Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fit or Fail: But not Really Edition

It's 11:16 PM on Sunday, and I JUST realized that I hadn't written a Fit or Fail post! So here I am... but I don't really have much to say...

I'm working on getting my workout routine turned up a notch (enter weight training) (enter pain) (enter tears), so that's a FIT...

I'm having trouble with eating only good stuff... so FAIL.

So we're one and one!

(Looking on the bright side, people...)

Other than that... we'll just have to see for this week.

Also, I am totally going to post the winner from last week's contest. I want to do it as a video (so y'all can't accuse me of cheating or being unfair... and so you can see Bonnie and Hannah's terrible haircuts), and I just borrowed a working camera, so I'll post it soon!

Otherwise, since this is so lame... here:

You're welcome...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bandits (Now with Bad Haircuts)

Our dogs are mutants.

Freaks of nature.

Apparently capable of things that we didn't think canine-ly possible.

We left the dogs alone for eight hours last weekend and I totally expected to find certain items out of place.

It's common enough to find a blanket outside or a coat lying on the floor when we leave the dogs by themselves for an extended period of time.

I get it. They're pissed.

But we did NOT expect to come home and find the doors wide open to both bedrooms.

Nor did we expect to find the dog beds shoved under our bed, clothes from the third shelf of the closet shoved under my hamper, or my slippers wedged between the wall and the dresser.

We also didn't expect to find a Costco pack of toilet paper torn open and all of the rolls thrown under the desk in our guest room. Or the rug in that room pushed into a corner, even though it had 45 pounds worth of weights on it.

No... all of this was a complete shock.

(So much so that Mike worried that we had been robbed. I pointed out that all of our possessions were still there, and that I doubt there's a criminal on the loose re-arranging dog furniture.)

But even MORE shocking. Coming home the next night (after far less time alone) to the door to the bedroom open, even though there was a TERRIFYING vacuum cleaner in front of it.

Or coming home last night to the door open (and dog beds rearranged) even after we left an elaborate blockade which included one hamper, an ottoman, a mop, and a broom...

So I can't help but picture that scene in Jurassic Park when the woman's like, "The raptors can't get out, unless they learned how to open doors" - and then it jumps to the raptor OPENING THE FUCKING DOOR!!

(I hid behind the couch the first time I ever saw that scene and I still fight the urge to do so again.)

So, yeah. Our dogs are EVOLVING.

(Since they don't destroy anything while they're in the bedroom, we've just decided to just leave the damn door open when we leave. They OBVIOUSLY have something very important to do in that room, so we might as well try and save the door (which now has a fair amount of the paint scratched off... apparently getting the door open takes a few swipes first...).)

PS: To punish them we gave them haircuts.

PPS: It wasn't punishment, it was just their summer hair cutting time.

PPPS: But it might as well have been punishment because we are not groomers and our dogs now look like: A) They have mange, B) We let them groom each other, or C) They've had a run-in with a weed-whacker. I told them that even when the other neighborhood dogs laugh and point they should hold their little bald heads high.

PPPPS: You have less than twenty hours to enter the contest for a gift certificate to So you better get on that...

Monday, May 25, 2009

I am Not Above Bribing You

We're going to play a game.

And it is going to be awesome.

(Well... not really, but let's be enthusiastic, yes?)

I have a TEN DOLLAR gift certificate to that I am going to give to one of my readers.

Yes. You read that right.




(I know ten dollars isn't a lot, but it's all I have, so shut up and enjoy.)



So, instead of using this AMAZING gift for myself, I'm giving it to one of you. But you have to work for it.

Each time you do one of the following things you are entered to win the gift card. The more things you do, the better chance you have.


First, follow this site (officially). You do this by clicking the "follow" button in that Google box thingy over there →.

(You need a Google, Yahoo, AIM, NetLog, or OpenID username and password to do this. If you don't have any of these accounts, and don't want to sign up for one, then email me at allyb [at] allybspeakin [dot] com and tell me, and we'll figure something out.)

If you're already a follower, you're already entered once. (But you'll totally want to do these other things so that you can have better odds, right? Right.)

