Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 9: What do you call a fake noodle? An Impasta!

Today was day 9 of the Purification Cleanse.

Today was the first day that I stepped back into a gym in over 2 years.  I now know how out of shape I am.  I did about 10 mins on the elliptical machine and then did a 18 minute walk/run on the treadmill.  Marj went too and she did the elliptical machine for over 30 minutes effortlessly.  Gah - I can't wait until I am able to do that.  Introducing exercise to the cleanse is really important and today was the day to start. The beauty of the gym -- it's only 2 blocks away from the office.

After the gym, we at lunch back at the office.  I had brought the green bean dish and Marj brought a dish that had these noodle-ish-like-ish things tossed with a basil spinach pesto.  I had never had anything like that and she offered to share it. I tried it - and boy, it was so good!  They are called Kelp Noodles and it was my first time trying them (or even hearing of them). It's the perfect item to get your noodle fix. They are about 20 calories per serving and a raw substitute for pasta.  They are an edible seaweed that has lots of nutrients, high in iodine and have over 70 minerals, trace elements, enzymes, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and 21 amino acids.

After eating dish, it was in my head all day that I wanted to find those noodles.  I asked where I could find those and she said at certain stores -- not an HEB, but more of a natural grocery store.  We discussed Whole Foods or Mr. Natural.  Ah, how perfect -- there is a Mr. Natural on Lamar and I won't have to go to Whole Foods downtown as it was super packed due to the weather and traffic.  On a mission...

Charm wannabe 6:52pm: I head over to Mr. Natural on S. Lamar and walk in anticipated how awesome it will be to get these.  I looked around and saw where you could order food prepared and a few store items.  It was more of a restaurant vs store.  Confused, I called Marj and asked if there was possible another location as this one was more of a restaurant.  She said yes, and I then asked if I might find them at Central Market.  She said that I might, so I hopped back in the car and headed over.

Charm fail 7:21pm: After wandering at Central Market (it's a large store), I gave up and called Marj again.  I'm now blowing up her phone with calls.  I asked what section and she said in the chilled section.  I found noodles, but not Kelp ones.  I then asked a very nice employee, Annie, where I could find the kelp noodles.  She said, "Walk this way.  We do not have kelp noodles, but we have something called NoOodles."  I thanked her as she was super helpful and we chatted a bit.  I grabbed two of them then called Marj as I was checking out to ask if they were okay with the cleanse.  These are made with yam flour, Lime and water.  I have no idea what yam flour is.  To be safe, Marj suggested I stick with kelp noodles since we had never heard of yam flour.

Third time is a charm 8:04pm: I headed over to Whole Foods on William Cannon as Annie said they do have them at that location.  I didn't even know there was a Whole Foods there! As I walked in - I was amazed of how beautiful it was inside and not packed wall to wall with people.  I LOVED it.  I found the kelp noodles! Mission accomplished and they were in my possession.

For dinner, I made a fun dish with the kelp noodles and a homemade sun dried tomato marinara with mushrooms, garlic, onions and broccoli.  Tossed in the noodles and had a delicious, filling meal.  If you have not seen kelp noodles before - here's the low down.

Opened package and the noodles are not really noodles.  They have a stretchy texture and are clear.  Interesting indeed.  There's a few ways I think I could eat them.  Raw out of the bag -- naw, not for me.  Marinated in lemon and tossed in coconut oil for 1 minute. That is for me!  Here is what they look like and here is the finished entree. Side note: Ace and Osaka were really curious about them.  It's the first thing they sniffed out from the grocery bag.

"What do you call a fake noodle?  An Impasta!"

Thanks for reading and here's to a soul full of happiness and health!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 7 & Day 8: I am Super Girl - I resisted Round Rock Donuts!

Today's post will combine day 7 & 8 of the Purification Cleanse.  I'm slacking a day;)

Day 7
Sunday went well and had a friend visit in from out of town.  We went to dinner at Moonshine since they have a great menu, atmosphere and service.  They had this delicious spinach, blueberry salad with oil & ving.   I got the large since I was quite hungry and gobbled it down.  My friend had the salmon and it look so darn good -- oh how I miss you salmon.  I miss you lots.

Sundays is my day to run errands and clean, so didn't get much time to prepare for the following day's lunch, and made a quick dish that I could complete in 45 minutes.  It was a raw vegan alkaline Alfredo pasta.  Alfredo sauce and pasta are definitely not on the list of items to eat, but here's the beauty of substitution.  The Alfredo sauce was made from almonds, nutmeg, mustard powder, olive oil, alkaline water, garlic, lemon juice and onions.  I blended all in the Magic Bullet and it came out smooth and creamy.  For the mock noodles, I shredded zucchini on a cheese grater and poof, there's the noodles.  I tossed the sauce and 'noodles's, and added a little broccoli and roma tomatoes.  This was perfect for Monday's lunch.

Day 8
I cannot believe it's been a week.  It's been fun learning about nutrition and making different items that are good for the body.  It feels good - really good.

Had the Zucchini Alfredo Pasta for lunch today and Marj brought an extra salad for me today.  She made this gorgeous salad and homemade raw dressing.  The salad was so colorful and full of red cabbage, shredded carrots, seaweed, sauerkraut and zucchini noodles.  It was amazing.

For dinner tonight, I decided to make some squash chips and green beans with mushrooms.  Both are very quick and turned out delicious.  I put too much sea salt on the squash chips and the next round, I'll lighten it up a bit.  Green beans and mushrooms with lemon turned out delicious after roasting for just over 10 minute.  Easy and so yum.

I've enjoy the journey this past week.  My energy is high and I do not feel tired or 'sluggish' -- and I feel stronger.  Not physically stronger, but on an emotional level - as if I am invincible and can handle anything that comes my way.  Here's a fine, fine example: I resisted the Round Rock donuts that were brought into the office today.  I frakkin' love (as in would marry) their donuts (if I was another donut).  They do not make any of those crazy flavors and over the top toppings, just the simple classic donut.  I have gotten their donuts so many times - it's the real deal folks.  If you want some insanely delicious donuts, you should go there.  If I can resist those, I am Super Girl! It's amazing how I not longer have all my sugar cravings, which just a week ago, was a habit.  It my mind it was a good habit, but in my body, a bad habit.

"Every human being is the author of his/ her own health or disease." - Buddha

Thanks for reading and here's to a soul full of happiness and health!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 6: We all need a Magic Bullet

Today was day 6 of the Purification Cleanse.  I feel great, prolly better than I can remember.  My sleep has been solid, feel great waking up, energy strong and I have zero hunger throughout the day.  Feels good.

Met with my weekly acupuncture doctor at Lotus Wellness today.  I love that she now has Saturday appts - makes it convenient vs during the week.  This was the first time I had seen her since I started the detox and wanted to tell her about my week.  She listened with a smile and said how proud she was of me and that I was stronger than I give myself credit before.  That is partially true, but I owe much of it to Laura Farb and Marj since there is no possible way I could do this on my own.  I'm lucky that both of them have crossed my paths - funny how things come into our lives that make it that much better.

If you are interested in improving your health, I highly recommend Laura Farb.  She's been practicing and studying holistic health for over 2 decades, graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania and received her Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine.  She also studied at Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. I've been seeing her for just over 4 weeks and she's incredible.

