Thursday, Nov. 11, 2004
Dear Diary:

Lately I've been going through this odd craving thing. Actually, the word "craving" doesn't really cover what's happening here. Compulsion probably comes closer to conveying the experience.

Almost every day for the last few weeks I've found myself popping up a bag of Orville Redenbakker's Light Popcorn and then, while eating it, dipping selected kernels into a small dish of extremely garlicky hummus. It has to be the two things. Together.

Frankly, if I was still in my fertile years, right about now I'd be tearing off to the drugstore for a pregnancy test. Since those days are gone, I'll just assume that this is my body's way of telling me I'm not getting nearly enough salt, fat and garlic. Works for me, although I must admit the spousal unit gets a rather bemused expression when he watches me snack on the combo.

Not nearly as bemused, though, as when he looks over and sees me vigorously massaging the left side of my nose. See, he sits on my right at night and from his perspective it looks as if the index finger of my left hand is actually plunging up and down the inside of my left nostril.

And who says long relationships have to be without romance? Huh? HUH?

I am massaging the nose on doctor's orders. Tuesday I went in to Montreal to see the surgeon for the final check-up of schnozilla. When he cut out the skin cancer and stitched up the hole six weeks ago, he had told me that if the scar had any ridges he would sand them down to make it blend better.

Being me, I imagined that this would involve something in the Black and Decker school of medicine, something along the lines of a belt sander. I had myself mentally tied up in some wonderfully complex knots as I sat out in the waiting room awaiting my turn under the lights and magnifying glass.

Well, fortunately, he could not find any ridges, so no sanding. Whew. I have a small, stiff lump on the side of my nose about the size of a dime and I'm under orders to massage that hard for fifteen minutes twice a day until it softens up and goes away.

Routine being the secret to continuity, I do this in the morning when I catch up with my on-line writers and at night after supper as I watch the news, so twice a day the spousal unit is subjected to the spectacle of me gazing vacantly off into space while it looks as if I am strip mining my nose.

Rowrrrrrrrr.

Now that I have a clean bill of health, I'm trying to ratchet things back up a bit at the gym but it's tough slogging. I've been showing up religiously, but the kindest thing you can say about my workout is that I've been phoning it in.

Part of the problem here is that my two workout buddies are AWOL. One is the guy I clocked last year with the 45 pound Olympic bar—yes, apparently gyms work on the same social level as Kindergarten and you can make friends by smacking them. My buddy became a daddy for the first time in July and apparently wants to spend his free time with his infant daughter, not at the gym. The other workout buddy is nursing his sick husband through a critical illness.

Where Are Their Priorities, I ask you? Why aren't they thinking about my needs? There are no words for how much I miss their teasing, the camaraderie. Why oh why did I have to choose workout buddies who are compassionate, caring family men?

So far I haven't been able to replace the guys. I'm too strong to work out with the women who are in the gym the same time I am. When they see me pick up the 20 pound weights and start to do bicep curls, they look at me as if I am some sort of freak.

The guys who show up when I do each morning are 20-something guys working the afternoon shift at the local factory—I can't keep up with them physically and we don't connect enough on other levels for them to cut me slack and let me play with them anyhow.

My trainer has switched her shifts to afternoon for a few months so that the women who use the gym during that time of the day will have access to a female trainer. It's a smart move and should add new members to the gym.

But it leaves me alone and forces me to draw on my own resources. This is not a pretty sight.

My younger workout buddy brought his daughter Emma in to the gym to meet me last week. It was stupidly touching to see this huge, 6'3" 225 pound hunk of muscle I work out with tenderly cradling a tiny little ball of pink in his arms. I sweartogawd, his hands are bigger than her head.

Normally I have a very hard time finding anything to say about new babies because babies don't do a lot for me. Most of the time I look at them and all I see are the three "P's"—piss, puke and poop. I know. I'm an aberration, a traitor to my gender.

But my friend's delight in his daughter was like an extra physical presence in the room. I found myself actually babbling to Emma in baby talk, a language that normally makes me roll my eyes in disgust. Even worse, she crinkled her eyes up in delight and gave me a huge, toothless, flailing arms baby grin, leaving me utterly charmed.

If this baby can charm me the woman who doesn't have much use for babies, imagine the spell she's cast over her doting father. Guess I'd better dig up some inner resources, and fast, because it looks like I'm doomed to be working out on my own for a very long time to come.

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 828.95 miles.
Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.25 per cent thereTen percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.25 per cent thereTen percent there rubber duck.
Oh man. This is going to be hard
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers

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