It’s colder than a…. (plus another fun weekend in Boston!)

by Christine on January 24th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition, General Information

I offer you my apologies, Revolutionists. It’s been a hectic 2 weeks in my life, with the new job, conference, MIT mystery hunt, and last weekend’s subsequent trip to Boston. Life isn’t likely to slow down anytime in the immediate future, but I will try to do better this week about updating my blog and keeping you all appraised of my goings-ons!

First things first: my weight. I rang in at 126.0, slightly higher than my wish-list. It could be post-partying bloat, could be real weight gain, could be period-bloat, I’m not sure. What I do know is that while I’m mostly in my maintenance range, I’m keeping a close eye on that number to see what’s going on with it. For the most part…so far so good.

This last weekend I went with some friends to Boston. A friend-of-a-friend was having a birthday party, and they wanted to celebrate by drinking like fishes, enjoying an expensive hotel, amazingly wonderful food, and dancing. I admit, I party-poopered out on the dancing. Although the exercise sounded like fun, the wall-to-wall crowds did not, so I bailed.

We stayed at the Liberty Hotel in Boston, which is an adaptive re-use of an historic jail. It’s truly a landmark building, and the preservation work on it was extraordinary! The rooms were comfortable, the view from the window was fantastic. However, at $450 a night (our rooms were paid for, a present from our friends) some of the services and attention to detail could have been better.

There’s a restaurant at the hotel called Scampo that is really top-notch! They make fresh mozarella cheese that was really divine, and you know I indulged just a little bit in that!  For dinner I ordered the duck, and it was positively melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. I’m normally not a fan of sweet potatoes, but my side dish was truly stupendous…I guess I need to stop saying that I don’t like sweet potatoes and instead say, “I only like really, really, REALLY good sweet potatoes.”

For lunch we went to a tiny little restaurant on Charles Street called “Figs.” They are famous for their pizza, which of course I don’t really eat. Instead I had some of the apple salad (delicious) and the tomato and spinach soup. The soup was really tasty, but it’s thickened with polenta or something, and it was a little too chunky/carby/thick at the bottom of the bowl. Tasty though! I was told that their fig pizza was truly a mouth-watering treat!

Yesterday we had breakfast at the hotel (at “Clink,” which was yummy! They had a 20-course bloody mary bar!) and then headed over to the Museum of Fine Arts. Man, that place is really big! It’s well worth the visit, although it was packed yesterday, and maneuvering through crowds really isn’t my ideal way to visit a museum of fine arts. They even had furniture and fashion, which I thought was a wonderful addition to looking at paintings on the wall.

Last night hubby and I watched the Steelers spank the Jets! Wahoo! Now I have to plan a superbowl party with our friends….

Today it was -9 degrees while I was driving into work. That’s really, really freaking cold. My low-gas light came on, but there was no way in hell I was going to pump gas in -9 degree temperature. I’ll run out at lunchtime, and hopefully the weather is in the positive digits at that time.

Tonight we are doing dinner with some friends. I can’t wait! I feel like I haven’t seen them in ages.

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MIT Mystery Hunt – WE WON!!

by Christine on January 16th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Annual Mystery Hunt

Whew!  What a couple of hours!

So we were up late last night, about 1:30 a.m., and I was tired as all hell. We knew at that point that our team was really close to finishing; HQ stopped unlocking new puzzles for us, so we just had to finish what was in front of ourselves. I was soooo tired though, so I went to bed with the intention of just getting a little bit of sleep. Sometime around 3 a.m. someone came into the sleeping room and yelled, “The run-around is about to begin! Everyone wake up!”  So the lights came on and people were frantically jumping out of their sleeping bags and getting shoes and coats on.  This year there were, oh I don’t know, 50 people on our team (in-person, in the classroom) and maybe half of us were asleep at 3 a.m. That means that the remaining 25-or-so players were solving the hardest, super-meta puzzles on their own. (They’re way smart!)

