Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Unanticipated Consequences

Fact: Mary Poppins has a master's degree in political science.
Fact: In political science we talk a fair amount about unanticipated consequences of policies and programs.
Fact: The following picture perfectly illustrates one unanticipated consequence of keeping the top of my dishwasher void of clutter.
Fact: The giant candy bowl has now been moved to a more secure location.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Dishwasher Edition

After some hard labor this afternoon, here's what I managed to accomplish:
I'm no Ty Pennington, mind you, so the plant, flowers, candle, napkin holder, and candy bowl (yes, it's true, our candy bowl is larger than life--that's how my uber-sweet tooth and I roll) are there for practical, not aesthetic, purposes. The theory is that if I have specific items placed strategically on the dishwasher, there won't be any space left where I can dump my random _________. (noun--fill in the blank with your favorite word for that which formerly occupied the top of the dishwasher and plagues other areas of my house as well.)

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll show you the same view after taking a few steps back:
Upon further review, I decided that it doesn't really count if I just move all of the _________ (again, fill in the blank--don't forget it's a noun) from one surface to another. Rest assured, by dinnertime I corrected the mistake. The Poppins's table and dishwasher are now officially clear of any and all _______. (noun)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

If the kitchen is the heart of the home...

Then we're in need of a major quadruple bypass. Stat.
If you were to come to my house right now (you'd love that opportunity wouldn't you?), you might see something like this:Who am I kidding? That is exactly what you'd see. Pictures don't lie (unless we're talking about those pictures they love to show on the front page of the Enquirer. You know, the ones that feature the 800 lb baby, the boy who is half bat, or Britney Spears actually buckling her child into his carseat. Come on, you know that didn't happen).
Before you judge me too harshly, let me just say that my family lives in a place that is only 800 square feet. Break that down Mary Poppins-style and you'll realize that's only 200 square feet per person. Factor in that Bert is 7 feet tall and 3 feet wide and you'll discover that his person takes up a majority of the space, leaving little room for anything (or anyone) else. OK, so Bert's not gigantic. I'm just fishing for ways to justify my untidiness. To recap, we have a lot of stuff squeezed into a small space. Unfortunately that alone cannot explain the chaos captured in these pictures.
The problem in this kitchen area is twofold:
1. I have a hard time staying on top of the dishes. I often don't unload the dishwasher right away which leads to a pileup of dishes in the sink and on the counter. Before I know it, dirty dishes have overtaken the kitchen. Like so:
2. The top of the dishwasher is a separate issue, but since it's in the same area, I'm going to tackle it too. When I have something in hand that doesn't have a home, I place it on the dishwasher. This could be anything, really--preschool papers, junk mail, important mail, bins of various sizes, I'm sure if we looked hard enough we might even be able to find a government rebate check lurking under there somewhere. Do you see one? Seriously, I could use some extra cash right now. I'd be most appreciative if you uncovered one for me.
So for my next challenge, I'm going to (let's be very clear about this):
1. empty the dishwasher as soon as the dishes are clean. That will allow me to...
2. place all dirty dishes directly in the dishwasher, so that i can...
3. keep the sink clean and clear, and while I'm at it...
4. keep the top of the dishwasher clutter-free.

FYI, I'm not abandoning the workout plan. I'll keep posting brief updates on that vice so that you can continue to cheer me on. Because where would I be without you readers? Evidently I'd be sitting on my flat butt buried under a mountain of clutter and dirty dishes, searching for that rebate check.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mary Poppins Succumbs to Temptation

Doesn't that sound dramatic? Continue reading and witness the drama unfold.

