Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The Man Behind the Mask

Introducing the newest Batman: Christian Bale. I may even go see the movie this time....

I should have stayed in bed

The alarm clock buzzed as usual. Out of bed, shower, shave, dress. Peck on the cheek and off to work I go. Nothing out of the oridinary. No presnetiments of dread. Nothing shouting at me to turn around, to go home, to climb back into the comfy darkness of my bed. Then, I reach the office.

My voicemail light is blinking. Two messages: 1) BG scheduled a last-minute client meeting for the morning and won't be in until 10 AM. Okay. No problem. ST and I can handle things. 2) ST had a high fever and would not be in today. So I'm alone in the office for the next two hours. I cancel and reschedule ST's interviews. I jot down new order information from two clients. I fax invoices. Field questions from talent. Cancel an order. Juggle numerous phone calls. Notify the Boss in LA. Stifle the urge to run to the restroom.

All before 8:30 AM.

Can I go back to bed yet?

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Cleaning My Closet

No, it's not what you think. I actually cleaned re-organized a large portion of my closet on Sunday. I know that I had convinced myself that I really wanted all of them, but realistically, I was never going to re-read many of those books. Why should they sit on my shelves gathering dust? Maybe others would like to read them. Maybe I'd seen one-too-many episodes of Clean Sweep. And, yes, the thought did cross my mind, maybe I could get a buck or two. I made the decision to pare them down with some going to a used bookstore (for credit to get more books), some to sell on-line at Amazon, and some to The Center OC.

In a previous post, I mentioned how much of a bookwhore I am. Well, even I wasn't ready for the large quantity of books stacking the shelves in that big, dark space. Possibly, three or four hundred books, mostly paperback (thank goodness). Old college texts from my French literature classes that I hadn't read since then: Les liaisons dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos, Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola, L'Amant by Marguerite Duras, etc. Well-worn horror novels by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert and R. Patrick Gates. World literature and many gay or gay-oriented novels. Dozens of plays. I stashed them in the closet when we moved into the house more than three years ago and add more books all the time. I never realized how many I actually have.

A single title brought back memories of the story contained within, like the deadly walk/race through New England in Bachman's The Long Walk or the tale of two sisters sharing secrets in a dilapated house in Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle. I remembered sitting in my dorm room with one tedious play, French dictionary in hand, while my floormates partied in the suite at the end of the hall. Or sitting up all night in bed while in the throes of bronchitis just to finish this one because I couldn't sleep until I knew what happened. Or this one from my first plane trip to Montréal, and we were stuck at the airport in Denver because our connector left 15 minutes before our plane landed. I smiled a few times as I set them on the bed.

After an hour and a half and much sneezing, I had 30 books to take to Bookman Too*, another 30 to list on Amazon, and a few to donate to The Center. The remaining titles fit nice and snug onto the shelves. With plenty of room for more.

*added 6/30/04: Earned $22 in credit...and have already spent half of it on more books.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Weight: 195 lbs.

With S in New Orleans for a few days, I had planned on at least two days of longer workouts at the gym, trying out new equipment, revising my workout routine, etc. Being sick for part of the week kept me from going, though. I'm surprised to say that I still managed to maintain a decent weight. Not sure how, seeing as I was a lump on the sofa most of the time.

S returned yesterday morning from the eBay Convention, still reeling from the incredibly humid and rainy climate of Louisiana and still fighting bronchitis. The antibiotics worked for the most part, but last night, I drove him to the hospital because he'd lost hearing in his right ear. The doctor confirmed that fluid had amassed in the ear canal and was infected, causing pain and swelling. She prescribed a huge bottle of pinkish syrup called erythromycin, another antibiotic which should fight the infection. (S assured me that it tastes awful.)

Keep your fingers crossed that this works!

