Fish Fries and Weigh-Ins

February 29, 2008

WARNING: long, long post ahead.

I feel bad for my zippers--the zippers on my pants that is. The poor fools can barely hold themselves together in the midst of my rapidly expanding waistline. It's true, I've put on a few pounds, and no matter how hard I try to meditate this weight away, it just won't budge.

The one thing that I have gained as a result of my meditation is some clarity as to why I need to special order a butt-bra. Listen to this.

When I lived in Texas, I woke up every morning, ate breakfast, and met my friend Beth for a three-and-a-half mile walk. Most of the time, I was pushing two toddlers in a double jogger while Beth managed her pregnant belly or her newborn baby. After Jared got home from school, we would eat dinner together as a family, load James into the baby jogger and go for our regular two-mile loop. Oh, and one more thing--I was running anywhere between twenty and forty miles a week last year. And lifting weights at the Y. And riding my bike every Saturday.

I can't lie, seeing that in writing makes me a little bit angry that I didn't jump on the chance to dye my hair blond and wear leotards to the grocery store.

Now let's take a moment and compare that to my life today. I wake up every morning around 5:30 and I'm out the door by six. I come to work, where I sit on my can for eight hours with the exception of an occasional trip to the water cooler, or the meeting room, or the donut plate. I usually don't take a lunch break, because seriously, I've become a guilty working mom, and I'd rather leave the office an hour earlier to see my kid than eat lunch with Robert the sewer inspection guy.

During my drive home I begin to think about how little I've been exercising these days and make a deal with myself to do a quick three miler the moment I pull into my driveway. I feel pumped, I feel excited, and then it happens.

The side door swings open, and there he is--my two-year-old son, wearing nothing but a diaper, a superhero cape, and a humongous grin. He'll usually hurl himself right into my arms and say something completely endearing like, "I messed you so much today Big Mister! Yet's pway cars." Obviously, at that point, the idea of sparing even thirty minutes to go for a run has vaporized, and I'm lying on the floor pretending to make a miniature school bus fly.

I manage to squeeze a walk or a run in every now and again, but it's nothing like it used to be. Get this, Jared had to have the shafts on our stroller wheels rebuilt yesterday because I put almost 3,000 miles on it last year and wore them down to nothing. And do you know how I reacted when he told me this news? I sh** you not, I said, "Ugh, Jared. I hope you didn't use up all of our fun money for the week by doing that, because I was planning on signing up for the fish-fry at work tomorrow!"

What can I say? I'm a New Englander and it's completely sacrilegious to say no to a fish fry. So think of me at noon today, I'll be the one balancing two tall plates and a pint of ketchup.

Fortunately, that's all of the bad, whiny news. The good news is, I've taken the reigns and found a way to address this problem. Trust me, after having a dream that your husband was sending you to Mexico to undergo discount gastric-bypass surgery against your will, you would make a change too. And yes, I honestly had that dream this week.

Maybe you're wondering what my new plan is?

Well I thought about a treadmill, but frankly, I despise treadmills and I'd rather push a city bus through a mud pit for my daily dose of exercise.

I thought about a gym membership, but honestly, I have a severe case of guilty mom syndrome and I would shrivel up in guilt if I ever had the slightest inclination to use the gym on a weekday.

So, I've made a commitment to run on the weekends, I bought a stationary trainer for my road bike that I can use at home on weeknights, and we're doing weekly weigh-ins every Monday at work. As a side note, I will be wearing a hospital gown and flip-flops to work every Monday, just to give myself an edge. In an effort to maintain motivation I'm going to cap off this new regimen with a duathlon in the spring. And I almost forget, my husband is going to make a zillion dollars during his first year in practice so I can resume my former life as a stay-at-home-mom and exercise fiend extraordinaire.

There you have it, that's my plan. Hopefully, within a month or so, I won't be forced to tuck my flop-o-gut into my jeans anymore. We'll see.

And now I'll leave you with a question. Busy people do you fit exercise into your schedule? Honestly, I'm perplexed.

