Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Sometimes I wonder what young me would think of mature…well I’m not so mature so…older me. I never became the famous actress –stunt women- athlete- rock star I dreamed about as a kid. But let’s face it, that’s pretty unrealistic. And my real life accomplishments of licensed professional engineer, pro am Jet Ski racer, professional roller derby skater and balloon artist are quite impressive in their own way.
It’s funny how some of my big accomplishments were not even things I thought about when I was younger. I became a balloon artist since I was bored and looking for a new hobby. With my balloons I have been able to entertain people at parties for years now and have made some great Halloween costumes. This is not something I predicted as a kid but I am sure glad it happened.
Roller derby is another thing I never predicted. I knew nothing about this ‘sport’ when I overheard a coworker talking about her sister doing it for an up and coming TV show. I said it sounded like fun but I remember telling her ‘too bad I’m too small’. Well it turns out I wasn’t too small and I ended up quitting my first engineering job to pursue this fun career. It only lasted two years before the show was cancelled but I have no regrets for trying and the adventure and growth and lifelong friend I received from it.
Most importantly I still daydream, smile often, enjoy being silly and have a youthful attitude and energy much like my childhood. I’m good to my friends and always learning and growing as a person. Plus I drive a fast and fancy car. I’d have to think young me would be pretty happy with all of this. And if not than “piss off you young immature girl” since I like who I am just fine…just kidding there.
So I guess that it’s good to remember what you dreamed of in your youth but also to realize you never know what life will throw at you. Grab whatever opportunities you can and enjoy! Here’s hoping you are who you want to be or at least on your way there!
Cat “I’m a Big Kid Now” Cathy
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I bought some new ‘barefoot’ running shoes the other day. I know this sounds like an odd joke but its true. They’re running shoes that are ‘barely there’ (reminds me of bra adds) since the shoes are light and don’t really provide arch and foot support. If you’ve seen them you would probably remember since they usually have the individual toes cut out so they stand out as rather peculiar looking.
I’m always looking at new inventions and ways to waste my money and I’ve had my eye on these for a while. The theory is that you don’t need all the support we currently use and your feet and legs will adjust to the barefoot approach. This seems to go against the current belief that you need loads of support for all the pounding and impact. I did a lot of reading up on the two schools of thought and neither really seems conclusive so I decided to find out for myself.
It’s actually quite interesting in my case since I love to go barefoot or in flip flops when ever I can. But when I buy running shoes the store employees always tell me I have pronation issues really badly and needed some highly supportive shoes. They always bring out extremely old lady looking shoes that I would never wear. Thankfully they always seem to have one or two that look ok. So now I have extremely padded shoes and almost the exact opposite barefoot shoes.
One of the first things I did with my new shoes was show my neighbor. He was excited and a wee bit jealous since I had the new lace up type which weren’t even available in North America until a few weeks previous…or so he informed me. He’s a big fan in case you haven’t guessed that.
The barefoot shoe company recommends a 90-10 split so you can get used not having support. I assume this was provided for some kind of liability issue. Since I hardly ever run I wasn’t sure this applied to me but I used them for working out at the gym, some off road running and a recent ropes challenge/zip line day. They were comfy and a great conversation piece. They worked well on the ropes challenge since I felt like I could grip better until I got to a metal cable I had to walk across. That one hurt a bit as did a root I stepped on when I was running in the woods.
I don’t run often and the jury is still out for me on these shoes…much like all the articles I found about barefooting. I guess they just want everyone to decide for themselves. But my next challenge for them will be rock climbing.
Cat “Ten Toes” Cathy
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I recently had a chance to do outreach for fifth graders and teach them a bit of engineering and science. I hadn’t prepared and I was more worried and uncomfortable about teaching this young age than the high school and college kids I’d spoken to in the past.
I planned on doing an old balloon experiment/trick my mom used to do with me when I was a kid. You put a balloon taped to a straw on a string then let go and watch it fly across the room. I remember this from my childhood but I didn’t know if it would stand the test of time. After all these kids had video games and computers and cell phones so what fun could a balloon on a string possibly be?
I arrived on campus with my string and duct tape to hold up the string. Somehow this struck me as funny and potentially hard to explain to authorities. But the ‘experiment’ worked well and was a big hit! It was a blast to teach young minds and I enjoyed the nostalgia from my childhood. I couldn’t wait to call my mom and tell her how well received her old science trick was.
The kids were adorable and I saw a few eyes light up when I explained the engineering behind the experiments and what I did for a living. I hope my small amount of time was enough to let them know Engineering is a career option and maybe encourage them to try it. Sometimes you just don’t know what your options are until someone informs you. So if you get the chance to teach young’ins I say go for it. It will be a fun day, good growth experience for you and I don’t think you can put a price on helping another person to learn and grow.
Cat “Class Dismissed” Cathy
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
I love the Christmas holiday season! I know for many people there’s a lot of stress due to money worries and buying gifts. But I find the best gift of all is the gift of time. So instead of getting presents for everyone I just do my group events and spend time with friends and family. It makes for a fun stress free holiday and brings in the true meaning of the holidays. It’s not about what you buy for someone and what they give you. It’s about spending time together, having fun, being good to each other and making memories.
I’ll pick up a few minor gifts for my closest BFFs but I’ll be spending most of my time away from malls doing the Santa stumble pub crawl, tacky Christmas outfit party, Christmas lights skates and bike rides plus many other fun outdoorsy adventures.
So think about your planned holiday activities. Are you enjoying the true spirit of the season? Does the season mean a new big screen TV or fun times with family and friends? I’ve made my choice and offer it here as an alternative to consider. But only you can decide what’s best for you and your family. Make sure its based on what you want and not what marketers have told you should want to be happy…after all they only make money by making you not happy with what you currently have.
Cat ‘Deck those Halls’ Cathy
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I have a Facebook account. Gasp… I know this is shocking news (but you won’t find me under my Catastrophe name). I find Facebook (or fb as I like to write it) handy for catching up and seeing what old friends are doing … even though I almost never do this. Fb is also good for getting and sending party invites, sharing pictures and the occasional status update. I’m talking about things like “I got a promotion” not “I ate a burger for lunch”. But that’s it and I’m done with fb after these few uses. I totally don’t get the whole game and hug and poke and pillow fight things and anything else on facebook. If I want to play video games I will play real ones with good graphics. And if I want to poke someone…well I really don’t want to poke anyone and a real hug beats a virtual one any day.
I also don’t get the whole connect to my music and internet TV accounts. Why? I have music and TV accounts of course but why do I need to connect them to fb? Do my friends really need to know what I’m watching and listening to? I guess maybe I’d find a friend or two who shared an interest in some of my TV shows and wanted to discuss them. But let’s face it, I hardly have time to watch the shows let alone talk about them with my 400 plus ‘friends’.
I love all the new technology and I think we are truly blessed to live in a time with so many modern conveniences and ways to be connected to others. Unfortunately the most important way to be connected – face to face in person – seems to be getting lost since we are all too busy staying home and reading updates and then checking these updates while we are out with other friends.
Cat ‘A True Friend Would Plow my Field’ Cathy
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Somehow I got on an Oprah emailing list. I’m not sure how this happened since I’ve never been a big fan of her show. Quite frankly I just don’t get the appeal. I’ve watched a few shows and tried but it just wasn’t doing it for me. You’d think I’d like the show with my Greek ancestry as Oprah sounds much like OPA! But nope.
I saw a couple episodes with Dr. Phil or as I like to call him, Dr. Obvious. He would state very basic things like you really shouldn’t hit your wife. Really? Do you have to be a PhD to know this? Seems like common sense to me.
