Whole30 Day 24 : Three Quarter Review

8:10 a.m.

Woody won’t come out and say it but I know he’s pissed he didn’t get a pic up on the blog yesterday.

We were starving before bed last night. I started in on a snacking forage and Alexis followed. We were eating food like raccoons. I licked the remains of a squeezed lemon for sustenance. Housing cashew butter at $1.40 per bite. Alexis is trying to make a cacao smoothie and the banana is green as money. “Are the bananas ripe enough?” “They are ripe enough for me.” That’s where we’re at. Are you jealous?

And after some light snacking there was sixteen pounds of dishes in the sink.

8:23 a.m.

I stole a bicycle from the Nike store last night. At least that’s what my dreams told me. I couldn’t remember how to get home either. All I had to do was make it back to my apartment and the bike was mine.

Last night…

Alexis is in bed doing what I call her sleeping meditation. She lays down with her malas and takes 108 deep breaths. My impression is that she gets through about twenty of them before she is zonked.

Meanwhile, I’m on the living room floor lying on my side letting this grey despair work its way through me for the second straight night. It’s like, there’s so many things one has to do right to feel right. Did I eat well today? Lately, yes. Did I exercise? Is my work done? Are my bills going to get paid? Did I take my vitamins? Remember the essential oils? Take time to breathe? Write? Draw? Stretch? Am I saying nice things to my wife to ensure our relationship is healthy? Am I doing this right? Who are my teachers? Am I too rogue? How is my relationship with my family? It just doesn’t stop sometimes. Thankfully Woody snaps me out of it. There’s a kong on my neck. A decapitated moose on my forehead. And the remains of Lambie in my outstretched hand. He knows nothing of greyness. He just wants to play. And when he sees that maybe I’m not in the mood tonight, he does a few circles and curls up next to my stomach. He is the medicine.

10:02 a.m.

Back from my workout.

10 min treadmill walk

2 rounds jump rope (3 min rounds)

1 round alternating push-ups and squats

3 rounds on the heavy bag pretending I’m fighting for my life against the nastiest people in the world

10 jumping pull-ups followed by 5 box jumps for 5 rounds

And then some light core.

They are practicing tempo on the drums downstairs. I have to say, I’m impressed with the musical prowess of some of these newborns.

I passed Alexis and Woody at school on my way to the gym. He was ignoring all commands trying to play with the poodle puppy next to him.

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We are having a hard time cutting veggies because our knives are so dull. These are supposed to be good knives but no manufacturer banks on their domestic customers cooking 90 meals a month.

What do Days 31-40 look like? We’ve been talking about staying grain free for pretty much ever. Some of the comments on my brain fog post have inspired me to keep the grains away for sake of reclaiming some clarity. But what about dairy? Or Paris for that matter. A little piece of manchego at the Superbowl party perhaps? What harm will it really do? Guess we’ll find out.

How do you plan on exiting?

10:40 a.m.

Our mandoline slicer came in the mail. Ben and Laurin made the first suggestion, but it wasn’t until Ryan played a well-timed Bruce Hornsby song that it all came together for me.

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Alexis is having a hard time with Woody this morning. He was a handful at puppy class. He’s the oldest one there. Our son was officially held back because of ADHD. Now he’s eating the last remaining remnants of carpet we haven’t pulled up in the hallway. She takes it away from him and then he puts his head in the recycling bin and comes out with a receipt stuck to his face.

But breakfast was good.

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Eggs, bacon, butternut squash, mixed greens, and some turkey because, fuck it, why not?

10:49 a.m.

We are researching food delivery services. Just two or three meals a week to lighten the burden on Alexis. The deal is, I’ll cook those. I hate grocery stores. She likes them. But I know where this goes. She is always shopping and I am not participating and the fun of being in a relationship and helping each other out with things you don’t want to do on your own slowly slips away. Then we just function under standardized roles and neither of us feels really inspired. So how can I interject myself into this food process so that Alexis feels supported and loved and I feel engaged and stimulated? My best thought was these food delivery services. Which is basically me hiring an assistant to grocery shop for me so I can cook a few nights a week without the hassle of the 97 year old woman and her shopping cart in the middle of the tiny aisle at Trader Joe’s. I do think it’s endearing that she is still out and about so I would never be mean to her. But inside it does bother me that she isn’t more spatially aware given all her life experience.

10:56 a.m.

Oh god, they are singing downstairs. Or someone is. Someone that did a little bump of cocaine this morning when little baby Sandra wasn’t looking.

Do your ears hang low?

Do they wobble to a fro?

Can you tie them in a knot?

Can you tie them in a bow?

NO I FUCKING CAN’T LADY!!!

*is it absolutely the most terrible to say that for a second I was kind of hoping to hear a loud bang and then complete silence?

Yeah. Bad. Going to church.

11:03 a.m.

They aren’t working with me though. It is going off down there. This is worse than the time I accidentally walked by Clay Aiken’s dressing room while he was practicing his Whitney cover on the American Idol audition circuit.

I turn to Alexis and share with her my thoughts on how to stop the noise downstairs.

She looks at me, uncertain of how to respond – perhaps I’ve crossed over to a place that you can’t come back from – and then she laughs.

#truelove

“That would affect us though,” she says. Thoughtful little one.

“Not really. I have renter’s insurance.”

And you might be thinking, I signed up for a food blog about Whole30….what is happening?!

The Whole30 is what’s happening. Until I get chips, everyone is my enemy.

1:10 p.m.

Swung by Ryan and Michelle’s to watch some good old American football. Playoffs are my jam. Also, we needed to do laundry really badly and they have one of those fancy ones with the digital knob dial.

Alexis and Woody stayed home but there was no shortage of dogs.

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There was also no shortage of betrayal.

Ryan made his famous popovers. A warm, crispy, yet somehow gooey, biscuit that no doubt comforted our soldiers in Germany during WWII.

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Just soak them in butter why don’t you. Coat them in honey while you’re at it. I’ll just be over here, under the table, with my knees in my chest.

Chris asks a timely question – “How many more days do you have anyway?”

“Too many to still consider you a friend.”

When does the day come when I am no longer tempted? I think that’s when I’ll quit the Whole30 – when I don’t need it anymore.

***slow-motion mind explosion in 4K***

On the way over, Alexis and I stopped at WF for a quick lunch. I dropped a casual, “Who would I see about getting a refund for our last rotisserie?” at the checkout. Lady bought it hook, line, and sinker (whatever the fuck that really means) and gave us a chicken for free. Organic too. So the chicken wasn’t even mad.

It was at the table in the Whole Foods Bar – where we go for socializing – when I realized that people who chew with their mouths open should not be protected under the U.S. Constitution. This guy is tongue-jacking his food like it’s his gf who swears up and down she is incapable of having an orgasm.

I just waited for him to be done and tried not to picture it too much more than I already was.

But wait, shit biscuit has soup. At least he won’t chew with his….. wait….. never mind…. he’s slurping it.

Put him in the kid’s class, please.

4:12 p.m.

Laundry’s done.

Texted Alexis for pickup.

Woody was waiting shotgun. Sadly, there is no photo due to rain.

6:12 p.m.

Patriots are spanking the Steelers. Which is a conflicting experience for me because my family loves the Steelers and I love Tom Brady. People hate on him but the dude is a machine. And you gotta tip your hat to the old guy still getting the job done.

I helped scrape the “noodles” out of the squash. These aren’t fucking noodles. What do I look like to you?

Was fun though. Alexis almond-mealed the chicken and dropped the little nuggets in the pan. Whole30 pesto happening in the Vitamix.

And here we are, a mega dinner.

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6:55 p.m.

I will go on record and say that whenever I see the little almond meal nuggets going into the pan I feel like a kid on his first Christmas when he knows he’s getting Super Nintendo and like six games.

Dinner was a banger.

(It was really good).

7:26 p.m.

I am a bit concerned.

Woody has been running back and forth growling for the last eight minutes. No one is playing with him. He’s not chasing anything. We’re afraid to look him in the eye.

7:28 p.m.

Okay, thank god, he took a break for water.

7:29 p.m.

Actually no, he’s just standing in his water dish.

7:30 p.m.

And now he’s staring at himself in the mirror.

Touched.

7:34 p.m.

I’m already hungry again. I think the stomach shrinking has stopped and begun growing again. I can only eat so many oranges in a day.

75% Finished Analysis:

A Week In Finances:

1/13-14. Food in LA – $155 for 5 meals. None of them even remotely good. Thanks LA. Another solid you’ve done me.

1/15. Sprouts: $136

1/19. Whole Foods: $73

1/20. Baron’s: $30

$394 straight to the nuts. Woulda only been $239 without the price gouging of Venice.

A Week in Emotions:

I’ve been pretty low in the vibe department this week. Can’t blame anything on Whole30 other than it’s repetitive nature and the lack of nachos in my life. I am possibly placing too high an expectation on this diet for regulating my mood swings. So far it has not been effective. And again, this isn’t a perfect scientific study. There are too many factors to consider. Objectively speaking, I still have immense brain fog and bouts of depression.

A Week in Relationships:

Ask Alexis. I honestly can’t speak for her side of it. I am kind and appreciative but the above mentioned stuff makes it difficult to be a good partner while simultaneously feeling like a bag of used diapers. I guess I am harboring some guilt for not being more excitable. I feel on edge. Although I am not one to snap I can tell that I’m probably not as soft and affectionate as I could be right now.

A Week in Health:

Same old same old. Body is still lean. No noticeable changes over the last week. I have started to exercise more so this week could show some good results physically. I have slept pretty well the last two nights, which is a miracle for a kid who started having nightmares at two years old. Absolutely no consistency in the dump department. Sorry for those of you who somehow don’t like reading detailed accounts of someone else’s BMs. One minute it’s Campbell’s chunky soup and the next it’s hard to get anything out. My arm pits are back to smelling like an orangutan so I know those first five days were just due to not having enough energy to physically move and produce any odor. Energy levels are pretty consistent though. No crashes at all. Which I am hesitant to attribute to Whole30 because I don’t drink coffee or alcohol ever and usually run pretty high energy all day. Alexis is still on a poop streak that deserves its own hashtag. She still seems really clear to me. Peaceful. Confident.

A Week in Blogging:

Well, we got the big newsletter mention from Melissa and Whole30. That was really cool. Basically, this is like the best blog in the world for Whole30 comedic relief. Which is an honor, considering you can buy the Whole30 book at Costco.

We got a donkey kick from the newsletter and took over 16,000 hits that day. The next day was strong as well at around 7,500. Over the course of the week we have averaged roughly 5,000 unique visitors to the blog each day.

On a personal level, I feel as though the last few entries have been a little empty. When you write about something so much it becomes impossible to reinvent without completely changing the style, objective, topic areas, etc. And you don’t want to change too much because then you might lose some of the momentum in readership. So every day I remind myself that I’m just a humble writer and the practice of writing is what stimulates me, not the reception the writing receives from an audience (although let’s be honest that helps a lot). After this pep talk I am able to find honest and true words and feel like I have grown another day and become more experienced. I continue to produce content even when the well feels dry. That is as important as writing 21 days of hits because now I am writing in the presence of insecurity.

What are your plans for days 31-40?

Buenas.

 

Read Day 23 HERE.

Whole30 Day 23 : Scores Of Women

8:30 a.m.