Met with Marj at Costco and she surprised me with offering to buy me a Magic Bullet and this gorgeous deep frying pan.  The Magic Bullet comes with all these great containers to make it easy to make salsas, pestos, shakes, smoothies, dips, salad dressings, soups and more! Marj is stubborn, so wouldn't take any money and insisted on buying these for me.  I love them both and can't wait to use them (Thank you a billion times Marj!).  My kitchen is now looking like a "kitchen".  I have cooked more in my kitchen past 6 days than I have in 4 years.  Anyone that knows me, can vouch that I rarely use my kitchen.  I have always found that eating out, ordering in or picking up food was much more convenient for my lifestyle. Maybe it's called lazy, but I call it convenient.

After Costco, hopped on over to DSW to get some new workout shoes.  I have some sneakers somewhere, but cannot find them anywhere.  I think Ace has hid them somewhere and he's not telling me where.  I'm sure they will pop up one day.  I found a great pair of Blue and Black Nike Flex Trainer 2 shoes.  This have an amazing cushioning and support - and are lightweight.  Monday starts the cardio and weights into my routine at the Gold's Gym 2 blocks away.

For a late lunch, we decided to try a raw restaurant called Daily Juice on Duval.  It's a cute little restaurant in the middle of Hyde Park.  We were starving, so chowed down.  Marj had an avocado sandwich and BLT sandwich.  I had the BLT sandwich and a kale salad.  Both were very good and filling.

For dinner, I met up with my wonderful friend, Bonnie.  We met at Beet's Cafe on 5th for dinner.  She eats well 95% of the time, so knew she would love this place.  It was delicious as always.  I had the Just a Good Burger and she had the Chalupas.  Look how amazing these entrees look.  They taste 10 times better than the photos too.  If you haven't tried Beet's yet, please do.  They have been in Austin three years and the restaurant is a great raw dining experience.  It's convenient to Mopac in the downtown area, service has always been great, they have free parking in a covered garage and their food is fantastic.  They even offer cooking classes on Saturdays.  How fun would it be to get a group of good friends today, spend a nice afternoon making food that is good for you?! I haven't tried a class yet, but just may do that in the near future.

"The best and most efficient pharmacy is within your own system." - Robert C. Pale.

Thanks for reading and here's to a soul full of health and happiness!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 5: Pac Man in East Austin

Today was day 5 of the Purification Cleanse.  It get's easier and easier each day.

Today I was a slacker and only made my shakes this morning and brought hummus and vegetables for snacking.  I completely forgot about preparing lunch.  *hits head*

Marj was great and found another restaurant in East Austin that we could try.  It's called, Counter Culture Restaurant.

It was a cute little restaurant hidden off of East Cesar Chavez about a mile from the office.  As we entered, we were greeted immediately and offer a table inside or out.  There was a nice breeze, so we chose to sit out on the covered patio.

Counter Culture offers meatless, dairy-free and raw foods-- made from scratch. Whenever possible the restaurant procures organic, fair trade & locally grown food from area farmers. The menu had a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees, as well as daily specials.  They focus on nutritious and unprocessed foods.

Kelp noodles, coconut, seasonal veggies & cilantro tossed in a tangy ginger sauce, topped with sunflower seeds.

Herbed lentils & vegetables topped with house-made ketchup & served with a side of tahini mustard sauce.

We both had a side of garlic greens and a pac man salad.  I didn't realize what the pac man salad was until it arrived. It had these adorable carrots cut in the shape of pac man.  (Total win)

The waitress was very attentive, sweet, helpful and gave excellent service.  I plan on going back to this hidden little gem.  If you are in East Austin and looking for a good Vegan restaurant - try them out.  I know you will find something to hit the spot.

“Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.”  -Josh Billings

Thanks for reading and here's to a soul full of happiness and health!

Day 4 of 21: You have cute fingers too...

Today was day 4 of the Purification Cleanse.

I woke up today very excited to know that I didn't have to pack up lunch for today since we are going to try Beet's Cafe, which is only a mile or so from the office.  I did make a couple shakes and packed some carrots, but other than that, it was an easy morning!

We headed over to Beet's Cafe for lunch.  Marj, Tiffanny, and me headed over and boy, were we excited.  It was awesome to be able to eat at a restaurant that promotes healthy eating with raw food. I didn't know what to expect, but I must say this place is pure hotness!  Everything in the restaurant radiates awesomeness to the 100th degree. Atmosphere, service, great menu with amazing raw food dishes and lots of cool little treats.  "The Beet" goes on and on and one and on with some awesome music too.  We heard my favorite song by Elton John, Rocket Man.  I knew I was in love as everything just aligned perfectly.  Please try Beet's the next time you are in downtown Austin.  You will be pleasantly surprised - food tastes incredible.

Marj's Meal: E.L.T
A delicious sprouted almond sunflower flatbread, spread with a creamy cashew dijonaise, layered with crispy spiced eggplant "bacon", lettuce, tomato, avocado, and high-vibe sprouts, served with crispy veggie chips and kraut.

Tiffanny's Meal: Nori Rolls
Filled with choice of "Mock Tuna" pate or avocado, assorted julienne vegetables, and sprouts, served with tamari dipping sauce.

Jen's Meal: Pizza Rustica
A sprouted sunflower seed, hemp crust generously topped with seasoned almond nut cheeze, zesty tomato sauce, marinated mushrooms, sweet peppers, crispy onions, olives, fresh tomato, basil, spices, and crystal salt, served with a petite Caesar salad.

As we were eating and enjoying every last bite, I said, "The waitress and Tiffany both have cute little figures -- I think eating well contributes to cute figures. I want a cute figure."  Tiffany then says, "You and Marj have cute fingers!"  I laughed since she thought I said 'fingers' instead of 'figures'. That made my day and know that we all have cute fingers!

Picked up a few yummy bars at Beet's for snacking later.  They are made locally by a company called, Bearded Brothers.  I got a few of the Bodacious Blueberry Vanilla and Colossal Coconut Mango.  Both were off the chart! You can also order online - get em'!

After leaving work, we decided to go pick up dinner from Beet's so no preparing of foods needed to be done for dinner.  Just order, pick up, make the shake and take supplements.  This made it a very easy night.

"The greatest wealth is our health. Eat well and nourish your body."

Thanks for reading and here's to a soul full of happiness and health!

Day 3 of 21: Peaches Rule

Today was day 3 of the Purification Cleanse. Each day is getting easier and felt wonderful today.

Brought the leftovers from last night's meal in for lunch today.  Marj and I split it and it was plenty for two.  She made an incredible lunch the day prior for us both, so it was my turn to bring in lunch.  We had the portobello mushroom with marinara, the lemon roasted brussel sprouts, and the mango-cucumber coconut fruit salad.

Still finding taking the supplements the toughest - I am never going to get this 48 pill thing a day down.  I do it, just not without my mouth fighting to swallow them.  I know it's good for me, so it's worth it. I made peach shakes today and they were delicious.  They take away the 'earthy' taste of the shakes.  For this cleanse, I can eat as many vegetables I want and  fruit.  The portion needs to be 2:1 - with vegetables being the "2".

Tonight was my billiard league, which I go to directly from work, so didn't have time to eat dinner before.  I thought I'd see if they had a salad and would eat that until I got home.  When I arrived at Slick Willies, that was the first thing I asked.  The waitress said she may have salads and would check.  She came back with the news of no salads.  I glanced at the menu and it's 100% fried foods.  Ut oh.  This is my fault -- I should of brought veggies to snack on. *hits head*

APA League went amazing.  The team scored 5-0 in 8 Ball and 61-39 in 9-ball.  I won both my matches and was able to concentrate on the games well.  I was a tad bit hungry during play, but nothing that a couple bottles of  water wouldn't cure until I got home.  As soon as I got home, I made a quick salad and shake.  Both hit the spot and I'm beginning to actually the shakes. Never thought I'd say that.

