Category Archives: Adventures in Real Life

Bloggy Gift Exchange 2013

After nearly three months of hard work, it’s time to reveal the results of this year’s Bloggy Gift Exchange! Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s exchange. It’s [hopefully] been a lot of fun for everyone involved. And now, without further ado, here’s all the great loot that we received!

To: Polt
From: DrPara


I got my gift from Jason Galkus. It was comprised of a whole bunch of stuff: A Captain Morgan glass, four CD’s of music, a book, and a pack of gummi bears and gummi worms. An eclectic grouping to be sure. But I imagine I’ll just be drinking some gummi infused alcohol out of the glass while reading the book and the music playing in the background. Sounds like a GREAT Christmas to me! Thanks!

To: DrPara
From: Dave2


Voodoo Priestess

As everyone knows, bitch rhymes with witch and since I’m kind of both, it would only be fitting that my gift was New Orleans themed. Filled with Tobasco Jellybelly’s, Hot Sauce, a fetish, beads (which I will be wearing all the time,) a Hurricane mix (which will be used on NYE) and of course, the voodoo doll in the pic below (can we guess who I’m thinking of in that pic,) this had to be one of the coolest things I received this season. Huge thank you to Dave2 for not only the awesome attached letter but the contents, all of which will be used or displayed around my apartment.

From: Enrico


I received several great gifts from Enrico – a box of chocolates, a cute bowtie, the book “The Marriage Plot,” and two skeins of Vanna’s Choice (!) yarn. I can’t wait to start knitting (a scarf? A hat? Mittens?), reading, and eating. Well, I’ve already started the eating … Thanks, Enrico!!

To: Marcus
From: Josh

me 1217

For Bloggy Gift Exchange 2013 I received a box from Josh. Inside this box was a collection of amazing stuff that Josh had purchased for me his recipient. Included were items that appealed to my interests, such as a Louisiana cookbook, because I had stated that I love to cook, a Britney Spears teddy bear, for my love of animals, and some sunglasses because for my love fashion. Also inside I found a print of a painting for my love of art and a Diana DeGarmo cd which was to represent my love of music. Thank you for the great gifts Josh! Happy new year everyone! 😀

To: David P.
From: Xi-Heather



My bloggy gifters were Heather and Two Pi who send me two jars of delicious homemade “a bit hot” salsa and a super-cool cat toy for Lisa: A “Whack-a-Mouse” kit! The toy initially terrified her but she has begun to play with it. Thanks Heather and Two Pi!!!!

To: Michelle M.
From: Craig



My gifts* were from Craig** – featuring two of my favorite things. Wonder Woman and budgies!

He sent this really cool Wonder Woman artwork, which is going up on my “Wall of Wonder”. Love it!!

Craig also sent these adorable salt and pepper shakers (Cooper is trying to figure out which one is salt and which one is pepper). They are too cute to put in a cupboard, so they live on my bookshelf where I can see them everyday.

Thank you so much Craig, for sending me these fantastic gifts!

* 5 out of 5 stars!
**I highly recommend Craig as a gift giver.

To: John
From: Polt

Gift Exchange 2013

I received my gift this year from Polt! And it was fantastic! First, I got gift certificate to the Home Depot. I’m in there more often than I’d care to admit. I’ve already put it to use by getting the supplies I need to paint my kitchen cabinets. The gift certificate was great and appreciated, but I also got cookies! COOKIES! From Mama Polt! Yes, that is a purple-coated sugar cookie! And there were chocolate chip and I think snicker doodles, but I’m not sure honestly didn’t care as they were all delicious. I may or may not have eaten them all in one sitting. I SAID MAY NOT!!! I also received some peanut brittle, which was also delicious. Lastly, Polt made me a cd of “travel” songs. It has some great familiar songs and some new favorites of mine. It’s been in heavy rotation in my car since I received it. Thanks Polt! And any chance Mama is looking for another son for whom she can bake cookies?

To: Mush




My santa was VUBOQ. He spoiled me ROTTEN! I got a TARDIS throw, a hand-thrown mug and bowl set, and some yarn! Attached is the TARDIS throw pic. (It’s really hard to take a picture of yourself in a blanket.) Here is my pottery, which I adore and eat breakfast out of as much as possible, and my yarn! Best bloggy gift exchange ever!

To: Mikey
From: TwoPi


I had TwoPi for the gift exchange and the gift found me despite moving in the middle of everything. In the box was an adventure game called “Forbidden Island,” some yummy cranberry walnut muffins and a toy for Roscoe!!!!