Then I saw an episode with a supermodel showing ‘bargain’ fashion finds. She showed a dress from the Oscars (or one of those entertainment events) made by some famous designer that was selling for $10,000. Then she showed a knock off she found for the bargain price of $1,000. News flash, $1,000 is a pretty hefty amount to pay for one dress. Sadly I think that’s more than my whole wardrobe costs!
Then there was that episode where a guy was sleeping with his best friend’s wife and everyone was shouting “Oprah, Oprah, Oprah”. No wait that was ‘Jerry’….sorry wrong show.
Lately my weight has fluctuated about 15 pounds so I like to tell people I’m a small scale Oprah or ‘Oprah light’. Perhaps the weight gain is due to all that Fried Oprah I’ve been eating…I mean fried Okra. It’s all so confusing.
Cat “yhtac” Cathy
Friday, November 4, 2011
I’ve been planning to do a ten day fast for several months now but something always comes up. Namely a nice meal event always comes up that I don’t want to miss. When I think about it I’m surprised just how many of my activities involve food. Even if I go out for sports we always have food afterwards. That time dining together and socializing is very much a part of the fun and I don’t want to miss out.
I happened to catch part of a movie about juice fasting and I realized I had put my fast off for far too long. So on a whim I decided I would start my own juice fast the very next day! After all, it had been about 10 years since I’d completed a fast longer than 24 hours and I was well overdue. I drank fresh squeezed veggie and fruit juices, fresh brewed green tea with no sweetener and water for 64 hours straight. This was a personal record for me since the longest I’d ever fasted before was around 55 hours.
I really didn’t feel bad during the fast. I would get a minor headache and hunger pangs but these were short lived. The hardest part was answering the same question of ‘why’ over and over again. To me the answer would seem obvious. Most people fast for religion, health or to lose weight. For me it was mostly for health reasons. I wanted to cleanse and detoxify my system. I also just thought it would be interesting to try it and challenge myself. But after telling friends this several times I made up some better answers:
“To please my gods”
“The voices told me to”
“Chewing is so last year”
“I like all the pretty colors”
My results were good. My weight reduced a few pounds but I’m sure most of that was just no food in my belly. My health was fine and I felt slightly more clear headed than usual during the fast. Not only would I do it again I’ve already started planning it since a coworker wants to join me. I’m shooting for a new PR of 72 hours.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
For four years running (or skating I should say) I have been a parade performer at a local theme park. Generally I get a role as a skater or backup skater doing other characters when skaters are not needed. I really enjoy this parade. It puts me in the Christmas Spirit and I’m always happy when I’m skating OR performing so combining the two makes me especially happy!
I auditioned this year and I thought I did really well. I even got a call back to learn a dance routine. That was a bit humiliating but I tried and I never claimed to be a dancer. So when I got my phone call I expected my usual skater role. I was all excited until they offered me…you guessed it…Mother Goose!
This is not a skating roll at all. The lady making the offer was acting like they were doing me a favor. I looked around at my fancy new office and professional engineering license and laughed. The thought of the extra stress and leaving work early every day for this piddly little role at about ¼ my current salary was somehow amusing in an insulting sort of way.
So naturally I turned the role down. I guess this is what happens when you are over 40. Suddenly you have to take the ‘Mother’ roles. I’m disappointed to say the least. My skating skills are still great and this role always makes the holiday season that much more fun for me. But I guess all things must come to an end. This is not the first or worst rejection/loss/disappointment I’ve had this year.
I chose to be happy in spite of all the disappointments and assume there’s some reason this wasn’t meant to be. I practiced for the audition and got a good night’s sleep. So I did the best I could and no regrets there. Maybe something better will come along or maybe I will get my parade fix in another local parade or somehow other good things will come along to make up for this. Wish me luck and best of luck to you in dealing with your losses and disappointments too!
Cat “Sk8er” Cathy
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I really lived up to my nick name this time! For over six months I’d been planning a trip to Europe. I was at the airport with my new clothes, hair freshly done, new skate wheels, snacks, Euros and maps of each city I was visiting including directions to everything I wanted to see and do. As you can tell I spent a lot of time preparing for this trip. I pride myself on being well organized and prepared. So as I excitedly went to the airport ticket counter to get my plane ticket an amazingly unbelievable thing happened. My passport was expired!!!
I couldn’t believe this was happening. It just seemed surreal. After a slight bout of sadness and anger…ok so I acted like a two year old throwing a tantrum...I decided to work on a plan to get a quick passport renewal. The next 24 hours were like something out of the amazing race except no fun and no big cash reward. After driving around town for forms, info and pictures I found out you could drive to Miami and possibly…maybe…if the moons and stars aligned just right…get a same day passport.
I headed to Miami at 3 a. m. After only two hours of sleep, a three and a half hour drive and waiting at the passport office for nine hours I FINALLY got to speak to a passport ‘agent’ or whatever you call them. And I was promptly told there would be no passport that day and no passport over the weekend either. I’d have to drive back down on Monday or have it mailed to my home on Tuesday. This was extremely disappointing news and I’m sadly disturbed by our passport office’s lack of concern or motivation. Yes I was the idiot who made the unbelievably stupid mistake but there should be a way to fit in a same day passport in emergencies like this. Especially considering you pay enough extra money for a same day passport to fund the extra man power it would require.
For a while I contemplated joining my friends six days later but I decided the extra flight money and shorter vacation time made it not really worthwhile. Since I was very disappointed once I made this decision I tried to be more Zen and realize everything happens for a reason. For some reason I was not meant to go to Europe at this time. (I know the reason…I was stupid). We tried to make light of it and decided it was the butterfly effect at play. Somehow by me not going to Europe over 100,000 lives were saved! I have no clue how but it kinda put the missed trip in perspective and made me laugh.
Once I made the decision to bail on my Europe trip I decided to still take a week off from work for a staycation. I felt bad that I let my two vacation friends down and that I wouldn’t get the change of scenery but this seemed like a decent back up plan. Especially since I live in Orlando which is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
Since I was on vacation, even if I was still in town, I changed up my normal routine. I spent my week off zip lining, orienteering, snorkeling, kite boarding, reading, movies, water parks and mountain biking. So it wasn’t all bad but was probably the most expensive staycation ever since I still had to pay for much of my Europe trip.
Every time I find something I prepared for the trip I get a little reminder of my big mishap. After yoga I used the special conditioner I purchased for the trip since I didn’t want to bring a full size bottle. Thankfully this wasn’t very good conditioner so I joked it’s a good thing I didn’t go or my hair would have looked bad and it would have ruined the whole trip. Then while skating I played music on my phone and had yet another reminder as I had uploaded tons of extra music to enjoy while on vacation.
After this fiasco I was debating if I wanted to keep traveling in the future. I love the adventure but it’s so costly, time consuming and stressful to plan a trip. Plus I get motion sickness which takes away some of the fun and limits what I can do. As I was contemplating this information, a friend asked me to go on a skate trip to Thailand. Instantly I was happy and excited and looking forward to this new adventure opportunity. I realized I would not stop traveling but will be more careful in the future.
I had a lot of support along the way from friends just wishing me well to friends providing valuable information and especially driving me to Miami. Thanks to all of you! I truly feel blessed for my friendships and I won’t let a little thing (ok not so little thing) like missing Europe get me down for long.
