TOO MUCH TO DRINK

Maybe I shouldn’t have had that third drink,

‘Cause words are pourin’ out faster than I can think.

The books, the movie, and the love affair;

The times, the weather, and the hooker’s stare.

Suddenly I’ve told them my life story

(Save for the parts that were a bit gory).

I’m breathing heavy and my cheeks are hot;

I’m feeling sweaty and my nose has snot,

And they all look at me with masked disgust

Like I was a braggart consumed by lust—

Like I’d raped and pillaged and tortured men;

And that I could never be one of them.

And maybe not—they are sipping good wine,

While my beer comes from somewhere much less fine.

 

But I would prefer not to be defined

By this cutthroat man and his fiendish kind.

——

 

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MANAGING YOUR ENERGY

Hello everyone,

 

It’s another day, which means another set of responsibilities to be completed. Do you ever wonder where you get the energy to do so much? I do all the time. Seriously, I’m constantly tired, but at the same time I can keep working through things in life, which means I have energy coming from somewhere. Some people might call this internal motivation, and I’m sure they’re right, but at the same time it’s more than just mental. Sometimes different jobs require different levels of physical energy, which can make the mind more important than during, say, construction work.

That being said, it’s also really important to check out the energy you body is (or isn’t) providing to the rest of you, and what it means. I’ll use myself as an example. I typically get between 6 and 9 hours of sleep (usually closer to 6), which, especially when I am working out, is on the border or below the amount of hours needed for a body to fully recover after one night’s sleep. So how do you compensate for the lack of sleep? Well, eating better and drinking water (man, who could have told you that). I think water is the most important part. Water effectively provides hydration to the brain and body, allowing it to run more efficiently, which, if sleep is in deficit, every amount of efficiency counts. I know on many occasions for myself, I will drink upwards of 80 ounces a day in order to compensate for lack of sleep.

Sometimes, unfortunately, that doesn’t kick in until about midday, which for many people means that the morning is the worst part of their day. I’ve experienced this a lot, and of course eating breakfast helps (if you don’t eat breakfast, you should seriously consider eating something, even if it’s just a piece of toast). Personally, I like to use a vitamin C packet. It’s water soluble, which means it’s pretty much impossible to over dose on. And it provides a boost in energy…kind of like orange juice on steroids.

Energy also comes from food, which I’ll briefly discuss. Obviously, different foods have different nutrients, but I think there is a reason that the most important foods are from greens. It would do you good to read a bit about Trophic Levels to help understand my logic on this. Basically, energy comes from sunlight for plants, where they absorb the most energy. Consuming the plant means we get one-tenth of that energy. Consuming something that ate the plant gives us one-hundredth the energy from the original plant. Which means on a purely energy scale, you should eat things like, I don’t know, broccoli. Of course, sometimes its really hard to eat stuff like this in the morning. Especially since it can take time to prepare, so I understand if that’s not doable. I don’t really have time for it in my mornings. That being said, the upside is real and fantastic. What are your thoughts on ways to get more energy? Let me know in the comments below!

GETTING CLEAN

Hello everyone,

 

We’re already to Thursday! Yay! Today I was talking about some of my hobbies—I’m a bit of a nerd—and we got to talking about hygienics, since quite a few people in some of the more “nerdy” communities are also not always the most hygienic. Indeed, this often goes along with the stigma that nerdy people fit a specific body type and stereotype. Personally, when I hear gamer, I think of a significantly overweight white male with a food-stained black shirt that doesn’t quite cover his belly all the way.

And I’m sure many of you have a similar image of these gamers. But is that an acceptable image for us to picture? My thought is that no, it is not. First of all, lets discuss the male orientation. I would wager that a solid 95% of people thought of a male when someone says the word “gamer.” Despite the fact that, in many gaming arenas, women make up more than a meager 5% of the population. For example, Magic: the Gathering, a card game produced by Wizards of the Coast has claimed on several occasions that roughly 30% of all its players are women. Yet when I say card game player I have no doubt that we both assume they are speaking of men.

Part of the reason for this is that, for quite a long time, being a nerd was a male-centered idea. Dungeons and Dragons, a game where people effectively pretend to be characters on a quest (typically in a Tolkien-esque world), was and is still oriented toward male characters. Many pictures in the rulebooks would show a male dwarf with a long beard clad in heavy armors of red and gold. If there was a female character, she often appeared in sexualized outfits, usually with a more passive role like sorceress or healer. Not exactly the heroine in reality, right? More like heroine in a heterosexual man’s fantasy.

So changing the rhetoric and imagery to be more inclusive of women is something that could pull more women into the nerdy realms. This extends to more forms of gaming though too, think of how few video games have female protagonists. Seriously. Then think of the girls on that list. How many are sexualized in some way? Even Samus, one of the pioneer female characters in gaming, is sexualized outside of her “powersuit.” Why can’t we just have a character that is a female dressed closer to realism. Why is there such a focus on men wielding swords, and women wielding hair brushes?

