Evil Sweet Innocence.

I routinely blab about my desire to lose some weight and eat healthy. It’s been somewhat difficult following that path the past week or two, mostly because I’m lazy, a little bit due to the weather and somewhat because of my surgery two weeks ago. However, there is one other factor contributing to my binging ways.

It’s Girl Scout Cookies season.

Earl and I had thought that we had made it through Girl Scout Cookies season unscathed. “We made it through without a ton of Simoas!” “Thin Mints be damned, we’re going to be thin!”

Last Sunday Earl and I did a little shopping. On our way out of Media Play, I noticed a card table stacked with colorful boxes, a hand lettered decorative sign and a cute young lady decorated with pins and badges like a four star general, accompanied by her adult chaperone. She smiled an innocent little smile and asked “Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?”

How can you say no to that innocent face.

Being victims of Girl Scout Cookies seasons of past, we instantly noticed that there was a new type of cookies this year. I’d tell you the name, but the box never made it home. These cookies, as described by our salesperson, “if you like icing and cinnamon with a touch of strawberry, these cookies are for you” were absolutely delightful. Earl and I weren’t even out of the store parking lot before the plastic was removed and we were downing the cookies.

As I wiped the crumbs off my face with my sleeve, eyes glazed in sugar induced nirvana, I gazed at the back of the box looking at the nutrition information. “200 calories”. Two hundred? For this whole box?

Silly me. For two cookies. I didn’t even want to venture into fat grams land.

Oh well. That was the best 1,200 calories pig fest I had enjoyed in a long while. You’d think that we had consumed our $3.00 purchase quickly and that the Girl Scout Cookies threat was over with for the year.

No.

We’d actually purchased four, as in one, two, three, four, as in thousands of calories, as in Thin Mints, Simoas, Peanut Butter somethings and these cookies I can’t remember the name of.

Maybe we’ll have better luck next year.

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A Philosophical Musing.

At work we have a 13-inch television that constantly shows CNN. The volume is turned all the way down, so we kind of have to improvise with what’s going on with the screen. Unfortunately, it’s been rather easy this week. It’s all about Terri Schiavo.

I understand that Mrs. Schiavo’s family is going through a lot of turmoil, to put it mildly. I understand that there are many ways you can look at the situation. I guess I’ll have to throw my two cents into the ring.

I believe that people should be able to do what they want without fear of human reprisal, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. That’s why I am reading and studying wicca, the wiccan rede is “An ye harm none, do what ye will.” If everyone believed in that and would just mind their own business, the world would be a better place.

As I see it, Mrs. Schiavo’s lungs are functioning without mechanical assistance. Her heart beats as a normal heart would, again without medical assistance. They say her brain activity is minimal. But she still has brain activity. Her time has not come, for if it had she would no longer be with us. She would have crossed to the other side by now.

I do not believe the government should be involved with this situation. Quite frankly, it’s none of our business and really shouldn’t be plastered all over the cable news networks, network news, newspapers and internet. This is for the family to sort out without legal, public or media intervention. That being said, I do not believe Terri Schiavo should be lying in a bed starving to death. I can not imagine what her husband is going through. Nor her parents. But I do know that her heart still beats and her lungs still function. Again, it would appear that her time has not come. And those that are living should receive food. God, the Goddess, the Universe, whomever you pray to, is all-perfect. They do not make mistakes. Terri Schiavo is here for a reason. When her time comes, she shouldn’t die of hunger.

Geek On Wheels.

I decided to celebrate the arrival of spring by spending lunch time out and about rather than dashing home at a mad pace. For the most part, throughout the winter my lunch has been a relaxing exercise of shooting home at frenetic pace, eating lunch en route, petting the cat and surfing the ‘net and writing my latest piece of witty blog wonder and returning to work with two minutes to spare.

