Friday, February 29, 2008

You Decide!

Awhile back, I said that I was going to try to put up a video of Avery and Lovey's JamFest 2008! And, believe me, I had every intention of doing so. I still do.

The problem, I thought, was that I didn't have the software on my new computer. No biggie, I figured. I may not be fastidious about much, but saving software? I rock. I still have floppy disks that are actually floppy!

So, I was going to go through the stacks of software I have hoarded over the years and find it. Then I got sick, and the issue was relegated to a lower priority than, say, trying to breathe.

So, that's been over a week ago now. I'm able to breathe without much concentration yet again. And last night, Mike so generously reminded me of my aforementioned task with his comment on my last post:
"Movie schmovie, where's my Avery-plays-Guitar-Hero video?"

Well, Mike, just for you, I searched and searched through the piles of disks, only to discover that I no longer had the software.

Fair enough. Off I went to the Canon website and downloaded it from there.

Software--check!

I hooked up my USB cable, and...nothing.

Turned the camera off, turned it back on, pushed play, wiggled the cable, clicked a bunch of buttons, stood on my head, recited the Lord's Prayer--the message on the screen still said "No camera detected".

I tried adding hardware, to no avail. Tried kicking the computer, too, but that was really just more for my own sanity.

When my husband got home, I asked him about it. He said he thinks we need a different cable for a different port. He opened up another little door on the camera and showed me what he was talking about.

Great, I thought. I'll just grab the cable for that and try again.

Cable?

What cable?

There's no stinkin' cable in the carrying case where all the other cables for this bad boy were.

Fine, time to search the cable basket.

Photobucket


So, I did. I pulled out every cable. None of them were the one I needed.

Back to the Canon website to find the one I did need.

Fifty bucks! Not including shipping, and I'm still not 100% certain it's the right one.

Man, if only I knew someone more technically savvy than myself, Mike. You wouldn't happen to know someone like that, would you, Mike? Someone, Mike, who might know, Mike, if I'm going to be wasting a lot of money on something that's not even going to fix the problem, Mike Mike Mike?

Someone who once said "I will pay good money to see this video" perhaps?

(Yeah, put your foot in it there, didn't ya?)

Well, I'm not going to ask you to put your money where your mouth is. After all, you did quantify it by saying it was only worth dozens of cents to you. And anyone can tell you, I don't even get out of bed for less than a buck twenty-five.

And as much as I would love to tell you it's worth it to me to keep you all entertained by making an ass out of myself for your amusement, fifty bucks would go a long way toward getting a new DVD camcorder, which would allow even greater opportunities for embarrassing tomfoolery.

So, I'm at an impasse. Should I pay the money for the cable? Or should I save the money and buy a better camcorder in a few months?

I'm leaving it up to all of you to decide.

Choose wisely, grasshoppers.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Call Off the Hounds

I'm not dead. Though I appreciate every one of you who e-mailed expressing concern.

Believe me, if I were dead, you'd be the first to know, because I am sure the high speed connection in Heaven is nothing short of divine.

Assuming, of course, that's the direction I'm headed. I hope it's not the other way. I hear the Devil has dial-up.

*shudder*

No, I've been busy with the business of life, if you can imagine that. (It's what goes on outside the internets. I had to look it up.)

I've returned to the land of the living only to deal with the ghouls at the DOL (that's DMV to the rest of known civilization), the zombie who is my tax accountant (the one who writes bo-ring romance novels), and an "emotional vampire" in the guise of a friend. (That's the name Lovey gave her, and I gotta say, it's quite perfect.)

But last night, Lovey and I actually got to take in a pre-screening of a movie we've both been anxious to see, The Other Boleyn Girl.

We each read the Phillipa Gregory novel that the movie is based on, and loved it.

The movie was a very much condensed and glossed over version of the book, but it's hard to cram 672 pages of lust, greed, and political intrigue into two hours. Still, it was an admirable effort. Natalie Portman was the perfect choice to play the conniving, ill-fated Anne Boleyn. I was less impressed with Scarlett Johansson as her sister, Mary, but her performance was fine. Eric Bana was much yummier than the real Henry VIII would have been--at least after he became gouty and bloated toward the end of Anne's life. (That was not portrayed in the film.)

