I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to do “I go back to work tonight and can’t sleep” post–by the way, I cut my finger on the lid of a yogurt container this morning and it is just enough to be a pain in the ass while typing–but I can’t sleep and I go back to work tonight.  Which is really how most of the posts get written, to be honest.  I can’t sleep before I go to work, so I try to wear my brain down enough by writing to sleep.  Which might answer a number of other questions about what gets written as well.

Lesson for the kids at home:  SLEEP IS VERY IMPORTANT.  TAKE IT FROM SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T GET NEARLY ENOUGH.  (My bosses don’t seem to mind me falling asleep while cooking cheese, but that will eventually catch up to everyone)

  • Been experimenting with cooking rice lately.  Cooking it in a frying pan has been a bit more of a pain in the ass, so I’m likely going to be looking into a rice cooker.  Basically I’ve been simmering the rice on a low heat in Chicken Broth.  Today I tried adding a couple tablespoons of Liquid Aminos–essentially soy souce, just in a much purer form–for a bit of flavor.  Added some carrots and celery.  Took awhile and the rice didn’t really cook as thoroughly as I had hoped, so a rice cooker might be an investment in the near future.  Cooked up some chicken to serve on top of it the first time, some stew meat the second time around.
  • Might look around for slow cookers/crockpots as well.  I never to experiment as much with that as I would have liked, but that might be something to get into next winter.  Slow cookers aren’t a big summer thing and the way the weather is acting, that might be sooner than ever.
  • I live with my parents, which isn’t something that unusual these days or bothers me that much.  My mother was talking to somebody about it and she mentioned how I buy my own food, which is true.  I probably buy and/or cook/prepare probably about 90% of what I eat.  I also have a number of kitchen implements–knives, colander, garlic press, leftover containers, etc.–of my own that I use.  I would have a set of frying pans, but my ex kept those.  Anyway.  The person my mother was speaking with was completely stunned by the idea that I buy my own food and cook for myself.  Nothing that extraordinary really.  My father is picky and I prefer a wider selection of options, usually geared a bit more healthy than he prefers.  As I’ve said before, being able to cook is a basic survival skill.

Right now the song “Battle of Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” from Hamilton has been stuck in my head for the last couple of days.

  • Getting political again.  I’m making plans to get more involved in some political stuff.  Looking into some local groups, going to try to help out.  Advocacy groups and the like.  Voices need to be heard.  Thinking of starting a new blog with more focus on politics.  Might help to organize and focus my thoughts.
  • I was watching Bill Maher’s season premiere the other night and he said something I found interesting.  Talking about the Clintons, he expressed the thought of, “Thank you for service, now I never want to see you again.”  When Bernie Sanders really began to pick up momentum in the primaries, I read that as a sign that the political world was changing.  The era of the Bush and Clinton dynasties was coming to an end.  For a number of reasons, I look at it less as Trump winning and everybody else losing.  Trump’s election was less the will of the people and more… backlash from the attempt to resist the natural direction our political landscape was trying to go.  Trump is very much an establishment figure.  Power is going back to the people, but Trump is not the champion of that.
  • Enough political talk.  Let’s talk about sex.  Was working on a comic script and there was a sex scene.  In writing it, I was going through a bunch of sex positions I had bookmarked at various times.  One stuck out to me.  This has intrigued me for some time.  I think there was a variation where the man and woman are reversed, but it makes me wonder how likely a back injury would be with this.  Admitted I’m in pretty good shape right now, but I’m not sure whether or not I have enough body fat to pad myself or enough flexibility.  It would be a hell of a reason to call out from work though.
  • After being sick for most the last two weeks, I did end up losing a bit of weight.  I had been hovering around 180 pounds.  Now I’m sitting at 175.  I was going to do a bit of a cut, not to serious of one because I like where my weight is.  Basically I’m going to use up what I have left for Serious Mass and maintain for the foreseeable future.  175 was right about where I wanted to be anyway.
  • Reading about how lack of sleep affects your stomach bacteria.  Hint: it isn’t good.  I have noticed I am more prone to upset stomaches and related issues lately, despite improving my diet.  One more reason it was a big mistake to make the jump to working nights.
  • Thinking a little further on the post I did on Monday, I’m going to make a bit of a declaration.  I’m going to think of myself in one word: Human.  Stop with seeing myself as a male, absurdist, romanticidal, feminist, nerd, athlete, artist, writer, loser, etc…  Just see myself as “Human.”  We’ll see how that goes.
  • I realized the other day I actually do have fifty-something followers on this blog.  I find that mind-boggling sometimes.  I mostly do this more for myself, so I’m never really sure how to feel about people actually reading it.  I hope I’m putting some good ideas out there.

