Day 36: Don't be Fat

So, I told you I would update you on my daily progress. Today looked like this:
No coffee. Victory. Even though I spent time at a Starbucks with a friend drinking delicious coffee. Like I said, victory.
No donuts. Even though I passed a Dunkin' Donuts. Victory.
However, there was also no cardio today. My plan had been to do my river route with my ankle weights this afternoon. But last night I had a little sore spot in my throat and I woke up at 5:30 this morning barely able to swallow. I whispered through my first three classes, went to the doctor during my lunch, and got some medicine. I have my voice back now, but my throat is still sore. The doctor said that I probably hadn't fully recovered from my weird bout of who-knows-what-flu-like miserable sickness from last week and that I should drink lots of water and rest. So I did. I drank lots of water with a wonderful salad that I bought myself for dinner.
And that water was the reason there were no stairs, either, today. I was seriously doing the pee-pee dance and trying very hard not to hold myself in the lobby waiting for the elevator. But I feel a little better after having rested and read a copy of Modern Bride, my first wedding magazine purchase, and probably my last. 
Anyway, I count today a minor success because I ate reasonably and didn't snack at all. I did take a short and easy walk as well. And I think part of the reason my throat went all wacky on me is from my run yesterday evening. It's cool in the evenings now, which feels awesome, but can make me sick when I sweat in it. So, I took an easy day. 
And I'm not going to feel guilty about it. You can feel guilty if you want to, but I refuse. I am keeping a positive attitude, not an attitude of failure. Okay, 36 days down, only 35 more to go! Woot. 
Oh, and thanks for all the encouragement and the comments. You guys rock.  


37 Day Series... You Know You Love 'Em

Yeah, I promised you this most awesome new series coming soon called Imagine All the People. It's gonna be so great, even I don't believe it. But I better stop mentioning it or else it'll never live up to all the hype and I'll get 500 comments (which would be freaking awesome) about how lame my stupid series always are. But anyway, to interrupt the previously scheduled and simply postponed series (that may debut any day now, so keep checking my blog/your google reader/your facebook feed every few minutes to distract you from your workaday boredom), yet another series. Don't you love it? End intro. 

The Super Duper Don't Be the Fat Sister Workout Plan
Okay, so, it's not really a series, but I'm for reals, people. The Chubb has got to go. (But I'm keeping the O. Oprah can sue me.) I bought a beautiful new pair of jeans, waist in inches 30, for under $10.00. (I know Mel is simply beaming right now, seeing how her girl bypassed the $150.00 Calvin Klein's for the bargain bin at E-Mart. Woot.) And they're not as comfortable as I would like them to be. And I just realized that I have only 37 days until I leave for the States for the Sisda's wedding. And since the Sisda is a size 0, I have no option but to be the fatter sister, but I refuse to be the fat sister. If that makes any sense. So I was saying to Kenny how I wanted to order a size 32 (this is in inches people) to have a comfy pair, like for when I want to eat or drink something after I've put them on, and he said, "No. You make that pair comfortable. We are not going backwards." And I looked at him, about to give him the "did you just comment on my weight?" stank eye, and then realized that as usual, he is right. I've got to pull myself together, suck in the remaining Chubb, and huff and puff my way into that pair of jeans so there are inches to spare in the waist. 

The Super Duper Don't Be the Fat Sister Workout Plan (which I plan to repeat as many times as possible in the next 37 days because it's awesome and because it reminds me of the Super Duper Slim Down Tone Up Workout Plan that the Wifey and I implemented in college) includes: cardio for an hour everyday except on Sunday because God said NO EXERCISE ON SUNDAYS OR I WILL KILL YOU AND NEVER LET YOU HAVE ANOTHER DONUT EVER AGAIN. And when the Lord threatens to withhold the confectionary goodness of the Holy Donut, the ChubbO listens. Okay, so yeah, cardio for an hour; continuing the 100 push up challenge plan thingy that I've started twice now (I'm a pro at starting things, if you haven't noticed); lots of positive thinking; eating at home (like the Paul McCartney song on his Ram album); taking the 157 stairs up to my apartment. 
The Super Duper Don't Be the Fat Sister Workout Plan does not include: coffee (except on Sundays, because it's the law); donuts; whining and feeling sorry about The Belly/The Boobs/ The Armpit Chub (which reminds me that someone actually found my blog one day by Googling 'armpit chub.' No lie). 

