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Jamila, my dear friend from EY, flew into Dallas today for the weekend and she, along with Jen, met me for lunch at Jason’s Deli.  I haven’t seen Jamila since I left the firm a year and a half ago, but you know we picked up right where we left off.  I love friendships like that.  No matter how much time goes between seeing or talking to each other, when you do get together absolutely nothing has changed.

We started catching up quickly and she was informing me about some changes that have taken place recently at the firm.  One of them being that the limit for expensing dinners is now 20-25 bucks.  There used to not be a limit.  So, in shock I commented to her, “gosh, that’s like eating at Chili’s”.  And her classic Jamila response, “now, do I look like Chili’s to you?”  No, you sure don’t.  This girl has women at MAC makeup counters who remember her and apparently remember her skin tone and bone structure.  She tells me today I should always have a makeup artist who knows my face.  My bone structure.  I think I laughed for about 10 minutes at her Chili’s comment.  In fact, I am still giggling about it right now.   

Its never a complete Jamila experience unless I pick up a few new words or phrases to add to my vocabulary.  Prior expressions have included “step to me” (ask me out on a date), “knock you off your square” (throw you for a loop), “don’t act brand new” (don’t be shy).  She often tells me that the world is “not ready” for me.  That they can’t handle me.  Today I learned “hoodwinked”, “they got you” and “bamboozled”.  Which apparently all mean the same thing.  Here is an example.  Recall that blog I had a while back about getting sucked into personal training?  Well, they were asking me today about it and why I of all people got a personal trainer.  I gave them the story of how I wasn’t gonna sign up but after an hour of listening to the trainer beat me down with prices and packages and after another 30 minutes of listening to him and his boss tag team me, I finally caved.  According to Jamila, they hoodwinked me.  They got me.  I got bamboozled.  

I can’t say I have taught her that much.  When I was a kid, there was a phrase my Mom used to use in the car when she was frustrated with traffic.  “Jesus Jackson!”.  I used it once on Jamila and Jen when I was frustrated about something and they about lost it.  

A couple of years ago a lady at the gym once commented to me that I have “Tina Turner” legs.  I guess this means they are muscular?  Well, its a common joke between us that I take pictures showing off my legs.  We took a picture today and even though I’ve got jeans on, you can imagine there are “Tina Turner” legs underneath them.


There’s no question that the 80’s rocked.  It’s hands down my favorite decade that I’ve lived through.  Granted I only have 3 to choose from, they are still number uno.  I go through phases in what I like to listen to from my music collection.  Classic rock, oldies, singer-songwriter, easy rock etc etc.  Recently there has been a void when I get in my car to drive to work.  I reach for my CD case, trying to find something to listen to, but everything in there is like vanilla to me.  Where’s my cookies and cream?  I recently realized what I’ve been yearning for.  80’s.  Someone recently said to me, “music reached its peak in the 80’s”.  This week, I couldn’t agree more.

I recently downloaded a new application for my iPhone.  Its AOL Radio.  I turned it on this morning, hoping to find an all 80’s station.  First thing I select the “AOL Recommendations” category.  And you know what the first station listed was?  “Awesome 80’s”.  Clearly, I am not the only one who thinks 80’s music is totally boss.  I’ve been jamming out all day to the likes of Tears for Fears, Wham, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Foreigner, Simple Minds, A Flock of Seagulls, Rick Astley and The Cure.  I’m keeping a running list of songs I need to download when I get home.  Like, have to.  On my drive to Austin Friday, you know what I’ll be listening to.

