Monday, July 27, 2009

To do or not to do

Do I eat the ice cream and go over by 1 point or do I suck it up and go to bed without, putting me under by 7 points for the day? Weighing into this decision is the fact that I'm once again stuck at the same weight for several weeks in a row and I'm starting to think that it doesn't matter what I do, this is where my body wants to be. Suggestions?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Biker Babe

After getting my scooter, then wrecking my scooter, I finally got around to getting licensed to actually RIDE the scooter today. Shortly after I got it, I went to DMV and got my permit. It allowed me, much like a driver's permit, to ride with another licensed rider. I figured that was ok and not that big of a deal until I started wanting to go places and didn't have an escort. I couldn't take it to Weight Watcher meetings, I couldn't ride it to trivia or to the library or anywhere. Kind of a PITA since I'm not comfortable riding with a passenger yet and we always had to wait until someone else was home to watch the kids so we could take the bikes out. Since I wrecked, I've been back on it several times and I haven't had a problem. I had not been near DMV and I was ok with that too. RF has been encouraging me to get back over there and get it done. I kept putting it off for this reason or that and today, I finally just had to suck it up and do it. I posted to FB last night that I was doing it and I knew that would hold me accountable because I knew people would be asking me if I had done it. So I did.

I got up at 6:30 this morning so that I could get everyone up and fed and out the door in time to be at DMV when they opened at 8. RF rode the scooter over for me, since I couldn't, and I followed in the van with the kids. I was in line and ready to go when the doors opened at 8. I was the second person in and the only one taking a motorcycle exam. I handed over my info, visited the cashier (I didn't have to pay because I paid when I got the permit) and waited about 5 minutes before the lady called me out to test.

We went through the standard light checks then she had me set up for the course. The first test is a sharp left hand turn. You have to stay inside the lines, not knock over any cones and not put your foot down. As soon as I entered the shoot, I knew I was going too slow and wouldn't be able to make the turn in the space. I ended up putting my foot down but completed the rest of the test fine. After that was weaving and U-turn (we had been doing the U-turn in the wrong area and it was a lot harder the way we were doing it), which I was confident about. Following that was stopping. I had no issues with that because if I can do anything on that scooter, it is make it stop! There is a foot break pedal on it and when you hit it, it stops NOW! After that was the swerve. I freaked out to no end about the swerve because that was were I wrecked before. I told RF that I sort of wished that I had passed on breakfast because I felt pretty sick at the thought of having to swerve again. On the one hand, I was pretty panicked at the thought of wrecking again. On the other, I knew I wasn't going to do it so it didn't matter. She showed me how to complete the test and I found out I was doing it ALL wrong. Not as wrong as I thought I was doing but wrong enough. Basically, you start at the same point as the stopping test, ride through the shoot and swerve around the red "stop" line. We were starting right, just trying to swerve around the outside boundary line instead. I pulled around, fairly certain that the foot down had failed me. I've heard other people talk about getting their license and most of them that failed the first time failed because they put their foot down somewhere they weren't supposed to. Imagine my surpise when she told me that was only worth 1 point and the only point I missed. If I had kept my stupid foot up (something we worked and worked and worked on while we were practicing), I would have had a perfect score!! Back inside to wait a few minutes and now I'm the proud owner of a shiny new license, listing me as class DM. Ask to see it sometime, it is pretty neat looking, with holograms and two pictures and stuff :)

Most people have been pretty happy that I was able to pass fairly easily. The notable exception to that is my mom. Since I first started riding the little scooter a year ago, she has wanted me to take the U of I motorcycle class. I felt (and was obviously right), that I didn't need the class to get my license. The class is not without virtue and merit, it just isn't for me. It requires 4 hours, 4 different days, pre-committed with no exception. It is rain or shine, hot or cold, doesn't matter. First of all, I would like to know where I was going to fine 16 hours to devote to the class? My weekdays are open enough (although still busy) but I have the kids and my weekends are packed! We had to cancel a trip a couple of weeks ago because it was simply too much. Had we gone, we would have had 6 solids weeks where we weren't home either day of the weekend, then a week off and then vacation. Too much. I'm also nothing if not a fair weather rider. I don't want to do it when it is raining or cold or too hot or anything else. Committing to taking a class in July sometime in April just didn't work for me. Had I needed to learn to ride a motorcycle (motorcycles have manual transmissions and require clutching and shifting and what not. Scooters are automatic and a much smaller learning curve), the class probably would have helped but it still just wasn't me. So basically, I practiced the course for maybe 2 hours and rode it for maybe an hour and passed just fine. That is 13 hours I saved by doing it my way

