Log in

A Geode's Journal

> recent entries
> calendar
> friends
> profile
> previous 20 entries

Thursday, December 31st, 2015
11:31 pm

web statistics

(20 comments | comment on this)

Monday, August 12th, 2013
11:05 pm - Funny thing is,
I'm still not outta that creatine.


Also, I forget how to write long. What a terrible world.

(2 comments | comment on this)

Thursday, October 13th, 2011
4:34 pm - More Creatines.
Short & sweet: here are the photos from week 5. I'm not noticing much of a change, except me growing a gut. I don't think I'm doing this right.

I think I'll keep doing this challenge 'til I'm out of creatine, but no more after that. Unless something drastic starts happening.

Take a gander.Collapse )

current mood: skeptical

(1 comment | comment on this)

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
1:51 pm - Creatine Challenge Update
Well, I certainly haven't kept up on this well enough. Should've had several installments of pictures since the first one, but I had to take a week off from weights before the Leadville Trail 100, and also recently due to just being too busy. So I'm labeling this "Week 3," even though more weeks have passed than that. I'll try to do photo updates every two weeks from now on. Preferably using the same poses as the first week, which I did not do this time. Also, the lighting was weird. I can't tell any differences in anything, yet.

But anyway, here are the pictures.Collapse )

(2 comments | comment on this)

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
8:45 am - Probably no one will care about this but Colleen,
but this happened. I hope it turns out to be a good idea. I'm not the blogger Colleen is, and am afraid I will have no followers and my stupid blog will die, because no one wants to read about an obscure sport; plus I'm bad at updating. Maybe it will at least make me take my blood sugar reading more often.

current mood: hopeful

(5 comments | comment on this)

Monday, August 1st, 2011
3:30 pm - Penne Rigate w/ Spicy Tomato-Vodka Sauce Recipe
(A mix of good online recipes and personal preferences, combined together for my records and yours.)

- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 cup shallots, finely chopped
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 large ripe tomato, chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 8 oz penne rigate pasta
- 4 oz prosciutto chopped, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup Asiago cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
- 1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/8 cup fresh basil, chopped

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, tomato, and crushed red pepper; saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add vodka and ignite with long match. Simmer until flames subside, shaking pan occasionally, about 2 minutes.

Increase heat to high, add cream and boil until mixture thickens, stirring continuously about 3 minutes.

Add tomato sauce, black pepper, white pepper, & salt. Boil until sauce thickens and coats back of spoon, stirring continuously about 2 minutes.

Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

Bring sauce to simmer. Combine cheeses & add pasta, prosciutto, half of the combined cheese, parsley and basil to skillet and toss to coat. Add reserved pasta cooking liquid if mixture is too dry.

Season to taste with additional salt or pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve.

Edit: I tripled this recipe tonight, and boy was it good.

(8 comments | comment on this)

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
3:05 pm - I have not done any kind of fitness challenge in awhile.
And since fitness challenges are one of the few things that keep me from abandoning livejournal altogether, I figure I'll do one. So lately, I've become sort of jaded with the ultramarathon thing. The sport has gotten to the point where really elite athletes are doing it, and while I think I could hold my own in competition with them if I loved running enough, I don't love running enough. Well, not enough to do it 3-4 hours per day on top of weight training and a restrictive diet, which, when you factor in the amount of exercise that is, adds up to just about a full-time job's worth of stuff.

So, running is not my job, and I don't think I'd want it to be. I like too many things (including my actual jobs) too much to focus on being a full-time athlete (not that this is even a financial option, anyway, so I'm speaking hypothetically). Plus, to be honest, I do not fit in with them. Ultrarunners, I mean. There is almost this weird, clique-feeling to it. I always hate the first 15-20 miles of a race, because I'm stuck in the midst of a bunch of people talking about all the other ultramarathons they've done and smarmily comparing their experiences in a way that comes off as sort of subdued bragging. Not even necessarily bragging about athletic prowess, just being in them. Like it moves you up a notch in that social group if you've "done Badwater" or "done Hardrock." It is hard to explain, because all of the people are really, really nice. In fact, I'm probably in the 99th percentile of jerks, there, if we looked at it statistically. It's just this undertone of yuppiness or something. I don't like it.

