Thursday, July 19, 2012

The One With the Melting Pot

The title of this one sort of sounds like I went on some kind of psychadelic drug trip.  But I did not.  Just went to dinner.

The Melting Pot, if you don't know, is a fondue restaurant.  I've heard about people going, and there's another blogger that I read that loves it and goes as often as she possibly can (mostly for the chocolate), but it's. . .ridiculously expensive, so I've never been.  However, last week or the week before, Groupon had this deal where you could pay $20 for $40 worth of food.  Obviously, I bought one.

 My friend, Faith, is getting married in a couple of weeks, and my friend/her roommate, Andrea, suggested we go out next week for a bachelorette-party-dinner.  (Meaning, you know, just going to dinner.)  We're going to the Melting Pot (with Groupons!), so I decided to take D out on a rarely-utilized Date Night as to go with him for the first time before I go with Faith and Andrea.  (What an awkward sentence.)

We got all gussied up and headed over to The Melting Pot. . .except there was an accident on the highway involving a car being stuck under a tractor trailer, so we had to re-route, thus making us late for our 6:30 reservations.  (I called to make sure we'd still have a table.)  So that was the first thing.

When we arrived, we were seated by the manager.  We were seated in this area with tiny booths for two, which had a curtain that you could close to. . .assure you had privacy, I guess.  (The couple in the booth adjacent to ours was making good use of the closed curtain, if you know what I'm sayin'.  And I think you do.)

I felt sort of awkward, going into a nice place and whipping out a Groupon page, but then I figured, if they were going to judge me for cheap(er) food, they shouldn't have put up a Groupon.  It said on the print-out to give the Groupon to the waiter upon arrival, so we did.

The waiter explained how the whole process worked, but he spoke fast and had an accent and didn't enunciate, so I had a hard time understanding exactly what was happening.

We ordered the spinach and artichoke cheese fondue which took. . .a long time to get there.  I'd drained my Diet Coke (as I do), and kept burning my mouth with nothing to drink except pilfered water from D.  (I realize that there is that expression about even dogs waiting for their food to cool, but we'd been waiting a long time, and I was hungry.)  We finished that up and sat, patiently waiting, for our Caesar salads to get there.

And we waited.

And we waited.

And then our waiter came by and told us they'd forgotten about our salads.  Which is awesome.  Especially the part where he told us they'd forgotten about us.  (This happens. . .constantly with both D and myself.  We both have a tendency to slip through the cracks, so when you put us together, we're basically invisible to the naked eye.)

Then the salads came.  Caesar salads, which were actually very good, if not a little small for $7.

Then we waited.

And waited.

You might think that, at this point, we were mad and yelling and all that, but. . .we were actually having a lot of fun.  We go out. . .never, and while everything was happening against us, we were having a really good time being a couple, if that makes sense.  The waiter came by, and D mentioned that we'd been there for an hour and a half and were still waiting for a meal, and we'd like to speak to the manager later.

So our 'entree' got there.  We decided to split one, because, you know, $23 dollars.  There was a little bowl of vegetables, 4 pieces of chicken, 4 shrimps, 4 pieces of steak, 4 pieces of sausage, and several sauces.  I have to admit, I was a little bummed out that the food was so. . .sparse.  But then, we were splitting one, so maybe it's different if you eat the whole thing yourself.

There was also a pot of hot broth, where you. . .cook your own meat.  We were puzzling over this when the manager came over, but we sent him away so we could eat.

We sat there, trying to figure out if the two-and-a-half minutes the waiter indicated would actually cook this meat.  We were going to put it in a little at a time, but ended up just dumping everything in the broth, like a soup.

Two-and-a-half minutes passed quickly, and the meat didn't. . .look done.  So we discussed paying this much money to cook your own meal, and then pulled some of the meat out again.  It still didn't look done, but it was dark, and it was hard to tell.  D ended up pulling out the flashlight on his phone, and we were dying laughing about how ghetto the whole thing was.  But the meat was done, so we ate.  It was really good, but there wasn't much there.