Anyway, my mom took the class a couple of years ago and really struggled with it. She ended up sick all 4 days from the heat, she struggled and struggled to pass the test and just generally didn't do well with it. Then she bought a bike she didn't really want, dropped it a few weeks later trying to park on gravel (she was stopped, the kickstand just slid on the gravel) and sold it last summer. I think she really wanted someone else to have as hard a time passing and riding as she did. Of course that isn't the case because RF and my brother basically breezed through the class and I never took it. And I don't think she was in anyway happy when I wrecked but I sort of got the feeling she was hoping it would put me off riding. Since I had just bought the bike, I had to get back on it or it was a HUGE waste of money. And I didn't wreck it riding it, I wrecked it at DMV. Basically the same difference but a huge divide in my mind. Her attitude today was "oh, isn't that nice, well anyway" and I think she was irritated that I did as well as I did without the class because that meant I was right. Getting a license isn't rocket science and I didn't need a class to teach me how to do it.

My first motorcycle ride is this weekend too, which is part of the reason I decided to get my license today. Although I was perfectly legal to ride in it, I felt better knowing I had a real license and not just a permit. My mom is following the ride with my van and a trailer in case anyone has problems. She will also have MT with her and since TB is riding with my dad, she will be available if he wants to get off before the end of the ride. Last year, this ride was plagued by busted bikes. 2 guys never made it out of town. One guy blew a tire, one guy had something else happen to his bike, it was crazy. My dad worded his statement about the trailer very carefully. He said "your mom is going to drive the van and pull a trailer in case something happens to one of the bikes or if you decide you don't want to ride anymore". My mom was not as careful. She told me "I'm driving your van with a trailer so when you decide you can't do it, you have a way to get home" Well, by God, I'm finishing it now, if just to show her. I don't care if my ass is on fire, my arms are completely numb and my head is pounding, I WILL finish that ride!

If you see me around town, feel free to wave. I'm getting better about waving back because I'm more comfortable than I was last summer and my new scooter is heavier and less squirrely so I don't have to have quite such a death grip on the handle bars :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Big Lovers

People that watch Big Love, I just finished season 2 on DVD and I'm starting on season 3. I feel like I've seriously missed something. Barb is getting a CAT scan, Niki is working, Margie had the baby, etc. Is this right, am I missing episodes?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Evolution of Dance

I've been going to Trivia on Tuesday nights. Last week, there was a category about viral videos. One of the questions was "this video features a guy in an orange Crush t-shirt dancing his way from the 1950s to the 2000s, what is the name of the video?" I didn't do well at the category and I'm glad my brother was with me because he rocked it. He knew that the video was called "Evolution of Dance" The trivia was bagging on it and said that it was lame he didn't know why it was viral so of course I had to come home and watch it. It was actually pretty awesome!

If you haven't seen it, take the 6 minutes involved and watch it. The best part is that he took the time to learn the dances.

He also made a second video, which isn't as long or quite as good as the first. It is still worth watching

Like all good viral videos, this one has some parodies.

This one isn't the best out there but big dudes gettin' down and the Thriller Dance always make me laugh

This is the BEST parody out there. Be sure to stay tuned for YMCA! Of course the end is funny as well.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Looseyfur posted an article on facebook that I just didn't get. I've read it clear though, including the first page of comments, twice and I still don't get it. Read it here for yourself and tell me how it goes together.

Basically, a professor took her kids and some friends (ages 12, 12, 8, 7, and 3) to the mall and dumped them. Awhile later, the police called her back to the mall and charged her with child endangerment. They threatened to arrest her when she showed up and tried to "explain her actions" (personally, there is no explanation except that she is a lazy, irresponsible parent). Then, she decided that she was being persecuted for being a highly educated woman because the court wouldn't offer her a plea, instead charging her with the crime she committed.

