Losing Weight; Finding Men

"Never make someone a priority in your life when you are just their option."

Friday, January 30, 2009

Priorities and Options

I'm quite annoyed. Haven't lost a bloody bleeping ounce. And I've been working my ass off. The good thing is that I now firmly have that "I've got to get to the gym" feeling again. I do not want to lose that for anything.

However it seems I was losing more weight with less exercise and less intake of food, despite the urgings of everyone that I not "starve" myself. First off, I've never felt hungry. Secondly, these last few days, I've felt something close to toxic bloat. I'm thinking of going back to the bare bones approach and letting my body tell me when it is hungry.

Oh and....here we go with last night's email exchange with PT guy:

Me: "So once I know the state of my car's brakes and if they need the car longer than just Friday, I'll let you know so we can discuss plans."

Him: "Well this weekend is really not the best for me. Work is super busy and I should really focus on it as I lost a few days with the accident. Not that I don't want to meet you, I really do. Perhaps during the week after work would be best?"

Me: "Well during the week is tough, as I mentioned before because I work an hour away and have to get home to the dog. Are you working Sunday too?"

Him: "No going to my parents for the superbowl."

Ah yes. Meeting me ranks somewhere below 12 consecutive hours of football. Hey I understand sports interest, hell, I understand sports obsession. But not even the World Series goes that long without a break. Even though I am interested in the 12-minute halftime performance of Mr Bruce Springsteen, I could not manage to find my range of understanding for PT guy at this point.

Me: "Ah, right that starts at 6....so we couldn't meet for lunch at 1...." (Sounding snide I know.) Then I wrote: "Perhaps if it is this hard to even meet for the first time, it is a sign that it'd be even harder to get together after meeting with our schedules and distance. I want to meet you very much but perhaps it just isn't meant to be."

Him: "Stay positive. We'll meet, this weekend is just tough."

Me: "I am positive. Just taking a realistic approach. Well, here's what I think. If during the week really is best for you and you can drive out closer to me, I could meet you after I come home to let the dog out."

No response. He did after all, indicate that he would come out here in an effort to show his interest. So um yeah, that's where that sits. At the bottom of the Hudson River, I think.

No one will be my priority when I am just an option.

And that, is how plan B becomes plan A: I am going to see The Wrestler.

"Have you ever seen a one trick pony in the field so happy and free?
If you've ever seen a one trick pony then you've seen me..."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Working on a Dream

Thank you Bruce. As always, you pick me up and make me smile, like no man can.

As I mentioned on December 1, there's now a new release out as of yesterday. You can hear some samples from the new CD, Working on a Dream at the link below.


Apr 21 Boston, MA Feb 2
Apr 22 Boston, MA Feb 2
Apr 24 Hartford, CT Feb 2
May 21 E. Rutherford, NJ Feb 2
May 23 E. Rutherford, NJ Feb 2

Looks like I'll be taking some time off in April to go on the road!


In other news, the Personal Trainer guy has made email and IM contact.

I got my chance to quip, "Oh, so you didn't hit your head hard enough to forget who I was?"

He laughed. And got the chance to respond: "I'm so serious about meeting you that I will drive out to you, just let me know when you're available this weekend."

I didn't question him about why he didn't respond to my TMs that day. I'm letting it go. I honestly don't want him driving all the way out here, and I prefer we meet in the middle. So, I told him I didn't want him risking his life with a vehicle that much, that I would meet him as we've planned for the past two weeks in that lovely pub near the Hudson River.

If things go well, then he can hoof it all the way out here. His car is totaled, by the way, the final physical result of his injuries is mild concussion. He cannot do any running. Must be hard for a PT. When he picks up his new phone today, he's supposed to give me a call. We'll see. Tentatively on for the 3rd Saturday in a row. This will be it.

And I will have a plan B in case he cancels...I'll be going to see The Wrestler.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just Another Tired Day

morning weight: xxx lbs
Valentine's day goal: xxx lbs

I've got nothing to say.

Feeling beaten up.

Gym, gym, gym.

Water, water, water.

That's it for Tuesday.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Reflections

A day of rest. A day of catching up on some writing and reading. No gym.

Spring Training/Valentine's Day Challenge. 17 days left to go on the challenge. I had to disable the little countdown clock widget because they recently installed a pop-up ad with it and that is simply bollocks. I've lost 3 lbs and 4 inches since the challenge started 112 days ago. Hahaha. Yes it is better than seeing a gain. But, I think it is obvious that I should never issue a challenge for myself again, although it seems to have helped Deb, if no one else. And after all, as long as something helps one person, then it is worthwhile isn't it? So Deb, I'm booking a room at your house in May OK? :P

Oscar Noms. Yay yay yay for Bradley boy! A nomination is an awesome thing. Everyone criticizes how much technical wizardry was involved. Um, hello? Lord of the Rings? Anyone remember that movie? The actors still have to act! And Brad pulls off some amazing moments. In my mind, he doesn't need to win. Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke's roles were probably more in depth challenging and I wouldn't be surprised if one of them takes the Oscar. Bummer about Bruce getting shut out. But he's been nominated for many songs in the past and has won, so that's OK in my book. His new CD hits stores on Tuesday and I will have it in my hot little hands and it will live on my CD player nonstop. Although I haven't seen it to form my own opinion, based on the buzz, Slumdog Millionaire will probably get best picture. So I think Heath Ledger should get the award for his Joker? No. But I think he should have gotten it for his portrayal of Enis in Brokeback Mountain. I never saw the aching loss of love so well portrayed on a man's face. Oh well.

PT Guy Update. Well, without asking for an official medical release from the hospital, what can I do? Nothing. Just wait and see if he contacts me once he's feeling well again and tries for the 3rd time to make a date. I did respond to his email, saying I hope he's not injured too badly and he did write back to say his brother came down to stay with him because he did hit his head. He'll probably forget my name, phone, and email address within 48 hours. That's OK, it'll just be a great tactic I'll add into the novel. Use real life! I apply the baseball rule, 3 strikes and yous outta there bubba. This guy is on strike 2. Something tells me that either the guy has some bad karma around vehicles or it just isn't meant to be.

