Exercise log: July 2, 2017

The parts of my workout that I can recall today looked like this:

  • Exercycle:  1.2 miles in under 10 min., ~7.7 MPH avg. speed; 10 MPH top speed
    (compare lethargic day at 5-6 MPH avg. speed, and 8 MPH top speed)
  • Push-ups:  15 straight!  (Women’s version)

I would write down something for abs, too, but unfortunately it’s hard to keep track of how many crunches (etc.) I am doing.  With those, I’m basically just trying to correctly do as many abdomen exercises as I can think of, to reach all my muscle groups.  Counting is extra.  😉

And…my belly is really getting pulled in.  I’m still kind of thick there, but the distension is going away!

And I was only 161 lbs. when I weighed myself today!  (this is down from a high of ~165+, though I have been mostly hovering around 162, in the pre-breakfast weight check.)

Today, also, I started lunges, though I was doing them incorrectly (angled back foot).  I know how to do them correctly, now, though (both feet pointing straight ahead, and lowering myself on the ball of the foot, where it comes to the back one).

I still wish to go out walking and running, more.  Working on the exercycle doesn’t seem to strengthen the muscles used in walking (or stair climbing, for that matter), and I could stand some sunshine.

Exercise, today, was a break from homework.  I did get everything successfully accomplished.  (Three assignments!  And they all have good effort!)  Unfortunately, this did mean some upper back stress — I probably shouldn’t even be sitting at my computer terminal now — but I was able to dissipate this somewhat with exercise and stretching.  Of most concern is sitting improperly, and keeping my mouse hand extended for too long.

I’m not as experienced with upper-body exercises, though I know that yoga stretches (cat-cow, downward dog, child pose) do really help with the tension around my spine, and in my shoulders.

I used an excess of caffeine today, so I’m not certain I’ll be going to bed anytime soon.

I ended up drinking about two pots of tea (different kinds of green tea), both of which were the first brewing (meaning a full dose of what caffeine they had:  green tea is relatively mild in this regard), and I had a little chocolate earlier, too.  (Normally, I would have eaten chocolate chips so I could get a little buzz and not mind doing the homework so much; but I went with tea, this time.)

I was working on three assignments under a deadline, and did not have the option of going back to sleep in the meantime; so I figured it was OK to splurge a little.

And, I haven’t had a nosebleed yet.  This is good!  (?! — caffeine excess can sometimes cause me to get a nosebleed from heightened blood pressure, even though my blood pressure is normally low.)

Anything else I want to write, I should probably organize into a different post.  🙂


Trying not to spaz about assignments

OOOokay, people, I drank 1.5 pots of houjicha earlier tonight, and so I am not certain when I will sleep. 😛 By “pot,” I mean that I brewed the first set of tea leaves twice, and the second set once, when it became apparent that I had leached all the goodness out of the first batch. (I’m kind of amazed at the fact that the tea will still steep, even without boiling water…I just sprinkled the new tea into a pot of hot water, stirred it, and it worked.)

Right now I’m feeling okay and a little drowsy (I have been known to fall asleep right after drinking Jasmine green tea…and houjicha will probably have less caffeine in a standard dose, as about half of it is stems), and just took medication, so…if everything goes as normal, I should be conking out around midnight. Meaning, I should brush my teeth in an hour or so (11:15 PM), before I get too wiped out to even do that.

I did just get out of the shower — not sure how long my hair will take to dry, but I usually go to bed with it damp, in these circumstances. One wash with a conditioning shampoo, mostly at the roots, and a comb-through with a detangling comb and no conditioner, this time. I think it will be alright — it doesn’t feel dehydrated (yet).

I only got up around 1:30 PM today; I just checked my records. This is why I was after the tea; I was having a hard time (again) staying out of bed. It doesn’t help that when I’m sitting at my desk, which is a quiet (silent) and isolated place to work, my bed is right behind me. As for what I got done today…I finished the reading in my textbook which I mentioned last time, although it took me a number of hours to get through it. It’s amazing, because the reading was only about 15 pages long…I think this is the book that I had been complaining about, before. It’s just very dense and kind of difficult.

In any case, I can now view the lectures for Metadata, and complete the last Discussion Topic…which I think I may need to do before viewing the lectures. I’ve made a skeletal PowerPoint layout for my presentation on Sunday for Research Methodologies. I should probably reserve a time to do that, so I’m not forced to do it early. I can’t do it right now, though, unfortunately. I don’t know why, except they assumed we knew how to edit HTML.

Last night, I started in on my Quiz for Cataloging…that one is going to be more of a pain to get through (lots of essay questions, which are easier on me than technical questions — but still), but it’s the last thing I’ll have to do for that class. If I get 0 points on everything I’m not sure about, I’ll get a C in the course (apparently, 80% is a C in grad school). And like I said, come Monday, all I’ll have to do is the Annotated Bibliography, and I’ll have a full week to do that (though I want to get it done by Friday).

I am just hoping to do as best I can on the Cataloging Quiz, but I don’t think I can hope for better than a B (or an A-, if I stretch my imagination). The Discussion Topic is last priority, though it’s easy. The presentation won’t break me if I don’t do well; but I need to do it. The major nervousness about it is that it has to do with altering infrastructure as a means of actually being inclusive (as versus pushing “diversity” initiatives), which I wouldn’t think the people in the organization I’m abstractly referencing would welcome.

I think I am running in a cycle of overwork + burnout; like I do a lot of work one day and then don’t want to see it again for three days. I know I don’t have much farther to go, and that these due dates are hard due dates (or so I’m assuming). It’s just that I’m really tired of this semester and am wearing out, about now, and want to get on to the break like NOW. Or yesterday, preferably. I’ll try and keep going through Monday, and maybe that’s all I should focus on, right now.

That sounds good. And I’ll look at work tomorrow as a designated and sanctioned time to get my mind off of this. Another time would happen as I’m editing my family member’s funeral pamphlet. Couldn’t forget about that…

And yes, I am trying to single-space my sentences. How observant of you to notice! 😉 (I don’t know if it shows up at all, really; I’m just trying to break outdated habits which only made sense on typewriters…)

Self-care: needing to titrate off this med

Today has been interesting.  The biggest thing to note is that I was looking back over my blog the other night, and realized that I have been gaining weight from one of my meds for at least two years — actually, more likely, since I began using it.  This has been a steady gain of 1-1.5 lbs. every month to two months.  It doesn’t seem like much, but it isn’t something I want to continue if it is not a genetic or age-related issue.

I’m not entirely certain at the moment what my weight is, but I am fairly certain it isn’t optimal.  Recent events have clarified that 1) I can be healthy otherwise and still be gaining weight because of the medication, and 2) I don’t want to wait until I’m 190 lbs. or more before I get up the nerve to tell my doctor, “no,” to further treatment with this drug, and sidestep the argument that everything will be better if I “just exercise” (like the weight gain is because of me).  I have been exercising.  I’m still gaining weight.  This med does clear my mind, but I don’t entirely remember what my mind had to be clear for, in the first place.

Likely, though, it was related to certain life decisions (whether or not to go back to the LIS program, whether or not to physically transition to male), which are fairly obvious in my preferred answer, at this point.  That is, I should stay in Library School, even though I’m not 100% clear on exactly how I’ll use my degree; and also, I’m pretty certain I don’t want to transition to male.  Three years ago, I might have been — actually, likely was, considering it; but there’s a difference between admiration and mimicry.  I was also strongly considering dropping out of Library School because of social anxiety (even though it was online — one of my friends was seriously paranoid, and this was influencing me).

Right now, I’m pretty clear that ideally, I would be helping with the manufacture and hosting of websites.  I don’t know what that position (or vague interest) is called, at the moment, but I think that’s where I want to be.  Web Design is something that I am interested in; but I think this may be because I don’t know much more about employment in the information sector which goes beyond this.  In particular, I’m not too hot on the interaction with clients that I’ll have to undertake in Web Design, and I know that the job entails more than just “making things look pretty.”  It’s actually a service position.  (Speaking of which, I found a page which I remembered last night:  this is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, stating that 80% of jobs in the U.S. were service jobs, in 2014.  Staggering, isn’t it?)

I don’t have a background in Computer Science; however, I do have a strong background and interest in Arts, Information Access, and the Humanities.  Ideally, though:  I lean towards employment that keeps me out of the public eye and shields me from contact that is so direct that I can be physically harmed.  I’ve had to deal with so much hostility over the years that I think I’ve just been conditioned not to want to deal with people.  Online, it’s different…I’m not entirely sure why, however.

Ah, right:  I remember the major reason I started this medication.  It was because my anti-anxiety/anti-depressant medication was sedating me to the point that it was difficult to avoid sleeping during the daytime.  The solution seems to be to lower the dosage of that drug…not to add a stimulating drug to counteract its effects (and add the effect of steadily putting on weight).

I have a couple of ways to avoid going to bed now:

  1. When I get tired during the daytime, I should go exercise, rather than go to sleep.  This wakes me up and makes it so that I don’t want to sleep, after working out.
  2. Caffeine, in the form of green or oolong tea, does seriously help.  Things like cola are something to avoid (they cause bizarre dreams when I do sleep), but green and oolong tea, I can handle.  Chocolate is also useful in Finals, or high-stress periods where it comes to schoolwork.  Because I’m on the sedating medication, as well, the caffeine does not prevent me from falling asleep.
  3. When I want to go to sleep just because I don’t want to do my homework, it is preferable to give myself permission to do something non-school-related (INCLUDING PRODUCE SHOPPING), as versus thinking that the only thing permissible to do besides work or schoolwork is sleeping, eating, hygiene, or chores.
  4. And, I almost forgot.  When my mind gets blank and I can’t think, it is okay to go and exercise (or eat and get some fluids if I reasonably need to), instead of doing homework.
  5. Given the above, I should note that I’m not immune to blood-sugar lows or crashes just because I’m at home; and this may be the reason I feel blank.  It’s OK to eat fruit when I feel this way, and apparently it is likely OK to eat as much fruit as I need to, as there is a lot of bulk to sate my hunger, and gentle sugars to feed my neural system.
  6. On top of that, I probably don’t want to put up any rules against drinking pure teas, as they don’t have calories, they do have stimulants and antioxidants, and it’s much better than drinking soda or juice (unless I really need the sugar).
  7. Also, I will probably want to go back on vitamins.  I have some mild B-Complex (I didn’t buy them), but I’ll probably want to get the megadose type…because what we have is for someone who doesn’t have mood issues.  I can use up most of a megadose, so getting a piddly “100% RDA” isn’t ****.

(yes, I did bleep myself again.)

I’ve got to go for now, but I wanted to note this decision.  I’ve got to take care of it this week.

Having a hard time getting out of bed and off the computer.

I found the blog address of the person whose mandalas I was talking about before.  For both your and my reference, it is here:

Shilpa Sharma Online

It seems there haven’t been updates for a while, which is why it was difficult to find.  It also looks like the artist has been using fineliners, not necessarily regular pens, in contrast to what I said earlier (I was going off of recollection).

While I’m at it, here are three other blogs that feature mandala drawings, or, in any case, pen and ink drawings, a media that I find personally compelling for my own work…

Inkwork by Linda


Designs by Eri

I’ve found these recently as I’ve been scanning tags related to mandalas.  All four blogs have some really nice content.

Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten to work on the art much over the last several days, due to my job and this class.  I also have a bunch of stuff I want to read, which I don’t have time to read because I’m working on the material for this class.  In addition to being mildly internet-addicted (it’s hard to get off of the computer and do non-interactive things like drawing or reading), I am not entirely sure I’m good at being single-minded.  For the past two days I’ve been going to bed after midnight and spending the afternoon asleep…though this is likely related to my medication.

I realized that I was using caffeine (tea and chocolate) to help me stay awake, which was leading to some tremors (an irritated nerve firing off and causing an annoying vibrating sensation), when all I really need to do in order to be wakeful is cut the medication which is most sedating.  When I cut it by 1/3, I’m much more awake in the daytime and at night — the drawback is that if I do this too drastically and suddenly, I risk a relapse of what it treats.

The good part is, the class only lasts for about a month more — four weeks — and after this week, I should get some time off in my job schedule.  I’m trying to hang in there.  Falling behind would not be a good thing, at this point, as all the assignments build on each other.  It’s also a pain having to work on assignments immediately after I get home.

I’m having the issue of being irritated by this class, though.  I think I may be a bit old for it…I find myself in a minority position because of being not-white and not-straight and in my early 30’s, so a lot of the younger students are still experiencing and exerting peer pressure and groupthink.  (I said something which was shouted down.)  At this point I will probably stay in the class, but the teacher doesn’t share my experience either — she’s not in an ethnic minority — and so I find myself again with someone who experiences one of, but not all of, my intersecting oppressions and doesn’t seem to understand intersectional feminism.

Yeah, I’ll try and hang in there…I can’t expect to be accepted and understood everywhere — and maybe it was just my error in thinking I would have been, here.

Classes! Earrings! Body Image! Tea! OMG tea.


Week 1 of Scriptwriting/Storyboarding is…almost over?!  Well, I finished typing up some version of a three-page screenplay, today.  I should go back over it again, but…I have kind of felt a need for a break from looking at it.  I got to that point where everything turned into a blur because I’d been looking at it too much.

Also, I didn’t mark what time I began, or ended; I just know that for my own process’s sake, I had to step away from the computer and write it out longhand before trying to put it into standard script format.

I should probably get back to it and mark my departures from the model and the locations of the main events.  The script is due in the morning, and it’s late enough, now.

At least I already took my shower.


And oh, man.  I was able to put in my surgical steel 16g earrings today!  It’s been four weeks since I put the 18g rings in at the beginning of Finals.  One is supposed to wait a month between gauging up one’s piercings in order to allow the tissue to recover from the trauma and avoid tears.  The 16-gauge rings slipped right in, though, even before my shower!  Maybe this sounds gross to people with conventional piercings — but since I’ve realized that I can make my own custom large-gauge earwires and still wear cute earrings (I make most of the jewelry I love, and can customize that which I buy which doesn’t work), I’m much more amenable to wearing heavier wires and rings.  It would just help to have a mini drill press, yeah?

If I get there, in the future…

The heaviest earrings I have right now are 14g, which is rather thick wire.  But they’re very durable, and — they were my first earrings ever, the same ones I got pierced with.  Very easy care, very smooth, a little heavy, slightly smaller in diameter than the ones I’m wearing, now.  Preferable to not wearing anything.

I think the largest I’d ever really go is 10g, and that’s just because once the piercings are stretched out, they may not necessarily shrink back down again.  Or, they may shrink down but then relax into slits when stretched with heavier jewelry (which I’m thinking, over time with thin wire, might cause the piercing to migrate), which was beginning to happen to me over the last two cycles of switching between jewelry subcultures.  (I used hand-fabricated sterling cones in one of my earring sets, which were pretty heavy…they were sold by the troy ounce, after all…)

I take it as a sign that my piercings are maturing.  Even when I have accidentally irritated or hurt them, they’ve recovered with minimal care!  I’m not sure if it’s because the piercings were done well in the first place (I was pierced at 14g with sharp needles and mirror-finish surgical steel rings, which probably led to easier healing), or if I’ve just been lucky.  Could be both…or maybe my immune system is just healthy.  I did jab and poke myself on the right side regularly with most of my earwires, when I was new to conventional earrings and couldn’t find the way through my earlobe.

I wonder how long I’ve had these piercings?  I’d have to look it up.

The thing I wish to avoid is getting very large piercings and then not being able to wear jewelry in them because of having a conservative job.  I work with someone who used to wear large-diameter plugs in their youth but either can’t or won’t wear them to work, so this person has Buddha-ears.  😉  (This is better?)  I definitely don’t want to go that big.

