Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Fundraising and Anniversaries

My agency had our biggest annual fundraiser last night. It's called Dining Out For Life, and it's actually kind of fun. The whole idea is that everyone should eat at a restaurant the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and the restaurant pledges to give a certain percentage of the money made to help serve out clients. Most give 25%, but some give 50-100%. There were almost 200 restaurants involved this year, with a volunteer at each location as a host.

I hosted Arcelia's Mexicana for the second year. My biggest realization after last night, as well as after talking to a co-worker today, is that the evening is actually fun if the host is appropriate for the restaurant.

Two years ago, I was assigned to this really high end place that was WAY too expensive for my friends. It's really only fun if you ask all of your friends and business associates to feels really supportive (I guess that may be more so for EFA employees...sometimes it makes me feel like my friends support me in what can be kind of an emotionally intense field). The expensive place not only made me feel guilty that my friends attended, but it was hard for me to feel ok spending that much on me!

This year, the boyfriend hosted with me. LAST year, I shamelessly threw myself at him in lame attempts to make him love me. Ok, it wasn't really like that. But last year we had both been out of relationships for what seemed like an appropriate amount of time, and we openly flirted for the first time (really, it's the first time we flirted at all...and it was fabulous). He'd invited me to his birthday party the next week, so I wanted to lay some careful groundwork, ie., make sure he knew I was interested.

Needless to say, our anniversary is the day after the birthday party. My plan worked so well that we had one date after another pretty much the entire week after the party. He moved in 5 months later (neither of us had ever lived together before...kind of a big deal), and it's a done deal, forever.

So, the fundraising event was great. A bunch of my friends ate with us, and it felt like another type of anniversary...the anniversary of when I decided to make the boyfriend mine! His birthday is on the 2nd, and the 4th we're leaving town overnight. He hasn't told me where or what, which is extra exciting!

I'll report back...but I'm hoping to write before then...I've got to get out of my writing rut.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Low Down Dirty Shame

I'm miserable.

I was out with some friends last night (celebrating an accomplishment of mine), and when I came home, I was faced with a true test of my committment to a healthy lifestyle.

My lifestyle wasn't all that unhealthy to begin with, but going off Lipitor opened my eyes to the fact that I need to watch my diet now. I was coasting along, content and secure that the Lipitor was protecting my heart from heart disease. Now I'm on my own.

The boyfriend is probably more concerned about this than I am. One of his main goals in life is to protect me from Bird Flu and high cholesterol. His plan for Bird Flu is to lock me in the basement at the first signs of an outbreak in the U.S. (not actually as a hostage...I guess I assume he'll be with me in my dungeon). But the cholesterol is out of his hands.

The plan: I assured him I would make some real changes. I'm cutting out MOST red meat and fried foods. I don't eat much to start with, but I make enough "exceptions" that I'm sure they'll make a difference. If I want a burger and fries a couple times a year, I will enjoy them as nobody has enjoyed them before. I'm going to try to approach each meal as a vegetarian, and if I can't find something, I'll make the healthiest choice possible (ie., fish or unfried chicken). I also agreed to start reading labels and COMPLETELY cut out Trans Fatty Acids. Sounds simple enough.

Let's get back to my conundrum last night. To celebrate, a friend gave me two boxes of Oreos (one fudge covered and the other fudge covered mint Oreos). My favorite. We got home and I gleefully sat on the couch with my Oreos.

"Hold on", says the boyfriend.

"Why, the box doesn't mention any trans fat", I say with an innocent smile.

"Do you really think the company that makes Oreos is going to boldly advertise their killer fat?"

I think a minute, "Yes." I gush into a story of my recent triumph over trans fat. "I was at work today and there was a box of shortbread Girl Scout cookies on the community food table. I looked at the box, it said 2 grams of trans fat...and I WALKED AWAY!" I'm delighted with my own self control.

He saunters into the office and gets online. I panic. Damn, he's going to really find out for sure before I get my cookies. And so it is, Oreos have MORE trans fat then the shortbreads. He gives me a matter-of-fact look and assures me that he's not telling me not to eat them...I need to make an informed decision on my own. His eyebrows arch in such a way that he's trying to brainwash me into doing the right thing.

I tell him if I have to give them up, he needs to get them out of our living space. I told him that if they're still in the house when I get back from my business trip, I will promptly shove as many into my face as will fit at one time.

When he left for work this morning, the cookies were tucked safely under his arm. His co-workers will enjoy my delicious Oreos.

