"The Video"

 It was 2 years ago, almost to the day, when my friend Rachel and I went to visit a culinary school in Minneapolis. Really, it was a concert that brought us up there, but we both wanted to go into culinary arts at the time. We figured we would visit while we were in town.
  I remember waking up that morning and reeeally not wanting to visit the school. My head was throbby, my throat was prickly, and I was feeling just 'yuck'. Rachel dragged me. (For the record, I'm glad she did.) We got right in to the woman who showed us around. It was roughly a 45 minute tour, and while I appreciated the experience, I wanted out of there. Rachel displayed her empathy and tried to hurry things along. Finally, we made full circle to the front door where we had started. Our tour guide thanked us for coming and shook our hands. We began to bolt for the door-- we were almost home free.
 "Wait-- did you guys watch the video?", we heard behind us. Crap. It wasn't over.
  Rachel-- God love her-- thinks quickly when I really need her to. "Yup!! Thanks again!", she blurted, without even glancing back, and out we bolted. We laughed about our little white lie all the way to the car, and still joke about it to this day.
"I wish we could see 'the video' again. Remarkable footage."
As you probably concluded, I never ended up enrolling there. And they haven't let me forget it, either. Do you realize that  TWO years later, I am STILL getting calls from that school?? They won't give up. And I don't think I have ever, ever, taken a single one of their calls. Five in just the past week. (Note to self, never go out with Greg from Le Courdon Bleu). I'm being hounded, and it's karma; I just know it.
 All because I didn't watch that damn video.


Re'lent'less: Days 1-4

 My quest thus far has been very successful. Generally speaking, I've experienced minimal withdrawal and maximum benefit.
   Shopping- I haven't had much urge to splurge yet. About a month ago, I started a wish list on my phone of things I want to buy at some point. Let me tell you, that list has doubled in the past 4 days. I had a moment of weakness today when I got an e-mail from JCrew, saying it's the last day for 20% off all their sale items. Let me interject this-- does it count as shopping if I use a gift card? It seems like I'd be bending the rules, but I still wouldn't technically be spending money. Also, I have to return a couple things in the mall soon; setting foot in there could prove to be tempting. I'd go buy a pair of blinders, but, well-- you know. Shopping...
   Artificial Sweeteners- Needless to say, I've used them because I can't (pardon the pun) swallow the idea of depositing so many grams of figure-filling sugar into my body via desserts, drinks, etc. So without the artificial stuff, I've eaten fewer sweets all together. The other night I did make whole wheat banana bars, and they were like ecstasy slices, with cream cheese frosting and walnuts.
   Facebook games- Best change I've made so far, which I thought would have the least impact. In case you missed my last blog (loser), it wasn't the game itself, but the sitting down at the computer. Then I would get hooked into other things and waste hours online. I can't believe how much I've gotten accomplished by crossing that off my agenda . On day 1, I picked up dinner after work, went straight home, cleaned my house and went out to a movie with a friend. And we had a blast. I may even give up those 2 games all together. Maybe.
  36 days to go. I'm a tenth of the way there.



   In the words of Cosmo Kramer, "You know what I discovered? I like depriving myself of things! It's fun!!"
  Ok, so maybe I'm not THAT extreme, but boy, do I love a challenge!
 Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of Lent, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what habits I would benefit to forgo. At first it seemed tricky-- I don't watch much TV or spend excessive time online. I don't drink. I eat a healthy diet. By no stretch am I perfect-- I have my share of bad habits. I DID end up choosing a few things that can and should be sacrificed. This isn't really based on religious grounds. I think it's a great opportunity to break some habits and be accountable for it. So the next 40 days in the life of this Paige will be spent without:
   -Facebook games. I'm not really addicted, but I have to be at an actual computer (as opposed to my phone) to play them. I go out of my way to get to a computer and end up staying there too long. So Cafe World is closed for a while.
   -Shopping. Oof, this is a rough one. Shopping is one of my many and favorite hobbies. Spending money on fabulous things is something that DOES have a hold over me. Needless to say, I  will have to go grocery shopping, but my aim is to buy nothing that I don't NEED or isn't edible. Today someone encouraged me to put the money I save on shopping toward buying more organic vegetables. Great idea! By the way-- I would like to add that I'm taking a trip to Iowa City at the end of the month and will more than likely stop in Williamsburg and cheat on the way back. You can't blame me for that.
   -Artificial sweeteners. Oh, buddy, I will miss it. I can indulge in so many more sweets thanks to Splenda. But I KNOW that it reeks havoc on my-- everything. Including lifespan, most likely. I'm still very aware of the simple carbs in sugar, so I estimate a decrease in my consumption of sweets. That will be good. Fortunately I drink very little pop so that won't be too terribly missed.
  What could stand to be changed in your life? Replace TV with reading? Coffee with tea? Gossip with hobby chat? Too much dairy? Profanity? Negativity? (And please don't give up Facebook. I will miss you!) Feel free to join my challenge. I'll keep you guys posted on my progress. I may even add more summons.
 Now, if you'll excuse me, I have about 14 cups of sugar free pudding waiting for me in my fridge, and I only have until midnight.


   "Nice weather we're having, huh??"
 I'm an oddball. I could barely care less about what the cumulus clouds are doing today. Pardon the pun-- "whether" it be autumn's crisp P.M's or spring's dewy A.M's, I am not an outdoorsy person by any stretch. People tend to use the weather as a go-to file for small talk. Because we all have the weather in common? Eh-- debatable. That being said, I can't help but point out a few reasons why I look forward to Jack Frost's return back from whence he came:
 -My nasal innards will remain well-thawed at all times.
 -The sun will not seem to abscond with the day at 5:16 every afternoon.
 -I can stop feeling guilty for my cowardice to try wearing hats.
 -I can finally go back to putting my tongue on whichever darn metal pole I please.

    But I will miss:
 -Hiding an imperfect manicure beneath my powder grey gloves.
 -Close-toed shoes and long, chic coats.
 -Tracks of fleet little woodland creatures around my house.
 -The excuse to put off repainting my back porch.

  Once again, pros and cons cancel each other out. Yup-- I couldn't care less about them cumulus.