Cat “10 More Years” Cathy
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
As I recently blogged about, I received some major road rash from my urban crit mountain bike race. With all my aggressive sports and hobbies not to mention my clumsiness I’ve been bruised and beat up many times before. Normally I just put some peroxide on the wounds for a few days and maybe some polysporin when I remember and pretty much let it scab up and then pick at the annoying scab until it’s gone and I have a pretty red scar. But this time was worse than usual so I did what I often do these days…I Googled. Yep, I wanted to know what the best way was to treat road rash as I never gave it much thought before.
The top Google hits referred to not letting the wound dry out and scab up. That scabbing prevents oxygen transfer and healing and that you should keep it moist with some sort of antibacterial cream and a bandage. So I decided my injuries would make a good science experiment and off I went to the pharmacy.
I wasn’t totally sure what to get so I ended up with a pretty full table of bandages, gauzes, wet dressings, tape and other miscellaneous interesting looking items. I had so much stuff I started telling my visitors ‘welcome to Pharmacy Island’.
This anti scab method was definitely more expensive than my normal ‘ignore it’ method. Some of that was due to my learning curve as I purchased several items that weren’t necessary. I also just never realized just how expensive first aid supplies are. Thankfully I saved some money when my $75 worth of wet dressings wouldn’t ring up at the register and I was only charged $3 thanks to a disgruntled CVS employee. Even with this windfall I still spent over $150 on supplies for my little science project experiment.
This anti scab method was also more time consuming and annoying. I dressed the wounds about twice a day but it seemed like I was always cleaning and changing bandages or worrying about the bandages staying in place
Another negative to this new anti scab method was the allergic reaction I had to the tape I used to wrap my bandages. I ended up with red swollen and itchy tape marks all around my leg that stayed around for over two weeks. Even now, over two months later, I can still tell where I placed the tape since the rest of my leg has tanned but the formerly taped allergic area is still white.
On the plus side the wounds were not painful and I didn’t have any annoying scabs that would itch and get picked at. Also it did seem to heal quicker since after two weeks of bandages I took them off for the last time and only had light pink skin. The light pink skin made it seem like I would have minimal scarring but after a few adventures in the sun they are now a much darker brown than the rest of my skin. So I’m dark brown where I had road rash, white where my tape had been and just in between tan everywhere else. It’s a very unique and interesting look that’s sure to be all the rage someday.
I don’t have a definitive answer as to which method is better but I would definitely try the anti scab method again especially now that I know what bandages to use and what to do. Here’s hoping you never need to try this for yourself and happy healing if you do.
Cat “Calico” Cathy
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
My latest challenge was forced on me when my apartment air conditioner unit broke. My slum lords were in no hurry and made me wait for a new AC window unit for six days…in August…in Florida!
Although I hate the fact that my apartment charges a high rent and then makes me live in squalor, this no AC challenge wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I kept the lights to a minimum to keep heat down, used the ceiling fan and then finally borrowed a window fan. This made it bearable even though it was probably over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Even the hallway was a good 10 degrees cooler so I left my door open whenever I could.
The biggest negative was I didn’t like having air blowing on me and it made me feel sickish when I woke up in the mornings. Also I went shopping just to get out of the heat and that caused a small drop in my savings account. But overall I feel I handled it pretty well and enjoyed learning I could survive without AC. Perhaps that was due to my ‘training’ in heated yoga every week.
Cat “Feeling Hot Hot Hot”Cathy
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
My latest resolution bowl challenge was to wear dresses. I’m a wee bit of a tom boy and even though I have no problem hanging out at the beach or lake all day in my bikini while I Jet Ski or kite board, for some reason I feel self conscious about wearing dresses. This makes no sense I know, which is why I added it to my challenges this year so I could step outside my comfy zone and improve myself.
My ‘wear a dress’ challenge was made even more fun by having a pact with a coworker. I told her about meetup.com social events as a way for her to meet new people and expand her horizons. She was a little shy about going so we decided I would wear a dress for each event she attended…up to five that is.
Wearing dresses has never been high on my ‘to do’ list. Personally I feel like they just limit you. There’s no running, jumping and piggy backing when you are in a dress so what fun is that? But a pact is a pact and I was going to keep up my part of it.
My first dress was a pink sun dress. Only the finest dining for me and my fancy new dress would do so I wore it to Taco Bell after a day at the beach. I wore it over my bikini so it was maybe a bit of a cheat but it’s a start.
Next up I wore a skin tight stretchy dress to the farmers market but I spent most of my time putting the dress in place since it kept riding up and was quite annoying. So I Googled ‘how to keep a dress from riding up’ and saw a suggestion to use butt glue. I’d never heard of butt glue before but I decided I’d rather just not wear the dress again than glue my butt.
‘Dress’ three was actually a long work skirt suit that I’d had for years but hardly wore. My friend and I decided dress or skirt is ok as I never wear either. Seeing as it went to my knees it wasn’t too bad but I couldn’t do the morning stretches I normally do and I found the high heels annoying so I was barefoot most of the day which may have taken away some from the whole ‘dressed up’ look.
‘Dress’ four was my superhero balloon girl skirt. This may be cheating a bit but my friend cheated on her end too and she allowed it.
‘Dress’ five was a denim mini skirt. I wore it with bandages all over my knee due to road rash so that may have taken a little away from it. But I still got some compliments.
Dress six was a bonus to my five dress challenge. I have a LBD that’s been hanging around for over a year. I wore it to a girls night dinner and out to a bar. It was cute but I didn’t feel as comfy as I would have in jeans. And since no one seemed overly impressed with my legs I should have just worn the jeans.
This challenge which was supposed to take a week ended up taking over three months. It’s hard to fit in dresses with jet skiing, mountain biking and inline skating. The few times I was going out to a party or concert I wanted jeans so I could enjoy myself instead of having to act girly all night.
With this challenge thankfully over I wonder if I will keep wearing dresses at least on occasion. That’s hard to say. I own dresses now and if there’s one thing as important to me as being a tom boy it would be getting my monies’ worth from my purchases so we’ll see.
As a side note, my coworker’s results were pretty good. She enjoyed a few meetups, made some new friends and plans to continue attending events. I’m happy this challenge was good growing experience for both of us.
Take a chance and try something out of your comfort zone. It can only help you grow as a person. Try the buddy system like I did to make it even more fun and ensure you actually stick with it.
Cat “She’s got legs” Cathy
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
My friend recently received an invite to a restaurant lunch for her friend’s bridal shower and of course it included where she was registered. Why is it you are supposed to give a gift for someone who is getting married anyway? I can picture back in the day when a couple got married they were young and it was probably their first time living on their own. A nice toaster or dish set probably went a long way to help the couple get established and have a happy relationship. In my friend’s recent case the ‘blushing bride’ is on her third marriage and she is in her 50’s. She has plenty of money and to me it just seems rude to ask for gifts especially when all you did was meet at a public restaurant. I’m no Miss Manners and I’m sure there’s some protocol here but I’m just glad she wasn’t my friend so I didn’t have to make the call as to whether or not to attend and provide a gift. I am of course always happy when my friends have good things in their lives but I sorta feel like this girl was more using her friends than being a good friend.
I’m not cheap but I’m also not materialistic. My celebrations are about spending time with my friends not what they can buy for me. Normally when I throw a party food and drink is included and I use the phrase ‘your presence is my present’. I just like their company and want to do something nice for them since they are important to me. Not use them to buy me gifts. So what do you think? What’s the rule for second, third and 100th marriages? If gifts are mandatory then I need to start having some weddings!
Cat “Cloudy With a Chance of Gifts” Cathy
Monday, August 1, 2011
I’m not a big fan of competing in sports. My job is stressful enough so the last thing I need to do on the weekend is stress more. But still on occasion I’m convinced to compete. The most recent example was the urban criterium mountain bike race in Lakeland Florida.
