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Raincloak

Raincloak's February Challenge

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this may need editing but I wanted to get the thread up.

1) 2 bodyweight workouts per week. I can't afford to join a gym and I'm too lazy/shy to go to one anyway.

2) 2 cardio workouts per week. I'm a slow runner and I don't like just doing nothing but running by myself, but I don't have anyone to go with so this one is going to be a little challenging.

3) 4 "quiet time" (meditation/prayer/etc.) sessions per week. SLEEPING DOESN'T COUNT.

4) learn to cook 4 new veggie dishes.

peripheral goals: get all my university homework done on time, get some new workout clothes, and get new running shoes. And practice the moves from my new self-defense class.

Also, before I do any of this, I need to go threaten my bank into waiving checking fees or close my account and get a new bank. 'cause I can't manage my finances with cash under the mattress, and my checking account, which has been free for ten years, is instituting monthly fees starting this month. Umnokthxbai, you have failed me for the last time. We part company here. This won't level up my life significantly, but I see the curse approaching and I intend to counter it before it hits.

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Oh, man, I feel your pain on the bank. When my bank tried to switch my savings account to a second checking account, I said adios. We have enough money-related worries without having to stress about the people who are holding our money for us! Good luck with that!

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Well, so I hied meself to the bank to talk fees today. The guy was polite, but bottom line is: they're changing all their checking account stuff and unless I obey one of their new rules, they will begin charging monthly fees. The rules are: set up regular direct deposits, as with a paycheck (impossible since I don't have a regular paycheck), keep a rather large minimum balance in the account (also impossible since I don't have that much money and if I did I wouldn't leave it sitting in checking), or make 5 purchases a month with a debit card linked to the account (no, debit cards are evil and I will have nothing to do with them).

So okay, our relationship is at an end, time to close the account. THEN a wrinkle turns up. A payment I made online from the account yesterday morning is still pending for some stupid-ass reason (it was scheduled to go through yesterday, beats me why it hasn't yet), so I can't shut down the account until that's gone through. So I agreed to come back tomorrow to close out the account.

Then, on the helpful teller's suggestion, I went right next door to the other bank to ask about THEIR checking accounts. (Teller at old bank used to work at bank next door, and is acquainted with teller at next-door bank 'cause they "went to banker school together." This probably says something funny about the state of financial institutions in America, but I dunno what.)

New bank has checking accounts with this goofy policy, you have to open a checking and a savings at the same time and promise to transfer $25 from checking to savings every month. Otherwise they charge fees. Oooookay, well I can live with that. As long as the money remains in my possession, I am willing to shuffle it around a bit. They helped me open a new account (after I very patiently waited in line, produced two forms of ID, promised my firstborn child, corrected the spelling of my name TWICE after showing them my IDs, blah blah blah) and they gave me a kitschy ceramic bunny bank in a lucky red box. Happy Chinese New Year. (Maybe I should get a gold ribbon for the bunny, to attract prosperity. Except that would be pagan superstition, so I probably shouldn't.)

Unfortunately due to obligations at home (facepalm) I had to leave in a bit of a rush and didn't get to go over all the nitty-gritty with the teller at new bank. Also there's this stupid-ass snag with old bank, so tomorrow I will have to go back and finish sorting out the mess. But at least I got the new account opened up and I got this disgustingly cute bunny to put my spare change in. +1 to Wealth.

p.s. Old bank is Chase (formerly Washington Mutual, until they went belly-up in the big crisis two years ago and got bought out). New bank is Wells Fargo. I dunno if I'm going to stick with them for the long haul but I had to do something fast, and so far things seem to be working out all right.

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i just use a local credit union around here, no fees, no anything. they even reimburse me if i use someone else's ATM and get charged.

little local places = way better :)

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Yeah I'm starting to wonder if I should have gone with a credit union. Trouble is, I'm moving in four months, so I'm not sure I want to establish ties to a local bank that won't have branches out of state.

oh well, I can always get another bank account if I find something better. As long as there is money, there will be banks vying for it. Hell, they'd probably fight for my hand even if I had no money at all and wanted to borrow some. As long as I had good credit. Finance is one of humanity's stranger inventions.

The real question is, when do I get to learn that Jedi hand wave and go, "Chuck E Cheese tokens will do fine..."

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Haha. Instead of buying workout clothes which I promised I would do, guess what I went and bought? A pet!

