Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Red Hands

Hella! I just got back from a 7:30 AM 10-ish mile bike ride down the Waller Creek trail to Town Lake. Austin is so good to have made trails that straddle their creeks - what a great way to see the town. I love it! As you can imagine, it was quite the chill outside at that dark hour but now it's changing to a sweet sunny disposition. My chain falls off the crankset (?) pretty frequently, like once every ride, and I wonder if it's because I'm shifting incorrectly. We passed by our fair share of bundled-up urban campers and whiffs of stinky sewage. That's what happens when you go under bridges a lot. On the tiring way back, I almost fell off my bike when I inhaled a big breathe of air polluted with UT bus exhaust. Sick. Wouldn't it be neat if there was a Bike City? That kind of thing would be more feasible in Europe, I suppose. Now I must shower soon.

I went rockclimbing with Rachel last night at Gregory - this week is "bring a buddy" week, so it's free. It was bouldering I think, climbing from side to side, as opposed to straight up. I fell a few times on the springy floor, not bad. Rockclimbing is a lot harder that I imagined, mostly because it takes more than effort. My arms have never been more tired or tense. (Good) Climbers are just so cute though. Haha. I may or may not go back again this week, depends on my confidence level. It's so worrisome to work with unsteady grips and having to deal with the possibility of a fall at any time. I am no Spiderwoman.

Hey, next Friday, I may be going to see Nickel Creek play at a private luncheon hosted by KGSR. Mary has the hookup with her boss at the Cactus.. oh, connections! They aren't my favorite band, but are probably the band I most want to see live. I may have to take notes watching Chris Thile, that mando master. Maybe he'll give me a few pointers. We'll see. Anyway, I'm pumped about that, and hopefully it'll happen for me.

Erin is coming back! You have no idea of how much that brightens my outlook- next semester is going to be AWESOME. Although it's been a learning experience without her here, I'm more than ready ready to have my good friend back, far away from the clutches of Spanish influence, at least for the time being. Party party party!

Here's a Wednesday song for you. I've had this mp3 for a while and just recently realized how Awesome it is, it belongs on the "G.O.O.D. songs" playlist for sure. It's a chugger:
The Wrens - "Everyone Chooses Sides"

Monday, October 24, 2005

Wasabi Peas (are hot)

A new photo album chronicling the 2nd Annual Jack-o-lantern Wooha we celebrated this afternoon is up. #23, enjoy.

"Life is a daring adventure, or nothing." said Helen Keller.

What's your daring adventure?

Mary says, "post 5 weird and random facts about yourself." Whoever reads may do likewise on their blog.

1. I held off shaving my legs as long as humanly possible until maybe the end of junior high. (Don't worry, I didn't really wear shorts/skirts.) I thought, why give in to the machine?
2. I never brush my hair. Is that terrible?
3. I get bloody noses when I eat too much chips, other fried foods, mangoes, lychees, stuff like that. And by "stuff," I mean foods we Chinese label as "hot." The body must then be balanced by the eating of "cold/cool" foods.
4. A good pen makes all the difference to me. The quality of my homework and notetaking significantly lessens if I am using an inferior writing instrument, like a regular pencil or a cheap UHS pen. Currently I use and recommend the Uni-ball Signo 0.3, 0.5 and the Pilot Hi-Tec-C pen. (Available in Asia.)
5. My brother and I share the same birthday, July 2nd, but we're 5 years apart. What is it like to celebrate your sibling's birthday? I don't know.

OK, was that geeky enough for you?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

My professor was in last week's Austin Chronicle

Saturday! The best of days for a Type A.

Hear the soundtrack to my week of sitting out on the front porch in the lazy Texas afternoons:
Go here and click on #2, "Jezebel"

This morning I was set on going to the local gun shop and purchasing a bb gun. I've heard so much of cockroaches, squirrels and other rodents these past few days, thought I'd take advantage of all the moving targets. Do you think I could shoot my/someone's eye out? I'm not much of a risk-taker - my brain is adequately stimulated. I'm reading this book for a class about risks- it's rather fascinating and offers a look into the often overlooked healthy aspects of risk-taking. Bottom-line: we need them to grow! Anyway, I didn't get the gun.

