Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh Holy Heck

Will someone teach me how to drink coffee....from a travel mug? For roughly a year I have been a coffee addict. Before that I couldn't stand the stuff. My co-worker, Cathy, is 100% to blame for my new obsession. She is the ultimate coffee-lover. Never will you see her without her mug of java. Never. In fact, we call it her bah-bah. Don't ask me why. Just seemed to fit. Anywho, she has a very discerning pallet and only drinks the finest hazelnut blend. Our workplace kitchen is directly across from my office. Each and every day the glorious aroma fills my office and assaults my senses, begging me to indulge. And I do. I consume a minimum of 2 cups a day. The only up side is that I have been cured of my addiction to Diet Dr. Pepper. Well, I haven't been cured of my addiction...I merely replaced the object of my affection. No longer do I fixate on consuming a large, ice-cold bottle of chemicals. I now drool over a heavenly, steaming concoction of coffee and cream. A little healthier option if you ask me.

When I first began to indulge, I drank from the styrofoam cups provided at the office. That only lasted a short while. First of all, they are too darn small. Secondly, the lightweight properties of these cups have no thermal benefits resulting in cold coffee in a hurry. So I went in search of the perfect travel mug. Not only would I be able to enjoy piping hot coffee at my desk, I could now brew a pot before leaving home and enjoy a mug on my daily commute.

Enter the perfect travel mug. Perfect for everyone except a lame-ass like me. While it fit every one of my requirements...large, thermal and fails miserably in a few critical areas. I suppose I should cut it some slack as it might actually be me that is failing.

Day one.

I awoke a bit early, eager to try out my new "toy". I quickly got ready for work, taking a little less time to apply my much-needed makeup. I even chose the no muss, no fuss pony-tail as I wanted plenty of time to prepare the perfect cup of coffee.

I meticulously measured out the grounds, filled the reservoir of the coffee maker with water and stood anxiously waiting for the pot to fill. Do you know how freakin' long it takes a damn Mr. Coffee to brew? Drip.........drip..........drip. Holy Mother of *****! I guess I'm used to the mac-daddy Bunn variety at work that fills a pot in mere seconds. Okay, so I might be exaggerating just a bit but it is certainly speedier than my version at home. And yes, the coffee maker is programmable and yes, it does have a Pause 'n Serve feature, but we are talking about me here. You know as well as I do I never think far enough ahead to have programmed the darn thing the night before nor do I think rationally enough to use the features that cost me a few extra bucks. Lesson learned. Eventually, the cycle was complete and I could fill my freshly washed travel mug. With cup in hand, I set out to start my day. I felt like such a grown-up!

Once situated behind the wheel of my car, I followed my morning ritual of situating my belongings. First order of business, neatly stash a handful of work papers in my tote oh so perfectly placed in the passenger's seat, followed by my purse and lunch. All that remained in my grasp was my Zone bar breakfast, a banana to chase the bar and my piping hot mug of joe. I proceded to place my lovely new mug in the cup holder in order to chow down on the chocolate zone bar. Nothing better than chocolate in the a.m. Well, color me frustrated! It didn't fit! Not to be derailed in my attempts to be a real-life-coffee-drinkin' commuter, I precariously perched it in the holder in a manner that was somewhat reassuring that it would survive the ride. Sure enough, it did. However...

I was now cutting it close to being on-time (something that happens all too frequently) so I practiced my mad driving skills. You know, the kind where you zoom in and out of traffic all the while praying like hell you don't get caught. I whipped into my parking space rather proud that I would walk through the door of my office just in the nick of time. I grabbed my tote, my purse and my lunch, trying to toss both my purse and my VERY large tote over my shoulder. In so doing, I slightly bumped the gingerly planted mug. It tipped sideways and I found myself sitting in a sea of coffee. Being new to the whole concept behind the idea of "travel" mug, I had not fully snapped the lid shut. In my defense, I had tightly sealed it before leaving home. But I had to live up to my new cool, grown-up ways. Just in case anyone happened to be looking as I darted in and out of early morning travelers, I continually took sip after sip from my mug. One hand on the wheel. The other clamped around the mug. All the while knowing the image I was projecting...busy, important professional. A little too caught up in looking like a big shot, I forgot to close the cap when I finally placed it back in its resting spot. Again, lesson learned.

