Wednesday, March 29, 2006

RIP, Walnut Cafe

One of my coworkers just came back from lunch and told us that the Walnut Cafe is closing for good today at 2 PM. I'm going to stop by there on my way home for lunch and say goodbye to the servers there. I wish I'd known; I would have gone to breakfast yesterday there with Dan so he could have ordered either a breakfast burrito with sausage or a ham and cheddar omlette, home fries and wheat toast (those are seriously the only two things he ever orders there). I probably would have had a veggie omlette, fresh fruit with no bananas, and pancakes.

The Walnut is our neighborhood breakfast place. The food is terrific, the service is great (the same servers have been working there since I moved to Denver, and since we've gone there so frequently they KNOW us and hardly ever even give us menus), and it's only two blocks from our apartment. We've gone there so many times and I've tried most things on the menu not involving red meat. They grind their own coffee, bake their own quiches and banana bread, and serve really good food at a decent price.

We were sitting in the Walnut waiting to hear about news of Petra's needle fiasco and the server gave us some "walnut dollars" so our meal would be cheaper. We've taken every out of town guest to breakfast there. We've spent many a Sunday morning in companionable silence, reading the newspaper and waiting for our order. We've witnessed interesting altercations on the street (it's at the corner of Colfax and Logan, kitty corner from the big cathedral) and at least one car accident. We've seen people bring their brand new babies in to show off the products of their hugely pregnant bellies just weeks before. I will miss being able to roll out of bed, put on some clothes (sans bra, of course) and some sunglasses, and schlep two blocks just in time to miss the after-church rush at 10 AM. I will miss the smile that my favorite server always has on her face, and her cute costumes at halloween, and her fairy tattoo. She collects magnets from other places, and requested (and received) a magnet from China.

Man, this makes me so sad. I wonder where those girls are going to work now. I hope they find another neighborhood breakfast place and a new set of regulars. I really do wonder why this place is closing; they're always busy for breakfast and lunch. RIP Walnut Cafe, and may something just as good take your place at that corner.

ETA: Stopping in there was so sad. I gave one of the servers a hug; I could tell she had been crying. She said that the restaurant is closing because the rent has been consistently raised hundreds of dollars a month for the past year and the owner of the restaurant couldn't afford the rent anymore, despite the success of the business. That's a huge shame, because it means that probably very little else will be able to afford rent there either - and it'll just sit empty. Stupid retail landlords.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My cube! It is the shiznit!

When I finally dragged myself in to work yesterday morning I was pleasantly surprised to find my cube exactly the way I had pictured it, and exactly the way I was hoping it would be. Dude, it totally kicks ass. Plus, I even have more storage space (they brought me another under-desk 2 drawer filing cabinet) and more desktop/surface space.

Yesterday I was too cracked out to do much about putting everything back into the cube, so I did that this morning. I think it looks pretty good. I am very happy that it was done exactly the way I wanted - even if I'm still annoyed that it took nearly 2 years and jumping through 987651687 hoops to get it this way.

I forgot to grab Monkey's ass.

It was a fabulous trip, all thing considered.

There was unexpectedly beautiful weather, and seeing old friends, and visiting of old haunts. There was a Bad Museum Experience, overpriced undergood sushi, and Chicken Tikka Masala with naan. There was a Monkey and a QIR and a mochi and some family time that wasn't as stressful as usual, since it wasn't the holidays. There was a new hamster named Hazelnut, rolling around in her little hamster ball, scaring the parakeet. There were lucky book finds, a visit to the beach, the pirate store, and rain in Berkeley. There was a run down a steep hill, out along a lake, and back up a steep hill. There was happiness, anticipation, contentedness, excitement, and finding new clothes in a pile of old clothes. There was a friendly maine coon kitty named Maggie and free food and pizza and cider and Ticket to Ride. There were letters everywhere.

The coming back to Denver part left something to be desired. After eating an Overly Priced dinner at the airport, we had to wait through a 45-minute plane delay. I was entertained by the girl sitting next to me, talking to her mother, describing how even though San Francisco has like hippies and stuff, she, as a Republican, still felt totally comfortable there. Also, a girl sitting nearby was loudly chatting up another guy, and in that 45 minutes managed to get his whole life story and impart hers to him. She totally wanted to get in his pants. There was a dad with a middle-school aged son and a toddler, the toddler being up waaay past his bedtime and needing distraction.

