a Cheap Holiday: 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003

Cheap Holiday

Welcome to a cheap holiday in my life. At least you get to go home at the end of the day!

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Well, if nothing else, I guess I'm good for a laugh.

I went to kettlebell class this past Tuesday night. It was a good class, though my instructor has the unfortunate habit of talking waaaaay too much at the end, when all I want to do is go home to collapse. So by the time he finished talking, I was cooled down and feeling kinda energetic. After everyone left the mat room, I remember how much I enjoyed dance classes and wish I had the cash to do that again (I might take up flamenco after the first of the new year). So I decide to do a little spin in the mat room and go to perform a little pirouetting jump.

Bad move.

I feel my toes on the landing foot curl under me and to one side, and audibly hear a ligament in my ankle CRRAAAAAAAAACCCKKK. I've heard that sound before, when I tore some fascia in a calf muscle two years ago. Let's just say you never want to hear any of your body parts rending.

Luckily, I was alone when I performed this supremely dumbass maneouver, the better not to be publically embarrassed, my dear. I lie on the mat, gripping my ankle for a few minutes, then manage to get to my feet. The ankle took the weight gimpily. I limped home and immediately RICE'd (rest-ice-compression-elevation). God love an ACE bandage.

Today, two days later, one side of the ankle is a touch bruised and still swollen and warm to the touch. I can walk without limping and even flex and point the foot without pain. So, it's either a minor stress fracture or a small ligament tear. Co-workers are looking at me aghast as if to say "Why haven't you gone to the doctor?" Well, all the doc is going to do is take a couple of x-rays and say "Hey, it's either a stress fracture or a small ligament tear. Here's a scrip for 800 MG tabs of ibuprofen (wheeeee, thanksabunch Doc), now quit fooling around in the gym like a dumbass."

I'm just pissed cause I had every good intention of going to a white belt jiu jitsu class this weekend and now that's screwed. I'll probably even miss kettlebell class next Tuesday. Which means I can't eat anything for two weeks, cause I'll just pork up if I can't exercise. AND I can't wear heels for the next two weeks either.

Remember kiddies: dance studios are for dancing.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

I measure my life by pleasure.

I am often reminded by my married friends or friends who have children that this is not a bad thing. Both my space and my time is my own. However, having lived like this for several years, I do long for the rigor of a relationship and a family and often consider my pleasures to be frivolous and somehow soulless. But, for right now, I have pleasure as I see fit.

Tonight, I attended a wine tasting sponsored by Wine Brats aboard the Moshulu restaurant located on a tall ship at Penn's Landing in Philly. While the venue was luxurious and the weather perfect, they never serve enough food at these events. The poor waiter attempting to carry a tray of skewered shrimp was practically attacked on his way to the serving table.

I was quite socially accomplished this evening. You may be surprised to hear that I consider myself socially inept. As someone given towards moodiness and reclusivity, I don't naturally overflow with gregariousness and flirtatiousness. So, before attending the event tonight, I set myself a goal to introduce myself to 3 total strangers. I managed to outperform my goal by introducing myself to 7 total strangers.

Perhaps this seems strange to you, but I feel quite proud of myself.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

My new favorite quotation:

"Writers are always selling somebody out."
-- Joan Didion, from her book "Slouching Towards Bethlehem"

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

A snapshot from city living...

I stopped at the neighborhood bodega on the way home tonight to pick up a few staples. For my Southern friends, "bodega" is more of a New York City term that refers to your local convenience store. I find the term rather poetic, so I began using it a few years ago.

Anyway, I'm walking up to the cashier stand with my items. A young lady is in front of me checking out and as I stand and wait, I allow my eyes to lazily wander over the scenery. As my eye travels downward, I notice some sort of mark on the heel of the young lady in front of me, who is wearing slip on wedge sandals. I tilt my head and focus on what appear to be ink marks; whether it was a prison tattoo or just the playful markings imposed by a child or significant other, it was difficult to tell. The young lady in question certainly didn't have the appearance of a convict, but in this day and age, who can tell for sure? The words on the side of her heel read:


Hmm. Whether this was intended as a reminder to her or was the young lady's declaration to the rest of the world, I do not know.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Sometimes my workday goes like this. I've managed to accomplish one major task and maybe the resources or content I need to continue on to another task are not quite available. So, I run off to do a little bit of websurfing on the news sites, the better to at least appear marginally informed about current events. I skim through a review/news piece on a new book about the Islamic Revolution that the imprisoned terrorist Carlos the Jackal has published from his cell in France. Not surprisingly, the reporter views the work as a stroke-job for the Muslim terrorists from a decadent, former wreaker-of-havoc, who has nothing but time to pump out doggerel and "appeal to French intellectualists." During the course of the article, the reporter mentions the phrase "dialectical materialism." Well, like every good American child learns about classical music from watching Bugs Bunny, the most I know about philosophical terms I got from Monty Python. Sad, but true, I had not a clue what "dialectical materialism" referred to. I Google it (isn't it great how "Google" is now a verb? like that old Star Trek: TNG episode where the alien species speaks in metaphor!) and notice that the URLs it is pushing me are things like Marxism.com and Marxist.org. Hmmm, probably not a good idea to go to such a URL on the work line. This is why About.com is so helpful. A nice, bland URL that won't get you into trouble with the IT guys.

