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I can't believe it! The artist, Justin Chung, who I met at Motor City Comic Con, has used a photo of my Psylocke cosplay as one of his latest sketch cards!!!!!

That means that this is a one-of-a-kind sketch card that SOMEONE out there will get in a pack of Marvel Universe 2011 trading cards. How WILD is that!? Man, if you'd have told me when I was little, overweight, and collecting comics, cards and Hi-C juice boxes (they had X-Men on 'em), I'd have never believed it! But that's ME! I'm a friggin' model for PSYLOCKE!!!!! I'm agog. This is just WAY COOL!

ChaLEAN Extreme!

This is the new program that Beachbody is releasing! It should be available to be ordered on Friday (www.exercisejunky.com... click on "products")!!!!
I can't wait to get started... anybody want to join me????

If you have New Years resolutions to accomplish, perhaps Beachbody can help!!!


TONY HORTON NY Fitness Camp 2007

While the above photo could surely sum up my weekend... hahah... I assure you that I wasn't being carried around by buff bodies the whole time.

Some people think I'm crazy for going to a fitness camp.  I guess those horrible images of "fat camp" perhaps come to mind.  Granted, I don't know what "fat camp" is like... only the Hollywood versions I've seen in movies and what not.  But, I can tell you that this is anything but "fat camp."  At Tony's fitness camp you find yourself in a large group of awesomely supportive people who are all there for the same reasons... Information, Motivation and Inspiration.  So many people view diet and exercise as punishment... but it should be anything but that.  It is a reward.  Your body rewards you for taking good care of it.  What are the rewards?  Well, the one most people go after, obviously, is weight-loss and looking good... but there are sooo many more rewards... you lessen your risk for so many diseases, you sleep better at night, you are more energitic and productive during the day, you have less aches and pains, you boost your self confidence... yes, diet and exercise are rewards!  So, why not reward yourself?

Everyone at this camp was rewarding themselves for a job well done... so far.  Everyone who was there did not come out the womb with less than 20% body fat and the ability to crank out lots of push-ups.  They've spent time earning that.  Many of us are still earning our way towards our final goal.  Most of us started as couch potatoes with diets that would have our arteries screaming.

We all started with at home programs... the ones I talk about all the time.  Many of us were those types who were too embarrassed to go to the gym... but I'm sure there were also some of us, myself included, who had gym memberships that we didn't use.  We were all struck by the success stories we heard from these programs and decided to try them for ourselves... well, BOOM, our lives changed... and for the better!  We found a community at the message boards... we found each other.  We helped each other.  We support each other.  I can honestly tell you that the members of the community are like my family... and this camp was like a family reunion.  Even if I'd never met someone face to face it's as if I've known them for years.  Then, there's the man... Tony Horton.  I can't even begin to express my gratitude to this man for his programs, his support, his enthusiasm, the knowledge he's given me, the advice... seriously, he's like that really cool uncle (now if only he'd send me checks on my birthday and holidays... hahahah).  We were all there because of him.  He's changed our lives.  One can't even begin to describe what an awesome soul he is.  He's a supporter.  It doesn't matter where you are on your path to fitness... he's there to cheer you on and to help you find the ways that will work best for you so that you can achieve your best results.  Thank you, Tony... thank you for everything.  There's also Traci... the heart and soul who worked her little booty off to see this camp through!  There is no one sweeter than Traci... and such an inspiration too!  She has, like, 10,000 kids and abs of steel!  No one can look at her and say that you'll never get your stomach back after having kids.  Thank you to both of them.

I tell ya, we worked it over the weekend.  On Friday we did a UCML workout (upper, cardio, middle, lower)... it was an assault on the body using only our body weight for resistance.  It goes to show that you don't always need heavy equipment.  Saturday morning we did an awesome yoga class.  I was so toasted from the night before that I had to modify all over the place... it felt like my shoulders were on fire.  We ended yoga with an awesome "Om."  Seriously, I think we would've made any monks who heard us proud.  Even Tony (Horton and Tony Barca) said that it's probably the best "Om" he's ever heard... and it's because we were committed.  Don't be afraid of the Om, people... give it your all!  Your soul will thank you

We then ran the awesome Barca confidence course.  Lots of little obstacles we had to get around... and it was timed.  I tell ya, that course didn't look like much, but you were totally eating your words once you got out there and did it.  My first time was 1:08.  Well, at the end I decided to give it a go, because I knew I could do better.  I ran it again and made it in at 53 seconds!  Take that, ego!  Haha... just kidding.  It just goes to show that there is always a little more that you can give if you just challenge yourself.