And then the uneventful plane ride, finally, and arriving into DIA to realize that the only way home was the public transit bus, buying a $3 16 oz bottle of water to get change and riding the bus allll the way back to downtown. And then walking allll the way home from 16th and Market with all of our stuff at 2 AM. And Loki said "Yay, you're home! I love you, pet me!" and Petra ignored us and said "You left for days and days and I'm mad" and wouldn't even let Dan pick her up because she was so mad. But then she loafed in the doorway and watched us sleep, and Loki flopped into his usual spot keeping Dan's balls warm, and it was good to be back in our own bed.

Next trip I'm totally not letting anything get in the way of going to H&M, eating GOOD sushi, or consuming gelato.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

After merely 20 months of waiting...

I started this job and moved into this cube in July 2004.

Tomorrow, they will FINALLY be rearranging it so my back is not to the door of the cube.

I will not go into the whole long involved rigamarole story since it is about work, but let's just say that it's about darned time.

I have spent today clearing everything out of the cube so it can be rearranged while I work from home/go to the airport/fly to SF tomorrow. When I come back on Monday I have to hope that it's all the way I want it and I get to spend that day putting everything back. All I want is for my back not to be facing the door. That's it. Please keep your fingers crossed.

Oh, and Hulk got a lovely piece of "unmarked" junk mail yesterday telling him about these *ahem* marital aides (he didn't read far enough to determine whether they were DVDs or books or what), but their little intro pitch was hilarious. I might have to reproduce some of it here when I get home.

I am finally reading Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" series, starting with The Golden Compass. So far, it's terrific. I need to finish it tonight so it can go back to the liberry before we leave and make some kid happy who probably has it on hold.

"V for Vendetta" was totally kickass awesome. Perhaps my favorite comic book movie to date, and I've never read that comic. I got excited during the previews because of all the cool movies coming out soon, including the new Pirates movie, the new Superman movie, and the new XMen movie. My boyfriend has totally turned me into a great big nerd.

Exercise update: Friday: weight circuit, 20 minutes elliptical (I was at lunch)
Saturday, walked a lot running errands. Probably 4 miles.
Sunday: "core secrets" dvd on ball with weights, 45 minutes, walked 2 miles.
Monday: 20 minutes bike 35 minutes elliptical

Friday, March 17, 2006

Cast of Characters

Last night, we walked to the grocery store to buy an assortment of healthy foods and got treated to an interesting cast of characters. Our grocery store is smack dab in the middle of the "gay" neighborhood in Denver, and the store is nicknamed Queen Soopers (rather than King Soopers, of course), so it's always interesting to shop and watch the couples of all sexual preferences and levels of put-together-ness or dishevelment bicker and canoodle. Occasionally we even see Big Nerd couples who are nerdier than we are. I know, it's shocking.

Our experience last night, however, was interesting because we (or at least I) got to see three things we've never seen before:

  • A bluehaired old lady with hair so blue it was PURPLE. It was the color of the bleach stuff that you mix when you are bleaching your hair at home (I assisted in bleaching many a raver boy's head in college) - that bright purply blue. I've seen ladies with slightly blue-tinged hair before, but I'd never seen this haircolor on anyone over the age of 25.
  • A very large woman (maybe 5'10 to 6' tall, well over 200 pounds) wearing a carpet coat. And by carpet coat, I mean a long, nearly ankle-length coat that looked like it was made out of a patterned throw rug.
  • An Asian albino lady. This was a first for me; I've seen an Indian albino kid (he was with his whole family on BART and he looked like a white kid with his blond hair, light skin, and caucasian features, but was obviously Indian when you saw him with his family) and several African-American albino people (including two kids in one family), but never someone who was both Asian and albino. Her hair was beautiful.

I love people-watching at the grocery store.

In other news, I've just learned that my cousin is pregnant with Baby #3 (her other kids are 6 and 4), my other cousin is pregnant with Baby #2 (her first will be 20 months old when #2 is born - sheesh!), another cousin (my sister's age) is getting married in September, and one of my great aunts is dying of a nasty ovarian cancer. Guess I need to get started on the knitting and card-buying.

