1,200 Mile Update

Today ends another month.  That means an official 1,200 Miles update.  As of this writing, I've gone 1,925.68 miles either by walking around the neighborhood, walking on the treadmill, riding the stationary bike or using the elliptical.  In my wildest dreams I never thought I would have made it this far.  And I still have five months left to run my total up.  I figure that if I maintain this pace, I'll have no trouble hitting 3,000 miles before it starts getting too cold out.  I'm so proud of myself for not only working towards this goal, but never wavering.  It helps that I get very competitive with myself.  And I obsess.  I constantly try to outdo myself.  There are a lot of days I just want to sit in my office and play stupid online games and waste the entire night away, but I still manage to put that out of my head and go do something good for myself.  The me of four years ago would have laughed until he choked if anyone told him that this would be in his future.  That same fat guy still lives inside of me and is constantly trying to make me (and many times succeeding) do bad things to myself.  I do end up feeling extremely guilty every time I falter and end up eating a big bowl of ice cream, so that is progress.  I just wish the will power I had when I first started dieting was still with me.  That first year I wouldn't even look at ice cream or cookies or cake or any of that stuff.  Now it takes everything I have to look away, and I don't succeed as much as I'd like.  But I'm doing something right because I'm maintaining my weight right where I like it.  My stomach has been feeling flabbier than usual lately, which troubles me, but I'm obviously losing someplace else to balance it out.

To put the 1,925 miles into some kind of perspective for me, I looked at Google Maps to see how far that would take me from my house.  It takes me to Saskatchewan, Canada.  Or New Mexico.  Or Colorado.  Or Wyoming.  Or Texas.  It boggles my mind when I look at the map that way.

We're getting closer to getting all the details hammered out for our upcoming wedding.  The biggest hurdle we're facing right now is where we're going to eat.  Ken, I feel, is being too restrictive in his needs/demands and it's annoying me.  I'm trying to just go with the flow and let him have his day, but sometimes that's hard for me to do.  But I'm working on it.  Ultimately, I guess I shouldn't care.  I care more about Ken and the handful of friends that will be on hand than anything else.  I'll just let Ken worry about the details since he's got more issues with them than I.

I'm looking forward to this week.  Sort of.  It's another four day work week.  Friday I go and have the final part of my root canal done, then Monday I get my new crown and this round of dental woes should be done with.  I'm afraid I'm not going to have enough dental benefit left to get the other root canal I'm in need of this year, but I've lived with this tooth the way it is for (I think) three years, so six more months isn't going to kill me.


Update And Stuff

I've been burning the candle at both ends again, it seems. Little time for much of anything. This weekend is promising to be more on the quiet side than the last couple.

Last weekend my friends George and Steve were up from NYC. Steve was conducting a workshop in Syracuse on Sunday and thought it might be nice to make a weekend of it. They arrived on Saturday morning and we spent the day hanging out. It's only the second time they've been here since we moved, though I was sure it was their fourth or fifth. I was wrong. We spent a while just hanging out at home, which turned out to be a bit of a tragedy. George and I were in my office in the basement geeking out while Steve and Ken were upstairs talking about vacations. At one point Ken got up and somehow caught his foot on the coffee table. He was pretty sure he broke a toe. There's not much they can do for a broken toe, so he sucked it up and we went on with our day. The next morning, when the foot wasn't feeling any better (worse actually), he went to the doctor only to find out he broke his foot in two places. They wrapped him up and sent him home, telling him to go to the real doctor on Monday. (He went to urgent care.) He was going to blow off the doctor's appointment on Monday, but I convinced him to go. And it's a good thing he did, because he found out the he didn't break it in two places, it was actually three. He's doing much better now, but he still hurts.

