Archives for: November 2004
Wednesday I got laid off. Not fun. It was only my 7th week, and the company has been changing like quicksand since before I arrived. Apparently they've changed direction yet again, and won't be needing me any longer. Great. And the day before Thanksgiving, to boot.
So Wednesday evening Anne came over to comfort me and hang out, and my headache ended up as a migraine. She stayed with me until Gordon came home, and then they chatted for a bit and made sure I was asleep before she went home. Even though I was in pain, there was a lot of love in the room that night, and it was very cool. After midnight the phone rang, and Gordon picked it up. It was the emergency vet hospital asking if my cat Maggie could donate blood. She's got a rare blood type for a cat, and was typed a couple of weeks ago when there was another cat that needed a transfusion. Maggie couldn't donate for that one, but I told Gordon to call Anne and they could take Maggie in. I knew I couldn't move, but that they would make sure Maggie donated for the other kitty. I heard Gordon call Anne and ask her to come back over here because there was no way that Gordon would be able to get Maggie into the carrier. Then he went downstairs, came back up with the carrier, opened it, and put it on the bed with me and Maggie. And Maggie walked right into the carrier! Even I laughed. Fortunately, Gordon caught Anne just as she was heading out the door to come down here, and they met up at the emergency vet's office instead. Maggie was able to donate blood, and they let her stay there until Thanksgiving morning, when Anne picked her up and brought her back home.
Fortunately, I woke up Thanksgiving morning and felt great! I was able to do the cooking I didn't get to do Wednesday evening, and Gordon and I went over to his mother's for dinner with the family. We had a fabulous dinner, and I ate remarkably well considering it is a day filled with avoids. The only thing that I knew I would eat that I didn't was Gordon's aunt's pumpkin cheesecake, and I took one tiny bit of it and didn't touch it again - we think she used salt instead of sugar or something. Other than that, the dinner was fabulous. I made Ezekial bread stuffing, a spelt crusted chocolate pecan pie, and garlic mashed sweet potatoes. Yum.
Friday we went and looked at some possible wedding locations - so far we are running up against scheduling issues unless we want to start planning the wedding for a year out or for Spring 2006. Not going to happen! So we are still looking. And since I'm not working at the moment, I may have time to check some locations out this week while I jobhunt. Last night we had Gordon's mom and sisters over for dinner, and Anne came over, too. We had leftovers, and sat around and talked and ate and had a really nice, relaxing evening. His family is so terrific! Like all families, I'm sure they have their issues, but they certainly do seem to enjoy each other's company and respect and love each other. It's a wonderful thing to see and be around.
Unfortunately, while the gang was over last night, I found my throat getting scratchier and scratchier, and by the time we went to bed last night, I knew I had a cold. Sore throat, froggy voice, and coughing. Yuck. I FEEL okay, mostly low energy and unless I talk I'm not coughing, just kind of a heavy feeling in my chest. And we've laid around and done nothing but watch TV and read all day. We do have to get up and dressed to go to dinner and a play tonight, but no other committments for the weekend, and I definitely want to go tonight, so I've got my lozenges and plan on having soup for dinner and doing very little talking tonight!
The movie we saw last night was part of a UCLA extension class in which they see movies and have someone from the film talk about it and answer questions after the film. It was the remake of "The Flight of the Phoenix", and it was a predictable piece of fluff and I enjoyed it. The sound was SO loud that it had numerous members of the audience covering their ears to protect from it. I didn't do that, but it give more strength to my headache.
After the film we headed home and I was in bed by 10 pm, but couldn't sleep until after midnight. Not being able to get to sleep at a reasonable hour isn't going to help my headache go away.
Today is a Thanksgiving Day luncheon that is being thrown by one of my company's suppliers. Should be plenty of good food. Good thing, since I haven't been cooking much lately.
This headache just won't quit. It's been better or worse, but hasn't fully gone away. I'm not sure if it is stress-related, diet-related, weather-related, or what, but I want it to GO AWAY.
Aside from the headache, my weekend was good. The play Friday night was okay - some good acting, some bad acting, nothing spectacular. My friend's performance was the best of the bunch, and it was great to see her perform outside of acting class.
