Well, I kept my word and on March 25th, 2021, this website finally went live online. I decided to host the files from my Fastmail account for the time being and we will see how much time/money I want to put into this hobby site.
Since the posting of this website, I managed to stumble upon someone else running a very simple HTML/CSS site that impressed me: Chris Were. I'm seriously considering possibly moving my Wordpress blog into a layout not too unlike his. I love the idea of having complete control of every post and having an easy to snag archive. I do worry about not having an RSS feed or an email option, but then again, does it truly matter that much? I don't know, I'm still thinking on that.
I got a new job this week and start on the 19th. I'm very excited for this new opportunity and I think it's going to be a very good thing for me.
March 25th, 2021
Ha... here I am again, yet almost another year later.
Will this site ever make it online? I honestly do not know. I flirt with the idea all of the time and I keep coming back to it, so you'd think the next logical decision would be just to put it online and roll. Hell, I think I can host it from my Fastmail account, it's not like it's picture heavy or anything.
So, what has happened in the past ten months? Well, I got married. The pandemic continued and I gained ever more weight. Like many others, my struggles with my mental health have been exacerbated thanks to the stress of work, the state of the world, a rough election year, and just trying to survive. I remember once cheering on the speech in Fight Club where Tyler Durden says we are a generation with no great wars or no great depressions. Since that movie was released I've lived through a massive terrorist attack, a recession, and now a pandemic. I'd love to go back to 1999 when my greatest depression would be my life.
Lately, I've struggled keeping my interest in things. I bounce between my various fandoms and nothing really sticks. I'm not sure if they just no longer serve me or if this type of avoidance behavior is beginning to backfire. All I do know is the one time I seem to find a little peace is when I dive into the past. I mentally time travel back to a simpler time and tap into those feelings of hope and positivity that are seemingly missing from my life. I guess that's why this little project keeps popping up and why I decide today to do a little housekeeping on the site.
I've corrected some things on the About page, updated the 90's Fitness page, wrote a new introduction on the Links page, and purge the Movies page that was stuck in limbo. I'd still link to add some additional pages and maybe even an archive or old blog posts, but we will have to see how much time I have. Until then, my main goal for this site is to just get it online whether by utilizing my Fastmail or hosting at Neocities.
May 13th, 2020
Nope, your eyes do not decieve you, it has indeed been almost two years since my last entry.
This little website never made it off my email. Instead, I spent the last two years working on other blogs, various HTML websites that didn't launch, before eventually launching my personal blog that I run today. So, I guess in a nutshell, I haven't stopped writing, I just haven't been writing here.
I lost all the weight I wanted to lose. I actually got down as low as 174 lbs. Then, over the past year, I've slowly gained half of it back. I'm now back to 217 lbs. and I'm going to have to restart my weight loss journey. On a bright note, the LVH did go away.
I got divorced since my last entry and engaged. I moved a few times and even managed to complete the Reebok Step video. I traveled to Paris, Seattle, and Vermont and I experienced a pandemic which is currently going on.
Earlier today, I spent some time writing about the Reebok Step. Actually, I wrote a blog that pretty much discussed my entry from May 1st, 2018 and that made me miss this site. I always thought I should put some time into it and actually get it up and running. Even if I don't update it much, I think there is a place on-line for 90's Therapy. I had originally named this website 90's Therapy before deciding on Reality-Bites and now I'm transitioning back. Why? Well, this site serves as 90's Therapy. It's a way to take me back to a simpler time and allows me to keep alive a little portion of the internet that I miss. It's why the design of this site is a bit gawdy in places. I have my "mature blog" elsewhere, this is where I just kick back and have fun.
July 14th, 2018
I’ve somehow lost several of my Journal posts. I guess that is what happens when you don’t actually upload the site to a server and instead work on it sparingly from an attached email file. Oh well, maybe they’ll show up again. It’s not like I spent that much time writing in June/July for this site. Recently, I discovered the joy of journaling by hand again. I had an extra spiral notebook and one day I just started writing down my thoughts, however random they may be, and bam… my love of blogging died that day and I found myself more interested in exploring my own psyche than trying to explain things to other people.
I should have known that would happen. I’ve been working on this site (or at least some form of it) for well over a year now, and it’s never seen the light of day. I’ve actually teased it to a couple people, but it’s just not ready. In fact, it may not ever be ready. It may remain my offline little sanctuary that allows me to feel like a teenager all over again, while simultaneously exploring my own life and ideas in a judgement free zone. A long time ago, the internet was a judgement free zone, now it’s the ultimate judgement zone. God, do I hate what the internet has become.
I crossed the 30 lbs lost mark this week, which is a big milestone for me. It’s the lightest I’ve been in at least four or five years, maybe even longer. My real goal is to hit the 200 lb mark, but I still got a ways to go. Once I hit 200 lbs, I hope to drop down to 180-185 lbs, which is my ideal goal weight. When I was in my early 20’s, I dropped down to 155-160 lbs, and I was way too skinny. I want to be a healthy, good size. Once the weight is gone, I’ll then transition to getting fit. Right now, just counting calories seems to be working quite well.
