Monday, June 29, 2009

Seriously Serious.

Lo, I find myself at a carbs-crossroad once again.

It seems that my foray into the land of no-carbs, but mmmsugar has warranted less than stellar results. I managed to lose 2 pounds in two weeks, but for real? My weight fluctuates more from late morning to early afternoon.

It's time to get seriously serious. Fruit: I bid you adieu.

J and I escaped to the beach this past weekend. I put on a bikini, felt spectacularly unfit , and remedied that by eating and drinking everything in sight. I gorged on bagels, cheeseburgers, fajitas, pizza, chardonnay, doritos, cheese fries, doughnuts, Reese's peanutbutter cups, chicken parm, penne alla vodka, crab cakes and multiple beers, for good measure.


This morning I quickly purchased The South Beach Diet as I ran to board my 6:32 AM train to New York.

And so it begins. Again.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Only Human

At 3, I was traumatized by the "Thriller" video.

From what I recall, Dad took my brother and I to the Zappacostas to watch the world premiere on MTV. One look at that fucking werewolf and I was running for the door. Afterwards, I spent nights paralyzed on the edge of my bed, convinced that if I stepped down onto the rug, that damn beast was sure to grab my ankles and attack (as he was no doubt hiding beneath me). I am no fool, Wolf!

At 8, I played with family friends in their living room in Wilmington. We repeatedly put on "Thriller" , turned off all the lights, and proceeded to run around like maniacs, trying to escape the monster.

Some days, I would pull our old records off the bookcase and pour over the album covers. I distinctly remember examining Thriller... Gazing at the handsome man on the cover, pouring over each word of the enclosed song lyrics, memorizing Paul and Michael's parts in "The Girl is Mine."

At 13, my mother presented me with the Dangerous CD. I wore the thing out, blasting "Black or White", "Remember the Time", "Keep it in the Closet" over and over again in my room, furiously dancing about, imagining I was on stage performing for my adoring fans.

At 15, Grace and I would stay up nights listening to HIStory, attempting to guess which song was next hearing only the first chords. Grace still doesn't knew the words to "Man in the Mirror", though I quite prefer her version with its questionable phrasing.

At 21, I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge armed with Invincible. The man still had it, as far as I was concerned, and proved it with tracks like "You Rock My World".

At 28, J and I, along with all of our friends, rocked the eff out to "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" and "You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" one stifling evening at a resort overlooking the Caribbean.

At 29, I couldn't tear my eyes away from CNN last night. Gobsmacked, I answered the phone when my brother called. "I can't get over this," I say to him.

"Who cares? You're upset that a pedophile died?" he demands quickly.

I try to explain to him that there was another MJ I knew, before all of the baby-dangling and the nose jobs and the skin-bleaching and the molestation allegations. He was a man of indescribable, awe-inspiring talent; a soft-spoken young man who was undoubtedly different than the rest of us. In his latter years, those differences became increasingly alarming.

But before, man. Before, it was really something to see.

The pervasive coverage is a testament to his self-proclaimed moniker: The King of Pop. Here was arguably the most controversial, strangest, most famous man in the world. A person who means something (for better or worse) to everyone on this planet. None of us can possibly imagine that life, and how profoundly it must affect an undoubtedly fragile soul.

I'm not sure which man you'll remember, but I know this: some of my happiest memories are courtesy of MJ.

And for that: a sincere thank you, Michael.

Thank you.
One of my absolute favorites here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Snippets, Hosers!