They say that "idle hands are the devil's workshop." And by "they" I mean religious people over 70 and my friend MMG. Although MMG is far from 70, she is quite religious (I kid you not, she attends mass every weekday) and she behaves just like a little old lady. It's what makes me love her so. I say this not in jest, but as fact. She quilts, finds old men irresistible, will be voting for McCain in the election, wears button-up cardigans that match her grandmother's, considers attending high tea the epitome of an afternoon out, refuses to drive anywhere, instead preferring to take the bus or to wait for her husband to chauffeur her around, and constantly utters innocent remarks which come across as dirty double entendres to those of us who are less-innocent. It's all part of her charm. She is charming. Adorably so. And although I've never heard her actually say "idle hands are the devil's workshop" it would not surprise me to hear those words cross her lips (right after holding up her half-eaten lobster--tail and claws devoured, body intact--at a company picnic and offering, "Does anyone want my body?" True story).
The devil's workshop revisited: In my case while working out it's an idle mouth I fear, not idle hands. I have been talking on my cell phone to others while working out (see Wednesday's post "a spoonful of sugar" for further explanation), but yesterday I encountered a few problems: 1. I needed to workout before 9:00pm in order to watch the presidential debate (I'm a huge nerd, I know); 2. We don't get free minutes until 9:00pm (we have the world's cheapest plan which means the world's fewest minutes per month); and 3. I therefore could not use my cell phone as a distraction while working out. Let me tell you, 40 minutes on the elliptical seems awfully long when you've got nothing to do. Did I mention that we don't have cable TV and even if we did we only own one TV and it's not in the basement which houses the elliptical machine? Did I also mention that instead of a book or magazine stand on my elliptical there's a fan? And I can assure you that it's not easy to hold reading material in your hands while using the elliptical. Trust me, I tried it, and I nearly fell off of the machine. The cell phone is the perfect distraction, folks and it was not an option for me last night.
So, as I'm on the elliptical machine last night with nothing to do, I notice that there is a box of Trader Joe's chocolate peanut butter cups in my eye line. I tried to ignore them, but there was nothing to do but stare at them. I foolishly hadn't eaten dinner before my workout so my stomach was gnawing at me and the peanut butter cups were looking better and better. The rest is history. The good news is that after retrieving a fist-full of the peanut butter cups (did I mention they were miniature-sized? That makes them practically calorie-free), I did climb back onto the elliptical to eat my goods. It reminded me of the times I would drink a glass a milk while nursing my infant daughter. Nothing like maintaining a constant equilibrium of input and output. Calories in the former scenario, milk in the latter.

And now, for the workout wrap-up: Fri? and Sat? Done! and Done! That makes a grand total of 4, folks. Four 40-minute workouts, as promised. Mission accomplished. That means it's time to turn my attention one of my many other vices. Tune in tomorrow when I break it down Mary Poppins-style and declare war on vice no. 2.

Finally, if you're not familiar with "Sometimes Life Is Funny," the Nie Nie fundraiser blog book, then you should go here (navel gazing at its finest: The Blog Book) and read all about it. You have until Tuesday if you want to submit something. You have until I give you further information to actually purchase the book filled with witty observations, commentary, and anecdotes, no doubt.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Make it happen, Cap'n!

Something's been brewing for months--months I tell you--and tonight is the night that it's finally going to happen. I'm titillated beyond belief and the anticipation is just about killing me. Earlier this week there were signs that the plans might fall through for tonight and I was faced with bitter disappointment. Crushed like a girl who didn't get a date for the prom (and I know from firsthand experience what that feels like). For a few days there, I had resigned myself to just make other plans for Friday night and hope that things would work out better in the future. It's been one emotional roller coaster ride, I tell you. The ups and downs were almost too much to take. Thankfully this afternoon while I obsessively checked the Internet scanning for news about tonight's function I came across this ray of sunshine:
McCain Decides to Participate in Debate
The source? Totally legitimate. The New York Times. The presidential debate is on.
Do you hear that? It's the sound of me letting out an audible sigh of relief. You know where I'll be from 9:00-10:30 tonight. Sitting on either my hand-me-down couch or my broken Ikea Poang chair staring at the fuzzy TV screen (we like to kick it old school here at the Poppins household and use an antenna) only getting up to use the bathroom (this is inevitable since I've given birth to two children). I might even make some popcorn to honor the special occasion. This is no ordinary Friday night. In retrospect, my excitement over things like the presidential debate probably explains the prom date situation.

