A New 109 Words

I was scrolling through Twitter a little bit ago (something I rarely do) and somebody posted in a writing group I’m part of asking if not writing in two weeks makes him a bad writer. I quickly replied that it didn’t!

Besides posts for this site, I myself had not written any sort of fiction or anything like it in months. At least not on paper, anyway. I’ve been playing around with story scenes and other ideas in my head for weeks now, but have been too lazy or preoccupied to try putting any of it down on paper.

I was goofing around on Facebook for a bit while Alexis was gaming it up, and for some reason as soon as I was done sending that Tweet to the writer’s group I felt the urge to get the laptop pulled up.

So I did, and began writing a little bit of one of the scenes I had been playing out the past week or so. I easily got down 109 words–a short exchange between two of my characters–before Alexis got tired and handed the controller off to me. I will write more of my story tomorrow, developing more ideas for it and where I want to go from there while I’m at work.

I know that a hundred words is barely anything, but at least the fiction draught has been broken. And it’s a fantasy story, too. A genre I’ve never really worked in before.

Hopefully this time I can make something out of it…


Thinking While Doing Housework

Alexis and I went to Aldi for the very first time today. We had grabbed lunch at IHOP and since neither of us have a car yet we just walked across the street to head to Target. Traffic in that little side area where a bunch of stores are located at was a nightmare, so she and I crossed away from the road into a little parking area and were soon near Aldi. She was telling me how her stepdad lives the place, and since I had heard great things about it too but had never been we decided to stop in and take a look.

Long story made very short, the prices were so great that we ended up doing our entire grocery trip there and said to heck with Target. We got five giant bags of groceries for only a hundred bucks. Even though the place was busy the cashier killed the line in seconds, and we only spent maybe three or four minutes at the cash wrap area total. The way Target looked from the parking lot, she and I would probably still be in line there with a much more expensive number at the end of my receipt.

When we got home, we got rid of most of the stuff in our refrigerator and reorganized everything in it, and while Alexis went to lie down I scrubbed the entire kitchen down and did the dishes. We’d been neglecting it for a while, but with work getting busy and stuff I knew that a clean apartment would be really peaceful for us, and while our roommate decimated the living room area with piles and piles of things from her old apartment, I could at least give Alexis the cleanest kitchen that I could. I spent a half hour doing that, deciding to finish the rest later. I got changed and am in the middle of trying out the new expansion chapter for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

But as I was cleaning a little while ago, I was doing a lot of thinking. What does it say about ourselves if we continuously put off that which needs to be done? If certain priorities cannot be respected, who is to say that any can? If something makes you happy and comfortable, like a clean house or a clean apartment, then why not ensure that it stays that way? Why let the crud build up and make the place look trashed and unsanitary?

It says a great deal of one’s view on life, if you think about it. If you ignore what’s important AND you ignore that what makes you comfortable, what else is there that even matters?

Avengers: Endgame Reveal

The official title of Avengers 4 is Avengers: Endgame!

Not Decimation as I had hoped/predicted, but still. The long-time rumored and predicted title has been confirmed at last, along with a teaser trailer. No action, but a lot of emotions. You can definitely tell that this is going to pick up right where Infinity War left off but still be its own movie, so it was wise they dropped the original Part 2 idea in favor of a stand-alone.

Broke my heart to see Captain America cry, so this might be one of the hardest movies I ever have to watch. But damn, it’s going to be good.

Is is May yet?

Avengers 4 Title Prediction

Long story short, I believe that there is a good chance that the sequel to Avengers: Infinity War will be Avengers: Decimation.

For the longest time, titles like Endgame and Annihilation have kept fans debating online about possible titles for the fourth movie, which releases in May of 2019. As of this writing, the latest of many predicted revelations is tomorrow, Friday December 7.

Decimation would fit for a few different reasons. For one thing, Decimation was a ginormous event in the comics, and the previous two Avengers movies have taken their titles from major comic events. It’s only fitting that the next film follow suit.