Tomorrow, Marj and me are going to try a restaurant called, Beet's.  Neither one of us has been there and one of our co-workers told us about it.  Visiting their website and it has a great story about the owner.  Her name is Sylvia Heisey -- she is passionate about healthful living and sharing it with the world. This restaurant focuses on raw living foods in a very delicious way. Looking forward to it.

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." -Virginia Woolf

Thank you for reading and here's to a soul full of happiness and health!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Day 2 of 21: The Pirate & Maraca

Today was day 2 of the Purification Cleanse and it went really well overall.

Started the morning out with red grapes and a strawberry-blueberry shake and supplements.  I drank two bottles of water by the time I arrived at work.  I am having a little challenge taking 16 pills 3 times a day (Yes, 48 pills a day).  I’ve never been adverse to pill swallowing in general; and these monsters require effort. I drink a ton of water after each pill so I can get that "green" taste washed away. I know it will get easier -- just need do it. I packed an extra shake for lunch and took some baby carrots and a cool little snack called Go Raw Pizza Flax Snax. These are super delicious and a great alternative for a healthy daily snack.

I didn't prepare a meal for lunch since Marj was bringing me lunch that her and her husband had prepared.  I didn't know what it would be and I was excited to see what it was.  When I arrived at work I asked her if I could see the food.  I'm like a kid in a candy store begging.  It look fabulous -- it was mashed cauliflower with spices, zucchini with two amazing sauces on top, and seasoned broccoli.  Full of flavor and I ate every morsel and pretty much licked the bowl clean...literally.

Side note: Chatting with Marj about drinking tons of water and I mentioned that I have so much in me that I sound like a water bed squishing around.  She then said I am sloshing like a pirate! She takes more pills than me a day, so she must sound like a maraca.  We haven't picked her up and shaken her around, but I'm positive she would sound like a maraca.  So I'm thinking her nickname should be maraca and mine should be pirate.  What a team: The Pirate and Maraca.

I had thought of some ideas for dinner, but didn't have all the ingredients, so hopped over to Sprouts after work to pick up a few things.  I then came hope and starting preparing the dinner.  Main dish was a portobello mushroom that marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette, sea salt, rosemary and a little olive oil. Tossed some chopped onions on top and put that in the oven for just over 20 minutes.  For the side dishes, I made lemon roasted brussel sprouts which was drizzled with olive oil, sea salt, and lemon juice.  That cooked for just over 30 minutes in the oven and was delicious.  Made brown rice (allowed 1/2 cup a day) and sprinkled it with some diced roma tomatoes.  After the mushrooms were done baking, I topped them off with a homemade marinara sauce.

Lessons Learned:

1. I need to wake up a little earlier to prep items for the day.
2. I need to learn where ingredients are located at grocery stores.
3. Taking supplements daily is tough to swallow.  Hah - pun is intended.
4. Flax Seeds can taste like pizza if you get them from Go Raw.  Hoorah!

Prepared a refreshing fruit dish for late night snack and will take the rest for tomorrow's snack.  It's a cucumber-mango coconut fruit salad.  It's made with cucumbers, mangos, red grapes, lemon juice, red bell peppers and unsweeted coconut.

“The body is the soul’s house.  Shouldn’t we therefore take care of our house so that it doesn’t fall into ruin?” – Philo

Thank you for reading and here's to a soul full of happiness and health!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Day 1 of 21: Where have you been all my life?

Day 1 started out a bit rocky for me and I realized how unprepared I was for this.  I woke up, took my supplements and then prepared my first SP Complete shake. I had not idea what it would taste like -- I'm a big fan of shakes you get at Mighty Fine Burgers, so naturally assumed that it would taste the same.  Boy, was I wrong.

I was wrong for 2 reasons.  1. It is not sweet and thick like the delicious shakes you get that are creamy and topped off with whipped topping and a cherry. 2. I completely messed up preparing the shake.  I got the mixture ready and wanted to toss in diced up peaches.  I blended for about 45 seconds and started to drink.  It was full of awfulness since I put too much flax seed oil and didn't actually blend the peaches - so it was small pieces of peaches in a watery shake.  Drank anyway and I was thinking, "How will I be able to drink 3 - 5 of these a day?!"  It took me 45 minutes to drink it and it tasted horrible.  My cats on the other hand were trying to lick what was left in the blender.

Mistake in the morning, but moving forward to the afternoon (which was the start of a perfect day).  Marj and me went to Whole Foods at lunch and she helped me pick out items to last me a few days.  What she found in 37 minutes would of taken me 2 hours.  She knew where everything was, what was good to eat and what was not "allowed".  She zoomed through that store and knew what she was doing.  I'm not so great in grocery stores, much less with what is good for me and not.

After work, I came home and prepared a light stir fry vegetable plate that was Ah-maz-ing.  It was cooked in coconut oil, which I've never had.  This was a recommendation by Marj. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.

For dinner I made kale chips and after they came out of the oven, I said, "Kale Chips, Where have you been all my life?!"  This snack is incredibly fantastic - tasty, good for you and you can eat them like chips.  Made some guacamole with diced tomatoes, onions, garlic and a little lemon juice for dipping.  Total win for dinner.

Now the true test was if I could get down another one of those shakes.  I was dreading the thought, but it's part of the cleanse, so have to do it.  I took Marj's recommendation on using almond milk instead of water and using frozen fruit to help created the shake texture.  I made it with almond milk, strawberries, blueberries and freshly squeezed oranges.  Blended thoroughly and so delicious.  It's my new shake, shake, shake it-love-shake.

I must give my thanks to Marj today *Thank you written 100 times on the chalkboard* - She answered questions I had, helped me shop, gave me tips to get through day one and she's doing it with me.  I'm extremely fortunate to know her and so glad we are doing this together. Day one is over and although it started out rough, it progressively got better and I look forward to day two.

Lessons Learned: 

1. Prepare meals in advance or you will be scrambling.
2. A poorly made shake by Jen is yuck.  I even tossed out the 2nd shake from that batch in a trash can at a gas station.  The cup went with it!
3. Coconut oil rocks. I'm serious.
4. Marj rocks more than coconut oil and kale chips.

"Healthy eating is not just about maintaining a healthy weight – it affects your total state of well-being.  Poor lifestyle habits have been linked to endless numbers of diseases, many of which can be prevented by eating right and exercising."

Thank you for reading and here's to a soul full of happiness and health!

Day 0 (Night Before) - Ready to take on the world

21 days of saying goodbye to my favorite desserts, fast food drive thrus, and processed food.  Oh, how I will miss you dear foods.  My little Ace will miss riding with me to the Shortstop Burgers that is 2 blocks away.  The staff there loved to give him a small piece of chicken when her purred away and twitched his little nose at the window.  

It's the night before and morning will be here soon.  Tomorrow I begin the Standard Process Purification Program.  Another really awesome part of this program is I get daily emails to help keep me on track.  What a great surprise it was to receive a welcome email from the support team at Standard Process Purification.  It was full of what to expect and reminders of what I need to do to prepare.  

Here's some of the email:

"Well Jennefer, tomorrow is your first day!  We are excited that you have chosen to embark on the 21-day purification program.  If this is your first time going through the program, you are in for a wonderful surprise.  At the end of the 21 days (in fact, long before that!) you should feel like a new person." 

Bad news - Since I start tomorrow, I decided to eat all my favorite foods this weekend. Not good to do, but I'm guilty.  

