Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday fitness update

I skipped my update last Friday so I'm condensing the past two weeks into this post. The purpose of posting this is two-fold: first, it helps me track my progress, and second, knowing I will post this shames me into going to the gym.

Despite hitting my interim cardio goal, I haven't been working out the way I would like. I'm cutting myself slack because of the holidays, but I intend to continue my running and pushing my trainer Stu to help me build more muscle in 2011.

Friday – December 31st I worked out with my trainer, Stu. We focused on chest and triceps and all told, it was a solid work out. I was able to bench 215lbs and fly 45lbs as part of the routine.Thursday – December 30th Curious to see if my run earlier was a fluke, I stepped onto the treadmill and psyched myself up for the run. I shaved another 25 seconds off my run finishing in 0:28:15 with an average speed of 6.4. My initial goal was always a first step to some more aggressive cardio milestones so I’ll continue to try and trim a bit more time before I increase my distance. I am pleased, but wary of suffering a setback. Tuesday – December 28th In lieu of stretching and doing a modified abdominal workout first, I opted to just focus on the run. Not sure what got into me but I had my best run, finishing the 3 miles in 0:28:40. I’m not sure who was more surprised - me, myself or I. Now that I’ve achieved my short-term goal of running 3 miles in under 30 minutes, I want to see if I can sustain this.

Christmas Week:
There's no denying I was a slacker this week only getting to the gym twice. I wish I had this Santa helper closer to keep me motivated. Thursday – December 23rd I spent about 15-20minutes doing abs then I hopped on the treadmill for my first run in more than a week. I was making good time but had to stop 20 minutes (2mi.) when nature called; I perceived this as a sign of divine intervention to conclude my workout and head home.

Wednesday – December 22nd I just barely managed to get in for my 11am session with my trainer – I woke up at 10:30 (oops). Once there Stu worked me into a state focusing on my back and chest. It was a solid work out that had me gasping for breath, but I’m not sure I’ll be sore like I was last week – none of the weight was beyond my ability. Today’s workout was all about endurance. Let’s see if I can take that theme and carry it through the rest of the week.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oddball question for my fellow bloggers

This may seem like a strange question, but do you find it difficult to find what I'll refer to as "non-white guy candy"?

The reason I ask is because I feel like I'm getting borderline racist with my searches trying to get Google or Bing to provide me with pictures of men who are not white just to add that bit of color and diversity to my visuals.

The only people of another race that come up tend to be professional athletes or actors (and I prefer not to use them). Do you have the same issue? I can type "athletic + guy" or "handsome + jogger" and not see a single Asian, Black, or Latino for a couple of pages. Is there a site / sites you look to? I'm happy to reference them.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Movie date with the nephews

This afternoon I stepped foot into the movie theatre for the first time in about 2 years. What movie did I see? Not Burlesque. Not Black Swan. No, the big movie date was with my two nephews - Jack (age 6) and Austin (age 4) - to see Yogi Bear.

I took the picture above of the two boys as they waited with breathless anticipation for the movie to start. They had everything they needed: 3D glasses, juice boxes and more popcorn than they could consume in one sitting.

My favorite quote this afternoon was from my nephew Jack after I ordered a small popcorn he said loud enough for all to hear "Why do they call that a small? That's not small."

Show Tune Tuesday @dbar

For those not familiar with Boston's gay scene, every Tuesday there is a bar in Dorchester (a Boston neighborhood) that plays show tunes. It has become something of an unspoken tradition that my friend Paul and I meet there on the Tuesday between Christmas and New Years.
Last night's Show Tune Tuesday crowd
I was surprised that this year was less crowded, but it did not impact the fun we had chatting with everyone, and it allowed all my requests to be played :-) When the DJ played Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked it was a sight to behold. Rarely do so many people sing with such reckless abandon in public - its really a something to see. Dbar had a slight technical malfunction last night around 10ish when their system died and everything had to revert to cash. Kudos to Brit and the other bartenders who did their best to keep everyone laughing and having a good time.
dbar's handsome bartenders
As you can see from the Cazwell video, not all songs are from showtunes, but mind you songs from Hedwig, Hairspray, Grease, The Little Mermaid, several numbers from this season's Glee episodes all received air time. Should you live in Boston or visit and want to have fun midweek - this is the bar to check out.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tumblr vs. BosGuy

Several months ago I was wooed by rave reviews and all sorts of accolades from the media to set up an account with tumblr. The depth of my knowledge with regards to technology is painfully shallow, which I was quickly reminded of as soon as I created my account. I also realized no matter how "easy" the site is to create - its far from intuitive.

