Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Friday, October 20, 2017

My Love Affair with Bugles is Exposed!

The Devil's Snack

I had a tough commute tonight. I hit rush hour which extended my normal commute of 1 hour to just under 2 hours. It wasn't an accident thank God. It wasn't construction. It was just blasted traffic! Grrr. Not even anything crazy to look at. Prior to hitting the jam, I ended up stopping at the local quick gas/coffee/convenience store right before the highway. Picked up the necessities: gas, coffee, and a snack for the ride home.

In this case, it was a 14.5 oz bag of my favorite childhood munchies, BUGLES! OH GOD I loved them!!! Well I hit major traffic and everything stopped. I had already had a handful of the Bugles. They were sitting on the passenger seat JUST STARING AT ME. I mean like just mocking me, tempting me to eat them. 

Ok I just had one hand full, then another, and still ANOTHER. By the time I hit Shartlesville.... yes that's the name LOL, I ate 90% of the bag. So what did I do, I asked Google how many calories were in each bag ... 1120 calories!!! Um. I'm feeling like a pig right now and a bit sick. I'd be seeing a different Shartlesville pretty soon. Ha-ha! 

What's a gym rat to do? Well work it off. But why oh why did I do it in the first place? 

I'm HUMAN. I love salty snacks. I had a tough day and needed some comfort food! Don't give me Oreo's or chocolate (unless it's dark chocolate). Give me salty crunchy snacks! That's my thing! That's my craving! It's crazy right? I guess not really. We seemed to be programmed to go after snacks which we LOVE like sweet or salty. I like crunchy and salty. Chips, peanuts, chips, more chips. etc. 

The guilt came over me. I've been SO GOOD. And I threw it away with over 1000 calories of snacks in a single serving! First off, remember I said we are human? Gotta accept it. We break down, even the craziest of us gym rats. I need to forgive myself. I am trying. 

Now what to do about those friggin' calories? Well washing dishes helps. LOL So does laundry. Maybe a little yard work... does sweeping the deck count? 

OK, I know, I am putting it off. I hit the gym at 7pm with a belly full of Bugles. They were so GOOD but I knew I needed to get on top of this fast. 

I spent an hour at the gym on the elliptical and worked off  500 calories. Good start. Again ... I (WE) are human. I (WE) will have minor setbacks. Wrestle with your conscious but physically MOVE on that sh*t! Get on top of it before it becomes an unwieldy weight. I know it's tough and it means more work out. You gotta just work through that guilt. I'm with YOU! It sucks! 

I hate myself for eating an entire bag of BUGLES! LOLOL I laugh just thinking of it. But I gotta work it off. I'm halfway there. I'll have a couple of tough workouts. On days I spend only doing weights, I'll throw in CARDIO to work off an extra 100-200 calories. It'll be worked off by the next week. 

I ended up having a very light dinner due to my snacking. I enjoyed a Progresso Tuscan-Style White Bean soup at 260 calories. That helped. A little more sodium than I'd want for my intake but more water diluted that as well. 

It's tough people! I've been eating so healthy these last couple weeks. I got a craving and I satisfied it. Remember, 4th time, we are human. I beat myself up. You need to hold yourself accountable. Don't beat yourself up too much. Just hold yourself accountable and make changes to correct the missteps. 

Establish a social network of friends who also work out to keep you in check. I have that. But I decided to call the Bugles instead. LOL  GOOD LUCK on your workouts. I am with you in your highs and lows. :) 

HUGS, MARC 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tiny Tales, Part Two



"Miss Moxie"


The writing contest for the "Marvellous Tiny Tales" has a second part which I will be entering as well. Remember from the first part, the story has to be 3 sentences long, the more odd and quirky the better! Even if I don't win, it has been a fun writing exercise. Here are the selections I have been tooling with. Let me know which ones you like.


"Miss Moxie's Other Plans"

While I was immersed in a favorite novel, Moxie the Cat had other plans for me that bedtime which included lounging on my chest. The book shall wait until another evening as Miss Moxie apparently is not a fan of Hemingway. She has won again.


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"Country Drive"

Driving with windows down through the countryside on a sunny September day, Barkley passed old stone houses, farms and fields as far as the eye could see. Up and over meandering streams and through bends in the road,  he slammed on his brakes to avoid a rickety cart filled with pumpkins. Welcome to Fall!

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"No Chocolate for You"

For the umpteenth time on another Halloween night, young Jacob made the rounds of his neighborhood dressed up as a hobo. No matter, he thought, for his trick-or-treat bag was filed with dozens and dozens of chocolate bars! After fastidiously counting the many candy bars in various shapes and sizes, he ate to his heart's content ... only to ironically discover as he broke out in hives, that he was severely allergic to chocolate.

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"Mermaid"

Dozing at the beach on a warm summer day, Nigel buried his feet into the pearly white sands by the water's edge. Stubbing his toe on something sharp, he pulled free the most beautiful tiara of gemstones and gold. "Thank you for finding my crown!" yelled a young mermaid, frolicking in the waves before a disbelieving Nigel.


