Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Live Smartly and Live Healthy!

Kinda Happy With Myself! 

Hey kids! You all know me and how much I love the gym. My love affair ebbs and flows though. During the Holidays... not so much. Winter time when I don't wanna leave the house ... not so much. LOL Now that Spring has FINALLY SPRUNG I feel a renewed drive to get back into shape. The love affair has been rekindled! I want to remind people about a few things though.

Some of us (myself included) are not in our 20s. If you expect to get back into shape, don't put those expectations so high as that you will be disappointed. Be happy and blessed for even your small steps of progress. I'm turning 48 next month. I've got some dad-bod! But, I'm proud of where I am and I recognize I am continuously a work in progress.

Facebook lovingly reminded me of myself four years ago when I worked out and was (gasp) almost 20 pounds less. I worked my ass off doing hours upon hours of cardio and I dropped weight dramatically. I was trying to get back down to that college weight. I wasn't even there yet but I was about 150 pounds. I looked sickly and too skinny. In a nutshell, I was skinny but NOT in shape. I can't imagine what I would've looked like at my college weight of 140 pounds. I realize now that is now a good weight for me at this point in my life.

I've learned to like myself and feel more comfortable these days with a little meat on my bones. I guess it's all about perception too. I can have some meat on my bones AND still be healthy! I work out now for health. Not so much for looking like that youthful Adonis in my memories. I used to though. Ahhhh, the memories of youth!

I 've realized that the narcissistic viewpoints of working-out are outweighed at my age by being in HEALTHY shape. Healthy heart, healthy  mind, healthy body. Don't forget that. I am reminded by a the 70s duo Captain and Tennille song which has the line, "Young and beautiful, some day your looks'll be gone!" And guess what immortal Millennials, IT'S TRUE! LOL

Working out and getting in shape needs to involve these three factors: nutrition, exercise and lifestyle. Now I am NOT a personal trainer by any means and before you start any exercised program (UGH) consult with your physician. I hate saying that but need to in these days of lawsuits and craziness. I mean really, it's just me, happy go lucky Marc! I am just telling you what has worked for ME!  :)

Nutrition means eating HEALTHY. I hear people saying, "Boo hoo.. it's TOO EXPENSIVE!" Are ya kidding me? Bite me. OK, go bite a carrot instead! With all the farmer's markets, produce stands, and discount produce places, you can get produce (veggies and fruits) relatively cheap. You have to search for them. Get online and look or ask a healthy person where they get their fruit and veggies. They may have some hints and tips.

And really, please STOP buying all that processed food shit. I'm done with hot dogs unless I am really buzzed and am craving a Hebrew National dog. Anything processed with nitrates and nitrates seems to not be good for you. Start looking at those ingredient labels people. Do your research! There are better alternatives available for you. You need to seek them out. Buying these processed foods is the easy way out and you may suffer for it later!

Lifestyle means start incorporating moderation, exercise and healthy food alternatives into your daily existence. After doing it so much, I don't even think about it. It is becoming natural, part of my day to day habit. I try and cut back on unhealthy foods, sweets, booze and processed foods on a weekly basis.

Exercise means doing something on a daily basis which gets your heart rate going. Experts say 30 mins a day, 3 times a week. I try and do something each day. I will include yard work, hard-ass housework (LOL), the gym or course, taking a LONG walk, or drinking beer out of a very heavy glass beer mug. But seriously, we can all afford 30 minutes of some type of exercise a day. Your day has 48 1/2 periods in them. You can afford to make time.

I enjoy my drink and personally, have decided not to give up my craft beers or whiskies. I love the flavors too much. (Hence, the dad-bod) BUT, I do them in moderation now. I actively exercise. I actively seek out healthier alternative snacks. I speed past Taco Bell cursing at them. (Um, yeah I do. LOL) I have decided that I want to enjoy life, enjoy experiences, enjoy flavors AND maintain my healthy lifestyle.

