Monday, December 21, 2009

It's been far too long...

Oh my dear friends! I have left you wandering without me for far too long! It's time for a little update on the life of Claire Walker...are you ready??

1. I finished the semester and let me tell you, it wasn't as rough as I thought. Well, looking back on it, I can now safely say that. But during the last two weeks of school, I was a crying, grouchy mess!! Now I'm just waiting for my professors to post my finals grades...I've only got two in so far, both are A-...but was there really any doubt? haha!!

2. I picked up a somewhat part time job working with my friend Phil at his Schakolad Chocolate Factory in Ann Arbor, so I've been spending the past few days making chocolate!! Truffles, Oreo's, pretzels, pecan clusters, cherry clusters, almond clusters, macadamia clusters, pecan clusters! You name it, I either made it or cupped it! (Cupping is a very technical terms which means "To place a chocolate in it's paper holder") I'm really liking it there, and am crossing my fingers that they'll keep me on after the holiday choco-craze is over!

3. I cornered my brother tonight and made him tell what he'll be doing as a Field Artillary Officer. Needless to say, I'm scared for him, but I'm also really proud of him. He's a strong man who makes solid, smart decisions. I have no doubt that he will rise above and beyond the call of duty and lead his men in a way that will benefit them and their mission. I want to say this about him too...I think that it takes someone very strong in all aspects of the body (mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc) to want to go into battle. I'm proud to say that my brother is that strong of a person. He is serious in his endeavors and because of how committed he is to it, he does so well and receives the highests marks in everything. He will be an amazing Lieutenant. I am VERY proud to be his sister! Oh, and when he is deployed, you'd better write to him and send him goodies whether you are a great baker (Meredith) or an...inexperienced one (Lindsey!! lol)...or I'm going to personally come over and kick your butt! :)

4. I am broke as a joke still, and it's really not too funny! lol...but, I've managed to piece together some pretty good Christmas gifts! For Luke, I got...PSYCH!! Yeah right! I'm not gonna put that up here! You'll have to wait until AFTER Christmas!

5. I student teach in January!! WOO HOO!! I'm terrified, and nervous, and excited, and scared, and exhilirated, and happy! I'll be teaching regular and advanced Language Arts in a seventh grade classroom!

6. I just counted 25 exclamation I think that I have a little pent up excitement over everything, lol...and on that note, I'll just say:


Monday, December 7, 2009

Write an essay...or write a blog?? Hmmm...

So, I fell of the porch on Thursday. I was trying to get past my dad and our Christmas tree to hold the door open for him, and I biffed it. But that was Thursday and today is Monday and my foot still hurts and is super swollen. So I went to the campus doctor. She took x-rays and commented on how swollen it was.

I secretly wanted a cast and a walking boot. How sweet would that be? I mean, it's not like I'm in this miserable immense pain, but if I could just not bend or move my foot for awhile, it would be so much better! So I thought that a cast wasn't really out of the question. Okay, I have to be honest, I was getting really ramped up and excited at the thought of it. People could sign it! I could get a sweet color! I'd get to wear a walking boot! It's not as wimpy as a broken arm. Casts on feet are kinda cool! I mean, minus the whole immense and miserable pain thing, but I don't have it that bad! It just hurts when I walk and anytime I move my big toe and when I'm perfectly still there's this constant dull throb...

But the x-rays came back and the doctor whipped into the exam room where I was waiting and said with a smile, "Well there's no fracture or broken bones so that's good! Looks like a very deep bruise or a sprain." So instead of a cast, I have to wrap it up in an Ace bandage, take IbProfen or Motrin, ice it all day, and try not to walk on it too much...In 3 weeks or so it should be better.

Blah. I'd prefer the cast.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Thanksgiving Day Miracle!

Well, it's been a REALLY long time since I've posted anything, but I am blaming that on my lack of time due to a hectic school schedule! In fact I should be catching up in my online class, but I just wrote my research paper so I'm taking a break! (Hey, that makes me think of that Mitch Hedberg skit where he says,
"I wanna work someplace where you name things. What does that thing do?"
"It blends things."
"hmmm...I'm going to call that...a blender! I'm taking a break!") somehow, in the past week I've lost 4 pounds!! What happened to that Thanksgiving food?!?! So now I'm feeling pretty good about myself...trying to keep this up...but speaking of lost weight and Thanksgiving day food, I'm so hungry!! haha!! Looks like I may make a trip to the salad bar...which is probably a good time for me to plug the most amazing place I've discovered on Eastern's campus...

It's called The Marketplace Bistro and for $4.95 you can get a large salad with WHATEVER YOU WANT ON IT!! I Iget lettuce or spring mix for my base, and the for toppings I get garbanzo beans, spinach, pine nuts, cucumbers, red & green chopped pepper mix, corn & black bean relish, shredded parmesan cheese, carrots, Italian dressing, chopped egg...and I think that's's so good!! And then sometimes I treat myself and for $2 extra I get a side of roasted red pepper hummus and amazing pita chips!

Okay, my random ramblings are over. Thanks for putting up with it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hey! Lay off the layoffs!

Okay, friends, it's time I update you all on my life. So I have to inform you that there is a 98% chance of me joining the ranks of the unemployed. In fact, if you're reading this on December 1st, then there's a good chance I've already joined those ranks.

I knew that my hours would be getting cut once my boss retired and a supervisor was promoted to that position. There have been a few hints of lost hours circulating...for example, in September and October I was working four shifts a week, then in November, I was suddenly only working 7. Total. For the entire month. Seven shifts. Some shifts are five hours, and some are 7 can do the math, but I'll go ahead and tell you what it equals: not enough money to survive. My last check covered two tanks of gas, a coffee, and my cell phone bill. woo hoo.

I was told on Thursday that I should look for a new job, and to make it my "primary" job as there won't be any hours for any of us part-time employees. So, in eight days, I am pretty much out of a job, as are most other part-time employees. As I'm sure you've already guessed (if you know me) I'm in a bit of freak out mode. Luckily, I have amazing parents who have agreed to pay my November, December, and January car payment...

And you know what? It makes me feel sad and betrayed and angry that someone who has run this company since it opened in 1995 would allow it to get this bad by not managing a budget, and now it's affecting so many people ! Where is the sense that since you're in charge, perhaps you should be responsible and take your head out of the flipping sand!!! This place has been like a second home for me. This is my sixth year there...and now? We cross our fingers that it survives...

Anyways, please say some prayers for me! If you see any jobs that are hiring, or you know someone who is looking to hire someone, maybe 15-20 hours a know where to find me!!

This Thanksgiving, I will be thankful for...having gotten to know and become friends with so many amazing people, for my family, for the wonderful Luke who loves me through all of this, and for the support I receive from all!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

First off all, if you haven't thanked a soldier you know (and c'mon, we all know at least one!), then please be sure to do so today. I would also really encourage you to become pen pals with a soldier ( is a great website that can set you up with that!).

I was thinking about this whole letter writing thing that I challenged everyone to on my facebook yesterday, and I wanted to make a small point: We hear "Support our Troops!" on an almost daily basis. It gets mundane and we forget what it really means. I think that often when we hear "Support our Troops" we translate that to: "Support our War." So I would like to take a quick moment to clarify the difference for those of you who may not see it. And I'll be honest, I didn't always recognize the difference until I spent some time thinking about it last night.

We don't really know what soldiers see in Iraq and Afghanistan. In his poem War Memoir: Jazz, Don't Listen to it at Your Own Risk, Bob Kaufman says: "We were busy dying on living ground/Busy earning medals, for killing children on deserted/street corners" and then later on says, "Now in those terrible moments, when the dark memories come/The secret moments to which we admit to no one/When guiltily we crawl back in time, reaching away from/ourselves."

I think that Kaufman's poem shows us that there is a lot about what soldiers experience that we simply don't know about it. They see terrible things and sometimes, they have to do terrible things in order to save others. My point is this: We need to let them know that they are not alone in this endeavor. We need to let them know that they are cared for, and not judged for split second decisions. So we do what we can to support them. Maybe that's hugging them and whispering that everything will be okay. Maybe it's sending them cookies and letters. Whatever we do, we need to support our troops. We cannot shut our eyes and ears to the terrible things that happen overseas. We need to be aware of it. And we need to do what we can to help those who have to experience it. This isn't supporting the war, just those who are living in it.

