Saturday, April 24, 2010

Today is bout day!

I am pumped! Chesty McBruiser is handing out free hip checks today!

Friday, April 23, 2010

me and the NJPA

This year at my job I headed up the process of submitting entries to the New Jersey Press Association Better Newspaper Contest.

For most of my life I had things to enter on the editorial side but these days I do lots of editorial functions under the auspices of an advertising department. So, for the first time ever, I stood to win advertising awards from the NJPA. How funny is that?

I entered a gazillion things of mine, all the magazines I am pretty much a manager editor to (as well as an assignment editor, copy editor, layout tech, art assistant and writer) and crossed my fingers that we would win. I also come out guns blazing for my employer and proclaimed we'd enter the maximum number of submissions to every single award category.

We did. And we won big. I won big. Five awards in my name (two first place), two awards not credited to me, and then, a gazillion awards for my coworkers. Wow!

At the awards dinner tonight, they announced the big winners: Who would win General Excellence in Classifieds and Advertising, and the overall Obie award (a giant statue). Well, my employer would.

a night of WIN!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

One place to eat

Question: If you could go only to one restaurant for the next five years, which would it be?

Answer: I would go to what my family lovingly refers to as Teresa's. Which means I would go to my mom's house and eat there. Often my dad cooks but regardless, the food is good, all sorts of things are on the menu, the ambiance, hospitality and company are top I've been eating there for the last 29 years so five more is no biggie.

Ask me anything:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My first kiss

Question: Who and when was your first kiss?
Answer: I'm certain Mom and Dad kissed me upon my birth, but we are talking first romantic kiss, and that would be my middle-school boyfriend by the lake adjacent to the street I live on. That lake, I think, has a memory for many a stage in my life.

Ask me anything:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A threesome of athletic events

I go to the gym. My gym offers all sorts of activities to keep things fresh. One such thing is an annual triathlon.

TENTH ANNUAL TRIATHLON, the huge poster near the front desk announces. SIGN UP TODAY!

Hmmmm, maybe I will. I've never done a triathlon. Not even a biathlon. In fact I'm not sure if my athletic activity that I do, in fact, do even counts as an uniathlon (monoathlon?). Mostly it's just roller skating.

But I go for it anyway. Why not? Gotta shoot for the stars. Can't hit a home run without swinging the bat, right? Problem is, baseball is not one of the events in the triathlon, so I've just created a mixed metaphor.

Anyway, today I finished my first triathlon. I am officially a triathlete.

Granted, my gym's triathlon is noncompetitive. I don't have to go a certain distance; I just have to do this activity for a certain length of time (30 minutes each) at whatever pace I want.

The pace I want to do is my personal best, of course. So, since I've never done ANY real athletic swimming, I've been practicing my swimming at the gym these past weeks to prepare. It's hard for me to run, so I'm making 30 minutes on the treadmill my middle event. The half-hour bike ride is my home stretch event.

Besides getting a free triathlon t-shirt, you also get to sign up for a team to join. One of the teams is the Not A Team. People who are doing the triathlon without a group, as individuals. That's me. Of course!

So I decide to show up early and start my triathlon before the hustle and bustle of the triathlon starts. Get in the zone. Take my laps in the pool. Swimming is hard. I go for the backstroke. And wouldn't you know it, I beat my personal best. 35 laps in 30 minutes. Feeling good, I head onto the dreaded treadmill. Also known as: the treaded dreadmill.

My ankle still does not act kindly to long runs, so I do circuits of running and brisk walking on the treadmill. I'm surprised how it flies by...I credit this to my foresight of bringing earbuds with me to the gym. Each treadmill has its own TV and earbud jack. While I'm running, I'm jogging along to an inspirational message to Joel Osteen, and then it's a cable network interview with Dee Snider (my hero).

While I'm on the treadmill I see the madness of the triathlon unfold with the other teams. Everyone on the same team shares one lane in the pool. So you have 8 people "swimming" in one pool lane. Impossible task, as the people who try to swim have to crawl or walk the lane of the 4-foot deep pool. People are getting splashed and kicked in the face by their teammates. Oh it really made me smile.

I am pretty beat physically after my second event but am pumped to be going into the final third: the stationary bike ride. Unfortunately, riding a stationary bike in the gym is kinda boring. This half hour seemed like 5 hours. I kept it together though. I turned on VH1, who was showing Transform Me. It's the show were a bunch of post-operative transexual women offer makeover advice to ladies stuck in some sort of rut.

Perfect. More TV to inspire me, huh. I got my second wind in those final triathlon minutes. Victory for Catherine! Now, time to celebrate in the post-triathlon barbecue. OM NOM NOM free pasta salad.