I ended up riding horses in the afternoon.  It was great!  I took the advanced ride, so we got up to a full paced run at various points... talk about feeling free!  Yeehaw!
In the afternoon my muscles were really talking to me.  Seriously, my quads were trying to escape... at least, that's what it felt like.  I was getting up and down like someone in their 80's or 90's.  I didn't know how'd I'd get through that evenings workout.  But, I found the power and the glory... from somewhere.  I was very, very pleased with my performance.  Despite the soreness my muscles were still responsive... still strong.  Work through the soreness... I preach it all the time... and I also practice it.  I've just never had so much soreness to work through before... hahah.  I definitely proved to myself that I'm stronger than I think.  Mind Over Matter as Tony likes to say... Chalene says it too, in Turbo Jam.  Make the decision before you workout what you want your workout to be like... and then do it.  Tony was testing his new 10 minute trainer workouts with us... I will be buying these because they totally rock the house.
Not only were we all giving our all... but we were doing so in high heat and humidity.  After that evening's workout I made a joke that we should all lay on the ground head to foot and create the world's longest human slip and slide.  We were all seriously sweating.

That evening there was the usual bag game... in which I got out in the first round.  I need to work on my form... there's something I'm just not getting.  Basically, you have to balance on one leg, and then lean over and pick up a paper bag with your teeth.  Maybe next year   We followed that up with karaoke... and I had a blast!!!!  Chuck (waterboy) was kind enough to partner up with me and we gave everyone some "Summer Lovin'."

Tony Barca also tore up the house... he can sing.  Him and Dawn also do lovely duets.  Tony Horton also tore it up with "Spill the Wine."  There is a video of this on  Joey's page... but I can't seem to get it to work at the moment... stay tuned, because if I do I'll be posting it here.

Sunday we did some nice stretching followed by a great nutrition seminar by Dawn.  We got some great tidbits and suggestions... which I shall share below.  They key to Dawn's seminar is that our bodies want to be healthy... they want to heal themselves.  So, we should let them do that by feeding them the foods they need to do so.  Tony made a good comment about how we shouldn't eat any foods that we can't pronounce (basically, this means when you read ingredients and see all of those chemical looking words... yeah, not so good).  Also, anything that is hydroginated or partially hydroginated... bad bad.  High fructose corn syrup... hit the road!!!  Natural is the way to go, baby!
Tony told us a story about a family gathering.  He has a family member who's really into the news and apparently asked if everyone thought we were safe from possible attacts.  It was at this moment that Tony made a remark about how the cake that was sitting on the table was more likely to kill them than terrorists... so was born the phrase...


But, also remember that Tony is a big fan of everything in moderation.  Everything In Moderation... moderation being the key word here.  He doesn't deny himself treats... none of us should do that.  So, have your cake and eat it too... just not daily.

So, all in all... it was a great weekend... lots was learned, lots was shared... I couldn't have asked for a better time.
Thank you to my new friends, my old friends... thanks to everyone who was part of this awesome experience!

You can view more photos in my MySpace album for camp... also on my Shutterfly site: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=9Qct3Lhw3Yxg

Some Recommended books from Tony Horton:

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
by: Miguel Ruiz

Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives
by: Dan Millman

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... and It's all Small Stuff
by: Richard Carlson

Smart Eating
by: Covert Bailey

The Fit-Or-Fat Target Diet
by: Covert Bailey



12 of 12

Ok, so a friend on one of the forums I visit decided to start doing this "12 of 12" thing she saw someone do. Basically, on the 12th of each month you take 12 photos that outline your life.
I decided to try it yesterday, and here's what I got! Enjoy!

Here I am in the morning at job #1... and look what I'm doing!

At lunch time I move up to the front desk, where we have on display some pictures of various projects we've done...

Lunchtime... my favorite! I get to walk around the city. This is where my lunch brought me today... I wanted to see when the new systems were due out...

I also saw R2D2 in his new job while walking down the street...

Job #1 is done for the day, so I wait on the train platform to go to job #2...

Riding the train to job #2...

Arriving at job #2... we are celebrating the Silk Road...

One of the employee's last days will be tomorrow, so my coworker made this card for him. She cut pictures out of magazines to represent each of the employees who works there... it was brilliant... you'd really have to know these people to find the humor in this, though...

We often get bored at job #2... last night was no exception as the night ran late...

Yeah... bored... and overtired...

