#whole30 fail.

polar bear paw
OK, yesterday was day 22 for me, day 19 for Shay. The kitchen was destroyed. There was a bunch of food in the fridge, but none of it was appealing. We went out Friday night to a Paleo cafe, where they said they knew what was going on with the Whole30, but they ended up serving Shay a dish with butter in it, which made her sick to her stomach.

Saturday morning. Shay made breakfast - eggs & bacon - same thing we've had for breakfast all week. We met up with my brother for lunch at Salt Grass Steakhouse - a chain, but a decent one. I had a 6 oz. ribeye steak, cooked medium rare, some grilled shrimp, some seasoned veggies. And all I could do was stare at the bread that my brother had brought to the table. Shay put A1 sauce all over her meal even after reading the ingredients & realizing it contained corn syrup (therefore not whole30-compliant). I ate my meal & left completely unsatisfied.

We went house-shopping. It took longer than I expected, & I was getting hangry. All I could think of was how trashed the kitchen was, how much work it was going to take to get the kitchen cleaned up before I could even start prepping dinner, how little I wanted to eat a whole30-compliant meal.

Then we drove by Hops & Pie. The best pizza joint we've found in Denver. There was no line. There is never not a line at Hops & Pie. We drove past, then turned around & drove back. We parked right in front. There is never parking on Tennyson. We went inside. I drank two beers, ate two slices of pizza, & split a bread pudding dessert with Shay. Everything tasted AWESOME. I was as drunk as a lord on two beers. Shay drove us home & I went to bed around 10 PM.

*** WARNING: the next paragraph is gross. ***

I woke up about 1:30 AM feeling queasy & hungover. I went into the bathroom & drank some cold water. Then the vomiting started. I threw up EVERYTHING I ate & drank. I puked like a freshman after their first fraternity kegger. Then I was hit with diarrhea. I cycled back & forth between vomiting & diarrhea until about 4 AM. At some point I took a shower. My nose was running constantly.

I woke up this morning, still feeling nauseous & my nose all stopped up. Shay made breakfast (eggs & bacon, AGAIN). Now I'm not sure what else to eat, because I'm not sure which whole30-eliminated food made me sick. It could've been: alcohol, sugar, grain/gluten, or dairy.

I weighed myself - 176.5 lbs. I lost 6.5 pounds in 18 days. Shay lost 3 pounds in 18 days. I felt that my hair & skin looked a lot better while I was on the Whole30 - I attribute this to incorporating bone broth into a lot of cooking.

- I'm done with soda. Forever. I don't need it & it is super-unhealthy.
- I should never cook for only one meal. Double everything & throw an emergency meal into the freezer.
- Weekend pre-gaming is CRUCIAL to success. I work full-time during the week & I can't face all the cooking after work.
- Weekend pre-gaming BREAKFAST is super-crucial. Make things like baked fritattas & quiches that can be served every morning after just a warm-up in the microwave.
- Bone broth is awesome & I will continue to make it & use it. It is full of good stuff like collagen & glucosamine. I will keep looking for cheaper sources of quality bones.
- Don't forget to plan what you're going to eat on the weekends, or Saturday lunch will be grim.



polar bear paw
Some days, I wonder why the fuck I bother.

My dream house.

polar bear paw
So, for many years I have assumed that I knew what my dream house looks like. It was in a city (Philadelphia, mostly). It was a rowhouse, or a free-standing house on a small lot. The garage was in the backyard, maybe accessed via an alley. There was a garage apartment on top of it, occupied either by a tenant or by HPG's mom. It had a rooftop deck with a skyline view, & was located in an awesome neighborhood with tons of bars, restaurants, & other city amenities.

But lately, this dream has changed - a LOT. I want a house with a southern exposure. The roof is covered with photovoltaic solar panels. The kitchen has a south-facing window with a huge herb garden. The walls are thickly insulated & the windows are super energy-efficient. There's a big wood-burning stove that provides a lot of the house's heat. There is a big yard, with a chicken run, a big garden, & a compost pile. There are some apple trees (maybe a peach tree). The house is out in the countryside. Maybe there's a barn.

I think that this changing dream reflects that I am growing older. I still love cities, but I don't go out most nights. These days, a good night is more likely a great walk with Shadeaux, an excellent home-cooked meal, & reading a good book. I do still enjoy city amenities, but if I could get into the city from somewhere further otu - say, on the weekend to catch a show - I think I'd be happy with that.


Have dog, will travel.

polar bear paw

So I hate whatever part of Colorado's bureaucracy is in charge of professional licensing. had to transfer her speech therapist license from Texas to Colorado - a fairly straightforward process. Texas sends Colorado a letter saying her license is in good standing & Colorado issues her license. But they told her this would take NINETY days. So, instead of sitting around unemployed for three months, she took a seven-week travel assignment back in Texas.

Which means that Shadeaux has to travel with me to the Arapahoe project. Last week was her first trip. We found a dog-friendly hotel, & a doggie day care in Sterling (the Bow-Wow Barn). There's a park with river access, & another park with a big grassy area. I drop her off at the B-WB at 0630, go to work, pick her up around 1700, hit one of the parks, & then head to the hotel.

