Friday, November 29, 2013

Weird Crime: (Under) Pants on Fire

Carson City, Nevada

In the early morning hours of Tuesday November 26, 2013, 21-year-old Amber Lynn Gray and her boyfriend were having a disagreement. He had allegedly gone to the store and returned without the cigarettes that she had requested. The pair was also drinking heavily, which caused the altercation to escalate from verbal sparring into a drunken, physical attack.

The assault began with Amber picking up a water bottle and hurling it at her beau, striking him in the head. She then proceeded to destroy various items around the apartment. When this failed to get his attention, however, she decided to switch from water to fire...and attack the unmentionables.

Amber reached into her boyfriend's underwear drawer, pulled out a pair, lit them on fire, and threw them onto the hallway floor. She then left the premises while the poor guy was left to extinguish his burning britches in the bath tub.

This act was particularly diabolical on a number of levels. Not only did she destroy a piece of clothing, but she used it to also cause damage to the carpet. If the underwear had skid marks on it (which let's face it, every guy has some brown striped pairs they still use), than the smell is probably still hanging in the air of his home.

The police were called and eventually located Amber at a casino, where she was presumably playing craps. She was arrested on a felony charge of arson and a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery. She is currently being held in the Carson City jail on $43,132 bail.

DO NOT put her on laundry duty

Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter. 

To get updates on when new articles or podcasts are published (and occasional random musings) 'Like' the official RamblingBeachCat.com Facebook page. Every time someone does, a man with a crazy girlfriend buys a lock for his underwear drawer.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

RBC Fitness Challenge Days 16-20: The Food Diary Reckoning

Today I went to the gym and was then still able to take a long walk with my wife. I also destroyed one of my friends in fantasy football, so all in all I can't complain....

...unless you want to hear me talk about my food diary. This thing is killing me. Everything I eat is flavored with the chilling reminder that Tracie will give me the stink eye for consuming the stuff I shouldn't be ingesting. I guess this is the price you pay to not feel like crap anymore.

Day 17

Today brought another small group session at Long Fitness Studios. As usual, it was incredibly grueling. What was unusual, however, is the fact that I still felt like I could go for a walk or some other type of light physical activity hours after it was over.

It wasn't too long ago that just taking the dogs for a stroll made me feel like I needed to be placed in bacta tank for a week or more. Now I could go through one of Tracie's insane circuits (which included attempting one-armed push ups on a bar) and feel like I still had more than enough energy left to do other stuff.

Another odd thing I noticed as I drove into work this morning was that my fingernails had gotten a bit long. This was an usual sight for me to see due to the fact that I tend to bite my nails constantly. In fact, I haven't had to use a fingernail clipper in almost two decades on account of my nervous chewing habit.

...and I am nowhere near enough to
 make that bad habit look cute or alluring 

For those of you who are still here and haven't run away screaming in disgusted terror, I did bite my currently elongated fingernails off, but only for aesthetic reasons. The pounds being shed and increased mobility I was experiencing seemed to also be relieving my stress levels, as well. This is greatly appreciated for a number of reasons, one of which is my inexplicable dedication to the University of Kentucky Football team.

Day 18

Aside from the fact that Tracie is going to murder me once she reads my food diary, I really am starting to feel a lot better. This is especially good since I've had a severe lack of  "Oh, you look like you've lost weight comments" since people were complimenting me during the first couple weeks of my unfatting process.

Verbal praise and recognition from others shouldn't be the goal, but my severely insecure self latches onto it like a python eating a mouse when it comes to looking for sources of motivation. 
I'm also, aware, however, that I can't lose 10 lbs every two weeks, nor would it be healthy to do so. But the fact that I actually FEEL so much better has been a huge lift and a great intrinsic motivator. I'll keep hanging onto that while I work on these next 10-15 lbs.

I would also like to mention that I have somehow lost my third set of headphones...and I think we all know who is responsible.

Definitely not me.

Day 19

For some reason, Wednesdays seem to have a habit of being really terrible days for me so far this year. Granted, it's my busiest day of the week (I go from 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM straight), but that's hardly the reason. The last part of my day is teaching lessons to some really great kids, which actually tends to wash away the any pent up rage I've carried from that morning and afternoon.

