Fighting Trim

We’re just back from a lovely weekend in Newport, Rhode Island. I lived there in 1980-81 while my dad was at the Navy War College, and have always considered it to be one of the best places I lived during my peripatetic first 28 years before I settled here in Upstate Yankonia. Marcia also lived in Newport a few years after I did while she was in Officer’s Candidate School, so she’s got some local memories of her own. We had some great meals this weekend, shopped, walked, drove over the Newport Bridge to Jamestown each day to play golf in the public course there, and then stopped at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut for a night on the way home, managing to not lose much, in the grand scheme of things.

Those great meals in Newport came atop and after too many not so great meals over the past semester as I scarfed down more junk food than was necessary or desirable while racing to get between work and classes, after eating big lunches at work (we serve a hot lunch everyday due to our remote location), because I could. So it’s now time to get back to something closer to fighting trim for the summer months. I’m pretty good at this drill, and can drop a fairly shocking amount of weight in a fairly short time when I want or need to. (Yeah, I know that’s not optimal or healthy, so you won’t be telling me anything I don’t know if you feel the need to point that out). I have something of a masochistic streak, not in the sensual use of the word, but in testing my body to see how much I can bend it before it breaks or crashes. Fasts and highly restrictive diets fit that mold nicely, and are satisfying in their unhealthiness accordingly. As is skipping lunch at work each day to shoot baskets instead, and riding the bike at night, if the weather is ever conducive to it.

One thing I’ve discovered is that the key (for me) to extreme low-calorie eating is to making sure that I get as much flavor as possible from the things that I do actually eat. Rice cakes just don’t cut it, yo. One of my fave dieting snacks that adheres to this principle is as follows: take three “krab” sticks (those pre-formed things that look like crab leg, but are mainly made of pollack, and which have about 30 calories a piece), spread two tablespoons of olive flavored hummus evenly on top of them (30 calories), and then sprinkle some cheap grocery store black caviar on top of that (10 calories). The whole shebang has 130 calories, but has so many tastes, and so many textures, that it feels more satisfying, and stays with you longer than that horrible cardboard-like 97% fat free microwave popcorn that people force themselves to eat. Yuck. If you’re going to be hungry, at least enjoy the taste of what you eat, duh.

Year in Music

I bought the family iPod for Marcia on Mother’s Day 2007. On Mother’s Day 2008, I reset the play count after recording the family’s favorite songs for the preceding year, as follows:

1. “Mountain Energei” by The Fall

2.Simple Things” by Juluka

3. “The Cutter” by Echo and The Bunnymen

4. “6’1”” by Liz Phair

5.” The Body Breaks” by Devendra Banhart

6. “A History of Drunks” by The Melvins

7. “Let Me Roll It” by Paul McCartney and Wings

8. “Spavid Story” by Beef

9. “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley

10. “Street Waves” by Pere Ubu

11. “Presents” by Via Audio

12. “Family Romance” by Department of Eagles

13. “Help Me Mary” by Liz Phair

14. “Killer Queen” by Queen

15. “Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg

16. “We Are the Weeds of the World” by Gay Tastee

17. “Poodle Rockin’” by Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci

18. “Breakdown (And Then . . . )” by Rowland S. Howard

19. “Punkrocker” by The Teddybears and Iggy Pop

20. “Transdermal Celebration” by Ween

21. “Emily Kane” by Art Brut

22. “Miss Spiritual Tramp” by Blitzen Trapper

23. “The Mob Goes Wild” by Clutch

24. “Romo-Goth” by Department of Eagles

25. “Dance Commander” by Electric Six

26. “Dusk” by Genesis

27. “Andy Fell” by Human Sexual Response

28. “Hotel Figueroa” by Max Eider

29. “Goth Girls” by MC Frontalot

30. “Hero of the Day” by Metallica


I’m a Master

Of Public Affairs and Policy. Even if they butchered my name at the graduation ceremony (“Jeric Smith”). Hurrah for me, and huzzah for my peeps (you know who you are) who made the last two years tolerable. I wouldn’t have finished it without you. Many thanks.

3 AM

I woke up at 3 AM last night, feeling like I had something on my mind, or something I needed to do, or something that I should be worried about. It couldn’t be school, since last night was my very last class. (Hooray!) It couldn’t be work, since our stressful Board meetings are over, my boss is taking a well-deserved vacation, and things are quiet and under control in my department. Nothing family-wise, either, since everybody is generally well and healthy on that front as well.

Finally, I decided that what was causing me anxiety was a lack of anxiety.

I’ve spent two years constantly looking a day or a week or a month ahead, worrying about what paper, or what project, or what group work assignment, or what whatever was looming before me, undoubtedly to cause family or work scheduling complications, or to devour the limited free time that I have. Now that that has been removed, my brain apparently feels freaked out by the idea that there are no more papers, projects, group work assignments or whatevers to contend with.

Once I figured that out, I got back to sleep and sawed logs ’til the alarm went off at 6 AM. It’s gonna take a little time, I guess, to shift gears when such a consuming part of one’s life is removed, though I suspect I will quickly acclimatize and find new things to fill those hours.

Oh . . . and when I got home from dinner and drinks last night and checked the mailbox, I found my seeds a-waiting. (Catnip, chamomile, lavender). Thanks, Mom!


Presented my master’s thesis tonight. Tomorrow night, my last class. Quality of life improving rapidly. Soon I will I again have the energy to write about topics other than policy and politics. Soon. I promise.