Friday, November 26, 2010

LensCrafters Friends and Family Sale

LensCrafters Friends and Family Sale

Say what!? I've been an associate of Lenscrafters for 14 years. I'm proudly part of the company that made ONE HOUR eyewear a possibility. Even more exciting is that I'm the lab manager at my location. Wave at me and my colleagues as you walk through the mall! 

Former clients, we urge you to come back and see what's new.
Click the link above and print out the valuable coupon.  Use it between December 12-15. Stop by or call in advance to set up an eye exam. Plan ahead and bring in the family for great savings at America's leading eye care company. Let Lenscrafters be your "trusted partner in helping you to see and look your best. That is what we do, and that's all we do."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yam glop vs Sweet Potatoes

The shelves of Wal-Mart, as I entered the store, were lined with one of the most disgusting canned items known to man (besides peas -- am I right, Angie Bailey?) Yams.  Candied yams to be more precise. First, let me say I question the validity of said claims that the item sloshing around in heavy syrup is, indeed, a yam. Hey! Look at the photo. Underneath the word YAM is the truth. Yams and sweet potatoes are not one in the same.  This product is a mushy, detestable glurp in a can. It was a staple side dish at all the Thanksgivings at casa Rapier. Dump the can of candied yams into a casserole dish; cover with a pound of mini marshmallows and bake until golden brown. Yuck! I suppose it comes from the era when it was all a parent could do to get a kid to eat a vegetable so they'd slather it with cheese food or enough sugar to kill and entire nation (and it is) to make it palatable. You may as well give a kid a king size Hershey bar and call it a veggie.

It wasn't until I moved to Georgia that I learned of the glory of a sweet potato.  It's hard to believe the southern fried capital of the world didn't manage to destroy the simplicity of the orange tuber by coating it in batter and throwing it in the deep fryer.  Paula Deen surely adds a pound of butter per potato.  Oh, there are some jacked up recipes that make me question the sugar to potato ratio.  Sorry. I digress.

Consumption of the sweet potato for me requires nothing more than baking or microwaving.  No thank you to the butter and brown sugar.  Truly, they are sweet enough on their own if you ask me. Perhaps a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, but nothing more.  I'll cook a couple ahead of time and refrigerate for later use. Once cooked and cooled, the skins are so easy to peel off.  It's not unusual for me eat a sweet potato for breakfast. Just slice one up and, with a spritz of non-stick spray in pan, warm until the natural sugars brown the outside. This can be done by baking, too. Super easy side dish that doesn't rob you of the nutrients or flavor.  Heavy syrups suck tushy, kids.

My rule: When it comes to vegetables, K.I.S.S them -- Keep It Simple Sunshine

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Rissy senses are tingling!

Normally, I just read my horoscopes and get a chuckle.  But the past couple have given me exactly what I need to hear.  Quite honestly, deep down I am just a hippie chick who believes the cosmos-really-knows-me-best and delivers it if I keep my eyes open and my mind even opener. Just go with me on this and my mutilation of grammar.

Leo
(Jul 23 - Aug 22)

Your day can be mixed with contradictions because you may intuitively sense that you're on the edge of something big ... and although it's exciting to think that there are no limits to your far-reaching ideas now, you might have to face an unexpected obstacle. A seemingly insignificant social event can set you in a direction that is very advantageous to your career. Combining business with pleasure isn't always a wise idea, but today it may be just what the doctor ordered for your success.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

'O' to the 'M' to the 'G'!

Check out this horoscope!  I can dig it. Yes, please and thank you! Give me a double helping.


You are stepping into a fun-filled phase when your life lightens and you want to express yourself in a more playful manner. Even if it's challenging to find everything you're seeking, you are still more willing to move forward with anticipation now, rather than shut down in fear. It's certainly more pleasurable to be with someone you like than spending your time alone wishing for company.

Tell me more!

Listen, my brain is a cavalcade of mish-mash lately.  Bear with me as I try to regain my ability to write cohesively (if that is ever possible with me) and form a decent  blog post.  In the meantime, this handy Facebook tag-a-long will be quite useful.  Thank you to my friend Angie Bailey of Catladyland for bestowing this upon me.  It came in the nick of time -- that's what friends are for!

These rules apply if you're going to do this on Facebook. I'm not changing things up for the sake of the blog.

To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your title as "Getting to know each other!", tag 25 people including me (tagging is done in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
5:36

 2. How do you like your steak?
Rare -- meaning, I rarely eat red meat. It's nothing personal against cows nor is it a moral statement. My body dislikes it.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Wow, it's time to go to the movie theater. I can't ... wait. It's coming to me. "How To Train Your Dragon."