But as usual, I was able to get into the gym, work out, and feel like I had control over one thing in my life, at least. This was definitely a healthier way of dealing with a rough day than eating an entire can of Pringles and watching old X-Files episodes.

Day 20

Today was another session at Long Training Studios, this time being run by The Viking/Jared. At the point that he began describing the "proper technique for Spider-Man push ups," I knew that I was in trouble.

The hour consisted of multiple exercises designed to make your core and abs shiver and twitch like they were being put through electroshock therapy. One of the fitness model girls was there and even she was having trouble getting through it. (Of course, there was also a soccer mom who looked like she could rock climb Mount Everest to help remind me that my ass was still very kickable).

While struggling through the form for one of the exercises, Jared came over and helped me get it right. His ability to offer assistance without making me feel like a complete idiot/pansy was both masterful and greatly appreciated.

He was also one of the first people to take notice of how awesome the shirt was that I was wearing.

There may still be hope for our kind.

When I told him that a lot of people didn't even know who the shirt was referring to, he looked stunned and incredulously snapped back "How can anyone not know who Magneto is?!"

This man's awesomeness truly has no limits.

Once I was done with the exercise Jared was showing me, I decided to take a picture of my mat...mostly because it looked like someone had poured a bucket of fat person sweat onto it.

...and maybe just a few tears.

Jared told me that he was very proud of all the work I had done and was starting to really notice a difference in my fitness level. A mortal like myself to receiving a blessing like that from the son Odin really meant a lot. 

Later that evening, I walked laps with Tracie around the soccer field where Makayla was practicing. We were going to walk the bridge, but decided it would be more fun to periodically stop and shout at her daughter to go for the ball and play more aggressively.

My good vibes from the day came to a screeching halt, however, when Tracie asked to see my food diary. She looked at it and made an expression on her face like I do when my wife farts in bed. She then looked back up at me and said "Eggs."

"What?" I replied.

"We're going to start with one meal. You need to get more protein in your diet and cut out the carbs and sugar, especially at the start of the day." Tracie firmly declared.

"But I am doing a lot better," I responded/pleaded. "My diet used to be so much worse."

"I bet," she replied with a nod.

"But how bad is it now?" I tentatively asked,.

"Oh, it's bad," Tracie bluntly stated. "But we're going to fix that one meal at a time...starting with breakfast."

Tracie then went on to give me some suggestions for creating various types of omelets while being completely unaware of the fact that I can barely fry and egg without catastrophically messing it up.

But I went to the store that night and bought 18 grade A's. If eating more eggs (which I love) was going to be beneficial to my current health regimen, than I was all for it. I was on a roll and it was time to kick things up a notch.

This whole getting back in shape thing wasn't just a goal, anymore. It was becoming my reality. It felt good. If I could do more to increase and enhance that, than it would be done. And with Tracie and her team supporting me, I knew that being in ever better shape (and more importantly, feeling better) was going to happen.

I had been blessed by the ruler of Asgard, after all.

If you want to cheer Tracie on while she kicks my butt on a weekly basis, you can find her on Twitter. If you live in the Charleston area and would like to have your butt kicked into shape like mine has been, then take a moment and check out the Long Training Studios website.

Please also feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter. To get updates on when new articles or podcasts are published (and occasional random musings) 'Like' the official RamblingBeachCat.com Facebook page.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Weird Crime: Norman's Nasty Revenge

(photo @ sodahead.com)

Niles, Illinois

On January 29, 2013, 71-year-old Norman Kazmierski was arrested on four counts of criminal damage to property after keying some cars in his condominium complex's parking lot. A 71-year-old man keying cars is a little bit odd, but it's definitely not something that would attract much interest from those of us who enjoy reading about weird crimes.

But after other apartment residents recently gave an interview to George Slefo in the Niles Herald-Spectator, my interest was officially piqued. According to them, Norman's crimes have been far more extensive and heinous than simple vandalism.

It all started when one of the residents allegedly left a note on Norman's car asking that he "park properly so that others could properly park next to him"...although I'm guessing that the note was probably not written in such a genial and eloquent manner.

The tone was probably a little closer to this.

