Oh hello there. You caught me by surprise as I sit here contemplating life’s changes and those that I will be incorporating into my life.

My struggles with pants this weekend and my desire to see if I can exercise my hip back to health have convinced me to do something about my weight. Yeah, I know, this is the umteenth time I’ve yakked about this (hey, at least I’m not whining about being single, or did I just do so?) but I’ve been down the road I’m currently following and it’s not leading to where I want to go.

Oh yeah, BOO!

Monthly Recap: Octoberfest
It’s been a month or so since I’ve remembered to do a monthly wrap up.

October was a fairly okay month. As seems to happen every year in the past few years I did some traveling to Raleigh, NC to recruit at NC State, and then later to Black Mountain, NC to meet up with ITP-Readers Lisa and Randy for LEAF.

My health is still an issue. The hip still pops, my dermatological problems still exist, and I’ve had some other genetic-based issues that have resurfaced. As I mentioned above my weight is on the rise and I will be taking proactive steps to reverse that trend starting today.

This year the ITP Estate was one of the host houses on the Hash Halloween Home Crawl. In honor of once again being a host house I whipped out one of the shirts with my name on it (I don’t believe that I ever got the shirt for the second year I hosted) only to be shocked to see that t-shirt was ten years old! Where does the time go?

Though I didn’t get to see Trampled By Turtles I did go to some decent concerts including the Beirut and Steven Malkmus shows at Variety Playhouse.

And, I’ll have to admit not making it downtown on Friday for “Freud’s Last Session” (work and traffic conspired) I did get to see “Broke.”

October was the month where I got to find out that my beloved Florida Gators are not good, and could possibly not be playing in a bowl game this season thanks to losses to Alabama, LSU, and Georgia (ugh). It’s a damn good thing that the Gators had a bye week in October else they might be worse off than they currently are.

ITP Flickr Pic
Will return next month.

I had an opportunity to shoot the hashers as they visited my house on Saturday, but a confluence of my desire to be a good host, and make sure that some people had beer resulted in no pictures being taken. I was also a bit overwhelmed with the number of people entering my house — in hindsight I wish that I had done a much better job of cleaning and preparing my house for guests.

RealiTV Update: The Amazing Race — You’ve Got To Be Fucking Kidding Me!
Obligatory SPOILER warning!

The only reason that the title of this section wasn’t “Why the fuck are they not eliminating teams?!?!” was because it would come before the spoiler warning. But seriously, why the fuck are they not eliminating teams?!?! We just watched a non-elimination leg two weeks ago, which was the second non-elimination leg this season, it’s time to tell people “Buh Bye!”

Before we start let’s remind ourselves of the teams who started this leg, and because of the non-elimination, will all be starting the next leg:

  • Team Super Bowl Shuffle: First to Worst. I’m surprised they don’t do better. I think I’m surprised by this because Marcus seems to be a young(ish) former NFL player, so I think that this should give him a physical advantage.
  • Team AARP: A team I’ve given no previous credit, but that’ll change with this recap.
  • Team Sibling Rivalry: I’m still liking him (a surgeon as we found out), though she is still too annoying for my taste.
  • Team B-Average Joe: Semi-slacker Caucasian man dating a driven Asian woman. Stereotype much? Related: She grates on my nerves even more than the female portion of Team Sibling Rivalry.
  • Team What Would Jesus Dude: Were my favorites until they invoked the Power of Jesus on television. I’m now surprised that their backpacks aren’t filled with bibles that they hand out as they try to convert the masses.
  • Team Around The World With My 80s Dad: Oh, they’ll get theirs soon…
  • Team I’m Sorry, Who Are You?: So named because this non-descript “dating couple” has been the vanilla ice cream of this season. You could have told me that they were eliminated weeks ago and I would have believed it.

In last night’s episode all teams get the Phuket out of Thailand (you knew I had to use that once more) and load into the only flight taking them somewhere in to Africa. If you’ve ever played Team Trivia with me you know that my knowledge of Africa consists of:

  1. It starts with the letter ‘A’.
  2. It’s a continent filled with a lot of African-Americans.
  3. It was the subject of a lousy Toto song, which I realize is redundant.
  4. It never snows in Africa. My suspicions of this were confirmed last night when one of Team What Would Jesus Dude said that he’d never been there because there is no snow in Africa (and he’s a snowboarder so he should know).

Once in Africa all teams got into cabs and rode somewhere. For some unknown reason Team Super Bowl Shuffle, the first to book tickets on the flight, are last off the plane because they took seats in the rear of the plane. WTF Marcus, were you looking for extra leg room?

