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bear by san

March 2017



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rengeek will and tilda

these days it's all about the monkeys.

It's only 9:30, and I have taken  to my bed. Not because I'm tired--well, okay, I lie. I'm physically tired from exercise, but not sleepy--but because it's comfy in here and the cat has come to snuggle and I have nothing else to do.

The malady persists. When I am not working on a story, I have no idea how to fill up my days. So many of the things I like to do with my spare time involve thinky for fun, after all, and one of the reasons I need breaks between writing things is that telling stories is an exhaustive mental effort. They use up all my thinky, and then I am left without too much else to fill up my time. (There are physical limits on how much climbing and running I can do, after all.)

And it cracks me up, because when I am actually working on a story and it's ready to be written (as opposed to being hacked out of the living rock to beat a deadline), I am crabby and reclusive and very defensive of my precious time, and very very aware that there's not nearly enough of it. The winged chariot is right at my heels, and there is never enough time in the day and strength in my poor mortal frame to get as much done as I want to. So I tend to slough things off--things like grocery shopping, practicing guitar, and cleaning the house, and getting up to go for a run--because I get up and go to work instead.

And then in the times between stories, I cook and put things in the freezer, and wash the floor, and make sure the plants get watered. (The cat is better at complaining when her needs aren't met.

I determined something today, which is that I think I need to eat more carbs. I've been cutting back on calories in an attempt to drop some weight, because both the running and the climbing would be easier if I were not on the chubby side (If you want to climb better, lose five pounds) and of course the first thing to go is the fat and the more or less refined carbs--especially in the summer time when there is all this amazing produce around--because my body is very very adamant about its protein demands.

Except I had pizza and cookies and beer last night, along with more cheese and crackers than were strictly good for me (oh, god, I could live on cheese and crackers) and I woke up this morning full of energy and raring to go, after having been unable to drag myself outside for a run since Wednesday. So I went over to the gym and threw myself at bouldering problems for a couple of hours, and felt great.

Definitely time for me to step up the climbing to 3x/week regularly. If I can manage to get out for a three mile run on two or three days, that should keep me in some kind of cardio shape.... and then all I have to do is remember to stretch. And not kill my upper body on archery days.



You are such a problem child.

Also, it's craving brownies, but since I'm giving it chocolate cake on Wednesday, it can just pull up a chair and wait.

It's not like I eat an excessive or un-nutritious diet, and I certainly give it enough exercise. And yet it refuses to do things that would make its life easier, like giving up forty or sixty pounds that aren't helping it at all (The government thinks I need to lose closer to 84 pounds. I think the government has not taken into account my skeletal structure, musculature, and the laws of physics.)

So anyway, more carbs, distributed throughout the day. Maybe with cheese on them. Because cheese is the one true food of which all others are merely shadows. I keep being so tempted to just go, fuckit, quit worrying about the strength/weight ratio and eat whatever your body tells you to eat (a strategy that generally works pretty well for me), except my time-honored tradition of eating less energy calories than I expend is just not working for me currently and I want to climb and run better.

SIGH. And right now, for comparison's sake, I am doing both in the equivalent of a thirty-kilo pack.

Well, the meat as to give up this battle eventually. I'm stubborner.

Anyway, work happened last week, and right now my thinky bit is resting, and so while I'm wishing I had the brain to finish Bone & Jewel Creatures or maybe get a draft of "Smoke & Mirrors" and also do some work on "Mongoose," well.

Despite the fact that I am bored and at lose ends and have no idea what to do with myself right now (A condition technically known as "post-novel ennui"), there just is no there there. And asking for it is as useless as asking a marathon runner for just one more sprint when he's just crossed the finish line.

Some days it's all about the recovery time.


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I share your adoration of cheese.

One thing - slightly odd but true - that's helped cheese cravings for me was something my herbalist said in trying to work with lung issues, namely that lung issues suck fat soluble vitamins like no one's business.

I've found that supplementing A and E (in very moderate doses: I go with the low end of whatever's on the instructions) makes my cheese/ice-cream/fatty food cravings disappear like magic. I still like all of the above, but it's a lot easier to eat it and put it away, and a lot less like my body trying to yell "More cheeeeeeeeese!" up my throat from a long distance.

I mention this not in the "You should go do this" but in a "I totally hadn't made two parts of that connection before, and find it good to know, if not for you, for someone else reading." sort of way. (The two parts being the lung-function stuff, and the fact the supplementation obviously fills a needed gap for me.)
...huh, that is interesting. Thank you. *files*
Because cheese is the one true food of which all others are merely shadows.

Tis true. "Blessed are the cheesemakers." Wasn't that what Jesus said? ;)
Well, he should have.

mmm, cheese.
It does happen that this week there's some pretty fun sports to watch on telly.
Alas. Watching sports on the telly is, for me, somewhere south of watching paint dry for "Fun things to do."

