Boy, do I have some Tales to Tell...
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Lately, I have been seeing a lot of people at the gym carrying around huge water bottles. Now, I'm not talking about those tall liter bottles of Poland Spring. I'm talking about the gallon jugs that people buy when there is threat of a hurricane.

Are those jugs really necessary? Do we really need to drink that much water when at the gym? And, more importantly, isn't that thing just too heavy to be carrying around?

Maybe it's a New York City thing. I was on the subway when I saw a trainer get on with his gallon jug. The first thing that caught my eye was his Bally's trainer uniform. The next thing that caught my eye was the gallon jug of water. Then I realized his excessively plucked eyebrows, but that's a whole other story.

Why would anyone deem it necessary to bring a gallon of water to the gym during their workout? I know of nobody who sweats more than I do when at the gym AND I still only fill up my small bottle of water twice which hardly totals a gallon. Is it a cost thing? I guess it would be more cost-effective to buy the gallon jug BUT come on, get a tall liter bottle and keep refilling the damn thing.

For those of you who do carry a gallon jug of water to the gym, you should know that a lot of us other gymrats are laughing at you. For most of us common sense dictates that we not carry this heavy jug of water. Maybe you are scared to drink the New York City tap water. Last I checked, nobody ever died from drinking NYC tap. We leave that to the Love Canal people in Western New York. Later.
Saturday, June 19, 2004
Next weekend is the big Gay Pride Parade in NYC. Since I am gay and kinda-sorta still run in "Gay" circles, I tend to see the pomp and circumstance of it all. Honestly, I am really just alluding to the fact that the gyms are going to be busy.

All the regular gymrats will be there putting the final touches on that body they have sculpted so intensely so that they look fabulous this week. There will also be that set of gay men who never ever really commited to the gym OR any exercise routine for that fact BUT have a gym membership. They will be there with the hopes that a week's worth of pumping iron will achieve the Adonis-like physique they crave, in more ways than one.

Also in attendance will be a large set of out-of-towner's. They come in with their overly-tanned and surprisingly-sculpted bodies. These are the boys who basically travel from "gay" town to "gay" town attending all these functions. What the fuck do they do for a living? And can I do it too? This set have been attending Pride events all over the world this month. Just the thought tires me.

Sometimes I wonder what else could be accomplished if we used the energy we expend in the gym for other reasons. Not that the heterosexual community does not waste it's energy on silly narcissitic endeavours but they aren't trying to win some basic human rights like we are. Maybe the gym is a way for us to try to fit in. In a world where vanity is the most-treasured commodity, maybe us showing up at a public function looking fabulous will help our cause.

For some reason, I am not sure that really makes me proud. Later.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Being exhausted from teaching a lot lately was only exacerbated by the fact that I could not stop screaming, dancing, jumping, and moving at last night's Madonna concert. I love Madonna a lot but I never thought that a concert could send me over my anaerobic threshold. My friend Janice and I were so exhausted that we just sat there in a state of shock after the concert was done. I am still tired from it all. I told my friend that I left my soul somewhere on the Garden floor. I am just a mere shell of myself right now.

Say what you want about Madonna, and I am sure some will continue to, but for fans like me (since 1982), this was just another ride we have taken on the Madonna Line. For those of us who "get" her, take her, and embrace her, flaws and all, this was probably the best ride ever. We shudder to think what her next "attraction" will be. It may be difficult to top this. She may not. But I will continue to buy the ticket to be part of it all.

If you get a chance, I suggest you go see her. It is far beyond entertaining. The crowd was just downright electrified from the moment she says "Strike a Pose" to the very last lyric of "Holiday". My partner asked me to describe it. In a nutshell: It's like dreaming that your favorite singer has a concert and sings all your favorite songs in ingenius arrangements with lively choreography in front of incredible sets. Only, it's not a dream. It's happening in front of your eyes AND everyone is so breath-taken and stunned into pure rapture. I am not sure that captures it but for me it gleams the entirety of my experience. Later.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
I am exhausted. I am so exhausted. No, I am downright exhausted. I taught a combined total of eight classes on Monday & Tuesday. It was four step classes and four body sculpt classes. I am truly honestly exhausted.

I remember when I used to teach 20 classes a week. I also used to be 26 years young. Something happens when you turn 30. And continues to exponentially increase for each year over 30 that you become. I am trying to figure out what it is so I can bottle it, seal it, and throw it away.

