Monday, December 29, 2008

Here we gooooooooooooooo!!!

Ahhhhhhhhh. The sound of another year gone by (or loosening of the britches due to Christmas dinner) . . . either way it's often a time to reflect and make resolutions for a better year next year. Too bad I'm not one for resolutions . . .

However, I am resolute in one thing -- I've had it with struggling with my waist line. I'm tired of losing my breathe going up and down stairs, straining to tie my shoes, and all in all - just feeling a bit uncomfortable. Most of all -- I hate the stares. The stares really hurt your self esteem. You can almost hear their judgement on you before they even speak.

Well - since there isn't a diet I haven't tried, I've arrived at a point in my life where I can accept the inevitable, or take a risk. I'm chosing to take a risk. I have scheduled a dr's appt with a bariatric surgeon to explore the options of weight loss surgery.

Again, the judgements follow . . . I've had people tell me to "just not eat so much" or "just start running" or "go for a walk" or whatever. Thank you to all that have offered their advice, but you don't get it. You don't know what it's like. So, here is my feeble attempt at explaning it.

What do you tell an alcoholic they must do in order to not be addicted?? -- Don't drink alcohol. What do you tell a drug addict they must do in order to not be addicted?? -- Don't do drugs. Why are recovering addicts of these two successful -- they don't fall off the wagon. Everyone that knows an addict knows that even one slip up . . . one trip off the wagon . . . and it's a quick down hill tumble. And we all know how hard it is to break an addiciton . . . What do you tell someone that is addicted to food?? -- Don't eat so much and exercise . . . Hmmmm . . . it's the only addiction that you can't just stop doing because if you stop, you die. But if you don't stop . . . you die. There's one part of the problem.

The other part -- well -- after years of over eating . . . I've stretched out my stomach. It's a lot larger than it used to be . . . and that creates a problem. The nerves that create the "full" feeling are located in the TOP of the stomach. So, my hardwired body is jacked up because it takes more food than it should now to keep my brain from telling me it's hungry. That's the other part of the problem.

Now before we go down the journey of WHY I overate -- (you can check my old 360 blog for that . . . I haven't brought those posts over yet) -- know that I have dealt with, and conqured those demons. I no longer have the same feelings or motivations that I used to that drove me to eat. I'm good at three meals a day. Now it's about portion control . . .

Which brings me to what I want to have done -- I want to have a laproscopic band placed around my stomach. It, in essence, will shrink the size of my stomach allowing me to eat MUCH less food, and still feel full . . . among other things. It also restricts how big of bites I can take (forces me to take smaller bites and chew longer, slowing down how fast I eat and allowing my body to only eat what it needs) and certain foods I can't eat anymore (high fats, sodas, etc.) b/c my body will reject them.

Sound drastic?? Well, it kinda is. But so is not doing anything . . . My first appt with the doctor is in a few weeks . . . and if all goes well this spring I'll hopefully have the procedure! My life could drastically change in one year . . . I'm very scared by that . . . and also excited. I just made it through the turnstile and it's finally time to get on . . .

Now playing: Samantha Mumba - I Don't Need You
via FoxyTunes

Monday, December 22, 2008

Feliz Navidad from Tejas!!

Merry Christmas y'all!!! Wanted to spruce the blog up a little bit with a little Christmas decor and cheer . . . and a few holiday pointers . . .

Like - for instance - SMILE while Christmas shopping! When did this become a chore and not fun?? You should shop with friends or family that make you laugh and enjoy the experience. You accomplish your tasks and maybe make a memorable experience. Of course, be careful with the baskets -- especially in stores that like to pack things precariously on the sales floor (i.e. Pier One and the stack of glass oil enfusers -- but it wasn't me that broke it!)

Speaking of shopping -- look online for some fun stuff. Unique and fun gifts that you can purchase in your jammies (or in the buff!) Of course you can check the usual suspects, like - - and, but do some searches and see what pops up. That's how I found (custom books -- I made my dad a scrapbook of old photos into a book) and (adhesive designs for any device).

Or -- how about plan a fun and easy meal for large gatherings for once! On Christmas Eve -- we're doing an Appetizer Delight (finger foods only!) and for Christmas -- well it's steak and potatoes! And use Chinet or plastic ware. It's fun - different - and easy to clean up!

And in a tight economy -- how about drawing for gifts so you don't have to buy for everyone! There's my dad and stepmom, my 3 brothers, 2 sis in laws, not to mention the kids. So we drew so we could buy one good gift vs. a bunch of cheap ones and wasted money. Plus, we're doing a Chinese Christmas so that'll be fun too . . .

Hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas (or whatever winter holiday you and yours celebrate). Much love!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Life in HD

Ever notice how sometimes life just comes at you all at once?? Not in a bad, or good way . . . it's just clear. It's been awhile since life has come at me in HD, but right now, my life is in HD. I feel like I can see where it's great, and where it needs work. It's kinda neat. Kinda like watching live events in HD -- sometimes it freaking awesome, and sometimes a bit scary.

