Friday, December 31, 2010

in my head

i woke up today and i am pretty screwed up mentally. i have to take care of some logistics for my family to come here and it's not going well. i am so tired of being here in the apartment that i want to go home. except that i know i will feel the same way at home. i'm tired and unmotivated and just have no desire to do anything. i missed a few nights of my medication, so i know that that has something to do with this, but it's not an easy quick fix.

i hate feeling this way. it's simply not fair.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

noone can understand.

I just get so angry. I hear people refer to other people's trauma and experiences. I hear a friend of mine, someone I consider a good friend, and I hear them try to rationalize making someone relive something so traumatic, something that is so alien to themselves and their existence, and argue that someone should relive that for someone else's benefit, and it infuriates me. It bothers me to no fucking end. I want to get physically violent, to literally change the world that they live in, to traumatize them in just a tiny way, to change the perspective and let them see how absolutely selfish it is to think that anyone other than the traumatized should have ownership of the event.

FUCK i hate people. figure it out. other people's trauma isn't something to decide is yours. Respect it.


Friday, December 24, 2010

More Wadi Perazim

More pics of Wadi Perazim, Israel

Really enjoying my new camera!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wadi Perazim, Israel

Perazim Wadi, Israel - December 20, 2010
Click image for larger size...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Social. A continuing commentary.

I am absolutely stupid when it comes to social situations. It may be the lack of being in situations like these for five years or t may be something else, but I absolutely have no confidence in my self socially, and especially with women. I feel like I missed that phase of adolescence, where everyone else learned the "rules" of the game and what to do, say or act, etc. I have such a crushing self-doubt and self-loathing that even when things are good I am freaking out. I constantly question my actions and ridicule myself in my own mind. I always feel that people are making fun of me and talking about me and that I don't fit in. I try to put on this facade of aloofness, as if I don't care what people think of me, but the cold truth is, I yearn for acceptance and when I don't get it I feel like a failure and a fool. The failure because I cannot participate in one of the simplest yet most necessary things in life - social interaction. And a fool because I hate myself for letting another person's attention/attraction rule my head.

I have no idea what I should or can do.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Politics and bad thoughts

While sitting around working today the subject of politics and the Iraq war came up. I neglected to add my opinions out loud. The girl who had no trouble sharing her opinions in a girl who I have a general dislike for to begin with, so of course hearing her views on a subject which is sensitive to me was certainly not a good thing.

I don't know whether or not me internalizing this is better than me unloading my venom on people who may or may not deserve it, but this is what it is right now.

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Sarel volunteering: welcome to the Israeli Defence Force

Today was our first day of Sarel. We'll be volunteering with the Israeli Army for the week. It's nothing too exciting, basically we're a big working party. But I absolutely had a blast today.

Immediately I began remembering things about Marine Corps life. The base I'm on reminds me of Al Quaim along the Syrian border with Iraq. Complete with moon dust and sand everywhere. I realized how much of this I missed. I also realized that if I reenlisted in the Marines, I wouldn't be at a base like this. I would be in North Carolina or California. I'm pretty sure I don't want that. But I have to be honest I am entertaining the idea of the IDF for the moment.

Now relax everyone. I am not joining up or anything. But I may make some inquiries and find some information. It's always good to have as much information as possible.

On an "I'm stupid" note: I cut my thumb pretty good today. I was cutting twine and moving too fast so instead of the scissors cutting the twine, they cut my thumb a bit. Oh well, it'll grow back.

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So we're out visiting the Al Atrash tribe of Bedouins somewhere in the desert. I'm tired and have had some massive sinus headaches lately which are causing me to be more irritable than usual. We'll see how tonight goes.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

ain't feeling it today

I'm a little sick these last few days. I have a cough and a sore throat and sinus pressures. So that's not that good. I ran yesterday and then shivered for a while afterward, so that was probably not a good idea. I did however stay home last night when I could have gone out, and I got some good sleep. So hopefully I will get more good sleep tonight and wake up feeling better tomorrow.

As it is, I'm in a crappy mood. Which means I am more judgmental about my surroundings both physical and people, and so I am attempting to keep my distance. Which, in an apartment with six roommates and people coming and going all the time, is not all that easy. Also, I lost my camera, so I'm shit out of luck there.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Therapy continued

I didn't really delve into any issues in my last post. One of the things I am constantly learning is interpersonal interactions and relationships.

Five years worth of therapy have made me extremely self-aware, but didn't really give me practical tools for interacting with others on a daily basis. While I am able to be open and honest easier than ever, this skill doesn't help make new friends really.

But despite this I am making new friends. The issue is keeping them and strengthening existing friendships.

I am friends with an IDF veteran who was in Gaza and Lebanon. We were talking about social interaction and we both agreed that at times, certain social situations are scarier than combat was. The thing is, we were trained for combat. It is a simple situation. The enemy has this objective and I have mine. There are certain tactics and actions that are taken to advance that objective. In social situations, things are messy. I have no idea of what people want from me, what is happening. I received no training for this, and constantly feel out of my depth when interacting with my peers.

This is uncomfortable to me, however I am beginning to tolerate this feeling and go out and talk to people and actively participate in my social surroundings, whereas previously I would avoid the whole thing. So I guess that's progress.

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virtual therapy

I went to therapy once a week while I was in New York. For the last five years, on average once a week I sat down with a therapist, someone trained in the art of getting to the issues that are affecting me, and helping me delve through them.

I have been in Israel now for eight weeks. Eight weeks in which I have done many different things and gotten through periods of depression on my own. However, I am not stupid or naive enough to think that I don't still need therapy. At this junction though, I am going to use this blog post and future ones as my "virtual therapy" seeing as the commute from Ashdod to the VA in Northport, NY would be costly and not really feasible weekly.

In the past eight weeks, I have been able to interact and participate in daily life for the first time in five years. I live with 6 roommates in an apartment, and there are 38 other participants in the group that I am part of. I am "forced" to interact and be social every day with these people. I have a job in which I am required to interact with both adults but mainly children, and each day I am setting new boundaries for tolerant behavior. Whereas in the past, I did not have the self-control (or desire to have self-control) to do this, each day I am able to continue working with people and kids without losing my mind and making a "scene". So this is progress.

I have started exercising again, which is a physical antidepressant in and of itself. It is great, and I have lost seven pounds so far. I take my medication religiously, as always.

I am having more good days than bad, but I still suffer from debilitating bouts of depression. These get more pronounced according to my sleep cycle. There is no doubt that my sleep - both length of time and quality - affects my mood and my physical state. Unfortunately for me, I am not always vigilant enough to keep this under control.

We traveled to Jerusalem last week. I was up until 3am the night before, and had to be on the bus at 615. So on less than 3 hours of sleep, I went to Jerusalem. I was awake and walking around all day, and enjoyed the trip. When I came home, I paid for it physically, by literally falling down, and then I slept almost a day and a half straight. That is going from dangerously low amount of sleep to entirely too much sleep. And I am still paying the price for it today.

I have more "panic attacks" nowadays. I put them in quotes, because it's not like the typical panic attacks I used to have, it is physically different. I feel more physically drained, and tired. I don't have a raised heart rate, or sweat, or adrenaline, it is physically the opposite. Mentally, it is draining as well. So that's something I have been dealing with. I say more because I guess it is just a byproduct of being more active and participating in my life. I don't count the panic attacks as something I am really worried about, but definitely it is something I am monitoring.