Saturday we went to the Queen Mary and some other locations to see about getting married onboard ths ship or at some other locations near there. The ship was clearly fantastic in its day, but is faded glory now, and just didn't feel like the kind of place we want to get married. Some of the other places we looked at look very promising, though. My head was aching something fierce Saturday, and when we got home I napped for over 2 hours to try to get rid of my headache so that I would be functional for Gordon's mom's party that night. Fortunately, it worked, and I was relatively bright-eyed for the party. That was a very good thing since Gordon and I were in the spotlight all evening - his mom announced our engagement at the party. All her friends were so kind - one couple offered to let us have our wedding at their home in Malibu (ocean view, and apparently a gorgeous home), another offered to give me her necklace when I admired it and said that it would go with my wedding dress (I told her perhaps it could be my 'something borrowed'). Everyone said what a great guy I am getting. It was a great party, and lots of fun. We got home about 1:30, and were asleep by 2am.
Sunday we had to get up by 9 or so to go to Anne's father's house for brunch. Traffic was light, so we got there in no time, and had a lovely time, but the three of us were so tired that we sat around the table and yawned most of the time. Anne's dad was laughing at us 'young ones' being so tired. After brunch, we ran a couple of errands, and then went home so I could do some paperwork. I HAD to take another nap, though - my head was aching again, and I just couldn't tackle that paperwork without some rest. After my nap, Gordon made some dinner - rice pasta with vegetables and chicken. Yum. I worked on my papers for about 4 hours total, and finally got it all done about 10:30 last night and was plum tuckered out.
This will be a busy few days - a movie at UCLA tonight, Anne tomorrow night, and my last acting class on Wednesday. Somewhere in there I need to get some groceries to make garlic mashed sweet potatoes, wheat-free stuffing, and chocolate pecan pie for Thanksgiving Day with Gordon's family.
I just hope my headache goes away so I can enjoy it all.
This has been quite a week. I've had this headache off and on all week, and can't figure out what is causing it. Not good. I'm hoping to be able to rest a bit this weekend and get rid of it once and for all, but it will be a busy weekend, too, so we'll see how that goes.
Gordon and I are going to see a friend perform in a play tonight, and that should be fun, and then tomorrow we are going to check out a couple places where we might get married. Tomorrow night Gordon's mom is throwing a party, and then Sunday is brunch with Anne and her dad, and Sunday night is book club. Somewhere in the middle of all that I'll rest. I hope.
Well, I ordered my wedding dress, and I found a lovely tiara on ebay for 20 bucks. Love it!
I'm still feeling kind of weird and blah. I don't have a headache now, but I don't feel like I'm all here, either. Didn't get much sleep last night, either, so I'll have to get to bed early tonight to try to get rid of whatever this is.
Went to dinner last night with a friend, and had chicken piccata. Yummy, even if it did have capers in it. As dedicated as I am to the BTD, I'm not going to worry about little things that rarely cross my path like capers. Then we went to see "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason". It was okay, and had some funny moments, but wasn't nearly as good or funny as the first one.
Went home and found my surprise from Gordon - a sweet note that he had wanted to sneak into my bag, but didn't have an opportunity to, so he left it on the keyboard at home. He's a keeper!
Had a protein powder smoothie for breakfast, and the rest of the chicken piccata for lunch. I'm going to the gym right after work and will get on the elliptical machine and then go to yoga class. I've been informed that dinner will be tilapia and green beans. Yum.
My headache is still lingering, but has lightened up considerably. It is probably 10% of what it was yesterday. I still don't feel quite like myself, but I feel vastly better than I did! Had trouble falling asleep last night - my legs were all twitchy and I just couldn't get comfortable. I took my potassium and PhytoCal, and even that didn't help.
When I get headachy or ill, I tend to reach for comfort foods, and last night was no different. I made macaroni and cheese - rice pasta, almond cheese, and ground lamb in it. Yum. Then I sat on the couch and watched three episodes of "Joan of Arcadia". Love that show! And now I'm all caught up. The last one was a tearjerker, but I don't want to give away the plot, other than to say that someone died.
Gordon was teasing me last night saying that he has a surprise for me today. Then, of course, he wouldn't tell me what it was. Grr!
Not much else going on today - just trying to stay out of headacheland....
