Category Archives: fitness

My 48 Hours

Last Thursday, while I was still at work, T– took the kids to Wichita to spend some time with her family there. The plan was to stay through a big birthday party Saturday evening, then drive home late Saturday night.

I intended, as I often do on these occasions, to take advantage of the peace and quiet to get some good work done. Mainly I had some computer stuff I wanted to do — reviewing a blog for a new friend, getting caught up on my own blogging after a busy few weeks, and putting together some notes on a new project I’m working on (the Consortium). I figured I’d do a little lawn and house work, too, since our property got hit pretty hard with last week’s apocalyptic hailstorm.

Anyway, when I got home from work to an empty house Thursday afternoon, the first thing I did was make a To Do list. (I estimated roughly that each item in the “Must Do” list should represent about 90 minutes of work).

  • Must Do
    • Thursday night
      • Write Sun/Mon/Tue blog posts for next week
      • Prepare newsletter for Saturday
    • Friday morning
      • Mow the lawn
      • Clean out the gutters
    • Friday afternoon
      • Write Thu/Fri/Sat blog posts for next week
      • Set up blog review spreadsheet on GDocs
    • Friday night
      • Review Julie’s blog posts
      • Review Julie’s blog posts
    • Saturday morning
      • Chainsaw some trees
      • Paint hall and bathrooms
    • Saturday afternoon
      • Review Julie’s blog posts
      • Review Julie’s blog posts
    • Saturday night
      • Edit and link next week’s blog posts
      • Prepare next Saturday’s newsletter
    • Sunday afternoon
      • Email Julie about the Consortium
      • Complete detailed descriptions of the Consortium in Wave
    • Sunday night
      • Write Sun/Mon/Tues blog posts for next week
      • Outline blog posts for June
  • Remember to Eat!
    • Lunch with D– (discuss Consortium as non-profit)
    • Dinner with K– and N– (discuss Consortium network/software)
    • Lunch with Courtney (recruit her to the Consortium)
    • Dinner with B– (discuss Consortium business plan)
  • Extra Credit (if I have free time)
    • Recruit Carlos to the Consortium
    • Social Writing
    • Help Toby program BookMaker utility
    • Get in touch with Doolin
    • Email Julie about blog review
    • Get Courtney her photos (from a Julie V shoot)
    • Design novel template in GDocs
    • Scan many things
    • Edit/link guest posts for Doolin
    • Make chapters for Carlos’s e-Book
    • Review Carlos’s other support requests
    • Call OU Admissions department
    • Email Shawn about the Consortium
    • Finish Ivanhoe
    • Email Courtney about her blog
    • Contact Schwinn customer support
    • Lowe’s run
    • Fix exterior lights
    • Drop seed, weed killer, and fertilizer on lawn
    • Clean out garage work area
    • Put some stuff in the attic
    • Convert Becca’s and Bryce’s books to e-Book format
    • Read Becca’s and Bryce’s books
    • Check out Courtney’s new WIP on GDocs
    • Write Thursday’s Creative Copy Challenge post
    • Reply to many comments on my blog and Doolin’s

Those were my 48 items in 48 hours (I mentioned them on Facebook). And…well, technically four of those items were scheduled for Sunday, but I’d have my whole family home on Sunday so I figured I’d need to get much of that done in advance.

Of course, I ended up adding to the list before I was done.

  • Added since Thursday afternoon (all extra credit)
    • Email Courtney about new photo policy at my blog
    • Update About Page photos in color
    • Clean up storm detritus on driveway, porch, and sidewalks
    • Replace shattered plastic house numbers over garage
    • Pick up a birthday gift for K–
    • Fix fallen A/C register and attach headboard to bedframe
    • Murder weeds growing in driveway, porch, and sidewalks
    • Patch busted wood trim around bathroom door
    • Caulk floor joints both bathroom
    • Organize tool chest drawers
    • Wash and put away three loads of laundry
    • Paint over garage hail damage
    • Take out the trash
    • Do the dishes
    • Email Cindy about the Consortium as a non-profit

And I made time for my 4.5-mile jog every morning, because with all that cerebral work going on, I needed some physical exertion to balance it out.

The problem, it turned out, was that 45 minutes jogging wasn’t close to enough time to balance it out. I got started working on the lawn Friday morning, and found myself still working outside when it came time to go to dinner Friday night. Woke up Saturday, went for my jog, and figured since I was going to have to shower anyway, I should do a thing or two outside first.

By the end of the day Saturday (my forty-eight hours), I’d spent about fourteen hours sleeping, eight hours at business/social meals, and a hair over an hour (total) sitting at my computer. The other twenty-five hours I spent toiling — repairing my house, cleaning, or working in the yard. And none of that was by choice or priority — it just sort of happened. I was driven.

