Thursday, July 02, 2015

My Belly Is Now a Problem

I just noticed a couple of weeks ago that my weight had suddenly ballooned up to 170 lbs. By "suddenly," I mean that back in only May of this year, I was hovering, as I had been for the past 7 years or so, between 155 and 160, with a completely reasonable goal of getting down to below 150 before my upcoming 50th birthday in August. (I'm 5'8". When I graduated high school, I was a too-skinny 118. I consider my "picture/fighting weight" to be 137. I consider 150 or below to be "reasonable" for me.)

Around June of this year, though, some weird ballooning seems to have taken place. I haven't gone through menopause yet (though, at nearly-50, I'm surely about to). I haven't been drinking more or eating more. The pre-/post-stress of my move in late January has subsided. Perhaps I've just reached that fabled middle-aged plateau where you're just all-of-a-sudden dumpy?

I have a scale, and a couple of weeks ago I noticed the big jump in weight. And so took some minor steps that I thought would correct the problem: At my work cafeteria, when before I'd order some fries or a slice of pizza with my salad, I started just getting a bigger salad and deleting the fries or pizza. Mid-afternoon snacks at work I almost completely deleted. Eating fast food, I almost completely deleted. Eating around midnight after hours on the computer and just before bed, I almost completely deleted.

In my past experience with my body, changes in diet usually have taken about 2 weeks to kick in before showing results in weight. This time, though, I was puzzled that my weight had stayed the same even after my efforts. Fuck. It might be just like losing my 20/20 vision around 2010.

With weight, though, unlike vision, you do have a bit of control. In my latter high school years, I used to do 50 sit-ups a night, just for the hell of it. (After watching my mother's mild at-home exercise regimen.) But when I was 18, 50 sit-ups didn't feel like anything. I had daily PE at school, I was young and limber, I didn't yet smoke, I had milk and orange juice for breakfast...

Now, though, I can do about 15 sit-ups when I try... and I don't usually want to try. In the morning, I just want to get up and get to work; in the evening, I just want to either drink beer while I'm on the computer or else lie on the couch and watch TV before I go to sleep. Where/how does exercise, other than the 2 miles I walk per day on the way to/from work, fit in? And why isn't that 2 miles of walking enough, dammit?

Post 18 years old, I've never had to exercise or diet. As I said above, 155-160 felt "kind of heavy" but not crazily so. 170, though, has crossed into the realm of a problem I haven't yet been used to dealing with. Because I don't want to be a "fat office lady" and I don't want to be denied every single bit of clothing that I find attractive and I don't want to walk around like the schlub that I feel like right now, I do indeed have to do SOMETHING. I can't eat much less, and I don't want to drink much less... I guess exercising above and beyond walking is what's called for.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

June 26, 2015

When I first saw the above shot of the United States White House, I thought it was something that had been Photoshopped. But it was real and true. I've had goosebumps for the past 2 days every time I've thought about the Supreme Court decision acknowledging the right of gay people to marry.

As Bravo host Andy Cohen (born in 1968, me in 1965) tweeted along with the above picture: "I wish I could tell my scared teenaged self that this day would come!!! I never would've believed it!!!"
I'm about to turn 50, and my whole sexual life has pretty much been one of shame and/or denial. My first love in high school, I would have taken to prom had "such things" been permitted in 1983. Because I was not allowed to express such feelings back then, I repressed them. Said feelings first got channeled into movie stars (like Joan Crawford).

When I finally got brave enough to go out to gay bars in an effort to actually realize my sexuality, my first lover turned out to be an ex-con and dominatrix. Really. And that kind of harsh introduction to sex for a virgin was not necessary in the least. It was what was available to me at the time (1989), but it was a shitty introduction.

In the early '80s, gay kids didn't get much of a choice. There was complete denial while in high school. And then the predators once we first made it to a big city. Most of us missed the innocence of prom.

Thank god for this Supreme Court decision. May today's gay teens grow up feeling confident in who they love. May they be able to be sweet together as young people. May they avoid the predators and sociopaths who have warped me.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Which lives matter?

Which lives matter? Below are two statues on the University of Texas at Austin campus: Of Jefferson Davis and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederate States of America. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a United States civil rights leader.