Such is life my darlings, such is life.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Workout Log

Workout Log

(Order: Last workout first)

Wednesday March 4
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 75
Workout heart rate: 110 to 160 (omg!)

Workout mode: Random, Level 11 at 2.8 mph
Last 10 minutes @ 3.0 mph
Calories: 648 Distance: 2.85 Time: 65:02


Monday March 2
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 85
Workout heart rate: 92 (low) to 152 (high)

Workout mode: Random, Level 11 @ 2.8 mph
Last 5 minutes @ 3.0 mph
Calories: 627 Distance: 2.77 Time: 64.04

Abdominal press 70 lbs 4 sets of 10


Saturday February 28
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 85
Workout heart rate: 120 (low) to 140 (high)

Workout mode: Random, level 10 at 2.6 mph
Calories: 299 Distance: 1.38 Time 32.47

Seated leg press 70 lbs 3 sets of 10
Abdominal press 50 lbs 3 sets of 20
Chest press 40 lbs 3 sets of 10

Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 92
Workout heart rate: 109 (low) to 137 (high)
Workout mode: Random, level 11 at 2.8 mph
Calories: 169 Distance: 0.76 Time 17.04


Friday February 27
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 72
Workout heart rate: 109 (low) to 144(high)

Workout mode: Random, Level 11 at 2.8 mph
Calories: 615 Distance: 2.67 Time: 63.11

Abdominal press 50 lbs 3 sets of 20


Thursday February 26
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 72
Workout heart rate: 101 (low) to 144 (high)

Workout mode: Random, level 10 at 2.6 to 2.8 mph
Calories: 297 Distance: 1.40 Time 33.09

Seated leg press 70 lbs 3 sets of 10
Abdominal press 0 - machine too busy
Chest press 40 lbs 3 sets of 10

Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 92
Workout heart rate: 112 (low) to 155 (high)
Workout mode: Random, level 11 at 2.6 to 2.8 mph
Calories: 315 Distance: 1.45 Time 32.37


Wednesday February 25
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 82
Workout heart rate: forgot

Workout mode: Random, Level 10 at 2.6 mph
Calories: 552 Distance: 2.45 Time: 59.87


Monday February 23
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: forgot
Workout heart rate: 112 (low) to 155 (high)

Workout mode: 30 minutes Random, Level 10 at 2.6 mph
Workout mode: 30 minutes Random, Level 11 at 2.8 mph
Calories: 625 Distance: 2.81 Time: 64.38


Saturday February 21
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: forgot to take
Workout heart rate: 120 (low) to 155 (high)

Workout mode: Random, level 10 at 2.6 to 2.8 mph
Calories: 296 Distance: 1.45 Time 33.11

Seated leg press 60 lbs 3 sets of 10
Abdominal press 50 lbs 2 sets of 20
Chest press 40 lbs 3 sets of 10

Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: forgot to take
Workout heart rate: 109 (low) to 140 (high)
Workout mode: Random, level 10 at 2.5 to 2.7 mph
Calories: 282 Distance: 1.30 Time 31.11


Friday February 20
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 85
Workout heart rate: 109 (low) to 144(high)

Workout mode: Random, Level 10 at 2.6 mph
(last 5 minutes @ 3.0 mph)
Calories: 589 Distance: 2.75 Time: 64.01


Wednesday February 18

Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 93
Workout heart rate: 120 (low) to 145 (high)

Workout mode: Random, Level 10 at 2.6 mph
Calories: 506 Distance: 2.57 Time: 61.94


Wednesday February 11
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 88
Workout heart rate: 112 (low) to 145 (high)

Workout mode: Random, Level 10 at 2.6 mph
(last 2 minutes @ 2.8 mph)
Calories: 589 Distance: 2.70 Time: 66.24


Monday February 9
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 81
Workout heart rate: 122 (low) to 154 (high)

Workout mode: Random, Level 10 at 2.7 mph
Calories: 535 Distance: 2.46 Time: 60.01


Saturday February 7
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 85
Workout heart rate: 112 (low) to 155 (high)

Workout mode: Random, level 10 at 2.2 to 2.7 mph
Calories: 192 Distance: 0.89 Time 22:10

Seated leg press 60 lbs 3 sets of 10
Abdominal press 50 lbs 3 sets of 10
Chest press 40 lbs 3 sets of 10

Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 60 (that's so funny)
Workout heart rate: 128 (low) to 145 (high)
Workout mode: Random, level 10 at 2. to 2.8 mph
Calories: 154 Distance: 0.72 Time 17.26


Friday February 6
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: don't know
Workout heart rate: 109 (low) to 145 (high)

Workout mode: Random, Level 10 at 2.5 mph
Calories: 297 Distance: 1.35 Time: 33:11


Thursday February 5
Washed a 50 lb dog
Energy Spent: TOTAL


Wednesday February 4
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 85
Workout heart rate: 111 (low) to 151 (high)

Workout mode: Random, Level 10 at 2.6 mph
Calories: 601 Distance: 2.69 Time: 65.67


Tuesday February 3
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 90
Workout heart rate: 120 (low) to 155 (high)

Workout mode: Random, 1.5 to 7.8 incline at 2.6 mph
Calories: 158 Distance: 0.72 Time 16:26

Seated leg press 50 lbs
Abdominal press 50 lbs
Chest press 40 lbs

Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Workout heart rate: 130 (low) to 155 (high)

Workout mode: Random, 1.5 to 7.8 incline at 2.7 mph
Calories: 144 Distance: 0.69 Time 16:20


Monday February 2
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 90
Workout heart rate: 109 (low) to 155 (high)

Workout mode: Random, level 10 at 2.6 mph
Calories: 419 Distance: 2:02 Time: 48:91


Saturday January 30
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 60 (Um, no I should be dead.)
Workout heart rate: 109 (low) to 150 (high)

Workout mode: Random, 1.5 to 7.8 incline at 2.7 mph
Calories: 136 Distance: 0.64 Time 16:17

Seated leg press 50 lbs
Abdominal press 50 lbs
Chest press 40 lbs


Friday January 29
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Workout heart rate: 123 (low) to 155 (high)
Workout mode: Random, level 10 at 2.7 mph
Calories: 411 Distance: 2:02 Time: 48:40


Wednesday January 27
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 85 (are they kidding me?)
Workout heart rate: 91 (low) to 135 (high)

Workout mode: Random, level 10 at 2.6 mph
Calories: 408 Distance: 1.98 Time 47:42


Tuesday January 27
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Standing heart rate: 75 (ridiculously inaccurate)
Workout heart rate: 109 (um ridiculous) to 148 (high)
Workout mode: Random, 1.5 to 7.8 incline at 2.6 mph
Calories: 135 Distance: 0.64 Time 16:03

Seated leg press 40 lbs
Abdominal press 50 lbs
Chest press 40 lbs
Rear deltoid 40 lbs

I'm going to increase the weights to 50 lbs for leg press and ab press.
The upper arms and shoulders still don't feel strong enough to do more.
I am still struggling by the 3rd rep with 40 lbs which is how it should be.


