Thursday, January 31, 2008

Me, with the flu ...

So I spent all morning in the doc-in-the-box because I didn't want to drive all the way to Hoover to see my regular doctor. Unfortunately, I have the flu. The real flu. Despite the fact that I had a flu vaccination shot back in October. Now I'm all worried about avian bird flu.

The great thing about being sick and having DirecTV, however, is that if you happen to flip to an HBO channel at 4:00 in the morning you MIGHT be lucky enough to find a gem like "Coal Miner's Daughter" on. I love me some CMD. Sissy Spacek is awesome anyway and I have always been completely impressed that she recorded all of the songs for the soundtrack.

OK, I'm also participating in a viral experiment and have been asked to post something.

"Conversation comes from Latin for 'turning with.'"

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Allergic to Alabama

From 1994-96 I had a recurring sinus infection. Every 4-6 weeks I would get sick, require all sorts of steroids shots and antibiotics - to the point that I went through a major sinus CAT scan and was in the queue to have sinus surgery. Then I moved to Arkansas. And I believe I was probably sick 4 times, max, the entire 10 years I lived there.

When we'd travel back to Mobile, particularly in the winter, I would experience sinus discomfort but it would always resolve when I crossed the Mississippi River heading West.

Not surprisingly, I have had sniffly/funkies all winter long. Probably because we go from 20 degrees to 70 degrees and back overnight.

And today? Not good. I am so mad at my sinuses. And if you think I am going to get a dental implant AND have sinus surgery without getting a nose job and some liposuction, you're wrong, my friend. Dead wrong.

Monday, January 28, 2008

No Lottery Win This Weekend ...

I went to Atlanta this weekend and, as I do every time I'm there, bought 5 Mega Millions lottery tickets. I was really hoping I would win the $73 Million jackpot. Why?

  • So I could buy a farm for Ouisie and add a few more horses.
  • So I could establish better healthcare for people in Alabama's oppressed Black Belt region.
  • So I could establish better resources for gay adolescents who need them.
  • Possible Botox injections.
  • My own pilates studio.
My pole dancing career is not doing much to fund these efforts. I need a serious windfall.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Turn To You

Robby's Awesome Brown Rice

Make on stovetop according to package directions but add 5 cloves of crushed garlic and 1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper to rice and water, let soak about 20 minutes, then proceed with boiling. I used 1 tbsp. of olive oil instead of butter when preparing.

Enjoy!

Also, you should enjoy this marvel of musical awesome ... Go Go's doing "Turn To You" in 1984. I honestly could've sworn that was much later Go Go's, like 86 or 87, but that just goes to show you kids that time flies and suddenly it's 2008 and you're still singing songs from 24 years ago. Oh well, it is what it is so rock on with your Rob Lowe video self.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dental Implant.

OK karma, I give. I really do give. I don't know what I've my tooth has done to invoke your wrath but we are sorry.

Were you angered because I was eating a vegetarian chimichanga at Pepito's when you decided it would be a good idea for my crown to rip out again? Right in front of my friend who I'd not seen in eons? Then you tried to make me forget the crown on the table because I'd had 3 margaritas? Thanks karma, thanks alot.

I will admit I've done some pretty bad things in my life. Like convincing Kenneth Fowler - who didn't wear shoes to school because, let's face it, it was Alabama - to jump out of our second grade classroom window onto the playground, assuring him I'd not tell the teacher. And before his little bare feet even hit the dirt I was all, "OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH, Ms. Morgan, Kenneth Fowler just jumped out of the window!"

But I am sorry for that. I did apologize for it years and years ago. Please let this be the final straw in your punishment. Please don't let this whole dental implant process be a lifelong thorn in my side. I will tell the oral surgeon this afternoon that you've got it in for me.

p.s. Please be kind and let me lose 10 pounds once I have the surgery. I will plan to eat only macrobiotic vegetarian miso soup.

Luvyameanit, RB

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rize Up!

I cleared my latest Netflix dryspell by watching "The Woodsman" and "Vera Drake" over a week ago. Yes, I'd had them since October. Yes, I know I technically spent $47.80 for that privilege. It wasn't worth it for "The Woodsman," which I found just not very redeeming but dude, it was so worth it for "Vera Drake." Holy shit, that movie was fantastic.

