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Jimmy is known by his family.
Jim is known by his friends.
James is known by his betters.
Nathan is a fat ass.
Knox is an artist: he writes, sometimes sings.. and very lightly paints.
Nate B is a singer and a bit of a parody-ist.
Bob is a comic - or at least he thinks he is. He also smells bad.
Jeremy ain't right. I don't think he's saved.. I don't even know if he's Christian.
Charly is a pop star, folk star, country music star.. Charly is all about the music.
Ed is a fashion expert.
Knox B. is a journalist.
Jarko is a tennis professional and moved here from Serbia.
Sasha is a figure skater.
Dirk is a Nascar know-it-all he is also Bi-racial.
Imis is a great thinker and loves all things Roman and Greek.
Thad is a world traveler and has a goatee.
Ari is a bit of a ladies man and he's also Jewish.
Yoshi is a tech savvy guy he's also half White/Asian (many nationalities at the same time)
Chris is the only blonde and he owns a holistic therapy spa. He's a naturalist and a healer.
Novak Pocic is a very unstable person.
Ray is a chef.
Paulie is a loud mouth drunk.
Dandy smokes.
Lawrence ... you don't ever want to meet him.
Chingachcookie is native american and enjoys firearms as well as attending church every Sunday morning.
Charlie P. is a Republican.
Clipper is a porn star/stripper
Lori is a trans woman.
Marge is so old she/he don't even know it. Marge only comes outside on Halloween night.
Billy works for the police force. He's not very bright.. but his hair color changes every week.
Johnny is a soldier. He's very strong.
Barry, all he wants to do is go out dancing. He's a bit of a slob and has no direction in life.
Kenneth keeps a really clean house.

Is that all of them?

I think that's all of them.
A horrible, horrible thing occurred. The THING was so traumatizing I am not sure to recover for many days and nights, I am afraid.
Before we get to the thing let me give you the whole story from start to finish.

I am staying at a new place for a few days - long story and irrelevant to this story except for distance walked from Point A to Point C. There is a point B.

Ok, I want to enjoy my time in the town. As you know, I lived in Borden for 2 years. A small place with nothing to do or entertain - and I don't drive. All is done on foot.
So being in a slightly larger town, one capable of having two authentic Mexican restaurants.. I have been quite the walker/diner/person.
I've had the best green curry soup at Sue's Kitchen. The place is a gem that many have not noticed. GO EAT THERE. You will not be disappointed, as the staff, too, are as great as the food they cook and serve.
Yesterday, wanting to change up my lunch, I went to El Torro's. Nasty. Food was awfu.
Today, I went to one of my favorite restaurants ever: EL MAGUEY. They are the best. The very best. Their food is so delicious. What they are able to do with vegetables and other stuff is just out of this world.

Today's journey started with me leaving my place or the place at right before Noon. The cold was still cold, the snow a little softer since a fresh coating had been employed the night before and the walk was a decent one. I paced myself pretty well.
Before I left I had a breakfast of those crunchy, wafer sticks with chocolate in the center and some lemon creme oreos.
I drank a gatorade, something I have just been doing the last couple days to help with energy and the long walks.. I initially started drinking gatorade the night I thought I was coming down with a cold.

I took a bottle of water, my backpack, and my scarves, gloves, hat, ear warmers and out I went.
I walked from one side of town to the other to purchase more gatorade and go to the place I like to get my hair cut. I have no hair now. The lady said she didn't think I'd like having it all shaved off. This is pretty much my standard cut. I do it because haircuts are expensive and it takes months to grow it back to a length it would need cut again.. plus I love getting my scalp shampooed with the tingly stuff they use.. it is very relaxing.
I consume an entire gatorade on my walk back into town. I go to EL Maguey on the square and treat myself to Arroz Con Pollo. Everything about my dish is scrumptious.. but I am still feeling full from Breakfast and ask for a to go box.