When everything was said and done, by the time I went to bed Sunday night, I’d completed 34 of the 62 items on my To Do list, including just half of the “Must Do” items. The finished list looked like this:

  • Must Do
    • Thursday night
      • Write Sun/Mon/Tue blog posts for next week
      • Prepare newsletter for Saturday
    • Friday morning
      • Mow the lawn
      • Clean out the gutters
    • Friday afternoon
      • Write Thu/Fri/Sat blog posts for next week
      • Set up blog review spreadsheet on GDocs
    • Friday night
      • Read Julie’s blog posts
      • Read Julie’s blog posts
    • Saturday morning
      • Chainsaw some trees
      • Paint hall and bathrooms
    • Saturday afternoon
      • Read Julie’s blog posts
      • Read Julie’s blog posts
    • Saturday night
      • Edit and link next week’s blog posts
      • Prepare next Saturday’s newsletter
    • Sunday afternoon
      • Email Julie about the Consortium
      • Complete detailed descriptions of the Consortium in Wave
    • Sunday night
      • Write Sun/Mon/Tues blog posts for next week
      • Outline blog posts for June
  • Remember to Eat!
    • Lunch with Dan (discuss Consortium as non-profit)
    • Dinner with Austins (discuss Consortium network/software)
    • Lunch with Courtney (recruit her to the Consortium)
    • Dinner with Bruce (discuss Consortium business plan)
  • Extra Credit (if I have free time)
    • Recruit Carlos to the Consortium
    • Social Writing
    • Help Toby program BookMaker utility
    • Get in touch with Doolin
    • Email Julie about blog review
    • Get Courtney her photos (from a Julie V shoot)
    • Design novel template in GDocs
    • Scan many things
    • Edit/Link guest posts for Doolin
    • Make chapters for Carlos’s e-Book
    • Review Carlos’s other support requests
    • Call OU Admissions department
    • Email Shawn about the Consortium
    • Finish Ivanhoe
    • Email Courtney about her blog
    • Contact Schwinn customer support
    • Lowe’s run
    • Fix exterior lights
    • Drop seed, weed killer, and fertilizer on lawn
    • Clean out garage work area
    • Put some stuff in the attic
    • Convert Becca’s and Bryce’s books to e-Book format
    • Read Becca’s and Bryce’s books
    • Check out Courtney’s new WIP on GDocs
    • Write Thursday’s Creative Copy Challenge post
    • Reply to many comments on my blog and Doolin’s
    • Email Courtney about new photo policy at my blog
    • Update About Page photos in color
    • Clean up storm detritus on driveway, porch, and sidewalks
    • Replace shattered plastic house numbers over garage
    • Pick up a birthday gift for Kris
    • Fix fallen A/C register and attach headboard to bedframe
    • Murder weeds growing in driveway, porch, and sidewalks
    • Patch busted wood trim around bathroom door
    • Caulk floor joints both bathroom
    • Organize tool chest drawers
    • Wash and put away three loads of laundry
    • Paint over garage hail damage
    • Take out the trash
    • Do the dishes
    • Email Cindy about the Consortium as a non-profit

Journal Entry: September 4, 2009

Big week for me, so yeah I should have been posting regularly. But, then, it was a big week for me, so I had other stuff to do.

Starting with getting sick.

Sunday
(Yes, I already did Sunday, just bear with me.)

Sunday morning I woke up with the sniffles and a severe, sinus-related headache — harkening back to the Sunday only two weeks before, when I went through the same thing. That one was short-lived, though….

This one has lingered. And grown.

Monday
So, yeah, Monday morning I woke up feeling pretty out-of-it and miserable, but I just assumed (with my big first day of school looming) that it was a social anxiety thing. Every now and then I’d stop and think, “Wait, this feels more like a head cold than an anxiety attack,” but then I’d just call myself silly because, after all, I had a big terrifying Event looming. Of course it was anxiety!

I went to work Monday, and then got home to an empty house because T– had AB at the grocery store with her. D– came over, and T– brought a pizza home with her, and we all had a pleasant dinner. Then T– took AB to go shopping with my little sister, and D– drove me up to Full Circle Bookstore for social writing.

It was just the two of us this time, and we both got a lot done. We wrote about a thousand words each, in two hours at the coffee shop, then headed down to the restaurant for an hour of good conversation. I got home a little after ten, and went straight to bed.

Tuesday
Tuesday morning I went in to work, and spent most of my time there answering coworkers who started conversations with, “Today’s the big day, huh? Are you ready?” And my answer was always, “Sure I’m ready! I’ve been doing this for seven years. All I have to do is show up, and start talking. I’ll fill an hour like that!”