So, I'll let you know how I'm doing. Of course, today I already did my cardio and my push-up plan stuff. I also cooked my own dinner and didn't have coffee except at breakfast, which was kind of done before I thought up the whole SDDBTFSWP, so it doesn't count. And hey, if I don't let you know how I'm doing, you should ask. Because what are you good for if not interwebs accountability, eh? 

Also, Thursday is my 2 year anniversary, (did I say this already?) and I'm excited. 

Oh, and prepare yourselves. USA, here I come! 


Oh yeah... I'm getting married...

It's easy for me to forget that I'm getting married in a few months. I'm not really in charge of too much. Actually, I'm not really sure who is in charge, so we'll be lucky if this thing happens at all! Kenny and I decided to have our ceremony here in Korea for a bunch of different reasons, many of which I can't remember right now. I went to a wedding yesterday, the third I've attended here in Korea, and like every other time my response was the same: "I don't want that. Not any of it." 

In Korea, weddings are not sacred ceremonies, the public witness of the bonding of two souls, and all that mushy crap. Weddings are a place to see and be seen. And to eat. When you arrive at a Korean wedding, you should have an envelope full of cash. When you give this envelope to the money-taking person, they will give you a ticket. This ticket is a food ticket and guarantees you a buffet lunch or dinner, depending on when the wedding is being held. And if you don't feel like going to the ceremony, no big deal. Just get in line for the food. I mean, you gave your money already, right? You did your part. (This is why the cost for the wedding is almost always recovered at the wedding itself. There's no registering for gifts or anything like that- people just bring you money, and lots of it.)
For those kind people who actually care or even know the bride and groom, they can watch the ceremony. I say watch because they won't be able to hear it. Yesterday Kenny's dad was officiating at this wedding and he asked the attending guests to be quiet three times, to no avail. It was so noisy that we weren't sure when it was over, and neither were the bride and groom. People let their cell phones ring, some people answered their cell phones, some people shouted into their cell phones while standing up and waving wildly at the person who couldn't find them in the crowded wedding hall. Old friends caught up, families chatted as if they were at the park, and the kids ran wild. It was chaos. And I was glad when it was over.

My dream wedding is a tiny affair in a church where no one talks during my ceremony and no one gets up to leave or to go eat. (This is, of course, a new dream. Because I didn't really have a wedding dream before a wedding was a reality. And now I want weird things that normal girls in the western world take for granted as a given!) I want my ceremony to be intimate and meaningful for me and Kenny and also for those who attend. We're going to try to make the ceremony a really serious affair so that people won't be tempted to talk or call their great-aunt and talk about the weather. There are no bridesmaids or groomsmen and there's no rehearsal (because the place where your wedding will take place is usually a wedding hall with weddings booked at all hours, so you can't rehearse there). We have to feed everyone. I'm adjusting to this whole Korean focus. In a western wedding what the bride wants is what happens. We have entire channels of TV dedicated to brides and their whims and their temper tantrums and their over-the-top dream weddings. But here, it's all about the guests. Your guests should be comfortable and should be entertained and most of all, should be well-fed, because, frankly, they paid for it. 
And to tell you the truth, I don't really think my wedding is going to be the best day of my life. And I'm not sure I'd like to bill it as such, either. It's going to be a good one, hopefully, but it's only a beginning. Kenny keeps saying we shouldn't have our best day on the first day of our marriage- what will we have to look forward to? He's so funny. But in so many ways, he's right. I didn't have a huge wedding dream, things I decided when I was seven years old I couldn't live without. And although I'm not too keen on a lot of the things that take place during a Korean wedding, what really matters is that I'm marrying this man. We're writing our own vows (God help us all, who knows what's going to come of that!) and we're also washing each other's feet before we exchange rings and say "I do." I love the idea of starting our marriage off by serving each other in that way. So we're still having the wedding that we want, in small ways. I'm dancing up the aisle to a Tom Petty song (the chorus of "Here Comes My Girl") and I'm not wearing shoes. (Although what I will be wearing is still up in the air.) Kenny claims that his only demand is that he be allowed to wear a bow tie. Anyway, I guess I might want to start thinking about a few things. Like booking my parents' flight tickets.... or worrying about a wedding dress.... or... no, that's about it. I guess it's not real to me yet. And I'm still just thinking it's really cool I'm getting married 3 months after my sister does. Isn't it cool how things work out? 
Okay, February 21st, here I come. Relatively calm and worry-free. 

