Preparing for the City, tomorrow

Alright.  So from research tonight and last night, I have a good idea of what I’m going for in Japantown, tomorrow.

IF I get Yasutomo Sketch paper (big “if;” Yasutomo is the only readily available Japanese brand of…many things, including washi ([ideally] handmade paper) outside of Japantown or Japanese specialty stores), my first choice will be the Hosho kind — not Hanshi, which is sold unbound and, over the wind, I heard it is too light for suminagashi.  If the Hanshi is there, though — I will have to think about passing it up.  It would likely be useful, at the least, in transferring patterns from a key block to templates for other blocks — but I don’t know if it will work in linoleum block printing.  I know it will work in woodblock.

The thing is, mokuhanga (Japanese woodblock printing) is a relative investment…not so bad after having gotten materials for linocuts (particularly the knives, and inks), but still.  There are different tools, and it looks like things have to be managed from the ground up where it comes to things like applying sizing (nikawa:  animal glue + myoban: alum) to paper.  Or where it comes to mixing colors with rice starch paste (nori) in order for colors to print properly.  Or where it comes to maintaining a baren with camellia seed oil (tsubaki).  All these terms are given in that mokuhanga book I mentioned by April Vollmer.

There is an entire complete process to this which seems to be a different working method than I was prepared for, given the surface similarities of process between linocuts and mokuhanga.  (I am thinking that I wasn’t prepared for mokuhanga having such a deeply different cultural heritage from linoleum block printing…apologies for having to say that.)  In light of that…I’m going to try and focus on suminagashi paired with linoleum block printing, for now.  Until I gain more experience.  🙂  I’ll have less time, starting next week (school is about to start up again), so I should prepare for that.

I’ve decided against getting a stub-nib fountain pen (2mm), as…I already have some (dip pen) nibs which will work.  The issue is largely that I haven’t gained skill in using them, yet, and I was never really taught how to use them.  I think the last time I tried, I was very young (and impatient), and had only newly gotten the hint to burn off the anti-rust coating before trying to use the nibs to carry ink.  Otherwise, the nib will not be very useful.  (To my credit, though, I did use a nib until it snapped…don’t know if I get experience points for that or klutz points for that…)  😉  At this point, we do have a “Third Hand” tool which can hold my nibs while I singe them…a lack of this is the reason I stopped (I bent the jaws of a pair of pliers unintentionally by indirectly heating them while holding the nib).

But I do have some steel nibs approaching 2mm wide.  If I find any more broad ones like this tomorrow (I’m not counting “steel brush”…which is fairly intimidating to me), I may pick them up, but other than that, I’m not dropping $30 on a portable and more finicky version of a tool which is more versatile when worked manually.  I can’t see myself carrying around a calligraphy pen just for kicks, and I can do more with a dip pen (read:  opaque inks, quicker color changes, less expensive errors) than I can with a fountain pen.

But yes, I am thinking of calligraphy, again.  The “printing” thing seems to be sweeping me around into a more book-arts sort of deal.  Which is good with me, as long as it’s fun — it’s just that it wasn’t expected!

I still haven’t worked on my painting, either.  But then, I’ve been doing other things.  🙂  Watercolor would be my nearest media which I would think to be compatible with book arts.  It’s just so freakin’ hard…Negative space, yo.  Negative space.  But maybe the prints will help with that.

Okay:  the other thing to get is bocha:  roasted twig/stem tea (I like the name:  bo is the name of a man’s staff in aikido).  I can’t imagine us going home without manju, either (the kind I’m thinking of is daifuku mochi; M will only eat kuri manju, however).  Daifuku is some sort of very soft rice thing (I’m not sure if it’s pounded rice, or rice starch dough) around sweet beans (an); kuri manju is a baked wheat bun around the outside of sweetened smooth lima beans.  (I realize that may sound gross to people, which I wouldn’t understand, except for the fact that I once ate reconstituted dry lima beans, as contrasted with the frozen baby kind.  I feel you.)

Otherwise…I can see myself being tempted by the dotted papers and the Kuretake Gansai Tambi paints.  But realistically, not only do I not need these (the latter) at all…but the Koi ones look better, where it comes to smoothness.  I think this means I need to break out the watercolors I do have!  Probably the only reason these look even…tempting is that I haven’t recalled, or accessed, what I’ve got stored…which are very likely of higher quality, and almost certainly more expensive.

