Archive for the ‘Weight Loss Log’ Category

Ad Nauseum

June 22, 2010

I’m preparing yet another updated version of my agent query letter to send out. I found an agent who represents the type of book I wrote and she will be begin accepting submissions again on a certain date a few weeks from now. I read a few sample queries on her blog that she really likes to receive so I have to tailor mine to fit that model. As usual, you’ll be updated.

My trip to the dentist yesterday was a success although I was mistaken with the procedure he was going to do. What he did was replace some old silver fillings that were starting to fall apart. He did mention bonding on the back teeth the last time I was there for my cleaning two weeks ago, but maybe he meant that for another point in time.

I have a new project I’m beginning, hopefully later this afternoon. I see it’s supposed to storm later in the day than I plan on being outside so with any luck that will hold and my first day of my new pet project won’t be a wash out, literally. A few years ago we installed a fenced in stone patio down at the end of our property by the canal and we used it when we could. It was quite a trek down there when we’d ever have a party outside and even more so at the end of said party when we’d all be half in the bag and having to lug all the stuff up the hill back to the house. Last summer, Nature began to reclaim her space with a vengeance shooting weeds the size of small trees up through the stones and also the ground cover under stone and I kept up with is as best I could. Well, the battle has been lost and now it looks like an episode of The History Channel’s “Life After People”. After I saw what had become of my once pristine hideaway, I felt like that Indian in the TV commercial. I’ll take an hour or so each day to work on it during my lunch break and maybe turn it back into the patio it once was, or maybe that could be my garden area I’ve always wanted or perhaps I’ll just surrender it back to Mother.

I should have someone work with me. I could rent a friend on Rent A Friend.com execpt apparently no one in my area wants to be friends with anyone. I did a quick sample search with my zip code, which is how you get started, and there are people all over the state of New Jersey and even Staten Island.  Ah yes, RentAFriend, where the cost starts at $10/hour (or negotiate for a fair fee when applicable) for someone to accompany you in a strange city, or someone to go to the movies with or go out to eat or for whatever other platonic activity you have in common but I don’t see any options for menial labor. At any price. Well, there was one “friend” in my area, but he was geared more for party planning and this work ain’t gonna be no party.  Maybe I should try Rent A Handyman. Actually, believe it or not there is a service called Rent A Husband. That’s the one for around the house stuff. But I’m going to go with Rent A Brian and save myself the money and have that sense of satisfaction and the sore back to complain about at the end of it.

I almost forgot for the second day in a row. Our weigh ins this past weekend remained the same as last week.  I guess that’s better than it being more, right?

Just Another “Me” Blog

June 14, 2010

I’m back on the computer this morning and another busy but fun-packed weekend is behind us. I hope I can remember it all with the scant amount of sleep I had last night. I was awake at 2 for a trip to the ‘loo’ and couldn’t really fall back asleep. However, to catch you up on some pending things, my contractor brought the revised papers for the township for me to sign; I reattached my down spout (apparently I didn’t have it connected securely enough); we ended up having to pick up the cable converter box on our own because, as we were told, Fedex screwed up the address and the shipment–both of them–got rerouted. Funny how our monthly bills with due dates just days away never get rerouted. But it’s hooked up and all’s right with the world in my guest room once again.

From the ‘I really should watch myself around people with camera-equipt cell phones while I’m dancing like a back up dancer to Diana Ross’s “Baby Love” with my shirt off at a public pool because it’s not pretty’ department, I weighed in once again at 214 this weekend and Ariel added one pound to his weigh in from last week, clocking in at 203. That less than seductive dance was part of the weekend-long birthday celebration with our house guests. Too much food, too much drink equals a good time was had by all.

Yesterday was a lazy day but we finally convinced ourselves to get out to the store like we needed to for a card that has to go in the mail and spent close to two hundred dollars. We found some accessories and towels for the new bathroom and a few other sundry items with enticingly low prices (but when you buy a few of them it all adds up) and a certain cashier had to be pulled off break to open a register because the store was packed and she was not having it and bitched and moaned the whole time she rang us out.

