A Minimalist Approach, Sweat Tsunami, and What Really Matters


And people wonder why I don’t trust the media.

The more I read in the news, or worse, the more TV news I’m subjected to, the more I discover that most of it is not only insanely trite and boring, but also not very applicable to me.


Unless that volcano is erupting in my back yard, or my bed is above that 500 foot-across sink hole, I’m inclined not to give a rat’s ass.  I really don’t need to know about it, either.

I will be so glad when the Y pool is opened back up again (this is week 2 of 2 weeks of scheduled maintenance) for two very good reasons.


I hate TV news.  I’m starting to get Don Henley’s point.  Even if I am listening to my headphones, the various news networks are plastered on the TV screens in the machine room, and they’re captioned. That wouldn’t be so bad, except I am compelled to read anything in print.  (This is one of the things about hyperlexia that can really suck- that compulsion to read everything that’s in print.)  For me, visual always trumps auditory.   What I hear never drowns out what I see.

I am coming very close to hitting my personal vapidity overload threshold.  I could care less whose school is on delay, what cologne my dogs should be wearing this season, and the less I know about Obama’s vacations and Obama’s flagrant violations of the Constitution,  the more sane I can try to remain.


Obama is thoroughly corrupt and loathsome.  I don’t need to keep on observing the media’s attempts to make him look good.

There really isn’t much in the morning news that has any sort of relevance in my life.  Now I know why I don’t watch it voluntarily.  I know most of the normals watch TV news- which is why it’s on during the morning workout hours- but the way I’m wired there are certain things I can only take in tiny doses, such as the Kardashians, gay men who try to tell me how I should dress, and natural disasters in divers parts of the world.  I get what news I really have to have on a need to know basis, usually online.  That minimalist strategy helps me turn down the mental noise.  Why should I get my undies in a bunch over things I have no control over?

gay fashion

No self respecting straight man would be seen dressed like these two- not even on Halloween.

Even though I have my coping strategies, being on the spectrum makes it easy for me to overload and get overwhelmed and depressed, so I have to make a conscious effort to try to be somewhat careful what I load up in my head.  It either has to be practical, or at least funny.


The other thing I sort of dislike about working out on the elliptical machine vs. swimming laps in the pool is I hate sweating and I hate being hot.  After 40 minutes on that machine,  my clothes are completely soaked and one can actually wring the sweat out of them which is absolutely disgusting.  Even though my morning workouts are always followed by a thorough, insanely soapy, and ultimately freezing cold shower, that icky sticky sweaty feeling is nasty while it lasts.  Not to mention my clothes- they go directly in the wash when I get home.

I see people wearing workout clothes for more than one day at a time and I sincerely hope that either a.) they don’t sweat like I do, or b.) they’re washing that stuff out every night.  I’m not OCD or a germophobe- at least not to extremes- but my workout clothes are absolutely unwearable after one workout until they’re washed again.


40 minutes of exercise is 40 minutes of exercise, but it’s a lot more pleasant in the pool.  At least then all I have to wash off is the chlorine.

I am thankful to be able to have a Y membership, don’t get me wrong, but it can be frustrating when I have to shift to a different plan.  I don’t mind doing the elliptical now and then as a change of pace, but every day, and in the summer- not so much.  In the middle of winter it might not be so bloody hot.

At least I’m working out. I don’t look like the buff chick on the machine up there but at least I don’t look like this:


Who I Don’t Want to Be, Memory and the Crotch Rocket



Why does the whole business of living have to be so difficult?  I don’t want to end up one of those bitter, wrinkly dried up old bitties who have nothing better to do than give me the stink-eye in the locker room because I’m not an old bitty wanting to shoot the shit, but I am in the pool at 5:30, and therefore invading “her” space.  I find myself getting close to that stink-eye to the world mindset sometimes though, and it scares me.  I get pissed at myself because I’m not much of a risk taker, and because I usually don’t have the courage to be anything more than a tired old door mat.  Always cordial, always concessionary, always blending into the scenery.  Stealth and avoiding confrontations are survival skills I’ve cultivated since childhood.  Most of the time avoiding conflict and/or scrutiny are exactly what I’m aiming to do in the first place.

The past should remain in the past- and I’m usually pretty good at not letting those vexing whirlwinds of emotions get to me- but there’s one person who can conjure a tempest in my heart every time.  Being insanely in love with anyone, regardless of how compelling he is (or was it lust, or simply the novelty and the sweetness of forbidden fruit, who knows,) is completely out of my character.  After 20 years (and then some) it’s time to let sleeping dogs lie and get back to reality, but memory is a hard taskmaster.  Every time I hear from him- and I do still consider him a friend- I end up going down the path of what once was and what could have been and all that noise- even though I can wish in one hand and shit in the other and know which hand is going to fill up first.  There is a plethora of technicalities that I would rather not rehash yet again- all the reasons why and everything that has remained unsaid-they are still the obstacles they have always been, but when all is said and done memory is just that.   Nothing more.

nothing left to say

Even knowing what an exercise in futility such revelries are, it seems as if the further back I go, the more vivid the imagery of memory becomes.  Oh, to have one of those days where I could just sit and watch the wheels go round, (to quote John Lennon) but I have to keep at least one foot grounded here on earth.