You might be wondering what I’m doing up so early. Well, Alexis has to work. Which is a bummer because she really wanted to go to the Women’s March downtown. So I am going in her place. Also, someone needs to protect these people that have probably never thrown a punch in their life.

We both slept well last night. I had deep sleep with no disturbing dreams. It wasn’t until 4 a.m. when Woody woke me up with his plea to join the bed.

9:32 a.m.

One Man’s Journey Into A Sea Of Protesting Women

Most notable thing so far on my commute down has been the girl behind me that keeps retaking her protest selfie every time we stop at a light. It’s like, everything’s normal, what a great day! I’m looking at the sun, put on my blinker, I don’t like this song, I need gas again, what are the prices anyway? Did they ever resolve things in Iraq? Then BAM, red light fucking game face. She pulls out her phone, initiates 32 degree head tilt, finds the light for a twinkle in her eye, sucks in the cheeks, turns the corners of her mouth up, and pulls the trigger. Like a gd assassin.

9:45 a.m.

Okay, I’ve just parked. Already there is a guy who was passed up for the main role in Jersey Shore calling the old man in the car behind him a “faggot.” I pull out my camera and walk towards him to record and, of course, he drives away. I didn’t get a chance to tell him the tanning salon was one block up. If this is any indication of how the day is going to go then I’m glad I brought my riot gear.

10:07 a.m

There are a lot of people at this protest. I was expecting one, maybe two hundred tops. This is San Diego we’re talking about. Someone runs you over with their car and the first thing you say is, “No worries, bro.” But it’s packed. My guess is 30,000 people here already.

I’m taking one walk through the crowd to see if I can spot anything of interest. Mostly notably, this cool young girl.

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And then there were the (presumably) Native women.

I’m not exactly sure their angle this morning. Don’t get me wrong, they can pretty much protest for all of eternity and they’d have my support. But they aren’t holding any signs or saying anything. Just playing the drums. Sometimes I think there is one over-zealous organizer in the protest groups that always tries to jump into the planning with one great idea.

Group Leader: “We need to make sure we announce our local representatives for being here.”

Barb: “Okay, then we roll out the Natives?”

Group Leader: “No Barb, not yet. Then we have to establish our credibility as an organiz….”

Barb: “And then we hit em with the Natives!!!”

Group Leader’s Assistant: “Barb, please.”

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Whatever their message, they are getting the loudest cheers.

10:25 a.m.

Too many people here for my taste. Need to find a better vantage point.

10:35 a.m.

I’m on the roof of the U.S. Grant’s parking garage. Just me and a line cook smoking a cig. I walked up the windy ramp, past quite a few employees, without a single question. If I was planning on ruining this whole event by being a terrorist it would have been that easy.

The view up here is much better.

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10:47 a.m.

They are singing the national anthem and for some reason it is hitting me quite hard. I’m not Mr. Protest by any means, I’m not even sure I believe in their effectiveness, but as Alexis said last night, “A lot of people are lost and hurt and they just want to be around other people who feel the same way,” – and it feels particularly true right this moment. Effective or not, people are together and that’s always worth celebrating.

10:50 a.m.

Annnnnnnddddddd, there’s the drugged out hippie chick with the cardboard box sign screaming fuck this and fuck the man without any regard to the rest of the peaceful, intelligent, and coherent protestors. Wouldn’t have been an event without her.

10:55 a.m.

Have to stop to take an artsy shot of protestors with the flag in the foreground to indicate a deep sense of semi-confusing irony while also providing a sliver of hope for the future.

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11:05 a.m.

I’ve moved to the front line. They are going to start marching soon. I’m not marching. Too many folks. Just going to watch from the side and hope nobody gets blown up.

The End.

12:10 p.m.

The gd salmon is taking forever.

12:20 p.m.

Oh, that’s because it was frozen.

1:55 p.m.

Thawing now for Alexis’ lunch. She gets off work in five minutes and it’s my goal to have lunch prepared for her, mostly in response to a lot of the comments I read online today regarding women exercising their right to peacefully protest:

“I wouldn’t want to be married to any of them. They wouldn’t listen to a damn thing you told em.”

“Who’s gonna make all the sandwiches today?”

“Which one is the butch?”

And so on.

And so on.

Just when you think there is hope for the future.

Sandwiches are good though.

2:20 p.m.

The good news is – lunch was a hit. I proved my worth in this household finally.

Let’s build the scene.

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At first it was just simple spring mix. A single mother of three beautiful daughters all with the same exact eyebrows.

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And then the roasted veggies – Sprouts, B and carrots. Childhood friends that have just gotten back together for lunch after many years and realized that they have opposing political views and will never talk to each other again.

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Y el salmon to cap it off. Some olive oil and sea salt and that my friends is how we do lunch.

4:18 p.m.

We just bought tickets to go see Silence this evening at 6:00 p.m. No popcorn movies hasn’t happened since Day 1 when we saw Kill Yourself by the Sea with Casey Affleck (which Alexis will eye roll at me for pronouncing his last name like the insurance company). I’m tone deaf and don’t appreciate the ridicule.

Surely we will eat dinner before we head out. I am really nervous to be around so much popcorn. I feel depressed lately and I want snacks NOW!

What is the guiding force once the novelty has worn off?

5:03 p.m.

Dinner is just minutes away. We are going for a repeat of the famous Dim Sum dumplings from Goop.

“It’s 5:03 p.m. The movie is at 6. We need to leave at 5:30. How are we doing timeline wise?”

“On time.”

5:22 p.m.

Oh I don’t know. It’s looking tight. I’ll take the dog for a walk.

5:37 p.m.

Still no dinner.

“How we looking?”

“Great.”

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Little dumpers with butternut squizzler. With our homemade “salty AF” sauce.

5:40 p.m.

Can we talk about how having a printer at home is the single greatest benefit of being an adult in the entire world? That’s when you know you’ve made it. Also, if you have backup ink cartridges in the drawer underneath. #notthereyet

5:45 p.m.

How am I still typing you ask? Because we are still home.

It seems that two people can have entirely different views on what the phrase, “I’m ready” actually means.

9:17 p.m.

We saw a movie but I’m too hungry to remember what it was about. Oh the popcorn everywhere. I can’t go to the movies again without a gas mask. Or at least some taro chips. This is an unfair way to experience life. Even though movie theater popcorn makes my head literally ache I don’t see how I can just turn my back on someone I’ve known my entire life. Where is the loyalty?

As for Silence, it was really really strange and the first 85% almost seemed like it was intentionally bad and then, all of the sudden, it was really good. And then it was over. Kind of like Whole30.

I’ll get to how much we spent last week tomorrow. I can’t do the math. I need to find some turkey.

Goodnight people.

 

Ready Day 22 HERE.

Whole30 Day 22 : Listen To The Mandolin Rain

9:59 a.m.

Alexis is crying. America has just inaugurated its 45th president. I’m afraid to even open up the internet today. We are talking ourselves into being able to watch his speech. I’d rather be kicked in the balls by a mule.

It’s raining again though, which is fitting. I took a long walk this morning because it felt like the only thing I could do.

10:35 a.m.

Breakfast was delicious. Sweet potato toast, fried eggs, bacon, and avocado. I feel nourished and full.

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I haven’t noticed in dramatic changes in the last few days. I got terribly light-headed during my boxing lesson, but that is pretty common. I can tell I’m losing weight and my overall health seems to be improving but I haven’t gotten into any of the ‘deep tissue’ stuff I’d like to. For example, I have a constant cloudiness in my head that has been with me since I was about 19. That’s when I went to every kind of doctor and got every kind of test. They wanted to rule out everything from a brain tumor to a simple cold. In the end, everything came back regular. All my charts, all my blood work, all the scans. So it was ruled that I had chronic depression and that was the cause of the fogginess.

It’s twelve years later and I still have the fog. If you could imagine living life but also simultaneously being just a few feet outside of your body narrating everything in the third person in real time, that would be the best I could describe it. Even in the most intense moments, when people are supposed to be devastated with emotion, I’m just having a monotone conversation in my head about what I should probably do so people think I am engaged. Your grandpa just died. Be sad. Say something meaningful. As if life is being experienced through a filter. Sex with a condom on. Only the condom is my brain. And how would you go about treating this? It’s impossible. And endless cycle of specialists, false leads, and expensive tests.

I was holding on to this outside change that it was related to grains. Kind of a last ditch effort to resolve something I have learned to accept as a part of me. I have seen no improvement thus far. I’m guessing I would need to stay off grains and sugar for much longer than 30 days. I’ve come this far, I am strongly considering it.

Alexis, however, is starting to show some improvements in areas she has had chronic trouble.

“I took a big poop today!” she said this morning.

That’s three days in a row. Which is a miracle if you knew how much I had to hear about her, I mean, how much she has to deal with constipation and inconsistent poops. These are the big ticket items I was talking about missing a few articles ago. Something to add to the “win” column. This would be a huge one for her.

11:02 a.m.

I feel Woody has grown tired of the same old walking route. He hates the rain, I’ll tell you that much. This morning, he pooped under a bush so he wouldn’t get wet. I try to support him in different ways after he poops so he doesn’t become desensitized to approval. Today, I tried, “That’s how we do, son!” in a deep voice. I don’t think he liked it all that much.

11:32 a.m.

We are doing our training now. He’s working on the “stay” command. Not his strong suit to say the least. But he’s getting the hang of it. I walk him into the living room, make him sit, then lay down, then I walk to the other side of the apartment with my back to him. Then I turn around and hold eye contact while counting to ten. At which point I tell him to “come” and he goes ape shit and sprints right up to me.

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2:22 p.m.

It’s Rainmaggedon. Palm branches scattered all over the freeway. Poor ladies with blown out umbrellas crossing the street. And tons of stoked millennials wearing all of their expensive rain gear that they bought for this very day.

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This was also the day I paid $645 to have my scooter removed from the tow lot. Because they were charging a $50/day storage fee.

“It costs you $50/day to store something that takes up two feet?”

“Yes sir it does.”

First I went to Target and talked to Rob the manager. That was not pleasant. I congratulated him on his excellent detective work by not being able to correlate the stickers all over the scooter and the business logo seventeen feet away at our studio.

Then it was Eddie at Advantage Towing who said he could not possibly wave the storage fees.

“Once they are processed in the computer, that’s it.”

I’ve always loved this excuse by business owners. Oh, I don’t know. It’s the computers. Once it’s in the computer we can’t control it. You own the business. You bought the fucking computer. I’m pretty sure it can do whatever it is you want.

He told me it was just business, nothing personal.

“You’re in the business of ruining people’s months. So, yeah, it is personal.”

“There’s nothing I can do.”

“I’m just asking you to admit that you are a liar and that you take advantage of people who don’t have a choice.”

He had some choice words. I told him he was a piece of shit.

Naturally he was there at the shop. A dingy little crap box that was straight out of Breaking Bad.

“Hello. I’m the piece of shit,” he said about two feet from my face definitely trying to scare me.

I stopped. Turned to face him.

“Yes, you very much are a piece of shit. Great place you’ve got here too.”

We fought for a few minutes. Then he softened up for some reason.

And at the end of the day, what am I gonna do but pay? A defeat so hard to swallow I am having all the stereotypical reactions. Googling lawyers. Checking the forums for anyone who has gotten back at the towing companies. And there’s nothing. They ride the fine edges of the law so closely that there’s really nothing I can do. I have a hard time accepting when there’s nothing I can do.