Wednesday: 35 minutes medium elliptical, 25 minutes randomized bike

Thursday: Rested, walked to grocery store

Thursday, March 16, 2006


I almost feel like I got enough sleep last night. Almost. Maybe by the weekend I'll fell like I've caught up.

In other news: I got my annual email from a high school friend. We tend to only communicate once or twice a year, and our birthdays are 8 days apart, so she sends me a birthday email and then a week later I send one to her. I've been thinking about her recently anyhow, along with other high school classmates and what they might be up to. My friend is getting her MBA at Stanford and got married a couple of years ago. Plus, she's a marathoner, so she totally understood when she heard my LA Marathon Tale of Woe. This was the valedictorian of my class, voted Most Likely To Succeed, and has always been one of the busiest and most driven people I've ever met. She got a 100 hour a week investment banking job right out of college and I guess burned out last year so she's now getting another degree from Stanford. Pretty, athletic, nice, and genuinely human with a great snarky streak. Part of me wishes we lived in closer proximity to one another, as I'd love to see her in person and spend more time with the person she's become.

I've found other people from my past on MySpace, and there's something kind of deliciously voyeuristic about reading the details of the lives of people I spent so much time with as a kid/teenager. I've found classmates who are married, divorced, have kids, are still kids themselves. Recently, I found the page for a person who was both a high school classmate and a fellow UCBerkeley student (and a good friend at the time) - but the last time I saw her was when my friends kicked her and her stuff out of their house, because she'd turned into a speed freak and hadn't paid rent in months. Nobody else had heard from her or about her for years and I'm glad to see she didn't end up dead from the drugs.

I wonder whether the prurient interest I have in these people is only because I'm going to be seeing them in a few months and mentally comparing them to the people they were when we all knew each other 10 years ago. Or is it a projection of my own self trying to discover who *I* am now and whether *I've* changed that much in 10 years. I'd like to think that I have - I know I'm a lot less uptight, for one thing, and my mind has expanded to try to understand ideas and the other sides of issues that my mind was once made up about. I'm less self-conscious, don't care as much about what other people think of me. I'm happy in my own skin and I feel like I'm a complete person even without my primary relationship, as a function OF my primary relationship (he doesn't complete me, but he makes me feel like more of me than I did before).

My basics haven't changed much; I'm a little more muscular, a little curvier. I'm still the same height, still have longish brown hair, still read semi-voraciously, still curious about the world. I'm not married; I don't have children - but I do have a Person and two kitties, so that's something different, I guess. What's changed the most about me? I've been wondering to myself. I've been around Europe; I've been around the USA and to Toronto and even to Mexico (but only Tijuana and that doesn't really count); I've been to China. I've lived in big cities, lived alone, taken care of myself and other people. I've paid my bills and gotten jobs and lost jobs. I've been to Burning Man. I've stood on top of a 14,000 foot mountain in the middle of a lightning storm and lived to tell the tale.

I hope as many of my classmates as possible end up going to the reunion. I'd love to be able to tell everyone I haven't seen in 3 years or 5 years or 10 years that I am thankful for the opportunity to see the people they've become from the simple beginnings that were the school and community from which we all sprang. What I hope most is to see people happy in the lives they've lived thus far. I'm glad there will have been this time, though, because I needed college and life experience to gain some perspective on the little petri dish social experiment that was our high school. Because man, high school sucked while I lived it. It's so funny that I've become good friends with people FROM high school that I wasn't close with IN high school, but it's all because of that time and perspective.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Not shaped like an armadillo, but said horse pants.

It was a good birthday.

I got my requested dinner of homemade crab cakes, a modified caesar salad (with homemade croutons), rice pilaf - and a fabulous red velvet cake (from scratch) for dessert. Sweet! (Literally) I've never had red velvet cake before, and it is amazingly good. On the top it said Horse Pants.

I also got tickets to the Colorado Ballet for my birthday present. Someone loves me very much!

