Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Why do we hurtle ourselves through every inch of time and space?

My schedule is starting to get to me. Going to class every day at UW and trying to figure out how to work a full day around that is draining all my energy. My eating habits have become awful. Breakfast seems to work out ok, but for lunch I had an energy bar, a carton of milk (yay for free drinks at Microsoft), and a 22oz diet Coke from 7-11. For dinner I went to Kidd Valley (again!) and had grilled cheese and onion rings. And the gym? Forget it - I haven't been there in weeks. Ugh, I need to get control of this before it gets bad. If you have any ideas, feel free to pass them along... I'm not sure how people work full time and manage to cook for their families every night - that's crazy.

Spike and I slept in the "dog bed" last night. It's actually a pretty comfy futon that the dogs are allowed to sleep on, since they're not allowed on our bed. Even though Spike is only 28 lbs, he sure takes up a lot of space.I found myself way on one side of the bed, and he was sleeping horizontally across it, perpendicular to me. Pushy dog! Now he's lying on the couch and kicking me while he tries to stretch out. He's lucky I like him so much!

Dave (no blog) sent me this article on heavy metal band umlauts that is absolutely hilarious. Relive the 80s with this comprehensive analysis of diacritics in band names.


  1. We have been taking a Saturday every two to three weeks and cooking ~6 meals (4-8 servings each) and freezing them. We started doing this about six weeks ago. Almost everything has reheated well (quiche, stuffed peppers, red beans and rice, pot pies, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, taco meat). Well, not every quiche has survived the microwave. The spinach quiche was very spongy, but the other two (bacon and onion and ham and asparagus) were quite good. The trick is how to get enough vegetables with dinner so we just started going to Global Foods and buying the large packages of Indian Eggplant, Mexican Squashes, peppers, onions and other veggies for grilling. This approach seems to have some promise, though we really just started the grilled vegetables plan last weekend.

    And we've been eating sandwiches (deli meat, cheese, thin sliced cucumber/tomato) for lunch with carrot sticks and celery. It takes about 15 minutes in the morning to make two lunches.

    Once we made it a priority, it was pretty easy to get into a groove and make simple but healthy meals.

  2. Debating how honest I should be about how I handled a full time working schedule at Amazon and grad school at UW. The truth is that my work hours were so heinous that it didn't matter if I was putting in all the office hours since I had to stay up 'til 1A almost every day making sure our financial reports didn't crash on the database, so I had a lot of 'leeway' in comp time in that area. There's this information asymmetry I always took advantage of too: if I wasn't there at work, people'd naturally assume I was at school or a seminar, so if I needed some extra time to commute or eat properly, I took advantage of that :P The only other things I did were to drive to the Park & Ride in Kirkland since both work and school were in Seattle and taking buses were more convenient. Finally, the Ave has several good, cheap spots for a quick chow. I don't know how far the CS building is from there, but that might work better in lieu of granola bars. Does MSFT allow you to call in to meetings from home? At Intel, at least 50% of the participants always called in from another office, country, or other remote location. I had so many coworkers I'd never seen in person before. It's not ideal but might keep your sanity.

    Lola loves sleeping perpendicular to the bed too. We've been taking her to the small dog park in Magnuson and she's starting to love the water. Even ducked under the dog gate and made a beeline for the lake instead of waiting for us when she got close :P

    Jon -- long time no contact! Hope you're doing well with the new family!

  3. I'm not the best one for answers since I don't manage to sleep a normal schedule, let alone eat right all of the time or exercise regularly.

    But as for eating better: I didn't work at all this Sunday and just spent the day grocery shopping and cooking several items for the week. I planned out several things I wanted to cook during the week. At the very least, I had food for a couple of days. Then on the other days, when I got home, I already had the ingredients bought from Sunday and knew what to make. (One problem I have is that even when I leave work early, if I have to stop on the grocery store on the way home and then cook dinner, I won't get to eat until 11pm.)

    The second thing I've done is I have a "lunch partner" (who also happens to be a next door neighbor; lucky me). We take turns cooking lunch for each other. It's not total commitment, so it's not overwhelming. But so far 1-2 days each week I bring both of our lunches and 1-2 days a week she brings both of our lunches. Since she lives next door, we share dinners too. That way I don't get sick of my food.

    And as for exercise, I was going to write a blog post about it, but basically
    1) while I think going to the gym still has benefits
    2) I think making a few changes to daily habits (like how one gets to work, or if one takes the stairs) can make a big difference... that's my theory anyway, and I'm going to borrow a friend's pedometer to figure out how many miles I walk every day.

    3) for me, classes are more fun and I'm more likley to exercise if I had to sign up and pay extra for it. Right now I have yoga, which isn't that much of a cardio workout. But I'm going to do pilates next month, and probably try something called "gyro," and am looking for a high-intensity dance class to join. Knowing myself, I'll be more likely to do it if it's fun and it comes in the form of a class.

  4. oh by the way I should point out I don't work full time AND take classes, so my schedule's much easier than yours...

  5. ok, more advice: I totally latch onto easy recipes. Amazingly, some really awesome Middle Eastern dishes are very simple:

    I've made the Arabian Bean Salad (perfect for summer; cheat by buying canned, pre-cooked beans), okra and tomatoes (friends say it's the best okra dish they've ever eaten), cucumber with yogurt accompaniment, and the saffron rice (cook while you make other stuff). That was big dinner, of course, but you can just make one entree... the bean salad alone takes ~10-15 minutes prep time if you buy canned beans.


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