the one with muscles

June 30, 2014

On January 26th I decided to start taking being healthier seriously. It started with getting our pebbles from the clinic to track our steps/exercise. That’s why I know the date at least. I had been doing DDP YOGA off and on for years. Never too serious about it and would continually let things get in the way or derail me.

I asked for the DDP YOGA pack for Christmas and thanks to my Father in Law and Mother in Law I received it.

(I’m much too cheap to buy it myself)
(And lazy)

So January 26th I started my road to better health. I (we actually) have been eating better. It’s been hard—I love all things cookies—and could be better. I’m working on that. I’m proud at how we’ve cut out all fast food. Working till 9:30 twice a week made it easy to be lazy and just grab Wendy’s. We don’t do that anymore.

I do the DDP YOGA every day now. I’m down 20 pounds since I’ve started. I can touch my toes for the first time since probably middle school and I feel good. I can feel/see muscles I’m not sure I knew existed. Basically this is me now:

Image

Okay so I’m not Ravishing Rick Rude….yet…

AnyPipeDream the point is I’ve been successful thus far but have a long way to go. I mentioned on twitter (so it makes it legal right?) that I would donate a dollar for every pound lost at the end of the year to the Cleveland Food Bank. An awesome guy said he would match so now I have triple motivation to lose.

I’ll need it.

Let’s get to the funny shall we? For that we go back to the muscles. There is a noticeable difference—only because I was a flabby girly man before. Recently this happened:

Scene: Morning. Our bedroom. The wifebot getting ready in front of the mirror. Me on the bed behind her.

Me (flexing and grabbing muscle): mmm LOOKITTHAT.
(She turns around probably smiling and sees me looking at my arm)

Her: I thought you were looking at my butt. I was going to say thanks but you’re there looking at your muscles.

We laughed and laughed. Being healthy brings marriages together.


Cobain Unseen book review

March 21, 2012

I was given this to read by the lovely rizza. I read it quickly and intensely. Next thing I know I was typing up this review.

 

 

 

Charles R. Cross (Heavier than Heaven) makes a return to a familiar
topic with Cobain Unseen. In this meshing of photos, journal excerpts
and bits of memorabilia, Cross attempts to bring further insight into
the life of one of rock and roll’s most mysterious and beloved front
men, Kurt Cobain. This is not your typical biography. Cross doesn’t
just fill the book with the typical biographical information followed
by some home pictures; no instead he goes much, much deeper into the
life and art of Kurt. Readers are treated to very entertaining bits
and stories from Cobain’s early life and through his rise to fame. The
book’s 154 pages are filled with hundreds of beautiful pictures: shots
of Cobain as a kid, on stage, even quiet family moments. The images
are wonderful counterparts for each other. Even better are the
glimpses into Kurt’s creativity, given to us through paintings and letters done in
his own hand. There is even a CD of the troubled singer reading from
pages of his journal.

Cross chooses a scrapbook-style for Cobain Unseen, and it really seems
fitting as we learn more about Cobain’s collections, passions and
artistic endeavors. The writing is on point and unencumbered by the
traditional style of most biographies. The author has no need for an
over the top portrayal of his subject, and this results in writing that
is raw and real. It feels authentic to Kurt and parallels the style of
writing in his songs. The book uses extensive research and interview
materials in a quick and entertaining manner that at no point feels
clunky or wordy. Cross of course has the benefit of having written
Heavier than Heaven before this. Cobain Unseen isn’t necessarily for
those who are coming at Cobain, or Nirvana, for the first time. With
this attempt, Cross has no need for the usual information. He doesn’t
need (or want to) introduce us to the people in Kurt’s life. He
focuses on giving the reader a new view into the mind, the creativity,
and even the madness, that was Kurt Cobain. He chooses to go for an in
depth look at the pieces of history that came together to fuel and
create Kurt’s unique personality. This means newer readers may be left
to their own devices to understand or figure out the simpler of facts
and stories involving Kurt. That fact should not hinder a reader new
to the Cobain story from enjoying the book.

