Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Well, I'm officially in my last 10 pounds to lose...

And (according to my weight watcher's weigh in) I am officially in a healthy BMI range. Keeping in mind that I weigh in at 5:30pm, fully dressed, my "official" weigh ins tend to range about 5 pounds heavier than my morning Wii weigh in. Which means, technically, I can now declare my goal weight at any time. I think I'm still going to push to get down to 130 before I declare goal, but I could say goal was Right Here and that would be acceptable for Weight Watchers.

After my weigh in yesterday morning on the wii (I'll tell ya, I'm starting to get sick and tired of that stupid little smug bastard, the wii fit board...) in which I gained 1.8 pounds and had to go through a lecture from the Fit Board about not eating late at night, blah blah blah... I really wasn't looking forward to my official weigh in. After having gained 1.4 pounds last week, I just didn't think I could face another gain.

It's completely annoying when the fact that I exercise a LOT is throwing my weight off in the wrong direction.

However, that turned out not to be the case; as my official weigh in had me down 2.6 pounds from last week... I dunno what the problem is with the Fit. Maybe the carpet is wonking it up somehow...

Topping a good weigh in off with news that my husband is going to take me to the ballet (Romeo and Juliet) as my birthday present, and the fact that my car needed no repairs to pass inspection, my foul mood from yesterday has turned completely over on its head.

Sometimes it seems like such a hard life
But there's good times around the bend
The rollercoaster's got to roll to the bottom
If you want to climb to the top again
Good Times Around the Bend, String Cheese Incident

Monday, April 27, 2009


You know, October looks a lot closer from the end of April than it did from February...

I feel like I'm not training hard enough. The "suggested walking" schedule that the 3Day sends out has got me walking 4 times a week, plus a day of "cross training." I missed two weeks of walking because of illness and cut one week of walking short in order to bring home a hatchling turtle.

And yet, at the same time, I'm starting to really resent the time this is taking. I spend all day Sunday on the road, or recovering from the walk. (getting sunburned two weeks in a row really isn't making me very happy... it's my own fault, I know that, but at the same time, it's still really exasperating.)

Technically, according to the training schedule, I should be walking both Saturday and Sunday, because the really important thing will not be that I can walk 20 miles one day, but that I can walk 20 miles three days in a row...

I don't want to give up my whole weekend. I don't feel like I have enough time with my husband as it is. And I don't have anyone to sit with my kid for six hours on Monday... and now Thomas is thinking about training to run a 5K with his friend at work, and that'll just be more time that we're not home and not together.

Not to mention the fact that I'm not planning well for meals.

I'm so freaking hungry by the time Sunday evening rolls around.

And it doesn't seem to matter that I save my weekly points for Sunday (and my activity points.) I haven't yet - in the 16 months or so that I've been on Weight Watchers - ever, actually exceeded all my points...) I can lose weight all week, and then Monday rolls around...

The wii fit says I'm up 1.8 pounds from yesterday.

Yesterday I ate a salad from Subway, a clif bar, some popcorn, and 3 pieces of pizza.

Why this caused me to puff up like some sort of freak of nature, I just don't get it. I walked eleven flipping miles yesterday in 90 degree heat.

Also, I'm not even halfway through raising the $2,300 I need to be able to enter the walk in the first place. I really need to get my act together, because otherwise, all the sacrifice of my time, energy and honestly, to the detriment of my weight loss, will have been for nothing, and of course, the Charity will take my doner's money and say "Oh, too bad..."

And the worst thing about it?

I felt *really* good yesterday.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Cycle of Flation

This was my day, yesterday.

Start with an empty balloon. Stretch it out. Flick it across the room a few times at your friend. Blow it up. Tie a knot in the end and bat it around like a ball. Then, when it's floating gracefully across the room, BANG! The cat jumps up, sinks his claws into it and splodo... and instead of a cheap, pretty toy, you've got a bunch of shapeless scraps of plastic and a terrified cat.

