Tuesday, May 15, 2007

By the Numbers

Numbers for the last four days:





For the record, getting these numbers back on track has been a fucking bitch.

I've been forcing myself to get up before 9am (which I should have been doing anyway), which helps fight off the higher morning numbers - I take my meal insulin before the morning glucose rush.

It looks like what was giving me those weird nighttime spikes that I had to adjust at 2am was probably all those damned cinnamon almonds and butter toffee peanuts I was eating. I cut those out, and cut out the extra cheese I was eating too, mainly cause of the calorie issue as opposed to the sugar issue, and things straightened up.

However, it means eating pretty fucking strictly, even for me. I still have my one whole wheat pancake on Sat and Sun mornings, but that's pretty much it. Luckily, berries are in season, so my food routine is something like this:


2 egg vegetarian omelette w/salsa
2 pieces turkey bacon


Mixed stirfry of chicken/beef, carrots, onions, peas, tomato, cilantro, garlic and parmesan cheese
A cup of mixed berries


tomato soup
cheese quesedilla (I found a 9 carb tortilla!)
salad or green vegetable (I like brussel sprouts)
Mixed berries if still hungry

(This isn't a strict thing - I'll mix up dinner and lunch or make a tostada or "nachos" by cutting up and toasting the low carb tortilla, but I try to use these same basic ingrediants for my meals: vegetables, meats, low carb tortillas, cheese, vegtable soup etc)

And, of course, regular exercise; bike riding or some time on the elliptical and my morning weights.

Yeah, they're great fucking numbers, but you can't keep this up all the time. It's mainly something I can do during the weekdays because I've got a routine, but during vacations, traveling of any sort, big upsets, it's just not all that feasible. Still, this is what I'd like to see the vast majority of the time, mainly because it means my feet never bother me at night, I have lots more energy, and I just all around feel fantastic.

Fucking pain in the ass, tho.

That About Sums Up Eighth Grade For Me

Mingle2 Free Online Dating - Science Quiz

Farming the Third World

If I didn't know just how much armed bands of revolutionaries really did affect crop yields, I might have had some qualms about this one.

As it is: diversify, diversify, diversify. And don't invest too much in peanuts.

Hypo.... what?

I spent a couple of hours at Walmart today scouring the shelves for hypoallergenic products. Before I moved out here to Dayton I'd never concerned myself with this shit before. Who were all of these people out there with "sensitive" skin? Did this mean the creams were less abrasive? Were there no crushed walnuts in these particular brands of face wash?

What I came to learn, living in a house with someone who is, well, allergic to everything, is that "hypoallergenic" and "made for sensitive skin" and "fragrance free" are often the labels that distinguish between "safe to use in the house" and "instant death."

Ian's allergic to a number of household chemicals; nobody's entirely sure of which ones, but if we stick to hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, "for sensitive skin" he doesn't have to be taken into the emergency room.

Steph and Ian have been together for 8 years, and I'd always known he was allergic to perfumes, scented candles, and all Lysol products, but until I moved in here, I wasn't aware of just how violent that reaction was, and how many things could trigger it.

We had a couple of near-misses with my spray-on deodorant and at least one roll on substitute that turned out to be worse and made him tear up and start hacking (I switched to Dove unscented anti-persperant deodorant "for sensitive skin," and that one seems to be a keeper), but the day I nearly killed him was when I was using my face wash and he walked into the bathroom after me and started hacking.

What I've realized since that episode is that instead of replacing my empty bottle of face wash with the same kind I'd had before, I'd accidentally picked up the same brand in a different bottle, but instead of saying "sensitive skin" it said "blemish control." I spent several days trying to figure out why he'd had a sudden reaction to this facewash I'd had for a month, and then realized I must have made a stupid error when picking up the replacement.

While going through products to verify that it was, indeed, the face wash, he ended up huffing too much of the stuff and spent an hour prone on the couch while his lungs seized. He eventually had to use an epi-pen so he could breathe.

This is scary fucking shit, to be poisoned by common household products, and it's been a struggle to find products that work that don't kill him.

I finally had to go in today, a month or so after that reaction, to get hair products because I realized that some of that "you need to dress more professionally" thing during one of my interviews had to do with the fact that since I was no longer using product on my hair, I really looked like dirt.

I've found that Dove and Aveeno actually make the most "fragrance free" and "for sensitive skin" products. That's pretty much all we use around the house. Ian uses some salon products as well, Paul Mitchell, I think, which also manage to wash and style without the threat of sudden death.

The Godfather

When men were men! And women were women! With varying degrees of success.

I started reading The Godfather so I could take a look at the way Mario Puzo had rolled out the plot. The next book I'm working on is a sprawling family saga of revenge, rebellion, genocide, and female guerrilla fighters, and though reading Gone With the Wind has been entertaining, the narrative is a sprawling mess.

Puzo's book is much stronger, and I feel he has a far better handle on his characters and how the book's chapters were going to be set up than Mitchell did with hers.

Besides, The Godfather is the fucking premier bloody generational saga.

The movie's plot stuck pretty closely to what's in the book - the book's got more characters, much more background on each of the supporting characters, and more history of the Corleone family. About what you'd expect.

What interested me were a couple of things he did with the narrative; not just the rolling distant flashbacks, but the way he'd say "this happened" at the end of a chapter (Sonny Corleone's body is revealed) and then spend the *next* chapter telling you *how* it happened.

I used to snap at a writer friend of mine who'd set up his fiction and nonfiction this way: here's what happened. Here's how it happened. He used the structure so much that I'd find myself skipping over the explanation of what happened in order to go to the next chronological event - I never felt that the explanation of how something happened added anything to the action itself.

I'm still not sure how Puzo makes this work. In the case of Sonny's death, it's vital that we know *how* this event occurred because it sets up Michael's murder of his brother in law at the end - we need to understand the events that are set into motion by this event.

By placing the scene with the undertaker *before* the death of Sonny, it means we're not yawning through that whole background chapter about the undertaker already *knowing* why the Godfather has called on his services. It's a pacing/suspense issue.

As far as the women in this story, well, tackling that bit would be like trying to tackle the racism and stereotypes, and well... you sort of have to swallow it wholesale if you're going to read this. Both of the women who's heads we get into have only ever been with Corleone men, and were so affected by the experience that they were either *never* with anyone else or only with somebody else after the death of the one they wanted. These are strong women, and pretty well fleshed out (these aren't cardboard people) but this story isn't about them. It's about their husbands. Just in case you were hoping for something suprising.

In any case, I liked the traditional "tragedy" set-up where the story begins with a wedding and ends with a funeral. There was a nice open and close with that. I haven't stolen that yet.

I've gone so far as to wonder if I'll literally map out the plot of my next book by taking a chapter-by-chapter plot from something like The Godfather that's well-plotted. It might help with some of my plot flailing midway and my sudden, delirious rush to the end once I figure out what the hell I'm doing.

It's time to make up a better writing guidebook, cause what I got ain't cutting it.

Transgender America

Newsweek's report on transgenderism in America.

Words of Wisdom

"There is nothing on the internet as interesting as the book you are supposed to be writing. Get back to work." - David Lubar

(via Shaken & Stirred)