But I swear if some ajumma starts running her yap during my service, I'm gonna whip around and offend an entire people group! Lord help us all...


...And She's Back

I’ve been ill. That, and I’ve been thinking. Sometimes thinking makes me write. Sometimes thinking makes me wait. And these days, it’s the latter.

I have things to tell you, dear reader. I want to tell you about the people in my life (a forthcoming series in the making, debuting next week, or this weekend if I can’t wait, called Imagine All The People. Tell your friends. Seriously); I want to tell you how Kenny taught me to eat oranges in a hotel in Israel at Christmas; I want to tell you about “my” dogs in Korea; I want to list a few things I don’t understand and ask for your readerly wisdom; I’d like to talk to you about walking and falling in love with the sound of my feet against the sidewalk; and I'd particularly like to write some hate mail to a fellow expat on the train today. See? So many things to tell you. But right now, I’d like to share with you what I’ve been reading.

I find the weirdest, most wonderful books here. First, I found Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, which I am still copying out by hand, feeling the beauty of every adverb, every comma, every perfectly placed word. And now I’ve found more Rilke. I’ve read Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet more than once, as I’m sure all writers have. But I’m now reading some of his poems that have been collected as Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy. The German poems are printed across from the English translation. And this reminds me of my good friend Carmen, who is a pro translator and incredible woman who can speak German (and a buncha other languages too, for that matter).

Rilke is making me think. And leading me into deep places. I am taking my time wading in the dark waters here. And it’s pleasant, a little bit scary, and it’s stirring me up. Which all good poetry does.

I have uttered this poem and prayer for three days now. Speak this poem, please. It makes all the difference.

I, 12.

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, please forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.


I'm Alive

Just to let my fantastic, wonderful, mind-blowingly kind and encouraging readers know that I am climbing out of the hole. I had a donut yesterday, and as everyone knows, donuts put the ChubbO on the fast track to recovery. Because seriously, how can you be depressed while holding onto a scrumptiously chocolate covered morsel as delicious and euphoria-inducing as a donut. 

Anyway, just to let you know I'm around. And that I love you guys. You're totally tied with the donut. And that's like, some serious love. 


What the Crap Wednesday

I'm in a hole. The walls are high and slippery and sometimes I feel like I could muster the energy to at least attempt to scale them, but then I think it's easier to stay here. Instead of expending all that energy just to fall right back down into the same spot. 

But at the same time, I know that easy does not mean better.

But at the same time, I cannot help but wish that things were easier. I find myself every day scaling back, minimizing, trying to make things as simple as possible. Because simple is easier. 

I have issues, people. Issues I know should be buried underneath the hopes I have for my future. And underneath the happiness that sometimes settles down around my shoulders for hours at a time. And all my time is spent deliberating between how to think about myself, how I should draw this honest picture of myself. Should I be totally critical and lay everything out, scrubbing all my faults so desperately that I leave myself raw and exposed? Or should I give myself a bit of a break and let all the extenuating circumstances bear some of the responsibility? Balance would seem to be the answer here, because I can see that neither one will be very helpful without the other. 

I desperately want to see myself clearly. I want to know which parts to chuck in the trash, which parts to salvage, and which bits to upgrade. But when I start taking inventory of my insides, I become so overwhelmed and I find so many things that disappoint me. And some things that scare me. And other things that delight me, but also cause me to feel guilty because I struggle to think that I find delightful things in myself. Is that allowed? (Yes, I think it's totally allowed... for other people. But I don't allow this for myself? How is that even fair?) 

I'm struggling terribly with discipline in my everyday life. How hard is it to eat breakfast? How hard is it to review Korean vocabulary for a few minutes on the train ride home? How hard is it to put down the book, or the cookie, or turn off the computer and take a walk outside? 

Very hard, it seems. Maybe I have too many goals, too many improvements I'm trying to make at one time. But I'm annoying the crap out of myself and the self-loathing is growing increasingly harder to ignore. I spend so much time alone, in my comfortable, dark little hole. I'm tired of me. I'm tired of trying to improve things, of trying to become things, and failing. I'm tired of wanting things. I'm tired of small fires burning, but never consuming anything. My passions have dwindled to sort of half-hearted wishes that seem like tiny dots on the horizon of my life. They are slowly fading, like the car of the person you love as they drive away. You follow it until they are a miniscule spot (or until they turn a corner). 