Gym news: did my full weight circuit (took 40 minutes because for some reason everyone decided to use the weight machines at the same time I wanted to) and dragged my rear onto the hard elliptical and managed to work out for 25 minutes before I decided I had to stop or I would go insane. So I stopped and I just finished with the crunches and the leg lifts and such. I'll get more cardio in today.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Today is my birthday. I am 27.

I share my birthday with Chris Klein, Billy Crystal, and Albert Einstein (I was born 100 years to the day after Einstein, which is also why today is pi day).

My mom just called me and had her whole class sing happy birthday to me. I think that's the first time she's ever done that. It made me tear up a little, actually.

I have realized that today I am 3x3x3 years old, and it will be a long time before I turn another cool number like that. 3 is a magic number, as we learned from School House Rock and Blind Melon. The next interesting one will be 2x2x2x2x2 (32) and then not another interesting one until 4x4x4 (64) and then 3x3x3x3 (81, assuming I live that long).

I've always been sort of ambivalent about birthdays. I had some really shitty birthdays as a kid (my dog died on my 7th birthday, I was sick for 3 or 4 of my birthdays) and I've since had good ones and bad ones (mostly good ones since I've been with Dan). For some reason I always get a weird bout of depression for about a week before my birthday. Luckily this year it wasn't too bad. Monkey and I decided we're still in our mid-twenties (her birthday is about a month away) so I guess I'm OK with that. Dan and I did most of our carousing this weekend; our friends with whom we go to the cabin in Wyoming every summer came down from Greeley, and because it snowed and they were drinking they stayed overnight. I drank quite a bit more than I had expected to, but it was a very fun night and though my body didn't thank me the next day, it was still overall a good experience. Plus, we got a lot of pretty snow this weekend and I had some time to just stare out the window at the pretty snow coming down.

Friday: Full weight circuit, 30 minutes elliptical, 10 minutes crunches/leg lifts. When I came home I was totally and utterly exhausted.

Saturday: Walked a couple of miles running errands.

Sunday: Not a goddamn thing. I needed to rest, plus I had too much to drink Saturday night.

Monday: 30 minutes medium elliptical, 20 minutes randomized bike. Came home feeling like I hadn't done enough (reading about what Monkey did to herself this weekend made me feel guilty for not going to the gym over the weekend) but then Hulk reminded me that I had come home on Friday utterly exhausted, so I guess it was probably good that I got a couple of days' rest.

Today I'm being treated to lunch and will be doing my normal weight circuit and cardio training after work.

Friday, March 10, 2006

I'll see dead people.

Wednesday: I borrowed Core Secrets Blah Blah from my neighbor and did 60 minutes of stuff with dumbells and on the big ball thingy. Afterword I felt good but it doesn't feel the same as doing a cardio workout.

Thursday: 35 minutes elliptical, 18 minutes randomized bike, 10 minutes crunches/leg lifts

I'm already seeing a difference in how I look from a couple of weeks ago. It may just be Depleting Bloat from being about 2 days away from Not Pregnant, but it may also be that I've actually lost a little fat. No way to really tell I guess. Today I'm wearing the new jeans I got last weekend for $12 at TJ Maxx. They make my butt look good, apparently. Am doing weights/cardio at the gym for lunch today, will probably leave in a few minutes.

I'm really excited about seeing the dead people exhibit (Body Worlds 2) at the Nature & Science museum. We have tickets to see it with HulkRents the weekend of his birthday in April. I am fascinated by the human body, how it works and how it moves. Sometimes I surreptitiously watch people working out at the gym, or even walking on the street. I find watching people move to be really interesting, so I'm naturally interested in how people look in motion underneath the clothes and skin. Having the background in dance and in massage has helped me think in terms of body mechanics, what it's possible for the human body to do (or not do).

I think that the fact that this exhibit can even exist is amazing. We can preserve people in such a way that everybody can see what we look like on the inside! Holy crap!

I also think about the taboo on desecrating the dead in Western society and how it wasn't until people really started taking cadavers apart that medicine became more than folk wisdom and bloodletting (of course, there have always been medical truths in folk wisdom, but a poultice isn't going to show you how to sew someone's body back together after an attack or injury). When I watch TV that includes operations or medical stuff, I get queasy when I see someone having elective surgery (Nip/Tuck, "reality" cosmetic surgery shows, etc.) but I don't have any problem watching someone having surgery or bleeding all over the place if it's an actual (or "actual") injury. I wonder why that is?

