Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cooking and Science Projects...

During my IBM days, I had a fellow co-worker tell me that if you were good in chemistry, you can be an excellent chef.  The co-worker's belief is that both chemistry and cooking required a recipe.  If you could follow the recipe for making something in chemistry, then you can do the same with cooking.

To a certain degree, I have to agree with that.  Many a kitchen is used for experimenting with different ingredients and various dishes.  For me, and others, the kitchen is the laboratory.

I have a fondness for the cinnamon roasted nuts at the hockey games.  A friend got me the recipe for cinnamon glazed nuts, aka Rodeo Nuts.  While I really like the outcome of this recipe, it is not quite the same as the nuts I get from the AAC.  

As I gathered items for munching for New Year's Eve/Day, I came upon a recipe that incorporated not only cinnamon, but nutmeg and clove for the "spiced" nuts.  I thought about it and decided to try adding a bit of the nutmeg and clove to the cinnamon glazed nut recipe.

As always, when making these nuts, the apartment has this wonderful cinnamon aroma.  No need for candles when I prepare this recipe.   The scent of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove fills the apartment.

The finished product tastes a lot like what I get at the hockey game, but I probably need to try a few more times.  Still, it is fun to change up a recipe to achieve something that tastes good.

Next "project" will be to create a different kind of spice nut.  It will have a bit more "spicy" than sweet.  The ingredients include black pepper, cayenne, and cumin.  I figure I should give it a shot and try it out.  

I was never very good at chemistry when I was in high school.  Maybe it was because I was at that awkward sophomore age and everything just was not clicking as it should.  Who knows.  

What I do know, as I got older, I began to gain an interest in cooking.  To be honest, I figured the only things I could cook decently were cakes, rolls, and some main dishes.  When I moved out of my parents home, I realized it was advantageous for me to cook.  It was cost effective as well as keeping me aware of what was in the food I was eating.

I watched a ton of cooking programs and tried various things.  I do remember suggesting doing various dishes when I was at home and my mom did not want me messing up the kitchen.  She did not want me burning things in her pots and pans.  Hey - it happens.

After awhile, I began to realize we all make mistakes.  Sometimes, you have to throw out your mistakes and try again.  With food, I would eat the mistakes to remind myself of what I did not want to do again.

Cooking is a lot like science.  In fact, there is a lot of science to it, if you pay a lot of attention.  As I told Random Cathy one day around Thanksgiving, I loved cooking with cranberries in order to watch/hear them pop.  I felt like the mad scientist.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Remake/Remodel - A Year Review...

How time flies when you are having fun...

This year certainly has been a quick one - it is already December 27th and it is almost done.  It has been an interesting ride.  I feel I have been able to make some changes and keep them permanent.  There are other aspects where the thoughts and theories fell apart.

I did manage to lose approximately 35 lbs from January to mid-March.  I would say when I hit that mark, I got both discouraged and lazy.  I began to start picking up weight.  The discouragement became worse in June when I had the lower back issues and could barely walk.  I had a very deep fear of exercising after that point.  I cannot deny that.

At this time, I am sort of gliding into 2015 and just trying to maintain what I have.  I will start over with being a bit more conscientious about exercising and eating better.  It is very easy to slide back into horrible habits.  I need to focus more on avoiding that sort of slippage.

Am I happier with myself?  I would like to say that I am a stronger person.  I am not going to hide from those things I have done wrong, but I am not going to beat myself up for it, either.  Life is about learning from your mistakes.  Knowing when you have done wrong, then how to correct that from happening again.

However, am I happier?  I would say I am happier.  I moved work positions into one with a hell of a lot less stress, for the moment.  I think that makes me much happier.  I do have my frustrations with the new position, but I remind myself from where I had been.  I am grateful to be away from that.

Things I would change?  Well, I did my adventure in being a hockey season ticket holder.  While I realize that the Dallas Stars are not doing so well this season, I began to realize that the schedule can be a bit of a strain.  I would do well with going to a game once or twice a week, but definitely not three times a week.  Also, with the various bills, monetarily, it makes no sense to invest in season tickets again next year.  I may do some special event games next year, but I won't be doing the season tickets until I am really ready.