The weekend before last we had plans to host a game night at our house. We have a regular group of friends we do game night with, but it's hard to get together too often. One of the couples has two small kids, which makes it hard. And we all live pretty far apart now. We live furthest away from the couple with kids and that's probably an hour and a half. When we do get together, it's usually at the friends' house in between. But we got to host for the first time, which was great. It's been probably two years since all our schedules allowed us to get together for this. And earlier that day, my old friend Marla stopped by the house. I haven't seen her in probably two years. She lives outside NYC. The night before she texted me asking if I was going to be around. She was going to be in the area and wanted to stop by.

So the last two weekends have been full of good friends, socialization and over eating. This weekend is going to be much quieter. The only plan on hand is to try to firm up wedding plans. We've got a basic idea of what and when, but no specific details other than a date.

An update to my gardening post a couple weeks ago. All my plants are doing extremely well. They all seem very happy in the garden. I was worried because of the amount of rock in the soil, but it doesn't seem to be effecting them. The only issue I'm having is my Euonymous is being eaten by something. I think the rabbits that live in the forever wild area are stopping by and treating it as an all-you-can-eat buffet. The plant is still happy, just being eaten. I need to get something to keep the rabbits away. I'm sure they make something for that.

Today was the second of three visits to the endodontist for my root canal. Last week was the removal of the roots. Today he cleaned out the tooth and then next week he seals it up. I don't know how it was possible, but he numbed me up even more than he did last week (and last week's numbing was the strongest I'd ever had.) My face felt like Mary Jo Buttafuoco's must feel. I like that I was left alone in the office a couple of times during today's procedure. I got to snap a couple of pictures. I know I could have done it with him in the room, but it felt better doing it while I was alone.

The novacaine is taking effect.

Now I'm numb. Bring on the drilling!

Say "ahhhh"

The other day I was at work and a thought hit me. I realized I wasn't feeling anything in my mouth. The pain that I'd come to accept as a normal mouth feeling was suddenly gone. I've been living with this stupid dental pain for too long. It really kind of pisses me off that I don't do a better job of taking care of myself. Once I'm finished with this root canal and crown, I need to see how much of a dental benefit I still have left with my insurance. I'm hoping there's still enough left to get the second root canal I'm in desperate need of. That tooth has been hurting a lot longer than the one I'm having worked on now, though not as extreme. I'm anxious to see how my mouth is going to feel once that pain is gone. It's been hurting for so long and I'm so used to it, I probably have no idea how much it's been bothering me. Does that make sense?


Another Goal SMASHED

So I hit my 1,200 mile goal for 2011 about six months early.  When I hit it, I established a new goal, which was 1,844 miles.  That is the distance, front door to front door, from my house to Freddy's house in Austin, Texas.  Today I smashed that goal by about 17 miles.  And dammit, I feel great!



Had weekend guests who just left today and am trying to catch up on things I let slide all weekend because of them.  Hopefully will post a rather dull and boring update in the next day or so.  Until then, please enjoy this photo of Aretha Franklin.


Self Improvement

I let negativity in too easily and find it hard to let go of. I let myself get so easily defeated over everything. These are two things I'm constantly working on improving about myself, but it's hard. I've had 45 years of perfecting this behavior. It's going to take a long time to break it.

Today was my root canal. I wasn't looking forward to it at all. I wanted it done, but I didn't want to deal with the unpleasantness of the procedure. But I sucked it up, tried to put on my big boy pants and just do it. I have to say that this was probably the single most pleasant dental experiences I've ever had. The dentist was great, he actually listened to me and he did a great job. He numbed me up better than I've even been before. I didn't feel a thing. I was prepared for feeling pain, so I spent most of my time in the chair tensed up. I wish I had more faith in him and let myself relax, but I think that can happen next time.

