Fat Kid Suit


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stick a label on me, spread the bull-shit thick, manipulate everyone around you

I’m sick. Physically, mentally, and socially.

Fizz:ical (PX)

Tuberculin Zone Ahead

 

Seems I picked up some kind of lung thing in Mexico.  Despite heavy doses of miracle powders ranging from deep forest mushrooms to marine algae–I still look and feel horror show.  The other physical malefactor being stress from work issues I don’t want to elaborate on, and my own piteous incapacity to handle life…

 

gone Mental ( -MH )

Children who don’t sleep at night are creepy birds.  I was one of those wide-eyes, and it wasn’t/isn’t a hoot.

FML

So much seems to be about sync, records just don’t play right if spun even a little too slow or fast.  My reset button was intense exercise, which is unfortunate, due to pernicious injury I spend a lot of time sidelined.  If I wasn’t eating as healthfully as I am now and drinking as little–I’d be sunk at the bottom of the deep end of the depression pool.

Social defunct (S&M)

Being immune-compromised, exhausted, and synapse taxed makes it toilsome to be around others.  If you have ever worked in “the service industry” you know how unserviceable many of the bloated, baffled, boring, and banal who stumble through are.

Lately I've been lacking in flair.

Here in Palm Springs California, most of the tourist look as if just seconds before someone smashed them in the face with a baseball bat.  Stunned and confused they want me to make them a drink identical to the swill they drink back home at their neighborhood Applebee’s or Tweedledicks.

It’s painful even pretending to be interested as they tell their grating stories or stammer about how they don’t really mind homos as long as they don’t make a show of it or act, you know, too gay.  And then I’m supposed be funny,  endearing even, while I cater to their every piggish whim running back and forth for diet coke refills and extra ranch dressing.

Looking for a bridge to live under

Beyond the food service thing, I am fighting to find a way to communicate with people that doesn’t feel like it is sucking the life out of me.

TOTALLY legit


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The Pinocchio Effect

My entire life has been a sort of déjà vu.  Circular worlds, never time expressed linear, a sailor ever sailing concentric.

While living in New York City, it got so bad that I began living manic.  In love with words, I’ve never lost the desire to look up any who introduce themselves.  Sometimes I become aware of a word that I know I have never read or heard before, but then I start hearing and reading it everywhere.  In gambling and science something like this is called bunching.  The roulette doesn’t go red/black/red/black/red.  Roulette tables are for screams and grief.  Black/black/black/black/black.  So you bet redBLACK again. Bunching happens.  But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

And not only with new words, sometimes it happens with the absurd too.  Always I have deeply identified with Pinocchio.  First Disney’s little donkey boy, later the dark, much taller Italian.  Pinocchio and I are kindred—questing  for authenticity—baffled by our lies. I understand you Pinocchio, truth is overmuch revealing.

Steampunk Pinocchio Redux?

Back to NYC, the city where Paul Auster’s characters also suffer the malaise of déjà vu.   Districts for everything. Diamonds. Fur. Dance. Sex.  Books.  Advertising.  Poetry.  Sex.  And thrift.  Which is where, appropriately, I found Pinocchio.  Again.

A discard hiding in a stack of old cookbooks froze me into the posture of one slightly afraid to proceed. A very early edition of Pinocchio full with stunning pencil sketches of a gaunt but phallic Pinocchio, and his almost Uncle Lester styled Geppetto.  The girl wanted twelve dollars. I would have paid a hundred or more.  Buying that book began a month of hell and wonder.  And for the first time in my life, the circles, the impossible bunching, all of it, had a name—the Pinocchio effect.

I am especially obsessed with this turn in the story.


Few waking hours passed that month where I didn’t hear or read the word Pinocchio.  No hour of sleep was absent his name.  At first it was amusing.  Ha!  The whole world loves Pinocchio as I do.  All these people, they never mentioned Pinocchio before, not once.  Not my boss, or clients, or the hot dog guy and his passerby.  It soon wasn’t funny.  It is exhausting to wonder if you are mad.  I quickly grew tired of suspecting the world was only a theater stage, where I was the only one not acting.

