Friday, April 13, 2007

Some friends in the den. This is where we spend most of our time in the house.

Our friends Lisa and John near the back staircase. They just got married.

Another typical Saturday night on Chesapeake Avenue. The fireplace in the dining room is something we love. The lamp and stereo? Well, it's not quite perfect yet.

This is a picture, not so good of our view to the Hampton Roads section of the Chesapeake Bay. If it was clearer, you could see across the water to my office building at Norfolk Naval Base. This is where I crew on a sailboat.

Keith's wonderful nieces at the front door last summer.

Here's another picture of the house.

Yours truly in the vintage kitchen.

On Christmas morning we had breakfast in the living room. The present Keith bought himself is in the backgoround. Doesn't he look cute here!?

Over Christmas we added a bar in the living room. We had that old armoire Keith picked up at auction.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Me in the tiny rose garden with the neighbors swell looking blue vinyl house.

Ann and Ryan. Some of our great party guests.

Do we have an amazing mailman or what!? This was during Tropical Storm Ernesto.

Our street during Tropical storm Ernesto.

Here are the gifts for Anna's care package. I love how these turned out.

Hi, to the folks in UT. Here's a picture of the house on 9/16. Almost leaf raking season.

Monday, August 21, 2006

To the globe trotting fliends.

Other mysterious geisha also miss Cam, Dick and Barbara sooo much and hope you not forget us because you gone for such verry rong time. Geisha Kuma embarrassed by piture on other website.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

After today I don’t think my body will ever recover!

Super. I gained 5 pounds since I was weighed at the evaluation. Oh, I know. It’s probably 5 pounds of pure muscle.

I am back at it in earnest. Holy cow! How can this hurt so much and be good for me? I am less limber, in constant pain and this is supposed to be beneficial? I figure this will only take an hour and I will be all the better for it. So I press on. I also learn to close my eyes and concentrate on my breathing. This way I can block out my embarrassment at being the weakest guy at the gym. It’s a nice Zen trick I learned in the tai chi class.

Then after maybe the 4th machine. I see it. Oh, the horror! The shock! The disgust. I see someone who for a minute looks like my old boss. The one who sexually harassed me for 3 years in my last job. Oh, Yeah. Now I remember why I am doing this. Suddenly all of my motivation returns. I happily fantasize about the pummeling that will ensue if I ever see him again. I am going to be prepared. One of my personality flaws is that I hold grudges. The reality is that his wife’s buttery mashed potatoes will probably finish him off first.

But, hey. It helped me get in a good workout. My muscles are screaming in pain. Worse still, after the workout, in Body Flow/Tai Chi class, going from camel pose to peeing dog was still excruciating.

Today’s lesson: Only go to the gym by yourself.

I gave a ride to a friend of mine who just joined the same gym. It was his day to get the fitness instruction. He was getting his instruction while I worked out so I felt self conscious. Then they needed more people for the tai chi class and the class teacher was friends with his instructor so we both ended up going to the class and interrupting both my work out and his orientation to the equipment.

Class of course was brutal because I was sore from the workout. Plus there’s that agonizing peeing dog position. Sun Worship, warrior one, camel pose, peeing dog, warrior three. All to Kenny G music. It’s the Southern attempt at being New Age.

So after class, my friend had like 10 more minutes of fitness instruction and he was ready to go. I had only done 2/3 of my workout and had to abandon the session so he didn’t have to wait. That’s not true. I abandoned the session so I didn’t have to listen to him complain about waiting.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

More excuses.

This is the other half’s birthday. Birthdays are supposed to be fun filled days, not pain filled ones. No pain, no gain? Not true, there were presents to open and a restaurant to go to. That's like gain, right?

Already avoidance sets in.

Already avoidance sets in.

A friend’s mother has just moved to a retirement home. He was having a pre-estate sale and the other half insisted I go so we could pick up some inexpensive furniture for the new house. Well, there was nothing left worth buying, but we ended up going out to dinner with the friend and some neighbors.

Getting to know the neighbors is more important than just one night of working out, right? Sure it is…

Holy Mother of Jesus! I don’t think I have ever been in so much pain in my life.

And to think that it is self inflicted under the guise of self improvement is really too much. Exercise is the exact opposite of the “m” word. You don’t like people seeing you do it and it’s the absolute opposite of pleasure. For a WASP to be seen struggling like this really doesn’t do. It’s almost as bad as chewing gum. This is the day I begin my workouts in earnest. I begin with my Cybex workout. The weights that seemed easy with Mike the pretty boy who apparently started weight training at age two now feel like the 12 Labors of Hercules. I am supposed to do three sets of 15 repetitions at each device. It’s actually ending up to be something like 10, 6, 4. That’s on the easy ones. I realize now how hard and long the journey from Homer Simpson to Hugh Jackman will be.