The most upsetting thing – I was really excited to buy myself a new vacuum today. A Shark Rocket, to be specific.

3:10 p.m.

Alexis made me a turbo salad before I had to head to the studio and take a few photos.

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It was pretty simple – rotisserie chicken, mixed greens, cauli rice, olive oil, and a lemon squeeze. I inhaled it.

Now I am filing four years of “missing” taxes from my old business. My accountant never checked the “FINAL RETURN” box in 2012. As far as the IRS is concerned, I’ve been doing business as usual, just not giving them their cut.

Today has not been my favorite day.

4:17 p.m.

Little Woody is freezing his little neutered nuts off. I know he needs to go to the bathroom though. I pick him up and start talking to him in a high-pitched Mrs. Doubtfire voice as we walk to the door. I was in the middle of my talk to him, “Come on little baby. Say bye to mommy dearest…” when I opened the door and saw our neighbor, Wayne. I paused for a second, cleared my throat, and uttered the following word, “Football.”

7:46 p.m.

We are at family dinner now. We’ve been having these dinners since Jasper was born, four years ago. The single longest recurring social experience in my life. We are listening to classic rock and I’m playing Star Wars with Jasper.

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I’m always the punch line because I never bring anything and I eat five times more than anyone else. They call me Meat Toosh because of it. And Jasper might actually think my name is Uncle Meat Toosh. Since I’ve been with Alexis we’ve started bringing things to family dinner. Tonight was a feast.

Butter lettuce taco shells, ground beef, home made guac, shredded red cabbage with meyer lemons, sauteed radish and onion with a balsamic reduction, mango salsa, and the other half the table that I couldn’t look at – shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa.

I had nine tacos, conservatively.

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I let the family know about Alexis’ digestion progress.

“Alexis has been pooping up a storm lately,” I said.

She shot a look at me.

“Yeah she is chronically constipated and now thanks to the Whole30 she is blowing it out on the reg.”

Everyone is laughing. Alexis looks like a tomato.

8:35 p.m.

It’s a Bruce Hornsby kind of night.

 

Read Day 21 HERE.

Whole30 Day 21 : Alexis Goes To Work

9:20 a.m.

Our back room scored its second victory in as many weeks last night when we sold the IKEA daybed we had disassembled in there.

Woody has a stick in the house. You never really know what it is that he’s chewing on. I let him bring stuff in from outside because I like the wildness of it. He feels like a crusader. Alexis doesn’t like it when there’s tree bark all over our white comforter, and honestly neither do I, but I can’t bring myself to say no to him at the base of the stairs when he sits all by himself and tries to pretend there isn’t a twelve inch piece of wood hanging out the side of his mouth.

This is mostly an essay about Woody and me.

9:35 a.m.

The little drummer kids and the mom rock band are back at it. Although this morning they are keeping a nice little groove and it goes along with the rate at which I’m typing.

Breakfast is being prepared as we speak. In twenty minutes I leave for my boxing lesson where I will not have had enough time to digest said breakfast.

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This was more of a “sample” breakfast. I’m just waiting for the rest to be made at some point.

It’s raining, again. We live in gd Seattle. Makes me question all the times I say, “I wish it rained more here. All the seasons are the same. I’m tired of 75 degrees and sunny every day. Blah blah. I think I’d rather be sitting in a coffee shop somewhere listening to Elliot Smith writing my novel that is going to be blindly picked up by Random House. And the rain is the truest expression of my emotions. If only it rained a little more here.” Well, I take it all back. I can’t get shit done when it’s raining. I don’t want to write anything. I just want to watch Will & Grace reruns on the couch while pounding ice cream by the pint. Bring back the sun already. I’m sorry I questioned you, god. I acknowledge that you know me best and I appreciate the life lesson.

9:50 a.m.

I think it was seven years ago when I began meditating with any consistency. It didn’t take long to start feeling very bazaar sensations in my body. Particularly, the pulsation in my forehead. Repetitive thumps consistent with my heart rate that were a combination of electricity and awkward tickling. As a new yoga person I did a lot of reading and asked a lot of teachers because I was hoping they would point me to some story from an ancient text that said the return of the prodigal son was to take place in the year 2010 in a city with many palm trees. Unfortunately, that never happened. And I kind of gave up researching. It still happens today. It happened last night. And now I just hold onto it like my own private super power. The one that lets me see through all the world’s bullshit.

11:21 a.m.

It wasn’t until about halfway through the session when the bubbling acid started making its way up from my diaphragm. He tilted his head sideways to try to interpret the burping gag motion I kept repeating in between combos. And yet I keep going back.

11:30 a.m.

I’m fourteen hours taro free.

Woody’s head is so small and cute that sometimes I worry I’m just going to crush it. I have that disease which causes you to grind your teeth around things that are very cute for fear that you’ll accidentally squeeze them to death. I start calling him names like a little fair trade hampster long johns monk bear and then Alexis tip toes into the room to grab him and quietly back paddle out as she tries to force short bursts of an awkward laugh. That’s neither here nor there.

Alexis is at Whole Foods getting avocados and lemons. And a rotisserie – the new snack food. I’m going to take Woodson Jefferson for a walk around the old town and see who we see. I think we’ll go to Home Depot after that so I can extend the prep surface area in the kitchen.

11:36 a.m.

Sun’s out. It’s warm. I just wish it would rain here sometimes.

11:42 a.m.

Dear Whole Foods,

Kindly eat a dick.

Turkey, chicken, lemons, avocado, and bacon = $70.

That’s a haiku I wrote this afternoon.

11:46 a.m.

I’m sitting at my desk with an open container of taro chips next to me. They are not for eating. They are a reminder of just how quickly it can all be lost. I could just put them on the top shelf next to the other trigger foods, out of sight. I could do that. I could also lay in bed all day and wait around for a meaningful life.

12:48 p.m.

Just posted a political article I wrote last week. I really felt it necessary at the time because I had just fought with like fifteen people and made my mom cry. I haven’t posted it yet because I was deep in the Whole30 and didn’t want to dilute this gravy train. But tomorrow is a big day and people are going to be angry. Perhaps a little support is necessary. But reading it just now, a week later, makes it feel like a distant cousin that I haven’t seen in ten years. I don’t care about it as much now that the emotions connected to it have settled. I am like this with most of my writing. Anyway, it’s been twenty minutes and not a single person has liked it yet. I missed my window with that one. Time to retire from writing all together.

1:09 p.m.

Quick little lunch.

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This was a Thai-inspired chicken salad. Really, we had Thai people come over and make it. Cashews, diagonally cut chicken (that’s their whole gd secret), carrots, Brussel Wilsons, and a peanut sauce. It was small, but I asked for that. I’ve just regained an appetite hours after my workout. In the meantime, I’ll wait for my water to fill up in the sink.

It’ll be about twenty minutes before my Hydro Flask fills. Since we share a tank with the restaurant next to us we spend half the day watching the water dribble out like an old man’s urethra.

1:13 p.m.

The rotisserie and the turkey meat from Whole Foods are both dry. I will be requesting a full refund, after I feed them to my dog.

1:52 p.m.

Maybe it’s attention I’m after. Maybe it’s displaced musical genius. But my ability to replace lyrics is unlike anyone’s I’ve ever met. My personal favorite this afternoon, sung in a deep Johnny Cash voice, “I pooped myself today,” on repeat. Alexis is not feeling it so much.

“Kirk. Do we really need that?”

Does she really need her ukulele?

Could be her new found competitiveness now that she is taking music lessons and doesn’t want me to be the only runaway talent in the house.

2:30 p.m.

Wtf. Alexis is getting dressed for something.

“Hello?”

“Yes?”

“Where are you going?”

“I have my singing lesson then I’m going to work at Goldleaf.”

She’s basically telling me, to my face, that she wants to have her own life and make her own money.

“But what about?…. who’s gonna make?… how do I…?

“It’s all written down in the book.”

Sure enough, a Post It titled, “Dinner”.

So just me and old Woodruff then. Couple of men on the loose.

She seems to be rushing. Maybe this is a good opportunity to offer my assistance.

“Would you like a snack when you get home from singing before you go to work?” Please say no, please say no.

“Yes, that would be great.”

Oh.

“Wonderful then.”

2:38 p.m.

Okay, everyone likes the article. We can all stop collectively worrying about this. The road to success is long and uncertain.

I’m losing a lot of time looking in the mirror these days. I have it in my head that a lot can change in six minutes. Maybe that’s when the lower abdominal pouch disappears. Who knows? You have to be watching though.

And it got me thinking about torture. If someone wanted information out of me they’d go for the obvious plays, kidnap Alexis and Woody. While that would be awful I would just end up finding the person and covering his testicles in peanut butter and letting Woody and his Rottweiler pal from the dog park go to town. Actually, I wouldn’t want Woody doing that at all. He’s too pure to get caught up in that racket. We’re losing focus though. None of the obvious tactics would work. Instead, if they just placed a microscopic rock in the sole of my shoe and told me I could never get it out and never wear a different pair of shoes, well, I’d tell them everything they needed to know.

Alexis is off.

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4:46 p.m.

Me and Woodster just took a walk. I like to play a game while we’re walking called, “Count How Many Pieces of Poop He Eats”. Thankfully, it has been in the single digits today. Another thing we do, because he hates puddles, is when we are getting close I wait for him to jump and then pull hard on his leash so he thinks he’s flying over top of it. I don’t know if he likes it at much as I do but we have a good rhythm about it. Now he is back home raiding the recycle bin for anything that once touched a piece of turkey.

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I’m at the stage of the diet where cashew butter actually tastes good and peanut butter smells like a cavity. I suppose this is a good place. Which would lead one to believe that people never go back once they’ve seen the light. I asked around. Everyone breaks. It starts with a peanut butter cup at a friend’s because it’s so small practically no one would notice. And then it’s a cupcake at work. And pretty soon your spouse finds you at the bottom of a dumpster outside Baskin Robbins. I can hear the internal dialogue, Discipline, discipline, stay strong, you got this, think of your health, think of your kids, don’t look at that pie, it’s not even a good pie, the crust does look fresh, FUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU! And it’s over.

4:51 p.m.

Now he’s barking at a UPS box because it won’t play with him.

4:55 p.m.

Now a piece of lint roller paper is stuck to his foot.

5:49 p.m.

I have to start making dinner. Like actually making shit. Well, not really. She already cooked the chicken but I have to reheat it which is the same thing minus the gagging when touching the raw meat.

I’m really hesitant to have the Whole30 cookbook, authored only by Melissa I might point out, in the kitchen. It’s a collector’s item, being that it’s signed. Perhaps I can get the whole thing laminated.

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There are no less than fifteen steps in this recipe, each line containing it’s own unique math equation. I’ve never been one for following orders and it seems that recipe books are nothing but orders. Who likes these things? Like, what are you going to do if I put two carrots in when it calls for one? Whatever.

Oh, never mind. I can skip the whole thing.

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6:06 p.m.

It’s still a lot of work. I can’t even remember what she told me this afternoon. 1/2 cup of something and then the thing in the container. Put it all together. Save half for her.

7:20 p.m.

