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The race for less… update

It has definitely been a while since I’ve updated my on-going fisticuffs with my weight.  This doesn’t mean I’ve been regressing, it just shows that as I continue to lose weight, it seems like it is harder for me to do so at a faster pace.  I’m not sure if this is because of the changes to my size and body, or maybe my suspicion is that I’m sliding on my eating regiment.  I’m just slightly frustrated, still losing, but frustrated.

Thankfully, I have been fairly diligent on exercising.  By random chance, I’ve started running with a couple of teachers at the high school.  We usually run about three miles each time we run, which is between two and three times a week.  Granted, I’m not the fastest, but certainly keep up but most importantly I don’t stop.  In the past, even running a continious half mile seemed to be a great undertaking.  Every time I run, I definitely find ‘The Wall’ (not a Pink Flyod reference) where mentally I have a hard time feeling that I can last the entire run, but then I give myself short goals: “make it to Harrison St.” or “Just back to the High School”.  These help, they are always within my sign and they have made it so I haven’t quit. 

Even the boundires of my usual run of three miles gets pushed.  This weekend, my mom spent two days with us in the Grove.  On Sunday, she and I went for a run and ended up doing four miles and by the end of the run, I felt as though as I just did a light jog around the block. 

On to the numbers… As of this morning, I am down to 236 pounds, wihch is an overall weight loss of 64 pounds.  I’m down 2 pant sizes and a shirt size.  Which is why we’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money refitting my wardorbe because I can’t walk around looking like I’m wearing garbage bags.  I’ve lost 21.3% of my original weight and I am 6 pounds shy of my inital goal.  That’s like I lost a fifth grader. 

Everyday is a battle and choice, I just need to make sure I’m making the best of both of those.

Guten Tag!

Hello from Switzerland.

Jess and I met my parents in Zurich this morning and are now in Luzern. For the last five days, Jess and I had been in Vienna and Salzburg, Austria. I had actually updated from Salzburg but for some reason, it never took… pictures and all. Oh well. Austria was astounding. Jess and I had such a wonderful time, it is an amazingly beautiful country, especially during thunderstorms in Salzburg.

We’re now sitting in my parents’ hotel room, sharing some hand-crafted liquors that we bought… I have to say, the apricot is my favorite. Tomorrow (weather permitting) we’ll head up Mt. Pilatus to do some hiking. Coming up is Paris, Luxembourg, and Barcelona. Sorry about not having pictures right now, but I’ll try to get some put up by the next time.

We’re Famous… if you squint

Apparently, in admist the huddled (and sweaty) masses of Sunday’s speech by Barack Obama in Portland, the Oregonian snapped a picture and placed it on the front page and in that picture are the pixelated faces of our group:

When Obama came to town

Having a hard time finding my money-maker in the crowd, here’s a close-up:

We're famous... if you squint

Pratt is obviously the easiest to make out, then there’s me, I look weird, kind of like a half-mastiff, half-ape, half-three-toed sloth.  Jess is very hard to see, we determined that is her hair standing next to me.  My mom is also hard to make out, not only was she obscured by the hordes of people, but she had her sweater (a sweater in 85 degree weather?!?) draped over her head the entire time.  I’m sure the sweater also made her look unusual, but rest assured, I’m sure the Secret Service had their binoculars on her the whole time.

A quiet Sunday at the park

On Sunday, we had lunch with my sister to celebrate her birthday, then Jess, Pratt, my mom, and myself drove to downtown Portland to see Barack Obama speak.  We were surprised at how realitively easy it was for us to get a decent place to stand for the 3 hours we were there.  After an introduction by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Pratt was hoping for Greg Oden), then the whole Obama family walked on stage: 

The Obama Family at the Waterfront in Portland, Oregon

Barack gave a good speech, covering everything from the war in Iraq to gas prices and increasing teacher pay (score.).  It was interesting how the crowd filled in around us because once we got home, we heard that we had been a part of the 75,000 people who were there.  Also reported was that even though there was a crowd there of 7.5 times Cottage Grove, there wasn’t any garbage left in the entire area: 

Barack Obama Speaks in Portland Oregon (New York Times Photo)

The last two people I saw while they were campaigning for the presidency was John Edwards (well, ok at that time he was Kerry’s VP) and then Dukakis (way back when)… hopefully Obama doesn’t end up as a similar footnote to history.

comin’ to town with the briefcase blues

Hey! It’s my annual post-Thanksgiving post. I’m sure y’all have been quaking with anticipation to know what I did over Thanksgiving. You shall wait no longer!For Jess and I, this was our first actual major holiday that we’ve had together in the four-plus years we’ve been together. It was nice having Jess around for a holiday, I think I’ll keep it that way.

On Wednesday, we left the Grove and took the ridiculously long drive to Woodburn. We sat on I5, just outside of Eugene for a solid 10 minutes going absolutely nowhere. This is a tradition for me, ever since I left for college, I have had to sit on I5 on the day before Thanksgiving… there are some traditions that should fade away. Jess, Moose, and myself took 99 most of the way after we ditched the main northbound drag. It seemed like half of the people from I5 had the same idea, but the traffic had a little bit more speed to it than the interstate.

