Posts Tagged ‘Life


What I’ve been up to, pic edition.

So, I’m sure you readers have noticed I’m not blogging nearly as much recently. I’m in the “a lot of stuff up in the air” phase, but instead of grousing about it here, I’ve been trying to doing other things.

But here’s the past 2-3 months summed up in pictures, to get caught up:

New Years:

This involved drinking

Setting bad examples for children

Drunk and airborne fire.

Not UFOs out west of Pgh, just us...

Experimental cooking:

My first attempt at (apparently) my Italian family’s holiday meal. Pasta, rice, meat, eggs and lots and lots of cheese.

Snow, snow and more snow:


Post-snowpacolypse, after my street was “cleaned up”:

A little mountain biking:

Out in Deer Lakes Park on St. Patty’s Day

A little remodeling:

Technically, I just hung up the pictures, but still, it’s an improvement. There are plans for painting, crown moulding and a ceiling fan.

Geekatorium, complete with "Walk the Slank" pirate slanket and Warcraft on the monitor.

Paint-scraping attire

So, yeah, been a little busy as you can tell. But I swears, I’ll be back blogging more often soon. Stay tuned!


Moving to Phase II

So, one of my lifestyle changes has been getting my diet under control. No, I’m not “dieting” per se, but I am eliminating a lot of bad foods from diet, and eating roughly 5 meals (400 calories each) a day. (Or, basically, the routine outlined in “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle” — there’s more to it than just calorie restrictions.)

I did this once before in August to September, and lost 8 lbs. The thing I hated about it was feeling like I was constantly cooking and focused on what and when I was eating. You know why most people aren’t bodybuilders or ultra-thin? Because it doesn’t take long before “watching what/when you eat”  starts sliding into the “obsessed” zone. I don’t like that feeling, as I’m sure other people don’t as well. I have other things I want to think about and focus on. That’s why I basically abandoned the routine in September.

But, since I’m older and can no longer rely on just exercising harder to burn off the extra calories, I opted to go back to that routine. In January (Phase I) I wanted to focus on getting the good eating habits down before I really started integrating hard core  workouts. And for the most part, I’ve been successful. Minimal snackage. Minimal fast foodage or eating out. Weight has dropped by about 6-7 lbs. We’re on the right track.

Here’s what I’ve found my body likes: eggs/potatoes/yogurt for breakfast (or post workout meal, since I don’t eat until after I lift), turkey/ham/chicken sandwich with fruit for lunch, 1 meal with land-based meat/veges/potato, 1 meal with fish-based meat/rice/veges, and 1 late night snack of oatmeal and protein shake. Meals 1 and 2 I can make en masse and just throw together throughout the week without feeling that I’m a slave to the kitchen, which is great because I have such limited time in the afternoons to get stuff done.

Now I think I’m ready for Phase II.

Basically, Phase II incorporates the workouts. I’m going to be trying different stuff here as well. Parts of my old routines, some parts of Tony Horton’s P90, P90M and P90X routines, and LOTS more stretching. I’m hoping by the end of February to have a better feel of what my body likes and what it doesn’t. I know the stretching makes my left ankle feel better, so hopefully I’ll be able to resume hiking in a few months.

We’ll see how this works out. Come March, I should have a much better handle on things, and should be ready to combine the new diet and the new routine to get the results I want/need. Coincidentally, that’ll be about the time the trails start thawing out, and I’ll be out in the slog, just cranking away. God I can’t wait until March. I miss the mud.


