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Where I let out some of the random spilling about my head

by John on January 20th, 2015
  • I wish I held the ability to think of something and, like Elsa, “let it go.” But, once my mind hits “I think I should…” or “what would it take to…”, well, I have to, at least, think through whatever my brain stumbled upon.
    • I listened to Nick Offerman’s recording of Paddle Your Own Canoe1, and it’s somewhat changed my life. In the book, he hypothesizes that people who actually create things are far happier than those who live a virtual existence, spending their free time on a screen and chatting with virtual people and/or living in a virtual reality. It’s not to say that he’s entirely anti-social-media or anti-video-games, but he posits that someone who has a priority of actually doing something will be happier than someone who has nothing but memories to show for their labors. Since then, I’ve been wondering just what I could “make,” aside from music, which I think I’m pretty good at . . . this has lead me to wanting to:
      • learn to crochet (if only to “talk shop” with my crocheting wife
      • make my own wallet — mine is falling apart, and, at least in theory, the making of a new wallet should be straight-forward and somewhat fun
      • turn Lynnette into a wine rack . . . this will likely happen once I’ve finished clearing out my basement
    • I’ve been trying to figure out just how to eat healthier while enjoying what I’m eating more and being hungry less. This lead me to a few articles on the wonders of lacto-fermented foods2. What I took from the articles was: regular eating of fermented foods will allow your body to recover from a “bad eating day” far more easily, they may aid in lowering blood pressure (my blood pressure, when measured, is usually anywhere from “slightly above normal” to “slightly above slightly above normal.” It’s never been to the point of “danger,” but it’s something I keep an eye on), and the traditional fermented foods that you might purchase in a store have, likely, been pasteurized and/or had preservatives added to them (in other words, they’re not as healthy as they should be). I enjoy yogurt. I enjoy sauerkraut. I enjoy kimchi. So, I’ve started making my own . . . every weekend, I make a batch of yogurt for lunches for the week. I have two batches of sauerkraut currently fermenting — the first should be ready for lunches over next week . . . and from there, I plan to have one batch nearing completion, one batch nearing start, as I work my way through a third batch. As snow peas were really, really cheap at the grocery store this week, I’m going to make a quart of “snow peackles”. I fully realize that this process requires its own post, and I’ll do that, once I actually get around to taking pictures of what I’m doing.
  • My daughter is preparing for her first dance recital. I, seriously, don’t think the world is ready for the level of cute . . . I still remember sitting through my sister’s dance recitals as a kid, and dreading them . . . now, though, it’s a little ridiculous as to how much I’m looking forward to things.
  • CJ lost his first tooth. The tooth fairy visited & left a $2 bill.
  • Benji managed to scratch the top of my head in his excitement for a walk this morning. I really don’t know how he managed it.
  • If I keep my current workout plan going all year, I’ll complete over 10,000 pull-ups in 2015. In 2013, I couldn’t complete a single pull-up.
  • I found myself with a couple of hours of time on my hands last night, near a very good Chinese buffet. I didn’t go truly overboard, but I ate my fill, and them some. Why do I view an “all you can eat buffet” as a challenge?
  • I’m still trying to figure out just how things happened here, but in a process that includes: a Good Friday gig that I couldn’t play because of church duties, an incredibly ornery musician, and a separate musician who was quite good but was diagnosed with cancer; I find myself as the bassist of a new band (I still have my classic rock band, Landslide, where I play keyboards) for the time being. As with Landslide, I’m the “young guy”.
  • This was the first morning in quite some time where it wasn’t dangerously cold in the early AM . . . I’m kind of kicking myself for not making myself run — but I had my running gear buried in my drawers, my running shoes in the truck . . . by the time I had everything together, I’m afraid that I wouldn’t have had time to run. With a marathon looming in 2 & a half months, I need to get out. If the weather provides, I may head out to the Newville-Shippensburg Tail-to-Trail this weekend, just to allow my legs to go and set up some sort of baseline to determine where I am with my endurance3
  • Google Calendar makes my life far easier to manage.

1 I listened to this because Amy Poehler told me to, in Yes Please, and, seriously, life would be much better if we all did what Amy Poehler told us to do . . . the funny thing? I was in the middle of a series of memoirs: Bruce Campbell, Neil Patrick Harris, Amy Poheler . . . and, while I listened to Amy and jumped from her memoir to that of her Parks & Rec co-star, I didn’t actually enjoy Amy’s memoir all that much — she’s a wonderful writer, but it’s quite obvious that she wrote things over a very long time, in starts & spurts, so there were times, while listening, that it felt like spending a weekend with a ADHD meth addict telling you about the time he went to the fair when he was 12. It was worth the time to listen, surely — but, mostly, because it lead me to read Offerman’s work.
2 Essentially, leave food out for a good long while, at room temperature, submersed in a brine. This allows beneficial bacteria to multiply and build/secrete lactic acid. When this is all eaten, the beneficial bacteria then start to reside in your gut, allowing for better digestion, and the foods, themselves, may have added benefit as the vitamins may be able to be processed by your body better . . . the science gets a bit above my head.
3 I’m in the best shape of my life . . . but 26.2 still provides a great amount of trepidation for me.
  1. *Well now I have to check out that book. I love making things. But I usually stall in the “wanting to” or “planning” stages. I’ve had a hankering to dive into book-making for a while now.

    *Ever since having high blood pressure in pregnancy, I still get insanely nervous when I get my BP taken. I have to coach myself through it with deep breathing and mental relaxation, even though it is always ALWAYS 120/80.

    *I’m pretty sure our ideas of “dangerously cold” are extremely different.

    • Yes — windchill, this morning, was -12F — which, I believe, would be conditions where you’d give serious consideration to burning your house down for warmth 🙂

      The Offerman book was, really, a great read — a LOT of the advice he gives is just . . . impractical. It’s obvious that he’s someone who has no children and a job where he gets paid quite well . . . but, well, I really think he has something in the “make things & you’ll be happier”.

  2. My husband, I swear, is like Ron Swanson in real life — except for the mustache. It’s eerie. And Nick Offerman, well… Funny is sexy. I knit, which satisfies the “working with my hands,” but I also count my books, since they sometimes appear in physical form. He’s right. It is gratifying.

    Also? “peakles?” I die.

    • Peackles are so good!

      I need a good name for cauliflower or broccoli variants . . . just made a batch of either.

      And yes, funny is sexy — far sexier than anything else.

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