Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stupid People at the Gym

My biggest pet peeve is...stupid people at the gym! When I go to the gym, I go get an intense workout. I like to sweat and push myself until I literally can't push any further. I spend a lot of time that the gym, but I like to be efficient. I cannot stand people who just putz around and waste their time and mine. I've noticed that there are people who waste their time and then there are people that waste my time.

Of course, wasting my time is more annoying than watching them wandering like lost puppies. If you aren't using a machine, MOVE! I know it's hard to imagine that someone else might want to use the machine that you are using as your own personal recliner. These are the people that really get under my skin. I got shit to do and don't have time to dilly dally.

The other type of people, the lost sheep of the gym are almost as obnoxious as the first group. I see groups of fat women who sit on the machines and talk. Um...I'm not sure, but I think you have to actually exert a little effort in order to consider it a workout. I also sometimes see people who sit and talk on their cell phones. Are you really that important that you can't take 30-60 minutes out of your busy schedule to work out? Unless you’re Mayor Bloomberg or Perez Hilton, you can take a break and leave the cell phone in a locker.

And the MOST annoying people at the gym are the couples who make out! WTF! WTF (yes, it needs to be said twice). I see this same couple - fat chick and feminine guy who probably realize he's gay - and they are constantly just hanging out kissing each other. OMG! Get a friggin' room and move! I was waiting tonight for at least 15 minutes for this "couple" to move from the Abs chair. The guy would do 15 reps and then sit and caress her hair and kiss her and rub noses like Eskimos.

A gym is a place to work out! That's it! It's not a lounge, a phone booth or a suitable place for date. Go big or go home!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Food Revolution

This new show premiered on Friday called Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Here's an uber brief synopsis. Jamie Oliver, acclaimed British chef, moves to Huntington, West Virginia to change the locals' diets. Apparently, Huntington is, statistically, the unhealthiest city in the United States. Jamie's goal is to educate the people and save lives.

I'll admit that I loved it! But there were a few parts that made me mad. The locals complained that they were being portrayed negatively in the newspapers. Well, when you are the unhealthiest city in the country, it's pretty clear that you are ignorant. That's not a cheap shot at country people, it's a fact. These people are ignorant to basic nutrition. The children in the schools couldn't identify even the most recognizable vegetables. They thought tomatoes were potatoes. They didn't know that ketchup comes from tomatoes or that French fries from potatoes.

It's slightly more acceptable for children to be unaware of this basic information, but it's completely unacceptable for adults to be as clueless. The lunch ladies didn't see a problem with serving flavored milk and pizza for breakfast. They didn't have an issue with everything being served in their cafeteria being pre-packed and simply reheated.

The most enraging part of the show was when Jamie tried to help one family. He went into the fridge and saw nothing but frozen pizza, chicken nuggets and soda. Everyone in the family was morbidly obese and it was clear why. Jamie explained to the mother that she was basically killing her children with the she fed them. She cried and vowed to change...and of course she didn't. It wasn't until a doctor told her that her 13-year-old son was on his way to developing diabetes that she decided to make some serious changes.

I was trying to figure out how this happens. I thought that maybe some of it was done for the drama of filming a television. Surely, that is part of it. But the government statistics don't lie. People know that fruits and vegetables are good and pizza, burgers, and anything that comes out of a deep fryer are bad. Exercise is important to live a healthy life, not simply for people who want to have attractive bodies. These are universal truths. Are they really just stupid? Are they lazy? Is either of these two possibilities justifiable?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Farewell to the Oldsmobile

I knew that this moment would come sooner or later. My parents finally sold my car. I thought that I'd be completely elated, but I was surprised to be somewhat conflicted. I was happy because I can use the money and having a car and living in Manhattan is pointless. But, I was also sad because I'm giving away a piece of my life. That was pretty much my first car. I took it to the beach, the Adirondacks, and to and from Radford countless times.