What I'm going to do the rest of the semester is plan outings for the weekends to satisfy my adventure drive. The correct maps have been printed out in color and circled on. I feel very limited by my body and lack of technical knowlegde, but every expert used to be a beginner, right? So if I cannot bike the Greenbelt right now (more experienced bikers advised Rachel and me against it), I am determined on hiking it. Anyone care to join? I look forward to the great feeling of knowing a place, which entails being familiar with it, and in a sense to have "conquered it." And the more rugged the better. Perhaps I have some of that American spirit flowing through my veins, thicker than blood. A day trip to Enchanted Rock is on my to do list too. Gregory Gym happens to have an outdoor center with lots of resources- I'd better take advantage of that since UT makes me throw money at it every year in the form of mandatory student fees. I've thought about going climbing (more), but it's a lot of work affording all your equipment, driving to climbing sites, finding people to go with, and then there's the whole safety issue. Or I'm just lazy and risk-avoidant.

Things I will miss out on this weekend: a large portion of roommate Mary's birthday celebrations, which include table-side smores at Halcyon, the Vegetarian Chili Cookoff, Brown Bar.. what else? I am, however, attending a The Go! Team show at Emo's tomorrow night. Sad thing is, Emo's is the only music venue I have only been to in Austin; a change of scene would be nice. Ok! Time to get out of my cave of a room.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Sour Details

Here's a little summary of how my diet has been going so far.
Today: Day 6 (at least 4 more to go)
Cheated?: Yes, on the third day, which was probably the hardest, with a granola bar. Funny thing was, it wasn't even tasty, even though it was Kashi (those are normally pretty good). My taste buds were dulled, except to the drink.
Pounds lost: +/- a total of 6, variation due to faulty electronic scales and inaccurate measurements. However, I don't feel significantly lighter and the book says that one will gain back some weight after getting off the diet. Fair enough.
Drink recipe: Note- HEB lemons suck with their thick skins, a whole one will go into a cup. Central Market's are much better, and I bought 20 of them at half a lemon per cup. I add about 1.5 tablespoons of syrup and approximately 30 specks of cayenne pepper. For the first cup I made, I pretty much dumped in the recommended amount of 1/10 a tablespoon and almost quit the diet right then and there- it burned bad!

The most difficult thing has been resisting food cravings, despite the fact that I am never hungry. The nutrients in the lemons and maple syrup take care of that, but my mind and will gravitates towards food, especially in social situations. That just goes to show what a diehard glutton I have become. Eating is also so habitual.
There was one point in time, Day Four, when the thought of a previously-craved Mother's Garden Burger, Hilbert's fries, or even the Healthy Choice mint chocolate chip ice cream in the freezer failed to stimulate my appetite. I wanted to throw it out and eat Mr. Natural's (voted "Most Healthy Mexican Food" in Austin) and unprocessed raw foods for the rest of my life. That was a pretty amazing and empowering feeling to have, to have cast off the desires for unhealthy and even regular, carnivorous-fare food for at least the time being. I tend to alternate daily between wanting to quit at the sight of food and wanting to stay on it longer at the thought of health. What worries me most is that after I get off the diet, one bad choice and I'll plummet back into the world of greasy foods, sweets, and overeating once again. As we all know, it's exceedingly difficult to climb out of that once it gets going. So along with the fact that I cheated three days into it, since I will be going on the RUF Fall Conference next weekend, which means camp food (BAD!!!!), I may elongate this diet to fifteen days to avoid that pitfall.
Supposedly, on this diet, you will have enough energy to go about your daily activities. I haven't been exercising as of late, especially running, and I nearly collapsed a few times from exhaustion during a late night game of Ultimate on Wednesday night. That probably had to do mostly with me being out of shape and a bit dehydrated as well. Rachel and I had also planned to go on our first mountain bike ride tomorrow- we'll see how that turns out.
As far as going to the bathroom, I have been taking the recommended cup of laxative tea each morning right before school (hm, not such a great idea), instead of the salt water bath, which I cannot bring myself to consume. I have been experiencing more stomachaches than usual, which more than likely has to do with the cheating, but they almost always lead to a trip to the bathroom. Sometimes, the pain can get pretty intense. There was one time when our toilet broke and I was in the middle of such an ache- not good! But in the words of other people, I haven't had any "master poops."
What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger: that was certainly true last night, where I spent a good three hours celebrating a friend's birthday at Shady Grove. True, it made for some pretty dark moments watching everyone else munch down on the fresh chips and salsa and then attacking their delectable sandwiches, but I'm alive and over it. Food is such a fleeting pleasure, yet without its enjoyment, life lacks luster. One thing I now consciously admit is that I use it to address my issues of discomfort and boredom so often. It is my hope that I can find a healthier way to deal after I get off the diet and commit to eating more responsibly.