Friday, June 25, 2004

On the Radio

On the drive home fromwork, I did a double take at the radio station, Indie 103.1 FM. They were playing Michael Jackson's "Rock With You." This is a radio station more known for playing the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Morissey, Franz Ferdinand, and Bad Religion. Not fluffy '80s pop and especially not Jack-o. Yet something was different. I listened carefully and finally heard the backing music: a familiar bass beat (dum dum dum d-d-dum dum. dum dum dum d-d-dum dum) followed by two tinny piano chords then David Bowie's voice wafting in for the chorus. Some DJ had mixed the vocals from "Rock With You" over the music track of Queen/David Bowie's "Under Pressure." And, you know? It worked!

I sang along like a fool, not giving a damn. This was something new and unique, and I loved every second of it. I waited for the radio DJ to give the name of the album or record company, but no luck. Straight into commercials. Damn! And by that time, I pulled into my parking space at the house.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

In Dreams...

It's amazing to me how much you can find out about yourself from a dream, even one as bizarre as that of Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Everything about it seems to symbolize a need for change in my life. (I think that J and C may understand this better than I do.) The ground shaking telling me about the unease I've been feeling lately. The giant representing my sexual frustrations. N. representing aspects that I feel I'm lacking and the lab coat representing my desire to change that. (N. was my first real boyfriend, with a great body and kind of a laissez-faire attitude about being gay. I've always seen myself as the awkward, pudgy, nerdy guy who always gets left out or left behind -- or what I feel is the opposite of him. I've been trying to change that by losing weight, being more social, even writing on this blog.)

My favorite part of this self-inepretation, though, is the idea of the police being stepped on by a giant, naked N. That part of society which tries and tries to make me feel less than a human being because I'm gay, being quashed and allowing me to be myself, to not care or to not take too seriously what society as a whole thinks.

I wonder what Freud would have to say?

My thanks to Pua for taking the time to research all those images and ideas.

I woke up with a sore throat this morning. My voice fades in and out. My ears feel as though someone shoved plugs deep into the canals. Oddly enough, I don't have a fever. Maybe, it's just allergies.

Two weeks ago, while his family was visiting from Reno, NV and from Sacramento, CA, S came down with bronchitis, and a pretty nasty version of it, too. Non-stop, deep-chested coughing. High fever. Throat so sore he could barely swallow. Terrible body aches. The doctor prescribed 10 days worth of anitbiotics which, for the most part, have worked. Then, we find out that both his mother and his aunt have the same thing. I started taking echinacea and drinking lots of orange juice while S decided to sleep on the couch downstairs. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I didn't catch it. Please let it just be allergies!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

A Horse Is A Horse

C and I, in keeping with our New Year's Resolution to see at least one play/musical a month, decided to see Equus as our selection for June. It's one of those plays that I'd always heard of but never thought I would be able to see performed -- until I received a postcard in the mail from the Rude Guerrilla Theater. I called C that day and made reservations the next.

A few days before the show, C invited some friends he met through work to join us. At first, they weren't too sure, but C jokingly told me that he tempted them with two words: male nudity. (Yes, the play does contain some quite a bit of full frontal viewing. I'll get to that a little later.) S decided not to join us; he was getting over a bought of bronchitis. So with just the five of us, we made plans to meet around 7 PM for a bite to eat before the show.

Saturday evening, I made my way into downtown Santa Ana. It's an interesting area: billboards are in both English and Spanish; new buildings intermingle with the old facades from the 1920s and 1930s; narrow streets; and an Artist's District. C met me in front of Gypsy Den, a small café just cattycorner to the theater. The interior resembled a few tacky antique shops I'd visited. A multitude of mismatched hanging glass lamps. Dark purple walls decorated with hanging rugs, mirrors, paintings, plates. Tables and chairs that may have been picked up at any number of garage sales in the greater Orange County area. We chose a table in an alcove, ordered drinks and waited for the rest of the group.

They finally arrived around 7:15, and after ordering, gobbled down the food, which didn't even get to the table until 7:50. My garden quiche was pretty good. C's tuna melt was cold. The creamless cream of tomato soup (made with soy milk) was awful with some kind of extra spice added to it to give it that home grown, scoop of dirt flavor. None of us actually ate the entire contents of our plates, it was that mediocre.