Ultimately, the manager came back and comped our entree and one of the salads, so we had money for dessert, which was a pot of melted milk chocolate that came with marshmallows, bananas, strawberries, Rice Krispie Treats, a piece of cheesecake that. . .wasn't very good, and pound cake.

The chocolate was amazing.

(I realize as I'm telling this story that I'm not conveying how hilarious that whole situation really was.  I don't really know how.)

Then the waiter came by and asked if we wanted coffee.  I didn't.  D did.

A few minutes after that, the waiter came back by to let us know the coffee machine was broken.

All you could really do at that point was laugh.

The waiter brought us our bill, and it came out to $36 something. . .except he hadn't factored in the Groupon I'd handed him at the beginning of our 2-and-a-half hour ordeal.  Instead of laughing, all we could do then was shake our heads.  He came back a while later and was like, "Oh, yeah, you had a Groupon."

So he brought the bill back, and it was the lovely number of $0.00.  So we left a tip (really, we did) and left.

All things being said, I'd go back, but not if I was paying pull price for anything.  The food was good, but there wasn't nearly enough of it and it was WAY overpriced.  But we had a great evening, and I'm looking forward to going with Andrea and Faith next week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The One with Unequal Diabetes

This is a post that. . .if anyone in the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) read it, I'd probably be skewered.  It's not amusing, it's not especially PC. . .it's just something I've been thinking about.

The Diabetes Sisters conference I went to back in May was really big on the whole community thing.  As in, it doesn't matter if you're a Type 1 diabetic or a Type 2 diabetic. . .we've all got the 'betes.  We're all a sisterhood.

That's all well and good, but I guess my dirty little secret is that. . .I think that's a load of crap.

What makes it even worse is that there are people now saying that Type 2 diabetes could potentially have autoimmune origins.  That's not been proven, but it's a theory they're studying.

That's literally all I have.  All I have that I can say when someone's like, "Oh, you have diabetes.  You must have eaten too much sugar!"  I can say, "Well, no.  Type 1 is autoimmune.  It just kind of happens.  Type 2 is usually more lifestyle-based, although it can run in families, too, blah blah blah."

Now what do I have?  "Oh, you have diabetes.  You should eat less sugar."  "Mine's autoimmune."  "Yeah, well, they both are."

Except Type 2s can get theirs in well enough control that they don't have to take their medications anymore.  That will never happen for me.  I'm stuck.  I'm stuck with this, and to add insult to injury, they give these two different diseases (they're not the same) the same name, and then talk about Type 2 in the media all the time because Americans aren't capable of eating right and taking care of themselves and just refer to it as "diabetes," because who cares about the 5% of diabetics who are in the same boat as me?  No one cares, that's who cares.  The American Diabetes Association puts more emphasis on Type 2.  The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation?  They're all about the kids with Type 1.

But what about adult Type 1s?  What about us?  Sure, there's Diabetes Sisters. . .but that's for ALL diabetics, not just those of us who are connected to our insulin for the rest of our damn lives.  It's for the Type 1s, the Type 2s, the Type 1.5s.  (What the HELL is a Type 1.5?)  (That's rhetorical.  I don't honestly care.)  They're even calling people who have a diabetic in their families Type 3 Diabetics.  THAT'S NOT A THING.

It's insulting.  That's all it is.

I guess this is my public rant.  I'm angry about it today, and I'm tired of being put in the same category as someone who sat on their ass and ate fried Cheetos for every meal.  (YES I KNOW that not all Type 2 diabetes cases are caused by lifestyle choices.  But MOST OF THEM ARE.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The One with Fifty Shades of Gray

Workout update:  Saturday, I almost died, thanks to a stitch in my side while I was running.  It started after the first 60-stint of running and continued until the end.  Yesterday, I started my Week 2 routine:  7 rounds of 2 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking.  I only added an extra three minutes of walking to that, and I did it all the way through without stopping.

Sadly, all this is causing me to GAIN weight, which was actually the opposite of what I was going for.

