Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Fun

This has been one seriously busy month.

Normally I go to Mississippi every other weekend to visit my sister and nieces but July had other ideas.

The weekend of the 4th Matthew and I went over early Saturday morning and hung out with my sister, dad, mom, step-mom, aunt and grandparents and enjoyed a partially sunny day playing in the pool and cooking out, then headed to the beach that night to watch fire works. We stopped by and picked up his 4yr old niece Lexi on our way out of town and brought her with us so she could meet and play with my 3yr old niece Marley and get to see fireworks on the beach.

Of course none of the fireworks pictures came out but here are a few from the day.

Marley, her cousin Lauren & Matthew's niece Lexi
After it started raining they spent the next several hours running around playing with My Little Ponies until it was time to head to the beach for fireworks

We got to the beach early so we could get a good parking spot close to the fire works and while we were waiting my brother-in-law Tarron walked down to the water with the girls. I have no idea what they were digging for but they had fun doing it.

Marley & Lexi

I don't know if my mom caught them by surprise or if Lexi was posing?!
Me & Marley and Mathew & Lexi

Then the next weekend was the casting call for Biggest Loser AND my sister's 27th birthday, so after standing in the blistering hot sun for over 6 hours, we had to run home, shower, change and head to Mississippi again for a surprise birthday dinner for my sister with our family.

Me & the birthday girl / The birthday girl & our mom

Theresa & her husband Tarron / Tarron & his little sister Kayla

Marley & her BFF Sidda / Friends & Family
Matthew, Me & Paisley / Matthew & Me
(he was exhausted by the end of the night)

Then came the e-mail from Biggest Loser saying I'd made it to the next step in the audition process and needed to make a video of me with my family.... which of course you know by now live in Mississippi so once again we hit the road!

After making the trip two Saturdays in a row we decided to drive over Friday night and stretch this one out a bit. It's only an hour drive to Biloxi, but there and back in one day 2 weekends in a row is a lot of driving! Friday night we chilled and played possibly the most fun game I've ever seen. American Idol Karaoke style on the Xbox 360. You can play competition style, or sing duets with a partner and we had a BLAST!

We made it a bit more fun by playing teams, me and my sister against Matthew and Tarron and one team got to pick the songs the other team sang. All things considered I think the guys did a bang up job on Celine Dion. We have some video of that but I'm too nice to post it and risk making your ears bleed.

Saturday afternoon we went to the park for some fun and Biggest Loser Footage. I'm not sure losing a ton of weight would even help me keep up with Marley. Set that girl loose in a park and she'll play for hours!!

We tried to get some pictures of the girls before we got to the park. Taking pictures of Marley at any time takes an act of congress so getting her to actually sit and smile was a miracle!

Me, Marley & Paisley / Sisters times Two!
Like mother............. like daughter

That slide had one serious dip near the end!

She is fearless! Marley climbed up that rock wall like it was nothing!!

I was only supporting her with my hands. She really pulled herself up the rope.
Then Matthew showed her how to use her feet and she sailed up it!

Fierce concentration

I taunted Matthew that he couldn't climb the rope, which he did with no problem.
Once he was up there sliding was the quickest way down!
Then my mom had to get in on the fun too.

There was a birthday part at the park and they had one of blow up space walk things. The dad came around inviting all the kids at the park to come play and Marley ran to take him up on it.

After we were all thoroughly exhausted, well all but Marley we headed back to my sister's for another round of karaoke, then Matthew and I hit the road to come back home to Mobile.

Three weekends in a row effectively wore us out and we've decided to take a few weekends off to relax and recoup! Our next planned event is a mini vacation to New Orleans the 2nd weekend in August and we'll stop back by my sister's to visit the girls on our way home. Then it's back to school for me and the regular every other weekend visits will resume.

So even though July has without a doubt been the busiest month of the year for me, it's been fun and filled with experiences I'll not soon forget!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Manage My Fat Monday - Biggest Loser Update!

So on my last post I talked about how Holland from the @blcastingteam called me and said that they'd run out of time for 2nd call back interviews but they were interested in considering me for the show and wanted me to make an audition video and e-mail it to them.

