Thursday, February 24, 2005

Willow
6.22.1992 – 2.24.2005

Will
Willow was our hunter, our cuddler, the toughest cat in the neighborhood and quite the food critic.
Fiercely independent, yet willing to purr in your arms – probably more for you. He had his own door, he was his own man. Through his private door he brought many a friend to play with… until death would part them.

He was always there. You could pull in the driveway and he would be basking on the hot pavement. If you went to get the mail he would pop out from under the porch. While I cut the grass I would see him in the back fields, pouncing his pray – sometimes a cricket sometimes a mouse, we think he may have taken down a deer or two back there as well.

We gave him a bath only once. We all learned a lot that day.

He used to visit our elderly neighbor almost daily and roll himself silly on her back deck. She often called him over to show him off to her grandkids.

He loathed the dogs but tolerated them because he knew he had too. He seemed almost amused that we would want such silly creatures in the house with us. He could easily have taken the MinPin out… he’d twice captured bunnies bigger than her. He taunted Riggs… just outside of fence, always aware of her limits.

He loved to play, he loved his catnip, he loved life, he LOVED the daughter, and I think he loved us too.
He will be missed and remembered forever.

First born

Ferris does not read my blog. I imagine he hears enough of me in person, why read more online. He is also unaware of his pseudonym. I came up with it while posting about him some time ago but it’s not something we call him offline.

Last night on our way out to wings-night (bringing back the family dinner with 20cents wings and beer every Wednesday) he says in the car “You know I am going to name my first born son Ferris”
He later mentioned he may name his daughter Jeanie.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Car Shopping

I am out car shopping today. No time to post.
The van is, remarkably, still on the road...However, it has been recommended that we stay off the highway. Let's just say we are on borrowed time.

In other news - wrestling season is OVER.
Ferris is eating everything that is not tied down.
(For those of you who don't know - a wrestler must make weight twice a week. Wrestlers like to cut weight to be in a lower weight class - they feel it gives them an advantage. So making weight each week requires strict attention to diet, sweating down and often spitting your way to the scales.
Imagine what discipline that must take being raised by TWO Italian mothers. )

Friday, February 18, 2005

Way to get motivated

So I am sitting her in my dark, warm little cubicle, happily surfing getting ready to enjoy my tasty salad... a co-worker comes by (who will remain nameless...altho I will keep an eye on the comments) and asks if I want to walk with them today.
I hesitate... hmm, have alot of work to do... need to leave a little early today...
The unnamed co-worker suggests I will feel better if I walk.
I consider her point... she is right, I will, so I go.

Silly me, I had forgotten winter had returned to New England.
Not only is the temp only 31. But the BRISK breeze gave us a wind chill of 20.
ow.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Whew

Went to the gym yesterday!
Yup - even walked over there.
Ok, so it was actually more of a 'tour' of the gym.
But hey... then I walked back from the gym.

I am counting that as my first day of exercise.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

On The Wagon

Did I fall off the wagon? Well since I never officially got on the wagon I suppose not.

As I mentioned recently, exercise is imminent. These 7 pounds cannot be lost without some sort of motion. Since I am always in motion..it’s gonna have to be something a tad strenuous. Like actual exercise.
I have spent the last week contemplating exercise. I don’t want to rush into anything and my choices are many. This of course, has me paralyzed… which burns no calories whatsoever.

The easiest option is to simply walk. Like right now for example. It's lunch time here at work, and instead of walking – I am blogging… again, very low on the calorie burning scale even tho I am typing really, really fast.
Lots of people walk at lunch, my svelt wife is probably out walking as I type. But I am here in my dark cozy cubicle, with my little heater on, listening to my new Pink Floyd cd (thanks love).

Ok, my next choice is to join the FREE gym here at my office complex. They have all sorts of snazzy machines and weights and TV’s and marble bathrooms … so posh.
Of course in order to join the FREE gym I will need new sneakers, some sort of outfit (or two) to work out in, a new gym bag perhaps, and an mp3 player (ok, I can probably do without the mp3 player).
This will require shopping, which I could do on my lunch break…but I am here in my dark cozy cubicle… well… you know what I mean.