Monday January 26
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Workout heart rate: 112 (low) to 147 (high)
Workout mode: Random, level 10 at 2.6 mph
Calories: 385 Distance: 1.86 Time 47:15


Saturday January 24
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Workout heart rate: 110 (low) to 128-130 (high)
Workout mode: Manual, 2.5 incline at 2.8 mph
Calories: 123 Distance: 0.64 Time 16:14

Seated leg press 40 lbs
Abdominal press 40 lbs
Chest press 40 lbs
Rear deltoid 40 lbs
Row 30 lbs
Hip abduction 10 lbs
Hip adduction 6 lbs


Friday January 23
Lifetime Fitness Treadmill
Workout heart rate: 127 (low) to 140-155 (high)
Workout mode: Random, level 10 at 2.6 mph
Calories: 442 Distance: 1.99 Time 46:31

Winner: Me; Loser: The Neggies

morning weight: xxx lbs
Valentine's day goal: xxx lbs

I am determined to make this post as positive as I possibly can. For my own sanity and yours. Yes, you can thank me later. But there WILL be some ranting against the male gender and some lamenting for my loss of innocence and naivety. Consider yourself warned.

I'm FOUR lbs away from the spring training goal. And congrats to Soxy Deb on reclaiming that 10 lb bling! Getting sick has its advantages! I will not be indulging in anything "extra" foodwise all weekend. Let's see if I can actually break the cycle of the last two weeks. Tonight's workout will give me $29 in the reward jar for my dayafter flowers.

I had an awesome workout on the treadmill. So glad my peroneus muscles like me again! I am not pleased with how the Daily Plate tracks exercise (much too generalized) so I am going to just try to track it here myself. Maybe I'll make it a sidebar post. edited: done, see Gym is the New Sex!

I often forget the numbers by the time I get home so I'm taking a photo each time to remember. I should probably look into some applications for my crackberry to track my fitness. First there was 15 minutes of warming up, I should have taken a photo of that too because I think I burned 100 cals in that 15 minutes. Even if the ratings on the machine are inaccurate, I still see a significant difference from starting heart rate (last night's was a ridiculous low 85) to working heart rate.

Workout heart rate: 127 (low) to 140-155 (high)
Workout mode: Random, level 10 at 2.6 mph

Although it is less distance and not as fast as I had been doing, I am mindful of not re-injuring my leg muscles, particularly as I overpronate when I walk. In fact, I'm downright grateful my body is holding up as well as it is so far. I have put the bones and muscles through more than a decade of extreme weight.

------start rant-------

OK so....here we go.

Friday night: Personal Trainer guy and I spoke on phone to confirm date. 1:30 Saturday. Excellent. Couldn't wait. Lots of innuendos and flirting. Good stuff.

9:15 Saturday: Text from PT guy, "I won't be able to get done with clients before 2:30....." I respond immediately, "OK, so when would you like to meet? About 4:00?"

No reply. About 10:30, I'm gently reminded by Sweden that he's probably just busy with clients. Umhm 10 second text messages are impossible in between clients. He had no trouble sending the first one!

1:30 Saturday arrives, the original time we were supposed to meet. I text him: "Haven't heard back from you. I'm flexible on when, just need an estimation."

No reply. Busy guy, hmm.

5:43 Saturday: Email arrives from PT guy. "I just got home and don't have my phone....I lost it in my car. Someone hit me while I was coming home to shower today and I had to go to the hospital. I'm extremely sorry that I couldn't let you know what happened. Hope that you're well and I'll talk to you soon."

What has me really crushed is that I've lost my ability to give a guy the benefit of the doubt. I don't believe him. I've watched too many crime-solving shows and had too many people lie to me to believe something like this. And it may be true for all I know. Maybe he's reading my blog. Not likely, he barely knows how to IM. He's probably just another mindfucker type who gets off on not being straightforward. Or he's got a case of the inabilities to hurt a woman with the truth, as referred to in the book He's Just Not that Into You. (Finally that movie is coming out!!!!)

Red flag #1: He didn't text back either time today. Not characteristic of how he's been the 3 weeks we've been communicating. He's had busy days before and managed to text.
Red flag #2: Last text was sent well before he was driving home to shower. If it was 2:30 or later, I should have had some indication from him on when we were meeting.
Red flag #3: Three hours later he's home from hospital without car and sending me an email? That's quick stuff.

I really think guys need to go away where there are no females. Seriously. They need to go to male awareness boot camp. Be without women for 6 months or longer for particularly tough cases. See if they can find a way to appreciate our existence a bit instead of take us for granted and attempt to make us less than we deserve.

------stop rant-------

Poo-poo PT guy did not win today!
The neggies (negative thoughts) did not win today!
I did not cave in and seek out a greasy bacon cheeseburger and fries from Five Guys. Even though I was shopping two doors away and could smell the fries!

I win today!

Not sure about tomorrow, but today I win.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sign my Tek Now!

This is an open letter to the Boston Red Sox management:

Please resign Jason Varitek. Give him two years. Let him transition the other catchers into the team. You know he's an incredible coach already. Just do the right thing!

The man is my inspiration. He's one of the reasons I kick my own ass to the gym. Which by the way, I went back to last night for a lovely session of weights. Woohoo kickin those 40 lb weights in the ass! No loss on the scale, which is....whatever.