Like a good Baptist, I have no shame in rededicating my life when I lose my way, and so I am back to watching DVD's when I get them. And I'm also being more critical of my queue. Life is too short to watch sucky movies. That means it's going to take more than a flashy box cover and a quippy write up to catch my eye, you movies you. It's going to take ratings. And recommendations. So take that, sucky movies. That'll fix you.

I digress, as I am wont to do. Last Saturday night I watched "Rize" which was directed by David LaChapelle. And I totally wanted to go see it when it was released in 2005 but no one would oblige me so even though it's now like almost 3 years old and probably not as awesome as it used to be, my body responds to the music and my head and heart tell me I should learn to krump. I now what you're thinking ... "But Robby, you're an aging white boy with limited rhythm, and that funky knee thing."

But honey, I got rhythm. And it works best when I freestyle.

Perhaps I'll YouTube a video of my krumping and we can put it up for debate. Who thinks this is a good idea?

Take Out Your Frustration!



Maddie occasionally likes to beat the shit out of her rope toy. Last week it was a nice little ball. As you can see it now has some Cousin It feature and is quickly coming unraveled. She will not rest until it is dead. When we lived in Arkansas we had lizards in our rock garden and Maddie would stalk them all day long. Life is intense when you're a Jack Russell. So many things moving by that you must attempt to investigate, if not downright stop!

Auntie Sue will be happy to know that Maddie got her toenails did this weekend. OMG, they were eagle talons and I was so embarrassed that they'd not been clipped in awhile. I normally have those done when she boards but she's not been to the vet for about 4 months. Bad dog owner. Bad!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Portrait of a Quitter ...

I just thought I would share with everyone that today marks the 5th year anniversary of my cigarette smoking cessation. It seems like it was 200 years ago. Honestly, I am the biggest reformed smoker this side 'tha Mississippi. I live in a town where smoking is still permitted in bars which is probably good because it limits my bar time and God knows that's good on many levels.

I smoked from age 16-26, then did this half-hearted attempt at quitting for about 5 years. And by half-hearted I mean I only smoked at horse shows, when I was out for margaritas, or when someone had a cigarette. In late 2001 I went back hardcore and smoked the entire year of 2002. Like, pack-a-day smoking which was always my judgment level for people who needed to quit. So, January 21, 2003, I put those suckers down and haven't had one since.

It's saying alot for me because I am not naturally prone to the extremes and limiting myself on things I like to do. I'm ultimately a hedonist with masochistic undertones. So the fact that I have been able to modify my behavior gives me hope. Maybe one day I'll have it all figured out!

Friday, January 18, 2008

When Someone Said Count Your Blessings Now ...

It's a good thing he's pretty. Because a command of the written word alludes him. And by alludes I mean ignores. And by ignores I mean escapes. Hey, at least BravoTV isn't overly-editing blog entries so we're getting the real deal straight from the contestants. Kind of cool, huh?

Of the models I like Jackie best, though now I have to hate her since she was such a wimp about wearing the g-string last week. That is so amateur and honestly, inexcusable.

Of the guys I like Perry best, even though he's a tool behind the camera. He takes great photos and has a confidence that communicates on both the runway and in print.

Speaking of runway ... I've been meaning to ask this question for the past 3 years ... what the fuck is the allure of Heatherette? I mean, seriously, is that fashion? Because to me it looks like two queens playing "Party Monster." And girl, the decadent post-modern club kid era is so played-out. Why not make a garment that someone would actually consider wearing?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Power Pump

You guys, I had this idea ... now stick with me because I, for one, think it's pretty revolutionary ... I thought since it's January I could maybe set a goal for the year, and maybe I could get in better shape by joining a gym. And so that's what I did! Don't you think that's a good idea? I wonder why more people don't do this. Do I have to set all the trends around here these days? Gah!

OK, kidding aside, I have been to beginner spin class (loved it) and went to Power Pump at 5:45 a.m. today. Quite frankly it was a bit early for me and I nearly killed myself when I drove completely through a stop sign because I wasn't paying attention. MSJ, please don't tell Mama. I know you will, but please don't.

