Day 2: Leslie vs. Jillian Michaels

Jillian: 2
Leslie: 0

I can't straighten my arms from crossing the monkey bars too many times and my quads are so sore that walking down stairs is a challenge.



2 mangoes
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 purple onion
fresh cilantro



Day 1: Leslie vs. Jillian Michaels

I *finally* got James to find Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum for our Wii and oh.my.goodness. This is WAY different than the standard Wii Fit game.

I haven't exercised much since the Peachtree because of an ankle injury sustained somewhere toward the end of the fourth/beginning of the fifth mile. Well it's finally feeling ok so I'm back at the workouts -- in addition to Ms. Micahels, I got an exercise ball, joined the Atlanta Track Club (more on that later) and am even contemplating signing up for the gym at work to get away from my apartment complex's sub-par equipment.

I decided to start today with the Wii. Despite my recent gym hiatus, I figured I could still handle a little Jillian, so I chose the medium-level, 30-minute workout.

Wrong. Now I have a stabbing pain in my right foot and my arms are burning.

Jillian: 1
Leslie: 0


Weekends are NEVER long enough

I've been meaning to post this since Sunday, but marathon study sessions for today's accounting test took precedence, unfortunately. Fortunately, the test was tonight, and despite the fact that I slept for just over an hour last night, gave myself a tension headache from clenching my jaw all day today and nearly had a panic attack before the test... I think it went well!

I don't know what my deal was with this test -- I've never been one to have test anxiety, but wow! Today was the prime example of why I'm glad it's been an experience I've lived without for 24 years. I think I'm still apprehensive after I had trouble in finance, but I must persevere! :) I realized today that I have TWENTY FIVE months until I'm done with school. GAG. All I know is that I'm going to have one heck of a shindig when I'm done. I didn't make a big deal of anything when I graduated from undergrad, so I'm going all out...in 2011. Save the date!

At any rate, James & I had a fabulous, albeit uneventful, weekend. We're members at the High Museum here in Atlanta, and once a month they have Friday Jazz, so we headed off for a nice, relaxing evening. It's a little loud and crowded downstairs, but we found that if you go up and browse the galleries or sit in the upstairs lounges, it's much more enjoyable. Monet's Water Lilies are there right now, so we checked them out, though I saw them in Cleveland with a much larger collection of his work. I was disappointed -- for this being the High's big exhibit -- 3 paintings + three Water Lilies panels was disappointing. Cleveland did better than that, even while they were under renovation! We liked the Terracotta Warriors better.

And speaking of Terracotta Warriors... General Tso has moved into our apartment. We went to see that exhibit three different times because it was just so interesting, and more than once we had to resist dropping a couple thou on a four foot tall, hand-made replica warrior. They were awesome. So when we dropped into the gift shop on Friday and saw this nifty little 20-inch version for a tiny fraction of the price, we could.not.resist. He lives on our bar for now, but I need to find him a better home... in my free time.

Anyway, that's all for tonight -- sleep is calling! G'night.

How To Know You're Getting Old

When the two things that would make you happiest are a housekeeper and someone to water the plants.


My Take on the News...

That this racist nonsense still happens is simply appalling.

Quote of the Day

"Profitability will not return to the transportation industry until weaker competitors are not longer protected by bankruptcy courts."
-"Financial Accounting for MBAs" by Easton, Wild, Halsey & McAnally


Are you ready for some football?

I am. And so is my closet!

My love for football has been enhanced here in the South, home of the glorious Southeastern Conference, the bitterest of bitter rivalries and one too many tiger mascots (I'm talking to you, LSU!). When I was told football here is a religion, they weren't kidding.

They also weren't kidding when they said that girls get dressed up for football games. My Ohio football wardrobe consisted of denim, flops/tennis shoes and a t-shirt/hoodie. As it was often cold and snowing/raining, hats, gloves, ponchos, etc. were my best accessories. The fact that I own an OSU football jersey was not unusual, that I would wear it while watching or attending a game would be expected.

If I showed up at a Georgia Tech or Auburn game dressed like I did in Kent, I'm not sure many of my friends would claim ownership. They'd whisper about that weird girl who asks for pop, hates whisky and wears t-shirts. What atrocities!

Thankfully, I love getting dressed up, so it didn't take too much arm twisting before I started appearing on Saturdays with my hair done, wearing a proper blue and gold/orange sundress, and sporting coordinating fingernail polish and un-sensible shoes (saying soda & drinking whisky are just too much for this Northerner, however). The added bonus is that I get to spend a little more time browsing the racks with the excuse of "Game day!" to ward off one disgruntled husband who does not want to be in the mall for more than five minutes at a time.

Around this time of year, I start keeping my eyes peeled for appropriate attire, and I think I've found my first score! I love snagging cute pieces from Forever 21 because they're such a steal that I can still have some cash to get some great accessories while I'm there! I'm seeing white sunglasses in my future...


