Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Okay, okay.  I admit it, I have stepped on the scale a few times this week.  Seriously, I need to hide that thing or have someone hide it from me.  I've gone from going months at a time avoiding the thing to checking it every couple of days to see what kind of progress I have or haven't made.  Dear self, you've only been doing this for a week and a half, did you really think you were going to lose ten pounds in that short time?  The truth is, yes.  Yes, I did.  My first few days saw a loss of over three and a half pounds.  When I saw that, I thought to myself, that's incredible!  I know it's not safe to lose more than a couple of pounds a week, but I'm heavy enough that more than that in the beginning is totally fine!  You know what hasn't been fine?  The fact that I've gotten up on that scale several times since then...first thing in the morning, right after going to the bathroom, right after getting out of the shower...and the number has gotten higher.  What is happening???
Well, I think I have the answer...or at least AN answer.  Did I warm up before my workouts?  Yes, if you consider rocking out to Vanilla Ice warming up.  Have I been doing my mobility issues?  You betcha.  Squats, lunges, push-ups?  Modified, yes.  I know my body and its current condition well enough to know that attacking those things fully would do more damage than good.  I've got one knee that it hurts to kneel on because of a surgical scar, and the other one hurts going up and down the stairs (and what is going to help it out?  Squats...go figure).  But I feel like for some of the workouts I've done, especially this week, I've been phoning it in a bit.  Today was active recovery day, which means 15-60 minutes of moderate activity in addition to day-to-day activity.  I sat on my bed all day and thought dancing around a bit while getting ready for bed would suffice.  News flash:  it's not good enough, and I know it.
So this, today, right here, is my official re-commitment.  I commit to giving as much as I can every day, even if it's walking in place for a while.  I commit to using my standing desk for at least two hours of every workday.  I commit to making up any workouts I miss due to scheduling conflicts.  I commit to adding more water until I am drinking, at a minimum, 100 ounces a day.  I commit to being more conscientious of the quantity and makeup of what I eat, not just healthy versus unhealthy.  I'm sure I'll need to re-commit often, sometimes daily, sometimes weekly.  But this is a new beginning to start over.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year, New Beginnings

I don't know if there is anyone who ever actually reads my blog anymore...or at all.  Why would you?  I haven't posted anything in two and a half years, and let's be honest, my life (or at least the things I've posted in the past) are not earth-shattering my any means.  So why am I here tonight?  Well, I'll tell you.  I need a place to vent.  I need an outlet.  And while Facebook is okay for some things, I don't want to bombard or burden others with my constant thoughts.  And sometimes I just want to let things out and let go of them.  While the supportive comments are nice, sometimes I just don't need them.  So here goes...
On Monday, January 2nd, I embarked on a nutrition/fitness challenge.  I paid a fee to become an official member.  As an official member, I will receive a t-shirt, a wristband, and access to nutrition and fitness plans.  It also doesn't hurt that this program was started by a handsome Scottish actor as a way to support his favorite charity (half of the fees goes toward a blood cancer charity he supports) AND give back to the community to help people complete a challenge they've set out for themselves, physical or not.  For the money I spent on it, it's a pretty good deal.  There is a meal plan that I have chosen not to follow for the time being, although I do plan on trying out some of the delicious-looking recipes given.  I am, however, doing my best at following the fitness plan.  I've only been doing this for four days, and my legs are already sore, but I'm optimistic this will help me get out of the downward spiral I've been on for the past 16 years.
Here's what's gotten me upset tonight.  I'm sure she's well-meaning, but a roommate asked me how my New Years' resolution was going.  I admit, I probably didn't respond in the best way.  But I want to be very clear: This is not a New Years' resolution.  It never was, and it never will be.  Resolutions do not and have not ever worked for me.  Sure, I suppose I could have tried out the old resolutions one more year.  "I resolve to eat healthier."  Great, that works until someone brings home or makes something laden with sugar and tells me I have to eat some because they can't eat it all.  "I resolve to work out more."  Okay, what happens when there's nobody around to be accountable to?  Who wants to go out in the frigid cold to go to a gym packed full of people who have made the same resolution?  Just like them, I will either stop going after a couple of weeks, or I will never go at all.
Yes, I admit that part of my motivation for jumping into this program was because of the handsome Scottish actor mentioned above.  But the fact of the matter is that I have been unhappy for a very long time.  I'm unhappy with my body, I'm unhappy with my weight, I'm unhappy with how I see myself.  And either I've been too lazy or too unmotivated to do much about it.    The weight came on easily, why can't it come off easily as well?  Well, that mindset has done me absolutely no favors.  I'm close to one hundred pounds over my ideal weight.  One hundred pounds!  I'm sure a lot of people would balk at that amount and tell me there's no way I am that overweight.  And I would probably respond that I carry it well.  But the truth is, I do not.  I've seen the photos, I am overweight.  And it's time I do something about it.
So why isn't my decision to lose weight and eat healthier a New Years' resolution?  Yes, it began the day after New Years'.  And yes, some of the challenges I hope to accomplish over the next year are some of the typical resolutions made on January 1st.  The difference is that this is not something that is going to fizzle out in a few weeks.  The difference is that I am choosing to fight for myself and to believe that I am worth it.  The difference is that when I last checked, there were 6,190 other people around the world doing similar things and making similar choices in an effort to improve their own lives.  There are 6,190 other people on this planet who have got my back and who can give me the encouragement I might need at the drop of a hat.  There are 6,190 people I can go to if I have a question or concern about something in the meal plan or the workout videos.  The support I've gotten in the past week from people I will probably never even meet has been incredible.  And I need that encouragement.
The number I saw when I stepped on my scale to find out my starting weight will never show up there again.  There will be a day, soon, when I will be able to wear all those clothes I had to put away because they didn't fit anymore.  Soon, I may just have to go shopping for an entire new wardrobe because everything I own is too big.  And one day, maybe I'll be able to look at myself in the mirror and thank myself for insisting that I was worth fighting for, even if I'm the only one doing the fighting.  This is not a resolution, it's a lifestyle change.

