A Quickie

Minds out of the gutter people, that’s not what I meant!

This is going to be a quick post as I’ve much to do and little time to do it.

I’m terrible at preparing for travel.  I’m pretty good at traveling, I rarely even forget anything, (knocks wood that this will not be the first time I do), I’m just bad at  preparing.  I hate to pack and I’m always at the last minute with the compiling of  things to go along for the ride.

Michelle will be picking me up from my house (where I currently am not) in about 45 minutes so that we can go pick up our rental car for the drive up to Reno  tomorrow, and then I have to get back home, and take a shower, fix something to  eat, and pack my suit case – while trying in vain not to let the cat see (he gets  upset) – and then do a minimal amount of housework so that my downstairs  neighbor who will look in on said moping kitty while I’m gone will think I live in less than squalor.  (By the way, this is wasted effort as she was in my apartment yesterday so I could show her where everything is, but it’ll make me feel better.)

Tomorrow, I pick Michelle  up at noon and we make  our way to The Biggest Little City in the World for a little holiday fun and poor man’s gaming.  I’m not much of a gambler, so much as a “I pay to play a slot machine” kinda guy,  going in with $X amount of money that I’m willing to  pay to play and if I happen to win a “prize” while I’m playing, so much the  better…  (And God?  I could really use the prize  right about now!  I’m just  sayin’.)

I spoke to Michelle earlier today on the phone and she was all sniffly and gross.  So much for avoiding getting sick before our trip.  Now we’re both going to be  congested as we travel through the mountains and we won’t even be able to have a conversation because we won’t be able to hear each other.  Oh well, we’re going to have fun anyway!

We were in Reno two years ago and there wasn’t a whole lot going on.  We’ve heard rumors and I hope they’re true that things are picking up again and we hope  there’ll be more going on.  The main thing is that we’re not sitting around at home doing nothing like a couple of unloved losers!  (No offense to anyone who is  spending New Year’s Eve at home.) 🙂

I guess that’s it for now.  I don’t imagine I’ll be able to do much blogging while I’m in Reno, but you never know.  I’ll try and tweet a bit (Michelle gets cranky when I tweet, but she might just have to suck it up.)  So if you don’t already follow me on twitter and you want to, look for me at https://twitter.com/riggledo

I’ll be back as soon as I’m able.  And just in case I don’t get another chance,  “HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!”  See you in 2010!

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A Christmas Miracle

 

I know that I was pretty subtle with my thoughts yesterday, but you may have  picked up from my last post that I have been sickly for the last week.  Unfortunately, I’m still somewhat afflicted, and expect I will be for several more  days as my body, once in possession of some sort of pestilence prefers to hold on tight and get it’s money’s worth.  This should make my trip into the mountains later this week, quite enjoyable.  You see, I live at forty feet above sea level.  That’s it.  Only forty feet.  While I believe my final destination on Thursday is a few hundred feet lower, the highest point of my journey will be approximately 7800 feet above sea level.  Given the congestion that I’m already experiencing I can only imagine the assent and subsequent descent shall be torturous and my hearing for the evening will likely be impaired.  Despite how miserable I make it sound, I am truly looking forward to this trip as it is a few days away from home, and off work, and allows an opportunity to have some fun.  This is not the point of today’s post.

Because of the blight that has been placed upon my immune system, I have not been to the gym in a week.  I even canceled my session with my personal trainer last night because I did not want to spread my germs around any more than I had to.  I wish I could say that I miss it.  I wish I could tell you that I love going to the gym so much that this time away has been really hard on me.  I would say those things but, well, I’d be lying!  I am not at the level of enjoyment that makes me  unhappy when I do not get to go, and in fact, I thrill at the valid and worthy excuse  to blow it off!  That’s how I feel about going.  Once I’m there is a different matter. I know it’s good for me and I am seeing results from it, so I want to keep doing it, even if I don’t enjoy it.  Isn’t it strange how you can want to do something you don’t like to do?  This is not the point of today’s post.

I have a weakness for ice cream.  Even in the course of this new endeavor to become a healthier person, I have enjoyed the occasional helping of ice cream.  I like it a lot, but I try to be conscious of how much and how often, I eat it.  I admit that I don’t eat the ½ cup servings the packaging calls for, but I am not eating half the container in one setting as I might have done in the past, either.

I don’t get terribly extravagant either.  I actually, really enjoy a scoop or two of plain French Vanilla ice cream with sliced fresh strawberries. C’est magnifique! (I do not speak French; I had to look that up.)

But when I’m really misbehaving, I enjoy Breyers All Natural Mint Chocolate  Chip.  It’s got a delicious, refreshing flavor that I really enjoy, and t he chocolate chips in it are awesome!  I usually only buy ice cream when it’s on  sale, usually a twofer of some sort, and then I buy one tub of each flavor.