Oh, and I'm ordering my wedding dress. : )
Friday evening we went to see "The Big Bang" again, and this time we went with Anne, a colleague of mine, and her boyfriend. During the afternoon, Anne called me and said she couldn't get any energy up to even get dressed, let alone go to the show. I talked her into going, but did NOT play the guilt card and remind her that the evening was all about HER - I'd already seen the show, and the evening's activities began by asking HER to come to the show. THEN I'd asked my colleague and her BF, and if she cancelled, I still would have had to go, but wouldn't've enjoyed it nearly as much. So I talked her into going, and she showed up at my place right around 6pm, and we headed to the theater. Arrived about 7:30, and grabbed some fish tacos at the mall across the street (corn tortillas, ugh).
We all enjoyed the show, and very shortly into it, Anne said that she was SO glad she came. She was very excited! She knew one of the actors in the show from something she'd worked on a while back, and the whole evening got her jazzed about working in theater again. I was glad I talked her into going!
After the show we went to the Elephant Bar and Gordon had dinner (at 11pm!) and we got drinks and dessert and chatted for a bit. We didn't stay long since Anne had to work on Saturday, and we headed home. Saturday, I slept until 11am, which is rare for me. I must have been wiped out! Gordon was at the theater all day, so I ran some errands and went to the gym and spent 30 minutes on the elliptical machine (love that thing!) and then went home to vegetate in front of the TV. Was about halfway through a movie when Anne called and asked if my cat, Maggie, could be a blood donor. Sure. So I got dressed, ran Maggie over to the vet, and waited while she got typed. As it turned out, Maggie has one of the rarest feline blood types, so they couldn't use her for this particular cat, but they'll keep her on file for another time. Went back home and finished my movie. By this time it was nearly 11pm, and Gordon was due home any minute. I decided to start another movie even though I figured I wouldn't finish it until Sunday.
About 1:00 in the morning, I called Gordon and he was still at the theater. I finished my movie and he arrived just as it was ending, and by 2am we had crashed for the night.
Sunday, I was awake about 8am, and got up and went to yoga class. This class was good, but REALLY SLOW. I was bored to tears. Afterwards, I got on the elliptical machine for about 30 minutes, then ran to the grocery store to get stuff for lunch with Anne. Anne arrived, and we made burritos - ground lamb, mild salsa, rice cheese, spelt tortillas, and lettuce. Yum.
Then we went to pick up my future mother-in-law, and we went wedding dress shopping. I saw a larger picture of the dress that I thought I was going to get, and didn't like the beading on it. I did, though, find another one that is beautiful. I would get it without the cap sleeves. http://www.maggiesottero.com/catalog/window.php?73 Another alternative is this one: http://www.maggiesottero.com/catalog/window.php?68 After that bridal shop, we went to Saks 5th Avenue to try on a few things. I tried on a gorgeous wedding dress that cost $8,800. It was beautiful, but NOT 10 times more beautiful than any of the other dresses I've been trying on.
I dropped my future MIH off at home, and Anne and I went to grab some sushi. We were both wiped out. Got home and she wanted me to show her something online, so I pulled it up and looked over at her and she was asleep. Napped for about 40 minutes, and when she woke up I sent her home.
After Anne left, I parked myself in front of the TV and caught up on a show or two. I was starting to get a little bit of a headache. Gordon got home about 10 pm, and we were asleep by 11.
I woke up this morning with an even worse headache, so I don't know what's going on with my body right now. Even though I got 8 hours of sleep, I feel dragged out and crabby. Blah.
She's going to be 92 on December 21st, and we're all arriving for her birthday and Christmas on that day.
I called her last night to tell her that we'll be flying in on her birthday and be there until Christmas Day, and also to tell her that I think I found my wedding dress.
She asked, "So are you really getting married?"
"No, Gramma, I just took the ring for the heck of it."
She laughed, and said she wasn't sure if I was serious about getting married. What? I've waited nearly 37 years for this fabulous man and I'm going to let him get away? I don't think so!
I was only partly surprised by her reaction - she isn't all there these days, and she must have told me about her sister's 90th birthday party 6 times and how it's at the country club and she can't go because it's just too far. So for her to wonder if I'm really getting married or if we're really coming for Christmas shouldn't surprise me. But it does.