Things started out sort of eh. My daughter woke me up; I got up, set her up with a wii game and attempted to go back to bed for a while (I'd stayed up pretty late the night before finishing off the sparkly vampire romance novel series... ) but that didn't work out so well, as Tuesday (did I tell you that if being clumsy was a crime, I'd be incarcerated for the rest of my life?? I didn't? Oh, well, anyway...) I fell over on Tuesday and nearly killed myself, managed to avoid death by concrete block to the head at the cost of one completely scraped toe and another one that... well, sort of hurt. Yesterday, the sort of hurt blossomed into a massive bruise under my toenail. Quite ugly, and for whatever reason, rather excessively painful. Resting the toe on the mattress? Hurts. Allowing the blankets to rest on the toe? Hurts. The only really comfortable place for my foot is uncomfortable for the rest of me. So, I got out of bed.

But my weight is doing well; according to the Wii Fit, I've lost about two and a half pounds this week. (Most of last week's gain, I'm convinced, was water weight.)

I finally got around to making up my mind about the 200 squat challenge. (The same guy who does the pushup program has a 200 sit up and 200 squat program as well...) It took me so long to decide to do it because I really, really hate squats. Not so much while I'm doing them; they're really not all that hard individually; and not the next day; I'm only a little sore the next day. But the third day? Oh, ow.

So I cleared some space and began with my squats. I had decided my personal challenge to myself was to do at least 36. That would put me squarely in the Very Good category... room for improvement, but certainly no slackard. (Keeping in mind that I've never done more than ten or twenty squats in a row, and these usually make my legs pretty sore, you can see where I might not want to aim higher than 36, right?)

But it was so easy... thirty came... and went.

And forty.

And fifty.

Around sixty I started mentally joking with myself that it wasn't much of a challenge if I finished the whole 200 today, but wouldn't that be impressive?

At sixty-five, Darcy started 1) talking to me (or more exactly, asking questions. If you know anything about five year olds it's that they are not actually physically capable of ending a sentence without a question mark. Even if they're saying something like "I have to go to the bathroom?" They want/crave/need/require/are possessed by demons to demand an answer of some sort. Even if it's just "well, for God's sake, go to the bathroom, then!") and 2) getting in the way. She'd stand just in front of me so that I'd have to shift my arms just slightly so that I wouldn't bonk her in the eye with my finger. And as soon as I'd figure out how not to do that, she'd move again. (And no, telling her to go away would have just ensured that instead of standing there, being in the way, she'd grab onto my leg and start crying and asking me if I still liked her... she's been a little insecure recently. Exasperating as that is, I didn't think getting into that particular little cycle again was going to be conducive to getting my squats done.)

So, I'm doing squats, dodging a five year old, and attempting to answer questions like "What are you doing?" "Squats." "Why a squats?" "Because I'm exercising." "Why are you exercising?" "Because it's good for me." "Why is it good for me?" "Well, it's not good for you, honey, you're not doing them, are you?" "I don't know." "Doesn't look like you are to me." "Why doesn't look to you?" (I am really. Really. Epically. Looking forward to her going off to school in the fall... oh yes. I am.)

And... because I'm talking, working out, the door is open and there's a breeze coming in from the porch... I managed to inhale a piece of dust. At 70, I start coughing. I try a few more squats, hoping I can get my breathing under control, but...

Nope. Not happening.

So... 72 squats.

Ok, that's not bad, really. Twice as good as my personal goal. I'm vaguely disappointed, however, because I think I could have done more, if I hadn't started coughing.

My babysitter came over about an hour after that and I headed off to the gym. For the first time since I got sick, I got a full workout in. 30 minutes on the elliptical, bicep curls, tricep lifts, rowing, chest presses, chair dips, crunches, stretches, walking. (Also, I walked 1/4 of a mile while carrying a 14 pound plastic jug of cat litter! That's got to count for at least a bit more...)

After my workout, I headed over to the drugstore to pick up a soda (yes, I still drink them... just only like 1-2 times a week...) batteries (the wii fit has been complaining about dead batteries for a few days now. I need to get a charging station for both the wii motes and the fit board...) and cat litter.

I'm feeling pretty good about myself; it feels good to be pleasantly wrung out and sweaty from my workout. I have those little twitches in my muscles that tell me I did good. My asthma has - at least for the time being - taken itself off to the back of the room, instead of sitting right up there in the first row waving its arms around like that idiot in Welcome Back, Kotter.

"How was your workout?" the cashier asks me. I'm on fairly good chatty terms with most of the people who work at the drug store. They see me a couple times a week.

"Oh, good, good," I said, grinning. "I did 72 squats today."

The cashier blinks. "Oh. I do 150 everyday."