Heating up the soup listening to our wonderful sound system. I scored Technics wooden floor speakers from the 80s off Craigslist for $40. While everyone is rushing to buy the next bluetooth speaker I’m happy to hold onto these classics that fill our whole house with good tunes. The Martin Logan subwoofer doesn’t hurt. Although we are good neighbors so it’s only set at 10%.

I’m listening to the greatest love song of all time – Song for Zula by Phosphorescent. I wanted this to be our wedding song.

“Have you listened to the lyrics?” she asked.

Admittedly I’m more of a ‘feel of the song’ kind of guy. So I had a look.

Some say love is a burning thing
That it makes a fiery ring
Oh but I know love as a fading thing
Just as fickle as a feather in a stream
See, honey, I saw love,
You see it came to me
It puts its face up to my face so I could see
Yeah then I saw love disfigure me
Into something I am not recognizing

See the cage, it called. I said, come on in
I will not open myself up this way again
Nor lay my face to the soil, nor my teeth to the sand
I will not lay like this for days now upon end
You will not see me fall, nor see me struggle to stand
To be acknowledged by some touch from his gnarled hands
You see the cage it called. I said, come on in
I will not open myself this way again.

I was only more convinced after reading the lyrics that it was a great wedding song. Unfortunately, I lost the battle.

Meanwhile, I have a full implementation of the “clean as you go” protocol happening here. So much so that I accidentally washed the spoon I was using to stir the soup because it sat idle for more than ten seconds.

Soup time, party time.

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7:39 p.m.

This soup is really good. I know it might look like I just pulled down my pants and shit into this bowl behind a tree on a family camping trip, but it is amazing!

Alexis is watching as I type.

“No,” she says.

“Why?”

“You’re ruining it for me.”

Fair enough, but you be the judge.

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From the Whole30 Cookbook – Ginger Chicken Noodle Bowl. Ginger marinated chicken, roasted sweet potatoes and onions, zucchini noodles, coconut milk, chicken broth, and spinach at the end.

It’s the ticket, folks.

Also, you might get a little pop-up thingy when you try to navigate off this page. It’ll ask you to sign up for the newsletter and features quite a dapper photo of me. I don’t actually look like that. But it’s convincing. Anyway, don’t be all upset because it took you three more seconds to close the box. It only does it to you once. Or every fourteen days until you sign up. I can’t remember which box I clicked.

Buenas.

 

Read day 20 HERE.

Whole30 Day 20 : Taro Rock

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There is no reason for this photo other than to soften you before you begin reading.

9:28 a.m.

2/3.

66%

The big 2-0.

They have some healthcare in California that makes certain things free. For example, men can see a doctor for free for anything that has to do with their genitals. I consider genitals to be a grey area. For example, if I suspect I have strep throat I will call them and say I am concerned I contracted an STD after a bachelor party in Vegas. After they tinker with the nuggets for a while I mention something about it possibly having moved into my throat. This raises a lot of suspicion as it introduces some new elements into the equation. After a simple swab they rule out throatal warts, mouth syphilis, and impacted wisdom teeth. There’s nothing left but strep. And are they not going to treat it? I’m practically dying in their arms. What choice do they have?

I’m not going to get six-pack abs. I have a genetically short torso. They just took the top two squares off my abdomen when they were making me. But I could still technically get to the fitness level that would provide a six-pack to someone with equal proportions so I’m wondering if it’s technically correct that I just say I have a six-pack.

9:39 a.m.

Eating breakfast now. One that can only be called “Ten Minutes Until You Should Be Far Away From Me”. The only kind of men I know who eat beef for breakfast are the ones I wouldn’t want to walk behind for any length of time.

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We fucked up last night and watched two episodes. Things are getting weird between Walt, Hank, and Jesse. I was content with just watching one. I’m trying to be all in tune with my body and I knew it was time for bed. But no. Alexis insisted that we watch one more. So we did. Because I’m nice. And five minutes into the episode she was asleep. Trying to act like she wasn’t, of course.

10:01 a.m.

I’ve been friends with Michelle Branch’s sister on FB for a while and know that she is a model/actor. We were casting for a commercial a few months ago and I asked her if she would send her pricing and portfolio. Turns out she does commercials for Apple and shit and I was like, “Oh wow, impressive body of work. Looks like you are way out of our league. Thanks for sending over anyway.” And I just noticed today that I haven’t seen her post in a while. Which is the first warning that you’ve been unfriended. So I checked. She’s not there. Not even as a non-friend but just completely non-existent. So either she gave up the FB for personal reasons, which more than one actor has in their time, or she blocked me because she thought I was just a closeted pervert hiding behind a production studio. I need to have Alexis search her on her account and check this out. Then message her and be like what the hell lady you think I opened a gd business, built a website, and made up a fake commercial sheet just to chat with you?

We ended up casting our friend for the role and she did an amazing job. Hoping they get this commercial through the network in time to air during the playoffs.

11:05 a.m.

Just booked another new client. It’s raining now. Good people too. The kind you really want to work with.

11:17 a.m.

I’m also very relieved to know that our new Education Secretary is going to take a hard stance against grizzly violence in public schools. I don’t think this issue received enough attention during the presidential campaign.

11:30 a.m.

Alexis is just now eating her breakfast. Normally I would let her know how bad that is for her health and how she has to take care of herself but she was handling her own business and I know what a rush that can be so I said nothing.

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1:02 p.m.

I know it’s lunchtime. Because I looked at the clock. I’ve been working all morning and haven’t worried very much about food. Stable energy.

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Alexis is going to take Woodson to the dog park so I might just reheat some chicken from last night and call it a day.

1:26 p.m

That’s me, a regular Betty Crocker. Although I’ve just been told that I have a different view of rations.

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“You’re going to make all of those?”

“Yeah. It’s in a tupperware so I’m just dumping it all in.”

“Those have to last us til tomorrow.”

How does she know this stuff?

I am better off over here in my designated area.

Anyway, I’m excited about lunch. We have sweet potato toast, breaded chicken, chili, and some salad. I would say I contributed to 40% of this meal. And it felt good to get my hands in the game.

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2:48 p.m.

I feel quite full, still. I had just a little bloating after lunch. I wonder if there’s a diet that can make your skin thinner. Ben (different Ben) and Laurin are having us over for dinner tonight. Laurin swears up and down that she was going to invite us before the blog became a part of mainstream America. I hope they are ready for house guests that bring a laptop, professional camera, and spotlight over for a dinner party. Rumor has it there’s a recipe for taro chips on the docket tonight.

3:00 p.m.

This morning the kitchen was clean and it was a great time. I thought we just cleaned it but it’s dirty again. And I must’ve forgotten because the food has dried to the pans and plates. Which means I have to actually scrub each individual one. Which means I’ll be the first middle class American to lose his job on account of having to do dishes at home.

The portrait of Woody in the turtleneck has caused some talk in our neighborhood. A lot of people are calling for it to be printed life-size and hung in our studio window. Some are even saying we should open a dog portrait division in our company. While I resist being told what to do from anyone – even if it was Denzel Washington telling me how to act – I think that dog portraits could be a lucrative market where we live. My only fear is that Woody will have a complex when he is older and blame us for exposing him to the market before he could mature and make his own decisions. Like all those kid bodybuilders that you see walking around.

3:58 p.m.

Trying to make negotiations with Alexis right now. I wash, you dry. I haven’t even gotten around to the three hours of video editing I have to get done today.

I keep putting things on the calendar for February and thinking about how I won’t be on the Whole30 then. It feels a bit like graduating from an immersive training. Life on the outside seems to hard and scary.

4:11 p.m.

What I am best at – developing efficient work processes – is also what makes a good life seem sometimes not fun. Every time I do something I have to do it faster and neater than the time before. I have three blog tabs opened at all times – edit post, site stats, and media upload. I drag the images into the media upload tab so they will populate in the edit post tab without having to refresh the page and lose the placement of my cursor. While they are imported I refresh the site stats and check on relevant links. And after each successful import of images I delete the memory card entirely so the next import batch doesn’t carry excess images that I will not be using again. My camera sits with the lens cap off for easy access, although that gives me anxiety because of the potential for dust spots, so the lens faces the wall directly and doesn’t leave enough space to get dirty. At the end of the night I close every tab, eject all hard drives, and shut down my computer so that I can start new again in the morning.

Sometimes I may land a huge client and instead of smile, worry about how I am going to appropriately allocate the funds and deliver a great product. This Whole30 will be over soon. And it will become nostalgia. Which, in my opinion, is just the extra feeling we apply to something we wish we felt in the moment.

4:26 p.m.

She doesn’t have an account anymore. I had Alexis check.

Also, Woody got a bath.

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We are thinking about doing his DNA test. I suspect he is Italian. He’s just too slick not to be.

4:36 p.m.

I’m so conflicted. Alexis just came in and started doing the dishes by herself. If I say nothing, they will all go away without me having to do anything. I know you’re thinking you better get off your ass, boy! But have you considered how good this might be for her long-term work ethic? Am I not actually allowing her to learn important life lessons?

4:41 p.m.

I helped. Geezus, of course I helped. And now I know, thanks to this diary, that it was only five minutes of my life.

Another thing I’ve learned from this writing experience is that I always, without exception, spell technically wrong the first time. I type it as techincally.

I have also been blatantly forgetting to include critical words in emails. I’ll say, “It was great today when dog. Hope to talk soon.” When I was trying to say that it was great meeting you today when you stopped by with your dog. Last night I wrote in my personal journal that I wondered about the life cycle of words. How many someone has in a day or in a lifetime. And what are the consequences of using too many?

5:22 p.m.

I don’t feel funny today. As a result I find it difficult to write funny. Normally, I see something and have a funny conversation about it in my head and then walk to the computer to type it out. I recognize the comedy immediately and modify certain things so the story carries out better. But today I have not been given a single ounce of humor through the ether. It might lead one to fear that they have “lost it”. I just think I’ve been consumed with actual bill-paying work and haven’t been able to duplicate my mind and turn one to the comedy channel. All hands are needed on this deck.

I did just finish a video though. The first draft at least. One that was troubling me. Oddly enough, the thing that was holding me back was the text copy on the title slides. I couldn’t find the right words.

5:33 p.m.

For god knows what reason, I am not that hungry. Lunch really did me in. I couldn’t even finish 12 ounces of smoothie. Beef for breakfast and lunch. It feels like deepwater horizon is about to explode out of my ass. And now if I can’t finish my dinner Laurin is going to think I hate her cooking and probably never talk to me again. I’ll have to find my second stomach. Not eating a meal someone cooks for you is the worst possible offense.

7:15 p.m.

I ate dinner. And then I ate dinner again. And then I ate it just one more time to make sure that I remembered what it tasted like.

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Roasted chicken, sweet potato mash, roasted veggies (broccoli and carrots from the garden (suck on that)), and possibly a handful or two of taro chips but I don’t remember. What a delight to be cooked for for a change.

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I want to reiterate what a treat it is to have someone reach out and offer to cook for you while you are on this diet that makes you sit in corners late a night yelling at yourself for having thoughts about brie.

7:39 p.m.

A lot of times I try to live parallel lives to the characters in the books I read, or let’s be honest, the TV shows I watch. Right now I am relating to Jesse Pinkman as he is back on the meth. I’m contemplating the meth you ask? No. Taro chips. A delicious goodness that I didn’t know much about until forty minutes ago. Allow me to take you through a visual journey of their existence.