Kent State in the WSJ

Spotted "Glass Act: A Blowpipe Virtuoso" on the WSJ home page -- nice shout out to Kent State!

Support JA!

Support me in the Junior Achievement Bowl-A-Thon! I'm 60 percent toward my goal of helping prepare students for their future!
UPDATE: Now at 65 percent! :) Thanks, Melissa P.!
UPDATE: Now at 78 percent! :) Thanks, Melissa R.!
UPDATE: Now at 83 percent! :) Thanks, Dana!
UPDATE: Now at 100 percent! :) Thanks, Mom & Dad!
UPDATE: Now at 118 percent! :) Thanks, Roy!


UPDATE: Recycling: it's so hot right now

We're full-swing into recycling over here at the McBride household:

You can't see them all, but I have four bins stacked in the corner of the balcony -- one each for paper, glass, cans and plastic. This small effort and investment has already cut our waste down from two to three bags per week to one every week to 10 days. It'd be even better if I had a bin for cardboard, but it's only recommended to stack four, and I couldn't reach if I had another one on top, anyway. I just need to find a place to stash one more bin, and we'll be all set! :)

A little TOO green

As we know, I'm a big fan of environmentally friendly behavior, but I think Crate & Barrel has managed to take it one step too far. For the small price of just 39.99, you can now be the proud owner of a countertop compost pail.

"Countertop-worthy design, an odor-absorbing filter, and generous one-gallon capacity make this shining stainless pail the ideal way to compost right in the kitchen. Dishwasher-safe pail is outfitted with a replaceable charcoal filter. A single filter absorbs odors for approximately 3 months; simply remove the filter from the lid and replace with a new one."

Composting is great -- we always did it when I was growing up. But our compost was in a barrel.
Behind the garage.
In the back of the yard.
In the garden.

Not on my kitchen counter.


I just realized that after a spurt of blogs -- I disappeared. And I'm going to post another spurt and then disappear again. My apologies in advance, but I have a good reason, or at least the combination of several good reasons:

1) Grad School -- normally not so bad.
2) Summer School -- little more intense than a normal semester
3) Maymester/Intersession -- 2.5 hours, 5 days a week, 3 weeks
5) Corporate Finance during Maymester/Intersession -- with a ridiculous prof.

I may or may not resurface on weekends....

It's in my roots

My mom and dad both went to vocational school while they were in high school -- mom studied horticulture, and my dad studied culinary arts. Dad wanted to go to a culinary arts school, but he married mom and had a job at Kent State, so he stayed put. He is still an excellent cook, when he makes the time. Maybe that's where I get my love for food?

Mom went on to work at Ravenna Floral and Kent Floral before deciding to go to college, where she eventually earned bachelor's and master's degrees in elementary education. She's been teaching for 15 years, but is an avid gardener and, along with my dad, works hard to keep the yard looking good. She always had gardens when I was growing up, and tried to get my sister and I in on the fun. We were as tolerant as we could be and still keep her happy, but I surely was not committing much to memory.

Now that I'm out on my own, I miss having fresh vegetables in the summer and I'd love to have fresh herbs to cook with. Unfortunately, I walked into Home Depot and was so lost I had to call my mom and have her walk me through what to look for and what would grow on my balcony. But despite living in an apartment that isn't the best environment for a garden and my lack of a green thumb, I've managed to do pretty well!

I bought a pot of tomato/cherry tomato/green pepper plants, a jalapeno pepper plant and planted a box of cilantro, basil, parsley and mint. Today, I picked our first cherry tomatoes and last week I picked some cilantro and made guac in my authentic Mexican molcajete. I can't wait for the jalapeno to start making some peppers as I have discovered a delicious way to make healthy jalapeno poppers at home.

Hopefully the rest of the summer is just as fruitful -- or, vegetableful!


Frank Lloyd Wright

"The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes." -- Frank Lloyd Wright


Recycling: it's so hot right now

I intended to post this in honor of Earth Day, but a final and two group projects followed by one gloriously sunny three-day weekend got in the way of even my best-laid plans...

At any rate, my most recent purchase is super exciting: four 14-gallon stackable recycling bins! Despite the fact that it took me two trips to fit all four in my car, they're definitely one of the best purchases I've made in a long time. I've been wanting to recycle since I moved down here, but I never had a) bins b) somewhere to put the bins c) someone to take the bins d) somewhere to take the bins.

After much searching, I've found somewhere to take my goodies AND coerced James and the big white bus to take them. But the hardest part was the bins -- I'm sure I could have found some or just used some kind of plastic storage container, but the challenge is finding the space to keep four to five of them. My dad built a handy dandy rack at the old house and now has brackets on the wall at the new house. Unfortunately, we have neither the interior space to do this, nor the exterior walls that can take nails (stucco and hardy plank are HARD).

