#RippedLikeGoku and #VegetaStrong plus some political BS

It’s been a rough few weeks, mostly because of election anxiety. Those of you who follow me on Twitter or who are friends with me on Facebook probably know I’m pretty hot right now, very firmly in the anti-Trump camp. But either way, we’ve got about two days (not counting the rest of today) until this is past or until it’s perpetual. But at least I can appreciate the comedy in the man who wants access to the nuclear codes having his Twitter account taken away by aides because they don’t trust his self-control.

There’s a lot of tension between my family and I because several of them are Trump supporters and I’ve hit the point in my anti-Trump fervor that I refuse to have any empathy for his voters. Basically I consider Trump voters, at this stage after everything he’s said and done, to be bad people who implicitly approve of sexual assault, racism and fascism. Yes, including my own family. So that’s a bit tense since I do still live here with my parents post-Austin (one of which, predictably my Dad, is a Trump supporter) as I apartment-hunt and save my money up to actually do it, but hopefully that will start to get moving better soon once I’m out of here.

I’m doing NaNoWriMo 2016, as well. It’s still Buffer Week for me, where I write four pages, roughly 3,000 words, per day to give myself a buffer for later in the month. The only problem is between the move, my new job and election anxiety I did none of my usual planning and I’m now 18,000 words committed to a book that isn’t working. It’s fine, I can basically convert it to practice for nightmarish imagery and dialog, but it’s still a bit of a slog. Maybe it’ll get easier when the election is over. If Trump loses, at least. If it doesn’t I’ve never failed a NaNoWriMo since I started doing them and I don’t mean to start now!

My saving grace and guiding light, though, through all of this is fitness. Both regarding work and regarding my general life. It makes me happy to work out, and as I do my NASM study and get more knowledge I see my future career becoming more solid. And it’s primarily the fitness stuff I want to talk to y’all about today.

So I have a new routine! I scaled back a bit during my moving period and I’ve now amped it back up. This week I did a full workout six days and a run today. So I figure for shits and giggles I’d let you guys know what I work on each day. In general, I’m trying to get into as good or better shape than I was at RTX 2016, which was when I would consider myself in the best shape I’ve ever been in (175 pounds, about 15% bodyfat by a hair, my current stats being about 185 pounds and 17%-18% bodyfat).

So first off, I do a set of 15-minute HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) cardio before and after every workout, which means I do 12 of those per week. Normally I’m on a treadmill or a stepmill/stairmaster when I do that. So I’d plonk those in before and after each routine that follows on the list below. Some of this is a little bit malleable and I’ll explain why after.

Day 1: Lower Body. Deadlifts (formerly part of my back days because of their work on the erector spinae but since I do sumo-style thanks to my flexibility issues I’ve shifted them), squats, kettlebell swings and calves, with some other hamstring work as needed.

2. Koko FitClub Smartraining. I work at a Koko FitClub (the robot gym Ryan Haywood used to use in Austin before those franchises closed!) and do the workout prescribed to me on their Smartrainer machine. It’s a full-body workout with varying emphasis depending on the point you’ve reached in your chosen program.

3. Chest, back and arms. Rows, pullups, bench, and having a lot of fun arm stuff.

4. Koko Smartraining

5. Shoulders and more kettlebell swings

6. The Leftovers – namely, anything that wasn’t hit between my own routines and Smartraining. This week is was my calves (since I forgot them on Tuesday), my traps and my abs between the cardio sessions.

So this can be malleable for a number of reasons. First off, since Smartraining is a full-body routine with a varied focus when I check my workouts it might make more sense for me to do them on a day before one of my freeweight routines, which happened this week. Additionally, I might shift it for scheduling since when I do Smartraining I do it before leaving work, and the other stuff I stop in and change at home first. So this upcoming week I’ll do Smartraining on Monday and go vote to stop Trump on Tuesday before heading into the gym then continue as normal.

Either way, it feels great to be back up to six workouts a week. Now I just need to fix the fact that when it comes to fatty, greasy, delicious comfort food, things like pizza, cheeseburgers, burritos and steak bomb sandwiches, I have a will as weak as wet paper. If I can do that (which I have done before when I lived alone) I should meet or exceed my RTX shape in no time!