Here is where things go down hill. I am quite mindful to use the bathroom lots at places along my walk. Because I have to pee almost every 10 minutes anymore. I use the restroom before I leave El Maguey and head out, deciding to stop at the library (POINT B - The dreaded point B) to look at books. I forgot they're open on Sunday's. Til 5.
So as I am taking off all my warming stuff. Hoodie, Sweater, gloves, scarf, Coat and head warmers.. the process is a very long one indeed. A group of chatty girls sit next to me and I am not having any of it. I want to relax and look over some books I may check out. I immediately feel like I have to use the bathroom. But by that time I am already re-dressed for my winter walk and think I can make it to my place. EPIC FAILURE> PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE. I NEED TO REMEMBER THAT.

On the walk back to my place or "the place" it is very clear that I am gassy. Or so I think. And I think some more until I realize that feeling is not gas.
READ NO MORE if you get grossed out easily.

I continue walking - walking much faster, heart racing, stepping over piles of plowed up snow, mountains tall, and having the bumpiest walk i've had in ages.. when I feel the inevitable. I POOP myself. Not a lot. But enough.

I have so much longer to walk and I know I still have so much more in my bowels.. the walk becomes something of a dance or art piece.. with me counting each step I make to keep my thoughts away from anything that might cause me to release. And I know that at any moment I could release the biggest gatorade and mexican food combined release I've ever experienced. Because, yes, in the end it's mostly liquid.
As I get closer to my destination my bowels realize this and tell me they're not going to hold for much longer. The earlier release was a warning shot. The nuke was on its way.
As I get to the parking lot, fearing an Orange dog that has been chasing people, holding my to go box, carrying two other gatorades, of course I see some people I know who might stop me to chat, luckily they don't, and as soon as I get inside and to my bathroom I know I have seconds.. because as soon as I see the toilet my brain will signal a mechanism that will release within nanoseconds everything I am holding.. like a fire plane racing out to drop water and stuff on a forest fire I throw everything I can get off, multiple layers of clothing, bags, food, and make it to the toilet, throwing the lid down.. just in the nick of time.
I run a bath and tend to other stuff.

Now. I think there are many factors as to why what happened indeed happened. And I should not be dismayed by continuing to walk into town and eating at fine establishments.

1.) The gatorade. It is a new addition to my diet and I think it was the main factor.. too much of it.
2.) The Mexican Food.
3.) Being stupid and rushing out of the library when I should have went to the bathroom. I should have never stopped at the Library. I really couldn't check anything out since I have stuff that is late, now. If I had bypassed POINT B.. none of this would have happened.
4.) The very long, snowy, bumpy walk

And so ends my story. I shat myself. I can't remember the last time that happened. And you know what, it wasn't so bad. It happens to people all the time. No one is perfect. And I here that Orange dog barking and chasing someone now.. Could you imagine if that dog would have come out of nowhere... I'm certain I'd lost everything from fright and who only knows what would have happened then.

I'm in a relationship!!!

Well, I think after four weeks of going "steady" I can finally say that I'm off the market. wooooooot.
And I thought It would never happen. Geeeeeeze, it's been a long time. It's been a long wait. And I just hope we can make it to Valentine's Day, the pessimist in me keeps thinking this is going to be taken from me at any moment, cuz let's be real... things aren't going so well in other departments of my life. And to think that the one thing I haven't had in a long time.. I finally have.. and it's just bizarre. Maybe you can't have it all. I mean, some of you know what's happening to my family or a family member and it really drains your lifeforce. You have no happy. You have only fear and worry. You don't care about the holidays. You don't care. And then BAM somehow during a very, very rough time youre falling in love with someone... and I mean, I have a lot of love. My family.. let me just say this.. we are hard/intense. We love hard but oh boy we can hate hard too.
But I am obviously not talking about the intrinsic love between family.
I'm talking about the I just met you. I can't stop thinking about you. I can't stop thinking about you. You're amazing. You're incredible. You're sexy. You're INTO ME??? Are you sure??? You are? YOU ARE!!!

I don't know when we decided that we were going to be exclusive. Actually, I do.. it was when we said let's go get tested for STD's. Yep. That's a wonderful way to let the other person know you want to be with them and only them.. "Let's go get tested." hahaha

No, but I am really not good at these kind of revealments as I call them. Because I've been single for so long.
And I thought I lost it.
I thought that part was over.
I thought I was too fucked up.
I thought I can't handle sharing space.
I thought, I like sleeping in bed alone.
I thought.. I like being able to do what I want to do.
I thought that I get embarrassed too easy and I don't act like myself when I'm courting someone.
I thought when people really get to know me that's it.. it's over.
I thought that I was too overweight.
I thought I was ugly.
I thought I was too much of this and not enough of that.