Then, in the pouring rain, it was off to Ruby Tuesday since it was getting nigh on dinner time anyway and once again, carrying on the tradition of the weekend, ate more than we should have (let’s not even get into the dessert we had later once we were home, thank you). I went in while Ariel parked the truck and no one was at the greeter podium. A manager type came by and I requested a booth in the bar while, coincidentally The Rolling Stones were singing “Ruby Tuesday” on the PA system. “Oh, how appropriate,” I commented aloud to the manager man. He placed the menus in his had down on the podium and walked away. Did he go off to laugh at me? Roll his eyes in that “if I hear that one more time” manner of displeasure? He returned minutes later looking at the schedule for his wait staff, summoning several waiters and querying them about what tables they had, momentarily ignoring his two dripping wet customers while we pondered that perhaps we should have chosen Maggiano’s and their oversized bowl of pasta after all. Finally, after 5 minutes had passed, he escorted us to a table with an apology for the televisions being out due to the weather to which I responded, “Oh, that’s okay, we’re ex-DirecTV customers.” But the signal came back on the set in my line of vision in time for the Mets to win their game against Baltimore.

And here it is already Pop Goes The Weasel Day. And be sure to wave it around like mad today, it’s June 14th, Flag Day!

Once You Go Black…

June 7, 2010

What better way to cap off a full and busy weekend than to wake up in time to get back to work? My weekend began when I finished my hours some time before noon on Friday and I was meeting my mother and my friend Sue for lunch and afterwards I had several stops at various stores to make and when I got home, I was going to start cleaning the middle room upstairs, which, since well before the construction started on the house, had become a catch all and any signs of it ever having been a guest room had all but vanished; turns out there IS a bed in there after all. When Ariel got in, he dove headlong into the effort as well.

I don’t think I had time to mention it last week, but Saturday was the day the bathroom door was going to be installed–9 AM. The glass enclosure, however, may be a lost cause because our contractor fears the place he ordered it from went belly up. And we needed to be out of the house by eleven Saturday morning because we were meeting friends in New York to see “Banana Shpeel”. I’m not going to rate it, I’m just going to say it was a great way to spend an afternoon with some fun friends and awe-inspiring talent. Nine AM came, 9:15, 9:30, 9:45, 10:00…no door. Finally, tired of waiting, Ariel called and found out the door had not been delivered and the contractor was still waiting for it to arrive and it would most likely be Tuesday or Wednesday before he could get here to install the door and it would be to our (and his) benefit if we were to go out and get the kind of doorknob and hinges we wanted so that the entire job could be done at once. We glanced at each other with that skeptical glint in our eyes but nonetheless, made plans to go out Sunday to get that and few other things for another project we had in mind for the weekend.

Damn the glass enclosure, I used the new shower this weekend. In fact, we both did. And the sort of minor water splatter on the floor aside, it’s a great shower. We put the finishing touches on the guest room and now it’s ready for our house guests this coming weekend and even replaced the little television we had in that simply died. After we decided on the right door knob and hinges for the forthcoming bathroom door, we went 19″ television shopping and finally found one that was ten dollars cheaper (which is still more than I could have imagined a television would cost these days) than the lowest priced one in that store Where ALl the prices are Mostly, Allegedly loweR Than low. And whew! It really had been a long time since we used that room because the basic cable service I used to have in that room, without a box, now requires one of those adapter things which supposedly will bring in the channels I want, instead of 117-5. Huh?
Well, that wasn’t the end of the weekend, but that’s enough for now. And before I forget, I know it’s been a few weeks since May 17 th , but this weekend’s weigh in was Ariel: 202 (down 1)and Brian: 214 (up 2).

Coming up tomorrow: leak in basement stopped?

Oh yeah, and by the way, I got the points for Rue McClanahan. I just thought it in appropriate to say it last week.

La Cage Aux Fun

May 17, 2010

Did you ever get the feeling, say if you were out somewhere, settled at a table in a restaurant, about to order your appetizer and a relaxing cocktail or you’re nestled comfortably in your theater seat after having made that unspoken compromise with the stranger seated next to you that the arm rest if off limits to both of you, (just to keep things fair) that something wasn’t quite right, but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it and the only thing that pops into your head is that you’re hoping you’re not wearing two different shoes?

