Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm sorry. So sorry.

It's been awhile, yes. Forgive me. I was in the warm Texas sun soaking up music, sun and booze for 4 days. Sunday - Tuesday involved lots of depression over being home, so I had to wait till my typical quirkiness returned before hopping on the keys again.

Can one label themselves quirky? Did I just color outside the lines?

Before I leap into recapping my faves of faves du weekend, I will give you a brief update on the experiment. After 4 days of beer and TexMex, coupled with very little sleep and no exercise other than walking and standing all day, I managed to maintain my weight. A minor miracle. A major miracle woulda been coming home down on the pounds. I'll take what I can get, however, and I'll happily roll along.

In updating some co-workers at lunch, I will say that I am down about 16 pounds from New Year's Day. Of course, the holiday season puts a wicked bloat on almost anyone, so a lot of that weight was easily expendable. Since my experiment started, I am down 4 pounds, which has stayed steadily gone. And good riddance.

Now. Onto Austin.

I will list for you all the bands I merit worth listing from my SXSW recon. There may be relevant commentary, there may be irrelevant commentary. On we go.

Deer Tick.
Just missed Deer Tick's sold out show at Empty Bottle in Chicago a few weeks ago, so I was super-juiced to see them at SXSW. I've coined a new genre term for them. Oil can honky tonk. We're talking baggy Wranglers, not-meant-to-be-funny belt buckles, cigarettes pinched twixt the 6-string, raw and dirty vocals and absolutely no bullshit. The kinda guys you'd expect to stroll out to your car at a Mississippi service station and shoot the shit with you, never bothering to remove the smoke from their lips. These guys sound a lot raunchier live than anything I've heard online. More swagger to boot.
The sounds of Deer Tick

The Bird and The Bee.
Cute girls in primary-color baby smocks. That was my first impression. Didn't even know the outfit was really a female/male duo. To me, it was all about the girls. Sweet and bubbly pop. Choreographed moves, which were also adorable, and made me feel like they gave a shit about stage presence and putting on a good show. TBaTB got extra lucky in that the sun was twinkling brightly overhead when they took the stage. And that I had an El Salvador beer in-hand. I had a smile on when they entered, and a teeth-a-plenty when they exeunt.
The sounds of The Bird and The Bee

The Temper Trap.
Australians playing a British Music Embassy showcase, weirdly enough. Sure, they were once occupied, and sure, they've got the Union Jack within their flag, but Australia had it's own showcase, yes? Regardless, they were fabulous. Going back and listening to them online now, they sound worlds away from where I stood that night. Of course, that happens often.
The sounds of The Temper Trap

Echo and the Bunnymen.
My God, they still sound so good. With a "Born on" date of 1978, these dudes were kicking ass while I was still wetting the bed. Okay, fine, I wet the bed till I was 9, is that what you wanted to hear?
The sounds of Echo and the Bunnymen

Dent May and His Magnificent Ukulele.
If you read this blog with any semblance of regularity, you'll know that I recently saw Mr. May and his Uke here in Chicago. Typically, I wouldn't waste my time at SXSW seeing a band I'd seen before. Too many others to discover. I made a special exception for Mr. May, and am glad I did. It was interesting seeing people amble in and oogle him. He's a very odd bird. I love odd birds.
The sounds of Dent May and His Magnificent Ukulele

Now that we've covered the highlights, let's shift into regrets gear.

Bands I missed that I am kicking myself for:

Hot Leg
I didn't even know Justin Hawkins had a side project. Well, is it considered "side" if The Darkness is no more? Last I heard, Justin was swearing he'd never be able to tour again due to his battles with drugs and alcohol. And so here he is again, with his straight from Hair Metal Outer Space voice. My God, that man's got pipes. Hearing the new stuff makes me sad for the demise of The Darkness, which was so over the top. Codpiece rock. One of my favorite records of all time, their debut. At least Justin's out and about again. That little belting elf was selfish to try to hide his shit from the world.

Justin Townes Earle
A Bloodshot boy, and I still haven't managed to see him. Missed him at CMJ and at SXSW. He's got a solid twang and a Faces of Meth mug. Named for Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle, so what's not to love therein?

