12 Monkeys, under duress

I’m not a big fan of TV at all but Grumpy, being disabled, depends on it for entertainment and distraction. As a consequence I watch a lot of TV, none of it of my choosing. He’s a huge fan of the SyFy channel, so when they introduce a new series we usually watch it. Another feature of watching TV with Grumpy is this: he tends to fall asleep before the end. I frequently find myself watching the same shows over and over and over…

SyFy recently began their new series, 12 Monkeys, based on a movie of the same name. I’ve seen the movie many times, and now (against my will) I’ve watched every episode (so far) of the TV show many times. I feel like I’m uniquely qualified to write a review.

12 Monkeys (the series) is exactly like 12 Monkeys (the movie), but without Terry Gilliam, Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Madeleine Stowe, the amazing score, the original premise, great dialog, character development, etc., etc., etc.

When I first heard they were making the series, I wondered how they were going to do it. The movie told the whole story, and the story was cyclical. How would they be able to make a series that fits in with that universe? And the answer is: they didn’t. They kept the title, some of the names of some of the characters, a virus and time travel, and discarded everything that made the movie so amazing.

On the positive side, there’s nothing about the show interesting enough to distract me from my book.

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Plank you… plank you very much.

A while back I read this excellent article on Lorieb’s blog explaining the many benefits to be gained by doing planks. And because I’m a copycat, I attempted a plank at the first opportunity. Wow… I made it about 5 seconds. I probably could have gone longer, but I was stunned by how hard it was, so I collapsed and spent a few minutes lying on the floor feeling like a slug. And then I realized, this is the perfect exercise for me.

I’m probably the least athletic (otherwise healthy) person I know. From time to time I make an attempt to exercise, but I always fail. Usually I fail because I bite off more than I can chew. “I’ll do an hour on the treadmill every day!”, she said. And that never works. So here’s what I decided to do: twice a day, for 60 seconds, I’ll do a plank. Two minutes a day, during which I don’t have to move at all. Surely even I can keep up with THAT exercise plan.

So I set an alarm on my phone to remind me, twice a day, to do my plank. My phone is responsible for nagging me about things I need to do, so I’m already in the habit of obeying when it gives me orders. Day one…did my two planks, no problem. It was really hard, but I made it. Oh, did I mention I’m doing the very easiest of all the planks? I call them remedial planks. Day two… whoa! Day two is much harder! I guess two minutes a day can do something, after all.

I’ve been at this for a couple of weeks now, and most of it has been uneventful. I’ve found that I can successfully maintain my plank while laughing (because the dog likes to throw tennis balls at me while I’m on the floor), spitting and cussing (because the cat dared to walk under my face), and yelling (“hon, can you do me a favor?!”  “just a minute!”  “are you made at me?!”  “no!”  “you sound mad”). And a few days ago I found that the remedial planks were getting a little bit easy, so I started doing part of each plank at the next level up. As long as my phone keeps telling me to, I’ll keep this up. You should give it a try.

No no-poo, please!

I decided to try this thing people are doing now… I call it “not washing my hair”, but according to the websites it’s actually called “no-poo” or “co-poo”. I tried it for a few days, and it worked fine.  My hair didn’t feel dirty or oily, and it was actually kind of nice, but today I just felt like shampooing my hair, so I did. But that’s not why I’m not going to continue this. I’m not going to continue this because they call it “no-poo” or “co-poo”. I just can’t.

Do a quick search on “no-poo” and you’ll find plenty of people talking about it, as if it’s normal… as if it doesn’t sound like they need to see a doctor immediately.  Some of them put it between quotation marks, and I respect them a little bit more. I can imagine them cringing as they type it, and that makes me feel a little better. But I still hate it. “Co-poo” is no better.

It makes me uncomfortable in the same way that I feel uncomfortable when a little kid I barely know tells me he needs to have his “bm”.

“Is Mommy a nurse? mmm-hmm. Okay, well, would you do me a little favor and from now on just quietly say you need to poo-poo, or doodie, or whatever the other kids are calling it? Because now that you’ve announced that you need to have a bm all the other kids want one too, so I’m going to have to explain to them what a bm is. And then when your mothers get back from church I’m going to have to explain to all of them why one of you is crying and the rest of you are laughing. And, I know you don’t understand this now because you’re only 3, but your name begins with the letter B, so if you don’t stop this before the other kids learn the alphabet you’re on a fast train to BM-Bradsville. Okay, c’mon, Bradley… let’s go potty”.

Yet another oil pulling diary

I decided to try oil pulling because, hey, everyone’s doing it!  And I decided to blog about it because, hey, everyone’s doing it!  The benefits of oil pulling are supposed to be endless, depending on whom you read.  I’m led to believe that I can expect anything from nothing at all, to immortality, with emphasis on whiter teeth and fresher breath.

Day 1 – Bought a big tub of organic virgin coconut oil on my lunch break.  You’re supposed to do this on an empty stomach (why?), but I’m way too excited to wait, so I try it out as soon as I get home from work.  Some people report gagging or a revulsion to having a mouth full of oil on their first attempt.  I didn’t have this problem.  I attribute this to the diet I’ve been on for what seems like forever.  A mouthful of coconut oil is practically dessert to me.  Yum.  Swished it around for 20 minutes, as directed, while I took a bath and read Facebook posts.  Afterwards I wished that I had flossed first.  Flossed and brushed after, instead.  Went to bed, having experienced no miracles.

Day 2 – Woke up, scooped up a big spoonful of coconut oil, and went at it.  Took a bath (yes, again.  I love baths.  Sue me) and caught up on Facebook.  Spit out my oil after 20 minutes and inspected my teeth.  The backs of my teeth have no tobacco stains at all.  This is normal because I quit smoking almost 6 years ago, but I rarely look at the backs of my teeth so it was nice to see them all white and pretty.  Oil pulling doesn’t get to take credit for it, but it does get to say, “made ya look”.  Drank a whole pint of water at once (another new thing I’m doing now) and went into the kitchen to cook my breakfast.  I thought about cooking my eggs in coconut oil.  Told myself, “no way, only vegans cook their eggs in coconut oil!”.  Laughed at my own joke, cooked my eggs in butter, and had a lovely breakfast.  The instant I swallowed my last bite of eggs I was tasting coconut again.  I love coconut, and I really hope this doesn’t make me hate it.  After about an hour I couldn’t take it anymore and I got a breath mint.  Maybe this is how oil pulling cures bad breath.

And that’s probably the last you’ll hear of my oil pulling experiment.  I’ll keep doing it for a while, because I’ve got that big tub of coconut oil.  If something wonderful happens (like if I lose weight or look younger or win the lottery) I might buy another tub of oil.

Unexpected update: day 3 – what was I thinking? 20 minutes a day of oil swishing? Using the rest of the coconut oil for stir fry.