We went to see “La Cage Aux Folles” on Saturday. Of course, our pre-show repast was at  a surprisingly and yet refreshingly packed Playwrights II and by about 1:30, the place emptied out except for us because everyone had gone off to their respective 2pm matinees. Ours wasn’t until 2:30 and we actually had time for coffee.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this show and not really knowing Kelsey Grammer’s body of work, except for a few glimpes of a “Frasier” rerun after one of “The Golden Girls” I didn’t know what to expect from him. Well, the long and short of what I got from “La Cage” was an emotional ending to the first act, and by emotional I mean I was brought to tears and was again so twice during the second act. The song “I Am What I Am” performed by a dejected Albin, played both captivatingly and over the top at the same time by Douglas Hodge closed the first act and that song, as a rule, is so far on the bottom of my “like” list that I forgot it even existed. But seeing and hearing it performed in context, I could not help but convulse with emotion and try as I might to conceal it, by the time the lights came up, Ariel was handing over a hanky. And then in the second act with the performance of “Look Over There” first by Georges, Kelsey Grammer’s character, which he played with an quiet wit and engaging pathos to his son Jean-Michel when he arrogantly disregarded Albin, and again when Jean-Michel (A.J. Shively) reprised it when he realized the error of his ways. Just for the record, I still don’t like the song “I Am What I Am”.

What else I got from “La Cage” amid all that emotion and spontaneous outbursts of laughter was a sense of incredible chemistry between everyone in the cast that made the performance a heartfelt and genuine one  and it made for one of the more fun times I’ve had at a Broadway show in a long time. It was an engaging performance and  was pleasantly surprised; I laughed out loud and, of course, cried and at one point, being so drawn in, I was stopped dead in my tracks, stunned, as though I were a member of the cast reacting as scripted. Whether or not that was what they were going for, they got me. And what La Cage got from me was a score of 10. And that hasn’t happened since “Wicked”. So, thanks, “La Cage” for sending us off on our Broadway diet on such a high note.

Our weigh ins weren’t all that stellar this week; Ariel put on one more pound (203) but I lost 2 (212). And speaking of that, I started my 7-day eyedrop regimen yesterday to correct that viral thing I have going on with my eyelids. And, I have my regular doctor appointment later this morning, the one I had to make when I ran out of my blood pressure medication a few months back and had to see the nurse practitioner first to update my records.

There was more this weekend, but I can get into that next time.

Spatial Subjectiveness

May 10, 2010

This is such a subjective business! I’m afraid that the voice just didn’t capture me as much as I had hoped. I’m sure another agent will be a better fit for the style. Thanks and all the best of luck, Andrea. That came in at 9:17 this past Friday night. So, that’s that. Andrea doesn’t want me. I just can’t wait to hear some one farted and wrote a book about it; I’m gonna throw something at someone.

No disrespect to those who were injured, but Ferry by Toyota was the first thought that came to my mind when I heard about the Staten Island Ferry crash on Saturday.

So, we had our weigh ins this weekend. How curious this reading is. Ariel’s weight increased by one pound (up to 202) and mine, even though I weighed in just after we got home from our trip (remember I was down another pound at 209?) I was up at 214. So, I figured there were two possible explanations.

One of them was possibly I was still on Central Time and whatever weight I put on while on vacation hadn’t caught up with me yet; it was still an hour behind. Or… it was strictly a matter of gravity. You see, here where I live, the elevation is, on average, 120.28 feet above sea level. Springfield, Illinois, where I spent some of my time is 600 feet above sea level and Girard, where I spent the other part of my time and where I pigged out the most, is even higher at 670. You wouldn’t think it, what with Illinois being such a flat state, but it is. So, obviously, in a higher elevation, I weighed less, kind of like an astronaut in space.

Bathroom pic update: I tore apart every conceivable area where I thought that video would be to no avail other than to reorganize several spaces including one closet. Now if I can convince myself to look for it in my other closets, they’ll all get straightened up. It’s probably sitting on some shelf watching me and laughing like that one elusive fly that refuses to allow itself to get swatted on a hot sticky summer afternoon all the while eyeing my ham and cheese sandwich. But I still have time before the bathroom is completed to keep on looking.

JL has a special message for all his readers this week on McGinty Chronicles.

PS. I got three points for Lena Horne in the dead celebrity game!

Back To The Real World

May 4, 2010

I’m not exactly sure how this is possible, but as I said yesterday, I weighed myself this morning and I was one pound LIGHTER than when I went on vacation. Eating on the road alone should have packed on some weight, let alone the bounty that was put before us the entire time we were there. I’m not complaining, just happily curious at 209 pounds. Ariel, meanwhile, decided to give himself until the weekend to before he checks out whatever damage he incurred. Good word!

I woke up with a head cold this morning. My head feels like a solid block of cement. Even my jaw hurts and I know if I don’t take something soon, my sinuses are going to make it impossible for me to hold my head up and / or tolerate any noise the Lou Crew might make, should they come today. I just hope I don’t end up having to chop it off, putting into a box and burying it out in the yard.

