Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cabbage Soup Diet: Day One

Brian and I aren't obese by any means, but we're definitely not as thin as we would like to be.  Everyday I seem to resemble the Pillsbury Doughboy more and more.  Seriously, if somebody else decides to poke my belly I don't know what I'll do.  Probably eat them...

So Brian had the idea of starting the Cabbage Soup Diet, which basically consists of eating cabbage soup for 7 days straight.  Sounds delicious, right?  But each day in the plan is different.  The first day, today, allows me to eat as much cabbage soup as I want along with as much fruit as I want.  Plus lots of water to drink!  So for breakfast I had cantaloupe and strawberries; lunch was cabbage soup, peaches, and watermelon; and for dinner I had more cabbage soup, grapes, an apple and an orange.  I've also had about 8 glasses of water, which is a lot for me!

For a man my height (5'8") I should ideally weigh between 139 to 169 pounds.  I am right at the top of that range (168) and that's scary!  But apart from weight, I want to lose inches in my belly.  That's really our main focus here: losing that gut.  My gut is 35 inches around, while my waist is only 30 inches.  My stomach literally hangs over my belt and that is not sexy.  Not sexy at all.

So wish me luck, kids!  I'll be keeping you posted every day... unless, of course, I die from hunger.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jack Day Part Three?

Late last night my phone buzzed on the nightstand.  I opened it and read a message from my friend Kelsey.  "Jack r u up?"

I was in bed, but I wasn't asleep.  Luckily, or her text might have pissed me off.  I was sitting up reading Son of a Witch while Brian was in the kitchen toasting some pumpkin seeds.  Yes, we do odd things after midnight.

I replied in the affirmative and she said, "I'll be over in a min."

"Um, Brian, I guess Kelsey's coming over..." I called through the partially shut door.

Brian poked his head into the bedroom, "What?  Why?"

"I don't really know.  She just asked if I was up and said she was coming over."  Suddenly a thought crept into my mind. "I hope nothing's wrong!"

I immediately opened my phone and asked her, via text, if anything was the matter.  A million horrible scenarios ran through my head.  Her husband just left her and she's crying hysterically.  Her husband got in an accident and she's crying hysterically.  She got a paper cut and she's crying hysterically.

"Oh my Gosh!  What if it's a paper cut?  Do we have band-aids?" I cried aloud to a perplexed Brian.

"What?" he asked.


Just then my phone started to vibrate again.  That poor, brave girl!  Texting me with the bloody remains of her fingers!

"No everything is fine," it read, "I just forgot something over there last night."

Brian, still looking confused, emerged from our bathroom with a box of band-aids.  I hadn't even noticed him leave the kitchen.

"Why do you have band-aids?  Kelsey's fine," I snapped.

With his tail between his legs, Brian put the band-aids back and returned to the kitchen muttering who-knows-what under his breath. 

I soon began a thorough search of the living room.  She and some other friends had been over watching a movie.  The movie had been hers.  Oh no!  Did she leave it in our DVD player?  A quick look soon revealed that was not the case.  Besides, why would she so desperately need Mona Lisa Smile at one in the morning?

A sudden knock at the door stopped my pacing, and I swung it open to reveal Kelsey and Robert--smiling from ear to ear--holding a small tray of cupcakes.  "Happy birthday to you!," they sang and I quickly ushered them in before they woke up our crack-addicted neighbors.  The last thing anyone needed was a shooting.  Their song ended and it was then I noticed the candle burning in one of the cupcakes.  I made a wish and blew it out.

"Thanks, guys," I said. "Look, Brian, they brought us cupcakes!"

"With pink frosting," Kelsey bragged. "And sprinkles."

"Yes, he can see that," jabbed her husband Robert.

I just smiled.  "So I guess you didn't lose anything did you?  You just wanted to surprise me."

Kelsey swooped in for the hug.  "Well, I felt bad for missing your birthday..."

"But you were at my birthday!" I exclaimed.  "It wasn't on my birthday, I guess, but it was my birthday dinner.  You gave me a gift even!"