I have loved having a personal trainer to help me with my goals.  I have learned about a lot of various weight lifting exercises.  Unfortunately, I either need to kick myself in the ass or drop the trainer if I am not achieving the weight loss goals I want.  I love the trainer to death, so I know it is more me kicking myself in the ass to get what I want done.  I definitely need to go to the gym more often and quit being so subconscious about it.  I am there to help me - not be seen as a circus act.  That is the piece I need to get into my head.

I find myself wanting to move away from materialistic things to enjoying experiences.  Granted, I thought of making a list in OneNote detailing the materialistic things I would like to have some day.  Not really a bucket list, but a list of those things I would like to have.  At the same time, make a list of the experiences I would love to try.  Right now, I will say - don't anyone suggest Ziplining - that simply is not going to happen.  I have no interest.  

Cash jar - what happened with that?  Of all of the things I did, I successfully followed through with doing this and it turned out great.  By the time Christmas was around, I had $1200 in cash.  The part I need to work on regarding the cash jar is how and who I spent it.  This year was actually my "Thank You" presents for those people who gave me presents when I did not have one to give to them.  Basically, people I seriously do not know that well and are only in my life for a brief period.  It was my last present to give to them as I do not wish anymore presents from them.  I do not need any presents that are vanilla scented colognes or lotions as well as candy.  Items that simply sit and gather dust are not of my use.  I would prefer to get a simple gift card to a restaurant or movie theatre.  For these people, I would prefer nothing at all because they do not owe me anything.  We are not close family and I take that for what it is worth.  I do not care what others think.  Also, I think a lot like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, if I get a present, then you have that obligation to get the other person a gift.  So imagine my uncomfortableness when I got presents of things I do not need and had nothing to give in return?

I think avoiding going to my parents' home for Christmas holidays would be a better fix for this issue.  As I said, this year was my last year for presents to those I really do not know well.  My close friends deserve better and I felt badly about that.  That will be what changes next year.  I will still do the cash jar because it does make sense.  Also, it made me feel good about saving money.

Money problems?  Well, not very happy with my debt at the moment, so some drastic changes have to be made.  Between paying for medications for me and Chloe and both of us having to see doctors and have expensive bills, it has been an expensive year.  So, to help me for the future, I am looking to do a spending fast.  

Overall, it has been a very interesting year.  I hope that next year I can bring about more positive changes.  I will detail all of that in my January 1, 2015 post!

"The Imitation Game"

Yesterday afternoon, I went over to the AMC 24 at Stonebriar mall.  I had bought a ticket to see The Imitation Game this Sunday before seeing The Hobbit:  Battle of the Five Armies on Monday.  At the time, it stated that the theater room was 18, but when I got there, not only had the time changed, but even the room.  I was glad I had arrived early, so that I could look around the whole theater for where the movie was actually going to be showing.

Why such interest in this movie?  I was channel surfing and landed on KERA (PBS).  The channel had been showing The Bletchley Circle, a show about a group of women who worked at the code breaking center in the UK.  Seems that the popularity of the show stirred up an interest in documentaries about cryptology and spying.  This particular evening, the documentary was about Alan Turing and how he and his team broke the Enigma machine during WWII from his design of the Turing machine, a very early computer.  Computers today are considered modern day Turning machines.

I watched the movie with a lot of interest.  I do not feel I can say enough about how much I loved this movie.  The movie is based about how Alan Turing came to be hired at Bletchley to work on breaking the Enigma machine.  Also, the movie describes Alan's past and how such a gifted man was a bit quirky and not very social.  It reminded me a bit of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.  I felt the pain he had for being someone with a bit of OCD and due to not being very social, it caused him to always be alone and co-workers hated working for him.  

The movie begins in 1951, when Alan is being interviewed for having paid a man for a sexual encounter.  The investigator, as you learn, is interested in what Alan did during the war as he finds that there is no information on Alan.  As Alan tells his tale of what he did during the war, the movie goes from 1939, when he goes to the interview for the position, and further back to Alan's school years to provide a bit more background.

