Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A New Year starts today.

So it has been a year since I stood on the scale at Jake's house and weighed 279lbs.
I'm currently 251lbs. Not the best I've ever done in a year, but it is a start. I'm not down about it.

Do you have your New Years Resolution Goals set yet? I do. If you don't you should probably get to them starting right now. No time like the present. If it is something like lose weight, then start right now, and don't eat the holiday sweets. Waiting until after the holiday is like saying I'll stop drinking after I get alcohol poisoning. Just doesn't make much sense. This evening, my buddy Daniel talked about his new work out equipment and his new workout room tonight. He celebrated it with drinking nothing but water. I am super impressed and proud of him for doing so. It was our Thanksgiving after all, why not throw a few back?

My final resolution goal from last year WILL be accomplished by the end of this year as well. In case you don't feel like scrolling to the beginnning of the year, it was to get my finances in order.
I won't be out of debt, but I will have them in order. I am making some extreme decisions and I have some great friends and family who support me in this endeavor. Here is what I'm doing.

The first and foremost thing I am doing is getting rid of my '07 Dodge Charger. I still have payments on it but I am going to turn the cards in and tell them I can't pay it. It will hurt my credit (which is awful anyway) and won't look back. It was a very, very fun year with the vehicle and I don't regret actually getting the Charger. But right now I pay over $700 a month on bills for the vehicle alone. That is before gas, which I paid ~$70 every 1-2 weeks.

The second thing is I'm downsizing again. I sold my Yorkie Joey, selling old college text books (technical ones for computer Networking and Security if anyone is interested), and will be getting rid of other things such as totes full of cabling and other junk. Stuff I just don't USE and have hung on to for years. I don't need them. I hardly do any computer maintenance side work now a days. So, it will be rid of. My current computer will be formatted and installed with some basics and made into a server. I don't know yet if I want it to be a media server or not. Probably will. It has be capability. I am also gonna try and make some gaming servers on there for myself and friends.

The third thing is I'm moving. My friend has lent me her spare bedroom in her apartment rent free for Linux and I. We've discussed for about 3 months, but I'm sure if i need a little more time rent free she'd give it to me. But hopefully I'll be back to paying regular bills after 90 days.

So why the extremity you might ask? Well there are a couple reasons...

The obvious one is I don't want debt anymore. I have around 3 grand in Credit card debt, $300 to taxes, and I'm behind on my student loans. Those three months I will have approximately $1200 per month to spend. So most of the debt, if not all, will be gone. The only thing I would have is student loans, but I'd be pretty much caught up on them too if I play my money right.

The second one is that I am still dedicated to working out. I own a mountain bike, I've fixed it up and it works smoothly. My work, my gym, and my friends are all around a 5 mile block radius. (That's what kinda happens when you grow up in one location for so long.) There are a few exceptions who live god awful far, but those visits are never without a FB invitation with a few weeks notice. I would be able to find a ride to and from without a doubt.

Speaking of which, I am thankful to be surrounded by people who enjoy helping people.  All of my friends would give me a ride if I needed it, and I hope they know to not hesitate when they need to ask me. I have a car available to me when it is not in use by its owner, my parents are close and willing to help. They encourage me to face this task of lowering my credit score even further in hopes for a better future. Not to mention the task of being carless for three months at the very least.

The third and probably final reason is I want to travel. I have friends who are scattered across the country now that they are in the military. I also have friends I've made through Facebook who I have grown close with. Ya know, I have never used any currency besides the American Dollar? I want that to change. GOING on trips isn't difficult with my job, they give me plenty of PTO, I just don't have the funds to go anywhere. Hell, right now I don't have the funds to get a passport. Yup, I said it. I am 23 and don't have my passport yet. I've never needed it.

SO, there is my main New Years resolution.

Losing weight isn't taking a back burner though. My gym is a mile away from where I'm moving, and like I said I have a bike. In relation to weightloss, my goal is to have a six pack by the end of the year. Do you think I can do it? Words of encouragement WILL be needed. My friend Monica has given me a card for a personal trainer. I'm seriously considering it.

On a completely side note, here is a different way to consider what is called "The America Dream" I've passed this to a few friends, and I have listened to it more than once. Listen, enjoy, and maybe consider.

~Just a thought

"There are thousands and thousands of people out there living lives of quiet, screaming desperation who work long, hard hours, at jobs they hate, to enable them to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't like." - Nigel Marsh

Monday, November 5, 2012

Just a...

It was pointed out to me that I hadn't blogged in a while. It's not that I don't have much to say, I've just kinda sorta kept it to myself. Furthermore, the constant talking about my weight and workouts got boring to me, and I think it was boring to those select few as well. But, in order to tie off those open ended situations I put in my blog.
-I reached 245 and shaved my beard. It is very VERY nice having a chin. I haven't had a chin in, well, probably 6-8 years. I grow my facial hair to a very nice 5 o'clock shadow before shaving now, and I will continue to do so for a long time, or until I get sick of it.

-I ordered and wore a Captain America costume for Halloween, I was very proud of it and my friend Kristi and I attended two different parties and were complimented at both. The jacket is amazing.

-I really feel like I've been changing to someone who people can look up to. And that makes me feel good.

Now, I watch a lot of YouTube videos (Second most popular search engine now, only second to it's owner Google) and they usually branch out one of two ways: funny or inspirational. I like to laugh and I like to admire and want.

More recently, I have been watching different [insert]con videos from panels that people post online. Here are a few things that I came to know.

-People are generally good people
-Ideas are cheap
-I should only work at what makes me happy, not what makes me money.
-I need to work hard
-I need to work harder than others.

All are very relevant to my next little session.

I watched one with the Geek and Sundry casters Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton, if you don't know who they are yet, well, you should. Anyway, they had a really good panel, and talked about their Youtube posts and they asked everyone in their audience to be creative. Felicia made a point to make SOMETHING and post it for people to see, and see what comes of it. More than one person has had their 5 minutes of fame on Youtube. And, thinking about it right this moment, with Youtube you get your 5 minutes of fame played in 8 million different homes. even if you had 10% of people follow you enough to watch your second video, that is 800,000 people (That's a LOT of people). Anyway, that last part slightly irrelevant. Wil Wheaton made a point saying that it isn't about Youtubers battling for more views, that's not how it works. It is Youtubers battling it out against other media (He said, "The Man"). Because this particular creativity outlet doesn't need an approval board. It is strictly chosen by views and votes. It should be a place where Youtube shares the space, rather than fight over it. It should be a place where one Youtuber doesn't bash another... Now, the last bit of this particular video Wil and Felicia were asked, what their favorite Youtube video they follow and watch. It was very quickly decided that they watch and love "My Drunk Kitchen". (If you haven't seen that, you should check it out, it is pretty hilarious.)
Now, this particular event was in July of 2012. Fast forward to this past Halloween. I don't know who's idea it was, but My Drunk Kitchen featured Hannah Hart (MyHarto) who does My Drunk Kitchen, and Felicia Day. They just got together and made a My Drunk Kitchen video. This is particularly special, because you have to imagine that it made both of their days. And besides the flying out to location, I wouldn't think their was any real payment back and forth, just something that they thought would be fun and enjoy meeting each other.
I also found another popular Youtube person named Jenna Marbles who did a My Drunk Kitchen tribute. Through the show she repeatedly told her viewers to watch My Drunk Kitchen and told Hannah that she enjoys viewing her. How awesome is that??

