Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: November 2008 Page 2 of 3

Mini-post: Living in the Future

I usually go on and on forever about whatever I’m talking about – but this week is going to be both busy and torturous (because on Friday, I leave for vacation so time will be passing way too quickly to get stuff done but way too slow for my liking, like this weird vortex of ironicalness).  So, for the week, I’m going to pick a topic, and spout off on it just as long or as short as I like.  Today, I’m going to marvel at all the gadgets, gizmos, and conveniences that are part of my daily life.

I always ask where my hover car is, but it’s pretty amazing that the Prius I drive makes use of both gas and a battery to get it where it needs to go.  The rear view mirror tints if the sun glares at it too hard.  The camera in the back shows me if I’m about to run over the neighbor’s dog backing out of my driveway.  Navi can show me directions anywhere I want to go, and where all the restaurants are in that area.  It’s temperature controlled (as in, I set it to 78, and it tries to keep it at 78), and doesn’t have 2 settings of AC on (Siberia) and AC off (Death Valley) like my last car.

Then, when I park it in the garage, I enter my kitchen, which contains both a robot to sweep (Roomba) and a robot to mop (Scooba).  It does not get old that all we have to is make sure they’re charged (and the mopping solution is in Scooba), set them in the middle of a room, block off anywhere we don’t want them to go, and wait an hour and *poof*, clean room.  We’re looking into adding the grass cutting robot to our little robot family someday as well.

Want to get online?  Well, your first instinct would probably be to head for my laptop sitting on the couch.  If not, Zliten’s got one that’s sitting on the coffee table.  If you venture into our office (read: pretty painted blue orange room that’s pretty much storage), there are two desktops as well (one isn’t hooked up, but could be up and running within 5 minutes).  Then, we’ve got our phones that can also instant message and surf the web.  Still need more connectivity?  The PS3, the PS2, the 2 PSPs, and the Wii can also connect to the internet (though the PS2’s connectivity is very limited).  I guess, technically, the two DVR boxes do as well.  Pretty soon, I imagine, my fridge will be talking with my scale and locking down access to food until I hit the gym.

It’s really easy to just take for granted all the technology and conviences you find standard in your daily life.  Just for a moment, revert back to your 5 year old self and think about what you had then (I know we didn’t even have cable TV, a microwave, a computer, or any sort of game system).  I’m pretty sure with a glimpse of their future, they’d have wide-eyed awe at our lives.

5 Random Things

1.  I keep meaning to post some of the recipes for things we eat when we cook at home, but my mind totally goes out the window when there is food around.  Last night, for a snack I had snow peas and sesame ginger dressing, shrimp cocktail, and then the main course of chicken tacos.  Not really going for food pairing here – I needed a dose of veggies, was really craving shrimp but didn’t want to make anything out of it, and then tacos were super easy.  The night before, Zliten made his delicious and simple lemon pepper mahi mahi with rice and veggies.  These would have made fantastic blog posts.  However, the food gets wolfed down so fast, I don’t think about it until there are crumbs left.  Oh well, one of these days I’ll get it right.

2.  I was pretty down for about a week, mainly work crap but… just… nothing was right.  I skipped some gym sessions in favor of DDR and walking.  Out of my funk, I finally went back to the gym last night after a week and I felt like a freaking marshmallow.  I didn’t actually make it through my intervals, I got a wicked cramp and had to walk for a minute to get rid of it.  I had to actually reduce reps or weight on most of my exercises.  Hopefully I can make up for it today.  My goal is to set the treadmill for 60 minutes and see what I can do in that time.  I’m hoping for 5 miles.  Giving myself permission to walk if I need to though, so we will see.

3.  Only 4 more workdays after today until my vacation.  Is it super sad or what that I have had a list of clothes for each day and what shoes go with them done for 2 weeks and this weekend I am going to do a trial run to make sure everything I need fits in the smallest bag possible.  I love to pack for trips, and I love unpacking once I get to my destination.  Zliten HATES packing, so I usually pack for him.  I think it’s because it’s very symbolic – putting clothes in a suitcase, or even thinking about it, means vacation is near!