Lil' Miss Sunny Buns

February 25, 2008

I got my hair cut a few days a female impersonator...who specializes in Celine Dionne, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Barbie on roller skates.

He wasn't dressed like a woman while he cut my hair. After all, this is the off season and he prefers to save his shenanigans for the summer. In the wintertime he limits his fashion choices to insanely well fitting jeans, superbly fitted shirts, and a hair style that makes Justin Timberlake look frumpy and homeless.

I didn't know that Jonathan led a double life as a drag queen when I booked the appointment on my friend's recommendation, but if I had known, it certainly wouldn't have stopped me. If I can be totally honest, I kind of have a little bit of a "thing" for female impersonators. It's a learned appreciation that was gifted to me by my dear, sweet mother many years ago.

I have a vivid childhood memory of standing in line at the bank behind a very handsome couple dressed in floofy women's clothing. My mom gently tapped one of the gentlemen on the shoulder, and when he turned around she gingerly said, "I just have to tell you how much I love your stockings. They're really beautiful, and the details are just exquisite!" The shapely man thanked my mother, and in an instant he was strutting out of the store with a purse in one hand and a deposit slip in the other.

And thus it was born--my deep appreciation for the theatrical art of female impersonation. Strange, I know.

A few years ago, I had the fleeting idea that Jared might be entertained by drag queens, too. So in a momentary lapse of judgment I booked a babysitter, gathered a fun-loving group of friends, and attended what was in my opinion, a truly fantastic performance by three very lovely ladies. They sang Barbara Streisand songs, they danced to funky hip-hop beats, they jumped rope in platform heals, and unfortunately, one of the ladies grabbed my already shocked husband's head and forcefully nestled it into her faux, foam bosoms.

When she finally allowed Jared up for air, he looked at me with scathing eyes and sternly pronounced, "I am a Mormon boy from Pocatello, Idaho. If the shock of what just happened doesn't kill me dead, you better PROMISE to NEVER do ANYTHING like this EVER AGAIN!!!!" Then he clapped politely as Lil' Miss Sunny Buns showed the audience her frilly, purple bloomers.

As an offering of consolation, and in an effort to restore Jared's slightly damaged manhood, we watched nothing but Sylvester Stallone movies and ESPN for the next twelve weeks, and obviously we never spoke of the incident again.

The whole hairdresser being a drag queen thing just kind of came up in conversation. After all, this was my first appointment with Jonathan, and first appointment conversations tend to resemble first date conversations. Somewhere, in the middle of our idle chit chat it just came up, and in response I proceeded to ask the obvious questions:

Where do you buy high heel shoes in sizes so large? (From special mail order catalogs.)

Do you sew your own sparkles onto your dresses? (No, an elderly seamstress named Rose does that. She thinks she's making ice skating costumes.)

How do you achieve such strong, yet slender shoulders? (By using low weights and high repetitions.)

After Jonathan finished working with my hair (and I must say, he did an excellent job taming my furry madness), he politely asked if he could help me with anything else.

"Yes," I replied. "I'd like to schedule a haircut appointment for my husband."

Fifteen Minute Break Update

February 21, 2008

I have a sneaking suspicion that today is going to be one of those historically embarrassing days. After all, it's not even lunch time and I've already had a few shining moments.

I walked into work around seven o'clock to find that a lengthy article about my new job had been printed in the local newspaper. Not only did the paper misquote me by saying that I think all aspects of my job--including a catastrophic budget situation--are "fun," but it also printed a less-than-fabulous photo that left me looking like a watermelon wearing a wig. Oh yeah, they also printed my lame-o salary.

You're going to snarf when you read the second half of this sentence, but I tend to be a private person. Obviously I'm not private about all things--I'm happy to talk about farting on the treadmill, I won't hesitate to talk about parenting challenges, and I'm downright excited to talk about marital drama. But let's be clear, I'm not thrilled to spill every detail of my life to any darn person in the world, so the salary thing has left me feeling slightly violated.

