melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
My four month surge-versary was Monday and things are going pretty swimmingly. I've been in a stall for a few weeks now, but my surgeon doesn't want me worry about it. In fact, when I said that I should hide the scale, he said I should throw it out the window. I panicked that I've lost my 60% of weight (which is the average for gastric bypass), but he assures me that I have another fourteen months to go. Yes, the loss will slow, but it will continue.

I really should have taken measurements at the start so I could see *that* change.

As mentioned elseweb, during my check-up yesterday, my surgeon asked if I watch "True Blood". When I said yes, he replied that I'm starting to look like Sookie. Heh. I think the only things Anna Paquin and I have in common are our blonde hair, dark brown eyes, and funny noses, but I'll take the compliment.

In related news, I have FINALLY organized the HUMONGOUS pile of too big clothing which have been languishing in the craft room. The pile was huge. )

Sooo... I think I'll host a "come take my gently used clothes" day in the near future. Maybe 10 Aug? ([livejournal.com profile] reedrover come on over any time after work if you don't want to traipse up here on a Saturday. I'm free every evening but the 6th.)

My stamina is improving with the assistance of extra protein. I'm able to ride my bike about six miles before I need to break for half a cheese stick or a few swigs of a protein shake. Last night's ride was juuust shy of eleven miles and I was pretty weak and shivery by the time I got home. Happily, bounced back pretty quickly and am looking forward to getting back on the bike (if the storms hold off) or my toning video (if they don't).
melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
An unexpected boon arrived in the mail towards the end of last week in the form of a check from my mother-in-law. In the accompanying note, she said that she'd read my post on Facebook about having cleaned out my closet and having only a few garments left which fit. I was incredibly touched and put that fun money to use on Sunday when [livejournal.com profile] courtney_d_h took me to Unique in Faifax for a full-on thrifting spree. I've never enjoyed thrift shopping for clothing because, well, nothing fit. But now that I'm a standard size, it was an absolute blast! She'd suggested wearing a loose skirt and leggings and a tank top. All I had in the way of skirts, though, are my exercise skirts (which I am thrilled to bits about them actually fitting now!) and I showed up at her place looking like I was ready for a bike ride.

Anyway, she is physically smaller than I in every direction and much more hour-glassy, plus we have much different coloring in that she is blonde/blue-eyed/pink-skinned and I am blonde/brown-eyed/warm-toned-in-summer (and pale blue in winter). So, when she found a top that too big/too long/too muted for her, she tossed it my way and I reciprocated when I found garments that were more suited to her. I came out of store with half a dozen capris, four skirts, and eight work-appropriate blouses all for $100+tax. We'll be doing that again when it's time for cold-weather clothes.

We also spent a couple of hours catching up on each others' lives over a barely-nibbled-at bowl of queso which, we would have devoured in milliseconds back in the hold days. The way things change...

Saturday was full of home-repair (Hubbyfink) and cleaning (me). Slowly but surely we're getting the minor repairs taken care of and may actually finish the basement this fall. I'm so excited about that prospect. [livejournal.com profile] psalite came over late in the afternoon and we spent a couple of hours paddling about the pool catching up with each others' and friends' lives. My goodness. It wasn't until this weekend that I realized what a hermit I'd become. Must force myself out of the house and enjoy all those friendships I've cultivated before they wither away.

Friday night, Hubbyfink and I finished "Sherlock". OMG. I am soooo glad that we only just got into that program otherwise I would be crawling the freaking walls. I'm also shipping FreemanWatson/CumberbathHolmes like whoa. I haven't started down the fanfic path just yet, but it's only a matter of time.
melaniesuzanne: (Carl Sagan by ibishtar)
I can't decide if I've been lazy or productive. Or maybe that's destructive... Sure, I've napped a bit today but I've also ravaged my closet and wound up with three dresses, one pair of jeans, one pair of crops, five pair of capris, and a whole bunch of tees and pull-over blouses. My two favorite pairs of PJ bottoms (grey with black bats and an orange/white/black camo pattern with skulls and ghosts) are getting so big that I'm on the verge of not being able to cinch them down enough to keep them over my hips. I've had to hold the pants legs when going up and down stairs for a month or so because without my tummy and butt holding the PJs up, they almost cover my feet. Heh.

I pulled out the storage cube with my collection of too-small Black Phoenix Trading Post and Think Geek t-shirts and all but four of those fit now. For the record an American Apparel XL is more like a child's XL than an adult's. No no, it's not quite that bad. But it's going to be a little while longer before I can wear my Union Jack made up of Tardises and my Pinky and the Brain as Darth Vader and the Emperor tees.