Neither have much to do with Texas... Oh, wait. Texas was once part of the Confederacy.

It's apparently OK to deface one of these statues. What if, on the other hand, someone had spray-painted the MLK statue?

When I saw the "Black Lives Matter" graffiti, I immediately wished someone had spray-painted an accompanying addendum: "If black lives matter so much, why do your own young black men keep shooting each other? Let's see the stats last year of black men killed by black men versus black men killed by 'Evil White Folk.'"


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rebel Yell

I'm amazed and disturbed not only by today's decision by eBay and Amazon to stop selling images of the Confederate flag, but also by most of the media's editorial comment following. A prime example: "Yes, You're a Racist -- And a Traitor," which appeared today on the Huffington Post website (

The first "argument" the author of the article made:

"In America today, the most prominent, prevalent and pernicious of these revisionist movements is the Lost Cause narrative: the idea that the Civil War was a romantic struggle for freedom against an oppressive government trying to enforce cultural change. There are scores of books on this topic, and you should check those out at your local library. But probably the most famous popular culture Lost Cause text is Gone With The Wind (both book and movie).

I hate Gone With the Wind. I hate everything about it. I hate its portrayal of the Civil War. I hate its portrayal of Southern aristocrats. I hate its popularity. I hate that it's become an i
conic movie. I hate that it was ever made in the first place."

The writer (I'm guessing he's a 19-year-old intern) goes on to dismiss facts such as that the Civil War might have been, from the agrarian Southern States' point of view, more about economics and states' rights than about any "hatred" of the race they'd enslaved for corrupt economic purposes. Ken Burns' Civil War epic on PBS included a quote from a Confederate private captured by the Union; when his interrogators asked him why in the world he was fighting --- he was poor, only the rich owned slaves --- he responded: "Because y'all are down here."

This particular ignorant writer also dismisses the fact that the original 13 colonies of the United States very much included Southern states -- Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Virginia, which would all secede from the United States (i.e., the Federal government) at the outset of the Civil War. Not because they were "traitors" but because they felt their rights to govern themselves were being usurped -- a principle very dear to the founders of our country and Constitution, who had all-too-recently just argued over and fought for the same points with England. In their minds, who was traitorous?

Right or wrong, there was a principle involved. One that Southern states originally fought for in the founding of our country, and continued to fight for in the Civil War. For this principle to be dismissed as simplistic "racism" is ludicrous. For eBay, Amazon, and Walmart to cave into this moment's trend is equally ludicrous -- and frightening in its historical ignorance.

I understand and honor the battle fought by residents of the Southern states. And I refuse to be called either a "Racist" or a "Traitor" by those ignorant of United States history and of the history of the Confederate flag.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

I'm Losing You (Alternate Version) (John Lennon)


Here in some stranger's room
Late in the afternoon
What am I doing here at all?
Ain't no doubt about it
I'm losing you

Somehow the wires have crossed
Communication's lost
Can't even get you on the telephone
Just got to shout about it
I'm losing you

Here in the valley of indecision
I don't know what to do
I feel you slipping away
I feel you slipping away
I'm losing you

You say you're not getting enough
But I remind you of all that bad, bad stuff
So what the hell am I supposed to do?
Just put a band-aid on it
And stop the bleeding now
Stop the bleeding now

I know I hurt you then
But hell, that was way back when
Well, do you still have to carry that cross? (drop it)
Don't want to hear about it
I'm losing you
I'm losing you

The Monkees - I'm a Believer (1966)

"When I needed sunshine I got rain..."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Happiness Is... Disposable Income

I understand the concept of a mate and children bringing one moments of pure happiness and appreciation for love and unity, et al. (But then I've also been witness to the other 75% of "a mate and children.")
For purposes here, sans the aforementioned "mate and children," what brought me great happiness tonight was winning the below on eBay after paying a stupidly large amount of money for... a beer glass. With Joan! With THAT particular "Torch Song" picture!! With the utterly stupid-funny "Mommie Beerest" written on it!!!
It's probably a good thing that I don't have a kid, because if I did, I'd have to admit, honestly: "Honey, finding this glass online brings me much more pleasure than your bringing home 4th place in the soccer tournament."