Support My Climb… It’s Two Weeks Away!

September 12, 2013

I’ve been going gangbusters on the StairMaster during the past week and a half. The StairMaster has been part of 5 of my workouts, sometimes as my warm-up, sometimes as more. If you combine those 5 efforts, I’ve gone for 85 minutes and climbed 368 floors. Not too shabby!

There’s a reason I’ve been focusing on the StairMaster, and I was reminded of that reason the other day, when I came face to face with it downtown:

US-bank-tower-los-angeles

The US Bank Tower. Not only is it the tallest building in Los Angeles, it’s also the Read the rest of this entry »


Weight Chart Update AND Underground “Before”/”Current” Photos!

April 25, 2012

The last time I weighed myself, two weeks ago, I had to give myself a big ole pep talk. And I needed it. And it worked! The past two weeks have been full of good choices and healthy eating. But I also had a major body part conspiring against me: my foot. After injuring it last week, I spent the better part of three days plopped on my couch, icing and elevating it. I did make it to the gym for some upper body workouts, but I also ended up having a couple more rest days than I had planned.

Given the circumstances, I’d quite happy with the results of yesterday’s weigh-in:

Maintaining my weight is a good thing. Nope, I’m wrong… it’s a GREAT thing.

Here’s another shot of my weight loss chart:

This morning I took a good long look at the first year of my chart, which I condensed, a few months ago, onto two pages. These two pages will always be a great motivator for me:

So, for everyone keeping score at home, maintaining my weight means I’ve still lost 162 pounds. And counting.

MOVING ON.

I was downtown a few days ago, and some friends and I went to lunch. We headed over to 505 Flower, which is an office tower that has an big underground shopping center beneath it. The shopping center is mostly restaurants and eateries, and I had a fantastic salad at a place called Salata, a Texas chain that opened their first California location last year.

As exciting as that salad was, what was more exciting was that it was my first time at 505 Flower in about three years, and I had the chance to update a “Before” picture!

505 Flower has these glowing yellow and blue walls near their escalators, and, truth be told, they’re kinda cool and kinda hideous at the same time. Three years ago, I got a picture with my friend Heather in front of the wall, and it’s a terrible photo. It was taken at 1am, and there’s nothing I like about it, and that what makes it a perfect ‘Before’ photo!

You can see the version with Heather (and a more recent picture with Heather, who has lost 50 pounds, by clicking on Photo Gallery – there are lots of ‘Before’ and ‘Current’ photos there).

And here I am, just a few days ago, in front of the very same wall:

Pretty. Effin’. Sweet.

A note to anyone who finds themselves at 505 Flower: as tempting as that glowing wall may seem, it’s a really tough background for a Kodak moment. My friend Maya took the above picture, and she took about 15 just so I could have one that turned out semi-decently. I have a hunch that not many people will look good in front of that shade of glowing yellow. But if you’re in downtown LA, I invite you to go and prove me wrong!

I actually LOVE another picture that Maya got of me – full silhouette!

This picture makes me want to shout GO BLUE! – and if you’re a fellow University of Michigan alum or fan, than you’ll know why.

KEEP IT UP, DAVID!

PS: Tomorrow’s the deadline to enter my giveaway to win a $68 fresh fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements. Have you entered yet?

CLICK HERE! CLICK HERE! CLICK HERE! CLICK HERE! CLICK HERE!


I’m a Dancing Machine

January 25, 2012

Last weekend, I got a call from my friend Tavi, inviting me to go dancing. I haven’t been dancing in years – I probably haven’t gone dancing since I moved to Los Angeles, and that was nearly ten years ago!

In college, I went out dancing all the time – almost every week. There’s a nightclub in Ann Arbor, Michigan (where I went to school) called Nectarine, and Friday nights were (and I presume still are) gay nights. The first few times I went, I was painfully self-conscious and uncomfortable. I felt that, as one of the biggest people in the room (if not the biggest), all eyes were on me, and not in a good way. But I kept going, always with good friends, and slowly the self-consciousness subsided and I started having a really good time. Nectarine is where I saw my first drag show – and my second, third, fourth, and so on, because they would host one every month.

When I moved out to Los Angeles, my interest in dancing waned significantly. I was intimidated – it may sound silly, but I thought there was a big difference between big city nightclubs and the one in my college town, and I didn’t think I was ready. It took me a little while to settle into Los Angeles, generally speaking – learning the landscape, finding a job, making friends, and all while staying with my aunt and uncle 45 minutes outside of town until I got my feet planted. I started establishing my life without going out to nightclubs, and I didn’t miss it. I certainly didn’t miss the self-consciousness that would have gone along with stepping into a new club scene.

So when Tavi called with the nightclub invitation, I was excited to go. I knew I wouldn’t feel self-conscious, and the good Nectarine memories far outweighed the bad. That night, I met up with Tavi, his boyfriend Antonio, and Antonio’s roommate, Brian, and we headed out.

