Big Fat Queer

June 28, 2010

Untitled June Post

I was just discussing with someone that the difficult part of writing a blog every day (or most days, at least) is coming up with a title. Hence the untitle of this post.

As is the case for many of you in the US and other parts of the northern hemisphere, it is damn hot. At one point today I checked the weather channel website and it was 92. Whenever it is 92 I think of Floyd the Barber on Andy Griffith in one episode sitting in his chair outside the shop fanning himself and telling everyone who passed by that it’s ninety-twoooooooo. ConEd (the NY power company) is requesting that residents in Brooklyn and on the Upper West Side of Manhattan turn off all electrical appliances except the refrigerator. That includes the air conditioner. I don’t know how many will comply, but they are trying to avoid a brownout.

The heat notwithstanding, I managed to walk a mile today. I will do some resistance tube exercises before bed. For lunch today I had some scallops and raw vegetables. That was my intent anyway. It turns out what I thought were scallops on the hot bar were really some kind of seafood fritter shaped like scallops. Tasty, but a bit more breading than I would have liked. However, that’s about the only carbs I had today. For dinner I had the remainder of the peanut butter soup I made yesterday, some Brussels sprouts and a pork chop. I have a peach I will eat later, no J. Alfred Prufrock I.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

June 27, 2010

I Thai’d One On

Tonight I made peanut soup inspired by a recipe posted in the comments on this blog, but I did a Thai variation on it. I can’t give exact measurements because I cook by intuition, but here’s the overall recipe. Sautee onions and celery, finely chopped. When the onions are translucent at some chicken stock (you can use other stocks). Then I add some salt and pepper (after the stock because the stock has some seasoning). As the stock gets hot add peanut butter until the mixture is slightly creamy. The recipe I started from then adds cream of chicken soup and milk, but I added coconut milk. Adjust the seasonings. I cooked it early afternoon and let it sit for a few hours to marry the flavors then reheated it. I served it with Sriracha (thai pepper sauce). I ordered chicken satay and Thai summer roll (raw veggies rolled up in rice paper). It was delicious.

This morning I had some pumpernickel bread with cream cheese, onion and tomato.

It was well over 90 degrees today and I did not go outside, but I did about 20 minutes of exercise with resistance tubes.

If you like peanut butter as much as I do, I recomment the peanut butter soup.

June 26, 2010

Friday Fail; Serene Saturday

I started yesterday with a bagel from Starbucks. Mistake. First of all, their bagels are 430 calories – almost all carbs. That set the tone for the day. The carbs make me crave. For lunch I had a falafel sandwich from a street cart. It was quite good, but more carbs. For the summer my office closes early on Fridays, so I went to a late afternoon showing of “Stonewall Uprising” a new documentary based on the book Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution” by David Carter. It is the best researched and most detailed account of the event I have read. It formed the basis of a video I did on YouTube last year. After the film, on the way home I stopped at Big Nick’s Burger Joint on the Upper West Side and sinned again. Oh well, at least I walked two miles yesterday in between bites of unhealthy food.

Today I am taking a break from activity. I have completed all necessary chores for the week as of last night and I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do, and I have a bit of bursitis in my right shoulder, so I have taken some pain medication and I’m chilling out watching movies. I had an onion omelet and some berries this morning. For lunch I ordered some spring rolls, chicken satay and green papaya salad from a Thai restaurant. For dinner I will have some veggies. If you merge yesterday (bad food choices, good exercise) and today (good food choices, no exercise), it’s not so bad.

June 24, 2010

Walking the Catwalk

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigfatqueer @ 10:21 pm

Sidewalk Catwalk – Norma Kamali 2

Originally uploaded by FantasticBabblings

I did not blog yesterday, but today’s food and movement are almost identical to yesterday. But first, much of today’s walking was on Broadway in the Fashion District where a new public art exhibit was unveiled today and will run through Labor Day. It’s called Sidewalk Catwalk and features haute couture pieces by top New York designers including Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg, Norma Kamali, Kenneth Cole, Badgley-Mischka, Nicole Miller and many more. The mannequins are in the pedestrian malls and they drew quite a crowd today. This picture is from my flickr feed. I posted several today and over the next few days I will post more.

For breakfast I had two Finn Crisp crackers with peanut butter. For lunch I had four of the same with slices of banana and some V8 juice. Tonight I had a turkey-ham-Jarlsberg sandwich on pumpernickel with a green salad, tomatoes, red pepper and avocado. As I said, yesterday was about the same. The only difference, last night I had fresh strawberries. Tonight I will have a mixture of fresh raspberries and blackberries.

I walked about a mile and a quarter both days (it was quite hot). I did about fifteen minutes with the resistance tubes.