Anyways, today I needed something different. So I decided to go wardriving. For those not familiar with the exercise, wardriving involves bringing along a notebook computer or something else that can sniff out Wi-Fi networks and seeing if they’re available for public consumption. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a good guy in that I don’t try to crack the security of any networks I find. Serious wardrivers bring along their GPS units and write down the location coordinates, where you can submit the data to a mapping website for all the world to see. I would be doing the same, but I was stumbling around this morning at 5:30 and neglected to pack to the GPS hardware.

I did find a wonderful Wi-Fi spot at the local Radisson Hotel that is completely free. I tried to inconspicuously park outside the Radisson so that I could surf the internet but I felt somewhat dirty doing so, like I was stalking someone. Like I should be wearing a trench coat and holding my hand between my legs. I know that’s a weird thought that may offer insight as to what goes on in my head, but there you are.

So after the Radisson I moved along to a local Bagel shop who advertises free internet access. However, the hotspot was nowhere to be found. I considered going inside and peeking around but resisted the urge after deciding that I wouldn’t be able to leave without an “Everything” Bagel. Those “Everything” Bagels are wonderful, but they don’t fit the diet well and my breath afterwards melts anything within 10 feet of me. Not sexy but oh so good. Maybe next time.

Rumor has it that McDonald’s has internet access at its stores. As usual, our McDonalds must be left out of the loop as their was no access at the two stores I visited. Hell, we just got the Big Mac a couple of years ago. It was easy to resist any urges to visit that restaurant.

So now I’m at the baseball stadium parking lot that Earl and I eat lunch at in the summertime. I wonder if the house across the street figured out that their internet connection was completely insecure, because I can’t access it anymore. Maybe they just moved.

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Quickdraw Mc Graw.

Earl mentioned to me last night that my blog has been well, boring, to the average reader during the month of March. I guess he can’t believe how much I’ve obsessed about my surgery and associated failings. He said that he hadn’t realized how much this was affecting me.

He should know better than that. Every man, gay or straight, obsesses about his penis.

Now I mentioned yesterday that I wasn’t really going to talk about my surgery anymore, since it appeared that everything had gone as planned and everything was working properly.

I lied, but just a little bit.

I am just so giddy with excitement that I can urinate like every other man in the world now. I am drink tons of water just to see it come out! “Wow, look at that! All done in less than 10 seconds! It used to take a really long time!” I want to play show and tell – I want to beckon people into the bathroom with me and do my thing in the urinal and say “Look what I can do now! I could never do that before!”. I suppose that would be a terribly unprofessional thing to do at work and would probably result in some sort of indecency charge. So I restrain myself from doing that.

I feel like some sort of huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders! In the past 24 hours I’ve been more confident about myself than ever. People at work today have commented that I “look good”, even though I’m wearing the same clothes and carrying the same hairstyle (bald) I have since they met me. It’s like that viagara commercial without the viagara, but with the same result!

Oh well. I just had to get that out of my system. Thanks for being patient with me.

A New Man.

This is the last discussion regarding my surgery and associated personal topics. You may wish to move on if you’re not interested in this at all. Any future discussions about my private areas will be of a sexual nature intended to entertain. Thank you very much.

Bright and early this morning, Earl and I did the dubious task of removing my catheter. If you’ve been following along, you know that it’s been in me since Friday, March 11 as I recovered from surgery. The sensation of the catheter being pulled out was rather disconcerting and created a bit of burning. But it was done faster than you could think about it. I think we pulled out around 10 or so inches of tubing.

Having depended (no pun intended) on the catheter for the week and a half, there was concern that I would have trouble controlling my bladder for a little while, so I took the morning off from work to make sure everything is working correctly. Since I didn’t sleep much last night, I took a little nap and was able to sleep naturally on my stomach for the first time and I slept better than I have in a long while. I had pleasant dreams. I feel well rested.

After awaking from my nap, I found that I had to go the bathroom. I was relieved (again, no pun intended) to find that there was no blood or urinary leakage while I was napping so everything appeared to be working well. I went to the bathroom, aimed and then fired, and was about thrown back on my ass.

