The Watchmen is a great movie

I always felt like when someone turned the race course backwards and considered it “different” was a cop out. Really? Just turn it around and now it’s all super different?

Welp, I guess I’m starting to see the light.

When life was normal, every day’s goal was to get up and get after it, almost immediately. Wake up at 5:30, get to the gym, come home, be showered and ready to get out the door by 8, drink coffee and be creative for an hour …or browse reddit before I’d leave and get on the road for the day.

The goal was to have all the work stuff done early so all the relax stuff could be savored when I got home. The beauty of walking through the doors at night knowing all the work for the day had been done was glorious… I just couldn’t WAIT to get in and spend some time at home. I was always wishing for more time at home. Now that’s all we have. Isn’t it glooooorious, guys? GUYS?!?!? RIGHT?!!??!!?

There were times in my life where I’d leave all the work until the end of the day. Procrastinate and put unnecessary pressure on myself so that it would force me to get the work done quicker. It proved ineffective and sloppy as time went on and as the workload grew. It reached a point where I had enough and decided to take the opposite approach; deciding to start each day with an “attack” mentality yielded success in almost every aspect of my life. I couldn’t imagine ever going back to procrastinating all day and even felt lazy thinking about it.

In quarantine, getting everything done (without piling more onto my plate) in the morning was leaving me restless come mid-afternoon. With the plague scaring everyone into their 6 foot bubble and shutting down 90% of business, I was running out of things from my normal routine to do in the afternoon… except for panic. Had all the time in the world to panic. Constant fears and thoughts about whether or not I have the virus, if I’ll spread it, what if I have something worse. I heard that if my hand is larger than my face I have cancer!… Oh yeah, the list goes on. Paralyzing bullshit thoughts.

Some people are really good at picking up arts and crafts, instruments, and chores to fill their time. Before my indecisive mind can figure out what avenue to take, those fearful thoughts creep in and keep me from doing anything within my own home. The only thing that works to distract me is having a couple cocktails. Even as much as I like drinking, doing anything daily takes the fun and excitement out of it. Then, under the influence, it’s way easier to eat something I shouldn’t.

Today, I went back to saying, “Fuck it… I’ll do it later,” which is a very hot flame to play with.

But, for today, it worked.

Today was different. Today, I woke up late, stretched, wrote for about 30 minutes, and played video games for almost 6 hours. I drank plenty of water, plenty of coffee, and then at 6:30 I decided it was time to get in my fitness for the day, eat dinner, and write some more.

Playing the video games (Elder Scrolls Online, highly recommended) kept my mind busy and immersed enough that I had no time to think about quarantine and plagues. Playing with friends gave me a social outlet so I didn’t feel so alone and in my own head. Pushing my fitness to the end of the day forced me to stave away alcohol. It also kept me much more health conscious so it was yet ANOTHER reminder to eat healthy into the evening.

Any other time, I’d still consider this “lazy.” And sure, it’s definitely not productive. But in a time where we’re being forced into isolation, being forced to avoid our fellow human beings, and being forced out of our routines, I’m calling it “surviving.” When life can resume as normal-as-it-can again, the goal will be to “thrive.” In order to thrive, playing games for 6 hours a day will to have to take a backseat. Now, I could just be late to the party and everyone already knows this, which is most likely the case, OR I’m finally able to let go of the guilt associated with sitting around all day. Or both…

Surely, there’s still opportunities to be had. In every struggle, someone is finding success somewhere. With millions of people out of work, I can’t even begin to think of where that may be. The answer is probably in the prequel to the movie “Ready Player One.”

But for now, the goal is to survive, stay active, and remind my demons that I’m not stuck in isolation with them… they’re stuck in here with me.

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What about the greatest competitive eater…?

I’m living in the Dave Matthews song “Too Much.”

Seriously.

I eat too much
I drink too much
I want too much
Too much

Yup. Pretty accurate. The food journal is helping me reduce my amount of eating and drinking, but I’d be a liar if I said the cravings weren’t there… and that my discipline still needs work.

I want too much. Right now I have ZERO urge to eat. None. My stomach feels full, there’s no desire in my mouth for a certain salt/fat/sugar… but if you put a delicious pizza, a massive burger, or a bunch of honey mustard pretzels in front of me, I’d start to eat them. They’re delicious! They bring comfort! But the excess inevitably brings shame. It might be when I step on the scale in the morning, when I write it down, or when I take my shirt off to get in the shower… but I’m certain it’ll come.

A large glass of sparkling seltzer with a shot of vodka in it will make the day a little more exciting. In fact, fuck the seltzer, let’s throw some whiskey in a glass with rocks and a lime and enjoy ourselves. We’re stuck indoors due to a global pandemic, who cares? It’ll be fun. Sure, have another, you don’t have anything that NEEDS to get done. You don’t have to drive anywhere.

Toooooo muuuuuuuch”

I’ve heard this sensation, this chase, described as a hole, as if it’s something that needs filling. People fill it with food, drugs, sex, etc…. but it continues to be an endless hole that no matter how much we try to fill it, the hole remains.

