Wednesday, January 31, 2007

10 Rules of Smart Credit Management

As I have written about...I am looking at what I owe and attempting to pay it back as soon as possible. I have healthy debt...but any debt is not good. What's ironic is that for the past month I have been making payment schedules, etc....and this evening in my emailbox...I get an email from the people who manage my school loans and it is an e-newsletter on debt management.

The main topic of this newsletter was the 10 rules of managing debt, so I thought I would share their words of wisdom.

Being responsible with your credit and your finances saves you money.

* Know what you owe.
* Live within your means.
* Borrow only what you can afford.
* Maintain a good credit rating.
* Check your credit report annually.
* Use credit wisely.
* Recognize the warning signs of financial difficulty.
* Know a scam when you see one.
* Guard against identity theft.
* Treat bankruptcy as a last resort.

If you would like the in depth explanations of all their debt management here and read the whole article. I am happy to report that I am living by most, if not all, if these rules. I know that you have to know your debt because denial and ignorance doesn't get you anything...but more debt and losing more money. And...I am lucky that I have really good credit (well...lucky meaning I worked really hard for it). I have always known that going to grad school was going to cost me....and that I would be paying back educational debt for a long time...but I am glad to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.


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    Tuesday, January 30, 2007

    24, Starveillance, GMA!

    Hey everybody! How's it hanging in the internet world? Good here, thanks.

    Let's see...let's chat about 24 first. Ah...I love this show. I like that Jack's family is involved this a way that isn't Kim getting herself into trouble and messing up Jack's day. It's interesting that one of the terrorists is...dum, dum, dum...Jack's brother. That definitely puts a different spin on things. I don't know what you are missing if you aren't watching this show.

    Is anyone out there watching Starveillance on E!? It's one of the funniest shows ever...I happened to see an ad for it a couple of months ago and have been Tivoing it ever since. They basically pretend to have hidden cameras in Hollywood to capture different things and I think it is acted out with puppets or claymation or something like that (it's much funnier than I just is). So...last week's of the skits was showing Bennifer right before Gigli premiered. And first...neither Ben, nor Jen could pronounce Gigli...they kept calling it giggly and things like that. And then Matt came by and convinced Ben that he should come back to him (in a very Brokeback way) instead of staying with J-Lo. I love Benji more than most...but good lord...this was FUNNY!

    And my last thought for the morning...was something I saw on GMA this morning. They spent the first 10 minutes or so talking about Barbaro...the race horse which got hurt last year and ended up having to be put down yesterday. Is it sad? Yeah...I guess. I know a lot of people really wanted the horse to make a swift recovery. But...umm...I might sound like the devil here...but it was a horse. They covered it with the same seriousness as well President Ford died. And then when they were covering the event...the reported guy ended up saying, "Barbaro's last meal was grass." I kid you is that not hilarious to everyone. Seriously??? We are at war...our economy is shot...the environment is shot...and that the great, wonderful news reporting we get. I don't know if the world would have survived without knowing that Barbaro's last meal was dum, dum, dum....grass!


    Monday, January 29, 2007

    2007: Week 4 Weigh-In

    Hey y'all....I was hoping for a loss this week since I started working out at the YMCA. I worked out three times this week...and did pretty well when I was there. I worked out on the elliptical and the bike..and sometimes jogged around the track. I have to go to the store and get a pair of earphones so I can listen to music or the news while I am there. I like it there...and I am glad I joined. I know I need to sign up to see the trainer and get the weights and stuff set up.

    The low down for weight loss is:

    That's right folks...I didn't lose and I didn't gain. I'll take it...but I shouldn't take for too much longer. I need to start seeing the scale moving in the right direction. This weekend...I didn't do a lot. I planned on working out, but I just didn't get to it. My roommate was sick...and sick in a bad I ended up not doing a lot except watching TV and seeing if she needed anything (gingerale, juice, popsicles). I am going to be better this week...I swear!

    Here are my fitness goals for this week:

    1. Drink 100 oz. of water everyday.
    2. Continue to eat only raw foods until dinner time.
    3. Workout at the YMCA at least three times this week.
    4. Workout two times at home in my rusty trusty apartment.
    5. Workout at least one day out of the weekend: Saturday or Sunday
    6. Sign up to meet with the trainer at the Y and go over the weight machines.

    There ya go....on to week 5!

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    Friday, January 26, 2007

    friday morn' ramblings...

    Hey y'all....happy friday!

    I don't think I posted much since Wednesday...and I forgot to mention that Wednesday afternoon I went back to the dentist. It wasn't as horrible as I was anticipating...except the huge bill I will now be having to pay. Plus, I still have one more appointment to fix a few cavities on the other side. The funny appointment was at 3pm and I didn't get in until 3:30pm or so...and didn't get out until about 4:30pmish...and when I left...I WAS STARVING! mouth was numb and I was afraid to eat...but I was starving and desperately wanted to eat. I ended up getting a takeout veggie burger and just eating it very carefully.

    And yesterday...I worked out at the YMCA again. I spent close to 2 hours there and got a pretty good sweat on. I did a 10 minute warm up walk...did 40 minutes on the elliptical...10-15 minute walk/job on the indoor track and then 20 minutes on the bike. I was glad I went...because I almost didn't. I was going to skip working out because my work meeting went long, etc...but my friend sent me a text message saying she would meet me at the gym. I am glad she did because it was the motivation I needed to get my butt to the gym. It's one of the nice things about having other people working out with keeps you motivated.

    I was dead to the world tired last night though...I came home, made dinner, eat that up nicely, went to the grocery store and came home. By 8:30pm or so...I was exhausted. I ended up going to bed a little after 10pm...but I felt like a zombie for the last hour I was awake. Phew...