(Well, that, and travel pans of red are often junk, in my experience:  both Koi and Kuretake Gansai Tambi look better in this department than Cotman or Prang, which are the cheap travel [pan] colors I have.  It’s probably in relation to red being more culturally meaningful in Japan than here [it’s a color young girls and young unmarried women are expected to wear…or at least that’s what my grandmother related to me].)

As for the dotted papers…maybe.  Inks?  Maybe, but I’d more likely wait.  I don’t know how much bottled ink they have there, anyway.  Dotted papers are also available from the Japanese dollar store, now that I’m thinking about it.  I’ve just seen how they can be used, and want to play.  (is that so much to ask?)  😉

The other thing…that I’m kind of dreading, is seeing another worthwhile book on mokuhanga and/or relief printing, at the bookstore.  But I’ll deal with that when I come to it…

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Anticipation: one more thing to go…then, 2 weeks of (relative) freedom.

I wasn’t able to bring myself to do one of my readings earlier today, or tonight; what I was able to do, was get a lot more readings lined up so that I possibly do not have to do the one I printed out, the other day.  I’m looking at 10-12 papers to read, at about 12 pages each.  It’s not hard; it just requires focus and commitment.

I have been wanting to get these out of the way as soon as possible.  Because of that, I didn’t maintain a social commitment tonight, opting instead to stay home — where I had the possibility of working on my last assignment.  Unfortunately, reruns of Futurama are more entertaining than my readings!

*sigh*

Anyhow, I’ll try and get as much done tomorrow and the day after, as I can; even though I know that may only be six articles, total.  But basically, what I have to do is scan and/or read the articles and provide a 100-200 word commentary on each.  I’m going to try and get this done before Saturday, though I’m not sure how realistic a goal that is, at this point.  (It probably depends on what I choose to read and how deeply I choose to read it — scanning first is probably the best idea I’ve had.  Other than, that is, reading the introduction and conclusion of the paper, and first and last sentences of every paragraph, prior to scanning.  I may not have a clear idea of what these things are about, because I gathered them so quickly.)

I should probably also put the files on a flash drive and transfer them to my secondary computer so that I won’t have to worry about not having anything to read, if I get stuck somewhere after the funeral on Saturday — my little tablet lasts about 4-6 hours on a charge.  And I can take with me, the notebook I intended to use for Cataloging and then mostly didn’t — it will work for notations on the readings, which should help summarize them later.  It will probably be simpler than trying to compose notes in a word-processing program.

As for artwork…I drew a border for my relative’s funeral program.  It was nice to be able to do something with my hands, again, though it wasn’t under the best circumstances.  Right now, though, I’m anticipating that program being thrown out by near relatives (different from nuclear family) because of others’ desire for control.  What is positive is that I formed the page I worked on in Photoshop (I did what I thought I had to do and composed the front page as one flattened image, and so the cover is not editable unless it’s totally scrapped, or someone knows how to work with digital images, besides myself.  (Not betting on it.)

My grades are looking relatively good, considering.  I’m looking at a C+ in Cataloging (I PASSED!!!) and A’s or A-‘s in my other two classes.

Also…on Monday or later, I’m hoping to take a trip to the smaller art supply store near me (at least), to pick up some materials for linoleum block printing…which may make working through the grief, worth it.  I found my carving tools, and I was mistaken:  there are no burrs on my knives.  At least, not on the straight ones, or the large oval gouge.  This is good!  I will be able to see if I need to sharpen them, once I start cutting.

(Some of my spiral patterns, or the mon I designed, would make a good first project.)

One thing I’m unsure of, though, is how to make a method of image registration, so that I’m lining things up on my paper the way I want to — a relative necessity in duochrome (two-color) printing or above.  I’m not sure how to do this, yet, though April Vollmer’s Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop seems to briefly go over how this is/was done in Japanese woodblock printing.  I suppose I can see if I can adapt that to linocuts…though Japanese-style printing uses different basic materials than Western-style printing.  Still, though:  I only have four more days to get through in which I’ll have to deal with this last semester…I can make it.

Two weeks after that, my User Experience class starts up.  I took it in part because I wanted to do all the reading (as bizarre as that sounds).