I'm entirely dissatisfied with myself. I am constantly ready to berate myself, to scream and rant against my lethargy, my lack of enthusiasm, my all-out inability to discipline myself in the ways I want. But as soon as I catch my breath, I feel sorry for myself and all the excuses for the way I am build a strong case for patting myself on the back. I'm living in Korea. I have no social life outside of my boyfriend (who is FABULOUS and PERFECT and completely awesome in every way). I miss my friends. I miss talking books. I miss having good conversations over good coffee. I miss Kerri, Melanie, and my sister. I miss reading in silence in a room with someone I love. I miss Tariq. I miss my mom. I miss communicating easily with people. I miss a person being an opportunity. Here, a person is a closed door most of the time. I miss Carmen. I miss my Dad and his perfect machine-like ability to just do what he says he's going to do. 

I am the worst version of myself right now. And all I can manage is this silly, vague, blog post about it. I'm writing instead of doing. Another excuse that so easily manages to get me out of anything, because writing is important, right? Writing is essential. (Even this sentence is a lie, as the last time I wrote was like a week ago and it was a stupid post about my stupid hair.) 

What the crap, people. What the crap?



I got a perm. See evidence below. Note facial expression. 

I know, you're thinking, "What perm?" And that's exactly what I thought, too. This picture was taken 15 minutes after walking out of the salon. So much for the Korean "Super Formula" perm for Western hair. (I don't believe this actually exists.)

Anywhoops, Le Scientific and Irrefutable Results:

My hair has 0.5% more body. 
My ponytail is 2% more interesting than the pre-perm pony.
My hair looks 7.5% less greasy when I wake up and go to work without washing it. 
I am 100% sure that all hair styling products are a crock.
I have 99.99% learned my lesson about expecting my hair to do anything besides naturally hang limp and refuse to be "styled." That nagging percentage keeping me from full surrender to the facts is that relentless little thing called hope: the hope that is innate in every human being, but especially active in women regarding their physical beings, which causes them to believe that things could be different from what they happen to be if they would just try a little harder, make a little more effort, or pay a little more for whatever the world is selling today. 
I feel 6% disappointed and 87% duped. 

Ah well. In about two weeks, I'm sure my hair will be back to normal and it'll be like it never happened. 

What do you guys think? 
(Two Left Feet: Does this satisfy your request for a picture of the "out hair" you made about 5 years ago?)
(Mom: I don't need any eyebrow comments. I know they're ghastly. I can only handle one beauty-related issue at a time.)


LAC to the Max

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming. Life of Anonymous Celebrity is back. In case you're just now tuning in: 1, 2, 3

Scene 1: My new coworker Angie (who adorably asked me "So what is a blog anyway?" and I was all, "Oh reeeeeeeally?" in a creepy voice that probably, instead of luring a new reader who would remain faithful through personal-contact-guilt-workshops, will cause her to now immediately navigate away from any page or site containing the word blog) and I were eating at Outback because our kids drove us to a state of carb craving like you have never seen. A nice young waitress approaches, listens as I point to the menu and tell her what we'd like, and then looks at me and says, "Long time, no see." And I had to say, "Yes, it's been a while. Is Austin still working here?" She told me he quit. And that made me sad. Because Austin actually made me proud to be an Anonymous Celeb. He always said, "Hello Ladies," and it cracked me up, because when do you hear Koreans saying Hello Ladies? Anyway, waitress just made me look like even more of a ChubbO in front of the new blog-innocent Angie. Eh, she would've found out sooner or later.

