Friday, October 24, 2008

The Sykes go to Washington

I am excited. Andy has a work trip to D.C. and since I am not working I get to accompany him! Yay!

We are going to have dinner with my friend, Aaron, and his wife, Bety, and our other friend, Shin, on Saturday and I need to plan what we are going to do Sunday and Monday. Any recommendations?

I really really wanted to tour the White House, but apparently you have to plan way in advance for that as they have to give you security clearance and all that jazz. Very sad!

This is why people don't own rentals...

I am super glad we have our rentals (my old house and a duplex we bought while married), but I tell you what, the tenants always seem to call at a bad time. But thinking of it, I guess no time would be a good time, now would it?

In any case, we have had our first 'cold spell' come through, so our Velasco tenants started up the heater and of course it didn't work. Not a biggee, but annoying. So I am meeting a new A/C guy there today. Let's hope he can fix it for not that much money! We have a great A/C guy that we like to use, but he lives remotely and so he doesn't get cell coverage and so we are never able to get him out quickly. I hate that b/c he is good, honest and cheap, but seriously, Stewart, answer your phone or check your messages! :-)

I really appreciate our tenants in my old house. They never call. That enough gives me incentive to not ever raise their rent :-).

Onto the Fad Diet

Well, the low calorie thing was working - but slowly, so I have resulted to going on the Scarsdale diet, which honestly seems very healthy and effective. I haven't ever done it before which is a bit amazing considering my mom and sister always have used it.

I am only on day 4 and have to admit, that it is really good and effective. B/c I like all the food on it, I don't find it that hard to follow. I started it while visiting my parents in Shreveport. Poor Andy had to fend for himself while I was away.

I read up on it and they say that diets like this (i.e. low carb/low glycemic) work really well for 'apple shape' people (which I am). And honestly it is just the diet that all doctors tell you to eat all the time so it isn't like it is really rocket science. Basically eat lean meats and vegetables. I kinda feel like the South Beach diet stole from Dr. Scarsdale! It is the same thing :-).

I still have a long ways to go before I get where I want to be, but I have lost 7 pounds which is definitely below what I wanted to lose in one month, but hey, at least it is the right direction. My friend Janet and her sister are doing Weight Watchers and they started a month before me and during that time Janet lost 10 pounds and I gained 5. So I have to remember that not only am I losing, but I am also not gaining which seriously is a big win.

I am a bit astounded that I let myself get so out of control.

Useful links:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nothing like a yard sign... help you actually meet your neighbors! So, I was going out for a run this morning and there were these two older gentleman on the street and one yelled out to me - 'hey, I like your sign!'. So, I introduced my unshowered, this-is-why-mom-says-to-never-leave-the-house-without-makeup self to my neighbors and we started discussing the bond and other things of interest. You know, like the bailout, the $400k AIG spa day after said bailout, how corrupt politicians are, etc... Ha, I loved it! Another guy joined the conversation while walking down the street and I thought to myself - hey, this is like talking to three of my dad at one time! In any case, it was nice to see that there are still some small govt people out there.

Also, I found out there is a street email list which of course Andy and I are not a part. So I am going to go speak with the lady in charge today to get us signed up for it! And I am going to start going to our city council meetings.

I also realized that this would be a GREAT neighborhood for people to retire - hint, hint... There are lots of retirees who are apparently very social and all know each other. There are lots of events as well for them. I love it.

I also love that the guy with the scraggly beard (who looks like Santa) is named Jay. Maybe that is what my brother will look like one day.

So I have a list

Okay, okay, so I have been not working for almost 4 weeks! OMGoodness! I am a bit embarrassed at how little I have accomplished in that time.

Yes, I have lost some weight, worked out a minimum 1 hour a day and cooked basically every meal around the house ... But, you know all those things you say you are going to do once you have the time? I haven't really done much towards those goals...

So, I made a list and I will knock at least one thing off the list a day.

I also am not that pleased about my diet progress. I am awesome during the week. No lie. I eat 1000-1200 calories and work out like crazy. But then the weekend comes and I am not awful, but I am not great. So I am losing but only like 1.5-2 pounds/week. That is not going to get me where I want to be anytime soon.

So I am realizing I might have to result to a fad diet afterall to get a quick jump start. I am dreading it though. Probably what I should do is do it during the weekend so I stick to something over the weekend when I am at my weakest! The cabbage soup diet is calling out to me.

I already had a bite of Andy's oatmeal today, so I am guessing today is not the day I begin. And we have a wedding this weekend so maybe Sunday I start that? Who knows. I just know on it I always lose like 5 -7 pounds in less than a week and that would put me under a big milestone.

Who knows. Why is gaining weight so much fun and losing such torture! Ack!

Community Organizer

SO... As part of my quest to get in shape during my time off from work, I have been going to the gym and running around our neighborhood on our running trails in Addison. All these yellow signs have popped up around the lake saying 'Vote NO on $58 Millions Addison Entertainment TAX - BOND ($4,027 per citizen).'