  1. If you don't immediately go when the light turns green, you have about 1.5 seconds before I give you the honk. It may be a courtesy tap; it may a furious bleating. I mean, come on, sirs. I've got tuna tataki to dig into back at the hotel.
  2. "Oh - I heard you're trying to have a baby," sayeth Mom, pesudo-casually. "Excuse me?! Who did you 'hear' that from?" questions Daughter. (Word on the street?) Mother implicates aunt. "Wha? It's not true." insists daughter. It's not true. And when it is true (it's not true), no one gets any details, besides maybe my best good friends on the Interwebs. Sheesh.
  3. I am quite frightened of hotels with outdoor room access. I'm lookin' at you, Residence Inn, East Syracuse.
  4. Driving on the PA Turnpike yesterday, I was nearly struck by an errant, fast-moving flying tire. Gobsmacked! It was a brief moment of heart-stopping terror. And also a great excuse to use the word "gobsmacked".
  5. Why can't you spell "definitely"? It's not definatley. Damn.
  6. Am studying for the GMATs, yet again. Apparently, am not as bright as I think I am. (spelling skills remain impeccable, however).
  7. Gobsmacked means "extremely shocked" in the Queen's English.
  8. Made the mistake of mentioning my irrational completely justified fear of high fructose corn syrup at The Retreat restaurant today during lunch. Apparently Syracuse? Not really ready to discuss the perils of the HFCS. Pass the ketchup, asshole.
  9. Today a coworker asked me if I'd like to carpool to Buffalo tomorrow. "Can't," I replied sheepishly. "I have to go to Canada."
  10. Am totally serious. I have my passport in my bag; I'm going to Canada tomorrow. Figured I'd check in and see what those dudes are up to.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Feeling incredibly guilty this morning, as the vino got the best of me last night... And the vodka stole my soul at the Carolina Ale House... And, in the vein of full disclosure, a martini beckoned me at the airport on Wednesday night, when I was waiting to board my delayed flight home, and stormy weather had me unnerved. Lo, that was self-medication.

And I am feeling icky about it.

I knew that alcohol would be the trickiest part of my diet, as it's so ingrained in my lifestyle. At work functions, the liquor flows freely. I am usually very moderate at professional events, but it is still difficult to turn down a glass of sauvignon blanc when all of your colleagues are imbibing.

Personally, J and I have a favorite spot we visit for cocktails, and it's one of our favorite things to do on a Friday or Saturday night. We also keep our fridge stocked with Miller Lites, or often some fancier imported brew. And I always manage to keep our shelves filled with alluring bottles of red and white.

It's not difficult for me to refrain from a glass of wine at home during the week; but socially, I am finding it extremely challenging. Last night J and I met Grace and Rousseau for a delicious sushi dinner in Northern Liberties. And while I can eschew carbs like it's my job, I can't turn down a glass of vino. Or 4.


I feel dreadful this morning. Possibly because while I want to commit to at least 30 days of absolutely no alcohol RIGHT NOW, I know we have a wedding to attend tomorrow night. I'm not sure if I can make that statement this morning and mean it. On Sunday morning, we'll talk.

Going out for a long run now to think and to sweat the booze out of my system.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

OMG! This Effing Rain!

It's raining in Philadelphia. Have you heard? I only know because I am on Facebook. And via Facebook, everyone whom I have ever met in my life is complaining about the weather. Me? I tend to like the rain. And a good thunderstorm? Forget about it. I'm cooped up in my office anyway, right? Just me, Pandora, my laptop, and my phones. The rain works to soothe me; I relax into work and feel contented. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggghhhhhhhhh.

But wait - other people? Fucking hate this rain. They do not like the RAIN. Fuck this rain. They miss the sun. Where is the sun? Why is it always raining?!?! In summary: rain = HATE.

All of this belly-aching about rain (fuck this rain) got me to thinking about Facebook belly-aching in general, and the amazing piece I never published from guest blogger and resident funny woman, Koos. Ladies and gents, I bring you, courtesy of da Koos, things your Facebook friends are longing to tell you, but don't, because come on, you've got to be polite on Facebook. (But you can be a huge asshole at QINTM and nobody says "boo".) (Seriously though, comments are always open, y'all.) (Edited by yours truly.)

1. Stop complaining. Have you really bothered tracking people down all the way back to Pre-K to tell them about your headaches, runny noses, fatigue, and other boring ailments that everyone experiences at one time or another?

