Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just one more day and this week will be over

Today was marginally better than the previous 3 days. My day started with janitorial duties. Next I tried to boot up the public internet computers to find out that the system was down and later when they were back up many of the computers were off thus making the reservations off in some cases. Asking people to get off the computer when it let them in, is sometimes a tricky business. I had one guy flat refuse to do it but fortunately there was another computer available that I was able to move the person with the appointment over to.
So just 24 more hours and I will be embracing a weekend. Monday will be our committee proposal. So Monday night, I may be treating myself to something special--a bottle of port in one sitting is tempting but I have given up alcohol for Lent. A hangover on Tuesday is not necessarily the ideal way of getting the after committee work life off to a good start. So I will think of something else.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Fetal Position is Looking Mighty Comfortable.

I am thinking about hiding under my desk. This morning I arrived to find out that the janitorial contracts have fallen apart and in the night after closing rather than cleaning the library, the company was quietly removing any stock in the janitor's closet whether it belong to the company or not. They took our recycle trash can--the bastards. Fortunately, because I had a heads up, I was able to tuck away some toilet tissue so we had enough to last the morning until I went to Sam's Club to pick up toilet paper, paper towels, and hand soap. Tomorrow morning my first duty is to take out the trash!
Later reports that there is a homeless guy living in the back of the library. He has taken a table from our patio to create a fort. In my high heels I was reluctant to climb to the wall to check it out, so the children's assistant hopped up to take a photo for me. Maybe I need to start wearing more sensible shoes to work.
In the process we found out that when they changed the door alarm on one of the three armed doors, they took the keys to one of them. Fortunately no one has accidental tried to open the door. See is a silver lining.
In the afternoon, I had a customer in my office that got into a verbal exchange with another customer. Basically, I said "Just don't do it, come to us at the desk, we will handle problems." This conversation probably lasted 15 minutes longer than it should have.
The just before closing, the police come to roust my homeless guy out. I feel awful because he is actually according to the officer a normal sort of guy who has just lost his job, and his brother that he was staying with went off to war so he was left homeless. The shelter is full. The officer indirectly suggested that he was too normal for the craziness that happens at the shelter. I feel about 2 inches tall for having the roust a guy that is down on his luck from an area that is quite safe and he doesn't have to worry about getting mugged in the night. Not everything in my job description is fun or enjoyable.
This week has two more working days. Maybe tomorrow will be a saner day that the previous few days. I can only hope but fear that I will see more and more of these days until the economy starts getting better. I just have to say "Mr. Obama please hurry up and fix the boo-boos. If you want I am a willing to try to scrounge up a couple of band-aids"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This Much I Know is True...

It does not bode well for a good day, if you arrive at work to find three squad cars parked in front of your doors and men sitting in the backseat of two of them. That is how my day started. Apparently, the two men tried to have a wrestling match in the computer area. What prevented them was my diminutive retired librarian that temps on Tuesday and Wednesday. She had to get between them not once but three times before they calmed down. Geez. I understand that both of them wanted to use the computers to apply for jobs and perhaps the stress of times got to them, but in a library.

So the first part of my day was dealing with paperwork on the incident. Fortunately, the altercation didn't get out of hand and no one was actually injured. They appearantly really were wrestling and not throwing punches.

Days like this always make me chuckle when people tell me that they always wanted to work in a library where it is peaceful and quiet and you get paid to read. Hmm...doesn't seem like any libraries I know.

Oh, yeah, The Poopster struck again yesterday. Apparently every month or so, someone decides to poop on the men's restroom floor. This requires calls to get it cleaned up and shutting down the restroom. Fortunatately, I am not expected to clean it up myself or task any of my staff to do it for me.

Well, I guess it has been one of those weeks so far.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Need a Restart

OK, so I didn't even make it past 36 hours. I blame it on Rio of course or at least meetings, training and traveling. Today was the regional managers meeting with two tables laden with temptation. Y and I mostly finished off a bag of Ruffles between us--all the way down to the crumbs at the end. Hmmm, I don't remember that being part of the diet plan. Ok, tomorrow is a better day. I can do this, I hope. I need to, I want to be able to run again and that can't happen until my heel spur goes away and that isn't likely until I lose weight. Yes, folks, I think that this is called a vicious circle. Welcome to my world.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 2

Here, I am munching on baby carrots. I am told I can have as many of these little orange things as I want. I have about a dozen and a half and am about half way through them. I am looking at my turkey sandwich with some longing. If you know me then, your jaw probably dropped at the turkey part. I tried it yesterday and it wasn't so bad. I have a lot of dijon mustard and a slice of reduced fat cheese on it so I don't get a lot of turkey taste. The great thing about this diet, is if you don't have time to fix things or you have left overs you can repeat meals at anytime. So yesterday I had a sandwich and today I have the same thing. Actually, I am having the same food today as I did yesterday. The other half of dinner was already cooked so I might as well have it this evening for dinner.
Tomorrow will be the challenging day because I have to go down to LA Public Library for a budgeting training all day. I figure I will take the same sandwich again--that will finish off the lunch meat and I will look through and try to find something quick and tasty for when I get home tomorrow night.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Need Help!

