Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pet peeve (one of many)

Something that drives me nuts is when people add an “e” to the end of listserv. It is apparently incorrect to use this word to describe any generic email list but people do it anyway. And if they are going to do it the least they could do is spell the word correctly.

Friday, June 16, 2006


I just realized that it's been over a year since I started this blog and announced I was going to Afghanistan. It's hard to believe how fast time flies - I've been back for 7 months already! That's longer than the entire time I spent in Afghanistan yet it seems like it was only yesterday. What an amazing year it has been and I can only look forward to the years getting better.

Book 13

It’s taken me a month and a half but I finally finished book 13. After finishing The Da Vinci Code I decided to give The Name of the Rose a try. It took me two weeks to read 100 pages until I finally decided that I just wasn’t into it. I had purchased The Complete Stories of Truman Capote awhile ago and after watching Capote, the movie, I decided to give the book a try. Turns out, it was exactly what I needed – a collection of short stories that I was able to read at my own pace. I’m generally a fairly fast reader but lately I seem to be in a funk. Nothing is gripping me and aside from reading while I eat lunch, I haven’t sat down with a good book for a long time.

The stories in this collection got progressively better as Capote aged (they are arranged chronologically) and like Doppelganger over at 50 Books, I also think that he was at his best when writing autobiographical stories (just try reading "A Thanksgiving Visitor" without alternately chuckling and feeling sorry for him.)

If you are at all interested in Capote’s work, this collection is an excellent introduction.

Training: The Ultimate Challenge

Week 4 is drawing to a close and the number on the scale is slowly shrinking. Dan has been torturing me with lunges and various other hamstring exercises - oh, the burning… He says my pain tolerance must be pretty high because I haven’t complained yet. Apparently I know I’m in trouble if he brings out the whistle.

Dan gave me a challenge on Tuesday. He said if I can lose 20lbs in the last three weeks (which is possible, provided you’re healthy) he will put me on one of his billboards and continue to train me until I’m under 140. I told him that the last time I weighed that little I was probably 14 but he seems pretty convinced that it’s possible. So, I’m trying my hardest. I’m eating a lot of fruit, drinking a lot of water and most meals consist of a LOT of spinach. I’m pretty pumped about this and provided I can stand spinach and chicken for the next 2.5 weeks I should be ok.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Training: Abs, abs, and oh yeah, more abs

So last night’s training session was particularly brutal although, surprisingly, today I feel pretty good. Dan came over at 6pm and immediately told me I wasn’t going to like that day’s session. I asked why not and he told me it was because we were going to be doing 1000! sit-ups. I thought he was joking but it turns out he wasn’t. So, for the next 45 minutes we did various different ab exercises. I thought I was doing pretty well but at around 700 my legs were burning and my muscles were exhausted. I made it through though and I’m pretty proud of myself. Frankly I’d rather be doing 1000 sit-ups than going running but I don’t think that will fly with Dan.

One of the only bad things I’ve discovered so far is that I had set my expectations way too high. It’s now been three weeks and while I think I’m getting stronger, I haven’t noticed any outward changes. I think I look pretty much the same as when I started which is a little disappointing. I know I shouldn’t have expected to become lean overnight but I had all these visions of losing 3 dress sizes and having my after picture be like one you see on those diet commercials. Before was saggy and schlubby and I wanted the after to be hot and ripped. Somehow, I doubt I’m going to achieve that in six weeks but I’m going to continue to work hard at it.