Noon rolled around, and I headed home. I took the afternoon off, so I wouldn’t have to rush hither and thither on my first day of classes. Had lunch with T– and AB, grabbed my laptop, and headed up to the school. I’ll tell you all about my first class session in a separate post.

In brief, though, it didn’t go well. And, on top of all that, I was sick. I still suspected at the time that it was a response to the stress of the day, but that certainly didn’t lessen after class was over. I drove home, desperately glad I wasn’t supposed to go back to work, and crashed on the couch, and did nothing else for the rest of the day. I did watch AB while T– went grocery shopping, but that consisted mostly of stretching out on the couch, one arm over my eyes, and half-heartedly saying, “Don’t make a mess” while she watched TV and played with her puzzles.

Wednesday
Wednesday morning I woke up early and went to work, then slipped out halfway through the morning to see my doctor for my annual physical. I haven’t gotten any of the lab results back yet, but for the most part everything’s good. He’s got me back on Benicar for my blood pressure, but even that is much better than it was a year ago. He said if I can get my diastolic down by ten points, I can probably go off it altogether. So that’s my six-month goal.

Anyway, after that I went right back to work. Mid-afternoon I was chatting with T– and asked her about dinner plans and she reminded me that she was going out with Becca, and I was watching AB. So that was that.

I got home, and she left, and AB and I played in the living room for an hour or so before D– showed up. Then the three of us ran up to Taco Bueno to grab some dinner. Afterward AB crawled up next to me on the couch while I was poking around on Facebook, and she jabbed a finger at the screen, at my little profile photo, and said, “That’s you, Daddy!”

And I said, “It is!” and opened the photo up larger so she could see it. Then she started looking through all the little thumbnails on the screen, trying to spot people she recognized, and we played that game for fifteen minutes or so.

When she got bored of that, I set her up on T–‘s laptop watching really, really old episodes of Sesame Street, and D– and I played WoW. That carried us through to AB’s bedtime.

Then D– left and T– and I watched some Lie to Me, and then it was tomorrow.

Thursday
My Tuesday-Thursday class is what we’re calling a “hybrid online course,” which means we’re meeting in class on Tuesdays, and then on Thursdays the students go to the school’s e-classroom website and watch a recorded lecture, get an assignment, and work on that over the weekend. Next Tuesday when we meet for class, we’ll go over the assignment before I launch into my lecture.

Anyway, that meant I didn’t have to go out to the school on Thursday, but I did have to get the online lecture put together. That…didn’t end up happening, for technical reasons. I posted the assignment, and I put together a heavily-illustrated tutorial (How to Write a Business Letter) that I made available, and I sent them an email saying, “Sorry, but I’m having technical problems so your lecture won’t be available until tomorrow. If you’re in a hurry to get started, check out the tutorial posted online.”

Not the best way to get started. In the process, though, I came up with a really great process for developing my online lectures. I was able to convert the illustrations in my tutorial directly into PowerPoint slides for the lecture, and use the text as a script for my voiceover. That lets me develop the lecture to my strengths (that is, tech writing), produce a useful lecture, and also have a well-made tutorial document left over when I’m done. That seems like a good thing all around.

Anyway, I took care of that yesterday, finishing it up in the early evening. T– made sloppy joes for dinner, I played WoW, and after AB went to bed we watched the last episode of Lie to Me. It was intense.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.

Journal Entry: July 14, 2009

Yesterday morning (you’ll recall) I was complaining about crippling back pain. During the course of the day I did some stretches my physical therapist had taught me a year ago (and prayed a lot), and by the end of the day I was walking normal.

My back was still a little sore, but I basically spent the whole evening saying to myself, “If I can move this well when I wake up in the morning, I’ll be fine.” I remember when I first injured my back a year ago it took me three months of agony before I even went to a doctor about it, and then another two months after that before I was better. Yesterday morning I was pretty sure I had that to look forward to again because of the work I did last Wednesday.

This morning, I could move as well as I did last night. So I guess I’m fine. Praise the Lord.

Anyway, after work yesterday I skipped my workout because of the back pain. Instead I took care of a couple little chores, and then T– and I headed to dinner in separate vehicles. I drove my boss’s BMW, and T– drove the new Saturn. We went to Taco Bueno, and then from there out to my boss’s house in Mustang (about forty-five minutes’ drive from our house) to return the borrowed car.

Irene and her husband came out to greet us and check out the new car, and they were suitably impressed. AB also enjoyed getting to meet Irene’s little boy. We probably would have stayed longer, but it was so hot out. We headed home around 7:30, and got home in time to bed AB down to bed.