After giving the Cybex machines my best college try, I realize from reading come calorie counter websites that I haven’t burned off many calories so I go off to the elliptical trainer to burn at least 100 more calories. This is the equivalent of an oatmeal raisin cookie. 1 serving size. Who comes up with these serving sized anyway? A vindictive Asian midget. That’s who.

So, I take my disciplined self up to the area with the treadmills and elliptical trainers. Luckily for me I can enter my weight and age and it tells me that eventually I have elliptically shed 100 calories. That took seemingly an eternity, but really it was less than 30 minutes. They have televisions and I watched part of Leave it to Beaver. Mrs. Cleaver’s posture should be an inspiration to women everywhere. Nurturing and correctness reached its apogee with that character.

Next I decided to take the Body Flow class. It’s a combo tai chi and yoga class. I thought it would be good because I would stretch. I had no idea what I was in for. Some of the positions give me a whole new respect for a male dog when he pees. My abs and hamstrings will never be the same. It will be days before I recover.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Personal Trainer

This is the day I am supposed to be oriented to the workout equipment by an experienced fitness professional and Personal Trainer who is going to take the time to make sure my posture is right and that I am using the equipment correctly. They say this is out of concern for my health, but it probably really to avoid a lawsuit.

Mike is the fitness professional whose job it is to orient me to the Cybex workout equipment. Mike has a better body than a Chippendale’s dancer from Australia and looks all of 23. He was up at the front desk with the other good looking hot guy employees joking around and having a super time. I can tell that I am an interruption to Mike because he is hanging out at work with his friends. I can read Mike’s mind. He’s thinking it sucks that he has to go show the old guy how the equipment works for probably the hundredth time this month. Mike, of course, also is fresh faced, bright and just out of a small private college. And he’s an EMT with the fire department.

Mike grudgingly shows me some of the equipment for about a half hour and then says that’s all. I counted 14 Cybex torture devices and he only showed me 10. I tried to joke around with Mike and be pleasant, but it was to no avail. He clearly saw me as an interruption and wanted to get back to his friends. Mike’s banking on the fact that I am too ashamed of my nerdiness and too insecure to complain. Mike underestimates the cunning of his elders.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Evaluation: We answer the question How bad is bad?

Today was the evaluation. My gym has you meet with someone so they can tell you what a fat out of shape slob you are. This reinforces that you made the right choice to join. The person you meet with is Lisa, who is fresh faced, perky, bright and just out of college. Lisa has some sort of nutrition degree from a small private school. Lisa is the kind of girl I could never ask out. It’s clear that she’s only nice because it’s her job and her parents raised her with enough class to be nice to people she thinks of as old. They are probably my age. She uses medieval pincer instruments to see how much flab I have and we do some exercises to evaluate my strength and endurance.

The result is that I have neither strength nor endurance. I get a computerized print out as a psychological confirmation that her witchcraft is science based.

Predictably, the results of my evaluation are that I am a huge percent of body fat. 30% to be exact, and have low strength. Yeah, Lisa you’re hilarious. She says I have a 37 inch waist, but I wear a 34 pant. Oh, Lord, please let Lisa be mistaken. Lisa is actually very sincere and charming.

I wanna be a hottie.

Ok, so maybe Caroline Rhea isn’t going to sign me up to be a contestant on Biggest Loser T.V. Show any time soon. Well, not for my weight. But I have slowly come to realize that something needs to be done.

Sure I could give you the same tedious whines you read else where about shirts and pants not fitting the same or feeling lethargic. But I live in the South where such things on men are badges of honor not sources on embarrassment. The real truth is that I want to be a babe magnet. I’m not really THAT fat. But I’m not getting checked out either like I used to.

So, I finally look for a gym that I think will be OK and I won’t feel like a roach. Really, I need Jenny Craig for guys. There, as humiliating as it is, I admitted it. So, I go to my first appointment with the fitness counselor. This is the sharp, friendly funny guy who hypnotizes you. Then he promises you everything under then sun, makes you think he’s going to be your best friend ever, and you believe him because you want to and he has special hypnotic powers which can separate you from your money.

Relieved of several hundred dollars, I go out for the Last Supper. Mexican food.