Tag Archives: K

Long Time Coming….

So far so good; it’s been a while since I blogged but I have an excuse reason: I’ve been busy lazy. 🙂

First, props to me for getting my butt out of bed Saturday before Neal and doing a 33 minute walk – and the first walk where I only took 1 short (less than a minute) break. It was actually very nice to get out and get moving in the day. Neal seemed pleased too. We talked a lot about my intake; I’ve made some progress but I need to do better – and I will. I stayed within my WW points all last week, on a weekly basis, which I’m glad to report. However, my scales are cruel; I weighed myself Friday morning and had lost, quite a bit but today, my official WW weigh-in day, I’d not lost. Bloody hell. I’ve walked every day but two since the new year and quite a bit each time.

I did successfully avoid a whole rack of ribs on Friday because we didn’t go to the Longhorn as planned (far too crowded) but at another restaurant whose ribs are revolting.

Had my very good friends over for dinner on Saturday – it was fun. C made a vegan casserole that was actually quite nice – K said it was like her ‘garbage soup’ but that was a compliment. I was surprised how much I liked it. I don’t think D was too fond but he seemed to handle it. The recipe’s here – it could be thrown together easily. I’m surprised also how nice it was to have dinner in the crock pot – no last minute frantic cooking. I think I’ll do that on Saturday next when we’ll have some more people over. We were going to watch a movie but just sat around nibbling cheese and chatting, about our plans to eat healthier. You spot the irony in that sentence. 🙂 I think cheese is my besetting sin. No, I don’t think it. I am certain of it.

I think as usual I put my foot in my mouth a few times; I’m getting good at it and if it ever becomes an Olympic sport you’ll see me on the podium to the strains of the National Anthem. I let my chit-chat run away with me and I need to stop. I don’t mean to be rude or insensitive but sometimes I am. I hope my friends and family understand that my intention doesn’t always match my actions.

Sunday we sat around doing nothing. ‘Nuff said. 🙂 So lazy we ordered dinner in.

Now, I may have to ammend the resolution to add three minutes a day down to one minute a day; that may be more realistic.

And I need to sit down with Georgian tonight after dinner; I ‘owe’ it three hours – it may get two today and two tomorrow. I really want to tackle this odd and intricate language. I don’t know why; why do clock makers try to make their clocks ever smaller and more complex? To see what they can do?

Oh, dear, no DILF-y or otherwise totty today; but I promise some Meloni Madness tonight with your kartuli ena. 🙂

As usual I appreciate your comments more than I can tell you.

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Catching Up At Last

C & I had a very nice weekend but didn’t get much done! 😦


Friday we went to see my counselor. I’ve been feeling very negative about my job lately. I do like the commute but I find it more and more difficult to get excited about what I do. Partially because there’s not really enough for me to do. Partially because I’m asked to take on the role of management controls coordinator, which I know little about. And partially because, well, it just doesn’t interest me. I feel sometimes like my real career is something else, something different, more attuned to my real interests and talents, but I have no idea what to do with that.

I watch some people in my field and they are so excited about it; frankly I don’t see how they can be. I’m glad to know the mechanics of it, but there’s so little scope here especially that I’m frustrated and bored most of the time.

Alan (counselor) asked me to rate my job from 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest). I came in at about 1.5-2. Big steaming pile of crap.

And I feel guilty of course; who knows if a changed career would be as renumerative as my current job at least at first, so I’d be asking for generalized familial sacrifice. But then I feel guilty about everything.

I was glad C was with me so we could talk it all over. Alan suggested that I talk to a career counselor to help me set, refine, and reach goals (or something like that). What do you think? The more I hang about here the more I am convinced that I need to do something.

After the appointment C & I went to a German bakery to get Stollen and Laugenbrötchen. Laugenbrötchen are ‘lye rolls’ made in exactly the same way as pretzels, they have the same dense chewy centers and the dark glossy outer surface that comes from a dip in a solution of lye. Mmmmm so good. I think in the New Year I shall try to make them. When I lived in Germany we’d get either Laugenbrötchen or Brezeln (pretzels) from kiosks on the street, sliced with butter and cheese or Schmaltz (rendered goose fat). Mmmmm Brezeln mit Schmalz.
Then we had lunch at Green Field Churrascaria. Burp. Waddle.

