Friday, July 18, 2003

I wonder how much of a shock to my system having real food for breakfast and lunch is going to be. Matt and I have agreed that slimfast shakes were a handy thing for a while, but it's definitely not working as a long term way to fuel oneself. We've both beeen increasingly lethargic, and neither of us is losing weight any more. I suspect we may have both been skimping on the neccesary calories to support the current activity level and managed to lower our metabolisms. Yay us!

In an attempt to fix this metabolic empass I have rejoined eDiets, since it was a great tool for me before. My attempt to follow one of the new trendy brand name diets they now offer lasted about 24 hours. The initial mission statement was to keep the diet closer to what hunter-gatherers would have eaten (IE, what we evolved eating, and what our systems are designed to digest most efficciently). However, this didn't really lead me to expect to be supplementing my diet by mixing "ZonePerfect Protein Powder" into my porridge, or lunching on "ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars". And the concept of buying a gallon (or whatever) of liquid egg whites just turned my stomach.

In short, upon seeing what the diet really consisted of I decided it was pretty hokey and full of BS. I want my diet to be one more suited to my body chemistry, and closer to nature...I don't want to be buying supplements and heavily processed food. The whole point is to get away from pre-prepared nobrainer concoctions. Nor do I want to have an eating plan that would require me to explain the limitations to anyone generous enough to offer to cook for me. Though it's never bothered me to attempt to accomodate other people's foodish foibles.

I've been floating along letting my eating habits form themselves the past year, and I'm impressed that it hasn't lead to regaining the weight I had from my bout of depression. Now it's time to conciously tweak things, especially since my resolve to harden my body into a lean, mean kicking machine has been somewhat delayed by my new mild asthma, and bruising my ribs on a large rock in Kern River. More veggies will help me feel better in my own skin too. Unfortunately, as I type this I'm sitting here craving a large helping of tater tots, but I'll get over that.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

You Might Be A Redneck If...

I've been mostly inactive at work recently. Very few experiments, lots of researching products and protocols, ordering reagents for new protocols, trying to figure out which line of microvascular endothelial cells to go with, arguing with Cell Signalling tech support to convince them that their antibody didn't work because it didn't work, not because we (specifically I) used it wrong. Trying out a fancy schmancy digital camera system which will enable us to get vastly more precise results...if I can get the sucker to WORK. It didn't help that I simulteneously trying out a new chemiluminescene reagent, one that requires far lower antibody concentrations than we use, so it didn't work either.

The only point of this is that it looks like I'm going to get to do more bench work again soon, and I'm glad, I don't like this desk job thing. Nor do I like training people, I'm not used to having to add someone else's "I can't find this antibody, where might it be?" to my own. That part will pass as the new associate finds her feet, and I'll get used to it as I've been here longer and find mine.

Now to justify my title.

You might be a redneck if you bring a gasoline-powered weed whacker on a camping trip.
You might be a redneck if you wear a cowboy hat with either an Iron Cross or a Confederate flag on the hatband.
You might be a redneck if you see a roadkill king snake as an opportunity to have an unusual meal and get a snakeskin hatband (for your cowboy hat) out of it as a bonus.

All of this was part of the Kern trip. Along with innertubing one day, followed by drinking at night, then hiking to a natural rock water-slide the next day, followed by drinking at night, followed by four guys (one-and-a-half rednecks and a whole halfwit) innertubing down the river by night wearing wetsuits and headlamps and being pursued by Park Rangers who were trying to enforce the river's curfew.

Who ever heard of a river having a curfew? Strange concept.

There's more...Shane threw vodka on the fire because his girlfriend wouldn't let him drink any more, the resulting fireball singed off a significant patch of leghair on both myself and Matt...Travis didn't have a whiny girlfriend with him this time, but still spent most of the time talking about a bunch of whiny girls he can't handle but just can't live without...Sharkie did a highly amusing impression of a dolphin having an orgasm (I have no idea how this came up in conversation)...Natalie threw twizzlers at people, and shoved a couple up Travis' nose for good luck...Sharkie's brother sat in his tent peeking out the zipper and sang the "meow mix" theme for no apparant reason...Shane and Sims rode a child-size motorcycle into town together at 2am and managed to get the 50cc engine to carry them at 35mph before they realised that neither of them could reach the brakes...

During all this Matt and I mostly sat back and watched with amusement. It would have been easy to get stressed out by all the chaos, but somehow it was just fun, because it wasn't happening to me, but around me. Plus there was messing about in the river and not worrying about the usual BS, that always makes a nice change.

The snake didn't get eaten in the end, Travis got bored with picking out the bones before cooking and gave up. He preserved the skin though.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

In the past 24 hours Matt and I have obtained: a case of Mike's Hard Lemonade, a dozen muffins, a bulk package of Claritin D antihistamine, a small canister of propane, a portable firepit/grill, and a large-ish tent...

Sounds like a party waiting to happen doesn't it? And yes, we are going camping this weekend, however did you guess? My second time on the annual Kern River trip. Matt also bought himself a headlamp. The kind people use for cave expoloration. He's planning to innertube down Kern river by moonlight. I declined joining in, mostly because I will never get warm again after dunking myself in the river at night. I rather shocked myself for having that reason spring to mind before the more obvious "I would rather be able to see when I'm about to hit a large pointy rock thank you".

On the general health side of things, I finished the course of antibiotics, just in case it ws some kind of infection, even though my lungs are clear. It's pretty apparant that I have some variety of asthma, which seems to have developed very recently. I do have the inflammation of the muscles in my chest too, probably from getting thwacked there during takedowns in karate, that certianly doesn't help my breathing any. But it isn't the sole problem: two or three times in the past few days I've had serious trouble catching my breath, having to pant for a few minutes when what I really want to do is take a big long breath...but it just won't happen. Once was during karate, which makes sense, but it's also been caused by getting anxious. I'm more familiar with the latter, I have a habit of almost stopping breathing when I'm really keyed up about something, and the release of that tension leads to panting for breath to make up the oxygen dept. I always figured it was a form of hyperventilation in response to anxiety, maybe it's asthma.

I don't know how common it is for people to develop this at my age, smoking certainly didn't help, it's extremely frustrating to me that this has become more of a problem after quitting. I never had this much of a problem until recently. It makes me mad, at myself for ever smoking, and in general because I don't want to have to deal with trying to get fit in the face of a respitory tract disorder. Getting fit is also a higher priority now because this being out of breath thing really sucks.

I am going to rant about it periodically until it's gone (or until I get over it), but for now I have ranted enough. I'm looking forward to the camping trip. Even if I will be carrying my inhaler in a ziplock bag as I scoot down the rapids on an innertube.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Evidently I have inflamed connective tissue on my ribcage. There's a latin term, but I can't remember it. I have no clue how I got this injury, as the most common cause is being slapped by your seatbelt in a fenderbender. Just in case my constricted breathing isn't purely due to this, I've also been prescribed antibiotics and a steriod inhaler. Combined with my antihistamine I'm now on the most drugs simulteneously that I've ever been on! Oh! I should count my progesterone shot thingy too, that means five different medications. I'm such a druggy these days.

On a side note: never drink chammomile tea that has been stewing in a mug over the weekend, it tastes like sweaty socks and mould. Bleurgh.