So random…

  • Started working on a new comic.  Kind of a western type of thing.  Only really got rolling on one page so far.  I’m just glad I’ve been able to keep drawing and writing.
  • Been listening to a lot of Hamilton lately.  My biggest disappointment about NYC was that I didn’t manage to get tickets to see the show.  Unfortunately, they are ridiculously expensive and sold out.  Then the whole thing with Mike Pence happened and I started listening to it again.  The song “Non-stop” sticks with me.  Primarily the line “Why do you write like you’re running out of time?”  Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the idea that time has already run out.  In a couple of situations, I think that might be the case.  I try to think of it as meaning there’s nothing left to lose, which can be nice in its own way.
  • Made Shepherd’s Pie a couple of weeks ago, that was really good.  Put some bacon cheddar cheese on top.  I’ve missed being able to cook on a regular basis.  Threw together some Ranch Chicken and baked french fries the other day, planning on some more cooking too.  I got a couple of ideas I want to try at some point.  Something involving seafood.  Hopefully I’ll be able to prioritize more time for that in the future.
  • Trying to hit 200 pounds for my body weight before I really start cutting and toning up.  It was kind of exhilarating to actually 180 pounds on my driver’s license when I renewed it last week.  Kind of a weird thing.
  • The other day, a supervisor told me he’s been hearing complaints about me, apparently thinking I’ve been slacking off.  Regardless of my opinion of that assertion–*cough* bullshit *cough*–I never take complaints like that seriously.  The big reason being that my dad works at the plant.  Basically, I acknowledge that there’s a lot of back-stabbing politics in any work place and having a parent there makes me a big target.  So I’ve come to expect such if only because it is human nature and I choose not to really care.  I put in my 40 hours a week and do my best for those hours.  That’s it.  I’m already in a situation I’m not really that keen on and I have no interest in getting into pissing matches over delegitimized nonsense.

Some thoughts for the last week.

  • Getting back to baking stuff.  Already tried one recipe from the Protein Cookbook, going to try more in coming days and weeks.  That’s going to be tomorrow’s big grocery shopping trip.  Also trying to get back to drinking Apple Cider Vinegar.  I’ve drinking a lot of Kombucha tea lately, which has a lot of the same benefits as ACV.  My mom has been making it, so I have it readily available.  As a result, I got away from drinking ACV.  Thought it might be redundant.  However, in the last few weeks or two I’ve had a few minor health issues–primarily headaches/migraines this last weekend–that might be helped by drinking ACV again.  My diet has shifted significantly over the last month or two, so my digestion might be needing a bit more help to adapt.
  • Vermont Comiccon is coming up.  I will be a volunteer there, working as “Celebrity Queue Control.”  Should be fun.
  • Excited for NYCC–still two months away–and I’ve got all my books picked out to get signed, planning to do a number of things.  Budgeting is going on.  Lot of Doctor Who stuff going on down there.  Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman will be there.  And there will be a big BBC/Doctor Who event at the Madison Square Garden theatre.  Capaldi and the new companion will both be there.  Apparently they’ve booked part of MSG for NYCC this year.  Might be a ten minute walk away from the Convention it is usual at?  NYCC gets bigger every year.
  • Thinking about Cosplaying this year.  I did dress up as the 10th Doctor one year for Halloween and it came out alright–probably even better now that I have an actual budget to work with and I already have his Sonic Screwdriver that I bought at the Doctor Who booth one year–and I got a couple of other ideas I might play with.  Been shopping around for some gear in that regard.  Problem with Cosplay is you can get pretty sweaty and nasty by the end of the first day.  I could pull off a 10th Doctor or a Sherlock.
  • Did a bit of a 180 on the working nights thing.  They offered me more money.  While the money is nice, it isn’t the deciding factor.  Right now I have more of a long term plan that involves sticking with this for a bit longer.  How much longer?  We will see.

Meal Prep Experiments

August 21, 2016

As I said, I got a Protein Powder cookbook last week and I have tried my first recipe out of it.  Coffee and Cocoa Protein Breakfast Bars.  Not bad.  I substituted Honey for Stevia, might up the amount on that and use parchment paper in the pan next time, but overall a successful experiment.