Some of the most memorable car stories:

1) Being pulled over for driving down the center lane to pass someone. They were going soooo slow and Madonna was performing at the Tsunami benefit concert. And, of course, I couldn't miss that. I was just 16 and so scared! I thought I'd get a warning, but I didn't. I'll never forget exactly where I was pulled (right by the Mennonite food store) and how I was so nervous that I could barely speak without my voice shaking.

2) Getting a blowjob from Brian while driving down the winding back roads from Christiansburg. This story doesn't really need much elobartion. Use your immagination and then multiply by 10. This was one of the most memorable sexual experiences of my life. Gives new meaning to the phrase "Sticky and Sweet" ;-)

3) Driving home in the middle of the night to come out to my mom. I figured that if my parents supported me, then everything would be okay. So, I got in my car and drove the 7 hours back to PA. I remember rehearsing my speech the whole way there. And then of course that whole speech went out the window.

4) Going to Barnes and Noble in Exton late at night to buy the 6th season of The X Files. It was pouring out - probably the hardest I'd ever seen it rain. But, of course, I just had to go buy those DVDs. I remember not being able to see the lines on the road. On the way home, I remember getting onto the onramp to get back on the highway. It wasn't raining as heavily, so I was going maybe 40 mph. I didn't realize that the onramp was a downward slant. I slammed into this huge puddle (a mini lake is really what it was) and the car was physically stopped by this ocean. The water splashed up on both sides and I had frantically search for my windshield wipers and keep going.

5) Frustrating me throughout my last year at RU. It was 16 years old at this point and the problems I experienced were to be expected. But all the problems (spark plugs, wiring, and all other engine problems that I can't explain) helped me realize that I wanted to move to a city where I wouldn't need a car. I think that the stress helped me grow up and be an adult.

It's going to be sad! I know that I'm not going to get a car for quite some time. I don't need one and am nowhere close to have the money for one. Someday, I know I'll get another car, but it'll never be the same. You can never replace your first car. Goodbye old friend!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fresh Air

When I was growing up I loved being indoors. I would have much rather watched tv or played N64 than go outside and play sports. Then as I got older and I had to start cutting the grass (and at four acres it's a pretty big job), I started to really dislike being outside. The final straw was when I worked with my dad at the beach. The sand whipping up from the weedwacker, the hard yard cleanups, and the hot sweaty sun was what solidified my hatred for the great outdoors.

It's ironic that my perspective has changed so much, but shouldn't come as a shock. I work in an office for at least eight hours a day. The air is recycled and dry. The walls are the all the same "Sinai White." The computer screen produces an eye-straining glare. I was shocked at how refreshing it was when Katherine and I took our lunch to Central Park for the first time.

Just breathing fresh air feels amazing. Being exposed to the warm sun makes me happy. We'll just sit right inside the entrance off 5th Avenue. We'll watch the people walking their dogs or pushing strollers. We'll see kids playing in the fields and people jogging or riding bikes.

Now as 5:00 gets closer and closer, I feel myself getting antsy. I can see the beautiful sky from the huge windows behind my desk and I just want to get outside. Walking down the street or through the park is so refreshing and relaxing. This, is my favorite time of the year.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Haunted

I've done what I think was right. Was it? Maybe. Maybe not. It's been about a month since I've spoken with him. I've noticed that I seem to be doing more - going on dates, movies, hanging with friends and just enjoying life. But, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him. Does he think about me? What is he doing? How is he doing?

I can try to push the thoughts out of my head. And when you use your iPod to drown out your thoughts, it works pretty well. But, I can't escape at night. It's weird, I've had two really vidid dreams about him...and her in the past week. The memories are so vivid. The smell of his skin. The taste of his kiss. The look in his eyes. It's a blessing and a curse - to have such wonderful memories and know that they are exactly that, memories. The past. Something you'll never experience again.

