Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Drag Queens in Auschwitz, and other tales

Sometimes when you ride the Max, you meet someone who wants to talk.

Yesterday morning, a young man came and sat next to me as the train pulled out of the station. He complimented me on my outfit (I was wearing a fluorescent yellow bicycling jacket, as I was planning to bike part way to work). Apparently, it's exactly the same color as one of the outfits he uses in his drag queen act.

He was wearing women's jeans. Along the side they had a dainty little floral pattern in sequins, and they did not fit him around the hips. Despite this, he was clearly very proud of them.

He might have been pulling my leg, but he was certainly entertaining. Over the course of a ten-minute ride, he told me:

- he was Jewish
- he was gay
- he was the eldest of 8 children
- he'd been engaged twice (to "biological women")
- he was 24
- he was a drag queen
- he had 40 pairs of women's shoes. (Apparently, it's not that hard to find size 11 heels.)
- his mother asked him what she'd done wrong (i.e. for him to not find women attractive)
- he was planning a trip to England, Amsterdam, and Germany. He was going to meet up with friends in Europe and they were going to do a tour of concentrations camps. "Auschwitz and places like that."

I decided not to mention that Auschwitz was actually in Poland, not Germany. And the trip to Amsterdam was relevant based on the fact that Anne Frank had been his hero since he read her diary when he was 13. But England?

I felt that I had to point out that he might have a problem there. "Um... they don't actually have any Nazi concentration camps in England."
He opened his arms wide, as if to embrace everyone on the train. "But that's where everyone escaped to!"
"Ah. Right."
"I've got a blond wig and some blue contacts. When I get to Germany, I'm going to wear them so I'll look more Aryan."


I had to work later than I'd hoped, so I ended up only cycling partway home (at a sprint, to feel virtuous) and then took the Max the rest of the way. This time my companions were teenage drug users. The young guy was missing several of his front teeth and had long bedraggled hair; the young girl was thinner than a supermodel.

That sounds an unappealing description, but somehow, I found them rather sweet. They were traveling the whole length of the Max line, over an hour into clearly unfamiliar territory, to welcome a friend who was going to get out of jail. They were clearly out of their comfort zone ("This stop is called Hawthorn Farm? I don't see any farm here!") but there was a light-heartedness -- a strange kind of innocence -- about them that I liked.

This being Oregon, the female drug user politely moved her feet to give me a bit more room as I maneuvered the bike, and the male drug user helped me put my bicycle up onto a bicycle hook. Their conversation meandered from the different prisons they'd been in to the colors of the clothes they had to wear (apparently juvenile offenders wear different outfits from adults) to the jumpsuit that their friend had had to wear during his imprisonment. "He must be cold now," the girl said. "He was only wearing wife beaters and shorts when he was arrested."

Sadly, the train was just pulling into the second-to-last stop when the young guy's cell phone rang. Their friend had gotten out earlier in the day and was at their house, clear at the other end of the line, waiting for them to come unlock the door.

The male drug user was torn between amusement and annoyance. "Dude, you're so gay! Yeah, you can crawl in the kitchen window, that's unlocked. But don't you touch my stash! Don't smoke a bowl. I wanna see that waiting for me when I get there." And with that they dashed out of the doors.

Commuting by car was never this interesting.

Exercise du jour:

Week 4 of the (full) 100 push up challenge
Day 2
(90 seconds rest in between)
Set 1 - 20
Set 2 - 25
Set 3 - 20
Set 4 - 20
Set 5 - 28

Over 100 push ups!

Week 4 of the 200 sit ups challenge
(60 seconds rest in between)
Day 2
Set 1 - 30
Set 2 - 38
Set 3 - 30
Set 4 - 30
Set 5 - 42
Done! Mostly at work during lunch, but had to finish up after work.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who gives up an ocean to swim in a pond?

Well, I did.

Yes, I know, blogging over at Cranky Fitness was fun. The endless rounds of celebrity parties, limousines, jet-setting all around the world to hob nob with the Best People in the Latest Fashions, yeah, yeah. Been there, done that, got the race t-shirt. (I did just receive the shirt from the 5k that I did a couple months ago.)

When blogging about exercise gets in the way of actually exercising, then that's a sign that something needs to change. More exercise, less blogging.

Exercise du jour:
Cycle to work and back. Hopefully at a decent pace, but we'll see about that part. The important thing is to get on the dang bike.
Done! Rode the Max part-way, alas, but still rode the bike. (Note to self: get up earlier in the morning, to be able to ride the whole way in, and leave before it gets so dark!) Plus, did a hour's walking at lunch with a friend, training for the 10k walk.


Monday, September 28, 2009

My kind of gardening!

Yesterday, I went out to the garden and picked an ear of corn for dinner. I could've picked some ripe cherry tomatoes too.

Gosh, Merry, what earth-shattering news. Why should I care?

I did not plant corn. I did not even plant tomatoes on that side of the house. They just showed up.

I had planted cherry tomatoes there last year -- maybe the sneaky plant dropped some seeds which took root and grew? The tomatoes are extreeeeemely tiny but also extremely plentiful. Haven't gotten up the nerve to try them yet.

I did munch the ear of corn, and it was very nice. I can only assume my neighbor planted corn on his side of the fence and somehow the squirrels dropped one of the seeds on my side?