You must understand that for the past 30 years or so, it’s taken me 60 to 90 seconds at a time to try to empty my bladder. While I didn’t ‘dribble’, I wasn’t really about to put out any fires either. It hurt me to urinate 95% of the time. I would go to the bathroom every hour or so (except in the overnight). And I never completely emptied my bladder.

What I just experienced I’ve never experienced before in my life. No pain. No waiting around for things to happen. No wondering if everything was going to work. It just worked like it was suppose to. And I have a gut feeling that it’s going to stay that way.

I truly feel like a new man.

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iCreative.

Today we started the project of building what I call my “creativity suite”, which is a recording studio. The Mac Mini arrived in the mail yesterday (one week early, I may add) and today we picked up a monitor (Apple 20-inch cinema display) and the Harman Kardon sound sticks. This set up is sweet! I’m using it right now to type this blog entry just to put the Mac Mini through it’s paces. I think it might be a touch faster than my PowerBook G4, I guess only time will tell. If you’re thinking about buying a new computer, I HIGHLY recommend the Mac Mini, but opt for the extra $75 to get 512MB RAM instead of the standard 256MB. I find it amazing that my desktop computer is small than my desk telephone yet packs all this punch. Let’s see how it does when I start pumping music into GarageBand2!

Last night I got to experience the rush of my creative side as emcee for the Miss Mohawk Valley beauty pageant Scholarship Program. Even though my friend Laurie wanted me to stick right to the script, I had to horse around a little bit and do some ad-libbing. When I announced the winners at the end of the show, I did it with an American Idol flair. “Five beautiful, intelligent young ladies are on this stage. One of them is Miss Mohawk Valley 2005. The results, after the break.” (rimshot). The audience giggled. It was exhilerating to be up on the stage in front of an audience. I should find a reason to do that more often. I don’t want to overdo it though, because then it’ll lose its charm.

And I managed to do all this fun with my catheter still in place. The big moment comes tomorrow morning when I can pull it out and we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

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I’ve decided to stop being anti-social and now vow to have my AOL Instant Messenger/iChatAV on whenever I’m on the computer. Please feel free to chat with me, you can use either AOL or iChatAV and my screen name is macwarriorny-at-mac.com, replacing the “-at-” with “@”. I look forward to chatting with you!

Out For A Spin.

Last Saturday morning, while I was recovering from my surgery, I was parked in front of television seeing what modern entertainment had to offer. Disappointed with the current offering in cartoons and such, I drifted to TV Land and a rerun of the 2004 TV Land Awards. These are awards given out to entertainers of classic television shows, in the tradition of the award shows of yesterday, at a lovely dinner-theatre type setting with numerous categories such as “Nosiest Neighbor” and “Superist Superhero”.

The winner of the “Superise Superhero” was Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, beating out Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby as the Incredible Hulk and Deidre Hall and Judy Strangis as ElectraWoman and DynaGirl.

Lynda was present at the awards ceremony and accepted the award with an unmatched amount of grace and dignity, much like they way she portrayed Wonder Woman back in the late 1970s. After her acceptance speech, an announcer boomed onto the set declaring that someone had illegally parked their invisible jet and it was to be towed.

On cue, Lynda dashed back stage and did her infamous twirl, complete with exploding ball of light and the proper musical cue, and there was Wonder Woman, played by someone else that looked a little bit like Shannen Doherty. (Lynda mentions on the latest DVD set that she has only taken her WW outfit out twice since the series ended, and both times were for ‘show and tell’ at school for her two kids.)

I was absolutely giddy, for several reasons. First of all, they used the correct music and effects for the transformation to Wonder Woman. That was way cool. But I also noticed that no one, and I mean NO ONE, can do the twirl like Lynda Carter does. I’ve seen Sarah Michelle Gellar do it on the MTV awards. I’ve seen Lynda’s stunt double do it on the WW TV series numerous times. I’ve seen my sister do it, I’ve seen drag queens do it and I’ve seen lots of gay men do it and none of them can twirl like Lynda does. I can’t even do the WW twirl right and believe me, I’ve tried to spin into Wonder Boy on several occasions throughout my life, the latest being my ‘Survivor 5’ audition tape.