And if (which is a VERY BIG if) I can figure out how to do cosplay by RTX and manage to get myself as buff as I hope to be, you might see a “Savage” variation of a certain wild man of the woods in an iconic bearskin walking around. HMMMMM.

So wish me luck as I try to get #RippedLikeGoku and #VegetaStrong

Yes, I am hype for DB Super to come stateside.

Oh also, leave a comment letting me know what you think a fair price would be for me to do online coaching of some description. I have a few plans but just spitball at me, okay?

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#RippedLikeGoku and #VegetaStrong plus some political BS

Repost From Facebook: On Donald Trump

I have here multiple political posts from my Facebook. I hope it’s all I ever have to say between now and the election:

As I’ve mentioned, Trump is not your only option. Please, if you can’t vote Clinton, consider voting Johnson to tell the Republican party open racism and sexism shouldn’t be the primary Republican platform. In addition, Johnson has, to my knowledge, never bankrupted a company through mismanagement where Trump has done that four times. Johnson has experience as a governor where Trump has never held any political office. If you want to vote an actual, competent conservative then voting for Trump, an idiot trash fire of a human being, is the last thing you should do even if you aren’t moved by empathy for literally anyone who isn’t a straight, white, Christian man (because make no mistake Trump will make their lives objectively worse). Do the right thing and stop Donald Trump. No matter who you are or what your politics are it is the best thing you could do for not only yourself but for everyone else.

Okay, I sincerely hope that’s the last time I feel the need to talk politics for a while. I think I’ve honestly covered everything, if you’re still going to vote Trump even knowing there’s a better conservative out there then I straight don’t know what to do for you.

Ah crap one more thing. Two more, actually. In case you think I’m being unfair, the second one is for liberals so sit tight.

First, to conservative friends and family who haven’t been swayed from Trump to Johnson, I hate to break it to you but you’ve been had. Lied to. Er, more than is normal for a politician. Those things Trump is telling you that you shpuld be scared of to terrify you into voting for him? Lies. I know you are smart, decent people. If you weren’t I wouldn’t talk to you. So pour a stiff drink or some nice tea, get on Google (because I know you have Google if you can read this) and look up facts. Hard facts. I’ll even give you some quick ones now: there are billions of Muslims. If Islam, as a religion, wanted America to fall it would have done already. Black people are not plotting to kill you. And, speaking as a white janitor in Texas, your jobs aren’t under direct threat from Mexican immigrants. That’s just for starters. So keep going down that rabbit hole and free yourself from irrational fear. I’m confident enough in you as a person that, once you know the facts, you won’t let Trump keep hoodwinking you.

And now for liberals. Specifically holdover Sanders supporters who plan on either writing in his name or spitevoting or simply not voting because Clinton isn’t exactly 100% what they want. Welcome to politics, apparently this is your first rodeo. Here’s lesson one: politicians lie and cheat all the time. It’s part of their job. Deal with it, because if Trump wins I’m holding you responsible. That’s right. Every time one of my Hispanic friends down here is harassed, every time my gay friends are threatened I will give you an equal share of the blame. So fold up your tinfoil hats, get your heads out of your asses and your dicks out of your hands and fucking deal with the fact that for all your blind, straight white whining about Clinton being a perfectly average politician everyone who doesn’t look like us will get way worse than the business as usual you have the gall to say you’re “scared” of if your masturbatory self-righteousness let’s Tump win.

Fucking hell, I hate politics. Someone get me a cat picture and my moonshine.

Crap, two more things then I swear I’m done.

One, if you want Trump because he’s a TV celebrity with no political experience try looking into Ron White. Seriously, unless his appeal for you is “he’s a racist, sexist, incompetent liar” then I guarantee you there’s someone you’d like more on the ticket.

Second, I’m not asking anyone to trust Clinton or Johnson. I’m not even asking anyone to trust the facts (you’ll never hear me say that again). All I ask is, please, trust me.