2. We know your kids and/or pets are cute and that you love them. Even mention them in your status updates every now and again. Just not EVERY update.

3. If you do not like your job, your boss, your coworkers or your commute, get off of Facebook immediately and update your resume, for the love of Pete.

4. As exciting as your errand list is, we don't need a play-by-play of what you did all day when it involves the grocery store, doctors' visits, dry cleaners, and trips to the gym. Call your real friends and bore them with all that stuff.

5. Mondays are unavoidable. As well as Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Try to enjoy the fact that you woke up and have air in your lungs; that you have one more day to spend with the kids and pets you can't leave out of your status updates. I mean, if you live until you are 80, you will have experienced 4171 Mondays. And look at you out there wasting them being miserable! Suckers. Koos and I are kicking back, drinking mojitos, and loving life on that first day of the work week. We'll let you hang with us if you stop your whining.

Tip of the iceberg, huh? What else drives you crazy about the Facebooking?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Too much? Email to baby bro, upon imminent trip to a gorgeous Caribbean island for senior week:

OK, I hope you are still around, as here are my travel tips, based on my sage experience:

* Have a bit of cash on you (say $100 at all times) for tips, taxis, and covers. Keep the rest in the bank and use your check card to access. There will be 8980 ATMS in your hotel alone.
* Make a copy of your passport and put it into your luggage, separate from the actual passport.
* Write your credit card/check card info down and/or copy the card and leave at home. You can call mom to cancel if it gets lost or stolen.
* USE THE SAFE. Put everything valuable in it, like your passport, iPod, phone, etc. Don't leave anything valuable sitting around. (J and I always have our passport on us when we travel, but since you will be drinking a lot, I don't recommend.)
* Wear sunscreen! Seriously though, nothing ruins the fun like a bad burn (see: Melissa in Miami, 2005).
* Don't drink too much and then get in a fight. Have fun and be nice.
* Be especially kind to the help, and they will be good to you.
* Be a gentleman and don't let any ladies get Natalie Hollowayed.
* Sleep on your stomach!
* Have a blast! And be smart. Also - you are not in America, and as you know from DR, not every country has the same amenities or moves as quickly as you would like. Enjoy and be a nice tourist!

Have the greatest time ever - I know your first trip out of the country as an adult will be the best ever!

Love you!!

I obsess because I care.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Carbs to HomeValley: Fool! You Can Not Escape Us. We Will Win This War!

The world is a giant carbohydrate, in case you hadn't noticed.

Greetings from Columbia, SC, where it is hella-humid and a balmy 95 degrees. Luckily, I get to spend most of my time here ensconced in my hotel room, or in a freezing office building, or in the Carolina Ale House tomorrow eve, where I am sure I can eat or drink absolutely nothing. Ah well. This is the life I chose, y'all. Poor little diet girl.

J and I went to his boss's son's graduation party on Saturday, and at first glance, my prospects were dismal. An entire table was filled with delectable, doughy goodies (the pretzel tray! I worship you, pretzel tray. You are all that is right and good in this world!), dips, chips, cookies, and other delicious carby-calories. I slunk away, unnerved, and gnawed on some raw veggies with a tablespoon of ranch dip. Um, yum?

I sipped on iced tea with sweetener, as J drank beer after delectable beer. Once the hot food was served, I allowed myself a jumbo hot dog sans bun, and some baked beans.

After the soiree, I forced my slightly buzzed hubby to take me to Osaka, our favorite sushi restaurant in Chestnut Hill, for some raw fish goodness. Oh, but I cheated with sinful clear alcohol in the form of a slightly dirty Grey Goose martini. And you know what? The alcohol didn't even taste or feel good. It left me feeling cloudy, and that's about it. Maybe there is something to clearing it out of your system, eh?

