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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Short Update

Misty, how is your diet going?
Very well thank you. I had an oopsie Sunday, but other than that it’s been good. I was down another two pounds last week; I’m a slow loser, so two pounds is a damn miracle!

We’re still playing soccer every Thursday, and practicing on Tuesdays. I’m walking on the weekends, usually 4 miles. I’m still JUDDDing of course, and that’s been working out well for me. Not only does the freedom allow me to eat my favorite food, but I am also saving money!

Did you get your budget under control?
Yes! Finally! I’ve started a Pinterest board called this week for dinner, and I’ve been pinning my dinners for the week. We’ve been eating casseroles, which are great because they’re usually two-three meals. I made Buffalo chicken casserole and it was good for two dinners for the both of us, and two lunches. We also made a cheesy chicken and rice bake, and it was good for two dinners and two lunches as well. I haven’t had to go to the store for two weeks, since the 5 days of meals I bought stretched into almost two weeks, minus a couple of days we ate out. All the bills are also paid up, and if I get this new job, we will manage a vacation next month!

Things are good at the moment :)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

No Job Fo' You!

Is there a point where you can stop supporting or helping family members or friends? I think we all learn, anytime we’ve given a job reference or let someone borrow money or an item that family members are no more than average people, just as willing to take advantage of you and your generosity for their own gain as anyone else. It’ll take a pretty impressive show of commitment and/or determination for me to really ever think about recommending someone for a job again after being burned a few times, and I will never recommend anyone, family or friend, for a position in the same department I’m in! It’s one thing when a co-worker isn’t doing their part, but when you’re dealing with someone who is supposed to care about your general well-being – that’s another thing. I guess I’ve missed out on two very important aspects of submitting someone for a job reference in the past; 1) do they actually want THAT job, and 2) can they do/handle the job. Although most of the time the answers have been no to both previously mentioned questions, I’ve recommended folks anyway, and I’ve learned that I’m not doing anyone any favors; in fact I’m wasting everyone’s time. Most people I know have given up on family and friends when it comes to helping them get a job, and it’s a little sad, and it can ruin relationships, but if you are in a position where you are trying to succeed and do well, then don’t ruin that by having to babysit the very employee you suggested. Plus, it really screws up the trust management may have for you as a top performing employee, and that is very hard to regain.

It’s different if you know someone with similar ambition and drive, and you want to provide them with the same opportunity you have/had for growth. For example, I have a friend/former co-worker that is with a company now that has really given me a little push in the hiring process by passing my resume along, and giving me a great reference. We have a lot of the same goals; she knows my current and past job experiences, my reliability, my work ethic, and many other things that lead her to believe I’m right for the job. I would have done the same for her knowing her work ethic, and would do the same for a couple of others knowing theirs, but not if it was “just another job” for them – I want people who care, and at least use whatever position for a spring board if nothing else. At least if they are trying to use a job as a transition, they’ll try and succeed to keep a good reference in the future, right? Okay, you never know.

Maybe there shouldn’t just be some ground rules?
For example:

1) Must have a good work history, no job hopping! 2) Must have experience or desire to learn 3) Flexible scheduling and learning ability 4) Not one to complain about perfectly acceptable job terms (that really gets me since I’ve been working in Human Resources! “How dare you ask me to sign in for my shift, how dare you require direct deposit, how dare you ask me to work this shift even know I knew what I was getting into before I even accepted the position!! Grrr!” 5) Not Lazy! Yeesus Rice! Take the initative, help your coworkers, go the extra mile, show you’re not disposable!

I don’t think I’m being harsh. Also, I hate when people ask me about a job, disappear, and then reappear and ask again about a job when it’s then no longer available, because they flaked out. If you can’t manage to turn in an application on time, you can’t work with me. If you didn’t want the job before, then I’m not going to help you later, because you obviously could care less.

I know I’m ranting, and I’ve developed “short timers”, because I just have a great feeling about this Job opportunity floating around, but dammit! I’m sick of watching people come in and say, “so and so recommended me”, then they instantly get a great job, and proceed to screw it up, or show no care or regard for the duties they are presented with. SERIOUSLY!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Just Thinking...

I started a post yesterday ranting about finances; I work for the state, the benefits are good, but the pay is low. Having the experience in HR with the state has given by an enormous boost toward what I think will be a better opportunity here in about a month with much better pay that will give Richard and I the boost we need to feel confident in purchases a home by next Spring. I next Spring, because that is when our current lease is up, but I have a certain idea of what I need to happen before purchasing a home besides financial gains – I want to be married; I’m sure I’ve mentioned that. More than likely, we will not be by then. We talk about it, we loosely plan it, pick out décor and rings, but one important thing is missing from the equation – he needs to ask! I’m happy with the way things are, and I realize marriage does change things – it makes those little things you accept now, much more important later.