    And this morning...just in case you all were is a balmy -7 degrees out. Brrrr! My car made the most vile noise when I started her up this morning. She was thinking..."come on! You have to be kidding me!" I was a good kid and let the car warm up for about 15 minutes before I headed into work.


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    Thursday, January 25, 2007

    Thursday Thirteen #17

    Thirteen Things about Fitness in Shelley's Life!

    1. I just joined the YMCA...and I plan on using it. I am not wasting $37 dollars each and every month!
    2. I love the Y's step classes and plan on signing up in the spring session.
    3. I am paying myself $1 for each hour that I spend at the a way to make sure that I go and to reward myself for doing so.
    4. I am working on eating a raw food diet.
    5. I can no way eat raw 100% of the least right now. I only eat raw up until dinner time.
    6. The only downside...I get hungrier than I used to eating raw. By the time I leave work I am starving.
    7. I think it is because the foods I eat now are so much easier to break down.
    8. I have started to plan a snack for right after work, so I don't eat myself out of house and home.
    9. I did find the one day I spent a lot of time at the Y...I didn't overeat at all. That is definitely something to remember.
    10. I still love my elliptical..I haven't abandoned her. I still use it when I can't get to the Y.
    11. I want to try to Couch to 5K program again...I have tried it twice before and always quit to go to another fitness routine. Since the Y has an indoor track, I think I should give it another go.
    12. I still have 35 pounds I want to lose...and don't like that I spent November and December gaining weight.
    13. However, I am very proud of my fitness level and that I didn't DIE when I stepped on the elliptical machine at the Y for the first time. I am overweight, but I am still healthier than I was before I started all this. That's something that I carry onto when I struggle or get frustrated.

    Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

    The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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    Wednesday, January 24, 2007

    The State of Our What???

    So..last night I watched American Idol for an hour because well...I can't help myself. And then AI was cut short and I watched the State of the Union from our dear ol' President. He said the same things...the economy is good...we must balance the budget, but not raise taxes and continue to spend, spend, spend on a war. Yadda...yadda...yadda...same speech just a little less arrogant because now he actually might have to work with democrats instead of saying he will work with them and then thumbing his nose at them. Same old...the president is evil...nuff said.

    Well...maybe not. I thought the reaction shots were often worth the pain of having to listen to that speech. One...Ted Kennedy looked like his head was about to explode at one he was having the migraine of his life. Two..the constant shots to Hillary for a reaction...and usually, it was nothing. It was nice to see her tap Barack Obama on the shoulder and watch them have a nice exchange. I am sure the campaigns will get nasty, but it is nice to see two people competing for the same office...and actually looking like they like each other. And then there is Condeleeza Rice looking all angry and crankilicious...I swear that woman never looks happy. But then again...would I look happy if it was my job to continue to spout the president's lies and then look surprised when I am caught, etc. Poor Condi...

    And my favorite reaction shot...which I actually missed...but a friend caught and told me about...was John McCain who looked like he was completely sleeping during the speech. The speech was late...McCain should have planned ahead and taken a little nappy poo! And of course...I know...he was just resting his eyes!

    LOL It's sad and entertaining...that our political system is just ripe for comedy, eh?

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    Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    First Day at the Y....

    I went to the Y yesterday....when I got out of work, I attempted to talk myself out of it. I started saying that I could just use my elliptical in my apartment, etc...and not have to drive ALL THE WAY OVER THERE. Please...I just got over myself and got into the car. The Y is about 10 minutes away...and I paid to have a membership there, so I am GOING TO USE IT!

    I spent an hour and a half there...and then came home and made some soup for dinner. It was nice to have the choice for machines...instead of a tape or my elliptical. I did a 15 minute warm up on the track...did 40 minutes on the elliptical, 20 minutes on the bike and then another 15 minute cooldown on the track.

    Since I am paying myself the horrible rate of one dollar for every hour I am at the gym...I will be putting $1.50 into my fitness savings fund. I won't put the money there until the end of the month, but it is nice to know that I am working out...and also saving to get myself something nice down the road.

    Tonight...I am planning on working out in my apartment...just a quick 30-40 minutes on the elliptical, but don't worry...I will be seeing that gym again soon!

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    Monday, January 22, 2007

    Hillary in '08!

    I know...three posts in one day. Sometimes I just can't help myself. I woke up this morning and was watching the local news and then GMA. I often like to sit and watch the news while eating my breakfast, getting ready, etc... of the main stories on both news programs was that Hillary Clinton has announced that she is intending to run for President. It isn't something I had heard the announcement (kind of) caught be by surprise.

    Am I surprised that Hillary is running and that she is announcing now? Not really. I think that once Barack Obama announced that he was was only a matter of time before Hillary officially threw her hat into the race. And...Hillary is smart enough to do it right before Bush is scheduled to give his State of the Union speech on Tuesday...just to steal a little of his thunder.

    Now..I am proudly a huge fan of Hillary Clinton. I think she was an amazing First Lady and she has served New York State well and their junior senator. I think she is a really smart woman and for that, I support her.

    I do worry though...I want a democrat in the White House in 2008 and I am not sure it is Hillary's time. I think she can win the nomination, but I am not sure she can win the White House.

    Pros for Hillary:
    1. Bill. He was an amazing president...he knows how to campaign and he's just so gosh darn charming that I think he can get out the vote for Hillary just like he did when she first ran for Senate.
    2. She knows how the system works. She has been inside the White House for 8 years, so she has more experience than anyone else running on the dems side.
    3. She is well known and often the voice of the democratic party right now.
    4. She can raise money like the best of them...Hillary already has tons of money left over that she raised for her re-election campaign in the Senate.

    Cons for Hillary:
    1. That she is a woman. This breaks my heart to write, given the feminist that I am. I am just not sure that the country is willing and preparing to elect a woman into the white house. I would vote for her in a second...but I think that for most of middle's just not something they are willing to do.
    2. She is a polarizing person. You either love her or hate her. Something Bill Clinton did so well is appeal to the mass audience. Hillary has Bill in her camp, but I don't think that is going to win votes on the other side of the political spectrum. For a democrat to win...they need to win their base, but also break into the republican base and win some votes there too. I am not sure I see her doing that.
    3. The Iraq Issue: Hillary is going to have the same problem that John Kerry did, even though I think she will handle it much better. Hillary was in the Senate in 2001 and she voted in support of the war in Iraq. She is going to have to explain why she supported it then and does not know. She is going to have to explain how the information we know now is different. Barack can easily say he was always against the war...because he didn't have to vote on it in 2001. P.S. And you can't say that everyone voted for the war...Ted Kennedy didn't.

    So...I think Hillary is a fabulous woman, politician, etc...but I worry...especially seeing a show down between Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

    Anyways...enough posting for today...I promise!



    I was looking at some blogs this morning and I ended up responding to TC who asked if anyone had ever tried being a vegetarian, etc...cause she is considering it.

    What was that I ended up writing something I wasn't even really aware of until I wrote it. I have been a vegetarian since sometime in 2001...and not a touch of meat has touched my lips since that date. I started being a veggie girl sometime in 2000, but didn't get all hardcore about it until 2001...and there were some slips up when I had some chicken strips or a burger, etc. So, I count my years of being a vegetarian since 2001...since that is when I truly committed.

    What I realized is that...I sometimes will crave meat...if I see an advertisement for some new special, etc. If I remember how much I liked the chicken strips at Applebees...or if someone brings in a great beef chili for one of our pot lucks. The smell of something I like will give me a will make my tummy rumble. But, no matter what...eating meat is not an option for me. Those chicken strips must be great...they smell fabulous, but in no way can I even consider eating one.

    What is that I have a pizza craving...and a sweet tooth. On my 30 Day challenges...especially for the candy one, I often fail. About Day 20 (sometimes earlier)...I will end up breaking down and buying some chocolate or getting some jelly beans, etc. I have rarely been able to make it 30 Days when it comes to chocolate and pizza...but I haven't eaten meat for 6 years.

    But then I thought some more...I almost always give up pizza and candy for lent...and I am usually very successful at it. So, I came up with a pretty good conclusion. I can give up things...and have incredible resolve...when there is a reason why I am giving up something. I don't eat meat because I can't support it...believe it to be wrong, no matter how yummy it might taste. I don't eat pizza and candy during lent...because it is a period of sacrifice before Easter, etc. I'm not catholic, but I like stealing their idea.

    It's really an eye opening realization...and something that makes me think. Is my health and fitness not good enough of a reason? I am giving up pizza for 30 Days right now...because it is good for my health and helps me on my path to where I need to be. I think I need to remind myself of the good reasons behind these challenges when I get a craving and my tummy starts rumbling for a cookie or some ice cream. Mmmm...cookies! *winks*


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    2007: Week 3 Weigh-In

    I was not looking forward to stepping on the scale this morning....because I knew it was either not going to move at all...or move in the wrong direction. I knew that I ate out too much...drank too many slushies...and also didn't workout like I needed to.

    So, here is the bad news....

    That's right...I gained two pounds. I don't think it is a true gain and that it will come back off this week, but then again...I also don't think my 2 lb loss the week before was a true loss.

    The good news is...I joined the Y yesterday...and I am going to be going. There is no way I am paying close to 40 bucks a month for something and then not using it....I am WAY too cheap for that. I am going to start with just using the machines and then sign up for the workout classes in the spring....once I have gotten my fitness level and endurance up to where I want it to be.

    In many ways...I consider this week to truly be Week 1...where everything hopefully will come together.

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    Sunday, January 21, 2007


    I forgot to do my weigh-in this morning when I woke up...I didn't remember until it was about 10am and I was already drinking water and eating my breakfast. I will weigh in tomorrow...I promise! I am worried about this week's weigh in though...I haven't eaten all that well...went out to dinner with friends (and had the best veggie burger at Applebees...mmmm)...and also haven't worked out like I am supposed to.

    But...there is a fix to much of that. My goals for this week are specific to address those:

    1. Start writing down everything I am eating again. It's too easy to eat too much ice cream or chips or what not...if I don't have to write it down. So...back to writing it down.

    2. Plan a snack for after work...since for the past few weeks I have left work starving and therefore just graving on bad food when I get home. I think having a protein shake is the perfect idea.

    3. I am going the Y this afternoon...when I leave to drop off a movie at the video store and put my check in the bank. If I pay for me, I will use it. I initially said I was going to pay myself $25 for getting my 10-15 hours in at the Y, but I have a new plan. Here it is: I am paying myself $1 for every hour that I spend at the YMCA. So...the more time I spend there...the more money I make. It's not a lot of money...but if I work out 10 hours a week...that's $40 a month...and that's $480 a year. It's definitely enough money to do something fun with it.

    Those are my goals for the week....and I am excited to get truly back on track. Since Jan 1st...I have only been doing this half-hearted and I know I need to do it better than that.

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    Friday, January 19, 2007

    Financial woes...'s not really woes reality, I have a pretty good handle on all things financial. I have pretty gosh darn good credit...I make decent money...I overpay my bills...and I have a pretty good head on my shoulders when it comes to savings (that means I am cheap). I have been thinking a lot about how much I make...what bills I pay off...and how I am saving money. And...I had an awakening epiphany in the last 24 hours or so.

