What’s In A Name?

A quick but important post for you, dear reader(s).

Why is my blog called The Honestly Blog?  The word “honestly” has become my most favored way to express shock, dismay, disappointment, frustration, rage, and general unhappiness.  I credit its introduction to my lexicon to one of my most treasured partners in crime, Jess Stone, whom I have known since my first summer at sleep-away camp some thirteen years ago.

For the sake of your amusement, and some continuity, every Friday (or Saturday, if I’m running late) I will post an Honestly of the Week.  These entries will be nothing more and nothing less than a digitial bitch slap directed at the person, group, or thing that has done the most to piss me off in the seven days that just passed.

Let the record show that a more positive outlook on things was never on my list of New Year’s resolutions.

~ T

The Charles Atlas Seal of Approval

Chief among my New Year’s resolutions is to get in shape.  Well, let me clarify that.  It’s not so much that I want to get in shape.  It’s that I want to be hot.  A head-turner, to use the lingo of your grandparents; or, hella sexxxy, as the kids today would say.  You know, the guy on the beach who makes the people wearing very large, very opaque sunglasses inwardly squeal with delight because they can stare and won’t be caught.  A stud, a catch, a find, a hot piece, a mighty mighty good man.

I’ve never had much luck trying to accomplish this on my own.  I took such failures in stride, shifting blame to a higher power.  The way I saw it, I was already an exceedingly self-centered and arrogant person; if I had a body to match the attitude, there would be no end to how insufferable I would be.  But this year, I decided to stop blaming myself or some intangible ethereal essence and take some serious action.  I joined a new gym in the neighborhood and signed up for twelve sessions with a personal trainer.  This morning, ladies and gentleman, at 6:00, the transformation began.

I was met at the front desk by Jason, my amiable motivator and fellow early riser.  To start, Jason told me to take a five minute warm-up run on an elliptical.  Piece of cake.  I hardly broke a sweat.  Having lulled me into a false sense of security, Jason then decided it was time to get a handle on my agility, balance, and coordination.  To do that, he launched me into a battery of drills and exercises that, to be blunt, knocked the crap out of me: step-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts, push-ups, and a shuttle run.  A shuttle run!  I haven’t done a shuttle run since the twelfth grade.  And I haven’t taken one seriously since maybe the seventh!

After a point, Jason had determined where my weaknesses lay, and I had determined that my intestines were constricting around the rest of my internal organs, National Geographic-style.  The bathroom door a few paces from the water fountain was too much to ignore, and by 6:15, I was knelt before the porcelain throne, voiding my already empty guts.

I opened the door to find Jason dutifully waiting outside.  “You okay?” he asked.  “Better now,” I answered.

As we got back into the routine, I apologized for my weak constitution.  “Was that the fastest you lost someone to the bathroom?” I asked.  “No,” he said, “I once had someone puke three minutes into a run on the treadmill.”  “Wow,” I said, trying to keep the image from my mind, but wholly unable to.  “Did it, like, roll back and around on the belt?”  “I try not to remember it,” he replied.

Some bench presses, lunges, shoulder lifts, and bicep curls later, we were at the end of our first hour.  My shirt was so soaked that the owner Mike, who had probably been watching this spectacle all hour long, dubbed it “movie sweat”, in that I was so completely drenched, it looked as if my perspiration had simply been sprayed on with a hose.  No, sir, that was all me.  Before leaving, Jason gave me an idea of what kind of program he’d be putting together for me, and some guidelines for what to do at the gym when I’m alone.  We set our next session for Thursday morning, shook on it, and went our separate ways.  For the rest of the day, I felt great.  I wore the fact that aside from the ill, hung-over, or pregnant,  I was likely the only person in a four block radius vomiting before dawn as a badge of honor.  And I can’t wait to do it again!

Work out, that is.

~ T

TV Time: “B&S” – A Bad Dream

Welcome to the first of my television reviews on the blog!  There is a handful of series which I follow regularly, and so after each episode I’ll post my thoughts.  These will not be recaps.  Recaps are boring, particularly for the people who have watched the program, and they take too long to write.  These reviews will be just that: discussions on what worked and what didn’t.  And word of warning, there will be spoilers aplenty.  Let’s get started!

Last night was the start of a fresh week of TV, a perfect way to start the new year.  Or so I thought.  Let’s hope that last night’s Brothers & Sisters was a fluke; otherwise, we are in for a long second-half.