It’s at this point that I realize that this season has been lacking the hilarity of watching the racers try to drive foreign cars in foreign countries. I guess CBS’ insurance went way up after the few automobile accidents which have occurred in seasons past.

In whatever part of Africa they are in they go to the tobacco warehouse (Huh? CBS, should The Amazing Race now have a TV-MA rating?) to schlep bales of tobacco while being mocked by the workers. Along the way we see some typical American behavior as the female portion of Team AARP shouts “We like your country! It’s very spacious! We are American farmers!” at which point I finally remember where I’ve seen these two:

(seriously, if you find yourself having some free time today go to Google and type in “American Gothic” and look at some of the surreal takes done on this painting.)

You’d think this would be a slam dunk, or whatever the football equivalent is, for Big Strong Marcus of Team Super Shuffle, but noooooo, he gets out-baled by Old Man AARP who was schlepping wheat bales while Marcus lived the Big Life blocking for Peyton Manning. Perhaps Marcus suffered because the jumpsuits provided were so small that he looked as if he were going to go clam digging instead of bale hustling.

With all teams’ lungs full of tobacco dust they now raced to their Detour. At this Detour teams had the option to:

  • Crappily build a “truck” for African school children
  • Sew an ill-fitting suit for an African man

Most teams choose the truck building, because lets face it, who the hell sews any more?

Wait, Team AWW80sD Dad lets us know who still sews — women! — and is downright flabbergasted when he arrives at the truck-building party only to find a female present. “I thought you Shielas were only good for making babies and sewing their clothes.” (I may have misquoted him slightly) he said to the female portion of Team I’m Sorry, Who Are You?. In fact he keeps rubbing the “hey, you with the vagina, why aren’t you either in the kitchen or in the sewing room?” salt in her wound so much that I almost conjure a feeling for this woman who I’ve yet to learn anything about in the six weeks of this season. And then I learn something — she’s a Nurse Practitioner — and then another thing — she’s not very good at soccer — well, there you have it.

As we see teams build milk carton / bottle cap trucks, and struggle with ancient sewing machines we learn that Africa is a poor, but happy place to live. Ooooh, I should add that to my list!

Once all teams were done with the Roadblock they had to take a taxi (more taxis) to some roadside stand selling bed frames that I believe were imported from China. This Roadblock consisted of taking two of these bed frames in a truck to the Pit Stop and deliver them to Phil. Apparently Phil had an African pajama party planned for the evening and needed the extra sleeping space. The “catch” to this Roadblock was that you had to get a truck to deliver your beds (though that didn’t stop Team AWW80sD from trying to fit them into a taxi) as well as pay the truck driver upon delivery. Yes Virginia, they accept American cash for services rendered in Africa too. Cool! Another thing I can add to the Africa list! However, not all teams follow the rules — including the Ugly American female farmer portion of Team AARP who shouted “Only if he asks!” when the male portion posed the question “Should we pay the driver?” This blunder nearly cost Team AARP as they had to run back to the driver and pay him before they could be checked in. Given that I picked Team AARP to be eliminated I would have been thrilled by this ugly turn of events, but alas they passed Team Super Bowl Shuffle and didn’t finish last after all. Not that it mattered since it was another damn non-elimination leg!!!

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – frustrated
Current Music – listening to last week’s “Sound Opinions” podcast
Website Of The Day – Ice cream will be one of the things severely limited as I attempt to shrink myself. This won’t limit my posting to websites like Ben & Jerry’s Halloween when they are timely however.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – nothing
Morning Weigh-In – tomorrow

Foot Mileage – ~5.5 miles
Wheel Mileage – ~16.0 miles
Pushups – 0
Situps – 0
Stairs – 13 flights

Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 0 (0)

Vegetarian Meals – lost count (significantly fewer than carnivorous)
Carnivorous Meals – lost count (significantly more than vegetarian)
Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 0

October Goals
– “Completely” recover from the bike crash (though I’m beginning to this this will never happen)
– Ride my bike no fewer than 100 miles
– Not to get sick for the entire month
– Not get fired from my job
– Run at least twice
– Eat vegetarian no fewer than fifteen vegetarian meals
– Lose three pounds

2011 Goals [will be a little more fluid than in past years]
– Reduce my weight by 25 pounds based on the my weight as measured on February 1st
Completely read the book Daily Negations which I received as a Christmas gift.
– Run Sharpened Stone as a real business — one which does not get penalized.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Enter no fewer than three photographic competitions / gallery showings
Ride in no fewer than five 50 mile or 50K bike rides
Run in no fewer than two one half-marathon
– Submit at least one application under the name “Sharpened Stone” to Apple’s iOS store

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem
– Eat smaller portions

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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9 Responses to Changes

  1. Steve says:

    No wonder you occasionally suck at trivia:

    – Afirca starts with an A
    – Africa ends with an A
    – Africa is full of Africans… the African-Americans apparently live around here!

