Sunday, February 24, 2013

Probably not the best time for this, but...vitamins and Crossfit

So, I've been drinking and Bubba's not home yet from his weekend away and I've spent most of this day doing homework that has melted my brains into a BUT I HAVEN'T DONE CHEMISTRY SINCE THE 9TH GRADE pile of shit and for whatever reason I felt like it was time to talk about vitamins and Crossfit.

The "Bubba's home late" dinner
Because why not talk about All Things Health when you're squinting at the screen with exhaustion while knocking back your supplements with the rest of that gin martini (and two olives - I'm not an animal.)?

I'm all about health, people. And reasonable behavior for a near-35 year old woman.

Anyway, here's the low down on the vitamins after...ohlemmelookthisup...two years (holy shit - that's more than I thought) of taking them daily. Like a freak. And sometimes when sprinkled over yogurt like so much ice cream topping. Like a freak.

Just so you know what we're talking about, here.

Yeah. This shit. I fell victim to a few random people's insistence that B12 could ONLY be properly absorbed via liquid drops and that "Why do they even make tablets when you can't even absorb the nutrient that way?"s  before giving up and trading in my handy dissolving tablets for a daily dropper's load of foul tasting faux Nyquil that doesn't even have the stones to hit me with a nice alcoholic thunking.

No. It just tastes nast and then doesn't give me near the brain boost of my dissolving tablets.

But I have half of the bottle left, so I'm going to slog through this bottle and then smash it on the concrete outside Whole Foods as I vow to stay true to my dissolving tablets.

That's right, Whole Foods - I'm about to make a scene at your place of business. But in a good way! I shall never go astray again from your dissolving B12 tablets!

I'm sure they're thrilled.

Folic Acid
Um. Yeah. So I take this. And usually I don't forget because it's a small little thing that can be easily scooped up with a spoonful of whatever breakfast I'm eating and disappear down my lady gullet without too much early morning Just Make It Happen prodding.

Though, sometimes I forget to take it because it gets stuck in the corner of my sweatshirt pocket and I don't realize it until three days later when I'm going into my pocket for a dog treat while out on a walk with Jada and, well, the dog doesn't consider folic acid tablets enticing enough to not go after a squirrel.

Upping the ante with a pocketful of the tablets doesn't do the trick either.

All that to say that sometimes I forget to take these things and I don't notice any difference in my life. Not that I'm going to stop taking them since they're supposed to be good for your brains and all, but I guess maybe in just a long-term way.

I should look that up.

B6 is the hotter, skinnier, way more appealing sister to the filthy liquid B12. It's a tiny tablet that I make sure to take every live long day because I can so totally feel the difference in my attention span, overall outlook on life and ability to focus and comprehend when I don't get my Bs in the morning.

Behind the Cal Mag Citrate and pro-biotics, these are crucial to daily functioning.

Cal Mag Citrate
Like I was saying - crucial. If you recall, I started this whole terribly ridiculous supplement experiment in an effort to find a way out of my mind-eating migraines without becoming wholly reliant on prescription inhalers (that were promised to NOT work forever. Comforting.), extra dosing (so that I don't sound like a crackhead) on Excedrin Migraine and Bubba's power tool collection.  (The garage one, you filthy beasts. STAY WITH ME HERE.)

What I've found is that YES. Cal Mag Citrate, in the dose that I've worked out over the last two years of experimenting, relieves me almost entirely of migraine.

Like, I used to get a migraine every two weeks or so. Twice a month - sometimes more, depending. It blew. I lived in fear of being somewhere where I could not access my Imitrex inhaler. I'm not going to go into further details, but it was ugly.

In the last two years, since embarking on this whole Let's Take Supplements Like a Freak thing, I have had three migraines.

In two years.

So, in the time when I *could* have, had I kept following my doctor's advice, had 48 migraines, I've had three.

And those three times were when I forgot to take my Cal Mag or my vitamins altogether. Also - and it could have been this, too - these were times when I was already super stressed and probably dehydrated and maybe drinking, so that could have brought the migraines on, too.

