Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Getting into shape

I've been attempting to workout more in hopes of slimming down a bit... I'm still trying to lose my "winter weight" from two years ago!! HAHA!

I am in love with the elliptical machine we have. It burns so many more calories than using the treadmill or just going for a walk. I try to rock out for about a half hour on the elliptical, and doing a few reps of push-ups (30 per rep) throughout the day to help out my arms. Plus, this cooler night weather has made for some nice mile long walks.. just for the hell of it.

A few of my friends have encouraged me to join a gym. That would never happen. I could use UB's gym for free since I am still a student... but why bother? I have the equipment here at the house, so why travel? Besides, if I actually had to drive somewhere to get a workout in, it just wouldn't happen. I'm much too lazy to actually drive somewhere to workout.. and who needs all those people starring at me? I've got too much jiggling going on... I don't want to be responsible for making people sick.

I keep reminding myself, I lost 125 pounds a few years ago by just eating better and walking a lot. I went from 305 pounds and a 52 waist down to 180 pounds and a 32 waist in about 2 years.. just from diet and exercise. I've gained about 40 pounds back, but I'm aiming to lose 20... that's the goal.. that's the dream. I looked sickly at 180 (or so people kept telling me)... I looked better at 200. Right now? -- I look fluffy.

My problem seems to be I don't have the energy or motivation I had back in 2004. I think part of the motivation back then was me trying to impress a guy I was head over heels for. He only liked uber-skinny guys... and yes, I proudly used the word "uber". I beat the shit out of myself to try and impress him. What a waste of time. lol -- Good life lesson learned, bad experience. Live - learn - move on.

I always have the episode from The Golden Girls in the back of my head when I go to workout.. the one where the girls join a gym to lose some extra pounds. This quote is priceless: "I just want to lose enough to fit into my summer wardrobe" - "My winter wardrobe" - "My bathrobe." The exercise instructor thinks she can make a quick buck by selling the girls all their exercise apparel... jogging suits, head bands, wrist bands... leg warmer... When Dorothy questions the need for leg warmers, the instructor asks what they are currently using to keep their thighs warm. Dorothy's response: "FRICTION, that's why we're here!" So classic.

Anyway, I guess I have procrastinated long enough... time to get my ass in gear and burn some calories. -- Then reward myself with a huge bowl of ice cream. heeheee.. just kidding... maybe.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Flag Day!

I didn't even realize it was Flag Day until I got to work this evening and looked at the calendar. A few years back, I used to wear a stars and stripes top hat to work to celebrate the day... since I was usually out of town for the 4th of July. I tried my best to be patriotic. My growing annoyance with customers however has since dampened my celebratory spirit.

I remember Flag Day fondly from my grade school days.. especially while I was still at St. Joe's (grades K-5). Flag Day was always acknowledged. At the end of the day the school would assemble out front around the flag pole, and the statue of St. Joseph. We'd say a prayer for the country, recite the pledge, and sing some patriotic song... probably "America the Beautiful". Remember singing that after reciting the pledge each morning before classes? Maybe it was just us... or maybe it's an Elementary school thing?

I had a lot of school spirit when I was in grade school.. especially in my former parish of St. Joe's. I loved being out there with the whole school around the flag pole.. my heart swelling with pride for my school and my country. Flag Day was also exciting because you knew there were only a handful of days left before summer vacation... so maybe it wasn't all school spirit and patriotic pride after all. Maybe I just wanted to go on summer vacation. :)

Anyway.. Happy Flag Day!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pride Month!

President Obama has proclaimed the month of June (2010) to be LGBT Pride month. This is a pretty significant gesture.. at least in my book. It shows that the president does indeed respect the LGBT population, and stands with us in our efforts to gain equal rights.

I think the significance of a having a black president making the proclamation is even more striking. Only 5 decades ago, African Americans were still segregated in some areas of the United States, as well as being denied many rights under the law. It wasn't until the mid 1960's when then president, Lyndon B. Johnson, signed the Civil Rights Law into effect that the flood gates of legal acceptance could be opened. As we all know however, social acceptance and tolerance takes a little more time.

President Obama, in this act, is at least acknowledging the struggle of so many LGBT persons who are still denied some of the most basic of civil rights, as well as under go ridicule and persecution for being born different.

I attended Buffalo's annual Gay Pride parade down Elmwood Avenue, ending at Bidwell Park. The parade itself is rather lame... My friends and I kept joking that we don't really use "floats" like in most parades... we decorate vans and trucks and drive them down the street. But still.. it's pretty cool to see such a large turn out of people, both walking in the parade and watching from the side lines.

