Category Archives: Likes

12 Inspirational Quotes to Share–Part Two

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!! I hope you’re celebrating the overly-commercial day of love with someone special in your life.

A tiny little Valentine’s Day post before I get into the main post. Here’s what I did for Heath! For the longest time, we had always discussed how we’ve never gotten to go to a dance together. That changed yesterday. I won a ticket to our university’s Pink and Black Ball sponsored by the Women’s Outreach Center. I mailed his ticket to him in a card, for the utter surprise. I also made him this:

20150206_144557

 

They’re Valentine’s themed protein truffles! I also made him protein bars too, both using this delightful recipe from ProteinPow. Lastly, on a total impulse whim, I bought him a DragonBallZ figurine from a local anime/manga store (it’s Goku gone supersayan if you were wondering).

And because I love you, dear reader, here is the rest of my quotes! I split this into two entries because I got a bit verbose on the last entry, and I just kept finding good quotes. As you’ll be reading this, I’ll be at my meet. I’ll let you know what happens as soon as possible! Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Health, Likes, Mental Health, Project Enrichment, Yoga

Here I Am, Plus Yoga

I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few days on what it means to be me. This long weekend, at the first opportunity to jump back on the me-ness train, I did.

image

Goodbye hair!

I got a pixie cut and donated 8 inches of my hair in order to get back to my roots, my more authentic self. The hair was a blending-in mechanism, make me like everyone else so I don’t stand out, don’t make any big waves.

But you know what, fuck that. Fuck stifling my voice, dampening my spirit and not being honest with everyone-including me. I got new nose rings, a shit ton of cheap jewelry at Claire’s and admitted to myself some important things about my own human nature.

I have friends again who aren’t bad for me. I have a lover who supports me 100 percent. I am growing beyond my self imposed prisons.

Deep breath. Release.

Good.

Now to the yoga!

image

Second week of the yoga challenge did not go as planned (when does life)? My wellness center had free yoga classes all this week and I missed all of them. I had an appointment with a mobility trainer for 30 min, but I didn’t want to just count that as my yoga. So on Saturday night, I realize that I had not done a lick of yoga.

So I took out a new yoga anatomy book (I love anatomy books, never seen one like this!) and did the sequence they recommended for tight hips. Holy smokes, a full pigeon is practically impossible at this point, but I’m getting there. I didn’t get my full 30 minutes, but I did do as much as I could before midnight rolled around. I know I will get it this week!

In the land of podcasting, the GoodTrash Genre Cast covered 2014’s abysmal, yet fun, “I, Frankenstein.”

No, they don’t just turn into iPods and defeat the demon horde.

 

Speaking of demons and the afterlife, our “Nightbreed” episode has dropped, if you’re interested in crazy monsters and homoerotic subtext. Arthur blows it out of the water with his Queer theory reading, check it out for sure.

This coming Sunday, we’re recording “The Interview” after a fun communal watch after our “I, Frankenstein” show.

Finally, some reading for you that I picked up this Monday.

The New York Times discussed the power of writing to alleviate chronic stress, anxiety, and a host of physical ailments. I feel that’s what’s going on in this blog, so I must continue it!

A MyFitnessPal blogger discusses how to set good exercise goals. #8, Forgive Your Slip Ups, is super helpful for my tiny error on Saturday. I know I’m going to become more consistent in this yoga practice.

Roomie and I have been watching A LOT of Sailor Moon.

Calm determination.

Let me know your thoughts, goals, and dreams!

5 Comments

Filed under Adventures, Goals, Health, Likes, Mental Health, Movies, Podcast, Project Enrichment, Yoga

Silver Linings

I would be lying to say this week has not been a challenge. Monday was the worst–my roommate’s case of the flu was confirmed (poor thing) and I’ve been  staying at a friend’s house, one of my podcast co-hosts, D1. This was so I could sleep (our townhome’s walls are quite thin) and so I would not be infected.

