Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pounding the Pavement...

Today I submitted an application & registration fee for what will be my 1st 5k race! 5k events are about 3.1 miles long, but since I’ve been running beyond that distance recently, & 4 times a week too, I think I’m ready for the challenge. Initially, I’d hoped to run this event with 2 friends, but 1 is out of town & the other flaked on me… I guess, I really haven’t been privy to any info in that regard.

Nonetheless, the kid will indeed be at the starting line on Lexington Street in Baltimore at 7:30 this Sunday morn & I’m beginning to get pretty excited about it too. The course starts downtown & portions of the race run along-side of the inner-harbor, both before & beyond the turn-around point, so it should be a pretty nice run, aesthetically speaking.

I didn’t have the free time for flag football this spring/summer, so I’m hoping the 5k helps quench the competitive thirst that’s been building in recent months. I’m reserving final judgment ‘til after the race, but I honestly don’t see myself doing many 5/10k races in the future. I do enjoy the camaraderie of being among other runners, but I love the loner aspect of my personal workouts. If nothing else, it’s 1 less item on the bucket list.

Plus, I’ve always been an independent worker. Just tell me what needs to be done, by when & you will get what you seek. No need to concern yourself about how I get it done – that part is up to me. So, likewise, increasing or slowing my current pace to match fellow runners or workout partners would probably prove to be more work than it’s worth to me anyway.

When I 1st started running, my sole intention was to stay in-shape until returning to action in 1 of my flag football or softball leagues. Since that point, in early March, I’ve become far more invested, & I mean that both literally & figuratively. Considering the time & money spent on this newfound hobby – there’s absolutely no way I’d stop right now.

I needed better running shoes (my New Balances were far too heavy), sole inserts (had to correct my arch), patella bands (the pavement was abusing my knee cartilage those 1st few weeks), glucosamine pills (to prevent further joint-cartilage degeneration), running apparel (just because I need to look good, lol) & an iPod sleeve (for obvious reasons). Still, the biggest investment to date has been my heart.

When I ran track in high school, I only ran the shorter races – I was a sprinter with quick bursts of speed. Hell, my specialty was FOOTBALL anyway, so I was only out there because my football coach demanded it. There was no way I’d even consider any events over 200 meters – I was terrified of distance running & remained that way until now.

I say that to help demonstrate how often, we as humans, miss-out on the things we’d really enjoy in life because we’re either too afraid, stubborn/lazy or smart to get involved & give something new a try. I’m glad I took the initiative to try something I wasn’t completely comfortable with. It certainly taught me a few things about myself, including the discipline I possess when properly motivated...

***Update -- May 30, 2011

Well I successfully completed the race yesterday & I think I did ok for my 1st crack at it. Overall, I placed 130th (out of 312 total runners) & 14th (out of 30 total runners) in the 30-39 year-old division. I clocked my 2nd best mile-split avg. time since I've been running longer distances (9 min./56 sec.) & my overall 5k time was 30 min./51 sec.

Coming into the race, my only goal was to finish race in the top half of the categories above & the official race results indicate my performance was right on target. So in general, I'm fairly satisfied with my performance...

Friday, May 20, 2011


A month or so back, I marked today on my calendar as the start of a new attempt to quit smoking. How appropriate is it that the date I selected falls just one day ahead of the great the rapture that will sweep the globe (according to Christian radio host Harold Camping, lol) on the 21st of May.

Pushing back my quit date would only prolong the effort, so I'm holding true to my word & slamming on the breaks from this point forward!

I did cheat a bit in preparation for today as I've only smoked on 3 occasions (lunch time at work) since Monday. I was trying to soften the blow that accompanies goin cold-turkey, so even before today, I'd already drastically reduced my tobacco consumption so... go me!

I've actually cycled on/off many times over the years. But this time, I've decided to stop myself, so I'll be monitoring my own progress. I'm a bit weary of being my own watch-dog (in the past, women have eagerly performed this role - lol). But I'm committed to a healthier lifestyle, so I'm making a serious effort here.

