Friday, May 27, 2011

Foxfield is Famous!

Oh, yes, this is a video from UVA's Foxfield Races. And, yes, we saw this woman filming and yes, her ring is HUGE.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Coupling

It seems that everybody is coupling up. There are few friends of mine that are single, for many of my close friends and roommates are in long-term relationships. Luckily, I love most of their significant others (SO's) and enjoy spending time with them. However, it does leave me being the 3rd (or 5th or 7th...) wheel many times. Sure, we still hang out and do fun things, but it is rarely just me and my friend. It is me and my friend AND their SO. I don't hate it, but it is not the same.

The thing is, we are friends with most of our friends before they meet their SO's. They are our people. Their SO's are not our people. Sure I love their SO's and how happy they make them, but I am not friends with their SO's. I would not talk to their SO's  if they broke up (sorry). I would even defriend them on facebook (this practice is a given without even asking). My friends would always win.

I was thinking about how my life is changing and how this is a big part of it- people are coupling up and when they do we lose a part of them. I am so happy that my friends are meeting their SO's and  husbands or at least people that make them happy for now. But I also realize that I lose part of my friends in the process. Less late night calling to talk about nothing. Not as many "girl days" where we go shopping, get our nails done and do dinner. Friends can't do things at the drop of a hat as much. Nights are harder to coordinate. While that all still happens, it does not happen the same way or with the same frequency it used to. We talk about our SO's and less about us, because their life is now a part of someone elses' life too. Schedules are harder to coordinate, people aren't as spontaneous, and instead of coming home for holidays and events where I can see their family (who are like my second family), they are off somewhere else with someone elses family. My role is a little less. I am needed less. Sure I still fill an important role in their life, but it is different.

I was thinking about this fact last weekend and how sad it truly is. The relationships I once had with friends are changing. Even if I am fine being single my whole life (or for the time being), my role is still changing regardless of if I am or not. Friends will be in and out of relationships for the rest of my life, and I will be there with them every step of the way. I will be in and out of relationships, and they will be there for me. But it will be hard loosing a part of them in the process. And being the 3rd wheel isn't nearly as fun as going one on one with a great friend.

But I know in my heart that friends share things that lovers and SO's never will. And that's what makes it all worth it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Warning: Obession Conversations are Long

I typically do not talk about my shows on here. It was one of my internal stipulations when I revamped this blog- I would stay away from my delight in quoting song lyrics and my obsession with certain TV shows. I could talk about movies occasionally (which I do) as an aspect of something I did, but sometimes talking about entertainment isolates certain people because they either don’t know about what you’re talking about or more than likely don’t care. So I try to stay away from it. However, certain times of year I just can’t. Usually that is during the fall TV Premiere Season and the spring TV Finale Season. It’s literally like my Christmas. I get excited, can’t sleep, and stalk websites online to find out any information I can (equivalent of stalking stores for deals or new products). I try not to seek out spoilers (aka finding out what is going to happen in advanced) but I like to kind of know what is going happen. At least know enough to satisfy my yearning but still keep me surprised. I learned years ago while obsessing over my first TV obsession (The X Files) that sometimes you really don’t want to know everything in advance. Being spoiled ruins the surprises, but being completely in the dark is not an option for this entertainment junky.

Anyways, my point is that big things have been happening on my shows. Currently, I watch three shows (I get too invested in TV to watch anymore than that- I would go nuts and have even less of a life than I currently do- because when I say watch, I mean I will make plans around these shows)- Glee, Bones, and Parenthood. I casually watch Dancing with the Stars, American Idol and Grey’s Anatomy (when I say casual it means I watch it if I am not doing anything when it is on, but I don’t go out of my way to see it). I want to watch Castle, Modern Family, and Fringe, so I still read information on those shows to be kept in somewhat of a loop (summer goal: to watch the entire series thus far of all three of those shows- thank you huluPlus and summer vacations for making my life so productive). So I think I am not overly extended in my viewings, yet.

I have only truly been obsessed with 2 ½ shows my whole life. The two are The X Files and Bones and the half is LOST. The X Files and Bones bring out a feeling like no other- butterflies, euphoria, obsession, stalk-age of stars, online pursuit of spoilers and an obscene knowledge of quotes, episode titles, continuity issues and series details. I got into Lost a little late in the game (season 4 of 6) and never really caught up myself up with the true level of maddening obsession that I had for the other two shows. Same goes for Friends and Sex and the City- I know quotes and series details, but I was too young when they came out to really obsess. I still LOVE them though! A true obsession, though, is a harder thing to come by.

