Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Old Georgie's Come A-Callin'

As predicted in my last "Turn Back Time" post, I've been assaulted by a demonic presence, who exists only in my mind, but that's all that's needed. Like Old Georgie, the malevolent embodiment of self-doubt, fear and loathing in the film "Cloud Atlas," my devil has warped my mind, twisted my body and stomped on my spirit.

Here's a quick summary of the dynamic events of the past two weeks or so...

About two weeks ago I was just starting to feel relief from a bout of osteoarthritis pain in my right knee. The pain was sharp but not so intense as to warrant time off from work, yet it did manifest enough to prompt me to ask my co-workers to complete rounds and Synthroids without me on a couple of shifts. It was also the perfect excuse to not visit the fitness center.

Soon after the last dull ache of my knee faded and I was back to a regular stride, I started feeling a stiffening in my neck and upper right-side shoulder. I thought I may have slept with my head askew since I had imbibed and passed out a few nights. I also knew that to compensate for the weakened knee I was using my shoulder muscles in excess when exiting my car or getting up from a chair.

Feeling achy and losing sleep due to the pains, hangovers and bloat of overeating, my mood was less than cheerful to say the least. One night, a week and a half ago, David came in and he complained again about his lack of sleep and frustration with his wife's chronic illness. Since I was in no mood to be kind, I chose to bring up the issue of his slacking on the med audit duty he agreed to undertake. Then I found out that he'd also neglected to do anything of even a slight effort towards the Susan-appointed task of chart reviews. I thought of all the times in the past few months he'd said to me that he felt so overwhelmed and occupied with these reviews. I went ballistic.

I cornered him on these lapses and when he continued to defensively lie (yet foolishly since he had been so evidently exposed) I went for the jugular. I emailed to Susan the revelation of his lies and deceit on these projects and my disappointment in him. Basically signing his termination papers even though I have no real power to fire anyone.

When I told him what I'd done, after he angrily surmised that I was calling him a liar to his face, he paced around the building for a while, no doubt self-debating his options, and then just quietly gathered his belongings and left. Three hours later, at 6 am, I saw by her response to my email that Susan was up so I phoned her to let her know about his job abandonment. His own "embarq" in the midst of what must be his own "koyaanisqatsi."

Anxiety over this confrontation must have played a part in the almost immediate intensification of the neck and shoulder discomfort since by the day after, I was walloped with acute pain. This did cause a couple days out of work, and I delved into the "quick-fix" behaviors of overeating and drinking after visiting Centra Care and Dr. Gohill and getting a diagnosis from both of a muscle spasm.

Of course my weight has suffered, having regained a bit over 10 pounds in the past week and a half. The Publix Crises are easily won by Mr. Hyde, now backed by good ol' Georgie.

And the Phen? Well I still have half a month's supply but since it is totally ineffective now, I've discontinued it entirely.

So here I am, now falling headlong down into the dark abyss. Old Georgie laughing, Mr. Hyde waiting patiently to assert himself every morning without fear of being knocked down. And not a whisper of help from anyone. Rainbow Phen, Speed Racer and now even Taylor the dutiful scale have all abandoned me.

And this be the Tru Tru.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hell No!

One time, back in the day when Jay and I used to go to the parks regularly, we saw a fat guy walking past, and I jokingly instructed that if I ever got that big, I'd want him to shoot me. Well don't you know it came to fruition a few years later when I surpassed the 300 pound mark and realized, regrettably, that I had become the size of that guy in the park. Fortunately, Jay wasn't around anymore to carry out my order.

But the memory of that day didn't stop me from continuing to gain. By 2009 when I couldn't fit on roller coasters anymore, I'm pretty sure there was at least one person seeing me in the parks and asking their friend to shoot them if they got as big as me.

So now I see this in my news feed today: Saudi man airlifted to hospital for multiple life-threatening health issues as a result of weighing 1,345 pounds. (Some articles reporting on this didn't include the comma after the 1. I think it needs to go there for emphasis. If you hit four digits in weight, you deserve the comma.)

I wouldn't even think of any snarky comment like "shoot me if I ever get that big" since it may, like before, be ironically prophetic. But as an example of our modern society I will facetiously congratulate Saudi Arabia (or at least some of its populace) and welcome them to the decadent problems of the First World.