Secondly, in the tie-in book that takes place after the events of Infinity War, it is revealed that the frightened and shocked population of Earth is already calling it the Decimation Event. That provides an in-universe reasoning for that to be the name of the film. Almost too easy, in a way. Beyond that, it is very similar to the alleged title Annihilation, and since they mean pretty much the exact same thing it would be an easy cover the the true title of the movie.

This will be the final bow of the MCU as we know it. The movies will go on, but the current line up of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and the Hulk will be over. Decimated! (See what I did there?) It would be such a powerful way to end the current run of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a badass title with all the flair of death and destruction that it entails.

Finally, they are called The Avengers. Tony Stark warns Loki in the first team-up that “if we can’t protect the Earth you can be damn well sure we’ll avenge it.” Well, when the Mad Titan snaps his fingers and half of all life in the universe is immediately wiped away despite the effort of almost every known superhero up to that point, you’d better believe there is some major avenging to be done. A title like Decimation will serve to drive that point home.

At any rate, we will hopefully be finding out very soon if I am even close to the mark or not. This is just a theory I pulled out of my ass while eating frozen pizza with my girlfriend while chatting with her and my best friend. I Googled it and saw absolutely nothing about it as a possible title, so I am claiming it as all mine.

It’d be cool if I was right…

Protein Power!

Continuing on from where I left off last night, I made up the packet of Pro Pudding I got from work. Against my girlfriend’s advice (I didn’t want to use the tiny bit of milk we had left until Saturday) I blended my powder with water. I let my roommate Sara and Alexis try it first and they thought it was good, but the first bite I tried left a funky taste in my mouth. Then again, from my experience protein powders are a million times better with milk, so that might have been a cause for the bitterness. That and maybe the temperature. I put it in the fridge overnight and will try it cold when I get home. Hopefully the taste will have improved at least a little.

When I got to work this morning I decided to try IsoTech 42 by BodyTech. These are bottles of a protein liquid I found while stocking my cooler at work that pack a whomping 42 grams of whey isolate protein! I’ve never seen a single-serving beverage contain so much protein in my life, so I had to jump at it. My work carries grape and orange flavors, and I am not sure if Vitamin Shoppe carries any other flavors on the website or not. Did not have time to check. (Correction: my store manager told me it also comes in blue raspberry.)

I decided to try the orange one first. The first sensation I felt was the typical artificial orange flavoring you would find in any fruit drink, but once it hit my throat it quickly diluted itself into a quasi-bitter liquid that somehow felt hard going down my throat. The second sipping was better, though it’s by no means a drink to savor and enjoy. Then again, that’s not it’s intended purpose.

All in all, it’s a great way to get some fast absorbing protein when you can’t have a shake. I’m going to do a lot more reading tonight and tomorrow about the various ingredients for personal development reasons, and will check back in here tonight about the Pro Pudding.

There are still a couple of other options to go, though!

Protein Supplements Galore

Probably every fat nerd’s dream is to lose weight and build some muscles that would make Chris Hemsworth or the Rock jealous. In reality, while doable it takes a shit ton of work and lots and lots of protein.

Obviously, it is always better to get your nutrients from food. But some of us don’t have time (or the stomach, let alone money) to eat entire bags of chicken breasts or whole cartons of eggs on a daily basis while finding time to work, work out, sleep, and all the other day to day things that we like to do. Hence, protein shakes!

Unless you’re John Siebelink, who can’t for the life of him stomach shakes unless they’re made with ice cream. I don’t know why, but there’s something about the flavor of protein shakes they immediately makes my gag reflex want to strangle me from within. Sometimes it’s the taste that no matter how much milk or whatever I shake into it it will not taste appealing to me. Most of the time, though, it’s a texture thing AS WELL as the taste. I just can’t do it.

