Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hybrid Vigor

Bigfoot so mad. Him just spend 20 minutes creating post about possibly buying hybrid car, only to have Firefox crash, taking him post down into fiery flames of digital wasteland. After ripping scalp off of next-door neighbor and bellowing for five minutes, him ready to try again.
  • Thinking about replacing Cracker, the supa-awesome F250, with a more practical vehicle.
  • Researching hybrids. Not 100% sure it's "best-fit" for me, but will exhaust available information before making decision.
  • Considering economy/fuel-efficient cars that look like roller skates. Please, no Xanadu references. I like the Toyota Yaris Liftback and the Honda Fit.
For some strange reason, I have never been motivated to floss with my own whip. (OK, sorry, I just won the Ghettospeak contest for the day. That shit was funny. Admit it, you know you loved it. Admit it or Bigfoot rip your scalp off too.) I have super appreciation for hot, fancy cars. But do I want one? Not really. Cars are practical necessities, as far as I am concerned.

So, we shall see what I wind up with if/when I make this car trade.

p.s. I got in the pool and swam some laps last night for the first time in two months. I am definitely feeling better and it was great to have that feeling of near-heart-explosion again. I was like "Take that PermaBelly v.2.0 ... take that up your butt, you little bitch!"

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Body Challenge

It amazes me how easy it is to get out of an exercise routine.

Concurrent with my illness was my inability to lift weights or do any sort of exercise. I started back on the elliptical a few weeks ago and then, wham!, there was Thanksgiving.

It's Wednesday and today is the first day I'm going to strength train. I'm actually excited about it.

I am also going to renew for next semester my membership at the aquatic center, to continue building on my lap-swimming. I still have a few weeks left on this membership and am going to use them to reinvigorate myself in the water.

I really do enjoy the stress release of exercise, and hope my efforts will continue to pay off, not so much for aesthetic reasons, but to perpetuate good health.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

If We Took A Holiday ...

I'm going to reveal something that most people don't know about me, or at least might not suspect. I am, by nature, a little bit of a Scrooge when it comes to the holidays. But only when it comes to buying gifts and, to a degree, decorating.

Don't get me wrong, I love the festive holiday season and the feelings of peace and goodwill it brings about. And God knows I love a holiday party, and food - Bigfoot love food - but the "Have you started your shopping? Have you put up your tree?" questions make me get a little fetal.

It very much feels like an obligation and more often than not it is very uninspired. I abhor asking family members for "their list" almost as much as I hate being asked for mine. I think that's because I don't have a lot of time to think about Christmas-type gifts that I could use. As a single man living alone, I tend to fulfill those sundry needs as they present themselves.

And I don't feel right going to the next step of need fulfillment and asking for things like "A year of therapy co-pay," or "Liposuction for Permabelly v.2.0."

In truth, I would rather donate money to a charity on behalf of those for whom I buy gifts. I love Heifer Project International for this reason, but there are thousands of other charities that are worthwhile.

This year I am thinking of donating to a Katrina charity as the bulk of my family continues to reside on the Gulf Coast. In the aftermath of the storm, I didn't donate to the charities because the truth was I had two teenaged cousins who canoed out of their New Orleans home with the clothes on their back and they needed my help.

However, there is much to do down there, still, and every little bit helps. So, this year I will fulfill gift obligations at the baseline level but will send the majority of my budget to causes I deem worthwhile.

And I ain't decorating. There is something REALLY liberating about that!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Holiday Stress

Look at this view from Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Little Rock, Arkansas. Breathe it in. Remember it.

My dear cousin organized a hike Friday morning and we took the dogs and spent two glorious hours in the woods. It was inspirational and made me happy to be alive.

I had to remind myself of this upon my return home last night. I purposely drove home via I-40 through Memphis as that route, on a good traffic day, is one hour faster. My "kudzu tour" route - Highway 82 through Mississippi - is good enough but I knew I'd not be leaving LR until around noon and I'd hoped to be home early evening.

About an hour outside of Little Rock near Brinkley, Arkansas, both lanes of traffic came to a standstill. For what wound up being two hours. Two freaking hours. I have no idea why as eventually traffic just started moving. I can only assume there was a wreck of some sort (and I'm always thankful to wait in those situations, and pray for those that may've been affected) but, whatever it was, it severely delayed me getting home and I had to do a big chunk of the drive in the dark.