What I have found in shows that I am obsessed with is UST. Unresolved Sexual Tension. I can’t get enough. Two characters that should get together but don’t yet or aren’t makes for some great TV moments. The love is not thrown in your face but implied and cultured and grown and challenged and you as a viewer have to earn those moments. The touch of a hand, a kiss on the cheek, a look or an argument all are more exciting to you than anything else. And obviously since the two shows I am obsessed with have a male and female lead with opposite personalities solving crimes, I obviously love the combination. I think the murder and mayhem is a great backdrop for the relationships and character development. I don’t want a whole show focused solely on either- I want a mix.

The issue comes, though, when the “Moonlighting Curse” is mentioned. If the two leads get together, will the show die? This happened to Moonlighting back in the 80’s and shows have been afraid to repeat it since. But I disagree with the curse- that show died because the two actors off screen wanted to leave and the writing got sloppy. Good writing and good stories can keep going with people getting together. It’s not like the two characters all the sudden will be all over each other- they are still themselves- but it will give fans satisfaction and keep the shows from becoming stagnant. Relationships evolve and change so our shows should too. I don’t want a show in it’s 6th season to be like it was in the 1st- that is not realistic. And if you you don’t give the fans what they want they will become frustrated and run away in droves. Character development can’t stop just to keep two people apart.

So why am I talking about this? Well, I have mixed feeling about my two shows. The X Files didn’t do a great job of putting the two leads together- it was a cop out with David Duchovny leaving (great, have him leave and then SAY they are together!) and the fans not being given enough satisfaction to even hear a conversation or kiss for a long time. It could have been handled better. Yes, I wanted them together- but I think the way it was done was poor. Now, I am not going to spoil Bones for those of you that watch and haven’t seen last nights yet, but big things happened during the season finale. And I am excitedly mixed about it. I obviously want them to be more than friends (even the implications of them doing anything in last weeks episode got me so excited- especially the linking of arms at the end! OMG) but I don’t know how I want it done. I do have faith in the writers and them taking the big leap they did- it will certainly change the show and is not an unseen change…it has been part of the character for years- but part of me is like, why didn’t you do this a year ago?! Booth professed his love last year and she turned him away, breaking his heart. Sure, she still needed to figure herself out and had a lot of growth this season, but I feel if should have been done sooner and that something got lost in the meantime. I am excited for what will happen because I think a change was needed, but I am hoping it turns out better and fans are given more satisfaction than it did on The X Files.

But I also know that these are just shows and that life, like TV, is messy and complicated and doesn’t always go the way we planned or hoped. Being a fan of a show is like being a fan of a football team- ups and downs, disappointments and triumph, shock and awe, obsession then anger, and you’re always a step away from giving up. But to me, I can’t give up on my TV shows because I love these characters too much. And once I reach obsession level, it’s hard to back down!

I also know I should probably get a life:).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cooking, Part Deux

So I blogged back in October about how I don't cook. Well, that was actually the beginning of my "to-do" to learn how to cook. And I have reached a new turning point in my cooking skills: I no longer buy anything microwavable. HUH?!

Well, I decided that buying lean cuisines or what have you, though they are convenient and low in calorie, are not actually that good for you. I came to that conclusion while reading about how the new Weight Watchers point system actually gives more points to microwavable dishes even if they are lower in fat/calories than other foods based on many other nutrition factors (and fruit now has 0 points- because who gets fat on eating fruit?). This got me thinking- am I really being healthy with all my processed food? 