I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things with Curt Schilling, but the guy has it right on the money when he said this about Tek: "....He's the kind of guy that makes you as good as you can be each start. Jason knows us as good, if not better, than some of us know ourselves."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

PB Recall

Well another no gym night. Not good but I feel rested, which I guess is good. I spent two hours with a mostly shirtless Sawyer, what can I say? I'm not too upset. I wanted to tell him that I would help him get over losing Freckles.

Luna bar made by CLIF company has joined the Peanut Butter recall. Wow. Just checked my giant stash and all of mine are safe, they have a June date and the one product I use of theirs that is being recalled has a July date. If you eat protein bars, check out always updating the recall list.

I can't understand it. Is it that these things have always gone on and no one has noticed or is the increase in these sorts of contamination on the rise because......because why? I'm baffled. As someone who has to work with FDA regulations on a daily basis, I can see how things could go poorly. How hard it must be to enforce the rules.

Hope to hear from my personal trainer date to confirm our Saturday plans. I know, I know, I should not go on a 2-day fast, I know this! Then I won't know if I feel faint and woozy from the sight of him or if it is simply my body giving up the fight.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Muscle Strain

Work has me very stressed out. I feel like my brain is swelling from the stress. My boss told me she's looking to leave. GREAT...the one person who has my back in the jungle of manipulative backstabbing. Well, if she goes then I'll just have to start looking. No point in freaking over something that hasn't happened yet. But I can appreciate her mentality; a year ago we both said "some major things would have to change to keep us here." Funny how that thought applies to many areas of my life, and how upon evaluation it is obvious that not much has changed.

Yes, Prez O. I am inspired. I am behind your words. I am ready for action. I am ready to work hard, but could we do something about the people who aren't? At least the ones I work with? I can almost hear our eloquent new leader saying something like: We can only be the change we want to see. Be the change. Be the change.

And it seems my body has decided last night was "No gym for you!" It seems I've managed to strain my peroneus muscle...in both legs, by pounding up treadmill inclines and not realizing this muscle even existed, let alone stretched for it. This is not the calf muscle and this is not shin splints. But I am an ouchy mama. And all I want to do is sleep, preferably next to someone warm. Hmmm good thing for dogs and cats hmmm?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Date Postponed

morning reality: xxx lbs
Valentine's day goal: xxx lbs

Date. Sorry to get all anti-climatic on everyone, but thanks for wanting to know! I was majorly bummed, but the date was rescheduled due to my Future (heheheee) Personal Trainer's vehicle dying on him. My "twisted-I've-been-hurt-too-many-times," cynical self was quick to say "whatever" in my head but obviously I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He notified me well in advance and then he spent the rest of the weekend clamoring for my attention via text, email, AND phone efforts, I feel he's legit, at least as far as enjoying the chase of me. Schedules are such that it'll likely be next Saturday when we meet.

NYC. Wow. So proud of myself. HUGE confidence boost to drive in and out without getting lost once. Granted, I didn't have to go too far off the river or I would have been easily lost. Special thanks to my stunning fashionista of a niece for making her auntie feel welcome.

Food in NYC. OMG. Indulgence to the nth power. Friday night was not as hard to handle, but I did have two margaritas instead of one and I did have a few dessert bites. But Saturday...after the date was scrapped, I ran back into the city. This was like the social event of the year for me. I even had my own personal SATC moment with a Lincoln towne car. And I'm sorry, but there were FOUR types of starch on the table and five people at the table. Sure I got cauliflower. Everyone was enjoying themselves and oh woe is me, I felt left out, which was all in my addicted little head. The lower ego was really rearing itself. No one would have cared if I took the bread or the potatoes. But once I gave in, dessert was a forgone conclusion. In addition to two glasses of incredibly lovely red wine. Clearly I'm still on the 11th rung of hell. Considering what I did eat, 2 lbs is not a bad gain but this is deja vu from last week. Will it take me all week to lose it again?

T.o.M. is here. I have worked out 6 days straight, and I've nothing to show for it except that I'm bleeding to death internally and I have muscle cramps along the sides of my shins (no, NOT shin splints). My Future Personal Trainer says I have to "roll those muscles out," and he's sending me a diagram today to help with that. Haven't had T.o.M. for 7 weeks and now that it is here, I resemble nothing short of a horror movie victim. You know the type where you look at her and think "How did she get blood there!?" TMI I know. Maybe there will be some poundage loss in a day or two.

Tek Watch.
Honestly, if anyone hears about Jason Varitek resigning with the Red Sox, will you please let me know? I have at least three different sources and Deb, but ya know, what can I say? I need to know.

OH PS, this link below is for Sweden...just to make you come online you stinker!

Did the sweater look like this!?


Friday, January 16, 2009

A Side Order of Water

morning reality: xxx lbs
Valentine's day goal: xxx lbs

Oh boy, do I have something to tell. But I've got to talk about other stuff first.

Yes, really.

So the trainwreck of last weekend's date/dinner disaster and burger 2 lb overload is gone off my body; I'm back down to where I was before that happened. But guess what? Just in time for another weekend to face. Anyone ever feel like they're taking one step up and two steps back? Honestly, I'm on that 11th rung of hell where you keep repeating the same mistake. OK. NOT this weekend! I am proactively going to exercise and exorcise the hell out of myself!

Friday's Plan

Dinner out tonight? Yes.
Will I have carbs? Yes, but I will limit them to tortillas, not fried.
Will I have a drink? Yes, but just one.
Will I have dessert? No. That's the trade off. The drink is the dessert.
Will I exercise tonight/early tomorrow morning? Yes. When I get home, I will go to the gym for my regular cardio. No matter what. That's the price of going out.

As for Saturday, well this is what I wanted to tell you...come closer.

(Not that close, you hit your nose against the monitor didn't you?)

I'm going to meet one of the guys who has been pursuing me online for about two weeks. The kicker is


Is it possible I may have scored the mega motherload wish of all single women (and maybe some married women) trying to lose weight? Me? A date with a guy who could be into me and supportive, perhaps even downright helpful with suggestions and knowledge? I asked to win the lottery; maybe this was my prize instead?