When Joan Clarke enters the scene, you see how Alan and Joan help each other.  He helps Joan to leave her parents home to work at Bletchley Circle and help him with deciphering the code.  Joan, in turn, helps him with his social skills - allowing the team to come together and support Alan when Alan is about to be fired as the Turing machine had not made much progress.

I won't go into much more detail as I do not wish to ruin the movie.  I cannot recommend seeing this movie enough.  It is a very touching tale about Alan Turing.  There are funny moments as well as sad.  This will definitely be a movie I will be purchasing on-line to watch over and over.  It is just that damn good.

And see, no mention of Benedict Cumberbatch...until now.  Benedict and Kiera Knightley gave outstanding performances.  I would like to see them win an Oscar for their roles.

In other movie news, I see that a sequel will be out in March for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  Seems like a second hotel is started up and the same cast of characters are back with a few extras.  I loved the first one so much.  

Another movie I would love to see is The Woman in Gold.  It has Helen Mirren and it is about a woman who had to leave Austria during WWII and the painting done of her aunt was captured by the Nazis.  The Austria goverment recovers it and wishes to keep it, but she wants to fight for what is rightfully hers.  Looks to be a really good movie as well.

Paddington Bear seems to be a really cute movie from the trailer. 

Perhaps, 2015 will be the year I attend more movies than I have done in the past.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Reflecting Upon Christmas...

As I do every holiday, I called various family friends and family.  Most were surprised to hear that I was spending the holiday alone.  I got a lot of how sorry they were, but there was no reason for that.  To be very honest, this was probably the very best Christmas in quite a long while.

Everyone was so surprised over that.  Sure, I could say it sucked when I figured out I had a stomach virus and felt so drained.  Things I wanted to do, I was unable to get done.  There was a lot of good for the day, which is what I focused.

I was a bit late getting dinner started.  Due to the stomach bug I had, I was either in the bathroom or resting on the bed, trying to regain some energy.  I had wanted to get my prime rib roast out to get to room temperature at 10 AM.  I was behind by 2.5 hours.  The process to allow the meat to reach room temperature took 3 hours - even then it was not at "room temperature" according to the digital probe I use for cooking meats.

Unlike the first time I ever cooked a prime rib roast, it only took about 3 hours to cook.  My first time, it took 10 hours!  I think by changing the process as well, that made a huge difference.  The first time, I went the slow cooking route and was promised a 4 hour cook time.  That process was to cook the meat for 20 minutes at 450 degrees.  Next, crank up the heat to 500 degrees and allow to cook for another 10 minutes, then turn off the oven.  You allow the meat to cook while the oven is cooling off.

This time, I followed the traditional cooking process.  Crank the oven to 450 degrees and cook for 20 minutes.  Next, drop the cooking temp to 325 degrees and allow to cook until the thermometer reached 120 degrees.  Take the roast out, cover, and the meat continues to cook to reach 130 degrees for medium rare.  I allowed it to go to 140 degrees, so it would be 150 degrees - i would have a little pink.  

The roast was cooked perfectly and came out wonderfully as well.  Also, it was not 10 PM before I ate, either!  More like 8 PM, which is fine for me.

I baked a ring of coconut cake for dessert, steamed fresh green beans, made rolls from scratch, and baked a potato.  I was quite happy with my meal!  

I enjoyed giving the dogs their presents.  Happy faces and excitement over new toys!  What I miss with not having children, I can see in my dogs' faces.  That part of Christmas I really treasure.

The very selfish part of me enjoyed the ability to do what I wanted to do.  It was not a decision that was made by someone else.  I was able to listen to The Ticket's Christmas Spectacular - Dallas Morning News Electronic Editor, Robert Wilonsky, takes over the airways to play Christmas songs or versions of traditional Christmas songs that you would not normally hear over the regular radio stations.  I heard some funky Christmas songs that made me tap my foot.  Jammed to those Christmas songs with a rock beat.  Was enormously touched by Sarah Jaffe's version of "O Holy Night" at the end of the show.  Definitely something I want to remember to do next year.