    The only part of that sidebar you got right is about Toto. What I gathered the problem was in the tobacco warehouse was the smell of.. (wait for it) unburned tobacco!! I can only imagine, but it certainly has to be better than burned tobacco. And while I understand that US currency is the most trusted in the world (you’re welcome) why they don’t make everyone play the local game is beyond me.

    I purchased tickets today to attend a “Cirque du Soliel” sort of show with horses and was shocked, shocked I say to be charged a flat $25 for the privledge of ordering!! If I wanted them mailed to the farm, an additional $7 and if I chose to print them MYSELF, just $4. Considering the tickets were in the mid-hundreds, this seems petty and above the norm. Incredible.

    Happy Monday and Happy Hollow Wiener.


  2. bets says:

    I thought for a moment it was your intention to actually shoot the hashers.

    You wouldn’t be the first homeowner to consider it.


  3. Stacy Fox says:

    I thought of you and what your reaction was going to be when I saw it was a non-elim! (This was at about 2:30am…hard to sleep through all the firetrucks in Midtown last night. Of course, I could have closed my windows instead…but it seemed a good time to watch TAR!)

    Question though: do you really hate Team Dude just because they’re Christians? Sure, it seemed over-the-top number of Jesus mentions in that episode, but we all know how editing works and it seems natural at a religious-type roadblock that they would be mentioning faith. Disliking them just because of their faith seems pretty shitty. Especially as you’ve already said: it’s not like they’re handing out Bibles or trying to convert anyone else. *shrug* Just sayin’.

    FP – I’d love to see them in Europe, trying to pay in American dollars and getting laughed at by the euro-carrying masses. (Speaking of, how the hell is the euro still so strong when half the countries using it are going bankrupt?) :-O

  4. Martha says:

    Hashers are not guests…there is no need to clean up before they arrive. There is probably a great need to fumigate after they leave…or just burn the place to the ground. 🙂

    I was surpised I didn’t see any of the Home Crawl Saturday. I was running the streets for HOURS, I did see some marks on Sunday. Also on Sunday the Joe’s running group managed to catch a little of the Atlanta Marathon as it passed through Cabbagetown/Grant Park.

    I’ve been at a platue with my weight for months. Amazing what just two weekends of long runs can accomplish. I’m also less than 91 miles from my running goal for 2011.

  5. Steve says:

    Stacy, I wish I knew.. what I really wish is to be smart enough to understand all that stuff.

    I actually think it would give TAR another opportunity to F with the teams.

  6. Steve says:

    I’m with Martha, cleanup unnecessary- fumagation, possible.

    How were the numbers? Way back when I used to do the HHC, seems like a hundred or so.

  7. Barb says:

    Betsy- you just made me laugh!

    Paulie- I knew you would be annoyed by the non-elimination – I think they must have extended their season – CSB gave them more episodes this year maybe?

    Malawi (or, however it is spelled) – I actually have heard of this country becuase a wheelhopper (Phallicaster) lived there for a while – his wife got a contract job over there.

    Stacy- I heard there was a good fire not too far from you – I bet you didn’t get much sleep.

  8. Stacy Fox says:

    Barb – it was a little unnerving! I sleep with my windows open these days (free heat totally allows for it!) and it woke me up. It’s a little eerie listening to the various siren sounds heading closer to you and not knowing exactly where they’ll stop… but then I could tell by where they sort of “turned” that they weren’t too too close though – a little further north and west of me. But, yeah, the noise seemed non-stop for an hour straight, for real. That’s why I figured: eh… might as well get up and watch TV instead. I didn’t realize what/where it was until my normal wake-up time this morning though. I figured a fire because the sound of that siren is pretty distinct.

  9. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    To be clear I don’t hate anyone for their religious beliefs. You all know that my RealiTV Updates are filled with nonsense (see the list of things I know about Africa).

    I’d guess somewhere in the 50 range this year. I wanted to have a cleaner house because some of the people (read “ladies who I may or may not have met previously”) were not too shabby and I wouldn’t have minded leaving a good first impression. 😉

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