We made it to Woodburn, had Thanksgiving where my mom “accidentally” dipped her shrimp into Jessica’s eggnog. Nothing says, “Welcome to the family” like seafood in your nog. He had dinner, watched Moose beat up my parents’ dog, Tolley. Did some required day-after-Thanksgiving shopping. Then it was off to Bend.

Bend was nice and cold. Mostly we hung out with the Hansons, did a little helping out with some firewood, and then went to check out some possibilities for my new vehicle. Jess, her dad, and I went to a couple of car lots and saw too possibilities (though maybe not realistic ones). There was a ’99 Toyota 4Runner, which was pretty sleek… it had the sunroof and everything. Then, I spotted a ’00 Dodge Ram 1500, it was very pretty. It had the extended cab, with the suicide doors, towing package, fog lights. I wanted it very badly. Alas, I still only have one very badly beaten Honda CRV.

Moose had a lot of fun at the Hansons, he was outside almost the whole time, running around, exploring… he’s becoming a regular ranch dog, well, except for his extensive problem with wussiness. He was running and jumping the entire time we were there, but as soon as he hopped into the car and we drove away, he was passed out.

Now I’m back to work, which feels like I haven’t been here in weeks. It’s finals week, translation: lots of grading, lots of paperwork.

That’s pretty much it.

 

 

what will you leave us this time?

The intention of this past weekend was to go to bend, but we only got as far as Woodburn. The freezing rain and the constant bad weather on all of the passes made the trip fade away. Although, we were able to pull together an impromptu weekend in Woodburn. Saturday was mostly watching movies around the house. On Sunday, Jess, Mom, Dad and I drove up to Portland. Me and Pa, dropped off our missess at the bridal show at the convention center. How come there is never a convention for men to walk away with bags of free stuff. Although, I hear that the apex of the even was the fountain of flowing chocolate. I was wondering if they had a fountain of butter, which would be perfect if you were having popcorn or baked potatoes at your wedding. We can all have our own dreams.While the ladies were doing wedding stuff, Dad and I hung out drinking coffee at Lloyd Center. Our highlight of the day was the screaming noise that was coming from underneath the car. I thought it was a pebble stuck under the break, Mom later thought that the car was going to explode.

And in other news: work is good, school is bad.

 

leave your conscience at the tone

It’s been another couple of interesting weeks. For the past couple of days I’ve been hanging around the parent’s house, mowin’ some lawn, doin’ some work for my mom–but generally just trying to relax a bit. This is in spite of my insisting that I was going to start reading and researching for my capstone. I’m not disappointed with my decision.

The other day while my mom and I were out, we came by this store in the middle of nowhere, as we were talking to the owners it turns out they had some puppies. “Some” is a light term, they had ten of them. These were little lab/Australian Sheppard mix pups. These little guys were only three weeks old. If I had a house or a place that I wasn’t renting, I believe I would have tried to stuff as many puppies as I could into my pockets and made a break for it.

In my last post I forgot to mention my first actual casino experience. In true Miller form, Greg calls me up at eleven at night saying, “Hey, Well–want to go to a casino.” Having always planned on being spontaneous, I agree. We tried finding other people to go, but they were all too concerned with having jobs to go to in the morning. Greg and I made the hour and a half drive to Spirit Mountain. We got there at half after midnight. We hit up the ATMs, sat down and played some blackjack…for seven hours. I honestly believe that I much better at poker than blackjack, but watching Greg play (after I bottomed out two or three times) I think I learned a lot. Starting with only sixty dollars, at one point, Greg was up over seven-hundred dollars. I have never seen someone win like he did. Me, on the other hand, I was lucky that I made off losing only forty dollars. The ride home was impossible, I am glad that I was not the one driving, I was constantly falling in and out of sleep. We made it back to Eugene around nine in the morning, in my infinite wisdom, stayed up for the rest of the day, making the total number of hours I was a awake near forty hours. And remember, never hit on a dealer’s 15.

