Thursday, March 24, 2005

Weighing 292 pounds

Weighing 292 pounds
Originally uploaded by baslow.
132.45 kg, 20.86 stone.

I had my physical yesterday. We'll know more when the blood work comes back from the lab but I seem to be doing okay, considering.
Apart from yesterday (when I was at the doctor's) I've been to the gym every morning and done 30 minutes a day on the elliptical exercisers. I burn an average of 450 calories every day that way, if the LifeFitness readout is to be believed.

Recent blood sugar readings:

03/24 - 6:34 AM - 119 mg/dL
03/23 - 3:47 PM - 127 mg/dL
03/23 - 10:19 AM - 113 mg/dL
03/23 - 7:13 AM - 208 mg/dL
03/22 - 2:43 PM - 159 mg/dL

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Fabulous Vampire Lesbians of Sodom Revival Press Preview

A long time ago, in a pseudo-bohemian stage far away, Baslow took tickets one night at 8BC (or was it 9BC), a club on the Lower East Side, where his friend Julie Halston was performing with Charles Busch in a little play called "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom". The show went on to become a cult favorite and an Off-Broadway legend. Now, twenty years later on March 28, a one-night-only presentation of "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom", together with an all-star extravaganza, will benefit the Actor's Fund of America. The press was allowed to take pictures of a rehearsal.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Friday, March 18, 2005

Sleep Breathing Problem Raises Heart Attack Risk

This article from Reuters, via Yahoo! News, reports on a study from Spain, published in The Lancet:

"People who suffer from an illness that disrupts their breathing while they sleep [sleep apnea] are more likely to suffer a fatal heart attack or stroke, Spanish researchers said on Friday.

"But a simple treatment that regulates breathing during the night [ i.e., a CPAP machine], reduces the risk, they added..."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Weighing 293 pounds

Weighing 293 pounds
Originally uploaded by baslow.
About 293 pounds (292.8 pounds, to be exact, 132.81 kg, 20.91 stone. Baslow here models the mask he wears every night that delivers a steady flow of air from his CPAP machine. This prevents him from stopping breathing. The condition is called sleep apnea and it's tons of fun.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Lightening Up

Baslow has taken a sneak peek at his weight and it seems likely that he will have lost less weight, by Sunday's official report, than last week. This is to be expected but Baslow must remind himself that he is still making progress. He will leave for the gym in a few minutes. This will be the first time, that he can remember, that he will have gone to the gym for five consecutive mornings. Of such little milestones does the Great Reduction Effort consist.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Into 'Into the Woods'

Stephen Sondheim's 'Into the Woods' has been enjoying an unprecedented popularity in these parts, among organizations of performing youngsters. 'Riverdale Rising Stars' had a production a few months ago. 'City Lights' had a production very recently. Stuyvesant High School had its production within the last week or two, if I recall correctly.

In early April it will be the turn of the Pied Piper Children's Theater. Both Ruth and Joel have roles in one or other of the two casts. Ruth will play the Baker's Wife and Joel will play Rapunzel's Prince.

For weeks now, this has meant music coming from all over our small apartment. The DVD is played regularly in the living room to be studied by one or the other of our kids. Songs from the show can be heard behind bedroom doors and at the front door as the kids return from rehearsal. The music emerges from the bathroom periodically as somebody practices in the shower.

This mostly makes Baslow and Bev happy although it can sometimes be a little much. The kids are happy too, despite the rigors of the show. Mostly.

Over the weekend I heard Joel, who was grappling with a particularly Sondheimian labyrinth of melody, wonder out loud what drugs he must have ingested to have composed the work.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Weighing 294 pounds

Weighing 294 pounds
Originally uploaded by baslow.
294.2 pounds (133.45 kg, 21.01 stone) to be precise. Not bad but I can't yet see much of a difference. The numbers show enough of a change to be encouraging, however.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Snowy Inwood Tuesday Morning

Bev took these photos around our apartment house and on the 215th St. steps up from Broadway last Tuesday morning.

Snowy morning - Bev

Some Things You May Not Know About Baslow

1. Baslow has been a vegetarian since 1979. He is an ovo-lacto vegetarian. He claims no principle whatsoever in this. He just gags on meat, fish, fowl.