Scene 2: Keun Ha and I climbed Gomdansan. On the way, we stopped at a memorial and had some cookies in the grass underneath a tree. But as I was walking across the plaza of the memorial, three high school boys came up to me with a piece of paper. 
"Si-nuh," was repeated while a pen was shoved into my right hand. As I put the pen in my left hand and took the paper I said, " What do you want? My name?"
"Yessuh! Yessuh!"
"Uuuuuuuh. Mmmmm....... PROJECT! Yessuh. Project." 
Signed my lovely autograph on the piece of paper and the boys giggled as they rejoined a large group of their fellow students in the shade of the monument. (Yes, they giggled. Korean boys and men have no masculinity issues WHATSOEVER. You got stuff you need to carry? Purse works, use it. You like that shirt that is hot pink with the flowers across the shoulder? It fits, wear it. Your friend's hair is all whacked out? Put your hands in his hair, fix it. You can't see the game he's playing on his cell phone unless you wrap your arm around his waist and rest your chin on his shoulder? Do it.) 
So, I have officially been asked for my autograph. See? Famous. 

Scene 3: I was checking out at the Family Mart when Mart Man all of a sudden popped a free apple juice down on the counter and told me it was mine. For free. Free stuff is awesome, even if it's just apple juice.

So, I believe I have brought quite a strong case in support of my position as an Anonymous Celebrity here in Korea. In the past month I have been "sighted" at a popular restaurant, "accosted" by teenage fans and begged for an autograph, and gotten a "freebie." 

I'm a celebrity. Touch me. 


It's Sermon Sunday

John 21: 9-12
When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught." So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord.

The disciples had been fishing all night, catching nothing. When Jesus called to them to throw their nets on the other side of their boat, they caught an abundance of fish. When they got to the shore, Jesus didn't give them a lecture. Jesus didn't ask them any theological questions. Jesus didn't hand them a pamphlet on how to avoid damnation. He cooked the boys breakfast. ChubbO style. 

Real Love is not handing out pamphlets, thumping a Bible on the streets, or asking people if they really wanna go to hell. Real Love is action. An action as simple and unpretentious as cooking breakfast. If you believe in Real Love, you will live in such a way that others will not be hungry, others will not be naked, others will not be isolated, alienated, and alone. 

Now, all this talk of breakfast is making me hungry. 
If only I wanted bread and fish for breakfast, instead of The Waffle. 


The Art of the Mogi (모기)

You've got to respect the Seoul Summer Mosquito, or Mogi as they are known here in Korea.  Being from the southern US, I'm well acquainted with the annoying bite of the mosquito. But the itching kiss I've been the victim of here is quite different from those I got at home. And this difference is due to the fact that the Seoul Mogi has got skills. Mad skills, people.

For starters, the Seoul Mogi is small. I don't know if it's that the mosquitos in the USA are growing obese along with their population (perhaps the cholesterol in our blood streams is affecting the weight and size of our blood-sucking insects), but so far it seems that the more petite the citizens of a nation happen to be, the smaller the mogi. Small Mogi sucks for you, but is freaking awesome for the Mogi. Because it adds to his element of stealth. I often mistake these miniature Mogis for gnats or annoying nameless summer bugs, casually waving them off with a hand, when I should be vigilantly seeking nothing less than their utter destruction. 

Relative to their size is their sound. Seoul Mogis are quiet little demons. There is no telltale buzzing, no miniscule siren warning you of the approaching, hovering, vampirish danger lurking around your exposed ankles and wrists. Nope. There is only The Silence of the Mogi. 

And the Seoul Mogi is the epitome of stealth- like the pickpocket who doesn't need to bump into you to steal your wallet. He simply takes it with such finesse that although you're enraged by the act, you have no choice but to bow to his adroitness. The Seoul Mogi is so small and quiet that you won't notice him. His bite is also impossible to detect. Back home, I can feel the offending prick and can slap the guts of the mogi along with my own precious blood,  flat across my calf. But here, you don't notice the bite, you don't feel anything and the next day you wake up with 15 bites and you wonder where and when you got them. Yeah, I think the Mogis study the Ajummas, or the Ajummas are taking lessons from the mosquitos

The Seoul Mogi, although invisible, inaudible, and impossible to feel, is a vicious, vicious creature. I went to school today to see one of my 6 year olds with 3 nickel-sized red welts: one smack dab in the middle of his forehead, one on the side of his face next to his left eye, and another one on the back of his neck directly beneath his hairline. Another 6 year old had at least 10 bites all over his face. Vicious, vicious, but creative creatures. 

The thing is, we're sleeping with the enemy. One day Kenny accused me of having a mogi in the apartment. I said, "There's no way! I have a screen on the window and I never leave the door open. How could it get in here? I only opened the door once to come in here!"

And he said, "They're really smart. You know how they got to the 9th floor? They rode the elevator." 

