Monday, November 28, 2005

Weebles Wobble, but they don't fall down.

So this is one of the other postures I was having trouble with the last time I went to yoga. These twisted ones kept landing me on my butt. I was determined to keep trying, at home though. At first I'd fall and get really frustrated and sit on my mat and pout. Seriously, I'm, like, four years old. But then I reminded myself that this isn't a competition, not even with myself. So, I laughed at myself instead, and that was a lot better. I've really got to remind myself to keep this a joyful practice. I've already got too many other stressors in my life. I DO honestly look forward to practicing, though. Imagine that?

Plus, practice makes better. I can do the these postures a lot better now, especially if I make sure my legs are spread really far apart. Sounds a bit counterintuitive, but it works. Maybe I should be more trusting. Anyway, I think I had learned, but forgotten, that trick in my first yoga experience on a cruise ship. I didn't fall nearly as much during yoga class on that boat. Now I've just got to gain some stability in my currently wobbly pose and also learn when to breathe. But at least now I'm confident enough to go back to class and learn something new.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Is 'Material Girl' a Christmas carol?

When the Black Friday lists came out a few weeks ago, I got a little excited over the rumored discounts. I had fleeting thoughts of getting up at the butt crack of dawn and joining the masses of crazy shoppers. They were indeed fleeting. I'm not fond of getting trampled for stuff I don't REALLY want but would buy because it's on sale! So, I've decided to go the online route. There are some presents for which I'll go to actual stores, but screaming, "Why aren't all of you people dead and out of my way!!!" is not the way to spread Christmas joy.

I've made my wishlist. If any of you are so inclined to be so utterly kind, give it a look (and all of you need to let me know if you too have set up a wishlist or have something in particular in mind--don't be shy!). But to be honest, the best gift will just be the chance to go home and see your lovely faces. And for those of you I won't see, so sad. We'll have to work on that. By the way, I've booked my flight and I will be arriving home on Tues evening Dec 20 and will be there until the evening of Jan 2.

Oh, and my favorite Christmas song is 'Blue Christmas' by Elvis Presley. LOL. "A-huh-huh-huh..." hahahaha!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

"Come on, Aileen..."

"Too-ra-loo-ra-too-ra-loo-ra-aaaaayyy" What the hell were Dexy's Midnight Runners talking about? Well, I don't know. But I do know that the too-ra bit comes from a lullaby:

"Over in Killarney, many years ago,
Me mother sang a song to me
in tones so sweet and low.
Just a simple little ditty,
in her good old Irish way.
And I'd give the world if she could sing
that song to me this day.

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Hush now don't you cry!
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, That's an Irish lullaby."

Isn't it a wee bit strange that the too-ra bit from the pop song "Come on (A)Eileen" comes from a lullaby from Killarney, Ireland and I grew up on Killarney St.? Oooh coincidence?!?!?

Yeah. It's just a coincidence. Come on, don't be such a flake.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Gobble Gobblity Goo!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am spending the holiday alone. *sigh*. Just kidding. Well, not about the alone part, but I'm not forlorn. I do wish I could see all of my family and friends though. Soon, my friends, soon.

But I do want to say that I am very and sincerely thankful for many things this year. Most of all I am thankful that I am happy.

Not to say that every day is a good one or bad thoughts don't creep into my head, but there are a lot more joyful days than there have been in recent years. So, yeah :) I'm happy. I hope you all are, too.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

More Adventures from the Yoga Studio

I took the day off today because I have to work over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I woke up stiff and a little sore from last night's yoga class. It went well except I can't do twisted triangles (pic from Yoga Journal) for shit. Frustrating, but I'll practice. After class I went ahead and bought a 12 pack of classes at the student discount. And I scheduled a massage for today at noon.

pic from The Washington Post

Thai massage, aka "Lazy man's yoga". An hour and a half of "interactive manipulation using passive stretching and massage along the body's meridians" ( Institute of Thai Massage ) resulting in a both relaxed and energized state of wowness. You lie on the floor and relax while the masseuse pushes and pulls you into positions you didn't think you could do. Until today I had never been so intimate with a homosexual man. LOL! I'll bet he massaged every inch of me, except for directly on the super no-no places. But I went in there with a little cramp in my right hip/ass area wondering if I'd get a butt massage, and DAMNED if he didn't get rid of it with his FOOT.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Beaded Blue and Silver Snowflakes

Here's my wreath for the "Decorate and Donate" silent auction at work. Money raised goes to patient families. Not bad for my first attempt at wreath decoration. (Kinda sucks that you can't see the three other beaded snowflakes very well, but it ends up being really pretty and sparkley when there is decent light.)

Cost of supplies: $10

Burn cream for my hot glue accidents (owie!): $5

Helping out a cancer patients and their families during the holiday season: Priceless

(all together now!) Aaaaawwwwwww!!!!! so sweet.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Yay! I found a good yoga class!