My take on this is that she got exactly what she deserved. She endangered those kids by leaving them alone at the mall, thus "child endangerment". I also have issues with the fact that not only did she endanger her kids but she was equally cavalier about the safety of SOMEONE ELSE'S child! Besides the child endangerment charge, I know a lot of malls have their own rules about how many children can be in an unsupervised group. I believe our local mall's policy is 3 people under the age of 18 but I couldn't swear to it since I don't hang out at the mall.

I feel that bias is, often, in the eye of the beholder. Too many people feel that being some minority, be it black, female, highly educated, low class, whatever, gives them the right to not only break rules and laws but to expect some type of special treatment because of their minority status when they do. RF is forever having people on the bus say to him "you didn't stop for me at that place that wasn't a stop because I'm such and such minority". In reality, the bus didn't stop because it wasn't a stop but that person felt that it was done on purpose.

In this case a highly educated woman did something stupid. Another highly educated woman (the prosecutor, as I can only imagine a lawyer would be classified as highly educated) chose to not allow her to use her money and education to get a slap on the wrist. Seems like that is exactly what should have happened. It isn't class war-fare or a hatred or fear of educated women. It is exactly how the justice system is supposed to work.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Weekend in review

Spent the day shopping and cleaning for the 4th

Spent the morning cleaning and monitoring Twitter for 4th updates
Took a nap in the afternoon, in case fireworks were a go
They weren't but we still had our cookout, it just became a cook-in.
Lots of people in my little house but everyone had fun and ate way too much

Morning workout, while my mom took the kids to the park
Then my parents decided it was too nice of a day to stay at home so we took the kids to BN
They had a lot of fun playing in the sprayers at Miller Park (even if it was cold water) then we did Chuck E Cheese for lunch
We were joined by Ms. LL and family for fireworks later.
I was a little disappointed to miss the Brat Pack on Parkland but after seeing the traffic by my house, I realized it was SO not worth the hassle to see them

I got nothin'
Maybe a trip to the pool and possibly park this evening

On a not weekend related note, I'm not doing weight watchers this week. I haven't been feeling it for the past couple of weeks and have been slogging through anyway. I've also been stuck at the same weight for the past 2 weeks and I'm not pleased. I've said all along that my goal was 150 but that I would quit if it got hard. Instead of quitting out right, I'm not doing it this week, at all. I'm not tracking, I'm not weighing, I'm not measuring, nothing. Saturday, at the meeting, we'll see how I'm doing and how I feel about starting up next week. I'm paid through the 20th of August and I have until the 2nd of August to decide if I want to keep it up. I'll know way before then if this is the end of my weight loss journey

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Half way there book list

We are half way through the year so here is my current book list. Title, Author, month read, and short review for the ones that I felt strongly enough about to review :)

Tippy Toe Murder Leslie Meier Jan

Too Many Crooks Tamara Myers Jan Good book. Quick read. Interested to read more

Mom, Apple Pie and Murder Nancy Pickens Jan Boring. Several short stories. A few were good and made me want to look up the author but most I just couldn't wait to finish

Star spangled Murder Leslie Meier Jan

High Heels and Homocide Kasey Michaels Jan This started off slow but wound up nicely and I'm looking forward to more

Crime Seen Victoria Laurie Jan Best VL book yet. Abby and Dutch weren't fighting the whole book and it was less creepy

Blue Blood Susan McBride Jan Took longer that I would have liked to read but it was decent. Read out of order but other
than her relationship, I couldn't tell.

Just Plain Pickled Tamar Myers Jan Took a little to get into but it is quite funny once it starts

3 willows Ann Brashares Jan Continuation of the Sisterhood

Drop Dead Blond Nancy Martin Jan Anthalogy Well done books from good authors

Nothing to Fear but Ferrets Linda Johnston Jan Kendra Ballantyne mystery

Fine Feathered Death Linda Johnston Feb Much easier to get through than ferrets

Meow for Murder Linda Jonhston Feb More development of the story awfully predictable

Mail order murder Leslie Meyer Feb First book, many contradictions to future character development

A crazy little thing called death Nancy Martin Feb Not the best Blackbird book, a little crazy premise

Bubbles a Blaze Sarah Strohmeyer Feb Bubbles is quite fun.

