Friday, March 29, 2002

A Happy Post, for a Change

Well, due to Mary's mentioning our conversation the other night, and the possibility of visitors dropping by from gigglechick, and just plain deciding to be less 'down' about life, I'm going to make a happy post.

So I went to my third shag-dancing class last night. The first class was devoted to the basic step (not entirely unlike the swing, for those with a clue), and the male and female under-arm turns. Last week's class dealt with review and the "start," or the courtly little move one does to kick things off once you've convinced a person to shag-dance with you. Last night's (final) class covered the "sugarfoot," or a mirroring set of steps that both dancers do that's reminiscent of "karaoke drills" from football camp. (Imagine running sideways, alternating which foot goes in front on every other step, and you have karaoke drills.) Once you've got sugarfoot down, you look pretty hot.

For those who kept score on my other, muchly-in-need-of-updating blog Mad Method, it was "Gabby," who's become that strange beast the "female friend," who got me going to the shag lessons, and I really had a blast last night. Makes me wonder, though: between the "basic" step, guy's and gal's turns, sugarfooting, starting and a weird little half-twirl thing where you cross over which hand you're holding hers with, you've only got six moves or so, after which it seems like you've exhausted your repertoire. I guess if the two partners can still stand each other after a few dozen repetitions, that eye contact, conversation and the like take over from there.

...See? Human contact. Happy happy happy. :-D

I also caught the premiere of "Greg the Bunny" the other night and it's pretty good. Imagine life behind the curtain at "The Muppet Show," with all the typical actor problems like substance abuse, attitude on the set and green-room politics. Cool. :-)

I also caught an episode of the Osbournes the other night (where the son goes off to camp and the daughter gets a microscopic tattoo on her hip), and was, well, less than impressed. I'm going to try a few more eps before passing judgment.


Thursday, March 28, 2002

Straightening Up for Guests

Well, since I've wound up on Erin's list of contributors I suppose I should have something slightly normal and non-depressing for the top post. :-D

Welcome, everyone! (Anyone?)


Monday, March 25, 2002

Well, you don't read that every day...

Just got back from gigglechick, where I caught up on my blog reading and discovered Erin's sordid struggle with depression.

...And I was prompted to sit quietly for a few seconds, and consider my own by-comparison-meager depressiveness, and the fact that I've never been on Lithium, and was only on Prozac for a month four years ago or so, because the doctor thought it might help with my weight. There's a part of me that wants to pull a Wendy, and be thankful for my small roster of problems, and my myriad blessings (health, relative wealth, etc.).

My dad loves to tell how he left college comparing himself unfavorably to the upper five or ten percent of the achieving population, and being pretty severely down on himself. One thing led to another, and he wound up a chemist in the Air Force (no mental slouch, my dad), where he was able to compare himself to the upper ninety percent, and realize that in the grand scheme of things he was fairly well off, and had a lot better raw material in terms of background, talent, familial support and the like than the vast majority of the populace. A little perspective can be great at times.

Still, as I sit here within forty days of being 32 years old (my parents were working on producing my brother Matt by this point in their lives, and I was their huge-eyed toddler), divorced, single, largely alone and unhappy, possessing many of the advantages my dad had (and several he didn't), I find it hard to be optimistic. I suppose I know in the back of my head somewhere that life will improve (those bullheaded Taurian rose-colored glasses), that (for example) I'll find some sweet young thing and we'll make each other very happy, but for the time being prospects are looking pretty bleak.

And I'm not sure what to do to break myself out of this rut, either... You see, my tendency when things get emotionally rough is to withdraw; always has been, since those hellacious fight-or-flight years of Catholic-grade-school "play"ground. When by rights I should be reaching out to others to help myself feel better, I switch off and hide. Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb was a revelatory touchstone for me, back in the halcyon days of naive adolescence. (How naive, BTW? I didn't figure out until college that it was a song about embarking on a drug addiction. Ah, youth.)

So anyway, I've been less and less involved with the blog and other social activities lately, due to the complete cessation of dating activity and my bummedness about that, and due to the subsequent realization that my life really is just working, eating, farting around in the evenings and on weekends for lack of anything constructive I feel like doing, and sleeping.

So where's this going? I have to get back to work here.

...I dunno. Am I suicidal, considering ending it all? Hell, no - who would feed my puppies? Still, am I feeling any better for having unburdened my soul to the general populace? Nope.

I'm just numb. I turn that stuff off.


Thursday, March 21, 2002

Ate my desktop granola bar this morning. Also spun up one of the Yoga Zone "classic" DVDs I grabbed recently and stretched while breathing. 'Twas a relief not to hurt too much in the wake of it. :-)


Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Keeping the Blog Alive

The five strangest things within my reach (courtesy gigglechick et al):

1) A small brass bell given to me by a parade of Salvation Army people we encountered on our way to lunch last Christmas season. This parade intersected a different parade going down a cross street at one point, causing much confusion. :-)

2) A box of Penguin Cinnamons. Yummy, and caffeinated to boot. :-9

3) A Nature Valley (R) Maple Brown Sugar Crunchy Granola Bar, in case I ever get to work without breakfast and have the urge to eat one. It's been here for a week or more, just in case.

4) A yellow "Buy Dew or Pepsi 20oz get 1 free"-printed bottle cap I'm saving for a rainy day. You never know...