Some significant historical facts were not even alluded to, like the fate of Mary's first husband, William Carey, and the fact that she bore the king a daughter as well as a son. But there was plenty of drama besides. Enough to keep us entertained throughout, so I give it two stubby thumbs up.

In other news, I have determined that coughing is the best abdominal workout ever, and thus I have not failed the Fit Friends through my much maligned bout with pneumonia. I'm still coughing some, though not nearly as much as I had been, so I suppose it no longer counts as an excuse, but I have to say I have given it 110% lo these past couple of weeks, and now I have a toned, sexy, pasty core.

Okay, I don't. It doesn't look any different. But I bet it could crush a Buick if it could evolve prehensilly. Now THAT would be something to see!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sure, Buddy

My husband has delusions of grandeur.

Damn you, Guitar Hero!

As he rocks out to The Killers (on the Easy level, mind you), he poses like every cliche butt rocker--making the "guitar" an exaggerated phallic representation.

Yeah, like that doesn't reek of compensation.

He finishes his set with flourishes, missing nearly every note of the solo because, quite frankly, he sucks. But he thinks he looks good doing it.

After doffing his shirt and tossing it to me with a wink, he proceeds to murder "Paint it Black". He flails his guitar penis to no discernible rhythm and fails the song at 27%.

"There's something wrong with the controller," he claims. "Maybe it needs new batteries."

I regard him with thinly veiled skepticism. "Yeah," I reply. "That must be it."

I turn my attention back to Youtube and chuckle to myself.



It must be a guy thing.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

It was the Best of Times...

Illness has turned me into an abysmal imitation of a poor Dickensian orphan, replete with quivering lip and sad bulging eyes. If not for the wealth of well-wishes I have received in Blogland, which have at the very least warmed the cockles of my heart if not expelled the fluid from my lungs, I would be wallowing in self-pity and waiting for the slow, torturous march of...

Well, not death. That's a little morbid.

Plague?

Oh, yeah! That's much less melodramatic. Perfect.

Sadly, I appear to be a far less compelling protagonist than Ollie Twist or Tiny Tim. I think it's safe to say my husband, though not in the same league as ol' Ebenezer, may well be his distant cousin twice removed. The man has very little sympathy for weak, wretched creatures such as myself.

If not for the fact that even in this compromised state I can wipe the floor with his sorry ass in Guitar Hero, I would take very little comfort in his meager efforts.

That's not to say he's a bad man, or a bad husband. Merely a bad sympathizer. Nurturing is not his forte.

Alas, it falls on you, dear friends, to lift my fallen spirits, and you have done the job admirably and with much aplomb. (There's one for Scrabble!)

Why, just today I read with great mirth this post from Holly wherein she has tagged me for a meme which I had very much been coveting.

(Okay, so I solicited the tag. I mean, what's a girl got to do to get a little meme action? The good ones, of course. Not the stupid ones. Those you can tag Mike with. He never does them anyhow.)

The rules :
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people & post a comment here once you post it to your blog, so I can come see.

Now, I have been waiting with bated breath for someone--anyone--to tag me with this particular meme because, as most of you know, I have a lot of books with cheesy covers and heaving bosoms, and more likely than not, one of them will be within easy reach of my computer. And believe me when I say, there is no better comedy than three lines out of these books taken out of context. Seriously. Especially the older Harlequins. They're like turning on Lifetime channel movies in the middle and hearing, Give me this night, these hours of passion's embrace, before we surrender to our fates forever, and you can't help but laugh because, good Lord, that's corny!

But not, as it turns out, on page 123.

No, page 123 must be universally known in the romance genre as "The Page in Which Nothing Interesting Shall Ever Happen. EVER."

Not one mention of heaving this or throbbing that. No, page 123 may as well be written by my accountant. No wait--by his accountant! (Yes, I'm aware that's probably still him. I'm working on an analogy of the blandness of the words here, people. And what's blander than an accountant's accountant? I'd like to know.)