I opted to ignore the site I had created earlier this year until today. After much fussing I've been able to customize it a bit more. My goal is to have posts from this blog show up on tumblr, and its happening - sort of. The appearance / layout is far from desireable, and I still can't figure out how to make all the changes I want. Ignoring my urge to hurl my laptop from my 4th floor apartment (no matter how cathartic and satisfying that may be), I've temporarily admitted defeat.

Round 1 (Summer): Tumblr
Round 2 (December): Tumblr

Will the next round result in a knock out?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing day celebrations commence

For the past few years, my good friend, Tracey, has hosted a Boxing Day dinner party. Tracey is originally from the U.K. where Boxing Day is an official holiday, and I think celebrating this way makes her feel as if she's sharing a bit of herself with us.

For me, this annual dinner party hosted by Tracey is an excuse to prolong the Christmas holiday by spending a fun evening with friends that is filled with too much wine, too much food and hilarious conversations.

Although dinner is not typically served until 8pm or 9pm, we will all show by 7ish (although today's storm, Boston's first of the season could make hailing cabs dodgey). Wine will be flowing nearly non-stop and games like Twister will start sounding like fun (note: drinking & Twister absolutely do not mix - I say this w/ a voice of authority on such matters). At some point in the evening there is also a Yankee Swap, which can get quite serious, although I never take it so (as my gift each year proves).

2009 Boxing Day dinner party photos

Okay... so I admit the last photograph was not from our party, but if you happen to see this guy, would you please get his number and shoot me an email or leave a comment below? He is most certainly welcome to the party.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

I have a soft spot for poetry. Its not a form of prose often recited, and much of it often goes over my head, but when I connect with a particular poem or on the rare occassion I write a poem it usually resonates in a way that other literature does not. Here is a beautiful poem written by one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening was first published in 1923. Although there are no woods to speak of in my neighborhood, Boston received its first snowfall this week - in fact there are flurries falling as I type this.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

I think we can all identify with Frost's ending "And miles to go before I sleep." He meant it quite literally in his poem, but "miles" could just as easily be a euphemism for all the errands and resposibilities we have. I hope that if you do indeed have miles to go that you take time to stop as the gentleman in the poem did to pause, reflect and enjoy the moment.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


My firm closes between the Christmas and New Years holidays, and I am joining most of my colleagues by extending that already lovely break by starting my vacation effective this evening.

For many this is an increasingly chaotic time but not for me. Work slows, allowing me to relax, and in the days leading up to Christmas I will pick up a couple of gifts. On Christmas Eve I will have a few friends over for drinks. The only chaos will be on Christmas morning as my nephews Jack (age 6) and Austin (age 4) rip open presents and run around my parent's house in ecstasy. On the 26th, I will go to my friend's house for her annual Boxing Day dinner party. The days after will be spent seeing friends and spending time with family at an equally leisurely pace. I recognize how fortunate I am to have this tradition which prolongs the Christmas celebration and allows me the chance to really disengage.

I'm probably the only person I know who thinks of this as a tranquil time of year. However, I do hope that you too can find some semblance of peace during these next couple of weeks and make the most of the time to connect with family and friends.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Now that I have your attention...

Here I am blatantly pandering to entice visitors. However, even as I'm posting this, I realize I'm piss poor by comparison to others, but now that I have your attention, feel free to browse my other posts.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Restaurant Review: Erbaluce

Erbaluce is located in the building that formerly was home to Dedo in Boston's Bay Village neighborhood. Dinner for two with appetizers, main dishes and dessert not including drinks or tip will run approximately $100.

The restaurant's menu cannot be found online because it changes daily, but its unmistakably Italian, including several pastas and main course dinner plates each night. The kitchen takes traditional Italian fare and turns it on its head by including ingredients not often pared but are delicious all the same.

Food and service at this restaurant was flawless. The wait staff was very knowledgeable and helpful with food and wine selection, plates were only taken once everyone was finished and requests were all managed with ease. However, despite the interesting menu, delicious food, and good service, I'm not certain I will rush back to this restaurant. Detracting from the dining experience was the poor condition and layout of the dining room. The building is in a serious need of a facelift; the carpeting is worn and stained, the room was chilled every time the front door opened and we were provided a point-blank view of the hectic and unattractive kitchen which is essentially open to view in the main dining area. These physical detractions in the end ultimately impact one's dining experience because they serve both to disappoint and distract.

There are an abundance of Italian restaurants in Boston that provide interesting menus and solid service in the same price range. I'd love to come back to Erbaluce if the building is remodeled and cleaned up a bit because menu options are certainly intriguing and absolutely worth trying.

