Big Fat Queer

February 18, 2011

Rufus is a Daddy

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigfatqueer @ 7:09 pm
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On his website today Rufus Wainwright announced the birth of his daughter. It doesn’t mention in the article, but the biological mother (Lorca Cohen) is the daughter of Leonard Cohen.

One of the baby’s names is Katherine. I wonder if she is named for Kate McGarrigle, Rufus’s mother who died a little over a year ago. That led me to Google and I ran across this article of Rufus, Martha and Anna remembering Kate after her death. It moved me and I thought I would share it here.

Chicken Fresco from Ruby Tuesdays

I had a business lunch today at Ruby Tuesdays, not a place I go to often because there is too much temptation to eat high caloric crap (much better than the low caloric crap). I had Chicken Fresco, grilled chicken with slices of tomato and a balsamic sauce (thinner than the picture, which is from the web, not my picture). Instead of potatoes I had string beans. Probably about 600 calories.

February 17, 2011

Pork Products and Veg

Tonight’s dinner was boneless spare ribs and steamed vegetables, including broccoli, spinach, choy sum and snow peas. About 700 calories, totalling about 1400 for today. I will have some pineapple chunks and lychees (as pictured yesterday) after this post.

I walked about a mile today. I wanted to walk more after work because it was such a mild day, pleasant for walking, but It was a hard day at work and I did a lot more physical movement, including lifting and moving things, than usual. I was exhausted and dehydrated. After dinner and a bit of rest, I did do some house cleaning, so in addition to the walking this morning I had a more than normally active day.

As is often the case, I’m too tired to be interesting or insightful, but I think blogging what I eat helps, even if I have nothing witty to say. I hope I have something more to offer soon.

Salad with Shrimp and Steak

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 1:37 pm
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Lunch today is a salad with romaine, shrimp, steak, hearts of palm, braising (craisins, damn auto-correct!) dressed with white balsamic vinaigrette. Tasty and about 600 calories. Not pictured two chocolate truffles 160 calories. Yes I’m counting them in the day’s total even if I don’t show them.

February 16, 2011

I Eat, Therefore I Blog

I have blogged pictures of all my food today. You can click to embiggen. Maybe it will help to keep me honest. For lunch I had the salad in the last post, which probably totalled about 400 calories with dressing. For dinner I had steamed vegetables (spinach, snow peas, bok choy, choy sum, with steamed shrimp, chicken and beef, with a peanut sesame sauce, and a little over half cup of brown rice, about 600 calories. The Chinese joint I order from includes complimentary pineapple chunks and lychees with each order. I will have that after I post this, less than 100 calories. It isn’t exactly a pint of Hagen Daaz, but it’s something sweet and healthier.

I walked about a mile today. The weather is warming up. For the last two months it has been brutal in New York, many feet of snow and very low temperatures. It has been difficult to walk outside, but that is changing. I bought a foot spa today that heats and massages the feet as well as creates bubbles in the water, like a jaccuzi. I will see how it works tonight. As I have mentioned in this blog before I have a lot of issues with foot pain. Maybe this will help.

Asian Salad For Lunch

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 1:29 pm
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Romaine, spinach, edamame craisins, avocado, carrots, grilled chicken, mandarin orange sections, sundried tomatoes.

February 3, 2011

James Franco, 127 Hours and Rao’s Sauce, Oh My.

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 11:46 pm
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The last few nights I’ve worked past 8:00 so tonight at 6:00 I decided to leave the office and see a movie. 127 Hours has finally opened in wider release in NY. It hadn’t been convenient for me to see it before, so I went tonight. I knew the story from seeing Aron Ralston in interviews a few years ago when his book came out. If you don’t know the story, it’s pretty simple. In about 2003 or 2004 Ralston was exploring Blue John Canyon in Utah when he fell into a crevice and a bolder fell on his arm. He could not dislodge himself and after five days he amputated his own arm to save his life.