The other day, I was walking through Target (I can be found there nearly every Saturday, sadly, I’d probably be less broke if I weren’t) and I happened to see a display of Nestle Toll House (am I the  only one who always wants to say  Nest-lay Toll Hoose?) chips of various  varieties.  One of them caught my attention because it had green chips in it.  This was a package of Dark Chocolate and Mint chips!  How could I resist?  I thought, I bet that would be great on my  vanilla ice cream! I thought  wrong!  The chips weren’t that  great with the ice cream, but  there was a recipe on the back  that sounded pretty great so last week Wednesday, after I knew I  would not be required to grace  the courthouse with my  presence for jury duty, I made  the recipe.

It was the first time I’ve ever made brownies and I’ll tell you it was an  interesting experience.  I didn’t  realize the batter starts out so thick.  Anyway, they were fantastic, if I do say so myself.  And I ate  about ¾ of them on my own over  the course of three days.  The rest  of them I gave to Michelle for her  niece and nephew.  (hopefully  they’re not plague ridden.)  This is not the point of today’s post.

The house next door to mine is occupied by a family of some  unspecified Asian origin.  The father, I think, works in construction of some sort.  The mother, I think, doesn’t work at all.  And there are  three young kids, the oldest of which looks like he’s about nine or ten years old.

About a year ago, there came a knock at my door and when I opened it the oldest  child was standing on the step holding a bag containing a disposable aluminum  pan.  He handed the bag to me, said, “My mom said you could have these” and walked away.  When I got back into the kitchen with the pan I was greeted by a  simultaneously appealing and revolting aroma.  To this day, I don’t really know what the food item is.  The closest thing I can imagine is that it’s something  similar to, if not actually, egg rolls, wrapped in some kind of wrapper like won tons and deep fried.  They reek of fry oil and they’re made of unidentifiable ingredients.

Now, I did taste the items before turning my nose up at them, but I couldn’t eat  them and I couldn’t stand the smell of them in my house.  I wrapped the pan back up, nice and tight, and took it out to the trash.  I felt terrible about it, but didn’t know what else to do.  I assumed this was a one time thing and it wouldn’t be that big a deal.

Since then, she has sent her son to my door six or seven times with a pan of  these fried food things that I can not stand to smell and must extricate from my  living space post haste.  I’ve found myself in a bit of a catch 22 because I feel bad  throwing this food away, and yet, I feel like it’s too late to tell her, “thanks, but no thanks.” Not to mention, I’ve never spoken to her as it’s always her son to bring  the food.

Come to think of it, I think I’ve told you all this before so I’ll stop boring you with  the unnecessary information.

On Thursday, the little boy knocked on my door and sure enough, he had the pan of greasy fried  things in his hands.  Sitting on top of the pan,  however, was a box of Russell Stover’s  chocolates.  Naturally, I threw out the egg rolls as soon as no one was looking but I kept the box of chocolates and ate everyone one of them, over the  course of four days.  This is not the point of  today’s post.

As I mentioned yesterday, I had grand ideas of all that I was going to accomplish  over the course of this long week-end, things that would mean lots of physical  activity and movement, rather than hours upon hours of sitting on my ass doing  nothing.  And as I mentioned yesterday, this did not happen.  I spent almost the  entire time watching TV and playing Mario Kart (and eating apparently).  This, too, is not the point of today’s post.

So let’s recap, shall we?  Sick for a week.  No gym for a week.  Baked and ate a whole mess of brownies in a very short span of time.  Ate entire box of chocolates  in same very short span of time.  No physical activity to speak of for a week.  Finally, we have arrived at the point of today’s post:  I LOST FOUR POUNDS!!

Despite all the cards stacked against me, I actually managed to continue losing weight and now weigh less than I have since I started this journey, less than I have in four years.

Best of all, as of today, for the first time in four years, the weight on my driver’s  license is actually true!  Now I just have to get my ass back in the gym before that number starts creeping upward again!

Dissatisfied

I can tell you now, you should probably skip this post.  I’m pretty sure it’s not going to say anything.  It will probably be fairly incoherent.  And that’s not a ploy to get you to compliment me or make encouraging comments; it’s just a simple fact.

I’ve been blocked for the last couple of weeks.  I’ve reached a point in my book, a development in the plot, which I knew had to happen in order to get to the next step, but I hadn’t thought through how it was going to go down.  It has to go down or the next thing that I have thought through can’t… ahem “go down” but I’m stuck, unsure how to write this part.  Several times now, I’ve sat down, plugged my thumb drive into the computer and pulled up the file and stared.  I’ve written a few words here and there, but for the most part I’ve just stared.