When I am tired, especially after waking, I am a much different person. People who I enjoy being around, things I enjoy doing, bother me to no end when I am tired. I am irritable and mean and just generally a pissy person to be around, and I enjoy nothing. There seems to be such a small "window" of how much sleep is enough, versus too little sleep, or too much sleep. If I'm in this window, things are great, if I stray outside of this window, it invariably causes me problems that don't need to be there.

I felt really shitty this morning, and have yet to go into work, because I really needed to do this "therapy session." I feel a little better now after getting this out of my head, but I also acknowledge there is still more inside I need to sort through. So look for more of these "virtual therapy" sessions in the future.

Also: in case you missed it: I LOST SEVEN POUNDS SINCE COMING TO ISRAEL.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way

I'm in a bad mood which has morphed into anger and depression quick. At ulpan today, our wonderful teacher Hadas, who is Israeli, stated her views on Americans who volunteer for our military, and Jews who do the same in particular. Since I am the only participant here, the comments and conversation were towards me. While the cultural differences make me pretty sure that she wasn't attempting to really bait me into an argument or offend me purposely, she nonetheless did.

Now I don't like talking to people about the politics behind American involvement in Iraq. There are a myriad of reasons, but simply, the impression I'm left with from people who I do engage in these conversations is that they don't understand me as a person, and my views as an American. So I stay away from these topics. Hadas however plunged right in, and proceded to ask why anyone, let alone Jews, would join the American military and fight somewhere else, for a land that is not ours. That here in Israel, when you join the army, you have to because without the army, there is no Israel, no life, no Jews, etc. But for Americans, this is simply not so. There's no reason an American, let alone an American Jew should ever risk his or her life for something that is not necessary.

Well, first, I am attempting to look at the evening as a big step toward recovery, as I sat there silently in class and yes'd her to death, while keeping my cool even as I was getting extremely mad. I said nothing that I regret, I did not yell, I did not verbally assault her or anyone else. I wanted to, but I didn't.

After a few hours, here I am and I am obviously still quite upset about it. I don't know that I can continue with anything quite coherent and understandable, but I will leave you with a few points that are floating around my head right now:

* The state of Israel owes a portion (the size is debatable) of it's security in the world to United States support. This support comes in various forms, both economic and militarily.

* The invasion and subsequent regime change in Iraq removed an avowed enemy of the state of Israel, Saddam Hussein. The same enemy who in 1991 shot SCUD missiles at Israel daily. Who supported Hezbollah and Hamas.

* The American military actions throughout the globe don't fit in to the neat definition of "defending your homeland" as Israel's actions do. However, without taking the fight to America's enemies, the enemy would be happy as a pig in shit to bring the fight to us, ie. 9/11, or to our allies, ie. Israel.

* American military power and projection allow me to be able to travel to places in the world with relative safety. Terrorists and enemies are aware of the fact that the US has military power to project right into their backyard, and we will do so in order to protect our citizens.

Anyway, fuck all that. I'm tired of this shit. Obviously I still have a ways to go with this whole acceptance thing.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

working out regularly

So I'm sitting here waiting for my pita to be toasted and my tea to steep. We had a house meeting tonight which really is one of those things that i have yet to "get" about civilian life, living with roommates, discipline - or all of the above. While all the sentiments expressed at the house meeting were good, and well-meaning, there really is no difference between tonight's and the last one we had. And now that I'm writing about it, it is painfully obvious that I am devoting too much headspace for this.

So on to what the title of the post is: I exercised four times this week, and six times this month, and that's just under 50%. That's where I want to be, or better, so I'm pleased at this.

Ok, food's done. I'm out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Today was the 235th birthday of the finest fighting force on the planet. On November 10th 1775, in Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the United States Marine Corps was born.

I celebrated here in Israel and it was fantastic. My friends set up the barbecue on the balcony and even got me a cake. It was fantastic! I am really touched by the effort they went through. I am friends with really good people and that's just an awesome feeling.

Last night we went out to Pigal, a bar here in Ashdod, and I had a great time. I met some friends there that I hadn't seen in a while. We drank and told stories and it was great. And in out-of-this-world news, I TALKED TO TWO BEAUTIFUL WOMEN. I was social and comfortable and it was really really cool that I was able to do that after not doing that for so long. (if you're unaware, go back to March and look for a post titled "social").

Also, the girl I hung out with in Tel Aviv called me tonight and wished me a happy birthday. I'm headed to Tel Aviv tomorrow night and we will probably hang out. Definitely looking forward to it.

On the teaching front, we finally have hammered out a schedule for each day and decided how the school wants to employ us so that we are now set up with small groups each period that we will continue with for a month. That way we can chart their progress and give intensive individual help. I am excited about it more now that we have a defined role and expectations for us to fulfill.

So basically things here are going fantastic! I went running on Tuesday as well as Saturday and Sunday so I'm getting into a fairly regular routine.

Hope everyone out there is doing great! Quick congratulations to my my cousin Matt and His wife Rebecca for running in the NYC marathon!

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday stretches

I went running yesterday and today. Both runs I also exercised on the bodyweight machines. I'll have to get a picture on here, they're actually really cool. Anyway both days my total exercise time was over 45 minutes. I'm a little sore but enjoying it. I exercised three times last week, so that's the goal for this week as well.

My cousin Matt and his wife Rebecca are running I'm the NYC marathon today so I hope they do great!

Things here in Ashdod are good, the weather is starting to cool off at night - which means somewhere around 65 degrees. Don't be jealous, not everyone can be as lucky as me.

Hope y'all are doing alright.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Good night

Well I'm on the way home from Tel Aviv. It was a good night hanging out and making new friends. Once I met up with her, most of my anxiety disappeared.

I'm pretty tired and a little drunk now so when I get home it's straight to bed.

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Of panic attacks and travels in a foreign land.

I'm in Tel Aviv about to get on a bus to see a friend of mine. I am pretty sure in the last 24 hours that I have had at least one minor panic attack. I didn't go to work today and that might have been part of the reason why. Last night I got a call from one of the teachers I work with saying she wasn't coming in to work today, and could I figure something out to do with the kids. That probably screwed with me a bit.

Tonight I called and am here in Tel Aviv to see a girl I met. So there's an element of social anxiety that is affecting me. Plus I got on the wrong bus out of Ashdod making quite a detour before I even got here. Add to that a complete loss of ability to speak Hebrew all of a sudden and it makes for one hell of a night so far.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Weight gain

I'm relatively certain I have had a significant gain of weight this first month in Israel. I'm not too happy about it. This is not good, therefore I am going running.

EDIT: So, the scale I used was different, and after weighing myself on the scale I used previously, there is no significant weight change good or bad. 

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

host family

I have a host family that I see each weekend for Shabbat. It's nice because I get a home cooked meal and good conversation from real Israelis. I enjoy going there, and today was no exception. I got to meet more of the family. There are three children, two of whom I met tonight. I had a good conversation with Shira, the youngest daughter, who is my age. I have a trip for Oranim to Tel Aviv on Monday, and Shira and I may get together after the trip, as she lives in Tel Aviv. It was a nice relaxing afternoon, filled with good food and good conversation.

