Thursday, July 21, 2011

Plateaus BLOW

78 and holding.  No, I am not referring to the current temperature (although I think it is quite interesting that Florida is experiencing cooler weather than most of the US...yet there is still a debate about climate change).  But I digress.  As many of you know, I have been focusing on my health this year.  Through diet and exercise (as well as the support of my doctor and family and friends), I have lost 78 pounds since the beginning of January.  No small feat.  However, I have been holding at 78 pounds lost for over 6 weeks.  I should be happy...I will get happy...but plateaus BLOW.  Especially when you continue to do the work!  I know I need to be patient...but I never seem to have enough patience for anything.  I need my competitive "state" to kick in ASAP!  My initial goal was 111 in 2011 (what can I say...I'm gay and I LOVE a theme, so sue me!).

In reality, the past 6 weeks have been filled with an intensity that my old body may not have been able to sustain.  Between the 25th Anniversary concert for the band (as well as other band issues that I was tending too) and transitioning into my new job, I should be thankful that I did not gain weight!!!  The interesting thing about plateaus is that you are surrounded by ledges.  Falling off the ledge is not an option...there is no going back.     

I am excited about my family vacation this weekend and I am sure I will be blogging along the way.  Then I will re-focus on my diet when I return.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Welcome Wagon

"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."
Theodore Roosevelt

It has been just over 2 weeks since I started my new job.  Everyone has been very friendly and welcoming.  There is much to be done, but I am very motivated to GET TO WORK.  To give you an idea of the culture on the campus, here is the welcome email from my new boss...

Dear Colleagues,

Please join me in welcoming Adam DeRosa as the new Coordinator of the Career Center here at South.  Adam started July 1st and replaces Kathleen Rhoad who retired last year.  Mr. DeRosa’s primary focus will be to work  closely with the Associate Deans and Program Managers, particularly in the Career and Technical programs, to equip our graduating students with the requisite skills to successfully apply, interview and secure employment.  Additionally, he will develop partnerships with local, national businesses and Workforce One to provide internship opportunities and employment for students earning career and technical degrees.  Mr. DeRosa will also work closely with the Student Affairs Leadership Team to develop a process that provides career assessment and career information to our students, thereby ensuring that all students have ‘defined themselves’ so they can ‘Finish What They Start’. 

Mr. DeRosa has a Master of Science in Higher Education from The Florida State University and brings lots of experience from both K-12 and higher education.  His most recent experience includes serving as the Director of Student Services and Director of New Student Orientation at Everglades University and Florida Atlantic University respectively.  He has also taught the College Success Skills course both at the North Campus of Broward College and Florida Atlantic University.  

Mr. DeRosa is located in the Career Center, building 68, room 100 and his extension is 8865.  Please stop by and give him a warm South Campus welcome.

Janice Stubbs
Dean of Students,
Broward College, South Campus

I am excited about the opportunity I have to make a difference on this campus.  Thanks to my family and friends for supporting me through this transition.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Stream of Facebook Consciousness

Time for my Facebook Status Update Rewind.  What's interesting about this week is the uncanny connection between the string of thoughts.  Follow me, as we journey through my crazy brain...
The voice reading the warning at the beginning of Tosh.O sounds just like Lindsay Lohan. Great post-prison gig! I love Daniel Tosh.  Not in the stalker ex-boyfriend kind of way (although I think we may see him grace the over of The Advocate in the next year).  What I love is his ability to make us laugh at ourselves.  No, I have not personally appeared on any of the viral images he highlights.  However, the folks in them could easily be the people I encounter everyday in my somewhat boring life and that is hilarious.  This week, I was taken aback by what sounded like Lindsay Lohan's voice over at the beginning of the episode.  Glad she could get the gig, but I am not sure how her comeback is going to play out.  Speaking of young women who will never win a popularity contest in the court of public opinion...
Morning news headline: "If it's not on twitter, you must acquit her"! I did not follow the Casey Anthony trial although I knew quite a bit about it.  Being in Florida did not help.  Having family members in the peanut gallery certainly did not help.  At the end of the day, I find the whole situation tragic and cannot see a "happy ending" for anyone in that family.  However, this headline came across the news as I was sitting in the waiting room at my dentist's office (see, cannot avoid it)! Speaking of doubtful "happy endings"...
Marriage means commitment. Of course, so does insanity. ~Author Unknown I consider myself married or "as legally connected to my husband as the law will allow".  I posted this quote because I have started to realize the amount of work it takes to make a marriage work.  The bar was set pretty high on both sides of our family (John's parents have been together for over 50 years and my parents will be celebrating 40 years together in 2012).  And I am a competitive perfectionist...where is the show about my compulsion?  Oh yeah, Martha Stewart Living.  As I approach my 2nd wedding anniversary, I feel very certain that John and I are in this for the long long as I respect his addiction to dragons and he understands that I have to have the last word.  I hope that other gay marriages can get through the tough times and be shining examples of commitment/insanity.  Speaking of terrible examples of commitment...
So J Lo and Mark Anthony have broken up...I blame Pit Bull...or Casey Anthony...or Nancy Grace. Jennifer Lopez needs to stick to singing, dancing, and acting.  J Lo, marriage is not your thing and that's OK.  You are a triple threat, which is probably why the men in your life don't stick around.  You also don't seem to have the capacity to balance success in your career and a relationship at the same time and that's OK.  I don't know much about your future ex-husband, but I am sure you both will be fine.  Speaking of fine...
OK world, I have resisted long enough...I like Katy Perry. There, I admit it! As a gay man, I am not opposed to jumping on a bandwagon (or falling off the wagon, I can never get those metaphors right).  Either way, I have mostly tolerated Katy Perry's music because of GLEE.  It seemed like one of her songs popped up on that show every week.  However, I am not made of stone.  I like a good beat and a catchy chorus.  So I have given in...I like Katy Perry and I won't apologize for it anymore.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

May I Speak With The Manager?

Dear Ryan,

My name is Adam DeRosa and I went to see Super 8 at your theater on Friday, July 8th at 7:05PM.  I usually go to the Regal Cinema on Cypress Creek, but Super 8 was only playing there after 9PM.  When I was exiting the theater at approximately 9PM, I decided to get a refill of my large soda.  When I got to the lobby concession stand, there was only one person behind the counter, and the line was about 12 people deep.  Coincidentally, there was a group of about 4 employees (all in the maroon polos) on the benches in the lobby.  I went up to the ticket taker and asked why there was only one person working in the concession stand.  He said the other employees were "on their break".  I immediately asked to see the manager on duty.  Katherine came to see me about 5 minutes later.  By this time, the 4 employees in the lobby had literally jumped over the counters to attend to the long line of customers.  When I told Katherine what I had witnessed, she explained that there was a one hour break between films and the concession stand workers needed to take their breaks.  As you can imagine, this answer infuriated me, so I ended the conversation and immediately asked for your business card.

Katherine then walked over the the concession stand and yelled at the employees saying something to the effect of "I told you to take your polos off during your break!"  I know this to be true because, at this point, my partner was in the line, waiting to get our soda refilled.

I am sending this email to you because I have managed employees for years, most of which were high school and college age students.  I also worked at a movie theater when I was their age and know that employee breaks are NEVER allowed to be taken within view of the customers, especially in uniform.  Granted, I was on my way out of the theater, but is this the kind of customer service Regal strives for...I doubt it.  As the manager, I wanted you to know what was happening at your theater after 9PM on a Friday evening.  I am not sure we will be returning to your theater anytime in the near future, but my partner and I are members of the Regal Cinemas Loyalty Program and would like to continue to patronize your company.  However, the employees I encountered on Friday evening, especially Katherine, will make me twice about going back to any theater you manage.

Adam DeRosa

His Reply

Mr. DeRosa,

Thank you for taking the time to email about your experience at my location on July 8th.  At Regal we strive to exceed our guest expectations and it is obvious that we failed with regards to your wait in the concession line.  For your inconvenience I would like to mail you two passes that are good at any Regal Cinemas location; if you would email me your address I can get those in the mail for you.  I will look into this incident further with all employees involved.  I am also going to use your letter as a training tool at my next employee meeting to help prevent situations like this from occurring again. 

Ryan Walton
General Manager
Oakwood Stadium 18 (#10-0463)
2800 Oakwood Blvd.
Hollywood, Fl. 33020
954-923-4321 (Office)
954-923-5203 (Fax)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Just Lame Duck-y

So much has changed for me in the past 7 years.  5 different jobs.  100+ pounds gained and lost.  3 different addresses.  1 walk down the aisle.  Being Band President has been the only constant aspect of my life...and in a few short months, I will be passing the gavel.  I am both excited and frightened.