The race involves riding up a parking garage, down said parking garage, down stairs, around part of a lake with a hill, down more stairs, some tight turns and then you do it all again for several laps for a total-hard core-pushing it workout of close to 50 minutes. I’ve actually wanted to do this race for a while since it sounded so cool being able to bike down steps in the middle of town and not be kicked out by the security guards.
So I carbed up with the largest pasta meal ever and headed out on the short road trip with ‘Super Estonia Girl’ and my biking and utility buddy ‘Knobber’. Both of them decided not to race so essentially they were my pit crew. They helped tune up my bike, take pictures, cheer me on and more as you will read later. I felt like I was at Tour De France with all their support.
I was nervous. I always get that way before a race and hence the reason I don’t like to race often. My friend ‘Goldi’ was also nervous and we seemed to feed off each other and make it worse. Thankfully the nervousness goes away the moment the race starts and my competitive nature kicks in. I took off fast and was in first place for women the first lap. I couldn’t believe this as I hadn’t trained and I thought I would do much worse. Then I was passed going up the parking garage and figured she would disappear and that I’d definitely gone out too fast and furious. But she didn’t sprint off and I was able to stay close behind.
Between huffing and puffing my engineering mind kicked in and I realized she had more endurance but possibly less technical skills. So my plan was to make time on the downhill and try to find a good place to pass on the last lap. Unfortunately things didn’t go quite as I hoped and going as fast as I could on skinny and high pressure race tires turned out to be a bad idea. I skidded out on the lowest level of the parking garage. I quickly got up and jumped on my bike to continue my race. My brakes were rubbing so my dreams of first were gone and I was just hoping I could hold on to second or third.
Luckily the breaks stopped rubbing when I used my mad engineering skills (I kicked them) and I managed to hold on for second place. The adrenaline was still pumping and I didn’t really feel any pain even though my whole right side was dirty, bruised and battered including a huge strawberry on my hip/butt. Goldi was nice enough to shout out “cute girl needs help with her butt”. Sadly there were no takers on this tidbit of information but my awesome pit crew was there for me with peroxide and bandages for my injuries. I did somehow manage to make it fun by asking if the huge welt made my butt look big. When we put the peroxide on and it turned white everyone went “oooohhhh”. So I said it sounded just like Fourth of July fireworks again.
In the end there were four women on the podium ranging in age from around 15 to 50 something. I thought it was way cool to have such a wide age range which included us ‘established’ women and the next generation too.
Even though I’m currently still nursing my wounds, I still had fun and hope to do it again next year. I’m not a big fan of competition but I guess doing it from time to time can be exciting and gives me something to look forward to. But next year I will just train harder so I can do better on the up hills instead of trying to make up time in the down hills and leaving half my skin on the parking garage first floor.
Cat “I’m All Right Now” Cathy
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Being a student saved me three bucks at the movies recently. The only odd thing about it is I haven’t actually been a student in over 5 years. And that was just a few grad classes that I took before I decided I’d had enough school for this lifetime. Still I had my dusty old ID and even though I’m sure the current IDs look different, I still showed it and got my discount.
Do I feel bad or wrong about doing this? No, I actually enjoy it. I feel like I’m sticking it to the man. I seriously doubt my three greenbacks will keep all the actors and producers from eating at night. Plus I just don’t get the whole concept of student or senior or any other kind of discount based solely on your status in life. I know plenty of students who are receiving full scholarships and parents’ support so they have as much disposable income as I do. Plus there are plenty of seniors who have homes paid for and lots of savings so again they have as much or more disposable income.
My personal opinion is if the business can afford to charge a lower price to a select group than I want that price. My plan is to go right from student discounts to AARP discounts. Call me cheap if you must be I prefer to think of it as getting good value for my money.
The best part was the door man who took our tickets said “one student and one adult”. I made a point to pick on my friend who is 10 years younger than me that she was the ‘adult’.
Cat “Never Grow Up” Cathy
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be in a comic book. Ok, not really but the band Beebs and her Money Makers was having a contest for their album release to dress as your own superhero and the winner would be put in their comic book. Of course I couldn’t resist and I came up with the new superhero Balloon Girl…notice the echo when you say that?
Her powers consist of making people happy since most people smile when they see balloons, being able to fly since she has a cape full of helium, balloon missiles that are surprisingly more powerful than they appear and finally when all else fails she makes a loud popping sonic boom sound to scare off the villains.
Of course her weaknesses are running with scissors, static cling and no pockets in her super hero suit.
The album release was the House of Blues in Downtown Disney. A lot of people were around for other Downtown Disney venues and were not dressed up. This made Balloon Girl a wee bit nervous at first and thankful for her mask disguise. But then she arrived at the HOB and met Pink Girl, BBQ Man and a plethora of other super heroes. There was no doubt that the HOB would be safe this night with so many powerful superheroes on hand.
Tourists were even stopping her to ask for pictures as if she worked for Disney. Balloon Girl didn’t mind and posed with the kids and even let them hold her ‘deadly’ balloon missiles.
Suddenly Balloon Girl’s balloon senses started tingling (yet another balloon girl power…sounds familiar though doesn’t it) and she was recognized by a group of friends that also happened to be attending the event. But said friends were very supportive and happy to see her and support her cause. (Note to balloon self – need a bigger mask).
Balloon Girl received a lot of compliments and won the contest! She was so happy you would have thought she had just won Miss America. But in her humble opinion being in a comic book is even better than that!
At the end of the night Balloon Girl, Super Estonia Girl and Electro Man scoured the parking lot for Balloon Girl’s invisible jet and headed out in search of more adventure.
Overall I….I mean Balloon Girl… had a blast and she can’t wait to see her comic book character!
Cat “Never in the same place as Balloon Girl” Cathy
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Philadelphia has never been on my ‘must see’ list. In fact, I can’t even spell the name without using my spellchecker. The only thing I know about Philly (spelled that on my own) is they have some sort of damaged bell and a song by Elton John that doesn’t really seem to say much about the city at all. But the Philly Skate Club was having their annual Philly Free Skate weekend and I couldn’t think of anything more adventurous than a weekend of skating a new city. Plus I always like the word ‘free’.
The organized skates all started at the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs. These are the same stairs that Rocky runs up in his famous movie scene. So every skate I re-enacted this famous movie scene. The only difference was I ran up on skates which was way cooler than plain old sneakers in my humble opinion.
The first skate on Friday afternoon we were honked at in a not so friendly manner more times than I could count. I started calling Philly ‘The City of Brotherly Beeeeep’.
The second Friday skate was like one giant flash mob. There were well over 100 skaters and we would sprint a distance while taking up traffic lanes and then abruptly stop in a public area. After a few minutes we would quickly sprint off again in various directions. It really was like a city wide skating flash mob and very entertaining.
The organized skates were fun but my favorite part of the trip was when the small Orlando contingent decided to venture out on our own. We were in search of Tony Luke’s which is supposed to be the best cheese steaks in town…or cheese cakes as I kept calling them for some dumb reason. There was a long line but the cheese steaks definitely lived up to their reputation. And the sautéed spinach side was also yummy and made me feel less guilty about my huge hoagie steak sandwich and cola.
From there we continued our adventure and exploring on skates and saw a plethora of unusual things including a kid in a Panda costume in the 90 degree heat, an anatomically correct Chinese guardian lion in Chinatown and superheroes from a convention that was in town.
We also skated over the Ben Franklin Bridge to beautiful Camden NJ so we could call our day a two state skate. The view from the top of the bridge was invigorating as was the fast skate down the bridge. Camden was deserted but seemed nice enough until a few drugged out looking locals approached us. The looks we got later when we told the local skaters we went to Camden made me realize we were lucky to get out of there incident free.