In Fat Guy News, tomorrow is the last day of October, and so far I have run five days. If I run tomorrow, that will be 6 days out of 31. Not a good ratio, but it's a starting point. So the goal will be 9 days in November. That's also not a lot, but it's much easier to set an achievable goal and surpass it than set a huge goal and not achieve it. So the idea is run tomorrow and then 9 days out of 30 in November.

That's about it for me, I'm gonna watch some TV and then sleep, as tomorrow starts week 2 of teaching...

Friday, October 29, 2010


I had a very different adolescence than the crap o see on tv. (there is a one tree hill marathon on one of the Israeli tv channels and so the idea behind this post.)

I was quite often alone during my adolescence. My best friend from elementary school became quite a bigot and though I took the racism silently I never really felt all that comfortable hanging out with him. I lacked a true best friend, one you could talk to about anything. So I began to slowly crawl into a protective shell in order to make it difficult for things to hurt me. And it continues onto today. Except the shell is so thick for defense now plus it has spikes stocking out for offense that it is near impossible for me to interact socially. The shell is defensive - shielding me from harm - and offensive - turning people away without intent - that I simply don't know what I can do about it.

And just so it's clear that I am not blaming my situation on a former best friend from adolescence it shod never be discounted the damage done by the death of my mom when I was ten. There's a study somewhere that links an adult's anxiety to how they were protected and nurtured by their mother during their formative years. Well I sure missed out on the wisdom my mom could have imparted on me, and it affects me every day in many ways.

I miss her so much.

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hey jealousy

One unforeseen emotion that is occurring quite often lately is jealousy. I didn't anticipate being jealous as a result of being around people as much as I am these days. I knew there would be a struggle for me to be social all the time and to mix and coalesce with the people around me, but jealousy never entered my mind.

But jealous I am. I've noticed I am jealous of others who seem not to have any problems at all. I'm jealous of guys who always attract the girls. I'm jealous of guys who seem to have girls around at all times. I'm jealous of everyone who doesn't wake up like me and slog through days of depression.

So, yeah. That's quite unexpected.

Monday, October 25, 2010

On the bus to Jerusalem

So we have left Ashdod and are on the way to Ramla and Ness Ziona to pick up more Oranim peeps.

It's a little weird like deja vu to be on a bus traveling across Israel but it is definitely cool.

We'll see how my mood endures tonight.

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Bus back to Ashdod

Yeah still not that good in crowds and tight spaces for a log time. Plus I kinda crawled deep inside my head and kicked up just enough self-loathing and doubt to convince myself of the fact that I am absolutely incapable of the simplest social interactions, and therefore will be alone for the rest of my miserable existence.

Fun times, huh?

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mega event in jerusalem

goin to jerusalem

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Running again

Today's run was good. I felt really good and was really energized. I'm glad I ran today.

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Out the other side

So I am over this last bout of depression. It seems that each time no it gets worse, but I'm not sure if the duration changes or not. It also may just be due to still adjusting to living halfway around the world. I don't know. I also don't really ever figure out how I get out of the depression, but I have concluded this (again): I must be physically active, as that speeds up the lifting of the depression. Endorphins and some such. Anyway, I am in the middle of cooking for the week. I have cooked two large chicken breasts, and have a third ready to go. I am now making potatoes. Tonight after my run, chicken and potatoes it is. Tomorrow for Lunch, chicken and cheese (yep, not kosher) in a pita. It's good, it's easy to cook, and it's high in protein. I also have to make sure NOT to buy things like brownies and cookies etc. If it's not around, I can't eat it.

Funny, lots of those things in the previous paragraph were already said and declared on this website. Amazing, isn't it? I can come to the same conclusion more than once. If only I followed my advice.

school with small children

So today I was in a classroom with - you guessed it - small children. We sat in on classes in first, second and third grade. Let me tell you, it was quite the assault on the senses. The children were really excited that we were there, and spoke to us in english, which for most is "Hello," "How are you," etc. - which isn't too far from my level of hebrew. The big thing though is the cultural difference. The interaction between teacher and student is so much different and the kids are so rowdy. It's gonna be an adjustment. But I enjoyed it, and the day went really fast. So we'll see how tomorrow goes.

I am in the middle of making a meal plan schedule, because for lunch we walked to the schwarma stand, and I can't keep doing that, because a) it's 29 sheckels a day and b) it's really not all that good for me to be eating. So today I hammer out a plan for the week.

I'll be back on here later on.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Getting better...

I woke up yesterday and cleaned the apartment. Cleaning for me is both physical - in that my surroundings are cleaner and more organized - and mental in that it allows mind to shuffle things around and get organized as well. I worked up a good sweat and the endorphins certainly helped out as well.

Today I went running and did some interval training and also tried out some of the bodyweight machines that are along the beach road. I certainly worked hard and anticipate a soreness in the morning.

I begin my volunteering in the school tomorrow. I will be teaching English in Ofek elementary school in the Tet-Vav area of Ashdod. I am looking forward to it but also right now more apathetic about it, which I find rather curious. I'm going to bed early which should make it easier to have a good morning tomorrow.

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Gotta get back to basics

I noticed the last few meals that I am eating way too much. I have been depressed so my appetite is screwed up, but it's now time to fix this problem. I was not eating at regular imtervals, instead waiting until I was really hungry and then gorging myself on whatever was there. This is a return to my eating habits before I started losing weight. I will begin to address this today with the hope of pitting a stop to it and stocking the kitchen with nutritious snacks that I will eat instead of the crap I have been eating.

It's te to come back to the simple things that I did that allowed me to lose the weight to begin with.

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Location:הר מצדה,Ashdod,Israel

Thursday, October 21, 2010


It's safe to say that I feel the worst I have felt since arriving in Israel. I am at times so depressed that I wonder what I am doing here and at other times so apathetic that I couldn't care at all about what I am doing. It is completely obvious to me that I have not recovered to the level of being self sufficient and able to be around people nor have a job where I am required to be somewhere every day. I M so depressed and I am convinced that I will never recover to a level which allows me to live a somewhat normal life. I should give up the illusion.

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Location:הר מצדה,Ashdod,Israel

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Had a bad day again

More mistakes, more neglecting my physical and mental needs and more stress on my mind and my body have made today another bad day in a string of days that seems to continue unabated.

Let's just hope that I can get out of this soon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Har Mesada, Ashdod Israel

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Self-maintenance. Part 2

It is 1020am and I slept 10.5 hours last night. So I went from too little sleep to too much. It's gonna take a day or more to get my body back on the groove. I shouldn't go out tonight but I have a feeling I will anyway because I am rather stupid.

Location:Ulpan, Beit Canada, Ashdod Israel

Monday, October 18, 2010


I am so tired today. My body is rebelling against me because I have been neglecting it. I need to go to bed early tonight. No getting around it. If I don't take care of myself, I am setting myself up for failure.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Ulpan, Beit Canada, Ashdod Israel

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Before the new week begins

This weekend was great! I was able to recuperate and get over most of my sickness so that is fantastic. I went out with my roommates and some new Israeli friends Friday night to a club in Rehovot. It was an interesting experience. I really enjoy seeing the difference in the culture between Israeli and American people. The club was part frat party, part rooftop bar, and part Jersey Shore Jews. It was certainly amusing. For those who are unaware, as I was until the other night, there is such a thing as a jewish Guido. I can't do it justice in a blog, but it was a cool time.