Finally... 11pm and I am waiting in the subway to take a train home...

Back home to my kitty!

If you want to see more sumo pictures, check my MySpace blog for "Sumo Man... an epic poem." :)

Go see it!

This is Morgan's show with the theatre company she's a member of. If you live in Chicago or nearby and have a chance please come out to support her and to support women's theatre in Chicago! You'll have a swash-buckling good time!

Babes With Blades presents

The Girl in the Iron Mask



cessette louise 

Take advantage of special pricing on selected performances...


Industry Shows

Sunday 3/18, 25; 4/1, 8

$5 off general admission w/proof of industry affiliation (headshot & resume, business card, etc.)

Literacy Weekend

March 29-31, April 1

$5 off general admission w/new or gently used children's book (to donate to Literacy Chicago)

...call the Babes With Blades box office(773.348.8160).

(Discounts cannot be combined)

Quick Links...



Join Our Mailing List!

...a striking new adaptation of Dumas' classic romance, by award-winning author R. L. Nesvet.

Masked prisoner Louise Marchiali is the most dangerous secret in the Bastille:  the unknown twin sister of King Louis XIV.

 GitIM admat
Directed by Kevin Heckman
Saturday 3/10, 8:30 pm; Sunday 3/11, 3:30 pm.

Opens: Monday 3/12, 8:30 pm


Runs: 3/15 - 4/15, Th-Sa 8:30 pm, Su 3:30 pm


Tickets sold through the Babes With Blades box office (773.348.8160) or online.  $18 general admission, $15 students/seniors.  Group rates available.


A Babes With Blades production...
...at the West Theatre, in the Raven Theatre Complex 
6157 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60660

Juliette & Montpensier

                        "...Every woman in this story carries a sword and knows how to use it. Stage combat is the name of the game for the company, and this is a perfect vehicle for showing off their skills....  Once again, Babes With Blades proves its worth as
one of Chicago's more unusual theater companies.
-Mary Houlihan, RECOMMENDED, Chicago Sun-Times (for full review, click

"...These agile ladies... are indeed swashbucklers and I for one wouldn't dare to go up against any one of them. They move extremely well and these fight scenes (coordinated by Brenda E. Kelly) are very tightly done in a very small space." -Alan Bresloff, Extra Newspaper

"Dumas' "The Man in the Iron Mask" has everything action theater wants: intrigue, adventure, romance and plenty of swordplay. On that count this ensemble, made up mostly of stage combat veterans, delivers.... the Babes' fights make for the show's best moments." -Barbara Vitello, Daily Herald


"Moving along at a brisk, lighthearted pace, the play mixes a twisted plot, bright humor, and Babes With Blades' trademark, sharply choreographed fights, with a "girls are smarter/better than boys!" message ringing loud and clear with every clang of the nimble, talented ensemble's oft-crossing rapiers."  -Flavorpill

Feb. 3rd, 2007

I got a call from my parents this morning... my grandma is in the hospital.
Apparently on Thursday night her apartment complex called them to say they found her wandering the halls there in a haze. So, they had called 911 and my mom got to the apt building as they were wheeling her out... apparently she was putting up quite a fight and had to be strapped down. My dad caught up with them at the hospital where they had to remain having her strapped down because she was in a severe state of dementia and didn't know where she was or who anyone was (but my dad). Well, they did tests and eventually discharged her, saying the only thing they found wrong was a urinary track infection. The next day my parents take her home and sit with her and she totally phased out and collapsed... my dad caught her but they took her back to the hospital, where she still is now... they are on their way over there. It looks like they may have to put her in a home. She always said she never wanted to be in a home, but it's to a place now where my parents can't handle it anymore... she can't be left alone and it's dangerous to leave her in her apt and also dangerous to leave her at their place. So, that's where it stands. I told my parents to call if they needed me to come home for any reason... they may need help cleaning out her apt if it turns out she can never go back there... I have a feeling that may be the case.
I'm sad right now, but at the same time I know she needs the help that a nursing center can give her. My dad has given her so much of his life for the past couple years... moreso most recently... because her memory has been going and she can't remember to do even the daily normal functions that humans need to do.
I just hope she's comfortable. It hurts to see her in this state because she was always such a bright and tough cookie.
I hope she holds on until I visit him in a couple weeks.

My FABULOUS weekend!