Life in transition

I gotta admit … I’m in a weird place right now. It is said that after 30 days of changing normal habits, you form new ones — and that’s what I’ve been focusing on this month — creating new, healthy habits. So with the beer fog lifting and 30 days rapidly approaching, here’s some things that have changed or I have been working on changing:

  • Eating out: If there was one singular thing that I could point out that I do entirely too much of, its grabbing chow on the fly. If I wanted to know where that extra 20 lbs. came from and why it wasn’t going away? Eating out. Where all my money seemed to be slipping away to? Eating out. (Seriously, you can’t get away with a value meal for under $6 anymore.) I’ve cut back from eating out usually once (and sometimes twice) a day to 4 times this month, and even then, it was something like a Whopper Jr. (no mayo) and diet Coke. That’s it. I also dropped vending snacking and soda. I’m not claiming complete victory, but it’s definitely a start. (I treat myself to a can of soda and a bag of chips every Friday … sue me.)
  • Budget: I started some hardcore budgeting. I have a “must go to” wedding in October out Jersey way (“must go” because it will be tons of fun and I won’t miss this wedding for anything) — that’s likely a new suit, hotel, gift and shenanigans money. I have more windows that I want to buy.

    Brief synopsis of Jersey wedding

    I want to replenish my safety-net funds, which is at its lowest point in years. I’ll need to get tires sometime this summer. And the reality is that there was no raise last year, and I’m not putting any faith in getting one this year — but I can guarantee that my health insurance will go up.  So, I’m making changes now while I have some wiggle room. I’m also starting to think of deeper budget changes: Cutting out the gym and working out at home. Ditching cable for Netflix and broadcast TV. Decisions decisions. (But let’s face it — if I go back to school, I won’t have time for either — a quick workout at home and the TV on while I cook. That’s about it.)

  • Life: I’m also working it through that I will be Cali-less in a few short months. No, this isn’t a surprise. From Day One, it was understood that our relationship would end in May when she graduates from med school and returns to California. That was always her plan, and she was very honest about it. There was a small chance that she would stay here, but from recent conversations with her, she’s found residency programs out West that have captured her interest and will likely (99.9%) be heading back. Ugh. Not looking forward to that day, but hey, I’m not gonna stick my head in the sand and pretend it’s not coming, either. A little more than a year of fun times and great learning experiences is something to embrace — and there’s still a few more months with her to enjoy.
  • Tear down, start over: I’ve also been reorganizing the house. I started with the kitchen to make it more efficient for me — moved my baker’s rack and my small island table closer to the stove in order to have storage for my pots and pans as well as having my cutting surface right there next to the stove. This created a ton of space. I’ll probably move my bike rack into my kitchen soon (it’s a big kitchen). I’ve also cut up my old wooden futon frame that’s been lingering in my basement and created shelving for my baker’s rack (it just had wire slats). I’m ditching a lot of old crap or recycling it, and I feel better doing that.

I do feel like I want to start blogging more (feel slightly guilty for not blogging as much recently), but as you can see, I kinda got a full plate already. But, I’m gonna try. I have another 30 days coming up — so if the new habits have taken hold, maybe it’ll free up some time to write more often.


Catching up, V2

Man, where does the time go? I swear, I’ve been busier than ever, and every time I turn around, BAM, 5 days are gone. I’m baffled.

But, now that I have some time at work while I wait for other people to finish up, here’s a couple of things that’s been on my mind recently:

1) The funerals: The other day, I was zipping down Route 28, wondering why there were cars lining the road. Well, apparently Officer Mayhle’s body was being transported to Indiana, Pa. People talked about how large the crowds were in the city, but further up, those crowds were still there. I mean, I was at the Mills mall, and firemen and citizens just lined the streets. It was amazing. The procession drove northbound, I was traveling south, so as we passed, I took my hat off and gave a quick salute. But it was really a powerful moment — and one that I will never forget. This particular entry deserves a much more detailed blog all to itself, but seriously, I don’t see when I’ll have the time to do it. Man, when did life get so hectic?

2) Biden’s dog: I read a little ditty about Joe Biden’s dog breeder saying if she could take selling the dog to him back, she would. Aparently, she’s come under crazy scrutiny as well has received death threats from animal rights groups because her breeding of German Shepards enrages them. (Apparently, groups like PETA say that by buying a purebreed, that you’re condemning a dog in a pound to death.) To them I give a big ole American bird. You know what? It’s Biden’s damn right to buy whatever the hell dog he wants. And you know what else? It’s the breeders damn right to breed and sell dogs without crazy mofos like you threatening her life about it. You don’t like it? Well too fucking bad. I feel for pound puppies. But if it’s someone’s dream to have a purebred, who are you douchebags to say anything about it? That person is paying for the dog, for the vet bills, for the food, for the grooming — I think they’re damn well entitled to get whatever dog they want to get. What’s next, are the eco-freaks gonna tell us that we can only buy used cars because by not doing so, we’re causing scrap yards to be filled up with serviceable cars?