This quarantine has us stuck inside with a hole that seems to grow in diameter. Maybe it was only a little hole that we filled with a couple drinks over the weekend and an act or two of debauchery. But now, being stuck inside with lots of us losing the ability to meet friends and family, losing our hobbies outside of our homes, and losing what we identified with – “Work” – we feel that empty feeling growing, like an untreated rash. Scratch it with the “too much” and it grows. We’re feeding it. That hole seems to be more of a mouth that belongs to the little red dude on the other shoulder.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed having a couple cocktails in the afternoon and eating a little differently than if society was running as normal. But “Too much” of it becomes a slippery slope. When we feed that little red dude on our shoulder, he grows in strength, like anything you feed. Though, it’s our job to control his portions and be careful of feeding him… “Too Much

I remember a Full House (the 90’s version – we don’t speak of the blasphemy that airs on Netflix these days) episode where Danny Tanner has to explain that “Too Much” of anything is a bad thing. “Even too much owce cweam?” one of the Olsen twins asked. Honestly, this lesson hit me like I owed it money.

It can be too much exercising, too much eating of vegetables, too much stretching. The concept of “Too Much” is going beyond what can be deemed positive, or even just the pursuit of going beyond. Some people want to be the BEST marathoner. Well, they’re probably going to have to find where “Too Much” running is before they can find a proper training regimen for themselves. The person who wants to be the best violinist is going to play “Too Much“before they realize they’ve gone too far. The person that wants to be the greatest gamer is going to play “Too Much” before they realize that it was indeeed…“Too Much“.

Through doing whatever activity “Too Much,” we can find the line of diminishing returns… right? We want to find our limits and break them so that we can push them further next time, but there’s going to be a point IN ANYTHING that it was “Too Much.” It’s going to that point and then realizing that preparation and recovery from anything that we do in excess would be crucial to the “success.”

So, for instance, if I’m planning to run the furthest I’ve ever run, I should probably prepare by running smaller distances leading up to that long run, I should eat properly before hand, I should make sure that I have the proper footwear… etc. Afterwards I should stretch, rehydrate, rest, etc. I’m not a marathoner so this is certainly not my expertise, but you get the point. If we want to find the line of “Too Much” then we have to hit it and prepare properly for next time.

Perhaps it’s the pursuit of something great that can close the hole of that little red dude’s mouth? If we put our desire for “Too Much” into something artistic, physical, and/or intellectual then we won’t desire a sleeve of cookies, a bottle of whiskey, or 30 women or men. The distractions will always remain, the little red dude will always be on our shoulder, but can we quiet him? Can we keep a greater distance from him? Shit, even Bill Gates locks himself in a cabin for a week reading “Too Much” while crushing a 30-pack of Diet Coke. Maybe it’s just a release valve that we have to open every now and then as it’s part of being human… having flaws, not being perfect, NOT being some sort of deity.

I really have zero clue. These thoughts and questions are rhetorical and simply something to ponder and keep in mind when the craving to keep eating, drinking, or binging comes about.

What I do know is that I’ve been sitting for “Too Much” of my Wednesday. It’s time to do anything of “much,” which will be much better than not doing it at all.

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No more writing before lunch

I did it. I started a food journal. Enough was enough. Being at home all day waiting for the world to come back into order has allowed me too much time and freedom to go into my fridge and eat everything in sight.

“It’s like I need a bouncer at my fridge.” – Craig Robinson on “Laugh Aid”

Chips? Just a couple… empties entire bag into bowl. Peanut butter? Just a spoonful…. grabs a goddamned ladle. Trail mix? Just a handful… onto yogurt, fruit, protein powder, cereal and somehow bacon.

8 SLICES OF BACON! YEAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

It’s an equation, that’s all it is. Food item + what rational bullshit I tell myself = What actually happens.

When you add in the food journal, it adds a step of honesty to it. Now it’s …

Food item + rationale I give myself + write down in journal = Rational outcome.

Damnit. Now I’m holding myself accountable? Ok, but I get to enjoy myself on Sundays. Deal.

I must have been eating close to 5,000 calories a day just in mindless eating. Not eating to meet macros, not eating all veggies, not looking to become the next powerlifting champion. Just mindless, excessive eating.

Normally, when the world was operable and there were these things called “gyms,” I would use the “gym” to exercise early, be productive all day with work and chores, then I would allow myself to eat from dinner (usually about 8 or 830) until 10 or 10:30. Within that timespan, there would be plenty of consumption… probably equal to what’s being consumed in the mindless-eating-phase.

But there was so much exertion throughout the day. There were so many other things to keep your mind OFF of food that you never really thought about it. Then by the time you got home and food was placed in front of you and you KNEW you could eat it, it was such a reward. To know that you earned your meal and it was time to feast gave you a sense of joy. “Oh no! I’m over my calories!” Maybe, but when you’re moving all day, a few extra calories won’t set you back.

The food journal forces me to write down exactly what I’ve eaten. I’m not specific to the point of counting grains of rice or measuring everything out, I’m just honest with myself.

Honesty. That’s all we need. If we continue to lie to ourselves about what we’re eating and how much, it’s easy to let things sneak in. But the moment you KNOW you have to write it down… do I really want that trail mix or am I eating out of boredom? Do I need a 2nd serving of dinner? If I don’t feel okay writing it down then it’s not happening. How about a snack AFTER dinner? Sure, but look how long that list is on your food journal, do you really think you should?