That blockage seems to have carried over into my blog writing as well.  I’ve been unsure how to – what to write about.  I’m blocked.  But, I’ve heard more than once that the best way to get over writers block is to just write, unconcerned about how it turns out.  So here I am.  Like I said, this will probably be fairly incoherent.

I’ve been in sort of a weird place, emotionally, especially today… more so today.  I’m not circling the volcano, exactly.  I don’t really feel as if the beast is catching up.  It’s just…  what?

It’s been five days since I was at work.  I had already taken Christmas Eve off and of course Christmas day was a holiday, but I ended up calling in sick on the 23rd.  One of my co-workers came to work on the 22nd sick and despite  endless grousing and curmudgeonly behavior in the recent past when a third co-worker came to work sick and shared germs, the first co-worker decided to come to work despite having a rasping, rattling cough and profusely leaking proboscis in need of constant evacuation and then proceeded to wander far and wide through our small and enclosed office suite ensuring maximum distribution of whatever plague (or common cold) germs she happened to be in possession of.  Perhaps it was her germerosity, or perhaps it was my own curmudgeonliness at the fact that she came to work in said condition, or perhaps it was my stress level set to orange with the knowledge that I had a jury duty summons for the 23rd that I wouldn’t know if I had to appear for until late on the 22nd, or perhaps it was my pure and simple irritation (despite trying to not be) at the fact that she brought these germs into our tiny office space to begin with, despite her own feelings on the issue and despite knowing that I am to be going out of town on the 31st (because it is all about me, after all) and that I would definitely not want to be sick for that trip, but I did indeed get sick and I didn’t come to work on the last day before my Christmas break and I blame it all on this co-worker and if you actually followed this little tirade you deserve some sort of a prize.  I’d offer  you some of the brownies I made last week but, well, they’re gone and they were probably plague ridden anyway.

I had big “plans” for my long holiday week-end.  Those plans involved dinner with Michelle on Thursday night (she baled on me because no one gets sicker longer than I do except for Michelle and she’s going with me on the 31st and didn’t want to catch my affliction as well – though she did stop by and bring me a piece of fish and my Christmas present) and hours and hours and days and days of house cleaning.  The Christmas present that Michelle brought me was Mario Kart for my Wii.  Some of you may think that sounds a bit childish  for this 30-something guy, but trust me when I tell you it’s AWESOME!!!  To be fair, I didn’t even spend all that much time playing it – all though there were two ridiculously late nights…

As for the cleaning, I did get a little bit done.  I finally went through one stack of papers and filed what should be and tossed what should be and now there’s another section of living room floor that is visible and therefore available to get dusty and cat hairy and if I’m very, very unlucky, barfed on (by the cat, not me.)  I wanted to get the cleaning done because while it’s apparently not that important for me to live in an immaculate home, it is that important for the outside world to think I do and very soon, my downstairs neighbor, who I don’t really even know all that well, but trust enough for this purpose, will be coming into my house twice a day for a few days to look after Mischa for me  whilst Michelle and I take a very short, very under funded road trip to Reno for New Year’s and I want the neighbor to think I live like a prince rather than a pauper.  It’s looking like the pauper is the more likely impression.

So, I’m feeling a little – AH HAH!  Dissatisfied is the word I need here!  I’m feeling dissatisfied, in part, because my house isn’t immaculate and spotless like I wanted to make it, even though I truly didn’t want to exert the energy to make it that way, especially once I became cursed with the scourge from work and instead watched just about everything on my DVR and then some (I’ve finished all the Scrubs DVD’s I own and need to buy the next season – season four – and have watched a couple movies as well.)  So I feel dissatisfied because at the end of five days I have very little productivity to show for myself and still want my house to be cleaner.

During those five days, I never once looked at Google Reader and therefore didn’t read any blogs.  If my feeling of “dissatisfaction” this morning is any indication, that may be a good thing.  You see, I read all the blog posts I had missed the last five days, this morning, and I must say that I’m just ever so thrilled for all you lovely people who had a wonderful time with lots of wonderful family and food and presents and drinking and fun while I sat alone with my cat in my cold apartment feel sorry for myself (only a little, honestly) and watching the house not getting any cleaner. Only now, I’m feeling all that loneliness that I would have thought I would have felt this week-end and my feeling of “dissatisfaction” is growing.

Of course, I jest!  I really am pleased that so many people have love and support and kindness and happiness in their lives at this time of year.  I wouldn’t wish for anyone not to have it.  I know from first hand experience how much it sucks.  But you see, I can’t help it, it makes me sad that I don’t.  Sure, I have family, but in a way, that’s worse because, well, here is the sum total of my interaction with my family this holiday…

* Called my sister to get input on gifts for her children.  She didn’t answer the phone.