During our trip we all acquired vacation names. These were well earned nicknames based on things that occurred on vacation. Our Orlando group consisted of Chainsaw Joe, Backstreet Bruce and Cruisin and Bruisin Cathy. I won’t explain where these names came from since it’s probably more of an inside joke but I highly recommend trying your own vacation names as an entertaining addition to any trip.
I totaled 95 skating miles over the weekend. My shins were bruised so bad that the skates have been put on a ‘time out’ while I heal. Overall I met some nice people and had a good time in the city of brotherly beeeep but I don’t think I’ll be visiting again any time soon.
Cat “Cruzin Chainsaw Backstreet” Cathy
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I’ve seen sidewalk chalk art for years and always admired the artists’ skills and their medium. At a festival recently I noticed that the sidewalk artists used a gridded picture as a guide and then outlined the drawing on the sidewalk before coloring it in with chalk. Somehow this made it seem much easier and appealed to my engineering brain so I decided I wanted to give it a try.
So I bought the supplies and contacted my Estonian neighbor (my sister from another mister as I blogged about recently) and convinced her that it would be fun and/or exciting to do this. We decided the sidewalk just outside our building would be the best place. While we were working on our masterpieces other neighbors came by and wondered what we were doing. I decided to make up a story that my Estonia friend showed much promise in sidewalk art so she was taken from her family at the age of 5 and trained for this task her entire life. I actually think some of my neighbors believed me until they saw just how simple our artwork was.
Since then, our art has been the topic of much conversation at our apartment building (I guess we really need to get more excitement in our lives). One neighbor was extremely impressed with our art until she found out it was done by two adults. Naturally she assumed it was done by the one child living in our building. Perhaps my Estonian friend and I are just not understood in our time and our art will flourish once we’ve passed on…nah!
They’ve lasted two weeks and counting including two heavy rain storms. I’m sure most of this is due to the hairspray coating I did since I saw that at the aforementioned festival also. Every time I walk by they make me smile as I remember the fun we had. I hope you take some time out for fun, art and new challenges too!
Cat “Watch Where you Walk ‘Cause the Sidewalks Talk” Cathy
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I’m can’t stand spam emails. If I want my penis enlarged I’ll…wait I don’t have one of those last I checked. Thankfully I don’t get nearly as many spam emails lately thanks to an awesome spam filter that automatically sends this junk to a spam folder which keeps me happy and stress free.
But recently one of my email accounts was hacked and all my friends in my address book received pharmaceutical emails from me. Thankfully my friends were smart enough to realize all those impersonal emails with just a Viagra link weren’t actually from me. But it still felt like a big invasion of my privacy.
I think we need a spam investigation unit at the police department. I can envision a Spam Criminal Investigators TV show already. Seriously, I do think there needs to be more severe punishment like having to send personalized apology letters to everyone involved or maybe the ten lashes mentioned in my title really would be appropriate.
The lengths these spammers go to just amazes me. I now get emails that look like they are forwarded text messages from my phone. Just imagine if these people used their skills for ‘good’ instead of ‘evil’ what a better world we would have. Making money is nice and necessary but having a job you can take pride in should mean a lot as well. I’m amazed and disappointed that many people just look for ways to screw others out of their money instead of earning an honest and rewarding living.
So let’s get this anti spam campaign started…I’ll administer the lashes.
Cat “Cheap Pharmaceuticals” Cathy
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The other day my friend asked me what I as doing and I said “shopping like an heiress”. It was a take off on the Party Like a Rockstar song and saying. Ever since then I’ve been napping like a baby, working like a short timer, biking like Pee Wee Herman and eating like a future weight loss surgery candidate. It’s just my latest spin to make my days more fun. Feel free to share some of your own creations…In the mean time I’ll be blogging like Julie & Julia.
Cat “Totally Dude” Cathy
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I realized the other day that I’ve been using (on and off) online dating sites for the past six years! In some ways I like these sites since they give you access to many more choices and let you quickly cut out the guys who don’t meet your basic criteria. But in other ways they can be a pain since you have to weed through many generic cut and paste emails and offensive emails to get to the good ones. Also it doesn’t have the comfort of meeting someone naturally. But considering I’ve only had one date this past year that I met the old fashioned way, I better stick with the online option and be thankful for it!
As a joke I started thinking about what it will be like if I’m still online dating in my 80’s and came up with a list of criteria the sites need to include to help make senior dating easier:
Walker? Yes, No or Sometimes?
Teeth? In your mouth or in a jar at night?
Grandchildren, Great –Grandchildren or Can’t remember?
Social Security, Pension or part time job as bagger at Publix?
Live alone, live with kids or Golden Girls type arrangement?
Shuffle board, bingo or Complaining about your health?
I hope to be permanently done with the dating sites soon but in the meantime at least I get some humor from them.
Cat “I Like Long Walks on the Beach” Cathy
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
One of my new friends is from Estonia and has a bit of an unusual accent. It’s not uncommon for people to ask her where she’s from. She likes to tell everyone Hoboken New Jersey as a joke. Also her name sounds a lot like Cathy so when people ask our names it sounds like we both say “Cathy”. The other day she told someone we were sisters so I said “we are sisters from another mister”. I was so proud of myself with what I thought was a cute and original phrase. But then I ‘Googled’ and there was my phrase in an urban dictionary. I really thought I was original but maybe I’d heard it somewhere and it just didn’t register until that moment. Or maybe I independently ‘discovered’ the phrase just Charles Wheatstone and Samuel Morse independently discovered the electrical telegraph. (Yes I googled that too).
Anyway, I’m really happy to finally have the sister I always wanted even if she is from another mister. Next maybe I will find a cousin from another bosom and a niece from another priest. But I bet those are already in the urban dictionary too.
Cat “We Are Family” Cathy
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I recently started a food diary. I always thought they were a dumb idea. I picture writing things like “Dear diary, today I ate jelly donuts all day and now my pants don’t fit”. But I’ve been eating badly and I thought this might be a good way to see what I ate, hold myself accountable and provide motivation to improve my diet. Plus as an engineer I love data and this just gives me more of it to analyze.
To make myself more aware of the bad things I was eating I started bolding them. I thought this would scold me or something but it didn’t work. So then I started counting the number of bolded items I ate each day. The numbers were large with some approaching double digits but still this didn’t seem to deter me.
Finally I’ve come up with my push up plan. I have to do 10 push ups for each bolded item. This will help me burn some small amount of the calories I’m consuming but more importantly I’m hoping it will finally motivate me to reduce some of those bad food choices.
I’ll keep you posted if the push up plan works. If not maybe I will have to highlight bad choices in yellow and put an exclamation mark…Yeah that will definitely to solve my problem.
Cat “Eat this not that!!!” Cathy
Friday, April 29, 2011
In my recent Buddhist challenge I attended a Buddhist temple and learned about metta meditation. Metta means ‘loving-kindness’ and what could possibly be bad about that?
The one we were given was pretty simple:
May I be free from harm.
May I be happy
May I be healthy
May I live my life with ease.
After saying this for yourself you are supposed to repeat it for someone you care about, someone you don’t really know well, someone you don’t like and then all people as a whole.
I find this meditation quite enjoyable. It puts me in a good mood thinking about myself being happy and at ease. Then I feel even better when I think about someone I care about being happy. Then it lets me see that everyone is important and has their own struggles by doing it for a practical stranger and helps me release any pain and hard feelings by doing it for someone I don’t like.