I went through every romance I own just to be sure.

Okay, I know. I'm supposed to quote from the nearest book to me, and that happened to be "Come Back to Me" by Josie Litton:

"Everyone speaks very well of the jarl. I believe he and Lord Hawk are fast friends."
"Friendship between Norse and Saxon seems much the fashion these days."

Oh, that IS rich! I stand corrected.

I can only hope Jill, Terri, Groovy Mom, Maria, and...um...Mike have as much luck as I have had with this one, because TAG, you're all it!

You're welcome.

And thanks again for the privilege, Holly! You sure do know how to make a girl feel special. If only until the Sudafed wears off.

Friday, February 22, 2008

My Apologies

I have a sinus infection and walking pneumonia. I feel like I gargled a lye and gravel cocktail. So, you'll have to excuse my absence. I'll be back soon (hopefully with a video, but I'm still trying to figure out how to upload it to my computer.)

Forgive me?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

And On...

I thought I was all better. Turns out, that was just the calm before the storm. I feel miserable today, and since I have no one to blame but myself, I'm going to blame Lovey.

(Aw, heck. She never reads my blog anyway. I think I'm safe.)

It was all that righteous rockin' yesterday. It wore these old bones out. Guess I'm not as young as I used to be.

(Which is a really idiotic thing to say if you think about it. Kinda like saying, "Guess I'm still alive if I'm breathing," or "Guess today's the day after yesterday," or "Guess Cream is the best band in the history of forever." These things just are.)

Anyhow, I'm working on getting a video of our jamfest together. I can't promise anything at this point, but I'm trying, so keep your fingers crossed.

Other than that, I got nothin'. Hopefully I'll have something for you tomorrow. Besides sputum.

Hey, that's kinda funny, right?

Sputum.

*snicker*

Yeah, no, that's not funny. My bad.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rock On, Man!

You know, I pick the worst times to get sick. Why is that?

The weather in the Pacific Northwest is glorious. There's something bright in the sky that is emitting rays of light and warmth. I am told it is called "the sun" in scientific circles.

(Seriously, a giant ball of burning gas in outer space? Sounds more like science fiction to me.)

But whatever it is, it's awesome. Or so I imagine. I'm too busy being a gooey ball of phlegm to know for sure. Seems great from a distance though.

My husband, you know the one, felt bad that I was stuck inside while he and the boy frolicked in the "sunshine". His solution?

He bought me--*cough himself cough*--Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock for the Wii this weekend.

I have to admit, it is a lot of fun. Maybe not all that romantic, but anyone who knows me could tell you the one thing I love more than mushy stuff is fun stuff.

So, he is hereby absolved of his earlier crime of negligence. Plus, he felt really bad about not getting me anything for Valentine's Day (read--he knows I blog, and he can put two and two together). That's not to say that I won't be taking the advice of more than 70% of the poll takers and buying myself something nice anyhow. I mean, who's to say he didn't buy it as an early Saint Patrick's Day gift and not a late Valentine's gift? Certainly not me.

But today, I and my lovely friend, Lovey, will be embroiled in a rock battle the likes of which has never been seen. I, with my Cream tribute band, Half-&-Half, and she, with her alternachick indie pop funk duo, Juggz*, will be laying down sweet riffs and pickin' up love diseases from stoned groupies.

No, wait. That's not right.

Whatever. Let the rockin' commence.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Commercial Break

I hab a code. I'm going back to bed. But just so you don't think I'm leaving you in the funny lurch, here are some awesome Old Spice commercials that bring great joy to my otherwise dreary existence. Enjoy!




Friday, February 15, 2008

The Poll of Little Love

Given the circumstances of yesterday's post...



[NOTE: I'm in a glass case of emotion here, people. Best not to trifle with me.]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's Valentine's, Jackass

I love love. I love everything romantic. I'm a sucker for happy endings and blissful couples wandering off into the sunset.

I'm a freak for mush.

So, how I ended up with the least romantic man on Earth is beyond me.

But that's okay. He's a good man, a great husband, a wonderful father, and if his only failing is that he lacks the romance gene, it's not that big of a deal.