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Of all time or just currently? Old shows: The Bob Newhart Show; Dick Van Dyke; The Brady Bunch (shut your pie hole); I Love Lucy. Current programs: The Good Wife; Glee; Castle (me-to-the-yow @ Nathan Fillion); Community (another me-to-the-yow @ Joel McHale); The Soup.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I've been so few places.  This is a blank options area. Just take me away!

6. What did you have for breakfast?
Nothing beyond coffee. I know I should eat sooner, but it doesn't bode well with my stomach if I do. Today will probably be steel cut oatmeal with a drizzle of coconut nectar.

7. What is your favorite cuisine?
There is little that I do not covet.

8. What foods do you dislike?
Canned sardines; herring; pickled pigs feet

9. Favorite Place to Eat?
In the home of a friend

10. Favorite dressing?
Raspberry vinaigrette or Bleu Fromage

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive?
Saturn L300

12. What are your least favorite clothes?
Bra -- but it's an evil that must be worn; hence the sub-title of my blog

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?
I'm game for nearly any where -- Australia since they speak English-ish.

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?
Why can't it just be full?

15. Where would you want to retire?
I need year round warmth. In fact, for the other travel/locale questions, make it year round warm places. K-thanks.

16. Favorite time of day?
The time I get home from work, whenever that may be.

17. Where were you born?
St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee, IL.

18. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Is ball room dancing a sport?

19. Who do you think will not tag you back?
Oh, the possibilities are endless

20. Person you expect to tag you back first?
Angie's reply is way funnier than any one I could come up with "Tito Jackson"

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this?
None of you really intrigues me, but for the sake of sport, I want to know every thing about each and every one of you equally.

22. Bird watcher?
Only on the interstate at 80mph

23. Are you a morning person or a night person?
I'm a mid-day person

24. Do you have any pets?
Dos gato

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share?
I'm on a quest to find the key to my chastity belt! Who has a metal detector?

26. What did you want to be when you were little?
A grown up

27. What is your best childhood memory?
With all sincerity I had many.  Riding on the back of my Dad's motorcycle and hanging out with him at his barbershop springs to mind first.

28. Are you a cat or dog person?
I'm a person who lives with 2 cats. I have never had a dog.

29. Are you in a relationship?
Only with myself and imaginary lovers.

30. Always wear your seat belt?
Click-it or Ticket!

31. Been in a car accident?
A couple small fender benders.

32. Any pet peeves?
Endless

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings?
Yes, please.

34. Favorite Flower?
Daisies

35. Favorite ice cream?
I don't crave it often. Usually fruit based flavors. Chunky Monkey makes me happy.

36. Favorite fast food restaurant?
In the sea of all that sucks, I'd say (same as Angie) Jimmy John's because it's "freaky fast!" The crusty wheat bread is yummers.

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test?  
I didn't

38. From whom did you get your last email?
Uh, I knew there was something I didn't do today. Do Facebook messages count?

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
Well, in a world where people are ass deep in debt this might sound terribly unusual, but I do not possess a credit card.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately?
This word spontaneous -- can you define it, please?

41. Like your job?
Sure! This week I love it. I have my reasons for why. If you work with me then you already know.

42. Broccoli?
??? Mulva?

43. What was your favorite vacation?
Damn! I keep intending on taking one of those things

44. Last person you went out to dinner with?
Mancub

45. What are you listening to right now?
Gene Simmons Family Jewels on the telly

46. What is your favorite color?
Periwinkle

47. How many tattoos do you have?
Zero

48. How many are you tagging for this quiz?  
How many readers does this blog have? I don't know either, but consider yourselves tagged and if you have a blog, provide your adoring fans with a link back to my little humble spot in the blogosphere. It's only fair!

49. What time did you finish this quiz? 
7:24 am

50. Coffee Drinker?

Only every single day of the year!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One ringy-dingy

Here I am noshing on a Honeycrisp apple. If you've never eaten one then you're truly missing out on one of nature's most delightful snacks. But that is not what this post is about.  Nope. I just wanted to explain the reason my keyboard is sticky -- an excuse for my typos, by the way.