The club we were headed to was called Club Mayan, and the evening was built around the fact that Antonio was working there that night as a go-go dancer. Club Mayan is housed within a huge old gutted theater in downtown Los Angeles that is fabulously and elaborately decorated in the style of a Mayan temple. We wandered in, and all I could think about was how fun this place would have been in its heyday, before they ripped out all the seats and slapped slapped multiple coats of paint on every surface. I snapped a couple pictures – the first is the exterior, the second is the lobby, but they don’t do the place justice:

I looked up the history of the Mayan, and, like a lot of old theaters, it has a long and fascinating history. It opened in 1927 as a Broadway-style venue for musical comedies, and then it became a movie theater. In the ’40, it was a burlesque house (it’s rumored that Marilyn Monroe performed there), and in the ’50 and ’60s, it showed Mexican and Latin American films. Then, in the ’70s, new owners turned it into an adult film theater (they even filmed some of the porno scenes in the basement), and in the late ’70s, the space was subdivided into three adult film theaters. In 1990, it was converted back into one big space and transformed into a nightclub.

It was a fun evening – except for the part where they didn’t think Tavi was wearing nice enough shoes and wouldn’t let him in (it was bullshit), so he and I had to go all the way back to Tavi’s house to grab a new pair. I wouldn’t say that the Club Mayan was my scene (but I probably can’t claim to have a scene, as I haven’t been dancing in 10 years, right?), but anything is fun when you’re with good friends. Antonio was one of five go-go dancers that rotated between a couple elevated platforms, and holy crap, Antonio is jacked. He could be covered in gray paint and stuck in the antiquities wing of any museum alongside the other Greek God sculptures. Seriously. His muscles have muscles.

Oh, and we danced! We were on the dance floor for well over an hour. The music was pretty good, and I definitely broke a sweat. I slept well that night, and I’m glad I did, because less than 12 hours after leaving the club, I was dancing again…

…in Richard Simmons’ aerobics class. The theme for that class was country music, and Richard was wearing a tank top and shorts fashioned entirely out of bandannas. Wanna see? Here’s the video from that day’s class. Keep a look out for me – I’m not sure there’s anyone lingering footage of me, but I only half paid attention while watching:

Richard’s class is around 90 minutes long, and I’d guess I danced for that long at Club Mayan… so 3 hours of dancing in a 12-hour period?

Keep it up, David!


Blossom

July 29, 2011

I saw my friends Heather and John for the last time the other night.  Not the last time ever, the last time for now.  They’ve been in town for work for the past month and a half, but in a few days, they’re packing up and moving on.  It’s been great having them around, and hanging out with them has resulted in some great meals.  Heather and I had a lovely dinner at Bottega Louie; all three of us lunched at Mas Malo; and I won’t forget any time soon our downtown urban picnic and the amazing sandwich for five that I brought along.

Bottega Louie and Mas Malo are both downtown, and the other night we met up for dinner at another downtown restaurant that Heather and John love.  I think it’s hilarious that friends that visit once a year now know downtown Los Angeles better than I do after living in Los Angeles for nine years!  Hilarious, and perhaps a touch sad on my part, but hey – I’m glad they have places they love, because there are a lot of restaurants downtown to choose from.

Blossom Restaurant is a small little Vietnamese restaurant on Main Street, where Heather and John went a bunch of times last year when they were here, but hadn’t managed to make it back this year.  They wanted their Blossom fix before hightailing it out of California, and I was more than happy to join them.

Heather’s actually in that picture, on the right, in the window, reading the menu, partially obscured by foliage.

A few minutes before I took this picture, while I was walking from the subway stop to the restaurant, I passed a not-uncommon sight in Los Angeles: a film crew!  They was lots of equipment and crew members on the sidewalks, and whole blocks of parking spots coned off.  I came across this sign, which answered my first question: “I wonder what they’re filming?”

Prime Suspect,” by the way, is an upcoming detective show on NBC.  They must have been filming in one of the buildings, because nothing exciting was happening on the street.  I love the first sentence on the sign – very Big Brother!

On to the restaurant.  I don’t eat tons of Vietnamese food – not for any particular reason, it’s just not a cuisine I’ve been exposed to very often.  I can’t think of the last time I’ve been to a Vietnamese restaurant – it’s been a few years, at least.

I started off with an order or vegetarian spring rolls.  In some other Asian cuisines, spring rolls are fried, but Vietnamese spring rolls are fresh and wrapped in rice paper.  These had tofu, greens, and herbs, and a great peanut dipping sauce:

They were good, and the peanut sauce had a nice spicy kick to it, although I think I would have preferred a little less tofu and a little more greens.