As you might imagine, Norman did not appreciate the advice or its method of delivery. But unlike most people who are not psychotic, he decided to take revenge on every possible person in the complex who may have written the offending letter. Norman accomplished this by doing things as complicated as shutting off the emergency sprinkler system or as simple as egging people's doors.

His worst act of revenge, however, was leaving giant turds outside people's residences...including the home of the condominium association president, Gary Chase. 

Mr. Chase is a much kinder and more rational man than I am, because instead of finding Norman and aggressively returning the feces to where it originated, he invited the Mad Crapper to their next association meeting for a discussion about their issues over a few slices of pizza. 

But if you thought Norman showed some major cojones pooping on the president's doorstep, than what he did next is so diabolically nasty that it almost inspires a small degree of admiration. 

On the night of the meeting/pizza party, Norman actually did show up. But he only stayed long enough to take a few slices of pizza and immediately headed back upstairs to his residence. A few hours later, however, residents found feces smeared onto their doors.

So essentially, Norman took the food that they offered to him, ate it, pooped it out, and then used it to give a defiant (and foul-smelling) middle finger right back at them.

If the pizza came from here, the
 'middle finger' was probably a bit runny, as well.

But until the car keying incident, the condominium residents hadn't obtained any proof that Norman was responsible for the torment they had been experiencing.  Luckily for them, cameras caught the Mad Crapper scrapping their vehicles, finally leading to his arrest.

Norman Kazmierski is scheduled to appear at a hearing on Monday, November 25. Many of his former neighbors have said that they will be in attendance to see that justice is served.

...and will not be going out for pizza, afterwards.

Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter. 

To get updates on when new articles or podcasts are published (and occasional random musings) 'Like' the official RamblingBeachCat.com Facebook page. Every time someone does, homeowner's association decides it might not be the best idea to give pizza to someone who craps on their doorsteps.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

RBC Fitness Challenge Days 14 & 15: Not Being Tired All The Time Feels Awesome

Decided that it had had enough, my body forced me into shut down mode at approximately 5:30 PM. I slept until 1:00 AM, woke up, considered going to the gym, and fell back asleep.

This is the first day that I haven't worked out in almost 3 weeks. Judging by how well I slept, the break was probably needed.

Day 15

Today was another day at Long Fitness Studios with Tracie (who was assisted this time by Jared the Viking). One of the fitness model girls was there; I discovered she is also Jared's girlfriend, which only increased my already high level of respect and awe at his awesomeness.

There were also a few other folks there who were actually behind me on the fitness train. This meant that while Jared's significant other was completely kicking my ass, I at least had some other people there to help me not feel a little better about myself.

We were split into two circuit groups. Tracie's bizarre obsession with kettle bells helped us start things off, but I actually felt like I was doing pretty well...until she got out the stability ball. The exercise involving this hellish monstrosity required us to go into a plank while supporting our elbows on top of the ball. We then had to make circles in with our arms/upper bodies 10 times in each direction while not trying to cry and/or scream swear words.

It's funny how something called a "stability ball" 
can cause me to feel so mentally unstable.


After the workout was done and I started to regain my cognitive processes, Tracie asked me what I ate for breakfast that day.

"Chicken biscuit from McDonald's..." I replied while hanging my head in shame.

"Alright, it looks like we're starting a food diary!" she shot back with sadistic glee. "Make sure to bring one in to me next week with everything you ate."

You've got to be kidding me. A food diary? This was so much worse than anything the NSA is doing right now. I'd definitely been eating better than I before, but not at all at an ideal level. Now I would have to feel a sharp pang of guilt every time I scarfed down one of Karen's cupcakes or treated myself to a cheeseburger (no way was I going to lie to Tracie on this).

But in spite of my recently shackled eating freedom, this was a pretty good day. Later on that afternoon, I went to Makayla's soccer game. When it was over, I decided to walk the Cooper River Bridge. This act by itself was something that in the past would have been far too much effort to undertake. The fact that I could and WANTED to do this mere hours after a grueling workout was proof that I really was starting to feel better.

And because of that, I was able to get a couple of really cool photos.

Later that night, I was able to take a long walk on the beach with my wife. These were the type of activities that one month ago I would have shrugged off for just laying in the bed on the computer. 