I haven't ran nor exercised in a few days on account of being sick, but plan on running tomorrow night to get back into the swing of things.

In other news, I talked to an Israeli girl at the mall tonight and gave her my number. It was a small step toward being more social and active. Honestly it was scary. I was saying to a friend of mine recently that there are some social situations that I am more scared than when I was in combat in Iraq. But I ended up giving her my number. It's a step. It can only be easier next time, right?

Anyway, I hope y'all are doing great - thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I am feeling physically sick today. I have not been sleeping well, and there is some sort of bug going through our group. Since I have been sick and congested I have been unable to use my CPAP machine, which in turn has caused my sleep to be very poor lately. So add physically sick to mentally and physically tired and you have the recipe for one unhappy and crappy Daniel. This sucks.

In other news out of the last five days coming into today I have gone running three times. So that's one ray of hope in this shitty period I'm going through.

I am really trying very hard to fight off my depression and it is becoming more of a losing battle each day. Because of this, it is increasingly difficult to be social and fit in. The cynic in the back of my head is getting louder telling me that I am not like anyone else and I cannot do this.

This isn't going to work for much longer.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

sunday stretches

First off, in FAT GUY NEWS: I went RUNNING for the second day in a row! It was a good run, I'm starting to get back in the groove. I enjoy running around the neighborhood, and at some point I will get down to the beach - there are some exercise equipment at intervals along the beach highway, so that's my first actual goal, is to run there and back, and then i'll get to using the equipment.

We started ulpan today, and I am in the advanced class. I feel really proud and happy that I can understand hebrew and learn more and more these days. It feels good to learn new things, and I am totally gonna work towards being fluent at the end of the five months.

We visited Enosh, which is a mental health agency, where some of us will volunteer. I am really impressed with the services they offer, and it is a subject I am into, due to the fact that I have a mental illness, and I think it would be really rewarding to work there. So we'll see the other volunteer places, and then make the final decision.

I'm still adjusting each day, and each day brings new challenges, but I am meeting them head on, and taking it one day at a time.

Thanks for stopping by.


Update on Volunteer Teaching

So, I am going to be teaching in a secular elementary school. Very pleased with the idea, will see the school this week and find out more. Off to ulpan!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Swimming in October? Yes, Please.

So, I spent today along the beaches on the Mediterranean Sea. The water was absolutely fantastic and it was beautiful weather! Swimming in October is not something normally done in New York, and it was great. I spent some time walking along the beach, and then I went with some of the people from our trip to a Cafe/Bar type place and had some awesome food and good conversation. Definitely one of the most chill/awesome days I have enjoyed in quite a long time.

I haven't taken enough pictures yet. I plan on getting some tomorrow, I didn't bring the camera to the beach for obvious reasons, but will definitely have some beach photos to upload soon.

Tomorrow we begin our ulpan, which is an intensive hebrew language course. I hope I am placed in the advanced course, because I am really enjoying how much hebrew I remember and am able to communicate enough to get by so far, and would love to learn as much as i can.

IN FAT GUY RELATED NEWS: I went running today! Yep, I got my fat ass out there and ran a mile and change. I didn't run fast, mind you, but I did run. I also did some situps and pushups. So that's exciting.

OK, well time to get changed, and then do some food shopping. Hope everyone on the other side of the world is doing great!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

funk. not the good kind.

I am feeling really vulnerable and separated from the group right now. I domn't know why. I was invited to go out with them and I didn't, and another group of people is watching a movie in the apartment, and I just feel as if I'm not wanted. It's not anything that someone did - it's just the things in my head.

EDIT: Originally written at 2040 Oct 7 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


We had a bonfire down on the beach tonight. I brought my guitar and played a bit! I was able to keep up and play some simple songs, and sing along too, which was such a great feeling! It was the first time I played in front of anyone really, and I was really excited about it. I'm very glad I decided to bring the guitar with me. I was really jet-lagged and dragging ass around 330 today, but now that it's 1222am, I'm wide awake again. LOVE IT!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Now reporting from Ashdod, Israel!

The travel is over, and the trip now begins. I am in my home for the next five months, here in Ashdod Israel. We're set up in awesome accommodations! I have a great view of the Mediterranean Sea from the balcony in my apartment. I live with some awesome people (well, they seem awesome now, stay tuned for further updates) and am really excited about this. I am no longer really apprehensive, nor anxious, I have pretty much gotten settled in, and it's absolutely certain that this was a good idea, and it's going to be a very good five months.

Hope yall are good halfway around the world. Thanks for stopping in.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Last-Minute stuff

Really have been all over the place with emotions and moods lately. I think the apprehension and fear is manifesting in erratic ways.

Made a mistake and watched some of the History channel's "102 minutes that changed America" documentary featuring footage from individual New Yorkers on 9/11. Definitely not something I can handle watching.

Spending today getting more things done, then hanging with the kids and who knows what else...

Thanks for stopping by.

T-minus 50 hours till I need to be at the airport...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

i'm screwed

I am sick. Mentally sick. I can play it off now for a while at a time. I can make it seem as though I am recovering and growing and getting better. But it's all a lie. Days like today make me realize this. When I am so pissed off and angry and sad and hateful and hurtful and hurt and screwed up all at once, it's when I know that I am sick. I need to get away from the environment I am in. It is a destructive environment, and it's bad for me. But I also know that no matter what environment I'm in, I will still be as sick.

I'm terrified that I will go on this trip and realize that no matter how long I've been back, no matter the treatment I've gone through, the progress I've made, I will still fail and I will still be depressed and I will still destroy myself in some way. I mean shit, looking at my track record, I think it's naïve to believe otherwise.

Yep, I'm screwed.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

something is wrong with me.

I am in a very screwed-up emotional state right now. And I do not know why. I have slept on and off all day, which I am sure hasn't helped, plus I didn't go to work today either.

Plus, I drank some over the weekend in addition to my trip up to Massachusetts, so I'm thinking my body is shot both physically and mentally. So it might be time to concede that I am no longer a young man, and need to take care of myself more than I normally do. Also am wondering how much this mood I am in is an afteraffect of alcohol. I don't know. Anyway, work tomorrow, then music therapy, then PTSD meeting. So tomorrow is a packed day. Going to attempt to get good sleep tonight. How, I don't really know, but gonna try anyway.

I am worried that this mood will continue into the weekend, as I fly out on Sunday, and that's gonna make the start of this trip shitty.

Who am I kidding? I am so down right now that I have doubts about whether I should even go on this trip, let alone, do anything else.



Feeling pretty tired and demotivated today. I didn't go to work today, so my last day is tomorrow. I need to get into doing something so that I can beat this depression away. But for the moment, I am returning to the arms of slumber.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Travelling across the northeast via public transportation

So I left Medford last night and took an 1113 pm train from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station, where I took a 2am bus to Boston South Station, and I am now on a commuter rail to Campello (which is somewhere in Massachusetts) where I will be hanging out here for the weekend. The greyhound bus and the commuter rail have wifi so thus the blog post from a moving train...