At first, I thought having the furball along was going to be a huge pain in the ass. And it certainly has complicated packing. But overall, I love having her with me. Coming back to a hotel after a work day is usually boring. Doing it day after day is dispiriting & depressing. But coming back with Shadeaux is awesome! We eat dinner, play Fetch, cuddle on the bed, & then go to sleep. I feel safer & less lonely. I think she likes all the attention (though all the disruption to her normal routine is definitely stressful). It's expensive - an extra $180 a week - but what's the alternative? My brother can't watch her for weeks at a time. We don't yet know our neighbors well enough to trust her with them. HPG couldn't find a dog-friendly hotel near her work assignment. So Sterling it is, at least until the end of October.

One Month in Denver.

polar bear paw

I'm sitting at the DMV, trying to get Sally Ford registered in Colorado. Despite this, I'm in a good mood.

I like Colorado, a lot. The weather is such an improvement over Houston. We've been in an (reportedly) unusual period of rain nearly every afternoon. But even with daily rain, it isn't humid! The air smells clean & you can't actually feel it on your skin! Nor does it burn your lungs when you take a deep breath! Such luxury.

I've been walking Ms. Shadeaux-pants every day, & we've found a couple of dog parks. She's starting to relax in our new home, although she still growls at all the neighbors. There's a creek near the house that she likes to splash around in, & there's a couple of squirrels in the trees near the house that require hassling.

hotpantsgalore has a few leads on speech therapy jobs. She's still struggling with the altitude because she's only been here about ten days.

We've been trying to get out & about in our new city. We went a old-school steakhouse for Denver Restaurant Week (it was located in an old bank, & we actually sat in the vault). We've shopped at several farmers markets. We went to the Broncos-Texans pre-season game - Mile High Stadium is about a half-mile from our house! This weekend we're hitting the Taste of Colorado Festival. We have even already had guests - two friends from Austin.

I've swam twice with the local GLBT swim team - Swimming Queers United in Denver (SQUID). The team is kinda-sorta on summer hiatus, but regular practices resume next week. I'll only be able to swim on weekends for September, because I'll be out in northern Colorado during the week for work. I'll have to try to find a way to swim in Fort Morgan.

I haven't found a church yet, though I've visited three. I think I'm going to try Bloom Church this Sunday. They are quite a big step away from the three PCUSA churches I've tried so far. But their website & the sermons I downloaded really hit a chord with me.

Happy Super Groundhog Day.

polar bear paw
What a day, what a day. Usually hotpantsgalore & I would be gearing up for a Super Bowl party this morning. But HPG had to work today in order to get a day off later this week for our trip to Denver. So when my co-worker D* invited us to his SB Party, we accepted. When he challenged us to compete in the Super Chili Bowl cook-off, we accepted that as well. So this morning, our house smells spicy & savory - a Crock Pot full of beef, tomatoes, onions, & peppers (as well as a whole load of semi-secret ingredients, like masa, beer, & cocoa powder) has been simmering overnight. The beef is falling-apart tender, but the spice alarm is a bit high. We'll have to tone that down a bit, probably with more masa, more cocoa powder, maybe a bit of molasses. Serve it with cheese & sour cream.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, meaning he's predicting six more weeks of winter. He should've been here in Houston, because we have rain & light fog & no sun whatsoever. Good luck casting a shadow in that. In any case, six more weeks of winter doesn't sound too good after the hard winter most of the country has had, so here's hoping the little rodent is wrong again.

I... missed church this morning. Or rather, I'm getting ready to miss church. We're doing a service today based on Shakespeare, & while I admire the creativity, I'm not really excited by the idea. And it's raining. And I'm messing with the chili. And Shadeaux is being cuddly.

Wake me up for the Puppy Bowl.

You see how these things go. Not the greatest start to my term as deacon. I'll do better next week. Oh wait, no I won't, I'll be in Denver. NEXT week.

Ten years ago, the Super Bowl fell in February for the first time. I remember being somewhat annoyed by that - how much more can we stretch out the NFL season?? I was also a tad embittered about the game - the Eagles had made it to the NFC Championship Game only to be embarrassed by the Carolina Panthers, losing 14-3. But I still had made plans to watch.

However, those plans were derailed two days before the game when my gall bladder decided to call it quits. I missed the American-expat Super Bowl party, but I did get to spend 2 1/2 days zonked out on morphine. It's hard to believe that was ten years ago.

People are beautiful.

polar bear paw
I'm posting this link so I will always be able to find it:


Taxonomy FAIL.

polar bear paw

My friend M* & I were talking on our way into the Menil Collection. Here's the exchange:

A: Look at that squirrel! It doesn't have a tail!
M: It's got really big ears, too!
A: It's not a squirrel.
M: It's definitely a rabbit.
A: Botany fai- I mean, biology fail.
M: I'd call it a complete fail.


What vacation means to me.

polar bear paw

At Bush Intercontinental. With hotpantsgalore. Bags checked through to Paris. And what made me happy?? Looking at my Tasks app on my phone & seeing nothing due until August 26th!

We will be hitting Bordeaux, London, Northamptonshire, Aberystwyth, York, & Edinburgh on this trip. Can't wait.