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jamespolk
Copied from Facebook where I think all of you would have seen it but wanted it somewhere I could link to without opening it completely up over there.

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I mentioned this way back but it is approaching so I thought I'd mention it again. On Saturday, July 12, I will be doing the Dirty Dozen 12-Hour Run event put on Brazen Racing (I will not be running it, it'll be a 12-hour walk for me).

Lani will have the unenviable job of sitting around all day waiting for me to come by once an hour and giving me food/water/new shoes if I need them. Will be pretty boring for her.

So if anybody'd like to come out for some part of the day and hang out with her, I'm sure she wouldn't mind the company.

Also, I've never fundraised for any of the races I've done. Nothing against those who do but I am constitutionally incapable of asking friends for money, even if that money is for a good cause that isn't making me richer.

So I'll turn it around. I am setting aside $500. If you come out and walk at least one lap (3.3 miles) with me I'll give that $500 to a charity of your choice*. If more than one person does that I'll divide it equally among everybody, but I'll promise at least $50 to every charity. If nobody comes out I will give the $500 to the Westboro Baptist Church**. How's that for motivation?

Also, if you do it, your lap can't be part of you participating in any of the official timed events being done that day. So if you do one of the 5 or 10Ks, or the 6 or 12 hour that's great, but you'll have to do another loop with me.

* I reserve the right to reject any charity that offends me for any reason I have. I'm sure we'll be able to find something acceptable. Also, I may come off as an ass, but I also will not direct it to someone else's fundraising.

** Not really, I'll give it to some other good cause. But if it gets you out there, pretend you didn't read this footnote.

http://brazenracing.com/dirtydozen.html#
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jamespolk
I'll be unoriginal.

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jamespolk
Copied over from Facebook.

Ok, it is early on a Saturday morning. Seems like the ideal time for a news dump.

About three months ago I had surgery, a sleeve gastrectomy. For those who know, this is the same surgery Lani had about a year and a half ago. For those who don't know, it is a form of weight loss surgery. Essentially I went into the hospital one morning, put on a weird hospital gown (they really should put the airhose vent farther away from the groin), was put into a deep sleep and during that sleep two things happened:

1) A stranger I never met shaved all the hair off my stomach (this was a surgical feature unique to me, Lani did not get to do this part so I win).

2) A doctor poked some small holes into me (5 of them) and removed about 80% of my stomach.

In the 83 days since surgery I have lost about 72 pounds and the goal is to lose another 40-50.

Some general comments:

A) This may strike some as contrary to previous positions I have taken. In some aspects it is and I'll own up to hypocrisy as required, but in the largest one it isn't. I've ways said I had no problems with being fat so long as being fat didn't get in the way of me doing things I wanted to do. And that's still true. I didn't despise the way I looked. I had no issues with my man boobs. I was ok with the exact appearance of my belt buckle being a mystery to people. And I'd always been a very healthy fat person, last January I got through a full marathon at 290+ pounds and none of my nearly 20 other long distance events have been at less than 250. I don't have high blood pressure, no diabetic issues, joint or back pain. In fact when I first consulted for the surgery the doctor had some extra blood tests performed looking for issues that might help sway the insurance company if my BMI wasn't sufficient. So...

I decided to cheat. While I don't reject it out of hand, dieting your way into a new long term lower weight life is incredibly hard and prone to failure. For years I'd successfully maintained a weight of around 250 after peaking at 300 but then an interesting thing happened: Lani had her surgery (NOTE: I am not "blaming" Lani for anything). After that my eating became completely divorced from her eating and over the course of a year I'd put most of that weight back on. So rather than taking the difficult road, I decided to just cheat. This is actually the 4th permanent surgery I've had to alter the way my body naturally wants to look or work. I've had my eyes permanently reshaped. I've had expensive surgery to deal with my teeth. And I let a man shave by balls in the process of making sure my little sperms would never again make the impressively long journey to freedom.

I have no problem with using modern surgical technology to put our bodies into the shape we want them. The key, it seems to me, is that it be what you want and not something done out of insecurities over what you think other people expect. IF you want DDD boobs, go to town. If you want them because you think society (or the cute guy three cubicles away) look down on you for being too flat, then I feel bad for you. Perhaps I'm fooling myself about why I did it, but I do think it was a purely internal decision (though one eased, if not influenced, by having seen Lani's process up close).

C) Eating. Since the surgery I have not had a day (I believe) in which I've consumed more than 600 calories. For me the difficult part of dieting was not depriving myself of certain foods. I never had any issues with cravings. And in the short term, privation wasn't an issue. But eventually simple hunger was the challenge, and worse, the intention to avoid future hunger. I want to eat now because I'm hungry now isn't all that horrible a thing. I will eat twice as much now in case I am unable to eat again as soon as I think (and then when that time comes around eating anyway) is broken.

I simply do not experience hunger now. As my the remaining part of my stomach loosens up in the next couple of years I'm told that will resume, but hopefully new ways of thinking will have taken permanent root. But maybe not, this is not a guarantee and I can certainly screw it up and end up back at 300 pounds five years from now. But for now, by removing hunger and the threat of hunger I have almost completely lost the desire to eat. I have an interest in tasting (and it was a bummer that while in Europe recently I wasn't able to taste as much as I wanted) but not really in eating.