There's this iPhone app (LiveStrong MyQuit Coach) that I've been using over the past week that helps alot with the quitting effort. Each time I get an urge to smoke, I open the app to get both my custom & preset reminders, photos, factoids, messages of encouragement, so on & so forth - all pushing me to resist the urge.

Ultimately the app wants to know whether I gave into the craving or not. Based upon my individual selections (among other user-entered data), the app generates reports & develops quitting programs. There's also a support community of fellow smokers/former smokers embedded right into the app & companion website.

All I which I've found to be useful thus far. Not a bad way to analyze your individual habit & take the best approach towards quitting. During my 3 jogging activities this week, I've actually already felt the increase in my stamina & endurance levels.

I really hadn't intended to adjust my drinking habits since I only drink socially anyway. But sadly, beer/liquor makes me crave tobacco, so it's looking more & more like I'll be cutting the alcohol as well, at least until I'm confident I'll be able to handle those tobacco cravings after consumption.

Wednesday night/Thursday morning, there was ALOT of both liquor & tobacco in my home as my brother & some friends had gathered after leaving the bar. But I resisted on both accounts & didn't partake in either past-time, even though it would have been so natural for me to do.

I felt like passed a small test, lol. So at least I'm off to a good start so far. This weekend will likely provide the biggest hurdle. I'll have alot more down-time to deal with, so I'm gonna try & keep myself busy - wish me luck...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Finally Got a Hall Pass...

Last week the US passport I applied for arrived & I'm still so very excited about it! I can't help but open it from time to time, just to make sure there's still a photo of me, & not someone else, on the inside of it, lol.

I'd been procrastinating so long on completing the application process, but figured I'd at least get the photo taken. After doing that during lunch at work & then returning to my desk, I decided not to wait another day & complete the entire process immediately.

A little online digging revealed there was a place that processed passport applications across the street from my office. I completed the necessary paperwork, grabbed my birth certificate, hit the corner store for a money order & made it happen!

Now I don't have a place to go, nor anyone to travel with per se (since I'm not so sure my normal traveling buddy is up for getting his passport too), still, having the option to get up & bounce at a moment's notice gives me great pleasure.

Some of the places I've always wanted to travel to include Egypt (Cairo/Giza), England (London), The Netherlands (Amsterdam), Australia (Sydney), any of the Carribbean islands (since we need passports just to take cruises now - thanx Osama) & also India (Mumbai).

I refuse to die a person who never saw any of what the rest of the planet has to offer. Obtaining my passport was step 1 of my 'cultural enlightenment period' & I'm really looking forward to seeing what the rest of the world has in-store for me :-D

Once I return from this year's annual trip to South Beach in Miami this July, I'll begin making plans for my very 1st international trip. Any suggestions based upon places you've been? Let me know, I'm very open to suggestions at this point.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Better Lifestyle Choices...

In recent months, I've been making an effort to live a healthier lifestyle. For starters, I'm a smoker, so it's my goal to completely cut the smoking (tobacco anyway, lol) over the next few months. The same goes for my insatiable appetite for fast food - but that's already a non-issue. Outside of absolute necessity, I hardly eat it anymore.

I've been doing a few other things to combat my negative lifestyle choices. Outside of liquor (& coffee from time to time), I only drink water, even with my meals. It's been more than 2 months since I've ingested any soda or other liquids containing things like artificial flavoring and/or preservatives. I also jog every other day & get this, I've been COOKING (& low-fat meals, at that!).

Don't get me wrong, I'm far from a calorie counter, but I do eat much more sensibly & I'm very proud of that. Taking on a healthier diet, hasn't been cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but hell, the money saved if I were still consuming cheaper, unhealthier foods would be spent anyway, so fuckit - it's an investment in my health.

As far as the types of meals I'be been cooking, they've been things like chicken quasedillas, blackened chicken, lemon peppered salmon, crab-stuffed potatoes, you know - shit like that. I think I'm going with angel hair pasta with garlic shrimp and broccoli for my next "kitchen assignment." Fuck, I'm getting hungry just typing about it, lol.