Well, all those things are probably still true. But, I found someone that I can negotiate these things with. I found out that communication is pretty important... and my issues are big issues.. but I'm only 1/2 of the equation. Yes, you have to take all that on but I also have to take all yours on.

And I'm happy. And we fit. We fit like a puzzle piece. It is so weird but we even kind of move together in the same syncopation. We never have to talk about doing this or doing that.. we just ease into it in a way I've never known as an adult.

Now let's not jump the gun. We don't live together and I kind of think we're trying hard not to impulsively do that. Because for some reason we both seem to want to do that right now. And I have to really think on it. Because we could.

What about kids and a family?
Well... We've only been together 4 weeks. Maybe in four years we'll talk about that. We've talked about it. lol and we're both on the fence if that is something that is realistic to even talk about this early. But how can we not. 4 weeks is a long time, man. I mean, yes everything is great fun the first 3 weeks. We hardly need to talk at all if you know what I mean (and I know you do).... but at week 4 it's like ok.. we can only sit silent through so many movies.

So we'll just see. My luck next week we'll stop talking altogether. But we've made it 4 weeks.
4 weeks of supporting each other.
Maybe 4 weeks isn't long enough to really say we're in a relationship. I mean, I know people who say it after 4 days.. but. Why am I saying 4 weeks instead of 1 month. Well 4 weeks sounds longer than 1 month. so there.

Works and works...

This journal entry is not weight loss related.

I haven't lost weight in a while. But that is ok. I hope to get back on track.

I feel like updating some stuff regarding my art. I don't think of myself as an artist. But I probably am trying to be one.. someday.
I can say that I am a processor or stuff that I would like to categorize as art. And I am slow at processing.
I have finally got around to doing proper editing to novella I finished in 2007/2008 that I probably began writing in 2006.
Why did I do this when I tell you that I just finished a novel that is my best work ever. The first draft, anyway. I am so proud of the novel: I Always Knew We'd Melt. yell_edited-2 It is just a rough draft and will need to be crafted very specially.. with more than just me going about the edits and what have you... but that will happen in time. I have the shell finished. I think I started it in Oct. 2011. I've been done with it for months now.
I don't think my process is inherently slow. When I work on something like this I do it when I do it. I never force it after the disaster of my first two published works. But that doesn't mean I am at it everyday. Or every week. Or every month.

I am editing The Morgain's Family Raid. It is a historical fiction/present day story. It is a parallel story. One part is happening in Salem, Indiana during the Civil War. Another concludes in Salem during the present. I love the story. I was inspired by the film and novel Atonement.

I also just finished the first two pages of a new short story called City Swan. I love it. I will debut it to Writer's Bloc next meeting.

I am also very much wanting to write music and record music. I write under Knox Hedrick. I recorded a bunch of stuff on Garageband, an Apple Software, that was awful and put it on the web. It was written by a 12 year old. No offense. And I am 30.. well was 28 at the time. But I will give another go at it. This time confining it to a learn to record on another software and only using Ukulele as the main composing and backing instrument. I might throw some percussion in there.. and some woodwind but that would be all. And maybe some strings if my friend agrees.. but that is so far in the future. And I want it to be only fun. And I will record it under Mark Markowski. I think that is my band name.

Well.. maybe all of this will be done some day. It may never be completed. It might take me six years.

Day 202 - Oh WOOOOO

Well, I am 202 days into this very fine journey.
I can tell you that today I did biking, lifting, and some running. Not the entire running routine because I got dizzy.. and I plan on finishing the lifting routine. I've added more weight so the reps are staying the same. But I have noticed that I can push myself a little bit more depending on the day and what I ate, etc.

What I will say is that I've taken a few days off of the routine. Yesterday was really hot and for some reason, although, I did not working out at all, I felt so tired and kind of dehydrated.
Today was so much cooler. I don't even have the air on right now. Probably won't have it back on all night.

Well. A short update ... but and update all the same. I'm still hanging around the same weight. grrrr. I have to really dedicate myself to eating lower portions. But we will see./

Day 193 - Snakey Snakey Snakey

I encountered the largest snake i've ever seen on any property that i've ever lived on. It was enough to get the adrenaline and heart rate up.