These pieces and intimate recreations are punctuated with the author’s
thoughts and research. It presents the life of the artist through
never before seen photos, chaotically scribbled notes/lyrics, precious
mementos and art. These are the real gems of Cobain Unseen. The almost
dizzying array of personal photos such as Cobain and his daughter, the
concerts, or even the shots as a baby and young child are unseen
glimpses into the rock legend. We are given views of his entire
emotional spectrum. Some match the raw and unrefined moments
of his lyrics. They run the range from blurry and untouched to glossy
magazine photo shoots. Included are slices of Cobain’s interests,
which are as odd and mystifying as the singer was. The odd dolls,
masks, monkeys, and the love (shared with Courtney) of heart-shaped
boxes, carved-up drawing figures and graffiti. One of the best parts
of the book are the assorted fold-outs and removable items: ads for
Nirvana, a copy of Kurt’s high school diploma, a CD of old songs,
blurry letters, X-rays, a scrawled handwritten draft of “Smells Like
Teen Spirit,” and even a handmade Thanksgiving day card made by a
young Kurt. This helps ground the reader and the life of the singer
who took his own life.

The diary like style employed by Cross immerses the reader in the
world that was Kurt Cobain. Cobain Unseen feels less like a biography,
and more like a collage of Cobain’s lifetime. Chaotic, pieced together
moments and scraps perhaps not all that different than the ones Kurt
himself glued and pieced together. If you’ve read Heavier Than Heaven
or any of the other books on Kurt and Nirvana, you will still want to
buy this book. As a whole, the book is a great for any fan of Nirvana
or even someone who just loves music.


The one that goes to eleven

July 28, 2011

So this week I started a new part time job. It doesn’t pay all that well—it’s part time—less than unemployment—so not really what I was hoping for. Let me stop you before what most people want to say here comes out. I KNOW it is better than nothing, and I’m thankful to have it. I’m a little down that it turned out to be the only option made available to me, but that happens. I’m discouraged and not happy about it. It will be tough on us right now but it is something. I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

(Well maybe just a peek. Come here Sarah Jessica Parker.)

The position is one of those low paying jobs that still make you wear fancy dress up clothes.

(Not a fan of that part even if I apparently look “adorable.”)

So after a pretty impressively bad start to my first day (a post to come later,) I returned home tired.

(Defeated actually.)

I slunk home with my lovely wifebot (thank Zeus for her!) desperate to just get into the apartment and onto the couch. I ditched my bag and my blazer—

(Yes I have to wear a blazer.)
(A navy blue one if you care to know.)
(You don’t.)

—before I even got in the car. I tossed them in the backseat and slumped into the front. It’s been over a year since I’ve had to be on my feet for 8 hours. Once at the apartment I made a beeline for the couch and my kitties.

I moped.
The wifebot readied herself/headed off to see Britney Spears.

(Flash forward!)

The next day she (the wife not Britney Spears) didn’t have to be to work till noon. As we drank coffee I grabbed my blazer and said:

“How come this doesn’t have real pockets?”

She was confused by this question. So I showed her you know by sticking my hands in the pockets that weren’t really pockets. The pockets wouldn’t open and as she took the blazer from me I couldn’t help but think “this miniature bread, I’ve been working with for about half an hour and can’t figure it out.”

(Hooray movie reference I hope at least one person gets!)

Gently as if realizing that she may have been better of marrying the guy from Life Goes On than me she explained they were sewn shut. As she did this I really could not keep the scene from “This is Spinal Tap” with Nigel’s confusion about the little bread from popping into my head fully.

I was that guy.
(Well not that guy but you know THAT GUY.)

What can I say I’m not use to dressing all fancy, well in dressy clothes that aren’t from the thrift store that is.

As a special treat my incredibly lame-o looking id photo:

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You’re welcome.


The one with tragedy

March 7, 2011

The one with tragedy

This weekend was a full one. It was the weekend of the wifey’s Absinthe and champagne party. It was planned a while ago but like most things these days really came upon me out of nowhere. It was of course to celebrate her 30th birthday, and you know drink champagne and absinthe.

It was also marking my first attempt at making chocolate covered beer flavored marshmallows. I found the recipe thanks to Lead Paint Cookbook and knew I had to try it. The Champagne and absinthe party seemed like the best excuse to try. So of course I went ahead with it. I decided to use Guinness as the beer. It was an easy choice. I love Guinness, its flavor is bold and well I had some.

(Yeah I’m cheap I know)
(Also unemployed you jerk faces!)
(Now that was unpleasant. I accept your apology.)

Now it just came time to make it. I was worried because the whole baking thing isn’t really my forte. So I bugged my lovely wife a lot but I did a majority of the work.

Where is the tragedy you ask?

(You sick sons of bishes!)

It was not in the making of the beer flavored marshmallows. No they turned out pretty yummy. I’ll post about their yummy gooeyness in some other post. Why? Because I’m in charge here! Also this is about tragedy not triumph.