D) I have absolutely no opinion on whether anybody else should do this or something like it. If you're ok with being fat: great, be fat, I support you. If you're unhappy being fat because of other people: that sucks, but I'd encourage you to get help with that rather than the being fat part. If you want to consider this, go talk to a doctor. So far things have been very smoothly for me but that isn't true for lots of people who do this and in a year it may not be true for me any longer. If you ever see me saying to someone "you should do this..." punch me in the nose.

Finally:

For as much as I talk on social media, many of you will know I have a weird sense of what is personal and what is public. And I almost never talk about (in group public forums) what I've deemed personal. This, like my collection of vintage 17th century BDSM gear and recent conversion to the Ukrainian Orthodox church, is in the personal category. I don't have an interest in detailing my weight loss or being an example.

But, I'm going to see most of you at some point and it is now unavoidable that something has changed ("why the droopy face, Alex?" or "you didn't eat all the foods, Alex, have you finally completed your cyborg conversion?"). And eventually one of you would have asked "have you lost a lot of weight" and I'd have responded with "yes, the early stages of stomach cancer are wonderful but I hear it gets worse" and that probably wouldn't be as funny to you as it would be to me and feelings would be hurt and the interpersonal drama would be overwhelming.

So, a blanket announcement. Since I brought it up, feel free to ask questions and I'll answer openly, but you probably won't see me much mention it on Facebook or Tweeter or elsewhere again. In person, if you want to discuss, I'll probably be happy to and if not I'll shut it down. My feelings won't be hurt either by your interest or disinterest. And if you're feelings are hurt that I didn't tell you about this earlier, know that you are tied for 4th on the list of people I've told, so in the grand scheme of things you were read in on this amazingly early. And if you already knew about this and didn't learn it from me, be a good friend to the person who told you and don't let me know that you knew since that would create issues between me and that person.

Ok, there may eventually be one more post on the topic. It'll be the day when I've lost enough weight that I can post "Hey, finally had direct visual confirmation that I still have a penis and that it isn't a joke god plays on my reflection in mirrors." Not really, I just wanted to end on a note that would make some of you uncomfortable. Also, if there is a god I'd get a kick out of learning she'd assigned some angel the unenviable task of following me around just in case I see myself naked in a mirror and then quickly drawing a penis into the reflection. That would be an awesome use of godly power and a much better example of "god has a sense of humor" than the Peloponnesian War.
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jamespolk
Four posts on my friends list since August 16th. I think LJ is truly dead (for me).
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jamespolk
The difficulties of online life. Someones you know someone well enough to know too much about them and yet either not well enough to be honest with them or to work up the energy to be disingenuous to them.

One person I know in this way and have for seven or eight years now. And in that time life is just one instance of the world hating him after another. The person is going to constantly find happiness with the next change and then almost immediately after making the change is once again unhappy. And it is always other peoples' fault. They don't like her. He's an angel but the world isn't fair and clearly biased against people like her.

This may all be true. I don't know him well enough to be sure. But I've always held the opinion that when every where you go it seems everybody else is an asshole, then well, it might be time to take a look at the common denominator.
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jamespolk
Lani posted this thing on Facebook where some kid responded to Westboro protesters by saying "God hates no one."

This annoys me. "God hates no one" seems as idiotic a statement (though 9 year olds have a better excuse for idiocy than your average Westboro protester) as "God hates fags."

Now, I would like the god of the nine year old idiots better than the god of the Westboro idiots. But if something as ridiculous as "god" exists, I don't see why the nicer one is any more likely than the asshole one. It seems to me it is the equivalent of countering "rainbow unicorns prefer zydeco" with "no, rainbow unicorns enjoy all music."

The correct response to the Westboro people, it seems to me, is not "you're wrong about god" but rather "wow, if you're right then god is an ass and rather than worshiping him we should be actively working to overthrow him. We'd probably lose in an all out war against an asshole god, but it is still the right thing to do."
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jamespolk
Ask not for whom the bell tolls...

I have Chrome set up so that whenever I start it up it automatically opens six tabs and loads six sites. One of those is my LiveJournal friends page.

I just took LiveJournal off that list. I've only posted here twice in the last few months and then only because I noticed how long it had been since I posted. And in the last 10 days there have only been 9 posts, 7 of them by the same person (yay Cranky!).

So, sadly, either everybody really has moved on or you all finally wised up and filtered me out since all I do is reply with smart-ass, funny one in twenty times, comments.

Too bad too, because I don't actually like Facebook and Twitter better, it is just where people are. Also too bad since I haven't reconnected over there with all the people who were once active here (I'm not even sure of some of all yall's real names).

But now I'll only visit here when I remember to do so, which means I won't very often. And nobody will notice.

So, perchance, I'll end by closing the loop with a link to what was apparently my first LJ post ten and a half years ago: Post #1
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jamespolk
Since it has been two months, a meme post.