In fact, it seems like the barbecue -- the "unofficial fourth event" as my gym calls it -- was the event my fellow triathletes took the most seriously. I mean, the guy next to me during the bike portion was talking to himself and using the bike seat as a chair as opposed to an instrument to expend calories and perform exercises on. Eh, whatever. I was one of the hardcore ones, apparently. Which tells you a lot, no?

To summarize, if see a non-competitive triathlon, do it. It might be easier than you think. Don't do it with a team because those guys are just going to put their feet in your face or distract you when you are on the treadmill. Do the pool event first, so you can blow out your arm muscles -- the muscles you don't use running or biking.

And don't forget to give yourself a high five. You are made of WIN!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Beef Stew

Many a bowl of homemade beef stew has been shoveled down in my family. It's done with culinary joy, with a wink, with a side of crisp salad and crusty bread.

These days, my childhood favorite meal is still eaten quite quickly. And yet, it seems a bowl can last for hours these days. More so: Robbie and I came over my parent's for dinner, and our dinner lasted for hours as we talked and talked and talked. Joshing and ribbing each other. Sharing news, making future plans, et cetera, et cetera.

Beef stew symbolizes not just great memories of food, and memories of the loved ones who prepare it and share it with us, but it's also a symbol of good times.

Beef stew: it manages to beef up the good times. Har. har. har.

The latest batch of stew has created a new memory, in the form of an inside joke between those present at the dinner table tonight.

Similar to adding "That's what she said" onto the end of statements, we now have: "It's hereditary."

Trust me, it's a keeper. I'd explain more, I'll be right back, just getting another bowl of stew.



... It's hereditary.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The silly songs I sing to babies

To much comedic effect, I sing to Sophia. Sophia, my niece, the baby, now crawling around, pulling herself up on two feet, recessing back to the floor with a mild thump, back on her bottom. Looking at everything inquisitively, not yet with entitlement.
Sophia, or "hello beautiful" as my mom sings, is stared at with a deep love. With me however, it's that and a deep understanding. I know what Sophia wants or is trying to do and I'm going to sing an impromptu song about it. Such as:
Overstimulated baby!
Big plastic chair with doodads.
Spin 'em!
Squeeze 'em!
Move 'em!
Doodads for the baby...
Hey! Playskool thinks it's a good idea
to build stupid doodads into a chair...
Overstimulated baby!

I think I've found my niche: off-the-cuff songs for babies.

Anyway, Patricia -- Sophia's mom; my sister -- says Sophia likes monkey noises. I decided to go the route of dogs barking the notes to Jingle Bells. Except, instead of dogs barking, its monkey noises, and instead of Jingle Bells, it's Edward Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King, or Beethoven's Fifth.

Sophia seems to like it. My sister and I however, we are still cracking up with laughter over my one-woman concert: Monkeys Go Classical.

I love you Sophia.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm still buying nothing

April is Buy Nothing Month. The only exceptions are milk, gasoline, toll money. Milk is for Robbie. Gasoline and tolls are so I can get to work.

So far I am rocking at not buying anything.

In the grocery department I am simply eating out of the pantry, and the freezer. As part of Buy Nothing Month I've also decided to cash in all my gift cards that were rotting in my wallet. I've used one for a free oil change at my mechanic's. Bought some more coffee K-cups at Kohls with my gift card there. I still have gift cards for the salon, for Barnes & Noble, for Fashion Bug, Subway, Wendys, JC Penney and AMC Theaters to use.

The hurdle has been after roller derby practice, where some of my league mates go out to a dinner afterward. I've had to break my rule by shelling out some singles for bottomless coffee.

Other than that, I am true to my word. I've bought nothing in April.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Buy Nothing Month

This is an experiment. Where in for the month of April, the year 2010, I will buy nothing.

I won't go clothes shopping. I won't even go grocery shopping. That's it. I'm not buying anything.

Anything, except: gas for my car. Milk for the fridge. The milk is mainly for Rob. The gasoline is, of course, so I can get to work.

Everything I already pay for (tolls, cell phone, utilities) I am going to pay. But I ain't buying anything else. If it happens in April it best be free, already something I own, or something I can make do without.

But, you ask, how am I supposed to do this?

Not without some pain...

Can't eat and drink out with friends. Can't buy new wheels for my rollerskates. Can't restock the English Breakfast tea tin. Gonna have to use up the Lipton.

Why am I doing this?

I am tired of the accumulation. Accumulation of stuff. What's the point? There is none. And, heading for destruction at my own hand, no less. "Buying things you don't need, with money you don't have," says George Carlin. Getting fed up with it.

So peppered among other posts here I will let you know how I am doing, at Buy Nothing. At the end of the month I'll have a tally on how much money I saved and how bare my pantry is. I am somewhat unfortunately cooking for two (myself and Rob, unwittingly along for the ride) but I am actually inspired by the whole experiment.

I am a clever lass who is of the ilk already to find solutions by my own hands. With hope this will sharpen those skills further.

All I have is all I need. That is the test.