C and I rushed across the street to the theater to claim our seats, while the other three sauntered across the street. Then, they decided to have a cigarette before entering the building. (It's already 8:02 at this point.) I told him that they were waiting for us to sit before starting the show so he drew about 5 quick puffs, tossed the cigarette into the street, and into the theater he went.

The Rude Guerrilla is a small theater, with two rows totalling about 40-50 seats. The front row is also the edge of the stage so the actors could literally fall on top of you should they slip. The stage area is painted black with two wooden backdrops separated by a small raised platform. A bench sits before each backdrop, and in front of these are various other objects: stage left has a large, black wooden box; stage right has two black chairs. On the small platform are a black desk with wooden chair, a rattan love seat painted black, a swivel chair, and a white area rug. Painted on the wall directly behind this area is a mural of white horse heads with large eyes, strewn together like an Escher drawing. As the play begins, the actors file out from both sides of the building droning as they march. As they pass in front of the platform, one of the actors steps onto it, turns and faces the audience. The others file toward the benches and face the audience continuing with the drone. Another actor slowly enters stage left, completely naked. He stands before the man on the platform. The two wrap arms around each other, with the one on the platform nuzzling the others neck, much like a horse. The drone grows louder and louder. Then, stops abruptly. The light cuts out.

What follows is an amazing portrayal of a doctor's struggle to find out why a young boy blinded six horses. It delves into the deep-seated emtions caused by the mother and father: their conflicting views of religion and the world around them which they both have tried to imprint upon the boy. It touches on idol worship and sexuality, with the boy's fixation on Equus, the King of horses whom he treats as a god to be worshipped. it also deals with the doctor's own inner struggle: how can he help this boy by taking away what is real to him, when he hides from his own life.

Jay Michael Fraley was superb as Dr. Martin Dysart, trying to help the boy and possibly, in turn, to help himself. Marnelle Ross radiated the fear and the disgust of a mother whose beloved son may have turned into some psychopathic monster. Keith Bennett was incredible as Alan Strang, the young boy who idolizes Equus, but must struggle with his own feelings of betrayal from family and from himself. By the intermission, I felt emotionally drained. The play had me riveted, and not just because Keith was naked for parts of the first act. And most of the second....

The five of us headed outside for a breather. I commented to C on seeing a few people cross the street and head for the parking structure. At that point the other three said that they were going to call it a night. We said our goodbyes, and after they rounded the corner, I remembered what C had said to get them to come to the play in the first place. Perhaps he hadn't been joking.

Well, they missed the ending of a fantastic play. C and I talked about the performances, the story, what this meant, why the director used this, etc. etc. until we found his car. Then, we talked about it for about 10 minutes more until he had to leave. I guess that's the sign of good theater, when you can't stop talking or thinking about it once it's over.

I read that Equus was made into a movie. Maybe they have a copy on Netflix....

I know, I know.... I still need to write my review of Equus from Sunday. We suffered through some nasty computer problems yesterday while inputting payroll so I never had the chance to blog. I know something's wrong when I feel worse about not blogging than I do about the computer problems. I think I'm turning into a blogger junkie....

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Weight: 194 lbs.

I almost forgot to post that today! My weight finally dropped below 195 lbs. It hasn't been that low in almost 4 years. However, I just wanted to make a quick post as I've been out all day, sunburned like a lobster from standing in lines at California Adventure.1 Trying to get over a fit of cabin fever. (I get restless if I stay indoors for too long....)

1added 6/21/04 C and I saw Around the World in 80 Days and had a wonderful time. It's a fun adventure film, filled with lots of humor and cameos (Kathy Bates as Queen Victoria is a hoot!), a great story and amazing stunt choreography by Jackie Chan, who also steals the movie as Passepartout.

I will write about Equus tomorrow after I finish payroll. Let me just say, for now, that it was an amazing piece of theater. Fine acting, wonderful staging, an intriguing story.

