Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Reason for the Season

Actually, if you want to be picky about it...

That... and Cultural Appropriation...

We're prepping for a Christmas Concert with my vocal studio at the moment.  We've got all sorts of music, but because of the season, there's a lot of God in the songs.

And that brings me back to my conflicted feelings about Christianity as a whole.

If you get down to the words written in the book, the ideas are sound.  Do unto others.  Those have have no sinned, cast the fist stone.  Blessed be the peacemakers.  It seems like a great code for life!  I'm not going to get into the beliefs about a higher power, I'm just touching on the here and now practices.

But I'm also a student of history.  And I've seen the mess that Christianity has made in the world, both directly and when they meant well.
  • The Spanish Inquisition*
  • the Crusades*
  • using the bible to justify slavery*
  • using the bible to justify homophobia*
  • Christian Missionaries (Historically and present day)*
  • Native American boarding schools*
  • The Westboro Baptist Church*
*Yes... the realities are more complex, and you could write a dissertation on the the intersections of religion, politics and society.... 

It's hard for me to reconcile the message with the action of the people that hear that message.  And it's hard not to think about the ills that the religion have done to people in the past.

I'll stick to what I've been doing.  Following what JC said to do without the crap that his fan club does getting in my way.  I was thinking about going back to a church, but I don't know.  I have a low tolerance Republican Jesus.

Fred Rogers has been in the news of late.  Not only was he a PBS mainstay, he was also a minister.  His ministry was kindness.
I think that it's a rather good way to live your life.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Starting from the beginning

Way back when, I was in Weight Watchers.  It actually worked for me.  But I quit when I switched to some of the BeachBody methods (the containers).

I’m now the heaviest I’ve ever been.  My weight is affecting my health.  I don’t feel good health wise.  I also feel unattractive and awful.

So I went back to the beginning.  I got out My Fitness Pal.  It's the closest I can get to Weight Watchers tracking without paying for meetings. I’m scanning and tracking everything.  My BeachBody friends may not like it, but this is the most in control I’ve felt in ages.

I also started a new workout program.  It’s something that I’m enjoying, and the workouts are short enough for me to do them before work.  I’m also running.  I had to cancel my plans to run the Wine and Dine in 2021.  But thanks to something unfun, I decided to run it in 2022.  It’ll take me that long to train up a half marathon again.

Now, if I could manage to pack a better lunch for work so the temptation of the vending machine won’t be as great.....

Also, I need to get up the courage to weigh myself again!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Impostor Syndrome

I’ve always been an introvert.  So much, in fact, that if I have time off of work I’ll hold up at home and not leave for days.

Why not hang out with friends?  Why not go out?

Because (while I know it’s not true), most times I feel like my existence is a burden on my friends.  Heck, we’re having a wedding reception and I’m terrified that no one will show up.

Is this true?  I don’t rationally think so.  But the nagging in the back of my mind is rather loud at times.  Why would these people want to be around you?  You’re a looser.

A bit ago I started taking vocal lessons.  It was something I’d always wanted to do.  I was soon swept up into the fall concert.  Then they gave me two small solos.

Going to rehearsals has been tough.  I spend time freaking out that I don’t deserve the solos, no matter how small they are.  (Like seriously... it’s 2 lines of 2 different songs). I’m a crap singer that has been taking lessons for 2 months, that inner voice says.  Everyone will laugh at you, the voice whispers in my ear.  

What am I going to do about it?  Just keep plugging away.  Keep working with the vocal lessons.  Keep screwing my courage on and interacting with my friends.  Fake it till you make it.

Friday, July 5, 2019

You win some, you lose some...

One of the reason that we married in the first place was to eventually buy a house.  Well, we got the ball rolling.  Got pre-qualified.  Found a real estate agent.

We then got smacked with reality.  The houses I was looking at, in the location I was looking at them in were WAY too above our budget. I was budgeting with money that we didn't have.

So (all with my brother visiting, might I add) we had a talk.  We decided to spend the next year saving money, cutting unnecessary spending, weeding out things from our current place.  We've had some expenses crop up in the last year that we didn't anticipate.  Like having a tree fall on our cars and having to buy new ones.  And I think we're at the point where I need to invest money in allergy shots.