Repost From Facebook: On Donald Trump

[LATE] – 2010s, the Gritty Reboot of the 1970s

So a while ago I went on a super caffeine bender and ranted on Snapchat about how the 2010s are the gritty reboot of the 1970s, in part as a joke about how most of the media in the 2010s are remakes, adaptations, reboots and sequels of older works and partly because holy shit, guys, the 2010s are just the 1970s.

So let me explain my thinking. There are a few things, good and bad, and I’ll do them in no particular order but try to end with the okay stuff. Also, bear in mind this is from the perspective of an American white guy primarily versed in things related to American white people, both good and bad, from the era. Since I try (and often fail) to avoid talking out of my ass things like relative gay rights, the Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter won’t get a ton of mention here but link in the comments if you know someone has made some good points about those potential comparable data points, okay? In addition I will be using the term “Hippy” to refer to the generation of people who were in their 20s during the 70s much as most Millennials are in their 20s now. The statements made will be general. Obviously not everyone in their 20s was a Hippy back then, but that is what they are primarily remembered as and, in addition, I am making the confident prediction that Millennials will be remembered for the subset of our generation you probably just thought of when I said Millennials just now and am referring to that group when I use the term. And yes, it’s possible the Hippy movement is more 60s than 70s but in my opinion there is enough overlap for the term to still be applicable.

First, the politics. Sorry. But think about who wore this one better: An abundance of conservative politicians making potentially disastrous decisions out of fear and hate of the Other supported by scared old (usually white) people and usually at the expense of a progressive, scared group of young and relatively diverse people who would get organized and hold rallies and protests for peace and positive change all under a near-constant dread of global nuclear annihilation due to tensions between the US, Russia and China and war waged, also at the expense of the poor and the young, by the rich and the old. The 1970s had it, of course, but the young, diverse progressive crew back then at least had some idealism. Nowadays it’s far more common to see a sort of Knight In Sour Armor/Theory of Courage style progressive who, having seen that the 70s yielded little permanent positive fruit, is resigned to the inevitability of failure across the board from civil rights to economic equality to ending for-profit war. Even though the protests and the rallies still happen there’s an atmosphere of defeated futility. “This has happened before and failed, why should we expect any better now that the conservatives have become more harsh, the progressives more ostracized and socially outcast, the rich so much more powerful?”

Second, slightly related, the relationship between generations, patriotism (at least in the US) and trust of the system. Who wore it better: A general trend of “my country, right or wrong” and “love it or leave it” among older people up to and including a distrust or disdain of people from other nation-states and the idea of criticism as condemnation (or, in more extreme cases, criticism as treason) versus a younger generation, generally considered a waste of sperm by the older generation, trying to survive off underpaid, laborious and thankless jobs (all while being told they’re worthless slackers) while attempting to improve what they see as a broken system for as many people as possible only to be met with derision and mockery for even trying to improve if their desire to improve – and it’s implication that things aren’t already perfect – isn’t seen as somehow treasonous. The Hippy generation certainly saw this, and don’t you think Millennials are pretty sick of this one by now? And again, the people on the older, more conservative side have only become even more extreme than before, in the US putting forth as their ideal paragon an outright anti-intellectual fascist instead of people who just flirted with fascist tendencies while the younger generation is starting from a place of being even more psychologically beaten down due to the lingering awareness of the previous cycle and it’s failures.

Millennials are angrier than Hippies. We want positive social change but our awareness of their failure and the near-inevitability of our own gives us a fire of rage that causes us to lash out more. We have a grit, a darkness around our cores that the Hippies lacked. Where Hippies were the generally good if sometimes kooky and misguided heroes of the 1970s sociopolitical world with an uncertain hope for the future Millennials are the dark anti-heroes of a dystopian story who have accepted their failure before the fight even begins like a dirty, tech-adept Spartacus.

I think that’s most of the heavy stuff. Now for the stuff that may be a remake of 70s stuff but is actually kind of an improvement or is complimentary to both eras because, despite the term being loaded, not every aspect of a gritty reboot is universally worse than the original!