What does this have to do with my Friday workout? I usually workout after 9:00pm when I get free cell phone minutes (if that last sentence doesn't make any sense to you, read my post from Wednesday titled "a spoonful of sugar"). Without my cell phone, it may not be an entertaining 40 minutes on the elliptical, but I'm going to have to (in the words of Darryl from The Office) "Make it happen, Cap'n." It's a change I'm willing to make today in order to watch the presidential debates. A change I can believe in.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mrs. Furious Recommends (or, one of these things is not like the others)

My friend Mrs. Furious has great taste. So a few months back when she recommended some of her favorite books to me, I wrote them down with the intent of checking them out later. I then promptly lost the list and have been occupying my time with other books (including The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls--I couldn't pry my eyes away from it). Imagine my astonishment when the list magically reappeared a couple of weeks ago. It's amazing what you find when you go through the stacks of junk cluttering your house (like the credit card that I thought was stolen at the gas station last week. Turns out, there was no thief involved at all. Just a scatterbrained Mary Poppins who didn't put it back where it belongs. I did have the good sense to cancel the credit card upon discovering that it was "stolen," and so now I get to enjoy a few more credit card-less days until the replacement arrives. Sorry, Bert).
Back to the issue at hand: the list of books recommended to me by one, Mrs. Furious. List in hand, I submitted an online request for them from our local library and yesterday the books arrived. Here are the first three in no particular order:

Fall On Your Knees
by Ann-Marie MacDonald, a #1 international bestseller and an Oprah's Book Club pick.

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner, a modern classic touted as "one of the greatest and most cherished American novels of the twentieth century."

The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx, National Book Award winner, national bestseller, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

I was having a hard time choosing which one I would start with since they all seemed to receive such wonderful accolades. But then I looked at this beauty and knew that would be the first book to fill the coveted spot on my nightstand.

I'm not sure what speaks to me more--the temptress's seductive cleavage, her unique jewelry choice, or her "come hither" stare. From the looks of it, this guy can't stay away from her. And I'm not sure I can either. I'm intrigued, to say the least. It may not have won a Pulitzer Prize or even a place in Oprah's Book Club, but neither did the Amish romance novels Mrs. F is so fond of.

The Heart is A Lonely Hunter seemed like such a diversion from her usual taste, so I had to do a bit of investigative reporting. I spoke to Mrs. F on the phone today before they left for their vacation. The conversation went something like this:
MP: "Who wrote The Heart is a Lonely Hunter?
Mrs. F: "Carson somebody" (the sound of typing, some obvious googling, or other such fact checking going on in the background) "Carson McCullers."
MP: "I was afraid of that. I checked out the wrong book from the library. This version looks like some cheezy romance novel. You should see the cover."

Well now thanks to modern technology, Mrs. F, you can.

Speaking of books, many of you out there have heard about Nie Nie, a blogger who was seriously injured in a private plane crash last month with her husband. Mrs. F contacted me about it, and I've been sucked into the story ever since and you'd better believe I went back and read every single entry she posted. She's unlike anyone I've ever met. You can read her blog here, read her sister's updates here, and get more information about how to help Nie Nie and her family here. A fellow blogger is publishing "Sometimes Life is Funny," a book of essays to raise money for Nie Nie's recovery fund. In the spirit of wanting to help, I've submitted an entry. Whether or not it's accepted remains to be seen, but I'll keep you posted. Interested in submitting one of your own? The deadline is September 30th. Click below to read all about the contest.
navel gazing at its finest: Blog Book Update and Call for Cover Art

Finally, the workout update: As of Thursday--2 down, 2 to go.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A spoonful of sugar