4.  This weekend is going to be a weekend of gaming.  On tap is Wizard101 and Little Big Planet.  We’ve also got 3 netflix movies, which are really random – American Graffiti, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Bridge to Terabithia.  Haven’t seen any of them, so it should be exciting.  Also, I might break out the beads to do necklaces, and maybe even take pics and post about it.

5.  It was a beautiful fall day yesterday.  I’m not that big of a fan of the season because it reminds me evil evil winter is coming.  Yes, I know that Austin winter is *NOT* cold, I lived in Reno and Chicago, places that actually snow, and I know we have it good.  Though I am a cold WUSS and start bringing out scarves and gloves at like 55 degrees.  I prefer 100 and humid to 40 and anything.  What was I saying? Anyways, work in such a beautiful area of town I almost drove off the road coming back from lunch yesterday trying to get pictures.  This was the best one – camera phone while driving for the lose.

This was supposed to post Friday but it got eaten by the internets, so happy early Monday post instead.  Posting might be a little sparse this week, time at work is being eaten by a big project, time after work is being eaten by preparing for vacation, but I’ll try to think of SOMETHING interesting and fun to ramble on about.

Megamanical Me That I Used To Be

Speaking of change… (was going to do this as one blog entry with the last one, but I had much more to say on it than I thought and I realized it was a horrid segway, you’re welcome for that), election day and Charlotte’s blog on overexercising made me really think about how I’ve changed over the last two years.  Or at least fooled myself into how I’ve changed.

A little (not so) secret about me – I don’t just want to do things, I want to do them up CRAZY.  I find something I like, it turns into something I love, then something I obsess over and spend all my time doing and thinking about.  After spinning my little wheels way too fast on it for way too long, my motor burns out in the form of a nervous breakdown, and I have to leave it behind.  In my life, this has been epitomized in gymnastics, crushes and boyfriends (hell, people in general), hobbies, and especially jobs I love.  Before he sees this and comments – not Zliten.  He was worth obsessing over. ::grin::

My last job really gave me all the rope I wanted to hang myself with.  It had the perfect recipe for Quix-y disaster.  It was a title that was a bit of an underdog (and I love rooting for the unlikely winner if they’ve got that spark in their eyes).  I was given complete creative freedom, only limited by the tools and abilities I had at my disposal.  I could work as much or as little as I wanted, no one was keeping track, so it was my own decision.  I also got off on the fact I was the youngest and only female to take the reins of the game in my company.  Thousands of dedicated and also megamanical fans also inspired me to always do more and better.  I think most of the time, I felt more like I reported and was accountable to our players than anyone at the company.

What this meant was that I ate, slept, breathed, and spoke job every moment of the day.  Luckily my fiance (then boyfriend, I guess, if you can call “living together for 6 years” still a boyfriend) was also just getting started in game design, which is his dream job and was super into it too.  We would pretty much work til our eyes bled and then talk about work and bounce design ideas off each other and when we were frustrated with our games at work, we’d start coming up with design documents for new games to pitch.  After a while though, he got over the honeymoon period and it was a job for him, while I just ratcheted up the crazy even more.  He’d sit there and game while I worked from home (he finished an entire anime series in a few weeks, just watching while I was working at home…yeah).  He’d hug me when I bawled about being mandated to increase our subscription prices.  I’m surprised I didn’t come up with something like this picture.  I’m sure I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the picture.  Work equaled life, and I was convinced that anyone who wasn’t like me just didn’t have a cool enough job.

