 9% to be financed with a 2nd mortgage. Being the risk-averse type that I am and having been through 4% of rate hikes with our last variable rate home equity line of credit, I went for a fixed rate home equity loan getting 8.375%. Realistically, that is not all that bad, the best you can get now is around 7.25% for a fixed rate.

But! If I had been betting against the economy (which I should have been because the dollar was falling hard, houses were sitting on the market super long -- it was obvious we were going to start heading somewhat south), I would have gone with a variable rate and now would have a rate around 6% instead of 8.375%. It irks me. I mean, the payment would be over 80 bucks less per month. I could pay that mo-fo off much quicker.

And we can't refinance it. I refinanced a HELOC back in 2004 when I had a crappy rate from Countrywide, but it's not an option in 2008. Our house's value has dropped more than 10%. With banks tightening their requirements, it's impossible to get a good rate if you don't have at least 20% equity. We *had* 10%, now we have none. We are even or under water. So, I will just have to suck it up and pay the extra interest - but it blows. It totally blows hairy monkey balls.

Call Me Crazy

But I actually like the taste of tofu. That is strange, isn't it. I know.

I am on day two of my tofu/mashroom marsala and I am totally enjoying the tofu.

I am also trying a slice of my husband's bank-breaking bread. He didn't check the price before putting it into the cart and when it rang up, it was $5.25 for a loaf. I had to look at the reciept several times just to make sure I was seeing the right numbers. I will admit, it is some good bread, but no way is it worth 3 bucks extra per loaf. I mean, seriously. That kind of price makes me think I should start making my own stinkin' bread.

Six is enough, thank you.

This morning's back bending total was 8. I only did 6 of them, resting for #2 and #4. Dropped down and came up once, at the end. I am not pushing my luck by trying it more than once. I have learned to listen to the body after the morning of 12 back bends. My arms and legs are still pooped - I think I am acclimating to 3-5 days a week when I was doing maybe 1-2 previously.

And this morning was packed! Holy moly. I didn't even get a spot near a wall. When it came time for handstands/boats, I had to use one of the pillars or be one of the only ones only doing lolasana. And hot. It is imperative that I get there earlier because the spot near the blankets and prop cabinet gets too enough morning sunshine. The temperature was a bit uncomfortable. Not to mention blinding during parivritta parsvakonasana. Must get there earlier - don't want to fry and be without a wall again.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Wow, Am I Boring Today

This morning it was uber difficult to get my butt out of bed to go practice. Yesterday, we went wine tasting and then ended up having a few brewski's afterwards with a pal, so I had a mini hangover this morning (small - not bad though, probably more dehydration). Additionally, I was up until 10:30pm cooking my lunch for the week so this morning I was really wanting to stay in bed with my dog snuggled up next to me. But I managed to get up at 6am (20-30 minutes later than ideal) and in the end only about 10 minutes of schedule. Not much to speak of about practice other than I felt more like lead today - the hand-binding that happened in supta kurmasana last time was gone today. And I came up once from back bend and also fell on my ass once when I attempted a second stand up. In the assisted back bends, if Kiran hadn't had a good grip on me I would have crashed on my head. My legs were pooped out for some reason. Oh well. I think part of it might be PMS - I'm expecting Aunt Flo sometime at the end of the week, if her train is on schedule (the 28-day schedule it's supposed to be on). Now lunch has rolled around and I feel pooped. I am on Diet Coke number two, hoping that the caffeine will kick in to wake my sorry ass up.

Yay for Tofu!

My lunch was interesting - I stayed up making a tofu and mushroom marsala (did you know marsala wine is like 18% alcohol? Yikes!) concoction from the greatest cookbook ever (yes, again, Moosewood). And as expected, the cookbook delivered another good recipe. Maybe not my favorite thus far but certainly good enough to repeat. It's not like I have tofu recipes coming out my ears, so even if it's only 4 out of 5 stars, that is good enough. Only took 40 minutes to make and I get my daily dose of phyto-nutrients since it includes a can of diced tomatoes.

Tomorrow is a big day...

Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont are voting tomorrow and, boy, do I hope Obama finishes this shiz-nit off already. CNN has this nifty delegate counter (http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/29/delegate.counter/index.html) where you can try to predict who wins what state that remains and see if one gets the necessary 2025 delegates. I played around with it, making my own predictions, giving Hillary certain states like Rhode Island, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, etc. In the end, Obama is still on top, he makes the 2025 in the end. The reality is she has to start winning big or she is out. I think that if tomorrow, the splits between then are again within a few percentage points (52-47, that range) it won't matter if she is on the winning end. It might matter a little bit for momentum, but I just don't see her getting the nomination at this point. I mean, she's not out like Huckabee is out - his chances are hopeless, but Clinton still would have to pull off wins ala 2004 Red Sox vs. the Yankees for the AL pennant.

What? No Rain?

As much as my bank account was enjoying a $20 reduction in water bill amount, I am happy to have gotten two days without rain and blah cloudiness. We have had an astonishing amount of rain for southern California. In the month of February, shortest month of the year, we got 7.86 inches of rain. That is insanity. Normal is 2.66. I mean, I know the argument of "we need it" but it really gets old after a while. And I'm not sure it does all that good to rain excessively for a month or two and then be bone dry for 6 months. Better if it were interspersed, but this is Cali and that's not the way the climate works. But, boy, do I welcome the clear sky and warmer temperatures. I hope it lasts more than a few days...