Life is too short, but don't do it with blinders on. Live smartly and life healthy! Now since I DID hit the gym today, this dad-bod will be knocking back an IPA beer.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

An Odd April Week

(https://www.someecards.com)


The week of April 15th began with what seems like the 96th day of January. That's one of the latest meme going around the Internet. It's quite humorous BECAUSE IT'S TRUE! We had one nice day of almost 80 degree weather on Saturday and then the temperature plummeted back down to the 30s with fierce winds pounding our region through the beginning of the week.

The wind chime hanging from the corner of the house is now known as the Devil's Harp. During the winter Nor'Easters it had become pure evil! It kept me up once again all night. I should just take it down but I'm too lazy to drag out the ladder.

I woke to a coating of snow on the ground. The yard was once again in shambles with more branches down. I had just spent the better part of Saturday cleaning up those which had previously fallen. It seemed like it had become the winter which would never end. Fingers were crossed though that this would be the last week of inclement cold weather.

I stopped over at the supermarket on Wednesday to pick up dinner. Walking through the parking lot, I passed an SUV with two kids sitting on the passenger door "window sills" talking back and forth excitedly across the  roof top. They reminded me of my brother and I when we were about 7 and I chuckled to myself as I walked by. One of them was staring at me as I looked back. He shouted out "Old man!" I was in shock and kept walking.

Was he talking to me? I looked back and that little brat was still staring at me! I didn't say anything and kept going, still in shock a kid spoke like that. I mean, granted I'm 40 years older than him but I never thought I'd be considered old. I laugh at the ridiculousness of it now but I think I was actually in shock.

After coming home, I hit the ATM for some cash before hitting the Firehouse Social Club for a couple beers. I had a huge monster truck on my ass while making my way up Summer Hill. He roared passed me and upon coming around the blind corner, slammed on his brakes, skidding towards a creeping tanker truck crossing the street. I gasped as he skidded closer and closer, stopping just in time. I never wanna see an accident but couldn't help thinking, "That guy's an idiot and he's gonna have to change his shorts!"

I cleaned up the deck late Wednesday evening. It was a mess from the winds. The grill had been moved to the center of the deck. Pillows and cushions were everywhere. A ceramic planter had fallen over, the pottery shards scattered about. Deck chairs knocked over. I then realized one of the larger cushions was missing. I combed the yard, my neighbor Charlotte's yard, and the roadside swales across the street. Nothing! I decided to look again tomorrow and call my neighbors to see if it was picked up.

Wednesday into Thursday remained blustery with flurries here and there. I just started laughing every time I saw flurries.

Thursday rolled around and after getting home from work with my dear neighbor Charlotte immediately calling over from her back deck. "Come over! I have cheesy asparagus soup!" So after I changed, I went over for a bowl of soup. You never pass up Charlotte's home cooking!

Miss Moxie claims the Rutgers sweatshirt.
In exchange, I offered up some duck eggs which had been given to me by my co-worker's aunt. Charlotte was a little suspicious but agreed to take four off my hands. I retreated to my house to get the duck eggs and made my way back to her home. Stepping up her deck stairs, my foot when through the bottom stair and cracked it right through. I felt awful. Charlotte assured me it had rotted from last year and she had been meaning to get it replaced anyway. After repeated apologies from yours truly, she kicked me out laughing.

Oh yes, Charlotte didn't have my cushion. I called over to Rich across the street and he excitedly stated that he had grabbed it out of the swale Monday morning. After cleaning it up, he put it out by the roadside to see if anyone would claim it but no one did. Heck, I didn't even know it was missing until Wednesday. He brought it back into his workshop until I had called over. So thankfully I got my cushion back!

Friday was a fun evening bartending at the Lodge. The usual suspects came up to hang out. I love my Lodge friends and that made it a fun evening. Two "snowbirds" from South Jersey, Becky and Ted, came up again for their weekend visits so that made me happy. I even quite literally scored "the shirt off of Ted's back"! (in this case, a vintage Rutgers sweatshirt) Ted and I both went to Rutgers University in NJ. I admired it and he gave it to me at the end of the night. How lucky am I!?

On Saturday evening, I helped put together a surprise birthday party for my good friend Heather. She's like a little sister to me. And since my big sis Sheryl is in Philly, I need someone to annoy and tease (yes, I still do that at 47). Heather is lucky enough (ha-ha) to be that gal. The party was great fun. A lot of good people came out to celebrate her birthday.