I just think that the Cal Mag Citrate gives me a buffer so that I can live my life without having to find a dark corner in which to curl up around the power drill to turn my skull into a Wiffle ball in the hopes of alleviating the throbbing pain.

That's what I think.

THIS is not about thinking. It's about doing. The business. You know - the business. Morning business.

Yes, I'm very indelicate. Thanks for noticing.

Pro-biotics make you poo. That's a documented fact. I guess. Somewhere. Whatever - if your guts are all a mess and you need to straighten a few things out around there, I heartily recommend a daily dose of pro-biotics.

I'm right as the mail, friends. It's good times.

Chaste Tree Berry, Evening Primrose and DIM
These are the "Lady Pills" as Bubba likes to call them and I am fine with that. Because I've seen what happens when I run out of any of these and go a few days before restocking and when the time comes...bad.

Think cramps, crazy crying for almost no reason because Oh my god did you see the kids' faces with their new computers? It's the most incredible thing oh my god what's the matter with me oh it's PMS.

I get PMS if I don't take these Lady Pills consistently and daily. Good thing is that when I am good about taking these guys, I have no problems whatsoever. It's almost a...delight. No, that's too favorable of a term for that scenario. Let's say that it's...easily bearable.

Yes. Also, no crying which is good because it freaks both Bubba and I out a lot. 

I'm not really a crier.

Fish oil
Yeah. I don't remember why I'm taking these except that Omega 3s are supposed to be good for brain health and I need all the help I can get what with all the fucking math, taxonomy and chemistry my teachers are doling out this semester.

What the fuck, by the way, are farmers doing with so much math? There is no escape.

Women's Multi
I take this because the book told me to and I figure that it rounds out whatever I may, somehow, not be taking with all these other things. Plus, it's huge and I feel accomplished every day after I choke it down and don't die a horrible blech-tasting death from choking on it.

It's truly awful. All the brands. All the formulations. Like eating a squirrel turd.

This is the newest comer to the world of my Fucked Up Vitamin Sprinkles Over Breakfast lifestyle. Story goes that I worked with a girl whose hair suddenly became noticeably shiny and gorgeous. Granted, girlfriend has long black Asian girl hair that's going to look beautiful sort of no matter what, but still - it looked extra nice.

So I was all, TuTu (this is a nickname, not a real name so don't get all RACIST or whatever with me because it's cool. Promise.), how the hell does your hair look so awesome? She tells me that she's been taking biotin but watch out because it's not just your head hair that grows like wild.


And then I started taking biotin so that my highlighted hair could maybe regain some of its pre-highlight vigor.

See? Smooth on top, frizzyblech at the bottom. 6 month's worth of growth doesn't lie.

Six months later and YES. It's working. Plus, my nails are like...well...nails and I daresay my skin has never been clearer.
It delights me so to have a moment where I don't have a zit. Apparently this is my delighted face which looks very little like delight. Oh well. Personal flaw, I suppose.

That could just be my near-35ness showing though.

Also, my monthly waxing appointments have never been more crucial. Just lettin' you know - don't take that warning lightly because it means business.

So yeah - the vitamins and supplements are happening still despite the array of raised eyebrows I've gotten over the past two years.

About Crossfit...I can't believe I'm continuing to write this post right now. Ridiculous.

Crossfit is a beast, people. I'm not going to lie to you. It terrifies me. Less now than a week ago, but still - it's really not for the faint of heart.

I heard that before I joined up and I totally blew it right the hell off because "Hello, whatever, I'm totally in shape."


I was not in Crossfit shape. Not even fucking close.

Let me explain this and then that thing about being scared of it until last week...

So, you know how usually you walk into the gym or a group fitness class and there are people of all shapes and sizes and fitness levels. Like there's the plump older gal in her Jane Fonda-esque leotard doing arm circles and there are a couple of super fit looking teenager types, some folks on the lumpier side and a random dude in work boots and whatever?

Right. Yes. We've all been to an American gym class.

Crossfit is not like that. These people - all ages of people - are in the most incredible shape.