To: Justin
From: FDot


My gift-giver was Tim!!! Here’s a photo of me in front of my tree holding the VERY thoughtful gifts from Tim, who must really have been paying attention to my likes — not that I remember what I wrote, but if I didn’t write it down then he’s developed telepathic powers! I got a nice big thick hardcover non-fiction history book, “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism”, which I had actually already made note of as an interesting-looking book! He gave me two types of dark chocolate: 60% for when I just want dark, and 72% for when I want *REALLY* mega ultra dark. And since I also love pumpkin spices, he got me some pumpkin bread mix. I shall be sure to nom on my pumpkin bread, alternating with dark chocolate bites, as I enjoy this book! Thank you very much, Tim!!! And Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to the whole gang!!! 😀

To: Ty
From: Adam


Turns out those stop-motion Christmas specials from my childhood were right: Santa IS a ginger! He brought me a CD of music from Mad Men, a sweet stamp “perfect for lawyerin’,” and a coffee mug that outs allegedly gay famous people. (Take THAT, Perez Hilton!) There were also some coppery pubes in the package, but I’m not sure that was part of the gift. Either way, thanks Adam!

To: Dave2
From: David P.


David P. got me the best gift you can get during a time of rabid consumerism and selfishness… a donation on my behalf to my most favorite charity ever, Doctors Without Borders! Very cool! But he didn’t stop there, he also gave me a Saltalamacchia/Batman action figure… CATCHMAN! (which is not a double entendre, I’m sure). CatchMan is “here to do battle with the free agents of evil,” which sounds about right now that Saltalamacchia has moved from The Best Baseball Team on Earth… THE BOSTON RED SOX… to the =sob!= the Miami Marlins. Talk about holiday depression!

To: Enrico
From: Tam

Photo 295

Looks like the Bruno and Ames families are united through the gift exchange once again (seriously, we are always swapping gifts)! Tam got me the red sweater I’m wearing in the picture (which fits me perfectly) and two bags of the nuts I’m holding, which came in the little penguin baggies. I assume Tam knows that I go to the gym now so she sent me nuts for quick and easy protein. Thanks Tam!

To: Tam
From: Michelle M.

Christmas Exchange 2013 - Tam

Michelle M. gave me an amazing trip to Hawaii for Christmas. I love her. Okay, well, Hawaii in a box. I got a beach zen garden, fixings for a nice cocktail, macadamia nuts, perfume that smells like Hawaii and Hawaiian Christmas music. Yay. Thanks, Michelle. It was worth the wait.

To: Mr. Sombrero
From: Ty


Ty sent me this wonderful diorama! It depicts a snowy ‘Mr. Sombrero’ scene, complete with lollypop trees, cotton snow, and a tiny Lego man holding maracas. I will treasure it for the rest of my life. Under the snow I found a bunch of delicious Reese’s peanut butter trees. If only that was true-to-life. Every time I dig in the real snow, all I find is dirt. Thanks Ty!

To: TwoPi
From: Justin


Justin gave me a Captain Kirk salt-and-pepper shaker set — and I must say I haven’t laughed out loud so much in quite some time! It has pride of place in the center of our dining room table. Awesome! Thank you, Justin!

To: Xi-Heather
From: Marcus


Marcus gave me everything I need for a fantastic winter day – a make your own gnome (hah! I love it!), chocolate, and a coffee mug. Thank you!!!

To: Talita
From: Mush



Since some of my gifts were for Arianna I thought I would use her in my photo. I received nail polish, cupcake wrappers, sprinkles and cake decorating gel. And Arianna got hair clips and a hello kitty that she has been trying to eat the Santa hat off of for the last 2 weeks. Thanks for our gifts Michelle.

To: Josh
From: Talita


Talita obviously pays attention to what’s important in life, aka the things I like, aka horror movies and Taylor Swift. Now I can watch my four-movie horror DVD, cry over the terror, and then use my new Taylor Swift karaoke to lift my spirits (and then cry over “dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light”).

To: Nathan
From: Mikey


I received some Delicious snacks from Mikey (that you can’t get in Japan) and a lovely card. If you have good eyes you might be able to tell that I ate them all already. Thanks Mikey.