As usual, I’ve been too busy, too preoccupied with the business of making it through one day to the next, so when I do get a reminder that there is more to life than getting up, going to work and going to bed, it’s startling.  I’m reminded that I’m still alive, still taking up valuable oxygen, and still haven’t really accomplished jack shit.

Busy is probably better for me than I realize.  At least it’s keeping me out of trouble.


The illustrious POMC is busy with his latest acquisition- a crotch rocket.  Although I enjoy motorsports, for me it’s pretty much a given that a vehicle involved in motorsports should have four wheels.   I don’t share his enthusiasm for this purchase, and I don’t see myself attempting to ride this beast either.

I know it’s better that old ghosts stay in the past where they belong, though nothing would do me better than an evening and a drink with a friend.  I miss the conversation, strangely enough.  There are precious few people who I really want to converse with alone, one on one.

Maybe I should find some courage and make that a point.  NOT riding the crotch rocket- that’s not happening, but the conversation with an old friend that is long overdue.





A Requiem for Common Sense (Part 2)

happy honda

Ah, the paradox.

This car I spotted in the Target parking lot cracked me up.  The likelihood of this decrepit old Accord attaining highway speeds is actually fairly good if it’s getting a reasonable amount of regular maintenance.  I just hope the timing belt’s been replaced some time in the past ten years, otherwise the unfortunate owner of this rather obsolete piece of automotive technology will get a thorough schooling on the definition of interference engine. Usually when the belt breaks, it occurs at highway speeds, out of the blue, in the middle of nowhere.  The non-motorhead translation is, that if that timing belt breaks on an interference engine, your engine is toast.  Instantly and irrevocably, as in bent valves, or even valves through the pistons.  The repair cost (i.e. engine replacement…) is usually more than the value of the car.

interference engine damage

This is one reason why I chose a vehicle with an engine that features a timing chain, but in their defense, the old Accords- properly maintained- are often 300,000 mile or more cars.  Toyota still uses belts on some models, but most of their engines are clearance engines, (if the belt breaks there’s enough clearance that the valves don’t hit the pistons) so the worst that happens to you is that the car immediately stops running. You’ll have to have the car towed and replace the belt, which will cost more than if you had replaced it before it broke, because the tech will have to line up the cam and crank before installing the belt.

Ok, enough motorhead jargon.  Automotive is almost worse than the medical profession as far as specialized language.  It’s sad,but every time I see one of those old Hondas I remember the people who didn’t pay attention to replacing that belt from time to time.   Just like every time I see an old Camry I think about (well, a number of things) but primarily about a certain primadouche technician who couldn’t stand the sight of blood and guts.  I couldn’t help it that mice liked to make nests in the blower fans.


This morning I was rather disappointed when I went to go to the Y and the pool was closed due to thunderstorms.  I know they have rules regarding closing the pool (even though it’s an indoor pool) during thunderstorms and for a little while afterwards, which may be based on dubious science, but it still sort of sucked.  I didn’t waste workout time though.  I got on the one of the elliptical machines and still got in my 40 minutes of exercise.  I do have to wonder, though, if lightning could strike the pool, isn’t there’s an equal chance that lightning could strike the workout room where the ellipticals and other machines are?  As long as the building meets modern electrical codes, which it should since it was built in 2005, you’re safer in the pool than you would be in the showers, in the locker room,- or dashing out to your car in the parking lot.  Hell, I’d probably been safer in the pool than on the elliptical machine, but either way the odds of getting struck by lightning while working out indoors are probably about as good as me winning the lottery or suddenly being 6′ and 120#.  Ain’t-a-gonna-happen.

However, sometimes rules are made either without considering the science that nullifies the need for them, or old rules hang about that were made using outdated standards.  Whether a rule is logical or not isn’t my judgment call.  When I was in high school the whole concept of having to abide by illogical and archaic rules drove me bat shit, and still does to a certain degree today, but doesn’t change the fact that I still have to abide by them.


Last night when Jerry and I were out at Little Sicily’s- a tiny but fantastic pizza joint on the far east side of Columbus- there were a group of geezers sitting across from us.  I like old people.  Their perspective is closer to mine than people my own age or younger seem to have.

So as I was eavesdropping on their conversation, one of the ladies mentioned that life has gotten way too complicated today.  In a lot of ways yes, and even in some ways for the better, but I understood her frustration at how unsafe the world has gotten.  It seems that the powers that be try to take all the danger out of things we consider fun- it’s a major ordeal to get a kid in and out of a car seat for instance, and anyone who would have worn a bike helmet back in the 70s would have been assumed to be someone who had a weak skull or prior brain damage.  But in spite of adding more precautions and layers of safety, the world gets more and more dangerous- or at least that’s what we hear about.