I still have that book somewhere.  Hopefully in a box.  The Pinocchio incident was years ago.  I can’t remember the last time I heard someone mention him.  Years and years and not a single Pinocchio dropped in conversation.  There is a restaurant in the desert town where I now lived called Pinocchio’s.  It took courage to eat there, I went alone.  Just a place for omelets really, not a portal of any kind.

They have good breakfast burritos. Free parking in the rear! is Palm Springs humor.

 

 

 


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People are kinda creeped by what I am keeping in my fridge

If you have read FAT KID SUIT lately you know that I recently started over.  One year is plenty of time to get in amazing shape.  Unfortunately it is also more than enough time to completely fall apart and double in size.

This past Saturday was the first time in a year I went to the local Farmer’s Market with the intention of buying almost ALL of my food for the week there.  I forgot just how different shopping for a true plant-based diet is…

 

When you truly buy enough plant calories, there is little room in the fridge for anything else!

Let me give you a tour of the fridge, which friends and family have called everything from “Gross!” to “Insane!”

Top Shelf

  • Hidden from view are amazing local dates and a couple jars of raw almond butter.
  • Tangerines
  • Apples (several varieties)
  • Snap Peas
  • Local Eggs
  • Red and Gold raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Three colors of bell peppers
  • Red cabbage
  • Oranges

Middle Shelf

  • In what used to be the “cheese” drawer is cucumber, asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower.
  • Hidden from view under that drawer is a huge bag of oranges, and a big bag of tangelos for juicing.
  • Sitting in water is celery and three types of carrots.

Bottom “Crisper” Drawers

  • The bottom is mostly greens.  Kale, spinach, mache, arugula, cilantro…bags and bags of greens!

In addition to the what is in the fridge we keep several bunches of bananas and a couple bottles of wine on the counter  at all times.  Next to the fridge are some little “dry” pantry shelves…

 

Basic staples I am using a lot of since changing the way I eat back to plant-based and including some cooked vegetables.

Some of the stuff on these shelves are left overs from different things I’ve tried and am no longer really doing.  For instance the powdered greens and greens in pill form.  As you can see from the fridge pics the focus is on fresh.

Why not 100% raw?

I am not wanting to do 100% raw right now.  By not pushing for 100% I am eating less nuts and almost no raw specialty foods.  In addition to the calories I get from raw fruits, veggies, and small quantities of raw nuts and oils–I get calories from simple cooked meals that are comprised of potatoes and other cooked vegetables, tomato sauces, and delicious fresh pesto.  I limit myself to having a few servings of whole grains and eggs each week.  The cans you see are cat food, which since October have been the only meat in the house…

In just a few weeks I have gotten off the coffee ride, am drinking a lot less hard liquor, and no beer.  Done are the nightly pizzas, the garlic bread, french fries, and junk sweets.  And guess what?  The out of control and disgusting acid reflux, which had reached a level where I couldn’t even lay flat to sleep, is 100% gone.  I am exercising almost every day now, and feel compelled to do so.  I will weigh myself soon, but from what I can see in the mirror I have already dropped a lot of toxic weight.  All thanks to avoiding industrial food and doing my best to choose the most nutrient rich foods I can eat.

 


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Why I Don’t Want To Dig Ditches Anymore

I live very simply.  I have no debt and my expenses are minimal.  It’s pretty much rent, my iphone, food and fun.  I know a lot of people aren’t in that position and have kids, mortgages, car payments, hospital bills, college loans, and credit card debt.  I feel for you if that is your situation.  I’ve been there, minus the kids.

Bike NOT For Sale

Now, while I don’t have debt and a lot of bills, it’s worth noting I also have zero savings or investments of any kind.  I always have some cash in a drawer or shoe, and that’s it.  My 1987 BMW has over 250,000 miles. Someone might give me a thousand bucks for it.  But it gets me around, and I only have to keep minimal liability insurance which costs me just a few hundred a year.  I have a cool fixed gear bike that I might get $500 for if I needed to part with it.  And that is IT!

And finally, I should note that I do not have health insurance, or life insurance, or anything resembling it.