Bubbles All the Way Sarah Strohmeyer Feb Good until the end, then it just got strange

Nursery Crimes Ayelet Waldman Feb Meh, decent story, bad characters

Murder of a Smart Cookie Denise Swanson Feb Totally out of order. Need to read the rest of the series to get a better handle on where things stand

Murder of a real Bad Boy Denise Swanson Feb Follows right after Cookie. Starting to make some sense

Death Perception Victoria Laurie Mar Good whodunit but a little predictable

Don of the Dead Casey Daniels March Slow to start but a solid base to an interesting series

The Chick and the Dead Casey Daniels March Further charcter development, she seems to be getting in to her role as Gifted

Are you there Vodka Chelsea Handler March Way Funnier than expected. LOLed in many parts

Plum spooky Janet Evanovich March JE. Laughed so hard at parts, I woke up Lizzie. Super quick read

Nip, Tuck Dead Lori Avocato Mar Took some getting into but then was fairly fast. Main character was a little annoying and the story was Predictable!

White Witch,Black Curse Kim Harrison Mar Resolved the mystery at the end of the last book. 500 pages, so took a little while to read

On What Grounds Cleo Coyle Mar Quick read, finally first in a series. Interested in further developments

Killer Cocktail Sheryl Anderson Mar Second in a series. Seems to really need the other book to make sense. Main characters whines about guy too much

Muder with Peacocks Donna Andrews Mar Read fast and I was happy with the ending. Of course, I knew about the guy but it was kind of obvious

Contents Under Pressure Edna Buchanan Mar Good book, good characters, fast read

Ice Maiden Edna Buchanan Apr Read out of order, already tired of her killing of characters

Miami, It's Murder Edna Buchanan Apr A little slower read, still good

Suitable for Framing Edna Buchanan Apr Good

Act of Betrayal Edna Buchanan Apr

Margin of Error Edna Buchanan Apr Suprising ending

Garden of Evil Edna Buchanan Apr Read fast, a change of pace because we knew the bad guy early on

You Only Die Twice Edna Buchanan Apr Sadly, predictable, especially given how well Margin of Error ended

Cold Case Squad Edna Buchanan Apr Not Britt and not nearly as good

Shadows Edna Buchanan Apr

Love Kills Edna Buchanan Apr Britt is back, sharing space with Cold Case. Not as good as the books that are strictly from her POV. Left open ended

Tombs of Endearment Casey Daniels Apr A little predictable.

Night of the Loving Dead Casey Daniels Apr Finally some resolution

Murder Melts in your Mouth Nancy Martin Apr New Characters, same plot line. Still decent

Legally Dead Edna Buchanan Apr Did NOT like the ending. No resolution. The rest of the book was good though

Sucker Bet Erin McCarthy Apr Vegas vamps. Only read because it was in the series. Mostly boring

Murder of a Small Town Honey Denise Swanson May First Scumble river book. Gives back story to characters

Murder of a Sweet Old Lady Denise Swanson May Scumble River Fast read, nice twist

Murder of a Sleeping Beauty Denise Swanson May Fast Read, not surprising

Murder of a Snake in the Grass Denise Swanson May Fast Read, typical ending

Murder of a Barbie and Ken Denise Swanson May

Wishful Drinking Carrie Fisher May Read super fast. Very funny!

Murder of a Pink Elephant Denise Swanson May

Murder of a Botoxed Blonde Denise Swanson May

Murder of a Chocolate Covered Cherry Denise Swanson May

Murder Between the Covers Elaine Viets May

Dying to Call You Elaine Viets May

Pane of death Sarah Atwell May

Just Murdered Elaine Viets June

Murder unleashed Elaine Viets June

Murder with reservations Elaine Viets June

Shakespeare's Landlord Charlaine Harris June Quick read, straight mystery instead of her usual supernatural bend. Nice surprise ending

Shakespeare's Champion Charlaine Harris June

Dead and Gone Charlaine Harris June I liked these books when it was just vamps and weres. Faeries are a little too much

Shakespeare's Christmas Charlaine Harris June A little different from the rest of the series, also a little too easy to figure out

High Heels are murder Elaine Viets June Decent heroine, interesting enough to read

Carpe Demon Julie Kenner June Adventures of a Demon hunting soccer mom. Funny enough to entertain, dark enough to thrill

California Demon Julie Kenner June

Demons are forever Julie Kenner June

Deja Demon Julie Kenner June

Shakespeare's Trollop Charlaine Harris June Last one in the series. Not so great

The Givenchy Code Julie Kenner July Espionage with a fashion twist

Manolo Matrix Julie Kenner July