Exercise and Meal Planning

Since moving into my apartment, I’ve been trying to plan my meals ahead of time. In September I made a menu where I wrote out different dinner ideas for the week. I chose to do meals that could easily be alternated with one another because I know that there are days when I just don’t feel like eating certain things. I’ve only been doing this with my dinners so far because honestly I tend to do whatever during lunch. Usually I just make a sandwich or something simple.

So far I’ve made chicken stir fry, homemade pizzas, roast, turkey…just things like that. Unfortunately beef has been really expensive recently…and I’m on a tight budget. Today I’m going to have hamburgers. They’re kind of my back up foods…stuff that I can cook right away or heat up are for my busier days. That way when I get home after a long day I’m not tempted to order in.

Since Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend I didn’t bother picking up a ton of groceries. If I’m lucky there will be some leftovers for me to take back on Sunday. Before I go back to school my parents usually prepare a bunch of chilli, curried chicken and stuff like that and then I freeze it. It usually lasts me a little more than a semester. Unfortunately they forgot…and I forgot. So I don’t get to eat any of my Mom’s awesome chilli or curry until I go home for reading break. It’s a bummer. It picks up my spirits whenever I eat a nice home cooked meal prepared by my folks. My Dad’s the best cook though. He used to run a restaurant when I was really young but had to give it up cause he was working there, the hospital, going to night school and had three kids, two of which were between ages 0-2. I don’t know how he managed to do all of that. He’s a hardworking guy. I’m honestly really proud of him and my mom. They go way out of their way to help me out sometimes. I’d be lost without them. Sometimes when I’m cooking and I forget how to prepare something or I’m having oven anxiety…it’s a long story…then I call them up and annoy them. I feel like I’m probably the neediest kid. My siblings call me a suck up. It’s true, I’ll admit it. I kiss butt big time, but everything I say is genuine. I just feel like a good way to show people you care about them and appreciate them is by complimenting them and saying thank you. Everyone wants to hear something nice once in a while. Or at least I do….

Anyway, my original goal when creating this menu was to try to improve my diet and stop eating out as much. So far it is working. Yes, I have ordered the odd pizza here and there but not every single week. Now I just need to implement the exercise half.

See, over the summer I tried to work out three to five times a week, even if I could only do like 10-30 minutes. I managed to gain a lot of upper body strength, and was able to take off some weight. I was also taking lunches into work. I want to be in good shape again. My last three years of university I was stressed out over several different things, and last year…was a mess. I want my final year of my undergraduate to go smoothly, and I feel like the best way to get myself started is by getting my body back into shape. Whenever I talk about exercising with my friends they give me weird looks. I’m a normal weight for my height and age so they just assume because I look a certain way that I don’t need to work out. For me it isn’t just about losing weight. It’s about being strong and healthy both physically and mentally. Back when I was playing soccer my head was clear, I was fit and strong and felt like I could do anything. I was never afraid I might, “hurt” myself when climbing trees or goofing off with my buds (you can laugh at the Canadian now). In April I never would’ve attempted to lift heavy stones or carry anything that looked like it could crush me. Since I’ve been doing my own little training, strengthening my arms and what not, I just pick stuff up. It doesn’t even bother me. I’m not longer afraid to give piggy backs to the kids I work with because I’m afraid I’ll drop them after a minute. I was back to having piggy back races, lugging around sleepy kindergarteners after recess and helping my Dad lay down stone in the yard. I’m feeling stronger and stronger every day. I want to continue to grow stronger, in every area of my life.

Anyway, I’m going to go start making my hamburgers. I think I’m going to cook an extra one because then I’ll have something for tomorrow or Wednesday’s lunch. I’m pretty hungry. I skipped out on lunch today because I…I just had a rough start today. Cut my entire leg up…went to the wrong location for my lab…found a dead bird…. Then my sister’s friend got me Starbucks. That was awesome of her. She barely even knows me. So now my days getting a little less…bleh and more woo! I describe…things weird sometimes. I promise, I don’t write “The sky was bleh but she felt woo!” in my novels. If I did that make for a pretty interesting read.

Well, until next time,

–R.

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Novel Update

Editing has been going well lately. I’m nearly finished my first round of edits! I’d like to do at least three.

The amount of notes I’ve left myself over the last couple of weeks regarding work, school and…whatever else continues to grow, but I’m still at a point where I can manage. At least the work I’m doing is something that I enjoy. As my Dad said, “If you enjoy it, it isn’t really work.” Hopefully soon I can turn the things I enjoy into something profitable. Gotta pay off those student loans at some point.