Still, I hold out hope every year that even a smidge of my predilection toward sap might rub off on him.

Not a ball-shriveling amount, mind you. I don't want to be married to me.

But it might be nice if it was just enough so that he might take it upon himself to surprise me one of these Valentine's Days with something special.

Don't get me wrong. I do appreciate the flowers he buys, even as they get cheaper with every passing year. But it would be nice if he really put some thought into the day rather than glossing over it with a supermarket floral arrangement and a leftover box of chocolates.

It's not like I'm asking for a lot here. A heartfelt card would be nice. A day off of work so we can spend time together, even better.

I'm not that hard to please. Really, I'm not.

So, what am I getting this Valentine's Day?

A catalytic converter. For his car. To replace the one he destroyed by running over "something".

$1700.



God help the boy if he sets foot in this house with carnations and Reese's tonight.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's an Honor Just Being Nominated...

My thanks go out to Holly. My...uh, sister from another mister?...has nominated me for three Blogger's Choice Awards:

My site was nominated for Best Humor Blog!


My site was nominated for Best Blog About Stuff!


My site was nominated for Hottest Mommy Blogger!


I am completely and utterly blown away by this unexpected act of pity kindness, and I very much appreciate the sentiment. And although I know I don't have a chance in Hades of winning (considering all her e-mails informing me of said nominations went straight to my spam folder--thanks, Yahoo!--and voting ends Friday), I'd love it if you'd vote for me anyway.

You know, so I don't seem like so much of a pathetic loser.

No pressure or anything.

Photobucket

Note to (18-Year-Old) Self...

In my long blogging career, I've come across a number of posts, like this one, which have been directed at the authors' former selves--wisdom they'd impart to their younger counterparts if the opportunity ever magically arose. Advice, presumably, that would alter the course of their lives for the better.

Yeah. Because young people listen sooo well.

If I'd been confronted by my aged, decrepit 30-year-old self when I was 18, I imagine it would have gone down something like this:

Me at 30: Avery, I've come from the future with a message for you.

Me at 18: Uh huh.

Old Me: I've come to tell you not to waste your time with the man you're with. He'll never appreciate you.

Young Me: That's not true. He writes me poems!

Age: You and I both know his poems are crap. He rhymes "good" with "food". He's an idiot.

Beauty: He's not an idiot! He's a musician.

30: No, he's a 28-year-old stock boy at an office supply store who happens to know a few riffs on the guitar.

18: Whatever. He'll make it someday.

30: No, he won't. You're gonna have to trust me on that.

18: Why should I? I believe in him! I looooove him!

30: Oh, good Lord! You're even annoying me.

18: Besides, he told me he wants to spend the rest of his life with me!

30: Oh, really? He asked you to marry him?

18: Well, not in so many words, but I'm sure one day...

30: God, you're stupid.

18: I am not! I graduated with honors!

30: Yeah, so did I, Einstein.

18: Whatever, loser. I'm Audi.

30: *sigh* Kids.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I Love My Husband, But...

How can someone so smart be so dumb when it comes to proper car care?

Seriously. It's not rocket science. You drive a few thousand miles, you take it to a Jiffy Lube, pay them to do whatever it is they do, and drive away. Another few thousand miles, you repeat the process.

After 10 times doing that, you take it in to the transmission place for servicing. Pay them $60 bucks and you're on your way.

And--here's the kicker--if the Check Engine light comes on, take it somewhere to have it looked at.

It's not there just to add panache to your dash.

(Like that? Panache to your dash! Check Engine adds panache to your dash! Somebody write that down.)

Long story short--30,000 overdue miles and one Check Engine light later, we now have a car that will not pass emissions testing.

So, thank you, dear.

Thanks for saving us the $500 in oil changes by costing us $1400 in auto repair.

Valentine's came early for me this year. You shouldn't have.

You really shouldn't have.

***

Last night we had a follow-up conversation about the laptop incident...

Me: "Remember when you used to love me?"

Him: "I do love you."

Me: "Yeah, I suppose. But you love the MacBook Air just a little more."