Other choices include but are not limited to; selecting from a wide variety of the daughter’s work out tapes at home, joining the Y down the street from our house, or even just doing some exercises when I am getting up and ready in the morning.

Clearly I need to take my time to make a wise decision.

Will I exercise today?
I just went to the online Magic 8 Ball site. I asked twice, just to be sure.
My answers were:
"All signs point to yes."
"Without a doubt."


So there you have it folks. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

3 Day Weekends

I HIGHLY recommend them.
I have suggested to my boss that we work 10 hour days, 4 days a week.
He loves the idea (like that's gonna do any good).
Gotta love the corporate machine.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Changing Seasons

I dreamt last night that all of our pets were outside in a great pen filled with mud. They were running and frolicking and rolling. Ohhh, the horror of it.

This is a sure sign from the Old Weese’s Almanac that spring is near.
The thaw has begun.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Paxil for Weese – Reason#2

I mentioned in passing in yesterday’s post that I don’t drive very fast. This is quite true. I don’t really speed; I don’t see a need to. I obey the laws and in general follow rules of etiquette on the roads. I also do not experience road rage. I find this a major waste of energy. It seems ludicrous to get mad at someone who has no idea that you are upset whatsoever, allowing them to simply drive away feeling dandy…leaving you to stew in your own anger. What is the point of that? This is not to say I am happy about getting cut off in traffic…I just don’t get all freaked out about it. I have much better things to get freaked out about… such as … timetable anxiety. Yup. I cannot be late. It causes me great stress to be late. Must—be—on—time; preferably early.
“if you’re early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late; if you’re late, don’t bother showing up”
Really…it’s bad. DON’T make me late for an appointment, a meeting, even a movie … and if I am running late – you may want to pull over and let me pass.
Cuz I will be burnin’ some rubber, and I will be very agitated.
My family humors me. They have long since given up on complaining about being at the movie theater 20 minute early, they have learned to go play video games or otherwise amuse themselves while I contently sit in my well chosen seat with my untouched popcorn waiting for the lights to dim (mustn’t eat the popcorn before the movie begins…). I always have a book or magazine in my car – so I have something to do when I show up early. When the kids used to need rides, I was always in the parking lot… early… waiting… reading.
And forget going to the airport with me… oh my, where IS the Paxil when you need it.

Gotta go pack for my summer vacation now.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Slowing down

I have turned a corner.
It actually happened a long time ago. I suppose I knew… I just never really put much thought into it. Really, it happens to most people at some point in their lives (‘most’ – not all).
Do you flash your headlights at oncoming traffic when you have passed a speed trap?
I was on my way home at lunch time today, and a couple of cars flashed at me indicating the presence of a speed trap. I, without even thinking, eased off on the gas and gazed to the speedometer. This is pure reflex, because I really don’t drive very fast.
As I continued on my way, I passed other cars heading toward me. My lights, however, remained dark.
This was my street. How many times have I sat on our porch sipping a beer and damn near snapped my neck watching cars at speeds completely unsafe for this road.
I smirked to myself today as these unsuspecting drivers passed me … approaching the cop lying in wait. Ha, they’re on their own.

So, the corner I turned so long ago(after a proper signal of course), was when I realized cops are the good guys.
As teens we spent a lot of time ‘dodging’ the cops, ‘looking out’ for the cops, ‘running from’ the cops, and generally bad mouthing them (David…do you remember Applebaum?). Questioning authority. Its part of the growing process. I am done growing now (please reference my diet post…no more growing for me.)

Now, I have friends who are cops. (see how I use the colloquial ‘cops’ rather than ‘policeman’… that’s cuz we are friends…and that’s how friends are – like for example they could call me a lezbo and I would be ok with that). We have called the cops for various reasons throughout our 17 years in our town. They have always been helpful, prompt, polite, and rather supportive. A dear friend once said how much she valued “anyone willing to take a bullet for me.” That summed it up perfectly for me.
So if you are heading out my way anytime soon – you may want to slow down a bit. That way you will notice if we’re out on the porch having a coldie… so stop in (safely signaling first).