I was happy with the class, however. I am not a big "splits" kind of worker-outer. I like to do something in an hour and I want it to be as all-over-body as possible. And since I cannot have Trainer Bob giving me personal guidance in functional training, I have to resort to the local fitness experts.

Power Pump is good as you work all of your major body parts intensely with a barbell and dumbells on a step. I think it's a good complement to my regular schedule of pilates and functional training. Just once in my life I want to be shirtless in public and not feel like RB McBitchtits.

Still, I am all kinds of sore in a good way. Not over-the-top but I can tell I haven't worked out like that in a while.

Anyone else on a fitness kick in 2008? I've lost 3 pounds in a little over a week!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Thank You Arkansas Times ...

For doing all of the chronicling for us. And thank you Perez Hilton for publishing this.

***************************************************************************

"The dark side of Mike Huckabee"

The dark side of Mike Huckabee
The national media seems to have a crush on our ex-governor, but here in Arkansas, we know better.

The Pony Express has reached us here in the Arkansas backwoods with the latest journals from the big cities. So the country correspondents have taken a break from hand-setting lines of type to read the Beltway boys and girls rave about our former governor, Mike Huckabee.

"Easy to like," wrote Newsweek's Jonathan Alter. "Who Doesn't Heart Huckabee?" said the headline over Gail Collins' column in the New York Times. And those are restrained commentators. If you Google the names Ronald Reagan and Mike Huckabee in tandem, I understand you get better than 600,000 hits.

OK. I exaggerate. I have a phone and a computer (and it's 208,000 hits). But you'd think from national press comments that our friendly state is unreachable by phone or Internet. Do national commentators do homework? Or is a smiling, shoe-shining parson all it takes to generate such fluff?

Come to Arkansas. You'll have to look hard to find a long-term political analyst who'd subscribe fully to the national media narrative about the latest man from Hope — fresh face, funny, nice.

Mike Huckabee is fresh to you, maybe. Funny? If barnyard humor is your shtick of choice. Nice? Well, he did do some good things in his 10 years as governor, but … read on.

Before we begin, though, a word of warning to any reporters who might want to repeat, on air or in print, any of the facts recounted below. Huckabee does not take kindly to journalists who practice journalism.

Even editorialists and columnists at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the state's dominant (and Republican-friendly) daily paper, use words like "petty" and "thin-skinned" to describe Huckabee. Then again, he's compared hard-hitting (and accurate) news reporters for the Democrat-Gazette to the press fabulists Jayson Blair and Janet Cooke. He called liberal columnist John Brummett of Stephens Media "constipated" when that early admirer commenced some gentle criticism. His administration paid $15,000 to settle a suit filed by Roby Brock, the host of a public TV news show whom Huckabee's people tried to force off the air for his critical commentary.

Then there's me. I'm the editor of an alternative weekly, but I began covering Huckabee when I was a columnist for the now-defunct daily Arkansas Gazette in 1991, and Mike and I have been on the outs pretty much ever since. He once called me and the Memphis Commercial Appeal bureau chief "junkyard journalists" for our reporting. He also compared me, in print, to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and, I've been told on good authority, has wished aloud for my early and violent demise.

It all began 16 years ago for Mike and me. Huckabee, in his political debut, was preparing to become the Bible-thumping, abortion-decrying Republican challenger to U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers, the Democratic incumbent. With a playbook straight out of James Dobson, he tried to portray Bumpers as a pornographer for his support of federal grants to the arts.

More important, Huckabee revealed an enduring weakness as glaring as that other Arkansas governor's fondness for women. Huckabee seems to love loot and has a dismissive attitude toward ethics, campaign finance rules and propriety in general. Since that first, failed campaign, the ethical questions have multiplied.

In the 1992 contest with Bumpers, Huckabee used campaign funds to pay himself as his own media consultant. Other payments went to the family babysitter.

In his successful 1994 run for lieutenant governor, he set up a nonprofit curtain known as Action America so he could give speeches for money without having to disclose the names of his benefactors. He failed to report that campaign travel payments were for the use of his own personal plane.