I was stuck at home during the time when I planned to go out and do some fitness-related stuff today, so that was kind of a fail. This week has not been an A+ success in that department, but I'm definitely making moves in the right direction. Also missed the only weekly prayer services that I could reasonably get to with my schedule. Oh well.

I tried out the meditation timer. Didn't work quite the way I expected. My iPod seems to have some trouble digesting the sound file. Dunno why, it's an MP3, but oh well, we'll have to work on that bit. Instead I meditated by staring at my new goldfish. I'm pretty sure my vital signs calmed down by a few points. I do need to finish getting the aquarium set up, though (I have no idea how the filter and lid fit together; right now the fish are camping in a big glass jar, but it's too small to be their permanent home).

Superbowl Sunday tomorrow. I don't give a (you know what) about football, but I'm looking forward to being sociable and eating tasty food. (It won't be total crap food from a package, at least. I'm going to be hanging out with people who know how to cook.) Hopefully I can haul my butt out of bed and get the fitness done early, and go party with a sense of accomplishment.

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Went to the park today with the dog, did some sprints, chased the dog, threw the tennis ball, etc. Stretched out afterward. Yay! Didn't do as lengthy or hard a workout as I could have, but what can I say, at least I went. If I'm going to bust my butt I need a training partner, otherwise I just have a really hard time pushing myself to the limit on cardio workouts. Also it was kind of hot out. I gave up on waiting till I crawl to the sports store, and just went in t-shirt and regular clothes. It was uncomfortable but such is life.

Met some interesting people at the park and went to their place for the Superbowl party (change of plans). Ate way more chips than I really should have, but they were tasty (I also got some fruit in there, and learned what happens when I try to swallow a whole piece of tri-tip steak -- bad idea.) The people were moderately fun but the game was, I'm sorry, boring. I just wasn't born to watch American football. (Now, put a soccer game in front of me and I will pay attention. At least I can tell what's going on in soccer games.)

Tomorrow I will be stuck indoors most of the day, 'cause I have to babysit a sick relative. Good day to do a bodyweight workout since I cannot leave the house. I sure wish there was a piece of furniture I could use for pullups or inverted rows (been wanting to try these), but there is nothing suitable in this place at all.

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I guess all those buckets of water I lifted yesterday (didn't think to mention it) must have been a workout, because today I was really, really sore. Legs are sore from running, arms are sore from buckets of water. Ow. So, not a good day to do more weight.

I did put in a 2-mile walk with a backpack full of books, despite the soreness. And I studied. That's about it for today.

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yesterday, didn't get out much 'cause I had to babysit a sick kid. Today, same deal (and I think I'm coming down with whatever virus the kid has got). Tried to sleep it off but people insisted on waking me every 20 minutes with phone calls, requests for rides, you name it. sigh. I hope I'll be well again tomorrow. I have a midterm test and essay tomorrow so between that and my usual duties, I'm gonna be pretty busy.

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Living on chicken soup and toast yesterday seems to have helped. Feeling significantly better today. Now to go and study my butt off. (if only that actually WORKED... not that my butt is really anything to be ashamed of, but sadly studying does not improve it.) The dog is once again climbing the walls, because no one ever walks him but me, so I will have to take a study break and take him out later.

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Took the dog out to the cul-de-sac and threw a tennis ball for him a while. Actually, after 5 throws he started to slow down, after 10 he was ready to quit (wuss), and after about 15 the ball went down the sewer drain and that was the end of fetch time. At least he got some exercise and was quieter the rest of the day (though it didn't stop him from fussing and barking when the landscaper dude came by to measure the yard). Now my shoulder hurts.

Also trolled around the house a bit and finally found some place where a pull-up might actually be possible, if I had the requisite upper body might (which I don't, har har, thanks for asking). If I stand on the arm of a bench I can reach up and grab a beam supporting the porch, although it's the wrong shape to get a good grip. I experimented with shifting weight from arms to feet and doing some raises and lowers. Pull-ups are not in my immediate future. Maybe someday. (I could do them when I was a kid, but even with their smaller arms, kids have a lot less mass to lift!) I still haven't gotten around to doing regular pushups on the floor yet (still doing girly pushups with my hands elevated). Did a little bit of bodyweight work but not a full circuit's worth. Did not study nearly as much as I should have. Tomorrow the midterm must be completed.

Edited by Raincloak

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Had to do midterms today and drive a bunch of people around, so didn't take the dog out. I was foolish enough to believe a housemate who said she'd walk the dog today (yeah right, didn't happen). sigh. Tomorrow I am taking the dog and getting the hell out of town for a few hours. We're going for a hike. If only some twit hadn't made off with my hiking book (I can only remember how to get to a couple of the trails, that's why I needed the book).

