Saturday, June 27, 2009

On The Horizon

This summer is shaping up to be busy. Here’s what’s on the horizon.

Organization and Food Prep

Craig and I both did a whole shitload of shredding this week. Sorting mail has been a weak suit for both of us. Lately, however, in no small part due to Craig’s initiative, we’ve really been keeping up with mail. Almost the whole of the several years of backlog that has amassed have been shredded. In fact, we need a new shredder. The old one is giving up the ghost.

My office is nearly together. All that’s left is the desk. I’m really hoping that I might improve enough to arrive at the “clean desk” policy I had at USAID back when I was a bureaucrat. My desk was spotlessly empty every night. To do it, I need several “current project” folders in the file cabinet. This sounds a good dealer easier than it will actually be. I need a lot of work habit changes. I need to learn to work incrementally. Incrementalism has always been a concept that I despised. Frankly, “slow but steady” offended virtually every one of my childhood sensibilities. I organized my habits around avoiding “slow but steady.” Now, there is no other way that I realistically can work. Of course, not being able to suppress emotions means I can’t just “force” myself to do it. I need to work on becoming “good” with it. Being “good” with anything is invariably a slow process. This is why I preferred suppressing the hell out of my emotions. It’s far more convenient.

Tomorrow has to be a shopping and kitchen day. This is especially important because Sunday is PRIDE, so we won’t have the day to prepare for the week. This year, damn it, we’re going to the parade! Craig is very hesitant about PDAs except on Capitol Hill or in other “gay” spaces, such as the parade route. Goddamn it, I like being touched. I don’t like missing opportunities. Plus, the parade is a lot of fun. My favorite group is still Dykes on Bikes! I love watching them roll in like valkyries in leather! What a fuckin’ entrance!

I gotta admit, I love seeing the Seattle Quake Rugby team, too. I wasn’t able to be a rugger for very long, but just being around those guys really helped me come out. Plus, not only are they hot, but at the few tournaments I attended, I could say with pride that we were definitely hotter looking than the other gay rugby teams. Right now, they’re really good players, too. They’ve closed the gap between us and the SF Fog quite nicely. If I could ever get into a non-pathetic shape, I would love to go out for it again. But the fitness demands for rugger are very rigorous.

Back to kitchen day. The basics for the week have to be made. Craig and I have both been working on keeping up with dishes. This is imperative, as it’s very difficult to but groceries away in a dirty kitchen. So we shop and, thanks to B-12, I’m not dead after the expedition, so I can chop. In my kitchen prep, there are three labor intensive tasks that I need to accomplish.

The first is creating “snack packs” for the week. I do way better on keeping on a healthy food plan if I manage hunger effectively. To do that, I need snacks, especially for while I’m at school. So I make snack packs that include (1) 10 oz of celery, (2) 10 oz of carrots, (3) an apple and (4) a bottle of water. The carrots, fortunately, can be purchased peeled and sliced into “baby carrots” perfect for snacking. All I have to do is bag them. The celery is harder work. I buy two bags of “celery hearts” at Sam’s club. There are three hearts per bag. Sliced, that provides six or so bags of celery. The apples require no work beyond rinsing them off.

The second is making the base salad mix for the week. I’m trying to make sure Craig and I both have a big salad with dinner every night. What can be done in advance, must be. Being a good Levantine Arab (actually, I’m pretty shitty at being a good Levantine Arab, coming out and MS will do it to you) my salad is diced, so the flavors of all the vegetables mix properly. The prep for this is to dice six long English cucumbers (penis length, obviously), eight multi-colored peppers (I try for four red, two green and one yellow and one orange), and a large red onion. Since these are the least “soggy” oriented elements of the salad, you can make them advance and they’ll still be in excellent shape after several days. The key is to store the mix in gallon zip lock bags with two or three paper towels folded at the bottom to absorb excess moisture. The two components that have to be done just before serving are the lettuce and tomatoes. I split a Romaine heart and dice half for Craig and half for me. I also dice us each a Roma tomato. Craig’s favorite dressing is blue cheese and he often throws cottage cheese into his. I put low-cal, fat free Italian on mine. I usually grill chicken breasts or a steak, or serve pot roast with this.

The third major chopping job is making Weight Watchers’ black bean and corn salsa. The chopping is not hideous for this, as the black beans and corn come straight out of cans. The black beans do require rinsing, but that’s all the prep needed there. I just need two cups of diced celery and two cups of diced red onion. Since this is more carby, I try to have this more for lunches.

Damn. As I read this, the healthy living shit reads like a fuckload of work. No wonder no one does it. GOAL: Get a real job so that Craig and I can afford to get a housekeeper who does all this chopping for us.

The Gym Situation

I worked out for the last time at the Renton Bally’s this morning (arms and legs, no cardio). I spoke with Bally’s Corporate a few days ago. It only took an HOUR to get through their customer service queue (no exaggeration for effect here, literally 65 minutes). The guy told me that Craig and I were month to month already and that our initial contract was just for one year. Given that I think Kent is too far away, I cancelled. I can use any Bally’s facility in the city until July 15.

A client of Craig’s told him that he was buddies with the new owner of the former Gold’s gym that’s across the street from the supermarket near our house. He said that the guy is planning on being a lot of new equipment for the gym. And the price is right (roughly $35/month for the two of us and a one-time processing fee of $25), so we signed up today. The way I look at it is that I’m way more likely to lift on campus when I teach. I just need regular access to an ellipsis machine and a convenient back-up for when I’m not going to campus. I’ve got to imagine I won’t have trouble getting on one of those at the ex-Gold’s gym. I’ve promised Craig that if he uses the gym regularly and wants to move in January, we can get a membership at LA Fitness. After all, if he gets on the wagon and does a good job sticking to a routine, by God, he deserves to sweat in splendor with the other fags. I love my Big Bear.

The Trip to Tel Aviv

Thanks to my mom and my Aunt Charlotte (God rest her soul), this is working out really well. My sister-in-law Lisa got us an excellent flight. We also have an apartment. We need to apply for passports. I also need to head to the camera shop and start getting together all the equipment.

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