Since Saturday, I have had a free week trial membership at Your Body Center in Montrose, which gives me unlimited yoga, pilates, and pilates-ball classes (this is the place I mentioned in the massage post). I went to a beginners yoga class on Saturday. It was OK, but not what I was looking for. I have been looking for someone to teach me exactly how to do the asanas, or postures, correctly. I am naturally very flexible, so I'm encouraged to do more, but I don't want to hurt myself, espcially if I'm practicing on my own.

So, since I had a WHOLE free week, I decided to try this place again. This evening I went to the Ashtanga Yoga class taught by this guy named Andrew. I think it's EXACTLY what I've been looking for.

I was a little concerned at first because he was just wearing a pair of baggy jeans and a long sleeve pullover. Can you really lead a class in jeans? Turns out he doesn't really lead the class in this "Mysore" class. Basically, in this class you learn the basics really well, and each time you come back you review what you learned and learn maybe one new thing. There were maybe 6 of us there and we all went at our own pace. Everybody went ahead and started their practice while he told me what to do. I learned how to do a sun salutation and how to start learning how to breathe while I did it. First, Andrew showed me how do to the sequence. Then I did it with him a few times. Then he had me do it on my own (a little nervous about that, but it was ok). While I was working on my own, trying REALLY hard to remember the sequence, Andrew would help each of the other students. Then he'd come back to me and point out what I needed to do-- like keep my back straight or tuck in my arms. And I finally!!! learned how downward facing dog should feel when he pushed down on my lower back so my feet were flat on the ground and shifted my weight off my arms and onto my legs. On my own, a lot of weight is still on my arms (they felt a bit weak on the drive home) and my heels are still about an inch off the ground. But hopefully one day, I'll be able to do it properly.

Andrew seems nice. He was encouraging and kind, but I also sense he could be a demanding teacher. I was very pleased with this class and I hope I can go back regularly, finances permitting.

Hello, my name is Aileen and I'm addicted...

to these:
Caution: Excessive consumption may cause excessive pooping...I DON'T CARE!!! *shoveling them into my mouth*

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Losers are winners.

Today's Wednesday and you know that means? That's right, it was weighing day. Last week was a tad disappointing at a mere 1.4lb loss. But you know, massacre and all that...So this week I knew I'd have last week's real loss in addition to this week. I lost a WHOPPING 6.2lbs!!!! Even if you average that between the two weeks ((6.2 + 1.4)/2 = 3.8) it's great!
So after six weeks, I've lost 19.8 lbs!!!

But the FREAKY thing is, my coworker who is also on JC ALSO lost 6.2lbs this week! She'll be playing pick three tonight 0-6-2. Might just be a winner.

Kinda sucks that she lost that much and doesn't work out, but then again, she has more weight to lose.

So, in addtion to losing menstrual weight and eating JC food, I worked out three times this week doing yoga, stationary bike (hurts my butt!), and a Leslie Sansone brisk-walking DVD. I'm getting the hang of this regular exercise thing. My JC coworker doesn't want to exercise because she's losing weight anyway and is waiting to hit a plateau of no weight loss to do exercise. I think that's a rather silly idea because EVERYBODY regardless of size should try to make exercise a regular habit, so that it's not a chore or punishment for being fat. And when I hit a plateau, I'll go from 3 times a week to 4 or 5, or work out harder.

Oh, I forgot to mention. This week I also ate a BK whopper and a Pizza Hut personal pan pizza + three breadsticks in addition to my JC food. So, I'm not worried much about gaining weight over the holidays. There's no such thing as junk food, just junk habits.

Yay! I drew something!

So, the program I'm affliated with in school is looking for a new logo. The current one is kinda sad looking. Very...Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Only I guess this would be Charlie Brown's DNA.

I don't have the passionate hate others in the program have for it, but I admit, it is lacking. And I'd happily design something new just because I love this sort of thing. We're thinking of making program tshirts too, so this little fragment just won't do. We need something that has impact and clearly represents a human and molecular genetics program.

So, I designed this.

I think it's pretty. It can be simple in black and white and even simpler and stylized if the bases (rungs) are removed. But it also has potential for lots of color. I made a colorized sketch but it ended up looking super gay because the backbone was purple and the 4 bases were red, blue, yellow, and green. Way too rainbow. Perhaps if the backbone weren't purple, it wouldn't be too gay. Anyway, I don't care too much about the color. I don't terribly care about the lettering for the name of the program either. I don't have any clever font ideas for that.

My only concerns with the drawing:

1) the person (it's a woman, by the way. look at those hips! and the angle of the arms!) appears trapped inside the helix. My coworker said it could represent the fact that we're stuck with the genes we're given. I'll take that, sure.

2) the position of the arms make it look like she's saying, "Eh, I don't know". But the position is typical anatomical position, so I'll take that, too. Sometimes it looks like an accepting, welcoming arm pose, so that's pretty good, too.

Well, I hope this gets chosen with great enthusiasm. If not, one of my lab mates have already expressed an interest in getting nerdy tshirts with this on it anyway. I've got iron-on transfers so that might happen regardless. So, all is pretty good.