So today, take the time to tell a soldier thank you. Whether or not they went to war, they all signed up for the military knowing that it was possible they could be sent to fight. And that is bravery and courage in and of itself.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Veterans Day is coming up this week on November 11, 2009. Let's not forget to thank those who have so bravely served our country, whether we've agreed with the reason for them fighting or not. Many people do not see the need for war, and that's a fine view to have. Everyone has their own opinion on the past and present wars America has been involved with. But perhaps for this one day, we can set those aside so we can say to those who have served, "Thank you. It's a brave and courageous thing to join an armed service, and it's even more brave and courageous to fight for freedom. Thank you for putting your life on the line so we can have the freedom we enjoy today."

We all know at least one person who has fought, whether that's a grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, mom, dad, co-worker, schoolmate, or friend. Maybe it's the homeless man who stands on the corner seeking money. Perhaps it's the woman who sits two cubicles down from you. Then again, it could be the guy behind the counter at Burger King, the member of your church who sings a little off-key, or your friends boyfriend.

Let's remember that whether or not they agreed with the war, they still served. They patrolled. They helped rebuild. They ended lives. They saved lives. They created and carried out operations to end terrorists plots. They saw things that no one should ever see. They lived to tell the tale. They carry it all around with them everyday.

So this November 11, please say the most important thing you can to a soldier: "Thank you."

Soldier: a skilled WARRIOR

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I bought a new computer. It's an Asus. I'm not really super familiar with the brand, but the reviews were really good for it. So I decided to come sit at Panera and work on homework all afternoon...unfortunately all I've done so far is try and remember if I put deodorant on this morning. I swear I did. I know I did. I remember changing shirts and thinking "I hope I didn't get deodorant marks on that..." but I also feel like it's about time I reapply, which is silly, because I haven't done anything to be stinky for!! But still, I'm not going to work tonight without reapplying.

Anyways, my point was that I haven't done a whole lot of school work. I did watch a video on how to create a webpage that I need to do for class, so that was helpful. And I checked my EMU email, so that was smart. I think that now I'm going to attempt to start my webpage and utilize a really cool feature that Windows 7 has to offer. Basically, it splits your screen in two, so that one half of the screen is the reference page and the other half is the page you're working on!! SWEET!!

I also may go get myself a delicious tuna salad's making my mouth water, and I'm getting a growly stomach.

On the plus side of my day, my cat slept with me last night and I dreamt about her all night. It was a good dream. It made me happy. Dreams getting better = less stress?? Hopefully!! :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I've been having nightmares for the past week. Really terrible and often violent ones. Each night a different's a little sampling of a few...

1. Killed some random person by beating them in the head with a chain

2. Went into a house haunted by a demon and came out covered in needles. I was able to pull some of the needles out, but I couldn't hold them in my hand, I had to give them to a man to hold because (according to someone in my dream, lol) the demon didn't like women, so the needles would just shoot back at me like I was a magnetic. And some needles would break off inside and I couldn't get them out.

3. Watched Jax from Sons of Anarchy get shot and then run over by a combine.

Clearly, my dreams have been affected by what I've seen, heard, or talked about during the day. For example, the night I dreamt of the demon, a guy I work with told me about the movie Paranormal Activity, which is about a demon who haunts a woman.

I watched Sons of Anarchy last night, and received an email yesterday from my uncle about a truck that collided with a combine.

Some people say that dreams are our subconscious trying to tell us something. I would agree with that. But I don't think these dreams are trying to tell me you?? I think that it's because I'm stressed, and I know that when I get stressed out, I have bad dreams. And sometimes, they are so bad that I don't want to fall asleep because I'm scared of what I'll dream. I mean, they're pretty disturbing if you think about it...beating someone in the head with a chain??? Where in the world would I come up with that!?

I need to lessen my stress load, but I don't know how!! I've got so much on my plate right now, and am barely making it paycheck to paycheck, but I know that in about a month and a half it will be least until Student Teaching begins!! I know that working out is a great way to get rid of some stress, and there are a few days a week that I try to do that (I need to be better about it!!), but my schedule is so nuts that sometimes I feel like, "Oh my gosh! I have two hours before I go to work, I should really be writing that paper/creating that website/working on my unit plan/studying for my test/reading for class/preparing my lesson!" I need an extra day of the week, and maybe like, 5 more hours each day!!

So, if you have any advice for how to lessen stress then please, by all means, share it with me!! Because I need to end this before it gets too scary...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Getting Warmer...

I subbed again today!!! And I did it at a school that I was a bit apprehensive about at first, but then when I got there it was FABULOUS!! My first two hours were a little noisy, but at least no one asked me if I was retarded! (see I love subbing??)

Fourth and sixth hour worked on short stories, and in fifth hour we read aloud from this book that I'm now dying to finish, Romiette and Julio!! It's kind of cheesy, but Luke says that I'm kind of cheesy, so I think it works out okay in the end, lol...

Anyways, it was fabulous, and I loved it, and I can't wait to get another job!! Now I'm going to go catch up on homework (or try to!), and pretend that I don't live with my parents because sometimes...we just grate on each other...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

You bring me joy!

So I just finished reading an AMAZING story (mostly autobiographical) called The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian. At one point in the story, three people in his life die and it really affects him (as it would anyone!) so he makes lists of things that bring joy to his life. I thought this would be fun to do...a great reminder that as terrible as we may think life is, there are many things that bring us joy in life!! I know that I'm leaving things and people and food out...but I limited it to ten per section or else it would've taken over my page!!!

People Who Bring Me Joy (in no particular order)
1. Luke
2. Jen
3. Meredith
4. Mom
5. Dad
6. Gina
7. Dave and Chuck the Freak (they made me laugh so hard this morning!!)
8. Emily M
9. Lindsey
10. Julianne
11. Jasmaine

Musicians who play the most joyous music
1. Jack Johnson
2. Bare Naked Ladies
3. Beyonce
4. Dave Matthews Band
5. Taylor Swift
6. The Fray
7. The Darkness
8. Death Cab for Cutie
9. Kanye West (GRADUATION album)
10. Gwen Stefani

Foods that bring me joy
1. Chips and salsa!!
2. Pepperoni Pizza
3. TACOS!!
4. Minestrone Soup
5. Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich at Subway
6. Buttery popcorn
7. Spicier Nacho Doritoes
8. Trader Joe's Chicken Taco's
9. Caesar Salad at Library Pub
10. Sante Fe Wrap at Rio Wraps
11. Mexi-cali Dip and Frito's...thanks to Gina!

Books that bring me Joy
1. All Confessions of a Shopaholic
2. Sex, Drugs, and Coco Puffs
3. To Kill A Mockingbird
4. Fahrenheit 451
5. Something Borrowed
6. Something Blue
7. Good Grief
8. Twilight Series
9. Rise and Shine
10. Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Poem...but not my own!!

Today is the National Day of Writing. So in honor of that, I am using my last seven minutes in the computer lab to share a poem with you...perhaps later I will write something...this is a poem by a poet that I'm beginning to study, I hope you like it!! :)

A Valentine for Ben Franklin Who Drives a Truck in California

by Diane Wakoski

I cut the deck
and found a magician
driving a mack truck
down the California grapevine.
His eyes were glistening Japanese beetles,
and his hands were surveyors of the moon.
He pulled a carnation
out of his sleeve,
and offered me a ride.
I took the flower and said I was leaving
to be an illusionist. He said
he specialized in cards
and sleight of hand.
I touched his mouth and ears
with my lips,
“Keep on truckin,”
I said.
But he laughed and told me a bedtime story.
His body was an elm.
His mouth was filled with grapes.
His hands turned my body into new honey.

Now I am home alone,
reading directions
for sawing a beautiful woman in half.
First you start with a mirror . . . .