And you know the rest. The medicine in this scenario is working out (I don't enjoy it--yet), and the sugar? My cell phone. I don't have tivo, or even TV for that matter. Since I can't workout while watching 30 Rock and The Office (both shows receive 2 thumbs up from Mary Poppins), I entertain myself by chatting with friends and family (never strangers) while working out. There are some obvious benefits to this, the multi-tasking, killing-two-birds-with-one-stone aspect being chief among them. It makes the time pass quickly and I get to feel like I'm actually being productive while on the phone. Normally I lie on the couch, sometimes I mix it up and lie on my bed. Almost never am I actually doing dishes or picking up toys or scrubbing the toilet or something like that. So if you're one of those people who is grossed out by the thought of someone cleaning the toilet while talking to you, rest assured--I've never put you through that. I may have used the toilet while talking to you, but I always turn on the water first so you think I'm doing the dishes or washing my hands--not urinating.
So you may ask, "what's there not to love when it comes to working out/catching up on phone calls" system? Unfortunately my research has uncovered one major drawback to this method: there's a lot of heavy breathing on my end of the phone and in some circles, I could be mistaken for "Monique" or "Candy" from some 900 number. I suggest that while elevating your heartrate through cardio, you use this time to call siblings or old friends (and by old I mean "long time friends," not the elderly. Those who are hard of hearing might not be your best conversation partner in this situation). This would not be a good time to conduct business phone calls, contact an ecclesiastical leader from your church, reconnect with your ex-boyfriend, or set up a play date with the single dad who you sometimes meet at the park with the kids. In short, choosing an understanding audience (one who won't misread your tone) is key.
And the best part? When I'm panting, the person on the other end of the phone knows with assurity that my feet are firmly planted on the elliptical pedals and not occupying the spot in front of the toilet.
And now for the workout recap:
Monday (Bert's bday)--no
Tues (my bday)--no
Wed--a resounding YES
So, we got off to a bad start. What can I say? I was too busy celebrating (i.e. eating). But the goal was 4 times this week. Admittedly that puts a lot of pressure on Thurs, Fri, and Sat, but I'm confident the latter part of the week has got my back on this one and we'll hit it out of the park.

Monday, September 22, 2008

You know you're really lazy when...

You try to pass off your husband's partially eaten birthday cake as your own.

Incidentally, you also know you're really lazy when you don't even bother to get the entire object that you are trying to photograph into the frame. Poor picture taking skills aside, I'm sure you get the idea. The cake is so rich (read all about it in yesterday's post) that we only managed to eat a tiny portion of it yesterday. No one wanted another dessert around the house, so we're going green with the birthday cakes this year by reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Fortunately for me, none of the gifts are second-hand goods:

Although you can't see it very clearly in this shot, Bert got me 2 thin white gold bands to go on either side of my gold wedding band. I love the look.

My 18 month old has a limited vocabulary but has mastered the word "mama," so it's only fitting that she got me this "Obama Mama" button. I'm proudly displaying it on my diaper bag. Now if only I can teach her to say "Obama."

And although there's no explanation needed for the Candy Land game (I mean who doesn't want to get Candy Land on their 30th birthday?), I'll type up a transcription of my older daughter's birthday card:
Dear (name),
Happy Birthday
I got this preset
because you loveed
it wein you weir
little love (name)

Best presents ever. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some Candy Land to play. Mary Poppins- style.

Oh, and I suppose I have a workout to do. More on that tomorrow.

On second thought....

A couple of things happened today that forced me to reevaluate my workout goal for the week.
This morning I found Bert finishing up some laundry. He pulled some jeans out of the drier and proceeded to put them on. I think you probably know where I'm going with this. Witness:

Note to self: when Bert thinks your jeans are his, you've got a problem. When he can put them on (no, he couldn't zip them, but still they're on his body), you've got a big problem.

