Saturday, May 31, 2008

Iron Experiment Redux 22

Week 50 = 185.5
Week 49 = 190.9
Week 48 = 191.6
Week 36 = 179.3
Week 24 = 188
Week 12 = 187.6
Week 1 = 205

Weight goes down, yeah! Workout amount goes up, no I'm lying.

:p I don't know why I have only managed to get in a workout on the weekend for the past two weeks. I'm going to take some melatonin to see if that counteracts whatever has been keeping me awake.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, May 26, 2008

Movies Seen!

Had some interesting dealings with my inner teenager that I need to continue and work out some more before sharing. I also got distracted by TinMan fandom. I was just innocently cruising though YouTube, found a couple of really sweet fan-vids that mentioned particular inspiring fanfics and found myself sucked into I had enjoyed the mini-series up until the let down of the ending, but I didn’t bother to analyze why I was dissatisfied. I should know better than that by now. We were given the wrong payoff. DG’s final screen time should have been with her traveling companions not the family she didn’t even know she had. Fanfic writers to the rescue.

So this led to my first torrent download, so I would be able to rewatch TinMan and see if my memory wasn’t deceiving me. I spent three days on it, and I think I must be doing something wrong. I was finally able to watch it on Monday. The ending still felt blah, but knowing that I wasn’t the only one out there who loved the world and felt the writers really needed a kick to the head for that last scene, rescued the whole thing.

Fed up with the downloading progress (how many times did I have to reboot the DSL modem?), having finished housework, and damnit, it’s a holiday weekend, and I never do anything fun, I decided to start shrinking my movies-to-see list.

Sunday night Iron Man.
”Let’s face it. This is not the worst thing you’ve caught me doing.”

“Are those bullet holes?”

First I have to add the Incredible Hulk to the list because the trailer looked heaps of good. The new trailer for the Dark Knight also kicks ass and finally tells people who have ignored the Internet stuff that yes, Harvey Dent is in this movie.

The actual movie was wow. I mean WOW. I didn’t know S.H.I.E.L.D. actually stood for something, though I figured it out the second time the agent went through the list of words. Stan’s cameo was hysterical to just me. I think the rest of the audience thought he really was Hugh Heifner.

Seriously, *raspberry* to everybody who questioned the casting. I knew Robert Downey Jr. was perfect for Tony Stark. But the movie needed more Black Sabbath and the lovely Easter egg at the end of the credits could have been moved up a few. That’s a whole lot of credits to go through.

Monday matinees: Indiana Jones
”Because we never had an argument that I won!”

I know there’s been a lot of ho-hum reaction. I enjoyed it. It’s not the best in the series, and I didn’t notice the huge amount of CGI that others have bitched about. But it was a comfort movie, like curling up with a series book. You know the characters and other touches referring back to the alien and monster movies and the rest of the series, made me feel good. I especially liked the tie-in with Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. And the dialogue did not make me cringe like the Star Wars prequels.

Speed Racer
”Was that a ninja?”

“Ninja, nanja. It’s a shame what passes for a ninja these days.”

It is a kid’s movie. If Atticus was a little older, I would have enjoyed taking him to it. David Willis called it a “live action Super Mario Kart movie” and I can’t really disagree with it. But the character stuff in between the races was pretty decent. And I think Sprittle and ChimChim annoyed me in the cartoons too, so I ignored them. And the Speed Racer motif fully orchestrated and hidden in the score, sweet.

One annoyance had actually nothing to do with the movie. Racer X shows up for the first time. Kid’s voice behind me: “Who’s that?” Dad’s voice: “Speed Racer’s brother.” My unvoiced thought: “Way to ruin the revel at the end of the movie, dick! They hired two different actors for a reason.”

I won’t promise to never talk to my nephew during a movie, but I do promise he’s not getting any plot revels from me.

  • April 4 - Nim's Island (sounded cute)
  • April 18 - The Forbidden Kingdom (Jackie Chan love)
  • May 2 - Iron Man (Black Sabbath better be in the soundtrack and the trailers don't count)
  • May 9 - Speed Racer (trailer surprised the hell out of me)
  • May 16 - Prince Caspian (agnostic Pagan that I am I could totally worship Aslan, he hangs out with Harry Potter and Bacchus (it's in the book))
  • May 22 - INDIANA JONES!
  • June 13 - Incredible Hulk
  • July 11 - Hellboy II (otherwise known as Hellboy vs. the Drow)
  • July 18 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT (o hell yeah)
  • July 25 - X-Files: I Want to Believe (that this will be a good movie. But I can be won over by Mulder and Scully damnit, I love those characters even if the show went downhill for me)
  • Nov. 21 - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

  • Watchman
  • May 8 - Star Trek
  • August 7 - G.I. Joe (I can be won over by Chris Eccleston and Ray Parks)

Don't Know yet

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Iron Experiment Redux 21

Week 49 = 190.9
Week 48 = 191.6
Week 36 = 179.3
Week 24 = 188
Week 12 = 187.6
Week 1 = 205

This has been a bad week to try to squeeze in exercise, and I don’t really know why. I’m blaming the new medicine, well, retaking old medicine. Yeah, I’m coherent after a workout, sure.