I’m not sure what it is about writing something down that forces us to be so honest with ourselves, perhaps it’s like a mirror for your mind – like when you stare in the mirror you KNOW what you look like. Maybe this is on the same spectrum? But that’s not the conversation for today because I’m hungry. My food journal has nothing but “Coffee+MCT+Stevia” on it.

It’s time for lunch. A salad. A salad with eggs. A salad with eggs, cheese, and buffalo chicken. A salad with eggs, cheese, buffalo chicken and avocado, A Salad with eggs, cheese, buffalo chicken, avacado and

BACON. YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

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…then consider me Myles Davis

I’ve watched many, many movies in my life. Way too many. Some multiple times just to really get the feel for the cinematic subtleties that the cast and crew worked diligently on. The camera angles, the quirks of the characters, the editing… one of my favorite cinematic masterpieces is Billy Madison. I even own a shirt with a blue duck on it that says “That’s Quacktastic!”

But has anyone seen the one where the citizens around the world are rioting because the government is taking away their rights and has too much control? No? It has that really cold and evil 1%’er dude that plans to exterminate a portion of the population to scare them into obedience. Still not remembering? Well, his whole plan was to make the citizens scared of each other to willingly give up their rights to the government. If citizens are scared of each other, they won’t riot against “the man” and they’ll follow all the rules that are put into place. He plans to release a disease as a means to eliminate a portion of the population and scare the rest of them into his control.

Sound familiar yet? It’s called “2020”.

CHILL OUT. Take a breath. The circumstances we are living in are real and I fully understand that. I’m keeping my distance, washing my hands until they’re raw, and my lovely lady even sewed me a cloth mask to wear out in public until this whole thing is over. In NO WAY am I trying to downplay the seriousness of what we’re living in. In fact, I’ve never felt so scared and out of control in my life.

BUT… can’t we admit that the timing of all of this is a little coincidental? How long were those daily protests in China taking place? Most of 2019? It looks as if they are on a corona-enforced shutdown but are gearing up for when it all ends. There’s not much news on it anymore. And I know there were other protests all around the world that the media was trying to keep quiet, but there’s no need to list them all. You could easily find them all on a quick google search.

I’m not a conspiracy-theorist guy by any means, I don’t even own a tinfoil hat! But I’ve just watched so many science fiction movies, read so many books, played so many games… they all refer to the times we’re living in as “when it all changed.” People far more intelligent than I continue to say that the world won’t be the same after this is all over. It seems to be jumpstarting the wave of the future.

Maybe that’s what I’m nervous about… the jumpstart. It feels like there should be some sort of smoother segway, an easier transition into the future, but it feels like the world just got booted in the balls and then pushed into the deep end of the pool with all its’ clothes on while carrying weights on it’s ankles. “Swim motherfucker.”

Now, like yourself, I’ve spent too much time indoors over the past couple weeks, enjoyed too many luxuries, and let my mind drift into some deep rabbit holes.

It took a trip to Market Basket where I had to wait in a line 6 feet apart from everyone while a bouncer let me into the club when someone had left. “We’re at capacity.” Had I shown some more skin, perhaps I would have gotten in sooner. Time to get my crop tops out for the summer.

It was while I was walking from the parking lot of said club “Market Basket” to the line to get into the party, that I read an article where the Governor of Massachusetts was greenlighting a tracking program of coronavirus patients after they’ve been diagnosed.

HOLY SHIT.

Let me get this straight: if I catch this virus, which could yield absolutely ZERO symptoms to me (knock on wood), you’re telling me the government is going to track my every movement? Wow. And no one’s upset about this? We’re all on board with this? This is where Dr. Evil and Mr. Burns give each other high fives.

People wearing masks, staying 6 feet apart scared of human connection, all interactions coming through a screen, your government tracking you. If you haven’t seen the movie “Wall-E,” well, you’re living in the prequel. It’s very similar to “Minority Report” ….

Our goal is public safety. Everyone’s goal should be. If you get sick, stay home. Hasn’t that always been the deal? I’m all set with catching ANY illness. If it gets really bad, go to the hospital… and when they release you, go home and rest until you feel healthy AND YOU’RE NOT CONTAGIOUS. Again, this is a serious and life-threatening virus/disease, take it seriously. But once we start to give up our privacy, our rights… we’re not going to get them back. I hope we all understand that. If there’s an instance in government history where they let their people off the leash after FINALLY getting the collar on them… let me know. History was never my strong suit.

What’s happening beyond our control? No clue. There are some powerful Illuminati characters running shit behind the curtain in Oz. What are their plans? No clue. This whole scenario probably has nothing to do with them or their plans. But let’s tread these uncharted waters with a little less fear mongering and a little more brotherhood. Once the State of Emergency comes to an end, let’s cling to our rights as citizens with a firm, ironclad grasp.

Alas, we cannot fight to our right to party at the moment. There’s far too much happening for us to be protesting and rioting. Health is wealth and if we’re not healthy, we cannot fight the powers that be. Even Hong Kong is on a Hiatus and they were like the Tom Brady’s of protests. Right now, the focus is on working as one unit to get back to full strength. Then we can address our governmental issues.

I cannot see the future, all I see is what’s in front of us. There’s a lot of beauty in the world. Thousands, millions of people coming together everywhere to help combat this deadly disease in one way or another. The positive overwhelms the negative everytime.

