Monday, August 8, 2011

The Difference is I Slept, Which Results in No Difference at All

Who can kill a plant faster than you know? I can.
Who can kink the kink-proof hose? I can.

I’ma start this off a bit different tonight. Prepare yourself.

Maybe it was the odd day coming to an odd conclusion. Maybe it was the two valium I ate. Maybe it’s because my son was going to hit something on my keyboard today that has made MS Word think I’m Portuguese. (I’m working in Documentó, for some reason). I’d bet on the valium, but stranger things have happened—I may be Portuguese.

<<Much later, while re-reading this, I realize I’m working in Document6, not Documentó. I thought it was weird the Portuguese MS Word didn’t number blank documents. But then, how can I be sure? I may still be Portuguese. I may never trust a “6” again; it IS the sign of the devil.>>

The wine: a cheap carmenere—La Playa. That’s after polishing off an Iron Stone zin from…last night? I don’t know, I didn’t finish it—my wife did. I’m not drinking by myself. My wife is sharing. I don’t always drink by myself. I don’t usually drink by myself. There’s no liquor hidden in my closet or the tank of the toilet. I swear.

A friend and I were chatting the other day about wines, a message I typed way too long about, and I mentioned I think ridiculously expensive wine (wanna know how much: ask) is ridiculous, so allow me to make a broad point. I stopped on my way home and picked up six bottles. All originally cost over $10 each. All were on sale. And by buying 6, they throw a 10% discount on top of that. So I got a $10+ bag of hardwood charcoal (those briquettes are bad for you, according to some [sorry], so deal with the annoyance of real hardwood charcoal ‘cause it tastes better anyway [food cooked on it, not the charcoal itself, although…]) and a box of 300 sandwich bags and that 6-pack of 6 different wines and left about $54 poorer. HA! And these are tasty wines. But I’ll grant: good alcohol is cheaper in California than anywhere else I’ve been. Our wines are better and cheaper, if you’re buying them here. Same with the beers. But you poor Hoosiers, I know, I know. It’s sad. Coloradans may think they have it good in the beer department but, sorry, you lose. California = better and cheaper. It’s one way I justify living here.

Starting off-topic already. Man. How do I get it back?


Okay, up around 7. Boy going, me showering, me watering, me running late. Me packing lunch, me packing gym clothes, me forgetting about the box of instant oatmeal and flax I planned to take in for breakfast. I finished off another Berry Veggie, apologizing in my head to Liam if he had hoped to tackle that himself. Sorry, son.

I write differently at different times. Is there consistency? You’d have to tell me. I know there’s at least a little bit.

So I got to the office and realized I’d forgotten that oatmeal. Okay, so I have a backup that’s a backup ‘cause I bought it a while ago and didn’t really like it: this multigrain oatmeal plus flax, which is fine and dandy except it has NO sugar, and what’s breakfast without sugar? So I poured two packets of that out and added water four packets of sugar—almost, but then feared it’d be too much so I returned package number four—and let it sit while I made my mocha, then I tasted the oatmeal and realized it needed more sugar so I added that fourth pack and thought about more but I held out. Not ideal. I’m not proud. I could have gone for more. I guess I’m proud I left it at that. I ate my breakfast.

It was my long Monday, as usual. I’m finding I have less time to do what I’d consider my “normal” work tasks and I’m having to spend a lot more time “managing.” This is fine, but it’s an adjustment. I like to have my projects. But as far as they’re concerned, I can get way more accomplished on writing a document in a day while watching and playing with my son and dogs and flying a kite and trying to teach myself gymnastics and maybe giving out free haircuts in my driveway than I can in 24 hours at the office—people always need something at the office. Management.

Lunch came and went, and it didn’t go unnoticed by my stomach. Or my mind. I mean, it didn’t just go, it was enjoyed…thoroughly…over multiple hours. I was munching almonds all morning. I ate my banana. I drank water. I made a PB&J, and you know that standard by now. I ate way too many sea-salt-and-cracked-pepper potato chips. I was still hungry. I drank more water. I considered chewing on my shoe. I licked crumbs off the desk. That was a lie, those last two sentences. So I guess it’d be more appropriate to say, “Those were lies.” At least I admit it. I’ve never been a good liar. And who would believe those things, anyway? I DID eat an apple sometime around 4:00.

You know what can make work fun, though: when you pull out your giant exercise ball, and maybe it is a bit flatter than it should be, but you turn on music ‘cause you’ve finally taken speakers in for your work PC and you shut you door and turn that shit up and you bounce and squirm and dance around on that ball while you type. It burns Calories, sure. It’s good for your core, sure. But most of all: it’s really fun. So are the looks people give you. So I did that for a couple of hours toward the end of my day…while I crammed more almonds down my gullet…almonds and water.