After that I worked on some stuff in the office for a little bit, then joined T– in the living room to watch an episode of Flight of the Conchords (which leaves us with only three left in the season). Then we went to bed to read for a while, and a while became “not very long” because we were both exhausted.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.

Journal Entry: May 12, 2009

Sunday morning, I woke up early enough to have a delicious breakfast and then write a rather extensive blog post before rushing off to church with T–‘s family.

Afterward we celebrated Mother’s Day with the whole clan by throwing a cookout at her parents’ place. The men provided and prepared the food. For me, that consisted of buying a couple bags of chips and some soda. To legitimize the process a bit, I let AB choose the chips.

Anyway, the party lasted a couple hours and then people started slipping away. Around 3:00, when the house was finally empty, we put AB down for a nap and then left her in her grandparents’ care while T– and I headed up to the mall.

I’d bought her some clothes for Mother’s Day and, of course, got the wrong size. Further, the place I got them from (Motherhood Maternity or something along those lines) has a demonically brutal return policy, so instead of a present I basically got her an errand. We turned it into a positive, though, by taking the afternoon for some shopping time together. We ended up a Town West mall which was a real blast from the past. (For me it was the first time since high school.)

Then we picked up a Papa Murphey’s pizza on the way home, had that for dinner, and headed back to OKC around seven. That put us in a little after nine, and by the time we got AB in bed and all our stuff in from the car, we basically had time to watch an episode of Scrubs before going to bed. We ended up watching three.

Monday morning I woke up sore again, and when I got home from work I decided to try a different tack. I spent forty minutes on the elliptical machine — no resistance, and at a relatively slow pace — and when I was done I felt better than I had in days. Then I spent several hours folded into the couch, working on my laptop while we watched Monday night television, so I did another ten minutes before I went to bed. Today I woke up feeling a lot better. So that’s promising.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.

Journal Entry: April 20, 2009

Friday afternoon I got off work an hour early. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home to pick up chili fixins, then got it started and turned it down to simmer. T– agreed to stir it for me, so I disappeared into the office for my workout.

After that I took a quick shower, and by the time I was done D– was already at the house. K– and N– came over shortly after, and we all sat down to a delicious dinner (if I do say so myself). Afterward we watched last week’s Lost, which K– and N– had put off so they could watch it with us (something my astute readers will recall that we, thanks to a mix-up on my part, had not done). Anyway, it was well worth a second watch.

After that K– and N– headed home. D– and I sat up for a while discussing movies, but exhaustion drove me to bed before too long. It was probably 10:30 when I kicked D– out.

Saturday morning I woke up early (for reasons of my own), and got in my workout before seven. Then we all spent some time lolling around the living room until T– took AB with her to the ladies’ luncheon at church. That had her out until noon-ish, so I called D– and asked him if he wanted to join me for some really crappy Mexican food for lunch. We went to Pancho’s, which is a place I remember fondly from my childhood. I’ve been a couple times in my adulthood and, seriously, it’s really crappy Mexican food. As D– observed, you’re basically paying $8 for a lunch buffet that consists of the kind of food you can get out of a plastic tray in the frozen food aisle at your grocery store.

Oh, and not only is it lousy food, but the only one in town is half an hour away, so we wasted nearly two hours on the venture. But, y’know, none of it really took me by surprise. I dunno, it was just a weird craving for an awful Saturday-morning experience.

We got back home a little bit before T– did, and I played a little Too Human. Then we watched some TV during AB’s nap. After about an hour of that, I helped T– load the car, because she had a crop Saturday night, and needed to early to get some shopping done. I stayed home to watch AB, and D– hung around to help out.

K– came over around 5:00 with his little one, after dropping N– off at the crop, and we all sat around watching Clifford the Big Red Dog for forty minutes or so. Then D– and I took AB up to McDonalds to grab some dinner for all of us, and when we were done eating I set up Rock Band. That was considerably more fun.

AB got the first turn, banging on the drums in Freestyle Mode, then D– and K– played for a bit while I chased AB around. 8:30 finally rolled around and I put her in bed, then I joined in for a few songs before my knee started bothering me.

Once again I was just exhausted by the end of the day (the cruel combination of forty-minute workouts and early mornings), so I sent D– home around 10:30 and crashed early.

Sunday morning I woke up at six again, but this time I made liberal use of the snooze button so I didn’t get out of bed until nine. Then I got cleaned up and met the girls at church, but we left early so as to get to our Easter party on time.

Some family friends of D–‘s, the Huddlestons, have sort of taken AB as an adopted granddaughter. (Pictures of Diana at the zoo with AB and T– litter T–‘s blog, and she also went along with them to Sesame Street Live recently.) Anyway, she wanted to have a big Easter egg hunt, and invited my little sister’s family and K– and N–, too. So we all drove out to their place in the country east of I-35 for lunch — grilled chicken breasts — and then the egg hunt.

