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Sara Kingdom's Happiness Patrol Challenge


sarakingdom

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Oh, "Happiness Patrol".  Wildly underrated, unexpectedly classic, and also completely insane.  It's time.  We have a date with destiny.
 
(Alas, I can't embed the nice hi-res official trailer here, so let me dig up something else... here we go, a low-res fan trailer from the old videotapes.  Well, imagine it crisper.  And without spelling errors.  For some reason, this one is... a bit controversial among fans, and thus I am not spoiled for choice on my trailer choice.  I cannot imagine why.  Classic.)
 


 
 
I apologize for the amount of pink in this challenge, but it really can't be helped.  It's The Happiness Patrol.
 
 
The Challenge
 
 

The Kandyman: You see, I make sweets. Not just any old sweets, but sweets that are so good, so delicious, that sometimes, if I'm on form, the human physiology is not equipped to bear the pleasure. Tell them what I'm trying to say, Gilbert.
Gilbert M: He makes sweets that kill people.


My carb intake has been creeping up while trying to maintain this new calorie level, and it's higher than I'd like.  So it's coming back down.  This might mean more planning and cooking ahead.  (Also, I need to stop overlooking things like baked potatoes - they're starchy, but they're lower starch than a lot of things I can grab quickly to hit my calorie target, and not all that bad.)  And it might mean getting out the bento boxes again to prepare my lunch and breakfast the night before, so I'm not grabbing food while I'm working.  In general, and especially given the approaching holiday season, I think it makes sense to have a little room built in to the plan, so I'm thinking one day a week to stick the less healthy stuff into.  I do need to find some ways to add more protein to my diet.  I never quite hit that, and it'd help, I think.  Protein powder doesn't work too well for me.  Cottage cheese, maybe.  Yogurt smoothies.
 
Goal: Do not exceed my carb target by more than 5% six days a week.  One day a week with no limit.


The Doctor: And which member of the population are you controlling today, just for the record?

Helen A: A woman who disappointed me.

The Doctor: And how did she disappoint you, eh? Oh, don't answer me. Don't answer. Oh, no. She enjoyed the feel of rain upon her face. Or, perhaps, her favorite season was the autumn.
 
Actually, I do like the feel of rain, and autumn's pretty great.  So I'm going to spend a lot of time outside.  It's been feeling good lately, and I've been feeling a little trapped indoors with work and all... and that's during summer, so I can't imagine what winter will be like.  I do have good indoor exercise options for winter.  The rowing machine is there, and it's actually my preferred exercise, but I can't face being inside with all the stale inside air when I exercise.  So I need to find a way to get exercise of a difficulty that makes me feel good outside.  I usually hike, but it's more for rehab, and doesn't make me feel great the way rowing does.  Running is out for injury/impact reasons.  I do have leather lifting gloves to throw in some pushups and plank and squats on the hikes.  That's a start.  But it'll need some more thought.
 
There are also weather issues with winter approaching.  It's easy to stay inside when it's cold and yucky and wet and there's snow up to your ankles.  I don't really want to hike in massive winter boots.  I like barefoot shoes.  I don't know, I'm pondering a combination of waterproof hiking socks and a pair of barefoot sandals laced without a toe loop.  It'll look silly as hell, but it's just for hiking.  It should be warm enough for short hikes and keep the damp out.  Or boots.
 
Goal: Get outside for a little exercise at least five days a week, at least for a hike or a long walk or something.  Figure out ways to break a good sweat out there without re-injuring bits, and try to up the strength training, but at least get some fresh air and play in the woods.
 
 
Announcer: This is a public happiness announcement. A depression is moving towards Forum Square. The proper authorities will restore harmony and peace.
 
Stress and mood issues were a thing last challenge.  Adding a little brain maintenance back into the challenge plan.
 
Goal: Meditation.  Every day.  At least a few minutes.  Won't beat myself up for missing a day here or there.


Daisy K: (to Ace) And what about you? Are you happy?

The Doctor: Oh, I would say she is, relatively speaking, given the deeply distressing nature of so many universal truths.
 
You've probably noticed that this is a counter-intuitive choice of theme for a challenge involving mood issues, given that it's centered on a dystopia that enforces the facade of happiness in a story that celebrates melancholy, the blues, and the value of honest sadness.  Aside from the entertainment value of that, it's very freeing.  And potentially a bit of a sanity check: don't get sold the myth of perfection or orthodoxy, it does more damage than the normal and healthy ups and downs.  It's all fuel.

 

Goal: Rest.  Nothing to do with the quote, but I do need to get more rest, for both health and mental health reasons.  So let's start with a goal of eight hours at 11pm.

 

 

Helen A: Priscilla P was overpowered by a defenseless girl and a vermin. Is it a joke, Daisy K?

Daisy K: No, ma'am.