After the dentist, I came home, vegged out a bit and then decided to hit the gym. I figured that if my mouth was going to hurt and make me not want to go, it would be later. So I took advantage of still being all numbed up. By the time I was finished, I was starting to feel my face again. I was told to try avoid eating until I could feel again so I didn't accidentally eat my tongue or face. So after the gym, Ken and I headed to the diner to eat. I was hesitant to put any pressure on the right side of my mouth, but I took a little bite here and a little bite there. There was no sharp pain shooting through my head. I was so relieved. Until... I took a big gulp of iced tea and then I had the same shooting pain I've had for weeks. I don't even know how this is possible. The nerve in that tooth is gone. I should be feeling nothing. It really turned my mood around from a really good one to a really horrible one. All I kept thinking to myself is that no matter what, I can't win.

After we got home from the diner, I set about making my lunch for work tomorrow. I bring a big ol' salad every day. I had an idea while I was making it. I took a cold piece of chicken and held it on my root canalled tooth. I felt nothing. I then held it on the crowned tooth next to it and I instantly felt shooting pain. I tried this two more times just to be sure. The crowned tooth that's giving me problems has been giving me problems since before I got the crown. My dentist insisted that a crown was all I needed to fix that tooth. After the crown was on, the tooth still hurt. Not knowing how things worked, I just assumed that I was going to need a new crown and insurance certainly wasn't going to cover that, so I just ignored it. Only recently did I find out that a root canal could be done right through a crown. So it's been in the back of my head that I need to address this sooner or later. Turns out that I'm going to need to address it sooner rather than later. I've been living with the cold sensitivity for weeks now. I'll be able to handle it a few more weeks.

I spent a while this afternoon just trying to shake the "oh woe is me" funk I allowed myself to fall into. Figuring out that it was not the tooth I had worked on today helped a little. I forced myself to get up and go out for a walk. I needed to get out of the house and walk some of my frustration off. I'm glad I did. Although I'm not doing cartwheels and singing songs about how wonderful the world is, my mood is definitely getting better. I'm still learning how to process things and not let them get me down. I'm doing better than I used to, but I still have a long way to go.



I've been bad at blogging lately, so I don't remember what I've said about my teeth.  I could look back, but that would take the effort of two or three mouse clicks, god forbid.  

Last week I went in to get a new crown on one of my lower molars.  I've known I needed one for a long time now, but as is my nature, I've been putting it off.  A few months back, I chomped down on a popcorn kernel and the tooth has been pretty bad ever since.  I was convinced by the amount of pain I was in that I was going to need a root canal.  My dentist disagreed, so I went behind his back for a second opinion.  The other dentist also didn't see the need for a root canal.  She swore a crown was all I was going to need.  I was still pretty sure neither of them knew what they were talking about, but I agreed to go in for the crown.  

My appointment was in the late morning.  It took quite a bit of novacaine to numb me up.  The first shot didn't do it.  The second one didn't either.  The third one did.  And it took most of the afternoon for it to wear off.  When it did, I realized that I still couldn't put any pressure on the tooth.  It was actually hurting more than before the appointment.  I called the dentist and asked how long it should be before I could use the tooth.  I was told it would take probably about an hour from when I left the office.  So I explained my problem.  Unfortunately, the dentist was already gone for the day and I'd have to wait until the next day for a call back.  When I did get the call back, I was told to rinse the tooth in warm salt water.  I have no idea what this was supposed to achieve, but I followed orders.  I asked how long I should give this before calling back.  She said to give it a couple of days.  So I did.  This was Thursday and the office is closed on Friday, so I gave it until Monday.  At which point I called back and let them know I was now able to lightly chew bread with that tooth and nothing more.  Another hour or so passed before I got a call back and was given a referral to an endodontist.  So guess who is getting a root canal tomorrow morning?  I'm not sure what I'm more pissed off at.  The fact that no one will listen to me or the unexpected expense of it all.  It's not going to be cheap and I don't even know how much my insurance is going to cover.  

Think good thoughts for me.  It's been a decade (or longer) since the last time I've done this.  I don't even remember what to expect other than a mouth full of pain.  Remember, my bottom teeth do not like to numb up easily at all.