10g wire, in a small to mid-sized ring, to me, is really an optimal balance of thickness and diameter.  It’s big enough to start wearing sculptural pieces, but seems small enough to avoid the need for plugs or tunnels, as versus rings or barbells.  Larger than 10g, and it looks like we start to get into territory where we don’t have much option but to wear openly alternative jewelry.

The problem comes when it’s not a lifestyle thing anymore to keep the rings in — which I’ve been through about 3-4 times, before realizing that I can smith these things and don’t have to wear standard-gauge earwires (which are generally between 20-22g; the smaller the wire, the higher the number of the gauge).

However — anodized titanium and niobium, and gold-fill…in addition to surgical steel, can be really beautiful, especially between 14g and 10g.  What I’ve wanted to do is get some gold-fill rings — the kind that open and close with pliers — and put them in and forget about them, just wash them in the shower and not worry, otherwise.  But I should probably try gold-fill Captive Ball Rings first, and see if I’m sensitive to anything that might be under the gold — not least, because I’m still wary of little gaps where bacteria can set up homes, and I know CBRs are extremely easy to keep clean and dry.

I’ve not really ever had a bad allergic reaction to an earring, but I don’t think I’ve ever let myself wear any base metal in my piercings other than pure copper before, either.  I’ve been really careful about that.


Heh — I was just looking around on Google, trying to find CBR images that avoided people’s netherparts, and found some really nice images, including a model whom it would be nice to look like.  🙂  Except that I’m not going to shave all over.  🙂  I look ugly when I shave.  Not even kidding.

Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to lose a little weight, yeah?  If I cut out the sugared beverages, I know I can drop weight, quickly and easily.  It’s just such a pain to do, though…especially given that I was having blood sugar crashes (dizziness, problems thinking, poor stress tolerance) from not eating enough sugar, last time I tried this, and then I started yo-yoing…

…I should talk to my doctor about that.  She was the one who told me to cut out juice and soda, once I started gaining weight from metabolic changes from a newish medication.  I hardly ever drink soda; juices and milk and sweetened tea are something else.  (I even stocked up on some nice teas in anticipation of stopping — four boxes’ worth.)  I never had this problem before.

But yeah, the belly poking out after I eat is kind of not right, and I feel more stable now even with the BS at my job because of the third medication.  (Hahahaha.  Seed for a story.)  If I want to stay on this med, I will probably want to start exercising and limit the liquid sugar…even when it seems things are going well.  I think I’m just going to have to give myself permission to eat solid sugar, though…oddly enough, it seems a Snickers bar has less sugar than an average soda, IIRC, and a less harmful version of sugar than high-fructose corn syrup…wait, unless they put HFCS in Snickers…


I didn’t tell you I found a new bubble tea place!  OMG.  Sweetened Jasmine Green Milk Tea with Boba.  OMG.  I freakin’ love Jasmine tea, even though I wasn’t expecting the milk in this one.  “Large” is too large, especially for someone like me with lactose intolerance!  Maybe I can reserve sweet tea like this as a treat…I’ve been having issues with caffeine addiction.  No withdrawal headaches yet, just a “like” for matcha frozen treats, Jasmine green tea, Thai iced tea, and chocolate.  I can even fool myself with decaf tea — I love that, too, it’s just that the last, I always drink at least a little sweet.  Maybe I should try that, replacing green and oolong and Thai tea with non-caff (like mint, and ginger), and gradually weaning myself off the sugar…I know I did get a Jasmine Tulsi tea which is caffeine-free but feels like it has some other stimulant in it…but GODS.  JASMINE!

Or, I could try and take tea to work…my supervisor at my second job site does this, now that I think about it.  I could take in a teapot, let it steep while I’m working, and then drink the tea on my break or lunch…reason I’ve avoided it is really the withdrawal symptoms.  Well, and I have to trust people not to tamper with my teapot or drink my tea…but hey, there’s a coffeemaker in there, right?  And it’s used almost every day, right?  And I am going to be working there more, right?  And there’s a dishrack, right?

Or, hey!  I just realized that I can take a Thermos of tea in there with me!  That means that I can steep it in the morning (or the night before) and let it cool, so I have iced tea.