Anyways...so far I've learned that "dialectical materialism" is a "Marxist doctrine that asserts that matter is the fundamental substance of reality and, as such, the laws which regulate the motion and existence of matter also regulate all of reality. This is not so much a reductionist theory asserting everything is matter, but is instead an argument against philosophies of idealism. Whereas Idealists argue that matter is a product of mind, Marxists argue that the mind is a product of matter."

Hmmm...guess I need to go look up "Marxism" now...

Monday, July 14, 2003

I'm peeved today. Like really, stupendously peeved, for reasons that will be blogged in greater detail over the course of the next few postings.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

This week's obsessions:
--Dita (ahhhh, Deeeeeeeeeetaaaaaaah)
--Continual pissiness that Friendster.com is continually offline
--Obscene amounts of cardio
--Getting my jiu jitsu membership paperwork completed
--Doing laundry
--Watching my tomato plants die (alas)
--Buying more workout clothing
--Cleaning the apartment
--Keeping up with friends
--BBQ'ed ribs
--Visiting Manhattan

Monday, July 07, 2003

I have been laughing myself incontinent over this today. Well, not really incontinent, but definitely to the point of tears. There's something oddly comforting and human about laughing until your eyes tear and your nose gets snotty.

Friday, July 04, 2003

The targeted ads that now appear on the free version of Blogger just tickle the piss outta me. I'm assuming it does a text search of the most recent entry and then pulls ads based on a keyword match. The previous ads for the Eroscillator were a hoot (I'm sure they'll appear again, now that I've specifically mentioned it by name).

Down in North Carolina for the holiday weekend. So far, I managed to avoid eating huge amounts of sugary or bready treats, which is good, given that I'm still about big as a house. I had managed to work up to a solid 4 hours of exercise a week before the holiday. Once I return to the regular routine, I plan to push towards 6 hours a week and go ahead and get a jiu jitsu membership. I always feel better emotionally and mentally when I'm kicking ass regularly.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

The intensified workout regimen is proceeding apace. I do find that with the amount of exercise I'm doing, I can't go more than 3 days before I need a rest day. Last night it was my 45-minute kettlebell class followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer (to spare my aging joints a bit of stress for the week).

With the impending release of "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", I find myself eager to return to the Alan Moore opus. My dearest friend Tigs turned me onto the better variety of "graphic novels" years ago and Alan Moore was always one of my favorite authors (he being much less cynical than that reprobate Frank Miller--though I do confess a love for Miller's vision of Elektra). There have been rumors for years that someone bought the film rights to do a live action version of "The Watchmen," but little has been realized. While "The Watchmen" is considered a watershed creation for the superhero genre of comics, my heart belongs ever to Moore's "V for Vendetta" series, which I think would make the most marvelous live action film, with the right casting and crew.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

As "America's birthplace," Philadelphia naturally puts on the dog for the July 4th holiday. Evidence of the sprucing up of "Filthadelphia" increases daily as we near the event. Last night after I left the gym, I got a chance to walk by Independence Hall for the first time since 9/11, when they closed off the street immediately in front of it and rerouted both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. A street crew was out laying down new crosswalk stripes, obviously in preparation for the historically-minded hoardes. This July 4th holiday, we get a new addition to our bag of touristy tricks, the new National Constitution Center, located on the mall two blocks from Independence Hall.

The weather in Philly has finally turned from unseasonably rainy and cold to seasonably hot and sticky. Without a doubt, Philly gets at least as hot and humid as anywhere I know in the South. Except Philly has such coping mechanisms as water ice and Bruster's Ice Cream. Today's indulgence: turtle sundae with butter fudge almond ice cream.

This doesn't mean I have abandoned my fitness goals altogether. Rachel has offered to be my "fitness overseer." She will call me at 6pm, six days a week, to confirm that I have either exercised that day or am on my way to exercising. Afterwards, I call her with my progress report. Last night, I did 3 miles walk/run on the treadmill, followed by my regular Thursday night personal training session. Tonight, with all this indulgence, I'll be forcing myself to knock out 5 miles.