Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Sep 26, 2011

13 Lbs.

So, from my earlier total of 379 lbs, today I'm down to 366. No kidding. Not exactly the speediest weight loss ever, but not bad, either. I'm not hungry, but I wouldn't say I have tons of energy--I've been sleeping a lot the past few days. A LOT. 12-14 hours a day. I've tried getting up after 8 or 10 hours, but I'm tired and cranky and I feel stressed for the entire rest of the day.

I think what's causing it is that over the past few days I've been getting most of my calories from protein (specifically, meat) instead of fat. On the days when I eat more fat and less protein, I have better energy. So today I'm not having any meat. For breakfast I had a big mug of tea and cream. I've kind of skipped lunch since I slept until 2, and for dinner I'm having avocado salad with almonds and some provolone slices. It was originally going to be guacamole, but I put the tomatoes in before I mushed the avocado (I wasn't paying attention) so I just mixed it around a bit instead of smashing it into goo. It still tastes good. I also discovered, rather amusingly, that I had 3 containers half-full of sour cream in the fridge. If I only use half the container, it doesn't register on me, so I just buy a new container instead of using what I already have. I prefer making my guacamole with sour cream instead of cream cheese. I like the texture and the more acid flavor better. I'm sure most people don't make it with either, but eh, whatever, bite me. This is how I make it.

My no-soap (well, sort of) project is going really well. I don't use any soap or body wash on my skin at all. The only thing I use is some Tom's Natural Deodorant (it's not an antiperspirant, just a deodorant), which works quite well and doesn't irritate my skin (much), so my pits look more like skin and less like the surface of the moon. It doesn't last as long as an antiperspirant, but it works well enough. (Yeah, I'm sure everybody wants to hear all about my pits. Whatever. Bite me.) The skin on my face (er, and my butt, but I won't go into that) is where I've seen the biggest difference--it feels MUCH softer and I have no need for moisturizer. If I take a hot shower, it'll still feel a bit dry/tight immediately afterward, but it goes away very quickly. I also don't seem to need to exfoliate--except on my feet, but that's more of a result of my refusal to wear shoes unless I absolutely have to. If my skin feels a little dry, I'll use some olive oil in the shower and it goes right away.

My hair was giving me grief for the longest time, though, as I could NOT get it to stop feeling greasy, which was sad because it was lovely and glossy and healthy, you just couldn't touch it because it was nasty-feeling. However, I've started using Kirk's Castille Soap on it every 3-4 days, and the greasy feeling is gone, while still leaving all the nice benefits of no shampoo. I have no need to use conditioner, my scalp doesn't itch, it's all good. The funny part is that I've found if I soap my ears really well my hair takes longer to start feeling greasy again. Apparently my *ears* produce massive amounts of oil, enough that removing it with soap is beneficial.

I probably would continue this even if it didn't improve matters, because why pay money for products that basically don't do anything but make bubbles. However, since I have seen improvements I don't see any reason to go back to using body wash/shampoo.

Sep 20, 2011

Tits and Ass

Something that has bugged me for a long time, but in a somewhat inarticulate way, is women (and men) complaining about various artistic portrayals of women being "hyper-sexualized" or "objectified", particularly in video games, comic books, the media, whatever, as if this is an assault on "regular" women. An assault perpetrated by men for the purpose of hurting women.

My problem with this, I've come to realize, is that it's just ignoring way too much context. Are these portrayals of women exaggerated? Yes. But so are the portrayals of men in the same media. I don't know a lot of men who view the impossibly-ripped superhero as an assault on their self-esteem.

I think it has more to do with how men and women view physical attractiveness. Most of the men I know view it as something you build--which is true, if you want to get ripped, you go to the gym, you work out, you eat right, and you develop a nice muscular build. So if they don't have one, they don't view it as some hopeless endeavor, it's just that they're not that interested in it. They do other things with their time, and get their self-esteem from those things.

For women, though, having a perfect body/face/skin/hair seems a lot more of a genetic thing, so no matter how much effort you invest, you can only do so much. Even cosmetic surgery can only go so far. They are defeated before they begin. A *hopeless* ideal does not inspire self-esteem. It inspires self-loathing.

It's just another example of the destructive effects of irrational perfectionism.

Sep 13, 2011

Lead me into Temptation

So, today I thought about having some chocolate. Then I decided not to. I wasn't really craving chocolate, it was just that before when I've been feeling a bit ill like I did today, chocolate helped. The caffeine, sugar, fat, and seretonin effects really do make me feel better.

The trouble was, it didn't seem worth it. I have to eat a LOT of chocolate for it to have a noticeable effect (practically OD on the stuff), and I didn't want to go off my diet because I've been having several really good effects from the low-carb, high-fat method I've adopted. I'm losing weight (370.6 today at my Official Weighing) and about 75% of my joint pain/stiffness has just vanished. Gone. Kaput. I can sit (or stand, or lie down) in one position and I don't swell like a balloon and wind up so stiff I can barely move.

I don't want that to go away. At all. It's taken me a little over 10 days of consistent 100% attendance to the best diet practices I've been able to discover to attain that. I do NOT want to start over again at day one. Not even for chocolate.

So it's not at all difficult for me to decide to avoid the stuff I know will throw me off. And the longer I go, the less I want to get reset back to day one. At last, a trait I can use to help me instead of hinder me. Once I've sunk a certain amount of effort into something, I don't want to go back and start over no matter how beneficial it might be.

Sep 11, 2011

Mad Science!

So, I decided to experiment a little with making a LCHF (low carb high fat) dessert. It did not go so well.

First I made a crumble crust for a pie. Only instead of using graham crackers, I used flaxseed meal and chopped almonds held together with butter. This was the only really successful part of the pie, and it tasted great. I think I needed to chop the almonds a bit more thoroughly, though, as the larger chunks had a tendency to fall out of the crust. But it certainly held together as well as any graham cracker crust I've ever made.

Then I made custard for pie filling. This went okay. I used egg yolks and cream with stevia and lemon extract to make the custard. Next time I'm going to use more cream and fewer egg yolks. I think I may just go ahead and use a little sugar or honey, too, as the Stevia tastes kind of salty to me after it's been baked. It just doesn't have any real sweetness to it. Also the lemon extract was a bust--it could not be tasted in the final product AT ALL. Next time I'm using lemon juice and lemon zest instead. (I was planning on using it this time, unfortunately I forgot to get an actual lemon on my way out of the store.)

Then I tried to make meringue using the egg whites. This was laughably bad. Apparently you HAVE to use SUGAR to make a proper meringue. Also it was hot and humid in the kitchen so the stuff just would NOT set. I gave it my best shot but I think I'm just not going to bother with this next time. The custard is plenty indulgent without any meringue, and I can use the egg whites to make egg drop soup or something.

Also, as a note, if you've never made meringue before, it makes about 10 times the volume (or more) than you had of egg whites. Useful to know so you don't end up overflowing your bowl.

Overall, not the best dessert I've ever made, but it was really low in carbs, for sure. And dinner (oven-roasted chicken drumsticks and creamed spinach) was good.

Also, it was the first time in three years that I used that eggbeater.

Sep 7, 2011


First, click on this link.

See that red text across the top? Doesn't that sound ominous? Really sounds like Turbine is screwing someone over, eh?

Except that having all classes for free is NOT part of the VIP agreement. In fact, one of the classes in DDO (Favored Soul) is ALREADY buy only (or it can be earned with favor). Artificer uses precisely the same model--you can buy it, or you can earn it with favor. It's my understanding that during the shakedown period while the new update gets implemented, it may *temporarily* be impossible to get it just with favor. Whoop-te-doo. Every update takes a while to get fully set up. Why? 'Cause it's friggin' complicated, is why.

I'm not hugely in favor of grandstanding even when your grievance is legitimate. THIS is just DUMB.

Sep 4, 2011

That Is . . . Large

So, my mom got me a scale for my birthday (which is next month, but never mind) so I can have some help in my dieting. It arrived today. It is a nice scale. I really like it. Except it appears to be broken, because when I stand on it it says 391 lbs.

Faith and begorrah. That is way more Jennifer than anyone could possibly want.

No WONDER my ankles hurt.

Addendum: Actually, my joke about the scale being "broken" was quasi-accurate. It got stuck somehow and I had to take the batteries out and turn them around and whack them a few times before it would zero. So the actual number is 379 lbs. Wow, I feel SOOOOO much better.

Not. Bleh.

Sep 2, 2011


I stumbled upon this game:

It's a memory game, fair enough, and I played it for a few minutes. The thing I found really odd about it was that when I just looked at the images, I had about a 50% success rate. Not particularly noteworthy. When I NAMED the images in my mind (even if it was the most basic description of "man with dog"), my success rate INSTANTLY jumped to 100%.

Yeah. Verbal. That's me.

Sep 1, 2011


So, our bathroom is kind of exploded at the moment. Fortunately we have a spare.