After he became governor in 1996, he raked in tens of thousands of dollars in gifts, including gifts from people he later appointed to prestigious state commissions.

In the governor's office, his grasp never exceeded his reach. Furniture he'd received to doll up his office was carted out with him when he left, after he'd crushed computer hard drives so nobody could ever get a peek behind the curtain of the Huckabee administration.

Until my paper, the Arkansas Times, blew the whistle, he converted a governor's mansion operating account into a personal expense account, claiming public money for a doghouse, dry-cleaning bills, panty hose and meals at Taco Bell. He tried to claim $70,000 in furnishings provided by a wealthy cotton grower for the private part of the residence as his own, until he learned ethics rules prevented it. When a disgruntled former employee disclosed memos revealing all this, the Huckabee camp shut her up by repeatedly suggesting she might be vulnerable to prosecution for theft because she'd shared documents generated by the state's highest official.

He ran the State Police airplane into the ground, many of the miles in pursuit of political ends. Inauguration funds were used to buy clothing for his wife. He once took control of the state Republican Party's campaign account — then swore the account had been somebody else's responsibility when it ran afoul of federal election laws. He repeated the pattern when he claimed in a newspaper story that his staff controlled the account to stage his second inauguration. When I filed a formal ethics complaint over what appeared to be an improper appropriation of donated money, he told a different story, disavowing responsibility for the money. He thus avoided another punishment from an Ethics Commission, which had sanctioned him on five other occasions. He dodged nine other complaints (though none, despite his counter-complaints, was held to be frivolous). In one case, he was saved by the swing vote of a woman who left the chairmanship of the Ethics Commission days later to take a state job. She listed the governor as a reference on the job application. Finally, unbelievably, Huckabee once sued to overturn the ban on gifts to him.

My newspaper chronicled all this and so much more. Since my paper wrote critically about him, I didn't often experience the "nice" Mike Huckabee that so many national commentators have enjoyed. In fact, ultimately Huckabee ended press services, which are publicly financed, to my newspaper. The Arkansas Times received no news releases from the governor's office, no notices of news conferences, no responses to routine questions. He was condemned for this by journalism organizations.

Truth is, we were happy to be thrown into the governor's briar patch. The world is full of disaffected Huckabee campaign workers, former employees and garden-variety Republicans who love to pass on tips about a governor they'd found self-centered and untrustworthy. If you think he left a well of warm feelings in Arkansas, note that Hillary Clinton had raised more money in Arkansas at last report and that a recent University of Arkansas Poll showed her a 35 to 8 percent leader over Huckabee in the presidential preferences of Arkansas residents. Only one-third of 33 Republican legislators have said they will support him for president.

Thanks to such unhappy people, we've broken numerous stories about Huckabee, from the first early word of his destruction of state computer hard drives (more fully reported by the Democrat-Gazette); to the time and place of his announcement for president; to his sale and purchase of homes; to his infamous "wedding registry." About the last: Three decades after the Huckabees' wedding, his wife registered at department stores so their new home, post-governor's mansion, could be stocked with gifts of linens, toasters and other suitable furnishings. In early 2007, our reporting also prompted the former first lady to decline dozens of place settings of governor's mansion china and Irish crystal that had been purchased with tax-deductible contributions to the Governor's Mansion Association, nominally set up to improve the mansion, not to buy going-away presents for former occupants. (Huckabee's governorship ended on Jan. 9, 2007.)

Ironically, I have many good things to say about the governor. The Bush administration would have done well to emulate Mike Huckabee's speedy and successful relief effort for Hurricane Katrina refugees. He raised taxes for schools, highways and children's health. Inevitably, this expanded government. I say bravo on all counts, though the conservative Club for Growth has delighted in quoting my liberal newspaper when it attacks Huckabee's fiscal record.

He was kind to immigrants and favored state help for college-going children of illegal immigrants. He once even briefly departed from Republican dogma to suggest to a newspaper in libertarian New Hampshire that, while he opposed gay marriage, he was open to civil unions. He's since denied he ever intended such apostasy, but the comment is on tape. At the Arkansas Times, we welcomed the governor's conversion to devoted school consolidator. When our state system of school finance was ruled unconstitutional, he initially decried the ruling as a usurpation of local control. But he flip-flopped — and we applauded the somersault — and led his Education Department to a significant reduction in the number of tiny, inefficient school districts and on the path to more demanding graduation standards.