The world is always changing. This jumpstarted progress will come regardless of whether you want it or not. The world is constantly moving, turning, changing it’s position in the universe. Roll with the punches. While conspiracies are interesting, there’s no need to dwell in thought about it. Focus on what’s in front of you: a global pandemic. Focus on the now. Stay safe and stay healthy. We’ll get through it together by staying apart for now.

And in 99% of those movies, games, and books I referenced – there’s a happy ending for the world.

But that other 1% though...

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What if…

It happened. I spent my Saturday afternoon in a full-on downward spiral of “what if’s.”

What if I have it?

What if we don’t recover from this?

What if I give it to someone else?

What if the Kool-Aid man busts down my wall?

These questions do nothing but waste our time. Well, asking them to yourself in a repetitive fashion and thinking the worst in each possible outcome is definitely a waste of time. Being prepared is one thing, but putting yourself in a state of panic helps no one, especially yourself. I started to have difficulty breathing, I gave myself a headache from the tension of thought, I was scared of everything.

Panic and fear. They might as well have been weighted blankets. 2 ton weighted blankets of thought… useless, negative, fearful thought.

I sat on the couch for hours on end staring at a TV binging the first season of Barry (GREAT SHOW) being held down by the throat at this cycle of fear.

And then, like a reassuring whisper, the sun came out.

Nature gave me a little reminder that it’s all going to be okay. After the season ended (properly binged) I got up off my ass and went into the other room, meditated, took a cold shower, and then read a book. Guess what happened?

The birds started chirping. The world didn’t end, I didn’t get a fever, no one I knew contracted COVID-19. I was able to enjoy the rest of my night… as if it was a regular Saturday night.

Sometimes we can get wrapped up in these “what if” questions and lead ourselves down a deep rabbit hole of utter bullshit. These cycles of thought hold us victim, they add nothing positive to our lives. It’s more fun to play “what if I won the lottery.” Way more enjoyable of a game.

Fear, people. It can get the best of us, especially in such uncertain times like these. We have no idea when this will end and what’s going to be waiting for us on the other side. It’s scary, I know. But when we acknowledge our fears, acknowledge that we will have an outcome soon enough, and acknowledge we’re all in it together – we can enjoy all the moments that are right in front of us. For a lot of us, this is out of our control. Our job is to stay home as much as possible. So enjoy these weird yet precious times with those around you and enjoy the moments. IF you need something to bring you back to the moment you’re in – try a cold shower. It’s like a slap in the face. Or just get slapped in the face. Or both. At the same time. Now it’s a party.

The clouds will clear. The sun will come out. The birds will chirp. Sports will start again. We’ll have to go back to work. The gyms will open. Restaurants will be able to seat people. We’ll be able to see friends again. We’ll have to set your alarm clock again.

Be patient. Breathe. Take a cold shower. Move. Smile. Spread cheer and love. Play games and watch movies. Be creative. WASH YOUR HANDS.

If you are depressed, you are living in the Past. If you are anxious, living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the moment. – Lao Tzu “

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A Thank You note for Ice Cube

There are 2 ways to look at all this excessive time we have on our hands now.

  1. We just need to find something to do to kill time. This will all blow over and we can get back to our lives. Just kill the time until it’s over and then we’ll have some sort of normalcy again.
  2. We’re stuck indoors with a lot of time on our hands. Let’s use this time to get something done, learn something new, or practice a skill we haven’t had time for in the past.

I’m fumbling between the 2. We’re all struggling with it. I’m not alone, I know that. Like I said before, I’m focused on my writing. Every day I’ll pump out a bunch of bullshit and if it’s great, cool (better odds of winning the Powerball)… if not, well, feel free to let me know (COMPLIMENT SANDWICH PEOPLE). I’m sure with a little more boredom and cabin fever I’ll start to pick up something new and scrub the bottom of a lamp… because I love lamp.

BUT there’s one thing I’ll make sure I do – Check myself before I wreck myself. And yes, I’m of a clear mindset as I say this. Take inventory of your emotions and your headspace before you start to interact with others. We’re in some strange times where people physically can’t have any interaction with others. We can’t go out and socialize with strangers. It’s a time in our lives where isolating is the right thing to do. This can fuck with your social skills. Seriously.

Before conversing, take a look at how you’re coming off and how you’re behaving. This is great advice for anyone at anytime, really. Our emotions can run rampant if we don’t take a moment to understand why we feel a certain way. If you don’t figure out why you feel that way, it’s even harder to figure out how to feel the way you want. Emotions and energy is something children and animals pick up on right away. Adults do too, but they’re usually too caught up with their own bullshit and don’t understand why they feel a certain way and don’t care.

I can be sad and come off like a Debbie Downer because I found out my family’s dog is getting euthanized tomorrow (RIP Ollie). It’s not because I don’t want to talk to you, I’m just dealing with some sad news.

Someone could have taken my job and forced me indoors for a couple weeks and called me a silly name leaving me a little angry, so if I snapped at you, it’s not because I’m angry with you… it’s because I’ve lost my job and I’m stuck in a shell.

I could be thinking of a really funny Tom Segura joke and laughing my ass off… it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re funny and I like you. Just kidding, I probably do… but Tom Segura is hilarious. BIKE.

One thing that I do – I keep very good inventory of my emotions and I’m a pretty open book. So if I’m sad and I only give a couple words, I’ll let you know why. If I’m a little “heated” about something, I’ll make sure you understand it’s not you and I’m doing my best to shift my attitude. If I’m giggling about something, I’ll try my best to convey the funniness of whatever it is and make you giggle as well… while we prance and sing to our heart’s content.