After that, Robert Wilonsky did a really cool obscure rock show where he played some deep cut bootlegs and such from the past.  I was particularly rocked when he played Dallas popular 80's band, The Judys, song "High Society."  I had to contact my previous boss, John, and let him know.  He had been a huge fan back during that time.  It was fun!

I took in the peace and quiet to reflect on the past year, make some decisions regarding what to do next year to improve my life, and simply enjoy no drama or guilt.  Granted, I still had that other mess from Monday night hanging over my head.  While I wish I had better answers, the bottom line is that it was all similar to those things we read about in the Bible and history - Mob Mentality.  It has no sense and the purpose is only for hurt.  As for the one that dropped me as a friend, well, I also realized that person had no true loyalty as long as there was something to benefit.  That time had passed and it is time to let go.  Maybe, here is where I learn about forgiveness - I have no ill will towards this person, I do have the knowledge of the true self.  There was a purpose in the friendship and now, it is time to move on.  Just a shame it has to end on an ugly note.

So, now, my plans for the next several days is to clean, clean, and clean.  Clear clutter and gather items to take to GoodWill and donate old clothes.  Take papers to a public shredder to get rid of that clutter.  Make a huge dent and devote January for really "cleaning out and starting fresh."  Not having to deal with work will help make all of that easier to do.  

Today, I will be seeing "The Imitation Game."  This is another movie that I am very excited to see.  In fact, I will work on writing up a review.  I promise, it will not be a review about how dreamy Benedict Cumberbatch is.  I am almost 50 years old - he is adorable, but my interest is in the story of Alan Turing.  Any geek/nerd should want to see this, but I think a little bit of a history buff needs to be in that mix.  Sounds like me.  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas...

Merry Christmas, everyone!

 This year, I am staying at my home and reflecting upon the past year.  I hope to look at what I have done/accomplished, evaluate areas of improvement, and set new goals for the upcoming year.  Also, I want to sit down and take stock in what is important in life.

Last night, I took a friend I have known for almost 20 years to dinner.  She is experiencing some difficult times and happier that she was my dinner guest than someone else.  That person has some pretty toxic stuff going on and nothing seems to change with her.  As I did last year, I examined her situation and there is not anything I can really do for her.  Yes, I go to dinner with her once a week to hear about her son and work.  I cannot change how things are going for her.  As I did for myself, she needs to search out opportunities for positive change.  Allowing yourself to tumble into a downward spiral is something you do to yourself - others really cannot help you.  I learned this.

Still, I feel sad for her and hope that the upcoming new year is much better for her.  Perhaps, that would lighten her mood as well as encourage her to make some effort to not be so dowdy.

This friend had me in stitches as she discussed the cruise she took with a friend of hers.  (My friend's ride on the cruise was paid for by this friend.)  I felt awful that she had some difficulty with her friend, but it sounded like it was written for a comedy show.

She enjoyed the meal as well as I did.  (Unfortunately, my digestive system has taken issue with that this morning.)  I also made her a pan of fudge.  She loves it and always asks for it during the holidays.  Since it is fairly easy to make, I really cannot deny doing it for her.

As I began thinking about Christmas and presents, I realized that while there are some objects I would love to have, I probably would enjoy experiences more than anything else.  For example, back in the 1980's, Fort Worth had a restaurant called Harrigan's.  The food was always very good and the place was well known for its cheese rolls.  It became tradition in our house to get dressed up for Christmas Eve dinner and head to Harrigan's.  We would order fried zucchini slices with honey mustard dressing, prime rib, baked potato, and a salad.  Never ordered dessert because mom had already had some sort of cake baked at home - either ring of coconut, coca-cola cake, or chocolate candy cake.  

It was a fun tradition.  It was nice to get dressed up and feel like you were truly celebrating.  Harrigans's shutdown sometime in late 1990's or early 2000's.  At that point, my mom had started not feeling well enough to go out for holiday dinner.  I still missed it and had always tried to go back to doing it.

I have tried in some form or fashion since my mother passed away.  In some small way, recapture that feeling of tradition.  My father never seems interested - it costs too much or whatever.  But, this year, I was determined to do something that would really make me feel good.  Otherwise, the holiday is simply lost on me.