And I do think I've found my wedding dress. I found a fabulous dress last weekend that has a split front and blue and pink embroidery between the split and on the back - beautiful. And it fit me like a glove, made me look slimmer and feel terrific. My only issue with it is that our wedding colors are plum and silver, and that it wouldn't quite work for us. So I got onto the Maggie Sottero webite, and was looking at dresses there. The dresses are all named after girls, so I looked to see if there happened to be a dress named Cassandra. There is. And it's the SAME DRESS THAT I LOVED AT THE OTHER STORE, but with beadwork instead of embroidery!!!!!! How weird is that that it is the same dress? AND has MY name?
Here's the link: http://www.maggiesottero.com/catalog/window.php?59
I'm going in to the store this weekend to try it on and (probably) order it. This was the ONLY dress that I tried on last weekend that made Anne cry when she saw it on me.
Foodwise I'm doing well, probably at least 80% compliant, and that compliance level is increasing, as is the amount of exercise I'm getting. I didn't get to the gym last night, and I won't get there tonight, but I'll have time to go both days this weekend. Other than trying on wedding dresses with Anne on Sunday, I have ZERO plans this weekend. So I'm going to work out, do some cooking, and maybe rent some movies or watch some TV. I need to recharge a bit, so this will be good.
Interviewer: You got quite a bit of flack for that because no one had done it before, and you were going out on a limb.
Jonas Salk: I wasn't going out on a limb. The flack to which you refer is what taught me, very early on, not only about the human side of nature, but about the human side of science. There are three stages of truth. First is that it can't be true, and that's what they said. You couldn't immunize against polio with a killed-virus vaccine. Second phase: they say, "Well, if it's true, it's not very important." And the third stage is, 'Well, we've known it all along." What you are describing is the process that you have to go through when you come up with an idea that has not yet been tried or tested. While it is true that this involves personalities, it also involves different ways of seeing. It was not a matter of a popularity contest, it was not a matter of anything other than that my curiosity drove me to find out whether it could work or not.
Interesting, isn't it?
So I've been to the gym two nights in a row now, and last night's yoga class was great. My back didn't like it too much last night, but I know that if I continue to do it my back will get stronger and then I won't be in pain at all. And that's a good thing!
Been eating really well, too. Cutting out sugar slowly and adding a little more protein. One step at a time!
By the way, I think I've found my wedding dress! Still need to try it on, but I'm optimistic since I tried on another one that was the same cut (but not as good quality) as this one, and it looked fantastic.
Wow. My quietest part of the day is when I'm at work, which is rather weird. (And don't get me wrong, I'm busy at work, too! Luckily, I'm a fast typist.) Between dinner with Anne and her family on Monday night, getting to the gym last night (and again tonight), researching possible wedding ceremony and reception locations, and figuring out various details of what we want for the wedding, plus Gordon and me just staying in communication in general, I have no time to unwind. I'm going to have to mark up my calendar with "Cassandra time" and make sure that I have time to read a book and hang out and NOT do anything.
Dinner with Anne and her parents on Monday was both great and difficult. Difficult because her parents (mostly her mother) are so politically biased in one particular direction that it is impossible to have a coherent discussion about it with her - she feels so strongly about it that there is no discussing it with her. I adore both of her parents, but that kind of thinking is not very compatible with having an open mind. Anne and I were looking at each other and I knew what she was thinking when the topic of conversation turned to politics. Gordon was terrific, though, deflected questions nicely, and then said, "Let's talk about religion!" (Anne's family and Gordon are all Jewish, and I was the only Christian at the table, so discussing religion was much safer than politics!) We all ended up talking about a little bit of everything, and I heard some great stories from when Anne's father got kicked out of college - one involved fire, and one involved water. Let's just say that neither story was a very good idea at the time, and resulted in the destruction of property, not to mention him getting kicked out. Oops!
At the end of the night, both of Anne's parents said how much they liked Gordon, and they could see why I fell in love with him so quickly and why we're getting married. It was a nice evening. Dinner was at an Italian restaurant in the Valley, and I had salmon with checca sauce, and it was wonderful - of course it came with spaghetti, and I tried a couple bites of it, but it was too spicy for me. I did eat some bread, too. Difficult to pass it up when I was as hungry as I was! Anne had the same exact meal, but she got mixed vegetables instead of the spinach that I got. It was a really good meal, but the next day Anne, Gordon, and I all got a headache, so we don't know if it was the food or the weather or the planetary alignment or what.