Monday, June 9, 2014


I've been thinking quite a bit lately about seriously writing something with the eventual purpose of having it published.  The biggest problem I'm coming across is that it's hard (for me, at least, I don't know about the people who actually write books for a living) to come up with an original idea that doesn't sound like a thousand other things that have been done before.
I had a dream a few weeks ago, and in it, I was explaining the plot to this actor I've got a bit of a crush on.  He thought it was a great idea and encouraged me to explore the idea.  Unfortunately, I assumed I would remember the idea and I didn't write it down.  That's right, I fell back to sleep and when I woke up again, the idea was gone.  I suppose there is a really good chance that it was actually a terrible idea and my subconscious cleansed itself of the idea, in which case, I should probably thank my subconscious.
About a week ago, the first day of my staycation, I had another dream.  This time, I happened to have a notebook nearby, so I quickly wrote down every detail I could remember.  And then I wrote down questions I had about a lot of those details, and then I wrote down some things I needed to do a bit of research on so I didn't sound completely ridiculous if I actually got around to doing some writing based on these details.  Once that was done, I laid down and tried to go back to sleep, but my brain would have none of that.  I opened my laptop and did that research, and I typed out all of my notes as well as  the answers to many of my questions.  I was excited.  I had several pages of details that, if done the right way, could stretch into maybe four or five books.  Perfect.  I had a vague idea of the main character (although her name is not yet set in stone), as well as her best friend and another friend who happens to be a guy (strangely, those two do have names that are not likely to change).  I had a general idea of what the main character would be and what would happen to her and what made her so special.
And hit me.  Some of the details...some of the very important details, sounded a lot like (what I'm guessing) was a fairly popular children's TV show for a few years that also spurred a live-action movie that was pretty terrible.  They also sounded quite a bit like a book series I had previously read, which also spurred a movie that was extremely terrible.  Sure, there were also some key differences.  For example, both the TV show in question and book series, like my idea, carry significance in the use of the four elements, but they don't deal with the elements in the same way.
Well, what am I so afraid of, you might ask.  If it's different enough, great.  But what if I write these books (or at least the first one), and someone, or multiple someones, compare my stories to the TV show and book series?  Or even worse, the movies???  What if I put so much blood, sweat, and tears into writing and nobody wants to read it because it's not compelling enough?  What if a decent name for my main character never comes to me?  What if all I've got are these few pages of details, and that's all I've got in me?  What if all it sounds like is some lame fan fiction that was written by someone who has an extremely lacking vocabulary?  What if all my fears are what prevent me from something really good?
If anyone actually reads this and has some sage words of advice for me, please share in a comment.  Or if you and I are friends on Facebook, a message would be nice.  I'd love to hash out some of these ideas I've got and maybe tear down some of my self-imposed barriers.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Do you ever wonder...