There goes my balloon.

Well, don't I feel pathetic.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

8 Mile

I've been a little MIA around here...

First, I've got a collaborative blog project here: A bunch of us at Twitter are walking "together" for this Weight Watchers 5K... So, if you're interested in that project, just shoot a DM to @bwjen and she'll hook you into that project. I'm going to actually be physically walking with my meeting group, so's Thomas and Darcy will be joining us as well, altho truth be told, Thomas will probably have to carry her at least part of the way. But our leader, Beth, is going to be setting up the walk so we'll end at the Skinny Dip. That's for Carla, who refuses to work out at all... except where there's Ice Cream involved.

Secondly, I have another collaborative project of my own. The weekly Wii Fit Challenge. It started off with just me and another girl and I now have four or five people who are interested. So, if you're interested in that, just leave me a comment with your email in it, and I'll send you an invite to that project.

So those are my current web projects; at home I'm trying to clip coupons and stick better to a grocery budget. I don't think I'll ever get to the point of some of my web-mommy friends who can feed a family of four on $40 a week, but I'm getting better. I've ordered the newspaper, which is $9 a month and started collecting coupons. Tuesday, when I was at the laundrymat, I took out all the coupon fliers and went through them while my dryer loads were going. Yesterday, I went to the store with $ 7.79 worth of coupons. (the 40 cents off and 50 cents off were doubled, and the B1G1 got me a free packet of tuna fish; normally $1.99)

Now, part of the frugal mommy thing is that I'm not supposed to buy anything that's not a grocery at the grocery store; no shampoo, cat food, lightbulbs, feminine supplies, etc. Those items are supposedly cheaper at drug stores, pet shops, Wal-Mart. I'm sure this is correct, and I am trying to remember (well, except that I won't ever shop at Wal-Mart again... long story.) to pick those items up at other times. Also, it's not always the best deal. Yesterday, the Harris Teeter had a special, buy one box of dishwasher tabs, get one free. Plus I had a coupon for them, $2.50 off. So I got 40 tabs (about 5 weeks of dishes) for $3.49.

On the plus side, I may be well stocked for dinner meat for at least 3 weeks. The Harris Teeter (if you have one in your area, you should go check out this sale) is offering the 2.5 pound bag of pre-frozen chicken breasts Buy One, Get Two Free. That's 7.5 pounds of chicken for $9. Also, last week they had a huge package of beef cubes (stew meat, kabobs, stir fry) on sale for $8 for 4 pounds, so I divided that package up and stuffed it in the freezer. And I have one packet of veal, a pound of ground beef, and 2 packages of turkey cutlets. That's 18 dinners with meat, plus I've got tuna, pasta, and other vegetarian dishes planned. So, while I spent $102 yesterday, I have fed my family for the next couple weeks, only picking up vegetables and produce...


Now, Friday we got together with Leslie and headed over to City View Park to walk and play with Darcy and whatnot. While we were driving there, I commented to Thomas that I was planning - eventually - to walk to Lynnhaven mall, depending on how far away it was. If it's over 15 miles, I wasn't going to do it just yet, but I thought it was about 10-12 miles, so in the next few weeks...

"And walk back," he says.

"Oh, no," says I. "I was going to call you when I got there and have you pick me up."

"Oh, I see how that goes."

"You could walk to my house," Leslie pipes up from the back seat. "I'd give you a ride home."

So, Sunday, I mapped it out. It's 11.4 miles to Lynnhaven mall and 8.6 miles to Leslie's house. Since I've missed my walks because of illness recently, I didn't want to try eleven miles, but I figured 8 miles was doable.

I packed my bag (note to self: please, please buy a new bag soon, this one is killing my shoulder...) and headed out. It was a nice day, a little sunny, and about low 70's. The roads had sidewalks the whole way (always a plus) and were just busy enough to make me happy I'd decided to go ahead and wear my iPod. (If there's no sidewalks, I won't wear it... it's not safe. On the other hand, if I'm on the sidewalk and someone decides to run me over, the likelihood that not wearing my iPod will save me is pretty low...)

I passed this tree about 1/3 of the way there and thought it was quite pretty. Actually, it's prettier even than the picture shows, because the surrounding bushes were also covered with these purple flowers. (Yes, I'm sure the owner of the tree and bushes isn't happy about it... I think this purple stuff is one of those parasitical types of flowers, but hey, it's not my yard, and it does look nice...)