It’s our duty to ask ourselves “Why?” we feel a certain way. The answer could be way too deep for a Saturday morning. It could be that you’re lacking purpose in your day-to-day life with you being out of work during quarantine. So give yourself some creative purpose. Louis CK had a great clip on his show about that. I couldn’t find it, but essentially Doug Stanhope is his long lost friend and confesses that he’s going to “end it.” Louis barks at him telling him that he had to work hard to find his reason for life … his purpose. It’s all something we need to spend time doing. It won’t be easy, but it’s worth it. Life is a little bit easier when you have it.

If it’s anger you’re feeling? It could easily be a lack of exerted energy… Go for a run, do some pushups, situps, jumping jacks. Go DO something to get the blood flowing. You’ll feel a little bit better and maybe it’ll inspire your mind to do something creative. There have been times where I’m so physically exhausted that I could stub my pinky toe and laugh. It’s a wonderful feeling, but not an easy one to obtain.

If you’re sad, pour your heart out in a journal, let go of it. I, personally have a hard time letting go of sadness. I just bottle it up and shove it down deep. I’ll be letting my future self deal with it at some point… uncontrollably and at some super inappropriate time, I’m sure. There’s random commercials about cereal that make my eyes water. THEY’RE HIS LUCKY CHARMS, YOU SELFISH SUGAR ADDICTS. Spoiled brats.

REGARDLESS – we have to let the emotions pass so that we can stay mentally (and physically) healthy. It shouldn’t be news that stress, anger, sadness, etc. all wreak havoc on your health if not maintained properly. Your energy will pass onto people that you like and love – whether it be positive or not, it’s contagious. If you’re feeling off, take a few minutes to figure out what it is, breathe, and remind yourself that it will pass. Take inventory and then work on fixing it or just being cogniscent so you can explain to your friends and family why you’re acting like a dick. It’s not our job to figure out YOUR problems. Spend more time looking on the inside and maintaining it than pointing the finger. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is offer the world a better “you” which creates a better “us.”

Check yourself, before you wreck yourself.

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What to drink tonight…

Man, I love alcohol, but I really don’t love alcohol. Such a love hate relationship. It’s a social lubricant, makes the dullest of times even a little more exciting, and it makes me feel funny in my pants. It helps round the edges, so to speak. The mind isn’t focused on the grand scheme as it is just relaxed and trying to enjoy itself. A couple of drinks and quarantine isn’t so bad!

But then a couple of hours later, quarantine doesn’t make you feel all that great. Personally, I sleep like dogshit after a drink or 5. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night sweating and overheating and unable to fall asleep for another hour while my body processes all the poison I force-fed it. I’ll wake up late and feeling even more exhausted than I usually would. My brain feels like it was used as a basketball. Then my body… goddamn. I’m bloated all over on the outside and then probably on the inside too.

I’ve heard the whole “Well, you could just NOT drink, Kris.” Yeah, I could do that. I could also wear orange robes, sandals, and swear off any semblance of a life to chase some pious bullshit while humming and bowing until I have a herniated disc. Fuck off with your boring but sound solution.

I enjoy drinking. I enjoy the state of mind I can be in and how much a nagging sense of social anxiety fades. A decision to be a little more impulsive can lead to a great story, a wild but foggy memory that you’ll have forever shared with family and friends. “But it can always lead to problems too, Kris.” WE KNOOOW. WE ALL FUCKING KNOW. We’ve been told by every adult EVER. PLEASE, revel us in your cautionary tale of drunk driving, health issues, and when you “couldn’t get it up.” I could also die having a poop. Shit’s crazy. Now get back to arguing on Facebook about Trump and why meat is evil.

It’s a fine line you have to walk between relaxed and ridiculous. When you’re a couple drinks in, it takes a seasoned veteran to realize how far they are and when they’ve reached their limit. Some people never ranked up, never learned, and therefor never know when enough is enough. But I’m sure that spills over into their day to day life – I can almost guarantee it. We all know the definition of insanity, right?

Vodka, whiskey, wine, tequila, cider, a sour beer … they’ve all got their purpose.

Vodka – Quality and quantity. Perfect for those weeks stuck indoors when you’ve been laid off and unemployment is so bogged down they can’t properly fix your claim…Deep Eddy’s leaves no hangover, is cheaper than the other top shelf vodka’s while tastes better than any of the rest.

Whiskey – Like hot sauce or a smack in the ass. To be sipped and enjoyed with a little burn. An earned drink that pairs well with red meat and Cuban cigars. I’ve come to enjoy a lime or 2 on occasion. Suntory Japanese whiskey is my favorite so far. I still love all of the Johnny Walker’s though.

Wine – Red. Aged in bourbon barrels. Dry. Strong. Viscous. I want to drink bourbon blood with a steak dinner but yet also be romantic and rustic. Exitus has my heart at the moment, but I’m sure something new will roll around at some point. If I drink white wine I’ll start prancing and eating straight vegan with flowers in my hair. Cranberry wine (made from cranberries, not grapes or mixed with grape wine) is the exception to the rule. That goes down like juicy juice … and pairs well with Deep Eddy’s.