It's not that during class I am all lethargic and lying on the studio floor cueing the class as I curl up into fetal position. As a matter of fact, during class I am not sure where I get the energy but I continue to do my class. It's a trait that all good instructors have. I even somehow find the energy to be congenial. Not sure where it comes from.

So, today, I am not doing much. I just finished laundry (I'll fold it later). I also took the food my partner cooked for me last night and "re-did" it (the beef needed more cooking time). I made hummus for a party I am going to tonight (NO! I never buy hummus). I will also be making a pork and chickpea stew (Mike is on South Beach, Ugh). Oh yeah, I also will be attending Madonna's concert after the party. See, nothing strenuous. Later.
Friday, June 11, 2004
As confident as we feel about ourselves outwardly, deep down inside, we are just a bunch of dorks. For example, when a man who you find excessively attractive and downright bootylicious (did I really say that?) flirts with you, BUT you have been in a monogamous relationship for almost seven years and don't plan on changing that, how exactly do you react?

And if said hottie is just being friendly, how do you know? How does one determine if someone is just being sincerely friendly or verbally flirting? Is constantly asking exercise advice, even though it is obvious he does not need it, considered flirting? Is constantly making eye contact and smiling considered flirting? Is coming over to the other side of the weight room just to say hello considered flirting?

And if you have been in a monogamous relationship for the past six years and don't plan on changing it, when is it appropriate to mention that you have been? And is it really appropriate? What if he is reallly just a friendly guy looking to meet a new friend?

I guess all this would not matter if you did not find him attractive. Or if you did not find his sinewy middle deltoid scrumptuous. Or that the way his wavy golden locks frame his strong jaw line makes him look heavenly. Or that the way his tank top clings to his sweaty back is just, just.... just. Sorry...

I guess there is no way to really determine. Why is it that most gay men think that because you are being friendly, you are automatically flirting with them or even interested in them sexually? Why does our mind automatically go there? And do we need to set boundaries right away? Or is it just me?

A friend of mine had an impromptu coffee drink with a classmate. The classmate did not mention that he was dating someone. When my friend finally found that out, he was upset. My friend felt that the classmate should have mentioned this before. I said, "But you only ran into him at Starbucks and sat down and chatted with him. That's not a date and you have not gone on one yet!" My friend was still upset.

What we need to do is start looking at conversation as CONVERSATION. That's it. If the hottie asks you out, then, and only then, is it appropriate and necessary to tell him that you are in a six year mongamous relationship which you don't plan on changing. Life is simpler than we make it. Later.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Last Wednesday, I embarked on a seven-day cleansing. It really is not a traditional cleansing but more of a dietary change to determine what my body is going through. I've been feeling lethargic and not-my-best lately. My self-imposed cleansing consisted of eating only plant-based food products - lots of soy-based products. On top of it all, I eliminated all caffeine, sugar, wheat product, and processed foods.

Well, I am happy to tell you that I feel cleansed. The first obvious result is "being regular". Not that I was not to be begin with but I am exceptionally regular. Fiber is definitely your friend.

I do feel much more energetic and spriteful (is that a word?) but that may be due to my sleeping more. You see, I did not stop my regular exercise schdule; which is more intense than the average workout schedule. I found that after exercise, I found myself taking naps. Lots of naps. Longer than usual naps. It seems that my body needed more rest than normal. I am guessing that this may be because of the change in caloric-intake. It was just that I could not keep my eyes open.

I have gotten rid of the lingering cough that I had. I have a hard time recovering from coughs and colds to begin with. My friend, Janice, suggested that I may have developed a food allergy which resulted in a throat irritation hence a cough. I am actually going to try cutting out dairy for a week to see what happens. Which I will probably follow-up with cutting out wheat products for a week to also see what happens.

Today is a my first day being off this cleansing. I do miss meat. Three days ago, I planned my first meal post-cleansing. It's going to be pasta with meat sauce; no cheese though. I am looking forward to it. Later.
Friday, June 04, 2004
As a fitness professional, I often find myself being asked about how to achieve a better body. My standard response is always something about accepting the body you have and making it the best it can be. There are times I cringe when I say that because I do understand wanting something that I know is difficult, if not near impossible, to achieve. Somedays, I just want to say, "Workout like mad, deprive yourself of most of the foods you love, get some plastic surgery, and pray like you've never prayed before!"