My niece answered the phone when I called my brother, and wanted to know if I was gonna spend the night. It made me smile a bit, since I hadn't had anyone ask if I was gonna spend the night in a long, long time. She was so excited to learn that Ragan would be coming with me, and that I would indeed spend the night at my brother's house. My family is coming in loud and clear -- they miss me and love me. Can't wait to move back closer to home (2010 hopefully!!!).

My television is actually now in HD, finally. Yes, I had a flat screen tv for awhile, but just never saw the need to get that dvr thing. My friends had it and I always watched shows over there. My favorite show, the closer, I could watch on dvd when it comes out, and there isn't much else that I watch. Well, 2 new shows are out (Leverage and Trust Me, ironically both on TNT with the Closer) and I just had to get a dvr. So -- now my tv is clear.

My bff Grace (yes, we have joe & grace shirts!!) is getting married in October. Everytime we talk, it gets a little more real. We've planned to do dress shopping, tux shopping, center piece planning, etc. over the course of the next few months. I've got to work on invites, programs, and place cards. And now we're leaning towards doing a playlist CD as a favor for the guests of the wedding. A way for them to share their gratitude with their families and friends. I'm so happy for her, and for him too! They are so in love -- and that is clear to me too. Love is still out there for me, and it will find me just like it found Gracie.

Finally, the holidays are clear to me too. It's cold (like single digits!) and the hustle and bustle, even in these times, is in the air. Many, like me, are buying less and buying bargains, but it's still holidays. All that's left for me is to wrap presents and put 'em in the back of the car. :) It's Christams time in the city . . . clearly . . .

So, I'm a fan of life in HD -- I like seeing everything clearly. Hopefully, you are seeing the positives, as well as the challenges, in HD too.

I leave you with a sneak peak at the playlist for the wedding CD -- like everything we do -- it will change -- but that's part of the fun!

Ain't No Other Man - Christina Aguilera
Your Song - Elton John
Feels Like Home - Chantal Kreviazuk
(She's) Some Kind of Wonderful - Huey Lewis & the News
The Greatest - Michelle Williams
The Way - Clay Aiken
Everything - Michael Buble'
I'd Wait for Life - Take That
Love is Strange - Mickey & Sylvia
You're the One That I Want - John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
Angels - Robbie Williams
Will You Marry Me? - Paula Abdul
Rule the World - Take That
Realize - Colbie Caillat
I'll Be Loving You Long Time - Mariah Carey
Save the Last Dance - Michael Buble'
2 Hearts - Kylie Minogue
Something to Talk About - Bonnie Raitt
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Marry you??

So, Newsweek's cover story is about gay marriage. Here's the link to the article if you haven't read it:

The article does well in arguing for gay marriage. I liked the author's use of the Bible and using interpretations that are not just her own, but that of several theologists as well. I think what's interesting however, is that she touches on what I truly believe is the main issue of the arguement against gay marriage but doesn't really explore it. The uncomfortablility (is that a word?) of understanding gay sex, specifically among men.

I've always believed that the main issue isn't actually a religious based arguement, but rather a lack of understanding. For some reason, in our society, sex between women has always been considered okay (and in some cases, hot -- by straight men no less). Since men have always been in control (until recent history) - the societal pressures that have created our norms and customs were developed by heterosexual men. Many of our practices and beliefs were in part, designed to help keep those in power, in power.

Now I don't believe that keeping gay men down in some way is part of a huge power struggle or conspiracy . . . I just believe that it challenges what people have been taught to believe. In turn, if the belief that gay marriage is wrong is shown to be what it is -- poppycock -- then what else in that canon of beliefs is also incorrect?? This fear is what drives the fanaticism of those on the side of anti-gay marriage.

The arguement that marriage is holy or sactioned by God is just an arguement that is easy to defend. If you disagree, you don't believe in God . . . therefore . . . no one should listen or trust you. Yeah -- I'm from the South -- I get the arguement. It's not true, but it's hard to fight because of the stigma that is assigned to you if you disagree with it. It's all about power, and being reistance to change.

I'm not a fan of saying Gay is the new Black -- b/c every struggle is unique and different. However, those that opposed equal rights among Blacks are pretty much the same ones that oppose gay marriage. That, in turn, says an awful lot. It tells us the path we will take, and ultimately how this will play out. I would like to think that in my lifetime it will no longer matter if you are gay or straight. I just don't know . . .

The bottom line with this post for me is that our country is changing. I think the best thing that could of happened is that Prop 8 in California passed. Now, the debate is rising, law suits are challenging, and ultimately - our country will learn to accept. They don't have to understand, just remember -- all love is divine.

Now playing: Mika - Any Other World
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Big 3 are Gold Diggers

Now the automakers are wanting $34 million to make sure they don't go bankrupt. There's talk of a "car czar" or "committee" to oversee the industry (i.e. FAA). If they need that much now, why are they going to be solvent with a loan. Isn't that what got us to this position in the first place ???? I'm not making money, so get a loan and then that will make it work??? Last time I checked it's a bad, bad idea to take a loan to pay bills when your bills are higher than your income.

