Run Ragged

On purpose. Basically, work it great. Working out is great. I’m also trying to be more active on my Instagram on a fitness level. But at the heart of the matter I am running myself so ragged because I’m still enraged and disgusted that Donald Trump got even a single vote, let alone won the election, and am trying to keep my brain from being 100% consumed with it at all times, as it would otherwise be. America voted for an idiot Nazi. Even if his accusations of illegal voters trigger a recount that forces him to lose, it’s like stabbing your dad. Even if he survives, you still stabbed your dad and have to deal with it.

Even if Trump is stopped from being President, America still elected a homophobic, racist Nazi to be President. America has proven to be a place filled with evil, ignorant people. People who think being accused of (and repeatedly acquitted for) poor e-mail management is worse than sexual assault and actual fascism. America has proven it is not a good or worthwhile place that has outlived its glory years and when it’s done with it’s long, slow suicide the rest of the world won’t mourn but breathe a sigh of relief that the dangerous alcoholic uncle is gone.

Think about that. Keep thinking about that. Because that’s the remaining duration of American history in a nutshell and we just get to watch it play out whether we like it or not. But like I started with, don’t make it 100% of your brain power. You still have to live even if the world is debatably irredeemably broken and not worth the effort of saving.

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Run Ragged

#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?

#RippedLikeGoku and #VegetaStrong plus some political BS

My Computer “Still At’ent Dead” And Other Thoughts

“I STILL AT’ENT DEAD”

My computer turned on again. And with the help of a friend in tech it’s actually partially restored to it’s former ability. Not completely, but it’s hobbled now rather than crippled or dead. Not only that, but my move and jobhunt are both over so I can be more consistent about putting actual, quality content up on this blog again. Because what good is doing 52 blog posts in a year if all of them are “sorry this is so short but I’m busy and doing this for routine without putting any heart into it?”

So let’s recap my last few weeks. I moved halfway across the country as you know, but due to circumstances I was unable to transfer my Gold’s Gym job. That was unfortunate as Gold’s Gym was a wonderful place to work with awesome people. So after a quick hunt I got a few jobs. One is scooping ice cream between now and the winter for a friend. The other is a fitness coach at an elite fitness club in Brookline, Massachusetts. So that was a stroke of extraordinary luck, wouldn’t you say? That said I am caught between checks like an extended version of the last three days of a bi-weekly pay cycle. Once that comes to an end everything is basically back to what passes for my normal.

As far as non-work stuff, I’ve caught up with a good deal of my friends but there are still a few outliers whose schedules I haven’t been able to mesh with yet. There was a party where I drank vodka as though it were beer, and several shows ranging from local bands like Aminals, Actor|Observer and The Shallow End Divers to the original metal legends, Black Sabbath. At my youngest brother’s urging I played Shadow of Mordor on his Xbox One and it was actually a good deal of fun. I borrowed The Zen of Screaming for a friend of mine and I watched it and am making decent progress at screaming well. As I’ve mentioned previously I have a short story in a physical anthology and I’m prepping for NaNoWriMo, especially now that my work life is settling down. There’s still a lot to do both for work and for everything else, but the chaos of my life is more of the magnitude I prefer, which is still present but not much that I can’t keep my head above water.

So I hope all y’all had and have a great week and I’ll be back to doing real blog posts next week, I hope!

My Computer “Still At’ent Dead” And Other Thoughts

THE ARCANUM ANTHOLOGY IS OUT!

And it’s still kinda sinking in.

So I’ve done assisted self-publishing before, which means that if you dig hard enough into the bowels of the internet you’ll find troubled 20-year-old Joe’s work sitting around somewhere (and troubled 16-year-old Joe’s fanfiction if you’re really diligent). But this is a real story I’m actually pretty proud of that went through an actual editing process for a real anthology that was successfully crowdfunded in a week or so.

