Tag Archives: costco

Decisions, Decisions

My life isn’t all naps and Diet Coke. Here are some decisions I made today.

7 Things I Decided to Do
1. Get up early and take the trolley to go cheer on runners at the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. First of all, what a beautiful day. Second of all, watching the runners was very inspiring, even if I never did manage to see my first cousin once removed go by. (Yes, I know how to calculate cousins and removedness, and that’s our actual relationship.) And better still was riding the train a little further west to Old Town for breakfast with all the runners who had participated in the relay half-marathon and were riding on to the finish line to meet their racing partners. Everyone was in such a good mood! Plus the restaurant wasn’t crowded at all, and the handmade corn tortillas at Old Town Mexican Cafe were as delectable as I wanted them to be, even if the salsa there is a little frothy. Tasty, but frothy. It’s not something you see every day. Nor are giant bowls of menudo, but the icky parts were floating below the surface of the soup, so I could pretend everyone was just eating tomato soup.

Not Tomato Soup

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The More Things Change, the More Things Stay the Same–Notes from the 1873 Women’s Congress (Takeout for the People!)

So before I could sit down and write the aforementioned goddamned essay, I needed a poignant quotation about male and female roles and a topic. I had hoped the quotation would generate the topic, but I didn’t want anything political or comic, so I turned–as I so often turn–to literature. I ended up finding this sort of horrifying blurb about women from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Emile, and that put me on the direction of women’s education:

The whole education of women ought to relate to men. To please men, to be useful to them, to make herself loved and honored by them, to raise them when young, to care for them when grown, to counsel them, to console them, to make their lives agreeable and sweet-these are the duties of women at all times, and they ought to be taught from childhood.

It was not so much what it said that was so horrifying; it’s old news that people think that that. What was so horrifying was that it came from Rousseau. Now, philosophy is like my kryptonite, so the very little I know about Rousseau comes from a 10th grade world cultures class in 1989 (you can do the math) and the television show Lost. The character of Rousseau, who is awesome and has gorgeous hair, personifies the purity of nature or something, but I didn’t think it would be so sexist especially because she is such a bad ass.

But that’s a dangerous tangent to follow–I am purposely not blogging Lost. Long story short, an essay inspired by that Rousseau quotation quickly became unwieldy; I had a maximum of 1,000 words to work with. I looked up some more cheerful stuff, thinking a suffragette would have said or written something that I liked. Did they ever!

The real point of my story begins, then, in 1873 at the First Woman’s Congress for the Association of the Advancement of Women. It was a big event, with all the woman’s suffrage movement headliners, like Elizabeth Cady Stantion and Susan B. Anthony. The proceedings in their apparent entirety are available for free at Google Books, and they make for some interesting reading. What’s nice about Google Books is that you can search for key words within the texts; I was looking in Google Books for passages about women’s education and this book came right up. You can even download it as a PDF. There are a lot of interesting books from the 19th Century on there; you should browse around, especially if you have a Kindle or something and a convenient way to read them.

I haven’t read the whole book yet, although I’ve read several selections in various literature classes. I skipped to the good parts first: “The Co-Education of the Sexes” by Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It starts on page 39. Long story short, she doesn’t see what the big deal is about 1) giving women higher education and 2) letting them attend the same schools as men. My favorite part of the essay/speech is on page 50; Stanton is describing one opposing argument for the purposes of disassembling it later.

But another grave objection to co education is that attachments would be formed and engagements and marriages grow out of them and that thus the thoughts of both sexes would be drawn from their legitimate studies. Another class of objectors assert that the higher education of women would open to them so many new and pleasant fields for thought and action that marriage would be indefinitely postponed or ignored altogether.

What I absolutely love about this point of view–LOVE about it–is that THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAS HAPPENED! They worried about what would happen if women were to go to college (Your mom goes to college!), and presumably think that the distractions of sex and the delay of marriage would be a bad thing.