Hope y'all are enjoying the day so far.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I've not been around in quite a while. My apologies. I have been lazy. I could blame it on working, or some other excuse, but the real truth is I've been lazy. I have not been posting, I have not been logging food, and I have not been adhering to the plan.

However, my body has decided that my current weight is good, and so even without exercise and food logging, I have stayed in the 238-240 area for many weeks now.

Lately (as in the last couple of days) I have been out-of-control eating again, the type not seen since I started this program last December. I don't really know what the reason is, and I am upset at this new trend. So I am now cognizant of it, and hopefully will take appropriate action to fix it.

Anyway, I'm still here. Thanks for staying with me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Two Hundred and Fiftieth Post!

This is the 250th post of my blog! That's cool, however, looking at recent posts, it is clear that I have not been posting all that often lately. I have been rather lax in most areas of my weight loss. I am still at my plateau, with no change in sight. Six weeks from today, I get on a plane to Israel. So it would behoove me to get in gear now if I want any sort of boost before then.

I went food shopping today, which is just about all I did. I did do a load of laundry, and clean my room a little, but other than that, not really a lot of things got done today.

It's raining and windy out right now, and I am contemplating sleep early. I have been using my CPAP machine, and I have yet to get used to it. So my sleep is definitely not where I want it to be.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


So the weekend is almost over. I am tired and cranky and overall not really all that pleasant to be around. And I don't know why. Anyway, goodnight all.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


so, i was at the va this morning, and talking about how well i'm doing and my job is going, and how it's great to be working and being dependable again. so then i go to my job, only to get sent home early and told not to come in until monday, because my dumb ass wasn't working and was being lazy.

previously i believed that these things happened because i was too "happy" and the world used that opportune time to kick me in the teeth back into reality. i no longer believe this. i believe that after talking to people lately about how well i am doing, i may have gotten a little complacent today, and in so doing, screwed myself. i have noone but me to blame. so now it's a matter of taking the weekend to get my head back in the game, and coming in monday morning and proving myself all over again.

things could be worse. i could have been fired on the spot. but instead, i was sent home and given a 3-day weekend. i don't say this glibly, as to make fun of it implying that i was rewarded with a long weekend for not working. the simple equation is i lose out on working a day, so next week's paycheck will be a little lighter, and hopefully i learn (again) to not get too comfortable, because, as has happened often enough, no matter how good things are, something can always happen to screw it up.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

long five days

welcome to a new week. sorry it was so long since my last post. the weekend was a rollercoaster, including a trip to connecticut to sit shiva for my aunt's mom on sunday. half day at work monday to rest, and today was great. went on a cruise around manhattan saturday night with my dad and his fire department. it was fantastic, a great way to spend time with him.

thursday i get my cpap machine, and am looking forward to seeing how much my sleep improves. i weighed in today, with no change, so basically, i am at a plateau. which means that i have to change my rhythm - so i exercised tonight, and plan on exercising tomorrow. just tomorrow - no pressure to say "for the rest of the week" tomorrow i will exercise, so that's the only thing. the rest of the days can go away.

i haven't purchased my israel ticket yet, so i may do that tonight. i was waiting for an email from a travel agent, but have yet to get it. so i may just jump on board and get this done.

today i was productive and cleaned my room, bought a new pair of work pants, and was basically an all-around functioning human. which is a win in my book.

hope yall are enjoying the beautiful (hot, humid) weather we're having!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

displaced emotions

For those of you that don't know me personally, I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I also have Major Depressive Disorder (among other things). I have been getting treatment for these conditions for the last five years.

One of the things that I have observed (and have had other people going through treatment with me agree) is that once I have realized some of my actions, it was very easy to see these actions in other people. It's the "mirror" effect. It's easy as hell for me to see certain behaviors in other people now and realize that I did the same thing.

The reason I'm rambling about this is I witnessed tonight something I term "misplaced emotions." In my experience (and that's all this is - my experience - I am not a doctor or medical professional and you shouldn't take my ramblings as gospel) the most common misplaced emotion is anger. That is, what began as something else - grief, guilt, shame, terror - manifested itself as anger, which I then unleashed on the people around me. Which was usually my family.

I'm not proud of the things I did nor the way I acted when I returned from Iraq. I realized tonight I can never take back the things that I did. But I am proud of the work I have done, and continue to do with the help of the VA.

Anyway, in my opinion tonight, what I witnessed was misplaced emotions, like I had, before I was aware of what was eating at me. I have full hope that at some point, these people will attempt to seek help, if for their own peace of mind and nothing else. And when that day comes, I will do whatever I can do to help them.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

it's a new week.

So I gained two pounds this week. As I noted in the previous post, I'm not too surprised about it. But, today we start anew, and here's to a good week!

Monday, August 2, 2010

coconuts on your pitiful city

I'm still alive and kicking... Tomorrow I am not eagerly anticipating the weigh-in. I was kinda depressed/down and so I sought comfort in the arms of Friday's Jack Daniel's ribs. more than once. So oh well, we'll see what happens.

In news that you really don't care about, I bought a new watch. It's an everyday watch. A Timex Expedition. Same model I have been buying since getting my first one when I graduated boot camp at Parris Island. 8 years and 4 watches. They take a beating. But I like it. So thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Sorry I haven't posted. Wednesday through Friday were rough long tiring days at work in which I was totally bushed. I'll be around soon.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

two weeks in a row........YEAH!

Hot day at work today. But I got through it. Lost another pound this week! Really pleased with that. I'm really tired and am going to bed soon. Have a good one!

BTW: New goal on right is for 235.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Today was a fantastic day at work! A very active and at times boring day, but a fantastic day nonetheless. We'll talk about that in a moment. First, let's talk about my diet plan.

So far this week, I am doing well with the plan. I still have over ten points left for the weekly allotment, plus 10 points from activity. So, I'm doing really well there! Tomorrow is my weigh-in at the VA, so we'll see how the scale thinks I've been doing. I am pleased with my progress with the plan. I've gotten my meals all set up for work, and I am logging everything, so I know what I'm eating at all times. Hopefully the weigh-in will reflect my efforts.

As far as work, we worked at the brick patio again today, and we hauled roughly 2700 bricks today. That's two thousand seven hundred bricks. So I definitely got my activity today. I may have overextended my elbow, so I have some heat on it, but it's feeling much better right now, so I'm hoping it'll be fine.

That's about it from here. I'm feeling really good these last few days, both physically and mentally. I hope everyone out there is doing well.
Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Inspired by the endless wheelbarrows full of mulch that I hauled on Friday...
(click thumbnail for large version)

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I've been sketching and drawing more lately, and I really like it. I forgot how much I enjoyed drawing. It's another outlet for me, and I am really happy I am doing it again.

Friday, July 23, 2010

i finished my first week at work!

So my first week of work at my new job is over! It was much more physically difficult than I expected, but I toughed it out. Today was actually a really good day, even though I worked my ass off. I lugged wheelbarrows full of mulch all morning, and then hauled bricks in the afternoon. It rained as well. Which wasn't too bad. Most of the day was overcast and breezy which was much nicer than hot and sunny.