Two main events made me snap out of it.  First of all, a day in December 2006, we came home from work, I was having a bad day so there was some vodka action going on.  We popped in the movie Click (with Adam Sandler) and watched and, well, it really clicked.  I was spending most of my life on fast forward, waiting for the good times.  I was always waiting for the decision to come down at work about this or that.  I was just waiting for the time when I’d get the official title and pay I though I deserved.  I could no longer spend my time just waiting for the elusive something that made my life complete, I had to make it happen.  Then, shortly after, there was the fated San Fransisco trip.  I had to buy size 24 jeans (I had been in denial for years by only wearing skirts, thxu San Diego weather), and after huffing and puffing my way through short distances of the city (I think I probably run longer on the treadmill in an hour than I covered my whole trip), I decided that enough was enough, I was going to do something about the flubber.

Of course, it wasn’t easy.  First, I made a vow to myself that I would work 8 hour days, 5 days per week, except under DIRE circumstances.  I left work at 6:45 on the button (yeah, my start time was 9:45, odd, wasn’t it), and just picked up where I left off the next day.  There was nothing so urgent that it couldn’t wait until tomorrow.  It was was weird at first, but then it was freeing.  My game didn’t suffer, I didn’t look any different in management’s eyes, my employees didn’t suffer, nothing changed except content was just a touch slower, and I chose carefully what we took on instead of trying to tackle *EVERYTHING*.  The only change was I didn’t sacrifice myself.  Crazy!  Second, I vowed to eat better, drink less booze, and exercise at least 3 days per week to lose weight.  I did Dance Dance Revolution for at least 20 mins and even tried out Yourself!Fitness, and though it took a while for me to really and truly get going (eating better meant cans and microwave meals – things of which I could count calories and judge portions easily), I at least got started establishing good habits.

After the move to Austin, I think there was about 3 months I could say I was really and truly balanced.  Then, one day I went from “meh, I want to lose more weight but whatever” to “I am going to lose weight starting TODAY” and here we are.  I’m glad I did – I was still definitely obese back then and needed that kick in the pants to get to now, but it’s almost the opposite now.  I love our product, but it doesn’t keep me up at night.  However, I do salivate and dream of the day I break a 8 minute mile.  Or run my first 5k race not on a treadmill.  Or can do a unassisted pullup.  Or hit a weight I am totally and completely in love with my body (as opposed to right now when I just sometimes want to make out with the mirror when I walk by).

I will admit, if I had the rescources to do so, I could totally be that megamanical Quix now.  I’d jump at the chance to train for some sort of sport full time.  I’d love to have a better reason to train so, so hard besides weight loss or beating my goal.  If I could hit the gym during the mid morning/early afternoon instead of the choice between yawnsville (before work) or blehsville (after work), I could totally put in such a longer and better workout.  I could run and lift and swim and dance and and and and…everything.  I just get so frustrated sitting sometimes, I just want to…DO!

Sometimes life has a way of setting you on the right path, even when it drags you kicking and screaming.  So I’ll keep to my 60-90 mins 5 days a week and figure out something else to difuse the crazy upon.

(fyi, today is a two-fer, because I meant to post the last post yesterday…see ya tomorrow!)

Yes, We Indeed Can

I finally feel like I can post a small ounce of politics here now that the election is over.  Just to be contrary?  Well, I do love that, but for quite another reason, really.  I prefer that people make up their own minds, and I don’t really feel it is my right to sway anyone, being not terribly political or involved myself.  If you’re so inclined, read up on all the candidates’ views and vote for who you agree with the most.  At least read up on what the different parties stand for and vote accordingly.  If nothing else, watch the box set of the West Wing.  Aaron Sorkin’s writing is captivating and intelligent, and you’ll learn more than you ever wanted to know about how things work in the white house, even though I’m sure it is glammed up a notch or twenty.

Also placing me in the “I fail to be able to evangelize anything policital” category is how I became a democrat.  I was replacing my driver’s license for the 15th time (stupid things always ran away from me) and since I was just over 18, they asked me if I wanted to register to vote.  One of my best friends in high school was sitting there with me while I filled it out.  I was pretty much clueless on what each party stood for (being that my father is a democrat and my mom is a republican, we didn’t talk politics much around the house).  She asked me if I thought people should be able to do drugs.  I said, sure, why not, it’s their choice, and thus she said I was a democrat and I signed up as such.  I mean, I picked correctly, I definitely embrace democratic ideals after learning more, but I certainly didn’t go there at first for the right reason.  I also didn’t vote in 2000 because I was “too busy”, and look who we elected.  I voted in 2004, but it wasn’t really for anyone, it was against Bush.

