Tuesday, November 30, 2021

I think therefore I am… a fat man. A very, very fat man.

This isn’t what I intended to write about.  I was planning on writing that I haven’t been up to blogging as of late, and was going to take a break from things on here for awhile.

And then yesterday morning I had an appointment with my doctor to re-evaluate my hypertension meds.   

After a disastrous weigh-in (where I asked to be weighed again without any clothes), I met with my doctor who said she was aware of the “catch-22” with these drugs.  They promote weight gain, but she can’t reduce the dosages until I lose weight.

She said for a man my age & body type, my ideal weight was in the 205-210 range.  I asked if she was sure, told her that 6 years ago when I hit 260 pounds, made a big deal of it, posted a weekly online weight chart on my blog.  After one year of diet & exercise, I lost 50 lbs.  When I showed my sister, she thought I still had a ways to go.

My doctor said “My expertise is in nutrition & diet.  And 210 would be a healthy number for you to get to & maintain.”   As of this writing, I weigh 277.6 lbs.   

So I figure if I post another online weight chart, with a weekly weigh-in and public shaming—it might help motivate me.  So, beginning this Friday, I’ll be updating the chart below.  Wish me luck.


Date Weight Gain/Loss Feeling Total
Nov 30 2021 277.60      
Dec 03 277.20 -0.40   -0.40
Dec 10 274.80 -2.40   -2.80
Dec 17 272.80 -2.00   -4.80
Dec 24 271.80 -1.00   -5.80
Dec 31 270.00 -1.80   -7.60
Jan 07 2022 271.20
+1.20   -6.40
Jan 14 271.00 -0.20   -6.60
Jan 21 264.60 -6.40   -13.00
Jan 28 263.40 -1.20   -14.20
Feb 4 264.20 +0.80   -13.40
Feb 11 265.60 +1.40   -12.00
Feb 18 263.40 -2.20   -14.20
Feb 25 264.20 +0.80   -13.40
Mar 04 263.0 -1.20   -14.60
Mar 11 264.0 +1.00   -13.60
Mar 18 262.0 -2.00   -15.60
Mar 25 262.0 0   -15.60
Apr 01 260.0 -2.00   -17.60
Apr 08 258.20 -1.80   -19.40
Apr 15 257.00 -1.20   -20.60
Apr 22 257.60 +0.60   -20.00
Apr 29 257.60 0   -20.00
May 6 257.60 0   -20.00
May 13 256.40 -1.20   -21.20
May 20 256.40 0   -21.20
May 27 256.40 0  Crying face -21.20
June 3 256.40 0   -21.20
June 10 256.40 0 Annoyed -21.20
June 17 251.20 -5.20   -26.40
June 24 253.0 +1.80   -24.60
July 1 254.80 +1.80   -22.80
July 8 255.60 +0.80   -22.00
July 15 253.20 -2.40   -24.40
July 22 252.20 -1.00   -25.40
July 29 252.20 0   -25.40
Aug 5 253.40 +1.20   -24.20
Aug 12 253.40 0   -24.20
Aug 19 253.00 -0.40   -24.60
Aug 26 254.20 +1.20   -23.40
sept 2 252.60 -1.60   -25.00
Sept 16 249.00 -3.60   -28.60
Sept 23 249.00 0   -28.60
Sept 30 248.20 -0.80   -29.40
Oct 7 249.00 +0.80   -28.60
Oct 14 250.60 +1.60   -27.00
Oct 21 250.60 0   -27.00
Oct 28 249.80 -0.80   -27.80
Nov 4 248.00 -1.80   -29.60
Nov 11 247.00 -1.00   -30.60
Nov 18 246.00 -1.00   -31.60
Dec 2 247.60 +1.60   -30.00
Dec 9 246.60 -1.00   -31.00
Dec 16 246.00 -0.60   -31.60
Dec 23 246.80 +0.80   -30.80
Dec 30 248.80 +2.00   -28.80
Jan 06 2023 245.00 -3.80 colonoscopy -32.60
Jan 13 247.20 +2.20   -30.40
Jan 20 248.20 +1.00   -29.40
Jan 27 247.20 -1.00   -30.40
Feb 3 248.00 +0.80   -29.60
Mar 10 246.40 -1.60   -31.20
Mar 17 242.20 -4.40   -35.40
Apr 7 242.80 +0.60   -34.80
Apr 14 243.40 +0.60   -34.20

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Meatloaves and man parks: one’s an easy fix, the other I’m not so sure about

This past Saturday when I awoke and saw the gloomy weather outside, I thought it’d be a great day for a meatloaf.  As I was rummaging thru my “pots n’ pans” cupboard looking for my glass baking dish, I stumbled across an old bread loaf pan I used to bake meatloaf in, but haven’t used in years. 

I gave it a good scrubbing (I bet I haven’t used this loaf pan in 15 years) then pressed my meatloaf mix in, put it in the oven and this photo is what came out an hour later.  It looked and smelled terrific.

(If you’re curious, my regular meatloaf recipe is here.)

However, after cutting the first slice and taking a couple bites, I remembered why I stopped baking meatloaves in it.  1.25 lbs of 80% ground chuck contains a lot of fat and there’s no place for all that grease to go; a couple of greasy bites was too much for me.  I had a sudden flashback to Paula Deen laying white bread slices in the bottom of her own loaf pan before baking a meatloaf, tossing out the grease soaked slabs later.  Well, I didn’t have any bread slices anyway.

I sliced the rest up and stuck it in the fridge, figured I’d try to salvage it later in the week.  I then got dressed and walked up the street to the drugstore, to pick up a couple prescriptions.  When the pharmacist told me it’d be a half-hour, I said I’d be back.  I headed up the block to the hardware store to see what was going on, maybe get a Christmas wreath for my door if they had them in. 

As I approached the store, I couldn’t believe what I saw on display in their glass window.  An assortment of holiday gift ideas, and front & center was this 2-piece meatloaf pan.

(The top pan is perforated with a one inch reservoir below.)  I felt like Ralphie in that movie A Christmas Story, the first time he sees his Red Ryder BB gun in that department store window.  Where have you been all my life!  I went into Joe’s Hardware, asked where those 2 piece meatloaf pans were and the price ($10.99) and couldn’t believe my good fortune.  If only all problems were this fixable.

As fortunate as I am, having my health for the most part, a roof over my head and financial security, I’ve been feeling pretty down for awhile.  The simple truth is, I have nobody I’m close to.  It’s been that way for awhile, but I had an assortment of medical problems these last 5 years that kept me from dwelling too much on such things.

There are people I know online, a couple former coworkers and classmates, other bloggers like myself; but that’s pretty much it.  Since replacing my landline with a smartphone 5 months ago, I’ve spoken on it exactly 5 times—twice to my old friend & coworker Susie, twice to my doctor’s office, once to my friend Erin.  I just don’t have anybody to really talk to or hang out with, or do things with.  

I’m not sharing this looking for sympathy or advice, I’m usually okay with things the way they are.  Sometimes it just catches up with me.  On my way home from the drugstore, I passed the Greenstone Methodist Church with a sign outside offering Thanksgiving dinner “Free to the Public” on November 25.  All they ask is that you call by November 21 and make a reservation. 

It may be free, but I’d happily make a donation.  I think I’m going to call and ask.

Later Saturday night, I was watching Saturday Night Live on NBC and was surprised to see this skit below; a dog park for men, for women to take their lonely guys to.  It was too funny and I wish there was one of these nearby! 


Sunday, November 7, 2021

Saturday Night and The Secret Life of a Misfit

Saturday night around 10:30, I’m sitting on my sofa watching the final half hour of Dune on HBO Max and my eyelids are feeling a bit heavy, and I’m wondering if it’s worth staying up to watch the 11:00 news. 

My smartphone makes a soft chiming sound then and jerks me fully awake.  I’ve only heard this ring-tone a couple times before, when someone was buzzing me from downstairs.  I grab my phone, and see a text from Amazon.com. 

An Amazon delivery person has left a package on your front stoop.

Gee it seems kind of late to be getting packages, but who am I to complain?  Given the current state of the US Mail system, I should consider myself lucky.  I head downstairs, collect my parcel.  It’s dead quiet in the lobby, no one else is around.  I get back on the elevator, press 4 and as the doors shut and the elevator rises, I hear a loud, weird honking sound.

The elevator stops with a jolt and the doors bang open.  That honking sound is easily twice as loud now, and I’m only on the second floor.  That’s the building’s fire alarm.  When it goes off, the elevator will automatically stop on the nearest floor.  It will remain there until the alarm is turned off.

I step off, look in both directions and hurry over to the stairwell door.  As I begin climbing the metal stairs to the fourth floor, I hear a clanging noise above me.  A young couple from the fifth floor are coming down those steps fast.  They’re dressed in workout attire and look like they just got off their Peloton bikes.  The guy says “You’re headed the wrong way pardner”

I’d like to tell him to get bent, but I just say I’m going back up to get my jacket.

When I open the stairwell door to the 4th floor, I can hear a murmur of voices up the hall and around the corner, where the elevator is.  Should I tell them it’s not coming?  I then hear Jerry (our floor’s long-time resident, he’s lived here 31 years) tell them they have to take the stairs and I make a dash for my apartment door before they come around the corner.  Whew, made it!

Once I get inside, I toss my Amazon box in the chair and lock my door, then proceed to turn out all the lights.  This isn’t my first rodeo!  Soon a fireman or police officer will go door to door, seeing if there’s light or moving shadows underneath the doors and telling people they have to exit the building.  I don’t intend to be one of those people.

I hear sirens, grab my camera and head over to my living room’s picture window.  The first firetruck, ambulance  & police cruiser arrive.  I turn off my flash and take a picture. 

(I should’ve waited, there will soon be a dozen fire & police vehicles out there.)

Minutes later, I hear the THUNK of the stairwell door opening, and a couple of men’s voices in the hall.  I put my ear to the wall behind my sofa—yep, my next door neighbor Lonnie’s TV is on, and he’s on the phone with either his mom or his sister, complaining about the incessant honking inside our building, and the sirens outside.  I jump about 2 feet in the air when a heavy, loud thud lands against my door.  A man says “FIRE ALARM, EVERYONE EVACUATE.”  

One potato, two potato, three potato… I am right on the other side, holding my breath!  I then hear 3 loud knocks on Lonnie’s door.  They know someone’s in there. A man shouts for him to open his door, then tells him in person to go downstairs.  I hear Lonnie mutter okay.

Heh heh!  Very softly I sing “I am the Phantom of the Opera….”

When I heard Lonnie on the phone complaining this happens all the time, I thought he was exaggerating but on second thought… I’ve been here 4 1/2 years, and this is the fourth fire alarm.  I lived in my last apartment building 23 years and fire alarms went off only twice (and for good reason) but that property only had 24 apartments.  This high-rise has 88. 

At least the ones here have been false alarms, for the most part.  Still, the last time this happened I stood outside along with 40 or 50 others at midnight for a good 90 minutes.  It had been cold & drizzling, and I just wasn’t up for the chilly temps, grumblings & small talk from umpteen strangers again. 

I looked out my big front window again, saw dozens of tenants below and more trucks.  I thought if this place lights up I’m going to climb out that window, stand on the ledge and yell “MADE IT, MA!  TOP OF THE WORLD!”  right before everything blows up.  You know, like James Cagney in White Heat. 

Think I’ll take my BP medication and lay down for a couple minutes.

Okay, it’s Sunday morning and all looks right with the world.  I laid down on my bed last night and passed out, apparently everything went back to normal around midnight. 

(I later learned a young woman’s trash had begun to smoke in the third floor’s trash room, she’d thrown away incense or something.  These hippies!)

It occurred to me this morning as I began typing this, I never opened my Amazon box from last night—here’s what I bought, a couple birthday gifts for myself.  One of those microwave egg cookers that David & Gigi Hawaii endorsed on her blog, and a Star Trek coffee table book celebrating the original series 55th anniversary.

I promised myself no more print books after the ‘Great Purge of 2016’ (when I moved and gave away 95% of my books) but this is Star Trek!  For your coffee table!

Now I just have to build the coffee table from IKEA I’ve had under my bed for 4 years.