I wrapped up the veggies with chicken wire and things started growing again. Good....good. Until yesterday, when all the yellow flowers on the squash were gone and all the green tomatoes came in. This fucking ass ate everything AGAIN. I inspected the garden and the chicken wire was lifted up less than an inch when it *was* in the dirt. This whole summer of trying to grow things has been a complete waste of time and money. Thanks, asshole rabbit.
Other things for the challenge that I've been doing:
1) Defective Job - I've applied to multiple jobs and nothing has turned out yet, sadly.
2) Defective Eating - This is 100% on point. Challenge is about to end and I'm eating in my calorie window and with zero binges. I have my dietician appointment next Friday but I ended up seeing my dr and was weighed there (more on that in a sec) and I was weighed in: Down 50 pounds total. I just need to stick with what is working and not slide backwards.
3) Defective Internetting - This has been a mixed result I guess. I'm not sitting in front of a computer as much. I work more hours so I have a few extra bucks and then I get some stuff on ebay so since I'm working more, I'm technically doing less internetting. Also with keeping on top of my batch cooking and training means I'm messing around less on the inter-web-nets. I didn't know how to quantify this goal but by virtue of plain 'ole math, I'm not dicking around on the internet as much. I still think I need a more concrete goal for this and want to roll it over to the next challenge.
4) Defective Training - So in #2 I mentioned seeing my doctor again. I had an appointment with him because I'm done with having lower back pain once and for all. I had a long talk with him about how it's been well over 10 years that my lower back has been fucked up and the severity waxes and wanes. When it's good, it merely stings to lay down on my back. When it's bad, it's a 10-out-of-10 on the pain scale and so bad that even bending my back a little to wipe in the bathroom brings me to unintended tears. I'm sick of living like this. And while losing weight will put less strain everywhere, including my back, there's no fucking way that this is some garden variety 'just getting older' style of back pain.
I told him that I knew a chiropracter wasn't covered by my medical, but I wanted to know what else was doable. In the same medical building about 2 months ago, I saw that there was a physical therapy center and after talking to that receptionist, they *would* take my insurance but I needed a Dr. appt to get the work-order in. Hence, here I am, back at the Dr. The doc started explaining how muscle relaxers can help and went on and on about advil and motrin and whatever the medical names for generic pain relievers are and I felt a sinking my stomach. I felt that he was just thinking that maybe I was bullshitting him and that 'pop some drugs' was going to fix things.
...But after his rambling on that stuff, he let out a sigh and mentioned that we also can see what is going on with my back. I ordered an x-ray to be taken down the street. He also put in the work-order for the physical therapy so someone could look at my back. I explained that I've tried stretching videos like so....:
....in the past but I needed more accountability so since physical therapy is covered, I wanted to go as much as possible and be forced into doing whatever exercises/stretches needed to be done. He nodded and went, "It's always good to have a coach to keep you in line". And with that, we shook hands and the things were faxed to xray/physio buildings.
After work I went and got my xray done (nice little mess that was but was cleared up pretty quick). I put on one of those stupid gowns and had to ditch the pants. The woman comes to the other side of the curtain and asks if I'm ok and I bluntly go, "Yeah, I just don't want my ass hanging out." I was given a second gown to wear like a robe. About 20 minutes later and my xrays were done. Got the results back and I'm fine: there are no fused or slipped discs. *sigh of relief*
This means it's must just be muscular. And if that's the case, that means it's fixable.
A few days later, I get a phone call from physio to book an appointment. This past Wednesday I was supposed to meet with Jeff and I tried my damndest to not say this while near him:
He has me do a few twists and turns, lie on a table and he rotates my legs and stuff. The whole time he's asking me questions. I explain what I said to the dr and that I'm pretty sure I have anterior pelvic tilt and because of my weight in the gut-area, it's pulling and making it worse. While I'm losing weight, I still need to work on how to fix this. He seemed.....oddly surprised that I knew wtf I was talking about. I guess he gets a lot of clueless people in his office. Anyways, my-name-eh-jehhff Jeff does two last posture things and puts his hands on my hips right behind me and squeezes ...
....and goes, "YUP! Definitely have tilt." I have a severe tilt - like 30 degrees of fucked up (The sequel to 50 Shades of Gray) Apparently he had the same issue years ago. He attached these little electric pads to my lower back and tells me it should feel comfortable. It does NOT feel comfortable. It oscillates between little pokes and finger jabs. He turns it down and then uses a heating pad on my back. Had to turn it down twice. Apparently I'm temperature-sensitive. I counter with how I'm cold immune. He points as his legs, "Ahh, one of those guys with the shorts out in the snow?"