Any tips on sabotaging a television without getting caught? I know of one that needs to die, but it's not mine and I can't afford to replace it. (kidding. Mostly.)

Amusingly enough, I got the lost tennis ball back. The neighbors pried up the sewer drain for the amusement of their kids, and they rescued the ball. (The drain was dry, so the ball is still in dog-worthy condition.) Hooray, that saves me a dollar.

Adding to my annoyance, the whole wheat bread is gone (some moron left it where the dog could reach it) and we're also out of fresh fruit again. I had dates and almonds for breakfast and more almonds for a snack, but I'm not sure it made my life hugely better. Straight-up almonds are kind of dry. I was doing pretty well on Greek yogurt with nuts and honey, but the yogurt is all gone. Maybe I should get more. I had Vietnamese pho for lunch, which was very tasty but eventually I got hungry again, of course (most of the pho is broth, it's got rice noodles and meat but mostly it's broth, and no veggies except the bean sprouts they serve with it). Rawr. Need moar crunchy plant things.

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hiked 8 miles yesterday. Sore today. More homework. People blasting the Grammys so I can hear it on the other side of the house. They really need to go to bed. And so do I, but can't till I get this homework done. Would be a lot easier without all the noise, or this congested head that won't clear up.

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Went for a long quiet drive just to chill yesterday. I'm gonna log that as a meditation session since that's what I was doing on the road. (Sorry, carbon emissions. If I go insane I'm gonna pollute a lot worse.)

Today I made myself a salad with a baby head of lettuce for dinner. I'm gonna log that as learning a new vegetable dish, since making myself salads is a new thing for me. It tasted okay but the dressing I used, did not like.

also took self-defense class today, not sure if that counts as a workout but why not. Head is still clogged but I hope it will be better by tomorrow. Homework is back under control.

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Woke up too early with blood dripping from my nose this morning. (Ironically I was sleeping in a vampire t-shirt.) That was not a good start to the day. Had 2 more nosebleeds during the day (same spot every time, it just needs to heal). Apparently I'm not done with the clogged head just yet, since blowing my nose now results in alarming exsanguination. (They told me to put Vaseline in my nose. There's supposed to be some in the bathroom, but of course there isn't. I wonder if butter would work?)

had a pretty nutritious day meal-wise, although the midafternoon smoothie may have contained more sugar than was strictly necessary. At least it had protein and fat to slow down the insulin surge, and indeed I didn't get a crash later, so that was probably okay. (I don't imbibe smoothies on a regular basis anyway, but today, well, there was an opportunity and I went ahead and had one.) In fact I was still not very hungry by dinnertime and had a small dinner, so calorie-wise I probably came out even.

practiced a little slow breathing, mostly while sitting around with tissues stuck up my nostril. I'm not sure the breathing helped. I'm gonna go breathe some more and try to sleep with my head elevated. Did not exercise today other than throwing tennis ball for the dog, and (big surprise) the ball went down the drain again. Hateness.

well, tomorrow's another day. Clouds are blowing in, so maybe the increased humidity will be kind to my poor tortured airways. Another personal level up task is tomorrow (going to have a Big Talk with certain members of the household), so I'm not looking forward to the day, but it must be done, and so it shall be. Wish me luck.

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omfG, such a day I have had. Just for extra drama, my nose bled again during the Big Talk and I spent 10 or 15 minutes trying to make it stop. I think we've gotten a few XP points sorted, but the real test will be what happens later.

I feel like death microwaved to room temperature. It is bedtime for me.

did not eat a lot of greens today, but didn't go overboard on junk food either. Didn't eat a whole heck of a lot, in fact. Breakfast, a lot of tea, and a couple snacks, that was it. The weather is now nice and soggy and that makes me a bit happier.

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Well, getting the dog to chase the tennis ball for exercise has sorta been curtailed. He's still only too happy to chase it, but he's been limping since that big hike last weekend. (His leg does not show any cuts or swelling, so I'm guessing the problem is a sore shoulder.) Seems better now but I don't want to push him too hard. I've taken him out on walks and let him run around a bit, but no making him sprint on pavement.

