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Hillary voters:

  1. “She really laid out her 40-year record as a children, family, and women’s rights advocate, as First Lady, Senator from New York, and Secretary of State.”
  2. “Those were very factual and well-reasoned answers to the moderator’s questions.”
  3. “She has a demonstrated and deep knowledge of domestic AND foreign policy issues.”
  4. “Her track record and resume really make her the most qualified candidate who has ever run for this office in our lifetime.”

 

donaldtrump

Donald Trump voters:

  1. “He refrained from calling Hillary a ‘bitch’ for 90 minutes. TOTALLY NAILED IT!”

I am going to endorse Old Navy. Yes, I know. That big-box nightmare of cheap crap sub-division of Gap. That Old Navy.

Yes, they still make a lot of cheap crap, and they line their checkout aisle with the most bizarre assortment of “gimmes” on the planet. Cute socks! Lip gloss! Candy! (Well, the candy makes sense if it is crowded, and the line is super-long, and before you know it you are sheepishly paying for an empty Nerds box when you get to the register).

However, I am hereby endorsing Old Navy’s leggings. I don’t know when they started making what is known in the biz as “active wear,” but by gum they did it right.

Their tights/leggings/bike shorts are a reasonably-priced miracle. They are made of a compression fabric that is just the right amount of stretchy, with the perfect amount of suckage to keep your jiggly parts from jiggling around. You actually feel supported in these tights. They are also just the right weight to prevent show-through when you’re going through your business at the gym. You can feel it in your hand when you touch them — they are substantial. The workmanship is surprisingly excellent — all of the seams are double-stitched and lie flat against your skin, and most importantly, the crotch is gussetted so you don’t have four pieces of fabric coming together right in the middle of your junk.

They are also, unlike pretty much everything else in Old Navy women’s wear, true to size.

I don’t know who Old Navy hired for their activewear division, but that person needs a raise today.

As a side note, I will say you MUST wash everything you buy from Old Navy before you put it on your body. (Generally, you should wash every article of clothing you buy before it touches your skin, but let’s be honest here, we don’t always do that, do we?). When I washed these, the wash water turned gray with whatever grime these garments picked up throughout their supply chain.

As another side note, please don’t ever put your workout clothes in the dryer. Hand wash, rinse thoroughly, and hang to dry. These leggings dry super-fast, despite their heft. If you do put them in the dryer after washing, you’re baking any residual workout stank into the fibers, and the next time you sweat in them, YOU will be the smelly person at the gym. And no one wants to be that person, do they?

 

 

Some Numbers

Before I start really blogging again (now that I have the time), here are some dates and numbers.

February 26:  Annual physical and bloodwork.

Weight: DISASTER. Fattest I’ve ever been. Depressing.  But I knew that every time I looked in the mirror. I have to be honest and say I’m not one of those “oh, I’m fat, but I love myself anyway” people. I saw a person who had taken a perfectly good machine and treated it like crap until it looked like crap.

Bloodwork: Frankly alarming numbers — Cholesterol at 278, blood sugar showing I was pre-diabetic. Elevated liver enzymes, but that’s nothing new — it’s been that way for awhile. Doc wrote a script for the lowest dose (10mg) of Lipitor.

Blood pressure: As always, chugging along at 120/80.

I made my usual half-hearted promises to change my behavior. Blah-blah-blah, this time I really mean it, blah-blah-blah.

I guess it took a few weeks, but that holy-shit, I’m-over-50 physical finally woke up something in me. Since I tend to be more like my father, physiologically, than my mother, I knew I needed to get moving, and do some serious repair work before I ended up in the ER needing a bypass or something.

March 13: Re-joined my local gym. Still the same meat-head kind of place in a basement it has always been, 3 blocks from my house, 300 bucks a year. A bargain if you are okay with the not-fancy kind of gym. Some people want the sauna and fresh towels and lots of classes kind of gym, some people want the kind of gym that serves pizza on Fridays so the fat people don’t feel bad. I just want some cardio equipment and weights.