However, all the walking I did on Sunday, combined with some high sodium food choices made my weigh in on Monday... not so great. I was up 1.4 pounds.

On the other hand, over the last three days, according to the wii fit, I've dropped 2.4 pounds... stupid water weight.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Slip Sliding

Ok... officially, I'm blaming my best friend Leslie's soon-to-be-ex husband.

The chain of events;

Stupid Ex racks up credit card debt, lies, uses the company truck to hide and fall asleep at work and exhibits other assorted immature behavior.

Leslie decides that Stupid Ex is a waste of time and space (I don't disagree here) and asks for a divorce.

Stupid Ex moves back in with his parents. He also requests that Leslie give over his things (acceptable, I suppose...)

Leslie, moving some furniture around in order to get his stuff out of the house, drags a recliner over her foot, tearing her toenail off at the root.

She calls my husband for advice.

Thomas advices that she wait there and we'll come pick her up to take her to see a doctor.

We go to the Urgent Care (not very urgent, takes us three hours for her to get seen and treated.) While there, we are shut in a smallish waiting room with an older woman and her booming cough.

Two days later, I start coughing.

My asthma flares up but good. (I don't know if you recall, but about eight months ago, I was declared "perfectly healthy" by my doctor and taken off my long-term asthma medications...) Unfortunately, my asthma has slowly come back. For a few months, I wasn't using the albuterol at all, and then I started using it from time to time, especially after I did any intense cardio.

Over the last two months, it's gotten steadily worse. I was using the inhaler at least once a day, and three to four times a day if I did cardio.

Last week, I've been using it three to eight times a day, cardio or not.

And Tuesday, I about collapsed on the elliptical after 11 minutes.

So, I finally gave up and called my doctor.

I'm back on the Proventil and Serevent.

And he wanted me to go on a week's run of steroids.

And here's where I'm conflicted. As I've said before, my primary weight gain started with a few runs of prednizone back in college.

I really, really don't want to go back on steroids.

On the other hand, I've said enough as far as fucking around following my doctor's orders go. I've promised myself I'll stop being in denial about my health and actually take care of problems.

And yet... I don't want to undo the last several months of hard work by going on steroids for a week and gaining back 30 pounds. Or, if I don't gain, being unspeakably hungry for several weeks. (I remember clearly being on steroids... I was hungry all the time. Bone-gnawing, stomach twistingly hungry. And it didn't stop, no matter how much food I stuffed down my throat.)

God, please, I don't want to go back there.

I have a doctor's appointment in two weeks.

So, this is what I've decided to do; I'm going back on the long-acting inhalers for a week, and if that doesn't significantly clear up, then (and only then) will I take the week's worth of steroids.

I know my doctor wants to knock this out; and I know that he really has my best interests in mind. Lung infections are nothing to mess around with, and he's being concervative. Knock this out of my system before it can settle in and make more problems for me, long term.

And yet... why throw three things at the problem when two (or one) will fix it?

So, I'm being a little bit risky, perhaps. But I'm monitoring myself, and if I have to go back on steroids, I will.

But if I do, expect to hear me bitching. A lot.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What Matters

My weigh in was good; down 1.8 pounds. My Wii Fit says I am snugly in the 130s... Weight Watchers (later in the evening, and with my clothes, says I'm at 141... if I lose anything at all this week upcoming, I'll officially be in my weight range for Weight Watchers, too.)

Last night was our quarterly "You should get more exercise" meeting.

Sometimes I wonder about the people who decide the meeting topics for Weight Watchers... I picture a board room with a bunch of men who've never been on a diet in their lives, mocking fat women and trying to decide how best to torment them with the meeting topics.


I mean, I know, there's a limited amount of things to talk about when you're talking about Weight Watchers. Food, food, portion control, food, sugar versus artificial sweeteners, food, exercise, restaurants, food, controlling hunger...

Deciding on a meeting topic each week would not be a job that I'd want to do.

I wonder how long in advance they decide these things... do they map out the entire year, or do they map it out one season at a time?

Anyway, yesterday was the "you should work out, even a little bit" meeting. We cover that topic about once every three months or so. (The problem with being someone who's been at Weight Watchers for over a year is that I've heard it all before...) Of course, this year, Weight Watchers is doing this walking challenge thing; getting people to train to walk a 5K.