It really is quite ridiculous. The city council is proposing a bond of $58 million to build an aviation museum and to expand the Water Tower Theatre which today is only at something like 60% capacity. Now, I am not opposed to all bonds, but this would do nothing for the City of Addison - like we would pay this money and what would we get for it? Are people really going to come from far and wide to go to a flight museum? I do love Water Tower Theatre, but I feel like we already get the benefit of their being in our back yard. We took my dad when he was visiting to an outdoor showing of 'Oklahoma'.

Anywho, I also got an email yesterday from those in charge of this campaign and so I responded that I would love a yard sign and since I have some time I can do anything they need. So last night, we got our yard sign and I got a bunch of fliers which I am going to go door to door and hand out. Ha!

So now I am a community organizer - right? That counts I think. So Obama aint got nothing on me!

Here's the website:

I am excited! I think I might actually start going to Addison City Council meetings. Watch out!

Checking out...

After the last debate, I have decided I have to check out of this election. By that I mean I can no longer follow all the news about it religiously like I had been doing. It has really depressed me! Isn't that ridiculous? For the first time, I don't feel like I have a good option at the polls and feel like neither candidate stands up for anything of principle. I know, I know... that was probably true in all the elections I have previously voted in so maybe it is just I have finally woken up. I hope not. I hope there are principled leaders out there.

Andy and I were talking on Sunday and he was like - you seem sad. And I was like - you know what? I am. I am depressed about this election - isn't that silly. And he was like - oh, so it's like I get when the Bengals lose and I responded 'exactly'. Do we have our communication down or what?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Moving Video for Christians Voting this Election

Catholic Vote video, but relevant for all Christians:

It really is amazing. I read an article just today from a feminist on where she was stating how awful the movie "Juno" was because it had a girl having a baby and giving it up for adoption rather than her just aborting the baby. I honestly just don't get it...

What a weekend

This weekend was a lot of fun. Andy's friend from college, Matt, came into town for the Bengals/Cowboys game. He got here on Friday and they met up with the other Bowling Green guys, Steve and Jason, for happy hour. Imagine my amusement when I got a text from Andy telling me they had made their way to Pete's Piano Bar. I think that is so funny that 4 guys would choose to go to Pete's Piano bar. Ha, but they love it! I took the opportunity to go see 'The Women' a girlie movie that I have been wanting to see for a while and it was very cute. There are so many girl movies I want to see right now including Nights in Rodan(something) and The Duchess. I will have to try and make those some other time!

Saturday, we had a poker game since Matt likes to play poker and we had so much fun. We had a great crowd - enough for two tables, and lots of people we hadn't seen in a while were able to come! I tell you I seriously had diarrhea of the mouth. I was just talking up a storm - but that is natural, right, when you haven't seen people in forever? :-) I think everyone had fun and seriously the women cleaned up! The top 3 winners were women (nope I wasn't one of them) and I have to say I am impressed! Matt had brought Guitar Hero with him and so those who were booted had a fun activity to keep themselves occupied.

Then, Sunday, we headed to the Cowboys vs. Bengals. My brother, Jay, was able to join us too. The tailgate before the game was fun - Thanks, Liza! Then the game was great. Seriously, the Bengals were 0-4 and so none of us had high expectations, but the game was a nail biter with the Bengals actually putting up a good fight. Of course, in the end, they lost as they tend to do so that wasn't so great. But I was just happy it was a game until the very end. The Bengals do lose a lot, but I have to say, their games tend to be good ones. So now they are 0-5 which is pretty depressing b/c basically their season is over and football has just started! Oh well. Poor Andy he gets so sad over these things. :-)

So we had a really great weekend! We are so blessed.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

30 Day Shred

So Jillian Michaels, the girl trainer on the Biggest Loser, has this workout video that I read about. The reviews basically implied that this workout was great, so of course, the marketer's dream that I am, had to go purchase this video, 30 Day Shred.

Wow, it kicked my bootie. She has 3 workouts that increase in level of difficulty. I started out with Level 1 because I have seen her on that show and figured I should see what I am getting myself into.

In any case, it was hard, but good hard. I have done personal training sessions before and honestly they have not done anything for me. I seriously will spend an hour with a trainer and feel like I have done 5 minutes of actual working out. All they talk about is form, form, form - which I get is important but I really need to have my hour long workout be a bit more productive. I always wanted someone like Jillian to kick my bootie and make me hurt.

This video does that. You are left spent. It is only 20 minutes so it is very doable. And from others reviews it sounds like it will get me the results I am looking for. We'll see. I have only lost 3 pounds so far and I have been pretty amazing in how much I have been working out. A bit disappointing if you ask me. Granted this weekend I did not diet hard core like I had been during the week so I am guessing that is what slowed me down. So I cannot go off no matter what.

So I will couple this with my hour of cardio every day and see what happens...