Went after work, exactly once, and hated every single nuevo-Brooklyn idiot in the place.

Started going before work instead. Yes, hard as it is to believe, I started waking up at 4:45 and going to the gym at 5am, before it was light out, in the dead of winter. Walking Brooklyn streets and seeing people just coming home from the bars (Hi, past me!), and the guys delivering stuff to local stores.

Number of days since I re-joined the gym:  119

Number of days I have gone to the gym: 63 — 52% of the days! That’s pretty good; basically every other day. I figure if I can go 4 times a week, I’m in good shape. Anything less than that and I feel cranky and out of sorts. And honestly, I couldn’t have started at a better time, what with all of the corporate insecurity that was going on at the time. I don’t think I would have remained sane if I hadn’t been working out. Plus, I have muscles again now.

April 19: Follow-up bloodwork. Cholesterol down to 179! BP down to 110/70. I don’t recall what the sugar number is, but that improved, too.

Oh, yes, I stopped eating shit, too. It’s amazing what a difference that can make.

Last number.

Pounds lost since March 13: TWELVE.

So, that’s where we are today.

Paralysis

Have you ever been confronted with so many things at once that you’re just … paralyzed? Need to call insurance company, need to figure out if a personal injury lawyer needs to be involved (the $23K bill from HUMC tells me, yes, probably), need to do next year’s insurance elections and the realization I’ll probably need to adjust my coverage since there’s all this stuff that will probably need following-up for the next five years or so, need to schedule things that got pushed aside in all of the hubbub of cancer surgery, like a full-on gyno exam, colonoscopy-since-I-turned-50, an eye exam which I will probably put off until next year because the FSA dollars I had allocated for new glasses went to that other thing), need to stop avoiding looking at my insurance explanations of benefits that have been hovering in my in-box like swords of Damocles for the past couple of months, need to take a couple of days to actually unpick these knots and try to understand them without crying like a big wuss or hiding under a table, or both.

In my job, when shit is crazy and there are a million things to do, I do just one thing that I can do, and the next two dozen seem to take a number and fall into line, and I am a gettin-shit-done motherfucker. (I hate when people commend me for multi-tasking. When I “multi-task” I do a half-ass job at a lot of things, when I just do one thing at a time, shit gets done faster and better.)

But then when I get home, it all turns into a giant lake of goo that’s four inches deep, that keeps sucking at my shoes and so I plant my ever-growing ass on the sofa and just kind of stay there, with this infernal machine on my lap, and hide in the loop of social media and silly websites.

I think maybe some talking of the therapeutic type may be in order. But that would require a call to my PCP, wouldn’t it, and that just seems like too much to handle right now.

I am alive, which is great. I have bruises ALL over my body, which is not so great. I look at all of the bruises and see the bite marks of the seat belt that saved my life on Tuesday night in a high-speed crash on route 80 in New Jersey.

You can actually see the imprint of the seat belt buckle on my ribs on the left side of my torso and on my hip on the right side.

I was in the “Diana seat” — the right rear passenger seat, and we hit the car in front of us at about 50mph. I have no internal injuries, according to the CAT scan that was run at Hackensack Hospital that night. I have no whiplash, amazingly. I attribute that to the fact that I was so heads-down in my phone that I didn’t see the accident coming and was basically a rag doll in the back seat — albeit one wearing her seat belt.

Some one at work commented that I must be indestructible.

I always wear my seat belt. You should, too.

 

Let someone else be inspirational, for fuck’s sake. It ain’t me.

Frankly, all of this has caught up with me. Cancer ruined my summer, and took the wind out of my sails. Pardon the cliche. And the hormone therapy that was prescribed for me (tamoxifen) was basically a nightmare. I took it for three weeks and just — stopped. Otherwise, I was going to take a header in front of a moving L train. It was that fucking bad.

So no, I’m not going for the “Most Inspirational” sash to strap across my aftermarket boobs.