It's like they stocked the fucking place with models from the videos with the shape these people are in. There are women in their 60s in amazing physical shape - strong as god damned bulls - and women with three kids who look like they could take down a charging bear and dudes dead lifting 400 pounds and HOLY.

I was blown away. People, when they want to be, can be really bad ass.

And here I was all, "Oh, I run three days a week and do Pilates - I'm so in shape for this. Pfffffffft, Crossfit."

And then Crossfit had its way with me.

I went to the Crossfit Lite deal for a few months. (It's like a warm up for Crossfit where you do all the same workouts, but with dumb bells instead of the bar.) It was fine. I felt reasonably adequate. Then I realized that my spring school schedule wasn't going to allow me to go to those few Lite classes and that I'd better sack up and do the whole "on ramp" thing so that I could go to all the Crossfit classes.

Particularly that special little gem at 6am. Yay. Love driving to Santa Cruz every morning for 8:30 and 9am classes.

So, back to that "until a week ago" thing - until a week ago I thought I was the most inept person on the planet. I was doing the "on ramp" sessions where the coach teaches you all the moves you'll do during class so that you don't kill yourself, those around you or bring down the satellite radio with an errant kettle ball toss, and I was just not *getting* it.

Like we're going through things as simple sounding as Push Press and girlfriend is stopping to tell me to push my head through and move my feet in and out or whatever and all I can think about is why am I so dumb that I can't so something as simple as lift something over my head.

I'm thinking that I'm too dumb for Crossfit.

But then I finish my sessions and she clears me for takeoff (despite what I'm imagining are my extreme and obvious limitations) and during my second 6am session as I'm stressing out about my Cleans (I'm sorry, I'm trying to be sort of specific so forgive the annoying pretense of weightlifting parlance), another coach who's just there working out goes, "Don't worry. It takes time. Years even - to get it right."


So I'm not just supposed to know how to do this right off the bat and no one's judging me because I take five minutes to set my stance and whatever?


Would have been super nice if someone had told me that, like, two months ago.

Anyway, Crossfit is fine now and even though it scares the crap out of me and I've never been so exhausted and then so sore and then so ready to go back and see how badly I can humiliate myself in the pre-dawn hours - I'm still going.

And now you can go.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Me being nice.

I know. It sounds like a stretch. It feels like a stretch.

It's a stretch.

But - I'm doing it. Because Africankelli thought I should by taking part in her annual Calculated Acts of Kindness thing.

It has to do with Lent and Easter and things that don't normally even hit my radar, but it is mainly about making an effort during a certain period of time to make this place better. And I decided that this place is my neighborhood. I'm not going big and shooting for Making The World a Better Placeness because that seems out of my reach in any 40 day period, so I'm just taking on my neighborhood. And only in a minor way.

Anyway, she can explain it better than I can, all I know is that when one of my deep down best friends asks me to be a part of some nice thing that they're doing for the good of mankind and could you just be nice for a few days instead of your same WTF?! self, I feel inclined to do so.

If only so that this friend won't think that I'm rotten to the absolute core.

Just maybe to my asthenosphere or something.

So, what is this big Me Being Nice thing that I'm doing? I'm sure it won't surprise you that it involves swearing.


The nice thing I'm doing involves shit.

I'll pause while you collectively murmur your "Of course it does"es.

But when I say that it involves shit, I mean that the nice thing I'm doing for CAOK involves other people's dogs' shit.

Because people EVIDENTLY do not know how to pick up their dogs' shit and it pisses me off to high heaven.

I'm out there walking the dog twice a damn day, picking up her shit twice (at least) a damn day, I pick the shit up in my yard that other people's dogs leave because they are assholes, I pick up my own dog's shit that she leaves in the yard - I PICK UP A LOT OF SHIT.

And do you know why I pick up a lot of shit? Because it's fucking gross to have shit lying around on the ground, is why. Also, disease and stench and having to rinse your shoes off in the yard even though you're late to leave for your flight and so on.