My anxiety about getting the flu got so dastardly, I went to our health clinic to get a flu test done. I don’t have the flu. Yay! But, in my hasty celebration, I shove my wallet in my pocket. A couple hours later, when I cannot find it, I realize it’s gone–as in lost permanently.

No, this is not as bad as one of my favorite podcaster’s stories where he loses his bag which contains his passport, iPad, laptop, 3DS, and all his possessions in a crowded Tokyo train station at rush hour. No, it’s definitely not as as bad as that. And while that does make me feel better, it’s still problematic. I cancel all my cards, and realize that pretty much everything in there is replaceable, and keep going with my week.

The first silver lining to this whole debacle is that I start talking to D1’s new girl friend, R, on the phone while I was over at his house, and mildy tipsy on Tequila. She’s one of the sweetest, smartest people I’ve met in a long time. D1 is gaga, and who can blame him, honestly? Do you remember the last time you talked on the phone with a gal pal of yours for an hour and felt totally comfortable? I don’t. That may be because that’s never happened to me before, ever. I hope we can meet in person soon.

Another silver lining, unrelated to the flu and wallet thing, is that I pulled a 245 5×5 deadlift, followed by 275 for a triple. 275 is a PR, and considering I got it for three feels almost surreal. I was so focused on getting that weight, that I didn’t notice until I got home that it was my first time getting that, ever. But, I got it for three. Incredible. Couple of my PL guys put some great tweaks in my form and approach, and I think at this point, this lift is going to skyrocket.

Needless to say I’m sore. And I’m tired. Had an interesting talk last night with H. We really discussed some valuable things, and I think our relationship is only going to improve. While that cloud darkened the horizon of my mind for a while, the fact that we are enjoying the sun right now speaks to the potential longevity of our relationship. We’re going to start up our little tiny Book Club again, and I’ve picked the selection. My Risk, Policy, and Law class assigned the first two chapters of Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk, which sounds extremely dry, but I LOVED it.

Probably the best silver lining of all this week was that my faith in humanity was restored. Someone turned my wallet into the police station, and I got EVERYTHING back yesterday. It was in front of a building I never walk in front of. The world will never know on that one.

Last, but not least, here’s some great reading that’s been keeping me going this week:

“Why Don’t I Look Like Her? A Guide to Stop Comparing” I’m pretty bad about this, but I’m beginning to love my body for how I’ve improved and look. This was a pretty helpful read. I might have goals for my physique, but I’m starting to learn to love the process.

“Taking Care of Yourself When You Feel Like Shutting Down” This got me through Monday. Self care is paramount, and no amount of self flagellation will return a wallet to you.

“Get Your Hair Wet Activity” I love this idea! I really want to do it. It’s kind of like a love letter to yourself almost. Here’s from the site:

“A creative way to catalog all the upcoming adventures you’ll have is to keep them safe and tidy in a decorated mason jar. Each time you get out of your comfort zone or try something new, write it down on a strip of paper place it inside your jar. You can even color-code your memories — red for a time you spoke up, blue for a time you faced your fears, purple for learning a new skill — you get the idea! At the end of the year you can empty out the memories and bask it all the ways you got your hair wet and feel proud to be you.

I love that proud to be me part. I am learning how to be, slowly.

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures, Books, bro, Friends, H, Health, Likes, School, Workout

First Full Week of 2015 (1/52 Week Yoga Challenge)

Happy Sunday Funday, dear readers!

I have been meaning to write this entry for awhile. Lot has happened in the short time we have been in 2015!

As you recall, this past week was my full first week back to work. This coming Monday, I’ve got school on top of it. Depending upon my tuition waiver (which may have a full time requirement), I’ll be one or two classes. Tomorrow, regardless of money though, will be my first day of Organization Theory. I’m rather excited for the course, although not so much the 8-5 work schedule followed by a class 6:30-9:20. Scratch that, 7:15 to 5. Why?

