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MoviePass Mission: to singlehandedly bankrupt them.

Received my MoviePass on Friday (10/6).

Sunday (10/8) went to the West Boylston theatre because it’s discounted ($6/movie) just in case MP didn’t work. It worked. All I had to do was “check in” from the parking lot, and then I swiped my card like a regular ol’ MasterCard to buy the ticket, then bam! Paid. For the record I saw The Dark Tower.

I went bigger tonight (Monday, 10/9) and tried my luck at my nearest Showcase. Same situation, same result, better value ($12.50). Now I am the only person in the theater as the LEGO NINJAGO movie begins. Oh, and because I combined my MP with my Starpass, I wound up ALSO getting a free movie ticket, so now I can pay for my next movie with someone here at Showcase. So far I already made my MP “worth it.” But I *am* wasting an awful lot of electricity by making the movies my own personal theater tonight. ūüôā

More to come!

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Kthxbai, Worcester.

Over the last few days I’ve been “unliking” and “unfollowing” people & places that have any link to my life here in the Woo. I’m pretty much done. I’ve even plans to begin collecting boxes and packing things regularly from now until July 2018. I’m tied to a few volunteer events in the next 6 weeks or so, and I’ll do those things, but then I’m going to focus my efforts on getting my psychology license and preparing to move back to Philly.

Maybe I’ll make a little WBL (Worcester Bucket List), which would include the Botanical Garden, Wachusett Reservoir, Rein’s Deli (in CT), Brigham Hill, and a camping venture in the White Mountains (Mt. Washington? And preferably with Casey), maybe Tanglewood, The Big E (this weekend) and anything else I might have scribbled down somewhere as stuff I wanted to do while I was here.

I’ll have to post that anyone who wants to come visit should do so in the coming months before I can only be found in Philly again. This is kind of the biggest thing keeping me going. I may love my apartment with my whole heart, but I don’t like this place and it feels less and less like home, unlike what had happened with Philly, where it felt more and more like it. I can’t imagine my posts once I move away to be like, “Miss you too, Woo!” because, c’mon, there’s really nothing to miss here (save for a few people and my apartment). Looking forward to saying “Bye, Felicia!” as I drive away for good.

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Real Life

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I have to laugh, mostly because I was thrown into real life before I had even hit my teens…I was suicidal at 13. But he wouldn’t know anything about that, because he was too busy telling me not to have feelings. I have fought/been fighting the urge and inclination to submit to BPD the entirety of my existence. I can’t have relationships because I either don’t believe I’m worth them, or I don’t believe any man can be faithful. But go ahead and believe that I’m out of touch with real life and that you had nothing to do with it. And please, continue to tell yourself that I’m the reason we “don’t speak.” Any responsible parent would disagree with you. DIAF.

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A Worcester-Infested Saturday

My day began with securing my own Worcester Public Library card and in my travels I noticed some event-like commotion over at the Commons. As I asked the locals what was up (the Woo Challenge race, it turns out), I spotted my landlord and his son. I waited with them for his wife and daughter to catch up and cheered them on as they finished the obstacle course. It was nice to know someone (and actually like them) that I randomly ran into in the park.

From there I headed to work where I tried to finish mowing the courtyard (apparently the mower ran out of gas which is why our maintenance dude stopped mowing), took care of my plant babies, and cleaned out the fridge (to mitigate maintenance dude having to do it when asked). It took forever to scrub that thing down from top to bottom, but it looks like a brand new refrigerator/freezer and nothing expired is left in it. Here’s hoping that’s enough for the director to call off the “tossing everything in the fridge/freezer” dogs. Having lost one of our two maintenance dudes, I’m sure the remaining one will appreciate my efforts. I also dumpster-dove for the second fucking week to rescue a¬†bunch of recyclable items (and bags of recycling from the bins around the office) and move them to the recycle dumpster THREE FEET AWAY. This needs to be fixed; what’s the point of having recycling bins and a dumpster if they’re not being used?!