So slowly but surely, I began buying more food al-natural. I copied my roommate in buying veggies, fruit, pasta and meats as my main foods with no frozen dinners (ahh!). This would mean I would HAVE to learn to cook. I also stopped buying bread (except for lunches), only buy enough snacks for one week so not to allow myself to eat more than what I have (remember my uncontrollable love of wheat thins?), and even gave up buying peanut butter (it's a drug- I want a spoonful here and a spoonful there and then a jar is gone in two weeks). Now, I always ate the same thing every day for breakfast (oatmeal or fiber one cereal and a banana), lunch (half turkey sandwich, pretzels, yogurt and carrots) and snack (some type of granola bar) but I started doing the same thing for dinner once I knew what I could cook. And this is basically what I eat in some ratio every week: chicken or shrimp with bagged frozen veggies in balsamic (I sometimes add rice or a little bit of spaghetti- usually I have this 3-4 nights a week, lol), grilled tuna with balsamic and asparagus, a boca burger with potatoes and asparagus, or egg whites with pretzels and hummus, and all meals are started with an apple and finished off with some delicious fro-yo (turkey hill is my jam). I usually eat at my parents one night a week (and now we are eating my favorite meal- poppy seed spinach salad with shrimp, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries....so good) and go out to eat one night a week (Panera is my favorite joint). So I am set.

I am a creacher of habit. I know many people couldn't eat the same thing every day or every week. But I find comfort in a routine and when I buy the same things every week, I find that I save money because I am not venturing out into specials or cravings with impulse buying. I also like to not be hungry at random times- if my body knows what it is getting I rarely find myself out of sorts in regards to hunger. Though I do listen to my body and will eat something if I am craving it (i.e. Pizza or even the occasional cereal for dinner). However, I have really enjoyed cooking and eating literally "outside of the box," and I find that I am fuller eating prepared rather than processed food. I also feel I am giving my body more nutrients and I have picked meals that are easy to prepare- nothing takes more than 20 minutes because I can defrost/marinate things during the day so all I need to do is sautee the meal on the stove.

But I am always looking for ideas! My brother recently told me how he only buys meat local, and never buys something he can make himself (like bread, granola, soup, ect) and I think there is some truth to that view, too. I am no vegetarian, but I only eat fish and white meat, and I have been starting to look at what is local or organic vs. chain. I am slowly changing my views on that aspect of food- but, hey, one thing at a time!

So if you have any good meals that seem to be up my new cooking alley, let me know!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Singing and Soccer and Life (Sans-Soda)

I have been a horrible blogger lately! I honestly have just had a very busy week. Soccer is winding down  and my chorus group is winding up, so it seems that I rarely have an evening to myself to just chill. On my one night this week to just hang out, my roommates and I went to see a movie, which was very enjoyable, but I am definitely feeling it today from being on the go all week and getting to bed a little later!

To update you on the choral group I am in, we were supposed to be going to a retreat this weekend where we would perform, but the retreat was canceled because of low turnout. BUT we still had a performance last night at a middle school concert, which was fun and the concert was cute (though MY middle school groups were MUCH better than these kids…I may bust out some videos this weekend). Once I get a video of our performance I will upload it (I saw people recording our 3 songs in the front row…now we just gotta find them!)- I even had a solo- holler! It was a nice throwback to my middle school days.

Soccer has been enjoyable but just long. Practicing or having games 5 days a week is just too much for me and many of the players. We also have only won one game, so I think it’s been a disheartening season. I don’t know if I will continue to do it next year, but I may help out with soccer or sports in general in SOME capacity. I just don’t know what yet. It’s been nice getting to know a new group of students though and being involved in a sport again. It wouldn’t be as big of a deal to coach if I didn’t need to work out or have a social life during the week, but the fact is I do and getting home anytime from 5- 8 pm after being at work since 7 am is fine one-in-a-while, but tough as the season goes on, especially when I am training for races. I mean we start practicing in February- it’s like my whole spring is gone. Our last game is on Tuesday, so I only have two more days of coaching. The head coach will not be able to coach next year, and I definitely won’t be head even if I do help out, so we’ll see what happens! It might be a nice change to have different leadership. I think it’s what these girls need- a tough, motivational coach, and I am too much of a counselor to be mean to students. I’m  more like, “ladies, let’s talk about our goals for the season and how we can get to those goals….is what you’re doing now cutting it? How can we work as individuals on a team to 
make this better?”