Him: "No, I don't."

Me: "Okay, if you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could choose to have a MacBook Air or me there, which would you choose?"

Him: "Well, it wouldn't really be a deserted island, then, would it?"

Me: "Oh, just play along!"

Him: "You, of course."

Me: "Why?"

Him: "Because there wouldn't be any electricity on a deserted island."

Me: "But what if there was?"

Him: "You."

Me: "What if there was electricity AND unlimited internet access?"

Him: "You."

Me: "Electricity, unlimited internet access, and Steve Jobs. In a Speedo."

Him: "Why would I want Steve Jobs in a Speedo?"

Me: "I don't know! You tell me!"

Him: "You."

Me: "But--"

Him: "You. Always you."


He's forgiven.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Am I Pregnant? Blogthings Will Know!

I love the quizzes on Blogthings. They provide the perfect mindless entertainment that I apparently enjoy. And sometimes they're pretty accurate. Like the fruit quiz.

You Are a Banana

You are mellow, easy going, and a total softie on the inside.
People find it really easy to get along with you. You suit most tastes.

And while you're very sweet, you're not boring or ordinary.
You have an attraction to the exotic, and you could show up anywhere... doing almost anything!

You are spirited, energetic, and a total kick to be around.
You're also quite funny. Your sense of humor is on the goofy side, and it fits you well.


How did they know that I'm unusually yellow and brimming with potassium? Amazing!

Or the attention whore quiz.

You Are An Attention Seeker

You're only human, so you can't help but want a little attention every now and then.
You love the spotlight, but only when it's well deserved. You'd hate to be known for the wrong thing.
And you also don't mind sharing the spotlight. You can easily give someone else credit or a complement.
You know there's enough attention to go around, and it makes you happy when your friends shine.

You come across as: Friendly and interesting

People may wrongly think you're: A little more modest than you actually are!


I DO often have strange things swirling about me. Uncanny!

Or the famous last words quiz.

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"I can pass this guy."


I know I haven't uttered them yet, but I can totally see it happening that way.

Okay, I know the answers are made intentionally vague so that they may be interpreted in a number of different ways. A serial killer might think hacking up hookers is wacky fun, but they might not rate high in the evil quiz if they've never made a prank call.

You Are 48% Evil

You are evil, but you haven't yet mastered the dark side.
Fear not though - you are on your way to world domination.


These quizzes aren't meant to delve deep into the psyche. They're not windows into your soul. They can't divine the future.

They're not Cosmo quizzes, after all.

And sometimes? Sometimes they're just plain stupid.

You Are Probably Not Pregnant

It seems like you're in the clear, but you should really take a test to be sure.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Apple Trollop

My husband is cheating on me.

Oh, maybe not in the whole secret rendezvous with another person for carnal purposes sort of way, but the fact remains--he has lust in his heart, and it ain't for me.

The object of his desire?

This man.

Photobucket

Steve Jobs. CEO of Apple. Maker of all things Mac.

Can't say that I blame him. Look at those smoldering eyes. Those chiseled features. That impeccable sense of...um...balance?

What woman can compete with a man of his many talents?

Not this one, apparently.

There I was, cuddled up next to my lout of a husband, wearing something that displayed the girls to the best of their advantage, and doing my darnedest to provide ample distraction to his Celebrity Apprentice viewing (it was TiVoed after all), and succeeding quite nicely, when what should appear on the television but the commercial for the MacBook Air.



I was literally cast aside.

For a laptop.

"It's so thin," he sighed.

Thin?

That's all you care about? Not the fact that it's way overpriced and can't even play CDs or DVDs without an external drive?

It's the Paris Hilton of notebook computers!

Thirty seconds go by. He is riveted to the action on the screen, from the moment it slides seductively out of it's confining manila envelope until the understated Apple logo appears above it, tempting him with its siren song.

He's mesmerized.

I feel like chopped liver. Mixed with poo.

It's not the first time he's wandered, after all. He has an iMac. We have three iPods. And he's aching to get his hands on an iPod Touch.

I'm downright jealous OF A GADGET!