And one last thing, lemons (and limes) are truly good for you! If you crave unhealthy foods or your health needs a big boost, do this diet!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Reducing Beyond

Neat alternatives:

Get your news through pictures. It's a pretty neat concept, although I prefer the more efficient organization of Yahoo! News or CNN. (I found out about that earthquake just minutes after it occurred last night. Silence. What should be our response to more than 20,000 people killed by such a natural disaster?

I went to the Daily Juice on Barton Springs twice yesterday, and the first time was the First time. The juice is great, store so Austin-y and I tried this health bar recommended to me by my friend. I got cherry. What amazed me about it was that it only had four ingredients, all healthy, all uncooked. It tastes pretty good too, it's just a bit expensive, selling for $2 a bar even on the Internet. But I will have to wait it out, because today I started the..

Master Cleanser
I realize that the site looks hokey due to the webmaster's lack of flashy html skills, but bear with me. Roommate Mary has been on this lemonade diet for nearly 10 days, the minimum time recommendation. She's doing fine. It's supposed to clean your system of disease-causing buildings, wean you off coffee or tobacco and even help you lose some weight in the meantime. (Not that I drink coffee or use tobacco.) If it succeeds, perhaps it is worth taking a look into other food ideas available at my local ultra-health foodstores.

Harold and Maude (1971)
This film is not so much alternative as it is .. one I watched last night. It's not your average old film though, it involves an unlikely romance between a 20-year old boy/man and a 79-year old woman. Whether or not you are turned off by that combination, the underlying message is univeresal. I recommend it. Oh, and it has a soundtrack by Cat Stevens.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Feeling New

Hi, today is a good day. I feel so fresh! Thanks to the deliciously cool weather, I don't feel like I'm in Texas at all, but on vacation or something. This feeling may not last very long, but I look forward to this weekend's events (buying out TCBY, going to a friend's play, giving blood, seeing my family) and rest with anticipation.

Today I had to purchase gelato at Texas Expresso after realizing, sample spoon in my mouth, the 'free gelato' coupon I was clutching so triumphantly in my hand had expired just last week. So I got Texican Vanilla and Chocolate Oreo- what a great team. Like any logical person of today, I ate and did my homework outside on the patio. Next to my table was a group of three students/graduates, a girl and two guys, who were carrying on such lively conversations about politics, religion, family, etc. Needless to say, it took me much longer to complete my tedious translation homework, and my pace almost hit a standstill when they started taking hits at Christianity and religion. Some of what they had to say was true, but what kept my attention were their cynical and witty remarks about everything, insulting or not. What can I say, I gravitate towards intelligent people with quick tongues, regardless if I can keep up with them or not. At least they care and know about current events, which is more than I can say for the general young adult population. Perhaps I find them more entertaining than, say, beautiful people who know only how to keep themselves beautiful or (insert your own example). Anyway, when I left, I turned to get a good look at them, and the first word that came to mind: nerdy! But that impression came far too late for any real misdoing.
This reminds me of Benjie's talks at RUF about dating, and one point he keeps on making is for us to date more. This may sound funny coming from a preacher's mouth, but before that exhoratation came an analysis of how selfish and one-sided dating is these days. All we do is use each other, great. Human relationships are at the core of living- nobody wants to die alone. So the point was to date more to get to know the people around you. The real point of bringing this up was not to alienate my readers of the non-faith, but to state that at first glance, I would have probably dismissed those fellows at lunch as not my type of people. "To find out if you love someone, you have to love them first." Is that cheesy? It's so true though.

Sometimes, in lucid moments, I realize how little I know about living well. If I'm honest, I would admit total ignorance all the time. Thank God for His Guidebook! I'm really feeling it right now.

Today in class I learned about capitalism: make money to make more money.
To me, it seems so obvious that people spend too much time doing certain things, like working. I hope I never become a workholic and miss out on life and even the little things we are meant to enjoy.

I don't really know what my life is now in terms of major, career or studying abroad, but it's slowly coming together. And as far as studying abroad goes, I feel like I have beaten the poor dead horse to a pulp in my mind, and I realize that what I want cannot be satisfied in one trip, unless maybe I suddenly come into a large sum of undeserved money. So I think I might just wait it out until I have time to go on such a luxurious trip. There's a better chance that I will be able to in the near future, if I am to be a teacher. Go summer vacation! They took away recess, but that can't take summer away from me.

Ok I really have to go to class, but today after I walked out of the house, I realized I was wearing ALL blue, even my purse, but not including my backpack. How embarrassing.