Now, unfortunately, I won't run or lift in the grass. And I take a big stick with me when I walk to tap out in case another snake is out there.. somewhere.

Here is the deal. Borden, Indiana is a snake, bee, critter haven. This snake was WAY too big in my opinion. It is only May.. what is a behemoth of a snake like that doing out so early?

And thank GOD and Lord Jesus while I was running around my house I didn't step right on it. Because I was only a foot from it when I came upon it.
I put both hands over my heart and walked away slowly. The snake didn't move a bit. I thought for a second it might be dead. My grandpa always told me that if one of the groundhogs encountered a snake.. it might take a chunk out of it.

The snake stayed still. I walked further away. I wanted to hit it with a rock to see if it would move. I got reinforcements and it was gone.

I have learned not to get as close to a snake as the snake is long. Cuz it can reach you. I am lucky that I didn't run right on it. I am lucky that it was cool out, which I hear keeps them less likely to strike.

Again, I expected snakes. I knew that was part of this. But this big.. this early? omg.
And the head of this snake was pointed. But again it was so still. I just can't believe how still it stayed. And then 4 mins later it was gone. Hopefully not under my home. eeeek

Anyhow, I am working out right now. Taking a break since I got a late start. I've done all my running although I might run more.
I need to finish arms.

Day 191 - and so much fun.

So here is the deal. A few things have thrown my diet and exercise plan way off track.
First, there was the oaks party and so much food, EXTREMELY GOOD FOOD, that I couldn't help myself. I had done so good up to that point, why not splurge? Right? Wrong.
I didn't anticipate that, secondly, Derby (The Biggest Day of the year for Louisville) would keep me busy until the whee hours of the night. I made lemon bars for the first time and I have to toot my own horn. nom nom. Again, eating a lot and not working out.

And then today.. the curious case of the bowtie pasta and the rain - the glorious rain.
I had onions, leaks/leeks(sp?), and lemons that needed to be used today. I thought I had a box of pearled couscous. Remember, I had went almost a whole 7-day week with hardly any carbs, but I only had regular couscous. I'm running low on groceries (fresh veggies) til I go to the store and carbs are just going to play a part of today's menu. And regular couscous was not at all something I was in the mood for. I was going to throw the pearled into the onion, leak/leek, cherry tomato (oh, yea, they needed used up asap, as well) saute. You can't do that with regular couscous and get the same texture.
In fact, I am sure I will never buy regular couscous, again, ever.
Anyhow, I looked through my pantry thinking I had spaghetti, I knew I had a jarred sauce that I rarely, ever, ever use. I like making my own. And I did have a box of spaghetti, I was so happy until I realized there was barely any spaghetti in the box. But a whole box of bowties were behind it.

I haven't had anything all day TODAY to eat besides the strawberries this morning. I made those bowties. 1 pound. Mixed the jarred, extremely thick and concentrated ragu to the saute. I knew that the rague would over-do everything so I thinned it with pasta water and a whole lemon (juiced) - and was able to dilute the ragu's intensity.

I suppose a lot of things go into a day like today when it comes to eating and working out and Game of Thrones/Celebrity Apprentice, etc.
I ate all the pasta and sauce. And I just fixed another batch of lemon bars. I did do a very fast jog and lifted my weights 10 times on each arm just to let the muscles know they might be worked later tonight.

If I do any exercise tonight it is going to be arm work. It's just too wet and cold (54 degrees) to run.. unless I put on the rain boots.. but who wants to run in boots?

Well. Day 191. I am getting so close to the 200 mark, obvi. I can't wait. I've been on this journey for sooo long. I have so much further to go. As bad as I am, I'm much better than I was.

Day 186 - The Adventure Continues

It has been 186 days since my last HDL test. I can't believe it. I should have had the next test results 90 days into this adventure but stuff came up. Life.

Part of living is having HDL. The good cholesterol. Your HDL levels matter. So much. The higher your level the better. A good HDL level will give your circulatory system even more strength. HDL is the device by which nutrients are spread through the body.