Second, leave a comment on this post (read this if you don't know how to do that). The comment can be about anything, but sending me notes about how awesome I am will get you bonus points.

(Not official bonus points... hypothetical bonus points that actually mean nothing.)

Oh, and don't leave an anonymous comment because I won't be able to contact you if you win!

Third, you can follow me on Twitter: @AllyBSpeakin.

(If you're already following me on Twitter, say so in your comment and I'll enter you for that.)

(If you're not on Twitter... tough luck.)

Sound great? Yeah, I know it does.

(Again, I know ten dollars isn't a lot, but it's all I have to bribe you all to actually follow/comment/tweet me.)

SO, if you follow me here and then leave a comment and then follow me on Twitter you will be entered THREE times to win!

This contest ends on Friday, May 29th, at noon (Mountain Time, because I'm in charge).

So go forth and show this blog some love.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fit or Fail: Vegas Edition

FIT: Everything in Vegas is FARRRRRRRRRRRRR. Really, really far. Like miles and miles away. And when you're two young people with limited resources? You refuse to take cabs. And even if you give in and take the monorail on the last day because your blisters are really bad and you pulled both of your calves, it takes HALF AN HOUR to walk through the MGM to get to the ENTRANCE of the monorail... So, yeah, we walked A LOT.

FAIL: Dessert... frozen hot chocolates... milkshakes... chocolate ganache between two glazed donuts so it looks like a burger... totally worth it, though.

FIT: Um... I'll have to think about that.

FAIL: Frozen alcoholic drinks from slushy machines served in oversized souvenier cups... probably not the healthiest, but pretty damn awesome.

FIT: Over-priced stuck up restaurants that serve TINY portions so you don't have a lot to eat.

FAIL: Eating too much meat.

FIT: Sitting at the slot machine for a long time because pushing that button over and over again is TOTALLY a workout...

Now we're back and I'm getting on track. I'm watching what I eat and exercising again.

But I really miss the dessert.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Confessions of a Born-Again Omnivore

I've been a vegetarian for almost two years.

Sort of.

I still ate fish. And I adopted the Joey Tribbiani rule and ate meat when I was overseas.

(Greece is not Greece without a gyro.)

But recently I've been thinking a lot about why I wasn't eating meat. I've never been someone who thought that eating meat was wrong, or "not natural"... I absolutely think that eating meat is okay... but for a time I decided that it wasn't for me.

Lately, though, I realized that I wasn't eating meat because I didn't want to let OTHER people down (mostly my vegetarian friends and family members)... and that's not a good way to live.

So I've decided that at this point in my life, I'm eating meat. If I change my mind sometime in the future, so be it.

With all of that said, I have some advice for those of you who ever change from eating little to no meat to making it a more substantial part of your diet.

It's not the BEST idea to go to Vegas and visit a restaurant that has "all-you-can-eat-meat-on-skewers" a few days after you start eating it again...

Because even if you don't eat a TON of food... you will probably eat ENOUGH of the pork and grilled pineapple or things wrapped in bacon, and then you will regret it.

Especially when you have to walk a few miles back to your hotel.

And even though you'll try to make it back to your room, you'll probably end up throwing up in an alley next to some hotel (don't worry... it was one of the older, tacky ones, so it doesn't really matter) in front of a whole crowd of people...

It's one thing to throw up in Vegas because you had too much fun drinking at the bars... but throwing up because you ate too much pork? Embarrassing.

Really, really embarrassing.

And kind of sad.

So... if you ever make the change back to omnivore-y... take it slow.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I came up with an excellent plan to keep Bonnie from barking.

Each time she barks, one dollar from her allowance goes into a bucket, aptly named "The Bark Bucket".

(It's the same concept as having to put a dollar in a jar every time you cuss... not that I have a problem with that.)

But when I told Bonnie about my plan? She ran outside and barked.

Which is pretty much like giving me the middle finger.


THEN I realized that OF COURSE she wouldn't care because she doesn't get an allowance...

So I thought that I should start giving her an allowance.

But then I remembered that she's a dog...

And she would therefore just spend all of her allowance on treats that taste like bacon.

Which would be irresponsible.

So she's still barking.

