Monday Grab Bag

January 31, 2011

I had a long and full weekend, and am gonna use today’s post to catch up on some odds and ends that I haven’t blogged about yet.  What’s first?

1) H&M. Thanks, first of all, for all the great comments on all the new clothing I picked up the other day.  I’ve been wearing all new clothes for the past two days and I’m lovin’ it!  (I even have a picture to prove it – keep reading.)  But when I was getting dressed the other night, only a few hours after leaving the mall, I realized that I bought the wrong pants.  Ugh.  Remember these?

They’re the kick-ass black/white/gray subtle plaid cargo pants from H&M.  I tried them on in two sizes: 38, which I was pretty sure would fit (and they did), and 36, because I was curious how close I was to fitting into a size 36 (the answer, by the way, is pretty far off).  I thought I had a pretty good dressing room system, since I was trying on about 10 things: keepers in one pile, and no-thank-yous in another, but I must not have been paying attention, because the 36s ended up with me at the counter, where I paid for them, then brought them home, then desperately tried to squeeze into them later that night.

So yesterday I went back to H&M – a different H&M, since I was already in a different part of town.  I found the rack with the pants, and searched for a pair of 38s.  Crap.  They were out. Annoyance level quickly rose.  I decided to go find someone that worked there, to see if they had any in the back or something, and as I approached the counter, there, on a random rack, that must have been returns or go-backs or whatever, I spied a singular pair of my pants.  I beelined for them, and sure enough, they were 38s!  Score! H&M gladly swapped the pants and I went on my merry way.

2) Cirque Berserk. On Saturday night, my friend Steve and I went and saw our friend Tavi, who’s an aerialist (read about my recent hike with him here), perform in a circus called Cirque Berserk (I’d post a link, but the final performances were yesterday – you missed out!).  It had a lot of trapeze and trampoline and acrobatic elements, and it was really fun, and a good show.  Tavi and his acrobatic partner, Neal, do an aerial act called straps, where there’s two hanging cords, with adjustable loops at the end.  Tavi and Neal loop their hands or feet through the loops, and seconds later, they’re performing feats of strength and flexibility 15-20 feet off the ground.  It’s amazing.  Here’s a photo of Tavi and me after the show (Cirque Berserk has an death/underworld theme and sensibility to it, which explains Tavi’s ghostly make-up):

Yep, that’s my new shirt and jacket – thank you for noticing!

Before the show, Steve and I had dinner downtown, near the theater.  Two restaurants had waits of an hour or more, so we ended up at Rock’N Fish, mainly because they were able to seat us in about 5 minutes.  I’m glad we ended up there – it was tasty!  I had the Napa Sonoma salad.  It had baby lettuces, sun-dried tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and pine nuts.  I had the balsamic vinaigrette on the side and had them add some seared Ahi tuna.  It also had mozzarella, which I asked them to hold, but they didn’t, but it was two slices of buffalo mozzarella that I could easily take off, and I ended up eating one of them anyway.

3) Eggs. I hard-boiled 5 eggs on Saturday before leaving for the mall, and yesterday I cracked open one of them and found out I didn’t cook them long enough.  The white was almost done, and the yolk was still runny, and the shell didn’t come off easily at all.  Yuck.  I was running out the door, so I couldn’t do anything about them yesterday, but right now, as I type this, I’m re-boiling the other four.  According to this blog post, it can be done, but the eggs may end up a little rubbery.  Hmmm.  Will keep you posted.

4) January Workouts. I can’t believe it’s already the last day in January.  January was a great month for working out – all in all, I worked out 27 out of 31 days!  Here’s my most recent workouts, since I haven’t blogged about them lately:

  • Friday, 1/28:  Rest Day.
  • Saturday 1/29:  Richard’s class at Slimmons.
  • Sunday, 1/30:  45 minutes on stationary bike.
  • Monday, 1/31:  40 minutes on arc trainer, followed by 15 minutes of toning/abs.

5) Chart Update. I’m ending the post with some photos that I know y’all love – my weight loss chart!  I weighed myself on Saturday, and I’m down another pound!  That puts my weight loss at 160 pounds even.  Here’s the updated chart:

Only 22 pounds until I reach my next goal!

And here’s the whole chart from a fun new angle – from the beginning of it, when I was at my heaviest, looking down at the weight I’ve lost.

Keep it up, David!

Hello, Americana!

January 30, 2011

This week I cleared out space in my closet and dressers.  I few days ago I got, in my hot little hands, the gift cards that were so generously given to me by Ellen (which arrived to the Ellen offices when I was in Michigan, so I didn’t get them until I got back).  Which means that yesterday, I was in the perfect position…

…to go shopping!