Scorpion Child
Some good ole Waterloo, TX boys. Aryn's got the pipes of Chris Cornell, but they sing about much more bad-ass topics, such as living with witches and heart attack thighs. They are my proof that good solid raunch rock is on its way back in. And I've baked it cookies to welcome it home.

The Pepper Pots
A Spanish soul/ska trio of some cute gals. The Pepper Pots. What a cute name. You just wanna love them from the name alone. I wanna be a Pepper Pot.

The She Creatures
Again with a female gimmick band, but I don't care. British alien-chick band, with crazy blue wigs, but damnit, I like the way they sound. They harmonize nicely, and they just so happen to look stellar in silver.

These guys can't be serious. I guess if they are, I can get over the evil feeling from mocking them. Not my usual type-a thing, with the duo DJ set-up, but these guys fold in the funny nicely. Makes you wanna listen to what's being said, not just shake yo' ass.

More Or Les

The one rapper on this year's docket that I really wanted to see. Reminds me a little of a cross between Fresh Prince babied up with Del Tha Funky Homosapien. Clean and clear, with little to no street-shit goin' on.

Cancer Bats
Hard rock verging on metal. From Canada. Now, usually, the Canadian association would turn me off like mom jeans, but these guys are sufficiently harsh. With titles like "Lucifer's Rocking Chair" and "Pneumonia Hawk", you know they have to have a sense of humor.

Considering the list above, you'd think I missed more than I saw. Not the case at all. I saw a lot, just didn't feel the need to shout from the rooftops about all of it. Could've been the ultimate case with the bands listed above had I seen them live.

At SXSW this year I decided 2 things:

I need to stop doing shots. For good.

Everyday should be SXSW. I need to commit to see more live music. No worries, team, I am on the way to making good on that as we speak. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Did I Miss Again? I Think I Missed Again, Uh-Huh.

Did I do an update at all yesterday? I didn't even look to see.

Today's post will be a little bitchy, to be sure. Had such a shitty afternoon yesterday that it's "carried the one" into today.

In honor of the faboo Phil Collins, I will type to his tunes today.

Yesterday, I went for a little run after work. Aimed for a 30-minute kick-ass sesh, and then upstairs to get ready and head back out to meet co-workers for a little St. Pat's revelry. Grabbed my keys and stuffed them in my moisture-wicking jog bra, not even looking at them. Out the door I went.

When I was finished with my little fun run, I dug around in my sweaty bra to pull out my key. Yep, grabbed the wrong damn key. As the sick feeling sunk in, the piss clouds began to gather.

Walked over to J Patrick's to see if they'd let me use their phone to call my building management company. Of course, I don't know their number off the top of my head, so I needed to look it up. They didn't really offer much help. Guess this means I'll spend a little less time and money at their establishment, even though they are mere doors down from me. On over to 5-Star where Raquel was a shining angel. Raquel whipped out her laptop and tried to help me look up JS Huron, my management company. Then, she offered her cell phone to try to 411 them. Fuckers aren't listed. What dicks.

The crap icing on the crap cupcake here is that the only phone number I know by memory in this town is Mike's. The only person who has my spare keys is Mike. Where is Mike? Mike's in Aruba, where we were supposed to be together on vacation. Before we broke up. So, I got to sit on my stoop and think about that for a cool 3 hours yesterday.

As I sat, I tried to think of a plan. I thought of a few, and all of them were mapped and then consequently aborted in my head. One plan I executed was climbing my fire escape to try to break into my window. My fire escape is pretty rickety, and I am on the 4th floor of a walk-up. Once you pass the 3rd floor, you hit the ladder level. So, here I am, climbing a rickety, rusty ladder with shaky muscles from my run. Thank God I have had a Tetanus shot in the last few years. I was sure I was gonna die up there, staring at the ground and the shaky ladder. As I climbed onto my half-landing and backed up to the window, I remembered that I'd had it fixed. Yep, it wasn't coming open. Back down the ladder I went.

