In the almost 25 years it’s been since I started working out, I’ve seen some pretty bizarre behavior at the gym. There’s all the standard alpha male displays that guys do, evolutionary remnants of the days when we just learned how to walk upright… which you sort of have to look past. It’s going to be another thousand years at least before men get over it, two thousand if you’re Latin (machismo is very big, I know I grew up with it). But there’s other stuff guys do at the gym that’s just plain dumb and annoying. So the following is my list of the top ten stupid things body builders do at the gym.
Sometimes the perfect moment comes completely unexpectedly and those are probably the best and most memorable. It’s one thing when you’ve planned out an event, like a nice dinner at home with your partner, with nice wine and romantic music playing in the background… and completely different when the Universe blesses you with perfection with little or no notice. Last October, this sort of divine recipe came together complete with perfect weather, perfect wine, perfect food and Tiffany.
Our society has changed lots in the last 100 years, technology is often the focus of these changes and many times blamed for them. From workplace automation killing jobs formerly filled by humans, to the decline of bookstores thanks to e-readers, technology is almost always left holding the candlestick in the library with some rope for good measure. Recently Amazon.com and other online retailers have been designated the destroyer of brick and mortar stores, the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades. Macy’s, BestBuy, Sears and even Walmart aren’t immune to the sting of e-commerce. But what if this change or evolution in the way consumers buy goods is only partially due to technology and more of a symptom of something bigger and greater? While everyone is trying to compete with online giants like Amazon and increase their online presence, perhaps they should be looking no further than their own stores and realize they forgot how to do something. Customer service.
I heard on the news the other day that emojis are used in something like over three billion texts a day. Holy shit, three billion transfers of information from one human to another, intended to be read immediately, sometimes from across the globe and much of it by teenagers gossiping, in love or breaking up. Yet I remember a time (oh no, I’ve officially become my mom), when the online world was in its infancy and almost like a secret society. We operated late at night because most of the household was sleeping and you needed to use the phone line. Yeah, most people only had one phone and one line back then. I have such fond memories of late nights with lights turned low, a gentle hum from the huge piece of metal and plastic that was my IBM AT, and a low resolution monitor displaying the amount of xmodem blocks remaining until I could play the coolest four color shareware game around. Ah yes, the good ‘ol days.
Everything in life is a journey, and I concluded a very positive and eye opening one this spring. I spent almost four months as a quasi vegetarian, eating absolutely no beef, pork or chicken (not including eggs), in an effort to rid my body of toxins and a lot of guilt. While home sick one winter day (technically speaking) in Miami, I decided to watch a documentary on NetFlix called Food Inc. While not entirely about the low standards regarding animal welfare, the film really exposed what’s wrong with our food system in general. I felt sick to my stomach after watching how processed our food is, how horrible many of the animals and people in the industry are treated, and how big business has done away with small farmers as we once knew them. After the film was over I literally got up and proceeded to throw stuff away from my fridge. I didn’t want anything to do with processed lunch meats or anything else that was “factory farmed”. I instantly decided to become a vegetarian and set out to let everyone know what I just learned.
My mom made me gay. Okay, of course that’s not true. She made me gay-er. I most certainly would have been less dramatic, not such a hopeless romantic, more masculine and all sorts of cool things if it hadn’t been for her. I don’t think I would have been straight, I have just never been attracted to women. I’m one of those gay guys on the scale of sexuality that’s one hundred percent gay. I like men probably more than women like men and I might be under emphasizing that point. It’s just that my mom inadvertently did all these things that most other gay men would have considered her to be the ultimate fag hag. But for me it was just annoying. My mom didn’t do this intentionally, she was just being herself, but I was definitely raised by a gay man trapped in a straight woman’s body.
I’m a very spiritual person. My belief system is pretty simple in practice, but comprised of several different religions. It’s basically the “greatest hits” from Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism with a dash of Paganism. I have a strong faith in God or a creator, I talk to him all the time. Like Catholics pray to Saints, I talk to my Angels and ask them for guidance. When I need extra special light energy in my home, I burn oil lamps (thank you Nikitha) for Ganesha, Durga and Lakshmi. During the holidays I decorate a Christmas tree and enjoy the amazing tradition of saying prayers while lighting a menorah. So you can imagine what a horrible feeling I experience when all of this collapses and I don’t believe in anything. That’s what I call a faith crash and I’m sure I’m not the only one that goes through it.
One Saturday morning in July, I was making breakfast, watching the small TV in the corner of the kitchen. My toast was ready, the eggs were almost done and I was watching the news, something I rarely do anymore. They began interviewing people that were waiting in line at Florida International University to see Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton and Senator Tim Kaine at a campaign rally. They mentioned in the story that you could still get a ticket to see her and I began thinking if I should go or not. The university was maybe a 20 minute drive away at best and perhaps I would make it in time if I left right away. She wasn’t going to speak for another couple of hours at least. I thought maybe I would attempt to get a ticket online and see what happened. For sure it would be fully booked and I would have an excuse not to go and that would settle my indecision. Well it wasn’t and I printed out my ticket rather quickly and easily. I don’t know why I was so stressed about going. I wanted to be a part of history and I wanted to meet the woman I’d be voting for…once again.
It’s amazing how the Universe works. Sometimes you ask a question and then it responds, almost immediately, like some sort of divine messaging service.
It seems like every couple of years there’s a new diet craze and everyone jumps on board. “Lose 10 pounds in ten days!” the headlines will read as everyone is walking around the office with little shakers in their hands, little satchels of nuts or perhaps some pills they have to swallow 5 times a day. In several weeks you’ll see people actually losing the weight and you may be tempted to join all the fun and hype. But you feel much better when you see the same people gaining the weight back and you say to yourself “yeah, I knew it wasn’t going to work.”