Robert threw up his hands as if to say, "That's what I said but she doesn't listen to me!"

"Thanks, though.  You are so sweet!" I said, as I gave her another hug.  "Now I'm just gonna get fat.  You know I'm going to eat all of these in one sitting."

And just a few minutes after they left, I did, leaving crumbs between the sheets.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Sad Tale of the Boy Jack

Once upon a time, there was a young lad named Jack.  He was born in humble surroundings in a small village.  His family was poor.  Jack once had to sell the family cow just for some beans!  Life was hard work for the boy.  He had to fetch water every day, jump over candles, and he never ate any fat.

But Jack had big dreams, and soon he felt that his destiny lay outside of that provincial town.  With the help of his forest animal friends, he packed up his knapsack and set out on his way. 

The yellow-brick road to the city was treacherous at times.  He narrowly escaped dangerous giants, sly wolves, and murderous thieves.  At times it seemed that everyone and everything was against him.  The tree branches seemed like arms ready to strike him down; the howl of the wind was like the breath of a ghost.  But through the gloom of the deep, dark forest cut a beam of light.  The light was a friend.  The light was support, and compassion, and love.  One light led to another and another until his path was illuminated and clear and he followed his feet to the glittering city full of possibilities.

Once within the walls of the great kingdom, he embraced the opportunities around him and soon found work with a local magician.  Together they brewed potions and elixirs, selling them to those who craved love and beauty.  Everything seemed to be going well for Jack, but unbeknownst to him, the evil witch Melificent was watching his every move.  She hated everyone, but for some reason she hated the boy most of all.  Perhaps she feared his magic would one day exceed her own.  She seethed with rage as she spied through her crystal ball, and soon she set about on a plot to destroy him.

She had an army of loyal robotic clones.  Every one of them talked like Melificent.  Walked like Melificent.  Worshipped Melificent.  She placed these clones strategically, and soon, everyone around Jack was secretly working under her command.  Together they bombarded him with hatred and loathing.  He felt like he was back in that forest again.  There was no one he could trust.  All eyes were on him.  His every move was scrutinized, criticized, and reprimanded.

The vile Melificent laughed from her throne as the boy broke before her eyes.  He had no desire to continue his potions apprenticeship, and he fled from his duties.  Melificent had won.

But upon reflection, the boy realized that he did not need magical potions.  He did not miss them, and therefore he became content with his place in life.  He remained friends with the Magician, and stayed nearby assisting with other things.  He was content and happy.

Melificent was not.  The boy was reduced to his common state, yet he was smiling.  He would never become a powerful sorcerer, yet he seemed gleeful and charming as ever.  How could this be?  She could not stand to have this.  The boy must leave her kingdom forever!  So using her poisoned words and her most deadly threats, she convinced the Magician to throw the boy out of the kingdom forever.  To push him away into exile.  To banish him from all the land.

Heatrbroken, and feeling very trapped, the Magician did so.  Jack was told to leave that very instant.  No warning.  No time to say goodbye.

 Sometimes, there are no happy endings.

*     *     *    *    *

Work had become so stressful and so horrible, that I eventually stepped down from my role as Customer Sales Lead, but decided to stay on as a regular Sales Associate.  The pay decrease didn't matter, because it was never worth the stress and aggravation that being a manager brought to my life.  It just wasn't worth it, and I wanted to return to the simpler, happier times when connecting with my customers was all that mattered. 

And although my boss thought the solution was perfect, her boss--the evil District Manager Mel--disagreed.  "He failed as a Sales Lead.  What makes you think he'll succeed as an Associate?  He'll still be around to bring the store down," she said.  So I was fired.  Mel wanted me out, and Mel always gets what she wants.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chihuahua Comics: Transfiguration Gone Wrong

Little did Harry know, Professor McGonagall had jinxed him in his sleep.  She needed something cuddly to hold at night...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Jack Day Part Two

You can never have too much of a good thing.  At least that's what I think.  So if you love celebrating Jack Day on August 20th, why not celebrate again on the 23rd?  Really, you could celebrate every day of the month if you'd like.  Or even all year.  I won't hold you back.