When you get married, things you accept, things you humor, those little annoyances that you let pass all become a bit more important, a bit more unacceptable, less humorous, and more annoying. You’ve now dedicated your life to this person and realize that if you don’t speak up, you’re going to have to deal with these things the rest of your days! This only really applies to couples that weren’t honest in the beginning I believe – if you tried to be someone you’re not to please the other person, getting married is going to flip that switch, reality will set in, and oh no! You’ve made a big mistake! And then you can tell that person all the things that are bothering you, and if they don’t change, the fight continues until some starts to feel unwanted, or unloved. Fast forward and you’re divorced. Again, that really only applies to you if you choose to constantly please someone in lieu of finding out if just being you is good enough.

I know entirely too much about Richard, he is honest and open about everything, and has been since I met him. I know a lot about his past and present, and he doesn’t really live for the future – he concentrates on the now. We were friends first through a mutual friend, I learned a lot about him early rather I wanted to know it or now, but in the long run, I’ve developed a trust for him that’s strong. The trust has brought us to where we are and even the one or two times we’ve had any kind of real problem aside from just being in a bad mood, it’s been an honest conversation. I just don’t believe there is a reason to lie to people – that’s how they get hurt, because girls especially, will always find the truth.

I’m certainly no relationship expert, but I do know what we have is special, and I want to spend my life working and striving to make it last. My grandparents have been married 67 or 68 years now, and I want that – I love their relationship (now), and I know they’ve had problems throughout the years, but they never gave up on each other, and that’s amazing. They see the best in each other.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 1: Not Bad....

I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but when I feel like I need a “reboot” when it comes to weight loss, I challenge myself with a super-ultra, dedicated month of a diet of choice, which my choice is JUDDD. I challenged myself this month to keep my regular rotations with close to perfect numbers achieved with calorie counting, and planning ahead. My first week is complete, and it’s actually not been too tough this go around; yesterday was the hardest since Richard was off work, and being a bad diet influence, but I made it out alive with 660 calories including an egg white omelet and baked chicken for dinner. My normal down day number is around 475, and I kept to that the rest of the week, while eating close to my Up Day number, which is around 2300. Not eating UP on up days makes your down day very difficult, so I was happy to pack in mostly good calories.

So what’s the week one results?
Week 1 = -1lb

Okay, I know.. I’m disappointed too, but there’s some factors I thought about that probably prevented me from losing more. I ate kind of late on some of the days, I had a high intensity soccer game Thursday which put me in all sorts of pain and water retention for repair, plus it was that time of the month, and if that’s not enough reasons, then I don’t know what else to say. So for those reasons, I’m not disappointed – I tried my best, worked out, dieted correctly, and had some other factors working against me that will be less of an issue this upcoming week. We’ll still be playing soccer this week, but I think that will contribute to overall fat loss, even if it doesn’t show up on the scale right away.

I’d say week one was a success.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What I've Learned: JUDDDING

Things that I have learned, and that you should know before you try JUDDDing:

1) Hunger is a tricky S.O.B.! JUDDD teaches you what hunger is. If you are truly hungry, that feeling will not pass no matter how much liquid you drink. If you are not hungry, the feeling will pass with some time, patience, distraction, and plenty of water. On down days, you find that the hunger does pass eventually, and sometimes you can make it all day without touching your 500 calorie allowance. I choose to eat all of my calories at dinner most down days - it actually takes the stress of eating for the remainder of the day away, and if I have one less thing to worry about, I’m all for that plan!

2) If you don’t eat at least close to your allowance on Up Days, your Down Day will be more difficult. My allowance for an Up Day is somewhere around 2130 calories, and most days I have no problem meeting that, but some days I’m not hungry, or I forget snacks at work, so I have to eat like a mad man during dinner, and that makes me feel ick. You just have to plan ahead on Up Days – eat 3 regular meals, 2-3 snacks, and it should be easy. If you aren’t that hungry, sneak in extra calories with coconut oil, a hand full of trail mix, or a treat like ice cream.

3) Speaking of planning ahead – know what you are having for dinner on your down day and have a plan B! I know what restaurants have an under 500 calorie menu, I have certain go to meals on Down Days like Tilapia filets and broccoli or Chicken Breast and sautéed green beans, or a light salad. I know that I can eat at certain places such as a Jr. Burger with no cheese or mayo, and a small chili at Wendy’s if I need an emergency Down Day dinner… Plan ahead, keep back up plans, and emergency good ideas in the back of your head just in case there is a surprise something that requires you not to be home to cook.