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I thought I was strong. I was just bragging about how I’m not even tempted by cravings anymore. And then the tray came out of the kitchen. And I took one bite. And it reminded me of a time when I used to enjoy the company of a chip. I gave myself a small handful. They were made of compliant ingredients. Then I had another small handful. And then everyone started looking at me more and more while not saying anything and I realized they all thought I had a problem. With the tray back in the kitchen I took an opportunity to help Ben take the dirty plates into the kitchen. I’ll just have a few more. It’s not going to hurt anyone.

I finally had to announce to the group that I was having a hard time being in the same room as the taro bites (coined it, already own the domain).

I’m in the other room now. All I can think about is going back. I thought I had come so far but I am powerless. Experiencing real guilt and shame and confusion. What is the point of this diet if not to show me that life is unfair and there is no way to walk away ahead?

There is talk in the kitchen right now of how many taro chips they should send us home with. They are talking to Alexis like she is my sponsor. I can hear the tension in Alexis’ voice. Maybe fear.

I don’t know guys.

I mean, yeah they’re compliant. But that’s not the point.

Have you seen Kirk with his snack bowl?

This is life in California, people – a “chip” made out of a root vegetable cooked in organic coconut oil is causing my friends to whisper about me in the other room.

7:45 p.m.

I just had two more. That was it. And I chewed them slowly. Did I tell you guys I used to gamble in middle school? I had a bookie and bet on at least ten basketball games a night. Not a big deal. I had a portable blackjack table I brought with me to friends’ houses when we wanted to roll into a quick game. And then it was the cigarette smoking that started when I was fourteen. Most people hate their first cigarette. I loved mine. Anyway, I’m learning how to make the taro chips now.

9:14 p.m.

We are home now. But are we safe? It depends if you consider the two pound tupperware full of taro crack to be safe or not.

 

Read Day 19 HERE.

Whole30 Day 19 : Alexis Cries And It’s Not My Fault. But It Kinda Is Too

6:15 a.m.

I hate people who drive motorcycles through residential neighborhoods at 5:30 in the morning as fast as they can. First of all – how are you not cold, bro? You only have a hoodie on. Secondly – if the handlebars are above your shoulders what are the implications for blood circulation on a long ride? Thirdly – is it your actual goal to make people unhappy? Nobody likes loud noises like that.

9:49 a.m.

You guys, a lot of you clicked the link to the chicken pot pie place. Are you all sick in the head too? I warned you. I did my part.

You might have noticed a reduction in The Gas Logs. That’s because it’s been pretty quiet around here lately. Until last night, when we ate the beef. It sounded like a set of twins at their first trombone lesson.

Alexis was complaining of stomach pains while we were brushing our teeth in our very tiny bathroom. I disregarded it and said she was overreacting. She said, “Oh” and walked away. Only seconds later did I realize the that “Oh” meant she was going to prove it me by leaving behind a fragrance only matched by the back alleys of New Orleans.

The Gas Logs do not discriminate.

10:09 a.m.

Question for domestically advanced people – how do you wash a cutting board that is bigger than your sink?

10:15 a.m.

The tea is happening now. We woke up late. Well, the second time. I got up at 5:30 to take Ben to the airport. Whenever I’m up that early I wish to myself that I did it more often. Very peaceful. And watching the sun come up is truly special. But I’m sure those of you who do it every day say the same thing about 9:00 a.m. So beautiful. So peaceful. Close the blinds please.

Alexis is sick of the Whole30 at this point.

“How come you’re sick of the Whole30?”

“I don’t like to be told what to do.”

Heard that.

She feels trapped. Because she already felt like she was making good food choices before this diet. Now someone else is telling her she has to do even more.

We keep passing up on things – snacks, sweets, going out to dinner – and striking a lot of marks in the “missing out” column while we wait for something equal to pop up in the win column. Our friends were eating at Piacere Mio (don’t you fucking click that link!) last night – the famous Italian restaurant across the street from our studio. You can’t even understand the servers they are so Italian. “Ay, itsa tha mostaccioli!” Do Italian impressions by white Americans ever get old people? And the bread. I saw a chewed up end piece when I walked over to say hi and I was so jarred that I injected myself with an Epipen.

The accurate implementation of the Whole30 life is in direct opposition with the culture we live in.

Last night I was inspired by it.

Today I’m over it.

10:22 a.m.

Never mind. Bacon is here.

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10:45 a.m.

At Midnight last night Woody pissed his whole crate. I think he read yesterday’s blog too late and wanted to have his own pee dream. You’d think the guy would show some humility but seconds later he was on the bed smashing me in the face with a tennis ball. Then he spent ten minutes in the bathtub licking the drain. My great-grandma might refer to this young man as “touched”.

I turn to Alexis, “Can’t wait to hear what your trainer says about this. I think he needs more treats.”

A very loud silence.

10:58 a.m.

Rumbling in my stomach. Client meeting in two minutes. Do I take the risk and let it go? If he’s early, I’m fucked. If he’s on time, it’ll be close.

12:39 p.m.

I’ve been trying to get better about money as an entrepreneur in the last couple years. Not necessarily about making or spending money but realizing that it’s always going to show up, even when there’s nothing on the horizon. We are tight on dough this month and next before I head to Malaysia for work for the month of March. A couple of small projects on the schedule but nothing substantial. And no real leads. And all within one hour of each other, a few thousand dollars worth of projects fell into my lap during the next three weeks. This is the only part of being an entrepreneur that makes it worth it. For every 90 hours I spend worrying about business and finances I get 1 hour of pure joy.

Alexis took Woody to the dog park. It’s just four blocks from our place. Woody is famous there, as you could image. The only troubling thing is that he wouldn’t really care who his owner was as long as they pet him. It’s apparent every time he jumps into someone else’s lap and acts like we don’t exist anymore. I try not to take is personally. Alexis doesn’t handle it so well.

And now he bathes in the sun like the king he thinks he is.

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1:10 p.m.

Fuck. Raw chicken juice all over the fridge. We have a leak.

1:18 p.m.

PS – Alexis’ gift arrives today. You may have forgotten. She hasn’t. I gave her five guesses, none of them were even close. This is fantastic.

1:37 p.m.

Those motherbastard lovers at Target towed our scooter. Two months they said it was parked in their lot. Tow-away zone signs everywhere they said. We’ll fucking see about that. Do you know who I am? I quickly learned the very limited scope of this blog. She didn’t know. I thought about just yelling. Something about the constitution. A lawyer. My uncle who’s in the mafia. You don’t want to know what happens if I don’t get my scooter back. But the security guard was hovering. I left her with a classic – you’ll be hearing from me.

I’ll be back, Target.

1:44 p.m.

My Kitchen Contributions – IMMENSE. I turned off the heat to the chicken breasts and cut up an avocado for lunch.

1:52 p.m.

“Did you notice I asked you for help?” Alexis said.

“I sure did. Did you notice I helped you?”

“I sure did.”

When DIY therapy works.

1:54 p.m

Alexis introduces a deep and dark theory.

“You’re never going to be able to overpower a human’s desire to do things that are bad for them.”

She really wants Honey Nut Cheerios. Like really bad.

“I know they’re bad for me. But I still love them. I don’t eat them all the time. Does that make me a bad person?”

And along come the members of the moderation party.

Lunch is here. More tacos. This time with chicken and a “peanut” sauce.

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You get so fucking delusional from time spent in the kitchen that you start making your food into Disney characters to keep you company.

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2:11 p.m.

The ukulele came. She cried. She’s such a sucker for emotional stuff.

I set it up by distracting her with another box – one that contained a lemon juicer or some other not exciting thing.

Then I snuck her box past her to the living room.

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“Hey can you come help me in here?”

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“What is that?! That’s a big box!”

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Honestly, how thoughtful am I though? Alternate subtext: “Honestly, how genuine was her reaction?”

You make your pick and you stand by it.

2:29 p.m.

So. She’s practicing now. Forgot about that part of the gift.

2:46 p.m.

I just stirred the chili in the pan. Aside from writing my own cook book I’m not sure what else I can do today.

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4:50 p.m.

Back from a long family walk. I left my phone at home because I think it makes me better than other people. Also, it let’s me “unplug” and wish the whole time I just had my phone.

Alexis had to go to the Postal Annex to ship some clothing items she sold. Her shop is starting to catch some traction and I’m sure it won’t be long before she is the famous one and I’m in the back of her photos with oven mitts on.

I got a little tired this afternoon. Felt like I wanted a nap. I think I will head to the gym now even though I just want to keep my face glued to this screen and write funny things about gas.

Woody is adjusting to his new bandana. Alexis wanted him to be a cowboy but once he learned every football team in the state of Texas lost in one day he became very self-conscious and acted like someone that used to date Avril Lavigne.

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6:30 p.m.

Workout deemed – not exactly a success. Muscles cramped straight away and I couldn’t get a good playlist going. Might as well’ve had pneumonia. I did look at myself in the mirror a lot though to confirm that my face is still thin.

6:39 p.m.

I’ve had a transformation, in my bowels. I’ve had three consecutive snake-like poops. They are smooth and soft, but solid. Is this what a normal person poops like? I can’t tell if I like it or not. It’s like having a butthole made of velvet.

For dinner, chicken cutlets ‘breaded’ with almond meal. On the side – Brussel Simons, mushrooms, and leeks. Woody has been sitting on Alexis’s foot for twenty minutes waiting for her to make a mistake.

“Can I help?” I asked.

She hesitated.

“Umm… this recipe… thank you, but I’ll just make it.”

“Oh, it’s above my paygrade? I’m just a lousy line cook to you? I’m fucking ambidextrous!”

Not having your value recognized is a hard pill to swallow. Which reminds me, we need to take our vitamins.

6:46 p.m.

“You can make a salad if you want, babe.”

“Oh, I was just asking so it seemed like I wanted to be helpful.”

“…..”

6:58 p.m.

I MADE THE GD SALAD. And I also made an exact replica of the Hong Kong skyline out of mango.

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She asked for even more help after that though. Like, what the hell is this? You give someone an inch…

I sent the dog.

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7:11 p.m.

This is mostly a feature piece on this luscious salad but you’ll notice some other stuff in the background as well.

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7:59 p.m.

That breaded chicken made me a believer. Whatever you’re selling, Whole30 Cookbook, I’m buying. It was very good. I had seconds. Thirds if you consider the fact my second trip was five more pieces and another entire salad. It’s all about framing.

8:18 p.m.

It’s 8:18 and we’re wrapping it up. Not literally. Alexis is on birth control. The Obama’s pay for it.

Have a good night my friends.

 

Read Day 18 HERE.

 

Whole30 Day 18 : Apples vs Gourmet Cupcakes

7:16 a.m.

I found my way into alpha state pretty quickly during meditation last night. I was proud. Then I realized I was just losing consciousness from the caramelized onions.

I did self-hate pushups and shame-myself situps before drinking a gallon of water and reciting my mantra, don’t pee the bed, don’t pee the bed.

I didn’t pee the bed. Although I have as an adult. Pee dreams are real. You think you’re off on an extravagant journey into the warmth of a tropical waterfall in New Zealand but then you wake up and it’s actually wet and you hope your partner didn’t notice so you lay there for a while until they get up to shower and you quickly rip all the sheets off and act like you want to do laundry.

