Wednesday, March 17, 2010

American On Purpose

A short while ago I discovered The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. I've probably been watching the show for, at most, 2 years now. I like it and try to stay up late enough to watch it, although that doesn't happen consistently. I LOVE the theme song.

Last fall Craig Ferguson released an autobiography - "American On Purpose". I checked it out from the library this past Saturday, and have just finished it about 20 minutes ago. It's great, and I recommend it to anybody.

Most of the book is interesting, moving, or dramatic, but occasionally there are truly funny bits. Here's one:

Robbie and I became roommates when he found a sublet that was available in a large basement flat near the art school. The place was available for a year, and the only problem was that while the owners were out of the country we'd ahve to look after Ken, their enormous white cat. Ken was a sonofabitch, he must have weighed forty pounds and could actually open the refrigerator door by himself. I would never have believed this had I not seen him go into the kitchen, open the fridge with his big, meaty paw, and steal a cooked chicken that Robbie's mother had sent as a care package. I yelled and tried to catch him but he grabbed the chicken and jumped on top of the cupboards, out of my reach. He stared me down defiantly as he enjoyed his lunch. He hated me, and I, in turn, loathed and feared him. Sometimes I would wake up in my small damp bedroom and find him staring at me, a look of smug pity written on his whiskery face. I always felt Ken was judging me, and I think I was right. Ken thought I was a lazy alcoholic stoner who would never amount to anything other than babysitting cats, to whom I was an intellectual inferior, and I don't suppose I can blame him, given the evidence. My continuing distrust of cats stems from my dysfunctional relationship with Ken.

A thought I had recently about the Big American Health Care Debate

For the last year or so there has been a lot of talk about the manner in which health care is handled in the United States. The term 'Health Care System' is often used, but calling the chaotic mess that currently exists a system seems like a whitewash to me.

The one component of the proposed reform that bothers me greatly is the mandate - the idea that everybody will be forced to buy insurance under the new laws. This seems like a very, very bad thing to me and is very discomforting.

I realized a few days ago that I've been buying insurance for myself (& my family) for most of my adult life, and for at least the last 12 years, if not longer. The mandate won't affect me directly. If anything it may help me if it has an affect of bringing rates down. (Unlikely, but why not dream a little? :) )

My aversion to the concept still exists, but I think about it more deeply now, pondering why I feel strongly about the issue. My best guess is that it offends my sensibilities similarly to seatbelt and motorcycle helmet laws, although it doesn't feel the same. I avoid absolutes, but generally I oppose laws regulating personal behavior, and laws that seek to protect people from themselves. I believe every person should be allowed to do whatever he or she wants, provided it doesn't hurt somebody else. You should be permitted to be an idiot, if that's your choice.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Back on the Wagon - Followup

Since my previous, I haven't been to bed before 11pm a single time.

BUT, I have gone to the gym to work out 9 out of the last 10 days!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Getting back on the wagon.

In November 2008 I began working out for the first time in my life. I regularly visited the fitness center in my local JCC and exercised 2 or 3 times/week. A couple of times I didn't get to the gym for over a week, but that was a very rare occurrence.

Then for no particular reason other than lack of motivation I stopped going in mid-January of this year. (Last visit was January 19.) Compounding things, between Mardi Gras Kingcakes, Saints Superbowl party wings/chips/etc.., and Purim baskets (Shalach Manot), I've been eating a ton of junk food lately.

I decided last night to renew my efforts at going to the gym. My plan is to be in bed before 11pm every night, and go to the gym almost every day. We'll see if this really happens.

So far, last night I was in bed by 11:30p and fell asleep with Rachel Maddow. The alarm went off at 6:45, I was at the gym at 7:15, and I am now ready to go to sleep (at 6pm, for anyone keeping track!).