Sure, we've been together a long time, and the newness has since worn off. We're like a comfortable old pair of shoes now. (If one of those shoes is a no-good philanderer.)

But I ain't exactly ready for a dirt nap here. I've got a few good years left. And it's not like I don't have a couple little somethings a man might find enticing, if you know what I mean.

(Normally I'd insert a picture of my boobs here, but I figure you're probably tired of seeing them by now.)

So, what is it that makes a man yearn for the latest and greatest toy, even at the risk of turning his wife into a frigid ice queen?

Any guys out there care to enlighten me about this obsession?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Awards and Such

One thing you should know about me--I'm a horrible person.

If you've given me an award, I have been remiss in expressing my gratitude.

So, thank you. Every single one of you who have awarded me my beautiful bloggy bling. I love them all. I really do!

I know that doesn't make up for my appalling lack of manners and my egregious oversight in the linky love department.

I suck. I'm sorry. I don't deserve your kindness.

Would it make you feel better if I gave you an award in return?

(Don't be so quick to say yes. Need I remind you about the first award I created?)

Photobucket


Mmm hmm.

Not so sure now, are you?

Well, fear not. I have produced a series of awards sure to find favor in even the most discriminating among you.


I call this my "Nerd Collection 2008". May I present...


The "Your Blog is Cooler Than This Guy's Blog" award,

Photobucket



The "You're Bringing Sexy Back" award,

Photobucket



And the "You Have a Lovely...uh...Personality" award.

Photobucket


Each award was carefully handcrafted (on the computer), and lovingly detailed (I added the words), so that they may forever stand as a testament to how cool, sexy, or...uh...interesting you are to me.

I'd like to pass these on to everyone on my finally newly updated blogroll because you're all awesome in your own special ways. And to Dooz, who I would love to link to but can't because she's on the down low like that.

Now go ahead and pass 'em around.

Let's all share the nerd love.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It Burns! It Burns!

There's something seriously wrong with me.

I can't move; I'm stiff all over. Something beneath my skin just keeps burning and aching. I think the medical term those crazy whitecoats use is "overworked muscles". But what do they know? Feels like rigor mortis to me.

Am I too young to be searching WebMD for hernias? 'Cause I'm pretty sure I have one of those, too.

Who in the world came up with this accursed idea anyway?

Oh, now I remember.



Friend? Bah! I use that term loosely.

But it's not really Cami's fault. It appears that I have a magic breaking point on the elliptical. (Note to Dapoppins: an elliptical trainer is a common torture device which utilizes the walking motion of a treadmill, and the climbing motion of a stair stepper.)

Photobucket


45 minutes on that bad boy feels fine.

50 minutes=worst. pain. imaginable.*

(*excludes childbirth, 'cause that certainly weren't no picnic neither. And also impalement with a rusty spike. Probably not pleasant. Same with being burned alive. Ouch. But other than that, 50 minutes on the elliptical=the worst.)

And can I just say--Wii boxing? Kicks my ass.

All that dodging and jabbing? Probably looked ridiculous, too. Good thing I was alone.

My husband lurves the boxing, and he's really good at it, but I could do without my son learning colorful phrases like:
  • "You want a piece of me?"

  • "Time to take out the garbage."

  • "I'm gonna beat you down and make you cry."

  • "Take that, sucka!"

Yes, my husband sure could make the Sharks and the Jets run for cover for fear of a smartly choreographed beatdown with his hardened gangsta vernacular.

(I just hope he gets out of that life before something terrible happens...like an off-Broadway tour of understudies. Jeepers!)

Well, I won't be taking him on anytime soon. Maybe if they made a version of shuffleboard for the Wii, I could manage something like that.

No. On second thought, I don't think I could.

When blogging is too painful, you know you're in bad shape.

Monday, February 4, 2008

He Dropped a Bomb on Me

Or two. Maybe three.

First, when he told me about the sweet money we had riding on New England yesterday.

A dollar. One whole dollar.

Guess we won't be taking that family vacation this year after all.

Blurg!

Then when he told me he likes...

The Beehive!!

Photobucket


(Though you have to admit, I don't look half bad as a blond.)

