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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Who am I wearing?

Last night, I spent the night lounging on the couch amongst piles of pillows, with my special end-of-winter-can't-wait-for-spring candle burning, a fire roaring in the fireplace, sipping salted carmel hot chocolate,  flipping through fashion magazines while watching the fashion reviews of Sunday night's Academy Awards. It was the perfect way to regroup after all the broo-ha-ha and activity of the weekend and a fitting way to spend the final Monday night of a month that just about kicked my ass.   I was lulled to sleep to a wonderful aroma, with the taste of salty sweetiness in my mouth  and hearing the words "WHO ARE YOU WEARING?" over and over the announcers asked the stars and starlets about their fashion choices.  Ahhhh.....

About an hour ago, I awoke to the same scene---my salted carmel hot chocolate was perched on the edge of the coffee table--cold, my PEOPLE STYLE magazine was sprawled across my lap the pages wrinkled, my  candle was still burning away (shhhh....don't tell Carmen), the fireplace was still going and the TV was still spewing Oscar fashion news. 
In my hazy state, I found myself giggling at the thought of how glamorous and luxurious my situation seemed at 10 pm while my 4 am situation seemed quite sad.....cold hot chocolate, having used up many hours of my overly priced candle, having slept the entire night on the couch, my legs and my back feeling quite sore......and WHO WAS I WEARING?
-Estee Lauder was smeared across my face
-My  footwear--Dearfoams
-My ensemble--Mossimo for Target

Yes, the height of fashion and elegance.
More like a wardrobe malfunction.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Road-weary, over slept and never got the hang of Monday......

I think it's the perfect excuse  for this girl to call it an early night.

Last night, after a full weekend of activity and happenings and little-to-no sleep, I hit the dark, winding roads back to collegeland with my sorority girl, my dear friend Patty and her sorority girl and all of their sorority girl treasures.   My car was full, my bank account was drained from a weekend with my sorority girl and I  was praying that my overload on caffeine would get me there and back without needing to pull off the road for a nap.
As luck would have it, between the blaring radio, the heavy doses of caffeine and the girl talk, I was thrilled that we were able to arrive in collegeland in enough time for us to unpack and then to turn around and get back home in enough time to watch the tail end of the Academy Awards.
But, my plan was just too good to be true.
Us moms sent our two traveling companions on the mission to unpack the car while we scurried off to fill up the kitchen shelves with the groceries we had bought them and to unpack all the soups and assorted meals that we made to stock their freezer.
When we entered the kitchen......the deal with sealed.....we would not be getting home at any reasonable hour.

Apparently, no one had heard about doing dishes, throwing away trash, throwing out expired foods or cleaning up the floor......
Toni had warned me about the conditions but also gave me some hope that things would be cleaned up over the weekend in time for our arrival.  
 Since that wasn't the case--- two sorority girls and their moms rolled up their sleeves and cleaned the sorority girls' house kitchen.
Hours later,  as we looked at our handiwork, Patty said "we managed to polish a turd"......
What I think she meant was....."we made something bad into something not-so bad"
My friend Patty has such a way with words.
We were done.  We were tired.  We needed to walk away.  
We gave a stern lecture to all the sorority girls, advised them on the value of having clean dishes and safe food and clean floors and left them a few extra dollars to buy some paper plates and plastic cups.
We bid our girls good them extra kisses and hugs to give them the courage to come up with a kitchen cleaning plan for  everyone in the house.
With that, we were on the road again. 
I was lucky I could even see the road.....between my heavy, sleep deprived eyes and the stench of  the super-duper cleaning products burning those weary eyes, the drive home over the dark, winding roads from Collegeland to Judiland was quite the ordeal.
If this was our initiation into the sorority, we respectfully decline.
We decided the sorority life is not for us.   

I missed the Academy Awards.
But, by the time I dragged myself into my house, I was positive I deserved an award myself.  
So, I slept past the alarm clock this morning.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Broken fingernail and other catastrophes....

As if breaking a fingernail wasn't bad enough, the wind had to come and blow out a window in our garage and in doing so, damaged a great deal of the shit that we pile up in said garage. 
Now, when I say "break a fingernail"....I'm not talking about just a minor break. 
No, no, no....I'm talking chipped polish and all.  I mean, a real ruined manicure.
And, when I say blow out a window....I'm not saying that there was just broken glass.
No, no, no.....I'm talking the entire window....the entire HUMUNGUS F'IN WINDOW....frame and all...just blew out of the wall and fell....lock, stock and barrel...
Oh, and some bricks also toppled....
And, when I tell you "damaged a great deal of the shit that we pile up in said garage"....I'm not just telling you about a few little garden tools. 
No, no, no.....I'm talking lawn mower, golf clubs, the random make-up vanity that everyone has in their garage, a very large fumpkin (you know, those fake pumpkins...), a shitload of crocks and God knows what else....
Now, typically, this fingernail issue would definitely have me all a-flutter and I'd be all cranky over the loss of the fumpkin but sometimes a girl just has to put aside her heartbreaks and deal with the really important what wine would pair perfectly with dinner..............

 Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
 Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing
Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Roasted Vegtables
Banana Pudding

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Comfort food for a snow day.....

No, I'm not in the kitchen stirring up some magically transforming meal.
I'm nursing a hot chai, watching FOOD NETWORK chefs whip up comfort foods.
That's what they will be doing all day.  Which, in turn, means that I'll be sitting by and watching them.
It's just that kind of day.
My father will be watching reruns of reruns of reruns.
Toni is visiting and will be doing her laundry.
Carmen will be resting his weary self to get ready to jump into another week in his mind-numbing work schedule.
I might call and order them all a pizza....that's the closest thing I'm going to get to comforting anyone with food.
Tomorrow....that's another story.
I've got big plans for lots of kitchen comfort.
For today, I'm just going to sit back and let the snow fall, the winds howl and  the TV chefs cook up comfort food.
A good plan for being more comfortable in my skinny jeans.....

Friday, February 24, 2012

February is just a SH*T F*CK month.....

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Honestly, it's the shortest month of the year but it feels like it just goes on and on and on.
It's just one tough mother of a month! 
Even spelling FebRuary isn't easy!  

We aren't even having our typical February weather so I can't even pin my philosophy on that.
So, I wonder--Why do I spend the better part of each afternoon fantasizing about getting into my jammies and curling up on the couch?
I'm not even a curling up on the couch kinda person....except for when I'm sick or dealing with the wine flu.  
I'm not sick and I don't have a daily case of the wine flu. 
I can't diagnose myself as depressed because I am not depressed in a clinical sense or even a non clinical sense.
I'm pretty sure of that.

The other day I mentioned my dislike of February and my theory that it was just a lousy month to my friend as we shared a stolen moment over two cups of tea and compared notes on the joys of washing machine shopping.
(Did I mention my washing machine died?  I think it died of neglect....)
In a very matter-of-fact tone she told me "February is known to have the highest number of suicides."
"Then why do they call April the cruelest month?  I thought it was because April is the month with the highest suicide rate?" I asked her.
"Don't we have anything better to talk about than washing machines and suicide rates?" she asked half-laughing.
"You'd think!"  I agreed.
"February can definitely be classified as a lousy month if that's all we can find to talk about!" she gasped in mock amazement. 
We went right back to our washing machine talk.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Note to self.......

Here I am, on the threshold of DAY 2 of  my Lenten practice of  not seeking out comfort in bad food and I find myself secretly trying to concoct some evil plan to eat an Almond Joy bar without going to Hell or moving into the next pants size......
Never, I'm assuming. 

I would be lying to you if I told you that I'm the perfect Lapbander and that I always eat right and that I'm a devoted exerciser.....
Yes, I managed to loose over 100 pounds being utterly imperfect and sometimes not eating properly and not being the workout queen of Pittsburgh.    
A miracle?
No. Not really.
I had my beloved Lapband. 
Plus, I did the hard work.
Not the perfect work, mind you.
The hard work.

My  weight loss has been a true of self-discovery, self-awareness, highs and lows and realizations.
A great philosopher would probably say that those are the richest journeys.
But, on days like these when I want to go against the path that I have set for myself, I'm not about the journey. 
I am about the Almond Joy Bar.
I have faith that my Lapband will keep me from  certain pasta and bread and Big Macs.
But, I know very well that it won't keep me from  Almond Joy Bars.
If truth be told, I was never much of a sweet eater.
It was pasta and bread and nachos and meatballs and more pasta and more bread and nachos that I adored...
When I found out that chocolate can get past my Lapband with no trouble at all.....hello Almond Joy Bars, Peppermint Bark and M&M's.

My mother used to tell me  that you can love a rich man as much as you love a poor man.
I suppose the same goes for food.
You can love an Almond Joy Bar as much as you love a vat of pasta.
I am living proof.
So, I'm counting on both my fear of  the Lord and of Size 12 pants to keep me away from seeking comfort in bad food.
I am a good Catholic girl who loves her Sizes 8 and 10 pants....

I'm taking it one day at a time. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dear Onion Ring: You left me feeling dirty......

and cheap and easy.
And, it didn't even feel good.
It felt even worse afterwards.
Okay, sure, there was that fleeting moment--when you first touched my was good.
By the the time you entered me the second time,  things began to get nasty. 
Then, when I felt your grimminess on my belly, on my hips and on my naughty-but-fun visions of my clandestine romp at my desk began to feel sordid and ugly. 
Yet, I didn't push you away.
I  just kept on going and going and going, filled with a lust and hunger that I thought only you could fulfill!
What kind of SLUT am I?
You tell me....what does this look like?

Yesterday, being that it was FAT Tuesday and all, I announced to my colleagues that I was going to find something to eat that was evil. 
As others headed to Mardi Gras lunches and made plans for eatathons of favorite foods, I decided that I  would partake in a bit of lunch time gluttony myself----something that is completely out of character for me in the middle of the day!
No soup.  No hummus. No tuna salad or peanut butter on rice cakes.   No yogurt or protein shake.
A little naughtiness was in order.
I was after food naughtiness.....(for the record- drinking during  the work day is frowned upon these days)  
After all, hadn't I just spent the better part of the past six weeks chained to my work?
And, with Lent on the horizon and the weekend days away, it made perfect sense to me.
Evil eating was earned.  
As I descended the staircase, I knew exactly where I was headed.
I was going to seek out those onion rings. 

I wish I could tell you that after the onion ring affair was over, I felt vindicated and happy.
But, that would be lying.
I'm sure part of my eating regret was a result  of my life long dieting girl behavior--eat bad food feel like a bad fat girl when it's all over.  
And, I'm pretty sure my pants weren't really ready to bust at any moment--that's another leftover of my years of equating overeating with immediate gratification  punishment.
To be honest--I just felt sick.
I felt an ugly sickness in the pit of my stomach and I just wanted to go home and lay on the couch in a fetal position.
Which, of course, I couldn't.
I had a meeting to go to....(what else is new?)
Those onion rings haunted me the rest of the day.....and into the night.
Finally, when the misery became too much to bear, I looked in the mirror and took a long hard look at myself. 
So, before I drifted off to sleep-- I made my Lenten promise--
I will not let my lust for a few stolen moments of naughtiness take away what I have rightfully earned----to feel wonderful and energized and in control!!!!

Hello 40 days and 40 nights of getting what I deserve......

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

I always keep my promises...........

Alas, I have returned to Stories from the Road.....
And, just in the nick of time.
I'm in need of some order and some normalness (and some sleep) and a return to better eating habits.
My body and my life are feeling the effects of  it all.    
The past two weeks have been chalk full of  relentless torture work activity.
We managed to pull off the largest event in our history.  And, the real kicker is that we pulled it off with a budget that was cut in half and resources that were stretched to the limit.  I had to do some mighty magic for months to bring it on home---mentally  and physically.  For months, I had to figure out just how we were going to do it all without the basic necessities we were used to working with and just how we were going to deal with the cuts without pissing everyone off.  Then, as we eeked into the final hours---the fruits of my labor answered my questions.  How to do you pull off a major event with half the money and less than 1/4 of the resources--you and a bunch of women over the age of 45 step up your game.   
Remind me next year to have daily sessions with a trainer for everyone for those few months leading up to the event.   
Should you think I'm making this up.......
I was hanging from a pipe adjusting drapery, I was teetering on a wobbly chair attaching signage, my coworkers and I were unloading pallets of huge boxes and hoisting them on to tables and carrying chairs and tables and signs and big displays.....all the while smiling and behaving as though this is just another day at the office.  I had to apologize to people, I had to tell people that no, there were not any cookies this year--and no chocolate either!!  I had to fight with the parking people, I had to listen to complaints, I had to squeeze through crowds, I had to be professional and pleasant and just all around accommodating--living on little sleep, terrible eating habits and holding grudges against people who deserved me to hold  grudges against them.  
Believe me now?
Then, after we did the making-history thing--I had two more major events that I had to lovingly attend to and make look pretty and perfect.    And, of course, amid all of that--our online management tool that we use to do what we do WENT DOWN.  Yes, folks, that .1% chance of three servers going down--happened.  Naturally, we couldn't let on just how catastrophic that was. We could not start a wave of panic and mass hysteria---even though there was quite enough panic and mass hysteria that we had to deal with. I mean, once the word hit the street that OUR ONLINE SYSTEM WAS DOWN....the crazies came out.  After all, you know we do brain surgery.  No,  I couldn't set my hair on fire or simply just retire--as in tell everyone "I AM OUTTA HERE!"   It was just another day at the office---even though we were thrust into a sea of blindness with people yelling at us and making utterly maniacal demands.  We were forced to talk in calm voices and reassuring tones while every inch of our beings wanted to just purchase one way tickets to Bora Bora.  (okay, okay....I did sneak in a late night stop for a martini....or two.  But, it was absolutely necessary to my sanity)

Believe me, I couldn't have done any of that 115 pounds ago.  So, once again, thank you Lapband.

