It never fails. Every year when I participate in Earth Hour
, I always end up doing it longer than an hour. I'm considering making Earth Hour monthly instead of annually because it's an opportunity for me to get a bunch of writing and reading done without the electronic distractions I usually zone in on (TIVO, notebook computer, Smartphone, etc.). I could spend hours on end messing around with my Web site and if I ever open my work e-mail on the weekends, that's my day...gone. With that said:1. Earth Hour 2013:
I love participating. I enjoy going green, recycling and participating in organizations that help with the environment. I haven't totally given up on purchasing a hybrid car, but I love my ride too much to give it up.2. Paying off my car note:
Speaking of cars, clicking on the "Payoff Quote" and paying off my car note in full made me want to scream to the top of my lungs at 3 a.m. While running errands this weekend, I got my car washed and just stared at it. Paying off a note for a new car is an expensive task. Once you do it, you'll either think: "Is it worth all this? Do I even still like this car?" or "Hallelujah, finally money to set aside for other stuff." I thought the latter, and looking at my shiny car made me love it more!
I've had a lot to smile about this week, but the top of the list has to be: 1. Fitting into my old jeans: You could see my smile from Rogers Park to Brainerd Park when I decided to test out a pair of jeans on Friday that I haven't been able to wear in over a year. Not only could I comfortably fit into those jeans, but I can now wear the other two pairs of jeans that I'd hidden in the back of my closet. These were my three favorite pairs of jeans that I just couldn't handle donating to charity when I started gaining weight around the fall of last year. I was a stick figure as a kid and then went to a medium size around high school and stayed there. Got to college and became "thick," then lost a whole lot of weight (as in a size 12 to a size 6-8) during a weight training course after transferring to my second (and the only one I claim) alma mater. That yo-yo effect made me a little cocky when I gained weight again, thinking it'd just drop off. Nope! This time around I joined Weight Watchers after reading Jennifer Hudson's book because I'd shot up to 195 lbs. in January. Hell no! No way was I going to stay that size. And let me tell you, Weight Watchers works. I dropped so much weight within the first few weeks that I got an e-mail from WW saying I was losing weight too fast. I've been a vegetarian for eight years so it's definitely not hard to eat healthy and I've always been an exercise enthusiast, but Weight Watchers showed me that portion control is key. I was strutting my ass off this weekend wearing two of the three pairs of jeans that I missed out on in most of 2011 and 2012. 2. "The Family Hustle" and "Insanity" workout routines: This week I decided to exercise along with T.I. and his family during their Obama challenge and then Steve Harvey had Shaun T on from the "Insanity" workouts. I woke up sore all over, but it was fun to do all of those exercises. I'm a longtime supporter of Shaun T's "Hip Hop Abs" workouts and own the entire first set so it's good to see him on anybody's show. It gave me new ideas for working out at home because going to the gym can get old quickly. I prefer working out at home if the weather doesn't allow me to go for a nice long walk or jog.
T.I. is a brave man to do that pregnancy-style sit-up routine he did in the gym. I was laughing at him right along with Tiny and her friends, but like he said, "I don't care what you say it looks like. That's what you s'posed to do." Now I can do sit-ups all day, but that touch-the-ground one is major! And yes, I had to laugh at Shekinah getting a colon cleansing. Never in my life would I do that. After Kourtney Kardashian leaked on a bed, that was it for me. I was thoroughly grossed out by the entire process.
Update: Sunday (March 11)
Man, I'm totally behind on doing these weekly blogs but still determined to do them. Even if I'm the only one that reads them (not true considering I see my web visits per day, thanks for visiting!), it's therapeutic to think of things that make me smile. There have just been so many high and low moments in the past month so some will be from February and others from March.
1) Talking to my godfather, Elvin: I spent two hours on the phone with him today. There is 100% chance I'm going to hear some great stories, laugh more often than not and then we'll go into deep conversations about society and probably touch on finances. I can talk to him about anything, and he'll give me the raw, uncut version. Crazy about him (and his southern accent when he says "Monnie").
