New Rewards!

Walk into a Borders tomorrow, and you’ll see a lot of signage about the company’s new Rewards program. If you’re a member, you’ve probably already gotten an email about it.

Previously, Borders’ Rewards programs was pretty basically summed up: get coupons once or twice a week (usually 33% off list price for one item), and $5 back when you spent $150. That program is sticking around, but there’s a new premium (i.e., pay for it) version called Plus. Here’s the breakdown:

Free Program:
Coupons for use in-store and online.
You will receive $5 in Borders Bucks for the first $150 spent in store (annually). After that, you will receive $5 for every $100. (The $5 for $100 part is new!)
30% List Hardcover Bestsellers
Free Shipping from Borders.com on orders of $25 or more (or orders shipped to the store for pickup).

Borders Plus ($20 a year):
Coupons for use in-store and online.
You will receive $5 in Borders Bucks for the first $150 spent in store (annually). After that, you will receive $5 for every $100.
40% List Hardcover Bestsellers
20% off select hardcovers
10% off most everything else purchase price (in addition to other discounts)
Free Shipping from Borders.com on all orders (regardless of order price).

Well, I was tired of using “Hey, Barnes & Nobles charges for their membership program!” anyway.

On the bright side, as an employee, I’m automatically enrolled in the Plus program … for free. See that extra 10% bit? Yeah, that works on top of my discount. So, if I buy a $10 book, my discount takes it down to $6.70, and then I get that extra .67 cents off. Can you say awesome?

My wallet certainly can’t!

Know Anything About Bicycles?

Thor. Spike.

These are the names of a coworker’s car, and another’s bicycle.

My bike is named My Bike. No, really.

Okay, no, not at all.

This is my bike:

I bought it shortly after I moved to DC. Okay, granted, it’s spent most of the last two years collecting dust in my building’s basement. But as I’ve been losing weight and spending time on, among other things, exercise bikes, I’ve been wanting to ride again. Truthfully, I haven’t ridding a bicycle regularly in fourteen years.

Oh, and also? Riding a bike in DC scares the crap out of me. But I’ve got a helmet, and I’m willing to give it a try.

Unfortunately …

You might notice the front tire is completely flat. You might also notice there’s a bike pump behind the bicycle. Anyway, both tires were flat when I pulled it out of the basement. The back tire inflated — the front tire? Not so much.

Checking on Twitter for bike shop repair facilities, I was recommended to venture out to City Bikes in Adams Morgan. Describing the tire’s failure to inflate, it was suggested the problem is most likely the inner tube, which’ll need to be replaced.

So, um, anyone know about how much that’ll run? I’d like to get the work done early this coming Saturday so that I can do some biking Sunday and Monday mornings.

Food For Thought: The Mosque and the Confederate Flag

Let me be honest here: I am not at all concerned about a mosque being built at or near to Ground Zero.

This is for three reasons:

1. I am an intelligent adult who believes wholeheartedly in the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to free expression, and freedom of religion.

2. While I don’t always succeed at this, I try not to tar people with the same brush: in other words, just because person of group A did this to me, does not mean all people of group A would behave in the same manner.

3. I actually know Muslims in real life. SHOCKING!

I mean – how far away does the mosque have to be to pacify the opponents? Because honestly, it seems so ridiculous. First people were upset that it was at Ground Zero, then when they found out it was two blocks from Ground Zero they started protesting that now, it was just too close (okay, but before you were upset that it was AT Ground Zero, so shouldn’t you be happy?). For me, honestly, all this shows is the base fears of the people protesting the mosque: they don’t care where it is, as long as it’s not built anywhere in New York City, I betcha.