But the biggest shocker of all...

Since the boy will be in kindergarten this fall, the man thinks I'll be going back to work.

Let's just say he's a jackass and leave it at that.

He does have one thing going for him (besides me, of course)...

Your Guy Is Not Pretty!

Your husband is more hetero than John Wayne. End of story.
While it may be hard to get him to go dancing or shopping...
You know that he can always stand up for and take care of you.
Which is waaaay more attractive than a few well placed highlights.


Guess I'll keep him. For now.

Friday, February 1, 2008

And So It Begins...

The battle between the Choconots and Frenemies has ended.

We all gave peas a chance.

(Mine were smothered in melted chocolate. Mmmm...)

But January is behind us, and today is the start of something new. Something both the Choconots and the Frenemies can support and get involved in.

February is the month of the Fit Friends!


I'm a fit friend...
Photobucket
Are you?


(Didn't Cami do an awesome job on the badges?)

Yes, but what is this Fit Friends thing of which you speak?

It's simple, really. To be a Fit Friend, all you have to do is pledge to work out 3 times a week in the month of February.

What could be easier than that?

(Well, not working out 3 times a week would be easier, I suppose.)

But who wants easy?

(Well, everyone, I guess.)

You know, I'm really not good at selling these things. Lucky for me, Cami's got it all laid out for you here.

The timing of the challenge is quite apropos. February is the American Heart Association's Women's Heart Health Month. And in honor of that, I'm going to share with you something that I don't often like to talk about.

My health.

A little over a year ago, I was diagnosed with an endocrine disorder known as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). This did not come as a shock to me. I have been dealing with the effects of this disorder since the onset of puberty in my early teens. But it's not until recently that the condition has been given a name, or extensively researched.

What PCOS basically means is that my body is resistant to the insulin it produces, so it produces more. And more. And then a little bit more until I'm swimming in insulin. The excess insulin triggers an increase in the production of androgen hormones (testosterone, androstenedione, etc., etc.), which cause cysts to form in my ovaries, wreaking further havoc on my body chemistry.

The effects can be devastating. Studies on PCOS have shown:
  • By age 30, 50% of women with the disorder have either impaired glucose tolerance, significant insulin resistance, or full-blown diabetes.

  • Women with PCOS have an eleven-fold increased risk of cardiovascular disease that can appear as early as the 20s or 30s.

  • Women from 39 to 49 years old with the condition have a heart attack risk that is four times that of women without PCOS in this age group.

  • Women with PCOS also have a higher risk of uterine cancer that occurs at younger ages than seen in women without PCOS.

Those studies alone don't tell quite the whole story of what PCOS does to a woman's body. In addition to painful menstrual cycles and infertility issues, there's an emotional component to the disorder as well, not just from the hormonal imbalance it can cause, but from the way it alters a woman's appearance--skin tags, dark patches, facial hair, acne, oily skin.

But the worst symptom of all is the vicious cycle of weight gain.

Because women with this disorder are often insulin resistant, we are in a constant state of hunger. According to "The Savvy Woman's Guide to PCOS" (which I have found extremely helpful): "High levels of insulin stimulate the ovaries to make more of the androgens, and also make you store more fat, instead of burning fat for fuel. Insulin resistance makes you get fatter and fatter, even if you are eating less and exercising more. The fatter you get, the more insulin resistant you become."

After reading that, you might think I'd be tempted to take a knife to my wrists.

In some ways, you'd be right. I do feel constantly judged for the way I look. In the past, it was much easier for me to hide away from society and let PCOS take its toll on me.

Then this happened.

Photobucket


A cute baby with a perpetual Donald Trump comb-over.

And I decided PCOS will not be my death sentence. It will be my call to arms.

The year I was diagnosed, Ethan and I logged 1000 miles on my bike.

This year, I'm going to double that.

Just see if I don't.

***


If you think you may be suffering from PCOS, check out this site for more information. And talk to your doctor.

THERE ARE TREATMENTS AVAILABLE!

(Wow, I sound like a Valtrex commercial.)

But do it anyway.

You can thank me later.