The film is a little gimmicky, like a music video, but it is intense, gripping and ultimately very moving. James Franco’s performance was outstanding, and the movie is about 98 percent him. I had tears running down my face by the end. It is also a testament to perseverance and an intense desire to live. I hope I never have to go through anything remotely like that, but the vicarious experience was inspiring. The things I sometimes complain about are petty when viewed in the light of survival. But living healthier is a matter of survival. Perhaps not as dramatic, but survival nonetheless.

I had chicken teriyaki for lunch, which some brown rice and a salad. I managed not to eat popcorn at the movie, which is rare for me. For dinner I had some meatballs in marinara sauce. I got bottled sauce, Rao’s brand from the famous East Harlem restaurant that was featured on Top Chef last night. It was delicious sauce and tasted more fresh than bottled. If it is available where you are, I recommend it. I didn’t have pasta. I had some gardeniera (pickled vegetables) on the side. I didn’t count calories in detail, but I am pretty sure I am under 1500 for today.

February 1, 2011

The Sounds of Silence / Tranquility Tanks

I pluralized the title from the original. I thought of this during my meditation this evening. I don’t have any particular mumbo jumbo for meditating and I don’t see it as anything particularly spiritual. What I do think it does for me is reduce stress and increase concentration. There are studies suggesting actual physiological changes in the brain from meditating, as mentioned in this New York Times article. I sometimes focus on breathing, sometimes I use a mantra (the same one for over 30 years), sometimes I focus on an object, like the flame of a candle, something to keep me in the present and not think too much. Tonight I focused on the random sounds around me when the TV is off, no music is playing, nothing deliberately producing sound in my immediate area. I’ve done this before, often in an isolated part of Central Park. Tonight I heard my own breathing, swallowing, stomach rumbling, the refrigerator motor, the radiator, the security buzzer at the front door of the building, footsteps coming up the stairs, water running in an adjoining apartment, creaking, cracking, settling, a distant jet…

Sometimes I think there really isn’t such a thing as silence. Even in what we think of as silence, there are sounds. The closest I have been to real silence was in an isolation tank. They were a big fad in the 80s after Ken Russel’s film Altered States. There was a New York company called Tranquility Tanks down near The Flatiron Building. I used to float there, perhaps 50 times. Sometimes I paid, but my late friend Steven worked there and sometimes when there was a cancellation he would call me and I’d go down and float for free. There were a couple of enclosed tanks and one open one, like a small pool in a room. The water was 80% Epsom salts so it was completely buoyant. The water and air temperature were heated to body temperature and all light leaks were sealed so when the lights went down (the floater had control of the lights) it was completely dark and pretty quiet. You could have music to start with, or through the entire float (usually an hour, sometimes 90 minutes). Having it for the entire float kind of defeated the purpose, which was sensory deprivation. If all external stimuli were eliminated you were left with only yourself. Floating in the water aligns the body in such a way that you can fully relax. Some people freaked out when left with only themselves. I sometimes hallucinated. But it was very refreshing. I had some great trips without using any drugs. Also, after the float was over when I would go back on the street, everything was so vivid. Traffic lights were beautiful. I miss the tanks. I wish I had room for one at home. (I just googled and found that there is a tank venue in Manhattan. I may have to check it out.)

Back when I used to meditate regularly sometimes I would go for an hour or so. I achieved hallucinatory states sometimes. Once I even fancied that I remembered being born. Who knows? The memories are probably stored in us somewhere. Accessing them is the hard part. I may have remembered it or imagined it. What I recall is that is was very similar to a very abstract recurring dream that I had as a child that was mostly throbbing sounds and vague shapes. Maybe we dream about birth when we’re young but bury it over time.

I had an intense stress moment at work this evening, but I let it go. I didn’t get home until after 9 pm, but I had dinner, meditated and now this blog. It could have been a much worse day. I had no breakfast, steamed vegetables with shrimp and chicken for lunch, with about a quarter cup of brown rice. For dinner I grilled chicken sausages and made a salad of peppers, cauliflower, broccoli and green olives with a red wine vinaigrette. I am within my 1500 calories.

Here’s a video of a YouTuber describing his floatation tank experience.

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