Before I turn down
the crisp sheets of my bed,
I shuffle the tarot deck.
But the magician is missing.
Is he
still driving the freeways of California?
Or is he
only an illusion
in my own

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I am writing this with big 'ole fatty tears rolling down my cheeks...I am going to fail a class that I need and I'm freaking out. There is too much work to do and not enough time to do it! I have no idea what to do. I need to work to make money to pay my bills, but my classes all require so much work that I don't how to do it...I need an eighth day of the week...or I need someone to take over this class and pass it for me...who makes a technology class online anyways!??

I have no idea how I got so far behind, but I did.

I have bronchitis. They told me to come home and rest. I talked to my teachers and they said it was okay if I left, I offered them the doctor's note I had. They told me to go home and sleep. My mom said I better be sleeping when she gets home. My dad said I need to sleep.

But instead, I really need to catch up in this class so I don't fail.

If I really do fail, then I can't student teach in the winter. Then I'm really screwed. But right now, I'm just sick, exhausted, and scared.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I love subbing???

Sooo...I had my first day of subbing today, and it wasn't really that bad! I was really nervous because I have never subbed before, but it turns out that I didn't really have any reason to be nervous...or did I??

First Hour: The kids come in, the bell rings, I begin to take attendance and one student walks out. Hmmm...okay...I close the door to the room and continue to take attendance. I tell the kids, "if you need to leave, please let me know so I can sign your planner." They all say okay. She comes back in and goes to backpack and begins rummaging around. I say, "What's going on here? I need you to sit down so we can get started." She says, "I'm looking for my phone like I done BEEN doing for the past five minutes! What are you, retarded??" And walks out again. I go over to the phone to call the office and she walks back in and goes back to her desk, so I put the phone down. She moves to leave again, and I block her path saying, "You need to either sit down to do your work, or go to the office." And this delightful young girl says, "Get OUTTA my WAY!" and walks out. I called the principal, she called security. Security called her mom. She left for the day.

Second Hour: No issues!! The kids were great!!

Third Hour: I take attendance and tell the kids to put their phones and iPods away. One student keeps her phone out and keeps checking it and I keep telling her to put it away. In hindsight, I should've taken it away and I know that now. Anyways, after awhile the phone rings and the health center asks for me to send her to their office. I tell her that she needs to head down there and after five minutes of screwing around she finally gets her stuff together to go down. She comes over to me and asks if she can call her mom ion her cell. I suggest she wait until she gets down to the health office, but she says that she needs to call her BEFORE she gets to the office. Now, my better judgement says NO WAY!! however...I want to point out that she had this weird gross looking rash thingy all over her arms, and I thought that maybe it was about that...dumb. I know. I should never have fallen for it, and I've DEFINITELY learned my lesson!! She steps into the hall and her friend follows her. I go out there to bring the friend back inside when I hear her saying, "Look girl! You do NOT know me! Stop calling me..." there were a few other choice words used that I'll leave out. Lucky (?) for me a teacher, and two security guards were walking down the hall and helped to get the girls back in the classroom. After that, she called me "sweetie" and "honey" the rest of the hour, but no more problems.

Fourth Hour: Fabulous. No issues!!!

Fifth Hour: We went to the media center so the kids could type up their character development stories. I went around to make sure that everyone knew what they supposed to be doing. As I walked past the last row I asked a student who hadn't typed one word if he had someone for his character story and he said, "yeah. Imma write aboutchoo." Me: "You're going to write about who??" Him: "Choo." Me: "Me? Oh great...hope it's nothing bad!" Him (under his breath): "mumble, lady...mumble, mumble." ME: errr....what?!

I had to write him up for "inappropriate language" and "gross disrespect," and I later found out that the girl from third hour got kicked out for fighting.

Welcome to high school.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Going Up!

Yes, two in one day my beloved readers! But this was so funny, I couldn't keep it from you!

Yesterday I was in my building at school and opted to take the elevator from the sixth floor to the third floor. So I pressed DOWN and waited. The doors to the elevator on the far left opened with a DOWN arrow highlighted, so I got in and pressed three as I realized that the two young men on board were fervently pressing seven. I looked at them and after a minute or so they said, "We need to go to seven...but it just stopped at six."

I grinned and in a good sarcastic, funny tone said, "Oh, well don't you know that this one only goes down?" haha! I'm laughing, that was a funny comment!! But they don't really laugh...instead they kind of half smile as the doors open on five and another young man gets on, they say
, "Really? This one only goes down?"

Thinking that they're picking up what I'm putting down, I say, "Oh yeah! It doesn't go up, just down!"

The third man looks at the two of them and at me and as the doors open on four he says, "Really? I didn't realize that!" As the two boys get off they say, "Hey! Which one goes up?"

At this point, I should really tell them that they all go up AND down, but instead I say, "The one at the far end only goes up!" They call out "Thanks!" and head down there as a girl gets on. As we continue down to the third floor the third man in the elevator says, "Man, I had no idea that this elevator only goes down!" To which the girl replies, "Really??? Which ones goes up?"

I swear, I did not make up one word of this story. It happened yesterday...and it's 100% truth...
I wimped out today. I had a call for a subbing job at Redford High School and a I didn't take it. Which is really quite ridiculous of me because this was the week that I was going to BEGIN subbing! I just got scared. I suddenly realized that I would be the sub in a classroom full of high schoolers. Not a teacher. A sub. Do you remember what you did to your subs back in the day? Yes, for some of you that was yeeeeeaaaaaarrrrs ago, but try and remember, because I had flashbacks while the automated caller patiently waited for me to respond to him and accept or reject the job. Switching seats and spending the day pretending to be my friend. Boys pushing the sub as far as they can. Have you ever seen a teacher run crying from the room? Or cry while standing in front of you? Me neither, but I've heard the horror stories! So I wimped out. I rejected the job and went back to sleep. Not a very fitful sleep, I felt incredibly guilty!

I went on to the website for subbing 2 hours later and found another job. At another high school. This time it was in Ypsilanti. I called my friend Jen and told her what I was worried about. I also told her that I was going to say what I wasn't supposed to say, but that I didn't want to work in Ypsilanti or Redford, I wanted Livonia, or Plymouth. She pointed out two things that I really needed to hear this morning...
1. "Claire, what did you quit your full time, full paying, job for?" At first I fumbled and tried to say it was to go back to school, but that wasn't true. She was right. I need the hours in the classroom, and I need the hours to be in middle and high school classrooms since my teaching certificate will be in secondary education. Then she said,
2. "Stop making assumptions about these kids! They might be really great kids, but you're already setting yourself up to fail by doubting yourself and doubting the kids!"

So I decided to shower and get ready, and see what time it was. The Ypsi job was starting at 10:31 and it was already 9:20. I had to get ready and then drive 30-40 minutes. So I got ready, now it was 9:40, I went online to accept the job...but it was already taken.

Thursday!! I'm going to start subbing on Thursday! No excuses, no fear, no wimping out, and no preconceived notions about students!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sink or Swim? Does anyone have a lifesaver they can throw me??

Take a deep breath. Just breathe deeply. Close your eyes. Breathe. Just focus on today. Get done what you can today. Don't think about tomorrow. Breathe...

That has been my mantra for the past two weeks. It's only the third week of school and already I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water. Such a cliche I know, but I can't help it. It's the only thing I can think of. I'm exhausted. I think I took on too much. I work four days a week (three nights, one morning shift), have class three days a week (two afternoons, one evening) and am hoping to start picking up subbing jobs this week, for three days a week. I try to see my boyfriend twice a week, sometimes we get three (two nights, one morning).

When I was an undergraduate I took 15-19 credits each semester and worked three jobs (FHIA, YMCA, Taylor School District for a year, and my dad's church for a year). I still found time to go out and party, go on dates, see my friends. Now I'm working one job and taking 13 credits and I have no idea what I'm doing. I've already gotten behind in classes. I've been wanting to write a blog and fill you all in on how busy I've been and what's going on in my classes, but I've been too busy to write it!

I feel like all I do is read, mainly because that IS all I do! Last week I read THE CATCHER IN THE RYE in two hours, plus I read four articles for one class, THE CHOCOLATE WAR for another, BEOWULF and the 20 page prologue and all the critique's in the back of the book (about 10-15 pages each, there were 4). I have to write reading responses in two of my classes. I had to create a VodCast (video podcast), which encompassed creating a handout and power point presentation, which meant that I also had to research the project...the research took me 4 hours, the power point took me 5!

