Archive | February, 2013

I’m Sorry My Dog is an Asshole

27 Feb

Dearest Neighbors,

As a Chicago resident of three years, I have quickly learned what is and isn’t acceptable as a dog owner. Through the vast amount of learning experiences (including how to properly tie a poop bag) with our past 8 fosters and 1 forever dog, I am confident that, for the most part, I live up to the nominal standards you have come to expect.

But my dog… well, she’s just an asshole.

Look, I was never one for those “princess” dogs. I’m not a fan of putting bows in her hair, and I certainly didn’t dye her fur pink like a certain other dog owner in our building. Frankly, how we ended up with a chihuahua with blonde, flowing locks is beyond me. We started off with this awesome pittie mix, but here we are with the stereotypical, Paris Hilton dog. And for the most part, she lives up to the reputation her breed has instilled.

Maybe it’s because she’s Latina and she has yet to climate to the colder weather. Maybe it’s because we kept her name Vanna White (shelter volunteer gave her that because of her chirping and model-like shaking of her hair). Maybe it’s because her father coddles her. Whatever it is, we have turned Vanna, the chi, in to a real prissy monster.

So, here’s a blanket apology. We’re the damn dog and owner who continually leaves little pee ice patches on your sidewalks. And we are the unfortunate makers of the poop marks on the sidewalk. We’re also the dog and owner that have to take the elevator up two floors. We are that dog.

See, I feel shame. Every. Single. Time. Vanna refuses to touch her precious puppy paws on the snowy ground and instead finds a warmer spot on the sidewalk, I play it cool by pretending that I am not the one holding on to her leash. You’ve seen me out there. I’m the girl trying to hurry her up so we’re not spotted by other, better dog owners in our neighborhood. Yet, Vanna takes her precious time and then looks up at me with PRIDE. I have no clue why. She just loves to pee on the sidewalk.

As for poop, she’s a traveler. Not content to get it done in one spot, she’ll travel over 100 feet if she has to. No, she isn’t constipated. She just likes to make sure that every block of cement has been touched by her “gifts.” I trail behind her, head lowered, cursing under my breath, with a plastic bag and a broken ego.

I wish I could say that it will get better when Spring comes. But it wont. She equally hates the mud. And if it isn’t the mud, she’ll still proclaim herself too good for the grassy park and pop her squats on the public sidewalk. Even better, she’ll do it near the bus stop. She really hates those f-ing peasants who take the bus to work.

I cant blame it all on her. Of course, I know that I could force her pansy-ass on to the grassy patches or carry her to a designated spot. But have you seen a small dog just stand there in snow, shaking? No? Well, it’s the most pathetic thing I’ve ever seen. And Vanna knows how to play it. It’s the same look she gives me when we try to force her to walk up or down our apartment stairs. It’s the “WTF do you want me to do!” or the “You’re the meanest people ever!” stare that gets teenagers out of jail.

I cant promise that we will do better or try harder to humble or shame her. It’s just not going to happen. That girl will piss all over the yellow brick road of the rainbow bridge if given a chance. I dont know why she would eventually think that the grass of Uptown would be much better.

For now, I’ll just pretend to be as equally disgusted as you are while she shamelessly defiles walkways after walkways. My dog is just that asshole. I’m sorry.

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So much to say…

21 Feb

… and no motivation to do it.

It took me about 5 minutes to fully write that sentence, btw.

Anyways, facing/faced some fears this week.

First, and most importantly, I am dealing with my flight or fight instinct. My natural tendency has always been and most likely always will be to flee. I dont necessarily think of this as bad, though many of you will disagree.

I’m not going to sugarcoat things. My job is BAD. I am an ambitious, persistent worker with a ton of experience and drive for my field. Yet, the current position I am in is not letting me take a command over my profession (i.e. doing admissions and academic advising for a master’s program). While my peers in similar departments as mine receive job promotions, better titles, and actual responsibilities, I am left feeling like a secretary who is constantly being looked over. Yet, my performance reviews and my loyalty to the school I work for show that I am capable of so much more.

So I apply. But as many of you know, this is a world of “nos” these days, especially to people in my situation: Bachelor’s degree in another field (in my case teaching), 3+ years of experience, yet working a job way under my performance and skill level. No one wants to hire someone who looks like they’ve been doing nothing but filing paperwork or drafting meeting minutes.

I’ve become a LinkedIn junkie over the last year. I join women’s networking groups and am constantly updating my resume on other career sites. All the while, I am diligently searching for just one break in a pile of positions either above or below me.

