Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Proof is in the pudding...or the burgers. Or the steak...

Hoooo boy. I am so sorry that I slipped and decided to consume meat last night.

You see, every Tuesday had been "cheese steak night". I was craving some serious comfort food after my day and couldn't think of anything else. But I also knew that I just wanted the "comfort" part of the food and not the cheese steak in particular. But as I got home and grew more tired because of the puppy and having to get ready for a vet appointment (that later turned out to be scheduled for today) I found I couldn't think. It was probably low blood sugar combined with cutting caffeine out of my diet again. My brain became prune-y and didn't want to work. It was for these reasons I decided that it might be I was tired because of lack of iron and amino acids and decided to get a cheese steak. With fries, of course, and a coca cola.
Had they a vegetarian alternative I probably would have gone with that. But my mind was too far gone at that point and just wanted to relax.
Upon going to pick dinner up with the husband I was overjoyed to see that the place sold veggie burgers, something I plan to take advantage of in the future as the place has bitchin' french fries and other items. We saddled up with our meat n' cheese on a roll and went home.
Having not tasted red meat for the better part of 3 weeks meant that having meat now would allow me to really experience what I was eating from a taste and texture standpoint. So to that end I was interested in seeing how I might feel about something if I was completely conscious of it going in my mouth.
Meat is greasy, salty, and tangy. It was good for the first 2 bites, then the rest of it was sheer hunger taking over. I chawed through that thing like there was no tomorrow, then promptly decided that I was okay with not having another one for a very loooong time.
Following on the tail of this I dealt with a myriad of intestinal disturbances that had not bothered me since we'd begun the purely vegetarian diet, and I had a rather unfun evening being totally aware of what damage a simply cheesesteak with soda can do to me. I have also decided to limit my soda intake in response to this. One a month now. Maybe.
I like that I now have a good physiological reason for not consuming meat. It felt a bit wimpy of me to say "I just can't support the treatment of animals in the agro-businees complex, and I hate the idea of taking a life that could suffer before I consume it." Why don't I eat meat? Because I really hate being doubled over with stomach cramps for 20 minutes while I'm missing my favorite TV show. Also, yeah, I think I could be putting healthier stuff in my mouth than a slab of red beef.
I feel like a sellout that I couldn't just be okay with my emotions on the matter, though.

Edit -upon realizing how well such an experiment worked in convincing me NOT to consume it again, I waited a few days to rebalance and then promptly tried some McDonald's. Aversion therapy worked beautifully in this case, I no longer crave fast food and love that there's a Saladworks within driving distance. McDonald's tore me up badly and it took 2 full days to settle my stomach from it. I can't believe I downed this stuff as a kind!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Am Overcome....

So we got a puppy. Exhibit A:

He is unequivocally better than your dog. Also cuter and smarter.
And this means that I don't need to do any crazy alchemical-blood shit as previously mentioned. I'm actually quite relieved. While I was totally willing to hew a beast from unnatural magics for my husband, I had this sneaking suspicion it would've gone Cujo on us after it was out of the adorable puppy phase and started to slake it's unquenchable hell-thirst on the blood of the living. So to recap, yes, non-arcane magical puppy attainment is in the column marked "positive".
He is a sweetheart to say the least. Normally really well behaved until he has to go in his crate, then he throws a fit if he can't see us. Makes sense, as he was utterly surrounded by cats and dogs and other puppies and chickens and horses and a handful of emu in his prior incarnation as rescue hound. I imagine it's probably a welcome quiet, but he's in new surroundings and therefore downright worried about how much companionship he'll actually have. There is, after all, a void that goes along with the sudden quietness of the place.
I would like to take my slice of humble pie now and say that the people at La Mancha Animal Rescue are utterly awesome. You can tell they love the animals, and I feel bad that I was fuming over their abrupt responses to our email inquiries previously. They were abrupt because they were busy. And they were busy because they really care about these animals in their care. They had volunteers coming and going all over the place and there was no end of the work to take care of all of these animals in need of a better life. I sincerely wish I had that kind of energy to dedicate to a cause I truly believed in.