When I become Band President, I was a 29 year old "know-it-all" who lived a life of extremes (too much fast food, too many Bud Lights, a few too many one night stands).  The only thing I was really serious about was band, which is why I was so willing to devote my life to it.  

By year 2, I was in a job I hated, I was gaining more and more weight, and I was getting drunk every Friday night at Bill's Filling Station.  However, in one December weekend, my life completely changed.  I met John, we went on our first date...and, after 12 years of service, the Band Director resigned.  Yes, this all happened in the course of 48 hours!

In my tenure as Band President, I have experienced a lot of "firsts".  The "first" Artistic Director selection process brought Dan Bassett into my life.  He had the guts to push for real changes and improvements, starting with the band's name.  His vision, leadership, and creativity have catapulted our band in the stratosphere.  The "first" $10,000 grant award from The John Graves Charitable Fund literally opened doors for the band...enabling us to produce two concerts at the Broward Center, purchase all sorts of new equipment, and provide a salary for the Artistic Director.  The "first" LGBA conference in New Orleans which included coordinating the "first" concert in a casino and the "first" marching band in a parade on Bourbon Street since the 1970s.  The Obama Inaugural Parade, performing at Carnegie Hall with the Big Apple Corps, attending the Gay Games in Cologne, Germany...some of the highlights of my life are directly connected to being in the band.  Sure, there have been some tough times; but with every trying experience, valuable lessons were gained.

Next week, I will begin my final Presidential lap with a Strategic Planning Meeting to engage the band members as we chart the course for the next 25 years, followed by the first rehearsal of our 26th concert season.  I will always be a part of the South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble.  However, my life is no longer about extremes.  I have a husband who has tolerated...and supported my band involvement and somehow found time to love me along the way.  I have begun to pay more attention to my health, losing 80 pounds since January and significantly reducing my alcohol use.  I have finally found a job that seems to "fit" and I look forward to bringing my "A" game to the office everyday.  Without a doubt, I know it is time for me to step down, pass the reigns, and become the biggest advocate for whoever becomes the next President.  Ready...Set...Letting Go!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Blog Regurgitation

Big News Week for Florida...and also for the Florida-native writing this blog.  In my first attempt to create a weekly blog highlight reel, I thought it might be fun to list ALL of my Facebook status updates and blog from there.  
Now, I know you are saying, Adam, that is cheating.  This blog entry should consist of your original thoughts, not some regurgitated BS from your pathetic attempt at networking socially since July 2nd!  
To this, I say Its my blog and I will regurgitate if I want.  So here goes...Facebook posts are in black and my current thoughts are in RED.
  • Project Runway is back on July news of the day!   Yes, I am a reality TV junkie who happens to be Project Runway is just what the doctor ordered.  Tim Gunn is, by far, my favorite "reality television" star and I try to incorporate his slogan "Make It Work" into at least 2 conversations a day.  Now that I am the Career Center Coordinator for Broward College, this daily exercise will come in very handy!
  • I am a blogger...check it out and judge me...You are reading blog number 4, so I am blogging about as often as I went out to dinner this week.  Great news for my loyal readers.  Terrible news for my weight loss program.  Next week, less blogging and more cardio.
  • If you have a blog, send me a link. I want to follow you...then maybe you will follow me...I was never all that popular so I have no shame in begging people to be my friend or facebook follower or blog buddy. 
  • It's raining men...big, fat, wet men! Up until last week, it had not rained in Florida for like 3, it is raining everyday and not a light drizzle kind of rain.  More of a "bucket falling from the top of the door frame" kind of rain. 
  • In an effort to get more traffic on my blog, I wanted to reveal today's subject: Carmen Electra Coming attractions work for bad movies, so why not try to use my Facebook status to promote a mediocre blog about a mediocre celebrity.
  • Floridians...we live in a state where gays and lesbians cannot legally adopt a child, yet Casey Anthony will regain this "right" once she is released from prison next week. Now do you see why the GLBT community continues to fight for equal rights? The Casey Anthony verdict completely blew up my Facebook News Feed.  Given all of the attention people were paying to this topic, I thought it might be interesting to put out a different perspective.  Since posting this, I have done some further research and found out that gays and lesbians CAN adopt in the state of Florida (apparently this has been the case for a little less than a year).  Great news for the gay community.  Not so great news for me.  Once I "came out", I thought I was going to avoid the whole "when are you getting married and having kids" line of questioning.  Guess not.
  • <---shedding tears of joy for Atlantis and her crew. Godspeed. The final shuttle launch also dominated Facebook this week.  Growing up on the Space Coast, I appreciate all the great things the shuttle program did for my family and hometown.  More importantly, the advances in technology and medicine facilitated by manned space exploration will continue to make my life better.
  • The "on-air" chemistry between Bill Maher and Ann Coulter is eerily engaging but definitely dysfunctional. As we get closer to another election year, I feel my "inner liberal bear" coming out of hibernation.  I really enjoy "Real Time with Bill Maher".  This week's show included Ann Coulter, Bill Maher, and Chaz Bono in the same screen shot.  That image alone proves that the USA is still the most vibrant democracy in the world and I am thankful to be a part of it.
  • Total cost of the space shuttle program...$196 billion. Not too bad, considering the AIG bailout alone was $182 billion. Godspeed, Atlantis. "Inner liberal bear" apparently left his cave and felt compelled to point out this financial comparison.  The first figure is a result of over 30 years of hard work and innovation from the folks at NASA.  The second figure is a result of the failed economic policies of George W. Bush.  Judgy Wudgy was a bear...
  • I just joined Google+. If you are on there, let me know. Google+ is to Facebook as Diet Coke is to Coke Zero.  I love them all, but still prefer Facebook and Coke Zero...and now I am off to pour me another!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Where in the world is Carmen Electra (and who in the world cares)?