I can also try and do some reading in library books, the two printmaking books I have, or my future textbooks, if I’m at a loss as to what to do.

And ah — right!  I wanted to get back on with learning Japanese language!  That should be fun!

Lest I forget, as well:  I need to back up my files to my Portfolio.  And maybe get a cloud storage account, or something.  I have what I can download, downloaded, and backed up; I need to work online for this other part, though — and I will not have a long time to do so.

I’ve been offered more hours, but really I’m not sure I want to take them — especially because I’m uncertain as to how much of a time commitment UX will be…and it’s rare to get two weeks off with minimal work.

Anyhow, I should likely get going.

I also want to get bocha, but I am not certain where that desire is coming from…I already have another kukicha; two others, in fact.  It’s just that drinking a twig infusion sounds rather earthy, I guess…

Maybe I can make a trip to the tea store in my two weeks off of school…

Recap of the day; finding meaning in life

Alright, so I did make it out today.  I also made pickles after I came back, and worked on a school project for about 2.5 hours.  Go, me.  🙂

I am, however, again behind in my Intellectual Freedom class, because I lagged on it last week (when I was not being timed via an assignment).  It shouldn’t be an insurmountable amount of work, though.  (My major problem is that once I get behind, it gets tougher to motivate myself to keep on keeping up, even if it is just a stupid 2-point assignment, or readings I didn’t do.  I just feel like I let people down, and the illusion that they’re judging me, discourages me from trying to recover.)

This class seems especially important, given the current political climate; but it’s still difficult to motivate myself.  I don’t need a great grade in this class; I am feeling that as long as I can learn something (and document my work), I should be fine…though I am hoping to avoid one of my dream-scenarios where I get a D or F.  I’ve never failed a class in my life, but it’s still a fear — even if I don’t need the grade.

I also made it out to the stone shop, the craft store (I only needed earring backs), and the art store, today!  🙂  I should see if I can reinstall some form of Photoshop on my normal terminal, so I can start to post images, again.

At the art store, I picked up a wrap for my final colored pencils (I have just figured out that, aside from duplicates, greyscale, metallic, blending, and black and white pencils, I have 100 standard colored pencils; each Niji wrap holds 36), Holbein Brilliant Gold gouache (which is really super sparkly and shiny, and puts my “metallic” colored pencils to shame [though granted they are from the 1990’s]), and six watercolor-paper greeting cards…which, I assume, I can use any media on (but don’t quote me on that; I’m not sure, especially where it comes to ink).

For $48, at the stone shop, I got a little fossilized Ammonite shell (¡cute!), a Smoky Quartz cluster (I have never seen these in person before), a tiny point of Citrine, and another Fluorite octahedron (! I already had one, but this one is bigger and greener, with less damage).

It does feel like I’m indulging my spiritual side, a bit…even though my rational side has no way of acknowledging the whole “energy” thing.  🙂  I think the Smoky Quartz cluster was $25; the Ammonite was $8; the Citrine was $1; that means that I must have paid around $10 for the Fluorite, and about $5 tax.

They are very cool.  And it’s kind of interesting to paint portraits of crystals — I did this in one of my school paintings, and was surprised at how well it came out.  Typically, it’s said that it’s difficult to paint transparent things, especially when they have hard edges and sharp corners.

But yeah, I’m…I’m pretty happy.  🙂

I’m also thinking that I should start painting things I love, or to which I attach personal significance.  Right now, that means crystals, flowers, fruits, plants, and plant-based foods.  And mushrooms.  Nuts?  I guess the list can go on.  🙂

I’m fairly certain I’ll need to dig up a succulent growing outside, too; I have a feeling it spread from a pot that was out there, took root, and then just popped up when no one was looking.  🙂  It keeps getting bigger, too!  (It’s like “OMG there’s a little baby succulent!  Where did you come from?” :D)

I don’t want it to be weed-whacked or to rot from the rain, so it might be best to pot it in order to keep it safe (though if it sprung out of an old rootstock, it might come back!).  It would probably still be best, though, to leave it outside so it doesn’t die from mildew because of the warm temperatures in the house.

(Weeds are also things I really love, growing in defiance of human order — although thistles are one of those things to inspire caution, like cacti, for me.  I won’t go into the childhood story about how my best friend [at the time] and I, gathered up dandelion fluff from all the little puffballs, and stored it in the plants at school…then the gardener weed-whacked it and thought he hit a nest…poof)

Hahahaha.