The back-zapper and boiling bag do their things for a solid 10 minutes as I try to stay calm and be ok with things touching me. I'm then brought out to this big ass L-shaped room. I can see other physio therapists working with clients and I'm told to lay on a bench and do a few things:
-Roll my pelvis back to press it against the floor
-Keep my knees together and twist side to side
-Use a foot strap and pull a leg straight up and hold it
-Put a yoga ball under my legs and do the same twisting side to side
-Stretching bands are wrapped around my knees and I need to spread my legs apart
-Stand up and sit in a chair with the world's biggest yoga ball in front of me and roll it forward and lean onto it while staying seated
This entire thing took over an hour, but nothing was in excruciating pain (unlike that damn video link I posted above). I asked him the question that was in the back of my mind the entire time, "Will I get to normal and how long will that take?"
Now, depending on what you read on the inter-web-nuts, some people say it takes 2 weeks and others 6+ months. Obviously, we're all different, but barring that, what did my-name-eh-jehhff Jeff think in his professional opinion. According to him and my severity, it will take constant rehab and in about 2 months, I should be normal.
Only two months and I can finally feel normal?
He says that the first month, he'll see me more often but then the second month, I don't have to come that much. A SNAFU has appeared. I tell him I don't want to be here less, I want to be here more, even if it's an inconvenience to my schedule. He will see what he can do and when I get up to the receptionist, he tells her that I requested more sessions so I'm able to go 3x week to physio. I'm also told that I need to get a yoga ball (they sell them for 5 bucks at a store down the road) and I have to do 4 stretches that he prints out (which also have video links which is pretty cool). I can skip 1 day a week but that's it. Meaning I do 3 at-home stretching sessions and 3 in-person sessions. 50% of my stretching is supervised and I get shockpads/heat towels to make it easier? I can do that. And now I can tell myself, "I need to do my stretches today because I have physio tomorrow" and it will usually be true. Two months. Just two months until I can have a normal body again after at least a decade and not have to deal with those flare-ups that were excruciating. And I have a high pain tolerance, too. I broke my pinky, sliced 3 inches on the back of my leg, and had all sorts of bangs and trips and fuckups in spartan races and those all amounted to about a 4 out of 10 compared to these back-pain flare-ups.
This means in just 2 months, I can get back to doing squats. My beloved squats, how much you hurt me with this pelvic tilt....
I did some math and I mean, I should be about 200 pounds but I was building up to squatting 120+lb while being 360, so I feel like that means my morbidly obese bodyweight combined with the weight I was holding means my squat is somewhere in the ~260 range but here's the thing: I know I can do more. Way more. The problem since I started learning how to squat has been my lower back flaring. Stabbing pain as I'm trying to keep correct form starts to break down around rep 25 or so and then I need to cool off and not squat for weeks while my back (sort of) heals. My muscles can take squatting much more than that which makes me wonder what I'll be able to do once this back issue is finally resolved.
I know it doesn't come through in text, but I'm excited. Like REAL fucking excited. My whole life, I've felt with my weight that I was defective and broken. And with my back issues being around for at least 1/3 of my life, that really sent the message home that I'm just some flawed... thing.
(How I feel internally many days)
But with this challenge wrapping up and hitting 50 pounds down and my back healing having a deadline, I'll only feel broken for just a little longer. Just a little. bit. longer.
5) Defective Socializing - I tried with this one and I checked on other's threads more than I posted on my own. But I've noticed that people are excited for 2 weeks and then sort of just give up and then there's not much to comment on.
I'm not throwing shade - I think the past couple covid-years have been hell on everyone and if not for the actual posters, then certainly plenty of people we care about and love which rubs off on us. I guess I'm sort of musing as to what needs to happen, collectively, for everyone to be more engaged and posting more. Sure, there are some outliers that will post every day and be having whole multi-page convos; but I feel like that's the exception and not the norm. Years ago, it was the opposite so I'm sitting here rubbing my beard and wondering what to change. I mean, it's hard to have, "I'm going to do lots of things to better myself"-challenge when a great deal of people are in crisis management mode and are just trying to survive.
To all of you who happen to read this: I love you and care about you and hope the best for you; because people is all we have to pull through tough times.