Happy Fathers Day!!

to all the fathers out there. My family will be celebrating this Tuesday when everyone can be there.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

The Play's the Thing

Just an update of the plays I'm seeing/have seen this year, as part of my New Year's Resolutions.

Tonight, C and I are to see Equus at the Rude Guerrilla Theater in the Artist's District of Santa Ana. Review to follow tomorrow!

Friday, June 18, 2004

I am a book whore.

I admit it. Proudly.

Almost all the visible shelving in the house contains books. They cover my nightstand and are stacked by the upstairs TV and bedroom door. Paperbacks. Softcovers. Hardcovers. Some are brand new (bought last night, as a matter of fact). Others have followed me, unread, since I left college. All will be read, eventually.

However, where some gay men have a tough decision in choosing the right, tight-fitting t-shirt to show off their bodies -- and it is much appreciated -- many times, the most difficult for me is choosing the next book to read. After we returned from dinner and a bookstore, I stood in front of my stacks for a good 15 mintues, weighing my choices: Do I select Cakes and Ale from Maugham which I've been determined to read since I picked it up 4 years ago? What about The City and the Pillar from Vidal? It's on that 100 Best list through which I've been slowly working my way. Or, Marks of Identity from Goytisolo -- a Christmas present from my cousin? There's still A Glastonbury Romance from Powys, but it's 700+ pages. Do I want to begin something that monumental? How about one of the books I bought last night?

I really want to read the latest purchase but feel guilty about neglecting the older ones. I test a few pages from one book, set it aside for a newer one, set that one aside and hunt through the books in my nightstand, choose one but think it's too long for right now, finger through some of the books in my closet that I want to re-read, and finally opt for a book bought last night at Barnes & Noble.

So many books, so little time....

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Jumping on the bandwagon

I thought, why not? I've seen this baseball player's pic on other blogs and just couldn't resist enshrining him on mine. Pat Burrell of the Philadelphia Phillies. I just love baseball; don't you? Excuse me while I wipe up the drool.....


[pic from the Official Phildelphia Phillies site.]

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Mothra

I unlocked he door this morning at work, shuffled inside and openend the office for the day. One of the menial tasks is to spinn the long, hard, clear plastic wand until the metal slats of the blinds slowly squeak open. Every morning, the same old same old. But not today. For some reason, I always look up as the blinds open -- perhaps to see if they're going to fall down, but I'm not quite sure. This morning I spied a big brown blotch on the white ceiling just outside the door. I carefully opened the door, in case it (i.e., the brown blotch) decided to fall on me. It turned out to be one of the biggest moths I've ever seen. Dark brown and gray wings with large black dots resembling owl eyes. It's wingspan must have been about 5 inches from tip to tip, or about as wide as from the base of my thumb to the base of my pinkie when my palm is fully open. One of the wings was torn along its bottom edge and another portion seemed to be missig altogether. Possbily from a scuffle with a bird.

It's amazing to see such a creature in the city, right next to a major freeway and an international airport. I'd almost thought that pollution, noise, cars and humans would have driven such a huge species from the environment. But, as I type, Mothra still clings to the ceiling just outside the door as people tread back and forth. A man is smoking nearby and chatting away on his cell phone. Another ambulance zips down the street with siren blaring.

My eyes drawn upward
to the cold white of the sky
silent wings hold fast

Monday, June 14, 2004

Just a quick note for anyone looking for a great movie to rent. I have recently begun to enjoy certain types of anime, especially those of Hiyao Miyazaki (Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke), something more than just the futuristic action animation that I normally associate with anime. Check out Tokyo Godfathers, an anime film from director Satoshi Kon. It tells the story of 3 homeless people: Gin, a former bicycle racer; Hana, a drag queen longing for a family; and Miyuki, a teenage runaway. On Christmas Eve, they find a baby abandoned in a trash heap and set out to find the child's parents. Along their journey, they discover truths about themselves, why they turned away from the regular world, and through chance events, meet up with their different pasts. There's even a touch of the mystical about it. Heartwarming, funny, and completely charming. This is a beautifully made film that will leave you smiling.