Well a couple of days later I got an e-mail from Holland saying they'd had a spot come open and wanted me to come in for a call back interview!

The interview was at 10am on Wednesday July 15th at Grand Hotel Marriott Resort in Point Clear, AL. Needless to say I sent an immediate request to my boss to take a vacation day! Matthew came with me again for moral support and we made it to the hotel a few minutes before ten. There was another girl already there, who'd also gone to the casting call and gotten a call back. She came from Birmingham and was scheduled after me. (She didn't get a follow up e-mail after the interview )

We'd only been there a few minutes when Holland came out to get me. She explained that the interview would be filmed, but not to be nervous, the interview process was very informal and conversational and to try to forget the camera was even there. Yea right!

Here is the room where my call back interview took place

Holland and DJ sat in chairs on either side of the camera and I sat on the couch. For the most part, she was right, it was very casual and conversational and I was able to focus on talking directly to the casting directors and not pay much attention to the camera.

They asked a lot of questions, some funny, some serious, some that of course brought me to tears but they were really incredibly nice and encouraging and really fun to talk to.

In the e-mail that I got inviting me to the interview it said that call back interviews can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Mine lasted 45 minutes, which I'm guessing is good. I figure they know within ten to fifteen minutes if you're not right for the show and are experts at cutting the process short if they don't think it's worth it to keep talking to you. That probably sounds a little harsh but they are casting directors and even though the show is about changing people's lives if it's not good TV, it's not good TV, and in the end ratings are what TV shows are really about.

We finally wrapped up the questions and answer session and Holland said "Ok it's time for your first 'weigh in'".
I was like my uhh what?

She was like "We're not going to make you do the whole bike shorts and sports bra thing like on the show but we do need you to pull your shirt up to your bra and push your pants down a little under your stomach".


I know if I make the show I'll be showing my rolls to damn near half the world, but right there in that moment I was mortified to have to expose my jiggle to them and have it go on camera!

After that they took a head shot and full body picture against the wall and said that if I was picked to move on I'd get an e-mail by Friday.

Here's DJ, me and Holland - the casting directors.

After the interview Matthew and I went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince then went home. The interview was at 10am, the movie at noon and when we got home around 3pm I checked my e-mail and saw this...

Congrats! You are on to the next round of casting for BL9! Attached are a few files: a sample bio, the home tape instructions and background questionnaire. Let us know immediately if you did not get all three. Below are details regarding each document. Please take this very seriously and get done what we need in a timely manner. Not everyone makes it to this step so we congratulate you for making it this far!!! (a bunch more stuff....) Please keep in mind you are required to mail these to us within approx. 7 days of getting this email from the casting directors.

Remember now, they said if I got picked to move on I'd hear something by Friday, so I fully anticipated not hearing anything for two more days. Imagine my surprise to have an e-mail waiting for me already by the time I got home the same day as the interview!

The bio took about half an hour, it's surprisingly hard to talk about yourself in 3rd person and the 24 page background questionairre took a bit longer. Who remembers every address they've lived at and every job they've had for the past 10 years?

The video was going to be a bit more tricky because they wanted footage of my family, my job, my home life, hobbies etc. The job and home life weren't terribly difficult but the family part... well all of my family live in Mississippi, which meant I had less than a week to get to MS, film myself interacting with my family and spending time with my nieces and turn it all into a video!!

I normally go to MS to visit my nieces every other weekend, but because of the 4th, then the next week being my sister's birthday we'd already been two weekends in a row and now we were going to have to go a 3rd time. I called up my sister and was like "Yo, we're coming over, taking the girls to the park and making a video. Be ready!".

Matthew did an incredible job filming and by 10:30pm Sunday night I'd managed to get all the clips I'd filmed over the previous 3 days edited, put together and burned to a disc ready to mail. I spent dang near $20 shipping it UPS 2nd day air but I wanted to make sure they got what they needed on time!

So now I wait.

The next step is the casting directors take my video, edit and combine it with the video of the interview and come up with a clip to pitch to the producers of the show. I e-mailed Holland and asked her how long it would take to hear anything, IF I hear anything after this part of the process and she said "any calls or e-mails in the next few weeks are good news!" so I could hear something today or I could hear something in 2-3 weeks.

