June 08, 2020

Cheers! The Penultimate Post

So today I turn 60. And even with all the horrors going on right now--a lethal virus allowed to run rampant by a reckless leader, the rise of an authoritarian regime bent on destroying democracy, millions of citizens on the brink of economic ruin, and racism, sexism and xenophobia run amok--I'm still superficial enough to be a little creeped out about having a milestone birthday.

I always imagined 60 as the portal through which middle-aged people traveled to arrived at official old age. Now that I'm stepping through the threshold myself, I find myself shrieking: "Noooo, not me, not yet! I'm not ready to be old!"

And sure, aging is natural and 100% organic, just like dying. I should embrace the whole life-cycle, right? Not just the younger, firmer, prettier parts. Because, um... wisdom? Perspective? Getting to shop at the grocery store at 6 am if you want, before the younger less-vulnerable people buy up all the toilet paper?

Nah, I'm still grumpy about it. On the plus side, it's mainly the number that's bothering me, not any meaningful physical limitations.  They'll be heading my way soon enough. But for now, except for the gray hair, wrinkles, and having to scroll through drop-down menus for twenty minutes to find my birth year when I fill out online forms, this aging thing has been a pretty benign process.

But on approaching the big Six-Oh, it seemed a good deadline for addressing some Unfinished Business.  Like: Cranky Fitness, this blog with the wonderful readers who have meant so much me, has been sitting out here for a couple years all by iteslf, still on-duty, looking all awkward and expectant.

There was a time when I thought what Cranky Fitness was waiting for was for Crabby McSlacker to get her act together and come back and post some things in it! But no, it seems the poor thing just wanted someone to officially relieve it of duty. To let it go home and sit on the couch, eating nachos and watching reruns of the Great British Baking Show. Or whatever it is blogs do when they age out and go home.

But first... how about some answers to questions no one has asked?

What's Crabby been up to? Did she travel through some sort of wormhole to an alternative universe?


Nah, still very much in this universe, though the Lobster and I have been traveling quite a bit, trying to avoid our country's toxic little corner of it.

And I know, how horribly obnoxious of me, to mention recent travel adventures during such  wrenching times. But both things are true: I am an asshole, and we had a blast doing spending the winter of 2018 in Spain, and this past winter in Mexico and South America. I will spare you the approximately 3,000 photos.

Well, maybe one, to prove I'm not just making shit up. Iguazu falls, definitely worth a visit.

Or okay, maybe one more photo, because though I may be 60 years old chronologically, I still have the maturity of an 11 year old:

Anyway, after hunkering down in various airbnb's for a few months, finally learning not to flush the toilet paper,  we hopped aboard--you guessed it, a cruise ship. Might not have been the wisest move in a pandemic, you think?

In our defense, the virus hadn't hit South America when we departed, no one was cancelling anything yet, and they screened passengers to eliminate those who'd been to Italy or China, the only problem areas at the time.

But holy crap did we get lucky.  As ports throught the world shut down, they extended our voyage and delivered us safely to Miami instead of Lima, Peru, as originally planned. Practically all the other cruise ships at sea during that time came back with contagion aboard, but somehow the trusty Azamara Pursuit was spared. Note to self: no more cruising during plagues!

 Don't do it Crabby!

Does Crabby Still Eat Healthy and Exercise?

Yeah, pretty much. Though there will always be Giant Beers and other strategically timed treats. I'm a little less obsessive than I used to be, but, I'm still basically doing the healthy living thing.

I've lost my unassisted pull-ups, alas, but I'm trying to hang on to a few other (totally arbitrary) benchmarks. For some reason I've decided that if I can still run 5 miles, do 20 'men's' push-ups, hold a plank for two minutes, and open the occasional stubborn pickle jar, then I'm hanging in there. I still enjoy cardio, if I've got tunes, and still hate weights with a loathing that defies description.

Is Crabby Doing Anything  Productive These Days?

Absolutely not! The Lobster and I are enjoying retirement. Hers is well-deserved and mine is not.

I have some writing projects in the works, but who knows if they will ever come to fruition? And I'm still trying and failing to learn to speak Spanish. Deséenme suerte, voy a necesitarlo!

Any Final Words of Advice?

About health and fitness? Not really, I've said it all a million times before.  Make smart choices about eating and exercise and lifestyle, expect to fail as often as you succeed, and keep going anyway. Take good care of yourself! You probably already know how. Just know you are an important enough person to be worth all the insane effort it takes in a society full of ridiculous obstacles, temptations and distractions.

Meanwhile, in addition to our own personal health, we are now faced with huge threats to our collective welfare. Our country is under seige, led by a malignant and maltempered infant beholden to an unholy alliance of racists and greedy unprincipled corporations. (Note: not ALL corporations are greedy and evil, many aren't! But our increasingly unfettered version of capitalism is leading to all kinds of horrendous abuses.)

As we've seen, those in power will do whatever they can, legal or illegal, to hang onto it. Including trying to suppress your vote.The majority of people in this country want things to change, but will that even make a difference? I've never seen anything this bad in my life, and I am now officially OLD so I get to be all hyperbolic about it!

It is not a time for complacency. Do whatever you can to bring back democracy and a healthy sane society, which at a minimum means vote.

Unless... you have been hiding from reality in a bubble of comforting lies brought to you by Fox News and your carefully cultivated social media feeds and are thinking of voting Republican. If this is you then please start doing some independent research. Listen to that little voice inside you that must be questioning why so often all the scientists, respected institutions, news sources, leaders, even military advisers, are saying one thing and Trump and/or Fox is saying something else. We are now the #1 laughingstock of the entire world, yay for so much winning!

Um, Crabby That Post Title...Do You Not Have Any Clue What the Word Penultimate Means?

Actually, yes I do! Many seem to think Penultimate means some sort of Super-Ultimate kind of Ultimate.

But no, penultimate just means second-to-last. Implying that at some point in the future, there will be one more post at Cranky Fitness, which I'm hoping will point you to somewhere you can find me writing again! Should you be masochistic enough to want to do that.

And Now I'd Like to Propose a Toast or Two or,  Let's See... Four.

Here's to all the wonderful readers and contributers to this blog, now well-dispersed and unlikely to find their way back to be properly thanked, but always here in my heart!

Seriously, just being back here in this virtual space has made me tremendously nostalgic and grateful for the community I found here.

Here's to al the people out there who are actively fighting to save lives, address suffering, and make the world a better place!

Even small efforts should not go unsung, and many are now risking their own lives for their communities.

Here's to a quick end to this horrible pandemic and sensible behavior until that happens!

Despite the denial going on in so many quarters, coronavirus is still a thing, and will keep spreading and killing people. So let's contain and eliminate the little fucker already!

And finally, here's to a return to compassion, sanity, non-violence, tolerance and democracy.

We can make it happen. We have to make it happen.

So if anyone's still out there: how are you doing? Whatcha been up to the last couple years?


  1. Happy 60th Birthday! Wishing you many, many more. That number keeps growing (mine hit 65 a week ago) but these days especially.. it beats the alternative.

    I think that yours and Leah's were the first couple of blogs that I found on my own when I started blogging way back when. I am glad to hear that you are hoping to be writing again. That's certainly what kept me coming back here over those years. It wasn't the planks. ;)

    Stay healthy, you two. Vote that creature out. And I look forward to staying connected. <3

    1. Hilary, thanks so much!!! So good to (virtually) see you, and I'm still loving your photographs and your take on life via facebook. Your comments and encouragement throughout the years meant so much to me! Hope all is well!

  2. Hello, Crabby! And the very most happiest of birthdays to you!
    And now that I've used up my daily allotment of exclamation points and have to stick using words, not punctuation, let me say that is is a) so damned good to hear from you again and b) I'm sorry to hear this is your penultimate post. I've thoroughly enjoyed your blog (Ah, the old days when you started, the whole fish burp experiment. I shall miss it all.)

    Good to learn you are enjoying retirement.
    Stay with us in some form, please.

    1. Fish burps, I'd forgotten about that!!! (And that's been a incurable side effect of blogging and social media for me too, the addiction to excessive punctuation. Now if I use a simple period I feel I'm being too brusque, it changes your "ear" after a while). Anyway, great to see you, and congrats on still having an active blog after all these years, you are survivor!

  3. Look what showed up in my feed - YAY!!! So nice to hear from you, Crabby. Really happy that you and the Lobster are enjoying retirement so well. I remember that you both had many travel adventures while still working so being unencumbered must be awesome. I'm glad you escaped being stuck on a cruise ship for weeks on end, whew!

    Happy 60th birthday! In that vein, my (almost) 63 year old husband and I watched the new Jerry Seinfeld comedy special on Netflix last night and fell over laughing when he talked about being in his 60s - one thing especially hit home because we'd just been talking about it the day before, was how you just say NO when asked to do something you don't want to do. No explanations, nothing. Just no. So welcome to that world, haha.

