Derailed…a little

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Editor’s Note: Anyone on my Facebook knows what happened on Friday, so I’m not going to rehash it here. I am still searchable on here, and there will be no discussion of it here. If you have questions, well, send me a message over there.

I’m a week late in my update, but hopefully I’ll be able to add a second update this week. We’ll see what happens.

1) I haven’t started walking yet. Meant to this morning, but it was rainy, and I’m kind of whiny, so I didn’t go out. The sun is out now, so as soon as I’m done with this post, I’m taking the dog out and then I’ll head out to the streets for a while. On the weight front, two weeks ago, I was at 253.6, last week I was at 252.8 (a loss of .8 pounds, woo!), and this week I’m at 253.8 (a one pound gain, boo!), which means that in the five weeks since BTW, I’m showing a net gain of 2.6 pounds. I want to revise my goal of “lose 25 pounds”  to “be at or below 225 pounds by next BTW.” I’ll edit the original post to reflect that. That puts me at 28.8 pounds until my first weight goal. I can totally do that in a year.

2) My coven and I are reading Evolutionary Witchcraft together. We’re doing it in a book group kind of format, and we’re taking it slow. Prologue and first chapter are due by the 22nd. I also need to talk to a covenmate about helping with the rituals. She said she’d help, and with Samhain just around the corner, we need to get on it.

3) So not sure where to start with the podcast. Need to talk to Scott and see what I can get away with. I know that there are places that host on the cheap. Will need a new domain. Will need the right software. Will need a format, themes, music, and quite possibly a co-host or two. I have Ideas. Now just need Follow-through. Yeeeeesssssss…. The power of the airways!

4) Blogging: I’m doing it! Woo, go me! Or, y’know, something…

I finished a shawl. It’s beautiful and orange and geometric. I could have made it bigger, I think, but I didn’t and now it’s too late. Sad cowboy. I’m working on two sweaters and a blanket that have been hibernating for a while. They’re not portable, but I’m not going anywhere, and I have Netflix.

So, yeah, things got a little sidetracked. It will get better. I will make it better. And to those who doubt? Yeah, I don’t need you in my life.


Strike

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Early this morning, the union of drivers and mechanics for COTA (Central Ohio Transportation Authority) went on strike. For a large percentage of Columbus, this means nothing. For a lot of people, though, such as me, it means a great deal.

We have one car. We live in Whitehall. Leon works in Dublin, so he drives. I work downtown. We live a block from Main Street, which is a major bus lane. The 2 runs from Reynoldsburg to downtown and then turns north to Crossroads, just outside the 270 loop. That’s how I get to work.

By car, downtown is about a 15-minute drive. By bus, it takes me about 40 minutes. I like taking public transportation, to be honest. It gives me time in the morning to finish waking up, to read, to listen to podcasts, to knit, and to get myself in a work mindset. In the afternoon, it lets me shrug off any feelings from work, and to put the work mindset to bed until the next morning. Driving doesn’t do that for me.

This morning, though, I didn’t have that option. I knew that the strike was happening, as I’d woken up about 3:30 this morning to go to the bathroom, so I checked the websites for COTA and the Dispatch. I knew that a tentative agreement had been reached, but I also knew that the strike was going to happen. There is a union meeting set up for 6:00 this evening, where I hope that the agreement gets accepted.

I won’t go anywhere near saying that I’m anything even remotely even an armchair expert when it comes to these things. I have heard everything from “the union is a bunch of greedy thugs!” to “COTA management is a bunch of overpaid fatcats who don’t care about the people they serve!” As with most things, I’m sure that the reality is somewhere in between. COTA drivers make a CRAPLOAD more than I do; their top level payrate is three times what I make. The COTA CEO reportedly got a $15,000 pay raise over the former CEO (which, to be clear, is nearly what I make in a year).

Personally, I think that most of the people involved are COMPLETELY out of touch with what happens in the rank-and-file of the rest of the country. I know that I don’t make nearly as much as I could, but that’s my doing; I work in the non-profit world, and I knew what I was getting into. However, a significant number of the people who use COTA probably average right around what I make, and another big chunk probably don’t make much more than I do.