But I still labeled a bucket "The Bark Bucket", just in case.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fit or Fail: Taking a Break Edition

Sometimes you need to take a break from counting calories and only eating the healthy items on the menu.

You need to take a break from drinking only diet and saying "no" to that awesome desert.

The next few days are my break.

I'm going to Las Vegas, and you can bet your ass that I won't be freaking out about diet and exercise.

Going to a buffet is no fun when you're watching what you eat.

(The whole point of a buffet is being able to mix Italian food with Chinese food and taking a bite of each version of pie and cake available.)


And I don't want to spend the whole trip freaking out. I want to go have fun. I want to have some cookies. I want to have a couple (or more) drinks.

(And let's face it: the drinks that have all of those calories are ALWAYS more fun on vacation. Light beer is for BBQs at home. Something frozen with hard alcohol? For the pool.)

I can count and burn calories when I get home...

So this trip will not be about fit or fail... it's about fun.

(And eating... a lot...)

(Can I get a "hell yes"?)

(PS: I promise more blog posts are coming soon... the last week has been crazy, but I've got a whole lot to share with you all... when I get back from vacation, of course.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I May be "Wrong" but my Logic is Decent...

Yesterday Mike and I dug a tree stump out of my dad's front yard.

(Okay... Mike dug the hole and got the huge tree stump out.

(I helped by reading to him... and then I helped fill the hole back up.)

(Because I am strong.)

(And because Mike was about to throw up from digging a hole for five hours.)

While I was shoveling the dirt back into the big hole I asked my dad what an ermine was.

He said it was a stoat.

I then asked what a stoat was.

He said it's a weasel.

Then I said that that must mean that the worm that I just saw wasn't an ermine because I was totally going to say "look at that gross ermine" and then I would have been wrong.

But I think that an ermine sounds more like it should be an insect or bug or something creepy-crawly and not this:
I would name THAT Richard. Not Ermine.

Then we started talking about building traps by digging holes and covering them up with hay so that someone falls into it.

Apparently my dad did this to his dad and even though my grandfather almost broke his neck my dad says that it was hilarious.

So I said that dad should have been a musketeer.

And dad asked why he would be a Mouseketeer.

And I said like Davy Crockett.

And Mike said "Frontiersman".

And I said that's what I meant.

(Except not really. Musketeer totally made sense in my head.)

And then Dad started singing the Davy Crockett song so I joined in and started screaming "Fe-fi-fidily-i-oh, fe-fi-fidily-i-ohohohoh" and Dad said that that's not the Davy Crockett song.

And I said I was pretty sure that good ol' Davy was in the kitchen with Dinah.

And Dad said no.

And then I asked if Davy at least played the banjo.

And Dad said no.

And then I decided that maybe Davy Crockett should have played the banjo in that kitchen with Dinah because if he had a hobby like playing the banjo then maybe he wouldn't have killed all of those animals for hats and instead joined a band.

So, overall... I was wrong a lot yesterday.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fit or Fail: Closet Case Edition

I'm trying very hard to focus on the progress of my fitness as much as on the results. And part of that progress involves taking a look at me. Inside and out. And the way I look on the outside isn't just about how much I weigh or how toned my legs look... it's about what I look like on a day-to-day basis.

So this week I cleaned out my wardrobe.

Usually this is an activity that causes much turmoil, self-loathing, and denial.

Do I throw this really cute dress that I've never worn but might after I lose ten pounds in the "gone" pile?

Why doesn't this shirt look good on me?

I'll totally wear these pants... totally.

And? I still end up with an overflowing closet and dresser.

So this time I went into the process with a brutal attitude.

Haven't worn it in the last year (or two)?


That shirt that I got at a concert 6 years ago but I haven't worn since the day after the concert and doesn't even fit because I shrunk it but am keeping because it has "sentimental value"?


Can't fit into it?


Can fit into it but it looks like I shouldn't be able to fit into it but if I lost 15 pounds it might look okay?


I took all of my clothes out of the closet and dresser, and tried everything on, one by one.

And if it didn't look great, didn't make me feel great, or hadn't been worn for a long time? It went into one of those huge black trash bags made for lawn clippings.

