Saturday, May 01, 2010

This is a horoscope I can get behind

Saturday, May 1st, 2010 -- You might want to escape for a while today and it's actually a good idea. You spend enough time handling business and being responsible in your day-to-day life. Now, if you dream about taking time for yourself or going off to play with friends, don't judge yourself harshly. All work and no play isn't a smart way to live; it's healthier to acknowledge your desires and give yourself permission to relax and unwind.

Friday, April 30, 2010

And Now for a Big Finish

It's the last day of April, and I managed to post an entry on my blog every single day this month. I wonder if I can keep up with it (try to suppress your derisive laughter, dear reader).

With April over (almost), summer must be right around the corner. Right? Well, we did have a big snowstorm last week, and the forecast for the weekend is showing highs around 50. So, Spring, maybe. But we are wrapping up our tutoring session for the Spring and my calendar looks a little more open. What will I do with my free time?

Study my 735-page Fitness text book and take quizzes. Try out some new healthy recipes. Squeeze in a few more workouts (I've been trying yoga). And just get my head together so I don't feel like I'm burned out by the work I've been doing the past few years. (I'm seriously considering not doing test drives after this year.)

This morning, I went to my Boot Camp Fitness workout, then zoomed home, had a quick protein smoothie, then zoomed to a park, where I did a mini workout with Kettle bells. We recorded a video that I should be able to post (or link to) soon. And I took a whole bunch of pictures of the instructor, Beth. She's the one on the left.
It was about 40 degrees and windy, but we managed to look like we were having a good time. I'm really looking forward to getting certified and starting to kick some butt into shape -- including my own.

I just have to figure out how I'm going to get my brain to remember all the Latin terms for the muscles. Ugh.

Thanks for tuning in for my NaBloPoMo this April. It's been fun.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Two Big Days Left

I'm thisclose to finishing an entire month of posting every single day. I feel like tomorrow has to be the Big Finale. So today, you're getting a Big ... giggle (from "F Minus").

Well, it made me giggle anyway.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Biggest Loser and Big Bad Trends

I've noticed that one of the new fitness trends is for trainers to scream at and belittle their clients ala "The Biggest Loser." The lovely and talented Moardy over at A Motivated Notion has even seen this phenomenon in yoga classes. (Go read her account of this yoga experience. It's freaking scary.)

And maybe it works for some people. As Moardy says, "The class was packed and the studio continues to bring in new students with the promise of helping them lose weight."

But for me, not so much. If my trainer talked to me the way the trainers on "The Biggest Loser" talk to those people, he'd be drinking his Power Bars through a straw. And I'm not the only one in my workout group who would give him whatfor.

I don't find yelling motivating. If you're yelling how hot I look, OK, sure, that's motivating. But I don't want my Boot Camp fitness workout to feel and sound like a real Boot Camp. I've joked about my trainer being an "evil drill sergeant" but I wouldn't have stuck with this workout program for nearly a year if he ever made me feel bad about myself.

You know, I can belittle myself just fine without having to pay someone else to do it. I want my trainer (and especially my yoga instructor) to tell me I'm doing a great job and encourage me to push myself a little harder. Tell me I'm lazy or weak or that what I'm doing should hurt, and I'm out the door.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Big F-U from Our Government

I don't usually get political here at Rambling Pam. I just don't think this is the forum for it. But I felt compelled to share this little tidbit, especially because Earth Day was just last week.

The S.O., feeling politically and environmentally responsible, sent a letter to our local representative, expressing his support for pursuing alternative energy sources. Yesterday, he received a (form) letter from said representative. Below are parts of that letter.

Dear Mr. S.O.,
Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts regarding alternative and renewable energy development in the United States. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter, and I share your interest in developing alternative and renewable energy for the future.
So far, so good.
I support domestic energy development legislation that will lower prices today, while producing alternative energy for tomorrow. I also would consider legislation that takes federal revenues from oil and gas leasing and puts it into research and development of alternative and renewable energy.
Hmmm. Why am I starting to suspect this is political doublespeak?
I am a strong supporter of increasing our own domestic energy production through drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States. Additionally, exploration and development of other rich oil and natural gas reserves can take place in our public lands.
Wait. What? Finding alternative places to drill for oil does NOT equal finding alternative energy sources.

