Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Get Healthy Bloghop!

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp, L. Diane Wolfe, and Michael Di Gesu for today’s Get Healthy Bloghop. “The Objective: Share with everyone something you have done that affected your health in a positive way.” 
 
You never know...When I added my name to this bloghop, I couldn't have imagined I'd be writing about health and fitness on the heels of major surgery. But I'm back with a smile to reinstate my motto: Life is hard. Eat chocolate. Dance it off.
As the big 4-0 menaced from afar, a decade or so ago -- gulp, I decided to get fit. But I'd do it right. I'd keep eating chocolate. And I'd ignore all the hoity-toity diet gurus like Scarsdale, Atkins, Calesta Flockhart, and the Olsen twins. Instead, I'd make the changes that I knew I could live with.

Upon quick research, I was elated to discover a little known but highly relevant fact: one teaspoon of fat equals nearly twice the calories of one teaspoon of sugar. A chubby sweet-tooth's dream revelation! So I readily took to avoiding saturated fats. Easy. The pounds started shedding. 

Next, I needed to cut down on sugar intake without reducing quality of life. Back then I survived off of fruit juices: tropical pineapple banana-y mango madness with kiwi and a twist of lime-infused grapefruit. Yeah, you think they're healthy, but they're packed with enough sugar calories to send you soaring to Uranus and back (That quip's for you, AlPenwasser.) Substituting teas and flavored waters was another easy fix.

Third, I joined a gym. Everyone does this, but I actually used my gym membership to workout 3-4 times weekly. Still do. It was slow and embarrassingly painful at first. Once you get your body into an exercise routine, though, it shouts at you when you stagnate for any length of time.

Now, ten years later, I've maintained a 15-20 pound weight loss. (I'm only 4'8" and 100-ish pounds, so that's pretty significant.) I still enjoy chocolate and sweets whenever I have the need or craving, which is virtually all the time. I'm rebounding from a surgery that was more grueling than anticipated. (I started chronicling it here.) The doctor calls me "tough" and can't believe I was living pain-free with a monstrous fibroid growing at light speed. But all's good now; I'm recovering smoothly. The fibroid was benign and removed. My brilliant doc advised me to ask my friends for money and food. I interjected chocolate, so he revised the list, with chocolate as first priority. Thought I'd toss that out there. Doctor's orders and all.

In sum, here's to a healthy you. Enjoy chocolate or bacon or bacon flavored chocolate or whatever gets you through the day. Then dance it off by doing the Chicken Dance, Night ClubTwo-Step, Argentinian Tango, Hungarian Hokey Pokey, Peruvian Polka Pole Dancing Gangnam Style, or whatever is your thing. Be well! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

600 Thanks! Sundays in My City, and a Personal Note

This post combines gratitude with Sundays in My City, followed by a personal note.

(1) THANK YOU, THANK YOU, all 600+ of you for jumping aboard Life by Chocolate! I'm especially grateful to my regular commenters. But "commenters" sounds so impersonal. You're my friends. Your words motivate me to keep blogging, and our shared laughter keeps me smiling.  I truly appreciate you.

I also recently exceeded 100,000 page views - which is incomprehensible (in a good way) to me. WOOHOO! Nothing can keep me down.
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(2) Now, welcome to Chico, CA.

Have you ever seen such a low low rider?

                                                                          Great sentiment!


I've seen several of these caterpillars recently. They're pretty pretty and only a little bit creepy.
                                                            
Please visit UnknownMami's Sundays in My City here to tour the blog world. It's always fun and fascinating.

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(3) I'll be away from blogland for at least a few days...am having surgery on Monday afternoon, 5/20. If you want to read about it - it's kinda heavy and very personal, so I won't be chronicling that story at Life by Chocolate - go here. But no worries. Positive thoughts only, with smiles and chocolate somethings/anythings but Hershey's.

Be well, have a great week, and I'll see you soon.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nosey Interview


Note: I.B. Nosey is a great photographer, as evidenced by this picture. Not to sound cocky (Lord knows cockiness is something that's rarely in me), but I've never looked so tall, svelte and sexy.
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Blogland's only official unofficial reporter, I.B. Nosey, recently welcomed me over for a playful interview.

 As a sample-teaser ~

There's a big muscle man over there, a hot fudge sundae, and lots of weirdness. I describe chocolate as "my default." That is, chocolate is de fault for my ever-expanding belly, sagging boobs and butt, and devilish smile that permanently resides midway between my nose and chin. 

Go here to read the full, silly interview. 

Have a great Thursday!

Monday, May 13, 2013

How Far Have We Gone?


Hi, friends.

How far we have gone since I posted this last May...

How far we have gone
How much movement we’ve made
When text isn't a book
But a means to get laid

And those who offend
We simply unfriend

How far have we gone
How much did we gain
When a tag is for photos
And a tweet, the inane?

When we “like” a good joke
Say “hey” with a poke?

How far we have gone
To go viral we aim
Gotta increase the numbers
And stay in the game

How far have we gone?
 