Recently, I came across this post on UDoTheDishes, and wow, did it piss me off:

So where does that leave us? Unlike many of you, I live outside the DMV but spent most of my youth there. You DC people care mightily about politics, the media, Chelsea’s wedding, wine tasting, Georgetown cupcakes, traffic, getting a corner office overlooking the Potomac or how to make a living as a civilian in a defense industry/political world. I don’t. I don’t care about any of it because I’m still dealing with the Confederate flag. I live in South Carolina, a state that still flies the Confederate flag on the State House lawn and where full-sized replicas fly in the beds of trucks. Hell, I even saw a girl draped in a real one heading home from the beach one day; not a flag towel or flag blanket, a real Confederate flag held together with clothespins.

Are all the people who support flying the flag racist? No, they’re not. Is everyone who says that the Confederate flag represents a heritage that supported limited government, states’ rights and true capitalism simply denying the fact that the south housed slaves? No, they aren’t. Believe it or not, not every white person in the South from 1609 – 1863 owned a slave! Was everyone fighting for the South fighting to uphold slavery? No they weren’t. But, were there a ton of racists in the South during the Civil War; was the South comprised of many prejudice white people who owned slaves; did many in the Confederate army fight for the belief that white people were in all ways better than black people? Yes, yes, and yes! And does the Confederate flag symbolize, to our society and to our world, one of the darkest times in our country’s history where we treated people who didn’t look like us with hatred and ill-will? Absolutely. There’s no debating it.
Food for Thought: The same argument that keeps the flag flying in South Carolina is going to allow a mosque to be built near Ground Zero. There may not be a comparison between slavery-9/11 or how 9/11 killed 2,000 and the Confederates killed untold numbers of slaves, or that there is no real debate between religious freedom vs “racist freedom”, but please keep it all in perspective.

The writer seems confused here (or maybe it’s just me). Not all Muslims hijacked airplanes and flew them into buildings on September 11th. In fact, given that there are close to a billion Muslims on the planet, the majority (by an extremely vast amount) did not. However, all (or most) of the people who choose to drape Confederate symbols from their trucks or iron Confederate symbols onto their clothes, make a conscious choice in what they display, and what that says about them. (And if they don’t, they should be more aware: ever seen someone with a tattoo of Asian characters that they got because they “thought it looked cool?”, and it really said “Hi, I’m a jackass and a whore”? It’s that kind of situation).

I recognize that what one thing means to me, it does not necessarily mean to others. So I’m willing to listen to the writer’s argument that the flag represents a “heritage”, I agree that the flag symbolizes “one of the darkest times in our country’s history where we treated people who didn’t look like us with hatred and ill-will”.

Now let me tell you how I view the Confederate flag (in all of their many forms): I view it as an endorsement of a failed attempt to destroy this country. It is the flag of traitors, and rebels. And while I’m sure a great many simply followed it out of, I’m sure, a well meaning sense of patriotism, that doesn’t make it right. Not all Southerners were Confederates: they were large pockets of Unionists in the South (hello, West Virginia! Tennessee! Jones County!), and obviously, the Confederates themselves would reject the notion that black men and women were within their self-identified group.

And it wasn’t just any attempt to destroy this country. The Civil War almost crushed this nation. Not the Nazis, not the Japanese, not the British nor the Soviets came as close to defeating America as the Confederacy did. This is not a situation that only one side or the other deserves all the blame for, but whatever the Confederacy could have become, the United States of America, as we know it today, would have failed if the CSA didn’t die in the mud of Appomattax. Whatever that country could have been doesn’t matter, it will never be.

And those today who wear the flags and symbols of the Confederacy make a conscious choice, knowing full well what the Confederacy stood for, to wear those emblems. They cloak their intentions in heritage, but the heritage and the legacy they stand for was the downfall of the country we all live in today.

And then there’s this:

The flag flying isn’t physically hurting anyone, neither is a mosque being built near Ground Zero. Each has a right to be in established, each is granted that freedom under our laws, and each alludes to a heritage/history that is not 100% violent or 100% racist or 100% sexist or 100% wrong.

America grants freedoms, it’s what is so wonderful about our country. But isn’t it ok to draw the line somewhere? Isn’t it ok to know your kids may test the limits of drinking in high school but not be providers of the alcohol?