So, the Seoul Mogi has size, silence, creativity, and apparently, brains on his side. 
Current Mogi bite count: 1, on the back of my right arm. 


Runner's Rage

I have a hard enough time moving my body for more than 5 consecutive minutes. When I have been doing this for about half an hour, I am definitely sucking wind, heaving and trying not to drool on myself in my fatigue. The last thing, last thing I need is an ajosshi (think male version of ajumma minus the visor and handbag) with an impressive pot belly in a too-tight t-shirt and disgusting biking shorts, standing on the ramp where all bikers and runners enter and exit the riverside trail smoking a cigarette. 

Seriously? No, I mean, really? Okay, yeah, we're outside. But have you ever walked down the sidewalk behind a smoker? It's like smoking only worse because there's no nicotine buzz or the calming satisfaction of inhaling death slowly but surely. There's only the choking and coughing as you, completely unaware that the guy in front of you has even lit up, attempt to take a deep breath of nice blue-sky afternoon fresh air. I wasn't walking behind him. I simply had to pass him and I thought my lungs were going to crawl up out of my mouth and strangle him they were so incredibly enraged. 

There seems to be no correlation here (or there) with smoking and health. I see serious hikers smoking at the top of mountains; I see basketball players take a smoke break; I see the gym guy light up after his workout. And now I see the lone potbelly biker (obviously not much of a biker are we Mr. Belly?) making it even more difficult for me to breathe, when the ChubbO is already like 5 years closer to death because of her latest foray by the river.  

So, rage rage rage, rage Rage, rage rage rage, and rage.  


Half Way

Today, I have been in Korea for 6 months. So, I give you 6 things that the ChubbO has learned:

1. ChubbO can climb mountains. Or, rather, she can be bribed into climbing mountains for periodic rewards of delicious chocolate chip cookies from her boyfriend, who is always pushing her to go a little farther before giving in and handing over the goods. Cookies make your legs feel stronger, they make your shoulders feel less strained from your backpack, and they also heal the big bump on your head from that low tree limb you didn't see because you didn't have enough energy to raise your head and look at anything but your feet. Anyway, hiking has been a really new experience for me and it is teaching me to challenge myself, to push myself a little harder, even if it is all for a cookie! It's also fabulous practice, i.e. Honeymoon Training, for our time scheduled in Nepal, in the Himalayas, on the Annapurna circuit. 

2. I have learned that there will always be those people who stand in the door of the metro, blocking the people attempting to exit and enter the train. These people will always choose to stand there, no matter how inconvenient it is for other people, no matter how illogical, inconsiderate, and unforgivable it may be. I am glad that I have learned I am powerless, helpless, utterly incapable of action when it comes to Door Blocking. The Rage has cooled a bit and I'm now directing it towards more profitable areas, like those around my midsection and my inner thighs, which I can actually do something about! 

3. I have learned that in order to be a part of a community, you must seek it out, you must give something, and you must work for it. Community doesn't just happen. Fellowship isn't a given. It must be cultivated and cared for. Caring for others and having compassion for the people in my life must be practiced. It doesn't stem from some deep well of goodness in one's heart. It must become a discipline. I am learning this mostly from Keun Ha. He is teaching me so much about what it means to be kind, humble, and to serve others. 

4. No matter how hard I try, I cannot kick the coffee habit. I have tried to stop drinking it altogether; I have tried to only drink iced Americano; I have tried to only reward myself with coffee for making it to Friday. NOTHING WORKS. Dearest readers, what can I do? I know if I could cut those extra calories I would be ChubbO NoMo in like a few sweet seconds. For reals. Help a chubster out!

5. I cannot live without buying books. This is a sad revelation. I thought I could do a year without buying books last year in grad school in England. Negative. I ended up shipping home over 100 books. I thought I would try again this year. Luckily I only have.... 23 so far! That's pretty good. So, if I keep up this pace, I'll at least cut my consumption in half from last year. So perhaps this should be something I continue to work on, each year cutting down my book buying. 

6. I love blogging. I really do. Even though I'm not as consistent as some of you daily bloggers, I seriously enjoy writing here. I have found a few new friends and have been able to keep in touch with old ones. I have been able to think out loud, to whine, to Rage, to rant, to swoon, and to be generally all over the place. And I love it. 

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