Oh, one more thing. I drew this by hand with guidance from illustrations off the internet. It combines a number of different drawings, none of them with the particular idea of a person inside a helix, so I feel this is unique. The only bad part of the process was that I TOTALLY SUCK at photoshop, so if any ahem, EXPERTS in the field would like to teach me, I am a willing student.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Please leave a message after the blog.

For my legions of fans who number in the THOUS-, no, HUNDR--... eh, handful? I have now set it so that you don't have to be a registered blogger to post a comment. One less thing.

Friday, November 11, 2005

There's the rub

I've decided to reward myself with something special for every 20lbs I lose. And considering I have 10bajillionlbs to lose, that's a lot of rewards.

So, my first reward is going to be a massage. (Yes, I know I don't really like strangers or even well known people touching me much, but massages are different, decadent, and not tickly.) I did a search for day spas in Houston and came across one that had a coupon for a FREE massage. So, of course, all day I've been all excited at the prospect of a FREE massage. I knew there had to be a catch, so I called the spa. The very sweet Australian lady who answered the phone unfortunately, but very politely, informed me that I don't know how to read the coupon. You have to become a member and pay a monthly fee to get a free massage.


Oh well, I'm still on the search for a massage. I think I may have found a place. They offer yoga, too, and their prices are more affordable. All is well.

Oh yeah, I've lost 13.6 lbs so far. But, I think I have lost a little more. I really think my weight was skewed because there was a massacre at the Y this week. EW!!!! I'm so unladlylike sometimes I even gross myself out.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


So, if I did jump out of cakes and call myself Superfine Sugar, do you know what I would be? That's right, I'd be...

Gateau Fabulous

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Hilarious at 3AM

If I jumped out of cakes for a living, my stage name would be Superfine Sugar.
Not very high in nutritional value, but 100% of your daily allowance of DELICIOUS*.

*adapted from toothpaste for clickably addictive!

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Uh, Mr. Gibson...Halloween is over. Stop scaring me.

All I want for Christmas...are some expensive things

Christmas Coveting Thingies

1. Gucci Envy Me Eau de Toilette 1.7oz Make me smell good! Please? People have started to complain.

2a. XM2Go More variety from satellite music suits me better than an ipod.
2b. Don't forget the service plan! A year would be nice!

3. Tommy Bahama Ladies Havana Rose Gold watch Mmmm...purrrrrty watch. I promise I'll wear it!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

"Bring the car 'round, Jeeves. I've got a coupon for ramen noodles."

I like getting produce at Houston's haughty taughty grocery store, Central Market. They actually have a huge selection at reasonable prices. Most of the apples I like at Kroger are 1.49/lb and also at CM. But whereas Kroger has maybe 4 kinds, CM has 14 and they're better quality. Grape tomatoes at CM are actually cheaper at 1.99/pint than Kroger's 2.99/pint and they're sweeter. AND CM has the weird tropical fruit that Fiesta carries, minus the fruit flies loitering around the onion bin.

So anyway, point is, I will NOT feel out of place for being the poor kid shopping at the rich people's grocery store. Most of the time, I don't even think about it (until some snob who can't look down the length of her nose starts steering her cart right at me. Watch where you're going snobby lady!).

And I think about it when I spot things like this. This evening I came across a car in the parking lot with one of these on the hood.

But of course, it makes me wonder, "Why did they drive THAT to the store? And if that is their grocery-getter, what do they drive for special occasions?" The world may never know.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Weigh? No weigh! Like totally, WEIGH. *Flips hair*

Got weighed today at JC. After 4 weeks, I've loss 12.2lbs. YAY!*Does a happy dance*

Doing the happy dance counts as exercise, right?

Anyway, jeans that were way too tight are now just a little tight. Unfortunately, those pair got torn in the washer. Ain't that some shit? Oh well, YAY for me! Only 10bajillion more pounds to go. (But first, it's time for some cheatin' or chinese food sounds pretty good!)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

He wears a disguise, he looks like human guys, but he's not a man. He's a chicken boo.

So, yesterday was Halloween. My brother, Edward, and his wife, Rachel, (who have blogs also--please refer to side links) dressed their doggy, Bishop, as Superman. I hear Bishop loves to wear clothes. Rachel asked if I dressed up my cat (previously their cat), Butters, in a costume. Butters hasn't lived here in Houston with me since May, when I dropped her off to live with Ma and Pa in Maryland. I thought I would be moving back to the east coast soon and it would be UTTER hell to drive 23 hours with that WAILING cat in her carrier.

But, if I did dress Butters for Halloween, I don't think she would have liked that very much. This is what she looked like when I "dressed" her up for Jesus Christ's Birthday...and that was just a hat.

Maybe it's a cat thing? Dogs seem to take clothes wearing a lot easier.

Kane, Ma and Pa's dog, wore the hat with little complaint. But then again, he also wears a retard harness all day, too. Maybe we should give him a helmet one day, and call him Phillip the Hyper Hypo, but I doubt we'd ever find a helmet big enough for his GIANT noggin.