But a paddling administered by a brute who sometimes smiles still hurts. Huckabee insists he's not one of those harsh, punitive, "angry" conservatives, but again, there are witnesses who might say otherwise if anyone's interested.

Ask the retarded Fort Smith teenager, raped by her stepfather, who sought Medicaid funding for an abortion as federal law required. Huckabee stood in the hospital door, at least figuratively, to prevent state funding. Ask the gay people belittled by his cracks about "Adam and Steve." Ask the scientists who've seen evolution virtually disappear from the textbooks and classrooms of Arkansas with his administration's acquiescence.

Social issues alone should give moderates pause. He championed a law in Arkansas making it harder to get a divorce, the so-called covenant marriage law that has been widely ignored except when he and his wife recommitted in a Valentine's Day publicity stunt held in a 17,000-seat arena.

Huckabee's administration worked hard and unapologetically to prevent gay people from being foster parents. He avidly supported the state amendment that bans gay marriage as well as civil unions and bans any equal treatment under the law — such as in health insurance coverage — for same-sex partners. He professed opposition to alcohol and gambling, but he allowed passage of legislation that made it easier for restaurants to obtain private-club mixed-drink permits in dry counties. Over the angry objection of the church lobby, he sped final action on a bill to allow video poker at the state's racetracks, an act followed not long afterward by a $10,000 campaign contribution from the owner of the state's biggest race track, at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs.

All this is sometimes done with humor, but rarely the sort of gentle humor the national media has encountered. Huckabee prefers sarcastic putdowns and hyperbole. Because Arkansas Democrats tried to enfranchise more citizens with weekend voting in Arkansas, he called his home state a banana republic on the Don Imus show. He's compared weight loss with a concentration camp. Abortion, even in the earliest microscopic stages, he's called a holocaust. He referred in a Farm Bureau speech to "fruits and nuts" and "wacko environmentalists" in decrying environmentalists as a threat to agriculture. (Yes, this is the same man that gullible mainstream columnists praise for his ringing environmental proclamations.)

But the national press has more to examine than rhetoric when it comes to Huckabee. He is not the man of principle that credulous commentators describe. Though Huckabee doesn't support embryonic stem cell research, he took a hefty honorarium and bulk book sales this year from a diabetes drug maker, Novo Nordisk, which performs embryonic stem cell research. He has lied when there's been no other way around admitting embarrassing missteps, such as his advocacy of freedom for a convicted rapist.

There are also legitimate questions about his skills as a manager. He left Arkansas with a bill of more than $40 million for overcharges of the federal government's Medicaid program. A State Police director left after a tiff over Huckabee's demand that the agency improve his private lake property in the name of security. Troubles dogged both the state's computer services agency and its workforce agency. Youth services have been an unending series of tragedies. The buck never stopped at Huck's desk, you can be sure.

The governor's office records — triumph and tragedy, sage advice and venom-filled screeds about members of the press and Legislature — would tell this tale. But, as I've mentioned, the computer hard drive destruction ensured that would never happen.

If I could resurrect one batch of files, it would be those reflecting the advice of his staff that he not pursue his desire to free convicted rapist Wayne DuMond. By "advice," I mean I think some of them all but pleaded with Huckabee not to do it.

Though DuMond's prior record included a conviction for assault and his alleged involvement in a slaying and one other rape, by the start of Huckabee's governorship DuMond had become a national figure thanks to Republican efforts to depict him as a victim of the Bill Clinton machine. The rape victim was a distant relative of Clinton's.

Huckabee, perhaps persuaded by DuMond's supposed conversion to Christianity, announced his intention to commute DuMond's sentence without talking to the victim. Outraged, she stepped forward to protest publicly. The backlash was swift and powerful. Huckabee backed away from commuting DuMond's sentence, but in a private meeting lobbied the state Parole Board to release him. Huckabee said, in writing, that he supported DuMond's release. DuMond moved to Missouri in 2000, where he molested and killed one woman and was suspected of doing the same to another, but died in prison before he could be charged in the second case.