Unfortunately, that's not my only problem. Witness:
This may look like an ordinary birthday cake, but I can assure you, it is a heart attack waiting to happen. So my friend recommended this coconut cake recipe, and since Bert loves coconut I figured I'd for once play the doting wife part and make it for his birthday. Running late, as usual, I didn't even look at the recipe before I headed off to the store. Using the recipe as a shopping list, I proceeded to gather the ingredients for the cake, filling, and frosting (yes, that's right--3 separate recipes for one cake). Want to know what's in this bad boy? Along with the regular cake ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, vanilla, etc) when you eat this you'll consume 3 pounds of butter, 6 and 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 11 cups of coconut, 9 cups of sugar and (you protein people out there will be pleased to hear this figure) 6 eggs. The message this cake seems to be sending is: HAPPY BIRTHDAY BERT! (I'm slowly trying to kill you).
Stepping up my cardio is definitely in order this week and 4 is going to be the magic number. I'll now be doing 4 40-minute sessions. My heart (and my jeans) will thank me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Week one: Mary Poppins 4, Ellipical 0

I realize it's a bit premature to don a flight suit and start traipsing around an aircraft carrier in front of a sign that says "Mission Accomplished," but I'm feeling pretty good about how things went last week. Turns out, I like the sweet taste of success. If I want to keep tasting that success, however, I need to be realistic about what of sort of mission I can actually accomplish this week. Currently we have 2 sick people in the Poppins household, birthdays that must be celebrated on Monday and Tuesday, and a crazier than usual work schedule. I am determined to overcome what could be the perfect storm for derailing my workout plans. So in the spirit of keeping it simple and doable, I'm committing to continue with my previous plan to complete four 30-minute workout sessions this week. Only after a repeat performance of last week's success will I declare "Mission Accomplished."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Tale of Two Berts

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. A whole day off can only be described as the best of times. The worst of times part comes from the fact that I was unable to get in my 30 minutes on the elliptical. I faltered. But, my goal was to get in 4 sessions this week, and I've done 3 to date. Now, I've done the math and although it's pretty advanced (probably college level algebra), if I workout today I'll be on target to succeed. I'd best be off. But first I'll recap yesterday's highlights.
I can assure you that my holiday was indeed jolly. While my Bert took care of our charges, I ate lunch at a sidewalk cafe and read from "Pride and Prejudice" (I don't know when I had a more relaxed lunch), got a massage from Bert the massage therapist, and went shopping. I thought I hated shopping. In reality, I just hate shopping when I'm broke and accompanied by an 18 month old and a 4 year old. It's fun when I have birthday money in the bank, my hands free to handle merchandise instead of doling out cheerios to a hungry toddler, and my mind free to wander instead of delicately trying to answer my daughter's shopping-induced questions, like "why can't I have a treat?"(when passing EACH and EVERY place that sells food), "when will I get breasts? (while walking past the Victoria's Secret storefront), and "why are there little grown ups?" (while pointing to the little person across the room) . Thanks to my friends A and K who gave me a gift card to the Gap for my birthday, I brought home these jeans (sorry gals, I had to get them right away because I needed them to wear with my new boots).

Admittedly, this isn't the best picture. I had to use the timer and please don't be fooled by this catwalk-like pose that I'm striking. In reality, I'm on the phone with my dad. But regardless of how it looks here, in this little number I feel as hot as those Swedes I saw parading around Stockholm last winter wearing skinny pants tucked into their high boots. Whether I actually look as hot as they did, is another thing altogether. Who am I kidding? I can't compete with those Swedish beauties (look at the ABBA women!). But I can at least hold my head high knowing that I enjoy more daylight hours during the winter months than they do (I was thinking really hard of something that I have that would make Swedes jealous, and that was the best I could come up with).
When I came home the kids were in bed and my Bert and I were happy to see each other. Some things I missed out on while I was away:
My 4 year old insisted on wearing an eye patch all day long (at home and in public) in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day (9/19). Instead of wearing it in the traditional fashion, she placed in on her forehead as if to cover an unsightly third eye.
My 18 month old repeatedly said the word "sock" (at home and in public) which sounds suspiciously like a certain 4-letter word also ending in "ck."
And to welcome me home, this morning my 18 month old woke up at 5:00. It's good to be back.
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Friday, September 19, 2008