Then, one day, at the store at work -- there they were! Beautiful green and black recycle bins with lids, that stack!. Now we're the proud owners of four neat, clean, stacked bins for paper, glass, plastic and cans. Call me a nerd, but it makes me feel a lot better to know all that garbage isn't going into the compacter each week! :)

LiLo's 6126

I was browsing the Ellen Web site, looking for what day our Graco products will be featured as part of the Mother's Day celebration, when I came across items featured on recent shows. One of the logos was for something called 6126, and featured a golden silhouette. I was intrigued so I clicked through. Seeing Lindsay Lohan on the home page was a slight turnoff, but I thought I'd give the clothes a look anyway.

The "Super Stars" page was only leggings and one pair of leg warmers. Leggings are $99-132. Spring Style leggings are $68-130. The denimn-look "Velvet Rope" leggings are $110.

And that's it. I remember hearing that LiLo had a line of tights -- but ONLY tights, and at that price? No way. The line's so-called muse, Marilyn Monroe, would be dissappointed.


I am the Grammarista

This is the perfect example of why we all need to proofread and then proofread again.

It was about time

It's been a while sine there was a big protest/riot/incident at Kent State, those on par with the May Day celebrations of the past that kept my frieds and family away from Kent for the whole weekend.

Now May Day hasn't even arrived and it's already happened, and it's making national headlines. "Police fire pellets at Kent State rioters" showed up on my Atlanta Journal-Constitution home page today.

I'm embarassed.

I'm also embarassed of the reaction by KSU President Lester Lefton, who when called by a reporter asking for a statement as students were rioting and being arrested, refused comment (that's expected) and told the reporter that it was inapporopriate for him to be calling at that hour on a Saturday night. As the president of the university, it IS his job to take those calls, no matter what time or day it is.


I wanna go fast!


It's unfortunate that I didn't get that job last year at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, as I've recently developed a large interest in NASCAR. It is fortunate, however, that I love my current job AND it introduced me to NASCAR, all without having to drive to Hampton, Ga., every day.

I've been doing some research and writing on our NASCAR sponsorships at work -- Irwin sponsors Jamie McMurray, Lenox sponsors Jeff Burton and the Lenox Industrial Tools 301, and Sharpie sponsors the Sharpie 500. In the process, I've learned about a lot of races and where they are, and now I'm actually interested in watching.

That, and I do love me a little Talladega Nights.

At any rate, I really want to go to Talladega -- I keep hearing commercials about it being the 40th anniversary of the speedway, and I want to go!

And people think I'm a northerner...

Oddly enough -- as I was just about to push "Publish Post," the announcer in Talladega nights said: "And Jamie McMurray is in first place..." and then Ricky Bobby beat him, driving backwards, and said "Hey Jamie, I have a little something that will lift your spirts..."

Never noticed that before! :)


Today, I found something very interesting: a Popple.

I loved my Popples -- all three of them. The greatest thing about a Popple? After you got tired of playing with them, you rolled them up into a ball, and voila! Instant weapon! Hence the reason when I found mine, I promptly rolled it up and threw it at James.

And then I realized a tragedy: James never had a Popple. He didn't even know what it was. Terrible!


I promise, I'm independent

There aren't many places where I will let my political preferences show, but I think this column is well written and gives a stark look at an unfortunate truth.

I am the Grammarista.

This is a noun. Please pay special attention to PROPER NOUNS. Thank you! :)


Just how much is $787 billion?

“Suppose you spent $1 million every single day starting from the day Jesus was born and kept spending through today. A million dollars a day for more than 2,000 years. You would still have spent less money than Congress just did.” That's a lot of dollars.


Lessons of an apartment dweller

It's interesting how great I thought my apartment was when I moved in. I loved everything about it. I will admit that in theory, it seems like a fabulous place. I will also admit that I may just be snotty and have too-high expectations. But what is undeniably true is that my so-called "luxury apartment home" is more stodgy construction and less high-quality abode.

- In apartment-speak, "hardwood floors" actually means linoleum, which is SO hard to clean. No matter what soap I use and whether I use a mop or scrub on my hands and knees, it always has a visible film.

- Cheap paint is just that: cheap. If I remove several layers of paint, leaving a visible spot, when cleaning the walls, it's a problem.

- While white ceramic floor tiles and white granite counter tops provide a bright, clean look, they're impossible to keep clean and show every minuscule scratch.

- Double-pane windows are a necessity.

- Buying the cheapest washer and dryer is probably not the best idea.

- I am envious of fingerprint proof stainless steel.

- I have gained a new appreciation for wiping the baseboards, despite the fact I used to think my mother was a crazy woman for noticing the near-invisible dust that settled upon them. Why you ask? Because when no one cleans then, the maintenance team simply paints over the dust, and it looks disgusting.

- When planning your kitchen, measuring is important, especially when placing a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer with a in-door ice maker next to a protruding window sill.

All of these things taught me one thing: I'm going to be one heck of a picky home buyer.