Besides putting me in a good mood I’ve found other benefits but they may just be coincidences. For my first metta med I picked my pharmacist as my ‘someone I don’t know well’. I’m not a big pill popper so I’ve only seen him twice but he very nice. It just happens that I ran into him a couple days after my metta med and he asked how I was feeling and was even nicer. Also I’ve seen some of the people I chose as my ‘someone you don’t like’ and they’ve been much nicer to me. Hmmm maybe there is something to this after all.
Worst case I enjoy thinking in a positive way and this meditation helps. May you all be free from harm, happy, healthy and live your lives with ease!
Cathy “A Stranger is Just a Friend I Haven’t Met Yet” Cathy
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I know I’ve done a lot of movie and book reviews and that wasn’t really my blogging goal but I thought a review was needed for this movie. Salt staring Angelina Jolie as agent Evelyn Salt, a CIA officer/Russian spy/all around cool chick, is probably the best reason ever do go on a low sodium diet. If you haven’t seen it then I envy you.
As someone who was injured and has been out of commission for months from doing a simple split in aerial silk class I found it annoying that Salt could live through hundreds of fights, jumping from truck to truck on the highway and countless other endeavors that would have killed a ‘lesser’ person 10 times over.
The plot was basic and I was able to guess the end pretty early in the movie. The worst part is they left the movie ending open for a sequel. I guess that one will be called Salt and Pepper.
I generally like Angelina Jolie movies but this one was a big disappointment. I admire that she gives a large portion of her salary away to charity but I feel in this case she should reimburse us poor movie goers who had to suffer through it.
Cat “Push It” Cathy
Thursday, March 31, 2011
The other day I googled “can I wear boots in March”. With the worlds knowledge available at my fingertips it seems like a waste that this is what I wanted to research. Plus I didn’t really like the answers I got anyway. There were suggestions like “don’t wear boots if it’s warm weather like over 50 degrees”. Well I live in Florida and I consider 50 degrees to be quite chilly.
So I decided to make my own rules. I like my boots and I’m wearing them to a concert this week even though it’s near the end of March in Florida and probably going to be a balmy 70 degrees. I don’t care if the fashion police give me a ticket and I end up in a fashion mag with a big black block covering my face. This is what I want to wear so I am going to do it. Plus it’s fun to be a little quirky, not worry about all the rules and march to your own beat anyway!
On a side fashion note, I remember going to the mall near downtown Orlando when overalls were ‘in style’. Almost half of the women were wearing overalls. This just seemed ludicrous to me, after all there aren’t many farmers in Orlando. Now that overalls are no longer ‘hip’ you’d be lucky to see one woman wearing them. (By the way if you do see one it will probably be me so say ‘hi’)
My opinion is we waste too much time worrying about fashion anyway. Sure it’s fun to wear a new outfit and feel cute and sexy. But to worry that you are not quite in style when fashion changes quicker than I can change my underwear is just not worth it to me. I just feel there are more important things to put my time and energy into. Plus I have a theory that men don’t really know or care what is in style anyway. They will notice a cute girl in overalls, boots or a moo moo all the same.
Cat “Polka Dots and Stripes” Cathy
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
(Note this was written many months ago before my non biking injury but I wanted to post it anyway)
I did what I often do on a Tuesday; I went on an urban assault. What’s an urban assault you may ask? It’s a bike ride on your mountain bike in an urban setting. I guess it’s a way to justify having a $2,000 mountain bike that hardly sees any off-road time, but at least it sees a lot of stairs and parking garages.
As part of my effort to redefine myself and make new memories as a newly single person I decided to ride with a different urban group. I’ve rode with my urban group for around 8 years now and I just wanted to check out something new. My bike group does a lot of miles at a good speed and just does a few tricks along the way. The ‘alternative’ urban group is a bit younger, does a lot less miles but a lot more way cool tricks. So it was a nice change of pace. And amazingly fun watching wheelies, endos, bunny hops, manuals and big air. As you can see I learned a few new terms along the way too.
The big news of the night is I learned how to wheelie! I’ve wanted to learn this for many years but never tried since I have clip in pedals and can’t part from my bike easily. The clips are great for riding fast but not so much for wheelies which may require a quick dismount. Before the ride I switched to regular pedals and with less than 2 minutes of instruction I was wheeling!!! My wheelies only last for a few seconds so I still have a lot of progress to make but it was a great start and I was really proud of myself. It may seem stupid since not many 40-something women have ‘learning to wheelie’ on their must do list. But it works for me.
It was a fun night and a nice change of pace. I plan to ride with the ‘alternative’ urban group on occasion but I think I will mostly stick to my group. Speaking of which I couldn’t wait to show off my new mad skill so I biked past my group’s dinner spot on one wheel saying ‘what’s up bitches’. My wheelie only lasted long enough for ‘what’s’ but my friends were still impressed and happy for me. It was a great end to a great night!
Cat ‘Unicycle’ Cathy
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I think by now everyone has seen the free hugs videos on YouTube. I remember getting teary eyed when I saw it. There’re so many bad things in the world so it was nice to see a heartwarming video of strangers being nice to each other and realizing we are all in this together. When I was on vacation in Virginia Beach and I saw Free Hugs t-shirts and I bought 8 of them! This is a big purchase for someone as frugal and minimalistic as me. But it was a great way to get gifts for my friends and spread the happy message.
After I got home and starting handing out the t-shirts to all my BFF’s I wondered what kind of reaction they would get in the real world. In the YouTube video it’s a very heartwarming feeling with everyone acting kindly towards others. But with Free Hugs written in huge letters across the t-shirt I could only imagine creepy guys coming up to us and saying rude things like ‘what else do you do for free. ha ha’. Yes unfortunately there are many creepy guys like that in this world.
But so far the reaction I’ve had has been all positive. One very handsome young man came up and hugged me at a bar. It was a definite ‘score’ for the t-shirt. Some young kids joked one day that the other one wanted a hug but they were just both being shy and trying to pick on each other. Still it was cute. And a few friends have seen my t-shirt and said well of course I want that. The surprising part is the majority of people don’t even seem to notice it or comment on it at all. I guess there are too many distractions in our modern society and they are too busy or maybe shy to say anything.
It was a fun experiment and I hope to continue with it by wearing the t-shirt on occasion in different settings. I’m extroverted and very friendly so it is nice to have people initiate conversations with me. It kinda makes me feel like a super star actress when they do.
Cat “huggy huggy” Cathy
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
My friend recently read The Lost Symbol which I blogged about previously when I was on a kick about book reviews. She was quite taken with the idea of positive thought and the power of group thought that was presented in the book. So she decided every day at 1:00 PM she would picture her mom, sister and herself each with one million dollars in the bank. Her sister and he mom were supposed to do the same thing in order to generate the group thought idea. When she told me about the idea I decided I wanted in. After all I’m always up for trying something new and who wouldn’t want a million bucks!
I set a reminder on my phone and every day at 1:00 PM I think of my friend and her family and myself each with $1,000,000 in the bank. I mostly picture my friend and I skating down the trail with no stress or worries since we have enough money to live comfortably. I really enjoy the feeling when I take those few minutes out every day to think about what it would be like having enough money that I don’t have to work. The feeling it gives me is almost worth the million dollars all by itself.
So far none of us has found our magical million dollars but the experience was worth it to me. I feel good at 1 pm everyday taking time out to picture a fun and stress free life. I also just enjoy knowing that someone else is thinking of me at that same time. I’ve decided if I ever have a boyfriend again I would like to have a reminder time where we think about each other. That just sounds so romantic to me and like something out of a movie.
