Mar 312008

Using a laptop without a mouse (having forgotten to put it back in my pack this morning), sucks beyond belief. I LOATHE using a trackpad or keyboard joystick; so frackin slow…

Had a fun visit from

  this weekend. He arrived by train on Thursday afternoon, and I dropped him back off there yesterday around 6pm. We went out to eat a few times, including sushi at Little Tree in Royal Oak, and dim sum yesterday morning at…um…that Chinese place on Long Lake at Rochester Rd. Probably the best dim sum selection we’ve had anywhere so far, even though I can’t remember the name of it at the moment.

Saturday he and Aaron whipped up a great tapas spread, including prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, mini crepes stuffed with goat cheese and covered with a berry sauce, seasoned shrimp cocktail, and a couple other tasty things I can’t remember (seems to be a theme this morning).


 , and

  (with husband Eric) showed up to help us devour all this, with

  arriving later for drinks and Super Smash Bros. on the Wii. Earlier we’d played American Idol Karaoke, but even five martinis weren’t enough to get me on the mic. Speaking of martinis, Hpnotiq and ruby red grapefruit juice makes a fantastic mix.

Other than lots of eating, the weekend was low-key and involved renting Ratatouille through video-on-demand, and lots of sleeping-in. The trip back across the border was an exercise in frustration as Bryan didn’t bring his student visa, having never been told that it was required to cross the border in addition to his passport. He’d always brought it before, just in case, but not this time, and the guard gave him a ration of shit and ordered us over to the Immigration office so they could interrogate and lecture him for a few more minutes before letting us go. I got him to the station about five minutes before the train left. The only things that helped alleviate my steadily mounting rage were the HOT immigration officers; two tall post-twinks, one blond, one dark, who came over to the car, and another hot blond with a goatee inside the office.

Luckily (for him), I didn’t have to endure officer Chang at the US checkpoint on the way back. I don’t know what work program for the retarded they hired him from, but he needs to be returned to it. I’ve had the misfortune of being at his booth three times when bringing Alex for a visit, and each time has been an exercise in the surreal. He asks the most off-the-wall, irrelevant questions, and follows each one with a lengthy session of very slow keyboard presses and peering intently at his monitor from about two inches away.

“Citizenship?”  “US.” “Canadian.”

“How long are you staying?”  “Just the weekend.”

hunt, peck, peer

“Have you ever been arrested?”  “Um, no.”

hunt, peck, hunt, peck, peer

To Alex: “Do you have a sister?”  “Um, no, I have a brother.”

hunt, peck, peck, peer, hunt, peer, peck peck peck

“Has your brother ever been in jail?”  “What…? NO.

LOTS of hunting, pecking, and peering with this one

And so on. FINALLY he gets whatever it is he’s looking for and sends us on our way, but I swear I don’t understand how hiring standards at the DHS can possibly be as low as they are, even for a government agency consisting largely of hired thugs.

Mar 262008

Be sure to see the slideshow as well, if you have kleenex handy. If there were ever a public turnout like this for American dead, I don’t remember seeing it or hearing about it, and I wish I had.

Mar 202008

Two weeks ago I hurt a muscle in my lower back, just above my ass and to the left of my spine, while doing squats. Over time it mostly got better, but putting on pants and shoes, and sitting up from a prone position, was good for a gasp and a flinch. I still worked out, but took it easy on any back-related exercises.

This past Monday, while at the doctor to get a scrip refilled, I asked him about my back. He asked a couple questions, took a look, and figured I’d sprained the sacro-illiac. He put me in the aqua massage table for 10 minutes, then did a couple of chiro-jitsu moves that got my lower back to pop in both directions. Amazingly, by the time I got home the residual pain and stiffness was almost completely gone. So what did I do then?

I went to the gym of course. *forehead smack*

Everything went swimmingly until the last exercise, T-Bar Rows (which were done on an inclined padded board, not “freestyle” like the pic below).