The original plan was that I would do this alone.  I was fine with eating alone; I have done that in the past just for some peace and quiet to relax.  However, my sullen friend wanted to join me.  I think when she asked if I was going to dress up and I said I would, it deterred her.  I really felt from her response that she wanted nothing to do with getting dressed up, but requested a 5 PM reservation.  Yesterday morning, she texted me that she was feeling ill and would not make it.

I thought about it and decided to ask my other friend if she wanted to go.  She had wanted to meet up for coffee for something, so why not this and I was up for paying for her meal.  I am so glad it worked out like that.  She dressed up and met me at the restaurant.  Since the place was one of those Brazilian steakhouses, she insisted on having filet mignon.  Every time one of the guys in gauchos showed up with some meat, her response was always "Filet Mignon, please?"  It really got to be hilarious, but she was always very sweet and nice about it.

While talking and really enjoying our meal, we decided that we should make that a tradition between the two of us.  Get dressed up and meet for a nice meal and have a good time.  I could not agree more.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Friendships Come and Go...

You would think at this age, I would get the idea that friendships come and go.  Some people live for the drama that others produce.  Maybe that is how soap operas got their popularity?

I do not like being treated as a pawn in some weird game.  When people post their ugly laundry regarding divorces and the like in hopes of gaining some sort of "team" to fight against another person, it is simply sad.  For this particular piece of drama, I refuse to take sides.  It is all very ugly and I simply do not see any thing getting better of the situation.

When I take offense to the girlfriend posting all of this commentary, I become the villain because everyone wants to make the other person look like some sort of evil incarnate.  Really?  Of all of the world's problems, you choose *this* to make a stand?

The difficult part is making sure I truly am not siding for one or the other.  I can see the difficulty one would have judging people, so I choose not to side.  For those who have chosen their side, I am more shocked at how cruel they were.  One unfriended me, but I look at it like this - I see your loyalty for what it truly is - fair weathered - never thinking once about how I stood by and supported you through various trials and tribulations.

Divorce is ugly.  That is all I can say for it.  Sometimes, I feel that many people do not take marriage seriously enough.  Perhaps, rather than having the words:

to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

Change it to:

Until I get sick of you and your petty garbage.

Does not sound so nice, but these days, it comes down to that.  No one wants to work at a marriage.  The truth be known, people need to quit telling those happy ending stories about the prince and the princess - you never hear about what happened after they got married.  What a horrible cheater the prince was, how the princess stole things from the prince, or how the prince beat the princess on a daily basis.

However, to lose friendships over this?  Well, I am probably better off without all of that.  I appreciate the people in my life who have gone through divorce and kept that garbage off of FB.  They did not feel the need to create "teams". 

What in the hell is that, anyway?  Freaking high school?!  This is real life, people!!!  It is not a cartoon and people hurt.   

Time to move on and up...

Friday, December 19, 2014


Looking at one's self in the mirror can be quite a sobering experience.  As I was applying make-up the other day, I realized how many wrinkles I have.  The worst ones are the wrinkles around my lips.  It is pretty annoying to have a great lip color on and it bleeds into the lines.

This past Sunday, before attending the Fleetwood Mac concert, I got a hair cut.  Once I was finished there, I went to Sephora to look around at the various Christmas special packages.  Nothing really hit me for something I just had to have.  I did see some advanced lip repair by Fresh Sugar.  It is supposed to diminish the lines around your lips.  I bought it along with Philosophy's Overnight Miracle Worker.

The research I did on the Fresh Sugar Advanced Lip Care indicated it was the top choice by Good Housekeeping.  I did not find anything on the Overnight Miracle Worker, but I put some thought into it.  

Starting in January, I am going to start regularly using these two products for about a month.  I want to see if there is any difference.  I also have some Laura Mercier Anti-Aging skin care products.  I may try that package to see if it makes a difference.

I am not interested in getting botox or anything like that.  If over the counter products can reduce some of the wrinkles, then I am okay with that.

I am also plan to get back on my water kick.  I think when I did that earlier in the year, it actually worked wonders.  My joints were not hurting and my skin did look better.

Here is to another adventure...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

FitBit Challenges...