And the races get more and more crowded every year, so my original reasons for doing them - seclusion and not terribly stiff competition compared to more conventional racing - aren't even really that applicable, anymore. So anyway, all of these things combined have made me seriously reconsider my commitment to the whole thing. I haven't quit - I still train enough to do well in big races, and possibly win some smaller ones - but the longer I do it, the more I think, "Meh."

So the fitness challenge. I decided recently that maybe part of why my body doesn't hold up as well in long races, anymore, is (aside from getting old) that it is hard to build muscle tone when all of your calories are being used up in cardio. And there are a lot of important muscles that stabilize your knees/ankles/whathaveyou that I'd do well to keep in shape. But I don't think I can build muscle as well as a person with a regular metabolism due to diabetes. Like, I plateau off and just can't get any stronger at certain things, and I think the diabetes contributes to this. So, I decided to try my hand at taking a little Creatine to supplement my weight workout, just to see what happens. Don't get the wrong idea - I'm not planning on going crazy on this (I'm taking about half the recommended dose), but I do think it might help me recover better from workouts, and have stronger muscles where I need them.

Therefore, as I have done in the past, I'll be posting pictures every week or so to see if I look any different. Probably won't do as many poses as I used to do, because it's a pain in the ass to get them right with my crappy oldcamera-from-2003, but I think you'll get the picture (sorry about the pun). If you'd like to take a peep at Week 1, photos are behind this here cut.Collapse )

I'm hoping that this fitness challenge, as opposed to many of the others, will actually produce noticeable results, provided that I keep up with everything I'm planning on doing (otherwise, I have already been forewarned that Creatine will just make me fat).

current mood: hopeful

(2 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
10:02 am - Aw.
Phil might be my favorite FBorFW character.

current mood: endeared

(comment on this)

Thursday, April 21st, 2011
11:02 am - Man.
Every time I'm entrenched in maths and sciencethings, I long for the arts. And every time I'm entrenched in arts, they feel silly and frivolous and I long for science.


(comment on this)

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
2:38 pm - The thing about my cooking is
everything is seasoned to taste. Measurements apply to almost none of my recipes, because I'm always adding smidgeons of things while I go, like an old Italian grandma.

But here is sort of a recipe for the shrimp & sausage gumbo I made the other day that was pretty good. You can use mussels or other seafoods, too, but I recommend keeping the sausage in there.


- 1 thing of Jimmy Dean HOT pork sausage (use the sage one if you don't want the sausage as hot, but it is better hot)

- Half a bag of frozen shrimp (I bought the kind with the tail off that's already cooked, but you can use other kinds)

- 1.5 cups of brown or white rice (brown takes way longer to cook, but I think it works better for the consistency of the gumbo)

- Enough olive oil to cover about a half-centimeter on the bottom of a deep saute pan; keep it handy for rest of recipe

- About 1/3 of a stick of butter

- Two handfuls of flour (if your hands are small; one handful if they are big; you can always add more)

- One regular-sized can of diced tomatoes, or two regular sized diced tomatoes

- Four big carrots or enough baby carrots to equal that amount, sliced

- One poblano pepper, chopped

- One serrano pepper, finely chopped

- 1/2 red onion, chopped

- 3 cloves garlic, minced

- 3 sticks of celery, chopped (optional - I didn't use it in this recipe, and I also didn't miss it)

- 1 regular can of tomato paste

- 5 or 6 dried bay leaves

- 1/2 Tbs dried thyme leaves

- 1 tsp black peppercorns

- 1/2 tsp garlic powder

- 1/2 tsp celery seed

- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

- Fish sauce (to taste)

- Salt (to taste)

- Water (to rehydrate and keep mixture 'stew'y)

So. If you are using brown rice, you'd better get that started, first, because it takes forever to cook (check the directions - you'll see what I mean). If you're using white rice, you can start that either now (but remember to shut it off), or after you've added the sausage and first round of vegetables.