Helen A: Oh, what a shame, I enjoy a good joke.
 
I want to punch things.  And kick things.
 
Goal: Punching or kicking drills.  My style doesn't do a lot of this shit, so let's start with once a week.
 
 
Ace: I want to nail those scumbags. I wanna make them very, very unhappy.

Doctor: Don't worry, Ace... we will.
 
Other Happiness-Patrol-themed things I wouldn't mind doing this challenge:

  • Explosions
  • Dying my hair pink
  • Revolution
  • Queer subtext
  • Play the Blues loudly
  • Wear lots of black in public

Good for my mental health, you understand.
 
I'm kind of living in my to-do list these days.  Sort of blah.  Not nearly badass enough.  So:
 
Goal: Do something for the fun of it, and count up my badass points at the end of the week.
 

Earl Sigma: Blissful, isn't it, Doctor? Silence.

Doctor: Ah, not quite. I can hear the sound of empires toppling.

 

Happiness will prevail.

 

 

Days of hitting carb target: 0/36

0%
0%

Days of outside exercise: 0/30

0%
0%

Meditation: 0/42

0%
0%

Rest (in hours): 0/336

0%
0%

Bedtime (deductions for fractions of an hour after 11pm): 42/42

100%
100%

Punching and kicking drills: 0/6

0%
0%

Do something for the fun of it: 0/6

0%
0%

Badass points: 3/100

3%
3%
  • Like 2

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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Well that is terrifying.

 

Gods above and below, that image is going to haunt me for a while.  Thanks for the nightmare fuel!

 

My work here is done, gentlemen.  You're very welcome.

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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Your quotes make me want to watch that episode now, despite the incredible creepiness of the trailer.

 

I came here to grump at you for encouraging RP in his madness.  Now, I... can't in the face of that challenge.  Lots of good me-stuff in there.  I always approve of goals that support good mental health and well being.  And kicking things.  I do like the kicking.

 

Now let's get out there and rock it.  

 

HAPPINESS PATROL, ASSEMBLE!!

Half-Giant Monk

current challenge

"Promote yourself, but do not demote another." Yisroel Salanter

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I like the kicking, too.  I wish I had more opportunity to learn it properly.  Aikido... we don't so much go in for the kicking.  At some point, I should dabble in a kicking art.

 

You should watch it.  It's pretty good, and more bizarre than creepy.  (That's an understatement.  It's mad and cracktastic, with one hell of a "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" vibe, although it narrowly misses the award for "Most Mad and Cracktastic Seventh Doctor Story", due to the quality of some of the competition.)  Doctor Who is fairly gentle in its creepiness, and the low budget takes out some of the creep factor.  It's one of my fave near-future social-satire SF dystopias.

  • Like 1

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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Nice goals. I sympathize with wanting to punch and kick things. My shoulders and knees don't agree, so I will vicariously enjoy your badass successes.

 

Kicking isn't very aikido, it does leave you very unstable.  But it's so tempting.  Purely recreational kicking.  One day I'd love to get into the heavy bag for fun.

 

I really liked the Happiness Patrol serial!  Awesome challenge.  What about snowshoeing?  That's fun and outside.

 

Snowshoeing would be awesome, if we get enough snow.  It's always a tossup here, sometimes it's very deep snow all winter, like last winter, sometimes it's no snow at all, like the winter before that.

 

Liking the Happiness Patrol is a sure sign of good taste. :)

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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gallery_19426_1288_3297.png
 
 
I made a banner that I can't put in my signature, so it's gonna be the weekly start/wrap-up banner.  It's too delightfully colorful and evil not to use.
 
Week 1: Start
I have - ahem - cleared out the high-sugar items from Halloween.  I've gotten back in the habit of making paleo scones, which are delicious.  I got arugula and bacon and goat cheese to make salads for the week.  So I'm coming closer to hitting food targets.  My commuting days will still be a challenge, because my calorie burn is something like 1000 calories, and eating that back without carb creep is very tough.  (Actually, I'm still about 1000 calories short today.  I need to figure out a way to drink more calories, because I just can't face eating so much most days.)

 

My outdoors exercise and meditation are both at about 3-4 times a week, so a touch low at the start of the challenge.  But I have been getting a bit more sleep, a bit earlier.

 

It's getting dark too early to go outside after work, so I'll have to start putting it on my schedule to get that in early, or at lunchtime.  Stupid fucking winter.  Give me more sunshine!

 

Today's badass points: low.  I should look for something to change that.

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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Ah right.  Did not consider the potential lack of snow.

 

Yeesh.  Canadians, eh. :snowman:

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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Week 1: Day 1

 

  • aikido stretches
  • bokken strike practice (+1 badass point)
  • meditation (+1 meditation point)

I mean, come on, swords. (David S: "Women always get the best guns.")