Last week, I had to wear a suit to visit my local assemblyman for work. I bought the suit last year and wore it to my Librarian III interview. It was roomy and comfortable --last year. This year, I shimmied the skirt over my hips thinking, I don't remember shimmy last year. Then the next thing I know the pocket button popped off. I can still button the top but just barely. I have to pitch a proposal to the county librarian and other execs in the coming weeks and I need to wear a suit. I don't think I will be comfortable in the one I wore last week. So I went in search of another suit--a cheap one because I don't want to have to wear that one again. I WANT IT TO A BE TOO BIG NEXT TIME!!! I found a jacket and a skirt for $10 each on the bargain basement racks--thank goodness.
So I started thinking about my weight. It has been creeping up no matter what I try to do. Here is the fact, my metabolism is shot, I have a thyroid condition. I need to boost my metabolism and I need help with that. I weight 190 pounds. That is 30 pounds heavier than my heaviest until recently and 75 pounds heavier than my skinniest as an adult. Let me repeat that: I NEED HELP! I ran down my options, Jenny Craig--to expensive. Weight Watchers--too complicated for my poor brain. Then I found Joy's LIFE Diet. I picked the book up and bought it immediately. It is a sensible diet that has plenty of food and plenty of options. The big thing in this diet is that you give up sugar. Which since I have mostly given up Dr. Pepper, I had 3 in the past two weeks. Here is what I noticed. No Dr. Pepper, no sugar cravings. Drink Dr. Pepper and the array of break room temptations become unbearable and a McDonald lunch is just the ticket. For me at least, sugar makes me feel like crap and when I feel like crap I want fat and grease to boost those endorphins to make me feel better.
Last night I cooked J and me a meal out of the book. I made the LIFE Soup which was pretty awesome. I added Vietnamese chili sauce to perk it up. Then I made wilted spinach and a pork loin. Just the meal needed to recover from Valentine's champagne.
Today is my first official day of my diet. I also bought the Ultimate Workout Log to go along with it. So here it goes. I will be successful this time! Now I will prepare my breakfast--egg white omelet with unlimited veggies. YUM!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Recap of Single Awareness Day

Saturday morning I was getting ready to head out for some shopping when Gilbert the friendly cable guy gave me an offer I couldn't refuse--Internet, cable, and Showtime for a year for a cool $53 a month. The added bonus was that I wouldn't have to be held hostage in my apartment for hours on end waiting for the service guy to come for the appointment. Instant gratification. I can now be the average American who vegges out in front of the TV in the evening. But of course this being me, there were minor complications with the easy as a snap installation. The first modem didn't work and the first remote control didn't work so the promised 20 minute installation turned into an hour and a half. But hey, I didn't have to wait hours for him to arrive so I am still pleased.
After Gilbert left I went to Wahoos for fish tacos and to Whole foods, then Trader Joes, Sam's Club and Walmart. The shopping extravaganza will be explained next time.
After I stowed all my goodies, I took some pastries and a bottle of champagne over to J's to play Mario Kart. The pastries were snarfed the champagne in the fridge to chill and we went to see He Just Not That Into You. Very cute and funny movie. J wasn't too grumbly about seeing a chick-flick.
After the movie we headed back to my place to WATCH TV! J doesn't have cable either so he was totally stoked about the thought of watching Saturday Night Live, The Real World. All was fun and games, champagne in our glasses--J had retrieved the bottle I took over to his earlier--and a plate of fruit on coffee table. J was surfing through the channels until he broke the cable box. Well, he didn't really but it froze up for a while. So in the interim, I put in School House Rocks in the DVD player. Nothing is better than a second bottle of champagne and signing along to children's songs.
The TV came back on I decided to call Hawaii so see how the Red Dress Run Went. Yep, I was just a tiny bit tipsy. J found the Princess Bride. J seems to know most of the dialog, so I was amused. Yes, it is easy to amuse me after midnight when I have had a bottle of champagne of a stomach that just had some pastries, a couple of handfuls of popcorn, and fruit since lunch. At some point it seemed like a good idea to open a bottle of Riesling. J amused himself by setting my internet homepage to FOX News and my iPhone wallpaper to a picture of him wearing a sombrero.
Oh the fun of imbibing fermented grapes while watching CABLE TV came crashing down on my head and stomach this morning at 9:30. I met J in the parking lot at the library this afternoon, he looked in much better shape than I was. I had just barely kept down a handful of fries before we had to come to work. Now it is almost 3:00, and gloriously the salt, fat, and grease of McDonald's fries have worked their magic. Thank goodness!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

J Had a Birthday...

