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THE VALENTINE'S DAY CURSE -- A Short Story, is Free on Amazon, Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Page Foundry and Tolino

Friday, February 28, 2014

Nutrisystem Jumpstart Day 3

It's been three days since I had any sort of bread so yesterday's Honey Wheat Bagel was a big hit for me. Although I wouldn't consider it a "real" bagel, it was quite satisfying. The real star of the meal though was the Greek Yogurt/Cream Cheese spread on top of it. Nutrisystem didn't say if anything should go on it, but I certainly couldn't eat the bagel dry so I thought this new discovery at 45 calories per tablespoon was a perfect complement to it.


Nutrition Facts: Calories 170. Fat 2g-3%. Sat Fat .5g-3%. Sodium 250mg-10%. Carbs 33g-11%. Fiber 4g-16%. Sugar 2g. Protein 5g. Calcium 6%. Iron 6%

This breakfast had one of the lowest sugar and sodium contents thus far. It was also one of the tastiest. Pass.

Nutrasystem's "bars" seem to the best thing in their repertoire, so I enjoyed the Double Chocolate Caramel Bar I had for lunch. Clearly that wouldn't be enough so I supplemented it with the leftover kale from the night before.


Nutrition Facts: Calories 190. Fat 7g-11%. Sat Fat 5g-25%. Sodium 170mg-7%. Carbs 28g-9%. Fiber 6g-24%. Sugars 11g. Protein 9g. Calcium 6%. Iron 10%.

It was nice and high in fiber content so I made it all the way to dinner without fainting. Although the sugar was high, I will give this a Pass, especially for taste.

By far the worst meal I've had thus far was yesterday's dinner. It was Chicken Pot Pie. Horrible, barely edible. The "crust" was a slab of some sort of rock hard bread-like thingie that I couldn't cut. Even soaking in the mush it didn't soften up. If I wasn't starving I would have thrown it out before eating half of it. Luckily I had a small zucchini and Roma tomato in the house which I grilled with fat-free olive oil spray and seasoned with garlic salt and pepper. That was delicious.


Nutrition Facts: Calories 270. Fat 9g-14%. Sat Fat 3.5g-18%. Cholesterol 30mg-10%. Sodium 590mg-25%. Carbs 34g-11%. Fiber 3g-12%. Sugars 2g. Protein 13g. Vitamin A 15%. Vitamin C 25%. Calcium 2%. Iron 10%

Not only was this the worst tasting meal but also the least healthy one. 270 calories and 590mg Sodium makes this one a major Fail!

The Chocolate Chip Cookies were another good dessert...very crunchy and tasty. Once again, Bella stole the wrapper so I am unable to report the nutritional values, but based on taste alone I will give this a Pass.

Except for the crappy pot pie, yesterday's meals were a pretty good selection. I must confess I felt the need to step on the scale this morning. I stepped on in not once, not twice, but three times to make sure I was reading it right. Five pounds gone as of today! I needed that inspiration to get through today's meals...I can do this!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Nutrasystem Jumpstart Day 2

I forgot to mention yesterday that although I said I wouldn't step on a scale until the end of five days, I did. I gained one pound! Yes, gained!!! I don't know how that's possible, but I'm not giving up, yet, so here are Day 2's observations:

For breakfast I had the Double Chocolate Muffin. It was the same small size as Day 1's muffin. It was not as tasty. The chocolate tasted fake, and there was an odd aftertaste to it.


Nutritional Facts: Calories, 190. Total Fat 5g-8%. Sat Fat 1.5g-8%. Cholesterol 15mg-5%. Sodium 270mg-11%. Carbs 30g-10%. Fiber 9g-36%. Sugars 15g. Protein 7g. Calcium 4%. Iron 20%.

As you can see there is a lot of sodium and sugar in it. The only good value was fiber. The ingredients contained a lot of crap that I could not pronounce. Fail.