During the "Come up with something creative" request by Felicia Day, I came up with "A Literature Circle." A webcast bookclub It is still in a Alpha stage, but it is something I am going to work seriously hard on. And even though I may lose sleep over it, and lose a bit of money, it is a creative idea I want to pursue. There are other "Circles" that will be created and posted and whatnot, but this is the first I am going to do. Hopefully, something will come of it. Furthermore, I am going to take the "tribute" section to a whole new level. After getting situated with a few "Circles" I have in mind. I think I am going to start reaching out to all the different Youtubers out there to join my cast sometime. I think it would be AMAZING to have the guy from =3 or Jack and Geoff from Achievement Hunter come on and talk about their favorite books, or play a boardgame, or SOMETHING and just have a good time.

That's the plan anyway. Hopefully someday you'll see me up there with the great Youtubers!

It isn't ~Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Carthon the Bartender.

Part 3:

“I don’t think I ever told you my name is Carthon and I have owner of this here bar since my grandpa gave it to me, near close to thirty years ago. I grew up playing darts by the pool table, learned poker in the booth near the bathrooms, and had my first beer right here at sixteen. I married my high school sweetheart Lynne and we have two sons and two daughters, Kivan, Tria, Strivian, and Elis. Youngest one is nearing adulthood already.
I grew up here and don’t see reason f’r going anywhere else. Though I heard many tales of adventure, I never wanted to seek it out myself. My idea of a filled life was never on par with those adventuring types. I felt that my bar was a home for those who didn’t have one. I even set up a cot in the back behind my bar for someone who was deemed trustworthy enough to me.
Like this one guy, I don’t know his real name, but he donned a big cowboy hat like those westerns. He seemed like a surly fellow when I first served him, he ordered cheap whisky the few times he came in. But, that first night a quarrel broke out between two fella’s and quick as a cat he threw them out without doing any serious damage to my bar or patrons. They were regulars y’see, can’t be damaging what makes my money. They apologized later… But anyway, this fellow, he was surly, but honest. I let him sleep on the cot.
I set up a second cot in there for a while, but there wasn’t enough room. I do remember once my boys wanted to spend the night there. I said no, but they snuck in anyway. Seeing them there the next morn’ put a smile to my face. Kivan and Strivian were inseparable, still are I’m sure. They did everything together. Their only difference is that Kivan liked his old man and wanted to take over the bar when I was ready to retire. Strivian, on the other hand, loved listening to the stories and wanted adventure himself.
There was one particular story he enjoyed actually. The ‘Drave the Cowboy – Demon hunter’ story I used to tell them when they were kids. I told the boys it was just a story I made up, but Strivian didn’t believe me I think. To tell the truth to ya, I found the damn story. About fifteen or so years back I walk up to my bar to open, and on the steps there was a hat, coat, a ring of guns, and an empty whisky bottle with the story.
Since this was an adventure’s tavern, I thought it’d be nice to have an adventure in my bar. I made a real nice frame and hung them up on my wall; I rolled the parchment out full and let people read. His legend sprang to life in my bar for those twelve years I had it. People claimed to have seen Drave himself, something about a legendary third or fourth revolver because he was just too quick for just two. Did my bar good through those years. I even had one person ask me if I was Drave. Crazy kids.
 One young man in particular was quite fond of my relics and story. He nearly begged me for him to give them up but I refused of course. A month he came back and offered me quite a bit of coin, but the story of Drave the Cowboy Demon Hunter was one that brought in customers, y’see, so I had to refuse him again. It was a week later they were stolen with a note, ‘The legend lives on’ In Strivian’s handwritin’.  The frame is still up there with the knife stabbed with the note. People ask me about it from time to time, but it has been so long I don’t recall what the items look like all that much.
As I’m sure you’ve come to guess, Strivian and a couple of his friends are of suspicion. Kivan, too I guess, as he disappeared around the same time, but I think that was more of an obligation to watch his brother. I don’t think they did it to hurt their old man, no, but just wanted to play cowboy hunter for real. It’s been near three years I’ve seen my boys. Tria has been asking for the ownership of the bar since Kivan has been gone so long. Says I should retire myself.
Ya know Marcus, come to think of it; it was right around the time I found you.” He scratched his brown dog behind the ear, “Thank you for listening old timer. I think Tria should get the bar too.”
                Carthon threw the ball out the bar door, his old dog sprung up like a pup and chased after it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta, Taco Bell, and a Beard.

This, whole, getting to 235lbs thing is difficult. So much so, that my goal has been upped to 245lbs instead of the initial 235lbs. The last week I worked out heavily my weight didn't adjust much. I am gonna happily think that I have plateaued for the moment, and my body found its mid-ground currently of fat/muscle ratio. Least that is what I tell myself. I need to remind myself that it isn't about the weight loss as much as it is fat loss. But if I am truly honest, it is because of my new damn beard.

Two weeks in

After a month

I can't stand my beard! It catches food when I don't want it to, it makes it feel like there is something constantly on my face, and overall just itchy. But it is a constant reminder that more gym is needed. It is the very promise I made myself before starting this challenge. I need to keep this until the work is done. With the 245, I only have five pounds to go. It is possible.

With my last challenge, I had this fear I was bothering people with my weekly updates of the calendar, so I lengthened the update process on Facebook to the time my calendar filled up, just a little over a month by about a week. Here it is:

Now it isn't bad, I am kinda proud of it. Every single time you see text in a box it is me working out. The only exception from that is the CLOSED on Monday, Labor day, Amanda and I went at our usual time and they had closed early. I marked it to remind myself that I truly tried.
Now, you can't tell really from this picture, but I worked out with Amanda, Jake, and Kristi, all who are big helpers in helping me get in shape. I organized them via color on the board, so I could keep track of what I was doing with who. I kinda quit on Jake with the running towards the end, just cause I wanted to focus on strength training and endurance such as hiking. I am gonna ask about joining him again in about a week or so, least for one run, just to hang out and see how things are going.

The last week is blank. I didn't work out at all. Sad, I know. On Sunday I woke up with strep throat, one of my tonsils was a good size, I'd say to a golf ball size, but that is exaggerating a little bit. I spent the better half of that week recovering. Then the last part of that week I took a mini vacation with my friend Kristi and we went to Tucson to see STOMP. We stayed the night so we weren't in a rush, despite living in Phoenix for many years she had never been to Tucson, so we drove around some and visited some places, it was fun and relaxing. I cheated on my diet quite a bit, with sweets and other foods I shouldn't be eating. Eating out mostly. I refrained from pasta though, which is a HUGE craving for me right now... Oregano's Pizza Bistro is something I purposely avoid driving near. It's like 1200 a meal with nothing but pasta and meat in a bread bowl... Not good for you, but Oh so delicious.

As I erase this month and a bit and start the second half of this challenge, I have adopted a new work out partner Monica. She made a post on Facebook saying she needed one, and after finding out she subscribes to LA Fitness, I couldn't wait to sign the dotted line as her workout partner. Hopefully I'll teach her some stuff and she'll teach me some stuff. Her boyfriend works out often and knows his shizz, so I'm hoping what he's taught her and what I can teach her mesh well.