The run-around began as a virtual run-around. The theme was Super Mario Brothers, so we had Mario on the phone and he was guiding us through each level, just like in the game, just by describing where he was at and what powers he had on hand. We would say, “Can you jump on the box and throw your boomarang at the bombs, Mario?” and he might say yes and he might say, “I can’t do that; the bombs are too far away for me to reach” or something like that.

Eventually we made it through all the levels of the virtual video game successfully (that took about 45 minutes) and they said, “Meet us at Classroom 451 in Building 5.”  So all 50 of us ran out the door to the classroom.  When we got there, Mario and Princess Peach were there with our final instructions.  Basically we had to portal through one door (which we had to find scavenger-hunt style) and come out a portal somewhere else on the MIT campus.  Our portals were **ME** (someone with an orange Tshirt on) and some other guy with a blue tshirt on, so I suddenly became an important member of the team just by proxy of what color tshirt I was wearing! ha!  We knew we were doing well because we were running down a hallway and all the members of headquarters were outside clapping as we ran by. We thought that was pretty cute!   We ran around the campus for an hour or more, “portaling” from one door to another, until we found ourselves inside an empty classroom. There was an arrow taped to the garbage bin, arrow pointing up.  We found a ladder, climbed on top, and found the hidden coin on top of a light fixture!

Game over! We win!

That means that our team gets to make the puzzles for next year.  It’s a good thing we have so many members of our team to help out. Making the puzzles will be so much fun! I can’t wait to run the hunt!

We found the coin at 5:58 a.m.  We went back and packed up all our stuff and immediately got on the road. I think I’m going to enjoy a nap today, a shower, and a nice home-cooked meal.

Oh yeah, and last night at 8 pm, the Board of Directors members for Wikipedia that were on our team held a 10th anniversary party for Wikipedia. They got delicious cake and champagne and shared with everyone, and they had tshirts and pins to pass out to everyone too. It was mayhem with all the puzzle-geeks trying to get the free food and swag, but I managed to snare a tshirt, hooray! That celebration was  anticlimatic, but I told Sammie congrats for his organization’s anniversary.

Foodwise, it was a suck-fest. I had ramen noodles, some salad (wasn’t very good), some soup at the student union, some sweet tarts, vitamin water, etc etc.  junk foodage!

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Stats and Boston Pics

by Christine on November 21st, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

My weigh-in day is Dec. 12th, but I feel like I might be at my goal weight already. I feel…thinner.  Today I took my measurements and I’ve discovered that I’ve lost nearly 47 inches around my body!

Size: 20 clothing sizes lost

Neck:1.5 inches lost

Arm: 3.25 inches lost

Chest: 9.5 inches lost

Waist:  10 inches lost

Hip: 15 inches lost

Thigh: 7.5 inches lost

It feels amazing to have lost so much fat around my body! This new body feels amazing…thinner, lighter, healthier, like anything is possible!

Here are a few pictures of our trip to Boston yesterday. Most of the pictures are from the aquarium:

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Game tournament loser (and winner!)

by Christine on November 14th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Yesterday we carpooled with a group of friends and went to Boston for a Dominion tournament.

If you fancy yourself a gaming geek, or if you just REALLY like board games, then I highly recommend Dominion. You’ve probably even heard of it before if you’re really into games. Dominion is a card-playing game where you slowly compile a deck of cards out of 10 randomly chosen piles of cards.  The goal is to buy as much land as possible, but in order to do that you need money and actions, which you can buy from the piles of cards. Combine attacks with defensive cards. (Learn more here.) It’s SUPER fun, and even most of the girls I know play Dominion!

Well, we drove three hours to get to Boston to play in this four-hour tournament. There were approximately 20 people there, and 15 were our group of friends!  I came in dead last with our group of friends (which is really strange because I’m actually a pretty good Dominion player!!) and, unsurprisingly my hubby came in first place! He’s a brilliant card player, so his win didn’t surprise anyone. His prize was a dumb box from the game maker (Rio Grande games) and a $15 gift certificate to the gaming store we were at.  Our entry fees went to charity, an organization called Child’s Play.