During all this madness, I was buzzing every apartment in my building. There always seems to be someone around. All of us have weird comings and goings, so someone had to be there. After buzzing a good round of 5 for each unit, I then buzzed every 15 minutes for 3 hours. Guess no one was home.

Waiting for 3 hours is boring shit, people. I had to busy myself or I would lose my mind. I picked up every piece of trash from our building lot. That took a good half hour and was totally disgusting. I think the kids in our neighborhood are dealing drugs in our lot, because I found lots of tiny plastic bags, one even imprinted with the Superman logo. Isn't that designer acid? Jesus. That's good news.

I watched all sorts of people cross our lot as a shortcut. Something that chaps my hide, since I know they are the a-holes dropping all the trash on their way through.

I watched some birds play and wondered if they were friends.

I watched the trees above slap into each other with their naked branches, and delighted in the happy clicking.

I watched neighbors coming and going, some walking their dogs in the beautiful weather, while Minnie Pearl was upstairs, trapped in my apartment with my keys.

And then. I watched the dryer vent doors swing on. Someone was home in our building. The whole time. And didn't let me in. I ran over to the basement windows and started banging. I knew they were in there. Saw the basement door open and close through the window, and banged on that, shouting for someone to come out and let me in. Nope. That's one committed a-hole in there.

This is why I committed years ago to never fall prey to Bystander Syndrome.

At this point, the piss clouds weren't just drizzling anymore, they were full-on cumulonimbus.

When a neighbor finally came to my rescue, I was hellbent on finding the traitor inside my building. Funny, no one answered the knocks on their doors. Thought of leaving a nasty note on the dryer, but control prevailed.

With all that time to stew, I was out of control, and my plans for the evening were ruined. I sat in the dark for a bit with a bottle of red and waited for Paty and Marisa to come to my rescue and talk me down. Thank God they did. I have some really good friends.

Dark times indeed. This girl needs a vacation. Good thing she's getting one tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Falling Off the Blogwagon

Okay, okay. Sorry I have been remiss in keeping these 3-a-day posts going. I promise to get better. At least until I head to Austin on Thursday morning for SXSW. There'll be a little break in programming till Monday or so, while I wrassle some beers and indie-skinny-jean boys in The Republic.

This weekend was pretty much a success. When I think of all the slippery chutes I coulda fallen down, I am pretty proud of all the ladders I managed on, up and out.

Friday night was my night off. Suppose it mighta counted for my entire day and night off. No gym on Friday, and a cocktail fiasco to end all others. Ended up at Mid-America Club with Moni, doing tequila shots. Not what I thought was gonna happen when I dressed up on Friday morning, thinking I was going somewhere respectable. I guess if the joint were respectable, they woulda bounced me immediately upon my invasion.

After Mid-American, Moni and I rolled on over to 5-Star for some din-din. Apres le din-din, I was dropped at home where I dabbled in my usual drunk baking. Poor Minnie Pearl had batter on her ears and back the next morning. My little muffin.

Saturday I was the model of composure. A huge drinking day in Chicago, maybe even bigger than Halloween and New Year's combined and little homegirl here only had 2 beers. Wanted to be social with my Homey Loves Chachi sweethearts and head out for a little Erotic Photo Hunt after our show. Town Hall was packed to the gills, and I got way tired of being butt-bumped all night, so I headed home. Didn't even meet up with The Devs on their urban prowl, though now I wish I had. The photos look pretty funny.

Sunday was gorgeous. Skipped my Ladies Who Brunch club and stayed home to make myself a respectable meal. Met up with Casey after brunch to take Goose to the Wicker puppy park. Got a dose of Vitamin D, then decided I'd head home for a run instead of holing up indoors at the gym.

Maintained through the weekend. My willpower grows daily. I feel myself hunkering down further and further, winding my hands in the rope for better grip. Summer's right around the corner. San Juan and Austin are breathing down my neck, and that neck will be svelte, damnit!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Man, It Was Hard to Get Outta Bed This Morning

Yesterday was a two-solid-meals day, and you'd think I'd have more energy today. Welp, I don't. I had to peel myself from the sweet, soft sheets this morning. I had wrinkles all over my face and body I was sleeping so hard. Dreaming of going to a hootenanny in Tenis, IL. I am sure such a place does not exist in real life. Funny how I said the name over and over again in the dream, making sure I was pronouncing and spelling it right. Yes, Tenis, IL.