Anyway, it's Friday and I am still rocking the diet plan this week. I'm pretty pleased with that. Other than all that, I'm gonna attempt to goto sleep, so that I can keep my body in that rhythm. Have a great weekend, yall.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I was late to work this morning. I went to sleep last night early. TV was off at 1015 and I was asleep sometime after that. I woke up at 130 to use the head, because I was well hydrated. I went back to sleep and woke up again at 330. Then my alarm went off, and for some unknown reason, I turned it off and got back into bed. I woke up later when my dad called at 655 to apologize for not calling me earlier to wake me up. It wasn't his fault, and in fact, it was good that he called, because I was able to rush out of the house, and was only 15 minutes late to work. I don't think I'll be fired, even though it was a thought running through my mind. This morning was very bad for me mentally. After taking the correct prepatory steps to make sure I did well today - ie. drinking plenty of water so I was hydrated, making sure that my lunch was prepared and all, going to bed early - all of those steps went out the window when I got up and to work late. So I spent the majority of the morning silently suffering in my head.

When I get into a "funk," depression, bad mood, whatever you want to call it, I tend to curl up into a ball inside my mind, where my only thoughts are how I am a fuck-up and other not so nice demoralizing thoughts. And if I am not interacting with anyone verbally, I tend to get stuck in my mind, in a broken-record type chorus of how worthless and no-good I am, and well, I was in a pretty bad spot this morning mentally. However, I did start to get to know some of my co-workers who are also veterans, and talking about similar stuff, and realizing that noone really likes this job at first, and the physicality of it takes at least a week to get used to made me realize that I was not alone in my struggles.

Just that knowledge that what I'm going through is normal is a huge relief, a tangible connection to the real-world in which I am not as "crazy" or "worthless" as I may think at times. So, it was a good lift to the mind, and then the work we were doing changed, and I was able to be more involved and use some of my intelligence, which made me feel more important and needed, which also was a boost. After that, time pretty much flew by, and before I knew it, the day was over.

So here we are on a Thursday night, and tomorrow is the last day of my first week at this new job. Man, I thought about quitting all morning, and all morning Tuesday, and all day Monday. But right now, I'm happy I got through the day, and am working towards making it to work on time tomorrow and having a good day then as well.

Have a good night folks.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

day of rest and recuperation

So, after getting the shit kicked out of me by the weather on Monday, and feeling its effects well into Tuesday, today was a day off. Much needed. I go back to work tomorrow. I'm continuing to hydrate, and come hell or high water, I will be sleeping before 11pm. Did well again the last two days, watching what I eat and making sure I log it. So, two days down, five to go in this week.

Have a good one everybody!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

weigh-in after a good week!

Wow! Feels good to be back on the right track! Two things happened this week:

1. I made a huge effort to track all my food, which I did. While tracking my food, it allowed me to budget and make sure I only ate enough food according to the plan. This was successful on 4 out of 7 days! AWESOME!

2. I was very active this week, cleaning out the garage, starting work, painting the kitchen, etc. So that increase in my activity level was also AWESOME!

The net result! A seven pound loss. Way too much for a week if it was a consistent loss, but I'm looking at it as a kickstart to my system, and it should be the impetus for me to continue on the good path.

That's about it from here. I have to get going to the VA, gonna sleep there tonight to test out my CPAP machine. More on that some other time! Have a good night folks!

Monday, July 19, 2010

work work work

So, let's recap today's events, shall we?

Got woken up by the dog around 430 this morning and got back in bed for on and off sleep until my alarm went off around 545. Got up, packed the cooler, said goodbye to Dad, and went off to work my new job. Well, I work outside doing landscaping and maintenance, so I am at the mercy of the weather. Apparently I've forgotten all I ever knew about being prepared for the weather. Because, I went to work with only a t-shirt on, and it started pouring. Then, it cleared up and the sun came out for a 90-degree afternoon. And me with no sunscreen, cause like i said, I'm pretty stupid. So, I get some burn, I drink a LOT of water but am still dehydrated, and realize my body really doesn't like manual labor. But, I got through the day, and have been hydrating ever since. Plus I put aloe on the burns and have bought some sunscreen for tomorrow. Also got my boonie hat ready for tomorrow to protect the face and ears.

So here's to hoping that I'll wake up hydrated and ready to work, and that I use some of my knowledge and not act like an idiot who was delirious with sun today. Also, here's to hoping that it's a little cooler tomorrow. But, if not, I'll deal with it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

work tomorrow!

so i start my new job tomorrow at 7am. that means i need to be sleeping pretty darn soon. i'm excited about working. a little nervous about how my body will handle it, but we shall see. can't change something that hasn't happened yet. anyway, i did some core strengthening exercises tonight, and plan on making that a nightly thing.

other than that, not much else to talk about. did good with the diet today, nowhere close to going over, hell, not even close to my allotment.

so on that note, it's time for me to sleep. hopefully.

have a great weekend everybody!

illustration friday

so, my friend Penny is involved with a thing called Illustration Friday.g I have started drawing again lately, and figured I would submit something for the first time. This week's theme is Breakfast. So, here goes:


dammit. i'm really not all that thrilled with myself right now. part of me is saying, it's not so bad. you've done really well, and to focus on what i have done right this week. which, is four days of following the plan, and today was fine until i ate just now. so, i have work to do, mentally. same as always. the thing is, that same part of me that says, ok, well you still did all right so far this week, that part, has a point. because, even though i just filled my face and screwed my week up, i was still honest enough to log the points accurately, and i still plan on logging the points tomorrow and monday. i'm upset with myself, but also, i've got an opportunity to fix it before the week is over.

oh well. just gonna learn from this mistake, and get back to basics tomorrow.

so much for that

i stayed up late now, it's almost 3am, and i just stuffed my face. so now my weekly points are gone, and i'm actually in the red. i may get out of this week with a zero balance if i exercise tomorrow and monday. here's to hoping that happens.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

well, it's still a good start

Well, first, Friday, I went over my points budget...but it was planned. I knew I had the weekly points to spare, and so Dad and I went out to Red Lobster for dinner. It was fantastic. Second, I did well today with points as well. So this week is still in the awesome column.

Also, I start work at my new job on Monday! It's a groundskeeping/landscaping thing at a local university. It's gonna be more manual labor, outside in the heat and crap, but that is great because it will help me continue losing weight. I am excited about it and think it should be a good job.

I spent quite a bit of time the last three days caulking and sanding and painting mouldings in my kitchen. And then today, I decided I felt like cleaning out the garage. It was the first time the garage has been cleaned out in many years. It was good to do. I'm not done, but it is certainly closer to what I would like it to be.

It's now 1210 in the morning and I think I'm going to bed. I've been going to bed earlier and waking up earlier, to get my body in the habit for working again.

Have a good one and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

going for three...

It's looking good for today to be a third day in a row on the plan! I am about to eat (late i know, but it's been one of those days) and I have plenty of points left. Plus I was active today, doing yard work, and then spent a couple of hours painting in the kitchen, working up a sweat. I was really productive today! I also sent out my passport renewal, so that's off my mind. So, things are going well here.

two in a row!

I finished out yesterday with one point left. So, we're two days into this week and I have followed the plan to a T. I also have my 35 weekly point allotment that I have yet to dip into. So far, this week is going very well.