* Called my sister again an hour later because she didn’t return my call.  She got my message, just hadn’t called back yet.  The message said I was at the store and sooner, rather than later, would be best.

* On Christmas Eve, I saw the little pop-up icon telling me that my father had just signed into MSN Messenger.  He didn’t actually try to talk to me (and no, I didn’t try either.)

* At 5:34 AM on Christmas day, I received text messages (pictures) from my mother to show me the eight inches of snow that had fallen on her house the night before.

* And then… Oh!  No, THAT’S ALL.  No cards, no calls, no gifts, no “wish you were here”’s, nothing!

This is a catch 22 situation.  My family is miserable on holiday’s and I made up my mind several years ago that I was never going to spend Christmas with them again, and I honestly don’t regret that choice, it’s just that when you are absolutely and completely, 100% alone (Sorry, Mischa, you don’t count) on Christmas, it really sucks.  And when you are absolutely, and completely, 100% alone (Sorry, Mischa, you still don’t count) on Christmas and reading about other people having a loving, wonderful time It sucks times a bazillion!

So let’s quickly recap.  Really am not mad at any of my on-line or real world friends who had good, happy, wonderful Christmases, at all.  Really am feeling sorry for myself as I lie in a bed of my own making… somewhat.

Anyway, this is another short week at work.  I have nothing to do and it’s really unpleasant being here as it becomes more and more evident every day that we all hate each other and that nothing good is ever going to come of this place, but it’s what I have to do to collect that oh so wonderful, never goes far enough, paycheck at the end of the week.

Wednesday, after work, Michelle and I go to pick up a rental SUV since somebody (that’d be me) went and traded in their SUV a month ago and then on Thursday, I have another vacation day and we are heading up the  mountains and spending New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Reno. We return on the second (Saturday) so I can see Lil’B on Sunday.  Just a short jaunt there and back and I’m really looking forward too it, except that I really can’t afford it.  The hotel is paid for but there’s still the price of the rental car and the gas and food for the couple of days, plus any “entertainment” money I might like to have.

This is another reason for my “dissatisfied” feelings right now.  It seems every year around this time, I find myself in a financial pickle.  Over committed and under funded with no way out but through and the through sucks a lot!

Well, I don’t know if this really got my creative juices flowing or not, but after 1731 words I guess I should stop ranting for today.

If you’re very, very lucky, maybe there’ll be more of the same tomorrow.  And if you’re very, very lucky in a non-sarcastic way (and if I’m very, very lucky as well) maybe tomorrow will hold something better!

Basic Instinct

For those of you keeping track at home, I did go  back to the Coming Out support group this past  Friday.  I don’t know why I dreaded going so  much, except that it’s  that way with most  things.  Going some  place new for the first  time is always intimidating for me and  this was no different.

I was the only person  who attended the group  this week and it was nice and disappointing all at the same time.  I would like to make new friends and this group seems like it ought to be a good place to do that but if no one is  going to go to it than that’s not going to happen.  It was nice thought because I was able to have a one on one conversation with the facilitator without having to worry about what I had to say being disturbing to anyone else.  (Religion plays a part in my experience and while I’m not forbidden from  discussing it at this group it’s important to be careful not to get too “preachy” in the conversations.)

The facilitator has a similar but different background and has an understanding of the “religious persecution” that I have to deal with in my process and he admitted that he still has twinges of doubt from time to time.  I asked him if he thinks, as is the case with me, that it’s an instinctive  reaction.  You’re raised to believe a certain thing with all your authority  figures telling you that it’s true and when you’re older and learn to have a  different perspective; it takes some time for your new perspective, your new opinion to become the default answer.  For me, when I bristle at something or start to feel judgmental about something with regard to the gay community, I often realize that I’m just reacting with the programming of my youth and that if I stop and think about the thing, and think about my reaction, I usually realize that I don’t really believe or feel the way I first  reacted to the thing.

This lead to a discussion of instinct with regard to sexuality.  He told me,  “Within the first five seconds of seeing a person, I assess their appearance.  I look at their eyes, their hair, and their smile.  I look at their body, their ass,  their walk.  I determine whether I think they’re gay, and whether or not I’d  have sex with them.  I do all this within the first few seconds and what I  realized a long time ago is that the people I’m attracted to are men and that  for me, women are just meh!  Instinctively, I know I’m gay.  How about you?”