The good news - The program is only 21 days and I'm focused to make this happen.  Super excited and it starts tomorrow morning...

"When we learn to eat properly we begin to rebuild our bodies and to fulfill our purpose on this planet to grow in health, creativity, wisdom, and compassion". -Dr. Ann Wigmore

Thank you for reading and here's to a soul full of happiness and health!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

21 Day Standard Process Purification Cleanse

I took quite a hiatus for the past two years, but I'm back.  I still love all games on the felt, so will start blogging again about those subjects.  A new twist - adding health and nutrition.  First topic is my very first cleanse - the healthy way.

What is the Standard Process Purification Cleanse?

The Standard Process 21 Day Cleanse is one way to safely detoxify the body -- it is not a diet.  Not all cleanses achieve this goal safely, gently, and effectively.

After reading about it and speaking to Jade Lotus Wellness in Austin, TX, I made a decision to start the cleanse.  We rely on our bodies for the entirety of our lives, and it is important that we nourish and help keep it healthy. It took me a little while to figure this out, but better late than never.  

My first day will be October 8, 2012 and am looking forward to it.

What I like about the cleanse, is that it is for 3 weeks, which is perfect for me to change habits.  Another important factor is that the Standard Process Supplements are made from whole foods, which are organically produced and not chemically derived. The cleanse emphasizes the following:

1. Supplements and whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and introducing protein in the last 10 days.
2. Vegetables
3. Fruits
4. Plenty of water - goal is 64 - 90 oz of water a day (eek)
5. Limiting the high calorie, refined foods and saturated fats
6. Shakes

I have a few goals with this program -- 

1. Lower cholesterol
2. Lower blood pressure
3. Detoxify my body
4. Change my poorer eating habits
5. Remove myself off of prescription medication
6. Increase energy
7. Improved weight management
8. Disappearance and or lessening of past conditions

This program does take a little planning to make sure the right meals are prepared for the day.  Those that know me are aware of my ability to prepare recipes.  Time to learn. Tomorrow, I'll shop for the vegetables and fruits so I'll be ready to rock on Monday. The first 10 days will include:

1. 2-3 Shakes per day (fruit added such as blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, pineapple, strawberries, peaches and/or raspberries)
2. 21 SP Cleanse capsules per day: Vegetarian supplement containing whole foods and botanicals to purify kidneys, liver, intestines and to remove toxins.
3. 9 Fiber capsules per day: Dietary fiber from bontanicals and other whole foods to maintain healthy lipid and blood glucose levels.
4. Brown Rice or Lentils
5. Vegetables and Fruits 2:1 ratio

The shakes should be yum - I'm going to add a cup of fresh fruit, 1 Tbsp of flax oil, 2 Tbsp of the shake mixture and 8 oz of water.  I'll explain each day on what delicious shake recipes I'll be making.  A few to get started will be a Strawberry Twist, Citrus-Berry Splash, and Apple-Cinnamon Surprise.

I will document my journey from day 1 to day 21. I've never been one to eat healthy, so this will be a first for me and my first step towards refining my health.  Hope that I can share my learnings, personal experience and encourage others to help make good decisions on their daily consumption of foods.

"The doctor of the future will give no medication but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas A Edison

Thank you for reading and here's to a soul full of happiness and health!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Final 9 are Set!

Here are the final 9 top dogs for the November 2009 final table at the WSOP. Good to see Phil Ivey make it and looking forward to it.

Seat 1: Darvin Moon – 58,930,000
Seat 2: James Akenhead – 6,800,000
Seat 3: Phil Ivey – 9,765,000
Seat 4: Kevin Schaffel – 12,390,000
Seat 5: Steven Begleiter – 29,885,000
Seat 6: Eric Buchman – 34,800,000
Seat 7: Joe Cada – 13,215,000
Seat 8: Antoine Saout – 9,500,000
Seat 9: Jeff Shulman – 19,580,000

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A letter...

Been out of the loop on my Blog.

Hello all. Sorry for the lack of updates, but there's been a ton going on in my realm and trying to figure out how to add more hours in a day to keep up. Unless I move to another planet, my options are limited. *smiles*

I'm a pretty private person overall, but I do want to share with you the most amazing letter that I have ever come across.

I am going to leave names out, where I found this letter, and why it was written. This is something I want to leave to the world forever.

Small and slim, always in black. Short, dark, perfectly coiffed hair. Quick and efficient. Broken English, but always wiling to repeat and repeat until those of us with a less than great listening skills could understand.

Loyal, lonely and private.

NAME was so loyal to her customers, that after the store changed policies on mailing products to Canada, she spent her own money and own time to mail products to a favorite lady in British Columbia.

NAME was called, After NAME's illness, to get updated on NAME's recovery. Even though they had never met, the customer felt very close to her "Charles of the Ritz" supplier.

Lonely, but she never let us know what a solitary life she led or how her heart hurt for those she had left behind. Private. After her stroke, NAME came to realize she was was so private because she felt ashamed. We would all speak of our families, but NAME never mentioned hers because she was show sure we would think less of her.

There was a special connection to NAME...more than the usual supervisor to a valued employee. Again, only after her stroke did NAME begin to understand our commonalities.

One of my first impressions of NAME:

A local TV show made an appearance in our store and interviewed NAME in "her" cosmetic's department. They were trying to make a joke of the money spent on cosmetics and NAME wouldn't have any of that. When she realized what was happening, she simply walked away, and left the gentleman standing with a blank look and no one to interview. Don't mess with her very honorable profession.

I watched this from my home, and I knew then I wanted to learn more about this woman. After all, how many of us would have the courage to walk away with live TV camera's present?

We never knew her age. Even when we celebrated her birthday after her stroke, she told us she was turning fifty, but she was actually several years past. I think that too related to her profession. Not remembering our conversation at the time, I do remember her reaction. She pointed to her face and said, "You don't think I look like this without my make up, do you?" No one saw her without make up until after her illness, and then she was still a beautiful woman that did not look near fifty.

When NAME need clothes, I went to her apartment and upon enter her living area, saw a picture of a younger NAME and it made me gasp when I was her beauty in her youth.

NAME's guilt: NAME acted rattled, confused, a bit lost one day when she came into work. I knew she was concerned about the changes at X Company, so we all thought that was the problem and let her go home to relax and calm herself. She didn't come to work after her time off was over and no call. So unlike her. We soon learned NAME was in the hospital and suffered a severe stroke. She called 911 from her home for her badly needed help. Why didn't I see the signs? Insist she go see a doctor or check on her when she went home?

In the hospital, she couldn't hide the fact that she had given birth because of her C-scars and I overhead a nurse speaking to her about her children.

NAME cried for a very long time when NAME told her that I knew she had given birth. She cried for her lost children, she cried because she thought I would not be her friend, and she cried because she thought others would think she was a bad person. NAME held her as she cried and tried to ease her pain by explaining that NAME's mother had left too as a young child, but as an adult, I just wanted to know her. NAME felt so strongly that it would be unfair to her children, to have to see her in ill health. She was so frightened and afraid that would wouldn't be forgiven. NAME feels sorry that she was unable to talk her into giving the opportunity to know this very lovely lady.

She mentioned a brother, possibly in STATE, a father in COUNTRY and her children, in STATE. At no time would she let me try to contact anyone. I had to respect her wishes, but I did always try to tell her about how much NAME appreciated the fact that NAME got to meet her mother. If NAME has a very strong will and very much pride, I can tell you where these traits came from.