To: FDot
From: Nathan


Just before Christmas Day, I received a box from Nathan from an address I cannot possibly begin to replicate on an envelope. Upon opening the box, I discovered the contents of various Japanese vending machines. Since my Japanese is very rusty, mostly because I’ve never studied it, and not knowing if Nathan likes or dislikes me, I figured I would have to research exactly what I received before I dared to attempt to eat any of it.

Starting with the bottom row, the first and third packages I thought at first were an homage to “Yellow Kid”, a popular and slightly racist comic strip from the 1890’s. Remembering that Canadians aren’t racist, I looked further and discovered that the small yellow tyke is one of many characters from the Baby Star line and his child labor is going toward shilling packages of dried ramen and other various types of noodles or noodle flavored snacks. There appear to be 4 different ways to prepare the larger of the 2 packages, none of which I can decipher.

The package labeled “Mike’s” is a Soy Sauce and Butter popcorn. Thankfully, the nutrition information section on this package is in Japanese.

Despite a valiant effort, the package marked “Texas Corn” eludes me. It looks like spicy Kix cereal. I’m not sure why an Octopus sweating milk is its mascot.

Up top on the left there is a package of what I first read to be “Soot-Covered Bamboo Chopsticks”, then realized it said “Soot-Colored”. This will now force me to learn how to use chopsticks that don’t have a small piece of paper wadded between them and held with a rubber band.

The pack labeled “Mickey” is a deck of playing cards, fueling my Disney obsession. Where, by the way, I will be this coming November if anyone wishes to join me and help me escape my three nieces begging me to buy them souvenirs.

The small brown bar under the playing cards is some kind of chocolate snack, since “Choco Snack” is printed on the bar.

Under that is a small yellow package that is a complete mystery. Who knows what lies within the yellow package? Is it good? Evil? Are its intentions pure? Only the yellow package knows.

We then have two more sets of chopsticks, Disney style, no doubt to replace the set of Soot Colored chopsticks that I will eventually snap in half in my frustration in trying to use them

The “Milky” package with the lip licking jailbait girl on the cover is simply just a packet of Milk flavored chewy candy and not some hideous concoction that its packaging implies.

I believe the final package, in the top right, is not food at all, but appears to be some sort of card game, probably Japan’s answer to Magic: The Gathering, but geared for children. Or it’s a creatively packaged condom. Hard to tell.

In summation, Nathan managed to hit upon two of my favorite things in this literally amazingly packaged gift, since now that I’ve opened it I can’t figure out how he got everything into the box in the first place. I’ve tried to, but can’t. Those two things would be Disney and snack foods of different countries. All the different edible components look amazing and I can’t wait to try them all. (But with my fingers crossed, since I have no clue what the hell any of this will taste like.)

P.S. Since there was no way to actually finagle a picture of this stuff with me in it, I just included an old picture of me looking posh at the top of it all. This was taken just before Carson called everyone into supper.

To: Adam
From: John


Three words: John is amazingly talented. Oh wait, that was 4. Close enough! I’ve never seen one of John’s folding/papercraft art pieces close-up, and HOLY CRAP — he’s amazing! John sent me this Weeping Angel (a evil, alien villain from Doctor Who) and I just cannot look away. An not because I’m afraid that it will kill me … I cannot look away because it’s just so damn amazing! Thanks John! Your talent is truly inspiring!!!

To: Craig
From: Mr. Sombrero

To Whomever is Reading This: Send help. Please. I have been trapped in my office for approximately three weeks. I received a package including an enormous black dong (works with most harnesses! attaches to walls!), lubricant, and a toblerone, from a man known only as “Mr. Sombrero” with strict instructions to “enjoy” and “put to good use”. I believe this to be some sort of life-or-death game of sex and mischief. Like something out an X-rated Saw movie. I have tried to leave… to escape… but the enormous black dong blocks my path at every turn. I have had the toblerone to sustain me, but it is running low. I do not believe I will be able to last much longer. Please. Help me. Humbly, Craig. OH GOD IT’S LOOKING AT ME AGAIN


Biggest C&R Loser 2013


Welcome to the final week of Biggest C&R Loser 2013! This year we’ve kept all of the results and placings secret until the end of the contest. We all pooled our  cash to award the 2013 winner the largest prize we’ve ever awarded … a whopping $40!  In this final week, we asked the contestants how they felt about the contest as a whole?  Are they happy with their progress?  Or didn’t they really try at all?  Let’s find out what they had to say and let’s find out who won this damn contest!!  For the last time in 2013, here are the contestants in placement order, from last to first place:

Mr. Sombrero


I can’t believe it’s over. Whew, finally. Congrats fellow participants. It’s been a tough and excruciating journey. I started confidently with some minor weight loss, but that went downhill after few weeks. I am fully ashamed to admit that I have ended this competition with few extra, extra pounds. And yes, I’d do it over and over and over again. Soooo, have I won anything?