I saw the chiropractor again yesterday. My neck was hurting me from sleeping weird on it, so I went Monday morning and yesterday morning. It's feeling much better, but not enough that I want to risk it by exercising a little. So we'll see how tomorrow goes. I have another appointment then as well, so maybe I'll ask the doc, see what he thinks.

I am continuing the prep for my Israel trip. I have to send out my passport renewal, plus get some medical forms signed, so I might go out to the VA today, just to get out of the house for a bit.

Hope everyone is enjoying their day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

so far so good

Food log for the day so far:

breakfast: 7 points - stuffed breakfast sandwich (5), bagel (1) laughing cow cheese (1)
lunch: 8 points - pepperoni pizza

lots of water and red tea (0 points)

purrdy good so far

food log for tuesday 13 july

I didn't overeat yesterday! I met my points total, and not a point over. So that's frickin fantastic! The last time that happened was ... yeah, so long ago I cannot even remember! So, yeah, I'm pretty excited about this. We'll see if we can't make it two days in a row...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

big weight gain.

OK, so I gained 6 pounds since my last weigh-in, which was June 29th. I guess the barbeque and food I had on the Fourth of July weekend was not good, certainly not in addition to the overeating I did over the last two weeks. So now I know where I stand, and I get back on the horse. I went food shopping, and so I have the food I should eat, and that's gonna get me back on track. Just got to work the plan again.

getting things done

Today I'm staying awake instead of going back to bed. I woke up at 830, had some food (see below) and decided to do some cleaning around the room. I have started tackling the right side closet, going through some accumulated documents that at one time or other I decided were necessary to keep or had yet to examine them. So, upon todays examination, 90% of the stuff is garbage, and roughly 10% is actually stuff worthy of keeping. It's nice to get rid of stuff. It's like a brand new slate.

I'm about to get into a shower, to keep on the cleaning subject, and then I have an appointment in Yaphank to get to. Also, a weigh-in at the VA later on. We'll see how it goes.

Food Log:

morning: 6 oz. hebrew national bologna
gulden's spicy brown mustard
3 pcs rye bread
1.5 cans pepsi

yeah, it's not pretty, but it is fact.

Monday, July 12, 2010


shameless self-promotion: i've started drawing again, and I put some stuff on my other blog: The Flying Hamster of Doom: drawing some stuff

the days are flying by

I'm surprised it's already mid-July. It's gone by fast, and also, I've been doing nothing for the last two and a half weeks. Hopefully my new job will start this week.

Anyway, I am in the second phase of this 90-day program, and not doing so hot. In the first 30 days, I exercised 10 days. 30% - not too bad. However, I have yet to exercise in this phase. Tomorrow starts a new week, and a new weigh-in. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this one will go well. And if not, can't change it. I can only do the next right thing. That being said, tomorrow I am going food shopping. I have been eating crap because I didn't have my healthy alternatives, and so my lack of willpower kinda screwed me.

In any event, I am 85 days away from my trip to Israel, so I am psyched! I am trying to lock down plane tickets, but haven't decided on them yet. I may be able to get a layover in london or paris, but not sure about what I want to do. Feel free to leave some suggestions.

OK, that's it from here. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I am terrified

I am terrified of losing my father. I am planning a trip abroad, and I have been going over flights and stuff. I wanted to go and talk to him about it, but, it being 430 in the morning, he was sleeping. I have PTSD and my mind seems to stay in the worst places, and I wondered as I often do, what I would do if my dad died. I should say when, but somehow if feels better. I can't stand the thought of him not being here. We don't talk about a lot of stuff together, I guess because I'm quite difficult to talk to. And I'm not the best at opening up with him. I want to work on that though. I don't want to think about what will happen if he dies, but I want to make sure that I tell him the things I feel about him and how much he means to me. I want him to know that no matter how much we may fight or I may get angry at him, I still love him so much and I hate that I hurt him. I called him a couple of nights ago when he was at work, and told him this, and we cried on the phone. I'm crying now typing this. I just wish I could be happy for him and be happy with him. With everything we've gone through, I just wish we could have some happiness with each other.

I love you Daddy.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

and what a fine morning it is, lassie

I've been up all night. I have gotten into a poor sleep schedule. And lately, I have been drawing, and then transferring onto the computer, and then spending all hours of the night learning how to use Photoshop. So, here we are at ten after seven, and I am wide awake. Truth be told I think I've only been up for about 14 hours, so it's really not surprising.

I have to head down to the DMV this morning to get some things squared away for my date with destiny come August. That should be fun. Today the weather should be mild, only about 85. Anyway, that's it from here.

hot and lazy week so far

So, I'm between jobs, waiting to find out when I start my next one, so there's nothing I need to do during the day these days. Plus, the last few days have been pretty hot out and I've decided that sleeping in a cool AC most of the day was what I wanted to do. Last week I worked out four out of 7 days, and that's not too bad considering it was the 4th of July weekend. This week, I have yet to exercise, and I didn't weigh in yet either. I am going to exercise tomorrow, probably inside, where it's not a thousand degrees. Tomorrow also is the Volleyball Workshop for the Cub Scouts, so that's something I can get out of the house and go do.

My dad and I put a drawing table together in my room, which is pretty sweet. I have started drawing again, and so it's a nice setup for me to be able to draw, but not lose any desk space for my computer and all.

Hope everyone is enjoying their days and it's not too hot.

Monday, July 5, 2010

the fourth of july

Had an absolutely fantastic Fourth of July this year. First time since my FIRST tour in Iraq in 2003 that I have been able to enjoy a fireworks display without thinking of Iraq. It's been a long time coming. I'm thrilled it's here.

Hope everyone enjoyed their's as well.

Friday, July 2, 2010

It's a great day for America, everybody.

I did another five miles today. I got some insoles for my shoes, which helped some. I also concentrated on changing my form and my landing while running, which helped a LOT. I felt like it took much less energy to run the same distance, plus of course, the added bonus of not hurting was great. So, I am pleased there.

As far as this weekend goes, I hope everyone enjoys the holiday.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Welcome to July.

I did five miles today! Roughly 2 miles ran, 3 walked. I am really pleased with how I fared. I'm getting used to the physical exertion, and the lungs are keeping up now as well. However, toward the end I really felt like I was landing too hard on my heels. Something is not right with my form, which isn't surprising. So I am gonna research it, and try some different things, and see how I can improve it. I'm making sure to stretch realllllly well before and after, to make sure I minimize the chance of injury.

Anyway, time for some food and water and a good shower.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Eating too much

I am getting in the habit again of logging my food. And that has made me see that I am over-eating again. I have hit a plateau, I have been at the same weight, plus or minus a pound, for the last six weeks. So, this week I am getting more exercise. Two days into this week, two days of exercise. The food logging is good, it is a tool I can use to modify my food intake - both amount and what I eat. So, even if I'm finding out how well I'm not eating, it is still a good learning experience.

Anyway, hope you all had a good day. Thanks again for all who "liked" the Facebook page, and feel free to tell other people. Even if it's just a "hey, look at this fat guy." I'm easy.

Great Scott!