2) Watching Hugh Laurie on the deaf teen episode for music vibrations: The "House" scene was to find out if the guy who had a hearing impairment could somehow feel better with music. Now normally people would think House would come in with classical music or maybe some random pop tune. Nope, he comes in with his cane, a big boombox and is dancing to Public Enemy's "Fight the Power." I died. I loved that scene so much that I rewound it to watch it again and again.
I've been plotting on pulling this off for two weeks. My grandfather and mother laughed hysterically this winter when they found out I dug my car out of the parking lot with a bucket. I didn't (and still don't) own a shovel and nobody was around to borrow one during the second largest Chicago winter. My bucket looked all right to me, and it worked, but man those two got a good long laugh at that one when I told them later.
This time around I decided I'm done paying for car washes. I used to get my car washed for free at the dealership I bought it from, but they sold off their Suzukis to another location and now the service sucks since they don't service Suzuki. The other location is way too far away to bounce into every couple of weeks, and I take pride in my car looking so clean. But why should I pay for washes when rain is free? It's constantly raining in Chicago, and I just refuse to shell out $10 every time my car is dirty or get those mediocre drive-thru washes only for it to rain the next day. Only problem is rain water doesn't always "clean" your car; it just rinses the car off kinda like rinsing dishes. So I plotted on a time when I could wash my car for free.
Here's how it went down:
Step 1: Get an umbrella, car wash liquid, a sponge and gym shoes.
Step 2: Run outside and soap up car.
Step 3: Run back into the house before I get to the car because I realize it's raining too hard and I can't keep the umbrella from flipping up.
Step 4: Stare out of window to see when the rain calms down.
Step 5: Run back outside fully equipped and speed through soaping up car. Make sure to get the bottom.
Step 6: Hold umbrella under my neck so I can use both hands.
Step 7: Soap car again for any missed spots. Run full speed back into apartment.
Step 8: Take photo attached.
Update 9/4/2011: Don't get me wrong. I love writing. I still "live to write" like my third tattoo used to say, but this is ridiculous. After less than three months of having my fifth tattoo (same spot), "Write" is starting to peek through the bottom set of leaves. Oh my gawd, seriously, this damn tattoo just will not go away. The book left. The "live to" left, but "Write" didn't disappear any of the four times I got laser surgery, and even though it temporarily disappeared when I got the fifth tattoo, it's back again. This time around, I'm not touching it. It'll just be there. I'm going to own up to this one. No matter what job I take (copyediting, web editing, print editing, transcribing), I always circle back around to write something so maybe I should just take this as meant to be because clearly my body is not letting that small piece of ink on a very big tattoo go.
Original June 18th entry below:
1. Real Men Cook for Father's Day:
I mentioned how much I like the festival in a recent Ten @ 10 Stew blog
, but I also completed previous interviews about how RMC got started and talked to the owners. I love this event. Click here for Kofi Moyo's interview
or here for Yvette Moyo's interview
.2. My tattoo artist Bobby Sox at the Tattoo Factory: I know some folks (including my mother) think I've lost my mind for getting a fifth tattoo on the same arm, but after four laser surgeries, $1200 gone, four more to go, being told I'd have to use skin lightener to get the ink to remove quicker, a Tribune op/ed piece on the trials of tattoos and hiding my arm for two years while I thought about it, I was fed up. The tattoo looked like a glob. I kept hiding my arm even when I wasn't at work, and it's too hot outside for all that. I can't spend the rest of my life hiding my arm, so I shopped around with four tattoo artists before I finally found one I was comfortable with (price wise and quality wise). Out of the three I've gotten tattoos from, Bobby Sox is hands-down the best. I love my new tattoo, and I have no desire to ever remove it again. If I tried it, my arm would probably fall off anyway.