One would think that if a line were going to be drawn somewhere, it would be drawn to prevent the display of the symbol of traitors and rebellion. But it isn’t: and why? Because of the First Amendment. And because Americans do not have the right not to be offended.

So if the First Amendment allows for the protection of the symbol of what damn well came close to actually destroying the United States, it should certainly allow for a group of religious folks, affiliated only in the most broad of categories with the zealots on those airplanes on September 11th, to build a center in New York City where they can exercise their Constitutionally given rights to worship their religion.

Here’s some Food for Thought: Just as it would be unfair to identify me, a Catholic (albeit, a long-term non practicing one), as being a terrorist based on the alleged conduct of Father James Chesney, suspected in a 1972 bombing in Belfast, so it is unfair to identify a person of the Muslim faith as being complicit, or approving, of the 9/11 hijackings. And yet, that’s exactly what the opposition of the mosque does: hey, you know what? Those hijackers? They were human beings, too, certainly that makes me just as complicit as they in the attacks. And if the opponents of the mosque are successful in urging lawmakers to pass rules preventing the mosque’s construction, they will have successfully pissed on the First Amendment, and utilized identity politics over, you know, that whole “Freedom” thing they so often claim to cherish, yet conveniently forget to practice.

And if some jackass decides to wrap himself in a Confederate flag at Glenn Beck’s little soiree on Saturday and run up and down the Lincoln Memorial steps? Hey, it’ll make me proud to see him allowed to exercise that freedom. But I’ll make sure to point him to the National Archives Metro stop (conveniently located on the Green and Yellow lines) when he’s seeking to depart the National Mall.

Weight Week Twenty Four: The Magic Number is 25.5!

Last week, I was commiserating about how I got stuck on a weight-loss plateau.

I walked home four out of five nights from the Bookstore (Wednesday I just snagged a bus because, y’know, it’s okay to be lazy every once in a while). Saturday, with the unrelenting heat finally relenting, I resumed my long-walks and took a leisurely not-quite-six mile walk:

In addition, on the advice of a former colleague (the woman who hired me to my current office job, actually; she blogs here), I began drinking beer. Well, I mean, I’ve been drinking beer. But I usually don’t have a beer at 10:20pm when I’ve just walked home from work and I’ve gotta get up in a few hours, because that just seems silly. But her advice to me was:

“you need to do something to shock your system again, and usually cutting out a chemical for two weeks is enough to do the trick. In fact, one known gimmick for continually overcoming the plateau effect is to totally use alcohol in that fashion, because after the two weeks you take it back up, and then when you next level off, cut it out again. It’s pretty much a two weeks on two weeks off situation, but it is known to work.”

So: to sum up, I’ve been drinking beer at night (I’ve actually stopped doing it for this week). With the heat not so hot, I’ve been walking. One thing I haven’t been doing is going to the gym in the morning: rather, I’m sleeping in until six, and loving it.

Last week I was 238.5.

This morning? 233.5.

FIVE POUNDS, BITCHES. FIVE FUCKING POUNDS LOST!

(I’ll probably find them by next Monday … le sigh).

BUT! 233.5? Is currently the lowest I’ve weighed since I began this effort over half a year ago. Wow, it doesn’t actually seem like it’s been that long. In any case, I can now tell people I’ve lost “over twenty-five pounds” and not by lying — twenty-five and a half pounds, gone! Feels great, and I’m looking forward to my walk home tonight.

Maybe he was just blowing smoke up my ass?

With the 14th Street store closed, I’ve noticed an upkeep in shopping at my location. I don’t know how much it has to do with that store’s actual closure, as it might well have to do with the 40% DVD and CD coupons the company’s been mailing out. Maybe it’s both?