Yeah, this is an incredible inconvenience for a large number of people, no matter on which side of the issue you fall. The comments on the Dispatch articles and the articles on Columbus Underground have been ragingly vitriolic (which should continually remind me not to go into the comments). My biggest beef with all of this is that every Dispatch article revolves around the fact that, last year, COTA transported 29,000 people to Red, White, and Boom (the fireworks display for the Fourth of July in Columbus), and boo hoo, those people might have to drive, park WAY FAR AWAY, and not be able to walk their fat asses and their entire brood of piglets so far to the fireworks! Makes me wanna punch reporters in the throat. There are bigger issues, like the thousands of people who use COTA every day to get to and from work and who can’t afford to just “call a cab,” like some people keep suggesting on the forums.

I know I’m lucky enough to be able to ride in with Leon. Not everyone has that luxury.


Adrift

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It seems like I only get inspired to post when I’m moody. I don’t like that, to be honest. I’m not always moody. I can get that way, but I’m not always Eeyore.

I just feel so adrift from everyone and everything. Work doesn’t suck, but it’s a little… uncomfortable? Insecure? Marking time? I don’t even know how to describe it, but no, I don’t really want to go into it.

Leon’s always awesome. As much shit as I give him and as much shit as he puts up with from me (which are not necessarily the same thing), I know he’s always there and always strong for me.

I just don’t feel like I have any passion for anything lately. I said this to someone last week. She said that she doesn’t believe that, that I do have passion, I just need to figure out what it is and how to tap into it to make it work with and for me. I don’t know that she’ll ever read this, but I also don’t think she knows how much that meant to me. And I know fully well that she knows just how difficult that task is as well.

I’m almost 40 years old. I should have a direction, shouldn’t I? I should know by now what I want to do and be when I grow up, right? I mean, I’m evidently very good at being a priest, but I’m not Christian, so there’s not really any way for me to turn that into a career. I’m a decent writer, but I don’t know if I have enough to say to turn that into a career, either.

You know what I’d love to turn into a career? Ridiculously wealthy international playboy. How do I get that job?

In all seriousness, I still think I need to check into our insurance to see if I can’t get a therapist. I don’t know what kind of help someone of that line will be, but I can’t imagine it would hurt. There are just so many positive changes that need to be made in my life that it’s all a bit overwhelming, to be honest. So many things I can see that could change, so much trepidation, so little wherewithal to make the changes.

Maybe a run would help. Maybe I should give that a try. I’ve noticed that my head clears out and my mood improves, even with the pain I deal with when I run. That’s at least some small part of a positive change I can make in my life.


Just some quotes I want to remember…

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“The question before the human race is, whether the God of Nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?”
          – John Adams

“In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot.”
          – Thomas Jefferson

“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”
          – James Madison

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”
          – Thomas Paine


Check-In

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So, a lot of what I’ve been talking about lately has been my struggle with my weight. I’ve got more stuff going on than just that, honestly. That’s a big part of my headspace these days, but I’m not so focused on that to the detriment of the rest of my world.

The biggest other thing would be this. On Monday, January 23, I started working at the Ohio Humanities Council, permanently and as a real person. I worked for them for the last six weeks of 2011 as a temp through OfficeTeam, but they hired me on as of January 23. This office… I can’t even tell you how awesome everyone is. I’m probably not going to do a lot of referring to them in my blog, though; partially, it’s because my job doesn’t define who I am, partially it’s because I’m kind of a representative of my employer even when I’m not at work (like everyone seems to be), and partially it’s because the Executive Director knows where my blog is and reads it on an infrequent and random basis (HI BOSS!). Suffice it to say, the depression I fell into when I didn’t get the job at the school was more than filled by OHC. These people rock so hard, it’s amazing that they don’t have a recording contract and people throwing various underthings at them when they’re on stage.

Knitting is knitting. Nothing major and/or new on the needles, which is how I’m planning it. I have a ton of yarn that I could be knitting into new things, but I’m concentrating on working on the things that have been on the needles for a good long time and have been promised to people. I need to get so many things done. Hell, in the first month of 2012, I’ve already finished one sweater and two baby surprise jackets. I just need to add buttons to all three of them. I’ve got one more BSJ to do for yet another freakin’ pregnant woman at Leon’s job, but then I’m done with the jackets for a bit. I’m finishing off the first half of a pair of fingerless mitts tonight then casting on for the second mitt. They go quickly, even with all the cabling, and I have at least one more pair of them to make. I’m also about half done with a sweater for The Princess (see the Fat Family Fitness blog if that makes no sense to you because you think that either Belle or I answer to that) that will make her look so freakin’ awesome. A shawl for Melissa. A lace scarf for Niki. A hat and a blanket for Scott. A sweater for Jason. A sweater for me.