June 22, 2010

Still Going

Fashion Police

Originally uploaded by FantasticBabblings

So far this has been a busy week. I am trying to catch up on a hundred random things at home and work. I think my energy level has increased because I am getting a lot of stuff done. Whatever extra energy there is, though, I’m using.

Yesterday I added another three quarters of a mile for a total of one and three quarters mile of walking. I finished the day with some dark meat chicken and steamed broccoli and stewed tomatoes. For a snack I had a couple of small peaches and a Bosc pear. I was at a little over 1500 calories for the day.

Today I didn’t eat breakfast, had a peanut butter and banana sandwich on rye for lunch. I didn’t have organic peanut butter as I have been lately. Instead I had Peanut Butter & Company’s The Bees Knees. It has some honey in it. I won’t buy this regularly, but I had a taste for it today. I had an apple for an afternoon snack. This evening I had a salad and some Finn Crisps with edamame hummus. I will have some fresh cherries later. This totals about 1350 calories for the day.

I bought some resistance tubes to get some upper body exercise along with the walking. I’ve had them for a few days and use them while watching tv. I did about 15 minutes tonight of toning exercises while watching Jeopardy.

I walked a mile and a half today. On my lunch walk I took this picture. Several of these mannequins are being set up along Broadway in the Garment District for some kind of fashion display beginning Thursday.

June 21, 2010

It’s Hot Up in Here

Not only is it the official start of summer, but here in NY it is really hot. Although today not so humid. Last night I had dinner with a friend in a neighborhood restaurant whose air conditioner wasn’t working. We stayed anyway. They had ceiling fans and all the doors and windows open, but soon the kitchen heat radiated into the dining room and by the time we left I was feeling woozy. Outside there was a breeze and I got some really cold water and shot some video for a long-term project I’m working on. Tomorrow is supposed to be the coolest day at 85.

Yesterday, after all the housework I did Saturday, I relaxed most of the day. I was tired. I did manage to get in just under a mile of walking last night. For breakfast I had a tomato and onion omelet with rye toast and half a grapefruit. For dinner I had a chef salad. I had fruit to snack on during the day, about 100 calories worth. My total for the day was 1500 calories.

Today, as part of the Living on Less theme, I made lunch and brought it to work. I had salmon salad with raw broccoli and carrots. I had some Finn Crisps with that. I am under 600 calories so far today, and I have already walked a mile.

June 19, 2010

Huffing and Puffing and Cleaning, Oh My!

One thing I have established in this blog that exercise has to be integrated into my life and not some special set aside time to engage in pointless movement. Most of my activity is walking, but I walk to get somewhere. Occasionally I take a walk just to walk, but usually it is to a destination, not in a circle. Today I did some maintenance on my apartment, including replacing some curtain rods which involved some climbing and stretching and a lot of sweating. I did heavy duty housework including cleaning rugs with a scrub brush and other general house cleaning. I have been moving most of the day since noon with a few breaks to sit down, in effect five and a half hours of sweat and effort. I am near the end. I blog now as the living room floor dries so that I can replace a rug. I can call it spring cleaning since it is still officially spring – just barely.

One of the good things about cleaning is finding things that you thought were lost. Not really important things, but at least there is the comfort of knowing they weren’t swallowed up by the universe but are still lying around the house.

I had two poached eggs on rye toast this morning. I have not eaten since then and I am getting hungry. I don’t know what I’ll have, but I’ll try to be good.

Within an hour I expect to plotz in a chair and watch mindless movies until I fall asleep. I might even have a beer. I think I’ve earned it.

June 18, 2010

Mashed Goobers

In the south a goober is a peanut. It is also is a (usually) good-natured nickname for someone who is funny, goofy or maybe a little slow, like Goober on the Andy Griffith Show. And when we were kids it was slang for a penis. When I say mashed goobers I’m not talking about the last two; I’m talking about peanut butter, and I had it again tonight. I happen to love peanut butter. It’s good, good for you and cheap. Like Elvis I like it with bananas. Unlike Elvis, I don’t fry mine in a whole stick of butter. I don’t use any butter at all.

Speaking of Elvis and food, if you watch Top Chef Masters, you probably noticed the older judge Gael Greene. She was the food critic at New York Magazine for about 40 years. In her memoir, Insatiable, she wrote about the men she had bedded, including a few great chefs plus Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood and Elvis. Yes, that Gael Greene had sex with Elvis. As she tells it, on her way out of his room he asked her to call room service and order him a fried egg sandwich. You can read the “sexcerpts” of her book here:

This morning was a peanut butter granola bar. Lunch was two roasted chicken thighs and a small salad. Dinner was a peanut butter and banana sandwich on rye with stewed tomatoes. It sounds just like yesterday. I will have some fresh cherries later. About 1400 calories for the day. I walked two miles.