I left work around 5:00 for the gym. I’ve said I’m bored with my running lately, and this is true, so I’m doing a bit more than just running at the gym. Regardless, I hate the long Monday away from my family so I go for short and intense on the Monday gym workouts. I love to work my entire body with as few exercises as I can in as little time as I can. Today it was like a super-set, but with three exercises instead of two, and I’m sure Men’s Health has a name for that, but I forget what it is. Oh, I like off-balance things, too, so this is what I did.

Squats: 35 pounds on each side, which is pretty normal. But instead of just that, I did the first set of 8 reps with 5 extra pounds on the left side. Then I did 8 pull-ups. Then I did 10 pushups with my feet on an exercise ball and my hands on a bosu ball (look it up if you must). Repeat, but this time I put that extra 5 pounds on the right side for my squats, did a different version of pull-ups (yes, there are different versions), then the same pushups again because I hadnt’t done ‘em that way in a long time, and it isn’t easy. Last, I evened the weight out on the squats with just the 35s on each side, did another variation of the pull-ups, then did 10 pushups with my feet on a bench and my hands on an exercise ball. These are all good things. Full body workout done. Or close enough, at least. So then I ran, because…well….

The running was intervals, also short and intense. Since the numbers are less tangible than minutes-per-mile pacing (and I was all over, anyway), I’ll go with miles per hour. So it was ¼-mile at 7.5-mph, then ¼-mile at 9.1, then ¼-mile at 7.3, then ¼-mile at 9.5, then part of a ¼-mile at 7.3, then maybe a drop a bit lower to 7.1 ‘cause I was beat, then ¼-mile at 9.5, then ¼-mile at 7.2, then ¼-mile at 10.0, then I almost popped a lung and my sweat was probably splashing on those next to me (sorry) and I dropped it to a 3.5-mph walk. Then I bumped it up to 7.5 (an easy 8:00/mile pace that’s not so easy after all that) to get myself to a solid 2.5-mile run, then hit the stop button. Workout done. It took me about 35 minutes, all total.

You don’t have to run intervals. You can walk them. Or jog them. You don’t have to run. That bit of lifting I did was cardio in itself. If you work it out right, you can turn anything into a good cardio workout. I guess it just takes a bit of knowledge. I’m always willing to share. I hate routine. Get it? But interval workouts do way more for you in a short amount of time than doing the same thing at a sustained pace, so if you’re time-crunched: do intervals. And super-sets. Or whatever I described above, or maybe even circuits. Just keep that heart going.

I stopped off for the aforementioned sandwich bags, charcoal, and wine on my way home. I got here and gave my wife some love, loved on our boy, and got to playing with him and the dogs. I didn’t much care for the garden at the time—I’d been away from the family too long.

My wife grilled dinner: corn on the cob and ‘taters from the farmer’s market, plus some tasty steak. Beef three nights in a row: a dietary taboo, I’m sure. I could write out the negative predictions here. I’ve read the nutritional “studies.” But I eat broccoli! That will lessen my risk of cancer by 30 percent! And those whole grains? They’ll make you 16 percent less likely to have a heart attack! (I don’t know. I’m making this crap up, because I mean, really, whoever does those studies are doing pretty much the same thing, otherwise I could make my diet fight cancer in other people’s bodies, by my logic. It’s flawed, I know, but so are most of those non-stop “studies” we’re bombarded with in the popular journals and literature. Google News Health Section. Screw metastudies, for crying out loud—EXPERIMENT! DO SOME FRIGGIN’ SCIENCE, YOU LAZY BASTARDS! Ahem. Sorry. Let me compile all my disjointed thoughts into one and establish a rule. Or recommendation. Goodness, is that what I’m doing? Why are you reading this?)

We played a bit more as a family after dinner. I gave my boy a bath, the wife took over, and I took the dogs out for no-fertilizer-eating supervision and a bit of garden perusal. I came in and kissed my boy as he was drifting off to sleep. A lot of wine has been drunk tonight, but it’s not just me: my wife is in good form. The art is flowing. She’s a brilliant artist. She has shows coming up. Shameless promo: She keeps me in constant awe, and she’s a constant inspiration. There is no shortage of reasons I love this woman. Add to the list: she remembered to set the DVR to record Bachelor Pad when it had completely slipped my mind. THAT’S a good woman. How else do I dull down my IQ? I need these things.

So goodnight, Bachelor-Pad-I-Have-Yet-to-Watch. I’ll see you tomorrow. And I’ll wish I could discuss it with a certain co-worker who, if she’s reading this, knows exactly who she is but has said she won’t be watching it this season. Again, I tear a bit. I dry my eyes. And I’m going to read. I’m not very tired. Maybe I’ll tap the valium faerie on the shoulder again and see what she has in store for me. Maybe I’ll trust the wine. Maybe I’ll just fall asleep. Even I don’t know at this point. It’s 9:43pm. Good night.  

<<Damn. We had to open another bottle of wine.>>

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