Glorious pictures were taken, and I think everybody had a great time. We got home around 3:00, and had no real plans for the rest of the day. I went back to my office to write, and ended up spending most of the time working on the fantasy project D– and I are working on together, and chatting with Carlos about it. I felt bad for not making progress on the Ghost Targets book, but it was a fun diversion to spend an afternoon working on the other series.

After that I did my workout, and that brought me to 21 days in a row. I’ve read before that it takes 21 days of repeating a new action to make a habit of it, so I’m hoping to benefit from that. Anyway, whether that’s true or not, 21 days was my goal, and I managed it somehow. So yay! Let’s all celebrate.

I finished that, got cleaned up, and then T– suggested Johnny Carinos for dinner. We invited D– to join us, and while we were there Dr. Baird got seated at the next table over. He was my favorite Bible professor in college, but it’s been so long since we last talked that I didn’t think it was appropriate to interrupt him at dinner. He had a full table of guests, in addition to his family. It was still a surprising turn of events, though.

Then the night went to getting caught up on Kings, and after that we had to watch some Home Movies to cleanse the palate because, damn, that is some serious TV.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.

Journal Entry: April 9, 2009

Friday
Friday night I got home from work and spent 40 minutes on the elliptical machine. Then I showered and had a quick dinner with T– in which she lamented the trial of potty training. After supper we were supposed to go over to my sister’s place to help set up for a party Saturday night, but I suggested T– go ahead and head over, and I would spend some time working with AB.

We went to the bathroom and I just made her sit on her potty until she did something. It was extremely unfun, for both of us. In the end, it took over an hour and a half, but she finally did it and I think that helped her (a little bit) get over the terror of doing something new.

Anyway, I’d spent the whole time telling her that as soon as she was done she could go see her cousins (something she was really excited about). As her bedtime rolled closer and closer I was ready to give up on it all and just put her in bed in a diaper, but it was right at 8:30 when she sealed the deal, and I could hardly back out of a promise after she’d done what I asked, so I packed her up and we drove out to my sister’s place.

I got a sneak peek at some of the party prep (and they put a lot of work into it), and AB spent half an hour or so playing with the girls, then we all headed back home. AB got to bed, and I went to my office to do a little writing.

Saturday
Saturday morning I did my workout — forty minutes on the machine — and then as soon as I was cleaned up we headed out to meet Mom and Dad and my sister’s family at IHOP for brunch, 11-ish, and we all crowded into a booth meant for maybe six people. Service was slow (as it usually is at IHOP), so even though the food was delicious it was hard to enjoy it because T– and I ended up having to rush out of there for a 12:30 commitment.

That was babysitting. K– and N– brought little Jason over, and we got to spend a couple hours watching Word World with AB while we passed a sleeping Jason back and forth. I think T– changed one diaper, but other than that there wasn’t much work to it. AB was a bigger handful.

K– and N– came to pick him up around two, and they hung around to talk for a bit. That was fun.

Then they left, and a little bit after that (around four) T– headed over to my sister’s place to help finish getting ready for the party at six. I watched AB for about an hour, then got her in her dragon costume and tried on my Warlock costume, which was mix-and-match of a pirate costume and a wizard costume from Halloweens past, plus a very WoW-styled set of shoulder armor that we’d built out of papier mache.

The party was for my brother-in-law’s thirtieth birthday, and he’s probably the most dedicated WoW player out of our group of pretty dedicated WoW players, so my sister decided to throw a costume party (and somehow convinced a bunch of people to go along). There’s a detailed description of the party at my sister’s blog, in case you want to know more, but my parents were there, as were K– and N–, and Toby and Gwyn, and Jeff’s brother, Greg.

Instead of party games we had quests. Mom and Dad got really into the costume portion, which was hilarious. My favorite bit was the food, though, which was set out in a buffet and each part of it labeled after an in-game food item. I laughed out loud when I saw the cheese tray bearing the tooltip text for Alterac Swiss.

Sunday
Sunday morning I got up early enough to do my workout, but halfway through it I heard a crash and rushed out of the office to find AB bleeding in the bathroom, with T– trying to tend to her. We had been using a glass jar for her candy rewards, but I guess she’d gotten a little greedy and tried to reward herself, and let the jar crash to the floor. She cut her middle finger — just a little slice, but it was bleeding like crazy, and she was freaking out.

It took us a good twenty minutes of fighting with her to get it cleaned up and get a bandaid on (then, of course, she immediately calmed down). T– took her to get dressed, and I went back to the office to resume my workout. Just as I finished, though, T– poked her head in the door to tell me they were leaving for church.