But my heart isn’t in it. After two years of actively trying to get out of what I am doing, I am exhausted. I recognize that I am blessed to have a full time job as flexible as mine. Yet, all I can think of is the travel I should be doing now, the people I should be meeting, the life I should be pushing aside for just some kind of adventure. 

This weekend, I was faced with the choice of staying longer and continuing to build my life here, or to leave immediately and pay for the consequences later. There were bigger, more personal, factors at play, but I ultimately chose the first.

Why? Well, I have to believe that good things are coming. Forget that I get hives thinking about how much our wedding is costing or that I essentially owe the IRS $5k this year in taxes. Let’s even push aside the fact that my job has made me a lump of an Office Space character who is constantly checking the time while filing papers.

There has to be something good coming. 

It’s around this corner. Whether it takes me a week or 7 months to get there, my “good” is coming. And I’ll keep working on it. If the wedding hits and I’m in the same mental and physical space, we can make the ultimate decision then. But right now, I am staying put for the long haul.

The second fear I’ve been facing is my weight. Seriously. When have I not been afraid of the number on the scale or the jeans that do not fit? But this year, it’s become real. I have a $600 wedding dress that does not fit. If that doesn’t make it tangible, then I dont know what would.

So, I’ve been doing this dietbet. 28 days to lose 4% of my body weight. Tuesday was my day. And I did it. 

I lost 8lbs. 8lbs! How amazing is that? Really, money will make me do anything, including giving up pasta and bagels.

But as soon as the bet was done, I was celebrating with my comfort foods, telling myself that I would get back to it all tomorrow. I wont. 

There has to be something good coming.

Another dietbet it is. This one starts March 1st-29th. This is the one I’m doing, in case you’re curious.  It’s a $20 bet to get in. Since I made $44 off of the last one, I just used $20 of that. As my weight stands in from this morning, I will need to lose 7.6lbs. That means, that on March 29th, I will need to weigh in at 1x3lbs. I haven’t seen that number in over a year.

Fear is a big motivator. Maybe bigger or more significant than money. My plan of action for this dietbet is to scare the shit out of myself by taking advantage of my gym’s free, monthly bodymetric measuring. I’m doing this for the first time, but I’m assuming I’ll get weighed in and professionally measured. And then scolded for being so, gosh darn overweight. Let it come. I am ready. I’ll use whatever we throw at me as fire. And I’ll hit that 1x3lb mark as easily as I hit my current weight.

This was a hard post to write. I’m not going to lie. I’ve been stuck in my depression block for awhile now. It’s taking a lot to get out. But I am. I’m crawling towards spring time a little lighter, a lot more grounded. I’ll get out.

7.5 Inches

13 Feb

Get your head out of the gutter. Perv. 

Last time I checked in on the State of My Weight Address (see what I did there?), I weighed in at 1×1.4 during week 2 of my Dietbet. I was right on track at around 54% to the 4% in 4 weeks goal. And I was thrilled! 

So, did I do it this week?

Ellipse Ellipse Ellipse

BAM. 1×9.4. Down two pounds. And weighing in at 76% of my way to goal. In total, I have lost about 6.2lbs this month! I still need to lose about 1.6lbs to make my final 4% and my last weigh in is on the 18th or 19th which gives me a couple extra days to get it in. If I dont make it, I’ve got some other successes to celebrate:

1. I’ve lost 6lbs, which is the size of a bigger sack of potatoes. Image 2. I’ve been able to consistently run 2 miles on the treadmill with minimum discomfort. As soon as I can afford it, I’m buying new, better fitted shoes though. I would love to run outside but with my shin splints issues (and yes, I am running slower and using compression socks), I cant see myself doing that until the shoe issue is fixed.

3. Another NSV: I measured myself today. Bad news: I didn’t lose a bit from my arms. GOOD NEWS: I LOST 7.5 INCHES FROM THE REST OF MY BODY. Most of it was in my hips where I lose the fastest and first. I did lose an inch and a half from my waist and an inch from my chest.

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Kid’s parents hated him.

 4. Pants are finally fitting without them being too uncomfortable. My jeans are still an issue, but my work slacks are feeling good and even a bit loose! 

Now, I just need to get through this week with a positive and optimistic outlook. If I dont hit my goal, I’ll still have all of these great victories under my now looser belt. 

 

An Ode to the Dog Who Peed on My Shoe

11 Feb

Side note: Is it sad that I had to legitimately look up “what words shouldn’t be capitalized in a title?” Google and my cookies are ashamed. But seriously, I never know. Feel free to correct this title if something is miss-capitalized.

