Procrastination (But I Digress)

Friday, June 22, 2007

You Should

I hate taking advice from people almost as much as I love giving advice to other people. I joined weight watchers and now I've started getting the magazine. I had it in my head (ok, I didn't really think about it, so maybe it was my gut) that if I joined weight watchers, I would lose weight. Not so. I've gained weight. Logically I know that simply joining weight watchers does not make you lose weight and merely belonging doesn't give a person the right to eat more (because I'm being so good by belonging to weight watchers), but logic is not my strong point in this area of my life.

So I was supposing that I wouldn't snack if I was actually reading the weight watchers magazine. Not only did I snack, but I had an extra helping because I wanted to use up all the ice cream so that I wouldn't eat it later. This is my brain, this is my brain wanting a snack, any questions?

So I'm rethinking weight watchers. The magazine (and the leader and all the members who've lost weight) tells how important it is to continue to go to the meetings to sustain weight loss. But I'm thinking, I hate it when people tell me what I should do. Why am I going to a meeting to have other people (who by the way don't really seem to benefit from their own advice anyway) tell me what I should do? And yet, going to meetings does make me vow each week to keep my food diary, which is a good method that works for me, of course I haven't done it for several weeks, but next week will be the charm. Oye.

I started a list of the "you should" advice that I have floating around in my head. I am systematically trying each one and then analysing its success or failure and the variables surrounding said experiment. I love science. My next "you should" is to ride a bike. The bike is ready and this weekend is ripe for attaining a bike helmet. I've mapped out a route that does not seem to have too many hills. I think I'm ready. This is for science afterall.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Beware of Walter Drake

We're getting Mary's mail at my house now. Mary gets a lot of catalogs. A LOT. I made a comment about how many last week and Adrienne said that I have no idea how many she throws away before I even get the mail. That reminded me that I have to throw catalogs away immediately because otherwise I am tempted to look and then I want stuff. When we cleaned out Mary's house we found a lot of cool stuff--so much that 20 people could never use all the cool stuff that they had.

Today I came home for lunch and I didn't have anything to read. I opened the Walter Drake catalog. I looked. Pretty soon I was starting a list. Then I turned the page over and then I started a third page. This is ridiculous I thought. I'll cross out stuff I really don't want. Nothing got crossed off. Ok, I'll cross off stuff I really don't need--well I can live without all of it--that doesn't help. Ok, I'll add it up and stick to a budget. It's a lot, much more than I want to spend, but what do I take off the list?

Finally I decided that if I wanted all these wonderful things that I would have to go to an actual store and find them. The leg work will be good exercise. Yeah, I'm not getting anything. I know me. I really ought to be more careful to throw those catalogs away before I open them.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Best Cheap Suit

About 50 pounds back, I had a closet full of very nice suits and blouses that I really liked. When you lose a lot of weight, everyone says "oh didn't you (or won't you) have fun buying all new clothes?" NO, I hated it. It took me years of shopping and finding just the right style of suit I liked to get all those clothes and now I was stuck on very short notice buying all new clothes with no new money. For some reason, the year I lost all the weight was the year clothes manufacturers stopped making navy blue clothes. I couldn't find a navy suit or even a sweater in navy for two years. I just recently found a navy suit, but they only had it two sizes too big. I bought it and took it to the dry cleaner to have it taken in. But I digress.

In the past two years I have eventually found a really nice suit, here and there and I have about three or four really cheap suits that I bought in a pinch. My wardrobe, while not complete had become adequate. Then I started gaining weight. Seven months of struggle left me frustrated and dissatisfied with wearing clothes too tight, so I decided to break down and buy new suits in the next size up. I even said to myself, the hell with the cost. I'm not even going to look at the price tag. Nordstroms had one suit. That's it--in the whole store, one suit. Ok, they actually had three--one was the blue suit I had already purchased and one had stitching on the outside--it was awful. So Nordstroms had only one suit. I didn't even look at the price and I went to try it on. The jacket was just ok, but the pants didn't fit (I had picked up the wrong size) and they weren't even lined. $275 for unlined slacks. I was about to leave totally disgusted when the sales lady said that they do have suits in another area of the store. This was an area I rarely went to because they are very expensive, but I was desprate. I wasn't going to look at the price tag, really. But I did. $598 for a mediocre, ugly suit jacket. I left.