First Plate: Speck with native apples, seasame and mint $14
Fettucini with roasted beats, sage and smoked prosciutto $22

Erbaluce 69 Church Street Boston, MA (617)426 6969
Reservations are strongly recommended
Lucca Back Bay on Urbanspoon

Friday fitness update

Despite my best intentions to start running again on Saturday 12/11, I deferred for some fun in BackBay to watch and mingle with all the runners in the annual Boston Santa Speedo Run. If you missed it and are curious, you can watch my video here.

The week started very promising with three separate gym visits by Wednesday, but that's where my focus and discipline left me. My plans are to compensate by getting myself to the gym over the weekend.

Wednesday – December 15th I really did not want to go to the gym today. Boston is absolutely freezing with temps hovering in the high teens. However, if I did not go, I’d have to explain why to my trainer, Stu, so I packed my gym bag and went to the gym grumbling. Today’s workout was all about shoulders and triceps (two muscles I normally loathe to exercise because they tire so quickly). However, today’s workout was killer – Stu had his “A” game getting me to do heavier weights and shortening breaks between reps. I was still a bit tender in the biceps and lower back from Monday’s routine so God only knows what I should expect tomorrow. One thing is for certain - I’ll sleep like a baby tonight.Monday – December 13th Today I had my “date” with my trainer and we focused on back and biceps. We spent about 2/3rds of the workout on back and the final bit on my arms. He had me doing all sorts of whack routines so it’s hard to document the routines but I did do 80lb single arm rows. The bicep portion of the workout was a bit more frustrating – granted I was tired by the time we went to do preacher curls (as Stu calls ’em) but I was not pleased with how I struggled curling 30 and 35lb weights. I guess it gives me something to work on next time. Sunday – December 12th With the exception of my abbreviated workout with my trainer on Friday, I had not lifted a finger since my run on Monday, December 6th. I started with abdominal exercises but after about 15 minutes, my lower abs were screaming so I opted to start my cardio. I’m noting the issue here so I continue to do more abdominal work – I’ve a fairly strong core and I don’t want to lose that. Today’s run was no less ugly than the previous two in P.R., but despite gasping for air with my heart pounding 180+ beats per minute (according to the treadmill), I finished my 3 mile run in 0:31:00 – slightly faster than my previous run. I’m closing in on my goal.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Book suggestions pahleeze

In just a few days I'll be taking an extended break from work. I plan on visiting my local library or possibly Calamus Bookstore in Boston's Leather District to nab a few gay themed novels, and I'm curious if you have any to suggest.

To be fair, I'll list a few novels that I've enjoyed to both give you an idea of what I like and to share in case you too are looking for something to read.

Heyday by Michael Butler - takes place during prohibition in NYC and is fraught with funny scenerios
Call me by your name by Andre Aciman - is about a teenager's first love and is beautifully written
How I paid for college by Marc Acito - an hilarious story that tracks the adventures of a NJ H.S. senior
Where the boys are by William Mann - Actually I've enjoyed all his books
My blue heaven by Joe Keenan - I've enjoyed this funny series as well

The books listed above are not the only gay fiction I've read, but it is meant to serve as a sort of guide or insight into the books I've enjoyed. I also like and have read a number of books from local authors including Johnny Diaz, Michael Thomas Ford, and J.G. Hayes to mention a few. I should say that my interest in authors extends beyond my hometown's city limits so please share your suggestions. I'm quite open and looking forward to hearing from you.

Mass. has fewest uninsured children

Massachusetts is a very progressive (in my opinion the most progressive) state in the country. There are many examples of this (gay marriage anyone?) However, when The Boston Globe reported earlier this week that Mass. has the fewest uninsured children in the nation, I felt the need to brag.

How a society treats and cares for the most vulnerable in their community says a great deal about them. In recent months / years there has been a lot of discussion about what "we" as a nation can afford as it pertains to healthcare. My opinion is outside of mainstream - I view access to affordable and quality healthcare as an "unalienable right" inextricably tied to the Declaration of Independence promise of the "Pursuit of Happiness."

Nearly 10% of children in the US are uninsured. By contrast 1.7% of children in Mass. are uninsured. Many who are critical of universal care will point to failings in my state's program, but I say kudos to Mass. for recognizing this as an important issue and trying their best. All residents, but especially our children, the elderly and sick - deserve to have access to quality care.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

World's largest penis?

Okay, I stumbled upon another very funny picture that I wanted to share. I first heard about this on the Philip DeFranco Show on YouTube yesterday evening. After a quick search online I found this image courtesy of BoingBoing.

I can imagine all sorts of prudish tourists in Paris lining up in the blistering cold to get atop the Eiffel Tower only to have the view of this massive penis.