I’d lost track of the time spent taking care of AB, and my workout ran over. Worse, we’d left one of our cars at my sister’s place on Saturday night, so I couldn’t just show up late. Mom and Dad were supposed to be bringing it to church with them, though, so T– suggested I call them and ask them to drop it off at the house on their way. Then she and AB left for church while I jumped in the shower.

Unfortunately, my phone was in the car that T– took to church, so that little plan didn’t work out. I ended up spending that hour or so playing Too Human, until Dad knocked on the door after service to let me know Mom was waiting in the car to take me up to Ole for lunch. It was another big family lunch (and this time D– joined us). Afterward we said our goodbyes to Mom and Dad, then headed home for a quiet Sunday afternoon. D– came over to hang out, after a busy weekend with a visiting college buddy, and we watched some TV while AB napped.

Then T– took AB to Small Groups at the church. I asked D– what sounded good for dinner, and he suggested going to a movie. We ended up seeing I Love You, Man — and no, the humor of the two of us going to see a movie about bromance and man-dates was not in the least lost on us. The movie itself was awesome, though. I highly recommend it.

I got home around nine-thirty, and instead of writing I watched some TV with T–.

Monday
Monday morning I got to work and spent my time reviewing for the Graduate Records Exam. I’d signed up for it last week sometime, and was scheduled to take the test at 12:30. I spent maybe an hour and a half reviewing, and that was just about enough time to get me really freaked out.

I grabbed some lunch on the way to the testing center, then showed up a little bit early and ate in the parking lot. When I got in, they gave me a clipboard to verify some of my registration information, then showed me in right away to get started. I was probably answering questions by noon, even though my appointment wasn’t until 12:30.

The test is listed as a four-hour process, but I did it in two. It consists of a written portion — two essays, which I would swear are just stoner traps — and then a multiple-choice Verbal (or English) portion and a multiple-choice Quantitative (or Math) portion. I did 700 in Verbal and 670 in Quantitative. The max. possible is 800, but apparently the Verbal portion is a lot harder than the Quantitative, because even with my scores so close together they come out to 96th percentile and 76th percentile respectively.

I’m doing all of this to get into the Masters of Professional Writing program at OU, though, and their only requirement is a 500 in Verbal, so I nailed that. They’re also interested in my writing score, which I won’t have back for another two weeks, but I feel like I did pretty well.

I’d already taken the whole afternoon off work, so I went ahead and headed home. I spent some time discussing the test with T–, then headed to the office and did my forty minutes while she took AB to do the grocery shopping. She picked up Mazzio’s on the way home, and we had a quiet evening watching TV. At nine I headed to the office, and got a little writing done.

Oh! After our tortuous experiences with AB Friday, Saturday, and then Sunday morning, we gave up on the whole making her sit on the potty thing. She spent most of the rest of Sunday in a diaper, actually. Then on Monday, all on her own, she kept rushing to the bathroom whenever she needed to go. She only had one accident all day, and I think five or six successful trips.

Tuesday
Tuesday AB realized that she could use her bathroom trips as a mechanism to get free candy, and started trying to figure out how to game the system. So that’s a little frustrating, but overall she has made remarkable progress, which has continued to present. I’ll resume my moratorium on discussing her potty training now.

Tuesday night wasn’t a super exciting one. I came home from work, worket out, had dinner (T– made some of her famous chicken crescent squares, which were delicious), then we watched a little TV. Instead of trying to write, I just went to bed early, but that didn’t gain me much. I was still late waking on Wednesday.

Wednesday
Wednesday after work I rushed home to try to get my workout in before dinner, which we’d decided to have at home. Halfway through I paused to place the order, then finished up, grabbed a quick shower, and rushed up to P F Chang’s to pick up our food.

Fantastic dinner, and not too ridiculously expensive. AB really does love the hot and sour soup, which weirds me out.

After that T– took AB to church, and D– read through his newsfeed while I played Too Human. We were all just waiting for 8:30, though, to catch this week’s Lost. It was a great one. I spent most of the show thinking, “I can’t wait to read about this on Lostpedia.” Think that sad if you will, I just consider it a recognition of the depth of their mythology. I enjoy learning about what’s included, but unaccessible on a casual viewing.

Anyway, after that D– went home, and one again I went to bed without writing. Since last Thursday, I’ve gotten about 2,000 words done, which is basically one third of my minimum writing goal (1,000 words a day). I’ve done enough to finish chapter 8, but I haven’t been terribly productive.

I’m not really beating myself up about it, though, because while that’s flagging I am busy doing a tremendous job on my workouts. I’ve now done a serious workout every day since I got the elliptical machine. I worked up to my 40-minute target in four days, and I’ve stayed at that ever since, without missing a day. This weekend could be a problem because we’re spending three days in Little Rock, but I’m going to try to get in my workout before we leave tomorrow morning and then do one as soon as we get home Sunday night, so I’ll only miss one day. Maybe I’ll even make myself go for a walk on Saturday. We’ll see.

Anyway, things roll ever onward. For the moment, the outlook is nice.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.

Journal Entry: April 1, 2009

Yesterday at work I got started on my application to OU. I wrote several of my old professors requesting letters of reference (and already got two positive responses, which is enough for the actual requirements). I signed up to take the GRE next Monday, and prepared a 50-consecutive-page writing sample (I just went with the first four chapters of Gods Tomorrow), and updated my resume. All I’ve got left to do is prepare a letter of intent — a 3-page essay describing my career goals and why I think OU should admit me to their program. I can handle that.

After work I had a pretty short evening. I got home while T– and AB were out shopping, so I went straight to the office for a quick workout. I did 25 minutes on the elliptical, and probably could have done 35 but I was still sore from Monday and didn’t want to overdo it.

After that I grabbed a quick shower, and then we headed up to Schlotzky’s to meet my little sister and her family for dinner. AB was incredibly excited to go play with Sophie and Lola — and, yes, I misspelled Sophie there somehow (according to her mother), but I can’t remember how she says it’s supposed to go, so that’ll have to do.

Anyway. I played the evil father and made AB sit in her chair until we were all done eating, then she got down and the three girls ran wild in the mostly-empty restaurant while we talked. We eventually got a little tired of that, so T– invited them to come over to our place, and we let the girls run wild in AB’s room while we talked.

They eventually headed out around 8, and then I did some chores in the kitchen while T– gave AB a bath. After that, AB went to bed and T– and I watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother. It was okay.

Then I headed to the office, and spent most of my writing time chatting with D–. I did put in some time on prewriting for a new novel I’ve been working on since Sunday morning. (I got the idea for it on the drive to church.) I threw together a Project Report over on my other page, in case you’re curious. Should be fun to write, but it’s appended to the end of a very long To Do list as far as my novels go, so don’t hold your breath for an opportunity to read it.

I went to bed around 11, and woke up early feeling miserable. Remember how I didn’t want to overdo it? Well I did. I still think I’m going to go workout when I get home this evening, but I’m sore all over. That’s the penalty for going so long without doing anything at all, though. Ugh.

I did get some more writing done on my GT book over lunch, today. Chapter 6 is done, at 24,000 words. It turned out more dramatic than I’d expected, so that’s cool.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.

Journal Entry: March 31, 2009

Yesterday our new elliptical machine showed up. The delivery guy actually called while I was getting ready for work, and said he could bring it by during the day if someone could be home to meet him. T– graciously offered to commit to that, and was rewarded with an early delivery. She called me around noon to say he had already come and gone.

I bought it off Amazon last Wednesday, and opted (of course) for the free shipping, because the next cheapest was over a hundred bucks. The free shipping was 5-9 business days, which meant best case scenario wouldn’t have it arrive until tomorrow, so that was a pretty lucky break. Also…really glad I didn’t shell out a hundred bucks to get it sooner.

Anyway, I got home from work last night and T– and I immediately set to work building the thing. We put it together out in the living room while AB watched Winnie the Pooh, but she was actually far more interested in what we were doing. It was a lot of work to put together, but not terribly complicated. It’s a good design, and the finished product is sturdy and exactly the right size for my stride.

Also, it’s about five inches too wide in every direction to get through the door into my office, where we wanted to house it.

So I ended up dismantling it while T– made us some sandwiches for dinner, then dragged it into the office in four pieces and reassembled it there afterward. I have a little old cheap TV in the office, hooked up to my fileserver so I can watch my media files while I work out. We’ll probably replace it with a small wall-mount HDTV (with an actual digital connection to the computer, instead of the cobbled-together S-Video hookup I’m using now), but our finances aren’t right to go buying new TVs at the moment.

Anyway, when I had everything set up properly around 8:30, I put on an episode of Newsradio (in spite of Bruce’s warning), and did a fast-paced jog through the whole episode. It was killer. My goal is to watch through all the episodes of Buffy and Veronica Mars as part of my daily workout, but I might have to work up to the 40-minute run. Or go slower, but that’s not terribly tempting.

When I finished that, I went to the living room to watch Castle and Rules of Engagement with T–. We had four other shows to watch from Sunday and Monday evening programming, but I had to get back to the office and do my writing.

I typed up all the stuff I wrote about in my scribblebook yesterday, which finished out chapter five, then I kept going right into chapter six, and it’s about half done now at 2,000 words (or 22,000 total, for the book).