I’ve got a couple of things that I’d like to get done today…a few assignments that I need to get started on, some cleaning. I seem to clean up around here every weekend. This place gets messy pretty fast. Students are always too busy for “tedious” things like cleaning…apparently. I’m a bit squeamish so I try to clean up after myself. Other peoples messes are not my problem…even if they bug me. As long as my space is clean I have somewhere I can escape to when the kitchen looks like thirty people live in our apartment. I swear…something…something in that sink smells.

Whenever I write for characters around my age I start laughing because sometimes my own thoughts bleed into the narration. I have characters who are in their early 20s, living with roommates and trying to cope with the many responsibilities of adulthood. So when I write about them stepping on weird squishy rotting fruit in the kitchen…it’s because this stuff actually happens on a day-to-day basis. I usually end up laughing my head off when I write those kind of scenarios. I usually try not to base characters off of people I know, however you gotta draw inspiration from somewhere. Even if it is your…dirty kitchen that smells like rotting milk. I can’t figure out where that smell is coming from!? If people would just wash their dishes we wouldn’t have this problem. Like, bruh there is a dishwasher! How do you have three weeks worth of dishes in the sink?

I hope my roommates never find this blog post. They’re great guys honestly, but I just…the smell is so bad! I don’t know how to describe it exactly…rotting milk with like a mixture of…I don’t know…moldy…fruit? Like when the fruit gets all fluffy and stuff. That kinda moldy.

It’s sad…when you live at home your parents tell you when stuff needs to be thrown out. When you live alone you kind of just open your fridge and go, “Hey, I forgot I made stir fry…when did I make this again? Oh…oh God…oh that’s…nope…nope uh…Lord help me….trash…sink…I think it’s moving!”

Anyway, I’d better go. Places to go. Things to do.

Enjoy your weekend.

–R.

Thinking and Moving

I’m slowly getting settled in to my new apartment. My room is slightly larger than the one I had at the old place…however there are pesky little bugs everywhere. It’s disgusting really. We were promised that this place would be cleaned out properly over the summer, however that obviously never happened. The first two days were spent cleaning. I had to re-wash all of my clothing, towels and such that had been kept here over the summer. Everything is coming together though. I’m sure by the end of the week it’ll feel a little more like home.

As for my editing progress, I haven’t had a chance to do anything this week. However, I have two days a week off this semester, so I’ll be dedicating those days to working on my personal projects, at least until I have assignments and such to do. Then of course I’ll need to use that time for other things.

I still have a lot of things that I need to get done today. Seems I’ve lost my water filter…and a few other dishes which is bizarre. I know that they were packed away together but I have yet to find them. Honestly, I don’t think I can afford to buy a new one. They’re between $15-$30, but I still need to purchase my books for school, and pay my bills. I suppose in the long run having the filter is better than spending money on large water bottles an jugs every week.

I’ve considered getting a part-time job, but I just finished working two jobs and on top of that it’s my final year. I need to focus on my grades and I have to begin applying for graduate school. There’s a lot that I need to think about right now, which if I could I’d put it all off and forget the fact that I have responsibilities at all. Sadly, I’m one of those people who spend hours upon hours thinking about life, planning my next move, daydreaming about when and where. I’m always thinking about something. Unless I’m really engaged in a project or I’m captivated by a good book…I’m thinking about nothing and everything.

Well, I still have to eat my breakfast so I’d better get started on that. I’m pretty tired out right now. I’m surprised that I crawled out of bed at 8 o’clock this morning. Yesterday I was in bed until 11…which never happens. I’m an early riser. Id like to spent a few hours relaxing before I get rolling…I really don’t feel like doing much at all today. I’ll try to keep my spirits high. Try not to stress myself out over money like I did all summer.

Falling Asleep

Although I enjoy my new job, balancing my fulltime and part-time jobs is tiring. I find myself falling asleep at the end of the day, and wishing that I had more energy. I haven’t had much time for editing either. It doesn’t help that I’m driving into the city for work everyday. It’s three hours of my life in the car. I don’t know if I’ve ever spent over three hours sleeping before. I’m one of those people that wakes up a few times in the night. Strangely, I’m able to nap during the day no problem.

The good thing about my job is that my students are wonderful. They’ve been having a lot of fun, and they make every single day worth it.

Hopefully now that I’ve finished up some of my lesson plans I can get some rest.

I love finding errors in my blog posts from months ago…they’re so small. Like putting “write” instead of “right” because I’m writing.