Next stop was at a Worcester-Shrewsbury community event. The Facebook description promised local area tables promoting recycling, health, community gardening and the like (all things that are right up my alley), so I dropped by to check it out. It may have only been 6 tables, a food truck and a pet adoption trailer, but it was kind of perfect. I got to play with Jerry the adorable (and adoptable) pupface, who would have laid in my lap if I’d have let him. I grabbed a reusable bag from the Shaw’s lady, a basil plant from the owner of the Metro PCS shop (a/k/a the organizer of the event), a hot dog from the food truck, some health information for my kiddies at work, and a few fidget spinner/crayon/pencil packets for the kiddies at work as well. ¬† Metro PCS owner guy (whose name I don’t know if I even got) is from Forest Hills, Queens (NY) so we talked Long Island/New York for a few. I really hope he doesn’t lose his spirit having moved to Worcester the way that I did. I hope he’s successful and he continues to organize community-based events and he builds himself a niche here. This place just isn’t for me, but it’s serving a purpose in my life right now, and so I stay. And I find these things to do, and I enjoy myself in the interim.

I dropped all of my things off at home and made an executive decision despite having just consumed a hot dog off of a truck. I figured the final dinner shift (tonight) and the final brunch shift (tomorrow) at Sweet – Kitchen & Bar would be super-cray due to their permanent closing tomorrow. So I decided to try to squeeze myself into a 2-3 p.m. slot at the bar, assuming from my restaurant days that it wouldn’t be too busy at that hour. I was right. I was also there until after 4:00, regardless of the fact that the restaurant itself (but not the take-out cupcake bar) closes from 3-5.

Some of the things I learned during that time: Mr. Sunshine was more or less hired to “fix” some of the things that needed to change about the establishment so they could continue their success in the heart of the Woo, but unfortunately he was not able to do enough. He denied being “bummed” about it, but his facial expressions seemed to betray him. I named him Mr. Sunshine because he belongs in it–with a beach accompaniment. Everything about him silently screams “Cali” but he remains here–being a good dog dad and an even better human son. He doesn’t seem belong in the Woo and I think it’s making him sad. My initial impression after a quick Facebook stalk is that we’re probably very alike. Third-floor Triple Decker twins, at least, and non-Worcesterites (“this fuckin’ city” –see T.J. Miller’s stand-up special for comedic reference). His relatives in Vernon Hill likely live within blocks of me too. I likened him to a possible Worcester version of Ted. He’d probably make an excellent Woo-Ted but the biggest difference is that I bet he’d hit on me, whereas Ted never has. Quite possibly the only male friend I’ve ever had that didn’t? In any event, I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do with his number, but I also kind of think he felt bad that I “had no friends” and gave it to me out of pity.

Anyway, a quick trip down Restaurant-Memory Lane ensued while I watched two employees discuss their plans for a small gift for Chef as the place closes forever. I’ve got money on them having slept together, but I suppose I’ll never know so the bet against myself is pretty moot. Restaurant politics are funny. Pretty Boy, however, was pretty cool and will likely excel at whatever he does. I get the sense he doesn’t really like his girlfriend though. Either she’s awesome in bed so he keeps her around or he likes drama (which I find kind of hard to believe), but I would never¬†have guessed them to be together. She’s a wannabe-model-looking type that stays away from social media, and he’s a beard/tattoos/social butterfly. Maybe they’re perfect for one another; who knows.

The drink I chose (a “Handsome Joe” made with Chivas Regal, espresso syrup, lemon) and the meal (a brunch version of poutine) were great. The cupcakes I brought home were expensive (and I hope also great, though I couldn’t possibly eat them just yet). The hostess didn’t want to check to see if there were any more shirts, so I didn’t get to keep a little slice of Worcester’s history for when I book it out of here and save my soul.

I was¬†going to try out Worcester’s Bingo scene tonight, but I still don’t have company and I’m not ready to go it alone. I can’t really figure out why, as some things I’m a-ok doing solo and other things I get very awkward when I think about being by myself. So I may just stay in…get some paperwork done, watch a movie, etc. I wanted to hit up the pool but it’s been cloudy and it’s too late in the day. I considered driving down to Providence for Water Fire, but I’m going to be doing a lot from Thursday – Sunday next week so I really think the best plan for now is to take it easy…for the body, brain,¬†and wallet.

Bottom line is that I had a very Worcester-focused day and I noticed how hard this city is trying. One of the other people at the bar said it best though, when I overheard her say, “It’s definitely been changing, but it’s still Worcester.” And I think that’s what I can feel despite all of the efforts to…dare I say it…make Worcester great again?