5) A "punchline" letter-opener.


Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Solidarity, Sista

Just finished reading Sarah's very justified rant on the crap people take for being fat. No question, women get a lot worse crap than men do, but I wanted to chime in and say that being a Person of Girth, as I have sardonically labeled myself, pretty much sucks on both sides of the gender aisle.

I was fortunate enough to grow up fairly slim, both by dint of having a lot of growing to do (it takes a while to get to 6'2") and by my parents' keeping me enrolled in soccer, baseball, football and the like until I got to college. That's where the bad eating habits (which were never a bother when I could consume three or four thousand calories a day with impunity) that I got from said parents (who are both People of Girth in their own rights) began to catch up with me.

Cut to married life (infamous for increasing waistlines at the best of times) and the souring thereof, and eating to feel better, since nothing else helped. I don't think my ex would ever admit it to herself or to me, but it can hardly be ignored that she married a guy who weighed 215, and divorced a guy who weighed 315. She never actually said as much, but I have to assume that hopping in bed with someone more than twice your weight, no matter how enthusiastic, sincere or even familiar he might be, wasn't always great fun for her.

Cut to the past year's dating efforts. We're wired as higher primates to seek out the healthiest possible examples of the species to mate with, so to an extent anyone who's outside the "Baywatch" norm is at a disadvantage, but there's a good reason (well, several, but one germane to the discussion) why I haven't been playing the field much, and that's that I look in the mirror after a shower and can't imagine how anyone could ever be physically attracted to me.

As if wearing clothes comprising sufficient material to make sails, "growing out" of belts, and feeling the stair-climbing popcorn start in your ankles as you age weren't enough... All my friends (and several light acquaintances) tell me that I'm a great guy, very dynamic and easy to talk to and get to know, yadda yadda, and they are all very politely mystified as to why I'm still unattached. I know they mean well...

Make no mistake: I know my waistline is my own responsibility. I've lost 25 pounds since Christmas. Only fifty or sixty more to go, and I'll be able to even think I'm on a level playing field with the remainder of humanity. Yahoo. Life does go on, and I as a human do keep trying, but The Count has reached 758 days as of today, with no serious prospects in sight.

So, yes, there's a pretty severe cultural bias against obesity. In a day and age so obsessed with obliterating discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, class and other differences among human beings, it's a shame that a difference that crosses so many of these lines is itself a basis for petty, nasty, puerile behavior like that Sarah reports from Portadown News' message board.

And FWIW, Sarah, I (and I'm sure I'm not alone) don't think you're horrible to look at. :-\ Fer Christ's sake, people, when otherwise fine-looking examples of humanity (neither Sarah nor myself are missing any limbs, have been disfigured by acid, fire or disease, or are grossly asymmetrical of limb in any way) are convinced they are repulsive to the public eye, there's something wrong.

The subconscious can't take a joke. Those of us battling our own bodies and habits already know we're fat; already know we're at a disadvantage in the dating game; already know that fat people are automatically ridiculous, harmless and safely discounted in daily discourse. Give me one good reason for kicking fat people when they're down (which is pretty much all the time when it comes to such questions, in case you hadn't figured it out by now), and I'll shut up.


Friday, March 08, 2002

Spring Blues?

Okay, here's a weird one. Does anyone else out there get those "geez, Spring is just around the corner; here I am with nobody to shake my groove thang with, but little gumption to go out and find someone" feelings?

Yep, that's me today. Despite (thanks to?) it being a beautiful sunny day outside, I'm bummin'. I've got the weekend yawning in front of me, forecast to be equally beautiful if not moreso, and I'm just not looking forward to it. But if it's gorgeous out, I should be enjoying it, right? Well, it gets tougher if your only options are A) walking the dogs (can't really lose myself in the sunny goodness, because they'll take the opportunity of any lapse in concentration to lunge at a duck, crap on a toddler or scarf the leavings of the dog who passed this way ten minutes ago) and B) going it alone, which just builds the melancholy in me, because taking beautiful walks alone just reinforces the alone-ness of the situation. Sometimes this can be good, but lately it's been not-so-good, because this whole "single" thing is getting very, very old.

Problem is, I'm feeling an oblique kinship with people-hating Mary, not so much in terms of hating people, but in terms of just not feeling inclined to do anything that will get me around other human beings. Classes at the local college? Naw. Dance classes/clubs? Not interested any more. Live music? Okay, but striking up any real conversation is a bitch. Hang out at a bar? Whatever. Public dogwalking? Covered that.

I'm simply much more inclined to sit down with a book, watch a movie, write, take a long drive or start some sort of around-the-apartment project than any of the above. We can talk about comfort zones and risk-taking and growth and all that till we're blue in the face, but when I do what feels natural for me I just don't meet people. Am I broken somehow? Aren't humans supposed to be naturally gregarious? Shouldn't the prospect of a long lonely weekend fill me with the urge to get around other people and avoid the problem?



Wednesday, March 06, 2002

OMG. this is just wrong, wrong, wrong...

Again, courtesy gigglechick. I really need to just find stuff myself, but she's so good at it...


Monday, March 04, 2002

I thought so... :-)

You are Kermit!
Though you're technically the star, you're pretty mellow and don't mind letting others share the spotlight. You are also something of a dreamer.

Compliments gigglechick.