3) Wang heavy week: I don’t know why, but it seems like every movie or show I’ve watched in the past week has featured male full-frontal. “Observe and Report” had a whole story arc devoted to a flasher, who ran around naked. “Watchmen” — well, big blue dong. And the most disturbing thing: The Venture Brother’s blu-ray that I picked up is uncensored, and I never realized how much dong Cartoon Network fuzzed out. Is this the new trend in film? I mean, let’s face it, boobs are a lot nicer to look at than a guy’s junk. Blah.

Geez, I know there was more stuff on my mind…but I seem to have forgotten the other things. Oh well — I’ll probably remember when I have less time than I do right now.


Catching up

Where the hell does the time go?

I swear to God, I’ve written about 5 blogs in my mind recently, and just never had the time to sit down and actually type something out. Anymore, it’s like I get home, kick off my shoes, drop trow, turn on the TV, and I’m out cold in my LovSac within minutes.

But, for those of you who like to keep track of my life, here’s the lowdown:

Work: Basically, all the folks who took the voluntary buyouts are now gone. This has left my department as the very definition of “bare bones.” So, that means work has basically turned into a sprintfest, which is generally the last thing you want someone in my position to do. And you know what the really sad thing is? My boss has the gall to yell at people to be more productive, but he still sits in his office and does crossword puzzles to keep awake.

Cali: Things are all good in the neighborhood here. I recently met one of her good friends from LA, she met a couple of my friends the other night. No bad reports on either side. And as an added bonus, she still hasn’t tried to stab me in the face. It’s still unnerving that I really don’t have to sleep with one eye open in case she would try and smother me, but I’m getting used to it.

Retribution: My readers from my old myspace blog will remember my days of defiance by signing in to work under assumed names. Well, for a long time, the security guy hadn’t been making us sign in. But a new guy arrived, and he wants us to sign in. He still doesn’t check our IDs though. So, on Saturday, I was back to Fidel Castro. Today, I was Bob Eubanks. Next week will be Bob Barker and/or Alex Trebek. I’m now wondering what genre to tackle next.

Mountain biking: After not riding for the past 3-4 years, getting back into it is tough. My body knows exactly what it wants to do, and how much effort it should be putting into things. However, it’s just not quite capable of it. Frustrating.

Warcraft: Yeah, I started playing WoW again. Not nearly as hardcore as I was, but I do have my warrior up to 77. And I started a Death Knight, but haven’t played beyond the opening zone. But I actually go days without playing, unlike the hardcore days in which if I were home, I was online.

Le Bad Cinema: I was in the mood for some bad movies the other day, and switched to Comcast’s “Free Movie” selection in the “On Demand” section. I found “Gator,” starring Burt Reynolds and Jerry Reed. Dear God, it’s beyond awful. It made me actually question whether the ’70s transpired or not, because these movies just simply couldn’t have been made in my lifetime. If you have the opportunity to watch it, you really need to. Of course, that’s like me farting and asking you to come over and smell it.

And, that’s about it. There will be some rants/parodies coming out … as soon as I’m able to catch a breather. Where does the time go?

And here’s a little Motorhead on The Young Ones, just to show I still care.


The Quirkening

Today has been an offbeat kind of day, and I’m tired and drinking a beer (Sam Adams Cherry Wheat), so I’ll just sum it up brief-style.

And we wore an onion on our belts, which was the style in those days...

"And we wore an onion on our belts, which was the style in those days..."