We went to our new favorite place--Casa Viejo--a seafood Mexican Restaurant around the corner from our apartments. We went to Casa Viejo for Superbowl Sunday last week for the first time. The shrimp cocktails were 2 for 1 so we went with that. The shrimp cocktail was amazing--it was like gazpacho with a gazillion shrimp, avacado and cucumber. Impressed, we only had to look at each other to know that we needed to come back and try other things on the menu. We left that evening filled with shrimp cocktail and about half a ton of chips and salsa.
So J's birthday was yesterday and we went to dinner at Casa Viejo to celebrate. The food was fantastic, I want to try something else next time and trust me there will be a next time. I mentioned that it was J's birthday. Out comes the mariachi sombrero and a plate of flan. I am coming back for my birthday. I took a photo with my iphone. Somehow J managed to set the photo as my screensaver. All I have to say is that it is considerably better than his New Year's Eve photo.
Since J had driven us over--it has been raining for the past 3 days--and it was his birthday, he suggested we go to Walmart to the claw machines. We get to Walmart before I realize that I left my iphone at the restaurant. Did I ever get grief for that move. Maybe because the last time we went to Walmart, I had to run back in for my wallet. Anyway, I now have a house full of claw machine prizes and J has a pink panther and a Betty Boop living in his car. I got a new pink poodle to live with the frogs and pig in my car.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Setsubun no hi

Setsubun is the day before the lunar change of the season. The Setsubun Festival is celebrated in Japan on Feb 3rd or 4th depending on the year. It's not a big festival but it is fun. You stand in your doorway and throw Setsubun beans (roasted soybeans) into the house saying Oni way soto, Fuku wa uchi which means Demons out and good luck in. Last night I bought some wasabi peas--the closest I could get to roasted soybeans and after blessing my apartment, I headed over to J's with the peas, a bottle of plum wine (umeshu) and a couple of lottery tickets. I had J throw beans into his apartment twice because the first time, I had him inviting the demons into his house--oops. I'm not sure that the second time actually blessed the apartment because neither of us won anything on the lottery tickets. Maybe I should have had him throw them three times. Afterwards we had the wine and ate the wasabi peas. I love this festival. The other part of the festival is that you should eat your age in roasted soybeans--they aren't very tasty so it is no easy feat. Wasabi peas are much easier to get your age down. And third part is to face a direction (I don't remember which) and eat a foot long maki-sushi. I love Japanese Festivals!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Inkheart and Underworld

Recently, I have seen two fantasy movies at the theater. Last weekend when I was visiting P in West Hollywood, we decided to see Inkheart at Grauman's Chinese Theater. I have read the children's book Inkheart the first book in the Inkheart Trilogy (Inkheart, Inkspell and Inkdeath)by Corniela Funke. Corniela Funke was voted by Time Magazine to be one of the top 100 most influential people in 2006. Although she now lives in LA with her family she is originally from Germany and worked as an illustrator and social worker before crafting notable children's books such as the Theiflord and the Inkheart Triology. Inkheart the movie was fairly faithful to the book. Brandon Frazier was as darling as ever as Silver Tongue Mo and Helen Mirren did an excellent job as the amti-social bookwork Aunt Elinor. And the panoramic cinematography was breathtaking. Overall, I enjoyed the film. However, I suspect it will soon be on DVD because the historic theater was virtually empty.
A brief mention of Grauman's. I love old theaters and Grauman's is a prime example of the glory days that pre-stadium seating multiplexes theaters enjoyed. In my opinion, movies are always just a bit better in these theaters. They hearken back to times when going to the theater was a social event that people actually got dressed up for. I remember my first movie theater experience. I was four years old, wearing a dress and new shoes that pinched my feet. We saw Gone With the Wind at the State Theater in Idabel. My family had just moved to Oklahoma and we were living in Millerton with my aunt. My mom and aunt scrubbed the kids, left the husbands and home and made the twenty mile journey into Idabel for the event that was memorable enough for a four year old to retain--I am sure that the pinching shoes had somehow enhanced the memory.
Gruaman's is a splendid theater with intricately carved walls and ceilings. The red and gold decor made me wish I was wearing something more sophisticated than my jeans and sweatshirt. But alas those times have come to an end unless of course you are invited to a premier.
On Friday I texted J to see if he would like to see Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans. I got back an incredulous text checking to see if I was serious and still in possession of being me. I stopped for a second to ask what kind of image I exude? Obviously, one that wouldn't think of watching Underworld. I must work on my image, I think.
I must admit Underworld would probably have never hit my radar, except for the fact that I have a tendency to watch movies the Karmic Way. What this means is that I rarely check show times to see movies. I like to just show up at movie theaters and what ever is on that is within my waiting time range--about 15 seconds--I see. Underworld just happened to be one such film. Rise of the Lycans was not quite what I expected. It is actually a prequel of the other films--so no Kate Beckinsale until the last 10 seconds at the end. It was action packed, darkly filmed and set in the deep dark days of Eastern Europe. The English actress Rhona Mitra plays an excellent Sonja and looks enough like Kate Beckensale to see why Victor would have saved her when he killed the rest of her family because she reminded him of his precious daughter Sonja. Rise of the Lycans is a Romeo and Juliette-esque story of forbidden love. If you have seen and enjoyed the other films, you will this one as well. If you haven't seen them, this one is a good place to start.