A new record store just opened up in the mall. They have a Star Wars record player. It would go so well with my DVD collection, mug, t-shirt and…anyway, too bad I already have one collecting dust in my basement. I considered buying my Dad one of the Beach Boys albums for Fathers Day…until a little voice in the back of my head said, “He probably has this one.” because I knew all the songs.

I asked, he has it. I guess it would’ve been a cheap gift anyway, I mean…it was $9.00. Or it may have actually been $19.00 and the one just didn’t print on the little sticker. I noticed that with a few of the other CDs.

I know that most people don’t bother buying music anymore (I just use a YouTube playlist) but there’s this…feeling of joy you get when you get a new CD, with songs you know and songs that you’ve never even heard of. The moment it starts to play, it’s like you’re inside of a movie. Every song tells a story, and you can get lost for hours just listening to them over and over. The little booklets that come along with it, with the lyrics and pictures, and all of the album art add to the feeling. It’s another world. Or…maybe it’s just me.

Well, it’s 7 am now. I’d better get myself registered for my courses. I don’t want them filling up on me now.

Happy, Happy Birthday!

Today is a very special day, for starters it’s my sister’s birthday. She’s 19 now, and officially allowed to go to clubs and casinos. Though I’ve told her…I really don’t think she should try gambling.

It is also the 4th Anniversary of this blog! I can’t believe it’s already been this long.

I also don’t know why I’m awake so early…I’m just waiting till 7 am so I can register for my courses. Apparently I can’t register at 5 in the morning.

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Image from Google. Not my own.

Happy Birthday Sis.

Hope you enjoy your gift.

Yesterday was…nuts.

Yesterday was…nuts. I don’t know how else to describe it. The whole moving process was really disorganized on the landlords part, so I wasn’t able to pick up the keys to my new apartment until 3 o’clock, and that’s when the rain started coming down pretty hard.

My Dad, Uncle, sister and I spent till around 5 o’clock trying to move everything in the rain. I’m glad my Uncle brought his truck over, because I don’t know how we would’ve lugged all that furniture around with all that rain beating down on us. Half the time I couldn’t see. I ended up taking my glasses off because it was blurrier with them on than off.

I feel bad for my Dad and Uncle because we had to go from my apartment which is two hours away from where I life, to my Nana’s to move the stuff outta the truck to my Dad’s car and then everyone had to drive home from there. It of course stopped raining when we got to my Nana’s…and the sun suddenly appeared.

“Curse you Canadian weather!”

It’s been a long time since I’ve walked around with my teeth chattering. Crawling into my childhood bed was probably the best feeling ever when I got home last night. We didn’t get here till 10…and spent time taking stuff out of the car and then lugging it up the stairs. It was a long, long day.

My sister and I didn’t eat anything till about 7 o’clock before we got to my Nana’s. I kept falling asleep in the truck. I’m still pretty tired actually. All I want to do right now is have a nice warm breakfast, and watch cartoons but all my muscles hurt. I think I’ll just waddle downstairs. I keep forgetting my parents have work…for some reason today feels like Saturday. Man…I really don’t want to go back to work just yet. I know I should start as soon as possible but I need a day or two. I went to bed with wet hair…just realized how smart that was…it’s still wet. Shoot. Oh well…I’m gonna go find some of my sweaters. I’m freezing.

–R.

Moving Day

Well I finished packing sometime around 3am…and woke up at 6. I couldn’t seem to sleep. I’m full of all this energy right now. I’m just waiting for 10 o’clock to hit so that I can start moving into my new apartment.

My roommates parents just had the luxury of seeing me in my pajamas. Messy hair, baggy sweat pants and all. I didn’t know they were here. When I heard someone come in this morning I assumed it was my roommate by themselves. Ha…oh well. Isn’t the first time I’ve stumbled upon guests while still in my pajamas. Although wearing one of my Dad’s company shirts is a little awkward. I mean I did some temp work there before…but I don’t have any intention of working in the medical field.

My bedroom walls are bare. No colour in sight. I had drawings and posters all over the place, and now it’s just blank grey space. Oh well, it can be someone else’s canvas now. I’ve always wanted to paint and draw all over a wall in my house. Perhaps when I have my own place and won’t have to pay damages because I drew a random dinosaur on the wall.

I’m sooo hungry right now. I mean, lately I’ve been only having one meal a day. Yesterday I managed to get two meals in. Lucky me. I decided to go for one last poutine before heading home for the summer. Definitely a wise decision. Unfortunately all I have left to eat is apple sauce…but I packed away all my spoons. All I have is this cup of water…and an entire bag of candy. Sadly, my stomach can’t handle eating candy first thing in the morning.

I’m praying it doesn’t rain while we’re moving all this stuff, and loading up the car. I wanted to try to organize what was going home and what was staying here but I decided not to crowd the hallway with all of my stuff.

I honestly cannot wait to go home. All I want to do is sit down and write. I don’t know what day I’m gonna head back to work…I mean, technically I don’t want to go back but I need the money. Somehow I ended up blowing $100 the other day. Yah…apparently splitting the bill when I’m with my younger sister means that she pays $30 and I pay $100. Bye, bye birthday money. Least I still have $275 for my trip. Depending on how many shifts I get at work, I can probably earn that money back pretty quickly.

Seriously though…if they pull any of the stunts they have in the past I’m going to resign. I’m not putting up with the nonsense anymore. I can only bite my tongue for so long. I don’t want any unnecessary stress. I need this time off from school to finally come to terms with a lot of the stuff that’s happened over the past year. There’s a lot of stuff that I didn’t have time to properly deal with, that I need to take care of.

Well, it’s finally 9 am, so I think I’ll start getting dressed. I want to get my keys as soon as possible so that I can start moving the smaller stuff before my folks come to help. I don’t think they need to help me carry pillows and dishes around. Man…it’d be nice to have a car though. That’d make life easier. Who knows maybe I’ll end up with one by the end of the summer. I highly doubt it…with my bank account….maybe once I make some serious money.

Kind of sad that at my age most people don’t have cars, but by the time my Dad was my age, he had gone through 3.

I really wish I was editing right now but I don’t have time. I knew if I rummaged through my backpack and pulled out my rough draft that I’d be going at it, and the morning would zip by. I didn’t want to end up sitting on my mattress trying to type up three or four chapters and then have my Dad banging on the front door wondering where the heck I am.

Well…I guess I’ll start getting ready.

Till next time,

–R.

Books, Editing, Books.

So last night I wrote my final exam of the school year. Thank God. I was ready to be done with my courses back in March. It felt like the year just kept dragging on.

Now that that’s over with I now have time to edit my novel and work on my own projects. My goal is to complete this first edit by next week. I’ve already finished a good chunk, and I figure if I create a schedule I’ll be able to finish by then.

Setting deadlines for myself is extremely helpful, because when I first began writing I couldn’t stop. It was as if no matter what I had to write. Ever since I put my first novel on hold, I’ve been writing in a more…staggered pattern. Usually bouncing between projects, or suddenly choosing to do work out of the blue. It may also have to do with the fact that I’m an English major and I’m being forced to read and write versus doing it because I find it enjoyable.

I’ve recently been asked if I’ve been compiling a list of beta readers and editors. At this time I have a very rough idea of people, however it isn’t set in stone. I decided early on that I wouldn’t ask until I was satisfied with my own edits. Once that’s done I’ll let other people review it.

My Mom attempted to peak at my writing during Easter. I don’t believe I have ever shown her my writing. I’m not sure if it is her taste, and also she tends to prefer reading non-fiction. I think I’ll let her read this novel…since honestly it is a hundred times better than the six book series I’d been working on back in the day…yikes.

Anyway, at this point in time I feel like I’m in the very early stages of editing. I’m trying to tweak the first half of the novel which was written in 2013 to fit my current writing. It can be a little tricky at times, because there are sentences I really like and then there are sentences that I completely tear apart and rearrange. I think when I had started the novel I was trying to work on being more descriptive. This was before I realized that I really enjoy writing dialogue, and began using that to push the story along versus dragging out scenes where I described the colour of the wall. Don’t get my wrong, I don’t dislike lengthy descriptions but unless describing the scene is significant to that particular passage I don’t see a point in making my readers go through “Charles Dickens–like” descriptions.

I’m not bashing Charles Dickens, I just scored one of his novels the other day for only a buck. I have a little collection of his work. Oliver Twist is still my favourite so far, but it might just be because I used to rent Oliver and Company from the library every Friday with my Mom when I was in kindergarten. Those were the good old days. How did my parents not see this coming? I mean, I preferred reading Curious George and Cat in The Hat over going to my swimming lessons. I’ve had a journal since the first grade. I started writing stories when I was like five years old…very interesting ones. Mostly about animals…and occasionally “zoom-bies” but hey, we all start somewhere.

Not to mention my Nana is a book lover, and so are my aunt and uncle on my Dad’s side. I’ve been exposed to people who love to read, and my Dad shares the same name as a well known author (yes he’s been asked to sigh books before).

Yah…how did they not see this? Then again it was my neighbour who told them to put me into music. I Guess the only thing they really noticed was my love for drawing. My Nana actually made a scrap book of drawings I made as a little kid. They’re not terrible.