This first full week, we have free opportunities to try out the Fit/Rec center classes. Morning yoga will be a wonderful experience, I’m just certain of it. The earliness of 7:15 will not. On the bright side, if I have to sit all day and don’t have the time to lift, this will make my tight-hipped body feel much better.

Speaking of yoga, just in case you thought I forgot–

When you see this, you know I did my part for the week!

When you see this, you know I did my part for the week!

On week one of fifty-tw0, I went above and beyond my requirements! To ease myself back into doing yoga solo, I did this restorative sequence from the December 2014 issue of Yoga Journal. I lit some soothing  candles, and improvised in my room. I don’t have bolsters, just giant euro-sham pillows. I don’t have a block either, but I use my thrifted Poe anthology.

It's seriously the perfect size.

It’s seriously the perfect size.

I followed the instructions and took an hour to do this. The legs up the wall pose felt insanely good on my hips, which have been more tight than usual because of my 40+ hour work week.

The next day, I suggested to my roomie J that we do one of her Denise Austin videos. She suggested the “Fat Blasting Yoga.” Denise Austin is pretty early 2000s hokey and tries to turn yoga into aerobics , BUT she did a Sun Salutation vinyasa flow sequence throughout, and reminded everyone the importance of alignment constantly. I’d say a good 20 minutes were mostly performing flow sequences with modifications. I felt yoga-worked afterwards, if that makes sense. But, I am aware of the lack of training that she has, so if I need to use a yoga video to fulfill my yoga week requirements, I’ll stick to Rodney Yee tapes.

Overall, I am pleased with my performance. While I don’t have roll-over credit for this yoga scheme I’m doing, the fact I’ve done two more 30 minute chunks of yoga during week one is great!

Three more tidbits relating to this week. I have been in correspondence with Proud2Bme, an initiative of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), which focuses on “building a nation where confidence rules”. It’s the place where I discovered Kate and her wonderful blog PB is Better than ED (a must-read for anyone alive on the planet). Kate, when I reached out to her, suggested I write for them as she has done in the past. Long story short, I have been accepted as an author for P2Bm! My first article is due January 30.

Basically, I am going to tell the story that I’ve been telling here for years–learning how to love my body through weightlifting. Telling this story on a public forum that will have my name attached is scary. It is scary, also, considering the fact that many of my friends and family will learn of my struggle. I know it has a happy ending because, hell, I’m living it. But the intimidation factor is huge.

Another tidbit is related to policy making in OK! I learned recently that a state legislator who I’ve known for a long time is coauthoring a bill about texting and driving. This is the “in” I’ve been wanting to have. He requested to read my policy analysis that I wrote on this topic for my first policy class this past fall. I hope it’s thorough enough for his needs. He’ll at least read the most important article, from which a lot of my content derives. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

Lastly, as I was cleaning my room today, I watched the Director’s cut of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed (1990) for GTGC. The beginning for me was challenging to get into (depictions of mental illness in media trigger some of my own anxieties), I enjoyed most of the film. The effects were delightfully gross out, not unlike John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). It didn’t drag like other 120 minuters I’ve seen. Craig Sheffer was very hot in this movie, and Cronenberg played creepy as if he didn’t know how to exist any other way.

It is LITERALLY as crazy as the poster looks.

Today, in my analysis, I’m going to justify why this film counts as a magical realism text. This is more of a formalist reading for me, but I feel like it deserves it. My other cohosts are going to talk about “Othering” and the AIDS epidemic of the 20th century. This episode should drop within the next week.

If you want to go waste an hour and a half, you can watch The Last Stand (with Arnie, love of my life) and listen to last week’s episode. Episode is definitely worth it though, so check them out.

Now I’m curious, how was your first week of 2015?

Leave a comment

Filed under Movies, Project Enrichment, Purchases, School, Writing, Yoga

That’s Some GoodTrash… (Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, Part 2)

First of fun things I need to update you about, second general life update.