Needless to say, I'm ready for a vacation.

Things aren't actually too bad. Just a bit stressful, and I will admit, I didn't exactly manage my time very well. So this week is the beginning of a new Claire! I bought a new planner, I filled in when everything is due (from readings to essays to unit plans to poetry readings), I've printed off everything I need for Monday, and after class on Monday I will print off everything I need for Wednesday.

I will be focused.

I will get things done.

I will not dilly-dally, procrastinate, or fall asleep while reading.

I will rock it out with my...nose to the grindstone (you thought I was going to say something little dirty

I will be the best damn student ever!

And then I will collapse...but I think a dinner out with lots of wine will help...

On the plus side, I just received my first check in over a month!! Although it's about $600 shy of what I used to make, it's still a LOT of money for someone who was skating along with $7 in her account!! WOO HOO!!

okay, that's enough for now...I promise that my next one won't be so stressful...I'll have a good story for you next time...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Shortest Blog Thus Far

Okay, so apparently lots of people got confused on my last blog and really thought that I was quitting my job. I just want to clarify...although I WISH I could quit my job so I could go do all of those fun things, there is no way that would be possible. So, I am NOT quitting my job...

Oh my silly friends! I thought for sure you would pick up on it when I said in my last paragraph that I can afford the lifestyle if I "marry a sugar daddy!" I thought it was clear sarcasm! But I will be more cautious in the future...I don't want to spur on any other rumors of my own life! HA!

By the way, I'm moving to Denver.... NOT! Just joking! Testing your abilities...hopefully you didn't fall for that one...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Quitting my J-O-B!

I've decided that I'm not going to work anymore. Nope, no more jobs for Claire! I've just really come to enjoy the freedoms of my days! I really like going to class, so I'll keep school...but other than that, the rest of my day is up to me! I trained this morning with Pam and then went to a spin class right after. Now I'm at Panera eating a super fab salad and coffee writing! I'm actually going to be writing papers and then reading for class, but this is a good warm up for my little nimble fingers...

So that's it. I'm turning in my resignation to the ice arena tomorrow, and I'm not going to substitute teach either. My days will be filled with classes at the YMCA, classes at EMU, shopping, getting my hair done (today at 3!), maybe I'll start getting my nails done too. I can read for pleasure, I can do WHATEVER I want to do! That's the incredible beauty of it! If I decide to take a quick trip to Chicago to visit my wonderful Nikole, then I could do! No need to take days off or anything, just hop in my car, fill up my gas tank and drive off! I could become a food critic and travel all over tasting yummy (hopefully!) food and then blog about it. I could go to matinee's, I could sit at the park all day, I could go visit Luke all day long...I could hop on a plane and go visit my sister...oh the possibilities are endless!!

So that's why I decided to quit. Endless possibilities of what I can do with my day...I'm relaxed already...oh, but you're probably wondering how I will afford all of this globe-trotting, food consuming, shopping, movie watching life?

I'm going to have to marry a sugar daddy. If you know of any who are up for the job, please send them my way...unless Luke wants to win that Mega Millions...that would be most hey Luke! Can you please please PLEASE win those Mega Millions so I don't have to marry some weirdo in order to get my job-free life?? Thanks Love....

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hello. My name is Claire, and I'm a Book Snob

My boyfriend teases me because I refuse to check out books from the library. He asks, "what, are you too good for the library?" and the simple truth is: Yes. and no. Allow me to explain...

Eight years ago I checked out a book from my city's public library. I read the book for research, referenced it in my paper, cited it appropriately, and then returned the book to the library, via the drop box. A while later, I received a notice in the mail saying that I had an overdue book. I thought, well maybe I didn't return that one with the rest. So I looked around my room, the living room, the family room, the family room, the kitchen, the bathrooms (yup, even there), the basement...EVERYWHERE! It was not in the house, and I thought to myself, I KNOW I returned that book! I could remember putting it in the drop box. The library must've lost crazy. I promptly forgot about it and did what all teenage senior girls did: focused on the Prom.

A short time later I returned to my public library to check out a book, but was told that until I paid the amount of the book that I "had never returned" I would not be allowed to check out a book. SO BOGUS! I left the library, and have not returned since. Mainly because I'm afraid they'll deny me again. Also, I have a fear of being escorted out by the grandpa library security man.

So I began to buy my books. Which turned out to be quite nice. There's nothing better than opening a book for the very first time. No one has ripped a page, or written in it, or folded down the corners yet. No one has smudged the pages with their Cheet-o fingers. Everything is crisp and fresh and new. No gross library smell...just the scent of new pages yearning to be read.

Being an English major, it made sense for me to buy my books, because as my mom said, I needed to build my OWN library! So that is what I began to do. Friends will come over and peruse what I have and then ask to borrow one (or two or three...LINDSEY! haha! Just kidding!!). I feel great when people read the books that I've chosen and they say "Wow! I really loved that book! I couldn't put it down!"

My fabulous friend Meredith recently moved to Texas, and in order to do so, she and her husband had to sell most of they owned, including her books. She is a fellow lit major and book snob, and it broke her heart to have to get rid of her books. She kept some, but got rid of most. I don't know if most of you realize this or not, but giving up books is probably harder to do than selling your house, pet, or child. It's a heartwrenching process. You need someone strong by your side to ask you three important questions (as Meredith had to do):
1. When's the last time you read this book?
2. Did you enjoy reading it?
3. Would you read it again?
If you can answer NO to any one of those questions, you should sell the book, or give it to your local Salvation Army. I would suggest the library, but they've left a fairly sour taste in my mouth...

The thing about Meredith and I, is that we probably only read half of the books that we own. However, one day when our husbands build us libraries with comfy oversized chairs to sit in, and couches to lay on, and fireplaces to turn on (that's right, TURN ON!! Where's the power button?! Give me simple over having to follow fire safety anyday...that is so BORING!), we will have 3 walls full of books (only 3 because we'll need a wall for the windows, door, and fireplace...we're clearly still in the planning process here) and people will come over and they will say, "holy cow! You have so many books! Have you read of all these?" and we can proudly say "YES. Yes I have." Because whether we bought them and they were duds, or we bought them and they were fabulous, or we bought them for a class and never picked them up again, we still read them. Sometimes more than once.

The important thing about having books that professors made me read is this: If I only had books that I chose to read, I would have the world's largest collection of Chick-Lit ever in one room, save for Barnes & Noble. And women who only have Chick-Lit are never taken as seriously as someone who has a wide variety. Sure, I'd prefer to read Confessions of a Shopaholic every month rather than pick up Pride and Prejudice once, but my houseguest doesn't need to know that! They just need to be impressed! And who knows, maybe someday I really will pick up Aloft or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and reread it...just maybe I will...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Claire's Terrible, Horribly, No Good, Very Bad Day

I woke up nice and early today, 5:30 am, so I would have plenty of time to get ready for my first day of Pre-Student Teaching. I left my house at 6:40am, and by 7:04 was 7 minutes from the middle school (according to my Google Map). But I couldn't find the street to turn onto. So I kept driving. For twenty minutes. And ended up on the other side of the city. So I turned around and drove back, but it was a maze of one way streets, so I ended up in a different city. Luckily, I was near the freeway so I jumped on and called my good friend Jen, who was already at work so she looked up a map and directed me to the school. Whew! Finally.

I sign in and go up to the teachers room. She asks me my name, then ignores me for the next 15 minutes. I had to ask her questions to get her to talk to me. I ask her if I could go over a read aloud with her next week, she says most people don't do the read aloud until the end of the semester. Then the kids file in and sit down. She doesn't introduce me. She doesn't look in my direction. She completely ignores me. She teaches a history lesson. Her student teacher teaches a language arts lesson. Language arts is what I'm supposed to be observing her teach. I ask if I can read the poem she mentioned in her history lesson next week. She says I can.

