Monday, April 27, 2009

And one, and two, and touch your toes...

A girl in her mid-twenties should have no issues touching her toes, right? There shouldn't be a constant aching everytime she sits, stands, walks, bends over, lays down, etc.?

Our "life coach" had us check our back health at work about three weeks ago. I had to sit with my back against the wall and try to touch my toes. Then I had to step over a piece of tape that was at my knee without moving my hips. Apparently this caused me to pull my lower back, my butt, and a little bit on the sides. It's the only thing I can think of that would have caused some kind of trauma. I went to my actual doctor, who is trying to push physical therapy, and she prescribed me this medicine that was $89 WITH MY INSURANCE (she switched it to a different kind, which was only $5... much better). My chiropractor said that I just need to strengthen my core, and suggested yoga (hence the yoga-ness)

However, I did something really stupid over the weekend. A of all, I worked both days at ULTA, despite the fact that I do not work on Saturdays because it's my one day off. B of all (and most importantly), I did a remote for the station... which means that I had to lift and set up equipment that is not exactly light. And I'm majorly paying for it two days later. I tried to bend over slowly and touch my toes (or "roll down my spine" as my mumbo jumbo former acting teachers would say) and I barely made it halfway. Then I tried sitting down to do it... and got maybe an inch before my muscles clamped up.

At the moment, I'm sitting in my ergonomic chair with a Thermacare wrap on my back... praying that I get some relief. I took some of the medicine I'm only supposed to take at night because it's an analgesic, and I'm hoping it will loosen me up a bit. I hate being in pain. I really do.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happiest Girl Alive.

The station I work participates in this huge city event every year.. a Flower Market. It's one of the big city events, and funds go to charities, and it's a huge deal. We always provide entertainment. Last year, we had Flyleaf come out and perform. They were really awesome...and my little sister is a HUGE Flyleaf fan, so she came out... and we took pictures with the band and got autographs and stuff. It was a lot of fun.

This year, we were waiting and waiting on who our BIG name was going to be. Now, we have Carolina Liar playing on Saturday night, which is cool.. but it's no Flyleaf. And certainly no Harry Kalas, who we had three years ago. The year before Flyleaf, we had Eliot Yamin from American Idol.

This year... I think it's my favorite year since I started working with this company. This year... we have Shane Victorino, who's the center fielder for the Phillies. I'm a HUGE Phils phan... so I was freaking out a little when we got Shane to come out. It's in two weeks... I've already volunteered my time during when Shane will be there.. and I'm going to have my NLDS program (the game I was at, Shane Victorino hit a GRAND SLAM against C.C. Sabathia, who was supposed to be their Ace. We made him look STUPID), my NLCS program (procured from LA from the game where we clinched the National League title), and my World Series program (procured from a lovely coworker who was at the game). I'm so flipping excited.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh I wish that I wasn't such a slacker...

I'm making progress in my yoga challenge... my company hosts many different websites, and one new one that we just added is a service where you can buy gift certificates for local business at half price. One of the businesses is a local yoga studio that's about 1/2 mile from work...and the gift cert is good for four classes. I emailed them my situation (read: OWWWWW MY BACK HURTS!!!) and that I have *some* previous yoga experience, but was concerned about whether or not I should take Hatha or Vinyasa classes. They said both would be okay... and I think I've decided that I'm going to do two of each. Also this Saturday they're having "free class day" so I'm probably going to stop in there at some point and check the place out. I'm very excited.

Other than the yoga-ing, everything else has been pretty stagnant. I'm not a very healthy eater... at all... and I'm not very active... at all. I used to be. I used to be so active. And I'm just not anymore. I feel like such a slacker... I don't exercise, I don't read as much as I'd like, and I don't eat as well as I'd like. But it's hard when you can't eat fruit. I have all of these plans of being so self sufficient... making my own sweaters and clothing and all this nonsense. But it all seems like so much work. And i love knitting, don't get me wrong, but I've found myself picking all of these ridiculously complicated patterns that I probably couldn't possibly do.