The 80’s weren’t all about music though.  Some of my favorite movies and TV shows were on then.  Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure being a prime example.  Its the first DVD I ever purchased, no joke.  I could watch that movie over and over again and never get bored.  It actually frightened me a little.  A stolen bike, Simone’s large lumberjack boyfriend, the biker gang, going to the big house for ripping the tag off of a mattress, no basement in the Alamo.  That’s a lot for a little kid to handle.  I heard on the radio today that its Paul Reuben’s birthday.  He may have done dirty things in a theater, but he’ll always have a special place in my heart.  One summer in art school we had to make robots out of boxes.  I chose to recreate “Konkie”. Here’s a picture of me wearing it…

Breakfast is probably my favorite meal of the day.  I like it so much that I eat it for dinner sometimes.  And one time last year I think I had breakfast four meals in a row.  It was awesome.  I could eat oatmeal till the cows come home. 

As much as I love breakfast, it would be an extremely boring blog if all I did was count the ways in which I like my oats.  So, I am just going to share a new recipe I came across from the Zone website.  I tried it this morning and I must say, I am a fan.  Its perfectly balanced and sits right at 350ish calories.  And its a lot of food, so very satisfying.  I had breakfast this morning at 7:30 and I am still not hungry as I am approaching the noon hour.

Bowl of Goodness
1/3c cooked steel cut oats (warmed)
1/2c plain nonfat yogurt
1/2c cottage cheese
1c sliced strawberries
1 Tbs slivered almonds
Cinnamon, Vanilla, Stevia to taste

Blend together the yogurt, cottage cheese, cinnamon, vanilla and Stevia. Press the oats flat into the bottom of the bowl and then layer the strawberries and yogurt mixture on top.  Sprinkle with almonds.

Clearly you can modify it if you like a certain kind of yogurt, fruit or nut.  Since I am just starting to introduce cottage cheese into my diet (I have issues with the texture), I used about half of what the recipe calls for and threw in a few sprinkles of my protein powder.

Since I’m a creature of habit, I’ll probably be eating it all week.  Just for breakfast though.  I promise.

Is it me or has Shannon Miller, US Gymnast from the 90’s for those who can’t remember, changed appearances dramatically?  She was on a commercial for something recently and there is no way I would have recognized her had it not said “Shannon Miller: Former USA Gymnast” on the screen.  I’m gonna go ahead and say that the hair is much better.  I like her bangs.

Got up this morning and enjoyed my breakfast and coffee while reading the paper.  That’s right, I’m now a Dallas Morning News subscriber.  Ask me how or why?  Not really sure.  The paper just started showing up on my doorstep last Monday.  At first I thought it might be my neighbor’s and that there was a new paper delivery boy on the route and he was getting addresses confused.  But, then I noticed that my neighbor was still getting the paper.  So, I think I’ll enjoy this while it lasts.

I met Amy and Perry at Church and stayed with them to have lunch with their Bible Study group.  Potbelly sandwiches…mmmm.  Once lunch was over, Perry was determined to see the gym.  I guess I was unaware that most churches had gyms.  We managed to find it on the top level and when we walked in I felt like I was walking onto the Hoosier’s set.  Old.  School.  The court was miniature but they had sweet wooden bleachers.  Reminded me of the Old Austin High gym we had to practice basketball in freshman year of high school.  We shot around for a while.  You know, shooting hoops in church clothes after the service on Sunday.  Pretty typical.  Amy attempted to show off and dribble between the legs and the wind caused her dress to fly up giving Perry an eye full.  I guess there is a reason you don’t wear church clothes to play basketball.  I had a hard time with my three pointers…either I am older, or wearing sandals and not tennis shoes really makes a difference in how much effort it takes to get the ball to the hoop.

Amy and I then headed to White Rock to make a lap around the lake.  We went at Olympic Record pace (no stops) because she had a meeting to get to.  I think its time for me to start looking at getting a new bike.  Mine whistled and squeaked at me the entire time.  I could probably just oil the heck out of it, but that’s not as much fun as getting a new bike is it?  We saw a ton of people out on boats yesterday and it gave me the urge to go rent a mini sailboat and spend the afternoon out on the water.  Not sure if they rent them, but its something to look into.  I also managed to get yelled at by a crotchety guy who was claiming I was on his side of the “street”.  “GET OUT OF THE WAY”.  Complete with hand gestures and all.  Not that I’m complaining, I’m a fan of hand gestures.