Then I had the shrimp pho soup.  Pho is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine, and it’s eaten for all meals of the day.  It’s a broth-based soup with rice noodles, cilantro, onions, and a protein (traditionally beef, but also chicken or shrimp, and you can find vegetarian versions too).

My big bowl of soup:

There were a lot more shrimp on the bottom.

The fun thing about Pho is that more ingredients come on the side, as garnishes that you can stir in: a big pile of bean sprouts, fresh Thai basil, limes , and hot Thai peppers.  Heather, who also got the shrimp Pho (I definitely copied her, not the other way around), and I shared this pile of garnishes:

I don’t eat a lot of soup on a regular basis.  I never really crave it, because most of the time it seems weird to me to be consuming a hot liquid in a hot climate like southern California.  The pho, however, was fantastic.  Flavorful, filling yet light, and how could I not get behind any dish that comes with a plate of produce as garnishes?

Maybe I should seek out some Vietnamese restaurants in my neck of the woods… for any Angelenos out there – do you have a favorite Vietnamese spot in the valley?

Oh, and like I mentioned in my Hollywood Bowl post, another perk to riding the subway downtown is the built-in stairs workout.  It’s 5 flights to get down to the train platform and 5 flights to get back out – so when I go round-trip, that’s 20 flights I’m ascending or descending.

Screw you, escalators!

Keep it up, David!


What Makes Me Mad. What Makes Me Happy.

July 20, 2011

Yesterday I said I was still processing the three-pound gain I had this week, but the truth is that, unlike the manufacturing of Velveeta, there’s not much to process.  I have to work on losing it.  Scratch that – I am working on losing it.  Last night I went to my boot camp class, and my ass was kicked, and I ate well yesterday and have eaten well so far today.  I’ve also been thinking good thoughts (and your wonderful comments on yesterday’s post really helped).

There.  Processing finished.  Back to life.

I have two things to share today – something that pisses me off, and something that delighted me to no end.  Which first?  Let’s get the piss out of my system (which is something I’ve already done 4 times today – thanks to the gallon of water I drink daily):

What Makes Me Mad:  My RediSetGo.  Shocking, right?  I think I might be falling out of love.  A little backstory:  The RediSetGo is (was?) my favorite informercial product (watch the informercial here), and I’ve devoted SEVENTEEN (!) blog posts to food and recipes that I’ve created on it (they’re archived here).  Less than two months ago, I said goodbye to my old RediSetGo and hello to my new one, which I hoped would last me a good year – a long time for anything bought off the TV, don’t you think?

Well, the non-stick coating on my brand-new RediSetGo, after just a handful of uses, is already peeling.  Take a look:

I was cleaning my RediSetGo after I last used it, and there seemed to be some crud on it that wasn’t coming off.  So I put a little more elbow grease into it (using a soft sponge that wouldn’t scratch the finish), and it still wouldn’t come off.  Then I realized it wasn’t crud at all, but the nonstick finish bubbling from underneath.  FANTASTIC.

The RediSetGo is still technically usable, as there are insert trays that I have that would prevent any food from coming in contact with that gross surface.  I’m still pissed, though, that this new RediSetGo only lasted a couple months.

So.  What I need to do is find the receipt and check if there’s a warranty, and if it still applies if I didn’t buy the product directly from the RediSetGo folks (I bought it from Amazon).

I also think it’s time to try to get ahold of the RediSetGo folks and show them all the love I’ve been giving their product for the past 8 months.  A few of you have confessed to buying their product because of this blog, and they need to know that.  This is where I need your help:  I can’t find a contact for RediSetGo.  I can find their customer service line, but that’ll just be a call center.  I want someone in marketing, publicity or public relations.  If any of you have a second and want to help me scour the interwebs, that’d be fantastic!  Drop me a line at keepitupdavid@gmail.com if you find anything!

What Makes Me Happy:  Angel’s Flight.  It’s the little things that make me happy, and this certainly qualifies as little!  Angel’s Flight is a funicular (a type of angled railway) in downtown Los Angeles that is billed as the shortest railroad in the world.

That’s all of it, in that picture.  It’s 300 feet long, and takes riders up the steep hill between Hill and Grand.  Angel’s Flight costs a quarter to ride, so yesterday, when I was in the area, I plopped down 50 cents and bought myself a round-trip ticket:

Inside the funicular (it has stadium seating!):

On the ride down:

It doesn’t look like I have any teeth in that pic, but I do.

I think everyone’s lives would benefit from more funiculars.  I think Suzanne Somers might agree – I once read her Palm Springs compound had a funicular.

Angel’s Flight is a landmark – it’s been around for 110 years, when Bunker Hill, where it’s located, was a ritzy residential neighborhood (now it’s home to the tallest office buildings in the city).  There’s been stretches where it’s been closed, but it’s in operation now, and, despite living in Los Angeles for 9 years, this was my first time on it.  It won’t be my last!

Keep it up, David!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 647 other followers