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I Hate Green Beans: February 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

He's gonna getcha

Star Wars according to a three-year-old.

Monday, February 25, 2008

What do you see?

My meal on the airplane back from Dubai was so questionable, that I had to take a picture of it. Do you see the green beans with what appears to be "sweet potato baby food" sauce? I almost threw up. The smell. Sometimes I have nightmares about the smell. And can anyone identify what's actually on the plate beside the olive and lemon wedge? Notice how I only ate the bread and butter. And yes...I thought about stealing the cute salt and pepper shakers. So sue me!

Monday, February 18, 2008

A recent conversation with my boss: Volume 2

Thursday morning...

Boss: "What are you doing this weekend?"
Lincee: "Catching up on TiVo'd shows."

Boss: "I need you to go to Dubai."
Lincee: Blank stare, mouth hanging open, secretly wondering where Dubai is located.
Boss: "Great. We'll talk about details later. It's in the Middle East by the way."
Lincee: "Good to know."
Boss: Shakes his head and laughs to himself wondering how a girl from the sticks is going to make it in this field.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm so out of shape. Jane Fonda told me so last night.

Well...maybe it wasn't really Jane Fonda, but she was a perky young thing named Stacy in a black sports bra. And maybe SHE didn't really tell me I was out of shape as much as the huffing and puffing, weak arms, knee pains and the stitch I felt in my side about 20 minutes into Jazzercise.

Oh yes. I said Jazzercise. LET THE BLOGGING BEGIN!

I'm looking at it right now. Number two on my 2008 goal list. It reads, "Lose 20 pounds." You all know that I love Roberto (who teaches salsa at my old gym) and how I'm bummed that I have commitments on Monday nights now and can't attend his classes. And since I'm not a cute 23-year-old Rice grad weighing 12 pounds, I don't feel comfortable at 24 Hour Fitness. I figured I would go to Curves down the street from my house, but their schedule didn't mesh well with mine. What's a girl to do?

As if by magic, I receive a brochure in the mail from Jazzercise. That's the name of the establishment people. JAZZERCISE! A freakin' dance class that throws some aerobics in for good measure. And it's 0.4 miles from my house! If I was a non-lazy person, I could walk there!

Oh don't think I didn't sign up that day. Or at least call to inquire about Jazzercise. The lady was so nice. She signed me up over the phone. Then she asked, "Are you available tonight?" I told her I was going to see the Harlem Globetrotters. Then she said, "I guess I'll see you bright and early in the morning!"

6:00 a.m. to be exact.

I'm not afraid of the morning. I'm actually a happy morning person. However...6:00 a.m. is EARLY! But the best part of Jazzercise at the before crack of dawn (and the fact that you live 0.4 miles from the establishment) is that you literally...I mean literally...roll out of the bed, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, throw on a sports bra, tennis shoes and hat and walk out the door. NICE!

I enter the community center, spot perky Stacy in a heartbeat and realize...this is not the Jazzercise as I recall from the good old days.

Picture it:
Circa 1982. The Ray household did not have cable. Thankfully, the Clark household did. My friend Carmen would record Mousercise on the Disney Channel for several weeks and loan me the VHS tape. My sister Jamie and I would follow the instructions of this chick and quickly learned that tying a grosgrain ribbon around the waist of our cotton leotard made them awesome to the max. Being in a dance family, we had a million leotards from which to choose. And leg warmers. Oh the leg warmers. Pick you color. We had them. Can't pick a color because you are overwhelmed by the selection? Here. Wear my rainbow pair. I'm that cool.

Picture it:
Circa 1984. Jamie and I were introduced to Jane Fonda. Why a 12-year-old and a nine-year-old feel the need Jazzercise is beyond me, but we did. We'd pop the cassette tape in my sister's jambox and listen for Jane's instructions. I can still hear her asking us if we feel the burn over Michael Jackson’s "Wanna Be Starting Something." Our workout attire had advanced as well. Both in our bright aquamarine unitards with complimentary hot pink briefs. (This must have been the year my Mom started her trend of wearing our old leotards as her bathing suit. But that's a blog for another time.)

Picture it:
Last night. It's an interesting mixture of the old and the new. I was somewhere between. Stacy is looking cute in her sports bra and what appear to be Pilate’s pants. Huh. No leg warmers. I decided against my black parachute pants and "I Heart DANCE" off-the-shoulder number for my NYFD t-shirt, shorts and ball cap. Everyone over the age of 50 wore something (be it biker shorts or leotards) made of spandex and two were sporting head bands. Stacy bounds over to me, introduces herself and asks if I am familiar with Jazzercise.