Then again they could decide not to pick me and I could not hear anything at all, but with all the incredible people I have cheering me on and rooting for me I think it would be more of a miracle if I didn't make the show!

This weekend I'm going to try and edit down my video to a more short and less embarrassing clip and I'll post it for everyone to see, but for now I'll save showing my jiggle for the show!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Manage My Fat Monday!

Hello there guys and gals. No new weight loss to report today. I'm going to blame it on bloating and water retention thanks to a visit from Aunt Flo. Well that and I haven't been exercising or eating right this past week. But do not despair because we still have some exciting stuff to talk about today.

This past Saturday I auditioned for
The Biggest Loser. They had an open casting call right here in Mobile at Veets on Royal Street from 10am-6pm and Matthew and I were in line bright and early at 7:45am. My hair stayed down for all of about 5 minutes. It only took about 15 for the heat to become a serious pain in the butt as we were standing directly in the path of the sun. By 9am I knew there were going to be some stanky folks auditioning!

The news and NBC's website said not to come more than 2-3 hours early so we got there just before 8 and there were already about 115 people in line and it had stretched around the block. I think by the time we left just over 200 people had shown up to audition. Through out the morning a security guy from Veets walked the line checking on people and he said when he was closing the bar at 3am the 'night' before people were already lining up. We waited in the line for just over 6 hours so I can only imagine how wilted they looked by the time they made it in to meet with the casting directors!

With nothing to do other than stand and sweat we got a chance to chat with some of the other people in line. Since the show is mostly looking for couples this season, most had come with a family member or friend, but there were several who were brave enough to show up to audition alone. (Me!)

These two pretty ladies were direcly in front of us in line. I never got the name of the girl with the fan but the other gal's name is Patricia and she was a nut! She had us laughing most of the day and bought water or power-aid for the people nearest us in line more than once! By 2:30 we were all about to pass out from hunger and heat exhaustion so she ordered one hella fantastic veggie pizza from Veets and shared that with us too. I hope she makes the show, she'll be a blast to watch!

The weather man said it was supposed to rain but like usual he had no idea what he was talking about. Thankfully we listened anyway and brought an umbrella because it ended up providing life saving shade for most of the wait! When we finally moved up to a place in line where the trees offered some shade we shared the umbrella with some of our new friends so they could cool off some too.

One of the highlights of the day was meeting an actual 'reality star'!
Me and Marguerite Perrin from Trading Spouses
Also known as 'that crazy Christian lady'

Here is her famous melt down at the end of the show

She kept walking the line and I finally stopped her and asked if I could take her picture. She said 'Well sure honey, would you like to take it with me?'. Then she spent a few minutes asking me about the tattoo on my wrist and said she wanted to get one for her daughter, but was scared it would hurt too bad. I didn't know until after I got home and looked her up, but her oldest daughter was killed in a car accident a couple of years ago. Maybe that's why she seemed so much more sedate than I expected.

By 3pm we finally made it inside. They'd started bringing in groups of 24 and then breaking those down into groups of 8 for interviews. The casting assistant said they wanted to give us a few minutes to cool off and compose ourselves before meeting the casting directors and after 6 plus hours in the blazing hot sun we needed it!

They had two casting directors there. This guy ~> and a cutie named Holland who ended up interviewing my group.

Here is my table of fatties, and us lining up to get ready to be interviewed.

Our interview lasted about fifteen minutes. She asked us who was our favorite contestant on the show, if we had any other family members who couldn't make it but were interested in being on the show, had we ever been thin (HA!) and just some general chit chat to feel out personalities and people's determination to be on the show and lose weight.

There were a set of twins in our group who could have been mirror images of each other down to the same hair cut and she messed with them a bit asking one girl if she'd be willing to vote off her sister. The looks on their faces to that question were ruthless!

As everyone was getting up and walking away from the table she stopped me and asked if I was sure I didn't have a family member or friend who could do the show with me. I flipped through my application to some pictures I'd printed of my brother, sister and I all together to show her that fat didn't exactly run in my family.

She smiled at the pictures and said 'Well we'll definitely still consider you as an individual applicant for the show'.