(^_^)

I…also went to the Japanese food market and found some Brazilian ginger (so now I can make triple-ginger gingerbread!).  I also got a beautiful little porcelain teacup, along with a can to hold my genmai-cha (genmai-cha is tea [it seems…sencha?] with roasted rice mixed in; it tastes different from other teas because of the roasted flavor [though this is distinct from roasted tea itself, which …may (?) be “hojicha” — something I had today that I mistook for genmai-cha; this one had a milder flavor than genmai]).  So far, then, I have organic jasmine green tea; jasmine pearls (the first has a stronger jasmine flavor; I think the rolled tea leaves of the “pearls” absorb less jasmine essence); tieguanyin oolong tea (more caffeine); and genmai-cha, loose in tins.  In bags, there are a lot here — too many to mention, but notably kukicha (twig tea) and chai, plus numerous herbal infusions, including chamomile…which I’m kind of fighting trying to brew, right now, as I know it will knock me out, possibly before I can take care of hygiene.

The teas help me with the cold temperatures, and with my trying to kick a soda habit.  I’m trying to keep the caffeine reasonably low and/or well-timed, also.

I also find teas beautiful to view, so my teacup has white glaze on the inside, so I can see the color.  I’m hoping that any lead which may be present will not leach in the absence of acid.  It actually kind of looks like a tea bowl, too — it’s not a tiny thing!

Right now I have a teapot from Lupicia which is made of Pyrex.  It’s good for viewing, and it brews a decent amount of tea (about 2.5 mugs), though I can’t be certain it’s easy to clean.  True, it doesn’t have a cylindrical spout, but I don’t believe it’s easy to reach the bottom of the pitcher with a dishtowel — though it’s been so long since I’ve cleaned it that I can’t be sure.  I do think it can go in the dishwasher, though.

I would not put that beautiful little teacup in the dishwasher…

Hey, maybe I can draw or paint tea and/or the teacup?

Okay, maybe I should get to bed.  🙂  I could go on like this for hours…

Visited the produce market, today…

Today was the trip to the produce market that we needed so sorely.  It was…really nice.  I just feel better when I invest time in taking care of myself, rather than pushing myself to do my homework (and do it well) at the expense of everything else (including my physical and mental health).

I also tried brewing some Tieguanyin (Iron Goddess) oolong tea, today, for the first time.  I’ve had it before in one or another brand of bottled, iced, unsweetened tea, but I’ve never actually brewed it myself — until now.

2418w
Tieguanyin oolong tea, second brewing.  So beautiful.

The tieguanyin that I tried fell out of the package in very small pellets (though not as small as gunpowder tea — which I also bought a tiny bit of, but haven’t tried yet).  The pellets turned into what you see, above (the shot is of the inside of my mug, after I had drank most of the first brewing, and had added more water for a second one).  I put enough into my cup to probably have made several batches in a teapot…the pellets swell up, and gradually unfurl into leaves.  The dynamic reminds me of how many times wakame seaweed will expand beyond its dry volume, when left to reconstitute in water.

Aside from this…I spent most of the afternoon preparing long beans.  These are similar to string beans, only in my case they were about two feet long.  To be cooked easily, they need to be cut into smaller pieces.  I have a photo of nearly everything which went into this dish, except the Hoisin sauce.  We used Lee Kum Kee brand, which we’ve found to taste better than the one we were using before (which I think was Dynasty), though of course that’s just personal preference.  It tastes a bit fuller than soy sauce…a bit sweet, though.  I think I’d like a bit less sugar, ideally.

Here, I’ll upload an image of the ingredients.

2420w
Most of what I put into tonight’s vegetable dish.

From the lower left moving clockwise:  these are Maitake mushrooms; two tiny red Thai chiles (one cut and seeded with the ribs taken out, the other whole); about 2″ of grated ginger plus the juice that came out of it; seven fresh Shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cut into pieces; one entire bunch of Chinese long beans (without the ends); and in the center are two grated garlic cloves (I already had the grater out, and thought it might have an effect like crushing, rather than mincing, the garlic — crushing gives stronger flavor).  The upper right just barely shows the bottom of the jar of Hoisin sauce we used.