 
I'm grateful for the level of humanity that makes blogland such a unique place in the cyber world. Thank you!

I hope you're having a good week.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mom, In Memoriam

Edith Engel, 6/27/36  -  3/20/85

She grew up in Speden, Alberta, Canada --a town so small, it no longer exists. After graduating first in her class at the University of Alberta, Mom was offered a job as Head Dietician at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.  She eagerly packed her bags, bound for a great career move, American citizenship, life in a bustling city, and...

In June of 1964, Mom met and married Dad. (Last year, I finally did the basic math; it seems my parents likely had a shotgun wedding, since they married three weeks after they met, and my sister was born 8 months later.) Mom wanted four kids: two girls and two boys. Dad agreed, it seems, because that's what they got. 

Years passed. Antsy for a new challenge, Mom enrolled in law school. She'd graduate second in her class and pass the State Bar on round one --all while in her 40s, with four kids at home. I'd never seen her so content. Mom told me that raising a family and working full-time as a lawyer was "like having the best of both worlds."

The call came on Halloween night, 1984. "Your mother's very sick," Dad said. Medical staff talked coldly about an aggressive cancer that had started in her colon and spread rapidly to assault the rest of Mom's body. I spent the next five months juggling freshman classes, and watching my mother shrivel into a ghostly skeleton on the hospital bed that dominated our house. Three months short of her 50th birthday, Mom took her final breath.

Over 300 people attended the funeral. Everybody loved Mom. She shone with an angelic, calming presence; an unassuming competence and brilliance; and a deeply humble, giving nature.

Mom left behind a broken family, lost in a world she had made more beautiful. 

I miss her every day. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Collage of Your Comments



Ever since I started making friends in blogland, I’ve thought about how fun it’d be to meet face-to-face at one big party. I imagine conversations would play out as follows, and what follows are nuggets of your comments in two recent posts: the Prom and Bruce Jenner. Enjoy. (Please excuse the asterisks. This did some funky things when I tried to format it.)
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Ruth said..Last week, I saw on the news that the average person spends over $1000 for the prom. Are you freaking kidding me? 

Klahanie said...Right then, time to pose in front of my full-length mirror...who is that awesome dude? Gosh, it's me!    
                                                                                                                                                                                   
        I.B. Nosey said...Looked more like a leftover mannequin in a forgotten department store.
  Tara Grover Smith said..I prefer wrinkles, gentlemen, except for in penises.



    Mencara Mitchellsaid...Kim's butt was never a problem for me. The problem is the other end. When she starts talking, I want to jam metal objects in my ears.

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    Debra She Who Seeks said...I regard it as a form of high school bullying.
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* A Beer For The Shower said...I went with a girl who said she liked me and wanted to date me. She went to go get a glass of punch and started making out with some random guy. I interrupted them and told her to F off and that I wasn't giving her a ride home. Have fun walking. The guy got mad at that and tried to attack me, so I shoved his head into a wall and gave him a massive concussion.

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Al Penwasser said...That's what he gets for buying 'Face Lifts for Dummies' from COSTCO.
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Pearl said..Dropped shrimp scampi on my dress.  Didn't really have fun.
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David Macaulay said...chortle - oh well. I hear Carrie's was worse.
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Stephen Hayes said..Not to make you or anyone else feel bad, but I married my prom date and we've been together for forty years. BloggerLexa Cain said…"You've come a long way, baby!" Yeah, a long way - straight down the crapper for poor old Bruce.
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My Journey With Candida said... I wonder if he honestly knows how bad he has made himself look.
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  Gorilla Bananas said...His face looks slightly effeminate to me.
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Joanne said.. That (because of the rain and my instant frizz) turned into an afro encased in aquanet.
   Pat Tillett said...Granny always said that high school graduation is the great equalizer.
  
  Melissa Bradley said...I would not trade that experience for anything, the dance was a joke, but the company was excellent. 

  
Shah Wharton said...The best justice came late, however. One girl (who was huge at school and got bullied terribly) turned up looking stunning and pronounced she earned a fortune working as a model in France.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...Best lower-the-bar tidbit here is that he only got three reviews in all those years.
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*     Just Keepin It Real, Folks! said...Though you would think he could afford a better plastic surgeon.
*       
*      Momma Fargo said...Now...he is just weird.


Pat Hatt said…Has to give him the blues.    Bloggerklahanie said…Oh my, I thought the "Kardashians" were an alien lifeform on Star Trek.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...You have a point!

*       
A Beer For The Shower said...just remember you could look like that and be in the same family as Kim "Functionally Useless In All Ways" Kardashian AND Khloe "Jurassic Park" Kardashian.
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*      Cheryl said...Seriously, the most truthful statement ever written farawayeyes said... From THE Mighty Bruce to a Kardashian - oops!
John DeBellis said...100% over hyped.