Many from her work family visited her in the adult family home and she really enjoyed the company, but she did not like living in that home. After a year, we no longer heard from NAME when we sent cards. The day I feared came, ironically on Mother's day, when NAME called work to tell NAME of NAME's passing.

Random thoughts of NAME:

1. She was good, kind, hard working. I never heard her say an unkind word about another person, customer, or coworker.

2. She didn't like chocolate, so when I purchased treats for the department, I would find something non-chocolate for her. But it took over a year of receiving chocolates before she let me know she didn't love chocolate like NAME did.

3. She had such an eye for display in her department ans she would wait until she was pretty sure I wouldn't be in the area before she would fix the displays that I may have not set to her satisfaction. NEVER would she want anyone to think that she was trying to correct them or their work.

4. I wished I had asked her about her tastes in music. She always had headphones on when she came to work and left.

5. Her lunch was usually Ivar's, fish and chips, or clams/prawns and chips. That is what she always wanted when she won a department contest that awarded lunch from me.

6. I laughed when this prim and proper woman told me she work nothing but underwear under her black smock that was part of the dress code in the department.

7. Her department was always "perfect", so I was surprised to see her home anything less than perfect.

I took her home after inventory one year. She lived in a basement apartment in CITY, not far from the hospital that she had her first stroke.

Smoking was probably a factor in having the stroke. She was one of the few smokers I have known that you could not tell by her skin or the smell of spoke on her.

CITY's weather suited her because it was similar to ANOTHER CITY. She didn't like the occasional hot day.

I have never seen so many cosmetics, lipsticks and fragrances outside of a cosmetic department as I saw in her bathroom. No wonder she could do such dramatic things when a customer came into the store for a makeover.

She understood that smoking was a part of the reason for her stroke and would ask me to speak to one of the ladies in the store that she knew still smoked. She was so pleased when NAME finally quit smoking.

When I first became the department supervisor, I had the opportunity to go to a workshop for Chanel with NAME. She patiently explained every detail she cold to me. She was so knowledgeable, but never gave me the impression she recognized the fact that I knew nothing more than the name, Chanel. She just shared and taught me about her craft. Then later in life, after the stroke, she taught me so much about people and life.

My job has kept me challenged, fed and clothed, but it has given me the the opportunity to enjoy the diversity of many people. Some of those people have been very special to me, but NAME is the one that really touched my heart and soul.

Rest in peace, dear friend.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Smack down on the boys! Predator 10 Ball Open.

Wow - All I can saw is Wow for Yu Ram Cha. She beat Shane Van Boening in the World 10 Ball Predator tournament.

One of the most difficult come back performances ever...Yu Ram Cha fought through a 8-4 deficit (race to 10) to defeat the former World 10-Ball and US Open Champion Shane Van Boening. Cha was one of the only three remaining women left in the event with the monumental task of qualifying for the final stage of the event. Ozone Billiards presented the 112 top players from around the globe along with top sponsor JBETpoker.net on the Dragon Promotions production at the Riviera Hotel & Casino May 11-16,2009 during the BCAPL’s National 8-Ball Championships. The 9th Annual Predator International 10-Ball Championship features live scoring of the entire event on www.Predator10ball.com.

The match started out shaky for Cha and routine for the impressive Van Boening. Shane took an early 4-1 lead, which Cha later narrowed to 5-4. Shane then took the next 3 games to lead a comfortable 8-4. The valiant Cha never gave up and fought her way to close the gap at 8-6. After a smashing break, which she switched from the middle to the side rail, she made a tricky off angle combo on the 10-Ball to get within 8-7. The next game was cat and mouse with Van Boening with him leaving Yu Ram a half table length jump cut shot. Cha jumped a ball and sliced the 4ball down the rail in an amazing shot and proceeded to run the rack out to tie 8-8. The crowd was going wild.

In game 19, Cha broke and ran out. On the hill leading 9-8 now, Cha broke and made another ball on the break and faced a jacked up shot as the cueball lay over a ball and she had to shoot length of the table off angle shot on the 1ball. She nailed it perfectly.

“That was a helluva shot”, murmured Johnny Archer watching the match from a distance.

Cha was set up for an open table run, and she executed the run perfectly down to the final 10-Ball. Looking at the shot, getting down, and then up ne more time the nerves were showing. The steely eyed Cha then regrouped and stroked an off angle shot on the 10-Ball for the win. A big smile formed on her face and she was overcome with emotion as she had to sit down. She got up to embrace her mentor and coach Charlie Williams as he paused his own match to come over and congratulate her victory.
In an amazing comeback performance, Yu Ram Cha overcame a 8-4 deficit to defeat former World 10-Ball and US Open Champion Shane "The South Dakota Kid" Van Boening.

In an amazing comeback performance, Yu Ram Cha overcame a 8-4 deficit to defeat former World 10-Ball and US Open Champion Shane "The South Dakota Kid" Van Boening.

“That girl is going to be a force to be reckoned with”, said Nesli O’hare, former top WPBA womens pro.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day to all Mom's

Every day we live & love is a miracle. Wishing all the mother's a very lovely day that is only yours. Make sure you do something for your mom - make her favorite cookies, take her to her favorite restaurant, spend the day with her...let her know how amazing and strong she is.

I want to send a very unique and special wish to my beautiful mom. I know that you are always near to me although I cannot physically see you. You are always in my heart and thoughts.

Always hope and eternal love~

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Need help to keep from wasting time?

Are we really busier than our parents were when they were our age? Do you ever find yourself making an excuse to friends or family that you cannot make a dinner or party because you are really tied up on emailing, twittering, visiting social websites or spending hours or cools sites like digg....you know what I mean!

As different social networks and/or social websites are created, we have part of ourselves that feel an obligation to respond to others, check in the updates of friends and family that we don't always get the chance to visit or even pick up the phone to call.

I remember in my early teens, there was no "www". Yes, there were Bulletin Boards where you could dial in on your external 56K modem and post on subjects and maybe do a little coding magic to make words show up, disappear, and show up again. After an hour or so, you hit all the BBs and read the posts. Heck it was so slow, that sometimes you would just get fed up and go back to playing video games on that Commodore64. Yikes.

Now, there are tons of addictive online social networks, such as YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Although these are great sites, and the technology behind them is pretty darn good, they are all time consumers that can impact you from doing other things that may be a little more productive.

We have all been there and get caught up on site and bam, hours are gone. Sometimes we just need a little kick in the arse to keep us disciplined. If you can't do that, then here's the perfect tool to manage that. It's called, MinutesPlease.

MinutesPlease is an online app which allows you to set up time restrictions for any website you visit where you know you spend um, too much time on.

I'm am guilty of this. I won't name the sites, but they are sites that I could (and do) splend hours and hours at night. I could be sleeping!

So, here's how this nifty little innovative site works:

1. Go to www.minutesplease.com and enter the URL of the website you want to minimize your time on. Set the time limit and that site will only stay open for the amount of time you specify. It's even got the option to give you warnings when your time is about to be up. Kind of like when you are at the car wash and it starts beeping at you to feed it more quarters if you want to finish rinsing your car from all the soap suds! Once your time is up, the window (or tab) is closed.

What I really like about the site is that, there is not signup, no account information, no email to submit and it's FREE. Check it out!

Lastly, take a day or two off from email, websites, blogging, updates and just take the time for yourself to enjoy things that matter to you outside of the web world. Spend time in person with the family that loves you, the true friends that will always be beside you, pets that will always look up to you and take a nice walk in your neighborhood (get that fresh air). Heck, pick up the phone and just give them a call to let them know you are thinking about them. That means more than any email, twitter, or update about yourself.