Once we got back, I came home and took one of the best naps I’ve had in a long while.  I think the heat wore me out more than I thought.  That was a good good nap.  I am kinda sad that its over.  I think the Rock is sad its over, too.

Today was a long day.  I rose early and got to business.  I gave the Rock a bath, took my car to the dealership and dropped it off for an oil change, ran home, worked out some more, cleaned my kitchen and bathroom top to bottom, inside and out.  And then I vacuumed for a long time.  I also went off on the dealership guy because he tried to tell me I had $500 dollars worth of stuff I might want to get fixed.  Pretty sure I just spent $1,200 in February for all sorts of repairs and services.  I think I will wait until next year and pay for it.  I am not gonna take my car in there every time and have them tell me I need to give up my first born in order to fix something.  Sorry, money does not grow on trees.  Lets just hope the Passat doesn’t break down on me tomorrow.

After all the hubbub that was today, come this evening I was ready to relax.  A bath, bottle of wine, and cooking dinner does amazing things for the soul.  My goal was to watch a movie but just as I popped it in, the HDMI cable started freaking out a bit.  So, a DVD was not in the works.  Luckily, I found that I still have The Goodbye Girl saved on my TiVo.  Phew.

I feel relaxed and rejuvenated.  Well, I’ll hopefully feel more of the latter tomorrow so I can be geared up for church and bike riding.  Hopefully a little REI sale shopping as well.  

Oh, I’ll also recommend seeing Vicky Christina Barcelona…its good in a Woody Allen dry humor kind of way. It’s much easier than I thought it would be to see Javier Bardem in an attractive way after watching him in No Country For Old Men.  Penelope Cruz is also pretty funny.  Good movie.  Good evening.

Well friends, its a sad day.  According to MySpace, Wayne (aka “Cher”) has decided to stop performing.  “Her” husband, Ben, has a fantastic job and “she” wants to start spending more time with him.  “She’s” been all over the map lately making appearances and performing.  “She” thinks its time for a break.  I can respect that.  It just makes me sad.

Part of me wonders if this “decision” has anything to do with the fact that Sushi Sapporo has new management.  I’ve noticed the name has changed to just “Sapporo” and the signs are different.  There was even a “New Management” sign.  Which is why I believe there is new management.  Perhaps the new guys didn’t see the correlation in having a nice sushi restaurant that turns into a Cher impersonator karaoke show late night.  It always seemed to make sense to me.  Like peanut butter and jelly.  Peas and carrots.  Sushi and Cher.  Say that three times real fast.

I’m going to find out the scoop on when “she” officially stops “touring”.  If “she” goes through October 7th, well… we all know where my birthday party will be again this year. 

Do you BELIEVE in life after “Cher”?

I saw an article in the New York Times this week that states that being fat and fit is better than being skinny and unfit.  Finally, I can be proud of my “obese” BMI!  It is true, I am .8 above the healthy range.  Of course this doesn’t take into account my muscular Tiny Turner legs.  There is a guy in my office who is extremely tall and slender and can eat whatever he wants.  And stay slender.  I’ve seen him consume a huge bag of Twizzlers.  One day he brought in doughnut holes and I think his consumption reached the 40’s?  I look at a doughnut hole and my pants get tighter.  But, on the inside I am healthier!  He may look more fit than I do on the outside, but I guarantee by the time he was about to pass out on the treadmill I’d just be starting to break a sweat.  I’m down with being fat and fit.

Not only am I physically fit, I eat well, too.  I’ve pretty much cut my diet down to real foods.  No processed crap.  No artificial anything.  Basically, if it doesn’t have a mom and a dad, I don’t eat it.  With the exception of steel cut oats.  They were most likely adopted.  Of course there are the exceptions of eating out, sweets and wine.  In those cases its all about moderation.  The majority of the time I try to eat in the Zone.  Which is 40-30-30.  Its well balanced and definitely jives the best with my body.  I eat meats, loads of veggies and always make sure to throw in some olive oil, nuts or peanut butter.  Its all about numbers.  What can I say, I’m an accountant?  I like things to be balanced.

This transition has been gradual and I don’t think I look any different, but I can definitely tell a difference in how I feel.  The main thing is more energy.  I used to bonk everyday around 5-7pm, like barely have the energy to walk from my desk out to my car.  Now, not so much.  I hit the gym about that time. 

You’d be amazed at how much more satisfying whole foods are than processed stuff.  Its like night and day.  You should try it.

I had dinner with my favorite engaged a-holes last night.  They prepared a lovely feast of parmesan crusted chicken, vegetable couscous and salad.  Delicious and nutritious!  They even let me bring along the Rock because I think they have a serious obsession with talking to him in Mexican accents. French ones, too.  Its quite entertaining.  Its how Daddy and Baby get their kicks.  And I’m ok with that.  I had a free dinner.  I also managed to walk away with 50 pounds of watermelon.  The dangers of going to the Farmer’s Market!!  I think I might actually try to go this weekend.  I just need to pace myself.  The first time I ventured over there, I came home with a watermelon, papaya, mango, carton of apples, mounds of squash and zucchini and probably a couple pounds of tomatoes.  I just love my fruits and vegetables.  I easily make my daily 6-9 serving quota. 

One more trinket I came home with last night… the caricature that Suz, Amanda and I got done while eating at Mi Casa in Cabo.  I think we paid 30 bones for this guy.  I can see the resemblance in me, an evil one at that, but Suz and Amanda don’t really look anything like this (I’ll post the full pic manana).  Maybe the 30 bucks went to giving me plastic surgery on paper… I look pretty well endowed. 

And no, Amanda isn’t doing bunny ears behind my head.  Well, maybe she is, how would the guy know that means “Go Frogs”?  Or maybe she is just attempting to claw out the back of my neck.  I wouldn’t put it past her.  E-snooty.

I think I’ve finally started living a relatively drama free life in the last year or so.  Of course there is the occasional hiccup, but the melodramatic sagas are dunzo for the time being.  Which is possibly a reason I have become so immersed in the world of The Hills.  Last night was the season premiere, and I must say, it was exciting.  Who doesn’t want to get wrapped up in real drama that isn’t their own?  There’s the friend who gets in trouble for trying to be too good of a friend, the friend who blows that friend off for a boyfriend that is quite possibly the biggest jerk ever, and also there are two friends who are only friends through another friend who can’t get along because they can’t both have the main friends attention 24/7.  Who doesn’t want that in their life??????????  For me, its sorta like the laughing gas I get at the dentist.  While I’m hooked up to it I feel a really good buzz, but the second she takes it away I am back to normal.  No hangover.  No real drama.

My reality TV show watching start many years ago with the first couple Real Worlds.  I liked NYC, San Fran (RIP Pedro), and Las Vegas best.  I dabbled a bit in Miami, Hawaii, Chicago and Philly.  My most all time favorite moment was in Las Vegas when Irulan and Alton got into an all out fight.  I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life.  Twin, I know you’d agree.

Once I grew out of the RW, I turned to Laguna Beach.  My Saturday’s would be entertained by the rerun marathons they aired.  And Monday nights took on a whole new meaning because that’s the night the new shows aired.  The drama between LC, Steven and Kristin was OOC!  So, of course it comes as no surprise that I just had to follow LC to LA and get immersed in The Hills.  There is drama on that show unlike any drama we saw on Laguna Beach.  And its awesome.  Friendships began.  A sex tape leaked.  Friendships ended.   I mean, it has it all.

And I have been able to experience all this from the comforts of my couch, drama free.  Pure bliss.