In light of the awesomeness we experienced there and how awesome the puppy turned out to be we've decided to make a yearly donation to these guys to help them continue to do the same for other families and other animals in need.

We took him home, played with him, showed him his crate, and let him rest. an hour later we took him to Petsmart, and he proceeded to make friends with the entire building. This is actually not hyperbole. I tried to walk outside to let him get some time to calm down, but it took me 12 minutes to walk 50 feet because he kept getting stopped by people with dogs, or people asking if they could pet him. He was awesome and didn't jump (part of why parents brought their children over) and only barked once when he was barked at. He's excellently socialized and friendly, and we didn't even have to do anything for him.

His name is Zen, so named because when we were adopting the little guy my spousal unit looked down at him hanging out calmly and said "Wow, he's very laid back, very zen!" It just seemed perfect. He's mostly maintained that calm, expect when faced with a barking dog or something he couldn't identify. Then he either gave as good as he got with the barking or planted himself against my calves in a show of "save me Mommy!"

When we first went to meet the puppies we'd played with a couple before he and his sibling were brought in. So far we'd seen one very cute one and 2 that really didn't want to bother with us. But then the two mystery mutts came in and we played with them for a bit. Bob had thought he might like the white one with tan ears, but upon inspection that one ran around and didn't really care for us too much. The other one, mostly brown with a white stripe up his face and across his shoulders, would walk around, then would come sit on our feet, or lean against our legs. He just looked around and calmly hung out by us while his sibling was in to ~everything~. I looked up at Bob and told him I was pretty sure that one was our dog. He came home with us 25 minutes later, and he continues to do the leg-lean trick!

It's amazing to see a creature that has utter faith that you meant well towards him even if you have just accidentally boot stamped him backing up in your own kitchen. (Not an actual incident but behavioral patterns would bear it out). He makes me want to be a transparent, honest person worthy of someone having faith in. Rolling over so we can scratch his belly also helps his case, too.

He totally falls asleep in my lap when we drive anywhere in the car. He's adorable and always happy to see us. I'm not even happy like that to see BOB all the time. It's a small wonder to behold and I feel I'll probalby be learning a lot from this wee beastie.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wag the Dog

Bob says "I would like a puppy in the house for my birthday. I'm not sure it's all going to work out, but if I must ask for something, that would be it."

If I have to kill someone for a puppy, it's happening. I've watched him get sad every time we have to delay submitting applications, or it looks like we might be rejected for some reason. We have a giant pile of toys that's been waiting, unplayed-with, for going on over a month now. It has been depressing the hell out of ME as well. Puppy toys, after all, should have owners.
If I have to draw forth dark alchemical charms and birth a necro-pup from cursed clay and the blood of my own veins and give it life with unspeakable magics, it is going to friggin' happen. I love this man, and he will get a puppy for his birthday. If I have to go to jail for stealing someone else's, he'll get one.

Then he says "Oh, and cheese fries."

That's all? Hell, we can do that too.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I've been trying something over the last few days out of curiosity over how I would react to it. That is to say, I am only trying to consume one type of media at a time.