I headed to the track on Sunday morning (I find I much prefer to run outside; I look forward to these runs as they are somehow carthartic; spiritual even, despite "Piece of Me" by Britney Spears persistently blasting in my headphones). On my way out the door, J asked what my plans were: "5 miles?" "Ha!" I laughed, "with these legs, I'll be lucky if I get to 3." (Legs were still extremely tight from Thursday's rigorous one-hour yoga class.)

But a funny thing happened as I went around and around that oval: I just kept going. I tried to make it to 3 miles, then I stretched my goals to 4. On my 16th lap around I thought: "Fuck it - we might as well go for 20, dude." And so I went. I ran five miles for the first time in my entire life, and man, did that feel positively liberating. I'm really doing this, y'all! It's a shock to my system to feel as if I am on course to complete a lofty goal.

But what of P90X you ask? She arrived in an inoccuous-looking box last Thursday, at which time I snapped this photo of her, then went about my business.

I finally bought resistance bands on Saturday evening, and by this morning, we were ready to go. (Although I have yet to take those ridiculous "before" shots of my abs and booty; I shall make J do it this week when I arrive home.) I am doing P90X Lean, for those of us that don't wish to bulk up like Hugh Jackman in Wolverine (but well done, HJ. Well done.)

I bounded down the stairs at 6 AM and sweated and grunted and growled my way through "Core Synergistics" which is all about the damn "core", of which I have none to speak (my abs have always looked presentable, however, there is no muscle there. Only lovable, soft tissue.). "Wow," J remarked as he kissed me goodbye, "You're really sweating!" By the time Tony got to the "Prison Push-up", I was about ready to not only throw in the towel, but drop-kick my television and then wail on it some for good measure. But somehow I survived, and when brother said I could either continue on to the "bonus round" or fast-forward to the cool down, you better believe I was light-stretching with the best of them.

All-in-all, it has been a mostly successful week-long foray into HomeValley Version 2.0, The Fit Kid. (Although, I did almost allow myself a martini before boarding my flight to Columbia this afternoon. Nervous flyer! I decided against it in the end, however, and opted for Au Bon Pain's organic black tea and almonds. Almonds, y'all! They are my new best friend.)

O! The new issue of O is out on stands and it includes the Summer Reading List! Pick up your copy today and nerd out with me, won't you? There is so much to read and so little time!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thoughts on the Tonys, via email to Grace.

Things that made me hate theater (thanks TONYS):
Constantine Maroulis (HATE)
Liza Minelli (HATE)
Next to Normal (um, no thanks)
Legally Blonde (really? REALLY?)
Jersey Boys (d-bags singing o what a night HATE)
NPH (Where were you, NPH? Where were you???)
Billy Elliott (enough with the gyrating! Stop this madness!)
Sir Elton John (learn to read a teleprompter, a-hole)
Shrek (totally superflous. Shut up, Donkey)

Things that made my inner theater geek proud:
Kristen Chenoweth (she should be in everything)
HAIR! (when can we see this??)
Poison (added bonus: Bret Michaels getting taken out by the set - karma for unleashing Rock of Love upon this world)
NPH (I still love you, Neil...)
West Side Story (because it is still awesome)
God of Carnage (also want to see)
Reasons to be Pretty (seems up our alley)

Also, How about how Angela Lansbury looked old in 1966? Maaame.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Graduation Day.

My Dearest Darling Baby Brother –

I can’t quite believe that you are graduating from high school! This makes you a bona fide adult; it makes me very old. I have been writing this letter in my head for the last six months. What to say to the new grad? So here it is: as your older (questionably) wiser, sister, I wanted to offer you some pieces of sound advice for your beautiful, magnificent future:

Be open-minded. Really, this is pretty much all I got. I know we kid about how you were born a little old man, but there is some truth in that. You were born with opinions on everything. Now that you are an adult, you’re still pretty rigid in your beliefs, which is often a good thing: hey, you’ve got convictions! But I think, as you go through life, you will find that opening up your mind to new people, places, and experiences will make you that much more of a person. You’ll become more empathetic; you’ll learn how to relate to different people, and you’ll be able to build a fuller picture of this world, and where you want your place to be in it. I am still doing this, every day. It’s a lifelong process. But I do try (and sometimes fail) to wake up every day very grateful. We are blessed to have all of the things we do at this point in time; and the wonderful thing is, the future is ours to do with what we make it. Never let anyone tell you who you are or where you fit or what you can’t do. Decide who you are; decide what you want to be, and go for it. Realize now that anything you want in this life, you can have; you just have to work hard and take chances and be good to other people.