Thinking of nothing

Earlier tonight I had dinner with my brother and two friends we bumped into at Geoffrey's. During the course of dinner one of the ladies asked earnestly, "Is it true that men think about sex every 15 seconds?"

I'm not sure where this statistic comes from (it sounds like something Freud would have coined), but I'm not unfamiliar with it. However, after giving the question thought for a moment I realized I spend as much of my time as possible not thinking. I am a veritable tabula rasa (no religious overtones intended rather I defer to the literal meaning of a blank slate).

At times I obsess about work, often I fixate on food and I do worry about those I care about, but truthfully, thinking of nothing is my preferred and default state of mind. I'm pretty sure I am not the only person who feels this way, although it was clear neither of the two women at dinner seem to have any 'down time' with regards to thinking.

What do you spend most of your time thinking about these days?

Monday, December 13, 2010

2010 Santa Speedo Run video makes the rounds

Hello All - I'm taking a moment to brag about my Santa Speedo Run video which has been picked up by a number of different blogs lately. Dave over at WGB really got the ball rolling for me by posting my video and linking back to my little corner of the internet - thanks Dave.

Earlier today, I found out that Instinct Magazine picked up WGBs pictures and my video, which you can see here.

DanNation also picked up my clip and added a witty headline, which you can see here.

And this evening I came home from the gym to read that the Towleroad has posted my video.

I'm so happy everyone enjoyed it as much as I did and thanks to the handsome guy in his plaid underwear and all the others who offered to pose.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Boston Toys for Joys (T4J) Party

The second annual Toys for Joys (T4J) party was tonight in Southie at the Artist for Humanity building. The party was every bit as fun as last year and a bit better run with more bartenders serving very strong drinks and plenty of food although much of it was overlooked as the men (the crowd is 90% gay) fixated on cocktails.

Ain't Nobody

I was listening to Pandora today and Ain't Nobody started to play. I'm not sure I've heard this song in a long time, but there are few women who's voices I love as much as Chaka Khan. What singers / bands from the past still evoke strong emotion when you hear them?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Boston Santa Speedo Run 2010 Video

In addition to the pictures I've included below, here is my debut as movie editor, piecing together video clips from all the fun earlier today.

Boston Santa Speedo Run 2010

Watch the 2-minute 2010 Santa Speedo Run Video
The Boston Santa Speedo Run started in Boston in 2000 and quickly became a Christmas tradition that is now copied in a handful of cities through out North America to raise money for charity.

Each year I go down to Boston's BackBay neighborhood to watch, laugh and mingle with the crowd of spectators which rivals (if not dwarfs those running). The celebration commences and concludes at Lir on Boylston Street - located across from the Hynes and near the Prudential Mall entrance. Runners line up outside the bar and run a brisk 1 mile up parts of Boylston and Newbury Street much to the delight and surprise of visitors doing holiday shopping. Below I've included some pictures from this year's race. Click on any of the photos to enlarge.

Sam Tsui - King of Anything

Its been awhile since I've posted something from YouTube sensation, Sam Tsui, and a quick visit to YT shows a whole batch of new covers he's taped. As usual, he adds his own flair, interpreting pop songs in his own unique way. Enjoy Sam's take on Sara Bareilles song, King of Anything.

Other videos from Sam that I've posted in the past include:
Michael Jackson Medley
Don't Stop Believing
Lady Gaga Medley

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday fitness update

I lost all my momentum and gym mojo from the previous week, but while away in Puerto Rico I did manage to get to the hotel gym for two runs. Coming back to the deep chill that greeted me here in Boston this week (combined with an onslaught of work) provided two excuses rock-solid enough to prevent me from getting to the gym with the exception of my date today with my trainer.

How are you doing with your personal fitness? Are you making time for yourself by going to the gym?

Sunday - December 5th I ran today for the first time since last Tuesday. The past few days have been spent travelling and overindulging to say the least so today's run was not pretty. In fits and gasps I was able to run 3 miles in 0:32:30 *yuck*

Monday - December 6th Today (my 2nd consecutive day of running on vacation) I managed a slightly faster time despite the run remaining equally ugly. I finished the 3 mile run in 0:31:15. I'm still dripping with sweat while I write this and am anxious to get off to return to my poolside chaise and start sipping another of those frozen rum drinks which seem to go down oh so easily.

Friday - December 10th Today I had a somewhat abbreviated workout with my trainer, Stu. Abbreviated because I had to get back to work and was training during the day. However, we focussed on my chest and was able to squeeze in a few reps for my triceps as well. I'm fairly certain I'll feel sore tomorrow as I benched a new personal high of 215 pounds.