As of right now, this is how my workouts should fall if I were to do them all in one week without fail.
Sun- Morning: Run w/ Jake
         Evening: Workout w/ Amanda
Mon- Evening: Workout w/ Amanda
Tue-  Morning: Hike w/ Kristi
         Evening: Workout w/ Monica
Wed- Evening: Workout w/ Amanda
Thu- Morning: Hike w/ Kristi
        Evening: Workout w/ Monica
Fri- Evening: Workout w/ Amanda
Sat- Morning: Run w/ Jake, Hike w/ Kristi
        Evening: Workout w/ Amanda

As my buddy Jason likes to say, BOOM! That is my schedule. Seven days a week. Now, I know I have a few concerned individuals out there who think this is a bad idea. And I appreciate the concern. But please know that my body, and your body, can handle the physical stress I have above. They are only a half hour to an hour at a time. That leaves 12 - 23 hours of recovery time. Furthermore, I do not workout every single muscle in my body every single workout. I switch between legs, back, chest, and arms. It won't be a perfect routine of things, but it will sort itself out. I take the appropriate protein shakes and vitamins to help speed the recovery along. I will also start taking certain supplements too, as soon as I find the time to find the right ones to help in my progress. And, despite all my best efforts, through my fault or not, the weeks have never gone through perfect. Life happens.

That's the biggest thing I learned about health and working out, and I guess it could be applied to life in general. Don't schedule the time, make the time. I think with school and work and doctor appointments and children's plays, we are too used to scheduling. You must adopt a different thinking to working out... I really want to get into it more, but I think that is gonna be my post next time. The "What I have learned, and you should learn too" about working out/getting in shape/healthy lifestyle more and more people seem to want to do. It isn't an easy habit to adopt. I still really struggle with it at times. And I say that tonight, at my desk, munching on a Taco Bell double-decker taco. Ugh, grease tastes so awfully good. Yup, throwing this half away now.

So... That's about it for now. I wish I had more to say, but alas, I do not. Tomorrow I am going to post part three from the Drave - Demon hunter series. It is part three of four. I hope you've enjoyed them. Please tell me if you have or haven't. I take constructive criticism and compliments well. About twenty to twenty-five people read my posts when I post them, and a few more the day after. I only hear from about one or two at a time. :)  When you are silent I assume you enjoy my writing and couldn't care less if it changes, which I hope is true. But keep in mind I like hearing people enjoy my blog. Warms my heart, fills my ego, and everything similar. It is always nice to brighten someones day.

~Just a thought

“Don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself.”Sara Henderson

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I've decided to take some time away from talking about health and fitness and my personal life for a bit to go back to the original idea for starting this blog. People (and in this case a pet) who has changed my life for the better.

As I'm sure all, or most, of you know I have two dogs, Joey and Linux.
Though Joey is a pet, he hasn't effected me the way a first pet has like Linux (mostly because, well, he ISN'T my first pet.)

If you've read my entire blog, you know that I got pretty close to forced into getting Linux by my ex Ace. It's not that I didn't want him, it's just that I couldn't afford to take care of him with my time or money. I was already taking care of Ace and her dog Minni in a two bedroom apartment. And I was the only one with a job.

Linux's mom is a beautiful white Huskey named Izzy. She gave birth to five puppies. Two white, two black, and then Linux, who is a white pup with black splotches all over him.

I got him the moment I could, 8 weeks in, and he forever changed my life.

Now, people with pets, or just maybe dogs in general (no offense to cat lovers) will understand this next sentence, people without pets, please just nod along with all the agreers of peopel WITH their first pet. I love this dog like my child, and I would give anything up to make sure he is OK and taken care of. He isn't my soulmate, but he is definitely my counterpart. He makes sure I'm happy when I'm sad, and brings me to the ground when I've been on a high streak for too long.

He has destroyed, mangled, and dismantled more of my stuff than I probably have myself in my lifetime. Potty training alone cost a lot of money from powder carpet cleaners to professionals shampooing them.

I've been turned away from having homes because of his breed. Both Great Dane and Husky are on the "No-fly" list when it comes to apartments. They either have too much energy and/or are too big. He's probably kept me from making many bad calls though.

But I love him. And I love him more than he could ever understand. And he loves me. Unconditionally.

There was a time during the time I was living in the two bedroom apartment, Ace and I had fought. I was feeling incredibly upset, I don't even remember what it was. Linux had done something to get himself in trouble, probably trash from the trash can and I lost it, I yelled at him harshly and he cowered away into another room. Not one of my finest moments.

I go and sit on the computer. I do nothing on the computer for a good ten minutes. I calmed down and felt bad about for both the fight with Ace and yelling at Linux. I just sat there upset and ashamed. It was at that time Linux, who was sitting on the bed behind me, put his paw on my shoulder. I turn around and he looks at me... Unafraid, not mad, not upset, just there to make sure I have company. I wrapped him in a hug and laid on the bed. He laid his head on my stomach as I pet him.

There was another time much later, in a house I was renting, I got a new Xbox game and was playing it day in and day out. It was fun and friends came over and had a good time with it. I come home from work one day to find the controller chewed to bits. The bumper and trigger buttons missing. It really sucked, but that was just one of two, so I used the other one for some time. Sure enough, that one got destroyed by my wonderful pet too. I realized later that it was him trying to tell me he wanted attention, clearly I was spending too much time on my Xbox. I gotta tell you folks, I don't even remember the name of the game now.

On a similar note, I have been through many headsets for the computer. I've always packed them up, put them away, and Linux has always managed to destroy them when I get too involved with a game. One specifically, Left 4 Dead 2. MAN that game is a blast. But my buddies Aaron and John could testify, more than once I couldn't play without a headset, because Linux had gotten to it.

The thing about Linux, and most dogs I'm sure, is that he's are full of love, and that's it. I love him, he love him, plain and simple. Dogs absorb your personality, they become your companion and best friend. He is the only thing on this planet that could wake me up multiple times and I could never get mad at. (I'm literally holding back laughter right now remembering the many times he's woken me up.)

He's not the most obedient dog.
Nor the nicest.
Nor the quietest.
But he's the perfect dog.
For me.

~Just a thought.

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.  ~Gilda Radner

I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better.  They fight for honor at the first challenge, make love with no moral restraint, and they do not for all their marvelous instincts appear to know about death.  Being such wonderfully uncomplicated beings, they need us to do their worrying.  ~George Bird Evans, Troubles with Bird Dogs

One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why.  ~Author Unknown

Monday, August 20, 2012

Challenge Accepted.

First off, being a lefty while writing on a marker board is a pain in the butt. But here it is.

This one will be set up a bit differently, I am going to write down what I work out that particular day. If for some reason the day is blank, that means I didn't do anything that day, which isn't good if that happens more than one day in between two work outs.

I think I am also going to have a weigh-in every two weeks, Just to track, since that is kinda my goal now. As I have said before, I really don't like tracking weight as progress, because if I start building muscle, I am going to get heavy. BUT, my gut holds more weight than it should, and I've been 235lbs at my height/build before, so I think this'll work Ok.

Today was my dad's birthday today, he turned 50, so, if you could go to his facebook page (Paul Hoffman) from mine and wish him a good one I would appreciate it. You have till the 24th, but he checks his Facebook more often than he'll admit, and I'm sure he'd appreciate you posting/messaging him wishing him a good one. He is really the best father I could ever hope for. Back to me!