Which brings me to my next point: Be good to other people. This can be difficult. The world is chock-full of douchebags. Some days you may feel superior. Don’t. Just try to be nice; remember that not everyone has been afforded the opportunities you have had. Everyone has a story; a reason for why they are the way they are. Try to be kind; try to get to know people. You’ll decide who you like and who isn’t your cup of tea. Just don’t make snap judgments about people because of race, age, social class, or the like. You could end up missing something or someone fantastic that way.

And also: travel. I know you don’t want to hear it now; hell, I didn’t do much travel in college. But take it from me; this is how you learn about yourself. This is how you see what you are made of; whether at the swim-up bar in DR, drinking Sammy Sosas, or driving through the Jordanian desert at night, scared shitless. Travel is beautiful, exhilarating, and sometimes terrifying, but always worth the trouble. And hey, if you need a travel buddy, you know J and I are always up for an adventure.

When I was graduating high school, a cheesy song was popular based on a college commencement address (“Wear sunscreen” ring a bell?). In it, one piece of advice was: Do one thing every day that scares you. Ever since I first heard it, I haven’t been able to shake that one. I live by it. Whether I am giving a presentation, flying on a plane, traveling to the Middle East, or getting married, I always try to step out of my comfort zone. I believe it’s how we grow and become more self-aware. Disclaimer: please don’t do anything stupid, like chug 20 beers or base jump. As your older sister, I have to draw the line somewhere.

The day you came home from the hospital nearly 19 years ago, I knew we’d be fast friends. We had a very special bond from the start; I always felt I had to protect you. I hope, in your estimation, I’ve done a good job; I hope you’ll look after my babies someday as I looked after you.

I want you to know how sincerely proud I am of you. You are a wonderful person with a big heart. You have had to withstand great pain in your young life, and I know that has shaped you. I hope that you are able to move forward in your life and be happy. I hope you feel your dad’s presence in your life everyday in the best possible way. He is looking after you; and I know how immensely proud he would be of you as well. He loved you with every fiber of his being, as all of those who know you do. I know you will continue to do him proud.

I love you more than I could possibly say in a Word doc. Know that I - along with J - am always here for you. And have fun! You are about to embark upon the best days of your life. Enjoy every single moment, and study every so often.

I know you’ll go far.



Tuesday, June 09, 2009

And defeat him I will. Defeat. Him. I. Will.

As yesterday was my first official day sans carbs, I expected to feel awfully sluggish (even The Real JC said I will want to go to sleep at 6); instead, I felt incredible! I didn't sleep well on Sunday night (maybe 5 hours total), and as I am an 8 - 11 hour type of gal (what?), I thought I'd be miserable. Lo, I stayed up and busy until around 11. I exercised (no run, only elliptical), and even gently asked the woman that brought my room service last night to kindly, "Take this bread. Please. I can't risk it." They had actually given me FIVEor SIX pieces of bread, which is like, everything that is wrong with America, right there in a basket with creamy white butter and oil-soaked roasted peppers. (*drools*)

I usually order breakfast from the handy card that Marriott places on my bed, and last night I had some pretty high maintenance instructions: scrambled eggs; grilled ham; no juice, but water; tea, but decaf; and HOLY GOD DO NOT BRING ME THOSE HASH BROWNS THEY ARE THE MINIONS OF LUCIFER.