What’s amazing is that 125 years later, there are reasonable people who still make this point (although no one in the United States would ever dream of barring women from college–even the Fundie universities accept women and have elevated homemaking to the bachelor’s level). Even more amazing is that all over Europe and Japan, and almost in the United States, fertility rates are down. Way, way down. Like below replacement level down, and it’s totally because women are too busy in school to have babies. There is as close to a direct correlation as possible between a group’s fertility rates and the education levels of its women. (I discussed this a little bit in my review of The Baby Bust, edited by Frank Harris.) Education empowers women and gives them the knowledge to control their fertility, true, but mostly it keeps them out of marriage and uses up a lot of good breeding years. Women with jobs also get married for very different reasons than women without them, and all those girls who would have formally become wives for food and housing don’t have to anymore. Whether or not you consider declining fertility rates is a good or bad thing will have to be a debate conducted on your own blog, thank you very much, but there are lots of government leaders in lots of places wringing their hands about the situation right now.

I’m sure that the naysayers of co-ed women’s higher education in the post-Civil War era had different reasons to worry about what would happen with a bunch of spinsters in the marketplace (versus what to do with socialized programs for old people and not enough young people in the work force), but everything they feared has come to pass. I am so impressed sometimes with how smart people are. Talk about prescience! Plus you see all that crazy Gone Wild crap on TV and in books like I Am Charlotte Simmons about the college party scenes and the dumbing down of education and the relative worthlessness of a four-year degree, and you have to admit that boys and girls with legitimate studies be distracting each other. Hell, some places have co-ed bathrooms now, which is a frakkin travesty. I feel like I graduated from college just in time, even though I’m sure I still would have been boring and stuck up and not at parties no matter what years I attended.

The other passage from the First Woman’s Congress selections caught my eye entirely by accident. It’s from “Enlightened Motherhood” by a Mrs. Corbin. She starts with some somber statistics about infant mortality rates, which were very, very high in the era before childhood vaccines and clean water supplies. She’s making the stock argument that higher education will make women better mothers (suggesting obliquely that the lack of education is responsible for child death), as will city-wide plumbing and sewer programs. Then comes this wonderful gem on page 29:

As it is, women cannot be good housekeepers and good mothers also. It is a physical impossibility.

A physical impossibility, folks. Impossibility. So, Gentle Reader cum Houseguest, next time you are over at my house discreetly scanning the dust on the piano and the yogurt smudges beneath the kitchen table and the tiny fruit flies hovering over the tomato seedlings on the window sill, remember that no amount of higher education can teach me to countermand the laws of physics.

Mrs. Corbin acknowledges, however, that the task of bringing electric lighting and clean water to every household is a tremendous undertaking, and an inefficient solution to the dangerous and deadly problem of having kitchens in our homes, in the same buildings that helpless, innocent babies sleep in. So she presents another idea:

First, then, the successful solution of the problem of carrying light and water to all our homes, and carrying heat, by means of steam pipes, to all the houses in one square or block, are pregnant hints of the principles upon which the amelioration of domestic life is to progress. It is more convenient and more economical that one central establishment should do one kind of work for many homes than that each home should have its own isolated and expensive machinery.

Second, the experience of the inhabitants of large European cities proves conclusively that the cooking of food in a restaurant, and the conveying of it to the home warm and fragrant, is not an impossibility. The system as there elaborated is by no means perfect, but the idea is proved to be practicable.

Being a good wife and housekeeper? Impossible. Takeout for the people? Not just possible, but absolutely essential for the true liberation of women.

Takeout, folks. It will save the world.

And don’t think Mrs. Corbin was some radical nutcase with crazy ideas about housewife entitlement, either. In 1900, the Ladies Home Journal published a list of predictions for the year 2000 written by John Elfreth Watkins, Jr. #17  assumes that women, like your mom, would go to college (higher ed for women FTW!), but #23 is the one I am most interested in:

Ready-cooked meals will be bought from establishments similar to our bakeries of today. They will purchase materials in tremendous wholesale quantities and sell the cooked foods at a price much lower than the cost of individual cooking. Food will be served hot or cold to private houses in pneumatic tubes or automobile wagons. The meal being over, the dishes used will be packed and returned to the cooking establishments where they will be washed. Such wholesale cookery will be done in electric laboratories rather than in kitchens. These laboratories will be equipped with electric stoves, and all sorts of electric devices, such as coffee-grinders, egg-beaters, stirrers, shakers, parers, meat-choppers, meat-saws, potato-mashers, lemon-squeezers, dish-washers, dish-dryers and the like. All such utensils will be washed in chemicals fatal to disease microbes. Having one’s own cook and purchasing one’s own food will be an extravagance.