I’m looking into joining a gym. We’ll see what February specials at the local places look like, but I’m leaning heavily toward Planet Fitness. Their whole “No Judgment Zone” philosophy speaks to the fatboy in me. I don’t need some no-neck ‘roided up lunkhead giving me shit for not being able to benchpress a Buick. Also, I don’t need to be where every judgey homo in the world works out. It’s not a scene, it’s not a be-seen, it’s a place to drop this 60 pounds and turn it into sexy, sexy, furry muscle.

(Aside: It’s odd being up high enough that helicopters are buzzing by my office window. Kind of awesome, though. We’re on the 16th floor.)

We’re heading to Drenched Fur (link probably NSFW) in Erie at the end of March for their waterpark night. Those poor pool filters. 300+ bears? Yeah. Awesome. I’m looking so very forward to it, more for the getting-together-with-friends and getting-out-of-Ohio of it than for the bear run side of it, but that’ll be neat, too.

I think I’m going to start posting stuff about my City of Heroes/Villains/Going Rogue characters, complete with photos of all of their costumes. That’ll give me some fun shit to talk about, hey? Maybe I’ll blog more often! Perhaps a Tuesday or Thursday feature! I’m also thinking about starting a monthly or bi-weekly podcast. Anyone interested in just listening to me talk?


Brotips

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You know, I kind of find the whole “bro” subculture kind of offensive. That being said, BroTips is kind of a fun site. If you can look past the whole “bro” thing. My favorite, so far, is this one. Shout-out to Clay (probably the closest thing I’ve got to a “bro”, if I had them) and Neil Patrick Harris. Just because I dig NPH, and because I’m pretty sure Barney Stinson is the reason for the bro subculture.


More posty, less ignorey

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I don’t make resolutions. Or, at least, I try not to. I do like goals, though. Nice, easy-ish goals. Stuff like “lose 5 pounds a month” sounds easy and attainable. If I do that, do you realize that that’s SIXTY POUNDS this year? Yeah. I’m at 240. That takes me to 180, my personal goal weight. So, here we got with the goals for 2011.

  1. Lose 5 pounds a month.
  2. Finish the knitting projects you have on the needles. The ones you can remember are:
    • Sweater
    • Sweater
    • Sweater
    • Sweater
    • Fingerless gloves
    • Fingerless gloves
    • Fingerless gloves
    • Fingerless gloves
    • Blanket
    • Lace scarf
  3. Finish Run a 5K. Start to finish. You finished one already. You need to run the whole way. Even if it takes you a million years to run it, you will run it. Even if you get passed by every stroller or walker, you WILL run it. You’re already locked into the Jingle Bell Run for December.
  4. Put your degree to work. Seriously. And soon.
  5. Find a prosthedontist who won’t destroy your wallet. Finish your smile.
  6. Blog more. Yew rite guud. Doesn’t matter if anyone reads it. Write for the love of writing. Get the words out of your head.
  7. Care less about things and people you can’t change. They will continue to be who and what they are. (And yes, this is probably the hardest one.)
  8. Talk to The Princess and The Drama Queen more. Kick them in the ass to run.
  9. Win another frickin’ blue ribbon in the Ohio State Fair. You’ve got MAD FUCKIN’ KNITTIN’ SKILLZ and you have a fantastic shawl… around here… somewhere… Shit.
  10. Find the shawl. Before May. (Oops.)
  11. Finish the playlist for The Awesomest Niece Ever. Send her the CD.
  12. Don’t be such a homebody. There are people who would like to see you. Go see them. Even if it’s in a bar.
  13. Be good; it sounds like you’re built for it.
  14. …and see more movies. You’ve been watching the same ones way too much.
  15. Love like a crazy person. Lose yourself in it every once in a while.
  16. Go dancing. Yes, you have a rule about fat boys dancing. Break it.

