StepOut - Donate

Monday, February 26, 2007


Okay - last week I decided what I would be giving up for Lent this year. I am putting it out here to get a sense of accountability, so I am less likely to give in to temptation. And my sacrifice? I am not allowed to make any craft purchases until after Easter.

Don't laugh - this is going to be difficult! I've made 25 trips to craft stores over the past 14 months. (Yes, I'm a freak, and I checked my online banking account to check - now, those 25 trips I mention are only the ones in which I purchased stuff using a check or my debit card. Any cash purchases or non-purchasing trips aren't included.) those 25 trips, I managed to spend a total of $743.00 on miscellaneous craft related items.

Holy Crap!! That's way more than I thought I spent. Granted...a great deal of that was for gift purposes...but not all of it. The madness must end! (No wonder I always feel poor...)

So, I'm giving it up for lent. Wish me luck. All of my fellow crafters will understand how hard this is. (The buying is just as much fun as the actual crafting!)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

***Warning - Not to be Read While Eating***

I had a fun long weekend visiting my friend Kerri in Sacramento. On my way home Monday night, I decided to stop at In-N-Out Burger, quickly use the facilities, grab some tasty grub, and head back on home. (Diet? What? I walked a lot this weekend...doesn't it even out?) Of course, the one time I'm planning to park and go in (because traffic has been slow, and I really need to head inside), there are only a few cars in the drive-thru line.

Anyway, I take care of business and proceed to order off of the easy order menu. #3 with a diet Coke. That's a plain old hamburger, fries and a drink. Pretty easy, right? Well, I sit and wait...and wait...and wait a little more. Easy order...the only special thing I did was ask for no onions. All these order numbers higher than mine are being called. And I'm only getting hungrier, sitting on the hard plastic bench, waiting for my order to be up so I can get back on the road.

I see a few takeout bags hit the counter at the fry station and then move on to the pick-up counter. Dare I hope? The guy in white peeks at the order slips in each bag, calls a number that isn't mine, and returns one bag to the fry guy. Yep, that problematic bag is mine. It makes it back to the counter and my number is finally up. I get back in the car and start mindlessly munching on hot french fries as I head home to feed the cat. After getting home, feeding poor neglected Gracie and settling down in front of my TV, I take out the burger and notice a thick layer of cheese. I assume I have been eating someone else's order...Nope, it says #3, hamburger, no onions, right there on the receipt in the bag. Oh well, I'm hungry and I'll go ahead and consume these extra fatty calories. I take a few bites, and notice that not only is this the thinnest meat patty that I've ever gotten from In-n-Out, it's bright pink inside. Not bleeding, but not close enough to "done" for me to keep eating. Now I'm annoyed. I yank the patty off of the bun (which is difficult, considering that it's glued in by the cheese), and irritatedly continue to eat my hot cheese sandwich. Yeah, now I'm realizing that I could have nuked the meat, but I didn't think of it then.

Anyway, the cheesy/veggie on a bun is still pretty tasty, so I finish it off and delve back into the greasy bag to see if there are any fries left. Jackpot! They can't hide from me! I'm popping some little fries in my mouth and notice that one in my hand has something on it.

Hmm... I bring it closer to my blind little eyes and, it can't be. It's...a hair! A very short hair. A very specifically textured, very short hair!! Oh my God there's pubic hair in my food! Suddenly I'm nauseated, and wondering if the undercooked meat has given me e-coli. Or, even scarier - were there more hairs in the bag that I may have eaten while shoving fries down my gullet in my darkened car??!! I realize that is highly unlikely. But the thought came unbidden! My only comfort (small and cold that it is) is that if the hair had been in the boiling oil, the heat would have killed any bacterial nasties that may have been clinging to it.

So disgusting...I felt semi-ill the rest of the night and most of yesterday. It is making fasting for Ash Wednesday much easier today. And, I have a feeling I'll not be tempted to go off the diet for an In-N-Out binge anytime soon.

I am still grossed out.

Friday, February 16, 2007

You're It!

Okay - everyone (myself included) can blame Dagny for this one. She tagged me. (Don't worry, it didn't hurt.) So, get ready for some interesting reading...

Rules: Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things/habits about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird habits/things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

This is hard for me. As most of you know, I'm pretty darned, how do I narrow it down to only 6 things? I tried... (those of you who know me well, feel free to add to the list, just don't make me cry!)