Let’s try that again. Wednesday, May 21st, I restarted phentermine 18.75mg and started spironolact 25mg. And before anyone freaks out, that is a half tablet dose of the phentermine. I didn’t want a repeat of what happened the last time I had a whole tablet. That didn’t happen; instead, I got something new—awake until nearly midnight.

So far it’s been four days in a row like that, which has been havoc on my wake-up time. My body would prefer to wait until after sunrise, regardless of the schedule, and since the sun is getting up earlier, I have daylight about 6am. Is it equal part drug reaction and a craving to sleep in the dark because it’s not dark when I should go to bed?

The first workout of the next twelve weeks went easy. I had more trouble with changing the plates than with the weight I had to use. And bumping into columns and equipment trying to get situated. What gives, I’ve lost weight and gained klutz? One of these days, I’m going to have to rearrange the set up out there.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, May 19, 2008

Iron Experiment Redux 20

Not much of a workout. I found my max rep for my core exercises. I’m not going to change up what I’m doing with weights yet. I want to eventually start doing push ups and pull ups, but I don’t have a way to do pull-ups yet.

Well, crappola, I have been mis-figuring my dumbbell weights all this time. I finally found a box online that told me what was included in my set. Throwing the boxes away and combining all the weight plates not a good idea when it comes to doing the math while working out. I used the oh-so-clever method of I-bet-it-weighs-this-much while holing the bare dumbbells in my hands. I guessed 5 pounds together. They’re actually 10 pounds together.

It changes my max reps and it changes my fitness goals for the next twelve weeks, that’s why I care.

Squat = 50
Bench press = 50
Biceps curl = 50
Dumbbell rows = 50
Shoulder press = 40

Using reader Lisa’s Excel calculator found here, I have 12 weeks of workout weights.

Shoulder press
  1. 20
  2. 28
  3. 28
  4. 28
  5. 30
  6. 28
  7. 30
  8. 34
  9. 28
  10. 30
  11. 34
  12. 38

Everything else
  1. 25
  2. 35
  3. 35
  4. 35
  5. 38
  6. 35
  7. 38
  8. 43
  9. 35
  10. 38
  11. 43
  12. 48

So Wednesday, I need to get my butt out of bed on time and hustle with the workout. Since I had been working out in the thirties, I shouldn’t have any issues with the first week.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

And last week was supposed to be a good week

May 14th: I finished edits to the ethnography on the 13th and emailed it. The deposit was supposed to clear at midnight.

So I’m not surprised it didn’t when I got up this morning. I’m pissed off. Capital One tells me the hold will be lifted May 23rd. And then I scared the teller. I deposit the transfer check into the credit union and they also put a hold on that but made $200 available. Parents loaning me some more so I won’t get overdrawn before the deposits finally post.

I sold the aluminum cans—only had that on my to do list for a month—and bought stuff at the campus bookstore and market to cover the gaps in housekeeping.

So home again, looking at the daily MITs list, and realize my brain has no thoughts about the other projects. It has been rung out. I hope I kept good notes.

May 19th: The bedroom ceiling fan light died over the weekend. Now the fan works wonderfully, but the light kit on it is jury-rigged, so I’d rather replace the whole thing to be on the safe side. Especially since I pull in the cord the light comes on, but let go and darkness. As long as I keep pulling on the cord the light stays on, but there’s a zapping noise. Totally uncomfortable with zapping noise, but haven’t found a new fan I like yet.

What I have found that I’m absolutely in love with is the Return to the Labyrinth manga I picked up on a whim during the campus bookstore shopping spree. The only Hellsing they had was the volume I already have, and I picked up the Trigun because I loved the anime version. I think I had heard vague rumors about a Labyrinth manga, but never put it on a shopping list. The campus bookstore had volumes 1 and 2, I liked the cover copy and had the money to spend, so I picked it up.

The Goblin King has kept a watchful eye on Toby: His minions secretly guiding and protecting the child... Legions of goblins work behind the scenes to ensure that Toby has whatever his heart desires... Preparing him for the day when he will return to the Labyrinth and take his rightful place beside Jareth as the heir to the Goblin Kingdom... That day has come......but no one has told Toby.

And now, ARGH! Because volume 3 isn’t due out until November. And I have NOBODY to talk about the cliffhanger ending of volume 2. ARGH! This is why Kindra does better getting a complete set of something.

A lot of the Amazon reviews bitch about the art. I guess I’ve been to well trained by bad comic book art, I don’t notice. But the writing, the mystery, the homages to the movie worked in so seamlessly—the “you remind me of the babe” is just full of win, *sigh.* I NEED MORE NOW!