I really wanted to move.  I wanted to get away from sharing walls with people.  I wanted more space.  But I also want to afford to live someplace AND eat.  I've been foreclosed on before, and it SUCKS.

Along with the rather tough talk about money, we also talked about Disney.  And how expensive it is.  Even if we do have the time share... the price of park tickets alone makes one shudder.

So we're cutting back to every other year.  And since I'm standing up in a weeding AT Disney in 2022, that means that there will be no 2021 Wine and Dine Half Marathon for me.
I'm ok with that.  I might register for a half marathon in town for that time.  Keep the momentum going.  Maybe try for 2023?
But regardless, We now have a plan, and I feel better when I have a plan.

  1. Cut unnecessary spending
  2. Look at where our money DOES go and see if we can reduce it
  3. clean out this place (maybe we can use a smaller house in the long run if we have less stuff!)
  4. Keep up the training, and step it up
  5. Profit?

Monday, June 17, 2019


For ages, the Spousal Equivalent and I declared that we didn't want or need to be married.

Then 2 things happened

  1. I realized that I'm getting older.
  2. We have WAY too much stuff for the house that we have.
Because marriage gets you benefits when it comes to end of life and medical decisions... and the need of a mortgage.. we decided to get married.

Shocking, right?

So we got ourselves a license.  A friend performed the ceremony.  This is shorter than it was, but not by much.

And honestly, that's how we wanted it.  We've been together for 10 years.  We live our marriage every day.  We don't need a white dress or a church.
We're still having a wedding reception.  But that'll be at a later date.  Have you been to Virginia in the summer?  it's hot!

Monday, June 10, 2019

It's nice to have some hobbies.

When I was in High School I was a musical theater kid.  I performed both on stage and worked back stage.

College came, and I moved my work to the backstage region.  I was good at it too.

But in the last few years, I came to realize that I have absolutely no hobbies.  I work, I come home, I cook dinner and clean, I go to bed.

So I decided to get a hobby!  I started vocal lessons!  I get to sing show tunes for an hour a week.  For the first time in ages, I look forward to something!  I have something that gets me out of the house after work.

But with everything in my life, there is also guilt.  At times  feel guilty that I'm out of the house and not home cleaning.  I feel guilty that I'm not spending my time taking care of my family.

But then I realize that you can't pour from an empty cup.  My life doesn't need to revolve around what I should be doing.  I'm allowed to do things for me once in a while.
In fact, I'm going to be in a show in September.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Thank goodness it's over.

I've had a few things go on in the last month.

  • Commencement
  • Some weird health issues
Commencement is the same issues every year.  It's 2 hours of herding cats, then a speed through to the finish.
This year Mother Nature had another plan.  We had to call the Rain Plan, since our ceremony was under a tent.

That meant that we were moved to a gym.  A big echo-y gym.  We rolled in at 3 and had an hour to figure out how we were going to run things.  

By the grace of some deity, we did it.  All the students got their diplomas.  The refreshments were eaten.  Sadly, we ran out of cups for the beverages.

That was my capper to a weird month, which started with a pounding heart.
A few weeks before we were getting ready to go to Busch Gardens.  The excision of putting on my damn pants caused my heart to pound.  Like, I had to lay down.  I assumed it was a panic attack, since panic attacks mimic heart attacks.

It wasn't just that.  I wear an Apple Watch and noticed that my heart-rate was running a little high.

After going to the gynecologist and having my blood pressure super high it was decided that I needed a talk with my primary doctor.  I was prescribed the following:
  • a new blood pressure med
  • changing my diet
  • exercise
  • lower my stress
The exercise is going well.  The new medication is going well.  The diet and exercise are still a work in progress.  We're putting some effort in the healthy eating!

The de-stressing is going to take some work.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Sleeping In

It's Spring Break at work.   And even though I don't actually get the sacred college holiday off, I decided to use a vacation day today.

I slept in and went out to get breakfast.

And I felt guilty.

Why?  Because I took one of my rightfully earned vacation days.  heck, I didn't take a vacation day. I'm taking leave I earned by working overtime!

I felt guilty for not being at work.  And I'm not alone.  Before carefully busting my behind to leave work knowing that I don't have any pressing deadlines, I asked for a day off.  My Department Chair enthusiastically granted it.