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"Stymied"

We sped off for the Coast on a humid summer evening, me and Zeb, in his old clunker of a Chevy with rock-n-roll on the radio. As the car zoomed forth, I felt free and alive, smoking a cig in one hand and the other waving out the window through the rushing air. After an hour on the open road, Zeb exclaimed "Oh man Bud!" for the trip was abruptly cut short by a herd of Jersey cows blocking the highway.

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"First Date Chaperone"

Breathless, clammy, and excited, Peter met Claire at her house for their very first date. They sat quietly in the parlor searching for something to break the ice when suddenly Claire blurted out, "Well aren't you going to address the pink elephant in the room?" Peter spun around coming face to face with a large pink elephant squeezed into a petite settee sipping on a large martini.




Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Madonna and I have Changed!

"You Can Dance"


I hit the gym last night and brought up this album on my mp3 player, Madonna's You Can Dance. We are talking Old School Madonna! I love the album; had the cassette and still have the CD. (As you can gather, I'm Old School, LOL.) The album was released in November 1987, the Fall of my senior year of high school. I was seventeen at the time of its release. WOW, the album is 30 years old!

The difference between listening to the album in 1987 vs 2017 ... besides 30 years? Again, WOW. The difference is that in 1987, I would listen to it and dance around for an hour, not losing my breath. If I were at an under-age club, I'd be probably dancing for another 3-4 hours. Ahhh, the endurance of youth!

Now in the Fall of 2017, I would listen to it for an hour on the elliptical machine or treadmill. Oh how the times have changed. After an hour on the elliptical, I can tell you I am probably breathing pretty hard, sweating bullets, and checking how many calories I burned to see if I can have a beer OR several that night.

Listening to the album brought back a flood of high school memories. My good friends and family know how much I love Madonna. I've been to almost every concert and have pretty much everything musically that she's ever put out. I have always loved her as the ultimate 'entertainer'. She may not be the best singer but she can sure put on a fucking show and always has!

I remember the first time I saw her video "Open Your Heart" on MTV in 1986 (I was a geeky 16 year old). I was so excited I screamed for my Mom to come into the living room to show her who Madonna was. Mom took one look at her dancing around the TV screen with her bosoms bouncing all around and flatly exclaimed, "SHE'S A WHORE!" before marching back to the kitchen.

I crack up just thinking about that afternoon! It's actually one of my favorite memories of my Mom just 'saying it like it was.' Mom did eventually become a fan and absolutely loved Madonna's 'Dick Tracy' album "I'm Breathless" put out in 1990. She loved Madonna's throw back nod to the 1930's.

This also brings me back to memories of my high school days where I would drive into Philly with my best gal-pals Angie, Mandy, and Marguerite heading off to bars and clubs we could get into and drink. We were always trying to drive into Philly and as they say ... up to no good!

One time I was driving home, I drove over the concrete median between the slow and fast lanes on Route 295 in South Jersey. The girls screamed their collective heads off, the car bottomed out totally for about a tenth of a mile, and sparks were seen across the South Jersey skyline from Gloucester City to the Deptford Mall! That poor 1987 Nissan Sentra!

We all had a nervous good laugh about it and I dropped Marguerite and Mandy off in Wenonah, NJ and then drove Angie all the way south (about 20 minutes) to Mullica Hill and made sure she got home. I came back home to Wenonah, parked and went to bed .. lets just say LATE.

Well the next day, Dad asked me, "Can you come outside to the driveway for a minute and look at the car?" Oh FUCK.

Dad, always the peacemaker, God LOVE HIM, asked me if I knew how this may have happened, pointing to a completely shredded tire. I cannot believe I actually made it from the Deptford Mall to Angie's house in Mullica Hill and back again! I vaguely said I remember driving over something on 295 but it was SO dark, I couldn't be sure. I knew he didn't buy it. He told me I'd pay for the tire. LOL I did totally pay for that shredded tire and we BOTH knew I got off lucky!

On another evening, Mandy was driving Angie, Marguerite, and I into Philly on one of our adventures in her Dad's Audi. It was Marguerite in the front and Angie and I in the back. How do I remember this? Because Madonna's "Holiday" was on FULL BLAST on the radio (probably a cassette, remember them?) and we were singing it, all four of us at once.

Now out of the four of us, I certainly knew I did not have the voice to sing Madonna or anyone for that matter. LOL. I was usually quiet, in the background, singing "Holiday" really softly LOL. :)  The other gals each had vocal training with Angie belting it out, harmonizing. It was rather enjoyable.  Marguerite and Mandy were EACH trained in vocal song. I just enjoyed being there. LOL BUT someone was at that particular moment, off pitch. LOL Maybe it was ME? Maybe it was someone else. LOL I'll never tell NOR admit it but those rides were the BEST.