It started with a drive home where I turned OFF the radio and just watched the scenery and the play of light. One of the more fascinating drives home, honestly, as the sun was at that perfect angle and cutting through the late afternoon sky like a bronze blade, lighting up the half-assed changing leaves along the road and staining them all dark brown. I've done it for 3 days now and found that when I get home I have far more energy than I'd had in the past. I was able to cook dinner and pick up and clean up, then focus on what needed to happen next.
I then decided to stop multi-tasking with things like TV and movies (ie-knitting or tweeting or journaling). I discovered it was VERY hard to sit still, but that I enjoyed the show or movie a lot more. It was so bad that I was organizing the coffee table during commercial breaks just to get rid of the excess energy. My brain, it would seem, has been programmed over the past several months to do multiple things while seated on the couch and in the absence of it grows extremely anxious at being unable to fulfill this duty.
By night 3 I was able to sit most of the way through an hour of TV without going nuts. When I finally gave in and picked up a project I noted that I DID miss far more details in the show, and even part of what my husband was saying to me. It hadn't been quite so cut and dry up until that point, hence why I didn't think it was that big a deal. I'm of a far different mind now.
Now comes the difficult part. Do I continue with this, knowing how much it helps me focus? Do I start back up with the thought to be mindful in what I"m doing and listening to with the promise to shut it down if my brain's going mooshy? I tried it on Friday and noted I immediately tuned out, falling back in to the pattern. I'm not sure that's a good answer.
I know that the major stumbling point will be the feeling that by not multi-tasking I am somehow wasting time. At some point in the past 2 years I suddenly started caring about how much I was getting done with my time and that led to having multiple things on at once.
Instead, I think I shall teach myself that time can be made if truly necessary or wanted and I'll just throttle that urge until it shuts up. Ever since I started this I am loving how much calmer, less tired I am. My memory is getting sharper -something I was seriously worried about- and I would really far rather have that than listening to the drone of bad market news or crappy sit-coms as background noise for my homework. I like that my head feels depressurized. And to the guy who wrote "Getting Things Done", seriously. Learn the value of downtime. You're gonna die of a heart attack with a million stomach ulcers. Most of the planet found a way to put down time in to its biological do not know better than nature.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Actual Conversation #80 - Self Discovery and Vampires are explored, albeit unwillingly

me: You know, I suffer from a certain viewpoint that is incorrect about the human species.
gru: How so?
me: If they ask you something and you over-answer the question, it does not make them shut up. Instead, it opens the floor for "sharing time" where they give you information back. Information I didn't really care about, but is now handed to me because I accidentally made a friend.
Based on high school reactions, throwing too much information at someone for a simple question resulted in them looking at you funny, feeling intimidated, and leaving you alone, possibly permanently.
But in the REAL world, people think you are looking for commonality.
That was it.
I'm an ass. I just figured out what I've been doing wrong. *laughing*
gru: *chuckles at your observation*
gru: And yes, if you've seen me intereact with anyone you should know that simple, direct answers are the best way to get someone to wander away. :-)
me: Yes, but I didn't realize that's what you were doing at the time.
gru: It's not entirely intentional, but that's the general effect
me: I'd wondered.
[Redacted - conversation enters discussion about the sound of acronyms pronounced literally]
me: Remind me not to tell anyone I'm spending NOvember writing.
A coworker just tried to tell me in detail their vampire story.
gru: *laughs*
me: I was like... um... thank you but I'm supposed to write, you know, a story ~I~ thought of. I know, 'sweird, right?
They asked what plans I had for November.
I did the info dump.
And got 15 minutes of a vampire story, promises that if I wrote the story he had a friend who could push a book deal on it... (Awesome, YOU write it) and then they launched in to talking about True Blood, 30 Days of Night and the Lost Boys.
Really if it's not Garry Oldman or Bela Lugosi, I do not care.
I told him there was Lost Boys colored yarn. This distracted him and confused him long enough for me to tell him I needed to focus. at least got him off the vampire.
It was fascinating. Like... even after I said eh... vampires aren't my think, other writers could do them better, I'm on a different tangent personally....
Anyway...I love you. *laughing*
gru: I love you too. :-)

Monday, October 5, 2009

"You suck at dharma..."

I am going to be the worst Buddhist ever, and I've just come to terms with it.

That being said, I am now liberated to be a good one, because I'm not trying to decide how I SHOULD be acting as a Buddhist.

But I suspect later I will probably yell at myself because I didn't wash the sheets this weekend, then get freaked out when my husband gets intense over cleaning something RIGHT THAT VERY SECOND.

And when I learn to forgive myself for that, too, I'll probably be halfway to enlightenment.


Actual Conversation # 79 ~ Overly subtle football innuendo fails to score.

Football Announcer: "...and the player has sixteen sacks...."
Me: Sixteen? Is that healthy?
Bob: *giving 'The Eye'* Tiny thoughts, dear... tiny thoughts.
Me: So small you can't even hear them?
Bob: Don't make me turn this thing around.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Nothing with Eyes...or maybe a Soul...