As for me, the nosebleeds seem to have finally stopped (hooray) but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed. Dinner yesterday was corned beef and cabbage (and brussels sprouts and potatoes and carrots and onions), mmm. I should be going hiking today, the weather is perfect, but I'm just kind of sleep deprived and still babying the nose (if I get dust in it again things might get bad). I think I'll just do some chores and maybe try to cook this tasty cauliflower I bought.

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pasta for dinner last night. Not ideal, but the resident dinner lords decreed they weren't interested in my "half-assed" idea of substituting chicken broth, pasta, and frozen veggies for a bowl of udon. pfft. Maybe next time I'll just try it by myself. At least I got some veggies in there.

just as well I didn't go hiking yesterday after all, around midday rain blew in with a vengeance. It seems to be gone now, I think maybe I will sneak off for a drive to the mountains tomorrow and check out the snow. I should really do some upper-body work today. Perhaps those stair rails down the block would do for inverted rows...

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I tried to be good today and had yogurt with nuts and fruit for breakfast again. Didn't get in enough veggies today (what else is new) but got a few. Went for a nice walk on the beach and collected a bunch of shells, stones, and beach glass, just like I used to do when I was a kid. That was fun. It was cold out.

I finally got a light on regarding that pull-up/inverted row problem, and realized the solution was in front of me all along: the stairs! The staircase in my current residence has these gaps underneath so you can get under the stairs, grab a step, and pull yourself up. Sort of; the grip is awkward 'cause the stairs are the wrong shape and at the wrong angle, but at least the carpet is easier to grip than the splintery supports under the balcony, and there's not so many bugs and spiders. Also, unlike with the balcony, I can actually pick a stair where my feet reach the ground, which is good because I can't pull myself all the way up with just the arms yet. Also did some more pushups and situps today. That felt good.

and, got a good grade on my midterm... hooray.

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Well, today I braved the slick running store and got some shiny new running shoes. And other necessary (ahem) support articles. Good god, decent running gear is expensive. I need to either buy stock in a sports company or get a job with one. Maybe both. But it's not like I normally (or ever, pretty much) buy nice stuff for myself, and I'd rather have one less obstacle to getting fit. That is, if I'm wearing comfortable and appropriate clothing, it'll be that much easier to go for runs. Heroes need appropriate gear. Jedi knights have their robes, samurai have their armor, and I shall have my ... technical running bras. (Go ahead and laugh. When I said necessary, I wasn't kidding.)

Free with the shoes (well okay, a pitch to get me to buy shoes) was an amusing little performance with a treadmill, slow motion video, fancy digital displays and blah blah blah. I probably learned something new about my feet, but I really would've been just as happy with an intelligent salesperson bringing me shoes and talking with me about how they fit. The whole afternoon was frankly exhausting and a bit of a strain on my patience. Also, got a haircut (if you knew me and knew how I tend to avoid haircuts long after I start looking like a scraggly hippie, you'd know this was progress toward regular self-maintenance).

But now I have new running shoes! That is a major step closer to one of my goals. I was gonna take the new shoes and things out for a spin today, but (to be totally honest) I didn't want to mess up the new hair. Tomorrow I'm going for a run though. Let's see how many times I can climb that ridiculous mile-long hill before I get bored. I'm guessing two or three. I wonder what happened to my iPod earbuds, I'll bet one of my housemates made off with 'em.

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Took the new gear for a spin today. Actually I was too lazy to drive to the dog park and run with the dog, so I chased him around the yard for a bit (chase is his favorite game), got my heart rate up a bit (not exactly sprinting but close enough), did some jump rope with invisible rope (read: bounced up and down while counting like an idiot), modified pushups and pullups, planks, squats, lunges, and a few maneuvers with my trusty wooden sword. (There's some cabinet doors over by the garage that would make nice shields if they were cut to size and I added straps ... hmm. Maybe I could get some bubble wrap for padding. That is if I could resist the temptation to pop all of it.)

and cooled down and stretched afterward. Yay, me. I feel somewhat virtuous, although not totally exhausted. As for the gear, the shoes, shorts and that new clip-on key pouch seem to be working great. The technical support seems okay but not too sure about it yet. It also smells like wet paint (must be because it's new, hopefully a good wash will get rid of that).

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I was so sore yesterday it wasn't funny. It just got worse throughout the day until by evening, my legs felt like sticks. Someone please remind me again about getting stronger in between workouts. >.< Surprisingly enough my arms, which I thought I'd worked harder on, were not too bad.

I'm a little better now, maybe I will go for another workout today (yesterday was a "rest day.") Still sore but today I can walk.

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