I thought my legs hurt yesterday.... Man, this morning, I could barely walk down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands, taking the steps one at a time. I felt like a toddler learning how to walk. My upper thigh muscles want to burst through the skin to slap me upside the head for what I put them through. Agony! Thy name is spinning class....

After Alan showed me around the gym, I put on the special shoes. No laces, just three strips of velcro. No rubber soles, just hard plastic with two extra attachments: a pyramid at the top which locks into the bike pedal and another piece on the heel to give stability when standing. I admit that when I stood for the first time, I felt like a drag queen wearing those thick-soled shoes to give them that extra height. Surprisingly, I kept my balance while on the carpet, but when I stepped into the bathroom before class, my feet slipped a little on the tiles. I steadied myself against the wall and carefully clicked my way to the toilet. I'm serious when I say clicked; those things on my feet could have been tap shoes on steroids.

By the time I returned to the lobby, two more fellow victims beginners were eagerly waiting to get on the bikes. We stared at the preceding class as they left the bike room, drenched in sweat, energized beyond belief, and all commenting on how talented and gorgeous Woody (the instructor) was. (Yes, he's another hottie at the cycle gym.) While they dried themselves and chatted up Woody, Alan lead us into the bike room.

He showed us how to lock the shoes into the pedals, adjusted the handlebars, and then took a bike between myself and one of the other beginners. The lights went out, the music began, and our instructor Mara started the routine. I admit that I was hoping for some kind of warm-up, to let us get used to the bikes, the positioning, the constraints of our feet. Instead, she started us at full tilt, standing and pedaling at the same time. And I just couldn't do it. After about 30 seconds, my left knee felt as though it were about to snap so I sat down on the seat and continued to pedal. I tried to stand again, but my legs wouldn't take it. Alan did what he could, re-adjusting the handlebars and telling me just to take it at my own pace.

I couldn't for the life of me get the hang of it, and the other two beginners took to it like ducks to water. Every time I stood, I felt my weight falling onto my arms and ankles and just wanted to sit down before my bones snapped. I did stay for the entire 45 minutes, though most of the time with my butt parked onto that hard plastic seat. I would stand when I felt I could; tried a bit of the lunging, the bouncing and the crunches. My eyes stayed focused on the floor. I didn't want to look up. I was too ashamed to look up. I just wanted the class to end.

When it finally did, I hobbled off the bike, my legs very unsteady and weak. They felt as thought they were wobbling as I made my way through the bikes and into the lobby to change back into my sneakeers. I stretched a bit more, gulped the rest of my water, and slowly, oh so slowly, walked to my car, my thigh muscles screaming with each step.

I'm not knocking spinning...really, I'm not. It's an amazing cardio workout, and I can feel it in my arms, chest and especially the legs. Maybe it's not for me though. I may try it again, but I'm just so disappointed that I couldn't get it.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Weight: 195 lbs.

I tried something new this morning, something to spice up my exercise routine. My weight has been stagnating lately, staying between 196-198 lbs. for the past two months. I told myself that a little change to my routine my prove a catalyst for more weight loss so at 10:30 AM, I took my first spinning class. And, more than likely, my last one.

For those not familiar with spinning, it's an aerobics class taught on stationary bikes. Except the handle bars are farther away from your body. And your shoes lock into place so they won't slip from the pedals. And the room is filled with pounding music and funky disco lights. And your butt rarely touches the hard, plastic, incredibly chafing bike seat. Yes, that's right, you stand as you pedal for most of the 45-minute routine and intersperse the steady pedaling with lunges, bouncing, and alternating speeds.

Sounds simple enough in theory. Yet, it turned out to be one of the most difficult things I've ever tried.