On Monday the 23rd, some of my friends who were not at my Friday night birthday party joined Brian and me for a birthday dinner at Biaggi's.  You see, since starting his new job, Brian now works Tuesday through Saturday from 3:30 PM to midnight.  So we had to celebrate my birthday together on either Sunday or Monday.  Sunday night I had to work until 11:00 PM, so we were left with Monday.

We invited our roommates Mesun and Ryan, our friend Kelsey and her husband Robert, and our friends Tori and Katie.  The eight of us had a special room in the back and it was a lot of fun.  Dinner was delicious.  I got the Butternut Squash Ravioli and Brian ordered Carpaccio.  I had never had Carpaccio (although when we're playing Sims my character makes it quite often) so I had a bite of Brian's.  It tasted a lot better than I thought it would, but I don't think I would order it for myself.  If you don't know, Carpaccio is thin slices of raw beef.  Brian seemed to really enjoy it, and our friend Kelsey ordered it as well.

Tori and Katie gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and Kelsey and her husband gave me a Build-A-Bear named Beary Potter!  They drew on a scar with black marker, and he has  glasses and a red shirt.  Totally adorable.  Oh, Brian was mad that I didn't mention in my first birthday post that he gave me a Glee CD and promises to get me the first season on DVD when it comes out in September.  So now you know.  He can be happy.

Or not.  Now he's mad that I'm blogging and not eating lunch.  Sigh.  I can never win with this kid, can I?

Kelsey and Robert.  Doesn't Kelsey look stunning with that veil on?
Our roomies, Ryan and Mesun!  They are so fun to live with!
Tori and Katie!  Aren't they just lovely?

Here I am with Brian!  He's such a cutie face!
And introducing... BEARY POTTER!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quidditch for Muggles

According to the books written by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter was born on July 31st, 1980.  That would make him 30 years old this year, which I thought was a cause to celebrate.  The fact that his birthday fell on a Saturday, and that many of my friends were anxious for another one of our Harry Potter-themed parties—and none of us could wait until the November release of the new movie—it just seemed a good excuse for a silly, wizardly summer party.

And with the weather so nice, who could resist a game of Quidditch?  Now obviously none of us have any magical powers, and the ability to fly evades us all, but many muggles have discovered a way for us to play a grounded, magic-free version of the game.  I scoured the internet for Muggle Quidditch rules that seemed fun.  I found versions where the Snitch was a Frisbee thrown over the playing field, or a flag kept near the Keeper that needed to be captured, or simply a runner dressed in yellow.   The rules varied.  The balls varied.  It was quite the exercise in perseverance just reading through all those websites!

Eventually everything was decided and my friend Tori suggested we play at Sugar House Park.  She and our other friend Katie got there early on the day of the party and saved us some space to play.  Brian and I showed up a little bit later with my siblings and Quidditch gear in tow and we began to set up as guests arrived at the park. 

My friend Trina called and I escaped the group and ran towards the street so I could try and spot her and lead her to where we were.  While I was gone, an odd teenage girl approached the rest of my group accompanied by an older man and woman.  Apparently the conversation went something like this:

Girl:  Hey, are you guys here for the game?

Silence.  Awkward silence.

Brian (with only the slightest hint of embarrassment):  Um… we’re here for a Harry Potter thing…

Girl:  Yeah!  Quidditch?  Me too!  I’m the other team!

The three strangers left as Trina and I approached.  Brian asked if I knew them as I was asking who they were.  Everyone seemed a little uncomfortable about the whole thing, and it got worse when the girl returned asking if some of us could help her bring a picnic table to the same spot we were in. 

Of course nobody moved.  I said I’d go and glared at those around me.  Trina and my brother Daniel caved in.  As we followed a few steps behind her, we whispered emphatically to each other:

Me:  Why does she want to bring the table by us?

Trina:  This is so weird… did she somehow find the event on Facebook?

Me:  No, it was private.  She couldn’t possibly have seen it.