Then a few errands and out to dinner with friends. One of the errands was to get the photos back (finally) from the photo finisher. They don’t look bad for a forty year old camera, do they? There’s a shot of our car in the driveway, the office building I work in, the view from my desk at work, and autumn leaves in our front yard (beware, that one’s quite big when seen full size).

Car in the Driveway pershingthumb.jpg viewthumb.jpg leavesthumb.jpg


Neal came by; good session. Guess what? He gave me a referral to a career counsellor who he says helped him. I’ve decided to try working out at the gym on base; have to go tomorrow to (a) find it and (b) screw up the courage to go in and use it. Lazed about a bit after that and then went to my friends, K & D & J’s Christmas Party. We had a good time, but I felt a bit bad not having any presents to bring – one of them, just one, is yet to arrive, so we felt it best to wait until we could pass out all of them at once. Got home rather late.


Well, this really was the weak end of the weekend; we did very little and I think it irritated both of us. Somehow, lazing about feels fine until you realize you’ve suddenly left everything undone and then you feel guilty and angry. We’ve not had K&D&J over in ages, and my mum and dad are coming over soon for Christmas dinner, and my friends R & N and their three are coming in January. (More about the R & N later.) So we’re feeling a bit pressured.

A Video Funny

I don’t know if you have to be from Baltimore to understand all this but I bet it helps. I can’t embed it – sorry.


A Video Sexy

Luckily I can embed this video of Carlos Ponce singing “Mujer Con Pantalones,” and coincidentally I found this still from the video too. Isn’t he arresting? I think the song’s title is “Woman With Trousers” in inglés. Why he can’t sing about liking Hombres Sin Pantalones I don’t know. I’d hum along…

Risking it All for Us

Here’s a few parting shots of our mini-obsession Rafael Branciforti risking a few splinters for our viewing pleasure…you can click on the smaller ones for a full size view…


(Let’s get back to that ‘sin pantalones’ thing again, may we?)

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Activity and Relaxation


Activity and relaxation was what this weekend was all about.Saturday, C and I were up and out pretty early and got a lot of errands done. So that was busy, but satisfying. In the afternoon I went for my walk but had a very rough time; my left foot was hurting again, but what really stopped me in my tracks was an odd twisting pain below my right knee, like my leg was somehow lacking in nerve signals or circulation or something. Nothing made it feel better; not standing with my weight on it, or off it, or sitting with my knee bent or my leg straightened. It really hurt and the pain seemed to come in waves. I was very upset indeed.

Saturday evening we went off to K&D’s house on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, on Kent Island. We bought with us half the makings of a dining room picnic-various lunch meats, rolls, cheeses, crackers, pickles, and sodas, and K&D provided the other half, and we enjoyed a nice dinner. While I was sitting on their sofa, the twisting pain came back, twice; I had to move to a hard seat to ride it out. Again, it came in waves. My Godson J was very charming – he’s a good kid.Apart from the pain, it was so much fun listening to old Bob Rivers twisted Christmas tunes that we wound up staying until nearly three a.m., and didn’t get home till nearly four. Which was very late.Bear Grylls

Which is why most of today I spent lazing on the sofa watching Bear Grylls in “Man Vs. Wild.” Rather a nice way to spend it as Mr. Grylls has seemingly no problem with stripping off all or most of his kit – a quality I like in a man, (and a bit of a problem with veracity), but C & I were a bit snippy with each other for a while. Click on this pic of Bear on a hot lava flow in Hawaii to see him in all his survivalist toughness, but please keep in mind he looks better in person, with his sexy upper crust accent, than he ever does in a still picture.

Grazed on bits of lunch meat and bread and potato salad and things. Got a phone call from my mum relaying an invitation from my brother to go to their house for dinner; this was the first time I’d seen it. It was very nice, very comfortable and tasteful. My sister-in-law cooked a good meal and there was a somewhat late cake for my birthday last month. We watched their Christmas tree go up and get lit, and I got to read my niece and nephew a story which I think they enjoyed — I know I did. C made me so proud helping my dad get a big table in from the garage and playing with the kids. When I see him being such a fine, marvellous, all-around worthy man, I know 100% that I’ve made the right choice in my life. As I often tell myself, I never ever dreamed I’d be as happy or as proud to be with somebody as I am with him and I have no doubts at all that we’re right for each other. I adore him. Even when we’re a bit irritated with each other, I always know that he’s the goal of my life and everything I do and I wouldn’t have it, or him, any other way. Why alter perfection?