Did you notice though, that Millennials tend to have hair like Hippy 2.0s? In contrast to most of the Gen X-ers and Boomers in my life who believe men should have short hair that is very minimally styled most of the people in my age bracket at least do interesting things with fades and differing lengths and different points of the head. But that said a lot of us actually do tend to keep our hair long, only instead of letting it run fully, Ozzy or Geezer wild we tend to style it in buns or, again, with cuts that emphasize certain shapes. For example as some of you know I keep my hair shaved nearly to the skin on the sides and back and the top is either in a man-bun or, more frequently, in a ponytail that is in excess of a foot long. In addition while I’m used to seeing pictures of people with some facial hair nowadays beards are fairly common to one degree or another, and it’s considered a normal thing among my generation where my Dad’s peers would probably have kept shaven the majority of the time. And that also opens the door to beard styles. While I usually let mine flow free I also have in my possession a handmade bronze beard ring carved with Runes that I wear on special occasions. In fact large swathes of the Millennial aesthetic is a lot like the Hippy one, if darker: an often misguided focus on and obsession with things that are “natural,” a DIY attitude and a lack of trust in corporatism in the things we wear that is often manipulated by the very same corporations we mistrust (cough, Vans, cough).

And the best part of the link between the 1970s and the 2010s is the music. Alternative, underground music, specifically. In 1970 a handful of young men from Birmingham, England had a band that got huge when their guitarist lost the ends of his fingers and, to compensate, downtuned his guitar in a way not common among blues-rock musicians of the 60s. In that act Metal as we know it was born. In this era, whatever purists say, Metal is in a new golden age of creativity thanks to the internet and, like the 1970s, is being practiced in an environment of friendship, extreme use of alcohol, sexual liberation and experimental use of recreational drugs. Like metal and hard rock of the 70s a lot of metal is spurred by the general sense of disenfranchisement and fear that pervades our society. While time will tell what song is the War Pigs of my generation trust me, a lot of people are trying to make it. And while people outside the Metal community of both eras tend to think of it as very dark and negative despite the outer appearance there is actually a lot more kindness, openness and love in the modern Metal community than can be found almost anywhere else in the world.

So that’s pretty much it as far as shit I am (or at least feel I am) qualified to talk about. So which one am I talking about here: An era of fear and hatred. An era of flagrant abuses by the wealthy and powerful. An era of political corruption. An era of disenfranchised youth. An era of expression. An era of unrivaled creativity.

I’m talking about the 1970s. But since the 2010s are just that party all over again then to talk about one is to talk about the other.

So come dance with me until the party’s over.

[LATE] – 2010s, the Gritty Reboot of the 1970s

Operation KNITTING update – 11:30PM. Reset, Day Zero

Fucking God dammit. Why do people keep needing to feed the troll that is Donald Trump?

I won’t say I got unreasonably angry – the existence of that living vomit stain can only reasonably be met with infuriated disgust – but for some reason today I just couldn’t let it go. I tried. I tried really hard. Obviously it didn’t work and the anger became overwhelming enough that I feel like I need to reset, so tomorrow will be another Day Zero.

But seriously, world, don’t feed the trolls. Please, for the love of God try to not talk about Donald Trump. Like every troll it only helps him. The fucking piece of shit.

Operation KNITTING update – 11:30PM. Reset, Day Zero

Operation KNITTING – Day 5 (Haha Get It?)

​Man, it’s getting harder to ignore politics but I am trying really hard to keep my nose out of it. But as they say, “brawl with a pig and you go away with his stink.” The old Norsemen had some solid wisdom.

And that wisdom has helped me pass through Day Four okay, despite the temptation to dwell in politics. I know only that today is a major milestone day in the elections, but I’m solid in my resolve to remain uninvolved beyond “Stop Donald Trump.”

Oh also this is Day Five. Anyone else hype for that show?

So I’ll hop on the positives real quick to get my mind farther from that circus.

1. I got Fable Anniversary in the mail today. I ordered it primarily with the Amazon gift card I got from my grandmother at Christmas. It is pre-owned, and while the box looks a little dinged the disc itself, overall, appears to be fine so here’s hoping it works!

2. Aminals play in Austin tomorrow! There’s some other SXSW stuff I’m hoping to do but that is the main thing and I am so damn excited for it!

3. My first unemployment check came today. Glad to say that as things stand it looks like it’ll be the first of only very few depending on when I start at the Ford place (or the other opportunity comes to fruition) but every little bit helps both before and after.