Anyhow. First, you have to make the roux. Put the olive oil & butter in the pan over medium heat. When it's all melted, add the flour evenly so that the mixture becomes opaque. Stir this pretty much continuously over medium heat until the whole thing becomes a medium golden brown roux. (Some people use bacon grease instead of olive oil/butter for this, but who has that sitting around, really.)

Next, add the sausage. It should be fully thawed if it was frozen. Break it up into bite-sized pieces, then add the carrots (they take the longest to cook out of all the vegetables). Add about a half-cup to 1 cup of water to give this stuff something to cook in, then throw in the onion, celery (if you're using it), garlic and poblano & serrano peppers after about 5 minutes.

If you have uncooked shrimp, you probably should put it in, now. This is also a good time to start white rice if you're using that instead of brown. Feel free to add water as you go (and/or oil if stuff is sticking), to keep the mix at a stew-like consistency - not too thick, and not too soupy.

Next: herb-smashing. You can either smash your bay leaves, thyme, celery seed, and black peppercorns with a mortar & pestle, or you can cheat like I did and put them in the coffee grinder. That coffee grinder's thorough. Put the smashed herbs and the cayenne, garlic powder, and salt into the pan and mix them around. Maybe start with, like, a half-teaspoon of salt, and see what you think (I like more salt than the average bear). I'd recommend waiting to add more salt until after you've put in your fish sauce.

At this point, you can add your diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and savory. If you're using pre-cooked shrimp, put it in now. You'll probably need to add some more water.

Next, squirt some fish sauce in there. Do, like, a half-teaspoon at a time and see what you think. I like things to taste fishier than most people probably do, and you'd probably be horrified at the amount of fish sauce I put in this, so I'm not even telling you. Also, I measured it in squirts instead of spoons, because I have a squirty bottle of it. Keep in mind that fish sauce is also salty.

Once you've reached your ideal fish saturation level, you can adjust the flavor with additional salt, cayenne, garlic powder, or more smashed herbs if you want. I didn't keep track of exact measurements, so I couldn't tell you how much of each thing I put in there, but once you find the balance you like, you'll know.

Let the mix continue to cook until the carrots are done (which will mean everything else is done, too) and make any final adjustments. You can serve the gumbo over rice you've doled out individually, or just throw all the rice in there and mix it evenly. I usually do individual rice portions on the first day, then mix it all together for leftovers (and if you're only cooking for one or two, you will have leftovers - this is a big recipe. I'd say 8 servings, maybe).

If you're eating this a second day, you might need to add water if it's gotten too dry, but wait 'til it's completely re-heated to find out. It looks deceptively dry in the refrigerator.

Welp, that's it. A nice gumbo recipe, for both your reference and mine.

current mood: good

(comment on this)

Saturday, January 29th, 2011
1:00 pm - The thing is
that Christina Perri isn't that good.

The reason she doesn't ever hit any of the notes straight on is that she probably can't.



But what difference does it make when the world thinks you are hot, and edgy to boot, because: skunkhair.

current mood: annoyed

(5 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, December 5th, 2010
10:50 pm - Something is wrong with my left foot,
and I think I've finally figured out what it is: Tailor's Bunion. Sounds gross, but it doesn't look that gross, really. Scientifically speaking, the metatarsal phalangeal joint is getting misaligned, probably partially from running, and partially from when I hurt it playing karateguys (it definitely got way worse after that). All the symptoms I have match every article I've read about it so far.