Later on as the party neared I was helping with finishing things up. I had just cleaned up the kitchen and washing the dishes. As I put one of the bowls away it slipped out of my hand. I almost caught it but managed to just send it higher up and then of course back down. It bounced on the sink’s edge (didn’t break) and barreled into our good great friend General Pressem. Gen. Pressem was the name of our French Press.

The bowl blindsided him as he sat drying. He never stood a chance. He flew off the counter and down to his explosive demise. He shattered and shattered. I watched in horror unable to save my friend. Pieces of his body went everywhere—including my hair.

We have some great memories of our time with him. He was always smiling and such a jokester!

He got along so well with our kitties:

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Oh man did he party it up in the Keys:

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He could roll a 300 blindfolded:

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R.I.P General Pressem


the one with a job search monster

January 31, 2011

So it seems as always the job monster attacks. It ruins any and everything in sight. It makes cups of coffee go cold and writing not get done. After applying to job after job I really don’t feel like writing. The cheap seats here seems to suffer the most, but my poetry and plays do too. I’ve taken the liberty of making a horrible paint shop drawing of how it happens.

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One where I’m all Martin Luther Kingy

January 17, 2011

Well I decided to put the NYC stories on hold for a few more posts. I’ve written them down and will type them up and post them in their time. I was unsure what I wanted to post. I leaned toward another NYC story because they allow me to be funny. Yesterday’s post was serious enough wasn’t it? The lovely Carissa suggested I do something about Martin Luther King Jr. Day and what it means to me.

Whoa! (Of course the ‘whoa’ is all Joey Lawrence like. This will let me use the tag Joey Lawrence and that will help bring more peeps to my blog looking for his peen.) I know two serious posts in a row? Someone better check my temperature. I blame global warming or climate change or just Carissa. Take your pick.

Then someone sent this into overheard Ohio’s twitter:

“This Martin Luther King guy was the man huh mom”–young kid to his mom.

That made me laugh and oddly happy. Today (MLK Jr. Day) I’ve always been intrigued by. I like its duality. It really is a day made for reflection. Today is a day we should look to the past. Meditate on the achievements we have reached in equality and how far we’ve come but also how far we do still need to go. There is where the duality comes from. It should also be a day of recharging the efforts, of doing things.

We tend to (sometimes unfortunately) easily get lost in what was accomplished and think the job is done. Is his dream really fulfilled? Not fully. If he was alive today he’d still be challenging us. There are still challenges that need to be faced. Legislatively, a ton has changed since King was alive. Things like public accommodations, seating on public transportation and drinking from public water fountains are the direct result of the civil rights struggle.

He and all those who struggled years ago fostered progress including passage and affirmation of anti-discrimination laws, opening of the job market and greater communication and understanding between people of different races and ethnicities.

Things that were huge parts of his “dream” such as ending poverty and his belief in non-violence have been forgotten. They’ve at the very least been pushed from the front. King was a strong supporter of human rights, health care and economic development. The violence that continues to find its way into our families, streets and especially schools don’t appear to be pressing concerns.

(That is until shoved to the forefront by horrific actions.)

(Wow you see that up there? A parenthesis used for a serious point and not a joke!)

For me the biggest disappointment is that so many have forgotten that King was willing to challenge the conventional. Controversy should not scare people away from what is right. If you are going to talk about civil rights you have to include a larger scope of things.

Non-discrimination should extend further than color of skin or ethnicity to gender, sexual orientation and disability. We cannot simply remember and quote the easy things. We must remember the bold demands he made of the future.

I think King would at the very least ask ‘how can you be for one thing and not the other?’

This is often quoted but it has always hit home with me:

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars…. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”–Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community

Today celebrate his (and all those who namelessly worked with him) words, actions and accomplishments but also ask yourself what can we do.


The one where I fail

January 16, 2011

I got jokes. Okay I got lots of them.

(No no it’s true.)

For those of you that have read this place before it may be hard for you to believe I take things seriously. I do. I can be serious when needed. I’ve learned though that there are times when a laugh (or even just a chuckle) can be what is needed. I’m a passionate person. Perhaps that doesn’t always come through on this wonderfully lighthearted blog. Who knows? I’m not sure. I may even come off a bit mean here. That’s just my humor. The sharpness of the jokes is generally done with love. The jokes are turned inward at me just as much. This is not a justification of me. That is not what this post is about. If it actually sees the light of day or should it be light of blog?