I've always given credit where credit is due, so I've gotta mention the fact that I received great motivation from a buddy in getting started on this healthy kick. The initial encouragement she provided was essential in getting me started (& I'm VERY appreciative of that), but keeping things going on my own shouldn't pose a problem.

Not long ago, I published a post where I outlined the various negative associations I'd eliminated since the beginning of the year. I think this too, is a really important area of healthy living. I'm a firm believer that stress (regardless of cause), reduces one's lifespan. So I made it a point to reduce the stressors in my life & what a wonderful decision that was!

With that in mind, I guess I'd better roll this current period of abstinence into my list of healthier choices too (granted, this really isn't a welcomed change in lifestyle, but a healthier change nonetheless, right?). Can't really recall just how long it's been, but long enough - I'll leave it at that, lol.

Lastly, I've developed a far better since of positive thinking as of late (I'm taking full credit for this 1 myself). In general, I've lived life as a pretty cynical & pessimistic individual, but now I focus far more on positive situations & the correction of negative situations (not the negative situations, themselves).

The whole power of positive thinking thing has been working pretty well for me. So wish me luck as forge ahead & continue to better myself, remember - if it ain't growing, it's already dead...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mission Compromised (breaking formation)...

I never before realized how conditional a state, good chemistry between 2 people can be. In years past, I guess I've been lucky as I've never before felt the need to force things because the chemistry always materialized on it's own, but its clear to me now that sometimes 2 people just don't have it.

You can say & do all of the right things but when the mutual attraction or sexual desire isn't obvious to both, it doesn't take long for the alienated party to begin losing interest before eventually raising the white flag in defeat. For those of you who'd argue it's about more than sex, trust & believe that this post references all forms of intimacy - throw a nigga a bone - damn, lol.

It's no one's fault I guess, but I'm definitely stuck in the 'friend-zone' with someone, so that, as they say, is that! Friend-zones are difficult to navigate & damn near impossible to get out of, meaning you can pretty much check any notions of physical/emotional intimacy at the door, lol.

I don't expect the following will garner much support from women, but if you're open-minded enough to hear me out, you too might recognize the ironic nature of it all. You see, there's always an inherent risk when a guy befriends a woman before sex is on the table (yea, you read that right).

As a result, we as men sometimes end up kicking ourselves for not being the ass-holes we're expected to be in the 1st place. Sure, historically, women have been encouraged to make a guy wait if she likes him, but uhhh... that's a pretty dated ideology & it most certainly doesn't apply across the board.

Then there's the ever so popular, "I've been burned before" spiel, lol. I love it when I get that 1 :-D But I'm giving you guys the benefit of doubt this go-round & assuming there's no need to elaborate any further on why living your life in fear of failure won't work either...

I figure it's probably best just to follow your heart & not some redundant study guide developed by others to justify their particular ways of living. On the other hand, if a woman's heart truly tells her to wait, then I guess Mr. Man (me in this case)is shit out of luck, in either instance, lol.

I know some will definitely consider my simplistic logic as a flawed outlook on life & that might indeed be the case, but be honest with yourself & decide which of the following 2 methods seems like the bigger waste of one's time:

-- Openly expressing the desire to have sex with a woman
you've only recently met & getting an on-the-spot decision...

-- Coming correct, putting in the time, playing all the
angles & possibly reaching the point of intimacy...

I'm just saying, method 1 seems like a huge time saver to me, lol. Besides, in today's age of the 'empowered' woman (who I might add enjoys the idea of sex just as much as men), the ass-hole has a much higher success rate - i.e. nice guys DO usually finish last. Any scientific study would surely expose the pattern here.

Which begs me to question, why we, as a society, choose to refer to such guys as 'ass-holes' to begin with. Honesty (no matter how brutal) should never be punished. Perhaps we should instead start using the term 'efficient' for these types of guys moving forward, lol.

But seriously, it's time to start developing an exit strategy on my end. I mean, it's not the end of the world, picking up yet another friend of the plutonic variety, but just how many friends does 1 guy need, really? Fuckit, if there's no chance in winning the war, I'm bringing home my troops - all of 'em!

Final Verdict: Honesty remains the best policy, even if that entails your perceiving me to be the quintessential ass-hole :o)p

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Whatever Doesn't Kill Me...