My friend Jen came along with me – she can work her way through a mall better than most people (certainly me), and she has a great eye and fashion sense.  Here are three more reasons I love shopping with Jen:

  • The day after I asked if she’d come, she emailed me a game plan – she had gone to the mall’s website, scoured the store directory, and identified all the stores we needed to hit.
  • When we were driving to the mall, she directed me to a side street where we got a great parking space, avoiding paying for parking at the mall itself.
  • She was excited to document the entire excursion with photographs, which will make writing this post so much easier (and so much more fun!).

We went to The Americana At Brand, the mall where I was given the gift cards.  It’s in downtown Glendale, California (only about 15 minutes from my place), and it opened a few years ago.  We only focused on clothing, but there’s also a big movie theater, a Barnes and Noble, a bunch of restaurants, and other shops and retailers.  There’s a park in the center, with some dancing fountains, and there are apartments and condos above all the stores:

By the time we left, it was turning dark.  Here’s one of their signs:

So…  wanna see the fashion show?

First stop was Urban Outfitters, where I picked up 2 shirts:

The orange plaid shirt may not be a keeper, I haven’t decided yet.  I like the colors, but it’s a tiny bit tight through the back and shoulders, so I may return it.  Those photos, by the way, are totally against the rules:  Jen was asked not to take photos in Urban Outfitters.  Whatever.   Oh, and guess who we ran into at Urban?  You’ll never guess.  My friend Glory!  I love Glory, she’s so hilarious and so much fun to be around.  Wanna see Glory in action?  She was on TV last month, and her skirt got ripped off – it’s very funny.

Next stop was H&M.  Glory had a few spare minutes, so she came along, too.  I probably tried on 10-12 different things, and found some keepers:

I love these pants.  It’s hard to tell in the picture, but they have a subtle gray/black/white plaid pattern, and a bunch of fun details.  The brown polo was really thin, and I didn’t love it, so I didn’t buy it.

My friend Jim will love that I bought this gingham shirt:

I also picked up a couple V-neck tees ($6 a piece) and a pair of black workout pants.

Right next store to H&M was Forever 21, which apparently has a men’s section.  I’d never been in a Forever 21 before – but this jacket was literally the first thing I picked up after walking in:

A saleswoman saw Jen take this picture and told her photos weren’t allowed in their store.  Oops.  She also asked Jen to delete the photo off the camera, and Jen did a bang-up job miming doing just that.  And I bought the jacket – it was only $37!

We headed into American Eagle Outfitters, where I picked up two t-shirts (buy one, get one 50% off).  Here’s one of them:

I wanted to see if I could find a new pair of sneakers to work out in, so we ducked in the Puma store.  They didn’t have anything I liked in my size – I’m a size 14, and end up buying a lot of my shoes online – but I did find this shirt, and it was 50% off:

And there you have it, folks!  Everything I bought today at the Americana.

There was a lot of stuff I tried on and didn’t buy.  We went into A/X Armani Exchange, where I tried on a pair of pants and a zip-up top:

The photo doesn’t do justice all the details and seams in the pants, but they were too snug around my waist, and not quite my style – maybe if I owned a motorcycle.  The top, though, I debated.  It’s actually a dark navy zip-up dealie, and there’s a brighter blue lining that you can’t see.  It was on sale (50% off), and I would have bought it if they had it in a different color – I already have a zip-up hoodie that’s navy with brighter blue details.  I liked Armani Exchange, though, and will remember to go back once I settle into my final goal weight (which I haven’t determined yet).  They have fun, different clothes, but it’s too pricey for transition clothes.

Figuring out what stores I like and don’t like was actually one of the best things about this excursion (apart from buying lots of new stuff and not paying for a single cent of it).  I never stepped foot in any mall stores for probably a decade when I heavy, because I never could buy anything at any of them, and now, there’s just tons of places to check out.  I like Armani Exchange, but we also went into Calvin Klein, and I didn’t really like their stuff at all.  I tried on a couple things at J. Crew, found it pricey for transition clothes, but will probably go back once I reach a final goal weight (or, at least, check out their outlet store).  There’s stuff for me that I like at H&M and Urban Outfitters, too!

I’ll end this post with a couple definite ‘no’s.  This J. Crew long sleeve tee was not flattering…

…nor was this long-sleeve number from Urban Outfitters:

All told, I walked outta Americana with 4 tees, 4 button-down shirts, 1 jacket, and 2 pairs of pants.  Not too shabby!

Keep it up, David!