Tuesday, June 23, 2009

FAILbetter: Still not blogging, but...

A wise red person once said, "There is only one way to get good, and it's not by sitting on your hands."

I'll admit it: I'm afraid of you. You, my gentle, loving friend-readers. Who I courted and bugged to read my betterblog. I think you are judging me, and it's easier to forgive myself for failing. I've skipped weeks of blogging, scratched all sorts of bite chains, and even eaten out once. I'm terrible. Despicable. A failure.

However, I'm not sure you can stay mad at me when you see this:


Here's the Story
Every Monday, I gather with a motley grouping of my friends for Martini Mondays at Jimmy's on the Park. It's $5 top shelf martinis, with the added benefit of a) my neat-o friends b) weird pasta salt thingys c) $5 belvedere gimlets d) Steve Luther. Same time, same place, every week. For those of you who know me, I like scheduling things... especially my life.

Long story short: I'm a sucker for sad animals. Two weeks ago, this tiny, 5-pound kitty let me pet her, and when I picked her up she purred, and... well, you know where this goes. The very same cat is now sleeping upside-down on the cowboy bed with both paws over her eyes. She's gained two pounds and has no bad habits, save randomly licking feet. She may be an expensive little bugger (shots, boosters, chip, spay, supplies), but she's family now. Her anesthesia today led to quite an amusing evening, but we're doing fine and she's resting comfortably. All BeBetter projects this month pale in comparison to this addition to my life. We are each other's BeBetter project: I will fatten her up and give her a home, while she will humor me when I try to teach her to fetch. Happiness abounds.

Other bebetters:
1. I have been a very good friend lately to the ones who need me. If you disagree, ask me for help-- I likely don't think you need it. I feel very strongly (although I can't explain other people's business here) that I've been going above and beyond for the people that need me lately, and that feels good.

2. I met my brother's girlfriend and managed to a) be very nice b) not be really awkward c) not be overly protective. It helps that she's wonderful, genuine, and a sweetie.

3. I had people over for dinner on a weeknight and made successful lasagna and bean salad. I hope to have more gatherings chez moi in the future.

4. I have only eaten out once this month. This is a very big deal.

5. I spent time narrowing down my list of grad schools.

6. I drafted a very long post that I will re-write tomorrow.

7. I have been working out more this month than most other months.

8. Donated money to the following: Humane Society, Race for the Cure, whatever the charity was at the bank.

9. Overtipped. Like always.

10. Tried very hard to let the people I care about know how I feel.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

FAILBetter: How it's my first month, and I haven't posted in 12 days.

I have failed my very first challenge. I promised 1 June 2009 to write a blog and stick with it, and I managed to write for four days before quitting for 11. Epic Fail.

I've also managed to eat out this month. Only once, and it was Saturday morning after Race for the Cure. Stephanie and Steve wanted to get pancakes, and I agreed that IHOP was a great idea. Can I blame the heat? I ordered the healthiest thing on the menu and still felt guilty for breaking my streak all day.

To make it up to you, I'll do my best to post twice a day for the next few weeks. Last week was a bit crazy-full of good things, but I'm not sure I'll remember them.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

VideoBetter: Because this is absolutely necessary

I should have a real post for you later. The JoeBro clearly took the "don't take yourself too seriously" challenge.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Itchbetter (?) Wednesday

At some point in the future, I should attempt to stop hating Wednesdays. Getting to call it "hump day" has gotten tired and no longer makes up for the mid-week slump. However, today's challenge is part of my "Summer Series" -- things that will make me a more successful human during the summer.

Challenge: Don't scratch.

your head in bewilderment, found lottery tickets, the backs of gift cards, the eyes of people that don't know the difference between the words "itch" and "scratch."