Evolution Cycling had a booth at the AIDS Walk fair last Sunday. I chatted with Alan the owner to find out if this would be something to give my weight loss the sorely needed boost that it deserved. He explained the whole process, what each level was like, how the bikes worked, the kind of equipment (i.e., shoes) needed, and -- my favorite part -- the first session was free. Okay, it doesn't hurt that Alan is quite the hottie, but I was serious about wanting to lose weight. Walking and the gym seemed to have brought me to a plateau, and I needed to get past it. I took a flier, spoke with my doctor and called a few days later to register for the Intro Class on Sunday.

...fast forward...

Sunday morning, I arrived at Evolution Cycling, which is next door to a pretty good sandwich shop and some other fitness facilities, such a yoga/pilates office, exercise for children, a tanning shop, etc. Alan was inside, set me up with a pair of loaner shoes and had me fill out a "liability release" form. He then showed me the workout room. A class was in session: about 5 women pedaling and bouncing to some extra-loud dance music while the instructor shouted out directions using his microphone. Did I mention the disco lights?

...to be continued...

Friday, June 11, 2004

Another sleepless night

You know how sometimes an idea or an image gets stuck in your head, and you stay up late pondering the image. Or, you wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep because that image is gnawing away at your brain.

That happened to me this morning. For some unknown reason, I simply woke up around 5 AM, my head a jumble of mixed up images and thoughts. I tiptoed to the computer, so as not to wake Sean, and checked the last comment that I had left on my blog. It said something to the effect that I couldn't wait until next year to participate in the AIDS Walk again next year. That's it! That last phrase to participate...again next year. That's what woke me up! The fact that there will be another walk.

This year was AIDS Walk Orange County's 18th walk. 18th! Hundreds more are scheduled or have already occurred throughout the country. I keep wondering through all this hoopla surrounding Reagan's death if another walk could have been prevented if only he had taken action during his presidency, instead of falling prey to the Christian Right and relegating AIDS and HIV as punishments for homosexuality. This raises many objections on its own: Magic Johnson isn't gay; Elizabeth Glaser was not a lesbian; Ryan White was a hemopheliac, not a homosexual (note the different spellings); the men, women and children in Africa who are living with this disease. They're not homosexual. If AIDS and HIV are a punishment for homosexuals, why is God punishing them?

But logical thinking doesn't seem to work, no matter how many facts, figures, statistics, images and people are displayed as proof before them. That's what kept me up last night.

If monies had started flowing into prevention and into finding a cure sooner, would we still need such walks to raise awareness as well as funding? Unfortunately, we will never know for certain. We can only hope. To paraphrase Louis Armstrsong' song, What a wonderful world that would be.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

I noticed a problem with the crimson red Altima driving in front of me this morning. The hubcap of the back tire on the driver's side was threatening to loosen its grip on the tire and fly into the car opposite. The driver hadn't noticed, either, and when I pulled up beside her and tried to get her to roll down her window, she flipped me the bird and sped off. Just as she rounded the bend, sure enough, the hubcap popped off her tire, circled behind her car and slammed into the fence along the right-hand sidewalk. She drove on in blissful ignorance.

I thought about trying to tell her, but remembered her long middle finger, with its sharpened red talon and said to myself, Screw it, and sped right by her.

Monday, June 07, 2004

10 Simple Questions

This was posted on his blog, and, per Question #8, I'm posting it on mine. This should be interesting....

1. Who are you?
2. Have we ever met?
3. Give me a nickname and explain why you picked it.
4. Describe me in one word.
5. What reminds you of me?
6. If you could give me anything, what would it be?
7. Ever wanted to tell me something but couldn't?
8. Are you going to put this on your weblog and see what I say about you?
9. What do you love like a fat kid loves cake?
10. What makes you come back here?

Sunday, June 06, 2004

We're walking...we're walking...