For a show that has prided itself in being firmly planted in the immediate here-and-now, the dream sequences of last night’s episode, “A Father Dreams”, were painfully out of place.  Stylistically, they were an obvious mismatch; plot-wise, they were a gargantuan error.  Had less time been spent inside Kevin’s post-op, drug-addled subconscious, maybe we could have spent more time on his relationship with Tommy, which had been so strained until the previous episode’s crisis necessitated a tenuous reconciliation.   Never one to hold a grudge, Tommy decides to repay his brother’s sacrifice by handing him a genuine gag order, a legal document forbidding Kevin from ever telling toddler Elizabeth that he is her biological father.  Apparently suffering not only fevers and nausea, but a serious misunderstanding of what gratitude is as well, Kevin signs it.  This entire development transpired over the course of nine minutes, at most.  This rapidity of forgiveness kind of makes you wonder why they’d been so busy hating each other for the first half of the season.

It's okay, Kitty.  I made the same face watching you last night.
It's okay, Kitty. I made the same face watching you last night.

Speaking of wasted time, I think I would have rather seen Scotty do laundry than endure the completely unnecessary “I quit!”-“You’re hired!”-“I quit!” Robert and Kitty subplot.  This was basically an excuse to get Rob Lowe and Calista Flockhart in the episode, and to give them some cutesy innuendo to toss around.  Pointless.  Not to be outdone, the writers also squandered Sally Field this episode by having her go all schoolgirl in the presence of a former associate of William’s who…well, I’m still not exactly sure what he did that made her so mad/embarrassed.  And I’m not sure why the guy was such a dick to her now, thirty years later.  I hope this doesn’t get spun into some awful “opposites attract” romance for Nora.

On the plus side, the attention given to Justin was surprisingly entertaining.  It was interesting to see how much more enjoyable the character of Justin is when he doesn’t have Rebecca at his side.  I’m not saying this should be a permanent change; I’m just making an observation.    They have to keep Rebecca around, if only because her scenes with Holly are always some of the best.

Fingers crossed for an improvement–and some Patricia Wettig–next week.

~ T

What I’m Reading: “Caesar: Life of A Colossus” by Adrian Goldsworthy

In addition to making New Year’s resolutions about writing, I made some about reading.  Arithmetic, however, is not part of the equation.  And that’s four points to me for making the lame pun.

I have two goals for my literary intake in 2009.  First, I am going to make sure I read at least one chapter a day of whatever it is I’ve got my mitts on at the time.  Second, I am determined to read more non-fiction this year.  In the two and a half years since I graduated college, I’ve picked up over a dozen non-fiction works, and completed only two or three of them.  Embarrassing.  It was almost like I was forgetting how to read non-fiction.  I swore I could feel tiny parts of my brain shutting down, effectively becoming stupider.  So, before I transform before your very eyes into some overall-wearing, cud-chewing yokel whose eyes are set disturbingly close together, I’m hitting the books.

Since I’m a history dork, and a glutton for punishment, I’m starting my mission with Adrian Goldsworthy’s “Caesar: Life of A Colossus”.  It’s a 500-plus page tome about the life and times of that most famous Roman standard-bearer, toga-wearer, and constitution-tearer.  Once I finish, I’ll be sure to post a review.

goldsworthyjacket1

~ T

The First Post

“The beginning.  Well, beginnings are always beautiful.” ~ Diane, “The Little Dog Laughed”

Hello and a Happy New Year to you, dear reader!  Welcome to The Honestly Blog, my own slice of cyberspace.

preflight1I figure the crucial First Post (so crucial it necessitates capitalization) is the perfect time to explain what you have just gotten yourself into.  Chief among my New Year’s resolutions was to reconnect with my first love, writing.  I’ll still make time for my other loves: poorly planned adventures, amateur sports, and cheap wine among them.  After all, without them, what would I have to write about?  Anyway, the thing is (or “things are”) that I enjoy writing, I think I’m pretty good at it, and I don’t do it nearly enough these days.  So I’ve decided to take this resolution public; partly because  people have told me that they enjoy whatever twisted thoughts tumble from my oversize cranium and onto the page, and partly because my Type A personality will simply not allow me to slack off on a venture in which my progress can be so plainly judged.

As you’d expect from a Type A personality, I now offer you a succinct list of what you can expect to find here at The Honestly Blog:

  • Tales of adventure
  • Commentary on current events
  • Film, television, and theater reviews
  • Amusing videos, songs, and images
  • Assorted and sporadic braindroppings

There’s a lot I’m hoping to accomplish with this blog.  I want to write regularly.  I want to keep a record of my thoughts and experiences in the coming year.  I want to keep you entertained.  I’m not sure which of these is the prime objective, but I think they are all connected.  I realize the latter one is most important to you, and I promise that I’ll do my best to keep you amused.

So, if we’re all  on the same page here, let’s begin…

~ T