In any case, lately, my schedule is this:

Sunday: 9-6:30p
Monday – Friday: 5-9:30p

When you factor in my Sunday lunch break, that gives me thirty-one hours a week. Here’s something to consider: non managerial full-time employees (with a couple of exceptions), are only scheduled thirty-two hours a week. I work part-time. Anyway, that’s not the point. The point, rather, is this: starting next week, a handful of employees from our closed sister-store will begin working at my location. I don’t know where it came from, but looking at the weekly schedule, I noticed that, somehow our payroll got bumped! And every night that I looked at: wow!

Holy shit, for the first time since, Christ, probably Christmas, we’ve got enough people on hand to appropriately staff the store: two people in the Cafe? Two at Registers? Two at Info? One at Music Info? One more for Recovery? Holy crap! I might even be able to anticipate a night assigned only to Recovery. And to go four hours without having to assist at the Register? Folks: that’s fucking golden (because I hate the registers, with a passion). And, as the Christmas season approaches (true story: our Christmas 2010 cards have already arrived and are sitting, unopened, on pallets in the stockroom), the store is gearing up to hire seasonal help. So: YAY!

I had actually been anticipating their arrival on the schedule for another reason: because I’d kind of hoped it might mean I’d get a weeknight (or maybe two?) off. But, last night, when I examined the schedule, I saw that mine was identical. Okay, not entirely identical: I requested a late start on Thursday because of an afternoon doctor’s visit. But I’m still on six days.

I mentioned this to a supervisor who was in the break room with me. He pulled the buds from his ears, set down his sandwich, and said, “That’s because you’re indispensable.”

You know — if people at my office job, the one that pays my rent and bills and all? Sometimes I wish they could actually do a decent job of conveying to me if I’m even appreciated or not. So my 70+ hour work weeks continue, and I don’t mind: working this much keeps me out of trouble, helps me build my savings account, and most important?

The Bookstore needs me. I feel valued. Though, I’d still like that fucking raise guys. Really.

The Great Typo Hunt

Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson traveled the U.S. for several months in 2008 correcting typos on signs they encountered, giving hope to English majors everywhere, and, in the process of correcting a sign at the Grand Canyon, inadvertently earning themselves a Federal government charge for which they were called “two of the worst people in the world” by Keith Olbermann.*

Anyway, they’re in DC as part of their book tour for The Great Typo Hunt, talking & signing at Borders 18th & L tonight at 6:30 (my store!) Fun note: Benjamin used to work there! (We may have had the occasional light saber fight back in the music section.)

You should consider stopping by. Parking is pretty much non-existent at that time of evening, but the store is convenient to both Farragut North and West (on the Red and Blue/Orange lines respectively).

Fair Warning: I have received an ARC of The Great Typo Hunt, and am reading it. It’s pretty good.

*I bet both of their heads will explode at this sentence.

Dr. Laura – for being a doctor, you’re pretty stupid

I wasn’t going to touch this story with a ten-foot pole. You know what happened: Dr. Laura, for some reason passing comprehension (perhaps she’d been inbibing?), decided it was appropriate to say the n-word (you know which one) repeatedly over and over and over again on her radio show as it aired.

Wow, talk about dumb.

Anyway, due to the resulting backlash, she quit. Shocking! More astounding? What she said on Larry King Live:

“The reason is, I want to regain my First Amendment rights,” she said. “I want to be able to say what’s on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates, attack sponsors. I’m sort of done with that.”

Wow.

Okay, so, here’s a primer on the First Amendment:

NO ONE TOOK AWAY YOUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS DR STUPID. You have the right to go on your show and say the n-word eleven times. And you know what? People have the right to get upset about it and use their First Amendment right to explain to your sponsors why they’re not happy with assorted sponsorships.

And if your sponsors start dumping you? That’s not First Amendment, hon, that’s the Free Market, isn’t it?

Doorbell Etiquette

There are two doorbells at the Bookstore: one is outside the vestibule, the other is located inside the building, by the elevator to the loading dock. The first is for employees to announce that they’re arrived before the store has opened, the second is for the delivery folks to announce they’ve arrived so someone can open the back doors and receive boxes and boxes (and boxes!) of books.