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.

Journal Entry: December 22, 2008

So I spent some time whining about my situation last Thursday, and instead of complaining you all gave an outpouring of sympathy and encouragement. What can you say about such guys? You’re all awesome.

I went home Thursday night and talked with T–, and got permission to really take it easy over the weekend (I had a Regular Day Off on Friday, so it was a long weekend), and over the upcoming holiday. Sort of a week and a half of Father’s Days. Something along those lines.

Anyway, I did. I was up late Thursday night, but I didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about it, because I didn’t really have any demands Friday morning. I got up, played some WoW, maybe watched a movie with AB in the afternoon (while I was messing around on a laptop), then watched the new Muppet Christmas Special with T– in the evening. We ordered some pizza, and I played some more WoW.

I called it quits at 11:00, and got a good night’s sleep. T– was surprised how early I got up on Saturday (although it wasn’t until 8). I spent the morning same as Friday. Then around 11:00 we tried to get some Christmas pictures with AB that did not go well. After that, I took her with me to pick up some lunch and left T– to sort through the wreckage of our photoshoot.

After lunch, T– went out Christmas shopping and AB went down for a nap. I played some more WoW (big surprise), and then at 2:30, when T– got home, I headed over to K–‘s place. We went to the gym — basically my first time back there in six months — and did forty minutes of strength training and twenty of cardio. I’d intended to do the opposite, but that was mostly because I didn’t expect to be able to handle much strength training. Instead, I did almost exactly the same workout I was doing back in June. That surprised me, and it’s pretty encouraging. When I was in Chicago (back in October), I spent some time in the hotel gym and learned I wasn’t too far behind on the cardio, too. So that’s pretty much all my good excuses demolished. I need to get back, and regularly.

Anyway, N– was working all day Saturday, so after the gym K– and I played Gears of War through to the end of the second act. Then she got home, and we invited T– and D– to join us for Jason’s Deli for dinner. That had to be at K– and N–‘s house, because the Cowboys game on Saturday evening was only showing on the NFL network, and among those three households, K– and N– are the only ones with access.

Dinner was awesome, the game was not.

Sunday morning we went to church, then came home and had leftover pizza for lunch. I played a little in the afternoon, then the Huddlestons came over a little bit before 5:00. Bill and D– hung out at my place for an hour or so, and we turned on the Falcons/Vikings game because it had playoff implications for the Cowboys. And, y’know, because three dudes in a living room need to have a football game on, if they’re not playing video games.

Meanwhile, the womenfolk went to North Pole Village or something of the sort to get pictures of AB playing with Christmas stuff. I guess it went better than our Saturday shoot. At 6:00 we met them at Irma’s for dinner (awesome), and then they all came back to our place for desserts and drinks, and we exchanged gifts and watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Everybody left at 10:15, and I was in bed by 10:30. I was probably asleep by 11.

All told, I had a pretty relaxing weekend. I certainly feel more rested than I have in about a month. If I can keep the same sort of pace for the next week, I may just be back up to normal by the time the new year rolls around.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.

Journal Entry: August 22, 2008

Last night was a bit of a strange one.

Yesterday, during the day, we cooked up a plan for a Pogue Family Writer’s Convention, which will be taking place in Branson in October. So, first thing after I got home, I got to explain to T– that I was going off to Missouri for a weekend and she wasn’t invited. Fun.

Then I spent half an hour or so playing with AB, before T– took her along and went to the monthly church picnic. As I really hate having anxiety attacks on schoolnights, I elected to skip it.

I tried to get in touch with D–, and it turned out he did get in at a reasonable hour, but he already had dinner plans. I tried contacting B–, since I knew he was stuck at home with a baby and might want some company, but I got no answer and he never called me back. So, when I finally gave up on all of them, I went out to get myself a sandwich around 7:30. I went to Subway first, but they proved incompetent, so after a ten minute wait (behind one other customer), and no sign they’d be getting to me anytime soon, I walked out and went to Jersey Mike’s. Their club is awesome.

Around the time I finished eating, T– got home with the baby, and we said goodnight to her, then T– watched me play a demo I’d downloaded of a new game called Too Human. I read good reviews of it earlier in the week and passed those along to K– and D– in the hopes of getting some multiplayer going. Anyway, it seemed prudent to check out the demo before dropping $50 for it, so I did, and I absolutely enjoyed it. It’s easily a game that can keep me interested until Spore comes out.

In other news, I got my report back from the doctor for my blood work last week, and I get to cut down on fats and sugars in my diet, and come back in three months for another test. Yay! Also, I got a raise at work, in addition to the cost-of-living increase, so that’s welcome news.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.