...if maybe you're not living your best life?  Like maybe you have so much potential for things you could be doing, and you don't even realize it?  Or maybe you do but you're too afraid to do anything about it or you don't know where to start?  That's kind-of where my head is right now.
Every so often, I think about this subject.  Usually it's spurred by something that's said by someone much more influential than I'm fairly certain I could ever hope to be.  Most recently, it came by way of a Q&A session with one of my currently favorite actors that was livestreamed from Comic Con a few weeks ago via YouTube (don't even get me started on him, I could talk about him for hours about all of the dorky things he does that somehow make me wish I could know him personally that much more.  I mean, really...who knew a velociraptor impression would be so intriguing and attractive?  Ahem...and I digress).  It was a quote that I believe goes something like this: We all have two lives, the second one begins when you realize you only have one.
Ever since I heard that, it's been on my mind.  I like my job, and I'm good at it.  But sometimes I long to do something that I'm great at.  That I love.  That I would never tire of.  My main struggle: what would that be?  And once I figure that out, if I ever figure that out, how do I even begin to steer myself in the right direction?
I suppose that the best place to start would be to think about some of the things that I love, and then go from there.  So, here goes...

I love to read, I think I always have.  My mom says that I was in kindergarten when she found me reading a book to one of our kittens, who was passed out on my lap.  Until then, she hadn't had any idea that I even knew how to read.  My sister would read books to me, and I think that I had heard the stories so many times that I had the words memorized and I figured out on my own what all those strange little symbols were and how they each sounded and how they related to each other.  I think what I love most about reading is the level of description the author provides to the reader that allows the reader to form a clear picture of the location, of the action, of the characters and their interactions (unless the author goes too far into detail with their description...sorry, J.R.R. Tolkien, I tried to read The Hobbit, but after several pages, there was still no introduction of any of the characters, and I lost interest).  As a friend once eloquently said, I don't just read books...I inhale them.  As soon as I finish one book in a series, often within just a few hours, I crave more.  There is this inexplicable need to immerse myself in the next one.  How amazing is it when one book can make you feel, really feel...can make you cry one minute and laugh the next.  When you can have tears running down your face from having your heart destroyed, and a smile on your face from the humor the characters display.
So I love to read, but what do I do with that?  I've thought, often, about trying my hand at writing.  I took a writing class in college, and I was intrigued by the concept I chose for, if memory serves, my final assignment.  It focused on a character who may not have been who he seemed, or who he wanted everyone to believe he was (I only just realized today that this is, in some ways, similar to The Great Gatsby.  But first, I make no claims to be even close to as good a writer as F. Scott Fitzgerald.  I know I'm not.  And second, I've never even read The Great Gatsby.  The movies?  Yes, seen them.  Really, though, Tobey Maguire?  Bad casting choice, in my opinion.  Anyway...).  The topic interested my professor (or teacher's aide?  It was so long ago that I don't even remember anymore), but there were so many questions he posed that I couldn't even begin to answer.  Who was the narrator?  How was he/she related to the character?  Why did he/she want to expose the character? Did he/she hold some sort of a grudge against the character, and as a result, was he/she even someone the reader could trust?  It was in my head that the character was formed, yet even I couldn't figure out the complete picture.
Since then, I've dabbled here and there in private.  Mostly it's because I often tell myself stories at night when I'm trying to sleep.  I write my stories down or type them up if I get stuck, it helps me to move the story along.  Sometimes it works, sometimes I give up and start over.  There's never been a story I've been able to see through to the end, but I've never figured out why, whether I've just decided that it's not good enough to continue, or I don't have the creativity to formulate a decent ending, besides "and they lived happily ever after."  I've considered, with some storylines, asking someone to read what I've written, in order to gain some feedback.  Is it good?  Is it original?  Is it interesting?  But I've never gone through with it.  Am I holding myself back?  I don't know, maybe one day I'll just go for it.  We'll see.