My best hope today is that I have explosive diarrhea and for the next 4-6 hours. I want nothing to remain from last night’s episode.

8:01 a.m.

I keep ripping this mole off my neck. I know you’re not supposed to because it could kill you or something like that but I’ve always been a sucker for scabs (gross). It’s bad actually, the deals I’ve made with myself over the years justifying their removals. Promises made and then broken. I also cut a plantar wart out of my own toe with an exacto knife before because I couldn’t live with it living inside there. I believe there is a medication and a weekly meeting out there for me somewhere.

I hope I am cultivating a great appetite in you this morning.

8:50 a.m.

Had big plans this a.m. to have a nice stretch and listen to my Spanish lesson. Then I realized I was having unusual site traffic so I checked the analytics and saw we had been featured in the Whole30 newsletter. 350k subscribers Melissa tells me. I panicked that we were wasting an incredible opportunity, like we should’ve had a bunch of expensive products linked to my Amazon Associates page so we could’ve made a little chedda while not being able to eat any cheese at all. It was too late. The best I could do was put a link to the next article at the end of the current one. Giving people easy access to this wormhole of self-doubt and hunger. It was a quick twenty minutes of opening links in new tabs and copy and pasting diligently until it was done. Now I’m realizing I went backwards from Day 17 to Day 1 but should also have an option for people moving forward. Or maybe not. People are clicking on Day 17 at a 5x multiple of Day 1. So I think I’ll just leave it.

9:14 a.m.

Ben just had his second Whole30 meal. He won’t admit it yet, but he loves this shit. Or, he just loves being cooked for. Me too, Ben. I do think I heard him say the cauliflower mash was unbelievable last night. He had a big grin on his face.

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9:19 a.m.

I have to say, I was a little relieved this morning when I woke up and read the comments on my last post. I’ve read some things about Whole30ers – that they can be like the Cobra Kai when it comes to compliance regulation. So far, no one has threatened to kill Woody if I don’t start over. I’m not going to start over. Rule #5 – I’m a gd adult. I’ve already had the ugly shits three times this morning so I consider the matter in the past. The biggest takeaway – the sensitivity of my body is startling. The line between eating clean and eating truly clean is too small for the naked eye but the effects on the body are striking. We’ll call this experience a gentle backhand across the mouth.

9:26 a.m.

Alexis is mad at me. She’s been diligently preparing breakfast and a to-go lunch for me for work today and I’ve been updating the blog. I could tell she was irritated so I made a comment to Woody, “Your mom doesn’t love us anymore does she?” To which Alexis replied, “That’s actually really annoying.” Confirmed. Irritated. I mentioned that she didn’t ask me for help. She said she didn’t want to interrupt my writing because I get very serious about it. True. We both have a hand in this matter. The curious part will be seeing how long it takes the ego to deflate and work towards a resolution. Maybe I’ll go thank her and give her a hug and apologize for not reaching out sooner. Then maybe she’ll apologize for harboring resentment without communicating to me.

9:28 a.m.

Too soon.

9:39 p.m.

Okay, we good.

I always think about the first few months of parenting. Every time the baby is crying – hungry, tired, messy diaper – they usually end up with the mother. She has the milk, she puts the baby to bed, and most likely she’s more inclined to change the diaper. When dad walks in, it’s to make faces, toss the baby up and down, and make her laugh. The dad is fun. The dad is laid back. He saves the baby from the mom who is always making her cry.

The reality is, in most (not all) situations, the woman is the engine that is behind a lot of the difficult work. And the man comes in for a quick toss and a laugh and has that effortless confidence that everyone comes to admire.

My point is, I’ve been able to sit back and write minute-by-minute updates on this journey and have good laughs and make tons of new friends and taste a minute of internet fame while Alexis has been the engine in the kitchen making the whole thing happen.

It’s hard for me to remember sometimes that my work isn’t more important than hers. That, more than likely, I wouldn’t really be able to do this without her. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have willpower. I could do a Whole30. But it would be George Foreman chicken and frozen vegetables for thirty days straight.

10:19 a.m.

My mouth is still uncontrollably dry. This is insane.

11:12 a.m.

I want to unlink the Whole Foods video from yesterday. Asshole is getting tons of clicks that he doesn’t deserve.

Back for the last day of the internal training for Seeds. I have a nicely packed lunch with some snacks. Just enjoyed a green smoothie. Soon, I get to finally taste the dinner I skipped out on last night. And that leaves me with an apple and some cashew butter for an afternoon delight.

Alexis is training with Sonya at Goldleaf trying to absorb some of her retail and merchandising wizardry.

12:50 p.m.

I ate a small breakfast earlier. More punishment for last night. It’s almost 1 p.m. and I’m not panicking about eating lunch. That could be a victory point for Whole30 in regulating my food-induced rage. Also, and more likely, it could be because I have to actually make my lunch myself and I’m putting it off as long as possible.

12:51 p.m.

By make myself lunch I mean reheat the food that Alexis packed for me.

There are bags of amazing chips scattered throughout the house.

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I keep visualizing myself putting my hand in the bag and just grabbing a handful. Like a muscle memory. The cravings really aren’t that bad though. I think I almost play them up with my friends just for the sake of drama.

Did I mention that they just busted out a brick of thousand day gouda?

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I’ll get going on my lunch then.

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Chew on those apples.

At least I have Boston’s Whole30 support. He’s smashing broccoli today.

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1:30 p.m.

The crew is going to a place called Pop Pie. If you’re on Whole30 don’t click that link. It’s nothing but gourmet pot pies.

Greg made sure to place the tray of three decadent cupcakes in front of me.

Little did he know I had an apple and a tin of homemade cashew butter in my backpack.

Who’s laughing now?

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I mean, who’s even looking at those cupcakes?

3:28 p.m.

We are at 12,000 views for the day. Day 17 clicks and Day 1 clicks are now in a dead heat. Something has changed dramatically since this morning. These are the moments when I wish we were fifty years in the future and I could ask a floating cloud robot these questions and it would tell me the answers.

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3:48 p.m.

A small and private victory for me was when two of the pie eaters crashed on the couch an hour after their lunch.

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Meanwhile I’m just plugging away like a camel in the desert.

5:51 p.m.

Home from work. It’s dinner time. We are making ground beef tacos with cauli rice and roasted veggies. And avocado because I love FAT. Woody is running back and forth making me question his general intelligence. I can’t decide. He’s either really smart because he’s defiant or he’s just a simple little guy that doesn’t know too much. The other thing to consider is that English is his second language and I think he gets caught up in translating in his head when we are trying to give commands. I think he’s also stressed out over possibly getting deported come January 21st.

Little guy knows how to wear a turtleneck though.

6:19 p.m.

I’m really anxious to get into a regular workout routine to accompany this diet. I’m getting lean just by food alone but pretty soon I’m going to start looking like Skeletor and I’ll need some deep squats to combat the emerging flatness in my ass.

I was shocked when I saw where all of you are reading from in the comments on FB. South Africa, Australia, Ireland, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Canada, and right here in San Diego. I visualize all of your reading in different ways – phone in bed, laptop at the breakfast bar, desktop in the den, tablet on the couch, and so on. Do you picture what I’m doing while I’m writing this? I guess I provide some pictures so it’s easier but isn’t it interesting how an incredibly elaborate visual narrative has grown in your head to supplement these essays? Anyway, we can stop now before I start talking about how weird it is that we even have eyes in the first place.

Also, can one of you please recognize me in the street in front of my parents and all my high school friends and say that you “know me from my blog”? It would really help with a lot of things.

6:29 p.m.

Woody just hit his head on the fridge so hard I thought he cracked something. He took two recovering stutter steps after impact. He turns to chase the ball with such intensity that he doesn’t check his surroundings. He’s like a Chinese tourist at the airport. Okay okay, relax. I’ll go to confession. Normally when he whacks himself Alexis gets pretty concerned. “Are you okay!?” she’ll ask him immediately. And then pick him up. I like to think that will only lead to future weakness so I tend to distract him with something else and disregard the shard of glass sticking out of his kidney. “He’s fine,” I’ll say. But this whack was hard. And it startled me. And his poor little side wobble made me want to hit my head on the fridge too so I could be right there with him. He’s okay though. I shined a flashlight in both of his eyeballs. I don’t know what I was looking for specifically but I did it. He’s only responding to German which is a bit of an inconvenience because I don’t have that Rosetta Stone.

6:35 p.m.

I smell that ground beef.

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Ben thinks all of this might be a placebo. Don’t attack Ben, people. Ben is our friend. But he is a contrarian. The kind of person you want consulting you if you’re about to fuck someone up in an argument about deeply confusing stuff. He’s always looking for a hole in my reports on the diet. This is why I like Ben. It makes me think truthfully about all of this stuff and digest it in a way that someone not on the diet could relate to.

The question of sustainability comes up all the time with other friends. “What are you gonna do after the thirty days?” Well, for starters, schedule a nude photoshoot because I haven’t looked this good in about two years. I wore a tiny ass shirt today. Like a kid’s medium. Then I’ll probably start with gluten-free bread and see what the deal is there. Then bakery sourdough. Then brown rice. Then white rice. Then 49 tacos.

I’ve never tried to sell Ben on the Whole30 diet. Today on the walk home from work he acknowledged that he would consider it. If he had a partner or a roommate that would go in on it with him he would be down. It wasn’t any of the weight loss or energy fluctuations I talked about. It wasn’t the inflammation reduction or better sleep. Ben doesn’t have any of those “old man issues” as he referred to them. He was simply drawn by the fact that I am compelled to write so much while constantly digesting and reflecting on this new life experience. He said I must be inspired.

I think he nailed it. Sharing this blog with people every day has pushed my writing to a new level. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while but haven’t pulled the trigger. Geez. How many times could I say that? So here I am, doing something different. Learning new things. Feeling alive. Writing my ass off. Oh, and flaunting some abs.

I’m shutting it down early tonight. We need to have a night with music and candles and a good, long stretch. 15,000 hits right now. Pretty cool.

 

Read Day 17 HERE.

Whole30 Day 17 : I’m a Violator

5:41 p.m.

We just got home from Venice. This is my first time contributing to the Whole30 blog today because I already wrote 2900 words on another topic – winning political arguments. I had a blow out with an old classmate followed by an accusation towards my own mother in the last two days and they got me thinking – I’m not actually accomplishing anything by proving that I’m right if someone else doesn’t walk away feeling like they were heard. Nobody wants to learn from an asshole.

I pulled over on the side of Pacific Ave to write some thoughts that were tearing me up while Alexis scored a new pea coat from Gotta Have It thrift shop.

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I don’t want you to feel neglected. I just need you to know that I took some time to work on me this afternoon. Hopefully, I will stop buying voodoo dolls in the shape of my internet foes as a result.

Breakfast.

Not much going on there folks. It was harder than we thought to get some Whole30 compliant breakfast this morning on the West side. I ended up having half of a shitty green smoothie that tasted like dry wall spackle topped off with spirulina. Alexis had a fruit bowl with a kale, spinach, and avocado puree. She liked hers. Convenient.

I know one thing for sure – my first meal of the day needs to be cooked. My stomach turns to Chinatown quickly if I don’t start with something warm. I don’t even know what that means but I mean it to mean something gruesome.