I guess, and hope, that things will get better in time. But, I'll admit that I also still hope that one day he'll just show up at my office or apartment. That's never going to happen, and I know the wishful thinking doesn't help, but I can't help it.

Kelly Clarkson's "Haunted" is an amazing song. It so passionately shows the feeling of pain and loss when that one person walks away...or is taken away.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Saved and Ashamed

This guy, let's call him Brandon (primarily because that's his real name), added me on facebook after Quest, which was the summer of 2006. He told me how much he liked me and how cute he thought I was. We texted back and forth occasionally throughout my senior year - pretty raunchy at times. He told me that he loved me, which was kinda awkward since we never kissed, went on a date, or saw each other after Quest. Eventually he thought that being my friend without dating me would be too painful, so he defriended me.

Then, a few days ago I received this message through facebook:

"i know that its been such a long time........i want to tell you that some amazing things have been happening in my life. first and foremost i have gotten saved and accepted the grace of god into my life, while i'm pretty sure we've talked about this i'd like to tell you that you have been a good friend and someone that i do care about and as such i'd like to see you find the same thing i have if for no other reason than just to see you in heaven someday......jesus is the only way and all that has to be done is to just have faith that he can forgive you of your sins and thats all it takes to be forgiven.........i hope that you'll at least consider what i'm saying, because I'm not saying in any way shape or form that I'm better that anyone, I'm saying that I care enough about you that I want to pass on this gift, the gift of eternal life......I'm babbling and I hope my point has gotten across because I feel like this isn't something that I can mess up as far as trying to tell someone how they can be saved, its an amazing thing, there's nothing else like it."

Um...Wow. Now let's be clear, I have no problem with Christianity. While I am not a follower, I can understand the comfort and reassurance that the faith provides. In fact, my issue has nothing to do with the message itself because I believe that it was sent with good intentions. My issue is that in discovering Jesus, he lost a huge part of himself. I looked at his profile and he changed his interests to women. Now, considering this guy sent me some of the most sexually explicit texts I've ever received, his newfound interested in the vagina confused me.

This self-denial and self-hatred makes me sad and angry. Such a blatant and forced 180 degree turn is such an obvious ploy at being "normal". I always wondered what parents think when their child come out and then are so easily convinced that they are not gay. How does that conversation go?

Child: "I'm gay.”
Parent: "That's wrong. You're not gay".
Child: "Oh, okay. Yeah, I'm not gay".

So many of my friends from Radford are strong Christians, but still respect the rights and differences of others. My respect for Christians has increased so much having met these people. It's the Christians who believe that homosexuality is something one can change with therapy and Bible study that make me so angry. For one person to stand at a pulpit and argue I, personally, believe that God makes everyone exactly as his intends them to be. I know that I am happy with who I am and know that I can take comfort in the fact that I will never know the pain of denial and shame.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

If I Die in a Combat Zone

Wow, three posts in as many days. I've just got so much to write and reflect about lately. I recently finished reading Tim O'Brien's If I Die in a Comabat Zone Box (Box Me Up and Ship Me Home). It was a an engaging book that I had trouble putting down. I actually wanted to read it, unlike A Season in the Life of Emmanuel, which I could not wait to finish.

O'Brien recounts his life as a GI in the Vietnam war, but this is not a typical war novel. It showed his depth and personal growth and stuggle. He was opposed to the war and considered (and actually did for a few hours) fled in an attempt to reach Canada. What do you do when you think killing people over ideology is wrong? Do you do it anyway because it would be considered cowardly not to do so?

He decided to return to the army instead of fleeing while on a weekend pass. He saw friends killed, villagers tortured and harrassed, and all the horrors of war. But he grew and learned from it and became a stronger person.