While at the birthday celebration I talked to Eric, Carol's son. Now, folks, he's crazy in shape, so I take his advice to heart. He tells me no bread/pasta as they are extra carbs, and the shake I make, which includes banana, should be a post-workout instead of a pre, because of the way the body will work with that good carb intake from the banana... Now, this is a big change for me. I like sandwiches, pasta, tortilla's and the like. That stuff is delicious. I tell him I am eating Whole wheat bread and whole wheat pasta, he shakes his head at me and says that doesn't make it any better, if I want to lose my gut, I should cut it out. And I should eat rice if I am so craving it. He says to buy a rice cooker, and make rice, with chicken and broccoli often (or other veggies, but broccoli is what I got in my freezer). It saddens me to say, but I will probably be giving my whole loaf of bread away and finish off my first loaf with my lean turkey and spinach sandwiches, and give up bread and most of pasta for a while. I watched this clip on how to eat healthy (portion sizes mostly), and the amount of pasta I have been eating compared to what I should be is incredibly high, so I need to cut back as it is. But once a week a small thing of pasta with veggies won't hurt. As for my smoothy? It isn't a great deal of stress, just drinking it before rather than after is fine.

Though I technically start today (Monday), Amanda and I went and worked out today (Sunday) after my dads birthday celebration, it was kinda intense.
Her and I are new-ish friends and we're still getting to know each other, but my goodness she's in shape. Well, "there's room for approval" as she puts it, but her start of a workout is running a 10-min mile. I'll be honest, I was trying to be the impressive one and keep up... That did not work folks. I was huffin and puffin, but I ran far more than I usually do. she definitely pushed me by just being there. Then we did a series of leg work outs on a few machines that I don't normally use, I was able to give a little advice on how to get a good workout on it if she isn't feeling the ache, and I think she appreciated it, either way, we did our leg work outs and it was good. Then we proceeded to abs and I made her do push-ups. It was a lot of fun and through out sweaty-ness we hugged and plan on working out upper body tomorrow (Monday), though I think we might need to separate it out a bit, chest/arms/ back are a lot to work out in a day, but we'll see. It was a lot of fun and I am really looking forward to doing it again.

Sounds like she had a good time to eh?

I am going to definitely try to balance it out and run with Jake in the morning as well. If Amanda and I continue to have success in going to the gym (which is truly half the battle, just getting there) then I will probably stop doing at home workouts by myself.

As for Jason and I, it is still kinda up in the air, if he has the strength to do it on his own, I'll probably let him go do that and handle his challenges on his own, but the past few times we've picked a time, neither of us could, I don't think our schedules mesh up right. What I am thinking about doing is going with him a few times to see what his outside workouts are about. If it is something I can adopt to my crazy schedule, then I will, but currently it really sounds like Amanda and Jake are pulling through for me, so I am going to pull through for them.
I have no ill feelings towards Jason at all, again I just don't think our schedules mesh well together. Opposite working schedules to begin with, ya know? Hopefully, it can be a once a week thing; maybe we'll find time to do a few solid work outs a month, a good way to keep tabs on each other.

Now, I know that after reading this, some of you are thinking, "you are doing too much" or "just get rid of one of them" and I'm telling you I am not going to.

If I am working hard, then I am happy. And I refuse to turn away someone who is trying to better there life. It is too important to be healthy just to turn someone away who may need me for that motivation. I have worked too hard and failed too many times to just let someone go if they are asking for help. Plus, if you think this is bad, just wait till I start hiking with Linux... My pup needs his exercise too.

That's about it for me for now. Starting the challenge, starting a new work out partner, and getting rid of one of my favorite foods for a while, pasta.

What have you been up to? Let me know!

~Just a thought.

It is not good enough to be good if you have the ability to be better - Albert Lee Cox.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Master of my Fate.

So it has been a while since I last wrote on this blog. It hasn't been anything outside of your normal laziness to be honest. That, and not too much exciting things have come my way recently.

On a very sad note, Tilted Kilt is cancelling my Karaoke nights for football. That makes me ridiculously sad. But I have most of my Karaoke friends on my Facebook now to keep in touch and grab beers with. I'm sure KJ Mike will get settled at a new location, thus dragging us all there for some type of reunion. Our waitress Amber (The coolest cat in the shin-dig aside from myself) said that it would be nice to be able to just sit back and hang out with all of us and not NEED to work. The lot completely agreed, and I joked that I'd still ask her for my drink out of habit. But it would be fun to see her relax a bit and just chill with us as friends rather than our hostess.

Speaking of beer! I don't drink that much anymore, beer that is. I usually get water or lemonade at the Tilted Kilt. I mean I'm not opposed to it, but I am glad it isn't a necessity to drink while karaoke-ing it up.

I do have some exciting news, for me at least, maybe not so much for you. I have developed a new challenge for myself that is going to start next Monday. Unlike the last one where I just started, I am giving myself a little heads up.

Here's how it is going to work:
After a nice haircut and shave prior to Monday, I am choosing not to shave or get another haircut until I am down to the weight I want to be at.

The reason why this is significant:
I have always liked the "clean cut" look, Meaning no facial hair at all. I think it is a bit old school now a days, but makes you look more professional and overall better looking.

The reason I have NEVER done that is because I do have a fat face. It is true, and my face is slightly more round than the squared jaw. I'm betting on if I lose more weight, eat better, I can actually get to that look. My big plan is to go as Captain America for Halloween, so my goal is October (less than 90days). But I need to get to the weight. And I will follow through with this plan. If I haven't reached my goal by October, than the beard and hair stays. Period.

My goal? I dunno quite yet. I'm thinking in the 235lbs range. I have made up the calendar, but I need to change a few things around on it before I post the picture of it.
It won't work the same way as the last one, instead, I am going to write in the workouts I did that day, and any healthy meals I ate.
If it is blank that means I totally effed up that day and to PLEASE yell at me. I will also separate the meal/workout via colors as well. That will be in the next post, the whole thing to follow my calendar and progress.

A couple people I want to recognize to help me through this process...

For WORKING OUT We have:
Jake: We have set up two days where we run together.
Jason "Boom" Legaard: He is gonna be my new motivational person and workout partner. We haven't gotten anything set up yet, but his ideas are crazy and intriguing, I hope to work out with him soon.
 And this wonderful female who was just added today!
Amanda: Brand-new work out buddy. Just finished finalizing the routines she wants to do, and she's expecting a lot of working out, and I'm gonna have to make sure I'm there every step of the way!

For NUTRITION We have:
Carol: She is a wonderful lady to have gotten to know, my dad's special lady, and she is as healthy as can be. She has certainly helped me keep my healthy lifestyle on track, and my fathers in a better light. We promised each other we will slowly influence my entire family to eat better. Muhahahaha. Look out family!
Ashley: One of my best friends in the entire world. I know that if I asked her to help bother me to stay healthy she will. And so the text will be sent tomorrow that I need to be reminded that healthy is the only way to go for me. I have 100% faith in her.
Kelli: Though we only talk on and off, I do not want to feel her wrath when I screw up. Her and I struggle together in the working out/healthy scene, and I know I can count on her to yell at me when I screw up.
Alicia/Elvis: I scrunch them up together because they are a couple. But they have helped me stay healthy, and have taken my health conversations seriously. I have a feeling they will definitely make sure my food stays where it needs to be. They stay healthy by playing in a few softball leagues, which is pretty cool in my mind. Maybe I'll join that some day.