May 1st, 2018
Last Friday, I decided to do some shopping after work. I had a few things health related that I needed to pick up. I started off by heading to Kohls where I bought a $40 pair of New Balance running shoes and a cheap pair of workout shorts. I don't really have anything to work out in, so I needed just something simple and easy to get me by.
From there I checked out four Goodwills and a Play It Again Sports, in hopes of running across a quality aerobic Step. I wasn't picky, I just wanted something better than the poorly reviewed one at Walmart. I struck out for the most part (I did find a copy of Jerry Seinfeld's Sein Language) and the closests I got to a step was an old, dirty pink topper at Play It Again Sports. The price tag read $9.99, so I decided to spend the extra ten bucks and get a brand new one (with risers) on Amazon. It was the original "The Step" so nothing fancy, but a good beginner piece of equipment for me.
So, why the heck is a fat guy like me looking for an aerobic step? Well, it started off as sort of a joke. I decided to look up some 90's workout videos because I thought it would be fun to try some of them out. I mainly just wanted an excuse to get up and move my ass a little, and during my research I ran across the Reebok The Step video. I recall my stepmom owning this tape and after watching a few minutes, I became enamored with how cool it was. It was industrial, unique, and had no BS. There were no smiling dancers or hosts that make too many jokes. It was just a hardcore, straight up workout.
I did a little research on step aerobics and discovered that it was created by a woman named Gin Miller. Ms. Miller experienced a knee injury and her orthopedic doctor suggested she stand up and down on a milk crate to strengthen the muscles around her knee. She decided to take it one step further, and wham, bam, she created step aerobics.
Gin Miller, the creator of step aerobics, was also the host of Reebok The Step Video. So, I just had to give it a try, especially since I've had some nagging knee pain and issues over the past ten years.
Sunday morning I heard a clump at my door and there it was, all three dollars worth of plastic. I pulled it out, laughed at its simplicity and then gave it some test steps to ensure it would handle my weight. It handled it well and after pulling my new shorts out of the dryer and tying my new running shoes, I decided to give it an actual test by pulling up the Reebok video.
I didn't follow the directions and watch the instructions at the end, instead I decided to dive right in. I equip my risers (which raises it from four inches to six inches) and tried my absolute best to keep up. I'd rank my performance as a C+ which is better than I expected, but I barely made it out of the warmup. Fifteen minutes into the sixty minute work out, I had to stop. I could have kept going physically, but I was concerned about my heart. It wasn't hurting or anything, but I didn't want to push it too hard and step aerobics are way harder than it looks. Holy hell is it difficult.
I sat down at the kitchen table, nursing a bottle of water, while staring at the paused video. I knew I needed to push through and finish the tape. Five minutes later my heart rate was back down, and I decided to start again. Twenty seconds later, my legs said, "Fuck you, we're done" and I ended my workout prematurely.
I wasn't bummed. I haven't done much working out and this was a bit of a cardiovascular test for myself. Still, I'm happy I got as far as I did and as much as this is weird to say, I actually had fun doing it. I could never do this in a class setting, but at home with the curtains closed, I'm game.
The only issue I ran into is finding space in my living room to do it. The ceiling fan made any arm lifts difficult and I was forced to move to the back of the living room to complete all the moves. It's not a deal breaker, but a minor frustration.
I'm excited to give Reebok The Step another try soon, and hopefully I can start working my way towards completing the tape.
April 26th, 2018
Back in February, I got some uncomfortable news after visiting my doctor. I had developed something called LVH, or left ventricle hypertrophy. In a nutshell, I had an enlarged heart because my left valve was working too hard and since it’s a muscle it had grown tough. A lot of factors can play in the development of LVH, but the truth is, I knew why I had it: I am extremely out of shape.
I work a desk job where I sit for 10+ hours a day. Then I go home, eat, play video games, and go to sleep. Exercise isn’t a priority nor has it been for many years. It’s not about ignorance or anything like that, I used to be a gym rat, but I’ve just grown lazy and I think I was okay with that until it turned into something that scared me.
There’s no medicine I can take to fix LVH. I have to change the way I eat and live in order to hopefully reverse its effects which is an increase in chance of heart attack and heart disease. Also, if my heart pumps too much, it’ll actually hurt and it’s prone to these crazy fluttering spells.
Here’s the real kicker: since the problem is that my heart beats too much, I have to exercise in a way that doesn’t over work my heart. That means elevating my heart rate some, but not pushing it too hard. That’s a difficult thing to do, especially for someone like me, who is all about going hard or going home.
My first step in combating this stupid condition was to start losing weight. I began calorie counting and after a couple months I had dropped several pounds. I started reducing my sodium intake as much as possible (since high blood pressure effects LVH) and started getting more potassium in my diet. I tried to avoid as much stress as possible, and once I had momentum on my side and I felt like I could take on more of a challenge I decided to start exercising again.
I had a few obstacles in my way though. I don’t have the extra funds for a gym membership and my schedule doesn’t really work well for getting to the gym anyway. Also, I still need to be careful about how hard I work out. I knew I needed to find a way to workout at home that was quick, easy, fun, and would appeal to me.