Bebe the blue Beetle had her 10,000 checkup and yearly safety inspection today. While at the dealership, I dropped in to visit my salesman who gave me a great big hug. I told him how much I love my car except for one tiny detail: it's not a convertible. He laughed and told me to come on back and take a look at the convertibles when I picked up my car. Nah, not until I covered parking. Although we don't get that much snow, I don't want any kind of pile up on a soft top.

Lessee, what else? Mmm, that's about it for the day. I'm kind of hungry but nothing sounds appealing; I'm chalking that ennui up to the heat. Remember when I said I wanted to move somewhere warmer? I'm rethinking that plan.
melaniesuzanne: (Rat)
It was really and truly wonderful, and one of those weekends you hope will never end. Friday night was full of laziness and then flailing about the new Sherlock series. (After having viewed an additional three episodes, I have developed impure feelings for Benedict Cumberbatch's sociopathic Holmes. Unf.)

Saturday was even lazier with me not rolling out of bed until the crack of noon. I spent a good portion of the afternoon catching up with a college friend whom I haven't seen in, oh, seventeen years? Good gravy. Then there was shopping which resulted in additional organization tools for the bathroom cabinet, cosmetics and fuchsia and purple hair dyes, a slinky dress, and the most adorable tankinis I've ever worn. And BONUS on the swimsuits: I got them from the REGULAR MISSES SIDE OF THE STORE. Boo-yah! (In fact, I think the tops are only XL instead of XXL and they may not carry me to the Outer Banks vacation in October. But, they'll get me through next week's dips in Mom's pool and excursions on the lake.)

Sunday was bittersweet in that we attended a going-away party for [livejournal.com profile] chargirlgenius and family who are moving to Colorado. [livejournal.com profile] snolan generously opened his house to us and we all spent the afternoon swimming, noshing on yummy foodstuffs, and visiting with far- and near-flung friends. Snolan even pulled out some port that was older than the majority of us for sipping. OMG. I had only a sip and it made me cross-eyed. More ports and a sweet wine came out and, again, I had only sips of each but I declared Scott the driver for the return trip home. It was terribly sad saying good-bye to Char and Jeff, but we'll get to see them in a couple of months when we visit Colorado. They'll have to show us their favorite hang-outs.

This morning's alarm was a harsh return to reality. I wanted very much to call in a mental health day, but that was more laziness speaking. Work is being gentle with me thus far and for that I am grateful. I'm sure things will get hairy as Bossman realizes that I'll be out of the office next week...

This-n-that

Jun. 7th, 2013 10:14 am
melaniesuzanne: (Rat)
**Hubbyfink is recovering amazingly well after his surgery. As of today, it's been a full month since the tennis ball-size rock was removed from his head. He still fatigues easily and the deafness in his left ear is going to be permanent, but he is otherwise back to himself. He'll be home for another week and I'm trying to convince him to go back for half days when he starts back at work. He'll have to check with HR to see if that's allowed.

**The Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association went SO MUCH better than I'd expected. [livejournal.com profile] carthew and I started our route about 90 minutes prior to the official start time so as to beat the forecast blistering temperature. We rode fairly slowly -- somewhere in the 9 mph range -- and took lots of water and rest breaks. That was good for me in that it reined me in and kept me from pushing so hard that I couldn't finish the ride. We rested for 45 minutes or so at the turn-around point and then rode even more slowly with more breaks on the ride from Vienna to Reston because that route is mostly uphill. I was so jazzed when we got to the finish that I danced around like a crazed weasel, cheering on other riders as they cruised down the finish line chute.

A few photos. )

Our little team raised nearly $2,047 (thus blowing away our $1,500 goal) for the American Diabetes Association. GO, HULA BEARS! And thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who donated to our cause.

**I have begun shrinking out of my shoes as [livejournal.com profile] hannnahkl promised. Ack! I also have a humongous pile of clothes for donation in the craft room. HU-MON-GOUS. They're mostly 18s and 20s and 2XLs. I need to throw some of winter coats on that pile as well. I can't think of any body local who would need those sizes, but if you're local and COULD use some of those sizes, give me a holler and we'll set up a time for you to dig through my clothes. I'm going to put out a call on Facebook as well. This weekend will be for inventorying the clothing in preparation for donation.

**Related to the shoe- and clothing-shrinkage, I have officially hit the two-teens. Eeeee! I haven't been in the two-teens since early 1997. Seriously. I remember living in Annandale with Tansey and going to Weight Watchers because I'd hit 215. I am beyond thrilled. BEE-YOND.