Beyond Day One

Since that day, I have learned to program my Mr. Coffee. Fresh java awaits me each and every day. (Disclaimer: While I did learn how to program my coffe pot, I have to confess I no longer brew my own coffee. Leah is our resident coffee meister and maker. All I must do is "pour"!) I also never put the cup down in the car without being assured it is sealed. Yet one lesson remains to be learned. Do NOT. I repeat do NOT, ask me how I do this. We are talking about me...Lisa...the klutz of all time. It would be a waste of your valuable time to try to solve this mystery. Not a day goes by that I do not end up sporting that lovely hazelnut aroma by way of a few coffee stains. Yes, my friends, somehow...some way...I spill coffee on myself. Either I drool, I don't swallow fast enough, I tilt the mug too far????? Who the hell knows! It may even have something to do with the fact I was born before the invention of sippy cups. Isn't a travel mug nothing more than a grown-up version of a sippy cup? Actually, I like that excuse. Completely removes all burden of blame from my already overly burdened little shoulders. But when you consider the fact 2 year olds can master the skills required to drink from the toddler version...... *sigh*...... Let's just say it isn't a flattering picture of me either way you paint it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

An Oldie but a REAL Goodie

I've mentioned how much I've been working out lately. I've also mentioned how much fun I'm having. As I see it, when it stops being fun, Lisa stops doing it. So I work hard to make my hard work enjoyable. This week finds me wanting to mix things up a bit. I've been torturing myself (yeah, I consider torture fun) on the treadmill, pumping significant amounts of iron, spinning up a sweat, and punching my way through a few high energy kick-boxing, dance inspired videos. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite workout but if I was strong-armed into doing so, I would have to pick kick-boxing. If done properly, it has incredible cardio benefits and gives you abs to be envied. I would be stretching the truth more than a little to say I have developed envied abs, but the changes to my mid-section are more than noticeable. And I'm liking the results. I'm even considering the fact I might be able to trade in the muumuu for a bona-fide bikini this year when pool season rolls around.

The past few weeks I've focused on running. While running is great for the lungs and legs, your abs aren't exactly targeted. Last night as I was contemplating how I would spend my hour+ workout time, I stumbled across some old workout videos in my enormous video library. As a side note, I should share I am a workout video junkie. If they made it, I think I've owned it. From Richard Simmons Sweatin' To The Oldies (*cringe* and *double cringe*) to Jane Fonda's leg-warmer required videos, to the latest Beach Body Power 90 craze. I have them all and they are neatly lining the shelves of a storage unit in my mini workout room at home. It was here that I found my new source of fun.

Who out there remembers this?:

That's right, baby! Billy Blanks' Tae-Bo! Back in the day when this was the latest and greatest, I struggled to get through the basic video. I always thought I was in decent shape and could prove it by doing any video thrown at me. But this one was my Achilles heel. It kicked my butt every single time! I finally moved onto the next craze and gave up. Mr. Blanks had gotten the best of me.

When I came upon these videos last night, I was feeling rather strong and adventurous. Having forgotten just how bad of an ass-kickin' I got from the basic level, I decided to head straight for the advanced version. I slipped the video out of it's box and fired up the VCR. Yes, I still own one. For all you young readers, a VCR is the predecessor to the DVD player. We dinosaurs own dinosaur equipment.

It started out well, but half way through I began to have flash-backs of my former attempts to hang with the big boy. My cocky little self had been certain I could master the Tae-Bo king's advanced routine. I even wondered if I might be wasting my time for fear it wouldn't be challenging enough. Bah! Did I ever get knocked down a notch or two! It was a sweat session unlike any I've ever experienced. With each punch I threw and each kick I kicked, sweat was slung across the room. Kinda gross to be telling you this, but I know you guys want all the gory little details. LOL! I suppose my recent efforts have paid off. I was able to complete the workout. It wasn't easy but I did it.

Today? Well, today, I am feelin' it. My bum is seriously talking to this ol' girl tellin' me I've tapped long dormant muscles that really didn't want to be awakened. And each time I have to go tinkle, my cheeks let out a nice little scream. Sore buns and porcelain don't exactly get along. I must say, it feels so good to hurt so bad! I am such a freak! I think I will continue to go retro with my workouts. Maybe tonight I will pull my hair back with a scrunchy, add a head band and pop Jane Fonda into the VCR. I would don my leotard, leg warmers and tights but I was smart enough to dispose of those several years ago. Just the other day I came across an old photo of me in such a get-up.

I laughed until I cried.

And then I burned it!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week! Peace out! -L

P.S. For those who are wondering about my went really well. He seems to be a nice guy and a cute one to boot. Is he Prince Charming? It's too soon to tell, but I'm not ready to toss him back into the frog pond just yet! I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's Official!