I have at least CUT OUT the pieces for my dress. Now I just need to put the interfacing on all the bodice pieces... and start actually sewing. Maybe this weekend. Maybe. We'll see. I'll try my best to post progress pics, but we'll see. I did however get this ADORABLE dress at the Anne Taylor LOFT Outlet by my mother's house... it's a white sundress with blue and purple flowers... and I have shoes that match PERFECTLY and it's going to go PERFECTLY with two cardigan sweaters I have on my queue, one of which is SO FLIPPING COMPLICATED it isn't even funny. If you're a knitter... it's a seamless side-construction. You start with the sleeves... you get to the end of the sleeve where it would connect to the body, do a crochet provisional cast-on, and attached to the sleeve, and then keep on going. And then do the other side. And then kitchener stitch it together. WHAT?!?! I'm a little freaking out about it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Oooh, Oooh! Meme! Pick me!

I got tagged by the meme of eight by Joanie at Joanie's Random Ramblings.

8 Things I’m Looking Forward To

1. Making my first garmet in three years
2. Being entirely self-sufficient when it comes to knitted garments
3. Having an actual vacation... eventually... not sure when it'll happen...
4. Seeing Wrigley Field in Chicago (next summer? Maybe?)
5. Having my back no longer hurt (it's getting better... I used icy hot patches and they seemed to help a lot)
6. Wearing skirts and capris again
7. Seeing some of my old high school friends this week
8. Never having to shave again

8 Things I Did Yesterday

1. Worked
2. Get a $5 tip for teaching this girl how to do eyeshadow
3. Turned the heel on my first sock!! (socks are an accomplishment. I think)
4. Watched the Flyers kick the pants off of the Penguins. Crosby sucks.
5. Watched two episodes of 90210 (the new one). It's an addiction.
6. Cut out the lining of my dress... now all my pieces are cut! Assembly can start.
7. Thought about reading more of The Stand, and decided instead that it was a bad idea to read that just before going to sleep
8. Dreamt that someone wanted to give me a $15,000 talent fee for doing commercials for them and interviewing them on my show. Any takers??

8 Things I Wish I Could Do

1. See Colleen in Ireland
2. Go to Hawaii... and come back married
3. While in Hawaii... see where they shoot LOST. It'd be nice if it was while the show was still being taped...
4. Fix my bathroom (it's electric blue. and ugly. and the bathtub is too heavy for the room)
5. Design knitted garments.
6. Be on a soap opera (it's my dream acting job. In all seriousness. I grew up watching soaps, I've watched soaps since I was like 3 years old, and I wish I could be on General Hospital)
7. Have a dog... I really really want a dog.
8. Finish The Stand. Only 700 pages to go...

8 Shows I Watch

2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Castle (I heart Nathan Fillion)
4. How I Met Your Mother
5. The Big Bang Theory
6. Dollhouse
7. The Sarah Connor Chronicles (I heart Summer Glau... basically I heart everyone who was in Firefly. If only Alan Tudyk had another show...)
8. Leverage

8 People I Tag

1. Di at DiSpace
2. Jess at Everyday Adventures of Me in the City
3. Tova at Secret Life of Tova Darling
4. Chelsea at Chelsea Talks Smack
5. Ali at Kitschy Shop
6. Ben at No Ordinary Rollercoaster
7. Maureen at Penny, the Baby Girl
8. Al at Because It's the Same Backwards and Forwards...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Worst Service

Inspired by Everyday Adventures of Me in the City and her latest blogspot, I thought I'd share my worst dining experience.

A few New Years ago, Gene and I went out with two other couples. The first place we went to was where we had dinner. It was one of those restaurants that had a $75 per couple with a fixed menu thing going on. And the menu was salmon, filet, lobster... all nice quality food with a champagne toast at midnight. Our reservation was made for the smoking section, since I was the only non smoker in the bunch.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, we discovered that they had a free limo service available that they failed to mention to us when we made the reservation. The first annoyance. We are also told that there is no smoking section at the tables, you have to walk to the bar. Again, information that should have been given to us during our initial reservation, but fine.

Our waitress, who had a few screws loose, kept asking us for our orders when I was the only person sitting at the table. Everyone else was at the bar smoking, I'm by myself, and she's asking me for everyone's order. Seriously? Seriously!? Does it look like I want to order for everyone? No. I don't. When she finally comes to our table when everyone is there, she opens with "We don't have any more salmon or filet." No offer of a substitution, just we're out of this and this. Not until we ask if there's anything else does she offer us anything. We're off to a wonderful start.

Almost an hour after having our order taken, we get served. The baked potato of one of the girls at the table is freezing cold. She and the other girl, both former waitresses, decide it's time to get this girl a taste of her own ignorant medicine. She tells the waitress that her baked potato is cold, and makes her bring her another one, or the same one warmed up. After she brings the potato back out... the girl at the table doesn't touch it. On purpose.

Now, my parents owned a restaurant... my mother is a waitress... I'm a very good tipper. I always overtip, especially if the service is good, because I know that it's hard to make a living that way. It's all about tips. This was the only time I gave a bad tip. Oh yeah, and we're still waiting for our champagne toast. We left at 12:30... no champagne. I wish I remembered the name of the restaurant...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Yoga Unpreparedness

I now have four yoga dvds. One by Tony Horton, who is super cheesy and a little yoga intense, one from Borders (it came with a yoga mat... so...), one from Gaiam called "Yoga for Beginners II" and this other one called "Jivamutki Yoga with David Life and Sharon Gannon."

I did Yoga for Beginners II on Saturday... and I needed blocks and straps and a bolster pillow to lay on, so apparently I was unprepared for this yoga dvd. I was not aware that I needed all of these yoga accessories. However, the dvd was very good at teaching different poses and it was fairly relaxing.

Sunday I decided to step it up a notch and go with the Jivamutki Yoga... and i can pick either David Life or Sharon Gannon, so I picked Sharon. These people are a little yoga crazy, but that's all right. What is not all right is that they expected me to stand on my head with my feet in the air and be able to move my feet without crashing to the ground. I just skipped that one. I also skipped the one where they wanted me to balance on my side on one hand and one foot. My feet kept slipping on my yoga mat, so that was absolutely not happening. As far as relaxation and relieving tension in the back and shoulders, though, the Jivamutki Yoga was the best. Hopefully David's workout will be less intense. I was not ready for all of the vinyasas right away, but I do recommend Sun Salutations. I used to go those in college in acting class, and those are fun.

So far I think the yoga experiment is going well. Obviously I don't expect to have the stronger back right away. But I do feel a little less tension in that area. And who knows, maybe I'll actually have good posture.

Also.. I SO FINISHED MY SECOND SWEATER. And I'm mucho excited about it. I'll most likely post pictures on Actor's Knitmare

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

100th Post!

Nothing too exciting. I couldn't really come up with anything extravagant. Oh well. I do have a few exciting things, though!

A of all, I won the basketball pool at work... and won myself $200! All for saying "Hmm... eeny, meeny, miny. THAT ONE!" I did actually put SOME thought into it. I did look up SOME stats and did pay SOME attention to college basketball. Not much. I did go a lot on seeding. I didn't take "the chalk" the whole way through (I didn't know what that meant until like yesterday. I didn't pick all 1 seeds). And all those people who laughed at me because I took Villanova in the final four can suck it.

B of all, I've decided to start doing yoga on a regular basis. I am attempting to be healthier. At my work, we have this "life coach" who comes in a few times a month and gives us tips to lead healthy lives and all that stuff. Last month, she checked our back health. We had to do all these stretches and things to see if we were at an increased risk of back injury. We discovered that I have bad hips (which I knew... I almost had to have hip surgery when I was 15 because of my non-working soas muscle), and we discovered that I'm pear shaped, and we discovered that I'm in the 10th percentile of hamstring flexibility for my age group. Which means that 90% more people are more flexible than I. And I also have ZERO lumbar support. At ULTA on Sunday, my back was hurting so badly I could barely stand up. So I think it's time for yoga. When I was seeing a chiropractor, she told me that all of my back pain was because I had weak back muscles, not from my spine. She suggested a year ago that I start doing yoga.