A lot of people would be extremely uncomfortable with this scenario.  I guess there are many ways of looking at it.  I am not in this situation because I am extra thrifty, or because I never had credit.  I am in this situation because I had all that, and now it’s gone.  Like a lot of people, I’ve lost money, and stuff , and credit the past three or four years.  I gotta say, it feels great.  I feel like instead of losing anything I’ve gained a feeling of freedom and increased mobility.

That said, I am ready to figure out how to really use my situation to my advantage and free myself from working at a job in order to pay my most basic sustenance level expenses.

There are things about my job (tending bar in a little Italian restaurant) that I enjoy.  On a busy night there is a rush involved in handling an overcapacity bar and restaurant. I enjoy a degree of interaction with the public, although spending five nights a week catering to people’s needs is too much.  But whether you make drinks, wait tables, mow lawns, or sit behind a desk that belongs to someone else–this kind of work is all ultimately the same.  I call it digging ditches.  Someone needs a ditch dug.  They pay you to dig it.  And every day, no matter how many ditches you’ve dug before, you dig another.

We are all digging…

 

There is nothing wrong with digging ditches.  I want to go out for a nice meal occasionally.  For that to happen there need to be competent people in the kitchen and taking my order.  But I am not funding school, buying a Camaro, or feeding children.  I feel like in my case, I should be able to find a way, or a combination of things, that I can do to pay such basic expenses and free myself to spend more time writing, traveling, or whatever else I’m into. Without digging ditches, or mixing drinks.

I’m not sure how to do this.  I know people buy and sell stuff on eBay and craigslist.  I make a little money doing freelance editing for a financial writer.  I could do more of that type of thing.  But that is really just more ditch-digging.  My brain is searching for totally new ways to look at this, it is 2011 and it seems like all the technology around us can be harnessed in ways maybe we don’t even realize yet.  I will keep you all posted.


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Sexy Apple Cider Vinegar

Not much to report yet in regards to progress.  For the record I stated I would take “baby steps” in my efforts to get my health back.

So to start with, my attention is on simple awareness.  What I do.  Why I do it.  The whole “seeing” thing.

And how it actually feels.  I’ve been noticing that sometimes I assume things feel certain ways even when the opposite is true.

So here is what I saw today in an effort to simply observe–minus expectation and judgment :

MIND

  • I look like Buddha.  At 250 lbs I have his cheeks. 
  • I sleep very late.  The past two days I made an effort to awake earlier (like in the morning), and realized I stay in bed because I don’t know what to do with myself all day.  My life is minus direction, and time only flies while I’m passed out.
  • I think I think too much.  And I’m questioning the value I place on thinking.
  • I used to look people in the eyes–almost searching theirs–now I look away.
  • The foods I eat sound so good until I finish eating them.  After, I feel heavy and less than inspired.  Even defeated.
  • I’ve lost any actual belief in my ability to accomplish anything that requires a real commitment (i.e., time/$/energy).
  • I like people less than ever.

 

BODY

Physically, besides getting up earlier, I am taking nice long walks each day.  Today the heat returned to Palm Springs, so I will wait until around 9PM to take a brisk (pace not temperature) stroll because the temp should drop to around 85 degrees by then.

The only other “healthy” changes I’ve made so far is cutting back on the quantity of coffee and booze a bit, and adding organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s) to my daily routine.

The main reason I’m taking apple cider vinegar (ACV) is to try and reset my stomach and buffer my horrific Acid Reflux.  I’m experimenting with it plain in water first thing in morning and before lunch (which is after coffee).

Late at night instead of my normal bourbon-based cocktails I mix a couple tbs of ACV with 1 tsp of natural baking soda and about 8 0z of cold water and pour it over rocks.  Not actually that sexy, but it kinda tastes like hard cider, and so far it seems to be helping.

For what it’s worth I’ve also read that ACV has a slew of other benefits (kidney cleaner, clear skin, weight loss, etc.).  I’ll report any benefits I experience.