To this day, Huckabee tries to minimize his responsibility for DuMond's release. Huckabee's 2007 book "From Hope to Higher Ground" also fudges the facts, implying that DuMond died before being convicted of either Missouri murder. In one recent interview, he even suggested that he had fought DuMond's parole, a statement his own writings prove to be a lie.

Speaking of Huckabee's writings: I'd recommend the Huckabee catalog to the national press. It's a ready representation of the man — quip-filled, shallow, factually challenged and full of the chip-on-the-shoulder mentality that has marked so much of his public life. In "Character Is the Issue," published in 1997, he complained bitterly about how some congregants of the Baptist church he left in Texarkana to seek public office didn't want to continue paying his health insurance. Funny, no employer of mine ever kept paying me after I quit work.

I digress. It's easy to do. In 10 years as governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee left a rich and complicated history. It is not without points to praise. But there's so much more, a record that the national media — so ready, since 1992, to plumb the tiniest cranny of Bill Clinton's past — seems uneager to discover. It's a measure of the loving kindness with which he's been treated so far by the coastal punditry that Huckabee has not yet had one of his famous self-pitying public meltdowns about the unfairness of the media.

But then, you don't have to believe me about any of this. After all, I live in Little Rock and, as Huckabee has often said, I'm just the editor of a trashy, throwaway liberal tabloid. Why not look instead to a conservative voice from the national media? At the American Spectator, once home to the anti-Clinton Arkansas Project, senior editor Quin Hillyer, a former Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial writer, wrote recently, "National media folks like David Brooks [of the New York Times], dealing in surface appearances only, rave about what a nice guy Huckabee is, and a moral exemplar to boot. If they only did a little homework, they would discover a guy with a thin skin, a nasty vindictive streak, and a long history of imbroglios about questionable ethics."

At last, something the national media and the Arkansas media can agree on.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Complete Robby Johnson ...

Ouisie Arrival


To know me is to know my lifelong obsession with horses. And how sometimes I've had to sing "Coming in and out of my life ..." where they're concerned. But they're in my DNA and my hiatus seldom last long.

My friend Sue did me a huge friendly favor and brought Ouisie over to Alabama to live with me this weekend. I'm so excited! She will be bred to A Fine Romance this year to hopefully produce an event or dressage horse prospect for me. Her 1/2 brother - Tiamo - has turned out so nice that by breeding her to his sire, my foal will be a 3/4 sibling to to Tiamo. Confusing? That's horse breeding. Considering I'll be probably 41 before I can sit on the horse I'm hoping to breed this year (at 36!), I'm going for quiet, tractable, but super, super fancy.

Based on Ouisie's behavior coming to a brand new place - the first place off the farm in her whole 11 years - I am more than optimistic that dream-foal exists. She is positively lovely. Quiet, kind, loves attention and affection (just like her mother), with a fabulous trot and super-rhythmic canter. The only thing that would make it better is if I could move her into my apartment with me.

And, as such, thusly we re-initiate Project Land Purchase. At this point I'm fine with 4 acres and a single-wide. I just want everybody within the same perimeter so I can feed her peppermints before I go to bed each night.

If you would like to contribute to Project Land Purchase: Operation Singlewide Hopefully Not Near A Meth Lab, please contact me directly. Your contribution is taxable, and your only return is that feel-good feeling you get from helping others. We greatly appreciate your commitment to our future success.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Make Me A Supermodel

Even though this isn't the right branding - I think this may come from the UK's version of the same show - I have to talk about my new favorite TV show, "Make Me A Supermodel."

Quite frankly, it's awesome and I heart it like whoa. And I have obviously missed my life's calling not only to be what? a supermodel but also, and I think more important, to be a modeling agent. My God, the discernment, the blunt delivery, the judgey-judgey ... that is so Robby Johnson!

And not in the way that you might think. I tend to see shape and overall picture, so I do think I have an eye for the physical. It's one of the reasons I am loving teaching pilates. Because I can tell people to pretend they're a gazelle and even though they're not gazelles I can see them trying to be and that's really what matters, isn't it? That you tried to be a gazelle. God I'm hungry. OK, moving right along ...