Actually, the telly in general is wasted on me, with a very few notable exceptions.
And the thing that really pisses me off about being fat is, you still get so damn hungry and tired if you don't eat! I would happily carry around my thirty extra pounds or whatever it is if it meant that on long runs I would be prepared and wouldn't get that loopy exhaustion when my stomach is empty. I would be smug at all the skinny runners with their gatorade and energy gels and what have you. WHAT THE FUCK FAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE STORING CALORIES FOR ME TO USE, NOT FOR DECORATION.
Right? I am about twenty pounds in to a campaign to lose forty or fifty, and sometimes I want to chuck it in and say WTF BODY, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO USE THIS FOR SOMETHING. Why the hell did I grow all this extra weight if I can't even use it for energy later?
I am having a similar problem with weight and exercise. I have 30 pounds that didn't used to be here, and I wouldn't mind so much, except I row. And I might as well be putting a bag of lead on my seat, for what that does to my time. It's frustrating to think of how much faster I could be.
For reference, as of last Friday(1) I had rowed(2) 50 km in the previous seven days and the extra weight I don't want(3) *is still here*. So frustrating.

1) Because we took the weekend off and went to the beach. But there was kayaking and hiking in steamy heat, so.
2) Technically erged. I live in Taipei and can't get on the water as much as I'd like. FWIW, the women's coach at UCSD (who also does masters clinics) says erging is ~20% more effort.
3) 5-10 lbs, not thirty, but I'm hoping to head it off before it gets any worse.

Exciting to see another rower here!
When you're mentally exhausted from writing, is *all* mental effort really worn? I ask sincerely, out of curiosity, because I would have figured that different aspects of mental effort would still be going strong; the math centre, for instance, or visual-spatial, or strategic, or even other forms of pattern recognition.

At least, that's how it's worked for me; if I can isolate the aspects related to writing out, I can find things to do.

I'm with vito_excalibur on the extra weight/tiredness. WTF??
Someone once told me that if you're burned out in your left brain, you should do something right-brained, and vice versa. So, if you're mathed out, sing a song.

What to do if you're generally burned out, I don't have a clue.
I'd suggest gardening except that I know that's not exactly practical at your place. I find that having something to do with my hands really helps with that kind of antsiness. So some sort of craft? You could get yourself a big box of sculpy and go wild -- brainless and fun! You could model yourself your own little Promethean Age play set. (-:

There are also a ton of little tiny museums and historical sites around New England, all of which are hurting for the $5 or whatever that each visitor brings. That might be too close to thinky-fun though. There's MassMOCA. There's also longer-excursion things like Acadia and Bar Harbor, Hammond Castle in Gloucester, Pergatory Chasm, etc.

I dunno what else to suggest. Do you know if what you need is more the getting out, or the physical activity?
Introvert, remember? I'm already stressed out about Viable Paradise and a birthday party this weekend. More things involving dealing with people will not distract me while my brain regrows; they will just make me tireder and more out of sorts.

Hello, here is where I proselytize about the Wonderful World of Knitting When Braindead. Boring simple stuff like baby blankets (that you then give away to women's shelters and Afghans for Afghans). Come to the dark side! We have fuzzy socks we made ourselves!
Sorry. Knitting is boring* and I am bad at it.

Also, I don't need any more expensive time-consuming hobbies. *g*

(I realize not everybody feels this way, but I'd rather insert that needle into my eye and give myself a home lobotomy.)
I'm with you on this cheese thing--I need protein lately, is what I need...

Also with you on the resty-thing: lately all I seem to be doing is resting, or maybe diverting the thinky to something other than poetry? Except, I am perenially the procrastinator...XP
Alexander Technique and/or Feldenkrais method might be worth a try. They're ways of getting more efficient movement.
I _loved_ the Feldenkrais for climbers class I took because it was all about paying attention to how small, subtle changes in movement patterns can have huge effects. For me, it was great for things like accumulating a bunch of practices that would teach me not to overgrip, or changing my body position to minimize tension in my feet or shoulders.
Cheese - and plenty of it - seems to work for Michael Phelps! (Which, Lord knows, is not advice, because - well, because...)
I am in a hideous place where even cheese is not always good, and that makes me sad. There is Alpenzeller in the fridge, and the meatpuppet says "You get rice and beige and that's it". Stupid broken meatpuppet.

But the tastebuds want the cheese, damnit.

And I feel you on the tired thing. Getting enough brain rest is darned difficult sometimes, not to mention dull.
Okay, THAT just stinks. :-(
Cheese is definitely the One and Only True Food. *And* it's good for bones. That's how I justify it.

Do you find any relation between writing and requirements for highly refined carbs? Because when I'm working on anything that requires the mathematical/analytic sector of my brain, it just doesn't happen unless there's the equivalent of a glucose drip. Which is very bad for weight loss, alas.
Well, your brain DOES run on glucose....
I've been off climbing for a bit (busy, then bashed a toe enough to make climbing shoes ... um ... painful, and now have a lower back that is Not Working for no apparent reason) and I'm going to be horribly useless when I get back to it. Learner slab walls, here I come, I suppose.

Anyway, do you know any good exercises suitable for building climbing strength that I can practice at home? Some people swear by chin-ups but so far I'm rubbish at them too...
Campus boards.

Pull ups never helped my climbing. But boy, did climbing help my pull ups.

extra carbs...

Rosemary-olive oil Triscuits FTW.

For brain rest, I like the sculpey idea. I embroider, but that's not for everyone. Polymer clay is nice and tactile, and if you like what you've made you can keep it and if you don't you can squish it and make something else.
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