All in all a good, semi-productive weekend, but still dreading meeting with Neal on Wednesday. But looking forward to our troubles with our super-duper DVD equipment being solved. First problem was that the DVD player was a dud. That’s been sent back; the company, One Call, was very good about it. The new one arrived this week and C hooked it up and for one brief evening was able to watch DVDs in enormous 52″ grandeur. But since that one evening, the ground-fault interrupter type plug that this is all connected to waits four seconds or so, and pops out and won’t pop back in again. The company that did the basement finishing is coming back Tuesday to see what they can do. I’m really getting browned off about this. I have my mum & dad coming over for Christmas (God Help Me!) and my good friends the Kolbs coming in January, and I really want to have K&D over to see the new equipment very soon after Christmas, and my brother and his family, and one equipment issue after another keeps popping up. Continue reading


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Pump it, Baby

I’m sitting sipping an espresso from my brand new Saeco Via Veneto and for a non-expert like me, it’s good. Yummy good. Supposedly thanks to the rather powerful pump in the machine.

And the counter’s only a little bit covered in hot water. I still can’t figure out the hose contraption for the steam output but I’m sure I will and I’ll start making lovely cappuccini soon. Now if only the ground fault interrupter in our media room would work so we can fire up our super duper ultra marvellous DVD player and sip coffee while we watch something good. Netflix has sent me “La Vie En Rose” which is the story of Edith Piaf and I can’t wait.

My replacement pedometer arrived and I’m so chuffed; so did “WordPress for Dummies.” Perhaps my blog will soon be less pedestrian. Perhaps.

Let it Snow, But Why Here?

Our House in WinterWashington and Maryland had its first snow of the season today, only a dusting but the road crews and drivers seemed a bit unprepared. My normal 30 minute commute took about 50, thanks to an accident on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, just above Maryland Route 197. That was a common theme – overbridges were strewn with prangs and fender benders, and everyone was tailed back trying to get through. Here’s a picture of our house, on our coming home; doesn’t it look cozy? Click to see it a bit bigger.

Particularly ironic was how the walkways on the base where I work were not treated or swept or shovelled. Keep in mind that before every holiday we are frog-marched into the auditorium to get a safety briefing, where I, inter alia, a 40+ year old man (no, really I am) are told how to drive safely…yet that concern apparently does not extend to allowing me to walk safely. Odd, innit?

Meanwhile, there was an accident on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge so I was worried that my best friend K’s husband D wouldn’t be able to come over to this side of the bay and pick her up. I was half hoping <blush> that she’d have to come over to our house to wait for him, I enjoy her company that much. But it was not to be.

So How Can We Keep Warm?Carlos Ponce on the Grass

We can remember summer days when we could lie around on the grass, possibly (preferably) with warm friendly people like Carlos Ponce, here looking relaxed and relaxing. Don’t you love it when handsome men lie at your feet?

Carlos Ponce on the grassOr when it was not a freezing prospect to be under a dock warm and wet, maybe even with a smiling person like Carlos Ponce,Carlos Ponce, wet and yummy damply, drippingly inviting…

I mean, you could have gone out today and get wet, but hardly warm, and I bet you wouldn’t be smiling like Mr. Ponce here, not with the temperature at just below freezing. Despite his ice-blue eyes, he’s more the tropical type, I’d say.

(Doesn’t he get you warmed up?)


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Super Joy For Saturday


Neal came, but I’d not managed to write up my week’s eating so we estimated what I’d eaten. I never thought I’d agree that it is important to keep a record but boy, it is. Some things were real eye-openers. For example, the kind of delicious burrito that I used to get at Chipotle, that I used to think had to be ‘good for you’ because it had no fried foods, is incredibly high in calories and fat. I used to get these yogurt parfaits at Starbucks and thought of them as healthy but they too are very high in fat.