Does anyone think they need to rethink/restructure how they do business?? I don't want anyone to lose their jobs, but if the unions and automakers can't reach a deal to stay in business, then I believe Ch 11 and restructuring IS the solution. A loan is like bailing out a flooded oceanliner with a tea spoon.

The Financial Bailout isn't all that hot -- it's losing value daily and the banks are cutting credit limits and keeping money close to the vest. Not saying that's bad, but it didn't do what everyone said it would do - which was open up the credit markets. Now, another industry wants $$. I say get rid of the mgmt teams -- and hire the teams from Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, or Nissan to help them right our ships. They seem to be able to remain profitable in the auto industry despite the global downturn.

Ugh . . . let's just all not pay taxes and then they'll have no money to spend poorly!! :)
Now playing: Kanye West - Gold Digger
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm Sorry . . .

Yes, I am shamless enough to put a cute picture of my dog on this blog to make you say "AWWWWWW" . . . I'm that guy.

I wanted to apologize to all of my online friends for disappearing for so long. It seems some patterns in life we can't get rid of . . . for me that is focusing too much on work type stuff and not growing relationships. It seems yet again I've abandoned some friends that were kind, loving, and generally just a great group of people. I am sorry about that. And if I hurt you because of it, that was neither my intent or goal.

I could fill up all this space with why I lost touch, or stop blogging, or whatever (look at the dog again) but in reality, it isn't a good enough reason. So to each of you, I say I'm sorry. I'm here, I've dusted off my keyboard, and am sharing again.

I've missed y'all. And again, it seems, I'm repeating a pattern, of building relationships I once lost . . . but I'm glad to at least do this one :)

Hope this post finds you doing well, and in good spirits. Love to all . . . jj:)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

EwwwwwwwWeeeeeeeeeeee!!! It's dusty!!!

I don't even know if anyone is gonna see this. It's been so long since I've last posted that I had to look up my information (of which, my old email is null and void now . . . long, dramatic, and not that worthy of a story) and finally got everything changed.

So, what made me post today?? Well, did you know it was "World AIDS Day?" I know, right! What are you supposed to do on that day . . . I mean, do you run out and have protected sex or something . . . Sarcasm aside (which is quite difficult for me) I attended an interesting service this evening with some of my friends. We went to one of the local Methodist churces where there were leaders of many of the faiths (Methodist, Lutherian, First Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, MCCC) and several guest speakers.

The ceremony itself was quite odd. It started with a prayer, and then the Director of the Topeka AIDS Project (or TAP) got up and started rambling . . . alot. She kept apologizing for saying stuff wrong, and was really just a mess. Then a couple from Kenya got up and spoke about a clinic they are putting together for their country when they graduate with their nursing degrees in a few months. It was quite impressive. The woman (can't find the program to say her name) shared the most interesting thing I've heard that really helped me understand the issue in Africa. Women are inherited, since they are treated as property. In poor Kenya, they don't know what AIDS is (STILL!). So when a husband dies of AIDS, his wife is given to his brother. She is infected, and will infect the brother . . . and so on and so on it goes. They spoke about the cultural shift that needed to take place. Made ya think a bit . . .

Then, a train wreck from Brazil got up and spoke . . . I have no idea what she was talking about but kept saying she was happy Brazil is open minded and she loves Carnival. It was odd to say the least. The only thing I remember about the lady from Brazil was that she sells Mary Kay Cosmetics, and I wasn't really all that impressed by that.

Some local woman got up and bored us with facts and percentages about AIDS in America today, which are important but they are indeed, facts and numbers. Basically, it had already cemented the fact that I will ALWAYS use protection . . . done there. Then a woman got up and shared a deeply personal but albeit awkward story about how she has AIDS. It was odd, but her point was that she felt discrimination for the first time because of her diagnosis, and that all people, even AIDS patients, need respect and love. I applaud the bravery and point, but it was just odd. (Now is a good time to maybe drop that one of my friends is positive and asked me to go with him and his partner. So I did b/c I wanted to show my support.)

Then, the train wreck starts. During the offering a Senior Dharma Teacher gets up and chants and meditates for us. Now, I'm open to different faiths and all, but I didn't know what was happening or what she was saying. That was a bit bizarre. They then read the names of those that had died from AIDS this year . . . supposedly. I say supposedly b/c names such as Easy E, Rock Hudson, Liberache, and The Girl Who Left Early were read. I'm not kidding. When I heard Matthew Sheppard, I just got pissed. I can not believe some idiot put together a list of names like this to be read at an event like this. To add insult to injury, the readers ended up reading all the names TWICE. Oh well . . . Topeka is a small town. I am impressed they held an event like this here since it's not the most open of communities. (Topeka is home to Westboro Baptist Church, and if you don't know it just google it.) No protests or anything . . .

So, my long beleagured point is this . . . if you know, or have known someone infected or affected by AIDS, give 'em a hug. Show them you care and understand. Because even though my town stumbled through a truly bizarre ceremony (I left out the Lesbian drum circle . . . and believe me, there is a TON of material there!!!), they showed their support and let people know they care. I'm even thinking about volunteering there one day a week to help out . . .

I PROMISE I won't wait 7 months for my next post!!!! I promise!!!