I drive to school. I read my articles for class. I eat Subway. I think about my double date that night. At least I have that to look forward to. I go to class. It's okay. Goes by quickly. I check my email. My double date is cancelling...I go to my next class. I'm dripping in sweat. I wish I had brought a change of clothes so I wasn't in my dress pants and sweater vest. I can literally feel the trickle of sweat running down my back. I go to the bathroom and dab a paper towel on my face, it doesn't really do too much to matte out the shine.

I go to class. I'm annoyed that my friend cancelled our date, I was really looking forward to it. I sit through class. We read a quote by Thoreau. It says something about "one and a half wit, and a half wit....a third of a wit." I get confused instantly just trying to figure out if a third goes into one and a half. I'm annoyed with my professor. Well, I suppose I'm annoyed with myself for feeling so stupid and not getting the quote that everyone else is animately discussing.

I drive home. I talk to my boyfriend. He's decided that since we're not double dating anymore he's not going to come out either. I try for two different calls to convince him to still come out. My mom calls. I'm almost in tears about my morning. She suggests that I go see my professor. So I email my professor who's in charge of pre-student teaching. She calls me.

I explain what happened this morning. She says that she's been asking me to meet with the teacher since spring, and that I have to make it work. She says, "Well, you say you're going to the school." I say, "I HAVE been going to the school. Today was my first day, as I was scheduled for Monday's and last Monday was Labor Day. I've been emailing her all summer and she hasn't responded to me, except in the group emails she cc's you on. I've been asking her if I could come in and meet her and go over the curriculum and help set up bulletin boards. I've explained that I work full time and wouldn't be able to come until after August, and she has never once responded to me."

I'm pissed. Who is she to make this out to be my fault?! She sounded so annoyed, like, how do I have the gall to complain about these things?! Well guess what? These are legitimate concerns!! She should not brush me off like she did!! I'm so mad!!! I was hoping that writing would get my anger out and make me feel better, but guess what?

It didn't.

Monday, September 7, 2009


I think that I might be going through withdrawal. You see, when you're gone for so long, my heart gets all achey, and it makes my whole body ache for you. I just want you to hug me, maybe a big bearhug, a real body squisher. That way I'll be as close to you as I possibly could be. Then maybe a nice long kiss...I would like that...Then we can just hold hands and walk the dog to the lake (because she'll probably need to pee after all the lake water she drank when she swam), and in the moonlit rain we'll kiss some more. And hug more. Lots of hugs.

You will probably smell like day old boy, because you probably didn't shower before you left your tournament, but I won't mind. Well, I'll probably be thinking in my head, "man, I wish he would've put some extra deodorant or cologne on!" But I won't tell you that. You'll be wearing your shorts with the holes so big your wallet is in danger of falling out. You will have a huge goatee that will scratch my chin, but it's so long now that it's not so scratchy anymore, it's soft.

I will probably be in my favorite jeans and a sweatshirt. Waiting for you with the chocolate chips cookies that I recently burned in the oven. I want you to know that I don't burn everything. Just lately it seems like I do burn everything. But I promise that I don't. I'll have the TV on and will hear your key in the lock and wonder if I should jump up and hug you before you get in the door, or wait for you to come in and put your stuff down. Should I awkwardly stand up or let you awkwardly come over to the couch? I'll probably stand up and walk over to you.

But maybe you'll come to the back sliding door. I usually just keep the blinds shut, so I won't know you're there, and Gauge doesn't always pay attention, so if you knock it will freak me out. But then I'll realize that it's you, my favorite person in the whole wide world, and my heart will jump up and down a few times, because it's so excited, causing my stomach to have a case of butterflies. But I like when you give me butterflies. I like that it's been over two years and you still give me butterflies...

I like that it's been over two years and my breath still catches in my throat when you look into my eyes for a long time and then whisper, "I love you Claire." I love that I still try so hard to explain to you just HOW MUCH I love you, and what I love about you, but I never really seem to find the right words that explain how I feel. But I do love you. Even when you're miles away from me and I sit here in your living room with your dog and my burned chocolate chip cookies, trying to wait for you to come home.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beat the Heat...

I'm staying at Luke's while he's in Ludington at a Disc Golf Tournament, trying to get his birth for the State Championship Tournament over Labor Day Weekend. I thought it would be perfect because I could walk his dog for like, an hour and get my cardio in for the day. But it was so hot on Friday, that I walked with Julianne instead (I got in trouble for not bringing my band-aids...I've been getting MONSTER blisters!), and then on Saturday, it was still super duper hot, so I waited until like, 7 to walk her but it was still so hot that she could only do a short walk. So we went 1.4 miles and that was it. So today, I bought myself some NEW sneakers (Nike's..."Compete," they're, grey, pink & white!), and decided to go to the fitness center at Luke's apartment complex.

Which would've worked out fabulously, if only I could figure out where he put the card to get INTO the fitness center! It's 91 degrees outside (feels like 95 according to the Weather Channel) so it's waaaaaay too hot to go walking outside, and I could wait until later, like yesterday, but I don't know what time Luke will be back instead, I'm going to watch some TV, drink a Bud Light, take a shower, and trot around in my new clothes...don't you judge me!! HA!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Push It REEEAAL Good!

Sometimes I need people in my life to push me to do the things that I need and want to do. Especially when it comes guessed it...EXERCISE!! If ever a genie offered to give me three wishes, no strings attached, one of my wishes would be to just become naturally toned & muscular. Then I wouldn't have to work out ever, unless I wanted to, but I would always look like I just did 700 crunches and 500 pull ups! Alas, my dream will never come true, so I go to my trainer and she busts my butt (which I definitely asked for, and am glad!) and then I get toned up!

Although I can't say that I've lost "a ton of weight," I have noticed upper arms have definition. In fact, a month ago I could barely do 3 leg pull up thingies in the King's Chair, but now I can do 15 in a row! My quads are stronger and more toned, and my belly is a flatter and the love handles are smaller than a month ago and let me tell you what...when you've had a bit of a muffin top for 2 years and then it goes away, it feels GRRRRREEEEEAAAAAT!!

So great, in fact, that I bought jeans from the junior section at Kohl's for the first time in three years! And guess what? THEY FIT! No sucking the stomach in to button them, no trying to figure out what top will hide the tummy, they I'm so excited about it! Seriously, I'm really stoked. I'm not joking, I was so excited that I literally wore them four days in a row, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I still haven't washed them because I have this small fear that if I do, then the magic that made them fit will leave and I won't be able to fit into them anymore. But that's pretty unrealistic, because, let's face it, I'm dropping weight like it's hot and they will definitely still fit me after a good cleaning (which they REALLY need)!

So, again, I feel the need to express some thanks for getting to this stage. I seriously would not have began to get my work out on if it wasn't for some key people: Becky, my fab sister who hooked me up with a personal trainer at her gym Club CKO, without even really asking me if I wanted it, lol, which was smart of her! Thanks to her, I met Lenore, my personal trainer at CKO, who worked me so hard that I swear I left my leg muscles at the gym because I walked like a little old lady for two days! But then I went back for session two and retrieved them. Lenore really made me see that I could do everything I needed to in order to tone up and lose weight. She showed met that it wasn't impossible. I am not kidding around when I say that she was half of the catalyst (Becky is the other half!) for getting me to where I am today. Without Lenore I would probably still be spending my evenings sitting around like a human sized sloth. Instead, I'm walking, biking, and strength training. And thanks to Joe, who owns Club CKO, I was allowed to take part in any of the classes while I was visiting free of charge...I probably should've taken him up on that offer! I saw a class taught by an instructor named Chet, and it looked TOUGH, but he seemed like he'd only push you to do what you maybe next time (soon, I hope!!) I can take that one.

Of course, there's my new trainer, Pam, whom I really hope I can afford to continue seeing after I start school in September. She's been so great, there for me both physically and emotionally. I can talk to her about being discouraged and she's so great at lifting me and pointing out the accomplishments that I've made. She's also the best accountability person I've ever had...from going over what I'm going to do when I leave my sessions with her, to the almost daily emails that I get!