No if I look at what I’m trying to do with this post it’ll be easy to see. I’m avoiding the real topic of it. I’m rambling on with a description of my personality to avoid it. I can be serious (and repetitive apparently) and I can be very caring. I care about people. I love my friends and family. I like to help people. Sometimes I let humor get in the way of that but in reality that is just how I handle things. I like to see people smile.

When my wife is down she makes me do this bit from Eek the cat. Being silly is how I help most of the time.

Recently my oldest sister (ha ha I’m sure she loves that description) texted me with some bad news. It involved my other sister’s oldest son Michael. His dad had died. I won’t get into the how and why of it. That part really doesn’t matter. My sister (Dawn—try to keep up) has two sons. Michael’s dad and she had been long separated. To be honest he wasn’t the best of individuals. I won’t speak ill of the dead.
He was not really a part of Michael’s life and hadn’t been for quite a while. It seemed like he did enough to be vaguely there but in all honesty not nearly enough. He was troubled though and I won’t put all the blame on him. After all everyone has their demons, some demons are just worse than others. This post is not about him. I’d like to say it’s about my nephew but in all seriousness it’s probably about me. I tend to do that. I knew it would be tough on him. At thirteen you are just at that point that things start to fall into place. You can grasp certain things and start to see patterns in the world.

I felt sure that my sister (Dawn) would be able to handle the situation. I knew that she’d be able to be there for him and help him get through this. If anything he is lucky to have the mother he does and the great aunt. He had a support system. I should probably add for some of you that they live in Florida and I of course Cleveland. So my support would be lent from far away.

I wanted to call and lend my support of course, but felt it best not to do it the day he found out. So I waited a day but when I called I got voicemail. Then when told it was a good time to call I was out. I didn’t want to make the call from a restaurant or from a friend’s place. Life kept getting in the way but I was always in contact with the family to see how he was doing. It appeared he was doing okay. Some times better than others—you know the usual when it comes to mourning. Handling it as expected.

The cool thing about him is we have a lot in common. He likes sports. He is into Rock music and more so into a lot of the stuff I cut my teeth (I just like using that phrase) when I was younger. So we have plenty to talk about. Another cool thing about him is how he handles phone calls. With him it isn’t the typical feels like pulling teeth moments. He asks questions and answers questions with more than just yes or no. He tells stories and wants to hear some from you. It can be fun talking to him. When I finally got in touch with him it had been close to a week since the news. We were on our way somewhere but I felt like I wanted to contact him. I had a ton of things I wanted to talk about and bring up. In my head it would be a progression of conversation. A normal conversation and then we’ll see how the rest goes. Comfort and help as needed. I didn’t want to skirt around the tragedy but not slam it right to the forefront. If that makes sense, I guess it doesn’t. Anyway I talked to my sister for a few minutes and then he got on the phone. My mind blanked.

Nephew: Hi Jimi. How are you?
Me: Hey Michael. I’m good. How about you?
Nephew: Okay. Good.

(Silence.)

Nephew: What are you doing today?
Me: Oh nothing. Right now we’re driving. We’re going to Katie’s dad’s house.
Me (in my head): ah fuck fuck fuck. God damn you are dumb. So dumb. What a fucking way to get it started. You fail. You are a dumb uncle and an idiotic human being

(You could hear it sort of hit him but he moved on and asked why. It almost felt like he did it more for me than himself. I hurt for him.)

Me: Actually what we’re doing tonite is pretty fun. We are going to this art show where they created a bunch of fake movies and made movie posters and ads for them.
Nephew: That’s cool.

We talked for a few minutes and I could tell the sadness of what had happened. He’s still coping with it. I mean who wouldn’t be? It was a call/conversation that isn’t typical of him. He didn’t ask many questions or tell stories. He did answer questions with real answers though. I came away from it sure he’d be okay. He was sad (duh) but there is good support and he uses music. Music my friends can soothe the soul. It can inspire and it certainly helps you understand.

The main thing I took away from it was how badly I failed. I mean I was like Goose in Top Gun. I couldn’t even get out without smashing my head. This of course is horrible. I’m making it about me (and perhaps that’s why I failed?) and not about him. It is about him and I know this. I have ideas to help—especially in terms of musically. If you (all 3 of the readers who aren’t connected to the situation)have any ideas I’m open to hearing them.

If I post this that is.

(I probably will.)

(Maybe.)

(At least I didn’t stop the parenthesis jokes right?)


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