Now don't get me wrong; laying in the bed and writing, watching Netflix, or surfing the internet is still one of my favorite past times. But feeling good enough to get up and do other cool stuff is a pretty great option to have, too.

Continue to Days 16, 17, 18, 19, & 20

If you want to cheer Tracie on while she kicks my butt on a weekly basis, you can find her on Twitter. If you live in the Charleston area and would like to have your butt kicked into shape like mine has been, then take a moment and check out the Long Training Studios website.

Please also feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter. To get updates on when new articles or podcasts are published (and occasional random musings) 'Like' the official RamblingBeachCat.com Facebook page.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Weird Crime: Duck, Duck, Boom

(photo @ wikiepdia)

Tarpon Springs, Florida

On the afternoon of November 16, 2013, 36-year-old Karie Lindgren was observed by her neighbors attempting to feed a duck. Karie had obviously not listened to the wise words of Mitch Hedberg about ducks and bread, instead opting to try and win the creature over with a piece of candy.

The duck, however, decided to reject her offer and walk away in the other direction. Whether this was because it truly did not like candy or its natural survival instincts kicked in is unclear. But according to one witness, Karie continued to "stalk" the duck after she had been rebuffed (making the survival instinct option look a lot more likely).

Now you have to admit, getting rejected by a duck that you are attempting to provide free food has to feel a little deflating. But that's no reason to enact violent revenge upon a defenseless animal.

Unfortunately, Karie refused to let this duck's slight against her go unpunished. She got into her car, drove across someone's lawn, and ran the duck over, killing it.

After the police were notified about the incident, Karie Lindgren was arrested and charged with one felony count of animal cruelty. She is currently being held on $5,000 bond in the Pinellas County Jail. She was also unable to attend her first court appearance due to what the deputies described as uncooperative behavior.

Reports that she was demanding plum sauce and 
peeled tangerines in her cell cannot be confirmed at this time.

Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter. 

To get updates on when new articles or podcasts are published (and occasional random musings) 'Like' the official RamblingBeachCat.com Facebook page. Every time someone does, a crazy woman decides to try giving a duck bread rather than murdering it.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Weird Crime: Sounds Like a Raiders Fan

(photo @ telusers.com)

Update: The teacher has been identified and charges are forthcoming.

Beaumont, Texas

Being a University of Kentucky fan in another SEC occupied state can be frustrating, especially during football season. For starters, I have to hear about it every time our team annually gets stomped by the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. To make matters worse, I predictably acted like a complete jackass the one time we were able to miraculously beat them in 2009, ensuring that my friends will always be on the ball when it comes to giving me grief over our gridiron disparity.

Even more enraging is the fact that when Kentucky predictably beats the Gamecocks at basketball every year (an event I very much enjoy getting to watch in person), everyone conveniently forgets that there was a game the night before or (like a true die hard fan of a university) claims that they "don't follow the basketball team"...except for the one year when they miraculously beat us. Then they all seemed to be a long time Gamecock basketball fans.

But I digress...my complaints are typical of someone living in a different state from which their team is from, particularly if it's an in-conference rival.

But nowhere is this situation worse than for those of us who teach in a public school.

For starters, you receive the standard malice and taunting from others that occurs when your team loses to an in state rival, but it is being delivered by people who in many cases have been potty-trained for less than a decade. Even the kids who you like a lot will find ways to lovingly torment you about your team's failures.

What really kills me: Kate/Squidly actually did a nice job with the logo.

The kids you don't like will almost always be bandwagon fans with relatives that mysteriously move from city to city of whomever wins their league's championship (and sends them clothing proclaiming it). But even they can manage to get under your skin because since they're kids, there's not much you can say back.

I mean sure, you can point out that they're not real fans or that they really shouldn't refer to a school as "we" when they are at least 8 years from possibly attending that institution and just failed a quiz last period, but it really doesn't have any effect...and is also incredibly petty. They are just kids, after all. There are lot worse things they could do than ribbing you about your team losing the way anyone else would do.