If I’m well you can tell she’s been with me now

Excluding German 201, things are going good, well, relatively. I have now come to the conclusion (in my waning months of my senior year) that I have chosen the wrong major for myself, this isn’t to say that Philosophy isn’t super-fantastic, because it is, but it is not as super-fantastic Education or Special Education. Ironically, in the remaining three terms I have left at the University of Oregon I think i have found my calling, I’ve always been a late bloomer, so why does this surprise me? So as you may have guessed I am taking a Special Education (SPED) and an Education (ED) class and I and I feel as though I am extremely successful at them. I may be getting my second and third ‘A’s of my college career (also ironic, my first ‘A’ was achieved in the first term of my Freshman year.) I can easily understand the material, the reading is engaging (oh, and 14th century Jewish philosophy isn’t fun reading?) so I think i might have made a small mistake being a Philosophy major, I should have gone with my life long gut feeling of education. Any road….
So I’ve hurt myself again, while playing racquetball I went flying backwards into a wall, making for a spectacular pup on my back. To make a long and quite unspectacular story short, the doctors aren’t sure yet what I did to my ribs except that they hurt and that I needed strong pain killers. On the subject of pain killers, may i just say that as a person who doesn’t sleep well, these are a small little angles with Vicodin stamped on them. So needless to say the last couple of days I’ve been very well rested.
I’ve come to the conclusion that i enjoy living by myself, lets just put it this way: I can be the master of my own domain. My messes are my own and therefore i’m not as disgusted cleaning them up. I don’t think I was meant to live with people who I’m not particularly close to… There is just something wrong about cutting a tube of sausage and then leaving both the wrapper and the knife out on the counter all day, needless to say, it wasn’t my sausage. ick. If I try the path of good naturedness and understanding means I’m a good person right? Or a Schmuck?
Finally, its really nice to see two parts of your life fit together so well. I really enjoy seeing Jessica hanging around with my family. First, it was my sister came and stayed with me for a couple of days, we played mini golf, played video games (which i kicked her butt at Dance Dance Revolution), and had a somewhat impromptu parade. Jessica and Meagan seem to really enjoy each other’s company, especially when it comes to making fun of me, which is fine by me because it is a sign of respect or at least admiration… or so I’m told. And then when Jessica and I spent the day with my mom, it just feels like one big family… i wish my family liked me as much as they liked Jessica, but you’ve got to take what you can get. I don’t think i realized how important my family’s feelings about my girlfriend were until (I finally got a girlfriend) saw Jessica with everyone of my family members and how much they liked and adored her. Best chance I ever took.

all right, Vicodin is kicking in, time for bed.

and at night we walk into our houses and burn

I refuse to start this post with “well” because out of the last 5 posts, 3 of them have started “well…”, repetition really really bothers me, especially when I am guilty of it. So here I am at the threshold of my senior year of college, the time between the day I moved into the dorms (and coincidentally threw-up in my UO mug) and right now seems to have been of a minimal nature because it seems like that just last night i went to bed wondering what college will be like and now here I am wondering how i am going to survive after college. So many RA rounds, so many $300 school book purchases, so many 3 o’clock naps after a hard day of skipping classes. Sometimes I find myself wondering if i actually gained anything besides a $50,000 educational tab, but I’m sure there is a big wealth of knowledge that I have I just haven’t put to much use… though i am a philosophy major so i may never put it to use. Once again I have the ominous feeling of a (not to use a clichi) new ‘chapter’ of my life is about to start and i can see that what is about to start has a whole new set of responsibilities coupled with it. Here comes that urge to fight of adulthood. “Get back! back you wretched beast, back into your high-interest mortgaged cave!” But no sense in worrying about the future when I have 2nd year German to worry about.
So I went to the East Coast, i finally made it to New York City and I have to say that I like it much more than I assumed I would. I had always figured that the massive amount of people herded into the streets and subways would wreak havoc on my spidey-senses. But I really enjoyed the sense of reality that comes with NYC, i don’t feel so tall nor so significant, the buildings alone dwarf every part of my ego… it was very interesting. I met up with my friend Greg and we walked for a good 7 to 8 hours and rode the subways, even saw Bruce Springsteen perform for the MTV Music awards. Of course I took only 10 pictures in NYC because I don’t want to seem like a tourist, maybe i did that too well because people were trying to buy tickets off of me outside of Madison Square Garden. While on the East Coast i also saw family that I have not seen in a long while, it is definitely an interesting feeling coming back into a portion of your family that you have not witnessed for half of your life. I was a ball of anticipation, hesitation, and confusion… but everything ended as well as most would expect.
This post officially marks the end of my summer, which I am not reluctant to let it pass. This summer was the summer boredom, i have never been so mentally unchallenged my whole life. The only thing accomplished this summer was survival and that was barely done. i rarely saw anyone, even my own family, however i did get to spend a day with my dad which was fun, i got play racquetball against him (translation: he got his butt kicked at racquetball) we got to have pizza and just generally hang out, which was really nice because it is not something we have done in ages. It was a lot easier when he was the only adult in our relationship but now i have responsibilities myself which make for gaps. And this summer was definitely a season of gaps. But Jessica is back in Eugene, which i have been long anticipating, being apart for three months was not fun in any aspect. When I did get to see her it was in the briefest of terms, a day here two days there… and i kid you not, 5 mins. at some points. It is insanely frustrating to see someone you care so much about for so short of a period, it would tear me at the seams. Though she did come to Woodburn to stay with my family and myself for a couple of days. I took her to the State Fair in Salem where we walked through the “beef barn” where Jessica rattled off insults at the quality of the cattle present, especially the miniature polled herefords. Collectively Jessica and i won 9 stuffed animals (Jessica: 2, me: 7) nothing brought me more joy than to be able to give my girlfriend many stuffed animals which I pried from the hands of little kids who weren’t good enough to beat me at “Whack the Weasel,” I am a weasel whacking pro.” However that sparse visits are over for now and jessica is now no more than a short jog away from me… a job i am always willing to make. School starts in 143.5 hours, wish me luck.