I was able to hold out 2 1/2 hours until lunch. On the menu was Chicken Noodle soup. It was about the same size as the muffin. Wasn't too bad, sort of reminiscent of Campbell's, only saltier and with an added ingredient that made my tongue tingle after eating it, and no, it wasn't that it was too hot. In fact, I had to heat it three times because it never got hot enough. Strange.


Nutritional Facts: Calories, 110 Total Fat 2g-3%. Sat Fat 1g-5%. Cholesterol 25mg, 8%. Sodium 590mg-25%. Carbs 13g-4%. Protein 10g. Vitamin A 10%. Calcium 2%. Iron 4%

It's probably a good thing it was so small and barely filled my cavity, as it had way too much sodium. The Vitamin A is the only redeeming quality it had. Fail.

By mid-afternoon I was really hungry so I had a non-fat Greek yogurt with diced cucumbers, diced red onion, salt, pepper & dill seasoning. That held me to dinner.

Although I wasn't looking forward to the Rotini & Meatballs, I was pleasantly surprised as it was way better than the Lasagna. Doesn't look good, I know, but it tastes like Chef Boy Ardee macaroni & meatballs in a can. Well, how can I say that's good? When you're hungry you'd be surprised at what you suddenly think is good. I knew this tiny portion would not fill me up, so for a side vegetable I chopped some garlic and sauteed it in an olive oil spray. Then I heated a cup of water and threw a chicken bullion cube in it. When it dissolved I put that in the garlic pan and used it as a base for torn leaves of kale. That was good once I seasoned it with some salt and pepper. When the boys came home I had to leave the kitchen because they made cheese omelets with bacon on the side and the aroma was too tempting.


Nutritional Facts: Calories, 220. Total Fat 6g-9%. Sat Fat 2.5g-13%/ Cholesterol 25mg-8%. Sodium 600mg-25%. Carbs 9%. Fiber 3g-12%. Sugar 6g. Protein 17g. Vitamin A 2%. Vitamin C 4%. Calcium 15%. Iron 15%.

Once again, this  mini meal had way too much sodium. At least the calories were lower and the calcium and iron numbers were decent. Pass.

At 9:30 I had dessert...Milk Chocolate Flavored Pretzels. These were delicious!


I wish there were more than 5 tiny pretzels in the bag, 130 calories.

I did have more energy on Day 2 so I was able to glide and ride my bike without getting tired. I also slept well last night. I am not stepping on the scale again until the end of the five days. Here's today's menu. I am looking forward to having a bagel for breakfast...
 

 
 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Nutrisystem Jumpstart Day 1 Review

When I last left you yesterday I had just eaten my breakfast muffin. It was a good two hours before I began to get hungry. For lunch I had the Fudge Graham Bar.


For those interested in the nutritional facts: Calories, 200. Total Fat 7g-11%, Sat Fat 4.5g-23%, Cholesterol 5mg-2%, Sodium 190mg-8%, Total Carb 22g-7%, Fiber 3g-12%, Sugars 12g, Protein 14g, Calcium 6%, Iron 15%.

The bar was quite tasty, but didn't fill me up. I looked on the pamphlet and it said I could also have 2 vegetable servings with it so I opted for 1/4 cup hummus with some celery sticks.


I felt hungry in the afternoon, which was probably the wrong time to go food shopping. However, I was a "good girl" and just bought what was on my list including fat-free cottage cheese, fat-free Greek Yogurt, fat-free salad dressing, fat-free Feta cheese, some fresh veggies, and fruit. According to the Nutrisystem JumpStart plan, I can add 1 Smartcarb and 1 Powerful snack twice a day. They recommend their shakes, bars, or patty, but I prefer the above. I also drank lots of water.

For dinner I had the Lasagna with Meat Sauce. One word...disgusting. It barely resembled lasagna and I don't think even folks who are not schooled in proper lasagna preparation, would add a pinto bean, a pea, or three kernels of corn when they make it. Thank goodness I cooked a couple of fresh mushrooms in fat-free olive oil spray and placed them on top, or I probably wouldn't have eaten it. I made a small salad with cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes in a smidge of fat-free balsamic dressing.