So it was probably a good thing I was able to go with a friend and see Prince Caspian Saturday May 17th. I enjoyed it, even though I think they dropped Bacchus to cater to the religious right, which makes me wonder how well the plot line of the Last Battle is going to go over. There should have been more crisis of faith and a bigger temptation for Caspian, but Edmund stabbing the White Witch was gold. Trumpkin and Reepicheep was delightful. They did an excellent job getting the muddle of the book into a coherent movie (serious C.S. Lewis, what were you think making half of it a flashback?). I wish they had put a little Easter egg at the end or in the credits, a picture of the “Dawn Treader.”

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Iron Experiment Redux 19 and End of 48 Weeks Measurements

I’m fairly proud of my workouts, nineteen of them in twelve weeks. There is noticeable muscle increase on my arms, legs, and butt. My massage therapist felt it on my abs, but it’s not a visible change yet.

Workout weights
Squat = 30 lbs.
Bench press = 30 lbs.
Biceps curl = 30 lbs.
Shoulder press = 25 lbs.
Dumbbell rows = 25 lbs.
Breaststroke level 1 = bodyweight x 50 reps
Crunches = bodyweight x 40 reps

The plan for the next twelve weeks is to measure my max reps for the lifts, and adjust my workout and warm-up weights for it. Some days, it feels I’m lifting as much as I can, other days, it’s too easy. If I plug those numbers into an interval training calculator, I have guaranteed pushing my body harder.

My goal is to reach Iron Experiment Redux 55 by August 10th, the end of the next twelve weeks.

However, stress eating plus muscle building negated the decreases of the last twelve weeks. I know I have overindulged the sweet tooth.

Week 48 = 191.6
Week 47 = 189.1
Week 46 = 188.9
Week 45 = 186.2
Week 44 = 185.7
Week 43 = 187.5
Week 42 = 186.1
Week 41 = 184.2
Week 40 = 181.7
Week 39 = 181.6
Week 38 = 181.2
Week 37 = 180.7
Week 36 = 179.3
Week 24 = 188
Week 12 = 187.6
Week 1 = 205

Starting BMI Measurements

Height is 62.25 inches/158.1 cm.
Weight is 194.5 pounds/88.4 kg.
Body Mass Index is 35.3 kg/m2.

According to Better Ideal Weight Body Calculators, I should be:
between 105 - 138 pounds/47 - 62 kg
with a BMI between 19 and 25.

I want to weigh 120 lb/54.4 kg with a BMI of 20 kg/m2.

End of 12 Weeks BMI Measurements
Height is 62.25 inches/158.1 cm.
Weight is 187.6 pounds/85.1 kg.
Body Mass Index is 34 kg/m2.

End of 24 Weeks BMI Measurements
Height is 62.25 inches/158.1 cm.
Weight is 188 lb/85.3 kg
Body Mass Index is 34.1 kg/m2.

End of 36 Weeks BMI Measurements
Height is 62.25 inches/158.1 cm.
Weight is 179.3 lb/81.3 kg
Body Mass Index is 32.5 kg/m2.

End of 48 Weeks BMI Measurements
Height is 62.25 inches/158.1 cm.
Weight is 191.6 lb/86.9 kg.
Body Mass Index is 34.8 kg/m2.

How far to go:
Weight: 191.6 - 120 = 71.6 lb/32.5 kg
BMI: 34.8 - 20 = 14.8 kg/m2.

7/30/2007 9/9/2007 12/2/2007 2/24/2008 5/18/2008
height (cm) 158.1 158.1 158.1 158.1 158.1
weight (kg) 88.2 85.1 85.3 81.3 86.64
neck (cm) 37.5 37.5 37.5 36.4 37
bust (cm) 119.2 115.1 115.4 111.6 115
waist (cm) 102.2 102.3 102.5 97.7 100.5
hips (cm) 118.3 118.5 117.2 116.2 116.5
thigh (cm) 55.1 63.2 63.6 61.2 64.8
calf (cm) 40.6 40.5 40.3 39.5 40
upper arm (cm) 30.3 32.1 30.5 29.2 30
lower arm (cm) 25 26 26.2 24.6 26

The only areas of increases I’m concerned about are the bust, waist, and hips. Since I don’t see muscle definition, it must be more fat.

Easy enough to remedy, I hope. For the next twelve week period, I’m back on the South Beach Diet meal plans. I’m out of school, so no more too carb-y and too processed meals at the student union. It’s cheaper on the budget to pack food to work and SBD meal plans have snacks built into them, so no I’m starving runs to the vending machines.

The only drawback currently possible is suppers at my mother’s. It’s a food budget stopgap measure for me, but sweets and breads are always readily available and my willpower is typically spent by the time I get home. Maybe if I show her my weight chart. Never underestimate the power of visual aids.

Also to hold myself accountable, I’ll be using the food tracking feature at FitDay. Portion control will be aided by going back on phentermine once I pick up the prescription from the pharmacy. Get my sleep schedule straight and I should start losing weight again.

Comparison pictures will be added once I get the lighting fixed in my bedroom.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, May 16, 2008

Number Crunching 124

May 13th: Monday was bad. No cash, no food (thankfully I work with wonderfully generous people ) and running out of gasoline.