186 days ago, I was lectured by just how bad my score was. 22. Average is 35. I at least need to be around 35. So I started this blog, or, better yet, re-directed it towards raising my HDL.
The only way you can raise your HDL number is through aerobic exercise.

I decided to work out every day. Running. Jogging. Arms.

186 days after this decision my HDL only went up by 3 points. I am at 25, now.

I am a bit discouraged. At first, I was really upset. I thought at least 30.. at least 27.
The thing I have to realize is. I'm still carrying a lot of weight. I'm by no means in the shape it takes to run long distances. I am still going to have a lot of problems working out in the heat.

So of course my HDL hasn't improved in a shockingly good way.

But, hey, the adventure continues.
The best way to start anew is to fail miserably.
I will continue my best effort.
Here is to 90 more days! And hopefully a few more points added.

Day 183 - Guess who I got to See?


Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional fame. He has a new band (Twin Forks) and a reinvigorated glow about him. I had two, count that, two separate conversations with him last night. One was before his set, and one was at the merch table where he was actually helping sell IVAN AND ALYOSHA Merch.

I found out about this event through my friends Holly and Mike Edmaiston. Holly has a particularly beautiful story with Dashboard Confessional - the first song she heard after Mike proposed was theirs. And like me, she was a super fan - a fangirl, I was the fanboy, for Dashboard since our teens! wheeeeeee

Anyhow, the day actually started with my mother and I making a trip to Martinsville to pick up my grandfather's urn. Yes, he had a specific request after he found out he had cancer with what he wanted us to do with his ashes. But that is a very personal story I will not share.
I had a very spiritual conversation with my mother about the whole event(s) and It was rather emotional holding the container which held my grandfather to the drive to Fountain Square, which may I remark, they have made into an arts-centric little area in Indy. Actually, Fountain Square is quite gorgeous.
I have tons of pics that I need to post. I will figure out how to do that soon. They're all still on my phone.

Once we arrived at the venue, the way everything was timed out, my mother and I had no lag time. We were barely able to get in a 6 inch subway sandwich in before the doors to Radio Radio, the concert venue, opened.
Radio Radio is trendy. It's small.. yet weirdly spacious. Seeing Holly was amazing. I had not seen her in such a long time.

From the outset Holly had a goal of meeting Chris Carrabba and getting his autograph. We thought, or rather, I thought, this was going to be an extremely hard thing to do. You also have to realize that I am not a confrontational person. I AM NOT A CONFRONTATIONAL PERSON.
However, things were made much easier once we found seats at the front of the venue and Mike and my mother saw Chris walk to the end of the bar and sit down to order a drink. He ended up getting a red bull over ice.

Holly and Mike went over. I didn't at first. I was still like.. shaking.. this is the guy i've idolized, seen perform in major venues, purchase many albums, watch tons and tons of youtube clips, learn his songs (which I recalled to him later - a story about his first album where one of his songs used an alternate tuning where everything well.. every string was tuned to C. This is problematic on the high strings because if you go too far you can easily pop/break a string.. which I did.)

Anyhow, with much encouragement from my mother, I joined Holly and Mike. IT WAS AMAZING. You had to be there. Holly and I were both shaking and Mike took pictures of Holly with Chris and then with me and Chris and I cannot thank Mike Edmaiston ENOUGH! FOREVER!!!!!

My mother really liked the first act. I think their name was the Young Heirlooms. I commented later to her that "Young and Heirloom" are words that oppose each other. There is a term for this but I couldn't remember it. And I kind of loved that play on that variation.

When we came back from meeting and talking and photo taking with Chris Carrabba - mom reminded me that I should have gotten his autograph. I wasn't brave enough, YET! But I have a few things to say about Chris and Suzie and the rest of the band: Twin Forks... Chris Carrabba is TINY. He is so tiny I don't think I've met anyone male or female as tiny as he is. He can't way 100 pounds. Maybe 90-99. And he can't be more than 5'2"
The thing is, however, they say the television adds 10 pounds to you.. well the concert stage adds a whole foot and a lot of girth to you.. because when he was up their singing and rocking out with the rest of the band.. he literally looked larger than life.