I'm not sure why I'm so concerned about the release of this piece of information, perhaps I'm concerned that someone will come up behind me in the Grand Union and say, "You shouldn't buy those bananas, they're not on sale and I know you can't afford them." or "I like your new hooker boots. You must have charged those."

On the flip side, local philanthropists might start cutting me checks. We'll see.

Other than that, a selectman came up behind me while I was in the middle of licking donut jelly off of a paper plate, I did two laps around the office with my fly unzipped, and my boss told me that my hair is "really, really big today."

Thank goodness it's Thursday...I have Fridays off.

For the Love of a Kibble

February 20, 2008

No, no.we definitely didn't get another dog. Don't get me wrong, I love my greyhound slightly more than I love my husband, and I fully intend to add to the collection someday, but right now she's more than enough to keep me joyful, busy, and satisfied. Gracie would happily hurl herself from a fifty foot cliff for the sake of a single kibble, and believe you me, it takes quite a bit of effort on my part to curb that type of enthusiasm.

In the last seven days, Gracie has not let us down. She's performed at least three exotic stunts--just like she always does. On Wednesday morning she used her thirteen-inch nose to pry open a childproofed cabinet door and eat half a ton of chicken bones out of the kitchen garbage can. On Sunday, around three o'clock in the morning, Gracie slipped and fell down an entire flight of hardwood stairs, leaving a trail of blood that was reminiscent of a murder scene (on my in-law's carpet, of course). And last night she ate an entire loaf of Italian bread--paper wrapper and all--off the top of the refrigerator.

The chicken bone thing was annoying, the stair thing was completely sad, and I can't lie, I'm about to sew a superman cape to the back of her fleece jacket, because the bread thing was totally awesome. Think about it--we usually can't move this dog off the couch with dynamite, but for the lure of refined carbohydrates and simple sugars, Gracie got off the couch, jumped six feet in the air, and snagged a loaf of bread with nothing but her teeth. I've seen her go to the same lengths for Oreo cookies, birthday cake, and a five-pound bag of Idaho potatoes.

I aspire to do similar things.

I'll be honest--I could do without the long, constant flow of gas that she's been squeaking out since 2004, but other than that, this dog is awesome and I find myself giving her high-fives every single day.

Other fabulous animals of my past have included: Skippy, the painted turtle who scaled the wall of a baby pool and ran away (devastating, yet remarkable); Holiday, the three-foot long iguana who relocated to Florida in a Rubbermaid container and now resides with my cousin (an all around good move); and Rocky, the fifteen-year-old terrier who continues to bite ankles with the best of 'em.

So tell you have a pet? What's his name? And obviously, what are your pet's primary points of awesomeness?

Have a great day everyone!

Puppy Hunting

February 19, 2008

There's no doubt that I'm an optimist. Speaking in general terms, I've always seen the glass as half full. But in the midst of my hopeful thinking, I'm also a firm believer that nothing is perfect. If something appears to be flawless, just look a little closer.

Think about it.Barbie seems perfect on the outside, but in reality the poor thing has to manage forty different jobs, a few sets of twins, her image as a trophy wife, and do it all on an empty stomach. That seems hard.

Now think about my husband Jared in his new role as a stay-at-home-dad--he scrubs the floors, he folds the laundry, he bathes our unruly toddler, and he does it all with a smile. He's a fantastic father and kicks the garbage out of me in the house-spouse department, but really guys, he's no exception to my rule.

Last week, Jared and James went out of town to visit my in-laws and tie up a few loose ends with the practice. After I finished with work on Thursday, I drove up to join them. When I knocked on their door around nine o'clock at night, I was greeted by my two-year-old son, wearing mismatched pajamas, with a barely visible popsicle mustache, carrying an extra-large-sized rocket launcher gun toy.

'Oooh boy,' I thought. 'I've been trying to keep toys guns out of the house. But I guess that's what I get for buying the kid a sparkly pink bear.'

"Wow buddy. What's that?" I asked, as I shot my husband a super sharp glare.

"Es a gun. Fer hunten," he replied. (translation: It's a gun. For hunting.)