I went to the gym last night, and went to what I thought was a 6pm yoga class that ended up being a "Just PIlates" class, which was more like a crunch class than anything else. My low back was NOT happy last night, and I was moving gingerly for the rest of the night even though I made a point to be careful. This morning I feel fine, though, so that's good. Turns out the yoga class is actually at 7pm, so I will go after work again tonight and do something on the elliptical machine before class and then go to class at 7pm. Once I got home last night Gordon and I had dinner - I had a leftover chicken salad platter that was fabulous, and Gordon made a stirfry for himself.
Breakfast this morning was a leftover tuna salad sandwich without the bread. Lunch today will be at Benihana (yum!) and then dinner will probably be leftovers of something when I get home about 8:15 tonight.
Tomorrow night is acting class, Friday night is the show that Gordon is working on, and Anne is coming with me, and then the weekend will be a flurry of errand running and me making a point of taking some down time.
I'm working on getting back in shape - now that I've healed from the neck injury earlier this year and I'm getting more settled in at home and with Gordon, it's time to get back on track.
My plans to cook anything over the weekend went out the window. Friday I left work early to go to the chiropractor, then had dinner with Anne and her mother. Half a roasted chicken with carrots and broccoli. Yum.
Saturday Gordon and I went and looked at a possible wedding ceremony site. We have other places to look, but we need to get cracking and make some decisions! He's making some phone calls today to see what he can find out about a few places. Saturday night we went to the show he's been working on, and grabbed some dinner at a restaurant across the street before the show. They had the best black bean soup that I've had in a LONG time. Yummy! The show was fun, too - a musical about the history of the world. Funny stuff.
Sunday we woke up pretty early and had eggs and turkey bacon for breakfast, and then Gordon headed off to the theatre and Anne and I went wedding dress shopping. We had a ball, and may have even found THE dress! We took a break between stores and went to Starbucks (soy chai!) and then headed to another shop. At that one shop, we had a fabulous woman helping us, and I tried on dresses for about 3 hours. By the time we were done, I was exhausted. When I got home, Gordon and I decided to go to the sushi place up the street from us, and we think we've found a new favorite. The sushi was REALLY fresh, reasonably priced, and the whole place had a really cool atmosphere.
When we got back, we watched a little tv and then surrounded ourselves with wedding magazines and started hashing out some details. We nailed down the colors, the time of the ceremony, and a rough plan of what date we'd like to get married. Gordon is so fabulous - so many grooms don't know what they might want at their wedding, but he's got clear ideas and they are GREAT ones! We're already having fun planning this! At one point I looked at the clock, though, and it was nearly midnight - past my bedtime, and definitely time to put the books and mags away!
I had to order lunch for a meeting today, so I won't have to go out. Tonight we're having dinner with Anne and her parents, who haven't met Gordon yet. Should be a fun evening.
Class last night was good, once I got there. It took me just over two hours to drive 20 miles. This was exceptional even by LA standards! It usually takes me 45 minutes to an hour to get over the hill to the Valley (there aren't very many possible routes to get there). Last night it took me an hour just to get TO the freeway, and then the usual hour to get over the hill. Ugh.
I arrived in class tired and cranky, and my energy was flagging and never really recovered in spite of my efforts to bring it up. I sang my first song and while it was still vastly better than it was in the beginning of the class, it wasn't my best performance. During the break I ate a bit of my salad in the hopes that it would help me feel better, but it didn't help. The second half of class was a little better, but I was still wiped out. I sang "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" and got a laugh when I started singing it, and I had FUN doing it. That helped my energy level, so by the time class was over I was starting to get wired, which meant that I couldn't get to sleep once I got home.
Today may very well be a long day since I only got about 6 hours of sleep. It was not easy to drag myself out of bed this morning. I told myself that if I left on time I could get a soy chai tea latte from Starbucks to help me get through the day. So I have a little Starbucks fix for this morning.