My answer might have been surprising.  “Instinctively?  I don’t do anything.”  You see, my mother vilified sex from my earliest memories.  If there was a sex scene on TV, she changed the channel.  Whether it was her intention or  not, she always made me feel like sex was evil and dirty and not to be thought  about or talked about or partaken in.  As far as I knew the only  reason for sex was to make a baby and that should be done via Immaculate  Conception.  I couldn’t allow myself to consider that I was attracted to  anyone and therefore to consider that I was attracted to guys was out of the question.  Obviously, this is changing now and I notice attractive guys all the  time.  And, heh, there are plenty of them.

My instinctive reactions, though, still are not…  I’m not really sure what I’m  trying to say here…

I was at Rubio’s the other day for lunch with K.  For those who aren’t familiar, Rubio’s is a Mexican “fast food” place a step or six above Taco Bell.  They’re famous for their Fish Tacos (eww) but they have great nachos as well.  Rubio’s practice is to take your order, ask you for your name and hand you a buzzer  and your cup.  While you fill your drink and get your salsa and find a table,  they prepare your food.  When your food is ready they call out your name  and buzz your buzzer.

The person who was distributing the food was not the same person who took my order and when my food was ready he called my name.  I handed him my buzzer, retrieved my food and walked away without thinking much of it.  Later when we were finished and about to leave the restaurant, the same guy came by the table and took K’s tray to throw it away.  I sat back from the  table in the universal “I’m done you may take my plate too” gesture and the  guy looked me in the eye’s and said, “May I take your tray too, Kevin?”

My instinctive, but silent, reaction was, “He’s gay and he’s flirting with me.  He must be, why else would he have made note of my name?  Why else  would he just take K’s tray without a word and then ask me if he could take  my tray and use my name?  That’s interesting and kinda nice.  He’s nice  looking too. BUT he works at Rubio’s!”  (What can I say; I’m a bit of a snob.)

Walking back to the car, I commented to K that I found the exchange interesting and she agreed with me.  The exact conversation escapes me now but it was essentially a confirmation that she felt he was flirting with me and that he was a nice looking guy.

It was a nice moment and I was flattered.

I mentioned it in therapy today and all the niceness of the moment disappeared.  Suddenly, I felt like I was being childish and immature and  something about the retelling of the story made the whole thing seem less…

Just…

Less.

Balance

Balance is something I have struggled a lot with in my life.  As I’m writing  this, I’m realizing this is even truer than I first thought.  I am not physically balanced.  I am not really mentally balanced.  I’m certainly not emotionally balanced.

I used to joke when I was younger – when I was of an age where one would still think such a joke is funny – that I could never pass a field sobriety test,  stone sober, because I can’t walk a straight line to save my life.  I’ve learned lately, particularly through my sessions with my personal trainer, that I don’t have very good physical balance – he has me do exercises that require  balance and half the time I nearly fall over.  (He assures me this will change.)  Hell, even my physique isn’t balanced:  Most of my life I’ve had pretty muscular legs and pretty flabby everything else.  My legs could’ve used more  definition and in the last decade or so, my muscular legs have gotten an extra layer of flab around my hips, but they’re strong and I have more power in my legs than any other part of my body.  I’m not complaining, I’m merely stating fact.  I know this about myself, and part of my motivation for joining the gym  and hiring a trainer is to change this.  It will change with time and that’s fine.

Sometimes it’s difficult to define the difference between the mental and the emotional.

I’ve made no secret, on this blog, about my struggle with clinical depression.  To be honest, I feel like I’m much better than I’ve ever been before,  something I’m exceedingly grateful for.  But I’ve certainly had my share of unstable moments: sitting on the floor in my closet crying because I was so  mad at my room mate for no good reason that if I spoke to her I would say  something awful.  I’ve yelled at my boss for being too pushy (when he was  being too pushy, but still…).  I’ve made threats “in jest” toward a co-worker because she was poking fun at me at a very inopportune moment.  I’ve sat in my chair at work and stared at the wall, because I couldn’t focus on what I  was supposed to be doing and all I really wanted was to cry and sleep.

I’ve written blog posts in which I lambasted my mother’s “one ice cream cone isn’t going to kill me” attitude and then gone home and drunk an entire bottle of wine, alone, in the dark, because “I’m not going out so there’s no harm, and besides there’s only a little bit left in this bottle, what kind of sense does it make to put it back in the fridge?  One night with one bottle of wine isn’t going to kill me.”  Except it was more nights than it wasn’t.  I’ve watched myself behave in self-destructive manners (and don’t let me fool you – or me  – into thinking I don’t do it now) all the while thinking, just this one ­­______ (package of crescent rolls, batch of cookies, vat of ice cream, pot of macaroni  and cheese) isn’t going to hurt me any, all the while knowing that it’s just one  in a long line of the same, and therefore, yes, it is going to hurt me.  I’ve sat in my chair, looked at the clock and thought, “I really should go to the gym, but  I guess I’m not going to.  I’ll go tomorrow,” as if it’s something I only have to  do once to make it effective.