4. Back to the weather, it was like 90 degrees and sunny today as well, and it was magnificent. Flawless. It’s March 15th and it feels like the peak of Summer already as I understand it from the north. So this is exactly why I moved here.

5. It was just one of those days where I got a sight of myself in the gym mirror and realized that months and months of consistently working out means I actually look really good now. Not saying that in a braggy or conceited way, more in a “remap my brain to be able to see the good” way. My arms are getting thicker, my chest is getting better and my shoulders are more rounded. And dem calves, yo. Dem calves.

Okay, that’s that, I’m going to try and play Fable now, since Fable is awesome. People give it shit but I think it’s lovely.

Operation KNITTING – Day 5 (Haha Get It?)

Operation KNITTING – Day Three Down, With A Struggle

​I just wish people would stop talking about Donald Trump. That’s only helping him, even when you point out that he’s an obvious fascist who wants to fuck his own daughter, and whenever I see that face I get a flash of anger that I have to struggle to control. I managed to keep it today, but I really wish people would shut up about him.

Anyway, today was pretty hectic in a good way whenever I wasn’t on the Trump-infected internet, so damn do I have some good points to bring up.

1. I tried Torchy’s Tacos at last! I got the Mad Cow and the Matador, and they were as magnificent as I was led to believe.

2. I’m not sure if the album is out or not yet, but Skuggsja, made up of members of Wardruna and Enslaved, is some genuinely awesome epic Norse Metal. I’ve seen Enslaved live but not Wardruna, and enjoy both. This combined effort does not disappoint so far (the link is to an officially released track on their label’s actual channel, don’t worry).

3. Now that my jobhunt is over my brain’s energy has returned to creativity. I already have some work started today that I’ll continue tomorrow. Good work, or at least a good starting point. Three characters and one relic from a bygone story.

4. Tomorrow I might get to meet one of the podcasters from Writing Excuses, a podcast I listen to religiously. Dan Wells is debuting the film adaptation of his first published novel, ​I Am Not A Serial Killer​ and has mentioned that a meetup was possible. Unfortunately I’m not at the premiere right now, but I’m still thrilled that it exists and am eager to see it! Hell, I don’t even like horror movies, but I am still crazy hype for that one!

5. SXSW was a lot more low-key for me today, but I tied it into my #AustinSundayAdventure hashtag on twitter and instagram which meant I got a lot of sun and one free Shiner when I went to an otherwise-lackluster unofficial party. 

Operation KNITTING – Day Three Down, With A Struggle

Operation KNITTING – 10:59 AM. Reset, Day Zero

​Aw, man. I flubbed a bit today.

Overall today is really nice so far, but I did let myself wallow in some anger. Someone was talking about how they didn’t support livable minimum wage and instead of letting it roll off my back I got all pissy. So I reset to Day Zero, as are the rules, but that’s okay. The entire point of this is to get better at being positive, not to become immune to natural human emotions somehow. So no worries, but I’ll need to work harder.

Either way, it’s a pretty chill day so far. Here’s my list of positive things for today!

1. Off Topic Podcast is a joy and a pleasure, listening to it as I write this. I remember the Pain Station video, that was a hell of a good time. It’s a good laugh and I can’t wait to see Gavin’s title this week!

2. Today I went to Freebirds because of the unexpected money boost from yesterday. I like burritos and I had such a good workout yesterday and today I decided to give myself a treat.

3. Speaking of, today I also had a very nice workout. Not quite to the level of yesterday but I definitely did good, managed to somehow work out for something like an hour and forty-five minutes. So that was pretty cool.

4. I’m also going to try Rudy’s for the first time today, which I’m excited about. It’s one of the places I meant to try even before I lived down here, so I’m pretty happy about that. I’m excited to get some BBQ tonight!

5. Oh my God SXSW is coming up fast! I’ve found some lists of unofficial (read, free) metal shows and a means to RSVP to them (it’s the only way to keep from overfilling some of these venues, especially for smaller metal venues). I’m pretty excited, it’ll be my first SXSW so I’m eager to see how it goes!

Operation KNITTING – 10:59 AM. Reset, Day Zero