First off, I must say that despite my fear of zombies, we went to see the midnight showing of Zombieland and it's so awesome my face hurts from the awesomeness. You who know me know I am not given to devolving in to high-school exhortations of this degree, but that should tell you how much my mind was blown. I'm reduced to my 10th grade vocabulary to describe the epitome of amusement that I experienced last night. I command everybody who reads this to go see it at least ONCE in the movie theaters. This sort of wit and light-heartedness should be rewarded with gobs of cash handed over by the American public, and I was happy to do so. I am even smiling favorably on the popcorn husks still lodged in my gums from the popcorn crunched last night while Woody Harrelson beat the tar out of a zombie with a banjo. It just works, y'all. Just go SEE it already!
And in an amusing dichotomy we go from cannibals to the topic of vegetarians. Which is what my dear husband and I have opted to try. Again. Twice now for the two of us as a couple, and probably the 6th time in my personal life. We fall off the bandwagon shortly after I faint, something I am determined not to do this time.
I had always enjoyed vegetarianism. Interesting and healthy ways to prepare fresh greenery and grains was always fun, and I am in the bad habit of collecting recipe books for the purpose of eventually some day maybe using one or two recipes out of them. But at the same time, this already reflects a change in attitude and lifestyle. We expect to have to cook when we eat vegetarian. This means being more active in the selection of ingredients and in thinking about what we eat. It means spending less, enjoying more, and wandering around the kitchen preparing the meal. Being mindful of our time and our food, basically. It will be very hard to just order from a menu and get things that are okay for us to eat.
I like the idea of being mindful about what goes in to me. I've been feeling tired, which has led to me saying Oh let's just order something upon arriving home. What arrives is fat-laden and unhealthy.
I'm looking forward to combining things in interesting ways, instead of using vegetables as a cheese delivery device. I strive to turn everything in my everyday life in to art on some level. I've been able to produce several rather involved dishes, but not simple things that taste good. It will be nice to have a volley of meatless things to use that are quick so even when I'm tired and cranky we can have something good to eat.
I dunno why I'm going on at length about this. I just feel good about it. I feel good that it'll make me stop and pay attention to things, especially to how it tastes and how my body feels afterward. I'm proud to say I'm not light headed and haven't had a low blood sugar episode so far, but it's only really been a week. Week 3 is usually the demarcation. I look forward to that and seeing how we do this time around.
The hardest part will be giving up sushi. But maybe finding creative alternatives will be an interesting and fun little mini-game to persue. :)

Actual Conversation # 78 - where F*ing ZOMBIES interrupt a perfectly good budding philosophical discussion

gru: And, that's done and moving along
By the way, did you ever read the Garfield strips at any point?
me: I don' t remember.
I think I went over to read it but I don't remember doing it.
gru: You know the strip though, yes?
You've seen it like once?
me: Oh yeah, I used to read it every day. I used to dig it out of the newspaper after I was done delivering them.
gru: Oh okay.
Well, someone mentioned something on a podcast I checked out, and it's pretty cool. 'Garfield minus Garfield'. It's Garfield strips, with garfield photoshopped out. What's left is a surreal examination of what I can only describe as a man going totally insane.
me: LOL
I remember hearing about that.
me: I've seen one or two of those.
........and you may laugh now, becuase I didn't get it.
gru: Didn't get what?
me: What was going on. *laugh*
gru: Ahh
Eh, humor is subjective. I wouldn't laugh at that. :-)
me: I would!
It's actually more amusing because it brings up the point that without a point of reference or knowledge for the reason something persists, we tend to just stare at it like a drunken mule and go "bwhah?"
At least, that is what I did.
I also began the meticulous study of the interactions with inviso-Garfield trying to extract the ultimate in Zen cartooning.... what was NOT being said in the picture. :)
gru: I just thought it was a neat picture into someone's mind when no one was there.
btw, I just heard World War Z is in development to be made a movie. No idea what stage that means it's in.
me: *squeals and hides* Nooooooooo....