Today I went on another walk/run, this one for 2.5 miles. I ran for just over a mile, with the remainder walking. I felt better running today. I think slowly my body is getting in the form of running again. Plus, I am getting a little better at pushing my limits. Today was good. Now it's time for some water and a shower.

Fantastic Day!

It's a beautiful day outside! I am going to head out for a run soon.

I got myself a new job! I quit last Friday, and am going to start work at my new job sometime in the next week. It's more money for regular hours, so who can complain about that? I'm sure I'll be complaining about it soon enough. But for today, I'm pretty happy about it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The start of a new week. Week Five.

So this week I'm trying to hunker down. Today didn't really do so hot. I am over my points total and have taken a chunk out of my weekly 35 points allotted. However I went for a 2.5 mile run/walk which was absolutely great (once it was over). So, I figure I continue to add activity points, and I'll make up for the lost weekly points. Plus, still gotta work on the mindset, both for watching what I eat, and for exercise. I got out and exercised today, but there was quite a debate in my head as to whether or not I was going to. So, I've got some more work to do.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Mumblings

So last night, I totally ate like a pig right before going to bed. Oh well. Today has been pretty good so far as far as food goes. It's a process, and I have to get back into the habit. I'll get there, it just is gonna take some time.

My friend Angel came by the house today - the first time I've seen her in over 12 years! She looks great, and it was great catching up.

Thanks for all those who have connected to the Facebook page. I really do appreciate all your support.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

good day today

So, I am within my points value for the day, which is very cool. I haven't been keeping up on this, and when I tried, I usually ended up going over sometime around mid-day, so I gave up. But today, things are looking pretty good. Of course, I have yet to get into bed, and that's where the late-night munchies strike. So we'll see. I have faith.

Anyway, hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. I did some more cleaning up around my room and such. I'm feeling pretty good right now.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I had a boost of energy, and started to staighten up my room. Dad then came home, after going grocery shopping, and we put the groceries away. We also cleaned out the fridge and the cupboard, both things which have needed to be done for a while now. It feels good once again to be productive. For those who know me, and have been reading this blog, this is a good sign that my depression is lifting at least somewhat.

A Lot of Things Different, part 2

I have a picture of me, on the phone. I'm at the airport, about to get on a plane which would take me away from New York, and bring me to New Orleans for the first time. I'm 18 years old, and am excited, because that plane trip is basically the "beginning" of a whole new life for me. I would get on that plane, and start my college career.

I graduated High School in June of 1999. I left for NROTC Orientation at Tulane in August 1999. I was really "busy." I put busy in quotes because, looking back on it now, I see I was simply self-involved. But, as an 18 year old kid, I was doing important things, and some things that I didn't deem as important, well, they didn't get done.

The reason this picture is notable, is because it's the last time that I spoke to my Nana before she died. See, I was "too busy", and it "wasn't that important" for me to make time to go and see Nana and Pop before I left for college. Nana had fallen and broken her hip a few days before I was to leave for school. I hadn't finished packing and I wasn't concerned that a broken hip would be life-threatening, so I didn't go see her, even then. At the airport, I spoke to her on the phone, saying so log, and hoping that she felt better soon. My dad snapped the picture, which still bothers me today, 11 years later.

So, I get to Tulane, and I get started with ROTC Orientation, which was great. I felt like I had finally gotten somewhere where I belonged, and where I was good at something again. On the last day of orientation, my Dad called to tell me that Nana had passed away.

The moral of this story: Make time for the people who love you. Let them know how much you love them. Don't ever put this off till tomorrow.

There are many people in my life without whom I would not be here. To list them all would be difficult, and to list some of them may snub others. But I appreciate them all, and thank God every night for their help.

Friday, June 25, 2010

In a bad spot. Don't know which way is up.

I don't know what I am doing anymore. I am caught in the grip of a severe depression, unlike any I've had for a long time. I am so screwed up that I am hurting my family, I sent nasty emails to my best friend, and am just snapping at everybody who I care about.

I have no reason for being anymore. I quit my job today, so I don't have that as a reason to get up in the morning. Even if that reason failed to get me up most of this week, so whatever. I have no drive, no ambition. I have nothing that I am working toward. I have no "reason." I can't really describe it more than that. I am lonely, I am missing someone to be around every day. I am just plain in a bad way. And I don't know what to do.

I am truly sorry to my family and friends who I have been quite an ass to lately. I'll try to not do that so much.

A Lot of Things Different

When I was 15, I had a pretty sweet gig going. I worked at the hockey rink, which was literally 5 minutes from my house. I skated to work. I worked as a scorekeeper, I worked as a referee, and I worked in the pro shop. When I wasn't working, I was playing hockey. I was on quite a few different teams, and I would spend all day at the rink, day in and day out.

I loved playing hockey. I had started maybe a year or more after my mom died. I used hockey as my outlet, as my refuge, as my escape. I had friends at the rink that I saw everyday, and I felt at home there.

And then I destroyed it.

I was working in the pro shop, and Bobby was hanging out there. One of the younger kids, a fat kid (ironic, I know) named Fitz, who was made fun of a lot, was getting dressed after his hockey game. When he went off somewhere, he left his hockey skates sitting there, out in the open. Bobby said, let's steal the wheels.

I've never really been good at social things, and at that time in my life, I was easily swayed by peer pressure. That's not an excuse, but simply an aside that may be insightful.

So, I agreed to steal the wheels off this kid's skates. We took the skates into the pro shop where I was working, and I took the wheels off, and we hid the wheels. I'm not sure if in the end we were going to steal the wheels outright, or if we were just going to hide them on the kid. But anyway, we hid the wheels.

As we were doing this, a voice inside my head, the rational, honorable voice - the voice that guided me with the ideas I was raised with - told me that what I was doing was wrong. I knew it was wrong, and there was no getting around it. I wasn't stupid, I wasn't tricked, I wasn't ignorant of my actions. But, even as I knew it was wrong, there was another voice, this one urging me to go along with Bobby. Saying that my friends wouldn't like me, and I wouldn't fit in, if I said no. And, unfortunately, this was the louder voice, this voice won.

So when Fitz returned and was looking for his skates, we were still in the process of hiding the wheels. Fitz ends up telling his mom, who pitches a fit (and rightly so) and Bobby and I end up getting in trouble. Now, to this day, I have no idea what Bobby said or did when they asked him what happened. I know that when they asked me, I told the truth. I remember the owners ended up calling my father, and telling him. And both Bobby and I were suspended from playing hockey or even going to the rink for 3 months or something like that.

Well, when I came home, my dad said he was proud of me for telling the truth. And that I would have to face the consequences - ie. not being allowed to goto the rink for 3 months or so. So I don't goto the rink for a while. But I hear that Bobby has gone back there, and nobody is stopping him from being there, so I guess the suspension is done with.

Anyway, I go back to the rink, and nothing is as it was. I was still allowed to play there, but I was fired from the pro shop and the other jobs. Everything in my sweet little world was done. Over. And I could never get it back.

I gradually played less and less hockey, until I stopped altogether. I haven't felt like part of something - team or otherwise, since then, and that feeling of not belonging has only increased with everything else that has happened in the following 14 years.

I was listening to Kenny Chesney in the car, and heard "A Lot of Things Different," and I got to thinking. There are many things I wish I did or didn't do, and this is one of the first ones I thought of.