There are two thoughts to employee doorbell etiquette: the first thought, and the thought preferred by management is this: “Ring the bell once. Wait at the doors until someone lets you in.”

The second thought, which is the one I prefer, is this: “Ring the bell. Wait a second, and then if no one comes over to let you in, start ringing it over and over and over again until someone answers the damn door and lets me in.”

A Sunday or two ago, I was walking up to the store at the same time our cafe supervisor, Dennis, was. He rang the doorbell, waited a moment, and then proceeded to ring the doorbell like six times in a row. “Watch,” I said to him. “They’ll think I was the one ringing the bell.”

How right I was! From within the vestibule (the outer doors are never locked) I could hear the store’s PA system crackle to life, and a supervisor I’ll call Jimbalaya say, “Attention, staff. Snay is at the front door, someone please let him in and inform him that it is only necessary to ring the bell once for someone to open the door.”

Dennis and I exchanging knowing “Yeah, right” looks, but a moment later a coworker came up and let us in.

We both went downstairs together, and another coworker gave me an evil eye and said, “I knew it was you ringing the bell” as Jimbalaya nodded in agreement.

“Actually,” Dennis said, “It was me.”

The real kicked came close to an hour later. I was working on multi-media projects in the stockroom, which basically means I was opening boxes filled with new DVD and CD releases, sorting them onto a cart, slapping on appropriate sale stickers, then applying security tags and keepers. The doorbell rang. A moment or two later, the doorbell rang again. A moment later, it rang again. “Is anyone going to get the door?” I inquired into the radio.

Apparently not, because a moment later Jimbalaya announced it was time to open the door, and he instructed a staff member to keep an eye on the register until Lisa, the coworker scheduled to work first hour there, arrived. Lisa walked into the stockroom a moment later, “I would be on the registers now, Jimbalaya, but no one answered the doorbell when I was ringing it! So I’m late, and it isn’t my fault!”

“And this,” I announced, “is why I ring the hell out of the doorbell.”

Angry glares commenced, but I was grinning too broadly to notice. Damn right I still ring the hell out of that doorbell.

Weight Week Twenty-Three: WTF? Are there hemaphroditic cows? Bull-Cow? Yes, No?

Plateauing is the technical speak (I don’t know) for when you’re still exercising, but stop losing weight: your body becomes adjusted to the amount of food you’re eating, and the amount of exercising you’re doing, and seeks to stabilize and maintain what you have. Anyway, I’ve been frustrated by my apparent inability to drop weight lately, so I plotted it all out:

(Okay, yes, “listed it all out” would be a more apt description):

Mar 4th: 259
Mar 15th: 252.5
Mar 22nd: 250
Mar 29th: 246.5
April 5th: 246
April 12th: 244
April 19th: 243
April 26th: 241.5
May 3rd: 244
May 10th: 240.5
May 17th: 243
May 24th: 237.5
June 1st: 239
June 7th: 236.5
June 14th: 239
June 22nd: 238
June 28th: 235.5
July 6th: 236.5
July 12: 235.5
July 20th: 237
July 27th: 234.5
Aug 2nd: 235
Aug 9th: 236
Aug 16th: 238.5

So I will admit that I am stuck, and would appreciate any and all advice on how to move past this plateau. A coworkers, who lost a lot of weight also, told me she just had to seriously step up her exercising. Advice online ranges anywhere from “stuff your face for a week” to “sacrifice a bull-cow to the moon goddess Zofiyra.”

(Obviously, I won’t be doing the latter, and not just because I don’t want to sacrifice a bull-cow. WTF is a bull-cow?)

So I’ve done some thinking on this. Here’s what I’ve identified:

1. iLoseIt: I haven’t been making as much use of this iPhone app as I should have. I’ll get back on the game, and utilize it as an excellent way to track my calorie consumption during the day.