I’ve made no other changes to my diet yet.  A side affect of the mindfulness attempts is that I am cleaning up what I eat a little here and there just because I’m kinda watching myself as an observer…


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90 day natural fitness challenge: DAY ONE! Hiking hungover…

“Ringing” in the New Year by drinking, is at best strange, and at worst just stupid.

I was the guy dispensing the booze all last night, so I didn’t actually start drinking until after the party goers left the bar.  And when I say “left” I mean grownups crying, cussing, and falling down on the way back to their cars or cabs…

Some highlights of my New Years Eve:

  • A retarded crackhead couple (I’m not being funny–I’m serious) who snuck into the party just a few minutes before the ball dropped.  Just in time for free bubbly and to have me take their photo with the woman’s camera phone–A picture I would kill to have!
  • There was also a couple who reminded me of Sigfried & Roy–except they were straight.  Picture a trailer park version of Fabio making out with a female version of Fabio who has enormous breasts.  Which Fabio kinda has anyways…

  • A woman in her seventies kept beckoning me over with her finger (not bending me over…beckoning…) and she would say things to me like, “You have the most beautiful eyes, can I stick a star on your face?”  Wasn’t long before I had two or three big silver plastic stars stuck on my forehead and cheeks.  There is probably some old guy writing a blog right now about how there was an idiot bartender at his New Year’s party that was trying to look like Paul Stanley from KISS.

  • The piano player got so drunk from steady bourbon shots that at one point he just started screaming into the microphone “SUCK! SUCK! SUCK!…SLUTS! SLUTS! SLUTS!”
  • One of the guys who played a bartender on “The Love Boat” was at my bar!  Not Isaac, the white one.  He ended up becoming an actual bartender.  How weird is that…kinda like the “I play a Doctor on TV” thing.

So after all that, I had a couple shots of tequila myself, and they knocked me on my ASS!  Damn my tolerance has lowered dramatically since I stopped being a drunk.

——————————————————————————————————————————

Today is day one of my 90 day natural fitness challenge!

Despite being slightly hungover, I accomplished my daily goal of doing some kind of intense exercise each & every day.  Now I only have 89 days left to go!

So I will be doing at least a brief post every day where I will share what I ate, and what kind of intense exercise I did that day.

Once a month I’ll post pics, my weight, some measurements and other stats.  The core of my regimen is going to be Bikram yoga and a diet high in raw foods (I’m shooting for somewhere around 2/3 of my diet being raw).

If you are curious, you can read more about the challenge here.

I am hoping this spreads and that many of you will want to join me.  There aren’t a lot of rules, and it’s  OK that you didn’t start right on January 1st.   It’s meant to be personal, and customized to help each of us accomplish whatever we feel we need to.

For me, it’s getting ACTIVE as a person and rebuilding my body, which has become a shipwreck from years of not using it and even worse abusing it.

So far there are four of us who have started as of today:

  1. Me.
  2. My brother Mike.
  3. My Aunt Carrie.
  4. And Annie!

In the next few days I will begin writing about each of them and what their goals are and what approach they are taking to get there.  Each of them have also agreed to let me post their “before & after” pics as well as interesting stats at the 30, 60, and 90 day markers!

If this seems like it might be the right time for you to join in, please check out this page which has links for you to get in touch with me!!!

DAY ONE

I wanted to start the year strong by spending the day outside and hiking through some breathtaking desert-scape!  Annie and I spent three hours hiking in the famous Indian Canyons.

The first 90 minutes we pushed really hard (we were nearly trail running much of the way), and it was mostly up.  My heart was tearing through my chest and my ass & thighs were really working it.  Great hard core sweaty workout.  Annie started overheating and taking her clothes off…

Then she passed out in a dry riverbed despite my warning her of the very real dangers of flash floods!

I let her sleep for about 15 minutes (she was up early this morning and already had done a 90 min Bikram yoga class!) and we slowed it down on the way back down so we could enjoy the views…

Today:

  1. Quart of water
  2. 2/3 of a pineapple & a banana
  3. Rigorous hike
  4. Ate 2 LARA bars while hiking and drank another quart of water.
  5. Fabulous Dinner at ACE hotel:  Spicy re-fried beans, Cojita cream corn salad, Chilaquiles (they have the best I have EVER had), plenty of hot sauce & a cold Negro Modelo!
  6. My fave raw dessert, Earth Cafe’s cherry cheesecake, which I buy by the slice at the health food store and keep in my fridge for nights like this!
  7. Goal is to finish off a third quart of water before I go to sleep later…

Tomorrow is yoga at Bikram Yoga Palm Desert & a trip to the farmers market!!!