Mary Poppins takes a jolly holiday

Without Bert, without my charges. That's right, Bert is taking them for the entire day. An early birthday gift to yours truly. Isn't it just wonderful? This is the BEST gift. Who knows what they'll do? Practice their one-man band skills? Jump into magical chalk paintings? Ride on carousel horses in some kind of old fashioned derby? Dance around the rooftops with random chimney sweeps? I don't know. I don't really care, either. Just as long as I don't have to do it.
What will I do? Well, while my Bert is out with our charges, I do have a massage scheduled with a massage therapist actually named Bert. And he actually is also the actual Michael Phelps's massage therapist (this is so factual, that I must use the word actual 3 times). So by the end of the day this body will have been worked on by the hands that have also worked on Michael Phelps. That makes me practically famous. Maybe something a little magical will rub off on me, get transferred to me in the process. Will I become a better swimmer? A host on SNL? A speedo model? A proponent of the 12,000 calories a day diet? The possibilities are endless.
Without further ado I'm off on my jolly holiday. Cheer up, for I'll be back tomorrow. As for my Bert, good luck, guv'nor!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Breaking it down Mary Poppins-style"

For those of you long time readers, you may remember that two days ago I coined the phrase "breaking it down Mary Poppins-style." At the time I freely admitted that I didn't know the meaning of that phrase; but I have enjoyed writing it, reading it, and conjecturing the meaning of it with Mrs. Furious in the comments section. What? You're not reading the comments?!?! Check them out for even more Mary Poppins (and I might add, Mrs. F) entertainment.

Back to the phrase. I'm enjoying it and have decided I'll continue to use it but in order to do so, I must first define it.

Breaking it down Mary Poppins-style: The act of clearly and directly expressing 1. wisdom, 2. a sentiment or idea (usually positive in nature), 3. an astute observation. Often used as a precursor to an important declaration.

Admittedly, it's a working definition. Let's open this up wikipedia-style. Now's your chance to make Mary Poppins history. Comment below to contribute to the definition. What does "Breaking it down Mary Poppins-style" mean to you?

And for the big question (I know you're in suspense) : did I continue my workout trend (a trend that up to this point has only lasted one day)? Let me just say this: last night the 10:00 hour found me cruising along on the elliptical for 30 minutes wearing that giant blue sports bra (you know the one; if you don't read the post--and comments--below), blue (but not "giant sports bra blue") athletic shorts, black socks and running shoes (I had worn the socks all day because I was wearing black shoes yesterday. Let me tell you, black socks go with black shoes, but not so well with running shoes). I was hot. Enjoy that mental image. My gift to you is that I did not place an actual photographic image of that scene on the blog. A picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes you're content with fewer than a thousand. Far fewer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Fitness Equipment Edition

First off, Mrs. Furious: Thanks for putting me on the map! What can I say about you that hasn't been said before? Of course everyone already knows how spectacular you are. When it comes to describing me, I'll modestly state that you're good at exaggerating. If only my credentials were in reality as impressive as you expressed them. Note to self, next time I'm applying for some goverment job where they delve deeply into my past, you'll be at the top of my reference list. Perhaps I'll now fill out that CIA application I've been meaning to get to...

Now for our daily update...Yesterday you got to see the before picture:

Today, with the big reveal, you get to witness the after photo:
Ta da! Doesn't this fitness equipment look soooooooo much better? After I performed a few minor procedures on her, she is ready to face the world and fulfill her destiny, her noble intended use. Sure I had to extricate her from a giant blue sports bra so that her lower half would be usable. Fixing her rickety water bottle holder required the use of actual tools. Tools, folks! Talk about putting forth some major effort. That's not all. I also had to take a special trip to the store (with two kids in tow) to buy 4 D batteries (who has those just lying around their house?) so that the flashing low battery indicator would cease its annoying (for lack of a better word) flashing. Let's not lie about it, at times the whole transformation got messy, but this is the price one pays for beauty. And wouldn't you agree that this machine is now a beauty? The best part is, with all of these improvements to her appearance, this fitness equipment is now in excellent working condition.