    I ended my blog last month, after 12 years of blogging. It felt like the right decision and I've had no regrets, so I totally understand you wanting to come back to update (which is what I did over the last couple months of my blog - tied up a lot of loose ends), and then say a final goodbye.

    Also, hear, hear for the last several paragraphs...please let this long national nightmare be over, and soon.

    1. Hey Shelley, always loved your blog, and sorry to see it go, but yeah, there comes a time... so glad to hear from you! Will have to check out that Seinfeld because this whole being 60 thing is taking some getting used to. Hope all is well and stay happy and healthy!

  4. Ahhh...there you are!! I knew you were still around, somewhere. It was wonderful to catch up on some of what you have been doing, thank you for posting.
    Happy Birthday - welcome to the 60's. They're great, let me assure you. (Okay, I lied - they will more than likely be great for you, though!) My blog has also been dormant for several years, and more than likely to remain so. I think the Bag Lady said all she had to say.
    As always, you nailed it with all you said about the state of affairs in the world, and I seriously hope your country corrects the mistake made during the last election (I hate to say "I told you so", but I f*cking told you so!) May we all come through this period unscathed and better people for having gone through it.
    Thanks for updating us, and I hope you continue to enjoy a healthy, happy retirement!

    1. Bag Lady!!!! I am lucky I still sometimes get to see you on my FB feed, and hey, thanks for welcoming me to the next decade! You seem to be managing with grace so I'll try to follow suit. Still don't know how the hell it happened so fast though.

      I SO wish we weren't so wimpy about weather or we'd be Canadians too, you all must think our entire country is insane. Well, because it is. Hoping we can get through to enough of the idiots who voted trump into office before they up and do it again... pray for us!

  5. AAAAAAAHHHH!!! What a surprise to show up in my inbox (after I rescued it from SPAM pish posh).

    My blog is as dead as yours was, blogging having sort of fallen out of favor, and me not being much of a writer to begin with.

    I'm so glad to see that you and the Lobster are doing as well as can be in these times.

    (FKA Outsmart the Fat!)

  6. It is also delightful to see some familiar names in the comments from the olden days. And that we are all still alive, kicking, and mad about the shape of some things.

    1. So good to see you again Stepanie!!!! And yeah, sadly blogging isn't that much of a thing anymore, but like you I'm glad we're all alive and kicking and fighting and feisty and hopefully we can change things!

  7. Hello! So great to see your lovely faces! I have nothing to report, but thrilled to see you guys are well. Sam

    1. Sam!!!! Hope all is good with you, I love to picture you out hiking in the woods with canine companionship, leading the sort of healthy life we all aspire too, being all practical and crafty and everything--hoping it's still an accurate picture, and that your are enjoying life!

  8. Yes, i read to much, so i know what penultimate means, and i am sorry that you won't be writing here any more. You have been missed, i hope you leave the blog up to be read for reference when i need a dose.

    Meanwhile, i am wishing you many happy returns of your birthday, much health and happiness in your retirement, and other writing adventures you can invite us to.

    Also, i wish us all an end to the madness in all of its forms.

  9. Surprise! What a nice surprise to see a post! Glad everything is going well! Please let us know where else you will/may be writing so we can follow along like puppy dogs!!!

  10. I am on my weight loss journey and I agree that combined exercise and a healthy diet is important.

    It does not have to be 1000 steps or anything like that. Start with small things such as walking in the park. From there, build momentum and improve daily. Weight loss should be enjoyable and rewarding at the end. Also, small habits such as keeping fruit in the fridge and healthy snacks such as roasted almonds could give you a huge payoff in the long term.

    One other thing that can help is starting a diet journey with a written plan and a journal. You want to come up with a system that you can follow and adjust based on your situation. I keep a list of exercises, progress and food recipes that help me with my diet.

    I love tea! I keep a bunch of tea recipes in my journal. I benefited from the Red tea detox program. It has a bunch of ingredients that help to reduce hunger and production of stress hormones. It helps me to cut my binge eating habit that I have tried to get rid of since forever.

    Personally I follow the all in one guide from fatlosshabbit.com, they have the best Red tea detox recipes plus all the exercises and diet plan necessary to give you results in just 14 days. I hope this helps you and good luck in your weight loss journey.


Thanks for commenting, Cranky Fitness readers are the BEST!

Subscribe to comments via RSS

(Note: Older Comment Threads Are Moderated)