I have fulfilled a lifelong, bucket list dream. I may not be on NPR, but I have achieved the next best thing. I am a regular host and contributor to the GoodTrash Genre Cast. What is GTGC? It’s a weekly film analysis podcast that has dabblings of pop culture, reviews, and general tom foolery.

This came about by a friend, and host-in-chief, asking me to be on the program for a special Harry Potter episode. Apparently they liked me quite a bit, because starting with episode 80, they invited me back as a permanent host! I am thankful they did, because even though I’ve only been doing this since July 2014, I can’t imagine my life without these friends of mine.

I’d love for you to check out our work. I’d encourage you to start from the beginning, and you’ll hear me eventually. If you notice, my sidebar has an RSS feed of our most recent episodes. If you want to connect using other social media means, look at our Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. I’m sure I’ll expand some of my more inspired analysis on this blog!

Short entry, but I need to watch this week’s film “The Last Stand,” the most recent Schwarzenegger film, so we can record tonight. This month, we’re attempting to watch films no one on our podcast has seen to analyse. I love Arnie so much (“Total Recall” was my favorite movie I had to watch from 2014 for the podcast), so I am glad to get another dose. He’s such a guilty pleasure.

Also, HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2015 is going to be my year.

1 Comment

Filed under Adventures, English, Friends, Likes, Movies, Podcast

Four Life Hacks I’ve Been Toting Around Lately.

Got to love them.

Seriously, life hacks/pro-tips are probably one of my guiltiest pleasures on traversing the internet. Whether they’re from Life Hacker itself, Reddit, or 4chan–although, do NOT make crystals using house hold bleach. Also, treat any peanut butter cookie recipe with suspicion–these little priceless gems have been making my existence easier.

Here’s a handful that have been making my life lately run much more smoothly:

1) Tying your shoes… the right way. 

This tip comes from the fact that I didn’t learn to tie my shoes until about the second grade… So when I finally did learn, I didn’t learn how to tie them well. I’ve had a running commentary of “you need to tie your shoe unless you want to trip over it and break your face” most of my life.

Therefore when I stumbled across this little gem on lifehacker, I had to start doing it the right way. Not only do my shoes stay on better by using a reef knot instead of the typical granny knot, the bow looks so much nicer.

2)  Clean your blender easier with a soap smoothie.

H told me about this one. Use your blender to blend lots of smoothies or protein shakes? And don’t you  hate it when you find that you weren’t quite as thorough as you thought you were on that cleaning job and now your lovely blender smells like feet? Me too. Especially since I use dairy in my blender.

So the way to clean it is the most obvious method, considering the blender’s function is blending things. You put water and soap in the blender and blend the mixture. Not only does it dislodge a lot of the food gunk, it typically removes the smell. Of course, it is encouraged to do more than one round of this process, especially with hot water, and a rinse cycle. And, of course, your blender should still receive a weekly go through the dishwasher.

3) Rid your face of acne through doing lots of laundry.

I’ve been lucky that I’ve never had severe acne. Just annoying acne. Because I don’t shower at night, sometimes the nightly facial wash doesn’t do the trick in regard to keeping my face relatively blemish free for the next day. I read somewhere once across the internet that one way to prevent acne is to put a towel on your pillowcase and wash it, or get a clean one every day. I don’t have that many towels, but I do have lots and lots of pillowcases.

So what I did was take it to the next level and just began changing my pillowcase every time I slept on it. This also includes naps. I also sleep with a light cloth headband on to keep my bangs out of my face. What a difference this has made! H asked me once why my acne was disappearing because apparently it was noticeable. I’ve noticed that my zit getting frequency has also gone down. It also helps showering after lifting if I lift in the mornings. Whenever we lifted at night, I would usually fall into bed right after due to being so tired and my face would be rather…well, you can only guess. Therefore changing these habits have prevented me from trying Proactive, which I’ve honestly considered for years.

4) Know when to wake up according to REM sleep.

My work at my new job now has me participating in delightful things such as 5 AM shifts, so this nifty website has made my life again. sleepyti.me is a simple tool where you figure out when to sleep or when to wake up in regard to your sleep cycle. If you wake up during the middle of REM sleep, you can be quite exhausting, so it is vital to go through as many full cycles of 90 minutes as you can. While waking at 4:30 for work isn’t the most fun thing in the world, it can be tolerable if you do it right.

I’m definitely going to be using that tomorrow to get up at 5:00 to lift before class. Tough, but most things worth it in the long run are.

1 Comment

Filed under Health, Likes, Mental Health, Project Enrichment, Uncategorized

Changes

It has gotten a little mad around here, I’ve gotten a busy, and now remembered that I had this great blog outlet for my writing.

I got a new job recently, one that I enjoy immensely. I work at the Target deli where mostly, what I do is slice meat and cheese. In addition to slicing deli fare, I also make items in the cold case such as sandwiches, wraps, salads, and other miscellaneous pre-made food. Then, there is also the deep friers to contend with.

Customer interaction is rather minimized with this job. Don’t get me wrong, deli can get lines. In fact, at one point, we had about four people in line today to get something sliced. However, that’s about the extent of a line in the deli. Compared to Chick-fil-A, where a line could stretch through the lobby if not out the front door.

Due to my deli position, I’ve gotten creative with food again. I’ve really missed engineering tasty new things for me to eat. I’m being inspired to recreate the recipes from my job at my home with good results. Although, the other day I did make a Chick-fil-A inspired sandwich–Spicy deluxe with pepperjack cheese–and thought it was probably a vast improvement on the original.

Another change that has happened recently is more in regard to my mental health. I have included more spiritual mindfulness stemming from meditiation and healthy introspection. I got ideas for these things from reading the Deepak Chopra book Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul: How to Create a New You. While some things in this book seem kind of absurd (you mean we can think all of our illness away?! 2012: I seriously hope you all don’t do this), I think there is some legitimacy about how much control our minds have over our body. This falls perfectly in sync with weightlifting, regardless of what H says about Chopra. Yes, I know he gets a bit “oogity boogity” about the mind and spirituality, but I think we don’t give this kind of thinking enough credit.

I’m pleased I’m going down this meditative road. Things seem to be falling into place more without anxiety. I’ve discerned through talking to my counselor and close companions that my anxiety is merely just a symptom of me trying to punish myself for some malady that I have “done” in my head. Whether this is a mess-up at work or just not scoring high enough in school, my anxiety the way I sadistically keep myself in check.

But through a new found calmness, my contentment can be self generated and not dependent upon external circumstances. Slowly but surely, it is becoming progressively more okay just to be myself.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Food, Health, Likes, Mental Health, Uncategorized, Work

Let’s see if you can squat your way out of this one (part 2): Sunday

The reason why this series of posts are entitled “Let’s see if you can squat your way out of this one” is because on Sunday the greatest thing happened.

I got my mom to let me show her how to lift.

We went to her local community center and into the weight room, which was well stocked for how shabby it looked on the outside. I got some recommendations from H on what to show her and, of course, he responded with the typical ex-/fit”Do ss faggot”, which is a prominent meme on the ‘chan.

However, more true advice was never said. Keep in mind, I’m not a personal trainer by any means. I’ve really only started lifting again, this time seriously, since January and off-and-on for about a year. H was right though whenever he said helping someone else with their lifts helps your own form.

My mom has great form and understands the principles of breathing already (which was and is half the battle with me). Some things I would say to her she would respond to with “Oh, well, I figured that out.” She really is a natural with this.

My mom keeps on wanting to lose that stubborn extra five pounds that she’s gained since dating C and I don’t think she understands that just being a cardiobunny is going to make her drop that weight.

Maybe if she just lifted heavy once a week? Once a week, with weights going up. My thing is, as I was saying to H last night, lifting seriously doesn’t seem like something you can be too casual with. Or maybe you can, but I just haven’t discovered how yet.