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Fat Tuesday

This could possibly explain my wardrobe malfunction this morning.

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Feelin’ the burn

Wasn’t it Jane Fonda who had the very first workout tapes?
I had one of them…and she would continually ask me during our workout “Can you feel it?”
Yes, damnit, Jane – I felt it.
I am beginning to realize that if I really want to lose this last 5 pounds, I may need to actually exercise. While I am a firm believer in my tried and true starvation diet – this last 5 pounds may require more hunger than I can stand.
I don’t think I can avoid it any more. I simply must exercise.

Let’s discuss how I feel about exercise. Couple of words come to mind very quickly…loathe, abhor, avoid.
Ok, more specifically – I really dislike expending energy over a period of time where there is no tangible result. I know, I know…my health, firmer muscles, weight loss – those are results. But if I am going to work that hard at something for an hour or more – I would like to see something for it – like a tidy garden bed, or a new shed or even gleaming floors.
Hey, I am no weakling and am not afraid of hard work. I beg you to find many 40+ women who can hang sheetrock…. alone; or purchase, load, unload, cut to size, carry and hang 3’ x 5’ cement board … (try holding one of those on the wall, placing the screw and finagling the drill up to the screw head, without dropping the whole thing on your toes…all by yourself). My rather lithe and fit wife and I do many heavy manual labor projects around the house and yard. We rake a forest of leaves together each fall, we demolish and remodel entire rooms, and will be laying a new flag stone patio this spring ourselves.

But exercise… well that’s another matter completely. Take running for example. You get all dressing in your fancy, fitted ‘running’ outfit – then you run, fast as you can, turn around and come back. Where have you gone? It would make sense to me to run to the store, buy something and then run home. But to just run around in circles… for what. Now our daughter is a runner. She seems to get something out of it. Me…not so much. I need a purpose.
Lifting weights is the same.. it’s like picking up something heavy for no good reason. Now if you needed to move some heavy objects around to say…clear a path, or build a wall – well that makes sense.
But really …what am I saying here. What is my point?
Nothing.
I am just procrastinating.
I need to exercise.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Holiday plans?

So what are your plans for the Holiday?
Super bowl really wraps up the whole holiday season doesn’t it?
(and… another gentle reminder PLEASE take down your holiday lights)

Also of note, Super Bowl marks the beginning of dieting season. Yup – from Super Bowl to Memorial Day, best time of the year to lose weight.
3 months, 16 weeks, 112 days.
In most cases it’s possible to comfortably lose a pound a week. (Unless you are a wrester…then you can lose 5 pounds in one day… but that’s a whole different program).

My unreachable goal this year – 7 pounds.
…one sec while I take a bite of my bagel and cream cheese….ok
I say unreachable because it’s really the LAST 5 pounds I have been trying to lose now for a couple of years. (I want to lose 7 for margin of course…you simply must account for bloating).
I always say that I am on the starvation diet – how’s that not gonna work, starving people are always thin. Of course MY idea of starving is perhaps 4 -6 small meals per day. So small I feel faint just an hour after eating (please picture me with the back of my wrist to my forehead, back arched, eyes rolled up with a woe-as-me look on my face).
Ok so perhaps my concept of starving is more like eating a lot less than usual…ok ok eating a bit less than I normally do.
My wife is roiling with laughter right now…because she lives with this…bless her.
Seriously--
I don’t diet per se. I took some weight off a few years back (40 lbs. give or take) and have kept it off without a problem because I changed the way I eat.
If you want to lose weight ...forget about cutting carbs, or fat, or eating only hot dogs and grapefruit on odd days of the week.
Eat real food. The less processed the better. This means cutting out most breads and pasta’s…this has NOTHING to do with carbs. It has to do with refined flours and sugar.
Vegetables, fruits, nuts, even meat, milk, eggs…all real food. (yes we do process milk…but that’s just so it doesn’t kill you…and ladies we do need our calcium).