I just don't feel like I should have to remind people of this. I mean, obviously not you people, because you plainly know that shit doesn't belong just lying on the ground in and around where people live and walk, but you know what I'm saying. Other people leave their dog's shit on the ground and it burns me, man.

So, during this 40 day period of Me Being Nice in one singular way, when I walk the dog, I'm not just picking up her shit, but all of the shit that I see during the duration of her 2x/day 30 minute walks.

I'm not going to lie - it's a lot of shit. BUT - there is less superfluous shit to pick up each day because of my previous day's picking up, so at least there's that.

I will say that the 2 days/week when I run the dog, I'm not stopping to pick up shit. That's just dumb. BUT - when we stop for the scheduled mid-run potty break, I pick up any extraneous shit that's lying about when Jada makes her deposit at the Valero station on the corner.

I feel like it's appropriate that the dog's mid-run bathroom is in the grassy strip in front of the gas station's exorbitant prices and I expect you to agree with me.

Anyway, if any of you all have a personal grudge that you might like to tackle during the next however many days there are until Easter - go on and do it. And maybe the world, or just your neighborhood, will be a little bit better by the time kids are running around hunting for eggs in their shit-free yards.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

And just five short days later...another knitted thing.

OK, so that last post has been totally haunting me.

Plus, I am at the tail end of my much revered and over planned Break Between Semesters, during which time I had planned to do All Things due to the complete fullness of my life once class resumes.



So, in the name of Doing All Things and while I was still drunk with the power of knowing how to re-cast on a cast off hem, I decided to go back and fix Sweater #2 to make the sleeves longer and to nail down those son of a bitching roller shade hems.

Let it be known that I do not enjoy rolled cuffs.


Now, even after thorough searching of the knitting bible, the book housing my favorite sweater pattern that I've never been able to satisfactorily complete, the book housing Bubba's perfect sweater and the world's biggest knitting resource - I still wasn't able to find a method for casting off in stockinette that results in both a flat cuff that DOES NOT ROLL FUCKING STOPPIT while maintaining a straight stockinette stitch.

It just doesn't exist I guess.

Or I gave up before resulting to extreme blocking techniques.

One or the other.

So, my final OK FINE I GIVE UP solution was to add a textured cuff.

Straight garter stitch was out because that felt like I was mailing it in somehow, that diagonal stitch that looked so cool in Vogue Knitting sounded complicated and like something I'd probably fuck up resulting in a flesh wound to some poor nearby soul (probably me via knitting needle) and any kind of ribbing seemed boring and predictable so I went with a good old favorite - seed stitch.

It's not fancy - just a K1P1 repeat on the first row and the a P1K1 repeat on the second - but I figured a few rows of that on all cuffs would result in a cuff that would STAY THE FUCK PUT so that no one would have to die and so that I'd have a new sweater to keep me warm instead of rolling up into an off-putting woolen tube top while sitting through many MANY hours of lectures and multiple hours of lab work in the greenhouse and field that begin in, oh 12 hours from now.

SHIITE again.

Don't even think about rolling. DO NOT THINK IT.

Thankfully, after masterfully removing my cast off rows (I'm so a pro at this now), adding a bit of length to the sleeves and three rows of seed stitch to the cuffs and casting off again - this is now a totally wearable sweater.

Oh yes. I shall wear THE PANTS off of you. Which makes no sense whatsoever since you're a sweater.


Why, are those cuffs and a  hem that DO NOT ROLL? Yes. Yes they are.

I WIN, CUFFS. I totally win.

So yay.

I feel triumphant, awash in warm cozy sweaters and also overwhelmed because even though I totally killed my To Do list (triumphant list ass kicking recounting coming soon - with triumphant photos), I still need to pack my bag, make my lunch, sort out the vitamins for the week (I could recount my vitamin situation, too. Anyone interested in how that's going?), pack the Crock Pot with tomorrow's dinner and, you know, have a minor melt down because this semester is going to be harder than last semester because it involves four classes instead of three and two of which that involve chemistry.

People - I have not done chemistry since, I think, the ninth grade when we probed bits of Happy Meal for its nutrient content, so you know there wasn't a lot of math involved since 0x0=0 and such.