Yes, he knows what I look like. I know, you're as surprised as I am.

I'm afraid I'll be feeling too scrutinized to eat (which I realize is ALL in my head), but I'm going to face my fear and meet him anyway. Since we've had some personal semi-deep online conversations about body image etc, he's well aware that I'm sensitive about it. Even so, he's expressed immense interest, insisting he's not a "body freak like some trainers." His words.

So, who knows, maybe I could be his pet project. That's my thought, not his...at least, I think.

But of course, words are words are words. Geesh do I KNOW that lesson already. That was the 12th rung of hell, thanks very much. Words are words and actions are actions. For most people, their word is not their bond anymore, but something they use to twist things to their version of reality. I of course, value words like treasured gems, but others toss them around willy-nilly. These days, my stance must be that words mean little however beautifully they're phrased.

So the buff personal trainer and I have to eyeball each other and see what's what. I am soooooooo nervous! What am I going to eat? "Yes waiter, I'll have water please, with a side of water." I'll just chew on my hair and look coquettishly at my date.

Wild Birds, Wild Boys

Daring, skilled pilot.
Lucky people.
Great rescuers.
Sad, stupid birds.

All I can say is:
T H A N K G O D ~ M O O S E ~ D O N ' T F L Y !



Which one of my darling
high school, fellow "Duranies"
got THIS BOOK for Christmas
and when are you lending it to me!?


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mangilo bella, mangilo!

morning reality: xxx lbs
Valentine's day goal: xxx lbs

Gain of one poundage. Not sweating it (because yesterday was a blip on the chart of life with a gain of 2 poundage). Clearly the end of the double cheeseburger weekend.

I rocked the treadmill last night. My new favorite workout is the dastardly "random" selection! Wooooo that is really quite FUN. I can't believe I said that. Is my life that boring that I now find the treadmill fun or am I beginning to see that I can actually enjoy exercise? Probably a little of both. I know that exercise is the key (I have my own well documented, non-scientific study from 4 years ago that proves this.) to weight loss AND weight management.

And within exercise, I know that lifting weights is the coup d'etat of all things that help weight loss. Looking at the catalog of exercise and calories burned, lifting weights is SUCH a burner! I HAVE to get back to that part of the process. Maybe tonight even so that it could fall into a Tues/Thurs/Sat schedule.

And just a cautionary note to myself here. Yesterday I finally got my caloric intake up over 1000. Specifically here's what I tracked:

Calorie goal: 1,727
Calories consumed: 1,547
Calories burned: 422
Net calories: 1,125

In order to make this happen, I had to double my chicken portions AND....include 2 ounces of Dreamfield pasta. Of course, Dreamfield is awesome, and if you have not heard about it, please read and then go look in your store for it. Last year it wasn't on the shelves and I would special order it (and proceed to eat the whole box), but this year it is in the stores and they've got it nestled between the whole wheat pastas (which if you cook it al dente - as you're supposed to cook pasta people! - it tastes to me like the bottom leather of some old Italian shoe). However, Dreamfield tastes incredible.

Of course, having my heroin (even a low net carb type) in the house is distracting. It calls to me from the cabinet in a seductive Italian voice, Mangilo bella, mangilo!* If only there was an Italian man in there instead of a box of pasta, then I could get a workout! Needless to say, it was incredibly difficult for this carb addict to cook only 2 ounces of pasta. Do you know what two ounces of thin linguine looks like? It is the circumference of a quarter. Yes, as in 25 cents. Or roughly 3/4 of an inch. But, if I find that I can still lose while having 25 cents worth of low carb pasta twice a week, I will be mega thrilled. It will mean that I CAN control some aspect of my addiction.

We'll see what happens. Excitement around every corner!

*For the unItalianites: Eat me beautiful, eat me!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Winter Fluffin Stud Muffins

If you've read the title of this post, you've been fairly warned. By the way, this is Deb's fault. Thanks Deb, it was a wonderful thing to think about, far far better than the atrocities taking place in the middle east right now or the stateside disaster area of my workplace, in particular my desk.

Technically, I don't have a "do" list as I can "do" anyone I want. Neener, neener, neener. Ah, the wonders of divorce (yes, 11 years ago!). Anyway, I cannot list these men in any particular order of bangability for me. They simply are...

(Pppssst, you droolin' fools, the photos are clickable for enlargability, and yes, I'm making up words today. I can do that, I'm an editor.)

William Bradley He had me long ago at "Well I may be an outlaw, darlin', but you're the one stealing my heart. "

(Aw, screw it, I'll take Jen too. And Angie could watch for all I care.)

Josh Holloway Any deserted island, any day.

Jason Varitek Do I need to explain? I couldn't find a photo of his best ass-et!

Tim McGraw But he has to keep his hat on.

Bruce Springsteen
Honestly, I don't think I could do the deed with this man because I revere him too much. I could only hope a kiss from his lips would inspire me for a lifetime. Anyone who writes these lyrics is a sexy, romantic soul of a man:

"That thunder in your heart
At night when you're kneeling in the dark
It says you're never gonna leave her
But there's this angel in her eyes
That tells such desperate lies

And all you want to do is believe her

And tonight you'll try just one more time
To leave it all behind and to break on through

Oh she can take you, but if she wants to break you
She's gonna find out that ain't so easy to do

And no matter where you sleep tonight
or how far you run

Oh-o she's the one, she's the one

Oh-o and just one kiss

She'd fill them long summer nights

With her tenderness
that secret pact you made

Back when her love could save you from the bitterness"

Keifer Sutherland One of the real, sexy vampires of the 80s. Absolute party animal. And the man knows how to use a gun. Mmmm hot.

Matt Dillon What can I say, I'm a child of the 80s!

Colin Farrell I could probably climax just from his voice in my ear.

Just sayin.

Just Get Me to Tomorrow

morning reality: xxx lbs
Valentine's day goal: xxx lbs

As I suspected after that giant whoosh last week, I am maintaining. Which, considering the lousy food I ate this weekend, I'm thrilled not to have gained.

I went to the gym last night and hated the crowd. Had to actually wait for a treadmill. It always quiets down by March when most people give up their new efforts to exercise. Well, we know that won't be me.

