Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Health Journey: Week 6

This week was so much better! I'm still having trouble getting back into the routine I was in before I got sick but I've made progress and that is always a good thing.

Having support from people who care about me helps a lot. :-)

I am, of course, still super busy so not a lot of introspection this week, just numbers.

So, this weeks numbers:

Starting weight: 316.8 lbs
Week 6 weight: 300 lbs

total weight lost: 16.8 lbs

Yep, I lost the weight I gained and added a pound to it. I'm setting a goal for this week to break the 20 lbs lost barrier.

Let's do this!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday: Bumming a Cigarette

She sat at the bar drinking faster than she wanted to and cursing the busybodies who had banned smoking in bars and restaurants. She could feel herself getting drunker and she was almost ready to step out into the cold for the nicotine fix she craved.
            Finishing her drink, she turned to find the pack of cigarettes and lighter in her purse. As she turned, a steely hand gripped her face and a strong set of lips set about plundering hers. His skill and her inebriation convinced her to return the increasingly heated kiss.
            When the kiss ended and the hand left her face, she opened her eyes to see the man on the barstool next to her; though not unattractive he wasn’t her usual type. That kiss, though, had taken the edge off her cigarette craving.
            “You looked like you needed something on your lips,” he said and touched them gently. “Wanna go outside and get a smoke?”
            “Yeah,” she grinned. “I was just thinking that.”
            He held the door for her as they stepped outside and cupped the end of the cigarette to keep the flame from going out.
            Inhaling a large drag, she turned to look up at the stars. The sky was clear, the air was cold and her senses were clouded with too much alcohol. When he first bit her, she thought somebody had punched her in the neck. By the time it occurred to her to struggle, darkness was crawling across her vision.
            As her bloodless body fell to the sidewalk, he took a drag from the cigarette he’d rescued from her nerveless fingers and contemplated the night sky through a pleasant buzz.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Health Journey: Week 5

Ah, week 5, you are so not my friend! If I was going to give myself a week off or a week of "fudging" it, it would have been this last week. I spent most of it bloated and icky feeling and craving chocolate. A craving I indulged way too much . . . and it showed.


I could blame the people around me for giving me the chocolate but the honest truth is that it's my fault. I know better and I'm a grown adult who can make her own decisions. And I tried to make it harder to get to. Instead of being on the table, I put it in a cookie jar next to the refrigerator. That actually sort of worked because there's some left lol.

The chocolate wasn't the only cause, either. I spent most of 3 days curled up with a heating pad and did nothing physical if I could help it. While that allowed me to make some pretty big strides in my editing job, it did not help with the weight loss goal I'm working towards.

So, this week, I'm sticking to my shakes for breakfast and lunch and I'm watching my calories for dinner. I don't really count calories, I couldn't tell you exactly how many calories I ate today, but I have a calorie range that I'm shooting for and I'm going to try and stay near the bottom of it this week to see if I can't make up for the monthly curse.

So, the numbers:

Starting weight:   316.8 pounds
Week 5 weight:  303 pounds

total weight lost: 13.8 pounds (yes, I did in fact gain 2 pounds this week)

pant size: 24

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Steampunk Sunday: Book Review: Steamed

Today's review is going to be a quickie. Fair warning, I've been a fan of Katie MacAlister for a while now. I started with A Girls Guide to Vampires and I haven't looked back. I've found most of her heroines to be clever, strong and real. She has a real gift for making her characters people you would expect to meet in real life and I've been shocked to get to the end of a book and remember that I'm reading. 

So, imagine my surprise when I pop into a bookstore to see if I left my cellphone there (I didn't) and they're putting a new Katie MacAlister book out. A quick glance and I realize it's a Steampunk Katie MacAlister book. I'd never parted with my lunch money so fast. I was honestly a bit surprised, at least at first, that I hadn't heard about it before that. I realized, though, that it was one of those strange hybrids that nobody knows what to do with. It was written by a romance novelist, and indeed was considered a romance by the publisher, but it was a subject that was only recently gaining much respect as a sub-genre. Forget asking for respect for romance books, apart from the fact that they're about 60% of the books sold right now. 

The plot was fun and as original as any I'd seen in a romance book. I'm not a fan of pirate romance novels so maybe it's old hat to the readers who are but it was new to me as somebody who reads voraciously. After a lab accident, Dr. Jack Fletcher finds himself in a parallel world. More specifically, he finds himself on the airship of Captain Olivia Pye. Because he's wearing a shirt from a concert he attended the night before, The Airship Pirates, Captain Olivia initially thinks he's a pirate. There's much more involving a treasonous plot, airship pirates and a daring escape, but half the fun is reading the twists and turns that this book takes so I won't spoil them here. Just wait until you find out what happened to her father!