In other news

It makes me sad that a tragedy brought a sport I enjoy and in which my family has participated for many, many years to national attention. Mainly because what you see in the media about the Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward, Jr., incident is so ignorant and uninformed that it would be laughable if it wasn’t so painful to watch, read, and listen to. Add the idiocy of internet “experts” to this (“I read about it on Wikipedia, so I’m now an expert!”), and you’ve got a special kind of stupid happening.

The death of Kevin Ward, Jr., last week at a sprint car race in Canandaigua, NY, is terribly sad, but the sad fact is that the kid was the principal agent of his own demise. Maybe not because he got out of his race car — drivers do that all the time — but because instead of leaving his vehicle and moving to a safe area outside the field of racing, he deliberately ran onto a hot track and into oncoming traffic. You just don’t do that. No, I won’t post the video. It’s terrible to watch.

The idea that Tony Stewart ran him down like a dog in the road, or aimed his race car at him, or even that he was going to spray dirt on him to show him what a tough guy he is, is so beyond ignorant that you should immediately dismiss anyone who posts this theory.

But-but-but…everyone knows Tony Stewart is a hothead who once threw his helmet at another race car! Maybe so. It’s documented that Stewart has a temper. In the video of this incident, you do see what appears to be some road rage happening, but hint, hint: The one who is road-raging isn’t Tony Stewart.  On the prior lap, it appears Ward tried to squeeze past Stewart on the outside and got pinched against the wall and wrecked. Happens all the time at sprint car races. Yellow flag thrown, racers decelerate to caution speeds. This time, Ward got out of his car and went looking for Stewart (I assume this is so — you can see him dodging other cars and pointing very specifically). Accident happened.

I’m not even a Tony Stewart fan. But the witch hunt mentality by the uninformed and the stupid is ridiculous, and it’s pissing me off.

Had Ward been struck by any of the other cars whizzing by that narrowly avoided hitting him, I’m betting this wouldn’t have gone past the local news station, and only the sprint car community would be talking about this and mourning this young man’s death. And they would be calling it what it was — an accident. But because it was Stewart, who nudged him into the wall, the media immediately had to turn this into a fight, a confrontation, some sort of testosterone battle.

I wonder if it hadn’t been Stewart that put the squeeze on Ward’s car if he would have run into the track at all?

I know there are probably some chuckleheads who are already puffing up like toads and getting ready to say, “Who is this New York City fashion person to have an opinion about this?” Am I an expert on this subject? BY NO MEANS. But believe it or not, I actually kind of know a little of what I’m talking about when it comes to sprint car racing. My oldest brother has raced a sprint car in western Pennsylvania for decades, and my other two brothers both wrenched for him and for other drivers (in PA and CA). So I’ve been to my fair share of sprint car races, probably more than anyone reading this page.

Here’s my brother running hot laps at Sharon Speedway many moons ago:

John hot laps at Sharon Spdwy

 

Here are my other brothers, working on a race team (I believe this is the McMahans) in California:

James and Chuck McMahan racing

 

For my birthday last year, I didn’t want to go to Paris, or Hawaii, or Niagara Falls. I wanted to go to the races in the middle of Bumfuck, Pennsylvania. Here is a picture of me with World of Outlaws driver Paul McMahan in the pits at Williams Grove last October:

Paul McMahan Wms Grove Natl Open 2013

 

Net-net: Race tracks are inherently dangerous places. Walking into the path of oncoming cars, even ones running under caution (which is 40-50mph),  is suicidal.

This is actually a pretty good primer about how sprint cars work — super-basic but fine for people who don’t know anything about them. If you’re going to have an opinion about this, at least be somewhat informed.

And for God’s sake, don’t get your information about sprint car racing from Charlie Rose, NPR, or the New York Times.

One last note, for all you internet experts out there — these are not NASCAR events. People seem to be getting confused by the NASCAR-Sprint Cup moniker, which has nothing at all to do with sprint car racing.

(PS – if you’ve got a track nearby, you should go. It’s fun. Loud and dusty, but if you love the smell of methanol, dirt, and Schaefer beersweat, you’ll probably like it.)