Losing weight then becomes just math. And I am all about data.
First you must determine your Basal Metabolic Rate. This is basically how many calories you burn in a day while simply existing.
To do this… follow these formulas:
Adult female:
655 + (4.3 x weight in lbs.) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
Adult male:
66 + (6.3 x body weight in lbs.) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)
(* you can have more calories if you exercise. So if you do something to burn 300 calories you can add that right to your daily total.)

To lose one pound you need to reduce your calories by 3500.
Again, its just science
It’s that simple.
For example, my basal metabolic rate is 1334 calories per day or 9336 per week.
To lose one pound per week I would need to cut to 5836, or consume only 833 calories in a day. This, of course, would kill me.
So … I will opt for ½ pound a week instead. This gives me plenty of time to be svelte by Memorial Day.
Now before you going doing all these calculations – remember to stock up on chips and beer for the big game. You can make a snazzy spreadsheet on Monday, with charts and graphs and perhaps a picture of yourself naked for inspiration.

Go Eagles.
(my money is on the Pats, but I will be rooting for the underdog)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Parenting

We are liberal parents. I wouldn’t go so far as to put us in the category as hippy-parents, buuut we’re probably not far off.
We’ve never pushed our kids, if they wanted to take up an instrument – fine. If they wanted to stop – that’s ok too. Sports were always voluntary. (I have known parents who actually require their kids to participate in one sport per season. We don’t think that way.)
What they did decide to participate in… we supported.
We have spend countless hours on cold bleacher seats, in the rain and even snow. We bought a piano for our daughter who took lessons for years and still serenades us on warm summer nights on the porch. We bought an electric guitar for our son when he showed an interest…ok well that one didn’t really work out – but hey you never know. My point is we never pushed them, they got to pretty much make their own decisions.
I am neither bragging nor ashamed of this – it is what it is.
I offer this as background. Background to what I find unacceptable parent behavior (oh…did I fail to mention I am rather opinionated).

At our match last night our team got spanked. It happens. This is the heart of competition.
With all the lost matches and near wins the tension was high for sure – but there was one story last night that enraged me.
One of our wrestlers, we’ll call him Ray, is a first year wrestler but gets to wrestle varsity matches because the team does not have a more experienced person in his weight class. Ray is a handsome, muscular boy with a lovely olive complexion. I don’t know him well as i do some of the other kids – but he seems reserved and possibly what I might call a bit soft (tends to show his pain easily). Let’s review: 1st year wrestler, young, inexperienced, competing with better wrestlers, not really a hard edged kinda guy.
Ok. So, this young man lost last night after what seemed like a decent battle. He didn’t fight as hard as some we’ve seen – but that criticism will come from his coach, certainly not me. His mother is shouting advice to him the entire match (this is not unusual…we all do this – which is especially comical from me because I am so clueless – luckily Ferris tells me they can’t really hear us… as I scream “get his wrist” ”crossface” ”you’re too high” “shoot” ha…). But where it falls apart for me is… the moment Ray was pinned she says – loud enough for me to hear on the next set of bleachers--, “He gave up to soon.” It wasn’t just what she said…but the look of disgust on her face.
Later after the match he walked up the bleachers to sit with his family, and she actually sneered at him and turned her head.
Unfathomable.
My heart broke for Ray.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

It's in the air

When I walked out of the door this morning I heard two distinct birdsongs. These were not winter birdsongs... they begged of spring. Granted it was 12 degrees out (which is starting to feel rather balmy).
I have yet to hear what Phil says this morning - but Weese says:
It's over folks.

And for those of you still sporting your holiday lights - please find the plug.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Sleepy

Why is it when I work even just a little late I get so tired.
I am not doing anything strenuous what-so-ever.
I am sitting... clicking, typing...
If I go home and sit at the table - not a problem.
Perhaps I need a new line of work.