At the end I had a much emptier closet and a dresser with drawers that closed.

My goal? To move on.

I've fallen into the habit of wearing the same 10 outfits. And 9 of those outfits include the same pair of jeans and a baggy t-shirt.

Why? Because I'm trying to hide. I'm trying to tell myself (and everyone else) that I don't really care. That I'm okay being "blah".

But I'm not.

A t-shirt and jeans is easy. I can just be nothing in it.

But I'm done.

That's why I got rid of all of the clothes that made me feel less than great.

That's why I put the t-shirts in the bottom drawer of the dresser, reserved only for exercise, sleep, cleaning, or lazy afternoons at home.

I realized that all of the clothes that I had left were brown, gray, or black.

I realized that I didn't really have anything left.

So I went to those awesome stores where the average price for a shirt is $12.50 and got outfits that made me smile when I was in the dressing room (not a usual occurrence).

I got shirts with color.

I got a dress with patterns.

I got pants in a material other than denim.

And I came home and hung them in my closet, on display so that I can actually see them and want to wear them.

And today? It rained... so I couldn't really wear any of my super cute outfits... so that sucked.

But tomorrow? I'm wearing something new, exciting, and me.

(As long as it stops raining... I don't want to get my cute new clothes damp... they're super cheap, and therefore don't really last in adverse conditions... but I still love them.)

Next up... cleaning out my shoes and purses. I fear my logic and unwavering discipline won't last through that stage in the spring cleaning process...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Lawn Story

Yard work has never really been my forte.

When I was younger my dad told me to mow the lawn on the rider mower. I tried to tell him that this was a bad idea but he insisted that I was being over dramatic so I had to do it anyway.

It was terrifying but I did it and I even managed to make all of these pretty zigzag patterns in the grass.

(Driving one of those things in a straight line is HARD, y'all.)

Dad was not pleased and that was the last time that I was asked to use the rider mower.

(Not that I'm complaining. Being 15 and having one less chore is pretty much awesome.)

Now I have my own lawn to mow. And today was the first day this season that I did it.

Because of all of the rainy weather we've had over the past month our lawn was in desperate need of a shave.

The last thing Mike told me before he left for work was to not mow over the hose.

So I was a good yard worker and I went to move the hose before I forgot. But the hose was all covered in leaves and I was CONVINCED that there was a snake living in there. I got this vision of me reaching down for the hose and accidentally grabbing a snake and it freaked me out... so there's a patch around the hose of really long grass...

And then I ran over a ladybug. It was like slow motion where I was moving the lawn mower and I saw the ladybug RIGHT as I gave a big push and I was like "NOOOOOoooooooo" and I moved the mower and couldn't find the poor thing... I want to say that it flew away or burrowed into the ground, but I'm pretty sure that I'm actually a murderer and I just have to live with that.

Later I saw another ladybug flying and I was like "OH SHIT... what if that's the dead (murdered) ladybug's significant other... or a relative... or what if they were best friends who had a pact that if neither one of them had mated by the time they were 2 weeks old they'd give it a go together..."

So then I just felt depressed.

I'm pretty sure that's the only creature I killed, though.

I think...

The lawn looks nice now, and that's what's really important.

Except for that's kind of a lie because it doesn't actually look that good. For being such an organized person I have a very sporadic approach to mowing grass. I guess I'm just a fan of fun patterns because I have all of these swirly lines across my lawn and even though it looks pretty it's not exactly what I imagined.

I would mow a little for awhile and then turn around to see that I had missed a scalene triangle of grass without me actually noticing. So I had to go back and then I'd notice that some of the grass was still wet so it just went flat and wasn't actually cut... so it'll be interesting to see how that looks once it dries.

At one point I realized that I had given my lawn a mohawk (completely on accident). It was super punk rock but, let's face it, a mohawk is a tad cliche now, plus I don't think the landlord would appreciate it.

So now it sort of looks like Homer Simpson's head... mostly bald except for a few spots with about 3 stray hairs...


AND... the hoses were not run over.

Mission? Accomplished.