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60 day raw food log: Day 37 Am I in California? Why Palm Springs might surprise you…

No matter what brand of politics float your boat, you’d probably agree that California is “progressive.”  This is where the hippies, potheads, vegans, homosexuals, Scientologists, surfers, health nuts, and out of work actors roost.  Californians can’t wait to plug their cars in, or even trade them in for bamboo beach cruisers that they valet at the Farmers Market. Right?

NOT in Palm Springs.

There are a lot of gay men here…but other than that I feel like I’m anywhere BUT California.

Smoking–Rat Pack style

One example is smoking.  California is famous for leading the country with it’s tough public & workplace smoking bans.

I grew up in San Luis Obispo–one of the very first places to go smoke-free.  I remember as a kid all the restaurant and bar owners bitching about it, and wondering just how the hell they were going to stay in business if people couldn’t smoke in their establishments.  Go to San Luis Obispo today and you will find one of the nation’s few thriving economies, a beautiful downtown packed with pubs and bars that Cal Poly students frequent, and lots of people eating out in some great locally owned restaurants.

San Luis Obispo’s ridiculously vibrant Thur night Farmer’s Market!

Because of the smoking legislation, California is a different place today.  Less people smoke, and people who do, smoke less. Except here in Palm Springs.

Go to the downtown PS Starbucks, grab a frappucino and find a seat outside on the patio. Now start coughing.  Spastic coughing fits perhaps.  I can’t tell you how long it had been since I’d seen an ASHTRAY on a patio table in California.  Cigarette butts overflowing from the trash can top onto the ground almost everywhere I go…

GROSS!

Palm Springs seems to be emulating Euro-style around the clock smoke-athons. Maybe that’s not shocking where you live, but for me it was like  finding out the place I just moved to doesn’t have running water.

When I go to a house party, or am getting smashed with friends in Vegas, I really don’t care that people around me are smoking.  It truly is their prerogative.  Get me drunk enough, I might even ask for a puff or two.

One of my favorite things about hanging out in Tijuana is this famous little cigar shop on the main drag.  My buddy and I always start our day there (usually around 2pm) with some fresh espresso and a cigar chosen by one of the pretty and friendly shop girls.  But when I’m at a frickin’ Starbucks in GD California? Doesn’t make any sense.

Palm Springs is REALLY hurting financially.  This is a seasonal place that makes oodles of moolah IF the rest of the country (and Canada) is raking it in.  Business owners here are lamenting the lackluster tourist turnout so far this year (Palm Springs “High-Season” is roughly Halloween through April).  And the visitors who are making the trip are spending very little.  Pure speculation here–and YES I know there are other factors–but I can’t help wonder how this place would be different if they started promoting Palm Springs (a place that used to be a SPA destination) as a healthy vacation Mecca…

Hate bikes and people who ride them?

Then move to Palm Springs!  I’m exaggerating a tad, but compared to the the rest of SoCal, the Central Coast, and practically ALL of NorCal; Palm Springs is ass backwards when it comes to bikes.

There is a “bike trail” here that is supposed to loop bikers around town.  It’s 100% RECREATIONAL and it’s mostly on sidewalks.  That’s not biking.  Trying to ride my bike to Farmers Market this morning was a logistical mess.  The official “bike routes” don’t lead to anywhere I’m trying to get to (Sad considering the Farmers Market is in the MALL’S parking lot).

Routing bikes onto sidewalk routes is dangerous. Sidewalks and bikes just don’t mix.  Not only is it unsafe and unnerving for other pedestrians, the cyclist is in danger every time the sidewalk intersects with driveways and the road.  Any concept that bikes have the right of way is lost and instead bikes on sidewalks reinforces the idea that bicycles are marginal and even maligned transportation.