6) Defective Passion - I had a bit of a creative...let's call it 'creative crisis'. You see, I wasn't excited about working on this army stuff anymore. I had so many other armies that I was more interested in and I played it safe with building *this* particular army since it's my first army and I figured I should know the basics of army and mini construction before I tackled a big creative project.
I still was doing creative stuff this challenge, but it wasn't so much actual art as it was theory-crafting.
You see, I like a lot of armies and minis. A lot. Too many for a normal human to like.
Let's start with Warhammer40k, shall we?
First off is the 1)Adeptus Mechanicus. The Tech-priests of Mars that is my current project. I had some lore and ideas and started casting minis but then... I had more ideas. Ideas that didn't work for *this* army, which means if I wanted to use those creative ideas, I would need to make a SECOND 2)Adeptus Mechanicus army.
Then I wanted to make an 3)Alpha Legion of space marines, essentially combining ideas from multiple space marine factions.
I can ally in Questor Knights into my Adeptus army and my Alpha Legion army, which means I mine as well get 2 other models and make a 4)knights army...
I love the evil factions and the chaos space marines have much more interesting lore and since they use demons and demon-engine (hell constructs that are a hybrid of machine and demon. Tell me something fucking cool than that. Go ahead, I'll wait.) Within that chaos legion are multiple TYPES, with their own ideas that I had. Not to mention war-bands of smaller armies that I could ally in.
This meant the following armies I was also interested in:
5)-Emperor's Children: Followers of She Who Thirsts, the Goddess of Excess. They have sonic sound marines who have guns that blare music so loud that it melts people's eyeballs and ruptures organs (ok see, that's cooler than demon engines but not by much). They are like an 80's hair band, ready to be all about sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll.
6)-World Eaters: Followers of Khorne the God of War. Blood for the blood god. Skulls for the skull throne. Hulked out red savages with chainsaw axes that charge in, bloodthirsty and maniacally cleaving into enemies.
7)-Death Guard - Followers of Nurgle, the god of plagues, disease, and death. The worshippers are infested with rot, able to take insane amounts of damage as they shamble up the board, armed with scythes and tanks that launch bursts of acid that eat away steel and flesh, leaving a puddle of infected sludge and ruin in their wake.
A slow looming horror awaits that cannot be stopped.
8 - Thousand Sons - The cursed marines that follow Tzeentch, the patron of devious machinations and mastery of unholy sorcery. Their ambition to conquer and control is unquenchable as powerful spells lay enemies to dust.
This post will be 10x the length if I include pictures for all of them.
9) -Word Bearers - the Original chosen to fall to chaos, their armor is a rich burgandy with silver trim. Truly fanatics to the worship of the chaos gods, they sacrifice cultists and let demons possess their bodies to commune with the gibbering maddness of evil that lay just beyond our dimension.
10)-Night Lords - Savage stalkers of prey who feed off of fear and their own pervertsed sense of justice. Think if Batman were to go evil and eventually kill for sport.
11)-Iron Warriors - The hearty and toughest chaos marines, unlike their Word Bearer cousins who worship and see unholy divinity in the chaos entities, the Iron Warriors are hardened soldiers that see these hellspawn the same as a rocket launcher: a weapon to be controlled. They make chaos their bitch with enslaving more demon engines and are masters of siege. With a bitter black cruelty, they further their machinations with martial discipline and refuse to yield.
12-Creations of Bile - Fabius Bile is this universes Dr. Frankenstein, trying to perfect the space marines into what he calls 'Nu-men' instead of human. His concoctions vary from increased size and strength, to mutants that look subtle but have a genetic fervor and love of their creator, letting him have cells upon cells throughout the galaxy. He has betrayed everyone he has every come across in the pursuit of his version of cosmic justice in making a new galaxy-spanning order that relinquishes control to him and him alone. There is so much more about him but I'm keeping this short. He is my favorite character in the entire lore.
13-Red Corsairs- Now I'm just going to have to shorten these into a snippet since this has become far too long for anyone to read.
14-T'au Empire - Sniper race.
15-Necrons - Terminator 1+2 civilization.
16-Harlequins - Dancing murder-clowns.
17-Druhkari - BDSM torture space elves that are like Pinhead from Hellraiser
18-Chaos Knights - Massive skyscraper-sized robots.
...And this is warhammer 40k. As in, 40,000 years in the future. This is the sci-fi section. The fantasy section (like lord of the rings) is...