I didn't take any Hoodia yesterday. Think that's why I'm tired? Of course, I had a frenzied day yesterday. Minnie to the vet, straight to the gym to whoop some ass, up and down my 4th floor (and down into the basement) maybe 10 trips last night. Could those be culprits? Not sure, but I am exhausted.

Yesterday's solid food treats included corned beef and cabbage with pureed carrots for lunch and a turkey burger and kale for dinner. Weight went up a little this morning, though that doesn't bother me at all. Maybe I should go back to once a week weigh-ins, but I think it's pretty interesting to watch your body's fluxes more closely. If you don't let it unravel you.

There was a milestone, so to speak, yesterday. I entered a new tax bracket. Crossed a state line. Closed a door and opened a window. All ways to say I dropped into a new weight bracket. Always a nice thing to see. Something to give you impetus to push harder, go lower. Of course, here I am going into the weekend. Weekends are hard.

I will try to step up my blogging. It really only takes 5 minutes or so to whip one of these things out. They're pretty stream-of-consciousness, with little formality.

Networking cocktails after work today. Let's see if I can keep those to a minimum and avoid the food dangers that result.

Quick note. Mexico's location and dates have been changed. Now going to San Juan at the end of April. Gives me more time, which is good. Longer to wait for warmth, which is bad. Thank God Austin's next week. I am tired as hell of this winter.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Another Milestone, Despite Further Resistance

Another 2.5 pounds this morning. This is a total of 6.5 in just over a week. I even ate 2 solid meals yesterday, so this is a nice surprise. For breakfast, eggs, lunch was liquid, and for dinner, a turkey burger, kale and some beans.

My brother called last night. He was alerted of my liquid diet by one of our friends. He asked me all sorts of questions, which I told him he'd already have answers to if he'd been reading this blog. He expressed his concern, and I added it to the list.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to know that people care about me, but I also think a lot of people just don't identify. Without having walked the road I am walking, it's impossible for them to identify. Who do I think would understand? Let's see... Kirstie Alley? Carnie Wilson? Ricki Lake? Wow, that's quite a group.

I feel quite bright-eyed and bushy-tailed today. Liquid breakfast, solid lunch, and we'll see how I feel after the gym about what to eat/drink for dinner.

SXSW is one week away. I'll be forced off my trike by being removed from my regular day-to-day, which makes it easy to succeed. Should I find a gym? Should I run in the heat? I'll figure something out. Gotta counteract the drinking and lack of sleep that's sure to tear at my seams. And obviously, I'll need to stay away from Home Slice Pizza this time around. Damn, that shit is good.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The First "Incident"

Coming home on the bus yesterday, I had the first real "incident" of my experiment. I believe the whole shebang was my own fault, and I will explain why now.

Once a day for the past 2 days, I'd enjoyed a cup of "Get Regular" Yogi tea. This was in an effort to keep things "on track", if you feel me. Yesterday I began to feel a little rumbly in my tumbly, yet was distracted at work and let it ride. Big mistake.

So here I am, trapped by bodies on the Grand bus. The rumbling turns into pain, sharp shooting pain. "Uh-oh", I think. Time to stand up. Standing up didn't alleviate the cramping. Sometimes it does, but this time the strategy failed. Here's when panic starts to kick in, and panic does nothing but feed the fire.

The blood starts to drain from my face and I feel light-headed. A pass-out is coming if I can't exorcise the demons. It took a whole century to cross one intersection on that packed-ass bus. Got off at the Grand Blue Line stop and felt my knees going weak. My body started to hum with electricity. For you fainters out there, you know what I am talking about.

I can hardly believe I made it across the 3-intersection cross to get into Blue Iguana. I kept pushing myself, knowing that if I dropped in the street not only could I get runt over, but it would be an embarrassing spectacle with a traffic stop and strangers, etc. Eff that.