In recent history (and by recent I mean, the last six to eight weeks) I’ve learned some things about some of these behaviors.  I’ve made a conscious  decision to change my priorities about some of these behaviors and I’m  weeding out the obvious causes of my imbalance.  And as a result I’ve found something new…

It’s difficult to maintain balance.  There seems not to be enough time for it all.  There are things I want to do and there are things I have to do.  Trying to find the right mix of behaviors that keeps me on an even keel emotionally,  that keeps the guilt and the shame at bay and gives me a sense of  accomplishment or satisfaction and that also fulfills all my responsibilities is tough.

I have to work.  If I don’t work, I don’t get a paycheck and then everything else falls apart.  The problem is work sucks; I’ve talked about that ad nauseam and won’t rehash it now, but work sucks and I hate spending my time there.  It’s eight hours a day that I can barely call my own and that’s being generous, because by the time you add together grooming, commuting, working and  lunch hour it’s more like twelve hours, twelve hours that I can’t spend doing things that I want to do.

OK, let’s be fair, we all know that I’m writing this (and just about every other) blog post I write, at work during those twelve hours that theoretically should be spent doing something for someone else.  But thank God for that, because  if I didn’t feel like I could do my writing at work, the experience I’m currently dealing with would be that much more frustrating.

You see, in addition to writing, both this blog and my book (yes I’m still working on it), I have a lot of other things that I want to be doing and that’s what my evenings are for…

Let’s take a look.  There are the things I must do, whether I like it or not:

* Housework: my kitchen doesn’t clean itself, let alone the bathroom or the floors.

* Cooking:  If I expect anything to come of this new found desire to  maintain a healthier lifestyle, I have to prepare most of my meals at  home and bring them to work with me.  (By the way, this just compounds the housework issue.)

* Ironing:  I was spending a significant amount of money on having my work clothes – shirts and pants – laundered so that I wouldn’t have to  do any ironing.  It became ridiculous so I stopped.  Now I wash my work clothes along with everything else, every other Saturday at Michelle’s apartment.  And now, I have to spend a lot of time ironing, so that I have clothes to wear to work.

* Grooming:  Lately, I’ve been taking fewer showers in the morning because I’m finding it harder and harder to get up early enough to incorporate everything.  As a result I have to take a shower when I  get home in the evenings.  This is not so terrible as I frequently go to  the gym before going home and would need a shower anyway, but on the nights I do not go to the gym, I still have to take a shower when I get home.

And then there are the things I want to do:

* Gym:  First and foremost, I need to spend time in the gym.  I’ve only managed, in these first two months, to get to the gym an average of three nights a week.  I’m not complaining.  This is so much more than I was doing before and I am seeing a difference from it, but by the time I change clothes, get to the gym, put in my hour and head home,I often don’t get home until after 8:00.  Still this is the most important thing I’ve got to do and I’m not going to let it fall by the  way side.  There’s a lot I could say about balance and the gym and not letting it become too important, but that seems like a post for another day.

* Write:  Yes, I know I said I do this at work but I’d like to do even more of it than I do.

* Read:  I love to read, always have.  I have a growing pile of books that I’ve not read and need to.  I keep saying I’ll get more into the books but I can’t seem to get around to it.  I’ve got a drawer full of  magazines in my bathroom, because bathroom visits tend to be nearly just the right length to read an article or two without  becoming fully engrossed in a book.  (The problem is, the bathroom  visits are often when I catch up on Twitter and the magazine drawer is pretty full now –  and by the way, it’s a deep drawer.)

* Lil’B:  I spend every Sunday afternoon with my Little Brother, and I love doing it.  But it pretty much wipes out my whole Sunday as I  have just enough time to do a minimal amount of housework before I leave to get him and when I come home, I have to make sure I have  clothes ironed for the week (or at least a few days) and food prepared  for the next day.

* Friends:  Who am I kidding?  I don’t have any of those.  Yes, I go to  Michelle’s house every other Saturday to do laundry and we hang  out, but generally that’s the only time we spend together.  Beyond that, I don’t have any friends, or a social life, and as much as I hate to think it (let alone say it) I don’t know how I would find time for  friends if I had them…

* Television:  I know this is (or at least should be) a low priority, and I  have made it a lower priority than it ever used to be.  I don’t watch more than a couple hours a night, because by the time I’ve taken care of all the must-dos, I don’t have time for more than that.  Honestly, it feels good and I am proud of myself for having made Television the  lowest priority, but my DVR is backing up with stuff and so far, I  haven’t been able to alleviate myself of enough attachments to the  shows I watch.  (Some of the shows are ending and that helps but  there are still things I want to watch.)  (And before anybody makes  the suggestion, of course I multi-task the ironing and television, but that’s of minimal assistance.)

