Saturday, February 24, 2007

Last gasp

This is what it looked like as I was on my way into work yesterday. Winter is mounting one last, half hearted attack. But it can't last. As I was crossing the Charles I saw, 2 Pairs of Common Mergansers, a small flock of Hooded Mergansers and a small flock of Ruddy Ducks swimming around in one of the melt pools. These guys are just stopping on their way north, so good-bye winter. Besides Puxatony Phil said we're getting an early spring and if you can't trust some giant rodent, who can you trust? I have to get some binoculars and a camera with a good zoom.

Friday, February 23, 2007

I learned a new expression

I wound up dealing with one of the faculty members this morning, who was having a crisis. What constitutes a crisis we won't even talk about. Finally, his assistant came in and I gave him the low down so he could deal with the situation.

Assistant: Man, I totally owe you an ice cream!

Me: Don't even mention ice cream I'm on a diet.

Assis: No dude, Ben & Jerry's

Me: I can't eat.. Huh?

Assistant now looking at me, with an SEG that conveys my density. "Think about the initials."

Me: Oh. Oooooh!

I think I'm going to go out later and see if I can get some ice cream.

Train Wreck

I got home from work last night with all of the best of intentions as far as writing an entry. However, once I got home, it was night of the living dead all over. My brain had left work for the day and by 8:30 it was bed time. My head hit the pillow and I was out like a light.

Good huh? Not quite. While I can no longer recall the content I was woken up at 1:00 by weird dreams and I mean awake. It was one of those rare instances for me of going from dead sleep to wide awake. Ordinarily, first thing in the morning I am a danger to myself and others until I've poured a couple of cups of coffee down my throat. So I just rolled over and started to weigh the choices of trying to go back to sleep or just getting up. Since I was suppose to go in and do a leg workout this morning, I decided to opt for at least trying to sleep some more. I rolled over and started to go through the late night/early morning involuntary inventory of every problem that I am currently trying to get myself out of. Finally I rolled over and looked at the clock and it was 2:30. Shit! I decided, fuck it, I'd just get up, leaned back and closed my eyes. When I opened them again, it was 5:30. Great. Just the time I am usually heading out the door. I ran around the house, trying to put up lunch, brush teeth, remember pants go over underwear, ON YOUR LEGS STUPID, NOT YOUR ARMS, YOUR LEGS! At some point I just said to hell with it. I will do one of my least favorite things, go to the gym after work.

This morning I guess it was brought to home to me that I am taking everything all too seriously. Not in a good way. Sure, I need to take work and my work out seriously, or I will set myself up for failure, but if you don't have some fun, you're doing it wrong. So it seems like my workout is a good place to start, since, let's face it good pecs are lots of fun, though for me usually, someone elses are more fun. So, first step, remind myself that my workout is actually fun.

Step 2: Try and make work fun again. This may require tranquilizers, some duct tape and a cattle prod. I said fun, I didn't say nice.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Real Girl Scouts?

I was on a work related errand when I was mugged by Girl Scouts selling their hellish cookies in the lobby of one of our buildings. I know they are crappy box cookies that are made entirely out of artificial ingredients but for some reason I can't help myself. Ordinarily I am immune to the begging of various do-gooding groups that are hawking their wares in the common areas, but there is something about the siren call of girl scout cookies, they managed to short circuit my blinders and the next thing I knew I was having my pocket picked by these female con artists who are even shorter than I am.

As I walked away, in a haze of anticipated sugar and hydrogenated fats, I realized I could have saved myself if only I had remembered the line from "The Addams Family".

"Is your lemonade made with real lemons?"

"Yes. Are your cookies made with real Girl Scouts?"

I am desperately trying to foist these off on anyone foolish enough to walk into my office. These so can not come home with me.

The answer to my dilemma was ease itself, foist as many as possible onto grad students and give the rest to Monkey who is a push over for sugar. In all I only ate about 5 cookies. Hey it's my waistline or theirs and in the battle of the bulge, there are gonna be casualties. I don't plan on being one.

Liberty Station Day 2

I am sitting in Peet's. Ordinarily by now, I would be finishing up my shower and getting ready to head off to work. I am on my way to work but without seeing the inside of my gym for the first time in weeks. It is a strange feeling and I have to wonder how it will affect the rhythm of my day. I am if nothing else a creature of habit. Wake up, start the coffee, feed the cat, off to the gym, off to work. It has up until recently given my day a fairly satisfying shape.

I go back tomorrow and work some more with the trainer, Friday I work on my legs and then I have the entire weekend of completely resting. After that I am not sure what my workout schedule will look like, though it has been hinted that more cardio is in my future.