So I also have my friends who walk with me and my boyfriend, who reminds me that I didn't want to snack and will pull me off the couch to walk instead, and my family who says, "good for you!" everytime I go to the gym, especially at 6am!

So thanks to everyone for being so fabulous and wonderful and helping to get me started! And hey! I'm always up for a walk if you are!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Nascar Moves & the Sad Results

I’m scared. I’m scared for the young people that I know. They seem to be disappearing at a more alarming rate than I remembered from other years. It’s like there’s an epidemic.

In March, a woman (age 47) in Roseville was driving drunk, hits a median, goes airborne and slams her van into a car full of teens (aged 15-19). All four kids are killed.

In June, a carful of five teens (aged 14-19) tried to beat a 530 ton Amtrack train, swerving around another car and the gates that were lowered to beat it…but lost. All five kids were killed.

In July, a car of three teens (aged 18-19) were tearing down the road at 100mph, turned into a subdivision, clipped a man on a riding lawnmower, and slammed into a brick wall. Neighbors & witnesses say there were no braking sounds, just squealing tires and an explosion. All three kids were killed.

That same week, a Detroit woman was driving her and her three kids (aged 2-10) on the Ohio Turnpike, took a turn to fast, hit a car then hit the median, the force of it causing the three kids to be ejected from her car. Two were killed.

In July (about a week or so before the first July accident) a 27 year old man was driving on the newly finished freeway, when he took a turn, allegedly going 70 mph instead of the recommended 50 (per the speed signs) and hit a tanker, causing a huge explosion that melted the concrete bridge, and caused over $5 million in damages. He is contesting his speeding ticket. He had his license for five months.

A few weeks ago, my 17 year old cousin was driving at 1am, took a turn too fast and flipped her car twice. The officer told my uncle that by the looks of the car, no one would have survived that crash. Her car was totaled. She doesn’t have a scratch on her. She is the luckiest girl I know.
When you look at reckless driving (driving drunk, driving too fast, etc) all of the evidence points directly at disaster. Within 5 months, Metropolitan Detroit lost 12 kids to reckless driving. I’m telling you…we have an epidemic on our hands. We need to ensure that we continue to stress how important it is to be a careful driver. Impressing friends with your “Nascar moves” is not nearly as impressive as showing them that you care by driving cautiously.

It’s hard to blame the kids in the cars that died. However, these tragic accidents would not have happened if those driving had not been reckless. I think that there is something to be learned here, something to prevent terrible accidents like this in the future. I think that we need to take a deeper look at how quickly we give our kids the responsibility of driving a 3,000plus pound car. How easily we trust them to make smart and safe decisions while behind the wheel of a monstrous vehicle…in the company of their friends. We should revamp our drivers education program for those who opt to wait until their 18 and can currently just take a test to get their license. We need to make sure that young and new drivers fully understand the consequences of reckless & risky driving.

This is not something that is just up to the police or the Secretary of State. As these tragedies affect the community at large, it is also the community’s responsibility to help teach the young & the new the safeties of driving. We are all called to action, however, it is up to us to decide whether or not we want to answer. We need to seize the teachable moments, and make them worth something. If we don’t, then we will have to learn with knowing that we could’ve prevented a tragic accident.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Biggest Loser

So my parents went on a sweet little vacation last week, just the two of them…I don’t know when the last time is that they went on a vacation without dragging one or more kid along! While they were away I took care of things around the house (read FEAR for more) and even rearranged my brother’s room…I’m sure he won’t care!

Well, they returned while I was at work last Thursday, and when I got home I asked if they had seen Nate’s room, and they said, “Yeah, it looks great!!” then they asked, “Who did you get to help you move everything?” Beaming, I proudly said, “Just me and my new muscles!!” they laughed and said, “No, seriously. Who helped you?”

A little thrown, I replied, “No one helped me. I’ve got muscles now!! I did it!” To which my loving parents replied with, “Claire. There’s no way you moved that heavy wood cabinet your Grandpa made…did you go get Al [my neighbor, who can be found in CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE]? Or Ed? Dave? Who helped you move the bed?”

Oh I’m so glad that my parents are able to see my newfound strength, lol. After ten minutes of my insisting that I was actually strong enough to move everything on my own and did NOT in fact, have to ask the neighbor men to help me move things, they finally clapped me on the back (seriously. I got a back clap.) and said, “well good for you!” in the same kind of tone you would use to tell a puppy “good job” for finally peeing outside and not on your new nice rug.

I haven’t lost tons and tons of weight yet, but I am noticing a difference. For example, there is suddenly definition in my upper arms/shoulder areas. Pam told me that I shouldn’t be focused on the number on the scale, and I try not to be. I’ve been really exciting about the little accomplishments that I’ve made, as well as the little drops I see in my weekly weight loss. Like, a few weeks ago I didn’t eat that cupcake, for most people that’s probably not a big deal, but for someone who LOVES cupcakes and has been known to eat something to appease those who brought it to me, it’s a HUGE deal! So, I’ve really been learning a lot about my eating habit over the past month, and learning how to CHANGE those eating habits so I can become healthier.

However, that is not always enough for everyone…it’s so easy for someone to undermine the little successes you’ve made when you tell them that you’re not only down three pounds, but maintaining it as well, and they respond with, “Well that’s good, but there’s really no reason that you shouldn’t be losing 2-3 pounds a week.” And now, as silly as it may seem, all that I’ve done just seems to be so…worthless. Like, now I have to justify what I’ve done and why it’s a big deal when before I didn’t have to justify anything. Now I feel like until I’ve lost a significant amount of weight, I should just keep my mouth shut. Who cares that in one more pound I’ll see a number that I haven’t seen in a year, if I’ve only lost 3 measly little pounds, it’s not worth it. I don’t want the looks of “that’s all?” I don’t want to feel like I’m not working hard enough when I know that I am working.

Anyways, since only about 6 people even read this blog, and only 3 of you know how to leave comments, I’ll still keep telling you about my little accomplishments…because I know that all I get is mega support from all of you! And I want to say to all of you…THANK YOU!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So my parents went out of town for the week and I'm home by myself. Perhaps you aren't aware of this, but I happen to be a huge wimp (see Choose Your Own Adventure for more proof). My dad thinks it's funny to end a conversation on the phone when he and my mom are out of town by saying, "Oh and Claire? Don't forget to feed the man who lives in the woods!" Thanks Dad. It might not be so bad at night if our back room wasn't all windows with woods beyond our yard. But it is. Three walls and a ceiling of only windows. What happens in scary movies? You look out the window thinking you hear a noise, and then all of a sudden there's a face (sometimes masked, sometimes not) staring through the window directly at you. Well, at 6pm I was pretty fearless, and just wanted to circulate some air while I made dinner and cleaned up a little. So I opened up all of the windows and the sliding door.

Around 8 pm I decided to rearrange my brothers room. After I moved the bookshelf, the bed, the desk, and the little bedside table, it was dark out so I thought I should go find another lamp for my room. But when I got downstairs I realized that all of the windows were still open, and then saw that the basement door was wide open. I immediately thought, "did I open that? I don't leave doors open. Maybe I did though. Maybe Lucy [our cat] shoved it open to get her chubby little body downstairs...what if someone came in the screen door...maybe they're hiding in the base--no. Claire, you're being ridiculous. No one came in the house. Relax."

This is seriously what goes through my brain!! After a while, I went to bed and then couldn't fall asleep because I kept hearing noises that were probably my cat, but I was seriously contemplating going out and sitting in my car where at least I could get away if I needed to. But then I would have to go downstairs and possibly confront some crazed killer man, so I stayed in bed and eventually fell asleep.

Maybe it would be less scary for me if a few years ago when I was dogsitting across the street someone hadn't tried to come into the house while I was there, but they did. Luckily the dog went crazy barking and it scared them off. I already have fears about someone trying break in, so that just affirmed it for me. But we only have a cat, and she's not very scary to strangers...And I know I'm not the only one. A high school friend, Matt S., once told me that he hated going home at night because of his fears that someone would be hiding in the bushes next to his porch, so he would run as fast as he could and wouldn't be able to breathe again until he was inside with the front door slammed shut and locked. I have the same fears.