My visit to Arkansas was great. I saw all of my people with the exception of one friend, and we are working on a remedy for that. He is a good friend who means much to me and we have batted about plans for two upcoming dates (New Year's Eve being one of them), so we'll see how it sorts out.

I have also eaten more in a weekend than I have in a month so you know what that means ... we starve this week and BOOYAH! on the elliptical machine!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Little Rock, Think I'm Gonna Have To Slip You Off ...

Go West, young man!

Today I return to Little Rock, which was my home from July 30, 1996 - June 20, 2006.

The bulk of my adult friends are in The Rock, and I am VERY excited to be returning "home." When I moved from Alabama to Arkansas in 1996, I had a very hard time adjusting. In fact, I was a straight-up wreck for about 2 years. (But, damn, I was skinny!) Time worked its magic healing powers on me, as it always does, and by the time I left I was crying for a city I really grew to love.

It's interesting how history repeats itself. I recall my first visit home to Mobile in 1996, and how I was a bit overwhelmed trying to fit in all of the people I wanted to see. Those first few visits were tough because there was so much pressure to get face time with everyone. And no one loves a stressful trip like that where you cannot wait to get into the car to leave!

Eventually I learned to manage, and for that I am very thankful to be 35 years old. Because I would not trade those coping skills for any amount of youth. I'd rather have crow's feet and stability than dewey eyes and CrAzy!

Happy Thanksgiving All! I cannot wait to see y'all in LR this weekend!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

B to the B or B to the C ...

In my life as a marketing manager, I deal with two distinct business environments: business-to-business and business-to-consumer.

They're very different environments, of course, and I cannot say which one I prefer. They each present a unique challenge, though ultimately both boil down to your organization, what it has to offer in terms of service/products, and whether or how you market those services/products.

Just like people, or "publics" as we say in the PR world, it's critical that you construct messages and strategies that are easily comprehended and processed. I like to look at a large environment - B2B for example - as a stratosphere, then segregate the channels so that each is an individual strata, and develop the messages relative to the audience.

Thank you for listening to my inner-marketing geek. Occassionally he insists on speaking and if I don't oblige him, he gets back at me by leaving banana peels on the sidewalk. "Hahaha," he laughs as I go busting ass, Permabelly v2.0 all willy-nilly and jiggling.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Snakes On A ...

Behold! Me and a 9-foot long python. I am invicible, despite the fact that I'm about to lose my shorts. Thank God for my PermaBelly v2.0. Y'all, I am not even kidding when I tell you that I'm giving the muthafucka 18 months to be gone. That is 18 months of proper diet and exercise. And this July when I {panicattack panicattack panicattack} turn {panicattack panicattack panicattack} 32 36, if it's not resolved, that shit is getting sucked out.

But honestly, I think the weight of this snake is sorta pushing everything down. Yes, I like that explanation. We'll go with that as our final answer, Regis.

Let's talk about snakes. Me and snakes. Hearken back to a time when I was but a mere sapling living on a red dirt road in Alabama. Good times, man. Good times. I was a little snake and turtle boy. In fact, my turtle-catching skills are rivaled only by my ability to change a flat tire in less than 5 minutes and, with a few warm-up swings, the ability to go head-to-head with most lesbians in a game of softball.

To catch a turtle you must lie in wait until they surface in the grass on the side of the pond then, with lightning speed and laser accuracy, you reach down and grab them from behind. Most people who meet me would also not think that I've - not once but twice - been snapped on the finger by a small snapping turtle. True story. Truer still is the fact that you can shake the bitches off ... you don't need to wait until a thunderstorm for relief.

When I was maybe 7 or 8 years-old I came home from school one day to a surprise that I will never forget. My father was working 2nd shift at the time, so he was home in the mornings with my mother. They accomplished all sorts of tasks on our little farm during this time. I forget what they were doing outside but whatever it was yielded a green garden snake that my father caught for me.