Also, I wonder if I will get the same feeling when I see this exhibit when I did when I attended the "viewing" for my grandpa's funeral. It was this odd feeling of disconnect, because I knew my grandpa wasn't there anymore, but this waxed-looking thing was laying there in a coffin. It sort of resembled my grandpa, but mostly looked like a wax figure. Perhaps with this exhibit, since there isn't any skin involved and I'll never know what these people looked like when they were alive, it won't feel the same to be in the room with dead people.

To sum up: human bodies are amazing machines. I wish I could transfer my love of body in general to love of my own body, because a lot of the time it's really hard to turn off that inner body dysmorph that works out like mad to feel in control. There have been times in my life when I've been really proud of what my body is able to do (climbing 14ers, running in excess of 10 miles, etc.) but I wish I could focus more on what my body is able to do every day. Because seriously, all bodies are amazing and I really shouldn't take mine for granted.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Winter returns

It's totally blowing snow sideways outside, and quite coldish. Yesterday it was in the 70s.
That's Colorado for you I guess.

When I went home for lunch one of my cats licked my umbrella for about 10 minutes. She also licks plastic, so she's weird like that.

Today I will take a break from the sweaty stinky gym and do Pilates at home. I am at peace with this decision, as I anticipate a large jump in gymgoing population, it being Wednesday (lots of people seem to work out MWF) and it also being cold and unpleasant outside. Tomorrow I will resume cardio workout.

I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies, Miss Scarlett

Monday: 25 minutes bike on random, 20 minutes elliptical.

Tuesday: Full weight circuit, 30 minutes elliptical, 10 minutes crunches/leg lifts

I was supposed to do some free weight stuff too but I didn't eat enough at lunch yesterday and I was feeling lightheaded and nauseated before I even got to the gym. Once there I did my workout but I just couldn't make myself go into the sweaty stinky freeweight room and decided to do my bicep work at home instead.

I wasn't really ranting on Monday when I wrote about the whole wanting to get married outside somewhere near where I grew up and I can't afford to do it because the Bridezillas got to it first. It was mostly just an aside in an issue I've been mulling over for the past couple of weeks. I'm sure that when/if the time comes my person and I will figure out what to do and how we'll make it work. It was more of just a hey, the WIC has a huge influence on my choices even if I don't choose to be a part of it.

I don't have as much to say about the birthing process, since I'm even more removed from that than I am the wedding process. It is more just an observation I've made from reading a lot of blogs over the past year or so. It seems to me that, like weddings, the whole pregnancy/birth thing has become more and more of a Big Deal, what with the infertility industry and the rise in elective C-sections (too posh to push, for example) and the difficulty in having a home birth or a low-intervention birthing center birth as opposed to a Tubes and Wires Hospital birth. I think a big part of it has to do with our society's focus on saving/healing everyone. While I don't begrudge the women who have struggled with infertility and such, it seems like there are so many more babies being born premature/with lots of health problems/etc. and since the hospitals are able to save them younger and younger, society thinks they SHOULD be saved, regardless of the expense, the stress on the parents/baby, and the future problems the child might have as a result of having been born months before he/she should have.

Another part of it, I'm sure, has to do with the insurance industry. These days you really can't have a kid without having insurance unless you somehow are independantly wealthy. And so many people are uninsured or underinsured but aren't poor enough to qualify for public health insurance (Medicaid etc.). In a lot of cases, the insurance companies don't want to pay for the "alternative" birthing situations - even though really, it's only been within the last 50 years or so that most babies have been born in the hospital. And it's only been within the last 20 years that you really had to have insurance in order to be in the hospital for whatever reason. I bet my parents probably would have had me at home if I'd been born 15 years ago instead of nearly 27 years ago (gah, am feeling old today), because they could never have afforded the cost, and both my mom and I probably would have died (it was complicated; I got stuck and was a forceps baby. Now they would have just done an emergency C.) Or they would have been in debt for years and years to pay for it. They didn't have health insurance when either my sister or I were born, and I'm not even sure about the younger one.