So I was es tactic pulling out my mail when I got home. The mail carrier had rubberbanded the five envelopes for me togeth, but the one on top was from Cashe. I had it open before I got back into my car to finish driving down the driveway.

It was the disclosure statement.

I think I had tears in my eyes as I sat back in the car to finish looking through the stack of envelopes.

The last one was a check from Chase.

So I got Quicken updated last night, did my math, made deposit before work, have to make the second deposit before lunch.

  • Paid off overdraft in Capital One account, and left most blowing money in the account.
  • Moved the rest to credit union checking account to pay off overdraft and pay bills.
  • Paid tuition, paid off dental bill for the bridgework, paid off physical therapy bill, and paid off Waste Management from last year.
  • Will move this month’s budgeted amount for gasoline purchases to the Gas Account.
  • Will divide the remaining cash between all three savings accounts.
  • Will create a SmartyPig savings account (the new third one) to save the STEF money away from my hands.

It’s been a busy day for me. Now I need to concentrate on the ethnography.

1:15pm: Argh! The credit union wants to hold my check from Capital One for five days but will still charge me NSF fees if anything comes through.

Capital One can’t cash my personal check ‘cause ATM deposits don’t post until midnight.

What sucks the worse? After buying lunch, I only had $5 to put in the gas tank. I passed the Chase branch this morning to make the ATM deposit and dismissed waiting until they opened to deal with cash. I needed to get to work on time.

Please just let me get to a closer to home gas station before having to borrow money from my mother and getting her to drive it to me.

May 14th: I made it home on the $5 of gas, a little over a gallon. And woke up this morning to the bad news that according to the online Capital One account stuff the ATM deposit had not posted.

Called work to tell them I had to handle business. Borrowed gas money from Mom. Went to Capital One. Scared the teller by not losing my cool and using my pissed-off vibe. Maybe it was leaking. The check had a hold on it until May 23rd and no she couldn’t cash a personal check for the account.

“Why the hell is the industry still using checks if you don’t trust them? My checks are cashed and gone out of my account as soon as I write them. A check from another bank on the deposit I need now, and I have to wait.”

“Could you please speak to my manager?”

Didn’t because what the hell good that was going to do. Went and spent Lagniappe account money that I can’t get back at the campus bookstore, and groceries with the last of my food account money. Calmed down enough to go by a credit union and deposited the Capital One check into my account. This teller was nice enough to explain the hold that I already knew they were going to put on the account, so I asked her the same question I asked the Capital One teller. She only laughed at me.

I fail to see anything funny or angry about the observation.

Luckily, it ended up that my credit union forwarded me a balance of $200 to spend while waiting for the check to clear. I borrowed money from Dad to make sure nothing else bounced.

The rest of the week I held my breath that nothing would bounce and give me an NSF fee.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Movies I want to see Updated

At this rate, I think I'll be booked every weekend until September.

  • April 4 - Nim's Island (sounded cute)
  • April 18 - The Forbidden Kingdom (Jackie Chan love)
  • May 2 - Iron Man (Black Sabbath better be in the soundtrack and the trailers don't count)
  • May 9 - Speed Racer (trailer surprised the hell out of me)
  • May 16 - Prince Caspian (agnostic Pagan that I am I could totally worship Aslan, he hangs out with Harry Potter and Bacchus (it's in the book))
  • May 22 - INDIANA JONES!
  • July 11 - Hellboy II (otherwise known as Hellboy vs. the Drow)
  • July 18 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT (o hell yeah)
  • July 25 - X-Files: I Want to Believe (that this will be a good movie. But I can be won over by Mulder and Scully damnit, I love those characters even if the show went downhill for me)
  • Nov. 21 - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

  • Watchman
  • May 8 - Star Trek
  • August 7 - G.I. Joe (I can be won over by Chris Eccleston and Ray Parks)

Don't Know yet

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Weekend? What Weekend?

May 8th: All my progress, my schedule, and my decreased stress levels have gone the way of the dodo. Poor dodo. And all because the ethnography must be finished by the 14th and I'm still in the hazy middle.

Just because I'm curious about it, the ethnography's word counts.
April: 595 + 253 + 165 + 2196 = 3209
May: 499 + 1065 + 449 + 604 + 653 + 1456 + 917 + 694 + 1573 + 413 = 8323

And I'm still stuck somewhere in the unending middle of the damn thing, worried about organization. I keep telling my brain there will be enough time to pretty it up after the text is done, but my brain doesn't believe me and keeps poking at it and bringing it up. Hence the eventually running after sexy vampires fighting undead Nazis. Hence why I'm jonesing to spend $10 to get blasted from a theater seat with an action blockbuster.

Damn budget. Damn schedule too. I was doing so well! If the school money situation isn't taken care of now, I'm really gonna go nuts.

Note to future self, next time when needing to cut and paste from notes, keep two files open--one with the notes and one with the official text. Less math that way.

This is getting hard. I want to stop looking at the train wreck, especially the meetings that I don't have great notes for. the meetings should be the dynamic focus of the this ethnography and I'm afraid I'm gonna flub it.