4) Avoid Up, up, and Away Days! Although there okay every so often like on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and those Summer Holidays that for some reason mean that you can eat a hamburger, a hot dog, potato salad, slaw, chips, and some ribs without a problem along with a big slice of cake for dessert – For real, folks get super power bellies during holidays, and that’s ok, but don’t make a habit out of it. This is particularly for people who go out a lot – know what you’re eating, and look it up ahead of time so you have an idea where you’re at. You’d be surprised at the calorie counts of some salads – The Quesadilla Explosion salad at Chili’s has over 1200 calories!! On the lighter side, the Santé Fe Chicken salad still has 630. Some Entrees have over 2000! It’s alarming when you start looking.

5) Some people can, some people can’t – learn your limits when it comes to swapping rotations. I can’t. I can’t say, “well, tomorrow is Independence Day so I’ll just have another Up Day, and make Saturday a Down Day.” I don’t have an issue doing two Down Days, but two Up Days totally throw me off the wagon. (Note: Two Down Days are never a good thing, it affects the way the diet affects your body – Alternate Day fasting boosts fat loss, and metabolism, more than 24 hours of fasting can damage those affects) You can test it out, but again Know your limits

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hobby Lobby

I want to get this out of the way: I am pretty steamed about the Supreme Court decision in regards to Hobby Lobby and their willingness to provide health coverage for contraceptives, claiming that they are fighting for their “religious liberty”. Look, if I thought for one moment that their religious liberty was being infringed on, I would take the logical route and support the good fight – everyone has the right to practice their beliefs, no matter their religion, but I do not believe they should use it as a tool to affect others and their ability to obtain certain types of health coverage; in that aspect, they’re pushing their beliefs onto their employees, and to beat all, the supreme court is allowing it. Hobby Lobby’s argument is that they believe contraceptives are abortion causing medications, because it prevents the process that results in pregnancy – they are spreading misinformation and propaganda! Last time I checked abortion was the termination of a pregnancy, not preventing one from ever happening. Furthermore, what are they going to do with female employees that become pregnant? Claim religious liberty, and fire them? The supreme court has caused a total shit storm, for lack of a better phrase; if you are allowing Hobby Lobby, and other privately owned companies to deny coverage based on “religious liberty”, than aren’t you also bound to that type of thinking since those ideas won, thus having to allow such things as employee discrimination based on religious practices? Aren’t you also allowing for other companies own by various religions to also claim religious liberty and say they’re not providing coverage for things like vaccinations, anti-depressants, or things derived from pigs which if I’m not mistaken includes anesthesia?

A couple of other reasons this also bothers me is due to some of the things abortion is used for, besides the choice of terminating a pregnancy. Did Hobby Lobby consider their married female employees when thinking about their willingness to cover contraceptives and safe abortion procedures? Abortion isn’t always a choice. There are many instances where a woman and her physician have to make the difficult decision to end a pregnancy due to health concerns for mother and child; at times its life or death. At times, mothers who wanted to have a child more than anything find after getting pregnant that their body is rejecting the pregnancy, and although it will end in miscarriage, a physician may choose to “manually” terminate the pregnancy, because terminating the pregnancy under the care of a physician is much less traumatic on a woman’s body than going through a miscarriage. A safe abortion may allow a woman to try again, whereas a miscarriage may cause too much damage. Denying health coverage for abortion can equate to the end of life, just as much as giving the coverage, except this time you are risking the life of a grown woman that may have a family to care for.

Denying contraceptive coverage only increases the rate of unwanted pregnancies, and although the employee may go through with the pregnancy, you are lowering her chance to become a successful person. I’m certainly not saying that this is the case with everyone, but it depends on the support and circumstances; it certainly doesn’t help when you have a child that was not in the plans, especially when you are unmarried, and do not have that partner to rely on. You think Hobby Lobby’s pay is going to pay the bills? For three months of my contraceptive, I would have to work a full 50 hours to pay for my contraceptive at a Hobby Lobby pay rate – you think after that, I have enough money to pay the bills? At part-time, it would take almost 3 weeks just to earn enough money to purchase the medication. Contraceptives aren’t always used to prevent pregnancy either – they have a dozen other uses. I didn’t start birth control at 12 years of age because I was aiming to “get some”. I started it to reduce acne, regulate my hormones, and ease painful menstruation, as do many little girls.

Since the Supreme Court ruling it has been revealed that Hobby Lobby invests heavily in pharmaceutical companies that make contraceptives and abortion inducing medications, despite their “moral standing”. Everyone who voted with Hobby Lobby = male, and they showed that although a religious liberty claim may have very little to no validity, they will sacrifice thousands of women and their access to proper healthcare, along with employee rights for any religious nut job that comes through. The squeaky wheel gets greased, and ladies, we didn’t squeak enough!

I honestly have very little reason to visit Hobby Lobby, but I will make a point to avoid it at all cost in the future. Most of my friends feel the same way, and I have a number of very crafty ladies who have announced a complete boycott. It's a bit different than the ChikFila drama, because they just expressed a point of view - Hobby Lobby is forcing their point of view onto others, and that's unacceptable.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction

I don’t care what anyone thinks anymore; I gave it a chance, and I’m so done!
I am done with the Transformer movies!