In the past I was able to mix in powder with oatmeal in the morning and do it that way. I tried that with my Beachbody Shakeology andnit worked fine for me the first night, but my stomach started sending warning signs almost immediately that it would not tolerate that nasty stuff any longer. It left me at an impasse, which sucks because I’m on the verge of getting my Planet Fitness membership back so I can go pump iron before work alongside my nightly Beachbody workout after my shift. I’ve got lots of stuff going on in 2019 and beyond, so I need to start slimming down and then bulking up in the right ways. But I can’t do that without protein…

Fortunately for me, I work at Vitamin Shoppe. On a daily basis for 8-9 hours at a time I am surrounded by every kind of supplement known to man, including an entire wall and a half of protein powders and other protein-building products. I started pursuing these non-shake sources of protein trying to see what my alternatives are, and found some really interesting ones I’m going to try.

First one is Pro Pudding from BodyTech (one of Vitamin Shoppe’s none private label brands). I mixed some up with water earlier and tried a bite and didn’t like that taste, but my girlfriend and roommate encouraged me to leave it in the fridge over night and then mix it with milk and see if the taste improves at all. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Will report on the other ideas I have soon, in case anyone else can’t fathom protein shakes but need the extra protein.


Blogging is Not For Everybody

I know I’ve said it before, but I will say it again here: I love WordPress. I love the blogosphere. It is a realm different from social media but in a few ways very similar to it. Both forms let me express some quick thoughts or make a point, but the blog lets me ramble on and on and on without worrying about what others may think about seeing a long post in their Facebook feeds. It’s also much safer.

Obviously, when you talk a lot about sensitive and political issues you’re bound to be attacked by the opposing side sooner or later. I have run into some length comment debates with liberals here on this blog, but thankfully they’ve remained just that–debates. The easy and rampant hatred and vile energy that has ruined Facebook and Twitter has not infected CrapPile. I am extremely grateful to have been blessed with readers who have treated me with immense respect, even if they disagreed with every little thing that I’ve written. That is totally fine. You’re not going to get every single person to agree with you, and you’d be wasting your time if that’s what you were trying to do. Intelligent conversation, however, is great for both sides. And unfortunately that is next to impossible to do most places these days, but at least in this blog I can be open and honest without anyone painting a target on my head.

It is for these reasons entirely that I believe that blogging is not for everybody, and I hope to God it never takes off the way Facebook has. True, anyone can make a blog. America is still a free country in a mostly-free world. But as with all rights, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should or that it IS right (hear me, flag burners?!) To me, it takes a certain special kind of person to be a blogger.

It is easy to become one, and by that I don’t mean just creating a WordPress or Blogger account and saying hi to the world once and only once. To be a blogger, you must have patience. A lot of people join expecting their blog to just be “found” and take off from there until they’re Perez Hilton or John Scalzi or any other uberly-successful poster. It’s a grind that a lot of people quickly get frustrated with. It also takes patience to handle criticism, and judging from the kinds of people who have their eyes glued to Facebook on a daily basis, that is a quality most of the world just doesn’t have. Social media is for the emotional. The blog is for the intelligent.

Also, I feel like a Facebook page is just a little snapshot of one’s life, whereas Twitter is your two cent’s worth. A blog is much more. It is a gateway into the blogger’s mind and imagination. It is a front for opinions and a safe haven for the opinionated. It is a medium for practice and and a venue for debate. Social media is like a strip show for the vile.

It is very easy to accept that some people have no place in a blog. They are little bombs just ticking, waiting for the wrong moment to explode and cause chaos and destruction to something that has no place being destroyed. Free speech is under attack left and right, but at least for the most part in the blogosphere it remains unscathed. Those of us who write blogs and subscribe to and contribute to others’ know this, and respect that what we read might not always be what we want to hear. Others just don’t give a damn and are just eager to get their hands dirty pointlessly arguing shit with those of us who just don’t care. If I wanted to argue or let my blood boil, I’ll scroll through Facebook for a bit. Not here, though.

The blog has no place for the loser.