May 9th: At some point, I will have to make my Daily MITs for the weekend. Just so I have something else to go to for a break.

I like to think most of my pain is from fear of flubbing it as well as being tired of examining this portion of my life. It feels like rubbernecking at a car wreck.

May 10th: I have errands to run. Most important is to get the car services and inspection sticker updated. Now when I had a working laptop, I could do the writing I needed to do while waiting for the oil change. No laptop, so I don't leave the house until the ethnography is finished.

Yeah, today is gonna be fun.

5:30 p.m. now and I'm finally past the dreaded March 16th. Here's hoping everything flows smoothly to the conclusion. Taking a break to eat supper and probably play a game. I've wrote over 3000 words today, which is fairly damn impressive but I'm not close to being done. And the Internet is acting funny.

May 11th:
3:00pm Finished the rough draft of the ethnography.

Progress Bar from Writertopia

May 8: 153 + 304 + 615 = 1072
May 9: 857
May 10: 2568 + 302 + 173 = 3043
May 11: 96 + 773 + 1005 + 819 = 2693

April grand total = 3209
May grand total = 15988

*Whimper* No wonder I've been feeling like Alucard chewed me up and spit me back out. No wonder I've been ignoring every other project listed. And I still have to edit and get the text hammered into a final shape. And possibly add more to the conclusion because I don't want to discourage anyone who would like to try it as a business. *TWITCH*

I'm not worrying 'bout it now. Have a family outing to get ready for.

7:00pm: Back from Cracker Barrel and a good time was had by all. And some point I have to figure out next week's schedule, but right now all I want to do is not think for a while, especially what needs doing. I'm gonna play a game, then go to bed early and plan things out in the morning. That sounds like the best plan.

May 12th: And it was a good plan but I got distracted with the game freezing up on me, went to bed late, got up late, didn't pack breakfast or lunch thinking I still had money in the checking account. Had to take an indirect route into work because of a wreck and 18-wheeler fire on the Interstate, but still made it on time. And discovered I have nothing in the checking account.


A coworker has fed me blueberry bagels, so at least I'm not starving. I need to create a pantry stash at my desk too. I have stuff in the pantry that isn't doing any good at home. I'm more worried about gas though, I'm at half a tank now. The account info at the Chase private education loans don't tell you when it was dispersed, so I have no idea if it's really coming this week or not. I may have to take some time off because I have no gas to get to work.

Finish off the ethnography today. At least I have the option of emailing it to the professor, but I need to go to campus and spend the last of my meal plan money.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Iron Experiment Redux 18

May 10th: Yeap, same day, but not the full workout all at once. I did one exercise like the squats, and then went back for another session at the computer. I decided on this program after I spent a couple of hours sitting at the computer between writing the ethnography and cleaning out the email inbox.

May 11th: 18 is taking place over two days.

Week 47 = 189.1
Week 46 = 188.9
Week 45 = 186.2
Week 44 = 185.7
Week 43 = 187.5
Week 42 = 186.1
Week 41 = 184.2
Week 40 = 181.7
Week 39 = 181.6
Week 38 = 181.2
Week 37 = 180.7
Week 36 = 179.3
Week 24 = 188
Week 12 = 187.6
Week 1 = 205

I can’t decide if my legs hurt from doing fifty squats yesterday or if it was the fifty squats plus the InStrider Walker. It’s not too painful, but I don’t think I’ll be doing either of those today.

I need a bigger porch. Actually, I think I’m glad I’m not in a gym right now. I just did my bicep curls. Moving the barbell off the weight bench, I hit the wall of my house. The barbell hit the ab ball in my first pose, so I changed positions. Finish the exercises, and then hit the post with the barbell as I go to put it back on the weight bench.

Yeah, finished off Session A workout with 50 Breaststroke Level 1! Time for a new exercise! Woot! I decided on this one Exercise Ball Prone Leg Raises. I’ve been waiting to try it out for a while now, and I only have a week before the twelve weeks is up. Damn that time went by quickly.

Wow, now that was a good aerobic break. I don’t remember the last time I had done something like that; probably been a few years. I put on the Mortal Kombat soundtrack and did a funky dance mix with TaeBo punches and kicks along with using Downward Dog, Plank, and Cobra poses to go down to the floor and come back up. Heart rate really accelerated with that and no triping over my own feet trying to keep up with cheorgraphed moves. Doing that a few more times today.

Just had another go. My left side weakness does go down to my feet. I can’t kick as high with my left leg as my right. Oh well, I’m not doing it to look pretty, I’m doing it to get my heart rate up. One song on the CD at a time.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Iron Experiment Redux 17

Week 46 = 188.9
Week 45 = 186.2
Week 44 = 185.7
Week 43 = 187.5
Week 42 = 186.1
Week 41 = 184.2
Week 40 = 181.7
Week 39 = 181.6
Week 38 = 181.2
Week 37 = 180.7
Week 36 = 179.3
Week 24 = 188
Week 12 = 187.6
Week 1 = 205

It’s been nine days between workouts. I’ve been stressing over the ethnography and forgetting exercise and maintaining a normal sleeping pattern, thus making sure I can’t wake up with enough time in the morning to workout. Then I feel so beaten up by the time I get home, I skip an early evening workout. And the stress from the ethnography getting worse as I reach the day I don’t want to relive in my mind and put on paper for everyone to see. I get fidgety and I don’t want to face the words.

