Words, Weights, Whatever

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Words and Weights

Plant your arse and...
I have not written since December. Nothing else really to say. I'm off from work Friday and am scheduling time to write. Goal: at least a page.

My workouts have been catch and catch can the past two weeks. The good news is that my weight has remained below 210. This creates the nice side-effect of allowing me to fit in my size 36 pants comfortably (which means I'm a size 35 at the waist again.)

I usually attend the Monday and Tuesday night cardio. I've noticed, though, I run out of breath in those classes far earlier than I used. Red flag: I'm slipping quickly out of shape. I know I just have to set aside time to add at least one more cardio class to get my endurance back. It has to be, though, from Thursday on. Working out early in the week and no more work outs afterwards is useless.

I'm still working on the weights issue. I have access to the weight room at work since early this week. All I need to do is develop a schedule and, more importantly, start it. I know that, once I begin, I'll have little trouble in maintaining the schedule.

But those beginnings....

***We don't have to stay, this way, to have a boring time, oh, no***

R. pointed out early this month that remodeling one's home is high up on the stress index. Same are job changes. Looking in retrospect, I have to agree with him: both have contributed to my (mild) depression and mood swings since I left my last perm job back in 2004.

Since then I've been...floating...through my life. I've been almost afraid to feel any intense emotions, "numbing" myself to my concerned spouse and even myself. And when I did feel something intensive, it was usually anger or frustration. Not something one likes to feel constantly.

But all things end. Thankfully.

I don't know it started. Was it better sleep over the weekend? Resumption of exercise? Eating more food? Longer days of sunlight? Or was it just time passing and my endorphins coming down (or up) from their prolonged state of high anxiety. Whatever the reason, I feel much more stable, emotion-wise. (Well, except mornings before coffee.)

I'm using this period of relative calm and implemented the following events to continue progress in my life:

Switching shifts.
I recently discovered that employees have an option to work a different shift at work. Starting next week I'll be working from 7 A.M. to 4 P.M. instead of my current 8 to 5. I'm already up at 6 A.M. This way, I'll have more time in the sun as the California weather continues to brighten and lengthen as spring approaches. Only major disadvantage is that'll I'll have to be asleep by 11 P.M.

Project focused.
And I have a lot. The date to replace the floor is fast approach (mid-April) and we have a lot of crap strewn downstairs. R. and I have already discussed using the weekend to clear out the dining and family rooms.

We'll be meeting our accountant next week. Thankfully I've organized most of the necessary paperwork already.

Our book business has been pushed back while we've been remodeling. However, we're seeing an increasingly larger number of orders. I don't want to lose those sales so I'll have to figure out a more effective way of finding the orders from all those boxes.

The Festival of Books is fast approaching. Renaissance Fair all through May. And, in July, Comic Con. Sheesh. Gotta get ready.

New vehicle: 2007.
The obsession over cars is coming to an end. I really don't need (or desire...much) a Jaguar S-type. While I still follow the shinanigans over at the Autoblog and--especially--GM, I feel the desire fading fast. My own car is currently more than adequate for my needs. I hope to fix its (few) faults in the next few weeks. Can anyone recommend a brand for a good car stereo?

Blog shut down.
No, not Words, Weights, Whatever but my other two blogs (Way of the Writer and Forging the Physique). As I feared and many fellow bloggers warned me, I couldn't (wouldn't?) keep up writing in three such disparate on-line journals. I've already posted notice on both and plan to shut them down by month's end.

There's more (there's always more) but the above should suffice at the moment.

Monday, March 21, 2005

***99 miles into the past...and future****

R. was on-call Saturday. I spent the wet day lounging around in bed before finally getting out to, basically, eat. After my dinner at 2130, I decided to take a drive.

When I was barely a teen, junior high was within walking distance. I remember many times on the weekend just taking a walk to the campus. I didn't think of anything particular; instead, I'd let both thought and non-thought clamor to and fro in my mind. Over the years that no-mind walk has evolved into drives in my cars.

For Saturday night, I jumped onto the 22 freeway westbound and exited Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach. I drove down to Pacific Coast Highway and headed northwest toward Long Beach. Between tailgating drivers and "I'm too sexy to use my turn signal" idiots, my mind and heart filled with thoughts and emotions of where I was during that drive.

I felt primarily sad and depressed. Why haven't I achieved more in my life? Why haven't I spent more time with family/friends/the world? Why was I still out of shape? What the heck happened to my hair? These and other thoughts crowded my brain, then would vanish like cards in a magicians hands only to be replaced with more of the same, each time tearing a little more of my already precarious emotional state.

I reached 7th Street in Long Beach. Here, I'd normally turn around and jump onto the 405 freeway to return home. No, I thought. What's past here? So I continued following the highway. Thoughts of Jack Kerouc(?) and those famous writers flashed through my mind as I sped into the new territory. And new thoughts emerged, thankfully replacing--for a while--the more depressing thoughts.

I observed the radical change in the neighborhood. Whereas before I watched shopping malls and business, now I saw ranshackle building with bars on their windows and doors. Houses buttressed the cracked streets. I saw very few people at that hour and none whom I'd want to meet unless the area was well-lit.

Cars changed as suddenly as the neighborhood. Where before zoomed Hondas, BMWs, Mercedes, and lots of SUVs, now I saw old Hondas, Fords, and brands I hadn't known existed, many looking like they hadn't seen a paint job or--worse--style since the 70s.

These changes reflected my thoughts. I remember still in college living in such places. I was with J. at the time and when we weren't having sex, I was either at school or work. Money was tight and an outing to the local fast food Chinese restaurant was our dining out.

But it was one of the more intense times in my life. Besides the sex, there was the lack of knowledge of the future, of consequences. Skip a class to meet someone for a tryst. Volunteer work. Speaking in front of a crowd and getting wet palms. Working graveyard shift then school the next day.

I reflected on those years as I entered the more industrial areas of Long Beach and, later, San Pedro. The steaming, steel towers of the refineries illustrated of what I thought of my life back then: fire and passion, barely contained within civility. It's funny; I barely ever gave much thought to those years. J. and I had parted on bad terms but, instead of totally surpressing my feelings, I channeled the energies to eventually reconnect years later. After a rocking start, we finally ended as friends of a sort which I ended this time.

I yawned. It was time to go home. The scenery had again changed, this time to hills and houses. A silver Jaguar S-type pulled along side at one stoplight. I reflected, as my eyes grazed its sleek sides (such a contrast to the more European boxes of today), of how my life had radically changed. I could buy one of those, I thought as it fell back as I sped up at the turn signal. The thought saddened me.

For I realized that, after becoming thoroughly--but briefly--lost in San Pedro--one of the major reasons I hadn't been happy since last year: I missed my youth.

Rain began to fall as I headed back to Orange County on the 405 and 22 freeways. As the rain sprayed across the car's windshield, I reflected the lack of intensity that I felt towards much of my life. It wasn't my activities were boring (well, maybe my job), but my feelings had become numb. Is this what it was like to be an adult? To constantly be on watch on what one does and say, supressing those fires in the name of responsibility and civility?

I knew the answer as I entered more familar roads. I called R. who was enroute to a hospital to deal with a would-be patient. After hanging up, I looked at the odometer: 99 miles. As the car's motor rumbled to stillness, I just smiled.

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