For some reason, Americans have been taught to work until they fall over from exhaustion.  We're made to believe that taking the time off that we've been granted makes us less productive and somehow less than in our boss's eyes.  There are studies about it.  There are also theories.  But at this point it's so ingrained in our culture, it's hard to get around.

So now that we've established that I geel guilty for taking time off.  What am I doing?  Shopping?  Going to a museum?  Going out to lunch?




and taking out the trash.

Well, we all have to start somewhere.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Rent: Not Quite Live....

from PopCrush
(This may be edited when I watch it again)

Rent... I've been waiting for it for years.

I had my snacks all ready when I saw those little words at the bottom of the screen:  Previously Recorded.


The internet told me what happened.  Brennin Hunt's foot was broken during last 10 minutes of Saturday's Dress Rehearsal.  The one they record as both a rehearsal and a back up recording.  Sadly, the back up now became the show.

The live audience saw views like this:

Before I get into anything else, I think the biggest regret is that the cast won't be able to give the performance they intended to give.  Some of the vocals weren't there, and I wonder if it wasn't because some of the performers were "saving it" for Sunday night.  We'll never know.

As per usual... I live tweeted the whole damn thing!

The vocals seemed to be rather shaky.  Especially Valentina's  Like seriously.. it was bad.

Jordan Fisher was spot on in all aspects.  He's a good actor and a fantastic singer.  Brennin Hunt was there vocally, but the acting wasn't.  The show starts with them, so it had to be good, and it was.

People noticed some lyric changes right off the top.  They specifically set it in 1991/1992, which is a nice thing for the younger audience that might not understand the AIDS Crisis of the 80's and 90's.  The show portrays the found families that many LGBTIQ folks of that era had (mainly because they were kicked out by their bio families for being themselves.  And I think younger people today forget that AIDS back then was a death sentence.  By naming the specific time, you remind people of the grim time in NYC this was.

But man, the opening number was electric... then Today For You came on.

Valentina's vocals were there during the soft parts, but her big number was.... odd.  I was especially wondering if she was saving her voice.  I think she could have done with some intense vocal coaching.  The performance was almost there!

So the show goes on... and then we get Maureen (Get it?  brown Cow Stunning?)

She definitely didn't phone it in for the rehearsal!!

I mean, Maureen and Joanne were amazing!

As I watched, Twitter would explode if they changed lyrics, or did anything out of the norm for the show...

But I loved staging, and the set.  When you have the advantage of cameras, you can use some inventive staging!

Did anyone notice Roger's costume change just before contact?  In the musical beds scene?  Where he is in a rob and takes Angel's place in the hospital bed?  Were they implying that he was hospitalized for a bit?

The second half picked up, then we got to Contact.  I'm SHOCKED they let it go on!  (Network TV and all...)

Then we got to the Cover You Reprise.. And Brandon Victor Dixon brought us to church.

Which then led us to this moment:

(hear that?  it was my hear breaking)

But honestly, this sums it up:

The show was uneven.  It was a show that no one expected would be seen by everyone.  It's the show that we got.

And I enjoyed it!

Now NBC and Hair... get some darn understudies!!!!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Getting my sh*t in order!

How many people are making that resolution to get into shape?

Like everyone?

I've re-made that resolution myself.  I'm getting winded walking up the stairs.  It's really bad.

I've made these resolutions before, but sadly, I need to do it again.  And I'm publishing this to keep me honest.

1.) Working on my physical fitness.

  • I'm starting Transform :20 on the 14th.  It's a 6 week program.  I need to challenge myself not to half-ass my workouts.
  • Continue my weekly OrangeTheory class!
  • Take the stairs at work!

2.) Get back into running.
  • I need to pick a inspirational race.  I need a race to train FOR
  • Start running two or three days a week starting in the spring.
  • Don't skip my Saturday long runs.

3.) Working on my nutrition (and hopefully my weight)
  • Get back into the 2B Mindset eating plan (with a bit of modification to deal with my acid reflux)
  • Continue to work on smaller portions, and using smaller dishes to help that.
  • Meal plan and eat more meals at home

4.) Working on my spending
  • Now that Christmas is over, I need to stop buying stuff!!!  I'm setting a monthly "mad money" budget
  • I'm actually deleting my credit card info from some websites, to make it harder!
I know that these are all resolutions, but I do have action steps and outcomes.

Today is January 4th