So Fifty Shades of Gray.  For those of you that haven't heard of it, it's the first book in this trilogy of "novels" about this guy who's hardcore into S&M.  And then there's this girl he wants, who's all like, "Oooh!  But I want you to LOVE ME."  They're terribly-written, repetitive, awful, awful books that have, inexplicably, taken the world by storm.

I'm reading the first one (which I bought on my Nook so if I'm reading it in public, I won't be judged.  Or worse, have someone start a conversation with me about them.)  I can't.  Stop.  Reading it.

It reads like fan fiction (which it is.  It was originally a fan fiction for Twilight.  Blech.) and the author uses the same phrases constantly.  She's always talking about her Inner Goddess, and she's just the whiniest, most pathetic, worst character in the history of literature.

And yet, I'm still reading.

I don't entirely understand the popularity of it all.  Some people are calling it "Mommy Porn," as it seems to be a bunch of middle-aged woman reading it.  My mother-in-law refuses to believe it started out as fan fiction.  My hairdresser (who is actually my age) told me that women of all ages come in and want to talk about the book.

It's legitimately one of the worst books I've ever read.

And yet, I'm still reading.

I refuse to read the second and third books, though, especially since a friend of mine told me what happens, and it's all just infuriating.

The weirdest thing about it, I think, is that the public libraries here refuse to carry it.  I can't remember the reasoning, as I had never heard of the books before when I was working there and we got an e-mail saying we weren't going to be carrying it.  I wish I could remember why.  (Here's an interesting article about why many libraries won't be carrying it.)

Aside from those reasons, it doesn't make much sense, because the library carries the A.N. Roquelaure (Ann Rice) Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, which I read in college and which is FILTHY in a way that the 50 Shades books could only hope to be.  And then there are the oft-read, tattered copies of the books by Zane the library carries.  I read one page of one of those and was shocked.  (And I'm no prude.)

All this to say, the library carries erotica, but apparently, not flash-in-the-pan, badly written, fan fiction erotica.  Which this series is.

And yet?  I'm still reading.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The One with the Second Workout

I don't have any pictures or anything, but I actually did my second run-walk on Wednesday. . .it was surprisingly successful (especially in comparison to my first day.)

D gave me this. . .weird stretchy workout shirt to wear, and seeing as to how it was long-sleeved, I thought I would die of heat, but as it turns out, the thing has a weird way of keeping you cool.

Did my blood sugar and it was 166.  Higher than 150, so I figured I was good to go.  This time, I unhooked my insulin pump entirely, to see what would happen.  With my weird stretchy shirt and shorts and hair in a clip that caused it to be inexplicably big, I looked like some kind of deranged Workout Jeannie.

I decided to go to the gym this time to avoid both the heat and the July 4th traffic.  As an interesting side note, I passed a bunch of frat boy looking people in the pool area, and this one guy was fighting with his bikini-clad bleach blonde girlfriend about something.  She screamed at him, "You NEVER LISTEN to WHAT I'M SAYING!"  And the guy, awesomely, replied, "Do YOU ever listen to what you're saying?"

He might have been a tool, but at least he was a quippy tool.

(Another side note:  I was looking in Google Images for a picture to go along with "quippy tool" and a picture of Ben Affleck showed up.)

I got on the treadmill and started off at a run.  It was easier this time, partially probably because I'd sort-of done it on Monday and partially because I was on a treadmill.  Got through my first 4 60-90's and then stopped for a water break.  The last 60-90 was a special kind of torture, but I made it through the entire thing with little incident.

Got home and did my blood sugar.  59.  What the what?

(Later, D was like, "You didn't eat anything before you went, did you?"  I hadn't, and he told me that what's happening is that I'm stimulating all kinds of work-out-type processes internally (his explanation was a lot less vague and a lot more concise) and so my glycogen (maybe?) was being eaten up while I ran.  Makes sense.)

So NEXT time, I'll eat something beforehand and maybe leave my pump on.

For the 4th of July, we went to the top floor of my office building and watched fireworks from there.  It was a great view, and also allowed us to see several fireworks shows happening miles away.  Good times.