Tequila – The night is young, let’s party. Don Julio* has yet to disappoint, guess I’ll stay loyal to my Mexican Heritage (I’m Irish). I’m still going to sip it over ice, salt on the rim, and a lime, but it’s the weekend and I’m not going to bed until midnight WOOOOOOOO!! Let’s discuss dangerous topics like political correctness and why pants are even a thing.

*I’ve only had the 1942 once and loved it. But the “blanco” was my go-to in Mexico. Delish

Cider – I miss beer but I don’t miss feeling like I ate a loaf of bread. Let’s go dry-as-fuck so I’m drinking alcoholic apple seltzer, but natural. Ace Joker Dry: 3 grams of sugar and 6.9%. I don’t want to drink 10 to feel a buzz, but I’m going to drink the entire 6 pack over the course of the day. This is the best of all worlds – STRONG, DRYYYY (sugar in my booze? I’ll slap you), and there’s 6 of them. Or at least… there were.

Sour Beer – Just like sourdough bread, it doesn’t grow in my stomach. I love beer, I could be like a taste tester who spits it out. I love the taste, but if it’s going in my stomach it best play nice. Sour beer sits great while has a very unique flavor profile… it’s sour. As long as you go into it realizing it’s a Warhead and not a Jelly Belly, you’ll like it. Highly recommend Victory’s Sour Monkey. Well priced, super flavorful, they clock in at about 9.5% …and there’s 6 of them. Pace yourself, these go down easy and they really are 9.5%.

It’s currently 12pm on the dot (weird). I’ve been told by many people smarter than me “It’s five o’clock somewhere.”

I mean .. When in Rome.. or

“When in Quarantine…”

But for real, drink responsibly. Not like an underaged asshole drinking anything that they can get their hands on until they pass out. You’re an adult. Drink something with purpose. Have a driver if you need one or stay the night, no one’s going to judge you for being smart and realizing you’ve had too much. And know when to stop. No one likes the loud asshole that can’t form a sentence. Except your enemies and demons… they love it.

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Food Porn

I miss sandwiches. 2 pieces of bread, a ton of meats, cheese, condiments, veggies (if there’s room). Cutting it down the middle, diagonal always seemed erotic to me. Plate it with a bunch of salt and vinegar or BBQ chips, and a big-ass pickle. A carbonated beverage at it’s side. Damn… what a meal.

Subs even more. Meatball subs, cheeseburger subs, bbq chicken tender subs, italian subs, any of them with a 20oz of Coke (or a cherry Pepsi) and a big-ass bag of those chips.

Or even PIZZA. Definitely pizza. Best topping combination – are you ready for it? BBQ chicken, bacon, and pineapple. Yup. Pineapple. If you’re a pineapple-on-pizza hater you could always sub it for banana peppers or just stick to your “adventurous” cheese. FOOL.

We’re all different people and like different things. Hell, pizza places can make a great cheese pizza but once you add pepperonis to the mix everything goes out the window and you’re eating a tire. You have different go-to pizza toppings. It’s okay, you’re just wrong. Kidding, kidding.

Unfortunately, nothing I’ve listed is healthy. If it was, I’d still be eating them without fear of my health (especially in these times) or gaining 50 pounds in 2 weeks. Trust me, I could do it. Until I slammed on the quarantine-breaks, I was headed there.

Even going out to eat, there’s good choices we can make. Even McDonalds has a pretty decent salad. But It’s not the food from restaurants I’ve been missing lately. Especially not the bill at the end. My other half is an amazing cook that makes food to our palettes, appetites, and our health. And cooking at home is always cheaper.

I miss the people. I miss the noise. I miss the atmosphere. I miss talking with the bartender. I miss trying new drinks and new foods outside of my comfort zone. I miss recognizing someone even if I don’t want to talk with them. I miss going from one place to the next and having conversations I would have never had if I stayed home that night. I miss the drunken fools that cause a ruckus until 2am outside of my window. I miss the opportunity to go on adventures, even if that’s just fooling around in a retail store while looking to see if they have that really unique item I don’t even know what it is.

Opportunities. That’s what I’m missing. These are some strange fucking times. It’s only been a few days and it feels like I’m Rumplestiltskin (sp?) forced to take some insane nap and I’m having some crazy dreams. Seriously, I got my ass whooped by some 10 year old last night? He had a black mullet and was wearing a brown shirt. Seen him? Let me know. I’m out for vengeance.

But we’re going to wake up. These times will pass and this will all be a faint memory. There’s this part of me that wakes up thinking that I’m going to open up my news in the morning and it’ll be over… and that’s coming. You’re checking the news too, you know this. Hospitals are starting to empty out around the world. We’re almost there. All the more reason to focus on the positive, right? Positive thinkers talk about coming from a perspective of being grateful, so let’s take note of what we HAVE instead of what we don’t have.

Health! I’m not sick, no one I know is sick… well, not that we know of. I hope that’s the case for you. If you’re indoors and everyone you know is healthy, keep it up – you’re doing great saving the world by being a hermit. I also haven’t totally lost my shit yet, so mental health is holding up.

Toys! I have plenty of things to play with to keep me busy. I have video games, movies, internet, a phone, books, a guitar covered in dust and plenty of other things to keep me occupied indoors.