Other people to recognize in both categories are Kristi, Amanda, and Sarah. I've spoken about all three of these ladies before. They are my editors when writing, my annoying texts telling me I should be going to the gym, or yelling at me when a fast food joint just sounds so good. I know that these three ladies over Facebook, phone, and in person will continue to bother me to help me to reach my goal. They are awesome.

So there's my team. My support system. I only have myself to blame if I fail, but I know that these people are the people who I will disappoint if I slip. It's a rather large team, but it takes a village, right?

Thank you all for your support and kind words. And, dear reader, even if you haven't been recognized, please understand the more people who support me, who are on board and remind and bother me about working out and eating right, the better off I'll be. I will not be annoyed. I will enjoy hearing from you. Heck, I will enjoy hearing from you even IF it isn't about my health and nutrition, don't be a stranger. :)

Edit: So I took out their last names, a little late I suppose, but for their security.  They should know who they are :)

Other than that... It is about time to sign off.

~Just a thought.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. 

Invictus - William Ernest Henley.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Giving Tree.

So... I enjoy writing. I enjoy writing because, much like reading, video games, and movies, it brings me out of my own world for a little while. I've written numerous short stories, several poems, and many, many little shorts and quirks that I end up deleting because I don't think it is any good.

This has come to many compliments, critiques, and complaints from friends and family. Some because when I get in a writing mood, I write a lot, and want to know what people think of it. Others because they are my rendition of popular shows and games I like (Such as Hitman, Firefly, Underworld, and Harry Potter.) Mostly though, because my good stories I end up stopping because I get writers block. Crazy bad too, sometimes for a few months.

When I write, I let anyone read who asks and one of those people was my friend Kristi. She fell in love with my writing, has encouraged me to write more, and has actually helped me to pause a scene and describe it more smoothly. It has really helped me paint a picture for someone before actions and conversation occurs.

Well, I have been getting writers block on my main story I call "Heroes" and she wasn't too happy, as she is a fan of the characters (Up to seven chapters btw, WOO!) and wanted to read more. I told her I have the ideas, just nothing really coming to mind. So she gave me a challenge.

At 2:30am, she thought of a fun game, she gives me a scenario or synopsis of my story, and then I write the story. It was supposed to be just for the half hour between 2:30-3am, but after it was clear I wasn't going to finish, she wanted an e-mail sent with the story every half hour. Furthermore, she said that she is going to give me a situation I've never done before to make it more difficult for myself and open me to new ideas. This was her synopsis:

So in ancient times where the Faeries still pose as gods to the humans there is a woman who prays to the "gods" to let her little brother recover from his illness and live. Her prayer results in her being taken as payment and brought to the world of the Fae as a captive of the Faery who cures her little brother. Eventually the Faery falls in love with her and she has to decide to stay with him or go back to her world with her little brother

Sounds simple enough right? Faeries, humans, sickness, family and lastly love... But I normally don't deal with love and sickness and prayer and the like. But I gave it a shot.

After the first half hour she read what I wrote, and said she wanted more "Ooey Gooey" love. *Sigh*. Women right? Now, the story is below. I wrote this within a four hour period, separated into two nights. Let me know what you think please, and, as said above, if you have any interest in reading any of my stories, feel free to comment below or on FB, I would love to hear from any of you!