1.) Listen to your elders: My iPod battery went loco again, so I was forced to go without it today in the gym. My co-worker Huggy Bear came strolling in, and introduced me to a couple of old-timers who were BSing the entire time I was there. Turns out the one guy had a great story about how he stepped on to a small commuter plane (years ago), and pretended he was a drunk pilot. (Any attempt to tell the story here would be useless — it was a definite “had to be there” thing.) Immediately after he was done, someone said, “There’s no way in hell you could do that today.” Yeah, of course not. But now I’m wondering what will fall into that category when I hit “old Coot” status. Hell, I can think of things now that I did that would be absolutely frowned upon in at least 39 states.

2.) Weight training: OK, when you haven’t really gone at the workouts hard, it really hurts when you do. I woke up this morning and was like, “Why am I sore? Oh yeah…” My left elbow is giving me all kinds of grief, which is odd when you consider it was my right one that I dislocated.

Dammit Trixie, wear a goddamn seatbelt one of these days, will ya?

"Dammit Trixie, wear a damn seatbelt one of these days, will ya?'

3.) That guy: You know that jackhole who flies past you on the highway when there’s mildly inclement weather afoot? Yeah, that’s me. You know why? It’s not that you’re a complete and utter idiot — that’s only a secondary reason. The first is that if I stay behind you, you’re going to cause me to die. You see, it’s not that I enjoy being a jackhole driver, but you know, your random braking for no reason is going to cause me to hit my brakes and spin/crash Speed Racer style, my little Gobot car exploding and mildly irritating my skin. I’m not going down with Spritle and Chim Chim in the trunk — at least not until I find out that Racer X is really my long lost brother who left home many years ago. I’ll take my chances and go around you. And yeah, I’ll be flipping you off as I do it. Do us both a favor and stay home, will ya?

For the love of God, make it end.

For the love of God, make it end.

4.) Now just how lost are you?: For the past two weeks now,  a certain co-worker has gone cell phone crazy. Last week, her sister got lost after dropping her off at work, and instead of going a few blocks back to the co-worker’s home, somehow ended up in Saxonburg. I don’t even understand how this is remotely possible, since Saxonburg is like 45 minutes outside of the city. But talking her back took in the vicinity of 3 to 4 hours. Super Mario and I were ready to just shoot each other in the face to put an end to our pain. Last night, the same co-worker had the speaker phone turned on, even though she was holding it up to her ear as she spoke, not realizing that everyone else in the office could hear her entire conversation. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve such pain, but I’m seriously considering launching people out windows. Srsly.

How many God-damned chances did you want, dumbass?

"How many God damned chances did you want, dumbass?"

5.) Badger’s Return: Long-time readers (from my myspace blog days) may remember a different co-worker I call Badger. A few years ago, Badger, a notorious smoker, had spots on his lungs and quit smoking. Then, when everything cleared up, he started smoking again. A few months ago, the same thing started happening again, and he quit smoking. Today, he came over to talk to Huggy Bear, and he mentioned that the docs gave him a clean bill of health, and he’s thinking about starting to smoke again. Dear mother fucking God — you’ve dodged the big C 2 times. You already cough more than a 1950s farm tractor that’s being fired up again after being stored away for winter. You’ve successfully kicked the habit. I’m sorry, I have no sympathy anymore. If you start, you’re an idiot, and you get what you get.

I assume you want another beer, assclown.

"I assume you want another beer?"

6.) The Tauntening: I really started going after Super Mario with that taunts today, because for whatever reason, the ridiculousity of the day has just gotten to me. She mentioned how tonight when she got home how she was gonna watch Season 4 of “Lost” and get drunk. So every hour or so, I went into my “swave” voice (a story for a later day) and was all, “Man, I’m goin’ home, gettin’ drunk, and watchin’ ‘LOST’!”, to which she loudly called me a dick and asshole. Sadly, no one in the office even budged, because her calling me that is such a common occurance. The other sad part is that when Season 5 starts, I’ll be over at Mike’s, drinking beer and watching “LOST”. I’m such a hypocrite. LOL.

How YOU doin?

"How YOU doin'?"