I'll start out by posting a link to my photos from this past weekend: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=9Qct3Lhw3YpE

Where was I? I was in LA! It's a long story but I'll do my best to explain it the best I can. Basically, those who know me know how big I am into this company called Beachbody (and perhaps you've seen the stacks of fitness DVDs and tapes I have), and how it's their products that have helped me lose weight and get in shape. Perhaps you've heard of some of their products... Slim in 6, Turbo Jam, P90X... the list goes on...

Well, Beachbody is starting a new game and club called Million Dollar Body. Up until now I've been a coach on MyBeachbody (their diet and support website), and that is now becoming the Million Dollar Body Club. I was invited out to LA to become one of the very first Million Dollar Body Coaches! I am thrilled and honored to have been chosen for this! Another thrill about their new Million Dollar Body game is that it allows current and new product users the chance to win daily prizes as well as submit their success stories monthly to win cash prizes for the best successes! It's really an amazing thing and I hope as many people as possible take advantage of it! Fitness = fun! Seriously!

So, let me recap a bit... I got into town on Thursday. Once in town I arrived at my hotel (holy cow, Batman! I felt like royalty) and then I met up with a few other peeps (Mark, Charline and husband) and we headed across town to attend a live Turbo Kick class being lead by Chalene Johnson... the creator of Turbo Kick! It was a thrill to meet her! She so nice, and cute... and she is the most fiery ball of energy I've ever seen!!!! She kicked our booties! We also got to meet "chicken George" there... great guy, lots of fun in class! A few other Beachbody people were there, too... and the new guy, Shaun T., who has created the product called Hip Hop Abs was in class and he gave us a bit of a cool-down! Oh my! He really works that waist... if this was a preview of Hip Hop Abs, I can tell ya... it WILL work your abs... and he looks good doin' it too We got back to the hotel to shower up and get ready for the welcome reception. The reception was great. I got to meet so many great people... other future coaches as well as the staff... and of course, Carl, the almighty CEO I was thrilled to meet Dawn and Tony Barca... Charline, Mike Karpenko (did I spell it right?)... it was great to see Alli again, as well as Monica, Robert... soooo many great people! I was actually amazed that some of the Beachbody staff and other people there actually knew who I was before I even introduced myself!

The following day we were in lots of meetings... but they were great, energetic, and full of information. We started out the day by visiting the Beachbody headquarters before the meetings (it's so great to see all of their success stories lining the walls... and those on the walls aren't even the tip of the iceburg of people who've had success with their products). At the meetings Chalene warmed us up a bit, and we were also visited from Kathy Smith, Debbie Siebers and, of course, Tony Horton! I can tell you that this is going to be a great opportunity for everyone who gets involved... whether they use WOWY, become a club member, or decide to become a coach. I'm very excited for this! That evening we went to dinner at this great Italian place. After dinner Tony gave some of us a ride back to the hotel and we discovered that there was apparently a Hustler party happening at the hotel... there were some interesting, er, gowns... if that's what you could call them. We also saw Bruce Willis that night... apparently he was pretty jerky to some people.

On Saturday we had meetings for half the day and then I met up with some Roosevelt U. folks, Aaron and Steve, for lunch. Kasey - I'm soooo sorry I didn't get to meet up with you! I didn't have your phone # in my phone (stupid me)... and by the time I learned that Aaron and Steve had your # I was headed back to the hotel Aaron, Steve and I got our picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Rodeo Drive at this museum that had a "Family Guy" art display. After lunch and hanging out a bit I headed back to the hotel to catch a shuttle with some fellow Beachbody peeps to head out to Santa Monica. Some of the guys took a yoga class with Tony, but the rest of us decided we wanted to see a little more of the city. We walked around their promenade area and then went down to the Pier, where is was reeeally cold and windy. The shuttle picked us back up and we headed back to get the guys from yoga... we then all went out to dinner together. After dinner the Horton (don't know why I call him that) invited us to his "crib." His house is amazing! Oh my gosh! I can't even describe how beautiful it is! We all watched the new P90X informercial together there, because some of the guys in our group are featured in the informercial (Mark, Robert, Tony B). I cannot tell you how unreal it was to be at Tony's house, sitting next to Tony, and watching his infomercial with everyone who's lives he has had a part in changing. I'd have never imagined it ever happening a couple years ago when I first saw the P90 informercial at about 2am. But there I was! My life has truly changed... I've grown, I've learned... it just rocks. It really rocks. That night I got back to the hotel and practiced Turbo Kick round 28 in my hotel room