I've just about had it with the lack of landscaping we've done with the house.  Last year we made a conscious decision to ignore it in favor of getting the interior of the house in the shape we wanted.  This year was supposed to be all about the outside.  Well, it's the middle of July and we've done next to nothing.  For this I blame Ken and his lack of motivation.  He's the one with the green thumb.  He enjoys plants and gardening and all that jazz.  I could, for the most part, care less.  I'm not all that interested in gardening.  I don't know much about flowers and plants other than what I like.  The amount of interest I have in gardening is minimal.  At the last house, I was given a small patch in the garden to do whatever I wanted with.  As the spring disappeared and summer started dawning on us, I asked for a small area in which I could plant stuff.  Ken, at least in his head, has plans for just about every decent spot on the property, so I was given a slightly less favorable area.  I don't really care, I just wanted to throw something in the ground that I would enjoy.  The spot he let me have was on the side of the house where the gas meter is and near where we keep the trash cans.  But I took it.  It was small and just big enough to hold my interest.  Over the July 4th weekend, I went out and loaded up on some plants and started my garden.

I'm particularly drawn to succulents.  I don't know what it is about them.  It could be because they are low maintenance and that really appeals to me.  I just love the way they look, too.  I don't know much about them, but I do know I like them.  I picked up a couple hens & chicks, some sedem and got to planting.

I loved the idea of laying stone instead of mulch.  I really like the way it looks, especially with the succulents.

On the other side of the gas meter, I planted a euonymous (I'm not quite sure of the spelling), another plant I love.  I had one at the last house and that thing just grew like gangbusters.  My goal is to have it grow enough to camouflage the gas meter somewhat.  I don't really care that the meter is there, but I know it would drive Ken crazy if he was to plant near it. 

One bit of landscaping we did do together was to plant a few trees.  We had a tree in the front yard that died shortly after we moved in.  We bought a red maple to replace it and planted it the weekend before last.  I forgot to snap a picture of it.  We also planted three river birch trees along the edge of our property.  These should be fairly fast growers and I hope they really take off.  We put them along the edge of the usable property and the forever wild area.  The main goal we have for these trees is to block some of the view of the park next door to us.

These trees should thrive along side the forever wild area.  They love the moisture that tends to collect there.  I'm hoping for the best for them.

I wasn't all gung ho to be moving into a house next door to a playground, but it really hasn't turned out to be anything like I'd imagined.  The kids playing there can be noisy, but we had more noise coming from the Taco Bell parking lot we lived next to in the last house.  My only real issue with it is the God awful colors the playground equipment is painted.  I know it's supposed to look fun, but it looks more like an eyesore to me than anything.  But we have the forever wild area between us and as you can see, it's really rather beautiful to look at.  Next year, I want to find some plants to put in there to enhance it's beauty and to bring some extra color to it.  I have no idea what, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.


I Know You Don't Give A Shit....

...but here's my weekend update. 

I know I often comment that by Sunday night I'm exhausted, but this Sunday night, I feel even more so than usual.  While the weekend wasn't jam packed with stuff, I kept pretty damn busy and it's taken the life out of me.  I was very excited to see that we had nothing on the agenda for the weekend.  I love those weekends where there's nothing but time to enjoy.  

Saturday started like most Saturdays.  I forgot to lock the cats out of the bedroom and Ollie started trying to wake me up starting at seven.  I usually get up at 5:30 during the week, so he's used to eating breakfast before six.  When six passes, he starts to worry.  So I got up relatively early and fed the cats and signed on to the computer for a short bit until Ken woke up.  We started talking about how beautiful a day it was already and decided that it would be a shame not to get out and do something.  Anything.  So we headed out.  We were thinking about going to this one restaurant for dinner, but decided to hit it up for lunch instead.  We trekked to Schenectady (ugh) only to find that they don't do lunch on Saturdays.  Plan two was to go for burritos across the street, which to be honest, I was much happier with.  The place we went to, Bombers, makes these ginormous burritos.  And me being the freakshow that I am instantly started regretting the meal once it settled in my stomach.  It was amazing, though.  Amazing.  So my neuroses drove me to the gym later that afternoon.  