I went to three stores before I found exercise dvds, let alone yoga ones. Jeezu. Who knew that Best Buy didn't believe in exercise? They USED to have a section. Not any longer! I was forced (against my better judgement) to go to Barnes and Noble. I hate that store. Even though they carry "Sock Innovation" by Cookie A and Borders doesn't.

And finally, C of all, I'm getting laser hair removal. I don't know how much I'll talk about it here... but I'll at least let y'all know. I'm meeting with the people today for my "consultation" and we're going to get started on my underarms. I'm excited and a bit scared at the same time. I know it is going to hurt a bit. I had a friend who had it done on her legs 5 years ago, loves it, and she said that it does hurt. I also have a friend at ULTA who used to work for a laser hair removal company (not the same one I'm going to) and she told me that I'm going to love it, that it'll work great on me since I have such dark hair, and she told me all the places I should have treated. If I never have to shave again.... I'm going to be so excited. I hate the act of shaving, and waxing hurts more than it should.

I had a bikini wax ONCE. I was going to get a brazillian wax. Then they started, and I chickened out. I liked the result of the wax. But NEVER AGAIN will I get a bikini wax. I wanted to cry. And before going to the waxing hell, I went to the bar and took ibuprofen. So I should have been just fine. At least afterwards, I did a facial. That was my reward for sitting through such horrid and unneccesary pain. I think if I can live through a bikini wax... than I can live through laser hair removal. I hope.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Breathing Fire

I love cooking... I love experimenting with food and making up sauces and going off recipe. I'm addicted to The Food Network, and the greatest cooking show ever, America's Test Kitchen which is on PBS. Best. Show. Ever. They take these recipes and try them hundreds of different ways until they find the best one. And it usually is nothing like the "original" or "traditional" recipe. Most of the recipes that I get are through America's Test Kitchen. They're mostly easy, sometimes take a little extra work, but the result is always AMAZING.

This time, Gene and I were making NY strip steaks that he got from the butcher. Ah-mazing. Super buttery and tender. In accordance with the test kitchen, I baked my steak for 30 minutes in a low oven and then put it in a SUPER HOT pan with vegetable oil to sear it and get it nice and brown. All sides. Then let it rest while I make the pan sauce.

The pan sauce is where the problems started. First, it's a tequila lime chile sauce. Except my grocery store doesn't carry poblano chiles, so I decided to substitute a jalapeno. I've never worked with jalapenos, but I know that most of the heat is in the seeds and a ribs, so I get those little suckers out of there. Chop up my little pepper, cook it in steak fat and cumin, and put it aside. Then I stick some white tequila... and i have to set it on fire. Except I don't have a kitchen lighter (the ones that look like guns with a really long barrel to light grills and things with?) or long matches. In fact, I can't find any matches anywhere. But I do have a gas stove and birthday candles (I know... dumbest thing ever... and I'm buying a kitchen lighter for the next time, beacuse this sauce was FREAKING GOOD). I was not expecting the flame that came... but that's all right. I didn't burn anything down. Everything was fine. Thank god. After the tequila, some chicken stock, and some fresh lime juice... I put the peppers and the cumin (there was also supposed to be a shallot, but neither Gene nor I like onions, so I scratched that), and some fresh herbs in the pan and cooked that up a bit more.

You thought it was the tequila on fire that is making me breathe fire, didn't you? It wasn't. It's the oil from the jalapeno. That shit stays on your freaking hands FOREVER and no amount of soap and water can get it out. So every time I blow my nose? The oils manage to get on my nose and it feels like the inside of my nose is on freaking fire. When I accidentally touch my eye? BURNING. I didn't wash my face or put on moisturizer today because I was terrified of what would happen. Last night, the oils were bothering the inside of my nose so much that my sinuses had swollen as if I had a cold. I made the mistake of trying to flush out the oils with water and my neti pot. BURNING. So... about 18 hours later... I'm still having nasal burning... and eye burning... and underneath my fingernails burn. I also like to bite my thumb if I'm thinking. Then my tongue burns. I hate jalapenos.