Well…I have a few things I’d like to do this morning. They’re not exactly work related but I just wrote an exam last night I want to relax for a bit, before I decide to suddenly jump into editing. I’ll probably do a few chapters this afternoon. I also want to do a bit of sketching this weekend.

Well bye for now,

–R.

 

Study, Study, Exam, Sleep…bleh…

I’m almost done exams. I’m so glad. I’ve spent the last few days doing review for a course, and I still have yet to study for my final (yikes!) but oh well. I just want to get this over and done with. I have no doubt that I’ll do well on this exam. I’m usually very calm when I have exams…some people find that strange but I’m grateful for it whenever I talk to my friends because I’m able to also put other people at ease a little bit.

It’s always good to have one calm person around when you’re feeling anxious about something. I know that from performing. I usually can pull off a calm appearance, however inside I’m like “Ah! What is this? Why? Why am I up here? All these people are looking at me!”

Despite all my studying I have managed to do some writing, and I’ve read a couple of books as well. I should have been reading books for my one exam but I guess I have all afternoon today and tomorrow morning for that. I really just need to review some authors names and get familiar with certain passages that we discussed in class.

I’m so glad my last two exams are literally 5 minutes from my apartment because I just wanna write, come home and go to bed. I tried to go to bed around 12 am last night, but instead I think I ended up going to bed around 2 am. I watched cartoons until around 1:20 am…and then I lied down on my pillow and thought about random stuff for a while. I couldn’t sleep. It was like my brain was still going over my notes. I was still studying in between theme songs. I used to do that back in my first year of university. I have to say, studying in between commercials and theme songs is effective. It doesn’t feel like you’re studying but when you take a break and do say…30 minutes of review and then take a break and watch something or go for a run, I find you actually remember more than when you try to cram everything in last-minute.

I really don’t feel like putting on jeans or anything to go write an exam. It’s funny cause for my last exam I was…basically dressed to go out somewhere important…this exam is early in the morning. Sweats. All. Day. I’m in the mood to feel comfortable. I would rather just go, write, come home and sleep for a few hours. Trust me…I need the sleep.

Try to imagine studying for an exam in which half of the questions are related to sleep, and or the lack of and you haven’t been sleeping properly. Yah…so I’m gonna get me some proper sleep. I also haven’t had more than one meal a day. I went out for sushi on Monday with my sister and her friend. So I ate that…and then yesterday I made us some steaks for dinner. So in the last two days all I’ve had was steak and sushi. Now…I did eat half of my chocolate bunny that my aunt gave me on the weekend (all the kids got them…even the big kids), but chips for breakfast and lunch is honestly disgusting. I can’t do…I don’t know why I did it. We’re out of milk and bread and eggs…certain things we just don’t need to buy because we’re done for the school year. I really just wanna write this exam. I feel like I should be writing it at this very second.

Other than the little bit of writing I got to do in between studying, I also managed to draw a bit, which was pretty cool. Write now I’m praying that everything goes well. The beginning of the school year was extremely stressful, and I think because of that I ended up slacking off a ton throughout the year. I couldn’t deal with the stress…so there were things that I avoided and I do regret doing so. At the same time, I’m glad I was able to get through all of it. There are people I know who went through some really rough stuff this year and they had a lot of trouble trying to cope. It was too much on them…and thankfully they had people around who were able to be there for them when the time came.

I know that because of my personality, I tend to try to suck it up and hold things in. I get it from my Dad. He and my sister might have similar personalities…to the point where they’re almost the same person but I did adopt that trait. I guess that’s part of why I end up snapping once in a while. People can only handle so much. If I don’t have an outlet then I end up bottling everything inside. Over time I start to feel heavy. If you’ve ever opened up a bottle of pop that’s been shaken, that’s almost what it’s like. Suddenly all of this stuff comes shooting out and there’s no way to stop it…but after a few minutes everything’s calm and it seems as if nothing happened. I guess the only difference between myself and a bottle of pop is that I can clean myself up after I explode. It is definitely one thing I’d like to change about myself, because people assume I’ll just put up with certain things. Usually if I see another person who is being mistreated I get up and say something without thinking…I’ve been like this since I was a kid. However, when it comes to myself I do the whole three strike thing.

Anyway, I’m feeling a lot more…awake now. I’m ready to go and write this exam. I just wanna go in any ace this and then come home and embrace my pillow. I often express my relationship to my pillow when I write about my character who doesn’t sleep…he and I have a lot in common. Besides…well…some stuff I won’t mention since that would spoil the story.