We walked a good four miles on the boardwalk. We saw a roller hockey game, a 200 person dodgeball match, synchronized homeless beat-boxing, a rugby match, ultimate volleyball, and a lot of fake cans. The Venice boardwalk is certainly unlike any other place.

I am debating whether or not to complain about our hotel room to Expedia. I have gotten accustomed to writing sharp letters when I’m dissatisfied with services I pay for. Our mattress felt a lot like the night I spent in jail and every time we moved it squeaked a very high-pitched squeak. Normally, you want to earn your bed noises but these came for nothing.

Alexis says it’s not grounds enough to ask for our money back. That ultimately there was nothing wrong with our room.

It’s a fine line, lady.

I bought her a surprise gift this morning. It will arrive on Tuesday and I told her that she was going to “completely freak out.” I often think I won’t say anything. Just act casual until it arrives at the front door. Like how a monk would likely give a gift. But this puts some pazaaz in our life and makes her uneasy for the next few days. Sometimes after we get into fights I write in my journal that we have given each other the gift of feeling alive, which is a hell of a lot better than feeling nothing at all. I also hide behind doors for upwards of twenty minutes to scare her after her showers. All things I believe enhance our relationship and create a more exciting living experience.

The problem with sitting down to write “catch up” is that I lose all of the intricate, nuanced thoughts that I consider to be “my style.” I only have these thoughts for brief seconds and if I don’t write them down on the laptop or on my phone they will be gone forever. And it only comes out correctly the first time. If I try to reconstruct from a scribble then I will always lose the flow or the power of delivery. It’s a torture mechanism for writers. To be constantly fed bits of clever writing and completely lack the mental capacity to remember any of it.

I will tell you this – because I wrote it on my phone when it happened – we stopped at Whole Foods on our way out of town because we could assure ourselves a clean meal. The same Whole Foods where they filmed the Whole Foods Parking Lot video. Which got a lot of shares in the yoga community when it first came out. People said it was hilarious. It’s possible that when I just watched it again, years later, I felt embarrassed for the guy and regret ever linking to his video in the first place. Journalistic integrity though. Can’t be angry at all the media outlets if I’m going to filter it here.

Anyway, we’re there, sifting through the buffet, and I’m fixated on the mac n cheese. Only I’m just staring. Countless people are walking up and helping themselves to big cheesy spoonfuls enjoying their lives and their freedom and I’m trying to reign in the tongs so I can pinch a few pieces of broccoli and eat like a kid who has just been grounded for busting out his screen window and sneaking across the street to French his neighborhood girlfriend at 3am. It’s only the kids who are in trouble who have to eat broccoli.

I settled on three chicken drumsticks and the goddamn broccoli. A scooped of spring mix and about thirty grams of sea salt. I figure, salt dissolves. And when it dissolves it needs to be replaced. Alternatively, and they use this technique with ice cubes in highly scientific parts of the world, you can create a mass of salt so large that it decreases the rate of dissolution. Which is what I do.

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6:17 p.m.

We swung by Ashley and Chris’ to grab our dawg. He had just done a stint at a fashion school in Paris and picked up a new, chic style of his own.

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He has been surprisingly pretentious since being back in our house.

6:47 p.m.

The books from Melissa came! They are personally addressed and signed and I’ve already put them up for sale on eBay to offset some of the cost of this diet.

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Little does she know, my Whole30 experience is turning a corner. Because Chris asked if I had lost weight. He said he could see it in my face. Booyaa. #whole30 #changedmylife #myduckfaceisreal

7:38 p.m.

I think I ate something not Whole30. Ben and I were at the neighborhood sports bar watching the Steelers and talking about how I could run for city council. I ordered grilled chicken breast with avocado and grilled veggies. I told him no sauce or sugar or anything like that. But it tasted a little too good and now my lips look like raisins. There is a familiar flavor in my mouth that I experienced after first eating Panda Express. I am afraid to go back to the restaurant and ask them what exactly was in it. At this point, I could still pass a polygraph. Although I feel deeply conflicted. Is it possible that I’m over-exaggerating?

7:45 p.m.

I fucked up. I ate non-compliant food. I know it. I told him no sauce. I told him no sauce.

7:47 p.m.

I need the antidote. It has moved into my lungs.

“Have fun starting over by yourself,” Alexis says as she unloads the groceries.

7:54 p.m.

I think I’m dying.

7:58 p.m.

Woody is eating cauliflower on his bed to rub it in my fucking face. You don’t even like cauliflower you ungrateful bastard. I’m taking your turtleneck and sending you back to Tijuana.

7:59 p.m.

“I need to have some surgery done.”

“Because you ate fucking caramelized onions?” Ben replies inconsiderately.

“Yes, Ben.”

8:03 p.m.

We are talking about extending our Whole30 to 45 days to quiet all speculation. I can’t have a controversy like this follow me to the campaign trail.

8:22 p.m.

By now you’re tired of hearing about my flare-ups. I just want to add that I ate something that would be considered “healthy” by any casual observer and I feel like I ate a tub of ice cream and three bags of Cheetos. And I can isolate the impacts it’s having specifically in my body. The chapness of my lips, heart burn through my chest, nausea in my stomach. My teeth are aching. My mouth is so dry. And my forearms are cramping. From a fucking chicken breast. Because the onions were probably cooked in butter and the green beans probably dropped in some kind of soy sauce.

I’m a failure.

8:31 p.m.

Alexis is making cauliflower mashed potatoes, sauteed green beans, and rotisserie chicken. I will not be eating any of it. I will be in the corner. I actually hate myself right now.

8:40 p.m.

I ate some rotisserie.

My thinking was this – if I ate the rotisserie last it would kind of lay over the top of all the MSG and make it irrelevant.

9:00 p.m.

I watch from the corner as Ben and Alexis enjoy the meal of their lives.

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“This cauliflower mash might be the best thing I’ve ever tasted” – Ben, my former friend.

 

Ready Day 16 HERE.

Whole30 Day 16 : Alexis Gets Pegged

8:16 a.m.

I weighted myself again. Because you know you weigh the least first thing in the morning. Only regret is that Jonah was in the tub and I couldn’t take a dump first.

8:56 a.m.

“Do you want to eat this?” Jonah asks as he holds out a baked marshmallow cookie.

“No Jonah, we can’t,” I replied.

“Why not?”

“Because we live in a world that isn’t fair.”

“Oh,” he said as he looked at his cookie.

9:08 a.m.

Before I fell asleep last night I got really light-headed. It was my sophomore year of college all over again when Southern Comfort was my best friend. Full spins and diminishing black hole. I was actually nervous for a second. Wasn’t sure why it was happening.

9:17 a.m.

Now Jonah is feeding me the the end of a coat hanger telling me it’s cake with frosting.

9:47 a.m.

Breakfast is coming out in segments. We had the panda bread with avocado and paleo bacon. Vanessa is making frittata in the oven right now.

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We are talking about millennials. Technically, I am one. Although I deny it adamantly. Not that it’s all bad. I just don’t like the entitlement implications that come along with it. Alexis is a thoroughbred millennial and I like to site the difference between her generation and mine.

“But we’re the same generation.”

Vanessa asks why I don’t identify with millennials.

“I take pride in finishing thing and learning actual skills.”

My argument is that anyone 25 or younger now uses their phone to verify, disprove, or provide context to conversations and situations that are happening around them. Meaning, their smart phones are now their brains and their bodies are just mechanisms.

Jonah, 3, is mixing the batter for the frittata.

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Yes, he has a boybun. Yes, he’s unbearably cute.

10:18 a.m.

This frittata is marvelous.

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“What’s in it?”

Eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk, mushrooms, leeks, prosciutto, salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic. (Please note, we forgot the spinach). (Please also note, I am not upset about this).

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10:36 a.m.

There is a Swedish man here fixing Vanessa’s iPhone. It’s LA, you don’t take things into the store. He is wearing Y3 sneakers.

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10:43 a.m.

I’m getting an education on socialism straight from the source. He only paid 25% income taxes. He had free healthcare, free university, a year of maternity leave, monthly allowance per child, and the freedom to entrepreneur if he wanted to make more money. Can someone tell me what the problem is with this?

Okay, so I asked him his biggest grievance with a socialist country. He said that when you are given everything you start to become very comfortable and take everything for granted. He prefers life here in LA. Wants to become rich in America. He said that when he had free healthcare he went to the doctor’s monthly and became a hypochondriac. Now that he’s in the U.S. and doesn’t have healthcare he hasn’t been to the doctor’s in a year and a half.  Some old-timers might say he’s finally put hair on his chest but this is a very fine line between empowering and subtly fatal.

My conclusion?

There is no perfect system.

The only solution – move to a new city or country every two years. Newness is the only thing that consistently makes us happy.

12:13 p.m.

This morning, the new role of toilet paper was put on the rack upside down. Just now, I noticed it had been turned right-side up. There is at least one person in this house who I can trust.

2:38 p.m.

Back from our walk to the farmer’s market. We stopped at place called Forage and had a chicken breast and market salad.

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I wasn’t overly enthused about the food. So far, I’ve yet to eat anything at a restaurant as good as the stuff Alexis and I are making at home.

2:41 p.m.

Jonah just pooped his pants outside. He’s pulling them off and it’s chunked up in his butt crack. It’s been a while since I’ve seen poop like that. I picked him up and carried him past Alexis to the toilet.

“I’m not even phased,” Alexis says.

Since she butchered that duck she hasn’t been the same woman.

2:44 p.m.

Jonah just said that his poop is gnarly.

“I pooped some more on my leg you guys.”

Vanessa is scrambling to put his clothes in a plastic bag while negotiating a trimming fee with the new landscaper.

I often look for reasons to justify my stance on not wanting kids at this point in my life.

2:49 p.m.

The good thing about taking our diet on the road to LA is that we are actually the least picky people in the entire city.

Passing the bagels at Yeastie Boys was tough. The brioche buns on the avocado sandwiches at Forage were another shot to the heart.

We are both having a very hard time feeling nourished on this road trip. We ate a shitload of chicken but it didn’t do the trick. What are the psychological factors that contribute to a sense of “fullness” and how do they compare with the physical feeling of fullness? We ate a large portion and we both felt unsatisfied. My stomach is getting crampy like it does when I haven’t eaten enough. Is there a cleanse for being neurotic?

3:03 p.m.

Now Jonah is telling us about the poop experience as he stands on the chair with a towel wrapped around his body. Only the towel keeps falling off and you’re trying to keep a straight face and listen to his story but his weiner is right in front of your face.

3:30 p.m.

Now I’m reading him a Star Wars book.

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I asked Alexis to take the picture. She accused me of always staging photos with cute kids and Woody so people think I am more sensitive than I am.

4:38 p.m.

After a pleasant drive across town in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 55 minutes, we have arrived to our studio hotel on the beach in Venice.

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We are both very hungry and Alexis has a non-Whole30 headache. Because she hit her head really, really hard on a peg-board inspired art installation in Vanessa’s living room.

4:48 p.m.

I could barely eat grapes on the drive over. They were too sweet. Tasted like wrapped candy. Grapes. Further tangible evidence of change. Also, my face is a little red and my stomach reacted poorly. Which would mark the second time I have reacted this way after eating grapes. Which leads me to conclude that I should no longer eat grapes. Science.

Could just be that fruit on an empty stomach is too gnarly for me.