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That Diner/NY Breakfast Sammy Life

Howdy. I’ve decided to start a project to leave hanging (I say this half in truth and half in jest). I’d like to believe that I’m going to pursue this diner-tour¬†plan that I have in my head, but let’s be honest–ain’t nobody got time fo’ that.

This idea started with a Worcester Reddit thread about takeout breakfast sandwiches (NY deli style) that got trapped in the back of my¬†mind. They don’t really¬†have NY-style delis around Worcester, but you can turn any of the regular ol’ diners into just that by placing a to-go order.¬†¬†In my last year and half here, I’ve definitely¬†been to a few of the diners (Boulevard, Miss Worcester, Lou Roc’s, Dinky’s, Gold Star, Cafe Manzi’s back when it had its own home, Parkway, Mac’s, and probably even a few others I haven’t thought of…like that creepy MAGA one in Leicester), but never with a specific purpose. Today, having continued to excel on my New Year Resolution-based diet, I felt the urge to seek out a NY-comparative breakfast sandwich and based on my success, had no trouble rewarding myself with the adventure.

I was actually looking to go to Gold Star but couldn’t remember the name of it. After a quick in-transit Google search (I know, I know; terrible plan, even at red lights), I thought the Edgemere Diner (by photo) looked a little like Gold Star from the inside. I was very wrong, but I think it was worth it.

The Edgemere Diner is actually just outside of Worcester in Shrewsbury, but I’m including it because it’s only about 0.2 miles outside of it. I actually almost wound up living just on that border, but somehow landed my current apartment instead and for comparative cost, am¬†much happier to be where I am. Anyway, Edgemere turned out to be a dining car diner, so rather than turn around and head in the¬†very opposite direction to go back to my original plan, I stayed.

When I walked in there were three¬†male employees behind the counter, one patron at the counter, and two occupied tables–one a duo of females, the other a trio of males. I was greeted with a “what’s going on today?” and an offer for a beverage. I felt welcome, but I also felt a little creeped out, which I attributed more to being a single female in an establishment that appeared owned and operated by males.¬†It seemed as though they were just being friendly, genuine, etc., and I interpreted that in a way that my history and experiences have framed things. So I digress. The diner itself, however, was awesome–clean for a¬†train car diner, very pink, full of formica and chrome(?), and came with its own back story, which is reported on the menu (fun fact: it was born & raised in NJ and formerly known as the Englewood Diner). The menu looks like it was originally hand-written (neatly), copied, and laminated, which is another cool little feature whether it was actually created that way or not.

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I ordered my *BEC (with well done bacon) and a coffee. I wasn’t offered anything else (e.g., hash browns), even though a table that had walked in as I was finishing up my meal was offered the side dish. I¬†have to say the sandwich was¬†good. The roll was obviously different than a classic NY poppyseed kaiser roll, and it seemed as though it was a lightly toasted and buttered brioche bun, but it¬†wasn’t¬†so different that it took the diner out of the running for a comparative NY breakfast sammy. Everything else was perfect–crisp fried eggs, sliced American cheese, and an appropriate portion of well-done bacon. If I ignored the roll (and maybe doubled the egg & bacon because NY is the oversized portion capital), it was like being home. I was pleasantly surprised.

My total came to $7.50 and I paid cash, so I’m still unsure if they accept credit. My entire time in the establishment was probably 30 minutes, if that. I think the sandwich itself took less than 5 minutes from my order¬†to being set down in front of me.¬†Like many of the local diners, Edgemere is only open until 2 most days (12 on Sundays), so if you want a chance to form your own opinion about their ambiance, staff, food, etc., it’ll take a slight commitment to working around those hours. In terms of meeting the classic NY-style breakfast sandwich, for the moment (and as the first rating on an arbitrary system I just made up now), it’s earned a 3.75/5. This may ultimately be amended as I venture to other locales. Stay tuned! (But don’t hold your breath, since this could easily become a half-baked idea!)

*if you don’t know that BEC = bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, then you probably don’t need to be reading this particular post ¬†ūüėČ

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24 Hours

In the last 24 hours, I have…

– allocated my final school loan check to: pay off both of my cell phones, return money I borrowed from savings, stash the remainder of my half of my car loan (thanks, mom!), and buy a new/slightly improved couch;
– rearranged my living room;
– re-learned statistics and completed the second third of my dissertation (method/stats/results);
– put up Valentine’s Day decorations and changed out front window lights from white/blue to red;
– read the second third of 1984;
– caught up on work notes and re-organized my work binder for next week;
– listed four books for sale;
– caught up on items to toss/donate (I was about a week behind); AND
– did this all by turning my phone/apple watch/macbook to DND/airplane mode.

