Is THIS Bliss?!

Lorina's Blog

Get fit playing video games? You betcha!

Up until about a month ago when I started going back to the gym at least a few times a week, my main form of exercise, other than running, has been¬† EA Sports Active 2 for our Playstation 3. A video game. Granted, it’s not fun. You know you’re working out while “playing” this game.

It’s essentially the same sort of stuff you’d do in any workout DVD, except since you’re hooked up with sensors and a Heart Rate Monitor, you can’t cheat. If your form isn’t right, it’ll correct you. And sometimes even if your form IS right, your “virtual trainer” will correct you. Which causes me to spew a stream of profanities that would make a sailor blush. “Don’t tell me I have to ‘work harder to keep up with’ you when I’m AHEAD of you, you sadistic ****!!!” Insert any, and I mean ANY, four-letter word of choice there. It won’t be too harsh.

There’s two main series of workouts, the three week “Cardio Kickstart” and the “9 Week Challenge.” You can also do other programmed workouts, or have one custom-designed for you, or create your own by selecting which forms of torture you want to indulge in on that particular day. You can select between “easy,” “medium” and “hard” intensities.

And after a time, you begin to look more and more like your virtual self, until you become The Borg.

I started with the “9 Week Challenge” on medium intensity, since I thought I was in decent shape. It about killed me. I plopped in my chair after the workout, sweating and panting, realizing I just got my ass handed to me by a video game.

“Just close your eyes and power through it” is one of my mottoes, and I did just that. After my 9 Week Challenge was up, I was ready for more pain and did the Cardio Kickstart, then the 9 Week Challenge again, both on the “hard” intensity. Somewhere along the way, I swapped out the resistance band that comes with the game for a set of five pound dumbbells. And somewhere along the way, I started to get some results, too.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for theme parties.

The results speak for themselves.

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I wanna do bad things with you…

I love True Blood and the Sookie Stackhouse books as much as the next person. More than the next person, I’m guessing, since I’m reading the books for about the fifth time now. Yet I didn’t even notice this when I bought groceries the other day, until Fritz asked about it.

TruMoo?! Really?! Now I can’t open my fridge without getting the opening riff of Jace Everett’s song in my head.

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It’s STILL fun and games! A Dog’s Tail… Tale.

Once upon a time, there was a boy and a girl with cats. One cat, to start, but you know how cats are… they’re like potato chips. You can’t have just one. The boy was Fritz and the girl was me. The cats were Sheba, who I’d had since I was 16, but somehow became “Fritz’s Cat” as soon as we met, Gypsy, a former feral stray who adopted me, and Gracie, who we were only supposed to foster for two weeks for the SPCA until she gained enough weight to be spayed and put up for adoption. I’m not a good foster-mom, because it’s been seven years and she’s still here.

I was working as a vet tech at the time, and had doggie lust. I loved my cats, but I wanted a dog. A big dog, like a Greyhound or a Scottish Deerhound. Fritz, on the other hand, grew up with little dogs. And little dogs make little poops, which is always something to take into consideration. When my brother and niece got a Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso, and I spent some time playing with their little guys, my mind was changed. Little dogs were cool.

Fritz’s mind, however, still thought three cats was enough, and didn’t really want a dog. But I played dirty. I told him, if we got a dog, we could name him Beavis.

I won.

I began the search on Petfinder, looking up dog breeds and rescues, and we decided to look for a Pekingese. It was disheartening how many rescues completely ignored applications and emails… it was as if they weren’t even interested in finding homes for the dogs. Really, who better to adopt a dog than vet tech and her husband, who worked opposite shifts so the dog wouldn’t be home alone more than three hours a day, with tons of dog experience, no kids and a fenced in yard? We should have been the dream applicant!

One rescue, out of New Jersey, realized that, and we were pre-approved to adopt. We just had to wait until the right dog came around. And following (read: cyber-stalking) them on Petfinder showed that they actually DID adopt out many of their dogs. Their roster of available pets was ever changing, which is more than I can say for some rescues.

Then he was listed. Temporarily named “Gizmo,” because that’s what people always seem to name smushy-faced dogs. No photo yet, but he sounded perfect. A tri-colored Peke, just two years old, okay with cats, housebroken, with a sunny disposition (that ended up being an exaggeration, but no one is ever like their personal ads, not even dogs!). I didn’t even see his picture yet, and I wanted him. One slight drawback. He was missing an eye. But that just added to his appeal for me. He tugged at my heartstrings. He was found as a stray wandering the streets of New York City with his eye popped out of the socket, too badly damaged to save. The ASPCA took him in, fixed up his boo-boo eye, and passed him off to the rescue group for rehab and rehoming.


Then I saw his picture and fell in love. His missing eye didn’t look bad… he just looked like he was winking. (I toyed with the idea of calling him Mr. Winky, but realized there was NO WAY IN HELL I was shouting that name across the park.) We met him, and he took to us, flopping onto his back for belly rubs, and we took him home that same day.

And despite what moms and teachers have been warning children forever, there’s still PLENTY of fun and games to be had once you lose an eye. Other than being a little apprehensive of stuff happening on his blind side, every once in a while walking into telephone poles,¬† not being able to catch or understand what happens with squirrels when they run up a tree, he acts just like any other normal dog.

Scratch that.

He acts just like any other Beavis. There’s nothing normal about him at all. The name suits him entirely too well. Crazy mound of blonde hair. Protruding lower jaw with jacked up teeth. A vocabulary that consists primarily of strange noises, mostly grunts. Stubborn, temperamental, selectively hyperactive and absolutely insane. I’ve looked, but I can’t find a bunghole. I’m sure there is one, because he poops, and I still can’t find it under all that fur.

But he’s my little Beavis, and I love him.

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