The "lasagna" nutritional facts: Calories 280! Total Fat 8g-12%, Sat Fat 4g-20%, Cholesterol 35mg-12%, Sodium 590mg-25%, Fiber 3g-12%, Sugars 6g, Protein 17g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 4%, Calcium 20%, Iron 15%.

I'm going to look at a Lean Cuisine Lasagna the next time I get to the store to see what the differences in nutritional values are. I've had some of their pasta dishes and they are way, way tastier. One of the hardest parts for me was cooking two other meals for my family. The boys had beef stroganoff, and the girl had pasta with butter. I already told them I won't be able to do that again and they're on their own the next four days. Lucky for them the boys have leftovers for tonight, and the girl will be working.

Around 9:30 I had my dessert, a Cheesecake Flavored Bar. Out of the four Nutrisystem "meals" I had this was the best tasting one. I'm sorry I cannot provide the nutritional information other than it was 150 calories, as Bella grabbed the wrapper and tore it to shreds.

A couple of observations of Day One: During the day other than one brief period which caused me to reach for a handful of grapes, I really didn't feel "starving," but my stomach made insane loud gurgling noises. I also frequented the ladies room more than usual. And by the evening it was like a flock of geese had entered my house. During the middle of the night I awoke very hungry feeling an emptiness in my belly. That never happens to me. Tonight I will keep a glass of water by the bed. I didn't have enough energy for my usual workout, so instead of using the glider I stayed on the bicycle.

Here's what's in store for me today...


Yum, yum...Not looking forward to the Chicken Soup lunch or the Rotini and Meatballs dinner.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nutrisystem Jump Start





After my dieting methods proved unfruitful, I finally decided I needed help to start the weight loss ball rolling. After watching the Nutrisystem commercials that promises five pounds off in five days I thought that would be a good jump-start. I wasn't ready to commit to the entire program but was willing to spend $45 on the five day kit to see if it would work for me. Wal-Mart had a bunch of them on the shelves so I grabbed one and started the program this morning.

When I posted a pic of the box which contains 15 meals and 5 desserts on Facebook one of my friends asked if the pictures were to scale. They might be. Here are the breakfast choices:



 This is today's menu:


Breakfast: Cinnamon Streusel Muffin
Lunch: Fudge Graham Bar
Dinner: Lasagna with Meat Sauce
Dessert: Cheesecake Flavored Bar

The muffin didn't taste bad, but it was pretty small.


Obviously they needed the large bag so they could fit all the ingredients on it, many of which I cannot pronounce.


 The calories are 200, total fat 14%, Cholesterol 3%, Sodium 10%, Carbs 9%, Fiber 20%, Sugars 9g, and Protein 5g. Vitamin A 2%, Calcium 4% & Iron 6%. The only good thing about these numbers is the 20% Fiber.

I also had three cups of coffee with just a dash of skim milk. I hope this muffin will stay with me through my one hour work-out, although as soon as I finished it I had to go to the bathroom.

In three hours I will have lunch...a fudge graham bar. I can't imagine that will get me through to dinner, so I searched for and found a little pamphlet that lists additional foods that you can add to your daily meal plan. I can go out and buy some Nutrisystem shakes, but probably will go for the other vegetable options which are unlimited as long as I don't cook them in oil or breadcrumbs. I see a lot of celery munching in my future.

I will let you know how the rest of the day went tomorrow, and will post pictures of each meal in case you're interested in trying this program. One note...by the time I finished this blog post I do feel a little hungry. Maybe tomorrow I should wake up later and have breakfast and lunch at the same time.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Got S.A.D.?


If I was a betting gal, and I am, I would wager that I'm not the only person around these parts suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

"Symptoms of SAD may consist of difficulty waking up in the morning, nausea, tendency to oversleep and over eat, especially a craving for carbohydrates, which leads to weight gain. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on or completing tasks, withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities, and decreased sex drive. All of this leads to depression, pessimistic feelings of hopelessness, and lack of pleasure which characterize a person suffering from this disorder."