When forklifts come to rescue your fattest citizens...you know you've arrived!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Refurbished Classic

Five years ago I uploaded onto YouTube a vlog-style narrated walk-through video that I shot during one of my many visits to Islands of Adventure. Back then, using a crappy version of Windows Movie Maker, the video and audio quality was rather poor even in those days of standard 360p resolutions. My camera was actually better than average for the time having the ability to shoot in 1080p HD but the output was in .MOV format and back then Movie Maker punished users who utilized Apple technology (which .MOV (ie. Quicktime format) is, of course) forcing you to convert the video into a Windows accepted format before editing. This, along with YouTube's then-default downgrading submitted video resolutions to, I guess, compress the data to save on upload time and storage space, made for a very ugly video with scratchy, tinny sound.

Well now, YouTube has enabled users to edit videos and enhance them with features like light and shading controls, color corrections, re-cropping, and stabilization. The stabilization feature is most appreciated by me since my camera has no such feature embedded in it so walk-along vlog style clips are always shaky and hard to look at. Yay,YouTube! These features are about the only thing in recent years that I think they've done right.

So here's the newly-enhanced version of that video. I miss doing narrated park tours and think I'll start them up again soon. I was thinking of getting an annual pass next month which should last right up to Fall 2014 when the new Daigon Alley add-ons will be complete. Plus, I still have to take advantage of my now smaller size and get back on the coasters I became to fat to ride as well as experience for the first time rides like Rip Rocket Coaster and Forbidden Journey which were installed after my, er, enlargement.

Ah the perks of being more fit...being able to scream with sheer delight as I hold on for dear life. Getting healthy to increase life expectancy only to risk it for a few minutes of thrill seeking? Well that's really what living is all about, right? :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Primal Forces Of Nature

Here in this scene from "Network" we have Ned Beatty in the guise of an ersatz messenger of the gods...the gods of the secret cabal of capitalism. In this stately mahogany and marbled boardroom he lays it all out, plain and simple, revealing to the insipid Howard Beale, the epitome of a late '70s malaise-days television prophet, that the world is not what he thinks it is.

Though purposely delivered in an incredibly over-the-top maniacally-comical style the meanings behind the words he bellows out still ring true today. Likely, even more so.

Around the same time that this film was being shown in theaters, I was an innocent little boy just coming of age still doe-eyed and wet behind his small town New England ears. I was only 12. I drank milk with every meal, watched "The Waltons" and "Little House on the Prairie", kissed my daddy goodnight on the lips and knelt down beside my bed to say my prayers each night. I didn't question the validity of what I was taught. I simply believed.

With age comes wisdom, they say, but I think the years help to hone another vital tool of perception that we use to assess the reality of the world around us: cynicism.

This summer, in particular when compared to almost all past summers, has been most revealing to me; exposing the true primal forces of nature. Despite lofty aspirations and the poetic dreams of building the foundations for a future utopia, mankind is no closer to that ideal than they were in the Stone Age. Some things never change. The basest of urges still drive us. They're just better hidden now. Most of the time.

Last night, David and I had words. Finally. It had been a-brewin'. His pathetic lying and obfuscation caught up to him finally and despite being offered several opportunities to rectify the situation by simply coming clean and being truthful, he continued to rant on and on, like a 21st century Howard Beale. Yet his make-believe message was disintegrating right before him and he refused to see it.

After smoldering in a heap of defeated detritus once his situation's dire consequences were finally accepted by him, he decided to act on base instinct as a result of an adrenaline cascade to his brain. The choice was fight or flight. Since he had not a single pitifully inferior arrow in his quiver, and I had the equivalent of a Foundation Trilogy's Galactic Empire personal forcefield beaming its electrified glow all around me, he chose to flee.

So now, yet again, we've lost another night shift person. Again in a blaze of drama and controversy.

I do feel bad, you know. He did have his charming attributes and it was amusing to have Algonquin Roundtable dialogues with him. Plus, he has, if his homelife tales are to be believed, been lugging around quite a lot of baggage over the years. From a childhood of radical cult-religion brainwashing to a young adulthood filled with broken get-rich-quick dreams gone sour, he's now facing possible homelessness and bankruptcy due to his wife's chronic diseases and his ongoing inability to hold on tight to a logical framework of reality. Or even a simple freakin' job.