"What do you hunt?" I asked with an obvious element of concern in my voice.

"Him," he replied. And my jaw hung wide as I watched James launch a ten-inch styrofoam rocket right into the side of my in-law's dog's head. Then my toddler proceeded to take four more unsuccessful shots as Patsy, the nine pound Maltese, scampered away and hid beneath the couch.

It's true, my husband taught my two-year-old son to hunt a fluffy, white pocket-dog with a shoulder-mounted assault weapon. How sweet.

If you want me to be honest with you, I thought it was pretty hilarious. I was just relieved to have a reason to maintain the validity of my theory--Jared can be a slightly inappropriate parent as well.

Then we spent the rest of the weekend working on our Nerf gun technique.

Happy Valentines Day

February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day, troops. I don't live for this day, but I certainly don't hate it, either. Valentines Day is fine. That's the extent of my feelings.

I've got to admit, Jared and I are a little lack luster in the holiday department. For example, last year on Valentines Day Jared handed me a plastic grocery bag containing an unsigned card in an unsealed envelope. When I removed the card from the bag and opened it up, a receipt for $3.79 slipped out. As is floated slowly toward the floor, Jared noticed the confusion on my face, shrugged his shoulders and said, "It was the last card at the store. I'm lucky I got there when I did."

There was a drawn out moment of silence as the receipt settled on the linoleum. After the moment had passed, I pulled my homemade card out of its hiding place in the pantry and blushed as I handed it to my husband. He glanced quickly at my handiwork and said, "Amy, why's there a four year old picture of you on the cover of this?"

"Well," I replied, "I was fifteen pounds lighter back then. And besides, I made the card myself, so I can decorate it however I want. That's why there's a picture of a golden retriever on the inside."

Jared smiled, we hugged, and in unison we said, "Thanks?"

What can I say? I'm very happy in my marriage.

Jared has been out of town for the past few days, and I honestly thought this annual day of love celebration was the farthest thing from his masculine mind. Last night--I swear to high heavens--I almost fainted when he called to say, "Valentines day is tomorrow! I hid a card for you somewhere in the house! Go hunt for it!"

Usually that phrase would look more like this: Valentines Day is tomorrow! Can I take fifty bucks out of the account to skiing with my brother to celebrate our love?

Based on previous behavior, I think it's fairly obvious why this premeditated, thoughtful gesture knocked the wind clear out of my breathing pipes.

I hunted around and eventually found a signed, sealed envelope in Jared's top dresser drawer. I anxiously tore the envelope and opened the card to find the following sentiments:

I hope you like this card. I picked it out especially for you. Actually it was the first one I picked up and then some old lady came up behind and gave me a look that said "Get out of my way." So I took the card and got out of her way. But I think it's fine because I was leaning toward this one anyway.
I love you.

I can't lie. Those sweet, sweet words caused me to tear up a bit. In fact I'm so moved, that I might just buy Jared a bottle of cologne at the pharmacy this evening. Take it from me--nothing says love like two ounces of musk.

Happy Valentines Day!

Important Announcement: The End of an Era

February 12, 2008

Today, my friends, marks the end of an era. Today I am giving up my frequent and habitual use of the word A-double-S. It's done, it's through, and I'm currently in the process of finding a replacement. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Why, you might wonder, am I giving up the use of my very favorite word cold turkey? Well, the answer is simple. I've become so comfortable with the use of my favorite A-double-S word, that I let it fly in a public meeting last night. Thankfully there were only five or six people present--but still--do you know what happens when you speak in a municipal meeting? Your comments are recorded in the minutes and archived in the municipal office for time and all eternity.

Thanks to Vivian, our elderly minute taker who can type 800 words a minute and never misses a sneeze, the following phrase made it into the notes:

"Amy talked about the size and scale of the Beach Run Road project, and instructed committee members to look at the blue prints on the big-a** sheet of paper if they were interested in seeing the exact dimensions."

It's true. I actually gave that instruction. But in my defense, my committee is young, hip, funny and had no idea what plans to look at until I described them in the aforementioned manner.