  1. I only wear makeup on special occasions. I refused to wear it in jr high or high school, and just never got into the habit. Also, back then I would get offended when people told me I'd look so pretty if I just wore a little makeup. (Isn't that a backhanded compliment? Or maybe just telling me nicely that I could use a little help in the facial area? I was insulted and therefore more resistant to the suggestion.) That being said, I do feel more confident about myself when I have makeup on (or have a very rare good hair day...maybe that's a whole different section for the weirdness).
  2. I actually like lima beans, but I rarely eat them.
  3. I have never been drunk or high. I am a bit proud of this, and think it's actually an accomplishment.
  4. I am friendly, loud at times, and have been told that I am funny and entertaining. However, I am painfully shy around people I don't know (especially attractive men). Some people I know don't believe this, but it is definitely true.
  5. I had my first real boyfriend at age 29. I am not proud of this. See #4.
  6. I am fascinated by the paranormal, even though it scares the crap out of me. This may tie in to my frequent bouts of deja vu, and a few instances where I've had premonitory dreams. (No, I am not referring to the deja vu here. The dreams were distinct and separate from experiences I consider to be deja vu, and in some cases so real that I'd mentioned them to others before they came true. Then I reminded those people of that after it happened. Creepy!) Then again, it may just be part of my special weirdness...

Okay, now I will be tagging these lucky people: Jill, Kristin, Joie, Caitlin, Kyle (that's right - you two are tagged separately! Ha!), Fluffycat

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's "That Day" Again

I do have to say that it was generally a pretty good day. Then again, unlike last year, I don't have a recently broken heart. Funny how that helps, huh?

And this year, I have a Valentine to cuddle with on my couch while watching the finale of Beauty & the Geek and crocheting. And they were all over me last night, before settling down and falling asleep next to me in bed. That's right. I know you're jealous.

But don't get too excited - it's my little kitty Gracie. Doesn't she look all demure and serene? Don't be fooled! She had just finished attacking me (and more frighteningly, my yarn!!) before hopping up on the back of the couch.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Because Pancho Asked...

Well, this past weekend was a good one. I went out to lunch with Kristin Saturday afternoon and then helped her shop for upholstery fabrics. She is re-covering the seats of her kitchen chairs. She may be inspiring me to do the same - if I can get my hands on a staple gun! (Beware!) My kitchen chairs are in the same fabric that my grandmother covered them with, who knows how long ago. I know it's not the original fabric... But, I digress... We went to Joann and she didn't let me check out the yarn. :( Okay, truth be told, I never even saw it in there - the location we were in was a superstore and HUGE. I could've spent hours in there with no problem. After that, we hit WalMart to see what they had in the way of fabrics. She ended up with some swatches to show her husband, who liked the one she expected him to.

We drove back up to her house and hung out a little while with her husband before we all headed out to Berkeley for dinner with a bunch of friends. We met up at Fondue Fred and stuffed ourselves silly with various fondues. We had all gone to this place about 2 years ago, and I think it was better that time. Maybe it was what we ordered, but all the cheese fondues we got tasted the same. Last time, the head waiter dude (or whatever he is) singled me out and was rather obnoxiously flirty. This time, he singled me out again, only it was just obnoxious. Kristin, her husband and me were the last ones to arrive, and the party ended up being 10 people instead of 9 (which the others had told them, but they wouldn't set the 10th place until we'd all arrived). So, because I let Kristin sit next to her husband at the 2 available chairs, and stood there waiting for him to bring another one, he decided I was the "extra" guest. Whatever.

After dinner (3 hours later!), a few of us went to Dan's in Walnut Creek. The band was okay - I liked the songs they were covering, but their actually singing didn't impress me much.

Now, what you've all been waiting for...and because Pancho dared to actually ask during dinner... Here's the news on the crochet purse. I have not received a response from the magazine editor (no great surprise there). I ripped out the whole thing (well, down to the first 2 rows) and tried the next row again. Then I realized that I had an extra stitch on one side. So...I ripped all the stitches out, back down to the 1st row, and re-did it, making sure to count my stitches carefully. I think I'm back on track now, and it's looking pretty good so far. I haven't hit row 6 again yet though, so we'll see if I end up with the same issues again.

Happy now, Pancho?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Random Thursday Ramblings

Okay, so I hit a bit of a snag in my purse progress...not an actual snag (nope, try as she might, the cat has not yet managed to snag this particular project - though she was sitting on me stalking it with her eyes). I got to round 6 of the project, at which point the pattern ceases to make all sense. I actually wrote to the editor (email) to see if there are any mistakes in the pattern or corrections available. If I don't hear from her, I'll rip it out a few rows and try again. If I have the same problem after that, I'll just attempt to do it the way that would make sense to me. And hope that doesn't waste a nice amount of merino wool.

Anyway, anyone else out there watch Grey's Anatomy tonight? Holy Crap - could they get any more dramatic? Talk about a cliffhanger. Now, I know they're not offing Grey (it's "Grey's" Anatomy, after all), but dang! And the little girl (no doubt in shock after all she had witnessed) was just a bit creepy at the end.