Here we go with the takeout again! In this version, you just send the dirty dishes back through a pneumatic tube like at Costco. Who cares about flying cars? Where’s my pneumatic tube? And a nice little shout-out to germ theory, too. Thank you, Mr. Watkins, for looking out for all us wives and mothers out there. A meat saw has no place in a house with small children.

Because I’m sure you still care, I’ll tell you that I ended up going with an excerpt of some lyrics from a 1925 song called “Masculine Women, Feminine Men” by Monaco/Leslie and not writing the goddamned essay about women’s education at all. Funny how things work that way, isn’t it?

A Boring Post about Computer Problems

So my keyboard is acting up on the new computer, and I am 100 percent positive that it is not my fault. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It started a few weeks ago maybe (perhaps the same mystery trigger started my rash) and I noticed that when I typed in some online text boxes (while wasting time) a weird sequence of keys would move the cursor and add some letters. It got suddenly worse a few days ago. Now some really interesting things happen. Wanna see?ric

The qp;l

\fk brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.ou

It’s enough to drive a girl mad. Fortunately, I have an external keyboard that spares me the need to drop all letters I and K from my repertoire. When I type I, I get some combination of the sequence “pori,” usually spread across a few lines. On my second letter I, text full on disappears. When I type K it gets even more interesting: I get either ;l or f/;l and a carriage return (or whatever the technical name for the computer equivalent is). I also can’t control the number lock key from the laptop (it is controlled entirely by the external keyboard). I have looked all around online for first a solution and then  companionship. No one is having this problem, although a few people complain that they get some weird backwards text. It has been suggested that I perform some kind of exorcism on the computer, but I contacted Gateway customer service instead. We did buy the warranty.

Dell is better. :(

A few timely and convenient go-arounds with the Gateway email customer help form resulted in them telling me to ship my computer to Texas so they can look at it. I have a bad feeling about this. I’ll be pissed if they tell me the computer is unfixable and just send me a refund. I am so not in the mood to set up another computer. I am sick of computer problems. Despite the many, many hours I spend procrastinating on my work for money, I do have deadlines and commitments and expenses, and I don’t really want to be without this machine. Now, it’s not a total crisis, because my trusty old Mac is still online and can produce the Word documents that are the bulk of my work, but it can’t print. I could print a bunch of stuff before shipping it off, and I will have the fax/copy functions of my printer to play with, but it won’t be convenient. The Mac is slow. It’s a ten-year-old machine almost and it is not Hulu capable. I know all the shows are going off the air for a while, but what if the computer isn’t back in time for the start of Lost? Or Battlestar Galactica? Most of my shows I don’t need to be up to date on, but some get talked about in my online forums and I hate being left out of those conversations. All I do all day is sit around and think about stuff, and there is so much I want to say about every program that I see (except, oddly enough, The Office these days). I haven’t actually watched our television at a scheduled time for a year, I bet, and we don’t have a DVR and this isn’t a reason to get one.

Dell sent me many keyboards on demand when they were damaged by baby fingers. Why can’t Gateway do the same thing? I am mad. I asked them to just send me one so I could replace it, but they came up with excuses like “software issue” and “motherboard” and “system problem” and want to see the machine. I suppose it’s a reasonable request. I could ignore it. I am getting used to the external keyboard action and I had forgotten how wonderful it is to use a mouse with a scroll wheel. My biggest complaint about this Gateway (M-7301U laptop, I think) has been the track pad. My long, slender, graceful, delicate fingers do not fall ergonomically on the buttons. The Dell Inspiron fit my hand better, and it didn’t even occur to me at the time of purchase for the Gateway to check how my hand fit the track pad. the way the buttons are angled requires you to press the button at the bottom, and the tops of the keys actually slant downward toward the trackpad. I used my long, slender, graceful, delicate middle finger to navigate the cursor, and my long, disfigured, pre-arthritic thumb (old baseball injury–long story) is hitting the track pad. I have to move my hand to press the button and it really slows me down. If this computer gets fixed I’m still keeping the mouse. It’s funny how it’s always the small details that thwart your evil plan. I now know exactly how H. G. Wells’s Martians felt.