They were like, "Which ones?!"....."I have SEVEN sets of plans over here!"...."I'm confused, Amy!!!"...."What are we looking at?"..."Der?"....

So I said, "You don't really need to look, but if you want the exact dimensions, look at the big-a** blue-print that's folded up on the bottom of the pile."

They were like, "Oh." And within three seconds, everyone was happily inspecting the site plans. Which brings me to my lesson of the day:

Effective modes of communication are not necessarily appropriate modes of communication.

Jot that down, my friends. Tattoo it on your shoulder or write a book about it if you feel the urge--just be sure to remember it always.

So, in an effort to make my mother proud, my middle school music teacher proud, and these fantastically patient townspeople proud, I've decided to abandon the word all together. I will refer to the size of paper by its dimensions only, I will tell nasty drivers to kiss my cupcakes, and I will exchange the phrase "nasty-a**" for "frik-nasty."

Any other suggestions for word replacement would be valued to the highest degree.

Thank You.

When Blogging and Life Collide

February 11, 2008

It's been happening more and more often--I run into real life people who avidly read my blog. Don't get overexcited here, folks. It's not like I walk into the Piggly Wiggly and I'm bum rushed by adoring fans--"Oh my stars! There she is! It's the real Amy Lawson and she's wearing her green puffy vest!" That's never happened, and it probably never will. You see, if I ever get that famous, I'm totally springing for a new coat--with sleeves.

The truth is, I've moved back to New England, and I'm spending quite a bit of time in my hometown, around people I've known forever. And every so often, I'll run into an old friend or a casual acquaintance who's stumbled across the link to my site. When they tell me they love my blog, it's usually exciting for .48 seconds, and then the thrill takes a fast, sharp, unstoppable turn toward humiliation.

They're like, "No need for an update. I know everything that's going on in your life."

That's when my face gets flushed, the nervous pee trickles down my leg, and I respond with something like, "That's great, thanks for reading. Yes, I actually did marry a man with a sharting problem."

The blog/life crash phenomenon is on my mind this happy Monday because I had an incident yesterday morning, and it could have been the worst one yet. You see, my middle school music teacher, who happens to be one of the loveliest ladies on the face of the planet, is in my church congregation. It's really very strange considering the fact that we're in a completely different state than the one I went to school in, we've been back for six-or-so weeks and haven't run into each other yet, and she's married to my high school gym teacher. I was like, "Hi Coach D. I still stink at volleyball and I still can't do a pull-up, so let's just leave it alone, ok?"

I can't lie, I was thrilled to see them both. Absolutely nothing beats the sight of an old familiar face after living in Texas for four years. After the service, I walked up to Mrs. D, gave her a big fat hug, and proceeded to introduce her to my scruffy-looking family. I was all, "You remember my husband! And this is James..."

Mrs. D bent down, smiled at James and said, "I know all about you! I read your Mommy's blog all the time!"

As usual, I smiled in excitement, and after .48 seconds my face morphed into one of those I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU JUST RAN OVER MY BAD TOE WITH A BICYCLE IF YOU WEREN'T MY MOTHER-IN-LAW I'D KNOCK THE WIND OUT OF YOU type of smiles. But I smiled through the pain, and we had the following conversation...

ME: Wow, cool! How'd you come across my site? (I was really thinking, "Let that lighting fixture fall on my head right now, Dear Lord! Just do something!")

MRS D: Something, something, something...

ME: Oh yeah, we're thrilled to be back home! Happier than ever! ("But as you know, I still have that lingering self-esteem problem that started fifteen years ago. Some things never change!")

MRS D: Something, something, something...

ME: Yes, I'm very proud of Jared...what a man! ("Listen...we both know that we'll be paying off that student loan debt until 2049. Marry a doctor. Never a med student.")

MRS D: Something, something, something...

ME: That's right! My little James just loves to sing! ("....and poop in his pants. Even though he's the size of a second grader.")