I guess it's not the worst thing to have (I'd been more worried about arthritis or some kind of cancer - not that those things are completely ruled out simply from my internet diagnosis, but I'm comfortable enough with my recent Google research to not consider them as strongly). But boy, it hurts. Hurts every day. Hurts every time I have to put on a shoe. Hurts when I walk in fancy shoes (which is a shame, because I was just starting to get used to wearing them like a real, live adult). Hurts right now, actually.

So I ordered this and these to see if they help out any.

Here's what I'm doing until my splint/socks come in.Collapse )

Sometimes it feels better when I pull on the toe until it cracks, which in my mind is temporarily aligning the joint. Something like going from this:

/ | | | |
\ | | | |

to this:

| | | | |
| | | | |

But it never lasts long, and I'm not sure how good that is to be doing.

I've had this going on for a long time, and watched it slowly get worse over the years, so I kind of knew this was coming. I just hope it doesn't happen to the other foot, too. Maybe I'll cut one of my old Therabands up into a tiny, toe-sized Theraband, and make up baby toe exercises to do. Still, I'll probably end up having to have surgery someday, or cortisone shots at the very least.

current mood: pensive; crippled

(14 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
8:54 pm - MAN.
This is the boot I want, but they don't make it in a small enough (non-men's) size. I don't see why I shouldn't be able to purchase a size 6.5 distressed brown, square-toed boot of this type with the regular tread on the bottom, reinforced extra leather in the midfoot, and not-a-stupid-flowery-pattern-or-effeminate-top-part.

(comment on this)

Friday, November 5th, 2010
8:07 pm - Question for the audio-savvy.
Does the actual software you use to record things really matter? Because of drivers they use? Or is sound quality more dependent on your preamp/computer's hardware?

For example, in my amateur dabblings in making recordings, I've always thought GarageBand sounded better than Audacity. Am I imagining this? I realize neither one is taken seriously among musicians who take themselves seriously, but I'm too poor for real recording software. At least I bought Sibelius 5 back before I was poor; I think it's a respectable composition tool.

(comment on this)

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
4:44 pm - Productive.
Things I did while running today:

- put up ESL/GED posters
- searched for dried shrimp
- bought Día de los Muertos supplies
- voted

Nothing like killing five birds with one stone.

(2 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
9:31 pm - My brother writes better music than I do.
Well, he does.

(comment on this)

8:58 pm - I used to get mad when someone was mean to me on the internet,
but now I'm grateful for it, because it gives me more reasons to stay off of it and go do real things.

current mood: pleased

(comment on this)

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010
12:37 pm - I go back and forth between liking & hating intellectuals & cowboys.
Right now I'm in a stage where I'm jaded with the grittier, bluer-collar side of life and long to live in a quiet old house with leather cigar-room-looking couches, holed up alone in my study.

I'm sure I'll feel the opposite way next week, and become internally judgmental of being great at thinking and communicating, but not having a practical knowledge of how to "do" things. As though there are only these two polar opposites in the world.

I blame God for making me like this.

(2 comments | comment on this)

Saturday, October 16th, 2010
2:18 pm - New health routine.
Mostly for my face. It has been breaking out more in the past couple months than in all my teenage years. So I think I'm gonna take to drinking a shot of olive oil + Balsamic vinegar every morning, return to my vitamin B and E supplements, add a cod liver oil supplement (but not too much - don't want to overdose on vitamin A). I'm also going to wear old-lady-face-moisturizer at night to make any potential scars go away. Guess I'll also add my multivitamins and acidophilus back into the mix, too. And really watch sugar intake (it's been getting away from me). Oh man. And daily wheat germ. That's a lot to remember. We'll see how this goes.

Against my better judgment, here are some awful facepictures from today, Day 1 of the BetterFisChallenge.Collapse )

(3 comments | comment on this)

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
7:56 am - The shame about this is,
identifying these things doesn't help make them go away.


(comment on this)

> previous 20 entries
> top of page