I am not going to run down the program's entire cast of characters because, honestly, they're all pretty hott in their own special way. However - what happened to that really heroin chic blond guy whose name was something in the original episode? He didn't get eliminated, yet he wasn't on last night's episode. Jail bait? Deportation? Somebody help me out here.

Also, why are Igyor and Jonas featured in all of the promotional advertising even though they didn't get past the first episode? Seriously, last night's show indicated it was taped January 4-6. For realz? Because yesterday was January 10. I know they was so tired arse editors and production crew if that really is coming together on such a tight schedule. But it also means that if you are in New York, you could probably stalk some shoots and get the skinny on behind-the-scenes.

Bottom line, I'm addicted and with my awesome DVR, I am assured I will never miss an episode! I say Sarah gets the boot. Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tragic and Senseless ...

MSJ emailed me last night and told me about this story. She said when she saw it on the news she wanted to throw up. I had the same reaction. I cannot believe how someone might do something like this. We go over the Dauphin Island bridge routinely. It's hard to fathom how someone could not have seen this happening. Regardless, it's a diabolical crime and it just leaves me feeling vacant.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Scaleback By Going Green!

Yesterday I volunteered to be a team captain for a group at my office. Our company is participating in Scaleback Alabama, which is a statewide weight loss initiative that, God knows, we need around these here parts. I mean, the truth is, I have gained like 10 pounds since November. 10 holiday pounds full of Christmas Candy Cocaine and lunch/margaritas at Mexican restaurants with my siblings. Good times? Oh hell yeah. However, like Styx sang in that poignant anthem of truth, "Don't pay the ferryman until he gets you to the other side." Gripping, I know.

So I'm saving all my weight loss change so I can pay up when I'm back down to my welterweight of 170. How? I hear you ask.

Simple. Diet and exercise. Cut the sugar, diet full of fruits/veggies and whole grains. Water for days. Exercise for days. Between my cardio/pilates and functional training routines, I'm pretty active, but I'm also going to join the gym so I can take advantage of spin class and some other group classes that will push me a bit harder.

My team is really eager and we're going to participate in at least one group powerwalk each week, and will track progress using the new Google Group I created for us.

I'm also drinking more green tea. In addition to drinking a hot cup each morning, I've brewed up some green tea to serve iced.

Recipe:

- Boil water in a small pot.
- Remove from burner, add five green tea bags, cover, and let steep for 10-15 minutes.
- Pour over 1/2 a sliced cucumber in a pitcher. Add water to fill. Stir. Chill.

Scaleback y'all!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Throwing Muses ...



If you think I wasn't totally smitten with the Throwing Muses "University" album in 1995 - technically the Best. Year. Ever. - you're wrong, compadres. Totally wrong. I bloody loved me some Kristin Hersh. "Bright Yellow Gun" was the most commercially successful song from the album but I almost think "Shimmer" was my favorite. (An aside - my first ever online screen name on Prodigy in 1995 was "BriteYeloGun." We were limited to 14 spaces, I think.)

I am doing well on my resolutions thus far. I got quite a bit of organization work done this weekend and intend to keep chipping away until I've regained control.

I love me some control.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I HATE Huckabee

Just say no!

I am aghast that Mike Huckabee has broken out as a frontrunner in the Republican race for president. Why is America so fucking retarded and clinging to a candidate campaigning on a platform of wholesome family values? Define wholesome, you asshole. What's wholesome about your family? Your son is a hot mess who kills dogs and carries loaded guns to the airport.

You spend taxpayer dollars to support covenant marriages but reduce funding for HIV/AIDS patients in your poor state - in one of the highest infection rate populations residing in one of the poorest sections of the United States of America.

I lived in Arkansas for the duration of your governorship. All 10 fucking years of it. I have witnessed you fat, skinny, was there when you lived in the triple-wide, and certainly have a good enough sense about people to know you're a bloody snake in the grass.

America, please - quit pretending that a "good aww shucks" character is what this country needs to get back on track. That is not what we need. Remember 2000? Everybody happy with GWB? No? Really?

