Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 42

Please let this be the start of a new trend.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 223.0

Today's Weight = 220.0

Weight Loss in past week = 3.0 pounds

= 47.0 pounds

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Back on the Boards

Friday night was the opening of Rumors at Rockwall Community Playhouse. This is the first play I've done in three-and-a-half years. I have been in a number of shows during that time, but they were all musicals. It has been interesting being an "outsider" for a show. Almost all of my productions have been at the community theatre in my hometown. Rockwall is only a few miles away, but it's like a whole other world. Doing a show at a different theatre has its advantages and its disadvantages. I've learned some things about how they run their theatre; many of which would be beneficial for my normal troupe. The main disadvantage comes from not being one of the regular gang. This has been lessened by the fact that this is the first show at RCP for half the cast.

We run two more weekends. It's a good show. If you live in the area, please come check it out.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 41

I'm sure you're getting as tired of this lack of movement as I am.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 223.0

Today's Weight = 223.0

Weight Loss/Gain in past week = 0.0 pounds

= 44.0 pounds

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 40

I'm not sure that half a pound even counts as a gain.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 222.5

Today's Weight = 223.0

Weight Gain in past week = 0.5 pound

= 44.0 pounds

Monday, September 12, 2005

Feeling Small

No, this isn't about losing weight, and it's pretty long.

A hot, prickly feeling of shame spread from the top of Harry's head all the way down his body. Dumbledore had not raised his voice, he did not even sound angry, but Harry would have preferred him to yell; this cold disappointment was worse than anything.
                       —Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, p. 428

I don't think I ever heard my High School Speech teacher, Janice Caldwell, raise her voice. She never had to. Mrs. Caldwell was one of those teachers whom everyone respected. In those days, it seemed that most of the students still cared what teachers thought of them. That was especially true regarding students and Mrs. Caldwell.

Mrs. Caldwell may not have ever yelled, but she certainly knew how to express her displeasure. Whenever a student behaved inappropriately, she would not berate or chastise. Instead, a hurt look would grow on her face, and she would say, "I'm very disappointed in you." The words were always the same. The reaction was usually the same, too.

My contact with Mrs. Caldwell began my Sophomore year. It was that year that I first competed in Speech tournaments. Mrs. Caldwell was also the Assistant Director for our competition One-Act play. Because of my course schedule, I was not able to fit Speech class in until my Senior year. It is a point of pride for me that I was the first person to obtain a grade of "A+" in Mrs. Caldwell's class. School generally came easy to me, but I made a little extra effort in Speech class. There's just something about Mrs. Caldwell that made students want to please her.

During that year, one of our units was Cross-Examination team Debate. The class was set up in an elimination tournament. Fifteen teams of two contended for classroom glory. The tournament was single-elimination (except for one of the first seven teams defeated; that team was randomly selected to compete in the first round again against the fifteenth team), so the pressure was immense. My partner, Kim Appleton, and I were paired up against Shelly Scarborough and Jennifer Raynes. They were the Affirmative. The topic being debated was:

Resolved: That the Federal Government should enact a comprehensive policy to protect the quality of water in the United States.

****At this point, you are either very impressed or very scared that I still remember that after almost twenty years.****

Shelly and Jennifer pulled out a plan to mandate Fluoridation of all public water supplies in the U.S. Now, Kim and I had all kinds of evidence about the water table, ground water, lakes, rivers, Superfund, and the like, but we had not card one about fluoride. I told Kim our only hope was to go after Topicality, which is an issue related to whether the plan really fits the stated topic.

The Judge, who was the school's Drama Teacher, voted for Kim and me on the Topicality issue. The team of Appleton and Scott were never seriously challenged in the next three Rounds and won the Tournament handily.