$21 in the (day after) Valentine's Day flowers for me jar. Yay.

Still no word on my favorite baseball player Jason Varitek staying with the Red Sox. I'm afraid. Never in my realm of possibilities did I think of him playing for another team. And never did I imagine the Red Sox without him behind the plate. If it is going to happen, at least give me a year's notice! Some good baseball news, at least Jim Rice got into the Hall of Fame finally.

We're heading into a deep freeze here, with single digits temps. I absolutely love it. I love the chill. I even love the way the nose hairs stick together. And I love how your own breath exhaled into your scarf makes you feel warmer. Yes, I know, I'm not right in the head. But I'm OK with it.

I just wish it would snow some more. It is a short season and I want as much as possible. I would love to go snow tubing, but I don't have anyone to go with me. Hmm, should I ask James (wolf boy, as some of you have come to call him). Party boy is more like it. I have Friday off but the temps are supposed to be so low it will make outdoor activities unpleasant. Bummer!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekend Update

Well, I hadn't heard from James (for those who can't keep track, I don't blame you, I can barely keep track myself. The last I mentioned him was here - I should really make a spreadsheet eh?) because he'd been away for two weeks visiting his daughters in NC. He contacted me during my Friday night date (I swear, do they have 6th sense and just know the most inappropriate moment?), and when I TM'd back that I was on a date, he responded with "Ditch the date and come hang out with me at the club." Ummmm tempting, but no. So today, when he sent me an email telling me he was now searching for his soul mate, I burst out laughing. This is the guy who told me upon first conversation that he didn't want to have anything serious with a woman ever again (appropriately scarred from ex-wife cheating on him). About one month later, a complete turnaround? Is that something a little unstable or am I being too harsh? Remember he's on anti-deps. So I called him out on it, and he said he's made some decisions to "stop drinking, start exercising, getting back to caring again," so I'm curious, merely curious. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt if his message to me on Friday hadn't been "meet me at the club." Instead, I've just offered him my referral to my gym.

I'm somewhat troubled by the feeling of still being obsessed with food...not so much in eating it as in tracking it, preparing it, thinking about it. I simply became overwhelmed and couldn't track my weekend and now here it is soon to be Monday. Blaaaaaaaargh!

I did workout on Saturday. I also didn't eat well this weekend. Date night was a burger and a hot chocolate. I didn't eat nearly enough on Saturday at all, and then today was yet another burger, with fries. Hmmm. Alrighty then. Is there a burger and fries diet? YES, it is called FAT GIRL. But my meals for the week are all planned and cooked, and my schedule for working out should be Mon/Wed/Fri for sure. Goal of the week is to eat at least 1000 cals a day. Sounds crazy right? I can't believe I'm saying that but it is true. Food logging has really opened my eyes.

No awards tonight won for Benjamin Button, but so good to see some good films (The Wrestler, Happy Go Lucky, Slumdog Millionaire) and TV (Mad Men, True Blood) getting recognized. And oh my, Colin Farrell looks fantastic when he's not on the sauce. Very very stoked to see Bruce win for his touching song that he simply gave to the film without a penny. That man writes music for the sheer joy of it.

And...I have to say I am a Jack Bauer fan. Early reaction? I'm not impressed. In fact, I wonder if 24 will ever surprise me again. I LOVED the first few seasons, but now I have accurately guessed the next scene or plotline or connection so often that it hardly holds my attention. Do love Keifer. Will give it a chance.

Lost is starting soon. Big Love is starting soon. And I don't need more than that. I'm supposed to be writing my novel! Right, right, right after I read the five books staring at me on the table...

Good luck to you with your Mondays!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Too Much PDA!

How'd the date go? Oh, so glad you asked, my sweet friends! The entertainment factor never ends!

Let me first say, it wasn't that the Italian Stallion wasn't polite, but he was also a little creepy. Is that possible? Let me try to explain.

I've never had a man try to kiss me within the first 5 minutes of meeting me face to face. I'm talking lips parted and locked on, not a kiss on the cheek. In theory, I could see how it could be incredibly romantic. Maybe, if I'd been feeling the chemistry, but I hardly had a moment to notice! Maybe if he didn't feel as though the way to kiss was to bathe his date's face with his tongue (comparisons to my dog's kisses came to mind). But.....I wasn't. I've never had a man reach for my hand across a table on a first date and attempt to put my finger into his mouth. I've never had a man tell me "it doesn't matter" when I asked him not to stroke my hair while I was trying to read directions and drive. I've also never had a man shake out his ponytail and ask me "Do you like my hair?"

He told me he was "old old school" at age 33...insisting on paying the check for dinner. OK, nice. He then made reference to how I might "repay" him. Yeah, old boy's club? Um. No. No. And no.

Sooooo, needless to say, the conversation was more than a little awkward as he was constantly trying to molest me, and I had a more intense seduction going on with my hard-earned, 5-cocoa signature Starbucks hot chocolate. Mmmm mmmm it sure tasted delicious!

Say it with me people: NEXT!

Friday, January 9, 2009


morning reality: xxx lbs
Valentine's day goal: xxx lbs

Holding steady. Happy weekending everyone!

On my date tonight I will:
  • Have only one glass of wine.
  • Eat only half of my meal.
  • Feel satisfied.
  • Not let my nerves dictate my appetite.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

6 lbs, 4 Days?!

morning reality: xxx lbs
Valentine's day goal: xxx lbs

On Sunday I weighed xxx. On Thursday I'm xxx. That's 6 lbs. I fully recognize that is WAY too much WAY too fast. I know I've lost some muscle on that, but likely a lot of it was water too. Still, it is a phenomenal feeling to see the number and to be able to visualize the loss happening. Positive mental imagery is key. I am going to plug in the emotional eating hypnosis CD tonight. If I slow down and maintain over the next few days I won't be surprised. Such is the way of the newly blazoned path.

I am feeling better than yesterday. I am learning about eating calorie dense foods to get my calorie intake UP, believe it or not. I haven't even been hitting the 1000 cal mark and I definitely need to be. That came as quite a surprise to me. Along with the fact that I'm not exceeding my sodium levels as I thought I was. Sometimes I do exceed my protein for a day and also exceed my cholesterol in a day, but I can fix the latter by switching to egg whites entirely rather than whole eggs.