After lunch we went and started to look at wedding rings.  Since we're planning on making it legal in the coming months, we need to get the ball rolling.  We only hit one place and they were kind of busy and it was hard to get to the case with the rings, so we scrapped it.  Next stop was a nursery.  We've been in the house over a year now and have still done nothing in the way of landscaping.  That's Ken's department and something I don't care too much about.  I do like to have nice flowers and plants, but I don't know one from another, nor do I care.  But we stopped because I was sick of having nothing.  I wanted to plant something.  I ended up with a bunch of succulents.  I really like them and I think they look nice.  

When we got home, I hit the gym and got home to shower and hit the diner.  This was not an eat at home weekend.  Saturday night I finished up watching my Planet of the Apes box set.  Friday night I watched the last two movies and Saturday I watched the documentary bonus disc.  I loved this series growing up.  I haven't watched them since I was a small boy.  I remembered parts of the first, third and fifth movie and really didn't remember much of the second and none of the fourth.  It was great fun watching them over the last few weekends.  Next up is Dynasty Season 5.  It was released on Tuesday and arrived in the mail on Saturday!

Today was much busier than yesterday.  The feline alarm clock got me up at the crack of dawn again.  Fed the cats, hit the gym and got home to find Ken sitting out back.  I mentioned to him that I saw the nursery delivered the trees he bought last week and he was surprised by this.  He never heard the delivery truck drop them off.  I assumed he was awake and sitting out back because of that.  He bought four new trees to landscape with.  One to replace a tree that had died and three others to border our property line.  After a stop at Lowe's and Home Depot, I did the grocery shopping and got home in time to help him plant the one tree.  It took quite a while, but we got it in and it looks great.  Next up was to plant the plants I bought yesterday.  The stops I made at the hardware stores was for stone.  I decided that rather than mulch, stone would look much better with the succulents.  Ken was opposed to it at first, but he really likes the way it turned out and is now contemplating doing this in another area.  I need one more bag of stone to finish up the garden.  I thought I had enough, but I was just a bit short.  Looking over the garden once it was finished, I'm sure I planted some of the plants a little too close together.  I can always move them next  year if that's the case, though.  I hope they survive where I planted them.  There was considerable stone in the ground.  I'm optimistic, though.

Sitting in the sun all afternoon really sucked the life out of me.  I bought burgers and stuff to grill for dinner, but neither of us had any energy to cook, so we went out again.  I'm still feeling really full, which is good, but I want ice cream, which is bad.

Oh, I totally forgot.  On Saturday, while at they gym, I did the stationary bike.  I like the bike because I can exercise AND play with my iPhone at the same time.  I checked Grindr and this 24 year old kid messages me.  He wanted to blow my in the worst kind of way.  I'm so bad at flirty chat.  I should have kept him talking longer, but I didn't.  He sent me a pic of his shaved belly and pubes, but no doinger shot.  If I was a better flirter, I could have gotten one, I'm sure.  The whole time we were chatting, I kept wondering what the fuck was wrong with this kid that we wants to get in MY pants?  I'm old enough to be his dad.



How happy am I that this isn't the end of the weekend?  So happy.  There just aren't enough Monday holidays.  Since leaving retail, I've looked forward to them like you wouldn't believe.  I'm still not at the place where I feel comfortable taking the prior Friday off, as well.  These retail scars are still hard to shake, nearly six years later.

I haven't mentioned it here before, but I've been having some dental issues.  I have a tooth with a small crack in it.  It bothers me on and off, but never too severely.  Since it's not too severe, I just let it be.  About six weeks ago I bit down hard on an unpopped popcorn kernel.  And it hurt.  Bad.  And I believe it made the crack a little bit worse.  I knew it was time to have the tooth addressed.  My dentist no longer does root canals, so I looked through the phone book and found a dentist who not only does them, but also takes my insurance.  I called and made an appointment, but because of the way my insurance works, it was going to be just over two weeks before I could get in and be covered.  It was a long two weeks.  I couldn't put any pressure on the tooth and I had to be careful drinking anything cold because that hurt like hell, too.  I finally get in, she does her exam and tells me I need a crown, but the way the tooth looks, a root canal is unnecessary.  I was a little annoyed.  Mostly because my opinion was the incorrect one.  I could have saved myself a couple of weeks pain and aggravation by just making an appointment with my regular dentist to have this done.  I have the appointment now, but it's still over a week away.  Luckily some of the pain is subsiding and my mouth doesn't feel nearly as bad.  I just want this to be over with already.  I also wish my parents taught me better dental hygiene growing up.  I wouldn't have as big of a mess of a mouth as I do now.  

I promised myself 2011 was going to be all about taking care of myself.  I think I'm doing an okay job of it so far, but this whole dental thing should have been addressed way earlier than now.  The year is already half over.  

Today I hit a new high (or is that a new low?).  I got on the scale and it's the first time I've ever seen my weight at 185.  I've come close to it before, but today I weighed in at 185.8 lbs.  I didn't believe it, so I weighed myself again.  And again.  And again.  And again.  Five times and it came up 185.8 all five times.  Of course, I fear this may backfire on me.  I've worked really hard at keeping my weight in the high 180s.  I've also been promising myself to kick back a little with working out.  My logical and emotional sides are now duking it out over this.  If I slow down, I'll gain weight.  If I keep up the pace, I'll keep down the weight.  Aaarrrrgggghhhhh!  Today at the gym should be a sign.  My body just didn't want to do it.  I usually get on the elliptical and set it at level 14.  Today I had to bring it down to level 12 and I was still having problems working out.  I usually go for 70 minutes, but today pushed with all my might to do 55 minutes.  My body was telling me enough is enough.  This makes me wonder if I'll go tomorrow.  I'd like to since I'm off work, but my body may want to kick me in the nuts for doing it.

I was just looking at the calendar and realized that July (and the rest of the summer, for that matter) is really filling up with socializing.  I'm actually looking forward to more than less of it.  And it looks like it's going to be a busy summer.  Yeah!


1,200 Mile Update

Another month, another mileage update.  I'll save you all the charts and graphs and crap.  Firstly, I'm sure you don't give a shit, but more importantly, I'm feeling too lazy to produce said charts and graphs and crap.  

Mileage wise, I had my best month ever.  Nine of my workouts were on the stationary bike, and I generally clock about 22 miles each time I use it.  That certainly help up the number of miles this month.  It also killed my legs, but I think that's the point.  Another thing that helped was my persistence.  I missed just four days at the gym in June.  However, one of those days, I made two separate visits, which, in retrospect, was fucking stupid.  I was so sore by the end of the second visit that all I wanted to do was go lay down.

My original goal of 1,200 miles was smashed at the beginning of June.  My new goal is my home away from home, which would be my friend Freddy's house in Austin, Texas.  According to Google Maps, doorstep to doorstep is 1,844 miles.  As of the end of June, I'm about 325 miles away.  Tonight I did just over 22 miles on the bike, so I'm really just over 300 miles from my next goal.  I'd like to think I can smash this next goal by the end of the month, but I keep promising myself I'm going to take it a little bit easier this month with working out.  I also made that promise last month and look how that worked out.  

Part of the excessive gym use in June was my diet.  I've been overdoing it with what I've been eating.  It's not so much what I'm eating for my meals, but it's all the in between snacking.  When I'm at home, I'm fine, but lately, work has been driving me to eat, mostly out of boredom, but sometimes out of frustration.  And at work, I'm chowing down on candy.  Crap candy.  Which makes me pissed at myself, which forces me out to the gym.  July needs to be different.