The Steampunk part of the book felt a little bit like window dressing in parts but it's treated seriously. The captain is dressed correctly, with her corset acting like the undergarment it is, and this is the only book I've read that has even addressed where the power source for the airship is coming from since they don't carry huge amounts of coal. A little knowledge of Tesla and Edison make the answer a bit unsatisfactory but it's at least attempted and for that I have to give her some respect. 

Yes, this is a romance novel but I wouldn't let that keep you from picking it up (download it to your ereader of choice if you're really worried about what other people will think) and enjoying a very well-written story. It is not a bodice ripping sex romp (because, really, a properly made bodice shouldn't rip), so sorry if that's what you're looking for, but it is a good introduction to Steampunk novels. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

A fun little song to remember part of what became a big problem. What can I say, I'm feeling a little morbid. 

I'll be seeing these guys tonight as part of my yearly celebration. Yes, I realize this is a Christmas song, well, sorta. *evil laugh*

Enjoy the music!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday: Adam the Automaton

The door to the dressing room opened slowly. The woman standing in the doorway was reflected perfectly by the mirror over the dressing table.
            “Hello, Adam,” she said quietly to the robot packing up the detritus on the dressing table.
            “Hello, Evie,” he replied, not turning around. “I see you got the tickets. Did you enjoy the show?”
            “I did, thank you,” she shifted her folded parasol to her other hand and shifted nervously on her feet. “I recognized some of the songs we used to sing together.”
“And your fiancĂ©? What did he think?”
“He’s fascinated by you.” She didn’t smile when she said this. “He’s always been interested in my father’s work but didn’t realize you were so well developed. I think he wants to learn more about you.”
“I’m publishing an autobiography this summer,” Adam snapped one of the many small cases closed and began packing the next one. “I’ll even sign it for him if he wants.”
“I’m not certain that will satisfy him.”
“He’ll have to get in line with the rest of the scientists who want to take me apart and see how I work. Even your father didn’t really understand, in the end. No matter how many times he tried to duplicate what happened with me.”
“He got the animals working, at least.”
Adam turned to her, the last jar of paint in his hand. “The animals were lovely to behold, all copper, brass and steel, but there was something that wasn’t quite right and he knew it. They moved and roared but they didn’t act like animals,” he turned back to his work. “Or maybe they did. Elephants are known to go on rampages when they’re separated from other elephants, maybe he finally got it right with the brass elephant but it was lonely.”
“You think my father’s creations felt something?” Evie shook her head. “They were just robots, Adam, nothing more. My father died in a lab accident, he was not killed by a marauding elephant, brass or otherwise.”
“He loved that elephant, your father did,” Adam told her. “He had a theory about why nothing worked as well as I did. When you left, he became obsessed by it.”
“Yes, he wrote me about his theory. I forgave him long ago for pouring all of his love into his automatons but don’t drag me into his delusions. You are a well-made machine, Adam, made by a brilliant man but you did not work because I loved you. You were a favorite toy for me, nothing more.”
“I’m glad you enjoyed the show, Evie.” Adam turned to her and his mobile metal lips turned up into a smile. “I imagine your fiancĂ© is looking for you. You may tell him I’ll be happy to send him a copy of the autobiography when it’s printed.”
She took the dismissal for what it was and left. The yellow and brown stripes of her dress reminded him of a honeybee in flight, the parasol swinging behind her acting as a stinger. He wondered why he regretted watching her go, wondering again if the professor had programmed him with emotions or just a set of standard responses to stimuli.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Health Journey: Week 4

My last update was Week 3 and that was 2 weeks ago so why is this Week 4? I gave myself a week off. I spent a week throwing up and unable to walk and couldn't make it to the kitchen much less to the scale. I pretty much didn't eat for a week. The next week, I couldn't tell if I was nauseous or starving and I ended up eating more than I felt like I should.

There was pizza, chinese food, pasta, anything that could be considered a comfort food I chowed down. Looking back, I didn't eat much of any  of it but I really felt like a pig there for a while.

I was so scared I undid all the work I'd done that I didn't want to go do my weigh in this week.

Ready for this weeks numbers?

Starting weight: 316.8 lbs
Week 4 weight: 301 lbs

Total weight lost: 15.8 lbs

Pant size: 24

No measurements yet but we're getting closer!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Steampunk Sunday: Steam Powered Giraffe

I really have no idea how these guys aren't bigger in the Steampunk community. The songs are catchy and the performance is fantastic.

From their website:
The robots of Steam Powered Giraffe are like nothing you've ever seen. The malfunctioning joke-spewing metal men play a collection of original Vaudeville inspired tunes fused with modern flare and executed in a super-sleek, one-of-a-kind performance.

Trained in pantomime by Seaport Village mime Jerry Hager, with collective backgrounds in clown, theatre, music, and visual design, Jon Sprague, and the Bennett twins Christopher and David have sculpted a striking homegrown performance that will leave you tapping your feet and humming for days.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Steampunk Sunday: Insects

I'm not sure whether some of today's Steampunk samples are jewelry or something else. 
Take a look and let me know what you think: