Category — kungfu yay
Difficulty concentrating today.
Strange bruises up and down my forearms from spinning (staff-spinning! Am learning to spin staves and holy hellfire is it awesome).
I tend to go looking for food when I'm tired. (Yes, when you're polyphasic you have more chances to sleep, but you also have to miss less of them due to stress before you feel ickyshit.) Thankfully apples are tasty and make me feel full, so yay lack of nutritional consequences.
I will be carless again for a while, it looks like. I had gone a year carless, rather enjoying that you can do this in Boston and I'd never done it before, until I bought my last car six months ago. That car (which darnit, I loved) was totaled in an accident this month, and I won't be able to afford to replace it for a while, so back to carless I go! To keep it from being depressing, I will treat it as an adventure, a reason to get better at fixing my bike and skateboarding on the very lumpy streets and sidewalks, and an opportunity to learn some more cultural lessons.
I owe a video to, um, who or whatever I'm doing the videos for. Better be quick before too much else builds up to talk about, I think. One thing I'll put here to save myself some time there: Physical exertion often brings about some degree of 3D; I think that's in part why some people do it, especially the really extreme/scary kinds. BUT it feels TOTALLY different to do it on purpose, for example when you're swimming six inches from the bottom on your tenth consecutive underwater pool-length with twenty or less seconds to breathe in-between, and there's nobody there to make you keep going all the way to the other wall but you need to if you want to get better, so as a last-ditch effort you reach in and twist…and suddenly you're looking at the bottom of the pool in 3D, and your heart-rate drops and you make it the rest of the way clean and easy as underwater pie.
One other interesting 3D thing: What you see in 3D, you remember. Something about that focus writes things really, really clearly into your (or at least my) mind. I can still count the dirt-grains on the pool-bottom, and that was two days ago. Hmm!
Had my evals for taiji today. Am doing okay — fundamentals getting a bit ahead of form, but it's warm out so I'm adding forms-practice in the park some mornings starting next week. Had an AMAZING experience where the instructor is patiently explaining, explaining, explaining how to switch focus (I KNOW RIGHT) from using muscular force to allowing chi-force (later; that's a book and a half) to drive your movements, and I've heard it before but suddenly I get it, it happens, and the whole physical world goes FLIP HAHA and oh my shit, I feel awesome. It lasts about thirty seconds, but it was thirty seconds I'd have gladly paid a year's tuition for again and again. That…well, if 3D is a different dimension of attention, this was the corresponding different dimension of physical control. (And think about how easy it is to control where your attention is — how little effort it takes to move it — versus how easy it is to control your entire body, and you'll realize why it takes decades to learn this thing. The analogy is conjecture of course, but I'll stand by it for now.)
And writing is awesome…I'm 7/10 done with my novella (yup), I think my epic poem about Detroit is finished (yeah I know) and I got an idea for an updated Desiderata-type bit of prose that's only about 1/3 finished but really fun (shut up hehe).
The key to difficult times is knowing where your keys are. Mine are in taiji, in writing, and in being able to communicate with people — having contact and conversations, and maybe also some drinking and snogging if I'm lucky. ;) So however tricky and tired and expensive and etcetera things are lately, I know that I'm doing okay, because I know what lights to measure by.
May yours be known and shine bright, too!
March 29, 2013 No Comments
Yes, those are warm-ups.
Yes, I know people whose warm-ups look much like this. (Mine look sort of like this too, but only if you take it apart into components and do it at half speed and three-quarters as far. ;)
I've been rededicating myself to my martial studies this past month — with good results; I'm sore in places I can't describe again! — both for obvious reasons and as part of the NYE project, which connection I hope I'll explain in another video soon.
Anyway, the moral of the video is that if you love something and do it well, even the warm-ups will be badass!
(You think I'm joking, but I'm not…)
February 24, 2013 No Comments
Oo, I was good all day, and enjoyed it even, but come eveningtime — when I get the most snacky — the having of cheater-food in the house from yesterday totally caught up with me, and I ate a bunch of (lovely, lovely) chocolate. Now I feel a familiar kinda sick. ::sigh::
I will HAVE to get better about this if I'm to survive the holidays without gaining a few millimeters of bioprene*, that's for sure. Hockey was even canceled today because so many of our players are out of town — augh I hate the holidays sometimes!
In more interesting/relevant news, I realized that I forgot to point out a wrench that polyphasic sleep throws into this diet — eating a high-protein breakfast within a half-hour of waking is tough when you wake up at four a.m. and only went to bed a few hours earlier! Of course, if I didn't eat in the evenings — which I shouldn't, especially sugary shit, I know; that's kind of the point of this I guess — might not be so bad, but on days like today when I add about 300 calories after 11pm, it's going to suck. Must fix must fix must fix….
*bioprene: A much-loved diving term for layers of "naturally-occurring neoprene", which, of course, makes you float. ;)
EDIT: Threw out the rest of the chocolate. Tomorrow night I need to remember how I felt tonight — heart-poundy, sickish, sluggish, and icky. Before I got into the sweets, I had vegetables as a "late snack" and felt great, and was looking forward to breakfast; then I went and ruined it. Best antedote is to not do it again! ::goes to bed humming selfhacker mantras::
December 18, 2012 No Comments
"You can't," is the general consensus I hear when I talk about dieting.
Reason one: I harbor a long icky history of self-esteem problems, a lot of them stemming from or tied to my self-perception as "fat" when I was younger (and not fat, but the kind of pudgy you'd expect from a sugar-laden diet and not much exercise). I fully admit that people who've known me since childhood who are worried, based on my history, that I could develop an eating disorder aren't just whistling Dixie. I'm truly grateful to be over that part of my life, though, and as far as proving it, well, here's my chance. ;)
Reason two: my greatly improved exercise and eating habits over the last two years. People who've known me longer than that have seen me shed two clothing-sizes and go from acceptably-sized-for-the-midwest to pretty-darn-svelte-especially-for-a-mom. At my whopping five-foot-three (160cm), I'm anything but overweight at 57kg (~127lbs), especially when you consider the amount of muscle I'm carrying around (you can't see them in the nudie pics below — oh yes, that's not a joke, in the subject-line! — but I have swimmer-shoulders and visible biceps in addition to thighs that go all carve-y when I flex 'em).
So why, then, have I been researching diets for the last few months, and why am I doing the shopping today to start Tim Ferriss' "Slow Carbs" diet this week, when even I agree that wearing an American Size 2 in pants is quite few enough pounds to weigh thank you?
Before I answer that, let me add that I also DON'T worship at the altar of zero body-fat, as many health- and exercise-nuts tend to. We'd all like to see our abs more, but I'd never want to give up the robustness of constitution that I have compared to most of the people I know who carry no body-fat at all — THEY miss a few meals and get weak or lose muscle; I don't — and they get sicker, and faster, and recover more slowly than I do; partly because my immune system is awesome, but having some reserve energy to burn is part of what keeps it that way.
So back to the question: Why a low-carb diet then?
It's not, I swear, because I'm back on the body-hating train. (I took the nudie pics — which aren't *really* nudie of course, but certainly count as mad revealing by my standards — because you're supposed to before you start a diet; but also partially to prove that I'm not in self-hating mode…if I were, no way could I post those!)
No, I'm doing this because now that I have so much better a feeling for and relationship with my body, I can feel how wrong my eating is. I'm a carb junkie; I fight my sugar-addition much better than I used to, but have never really kicked it; I know my blood-sugar usually isn't good and I always feel heavy and slow from eating, or weak and empty in-between. I know from research and watching other people that this isn't what a healthy diet looks like…and I'm getting older, darnit; eating well is becoming more important, especially if I want to continue to look and feel awesome (and awesomer) over the next few decades.
And it doesn't show too much (I'm lucky to have a solid frame and a lot of muscle, remember), but my body-fat percentage is about 60% higher than I'd like it to be: All my best calculations put it at about 30-32%. I'm sure less than 15% would be bordering unnatural for me, and like I said, I'm not looking to turn into a bodybuilder here — I rather like my curves for one thing (and so do other people, heh) — but the handful of butt, thigh, stomach and upper-arm I can grab is only going to contribute to saggy skin later on, and it's only there because I live on largely bread and sugar, and don't get enough water, protein and fiber, anyway. Plus, hopefully this isn't TMI, but I also have occasional outbreaks of tinea versicolor; it doesn't bother me (yet, anyway), but it's another indication of off-balance sugar.
SO — Fixing time! If you give two craps about all this, click the "More" link to get the detailed plans (and oh yeah, the nudie pics ;).
December 9, 2012 10 Comments
(This makes sense, I swear. I'm titling a post full of updates on things while making vague Thanksgiving references while poking the memory of one of my recent favorite books. Don't be scared; this kind of thing happens all the time — just chill, and enjoy being a Chesterfield sofa for now.)
It's possible…probable…okay, likely that I drink too much coffee still. I'm putting it firmly on the Fix Later list, though; especially in light of having successfully eliminated almost all wheat gluten from my diet in recent weeks (and that has me feeling much better! I was all bloaty and gastrically unhappy, and I'm fortunate that the first thing I tried — cutting out wheat — had an immediate positive impact). But you know that when you make an offhand comment about not really being addicted to caffeine and everyone in the room laughs mightily, that's probably a hint right there.
Getting an opportunity to practice not letting emotions overwhelm me lately: I'm quite sad about the holidays. It'll be nice to see my family, definitely; but it'll also involve taking expensive disruptive trips to somewhere even colder than Boston and with much less exciting anything to do — gods do I not miss being stuck in the house during those bleak Michigan winters, wondering if I ought to go wander around the mall just to have a reason to get out — while the majority of my friends are off playing in hockey tournaments I have to miss, and going to warm places for diving and hammock-on-beaching and such. I will admit to being grumpy about this. I'm trying really hard not to be, but it's tricky. I think a possible antidote might be to start planning something better for next year–? We'll see.
[Idea had after writing this: Also, I could start planning, or trying to plan, a few cool things to do over the Xmas trip -- it may take a little sub-travel, but surely the entire Midwest isn't such a hole that I can't find some people to visit, a hockey team to practice with, or some event worth checking out...right?]
The Second Edition is excitingly near done! I got the completed proofs back from the (amazing!) designer the other day, and they look phenomenal, and one of my big tasks now is to go through them line-by-line for the no-really-one-last-time proofing. Then it's cover time and we're in the home stretch! Super geeked about that — this is taking a long time compared to the first, but when I look at the difference in quality and all the extra content, I know it's way worth it.
Important note: I am still struggling to find a photographer for the Second Edition cover photo & About The Author pic. It should be easy and fun work, and net someone a very good portfolio credit in return — if you know anyone in the MA area who might be interested, please let me know? (If I don't find anyone soon, I'll improvise, and that'll work fine; but for obvious reasons, I'd rather meet/help out/work with a local artist-type.)
I haven't put up the sleep study flyers though, and I'm not sure I will — looking into it more, it's just a pain to flyer things around here…I dunno. Things to ponder over the holidays. I don't anticipate that I'll have trouble getting enough people into the study proper — there are already more applications than there are slots, though obviously the bigger a field of candidates we have, the better, generally speaking — and I've been made nervous about the local attention by some recent comments I've gotten about how the (many!) prominent sleep-researchers in this area will view my conducting a study. I'm totally going to do it anyway — they should have done one if they wanted to so badly, darnit; I personally have been sending annoying emails to this effect for years — but I'd much rather put off getting their attention about it until after, or at least during. Still percolating on that one.
I haven't forgotten that memory class I wanted to run, either — I think about it all the time, especially now that I have a bit more time myself, and it's still something I really want to work on. (I especially have a deep, inexplicable desire to memorize the Periodic Table.) Pulling together a time & method that works for more people than just me is the current challenge; plus there are a few more places I'd like to advertise it; but really it's mostly ready and I should just do it. Sort of instead, I started a 10-day program that claims to make you really good at mental calculation, because it's always annoyed me how much I suck at that. It's going well so far — day one, I shocked myself by rocking off sums of 5-7 two-digit numbers at a time without much trouble at all! Yay brainhackery.
This also marks week 3 of being self-employed, which is still startlingly similar to both being unemployed and to being full-time employed — I'm stupid busy, but most of my work is trying to find work, so it sure isn't paying much. Stressful to be sure, but there's still plenty enough probability that this may turn out to be a very positive career-event that I'm focusing on keeping my chin up and doing my best. Productivity is a real challenge in these circumstances, but definitely one I feel I'm qualified to tackle — I'll make sure to let ya'll know what I come up with.
Aaaand I think that's about it — World Updated; Stuff Said; time to move on. Hope everyone is well!
November 20, 2012 No Comments
I love Lloyd’s blog, which is where I found this link to a(nother!) 60-something genius taking up skateboarding.
“Embrace your craziness,” he says. “It’s the most sane part of you.”
Um, HELL YES SIR.
October 25, 2012 1 Comment
I am *so* thrilled to be writing this, from five a.m. on the day after a hockey game, having already started the laundry and made tea and puttered.
I didn't get home from hockey until after 11, and I didn't manage any naps at all yesterday. (Work making the naps harder has really impacted them, I'm sad to say. It was hard enough to interrupt my own busy momentum, but now that I have to go to my car…) Most of my weekend was swallowed by worky things, and what little wasn't happened over Sunday's naps, and on Sunday night I left my alarm (phone) in the car by mistake and passed out for a full 8 hours. That must have been enough to fuel up, though, because even after a raucous late-night game that had me slinking to bed at midnight, my eyes flew right open at four.
YES! Now I can write for a while (and do my laundry), and I'll be super motivated to get my nap this afternoon, and nothing's in the way of my evening nap either, so ha! I've been unable to get in a perfect E3 day since I was sick last week, and it'll be awesome to switch back.
(I will admit, I've gotten quite spoiled on not having to re-adapt anymore. I'm sure if I went monophasic for long enough I would, but since for the last, what, six times I've tried to "re-adapt" it's just been dropping right into it no problem, with maybe one day of occasional yawning, I'm guessing I've passed some line where I'm in the clear, by and large*. I wonder if any other polyphasers have experienced this?)
Also, I've switched my breakfasts to salad. Frontloading the oft-skipped raw-veggie part of the day's food seemed like a good idea, and I've heard it can help with weight loss. (Do I need to lose any significant weight? Heck no; I weigh 56kg, which is what I weighed in high school. But body fat is largely determined by diet, and mine is awfully carb-heavy, and as a result I have all these awesome muscles and you can't really see them. Would prefer otherwise, as long as I can do it by eating *healthier*, which I need to do anyway.) A salad, by the way, is really mentally unappealing at 5am; but once you tuck in, it's fine. Plus you can eat as much of it as you want, which is awesome since my usual breakfast of "a clif bar" was often leaving me feeling hungry still. (I'm on bowl two now…hockey can also make you wake up a bit short on calories, heh. Hmm…although, I hope this doesn't leave me craving pancakes for lunch!)
So yeah. Adore that feeling of winning at sleep. It's definitely a harder game to win when you're very active — just like eating right is harder when you're an athlete — but I wouldn't give up either, and I feel VERY thankful that I'm allowed, at this time of my life, to pursue both.
Oh yeah, and writing! I've got this lovely hour to burn, and a story waiting. ::fluttersigh::
*did you know this was a nautical term? If you're a word-nut like me, read the Wikipedia page on nautical terminology one of these days…fascinating.