June 17, 2010

Living on Less

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 11:09 pm

When I first moved to New York in 1978 I lost almost 80 lbs in three months. A major contributing factor to this was that I was poor. I worked in a restaurant and took home around $100 a week. My rent was cheap; I lived in the YMCA and paid about $30 a week. Sometimes I miss it. Life was simple. I had maid service and an answering service and I was surrounded by young hot guys. I still dream about living in the Y now and then. There were a few others who lived on my floor for a couple of years or so who were also pursuing acting or directing. A couple of them went on to great success, one nominated for an Oscar and another who went on to write and produce for television winning multiple Emmy’s. One has since died of AIDS and the other is still a successful producer and writer. Another famous, or rather infamous short-term resident was Mark David Chapman who stayed on the same floor as I for a couple of days. Apparently he was disgusted by the overtly sexual ambiance and moved to a hotel. He was such a moral person, you see. When his picture was in the paper a couple of days after he killed John Lennon I recognized him. Others on my floor did too. We all recalled that he struck us as a bit “off”… to put it mildly.

But back to being poor. I saw a Broadway show every week. Tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square (half price) were under $20 for a play and $25 for a musical. Deduct beer money and there wasn’t much left. I had one meal a day at the restaurant where I worked and that was it except for weekends. In the evening when I would normally have dinner, I would exercise instead. It probably wasn’t the healthiest way to lose, but I kept it off for five or six years, long enough for me to have been young and sexy during the fun years at the end of the 70s and before AIDS. I took full advantage of it.

You may ask how all this applies to my efforts now. And even if you don’t ask it, I pose the question myself. For the decades I have been in New York I have never seriously considered moving back to South Carolina, but as I age (57 and a half now) I realize I cannot afford to retire in New York. My expectation of fame and fortune didn’t pan out; it seldom does. But I have a good job and I can afford to save money. I wish I had taken retirement more seriously even just a decade ago. When I was visiting family and friends in South Carolina a couple of weeks ago, I realized that I can go back there. I have loved my three decades plus in the city, but New York has changed. I have changed. And there are things I want to do with my time other than work a full time job.

I have been calculating and if I am very disciplined I can retire reasonably at 62, which is just four and a half years away, which goes pretty fast. I will need to work part time for a while, but it would be in a lower stress job since there is a limit to how much I can earn and continue to collect Social Security benefits. I would need the extra money for health insurance costs until I am 65 and can file for Medicare. It makes me feel old to be considering these matters in a real way, but it must be done. The costs of living, especially rent, is substantially lower in SC than New York. While I would not live in the lap of luxury, I could live comfortably, unless of course the stock market totally tanks over the next several years – knock on wood, kenahora, pht, pht, pht.

This gives me a goal, but to achieve it I need to tighten my belt, literally and figuratively. A lot of wasted money (and I waste a lot) is spent on food: eating out, ordering in, buying luxury food items, etc. So now, in addition to making healthy choices, I need to make economic choices. The $10 or more I save by not ordering dinner (or lunch) and making it instead can go to my retirement fund. I need to be able to retire more than I need the sesame chicken. Just tips alone will probably finance a year of retirement. Furthermore, it gets me in the habit of living on less which I will need to do in retirement. And food is just part of it. More walking and public transit. I have reduced my taxi bill by a great deal, but I still take taxis occasionally when I could save that money and get more exercise in the bargain.

So there. That’s my obsession at the moment. It will be a struggle, but it is doable.

To sum up the day, I had a granola bar this morning, a couple of roasted chicken thighs with some raw vegetables for lunch. Tonight I had organic peanut butter and a banana on rye bread with stewed tomatoes and vegetables. I had a snack of roasted peanuts this afternoon. I am between 1400-1500 calories for the day. I walked two and a quarter miles.

As an afterthought, the exercise is an important part of my plan. If I am healthier my health care costs in retirement will be much lower. It will be great if I can get off insulin completely. I think it can be done.

June 15, 2010

A Day in the Country

I (rather self-consciously quaintly) refer to our Long Island office as “the country”. So I spent today in the country. It is really a commercial office park surrounded by highways, but there are a few trees, it’s spread out(compared to Manhattan) and the parking lot is bordered by grass which had that freshly mowed smell today. It is always a long day when I go there because being a carless city slicker I have to take two buses and a train both directions and a cab or bus to the office from the station. It adds 3.5 to 4 hours of commuting for the day.

I did manage to get in some walking. There is another office building about a half mile door-to-door that has a much nicer cafeteria than our building, so I walked there and back for lunch, about a mile. Added to the rest of the commute was around three-quarters of a mile, so I walked just under two miles today. The weather was much more conducive to walking than yesterday.

I had a granola bar breakfast. For lunch I had a salad with some ham and grilled chicken and an orange. For dinner I had a grilled chicken salad with some grilled onions. I will have some fruit later.

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