I have ninety days to send in my computer on the service request number they’ve already assigned to me. I have an idea about what work I should accomplish before then, and what I can do while the good machine is gone. (No iPod updates! That’s a downer that just occurred to me.) it technically shouldn’t set me back. I still even have the box with all the packaging. I think I could get it there safely. I have a large external drive I can back up all my stuff on, and the drive even works on the library’s computers, if I have to get something in a hurry. I should be a lot more zen about this. I’m just in a mood, I guess. I was unnecessarily testy on another website already once tonight.

We have technical friends who used to always rent computers from those furniture and household rental places. I wonder how much a laptop would be in the interim. Probably what we would do is go ahead and buy the computer we’ve thought about getting for husband, and we’d share that while mine is getting fixed. But we don’t really need the second computer and there are other things I’d like to use the money for first. I dunno. Mountains and molehills.

Although I am terribly interested in those tiny little portable laptops with the 10-inch screens. Do those have wireless internet capability? That might be our answer… hmm… food for thought.

The other weird thing that happened today is that I got this strange email from Acer computers. it was very long and it was thanking me for registering my products, and it included a bunch of coupons for Corel products. My mother denies buying me an Acer computer. Husband denies it. I can’t think of any software I’ve registered lately; I did update the VLC player and sign up for their forum to ask a question (the suggestion worked), but those are French people and Acer is not. (It can’t be. The French come up with much better names.) This close to Christmas I wonder what’s going on, but this computer I am using is about a month old.  Who can say? I’m not deleting the email, but it’s puzzling.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of those little computers as our second computer. I’ll let this gel overnight. Speaking of which, Husband got a batch of homemade champagne jelly from a coworker today. We didn’t know what it was for a few minutes until he found the card. It reeks of booze. It tastes of booze. I can’t imagine how you would serve it. On crackers? With meat, like mint jelly is put on lamb? It’s very strange to look at. I investigated some recipes for it, and there are all kinds of preparations, including this one where you pour it around a slice of melon and let the whole thing set. I have to say that the jams I got from my SGU Secret Santa (now there’s a duhrama event that doesn’t involve me, but I’m staying out of it) look far more appetizing.

I am jonesing for some ramen right now.

The adulterated egg nog made me thirsty.

I ordered Fella and Filly hot dogs at Costco today, and they come automatically with soda, and I only wanted one soda, so I asked the lady if she was in line just to buy a soda (it was not a meal time of day, and she was already done shopping), and I gave her my extra cup.

I forgot to go to the post office today, but I think it’s still not too late to ship a priority mail flat rate packed box to Cleveland.

I’m not sure what to make of the Sarah Connor Chronicles, but I am surpised to realize that I don’t really care that Pushing Daisies is ending, even though I’ve never missed an episode.

I have to go to bed now.

Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp

This is a story about the shrimp with garlic lemon butter sauce I was going to serve over angel hair pasta Monday night for dinner. It’s been a while since I’ve cooked because of this construction project. Not that my kitchen has in any way been disrupted by some wall in half of the back bedroom, but for one reason or another it’s just been easier to eat out. But things had settled down, I’d made some good progress on my work for money, and I didn’t feel like driving anywhere. I hadn’t gone to the grocery store as intended, but I had some shrimp in the freezer and thought I’d work around that. Doesn’t garlic lemon butter sauce sound like the perfect thing for shrimp? Well, I thawed the shrimp and looked up some recipes online. Found some good ones, too. It just happened to be that once I started cooking I learned that I didn’t actually have any lemon juice in the house. Or butter. How could I be out of butter? I’m never out of butter! I’m usually quite good at keeping staples around. Turns out what I thought was angel hair pasta was just spaghetti. Fortunately, I still had a really good jar of that Napa Valley sauce, so we had spaghetti with some shrimp on top. Vaguely disappointing. In my paranoia about overcooking the frozen broccoli and making it all squishy I didn’t cook it enough. There were some cold stalks. It filled our tummies and there’s still spaghetti on hand for lunches. Like the Borg, I adapted.

I finally went to the grocery store last night, but not until after dinner. I was still pretty impressed with what I found already in the cupboard, and threw together something passable that looks great on paper and hit the food groups and provided leftovers for lunches! I blame the construction project for interfering with dinner, but only indirectly. I mean, we’ve only got half of one room at the back of the house affected. The problem has been interrupted nap times, babysitting while the work is happening, and trying to hit deadlines of working for money at the same time. So it’s been a while since I turned on the oven and I think that the novelty of preparing food enhanced its actual flavor. And nothing really tasted that bad.