Either way, we are going out to explore the boardwalk and check out all the interesting freaks on Venice Beach.

8:41 p.m.

The walk started with a poor choice to get a salad at a tourist trap on the boardwalk. I should know from traveling that you never eat in the dense tourist areas. We did see a beautiful sunset though. And a bunch of ungrateful bastards that turned their backs to the green flash so they could post their selfies. If an alien were to visit and see the beauty of a sunset over the Pacific and then witness humans looking down at a tiny, three inch screen I think they would be gravely confused.

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You’re looking at this saying, That’s fucking bread! They sure did bring the plate out with two pieces of toast with butter and we gently set them aside and carried on with our boring salad.

“That bread doesn’t even bother me,” I said.

“Serious? I can’t stop looking at it,” Alexis replied.

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Then we walked to Abbott Kinney to check out the store fronts filled with $8000 dreamcatches and sweaters made of fair trade Alpaca. Some amazing architecture on this street though. I didn’t bring my camera. It weighs about ten pounds all in. And I wanted to feel free, like we were on vacation.

8:51

Alexis has a lump on her hairline from the pegging.

New England beat the Texans. Atlanta smashed the Seahawks.

There’s cable TV in our room and when you are graced with such a rare treat you have to watch Devil Wears Prada.

Alexis bought a $3 cardigan from a garage sale.

We had another meal because we were starving.

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Grilled salmon with roasted yams and a house salad.

9:11 p.m.

Ahh, fuckin’ TV commercials. Worse than blue balls.

Since we are party animals we will probably take a shower and go to bed by 10. Maybe we’ll sneak in an episode of Breaking Bad. I admit, after three straight seasons I’m starting to lose my interest. Despite what an incredible show it is.

I am most excited to shave my beard in the sink and not panic about how to get all the hair out of the drain because this isn’t my apartment. My main reason for loving hotels. That and clean towels. But they are all trying to “go green” these days and act like they don’t wash towels anymore to protect the Earth. We all know it’s because it’s more cost effective for them.

No incredible bloating today. Although there is a commercial for corn oil on cable TV right now and it shows a happy family having dinner together but oddly it doesn’t know the kid’s small intestine keeling over and dying while the parents are prescribed medication because their brains are as cloudy as Seattle.

If you didn’t take a break from it all you’d never how what a rigged world we are living in.

Goodnight my friends. We’re over the hump and the mind has begun to know confidence.

 

Read Day 15 HERE.

Whole30 Day 15 : Halfway Home

9:08 a.m.

I forgot to do a Week In Review yesterday. So, after some thought, I realized I could just do a Halfway Point Analysis today and act like I planned it that way.

Horrible sleep again last night. Not feeling well at all. My nose is permanently shut.

I’m overwhelmed just watching Alexis try to prepare for our trip to LA. Our snack bag wouldn’t fit into the overhead luggage space on an airplane. I can’t imagine how she feels. We have to drop Woodson off with Ashley and Chris so mom and dad can have some nights out on the town.

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I made my own breakfast to help out. It was a sad and pathetic breakfast. Only halfway through making eggs did I learn we were out of panda bread.

“Is there any bread left?”

“No.”

“Oh.”

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That’s a 1/2 pineapple. I barely even tried.

9:34 a.m.

I’m getting into fights on Facebook. I’m losing it. One more day of no sleep and Alexis is going to have to put me in Woody’s cage.

Also, our scooter is gone this morning. Which means it was either stolen or towed by Target. If it was stolen, there are cameras and I can get the footage and then track down the culprit and either steal his car, light his house on fire, or just have him arrested. Would be my second arrest in the last six months. Last one being the guy that stole my cell phone and wedding ring from the basketball court. If it was Target, then I pray for the manager who ordered the tow truck.

12:14 p.m.

Road trip. Stopped and got air in our tires. To me, that’s like getting a new car. Cruising the highway like a hovercraft right now. Green smoothies in tow from People’s Organic Co-op.

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1:00 p.m.

We made a pit stop. Just a small one. A little place called In N Out.

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1:40 p.m.

Alexis is driving now. I had to get on my hotspot to retaliate to a Facebook comment. I cannot shred appropriately from a cell phone. I need the full keyboard.

My friend Seth messaged me and told me to eat some bread already. But that he was also enjoying all the comments.

I think the most frustrating thing is that I don’t actually know how to fix the world. I don’t know how to fix myself. I’m doing this diet because god knows why and half the time I think I’m better for it and the other half I think I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing.

It isn’t good timing to not eat bread, given all the things happening in the world.

Can’t we just be Amsterdam already?

2:30 p.m.

We just pulled into Lassen’s – a small health foods store – in Echo Park. I’ve already seen twelve aspiring models, or more likely, waiters and waitresses with headshots ready on demand.

We had chicken and roasted vegetables. Also, a cashew milk green smoothie.

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3:05 p.m.

We have arrived. Vanessa isn’t home yet. I texted her.

“I’m on your wifi. Also, I farted.”

“Thanks for the update.”

She has to stop on the way home from work and grab the duck. We are having duck for dinner tonight. Have only had it once in my life. I imagine a bloodhound fetched it out of the tall grass after a man in flannel shirt shot it out of the air. He gave the bloodhound a good pat on the head and said, “Good boy,” when he dropped the duck at his feet. He didn’t say anything else though. Not like the guy in Babe when he said, “That’ll do pig, that’ll do.” That takes more emotional fortitude than this duck hunter had on this day. His wife had just informed him that she was leaving him for his brother, an investment banker in Manhattan. The whole thing was really outdoorsy but quite sad. The bloodhound knew too. He walked back to the truck extra close to his owner. Loyal til the end.

3:09 p.m.

I feel bloated today. A little bit yesterday too. I don’t look as trim in the mirror as I did two days ago. My neurotic obsession is amplifying. I want this diet to work twice as fast. I want to look like Brad Pitt in fight club when he puts his arms up on the doorway before we all knew that he was psycho and mean to his kids.

3:19 p.m.

Um. So.

I was in the bathroom and saw a sleek little gadget under the sink. I pulled it out. Thought about the Whole30 maven screaming at me not to step on. Realized of course I was going to step on. Stepped on. Was expecting much, much better results. And now I know, through personal experience, why she advised not to do what I just did.

I actually don’t care what my weight is. I feel proud to weigh the same as Ezekiel Elliot of the Dallas Cowboys. I just want every inch of my body to be useful. For me, I should have a rule of not looking in the mirror at all. It’s not productive.

4:12 p.m.

I think it’s important to note that when you and your significant other are friends with someone and then that person enters into a relationship and you tell them, “You can totally bring _______ with you to dinner,” it doesn’t actually mean that you want _______ there but that you are trying to show that you are open to it, should it happen. It’s polite. Not necessarily preferred. Sometimes people were just cooler when they were single. Or their new partner is kind of a flop. And what are you supposed to do then, lose a good friend completely?

4:49 p.m.

I asked Vanessa how we could help as I put my hand on Alexis’ shoulder.

5:10 p.m.

Alexis is helping Vanessa with the duck. They are trying to figure out if it’s quartered.

“Is it quartered?”

“Is that hair on it?”

I walked over to investigate.

“Oh god, that’s blood,” I said as I covered my mouth.

“Kirk, get out of here!”

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5:16 p.m.

Sachie is on FaceTime coaching Alexis through the quartering process. It looks like Dexter.

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A bone just cracked. I’m Northern European. I’m not cut out for this.

“Alexis, get aggressive. You can cut through skin and cartilage at the same time,” Sachie says.

“Do we rip out the spine?!” Vanessa asks.

“Cut out the spine.”

I’m in the corner with a pillow over my face. I think I’m feverish.

Is there a more disturbing word than cartilage?

Alexis drives the knife through.

“Yes!” Sachie yells. “That sounds right.”

I’m watching YouTube videos trying to be helpful but it’s only making it worse. A guy named Jacob Burton just twisted a leg clean off.

“Wow, she’s got the spine,” Vanessa says.

The lights are spotty.

Alexis is showing great signs of primal instinct. A deep connection with the animal.

5:39 p.m.

Vanessa: “Whoa, is that a uterus?”

Sachie: “No, it’s fat.”

6:53 p.m.

Vanessa just baked thin slices of pork and put them on the table. They are like pork chips. Salty and crunchy. She made them because I have been writing about missing crunch so much.

7:24 p.m.

Dinner is not here yet. I say nothing because I am in the gracious company of a good friend.

7:32 p.m.

Thankfully, Jonah is beating the crap out of me and locking me outside like a dog.

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Also, slow cookers got their name for a reason.

7:59 p.m.

Once upon a time there was a thing called dinner. Traditionally it came just hours after lunch. But on this special occasion, as the full moon rose above the city of Los Angeles, dinner came many, many hours later.

8:01 p.m.

We are back on the phone with our consultant, Sachie, trying to figure out what to do now that the duck is cooked.

We haven’t even addressed the issue of having to tell Jonah that we are eating beef because he would be too sad to know we are eating a duck because he thinks they are really cool.

8:53 p.m.

So, duck.

The consensus: not so much.

Vanessa spit the baked skin out into a napkin. Unfortunately, I saw it. And it’ll be with me for a while.

We decided not to link the recipe.

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That’s a wrap here from LA. Hoping for a good night’s sleep and then we hit the farmer’s market in the morning with our Ray Bans and recycled plastic water bottle totes.

Here is another summary.

Halfway Point Analysis:

A Week (8 days) In Finances:

1/6. Sprouts: $151

1/12. Sprouts: $28

1/12. Burger Lounge: $21

$200

On the nose. This actually fits nicely within our food budget. Multiplied out that’s under a grand for the entire month’s eating.

A Week in Emotions:

There are many external factors contributing to my emotions this week. I am disappointed, as I’ve stated, with the condition of our country’s morale. I noticed at times I felt calm when I’d normally be anxious (Costco) and also times when I felt completely overwhelmed with anger. At one point I walked out of the apartment to run an errand and felt strongly connected to Alexis as I said goodbye. I took a few steps down the hallway and realized I should go back and tell her. So I opened the door and told her I loved her. I don’t do this enough.

A Week in Relationships:

I think we are in a good groove. She seems really comfortable and happy learning how to cook all these meals. I am trying to keep up on the dishes and taking out the trash and walking Woody. I would say I haven’t had any major breakthroughs, other than a few emotional openings, but Alexis is really coming into her own this past week. She is more clear, more organized, and more confident. I can feel it.

A Week in Health:

I still feel like ass. People are saying it’s common. A lot of credible people. I don’t know the science behind it but I’m going to take a stab anyway. Since I am on the autoimmune spectrum it’s possible that I’m never sick because my immune system is hyperactive. Assuming this diet is regulating my hormones and possibly normalizing my thyroid, I think it could be that my immune system is taking a hit as it adapts. This could be the ultimate “bro science” and complete shit, but it makes sense to me. I’m open to something more concrete if you have any insights.

A Week in Blogging:

We peaked at around 12,000 hits on the day of “The Big Share.” It slowly dropped after that and has leveled out around 3,000 hits per day. I have thought many times that I’m running out of things to write and that this will become uninteresting to you. However, I still go back and read the blogs and laugh to myself, which is the ultimate goal.

Halfway through and we’re still alive to tell about it 🙂

 

Read Day 14 HERE.