So, in an unprecedented move on my part this morning, I replied to that agent’s rejection suggesting that she may want to see more of my work since nothing of what I first described to her is revealed in the first five pages she had requested. It’s the way I wrote the book. And since the story is told mostly in flashback, the crux of the story really doesn’t kick in until the end of the chapter1 and beyond. I worded my email in a positive tone and explained it like I just did and assured her I’m not in the habit of re-replying to rejections. But last night, out of nowhere, the thought came into my head that maybe I ought to step up and start being more confidently aggressive in selling myself. What’s the worst that can happen? She already rejected me. Whether she’ll take the time to answer me this time around is questionable, so stay tuned.

And now, just like that, it’s time for work.

A Real Einstein

April 26, 2010

The power of suggestion is a curious thing. One yawn can invoke a chain reaction. One sneeze and all of a sudden there’s a chorus of  gesundheiting each other  filling the room. WET PAINT: don’t touch!

Wait, that’s not what I wanted to say. It was more along the lines about absentmindedness. Or maybe it’s just a case of not paying attention. Not listening to the voices in my head. Or just plain stupidity.

The Lou Crew was working like bees upstairs on Friday (with the promise of completion by Tuesday–except for the glass shower enclosure) and he wanted to turn off the water so he could attach the water lines to the sink, the shower and hook up the new toilet. I was busy myself, working on stuff that had to be cleared away so that I can work on something else today and tomorrow before I take a couple of days off.

It was later in the afternoon and not only had I realized I needed food, but I really needed a cup of coffee. I saw the reservoir was low in the Keurig, but it was enough for the one cup I needed and I would just fill the it later when the water was back on. Robotically, I put my desired amount of half and half in my cup, put my cup in place, lowered the lid, pressed the button and watched in dismay as clear hot liquid filled my cup. I didn’t put a coffee pod in the holder.

Cute, right? But not at cute as this other Einstein story. Einstein the miniature minature pinto stallion was born last Friday at a miniature horse farm in Barnstead, New Hampshire. He was just 6 pounds and measured 14 inches, about the size of human baby, but with a larger head…of course.

 

 Just busy looking cute!

On the weight loss front, I remained the same as last week, an even 210 pounds, holding my total loss at 20 lbs (that’s 4 bags of sugar) and Ariel put on 1, bringing him back up to 201, taking his loss total to 12.

Anybody else counting down the painful last weeks of “Lost” until it’s finished? I gave up on that show a few seasons ago and can’t really explain why I continued watching except for the fact it’s a preset program in my DVR and every season it just records all by itself. Are they on the island? Are they off it? Are they in the past? Who are all these other people, who change every year? Is there a submarine? Is there a plane? Where did the hatch go? The polar bear? How about Vincent the dog? As a little aside, why couldn’t the crew just patch the hole of the Minnow? They too could have spared us all that nonsense. I just hope at the end of Lost, there is a reasonable explanation of why we spent the past six years in front of our television sets.

If You Keep Doing That….

April 19, 2010

…you’ll go blind. That’s an age-old warning most adolescent boys have heard ad nauseam and the response is usually that age-old favorite, “I’ll do it just till I need glasses”. Well, for those of you who have gone beyond the stage of needing magnifying readers, there is hope for you, thanks for photographer Lisa Murphy, who believes that blind people have been left out of the experience of living in a sexually charged society. So, she photographed friends who dressed in costumes and masks to keep them unidentifiable in various poses. She also photographed herself because, she reasoned, she couldn’t ask them to do something she wouldn’t do herself. She then transferred the images into fine sculptures into thermoform plastic pages, the same material that is used for Braille, along with explicit descriptions, and combined the pages into a spiral bound book that sells for about $220.00 Her blind proofreader helped her refine the intricacies of certain body parts… like an ankle or a wrist (get your mind out of the gutter!) The book, “Tactile Mind”, has actually been out for two years, but has recently attracted world-wide media attention.  Murphy, a former volunteer with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind has also done educational books for children with transformed images of animals. I’m kind of hoping this is a trial run.  You know what I’m saying, right?