I've read the blogs of women who had elective sections, emergency sections, home births, birthing center births, regular old hospital births. I've gotten the feeling from reading that many women don't really feel empowered or in control of their own process. The industry tells them that this is how it will be when they give birth, and it takes some doing, and definitely more money than a lot of people have, to circumvent that status quo. And this is something that women have been doing since God was a boy, but they're told that they don't know best and are handled by the Birthing Industry for their own good. Just like brides are told "You have to do it this way and spend this much to really be married," women are told "You have to do it this way because that's the only way the outrageous cost will be somewhat offset" and it's all a much bigger and more invasive thing than it often needs to be.

I'm probably just mostly talking out of my ass, since I don't have firsthand or even second hand experience with this topic, and I'm a Loooooong time away from it personally affecting me. It just seems like hospitals are places for sick or injured people, and a woman in labor is not necessarily either. It's one thing if there have been complications or the doctor knows there might be problems during birth. It's another thing when women are told that the doctor is in a hurry to go on vacation so could we please get you to sign the consent form for a c-section so he doesn't have to wait around another couple of hours to push the baby out. Kthx.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Dog & Pony Show

Friday: full weight circuit, 35 minutes easy elliptical, 10 minutes free weights, 10 minutes crunches/leg lifts

Saturday: cleaning house, walking around running errands (probably 2 miles or so)

Sunday: ditto above, plus 30 minutes pilates at home with new ball/bands/weights

We made dinner/dessert for Dan's parents Saturday night. I think that perhaps I shall recommend to him that next time we do that we try out any new recipes before making them for the first time while trying to entertain his parents at the same time. Luckily, though the homemade pasta turned out to be a clusterfuck, we had a big bag of rice noodles in the cupboard and the sauce worked even better over rice noodles, I think. All in all it was an OK evening, though I broke my vow and at one point did begin to discuss politics with Dan's dad. It was nice that even though they're diametrically opposed to Dan and I in terms of fiscal politics, when it comes to social issues we're all in agreement. So that was OK.

I've been thinking in the last week or so about major life events (weddings, giving birth, you know, the biggies) and about how the pendulum seems to swing in our country. For instance, it wasn't until the Victorian age that women wore big fancy white dresses (or even white dresses at all - it became a status symbol to show that you had enough extra money to wear an impractical dress), and that was really the upper crust of society anyhow. Most weddings in the 20th century weren't the huge dog and pony show that they are today; people got married in their parents' houses or the courthouse if they didn't get married in churches and receptions were simple and relatively inexpensive. During wartime (WWII for example) a lot of women just wore their best dress or suit, and the whole affair was just a nice kickoff to the beginning of what would (one hopes) be the really important thing, the marriage. I love the wedding picture of my great aunt and uncle that hangs in Aunt Edy's study. She's looking fabulous in a suit; he's in his Air Force uniform. They were married nearly 50 years before Bill died of cancer.

From what I've read and heard about from parents, parents of friends, etc., weddings weren't that big of a deal (on average) in the late 60s and 70s either. My parents had kind of a hippie wedding but even the parents of friends who weren't hippies had pretty low-key affairs. It wasn't seen as cool to have the huge to-do with all the frippery and fancy and whatnot (cultural differences, of course, being operative - I'm pretty sure people coming from money have always tended to have larger and fancier weddings just because they could afford to, as it's always been a status symbol in any culture to display lavish amounts of wealth. I know certain religions have also tradtionally held large, fancy, grandiose events, at least those with the money to do so).

It wasn't until Princess Di got married in the early 80s that the big poufy white dress, and the fancy party with all that entailed returned, I think. Suddenly there was a Wedding Industry and more and more people got convinced that to show status even within the middle class they had to throw elaborate shindigs for their children's nuptuals (or their own, for those who paid for their own). I think it's gotten more and more prevalent in the US and it doesn't show any signs of swinging back the other way. There's like 10 or 15 "bridal" magazines on every newsrack; there's all the things that we're all told we Must Do (videographer, professional photographer, sit-down or buffet fancy dinner for hundreds of people, etc.) or we won't be Really Married. I think it's probably getting more and more difficult to just have the kind of wedding or reception one wants anymore because of the Wedding Industrial Complex, because as soon as the W word is used the price doubles or triples or whatever for whichever vendor's services you're interested in.