THE END
Endnote: My apologies if you didn’t see your comment here.  That’s because it was too sensible.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Birds and Panty Liners: Sundays in My City

 Unknown Mami
Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I just toured my hometown of Chico, CA in search of Cinco de Mayo festivities. I found none, and DuPont was in hiding. Darn the luck. Then it hit me: what was I thinking? DuPont and his entourage will be celebrating after 5pm in the local bars. Until then, it's just another quiet Sunday.  More exciting photos can be found at UnknownMami's Sundays in My City here. I've a few random shots for you.
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Trivial facts about the peacock:
  • Peacocks are polygamous. The male generally attracts a harem of 2 - 5 females.
  • Only a peacock (male), and not a peahen (female) has a colorful train.
  • A peahen chooses her mate based on the the size, color, and quality of their trains.
 
I've seen many a peahen around here, and only one peacock. I think he's been busy. And happy.
Note: I'll leave the "cock" jokes to someone else, since I don't work well with cocks. (Al Penwasser? Pat Hatt? BnB? Someone else?)
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$1 for treats? I rushed over to the bin. Well, it's a good price, but I don't think I'd like the taste of panty liners. Someone who loves Milanos is going to be real disappointed when they bite into these.
Photo taken at a favorite local convenience store, whose name shall remain undisclosed for their protection. Some time after I took this shot, though, the astute folks at Rite Aid moved signs to their proper locations. 
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Just a pretty photo of geese wishing you a happy Cinco de Mayo and new week.

Thank you for visiting. Be well!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Interview with Bruce Jenner: IWSG

Alex J. Cavanaugh  founded the IWSG to provide a safe venue for expressing our vulnerabilities and offering each other support. We're posting on the first Wednesday of every month. Please check out Alex’s blog to visit others’ posts. It’s a thoughtful, fun group.  Join us, if you haven't already! All that's required is an insecurity or two hundred.
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Robyn: Ladies and gentlemen, we're about to welcome a man who needs no intro, Bruce Jenner! Audience members look at each other with confused expressions. "Who the hell is that?" a young guy shouts.

Robyn: Oh, you don't know? Really? Bruce Jenner set a world record and won a gold medal for the decathlon in the '76 Summer Olympics. He was a worldwide hero, and a hottie too. Come on out here Bruce. Robyn faces the back of the stage. Bruce breaks through the gold curtains, sporting athletic attire. He runs at full speed and does laps around the stage, the Chariots of Fire theme song playing loudly. Robyn directs her young stage hand, Macaulay Culkin (he needed the work), to stop the music. Macaulay nods in compliance, walks backstage, and the music ends.

Bruce approaches Robyn for a handshake.
  Bruce Jenner, Olympic hero
Robyn: Welcome, Bruce. Have a seat, please.  Bruce and Robyn are seated in folding chairs. Tell me, you've achieved an athlete's dream, a world record in the decathlon! I remember cheering you on back then. I also - Robyn blushes - had a crush on you. She looks directly at Bruce. My God, what happened to your face?
Bruce Jenner, now, a Kardashian

Bruce chuckles. Yeah, it's a botched surgery. I've tried to fix it, but it only made things worse.

Robyn: I'm sorry. Robyn stands up and repositions her chair so that she has her back towards Bruce. Sorry. It's just really uncomfortable seeing your face. Anyway, I asked you here because I'm so unfocused and scattered these days. Or maybe these years. I don't know. It's all wrapped around feeling insecure as a writer, too. And today's our support group. I realize you had to be incredibly focused to win the gold. Tell us, what was your secret?

Bruce, smiling with pride: It's all here. He holds up a book. This is one of my published books. It's called Finding the Champion Within: A Step-by-Step Plan for Reaching Your Full Potential. 

Robyn: I saw that, and you released it back in 1999. You only have three reviews, she mocks. Three reviews in 14 years! Is that your full potential, Mr. Jenner?

Bruce may be shocked, but his taut skin and eyebrows appear frozen, so we can't tell. Look, I didn't come here to be ridiculed. I came here to talk about my daughters' new clothing line with Sears. I'm very proud of them.

Robyn: Your daughters? You mean, your stepdaughters, the Kardashians? How do you cope with the disgrace of having plummeted from American icon status to being a Kardashian? And do you honestly think Kim isn't fat? Come on Bruce, you're the reasonable one in that house. Sure, she's eating for two, if we're talking two elephants! Robyn guffaws. But would you tell that cow to quit whining and admit she's a fat cow with a really, really wide a*bleep*?!

Bruce: You have a point, but Kris is expecting me at home now for our annual marital relations. He stands up and jogs to the back of the stage. We hear the exit door open and shut.

Robyn: Well, folks, this just goes to show...I got nothing. But I do think it helps to focus on small goals, step-by-step, leaping the hurdles one by one, avoiding reality TV, denying the fact that many of our once admired heroes have sunk to the depths of disgrace and only got three reviews in 14 years since book release.  Any of us can beat those numbers, and they're Bruce Jenner's! How cool is that?

Thank you for attending today's show.  Happy May, everyone!