Forseen difficulties: bug-bites (emily:bugs::mochi:emily), newly shaved legs, spider bites, hiking, poison ivy, the fact that I can't even think about scratching without gaining a new itch.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

JuneBetter: The Food Challenge

I'm not going to eat out for the month of June. I realized recently that although I feel like I cook a great deal, I eat out more than I should. Reasons I will try really hard to not eat out this month:

1. Cost :Let's say out of a normal work week, I fail to make lunch once. Add to that a scheduled dinner with someone, an impulsive Crazy-Bowl, Friday and Saturday nights out and about--- and I'm a busy Bee that is spending at least $100 a week on food. Plus groceries for all the other meals. Plus Martini Monday. Don't get me wrong-- I'm a live-to-eat person, not eat-to-live, but I tend to regret spending unnecessary money on food that isn't fantastic

2. Health Reasons: I'm a veggie-focused pescatarian, so it's not like I'm wolfing down burgers or fries all the time. The real issue here is sodium. I have a kidney disorder, and it's always best if I can control the ingredients in my food--especially if I can avoid salt.

3. I got skills and stuffs: Aside from the fact I'm miserable at baking, I am quite handy in the kitchen. Years of being spoiled by international travel, surrounded by hundreds of cookbooks, and fed on a regular basis by a gourmet chef have led me to know how things should taste and where I can cut corners. My cooking typically comes in spurts; I find recipes I have to make rightnowthissecond and I end up realizing five minutes in that I am missing half-the ingredients. It's always fine. I've only had one cooking fail in the last 365+ days, and it involved a crummy oven. There are also two new additions to my kitchen posse: an herb garden and a rice cooker. It's looking like a tastier month already.

4. Connecting: Produce in my home only goes bad because my friends like me. I'm not joking. I love going to the market in the early morning, I am genuinely excited about cooking, I compile all the necessary accoutrements .. and then someone has a crisis/birthday/bad haircut and I'm eating Bread Co. and thinking about the argula in my fridge. This month, I'll spend more time connecting myself to myself. Some alone-time will be good for me, and if I really want to see people, I will cook for them. Want to have dinner chez moi this month? Pick a date and send me your allergies. I've already arranged to have a small gathering for my best friend the third week in June. Bring on the chafing dish.

Think I can do it? Think you could? I challenge you to pick a week this June and not eat out at all. It'll take some planning, but you'll save money and have bragging rights.

Challenge: Do not eat out for the month of June.

Activities planned in the month of May. These activities only include: 2 dinners with singing group alumni, 1 dinner with visiting friend from New York, necessary meals during weekend in Nashville.

Forseen difficulties: Weekend in Nashville. Sad meals alone. Deliciousness of Il Vicino's balsamic marinara. Summer milkshake cravings. Lunches with boss. Desire to eat my LDR-associated feelings in a public place.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Challenge: Start a blog and keep writing in it. Don't try too hard to be funny. Don't use too many semi-colons.

Forseen difficulties: Lack of internet at apartment. Possible haters. The fact that my brain thinks using semi-colons.

It all comes down to the relationship with your mother...

It does though, doesn't it? Therapists, bartenders, and other likely confidants can vouch-- the maternal figure is the source of more than life. Mothers get credit for their child's successes, as well as taking the blame for any wrongdoings their progeny may commit. My mother is getting the blame for this blog.

Being that the only people that will initially read this blog are my closer friends, most of you will already know that my mother is a brilliant, bizarre, and fascinating creature. While I do love her fiercely, our squabbles stem from one main issue: she is very critical of me. While she was talking to my dad at dinner on Saturday night (sidenote: if for any peculiar reason you ever end up in Peoria Heights, go here for dinner. Thank me later), I started daydreaming about a day that my mother could no longer say anything to me regarding my life choices. No comments about my clothes, no comments about my lack of navigational skills, no comments about my champagne tastes vs. my 3-buck-Chuck budget.

I came to the following conclusion: I will be a better person. Yup! Simple, right? I will be a better person, and I will be held accountable for it by those around me (and the general internet population). I will also tell stories of my epic failures, of which I'm sure there will be many. Hopefully, dear reader, you will send me messages of encouragement/advice, and feel free to let me know if you have ideas for my project. This should be fun....right?