The week leading up to Sunday was very sunny and hot... Sunday morning we got rain and colder temps. Just our luck. We felt like we were back in October.. which would be nice... if it were Fall, not summer. Thankfully, the rain stopped before the parade and held out the rest of the day. I of course ended up carrying around my stupid umbrella just in case the rain returned (it stayed pretty cloudy most of the day)... since yours truly has an aversion to getting soaked... and of course, my straw hats do not fare well when wet. I guess I'm a high maintenance homo after all?

Despite the weather.. there was a great turn out. I met up with my good friend Collin and a visitor from Rochester whom Colllin had met the night before. Rochester Ron and I hit it off quickly... both being substitute teachers and Social Studies certified. Our odd sense of humor helped too. :) You can see the three of us in the picture.

I got to meet up with a lot of old friends and make new friends throughout the day. In the past, I have always left the park around 3pm (the parade started at 1pm)... after making my rounds and saying "hello". This year, Collin's neighbor (who lives within walking distance of the festivities) had an open house with food and drinks. We wandered over there for some good eats, and more new people to meet.

Thinking I was headed home after our late lunch... we were persuaded to make our ways to one of the local bars for a drink or two. Now THAT was fun.... For those who enjoy people watching.. head to a gay bar sometime and find a good seat. You never know who or what you will see.

Fast forward to the end of the night and getting home at 10pm. We were all exhausted by the time we left.. but in a good way. To me, that is what the pride celebrations are all about. Throughout the year, many of us may feel alone and isolated... wandering around the world labeled as "other". But during celebrations like this, we are able to get together, stand up and be counted. There are men and women present from all backgrounds, age groups, nationalities and occupations. While God, in His infinite wisdom, may have made us different from the status quo.. we remind ourselves that life is not always black and white ONLY.. but rather a mixture of all the colors of the rainbow. :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I've always considered myself an animal lover... but when it comes to pets, I'm definitely a dog person. I had a golden retriever named Toby, for 13 years... whom I just adored... He was the PERFECT dog, and I miss him dearly. Cats however... creep me out. I'm NOT a cat person.

I also have a great love for birds... having adopted the owl as my personal symbol. For the past 9 years, I have taken care of our pet parakeet, Tiki. She started off as my younger sister's pet, but when the novelty of having a bird wore off, I had to step up to the plate to care for this living creature that now depended on us for her well being. We've bonded.. and I just love her.

Even though I am the primary care taker of Tiki, she still resides in my sister's bedroom. I would love to keep her in my bedroom or living room, but there really isn't much space for her, the lighting is poor (birds will get depressed without good sunlight), and it gets very cold here in the winter. Occasionally though, I'll bring Tiki down in her cage and sit her on the ledge in front of my living room window. I'd done this a few times... but yesterday turned out to be rather different than other times.

It had been a nice day weather wise, so we had the windows opened. I brought Tiki downstairs, and set her cage on the ledge in front of my living room window.. letting her look out at the other birds. As long as there isn’t a strong breeze, I don’t mind her being there for a little while since there is a screen to protect her from bugs (we get a lot of wasps because of the roses outside my window).

So.. I went into my bedroom to tinker on the computer. After a while, I hear an awkward sound like a baby whining. I ignored it for a little bit.. but it kept up.. and it sounded close… like the baby/child was hurt. I went into the living room to look out the window… and there… sitting on the outside ledge of the window is a big orange CAT. It was making these odd sounds to Tiki.. who was just sitting there in her cage looking at this thing like it was on crack. I gasped at the sight of this cat inches away from Tiki…. The cat heard me.. and took off. Good thing too… I would have beat it for messing with my bird.

Needles to say, I will not be leaving Tiki’s cage in front of that window un-attended any longer… and I will keep a super-soaker handy in case Mr. Alley Cat comes back.

This incident did not help the cat cause in my opinion.. in fact.. I dislike them even more than I did before. -- And now that she has seen one, I think Tiki dislikes them too!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

In Memoriam

Today, we lost yet another of our Golden Girls, Rue McClanahan. McClanahan played the feisty, southern, man-crazed harlot on the hit 80's tv series, Golden Girls.

I grew up absolutely loving this show, and have watched it continuously throughout the years. It's hard to believe that these women.. who were so much apart of our lives through television... are now gone... with the exception of the endearing Betty White.

There was an episode where the "girls" make a pact to stay together throughout their old age so no one has to live a life of isolation and loneliness... as so often happens to the elderly who are forgotten. There is a line, ironically said by Rose (played by Betty White), "What happens when there is only one of us left?" Thankfully.. Betty seems to be doing rather well for herself -- and as she pushes 90, she is tackling yet another sitcom to be shown on TVLand. She may be old, but she is far from forgotten.

It didn't take long for a reunion in Heaven between this trio of stars: Estelle Getty, Bea Arthur and now Rue McClanahan... who all died within the past two years. I can only imagine they are up there on Heaven's lanai... talking about Blanche's latest love affair.

Well Rue, "thank you for being a friend". Rest in Peace!