So that leads me to figure out what to do next.  I’ve begun to compile a list of recipes I would like to try.  If anybody is wondering, the cookbook is the Ultimate Protein Pow(d)er Cookbook, by Anna Sward.

Saffron and Rosemary Organic Whey Protein Bread.  Big holdup with this one is that I’ve yet to find Chestnut Flour.  I don’t mind substituting–see the honey for stevia above–but on this first attempt that might get further away from the recipe than I’d like to.  Also, I have yet to find an acceptable and endorsed substitute for it.  I was hoping to avoid a special order, but it might come to that.

Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Protein Bars.  Just intrigued.

Sweet Potato Protein Bars.  Again, intrigued.  Also trying to do more with Sweet Potatoes.

Sweet Potato and Nutella Protein Brownies.  Again, intrigued.  Again, Sweet Potatoes.

Protein Powder Buns.  For Burgers.  This might be down the list if only because the summer is almost done and I’m not likely to be grilling much.

There’s a pizza recipe I’m tempted to toy with as well, a few others I’m giving thought to, but those are the big ones.

So many things I wonder about, so little time…

  • Got my first Bro Tank Club order yesterday.  This one is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themed, with a tagline on the back reading “Will Lift for Pizza.”  I’m really glad I’ve ordered some of these shirts and got that “Mystery Bag”.  Feels like more fun to be working out while wearing the “Maximum Effort” tank top or the “Alpha” unicorn t-shirt.  The down-side to finding out about Flex Comics is that it kinda puts a damper on my plan to do a comic about working out/bodybuilding.  It seems to be a bit pointless when somebody else is already nailing it.  Planning on getting a pic of the new tank and the “Droid Rage” shirt in the coming days.  I do have the Arnold “Come With Me If You Want To Lift” tank top as well, but I’m thinking I’ll save that for a special occasion–not really a huge fan of the Terminator, but two out of three in the Mystery Bag wasn’t bad.
  • Chugging along with a few Order of the Dragon pages.  I’m getting way to easily distracted, but I’m still hopeful.  Giving some thought to revisiting Chlorine and Acid in the near future, maybe restarting with less of defined story to start.  There’s always going to be a story to it, but I would like to get to the point where I’m just having fun with it.  That was a big part of why I lost interest, just not having fun.
  • Getting away from my usual breakfast for a bit, going from a single servings of Greek yogurt and oatmeal to a measured out mix of greek yogurt and granola.  Did the math and I think it is higher on calories, carbs and protein to do it this way.  I was doing a cup of each with a teaspoon of cacao nibs mixed in, but I might drop it down to a half cup of yogurt to make feel like a bit more solid of a meal.
  • Saw something recently about how the triceps make up the majority of your upper arms–never really thought about it, but I guess it is true–so I’ve been focusing on them a bit more.  Liking the progress so far.
  • Thinking a bit about what I said about Independence Day.  I think this country does need a lot of work.  I wonder if we’re making the American Dream come true or just corrupting it and ourselves.  There so many ways we can make this country and the world a better place, but we keep missing those opportunities.  I wonder how many more we can afford to miss?
  • I had included this in my Independence Day post, but later cut it, but I got a bit of an interesting story.  Last week I went shopping for shorts, since all my non-gym pairs are developing holes.  In retrospect, Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel was probably a poor choice, given that they specialize in work/Carhartt clothing.  Anyway, I picked up a couple of shirts and a fleece jacket instead.  On the way home, I realized the fleece jacket was the same type that my ex’s parents got me for Christmas.  During the “Great Passive Aggressive Christmas of 2014”, they had given me a fleece jacket and vest with the name of the farm sewn into the chest.  I remember being pretty overwhelmed by that–a better kind of overwhelmed than what going through at the time.  I remember that just made me feel a lot better about a lot of the shit going on then.  I left those with my ex because it just felt weird keeping something like that.  Looking at the new jacket, I just remembered how much I appreciated and respected her parents.  To be honest, I actually felt worse for the parents than myself when she broke up with me–more because it had already been a rough time with the sister going to Nevada than anything.  It was a good reminder that I actually really did have a lot of admiration and respect for her parents–even if things did bottom out with their daughter.  Just funny what gets the memories going sometimes.

Bit of randomness mostly.