I worked all day and it wasn't until around 4:30 that I was struck with a serious case of the yawns.  My sleepiness can be blamed on staying up later than my usual 10:30 PM bedtime.  I know! Outrageous party animal am I!  It was around 12:30 AM when my phone was going dead for the second time. Obviously the cosmic gods were telling me to go to bed. You see, Saturday night brought some serious catch up with the best friend I've never met.  My house phone battery went belly up -- yes, I'm a weirdo with a land line. Immediately after that I grabbed my cell which had been charging.  I knew my Blondie gal in Cali and I had babbled and laughed for a few hours.  It wasn't until this evening that, out of curiosity, I checked the call log to see what time she originally gave me a jingle.  The digital read out let me know the exact time of 6:20 PM.  Please note above the time that I remarked when we finally hung up.  Damn! I imagine how long that call would have taken if we were textaholic teens.SIX HOUR PHONE CALL! It was just what the doctor ordered.  One more reminder that it is not necessary for me to lead a total solitary life.

In the course of that phone call I drank a bottle of wine that had taken up residence on my kitchen counter since April 2010.  Without being able to fully explain why, it was the most therapeutic bottle of wine ever to pass over my lips.  Shot to hell was my diet for the day, but what a cathartic sense of relief for it to no longer be a reminder of a 'once upon a time' that will never be.  Even though my phone-in-friend couldn't toast with me, she was along for the ride.  I let her know the story behind the Cabernet sauvignon.  Normally I avoid red wines as they always leave me feeling like crap the next day. Clearly the forces of good karma were with me as I didn't suffer a hangover. 

I'm really not sure where else to go with this post.  Typically there's an attempt to connect the introduction to the final sentence.  This time not so much. I hope you enjoyed the middle. Consider it like eating an Oreo sans cookie portion.

Oy!

I realize that nothing has been posted here since November 16. Five days! In blog days that's like a months.  Sorry. I've been preoccupied with work.  Not to mention there really isn't anything interesting or amusing taking place in the House of 'Riss.

I'm working out regularly.  Oh yeah, that's not news.  I paid a visit to Kankakee Natural Foods. It is not nearly as vast as Whole Foods that all my friends seem to be enamored with, but it's a nice little store with all the essentials. It'll be a cold day before this community sees the likes of Whole Foods, me thinks. Wal-Mart is simply no place to find the best in natural or organic foods.  That's not to say I'm a health freak/warrior.  But variety of tofu is not readily available at the mega-mart.  Nor is coconut nectar, coconut juice etc...

Now that you've come to my blog aren't you happy I haven't been blogging lately? Seriously, could I be more boring?  When my day off finally gets here I will write or post a video blog to spice things up.  In the meantime, check out my older posts.  You know, back when I had an imagination and a life beyond the walls of an optical lab.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Free for the holidays

You've seen it. You want it. Don't put it off! Commit and get 25% off retail price.
Summer weddings? Graduation? Bikini weather?  It will all be here before you know it.  Do you see your pharmacist as much as you see your kids? Maybe it's time to take control of your health care. Let's do this thing together!

It's FREE until the end of 2010.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Face it, lady, we're younger and faster! "

Ladies, let's face it! Being a woman is difficult in the realm of ... well, nearly everything when compared to men. That's particularly true when it comes to losing weight.  Difficulty goes up when you're a female over 40. Now I'm over 45 (just turned in August) and I read articles about the collection of belly blubber thanks to my ever decreasing estrogen levels.  Seriously, hormones can just suck it!! Hey, at least my libido is decreasing, right? With no applicable suitors hot on my tail, I guess that's a perk.

Another downside of trying to lose a lot of weight at my age is that ye olde metabolism is ridiculously slow. Imagine Barney Fife trying to push a stalled Amtrak uphill while wearing stilettos. In the snow. Yes, it's laughable!

Working out is my best defense partnered with eating right. It's ever apparent that, unlike my early to mid twenties, that doing 45 minutes of high impact aerobics four times a week and eating 'as usual' will not get rid of the gushy-mushy-tushy.  In order to drop the squishiness that is my thickened torso is to eat low-fat, low calorie, high fiber foods AND workout 5-6 days a week for 30 minutes or more.

Helen Mirren: Hope for women of a certain age
One day I will post a video of me working out.  Put on your Depends because it is guaranteed to make you shit yourself with laughter.

My Cat-boy Featured on Catladyland!

Kitty cats and video games.  The two things that my son loves. Our cats only give me attention when he's not around. Otherwise, they snub me for his attention.  I don't know what it is, seriously.  They dash away from me and run under beds.  Yet, with Mancub, they willfully go to him.  Silver is especially skittish with me. There's no chance of me holding her in my arms.  She becomes this spastic, skin shredding psycho.  With Mancub she's docile.  She anxiously awaits him each morning.  Every night after he showers she paces for him to emerge. Then, she races to the couch, meows as if commanding him to sit down so she can hop up on him and snuggle.  What really gets to me is the smug look she gives me as she cozies up to Mancub.