 

Today is going to be a busy work schedule, so I think the outside exercise might end up being just doing some plank and squats outside after work, because being pitch-black out won't get in the way of that.  But it counts.  It's outside, where the air is fresh.

 

My sleeping habits (and insomnia) last night were abysmal.  Thank goodness it wasn't part of my challenge period.  I have difficulty with evening routines that work  You would not believe how many reminders I've set up to get me off the computer and towards bed, and they rarely work.  (Seriously, it's like ten.  Nine reminders and one screen lock on a timer.)  But they're not a routine.

 

  • calorie target hit, 8% over on carbs (+1 nutrition point) I know the actual goal is 5%, but I'm gonna take it.  A lot of this was fiber, and it was pretty darned good for a first day - especially one with a 600 calorie deficit.  600 calories of solely fat or protein is rough.
  • outside exercise: none
  • in bed by 11pm: (no points lost)
  • hours of sleep: 6.5  Not nearly enough, but I was awake-with-a-capital-A, so.
  • something done to make my life a little more awesome: skyped into a movie night with some former housemates a few states away (+1 do-fun-shit point)

Overall, a good day, apart from not enough rest.

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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As for drinking calories, a good way to do that is to pick up a carton of heavy cream. Do a thing of that in some decaf and you're good on calories. For real. The hunger just goes away after that.

 

That's a good thought.  I do enjoy a really pale cup of coffee, like, a lot.  But, man, the problem is not getting rid of hunger.  Quite the opposite.  I'm always coming up 600-1000 calories short, because I'm just not hungry.  Drinking it in the form of coffee might well be the best way to get it into me, a good cup of coffee is pretty excellent.

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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Nice goals! :D

 

 

Rowing is awesome.

 

Kicking is definitely awesome.

 

And sweet potatoes are awesome. (Just throwing that in there since you had that bit about potatoes being starchy but convenient ;)  )

 

 

Also, when/if you dye your hair pink....totes need pics :D

 

You could look like Ramona Flowers!!! <3

 

tumblr_mqakpwwaKu1s03wq8o1_500.gif

  • Like 1
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Rowing is awesome.

 

Kicking is definitely awesome.

 

And sweet potatoes are awesome. (Just throwing that in there since you had that bit about potatoes being starchy but convenient ;)  )

 

I got a fresh bag of sweet potatoes!  Part of my fave breakfast from two challenges ago.  I love them.

 

Rowing and kicking are awesome, man, but right now I just want to go back to sleep.  I will kick all the things later.

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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Week 1: Day 2

 

First, I need more rest.  Second, I need more hydration.  It's getting to that time of year when hydration flips from "it'd be nice" to "my sinuses aren't functioning properly without it".  So I'm hitting the hot tea pretty hard today, not because I like the stuff, but because I have a 1-liter thermos that I can put on my desk and get the fluids down in mass quantities.

 

Thinking about morning routines.  I would like to be the person who jumps out of bed and goes straight into pushups on the floor or a stretching routine, but I've found that it takes a little time to get my body warmed up before it can really do physical stress.  One thing I've done occasionally that seems to make a big difference is to take ten or fifteen minutes in bed to meditate or start listening to a work-related podcast.  I'm a lot more rested and focused for the rest of the day.  That's not the active-fitness-rawr sort of morning routine, but I guess it comes down to which moves the needle on performance more.  Maybe I should add a glass of water before my shower.  I tend to wait till I'm out of the shower and starting in on the coffee to get that first bit of hydration, and that's gotta be half an hour after I get up, at least.  Sometimes an hour.

 

  • carb target: at 80% of target, so well under (+1)
  • exercise outside: no
  • meditation: yes (+1)
  • hours of sleep: 9 hours (wow)
  • in bed by 11: yes (+1)
  • punching and kicking drills: no
  • something awesome: I was not awesome today.
  • badass points: I was not badass today.

 

Random aikido question: there's a really simple aikido exercise to practice tenkan, but are there are irimi practices?  You don't really move your feet in funekogi undo or shomenuchi undo.  (I guess the bokken drills I did yesterday had some irimi practice in them.)

 

There seem to be schools that tell their students to go home and practice half an hour a day of just funekogi undo or tenkan.  High-volume repetitions like that are always the kind of thing where I wonder if there's a real learning value to it, or if it's primarily serving as a dick-measuring contest for guys who want to prove their credentials.  On the one hand, there are a lot of half-parsed mythologies about traditional martial arts training, but on the other hand, there are elements of internal styles that are genuinely best learned through frequent repetition.  I suppose part of my doubt, aside from being unsure about the volume versus frequency argument, is that I've always felt that funekogi undo and tenkan, etc., were foundational movements, certainly, but I never had the sense that they led to transformational sensibilities.  (There are physical sensibilities you develop doing aikido that transform your understanding of it and ability to do it well.  Tenkan comes close.  There's something about it feels potentially sophisticated, conceptually, if you take a deep understanding of that thinking about motion and momentum and proximity and redirection onto the mat.  I feel something in it that feels like the power behind some of the tenkan-based techniques on the mat.  Rolls are another for me, there's something about circular pivoting motions around your center that ping me as potentially transformational sensibilities in how you move and do aikido.  So maybe I just haven't yet reached the point where I understand all of those foundational movements as larger concepts rather than as components.)