I’ve always wanted to be a superhero, saving the world, making all wrongs right, in my satin tights no less. The closest I’ve come is that International Male workout outfit I bought back in 1990 that still haunts me in the basement to this day. Maybe if I added the exploding ball of light and the sound effects and then twirled really hard, it would finally happen.

Now to come up with a groovy theme song.

Clear. Very Clear.

As the week progresses, I must say that my recovery is going well. Things itch where I can’t scratch them and I’m accepting that as an undeniable indicator of the healing process. Monday is just around the corner (when I can take out this catheter once and for all), even though it feels like it’s taking forever to get here. I’m not using my pain medicine during the day and it’s all quite bearable so I guess I’m doing o.k.

One thing that this surgery has given me the opportunity to do is to see what actually comes out of me. Having been instructed to drink a LOT of water this week, I’ve been drinking about double my normal consumption of water, I’m guessing about 2 gallons or so a day. That doesn’t include the iced tea that I have with lunch or supper or the juice I have in the morning. I used to also have a Diet Pepsi for my afternoon treat.

Notice I just said “used to”.

I’ve dinked (no pun intended) with the idea of giving up soda for the past couple of years but have always given in and started back up again. When I started having the difficulties, I read online that soda consumption can aggrevate the your bladder and associated plumbing. I began to look for a correlation and sure enough, when I drank soda, it made it even harder for me to urinate (which wasn’t an easy task to begin with). Then I read my friend Kook’s experience with drinking soda and the ulcers it gave him. So I cut way back to one 20 oz bottle a day and pretty much whatever was available to me on the weekend. I shudder to think that when I was doing the night shift on the radio, I was drinking at least a two-liter bottle of Pepsi (or sometimes even Jolt!) during my four hour air shift! I was so jacked up I think I licked the ceiling a couple of times.

Anyways, I’ve noticed that my urine is much darker and a little thicker after drinking the diet soda I’ve been having in the afternoon. It’s only for about an hour or so, then it goes back to the pale yellow, almost clear stuff that I’ve been seeing otherwise. It’s kind of neat being able to see what’s what, because usually everything mixes in the toilet and you get an odd shade of green (when mixed with the blue treated water) or some other derivative of the rainbow. Except magenta or violet. Magenta or violet in the toilet would make me nervous.

So today I am going without my little caffeine boost to see if the pattern continues. If it does, then I have to figure out what else in my diet is affecting things. But I have my money on the soda.

Just say no!

Talent?

As I mentioned near the beginning of the year, I’ve been faithfully following along with the latest incarnation of American Idol. I thought the initial auditions were a little outrageous. I haven’t really cared for the semi-finals, as I did not agree with the new voting process where you vote off a guy or girl specifically to make the Top 12 evenly balanced. I didn’t see the point.

Especially since I find the talent to be a little bit lacking this year.

Now, I have been trained in various aspects of music. And I know that there’s a ton of technology out there that can make a relatively good singer a superstar. But to me, this use of technology is cheating. To make it big, you can’t be a good singer, you can’t be a great singer, you have to be an incredible singer. You have to blow the socks off your audience, even without accompaniment, even without a microphone and even without a computer boost. Granted, it may not sound as polished. It may not sound as smooth, but the notes should be on and the feeling should be there.

You have to have talent to be a true superstar.

There are many true superstars in the music industry. Unfortunately, there’s also a bunch of computer generated imposters littering the landscape. I think there’s only a couple of contestants on American Idol this season that can become true superstars: Anwar and Nadia. I’m hoping they’ll make the final two. I hope America gets it right. Let’s sit back and watch the show. Even if we have to cover our ears sometimes.