When it comes to physical activity, I have never been a "winner."  I was always taunted, due to my weight, in school for being slow.  That is probably why I hated physical activity - it was never fun for me.  I always had to deal with other kids making fun of me for being overweight, thus slow.  The only time I was truly wanted was for "tug-o-war" games.

When I got to high school, band allowed me to forgo the regular PE courses that everyone else I had to take.  By the time I quit band as a Senior, I no longer was required to have PE.  

In college, I was back to square one - having to run for my physical education credits.  During the course, the class was introduced to circuit and weight training.  There, I had some interest.  I had even lost some weight during that first semester, rather than gaining the "Freshman 15."

The second semester, I signed up for racquetball.  Very odd for me, I know, but I liked watching people play, so I wanted to try.  I was not great at it, but I loved it.  I could not wait to get to class and play, even though I lost a lot of games.  For me, it was a lot of fun and I did sweat a lot by running about that little room.  That summer, my parents allowed me to take racquetball again because I enjoyed it so much.

The Spring semester, I signed up to learn to play tennis.  Again, I have fond memories of playing tennis.  I was not the greatest, but I really enjoyed it.  Winning just was not important to me.  I just enjoyed hitting the ball and learning the game.

Recently, a friend I have known for awhile invited me to a FitBit Weekend Warrior challenge.  My first reaction was to back away, but I got to thinking about it.  The honest truth was that I needed motivation to make my daily step goal and recently, I just was not doing it.  I was not being active enough.

So, I have joined my "virtual" friends in doing various FitBit challenges.  My main goal is to motivate myself into making sure I, at the very least, get my 10,000 steps done each day.  Some days, I actually get into the lead position.  Not often, but when I do, I feel good about that day's progress.  I tried and got somewhere.  However, the big goal for me is to make sure I keep up a streak of doing 10,000 steps per day.

Maybe all of this activity has a positive effect on my attitude?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner a Week Later...

Maybe I am just picky, but I do not think I have ever had a Thanksgiving dinner like my mom would make.  Actually, when my mother was alive, we tried several times to get prepared Thanksgiving dinners and nothing ever really met the expectations we had.  

One year, I was working day and night around the holidays due to a project that had been installed.  Unfortunately, that project required quite a bit of baby sitting in the beginning.  That Thanksgiving, my parents had ordered the Thanksgiving dinner from Albertsons.  I got to their home rather late and everything was still in the oven keeping warm.  My mother started apologizing for how bad the meal was.  And she was right, it was pretty awful.  So, we marked Albertsons off the list for possible Thanksgiving dinners.

Another year, I cannot remember why, but I think we ran out of leftovers for Thanksgiving fairly quickly.  Oddly enough, we still wanted more turkey, dressing, and etc.  So, we tried Thanksgiving dinner from Boston Market, Black Eyed Pea, and Cracker Barrel.   Cracker Barrel offered both turkey and ham with their meal, but the ham was really salty.  Black Eyed Pea was okay, but not quite like mom's.  Boston Market, while the turkey was delicious, the dressing with carrots in it was not appetizing.  My mom and I were highly critical.  LOL

For the last few years of my mom's life, my mom would come into the kitchen when she could to see how everything was coming together.  I would make the rolls from scratch, prepare everything for the dressing, work on the candied yams, and help my father season the turkey.  The last two Thanksgivings that my mother was alive, my father and I would put together the entire dinner.  The last one with her, she told me what a wonderful job I had done.

After my mother's passing, my father and I went to visit long time friends for Thanksgiving.  It was nice to share the time with them, but it just was not the same.  For Christmas that year, I ordered a brined turkey from Central Market and prepared turkey and dressing for dinner.  In that case, it was pretty much like mom's Thanksgiving dinner.

The following year, I ordered Thanksgiving dinner from Bread Winner's.  To be honest, there was a good deal of food, but it was only enough for one meal.  No left overs.  My father and I ate early, so that evening I was hungry.  My father met with his friend that evening and had another Thanksgiving dinner at Golden Corral.  

