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merry go thunk

Monday, December 10, 2012

Starting to remember dreams after I wake, it's twice in a couple of months it's happened, when the usual rate seemed to be once every two years. But of course, that could be a product of faulty memory in and of itself. Anyway, after about 4 hours of sleep, I woke from a dream of a carousel breaking apart. Rather than do the smart thing of rolling over and going back to sleep, I reached for the phone to soon the darn wheel. 56 day streak, don'tcha know? Feel like DiMaggio. But then I saw on the friend feed that someone listed a blog and it had links, and those links had links and now it's an hour later and I'm awake. Must say, I've developed some bad habits that I'd be well off unlearning.

Anyway, this early AM, I'm musing on the bounty of gym visits I've harvested in the past 6 weeks. In this space, I've previously noted how I'd hardly ever go to the gym when I lived 2 miles away, and am making the effort now that I'm 8 miles away. Hoping to continue going to the gym when I get to Michigan, but we'll see if that happens. Need to replace ugly t shirt with some other carrot, for one thing.

Having gone to the gym so often, Sunday's trip seemed a little tame. About a half hour on the stationary bike, the same on the elliptical, 10 minutes rowing. Didn't shoot a basketball or hit the punching bag, thought about doing exercise ball stuff ( crunches, largely) but declined for going home to watch the Lions and Packers play.

On the drive home, I'm thinking to myself, wow, what a slacker I was today. And it took a couple of minutes to cut through that thought and realize that two months ago, my reaction would have been more along the lines of "good job getting to the gym woo hoo".

Now, I'm not entirely sure that this is a good thing. The accelerated pace is borough on entirely by the need to go often enough to get that t shirt before I move away. If I hadn't been on the verge of moving, I think I'd still go more often because of that dangling prize, but it'd be at a much much more relaxed pace. And as such, even if I find and join a gym in Michigan soon, I'm unlikely to recreate the 4-5 times a week pace I've been hitting lately. Curious how I'll react then, given the (mild) self-critism I found myself indulging in when, objectively, I did put in an hour of exercise.

Given the thoughts above, is the key here that it was an hour, or that the nature of the hour might not have been as intense as recent such hours. My answer's probably changed from a couple of months ago, and might be different yet a couple of months hence.

One other thought occurring to me and needing recording lest I forget about it before I next wake up: despite all this recent exercise...I DON'T love exercise. I don't have a need to get to the gym, except for the incentive mentioned ad nauseum. Fear that's a recipe for backsliding.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLPURNELL 12/10/2012 8:01PM

    Trick is finding something you do love that's active and doing that. I am not a cardio fan whatsoever never have been. What keeps me doing cardio is trying to go further and faster than the time before. It's a little game I play with myself and it works. Try it it may work for you as well.

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SEXBOBOMB 12/10/2012 12:23PM

    Make your own ugly t-shirt! Or, whatever. Reward system. You know what I mean.

It's corny, yeah, and it does require some self-control to not just go break down and buy whatever it is that you want right then, but rewards are working for me, for sure, this go-around.

Right now, I'm chasing a new pair of workout shorts and my first-ever professional massage. I get the shorts for making it from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day without a weight gain. Since I actually am, right now, fighting back from a weight gain, it was a well-thought-out carrot. I'll make it, though, because I don't have that much ground to gain and I really do want the damn shorts. The massage I get after running my first official 5K in March. That's the one I'm *seriously* looking forward to!

So, make your own ugly t-shirt...or maybe I should make one for you! Maybe all your SparkFriends should! How fun would that be to get random super-ugly shirts from people you've never met, just for hitting your goals!

Just me? Yeah, well... I think it would be funny!

Hang onto your mojo, Ahtrap!

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AMYTRIPP 12/10/2012 9:47AM

    I'm an exercise hater myself - and there's always that fear of just getting lazy about it. I guess we just have to set goals and then stick to them no matter what.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/10/2012 8:45AM

  I hope you earn that shirt!!

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GARDENCHRIS 12/10/2012 7:24AM

    I know the feeling...but we do this because we WANT to take care of ourselves... be your own best friend! emoticon

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three dog night

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Had lunch with a friend Saturday. I got to pick the place, so I went with the Free House, so I could get an ABLT. The owners of that place also run my favorite bar in town, and the ABLT at the bar (The Library) has avocado paste, and one can order Cajun fries on the side. The Free House is a slightly fancier place, with a couple of different bar areas, with distinct looks, and a trio of dining spaces. The ABLT there is similarly upscale with sliced avocado instead of the paste. And, instead of cajun fries, they have garlic parmesan fries with parmesan flakes rather than sprinkles adorning the fries. Delicious stuff, less friendly dietarily than the Cajun fries, I suspect. But no matter, it's what I went there for and its what I got.

I got there a few minutes before my friend, was seated, asked for some water to start. Now, this is a place with quite a good selection of beers from around Wisconsin, and I'd intended to grab one...but I never quite got around to it. It wasn't because we had a quick lunch, as we were there nearly three hours. Might have had something to do with the idea that I was going to the gym afterwards, something that didn't end up happening. Maybe it had to do with the hint of downward scale movement that morning and not wanting to jinx that. Not sure, really. It didn't have to do with the topics discussed, as we were in full ramble mode. Lots of discussion about her golden retriever puppy, as he's a relatively new addition. I guess I just never got around to grabbing that beer.

After lunch (getting on toward 4 pm, as we met at 1), she asked if I wanted to meet the puppy and of course I said yes. Ended up hanging out with her the rest of the day, and playing with not just her golden, but her housemate's Pomeranian, and a mini black poodle they were dog sitting. Lots of puppy love Saturday, just a wonderful relaxing day...at least until a couple more of our friends showed up and we watched the Da Vinci Code. The movie was a lot better than I remembered it being, and I might be tempted to stop the next time I see it on TV.

The weird thing about the day was that lunch was the heavy meal of the day. After we returned to my friend's place, we didn't have a specific "meal" for dinner. Her diet is relatively spartan due to a host of allergies and intolerances, and so when she first got hungry in the evening, she microwaved a steamer bag of broccoli, and that was essentially the main course. Broccoli with some garlic salt (I was offered more condiments, but half the time, I'm satisfied with garlic and pepper...case of simple tastes rather than rude host!). Later, we did a quick grocery store run, to grab a couple things before the other friends showed up. We went by the deli counter, but nothing looked great. I'd had a heavy and later than usual lunch, and a bowl of broccoli, so I just grabbed a bit of yogurt, and that ended up being the second course of my evening, with frozen yogurt as a dessert. It was rather strange for me, as I'm usually doing the traditional heaviest meal in the evening thing, but I wasn't ever really hungry in the evening, so it felt fine. Maybe it was a case of being distracted by the dogs?

Never did make it to the gym, leaving me 6 days for the four visits I need for the ugly t shirt. Suspect I can get there, despite social engagements and other obligations. I have put in too much sweat not to collect on this prize, dubious though it may be!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLPURNELL 12/10/2012 7:56PM

    Awesome Job on the light dinner!

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1CRAZYDOG 12/9/2012 6:49PM

  Well, sounds like a day that was fun, so that's nice. Nothing wrong with a Saturday filled with puppy love!

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SIRENSONGS 12/9/2012 10:35AM

    This sounds like a great day! Of course I think that any day spent chiefly with animals is a great day, especially if they include a pomeranian and a puppy! I also usually have dinner be my heavy meal of the day, and feel kind of off kilter when it turns out to be lunch. But at least your dinner was fairly low on calories.

And I agree with Sexbobomb, you definitely need to post a pic of the ugly t-shirt!

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GARDENCHRIS 12/9/2012 9:02AM

    glad you got the time to spend with friends

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SEXBOBOMB 12/9/2012 6:42AM

    Yay for spontaneity! Nothing like following the path the day takes you, instead of the one you had planned!

They say that making your mid-day meal your biggest meal is best for your body, because you're fueling it at the most active point in your day. Sounds like it worked for you, at least on this day. Maybe something ripe for a Beechnut-style experiment?

Finally, you absolutely MUST win the ugly t-shirt, and when you do, you must post a pic online!

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Last ride down the River?

Friday, December 07, 2012

If you ask me about places I'll miss in Madison after I move away, a food pantry will be near the top of the list. The name of the place is The River, located near the airport in Madison. I've been fortunate enough to not need to be a client of the pantry, despite unenployment. Instead, it is one of those places that you can go to, help out in a small way, and feel good about both for yourself, and for the crucial good it does for those it helps.

It's a place that certainly faith based, but doesn't club you over the head with that aspect of its function. That's something I definitely have appreciated over the years, due to my own not very religious tendencies. Funny thing, I first volunteered there when tagging along with an ex girlfriend's church life group, and I continued going there even after that relationship ended over issue of religion. I don't think its something I would have continued doing if the religious aspect was an in your face presence, as can be the case at other food pantries (especially those associated with specific churches, which is understandable).

Basically, it's a place I looked forward to getting to whenever I could, even when it meant a 45 minute commute through rush hour traffic on a Friday from my previous job. It's a place that I've volunteered at since 2006 or 2007, and tonight was the last time I'll go there on a Friday, the busiest session of the week. I'm planning on going to one of the midweek sessions next week, to get one last little fix of the good people who run the place, Andy and Jenny Czerkas, who've won awards for their work at the River. But I'm a little sad right now, because I'll definitely miss the River and its people.

Hoping to find something similar in the Ann Arbor area.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLPURNELL 12/10/2012 7:02PM

    Awesome Job helping out. those places make such a difference to so many!

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SIRENSONGS 12/9/2012 10:37AM

    Aw, it's so sweet that you helped out there, and it's sad that you won't be able to anymore, but I'm sure you'll find a similar organization after you move, where your help will be just as appreciated!

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MIDNIGHTER1 12/8/2012 9:56PM

    It is good to learn about people who genuine care about others and look for ways to support them. You are a good soul and I am sure you will find another place to contribute,even missing the people and places you were before. I am sure your presence will be missed also.

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KING_SLAYER 12/8/2012 8:02PM

    Good for you for doing good works. I'm sure Ann Arbor will have plenty of opportunities for a fellow looking to give a little of his time. Best of luck!

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1CRAZYDOG 12/8/2012 6:24PM

  I'm sure you'll find someplace in Ann Arbor . . . there are soooooo many people in financial distress! HUGS and good luck.

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AMYTRIPP 12/8/2012 12:10PM

    I'm sure you've touched the lives of those who need the pantry as much as they've touched yours.

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GARDENCHRIS 12/8/2012 9:14AM

    I'm sure there are others ... they might even know a few. good luck!

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KARIDIAN1 12/7/2012 11:20PM

    I am sure they appreciated your help and positive attitude.

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one, two, five, four....me count so poor

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Went to see the band Psychostick play the other night, the finest practitioners of the humorcore genre (mixing comedy and metal). If you've heard of them, it's probably for their Beer song (beer is good! Beer is good! Beer is good! And stuff!). I've seen them before, and it was a great, fun time as ever. Favorite part of the night might have been the slow motion moshpit, as called for by the band's singer, and hilariously executed by a good portion of the crowd. Look on YouTube for a video titled "Psychostick - Numbers(drowning pool cover)/Sandwich/ABCDeath - FRESNO, CA - 9-14-12" for a taste of their humor, including the slow mo pit. I'd post a link but the mobile site for YouTube doesn't easily lend itself to figuring out a corresponding URL. But trust me, it's a very educational video.

Wednesday was a non starter, as my to do list gathered moss. Thawed chicken, ate soup. Wrote out a check, didn't have a stamp. Didn't go get a stamp. That sort of thing. Finally, went to the gym at 8, after watching Home Alone, after consuming many Doritos somewhat mindlessly. Now, that wasn't necessarily on the list, but with 10 days left to get to the gym 5 times for the ugly t shirt, it's a wild card entry on every day's to do list. Might have overdone it a bit, this edition of early AM (although at 6 AM, it's ok, right? Just early for me) blogging is another one where I've been asleep, and woke up and wasn't able to fall back asleep. Tweaky back the culprit this time, can't quite tell if it a real issue, or that I finally did enough crunches to feel them. Actually, now that I think about it, I had another go at the punching bag, and that might be the culprit, the way it feels. Funny thing, I didn't feel anything until I stood up to grab my water glass, placed, as ever, out of casual swatting's reach. And then I felt compelled to try and recall where I might have put the ibuprofen.

The fact that I'm sore does highlight something I've been wondering about during this month and change when I've been going, really for the first time in years, steadily to the gym. When I work out, I do so to sweat. I've been making pretenses at strength training, a couple sets of crunches and squats and miscellaneous stuff with various weight machines on most of these gym visits, but nothing structured. Moreover, I'm not doing anything particularly strenuous, where I'm really feeling it the next day. Figure I'm doing something, if not wrong, then at least halfassed (let's see if the lack of a hyphen gets it past the censors!). In that light, maybe the back is saying, "about time you put in a full cheeked effort!"

Curious what it'll say after a bit more sleep?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KING_SLAYER 12/7/2012 2:10AM

    I can totally relate to the strength training. Since I lost my 2 training partners I just haven't put any time into it. The really sad thing is that I know better. I know that consistent strength work (and tracking it in my notebook) is what I should be doing, but for some reason I'm not doing it. I keep telling myself I'm going to, but then I don't.
Note to self: get back to strength training! Even if it's just with the machines!

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CLPURNELL 12/6/2012 5:09PM

    Hope the back feels better soon. Something is always better than nothing.

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AMYTRIPP 12/6/2012 8:02AM

    I'm right there with you on the strength training. I keep telling myself that when we get the basement room all redone as a home gym, I'll start using the Total Gym we've had for ages - I wonder if that will actually happen (either the home gym or me on the TG). LOL

I hope your back was happy with the extra sleep. emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 12/6/2012 7:48AM

  Probably thank you for the extra sleep!

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Wonder how many have me as a sparkfriend that I've failed to notice?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Thought comes of inadvertently landing on someone's spark page and deciding to befriend them on musical tastes alone. Did let the person know I'd done so, and gave the option of reciprocating, or simply telling me to go away. But I suppose there's the third option, of being unaware of the request. After a year plus on spark, I've probably done the same at some point. So, I'm curious to know if there's a way to look at mutual friends versus the one way streets. Might also tell me how many true (reciprocating) friends I have on here, and who I should jettison for not being aware of my existence. OK, so that's overstating things by a quantum leap, but it's where my brain is.

As said brain really should be sleeping, I think I'll try to see if I can't make that my reality.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRONBLOSSOM 12/5/2012 6:08PM

    I think I always get a notification and I almost always add back. I don't remember/haven't correlated if others do though...I like Punky's info!

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3016DEBRA 12/5/2012 3:55PM

  You're worrying too much....take a rest emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 12/5/2012 2:13PM

  I think we've probably all done this!

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SEXBOBOMB 12/5/2012 9:55AM

    I've wondered this myself, Ahtrap -- and had that awkward moment when you discover, just by chance, that someone has friended you that you hadn't thought to friend.

Maybe it's because I, like you, tend to announce my friending to the friend-to-be as I'm doing it. I don't expect anyone to friend me back, but I just think it's polite to "let them know I'm there".

Let me explain: I'm an avid blog reader, and if I'm your friend, I've likely read all your latest blogs and made a good dent in your old ones. When I let someone know I'm friending them, it's to give them a heads-up that I'll soon be rifling through your closets and going through the medicine cabinets of your bloggity-blog life.

Now, I'm a writer-monkey-whore, so when I do happen upon people who have friended me without giving me the polite heads-up, I'm definitely not "mad" or anything. I just assume they like my words and want to "bookmark" me to read more. And I *do* like to be read, it's a damn compliment!

So, the way I see it, alerting someone that you are friending them is polite, but let's not quibble over formalities: you're welcome to have at my closets and cabinets, Dear Readers, and etiquette be damned!

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GOPINTOS 12/5/2012 7:22AM

    OH gosh, glad to see this post and the info provided by Punky, as I have been on Spark for about a year, and just recently learned how to set my email to receive such notifications!


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GARDENCHRIS 12/5/2012 7:18AM

    put that brain to bed!

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PUNKY100 12/5/2012 6:30AM

    Hahaha of course there is!! If you are looking at your full friend feed (on the bottom right of your start page) there is a little link hidden in that first paragraph. You can click on the words Click here which then takes you to a page where you can see 3 sets of friends: The ones who have added you but you haven't added back, your mutual friends, and then at the bottom, the ones you have added but haven't added you back.

It may be a real eye opener haha, I know I look at mine once in a while just to see what's up in my friend world. :-)

I hope you got some sleep!

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