Eating rather sucked yesterday. We arrived at noon having skipped lunch. At 2 p.m. I threw a little temper trantrum and said that I needed food NOW, so we all took a break. (You must be assertive with game-geeks because they forget that everything else exists in the world except the game they are playing, including spouses, children, food, time, responsibilities, etc.)  We went to a pizza place and hooray they had soup! It was chicken + rice. I got a cup of that plus one scoop of plain old tuna salad (no bread, no salad, etc). The soup was really gross so I just drank the broth and had the salad. Plus a Vitamin Water.

On the way home we stopped at McDonalds. I had 2 chicken nuggets for about 100 calories. They were gross and felt like a lead weight in my stomach.

When we got home about 8 people came over to play games until 1 a.m.  I didn’t have any real food to bring out for share with so many people, so I munched on a few pretzels, mini-oreos, and a glass of skim milk. Hardly a stellar day, but I also couldn’t bust out a can of soup and eat it when I wasn’t giving anything to the rest of my guests, right?  Awkward, but oh well. Today will be a much better day I’m sure.

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Just another day!

by Christine on November 10th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Just another day….

  • Weight was 127.0, but that was after 2 cups of coffee, it may very well be lower than that! I think I am going to hide the scale and have official weigh-ins until I reach my goal of 125. I want it to be a momentous occasion that it deserves to be! Official weigh-ins from here on out! I’m thinking of hiding the scale and pulling it out on 12-12-10, because it’s a nice even date.  Man, that would be awesome to see my final goal weight showing on the scale!!!
  • Today’s food has included 3 cups of coffee, a cup of yogurt, some leftover Reuben sandwich (minus the bread of course!), and a handful of almonds. Tonight I’ll have leftover cornish hen and some kind of vegetable. A fairly typical eating day for me.
  • Unemployment FINALLY got back to me after I’ve left my claims rep four messages. Apparently I was approved to receive unemployment weeks ago, but some asswipe put a hold on my account for no reason, which is why I haven’t been receiving any money for weeks and weeks. I’m told that because of how screwed up the system is that I need to file an all-new claim, but I am to tell the new claims rep to backdate my claim to October 18th so I can receive back pay.  So I go through the horrible “Press 1 for this, Press 2 for that” phone system and file a new claim, but there’s no option to talk to an agent! Fuckers! So I’ve been on hold for an hour waiting to talk to someone to try to clear this all up once and for all.  Now this claims rep says I have to go through a mandatory 1-week waiting period even though I’m due a month’s worth of back pay, but whatever, so long as this whole dirty mess is sorted out!
  • I got a call from the jobplace that they want me to come in for a second interview! Because the job description entails putting together Powerpoint presentations for senior management, I’m to put together a 10 minute formal powerpoint presentation about myself and why I am the best candidate for the position. The presentation needs to include one “technical data slide” (I think this means a chart or graph) as well as one animated slide. This will be fun to throw together. Only 10 minutes??? psssh piece of cake!! I’m feeling excited about it!
  • Today I emptied my savings account to pay for my COBRA health insurance. Cross your fingers that nothing disastrous happens, like with one of our cars or the hot water heater or anything, because I officially have no money to pay for it! LOL! Living on the edge monetarily is not something I’m used to, nor is it something I am comfortable with. In the last two weeks hubby and I have found a way to cut out about $500 or more worth of bills to our monthly budget, so I’m really hoping that will help us out. I miss having house cleaning though. A lot.
  • Hubby has the day off from work tomorrow, and we’re planning a drive to Vermont to a small town I’ve never been to. We’re going to check out some wild bird sanctuary, go to a Vermont Cheddar factory, and who knows what else. I’m looking forward to the drive-time!
  • I’m going to Boston this weekend for a game (Dominion) tournament. I do well playing Dominion against our friends, even hubby’s uber-geek friends, but I’ve never played in any kind of tournament before. It should be fun!
  • My parents were incredibly kind to pay for hubby & my plane tickets to visit them in Illinois for Christmas. Today I bought the tickets, and I’m really looking forward to seeing my parents!  It was really nice of my parents to pay for our airfare, and I hope that I can pay them back as soon as I get a little money rolling in again….perhaps if this job (interview #2) pans out.

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