Really, Michael Bay barley tried with Transformers 4 – The best part of the movie was Stanley Tucci who was a wasted opportunity with the standard Michael Bay cheesy crap we saw in each and every movie before. He replaced a barely coherent female lead, with another barely coherent female lead, and he succeeded in wedging not only one, but two poorly written, cheesy love stories in the movie, and although I was excited to see Shia Labeouf gone from the franchise, because frankly I hate that little worm, I didn’t give a flying fig about Marky Mark’s character. I should have been filled with emotion when they tried to kill his daughter in front of him, but she was terrible, and you could smell the oncoming storm of annoying, “but daddy, I love him” banter from a mile away; in my head I was like, please put that story line out of its misery before it begins! At least if they killed Marky Marks daughter in the movie, it would have been a cool, “I have nothing to lose, so I’m going to save the planet” type of deal, but noooooooooo. No, the stupid love story carried on, which brought on another character no one cared about – the boyfriend who just so happened to be a race car driver who is 20, while the daughter is 17. They address the age difference with none other than the face that there is a law in Texas called, the Romeo and Juliet law… OF COURSE IT’S CALLED THAT! What did we expect otherwise.

Ok, well not everyone gives a shiz about the stories in these movies, they care about the action and CGI. Remember the first season of the Doctor Who reboot, and the ridiculous (but acceptable) CGI used? The budget was low for the reboot, we as fans understood, let it go, and enjoyed the novelty, right? Well you can’t do that with the fourth installment of a major movie franchise!! The CGI should have gotten better, not worse! We have the new bad guys including Galvatron who transforms by turning into tiny blocks and flying around until they form into a bot or truck, or whatever… it looks ridiculous. When we first see these jokers fight, you clearly see that no matter how hard you hit them, the blocks part and reform effortlessly, so why the hell could they not reform later in the movie when they fought the good guys?! Whoops, I just fell through a plot hole. The initial story was cool – scientist pick up pieces of the bad guys from the Chicago incident and use their parts to make military weapons, but the consciousness awake within the bad guys causing the new man made versions to be as bad as a Decepticon (spelling?) but worse, because they are almost impossible to defeat (at least until the plot calls for it) Further CGI fails took place when Marky Mark was fighting one of the main CIA jackasses, and they were hopping around on the side of a building in China – when the camera came back, and we saw them both jumping from balcony to balcony, it looked like a free game I’d down load on my iPad. When the bad guy finally got pushed out the window, which was completely anti-climactic, it looked like the green screen style background used on Wayne’s World. You know, when their show got picked up, and they were in front of the screen showing all the places they could go without leaving the studio? (Hello, we’re in Delaware.)

But man, oh man! What saved the movie was the excitement and awesomeness that is the Dinobots, right? Am I right?! WRONG!!! So wrong, that the light from wrong will take 9 billion years to reach the earth. Those were not THE Dinobots as we all thought when seeing the trailer. No one really knows what those were, or who. None of the Dinobot names were mentioned, and all that excitement was simply to lead Optimus Prime into a cool bot battle to make those things work together with the Autobots to defeat Galvatron and then they were simply released back into the wild by Optimus, because what else would you do with giant dinosaur robots?

This was a LONG movie, well over 2 hours, an hour longer than it should have been. I’ve only seen one longer movie that pissed me off more with all its times of almost ending, and that was “The Grandmaster” – it’s a beautiful movie, but it never ends. Anywho…

What did I like? I did like the leftover Autobots they brought into this movie; mainly the John Goodman character. Optimus was Optimus, Bumble Bee was cool in this one, and really stepped up. I just really didn’t CARE about any of the characters. This movie could have ended with a nuclear blast in the middle of Beijing, and I would have been like, “well damn…”

Should you go see it? Yes, because you’re going to anyway just like me. I’ll go see the new TMNT despite absolutely hating Megan Fox. I will see the next Superman movie (not before Cap 3 though) even though the first one upset me, and the casting for this one is so strange and alarming. I watched all the prior Transformers hoping for something different, but I forget it’s Michael Bay, and it will never be different.

If you like explosions, hollow characters, and fireworks then you’ll like it. All the children in the audience that stayed awake liked it well enough, although it definitely is NOT a children’s movie due to language, and the fact that they blow some guy up a quarter way through (Marky Marks friend) and it’s graphic and a bit disturbing. Really, I never thought that it was possible, just all the explosions and battles got a bit boring – it’s like, “here’s comes another, just like the other.”

Zack Snyder and Michael Bay should direct a movie together. It would a piece of shit, but ya know..
Some things need to happen.