What what?

One busy day at work where I forgot to eat, and one day of travel where I got very little sleep (but ate too much and not well) has resulted in my losing an additional two pounds. I find this sort of shocking.

What I don’t find shocking so much as absolutely deliciously wonderful is that I put on my favorite jeans and did not have to wiggle to get them buttoned. They just slid right on. I still don’t think I’m going to hit that goal weight by June 10, but I’m a little closer. And feeling really good.

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Not bad, not bad at all

After avoiding the scale for three and a half weeks because of a touch of overindulgence and a lack of more regular workouts during that time, I finally weighed myself last night. And the scale told me that I’ve lost a total of seven pounds since March 9. Which is not bad, folks, not bad at all. Now, the last pound and a half of that took almost four weeks to come off (hello, plateau) but I think I’m over the hump and back on track now.

More to the point, I put on a pair of pants this morning that I haven’t worn in two years. TWO YEARS. And they fit better now than they did then. Which probably says more about the yoga and the running than it does about the weight loss.

My original goal was to lose 12 pounds by June 10 (we’re going to Mexico). That’s only four weeks away, though, and I am not sure I can lose the last five pounds in four weeks, especially considering I’m traveling this week, next weekend, and over Memorial Day weekend. But that’s OK—I’m feeling good about my body, good enough to put on a swimsuit for five days and that’s what the goal was always about.

Since I know I won’t meet my original goal, I set a new goal for myself—to get back to my wedding weight by August 31. That’s an additional five pounds, for a total of 10 pounds less than I weigh right now, and 17 total. It’s a bit of a longshot—not only am I not sure I can actually lose those last five pounds but I’m also pretty sure I can’t maintain that weight. I’d rather hit my original goal and keep getting fit than starve myself down to my wedding weight and then watch myself gain those five pounds right back. But we’ll see.  If I can do it slowly and steadily over the summer—in other words, the right way—maybe I can get there and stay there.

Benching

Word on the street is that Obama’s going to pick John Paul Stevens’ replacement in the next few days. I really hope he doesn’t pick Elena Kagan. Don’t get me wrong—I think she’s brilliant and she could do the job. But if Obama is picking her because she’s not a judge, to add some diversity of background to the bench, well, she’s not a good choice. Her experience is even less relevant to being a Supreme Court justice than any judge or even of any of the other short-listers. She’s been in academia her whole life. She’s never practiced. Her first oral argument as Solicitor General was her first argument in court—ever. Her experience in practice consists of two years as a junior associate at a big law firm, and a couple of years as government counsel. The rest of her experience has been solely in academia (until becoming S.G. last year, of course). And even her academic record is thin—she doesn’t have a lot in the way of publications. She’s a brilliant, unknown quantity, with very limited experience as an advocate.

Now, one could say that her administrative experience—her time as Dean of Harvard Law School—has prepared her as much as, say, being governer of Michigan has prepared Jennifer Granholm to be a Supreme Court justice. And it’s true that she probably has numerous skills honed in that role that other Supreme Court justices don’t have, and that they might benefit from having. But that’s simply not enough to outweigh her lack of actual lawyering experience.

Of course, Diane Wood doesn’t have that much practical experience, either. She also spent a scant few years in government service and private practice before going into academia.  She spent some time at Justice, true, but her background is also not of a practicing attorney.  But Diane Wood has spent many years on the bench—and a very tough, Seventh Circuit bench—which gives her a huge edge over Kagan.

Frankly, Sidney Thomas has the most diverse background of any of the short-listers. He was a lawyer! He represented clients! For years and years and years! None of the most recently confirmed Supreme Court nominees has as much actual non-government lawyering experience as Thomas—except John Roberts, of course, who was in private practice for many, many years.  (While Sotomayor and Alito also each had good experience, too, they were each government lawyers for a lot of that time.)

So I’m crossing my fingers over the next few days that Obama doesn’t pick Kagan for the bench. I am sure she could do a good job, but I’m equally sure that it will take her several more Terms to get into a good rhythm than it will Wood, Thomas, or Garland (who is a great option also, but a very safe one for Obama, and I don’t think he’ll waste this nomination on such an easy confirmation).  We’ll see what happens.

If the outcome were negative, I’d call it irony

I sent my resume to a dream employer last week; they probably got my stuff Monday. Although I realized my expectations were completely out of whack, I really had this idea that they’d call me, like, Right Away, as in, like, Monday.

And they didn’t. So I realigned my expectations. No big.

Today, I rejiggered the cover letter I wrote for that job and sent it off for another job–less dreamy, but better than many of the alternatives and probably a pretty good job all considered.

Five minutes after I sent my resume off for that second job (via email, not post), my phone rang. I honestly thought the second job employer was calling.

No, it was the first job employer. Calling to ask me to come in for an interview and tentatively scheduling that interview.

I don’t know what literary term applies here–irony doesn’t seem to fit–but whatever it is, it’s Good.

Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up

My landlord is planning on selling our apartment after our lease is up. Well, I suppose she’s hoping to “sell” it—have a contract—before our lease is up so that closing can happen right after she sells it. In any case, she is going to put it on the market some time this summer. She can start showing it (or have her agent show it) starting in July.

I looked around the apartment after learning this and decided that I needed to do some serious cleaning in preparation for this. First on the list was the burner grates and drip pans on the stove. I cook a lot, and they get pretty gross. Every month or so, I scrub them with SOS steel wool pads, but there’s always little bits of cooked-on grime that just doesn’t come off, no matter how much I scrub.

And then I learned about the power of ammonia. Apparently ammonia fumes—just the fumes!—are enough to clean baked-on, caked-on grime! You just dump your item in a sealable bag with a splash of household ammonia, seal everything up for a few hours or overnight, and then wipe clean.

(And aside: did you know you can’t get ammonia at Home Depot? Yeah, I didn’t know that either. But you can, apparently get it at the grocery store or at Walgreens. That’s just weird, people.)

So I gave the ammonia thing a whirl yesterday. I put two drip pans at a time in a Ziploc bag (a big, gallon-sized freezer bag), threw in a quarter cup or so of ammonia, sealed up the bag and let it sit for a couple of hours. And our drip pans look AMAZING. I did use an SOS pad to wipe off some of the grime—the green scrubby sponge I was using didn’t have much scrub left—but there was very little elbow grease involved.

I’m pretty stoked about all of this. It’s going to make getting this place ready for our landlord to put on the market so much easier than I expected.

I’m making these this morning

I do the bread-in-five-minutes-a-day thing, so I tend to have some dough hanging out in the fridge.  This morning, we’re heading out to meet some friends and family and go to the Aquarium, so we don’t have a lot of time to cook, but we’re both really hungry.  Enter Bacon and Eggs in Toast! Except I don’t have any bacon. So it’s just eggs (and cheese) in toast.

This is, admittedly, an experiment. It could be wretched, in fact. But I’m hoping for success because it was so easy—throw the dough on the counter with some flour, roll it out, cut it into squares, stuff the squares into my muffin pan, drop some cheese and crack some eggs into the dough-stuffed-tins, and bake.  Also, it promises to be a nice eat-and-go recipe—as long as the eggs aren’t too runny, you can just take it with you and eat it as you go.

Update:

These turned out OK! I didn’t roll the dough out thin enough, so the egg spilled over when I cracked the eggs in.  I also needed to add more cheese. And I let them cook too long so the eggs were really hard-cooked by the time I pulled them out. But a good start! I’ll do these again, definitely.