Tonight is acting class, and I have my monologue to practice between now and 7pm. Assuming it doesn't take me as long to get up there tonight as it did last night I will grab some dinner near class and then head to class. My coach also wants me to bring back "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" and polish up the performance. Fun stuff!
I have to go out for lunch again today - just no time this week to prepare even the simplest of meals. This weekend I'll cook and throw a few things in the freezer so that I can grab something for lunch on my way out the door.
I left work yesterday and went to the music store to find a 'fun' song to sing tonight for our last class. I had no idea what I would pick, but knew I would find something. I thought I would pick something that would be familiar from my childhood or something, just because I don't have much time to learn it! I was browsing through the songs, and came across the perfect song for me to sing, especially since we just got engaged - "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend". If nothing else it should get a good laugh! I told Gordon about me singing it and he cracked up, as did Anne. I don't know the whole song, but I know about 32 bars, which is more than enough for class tonight. Can't wait!
Then I ran home to change, eat my leftover lamb and veggies from Friday night (3rd meal out of this!) and grab my sample ballot and go vote. There was no line and it took me all of about 3-5 minutes from checking in until the time I left.
Then I walked home and dashed over to Westwood to return one of the sweaters that I bought twice, but I got there about 5 minutes after they had closed! Rats! So I'll go back this weekend.
After that, I headed over to a gym that is near work - I had signed up for a 10 day pass, and they called yesterday to let me know that if I got in there last night that they would make it a FREE 30 day pass. I'm all about free stuff, so I went. Didn't work out, but at least I can take advantage of it for the rest of the month.
Finally, I got home and started practicing "Diamonds" for tonight - downloaded a version of it from the internet (itunes is cool!) and started practicing. My cat Maggie was on the desk the whole time I was practicing and kept meowing at me and biting my arms (not hard). I guess she didn't like it! She would bite me and not let go! I was laughing so hard that I would stop singing, she'd let go, I'd start singing, and she'd bite me again! Anne said that she might not have liked that key or something. She's never done that before!
This weekend I have GOT to cook some food for next week's lunches. Today one of my colleagues and I went to La Salsa, and I got a salad with chicken on it. It was good, but I know that I'm not eating as well as I could be or should be, especially if I want to get back down to my 'normal' weight before the wedding!
Tonight, singing, tomorrow night, acting. Working out and HOME on Friday night. Yay.
I'm getting back to normal, but over the weekend I was still so excited that I was not quite myself - I bought the same shirt twice from two different stores on Saturday, and on Sunday I left my credit card on the counter at a store in Encinitas. Fortunately the woman came running out after me with my card! It's been lots of fun telling our friends and family of our engagement.
I've been pretty good about staying on track with the diet part of the BTD - finally had my rack of lamb for lunch yesterday, and enjoyed every bite of it. Had chicken and rice and salad and half an artichoke for dinner last night at Anne's, and we had fun talking about colors and dresses and wedding stuff. There's nothing like a best friend to giggle and talk and figure out stuff like this with. She just got her wedding dress back from her ex, and I tried it on last night. It is a stunningly beautiful dress, ,and I know that I have one to wear if I want it, but I think I need to go try on lots of different styles to see what I like best. We might go dress shopping this Sunday.
The exercise part of the BTD is still elusive right now - I'm still so incredibly busy it is unreal. As I left for work yesterday, I told Gordon that I love him and I'll see him Saturday. He's working at the theater in the evenings, and I'm working during the days - he'll be busy ALL this weekend, but Saturday morning we will probably get together with his mother and nail down some wedding stuff and we hope to go look at another ceremony location that is nearby, too. He's busy the next few weekends, so I'm on my own to get some wedding things done between now and Thanksgiving. Anyway, the exercise part of the BTD! Gordon has a gym membership that is okay, but that he isn't thrilled with, so I've been looking into memberships, but it looks like the easiest, cheapest, and most convenient solution is actually the gym he's already a member of, so he's going to go over there today and get me signed up, then I'll go in (perhaps tonight) and finish the sign-up process. Then I can at least start taking advantage of the classes and the gym even if he is busy.
My singing class ends this week - I've made a lot of progress, but I'll be so glad when it is over. Having three nights a week booked every week is too much for me right now. I haven't even cooked in about 2 weeks! Just too much going on.