OK SO.... On THIS particular ride, we were driving across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge towards the great City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, singing OUR HEARTS OUT to Madonna's "Holiday"! One of us, not sure whom, looked up and realized MANDY was driving in the bridge lane towards Philly with red lights. She was driving into oncoming traffic!

I think the screams of all four of use broke windows up and down Mainline Philly! Mandy quickly swerved her Dad's Audi from oncoming traffic into the correct lanes with .. Ahem... them CRAZY green lights (you know, the ones you're allowed to drive in) and we continued on our way across the Ben Franklin Bridge. It was quite an experience and one the four of us laugh and exclaim about 30 years later!!!

I reached out to Mandy and Angie about this memory. And pretty much each one of them were like "Oh God MARCUS!!!!!"  LOL

Mandy, God bless my dear friend, also reminded me of our Chinese fire drills at each stop light and also the time she got pulled over by the cop for not having her headlights on. (She didn't know how to put them on.) Ooops, sorry Mandy. You know I LOVE YOU. :)  In fact, these gals provided me were a lifetime of AWESOME high school memories. I love each of them.






Sigmund Freud Quote I Can Relate To



TIME SPENT WITH CATS IS NEVER WASTED.

Sigmund Freud



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Awesome Mark Twain Quote



Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.  - Mark Twain.



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Tiny Tales

"Tiny Tales" 

I've entered a writing contest called "Marvellous Tiny Tales" where you submit tiny expressive stories in three total sentences. The prize? Bragging rights and a small animated movie being made to go along with your story. Criteria? Be odd, bold, and unusual. That sounds like me. LOL.

My tiny stories "Dream Traveler" and "Feed Us!" are what I will be entering. Putting out my writing can be nerve wracking but why would one write if not to be read? (Private journals not included.) Anyway, here are the tiny tales and others I wrote during this project.


"Dream Traveler"

One steamy late summer evening in Philadelphia, Baxter fell into a deep slumber and found himself wandering down a long hallway filled with a thousand doors. Choosing one, he entered a noisy boisterous bar filled with energy and excitement as far as the eye could see. He was feeling suddenly thirsty when a bartender sporting the curliest mustache he had ever seen exclaimed, "Welcome to Chicago, what's your poison?"

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"Feed Us!"

Drinking his morning coffee, Fletcher gazed out from the kitchen onto the overgrown yard.  A rogue hummingbird, then another, buzzed the window while hovering within inches from his face. "Feed us," they demanded, "for we must begin our long journey south for the Winter!"

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I dragged a tangled mass of branches around the house to dump over the hillside into an even more tangled pile. Focused on task, I was startled by two feeding does, each one more startled than me. And with a flash of a large white tail, they bound off across the yard!

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Waking up from a good night's sleep, I hear pouring rain and a distant thunder through the open window. The bedroom air smells good from the rains: sweet, grass-like, and dewy. I snuggle in for another hour covered from head to toe against the morning chill in my comfy quilt.

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The crackling Fall fire-pit warms my feet even through my hiking boots. A swig of bourbon is tempered with a toasted roasted marshmallow and the whiff of a good cigar. I'm heady from all the scents and will sleep well tonight.

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Summer tomatoes burst in my mouth, juices overflowing. Give me some basil and wet mozzarella and that'll be the way to start dinner! Unfortunately dinner didn't measure up to those wonderful summer tomatoes.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Tip for Reporters Covering Disasters

Hurricane Harvey (Nasa.gov)

A video interview occurred last week with a reporter sticking her microphone in a poor woman's face at one of the Houston evacuee shelters in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. It was an extremely uncomfortable moment which showed the raw emotions and pain of a woman and her family pushed to the edge by the tumultuous events surrounding the hurricane.

Link to the interview: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2Cw-J0s_-c

The reporter initially did not get the obvious hint that we the viewers picked up on, other than just saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." The woman kept stating, "And you are STILL putting that mic in my face." The reporter finally embarrassingly withdrew it, shaken up herself. I'm sure she regretted continuing the questioning.

I also feel that it wasn't her intent to set the woman off, but it happened and hopefully she will learn from it when interviewing in the future. And by the way, the news organization which the reporter is from has nothing to do with the reporter's questioning. I've seen various levels of incompetence on all three of the major cable news networks: CNN, MSNBC, and FOX.


There was a tip that I read for reporters from the comments section of an online article on Hurricane Harvey from The Washington Post in response to the video. With Hurricane Irma almost upon the Caribbean and then possibly Florida, I think it can be applied to that impending event as well.


"Do not ask how someone feels after a disaster. Ask them if there is something that they would like to share so that the people outside of the area can understand what is going on in there. That gives them the chance to say they cannot talk right now (due to emotions), vent all about all of the reporters in their faces, or tell what happened to them."

I don't profess to even know what the job of a reporter during a catastrophe is like but ...

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.