And then there's music.  I love music.  I love that there is at least one song for every situation, every feeling, every emotion.  I love that when I'm in a bad mood, I can listen to angry music to help get it out of my system.  I love that when I'm feeling sad, there is an entire list of songs that feel the same way, even if it's not for the same reasons.  And I absolutely love that there's that one song that always cheers me up or makes me happy, and I can't help but move to the beat.  Currently, that song is You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall & Oates.  Don't judge, you listen to the song and tell me it doesn't make you want to dance.
I legitimately enjoy putting together playlists for friends, full of music they've never heard of but I know, or at least hope, that they'll come to love as I do.  As a result, I have a few friends that call me Rocker Gina, or \m/ Gina (please don't make me explain that one to you...just revel in its awesomeness).  Unfortunately, more often than not, I get distracted halfway through creating some of my playlists and they never get finished or shared.  And then I get reminded, and I tell them, "Oh yeah, sure, I'm working on it."  And most of the time it's true.
But anyway, my dream job, out of all dream jobs that could ever be, would definitely have something to do with music.  I watch TV shows that I love, and there's just such great music on the show that I can't get enough of.  It just sets the scene so well, makes you feel like you're a part of the show.  And I think, I would LOVE to do something like that, to choose what songs are played when.  But then, could I really do that?  There are songs that I never would have heard of if not for the fact that someone else chose them and did all the work involved for getting the song lists approved.  I've looked into it, and they do so much work.  They watch a scene, and then they pick a song and they propose the use of that song to a director or producer, and then they contact the powers that be for permission to use that song, or at least a piece of that song, and that doesn't even include payment negotiations with the artist or record company and so many other things they do (yes, I've looked into it). 
And then there's the vast musical knowledge a person would need to have for a job like that.  I have, I think, a fairly wide (random, at times) taste in music.  I mean, I've got some pretty weird stuff on my iPod, just ask some of those that have seen it.  But my goodness, there is so much music out there that I've never heard!  And then there's the stuff that I hated at first listen but now I can't stop listening to it.  And those are the songs that I end up listening to over and over and over again while telling myself I'll never get sick of them, until one day I can't stand to listen to even one more time, and then I give myself a few days or weeks or months or years and I can listen to them over and over and over again.

I also love staring at men I think are handsome and watching them in movies and TV shows and stuff, but what could come from that?   I could become a professional stalker and get arrested and go to jail...yeah, maybe not.

I know I've been rambling on about these things for far too long, and I probably should go back and cut out a few things, but books and music are really the two things I'm most passionate about.  This is how I really feel about them.  And if you've read this entire post, you are a trooper and there's not a whole lot for me to offer.  If you were hoping I would have revealed the perfect solution, then you are sorely mistaken, because I am just as confused about my future as you are.  Guess I'll just have to continue evaluating and pondering my life until I figure out whatever it is that I am great at and that I love.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I have so many other things I should be working on right now (like cleaning my room so the painters that are coming tomorrow morning don't think I'm a slob, eating dinner, or exercising), yet here I am updating my blog.
I've come up with a few ideas for some possible extra income. With gas prices on the rise again, I could really use the dinero. I have intentions to take the necessary steps to take the train to work a few days a week, but that can only help so much. I'd also like to be able to work from home occasionally, but in order to do that, I would need a new laptop (the one I have is at least 6 or 7 years old and is only in one piece because of the bright orange duct tape holding parts together), which requires money that I don't currently have. So here I propose my current ideas:
A few weeks ago, my friend had several friends and acquaintances at her house selling homemade goods. One of the things that someone had made was headbands using ribbon. Normally, I don't bother too much with any kind of headbands as my head is a funny shape and they just end up slipping right off. But these headbands had a handy little addition: small pieces of velcro to keep the ribbon from sliding off one's head. Easy peasy! I'm very tempted to make all sorts of different kinds of similar headbands now, with a few modifications, like using spare fabric. I also want to make fabric watchbands that could be used with the same type of watch face that people use for the beaded watchbands. I just haven't put any together yet as samples. Maybe someday soon...
The other idea is to make diaper cakes. We're throwing a baby shower for a girl at work, and we're using as decorations things she can take home and use for the baby. For example, instead of using tablecloths, you use receiving blankets. Instead of (or in addition to) napkins, baby wipes. We also decided that the centerpiece would be a diaper cake. Shortly after we decided what we were going to do for the shower, I found a super cute picture of a diaper creation: a tricycle! Then I realized, you could make all sorts of fun things out of diapers! I found a few other ideas online...a train, a car, a fire truck, a castle...and a guitar! Who knew??? I'm so excited to play around and see what I can create! And....I've also seen ideas for cakes made out of kitchen or bath towels, used for a wedding or bridal shower gift. So if you know of anyone that's looking for a fun gift, send them my way and we can see what we can come up with!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Who Says You Have To Leave To Have An Adventure?