Maybe he can get some bloated corporate kook like this Ned Beatty character to fork over start-up capital for his tooth-whitening business idea? Sad truth of it is, if that did ever happen, it'd be David who'd be metaphorically in the middle of the woods, hunkered down in a fetal position, tighty-whities bunched down around his ankles and squealing like a pig.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Day 122: 49 Pounds

Shit is gettin' real, son!

Like the comic-yet-sardonic "Sour Ground" mock conversation I posted a couple weeks ago implies, I've come back to an old familiar place. The precipice of the abyss.

Publix Crises, the 21st century, Florida-centric equivalent of the '90's Christie Syndromes, have escalated as of the past few weeks and Mr. Hyde is unfortunately usually the winner of the self-psychobattle. Dr. Jeckyll got to smugly pour the majority of a Corona Light 12-pack down the drain last Monday but his proud victory celebration was, alas, short-lived...replacements were eagerly and nonchalantly guzzled before the week was out. Oh the endless war within myself that rages unabatedly! R.L. Stevenson must surely have been, or known well, an alcoholic.

But we'll not blame it all on the brewskis. The Fabulous Phen Rainbow Magic has faded considerably and its effects are now relegated to a subtle suggestion of satiation after eating...if I care to listen to its now-weakened whispers. Yet challenging and bizarre side effects abound and are becoming stronger than ever:

*A relentless unconscious and almost irresistible urge to chew the insides of my mouth and lips, at times to the point of drawing blood.

*The enhanced and intensified orgasms, very much like those when taking Phen's cousin, PPA back in the day, have mutated into a somewhat less intense, yet oddly unfamiliar, over-stimulation of seminal fluid (pre-cum) and subsequent rather messy orgasm.

*A down-right-bipolar-like mania presenting as an intensely loquacious burst of chelation directly following the absorption of the drug in my system. If alone during these times, you'd think it would minimize the verbalization. Nope. I can have hours long rather convoluted and complex conversations with myself. Even to the point of out-right arguments. Not really new, to be honest, but now I let my social mask down and don't care if others hear. Some of my co-workers probably think I'm readying myself to become like our residents, if I'm not already there as it is.

Oh, and the religiously-regular 3:00 am visits to the fitness center to transform into Speed Racer? The seat of that stationary bike has not borne the weight of my fat ass for a month now. Too tired, too achy, too busy, and even too hungover. Blah, blah, blah. And those 10-pound iron dumbbells I bought a few weeks ago? Sitting on the floor in my closet untouched since the day I brought them home from the store and dropped them there.

All these challenges aside though, in terms of my weight loss goal, I've definitely slowed my pace but I'm not really out of the race yet. Big ass plateau for sure but, as the data show, still losing. Only a few more pounds in the last 30 days, but losing nevertheless.

And seriously, though I stand at the edge of a great abyss right now, I think I can muster through it. The big issue will be: What am I going to be up against when I completely cease the Phen? Weird side effects not withstanding, the gentle whispers of suggested fullness ARE there, with Phen. Without it...I fear, not only will the friendly whisper vanish but I think something else...something that may have been held at bay by the Rainbow Magic powers...something else, will be there instead.

What will it be?

Not sure. But I have the sickly, sweaty-palm feeling that it won't want to play nice.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Andy Dead Cam

The Warhol Museum website is featuring a 24-hour a day live feed video of Andy's grave site. Yup, just his grave site. It's in honor of his birthday. He would have been 85 today. Who says death has to end your shot at enduring and perpetual bizarre celebrity fame? This concept mirrors his seminal film "Empire" which is an eight hour uninterrupted, non-narrated shot of the Empire State Building. Also, like his overall concept for Pop Art, it makes, through visual media, the mundane and usually-uninteresting, an object of thought-provoking focus bestowing a celebrity-like mystique upon it.

In the 15 minutes or so of viewing I gave it (get it?), I could hear at least two separate groups of visitors talking about Andy and the live stream cam. One girl could even be seen as she walked up to the gravestone and placed a memento on it. Many objects are adorning it today...silver balloons, Campbell Soup cans and flowers. His mothers grave, right behind his, looks like it got a bit of attention too. How nice.

Andy has a quote, of course, that even references his ideas about his own grave you know:

"I never understood why when you died, you didn't just vanish, and everything could just keep going on the way it was only you just wouldn't be there. I always thought I’d like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph and no name.

Well, actually, I'd like it to say “figment.”"

- Andy Warhol