All in all, a change will be good. Work is making me cranky , and I am not sure whether it is actually the job or if it is just the time of the year. Neither fish nor fowl. It doesn't feel like it is still really winter, but it isn't spring either. I am dull and want something indefinable. A new apartment, a new job, a reliable boyfriend? Has spring fever struck early? I still have all of March and at least half of April to go before I can get out in my garden, an always therapeutic activity. I have all weekend to do pretty much as I please with. I should spend some time with C. who I have seen far too little of recently, and I could get on my buddy Mike's ass for some quality time, since I have seen him not at all in months.

Crab, crab, crab! Here it is a warm day for February and all I can do is gripe. I think I just need to kick myself in the ass. I have to think of something to do to cheer myself up. What can I do to aggravate my ex? I haven't done that in years! Nah! Too much work. I'll think of something.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Liberty Station

The diet is dead. Long live the diet. But not for 3 days. I had a session with the trainer today. I am going to be switching over to a low carb diet to loose some of the fat I put on during this bulk phase of my workout. But not until Friday. For the next 3 days I get to eat anything I want, and only in human quantities if I so choose.

I have to admit I am a little freaked out. I now weigh 160, which for a man the same height as Mickey Rooney is some serious tonnage. The thing is my pants still fit. I am having one of my unreasonable panics where I am convinced that I am too fat, and yet too skinny. I know. I never said my self image made any sense.

Regardless of where I am with things, it is a relief to not have to think about eating every waking moment. I had a cherry danish after the gym. It was good, but honestly it has been so long since I have indulged in crap in any meaningful way, it wasn't as big of a thrill as I would have hoped. I will have to see if I can cram some chocolate in there before the new diet starts.

I'm not sure exactly what I will and won't be able to eat, but I know I will be seriously cutting back on carbs so I better get as much bread in as I can over the next couple of days. Any and all food sin suggestions will be taken under consideration. I've only got a couple of days so you'd better hurry. 'Cause after that it will be back to the grind.

I'd better look human this year in a bathing suit or there's gonna be trouble.

Monday, February 19, 2007

In a Stew

It has been a somewhat productive weekend. I did the gym and laundry and grocery shopping (Trader Joe's and the hated Shaw's) and caught up on some email Saturday. Sunday more laundry, coffee with Wahz, gym, picked up a couple of things I forgot at Trader Joe's then home and much cooking. I made beef stew.

I pretty much gave up eating meat, not out of moral convictions or health concerns but it seemed like one of the foods that was not letting the pounds drop off. Now that I am in the bulk training phase of things my trainer has me eating beef at least once a week. I went over the list of foods that I should avoid and foods I should eat and came up with beef stew. This is fine with me. I might have a number of gripes with my mother, but one thing I will say for her is that she was a really good cook. Food was a very important factor in our lives as a kid. As a first generation American I have not been able to help but notice that the average American's definition of good food is lots. And bland. It wasn't until I was an adult that I found out that onions and garlic figured in my life a lot more than it did in the life of the rest of the country. (I never had a homemade cheese burger that didn't have garlic worked into the meat until I moved out of the house) Beef stew was always one of those special meals. Each one was a challenge. While the basic ingredients were always about the same it always was an adventure in subtleties. What was the difference in the balance of the herbs? Red wine or beer to give it a little body? Tomato paste or roux for a thickening agent? It is like making soup from scratch or any other peasant meal. Using whatever is at hand and making the most of simple ingredients.

Today is the perfect day for this type of meal. It is 19 degrees and with the wind chill it is in the minuses. I wish I had had the forsight to get some yeast and make bread, though the whole grain bread from TJ's is very good. I have to admit I will miss having the bread slathered with artery clogging amounts of butter, but it's a small sacrifice. The other small sacrifice was to let the pot sit overnight. Like certain other dishes, stew is better after it has rested overnight giving all the flavors that chance to meld.

Today was yet more gym time. Serious shoulder workout and triceps. More laundry (okay I admit it I'd let Mt Laundry get way out of control) the rest of the day I am trying to dedicate as much as possible to sloth. It is a holiday weekend, this is a get out jail free card, and I am hoping that I will be able to get myself into a properly lazy state of mind to enjoy the rest of my day. I plan on capping it off with a big bowl of stew. I will eat with my elbows on the table and a book propped up in front of me. I will listen to some music, Hank Williams (Sr. not that fat right wing asshole Jr.) or Le Nozze di Figaro or Dire Straits or whatever takes my fancy. Tomorrow it will be back to the grind. I will be starting off with the trainer and then dragging off to my job, so I can spend the day taking care of people and listening to what they want. But today, I have one extra day that if I listen I can hear what I want and in some small way take care of myself. Comfort in a bowl.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Quick nothing

I heard Brittany Spears shaved her head. If we are to trust the internet the carpet and drapes now match.

Paris Hilton pelted with garbage? Bringing coals to Newcastle?

Did I say that out loud?