I watched So You Think You Can Dance for the first time last night. I know, I can a reality TV junkie not have this show on his DVR priority list? As I was watching last night's show, I realized how much I have learned about the world of dance from working at the Harid Conservatory. I was quite critical of the dancers and the choreography (as I HAPPILY finished a pizza with my sister, Jeane, and my cousin, Jason). I completely understood all the hype and was pretty entertained by the show...until Carmen Electra showed up. I guess the judging panel has a guest every week (and not fun guests like Kathy Griffin, Margaret Cho, or LaToya Jackson...RuPaul's Drag Race, start your engines...).

What does Carmen Electra know about dancing? Probably as much as she knows about acting. When did this bimbo become famous? Wasn't she Pam Anderson's replacement? Don't be shocked. I have never seen Baywatch and could not stomach the idea looking Carmen Electra up my IMDB app. I have a very judgmental iPhone...I will definitely blog about "her" later.

Bottom line, I refuse to get hooked on SYTYCD. It would be easy to blame it all on Carmen Electra. However, this reality television junkie knows that messing around with the judging panel is like "jumping the shark" for the 21st Century. Just ask Simon Cowell.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Office Hoarders

I am obsessed with the show Hoarders. In fact, one of my favorite pastimes during my morning walk is identifying the Hoarder Houses in my neighborhood and tracking their progress. Karma surfaced today as I began cleaning my new office. The previous Career Center Coordinator was an absolute Office Hoarder. Here is the evidence:

1. 10 legal pads with less than 5 sheets of paper remaining. Why? Was she worried about a lack of hard surfaces to write upon?
2. 5 copies of the Broward College Catalog from 2002, labeled as Office Copy on the front. Was there a shortage of these publications that year? I totally wanted to correct her grammar and write Office Copies on all 5!
3. 4 manual letter openers. Fan mail? Multiple bills from FPL? Why on earth does someone need more than 1 of these?

As it turns out, I will not be back in my office until Monday. The hoard will have wait another week...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Matthew Morrison Needed to Shave

Independence Day and I am starting a blog. Alanis Morissette-type irony!

I am watching "A Capitol Fourth" and will follow up with New York and Boston...lots of fireworks and music. Was excited to see a slim Jordin Sparks sing the National Anthem. It's nice to see an actual American Idol with a paying gig (Carrie Underwood does not music fans are loyal to a fault, just ask the Dixie Chicks). Next up, Matthew, I have missed GLEE. Then he sings an original song, yuck...should have gone with God Bless the USA. Next up, a duet with Kelli O'Hara (a Broadway diva I am not too familiar). Tonight from West Side Story (good choice, Mr. Shue). As I look up from my iPad, I see your profile on the TV screen. Holy Facial Hair, Matthew Morrison. Try Gilette Fusion.

On a well deserved break from band as far as rehearsals are concerned. However, lots of work to be done to get ready for the Strategic Planning meeting on July 20th and the Youth Pride Band. Fireworks to being shortly. Thanks to Jennifer Metts and Becca Gross for the inspiration to start this site (I have been lurking on your blogs for sometime). Until next time...