2. The Bus: I’ve gotta stop taking the bus. The heat was an excuse to stop walking, and even though I made up for it in the gym, I still think walking is a better exercise than 20 minutes on an exercise bike. While I’m proud of myself for the walking I did this weekend, I need to do more. Sure, it may be hot outside. Yes, it is possible it could start to pour. Hey: whatever doesn’t kill you, right?

3. The Gym: I’m proud of myself on this – I’ve increased my trips to the gym, I now go Tuesday through Thursday during the week, and Saturday and Sunday mornings as well. My Saturday morning gym trips will no doubt cease once I restart my long walks (its been a while since I’ve done one), but for now my goal has to be to get into the gym for at least 40 minutes during those weekday sessions. This basically means I have to be in the gym by 5:15, as I’ve found I need to leave at 5:55 in order to give myself enough time to shower, dress, and catch the appropriate train and bus to get to work by 7am.

4. The Bike: I bought a bike when I moved to DC. It’s down in the bike storage room in the basement of my building with flat tires and half an inch of dust. I need to break this sucker out. It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden a bike, but it’s said that a person never forgets how to ride one. I just hope I can survive DC traffic (which, to be honest, kind of scares this shit out of me).

We’ll see how this goes.

… and it wasn’t even Friday the 13th yet!

A lot of homeless people come to the Bookstore. Some are just down on their luck, a special few are bat-shit insane.

One gentleman, who has been coming in since before I’ve worked here, is an African-American fellow with long black hair with streaks of gray in it. He ties it back into a bun, and so has this sort of “Bride of Frankenstein” vibe going. He’s always been very quiet: he comes in, finds a chair, and that’s it. I mean, okay, he smells. Like, awful. If you’ve been around the homeless, you know what smell I’m talking about: the smell of someone who hasn’t showered or washed his clothes in, quite possibly, years.

Anyway, so last night, he’s in the store. No big deal, right?

Right, well: right up to the point where he punches some dude browsing the bibles. I only heard this second hand (I didn’t witness it, alas!), but apparently he was sitting back in the Religion section when a customer asked him to move so he could look at the bibles, when the homeless guy took offense and swung. After this, he assaulted at least one woman (grabbed her butt), and was chasing some others around. One of the managers chased him out of the store (he was huffing and puffing and barking “GET OUT OF MY WAY!” to people who were in his way and, believe me, people got out of his way).

Crazy fucking night. Honestly, I thought the dude who scrawled long obscure notes onto the covers of books and mutters “motherfuckin’ cracker” every time I walked past would’ve been the one to snap.

Avatar: The Last Airbender – actually? really, really, really good

So, true story. Last August, I was sitting in the Uptown theater with my buddy Hurley watching trailers for upcoming movies as we waited for Inglourious Basterds to start. One of the trailers was for Jim Cameron’s Avatar. After the movie, at Ireland’s 4Ps, we talked about the film and the trailers, and Hurley expressed reservations about Avatar. I’d already dismissed it: “It looks cool, but isn’t it based on a Nickelodeon cartoon?” He gave me this weird look.

Anyway, flash forward a few months, and I’d figured out Avatar and Avatar: The Last Airbender were not the same thing at all. Also I learned M. Night Shyamalan’s forthcoming adaptation of the cartoon had been forced to drop the “Avatar” from its title to avoid confusion with Cameron’s mepic (mepic = meh epic).

And then The Last Airbender hit theaters, and the reactions from everyone on Twitter before going to see it was: “ZOMG! Can’t wait!” and afterwords: “I dragged friends to see it with me and I am so so so sorry for the time you’ll never get back don’t hate me, please.”

And I started asking people about the movie, and several folks suggested I check out the cartoon. So, finally, this past weekend, on my couch with what I can only describe as a three-day hangover, I decided: why the hell not? So I added The Last Airbender to my Netflix queue which, because it is a show available for streaming, meant I could watch as many episodes as I wanted via my Xbox. So over the course of the past few days, I’ve watched nineteen episodes of the first season, with only the finale left to go (tonight!)