I must've looked like a ghost when I dragged through the Blue Iguana door. Don't think I made eye contact as I huffed, "Bathroom?" and tried to keep from puking on the floor.

Locked myself in the bathroom, still trying to keep on my feet.

For anyone who's ever experienced an IBS attack knows how scary they are. Couple that with the powerful fainty feeling I had, and we've got a disaster. Good thing about these attacks is that once you shed the toxins, you're fine. It took awhile, but I felt my body reboot, buzzing back to life, back to into focus.

After that, I was fine. Totally fine.

I am sure if I hadn't ignored by body all day at work, the attack would've never happened.

So, here I am post liquid lunch the next day. Liquid for dinner last night, eggs for breakfast and a liquid lunch. I did make a stop at the grocery store last night after Watchmen to buy loads of turkey (protein), egg whites (protein) and raw veggies. Think I should add some light solids and proteins into my daytime habit.

Time to evolve, methinks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Fat Gym Rat

Got another *tsk tsk* today. I've been warned against crash diets. Is this a crash diet if I've been trying all sorts of things and nothing's working? Is it a crash if I am working out and consulting a previous trainer for advice?

2 years ago I weighed 30 pounds less. I would not call myself a sedentary person, so where did this bulk of weight come from? I started taking some meds a couple years ago that I think may be (partly) to blame, but these meds I cannot come off of. So what to do? I'm not a lazy dieter who focuses on food alone, and won't get her ass off the couch to exercise. Oh no. I kick ass at the gym. I'm in there with the musclehead packs, lifting weights. I'm sweating all over the place during cardio, because if you're not sweating, you're not working hard enough.

I don't feel like I eat horribly, in that I am not a fast food person, I love my veggies, and I try focus on things that are good for me. So why has it been such a bitch of a chore?

People claim it's not true, but there are people who are born thin and will stay that way forever with minimal effort. And then there are people like me who are very into health and may not look like it. Which sucks holy ass.

There was an episode of House on last week that made me hate Dr. Chase. There was a little girl who had a heart attack while jumping rope at school. I believe she was 9-10 years old and being teased horribly by her classmates. Children can be real rat bastards if you ask me. But, I digress. The girl ate healthy, exercised and was still big. It was wrecking her emotionally, as she could find no friends but her mother. Dr. Chase constantly made bitchy remarks about her, suggesting she stop stuffing her face, get off the couch, etc. He was a real dick. Still hot with that accent, but a dick. Turned out the girl had glandular problems, and once the renegade catalyst was removed, the weight dropped like magic. This episode of House exposed the idea of fattism, which Chase clearly is. Of course, who doesn't, truly?

My takeaway is that you can't look at someone and tell how hard they are trying. There are gals at my gym who are there religiously, kicking ass. They are no skinny minnies. Then look at some of the girls who went to my old gym, who refused to break a sweat on minimal-resistance elliptical machines. These girls for sure were pounding burgers at lunch, and still seemed marathon runners compared to others.

Points to ponder, people.

It's a Beautiful Mornin'

11:10 A.M. on day 7. One week, one whole week. I didn't die. My heart didn't burst like a trodden grape.

Yesterday was a bit of a downer, as I was feeling the direct results of my Bacchanalian weekend. My weight all came back, and with it a horrible flush of realization. Then, last night, I went out to dinner, and controlled myself somewhat. And today? Today, my weight's back down to where it was at last week's low.

So, I've got my fight re-injected and I'm ready to throw down.

I'm trying something new for week 2. I ate 2 scrambled eggs and some salsa verde this morning for breakfast. I'm going to try moving my solid meal around. Tonight I am supposed to go see Watchmen, so it'll be easier for me to do a liquid dinner. As I've said before, when I am sitting home at night with no plans, I feel the need for the ritual of food. It's not just the feeling in your belly of being full, it's the actual motions involved in feeding yourself that trigger your brain to know you're satisfied. If my mind is out and about when I'm out and about, I don't need that ritual.

So today's line-up will be liquid lunch and dinner. Gym after work before Watchmen. Tomorrow, I am hoping we'll see another drop.

Cross your pingies.