And so on and so forth. Then, during Sunday school, we were blessed with a lovely lesson which touched on the topic of profane language. During the lesson, Jared would periodically pass me a post-it note that said something like, "Your teacher knows you like to say *ss." And I'd pass one back that said something like, "One more comment and I'm blogging about that bed wetting thing." The notes stopped.

Now I'm totally in the mood for my ten year reunion.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

February 6, 2007

Two of my all time favorite commenters, Vanilla and Akshaye, asked a very important question in response to my last post. They both wondered how that pretty-pink bear landed itself a crazy name like Email.

Here's the long and short of it.

SHORT ANSWER: James named it. He's two, he has no concept of appropriateness, and he would legally change his own name to SpongeBobSpidermanBananaHead Lawson if we'd allow it. Fortunately we have very sound judgment, and will only allow James to select a new name that features one cartoon character. He is currently deliberating between Skeletor Lawson and Elmo Lawson. Nice choices if I do say so myself.

(Holy geeze.where do I come up with this garbage? That was completely made up.)

LONG ANSWER: At Build-a-Bear Workshop, there are several steps involved with the creation of that very special forever friend. First you pick its limp and lifeless body out of a large bin. Then you step on the pedal to fill it with stuffing. After it's stuffed, you give it a pretend bath, with pretend water, in a pretend tub. Next you dress it, and then, after it's fashionably decked out, you sit down at a computer and type up its birth certificate.

This is where the name Email comes into the mix. After playing a Bob-the-Builder game one time, James has fallen madly in love with the computer, or the "email," as he likes to call it. So when we sat down at the computer to name the bear, all James could say was, "Email, email, EMAIL. EMAIL!!!"

"Yes James," I'd say. "That's the email. Now what would you like to name your bear?"

"EMAIL!!!!" he'd yell, "EMAIL!!!"

"Mmmm...maybe Pinky or Pickles or RubbahBoots?"


Etcetera, etcetera, and so on and so forth. That's how the bear got it's name. Perhaps the more interesting question would be: Why does James call the computer an email?

When I was a stay-at-home-mom, which I miss desperately by the way, I spent so much time on-line that I began to feel slightly guilty and embarrassed about it. Jared would often come home to find me on-line, and in an effort to skirt the truth, I'd tell him that I was checking my email--which was a bold faced lie. Because in all actuality I was blogging, or reading blogs, or chatting with my running moms friends. Then I'd go on-line again before dinner and tell him I was checking my email, and again after dinner, and the pattern would persist well into the night.

Obviously, Jared knew I was fibbing because A) Donald Trump doesn't even get that much important email, and B) I wasn't Donald Trump, I was a babysitter.

To save my reputation with my toddler, I also told him that Mommy was taking care of important business and checking her email. I told that fib so many times that James came to believe that the computer was actually called an email, and the term has stuck.

Thank goodness I never told James the truth about the long chats with my cyber-boyfriend, because if my kid had started calling the computer the "Rock Hard Body God," Jared definitely would have caught on.

Hope that answers your questions because I definitely need to sign off--my boss thinks I'm checking my email.

Just kidding, it's my lunch.

E-Mail the Bear

February 6, 2008

Last weekend we decided to pack up the station wagon and take a trip to visit Grandma. Seeing as she has a moderate case of Adult ADHD resulting in the attention span of a jellybean, my mom had planned all sorts of stimulus overloading activities for James and his little cousin Tyler

First, we had their pictures taken. I haven’t had a professional picture taken of James since he was six months old. In fact, when my mother asks me to send a photo, I often send her a picture that she sent me a few weeks earlier. She’ll be like, “I took that picture, Amy.” And I’m like, “So?!.” And that will usually be the end of it.

My mom knew full well that there would be no new Kodak moments coming out of my house for the next few months, so she went ahead and scheduled the photo shoot. This particular photographer is widely known for going to desperate measures to make kids laugh, and let me tell you, he did not disappoint. Rubber chickens were flying, Barney puppets were fake farting, and I do believe that my mother wet her trousers.

All in all, it was a good experience.