* Sleep:  Somewhere in the midst of all the rest of this, I need more sleep.  I don’t get enough sleep.  Ever. I think I need more sleep than  is realistically possible and I’m so tired so much of the time I don’t  know what to do.  But even if I could go right to sleep when I get  home, I can’t possibly, because then my life would be about nothing  but work and that’s unacceptable to me.

 

I have made a lot of progress to weed out the destructive behaviors and put higher priority on things that matter more.  I’m definitely a happier person  now, and honestly, this post was not intended to be a complaint in any way.   I’ve just been struck recently, with the irony of things.

I used to sit at home alone, in the dark, watching TV (often drinking) and I would feel sorry for myself because I had no life and never went anywhere or did anything.  I wanted more excitement in my life.  I wanted to experience life instead of having it pass me by.  I wanted lots of things to happen, but I never really did anything to prompt the changes.

Finally, I’ve started taking action and trying to live a more balanced life and I’m experiencing a whole new trend of frustration about it.  Where does one find the time for true balance?  How do you manage to fit everything in and achieve a sense of happiness, satisfaction?

Because You Really Wanted to Know

I’m so tired right now, I can barely keep my eyes open.  I was going call in sick to work today, so I could sleep in, and take care of some of the nagging household stuff that needs to be done before going to my session with my personal trainer tonight.  I didn’t, largely because by the time I woke up enough to do it, it was kind of late, and it would’ve seemed like I was calling in “sick” because I was going to  be late for work.  So I went to work after all, and I was really only about ten minutes later than usual and that’s because I forgot my badge and had to get a  visitor badge from the security desk.

Wednesday, after work, I went to the gym to walk/run on the treadmill.  I made it about 30 minutes, but the pain in my shins was just getting worse and worse and I  couldn’t keep running.  I had planned to stop and do the cool down at 30  minutes, but then I got distracted by something on TV (Anderson Cooper) and I  ended up walking about fifteen more minutes, which is probably not an entirely bad thing, except that my shins still hurt today and it’s been five days.  I’m concerned that I’m doing more harm than good on that front and I’m trying to figure out the  solution.

It was during one of my walking spurts that I saw (and heard) out of the corner of  my eye, the person on the treadmill to my left, slap the stop button and start to  disembark from her treadmill.  I have a pet peeve about people just hitting the stop button and walking away.  It takes the treadmill two minutes to return to stand-by  mode and since there’s often a line of people waiting to use them it takes less  than two minutes for the next person to come along.  I can’t tell you how many  times I’ve watched people stand there and fight with the treadmill because they  can’t figure out how to make it start, simply because it’s still showing the last  persons work-out summary (and if I can breath enough to tell them, I do, but I  usually can’t.)  When my treadmill neighbor hit the button, I glanced that direction, looking at the display of her treadmill and not at her.  Suddenly, I heard “Hi Kevin!”  I looked up and, sure enough, it was Lil’B’s mother!  I had been on the treadmill right next to her for 30 minutes and hadn’t even noticed, I was that much in my own little world.

I haven’t been back to the gym since Wednesday and I’m frustrated.  I have my session with the trainer tonight and I will go, and I’ll talk to him about the shin splints and see what he tells me.

On Friday, I went, for the first time, to the Coming Out support group.  I got there ten minutes or so late, not because I was trying to be late but because my brother  popped up on my MSN Messenger and I got caught up with him.  I walked into the room and there were three people there, including the facilitator.  As it turned out  the third person was observing for some reason that wasn’t explained and so there was only one “participant” until I arrived.  As I suspected, I was the oldest person  there, besides the facilitator, but it wasn’t so bad.  I will go back.  The thing with stuff like this, is that it’s the going the first time that’s so difficult.  Now that I’ve  been it’ll be no big deal. I’m sorry.  I know after all the build up and anxiety that I expressed, this is rather anti-climactic, but it is what it is.

Saturday, was laundry day and I went to Michelle’s house for the day.  I was expressly forbidden (by Michelle) from buying a car which would delay the laundry washing process…  So we went shopping instead.  I bought mostly household necessities: toiletries, vitamins, Diet Pepsi, but I also bought an artificial Christmas tree and a few new decorations.   I already owned a tree that was only  four feet tall.  I bought it when I lived in a studio apartment in San Francisco, and the only place I had to put up a tree was my bay window.  The four footer was  perfect.  Now I have no place to put a four foot tree and I’ve been wanting to get a  full sized one.  I had a lot of laundry and didn’t get home until after 1:00 Sunday morning.