Yes, it’s true and it’s out: The End Of Nine Worlds, my short story about the Norse Ragnarok myth, has been released alongside art and fifteen other stories about myths and legends from all over the world in the Arcanum anthology! Now, with the permission and blessing of the Arcanum team I get to share it with everyone FOR FUCKING FREE in PDF form!

There are physical books in limited supply but I don’t have word on how that will work, aside from the fact that profits will go to (I am 99% sure) We Need Diverse Books.

Okay, enough of my chattering. You can find The End Of Nine Worlds along with the rest of the stories here, so give them a read:

The Arcanum: Mythology of the Ancient World

Thanks so much for the support over time and look out for more from me in the future!

THE ARCANUM ANTHOLOGY IS OUT!

Crazy Eventful Week

Holy balls, guys. That was insane.

So I started my new job on Monday and it’s fantastic. I have awesome co-workers and the work itself is actually very enjoyable. I also get to interact with gym rats all day long. Ah, my people! I’d say it’s a pretty awesome development in my life and it suits me much better than my last job, which means everybody’s happy. I even met [REDACTED] from [REDACTED], who is someone I enormously respect as a host and as comedic talent. Not sharing his/her name here though because he/she might not want to get swamped by fans during a workout.

As for non-work stuff I went to a “Farewell to the FORT” party and it was incredible! Between the chat on Griffon Ramsey’s Twitch and the people there in person I met a ton of awesome people. It was overall a wonderful experience and I’m glad I did it, and interacting with those sorts of people is one of the reasons I moved down here in the first place.

Aside from that I started my diet, and I’m getting into my normal work schedule next week. Which should also put my writing schedule back on track.

Happy Sunday, everyone! I’m going to write and listen to Jomsviking by Amon Amarth.

Crazy Eventful Week

Operation KNITTING – Day Two Wrapped, It Took Some Work

​It was a struggle, but it looks like I managed to complete Day Two.

It was a struggle because I’ve been tired all day, so my mind wandered often without my deliberate control and I had to jerk awake and wrest it away from the nasty places it was trying to go. But I did manage to get it done, despite everything.

And I was helped by copious homemade cheeseburgers.

Unfortunately, I’ve been stymied on the “creativity every day” thing, but only for today. By tomorrow I should hope to be doing creative things again.

Okay, as usual, here’s a crop of nice things that happened today:

1. I hit a personal best on squats today. I actually slowed down on those after I twisted my ankle at a Vanna show a while back, so it was nice to load up a bit more weight and get back to it. More on that this Saturday in my #fit4RTX journal.

2. Those cheeseburgers are hella good. I made a lot of them yesterday and will be reheating them throughout the week. Happy to say I haven’t lost my touch on those despite the long gap since the last time I made them!

3. I’m getting ready to watch the most recent episode of Vikings from the History channel. For all it’s flaws I love that show so much and I’m eager to see where this season goes. I have some internal predictions but we’ll see how they go.

4. Skeletonwitch put out a new song today! I honestly think the new singer sounds better than the old one. Shows how behind I was, I hadn’t realized they’d booted their original vocalist until quite recently. Either way, the song definitely captures the spirit of Skeletonwitch as I understand it, and I think they’ll do fine with their new lineup.

5. Speaking of music stuff, my friends in Actor|Observer are going on tour! While I was hoping they could make their way down to Austin it is, understandably, a bit too far. Atlanta is the closest to here that they’ll be coming so unless some of my Austin friends feel like a crazy Southern road trip it looks like I’ll have to wait to see them play live again, but in either case I’m just happy that their touring range is getting wider and wider.

6. I have another interview tomorrow! This one is for entry level management and marketing, so we’ll see how it goes. It’s a little far but not insane, and I needed to head to the library because they want me to bring a printed copy of my resume, but since it’s entry level at something I actually have some level of experience in I hope I’ll do well.

Okay, that’s it for me. I’m going to watch Vikings and get some rest. Good night, all!