Mother's Day is tomorrow, so remember all the friends and families that are mothers and be sure to let them know they are in your thoughts.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wanna watch a movie with me? How Bout' Star Wars?

If you are at your computer working and and want to run Star Wars in the background to pass the time, you are in luck my friend.

You can telnet to a server to watch it now. Let's start the fun:

1. Go to your start menu and type run
2. Type in: telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl
3. Click ok!

Enjoy Star Wars in ASCII (pronouces Ask-ee). It's the acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a widely used standard for encoding text documents on computers.

For those of you that say this is a complete waste of time, we'll you are partially correct. It's a darn cool waste of time. *This has been out there for awhile, but thought I'd post a reminder for those of you who have never experienced it.*

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Womens World 10 Ball Tournament going to be a live broadcast this year on TV!

Check this out. The Women's World 10-Ball Championship is going to air live this year on ABS-CBN.

Dragon Promotions and Filipino broadcast television giant ABS-CBN have entered into an agreement to air the Women's World 10-Ball Championship June 2-6, 2009. ABS-CBN will be airing the Women's World 10-Ball Championship live over the five days of the event with a guaranteed 25 hours live coverage as well as delayed taping of other feature matches. With this kind of media and $20,000 at stake for the champion, as well as an additional $50,000 for the top finishers, this will be the biggest women's sporting event in the Philippines this year.

The historic event will be aired nationally throughout the Philippines as well as internationally on ABS-CBN and The Filipino Channel which covers the USA in New York, Illinois, California, Florida, New Jersey, and 30 other states, with additonal coverage in Canada, Puerto Rico, and Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, and many more. Fifteen countries on three continents will air the matches.

"ABS-CBN is very pleased and excited to give national and international coverage to this event. The Women's World 10-Ball Championship is a historic event and will be the biggest women's sporting event of the year in the Philippines. We are looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Dragon Promotions and billiards," said Peter Musgni, Vice President for ABS-CBN Sports.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Radio Poker Show!

There's a new Live Radio Call-In Show for Poker!

Jesse May, the former host of the television series Late Night Poker and author of Shut Up and Deal, has signed on to co-host an interactive radio show with Matt Broughton and Irish poker champ Padraig Parkinson. It's based in the UK.

The first show is this Sunday! The boys will be talking to a host of big names from the poker world, including internet master (I bow to him), Tom "Durrrr" Dwan, Neil Channing who'll be announcing his all-new Blackbelt Poker team on the show. To top it off, there will be an interview with Dan Harrington. Great way to start off the new show.

The show is going to be live and listener generated - a soundtrack to your online poker evening. It will be a central hub for online poker players to all share ideas and thoughts.

What's really cool about The Poker Show is it's live nature, interactiveness and listener feedback.

If you want to be part of the show, here is more info on how to do that: http://thepokershowlive.com/contactus.htm

The show will air Sunday through Tuesdays from 8pm - 11pm.

To see more about it: http://thepokershowlive.com/

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bugged, Bug'd, Bug.gd

I spend a good portion of my day doing support and when I am home, always trying to break applications. Anyone who is in a support role runs into all types of errors/bugs with systems and software. There's a great site out there, called Bug.gd (cute name) and it's a really cool site that has a community of other users that posts errors and the users help eachother find working solutions. This site is basically a database of errors and solutions, posted by people for the people *smiles*.

People love to share their knowledge and new posts get answered very quickly.

The beauty of this site is that users vote on the solutions to posts so you can decide if it's a solution that is worth trying. What more could you ask for?

Check it out and enjoy - it's a site you can spend weeks, err, hours on.

Unbelievable, but true.

I came home the other day and there were two stray cats in my house. They were sitting in front of the television and watching some Star Wars movie. I sat down to join them, and realized it was Sugar and Pumpkin starring in the movie. Who know my cats could kick some Darth Vader arse?

I must say, I am very proud of them. Sugar is on the right and although looks very sweet, was prolly the one that pushed Pumpkin (on the left) into playing so aggressive in this scene. How to make a mom proud. *sigh*

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Grand Restaurant Specials in April - Listen up!

For those that know me, you already are aware of how extremely lazy I am with cooking and love to dine out in Austin. We have so many delicious choices in our city, that it's absolute temptation on every corner. Eating out all the time can get expensive, so always got my eye out for great deals and love to spread the word.

Here are some amazingly, fantastic specials going on this week.

1. TGIFs: $.01 Appetizers and buy one meal, get one for $1!

- Buy any beverage at the bar and get any appetizer for .01 (yes, one cent). One per person.
- Buy any entree and get the next one for $1.00

You can either sign up for their Stripes club (free) at: http://www.tgifridays.com/home/welcome.aspx

or you can print the coupons from this link here and use them as well:

These expire on April 20, 2009

2. Threadgills on North Lamar - FREE dinner (one per person)

This is an Austin classic. It's where Janis Joplin got her start. It's an amazing piece of Austin's history. They recently shut down for a few months to remodel and they are open. It's great food, great service, and great atmosphere. You'll see.

Eddie Wilson (owner) is convinced that if you go there, just once, you'll fall in love with the food, the folks, and the heritage that is Threadgills and you'll be back over and over. He made a special announcement on KGSR this morning...

One week only: Monday April 13 through Sunday April 19, 2009 (as seen on the inside front cover of INsite Magazine) - Wilson is going to buy you dinner when you visit the North Lamar location. No strings attached. Just go in anytime after 4:00pm and sit down for a great dinner. Don't forget to tip your waitstaff!

On the same note, here are some specials that are at our local restaurants all the time. Check them out if you haven't been there before.

1. Docs Motorworks on S Congress: 2 for 1 Hamburgers all day on Mondays.
2. Hut's Hamburgers on W 6th Street: Enjoy two-for-one burgers at Hut’s from 6pm to 10pm on Wednesdays.
3. Boulevards Sports Bar & Grill on Far West Blvd: 2 for 1 Hamburgers on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays. They are very yummy.
4. Boulevards Sports Bar & Grill on Far West Blvd: 2 for 1 Chicken Fried Steak or Chicken on Thursdays.
5. El Mercado Mexican Restaurant: 2 for 1 enchiladas on Wednesday night. Great food. Check em' out.

I'm hungry now. *smiles*

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Taken care of that cue...

We all go through this. You play all the time and tend to take your cue for granted. It's important to keep that baby clean! It's your number one tool in the game and never forgot that it's kind of like a life long partner. Treat it well and take care of it, and it will take great care of you.

How To Clean A Pool Cue

Pool cues often become sticky because of a build up of chalk and oil from our hands. If they are not cleaned regularly, they can become permanently damaged or even warped.

There are serveral different ways to clean your cuestick. Choose a preference and make sure you clean your cue at least once every few weeks, more often if you play daily.

Materials Needed

Cleaning detergent (dish soap or orange oil diluted 5:1 with water), 1500 or 2000 grit sandpaper, and a piece of Simonis cloth or cotton cloth.

Cleaning Options

Apply your chosen cleaning solution to a cloth. Dampen the cloth, getting too much liquid on the cue may cause warping, so be careful. Clean the cue from the bottom to the ferrule. Then lightly sand the cue with 1500 or 2000 grit sandpaper. This will remove any excess chalk that may be left on the surface. Wipe down the cue again with the damp cloth and dry immediately.

Check out how beautiful it becomes...*smiles*

Alright Ladies...Women Poker Events coming up

June is just creeping up around the corning and the month will be full of poker events for the gals.

