Monday, September 26, 2011

Watch the Dr. Oz Show Today!

I'm not sure if I've professed my love for Dr. Oz on this blog I'll do it now! I LOVE the Oz man! It's a little disturbing really. I know people who spend big money to go to concerts and who get all excited over celebrities in movies. I'd pay big money to see Dr. Oz.

Because of this obsession I'm very excited that Weight Watchers is teaming up with Dr. Oz to help with his Transformation Nation contest. The show will air today and I'm very excited about it!

Watch the sneak preview and check for air times in your area! Hope to see a lot of people take part in this!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Online Dating 101 For Men

I've done the online dating thing off an on for a little while now. I'm not ashamed of this fact as I know several people who have met their spouse in this manner, I don't go to bars, and it saves you a lot of awkward dates by eliminating people you aren't compatible with early on. In this process I have identified some things that men should really consider when creating an online dating profile and I thought I should share the info in case I have any single male readers. Before someone says I'm being mean, know that I'm sure women do stuff they shouldn't as well. But, I'm coming from one perspective.

1. The Picture

You need to have one. If I have one, you should too. No, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but attraction is important. If I'm not the least bit attracted to you, then we're not off to a good start.

Once you have taken the picture, you need to look at it. Are you still wearing your wedding ring? Yeah, you might want to take that off.

Are your clothes clean and presentable? A date is sadly much like a job interview. If you're not willing to put your best foot forward for the picture, should I believe you will make any effort once in a relationship? You don't have to wear a suit and tie, but a shirt without stains and holes might be a start. Now, if your picture was taken by someone else while you were hard at work or something, that's different. But if you're taking it yourself or posing, make some sort of effort.

Are you even wearing clothes? Yeah, you should be. I don't want to see your abs (or lack thereof) before I've even met you. This does not apply if your picture was taken while on the beach or at the pool, but it doubly applies if you're taking the picture in your bathroom mirror. Honestly, it's best to avoid taking the picture in the bathroom.

Flexing. Just don't do it. It makes you look nuts and often you don't have the muscles you think you do.

Leave your jedi light saber or other swords out of the picture. Then again, that's information I need early, so by all means.

Spit out the snuff. In fact, quit dipping. Again you look nuts with a big lump on your face. Not to mention it's repulsive.

Tattoos. I love them, but I don't need a picture devoted just to your tattoo...especially if it's one you should have thought twice about.

2. Your profile

Write something in it. We need to know who you are and what you like.

Spell check and avoid text language. Again, this is like a job interview. You don't have to be a perfect speller but EVERY program underlines the words you get wrong and if you right-click it will give you spelling suggestions. Text speak just makes you look ignorant.

3. My profile

Read it carefully. Read it again before you contact me. I wrote what I wrote for a reason. I wanted to let you know some things about me before you contact me so you can eliminate me if I am not someone you'd likely get along with. If you read that I'm agnostic and your screen name is Jesus Freak then we likely won't get along all that well.

Once you contact me I will read your profile and if it is very evident from that, or from what you wrote to me that you did not read my profile I will not respond. It's just respectful and you look like a fool if it's obvious you only contacted me because of my picture.

4. First contact

If you decide to write to me....write something! "Hey" is not an opening email.

If you start out with anything about how "hot" I am and nothing else, you're getting deleted.

Asking me to meet you in the first email is creepy. Don't do it.

I'm sure people will think I'm being cocky by saying these things, but most of it just seems common sense to me. If you wouldn't do it on a job interview, don't do it in a dating profile. I know real life will set in at some point, but it's nice to at least make some effort when you're actively trying to meet new people.

A little addition to this post. A friend of mine shared this video and I found it too funny and too much like what I've experienced. Warning, lots of f-bombs so be careful where you watch it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


It is the morning of September 11, 2011, ten years since a day that changed our country forever. There will be no talk of anything else today. My Facebook wall is covered with videos and comments about it. The question that prevails is "Do you remember where you were that day?" My answer is "Of course I do". For any American old enough to remember with any real understanding every detail is etched into our minds for as long as our minds hold out. As someone with an extreme anxiety issue, it consumed me for much longer than the one day.