Operation KNITTING – Day Two Wrapped, It Took Some Work

Operation KNITTING – Initial Success – Day 1 Winding Down

​So it looks like I’ve made it a day! One full day of keeping my negative emotions in check and at appropriate levels and emphasizing the positive. Even despite what could have been a really nasty setback that could have started me at Day Zero before I even got out of bed!

I had a terrible dream last night. The sort of night terror that leaves you staring wide-eyed at your ceiling, scared to go to sleep again ever until your alarm goes off. I could have dwelled on it, but instead I fought off the horror and gloom and got on with my day, giving it as little of my time and energy as I could. All day I’ve had little flashes, the attempts at my brain to fire along the pathways it’s used to firing on, but I’ve managed to catch and deflect them as I noticed it happening, which I’d say is worth points.

I’m still muting the occasional political source as it pops up on my Facebook feed or my tweet stream, and even when there’s an obvious moment that I ​could​ share or retweet something pointing out the awfulness of something (or someone) I’ve forgone it and shared pictures of ice-cream stuffed doughnuts instead. Honestly I think my twitter might be something like 70% food by the end of next week, since food makes me happy. 

And that’s a neat segway into the five (well this time more than five!) positive things for today, I think!

1. Biggest and most important, I not only got the news that if it’s not already mailed my final (and largest) check from my old job should be mailed early next week but I also got my federal tax refund for last year, giving me a much wider buffer zone between now and employment than I previously thought. I don’t even have the state tax refund yet, too, and I’d honestly forgotten these existed! So I got quite a bit of unexpected money and just in time for number two!

2. Number two as in lovely weather, not, you know, feces. Hey, I like gutter humor. Anyway, the weather is, once again, lovely. I needed to walk around a lot today and I’ll get to that in a bit, but I also needed sunscreen which is nice because I like the smell of the brand I use. And all that walking around was just part of what I’ve done physically today.

3. Because I also went to the gym! Granted, that in and of itself isn’t that unusual for me, even at my lowest point I was going six days a week, but today I hit several of my strength goals on my main lifts, and even my accessory movements all felt fantastic. It was quite possibly the best workout I’ve ever had!

4. All that working out and walking around means my body needed calories, and since I got my refund with another one and a large check inbound I went to Dairy Queen! I got a triple cheeseburger with a side of another triple cheeseburger and one of those coffee milkshake things they make, it hit the spot beautifully! 

5. I’m bingewatching Daisy Ridley and John Boyega “funny moment” compilation videos on YouTube. The stars of The Force Awakens are funny as dicks, guys!

6. I had another job interview today! The interviewer said I seemed like a “great fit” for the position, and he said he would check if a passport card would be suitable (long story short, normally they need a driver’s license even if the position does not itself involve driving for insurance purposes) and if it is he’ll call me back, set up a second interview and put me on a short list for the position. Like I said yesterday, I’m forcing myself to believe that this can go right, that I can get this job with more hours for higher pay than the hotel job I didn’t get that kicked all of this off in the first place. 

7. I noticed reviewing my latest video that my hair, rather than sunbleaching like it normally does in the summer, is turning an interesting shade of Super Saiyan God red-gold, at least when viewed in sunlight at certain angles. Sometimes it’s still it’s natural brown and other times it’s the usual sun-tinted gold color I’m used to, but this is new to me and I like it a lot! This, coupled with my rapidly improving physique and lengthening beard, means I look better now than I ever have before. Sometimes it’s just nice to know you look good, guys. 

So the sun sets on a completed Day One! Here’s the thing: It is getting easier. I know I’m on numerical Day One, but all stumbles aside I’ve been making an active effort to be more positive for three days. And I feel like I’m so much better at it now than I was even on Thursday, so if you ever decide to try this beat that in mind!

Hope (and I do mean “hope”) all y’all are having a great weekend and I’ll check in with you guys again tomorrow night!

Operation KNITTING – Initial Success – Day 1 Winding Down