It is time to par-tay! As of 5:00 pm today, I can now say I've survived another tax season! Woo and double hoo!!! All corporate returns are now signed, sealed and delivered while all personal tax information has been compiled and forwarded to the tax accountant. I actually pulled this one off without logging too many overtime hours...a nice change from years past. I feel a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Guess you can say I take my job a little too seriously. lol!

Enough of my professional life...time for a little personal update. Hours upon hours are being spent at the gym and I'm loving every minute. I must confess, my swimming skills aren't really improving. The main reason...I haven't been in the pool. Can't hardly learn to swim on dry land, now can you? lol! My primary focus has been on running the past 3 weeks. I've never been a runner but have always wanted to be. I figure it's now or never. Besides, new friends have encouraged me to run a few races this summer. In all honesty, it didn't take much encouragement from them to get me to tackle this challenge. As of now, I'm logging my miles on the treadmill while I wait for the weather to improve. The extra hour of daylight will help when I finally move to the great outdoors. Can't wait!

On the relationship front...hmmm, what word should I use? How about interesting? Yes, very interesting. As one friend put it, you must kiss a hundred frogs to find your prince. Let's just say I'm well on my way to working through the hundred frogs. lol! As of late, there are a few strong possibilities for Prince Charming. In fact, I'm very excited about a date I have this week. Keep your fingers crossed that he is truly a prince and not another frog in disguise.

Other randomness...I'm working on a major career advancement goal. I am at a crossroads with two major options pulling at me. I'll offer up more details when I am more clear on which path I plan to take. I'm nervous but equally excited.

So there you have it. The abbreviated verson of the past few months of my life. Amazing how easy it is to wrap up my world in a few sentences. :-) How about you? What's going on in your world? Do tell...


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's Monday...Oh No... It's Tuesday

Have you ever had one of those moments when you have no earthly idea what day it is? Seems I'm having one of those moments. I've been working like it's Monday but just realized it's actually Tuesday??? I'm not crazy...well, yes, I am...but I usually know my days of the week. I have a good excuse for my confused state. I didn't go to bed last night. Yep, I pulled an all nighter and it was for a very good cause. Dinner plans turned into an all night chat session and I have Facebook to thank.

When Keri went away to school, she set up a Facebook account for me as a means to communicate with her. To stay connected...view pictures... you know the drill. Little did I know how it would explode into a "friend-ing" frenzy. In a year and a half, I have reconnected with so many high school friends. It is an online reunion to rival any disco-dancin'-DJ-blarin'-meatball-eatin' reunion. Last night, one such Facebook high school friend came to town. We haven't had a chance to really catch up in 27 (yes, I really did just type that freakishly large number) years. Drinks at one location, dinner at another, more drinks at yet another then to my house for more drinks. Hmmm, now I sound like a lush. It really wasn't as bad as it sounds. wasn't.

Other than my inability to correctly pinpoint the day, I feel pretty good. That is if you don't count my blood-shot-glazed-over-burning eyes, my gastrointestinal issues from the consumption of too much alcohol and the constant need to nap at my desk. Yes, it is a fine, fine Monday...errrr, Tuesday...a fine, fine day indeed!!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Is It Friday Yet? Uhhh..Yeah It Is!

Yes, my friends, Friday is finally here and I am ever so ready! This has been an interesting week. Snow (again!). Migraine (me). Stomach Virus (everyone but me). Missed work day (me again). I'm just crossing my fingers I avoid the nasty stomach bug. But the weekend is here and the forecast is bright.

I wanted to stop by and wish everyone a happy, happy weekend and share a card I did for the forum at Serendipity a few weeks back. I crocheted a chain stitch and used it to create my embellishments. Given this is a cheery little card, I thought it fitting to share today as I'm ready to spread a little sunshine, both figuratively and!

The technique is really simple. (Please excuse the smaller pics...I'm not getting along with photobucket at the present moment. Resizing issues...grrrrr!)

Begin with a simple chain stitch. Tie a slipknot in the beginning of your yarn strand. (If you don't know how to do this, a regular knot will work just fine.) Put loop of the knot onto your crochet hook. Wrap yarn once over hook in front of the loop. Pull new loop through first loop on the hook. Repeat until chain becomes the desired length. Cut yarn about two inches after the hook. Pull the strand through the last loop and pull tight.

Once you have created your chain, you can shape it into any design of your choosing. Here is a heart I created for a layout. Begin by punching a heart from a scrap of cardstock.

Add double-sided tacky tape to the punched shape. Wrap the chain around the design...

until the shape is completely covered.

Easy peasy, don't ya think! Here's hoping everyone's weekend is filled with sunshine!!!

Hugs 'n Love!