I’ve been in Palm Springs for a little over three months now and I have only seen one die-hard bike commuter.  She rides a bright pink 10-speed all over the place and even does so during the SUMMER!  Good on you whoever you are.

The newer and very popular ACE hotel in Palm Springs is one of the first signs of possible renaissance here.  They turned the old Denny’s into a hip organic gourmet diner, Wealthy Orange County Dad’s bring their families to hang out for a weekend, and young L.A. hipsters wear skinny jeans even by the pool.

And ACE bless their hearts thought it would be cool to offer groovy beach cruisers for their guests to ride around Palm Springs on.  I’m literally embarrassed when I see these poor tourist trying to make their way from the hotel to the downtown area.  You can see the terror in their eyes as they are forced onto sidewalks, almost run over by weaving snowbirds, and buffaloed by impatient locals.  It could be such a neat addition to this beautiful place where you can ride around in shorts on Christmas day. But instead it’s a joke and definitely not cool.

Like inferior produce?

You’re a match for Palm Springs!

Until I found the Farmers Market I was literally aghast at how bad the produce is here.  This is CALIFORNIA dammit.  A place overflowing with great food.  Order a salad in most Palm Springs eateries and prepare yourself for lackluster greens, tossed with inferior oily dressings, and topped with nearly translucent cherry tomatoes.  A travesty.

Vintage Los Angeles Farmer's Market...Very Sexy!

Walk into the grocery stores and find not ripe for another month citrus, sad little (or non-existent) organic sections with even less ripe avocados and fruit [it’s like the store manager says “if we’re gonna order this here expensive organic shit we best get it green as hell so it lasts till we sells it].  There is no Whole Foods in the entire extended area. My local health food store carries almost no produce, and when they do it’s only for 1/2 the year!  Even though the store OPERATES a cafe & juice bar requiring fresh organic produce–INSANITY.

And the worst part?  So much healthy-beautiful-delicious produce is grown right here and in the surrounding communities!

What Palm Springs needs

I’ve thought about this almost every day since moving here.  Writing about the negatives of Palm Springs isn’t meant to detract from what makes this place so cool.  But, it’s light years behind the rest of California, and I think I know why…

Palm Springs needs more young people.

Sinatra's Palm Springs House Which You Can Rent! See The Piano Shaped Pool!

The old rat pack crowd living here is awesome.  I find them endlessly fascinating.

The gay men who have turned Palm Springs into their own Mecca have done a lot to bolster Palm Springs economy and make it a better place to live.  The working class who live here (that’s me) are the glue for the whole thing.  Almost everyone I’ve met here is friendly, personable, and fun.  They are also attracted to this PLACE and want to be here. But…

There are VERY FEW young people.  The average age here is forty four.

A lot goes into making a place that attracts young artists and thinker types (jobs/venues/etc.), I know that.  But simple things like getting this place healthier, more progressive, and accessible would go a long way.

The best case scenario I could see for Palm Springs would be adding a University (UCR has an extension campus in Palm Desert and there is a sad dilapidated but very popular community college there as well–but Palm Desert is another world away from Palm Springs even though they are so close) .  Even a small college would really balance out Palm Springs culture and business.

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians own much of the Palm Springs area and operate profitable gaming establishments including a large casino smack in the middle of downtown.  It would be interesting to see them invest in the community (which they do in other ways) by investing in a totally new kind of University.  Think of the possibilities for tribal promotion, grants, scholarships, etc.

The Coachella Valley is loaded with the very rich.  It’s hard to convey how much wealth is hidden away in the canyons and country clubs here.  And a lot of those individuals would be eager to have some campus buildings named after them I’m sure.

Thanks for reading my unsubstantiated, pulled from my ass, and probably way too long rant about my new home town!  If you live in the Palm Springs area, or have visited, please share your take!

Tomorrow I’m going to share with you some new ideas I’m having about the best way for me to continue eating raw after I finish my 60 day 100% raw-food challenge.

I think it may be very helpful for a lot of other people too, who are trying to figure out a simple way to have more raw foods in their life, and maybe even eat mostly raw…