Boy, do I have some Tales to Tell...
Friday, December 31, 2004
Since Hugo thinks I can turn back time, it's about 10:00pm. I don't think I am going to make it to midnight. I am blaming it on the glasses of wine, the 8 ricotta stuffed shells, the two Italian sausages and 3 meatballs, and the pecan pie I am about to eat.

I had a day off today and I realized what I am thankful for. So here goes:

My partner of seven years.
My new job that I love so much.
My partner's psycho kitty who loves to cuddle with me (on her terms).
New, old, and lifetime friends who have evolved with me and I with them.
My health.
My home.
My blog.

I can't really think of much more. Happy New Year to all of blogworld. For the laughs. For the thoughts. For the chance to vent. Hope all is well for everyone. Be safe. Be nice. Be compassionate. Later.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004
In a couple of weeks, I turn 35. I am not afraid of getting old. I actually like it. I cherish every birthday that I see. I have no interest nor desire to be 25 again. I remember being in my 20's. I just don't want to see that drama again. I had fun then. I'm having fun now. I plan on having fun 10, 20, 30 years from now.

What does scare me is that 10, 20, 30 years from now, I will still be concerned about my physical appearance. I don't care if I gain a few pounds. I've gotten over that. I know that I am still relatively fitter than even some of the more ardent gym attendees around. I also know that I am smart enough to stay healthy and not revert back to the 220-lb. fat man that I was. I just don't want to be one of those people who still works out like a maniac beyond the age of 40. It's one thing to stay in shape, it's another to be so concerned about the size of your biceps/waist/chest beyond the age of 40. I guess, I just feel that after 40, maybe one's concentration should not be on the perfect body.

As a gymrat, I see some of these people. They are at the gym day in, day out, rain or shine, hell or highwater. They are there for 2 to 3 hours a day. They work out harder than most people 20 years younger. They do look fitter than most people 20 years younger. Their skin doesn't look 20 years younger. They know every fat cell present on their bodies (most of them barely have any). Nary a stray calorie passes their lips. They haven't had bread since the first Bush was in office. You can hear them strain as they lift/leap/run/repeat. You can tell they are competing against the younger gym members. And time. Most of them will say that they do it for themselves. Is this really true? When you are 20 years-old, do you think that 20 years later you would still be trying to fit a physical ideal?

I probably won't be one of these men. Truth be told, I like the gym but not enough to spend more than an hour in one. Unless I am getting paid to be there. At the age of 25, I did feel that I needed to look a certain way. I did it mainly for acceptance into a clique. When I got into one, I did it mainly because I thought it would get me the "ideal" mate. I spent hours upon hours, days upon days, weeks upon weeks at the gym. The only thing it got me was plantar faciaitis.

Maybe I am afraid of being a gymrat at the age of 40. Gymrats should be between 21 and 35. After then, "rat" should not be any part of anything that describes you. Later.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
Tim's Crazy-Ass X'mas Weekend:

Thursday, 9:30pm: Start work.
Friday, 9:30am: Finish work.
Friday, 12:13pm: Board "ghetto" train for Trenton, NJ.
Friday, 1:35pm: Arrive in Trenton to be picked up by bf's father.
Friday, 2:30pm: Arrive in Philly at bf's family home.
Friday, 5:00pm: Sit down to dinner with bf's parents and lesbian couple friends with two kids.
Friday, 6:30pm: Fall asleep on couch.
Friday, 7:00pm: Awaken suddenly. Make excuse to go upstairs to change into PJ's.
Friday, 7:02pm: Crawl into bed.
Friday, 11:03pm: Stirred by bf getting into bed.
Saturday, 3:47am: Awaken with sudden hunger pangs.
Saturday, 3:50am: Head downstairs to devour a pound of ham and half pound of mac&cheese.
Saturday, 4:00am: Crawl back into bed.
Saturday, 10:05am: Tickled awake by bf.
Saturday, 11:00am: Stumble into kitchen for first cup of coffee.
Saturday, 11:15am: Open gifts (two recipe books, a cell phone, a gift cert to Eddie Bauer)
Saturday, 1:00pm: Help prepare roast for dinner. (Okay, I took over the kitchen)
Saturday, 5:00pm: Greet friends as they arrive for Xmas dinner.
Saturday, 7:00pm: Finish dinner and head to living room to exchange more gifts.
Saturday, 7:50pm: Sit down at table to start traditional Xmas card game.
Saturday, 8:35pm: Get into car to be driven to 30th Street Station in Philly.
Saturday, 9:09pm: Catch train to NYC.
Saturday, 11:35pm: Arrive in NYC.
Saturday, 11:58pm: Stumble into home. (Ah, Home Sweet Home)
Sunday, 12:35am: Crawl into bed.
Sunday, 5:50am: Awakened by alarm clock.
Sunday, 6:30am: Leave for work.
Sunday, 7:10am: Punch in for work.
Sunday, 3:35pm: Finish work.
Sunday, 4:40pm: Sit down at bar to wait for friend's family. (She was celebrating her 40th)
Sunday, 8:30pm: Leave restaurant feeling bloated.
Sunday, 11:36pm: Blog about my exhaustive weekend.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Some of you may already know that I am not a fan of the holidays. I have always felt that it brings out a degree of ugliness in today's society. Unfortunately, I have been affected by the ugliness. On Tuesday, while I was taking a step class, my gym locker was broken into and my credit card, cash, and Social Security Card was stolen. Gyms are rampant with theft during this time of the year. It is absolutely insane. Even with cameras and security, thieves still find ways of breaking into lockers.