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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I really wish I had an answer to your aikido question.  Hopefully Mistr will shed some wisdom on it for us. :)

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Hey, your routine is yours. No-one else's. It just has to work specifically for you and help you. If that doesn't look like push ups and perfect Van Damme splits, then, well, so be it. As long as it's helping you wake up, avoid pain, and aiding your performance in life it's good.

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There may well be a day when it's push-ups and splits.  First thing's first.

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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Week 1: Day 3

 

Hydration went well yesterday: two liters of tea on top of the usual, and I clearly needed it.  Bit of a slow start today, but I've got another liter of tea waiting.  More sleep than I'd planned on.  Again, probably needed it.

 

Considering an unscheduled departure from work to go outside, because I'm at the stage where I'd like to bite people's faces off recreationally.  I'm feeling a bit of work pressure, though, which has been partly responsible for the exercise-skipping so far this week.  I'll get a little more done, then decide.  I might feel better with a few more things checked off my list.

 

In summary:

  • carb target: well under (+1)
  • exercise outside: no
  • meditation: no
  • hours of sleep: 2?  3?  The insomnia hit.  It was bad.
  • in bed by 11: Ha. (-1)
  • punching and kicking drills: no
  • something awesome: no
  • badass points: no

But at least I hydrated.  It could have been worse.

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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Week 1: Day 4

 

This is going to be a rough day on the challenge front.  Last night's lack of sleep was pretty extreme, on top of a marginal week when I was feeling the lack of rest and a bit oncoming-buggy.  I was in rough shape this morning, mentally and physically, so I treated the morning as a sick day: rest, more fluids, all the nutrients I could fit in.  This means I'm going to miss my carb target for today, between some homemade electrolyte drink and going hard on the fruit and veg to get in vitamins and minerals.

 

Man, I was sick with that cold over a month ago, and on the one hand, I'm totally over it, but on the other, I'm still showing tiny lingering signs of the physical stress of it.  More fatigue, a little quicker to wear out physically and show joint strain than I've been since before the last few challenges, weight swinging wildly in a way that's totally disconnected from my calories or exercise, small hint of a chest cough now and then.  I think I might temporarily push aside the outdoors bit of my challenge, in favor of some short high-intensity workouts and lots of rest for a week or two, to build back some resilience.  I'm annoyed that it's taking this long to be 100%, and I think I need to work my muscles hard for twenty minutes, collapse in exhaustion, and sleep it off.  Current plan: rowing HIIT (though I have some long walking days on Friday and Sunday, so those might turn into endurance days by default), and this DVD, which will nudge me through my pushups and squats and some kicking and punching drills while I have no brain.  (DVDs aren't generally my thing, but that's the one I can't get rid of.  Short conditioning for martial artists of all levels, no-equipment workouts that can be done anywhere, and a good serious encouraging dojo attitude for mixed levels.  I keep it around for times when I need the virtual trainer, and this is one of those times.  It's not the ideal plan, but it'll get me through the basics of what I need right now.  Actually, I might rip it to MP3 so I can take it out on the trail with me in future.  There are enough audio cues on the intervals that I should be able to do it by audio alone.)  And, now that I'm thinking about it, both those workouts are the perfect length and intensity to make me sleep like a baby if I do them before bedtime.  So maybe I should try for an insomnia cure at the same time, and try to get an evening routine out of them.

 

Did I mention I was annoyed?  I'm really annoyed.  Today is basically a day of annoyance.  That, at least, is in keeping with my challenge theme.  I'm getting that bit right.

 

In summary:

  • carb target: no, but reasons and mostly good choices (0.5 points)
  • exercise outside: yes (+1)
  • meditation: yes (+1)
  • hours of sleep: 3 + 5 = 8 hours
  • in bed by 11: yes (+1)
  • punching and kicking drills: yes (+1)
  • something awesome: no
  • badass points: sure, in a really nerdy way (+1)

(And I did in fact end up ripping my DVD to MP3, and taking the MP3 player out for a workout.  Which was awesome.  I've been slacking on the strength training lately, but I don't seem to have lost any strength, and might even be a hair better on some of those exercises.  So I did intervals of plank, horse stance, straight punches, forward kicks and some other random conditioning things.)

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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