But the devil (shut up, Heidi Montag) is fierce:

I narrowly defeated the potatoes, y'all. But the ketchup, in all of its high fructose glory, most certainly won this morning. Damn you, HFCS! Damn yoooouuuuu! (*shakes fist in air, vows to defeat this most nefarious foe*)

Monday, June 08, 2009


J, at Panera:

"In the grand scheme of nerds: how big of nerds do you think we are?"


Scenes from a walk after the Manayunk Bike Race:

M: (seeing fun being had by all on streets) This sucks. Next year, we are definitely having a party for the race.

J: Well next year, I'll be 33, so I don't know...

M: You'll be 32.

J: Wait - will I?

M: Um, I thought so. Aren't you 31?

J: I don't know. I've been telling people I'm 32.

M: I told someone last night that you were going to be 32 this year.

J: Let's figure this out. (Thinks for a moment) Yeah. Yeah - I'm 32.


This is Melissa P. HomeValley, reporting live from Border’s book shop in South Portland, Maine. Our author is determined to do this and do this right, and by "right" she means pick a fad diet and go to town. Kidding! Sort of.

So I am here this eve doing “research”, jotting down notes and desperately trying not to purchase anymore books (HV: NO MORE BOOKS). I already have 747 books in my office/library that must be read this year, lest I die. And as J lamented last night in bed, “Read read read. All you do is read.” So I must read read read just to catch up, more so when I am away from my dear, dear husband.

I also must write write write, if I am ever going to be an actual author. Amidst the madness now, I will settle for updating this here blog, my baby, who is almost three years old (so big!). Sunrise, sunset, yadda yadda yadda, and here we go.
I took notes as I lounged in the coffee shop, which I appropriately labeled "diet crap". Here is what I found out so far:
The South Beach Diet: Dr. Agatston advocates 3 meals per day, 2 snacks, a "dessert" (quotes dripping with sarcasm), and lots of water. What he does not advocate during "phase 1": bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, baked goods, fruit, alcohol, candy, cookies, ice cream, sugar.
Doc swears I will lose 8 - 13 pounds over the first 2 weeks. Then, I should move into "phase 2", in which I slowly reintro carbs until I reach my goal weight (which I likely already reached during phase 1). That means into Phase 3, which, as I indicated in my notes, is: "rest of yo life, girl!" (Ever since I bought Vanessa a "Mahogany" birthday card - Girl, It's Your Birthday - I can't stop using "Girl". Bear with me.)
I jotted down some sample recipes from the book... And really, right now this sounds pretty good to me.
Next, I picked up Quantum Wellness by Kathy Freston. I skimmed through. VEGAN? Next.
I also took a look at Doctors Oz and Roizen's (never any Roizen love, O) YOU! On a Diet and it really was an assault on the senses. It was laden with cartoon drawings and was shouting at me with LARGE proclamations in bold. I skimmed the meal plans; they're very similar to the SB diet, so I quickly put the book aside. One new caveat here: no eating after 8:30 PM.
Lastly, I perused Jillian Michaels' Making the Cut. Jillian offers 7 rules one must follow to get jacked:
  1. Stick to your magic number, or BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). I'll spare you the calculations, but apparently I need to imbibe 1429 calories a day. Strike one, Jill.
  2. Eat for your metabolic type. I'm a balanced oxidizer (based on a quiz) which means I need equal parts carbs, proteins, and fat. Sorry carbs - I think, for now, you are out.
  3. Eat every 4 hours. Yes please!
  4. No processed or junk food. This shall be the most challenging, but I love the idea of it. I am sick of feeling heavy, bloated, and full. I've long suspected that my body is not processing food effectively; I am sure cutting out anything processed will help. But is it possible? Are Sweettarts processed? Fuck.
  5. Beat the bloat. Less sodium, more water. Easy enough.
  6. NO BOOZE. Errr... Um. Okay. I think I can do this, especially because Jill (bless her heart) gave me a small window to cheat (only clear alcohol with no calorie mixer). This, to tell you the truth, may be the most challenging. Booze is part of my social and professional life. Oh, and remember this? Here's hoping my will power has improved since then.
  7. Write it down. Sorry about this, Internet. Just following orders.

So, I have decided to follow Jill's rules, with a hint of South Beach thrown in. This week I am eschewing breads, rices, pastas, etc., but I have allowed myself some fruit. I love me some fruit. Next week, I'll ween.

Oh - and high fructose corn syrup? Still the devil. As well as white flour and white sugar. Boo.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Biggest Loser. For real.

Man, I really need to figure out how to become an actual member of the blogosphere. Today I tried to download a "widget" (wha?), and failed because apparently my "layout" was "disabled". My thousands of daily readers Grace has been bugging me for an "RSS Feed" (huh?) for a year, and I still can't seem to figure that one out. Um, help? Blogosphere? I did actually get a question about "technorati" right on Cash Cab the other night, but I still don't know what that means. After 3 years? I am a blogging misfit. But I am resolved to get this down. There has got to be some Complete Idiot's Guide out there for bloggers, eh? And maybe, just maybe, once I have figured this all out, the cool blog kids will welcome me with open arms, and my readership will quadruple! (4 readers some day! Imagine!) Lo, I have been slacking. But I will get better for you, Internet. Blog, or perish.

So, first things first: this. I have been reluctant to share this link with you all, as I have spent an exorbitant amount of time there over the last two months, and have shed many tears. I was trying to shield you all from the pain, I s'pose. I don't really have words. Just sending good thoughts to LA on a daily basis, and occasionally leaving a comment or two. Go there and read, and then send all of your good thoughts that way too.

Secondly, this social blog outcast ordered P90X today! I am frightened, yet enthused. I had seen the infomercial twice and seriously considered purchasing it then, but I always stopped myself, for I cannot be sold! (Shut up, Proactiv.) I told J about it a few months ago. Then, everywhere we went, people were chatting about this patented system of "muscle confusion". Word on the street is it works as it kicks your ass something fierce. J and I are interested in getting into tip-top shape this year, possibly before I go and get knocked up and promptly ruin my new ripped physique. But hey! This can only be good for you, Future HomeValleyians. I am doing this for the kids, y'all. This has nothing to do with bikinis. Nothing at all.

I was chatting with Allie about my purchase this morning, at which time she urged me (twice) to blog my progress, which seems like a noble idea, and possibly will help me through the rumored four weeks without carbs. (Hopefully, this will cause minimal marital strife. We love each other, but man, we love our carbs.) (Sweet, sweet carbs.)

So if we are going to do this, Internet, we are going to do this with full disclosure. I hate to mention numbers, as every frame is unique (and beautiful, super foxes!), but I feel (and a Self Magazine quiz backs me up) that my ideal, "happy" weight is around 130 pounds. This was me my junior year of college, maybe 130 - 132 pounds?

(If I was any kind of a real blogger, I would know how to write text on a picture and circle things, like have a little white arrow pointing at my belly, that says something cute like: "Hello, Belly!" But I live life on the outskirts, an edgier, freak of a blogger, who must write cute things in the paragraph below.) I use this picture - which really doesn't show much of my physique - as this was The Time of My Best Figure, as I recall fondly. I had zero qualms about hopping into a bikini and talking to boys (Those flowers were from a boy!) I had just turned 21 and I ran shit, like Oprah. This was taken in my first William Street apartment. What was my secret? I lived solely on pasta with tomato sauce, chicken with pasta with tomato sauce, baked veggies (a specialty of one of my roommates), and vegetarian sushi from the restaurant downstairs. Really, I credit the walking. Not only did I have to walk everywhere I went, I also took an almost daily stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge to my third favorite borough in which I used to reside. I had a CD Walkmen and I listened to "I'm a Slave 4 U" more than any human ever should. But I was happy and healthy and loving life, which is also good for the physique and the soul.