So I decided to use all that nervous energy to good use. I spend 15 minutes on the ethnography and then get up from the computer. After cooking brunch and eating, now those breaks between 15-minute writing session are free for exercise. This will either break me or get me off of the weight slump I have been on.

So I completed a Session B workout. I still need breaks between rep sets especially on the squats and bicep curls. I still can’t get past 30 crunches on the ab ball. And since we didn’t get to have the garage sale last weekend, I spent 5 minutes on the InStrider and concluded I still hate using it. Next cardio session will have to be something different.

Considering the humidity, I didn’t break into enough sweat for me to feel it was an effective workout. My arm tremors beg to differ with me. Maybe I’m a little dehydrated, so I’m sucking down water instead of tea.

Next workout session will be yoga.

Okay, I did my yoga hip routine with pretty good results. It had been too long since I had done it though, my range of motion has decreased. Also from the state of my workout pants, I need to vacuum my living room rug.

Also all the measurements are updated, just in time for me to do it again tomorrow. :p

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, May 09, 2008

Number Crunching 123

Crap, May sucks beyond the Spaceballs' giant robot maid.

First: I took $30 out in cash from my paycheck Thursday and spent it all by Friday. I need to start doing some relative cost analysis. Some people may be wired not to spend cash, but I'm not one of those people. Especially when stressed and the chocolate in the vending machines is calling me.

Second: Sallie Mae denied the fourth loan because the tuition wasn't high enough. Tuesday morning, I called Chase Private Education Loans departments and asked for the tuitiion amount plus the full STEF plus some to pay off debts. (I'm well aware this is just debt shuffling at this point, but it gives me breathing room.) It was approved, I downloaded the paperwork, signed and faxed it that day. I'm supposed to get a check in the mail next week.

Third: Credit union rejected my credit card application. I was offered a payday loan to take care of my negative balance. "And I'll be in worse shape after my paycheck comes, no thanks." The only other suggestion she had was to take out a second mortgage. Not ready to do that yet.

As far as using any of the credit card offers in the mail goes, I want to see how my bill paying goes after I get the student loan transfusion. I'd love to be bale to set up living on last month's income scenario and not worrying about getting a credit card.

Fourth: Most of my paycheck was spent on bank charges that I so don't have in my budget. I hate to have to wait on a loan and get further in debt, but nothing else is happening right now to help the situation.

Fifth: The garage sale was washed out. We're going to reschedule once Mom had finished cleaning out her house, aiming for the end of the month.

Sixth: I haven't heard back from the hospital, so I guess that for a weekend job is a washout. I've been concentrating on school work before delving back into the job hunt.

Seventh: Internet income stream has also been on hiatus as I finish the ethnography. But it shouldn't take me too long to get it finished once I have the time.

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The BookWorm

Universe clue stick

Yesterday, ran across this post from Wil Wheaton that sparked that "I need to remember this" vibe in my brain as I skimmed it: yet another post about writing . . . and stuff

Today, I find this one at Elastic Waist doing the same thing: finding a community of writers

I'm terrified of my financial situation, I'm doggedly working at the ethnography less for the grade than for the "I promised people an explanation of things" and this is the explanation, I go to bed feeling like Alucard chewed me up and then spit me out and wake up not feeling much improved from that.

I think I'm latching onto the posts in hope that will get better in about a week. At least writing and schedule wise, finances still make me bite my lip.

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The BookWorm

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hellsing Yummy

I'm on a Hellsing kick. I'm sure it has more to do with me about to start a story with vampires and nearly nothing to do with my wanting a nearly seven-foot-tall, bad-boy-sexy vampire who could scary the bejesus out of anyone I ordered him to. You believe me, right? Of course, there's a health dose of escaping the damn ethnography. I doubt you can get much further than Alucard fighting un-dead Nazis.

So I've been gathering AMVs, which has a bonus that I'm getting introduced to new songs and bands to inspire the Strix stuff. This one is currently one of my favorites.

I've been comparing the anime (which I have the whole box set) to the OVAs (which I only have volumes I and II). I've been coveting getting the complete manga set (it's not finished yet, and I only have volume 8). I've been lapping up And Shine Heaven Now (Erin Ptah keeps the characters very in character but gives them funny. And her crossovers are the bomb). And I've been reading fanfiction.

Here's another vid before the ranting part of the post. Warning: it's a gory cut.

I do have one issue with the canon that sort of bleeds into what I have issues with in the fanfiction. It's not bad enough to spoil my enjoyment and it may be a translation issue. I can cut slack on translation issues. But my brain picks at it.