But I'm not going to tell you were I was, or how I felt. I'm not going to watch media coverage of it, and I'm not going to post things on Facebook about it. I'm sure people will think that means I don't remember those who lost their lives, those who were left behind, and those who struggle every day with illness related to the recovery efforts. I'm sure it means I'm not patriotic or a good American.

That couldn't be further from the truth. I obsessed about that day for a very long time after it happened. I watched everything and read everything there was to watch about it. It was horrible and it impacted me deeply. But the truth is, I can't relive it every year. My heart aches for the victims. I have found myself thinking about them at totally random times ever since. But I just can't make it the whole focus of the month of September every year.

Call me what you will, but my heart is with all of those involved today. I don't fault anyone for remembering how they choose to remember. If that means posting videos, talking about it with friends, attending services, then that's great. Everyone deals in their own way. But for me, I have to live my life with the knowledge that many people's lives were lost that day. They cannot go on, but the rest of us can. The rest of us can hug our kids a little tighter, call our loved ones a little more, and focus on solutions to the world's problems that don't involve violence. So I'm going to live today for those who cannot. Maybe that makes me a bad person, but I have a feeling all of the victims would be telling us to do just that.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Monster!

When I moved into my apartment I was very pleased to find that it had an outdoor storage building attached. I knew it would come in handy for storing Christmas decorations and the link. I did not know that my hoarding tendencies would turn it into the beast that it has become. As the following pictures will show, getting the Christmas decorations out takes an act of Congress. I also had to add a bunch of Weight Watchers gear recently and now it's just more than I can stand.

Today's holiday was supposed to be spent cleaning this space out, but I woke up to rain so I didn't expect to get anywhere on that. I finished the last detail of the boys room which was cleaning out their drawers and then since the rain had stopped I decided to get started. I didn't get very far before the rain started up again and I had to put it all back. I did get several bags ready for donation and a few bags of trash, so at least I made a start which feels good. This week is going to be insane so I have no idea when I'll get back to it. But, just so you can see what I'm up against, here are the before pictures...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thoughts on Money

I live in a great little neighborhood. It's one that I've lived in off and on since I was born in some area or another. It's near a Mennonite university and a retirement home so we have a really interesting mix of older and younger people as well as families. We also have an interesting mix of money. While no one would really be considered "poor" in the area, it ranges from apartment dwellers to some really expensive and large houses. There's one particular hill of really fancy homes that has been there since I was very young and grown over the years.

I've always been in awe of this hill of homes. My Kindergarten "boyfriend" lived on the hill for a while as well as some of my other classmates in elementary school. I've walked the hill many times over the years and admired the beautiful houses and nice cars in the driveways. I have always wanted to live on the hill. My tastes have changed over the years and so I have a different favorite house depending on when you ask me. I always thought that if I were living on that hill I would know that I've made it.

I walked that hill last night and something had changed. None of the houses were my favorite anymore. Sure, they are all still beautiful and I don't fault a single owner for wanting to own them. But I don't want to live there anymore. I realized that the desire to be at the place where I could live there has caused me to make stupid choices and pretend like I had more money than I really do. It has put me into a horrible financial place, one I never thought I'd be in...ever.

My dream home has really changed in my mind since the beginning of my financial struggle and this process of decluttering my home and my life. It's much smaller and a lot less fancy than those houses on the hill. I'm not suggesting that if you can afford a home like that or still want to have one one day that there's something wrong with you. I'm just saying don't pretend like I did. Make smart choices to have what you desire and don't sacrifice on your way there.

And while we're talking dream homes. A blog dealing with minimalism wouldn't be complete without some videos of people living in tiny homes. Could you do it?