Things for women to keep tucked away in the back of their minds:

1. Learn the Game: Read books, do hand simulations, study the rules of the game, play with friends, and learn all you can about the game of poker. If you are new to the game, you should learn and understand the hand rankings, the flow of the action, and the options of folding, calling, betting, and raising.

2. Start with low stake games and graduate to higher stakes: Put in time at the tables in low limit games where you can learn proper game skills as well as table etiquette. Once you beat the game on a regular basis, move up a level and repeat. Before long you will have earned your way to high limit games and proven that you have the skills and the knowledge to be a contender.

3. Keep sex out of it: Don’t play the sex kitten game at the table. It may work for you, but long term you want to play straight up and show that you are a player. The same holds true for online play and poker forums. You can make a logical statement about poker, but if your avatar is a girl that's in a bikini, you can kiss all respect from good players goodbye.

4. Male intimidation: If you feel like you are not prepared to handle male intimidation, create a unisex screen name and play online until you feel more confident in your abilities.

Here are some upcoming events that you can play in while you are in Vegas during the WSOP this year.

7:00pm - June 4, 2009 [ Golden Nugget Casino - Vegas ] [ Poker Gives Charity Tournament ] [ $200 +$30 with $50 rebuys. 50% of prize pool to charity ]

ALL DAY - June 5, 2009 ] [ Golden Nugget Casino - Vegas ] [ Friday Sit N Go Frenzy! ] [ SNGs for all the Grand Series Events & Satellites for LIPS event on Monday ]

6:30pm - June 5, 2009 [ Golden Nugget Casino - Vegas ] [ 2009 Women in Poker Hall of Fame Ceremony plus Dancing and Dinner ] [ Induction Ceremony ]

ALL DAY - June 6, 2009 [ TBD ] [ LIPS WiPHoF Super Satellite ] [ $150 + $25 Satellite winners get certificate into one of the Grand Series events or the LIPs Championship in August + Cash ]

ALL DAY - June 7, 2009 [ The Rio - Vegas ] [ WSOP Ladies Event ] [ $1000 ]

Noon - June 8, 2009 [ Golden Nugget Casino - Vegas ] [ Poker Queen Ladies Event - It's a bracelet event and winner gets a LIPS Championship seat! ] [ $200 + $30 ]

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Texas BCA State Tournament 2009

Just got in from our annual state BCA Billiard team tournament at the E-Center in Harker Heights, TX (right outside of Killeen). There were 99 teams competing this year and it definitely was a learning and humbling experience.

I consider our BCA teams in Austin to be pretty strong and we had 5 Austin teams representing our city in the event. We went up and played as Crazy 8's. It was a double elimination format, with race to 13 on both the winners and losers side. We lost both our matches in the tournament and even with the solid play of our team, we got killed in the tournament.

The format of this tournament is straight up. There is not handicap, just playing one game at at time for a win. The first team to pull in 13 wins, and the match is over. It really forces you to bring your best game because all the other teams are - it's amazing play by every single player. They also had the Master's division playing -- now those are some pool players!

It was a great event overall though. Met some really nice people, had a great time with the team, got some work done at the hotel, ate at some great restaurants and had many good laughs. I wish we could rewind and step into the tournament all over again. It just ended to quickly.

They also ran mini tournaments for singles and had the speed pool event going on. The goal was to run the table of 15 balls (no particular order, as long as the 8 ball was last). You had to wait for the cue ball to come to a stop before shooting the next ball. The best time I saw was a player doing that in 1 minute and 2 seconds. Frakkin' nuts! Can you fathom doing that?!

I missed my little ones when I was gone. I had some friends come over (thank you!) to make sure they were staying out of trouble when I was away. They tend to get into everything and have a little party if they can. Pumpkin and Sugar will find the cat food and have a grand 24 hour non stop feast. Jordan will make himself king of the home and hang out on the sofa, my bed, play with my shoes and also find anything and everything to eat.

Weekend of pool is over and I miss it already. *sigh* Back to reality and the real world. *smiles*

Sunday, March 08, 2009

2009 PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters at Riviera

Billiard event sponsered by a Poker Site - pure beautifulness!

Following the success of the 2008 event, the PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters will return to the historic Riviera Hotel and Casino in May. A total of 16 of the finest players from around the world will be competing in the event, which will be staged over three days during the annual BCAPL National 8 Ball Championships.

Promoted by Matchroom Sport the PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters will be running for the 17th year consecutive year and its roll call of champions reads like an international who's who of 9 ball. Defending champion Alex Pagulayan of the Philippines will be back, as will runner-up Mika Immonen (Finland), the reigning US Open champ and P&B's Player of the Year.

Other players confirmed include World 10 Ball Champion, England's Darren Appleton; Mosconi Cup star Tony Drago (Malta) and former World No. 1 Dennis Orcollo of the Philippines. Representing United States hopes will be the top two American ranked players on the BCA Men's Point List, Shane Van Boening and Johnny Archer. Montreal's Dancing Bear, Alain Martel, will be flying the flag for Canada.

The European vanguard of five-times Masters champion Ralf Souquet (Germany) and Holland's multi-titled Niels Feijen will both be in attendance. They will be joined by top ranked European stars Nick van den Berg of Holland, England's Imran Majid, who KO'd Van Boening in this event last year, and teenage Russian sensation Ruslan Chinakhov who will be making his Masters debut. Challenge of Champions winner and '07 World Cup winner Fu Jianbo will arrive from China and 2005 World Pool Masters victor Raj Hundal, now representing India, will return to the fray at the Riviera.

There is one female in the 2009 Masters line-up and that honor this year goes to the rising star of the women's game, 21 year-old Korean Yu Ram Cha.

Once again, the Masters will be promoted in partnership with Mark Griffin's BCA Pool Leagues and the opening first round matches take place on the evening of Friday, May 8, culminating in the championship match on Sunday, May 10. Matchroom Sport Chairman Barry Hearn said: "The event was a big success for us last year at the Riviera and we're looking to build on that in May. The crowds at the Masters were good and with the outstanding line-up we have assembled this year, I am sure that we will have bumper crowds."

There will be a $66,000 prize fund, with the winner collecting $20,000. Tickets will be made available in March on the Playbca.com website.

BCAPL's Mark Griffin added, "BCA Pool League players love professional action. They are excited the World Pool Masters will return to the Riviera for 2009, and they hope that Matchroom will continue to honor our tournament with their participation for years to come."

Visit POOLMAG.COM for more details as the event get's closer.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Our Ladies Poker Tournament Site is Live!

Sorry I've been out of touch. Tons going on and not sure why the 24 hour days are flying by in 10 hours. Just dont' get it!

We just started our Spring Gals Poker Tournament, which is a qualifier for the Ladies WSOP in June of 2009 in Vegas. I've been working on creating a website for everyone to keep up with what is going on with the tournament and also provide some cool poker links and information. Check it out AustinPokerGirls and if you are interested in playing, let us know. The only requirement is that you are a female, and no, dressing up like a female will not be accepted. It's a great group of women and we always have a good time.

"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult." -- Charlotte Whitton.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Best Valentine's Day Ever!

Today was our Tri-Cup tournament for 8-ball. Our team got first place last session, so we got a seat at Tri-Cups this year. Just walked in from an amazing 14 hour day at Slick Willies.

The place was packed when I walked in about 9:30am this morning. Today was single elimination for the teams, so if the teams didn't when 3 out of their 5 matches, they were out. The first round started at 10:00am and half the field was eliminated. We won our first match 3 - 1. It was an extremely tough match, but the team really focused and brought their best game out. The team shot lights out and that put us in to play at 2:30pm. We started out strong and pulled another victory of 3 - 0 against our opponents who played very well.