As far as I know, I'm going on a date tomorrow night. (Anyone wondering about Harry Potter? No, I didn't think you were.) I am fulfilling my cougar status. He's a young 30s Italian musician education teacher from Brooklyn. He's volunteered to take the train all the way out here (90 minutes). I hope things go well. I know I'll be fine as long as he doesn't act like Vinnie Babarino from Welcome Back Kotter which would send me into a fit of laughter. Actually, he speaks quite eloquently so I'm sure we're going to have some engaging conversation. Who knows what he's expecting, he keeps going on and on about my sexy eyes. At least I've got those working for me!

Oh oh oh....Twilight....yes......fascinating now. I'm 50 pages from the end and I can see that I have to buy the next book right away. Bella's still incredibly annoying but Edward is darling.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bob Greene's Five Questions

morning reality: xxx lbs
valentine's day goal: xxx lbs

Ice here on the roads has kept me working at home. Yay. I love working from home. No constant interruptions; I can actually get some editing done and hear myself think. Amazing stuff.

I had a headache last night that sent me to bed, but it also kept me awake. I've not had one like that - not that I can recall. The pain was so bad in the right quadrant of my head I thought it was going to split open and tiny men were going to crawl out and start singing and dancing on my skull. It was likely a barometric pressure headache but it sure felt like something unusual. So, I did not get to the gym to lift weights.

I will go today, another round of cardio. I have to make sure I eat today though. I tend to not eat as well or as much when I'm home. I'm already far behind by not having breakfast.

I guess Oprah's doing a week of weightloss motivation or something? I snagged this from Carolina Girl.

Bob Greene's Five Questions to Consider

1. What are you really hungry for?

2. Why are you overweight?

Food was a weapon used against me as a child. I was forcefed, lied to about, and cajoled into eating. I was ridiculed for the types of food I did like and scolded for the types of food I refused to eat.

In college, I went wild. Ate only what I wanted. Freshman 15? No, try freshman 50.

Then when I was married and didn't have children, because I was incredibly afraid to have any because I thought I would ruin them (yes, that's the influence my mother had), I felt carrying that little bit of extra weight back then was a bit like being somewhat pregnant. Odd I know. It wasn't a lot compared to now, maybe 30 lbs. And everyone said I looked fine just the way I was and the doctors never said anything to me about cholesterol or triglycerides.

Now I think I struggle with losing because I'm afraid of how much sexual interest I'll have if I'm thin. I'm already an off the charts Samantha type. So I'm setting myself up to never achieve that which I'm really hungry for: love, acceptance, companionship. Makes sense to me.

3. Why have you been unable to maintain weight loss in the past?
Definitely tied to carbohydrates and how they take up residence in my body. Also, once I get to the 50 lb lost mark, I get cocky and complacent just like Oprah thought "I've got this..." ummm, no. It is a constant thing, just like an addict, it will always be there.

4. What in your life is not working?
Ummm...define not working? Everything? Right now, my life is work. I hate that. But I'm hoping I can change that by losing weight. Then the social aspect will pick up.

5. Why do you want to lose weight?
I know how much better I feel. Every type of stress becomes easier to handle and manage when I feel good about myself. The self esteem is amazing.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gym's Open Arms

morning reality: xxx lbs
valentine's day goal: xxx lbs

OK, I don't know what I was thinking when I thought I could go to bed at 12:50 am and wake up at 5 am. I have severely overslept. But work can wait, I need to blog.

Gym welcomed me back with open arms last night. Cue up Journey's song please, I am a child of the 80s. It felt really good to be on that familiar treadmill. It felt really good to hit "hill mode" and watch the treadmill rise up to 7.5 incline and feel like I was going to fall off. I do like a challenge. I do like hitting "hill" and then customizing it by time and distance and weight. I never felt it was asking me to do something I couldn't handle but it was challenging me. A kinder, gentler version of Jillian Michaels. (Sorry, I can't stand her.)

I've added the link to The Daily Plate over on the right, where it says What Did I Eat Today? Check it out. You no longer have to wonder what I put in my mouth. Hahaha, I know Deb is chortling at that one. It was very informative already yesterday. I learned I really didn't eat as many calories as I should have, yet I also didn't feel hungry or deprived so I didn't suddenly think "oh my god what else can I eat." I love how I can click on the totals for my day and see if I am over or under the daily suggested amount. I love how I can adjust the weight I want to lose per week and it'll tell me how many calories I should be eating a day. What I don't love about it, is the site now seems tied to livestrong. While I love the marketing concept of livestrong and good old Lance, I don't like that it slows and complicates the Daily Plate. There is an option to just stay on the Daily Plate and if you check it out, I would vote you stick with just that until they iron out the beta kinks of the sites being joined at the hip.

Speaking of Deb, I wonder how many times in one post can I say Deb's name? Hmmm. Well Deb, here's a link you are going to love. Remember when you wondered how many calories you burned tiling that bathroom? Well wonder no more, you can go look it up on the Fitness Directory! And yes people, sex is on there but humming the bobo seems to be missing. Maybe Deb can write up a blurb for it. Sitting at a desk is also in the directory. Ugh. Which is where I am off to right now.

On a non-weight, non-exercise note, many of you have encouraged me about Twilight. I remain hopeful. I just wish Bella wasn't such a whiner in her own head. Look who's talking right!? Ha! maybe that's what irks me, maybe she reminds me of myself too much. Oooh deep insight.

And on a final note, I got a *phone call* from Afghanistan the other day. Wow I was floored. Talk about attitude adjusting. The soldier I've been sending things to for almost 6 months called me to wish me a happy new year and thank me for the cookies I sent him. I have to tell you, in this time of selfishness and greed in the corporate world, and people crying about where their stocks went, I was humbled by one man's simple thank you for a simple gesture. If you haven't checked out the anysoldier link over on the right, please consider doing so. Many soldiers do not have family members or friends outside the military supporting them. A simple card could brighten someone's day, and even the basic toiletries are like gold, especially for the women (pearl tampons anyone?).