I heard tell that a little over 1,000 people walked today -- Yours Truly among them. 7.5 km and I still feel like partying! I arrived at UC, Irvine at 7:30 and checked in, receiving a t-shirt, baseball cap, a VIP pass (to a catered breakfast), a coupon for a free pair of ASICS sneakers, and a One Day Pass to Disneyland. I knew ahead of time about the shirt and cap, but the other items were a pleasant surprise. With the bagful of goodies, I made my way to the breakfast, ate a cranberry-orange muffin, downed a bottle of Naked Orange Juice, and talked with some of the folks from The Blade magazine, a local gay/lesbian news magazine. The walk didn't start until 9:30 so I took my leave and wandered through the mini-fair.

First of all, I was amazed at all the radio stations in attendance: Star 98.7, K-BIG 104, KROQ, KLOS, Radio Disney, KKJZ, and many others. Not to mention other media, such as NBC and Telemundo. Many of the companies with walking teams also had their booths, and quite a few health-related booths clustered around those. The event organizers also included a family fun zone, with a bounce house, mock ice hockey, a bungee run, a rock climbing wall (also sponsored by The Blade), and -- my favorite -- a bowling lane. (I managed a strike followed by a spare.) And, each booth was giving away little prizes and goodies so I was walking around with so much stuff that I made two trips back to my car before we even had our team picture taken.

After speeches by OC Sheriff Mike Carona and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, all the walkers squeezed through the starting gate and began the 7.5 km trek. The path took us down Campus Dr., through and around the wetlands, up University Dr. and back onto Campus. Clear, blue skies; bright, hot sun; dozens of swallows swarming around us as we crossed one of the bridges into the wetlands area; and everyone having a great time walking, jogging, pushing strollers, or walking their dogs. Church groups, health care agencies, financial institutions, non-profits, solo walkers -- everyone happy to be there. Along the route were water stations filled with cheering volunteers handing out bottles of water and mini Balance bars. A few of them even had supersoakers. And nailed me in the shoulder. You can't imagine all the love that just seemed to swarm around the whole event.

Except for the protesters.

All 5 of them.

Kind of pathetic.

Once I finished the Walk, I bought some food tickets and ate a wonderful chinese chicken salad from Café Chin Chin. While eating, a great local band, Scarlet Crush, took the stage and totally rocked. I'd heard a few of their songs on the radio, but live was an incredible experience. So I bought one of their CDs.

Looking at my watch, I noted that it was already noon so I headed for home. We raised over $700,000, and that number could increase as they continue to add more monies that are still coming in! I took a few pics, but need to finish off the roll before I can get them developed. Be on the lookout for them soon!

Weight: 197 lbs.

Thought I'd forgotten, huh? I waited until returning from the Walk to weigh in. Still no noticeable movement up or down. I talked with the owner of Evolution Cycling which had a booth at the Walk. Their stationary bikes simulate outdoor cycling and give a full-body workout. A change in my exercise routine might help with my weight loss so I'm going to try their introductory class next Sunday. It's free, too, so if I find that it's not for me, I haven't risked anything.




Wednesday, June 02, 2004

AIDS Walk Update

Less than a week away, and I am excited about walking. No, it's not that I'm looking forward to trekking 5 miles in the Southern California sunshine (though, that is a plus). What has me excited is the amount of support that I've been receiving. Many people from my work, friends, family -- all have helped with my fundraising efforts so instead of the original goal of $250 for which I aimed, I'm now at $1440! In addition, over 1,000 people have registered to walk, with donations reaching over $170K. And, there's still a few days to go! How cool is that?!

So a big Thank you! to everyone who is walking, who is volunteering their time, who is sponsoring a walker, who will be out there cheering and yelling and screaming us on our way!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Word of the Week
from Merriam-Webster Online

maffick (verb)

HOW TO PRONOUNCE: MAFF-ik

IT MEANS: to celebrate with boisterous rejoicing and hilarious behavior

Example sentence:
In 1904, author H.H. Munro penned, "Mother, may I go and maffick, / Tear around and hinder traffic" in his sardonic satire about the South African War, "Reginald’s Peace Poem."