I’d been intending to make a turkey meatloaf for a few days now, but when I actually looked at the turkey it was just too far past its sell-by date. So I pulled out of the freezer some chicken breasts I’d forgotten were in there and a jar of Archer Farms Cocoa Chili Mole Sauce from the cupboard that I’d been seeing for several weeks but hadn’t been registering in my consciousness. Archer Farms is the Target store brand, and I got a good amount of sauce for $4 or less. It looked beautiful. I diced the chicken and simmered it in the sauce per the jar’s suggestion, and I think that was probably not enough. The food cooked and nothing burned or stuck to the pan, but it was kind of blah. Even as I was browning the chicken before adding the sauce, I was thinking about how boring unflavored chicken is yet I took no steps to alter it. I held a few pieces back in case the sauce turned off Fella and/or Filly to dinner. Those pieces were worse because all I did with them was microwave them with a little bit of water.

This is where I wanted to put a picture of the product, but I couldn’t find one readily online and I am too lazy to take a picture of an empty, rinsed jar extracted from the recycling bin in the broom closet. A Google Images Search on “Archer Farms Cocoa Chili Mole,” however, brought up a picture that I’ll included instead, to break up the page of text and add some color to this post:

Mole isn’t my favorite sauce. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to try, and it was, and it wasn’t so spicy that F&F didn’t like it. It was a beautiful color but it didn’t transcend. I think it was as good as something I could have had at one of those family Mexican restaurants where the waitresses have horizontal striped skirts and the mariachi bands play on the weekends. Perhaps if I had tasted gourmet mole somewhere I’d sing a different song about it.

I served a southwest blend of frozen vegetables that I didn’t really like. It had red kidney beans and chick peas, with flat pea pods, carrots and corn. I’d supplemented the vegetables with frozen carrot balls, and it was unremarkable. We eat frozen vegetables a lot because they don’t go bad, but the chick peas and kidney beans looked strange together. When I was at the store I stuck to the usual broccoli florets, tiny green beans, and a peas & carrots mix that makes a good Weight Watchers pot pie out of rotisserie chicken leftovers. I don’t think it was a particularly hot summer this year, and fall weather has come upon us suddenly, I think. The days are still quite warm and sunny, and it gets quite warm in the house if I don’t turn on the air (which I don’t), but the mornings and the nights are definitely damp. I see some pot pie in my future.

The biggest experiment was the cornbread. I do have corn meal, but I don’t know why. Sometimes we bread catfish in it. I love, love, love the Marie Callender’s Corn Bread Mix. It’s quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever eaten that you just add water to. It totally trumps Cups of Noodles.

You can buy big bags of this at Costco or get single-pan packets at the grocery store. It mixes really well with just a whisk and it makes a really moist pan of cornbread. I was a little surprised to learn that there is a special corporation set up now just to pimp the MC brand of cornbread and cornbread accessories, but I guess it makes sense. Marie is pretty busy running a national restaurant chain. She doesn’t have time to play door-to-door salesman at the B2B level. So don’t forget MCcornbread.com when it’s time to send executive gift baskets to your vendors and clients! And stay for the pie.

So I had all of this in my mind when I grabbed a box of cornbread mix off the shelf at Fresh & Easy. It was probably much cheaper than the single-pan packet of Marie Callender’s cornbread, and it was bigger than a box of Jiffy. It did not require only water, and I had to add milk, oil, and an egg. I mixed it with a whisk, but probably should have used a mixer, because there were dry lumps in it after I was done, but I didn’t want to wash the blades later. And for all the moist I added, the muffins weren’t noteworthy. There were little pockets of crumbly from the dry lumps that added texture. It was not off-putting, but it called attention to its mixishness. I don’t normally make cornbread mixes into muffins, so maybe that something to do with it. If I’d cooked it in a pan like I usually do, and baked it for thirty-five minutes, maybe the magic of chemistry would have enhanced it. But I didn’t have time.