I actually got a few too many Maitake!  I saw that they were affordable (somewhere around $8/lb., but one pound is a whole lot of mushrooms) and got a mid-sized cluster — about $2 worth.  Maitake grow in clusters like oyster mushrooms.  I’ve cooked with them before, and really like them — though I think they’re best in the hearty miso soup I make (lots of wakame, tofu, shiitake, and miso; and this, on top of overbrewed iriko dashi (iriko are dried sardines) which has been infused first with dashi kombu, and has shiitake soaking liquid added to it.  This is not the kind of scant stuff I had always had at restaurants — maybe one day I’ll post how to do it).  It wasn’t until I started cutting the cluster apart that I realized I had more than I needed.  I saved the shiitake and maitake stems (minus the mycelium of the maitake) in a little bag for stock — it’s in the freezer, now.  Shiitake stock is delicious, though I usually make it using dried shiitake.

Anyhow, we started cooking these on the stovetop with canola oil.  What we probably should have done was put the little whole Thai chile in first so that it could have flavored the oil, then taken it out after it became aromatic, then added the garlic and ginger.  What actually happened is that we put the garlic and ginger into the oil first, then added the chile.  Because of this, the burn of the chile was not noticeable in the air (good heat comes with coughing ^_-) before the garlic started to brown.  This is when we took the whole chile out and I added the small chile I had cut up.  (I bought several of these [four, actually; does that counteract the seven shiitake?  …sorry, it’s a joke that’s only accessible if you know what the significance of four is in my culture], but had been warned against using too many.)

Then we added the shiitake, which unfortunately soaked up all the fluid in the pan.  GAH!  😛  I’ve got to find a way to get around this.  It happens for me with eggplant and plantains, too (which is why I don’t cook eggplant or plantains very much, although I really like both of them).  Maybe I need to par-cook them first so that they start to break down before they can suck up all the oil…

After this, we added the maitake.  These are also called “hen of the woods” mushrooms.  They’re more fibrous than shiitake caps.  (Shiitake stems are too tough to eat.)  After the mushrooms started to steam (though I wasn’t sure if it was steam or smoke), we added the long beans.  I usually cut off the pointy ends; and this time, I cut off the last 1″ near where the pod contacts the stem…they just looked a little dry.  The long beans are cut into pieces about 1″ in length.  We then tossed these with a little more oil and a little salt (and what was left of the ginger) until they turned glossy and bright green.  At this point, we added probably about two tablespoons of hoisin sauce (or four halfway-full serving spoons), tossed this to coat everything, and took it off the heat.

I tried a bit of this and realized it needed more salt — though I realized I had a choice between straight salt and shoyu (a Japanese term for soy sauce).  I added maybe a little more than a teaspoon of soy sauce, and this helped.

What I found to be surprising is that the burn factor wasn’t very high at all, though the mushrooms had soaked up a lot of flavor.  The shiitake could hold their own, but the maitake kind of fell apart!  The long beans were good and crunchy, and the mushrooms gave bursts of flavor and a bit of heat.  However, this needs to be eaten while it’s still warm.  It starts to become unappetizing when cold (or when I’m full?).  It also doesn’t look all that great (to me, as someone who scrapes off extra barbecue sauce), but it does taste good!

The thing about these Thai chiles…I took the ribs and seeds out of the first one I handled.  Then I went on to doing other things, washed my hands about three times in the process, and realized that maybe I should see how hot they actually were.  So I touched my fingertip to my tongue.  After about 30 seconds, I could feel a little burn.  Still!  I’d washed my hands three times, and I still got heat off my fingertips!

I’m thinking that maybe if I need to get the heat absolutely off, it might be good to wash my hands in milk…

And, I realized, it’s a lot easier for me to cut the skin off of the ginger with my favorite knife than it is to try and peel it with a spoon.  I’m not entirely sure exactly why it was so easy…

In any case, today was good, and probably the rest of this week will be better — after Tuesday.  Gah, after effin’ Tuesday…

I need to get to work on my Body/Humor piece.  I just don’t want to.  We’ll see how long I can keep running off of that Iron Goddess tea, tonight…

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

CLASSES!

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.

EARRINGS!

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.

BODY IMAGE!

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…

TEA!

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.

YESSS.