Now that all the work-related busy-ness and chaos of the past few weeks is behind me, I'm ready to jump feet first into cleaning up the messes that ensued because of the busy-ness of the past few weeks.
And, what  messes I have on my hands!
From my laundry room to my kitchen to my fridge to my pantry to my bedroom to my office to every nook and cranny of Judiland.....messes abound.
Not exactly how I like to spend my precious time but's better than what I might be doing......

Yes, I'm back to blogland.
(oh how I've missed you so!)

My first step towards restoring all of the things that needed restoring.....

Monday, February 6, 2012

Working my ass off!

No, I'm not at some fancy Spa.
I'm just s working my ass work.
Next time we ass will be sufficiently worked off.  
And, I'm not talking about weight loss or exercise.
Before I go,  I'll leave you with a shot of me enjoying some down time this past weekend as I prepared myself for working my ass off.....

 Funny thing, in the wee hours of this morning as I climbed out of bed to take care of details, details, details before I had to go out into the darkness to take care of more details, details, details,  I came to the realization that I just can't do 200 things at once and do any of them well.
So, I didn't blog.  
Instead, I spent a few extra minutes in the shower.
As my day droned on and the meetings and emails and demands kept hammering away at me, I tried to make peace with the fact that  the best thing I could do  was to give myself the permission to do what I need to do to get me through the mania of  these moments in my work life.
So, smack in the middle of the day--instead of coming right back to my desk after a meeting, I took a detour to my car---and I snuck a smoke while listening to a little Bruce. 
As I drove home after a day that lasted ions, I realized that I had to take advantage of these last moments of clarity....because it might not happen again until some time next week.
Something had to give if I was going to get it all done in Judi style.  
There was no way I would ever make it through with myself in tact unless I took some drastic action. 
So, that's what I decided to do.  
Knowing that you would forgive me for giving up my blog time to attend to my vanity, I decided that as soon as I got home, I'd give you the news--I'm going to take a little blog break.
Because, you know,  if a girl can't get her beauty sleep, she needs time to apply enough make up to cover those dark circles from all the work and little sleep.  
So, I'm going to steal my blogging time to work on my face.  
Because we all know there's never an excuse for looking anything less than well made up.
Not even a stretch of death-defying working my ass off.  

I knew you'd understand!

I'll be back......promise.  

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's settled then.......

I heard you loud and clear!
Thank you for letting me know you are here and you are reading along.
It means more than you will know.
So, I'm here to stay and I'm counting on you to do the same!

I want to give a special shout out to my forever friend--Debbie-- who is one of my very loyal blog readers--she gave me the "Born to Blog" ornament above.   It was the perfect gift!  We had a little Wednesday night meet-up at one of our favorite little wine-drinking places to celebrate my new age.  She gave me a bag full of good goodies--one of which was that!  So, now it hangs in my little blogging office off the kitchen where I can see it each day to remind myself that my blog matters......

Other than that, I have to confess to you that I am so damn glad this work week is almost over.
I mean, was one helluva week.  And, that's being kind. 
But, let me tell you---next week might NOT be any better!
I think I deserve a little shopping trip to soothe me.  
See you at the Mall!   

Thursday, February 2, 2012

All hail to the HOG!

So, we're all sitting on the edge of our seats today waiting on a HOG to tell us our future!
Aren't we silly?
Yes, but, being silly is a good thing. 

Happy GroundHOG day friends!!!!  

Party on!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Helllllo.....are you there?

 Good Morning February.....
 Since it's the first day of  a month....this is as a good of a time as any to let you know what I am thinking!
I'm at a blogging crossroads.....I've been here before, I know!
Forgive me if I sound like a broken record......
I'd rather be a broken record than a record that squeals and annoys!

The truth of the matter is---I'm wondering if my blog is relevant or important or even read!
Yes, I know, I shouldn't care because it's not like this is my livelyhood!
Maybe I don't care if no one reads it!
Do you want to know the truth?  I love this blog. 
My silly little blog....I love it.  
I've thought about making it more commercialized or making a living from it or giving it an entirely different slant.  Then, I stop and realize that I just love it the way it is. So, I keep going....
Yet.....if you you want to know the truth--- there are days when I wonder why I am getting up at the crack of dawn to write it. 

Perhaps I've never really asked the hard question.....SHOULD I CONTINUE TO BLOG EACH DAY?

As much as I truly love to get up at 4:30 am to make a cup of tea and then saunter into my little office and blog about whatever it is that I want to blog about, I'm wondering if it's necessary that I do it every single morning.
Perhaps some mornings I should just sleep in.....
I just don't know.....

Even if you NEVER comment, I'm going to ask you to comment TODAY....
Here's my's an easy one....just answer YES or NO.....
Because if you're here.....I'll be here.  
If you need me....I need you.

Just let me know.....don't be shy.