It should go without saying: if I didn’t like the show? I wouldn’t have watched nineteen episodes in three days. (The title, I should clarify, refers to the TV show, NOT the movie — which I am, however, curious to see. But I can wait for DVD).

The world in which the show takes place is divided into four nations: the Water nation, the Earth nation, the Air nation, and the Fire nation. Each nation basis its tribes around one of the four elements of the world, and people within these nations, known as “benders”, can manipulate the natural elements their nation identifies with. At any one time, there is a person called the Avatar, who can bend all four elements, and serves to keep peace. When an Avatar dies, he is reincarnated into the next nation of the Avatar cycle (so the previous Avatar was a member of the Fire nation, and the current Avatar, Aang, is a member of the Air Nomads.)

One hundred years before the start of the series, the newest Avatar, a 12-year old named Aang was traveling on his flying six-legged bison, when he was caught in a storm. He utilized the power of the Avatar state (a weird “he’s glowing!” sort of subconsciousness takes over allowing the Avatar to really kick ass) to protect himself in a gigantic ice ball … and then basically got frozen for a century, until two teenage members of the Water tribe – Katara and Sokka – free him and Appa (the bison).

Turns out the world’s really gone to shit: with no Avatar, the Fire Nation has launched a conquest of the entire world. Katara and Sokka (siblings) have seen their mother killed, and their father gone to war. Aang realizes he needs to complete his bending training, and enlists the two to travel to the North Pole, where he hopes to learn Water bending from a master (sadly, all the master water benders in the South Pole have gone to war). All this way, he is pursued by Prince Zuko, the banished son of the Fire Lord, who can only reclaim his rightful place with the capture of the Avatar.

The show is really good. I can’t actually remember the last time I watched a cartoon with a story arc and recurring themes. I’m a bit sad as it only lasted three seasons, which means I’m really rapidly coming up on the final episode. I highly recommend this to anyone enjoying well written, thoughtful television.

Weight Week Twenty Two: The Battle of the Bulge/Waterloo!/my birthday!

Swear.

To.

GOD.

It’s like I’m fighting the Battle of the Bulge here, like 235 is my fucking Waterloo. An hour and a half at the gym between yesterday and today, and I can’t seem to get past that magic fucking number. Or, well, get past and STAY past.

Some of this is my fault: today is, you see, my 32nd birthday, and I celebrated Friday with friends at Brickskeller. My Twitter posts were a list of what I drank:

Iceland: Viking
England: Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale
Poland: Okocim Porter
Germany: Augustinerbrau Maximator Dark (slight berry flavor)
Germany: Julius Echter Hegemony-Weiss Wurzburger Hofbrau
England: Strongbow

Okay, it may not have seemed like a lot of drinks, but it felt like it. As a friend joked at work, a thimble of beer is enough to get me buzzed. However, I did build up my alcoholic courage enough to try a buffalo burger, which is, in fact, made with buffalo meat. It tasted different from beef, but I was hard pressed Friday night to describe how it tasted different – it just did (this is why I’ll never be a food blogger: “Oh, I dunno, it just tasted different. Good, but different.”)

Also, I sat around my apartment in a daze all weekend, watching Avatar: The Last Airbender (love!), and playing Assassin’s Creed II (less gathering feathers, more killing people, please?)

So I guess it would’ve been nice if at some point (“some point” not being Sunday evening), I’d gotten off my ass and gone to the gym … but I didn’t. Heck, I barely succeeded in changing the cat litter. I also did laundry. And folded it. Not quite sure how I did that. In any case, that would’ve been a good time to go to the gym.

On the other hand … I’ve been doing a lot of exercises with those dumbbells I bought two weeks ago. There are three basic exercises I do, and I’m up to about 50 reps with each arm on all three of them — so it’s very possibly I’m losing weight in my belly, and gaining muscle in my arms. On the other other hand, if that was actually the case? I’m sure I’d be fitting into those size 38 jeans I have that keep taunting me …

In any case, I am up a pound and a half to 236, from my weigh-in last week at 234.5.