The setting is 1999. Sir Integra Hellsing is 22 years old, so that means she was born in 1977. Her father Arthur dies and she wakes up Alucard in 1989. Alucard was imprisoned 20 years before in 1969. Arthur was leading Hellsing in 1944 in his twenties, so that means he would have been born in the 1920s.

Integra Hellsing is the last descendant of Abraham Van Helsing, who is often enough called her grandfather to make me gnaw. The math doesn't work, and my brain will seize upon it and not let go.

The setting for Dracula is commonly pinpointed to 1887. Abraham Van Helsing is described physically:
"a man of medium weight, strongly built, with his shoulders set back over a broad, deep chest and a neck well balanced on the trunk as the head is on the neck. The poise of the head strikes me at once as indicative of thought and power. The head is noble, well-sized, broad, and large behind the ears. The face, clean-shaven, shows a hard, square chin, a large resolute, mobile mouth, a good-sized nose, rather straight, but with quick, sensitive nostrils, that seem to broaden as the big bushy brows come down and the mouth tightens. The forehead is broad and fine, rising at first almost straight and then sloping back above two bumps or ridges wide apart, such a forehead that the reddish hair cannot possibly tumble over it, but falls naturally back and to the sides. Big, dark blue eyes are set widely apart, and are quick and tender or stern with the man's moods."
He is a medical doctor, and a doctor of philosophy and literature. He taught Dr. Seward. We're not talking about a wunderkid here; he is a paternal figure for the rest of the crew of vampire hunters, and even says Arthur Holmwood reminds him of his dead son.

I always want to cast him in his sixties, but it could be the fifties. Even if Abraham is 50 in 1887, that means he would be 83 in 1920, which would be the earliest for Arthur to be born. DOES NOT COMPUTE! There must be a missing generation between Abraham and Arthur. Maybe the Japanese term for male ancestor translates to "grandfather" no matter where on the actual family tree the guy falls.

And this is enough of a break in suspension of disbelief that whenever I see Abraham is grandfather, I get the DOES NOT COMPUTE! and have to remind myself of the missing generation. Cause either it's a missing generation, or Abraham had a slew of sons and control of the Hellsing Organization bounced around brothers for a while. I'm glad it doesn't come up THAT often.

But other than having to deal with the DOES NOT COMPUTE! message, it doesn't bother me when I see it in fanfiction. After all, they are only copying what has been said in the manga (I think the anime and OVA are a little more murky with the family tree). No what drives me batty in the fanfics are when they haven't bothered to read Dracula at all! Kouta Hirano doesn't follow it slavishly, but he uses enough of it that if you fanfic writer are going to use the characters, you should go see the source material. None of the film adaptations even get you close, NONE.

Yes, I got thrown out of a okay fanfic describing Abraham and Alucard's relationship by the author having Dr. Seward call Van Helsing "boy." Ignoring the appalling lack of knowledge on Victorian manners, Seward would not call his old friend and former master "boy." And you would know this if you read the bloody book.

I know I need to leave in the review to the actual guilty author. But I've been wanting to rant about the bad math for a while now, so you get to have both. Sorry. Here's another vid if you made it this far. I like this one, combining the anime footage with the music video footage.

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The BookWorm

Monday, May 05, 2008

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Too bad I can't celebrate. I have to go to the bank today.

T'Lania is on her way to recovery! She's breathing on her own and responding to questions with hand squeezes. All the doctors are waiting for now is for her to open her eyes.

Now, I have to cut this update short because while I have been meeting all the daily word counts for the ethnography, hell exceeding it most days, I'm no where close to the end of it. So how did my word count estimation get so badly off?

Later: Thanks to having to stay late at work and road construction, I missed my credit union's hours. have to go tomorrow.

However the time in the car is time to think what went wrong with my word count. It didn't, I underestimated the needed verbiage. Roughly estimating, what I should turn in should be at least 25 pages times 250 words a page equals 6250 words total divided by the number of days to work on it equaled 375 words a day. the problem is I'm up to over 4000 words total and still haven't covered the shitstorm that was March. It's not a problem running out of material, I may run out of time. And for once, not because of my procrastination streak. I've been good!

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The BookWorm

Friday, May 02, 2008

Number Crunching 122

April Budget Meeting

Quicken Cash Flow = -371.34

Reconciling Quicken with bank statements: I consider this reconciliation a rough draft until I will be able to verify it when I get home and can double check Quicken. I had issues with the checking account, no surprise. But I think it’s a case of something clearing this month from last month and I don’t have it on the Quicken printout with me.

Reconciling last month’s budget: Okay, this will take some time. I have to reconstruct the digital file from the printouts. And then when I go home make sure I only have ONE copy of the file on the harddrive.