Sure, I think I can do that. And more.

Happy 2012, y’all. May we all hit our goal weights before the world comes to an end. Because the world needs more skinny, hungry corpses.


College Football?? YOU?!

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(This is a repost of a blog post I made in 2009. A friend on Facebook made a post about a couple of this year’s bowl games, and it all became relevant again.)

Yes, me. I love football, and the more amateur it is, the more I love it, right down to the PeeWee level. Those kids are (mostly) playing for the pure love of the game. Once you get up to pro ball, it’s a job, and then it’s awesome because of the possibility of the Star Factor, but not as awesome because you have to bust your ass more to stay employed.

I saw this article yesterday, and started with a split second reaction of, “Legislation for college football? Really?” which quickly morphed into, “Well, that might be a bit extreme, but I can see why they’d want to regulate it a little bit.” and into “The BCS is completely skewing football.” And they pretty much are.

Take a look at that article again. Five conferences — Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, Sun Belt and Western Athletic — get the chance to send one team total to a bowl game, where the other six conferences can send multiple teams. How is that fair? Granted, one of my teams is Big Ten Conference (Wisconsin!) but the other is Mountain West Conference (Wyoming!), and most likely will never see a bowl game.

Do I think that legislation is the way to go? Probably not, but you know what? There’s gotta be some frivolity every once in a while. Kinda like the President “pardoning” the turkeys on Thanksgiving. I do think that some reform is needed for anything called a National Championship. If the NCAA does it for basketball, why can’t they do it for football? Sixteen teams to eight teams to four teams to two to a true national champion, complete with banners and parades and bragging rights. Let the teams themselves figure out who’s the best, not some arbitrary choice of who goes where. Let the bowl games be the quarter- and semi-finals and then pick one to be the Championship game. Would it take time to restructure? Sure it would. But that’s why these people get paid the big bucks.


A lie? From a corporation??

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Say it ain’t so! And before we go any further, let’s leave the moralizing about it being Wal-mart and OMG HOW CAN YOU SHOP THERE!!!!1eleven!! elsewhere, shall we?

Wal-mart has a “Match it!” commercial that’s been getting a lot of airtime lately. They’re trying to pimp out their price matching policy. It is, for the most part, a decent policy. Until you try to use it to price match something on their website with the same product in the store.

I’m trying to lose weight. We all know that. So I’m looking for more accoutrements to help in that quest. So I went in search of said items. I found this item on walmart.com. It’s a good setup. I talked with a friend who’s more fitness-minded than I am (HI, MATT!) and he said it’s a good gateway price and to go for it. So I trekked on down to my local Ghetto Wal-mart and found the item on the shelf. I took it to one of the price-check scanners, and it said that it was $21.37. Not a terrible price, but not the $15 it was advertising online. So I took it up to the service center and asked the guy behind the counter about it. He said that they don’t price match any websites. “Even your own?” I asked incredulously. “Even our own. It’s stupid, I know, but they won’t let me,” he said. So I trekked my happy fat ass back to Sporting Goods, put it back on the shelf (because I was taught to put things back where I found them, and I worked in retail long enough to know that it’s a raging bitch to have to put stuff away after rude customers have just left them wherever they want), and left the store, fuming.

Incidentally, I did check the walmart.com Ad Match Guarantee when I got home, and it does state that they don’t match Internet pricing. I can see that, when it’s from some other company, but to not match your own site? REALLY?? Why would you do such a thing? I can buy it online for $15 and have it sent to the store for pickup for no cost in shipping. How does this make any sense at all??


Really, Etsy? REALLY?

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Say what you will about Regretsy, sometimes they do more than just mock things that deserve the mockery. Such as this little gem.

I have a lot of friends who are independent artists. They work their asses off, and very few of them get the recognition they deserve. When something like the above happens, and a company like Etsy sides with the art thieves instead of the original artists? Yeah, that’s not cool. Not one tiny fucking bit. All of you who are touching yourselves in googly, glitter-covered awe over Etsy need to pay attention to this thing. Etsy doesn’t give two shits about the actual art or the ethics involved with some of the “artists” on their site. If they did, they’d take action against that kind of bullshit. Only, they won’t. Why? Because they’re only interested in getting their own money and not about the integrity of the business. Like any other business.