That's why I was more than a little shocked after reading a story yesterday about a middle school teacher who beat the crap out of a kid for making fun of his favorite football team. On November 8, 2013, 12-year old Reginald Wells, who weighs all of 80 lbs., walked up a teacher (who for some reason is not being identified in any of the incident reports) and made a joke about his favorite football team.

This is a situation I've often found myself in, particularly this year since I'm an Atlanta Falcons fan, as well. But rather than brushing it off, the teacher proceeded to punch Reginald in the shoulder.

As you might imagine, Reginald was a bit taken aback. He responded by pushing the teacher in the shoulder, which while being completely understandable (and deserved), was a very ill-advised course of action. The teacher allegedly retaliated with two hard jabs followed by an uppercut that knocked Reginald out and sent him sliding across the floor.

The teacher was fired on the spot and escorted off the premises. While leaving the campus, he further cemented his status as a complete and utter douchebag by saying that he "couldn't apologize" for what he did and blaming it on simply having had a bad day. He was also not arrested, which absolutely blows my mind since this was a pretty clear cut case of assault.

Now I know that a lot of you are probably wondering if there is more to this story than we are getting. But while that may be the case, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

1. Embedded below is an interview Reginald and his mother gave to 12News in Texas. You don't get the sense at all that this kid is particularly mean or antagonistic.

12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

2. And even if the student was acting like a little punk, IT'S A FREAKING 12-YEAR-OLD KID! Good lord man...he insulted your football team, not your mother (who is probably the opposite of proud to have given birth to you at the moment).

...and speaking of "your football team,"

3. Who the heck is this guy's team? None of the reports so far have stated who it was. I know I made the joke about the Raiders in the headline, but it really could be anyone. The mom in the interview was wearing a Cowboys shirt, so I'd put early money on the Redskins (who I'm guessing would not appreciate getting anymore bad PR right now).

I'm sure we'll eventually get to find out Mr. McPunchy's favorite team when charges are inevitably filed. But until then, not knowing which NFL franchise currently has the world's most terrible fan is killing me. For now, however, let's just be glad that this guy is no longer in a classroom with students.

...or that he's a Kentucky football fan.

Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter. 

To get updates on when new articles or podcasts are published (and occasional random musings) 'Like' the official RamblingBeachCat.com Facebook page. Every time someone does, a teacher decides that the best way to deal with a student making fun of his team is to forget about it and go get a Snickers out of the vending machine.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Winning An Argument With Your Wife (With A Little Help From Poop)

(photo @ uselesshumor.com)

Back when my wife Karen and I were dating, we got into an argument over something so stupid and meaningless that I can't even remember what started it. I do, however, remember the argument itself quite vividly due to the fact that one of its branch off points evolved into a defining moment in our relationship.

For those of you who are not married or in a long term relationship, a "branch off point" in an argument occurs when one or both of you take the disagreement in a completely different direction in an effort to win. You don't actually "win" anything except pissing each other off more, but in the heat of the moment, it can seem like a solid idea.


Spouse #1: I don't understand why you can't just put the dishes in the dishwasher instead of leaving them in the sink.

Spouse #2: Well...I don't understand why you can't stop telling me to buy stuff at the grocery store that never gets eaten.

Boom. Argument shifted in your favor.

You may have also just escalated the argument into more volatile territory, insulted/greatly upset the person you love, and ensured that this exchange has absolutely no chance of coming to a productive resolution. But hey, at least there's a chance you might have arbitrarily won a debate in your own mind, because that's clearly what's most important.

Not pictured: Healthy communication

In all seriousness, though, it is a bad thing to do...and something that Karen and I are both guilty of. But there was one glorious occasion where one of Karen's branch off points got smacked down hard by the powerful cosmic force known as karma along with her extremely overactive large intestine.

During our disagreement, Karen brought up that she was tired of me talking about poops and farts. While this would seem like a normal wife-to-husband/man child complaint, it hurt me quite a bit on a number of different levels.

For starters, poops and farts are hilarious. I don't care how mature you think you are, an ill-timed flatulence or a good story about someone dropping an inconvenient and/or gigantic deuce is almost always good for a laugh.

But more importantly, making poop and fart jokes had always been something that Karen and I did together. Karen was someone who not only laugh at a fart, but often able to create some pretty impressive world enders of her own. She was even known among her friends and as someone who had no issue at all discussing her bowel movements with unabashed glee.

