Wednesday, April 28, 2010

And the races are on!

Hamster Derby day has come and gone once again, folks.

Let me explain. Our store puts up a "derby" for hamsters to race in bi-annually. We set up four tracks in the middle of the store, and the contestants run their hamsters in heats. The kiddies love it.

Somehow every year I seem to get suckered into it. This was the third Derby that I've run, and every time I run it it gets more and more hellish. Let's look back at previous years, shall we?

October of 2008. It was me...and Amelia (one of our groomers). I glady let Amelia take over the bullhorn as I watched anxious seven year olds jockey for positions on the track. We set the tracks up in the only spare area of the store at the time - right in front of the cats to be adopted. I watched as the cats licked their chops, and probably contemplated consuming said rodents in a variety of delectable ways.

And that, World, was my first inkling that this derby thing? Was a steaming shitload of trouble for us associates. I looked around as the parents of the precocious children screaming at Fluffy to win glared at me. Apparently, the space was too small for them to satisfactorily videotape little Timmy's victory.


So, fast forward to October of last year. We moved the derby to the middle of the store, in order to provide more room. Twenty minutes before the race started, we realized our General Manager (a loveable, cantankerous bastard) had THROWN OUT THE PRIZES. We watched as parents and children gathered with their chisel-toothed monsters darlings and took their positions in the track (luckily, the GM had shelf-yanked some prizes for the kids).

We made an error in the scorecard. You see, they couldn't make an easy and simple way to determine who would move on to the final races - oh no. After a few very convoluted minutes of staring at the roster-board in disbelief (and, in my case, terror), we announced that the last race would have to be redone.

Do you know what terror is, World? Terror is a fully-grown woman getting all up in your face screaming because damnit, Mittens was the winner and this was all some conspiracy to discredit her. Obviously that bitch Cinnamon's mother paid us off - what type of operation were we running, anyways?

So, it was with some trepidation that I was totally forced into persuaded by my coworkers to host this year's derby. We were holding it in April because the geniuses at corporate decided that this year we were to run two derbies. I hid the boxes that held the track and decorations - so as to avoid any accidental discarding. I painstakingly touted the derby to customers, and tried to psyche them up for the big race. Clipstrips were hung, signs were placed, and we had over 35 people signed up for the big day.

I should have taken the light-bulb that almost fell on my head as an omen when I was grabbing the supplies out of our stockroom. I, foolish human that I am, ignored it and hummed a light jaunty tune as I practically skipped to the sales floor.

I self-congratulated myself on a job well done as I linked the track pieces together, fully expecting this year's derby to be easy and carefree and wonderous for adults and children alike. I watched as children introduced their little fuzzy creatures to me, and I made the appropriate 'ohh'ing and 'ahh'ing sounds. And so, I began to call names for the first heat.

Only one child had shown up for that heat. I crossed out the other three names, and called some more. It turns out that half - that's right, half - of our contestants didn't show. It worked out for the best though, since we were able to do four heats of four. The winners were clearly called, and I had thought the show a success. Until one of little Jellybean's fans called out that we had made a miscall. He shouted that Jellybean was the rightful winner, that we made a mistake. Obviously Jellybean couldn't have been in second place - oh no. Jellybean was a true champion, a racer unparralleled by none.

As I stood there and watched as he berated my coworker, I thought to myself - what does it matter?

I mean, really. These people are loosing sight of the big picture. That person was so wrapped up in his own little world that he hadn't even seen the other hamsters cross the finish line. I kind of feel like we do that a lot in our own lives. I feel like we're all so busy trying to get to the finish line that we're not looking at what's happening all around us to others.

It's a lesson well-learned.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

So about that diet....

Warning: self-indulgent diet fit ahead.

I think I've killed my diet.

I had a whole 3 days of spectacular, salad-eating bliss with the occasional bowl of Farina for breakfast (shut up, I like it).

But the slope to grease and butter-coated goodness is a slippery one indeed.

You see, World, it started like this:

Pookie invited me out to happy hour with his coworkers. I figured I'd have a beer or two (ok, not exactly low-calorie food, but hey...I'm not a saint) and then maybe a small salad for dinner. Not exactly low-cal, but's better than a big greasy burger.

So, I got my salad (and my very delicious beer selection), and decided to dig in.

Oh cheese, how I missed thee. You see, this salad? Coated in cheese. A small factoid that I forgot to notice on the menu. You see, I thought I was doing well. Grilled chicken, pico de gallo, low-fat dressing.

And then there was the cheese. Cheese is, apparently, a bitch to avoid.

So, that's how it started. The next day, I indulged in a burger.

A homemade burger without all the grease and extra fat and preservatives, but a burger nonetheless. And the cheese? A nice lovingly melted slice adorned my poison slab of ground cow.

Let me tell you World, it was like my taste-buds were invited to the biggest frat-party of the season, and fat was their drug of choice.

Long story short, I believe that today I've reached the pinnacle of shame for dieters everywhere.

I had a Blizzard from Dairy Queen.

And if I don't watch it, I'm going to look like a Dairy Queen.

Fish for tonight. Going back on that diet.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A heavy weight

I think it's time that I went on a diet.

It was my first anniversary with Pookie, and I was scrambling to find something to wear.

"Wear something dressy," he said. "But make sure you're comfortable."

Obviously Pookie hasn't realized that for girls? Dressy and comfortable do not go together. At least they don't for me, and never have.

So I decided to wear pants and a nice shirt. I lovingly tugged my sole pair of black dress pants out from the back of my closet (I usually hate formal functions, so I try to avoid them as much as possible) and tried them on.

It was then that I discovered that I? Have gained yet another size.


After much frustration (curling up in the fetal position and crying like a baby), I sucked it up, pulled out a dress (urg), and climbed into that. I'd like to think that I was, at the very least, semi-classy and that I didn't embarass Pookie too much when we went for dinner.

I'd show you pictures of me in said dress, but...I'd have to kill you. Don't want to ruin my reputation or anything.

So I am going on a diet. I've really lost it in terms of keeping up with my exercise and making sure I eat appropriately (oh butter, how I love thee), so I'm going to attempt to lose some weight the right way.

As soon as my tax-rebate comes, I'm joining a gym.

And guess what World? You all get to laugh at my struggles.

I really do love me some butter.

So you'll get to snicker sympathize as I inevitably break my diet, horrifically torture myself at the gym, and attempt to lead a better lifestyle. And I'll post how much weight I've lost, and what I've eaten, and what I've done so far as exercise goes, and yadda yadda yadda. I know you're horribly interested.

Today's breakfast: 1 banana and a small glass of orange juice
Today's lunch: egg-salad sandwich on multi-grain toast, sliced strawberries, and steamed cauliflower.
Weight loss so far: 0. In fact, I may have gained some. Urgh.