Daniel:  Maybe someone else invited her.

Me:  I don’t think so.  She’s so weird.

Trina:  Um, Jack, she can probably hear us.

Everyone stopped and looked at the girl.  We’d reached our destination by this point, and if she heard anything she wasn’t letting on.  I realized that I needed to investigate the matter through the art of friendly conversation.  This is how that went down:

Me (in a joking tone):  So what’s wrong with the table here?  It looks great to me!

Girl:  Well, the tournament is over there!

Me:  Oh… sorry, what are your guys’ names?  Mine’s Jack.

Man with Girl:  I’m So-and-So, but I’m not on the team.  I’m just their photographer.

Woman with Girl:  And I’m just her mother.  She’s the one on the team.

Me:  What team are you on?

Girl:  The Utah Hex. We’re just a community team though.  Are you guys a school team?

Confused looks are exchanged between me and my friends.

Me:  I don’t think we are here for the same thing.

Girl:  You’re not here for the Quidditch match?

Me:  Well, we’re here to play Quidditch, but just as friends.  None of us belong to an actual team.  We’re just here to be silly.

Girl:  But it’s not silly, it’s a real sport.

We soon had a crash course in the very real and unsilly Utah Quidditch Organization.  As other players began to arrive, we learned that there was a scheduled tournament there that day at the exact place in the park that we had chosen.  Some of the players went so far as to leave us their card and explain how we could form our own team in the league.  Once they started measuring out their field, painting lines, and erecting Quidditch hoops, we took our cue and skedaddled.

Suddenly we were embarrassed to be playing in sight of actual, dedicated Quidditch players, so we found a new spot hidden in the trees.  Finally enough of my friends had arrived and we played for a good little while.  I was Seeker the first round and boy did I regret it!  My brother Daniel was the Snitch, and Brian’s sister Courtney was the Seeker for the other team.  She and I just ran around and around chasing Daniel all over the park while the others played.  We had no idea what was going on in the game, Daniel was impossible to catch, and worse of all, he ran off right by the real players!  How embarrassing!  I felt like such a fool chasing after my brother while these uniformed athletes stared at us mid-stretch. 

Eventually it came time for Brian and me to sneak off.  The rest of the activities would take place at the Clubhouse of our apartment building, so I needed to do some last-minute decorating and Brian needed to start cooking our Harry Potter feast.  As we were driving off, we noticed a team all decked out in red heading toward our group.  Brian called his sister Amy to get the scoop, and she informed us that some of the teams needed alternates and wanted to know if any of them wanted to play!

So while Brian and I were back at Citifront Apartments slaving away, our friends were all playing in a real Quidditch game with a referee and fans and everything!

My brother Daniel loved playing Quidditch!

My friend Jenna (right) has dreamed of playing Quidditch her whole life!
Kelsey (right) was recruited by the team after the game!  They loved her!

Monday, August 23, 2010


The row of exclamation points above is the exact title of the email I found in my inbox today, and it is honestly the only way I can express what I am feeling right now.  It must be the only way Eva Keretic could show her emotions as well, since she is the one who wrote it.  Everything that an exclamation point can convey is bursting through me right now.  Excitement, happiness, you name it, that's me.

The email (written in all caps due to the sheer importance) reads as follows:

I HAVE THE CONTRACT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I WILL SEND IT VERY VERY SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Almost a year after doing the demo for her "Tenny" idea, and after a year of waiting, it looks like I will finally sign the $10,000 contract to begin the animation!

All I can say is, "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jack Day

In case the cake isn't enough of a giveaway, today is my birthday.  I'm officially 24 years old!  Woo hoo!  Yippee!  Hip hip hooray!

Okay, enough celebrating.  Jack Day isn't a national holiday yet.  But it should be.

The day started off with a delicious breakfast prepared for me by my honey.  He wanted to surprise me and serve me breakfast in bed, but unfortunately for him I woke up before he was done.  I was quickly shooed back into my room where I was kept locked up almost like a damsel in distress.  Seriously, I felt like Rapunzel trapped up in her tower.  Let me out, gosh darn it! 