    I paid off my car last year....2 and a half years early mind you. I felt really proud about that...still do. I don't have much debt...well...kind of. I don't have a car loan. I don't have credit card debt (I pay my bill in full each and every month). But...I have student loans...and a big chunk of them considering that I have a bachelors and a masters degree. I have long resigned to be paying back those loans for the rest of my natural born life. is the mistake I have been making since I paid off my car. I decided that I was going to be Ms. Smarty Pants and put the same amount I used to pay each month on my car loan and put it into a savings account and then be able to buy another car a few years from now right off...and not have to take a loan. Sounds like a smart financial decision, yes? Well...kind of. I am proud of myself for taking that money each month and putting it away...and not just spending it on something else. isn't the smartest decision when I have these student loans still kicking around.

    So...I am going to take that money (minus a little which will remain in savings just in case my car needs repairs, etc)...and I am going to stop saving it each and every month...and I am going to instead put it towards my student loans. I went online to a financial calculator do-hicky and figured out that if I did that...I would pay off my loan 4 years earlier....and I would save over $3000.00 in interest. I think saving 3000 bucks is much better than putting it away for a car.

    Plus...I could verge on being debt free. I know that student loans aren't really something I am concerned's good debt and all. But well..debt is debt...and I don't want it in my life any longer than it needs to.

    I have a safety cushion of's time for my to get cracking on these loans and bust them out of here. I have already put a great dent in them. I don't use credit cards anymore...and if I do...they are ALWAYS paid off each and every month. I am no longer allowing credit card companies to get rich off of me. (I haven't paid a dime of interest on my credit cards since early 2004). My credit is good so I can get pretty low rates...if I am looking to buy another car or a house. I have already paid off more than 1/3 of my student loans...and my loan is set up to be paid off in 30 years. (30 years! Can you believe that?? It may be a nice monthly payments...but 30 years???) of next more savings...and money is being paid off these loans. I feel a lot of energy and enthusiasm when it comes to knocking this debt out. It'll be a battle for years, but not nearly as many years as I (or the banks) had planned on.

    P.S. There is a special show on tonight on ABC's 20/20 (10pm) all about debt collectors and some of their shady practices. I am going out tonight, but I definitely think I am going to tape it. I haven't had any experience with the big bad debt collectors...but it sure looks interesting.


    Thursday, January 18, 2007

    Thursday Thirteen #16

    I forgot that today was Thursday...since I was out sick yesterday. Here is Thursday Thirteen #16:

    Thirteen DVDs That Shelley Owns!

    I have worked at a video store for the past 2 I don't tend to own any movies...since I could always watch them at work or rent them for free. So, here is the list of 13 movies I own...hmm, I wonder if I even own 13. Let's see!

    1. American History X This is one of my favorite movies ever...I think that Edward Norton was remarkable in this film and it is one of the few movies where I was left completely speechless after it was over.
    2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This is one of my fav movies as well...and I think that Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey were phenomenal in this. It's a movie I could watch over and over again. I also love that Carrey plans the straight and narrow character...and Winslet plays the eccentric, funny one. Great flick!
    3. Lost in Translation. Love Bill Murray...Love Sofia Coppola. I just think this movie is amazing.
    4. Truth or Consequences, N.M. I love this's a tad bizarre, but I still enjoy it. It stars and was directed by Kiefer Sutherland. I just think it's an interesting look at human behavior in extreme situations.
    5. Lost Boys. I think it's obvious why I own this movie...Kiefer as a vampire. Nuff said.
    6. Chasing Amy. I used to own almost all Kevin Smith movies on tape, but I haven't gotten them all on DVD yet. Chasing Amy is one of my favs, so I bought that one. I think I own Jay and Silent Bob too, but I am not sure. Kevin is the bomb diggity!
    7. An Evening with Kevin Smith. This is the best DVD ever...Kevin tells the best stories, they are so funny...the dvd has been rolling in the aisles. When I am in a cranky mood...I put in the dvd and suddenly...all is okay with the world.
    8. Manic. I love this movie...I ended up renting it when I worked at the video store because it has Joseph Gordon-Lewitt in it..and I adore him and was surprised at how much I liked the film. Plus, it has Don Cheadle in it and he can do no wrong.
    9. The Notebook. I was initially surprised that I bought this DVD...because it usually isn't one that would make it into the "I want to own them" movies. But, I was renting it almost continuously from the video, I broke down when we were having a sale and bought it. How luck would have it, since I have owned it...haven't watched it once. Still a great movie though...emotional and one of those, "I need to cry" movies.
    10. The Believer. This movie also stars Ryan Gosling...and he plays a jewish, neo-nazi. Yep, that's right. I saw it at the video store and much like American History X...thought the story of how someone became so filled with hate was interesting, especially since he turns and decides to hate his own people.
    11. Felicity: Season 1+2 I love Felicity...I completely fell in love with the show when I was in college. I plan on buying seasons three and four when I put a little pocket change away.
    12. 24: Seasons 1-5 I believe 24 is the best show on tv...ever! Plus, it has Kiefer. I rarely watch them, but I am really glad I own them. I often lend them out to friends and attempt to get as many people as possible watching the 24.
    13. Alias Seasons 1-4 I loved Alias...and was sad to see the show go, even though I also thought it was time. I haven't bought the final season yet, but I will when the price goes down. I was really drawn to the spy aspect and that the main role...the one that always finds a way to save the day...was female.

    Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

    The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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    random sick day observations....