And every bride is told by Wedding Consumer Culture that "it's her daaaaay!" and the focus should be on the wedding, reception, and Being a Bride with all that entails. What ever happened to the focus being on the marriage itself? Because you get to be a bride once per marriage, for one day, ultimately. It kind of amazes me how much money people spend on weddings these days - average costs for dresses, locations, catering, flowers, jewelry (don't think DeBeers isn't getting away with one of the most successful swindles in consumer history by artifically suppressing the diamond market while simultaneously convincing every woman in this country that her significant other doesn't love her unless he spends obscene amounts of money for an overpriced rock that some kid in Africa lost his arm for). I mean, if you are part of that class already, the group that Is Moneyed and can afford $30,000 (or $50,000, or $100,000) for a few hours of party, then more power to you. It just seems ridiculous to me that our collective personal debt continues to rise as people feel they need to emulate everyone else and absolutely CAN'T have a wedding without having spent the price of a decent new car or down payment on a house.

The problem is that because of this Wedding Industrial Complex, those of us who don't want to participate get lumped in with those who do and it's not really affordable to have a wedding where and how you want to have it anymore. Not that it isn't past the hypothetical stage at this point, but I'd love to get married in and throw a big party at a winery in the area where I grew up. Because it has personal significance, and besides, it's one of the most beautiful areas I've ever been - and if I do ever get married I want to get married outside where I feel the most spiritual and connected to things. But I can't afford to spend thousands of dollars just for the privledge of having my wedding at a winery, not even including food, party costs, what have you. Because now the wine country is a big Wedding Destination and they're all in on the racket. And that's just one aspect that is personally significant to me - there are infinite other ones that I've read about, heard about, and know about from friends and acquaintences who have gotten married recently. It's a lot harder to plan a wedding that is affordable and still includes the aspects that are really important to the people participating, because the WIC has its talons in everything surrounding the idea of a wedding.

It seems like there are only a few ways to circumvent the WIC, none of which I'm particularly interested in (eloping, getting married at city hall, destination wedding with very few in attendance). Those who are able to do it, I say Hooray! But it certainly isn't easy.

Along the same lines, I've read a lot of blogs over the past year written by women who are pregnant or new mothers. It's tough to have the kind of birth you want these days, too. I think I'll save that rant for another post because I'm hungry and this is already like 9466165 pages long.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Boring exercise stuff again

Tuesday: Full weight circuit, 30 minutes bike (randomized=hard!), 10 minutes free weights, 10 minutes crunches/leg lifts

Wednesday: 35 minutes hard elliptical (with arms), 13 minutes medium bike, 12 minutes crunches/leg lifts. When I got off the elliptical and kind of stumbled toward the bike, as soon as I sat down on the thing my legs started crying at me and it was really hard to get the pedals going at the speed I normally go. I've been pushing myself pretty hard. My body is quite tired and I haven't been getting as much sleep as my body seems to want.

I think today I will take a break. I've been debating all morning whether or not to go to the gym; I brought my gym bag with me to work because I was supposed to have lunch with a coworker - she was going to tell me about her monthlong trip to India and I was going to tell her about China. She had to cancel on me and so I can go home for lunch instead (like I usually do) or I can go to the gym, pick up a sandwich, and go home at 5. Or I can just not go to the gym. My body is starting to feel a little burned out from the exercise and lack of sleep. I think today will be a rest day, or maybe I'll do some pilates at home and tomorrow I'll do weights/cardio.

I need to find a Pilates DVD. I've been reading the reviews on Amazon but you still never know how you're going to feel about a particular workout until you try it yourself.

My neighbor has about 15 different workout DVDs. She also has a plethora of equipment, including several free weights and weighted balls, bands, mats, a big ball, and a bosu ball. But she doesn't have a gym membership and when she uses her equipment at home regularly she loses weight and looks great. That hasn't happened recently because she's in an MBA program and doesn't have time to sleep or eat, let alone exercise. Maybe I'll borrow one of her DVDs this evening.