I paced around the little room, and soon found myself making the bed, organizing the desk, and gathering clothes to donate.  I was about to tackle the bathroom floor with a toothbrush and some cleanser when Brian came in, yelling and screaming at me because I wasn't in bed.

"Get in bed!"

"But I've already made it!  I'm awake!  I don't want to get in bed."

"How can I serve you breakfast in bed if you aren't in bed?"

"Let's just eat at the table."


Sigh.  Eventually I convinced him that the Birthday Boy gets to do whatever he wants and that I wanted to eat at the table.  So we ate at the table, which apparently isn't where you are meant to eat breakfast.

Family called, friends texted, and many more friends and family sent their birthday wishes through Facebook.  I quickly responded to my mounting pile of fan mail and then Brian and I were off for a shopping spree.  I used birthday money to buy a board game and a book!  That's right, folks, I'm livin' large.

It was then that Brian had to go back to work, leaving me alone with the television for the first time that day.  Oh, did I forget to mention?  We got cable and internet today.  Happy birthday to me.  Happy birthday to me.  Happy birthday to MEEEE-EEEEE.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

So I watched some Seinfeld and Family Guy reruns for the first time in 8 months.  It was amazing.  My mind turned into mush and everything.  Just like I remembered!

At about 7:00 PM I went over to my friend Kayla's house for a low-key, super fun birthday party.  It was so much fun!  We laughed and swooned over a young Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii while devouring pizza and chocolate peanut butter cake!  Oh, and in case you didn't know, when two women and three men love each other...  well, I'll tell you when you're older.

Me, Kayla, Jenna, and Melinda :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wow... Like A Whole Month Passed By or Something...

I cannot believe how quickly time flies by! I remember once a man in Chile was trying to convince me that the world is coming to an end because every year was literally shorter than the last. He said, "When I was a kid I remember time went by very slowly. It seemed an eternity between birthdays and Christmas. Nowadays, time just goes faster and faster. It seems like just yesterday I had a birthday and yet it's already been a whole year. So you see? Time is speeding up and eventually it'll be gone."

What a stupid man.

However, I agree that it feels like it's going by faster the older I get. My birthday is just a few days away and I can hardly believe it. I can hardly believe it's been a month since I last posted on here.

Daniel and Renee stayed here for two whole weeks but it didn't feel long at all. We didn't do anything crazy, just enjoyed being under the same roof for a while. I still had work and stuff, but when I was home we played games, watched movies, and just enjoyed ourselves immensely.

On Saturday July 31st Brian and I threw a big Harry Potter party to celebrate the character's birthday. We played Quidditch in the park, ate a huge feast, and played some fun games. It was a fun night, and perhaps when I have a bit more time I'll write more about the Quidditch. There's a funny story with that.

My brother and sister left on the 3rd of August and promptly got into trouble back home. Well, Renee did. Her boyfriend pulled a gun on some kid who was hitting on her, and Renee almost got arrested when she refused to tell the cops anything. Luckily she cooperated in the end, but got so sad and depressed about the whole thing that she ended up staying the night in a psych ward. Not good. I think everything has cooled off now.

My ex-stepdad Steve and his wife came over for dinner on the 7th. They were in Utah visiting her family and they brought some stuff that I had left in the old Burlington house. It was a good visit. They had never met Brian, and they were definitely impressed with his cooking.

Brian quit the movie theater and got a new job doing customer support. He still works at the cooking store. I still work selling lotion and clothes at both of my lame mall jobs, however, I took a step down from my managerial role and will be focusing more time on creative projects of my own. Both Brian and I needed to get out of the rut we were in and do something different.

I'm getting rid of my "Veronica and Friends" blog and merging the comics into this one. Brian and I are going to collaborate on an animated cooking show called "Kesler's Kitchen" to go along with his same-named blog. It should be really cool, and I'll let you know more about that when we get it going.

And that's it basically. Time marches on, and I've got to get to work soon!


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