A Deal is a Deal:
Catherine knelt down at the base of the Giving Tree, the largest tree in the forest. Her knees dug into the ground as she leaned forward and clasped her hands together. She knew that the Faeries loved nature and hoped some would be near to listen to her plea.
“Dearest Faeries of the forest, Please help me find a cure for my brother Thomas. He is in need of a root that is beyond my reach and I fear the worst. He hasn’t shown signs of getting better for many days, and his fever has returned. Our father’s passing has been hard on us, and it is too soon for me to see another loved one ascend to the heavens. Please help.” A single tear fell from her eye as she said amen. She stood and turned. She stopped herself from wiping the dirt off her dress for now, not wanting to offend any Faeries that may be watching her.
It was the sound of the tear drop that brought the attention of Atlas the Faery. He enjoyed listening to the water flow through the roots of his trees, but he hadn’t heard a raindrop in a few weeks. He sat upon a large root as Catherine passed him unnoticed. He admitted he was mildly annoyed that the drop wasn’t, in fact, rain, but when she raised her pale face from her hands he knew he wanted her. She was a close definition of beauty in his eyes, her hair was a pale blonde much like her skin with a natural wave to it. Her dress was plain as well, a pale blue, though through the night sky it, too, matched her skin. The dress’s only feature was a pocket in the front for carrying berries. Everything about her was plain, he noted, there didn’t seem to be a shred of uniqueness about her, which is probably why she intrigued him so much. She wasn’t perfect, but pretty and plain enough for him to look at on a daily basis.
He listened to her expressed thoughts through the trees, and then listened for a few more as the trees recounted her prayer. He smiled both outwardly and inwardly as he came up with a plan.
Atlas grabbed the root he was sitting on and sunk in, swimming through the roots in her direction. He listened through the trees when she changed direction and shortly after got ahead of her and sat on another trunk and waited for her to pass by.
“So, your brother is sick?” the faery said as she walked by him again. Catherine jumped at his voice, and turned and faced him with a cocked head.
“Yes, how did you know?” She replied looking at her surroundings for others, “Have you been following me? Who are you?”
Atlas thought a moment, “I’m called the Atlas of the woods. I am one of the Faeries of this forest. And to answer your other question, yes, I have been, I heard your prayers and have come to answer them, but I need to ask what you are willing to give up.”
Catherine’s face brightened and took Atlas’s hand in her own, “Anything Atlas. I’ll give anything for my brother. Please you have to help me.”
Atlas continued to look at her hands around his left. His ear twitched once as he was offended a creature such as her would touch him. But then he looked up and decided to forgive her, “That’s what I thought, because a life is a pretty pricy thing.”
The woman dropped his hand and looked at him, “What is it that you want Mr. Atlas Faery?”
Atlas smiled, “You.”
Catherine waited for him to continue, and then looked around for anyone nearby, now very much aware of Atlas’s lack of clothing. His skin was a color of dark green and brown, with only a few leaves to cover his nether regions. Only his face showed a different color of the trees around them, which was just a lighter shade of green. His only feature that didn’t resemble the woods was his short, spiked hair he seemed to keep track of. She stopped and thought for a moment. Giving herself up would be worth it for her brother, even if she didn’t have it to share with her future husband someday. If he was a loving husband, he would understand love and love her for who she is, despite being with more than one man.
Her hand went to the top button of her dress and fidgeted with it while thinking, “That is a cruel choice, for me to give myself up to you in such a manner Mr. Atlas Faery. I love my brother and I want to see him cured.”
Atlas laughed and shook his head, “I don’t want that, no, well, maybe someday when I get bored. But I want you. For you to come live with me in my world in my house for forever until I release you or until his death. A life for a life.
She hesitated, but the thought of her brother outweighed any price, “And you promise he will recover?”
“I promise his life will be full of health and forever immune to the sickness he currently bestows.”
She stuck out her hand to shake. He looked at it for a moment, then looked at her with his emerald eyes. “Fantastic.”
Catherine looked out the window of her perfect home, viewing and listening to the quiet of the forest. The window then flashed, and showed her former home, her brother now married with a little one as his son and another on the way. The window then flashed one more time, it was still the old cottage, but she saw the younger form of herself, and of her brother, holding hands and running through the new flowers that had bloomed. She wiped the tear from her eye. It has been six months since she left her home.
Atlas had treated her well. He forced her to wear her hair in a braid, and told her to grow it out to just beyond her waist, and the only clothing she ever had were the same pale dresses time and time again. There was never any forcing or harm of any physical kind, but there were little gifts of affection given either. The only thing he did allow, after a several month time was the window, which could see anything she so desired.
He had come home through the door, and greeted her with a smile and a kiss on her cheek. He sat down as food became tangible on their table. He took the first piece of roasted bird and bit into it. Atlas then tore off a piece for her and set it on a plate. She ate little, feeling homesick again, which became more and more common.
“What’s the matter?” Atlas said after a short time, “Are you still unhappy here?”
“No, it’s not that, Atlas, you have been good to me.” She said and forced a smile in his direction, “I just get lonely sometimes is all.”
“But you have your window. You can see everything from past to present and even glimpses of the future. It is perfect here for you.” Atlas replied, “And you have me for eternity, or for as long as you wish past your commitment.”
She didn’t say anything else. Despite how polite and kind he was to her, she felt caged. After her commitment, however, there may not be anywhere else to go. Catherine sat there for a while in silence while Atlas changed from doing things around his place to studying her. He startled her when he placed his hands on her shoulders from behind her, “May I show you something?”
Catherine turned looked up at him, he had a kindness in his eyes she’d never seen before until this moment. She raised her hands to his and nodded. Flashes of colors occurred around them and then they were on the edge of a forest of pale, multicolored bark. And upon stepping out of the woods there were wildflowers of both possible and impossible colors. Flowers from all walks of life, roses, dandelions, sunflowers, forget-me-nots, lilies, and flowers she had never seen. The only thing in the way of this beautiful painting she was standing in was a cottage. It had stone walls and a mix of wood and stone for its roofing with a chimney sticking out of the back on the right side. A single tree stood outside with a swing on it, and a well and fire pit for both smoking and cooking. Though she was about a mile away, she could see how perfect it was, how it was so much like her home she used to know. In an instant thought she was at the house, running her hand over the rope of the swing, then the rough wall of the home. And the uneven wood of the door. She pushed it open. Inside it was empty, with nothing but a fire in the fireplace place giving off heat.
“I haven’t had time to create the inside yet.” Atlas said behind her, startling her once again. He was holding the most perfect roses. Each pedal in the place it should be, with every rose in full bloom.
“What is all this for?” Catherine said, taking the bouquet and smelling the sweet smell of the roses.
“I’ve fallen in love with you Catherine.” Atlas said, “This whole place, the woods, fields, home, is all yours. And anything else your heart desires. I’ve been creating it since you entered my domain.”
Tears welled up in her eyes for a few moments, it was the single kindest thing anyone has ever done for her. After all that she had sacrificed, she finally felt appreciated, “I do not understand Atlas, you, you love me?”
Atlas shrugged, “Least I think I do. I dunno, it’s kinda a new thing for me.” He waved his hand and a chair appeared in the air. He hopped up and despite nothing beneath the chair, it still remained afloat. He scratched his chin for a moment, then looked down at Catherine and smiled.
She stared at him in disbelief and shook her head, finding his child-like nature a little annoying, “How do you not know?
He smiled down at her, “Love is imperfect. You love the imperfections of someone, and those imperfections make them perfect for you. I, however, have been perfect since the day I was created. This love thing, imperfection, is new to me.”
Catherine tilted her head and thought a moment, “So, you are saying I am imperfect?”
Atlas laughed, “Oh, very much so.”
She looked up at him offended, and he continued, “But that is why I love you so. Your beauty shines brighter than my woods to me. Your pale dress and long hair and fair skin… Catherine, design this house how you see fit. Tell me and I will make it for you.”
She looked around the empty cabin and a warm feeling boiled inside of her as she recalled memories from her family’s life in their home. She pointed for a couch to be to the right, a pair of bunk beds her and her brother shared to the left. In one of the two bedrooms she created her parents room, just as it was when she was little. A few paintings she could remember doing on canvas during the year she thought she would be a painter now hung up in the second bedroom next to a bed and a lamp. An iron stove, cabinet, and shelves filled the kitchen. A small desk was put in the main room next to the couch, where her mother used to sew. Catherine then added blankets her mother crochet onto the couches and beds.
By the time Catherine was done modeling her home, she had tears in her eyes and true joy in her heart. She had thought of so many happy memories that she thought she had lost.
“It’s perfect. So lovely” She thought aloud, “Everything the house should be Atlas.”
She turned and embraced him in a hug, tears freely flowing from her eyes. He returned the hug and held her close, “This is now our home, if you wish it to be.”
Catherine backed away, and a sinking feeling grew in her heart, “Atlas, what you have done for me is incredible. But if I am to stay with you I don’t want to live here. This is my home, my memories.”
For the first time in a very long time, Atlas felt sad, “Is this not what you want? It is perfect here. Everything has been made to your desires and specifications! You still do not wish to live with me?”
Catherine truly felt sorry for Atlas, he had put in a lot of work into this place, “These are my memories Atlas, but not my home. This place is perfect and will always be perfect. Even you said love is found in imperfections. The love for the bunk beds is when mine broke and fell on top of Thomas. Or when my brother encouraged me to paint even though my paintings weren’t selling. After an afternoon of running around, my mother would have to sew the tears in my clothes them back up. These are what I long for, Atlas, not perfection. I am sorry, but I cannot escape what I truly feel.”
Atlas hung his head, “I will let you go home to your brother and mother, you will be free, if that is what you wish.”
“It is.”
As quick as the beauty came to life in their surroundings, it was destroyed. The furniture lit aflame and crumbled. The stone aged and cracked and fell apart. Upon exit on the cottage the flowers turned gray and wilted as far as the eye could see. The trees themselves turned to stone as both Atlas and Catherine left that world.
Catherine opened her eyes and found herself in the woods near her family’s cottage kneeling at the giving tree. She stood and ran home, skipping over rocks and roots. She saw her family’s home and sprinted the last few feet. Her brother came from the cottage and embraced her when she reached home. He kissed her on her forehead and she felt she would never let go. She was home.
Suddenly, Thomas coughed, and forced her to back away scared. Thomas’s eyes grew wide and they turned gray. He then reached out a hand to grasp Catherine’s, but it had turned to stone. His eyes looked just behind her, before he was lost completely.
Catherine turned and saw Atlas there standing just above the ground, “What… What have you done!?”
“A deal is a deal,” The Faery said looking at his fingernails, “You didn’t hold up your end of the bargain, so I couldn’t hold up mine.”
Catherine ran up to him and fell against his chest in tears, “I will come back, please, just let me have my brother!”
Atlas pulled her up to his eyes by her shoulders, “Love is such a useless emotion. You shouldn’t waste it on such a feeble creature like I did.”
Atlas dissipated and she fell to her knees. She looked up for just a moment and saw the forest in front of her cottage turn to stone and crumble. Catherine turned toward her brother, who also started crack. She wrapped herself around Thomas pleading as the statue started age and break down. The forest turned to rubble and Catherine caught a single tear from the stone face of her brother as it collapsed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

One year anniversary.

I realized this evening that it has been over a year since I started this blog. 36 posts, 1809 page views from myself and others. And according to Blogger I have a fan in Alaska.