It's funny that we have these fears of people coming into our house, but then we continue to watch Law & Order, and Halloween, The Strangers and other scary movies. We continue to subject ourselves to shows and movies that feature gruesome deaths and murders, and then wonder why we are afraid to walk in the woods at night? I've stopped watching the scary movies, and know enough about myself to switch the channel if a Law & Order is too gruesome, and that's taken away much of my fears. But sometimes you want the scare, you want to jump, to grab onto your boyfriends arm and cower in his shoulder, have him hold you tight...and then you have to decide: is the scare worth it? Sometimes...but as for me? I'd rather cry laughing at something with my boyfriend then cry because I'm scared.

Friday, July 17, 2009

What's Your Kryptonite?

Yesterday I couldn't stop thinking about cake. Beautiful, moist, vanilla cake with just the slightest taste of sugar. Soft, buttery,creamy pink frosting, swirled about just perfectly. Mmmmmm....I could literally taste it in my mouth, smell the sugary I reached into my lunch box, and pulled two perfectly round clementines out. I didn't have any cake, and I don't trust my "self-control" enough to not eat the entire thing if I made one. So I'm eating fruit instead. It's not the best replacement (I miss the sugary sweetness!!!), and thank goodness no one at work has brought in a sugary treat, because I would fall of the nutrition wagon faster than you can say, "Yum, cake!"

I thought I was doing pretty good last night, I had a roasted veggie wrap at Bar Louie (this is, without a doubt, THE MOST AMAZING SANDWICH EVER!!!) with Bradley, and it came with shoestring fries (thanks for helping me eat those Bradley!) but then I also had three margarita's on the that wasn't too great...better than frozen, but still...

After my hair appointment I met up with Meredith at TGI Fridays for a drink...did I really need it at this point? Nope. Did I still get it? Yup. I ordered a Blue Moon while I waited for Meredith, then when she got there the bartender asked if we needed a menu, and she said yes, so I thought, well maybe she didn't eat yet. Then she suggested that we split the Spinach Artichoke Dip...I said, "let's look for something else." but what was I really expecting to see? A veggie tray?? C'mon Claire...and Meredith says, "Um...I don't see anything that would be any better..." and she was right. There were nacho's, mozzarella sticks, and buffalo wings. There really weren't any "healthy" options for appetizers. So what's a girl to do!? Order another beer and eat the spinach artichoke dip.

So apparently, I'm good at not baking/cooking/buying things that aren't good for me, but when we're sitting at a bar, I'm about as helpless as Superman around Kryptonite. On the plus side, we didn't eat ALL the chips & dip...and most importantly, we had a FABULOUS time together!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Butt Kicking Has Commenced

I asked for it, and I got it!! [In case you forgot, I told Pam (head of Personal Training at the Y) that I needed a trainer who would kick my ass, she volunteered for the job] Pam has been kicking my butt all over the YMCA! From squats, to push ups (I can do ten girly ones in a row with good form!! WOOT! WOOT!!), Supermans to arm curls, she's got me moving! And although I can barely lift my arms by the third set, and my legs feel like jelly, I keep on trucking on...mainly because I don't want Pam to have to yell at me to stop being a wimp, lol...which so far, hasn't happened! Except for the day that I told her I had a blister and she stared at me for a minute and then said, "If you were going to cancel for a blister..." shook her head and finished, "I would NEVER let you forget it." Well, I didn't cancel, we worked upper body, I couldn't extend my arms for three days, but in the end, I was glad I didn't cancel! It's better to be unable to utilize your arms for a few days than to have your trainer think you're wimping out, lol...

But it's great! My chest, shoulders, and arms are still sore from our workout on Tuesday, I've been doing cardio almost every day (walking mainly, sometimes biking at the Y), and I now have a very small (but also big!) accomplishment to report:

Not only did I not eat the cupcake that was offered to me last week, I also have managed to drop two pounds and keep it off for a week and a half!! If I am able to drop two more pounds by Monday, then I will fall into my next weight zone!

Now, I am not going to probably ever tell you what my weight is, only two people know: Me and Pam. And as far as I'm concerned, no one else needs to know!

Well, I suppose that's all I have to report for now...tomorrow I go back and I can't wait!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Choose Your Own Adventure

A Day In The Life of Claire...The Biggest Wimp You've Ever Met

Chapter One

After a long day at work, you can't wait to get home. It's 85 degrees outside, and you are dying to get home and have a creamsicle while watching a rerun of WIFE SWAP (hopefully it'll be your favorite: HUSBAND EDITION!). You know your parents won't be home for awhile (that's right, you still live with good 'ole mom and pop) as your dad has meetings and your mom is figure skating, so you know that no one will hassle you about your TV selection.

You flip on the TV and settle on the couch with your creamsicle. You suddenly detect a faint buzzing noise. What could it be? You think it's the TV, but then you remember that this is 2009 and you don't own an antenna TV. You look above, trying to see a plane flying low through the skylights. There is no plane. With horror, you slowly turn your gaze towards the back windows and you see them. Not one. Not two or three...but 8-12 wasps buzzing around in the corner of the fly off the couch and clasp a hand over your mouth to muffle your what??

Turn to page 21 to see what YOU would do, turn to page 51 to do what Claire would do.

Page 51

You grab the remote and flip the TV off, no need for extra noise. Throwing your creamsicle in the sink, you run across the street and bang on your neighbor's door. Little Emily answers, "Hi." she says with a small red popsicle stain around her lips. Trying your best to seem pulled together, and not at all like there is an army of wasps invading your house, you say, "Is your dad home?" As Al comes to the front door, you hold back the tears and try to keep the panic in your voice to a minimum. "Wasps." you whisper. "So many wasps." He hollers back into the house, "Colleen! I'm going to help Claire with the wasps again!"

Once inside, you show him where they are. "Okay, you got a vacuum cleaner?" he asks.
"Sure, why?'re going to vacuum them up?!" you ask.
"Yeah, there's too many for me to kill them all. I don't wanna get stung!" he says. As if vacuuming up the wasps is an everyday thing, as simple as putting toilet paper on the toilet paper holder.
"Ummm...okay...but Al?" You ask the question that burns through your mind, "what if they crawl out of the vacuum after you leave?"
"Claire. You always ask this, and I always tell you the same thing: They won't crawl out and start flying around."

To use the vacuum cleaner, go back to page 18. To do what Claire would do, go back to page 17.

Well, it's not like you have a choice. Either let Al suck the wasps up, or risk being stung (probably to death. Wasps don't lose their stingers so they'll just keep going until they're satisfied you've learned your lesson). So you get the vacuum cleaner.

Al tells you to turn it on, which means you have to get much closer than you would like, but it also gives you the opportunity to count the little furry winged creatures. Ten total. ugh...ten too many! You press the power button and the noise makes them buzz louder. You run to the kitchen and grab a newspaper and roll it up, ready to swing at the slightest buzz near you. Al sucks up a few, but the loud noise and huge machine infuriate (or maybe just scares) the wasps, and some of them crawl further away, allowing Al the ability to suck them right up. But a few others fly. Al climbs onto the couch to get closer and chases them across the living room, towards the kitchen. You back up, ready to move into the family room if necessary. You see the two wasps...they're coming closer to you, the buzzing almost loud enough to hear above the noise of the vacuum. Hot tears spring to your eyes, but you're too afraid to move, to draw attention to yourself, so you just let them fall. But all of a sudden, like a knight in shining armor, Al jumps for it, and sucks them both up.

You're saved. You thank him profusely while duct taping the mouth of the vacuum shut. You wave to Al as he walks down your driveway, back to his
popsicle gang. You open the freezer, get a new creamsicle, and decide to read the latest the kitchen this time.

See details: Close up of a bee

If Love Were Enough

The thing about break ups, is that they suck. It doesn’t matter if you’re the one leaving or the one being left. You’ve both put time, love, faith,commitment, affirmation, and trust into each other; into your relationship with one another. And then at some point in time one of you feels that they’re giving more than receiving, or something happens to disrupt that love or the trust, or faith…I think it’s actually worse being the person who has to end it. You love them and you want to be with them, but something tugs at your heart and tells you that it’s not right. Sometimes you don’t even know why, all you know is that you are about to break this persons heart, and you don’t want to do that.