Our other good friend Michele purchased an incredible cake. Just the sight of Michele and I trying to navigate a large fully lit birthday cake through the dark dining room was ridiculously funny. Me backing up into tables left and right and Michele in high heels. I think she navigated much better than me. Although we both need to relearn how to safely light a dozen cake candles. Thankfully we emerged unscathed.

The two left shoes... 😕
And finally to cap off the week, I threw out a pair of black dress shoes on Saturday because they didn't fit well due to my old man bone spur. These shoes put me in more pain than they were worth! I grabbed them out of my dark bedroom and tossed them into the garbage which was picked up on Monday. I then realized Tuesday evening that I threw out just the right foot of each set of my black shoes! I was left with two LEFT shoes with no RIGHT matches. Guess which now ended up in the garbage. Yep, the left shoes. Guess where I'm going on Saturday whether I want to or not! Yep, shoe shopping. UGH. My life. LOL

Well  at least the weather is finally warmer. It feels like Spring is finally here. Now I just need to get motivated and spend time each night getting some yard work done. Grrrrr. Hope you enjoyed the week in the Life of Marc.  As my friend Jack says, "You can't make this shit up!"






Friday, April 13, 2018

Life is Hard, Deal With It

(Pic courtesy Pexels.com) 


This was originally geared for the younger generation but I feel it can apply to people who feel they are owed by society and play the victim. I don't remember where I got this from but found some scribbled down notes in my files. I cautiously don't want to fully attribute it to myself in case I heard it from someone else and did not correctly attribute it to them. I usually scribble down "heard on NPR or Cable or from so and so author." I figured I would still share it and I have expanded on several parts.

I hesitate to say it's only for the younger generation because I have recently met several that I really like and impressed with (my niece Angelica included!) They give me hope for a brighter future and they makes me smile.

So without further adieu, some insights into the harsh reality of life as we know it:

Life is and will be hard for a lot of you. You need to realize that now. Say it out loud. "LIFE IS AND WILL BE HARD." The sooner that sinks in, the sooner you won't be disappointed by every little thing. AND the sooner the sweet things in life which DO happen will be that much sweeter.

You are not owed nor deserve anything.
Stop expecting that things will go your way.
You have to work hard for success and sometimes you still don't get it.
Life is not fair, life is tough.
Cheaters sometimes unfortunately prosper.
Nice guys sometimes finish last.
You will face disappointment.
You will lose people you desperately love whether through breaking up with them or from their deaths.
In real life, you do not all get trophies. Not even a quarter of you.
And sometimes you have to settle. You settle with your career, you settle with your love.
You don't get everything you want in life.
You just DON'T.

But sometimes ... you may be lucky enough where you will meet someone or people that are so wonderful, they will touch your lives forever. And you may be lucky enough to meet someone you will fall in love with who still makes you laugh and smile after 5, 10, even 20 years. And while you may not have all the riches in the world, you are extremely lucky.

If you are not successful at love and career early on, remember, you may find love and a successful career later in life. So don't give up hope!

Most of us do not get what we want but if we work hard and don't take things for granted, you may have a fulfilling life with wonderful memories and experiences.

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If you work hard, you will get a slice of that pie. It is up to you on how big that slice is, or how big you perceive it to be.

Men with far less have often lived much more fulfilling lives than men with far more.

-From me. ;)

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Lastly, here is a very inspirational speech from the 2006 movie Rocky Balboa that Rocky gives his son Robert. YES, its a speech from a movie but still so good. I think you will agree.






Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spring Roadkill Remorse

(Pic courtesy of Pexels.com)


In the beginning of Spring, it always seems like the hibernating animals and those that don't (you hear me crazy squirrels) gravitate towards the warm open roadway. One suddenly has raccoons, possum and skunk all trying to do their best impression of the 80s video game Frogger across the busy roads. Maybe the awakening animals are disoriented from hibernation and are most likely hungry while foraging for food. The poor lil' guys get whacked while we drive early in the morning to work or home in the evening.