Monday, January 5, 2009

Special Thanks

morning reality: xxx lbs
valentine's day goal: xxx lbs

Wow, I'd like to give a shoutout to my stalkers in Texas. Thank you! You brought a special tear to my eye this morning. So nice to know there is support out there!

And I'd also like to thank the people who raised funds with me during the month of December for Mica's IMHA Research Fund. I don't have the total amount raised, but I know that those of you who mentioned this blog, helped raise an additional $130. That's amazing stuff. Thank you. I hope if you came to read for that special reason, you found something that made you come back once in a while.

Thank you to those who donated, many in honor or in memory of their animal companions:
1. John N
2. kym C
3. Deesa B
4. Teresa H
5. Lizzie H
6. Priscilla S
7. Mike L
8. Bess F
9. Linda J
10. Margaret H
11. Special Dawn
12. Sally R
13. Liz K
14. Steve G
15. Valerie M
16. Mckenna L
17. Ron C
18. Betty H
19. Gail R
20. Pam J
21. Randee M
22. Joanne G
23. Robin K
24. Gerri M
25. Sheba M
26. Wanda S

I'm happy to say that it was so successful, that I'll be doing a few fund drives a year. Stay tuned.


OK so I'm going to sneak this in here and hope that maybe my blogger friend Deb who is on hiatus won't notice enough to comment. *hint hint*

I wonder if I am the only person in the world who is just not yet enthralled with Twilight? GASP, I know. Truth is, um, I'm 200 pages into the 500 page tome, and I just have to say it might be getting good. Am I just a jaded Anne Rice fan? I don't know. Of course, Edward is beyond appealing (come on, he's meant to be) and the fact that he actually cares about Bella is endearing. And nice twist on it being a myth about the sunlight or nice copout to explain how he can be around in sunlight. But, beyond that....I'm not sure I see what the hubbub is about. Of course...I have 300 pages to go. I would LOVE to eat my words in a few days!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

An Engraved Invitation

Well Blogger wiped out all of my followed blogs and before I could make the effort to collect them again, Blogger gave them all back to me. Well, interesting new year so far, thanks Blogger.

My new favorite station: MLB Network TV!

Deb, have you seen this? Click on that link and see what channel your cable station carries it on. All I can say is "WHOOhooo it isn't all Yankees all the time!" which is my only alternative. Finally, all baseball all the time.

On a serious, serious, serious (yes, 3 seriouses) note, have you seen how many days are left until spring training?! Tomorrow: 37 days.

And we still don't have any answer on Varitek!! And I still haven't lost any weight. Good god almighty, what am I waiting for? An engraved invitation? What would it look like?

Dear TrueHeartGirl in Jersey,

Could you PLEASE lose some weight?

Please? Pretty please?

Your membership in the Cougar Club is

dangerously close to being revoked.



78 days ago the goal was to get down to AT LEAST 265 lbs.

Please standby as we re-adjust the fluxcapacitator Marty!

*re-adjusting, re-adjusting*

OK how about if we aim for a 10 lbs loss instead?

37 days
10 lbs
focus on: exercise

That's gym at least 3 times a week; 6 would be ideal.
Lots of protein and veggies. And no carbs other than the carbs from veggies.
That's still $1 for every workout toward the V-day flower fund. (I'm keeping the $11 in there now from the workouts I did do; they were valid sweat moments.)
And another $1 for every pound lost in the 37 days.
And I will log my food in The Daily Plate (and if I can link the daily food intake in my blog I will).

Here we go!
Here we go!
Here we go!
Here we go!
Here we go!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Nothing in Excess

My NYE dinner & celebration included imported pasta, artichoke garlic paste (which I mixed with olive oil and a little light cream), the finest cabernet I've ever tasted (Merrymont Starvale, thank you Sweden!), and a shot of tequila at midnight.

The tulips are gorgeous and standing tall now with a penny in the water. The pasta made enough food for probably 10 people and it is sitting quite nicely in my refrigerator. Last year I would have consumed the entire amount in one night. So, there is some progress in my mental approach.

We've got some light snow but nothing significant here in Jersey. Below is a gift from one of my sisters, I think it is so cool because I was staring at this for a while in the store trying to talk myself out of buying it. My sister doesn't really know me that well, so how cool is it that she bought it for me?

In other news, I have been trying to decide whether I'm going to Ireland or Italy this year. And I asked my family to vote, just out of curiosity. You can vote too, if you'd like. Italy won hands down. I also got one vote for New Zealand and one vote for England. Now it is just a question of where in Italy and can I actually afford to go? (Ireland will have to be the cheaper back-up I guess.) We'll see what the tax return is like. I was originally thinking September which would allow me time to save as much as possible, but I always forget that is also when my lease is up on the rental. So now I don't know what timeframe to think. I absolutely dread the summer temperatures, so I'd either have to go in the springtime or wait until October but I know well enough that if I have to move, I won't be able to also go on vacation - that would be too much time off work in a two-month span of time. Oh well, I should be lucky to have such things to think about.

Saw Marley & Me. Sobbed in the theater. Everyone (and I mean everyone) was crying in the packed movie, but I was actually taking gasps of air and sobbing as silently as I could. Can't recall a time when I cried like that in public. I miss my Sena girl so much.

you're like butter to me

Just a Lovable Party Girl

Just a Lovable Party Girl
Sagittarius is born to travel the world and move upwards and outwards. Naturally gregarious, they love the idea of meeting different people and understanding foreign cultures. There is also a desire to broaden the mind too, with the possibility of many Sagittarians being lifelong students. Their outlook is generally optimistic and there is a distinct lack of concern over the smaller, practical details. A great sense of humor and a lack of petty mindedness are Sagittarian qualities too. Sagittarius is open -- open-minded, open-hearted and generous, up to a point. They like to get value and will not be quite so impulsive with their cash but they do have a natural ability to get on with people from many varied walks of life. They have an innate sense of wanting to help others and give them a hand up the ladder and can be wonderful and exciting companions. Expect an honest answer when you ask a question and maybe some long philosophic discussions into the night. Jovial, optimistic, versatile, open-minded, philosophical, sincere, frank, visionary.