But you know that it’s the right thing to do. You know that you will suffocate if you stay. You’ll suffocate from taking care of them, from staying with them for fear of hurting them, from the way they crush your dreams…crush you…So you know you have to leave. And you do. And you cry and sob and your body is wracked with emotional waves that just keep slamming you down and down and down, and you second guess what you’re doing and wonder if maybe they will change, maybe they will do the things you need them to do so you can stay together and get married and have babies and buy a house and a dog and live happily ever after. But in your heart of hearts, you know that they never will. They are who they are.

And you know what the trickiest part is? They’re sneaky. They tell you that they can change. They promise they can change. They cling your hand and swear up and down with little pools of tears in their eyes, cascading down their cheeks, hiccupping because they’ve been crying so hard, and they say, “I can change! I’ll do whatever it takes!” And this is why it’s worse to be the one ending it. Because suddenly, after all of the thinking, the praying, the pro’s & con’s list you made, after all that, you find yourself beginning to believe them. Or maybe you just find yourself so full of pity for this person you love, you hate causing them pain, but there’s no other way to go around it…you have to hurt them to take care of yourself.

And in the end, we’re almost always glad that we made the choice to leave. We’re better people for it, and we’ve taught that person an important lesson that they hopefully picked up on. The lesson being (in some cases): We’re together, you have to be onboard with me the way that I’m onboard with you. You have to show me that you love me in ways other than just telling me. You have to BE THERE FOR ME. And you can’t just suddenly be there for me when I’m leaving, or when it’s convenient for you. You have to be there for me all day, every day, just as I have been – and will continue to be – for you.

Sometimes we see a temporary change, but it's rarely ever permanent. It's a change that lasts just long enough for us to get sucked back in...but we have to remember: If it’s meant to be, it will be. As a very wise friend once told me, “If love were enough, we’d all be with our high school sweethearts.” And guess what? We’re not. We need more than love. We need commitment, faith, trust, and affirmation, without those, the relationship suffers…if only love were enough...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Clobbered, But Not Down For The Count

Well, I've had two sessions with Pam, my personal trainer, and I'll tell you what, she is REALLY kicking my butt!! She has me doing things that are difficult, and hard, but not impossible. I'm able to do everything (even the push-ups!!), which is great. I don't feel like a total wimp. I've also been keeping a food journal that I take to her and she looks through it to see how I'm eating. She'll make suggestions like, "maybe eat more vegetables & fruits." or "maybe don't drink a days worth of calories." Which did happen. Once. Okay twice. But not anymore! She even suggested drinks that will be "better" for me (anything frozen is bad, fruity drinks have lots of sugar. Best to stick with clear liquors & diet pop, or light beer), which is cool because she doesn't drink!

My last session with her was on Monday, and this morning I woke up and swung my arm out of bed to hit my alarm clock, and then cried out in pain...apparently I have zero muscle in my shoulders and arms because they are BURNING!! I could barely straighten my hair this morning! And putting mascara on? Yeesh!! Pam says that the first five or six (oh is that all? lol) sessions will hurt the most, but it will get better after that.

Since I wasn't feeling any pain last night, I decided to power walk. I grabbed my iPod Touch, put it on a pretty sweet mix of some old school music (think Poison, Chicago, Eric Clapton, AC/DC) and started walking. I was planning on walking to downtown Farmington and back, which is about 3 miles. I got a mile into, and my heels started to hurt a bit. I thought it would be okay, that maybe my shoe was on weird, so I adjusted my feet and kept on going, thinking that I only had another half a mile and I could turn around. Plus, I was really trucking along! I didn't want to quit!! But when the sugary sweet smells from Baskin Robbins hit my nose, marking the point to turn around, I began to realize that I was really in some pain. As I scooted past the skateboard shop, the Village Mall, CVS, and Fitness 19, I began to wish I'd brought my phone so I could call my dad for a ride. I figured out that the plastic in the heel of my New Balance (which are super old) was sticking through the fabric and rubbing against my heel...poking my heels was more like. I had to keep going, and I tried not slow down, but by the time I got back to 9 mile, my heels were throbbing in pain. As I stumbled across the road and past the 7-11, my iPod jumped to a song that was most appropriate for the way I felt, almost as if my sneakers were trying to apologize to me: "I didn't mean to hurt you...I didn't mean to make you cry!" Oh sneakers...but you DID make me cry!! And then, as my sneaks realized I was still mad that they were causing me so much pain, my earbuds were flooded with, "Every rose has a thorn!" okay, by now I was crying from laughing so hard. I'm sure that if you drove past me yesterday you thought, who is that lunatic laughing to herself while she hobbles down the sidewalk?

Well, luckily, I made it home, and after a slightly painful shower (at least for my heels), I zipped right over to Kohls were I bought myself a brand spanking new pair of sneakers!! Maybe tonight when I walk I'll hear "Luck be a lady tonight!" and I won't have any pain...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

okay, so I had to keep that food diary for my trainer, and I have to tell you...I was shocked. I've always felt that my diet isn't too bad, but I'll tell you what, I was living a dream world. I had no idea I was eating so much!! I'm mortified!!! I'm going to continue to keep the diary for the rest of the week, and I have to keep it for a weekend, so we'll see what happens come Monday, but so far NOT so good...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Diet Starts Tomorrow!

In an attempt to actually strive to make my New Years Resolutions, I did two pretty great things this week (I know! It's only Tuesday!!)
1. I paid off my Old Navy credit card (woo woo!!) It wasn't too high, so it was pretty easy to do
2. I hired a personal trainer.

That's right! I've got myself eight half hour sessions with Pam. I went in and met with her yesterday to figure out if I could afford to actually do this (turns out that with my employee discount, I can!) and I told her that I truly do want to lose this weight I've allowed myself to lazily gain, but I need to be accountable to someone other than myself. I told her that I'm a wimp and although I know how to do things, I stop when I get tired/sore/need a drink of water/because I just don't want to do it anymore. I told her that I need someone who will kick my ass. She said, "I would like to be that person." haha, gotta love Pam!!

She told me that I had to write out my goals, time my 2 mile walk, and keep a food diary for two days during the week and one during the weekend. Well, I've thought up some stuff for my goals already, like...
1. I want to make exercise/fitness more important to me than dinner with friends. Too often I will make plans to walk or go to the gym, and then someone suggests coffee/drinks/dinner/shopping and I ditch the exercise to hang out.
2. I want to lose 20 pounds before I start school in September. I think that this is pretty reasonable. It'd be about 3-4 pounds a
3. To continue a lifestyle filled with exercise long after September hits.
4. ???

The food diary is going okay...although I realized that today was not the best day to start it...I'm taking my friend Gina out for her birthday tonight, and we're going to Rojo for dollar taco's and two dollar Corona's, plus Salsa and Guac!! AH!! Sorry Pam...but I thought, it's okay, I'll just eat REALLY healthy all day today! So this is what my food diary looks like so far...

1. Lite Yogurt (80 cal)
2. Coffee w/lots of creamer (vanilla caramel, yum!) and lots of sugar (I don't count coffee. Or anything I put in it)

3. Gardetto's (240 cal!)
4. 5 chicken tacos (mini's!) (47.5 ea. 237.5 total cal.)
5. Sante Fe Rice and Beans Lean Cuisine (300 cal)

6. 100 Calorie Veggie Crisps (which I'm currently eating as I write this)

And that doesn't include what will make it's way on later...
7. 3-5 Corona Light's (105 cal/bottle)
8. 3 Chicken Taco's (probably at least 100 cal each!)
9. Chips and Salsa
10. Chips and Guacamole

So I'm already at 957.5 calories for the day and I haven't even counted what I'm going to eat tonight, or the two pieces of gum I had (do they count if you don't swallow them? lol)...but I am walking tonight after work, so that will burn off some what I had today...I just don't know how much. I can't believe how quickly this all adds up...

Okay, wish me luck...and keep me accountable! Let's go for walks! Let's eat salads together! Let's be social while being active!!