The places I have lived.

A yellow house somewhere in Vancouver, Washington. I have no memory of it but I am told we lived there when I was a toddler.

A house somewhere in the Orchards area of Vancouver (when I was a kid it was outside of Vancouver). This is where we lived until my parents divorced. I have only flashes of memory of living there:
- I remember some older kid intentionally running me down on his bike.
- I remember that there were woods off our back yard that we would play in. I remember a gigantic dog monster that lived in those woods. I assume the dog monster is a distorted memory.
- I remember the panic after I drank rubbing alcohol I found in in the garage. Or myabe one of mys sisters did that.
- I remember the panic of my sister after I stepped on a fork in the living room, impaling my foot. This resulted in a scar that was visible into adulthood.
- I remember something of the excitement of my youngest sister being born. At home. Unexpectedly.
- I remember learning that "nigger knocking" (knocking on someone's door and running away) was not a phrase to be used. I don't remember learning that it was not an activity to be done.
- I remember going to school (kindergarten and part of first grade) at Evergreen Elementary and getting licorice for correctly doing all of the months. I also remember telling people my name was "Alexander Camel Soup" (real name: Alexander Melford Stroup) and thinking that was amazingly funny. I also remember that the playground had giant tractor tires as play equipment.

After my parents divorced we (mom, me, two sisters) moved to an apartment back in Vancouver near John Rogers Elementary School. Also just flashes of memory.
- I remember it was a two story apartment.
- I remember that there was a big tree on the hill that has some tunnels under it and an older kid convincing me that it ate people.
- I remember shortly after moving in proudly telling my grandmother that I could reach the kitchen sink faucet all by myself.
- I remember we had a giant console TV with a bad tube so that there was a black line across the screen.

3501 X Street, Vancouver, WA
Moved here after my mom took up with the guy who would become my stepfather. More flashes (I really don't have continuous memories of my childhood until early high school).
- I remember one night I apparently was sleepwalking and managed to jam myself into the space between my headboard and the wall and was woken up by my mom who in turn was woken up by my screams.
- I remember that after seeing Poltergeist (no, I don't know what my mom was thinking) I was for a while deathly afraid of the tree outside my window which looked a lot like the one in the movie. Also, for a short period I was deathly afraid of nuclear war. These two things are the last remotely phobic behaviors I remember exhibiting.
- I remember my mom telling me to do something and for some reason I hit her. We were out in the yard at the time. This is followed shortly by my memory that I learned she could still run faster than me.
- I remember that while we lived here they were still constructing SR 500, a new major highway through town only a couple blocks away. Best playground ever for young kids.
- I remember that we were having a birthday party for one of my sisters when the adults noticed that a bunch of the kids had gone missing. Search parties were sent and to the great consternation of the adults they were eventually found sitting on the half constructed edgewall of an overpass on the in progress S.R. 500, about 60 feed above Burnt Bridge Creek.
- I remember my youngest sister going missing long enough that the police were called. Only to be found sleeping under a pile of laundry. I remember another time her going missing but unnoticed until a policeman returned her home from about six blocks away (she'd have been six or so).
- I remember my other sister once not coming home until 9pm or so when she was supposed to be home by dark (she would have been 8 or 9) and then when she showed her excuse was "I didn't know it was dark" which went well with the fact that she'd been at the park.
- I remember that my memories are making my mom look horrible. But I don't think she was.
- I remember a friend up the street getting a TRS-80 computer and playing with that.
- I remember learning late on Christmas Eve that we'd be getting an Atari for Christmas because after they set it up my mom and stepdad played Pac Man and I could hear it from my room.

2212 E. 30th Street
After a couple years at the other place they bought this house. For being in town it had a huge yard (just shy of a full acre). Lived her until I left for college.
- I remember convincing my mom I wanted to learn saxaphone and then when she rented me one I'm not sure it ever came out of the case a second time and it just sat on the back porch until it eventually went away.
- I remember way to many animals of way too many types for urban-ish living.
- I remember where I hid the Playboys I told from the public library in an alcove in the crawl space under the house. I wonder if they're still there.
- I remember that I'm now bored of this so I'll stop.
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jamespolk
Here's a good use of my first LJ post in four months:

Sometimes I am almost an ass.

Shocking I know, because most of the time I am completely an ass.

On a message board I post at there is a member who is visually impaired. And so to help with contrast he always posts in a bold font. I'm not sure how this helps (since his is generally the only post in a thread that is such, but he does it. Another person always posts in pink, maybe it reminds her of her vagina, or pop music you kind of like in the moment and then can't imagine why just three years later. Anyway, we all have quirks is my point.

So he recently started a thread and people are responding to him in bold font and some in bold and large fonts. And I composed a reply, to a thread on a topic I'd otherwise never post in, in the largest bold font possible. And then changed it to a color almost the same as the background color for the site.

And then canceled the post. See, sometimes I'm almost an ass.
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jamespolk
Need help deciding this important question:

Are group costumes clever or tacky? 

An exampleCollapse )
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