I suppose I can be thankful that I only had $8 cash in my wallet. I can also be thankful that he only charge $79 on my credit card (my bank has not fully approved the transaction since I reported the stolen card before his transactions went through; not sure how this works). I am scared that he has a hold of my SSN. I did some research and, if you don't now, there is very little that you can do unless something actually happens. Meaning: identity theft or fraud has to occur in order for anything to be done. Until then, no protection is available.

What I hate the most is that I never bring my wallet to the gym and the one time I do.... What I hate is that I never have my Social Security Card on me BUT I forgot to take it out of my wallet after I had to do some paperwork for my new job. What I hate is that I let my guard down in a place I should know not to. What I hate is that I was not thinking.

But what I really hate is that I had 13 more days left on my 30-day Unlimited Ride Metrocard. I hate it all. Later.
Monday, December 20, 2004
I find it very irritating when someone tries to speak to you in you native tongue and they butcher the pronunciation. I especially hate it when the language they are trying to speak is not your native tongue. And people wonder why a lot of minorities have anger issues. Later.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Conversation between Gymrat and his boyfriend, as they wake up this morning:

Gymrat: My arms hurt.
Boyfriend: My lower back hurts.
Both: We're old.

Conversation between Gymrat and his boyfriend, after eating sushi for dinner:

Boyfriend: Bon nuit.
Gymrat: You're going to bed? Why?
Boyfriend: Why not?
Gymrat: Because it's only 8:55pm.
Boyfriend: (Shrugs shoulders as he scurries to the bedroom.)

We are getting old. I could not even get myself to go to my friend's holiday party tonight. I am pooped from the 25 minutes of Xmas shopping that I did because the bf told me we needed some small gifts for some people who were going to be at his parents' for dinner. We then headed to a showcase where our friend sang a fantastic rendition of "So This is Christmas". Not a bad singer in the bunch. Some amazing ones. Very moving overall. Before all that, I taught two classes, lifted back and bi's, and had half a BBQ chicken with fries, cornbread, & veggie tempura. And now I am getting a cold sore. I am getting very old. Later.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
As you can probably see, it's early in the morning. I am on my first cup of coffee and have already eaten a third of a grilled chicken sandwich. I have to be at work by 8:00am. I volunteered to do some extra hours making cheese platters. The holiday party orders are all in.

I told my supervisor that I can only stay until 11:00am. I am planning on taking a step class at 12:15pm. I think my gymrat status may be intact. Later.

UPDATE: I ended up staying until 1:30pm today. Orders just kept pouring in. The Catering Director is having a major attitude about how she wants us to do the platters. My Team Leader and I want it to look elegant and appetizing. The Catering Director wants it to look... well... GHETTO. I guess she wants it to match her nails. (sigh) I guess I'll just do some weight training today. I really need to sweat.
Friday, December 10, 2004

That's how I felt when I woke up this morning. As I mentioned in my last post, Mike and I threw a party last night. The entire bash has left me in pain. I am definitely feeling old. I had full intention of going to the gym after we got back from shopping for new drapes today but with the combination of fatigue, the cold, windy, rainy weather, and the steaks that we bought for dinner, I didn't make it.

I am starting to feel thicker around the middle. And not in a good way. I hate this feeling. For those of you who don't know, I used to be 220 lbs. of fat. Well, I was more athletic than the average person. I had participated sports before - tennis (competively), skiing, golf, soccer. I was definitely competitive. But I was always the fat kid. Anyway, after years of gymratting, I had brought myself to a lean physique that I liked. I had also vowed not to ever let myself go back. I am scared that I am beginning that journey.