I do have to wonder though if he doesn’t skimp on the strength training because he feels I need to be motivated on the intake side more; C timed him and it was a total of 45 minutes out of our 75 together on discussing my intake (and his plans to go from meeting in people’s houses to opening his own studio). Regarding that last point, I’m none too sure about it. Since I will have to drive to him, it seems like an increase in inconvenience to me, without a corresponding benefit. He’s selling it on the idea that there’ll be more equipment available for us but…I dunno.

He also wants me to be sure and walk every day even in this freezing cold, or to go to the ‘rec center.’ That worries me. I never enjoyed the gym; I always felt like I didn’t belong, that I was being laughed at, belittled. It’s also (whine whine whine) not that convenient for me to go there; I’d have to head over after picking up C and dropping him off at home; it’s not like when I was single and my time was my own. I’m not blaming him; I love spending time with him. My plan is to see what I can do to keep my motivation up this next week; other than maybe tomorrow when it’s forecast to be actively pouring cold rain, if I can layer up and walk outside, then I will but as Neal pointed out, if not, then I have to do something. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, at public gyms, there’s very rarely any real eye candy. 🙂

We (C & I) discussed buying a treadmill today; my friend K has one but I’m not sure. To get one to accommodate my…er…needs (weight) it’d have to be huge, and expensive. We do just have the space with a whole inch to spare!, but it would appear that we’ll have to spend not the $x that he thought, but around $2x, which is what I’d thought. But as I say, for the winter, something’s got to give. C feels very pressured now to find one that fits our budget and my…er…needs, which is unfair but that’s how lovely he is. I know I don’t need bells and whistles, just a basic with maybe a little incline (not much).

We’ll have to see. I bet that they’ll rocket up in price after the New Year with all those people making resolutions. We’re already spending so much money on me – $400 a month just for Neal, etc., etc., etc. I think it’s worth noting that Neal never recommended a treadmill, just going to the gym. What do you think?

Speaking of Intake…

Last night for our beloved “Friday Night Club” we all went to Il Mee in Arlington, Virginia, for all you can eat bulgogi. Mmmm. It works like this – after you eat some fairly good sushi, you get piles of thin sliced raw meat. It can be beef, pork or chicken, and the latter two can be highly spiced or merely lightly marinated. You bring them back to your table and the ‘ladies’ come by and light little grills built right into your table, and help you grill your meat right there. You can also toss garlic slices and other things on the grill. When the meat’s done, you take some, add some gojujang (hot garlic paste) or denjang (fermented soy bean paste) and some rice, if you like, and make little packages wrapped up in big romaine lettuce leaves. Oh, it’s so good and what makes it especially fun is the way you ‘play’ with your food, everyone can make their packages as they like and it’s generally a good time. I do like the bulgogi, but I also like that they always have ddeukbogee and lovely pancakes as well, and that there’s enough vegetarian dishes for my vegetarian godson to eat well, too.

BudaejigaeI love Korean food. I really have to try making budae jjigae (Army Base Stew) some time as the idea sounds delicious. There’s an excellent recipe here, with this picture; doesn’t it look yummy? You can click on the thumbnail to see it bigger and more delectable. At the recipe you can see the history behind this half-American dish.

We were ‘good’ today, just a small bowl of Pho for me, with only one fresh garden roll. A few pistachios. A hard walk past the bakery. A cappuccino. And a gyros to be delivered in a few moments.

Speaking of good…

cphalfsmilethumb.jpgCarlos Ponce PensiveDoesn’t Carlos Ponce look like he knows a joke, with that lovely little half smile? And yet as you can see, he can also look appealing when he looks more pensive, more thoughtful. Perhaps he’s feeling ignored; here is singing a rather nice ballad called Escúchame (“Listen to me”)…

Carlos Ponce Sitting and GrinningCarlos Ponce on the dock of all our baysHe does cheer up nicely, here he is from that same photo shoot for Ocean Drive En Español, looking like he’s just told the secret joke, and here he is trying to cheer all of the rest of us up, in our late, cold autumn, as he sits on the dock of his bay. As with all these pictures, if you want him to grow before your very eyes, you know what to do.

(I bet you know what you’d do with him on a dock.)


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I Bust My Ball!