So don't elect his even more retarded constituent. Go with a candidate with a working knowledge of a functionally successful presidency. Vote Hilary!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Biggest Loser

My friend Michael and I have a really fun running email exchange (it sometimes mutates to holiday greetings, sympathy cards, text messages, ESP ... you get the picture) in which we adopt the voice of Trainer Bob and direct a message to Suzy.

It usually goes something like:

"Dear Suzy,

You live in Seattle and it rains a lot there. How do you expect to share your umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh if you're too fat to stand beneath it yourself?

Luvyameanit,

Bob"

If you watch The Biggest Loser, and I will admit I only watched the first season and then caught the highlights of Season Two, which featured said Suzy, but from time to time I catch it only because I think Trainer Bob is smoking as well as a really great guy and if I'm going to be a non-Nazi pilates instructor I think I must work on my reformer-side manner because I tend to want to say things like, "Why can't you fucking get your pelvis stable, Gah?!" OK, just kidding, I really don't ever say that aloud and really I'm only fishing for explanations here. I really just watch it because TB is hott.

Anyhoodle, now that I have DirecTV and can DVR it, I'm totally down with watching the new season.

Did you hear his buzzword last night? Functional Training. It's funny because I was having a marathon telephone chat with MSJ and we were discussing it prior to it airing and I was telling her about FT and how it was the rage right now. I am doing an FT class once each week and wish I could do more. I love it. I'm also think it would be fun to organize an FT class 3 mornings a week but so far two things allude me: 1.) an instructor and 2.) people who are willing to commit to a 6 a.m. workout.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Feliz Anos Nuevos!

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a safe evening and isn't hurting too badly this morning. Maddie and I slept in a little (7:00 a.m. is sleeping in for us) but we didn't go to bed until 12:45 a.m. I know right? That's what you call pushing the envelope.

My buddy Justin came over and we went for Mexican, had a few margaritas, then came here to hang out and watch Dick Clark's special. Until we realized it was Ryan Seacrest. So we watched The Confessions Tour on DVD, then spent an hour being silly which included his awesome rendition of Molly Shannon's "Sally O'Malley" character and two Izze pomegranate sparkling juice sodas with vodka and fresh pomegranate arils. A fun time and I'm not all gross feeling today. Yay for me for deciding to stay in this New Year's Eve.

OK, I'm a resolutioner. I know lots of people aren't but I really like getting inspired and God knows I've needed some new inspiration lately. Here's my list for 2008:

1.) "I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become."
2.) Focus on doing what I do well well. I am over trying to recreate and reform myself into who I think I should be. I'm going to focus on just being who I am, and being that person to the best of my abilities. Mostly at work where I sometimes hold back because the ideal/perfect scenarios my head tells me must exist are, in fact, non-existent. I seldom hold back on a personal level, but there are times when I do, and I want to eradicate even that.
3.) "Stop waiting for the life I think I should have and start living the life I have." I feel so empowered. I've lived 18 months with a shitty basic cable service from Comcast because I don't really watch television. There are, however, a few shows I would like to still watch. Mostly the stuff on Bravo and that channel wasn't included on my cable tier. So I took control! I canceled that bullshit and got DirecTV! I'm rolling out SuperFab, a Wednesday Event, at my apartment tomorrow night. There is no agenda except I will DVR and watch Project Runway and Make Me A Supermodel, beginning at 8:00 p.m. Feel free to come over. Email me for directions! I want to have fun with fun people and I'm going to quit waiting for people to engage me.
4.) Stop racing time and start enjoying the ride.
5.) Keep reading more books.
6.) Keep helping people. I love tutoring, and I have recently been placed in positions to offer career counsel and mentoring for some undergraduates.
7.) Complete training in February for Intensive Mat and get both my Reformer and Mat certifications from Stott Pilates in June.
8.) Successfully get Ouisie in foal this Spring.
9.) Limit my road-running to one weekend per month.

This list might seem long, but it's all sort of interwoven. It's doable and most important, it's things I want to do. I've come to these realizations through osmosis, evolution, continued burning of my hand ... and that's the beautiful thing about living. I'm thankful for the living I've done to get to this point.

Happy New Year!