Two blog posts in one week??? Who are you and what have you done with the real Gina? I know, I know...I'm awful with actually posting here, but I'm hoping to get better. I've even got plans for at least one more post that may or may not be written in the next few days.

Anyway, today I thought I'd share my little adventure this afternoon. Don't worry, it's completely okay to laugh at my stupidity. I flip-flopped between wanting to burst out laughing and feeling like the tears might start flowing. So here goes:

The day started out like pretty much any other day, except for the fact that it had snowed a few inches so the roads had a tendency to be fairly slick. But I managed to arrive at my destination not too long after I was supposed to be there. I pulled into my usual parking spot, but because of some snow that hadn't quite been plowed, I misjudged the location of the curb. Not wanting to be that close, I backed up and tried to straighten myself out. Well, that didn't really work, so I tried again. Unfortunately, this time, my car didn't budge. Oh well, I thought to myself. Hopefully the snow/ice will melt enough that I won't have a problem getting out of my parking spot.

Well, imagine my frustration when, at shortly after 4 pm this afternoon, my car still did not and would not budge. I keep a container of kitty litter in my trunk as I had been told years earlier that it's really good for traction in case you ever get stuck (this is completely false, and when it gets saturated, looks less like kitty litter and more like kitty regurgitation...anyone need half a container of unused kitty litter for Fluffy? It's yours!).

Luckily for me, my coworker (we call her Midge) who had left the same time as me, drove by and saw my unfortunate situation. She stopped her car to watch the circus of me trying to get my unstuck. She even made an effort to try to push my car out of the ice and sludge. And then I had my bright idea: I'll put my car in neutral, and both of us can push it! Neutral: go! And then I closed the door. "No, you have to leave it open, see?" Midge said as she grabbed the door handle...but the door wouldn't open. Apparently, I had forgotten the small detail that when I put my car in gear, the doors lock. So now my car is A. locked, B. stuck, C. running, oh...and D. almost out of gas. Great.

Then I remembered something: (at the risk of undesirable events taking place...) One of my windows is not functioning properly and is cracked open a bit. Perfect! I should be able to pull it down with not much effort, and I can get into my car, and that'll be one less problem. Pull, pull, pull...think, think, think...pull, pull, on Facebook in case someone has a more brilliant idea than me...pull, pull, pull...crap, that didn't work...pull, pull, some point, this has to work, right?...pull, pull, pull. In the meantime, Midge called our supervisor to see if someone there had, with any luck, a wire hanger. So we waited and waited, and hopped into Midge's warm car, and waited some more, and then out came another co-worker with two wooden rulers taped together with the taped ends wrapped in paper and a binder clip taped to the end. So I stuck one of the rulers through the slightly open window and...well, one of the rulers is now in my backseat. Someone, remind me to return it to her, please. And that is how one idea, which was great in theory, failed miserably.

Just as co-worker was headed to her car to see if she possibly had anything that might help, she passed three of the guys on the IT team. Great, as if I didn't feel stupid enough for getting stuck in the snow and locking myself out of my running car...Their suggestion? Call campus security. Sigh. Alright, guess we'll give that a try. Now, what's the phone number? Midge and I both went on a search (using our phones, of course) for the number. Finally, I found it and had to swallow my pride as I explained my dilemma to the guy on the other end of the line. Luckily, he didn't ridicule me for my brainless act(s) (let's be honest, they probably encounter this type of thing all the time, year round...maybe not getting stuck in the snow, but...) and let me know that someone should be contacting me within 5-10 minutes. Sure enough, I received a call so that I could give the security officer my exact location.