But, just for form purposes, this is what I had mom do (all with bar weight):

3×5 squats

3×5 ohp

1×5 dead lift

3×5 bench

1×5 row

Anyone have any suggestions for motivating her to trying it more consistently? H said mentioning weight would and should be motivation enough but it really never is. I know my own mother. She’s a hard worker but it takes her getting her to want it first.

So besides doing demo lifts on this day, I still needed to catch up on my vanity day (abs…always abs) which consisted of 5×20 crunch and leg extensions. Mum and I then went to play basketball for awhile. After that, we traveled to Whole Foods and got brunch, went to Barnes and Noble, then she took me back to my town.

We also “Sherlock”ed that night, which was wonderful. H really liked it and I cannot wait for next week’s episode.

Leave a comment

Filed under bro, Family, T.V., Workout

Sunday Doldrums

The only things that have gotten me out of the Sunday Doldrums, my phrase for a really intense depression that miraculously activates on Sundays, are three fold today:

1) Had a great morning with H. We made breakfast sandwiches and watched goofy cartoons in our pjs.

2) Finished my paper for my blogwriting class, last assignment of the year in there.

and, finally…

3) NEW LEMON DEMON SONG  AND, wait for it, IT’S FROM A PROJECTED NEW ALBUM.

Oh Neil…Neil, Neil, Neil…you just turn all my frowns upside down.

Also, yesterday H and I incorporated a new day into our lifting routine called “Vanity Day.” Basically, we do exercises just for aesthetics for a specific body part we want to look good. Yesterday, he was a curl-bro and I was an ab-bunny. Because it is supposed to technically be a rest day, we consider vanity day as a reward for a week of good exercising. Then, I also spent a third of my rent money on supplements…

Yikes.

Oh well. Investing in one’s self is a good habit to have, especially since this is only going to decrease health problems for us down the road.

Hope your Sunday is treating you well! Mine always improves after I write a little bit…very cathartic.

Leave a comment

Filed under bro, Health, Likes, Music, Workout

Books

A main aspect of my existence as an English major are, of course, books. The acquisition of new books, however, is problematic.

During the school year, I don’t have a lot of time for fun reading–doesn’t stop me from having at least two books I’m starting on at a time though–and therefore multitude of collected books on the ever present “to read” list piles up.

Added a few new babies to that collection yesterday at our University’s Friends of the Library Booksale. Patrons can donate books and the library goes through their collection and pulls out-of-date or old materials for selling.

Some golden finds were the entire VHS collection of “Upstairs, Downstairs,” which I’ve been dying to see for ages, a few Norton Anthologies (sadly, I already have all of the ones I needed although I might go back to purchase any of the modern ones…books on half.com don’t sell themselves!), and a John Updike novel that I almost purchased because we just finished studying him.

However, I feel happy with my selections:

A combination of work and pleasure...

Longman Anthology of World Literature by Women: I am quite excited about this, I’m sure that this will get a lot of use. I frequently choose female authors for my various research grants, breaks up the monotony of the “dead white guys” club.

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging: This came out in 2001. I read half of it whenever I was in the 6th or 7th grade and my mom freaked out and turned it in to the library. It is pretty raunchy for young adult literature, but I think more than ten years separation is enough time. I always wanted to read the sequels too, so here’s my silly-lit for the summer.

A Short History of Literary Criticism: A lot of used book places don’t have a lot of literary criticism books. I have one on my Kindle and the one I used for my Lit Crit class. Best class I’ve ever had as an undergraduate.

Understanding Clinical Nutrition: I’ve been looking for a reliable nutrition source for ages and this textbook came out in 2006. I think the current students at my school are only using the 2009-2010 edition now, so it isn’t really that out of date. As someone who lifts, I want to know why the body works and what could make mine work better.

Of course, these books are in addition to this:

Summer reading....shelf.

I should not add any more books to my ever growing reading list. But I do anyway. I love my paper friends.

10 Comments

Filed under American Literature, Books, British Literature, English, Purchases, School