(PS: If you need a great read for the summer, Jen Lancaster's new book came out yesterday! Pretty In Plaid is sure to be full of laughs and pure awesomeness... AND it's about the 80s (aka The Decade Ally B Began to Exist and Therefore the Most Magical of All Decades... plus there was great music...) So go get it.)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fit or Fail: French Fries vs Puppies Edition

This week was weird because I pretty much did nothing but eat bad food and not exercise (FAILs), but I had my biggest results yet... so... I'm going to talk about something else instead.

My gym used to be right next door to a McDonald's.

If you are looking into building a gym, putting it next to a McDonald's is just an asshole thing to do.

When I left the gym my entire brain would fill with the smell of FRENCH FRIES. Fresh, salty, greasy french fries.

And I would start to salivate.

I would then start to have that conversation in my head (you've all had it) where I would tell myself that eating some french fries wouldn't be the end of the world... and a milkshake would be okay too... and maybe some chicken nuggets, because chicken is good for you...

So I would run to the car after each exercise session to avoid the McDonald's drive through...

Only to have to drive by the DAIRY QUEEN on the other side of the gym.

All in all: it was just cruel.

(But, if I were doing this then, I would have gotten a lot of FITs because I didn't succumb to the french fry smell once... because I'm awesome... it still sucked, though. I don't like having to enforce my self-control... it's just not as fun as eating french fries.)

Then the gym moved across town. Now it's next to the DMV and across the parking lot from a sex shop.


So when I leave the gym now I just want to put my head down and get the hell out of there.

(Just so you know, the people who patron the sex shop are often less scary then the people at the DMV.)

But today? What did they have in front of the gym?

A bus from the Humane Society, filled with sad, homeless dogs ready to come home with me.

And that? Is pretty much worse than french fries and ice cream.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Paranoia in Run-On Sentences

You know when your significant other is out working late and then hanging out with his friends even later and your at home because you have to get up really early and your watching TV and then you fall asleep on the couch and then you hear your dog pacing back and forth and back and forth because you've taken up the whole couch and she/he just can't seem to realize that sometimes dogs have to sleep on the floor?

Then you think that maybe she/he has to pee and you're afraid that she/he will pee in the house because she/he has an over-active bladder problem so you drag yourself off of the couch and take her/him outside and you tell her/him to "go pee" and so she/he sits down and... spends about 45 seconds scratching her/his ear.

So you wait because you really don't want her/him to pee inside and you're freezing so you sort of scream at her/him to "GO PEE" and so she/he brings you a tennis ball and then sits down and... scratches the other ear for 35 seconds.

So you say "fuck it" and go inside and decide you might as well just go to bed so you turn off all of the lights and climb into bed and the dogs fall asleep immediately on their dog beds and you close your eyes and are ready to go to sleep because you have to get up in 5 hours.

And then you hear all of these weird noises.



Bizarre scratching noises.

So you open your eyes and listen really carefully and the dogs don't move so you assume that it must be nothing.

Then you keep hearing weird noises and even though you tell yourself that it's nothing you're actually thinking that there is a zombie burglar outside and you get a little nervous but you keep saying that if the dogs aren't barking or freaking out then it must be nothing but THEN you start thinking that your dogs are either deaf or at the very least COMPLETELY USELESS.

So you start imagining what would happen if a burglar got into the house and if the dogs would attack the crook or if your dogs would sleep through it or if your dogs would just kiss the asshole and you start resenting your dogs for not protecting you.

Then you hear a car door and you hold your breath because you think that it's probably your significant other but what if it's a burglar or rapist who's just really noisy and then you hear the keys in the door and the dogs get up and bark a lot and you're thankful that they're not deaf and then you hear your significant other and you jump out of bed and run into the wall because it's dark and you don't have your glasses on and you got a head rush from jumping out of bed but that doesn't stop you from running to him/her and screaming "THANK GOD YOU'RE HOME! THERE ARE SCARY NOISES!!"

And he/she looks at you like you're kind of pathetic and he/she clearly feels a little sorry for you because you have obviously lost your mind.

So you go back to bed because you have to get up in less than 4 hours and you close your eyes and suddenly... all of the scary noises stop.

So you realize what this means... your significant other obviously has magic powers.

Thank Brad.

(True story.)