    I didn't end up going to work yesterday...I woke up with quite a headache and then decided that work didn't really need to see me. It was nice to just take some meds and fall asleep for most of the morning.

    Secondly...yesterday was the coldest it has been all season. When I woke up and thought I might go to work...I was watching the news and they said that the temperature was 3 degrees...and sometimes it dropped to 2 degrees. Brrr! It was a nice day to stay inside and just bundle up with my many blankets.

    Third...I thought I would go in for a couple of hours later in the I got dressed, went out to start the car and the coldness was intense that my nose started to bleed (my nose was already very very dry), I decided against going in to work...and just put my jammies back on and went back to bed. the morning when I woke up...the TV was on and it was on Maury. (No, I wasn't watching Maury...I swear...I mean it...Nope, I wasn't!). The funny thing is the tagline for the show. It was summing up one of the storylines. They were bringing in their lovers, boyfriends and husbands...and giving them lie detectors to see if they were in fact cheating. So, what was the tagline for this show? Wait for it...wait for it:

    "Did my man cheat because I only have one leg??"

    Yep...that's right...that is the tagline in big bold letters on the side of the screen...making sure we know exactly what kind of trash we are watching. *rolls eyes* headache didn't stop me from watching American Idol...on Tuesday or Wednesday. It's a horribly trashy show, but I can't help myself. I love watching the people that think they can sing...but well, they can't. This morning on Good Morning America...they were reporting on AI and that people are saying this year is the meanest, most horrible season yet. Maybe it is...I know some parts were really bad and made me feel for the person. It was rough, especially for the people who had really sweet stories...and then they were followed up by them singing badly and having their dreams shattered. But still...some were HILARIOUS!! The woman with bleached blonde hair, a metallic shirt on, no bra, boobs that hung down to her belly button...and then went on to sing, "Dontcha wish your girlfriend was HOT like ME? Dontcha??" I don't care if it means I have no soul...that's funny.

    Anyways...GMA was guessing why people flock to seeing people humiliated. And embarassingly enough, I am one of those people. I know I wouldn't watch if it was just people singing well. *yawns* Boring! I like seeing the train wreck that is the first few weeks of American Idol. I think it all goes back to that juvenile sense about us...when we were in middle school and would laugh when that dorky girl tripped and spilled her tray in the cafeteria. We would all like to think that we have matured and grown up, but I think AI just shows us...that maybe we haven't.

    Alright...enough observations...back to work for me...since I skipped and all yesterday.

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    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    Back to the grind....'s 8:15am...and I have been at work for about a half an hour....and no one else is in sight. The bad weather...I am sure...has people either running late or not coming in. All of the towns to the south...the schools are closed and there is still a lot of ice and stuff on cars. If I didn't de-ice my car yesterday...I know I would have been in late today. Luckily...there wasn't much ice or snow at all on the car this morning...I just warmed her up and drove her away.

    I was tempted to call in today....because Tuesday is usually my slow day, but alas...I am here...with bells a silent office.

    Update: It's 9am...and the office is semi-full...and those who aren't here...are sitting home with no power. Thank godness I didn't lose power...cause I don't function well without the assistance of technology!


    Monday, January 15, 2007

    Winter is upon us....

    It's January 15th, eh? And this is the first day of real winter...luckily I had the day off work since I didn't have to get out and to work in it. It wasn't snow...I would have much preferred was freezing rain and a lot of ice. My car was covered with a thick coat of ice...completely covered. It took me about an hour to get my car drivable. Once I got out of the wasn't bad, but lord...I can't even image trying to do that at 7:30am when I am usually leaving for work. Tonight we are supposed to get more freezing rain, so maybe I will have to be doing that tomorrow morning!

    Even with the complaining...I am not upset by bad weather in January. In fact, I have really missed winter this winter season. I missed the snow and the ice and all that it brings....yes, it is a pain in the ass, but it winter without it? I have never lived somewhere without a pretty intense winter season and to be honest, I don't think I would want to. My brother moved to Florida..after living in Buffalo...and he said the lack of winter was hard to adjust to. And upon thinking about it...if I had to pick...having a winter season or a hurricane season...I would pick winter time and time again.

    Ok...enough about winter.

    Season 6 of 24 premiered last night! Whoo hoo! It's definitely a different take on the same show. Jack Bauer is in a place where he has never been before....and goes from being tortured and in captivity to fight terrorism in about 20 minutes. Is it realistic? Nope...not really...but good lord, it is entertaining to watch. Plus...for all those hardcore fans out there...they have to be just as excited as I am to see that Milo from Season one is back!! I saw his name on the credits and was so very excited.

    What I find most interesting about 24 this that they start with terrorism in full swing. In most, if not all seasons...the season is based on stopping a big terrorist plot. Jack and the crew spend about 23 of the 24 hours running around to stop some big bad from unleashing on LA or somewhere else in the US of A. But this time...the show starts with bombs going off in shopping malls and on buses. CTU is not saving the US from's just hoping to stop them from continuing. It's a really interesting...and in my mind...more realistic look at fighting terror. These men and women are knee deep in it already...long before Jack Bauer ever walks off that plane.

    I can's going to be an interesting season. I saw Kiefer on a TV show today while catching up on the stuff that is on Tivo...and he said that the past 5 seasons have been about Jack running around to save the US...and this season he ends up running around to save himself. Hmmm....gotta I am every season...I am so intrigued.

    P.S. 24 is on again tonight....from 8-10pm. Four hours of 24 in two days....that's sweet!


    MLK Quote

    Since today is Martin Luther King Jr Day...and luckily I have the day I thought I would share a favorite quote of his:

    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

    Rosie O'Donnell mentioned it today on The View....and I remembered the first time I read and heard it when I was in college. It very much speaks to mcuh of why I am...why being a social worker is so important to me. To me, it is so crucial that we stand up and fight against what we believe is wrong. It's's's more comfortable to just stay seated and hope that someone else stands up and does something...and then applaud them for their fight, etc.

    Having said that...I have much less fight than I used to...politically. I have gotten caught up in the day to day and the "spirit" or "fight" just doesn't exist much anymore. I really know that I need to get more involved...especially given the state of the country and the world right now.


    Sunday, January 14, 2007

    2007: Week 2 Weigh-In

    Hey's officially week 2 of the new year and my new commitment to getting fit and healthy. Sadly...I haven't felt nearly as committed as I felt last year this time. I, once again, did not workout this week. I had such good intentions....but was hit with a bout of insomnia which drained me of all my energy...went to bed one night at 8pm....and then worked my last shift at video store land which made sure the energy level was pffft!

    This coming week though...the energy level should be back up since I have Monday off for MLK Day and I no longer have to schedule around working until 1am the the video store. I am hopeful for next week...and truly feeling on track.

    Oh is my weigh in for Week 2:

    That's right y'all...shockingly I lost 2 pounds last week even with all my lack of complete motivation. It's good to know that even though I wasn't perfect or where I wanted to be....I still did well enough to see a loss on the scale. I know I need to do better though.

    Here are my goals for next week:
    1. Drink 100 oz. of water every day.
    2. Workout 3-4 times this week.
    3. Bring an additional snack to work so that I am not so hungry when I get home.
    4. Continue to eat raw until dinner time.
    5. Plan dinners and desserts much I am not tempted to overeat.

    There ya go kids....that's my plan for the week. I didn't end up making it to the Y this week, but it is on the list.

    P.S. How excited am I...cause the sixth season of 24 is on tonight...whoo hoo! And...I get two more hours of 24 tomorrow. Kiefer=hummina, hummina, hummina!!!

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    Friday, January 12, 2007

    It's about time! of my many fitness goals for 2007 was to join the YMCA. I have always wanted to join...but talked myself out of it because of the cost and because I didn't think I had time to use it.


    I made myself a deal...that when I actually and officially quit the video store...that I will join the Y. I figure...I will have the time to workout because I won't be working the night job. I won't be tired from working until I will not be exhausted and not able to get my workout on, etc.

    And now...I am officially not an employee at video store I am going to go over to the Y this weekend and get all the information. I am signing up my friends....and soon I will be working out like a mad, crazy woman!

    I had said before...and I mean it...that once I join the Y...I am going to commit to being there at least 10 hours a week. And if I make my 10 hours per week...I am going to reward myself with $25 in my fun stuff/vacation fund.

    Quitting the video store is actually going to end up costing me money, eh?

    The monthly membership to the Y: $37
    Paying myself weekly for working out: $25
    Getting fit and toned: PRICELESS!

    I know...I am the cheesiest person on the whole planet.


    Happy Friday...

    Hey's 8am on a what makes it so happy?

    For one...I survived the dentist yesterday. My fear of dentists is so irrational...well..kind of. I had a couple of horrible experiences and I have let that shape my whole idea of what the dentist is like. And the sad that I don't go and allow my teeth to become "not so great" so I am even more afraid to go...fearful of what he will tell me. wasn't too bad at all. They were all so one made me was all good. I need some fillings...and since I have the irrational fear of the wisdom teeth finally ACTUALLY need to come out...since the last time the dentist mentioned it...I just said..."Nope, ain't gonna happen." Anyways...I go back in a couple of weeks for a follow up appointment...but much of my anxiety is lessened...not gone...but lessened.

    And two...oh the excitement...I am no longer an employee at the video store. It's not that I hate it there, but I have know for months...maybe even a year that it is time to move on. It got too hard to work there until 1am and then get up for my day job and be at all productive...and the free movie perks just aren't really worth it anymore. I think my retail days might officially be over. Of course...the last shift had to be full of shocker there. Almost had to write up a co-worker for breaking rules, not following direction and then being chuck full of attitude with me right in front of a customer. I actually did write him up...but as I was talking to him about it, I decided to just make it verbal and tear it up. And then...there were a bajillion customers in the store right before midnight. I was so annoyed!!

    Anyways...happy day for's Friday....I don't work at video store land anymore...and the dentist did not make me cry! Hope everyone has a fantabulous weekend.



    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    Thursday Thirteen #15

    Thirteen Interesting Things about Shelley This Week!

    1. I went to church on Sunday...and ended up leaving pretty mad. The whole sermon from my pastor was about selfish people and how god doesn't let them into his house. She went on about how easily show their selfishness by not going to church every single Sunday...and yadda yadda. I don't go to church every single week...and I guess I am most angered by her assumption that if I don't sit in the chair for an hour each week...I am not a spiritual and connected person.
    2. You know...that makes me really motivated to NOT go to church this week...but well, I believe I am a bigger person than that.
    3. I saw my old manager when I worked at the photo lab this week when I went into the grocery store to pick up some stuff. He's working as their produce manager now (the photo lab closed). It was great to see him...he's just one of the most supporitve...sweetest men on the planet.
    4. My mom called me this week...and said that the Magic Bullet she ordered for me had arrived. How exciting...I haven't seen it yet...I will probably pick it up this weekend.
    5. I have had a bout of insomnia this week. It started Monday night...and just continued. I would go to sleep about 10pm...and still be awake at 1am. That used to happen all the time to me...but it hasn't happened in a long time.
    6. As a result...I have been tired all week long. I have felt so tired and drained...much like I was in college during finals time.
    7. I have eaten okay this week...not great. I have been eating raw and completely to plan during the day...but once I have gotten home...not so good.
    8. I haven't worked out at all this week...being so tired, I just haven't been able to motivate myself.
    9. I have a dentist appointment today. I hate dentists...well, I don't hate them...I fear them. I am terrified of this appointment. One, because they sometimes make me cry. And two...because I know I need work done and much of me doesn't want to hear it. *pouts*
    10. I work at the video store tonight...and I *think* this might be my last shift at the video store. I gave my 2 weeks notice on Jan. 1st, but I don't know if the two weeks included the first week in Jan or this shift is either my last shift...or maybe one day next week. But...this might be the last time I work at video store land. I will miss part of it...but much of it, I will NOT!
    11. I didn't watch the President's speech last night...which is rare for me. I don't support him or the administration at all, but usually I like to watch his speeches and at least know what I don't support.
    12. I ended up going to bed last night at 8pm...I was exhausted.
    13. And I am happy to report that I feel quietly and nicely to sleep. I actually woke up at 9:30pm...and thought it was 9:30am and that I overslept. I almost jumped out of bed and got ready...but alas...I realized it was dark out and quickly fell right back to sleep. Phew....

    Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

    The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Insomnia Woes....

    I didn't get my workout in yesterday...which kind of upsets me. I have figured out part of my the time I leave work at about 4 or 4:30pm...I am really hungry...and therefore...immediately want to eat something or eat an early dinner when I get home. I am hungry enough that the idea of working out...nope...just isn't an option. And then once I workout...then I fill full and not like getting up on an elliptical machine. workout yesterday...grr!

    And so after dinner...I watched TV and was exhausted...I was lying down on the couch and basically falling asleep. It was 8pm and I could barely keep my eyes open. I thought about just going to bed, but my roomie had an interview with a new place...and so I wanted to chat with her about how it went. just seemed ridiculous to go to bed at 8pm. Silly I know.

    So...roomie got home...talked about our days...and then about 11pm I ended up going to bed. I was I thought I would fall right asleep. I turned on the TV (cause I need some noise to fall asleep and not focus on all the little noises and have them keep me awake)....and so I ended up clicking on C-SPAN.

    I know...most people would probably be put asleep by the C-SPAN, but I am a political junkie, so I was intrigued. It was a press conference from Ted Kennedy...and it was really interesting. He spoke of the Democratic agenda in the House and the Senate...and his thoughts about the Iraq war and his comments about the speech that Bush is going to make this evening. And you know what...Ted Kennedy isn't as crazy as he used to be. I think he has cut back or quit the drinking...cause well...he doesn't have the big, bloated, red, "I've been drinking too much" head anymore. And shockingly...Ted now makes a lot of sense when he talks. He's still a little crazy, but well...sometimes you need crazy. Even with all of Ted's political's a real gift to have someone who has been in the Senate for 40 years....he knows the history because he lived it...he knows what the country and govt. went through during the Vietnam War...because he lived it. I watched Ted Kennedy on TV for close to an hour. I was exhausted, but I just couldn't turn it off.

    So...Ted was done talking and phew...cause I was tired. It was about midnight at this point. So...I did a quick clicking around to find something else to make noise and then I would fall asleep. Uh oh. I found Larry King Live and his hour long show was all about 24. Kiefer was there...a bunch of the other actors. So yep...if I can't turn off the TV when Ted Kennedy is can bet the same is true with Kiefer and anything 24 related. I watched was interesting.

    Now it's 1am...and remember when I was exhausted at 8pm...and now it is 1am. How does this happen? I know how this happens...I don't allow myself to sleep because I am watching the gosh darn tv. So at 1am..I flip over to Comedy Central and watch the Daily Show while I drift off to sleep.

    Tonight..I swear...I am going to be in bed early. If it's 8pm and I am falling asleep...I'm going to bed. No more of this not sleeping...especially since I completely did it to myself last night.

    Wish me all a good night's sleep...will ya?

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    Tuesday, January 09, 2007


    That's right kids...this morning I was just full of crank. Why was I Miss Cranky??'s that evil, girly time of the month. Two...I haven't been sleeping all that well lately and was still awake last night at about 1am. Three...I was hoping to be by myself since my roommate was supposed to be working and we know how I love my alone time. Four...I have a dentist appt this week and I hate going to the dentist...and I know how much work I am going to have to get done. Five...I have to work at the video store this week and on the same day as the dentist appt.

    I think that's enough of a list of why I was Ms. Cranky Pants last night and this morning. I think I just need to schedule some time to do something to destress or relax...and that will help. Plus, I haven't worked out in a I think that will help. I am hopeful that I will start sleeping more regularly once I get back to working out regularly.

    And....since I got to work and got myself moving...I am feeling better. Still tired exhausted and a smidge stressed...but better.


    Sunday, January 07, 2007

    2007: Week 1 Weigh-In

    Hey y'all...I decided to go back to the weekly weigh ins. I think I was allowing myself to sabotage and gain weight by only weighing in once a month. I thought it was going to be a good call...allowing me to not be so scale conscious...and maybe it was...but for my detriment. Week are the results. I lost 1 pound this week...which in many ways is a miracle. I ate well at work...but I ate too much when I got home. I ate too much ice cream. I ate out with a friend...just wasn't as focused as I needed to be. And...I didn't add in exercise yet...which I will be doing this week.

    Here are my weekly goals:

    1. Drink at least 100 oz. of water a day.
    2. Continue to eat only raw foods until dinner time.
    3. Exercise 3 to 4 times this week...including abs and weight lifting.
    4. Go to the YMCA this weekend...and check out what the membership would cost and all that jazz. You my homework!

