Apologies for the length of time between posts again, but I've been in the Bay Area on business for much of the last week, and was pretty busy preparing for the trip before then. I've got some pressing server issues I need to attend to, though, and if that won't drive me to post on this here blog I don't know what will.
Today, let's talk about travelling.
Before last week, I hadn't been on an airplane for quite a while--not since I went to London in late 2004. That trip doesn't really count, because I had one of those crazy-ass Virgin Atlantic first-class seats, in which my ample posterior would almost fit right.
Other than that circumstance, I positively dreaded flying, and would do quite a bit--including driving very long distances--to avoid it. You see, flight as a very fat person is not just a pain in the ass, it's downright undignified. I needed the extension belt--that demonstration belt with a little strap the flight attendants use during their safety schpiel at the start of every flight--in order to wear a seat belt. Asking for that extend-a-belt every time I boarded a plane was one of the most humiliating experiences I recall as a 400+ pounder, and I've really got a lot to choose from.
An even bigger problem is the full flight--like your average Southwest cattle call--where I'm seated right next to someone. Spilling over the armrest would be bad enough, but I simply wouldn't fit between the armrests, and they had to be raised. One time back sometime in 2002 I boarded a flight with assigned seating and found I was seated in the aisle seat of a row where the middle and window seats were already occupied by an older couple. Hoping against hope that I'd be able to get my much-needed buffer seat by sitting in the back of the plane, I tried that, but eventually the people actually assigned to that row showed and I had to go sit in my assigned seat. The husband, who was sitting in the middle seat and making good use of the armrest, was plainly annoyed when I had to move it to sit down and take some of his seat in the process. He gave me nasty looks most of the flight, and while I know it's the Jerry Springer thing to turn to him and say 'The fuck are you looking at? There just more of me to love and that makes you jealous!', I couldn't really blame him. If I were him, I'd probably be annoyed at this fat guy taking up a quarter of my already tightly rationed seat space too.
Flying up to San Jose was great. I sat down, stretched out a little, fastened the belt easily and with plenty of slack to spare, and felt completely at ease. In a way, flying back was even better, because someone was sitting right next to me, and we didn't have any problems coexisting without invading one another's personal space.
That's an important step for me. I'm at a time in my life where I've got the free time and disposable income for a long weekend trip a month for the rest of the year if I like, and I've got plenty of people that have gone too long without seeing. It's just totally freeing to think I can walk onto a crowded plane and sit next to pretty much anyone other than my former self without making their lives any more irritating. I let the difficulty I had flying coach keep me from seeing a lot of people I'd like to see more of, and I'm looking forward to changing that.Last time, I talked a little about buying clothes
. That's another reason this trip was so great. You see, I'm an idiot, and I didn't think to bring a jacket along on the trip. I'm really not used to being cold, and I also don't have anything that really fits me. I've gotten rid of all my old jackets ages ago, and I haven't gone crazy with the clothes buying because I'm still not at my goal weight, so I hadn't gotten a new one. After work my first night in San Jose, I was freezing at my hotel and decided to walk around the surrounding mall to find something to wear.
In my former life, this would have been a chore. I could only shop at big and tall stores, for one thing, which means I would have had to figure out the closest one in an unfamiliar town and find my way there. Once I get there, I'll be faced with mediocre selection. There'd be racks of merchandise labelled stuff like "Big Daddy", which I loathed, because I wasn't exactly proud of being huge and didn't feel like my clothing should indicate otherwise--especially in garish colours and idiotic taglines. Then there's the stuff like on this page
, where you get bent over and pay at least twice as much as a similar garment in normal sizes because it's got cybersalesman George Foreman's name on it and is sold to a very limited market size. I mean, what are we talking about here, a few inches more fabric? The bastards wanted $50 per fairly unfashionable polo shirt, and I had little choice but to pay it, because Marshall's doesn't carry 5x-6x clothing.
So when I saw a Marshall's in the mall on Wednesday, I got excited. Bargain clothes--now that's
my kind of scene. I went in, found a pretty reasonable selection of XXL merchandise, and got myself a light jacket, two snazz name-brand T-shirts, one of those great wicking workout shirts
, and a totally awesome Terrell Owens Eagles jersey for less than I'd have paid for a jacket by itself at Casual Male.
F U, George Foreman.
My 44" Levis are feeling pretty loose. If it weren't so late, I'd go out to a Ross or Marshall's right now and try those 42"ers on.
One other thing happened on the trip--the dieteer was able to confirm in person that he is head-over-heels, totally-swooning in love. Problem is, she's living with some dude. If any of my readers would care to give me some advice on that front, leave me a comment and I'd be happy to post the soap opera-ish details.
Not now, though--I think I'll try to find an open Ross after all. It's only 8:15.update: picked up some sweet slate cords at Ross tonight. 42"-30" and they fit great... maybe even a little loose.
I was 283# this morning.