So.......... if a jogger falls running along a trail in the middle of the forest & there's nobody around to hear him, does he make a sound? Damn, right I did & it was something along the lines of "@&%#."

Earlier in the evening while treading the portion of my jog that takes me through the woods, I took a pretty good spill & even managed to break some skin as I hit the dirt, lol. You know how when tripping in public you look around to see who witnessed your mishap? Yup, I did it - even alone in the middle of the forest, lol.

Before taking-off again, I DID take a few moments to collect (& laugh at) myself. Honestly, I don't know what the fuck happened - I was coasting along gracefully 1 moment & the next, I was tumbling forward (& cussing all the way to the ground, lol). Guess I clipped a fallen branch or unearthed tree root.

I finished today's run exhausted, slightly traumatized & most definitely distracted. Hell, it had to happen at some point, I'm just glad it took place out of plain view & upon a soft (though apparently not soft enough) surface. I'm tellin' ya - I'd pay good money to somehow get video footage of the blunder.

Even though tomorrow is 1 of my normal rest days, I'm really tempted to get back out there & redeem myself. At any rate, I guess I'll cross that bridge tomorrow - assuming I can manage to figuratively stay on my feet, of course...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Goin Dark...

The dictionary defines 'going dark' as follows: (1) To disappear; become suddenly unavailable or digitally out of reach for an undefined period of time. (2) Term used in the intelligence world, meaning to go silent (not speak or communicate with anyone for a period of time), a way of protecting oneself from people who would cause harm.

Ok, a little about me... I do NOT handle inconsistency well, lol. Neither in casual friendships, nor romantic courtships have I ever appreciated the up & down, here & there nature of such relationships. At this point, I've grown impatient & rather than wait on people to exercise a little tact, I'm just goin dark on their asses at the stroke of midnight. In doing so, I'll be realigning my priorities & gettin back to doing me.

It'll be an interesting challenge to see how long I'm willing to remain dark this go-round. But my best folks know how to reach me (even during times like this), so I'm not the least bit concerned about losing touch with those who ultimately mean the most to me.

It gets pretty intense whenever I decide to do this from time to time. Typically it involves avoiding most gatherings or parties, not updating social networking websites, switching the cell phone to airplane mode (i.e - disabling data/notifications, cellular signals, email/sms message delivery & instant messaging), so on & so forth. Keeping to myself is the only remedy I can come up with whenever the people around me stop making sense.

Though disappearing the way that I do at times would be considered an extreme measure by some, it's a necessary action at times. Generally speaking, I enjoy company of others, but when effectively backed into a corner by actions or inactions of others, its pretty easy to withdraw from everyone & remain in solitude. As it turns out, I'm rather adept at entertaining myself, lmao.

But seriously, you can call it self-absorbed, introverted, or whatever - the fact that I'm comfortable befriending myself remains a plus in my eyes & I'm in no way clear on why I'm supposed to feel apologetic about it either...

"What a commentary on civilization, when being alone is being suspect; when one has to apologize for it, make excuses, hide the fact that one practices it – like a secret vice."

~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Friday, May 6, 2011

Feature Friday: She's Just Not That Into You...

This week's selection is a blog post I found online at TheFrisky.com, the writer goes by 'Simcha,' & since I found it to be an interesting post, I thought I'd share it with you guys here for this month's Feature Friday post.

Checked out any good blogs (literary, vocal or otherwise artistic works) you'd like to see shared? Or perhaps you've got some good stuff yourself. If so, shoot me an email at Ghostwriter28@me.com & I'd be glad to post it here. "10 Signs She's Just Not That Into You" reads as follows...

Guys can be just as clueless as women when it comes to reading the signs, especially since women have their own set of subtle brush-off techniques. After countless boring dates and awkward interactions, we’ve decided to let you studs in on our secrets. We’ve cut through the BS and compiled the signs that she’s just not that into you.

1. Message in A Message
You call her, you leave a voicemail, and she texts you back. If she really wanted to reach out and touch someone, she would have rung you.