7.) Food run: Since I fell asleep this afternoon, I didn’t have time to cook. I’ve been starving all night at work, noshing here and there. I stopped at Taco Bell (no lectures on how it’s barely above edible — I simply don’t care), and sure enough, since the High Mojo cycle is still in effect, I got a “How YOU doin’?” from the drive-thru girl. Let me tell you, she disturbed me. I will never understand the hoop-lip piercing dead-center of the face, especially on a woman that I thought was a man when I initially drove up. For the love of God, those forearms on her were HUGE. So, you know, I got her number and am givin’ her a call later. (The things I’ll do for free chalupas.) You betcha!

Sweet, sweet booze.

Sweet, sweet booze.

8.) The Shoppening: In a tactically deft move that I’m sure will be shrewdly compared to the German “Going around the Maginot Line” maneuver, I’m knocking out my Christmas shopping AND grocery shopping tomorrow. I’m sure this will involve much gnashing of teeth, many anger-fueled, steel-toed Doc Marten back kickenings, lunch at Uncle Sam’s Subs, a couple James Harrison-style hits, followed by a little unwinding with some fantabulous enchiladas at the Iguana Grill on the South Side. Thank God that place is open again.

Oh, and there will be boozing. Much, much boozing. Just look for the Unabomber looking guy that’s grumbling to himself. That’ll be me.

And I’m yours for a couple of chalupas.

([9.] And for you bastards that were whining because I haven’t been curmudgeoningly lately, are you happy now?)


The mysteries of life

So, I decided to get off my duff and take my iPod out to be fixed. Well, it’s not broken per se, but the battery pretty much conked out on me. It works in the car, works when hooked up to the computer — as long as there is an external power source, it’s fine. But take it into the gym, click it to where you want it, and suddenly it starts belching “Kill all humans!” and asks you to recharge the battery, even though the battery is full.

Now, this wonky situation has totally irritated me. I’m not a huge music freak or anything, BUT when I go into the gym to work out, I NEEDS me my tunes. See, my mind likes to drift when I lift — and unless I have the music to drown out distractions, I focus on complete nonsense and do completely half-assed workouts. And gyms always play the worst selection of music imaginable — the last time I was there, I swear it went from hip hop to Gin Blossoms to Ozzy and back to hip hop again. I can’t concentrate on my lifts because I focus entirely too much on the music, thinking “Who the hell programs this shit?” It’s that maddening.

So, I decide to roll out to the Apple Store. I’ve been dreading going out there, because I kind of loathe Shadyside. Loathe isn’t the appropriate word — but Shadyside is just one of the few places in Pittsburgh where I don’t belong. I stick out there like a Mr. Peanut figurine among replica faberge eggs. It’s all fancy coffee, materialistic earth huggery, and fabulousity oriented. I’m more dive bar, down and dirty, and blue-collar in my mentality. No trust funds backin’ my ass up … everything I’ve got, I’ve earned.

But, with an ever expanding gut and a desire to regain some lost physical strength, I opted to bite the bullet and go. That iPod means I work when I’m in the gym, so I need it. And I was braced for the worst, in which some douchebag chipper Apple salesguy with product in his hair was gonna try and sell me a new iPod. I know I would instantly fall into Florida mode, which would mean my face would become expressionless, and I’d stare at him and say, “Dude, stop the pitch and just fucking fix it.”

So, I get to Shadyside, find a spot, park and start walking to the store. And for a lark, I decide to try the iPod again, just to make sure it’s giving me the same error it has given me the past 100 times I’ve tried it.

And it doesn’t.

It’s working just fine. (Hell, I’m playing it now, and it’s running like a champ).

Walk back to the car. And on the way home, I realize my ankle isn’t hurting nearly as bad as it has for the past year. Usually it hurts bad enough that I figure surgery is inevitable (basically, I’m saving up the $1,500 deductible before I even step in the door to see a doc).  But today, as cold and rainy as it is, it should be sqwuaking at me like a mofo. It’s not. I doubt I could run on it, but it’s nice to be able to walk without pain again.

You know what? Screw it. I’m not going to try and figure it out. I’m just gonna take my good fortune and run.

And God, fate, coincidence or whatever force of nature is behind these sudden improvements, I got one word for you — thanks!

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