Except for the oversleeping part, I actually have insomnia, I'd say that's a pretty accurate reflection of what I've been feeling. You know I'm feeling lousy when I don't even want to go out to dinner. Last night was the first time I went out in a couple of weeks. I had to "force" myself to get ready, but didn't even bother putting on make-up, telling myself, "It's only Outback." The only reason I probably even got that far was because I "forced" myself to go out in the world in the daytime to pick up a TaiChi DVD. When I returned home I "forced" myself to sit in the backyard so that the sun was blazing on my face. Unfortunately, the whole time I was basking in the glow I was speaking to my brother on the phone, consoling him for the loss of one of his cats. He feels the same way right now, but probably even worse, since he lost one of his pets and lives in Brooklyn, and they have had one helluva winter.

My brain is so discombobulated I haven't even gathered my tax receipts or tallied my expenses for last year. I couldn't complete the assignments for my MOOC class, so I won't be getting a certificate of completion. That's okay as I'm still getting what I needed to get out of the class, but if you know me you know how unlike me it is not to at least attempt to give it my all. I haven't worked on my novel, or the other short story I have tacked to my bulletin board, and even the Korean War letters novella is languishing on a corner of my desk. I haven't been to the shop in weeks. I'm sure the bills are piling up, and I know no one has completed the book cataloguing for me. Stuck on the letter W for over a month now. Haven't even started the magazines or tapes and thinking about designing a website is just too overwhelming. I have four books on my nightstand and cannot get through any of them. The only thing I've been able to do is watch tv, ride my indoor bike (at a very slooooow speed) eat bad food, and throw rocks for Bella to chase. Heck, I'm surprised I'm even writing this post.

My friends in Florida and New York are urging me to take a vacation, now. Cross New York off the list because who the hell wants to deal with parking in the snow, and even if I wanted to go to Florida, I just can't right now. My daughter is dealing with some medical issues and is slated to get a colonoscopy and endoscopy in a couple of weeks so I'm not going to go anywhere until I know everything is all right. But I do agree I need a change of scenery to light a spark in me again. Until that happens I am going to "force" myself to do the following:

"Force" myself to attempt Tai Chi.
"Force" myself to go outdoors.
"Force" myself to take a walk along the river.
"Force" myself to get to the shop.
"Force" myself to interact with people.
"Force" myself to get a haircut (maybe.)

All I know is that if one is in a rut, the longer it goes on, the deeper it gets to dig out of it. I have to snap/slap myself into action. Just as I was composing this post the "you got mail" sound came on and in my mailbox was the inspirational quote of the day...

"What are you waiting for? How long will you keep waiting? Don't sit back and wait for life to happen to you. Have a plan and take the needed steps to create what you want." — Steve Maraboli

A plan sounds like a good idea...and it's up to me to take the needed steps...starting with taking that step over the threshold and getting the hell out of this house.





Monday, February 17, 2014

RIP Marty Thau



When I went to Facebook this morning and saw a post by CBGB's saying "RIP Marty Thau" I had hoped it was a hoax. A quick search revealed that it wasn't. Marty passed away last week on February 13th. Details have not been released.

If you were in the music industry, or were a punk rocker. you know who Marty is. If you're not you may not know in the 70's he discovered and managed the New York Dolls, produced Suicide, The Ramones, Blondie, and founded his Red Star Records label which introduced The Revlons, The Fleshtones, Comateens and Brian Setzer's pre-Stray Cats band, Bloodless Pharaohs. To understand Marty better here is a link to an in-depth interview he gave in 2012 with Vice.com.

When I heard Marty had moved to Roanoke in 2003 I contacted him. As I am also a former New Yorker who knew who he was, we immediately bonded over music.We had quite a few lunches together and I relished hearing his stories. When he told me he was writing a memoir I was thrilled, and surprised there wasn't a long line of publishers waiting to snap it up. We spoke about him self-publishing which I had hoped he would consider sooner rather than later if he couldn't strike a deal. I don't know where his book stands now, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone now snaps it up and publishes it. You know what they say, everyone loves you when you're dead.