After posting a few photos of my son with his furry companions, my friend and fellow blogger Angie Bailey asked if Mancub would like to be part of a regular feature on her blog Catladyland: Men Who Love Cats.  I asked the boy and he was more than happy to partake.  Click that link and read all about it. While you're there, check out the hilarious mewsings and photos of Angie's fur children: Phoebe, Cosmo and Saffy.  If you're on Facebook, then make sure you 'like' her Catladyland fan page. Each day she and friends post photos, videos and anecdotes about the curious world of our most beloved felines.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Now I know how Joan Rivers felt filling in for Johnny Carson

The title of this post is nearly longer than the actual post itself.  When my friend Clark Brooks asked me to guest blog for him earlier this month I thought there was no possible way I could possibly fill in for him.  Clark is unique in his writing style.  That is intended as a form of flattery.  His ability to take what one might consider a mundane observation and turn it into an entire blog entry leaves me awe stricken.  Without a thought of what I'd write about, I sat here at my eight or more year old Dell computer handed down to me by the sister of a good friend when she got all fancy shmancy by upgrading to a Mac.  What transpired is pure gold.  It's as if the spirit of F. Scott Fitzgerald overcame me and my deep seated mental issues became my muse.  Please, go to Clark's blog, aptly titled, Ridiculously Inconsistent Trickle of Consciousness and read my entry.  But do not stop there. Peruse his other mindless ... err, well thought out rambl... err, read his stuff. I promise you'll be entertained.

Proud of those who served

I am that girl who wells up with tears each time our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, is played. While I prefer it being sung clearly and as written without vocal acrobatics, it's the sentiment and what it represents that brings forth a great sense of pride and humility. 

There is no possible way my simple words can ever exhibit how grateful I am for those who've served in our great military and forged ahead regardless of the circumstances that lay before them. They've given without thought to self.  They've sacrificed greatly for our freedom.  

All I can offer is THANK YOU. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Inside out

This is it!

Once again this girl is on her way to improved health and fitness!! Aren't you just thrilled for me? I could use some back up to hold me accountable through the holidays.  The tab labeled "join my team" is calling out to you.

Anyway, back in the swing of things with my workouts. On Team Beachbody there's a schedule for the workout program that I am using --  TURBO FIRE.  When I log into the WOWY Supergym, it tells me which dvd to use.  The rest is up to me.  Plus, each time I log into WOWY I'm entered for a chance to win cash or prizes.  No longer am I doggin' it and taking the easy way out.  My mind tells me I can jump and tuck so my feet and legs do it. Kind of. I mean, I'm not four feet off the ground with my knees under my chin, but I DO leave the ground.

Today is the renewal of eating well.  That is harder than a marathon series of sumo burpees.  Focus is my champion right now.  To further motivate me I'm turning to the two weddings happening in my family next year.  I'll need a dress.  Not just any dress but a traffic stopping number. No, I'm not going to take any attention from either bride.  Sheesh! What I did yesterday was search online for my fantasy dress.  Will I buy it? Highly unlikely but the printed photo has taken an in-my-face spot on the refrigerator door.  Much like a fantasy man, the fantasy dress will likely be a poor fit and totally unsuitable. The point of it is to inspire me to steer clear from unhealthy habits.

Launching into life with a new attitude has been necessary yet it was being avoided for plethora of excuses.  Let's just say I'm having to overcome some major mind blockades.  The past is unrepairable. Therefore, I am forging ahead and making myself learn from it, but not live in it.  Oh, it hurts like hell to let go of replaying the idealistic sentimental phrases whispered in my ear once upon a time.  Time and focus on someone who deserves the effort is going to get me through it.  That someone else is me, by the way.

The first step had to begin at the top. In my efforts to feel good I made a major change.  What a dramatic way to express my new attitude, eh?

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm starting a love affair

It's rather cliche' to say that I'm a work in progress.  Aren't we all? Sure, yours truly needs a lot more work than the average gal.  At least when I look in the mirror that is the resounding affirmation.  It's not my appearance, though that is part of it.  It's what goes on beneath my thinning mix of gray and brown locks. 

The other day I posed a question on my Facebook wall about online dating site.

So, who out there has found a decent human being to date through an online dating service? My curiosity is for .. uh, research. Yeah, that's it.