Here is my theory. Chris has taken Dashboard as far as it is ever going to go. He will always command a large audience and venue with that moniker. The thing is.. he wanted something else. He wanted to feel new, and fresh, and young again (My mother kept going on about how young he looked for his age - he is no new kid on the block that is for sure)... and building Twin Forks from the ground up is much more meaningful than have a huge tour bus, etc, etc. He is relevant for this new group in a way. He has re-invented, reinvigorated, and re-imagined his role in the music world.. and I respect and honor him like you would not believe.

We left after one song of IVAN AND ALYOSHA. I do like them. They were the headliners... but the thing is.. they are too large a band for that small a venue.. literally.. they had three regular acoustic guitarists alone.. plus base, drums, keys... they used snths that were way too big for Radio Radio.
Holly and Mike had to leave to, they had to get up early for their daughters event.

I recorded the whole concert of twin forks. It is on my facebook.. and I tweeted it to them.

On the way out, Mom pointed and said, "He's out again, get him to sign your ticket!" I walked to the merch table where he and Suzie were and I asked for his EP.. he didn't hear me right and grabbed some I&A albums. I said, "No. No." I want YOUR EP - although, I already had the digital copy they sent out for free... but that digital copy did not have his autograph or Suzie's. AND I got them to sign both my ticket and my moms too. I had a conversation with them about SXSW. It was amazing.

Mom and I made it back to the south in record time.

A perfect night.

Also made even perfecter when I stepped on the scale and recorded my lowest weigh in since this whole adventure to get healthier.
Mind you, I danced and screamed and sweated so much at the concert.. that has to account for it.
The day before I ate an iceberg salad and later on that night ate cooked spinach with crisp garlic.

Tonight, I walked to the tennis court. Probably a two mile walk... being chased by a huge black dog that could have tore me apart if he wanted. God is good, because when that dog ran at me I turned and said, "Hello, puppy," and the look that monsterous dog gave me was kind of a playful one.

Of course, the rains came. I thought they had left.

So.. I came home, after calling my sister to pick me up, and ate my second and third salad portions of the day. Lots of shredded lettuce, salsa, cheese, and dressing. ranch dressing.

I just now completed my jogging routine and did a bit of arms to make sure the muscles still realize that is what I want them to do.

I have now fixed a homemade soup with canned tomatoes I purred with raw garlic and mixed veggies with a little bit of pearled cous cous in the mix. I am yet to eat it. But I have took in a lot of food.. my weight will go up.. but it is almost alllllll veggies so maybe it won't stay up for too long.

No poem tonight.

All my love to you readers.
And remember.. stay at peace. Not in pieces.

Day 179 - Almost Result Time

I went and met my new doctor today. I should have my new HDL results very soon. :) :) :)

I did a very small workout today. I don't want to toot my own horn for fear of jinxing myself, but I had some really good, really inspiring results from my vitals today. Not saying my blood pressure and oxygen levels will always be this wonderful, but it was nice to have one day where on all appearances I looked HEALTHY!

I really wanted to do arms today. Maybe I still will. I feel very lazy.
When you walk in my trailer, all you see is clutter. I have (Not Scrapbook) memory book stuff that I have yet to cut and paste into my sketchbook. I have clothes everywhere. My room has randomness all over. My bathroom needs a good cleaning, and the back room needs a good organizing. I guess the good thing is that it will always be there to do... but I want to work on other things.
I want to write my songs and work on my novel.. but when you have all these other things going on it is hard to do the extracurriculars without feeling horridly ashamed.
A vicious cycle I have created probably. I dunno.

I am fairly upset that for three weeks I have stayed at the same weight. I am really going to try soooo hard to improve that. By Saturday I don't want to be the same weight I was today.
The thing is.. I look really fat. I just processed that a couple days ago when I saw the pictures of myself from Thunder. OMG. But the other thing is.. I don't really care. I just want to lose weight so I can move on to more difficult exercise.. like harder yoga poses, and lengthy running and biking.
I can do my workout routine all day long but if I don't eat better then I'm going to stay at this weight and make it that much harder on my joints and skeletal system.

Anyhow. I read this today and I want to share it:

the moment you choose to be empathetic only towards your family, only towards your friends, only towards your immediate neighbors, only the people who look like you, or think like you…
that is the moment you fail to see that we are all connected, that we are all capable of feeling pain and all – every one of us – capable of empathy.