Cat “Show Me The Money” Cathy
Monday, March 7, 2011
From my title you may expect this to be very negative blog but it’s not. My latest new year’s challenge was to try Buddhism. One of the major principles of Buddhism is that life is difficult but you can still be content or dare I say happy even when there are bad things going on in your life.
To do this challenge I checked out two books from the library. One was very basic and good for a beginner such as myself. The other was right from the Dalai Lama and was just a wee bit too intense for me. I'll spare you any more details on Buddhism but I recommend reading your own book sometime if you are interested in some enlightenment.
The first thing I had to learn about being a Buddhist is how to spell it. I kept leaving the ‘h’ out of Budda, Buddist, Budissim. Thankfully my friend told me this before I wrote this blog. I told him I guess I wasn’t a very good Cristian either. To which he explained maybe Towist would work best for me.
After reading my two books I went to a Buddhist temple with a friend who already practices Buddhism. Unfortunately the service is in Chinese so I probably wouldn’t have gotten much from it. Just sitting in the temple was a relaxing experience though. And the temple offers an English speaking discussion group so we attended that. I found this class to be very rewarding and informative. It was much different from the engineering classes I'm used to. After class there was a free vegetarian pot luck which was a nice bonus. I ate so much I had my own little Buddha belly. I also attended a tea ceremony. Everyone at the temple was so nice and seemed so happy. It was a good experience and I even made a few new friends.
I like Buddhism and would like to learn more. Unfortunately with limited free time and many other resolution challenges, I’m not sure how much more I will pursue of this.
Cat “Buddha Belly” Cathy
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I used to worry that getting old would stink since I wouldn’t be able to mountain bike, jet ski, do aerial silk or other cool sports that have not yet even been invented. Now after seeing a video of an 80-something woman who still competes in track and field and another woman around 91 years old who still runs I realize I will be able to pursue my sports for many more years.
These ladies are great role models and have really given me hope. I don’t recall having these role models when I was younger. In fact I remember being in my teens and wanting a dirt bike after my parents sold the family one. I figured by the time I got out of college and could afford one I would be too old and not into that kind of stuff any more. Since I had no role models of women who did anything active or fun like that I thought some day I would magically wake up and become a ‘woman’ and not like those crazy sporty things. Thankfully this never happened. It’s been many years since college graduation and I still like dirt biking and still want to buy one!
Sure there will come a time when I can’t do my sports quite as aggressively but it will still be fun to be out jet skiing when I’m in my 60’s and beyond. I’ve already enjoyed jet skiing for the past 23 years but knowing I have at least another 23 years to enjoy it is definitely good. Who knows, perhaps someday they will do a story on me?
Cat “What’s My Age Again? “Cathy
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately. Most of this was due to my illness and injury which has made it hard to do much else. But some of it was due to my new Netflix membership which provided movies direct and immediately to my computer making for a very easy viewing habit. Most of the movies seemed to blend together and I hardly remembered them once they were over. Part of this was because only older movies and not so well known ones were available for immediate download. Still I managed to find a few that had me thinking days after watching so I wanted to share those with you here.
-Food, Inc. is a must see in my humble opinion. I want to be healthy and live my life to the fullest and seeing what is done to our food supply all in the name of making more money was really sad to me. But it also showed that we can make a difference by how we spend our money. I’ve always shopped Whole Foods and bought organic and free range meat whenever I could. I would rather pay more for food and be healthy. Plus if you add the additional costs from doctor bills (not to mention feeling bad) it’s probably actually cheaper (and feels better) to eat well.
-Timer doesn’t rank as high as my other two recommendations but I still enjoyed this movie. It’s set in a world where most people get a timer put on their wrist that counts down until the day they meet their soul mate. As a single person who hasn’t had much luck with the whole soul mate thing I found the concept interesting. How would I have felt if I knew my soul mate wouldn’t come around until my 40’s? How would this have affected my choices in careers, hobbies and in dating?
-Up was the best movie I watched. I was really just expecting something silly but it had me crying a few minutes into the movie. I couldn’t believe I was crying from a cartoon. Up was about love, life and how it goes by so fast. It was also about adventures which have always been important to me. But the movie also showed that it’s the little things that matter too like just spending time with someone you care about. And then there was the whole ‘squirrel’ thing which is now a joke I use whenever I get distracted. I’ll let you see the movie to see what I’m talking about there.
In the end I felt I was watching too many movies especially older ones I’d already seen so I canceled my membership. There’s a big world out there and while movies are a nice distraction I really want to experience real life most of the time.
Cat “Pass the Popcorn” Cathy
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
My second challenge of the year was to do some artsy stuff. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but the last artsy thing I did (besides making balloon dresses) was an art class in High School. I remember the teacher was odd and I was ignored and ridiculed since I didn’t have any natural talent. Well enough of my sad story but it does help explain why I stuck with sports and math which were my strong points.
As I blogged about before, I was going to try for lots of free art tickets from an event called ArtsFest. So I was excited as I sat at my computer waiting for 10 a.m. to roll around so I could register. I quickly realized this was not going to be an easy task. My computer kept timing out and when I did get to an event it was already full. Apparently I wasn’t the only one taking advantage of the free stuff. I almost gave up but finally I managed to score 4 free ballet tickets and also 4 free pottery class tickets. I wonder if it is even appropriate to use ‘score’ in reference to ballet…it doesn’t sound sophisticated enough.
I attended the pottery class with two girlfriends. We were given a partially made tea pot and had to add a handle and spout. (For some reason this reminded me of a song). We then painted and decorated the pots. It was fun to be creative, get my hands dirty and use the much underused side of my brain. It was also fun girl time. We were having so much fun that we went to lunch at a German Restaurant and walked around a farmer’s market. My artsy time was off to a great start.
That night I went to Battle of the Sexes Ballet with 3 friends including one of my rollerblade friends. I got all dressed up in my LBD for the event. As someone who can only walk these days due to injury I was very impressed with the athleticism and grace of the dancers. But I did have to joke around with my friends by saying “They’re good but can they rollerblade”. They put on a cute and entertaining show. I just wish I was seated closer since things were a little blurry from my nosebleed seats. But that’s what you get for free I guess.
Will I add more pottery, ballet or other artsy stuff in my life? Perhaps. My friends and I discussed taking a pottery class where you can actually use the wheel and start from scratch. I think it would be fun but that would require time in my already booked schedule. Though, if I was going to do it, now would be a great time since I’m still injured and sick and limited in what I can do anyway.
The ballet is a bit easier of a decision. I did enjoy the night and being exposed to something different since this was my first ballet ever. But I wasn’t that comfortable being all dressed up and I never like to just sit around and watch other people have fun. It’s just not my thing. I’m more of a doer than a watcher I guess. I would rather take a ballet class even though I know I would be horrible than watch other people doing an awesome job.
I’m glad I exposed myself to these new things and kept an open mind. Life has many wonderful things to offer and I want to experience them all!
Cat “Short and Stout” Cathy
Monday, February 7, 2011
I know based on one of my last blogs this should be titled Women who Play with Goats but it just didn’t sound as good. Anyway, living in Orlando I consider myself a ‘city girl’. I would guess people in New York City would laugh at me for this but still much of my time in spent around asphalt, parking garages, big buildings and small crowded parks.
So imagine my surprise when I visited a friend who lives outside the big metropolis of Orlando and actually owns goats. I was so excited I went to take some pictures from outside the fence since I wasn’t sure how menacing these creatures were. My friend laughed, opened the gate and handed me some food and said it was like candy to them. Judging from their reaction I think it was more like crack to them. But it was fun feeding them out of my hand and petting and holding them. It was so exciting to be in such a different setting from what I’m used to. I guess some people go to petting zoos but this was a first for me and I really enjoyed it. The only sad part is these cute little guys are going to end up on someone’s dinner plate soon. But at least they had a good ‘open range’ life up to that point I guess.