On Sunday I got up early and checked out and then got breakfast... I ran into Dawn and Tony B and breakfast... it was nice to see them one last time before taking off. Charline and her husband came in shortly before I left, too, so I got to say my farewells to them. Mark, Robert, his wife Melissa, and I all hopped in a cab and headed over to Tony's house that morning because he invited us to workout with his Sunday workout group at Santa Monica beach. It was a gorgeous day... though, Californias thought it to be cold. At the beach I got to meet some of the P90X superstars including Daniel Haas ([who is mighty cute, I must say] from Shoulders & Arms and Yoga X), Phil (from Chest Shoulders & Triceps), Dominique (from Plyometrics), and a few of Tony's other regular Sunday crowd. Dan Brown, from the Masters Series, also popped by. I tell ya... these guys are amazing... the things they can do, physically, just blow my mind! Mark and Robert kept up pretty good. I, on the other hand, spent a lot of time watching. I did try climbing the big rope, but I didn't make it very far... needless to say, I know where I need to improve now. It'll workout, though, because I'm doing a round of P90X starting in about a week... so I'll be ready to bring it... and then some! It'll be a lot more awesome doing it now that I've hung with Tony and met many of the people in P90X (including Dreya Weber, who I met earlier this year).

I was really sad to leave... I was almost crying at the airport... the weekend was just soooo amazing. Like a dream come true! It definitely proves to me that it was no fluke that I saw that informercial that night, and that I had motivation that I'd never had before to really try this time... and succeed.

It's really hard to truly explain what this experience meant to me if you've never experienced something similar yourself. Basically, picture something you are passionate about... something that has changed your life and become a huge part of your life... imagine finding the thing that helps you achieve your goals... imagine being given the opportunity to meet the people who made it possible, and then receive the chance to spread the love for this product with other people with hopes that they will have the same great experiences as you... it's unreal to me. Many people roll their eyes at me when I say, "I've got to work out," or are a little freaked out by my fitness DVD library (all Beachbody, btw)... But you see... it's a passion for me now... I feel as though these people are family to me. I've met sooo many great friends because of the message boards, so many awesome people who have fought and overcome the same stuggles and who now share the same bond of passion and friendship... it's just... again, I say it... AMAZING! I cannot give enough thanks to Carl, John and the whole Beachbody and MDB staff!

So, these products, this company, and these people have changed my life! So, if anyone wants to change theirs, and be eligible for great prizes for trying too, then send me a PM because I'll be more than happy to tell you about their various DVDs, products, the WOWY gym, and how to really, really work towards what you really want!

Dec. 13th, 2006

rosebud81 - I got your card!!! THANK YOU!
knitting_hobbit - I got the thank you from you and the Shireling! Thank you!

So, things are going well right now... almost too well *shifty eyes*

Seriously, though... December has, so far, been rockin' and it promises to continue being rockin' for the remainder of the month as long as things keep on going smoothly.

First... I got my Turbo Kick certification. Booyah, go me (now I just need to find a gym that wants that class there so that I can actually teach it!). Second, last weekend I go for my CPR certification and after being friendly with a dummy for a couple of hours I get a 100% on my test and my license... but this doesn't mean I want anyone seriously testing me anytime soon. Yesterday, I get a raise... yes ma'am... a 5% raise that goes retroactive back to March of this year! Merry Christmas!!!! It won't hurt me to take these next two days off unpaid anymore... thank God because I was worried about that. Speaking of God... it seems that the 'big guy' is really lookin' out for me lately. I am so grateful for everything in my life right now, because after a hard year it seems that things are finally turning around. Now, I don't go to church, nor do I Bible study... but I do believe in God and I do believe that He is watching over me. Why am I taking two unpaid days from work? Well, A.) because I'm out of PTO (hehe), and B.) I will be going some place warm! I can't wait. I'll give you a better idea of what the trip is/was once I return.

I pray that God continues to watch over me and my friends. If things keep working out the way they have been then I'm going to have a lot of celebrating to do, and dang it, I'm totally letting my friends in on that!!! If I am ever in a position where I can help people, you'd better believe I'm going to help them... and I really hope that God, Mother Earth, and the stars provide me with this opportunity to do so! Soooo many people were soooo generous to me this past year when I was in financial trouble and when I was down in the dumps, and I'd love to have the opportunity to be able to return the favor. Thank you to my friends and family for seeing me through those hard times so that I could grow stronger! I'm lucky to have all of you in my life!

So, yes, I am feeling pretty good right now. Thank you.

Apr. 29th, 2004

I have decided to make my journal a "friends only" journal, so if you have an LJ and would like to be added to my friends list then leave a comment.