Mr. Sombrero gained 2.26% body weight.

Michelle M.


I didn’t lose the weight I wanted to lose, but then again, I never committed to the eating right or the exercising. Sigh. I do intend to get down to my goal weight by summer. I suppose the fact that summer is still a ways off is why I’ve been lazing around and stuffing my face. But I still have hope. In the meantime, I’m going to finish this cookie and give my congratulations to the winning contestant (if there was one).


Michelle M. gained .87% body weight.


fat man

UGH! It’s finally over. I didn’t lose any weight over the course of the contest – but at least I didn’t gain anything. I wish that I had tried a little. Maybe now I’ll start dieting?


Adam lost no weight. (Tied with Tam)


dr phil youre fat

So how do I feel now that this excruciating exercise is over for another few months? Eh. I’m kind of disappointed I didn’t get my act together and lose, but given my last few weeks of stress and traveling, I can’t complain that at least I’m not up. Would I do it again? Sure, what the hell. 🙂 If I’m going to be pathetic, I like doing it in a group.


Tam lost no weight. (Tied with Adam)



And sooooo, the contest is over. How do I feel about the contest? It’s fine, I suppose. I’m rather disappointed in my performance during the contest. Not at all surprised, but disappointed. I don’t yet know HOW well I did (didn’t do?) in the contest, but I hope I didn’t come in last. That’s actually my only goal now, to not finish dead last. But if I did…well SOMEONE had to be last right? And really, who needs an extra $40 anyway?


Polt lost 1.18% of his body weight.



I barely lost any weight, but I didn’t get fatter, so that’s something. I have some free time coming up this month before I move to Japan so hopefully I can get something together before then, but I wouldn’t really say I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished this competition (almost nada)


Nathan lost 1.54% of his body weight.



How do I feel about the contest? What contest?!? I feel like I’ve been oblivious to the contest. There’s been no tension, and very little motivation to lose weight. I know it must be a pain to do each week, but I really miss the weekly progress updates, the chart showing where we all stand. I think those helped me last time in providing some peer pressure to lose, and some positive feedback when I did manage to make progress.


TwoPi lost 3.56% of his body weight.



Am I proud of myself? Yes! Would I do it again? I would probably do the contest again, but I think I’m definitely going to continue to lose weight. I have been successful even if my weight lose regime has been boring. Oh god…I miss junk food so much.


Mikey lost 4.5% of his body weight …



Biggest C&R Loser 2013


Welcome to the 13th week of Biggest C&R Loser 2013! IT’S ALMOST OVER!  (THANK FSM!) This year we’ll be keeping all of the results and placings secret until the end of the contest. We’ll also be pooling our cash to award the 2013 winner the largest prize we’ve ever awarded … a whopping $40!  This week’s theme is “BEYOND BC&RL3″ – The contest is almost over!  What are the contestants going to do after BC&RL3 ends?  Will their diets (?) continue or will you fall back to your old ways?  Let’s find out!



I am actually feeling pretty good about my diet at the moment and I’m certain I will continue my diet. I know this is a shock…since I hate dieting almost as much as I hate exercise. However, I think for health reasons I’m making the right decision to continue. Boring!

Mr. Sombrero


Wait, what?!?! It’s almost OVER?! I haven’t even started my… Oh never mind. Ok, well I plan to get serious about exercising. I have made some good decisions about taking out certain foods out of my daily consumption and have been feeling very good about that. And I have also discovered a morning ritual of making tea which starts off my day in a Zen state of mind. Although it’s all shot to hell by the time I open my work email, it’s a start.


Big Fat Guy

I’ve been pretty busy the last few months so I haven’t accomplished too much, but between April and July I won’t have too much to do, so hopefully I’ll be able to get on track properly.



Beyond BC&RL3, what am i going to do after the contest is over? Probably exactly what I did while the contest was going on….absolutely nothing! No, that’s not true, I feel certain the doctor is gonna yell at me next month when I visit her, so I hope I’ll do more to lose weight and control my diabetes. But I do nothing buy lay on my couch and inhale all the wrong foods while my only exercise if pulling my fat ass up to go get more food….well, I won’t be terribly surprised.