**Today is the 6th birthday of my twin nieces: Anne and Emily. It's hard to believe that they're SIX! They're going to have a surprise Merida-themed birthday party tomorrow. I can't wait to see their faces. :)

**Last, but certainly not least: HAPPY FRIDAY!
melaniesuzanne: (shoes)
More trends I won't/can't do:

  • Exposed booties - I'm talking about the shoes here. Short (ankle- or low-calf height) boots are great under jeans or maxi skirts, but an abomination over skinny jeans and with knee-length or above skirts. And don't even get me started on booties with shorts. Ugh. It's been a trend for a while, but I think it's a stupid trend and I simply will not do it.
  • Belts over the top layer - Fashion bloggers, even plus-size FBs, everywhere seem to pull off the belt-over-top-layer-blouse or cardigan look with ease. Me? Not so much. I've tried wide belts, skinny belts, solid color, patterned, natural waist, low waist, empire waist and I think it looks TERRIBLE on me. This makes me sad because it looks SO GOOD on other women. Of course, maybe it looks good for only those few seconds it takes for the shutter to snap and they, too, are futzing and rearranging the belt all day long.

Trends I'm not brave enough to do:

  • Faux fur vests - Chic and urbane if done correctly. I'd probably look like an escapee from Sesame Street.
  • Pattern mixing - The closest I've come was wearing leopard pumps (which were nearly completely covered by my slacks where only my toes peeped out) and a dark floral cardigan. There are some girls out there mixing stripes with florals and dots with plaids and it looks great. I'd wind up looking like Laura Ashley threw up on me or an escapee from a mental ward.

Trends I'm rocking:

  • Tall boots over skinny jeans/leggings - Of course, I had to find skinny jeans and tall boots to fit my [ahem] muscular legs. Thank you, Lane Bryant, for answering that call. Happily, I've even been able to find a few sweater tunics/dresses to go with.
  • Hair color not found in nature - My stylist added a few fuchsia streaks to my hair for my 40th back in October. Not two weeks later, I was back in the chair for more, MORE, MORE! The top streaks have faded to pink and I'll get re-fuchsia'd during next week's appointment.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Saturday was my fortieth birthday and it was a busy, busy. I slept in, of course, and after dismantling the cemetery in the yard, I jumped on my bike and rode west. My plan was to ride forty miles for my fortieth year. I fell short by three and a half miles, unfortunately. But! I made a quick grocery stop on the way home and rode with fully loaded grocery panniers for the last couple of miles. That's got to count for something.

I was pretty tired when I got home but I eventually rallied enough to make a Seven (minus one) Layer Dip for [livejournal.com profile] flonzy and [livejournal.com profile] azpapillion's party. I rushed through my shower and ironing of my costume and took my time applying the sugar skull makeup. It took a full hour and because I am a doofus, I forgot to take photos. Bah.

The party itself was a TON of fun. Nearly everyone was in costume and looked fantastic. Flonzy spent all day slow roasting ribs and the BBQ was to. die. for. The side dishes were yummy and the cake that [livejournal.com profile] carthew made for me received rave reviews for both looks and taste.

Cake! )

Sunday wasn't a good day. The pain that I'd been experiencing last week abated some on Saturday and came back with a vengeance Sunday morning. I woke up just after 3am and spent the next four hours crying on the sofa. It got so bad at 7am that I woke Scott -- who wasn't wearing his hearing aids and was on another floor -- with my sobbing. He bundled me up and took me to the ER where I got an antibiotic and a shot of dilaudid. I finally slept comfortably and he took a woozy me home. Mid-afternoon the pain was back and the prescribed percocet didn't touch it. We went back to the ER where another doctor ordered a CT which showed nothing physically wrong. I spent the rest of the day alternately wincing and crying. Good times.

Monday and Tuesday was the storm. I worked from home -- mostly because I wasn't going to drive on percocet -- and Scott was chased out of his office early afternoon on Monday. The power never flickered but the wind was pretty frightening. On Tuesday afternoon, I saw a neurologist who ran an EEG and a nerve test. Aside from a little carpal tunnel in my right wrist -- which I developed in my 20s -- the nerves seemed okay. He suggested I see an orthodontist to rule out my teeth causing the pain.

Wednesday was my day off. I set the ghosts back out in the yard and tree, added a few new elements, and carved pumpkins. Trick-or-treating started just after 6pm and wrapped up at 8:15pm. It was a really light night. Normally we have trick-or-treaters knocking on the door until almost 10pm. I was happy, though, to turn out the light at 9 and slip into PJs for a couple of hours before bed.

Today I'm back in the office and looking fabulous because this happened. )

And I love it!
melaniesuzanne: (Work for plague by deliciouspear)
I decided to dress up today in a button-down blouse, pencil skirt, tights and heels. The only comfortable parts of my ensemble are the tights and heels. The skirt is riding up to an almost embarrassing length and the cotton sateen shirt is wrinkling like it was made of linen.

First world problems, oh the humanity!

Going back and forth on what to wear to this weekend's combo Halloween/Birthday party. First choice was a Rockabilly Catrina Calavera. I've got the dress, floral headband, and makeup all set. On the other hand, I spied my beautiful veiled top hat this morning and started thinking I might want to dress up in my Wilhelmina Murray drag (a la League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). I'd just need to press my jacket and skirt and find the red scarf. It's got to be somewhere in the garb closet. Hrm.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I've been stepping up my wardrobe and reading a lot of fashion blogs for ideas on accessorizing like a grown-up while still having fun. There are a few trends that I just can't do, though.

  • Mixed metals - Okay, I sort of do this since I will wear non-silver jewelry with my white gold wedding and engagement rings. But wearing necklaces or bangles of different metals? It makes me twitchy. I do have a "silver" watch with a "gold" strip that is such a comfy watch I wear it all the time and I've been able to put up a mental blind spot about that piece.
  • Boots with bare legs - Can't can't can't can't can't. I almost did it yesterday (full disclosure: I had knee socks on under the boots) when I thought my dress was longer than the top of the boots. I balked at my visible bare knees and wound up wearing patterned tights with non-matching shoes (which is a trend I am sloooowly starting to embrace.
  • A different purse for every outfit - I don't want to spend the time moving everything from purse to purse to purse. What a colossal waste of time.

Some trends I have embraced:

  • Layering - The best part of the cold months is the ability to layer. A couple of blouses; shirt and cardigan; blouse, cardigan, blazer. Scarves. Oh, the scarves. And cardigans.
  • Animal print - Almost a neutral for me at this point. I have heels, flats, scarves, and blouses. I won't go the animal print pant route, though. That way lies Kardashian and Real Housewife.
  • Pumps with bare legs - At some point, nude hosiery fell out of vogue and women started wearing pumps without stockings during the warm months. I happily fell into that trend since I'm so warm-natured. Granted, this probably wouldn't fly in a conservative office but considering that most of the folks in my cube farm wear capris/shorts/sandals during the summer, I obviously do not work in a conservative environment.
  • Patterned tights - It started with barely visible patterns on dark tights and has moved to chevrons and lace-patterns and fishnets (although the fishnets are worn with boots so I don't feel like a showgirl). See above about office environment.
  • Big honkin' watches - With my larger frame, larger jewelry is more flattering/visible and I have begun collecting larger and men's style watches. Fun and funky.

I did say this was shallow.

Revamp

Aug. 27th, 2012 10:41 am
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Last week, I hit the going-out-of-business sale at the Sterling Avenue. Everything was 80% off and I stocked up on sweaters ($5 each!), plus a couple black skirts, soft black slacks, sleek winter white slacks, and two shirts. My eye was critical and, rather than snapping up one in every color, I selected garments in only those colors I want to make my signature going forward.

I've been reading a lot of fashion and style blogs and I'd like to minimize my wardrobe. Yeah, good luck with that... But I do want to make it a wardrobe with separates which will coordinate with one another. So while the actual amount of garments will be slim, but combinations will keep me from getting bored. Something else I wanted to keep in mind were accessories. With basic staples, I can jazz things up with the dozens upon dozens of colorful scarves and statement jewelry pieces I already own. Basically, I want simplicity in my clothing and elegance in my accessories.

Much of Saturday and Sunday was spent savaging my wardrobe. I pulled nearly everything out of my closet and dresser drawers, and if I didn't love a garment on my body, it got tossed in a give-away pile. This critique wasn't just about fit: I scrutinized color and comfort and how each garment made me feel. If I'm to be completely truthful, I must admit that I then hit Lane Bryant, with coupons in hand, and selected the afore-mentioned staples such as blouses (that actually fit my bust and waist!) and a few more pairs of pants so that I will wear something other than jeans to work.