That said, the mix is better than Jiffy’s, the tops were toasted nicely, and I finally figured out how to use the stand-alone muffin cups, although I still put them in the muffin pan for organization. And I guess I shouldn’t enthusiastically malign a Fresh & Easy product just because it is from Fresh & Easy and it is fashionable to do so, because of the fourteen muffins I made last night only three of them are left today. I don’t know that I’ll get it again. It just made me want to spend more money more often on the Marie Callender’s kind. I sense a Costco run in the future. I’m almost out of Diet Coke, too. Plus frozen yogurt from the food window is always a nice treat, not that I need any more nice treats for a while.

If I hadn’t been serving the noodles one way or another for a few days, I’d be a little more excited by the fact that I bought butter and lemon juice and fresh parmesan cheese. I feel obligated now to go get shrimp and white wine and angel hair pasta and stir up something fantastic, but it’s meatloaf on deck tonight. I am not going to let another two pounds of fat and protein go bad. At least we can have a fresh salad, unless the bag of greens is bad. That’s another item I always lose in the refrigerator door until it’s too late. I don’t really care. Lettuce is overrated, in any of its manifestations.

Thoughts on Pre-Packaged Food


Campbell’s V8 Soup in a Box (Step 1: Cut a hole in a box… Step 2: Put your soup in that box…): Butternut Squash Flavor

It tastes very, very good. Like I said before, I don’t have the old Select box to compare ingredients to, but I think they added milk. It’s pretty expensive, though. In that Brandweek write-up that I linked to, they blame consumer desire for health over restaurant quality as why they weren’t selling much in the Select line, but frankly, $2.99 is a lot to pay for a box of soup for one person. Yes, it’s healthy and tasty, and yes, it’s the same price as a hamburger and cheaper than a frozen entree, and true, you could sometimes pick them up at Target for $2.49 (or pay more at fancier grocery stores like I did), but these boxes are sitting on the shelves next to “homier” brands of soup, often organic, in boxes twice the size for less money with flavors just as enticing and frequently exotic (although some not quite as hearty).

I have had soups from Pacific Natural Foods and Imagine Bistro, and they are much better deals for the money. Plus you get flavors like Ginger Cashew and Red Lentil. Not all of their flavors are great, but they are all adventurous and for the price and quantity you damn well better be experimenting! (Just skip the Pacific Butternut Squash. It’s weak and unappealingly spiced. It tastes like warmed-over Thanksgiving.)

I am now officially flagging this new product as something to watch the success or failure of. Granted, I have a couple literature degrees and still can’t predict the events of story arcs in serial television and I have absolutely no marketing education or experience, but I’ll analyze the crap out of this. I have been recently validated by the Wall Street Journal, you see, and I’m going to ride this thing sky-high!

Pasta Prima (Frozen) Spinach and Mozzarella Ravioli
I buy giant bags of this stuff at Costco for nine-something dollars a bag. It comes with these little packets of “Italian Herb Cheese Sauce Mix” and they have made more good dinners at the last minute than I can count.

Tonight I boiled up some of the ravioli, drained and rinsed it in cold water, and tossed it with diced tomatoes, sliced celery, cilantro, part of the cheese sauce packet (it’s a powder), and olive oil. I served it room temperature to a little warm and it was fast and delicious. If I’d thought of it I would have added walnuts, but the celery gave it a nice amount of crunch. I was inspired by a more complicated serving suggestion on the back of the bag, which involved red peppers and garlic and which is just as good (but not as fast). I’ve served this tossed with just the cheese powder, I’ve served it with marinara sauce, and I’ve had it just with butter. My only complaint is that you really can’t microwave it… the noodles get a little stiff. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t microwaved it and found it palatable, but I only do that when I’m in the mood for a lot of pasta sauce, and I heat them up together.

The Original Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites (Covered in Dark Chocolate)

The fancy grocery store has had a bunch of variations on this candy in a bin priced at a more or less enticing four boxes for a dollar. I’ve been staring at them for a while, so I caved and bought one.

They are OK. They taste of dark chocolate, they taste of chocolate chip cookie dough. I don’t hate them. I won’t buy them again.

Pantless Monday

Yes, it’s true. This blogger has no pants.

I was going to expound upon why my work ethic sucks, but the W key of the keyboard is mysteriously sticky today and I just don’t feel like going out of my way to add Ws to the conversation. So I will instead wonder wearily if the wardrobe I am wearing is wickedly Wal-Mart, or if it is in fact flattering. I went shopping late last night because I am out of clothes (not in a good I am too skinny for you way–I have a summer clothes problem and a belt has been making holes in the shirts I do have). I am sick of the way Target dresses fit me and all the fancy stores like Ross and Marshall’s that I usually shop at close early Sunday night. So I went to the nicest Wal-Mart I know about and had at it.

This is the dress in question:

The colors are maybe pukey to you, and I can accept that. It’s longer than it looks, which is part of my uncertainty. Despite being a tank top, it covers straps that need to be covered, which is a regular boon. It is also made out of jersey, and isn’t slippery or shiny. True, it’s still mostly polyester, but it’s not that slick polyester that I am officially sick of. I look much better in it from the side than from the front. It wasn’t exactly a steal at $15 (that is an amount of money I wouldn’t mind having back if I hated it), but if I end up liking the dress it’s totally worth it. I did ask the salesladies outside the dressing room how it looked, but they were having way too much fun (it was Sunday night and they’d caught the sillies, which didn’t bother me because it wasn’t interfering with my shopping experience but it did make them overly convivial and generous). I don’t have any dresses in my repertoire right now. I’ll probably keep it. It wouldn’t be the worst excuse to buy fancy high-heeled sandals.

I also did another thing I hate doing (yet do often), which is buy two shirts of different colors in the same style. They look like two other shirts I bought in different colors in the same style from Costco (we’re talking about four different colors now), but that have holes in them at the belly from my belt. Finally, I got a pair of skorts.


When I picked the skorts off of the clearance rack I honestly thought it was a skirt. I hate wearing shorts right now because of the way fat accumulates above my petite little knees, but when I held this garment up to my waist it looked like the hem was long enough. It wasn’t until I put them/it? on that I realized what they were. Remember how you used to wear shorts under your skirt in elementary school so you could climb on the monkey bars? Remember how ridiculous you felt? Remember when they started adding that panel in the front but kept the look of shorts in the back? Remember how ridiculous women looked wearing them? Honest to god I was pissed, especially when the skort looked good on me. It’s a dark brown color and it was $8 and it means I can leave the house in something other than jeans. But I am going to feel like some preppy I don’t know what every time I appear in public wearing it without also holding a tennis racquet or set of golf clubs. Which–mark my words–will be every time.

Every time.

I replaced the offending belt and added a black one. I meandered through shoes but the only ones I liked weren’t in my size. I bought a lot of stuff for the potty training party I am vaguely planning around a Pixar Cars theme, complete with underpants, but mostly Costco cupcakes as a reward at the end of the day. I bought some shoes for Little Filly, whose only pair of shoes right now squeaks with every step, which is starting to annoy restaurant patrons. I also stood and gazed for a long, long time at the Pop Tarts, yet went home with only a Peppermint Patty. As Bridget Jones would say, v.v.g.

Regarding the Diet

It took until this morning for me to show weight loss again. I felt terrible about the binging the other night, partly because I hated having to watch what I ate so closely. But this morning, three days before I officially weigh myself, I was actually lower than my weight last Thursday. I am relieved. So relieved. Despite enjoying I know is a success so far, I’ve been comparing my progress this time to my progress when I was on Weight Watchers seriously. I was just getting a lot more external feedback when I hit this weight. So I went and looked at all my old papers. I was misremembering how heavy I was before–I started then ten pounds heavier than I am starting now. That’s more than one jeans size! Plus at that original starting weight getting to my current weight, I’d been given the keychain for losing 10 percent of my body weight, four five-pound gold stars, and I was going to meetings psyching me up about the refrigerator magnet. There’s no comparison, really.

Random Comments

1. I was tired of writing posts in the skinny little default window, so I changed the setting (once I found it; I had to go looking again) to 30 lines from 10. It’s too big. I hate having the formatting and media options out of reach at the top of the screen. Kids! It’s not worth it! Don’t be tempted by white space! Unless you have a really big computer screen, anyway.

2. Thanks again, skeevy pervs, for keeping my blog stats high! I promise that one day I will actually read a book about lesbian nuns and review it.

3. It’s time for me to prepare my entourage for the Costco trip. We’ll be eating lunch there, I’ve decided, and I’ll be coming home with Diet Coke. I’ve been running out, you see. Not a good habit to get into. DC is so much more expensive when you have to get it on the street.