Unfortunately, over the last two years we stopped having lunch together. I don't know what happened, but neither of us made good on our promises "to get together." And then one day I saw a status on Facebook that he switched his hometown from Roanoke, to Petersburg, VA. I was like, WTF? I never bothered to ask him why, and the only real contact we had since then was when he would forward me an article or repost a song I posted on Facebook.

It was only two weeks ago when he sent me this link about Club 82 where he spoke about the NY Dolls performing there: "It was funky and dark. The show was sold out and it was a hip audience that showed up. All the downtown hipsters and vintage clothes kids, all the trendy types. The buzz got out on that and they showed up en masse. It was a one-time shot at making the point that we’re too cool to be bothered by your lack of information. So we’ll hit you squarely between the eyes with this and maybe if you’re hip enough you’ll get the point." Of course, now I regret my two word response of "Cool, thanks" wasn't longer. I lost the last opportunity to speak with him and find out what was going on with him.

"I'm always surprised when someone makes a comment like, “I'm honored to speak to you” or “I'm honored to interview you” because I really did suffer a lot [and take a lot of abuse from] the industry in the past. But I'm starting to recognize that, hey, maybe I did something pretty good." - Marty Thau

Marty, you were a class act, way ahead of your time, and I am honored to have gotten to know you. I hope your book is released so others will realize that yeah, you did something "pretty good."


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Roanoke Snow Pictures 2/13/2014

You knew I was going to post some pictures from the recent Roanoke snowstorm...here they are...

The is when the snow first began to fall

It wasn't long before it looked like this. View from my kitchen window
View from the back door





 

The front yard...you can see how high the snow is by the light pole

Frank shoveling...three times the same path! Guess what I'm getting him for his birthday.


Nope, I don't have a garage, just a carport, so my car was safe, but the other three, ummmm, no.

Bella's first snowstorm. My husband had to make a path for her. She loved the snow as you can see from the video below.





And then just like that, it stopped, the sun came out, and began melting it, clumps dropping from the trees. That's one good thing about southern snow...it doesn't last forever like it does up north.




Bella, Queen of the Hill

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

RA Follow-Up

Yesterday I had my follow-up appointment with my new rheumatologist. She asked how I felt after being off the Methrotrexate for seven weeks. I told her no different than when I was on it. She rated my pain which was a good day yesterday, only a 2. This is weird because everyone around me has been complaining how they are aching due to the impending snow storm. I usually ache too but nothing this time. My right hand was a little swollen but that's probably because I am a righty and use it too much on that stupid iPhone. She squeezed and prodded all the places where RA is known to be and I didn't feel any pain. We spoke again about my last test results and it is her opinion that I do not have rheumatoid arthritis. When I asked her again why my last doctor wanted me to go on Enbrel then, she stated I should probably ask him, but then added that when a doctor makes a diagnosis it could be hard for them to back off of it. Hmmmm.

I asked her if she wanted all my records transferred from the old Rheumy and she said no. That tells me she doesn't value his opinion and will rely on her own tests and observations. The only test she wanted to take was a liver panel to see how it was doing. She recommended I keep using the arthritis gloves, capascian rub, and paraffin wax treatments. She didn't think adding Milk Thistle to my vitamin regiment was a good idea as it's not been "proven" to really help with all the claims it makes, and is not under FDA approval so one does not know what else they put in the capsules. I've Googled it myself and feel it can't hurt so am going to continue with it.

She also did not think I have fibromyalgia and said she hates putting that label on someone. It would be different if I was in constant pain, etc. but I'm not. I do have a wee bit of osteoarthritis but not bad enough to be put on any medication. She did not prescribe any medications for me. She also thinks if I lose some weight I will feel much better, and said it was important that I sweat when I work out. I did when I first started, but I really don't any more which means my body has hit a plateau and that's why I lost only 3 pounds in 7 weeks. I have to amp my routines up and she suggested I get a tai chi dvd and add that to my daily ritual.