Remember how I mentioned that I'd finally completed traffic school to clear my ticket (from APRIL!)? Well, when I got my new insurance policy, it charged me approximately $480 for a "minor violation." They had renewed the policy before the date I completed the class, so I called them and had them re-run the MVR. It's still on my report. So, I called NTSA to reissue the certificate of completion to the court, who is supposed to forward it to the DMV to remove the violation from my record. Well, I certainly don't trust the courts system at this point, so I need to call them tomorrow to make sure they've received the cert and sent it to the DMV.

In addition to that, my credit union STILL doesn't seem to think my car is adequately insured. Even though the complete policy declarations were faxed to them from their own branch (I had taken it in myself). They apparently don't know how to read, as the collision and comprehension coverage, with their prescribed deductibles, are clearly listed within the decs, one appearing directly above the other. How annoying. So, when I was on the phone with my insurance agent about the MVR thing, I requested that he fax the policy to the lienholder. He stated he was doing it right then...I am hoping that he did.

Blah. Tomorrow is Friday. Yay! And Saturday, I go out to a fondue place in Berkeley with Kristin and a group of friends. We did that about 2 years ago, and it was great. We won't have as many people in the group this time, but I think we'll still have plenty of fun.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Artistic Ambition

I picked up the Spring 2007 issue of Family Circle Easy Crochet and found my next new project: This may very well be the most ambitious project I'll have attempted to date...But seriously, how cute is that purse? So, for once in my life, I actually made a guage swatch before running out and buying yarn. I happened to have the right type of yarn at home, just not in the right shade. So, I made about 3 of these:
before getting the right guage. I guess I crochet tightly, because I had to go up 2 whole hook sizes to make it right. (And I always thought I crocheted pretty loosely.) Anyway, I ran out and purchased all the necessary supplies, including 2 yards of lavendar silk ribbon (surprisingly low priced), so that I'd have it all to work on while on vacation in Southern CA. Suffice it to say, that weekend came and went, and I have finished this:
Doesn't quite look like the photo does it? And to me, this piece, which is supposed to be the base of the purse, looks awfully long... And yet I checked my guage and everything! Woe is me...Now, I'm off to attempt to work on it - and hope that I haven't already screwed it up.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Superbowl Sunday

So, did everyone enjoy the game today? How about the commercials? Truth be told, I wasn't that excited about either of them.

I went over to Pancho and Laura's apartment for their Superbowl/Commercial Viewing party. We had a small crowd, and only a few people were actually into the game. The rest of us were there for the commercials and the food. The food was good - and Laura had quite a spread there.
The commercials though...well, I didn't really think they were as amusing as they have been in the past. A few weren't too bad though (the white dog/dalmation one was amusing, and the beard combover, the careerbuilder ads were amusing...). You can judge for yourself, and watch them all here.

Earlier in the week, Pancho and I had conspired a little to do a bit of a birthday celebration for Kristin. He got her a bunch of birthday balloons, and I brought a cake. We tortured her by making her wait until after the 3rd quarter for her cake though. (heheheh) And the torture continued as we lit the candles and made her listen to us all singing. But the cake seemed to be a success. :)

So, that was my exciting Sunday. It was fun, and because Pancho made a point of mentioning that he might end on my blog, I can't disappoint him by leaving him out. He ended up with the hiccups towards the end - drink enough Pancho? (And I hope he realizes that I never would have mentioned it if he hadn't made that comment.)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Movin' on Down

I spent this evening the same way I spend most of my oh-so-exciting Thursday evenings...I went to Weight Watchers for weigh-in. I have been on a pretty steady gain for the past few months - I had gotten down to less than a pound away from goal. But, right before Halloween, I totally fell off the wagon. I know they say it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle...but, I get really annoyed at the lifestyle sometimes. I hate having to always weigh, measure and count. And yeah, I know it's for a purpose, and I'm healthier for it...but it's always a struggle.

I also think that when so close to goal, I not-so-subconsciously loosened my control over my consumption habits. And once I stopped tracking the intake, it became really easy to fall back into my not so great former habits. Like the pint of Ben & Jerry's calling me from the grocery store freezer case. What am I even doing in that aisle in the first place? And before you know it, half of that pint is missing from the container. And I know my cat didn't eat it...(though she would, if given the opportunity). So, I know that my food choices have not been great over the past few months, and that my meals have not been balanced like they should be. But, I really need to crawl back on that wagon, however slowly..., since I've waylaid my success and have gained about 5 pounds in the last few months.

Now, I am making an attempt to stop that wagon and hop back on so it can move me on back down the scale. I know what I have to do - I just have to do it (again). Good thing I never stopped going to the weekly weigh-ins and meetings, or I'm sure I'd have gained a lot more than 5 pounds! Ah, perseverance, you are my friend.

And tonight, for the first time in 5 weeks, I have managed to lose weight. Granted, it was a measly 0.4lbs, but I'll take it! And losing even that small amount is actually pretty motivating. (And also motivating? BWB's success - check it out. She has applied to be a WW success story! Kudos BWB!)