Me: "Oh yes. I did Mousercise and Jazzercise back in the day. I had no idea it was making a come back."

Words can not express the jerk of the head, squint of the eye and power of Stacy's response: "Jazzercise never went anywhere. It's been around for decades."

Easy Stacy. Let's loosen that microphone pack you have around your waist, okay dear? Long live Jane Fonda. That's right. You go put your Marky Mark "Good Vibrations" on and we'll follow along.

But to my surprise, we didn't Jazzercise to Marky Mark. The "Off the Wall" album was not among Stacy's playlist. Heck no. Jazzercise has been around forever and as a result, the tunes have evolved with the times my friend.

Stacy had us brining "Sexy Back" with JT as we grapevinded across the floor. We bounced forever to Rhianna's "Shut Up and Drive." And it was when Seal belted out "Amazing" while my arms started shaking holding up my little three pound weights that I thought I was going to die.

I've never jumped so much in my life.

As you can imagine, the knee is not doing so well. Two ACL surgeries make for tons of swelling. I found that lunging is going to be a problem. And the shin is flaring up from my spill down the stairs. Plus my sports bra was, how shall I say, less than supportive during my bouncing efforts.

But I get to dance! And I love to dance! (Cue video clip of Sarah Jessica Parker during the opening scene of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."

All and all, I feel Jazzercise is going to be the key factor to me losing 20 pounds by May. I'm just going to have to NOT stop by Einstein Bagels every morning to reward myself for getting up so early and not passing out in class.

It's good to have goals people.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Wine and blue...arrows so true

That's what Pi Phi will mean to you!

Ironically, we didn't have wine to celebrate the inaugural meeting of our new found club. We had margaritas. And they were good. I actually had a daiquiri because I prefer rum to tequila. Sadly, I thought the sweet waiter at Cafe Adobe had given me a virgin drink because it tasted like strawberry snow cone solution. But with a few swirls of my straw, I leaned over to Jill and whispered, "I found my rum!"

And then my arms got heavy. But I digress.

For the past few years, we have all talked about getting together to reminisce about our Pi Phi days at Baylor. Each of us probably knew at least one other Pi Phi in the greater Houston area. Let's celebrate being sisters!

Okay...maybe that's going a bit far. If we were wine and blue through and through, we would all be members of an alumnae club. Alas, we are not. BAD PI PHI'S!

So we started small. It was a simple email that read, "Call girls in Houston who were in or near your pledge class." Within minutes, we had plans for 10 of us to eat dinner. FUN TIMES!

Sadly, last night rolled around and half of the girls couldn't come. Caroline had to make a last minute trip to Austin. Probably to find a Firedance dress. Bracken had a sick husband and baby. Or else she had a hickey on her neck that she didn't want us to see. We learned that Kimberly is still banned from all Pi Phi functions. Something about the infamous "pledge class dance." We'll just leave it at that, although the decade is almost up. FINGERS CROSSED KIMBO! And two of our girls were MIA. Christi and Jessica, we believe, ditched us to go to a Sigma Chi party.

And then there were five. And we had a glorious time.

Sarah and I talked about the oil and gas industry. Once we realized we were boring the others to tears, we switched to talking about the good old days at Baylor. Sarah remembered everyone's name, major, birthday and shoe size. You can't help but smile when you talk to her. She has an infectious energy.

Anne, who could be a model for Ralph Lauren, caught us up on her life in the hospitality industry. We all admitted that we felt nervous around her for years because she was in charge of standards. You know...that place where you go when you get caught drinking! (My prude self didn't even know that this committee existed!) When Anne spoke, we listened. What a great leader!

Rebecca hasn't changed a bit. Except for the fact that she has birthed three kids. And looks amazing. Could her legs be any longer? She talked about working at NASA and said one sentence that I didn't understand, but I shook my head as if I was right on board. We retold the story of the Monmouth football game against the Kappas and how Becca's teeth got knocked out. GOOD TIMES!

Then there was Jill. She and I decided to wear our Pi Phi jerseys to be funny. I looked lame. She looked AWESOME! She's 50 months prego and came to Cafe Adobe with her Pi Phi jersey on. Belted. Below the baby bump. With her arrow pin. And drop. She gets the award for Best JV Alumnae of the night. Sweet Sarah asked us about the time we performed Dancing Queen in front of the sorority. I told her we had just performed it again...impromptu of the church women's retreat. She didn't seem surprised. Had she asked, Jill and I would have busted out ABBA right then and there.

All joking aside, my friends I met at Baylor are some I will cherish always. And Pi Phi was a big part of that experience. These girls helped make me who I am today. And I will always love them.

Lincee Ray
Texas Zeta