A good example is what people do with their kids.  Back in the day no one had a problem with letting the kids roam the neighborhood, because everyone knew everyone else, and any adult could correct a child and bring that malfeasant offspring to its parents’ attention.  It was a double shame to be caught in misadventure by someone other than one’s parent, because not only would the first adult likely tan your hide, so would Dad, for committing two offenses- the original offense, and the added offense of misbehavior within public scrutiny.


This was Dad’s definition of the “Board of Education.”

Today I would be positively mortified of correcting another’s spawn, even though the little barbarians may richly deserve it, for fear of being sued.  Parents are afraid of correcting their own children for fear either of the child him or herself reporting them for child abuse (another reason to keep your kids out of public school- as the kids are drilled from day one to report, report, report) or because some well-meaning but thick-headed bystander will mistake well-deserved discipline for a “beating” and call Children’s Services on them.


Personally I think that it’s abuse to keep a child locked up inside, to let them become obese, and to fail to discipline them when they deserve it.  The wussification and the overprotection of children is partially in response to the horrible headlines we see where children actually are abused, but most of it stems from a parental desire to “make things better for my kid.”  This desire to “make things better for my kid”- combined with the abysmal performance of most public schools- has resulted in an entire generation of overindulged, undereducated, young adults who expect everything to be handed to them and for their actions to lack consequences.

Don’t Wanna, Can’t Make Me, and Sweet Dreams are Made of These

moretheyexpectSo, for a brief sanity break, leave those who were raised by wolves to figure things out for themselves from time to time.

The zoo calls that “enrichment” time for the animals.  Let the bears dig their dinner out of a bucket instead of just putting it in front of them. It makes their lives more fun. Or at least, it makes it more fun for the humans to watch.

I strive to have high standards for myself, but I don’t really expect much from rest of the world.  I know that might sound arrogant, but should I expect anything from anyone, even if I spell it out clearly, odds are that they will disappoint.  The old axiom, “if you want it done right, do it yourself,” certainly does apply in my life, although I should re-word it a bit for the 21st century.

“If I want it done at all, I better do it.”

If I keep my standards low, then when someone actually does perform adequately or appropriately, I am pleasantly surprised.  It’s sort of a twisted way of looking at the glass as being half full.

Of course there are some things I could give a rat’s ass less whether they’re done or not, because they just don’t make an appearance on my priority list.


I’m not a sports fan.  I struggle to commit to regular workouts for my health’s sake.  I’m still trying to learn to enjoy exercise.  I appreciate being able to go to the Y and use the machines and the pool there, but the only person I compete against as far as fitness or athletic (in)ability is myself.

I will make time to work out, but I still don’t care to watch sports.  Especially next month when they will be clogging up TruTV with that March Madness basketball mess.  I know some people want to watch basketball, but why on the same channel that “World’s Dumbest” is on?  Why not cut a few of the late night pecker pump infomercials and have basketball on then?

I can’t say I am a huge fan of constantly dusting things either.  I don’t dust as often as I should, but dusting is one of those exercises in futility that I positively loathe.  Jerry is a constant smoker, which creates even more dust than what would be in a normal house.  That nasty nicotine encrusted film covers everything in the house.  If I get to it, I get to it, but it’s not one of my really compelling priorities.  I can dust the whole frigging house from top to bottom and the filmy sludge will return in less than a day.  To me that seems like an insane waste of time, which reminds me of poor Sisyphus.  We the unwilling, doing the impossible for the ungrateful.  Sometimes I think I have more in common with Sisyphus than I’d like to acknowledge.


I know I torqued Jerry off last night by not fixing him dinner, however, he has spent the last few days being particularly obnoxious.  Last night I did make a special trip to get him chocolate milk.  That favor was greeted with a tirade about how he had to get up and lock the door.  I was gone for five minutes, in broad daylight, and the door leading into the kitchen was locked.  The outside door was unlocked because it’s a little easier to only have to dig for one key- once you’re already in the foyer- when it’s cold and your hands are full.  But since His Nibs doesn’t do anything that might involve carrying in groceries or anything like that, he wouldn’t know.

It’s my own fault for being too nice.

Paradise_Garden_Wallpaper_pkuk6Here’s a lovely little slice of paradise.  Or it would be, if there were a pool and a pool boy.

The bad thing about me and utopian scenes is that I’m always the one who cues in on the one nasty thing in the picture.  For me the idyllic scene above becomes:


This would be the kind of dream I have.  Everything is perfect for a minute, and then there’s flaming porto johns, Richard Simmons, and flatulence-provoking taco references.

Now here would be my definition of a nightmare:

detroit 3It would be my luck that when I die I’ll end up in Detroit.