I get a lot of compliments from my posts from different people. And when I don't post I will get a complaint from someone random who I didn't think would read it. So it is always refreshing to know my 'musings are enjoyed. Thank you.

This particular post is gonna be a pretty big one I think. Be prepared to read.

Start off with the fun stuff.

As I am sure most of you know, the siblings, my hats, and myself made a trip to San Diego, California this past week. Man alive it was really so close to perfect. The only complaint I had at the beginning of the trip was the streets / traffic, but I got used to it. The only complaint that I have upon leaving is that no one with a California license plate can park properly. Everyone parks crooked.

Spent most of the time at the beach, and despite the cool temperatures and overcast weather, Dylan, Tiffany and I all got sunburned. The four of us jumped through waves and even just stared out at the ocean. The never ending ocean is just a site to see. It is almost enlightening to understand that at the other end of the ocean is Asia.

Coincidentally my friend Megan and her friend (...Shelby?) headed to San Diego on the same weekend. Her and I met up and took a few pictures on the beach. It was awesome.

During the trip and as we were leaving, I told the group that I was planning on moving to San Diego. I was on a nice temperature, beautiful green view and  ocean front property high. But being back in Arizona and coming off that high I still really, really want to move back. Now I've been told it is expensive, which is true, and I've been reminded that I won't know anyone there, which is also true. There isn't an impossibility in those setbacks though. There are one or two Universities there which could easily host a variety of support and computer related jobs. And, though my friends won't be there in person, I will make new friends, and thanks to the wonderful internet, friends are much closer than they appear. And, let's face it, I would only be six hours away from my hometown. I am giving myself a year to get my finances and act together to get set for this move. I want my gut to be gone, and these different bills to be taken care of. My credit card expense is growing, and I owe the IRS some money that really needs to be taken care of sooner rather than later. These are musts before I move to a place where the bills will be higher and I can walk on a beach every other day.

Now this is the plan, but not set in stone. There are many different roads that could happen. I have decided that if I end up getting a good promotion at my job, giving me a reason to stay, then I'll stay. There are other instances, of course, falling in love, family emergency, wars break out in SD, I dunno. All seem rather unlikely to me, but possible.

But, if I am going to be honest, and I always am, San Diego hasn't captured my heart fully yet. A big piece still, of course, resides in AZ, and another actually resides in Minnesota. Why Minnesota? Well, I promise you there is a legitimate reason, but only certain people get to know. I will tell you, though, that I have considered moving up north in that direction, get the cool, but humid summers, with an actual monsoon season and then snow during the winter. I could get to liking having four actual seasons. If I am to move there though, I do give the same requirements before moving -  gut and bills.

Transition over to working out. Tomorrow is my last soda/beer free day, and I am more excited than I should be for it to be over. I really think I can stay away from soda from here on out with ease, however, I miss beer. One thing about this experience though is the ability to say no. One experience in particular was going out dancing with my friends Amanda and Jo at Toby Keith's. Despite what I wanted to drink (and could have ordered), the three of us just drank water all night instead of alcohol. It was actually very refreshing. I feel that I danced well, learned a few new moves, didn't spend a bunch of money, and danced with these two pretty ladies.
I did a similar thing when hanging out with my friend Brenda, I had one drink, and then water for the evening. It was nice, and including the guy's cover charge, not an expensive night out.

My workouts have lessened in recent times, I worked out pretty well in San Diego, and we walked for miles on the beach and stores and the pier, but coming back I haven't really gotten back into the groove. The reason is that I want to change my workouts some by adding more cardio, but I haven't figured out how I want to implement it. Walking Linux and Joey may be the solution, but I fear for their paws on the sidewalks and streets, or even hikes if I took them with me. The ground can get HOT. The gym is another option, biking and treadmill, but those, to me, get boring very fast without a partner to talk to, and I currently don't have one. I do plan on a few more hikes though; I really enjoy the views they offer, so if you are interested in setting up a time to go, hit me up.

My smoothies are back in full swing, but I have slipped a few times in the fast food department. I had a few meals planned out for the week, but I left the food that I was given by my friend Stephy in the car and had to throw it out. I'm sure she would give me more if I had asked (pulled BBQ pork), but I am a little embarrassed by losing the nice portion she had given me.
I plan to boil some chicken and make some healthy chicken tacos with Spinach and bell peppers this week, so it will get rid of my constant Mexican food craving.

 Lastly, I have received numerous compliments on my looks and weight loss in the past week or two and thank you for the compliments, they are encouraging. It does sometimes get really difficult, especially when it feels like it is being done for nothing. But when people are around you supporting you, it gets easier. I've been told once you've find that nook and make it a habit, it becomes like an every day thing. Well, that hasn't happened yet, nor has it ever happened for me. It is always a forceful task, an interruption of my computer/sleep time to do some working out. But I still do it, and can still do it. My goal is always ever so nearer.

By the way, quick question, anyone count calories before? I've been thinking about doing it for a week or so just to see how I stack up on my diet. One thing California has on every restaurant menu is the estimated amount of calorie intake, which I think should be mandatory for every state. It really help me choose one over the other. a 1100 calorie burger rather than a 600 calorie skillet. Both still incredibly high in calories, but the 500 difference is a difference. So, if you have, or have an app that makes it easy for me, let me know!

That's pretty much my life in a nutshell. I had dinner with my friends Victoria and Corey Leatherman. They came in from California on their way to Florida, and stopped and had dinner with me and their friends John and Lisa. It was really good seeing them. Corey actually found Victoria online while he was in the military. From what I know of the story, he just messaged her on Facebook telling her how beautiful she was. She was flattered, and they started talking. They are now some of the happiest people I've seen married. They aren't perfect, but perfect for each other. It's good to follow the phrase "Stranger Danger" when you are a kid, but when you grow up, sometimes you gotta give it a chance.I told this to my friend, she says they should write a book about it, because it does seem really romantic, and if you knew some of their stories like I do, you'd definitely agree. I don't completely understand why they are so fond of me, but the feeling is mutual, they are awesome.

Thanks again for the constant encouragements for everything my friends and family do for me. Thank you for reading my posts and if you feel that my stories on here could help someone, definitely spread the word, or have the said people message me directly. If you know me, the one thing I can't get enough of is more friends.

~Just a thought.

Carpe Diem.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And it continues...

It has been 30 days to the day since I started the "No beer, no soda" 60-day challenge. And I gotta be honest, it's been a thrill, for more than one reason. But, let's get to the nitty gritty of this first.

First off, I gotta pass his name again, Jason "JBoom" Legaard, for inspiring me to do this. He has his 90-day challenge with his health shakes that he promotes, and I always like to make things tougher on myself, which made me choose this health challenge. I have implemented a health shake for a meal, just like he suggested, and it lets me be healthy full for a few hours.

For those who don't keep tabs on me on Facebook, here is what my calendar looks like after a month.

 The Sunday was a soda, the rest are gym related. Being lazy. But, as I am sure you noticed though, My weight within a two and a half weeks time went from ~265lbs to 256lbs. It could be more, as my 265 was always an estimate, but the point is 256lbs... I haven't been that light in... Well... A few years. As my calendar as proof, it really lit a fire inside of me to continue. Those next two weeks of working out and dietary habits were a breeze. I never, ever, suggest looking at the numbers, as it isn't my weight, but shirt size that matters... But my god was it a positive influence to see. 