Crap, this isn’t good. Problem categories:
  • Bank charges - *swearing of your choice here
  • STEF – spent everything I had saved. I so have to get that out of my hands.
  • Eating Out – I have no idea what happened here.
  • Phone – I know what happened here, first cellphone bill is always an oucher. I just didn’t budget well for that.
  • Computer – I think this was the toner cartridge, and it was a necessary purchase if I wanted to read printouts.
  • Grocery – I got possessed by Betty Crocker and cooked 5 meals. This probably would have been under budget if I had only cooked 2 or 3.
  • Medical – two different doctor visits, and my medication went up.
  • Insurance – they were a month slow on actually process my first payment, so I didn’t think I would be charged in April.
  • Entertainment – I bought a book and two CDs on the trip to Festival International that were unbudgeted.
  • Personal Care: Vitamins – I ran out and had to replace. Now I’m out again and will need to replace.
  • Auto fuel – Oh no real surprise there. I need to do my math better for how much I’m putting aside for that category.
  • Citifinancial – another late fee
  • Writing Expense – bought needed computer paper
  • Household – must have needed it, but I went over the budget.
  • Natural Gas bill – went over budget by a smidge.
Verdict: I can’t stay on budget, I can’t avoid the bank fees, I can’t save, I’m a total FUCKING FAILURE WITH MONEY!

*Deep breath I’m alright, I’m okay. No beating myself up. But the bank charges are coming because of the bill timing and my paycheck deposit schedule. And here’s more good news, I upped the amount in my FSA account, so pretty soon there will be less take home check. I think that takes effect in June so we can start using it in July. I have the economic stimulus check coming, but I ain’t counting on it until I see it plus I need to save it in case of a worse disaster.

Creating next month’s budget: Wow, May is really not looking pretty. I have to pay state taxes and I can’t put enough gasoline in the car with what I have to budget it to that category. And this is without considering the bank fees that I WILL get unless I do something drastic.

I guess after my earlier outburst, I should define “drastic.” Drastic means putting the reoccurring bills—especially the ones with due dates I can’t get changed—onto a credit card. Lord and Lady, I don’t want to go this route, but I have to do something to stem the flow of cash out until I can get some more income in.

By my calculations, a credit limit of $1200 to $1500 will cover the bills that are on autopay through my checking account. Then I pay off the card each time I get paid. I can get a credit card with rewards at my credit union, the percentage rate could be better, but I think the trade off is I will pay them off in a timely fashion, instead of getting stupid (as I have with every other credit card). It’s easy to see why I don’t like this step, regardless of what the personal finance gurus say about it.

There may be something else besides a credit card, though I can’t see what it is. I will find somebody to talk to about it at the credit union on Monday. Saturday is already planned. Friday too really, since Mom wants me home to help set up for Saturday. Credit union closed on Sunday.

This is always why I hate doing this money stuff. I never feel like I’m progressing and when I come up with a plan of action, I have to wait to implement it.

Determining how much cash to withdraw for the pay periods in next month: What’s left after bills = $331.77. Divided between savings, medical, gasoline, and state taxes; there is no blowing money.


DAMNIT! I have movies to watch! *Whimper* And I have to take my mother to a movie for Mother’s Day. 5 movies in May, budget $10 each because I won’t always be able to get the matinee showtime, then add $20 to take Mom out equals $70. *Blinks, blinks* All my shit better sell for big bucks at the garage sale tomorrow. I could squeeze a couple of movies out of the gasoline budget, and treat myself to one show when I get the stimulus check (safety release, I will save the rest if I can blow some of it).

Frell, May sucks.

Ensuring all automatic payments with through: I don’t know if Liberty Mutual went through, I need to check on that one when I get home.

Ensuring all automatic payments for the next month are set up: This will actually be a step if I get the credit card.

Review short-term saving goals:
  1. STEF = $2202.00 Current total = $10.00
  2. Dishwasher fund = $500.00 Current total = $0.00
  3. Reenacting Hobby Fund = $200.00 Current total = $0.00

Update NetWorth IQ statement:

That would look better if I didn’t start adding some outstanding bills to the debt column.

Update NCN Savings Chart:

Damn that just sucks. But I think I have a better plan. I’m going to start a Smarty Pig account and get the savings out of my hands.

Overview and plans: Okay, I have gone over the overview as we covered stuff. Now is the time to concentrate on the next action steps.

Financial Projects
  • Reconcile the Quicken accounts and bank statements.
  • Fix the interest on the January Loan in Quicken.
  • Check on the Liberty Mutual payment.
  • File paperwork in the binder and folders.
  • Put in payments from paycheck in the FSA Account in Quicken.
  • Clean out the inbox of other financial paperwork.
  • Talk to the credit union about the situation on Monday and sign up for a credit card unless they have a better idea. Credit limit of $1200 to $1500.
  • Sign up for an account at SmartyPig May 9th with next paycheck.
  • Cut out the bank charges!

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Iron Experiment Redux 16

Yeah, I missed a workout while trying to get the sleep schedule straightened back out, so today is the 16th. Wow, I've been consistent for 16 workouts. I got 40 reps of breaststroke level 1 done, and added five minutes on the InStride Walker. I figured out if I bend my knees a little, the movement does feel more like walking. I also found out after five minutes, I need to do my hip opening yoga routine on a more regular basis.

I know 5 minutes is not enough aerobic activity, but it was time to go get dressed. I'm going to squeeze in a full thirty minute tomorrow.

Read Free!
The BookWorm