Saturday, December 29, 2012

'Everything You Think You Know is Wrong'

So. Hubs sent me this AMAZING book for Christmas, “The Book of General Ignorance.” It was put together by some of the writers for Q.I. and Not the Nine O’Clock News. I am only about 20 pages into it but spent the entire day cracking up and paraphrasing to my work cohorts, who were curious as to why I kept snickering in the corner. If you’re familiar with those shows, you can imagine the quick- and dry-witted humor that goes into the explanations, but I don’t have time to plagiarize pages on end. So here is a brief synopsis of my favorites so far.


-Whiskey was actually invented in Ancient China

-Chicken Tikka Masala is a British dish, not Indian, and has no standardized recipie

-Croatia means ‘tie land’ from Latin cravat, from Croatian hravat

-Marco Polo was a big liar, from Croatia [hey!] and also loosely translates to ‘Mark Chicken’ [lol]

-Rickshaws were invented by an American Missionary named Jon Scobie to drive his invalid wife down the streets in Japan [this one stood out to me because I grew up with a Great Dane named Scobie, but he was named after the astronaut. Who is ironically from Auburn, WA; which is only a hop skip and jump from where I live!]

-We can technically see 4 galaxies from earth, but only 2 at a time [2 per hemisphere]

-Ursus Arctos is not polar bear, but actually the brown bear, and translates via latin and greek respectively, into ‘bear bear’. The Arctic region is named for the bear, not the other way around; since Ursa Major points to the north, it is the ‘Land of the Bear’

-Also, bears are most closely related to dogs

-Chameleons are deaf! And do not change color for their surroundings, but instead due to their emotions, ie, fear.

-Male mosquitoes become “sexually enticed” by the note of a B-natural tuning fork

-Golfish have a memory of at least three months

-Female mosquitoes still kill one person every twelve seconds

-A blue whale’s esophagus is only about the size of a grapefruit. But its tongue weighs more than an elephant, and its heart is the size of a small sedan.

-The largest egg-to-bird ratio is the spotted kiwi, whose egg is 26% of its own weight; equivalent to a human woman birthing a six-year-old child o.O

-Antarctica is actually the world’s driest desert.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Camels & Stella...

…do not a Christmas make.

Sorry for lack of updates as of late. Up until today things have been boring-bordering-on-depressing. Like the worst rendition of Groundhog’s Day you could imagine [at least Bill Murray had snow and beer and a piano]. Well, today was another high-volume mail day, which equals lots of smiles. My yarn came in, and also my supplements, and my hipster tee shirt which I can’t wait to wear. Also, we’ll be hitting some sand soon, so hopefully there is enough wifi to support me uploading some pics. That’s fairly necessary, because I’ve got more squares coming and also [if I have the time, which I probably won’t] a tutorial on how to crochet a treble clef. Yup, that’s right. Made one from scratch today. Still have some tweaking to do on the pattern, but for all intents and purposes, I made it!

In other news, hubs managed to score Borderlands 2 for half price on a Black Friday deal, and that got to my grubby lil mitts last week. I don’t have as much time to play—or nearly as much fun doing so—as I would at home, but so far I’ve made it to a level 14 siren all by my own self! It’s finally got me off the Civ 5 kick I was on, although that’s still pretty fun too. Now the only thing left in the mail is the 3 tb hard drive hubs has prepared. Some people are giving out giftbags and such to coworkers… that 3 tb will be my gift to my coworkers. I even took requests.

So, that’s about all going on in this neck of the woods… aside from getting insanely stir crazy and bummed out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Off the Wagon

Well, I fell back off the workout-wagon. I’ve still been going to the gym, but closer to every other day, or every two or three days, rather than every single day. And of course, the rebellious soul that I am, gave up on dieting in favor of eating everything within sight. It’s kind of shocking how little it takes to poof me back up again. Like, quite depressing. I am afraid to weigh or measure and see what kind of damage I’ve done in a mere four weeks.


BUT. Never fear, supplements are near! I finally gave in to the stereotypes of my department and placed an order with BodyBuilding. I ordered a few pounds of low-carb protein shake mix, a cardio-geared pre-workout, a Cortisol blocker [the hormone that causes you to feel stress, which can make losing weight harder, regardless of your best efforts] and ooh, is that buy one get one free Hydroxycut Elite? Why yes, yes it is. I think I snuck one more supplement in there too, but I can’t quite remember what it is at the moment. I want to say it’s a CLA/7-Keto blend, which, honestly I can’t remember what that’s supposed to do, but whatever. If I can’t bring myself to be a hippy-dippy gym rat diet freak, I guess I’ll rely on a cornucopia of uh, “supplements.” If nothing else, dropping all that cash will guilt me into working out. And hey, you gotta find whatever motivation works for you. Unfortunately, there’s not much out there that does work for me.  One of my problems is the “cardio only“ bug. I hate weights. I have a yoga mat with me, I just never take it down to work out. And getting down on the floor at this point is less than ideal [unless you want to end up with bloody hamburger meat for hands]. So, I tend to avoid doing any sort of strength training, which I know is bad. Shame on me. Just wish I had a better idea of how to fix it. I do tons of research and list-making and whatnot, and then, of course, what happens? Oh you know, the yuuuuzzz…. I just never follow through.