We talked about it a bit, and one of the girls at our meeting was seriously rolling her eyes. Carla's been a member of Weight Watchers since before Thomas and I joined... and she hates working out, hates exercise and isn't the least bit interested in doing any of it.... despite that, she's still getting thinner... she's not quite to goal yet, but she looks pretty good. So, you know, you don't have to work out. It's not necessary.

On the other hand, it does have a lot of benefits, and I know we've all heard them before.

Improves mood
Lowers the risk for certain diseases
Improves sleep
Increases lung and heart health
Improves the ability to concentrate
Relieves stress
Builds muscle, which aids in weight loss

Yeah, we all know these things, right?

What I have noticed, in my more than a year now of losing weight and increasing my workout is that none of those things matter to me.

I started my exercise program, at first, because I thought I should. I didn't really want to. But I thought I should do it, so we started slow. We walked a mile. I didn't particularly enjoy it. It was cold and after about half a mile, my back, legs and feet ached.

Eventually, walking became more than just an obligatory form of activity and I started looking forward to it as a time to reconnect with my husband and do something with my child. Quality time with my family. My husband and I got between 35 minutes and an hour or so to talk without the distractions of computer and television... over time, I started to feel better about walking.

I tried adding new exercises in; I did a workout DVD for a while. Thomas and I went out and played tennis a few times. I tried Couch to 5K. Some things worked, some didn't. I didn't stick with much for very long; tennis got more and more inconvenient as the weather got warmer and more people were inhabiting the courts; running gave me wicked shin splints and even after multiple attempts, I have not been able to continue running for more than three minutes... unless I'm jogging in place in front of the Wii, something that makes no sense to me whatsoever. The DVD got boring. But I did continue to get some activity in.

Then our apartment complex added in a fitness center. So, I usually hit that three times a week now, doing elliptical, walking, biking, weights... I joined and completed the 100 pushup challenge.

So, there we are in our meeting, talking about the benefits of exercise.

I said, "Well, working out makes me feel Hard Core."

Some wiseass from the far side of the room mutters, "Hell, you are hard core."

"It doesn't matter what I am," I said, looking over at her. She's been coming to Weight Watchers for about five months now. I smile a bit, trying to be reassuring. "It doesn't matter what other people say. People can tell me I'm doing well, or that I look good, or whatever. None of that matters to me in the slightest. I don't usually believe them anyway. What matters is how I feel. And doing pushups makes me feel good, makes me feel strong, makes me feel sexy. It may seem silly, but I feel better about myself for doing 100 pushups than I have for losing almost 80 pounds."

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Shirt and Wii Challenge

I stared at the shirts.

What kind of masochistic bastard crazed fashion designer came up with this?

The shirts were pale colored, light blue and white, peach and white, pale pink and white. With a breast pocket. And a row of four buttons at the neck.

And horizontal stripes.

Now admittedly, I stopped shopping in the plus section quite a while ago, but I still view horizontal stripes as clothing only for stick women who are pretending they have breasts and prisoners.

I made a face. I loved the style of the shirt. And I adore that pale teal color. And I've always liked that semi-tye-die patterning... also, it was on sale. $2.99.

Ah hells.

What was the worst that could happen?

I snatched it off the rack and tossed it in my cart. I was already trying on a couple pairs of shorts. (Jean shorts, I'd grabbed a 6, and 8 and a 10. I've been having trouble with shorts recently... and some bright colorful cotton shorts in small and medium.)

I ended up trying it on without actually looking too carefully at it. I made sure it fit, and then took it off again.

This morning, I decided to wear it. I slid it over my head and then turned to the mirror, smoothing out the wrinkles.


One of the problems I've recently been having (with me and the mirror) is that I feel like my chest has shrunk enormously while the fat layer just below my ribs has... well, NOT.

Not according to this shirt. Wow.

Just seriously. I'm not being able to get over looking at myself.

I look like a brick house.

I think I'll be headed back to the K-mart this weekend and pick up several more of these tees in the other available colors.


Me and some friends are going to be doing a Wii Challenge this week, starting the 13th and running until the 19th. For starters, we'll be just doing 4 sessions during that week, of at least 15 minutes, and posting our high scores to each other.