This past morning I sadly struck a chipmunk darting across the highway probably on his first outing of the season. God damn it! I shouted to myself, upset that the lil' bugger got caught under my wheels. I said a quiet Rest In Peace Chippy and went on my way.

That brought me back to my memory of the very first time I struck an animal while driving. I was coming home from the AMC movie theater in South Jersey where I  worked during from '87 to '91. I was 17 or 18 and it was late in the evening, past midnight. I was driving through a torrential late summer downpour. While passing the pig farms, a familiar landmark in South Jersey, a black cat suddenly ran across the roadway trying to escape the rains. I braked and thank God did not fly off the road while hydroplaning. The poor cat was not so lucky. I was upset and pulled off to the side of the road.

Sitting in my car for what seemed like an hour, I wondered what I should do. I felt so bad hitting this black barn cat, the first animal I had ever struck and killed. I got out in the drenching rains and ended up finding a branch near the car and moved the cat off the road. I didn't want it to end up getting repeatedly run over. I figured he was somebody's cat and they would be upset but at least he wouldn't be further mutilated by passing vehicles.

More recently, I grazed a hawk as I left Lake Wynonah for work one morning. It wasn't so much a hit as more of a "fwump fwump fwump" as he rolled wings and all across my windshield. Mr. Hawk flew right into my car. He seemed OK as he continued all acrobatic-like back into the air flying away.

I have come across my fair share of rabbits during the early Spring, out for some nocturnal feeding. Luckily though, Thumper hasn't ended up under my wheels. I see plenty though that do. I was in line at the local bank one evening waiting for the drive-up ATM with my window rolled down. A rebellious squirrel got spooked by something and rammed full speed into my driver's side door. I jumped screaming "What the!?!?" He was almost propelled by the force of the hit through my open window. I remember seeing the flash of a scraggly grey tail in my peripheral vision. The Camry was luckily unscathed by the mad squirrel.

My sister Sheryl and I were driving through the Oley Valley one night about a decade ago. I was driving a big ass Ford F150 with huge tires. Doing 40 down a dark country road, a possum decided it was the best time to shuffle across the road. I slowed down, not completely braking as it would've been unsafe. We both gasped and held onto our collective breaths. The possum went under the pick-up and emerged unscathed in my rear view mirror, to continue his shuffle across the country road.

A raccoon wasn't so lucky. Same dark country road, same big ass pick-up truck, different time. I braked and Mr. Raccoon got caught up in the wheels being tossed off into the nearby field. You feel so awful when it happens. It just happens though. Unfortunately, your paths collide and usually the animal loses.

NO ONE in their right mind wants to be the cause of  a senseless animal death. But, after years of having it drilled into my head, I will not swerve, I will go forward and quickly pray for the best outcome. You don't want to die because of an unfortunate animal. That possum mentioned above, went on to live another day. The others, not so lucky.

Why even the most hardened of hunters wishes they don't hit a deer while driving. If the hit was a clean whack, some will even load it into the bed of their truck! Waste not, want not up in back country Pennsylvania my friends! Otherwise the PA Game Commission would just pick it up and dump the beast. Think of it as the deer is going on to providing a meal for a lucky family.

(By the way, interesting link on claiming deer carcasses:

I haven't hit a deer, KNOCK ON WOOD. Came pretty close down in Valley Forge, PA on Rt 422. A buck moseyed across the highway in my path. I braked and his rear almost took a glancing blow off of my pick up. He lived and continued nonchalantly across the road. I didn't breath again until the Collegeville exit many miles down the highway.

Living out in the far suburbs and countryside has it's share of problems. You get used to putting on your brights while driving at night, scanning the road for potential critters crossing the road. It's a fact of life out here. I have become pretty good at looking ahead, preparing to brake where I can. Some incidents are inevitable though. It's sad, but be thankful if you can keep the vehicle driving in a controlled manner.

I wouldn't wanna lose anyone to a crossing raccoon. You can say a prayer for the raccoon, be remorseful and move on. I'd hate to see anything happen to a person because they swerved to avoid an animal though. Be smart, drive straight, and drive on through it. Vehicles are replaceable. YOU are not. 😉