As strange as all this may sound, it was something that we actually bonded over quite a bit. I had finally found a girl that not only loved to watch sports, but also one who on any given day could manage to out-fart me or wasn't above leaving a floater and cackling with delight at my disgust.

Doesn't take much to get us excited.

But Karen's branch off point had clearly (and firmly) stated that jokes and/or discussions about farts and poop were no longer acceptable. When I tried to bring up the fact that she was often the instigator in these matters, she hesitantly agreed (because claiming the other side is right can be perceived as a sign of weakness) and declared that we both needed to stop.

I went home that night not only feeling depressed, but also wondering if the woman I had fallen in love with was still the same person. The very next day, however, I had my answer.

As Karen got in my car that day, she turned to me very seriously and said "Nickie, I know I said that we shouldn't talk so much about poop, but something happened today and I really need to tell you about it."

"No!" I snapped back immediately. "You made it very clear that we are no longer to talk about such things, so it will not be discussed."

Karen sighed heavily and put her hand on my shoulder.

"Nickie, I know we said that we shouldn't talk about that stuff anymore, but something really amazing happened today and I'm not sure anyone else will appreciate it like you can."

"Well, that's just too bad," I muttered while staring straight ahead. "You made me feel really terrible last night about something that you are just as guilty of as I am. You wanted a moratorium on talking about poop? Well, you've got it."

"But Nickie, PLEEEAAAASSE" Karen pleaded. "I  REALLY need to tell you this. I ate raisins today and..."

"NO!" I yelled before she could continue with the story. "We are not talking about this. You said it was stupid and immature and needed to stop, so that's what we're doing. END. OF. DISCUSSION."

The rest of the car ride home was made in complete silence. But after a while, our wordless stalemate was broken when Karen blurted out a seemingly nonsensical phrase:

"They turned back into grapes."

"What?" I asked while still not connecting anything to what she had said before.

"The raisins I ate came out in my poo, but they had rehydrated back into grapes."

For a few moments I was utterly speechless. Finally, however, I found the right words to say:

"I...love you so much. That is incredible!"

As we both cackled over Karen's ability to hydrate food through her stool, I realized once again just how lucky I was to have this woman in life...even if she did occasionally drive me crazy. I'm not sure how close that story is to the time I decided to ask her to marry me, but it was definitely one of the moments that got me there.

Oh, and for those of you wondering:

1. Yes, we still make jokes about pooping and farting like a couple of 10-year-olds.
2. Yes, this story is absolutely true...and was retold with permission from the missus.

...and I'll never look at the Sun Maid logo lady the same way again.

Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter. 

To get updates on when new articles or podcasts are published (and occasional random musings) 'Like' the official RamblingBeachCat.com Facebook page. Every time someone does, a random poop phenomenon helps prevent a couple from arguing and actually ends up bringing them closer together.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Weird Crime: The Argument Ends Where the Ninja Weaponry Begins

(photo @ tbotech.com)

Indian River County, Florida

On the night of October 30, 2013, an argument took place between 25-year-old Kimberly Martinez and her 21-year-old brother, Randy. It was over their even younger sibling (who is not identified in police reports due to being a minor), who had decided she wanted to bring a boy over to the house.

Kimberly saw no problem with this arrangement, but Randy had seen one too many horror movies to let this slide. He knew exactly what would happen if two opposite-gender teenagers were left to their own devices this close to Halloween.

"Abstinence will be strictly enforced!!!"

According to the sheriff's report on the incident, this disagreement over their sister having a boy over is what led to a verbal altercation that escalated into a violently physical one between the two. But I have very a hard time believing that a simple disagreement over letting their little sister potentially get her swerve on would lead to Kimberly threatening to kill Randy along with choking and hitting him...and attempting to put a cigarette out on his face.

The bond between two sisters can be a strong one, but holy crap is that a lot of effort (and malice) on Kimberly's part (not to mention the fact that I'm kind of with Randy on this one).There probably had to be something else boiling beneath the surface between them to push turn spat into a brawl.

It's also worth noting here that this was all happening in front of one of Randy's friend and his girlfriend, whose name is Mars.

Kimberly must have been ticked that a man dating a girl named after a planet was trying to lay down the law on her sister's love life, because she went inside and came back out brandishing a fillet knife along with a collection of ninja throwing stars.

At this point, Randy decided to abandon his side of the debate and ran like hell down the street with Kimberly in hot pursuit. Kimberly immediately chucked two stars at him (which hit near Mars' car) and a third down the street at her fleeing brother. After evading death (and his sister's terrible aim), the police were called to the scene.

Kimberly Martinez was arrested and charged (I assume) with battery. She is currently being held in jail on $21,000 bond.

Unless they forgot her ninja smoke bombs, 
which would mean she's already escaped.

Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter. 

To get updates on when new articles or podcasts are published (and occasional random musings) 'Like' the official RamblingBeachCat.com Facebook page. Every time someone does, a sister decides that the best way to speak up for her sibling doesn't need to involve ninja weaponry or kitchen utensils.

Friday, November 1, 2013

RBC Fitness Challenge Days 12 & 13: Hitting the wall, dealing with depression, and why I walk so weirdly

(photo by Irene Liebler)

To see and/or purchase more amazing photos like the one above (which was somehow able to see inside my brain and capture exactly how I felt), visit photographer Irene Liebler's website.

Previous Entry
Days 9, 10, 11

Day 12

I've hit a wall.

Not literally (although I've been known to do that) and not in a physical sense, either. In fact, body/health-wise I'm actually starting to feel really good. The soreness in the mornings is getting less intense, I've got lots more energy, and I'm starting to observe some tangible results (like my old pants fitting).

But the wall I'm hitting right now is in regards to my head space, particularly with my depression. I don't want to make this article focused in on mental illness, but I do think it is worth nothing it as a very strong factor here. That's because if you have clinical depression and are on a normal workout program, than right about now is when you give up.

Like the previously referenced/linked post from Allie Brosh stated, depression can start to make you feel completely helpless and devoid of any and all hope. You get to a point where you feel like nothing you do matters and that feeling happy or content is just something you don't get to experience anymore.

Now before I go on, I'll address two things that I'm sure at the very least my parents might be freaking out about right now as they read this:

1.) I know that my life isn't devoid of all hope. As my wife Karen often likes to say, "Depression is a $%&#ing liar." I know that I have plenty to live for and to keep me going: My faith in God, my wonderful friends in family, those amazing students that I teach, the fourth season of 'The Walking Dead,' etc.

 Although the way they changed Andrea on the show from 
how she is in the comics can send me into a depressive rage.

I also know that with treatment, medicine, and the passage of time, I will get through this. In a weird meta sort of way, I know that this feeling of "Nothing will ever be good again" is temporary despite currently feeling so crushing and permanent.

2.) I'm not going to kill myself. You're not getting rid of me that easily. 

I also know that despite my best efforts, I still have a lot of people in my life that care greatly about me and would be terribly hurt if I offed myself.

As morbid as this sounds, where I'm at is more in a state of "It sure would be a lot easier/preferable not to exist right now" rather than actively wanting to end my own life. Not only do I know what a terrible thing that would be to do, but it's also a permanent solution to a problem that I have overcome before and will overcome again.

When discussing my current bout of depression with my doctor, she asked me directly "Have you been making any plans for taking your own life?"

"No," I replied, followed by "...well that's not entirely true. I really don't have any plans or intent to kill myself. But in my darkest moments when I have to push back the hardest against those thoughts, I do sometimes wonder if I would have the guts to act out one of my favorite comedy bits from Nick Swardson."

I then described it (embedded below and a very NSFW due to language):

Maybe that wasn't the most appropriate answer, but hopefully it lets you know where my head is at in regards to doing anything harmful to myself. And for what it's worth, that made my doctor laugh (after which she made sure once again that I really wasn't going to try and do anything stupid).

That finally brings us to where Tracie and my current exercise program fits in with all of this. One thing to help keep you going through depression is staying busy. Unfortunately, it's also a necessity and often comes from a place of giving more of your fractured self rather than working on it.

I know that if I start failing at my job, than I'm letting down a lot of students that I care about. I know that if I start failing at writing (which I still do with disheartening frequency), than I'll hear about it in the comments section or from regular readers.

But as far as my own health and body go, that's not really an immediate concern. Aside from the long term health effects (which I don't care that much about at the moment due to the whole "devoid of hope" thing), I have spent many years of my life being both happy and fat.

 ...along with making life miserable for Han Solo and his friends

My current/difficult mental state is due to a mixture of pure depression (which latches onto your brain whether it has a reason to or not) and some major and recent issues/triggers that took me by surprise (even though looking back, I should have seen them coming).

None of this was due to my weight. None of this will be fixed due to the loss of weight from my body. That's why on my own, it would be so easy to say "What's the point" and fire up some Netflix instead of going to the gym.

And don't think it's a money thing, either. I've paid for a full year of a gym membership without going on more than one occasion. Spending money on something you don't use sucks, but anyone who owns a bread maker does that on a daily basis.

With Tracie, however, I felt like her and I were working on a project together that was actually succeeding. With everything feeling all types of terrible, something in my life was drastically changing for the better. That something (which in this case was my fat self) was transforming on a daily and noticable basis.

Another one of the factors keeping me moving forward is that I don't want to let Tracie down and waste all the work she was doing with me. Yes, she would still be my friend if I stopped working out. And yes, I am in a very unique situation training with someone that I had already known for a few years.

But I've also seen how Tracie interacts with other clients. They're comfortable around her. They can open up and talk about personal things. They want her to be proud of them.

I know that my entry on Day 10 sounded very tongue and cheek, but there were moments that I really thought Tracie was trying to break me. My memory is a bit foggy, but during the burn out session of the workout, I might have cursed her name a few times under my breath.

"I hope that sign falls on your head..."

But when I get back up off the floor, her encouragement and immediate feedback makes me ready to go again. In those moments, I want more than anything to make sure that I'm not letting Tracie down. It's like some sort of weird fitness based Stockholm Syndrome. We're in this together, and she's holding up her end; I'll be damned if I don't do everything I can to hold up mine.

And as far as many workouts I do on my own goes, those are chances for me to find some sort of relief from the dark clouds swirling around inside my head. My workout tonight wasn't that great; it took me a few more times than it should have to get forms right and I just felt too tired and drained for cardio. This wasn't due to lacking energy from previously working out, but instead a terrible day combined with my brain cells kicking the crap out of each other.

But I got through it, broke a sweat, and knew that I had at least done one thing right and good for myself that day. As I headed home to another night of struggling to get to sleep while reconciling my thoughts, I had at least one thing to hang my hat on...and on days like these, it can feel like the only thing that's working.

Day 13

...and just like that, today I feel much better. Not great, mind you, but not nearly as distraught an hopeless as the previous evening. Such is the wild and crazy ride of bipolar depression! 

Honestly, a lot of it has to do with the fact that a couple of article I wrote did well and a day after a plunge into the mental depths usually results in a tomorrow graced with a little more perspective.

But a consistent factor helping me fight this is the fact that I'm starting to feel better. It's not just the weight loss, either. One of Tracie's primary goals that she had for me was to develop better mobility. After one of our first workouts, she looked at me and said "Six months from now, the kids at school won't be making fun of the way you walk anymore."

For the many of you that have never observed me travel on foot, my walking motion was described by one of my 7th grade flute players as looking like "a velociraptor with a stick shoved up its butt.

Yet as I walked down the hall at school today, I felt like I had a much better range of motion. I supposed it could have been all in my head and/or wishful thinking, but I also didn't feel as "boxed in" physically while I moved. My entire body felt more free, my range of motion felt better, and all in all I felt more...well, mobile.

I also hadn't had any of my new 6th graders ask me why I walk so funny. At nearly a month into the new school year, this has to be a record.

 ...and I can finally hunt the Jurassic Park warden like a reptilian ninja.

If you want to cheer Tracie on while she kicks my butt on a weekly basis, you can find her on Twitter. If you live in the Charleston area and would like to have your butt kicked into shape like mine has been, then take a moment and check out the Long Training Studios website.

Please also feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter. To get updates on when new articles or podcasts are published (and occasional random musings) 'Like' the official RamblingBeachCat.com Facebook page.