Takin' 'Er Easy on M'Burpday

I woke up.

"What time is it?" I asked Deborah, even though with a small movement of my head I would be able to see the clock myself.

"Nine seventeen," she replied.

"Damn, I slept a long time," I said. I didn't actually know how long, but I was pretty sure I had fallen asleep before midnight the night before, so over nine hours at least. "I must have needed it."

"Yeah you were deep asleep," Deborah said.

We were quiet for a spell. I let my mind wander. It was Saturday, I knew. In the late evening, I was slated to play a rock show with cover band YOUR MOM, which would double as my birthday party. I worked my timeline back from there. I wanted to put in a couple hours honing songs for the show. Allowing time to eat before I drove downtown to the party venue, the Come Back Inn, about 8 PM, I'd need to do the pre-practice from roughly 5 to 7 PM. I also wanted to squeeze in some Uber driving, since my cash flow had dipped a little due to holiday travel and expenditures. Optimally, I'd spend about 4 hours doing that.

"Are we going to the gym?" I asked Deborah, terminating the pregnant pause.

"I knew you were going to say something," Deborah chuckled.

"About the gym, or in general?"

"The gym."

"Do you want to go?"


"OK, when?"

"Well, I have to wash my face and make my shake," Deborah said. "So maybe in 15 minutes?"

"Nooooo," I objected. "I need at least probably 45 minutes." I needed 15 minutes just for my ritualistic morning meditation, and before I could do that there was an empty coffee pot down in the kitchen that needed filling with hot, black brain nectar. "I need coffee or I'll die...literally die."

I got up and weighed myself after voiding the liquid contents of my bladder in the toilet. The scale read 216 pounds, a pound lighter than the previous morning, but a pound heavier than the morning before last. I wanted to get my weight down to 210 pounds by the end of January, still a theoretically obtainable goal, though increasingly less so. What was today? Yes...the 7th of January. So that would be about...a pound every four days, roughly? Doable...

I had lost over 20 pounds since I started my fitness kick a few months ago, a combination of healthier eating and a gym membership. The weight loss had bottomed out at around 215 pounds and the remaining 5 pounds standing in the way of my late January milestone were proving to be rather stubborn. Only once, a few weeks ago, had the scale dipped below 215 pounds, barely. And the week between Christmas and New Years Eves had seen minor lapses in both diet and exercise that had reversed some hard won gains, though the effects were not too disastrous. According to the Giant Internet Brain, my optimal body weight is about 190 pounds, but that seems ridiculous. I'd be a rail, albeit a muscular one. Still, I wouldn't mind someday getting my weight down to, say, 200 pounds, which would be less than I have weighed since college, I think.

The gym workout optimally needed to happen before noon though, if I were going to get everything done that I wanted to get done before the rock-n-roll birthday show that night. So I needed to hustle. I loaded the coffee maker so as to ensure a strong cuppa and turned it on. While it hissed and frothed and gurgled, I sauteed some mushrooms and orange pepper for an egg fritatta and put food in the dog's bowls. Upon hearing Pavlovian sounds, my 13 year old and mostly blind Boston terrier Foster ambled his way down the stairs and into the kitchen, making all manner of snorts and grunts from both ends of his digestive tract. I gave him his eye drop in his one remaining albeit fairly useless eye and put his dog bowl in the usual place by the fridge so he could find it. Foster lost an eye to glaucoma over a year ago. Dogs don't rely on sight as much as humans do and Foster can navigate his way around the house and backyard fairly well, but he gets under foot a lot because half of his visual field is completely gone and the existing half must see the world through a dense fog, since the lens of his remaining right eye is detached and is just a whitish grey blob floating around in there. And that's not even counting his warped cornea, the result of an injury and subsequent ulceration of the eye that first brought his underlying genetic visionary defects into focus, if you'll pardon the pun.

We managed to leave the house for the gym around 10:30, after I had caffeinated, meditated, and gustated. I sweated pretty moderately for 45 minutes on an exercise bike and then did 120 crunches on the situp bench, 10 more than on my last visit to the gym.

I started Ubering about 12:30 and put in about 4 hours on that, working on this blog post in between passengers. When I got home, my birthday present had arrived, a veggie spiralizer. I sacrificed two yellow zucchinis to it and Deborah and I had zucchini "spaghetti" with tomato sauce for dinner. For dessert, a key lime pie flavored Larabar. The spiralizer worked great and I hope I get a lot of mileage out of it.

I'm sitting at the breakfast bar in the kitchen right now. Loyal Foster the dog is in repose at my feet. I need to sign off to go put in an hour and a half or so on tunes for tonight's show.

If you are out and about in Madison WI tonight, I'd love to see you at m'party. 9 PM until late at the Come Back Inn.


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