The next morning we woke up bright and early, ate a good breakfast, and went to Build-a-Bear Workshop…on a rainy Saturday…in the dead of winter. Needless to say, the store was packed. But after an hour of coaxing, encouraging, and convincing James that he was in fact having fun, we walked out of the store with this:

Meet Email the bear. Yes, he is a pink, sparkly bear wearing black, rubber boots, and his name is Email. Totally worth the pain.

Here is James having a moment of fear over the bear stuffing machine. He was reluctant to let the friendly employee put the stuffing tube into Email's rear-end, and really, I can't say I blame the kid.

Here we are, taking our new friend home. I was like, "If Daddy tells you that pink is for girls, then you tell him that his job is for girls."

I asked James to pose with his bear.

James was like, "Yeah, I built a pink bear...I know...that's stop taking my picture."

And finally, here is James posing proudly with his wondorous new creation. I think they look quite handsome together.

Hotness in a Can

February 4, 2008

Every now and again, when my ass starts to get a little fluffy, I'll go on a strange nutritional kick in an effort to turn things around. In the past two months I've gone from running forty miles a week to running four miles a week, I've become a working mother--and lucky me, it also happened to be the Christmas season.

So go ahead and do the math, people. Run the numbers, count the calories. Any way you slice it, I'm having a full blown fluff-fest in my pants. My butt cheeks jiggle when I sneeze, my tricep area swings around and smacks me in the face when I wave to my neighbors, and I've popped three buttons off of three pairs of pants in the last two weeks.

Fine. The arm thwapping thing is a bold faced lie, but I swear on my binder of State Building Codes, that buttons are literally FLYING off of my pants. In an effort to avoid further humiliation, I've been forced to keep a sewing kit in my treat drawer at work. That means less room for Kit Kats and cupcakes. Very frustrating.

To back things up a bit--when I begin to have difficulty breathing just because I'm wearing clothes, I often revert to self-developed nutritional gimmicks to get things back on track. For example, in the past I've convinced myself that jalapeƱos zap love-handle pudge, that extra icy drinks will freeze your pipes and block the absorption of calories, and prunes will make you hot no matter what you do with them.

Today my dear friends and readers, I'd like to introduce my newest approach to everlasting hot-bodyness. I like to call it the Low Sodium Generic V8 Dietary Supplementation Program.

Here's how the program works: You drink two to forty glasses of Low Sodium V8 every day, without changing any existing dietary habits.

Here's why the program works: Drinking vegetables makes you strong and gives you energy. In fact, vegetables are so good for you, they'll cancel out any other food you'll ever eat. Want a piece of chocolate cake? That's cool, just eat it with a V8. Want a t-bone steak drizzled with butter? That's cool too, just eat it with a V8.

You get the idea.

I've been on the program for nearly three weeks, and so far I've seen no results. But that's to be expected. I also expect to wake up one morning with the body of Christina Aguilera. I also expect to drop out of my program before that glorious day. What a shame.

A few days ago, Jared and I were waiting in line at the grocery store when I realized I'd forgotten my beloved V8. So I ran back to the juice isle, loaded my arms with several cans of my secret miracle, and hobbled back to the checkout stand. Jared helped me unload the six cans--you know, the large ones that you need special tool to open--onto the conveyer belt, and followed it up with a look of disgust.

I was like, "What?"

And he was all, "You're buying six things of Stop n' Shop brand low sodium vegetable juice in the big ass cans?! Amy, that's completely weird. Next thing you know, you're gonna whip out your social security check and pay with that."

"You stop," I said. "Vegetable juice is not just for old people. It's also for super models. And world-class athletes. And me. And you better believe, that once this stuff kicks in, I'm leaving you for a soap star with a trust fund so fast that it'll make your head spin."

"Or some guy named at the rest home named Herbert," he replied.

So here it is, the question of the day: Is Stop n' Shop brand Low Sodium Vegetable Juice in the large tin cans for old people only or can hip, young hotties drink it, too? I really need to know.

You can leave your opinions in the comment section, and--as always--your participation is greatly appreciated.