Sounds like fun, I'll keep you posted on how we're doing...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

75 pounds (Time Keeps on Ticking...)

Last night I inched over another 5 pound marker.

They're getting further and further apart as my weight loss has become this epic crawl... and it was never all that speedy to begin with. (I know, I know, safe weight loss is no more than 2 pounds a week, but hey, there's a big space in between .5 pounds a week and 2 pounds a week and I wouldn't mind sticking my weight loss averages into a slightly closer to maybe getting this done sometime this century...) Seriously; it took me eight weeks to lose five pounds... at that rate, it's going to take me twenty weeks to lose this last 13.6 pounds. So, look for me hitting my goal... oh, in September...

Ah well... it's not like I have anything better to do. Or that it's going to be over, once I reach goal weight... I'm never going to be able to eat six doughnuts and lose a pound anyway, like my husband does. So I may as well just get used to the idea that I will always have to guard myself carefully and watch everything I eat. For the rest of my life.

God, that's depressing.

I'm not meaning to be. It's actually been a pretty good week; Thomas finally got a promotion at work which came with an actual pay raise and no additional responsibilities. (That would be different from some of his previous promotions which involved a cut in take-home pay and significantly more responsibilities. I'm perfectly serious; when he moved from hourly to salary, he got a 10% pay raise, but by adding unpaid overtime and losing the double-pay for holidays, it resulted in a 3% net loss in our spending cash...)

I've just been sick for the last week and unable to hit the gym at all... Working out with a head cold is one thing, working out with an upper respiratory infection is something else entirely. I get really tired walking across the room, or coughing, or honestly much of anything. And the scary thing is, I remember when I felt like that all the time (minus the coughing... but seriously, I remember cleaning the living room in two foot chunks because bending over to pick up Darcy's toys made me tired.)...

I don't like it much.

It was Thomas's birthday and we had some fun; a smallish birthday party and then we went dancing up with some friends - which is to say, mostly we sat on barstools and listened to music. I managed to drag Thomas out onto the floor for one song, which is the first time he's danced with me in... three years. I think the last time was at my cousin's wedding. So, you know, I'm now set up with dancing until 2012.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Standing in for Mii

I have nothing else to add.

P.S. Ok, I lied.... I have something else to add. My Mii is actually smiling. Or smirking, more exactly. It's my traditional expression, as you can see here...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Giving Myself the Mad-Props

A few months ago, I wrote a short article for a truly inspiring and fun blogger, Scott "Q." Marcus, for his new, independent magazine, Two Words. While my submission was good, unfortunately print-costs and prior agreements ended up pushing my entry out in last minute cuts, but Mr. Marcus was gracious enough - and I certainly hope impressed enough - to ask me to join him in a side-endeavor for promoting the magazine and writers who were interested in the project.

I am, of course, happy to do so.

I don't usually spend a lot of time here talking about other bloggers; I figure you're all perfectly capable of glancing at my list of favorites on the side bar (which doesn't even begin to cover all the blogs I actually read; I'm RSS-subscribed to any number of other blogs which I haven't gotten around to adding to my blogroll...) and either reading or not.

Allow me a moment to do so, as it regards Scott "Q." Marcus. This man is beyond fascinating and beyond funny. He's real, in a way that often success stories don't always strike me as genuine. Sometimes, seeing the slim, neat, magazine-perfect "after" pictures don't always do anything for me. The walked around the block to defeat a cookie craving... while I understand how hard it is to sum up sucess in a pithy phrase or three, it also... well, those pithy phrases can really wear you down...

Changing your life, dieting, whatever you want to call it... that's hard bloody work. And Scott acknowledges the work, even after the "After" picture is taken. In his picture, he looks quite handsome, slim and witty, and in his writing, he's sometimes crazy, sometimes lazy, sometimes dry, and always, very, very human. When I was first getting started with my lifestyle change, Scott's blog was there for me. And even now, 75 pounds later, he's still there for me.

Being able to contribute to his cause, write for his magazine, or post on his group effort blog... that's a great honor to me, and one I hope fervently that he recognizes... On the one hand, he's done nothing for me but be who he is... and on the other hand, his example, his wit, and his gods-honest hope and faith in the perserverence and dedication in humanity in general... has helped me to do everything.

If you're interested, this is my article that didn't quite make the cut for the premier issue... I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.