2. Conflict of Interests
Sure, everyone has a busy schedule, but it’s the quality of the excuse that counts. If it’s, “I have to clean my apartment,” she doesn’t want to get dirty with you.

3. Private Eyes
Whether you’re having dinner for two or getting down on the dance floor, if she’s not looking at you, she’s not looking for you.

4. Please
You’re generous in the sack. She doesn’t return the favor. That’s the only clue you need.

5. Easy Access
At a party, if she’s talking to Joe Schmo and Wendy Whatsherface more than she’s chatting with you, you’re nothing special to her.

6. Rider’s Block
You shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get her to give you the time of day. If you have plans, and she invites other people along, it’s time to say bye-bye.

7. Friend in Deed
She tells you what her friends think about you—and it’s not all good. This level of regurgitation is TMI and intended to drive you out the door.

8. Cuddle Monster
She has sex with you, but that’s it. She’s using you. Say adios—unless that’s all you want, too.

9. Multiple Choice
If she so much as mentions other sexy guys, you have to forget her—because she won’t forget about them.

10. Dressed to Kill
From lipstick to low-cut tops, if she never uses any of the tricks of the lady trade to look her best for you, she doesn’t think you’re worth her effort.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"America! Fuck yea..."

Normally, I'd be right there on the side of most cynics currently questioning impact of Osama bin Laden's recent demise & the resulting celebration by most Americans, but honestly - it's just not the time for it. This country needs a significant accomplishment to take pride in.

Just look at the shit-storms we've dealt with as a country over the past 10 years since 9/11. I mean, we're hardly a 3rd world country, but between our troops' continued presence in the middle east, high-ass gas prices, the health care battle, unemployment, FEMA's incompetence, the recession, housing crisis & ensuing bank bail-outs... fuck, do I really need to continue?

But this past Sunday, U.S. special operations forces made us all forget about that other shit for a few moments & I certainly welcome the break from it all. Screw the swift 'burial at sea' debate, the imminent retaliation plot by Al Qaeda & all that other jazz. We got that coward-ass mutha-fukka! If you want to mourn his death, feel free Gandhi - but not me.

As I watched the breaking coverage last night, much of the footage was dedicated to the crowds of students, tourists & citizens that gathered in front of the White House, Time Square & even upon ground-zero itself. It was so very refreshing to see (even if only for a flash of time) the citizens of this country all on the same accord for a change.

I love this country, but I'll be the 1st to admit I don't often embrace my patriotism as much as I should, but I certainly felt I was apart of a collective nation of people last night. To my fellow pessimistic, skeptical & overly morbid kill-joys, I implore you to hold-off on the convoluted conspiracy theories & such just a bit longer. Allow the country to bask in the glow of this momentary instance of unified satisfaction.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Blue Balls, lol...

Just about quitting time & all I can thank about here at my desk is sex! I'm well aware of how touchy a subject sex can be for many, but I've never really viewed the topic as taboo myself. In contrast, I've always welcomed discussions regarding human sexuality & intercourse.

In recent months I've been trying to abstain from 'meaningless' sex, but uhhh... not sure how much longer I'll be able to wage this particular war. It's almost summer & my hormones are operating at maximum output, keeping them captive will only become more difficult in the coming weeks.

In case you're wondering, masturbation will NOT cut it as an adequate stop-gap either. Honestly, it would be so much easier to scrap this damn plan & give some willing woman 'the business' & simply call it a night, lol. But Ma-Dukes once told me, "nothing easy is worth having," so I've (reluctantly) kept that in mind as of late.

Geez, I sure picked a God-awful time to seek 'something more' in women, lol. Granted, I've never been super-quick to do the 'grown-up' with just any ol' woman, but I'd be liar if I told you guys I was looking for some unique challenge during this present moment of extreme weakness. I'm definitely second guessing some of those recently deleted phone numbers now, lmao.

Remaining disciplined is always hard work & it's even more difficult when you know you're the only one keeping score. Without a doubt, I'm in definite need of some chicken soup for the soul, but getting these thoughts out of my head helps me a great deal.

"Thanks for allowing me to share," lol...