Category Archives: The American Way

A bit of a journey

I’m bad at blogging – this is known. But I’ve been busy! Or something. I should be keeping better notes on what’s going on in my world so that at the very least, it can serve as reference.

The very last week of February 2012 we made some very drastic changes to our lives.

MJ loves geocaching. I love it too, I just have more limits on what I will put myself through for the sake of the hunt, or a ratty container filled with worthless pieces of swag. In the case of our major life change, I think geocaching was the intial motivating factor for MJ anyway. She is the adviser for the student caching group and felt that she was holding her student back due to her own fitness level, so over the past year or so she’s made more of an effort to get in shape. She started in earnest back in January with the low sodium dash diet. Through school, she knew a student who was working on a degree in health and fitness so that he could become a personal trainer. She asked him if he’d be willing to take both of us on as his first clients of a sort. He’d already assisted his wife with her transformation into a physique competitor so he said yes.

He gave us our caloric and macro-nutrient requirements along with a grocery list of acceptable and not acceptable foods. From there it was up to us to make our own menus. (MJ takes care of that, because math is hard..) We were also charged with going to the gym six mornings a week which meant getting up at 5:30 because we also had to have one of our meals before we got the gym.

Fast-forward to today.

MJ, since starting her journey in January has lost over 100lbs. I’ve lost 50 from my top weight. Because MJ does the majority of the cooking, I’d also been eating the low-sodium menus she’d devised that January, just not entirely.

We joined the Y and started exercising around six days a week and have been going at it pretty steady since then. I’ve had a slower go losing weight mostly because I work from home and as a result I just move less overall and I haven’t been nearly as goal-driven as MJ. I’m just happy to be making progress.

I did go see a nutritionist in October because I had stopped losing weight and through a BodyGem metabolic test found out that my BMR is much lower than the average person my height/weight. I like to say that body is so efficient it barely needs any calories to run this ship. But it’s just that I’ve been obese for so long that my metabolism gave up.

We’ve started a second Y Fitness Challenge at our gym to help stay motivated and accountable so hoping to see more progress in 2013. I’m really more pleased with the strength and endurance increases that I’ve gained more than the weight I’ve lost. I did a squat-a-thon through the whole of December that came out somewhere close to 2000 squats and I can do a few full push-ups. My goal for December 2013 – pull-ups!

In other 2012 news I finished my graduate degree in Information Systems and look forward to some news in 2013 career-wise.

The Maryland electorate finally voted on the side of marriage equality so me and my “partner” of eleven years were married on the first day it was legal to do so – 1/1/2013. Because that partner, significant other, girlfriend stuff is really inadequate.

So yet again I’ve waited until nearly MLK day to update my site. I’m winning at the Internet.

Our fitness resources:
My Fitness Pal

MLK to Memorial Day

Woo, I’m on a roll as usual as far as blog updates are concerned.

In other news, next to last semester is done with a perfect GPA and so I’m one class away from my master’s degree which I’ll complete this fall.  I still think I should be able to go by Dr. after all this…

We spent the weekend in PA trying to get some repairs done on the RV. There’s more work to go, but it looks like MJ will head up and get the rest taken care of before I join her for the summer. Still no decent AT&T service there, so we’ll make do again with the park’s WiFi, supplementing with a Verizon broadband card. It’s not ideal, but as my mother likes to say, “Good enough for government work.” I’m just happy to have a summer where I don’t have to worry about hauling the RV anywhere. So stressful!

One more time.. (I wish.)

This is a really simple concept and it boggles my mind about how many still people don’t get it.

Marriage (or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found. Such a union, often formalized via a wedding ceremony, may also be called matrimony. (source: Wikipedia)

A legal contact.  That’s what we’re talking about here.

I am a citizen of the United States.  I along with several million more Americans are being denied access to a legal contract.

That’s wrong.  Period.

I’m not asking any church who has a different definition of the social contract to acknowledge my legal contract.  (Although it would be nice for all churches to see that all love is a good thing and making a commitment to honor and cherish another is very good thing.)

What I find so confusing about those that argue that this injustice should continue is that nearly half of them (see: Wikipedia:Divorce) know full well about how much of a legal contract it is because they spent (and continue to spend) countless millions on lawyers and fees in their attempts to get out of the legal contract that was almost effortless for them to enter into.

Again:  Legal contract.  American citizen.  Denied.  Wrong.

End of discussion.   (Except that it’s not.)



Lex on Gay Marriage

They’re at it again here in Maryland -

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Gay marriage advocates plan to gather in Annapolis to urge support for bills that would allow same gender couples to marry in Maryland. Kate Runyon, executive director of gay rights group Equality Maryland, says the measure contains a clause that stipulates religious leaders could not be forced to perform marriage ceremonies that are inconsistent with their faiths. Montgomery County Sen. Richard Madaleno Jr. is sponsoring the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act in the state senate. Madaleno is openly gay and has adopted two children with his partner. State legislative panels will hear testimony Wednesday and Thursday on the measures that would give gay couples the ability to marry in Maryland.

In my mind, this is all there is to it – finished, end of all the f’in bickering:

Continue reading


I’m still mostly in shock.  We’d had a few people over last night, watched the returns with homemade pizza and pina coladas and I wouldn’t let myself believe it.  I saw the electoral numbers start piling up in his favor and still wouldn’t celebrate.  The media had fucked this up the last time I’d placed a personal stake in the elections, so I kept waiting.

McCain’s concession speech made me tear up.  I think that overall he’s a good guy, good for America and three years ago he actually might’ve had my vote.  Sadly, McCain the Candidate looked nothing like McCain the Senator and it hurt to watch that change.  It was Obama’s speech that finally made the tears spill freely.

His speech was just incredible.  Despite having quoted Martin Luther King, Jr., it’s overall tenor before and after he spoke that line reminded me of King’s great speeches.  I think Obama delivered a speech with rhetoric that is hard to ignore regardless of where you stand politically and I truly do have hope that we might actually be able to find common ground with all of America and start moving in the right direction.  I finally have hope that the “you’re either with us or you’re against us” rhetoric of the past eight years can finally be put aside.

It’s been really difficult for me to verbalize and still is, but deep down my opinion of this election has been that it in the end, it wouldn’t really matter who won – there’s a long road ahead for us regardless and it’s really hard for me to believe that we’d be that much worse off regardless of who was in the White House.  In the end, I really didn’t want the possibility of a President Palin.  It hasn’t happened very often over the course of American politics, but a 20% chance was too big a risk for me.  And honestly, a President Biden doesn’t bring a great deal of comfort either, but so be it.

It’s good to have hope and even if it doesn’t work out that way, it will still be really refreshing to have a president who won’t smirk while he delivers grave news to the nation, and who is able to speak without sounding like he had no idea what words might show up on the teleprompter beforehand.

I’ve been reserving hope these past 21 months because I’m also afraid.  Too many of this nation’s great African-American leaders were not given the opportunity to see their dreams through to fruition or even to see their own potential through.  Even their white counterparts in JFK and RFK were gunned down for inspiring too much hope in a better tomorrow.  Add in that a good portion of America has been convinced that Obama is a terrorist and Muslim (as if those terms were synonymous), and it’s a recipe for trouble.  It only takes one fruitcake.

I’m willing to pay more taxes so that Obama can buy a Popemobile…