Day 2 of Week 1 down:  22 workouts to go to complete the 8 weeks.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The One with the First Day of Running

I don't really get along with exercise.  I know you're supposed to do it, I know I could probably lose the random 12 pounds I gained working at the library if I did it. . .but it's just not fun.

But then I saw this: The Color Run.  It looks insane and awesome, and it's a 5k, as opposed to an actual marathon.  I can run a 5k, right?

Well, I can if I work up to it.  I signed D and myself up for the only one in North Carolina this year, and it'll go down in November.  The Color Run's facebook page had a printout of a good way to train yourself for a 5k (I think it's very similar to the "Couch to 5k" workout), so I printed it off and decided to start it this week.

For week one, 3 to 5 times that week, you're supposed to run 60 seconds and walk 90 seconds 8 times.  Sounded doable, I thought.  Yesterday, I came home, ready to get going.

5:09 p.m.:  Twisted ankle walking up to the third floor in heels.  Maybe I won't be starting today.

5:15 p.m.:  Decide ankle will be fine, put on tennis shoes, T-shirt, and shorts.  Can't find a hair tie.

5:18 p.m.:  Track down a hair tie, inexplicably, in the extra bedroom and put hair in ponytail.  Admire the way my last haircut makes the hair in the ponytail look all wavy and cute.  Contemplate what a shame it would be to get sweaty and mess up the hair.

5:19 p.m.:  I can't find any paper on which to write down my musings.  Finally track down a notecard in a box of desk stuff that hasn't been unpacked yet after the move.  Consider staying home and unpacking the desk boxes.

5:20 p.m.:  Test blood sugar.  It's at 126, so I figure that should be fine for an approximately 20-minute run/walk.

5:22 p.m.:  Try to figure out how to use the stopwatch on my phone.  I don't really want to bring the phone with me, but I also don't have a stopwatch.  As it turns out, a phone is going to come in handy.  But at 5:22 p.m., I don't know this yet.  I also check the weather, which is at 90 degrees.  The humidity isn't awful, so I decide I won't die.

5:23 p.m.:  Begin the 7 minute process of trying to get a decent picture of myself before I start.  Ended up pulling some strands of hair out of my ponytail as to not subject viewers to the abject horror that is my enormous forefivehead.

(If you can read what's written on my hand and want to know why I'm running around, literally, with "chicken" written on my hand, it's because I had fully intended to go to BJ's Club after work to pick up chicken because my family was coming over for dinner the next day.  Unfortunately, as I got to the parking lot of BJ's, I remember that D has my debit card, so unless I was going to steal the chicken, I was out of luck.)

5:31 p.m.:  Begin running!  I took a picture of my shoe with my housekey sticking off of it because I thought it looked funny.  Later, this would become Grand Irony.

As I'm running, I'm thinking this isn't so bad.  I completed the first set of 60-running-90-walking without issue.  Then completed the second with just a few thoughts of, "Holy crap, I'm out of shape."

Then, right as the third 60-second running ended, it happened.

5:36 p.m. and 50 seconds:  Shoe comes untied, key flies off shoe into grassy, brushy area.

I heard a "PING!" and look down, and my shoe is untied and my key is gone into the oblivion.  I still have 10 seconds to go on my minute, so I run in place until the 60 seconds is up.  Then I start looking for my brass key, which blends in very well with its surroundings.

5:41 p.m.:  Still haven't found key, so I call D who is, luckily, nearby.  He says he'll be there soon.

5:45 p.m.:  Glad I don't own a stopwatch so I had to bring my phone with me.

5:46 p.m.:  D arrives, helps me in my fruitless search.

5:47 p.m.:  A State Trooper, seeing D's car in the turn lane with the flashers on, stops to ask if we're OK.  I tell him I've lost my key.  He laughs, and tells us to have a good night.

5:49 p.m.:  D tells me that since no one knows where I live, if someone finds the key, they wouldn't know which lock it would open, and it would be OK.  We'll just get a new key.  But then. . .