My actually thinnest was about 9 months after 9/11. I really had no appetite after the attacks and was down to about 125 or so. I don't have a picture of me then readily available, but it was Post-Traumatic Stress thin, which is decidedly not hot. Anyway, when I moved back to PA after graduation in May 2002, and bought my trusty little Hyundai, Emma, I packed on the LBs. I would sit in my cat-piss smelling, Section 8 apartment (over a karate studio, no less), and eat whole pizzas watching Kelly Clarkson kick ass on American Idol. Depressed much?

When I moved back to NYC in 2004, I started dropping weight again. Here is a very serious shot of Vanessa and me in Old San Juan, a bit drunk and having watched far too much Top Model (maybe 134?):

Ay, is there anything like settling into true love to help you gain some of that weight back? I wish I could upload the shot of me on Deal or No Deal in February 2008. We had friends Lauren and Eric over a few months after the LA trip, and when they saw my bloated frame on the screen they were a bit taken aback (and yes, the camera does indeed add 10 pounds. Gah!). "Looks like you've lost weight since then," was the consensus. Indeed. Here is a shot from LA, likely around 140 - 142 pounds:

Sister could bench-press Howie! (Cute bag, though.)

But a beach wedding (and a Maxim model coming to your nuptials) will kick even the most carb-loving lady into action, so here is a shot from DR:

(Um, and as an aside, I loved our wedding. This picture perfectly wrapped up the whole affair: sweat-soaked, dancin', singin', glorious celebratin'. I really think we should frame this one, J.)

I was probably about 132 - 134 at the time of the wedding, and I felt pretty good (legs could have been a bit more toned, but I shan't complain. Did you see how fun my reception was?! Also, quite the calorie-burner.)

I went to the gym earlier today. I ran 4 miles. I think I actually had a slight heart attack. During the last mile, my chest constricted and I nearly passed out. Good on me! After the perilous jog, I did weights and tried to do a pull-up. Just one. I couldn't even begin to lift myself, (My limbs were completely unresponsive: You want us to do what? Lift? Sister, you crazy.) so I just hung there like a dead fish. You've got your work cut out for you, P90X.

Finally I headed over to the scale, which used to be in the ladies locker room but now is right next to the weights, where all the meatheads convene. Lovely! I took off my sneakers and hopped on: 137 pounds today. So ideally, I'd like to lose at least 7 pounds in 3 months (P90 should be here in 5 - 7 days). And of course, I've still got to fit in runs for the November 22nd Half-Marathon. Looks like HomeValley is going to be quite busy, folks! I will do a weekly update on this blog, so help me God.

I will also figure out what a "widget" is. Lord have mercy.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Woe, Thy Name is HomeValley

Woe. Whoa!

Work woes, y'all. Have you ever just been a bit off? Well, first I was just a bit off, and then I was way out in left field, and then I was holy shit what fucking planet are you on? off. It all came to a grueling head yesterday, folks, in which I narrowly thwarted disaster though of course I can't recount here. I will say this: Buddy? Director of high school musicals? Thanks, man. I would never have recovered were it not for my extensive theatrical training bit part as a Jet ho in West Side Story.


I have discovered Pandora! Here is a mystical place where, when I am in my office, I can type in one artist I dig and then listen to a floppity jillion songs I love in a similar genre. I put in "Damien Rice" hours ago and have not heard a song I disliked since.


The girls and I convened on Saturday evening for a long-awaited dance party at a "new" Delaware County club. Though glorious in its old school hip hop flavor, too many familiar faces of the feigned Awesome! I'd rather not talk to you at all variety were present, and as I dropped Allie off later that night (ahem 2 AM), we decided we should probably find other places to convene, as we were grossly unprepared for the high school reunion.


Have I mentioned True Blood? Because I am off to watch the last of the DVDs, and I am sure they will not disappoint. Is there a word for a vampire lover? Because instead of woe, that should be my name. Lord.


Random image from this year's Lost party anyone? Yeah, that's right.