When I first needed suits and I had no money, I went to jc penney. I hated it, but they had some suits and they were cheap. I went to jc penney. The suits were all short sleeved (because it is summer I suppose) and some were capri pants. That will never do for court. So I delved deeper into the clothing department, past the jewelry counter, past the make up counter, past the party dresses, into the deep dark corners of the clearance racks and found suits with 3/4 sleeves. I was just about to give up when I came accross on jacket with long sleeves. It was part of a three piece suit. Ok, it had a ribbon trim that constituted the full sleeve, but I am really desprate at this point. The slacks were pollester with elastic. I tried them on and they were huge--I'll throw them away I thought--I have black slacks. The jacket fit beautifully. It was size 12 and even though the pockets were fake, it looked very taylored. I didn't even try on the sleeveless top that came with the ensemble and I made my way to the long line at the check out. It was the middle of the day on a week day in a huge mall--there had to be 10 people waiting in line. Where do those people come from? Why are they shopping in the middle of the day on a weekday? When I paid for the suit, it rang up at 1/2 of the price of the marked down price. $20 for a three piece suit. As the salesgirl put it in the bag, I noticed that the top was a size 10--oh no, I said, the size of that piece doesn't match the suit. I went back to the dark corner to find another size 12, but there was literally no others there. Ok, I'm never going to wear a sleeveless top anyway. $20 for an ok jacket is a really good day shopping.

When I got home and hung up the suit, I found out that the reason the pants were so roomy is because they were a size 14. So I had a size 10 top, size 12 jacket and size 14 pants. The next day I put them all on (I can't stand having new clothes that I don't wear right away) and they all fit (well except that I had to wear a tight belt to keep the pants up--which was a very nice change from my slacks being way too tight). That was the best cheapest suit I've ever purchased. Except that it was all wrinkled, it looked pretty good too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Woe is Me--my best color

Uncle Marcel said that my last post was great woe is me, but where's the fun. Mardyrdom is a favorite critisizm for people of me. Of course, I'm very big about it.

My theory is early influence of nuns--not just any nuns, dominican nuns. I didn't see nun's hair until fifth grade and it was revolutionary. Sister Margarite (not her real name--I could never pronounce her real name, much less spell it) was a great mardyr. Life in Africa as a missionary was better than our first grade class, and we just knew life in Africa must be miserable. She used to threaten to put us in a box and ship us there--powerful threat to a six year old.

And then there were the nuns I adored who had given up their entire life just to teach me geography. Sister Elaine changed her name half way through fourth grade because the church was going through a reform. Near the beginning of the year, when her name was something completely unpronoucable, she asked each of us to come up to the front of the room and tell her secretly what our middle names were (why this was a school activity is beyond me, but I digress). I couldn't remember my middle name--I knew it began with an e, so I said my middle name was Elaine and she said that she had a wonderful surprize for me. When she announced her new name later in the year, she winked at me. I didn't have the heart to tell her my middle name was not Elaine. She taught us that we should always walk around and behind others--not cut in front of someone walking or interceting with. You would not believe how difficult this is sometimes, especially at a mall where my office building is located, but I valiently try for Sister Elaine to this day.

Boy those nuns had moxi. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a nun. I think I would have made a good nun, except for that going to church all the time and obeying the pope. Oh well, there's always my next life.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Great Honor

I have the great honor of being installed as the PTSA president tonight. As much as I grouse about not wanting this "honor" (read "job of tremendous responsibility and work, work, work"), it is, in fact, an honor.

I have labored over my speech for tonight and I think I've finally come up with the perfect balance of "thank you for this great honor" and "we (not just me) have a lot of work to do". My job for tonight was to provide the installation. I don't know why the new president has to provide her own installation, but I digress. A few weeks ago, feeling the time pressure, I called a former school board member who was a long time member of the Hoover PTSA board to ask her to conduct the installation. She was too busy to talk, so I just told her the date and she said she'd call me back. On Sunday morning (yes, yesterday) I suddenly realized that she'd never called me back. I was desprete to check my e-mail to find her number and finally was able to call her at home. Her husband took the message and said she'd call me back. THIS MORNING she called to say that her husband just told her a member of the community was calling her and didn't write down my name, just the number. She finally recognized my number and yes she can come to do the installation. Talk about last minute--this does not bode well for my year of tremendous responsibility. Needless to say, I will be providing the script for the ceremony and gifts and bringing a main dish--I'm sure I'll have time to pull that all off in the next six hours. It's not like I have a real job. (I say dripping with sarcasm).

Yesterday was the seniors Baccalaureate event. My job was to prepare the program. The junior class doesn't hold their elections until the friday before the event and the new class president goes in the program. No worries, I have lots of printers and copy machines at the office and I'm a college graduate. I can handle it. After being super prepared and showing the board, not one, not two, but three revised drafts for their review (probably about four hours of work on my part), Susan completely redid the program, put in a new font and e-mailed it to me on Saturday. After grinding my teeth over all the work that I had done, I remembered the golden rule--I DON'T CARE. I love that rule. So I printed out Susan's program and I proceeded to take my entire Saturday to devote to printing 150 programs. Every printer at the office jammed on the paper. Both xerox machines jammed on the paper. So it was off to Kinko's.

The guy at Kinko's was very nice, yes, he could do the job while I waited and yes, he could fold them (for a charge of .03 per copy--a pitence). His machine skewed the print and there was that xerox kind of film showing on the paper. This won't do I said--they have to look beautiful. Not to worry that great guy from kinko's said, he'll call the La Canada store--they have a brand new machine--no film, no skewing. He called them and yes, they could do my job while I waited. I raced up to La Canada--the best clerk in the store waited on me (I know this because the folding machine had to have the copies fed one at a time--I was there a long time). He did a beautiful test, we discussed reduction to 98% and rejected it, the finished product was beautiful and the whole time I was waiting (about 45 minutes) I was thinking, this guy deserves a tip. Can you tip a guy at kinko's?

The glendale store quoted me a price of .16 a copy plus .03 per copy for folding. I was calculating a tip that would not insult this wonderful clerk when he started adding up the bill: .29 cents per copy, plus .03 cents per copy for folding. Wow, this was going to be much more expensive than I first thought. Then my rapidly diminishing in wonderfulness clerk explained to me that this was a rush job and normally they do not do jobs like this while you wait. I almost thought he was going to add a surcharge for the rush, but he didn't. I thought to myself, it sounds like this guy is fishing for a tip and here two minutes ago I thought I was the most magnamous person on the planet planning to give him a tip. Dissolutioned and depressed (but with 150 beautiful, half folded programs under my arm) I left. No tip.

The Baccalaureate started at 4:30--the e-mail we got said we should be there at 3:15. At ten minutes to three, Adrienne started ragging on me, wasn't I going to be late? Hardly. It started at 4:30--there's nothing to do at 3:15--those people are all nuts. I got there in plenty of time. They said that they normally get about 70 people at the event--150 programs is plenty. The senior class advisor apparently made an announcement that if the students didn't attend Baccalaureate, then they couldn't go to grad night at Disneyland. I can't tell you how many kids asked where the sign up sheet was to prove they were there. We had a huge turnout and it was soon clear that 150 programs was not enough--I made the ushers start handing them out, one per family. oye. It was a very long, tiring afternoon and no diet coke. I bailed out while there were still eight people cleaning the kitchen for two pots, six pitchers and seven trays--I think eight people could handle that without me, but I still felt guilty not being the last person to leave. Adrienne asked me if I had fun when I got home. It's going to be a long year.

Monday, June 04, 2007

If a Tree Falls in the Forest

I have a dilemma. Two years ago the Girl Scout council awarded me the Thanks Badge. This is the highest honor a Council can award. While I was surprised and delighted to be given this great honor, I was also a little disappointed. The Thanks Badge is a cumulative award to be given to the volunteer who puts in 50 years of service--it is for extreme honor, not just I was a girl scout leader for the largest troop for longer than my niece was in the troop, and chaired camps, and trained leaders for years, and was service unit manager longer than anyone else, and cookie chair for many years, and volunteered for anything asked--it was supposed to be for something really BIG, like attaining that 1 million dollar donation to open a new girl scout camp. Anyway, in my acceptance speech, I stated that I was accepting this honor early, since I intended to be a lifelong volunteer to live up to the honor.

How quickly I forget. Fast forward to two years later (now) and I am not a leader, I haven't chaired a camp in years, I don't even attend the service unit meetings, council wanted me to write a solicitation letter to get money from Glendale parents and I never got around to it (I hate asking for money), yes I'm the cookie chair, but just barely and I'm making a lot of noise that this is my last year, yes I'm still a council trainer--but just two trainings this year--outdoor camping--I hate outdoor camping--not my best stuff. I came into a little bit of money from my Aunt, so I was thinking about making a nice donation to girl scouts. Thank goodness I waited because some of my troops had left over cookies, so they could not pay council. I bought a lot of girl scout cookies this year--at least $400 worth and several troops still barely paid off council. This was a very bad cookie season and I'm not happy with how council ran it at all. I am disconnecting from girl scouts.

I just found out that I've been awarded the Thanks II Badge. In my mind you are supposed to be 600 years old and have donated millions of dollars to attain the Thanks II Badge. I have no idea why they are watering down the award so much, but what do I do now? Disconnect and go my separate way? Go to the award ceremony and push my way onto the Board of Directors? Volunteer to be the service unit chair next year, recommence training, revolunteer to be cookie chair and run a camp next spring--really what should I do?