However, going back to the day of Round 1, at lunch that day I was up in Mrs. Caldwell's classroom. She told me that she thought the other team's plan was topical and that, in her opinion, we should have lost the round. I replied that we were caught completely by surprise, so we had to "BS our way through the Round." Mrs. Caldwell looked at me and asked if I knew the meaning of what I had just said. At that moment, if I could have hit a magic "Rewind" button, I would have, but it was too late. I told Mrs. Caldwell that yes, I knew what "BS" stood for, but I didn't really mean those words, which was at least consciously true.

Mrs. Caldwell gave me a brief lecture about choosing words carefully, especially as a Christian who desired to be a positive example for my classmates. I sat there and took my medicine hoping it would be over quickly. Mrs. Caldwell spoke again, quietly and calmly, "I'm very disappointed in you." Since the Rewind button was nowhere to be found, I started wishing for a hole in which to hide. It did not need to be a big hole either because I only felt about two inches tall.

After that, as further testament to Mrs. Caldwell's greatness, there was no lingering condemnation from her. She had expressed her displeasure and then moved on. I have communicated with Mrs. Caldwell occasionally over the years, but it's been a while since the last time. She was one of those great teachers who leaves a lasting impression, and I am a better person for having known her.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Journal Anxiety

I was unable to locate my Journal for the past few days. I checked everywhere I thought it could be even though I couldn't remember hav ing it in any of those places. Thankfully, I don't have all that much written in it, and most of what I had written has been posted here on the blog anyway. The stuff that wasn't posted here wasn't anything that would have been terribly embarrassing if the Journal had fallen into the "wrong" hands, but it was annoying beyond description to think I had lost the blasted thing.

Well, I found it tonight. Great relief.

I am especially pleased because there are a couple of passages in Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince that I want to write about. Look for the first tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 39

At best, I thought I'd lose 2 pounds this week. I'm beyond trying to explain why my weight fluctuates how it does.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 226.5

Today's Weight = 222.5

Weight Loss in past week = 4.0 pounds

= 44.5 pounds

Sunday, September 04, 2005

It Always Comes Back to Iraq

I communicate with a wide variety of people over the internet. They run the gamut of the political spectrum. The reactions to the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina have been, for the most part, true to form. The frothing Bush-haters are whipped up into a lather about how horrible a job Bush supposedly did/is doing in handling this crisis. If you keep pushing them, though, ultimately, it always comes back to Iraq. Eventually, after all the high-minded sounding arguments about evacuation plans and relief efforts, these folks will devolve to this argument: "If we weren't spending all that money and manpower to fight Bush's personal war in Iraq, there would have been the necessary funds to reinforce the levees (presumably overnight), there would have been the necessary manpower to run the evacuation and relief effort."

This, my friends, is what is known as a crock.

I have come to firmly believe that the hatred of Bush is a result not so much of what Bush has or hasn't done or his political ideology, but more a result of the American Left's desire to "get us back for what we did to President Clinton." You see, the vast right-wing conspiracy managed to prove that Bill Clinton was a liar, so the Left has decided that it must bring the same charge against Bush. That's why the anti-war rhetoric always claims that Bush lied to the American people. It wouldn't be enough for them to say that he had been wrong in his reasons. No, they have to take the next step and assume he knew the WMD's weren't there; therefore, in their minds, he lied.

I happen to be one of those Kool-Aid drinkers who thinks the WMD's managed to get secreted out of Iraq in the 6 months we were forced to wait before we invaded, but that's beside the point. Even if there were no WMD's at all, that is not proof that Bush lied to us.

Seriously, when you find someone who is attacking "the government" for how poorly things were handled and are being handle in New Orleans, keep pressing. Eventually, you will hear the word Iraq escape his or her lips.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

In Praise of Mickey D's

I've been meaning to post about this for a few weeks. I don't know about where you live, but I am extrememly excited that all the McDonald's restaurants around here now have Diet Dr Pepper available. I wonder what took them so long.

In fact, I'm noticing Diet Dr Pepper popping up on more and more "fountains" these days.

As I've mentioned before, I loves me some Dr Pepper.