  • The Brexit fallout continues to be fascinating to watch.  The leaders of the Leave Campaign have been admitting they probably can’t keep many of the promises they made while a petition has gathered 2.5 million signatures to have a second vote–the argument being that the first was so close–so many unknowns to it all.  I don’t know if they should or shouldn’t revote, who knows what would happen?  If anything, I think the Leave Campaign failed to understand the destabilization all this could bring about.  I can’t help but think they’ve set themselves up for bigger problems later on.
  • Thinking I’m going to replace a part of my workout rotation with a round of kayaking.  I inadvertently tried this last week, when I went out kayaking then did a lighter back and core workout at the gym.  Worked out pretty well.  Given that the majority of back machines/ exercises have “row” somewhere in their name, it only makes sense.  So yeah, I’m going to scale back the back/core days to accommodate a larger focus on the kayaking.  Something where I focus on the lower back and abs at the gym while I do most of the upper back work on the water.  Should be a good change of pace for the summer.  Also was benching 165 lbs on a decline bench with a tw0 inch diameter bar for four reps.  Doubt that will mean much to anyone, but I’m proud of myself for not dying.  Also started using Power Bands for Abduction work.  Those and foam rollers are amazing.
  • Weight Gainer seems to be doing its job, although I think it is dehydrating me a bit more than I would like.  Probably going to try a different one when I use up the Combat XL.  To be honest, I bought that stuff because it was cheaper.  I am a bit more trusting of Optimum Nutrition’s products to begin with, so I’m kinda kicking myself for going against my habits.
  • Reading about how Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron are encouraging China to consume less meat.  In part because of the environmental effects of production and processing.  I guess Schwarzenegger has recently gone vegetarian at the recommendation of his doctor.  Personally, I’ve never been convinced that going vegetarian is necessarily healthier.  Humans are in general omnivores and we evolved that way for a reason.  As I’ve said on supplements, I’m trying to maintain a certain level of balance and that applies to actual composition of meals as well.  A balance and a variety is vital in some many ways.  And one of my main concerns about going vegetarian has been that there are any number of fats and acids and nutrients that you get from meat that you would not necessarily get from plant based foods–at least not without consuming massive quantities.  I try to stick to quality, local products when it comes to meat.  It can be hard, but I try.  Just giving my two cents on that argument, still think balance is the key and meats do make that balance easier to achieve.
  • Hoping to start posting some pages again.  Probably will set up something for Order of the Dragon on Tumblr.  Or something.  Might even figure out a way to get the file sizes down to the requirement for The Duck.
  • I don’t watch Game of Thrones, although I do passively follow what happens on the show.  I tend to prefer the books, I think George R.R. Martin does have a certain level of nuance that the show lacks.  Or I might just be spouting some hipster nonsense.  Regardless, I do find some of the recent revelations to be interesting.
  • While I am not planning to put a lot of focus on getting books signed at NYCC this year–if I do indeed end up going–I have been eyeing a few to buy.  Mostly Star Wars Variant Covers.  The guy who has written a lot of those book will be at NYCC.
  • Saw a video about how cutting home ec classes has created a generation that can’t cook or sew or do basic finances.  Admittedly I might not be the most skilled in those areas–I would unskilled and out of practice, but not be completely lost sewing something, figuring out patterns, whatever–but it does paint a bit of a picture.  I would start changing my own oil on my Jeep but I still bring it to a shop to get a set of experienced eyes to catch potential problems–plus given all the computers in cars these days, I’m a bit scared to do it myself.  Learning new skill sets and filling in those gaps in my knowledge is always something I have enjoyed.  Creating more independence and self-sufficiency feels more like basic survival these days.  I have to wonder how many people I know–past, present or future–could sew a button back on or tell the different between a teaspoon and a tablespoon.  Makes me wonder.
  • Continuing from the last topic, I tended to think of myself as more evolved because I can do a fair number of things in the kitchen–I might not do it well, but I can separate eggs and regularly avoid overwhipping cream–and in a number of other areas.  I work out, I write, I draw… I do tend to think of myself as more evolved in a lot of ways.  Not trying to be egotistical when I say that, though it probably comes across that way.  I’m just trying to improve everyday.  I don’t claim to be superior to anyone–if I am, I’ll let other people decide that and I think a few have.  Point is, I’m just trying expand my skill sets in all areas and address any issues I might have–even feel like I’ve addressed a few that weren’t really mine.  Point is, I have an array of skills already, and I can be and am adding more everyday.  Not everybody does that.
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