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    Friday, January 05, 2007

    Ugly Betty

    On New Year's Eve...before I headed into work at video store land...I caught most of the Ugly Betty marathon they were having on ABC Family...and had the episodes I missed Tivo'ed. I had never seen Ugly Betty before because it is up against My Name is Earl and The Office...and well...those shows are fabulous and nothing could convince me to abandon them.

    Let me tell you...Ugly Betty is fabulous as well. I am completely smitten with the show. It's's's starring a girl who makes me giggle and isn't a size 2. I think it's a really funny show with a lot of heart.

    I am still uber loyal to NBC's Earl and Office...but I also really want to see where Ugly is going. So...I am going to Tivo Earl and the Office...and then either watch Ugly Betty on another tv...or watch it online. I love that they place all their episodes on their I can watch it there if I can't catch it at home.

    Ugly Betty rocks man...I think it is one of the best new shows of the year.


    Thursday, January 04, 2007

    Report Card for Day 1

    I didn't pretty gosh darn well yesterday....I did eat more ice cream that I planned on yesterday, but all in all...a good day. By the way...Edy's Espresso Chip Ice Cream is just divine...I could eat a pool full of it and still want more.

    I need to think about different raw desserts....because right now...other than nuts and maybe some raisins...really drawing a blank. I will look through my raw uncook books and find some interesting things that aren't too complicated or difficult to make.

    Off to Day 2 or Being Raw! I am basically planning to eat everything the same today as I did yesterday...except hope to not eat as much ice cream.

    Oh...and for exercise...I am taking this week off exercise. I am going to add in exercise to the raw way of living next week. This week I focus on eating and week...I slowly add working out to the mix. Everything doesn't have to be all at once, now does it???


    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    Raw Food Day 1

    So...after a lot of reading...and getting...actually...really excited about this idea of eating a good deal of my food raw...I am trying it out. I have a lot of people kind of look at me strangely when I saw I am transitioning to the Raw Food Diet,, I thought I would explain what is my plan for eating.

    Right now...I am eating raw until about dinner time and then have a little bit of cooked food, but nothing heavy. One...they say not to start 100% in the beginning because it is too much of a change all at once. And two...I want to make sure Raw Food Dinners from my cookbook, but I am not going to be able to try them for a while, so a cooked dinner will work for now...until I am ready to eat even more raw.

    Here is what today's plan is (and so far, I am on plan):

    Large Grapefruit (and trust me they are HUGE!)

    Bowl of chopped watermelon and cantaloupe
    Large Apple

    Large Garden Salad with Light Basalmic Vinagrette Dressing
    Raw Pumpkin Seed

    Bag of Baby Carrots

    Small Salad
    Bowl of Veggie Soup

    1/2 Cup of Ice Cream (I have it in the I am going to slowly eat it and then replace it with something like sorbet or gelato or something like that.)

    I am really exciting about this raw food thing...since I have been a vegetarian for 6 years now...and the fact that I love raw fruits and veggies...I think this diet seems doable, easy and really enjoyable. I would love a bowl of fruit anyday instead of a bowl of chocolate...don't get me wrong, I love my chocolate too, but I love fruit more. Plus...I often overeat on sweets and candy or pizza or pasta. With this new way of really eliminates those as problems areas. Will I never eat a pizza again? Probably not, but I don't think it will be a regular occurence in my diet.

    P.S. I have been snacking on raw pumpkin seeds the whole time I was writing this....


    Welcome 2007!

    Happy New Year everyone...I know...three days late! I haven't been even remotely near my computer for the past few days. I worked at the video store on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, so when I was home...I was just vegging out in front of the TV!

    Which by the way....I officially gave my notice at the video store on Monday. So that means that in two weeks I will no longer work for video store land. It's about time, eh? I like it there...sometimes, but it just isn't worth it to be an employee there anymore.

    OK...and here they are...these are my fitness goals for 2007! I did pretty well during most of 2006, but the last few months...I lost almost all focus...and then went downhill bigtime. So, I feel I have new motivation...and am going to set out specific goals I want to accomplish this year.

    2007 Fitness Goals

    1. Lose 35 lbs in total during the year. I lost close to that last year...and then gained some back, so this year...I would like to lose 35. Actually I would like to have the 35 pounds lost by May...which would end up being 5 pounds a month. That is my first goals. And the following goals...should help me accomplish that.

    2. I want to join the YMCA. I am going to officially go once I am no longer a video store employee. I know I will have more time I am going to join and actually use it.

    3. In goal is to spend 10-15 hours a week at the Y. If I am going to get a membership...I want to use it or it is just a waste of my money. So...if I get my 10-15 hours in a week...I am going to set aside some money each week into a saving account for a vacation or to buy something fun. Therefore...I am also rewarding myself for working out and getting healthy.

    4. Continue researching the raw food diet...and start implementing it. I am not starting 100% raw...but about 75% or so. I am actually starting that right now, so I will let you know how it goes. I need to keep reading out the raw dier as well, so I make sure I am getting everything I need. But the more I seems super healthy and makes complete sense how you lose weight while eating this way. (I might post later with what I am eating right now...just so y'all know I am not crazy!)

    5. Continue taking 15 minute breaks at work and walking...because it isn't a lot of exercise, but it helps since most of my day is sitting on my butt and typing on the computer or talking on the phone.

    6. Continue the 30 Day Challenges...I think they help me and let me focus on something I know I need to work on for at least 30 days.

    7. Buy a bike this spring or summer...and start biking on nice days to work.

    I think that is enough for now...but I do know that it is January and I have a blank slate...I can start again with that same focus I had last year. Rock on!