That’s about it for my news! Oh, and I have a product to plug- as you may know, I stopped drinking sodas last June (except for the occasional soda at parties), and mainly only drink tea and water. Well at work my new obsession is Crystal Light To-Go with Energy in the Wild Strawberry flavor. It is amazing and has as much caffeine as TWO Surges (remember that drink?) if you mix it with 16 oz. of water, though I usually do 24 to lighten the flavor. It is a nice pick me up in a delicious low-calorie flavor that also helps you drink a lot of water:). Try it!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Five things I wish I knew

In honor of my seniors, here are five things I wish I knew when I graduated high school (yes, I realize it was only 7 years ago…):
1.       Not everyone has to go to college: There are many paths in life, but the key thing is to do SOMETHING that will prepare you for a career.
2.       Where you go to college doesn’t matter:  It is what you do when you’re in college that matters (for the most part). Sure, going to an Ivy league school is a step above community college (and you’ll probably always have a leg up in interviews from a student at another school), but you can major in Psychology at Yale doing nothing and have a harder time finding a job than a VCU engineering student. Use your college experience as a tool for your future in regards to exposure, involvement and finding out who you are. Have fun, but also market yourself. No employer wants a student who drank for 4 years, made a C average and has no employable skills, even if he/she does have a degree.
3.       Live in the moment: Everything you do doesn’t have to be about your future- explore, hang out with friends, go on random road trips, travel, enjoy, and don’t just take pictures but live what’s in those pictures. Life is more than about preparation;  it is about living, enjoying and being. We are made to have fun, so while having goals are important, don’t forget to live while you are doing them. You’ll learn more about life by living it anyways.
4.       Exercise: You won’t always look the way you do in high school (fat or thin) but health is the most important thing you can do to make for a long, enjoyable life. Take care of yourself while enjoying yourself. Life is all about balance, and in college it can be easy to tetter off that totter, but you’ll feel better about yourself in the long run by starting to take care of yourself NOW.
*I actually knew this, but it is so important I can’t leave it out!
5.        Make everyone a friend: It is easy to overlook people, but you never know who will be a friend and change your life. People will surprise you, so give everyone a chance and have different kinds of friends. Venture out of your comfort zone in meeting people. Stick up for your beliefs when friends aren’t doing something you agree with. Have an opinion. Find something out about yourself from a friend. Different people bring out different parts of you, so don’t limit who you associate with. You are allowed to not like everyone, but don’t cut yourself off from people different from you. I find sometimes the greatest friends are ones you wouldn’t expect right away. Also, keep in touch with them as you move on in life- there is nothing better than reuniting with old friends!

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's All Relative

Sometimes you just have to laugh at your life.

Today I was home after soccer practice and the gym, and I was discussing with my roommates the most stressful parts of our lives right now. This is how the conversation went...

  • Me: It says something about my life when the most stressful part of my day is deciding when to shower and what to do with my hair.
  • Roomie: I totally agree! Lots of things to consider- will I wear my hair curly if I shower now or will I straighten it? If I shower my body but not my hair, what will I do with my hair in the morning? I totally get it.
  • Me: It's just that showers don't fit into your day- like when I go to the gym after work I have to think about if I have to completely shower and redo my hair and makeup for the evening and how much time I need to do that and if I have time and if I need to bring things with me to work to use after a shower when I go straight there and then out or to a soccer game...
  • Roomie: Ya, and if you swim (since I go swimming with an after school program), you need to think about what you're doing with your hair the day before and after, because you don't want to waste good time straightening it when it's just gonna get wet the next day.
  • Other roomie from another room: I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THIS CONVERSATION!
  • Me: I feel like when we are 40 with kids, husbands and jobs, we are going to hate ourselves right now.
  • Roomie: No, it's all relative. 
  • Me: But it's also kind of sad.

It is true that stress is relative- in school it was stress about grades and your future, when you have kids it's stress about them and your family, but I feel I am at an interesting place in my life now- it literally is all about me- my work, my job, my health, my fun. It makes mundane things take over because nothing bigger is distracting me from them, which when looking at the bigger picture is quite sad. But I am enjoying this part of my life for now. This past weekend visiting Charlottesville for the Foxfield Races was a great reunion with college friends, reminding me of that part of my life and to enjoy my age and place. My friends are awesome and I have the luxury to do what I want with my life. I could move in a heartbeat, drop everything and travel, go to happy hours every night, or spend a day doing nothing and no one would care or judge me. I have no big worries- I have a job, my health, a place to live and great people around me. I am enjoying being young and my relatively stress-free life because I know it won't always be that way.

And I think most women would agree- showering IS a process!