The beautiful view of the river, the goats and the open space made me question my city dwelling life. But then I was reminded of the effort to raise goats, the hour commute it would take to get to work from there and the minimum 15 minute drive to get anywhere and I wasn’t as questioning. Like many things in life it’s just a trade off and for now I can enjoy some country time on the weekends with the convenience of everything in walking distance during the week.
Cat “Curry anyone” Cathy
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The best laid schemes of mice, men and Catastrophe Cathy often go awry. This was supposed to be my artsy week. It sounded easy enough. I had a whole list of fun art activity. Most of it was hands on since I’m more of a doer than a watcher but I also had my eye on a few plays to watch. It was adding up to be an expensive challenge but ohwell what’s money for anyway if not to spend…right? Then my friend told me about Arts Fest which is essentially 10 days of free art events which starts in just two short weeks. It was a no brainer decision to wait two weeks and save around $200. So Artsy week has been somewhat delayed/extended.
I debated picking another activity for the next two weeks but between physical therapy appointments for my injury, a long overdue hair appointment, a short weekend vacation and needing brakes for my car all in addition to my normally hectic schedule, I’ve decided to change the rules of my game a bit. Instead of picking a new activity every two weeks I will just pick the new activity whenever I can based on time available. So I may make one challenge last a few weeks and another a month or so. It’s all part of being flexible.
I’ve looked at everything including gardening classes, chocolate decorating, voice lessons and balloon art. But I’ve decided on the three P’s - a play, painting and pottery for my artsy activities.
Cat “Picasso” Cathy
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I recently wrote about being “ma’amed” and “babydolled” but neither of these bothered me much. I just thought it was odd since they were so different and were used to address me within minutes of each other. But I do have a pet peeve when it comes to a generic name for women. I don’t enjoy in a professional environment being ‘girled”. Is this considered acceptable now? I just finished a first contact professional work phone call in which I got an “ok girl” at the end…wtf? Then my doctor the other day who happens to be like 60 said “girl you’ve lost some weight since the last time I saw you”. I’m 42 so I’m just not sure the term girl is appropriate anymore. Would anyone call a 42 year old male a boy? Hmmm.
Cat “Woman” Cathy
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
My first challenge of the New Year was healthy eating. The plan was for a week of no sweets followed by a 48 hour fast and the remainder of the week eating high nutrient low calorie food. By this I mean things you would recognize from nature like an apple and raw nuts. The closer to the source the better. A nut for instance should be picked and packed. Not smashed, colored, added to something and whatever to make a Frankenut.
I did well on the no sweets part of my challenge. I allowed myself fruit and honey but not chocolate cake and candy and donuts and the other items I usually gorge on after my meals. I even resisted the killer cake at Too Jays and I’m extremely proud of myself for that accomplishment. It seems to me that it’s all about mindset and discipline. Once I decided I wasn’t going to have sweets I just did it and it wasn’t that hard. I’m sure if I stuck with it soon it would be my normal MO to just skip desserts. I’m not sure I want to go that far since I like desserts and I think it’s good to treat yourself once in a while. The only problem for me is sticking to the ‘once in a while’ limit since the more sweets I have the more I seem to crave.
My success with the 48 juice fast and high nutrient low calorie diet wasn’t quite as successful. I was able to eat at vegan restaurants for several days and went 4 days without meat. I personally don’t think having some meat in your diet, even red meat, is a bad thing. I just ate vegan to up my veggie (high nutrient) count and since I thought it would be fun. The 48 hour fast part was hard. It turns out much of my social time involves meeting friends for lunch or dinner. I didn’t have a single 48 hour period in my week without some social meal planned so the fast kept getting postponed. Finally the fast was reduced to 29 hours to fit in my schedule. Although shorter than planned I enjoyed the fast. I always feel good and my mind seems clearer when I fast.
My weight may have dropped about 2 pounds from the challenge. It’s hard to know for sure since I weigh myself at the store and my weight fluctuates based on what I ate, what I’m wearing, etc. But a reduced calorie intake was a good idea since I’m not exercising as much due to my injury.
I’m not sure if it helped my health since I’ve had a flu/cold thing going on for over 3 weeks. I could say just imagine how sick I would be if I hadn’t done the healthy diet but I’m not sure that holds much weight.
Would I continue on my healthy diet? I’d like to think so but not at this extreme level. I want to eat lots of fruits and veggies and less processed foods but I also want to allow myself to enjoy dessert a couple times a week just not every meal like my recent trend. I also plan on continuing the 24 hour fast on a quarterly basis using the change of seasons as my reminder. I enjoyed this first challenge of the New Year. It was fun, gave me motivation to stick to healthy eating and something neat to talk about with friends.
Cat “Veg O Matic” Cathy
Friday, January 7, 2011
My new sport has put me on the sidelines for a bit. About 6 weeks ago I pulled something in my aerial silk class. I actually heard a ‘pop’ followed by pain and realization of my dilemma that I was 5 feet off the ground wrapped in silk and needing to get down fast!
Thankfully my injury isn’t too bad. There’s been a lot of pain and I can’t do many sports but I’ve managed to still get out for social events and even some walking and light dancing. I’m nowhere close to my normal activity level but at least it hasn’t stopped me completely. I’ve noticed the pain not only keeps me from doing my sports but keeps me from my normal high energy level when I do other activities. It’s a slight source of constant pain and seems to wear me down a bit. Who would have thought that something so minor could be such a pain in the butt? So after 6 weeks of waiting for this to heal on its own I finally decided to get an MRI and I discovered I have a partially torn tendon in my gluteal region. So my pain in my butt really is a pain in the butt.
Although I miss the adrenalin rush, time outdoors, social contacts and sweating and raised heart rate I get from my sports I’ve decided to make the most of this down time. I will catch up on errands, go shopping, go to the theatre, plan dinners with friends, try pottery, play board games and other less active endeavors. Wow, that should be enough to keep me busy for a while and although it’s not extreme it should still be fun and different. I’ve decided I will make the most of this time while I heal but I’m still very much looking forward to being able to get the heart rate up and muscles moving again soon.
Cat “Trivial Pursuit Anyone” Cathy
Monday, January 3, 2011
It's the first week of my resolution bowl game and I've already cheated. My last blog explained how I put different challenges in a bowl and I was going to randomly draw one every other week. It seemed like a good way to mix things up and keep life interesting this year. My 'cheat' wasn't too bad though. I just got rid of the word 'randomly'. I remember one of my challenges was to do a juice fast followed by healthy eating for a week. Since I gained a few pounds over the holidays it seemed like a good way to start the new year and lose those pounds. Also I'm still recovering from an aerial silk injury (partially torn ligament) and I can't do many sports so this seemed like a good time to cut calories. So I just dug through the bowl and picked Juice Fast/Healthy Eating as my first challenge for 2011.
Now what exactly does this mean? It's not like I eat horribly all the time but I have been known to overindulge in sweets and bad carbs. Since this is just my warm up week I will weigh myslef, cut out desserts and read up on nutrition a bit.
Next week will be the real challenge. I will try to complete a 48 hour juice fast followed by a mostly raw diet of low calorie and high nutrient value. I will try to note any health benefits I notice, any cool new restaurants and meals I discover, and weight loss and anything else of interest.
Happy New Year to all and I hope you've been able to keep your resolutions!
Cat "Juicy Couture" Cathy