Next on the agenda is to take my bounty of adorable autumn/winter skirts to a tailor have them hemmed to a more flattering height. The A-lines look great on me, but the mid-calf hemline is dowdy. I want/need knee length skirts to make my legs look their best.
melaniesuzanne: (Black water by valo_queen)
Tomorrow afternoon [livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee and I jet off to New Orleans for the holiday weekend. I haven't spent more than a few hours in the city since college and she's never been there. We shall nibble on beignets at the Cafe du Monde. We shall experience delicious cajun cuisine with Holly and Paul. We shall boogie down Bourbon and cha-cha up Chartres. We shall tour a cemetery or two. We might even get our drink on and behave like coeds.

I spent two and half hours last night digging through my closet to come up with four suitable day outfits and something suitable for the evening. The sad part is that half of the components were fresh purchases yesterday afternoon. There will be a severe scouring of the wardrobe in the near future because so much in my closet is "meh". Happily, some of that stuff still had tags attached and can be exchanged for better fitting / more appealing clothing.

But I think that what I've assembled will be suitable for two and half days of fun, sun, and humidity. I'm even packing my swimsuit for a quick dip in the Mississippi. I kid. The hotel's supposed to have a nice pool. Maybe we'll even have a little bit of down time to enjoy it.

I do believe this is my first ever girls' getaway vacation that wasn't an SCA event. I am so psyched!
melaniesuzanne: (Born to shop)
In my hunt for a way to carry belongings on my road bike on solo journeys, I overlooked the most obvious and universal portage solution: the humble bike jersey. My main reason for not considering this garment is that, up until very recently, I had only one jersey.

It's a cute jersey and does a fairly good job of fitting my non-standard cyclist body. But it's so specific to a certain time of year that I didn't even consider wearing it in winter and spring. Which is weird since I wear Halloween-themed PJs year round; my deeply-closeted goth must be extremely closeted when it comes to jerseys. At the time I wore this garment, I didn't really use it for holding stuff since I had a trunk bag on the back rack so the pockets were kind of superfluous.


Looking like a pumpkin at last October's "Great Pumpkin Ride".

My typical road bike ensemble has been a Ruu-Muu with a long sleeved shirt or windbreaker. The Ruu's back pockets are good for holding a hankie, my iPod, and a camera. I could probably stuff more in there, but it would start getting uncomfortable and bulky underneath the overshirt/windbreaker.

Yesterday, though, I decided to wear my new jersey from HillKiller Apparel for a short ride and I discovered the joys of honest-to-goodness cycling jersey pockets. Hankie, ID, cash (you never know...), phone, iPod, and keys all fit comfortably with lots of room to spare. I could stuff extra powdered drink packs and waffles and a banana back there if I'd wanted, plus my camera. So this is how it's done...

Post ride, front.
Zombie Girls do have more fun.

My deeply-closeted goth is beyond delighted with both the form and function of my adorable purple jersey. Their plus size actually FITS which is not always the case. I'm going to contact the HillKiller guys and ask if they'll make some of their men's designs in a women's cut because I want more of their jerseys. In the meantime, I'm champing at the bit for my jerseys from Scudo Sports Wear (they made the Halloween jersey) to arrive.
melaniesuzanne: (Oreo in cartoon form)
A couple of months ago, I fretted about starting perimenopause due to night sweats and insomnia. Some people suggested a medication as the culprit and I pooh-poohed the idea since I'd been on those meds for months with no ill effects. Well, it turns out that the cause was a too-high dose of Cymbalta. My shrink cut the dose by a third to stop manic episodes last month and the night sweats disappeared after a week. Unless I'm exhausted, I still have a hard time getting to sleep but I'm sleeping more soundly these days. No need for replacement hormones just yet.

The car shopping is done. There's nothing out there right now that is more attractive than what I have right now, to be honest. I decided that since I couldn't get EXACTLY what I wanted, I should hold on to the devil I know and, for once in my life, not borrow (or buy) trouble. I am strangely relieved by this decision.

I don't handle death well. Navel-gazing and confessing. )

I don't want to leave this entry on such a self-indulgent point. Oh wait, it's LiveJournal; everything about this place is self-indulgent. Anyway, I have a couple of clothing issues:

Issue one: Oreo chewed through one of my nightgown straps yesterday. Thankfully, it was not on me at the time. I leave my nightgown on my pillow so I can find it in the dark after Hubbyfink goes to bed. Oreo finally noticed a string which needed chewing and I discovered a soggy, chewed up mess on my pillow. Thank goodness it wasn't the aftermath of a horking episode as I'd initially feared. Luckily, the nightgown came with a stupid bow that I'd snipped off and tied to make a headband so I have enough fabric to make a new strap.

Issue two: This may be the last public wearing of the jeans I currently have on. All that cycling to work in real clothes this past winter put a hurt on the seats and inner thighs of my jeans and this pair has gotten especially thin in a potentially scandalous area. Note to self: check those yoga capris I wear on long rides for similar wear and tear...
melaniesuzanne: (Me on my bike Rose)
It's been nippy in the mornings this week (32F Wed, 39F Thu, 46F Fri) and I decided to ride in regular clothes and give the Lady Cyclist thing another try.

On Wednesday, I wore jeans, cami, cardigan, SmartWool socks, loafers, wool cap, heavy gloves, and a light jacket. I was chilly when I left home, but quite sweaty when I got to work. Stupid overpasses (although, I am grateful not to cross many streets at grade) and the two long, steady inclines just before I get to the campus. Plus, while the hat kept my ears toasty, it trapped too much heat for the rest of my head. My hair was soaked and I kept the hat on until I could spend a fair amount of time in the "privacy" of my cube. Thank goodness I keep a dish towel in my drawer. The ride home in 60F was lovely with the jacket, heavy gloves, and hat stowed in my pannier. I swung up the access path along Pacific to visit the bank and Ulta which gave my legs a rest before tacking my nemesis: the Rte 28 overpass. Clothes were soaked when I got home, but that's okay.

On Thursday, I wore jeans, long-sleeved shirt, SmartWool socks, boots, Buff (to cover my ears), heavy gloves, and a light jacket. My arms were chilly when I left home, but I warmed up quickly. I'm starting to figure out where I can coast and using that to my advantage. I also unbuttoned most of my coat (kept my neck covered) to cool off while playing in traffic during the last mile of my commute. My clothes were mostly dry when I parked the bike, but my hair under the Buff was soaked. *sigh* The afternoon commute was nearly as delicious as the day before, minus the side trip for shopping and plus throwing my chain at the top of the Rte 28 overpass; my clothes were soaked and streaked with chain grease when I got home. I made sure to transfer the baggie of wet wipes from another bag into my pannier for the next post-chain throw clean-up.

I'm making this bike commuting thing sound like fun, aren't I? No really, it is! Plus, if I remember to grab my external speaker thingie for my iPod, I can listen to music or podcasts on the commute. (I am not going to wear earphones while on the bike.)

For Friday, I realized that my third and last pair of jeans was in the hamper. Oh noes! I didn't want to wear my light-colored cotton slacks because they might show super embarrassing sweat spots. I've got to get more dark colored pants. What I did find was the skirt that I wore as part of my cheerleader costume. I picked the orange and white triangles out of the gores, and with the addition of a black cami, black leggings, multi-colored SmartWool socks, black boots, white & black cardigan, and a red scarf I was set to be an elegant-ish Lady Cyclist commuter.

The elegance mostly worked. At least I managed not to get my red lipstick on my cheek, chin, or forehead (which is a total win). My face was flushed and damp, but my clothes were dry. The hair? Well, the hair is going to continue being a problem, but if I get it cut into a choppier style which lets me just shake my head and go, it will be less of a problem. Biking in a skirt? So. Much. Fun. Plus, there was no flashing of an unsuspecting public, whoo hoo!
melaniesuzanne: (Kermit on a bike)
I am fascinated by the Lady Cyclist movement. That is, women who wear regular work/play clothes while biking instead the Under Armour tees and Canari padded shorts like I do. These women are wearing slacks or dresses and heels whilst biking city streets on their way to their places of work or meeting up with friends at a pub or market. It seems so much more elegant than wearing workout gear. They hop off their bikes, dab away the sweat, and get right to whatever they want to do at their destination. I hop off my bike, lug my trunk bag into the gym locker room, shower, dress, apply make-up, and then settle into my cube while still sweating a bit and being red-faced despite the shower.

I want to be elegant like them.

Monday night, I experimented. Hubbyfink needed to run some local errands and I wanted to ride my bike. We combined our needs and wants and rode to the drug- and grocery stores in street clothes. Well, sort of. Hubbyfink donned his pair of shorts which look like normal shorts but have a padded bike short liner, a t-shirt, and sneakers. I kept on the shirt, camisole, capris, flats, and jewelry I had worn to work. I'm not wild about riding on Sterling Boulevard and don't like riding on sidewalks -- even though it's legal in Virginia -- now that I'm getting more comfortable with riding in traffic, so we took the scenic route through the neighborhood and rode through parking lots to the drug store. I was huffing and puffing from the hills and a little sweaty. I realized that I should have brought a rag of some sort for mopping up. Oops. Hubbyfink, for some bizarre reason, had removed his trunk bag and all groceries went into the basket on the back of my bike. By the time we got home, I was drenched. I'd soaked through my bra and the waistband of my capris wasn't faring much better. The worst part is that it was the cool part of the day and we'd ridden only three and a half miles round trip.

So, I suppose the moral of this story is that I shouldn't try to be an elegant biker just yet. I'm not cruising down the streets of New York or Seattle or Chicago to get to work. I'm cycling past industrial parks and car dealer lots and a golf course and open fields. Plus, I'm lucky enough to have a shower at my destination and I don't have to wear sweaty clothes all day.

However, none of this is stopping me from browsing Cruiser, Townie, and Euro-style bike manufacturer sites and dreaming of being an elegant biker cruising around a picturesque town in a dress and heels.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Friday: Kohl's had a more massive than usual sale and I had three gift cards. I wanted dresses, but the Sterling Kohl's doesn't like plus-size women to wear dresses or skirts and I came home with one pair of cargo pants, four shirts, and two gift cards. Drove through the Sugarland Run neighborhood and found an adorable (and big!) house (with pool!). Too bad we're not in the market. Supped at IHOP. Went to bed early and stayed up until the wee hours reading The Help.

Saturday: Rode with Hubbyfink down to Sir Cian and Viscountess Catherine's home for a non-official practice. I learned three or four dussack drills and I learned them left-handed. Someone... either Sir Aelfred or Sir Cian suggested learning to fight ambidextrously. I've done a tiny little bit of rapier in the past (infinitesimal, really) so this cut-n-thrust/rattan fighting thing is new. I figure I'll initially learn it with my non-dominant hand and when that side has become stronger and the moves are locked into muscle memory, I'll train up the dominant side. Plus, playing left-handed tweaks Hubbyfink and that's icing on the cake. I caught on pretty quickly, thanks to being able to either mirror Hubbyfink and Sir Cian or following along with Baron Flaithri (who is naturally south-pawed). There's another non-official practice at another knight's home in a couple of weeks and I'll get to work on learning some rattan basics then.

After the dussack drills, I headed indoors to hang out in the AC with the other ladies while the guys armored up and beat each other with sticks. There were many delicious stories. At the end of the long day, people began to drift home. Hubbyfink, Ii, Abe, and I joined Cian and Catherine's family for dinner at a pizza joint down the street. We got home late and then I stayed up even later into the wee hours reading The Help.

Sunday: Kohl's more massive than usual sale was still in progress and I decided to see if the plus size section at the Herndon Kohl's (a) had any dresses and (b) was located in a more friendly area than a dimly lit corner of the most inaccessible recess of the store. They failed on (a) and would have totally scored on (b) except the signage was the opposite of where the womens section was located. I took a chance in the misses section and found three gorgeous autumn-weather skirts. I loaded up on colorful tights and a fringed scarf for good measure and walked out with no gift cards.

After the pop-up thunderstorm, I hopped on my bike for a quick spin through the neighborhood. I spent the next hour winding my way through Sterling Park's streets, discovering neighborhoods I'd never known about and nearly stroking out on hills that could rival the Rte 28 bridge. I was wheezing and gasping and had a terrible stitch in my left side. I was almost in tears and seriously doubting my ability to complete next Sunday's 30-miler. BUT. I rode through it and by the time I was half a mile from home, I felt fantastic. The stitch was gone, I was breathing more easily, and I felt like I could keep on riding for at least another hour if dark wasn't coming on so fast. I wound up riding 9.95 miles thanks to twisty neighborhood streets.

We capped off the evening with putting away laundry, "Zombieland", "True Blood" (OMG OMG OMG), and I stayed up until 11:30 at which point I finished The Help.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
This just in: It's still raining in the mid-Atlantic region.

I have black fingernails. This makes me extraordinarily giddy as I have wanted to paint my fingernails black for ages but I thought the color would make my short nails look terrible. I threw caution to the rain and slathered the polish on yesterday (took three tries and the application is still pretty bad) and I am quite pleased with the result. My fingers actually look longer than they did with flesh-colored or clear polishes.

I have boots! ) They are paired with brown tights, a denim skirt, a botanical-pattern-on-navy-background shirt and a dark cream cardigan. I'm dressed a little warmly for the outdoors, but I am perfectly comfortable in my ice box of a cube.

I want to add colorful tights to my fall wardrobe. Right now I have black, brown, and shades of grey tights, some with patterns. I see turquoise and raspberry and forest green, maybe even some gold if I'm feeling especially flashy. Then I'll just need to find the gumption to actually wear colorful legs.

And for our last story of the morning, I have started taking Lamictal. My new pshrink thinks this treatment will stabilize my mood swings. I am pleased that the list of side effects include loss of appetite and weight loss since I have been eating everything in sight for the past three weeks.

So. Happy.

Jun. 30th, 2011 12:22 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Today is the first day in the past ten where NOTHING hurts. My muscles? Fine. My teeth? Fine. My emotions? Fine. I am so freaking happy that I could burst. I'm sure that setting the alarm for later than usual and dozing while snuggling with my kitties for the few hours between when Hubbyfink left for work and when my alarm was supposed to go off helped my mood. Getting a call from my sister didn't hurt either. We talked for about 30 minutes while she was on the road to Little Rock, AR, and ended our call because the cell reception was getting spotty and I REALLY needed to shower and head for work.

In other super duper happy news, I decided to try on one of the shirt/skirt outfits I purchased four years ago. I bought two outfits after I lost 30 pounds during the winter of 2006-2007. I needed to lose another ten or so to fit into the outfits. These two outfits have been hanging on my closet door since I started Jenny last August. Today, I am finally small enough to wear the outfits and I am in the mauve top and olive skirt with multicolored ribbon trims at the hemline. I'm SO happy. I tried taking a full-length photo with my phone, but it didn't come out. Y'all will just have to see me in person before I shrink out of these clothes. :)

Work's still hellacious and the issues with broken databases and stubborn network elements hasn't cleared up. Those issues may not clear up before I go on holiday, but at this point I don't care. I am going to do what I can today and I am biking to work tomorrow and leaving early to make up for all the late nights and I am going to make Hubbyfink take me out for Mexican food where I can get my queso and drink on and start my vacation right.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Ah! There's my beloved LJ. Poor dear, being pecked to death by ducks.

Another grand weekend in this neck of the woods. Light housekeeping, shopping (eeee! cute clothes!), BSG marathons, and long walks in all kinds of weather. Oh, and giving Hannah a heart attack when I stopped by to feed her kitties, not realizing that she'd returned home the night before. Oops.

Saturday's walk gave me all four seasons in five miles. The sky was clear and the sun was blazing when I started out. I thought for a short while that my earmuff headphones were going to be overkill, but then I got on the trail and was hit by a strong and chilly headwind. Good times. I continued on my merry way for another half mile and the sky clouded up and a quick hail storm popped up. That was a new one for me! I've walked in sun, rain, fog, freezing mist, and snow, and now I get to add hail to the list. My hat brim did a good job of protecting my face, but I took an occasional piece of ice to the bottom lip and that wasn't pleasant. Happily, the hail storm ended in another half mile and the weather was back to blazing sun and strong wind. But that wouldn't last for long because the sky clouded back up and the rain came pouring down close to the 2.5 mile mark. And that's how the second 2.5 miles back home went as well, minus the hail, thank goodness. The other bikers and walkers/joggers on the trail were in fairly good spirits and we all gave each other bemused commiserating looks. I spent the rest of the afternoon watching Thai horror films on Netflix.

Sunday's walk was much calmer, weather-wise, and because it was so nice I decided to push my range. So far, the farthest I've walked is a little over five miles. What's another mile at that point? I didn't care how long it took me, and if I needed to rest at some point that was okay. I cruised on past Ferndale and continued on up to Elden Street. Whoo hoo! Turned back around and headed back home. I still managed my 4mph pace, but I was dog tired when I got home. Oh, and my poor feet. They aaaaaached. But they used to ache like that when I walked three miles and then four miles and then five miles. All of those distances are easy-peasy now. In another month or so six miles will be just as easy.

In the shopping vein, I found lots of cute tops and dresses at Tarzhay. I am SO happy that I can fit in their standard sizes now. That makes shopping even more fun! And I'm absolutely thrilled that the weather was warm enough that I could wear one of my new sundresses today.

In complexion news, the skin is still flaking, but I no longer look like I'm recovering from a bad sunburn. All active zits are gone but there are a few lumps and bumps under my skin. I'm using the Retin-A every other evening so that I don't burn my face off. So far, so good.

And now it's time for me to skedaddle so I can catch the next showing of "Insidious". I love Monday night movie dates even if they're with only me, myself, and I.
melaniesuzanne: (Autumn)
Brown boots
Brown tights
Brown/red/cream plaid wool skirt
Brown tank with gold rivet accents
Red cardigan
Big gold hoop earrings

Camel wool coat
Cream wool scarf

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melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Mary F'ing Sunshine

August 2015

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