I have a set of DDP Yoga DVDs that I’ve used off and on for years, so that was my first tool to start with. I popped in an Energy workout and found out quickly how out of shape I was. Once the workout was over, I felt like doing something else, something different. I did a quick YouTube search for workout videos, since there are millions of them on there. But I ran into the same problems that I have with most Vloggers/YouTube personalities in that they the people who host are annoying as hell. I just needed someone to come on the screen and guide me through a few steps or something to get my fat ass moving a little more.
That’s when I remembered something I saw in Goodwill not too long ago, MTV’s The Grind Workout video. The Grind was a dance show in the 90’s on MTV, and had a series of workout videos featuring attractive people working out to 90’s pop hits and remixes. A quick search for The Grind pulled up a couple of these videos and I decided to turn one on.
Okay, so, I’m a big white guy who can’t dance, but I decided to give The Grind Hip Hop Aerobics a try with the curtains closed. I’m sure it was an ugly, ugly sight, but ya know, I had fun. The music was good, there was enough 90’s cheesy to keep me entertained, and more than anything, it got me moving for an additional fifteen minutes.
This got me thinking about all the 90’s workout videos and fads that came along, and I thought it might be fun to revisit some of them here on the site. Some I may just discuss, but others I want to try out for myself. I really have nothing to lose and it shouldn’t be an expensive endeavor. More importantly, it’s a way to implement some retro stuff into my workout, which should keep me motivated, and might make for some interesting posts.
April 26th, 2018
We’re five months into 2018 and it is not turning out to be the year I hoped it would be. I’ve run into health, financial, housing, and occupational problems in these first five months. Every week I hope that this week will be better than the last, but I just never seem to catch up. After four months of this, depression started creeping in. I’m usually able to fight off those feelings with a few distractions and a little rest and relaxation, but this time it wasn’t so easy. That black cloud just hovered and then I made it worse because part of my health issue involves avoiding stress, so I stressed about that.
On a Wednesday in April, I had the day off and I decided to clear my schedule of all errands. I decided that I had enough, and wanted to do something that brought a smile to my face. So, I went to my happy place, the 90’s, and pulled out some enjoyable entertainment in the form of sitcoms. I watched thirteen different sitcoms that day and while watching that much TV that didn’t fix anything in my life, it did give me a little reprieve from the onslaught of negativity that I seem to be facing every day. I felt better, not much, but some, and that was worth a lot to me.
When things get really rough, I tend to dive into my past to find a little solace. The movies, music, and entertainment take me back to a simpler time, and that gives me hope that the bad times will pass and good times will come back around. It’s my form of therapy and thus 90’s Therapy is born.
I’m not delusion about the 90’s coming back or anything like that, but I love digging into the forgotten parts of the 90’s and trying to find ways to implement parts of that into my life in 2018. My definition of the 90’s isn’t strictly prohibited to 1990-1999, but it’s more like 1987-2003. That was the period of childhood and that’s the set of years that I enjoy looking back on the most.
This website isn’t going to be exclusively about the 90’s though. This is personal site that will talk a little about everything. I do plan on talking at lengths about various 90’s foods, fads, and objects, but sometime I may just need a place to vent a little. I feel like this website is an extension of my 90’s Therapy and just another place to help me gather my thoughts and keep my life from spiraling out of control.
April 25th, 2018
Hey, how’s it going? Welcome to my site. After months of working on a website theme and name I decided upon Reality Bites. Why? Well, I dig the movie of course, but more importantly, reality does bite. For those a little bit younger, bites means sucks. Sure, we can find a diamond in the rough every once in a while, but for the most part life sucks.
That’s not to say this site is about life sucking. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. This site will be all about the things that I do to process life sucking. For example: I’ve discovered that when I’m having a rough time that flooding myself with 90’s music/entertainment seems to perk me up. I’ve nicknamed this effect 90’s Therapy. I want to talk about the 90’s, what I liked, what I didn’t, and ways I try to infuse more of the 90’s I knew growing up into my life in 2018.
Another part of the site may feature some fiction I’ve worked on or maybe just some random lists of my favorite movies. I honestly don’t have it all planned out yet, right now I’m just focusing on getting a main page together where I can journal/blog and I’ll spin things off from there.
I guess we need to address the elephant in the room. Why does this site look like it’s from 1998? Well, growing up in the 90’s, I taught myself HTML after exhausting all the features in GeoBuilder and the Tripod Helper. I wanted to make simple websites that were fun. Of course, my HTML skills only got me so far, because ten years later, things had moved onto Web 2.0 and there isn’t much of an audience for a website that loads quickly and just works.
After running dozens of blogs over the years, I’ve realized that my style of writing and the topics that I write about don’t appeal to many people. With that being said, when I thought about making a personal site, I decided I wanted to make a personal site in the format that I prefer, which is an old fashion website. I don’t have to rely on any services or deal with updates. Instead, I’m in total control and I like it that way. I hope you’ll come to appreciate it if you stick around.