Neal my personal trainer came by and had me bouncing on my exercise ball between sets of reps…and in the middle of me bouncing up and down (which is actually more effort than you’d think) the damned ‘anti burst’ thing popped and dumped me ignominiously on my butt on the ground. I wasn’t hurt beyond a scrape on my arm, but my dignity was a bit injured. C came running down stairs full of concern and the worry and fear in his voice made me forget my pain in a rush of love for him. Whenever we act together, we do wonders.

I’d only done a bit of walking but Neal wants me to do more today. If only I could control my eating, I’d melt.

Edit:  I wound up not walking any more today.  MDB, no? 

Plate me up at Plato’s

Like last night, the ‘Friday Night Club’ met at Plato’s Diner in College Park. Of course I had to have Kotopita (chicken in a greasy yummy pastry holder) and some monstrosity called “Southern Pecan Pie Cheesecake.” C and I “shared” it but it was too cloyingly sweet for him, so I ate the lion’s share.

However, the meal was secondary to the company. My little (over five foot five!) godson J was there with K and D, his mum and dad. I think J’s about the coolest kid I ever met. But I was utterly floored when he said he thought of me like a brother. I was so honoured and flattered and pleased and proud and glad to be his goddad. It made my evening. I never think I’m all that good, relaxed, or relevant around kids. But J will often say the kindest, warmest things about me or his mum or other people – so that you can tell that he’s a good person being brought up by good people.

Leopard…with Spots

Our shipment of Leopard, Apple’s new OS, has been sent out from Amazon. I can’t wait to get my hands on it but apparently it’s far from perfect. C (a.k.a. my IT manager) says a lot of our software will have to be upgraded. 😦 We seem to be spending money quite quickly of late, and yet I get a cold fear if we decide to cut back – it’s hard for me to see any fine gradiation between ‘cut back’ and ‘starve in box on highway.’ And of course C says everything’s fine – we needn’t worry. But I always worry.

Anyway, here’s a review of Leopard from somebody who could not be from anywhere but Nyu Zilend. Now that I’ve gotten my fears of updating off my chest, I have to say I really want to start using it.

Is it Hard and Wet Work?

It may be hard work for our Mr. Rouvas to do a video shoot, but he seems to be having fun here, doesn’t he?

Actually he seems to really enjoy being wet. Would you help towel him off, or jump in with him??

Sakis Rouvas Get Happy When He’s Wet!Sakis Rouvas Get Happy When He Showers


(There’s those Speedos again–and those beautiful sights of Greece!)

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Now I’m Really Back

What a lovely weekend. Friday evening the “FNC” all met at a kebab house sans one of the group. However, we did manage to have a good time before the restaurant closed and we had to leave.


Quite uncharacteristically early C and I went to do some immigration business in Baltimore and then did a bit of shopping and errand-running. I bought some great new (very expensive) shoes at the New Balance store in the Annapolis Mall. They’re Model 926 and have a roll bar in them to stop my foot from underpronating (rolling to the outside) and hurting. Additionally they should look better at work than the Country Walkers I bought the other day. I’m so embarrassed; because I’m so fat cuddly, it’s hard/impossible for me to tie them up so I have to have C help me. He’s so good tending to me like a tugboat hovering around a giant barge helping me. His patience and understanding is an inspiration.

Some very good friends – my very best friends in fact – invited us to theirchrisevans.jpg house on the Eastern Shore for dinner. They are such good people, I feel sometimes in awe of their ability to cope with some pretty rough hands they’ve been dealt and still, consistently, to be able to be so giving and compassionate. Some time ago, when I was really down, I remember D telling me “we’d feed and clothe you” and I know it was/is true. I hope I’m as good a friend to them as they are to me. After dinner we watched gorgeous Chris Evans in Cellular.


Today was lazy right up to the end. Since we didn’t get back from the Shore until 4 a.m. or so, I didn’t get up until quite late and C & I just sat around all day, even ordering dinner to be delivered. (C did make the most delicious scrambled eggs for brekkies.) But then I finally hauled myself out of the house for the first real walk since so many days ago – I did 32’38” and felt fine. I was listening as always of late to Bok Van Blerk’s album De La Rey and even managing to sing along in Afrikaans with it. The video’s quite impressive:

Now I really do need a shower just like Michael Lewis is taking (I wonder if he needs somebody to soap him up and rinse him down?)…


Like his CK underwear? There’s more in this album.

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