Of course, hygiene, which is what I opened this discussion with, is also a problem. Often time sedentary lifestyles are produced by people that game—whether it is card games, video games, board games, role playing games, or whatever. The list goes on. These lifestyles in turn lead to a drop in hygiene for whatever reason. Why isn’t there a conscious effort on the part of businesses to clean up the appearance of their crowds? Why isn’t their a conscious effort of players to be more clean. Even if it is a minority today that isn’t fully hygienic, even if only 10% of the people smell, that’s more than enough to be what the rest of the world focuses on. And that’s unacceptable. Because so many people are afraid to say “I play Dark Souls” outside their clique of “geeks” for the fear of being judged. That’s not fair. These people are human beings, and most of them are kind-hearted as well. Please be more active in treating each other with respect—both as a player and as an observer.

PROCESSED FOOD: A LOVE AFFAIR

Hello everyone,

 

Happy Friday! It’s the weekend! Do you meal prep? I recently started trying it out myself. If you don’t know what meal prepping is, its basically front loading your entire cooking for the week. Some people just do it for one meal, some people do if for literally all of them; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s a pretty good idea, because it is quite a bit healthier than, say, not being sure what to eat and instead eating out. I like to prep my meals over the weekends, though I have not moved up to prepping more than just my lunches. Usually I get my groceries  on Saturdays and cook on Sundays (if I have the option to go to my local farmers market on Sunday to get food, I prefer to do that). Much like planning your life with a schedule, by meal prepping you plan your food. The advantage of this is that you are making and eating real food.

I don’t mean real food as in edible items—technically McDonald’s and soda is something your body can use as fuel. I mean not processed foods. Processed food effectively is food with added treatments and what not to make it sustainable in long voyages across the country as well as able to last while it sits on shelves. Think something like…Lucky Charms or Hot Pockets, or even bacon (yes, I know, bacon. Sorry for the bad news). What I mean by real food is items that avoid these mechanical aspects. The human body is designed to break down natural foods. Michael Pollan’s Food Rules is a great guide to understanding the difference between good food and bad food (hey look, categories!), and I highly recommend you do your best to pick up a copy. Science wise though, human beings have gone through thousands of years of development as omnivores, which is a trait we have maintained to this very day. The difference is, however, that for that vast majority of time we survived primarily off of green foods, with the occasional pleasure with meats and sugars.

The reason meat and sugar tastes so good to us is because we are programed to enjoy their flavor more—to crave them. For so long, humans beings were incapable of getting the ideal amount of proteins and sugars in their diet (hence why we have adapted to function off so little of it), and thus our brain brokered a deal with our “want center” in order to push us to eat these foods whenever available, because, back then, who knew when the next time we would get some would be? Processed foods provide an easy production of these foods, which I’m sure sounds like a great thing, but in reality is bad. We don’t control our want center very well—we never get training for it, and it’s all reactions to chemical stimulants in our brain that we don’t really control. This allows us to overindulge in sweets and meats, which our bodies are not ready to process. The result is increased rates of obesity and diabetes. In order to reduce this problem, we need to get control of ourselves—and the best way to do that is to create a disciplined schedule of our food intake!

BALANCING LIFE AND TIME

Hello everyone,

 

Sorry for being so late yesterday with my post. I unfortunately realized that these 800ish word essays are quite hard to keep up with on a daily basis in addition to all the other aspects of life, but I still want to be putting something out everyday. So today we are going to be talking about moderation. Moderation is a concept that is like meeting in the middle. It’s super easy in theory and borderline impossible to perfect in reality. It’s effectively the bane of scheduling, which is something I talked about quite a bit earlier as something that is achievable for everyone. The problem is that moderation is something that is so easy to fall susceptible to as justification for avoiding a schedule. For example, people falsely use “lack of time” as compensation for laziness in relation to exercising. Seriously? So many people can exercise more, but they don’t (I am not exempt from this issue either).

At the same time, it would be immoderate to ask someone to go from 0 hours of exercising per week to 5 hours of exercise per day. That’s setting someone up for failure, which in turn is going to cause someone to feel incapable of success in that area. In my example of a person who is exercising, it will cause a person to not just stop exercising because their body is not ready for it, but also resent the idea of exercising, and will be less likely to come back to that idea every again. So to is it with blogging. Unfortunately, in an effort to start a blog in my break time, I overestimated my free time, and I realized that I will need to keep my essays to less than 500 words—not because I can’t write more (seriously, 800 words felt like too little sometimes) but because the time needed for these entries in a busy life is difficult. This is something you as a person can apply to your own life. Don’t cut something out of your life entirely, like exercise, scheduled writing, family time, or personal time for a fun activity. Rather, figure out where your breaking point is and move backward to where it is enjoyable. Then you win! If it’s exercising, maybe start at 5 hours a day, but when that’s too much cut back to 3 hours. If that’s still too much, cut it back to 1 hour. But don’t cut it out to the point where it’s meaningless (3 minutes of running with no warm up, no stretching, no weightlifting, etc, is pointless). On a personal note, I have realized that 800 words are just too many for my current lifestyle. So I may have to split up my ideas from day to day. Which in terms of coming up with material will make my life much easier. But don’t think of it as a depreciation in thought, instead think of it as an extension—now I get to spend 2 or more days presenting a subject!