We took a dinner break for about an hour, then our next match started at 7:00pm. Our opponents were tough this round, as it get tougher as teams are eliminated and you are playing winning teams. The team pulled together and won 3 - 1 to put us into Sunday's bracket. If we win our 10:00am match tomorrow, that seats us for regionals, which is the tournament to go to Vegas to compete.

Today was such a great Valentine's Day. Spent it with people I adore, we had chocolate covered strawberries (I'm in heaven) and we shot solid the whole day. Tough to beat that! I wanted to send my thanks out to those who wished me well at the tournament today -- you are all so thoughtful and your good wishes carried us through. Thanks again (you know who you are). *Hugs*

Heading to sleep now, morning will be here soon.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Turn the River

There are not many movies that are about billiards -- guess it is kind of hard to do a film that can keep an interest from the audience. There have been some great movies such as The Hustler and The Color of Money that will always be known.

There was another billiard movie that was released in 2007, but never made it big. The title of the movie is, "Turn the River" - that definitely peaked my interest. It sounds like a poker movie and it seems to have a "Rounders" feel to it on the previews.

Framke Janssen (also in X-Men) stars in the movie as a pool hustler. She's a really gorgeous brunette, but has a down to earth look about her as well. I could see someone like her as a real hustler type, the kind that noone would suspect. She looks like a badass on the table too! The preview looked great, so I am in the process of downloading it now (at 30%), so should be able to watch it in the next hour or two. It's a little slow since there are not many seeds.

While it's downloading, I'm going to make a fruit salad with mandarin oranges, grapes, apples, kiwi, pineapple and strawberries with a splash of OJ in it to keep it yummy. Then I can curl up on the sofa, play the movie and enjoy a nice chilled salad. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Moving on to good times -- Tri-Cups

The team did awesome last week, so we are playing in Tri-Cups on Feb 14th. Yes, I know what day this is - it's the same day that Space probe Voyager 1 takes photograph of entire solar system on Feb 14, 1990. Can you believe it? We are playing Tri-Cups on the same day in history! We are missing our secret Weapon, Tanya, in this photo since she was out of town working last week. We sure did miss her, but she was with us in Spirit. We'll get another team photo taken so we have one of all 7 of us to put up on the wall. If we do well in Tri-Cups, we are heading to Regionals which qualifies us to compete in Sin City. That's what I'm talkin' about.

This is our team, Cue's Your Daddy! Left to Right, starting from the top.

Totally Amazing Tanner, Rolling over the other players Ronnie, Noone can stop him Nick, Jack the ball up Jen, Preying on the weak Phil, Totally killer Travis and our missing anchor (who will be in the new photo), Tear them up' Tanya!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How can we not appreciate a President that plays pool?!

Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, surely you can appreciate this image of President-elect Barack Obama which appeared on the cover of the New York Daily News in early December. New York Daily News photographer Scout Tufankjian followed Obama throughout his campaign photographing the Presidental candidate from a different perspective.

According to the Daily News article, "He's a really good pool player," says Tufankjian, "and he comes up to me and goes, 'I bet you thought I was going to suck at this. I bet you thought this was going to be like the bowling. I got some game.'"

Billiards aside, today was a great day. How wonderful for each one of us to be a part of this monumental day in history. His inaugural speech was not only articulate, but truly moving. I, along with many others, wish him and his administration great success.

One of my favorite parts of his speech today which included the word "Grand" (I love that word):

"And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more." B.Obama

My blessings to our new President and the United States of America.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Say it ain't Frakkin so!

I FORGOT to record the first episode of Season 4.5. I knew I needed to do something this evening and it was bugging me all day. Just now it hit me and hit me hard *ouch*. The sad part is that there is ONLY ten episodes left of the show and this is the last season. So dreadful.

I'm sure many are feeling the same as I do. I bet there was even Frak parties around Austin for the first episode of 4.5. Gah - I missed out.

I can download this episode from iTunes, but I really love sitting down with a pizza, fruit punch gatorade, turning the lights out, grabbing a blanket and relaxing on the sofa as I watch Battlestar Galactica. Did I mentioned, that I missed it!

I'll record the rest of the episodes so there shall be no excuses for me not watching it. This is by far, one of the greatest shows to ever air on television (Sci Fi channel). If you have never watched it, I highly recommend you watching all 4 seasons. You'll be hooked. Let's find out who the final Cylon is (although there's much more to the series than that).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Team did it!

The pool gods were definitely with us tonight. We went 3-0 as a team and each match was solid. There were some unbelievable rolls, shots, and opportunities that we couldn't have had without them. I often joke about "pool gods", but I really do believe in the idea of them. Not an actual God that support billiards, but the spirit of believing in something although it's not really there. We all walked in the pool hall tonight with the thought that something was going to carry us through this -- well, that "something" is each person's own mental thoughts that they are going to play the best they can and with the combination of skill and opportunities, they will win.

They all did. Phil went up first and his match went hill/hill. Phil was definitely in the "zone" tonight and he felt it, and more impressively, he played it. His opponent was tough and shot extremely well, but Phil shot lights out for a solid win. He set the momentum for whole evening.
Great way to start off the play off match and thanks for the win!

In the blind spot, we put up Ronnie, one the most solid players in the league. He's the type of player that opponents know is solid on the table and when Ronnie walks into a room, everyone knows he's there and is a danger to be reckoned with. Ronnie's strengths, among many, is his break and flow on the table. He's got a good rhythm, solid stroke and very tough to play against. His match went hill/hill as well and he won his final match to bring our 2nd win in. It's the first team to win three matches and the game is over.

We then put up Travis, who recently went up to a skill level 7. In APA, that is the highest skill level there is, and once you reach that level (and he very much earned and deserved it), you are a fierce player. He made some impressive shots and kept great cue ball control on that games. He shot beautiful and brought in another win for us in his match.

Since we won the first three matches, no one else needed to play and we ended with a victory. I'm really amazed with the level of play on the team and I'm pretty lucky to have them as my teammates. Tri Cups are next month, so that gives a month to sharpen our skills and play our best in that tournament. It will be tough, but I really like tough *smiles*

Oh, we are also changing our team name after having the same one for years. It's "Cues your Daddy?" Pretty cute and every time I hear it - I giggle. Fun to giggle...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gotta Pray to those Pool Gods tonight

"Dear Pool Gods, I ask that you help carry us tonight. Please give us good rolls on the felt, let all of us be in the "zone", keep our cue ball on the table on the break (we all know who I am referring to on that), give us a few break and runs, an 8-ball on the break, and make sure the rails are not dead for those unpredictable bank shots that we may have to do. Keep the billiard devils away from us, no matter how tempting they are and let us make the Pool Gods proud. BTW: Is there a pool table in Heaven? If not, then I'm not going!" *smiles* Seriously, I'm looking forward to tonight and we are all going to have fun no matter what.

Tonight's our final play off game for the Fall season. Last week we won, so that allowed us to get qualified for Tri-Cups in February. Tonight is for the title - either 1st or 2nd. The main differences between the two:

1. Braggin' rights
2. A nice 2" thick billiard plaque with our team picture on it that hangs in Slick Willies. It's quite nice, solid wood backing with the names engraved.
3. 3 Inches...The smaller trophy is 3" smaller than the first place one. Important.
4. It's just plain cool to come in first as a team. We play as a team, win or lose -- we do it together. We'll have fun either way (but hope to win) *smiles*