I was in love with this snake. I'd never seen one so vividly chartreuse and sleek in design. I was allowed to keep the snake for about a week - clearly as long as my mother could tolerate having a snake inside her house - but during that time we were inseparable. On a dare, I did put the snake in my mouth (shut up all y'all gutter-minds ... this is not foreshadowing at all and, even if it is, so what?) but not the whole snake; think like the snake is wide, right, like his head is in your left hand, and his tail is in your right hand, and your arms are stretched wide, so you open your mouth and just sort of let him hang there and then your father walks around the corner of the house and you let snake fall to ground because you're busted in front of your friends and your father and it's then you realize it's time for the snake to move on. Return to the wild. Be free.

Rock on with your Elsa-loving self.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Better And Better

Things are looking up.

Whitney seems to be getting to a great place in her life, despite the fact she about to lose her NJ crib.

Britney woke up from her semi-lucid state and ditched K-Fed.

I think both of the 'Neys are going to be rockin' chinchilla coats and VVS stones in the very near future and when the albums drop ... so hott!

I, too, seem to be on the upswing. Lots of quality work is coming my way at Command Central, and I'm pursuing some passions and goals and feeling good about them. We'll see if anything develops.

And, for all of you who have been supportive through my recent illness, my bloodwork last week is very near normal, and I go to the doctor Monday morning for a check-up and progress gauge.

I am feeling significantly better, signified by the fact that I am inspired to exercise. Speaking of, off to my elliptical machine!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Not My Idea ...

I bit my tongue and stood in line
With not much to believe in
I bought into what I was sold
And ended up with nothing ...

Everyone should know that this is, like, the Best. Album. Ever. Am I trapped in 1995? Hellz to the yes. And I LOVE it! IloveitIloveitIloveit!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

So you're floating in a pool, right? Your elbows are anchored on the floating concrete island, you're rocking your John Deere baseball cap that you bought at the feed store circa 2005, oblivious to the fact that the gold bathing suit you think is so cute but did not field test is nearly 100% see through, and it's wet, and your ass is sticking out of the water ...

And you're talking to a guy that you think is pretty bitchin' and he mentions something about dogs, then he says something about a peer who doesn't like dogs, then he says, "How could you not like dogs? They're soft and warm and they only have love to give."

Do you fall in love with that a little bit? Maybe. I sorta did.

My little Maddie, seen here as the subject for my photography class, is my little soft, warm, love-giver. She sleeps with me every night and wakes up in the morning right beside me, on her side, curled up in my arm.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Scorpion Breath

I love attention. There, I said it.

If someone is going to die of a lethal scorpion sting on vacation in Mexico and thereby garnish all sorts of media attention - "Dateline NBC" vignettes and public awareness campaigns on scorpion safety - then, by God, it might as well be me.

High on adrenaline from my zipline tour, I accepted the challenge of putting a scorpion in my mouth in exchange for a shot of tequila. Yes, this scorpion is alive. No, it didn't pinch or sting me. Yes, I did the shot of tequila.

Oddly, though, I think it transferred some sort of super powers to me. Because I have slept in a coccoon for a few days and this morning I uncontrollably fell to my hands and knees and went flying down the hallway sideways with my bottom all bent up in the air. With great power comes great responsibility. I must use my Scorpion Powers for good.

Up next? 9-foot long pythons. Why I wrap them around my neck like an accessory.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Life Goals ...

I am a huge fan of the BBC comedy "Absolutely Fabulous."

Last night I spoke with a good friend who was on a business trip in NYC. We agreed to continue life-coaching each other, and it reminded me of an episode of AbFab wherein Edina calls her life coach who instructs her to "Have a great idea; write a song lyric."

This week my goals are to reintegrate, accomplish the six million things that are on my list at work and home, and write a chapter in my book!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Back To Life, Back To Reality ...

Hola Amigos! I am back from Puerto Vallarta.

A few things you should know:

1.) A week on the Mexican Riviera is something I recommend for everyone. Particularly when it's such a fun-filled environment and you have the opportunity to make new buddies.
2.) No matter how fancy your own horse is, you are never too good to sit on one of less spark. For every Rocco Ritchie there is a David Banda. Variety is not the spice of life - diversity is!
3.) I'm seriously - no, seriously - getting ready to take over the world, as soon as I can gather the energy to go to the grocery store to buy more laundry detergent. Small steps, y'all, small steps.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Zip Line

First off, shout-out a big ole Happy Birthday to my Brother In Law! 39 boyyyyyyyy!

Zip line tour was The S to the H to the IT! This is Harmonica coming across the first lower lines. I quit taking pictures when we'd worked up to the first line that went across the river about 600' above the ground.

