Saturday, October 27, 2012

She's Alive! Alive, I Tell You!

The hibernation is over.

Instead of working today (not my choice. Lousy system upgrade), I worked out. Gathered up my now dusty gym bag and a bottle of water and woke up my slumbering muscles.

They’re resenting it.

Leg presses, pull-ups, incline pushups (because I can’t do a floor up push up, but by the end of the year? Oh, hell yeah), lat pulldowns. Not a muscle group escaped unscathed.

Granted, I went with lighter weights than I had been pushing in August (some kind of icky respiratory infection derailed me. I still have easily irritated throat and chest. One of these days, I’m going to laugh and yack up a lung). I’ll get back up to speed soon enough (It’s like getting to Carnegie Hall. Practice, practice)

It felt good to get back in the groove. I have missed the “yeah, I can do this” feeling and the sense of achievement when I go up in weights. I have not cared for the disappearance of muscles due to neglect, but then, in the immortal words of Jimmy Buffett, “It’s my own damned fault.” (Margaritaville. The Parrothead national anthem).

Sugar? Out. From two different doctors, I’ll give you two different reasons:

Fruits and veggies? Bring ‘em on. Meats including bacon? Yeah, Baby, yeah!
Starch? Dairy? No and nyet, dammit. The furthest I will venture into starch territory is sweet potatoes. No more bacon cheese tots, even once a week.
I have been, for the past week, observing a sharp reduction in dairy (and I am one of cheese’s biggest fans. I am convinced that if dietary laws dreamed up in the Iron and Bronze Ages were set aside, we’d have peace in the Middle East within 2 weeks. Just sit everyone down with a bacon cheeseburger. Beer optional). And I am seeing the benefit already, slight though it is. No exercise, but the slacks and skirt . Not that had been getting a little snug aren’t biting my middle as hard. No sugar, either, has been helping. Before anyone starts screaming about Atkins (which works), I eat fruit. Not fruit juice, whole fruit because whole fruit has fiber which helps your body properly metabolize the sugar contained in the fruit. However, if you watched the video by Dr. Lustig, you already know this.
Water, tea, coffee without cream or sugar (stevia, sugar-free hazelnut syrup at Starbucks, no sugar).
Nerd Fitness ( is chock full of success stories. Dammit, I am going to be one of them. Look at that picture of Steve Kamb.

He’s cute as hell! Do you think I want a cute as hell guy (who could pass for Chris Evans aka Captain America) saying nice things about me? Did the Red Sox suck swampwater this year? Hell, yeah.
I’m feeling achy, no big surprise. Water will fix that (flush out the lactic acid). Unless something comes up, I’ll get in some cardio tomorrow (I need to vary things because I don’t want my muscles getting into a rut. Parkour is out. I am not jumping from rooftop to rooftop). I haven’t been in yoga or Pilates in months. Need to get back to those classes; they were doing me a lot of good.

And finally, to my muscles: Wakey, wakey. I’m back, Bitches.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


The first clue that this was not going to be your typical wedding was the groom and groomsmen entered to “The Muppet Show” theme. I am not making this up. We also had Led Zeppelin, Star Wars, Winnie the Pooh and  “The Princess Bride” references.

Fabulous but unforgiving shoes?  Doesn’t matter.  A few necessities left at home? Meh. Target was up the street. Confusing  street/highway layout in Houston that makes all the concrete spaghetti (my term for layers upon layers of on ramps and highway interchanges) be damned. Forget the royal weddings, celebrity weddings, THIS was the wedding of the century.

Everyone in that church was in the presence of love and joy. And we were grateful to be reminded that it still exists. One of the great things about joy is how utterly contagious it is.

Understand, as long as I’ve known this couple (not the individuals, the couple), you could feel the strong bond. Mutual respect, understanding, both being naturally kind people (the bride’s email signature is “Choose joy.” And she means it), these two are the porch light to a big gang of moths (Just about the only costume that hasn’t made an appearance at either Halloween or Oscar costume parties). Quite a few of us flapped our wings and flew into Texas to share the moment. (A big thank you to my past as a traveling mortgage underwriter: frequent flyer miles and car rental status made this weekend possible).

Not for just anyone would I layer up in as much Lycra as your basic superhero. My super power? Not bursting into tears at certain points in the evening (“The Dance” by Garth Brooks reminds me of beloved friends now gone. My napkin got twisted like I was going to suck Scotch out of it, BUT I DIDN’T CRY).
And I wore my Little Black Dress!