Within minutes (MINUTES!!!) of the security officer arriving, he had my front driver's side window rolled down. "There you go, have a nice day." No, wait! My car's stuck, too! This was my original problem, and I was NOT letting him get away without fixing this for me, too! I know, I know...sometimes I can be so needy. So he called for backup because this was not going to be remedied without a little extra help, and then I told him why I was not surprised that I was stuck.

It seams like at least once a year for the past five years, I have gotten myself stuck in the snow. Mostly, it was when I was backing out of a driveway and just didn't go fast enough. And then I would learn from that so it was much less likely that I would let that happen again. Until the next year. Well, apparently I have a hard time shutting down illogical thoughts in my brain and figured that since we've had a fairly mild winter this year with only a few snowstorms with a majority of the snow melting within a day or so, this would be the year that I did not get stuck. And I started getting a little confident about that because it's now March. Spring (and warmer weather) should be coming soon, right? Right.

Anyway, I explained to him that without fail, I get stuck in the snow once a year. Then I told him I even tried kitty litter for traction, but obviously, that didn't help. He walked over to his truck and pulled a bag of bright blue rock salt out of the back, and started throwing the stuff both in front of and behind my front tires. Then he started directing me to push on the gas while turning the steering wheel either direction. Well, whaddaya know??? TRACTION!!! Keep going, keep going....Success! All four tires solidly on pavement! And then off I was to make the final rescue of my poor car: fill it with gas before it dies a sad and pathetic death.

Moral of the story: So many options. Don't assume that if something that tends to happen annually hasn't occurred yet, you're home free? Don't pull into the parking spot so close to the curb when snow is involved? Don't leave your keys in the ignition (or anywhere else in the car) when your car is in gear or in neutral and then close the door because you will inevitably be locked out? Never trust a Sicilian when death is on the line? (Points to whomever can tell me what that's from) I don't know, you be the judge.

Thanks again to Midge for chilling out with me and witnessing my manifested stupidity and providing a warm place for both of us while we waited for my rescue. And a huge thanks to the security officer for helping me into my car and out of my rut. And thanks to whomever reads this blog post, for hopefully reading this entire story and enjoying at least a chuckle or two.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Time flies...

Wow. Looks like it's been quite a while since I posted last, and it's amazing how much has happened. I'd like to say that Jenny's quilt has been completed, as well as the one for Andrea that I purchased the fabric for, but alas, 'tis not true. And now she's entering the MTC on Wednesday, so it looks like I've got about 18 months to get it finished up. Let's hope I can do that and get Andrea's done as well, and maybe I can get the disappearing 4-patch quilt in black, white and orange for myself finished. Wishful thinking? Maybe. I suppose time will tell. I'll be sure to post when I complete a project.
I also have plans to refurbish a sewing table I purchased at the DI this summer for a whopping $4.00. It opens up on both sides, and there's a big ol' hole in the middle where a sewing machine used to be. I had gone on a search for a piece of wood that I could have cut down to replace the middle section, but I would have had to purchase an entire sheet and have it cut down, and I would have had to take the rest of it home. Not something I wanted to do.
Luckily, there was a man in the lumber section that was buying supplies for himself who had overheard my conversation with the employee at the store who was being quite difficult to deal with. The man said he might have something at his shop that might work for me, and to give him a call a bit later after he'd gotten back to his shop. Sure enough, he had something that would be perfect for my project. He had even cut it down and sanded it for me. I asked him what I owed him for the wood, and he basically said it was a gift. Really? Sweet! Current tally: $4.00!
My next item to replace: hardware. Up until this point, I hadn't really decided exactly what I wanted to do with my sewing table. All I knew was that I wanted it to be functional and cute. So off I trekked to Hobby Lobby where I perused the drawer pulls. I looked and looked, not really finding anything I wanted. And then I saw something that caught my eye: zebra-striped drawer pulls. Oh yeah. And then it all came together. Here's the plan: the table will be black, but when it's closed, it will have a zebra-striped top, with zebra-striped drawer pulls. I'm so ridiculously excited for the finished product! Pictures hopefully to follow soon.