I think I slept more hours than I was awake today. And I think the trend will continue for at least one more day. I’m almost concerned, except for the fact that being asleep is so much easier than being around anyone out here. Of course, all this sleeping certainly has it’s downfalls, best laid plans of mice and men go unheeded. With a rotating schedule like we have, I can’t get into a regular flow of life, which I most certainly blame for my inability to work out consistently.


In semi-related news—real actual news this time—hubs sent me an article paraphrasing a study from “the Cell Press journal Neuron,” where research scientist John Salamone claims that although dopamine is not necessarily related to pleasure, it is strongly linked to depression. Think, the low-grade, give-no-shits kind of depression that probably lies closer to apathy on the grey-scale. [pun somewhat intended] Not to bore you all to death with fun sciency stuff, or get too personal, but I wanted to share this very interesting chunk:


"Often, depressed people say they don't want to go out with their friends," says Salamone. But it's not that they don't experience pleasure, he says—if their friends were around, many depressed people could have fun.

        "Low levels of dopamine make people and other animals less likely to work for things, so it has more to do with motivation and cost/benefit analyses than pleasure itself," he explains.


Me to a T. Always taking the easy way out and wondering why I’m not happy.

Anyways. Enough of that business.


Finished 1 and 2/3rds cat beds for Hubs’ mom. Refining the technique every time. Soon I’ll be pro at kitty beds. I’ll post pics from Dubai. I also ordered a killer tee from Threadless, and a butt-load of yarn from Joanne’s, including the pretty pretty stuff I’ll be using to make an ocean waves scarf for my mermaid friend. Hubs also ordered me some skin-care stuff [don’t worry, I picked it out first], so hopefully when I get home I’ll still get carded for buying beer—you know, instead of looking my age, a whole not-quite-30. It may seem materialistic, but you know, mail is like the only thing we have to look forward to right now.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Not-so Gracefully Juggling Flaming Chainsaws, Ever-Advancing Towards the Impending Apocalypse

Greetings blogees. If I am a blogger, I assume you to be bloggees. Apologies for the title, I felt the need to fit as many words in there as I could. So. It sure has been a while, and for that I apologize. The internet is terrible in Bahrain, particularly when you plop down an extra 3-5k Americans who need to update their iTunes and Skype their kids and whatnot assorted things we do. Another downfall—and I didn’t know this last time I was there, oops—taking photos is greatly frowned upon. So sadly, no fantastical pictures to report. Perhaps on my next stop I can make up for it. I did, however, get a chance to check out my buddy Joe’s blog, “Letters to my Children,” and I must say he is a dear, sweet, genius. Go read.  


Well, well, well. What else. I picked up a few new albums I aim to review here. Finding time to write—much less listen to music in depth—is always a challenge. However, I did start attending a music theory & appreciation class that started. Once a week a few of us take over a spare room to chat about music and what not. I think it’s going to be pretty awesome. I intended to write about that after the past couple meetings, but for some reason time has been very hard to come by lately. And I’m not even spending all of it in the gym like I used to! There’s so much I wanted to talk about; I’m going to have to get back in the habit of writing more regularly. Or at least, keeping a list to write about. You all know how I love lists…


ADD moment: Did you know, coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth, only behind oil?! If you have never checked out fellow Seattleite The Oatmeal, please do so now. I’ll wait. [toe tapping, whistling]


It's crazy how much stuff there is in life; I mean, there's so much to do and seems like never enough time... I can't prioritize worth shit. I'm working on an "extra credit" math class to get caught up for my next degree, kitty beds for hubs’ mom’s kitties, squares for the super-blanket, upcoming insane scarf for my favorite mermaid, video games [like a billion different ones tugging me in each direction], so many novels to read, music [cant even begin to start on that huge topic!], advancement to study for, qualifications for work, working out [falling behind there], maintaining a working relationship [not to mention keeping in touch with family and friends too, it takes me soooo long to even do something as simple as mail out postcards!] I mean, that's pretty tiring just to type out! I guess humans just by nature end up being good at juggling.