Today was mostly okay until I went to go catch a bus for an appointment. (Metro is doing track work and telling everybody to stay home, go on vacay, or find another mode of transportation, which is usually unheard of since they’re hurtin’ for money, but I’m glad they’re finally giving metro’s infrastructure the much needed attention). The first bus came and drove right by me (why do they do that?!!). And in the 10 minutes I stood to wait for the next bus (thankfully it was just 10 or so mins), mosquitoes attacked me. I was bit probably close to 10 times. The saving grace, there was a torrential downpour (the kind that flip umbrellas inside out) just as I hopped onto the next bus, and by the time I got to where I was going, the rain had stopped. So maybe missing that first bus was a blessing in disguise a la that movie, Sliding Doors (where Gwyneth Paltrow misses a train in one universe and catches it in another and her life is totally different because of that train.) Not that my life was so altered. I don’t think anyway. I guess I’ll never know since I didn’t catch that bus. At any rate, I imagine I would have had to get off the bus right in the middle of the pouring rain and I would have waited at the bus shelter until the storm ebbed and not gotten attacked by the hungry mosquitoes. No biggie. Anyway, I came home and had a bowl of rice and miso paste to feel better. It’s my new favorite food lately. I wrap it in nori. It’s like omusubi without the effort of turning it into a triangle. I feel better now.
I know, I know, it’s spring already. Days are longer, more sunshine. Etc. Blah blah, whatever. I’m not feeling it. I’m feeling mopey and dopey, unmotivated, unenthusiastic, and generally bleh.
Yesterday at work, I googled “things to do.” Literally (in the correct usage of this term), I feel like I have no ideas to motivate me to do anything. One of the ideas that came out of the search was to engage in a hobby. I went through my head of all the hobbies I picked up and put down and can’t think of anything that excites me. The only thing I still enjoy doing is tending the houseplants. Thank goodness for that little bit of activity.
Lately I’ve been trying to plan a trip to somewhere. I get excited about it for all of a day and then I lose interest. In the place. In traveling. In leaving the house.
There’s a big snow storm outside right now too. The groundhog was right.
My supposedly last-pair-of-leggings arrived last week. I tried them on and saw right through to my underpants. Folded them back in the bag, sealed them up and sent them back.
Unfortunately, regardless of the price, reputation of the brand, or country of origin, translucency is a common issue with leggings. I think I’m done with leggings for a while now.
I donated my hair last year. Here’s what I thought about it before and after.
- Donating hair is great and for a good cause. I should do it while I can (as in before my hair turns gray.)
- It’s easy. I only need to find a participating hair salon that will cut it and send it en masse with other peoples’ donated tresses.
- Not sure how I feel about short hair. I always have it long enough to tie back at least.
- I will do this again and again!
- Donating hair is meh, whatevers. They’ll probably just chuck it anyway (I’ve read that it happens a lot.)
- It’s a pain in the ass I have to mail in my hair. No salons participate because bullet above.
- Not being able to tie it up is a minor inconvenience and it’s more effort to tame the bedhead. Other than that I LOVE SHORT HAIR! I feel more stylish.
- I am undecided about doing this again. Leaning probably not.
TGIF! This week was a pretty typical week for me.
Monday – Went to work. Took my lunch break at my dinky work gym to stretch my legs a bit. I think of it like recess at school – the highlight of my day. After work, I ate leftover bean salad. Watched TV – the old BBC Pride and Prejudice. LOOOVE Jane Austen. Popcorn.
Tuesday – Same as Monday, only after work, I went to a gym class to get a proper bit of workout. I like this particular Tuesday instructor who focuses on abs. Again, once I’m home, I try to get to food as fast as possible, but not before I shower, because I’m gross. Watch TV with a side of iPad.
Wednesday – Same as Monday. I watched Me Before You. Good, but sad. The stars are beautiful and likable.
Thursday – Same as Tuesday, just a different class. I watched Mozart in the Jungle.
Friday – Same as Monday only I got to work a bit earlier so I can leave earlier too. It’s grocery shopping at Mom’s after dinner. And finally, TV with a side of wine. Ahhhh….
Saturday – I generally wake up to toast with peanut butter and banana with tea or coffee. It’s my favorite breakfast of late. I water all the houseplants with shrimp tank water and then refill the tank with aged water. That’s just about the only maintenance I do for that tank. I watch more TV until I finally drag my butt to the gym. It’s hard to leave the house to go to the gym, but the instructor is a funny old guy who runs a very non-stop ridiculously spastic session that I find amusing. “How high/fast can you go?! Can you go higher/faster?! Can you go even HIGHER/FASTER!?” “Rest when you’re tired. Drink when you’re thirsty. Eat your vegetables every day!” “My mom wakes up and does 100 of these in the morning!” There’s no stopping for a full hour. After this crazy workout, I like to go out to eat and then do more grocery shopping.
Sunday – Do mostly nothing day! Watch gobs and gobs of TV. Also this is cooking day. I prepare lunches for the week and try to make enough for dinner for the week too. I prefer to do minimal cooking during the week so for the most part, Sunday is food prep day. This way, I get less wasted produce too. Cooking just about everything reduces food waste. That’s one annoying thing about buying produce though – it commits me to cook. Once purchased I have to cook it that weekend or prep it for freezing. Once in a blue moon, I might pick up the vacuum cleaner or scrub brush to clean the house. But not if there’s something even remotely decent on Netflix or YouTube.
As soon as I got done setting it up, I knew the bullet journal was a preposterous idea for me. I didn’t see myself doing it for long. That it lasted through April is longer than I would have expected. The most impact it had was tracking my monthly spending habits. I wrote down everything for a few months. To sum it up, my spending pretty much consisted of eating out, random Amazon or Target shit, and grocery shopping. And I noticed that while my grocery bills came out to about a hundred to two hundred a week, eating out, even ordering non-fancy takeout Chinese could run over $50 (with leftovers) for a meal or so. So I stopped eating out unless it was with other people. Meaning eating out for sustenance was a don’t. Eating out for socializing was a do. I’ve since resumed eating out (for convenience, enjoyment) again and have noticed how salty, sweet, greasy stuff can be. In other words, tasty! But then also sometimes less tasty than I remembered.
May was hiatus-month. I didn’t do it on purpose but I took a hiatus from this. I also took a hiatus from eating out – that was on purpose. And a hiatus from journaling. Also for anyone curious as to how long that bullet journal would last, three months (through April) is the answer. I haven’t read anything either, books-wise. And I didn’t clean the house much. Instead I had daily mind-melding sessions with the TV. It was/is glorious!
What did I watch? Aside from many YouTubers, I have watched:
- Death in Paradise
- Terrace House: Aloha State
- Father Brown
- A few episodes of: 13 Reasons Why, Good Witch, Schitt’s Creek
- Anne with an E
- MidSomer Murders
- Dr. Foster
- The Secret Life of Pets
- Sausage Party
- The Keepers
- The Americans
- Mozart in the Jungle
In order of my preferences, The Keepers, Shetland, The Americans, Father Brown, Dr. Foster, Death in Paradise, Mozart in the Jungle, and MidSomer Murders.
For good fun entertainment, BBC has some reliably good material. Shetland and Dr. Foster being great serious ones, and Father Brown and Death in Paradise being less dark despite being murder mystery shows.
The Keepers is a documentary about the mafia of organized religions. It’s real-life scary. And sad. And maddening. I was pretty angry as I watched it.
And finally, The Americans. My boss recommended it and I plowed through four seasons in a week. It’s very ridiculous and far fetched, but also entertaining because despite all the nail biting suspense, you know they’ll always come out of it okay because they’re the beautiful couple starring in the show. Makes it much more bearable for me. And there are still enough plot twists to keep me guessing. Also I want to punch their precious whiny daughter in the face and snap her little chicken neck every time she goes off on her parents, especially when they done told her to shut the fuck up. I’m currently unwinding with Mozart in the Jungle which is silly but the music is beautiful. It’s a great way to decompress from the suspenseful spy drama and much easier to start and stop.
Terrace House is a great “Real World”-/”Big Brother”-type show. The first one where the house is in Japan is better than the one in Hawaii.
I’m always looking for more good (or bad) shows and movies to watch so am open to suggestions always.
I still need to catch up on the newly released seasons of Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. Though House of Cards seems rather tame compared to real life.
While we’re on the subject of gyms, let me share with you my thoughts about at-home gym equipment.