October 23, 2012 1 Comment
Some days the great ideas just keep flitting by close enough to grab. They don't live long in a jar, but I can't stand to let too many go by, so then I have to incorporate as many as possible at once…which has already left me breathless, and it isn't even time for the hockey game yet. Ho boy.
First, I restarted that novella. Didn't really mean to start from scratch, but the newest older file was corrupted, so I took it as a hint. Is going *swimmingly*. Because you know what the world needs? It needs a creepy story about the birth and death of the world's second artificial intelligence, written by me.
Second, I've been practicing standing on the longboard I borrowed, because I want to have *some* chance of not breaking my neck when I take it out…and in standing, I starting doing the motions I tend to do while standing and not being watched by people…and thus I found…SILK REELING ON A SKATEBOARD.
Oh. My. Lordsandladies.
I just…there is no way to express the combined coolness of these things, but I'll say the same thing I said to my family when I found the Boston magic that is nutella and marshmallow fluff: If you have access to these two things, go put them together RIGHT NOW.
Third (and maybe last, but who knows what brilliance I learn from hockey tonight??) — WHY have I not been practicing taiji to music for like, the last million years? WHY have I not been mixing it up and using it for dancing and just going nuts with it this whole time? I mean, sure, forms; but of course *nothing* drills the motions and their meanings in better than extemporizing them out of order, and *nothing* is as incredible a vehicle for physical extemp than dancing — and I love dancing but never know what to do next, outside the formal schema of ballroom or swing, which annoy me for being limited…so WHY WHY WHY did I not make this obvious connection before?!
Oh, who cares; I just sweated my butt off and remembered chunks of forms I thought I'd lost and leapt and spun and got jump-kicks right and mixed styles and had a total blast, and I simply can't wait to do it again. In fact…I now officially need to find a nearby bar with a good dance-floor (probably not that hard where I live, yay), because I think I just cured the shit out of certain dull winter weekend evenings.
May you guys all catch a butterfly or three today too!!
(P.S. regarding the last post — yup, had that cold for a day. Planned to rest for two, and spent the second one on boats from morning till night. *win!*)
October 15, 2012 No Comments
Running kills me. I can run for half the time, at a tenth of the intensity, that I might bike or swim; and instead of feeling like I've had a good workout like I would if I was on wheels or in the water, I'll feel destroyed.
Illustrative detail: A solid hour of vigorous swimming (i.e. underwater hockey), or an hour's worth of biking at 75-100% of my maximum speed, and I'll be a little out of breath, craving some extra calories, and pleased with myself. Thirty-five minutes of slow, steady running (about 3.5 miles), and I'll be literally unable to stand long enough to take a shower until I've had some water and ten minutes of gasping against a wall.
Does this mean that I hate running, or that I love it?
There's a thing called Type 3 Fun — an activity that you know is going to suck, and that does suck, but that for some reason you think OMG THAT WAS SO FUN after it's over.
Running is Type 3 fun for me…I hate it when I'm doing it, but I'm always glad to have done it. (Especially during the nap afterwards. ;)
Do you have a Type 3 fun?
September 29, 2012 1 Comment
I love this passage from the Tao Te Ching (chapter 41):
The wise student hears of the Tao and practices it diligently.
The average student hears of the Tao and thinks about it now and then.
The foolish student hears of the Tao and laughs out loud.
If there were no laughter, the Tao would not be what it is.
Hence it is said:
The bright path seems dim; and going forward seems like retreat;
The easy way seems hard; the highest Good seems empty;
Great purity seems sullied; a wealth of Goodness seems inadequate;
The strength of the Good seems frail; real Good seems unreal;
The perfect square has no corners; great talents ripen late;
The highest notes are hard to hear; the greatest form has no shape.
The Tao is hidden and without name.
The Tao alone nourishes and brings everything to fulfillment.
September 20, 2012 No Comments