Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Gutter: P8 summit fails

Just as heads of state have gathered annually to deal with the world's major economic and political issues, so did the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday prior to the Buccos' evening game against the Colorado Rockies.

The Pirates were suffering through a four-game losing streak, a run of futility that began on the occasion of the beginning of the "official" start of the second half of the season. That is to say, the Pirates had lost each of the four games they played since the All-Star break. The losses began with a three-game sweep by the Braves in Atlanta and continued in Pittsburgh, where the Bucs fell to the Rockies in the first of a three-game series. Monday night's game was a disappointing 10-8 loss, a failure that becomes even more disheartening when you consider that the Pirates nearly doubled their average run output (4.1182 runs per game) but still fell to the Rockies.

Therefore, rather than allow the losing to go any further, Pirates manager Jim Tracy called a meeting of the team's top figures. There were eight of them in total, and they became the group that shall be known as the P8.

However, this group of eight figures was not successful in their efforts, as the Pirates proceeded to lose Tuesday evening (6-2) and again on Wednesday afternoon (5-3). The losing streak has climbed to six and the Pirates have now been swept in back-to-back series since the All-Star break.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Peak: Hall and Oates

Admit it: they're awesome.

Gutter: A poor venue for yoga

As I said in the last blog entry, I've taken up yoga as a means of physical activity in the interest of weight loss. However, my first few attempts have been handicapped by a lack of suitable yoga space. As such, I've had to work on achieving stability, proper breathing, and balance in the following cramped conditions:

I shall not be dissuaded. I will persevere. I will achieve 191.

Peak: Goals set, terms defined

So, I've set the goal for my weight loss at 191 pounds. Generally speaking, I'm looking for a transition similar to the one in the photo at left. I don't think that should be too tough.

The next step, then, is to define the parameters of my weight loss program. In addition to a diet regimen that won't be detailed here, I've determined that a reasonable amount of physical activity will be necessary to achieve the weight loss goals.

Here's the rub: I am averse to physical activity. In fact, I have spent the past two years working as Internet-based sports journalist operating out of my home, a situation that lends itself very easily to a sedentary lifestyle. Clearly this employment habitat has led to my current weight, but breaking the pattern will be difficult. So I put together a list of possible physical activities I could take up in the interest of perfecting my physique:

In-house exercises (sit-ups, etc.)
Gym exercises
Thai kickboxing competitions

As is my habit, I have been able to find complications with each possibility. Running is far too strenuous; when I get in the pool I tend to float rather than attempt movement; in-house exercises require motivation beyond what is available when I'm staring at my TV and computer and other distractions; gym exercises require gym memberships; and Thai kickboxing competitions require a passport, not to mention a chiseled physique and an undeniable ability to kick ass.

I meet none of those requirements, so it's back to square one (technically, setting a diet was square one, so determining a physical activity is square two, but you get the point).

So I had hit an impasse. Until salvation hit in the form of Suzanne Deason and Yoga for Weight Loss.

Now I embark on a crusade of proper breathing, stability, and inner balance. And, God willing, that Holy Grail of 191.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Gutter: A new endeavor

It was pointed out to me recently that my blog posting, since April, has slowed to nothing. Largely that is due to my revolving door of ambition and creativity, a door that always swings out and rarely opens in. In lieu of having anything to say about current events or the like, I have decided to simply report on the mundane tactics I employ to use up the hours of the day.

Having already accomplished the feat of winning a track event in business attire (see photo at left), I recently decided to turn my attentions to an increasingly unpleasant problem that has been developing as of late: like many a middle-aged housewife before me, my weight has become rather unsightly. It's a common affliction, and one that many people easily choose to ignore with little regret, that is, until heart disease or diabetes catches up with them. Still, my cause for concern is less health-related and far more superficial. You see, like the movie actor John Travolta,

I too have undergone a bit of a transition through the years.

The left photo was taken at the 2003 Fox Chapel High School prom, an event that I, as a 24-year old deli manager, attended. The right photo was taken on Memorial Day of this year at the Fox Chapel High School softball team's car wash fundraiser. The lack of attention I received at the latter event was striking, and I vowed on that day to work to curb my merciless mid-section.

And so I set out with the goal of re-attaing the svelte 191 pounds I once carried like a billboard of pride. As I sat on my couch the day after Memorial Day, Doritos in one hand and donuts in another, my motivation ran out and the plan faded away. It was another gradiose notion that got lost in the oblivion of my existence, and the only remorse I felt had evaporated by the end of the next commercial break. My ambition, to be quite frank, had left my body like so much flatulence before it.

Then, as June neared its end, I took a vacation to the Outer Banks, and fate flung itself in front of my fat flatulent eyes when I saw the following photo of myself chatting on the phone while sitting on the beach.

It was then that I realized my weight had gone far enough. It was time to trim the fat and rediscover the me that has been lying dormant inside for all these years. The quest for 191 has begun!