2. Baslow cannot drive. He never learned. He never wanted to learn. This has insured that Baslow can live in only a very few areas in the United States.

3. Baslow cannot swim. He used to have a thing about water on his head and face. Took only baths, not showers, into his late teenage years. He's over it now but he can't say he likes water even now.

4. Baslow has a "bad stomach". Do not be surprised if, in his presence, you hear a liquid gurgle every now and then or catch a whiff of...well, never mind.

5. Baslow has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

6. Baslow has a herniated disc in his lower back. It happened when he was in graduate school in Austin, where he first got fat. Baslow was in the habit of wandering, absent-mindedly, along the sidewalks of Austin. Unfortunately, Austin occassionaly presents the ambulator with curbs that fail to meet the level of the street by six inches, nine inches, even more. The absent-minded ambulator can find himself stepping off a curb and coming down hard. This can have bad consequences for the shock-absorption parts of the body.

7. Baslow is an atheist. He is not an atheist activist but he does not believe in any supernatural beings. Baslow can be considered a Bright.

8. Baslow deeply regrets not having finished graduate school and doing research in Sociolinguistics. He imagines that, if he had done so, he would now be working on issues pertaining to conversational interaction within Cognitive Science.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Baslow's Politics

Baslow has kept his politics almost entirely out of this weblog. That does not mean, however, that he has kept his politics out of weblogs. His wife was instrumental in starting, a few weeks ago, a political discussion group which is being called, for now, "The Inwood Progressives". Baslow has undertaken to provide them with, among other things, a Weblog. They are a tentative bunch when it comes to the Web, however, and almost all of the postings so far have been Baslow's. He has restricted himself until now to posting links with brief summaries. This seemed to be the best way to get people comfortable with blogs. He is contemplating, however, jumping into editorializing, in the hopes that other members of the group will, in turn, post THEIR opinions online. Any suggestions as to how to goose lurkers into actually contributing will be studied carefully...

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Baslow's Dirty Little Secret

Baslow has always thought of himself as a shy, a very shy, person. For the most part, deep down, it is true. He did, after all, refuse to attend his own fifth birthday party, locking himself in his room and letting his mother entertain all the invited five-year-olds for two hours.

He has never quite acknowledged to himself, however, the degree to which the opposite is also true: Baslow wants attention. He wants lots of attention. He'll go to some lengths to get attention. He will let you know that he wants you to attend to him. He just hasn't let himself know it.

Once Baslow seized upon the idea of posting what, to his shyer self, seemed like a damn-near-naked photo of himself for the purposes of demonstrating his morbid obesity he began to have to come to terms with what he will do to get attention. He will do things other people would not (they have told him) consider doing. He has startled his wife. He has baffled his children.

Yet it seems to be working, so far. It doesn't work perfectly but it seems to work well enough. Baslow envisions an audience, a public, to whom he is now accountable. When he woke up this morning to see the ground covered in five inches of snow he did not, as he has done so many times, pull the covers over his head and sleep another half an hour. He grumblingly got out of bed, went through his morning preparations, and made it to the gym. At the cafeteria he recognized that he was restraining himself so that he wouldn't have to report a lapse to his "public".

He will have to find ways of making this all new enough, over and over, for a long time to pull himself through the long haul that is major weight loss and, more importantly, weight maintenance. He suspects that Baslow-fatigue will set in rather quickly among people who wish him well but really don't want to hear every time he has lost two pounds.

Still, it is a start. Perhaps it is enough of a start to provide him with the momentum he will need to follow through.

A New Globe Theatre For New York City?

Playbill is reporting a proposal to convert a fort on Governor's Island into a New Globe Theater.

"British architect Norman Foster and Barbara C. Romer, a former management consultant at McKinsey & Company, are pushing a plan for New York Harbor's Governor's Island which would make the isle Manhattan's version of Elizabethan London's East End—that is, a place where citizens sail to see a play.Foster and Romer see the defunct Castle Williams, a stone fortress built in 1811, and now in a state of advanced disrepair, as another Globe Theatre (which they, indeed, intend to call The New Globe Theatre). He has designed a version of Shakespeare's famous theatrical home that would employ the old, cylindrical building, which once served as a prison."