There were 3 other people at my table auditioning alone and I'm the only one she stopped. Made me think my chances might be good!

They told us that if we were chosen for a call back we'd get a phone call by 8pm that night. My phone rang at 6:30pm. It was Holland and she said they didn't have time to do call backs for second interviews so she wanted me to make a video and e-mail it directly to her so she could show it to the producers of the show. She said she'd send me an e-mail with all the details of what I needed in my video and I quote "We're definitely interested in considering you for this season of the show".

I've yet to get the e-mail from her but it's only been a day and they are still doing casting calls all over the country so if I don't get it by the end of the week I'll give her a call.

Needless to say I've been a mixture of nerves and boundless excitement since that call came in. I just have to make sure to create one hell of an entertaining video so the producers will like me as much as Holland apparently did!

Keep your fingers crossed!!!!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Now it's Herman, and Sherman, and me..

When I was in elementary school I remember over-hearing a song on the playground that went something like this....

Herman, what have you done to me?
Herman, I think it's pregnancy.
Herman, you stuck your d**k in me.
Now it's Herman, and Sherman and Meeee.

I can hear the parents now 'OMG what kind of elementary school did you go to!?!' A good one actually, but it was grades 1-6 and all ages had recess together, so us younger kiddies were bound to overhear some 'big kid' talk now and then.

I have somewhat of a photographic memory and well unfortunately the song has stuck in my head all these years. There was a pretty naughty one about Batman too but I'll spare you those lyrics.

Now before you think I've lost what sense I have, let me tell you there is a reason for torturing you with that memory.

Yesterday on twitter an online friend tweeted the following:

f**k... one of my best female friends may be preggo... shes gone effin insane.

When someone else asked him if he was involved the reply he gave was 'I dont think i was involved. Could be wrong, but the timing is off...'.

I gave him a halfhearted 'shame on you' and 'you should use protection' to which he answered 'I was protected, but it's still possible something happened.'

Before I hop on my soap box let me share some numbers. Courtesy of

About one in two pregnancies in America are unplanned.(i) 1
  • That is, over three million of the 6.4 million pregnancies in the United States annually are unplanned.1 Moreover, about two-thirds of unplanned pregnancies—two million—are unwanted.(ii) 2 In other words, about one in three pregnancies are unwanted.

  • The rate of unplanned pregnancy remained constant between 1994 and 2001 at 51 unplanned pregnancies per 1,000 women age 15-44.1 During the same time period, the rate of unwanted pregnancy increased slightly (4%)—from 31.9 to 33.2 unwanted pregnancies per 1,000 women age 15-44.3

  • Over three-quarters (76%) of all unplanned pregnancies occur to women in their teens and twenties.1,2 While the majority of all teen pregnancies are unplanned (more than half a million unplanned pregnancies to teens each year), there are also more than one and a half million unplanned pregnancies to women in their twenties each year.

Here are some more...figures provided by
    Number of abortions per year: 1.37 Million (1996)
    Number of abortions per day: Approximately 3,700

  • Who's having abortions (age)?
    52% of women obtaining abortions in the U.S. are younger than 25: Women aged 20-24 obtain 32% of all abortions; Teenagers obtain 20% and girls under 15 account for 1.2%.

  • Why women have abortions
    1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient).

In 2005 there were 11,340 abortions in Alabama alone.

Now I personally am Pro-LIFE. My mother didn't plan me, but she chose life and here I am. But this post isn't about abortion or my view on it. It's about responsibility, or as shown by the numbers above, the abundant and apparent lack of it.

The only 100% way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy is to abstain from having sex. I think we're all smart enough to know that.

That being said, I'm realistic enough to know that just because someone doesn't want to become a parent, it doesn't mean they're going to give up sex. I sure as heck wouldn't. BUT... in this day and age there is simply NO EXCUSE for grown people to be having irresponsible sex.

My twitter friend said he used protection 'but it's still possible something happened'. He also said the 'timing is off', which tells me he wasn't the only fella sticking his joy stick in this gal who's 'gone effin insane'.