Because I often attend gym classes that use all kinds of exercise equipment, I’m always wanting yet another new toy. I ambitiously think, hey I could do this at home! As if my butt can lift off the black hole that is the couch. So let me preface all of this by saying that I hardly ever use any of my at-home gym equipment. I do use them but most, only a few times a year. Here are the items I do use – even if infrequently.
- Foam roller – It helps tremendously with sore muscles. Sometimes no amount of stretching works as well as rolling pin the heck out of your legs or sides – like a self-massage. I don’t know though, sometimes I wonder if maybe I could have just used the one at the gym and saved the space. Ok this is a take it or leave it.
- Yoga mat – It’s not just for yoga. The grippyness of it helps when I use a foam roller, or if I just want to do some stretching or calisthenics. I probably use this the most regularly – as in, I aim to use it at least once a week.
- Jump-rope – This is a very effective cardio equipment. It’s portable and takes up minimal space. The few times a year I use it, I jump for 5-minutes at a time (with minimal breaks) with squats and weightlifting in between the jump roping repeating three or four rounds. It’s an effective workout. I don’t use this a lot because at the end of the day, I still need to take it with me to a place that has the room to skip rope, which ends up being a gym. So… I could just use the gym rope. BUT! This one is tailored to my height and it’s to my liking so I jump rope more now that I have my own. I am glad I have it for the times I want to do cardio but don’t feel like running. Realistically though, I use it maybe a few times a year. Which I suppose is still more than I used to jump rope, which was hardly ever.
That’s it! That’s all I have or would get (for now)
The other items I have and why I wouldn’t recommend them:
- Weights of any sort – This includes kettlebells – which I almost got, but thankfully decided against it. While I like kettlebells and other weights, they’re heavy! They can dent the floor when you drop them, which will happen. And they take up a good amount of space because they will eventually multiply. Lets say you get a set of 5 lb dumbbells to start. Eventually, that gets easier as you get stronger and then you’ll need to buy the 7 lb or 8 lb ones. Then the 10 lb. So on and so forth. Or if you choose to stop with the craziness, the sets that are too easy aren’t really going to be as effective and you basically have dumbbells that you’ll never use. A better alternative to weights, resistance bands. For use at home, they’re definitely better than dumbbells. These things are light, portable and just as effective and frankly more versatile than dumbbells. I didn’t get them though because I can’t see myself really using them enough to justify owning them.
- Exercise balls – These big balls take up space. I rarely use them except as auxiliary chairs when we have more people over. Yes, there are some moves I can do with them but I can do similar moves that activate the same muscles without the balls just as effectively. Mine is more furniture than exercise equipment.
OR save your money and just do what I do most days, which is sit on the couch watching Netflix or YouTube.
So you know how I mentioned the deafening volume of the music and instructors at the gym classes I go to? And how even with earplugs, the music and microphones were still too loud? I ended up filling out and submitting the form for gym membership cancellation. Ten days later, I asked them to cancel the cancellation. The reason was because in those 10 days, I noticed the music in the classes were less deafening. Still loud, but bearable. And even though I still feel the need to wear earplugs, it’s been a lot easier on my ears to the point where I can go back to enjoying the activity rather than focusing the entire time on the loudness of everything. And the whole reason why I joined in the first place was to have some activity to do that got me out of the house. So if it wasn’t this gym, it would have been another studio of some sort. I was considering a yoga/pilates studio. And now, since it’s not going to be a yoga studio, I am doing it at home.
If you’re interested, one of my favorite YouTuber’s is Fiji McAlpine. She is an excellent verbal cue’er.
I’ve been going to gym classes for the past six months or so and I’m fighting a losing battle when it comes to ear protection. They blast the music to the point where the ground is rumbling and then to make sure we can hear the instruction, they then turn their microphones even louder. I’ve tried every corner of the class, asking instructors to turn it down, speaking with management, and even wearing ear plugs. As much as they have helped to make it less painful on my ears, the classes are still deafeningly loud, even with earplugs. I’m considering cancelling my membership to save my ears.
I read a Reddit thread not too long ago about the one thing people would tell their younger selves. An inordinate amount of responses had to do with not being stupid in their young age about their hearing. We’re already surrounded by a constant barrage of noise pollution all around us. Traffic, sirens, television, the hum of fluorescent lights. I want to be physically fit and strong, but I want that without sacrificing my hearing.