Yes, 600 feet on a cable and pulley and harness. Do you trust a caribiner clip? You sorta have to. Which is why I screamed a primal scream the first big crossing and couldn't quit. It was hysterical but an amazing release of control. And we kept crossing the river from top to bottom and all finished feeling like we'd really accomplished something.

When I was 12 years old my friends and I fashioned a rope from our pecan tree to the playhouse my father had built us behind his shed. This was a rocking playhouse - it had 2 layers and a cabin/deck 6 feet off the ground. We put a pulley on the rope and climbed the tree and zip lined down a few times.

I unfortunately made the last run. When my feet hit the edge of the deck the rope broke due to friction by the pulley (of course, we'd done this unsupervised) and I fell flat on my back onto my little brother's Tonka truck which had been parked by the sandbox. It bruised my tailbone very badly and I had to take to the bed for a few days.

I think this primal scream was directly related to 23 years of fear repression.

Up next? Chickens. Why they scare me. Why I avoid them.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Riding In The Rainforest

I really enjoyed the riding trip to the rainforest yesterday. It was a fun day that was very authentic and I have a healthy respect for those pack horses after going on this ride.

(An aside, my butt is killing me! Riding Western, while comfortable at first, always makes my untrained butt bones hurt since they're accustomed to sitting in an English jumping saddle most of the time.)

The scenery on the ride was exquisite. On the way up the mountain we followed the river, crossing it more times than I can possibly recount, until we reached a clearing where the horses were tethered, and we then hiked up via a series of suspension bridges to a really beautiful waterfall.

From there we went up the mountain on this switchback trail. I was amazed that the horses were capable of going over such horrid trail conditions (rocks everywhere, deep mud, etc.). The Precious would've been lame about 100 meters from the barn.

In this photo you can see the bromeliad growing in the tree. They do this everywhere in the rainforest - somewhat like an orchid - as they grow in moist conditions, not really requiring soil. They were exquisite in places and while I really did want to take more photos, I reached a point where I just wanted to enjoy the ride.

My little horse was sweet enough until we started the trek home. As a general rule I abhor trail rides with non-horsey folks because there is inevitably some asshole who claims he grew up on a farm in Texas and despite the fact that he looks like a sack of feed flopping around in the saddle, he starts trotting or cantering, then lights up the entire herd of horses, then no one has fun because their horses are being nappy and as rank beginners, they have no idea how to ride. It actually creates a very unsafe scenario for most involved - this is how people get hurt.

Nevertheless, we had Mr. Dallas Farm Boy on our ride. He came trotting up behind my horse who was all, "I kick you bitch," and it was then I discovered mine was nappy and mean to other horses and at one point thought about a mini-rear.

This required me to deliver a mini-smackdown, then I made him do dressage the rest of the way back. I'm so evil.

Today we zip line across the canopy of the jungle.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Good morning campers!

Hi there, just an update that I'm having a fantastic time here in PV. It's a little strange as we have been warned not to go into the water (Pacific Ocean) at the beach because 4 people got stung by stingrays yesterday! They apparently stepped on them while wading in the surf.

Today we're doing an excursion off the resort. We're going horseback riding in the rainforest. It has occured to me that this will be the first time I've sat on a horse since the middle of August, when I left my horse Rhodes Point in Florence, Alabama, on a lease.

I was very direct before making the excursion commitment as to the quality of the horses. I always feel sorry for string horses because they're typically not tended the way my horses are. They have assured me the horses aren't skinny broken down sad.

If they are - don't think I won't be all ASPCA. Because you know I will.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Le Mexico

Hello all! I'm here in Puerto Vallarta with my friends, and we're having a great time. The traveling went really well, though they didn't have the immigration forms in Houston, so they gave them to us when we arrived in PV, and that was a bit of a roadblock in the airport but, you know, it's all good. It's very warm here - low 90's - and that was an adjustment as it was 46 when I went into the airport in Birmingham.

This was sunset last night over the Pacific Ocean.

Also, welcome to my new blog! I had to make some changes on Friday, and in doing so lost the archives, but that is OK. While I was really proud of the archives and how they'd chronicled nearly a year of my life, the loss of them did nothing to pre-empt my need or ability to write.

Viva El Mexico!