He has such an adventure and sense of purpose. Maybe I should join the army and fight in Iraq. They'll repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell soon and then I'd be able to join. I'm sure I'd learn a lot about myself and get stronger. I like my job and life in New York, but it's so vanilla. I respond to emails, send faxes, make copies and then I home and watch The Office or Law and Order: SVU. It's a nice life, but it's not very exciting and I'm not really doing anything that'll affect the big picture. I get down about the littlest things and I think nearly getting blown up and getting shot at would make me appreciative of what I do. Plus, I think I'd look sexy in the uniform ;-)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dr. Olanow / Aspirations

Friday was our Parkinson's Symposium. It was relatively uneventful - the speakers showed up, the food was delivered on time, and everyone enjoyed the various presentations. The only slightly nerve-wracking moment was when I was waiting for the SUVs to show up. I told the company that we need them there at 6:00 and they told me they'd be there about 10 minutes to six just in case. Well the last presentation ended and people started leaving at around 5:45. OMG! Where are the SUVs? Susan's calling me and I start to panic. But then, 3 shiny, black SUVs show up and start parallel parking right in front our 5th avenue entrance.

I rode in the last SUV with my boss, his wife, Dr. Olanow and two of the speakers. We were dropped off at the corner of 5th and 54th street. Everyone looked so bewildered and lost and I got to play line leader. The University Club is only about 10 feet from the intersection (and 100 feet from the Prada flagship store). After a brief, albeit frantic, issue with the tribute presentation, everything ran smoothly. We saw a video montage of pictures of Dr. Olanow set to a Frank Sinatra song. Then Dr. Sealfon asked if anyone wanted to say any words about their experiences with Dr. Olanow.

So many people got up and told stories about his brilliance in research and clinical care. But the moments that really got to me were the stories about his friendship and family. When Dr. Tagliati's wife had passed away, Dr. Olanow called him every day and helped him by keep up with his work. People got emotional recounting their families of his friendship. People got up and talked about his kids and wife. Lastly, Dr. Olanow got up and thanked his wife and children for their support and love. It was so regal and elegant - it reminded me of President Kennedy and high society.

It really got me thinking. I really want what Dr. Olanow has in his life. We threw a formal dinner in a extravagant and classy venue with fifty guests in his honor. He has a loving partner and wonderful, successful children. He is respected for being a brilliant clinician and caring and selfless man.

How will I make my mark? How will I be remembered? Will I ever have a dinner thrown in my honor? Will I ever have colleagues who get emotional when they recount memories of me? Will I have a husband and children whom I love?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Safe Sex

I recently went speed dating and then had two subsequent dates. Both gentlemen were funny, nice, and excellent conservationists. The second date inspired a small spark of sexual attraction. But as soon as the blood moves to my favorite organ, the mind starts formulating lots of questions. Since I have self-diagnosed myself with OCD and hypochondria, the questions pop into my head in order of my deadliest first. Does he have AIDS? Does he have herpes? What STDs could he have that I could get from kissing him? Which STDs could he have for which there is no cure? Which STDs could he have that would make it burn when I pee?

Then of course there are the questions about danger that doesn't involve physical pain. How will I feel about myself if I have sex with him? Will I feel dirty? Is it okay to have sex with someone with whom you've only met a few hours ago? What if he thinks I'm bad in bed? What if he's using me? All these questions race through my mind and then the blood returns to its normal path of circulation.

Is sex ever safe? Even if you use a condom and are perfectly safe, there's always a chance that something could happen. Is it worth it? To me, at least at this point, is not. How can you enjoy something and really let loose if you don't really know the person and, more importantly, which viruses or diseases could be mixed in with their bodily fluids.

I'm not an expert, but I think most people have sex a lot. I think people have sex, enjoy it, and go about their lives. But what about the emotional issues of a casual, non-committed tryst? I've been fortunate enough to have had sex with three people. I'm proud of that number because I had a relationship with each person and they meant something. The idea of being someone's cum dumpster really disgusts. I think that the fear of being used is always in the back of my mind.

I realize this post is more questions than answers, but it feels cathartic to get these thoughts out of my head and onto my screen.