Communication! I am able to stay in contact with everyone with the touch of a button whether it be phone calls or some internet application. Imagine doing this 100 years ago? There’d be bodies in the streets and basements.

Time! Again, going back to my last post, this is a chance for us to do things around the house we never had time to do before. This could be something creative, could be cleaning, could be home projects. Whatever it is that’s been nagging you in the slightest – now you have more time to do it. You may be occupied with plenty of other things and your increase in time is minute, but it’s there. Honestly, it could be more time spent with your loved ones, in which case, that other shit can sit on the back burner even longer.

There’s so much to be grateful for. For instance, I’ve looked up 100 different ways to replicate a sandwich and pizza while still being healthy. It’s even a lot of fun to live vicariously through others that are making their own sandwiches, pizzas, and desserts. It’s like I can taste it in my imagination … like I’m the one eating it. It’s like I’m right there… I’ll fess up – I’m now hooked on food porn. I think it happened subconsciously with my other half always playing YouTube cooking shows on the TV for hours on end. They make some amazing stuff I would never eat but it’s like watching YouPorn – I’m not touching that with a 10 foot pole, but playing pretend is fun!

Distance makes the heart grow fonder, right? So when this all blows over, trying on a shirt in a store, trying on that pair of shoes, googling which store has it the cheapest, and just sitting down at the bar and ordering an app and a drink will have so much more meaning to it. I honestly might order a sandwich and a pizza at the same time – just because I can. They’ll be savored and devoured while I try different types of whiskey and tequila and shed countless tears of joy with my pants off.

The only truth was probably the whiskey and tequila…

probably…

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Quarantined in a Creative Prison

Eeks. Over a month since my last post. Okay, I’ll admit it – I cracked. My discipline shifted into a job that required a lot of my attention and energy Tuesday-Saturday. Sunday and Monday I had time to write and post, but honestly… I just wanted to do anything but be creative. I was zapped of my creative juices and the discipline to stay focused.

But it was for the greater good! I was disciplined in all other areas of my life and yielding successful results because of it. They say that the best art comes through times of leisure, not that of excessive “busy” or a “busy mindset.”

I agree. Mostly because it gives me some sort of subconscious scapegoat for why I didn’t sit down and write as much. Sometimes you get so busy that when you have just a little time that’s unscheduled or not “busy,” you just want to play a video game or stare at a wall for 3 hours to let your brain decompress.

Well, shit’s changed. Apparently there’s this “global pandemic” now? My job isn’t something I can do from home so until this whole thing passes by, I’m forced to be home with nothing but leisure and free time.

Mental health. Holy shit, is this the most important aspect of it all. Being stuck indoors for weeks on end is like waking up in Billy Murray’s Groundhog Day… but you can’t go outdoors and it’s definitely not as funny. If you DO go outdoors, it’s grabbing the essentials and coming back home… and then washing your hands and burning your clothes with a flamethrower.

“The essentials” have become what different types of snacks I’m going to shove down my gullet with the drink I’ll be pouring myself at 5pm (because that’s late enough in the afternoon that it’s socially acceptable… right?). I think I’ve put on 10 pounds in 11 days of quarantine. No, really – I have eaten enough calories to feed all of Joe Exotics big cats for a month. With all the gyms closed, it took away that “place” where you could run on a hamster wheel, lift heavy things and put them down, pull/push, grunt, sweat excessively, look at yoga pants… but it was the place where you could focus on fitness for an hour or 2 AWAY from all of your food, toys, and couch.

So yeah, physical health is also a struggle. Eating and drinking too much without burning enough calories. I’ve been moving, but it’s been difficult. Now that I think about it, it’s probably a lot of the mental health battles spilling into the physical health. Such a slippery slope we’re all teetering on during these tough times.

Lastly… purpose. “Why?” “Whyyyyyyyyy?” Millions of people are laid off without work. Small businesses everywhere are shut down. BIG businesses are shut down too. We’re all stuck at home, lots of us aren’t pulling out our laptops and getting work done from our couch. We’re browsing reddit for the 30th time today, binging hard on Netflix, or fighting for another Call of Duty Warzone victory. The first few days were fun, but now the reality of it all is setting in. Massachusetts is pushing their “stay at home” until May 4th. Yeah, that’s not the 2 weeks I was thinking. That’s over a month away. This is real.

I woke up this morning in somewhat of a stupor (still feeling a little outside of my body if I’m being truthful), but as I showered off the night sweat from the excessive food and booze from my skin this morning I realized that this shit has to stop. Not the food or the booze (get off your high horse), but the excessiveness of it. The playing video games ALL day (a couple hours is still cool, once in a lifetime chance that it’s socially acceptable). The aimless workouts. They’ve all got to end, they need PURPOSE. So as I scrubbed deep in between my cheeks and gave my ass a fresh start, I felt these 3 aspects of my quarantined-life needed some redirection.