I remember my buddy Jake not believing I weighed 279lbs one night after we had Thanksgiving in the beginning of December, 2011. He brought out his scale and I stood on it, no jacket, shoes, or items in my pockets. Sure enough, 279lbs. He owed me a dollar. I never wanted to see a scale tell me that again.

This is my habits of food thus far ----
 My "Morning" (4pm) consists of blueberries, a couple strawberries, banana, ice, and milk, with Vi-Shake nutritional shake mix all blended together and a cup of 100% not concentrated Apple Juice. Take vitamins. Drink shake while on the computer doing my normal morning routine of FB, Gmail, Youtube, and Lifehacker. That is my breakfast.

"Lunch" (10pm-midnight) is whatever I had leftover at home, or some type of homemade meal I made. I didn't restrict myself too heavily on this, but the key was to make it at home, not heat up, make it. The food ranged from tacos, Chicken Alfredo, Spaghetti, or bean and cheese burritos. I have chicken enchilada's waiting at my dads too, which was made by the wonderful Carol and my darling sister Tiffany. The only exception to this rule was leftovers from restaurants. The reason? It's a much smaller portions normally (being leftovers) and the food I order could not be made in a frier.

Dinner (5:30am-8am) is normally something really light, as I head to bed shortly after. Lately it has been unsalted Cashews and some cherries and cranberries, just something to put me in the mood to snooze.

My falters during this month.
-I've had fast food once for lunch, it was Sonic.
-I had a Jack and Coke with my cousin who was on leave for the military.
-I haven't been to the actual LA Fitness Gym in a few weeks, home workouts only.

Time for the fun news. This whole experience has really enlightened the way I feel about certain things. Just changing a few things in my life that I loved, the beer and soda, has really strengthened me to not eat fast food, to cut back on my portions, to drink more healthy liquids and really keep an eye on myself. Even when it came to the mixed drinks I order on the rare occasion I drank. It was "cranberry juice and vodka" and nothing else. I kept it simple so I know what my intake is. I told myself at the beginning, if I am gonna do this, I need to do it full force. And so far, I really felt that I have. I like having this self-accomplishment I got going on.

Second, I really owe my friends and family for their full support in this endeavor. They have really helped me keep myself in check. Sarah and Kelli always encourage me to work out, and have taken it upon themselves to hold me to it. My sister, brothers, and my good friend Mike G are always making sure I don't have beer.
 And with all this being said... My challenge was to not have any beer or soda for 60 days. That was it. Everything else in my normal lifestyle wasn't supposed to change. But my family and friends have really stepped up there game to make sure my choices outside of soda and beer stay healthy as well.

Mike told our server to get me a salad at the Tilted Kilt instead of the Bacon cheeseburger I was trying to order. Chelsie (our server and friend of ours) brought out the salad.

Alicia was eating a Kitkat and offered me some and then pulled it away, saying "Oh wait, you're on your diet" And I told her my challenge did not involve Kitkat bars and I want one, but she refused! "Nope, you don't get one." and popped the last piece in her mouth.

My sister and Carol made the chicken enchiladas, and Tiffany was nice enough to put some aside specifically for me to take to work, knowing that it fit well into my challenge.

Thank you again to everyone who I did and did not mention. I'd lie if I said it was easy... But I'd be lying even more if I said it was hard. It would be difficult if all of you didn't help me out. Just another 30 days to go... It'll be July 19th when I finish this up... No Excuses.

Just FYI, I love reading comments, and haven't had any as of late... So comment below! You don't need to sign up, just name and e-mail I think. Easy Schmeezy.

~Just a thought.
“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered.”

― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vielo the Priest.

Part 2:

“I was once a priest that was possessed by a demon called Seraf. I knew of the demon’s presence before the possession was complete, and I had finished a prayer to banish Seraf at the same moment he possessed me. The mixture of dark and holy magic melded him within me, his soul now attached to mine. Without a pure soul to run the body, I started to age and decay.
                “I spent more and more time away from my people and more within the confines of my studies, trying to find a way to purify my soul and get rid of Seraf without arising suspicion. I was afraid that with an unclean soul they wouldn’t trust me, and I truly loved it there in Swallow. I used to pray for hours on end, but prayer now hurt, as the demon’s soul was now mine and he was not holy. It wasn’t until a month passed that my fellow priests and took notice. My brothers by god, Father Aztha and Father Leo, attempted to exorcize the demon from within me. It was only then did I realize the power within me. The demon was powerful, and he was mine. I did not want him to escape me. Luckily, my conscience had since withered away and I gave in to the demon’s promises. As our two souls became one I rose and escaped, killing Aztha in the process.
                “I was banished for the death of a high priest, and left for six years searching for a home. I practiced the dark magic’s mixed with holy magic. The ability to separate a soul from its body is a great tool when they speak of blasphemy. My flock became large and even those who perished could rise to follow me. I returned to Swallow no longer as a priest, but as a god. My minions ran through the village converting its people. It did not matter to me or my flock if they were alive or dead. Priests and nuns and monks ran out to defend their people, but their holy magic’s could only withstand my influence for so long. I entered the cathedral setting it aflame. On the balcony I saw Father Leo, now a legend and hero among his people.
                “Leo and I fought a glorious battle, dark vs. light, eternal death vs. eternal life. We were perfect for each other. A counter for every swing, a parry for every thrust. It could have lasted forever. There was only one moment of mistake. Leo had stepped back, sword in hand, and raised it toward me and started to utter an incantation. A sword such as his went into his back and out his chest, his partner Aztha, now a member among my flock holding the blade.
                “I put my hand of death onto Leo’s brow, telling him that he will become my disciple and will join Aztha soon.
                “The church was razed to the ground and the people there were now among my flock. I cursed the ground to make sure no life there grew again. I no longer felt it right to call myself Vielo, he was a priest, where I am a god.
                “I am Veraf, the sum and murderer of Vielo the high priest, and Seraf the demon. Necromancer and death dealer. Shunned by demons as a holy man, shunned by people as cursed. And you are the only one who has escaped my grasp, the one I have hunted hoping you would follow me as a disciple, and it is you who has come to kill me… Yet it is I who have you trapped, Drave, the demon hunter. Stripped of both your revolvers, surrounded by lava, and now only holding a femur in your left hand as a club, you still fight a god. You have sent both Aztha and Leo to the afterlife right before me, but I forgive you. I am confident their deaths will be a fine price to pay for someone such as you.”
                Veraf stuck out his hand, now nothing but bone with a purple glow on his index finger. As it came close to Drave’s brow, Drave dropped the femur and pulled his third revolver and fired two silver bullets into Veraf’s chest. He fell to a knee, for the first time in a long time feeling real pain. Drave fired a third shot that sent the priest onto this back.
                Drave stepped onto the priest’s chest; it protruded a dark, coagulated blood. Drave took a fourth shot into the skull, Veraf’s eyes rolled into the back of his head. With a small kick, Veraf rolled into the liquid fire, a brief scream let out before silence.

                The cowboy walked back to the bar where he sat, his whiskey still on the step. He took a swig and then dumped out the remains. He took a parchment from his jacket pocket. The paper was thick with a note already written. He rolled it up and slid it into the bottle and then sealed it. He took off his hat and placed it on a nail on one of the posts. He then slid off his jacket and hung it on another. Lastly, he took off his belt, along with the two revolvers and hung them on a third.
Drave set the bottle with the parchment in front of his effects. He turned around and never looked back.