Fall back in my old ways? Bwahahaha Maybe I’ll think about changing my ways. It’s never to late to start right? Right? Better late than never and all that bullshit. Sigh. I suck.


Absurdly Small Diet Meal

After BC&RL4, I thought I might start dieting and exercising.



I forgot that I was even in a contest! Whatnow?

Michelle M.


Biggest C&R Loser 2013


Welcome to the 12th week of Biggest C&R Loser 2013! THANKS BE TO THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER THAT THIS IS ALMOST OVER!!! Oh oops did I type that?  Anyway … This year we’ll be keeping all of the results and placings secret until the end of the contest. We’ll also be pooling our cash to award the 2013 winner the largest prize we’ve ever awarded … a whopping $40!  This week’s theme is “ Embarrassing Admission.”  Rosie O’Donnell once admitted to stopping at multiple Waffle Houses because she was embarrassed to order so much food from a single fast-food restaurant.  This week the contestants will tell us something embarrassing that they used to do BEFORE their diet began.  Here’s what they had to say.

Michelle M.


Hmmm. Something embarrassing I used to do BEFORE* my diet began**? Probably eating a whole bag of potato chips. I’ve been known (on numerous occasions) to bring a bag of chips to the couch for snacking purposes, and before I know it the entire bag is gone! It’s like magic.

* I have done this AFTER my “diet” began
** I haven’t even started my diet. That’s the embarrassing thing.



When I had a roommate many many moons ago, I used to wake up in the middle of the night with a near starvation hunger for no good reason. I would sneak into the kitchen and eat her chocolate chips. It was terrible….I would wake up in the morning with chocolate on my face and an empty Nestle bag on my pillow.

Mr. Sombrero

Picture 49

Up until very recently I would add Reese’s PB candy bar to my breakfast – be it cereal or yogurt, flavored or not, it always ended up being chocolaty and peanut buttery and so heavenly delicious. I have promised (to me and someone else) not to indulge in Reese’s anymore so that embarrassing tradition is no longer taking place.


disposbale chopsticks2

I have, on multiple occasions, asked for a second pair of chopsticks when ordering a lot of Chinese food that I know I’m going to eat all on my lonesome to look less pathetic.



Today, we need to share an Embarrassing Admission. When I ordered a pizza, I would always say, “WE want…” and when I got the pizza and paid for it, I’d say “WE thank you.” As if to convince whoever the makers/deliverers were that I certainly was NOT ordering and entire pizza just for me alone! And then, upon getting to the table to eat it….I promptly ate it all. All by myself.



Well, I have been known to buy a pie, and call it dinner. Maybe not all at once, but perhaps 1/3 for dinner, 1/3 for snack and then 1/3 for breakfast. Is that bad if it’s a fruit pie? Or I have also just bought a giant piece of cake and ate that for dinner. Blerg. I want pie.



Embarrassing admission: I completely forgot to do this until after the deadline, like at 7:30pm Wednesday. Totally slipped my mind. And on a larger scale (so to speak), I must confess that I’ve been not terribly focused on weight loss, even though I’ve entered a contest… and had talks with my doctor about how critical it is etc…. Sigh.



Are you kidding? I never do anything that is embarrassing!! Except for everything that everyone has already said. I’ve done just about all of that stuff … Oh, and just about every time I go to the grocery store, I buy a little something extra as a “snack” for the way home. Then I stuff my face the whole way home. It’s usually cookies, candy, chips, mmmm now I’m hungry!

PS – I never wear suits … that’s the best photo I could find.

Biggest C&R Loser 2013


Welcome to the 11th week of Biggest C&R Loser 2013! This year we’ll be keeping all of the results and placings secret until the end of the contest. We’ll also be pooling our cash to award the 2013 winner the largest prize we’ve ever awarded … a whopping $40!  This week’s theme is “WHAT’S IN YOUR CUPBOARD?” In a desperate attempt to milk the ‘what’s inside your fridge’ theme for another week, our contestants will show off their cupboards (or where ever they store your non-refrigerated foods) and describe it. (CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTOS)



top left: tall stuff, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, gum
middle left: oat meal, pepper oil, hot sauce, other ingredients
bottom left: spices and baking ingredients
top right: sugars, flour
middle right: popcorn, packaged meals, Indian food, rice, vitamins, etc.
bottom right: cans, sauces, crackers (imported from Canada!), lasagna pasta

Michelle M.


Our cupboard is tall and narrow – I couldn’t get all the shelves into the frame.

1. Canned goods – beans, vegetables, tomatoes, etc.
2. Nuts, popcorn, candy (this week it’s Snickers and Raisinets), cookies (usually there are no cookies, but it was Girl Scout season).
3. Rice (I always have Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice – I eat it all the time), pasta, lentils, split peas
4. Canned soup for when I’m too lazy to cook (Bean with Bacon is my favorite), broth (I’m running low at the moment – I make lots of soup) and bread
5. Oils for cooking, vinegars, hot sauces (Harry is big on hot sauce), peanut butter, pasta sauces, etc. And my granola bars. I don’t like that they are on this shelf – they don’t go.
6. Pretzels, rice cakes, crackers, chips (when I’m being bad). In the very back are chocolate chips for making cookies.

Other smaller cupboards hold Harry’s oatmeal fixings and coffee, my baking goods (flour, sugar, etc.) and the booze.


photo (2)

What you are looking at is the contents of my cabinet. You can tell that I was probably the last person to use it since it is a mess. Ty would have made it neat as a pin. As you can see, we have some pasta, oatmeal, oils, spices and a bunch of other random stuff. I think my favorite is the front and center Gelatine. I don’t know why we have that.

Mr. Sombrero

photo (1)

My cupboard is a very…scary…and dark place. Well there are several of those places, scattered throughout the nooks and crannies of my tiny kitchen. [Is this more than one sentence?] Ok, so in it – some cans of corn, tomato sauce, black beans [go Goya], tomato soup [in case of a nuclear or environmental catastrophe]. Also, some herbal teas, raisins, walnuts, sugar, quinoa, pasta, etc. etc… that’s it, thank you all, have a great week!



My cupboard is super boring because I live with my parents. They are doing a much better job than I am of being healthy people. Consequently, they keep anything easy and fattening out of their cupboards. Good for me, I suppose, because I’m cheap and it helps avoid temptation.


photo (14)

I dont actually HAVE a cupboard per se. Well I do, I have plenty of cupboard, but I dont really store food in them. I have my cans (soups, fruit salad) on shelves in the basementway. And I put most of my other foods out on the counter, see the photo. You’ve got your cereal, your bread, your sugar-free cookies (two different kinds), or peanut butter, your popcorn, your nut/candy snack thing, your cheesy crackers and a box of oatmeal (with coffee the breakfast of champions). There’s also a pathetic looking plant there I’ve had for over 13 years, named Janis. And off on the left is one of the greatest inventions known to man: A George Foreman-esque cooker.


Tam Cupboard

My cupboard really doesn’t change much. I also have a cupboard that is full of baking things, flour, sugar, spices and another that is full of cooking spices, but you don’t get to see those.

My top shelf is starches, rice, couscous, pasta. The next shelf is usually canned goods, and it would appear in this picture and abundance of ice-cream toppings. Then we have two shelves of random stuff. Mostly crackers, cereal, chips, popcorn, snacks. The bottom shelf is potatoes, onion and garbage bags. I would say there is probably enough food in there to feed someone for a good week or more if you didn’t mind eating crackers and popcorn for dinner the last few days. I used to buy lots of things “just in case” but I’m more careful now and tend not to buy things unless they are super on-sale. But I always have pasta, sauce, rice, canned corn, cereal and a few snacks on-hand.



Saw my doctor today; got the “your weight hasn’t changed in over two years of trying to lose weight; when will you actually start?” conversation. Sigh. So here’s the cupboard! Top shelf has various cooking oils, vinegars and other liquids (and some corn husks waiting for the next batch of tamales!). Next two shelves house random canned goods (including canned soups for when my kids turn up their nose at what I’ve prepared). Next to lowest shelf has garbage bags, and more canned soup and ramen (again for the kids). Bottom shelf is mostly nonedible storage. Oh, and in the foreground is Batcat, a 4 yr old cat rescued (with his brother Crazycat) from the streets as kittens. Batcat is the first cat I’ve met who likes peanut butter. Maybe if he eats more of it, I’ll eat less and actually lose a little weight. (Oh look, I’ve now resorted to blaming the cat for my lack of weight loss.)

Biggest C&R Loser 2013


Welcome to the 10th week of Biggest C&R Loser 2013! This year we’ll be keeping all of the results and placings secret until the end of the contest. We’ll also be pooling our cash to award the 2013 winner the largest prize we’ve ever awarded … a whopping $40!  This week’s theme is “HOW ARE YOU FEELING?” Our contestants are about 2 months into the greatest diet of their lives.  How do they feel?  Good?  Bad?  Indifferent?  Let’s find out!



Diet? What diet? I’m not making any progress at all. In fact, right now I feel like a big ol’ tub of lard! (Or perhaps a pail of lard, since according to this 1919 advert, it was a point of pride that their lard was only sold in pails, not tubs. Who would imagine?)



I hate myself. Time to go goth!

Michelle M.


I feel like a pig.



I am actually feeling pretty ok. I don’t hate what I am eating and I don’t feel hungry. I feel like I might actually be making some good choices lately about what I’m feeling. I guess this is what dieting is really supposed to be like.

Mr. Sombrero


I’m exhausted.



This week, like other weeks, I’m feeling like I haven’t accomplished much. That being said, I’m cautiously optimistic that next week when I’m on March Break on my own that I can get things in gear.



How do I feel? Disappointed that I haven’t really lost anything, but insanely, unrealistically optimistic that I’m gonna have a marathon weight loss over the next four weeks and win this thing! But overall? I’m pretty apathetic about it all. I want to win (hell I’d just like to lose some weight), but I really dont think I will. Story of my life, yo


Three Ds of Doom - Tam

How do I feel? Well let me tell you how I feel. Stressed, panicked, freaked out… and none of it related to this contest. Then it’s dispirited, despondent and disgusted. The three Ds of doom. Thanks to the SPF (not sun protection), I have been eating things I should not, being lazy and not cooking properly and … yeah. Giant F for fail. Let’s leave it at that shall we?

Biggest C&R Loser 2013


Welcome to the 9th week of Biggest C&R Loser 2013! This year we’ll be keeping all of the results and placings secret until the end of the contest. We’ll also be pooling our cash to award the 2013 winner the largest prize we’ve ever awarded … a whopping $40!  This week’s theme is “THE LITTLE THINGS YOU HATE” – Everyone is annoyed by something. What’s one of the ‘little things’ that bother our contestants? Maybe it’s the blobby fat hanging over their waist bands or the way that diet food always tastes awful. Let’s find out what bothers them!



The little things. Little tiny portions. Seriously, look on the package of some of your fave snack foods. 120 calories… for 8 chips. WTF? No one in their right mind eats 8 chips or 1 cookie. Get a grip manufacturers.



Annoyances? I’m annoyed that my weight seems stuck, just fluctuating between two numbers for week after week. And I’m annoyed that I keep forgetting that there’s a blurb due on Wednesdays, so I’m always dealing with these at the 11th hour.



Ya know what bugs me? The fact that junk food is delicious and yet it makes me feel bad about myself! I need liposuction and/or Lap-Band surgery. Too bad I spent my last $5 on this stupid contest.

Michelle M.


I hate that I have to wear jeans and long sleeved shirts when it’s 90 degrees because I can’t fit into my shorts and tshirts. So maybe I better get going on this weight loss thing. Summer is just around the corner (especially in San Diego).


little things

Little things that drive me crazy??? Numbers! All I do now for my diet is think about numbers: calories, grams, and amount of time moving. The only numbers that are not small that are driving me crazy are my weight and my pant size. THE HUNGER IS TO BIG TO BE A LITTLE ANNOYING THING.

Mr. Sombrero


I hate my job! Was that the question? I’m sick of people and I don’t even have time to diet these days. Somebody pay me to nap and be happy!!



The little thing I hate the most is my own laziness! There is so much that I could accomplish if I were less lazy (the least of which is getting more done for this competition).



This week it’s the little things we hate about the contest. Hmm, I don’t think any of them are little. I HATE being fat in the first place. I hate having to diet. I hate having to exercise when I feel like blobbing on the couch. I hate that the food I’m suppose to eat, I don’t like, and the food I LOVE is bad for me. I hate not looking like a male fashion model. I hate Congressional Republicans and their policies. Wait….I digress….

What I hate most, I think, is the guilt. When I go to bed at night and I realize I haven’t walked, even though I had the time. Or when I order a regular Pepsi at a restaurant instead of just water. Or when I eat a whole freaking (small-sized) pizza instead of a salad. I hate the guilt the comes with it. But I’m used to guilt…I kill it by eating a Cadbury caramel egg!