  1. Mental Health
    • Waking up and starting with a shower and getting dressed. Just being clean and giving myself a fresh start to the day almost helps me forget that the world is battling an invisible enemy which requires us to avoid human contact.
    • Writing. Just journaling whatever comes into my brain. I literally call it a “brain poop.” It’s almost like once I get everything stupid out of my mind and get the engine running, I can focus a little better and think with a clear(er) mind.
    • Conversations. Just hopping in discord (it’s an audio chatroom made for gaming) and shooting the shit. I don’t need to play a game or really do anything, but in a time where human connections are lacking on that daily basis, it’s important to hear friend’s voices and interact with them… even if it means playing a game you don’t like.
    • Walking. Yup. Keep the 6 feet away from other people, but just getting up and going for a walk around the block for 10-20 minutes. It’s moving meditation and if you’re not meditating on a daily basis, this is super helpful. That’s probably another habit I should get back into…
  2. Physical Health
    • Eat less. Seriously. Realizing how much less physical activity we’re all doing means we’re not burning as many calories as before. I can’t imagine many people are living the same life they were before the crisis, so if you’re like me and your life is upside down… eat less. I gave myself a goal to lose 15 pounds by the end of the month. It won’t be difficult, it’ll just be something to be mindful of. It’s too easy to sit around and eat all day. I am taking out all sugar from my diet (personally – do what works for you. My sugar consumption is more of a comforting habit than anything) and I won’t eat any food until 5pm and then all I’ll have after dinner is a protein shake. That’s usually where I lose my battle… in front of the TV after dinner. Protein shake is all I’m allowed. BUT…Sundays are cheat days … if I can remember which day is Sunday.
    • Give yourself a fitness goal. My goal is 50 pullups without stopping. No clue if I can do it, but I’m going for it. I don’t have much for weights, I can only run so much before my knees and hips start to ache (just requires lots of stretching afterwards) so marathons are out, and I left my hanging heavy bag at my other mansion with the 5 car garage. That’s my goal… what’s yours?
    • Seriously, eat less. Drink a glass of water instead.
  3. Purpose
    • For me? I’m going to post every day in April. Now, not every post will be as driven or as meaningful as this one. Lots of the posts will be bullshit. BUT, I am going to post every day in April. This is no April fools joke. Every. Goddamned. Day. This will help relieve that creative itch I’ve been letting turn into a rash. I’ll write something, post it, and I’ll feel accomplished in some sort of way. Like getting a pat on the back from my conscience. I’m hoping to use this time indoors to manifest my creative discipline.

This will all be over soon enough and we’ll all be back to work. The way our economy operates will probably never be the same and a lot of people will continue to work from home. Our lives will shift, there’s no denying this. But a lot of us will go back to the same grind where we can’t wait to get back home and relax. Sit on our thrones, look out our windows, drink our coffee, work on the house, get another Warzone victory…

This will all pass. The time we were FORCED to stay home for weeks on end will be gone and we’ll be FORCED back to our lives, whatever that means.

When you look back, what are you going to say you used that unprecedented time in history for?

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Forward or Backwards: being still leads to stagnation.

The keyboard feels alien to me. I haven’t written a word in a week. I feel slow, my thoughts feel clogged, and this post feels bland and aimless.

But my actions haven’t been. I’ve been focused elsewhere, on a new career opportunity… a chance to feel “put together,” whatever that could mean. Healthy, wealthy and wise…. right? Although this new job doesn’t feel like a calling or my ultimate purpose, it plays the role of security. The treadmill has been on a constant increasing speed without me feeling like I could catch up. For once, the pace has steadied and I’m keeping up. It’s still going, but at a rate I can handle.

What does that mean? Good question, goooooooood question…

It means keeping up on some really good habits (minus my slacking in writing, I’ll be better – pinky swear), putting effort into a new career path… it feels like it’s paying off. For the first time in years, I feel like I’ve been able to see into my future and see some stability. I’ve chased pipe dreams, been steered in the wrong direction, and I’ve been aimless and wandering through my day to day life. It’s sad and is riddled with the constant questioning of “What’s the point?” Not a great question to throw at yourself… a sign of further underlying causes.

I finally see an open path and I feel like the one behind the wheel. Now, I’m not looking to make millions or to live some crazy fantasy. I’m looking to climb out of debt, to build a future in something that I can call my purpose, and to support the ones I love.

Is that a fantasy? It certainly shouldn’t be. And I don’t think it is. I don’t even need that white picket fence or anything, just a little freedom. Just knowing that there isn’t any financial burden being put on anyone else just for my existence, even that would be a relief. It’s coming, I’m making damn sure of it.

We can’t go back and fix the decisions, we can only make better ones. Those past decisions you’ve made? You’ve got to live with them. Since we can’t change them, we can only look at them like a foundation for our growth. We love ourselves too much to make the same mistake again. We know where that path leads.

I won’t stop writing, I love it too much. It’s a craft, like any, that needs to be practiced more than once a week to be improved upon. Again, this mistake was crucial to the learning process, but thankfully recognized. Now there’s a stronger reminder to be more diligent in it’s practice… for all art is cathartic. Even the brain vomit I put on a page is beneficial to my daily mindset. Just the stupid shit bouncing around our brains deserves to be put on paper, at least that way I don’t have to hear it anymore.

Like I said at the beginning: aimless. This post is completely all over the place, rambling, but it’s only because of my lack of discipline to practice. What’s the worst thing that can happen if I don’t write for a couple days? Sluggish thoughts and my writing suffers? My benefits to being focused on a new job outweighs the cons of forgetting to write. Priorities shift, but I’ll continue to write as it’s daily practice will only benefit me. Something like what I’m writing is usually a journal post for myself, but I want t his to serve as a constant reminder as to how I feel when I decide to stop writing for a weak. Repetition is the mother of perfection…

Yuck!

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