She doesn't want to see me until June unless I develop some pain, etc. She's pregnant and is going to give birth in two months which alarmed me, but assures me she will return some time in May. Three hours after the lab took blood I received a notification from MyChart that my results were in. There were mixed results...some numbers were better and some were worse, but all within the high normal range. She noted she wasn't too concerned and will wait until the next visit to see how they were doing. I think I may have gone off the wagon a wee bit too much starting from Christmas and going forth. I was so happy to be off the MTX thinking I could drink again, that I may have taken it too far. Now that I've gotten it out of my system and see my liver is still not where it should be I will go back to my weekend only drinking.

I was supposed to see Dr. DoNothing on January 10th. When I called his office to cancel they asked if I wanted to reschedule. I told them not at that time. I never called back and surprise, surprise, they never called me to see what's going on. I've decided to take the high road and not bother confronting him with his misdiagnosis. What good is it going to do me? It will only aggravate and stress me out, creating only darkness. Rather, I am opening the light inside me and thanking whoever whispered in Jesus' ear to help me, because I do believe divine intervention must have had a hand in it.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Jackie Robinson - "42"

 
Last night I watched "42" a movie about Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player to play in the professional league. Having been born and bred in Brooklyn, I am  proud it was my hometown that drafted him to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Although the "main" reason may have originally been a "green" reason...money to be made by attracting the black fans, I have to give the organization credit for bucking the racism that was clearly too prevalent throughout the United States during that time. They stood to lose, just as much as gain, as they also faced the possibility of boycotting, threats, etc. from those who could not fathom a black man on the fields, as well as other places, with white men.

Naturally, the real hero of the story is Jackie, and not just because of his baseball talents. I could only imagine the torture it was for him to keep his temper cool amongst the verbal and physical torment he endured. He kept it under wraps as best as he could, no matter what was thrown at him, and sometimes that included a baseball thrown to the head. When that happened, Jackie would pick himself up, brush himself off, and swallow the anger that most men, or women, most likely would have spewed had they been on the receiving end. By taking the high road, and concentrating on his love of baseball rather than the hatred of others, Jackie not only became a great baseball player, but a shining role model to many kids, black and white.



See this kid in the trailer...this is Ed Charles as a child, one of my favorite New York Mets who played in the 1969 World Series.





If you haven't seen the movie I highly recommend it. I have to admit "42" made me weep, not just for Jackie, but for what our country once was, and probably in some places, still is.

Here are some Jackie Robinson quotes:

"Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he's losing; nobody wants you to quit when you're ahead."

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."

"I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being."

"It kills me to lose. If I'm a troublemaker, and I don't think that my temper makes me one, then it's because I can't stand losing. That's the way I am about winning, all I ever wanted to do was finish first."

"Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life."

 Jackie Robinson - January 31, 1919 - October 24, 1972



Monday, February 3, 2014

Astrological Chart - Aries Ascending & The 2nd House

Next up in my 1988 astrological chart is the ascendant sign and planets affecting the 2nd House. According to Para Research: "The ascending sign in a chart is utilized primordially as a third and very important factor which complements the psychological information given by combined positions of both the sun and the moon. Figuratively speaking, it is the geometrical base that encloses the human triangle where its sides are represented by the individuality and the personality." Got it? I don't think I have.

At the time of my birth Aries was ascending in the horizon. Its ruler Mars is located at the fifth house. So what does that mean? Well here goes...

"Aries is the first sign of the zodiacal belt and its natives seem also desirous of being "first" in all activities with which they happen to be involved. The cardinality of the sin makes you extremely active when you so wish and capable of displaying ambition, impulsiveness, courage, and boldness in order to satisfy your desire for prominence in the world."

I can agree with these statements as I am very competitive. Maybe a little too much as evidenced by the fact that no one will play Risk with me anymore.