If you're a long time reader of this blog then you know of the dating woes I've experienced at the hand of Match.com and eHarmony, as well as, meeting men the traditional way.  What came of that question in the thread was an unraveling of Marissa.  What was even more surprising (to me) was an outpouring of compassion, reassurance and thoughtfulness.  What I learned is that I don't see in myself what other people see in me.

That is my starting point.  In spite of all the improvements that my body has under gone in the last few months, it isn't transforming my ability to love who I am.  Allowing myself to be tethered to the past has been the proverbial anchor around my feet.

Today is the beginning of my most challenging love affair.  That which is with me.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What Dreams May Come

The other night I awoke from a dream.  It wasn't like any other dream that disturbed my slumber.  Awaking wasn't due to something shocking or upsetting.  However, it was rather curious.  For the past couple of days I've been thinking about it.  Seeking consult from websites that give hidden meaning to the symbols in dreams left me with few answers.  That is why I'm writing about it.  I'm hoping someone reading this will give me some insight.

It's not uncommon for a parent to dream of protecting her child.  In my dream, Mancub is in tow at his current age and size.  I'm leading him as we venture through snowy terrain -- a mountain.  Along this journey we encounter treacherous caverns that are wide, but we will never make our destination (unknown at this time) if we don't leap over them.  The one in particular that I remember was daunting.  I look down and see nothing but darkness.  But my stride is long and I make it across.  Once on the other side, I tell Mancub that he can do it and not to be afraid.  "Look at me and jump to me!"  He does and clears the crevice and high fives me.

It dawns on me at some point that I was foolish to leave where we began.  I feel overwhelmed with panic and express it to Mancub that we should have stayed where we were.  "If we hadn't left then they'd be able to find us."  Rather than turn back and attempt to leap over the giant separation in the mountain, we forge ahead.  That's when we come to a place that is not snowy but draped in warm browns and greens.  Mancub is cold from our trek and I make a large bed for him covered in soft comforters and countless pillows.  It is when I was tucking him in that I awoke.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Breaking the chain of pain

It was a rule in the household that no one -- at least the girls -- was allowed to date before turning sixteen.  Oh sure, of the five girls in our family I know at least one caused an uproar to change that law. Another may have dated but did so quietly under parental radar.  As for me, I usually adhered to rules rather than cause a ruckus or question authority.  Being the youngest afforded me many lessons learned by proxy.

As a youngin' I always had friends who were male.  That's not an uncommon situation.  Once in junior high school boys became less appealing for friendship and moreso for 'going with'.  Naturally, the family rule of 16 kept me from openly pursuing a boy to date.  I developed crushes.  These would be big crushes on boys who possibly didn't know I was alive let alone like me in return.  But, I'd spend each morning primping in hopes that I'd catch the object of my affections glance.  Even if effective it would have been pointless.  It wasn't permitted and I surely couldn't go behind my parents backs.  Lucky for me there was nothing to fear as no boys approached me with such interest.  I was their friend or someone who was stupid enough to let them copy my spelling homework.

High school rolled around and along with it came new faces and boys who were taller than me. Rule of 16 hung over me like a doomsday cloud.  Crushes came and went. Most lasting longer than necessary.  Because there was not a snowball's chance in hell that I'd sneak around, I managed to become infatuated with boys who were impossible to attain.  They all had girlfriends or were wildly popular; out of my league.  I was a choir geek who still listened to Barry Manilow while Pink Floyd THE WALL was all the rage.  If anyone had a crush on me it wasn't made known.  Over and over this pattern repeated itself.  I was always told that this would help me develop healthier relationships when the time came to date.  That suggestion has proven to be completely untrue.  What seems to have happened is that I gain interest and infatuation with men who are entirely unsuitable or unattainable.  It's seems to have reached addiction proportions. 

I know this makes me look like a complete dipshit and a fool, but this theory came to me while I was doing dishes only minutes ago. I dated a lot in the first part of this decade. I was, for lack of a better term, a serial dater.  In other words, nothing blossomed from a couple of dinners and a movie.  Since I returned to Kankakee in '05 my dating life has been six feet under. There were a couple of mishaps two or three years ago. I wrote about them, naturally.  In that time of dating doom, I have experienced infatuations only experience the familiar sting of unrequited or unrealized feelings.  A couple of them have been long distance. A recipe for failure in this 'must have it now' society.  And one was a long lost love completely and entirely unavailable.  That hurt the most for a myriad of reasons that I can't go into. It just did and now I have to get over it.

This is where a new chapter in my life must begin.  Learning what emotional foolishness has held me back and making certain I do not repeat it again.  Einstein's definition on insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.