19-Sylvaneth - Ents/Tree spirits
20- Demons of Khorne
21- Demons of Tzeentch
22- Demons of Nurgle
23 - Demons of Slaanesh
24- Beasts of Chaos - Minotaurs, satyrs, and other goat-creatures hellbent on tearing down all of civilization.
25- Skaven - Trillions of rat-men that backstab each other and have massive innovations with machinery and biogenetics and mutants.
26- Slaves to Darkness - the more 'generalized' version of all the chaos legions combined, all under Archeon.
27- Flesh-Eater Courts - Savage naked cannibal monsters that used to be men, now afflicted with a maddening vampiric curse that makes them think they are still civilized and all king arthur types of knights, but are jibbering maniacs who stab things with bones.
28- Soulblight Gravelords - Your classic 'fancy' vampires, along with hordes of shambling skeletons and zombies. Also werewolves.
29- Ossiarch Bonereapers - Necromancy race of blacksmithed bones, created through magic to be a sort of old Roman Legion type of mastercrafted bone terrors.
30-Gloomspite Gitz - Teeny little goblins that live in the underground caverns who get high on mushrooms and ride bipedal red feriocious pig-things and large dimwitted trolls that all worship a lunatic celestial being called 'The Bad Moon'.
31-Orruks - Multiple subtypes of Orcs, but my favorite is the KruleBoys, the swamp-dwelling sneaky and crafting orcs that use crossbows, point, and ride large swamp monsters into battle.
32-Ogor Mawtribes - Huge hulking behemoth-men that are cursed with an endless hunger. Large butchers that will kill and eat literally everything, from people to gemstones, in order to satiate their ever-present rumbling stomachs. Ride large wooly mammoths and sabertooth tiger beasts.
33-Gargants - Massive, like skyscraper tall giants that are slow and stupid, but allow for lots and lots of conversion and art opportunities to make personal (much like the 40k skyscraper sized Knights).
So that's 33 armies. If you buy a whole army, full price, from their store, it's about $1,500. The fantasy ones are significantly cheaper (and smaller) but still, we're talking over $1,000 per army. At 33 armies, I could buy a car or three with the amount of miniatures I want and even if I was a millionaire, I couldn't bring myself to spend some 40-60k of little plastic figures, despite how much I am interested in the lore.
My 'creative crisis' was doing the math and realizing all of this. Sorry, but things are going to have to be streamlined, cut, combined, and the ideas related to them allocated, abandoned, or revised to make this work.
Here's why this was so maddening: let's say I want to make the KruleBoys army and I have all these cool swamp ideas and a color scheme. Well, I don't want to use the same ideas in a different army, nor do I want them to look the same so I need different ideas for a 2nd army, a 3rd army, a 4th army. Now, this is fine when theory-crafting because I, in fact, have literally HUNDREDS of ideas concerning these 33 armies. But that also means, at the speed I'm going, that it will take me about....the rest of my goddamn life if I wanted to devote it entirely to plastic toys.
So I sat down and thought. I thought and thought and thought about what ideas whould go where. I researched the lore of each of these factions. For months, I've been reading books on these armies and how they intertwine with the huge narrative scope. And one by one, I started to cull them..
This is about art. Creativity. If it does not spark some sort of longing and happiness and joy, then why am I even doing it? Why should I make my swamp monsters a reality if I'm going to make them and move on and never appreciate it? Just because I *can* come up with really cool ideas, doesn't mean I should *act* on those ideas. The theory board has been mulled over and over half of these options have been cut down and assimilated smaller ideas into more grandiose thematic ideas for armies. Rather than, "I could swap these 2 units" and the rest of the army is left alone, I instead thought about how I could extract the essence of coolness of the ideas and distill them into other armies. Instead of 5 armies that all have slight tweaks and modifications, and contain models that I don't even like (but need to have them in order to make them playable), I instead have 1 fully converted and interesting army. I would rather have 1 army that is a labor of love and has dozens of ideas strewn throughout to make a thematic and unique army perspective instead of multiple armies that only have a little bit of creative liberties worked in.
I could go on for legit 50 pages about all the ideas and all of these armies but I'm going to cut it here. The point I'm getting at is the creative crisis is pretty much over, and I have sort of streamlined my wild ideas into more tangible things and a more realistic time-table (and realistic purchases) which I hope to flesh out more in the next challenge.
Overall, I think I did pretty good this challenge but I totally want to expand and do more. More of everything. I'm making progress and I don't want to slow it down.