While we’re on the topic of animals, a new measure has been put into place by the City Council to make life easier for the power behind the famed horse-drawn carriages. Each horse will be given five weeks off per year. FIVE WEEKS! Wages were also increased for the 220 carriage drivers who can now charge $50 dollars for the first 20 minutes of a ride. The old fare was $34 for the first half hour. The horses also will no longer be allowed south of 34th Street and nowhere in the city 3 and 7am. This bill ensures that people who come from all over the world planning on taking a romantic horse and buggy ride through Central Park can do so in an environment that treats the horse and driver fairly.

Bathroom update: the tiling is nearly completed. Kitchen faucet update: I took the entire thing apart this and found a build up of muck (I have no idea where it came from) that made the water start dribbling out again since I replaced that coupler a few weeks ago. Water in the basement update: Still seeping in, but under control. Weekend update: Went to Philly, sort of an impromptu decision on a sort of already set plan. Created havoc like we normally do, went to an after-hours club with alleged free passes but it cost us $10 to get in and then the place closed after only an hour. Had our weigh-ins; I’m down to 210 (lost 4–total 20) and Ariel is down to 200 (lost 5–total 13). And the finishing touches were put on this week’s McGinty Monday installment. Please enjoy!

 

By the way, I use a 1.25 magnifying reader.

Ten More Minutes

April 12, 2010

Here’s a novel/agent update: Saturday morning, I had an email from that agent and she wanted to see the first five pages of my manuscript, to see the style of my writing and to judge if it would fit her. That’s the first time in five years anyone has asked for additional material. I was ecstatic and am awaiting further communication from her.

Also Saturday morning we had our weigh ins and I put on 3 pounds and Ariel stayed the same: 214 and 205 respectively. It was probably that huge steak dinner I had the night before at Charlie Brown’s after we picked up the paint for the new bathroom. A Hint of Mint is what it’s called; tones of green, blue and gray, kind of like a Dusty Miller.

Saturday afternoon into the night we spent in Greenwich Village with some friends. We saw somewhat comedy somewhat music entertainment caberet type show in which two singers (I can’t even tell you their names) sang mashups of songs with similar themes such as cars, for example and they’d go from Pink Cadillac, to Little Red Corvette, to perhaps something that happened to mention driving in a car. Then another theme and another and in between they would interact with the audience and tell jokes.

We headed to a place for dinner where there was a situation similar to the “iced coffee” incident where our friend Jim wanted an unsweetened iced tea, eschewing any more alcohol so he could drive us all home, because after the flaming shot that tasted like burnt toasted marshmallows we all sucked up through straws, (Kaluha, Rum and Tequila) Patty was a little too heady to drive. The waiter said they didn’t have unsweetened iced tea. So, in the logical way he has, realizing there had to be a logical work around to this matter, Ariel asked the waiter for a cup of hot tea and a glass of ice. Well, that put the already agitated waiter’s back right up, but he brought it.

And yesterday, we went to meet up with an old friend of Ariel’s for brunch and then a round of bar hopping. Before long it was after 11 pm and we were pulling into the garage. Needless to say, I’m a bit comatose this morning, not hung over and don’t even have a headache, and that incessant ringing in my ears is quite normal, but I could use another 10 minutes of shuteye, but if I can get through the one last section of some very intense numbers posting I began on Friday and have the report balance out, then I’ll be in good shape for the rest of the day.

And of course, it’s McGinty Monday.

The Easter Parade

April 5, 2010

What a weekend it was, lots to talk about, including news of my kitchen sink, the review on “Looped”, about Tallulah Bankhead starring Valerie Harper we saw yesterday, some more bizarre dreams and my usual brand of ranting, but today’s McGinty is a jam-packed treasure trove of information JL has to share with you so I don’t want to bog you down with a long blog today; I’ve got the entire week to cover all that.

But, before I let you go I have a weigh-in update for you. Ariel is up 2 pounds, bringing him to 205 and I took off 4 and was delighted to see 211 pounds on the dial. That’s a total of 19 for me since we began back at the end of January and 8 total for Ariel.

And these pictures are a bonus from yesterday. We sailed right into the city; we left the house at 11 and the show wasn’t until 3:00 and we had a bit of time left over after brunch at our favorite Irish Pub, Playwrights II (8th between 45th and 46th) and we walked up to the Easter Parade. We were surprised to see it’s not so much a parade, like the Macy’s Parade, but more like a street fair with Easter hats. We weren’t prepared so we both used our phones to take these pictures so the quality may fluctuate throughout the 16 pictures, but the main thing is I wanted to try this cool new feature of a slide show on the blog. It’ll come in handy when it’s time to show the progress of the work being done on the bathroom.

 

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