Which brings me to the big qustion: So, did I do it? You know, the 30 minutes of cardio I fervently declared I would complete on this finely crafted fitness machine? Oui (see you Mrs. F fans, she wasn't lying. I really do speak french. That proves it).
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And the Winner is...

I think it's about time that I reclaimed the elliptical machine. Please pardon this picture; it is such a cliche. Honestly, I could be the poster child for some "Americans are so lazy" campaign. I did manage to get in one great workout last Thurs (burned 500 calories, according to the elliptical's screen), but that was only because I was on the phone with Mrs. Furious the entire time and I wasn't bored out of my mind chugging along on the machine. That was also 5 days ago, folks. I should be doing better than this. But, rather than beating myself up over it, in the spirit of this blog I'm accepting that there's room for improvement and overcoming my urge to be physically inactive.
I see two options:
1. Enlist friends to chat with me on the phone or better yet, visit with me in person in my dingy, cluttered basement each time I workout (come on, you'd love to volunteer for this job, wouldn't you?); or
2. Suck it up and get that flat butt of mine on the elliptical machine (you read that right folks, I didn't say f-a-t butt, I did indeed say f-l-a-t butt. My butt is, and always has been, abnormally flat).
There's actually a third option:
3. Not change my current situation, but I'm knocking on 30's door and rumor has it, your metabolism starts to slow down at some point.
So, I'm breaking it down Mary Poppins-style (I don't even know what that means, I just had fun writing that phrase). The goal here is to increase my cardio activity so that I can be healthier. Right here and now I'm committing to do 4 workout sessions on the elliptical per week. Since I'm a cardio novice, if you will, I'm starting out with 30 min per workout session. Starting now. Ready, set, go! And I'm off... right after I stop by the freezer to eat a bite of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food. Light ice cream, folks. That means it's practically health food.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Wanted: Mary Poppins

Do you remember when Mary Poppins measures herself in the movie? She holds up the measuring tape and at her height it says "Mary Poppins: practically perfect in every way." My customized measuring tape would likely say "means well, but doesn't always follow through." Don't get me wrong, I'm a terribly reliable employee and a dependable neighbor and friend. If an event is written on my calendar you can bet I'll show up. I'll even meet every deadline imposed upon me by work, or a volunteer commitment. But if I say to myself, "self, I'm going to work out four times next week," before I even finish the thought, I know in my heart that I'm not really going to do it. I have a hard time making myself a priority and pushing myself to do unpleasant tasks that will ultimately benefit me. Sure I'll run that in that 5K cancer fundraiser, but will I run the same 3.whatever miles just for a little cardio? Probably not. Actually, absolutely not. Maybe I'm like a lot of women or maybe not. Maybe they have their stuff together and I don't.
Anyway, this is where the blog comes in. Last week I was talking with my good friend Mrs. Furious (if you don't know her, check out her blog's link on the right. For those of you who do know her, yes, she really is that entertaining in real life. In her words, "Believe it.") and she thought that based on her experiences, a blog would be a good motivator for me. So, I'm going to make myself accountable to my adoring public (OK, so the adoring part is a bit presumptuous right off the bat, but for you Mrs. F. fans out there, you're already at least a little bit jealous of me since I am good friends with her in real life, are you not?). I shall document my journey to become "practically perfect in every way," aka, Mary Poppins. Notice it says "practically." Let's not lie about it, folks I don't need the pressure to become perfect, so I'm not even going to try. I'm going to choose one area of my life that needs improvement and I shall better it little by little. Then I'll choose another, and another, and another. Trust me, there are plenty of areas of my life that could use some reform.
So, spoken like a true procrastinator, I will lay out my plan tomorrow. Hey, I didn't say I was Mary Poppins yet, just that I was aspiring to be her. Maybe I'll work on procrastination now, but most likely that demon will be something that I choose later (of course).