It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we reduce our dependence on connectivity. I still let Google read me the news this morning and kept on top of my emails (well, I deleted the junk; I haven’t yet addressed any of the ones still sitting in my inbox), it was just Insta & SnapChat & messages & Twitter that I needed to create some space from. Deleting FB from my phone and computer bookmarks has been fantastic and I’ve been easily able to avoid the few urges I’ve had in the last week to check it. I’m just so much less stressed without it. I’ll have to go back eventually (could use some stuff from the marketplace and I’ll want to seek out local events again), but maybe I’ll revamp it. Or create an entirely new account just for things like marketplace and events. Hmmm…not a bad idea.

As an aside, and in follow-up to my last post (NYRs), I’m still going strong. Some things have changed, like being less detailed with my notes, failing at both 30-day challenges, and slacking in the water department, but overall I’m pretty certain that I’m continuing to lose weight. My “big girl” belt that I bought because I thought I needed a bigger one but then wound up poking a hole in it because it was too big now spins around and is pretty pointless. My muffin top is starting to look more cupcake than muffin, and when I went to the doctor last week, I was one pound lighter than I was a year ago, which is 7 pounds less than I was six months ago. My clothes are beginning to fit again, and not feel snug and uncomfortable. It’s not much, since it’s only been 5 weeks and I’m not increasing exercise (just trying to hit the daily 330 active calorie goal that my apple watch set for me), but it’s definitely been something, and that seems to be enough to motivate me to keep going. Sticking to < 1500 calories (with an ideal of 1200) isn’t actually as hard as I thought it would be. And it turns out I can eat a much healthier diet as long as I let myself continue to¬†indulge on the less healthy stuff once in a while.

So if you don’t count politics, so far 2017 isn’t such a bad year.

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New Year’s Resolution(s)

…or does the apostrophe go after the ‘s;’ I’m never sure.

In any event, yes, I’m one of the millions of people who have vowed to become healthier/more fit/lose weight/blah blah blah, but this year so far I’ve been successful for 8 days, which is probably 5 days more than whenever my last¬†successful streak occurred.

This time around I’m trying something different–I’m using¬†moderation and mindfulness. Here are some of the ways I’m attempting to be successful this time around:

  1. I don’t have a “goal weight” or anything like that. I haven’t and I don’t weigh myself. I personally don’t care about the number (until I go to the doctor for something, of course; then I’m obsessed with it for like a week). I care about how I feel, how I see myself, and how my clothes fit. In the last six¬†years, I’ve gone up approximately 2 sizes (depending on make of clothes, I can be anywhere from a 7 to a 10). I mentally place blame on a variety of factors, but I’m not in the interest of declaring those here. So now I’m trying to change that. And I can say that after a solid week, I already feel a difference. Maybe it’s due to these strategies and maybe it’s all in my head, but either way, noticing seems to be helping keep me on track.
  2. I drink more water. I’ve always tried to drink more water, but once again I’m being extra mindful about it. When ¬†I get a headache, first I’m trying to drink a full glass of water before assuming I need ibuprofen or Excedrin. I pay attention to my urine, which I learned should be a light yellow color, and how often I’m going to the bathroom. I recently read somewhere “if you’re not urinating once per hour, you’re not drinking enough water.” I try not to¬†let it get to hourly because that’s like torture, but I¬†do try to manage every other hour. I’m not thrilled about it, because I hate water (yes, even water with fruit in it), but it’s slightly easier in the winter when having heat on all the time completely dries out the air, making me more thirsty overall.
  3. I count calories and I document¬†them. When I notice something is a ridiculous amount of calories, I can’t justify writing it in the book. I then do one of two things: I have a much smaller portion of it or I refrain from having it altogether. My book is structured to allot¬†one page per day and at the top I write the date, what time I woke up, and what time I actually got out of bed. I then document¬†the time and what I eat throughout the day as well as the approximate calories and keep a running total. I measure portion sizes rather than grabbing a bag of potato chips and eating 60% of it in one sitting. So now I’m eating single portion-sizes instead of six of them at once. In the book, I also write what time I went to bed and what time I believe I fell asleep as well as any naps I took.
  4. I don’t deny myself things. If I want a cookie, I calorie-budget in a cookie (or two). If I want Fritos, I eat a serving of Fritos. I pretend like I might “run” it off later, but I hate that system (because I never do it and then I wind up having way too many¬†calories!), so I typically just trade other calories out or keep the intake low (e.g., only one serving).
  5. This system, however, includes alcohol. It wasn’t until I started counting alcohol calories that I realized how many calories I was drinking. Five ounces of white wine is 125 calories. Most beers are around 200. Vodka is one of the lowest-calorie alcohols, but I’m really not that interested in having a glass of vodka at the end of my¬†long day (and I typically don’t do mixers other than water). So not only has this helped lower¬†both my alcohol and calorie intake, but it’s reduced the alcohol-induced munchies¬†and it’s been helping me to prepare for my 2nd annual “no-alcohol February.” I certainly won’t be replacing wine and beer with non-alcoholic substitutes though this year–just think of all the wasted, empty¬†calories!
  6. I am doing two 30-day challenges: plank and cardio, and the easiest level for each (beginner level 1).¬†After numerous failed attempts at¬†working out over the years, I realized that incremental steps is probably the most likely way to get me to do more extended workouts. I’ve nailed the first week of both (up to a 35-second forearm plank & 3.5 minutes of various cardio exercises, from a 10-second plank & 3o seconds of cardio), but I know it will get hard and I will want more than anything not to do it. I hope I stick it out. I do them when I feel like I have energy or, failing that, while watching something on TV that I like enough to provide the biggest distraction. Have I mentioned I hate workouts? Oh, and I also¬†don’t calculate negative calories or document exercises. That may just be because it’s so little right now, but ideally I’m not looking to trade exercise for food. Running for 20 minutes doesn’t mean I can have a slice of cake. I’m not deducting the calories burned from the running total, but I may if/when it becomes a more substantial number.
  7. If I make it through January with those, I’ve decided to try out the local YMCA in February (I figure all the January failures–hopefully not¬†including myself–will be gone by then). I have a 3-day pass and I’ve checked out monthly memberships (doable and worth it if¬†I’m going to go regularly). I also printed out the group fitness schedule¬†and posted it on my fridge as a motivator and reminder.
  8. I threw out everything that was going to be tempting, even if I would allow myself to have small portions in moderation (e.g., pancakes, cheese, pasta, rice)–things in the fridge, by the way, not uncooked in the cabinet. I imagine that if I get to a¬†place where I’m satisfied with my progress, I will re-introduce those foods in my diet. Plus, I can always donate them if I don’t.
  9. I buy things that are healthy and I also¬†like. This is unlike the past because I used to buy things that I thought I could learn to like (e.g., strawberries, apples, other healthy things). Now I just stick with things I know I’ll eat and I find creative ways to use them (e.g., my recent cauliflower-tots). So I wind up eating cauliflower (bread crumbs not forbidden, just in moderation, see?) and I’m excited by a cool, tasty thing that I’m also proud of myself for making.
  10. I have a “cheat day”…sort of. Rather than being like “fuck it!” and eating and drinking anything and everything I want on once-weekly “cheat days,” I continue to count calories and I work to keep it as close to 2,000 as possible. This way it’s closer to a standard non-diet amount of calories¬†and reduces the likelihood that I’ll be¬†undoing my progress by adding weight.
  11. I’ve bitten the bullet and started to “unfollow” food accounts. Mac Mart, Spotburger, the myriad of other food trucks from back in Philly…I love you all dearly, but you make me hungry for things that I just can’t eat right now. Plus, like 80% of them are inaccessible¬†from where I live these days anyway, so¬†I’ve just been torturing myself for no reason.

So that’s all I can think of for now that I’ve been doing (it’s plenty though, I feel). I told myself I couldn’t document my progress until it had been a month, but there’s always the possibility I don’t make it a month, and I want to be able to look back on what strategies I was trying to assess where I may have gone wrong. Plus, if it doesn’t all go to shit, I will be able to say that these tactics were successful! So either way it’s useful.

And now…to have a few ounces of chicken breast (50 cal/oz.) with some of my cauliflower tots (20 cal/tot) and a cup of tea with a teaspoon of sugar (15 cal/tsp.)! Tasty and healthy!

 

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