Sure condoms break. But when used correctly and consistently they are proven to be 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and STDs. I've personally never had it happen to me and I've been having sex for 10 years. When I finally started having sex, I went through a (thankfully, very short lived) wild phase and immediately went to the doctor and got put on the pill. Even then I never, not one time, got so caught up in the moment that I 'forgot' to have the guy use protection. I did, by mutual consent, once choose not to use it and ended up learning a lesson I will never forget.

Of course using condoms as your only source of protection puts most of the responsibility on the guy, so if you're going to have sex, especially random sex with multiple partners wouldn't it be logical and responsible to do what you can to cover the bases more thoroughly? I mean how hard is it to schedule a quick visit to your doc ladies and ask for a prescription for birth control? Hell most health departments these days will give them away for free, or damn near.

So what's the problem? What's the excuse for all of these 'unwanted' and often murdered babies?

Plain ole' stupidity.

Unless you are in a loving committed relationship and WANT to become a parent it is your and your partner(s) responsibility to make sure you do EVERYTHING possible to prevent an 'oops'. Because children are not 'oopses'. They are not mistakes. They are not accidents. They are living, breathing God given blessings.

Just like you.

So before you decide to mount up for a round of the wild thing take a moment to think about what the consequenses are of not being responsible. And if you're too embarrassed to talk to your partner about protection then you shouldn't be having sex to begin with.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Muffin Top(ple) Update

I guess since I'm not doing Part Two of Operation Muffin Topple I need to come up with a new name for my weekly installment of all things diet, exercise and scale throwing related.

Ask and ye shall receive... This just popped in my head:

"Manage My Fat Monday"

What do you think? Catchy? Eh, it will do for now, until I can come up with something better.

Update - On my last Muffin Top(ple) post - June 22 - I'd lost 12 pounds. I am excited to say that number has increased by 3. Since June 1st I have lost a total of 15 pounds. Three pounds in two weeks might not seem like much, but considering the fact that I haven't worked out once in those two weeks and have fallen off the 'no junk wagon' in a serious way I'll take my 3 pounds and be happy.

I had planned on resuming my workouts yesterday but felt like poo all day. Unluckily, my OnDemand date with Bob Green of Biggest Loser will be postponed yet again, as the poo feeling has followed me into today.

Speaking of the Biggest Loser - open casting is THIS SATURDAY!! I'm pretty nervous. They're looking for couples again - parents & kids, couples, cousins, friends etc., and I'm applying by myself. The website says feel free to apply anyway even if you don't have a partner but I can't help but wonder if it will hurt my chances of making the show by trying out solo.

I remember a few years ago they had a couples show and two single people who made it and they paired them up and that worked pretty well. It was a bit harder for those two than the other contestant because they didn't have a friend/family member there with them to keep them from missing home quite as bad, but it also gave them more incentive and motivation to kick butt!

I'll be
tweeting from the line starting at 8am Saturday morning. The actual casting is from 10a-6p and they say not to arrive any earlier than 2 hours before casting begins or they won't let you in line. I only live about half a mile from the casting location so I'm hoping to be at the beginning of the line!

Wish me luck!!!

Little Miss Sunshine

I went to MS last weekend to do the cook-out, hang at the pool thing with my family for the 4th. As usual, when I visit I spend most of my time playing with my niece Marley.

I know most people say they have the most beautiful children, neices, nephews etc, but that child is really truly gorgeous. I've mentioned to my sister before that maybe they should think about putting her in modeling, or even checking out acting for kids. She's hilarious and has such a flair for the dramatic. You can't be around her for more than a few minutes without smiling or laughing at something she's said or done. She just lights up the room like a bright ray of sun.

When she was younger my sister sent in her picture to a Baby Photo Contest or two, but the older she is the more beautiful she gets so I think if she entered them now she'd surely win!

This is completely off the subject, well sort of, but have you heard the newest about the Jon & Kate Plus 8 show being 'investigated' for potentially not following Child Actor Laws? I don't really watch it but I thought that was a reality show. What kind of acting are those kids doing exactly?

Sorry for the ramble but talking about kids acting brought that to mind.

Anyway, I got some great pictures this weekend of Marley, and of her new sister Paisley (who is also just beautiful) and I'll be posting them later on this week. I know I've been seriously lagging in the blogging department but I promise to catch up soon!