It occurred to me this morning that my favorite guilty pleasure is McDonald's Oreo McFlurry. Can I still have those? (sigh)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sturdy and me in our cute matching outfit...of which there were many. (Photo from Sturdy) Posted by Picasa

I love this picture of Sturdy and Leef. They're inside a small climbing tower on one of the art projects. This angle is very sexy. (Photo from Sturdy)
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Leef and Sam, dressed as predators...attacking cute and innocent Madalene. (Photo from Sturdy)
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Sturdy, Pickle, and Leef. Pickle's wearing his dragon costume...I kept calling it a dinosaur. It was cute...whatever it was. Posted by Picasa

"Minion" group with two extra slaves ('Lil Troublemaker is 3rd from left, tripping guy from Seattle is 5th from left). So here's the deal: We all dressed in our costumes and all the slaves from our camp (Lohr, Leef and Pickle) went to the Deep End to dance. Sturdy and I went over and very puplicly and violently captured them and chained them to her. As we walked around, I yelled and punished them with the whip. I went up to random guys and put leather collars around their necks (which they got to keep as gifts. Leef made them and they were really nice). The first 2 were bad choices on my part: 2 dudes dressed as pro wrestlers...I think one was named Cock-o-Saurus. Yeah, way bad judgement in my first 2 picks. Then we found the 'Lil Troublemaker and the guy from Seattle (who told us later that he'd just started tripping on mushrooms when I came running up to chain him...what a trip it must have been for him). We walked around for a couple hours, captured a couple more, including another guy on stilts, and had a fabulous time. I (and I think everyone else) was a little shocked at how into it I was. I can be a little reserved sometimes and don't like a lot of attention...but I really got into the role...and the slaves all had welts to prove it! (Photo from Sturdy)
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"Minion" Group, from left: Lohr (slave), Sturdy (Mistress), Leef (slave), me (slave driver, enforcer of rules, deliverer of beatdowns, Pickle (slave on stilts). (Photo from Sturdy)
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Pickle getting ready for "Minion". (Photo from Sturdy)
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Me right before we did "Minion". (Photo from Sturdy)
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Art cars from the Death Guild Camp (my favorite camp...sorry, the whole Mad Max scene really appeals to me). They had lots of fire. (Photo from Sturdy)
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A good view of a bunch of art out on the playa. Posted by Picasa

An excellent art car! This was a huge ship that cruised around. I really wanted to ride it but never found the opportunity. (Photo from Sturdy)
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The really scary see-saw. Sturdy and I tried to ride it, but the dudes were more interested in flirty girls who'd flaunt their boobs for them. We decided it wasn't worth waiting because we weren't going to do anything more than wait in line. (Photo from Sturdy)Posted by Picasa

It's kind of hard to see this, but it was one of my favorite art cars. It was a cherry picker with a flower built on it. It would go up and down...blooming while going up and closing again as it went down. (Photo from Sturdy)
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I liked the pendulum (there were actually 2 taht were different). Fire came out the top and it swung around. (Photo from Sturdy)
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Another matching outfit for me and Sturdy. These were our showgirl costumes. We delivered mail in these. I really liked these, and I put the most work into it. (Photo from Sturdy) Posted by Picasa

Velvet looking pretty and innocent while peeking out of her tent (she definitely looks pretty, but I assure you, the innocent was an act). :) (Photo from Sturdy) Posted by Picasa

Dicky! This guy lived in this plexiglass box for all of Burning Man as performance art. He had a bed, toilet, desk, books, etc. There was a small hole where people could give him gifts. Posted by Picasa

A couple painted dudes with camps in the background. Posted by Picasa

A view from above of some of the camps. This doesn't even scratch the surface of how many camps there were. (Photo from Sturdy) Posted by Picasa

Leef dressed as a blue bunny, with Velvet trying to keep back a dog masked Pickle. Posted by Picasa

The Temple that was burned on the last night. People put notes and pictures to loved ones who have passed and they go up in the fire. I wrote in sharpie on the Temple, "Grandpa H, Our puppy, We miss you." He used to greet us with, "Hello dogs (keep in mind, we were adorable little blond girls)", and we'd respond with, "Hi Puppy (to our grisly old crusty farmer grandfather...who was secretly sweet and gooey inside)!". (Photo from Sturdy) Posted by Picasa

Sturdy standing by her tall bike (that's the one I had the accident trying to get on...glad we don't have any pictures of that!). (Photo from Sturdy) Posted by Picasa

A mid-afternoon view of our bar. Posted by Picasa

Our camp escaping the sun while having drinks at our bar. Posted by Picasa

Me and the boyfriend resting under the shade structure.  Posted by Picasa