What I loved is that all summer long I did not water or weed or do anything at all on that side of the yard and still these plants managed to grow and flourish. My kind of gardening.

Exercise du jour:
I stopped doing the push up challenge because my arm/shoulder hurt and went on hurting for too long. But I've now rested it for even longer than it hurt, so I figure it's time to get back to the challenge.

I tested myself with the push ups, and managed to do 22. Which isn't bad considering I haven't done a single push up in over two months. So I figure I'm back on the 4th week of the push up challenge:

Week 4 of the (full) 100 push up challenge
Day 1
(90 seconds rest in between)
Set 1 - 18
Set 2 - 22
Set 3 - 16
Set 4 - 16
Set 5 - 25

Week 4 of the 200 sit ups challenge
(60 seconds rest in between)
Day 1
Set 1 - 27
Set 2 - 33
Set 3 - 24
Set 4 - 24
Set 5 - 38

What was I thinking. What the hell was I thinking. Who was the idiot who thought that I could just leap back into these push up and sit up challenges and remain unscathed? I feel plenty scathed right now. Plus, I wanna get whoever thought up this idea. Please don't point toward the fool I see in the mirror each morning. I'm looking for an outside target. The Shadows. The Vorlons. The Borg. Somebody.*

Anyway, she said grumpily, I did the friggin' challenges. So there. Also, 70 minutes walking.

*Gratuitous Science Fiction references. Sorry.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weight Loss through Sleeping In

I don't explain it; I'm just reporting the facts.
Got up this morning. Weighed myself.
Went back to bed for a couple more hours. (Hey, I couldn't get to sleep until about 4 in the morning, okay?)
Got up again. Weighed myself again.

Don't ask me how 2 more hours of sleep translated to 2 pounds off the scale.
I'm just going to enjoy the moment. Pardon me while I bask.

No, not that kind of Basque.

This kind:

Exercise du jour:
Went for a bicycle ride for a couple hours. Flat terrain, easy pace, and even so I had to struggle. Damn but I'm outta shape.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oh no! She said ... IT!

So this woman says to me... she says... brace yourself...

"But you have such a wonderful personality!"

Ack! Argh! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

If that's not the kiss of death, I don't know what is.

Exercise du jour:
90 minutes quite brisk walking

Photo credit: Oddsock

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A walk on the edgy side

Went for a hike out at Cape Lookout. I'd expected it to be a mere walk, but actually we spent hours scrambling over tree roots or around obstacles. The muscles around my ankles were sore, though the rest of my leg muscles were fine.

And it was one of those rare days when the coast is warm, sunny, and windless. The Pacific resembled a lake more than an ocean.

Bad luck for the paragliders and surfers, good luck for me.

My only complaint was that the trail was a bit close to the edge. As in right next to it.

And there are parts of the trail where you can look about 800 feet down... a few inches from your foot. Did I mention my fear of heights?

Still, it was a beautiful day.

Exercise du jour:
Sunday: 4 hours hiking. Tuesday: 1 hour walking.

I am a little troubled about my exercise companion. Two years ago, we went on a hike and she left me in the dust. (But in a nice, non-judgmental way.) Now, she kept having to stop every five minutes to take a break. A hike that's supposed to take 2-1/2 to 3 hours took us 4.

The problem is we're supposed to participate in a run/walk in a few weeks, one that we have to finish within a certain time frame or we'll get picked up by a van. (The route crosses a bridge that's only closed to traffic for a couple hours.) I really don't see how we can make it if she has to keep taking a break. The last thing I want to do is push too hard and have her collapse from exhaustion.

I'm not used to being the more-fit one. It feels very odd.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

If I tell you, then I'm going to have to do it. Right?

Grey day, grey rain.
Autumn crocus, and the leaves are starting to fall.
I think nature's trying to tell me something.

Feel like I should be storing away food for the winter, like those pesky squirrels. I'll devote the morning to Useful Tasks Around The House, but this afternoon I am damn well going to exercise. Don't know what I'm going to do yet, but Something.

Update du 8:21 pm: Took a walk in the woods, new woods that I've never experienced before. Not as aerobic as a jog, but alas her ladyship isn't up to jogging any more. At one point in the walk we came to a wide open grassy area, totally deserted, and I let her loose so she could run. Ten years ago, she would have seen the wide open greenery as an opportunity to run as hard as she could, just for the sheer joy of her physical strength and the chance to use it. Today, she romped alongside me for a few yards and then found an excuse to collapse, grinning at me. Oh well. At least she's still enjoying life. Not bad for a 12-1/2 year old German Shepherd.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What are you looking at me like that for?

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures


What did I do?

Okay, so I didn't blog for a few days weeks, but aside from that... what?

Geez, you keep looking at me like that. Quit it, okay?

Yes, I know I started this blog because I wanted to guilt myself into exercising.

I've changed my mind.

I want to weave my own personal version of reality and draw it close around myself like a really old, faded quilt that maybe has frayed a bit 'round the edges but is still soft and comfy and non-judgmental about how much more of me there is to cover. (It's amazing how an additional 3.5 pounds on the scale can translate in 432 pounds in my mind's eye.)

So just pretend I'm not here, 'k?

Oh hell. You're still looking. I told you not to do that.

Fine. BE that way. Just be that way. I'm going to ignore you.

Attempts to fade into the background...

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures