Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Day Of The Year Ramblings Of A Caffeinated Mind

The weather was too nice not to go running today. I made my way to the park for 3 mile run. It was bordering on being a bit too warm for a run. It was 68 degrees Fahrenheit and not a cloud in the sky. Is it really December?

More Running Advice
So while I was running, I thought of a few more things to tell you about running. Things I have learned. And just to keep things status quo, more beefcake for inspiration.

1. Be sure to purchase the correct shoe. There are different styles of running shoes. A specialty running store can help you determine the best shoe for your foot. If you are in the Houston area, I recommend Luke's, Finish Strong Sports, Tri On The Run and Fleet Feet...just to name a few. Speaking from experience, running in the wrong shoe can cause an injury (i.e. me and my stress fracture in 1998).
2. If you see a person walking and they are swinging their arms, pass with caution. Twice this year I was almost hit below the belt (which would have put a temporary end to my run). Another time, a lady was swinging so wide, her hand got caught in the earphone cord to my iPod (which I should have run through my shirt to cut down on the slack), and she yanked the earphones off of my head.

3. If you are going to pass someone, don't pass them and then cut them off causing them to come to a complete standstill or to trip on you. Give yourself enough distance between and the person you passed. Don't pull a Zola Budd & Mary Decker.

4. Try out different energy bars. I prefer Clif but others prefer Power Bar. Based on experience, Gu upsets my stomach. What works for your running buddy may not work for you.
5. Have fun.

Another song for you
I thought about putting Barry Manilow's It's Just Another New Years Eve out here for you. It's one of those songs that I sorta like but don't sorta like. It ranks up there with The Carpenters Rainy Days & Mondays.

I then remembered The Perfect Year from Sunset Boulevard. There were several renditions to select from and I chose Elaine Paige. Enjoy!

The Blog
I started this blog in June to give folks an avenue to keep up with me. I'm still trying to figure out what path I want to take with this blog. It is quite a cornucopia of information. Some of it is useful, some of it isn't. I think most of it is entertaining.

By choice, I self-censor myself. I've never wanted this to be a political soapbox but with the '08 election on the horizon don't be surprised if at some point it takes a political slant.

There have also been some things that have happened in my personal life that I would like to put out here but in order for me to do that I would have to slam a few people. And as I've mentioned before, what goes around comes around. Plus, I don't want to end up getting sued for libel. (My minor was in advertising/public relations and I got a grade of A in the Law & Ethics course.)

Back in August I put a counter on the blog. In November when I was moving stuff around, I accidentally deleted the counter. It was just over 2,300 hits. Not bad for August to November. Since November 7 and through yesterday I have had another 1,581 hits. Not sure that I'll ever reach the number of hits like London Preppy, Aussielicious, Towleroad, Oh La La, Isiah Carey's Insite or Perez Hilton...but then you just never know do you?

I've had visitors from at least 41 countries. The origin of some visitors cannot be determined. I haven't had readers from all 50 states but I'm only about 10 states away from reaching full coverage. (I do think that it is kind of odd that every state in the South is represented with the exception of Mississippi.

To all of my readers, thank you for checking me out from time to time. I always appreciate your feedback whether it is in the comments section, via e-mail or over a cocktail at a party.

To The Blogger Formerly Known As LoneStar Steve, thanks for the inspiration. Come back to blogosphere LoneStar Steve, LoneStar Steve!

To Aussielicious, The Guy Who, London Preppy, Fitness Nerd, Brechi Reborn, Running My Mass Off, I'm Not Fit To Run, Cooper Lowenthal, Kenneth In The 212, Running For Gold, Life's Highway, About A Boy And His Briefs, Idle Random Thoughts, Red Bricks, NoFo, Large Tony, Towleroad, Oh La La and every blog I have read...thanx for keeping me entertained, informed and inspired.

Whatever you do to ring in the new year be safe. Here's to a wonderful 2008! God bless us everyone! -Tiny Tim

You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk

This one is for Viv...and Scott...and the list goes on and on

What a performance tonight
Should I react or turn off the light?
Looks like you're picking a fight
in a blurring of wrong and right
But how your mood changes
You're a devil, now an angel
Suddenly subtle and solemn
and silent as a monk
You only tell me you love me when you're drunk
It's better than nothing, I suppose
some doors have opened,
others closed
but I couldn't see you exposed
to the horrors behind some of those
Somebody said: listen
don't you know what you're missing?
You should be kissing him
instead of dissing him like a punk
But you only tell me you love me when you're drunk
You only tell me you love me when you're drunk
All of my friends keep asking me
Why, oh, why
do you not say goodbye?
If you don't even try
you'll be sunk'
cause you only tell me you love me when you're drunk
What's the meaning
when you speak with so much feeling?
Is it over when you're sober?
Am I junk?
You only tell me you love me when you're drunk
You only tell me you love me when you're drunk
So one of the new cds that I purchased is Disco 4. It is a Pet Shop Boys cd. They have taken some of their songs and songs of other artists and remixed them.

I'm hooked on Sorry [Pet Shop Boys Maxi-Mix]. It is a remix of Madonna's song. OK. Look at the equation. Pet Shop Boys + Madonna = gay orgasm. I play it really loud in The Cal Mobile when he's not traveling with me.

And speaking of Pet Shop Boys. Yesterday when I was working out I decided to have a Pet Shop Boys kind of morning. The one song that always makes me laugh and is rather appropriate for tonight's festivities is You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk.

I'm trying to decide if I should do a year end post: a recap is what I'm thinking. If I do, I'm not sure what to include. Hmmm...

A fashion trend that I probably won't be following

Meow! It's Hello Kitty for young men

Associated PressPublished on: 12/28/07

Tokyo — Hello Kitty is no sexist.

The cute cuddly white cat from Japan's Sanrio Co., usually seen on toys and jewelry for girls and young women, will soon don T-shirts, bags, watches and other products targeting young men, company spokesman Kazuo Tohmatsu said Friday.

"We think Hello Kitty is accepted by young men as a design statement in fashion," he said.

The feline for-men products will go on sale in Japan next month, and will be sold soon in the U.S. and other Asian nations, according to Sanrio.

The usual bubble-headed shape of Hello Kitty was slightly changed for a more rugged, cool look to appeal to men in their teens and early 20s.

For example, a picture of the cat on a $36 black T-shirt has the words, "hello kitty," instead of the usual dots for the eyes and nose.

Hello Kitty is one of mascot-obsessed Japan's biggest "character" hits, decorating everything from a humble eraser to a $48,000 diamond necklace.

The planned products mark the first time Sanrio is developing Hello Kitty items especially for males, Tohmatsu said.

But Sanrio had tried a "limited edition" collaboration in men's clothing with designers in Tokyo's chic Harajuku section earlier this year, and they proved popular, he said.

"Young men these days grew up with character goods," said Tohmatsu. "That generation feels no embarrassment about wearing Hello Kitty."

more Just Jack

I hadn't looked at Towleroad in a couple of days. He clued me in to an interview with Jack from Project Runway.

This part of the interview made me laugh:

I think the gayest moment on TV all year was your reaction to seeing guest judge Sarah Jessica Parker.
[Laughs] I knew you were going to say that! When I watched it back I was like, “I am so gay.” Which is fine. I embrace the gayness. I’m super-gay. I’m a big ol’ queen

To read the rest of the interview, click here.
Several times over the past few months I have referenced the song I'm Still Here. My curiousity got the best of me and I went on YouTube to see if I could find anybody singing it. And yes, I did.

I think what is interesting is the interview Yvonne DeCarlo did on the David Frost Show. At some point I'm going to do some research and find out more about about Yvonne DeCarlo. You see...I only remember her from The Munsters. So here you have Yvonne DeCarlo and Shirley MacLaine. I'm telling of these days Kaye Sedilla is going to do this song.

So then I started thinking about The Ladies Who Lunch. I have to include Elaine Stritch but then I found some other funny videos. Kaye Sedilla will definitely be doing this number one day.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

and yet, another running post

Here is some additional advice (and inspiration...the beefcake) for people who will take up running as part of their new year's resolution.

This advice comes from DEVELOP YOUR RUNNING STRATEGY: How to apply time-tested running rules to your own training by Dagny Scott-Barrios. An explanation of each point can be found at Runners World magazine.

1. Do the minimal training needed for optimal results

2. Be consistent

3. Balance hard efforts with rest
4. Expect peaks and plateaus
5. Practice patience

In other news...

The headache stayed with me for the better part of Saturday. AttyHou, Everyday Italian and I went to a post-Christmas party last night. The party season is in full swing and will continue until Ash Wednesday (Feb. 6, 2008).

I did make it to the gym this morning. Mr. Popular was there. I've never written about Mr. Popular. Mr. Popular is very nice looking, young, great smile and knows everybody. Greets everybody with a handshake, hug and/or kiss.

Today Mr. Popular was acting a bit odd. You see, we were the area with the treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, etc. We both had on our iPods but he was getting way into his music. Eyes shut. Lips moving. Head swinging back and forth. It was a bit distracting and yet I had to stare.

The weather is awesome here in The Bayou City. Probably low 60s and not a cloud in the sky. I'm outside right now while The Calvinator is running around the yard. He can't be left unsupervised because he has a nasty habit of squeezing through AttyHou's fence and getting stuck in the azaleas.
EDIT: While I was blogging I lost track of Calvin's whereabouts. I heard the azaleas rustle. I saw a squirrel scamper up AttyHou's tree. I saw Calvin try to climb the tree! So I had to get the key to the gate but this time he figured out how to get out of the azaleas and was running around AttyHou's yard. UGH!

It will be off to church for the 500p Mass, get The Calvinator walked and then time for The Amazing Race! I missed it last week but Joe & Eric told me that the Goth couple came in last but didn't get eliminated. Can't wait to see what happens tonight1!!!

PS The second photo is of London Preppy. If only I had his discipline! ...and his looks.
EDIT: London Preppy has a new version of the photo on his blog. I need to learn how to use PhotoShop and enhance my image.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Another running post

So this morning I had every intention of going to the park for an 11 mile run. However, when I woke up I just didn't have it in me. Louis Armstrong once said, "You can't blow it out if you don't have it in you."

If it hadn't have been for needing to take The Calvinator out for a walk, I'd probably still be in bed. I'm a bit congested, lethargic, have an upset tummy and a bit of a headache. I still have some stuff weighing on my mind and I think that is causing this slump.

So, I'm not going to kick myself about not running. I AM a bit concerned because the 1/2 marathon is in 2 weeks and I REALLY needed today's 11 mile run.

So. For today's post I decided to put together a list of things I have learned about running. I also want to include some more beefcake for inspiration for everyone who is going to start a fitness regimen in the new year.

1. You can't blow it out if you ain't got it in you.

2. Not every run will be your best run. You will have good days and a few bad days.

3. Don't spit into the wind. (And don't pull the mask of that old lone ranger...) And don't spit on the person next to you.

4. Run to the right (ESPECIALLY AT MEMORIAL PARK!).

5. If the path is only wide enough for two people, don't run two abreast. If the path is wide enough for four people, don't run four abreast. Leave enough space for people to pass you or if people are running toward you don't make them fall off of the path because you and your friends are taking up all of the room.

6. Stay well hydrated. If you start drinking water when you get thirsty, it is too late. You know you are well hydrated when your pee is clear.

7. Crap in. Crap out. You need to eat the correct foods to provide the fuel for your body (i.e. carbs). If you eat crap, you're gonna run like crap.

8. Learn how to blow your nose without a tissue and do it while you're running.

9. If you need to pee and you can't find a restroom or portable toilet, make sure that no one (i.e. the cops) sees you do it.

10. If you blew your nose without a tissue and/or if you peed and didn't use a restroom, don't shake hands at the end of the run with your buddy.

11. Stretch at the end of the run.
12. Wear clothing that is made of fabric that will pull the moisture away from your body.
13. If you are going to do a long run, cover your nipples with Band-aids or Nipple Guards. The rubbing of the shirt on your nipples will cause them to bleed. 14. Use Body Glide or Vaseline for you inner-thighs to prevent chafing. It can also be used on your underarms. Vaseline is good for preventing blisters on your feet. 15. Wear identification on yourself in case something happens to you while you're out running. It is also a good idea to let someone know where you will be running (i.e. off the beaten path). 16. If you are running in the dark, wear something that is reflective. Many shoes and running attire have it as part of the design. 17. While it is good to chat while you run, don't chat TOO LOUD! IF I CAN HEAR YOU OVER THE MUSIC IN MY iPod, THEN YOU ARE TALKING TOO LOUD.

18. Do not use a retractable leash if you run with a dog. More than likely you will trip someone with that thing.

19. If you are running a 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, etc. and if you are not a fast runner/elite runner, don't get in front at the start line. You will cause congestion when everyone is trying to pass you. 20. It is good karma to have a beer and a donut at a post-race party, even if it is only 800A.M.

I'm sure I'll think of other running tips for you. This is all I could think of with a headache. And I take no credit for any of these photos. :-)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Resolution for the new year

New Year's resolution: Become happier runner
Tips include stretching, setting goals and taking some time off
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

Get fit for life! Total body makeover! Drop 5 pounds fast!
Call it a seasonal perk. Every January, it's satisfying to realize that we regular exercisers can largely ignore the New Year! New You! headlines that nag at us from the magazines in the racks of the grocery store checkout line.

Build a healthy heart? Check. Reduce stress? Check. Get weight under control? Check, more or less.
Still, the urge to get fitter or faster or to run farther — to somehow improve — remains in even the most veteran runners. I'll leave the speedwork assignments and mileage suggestions to the paid professionals.

Here's 10 things that can make you a happier runner in the new year:

• 1. Stretch: It's easy to skip this essential part of a balanced running routine, like I did for 25 years. But since I started training this year with a runner who consistently stretches for a few minutes after each workout, my legs and back feel better the rest of the day.

• 2. Run fast once a week: Sure, it's uncomfortable. But it's also satisfying in that I'm-master-of-my-own-universe-hear-me-roar kind of way.

• 3. Set a goal: Maybe it's as small as sprinting to the next street light or as big as a personal best in the marathon. Not only will the accomplishment leave you feeling better about yourself, you will have learned new lessons during the journey — however brief — there.

• 4. Do a real fun run: Purist racers may disapprove, but running an event at an easy pace is a blast. And you still get the shirt.

• 5. Volunteer at a race: All those people on the course are doing something positive about how they conduct their lives. And you're helping them. Giving back to the tribe is always a good thing.

• 6. Whine: You got out of bed before dawn to run five miles in the rain. Indulge your dark side, wallow in your unhappy place, and you'll end up laughing about it.

• 7. Take some time off: A week or more. It can be risky flirting with the dark side, the seductive sedentary life. But it's also rewarding. You'll not only give your mind and body a rest, you'll also appreciate running even more when you start again.

• 8. Give yourself a break: Decided to skip this morning's workout for no better reason than you didn't want to get out of bed? Don't beat yourself up. You'll get another chance to get up early tomorrow.
• 9. Stop running: When you hear a woodpecker, try to spot it in the tree. Nice view of the sunset? Soak it in. Appreciate all the natural beauty — yes, even in Houston — around you.
• 10. Remember that running is freedom: The freedom that comes from being able-bodied. The freedom that comes from being disciplined, yet relaxed. The freedom that comes with the realization that you're doing the right thing for yourself. It's easy to be happy when you're free.

I guess it pays to be nice

'Mean' customer bequeaths waitress $50,000, car

BROWNSVILLE — For nearly seven years Melina Salazar did her best to put on a smile and tend to the every need of her most loyal and cantankerous customer.

She made sure his food was as hot as he wanted, even if it meant he burned his mouth. And she smiled through his demands and curses. And 89-year-old Walter "Buck" Swords obviously appreciated it. He left the waitress $50,000 and a 2000 Buick when he died.

"I still can't believe it," the Luby's cafeteria employee told Harlingen television station KGBT-TV in an interview during which she described Swords as "kind of mean."

Swords, a World War II veteran, died in July. But Salazar learned just a few days before Christmas that he had left her the money and car.

(source: Associated Press)

Maybe now is the time to go eat at Luby's and see if the customer service level has been bumped up a few notches.

12 Days Of Christmas ala Janice Dickinson

One of my readers made me aware of this video. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For

I received an e-mail from runnerOne asking if I wanted to run this morning at 715A. I gave an affirmative reply and asked for a track workout. He replied back that I better be careful what I wish for. A subsequent e-mail requested my presence at 630A.

So this morning at 630A I was at Memorial Park. It was dark. It was 37 degrees Fahrenheit.

So here's what we did. We did an 800m sprint and then walked 100m. This was followed by an 700m sprint and a 100m walk. Then it was a 600m sprint and a 100m walk.

At this point he decided to increase the pace. We worked our way down from a 500m sprint + 100m walk down to a 100m sprint + 100m walk. At about the 500m sprint I was sorta wishing I hadn't asked for a track workout.

The deal with a track workout like this is that even though they're tough, I always have a sense of accomplishment when I'm finished. It's been awhile since he has found my breaking point.

There was one morning several years ago when we were doing 400m sprints and he kept increasing the pace and I kept up with him until at one point I thought I was going to fall down. He found my breaking point and we stopped.

BTW...the name of this morning's workout is Pain Is Your Friend. I think he makes up names to try and scare me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

12 Days Of Christmas

Catholics in England during the period 1558 to 1829 were prohibited by law to practice their faith either in public or private. It was illegal to be Catholic until Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England in 1829.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written in England as one of the "catechism songs" to help young Catholics learn the basics of their faith. In short, it was a coded-message, a memory aid.

Since the song sounded like rhyming nonsense, young Catholics could sing the song without fear of imprisonment. The authorities would not know that it was a religious song.

Also, the 12 days of Christmas lead up to the Epiphany which is celebrated on January 6.

"The 12 Days of Christmas" is in a sense an allegory. Each of the items in the song represents something significant to the teachings of the Catholic faith. The hidden meaning of each gift was designed to help Catholic children learn their faith. The better acquainted one is with the Bible, the more these interpretations have significance.

The song goes, "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…"
The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn’t refer to an earthly suitor, but it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. i.e. the Church.

1st Day
The partridge in a pear tree is Christ Jesus upon the Cross. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge because she would feign injury to decoy a predator away from her nestlings. She was even willing to die for them. The tree is the symbol of the fall of the human race through the sin of Adam and Eve. It is also the symbol of its redemption by Jesus Christ on the tree of the Cross.

2nd Day
The "two turtle doves" refers to the Old and New Testaments.

3rd Day
The "three French hens" stand for faith, hope and love—the three gifts of the Spirit that abide (1 Corinthians 13).

4th Day
The "four calling birds" refers to the four evangelists who wrote the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—which sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.

5th Day
The "five golden rings" represents the first five books of the Bible, also called the Jewish Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

6th Day
The "six geese a-laying" is the six days of creation.

7th Day
The "seven swans a-swimming" refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

8th Day
The "eight maids a milking " reminded children of the eight beatitudes listed in the Sermon on the Mount.

9th Day
The "nine ladies dancing" were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

10th Day
The "ten lords a-leaping" represents the Ten Commandments

11th Day
The "eleven pipers piping" refers to the eleven faithful apostles.

12th Day
The ‘twelve drummers drumming" were the twelve points of belief expressed in the Apostles’ Creed: belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, made man, crucified, died and arose on the third day, that he sits at the right hand of the father and will come again, the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.

So the next time you hear "the Twelve Days of Christmas" consider how this otherwise non-religious sounding song had its origins in keeping alive the teaching of the Catholic faith.


Forgot to tell you

It has been pointed out to me by several readers that I left out some information about Ryan Barry. Ryan is currently dating Reichen Lehmkuhl.Reichen first came on the radar during Season 4 of The Amazing Race when he and his then partner Chip Arndt won the race around the world.

Reichen is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and served as a Captain in the Air Force. In addition to being a reality star, actor, model, and jewelry designer, is an ex-boyfriend of Lance Bass.