Basically, I'm scared pants-less about the chemistry because we all know that also involves the math that I don't do and who knows if/how I'll be able to manage a 4.0 GPA with this extra class, but HEY let's just run off crazy into the Spring term while also ramping up the business, starting twice as many plants indoors and hey at least three other huge things that I will, I'm sure, talk endlessly about in no time at all.

I'm starting to think that I left the whole, "Take a day off" thing off my To Do list and that this was a major mistake, but at least I know what I'll wear tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

And just a short two years later...a knitted thing.

Hey! Remember how I used to knit? Yeah, me too. I think I've started every knitting post in the last handful of years this way.

Oh how I've gone astray. 

Until such time as there's a road trip, however. And you know we just went on a road trip

Evidence of a true road trip: Combos in every tragic flavor. I like the cheddar cheese pretzel ones because I, at the same time, sort of hate myself.

Also, we saw this Biggest Machine Ever digging a hole to China. I can only assume.
And that is basically the sum total of the photos I took from the road because I was alternating between rampant illness management (Bubba and I both got the plague before we left. Hey THANKS CES for infecting us all.) and knitting the forever-taking #3 Sweater.

Why #3?

Well, because first there was this one

Sweater #1 from the Leaf Tshirt pattern that no longer exists on Ravelry. Rude.

Then there was this one.

Sweater #2 from the Leaf Tshirt pattern in which I ditched the leaf and gave it sleeves.

Why, hello October 2011, fancy meeting you here IN 2013 GEEZ WHERE HAS MY LIFE GONE?

Which, in the end, looks nothing like the first one at all.

Sweater #3. Everything different except the raglan shaping.

In the sense that it has short sleeves instead of cap sleeves, 1x1 ribbed cuffs instead of rolled cuffs, shaping at the hips and no leaf pattern at all.

Because, apparently, I became all I Don't Know About This Rolled Cuff Thing as I was getting to the bottom of the sweater and decided that I didn't want that dumb cuff rolling up on me like so much roller shade. 

As you can see in Sweater #2, that rolled cuff is no joke. It wants to roll like friggen crazy. Hate that. 

But - that brings me to the Important Knitting Thing That I Learned during the knitting of this, my #3 Sweater from this pattern - you can totally take out a cast-off row for a do-over

So, like, for example only, you *think* that you've knit the thing long enough, so you happily and full of relief and joy cast the thing off only to find that, once trying it on, it's actually about half a foot too short - you can cast that final row back ON and resume knitting until such time as you've deluded yourself into thinking, once again, that it's "totally long enough, I'm so DONE with this sunuvabitching project" and you cast off again.

Repeat as necessary until such time as it *is* actually long enough or you've worn the yarn into dust and can no longer knit it lest it disintegrate fully in your fingers.

For example only.

The danger of me now knowing that I can totally undo and redo a cast-off row is that Sweater #2 back there is in jeopardy of being reworked. 

Because I hate that muther effing rolled bottom cuff and I think it needs redoing otherwise I'll never wear it because the thing turns into a tube top in five seconds when I'm wearing it which is not the look I'm going for in winter when I'm putting on a sweater. Or in the hottest summer months when I'm sweating just wrestling on the Boston Marathon Strangler.

I don't wear tube tops is what I'm saying.

Also, I think I may have knit this sweater a bit too long. It either needs to be about six inches longer so that I can wear it with leggings or about six inches shorter so that it can rest at the top of my jeans and not get all HEY I'M A FATTY around the middle. 

Perhaps I should stop taking sweater photos during PMS time. Yes, perhaps.

Anyway, I finished this #3 Sweater for the time being and since classes resume next week, I don't imagine that I'll have fuck all for time to go undoing it and redoing it and then messing with the other sweater even though I'd like to be wearing them both RIGHT NOW because it has suddenly gotten cooler again.

And here I thought it was going to be spring now.

First daffodil right there. And the "Circle of Friends" that I recently exhumed from the future hop yard.

Yeah - hop yard. We'll get to that soon enough.