This new job at is tiring. I love it dearly but it really is cutting into my workout schedule. It's not easy because we tend to move a lot of heavy things. We are on our feet for 8-hour shifts. We are constantly moving around helping customers, restocking shelves, arranging and re-arranging the displays to make them look ever-so appetizing. And that's just the cheese section. Working in the beer department is so strenuous, that I hesitate to lift before going to work because of all the cases I have to lift, move, or stock during that shift. My biggest fear is that I won't be able to prevent a tower of beer cases from falling on top of me (and I have stopped two stacks from falling, so far) because all my strength would have been sapped by the exercises that I did before work. It's crazy hard work and it puts a toll on one's body.

I asked my co-worker the other day if she also felt sore after work. She said that in the three years she has been there, there has not been a day that she has not felt sore after work. Great. At least, I am not alone.

Next week, my schedule has me closing the store all five days that I am working. I won't be starting until 2pm. I have planned workouts in, both cardio and stregth, just so that I can burn off some of this "thickness" I feel. I told Mike that I was getting fat. He said, "Honey, you are not. And even if you were, who cares... I love you." Yeah, like that really helps. Okay, maybe it does. Okay, it really does. Still, I can't help but feel.... well, Uggghhhh. Later.
For some reason, everytime Mike and I throw a party, he thinks that only 50% of the people we invite will show up. Granted there is a certain percentage one can expect to turn down the invitation and maybe 50% is a good number to expect BUT when you take into account that our last three parties have had 110% attendance, you tend to think about how many you invite. At least one would think you would think.

Well, this evening's "holiday celebration" brought in more people than we expected. Nothing unmanageable but still they stayed way past bedtime; theirs, not ours. Mike and I decided to take the day off tomorrow from our jobs to clean up. He went to bed at 11:00pm. I finished cleaning at 11:30pm.

There are more leftovers than I would like. I am losing my touch at determing what is enough food for a party. Anybody for Brie or carrot/celery sticks? Homemade hummus and spinach dip? We did finish the case of wine we bought. The only stuff left is the three bottles brought by guests, half of a gigantic bottle of Grey Goose Vodka, the entire bottle of Captain Morgan Rum, and 9/10ths of a bottle of Tanquerey Gin. Wonder who had the gin? Who drinks gin anyway?

Our friends are a bunch of winos. Especially my fellow gym instructors/friends. I think they drank most of the wine. But that's why I love them. I even sent them home with some leftovers and still I have too much. Later.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Okay. Listen up. If you tell me that you are from New York, I am going to ask you which part. If you tell me Jersey City, I will make fun of you and walk away.

Sorry, folks. It may be closer than some parts of Queens but Jersey City is in New Jersey. And THAT is not New York.

Thanks. Later.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
As I was returning from my lunch break today, I noticed this man with a particulary attractive body walking toward me. He was obviously coming from the Customer Service area. My first reaction was to look at his face. Unfortunately, he had his baseball cap pulled down over his eyes AND he was looking down at the floor.

Once again, I noted his nicely built shoulders which only accentuated his slim waistline. I also noticed his square jaw BUT, again, the baseball cap blocked out all else.

I then noticed that his hands were behind him. Also behind him was a big burly police officer. Behind that police officer was another big burly police officer. As they walked by me, I turned to watch the two policemen escort afforementioned hottie out of the store in handcuffs.

Surreal. Later.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
As I sit here, chowing down on my first of two pieces of blueberry pie, I feel nothing but a big sense of relief. It may be the pie. It may be the fact that I am going to have a second piece. It may also be the Rioja from Ramon de Bilbao that I am washing the pie down with. But what it really may be is the fact that on December 20th, I will be sending in the last payment on my last credit card. As of that day, I will be credit card debt free. Can I just say that it feels extremely liberating? No. It has no words to describe it.

At the end of 1999, I decided to get rid of all my credit card debt. I entered a program that basically forced me to learn how to not use a credit card. After years of depending on credit to do things, I was all of a sudden ridding myself of all my cards and having a set amount taken out of my bank account monthly. It wasn't only the fact that I was cutting up the cards; I had the companies close the accounts. With the help of a debt management program, I was able to lower some of my interest rates and eliminate my finance charges. Five years later, here I am.

Some luck played a part. As I got rid of my credit cards, debit cards came into play. I was able to charge things via Mastercard but only if I had money in the bank. I purposely did not apply for overdraft protection on my account. There were times when I wished I had. I paid a price for it now and then. It all forced me to learn how to watch my spending. In the end, I am credit card debt free. And trust me, I am never going back.

Hold on...

Okay, second piece of pie, more wine.

I never give presents to anyone during Christmas. Part of it was the fact that I was in so much debt. A bigger part was because I did not want to feed into the obscenity of this season's purchasing. I still won't be giving presents out this year. But I think, come January, some of my loved ones will be sharing in my prosperity. 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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