Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bragging a Little

A couple weeks ago I went to Rue 21 with my friend Whitney. They had jeans on sale for $8! Of course I had to get a pair because of that price. I grabbed a 32x30 jean which has been my size for awhile now (it feels great to get back to that size! 36x30 was awful!). I tried them on and they fit great but they were a little baggy which surprised me. So Whitney grabbed me a 30x30. I was pretty certain I would not fit into them. But I did! Granted, they were a little snug, but they fit! I ended up getting the 32x30, but I also left with a boosted ego because I could fit into 30x30s! I haven't been able to do that since high school!

So that got me thinking. Ok. I got this bad cold so I hadn't been able to workout and it's taken me awhile to get back into my groove and be motivated to workout. But last week I did good and worked out a lot. Anyway, I had been thinking about my Rue21 trip and I thought to myself, "Self, you have not weighed yourself in awhile." That is when I went in and weighed myself, fully expecting to be disappointed that I was still at 180 lbs. (Don't get me wrong, I love this weight, but I have wanted to get down lower for awhile.)

Drum roll please.

I weighed in at 175 lbs.! I could not believe my eyes! I know weight fluctuates, but it is hard to fluctuate that much!

There's even more.

Today, I weighed myself again, just to see if I'd gained back the 5 lbs. over my trip to Utah.

I weighed in at 172 lbs. That's right, kiddos.

I don't know what I've done differently either. I upped the reps on my weightlifting workout. I've eaten even smaller portions. Sometimes I forget to eat lunch. And I've also stopped eating late at night. So that has helped a lot, I guess. I'm planning on cutting out sweets altogether, but I don't know if I can actually do that. I might just have to exercise more control. I must admit that sweets have not really tempted me of late. My appetite, altogether, has changed a lot just recently.

My goal when I first started working out and trying to lose some weight was to get down to 170 lbs. That seemed like a lofty goal, but now it is entirely plausible!

Now that I've bragged I will probably wake up with an extra 8 lbs. Oh well. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


It has been awhile since I've blogged, so here is an update on my life:

I went on a random trip to Utah this weekend and it was amazing. It was really nice to get out of town and not be in the same mundane routine.

I'm reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. So far, so good. I'm reading them backwards because I've never read his other two books, but now I really want to. You should see a review of this book soon enough although it's taken me awhile to get through for some reason.

The revision/rewriting process of my novel Befall is still very frustrating and still at a complete standstill. However, I do have ideas and I'm going to see if they work. Time to just bite the bullet and just write no matter what.

Operation: Fabio is coming to an end. The longer hair has been fun, but I think I am going to cut it short again. This time, however, I may try something a little different. My friend, Kym, will be able to tell me if I can pull it off. I was going to see if I could find a picture of it, but I think I will just keep it under wraps for now. My next haircut appointment is the beginning of June.

I am seriously considering going back to school now. This means I have to study for the GRE and then take the dreaded test and ace it and then find a school that will take me. This also means more debt and whatnot, but it also means my brain won't be turning into mush anymore. I'm very excited for the opportunities this presents for me, and I hope I can hack it. As far as schools are concerned, Utah would be great, but I would like to go somewhere different and new, get involved in a different place culturally. Ideal spots would be California (very expensive, but the beach is right there!), Denver (random, but I hear it is a great place), Seattle, somewhere on the east coast like Virginia or North Carolina, or head south to Florida again. As you can see, I have not narrowed it down very well, but I have plenty of time for that.

Still obsessed with Zumba. It really is a great workout. My kettlebell class is cancelled for the summer which is a huge bummer. I also want to see about certifying to be a Zumba instructor and/or a kettlebell instructor.

That's all I can think of for now which is probably a good thing because I need to go to work.

Peace out, ya'all!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kings of Colorado

Rating: 3 out of 5 Wild Horses

William Sheppard had never ventured beyond his Chicago neighborhood until, at thirteen, he was sent away to the Swope Ranch Boys’ Reformatory, hundreds of miles from home, for stabbing his abusive father in the chest with a pocketknife. Buried deep in the Colorado mountains, Swope is shrouded in legend and defined by one prevailing rumor: that the boys who go in never come out the same.

Despite the lack of fences or gates, the boundaries are clear: prisoners are days from civilization, there exists only one accessible road—except in the wintertime, when it’s buried under feet upon feet of snow, and anyone attempting escape will be shot down without hesitation in the shadow of the peaks. At 13,000 feet above sea level, the mountains aren’t forgiving, and neither are the guards.

With twenty-four months of hard time ahead of him, Will quickly learns to distinguish his allies from his enemies. He also learns about the high price of a childhood lost. At Swope, herds of mustangs are trucked in to be broken by a select group of inmates. Once the horses are gentled, they are sold to ranchers and landowners across the Southwest. Horses come and go, delinquent boys come and go. The boys break the horses, Swope Reformatory breaks the boys. Throughout this ordeal, Will discovers three others who bring him into their inner circle. They are life preservers in a sea of violence and corruption.

But if the boys are to withstand the ranch, they must first overcome tragedy and death—a feat that could haunt them for years to come.

(Courtesy of

This is a detour from what I normally read, and it turned out to be a good adventure. It is a brutal story about coming-of-age, friendship, and learning to accept the past. Really, it wasn't what I expected, and there were some nice parallels drawn seamlessly together.

The main character, Will, is complex and likeable. However, I don't know if I felt like he really evolved as a person. He attacks his abusive father and ends up in a juvenile ranch in Colorado where it's every man for himself. The experiences he has there are brutal and, at times, unreal in their violence. The last experience in the woods lasts a long time and it is awful. I cannot imagine living through something like it and being sane afterwards. We see an older Will at the end of the novel and he is a man torn apart by guilt and haunted by ghosts from those days in Colorado. The attack on his father is never addressed really. I wanted him to come to grips with that whole thing in one way or another. Whether he finishes the job, namely Silas Green, and actually kills someone or he turns completely away from violence and sees it as something despicable. I just don't know if Will really is a fully changed man by the end of the novel. I wanted him to be better because of or in spite of his experience, but that didn't happen.

Will's friends are each very unique. I loved Benny the most. You don't really get to know Coop well enough and I wish his character were developed more before he was taken out of it simply because of how much of a crux his part became later on. Mickey is interesting, and he was not my favorite at first, but I grew to like him. Each of their stories are more and more depressing than the last. Benny's story is simply the most heartbreaking especially as it evolves. Benny is the only character that I think really grows and becomes a different person by the end. His accident makes him slower and whatnot but there is something magical and beautiful about him. I love the scene where Benny is carrying Will to the cave.

If you're looking for a light read to lift your spirits this is not it. However, it has managed to be a haunting story to me. All in all I'm glad I read it, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for something gritty and a little thought-provoking. I gave it three out of five wild horses.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Weird Sisters

Rating 4 out of 5 Shakespearean Sonnets

The three Andreas sisters grew up in the cloistered household dominated by their Shakespearean professor father, a prominent, eccentric academic whose reverence for the Bard left its imprint on his daughters' names: Rosalind (As You Like It), Bianca (The Taming of the Shrew), and Cordelia (King Lear). The siblings eventually left home and escaped their ponderous monikers with nicknames, but their mother's medical maladies brings them back. Before long, their unwelcome reunion reveals that they all have problems: Rose is force-feeding a troubled relationship; Bean is entangled in a big city case of embezzlement; and unmarried Cordy is pregnant. (courtesy of

This was a ponderous and slow read for me. Maybe it's because I've been reading teen fiction and burning through those so quick it was a change of pace to read something with a little more depth. It was a welcome plunge.

The first-person plural narrative is hard to adjust to, but I absolutely loved the effect. By the end of the novel, I saw how it made the story complete. It fits with the Shakespearean theme in that the Weird Sisters in his play refer to themselves in the same way.

Speaking of the Shakespearean stuff, I loved it. The way the characters wove the Bard's words within their own dialogue was enchanting. I wish I knew those words as well as these characters did. And then it shows how the family has lived under the shadow of the greatest writer who ever lived and a professor who loved him. The thing that really sealed the deal for me to even want to read this book was the Shakespeare allusions in it.

Another theme I loved within the pages of this novel was the idea of what's in a name. These girls are named after Shakespearean heroines and, thus, are given ideals to live under and strive for. It is interesting to see how they cope with that, how they differ from their namesakes, and how they are poignantly similar. The characterization in this novel is absolutely terrific. Once I was done with it I felt like I knew the sisters so well they could be my own kin. Each one was distinct from the other, but they overlapped in ways that is so real that they felt like real people. My favorite, admittedly, was Bianca, or Bean. For some reason I related to her the most, and I liked how her story evolved and how it was eventually concluded. It did not end the way I wanted or expected, but I was glad it didn't. I feel that each sister got what they wanted and needed.

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It is thought provoking and beautifully written. I gave it 4 out of 5 Shakespearean sonnets.