I also understand that no matter how much you want to be the mature, together, stable adult, you always will feel some animosity toward your ex.

My good friend, K, called me after he got off the phone with his ex; he hadn't talked to him in almost 5 years. It was not the most amicable split. I actually introduced K to his ex who was my friend before I even knew K.

I asked K how he felt after. K said that he realizes that he is not over him. K also feels that there is something that is unfinished between them. The ex wants to keep in touch. K is trying to be strong. But why? Why do any of us have to be strong when it comes to our exes? I for one know that my ex feels that I am still mad at him but will forever love me because I changed his life. Well, fuck you too.

No matter how much you want to show your ex that, "Hey, no hard feelings," when it comes down to it, it's not true. Someone got hurt and both sides know that. If you were the side that got hurt, there is always going to be "hard feelings". A couple of years back, I told my ex that I no longer want to hold on to my anger towards him. I told him after he had tried several times to contact me. I finally emailed him back saying that I am letting go of my anger but I still cannot be his best buddy. That, I would continue to be polite when I saw him but I would not make an effort to rekindle any type of relationship, romantic or otherwise. When I do see him, he tries his best to chat me up. I try my best to not stab his left eye out.

I do believe that releasing some of the anger is important for further growth. I don't believe in forgetting the pain. I don't think I need to forget to forgive. Sometimes I don't even think we need to forgive. Pain is is just another feeling; like joy; like love; like envy. I'd rather feel than not. Later.
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
First, welcome Mark to the world of blogging...

Second, I know it's cheesy but I just watched the Ms. Universe pageant and I picked the winner correctly. It was Ms. Australia. Her dress was phenomenal. I need to find out who designed it. I picked her from the very start BUT the evening gown sealed it for me.

Okay, you can all call me silly now. Later.
While travelling this Memorial Day Weekend, I noticed several instances that led me to come to the following questions: does our society really not realize that our behavior & actions affect everyone? Have we as individuals really become "bubble people"? Can we no longer think beyond our need for instant gratification?

On my way to the train station, I saw a mother peeling the wrapper of a piece of gum to give to her child. As she handed the gum to her daughter, she threw the wrapper on the subway floor. She then took more "garbage" out of her bag and dropped it onto the same subway floor. I watched her continue to do this in front of her child. Mind you, she was about three steps away from a big garbage can.

While driving to my friend's ranch in the Blue Mountains, we stopped by a Burger King. A family had also stopped to have lunch. While waiting for their sandwiches to come, the kids got their drinks and proceeded to choose a table. In their commotion, one of the kids spilled their drink all over a table and floor. Not a couple of splashes but half of a large drink (which we know is quite a large amount). As his parents approached, they saw the mess, reprimanded the child, BUT did absolutely nothing to get the mess cleaned up. No napkins were put down to absorb the liquid (although those are free) and no staff was alerted of the mess which the rest of the customers had to avoid.

I got to thinking how this type of behavior also occurs in the gym. How many times have you come across used razors left on the vanities, bar soap wrappers left in the shower stall, soggy towels left all over the lockerroom, and, worst of all, toilet paper or used tissues not picked up by the person who dropped them there. All with the fact that there are receptacles for all this waste mere steps away.

As much as I can, I try to clear up what I use or don't use so that it is not offensive or disruptive to anyone else. Why has our society stopped thinking that our actions affect others? As we have become a community with more ways of communication & education, we have become a society of selfish, inconsiderate, and self-absorbed robots.

I worry that we will pass on this behavior to following generations. It's easy to sit here and just think that I won't be around for the next generation and that is their problem not mine. But it is our problem. Our behavior now affects not just them but it affects us. That mother's child will learn to "not use a trash can". The children at the Burger King will not learn how to "clean up after themselves." And who does that affect? It affects us because we have to compensate for them.

I feel that it can change. It takes just one person to do something to influence others. I always re-rack the weights properly in-between sets as I work out. I pick up towels and throw them into the used-towel bins. I like to think that someone else notices and at the very least appreciates. Then maybe sometime down the line that person will do the same thing for someone else. So the next time you get a chance, throw out the used soap wrapper in the shower, kindly inform the housekeeping staff of the mess in the lockerroom. Do something. It does not take much. Later.
I'm just writing down some of the things that run through my head.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Eating up the City before it eats me up. I'm a freelance cook who spends his free time working out, cooking for "my man", and wondering why the Right is so concerned about my bedroom.

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