He goes on to say that "drilling in this small reserve of land (in Alaska's Arctic Coastal Plain) can be both environmentally sound and provide Americans with 10.4 billion barrels of oil." I'm not so sure about the "environmentally sound" part. But I'm not a big ol' politician either. I'm also not a creature who lives on that coastal plain ... and neither is he.

I appreciate that this proposed idea would "provide unprecedented levels of funding for development of renewable energy at no cost to the taxpayer" but at what cost to future generations? The whole letter smacks of "Thanks for writing, but I'm going to do whatever the hell I want to do, regardless of you as a voter want."

Eh. Maybe I'm too much of a liberal because I don't mind paying for alternative and renewable energy research. I also wouldn't mind paying for street lights and garbage cans. But that's just me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Big Ben

A few years ago, the S.O. and I went to the U.K. We were only in London for three days so we crammed a ton of sight-seeing into that time. We hit all the big ones (although some we only saw from the outside): Big Ben and the houses of parliament, the London Eye, the Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park. We spent a rainy day in the Albert and Victoria museum, where I got a guard to say to me, "Ohh! You sound just like Monica ... from Friends." This was in response to me saying, "I know!"

We even went to Westminster Abbey to see the burial place of such luminaries as Charles Darwin, George Frederic Handel, Rudyard Kipling and Charles Dickens (as a literature geek, the writers and poets were a really big deal to me).

From London, we visited Lincoln, where the S.O. had a friend and we saw leftover set pieces from "The DaVinci Code" in Lincoln Cathedral. If I remember the movie correctly -- and I wish I could forget it -- the scenes that supposedly took place in Westminster Abbey were actually film in Lincoln Cathedral. Kinda cool. Too bad I hated the movie (especially Tom Hanks' hair).

After a couple days in Lincoln, we took the train to Edinburgh, Scotland. We visited castles and museums and strolled along the beach of the Firth of Forth. We spent some time hanging out with the S.O. aunt and uncle, who was teaching at a college there. We strolled through a forest that called to mind fairies and robber barons and cutthroats. We didn't make it to the highlands on that trip, but I'd like to go back some day.

It's been a while since we took a really big vacation like this one. So maybe I'd just like to go somewhere.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Big Night Out

Thanks to my part-time gig, the S.O. and I got to go to a fancy schmancy fund-raiser event last night. We got dressed up and ate and drank too much. It was a lot of fun.

It was the American Culinary Federation Pikes Peak Chapter Presents Simply Colorado, and the menu looked like this:
Chef Mark Painter C.E.C., Pikes Peak Community College
Reception Platters
Artesian Rolls
Chef Pete Aiello C.E.C., C.E.P.C., Alpine Chef
Artesian Rolls with Sweet Cream Butter
Chef Gary Hino C.E.C., Pikes Peak Community College
Sea Bass and Asian Medley En Paupiette with Green Tea Beurreblanc
Chef Walter Lofton, Springs Rescue Mission
Five Onion Soup with Scallion and Gruyere Croutons
Chef Bill Poulin, Cheyenne Mountain Resort
Roasted Chili Apple Bouquet with Candied Pecans and Spiced Yogurt Dressing
Chef Richard Carpenter C.E.P.C., Harvest Mountain Foods
Wild Strawberry Yuzu Sorbet
Chef Eric Viedt, The Margarita at Pine Creek
Southwest Duck ala Orange
Chef Tyler Peoples, Briarhurst Manor
Split Rack of Lamb Crepinette with Smoked Lamb Belly Duxelle
Megan Walter, Sweet Daphne
Lemon Chevre Cheese Strudel, Black Berry Port Syrup with Cardamom Cream
Coffee Service
Jewels Burdick, Colorado Coffee Merchants
Richard Carpenter C.E.P.C, Harvest Mountain Foods
French Cinnamon Macaroons
Matcha Green Tea Mousseline
Coconut and Guava Pata de Fruit
Single Origin Chocolate Truffles

And because I had no idea what "mignardise" meant, I looked it up. This Web site says:
Mignardise are the tiny, bite-sized desserts that often follow a meal at high-end restaurants. They frequently include tiny cookies or chocolates, as well as other edible delights.
It also tells me that the word translates from French to mean "delicate fondling." Gotta admire the French for their love of food.

And now back to my regularly scheduled diet that excludes eight-course meals and wine pairings.