I was terribly frustrated with having been left at home by myself and there was nothing to eat.  Then, it hit me - try the Thanksgiving dinner given by Buca di Beppo.  I know - the Italian restaurant making Thanksgiving dinner?  It was actually very awesome!  It cost me a little less than the one I got from Bread Winners and I actually had left overs for a few days!  It was really a wonderful dinner and if, in a pinch, I had to get Thanksgiving dinner elsewhere, I would definitely go there.

This year, Thanksgiving just was not the same without my mom.  I had no leftovers to eat and I missed that.  So, I bought a turkey breast and will be working on making my own Thanksgiving dinner today.  Albeit, it is a week or so late, this is my own tribute to my mother.  As I reflect upon the years, it was really my mom that made the holidays so very special.  I wish she was still here.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Weighting Game...

You know the old saying:

You did not put it on overnight, so it won't come off overnight.

Working on weight loss takes a great deal of patience.  Sometimes, I just do not have it.  I get frustrated with others as well as myself.  I see the articles where a 400 lb person lost 200 lbs.  Then, again, I see it took years, so I have to step back and reflect on where I am.

Right now, it is up and down.  That part is frustrating.  I get more frustrated when I work hard and nothing seems to be working in the right direction.

I must remind myself each day that I am getting stronger, learning how to eat better, and have patience with what is going on in my life.  Short cuts do not help - I have to do it the hard way.

I must keep at it each day.  That is all there is.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hmmm...Is the Rest of the Country Not Considered Cultured Enough?

For months, I have been waiting to see the movie, The Imitation Game.  Yes, I think Benedict Cumberbatch is a great actor and cute, but this was more because I was interested in the story about how the British created a machine to break the German code.

A few months ago, I was sitting at home watching PBS.  There was a whole series dedicated to "spies".  This particular episode was about how the British broke the German code using the enigma machine.  I learned of Alan Turing and the group that worked on that.  It was really interesting.

So, I saw the trailers for this movie about the same time.  I thought - this is awesome!  I loved movies like this.  I waited for the release date and it was slated for release in the US on November 28th.  Cool - the day after Thanksgiving - that works for me!

After Thanksgiving, I went in search of where and what time I would be able to see the movie.  I checked Fandango and Moviefone - Unbelievable!  The only theaters showing the movie near me:  Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY.  WTF?!

I thought about it for awhile.  Cumberbatch will probably be up for an Oscar and the reviews I have seen are excellent for the movie.  I thought about and figured out that this is going to be like The King's Speech and Gosford Park - wait until after the holidays to open it up to everyone.

My question - WHY?  Why do this?  Why is it that everything is tested on the East and West coast and everything in between is treated as if showing there is beneath them. 

It is just like with musical acts.  Some just do not want to come to Dallas for whatever reason.  It is not like there are no fans here - there are.  Just be smart and select venues where it is reasonable to perform.

However, a movie like this one, I would have gotten dressed up to go to the Anglicka at Legacy to see the movie.  I find it pretty frustrating.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Friendship Breakdowns...

I came across this article today and talk about hitting home - more than once:

When Friendship is Lost... 

Several times in my life, various people have dropped out of my life for one reason or another.  One friend was at least honest with me - she ended our friendship because I was never on time.  I would see her occasionally in the mall and just want to catch up, but she was always very cold.  The last time I saw her, I decided it was time to just drop it.

Another college/work friend dropped out of my life, even when I reached out several times.  I got to the point where I stopped.  She still accepted my LinkedIn contact, but generally speaking, her ex-husband stated that if I had nothing to offer her career-wise, she was letting go of such contacts.  It was not that I was a bad person or did anything wrong, according to him.  This friend was just looking to connect with those who could help her move up in her career.

I felt the author's same feelings of confusion.  You try to reach out and apologize for being an idiot, but the other side never responds.  It is more frustrating because you really do not know what sort of boneheaded thing you did and how you can rectify that issue.

There are others who I wish I were still in touch, but have just had to learn that the friendship is over and that is it.  I will always cherish the fun times and keep fond memories, but to pursue is not a good choice.

As the author states, it is easier to handle when it was a romantic partner.  When it is a friend, one you confide in, it is really hard to handle.