This year, I finally started taking an interest.  After reading all the information out there, I fully support giving someone a little different a chance to change the country for the better.  While I think the last 8 years could have gone worse if I really stretch my imagination, it most definitely could have been better.  I’m pretty sure that if we did not at least pick the right person, a vast majority of the people in the country called out yesterday for something different, and those in charge will need to listen.

I am also hoping that we, as a country, can get beyond trying to pass laws limiting rights, freedoms, and choice.  California, while passing it with a much more narrow margin, still chose to ban gay marriage this election.  I’m straight as an arrow (although I do tend to like guys with long hair…I’m not sure what that says about me), but it’s my opinion that marriage is two people saying to each other, “I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you”.  It doesn’t matter if they have their naughty bits on the inside or the outside.  My two friends back in college got married for tax reasons, he was gay, she was just straight and single.  Over half of marriages end in divorce.  Sanctity, my ass.  I’m hopeful that next time it goes to vote, it won’t go down the same way, but it still saddens me that we could even fathom passing laws that make not a lick of difference to anyone but the people from which we take things away.  Nothing is safer or better.  Why do we want to take things away from people, and how does it better our own lives?  At least the other horrible proposals taking away abortion rights got shot down…

I’m hopeful for a new start.  It will be an interesting 4 years, and I look forward to seeing what unfolds.

November Health Plan – New Month, New Attitude

This is going to be a crazy experiment, but only crazy if you actually know me, so let me explain.  I work well with a map and a plan.  I need goals, deadlines, and projections.  I just can’t get fired up with ambiguity in the air.  I need to know what to do, when to do it, and will optimize my plan for maximum success with minimal effort.  I get my rocks off on efficiency.  This is serious business for me.

I have been told I have a good intuition.  However, the fact that I didn’t really know if I did or not before that probably says something about how often I use it, though.  I form an opinion, I check my data, and generally, yeah, I’m right, but I fear moving forward until I am sure.  I make sure my footing is stable before I leap.  I am totally not this guy, though I share a lot of his ideals.  I just like my spontaneity a little more – planned, I guess?

Why am I driving this point home over and over?  Well, I’m doing something very out of character for me this month – intuitive eating and exercising.  Whereas pretty much everyone in the world besides us calorie counting diet-y freaks live this way, not writing down what I eat scares the crap outta me.  Not knowing exactly what I am going to do at the gym tomorrow is terrifying.  But, someday I am going to have to learn how because I don’t want to track every little thing I eat and do for the rest of my life, and I’m really curious to see what I pick to do if I let myself do whatever workouts I want.

Specifically?  The general plan is to:

  • Foodwise – not track my calories for the entire 4 weeks.  Keep the same goal as always, to eat 6 servings of fruits and veggies per day, up the protien and lower the fat a bit, and put the least amount possible of anything chocolate, fried, or generally high in calories in my cakehole.  Just without putting it into the tracker.
  • Exercisewise – the general plan is 2 days of DDR + yoga, 2 days of intervals + weights, and 1 long run.  But I have full permission to deviate and do whatever I want (as long as it’s a decent calorie burn).
  • Mentalwise – to nurture my body and mind through what’s already shaping up to be a helluva month.  Give myself permission to maintain at the weight I’m at now if that’s what it needs to do, but also to shed unwanted weight if it’s ready to do so.
  • Measurewise – I plan to get a tape measure and do a before pic this week and after pic on December 1st.  I want to see if I am making any progress beyond the scale.

Wish me luck on my new approach!  I fully expect to be running and crying back to my tracking and structured workouts come December, but it will be an interesting experiement.

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