5:50 p.m.: 

5:52 p.m.:  D leaves and I start running again, figuring I can skip the last 90 second walking since I took a. . .15- or so minute lapse.

5:54 p.m.:  Pickup truck drives by and honks and whistles. 

5:59 p.m.:  I'm feeling pretty crappy, so I decide to walk home (walking's still exercise!) and since the 5k isn't until November, I'll have time to work up to the running.  Maybe I'll take this week and do 4 reps of 60-90 and then go up to 8 next week.

(I took another picture at this point, but I look so gross and sad and pathetic, I refrained from posting.)

6:08 p.m.:  Hobbled up the stairs, knees killing me, and did my blood sugar.  Now I know why I was feeling so crappy.

So much for 126!  I had a juice box and another cup of juice and waited for the blood sugar to go up so I could take a shower without passing out and drowning.

6:32 p.m.:  And then, this happened:

So there's that.

I'm going to attempt this all again tomorrow (Wednesday), and what I have learned is the following:

1.  I probably need some kind of fanny pack to carry my blood sugar kit in.

2.  I either need to take off my insulin pump or suspend it whilst run-walking.

3.  I should probably put my key in the fanny pack.

4.  Always carry a phone.

We'll see what happens on Wednesday.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The One with My xoJane Post

Those of you who have known me for a long time know that my legit career aspiration was to work for the now-defunct Jane magazine.  I can actually credit my mom for how I discovered Jane magazine. . .she'd read an article in the newspaper about different types of girls, and how the more traditional girls read Cosmopolitan, but the more off-beat, quirky girls read Jane.  "Have you ever read Jane?" Mom asked.  I hadn't, but I immediately got a subscription, sight unseen.  Us quirky girls, you know, have got to stick together.

And then I fell in love.

The first thing I ever had published in a magazine was a little blurb in the beginning of the magazine.  They'd asked a question. . .something about money going toward sports in schools.  I can't even remember.  But I'd e-mailed in my response and they published it.

They also had these columns called It Happened To Me that paid somewhere between $50 and $100 to people to just tell stories about. . .crazy or weird or strange things that had happened to them.  My plan was, I was going to write one of those, Editor-In-Chief Jane Pratt was going to fall madly in love with my writing style and offer me a job as soon as I graduated college.  It was my plan.

Then Jane Pratt left Jane magazine and Brandon Holley took her place.  At some point, and I can't even remember why, I'd e-mailed the magazine, and Brandon Holley herself e-mailed me back.  Brandon was no Jane Pratt, but oh my God, the editor of the magazine of my dream job had e-mailed me back.

Then, in the summer of 2007, I was a newly-minted college graduate, working a temp job at a pharmaceutical company, waiting for my Big Break, when my friend Ashley e-mailed me with the news.  She was a graphics major in the journalism school at UNC, so she was on these journalism-related listservs. 

"Just saw that Jane magazine is folding," she said.  ":("

And just like that, Ashley ruined all my hopes and dreams and aspirations.

(Just kidding.  I'm just shooting the messanger.)

So I did some Yahoo!ing (you know, before Google was a way of life), and although it was very cloak-and-dagger and very mysterious, it was true: My beloved Jane, the goal of my life, was going under.

Admittedly, the quality had taken a drastic, drastic downturn in the previous few years.  I'd even let my subscription lapse for a while after Jane Pratt left.  But. . .it was Jane.

Fast forward some years, and Jane Pratt has started a new online venture,  It had a rough start, I think, but then it caught on.  There are lots of different voices on the site (Personally, I'm madly in love with Emily and Daisy, even though the latter has caused some. . .uproars.)  There are some really bitchy voices within the commentors, but there are also some very lovely people.

And they still have It Happened To Me.

I think you know where this is going.

I wrote this.

It was terrifying and exciting and awesome.  So far, the comments have been supportive.

And I like to think it's my one step closer to having Jane Pratt discover me*.

*It should be noted that I applied for a job with xoJane, but I never heard anything from them.  It's just as well:  I'm not sure how D would have felt about moving to Manhattan.