And now, a poem:

“An Ode to the Dog Who Peed on My Shoe” 
Oh dearest foster dog,
Animal child without a home,
You endear us to your plight.

You remind us of our humanity.
You shower us in canine joy. 
All the while, you spring forth
The fruit of your recent surgery,
The essence of much contrite. 
Suddenly, without warning.
It comes without request.
It flows without cessation.
It seeks the grass of pastures past.
The sprinkles of the puddles.
The golden shower of the carpet.
The anger of my depths.
It appears in the midst of night’s veil,
A serpent forming in the dark.
To be greeted upon in morning,
By unexpected, owner’s foot.
Smelling not of human origin
But familiar just all the same.
 A message to the master:
No more water after 8pm. 

Potty training: it’s a bitch. But, meet our foster dog: Francisco.

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He’s number 8 in our long line of New Leash on Life Chicago fosters. He’s actually our first untrained dog and our first true puppy. We’re doing our best to stay patient and firm with him, but it’s super hard when your apartment’s carpet will most likely be polka-dotted with yellow stains for the rest of our stay. 

And poor Vanna White. She ain’t digging a super, hungry, snugly puppy being around. But she’s been pretty firm and assertive when he gets near her stuff (or my lap).

*Are you interested in adopting Francisco? Do you live within an hour of Chicago? Learn more about him and his brothers and sisters at http://www.nlolchicago.org or send me an email! I’m also his adoption counselor and would love to get him in to a forever home ASAP.

And dont let his lack of potty training scare you, this 10lb chi-weenie dog is the BEST. Very loyal, loving, and cuddly. He could lay in your arms forever. He is also picking up on basic obedience very quickly and is doing great in his crate!  

[Former] Queen of the Veggie Haters

5 Feb

Oh dear, it looks like I haven’t posted in a couple of days since the squash ordeal. Obviously, it has scarred me for life. Funny additional story to add: On Saturday, I went out to eat at a pretty popular chain restaurant for my mom’s birthday. I get many of my food selective behaviors from her, so I found it hysterical that she ordered her birthday steak with a side of, you guessed it, spaghetti squash. And I sh#t you not, she actually enjoyed it. I refused to even look at it.

I did, however, manage to stay pretty healthy while out to eat for the first time since starting my diet bet. I wanted to stay lower on carbs, so I ordered the petite filet with asparagus and tortilla chips instead of mashed potatoes and another startchy side. And yes, you read that right. I, Queen of the Veggie Haters, ate and enjoyed an entire side order of asparagus.

Oh, and I ate broccoli last night. Score two for my pushy parents, fiance, and health teachers who have had to deal with 25 years of vegetable aversions.

Anyways, life changing food habits aside, I also managed to weigh-in this week for my dietbet. This is weigh in 2 of 4 so pressure was riding on me to get to 2% body weight lost (or 50% to goal). Earlier in the week I had built up some major confidence going in to Saturday morning’s truth session. I had hit a big number that I hadn’t seen in months. But life got in the way. I ended up taking rest days on Wednesday and Friday. And my eating wasn’t necessarily the greatest either.

Did I hit my 50% to goal mark?

….

….

….

… (am I not just the most annoying poster ever?)…

YES! I did. My official weigh in is at 1×1.4. That means that I am ahead of schedule at 59% till goal. Since starting Dietbet, I’ve lost 4.6lbs. I’m about .4lbs off from hitting my first weight loss goal prize of a new pair of earrings! HEY-O.

The bad news is that I have to still lose about 3.2lbs in two weeks to hit my goal. Totally doable, right? Well, I have some womanly things that may interrupt just in time for the final, only official weigh-in. But then again, even if I lose 5lbs from this, I will be ECSTATIC  I have been stuck yo-yoing between 1×3.5 and 1×5.5 for three months now, so I am more than happy to be solidly away from those numbers.

So, what did I do to lose 2lbs in one week? Here’s my weekly wrap up:

  • Sunday: 2 mile treadmill run
  • Monday: Kickboxing and core class
  • Tuesday: 5am Boot camp
  • Wednesday: Rest day (but pulled out at 2 min 30 second plank)
  • Thursday: Hour of vinyasa yoga, 30 minute incline walk, free weights class
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: Body burn

Eating wise, besides the spaghetti squash, fiance and I have been pushing out the clean eating meals and have managed to limit our pasta intake to once a week.

Anyways, I’ll post something more significant later on this week. Until then, eat yo’ veggies.