"You have an assertive, aggressive, positive and dynamic spirit which at certain times breaks with all rules in the pursuit of your goals. The general course of your life will be filled with many "ups" and "downs" and changes conforming very much with the psychological nature of your temperament. You seem to possess an energetic spirit that seems to waiver in direction very much, especially when the sought goal does not materialize promptly. Whether you triumph or not in life depends on your ability to develop your most positive inborn qualities and, simultaneously, exert some control over your less favorable characteristics such as lack of prudence, and a certain disregard for the feelings and opinions of others."

Very interesting. My life has been filled with ups and downs and when I don't achieve my goals quickly I can become disillusioned and possibly depressed. However, I don't believe I have a lack of prudence, and in fact, am sometimes too cautious. Of course that is now...when I was younger, it was a much different story. I wonder about the disregard of feelings and opinions of others. I hate to admit it, but that may be true, not the feelings part so much. The opinions, ummm, yes.

"Because of the fiery and pioneering qualities of Aries, you also appear to have an ardent attitude in any project that somehow or another involves new concepts or original work and in which you are given (or you take) a position of leadership."

I do go "all in" and if my "leader" is incompetent, I have no problem pushing them out of the way.

"Yours is a proud and haughty temperament, with a strong desire for power. Aspiring and ambitious, your attitude seems to contain a pure element that almost touches the mystical and religious; you are attracted to practical art and craftsmanship, generosity is also another of your qualities."

Why, thank you, I try to be as generous as possible. I hope that's true, and the rest is as well.

"Impulsive, critical, despising mean or dubious acts, you will create many excellent friendships, but also important enemies that abhor your less subtle and very powerful manners."

So true. Not only do I hate meanies, but I despise liars which I believe to fall under dubious acts. Once you've lied to me the only way to get back into my good graces is to admit it, apologize and then we can move on. If not, I have lost all respect for you, and can no longer trust you. Also, I've always said you either love me or hate me, there's no in between. My most "excellent friendships" probably occurred before I moved to Virginia. Here, I don't have as many, but the ones that I have from New York are still very strong. I've also encountered enemies in both places, none of which I would consider "important." There I go again with my haughty temperament.

"In sexual matters you are quick, aggressive and to the point. You wish to be the first important person that every appeared in the love life of those to whom your passion is directed."

I'm not going to comment on that first sentence, but that second one is spot on. There was "no one" before me, LOL.

"Finally, your over-impulsive and ardent attitude will place you in many adventurous affairs in which your "head" will be the key element to determine the nature of their outcome."

True, true, and oh so true. If there's no mental stimulation the physical will not arise either. Also, I don't know what the correct terminology would be for a woman, but if I had one, I wouldn't think with my "dick."

"Venus, the planet of beauty, joy and youth, is found influencing the second house at the time of your birth. Intrinsically, this is an ideal astrological position as it promises easy means of livelihood and life where money serves to satisfy whims and wishes directed to aesthetics, luxury, jewels, adornments, social pleasures, art and marriage. Money will stream in regularly and readily without excessive effort or preoccupation. Frequently, it will be earned by artistic work or dramatic acting. Yet, the final word as to the specific activities must be determined in subsequent paragraphs dealing with the astrological aspects of Venus plus the information pertaining to your professional life to appear in the section corresponding to the tenth house."

I have never really been "out of work, or out of money." Never been fired, never collected unemployment. I don't "worry" about money because it does seem to "materialize" when needed. I don't live a life of luxury (although I do like to travel) but have been the recipient of jewels, adornments, and art. I've had quite a few marriage proposals to the point that I once said, "Always a bride, never a bridesmaid." I'm on my third, and hopefully, final marriage. I guess I could be considered artistic via my writing, photography, cross-stitch, crafting designs, etc. Have I made lots of money from any of it? No...not yet. As far as dramatic acting, that is one thing I regret not pursuing when I was younger. Had I not been so "in love" and wrapped up in someone else's life, thus causing me to be the sole breadwinner, I most likely would have pursued acting as a career.

All in all, I'd say the above Aries Ascending and The 2nd House info was pretty accurate.