Compare and contrast the ease and joy of this party (and everything ran smoothly) with the Mecha-Bridezilla of this recently infamous meme (swiped from “People I Want to Punch in the Throat.” ):

OUR bride moved her bachelorette from Vegas to LA and rented the big party bus herself so that more friends could participate. This is a generous spirit.

Friends participated in the wedding as more than attendants. See these cakes? Both made by friends of the bride (yeah, the flash wasn’t great on my camera. It’s a pretty basic model). Another friend sang. At the end of the night at the reception, there was a jam session. Did my pictures of the bride in white dress and electric blue electric guitar come out? NO! (Should have put new batteries in the damn camera).
Our groom is a video director. And this is a genuine Mandicake. She does mail order.

Yes, those ARE penguins. Did we mention she likes penguins? A lot?

Here’s the way joy works, if you let it: what was radiating from the bride and groom spread and widened like the rings from a pebble dropped in still water (See “Ripple”, Grateful Dead. American Beauty). It took in all of the guests and we took it forward to our weeks and homes. We’ve been refreshing it by sharing pictures on Facebook and commenting on them. Our friends who weren’t there (not necessarily friends of the whole group, just other parts of the Venn diagram that makes up our lives/relationships. What’s a Venn diagram? Didn’t your graduate fourth grade? Look it up; we’ll wait) are commenting on what a great time we seemed to have.

I will get back to writing about losing weight, working out, working, working, working (It’s what I do), but right now, let me just say: I have seen joy.

Monday, October 8, 2012


And today’s Narcissist du Jour is the woman in the Volkswagen who  blocked access to Starbucks and the rest of the parking lot by parking in front of the store, not in a space and blocking a fairly narrow while her friend was at the back of an extended line inside of Starbucks. Yes, there WERE open spaces. Cherry on the top? She started laying on the horn. 
Honey, this one’s for you (and that middle finger you were spreading around):

Sorry, guys, we’re back to politics. Until the Republican party comes back to the middle, I will not vote for any of them. As for the Democrats: none too fond of them either, but I think the President has a better plan for those not in the Millionaire’s Club (which I would very much like to join. No bones about it) than Gov. Romney. If anyone cared, I’d say, “Even David Stockman, the architect of Trickle Down Economics, admits that it doesn’t work. It took less than 9 years from the repeal of Glass-Steagall’s regulations for the Wall Street boys to crash the worldwide economy.  Can’t we reinstate Glass-Steagall and the Clinton-era tax setup? They seemed to work.”  Lowering tax rates on capital gains and dividends only benefits people who have enough money to invest. And those tax cuts have to be made up somewhere. Call me a flaming liberal (and many Tea Party loving wingnuts do), but I think it should cost less to get a paycheck than it does a dividend check. And Mitt Romney at Bain? Real life Gordon Gekko.

They even kind of look alike. 

(My opinion)  Understand: the guys proposing, defending and voting on tax cuts for the top of the American financial heap are there or pretty fucking close to it themselves. Slight conflict of interest. The 1% can afford to hire lawyers and politicians (Thanks American United for exposing the hypocrisy of American elections being free and fair. We may need UN monitors come November) to protect their wealth, increase their wealth and provide a barrier between themselves and  the lower classes (middle, working and the poor). Not only the communities are gated: access to the courts is getting limited,  try actually getting your Senator or Congressman on the phone  and these “voucher”programs  (Medicare, education a few years back) : I seriously doubt they’d keep up with increases to private insurance premiums or private school tuition. Meanwhile, the public institutions are slowly being abandoned by those who are supposed to run and fund them, so if your voucher can’t buy you health insurance (and if you’re on Medicare, chances are you have one or two pre-existing conditions) or cover private school tuition, you’re fucked. This is the aspect of vouchers that their proponents don’t discuss. Think about this for a second: Mitt Romney has never needed Medicare or tuition assistance. Neither has Paul Ryan. Hey, if the 1% are going to maintain their stranglehold on American power, they need a docile, ignorant working class to exploit in the name of cheap labor because…Americans love cheap goods. News flash: Americans love getting paychecks better. With a decent paycheck, you can afford better quality merchandise. (Don’t get me started on my China “Rope A Dope” economic parasitic black hole strategy). Quite frankly, Governor Romney shows a lot of contempt for the American people. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being dismissed out of hand by someone who’s supposed to be serving my interests. 
As for the Tea Party rank and file? Guys, read “Animal Farm.” You aren’t the pigs: you’re Boxer. And you’re being sent to the slaughter house. 

But what do I know? I’m not a pundit, political scientist or strategist. I’ve just been paying taxes since 1978, voting since 1979 and living with the consequences since 1961. 

 Or, given my usual language: Tiny Soprano