On the third rep I accidentally jerked at the bar instead of pulling smoothly, and the muscle strained again. I told roadster_guy my story, who promptly and rightfully lectured me for working out before the injury was actually healed. I took some Motrin, put some Icy Hot on it, and went to bed. It was somewhat better the next day so I came to work, but found that sitting in a chair gradually made it worse. The boss was kind enough to cut me loose to work from home, so I spent the afternoon in bed with the laptop on my chest. I told jockbdboy my story, and HE tore me a new one too, being the unfortunate expert on neck and back injuries. Told me not to use Icy Hot, but put an icepack under me for 10 minutes, several times a day, which worked much better.

I related all this to my trainer, who commiserated, but then laughed and told me I was now thinking like a true weightlifter: ignore injuries as long as you can still move, keep lifting, and walk it off afterward.


(and a dumbass)

Mar 182008

Story HERE
(For the uninitiated, “…tanked Kara as a prot-specced pally?” translates to, “In World of Warcraft, have you ever taken the role of main fighter in the dungeon of Karazhan, playing as a Paladin (holy warrior) specializing in Protection abilities?”)

Mar 132008

Taking advantage of the balmy 48° weather today, I put on the UA Coldgear and thick shorts, and went for my first run of the year. I needed to test my heel to see how the tendonitis is after months of rest, and I couldn’t wait any longer to get outside and move. I did 4 sets of stretches before, during, and after, and put the icepack on it for a good 15 minutes afterward. So far, so good, but we’ll see how it is later. I’ve gotta get really serious about the daily stretching because I’m sick of not being able to run without hobbling the next day.

Mar 132008

…to everyone who gave me a mix of encouragement, reality check, and a kick in the ass during last night’s melodramatic meltdown. It’s much appreciated, and I’m much better now. 🙂

 Posted by at 7:59 am  Tagged with:
Mar 122008

For a year now I’ve been using whey protein concentrate from TrueProtein for my protein shakes. It was pretty palatable as protein powders go; as long as you ordered it sweetened with a double dose of stevia, it was like drinking cold sweet milk. Unfortunately it also made me bloated and gassy due to the lactose that remained, so even if my body fat percentage was going down, you couldn’t tell from my distended stomach.

My trainer recommended soy protein isolate instead, which isn’t supposed to cause that problem. So dumbass here ordered 10 lbs. of it, with double stevia, thinking, “Well, I’ve had soy products before and had no digestive issues. Should work just fine.”

I am far too trusting.

The stuff arrives, and I promptly cut the zipstrip on the bag and pour about half of it into the plastic jug I use to scoop from. Immediately I’m surrounded by a cloud of soy dust; on my clothes, in my hair, and up my nose. I had a sudden nightmare vision of being in a grain silo, a mere spark away from becoming a snarky headline on, complete with Dumbass tag.

Once the dust cleared and the sneezing stopped it was time for the taste test. I put two scoops in my shaker bottle, added the 10 oz. of cold water that I used for the whey protein, and started shaking. As I shook, the sloshing sounds in the bottle became progressively quieter, until they stopped altogether. I opened the bottle and found…pudding. It had turned to pudding. I turned the bottle upside down over the sink to see if it would pour, and the alien mass inside didn’t so much as quiver. If it had eyes it would have just looked at me as if to say, “And…?”

I grabbed a spoon, took a bite, and realized that it wasn’t pudding after all; it was wallpaper paste. I had spent *mumble* fucking dollars on 10 lbs. of wallpaper paste. I could have bought that cheaper at Home Depot and saved the shipping cost. I immediately looked at TrueProtein’s return policy, much to my regret. Returns accepted only on unopened, unaltered products. Mine was both opened and altered (the stevia), so it seemed I was out of luck. I wrote them anyway and lied a little bit, saying that my stomach couldn’t handle the stuff (which was true to the extent that most peoples’ stomachs can’t handle drinking wallpaper paste). I got a very courteous reply from the sales manager, who restated the return policy but offered to ask the owners to make an exception. His other suggestion was to try selling it in the classified section of the TrueProtein forums.

I decided to tough it out and, after experimenting with the powder-to-water ratio, it will now at least pour out of the bottle, landing in my stomach with the solid thunk of a Mercedes door closing. But now, every time I drink the stuff, I can hear Cartman in my head, paraphrasing the Brokeback Mountain episode of South Park: “They’re all about gay weightlifters eatin soy puddin!”

At least it doesn’t cause bloating.

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