We watched a lot of TV shows and movies, including Sex and the City (the movie, not the TV show).  We had discussed the movie over lunch and it became apparent that I didn’t remember it particularly well.  Interestingly, Michelle  remembers the movie really well, but doesn’t remember anything else of  significance of the night we saw it in the theater.  I, on the other hand, was very preoccupied while we were watching it that first time because I had made up my mind that this was the day I was going to tell Michelle I am gay.  A year and a half later, I suppose in a way, I should be glad that it’s not any more significant to her  than this and it doesn’t stand out for her.

Sunday, I got up around 9:00 and had to do a bit of house cleaning.  Lil’B and I were just going to hang out at my house and I wanted to make the place a bit more presentable.  I emptied the contents of two full hampers of clean and folded  laundry onto my bed to put away later.  I also wanted to assemble my Christmas tree, though, I never did have time to decorate it.  At this moment there is a 6’6”  artificial Christmas tree, with nothing on it but a star shaped tree topper, standing  in my living room.

I picked Lil’B up at our usual time of 2:00 and we went to pick up a pizza (Take ‘n  Bake).  We took it back to my house and I started the oven up while presenting  our options to the boy.  Play a board game, watch a movie or both.  He chose  movie followed by board game (as I assumed he would.)  I told him to pick something from my library of more than 400 DVDs.  I have holiday movies, kids’  movies, action/adventure movies, super hero movies.  Out of 400 DVDs this kid  picked Superman.  Not Superman Returns…  Superman. Love this kid!  After the movie we played two games of Junior Monopoly before I took him home.  After I dropped him off I went back to Target to pick up a few things I forgot on Saturday.  Back home I heated up some of the pizza and ate dinner while fishing on  Facebook (Gotta log in everyday or I don’t go on the night fishing trip) and then I  set up the iron and ironing board.  It was already 10:00 so I only ironed one shirt  and one pair of pants so I’d have something to wear today.  And then it was time to go to bed…

Bathroom and nightly grooming rituals before bed and into the room I went.  Oh look, mountain of laundry to put away.  Once again, I didn’t get to bed until nearly  1:00.

I’m so tired right now, I can barely keep my eyes open.

Bait and Swtich

So unless you’ve been living under a rock, or you’re one of the rare few,  non-American people who pays any attention to (or have accidentally stumbled  across) my blog (and even then you probably know) that this past week-end was a long holiday week-end, starting with Thanksgiving on Thursday and ending with the worst case of the Monday’s you can fathom all year.

I was going to write a post about how I spent my Friday with my friend Heather who I’ve known and been very close to since before I moved to California and who I love dearly with all my heart and if only she were a boy (and shared my feelings), I’d move heaven and earth to be with her, but she isn’t  and she doesn’t, so it matters not.  I was going to include the fact that on Friday along with Heather I  “got to” spend the day with her eleven year old son and her 30-something fiancé  and his seventeen year old son.  I was going to write a post about how things  didn’t go particularly well (by my estimation) and how upsetting it was to me and  all the conflicting (conflicted?) emotions I’m feeling about it.  It was going to be really good, too, and you were going to cry.

But instead, I did.  And I couldn’t write the post, because the truth is, I’m not really entirely sure what it should say, or what I want to share and I’m reverting to my  traditional standpoint of ignoring it all and pretending everything is fine because I’m  not sure how to handle the reality of the situation and so instead of writing this splendid post that would have been tremendously heart wrenching I’m going to share something stupid and pointless (albeit, mildly amusing) and call it a day.

Earlier today, I was reading my Twitter feed and one of my Twitter friends said, “Car accident on the penis bridge, nice.

Well, naturally, I was intrigued…  I asked, “The…. Penis… Bridge?

She responded by telling me, “Um, yes 🙂 A ridiculous, unnecessary bridge built in Winnipeg for some ungodly price, disturbingly reminiscent of a huge penis.”  I asked where one might find pictures of this “Penis…. Bridge”, but she didn’t tell me so I had to go in search of it myself.*

You can imagine the trepidation with which I sit at my work computer and  searched for “penis bridge” so before I actually submitted my query, I amended it  to read “Winnipeg Penis Bridge.”

I came across a few pictures:



Both images credited to a flickr user named
Scerakor.

How about a night time image of said Penis… Bridge.


This photo is credited to a user on a website called Deviant Art, named
doperuca

And so, with that, I’ll bring this tremendously anti-climactic post to a close by saying, just what you’re probably thinking:

“THAT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A PENIS AT ALL!”

*Updated:  Turns out my twitter friend did respond when I asked about pictures, but it was a Direct message and I didn’t notice it until well after writing and posting this.  I do believe in credit where credit is due, after all!