Life Since Whole30: What We’re Up To 60 Days Later

There was a time in my life when I wanted a big house and a turbo-charged European sports car.

There was also a time in my life when I rode only a bicycle and worked for Greenpeace.

Then there was the time when I decided to give up sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, and popcorn snacks.

The first two were definitely phases. The last one might have become a way of life. Well, mostly.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? If this is your first time reading about my experience doing Whole30 then thanks for reading. If you followed along during our January experiment then you know I’ve been promising this “Life Since Whole30” recap for a while.

I’m at the airport in San Diego, heading to Malaysia for work.

Alexis dropped me off. She cried. She cried yesterday too.

I don’t get very emotional when saying goodbyes. I’ve always been pretty self-sufficient and don’t worry much about being alone. But this time was tough. Because it’s been a while since we’ve been apart and she becomes the same fabric as me and now it feels like I am missing something.

And because I’m going from home cooked Whole30 meals three times a day to a place where you don’t get too attached to the street dogs because they might end up in your stew that night. Sorry.

Honestly, I know she is sad but deep down I think she is experiencing some relief considering that she finally gets a break from my unrelenting gas.

So yeah, I still have horrible gas. Whole30 doesn’t fix everything.

I am reminded of how much I hate airports and planes. Most people only travel one time per year. And they’re pretty hard to be around. It’s a case study in the lack of situational awareness and common sense in the average human. Lotta people have hope for the future and say things will be better one day but those people have never traveled on a holiday.

So yeah, I’m still a mostly angry person.

By the time I publish this article it will have been two months since we officially finished our first Whole30.

The more I put off writing the recap the harder it seemed to start again.

But I’ve been on this article for only about twenty minutes and it’s all coming back. I feel the instinct to document everything and the appropriately dry sentences forming in my head as I am experiencing the moments. Writing is a part of who I am. To quote every white person living on either coast ages 18-35 who watches at least one Ted Talk per day – it is my passion.

And still, I can’t be bothered to do it sometimes because I simply don’t feel like it.

Few things actually stick. I assumed this strange and restrictive “diet” would have been another good intention clipped at the knees before ever gaining momentum.

But here we are. Eating mostly Whole30. Still making most meals at home. Still dropping about $200 a week at Sprout’s. And still saving a little bit of money each month by not eating out. Except for occasionally when we eat shawarma with rice and hummus or decide a gluten-free bun on a burger won’t be the end of us.

And it’s not.

Did I mention the occasional French fry off a friend’s plate? If you only take two at a time it’s still Whole30. I think you can find that in the new rules next to the section about salty snacks, right Melissa?

I did learn a new thing about Sprout’s though. There’s a cashier there that has the hots for Alexis. He always finds his way into her aisle to ask if she needs help with “anything”. I know what anything is, buddy. And the other week he told her she had pretty eyes while she was checking out. I’ve decided I need to go with her next time. After I get a teardrop tattoo under my right eye.

The morning of Day 31 was anti-climactic. Neither of us actually wanted to eat anything bad. Well, let’s clarify – we wanted to eat everything bad but our higher selves – our Whole30 selves – didn’t want to toss out all our efforts on some bagels.

We went for a compromise and ate Paleo-compliant pancakes. Not Whole30 approved. But not ingredients that were going to forbid us from early the holy sacrament.

Except that little bit of maple syrup that somehow snuck its way onto our plates.

The syrup hit me within twelve minutes. We were walking Woody to the dog park and I got the sudden urge to lie in bed and sleep for ten hours.

We ate Whole30 for the next eight days. I was more dedicated in those days than I had been in the previous thirty. It was like being caught cheating on a test and then showing your teacher how hard you can study to deserve a good grade.

I AM a good student.

During our 30-day stint we ate 87 of the 90 meals at home. That’s pretty remarkable if you think about it.

It’ll change your life.

If you think about the sheer time we spent in the kitchen over those thirty days then it’s safe to say that it did completely change our lives. It changed what we thought about, how we spent our time, and what kind of excuses we could come up with to explain to our friends why we were no longer social…

Looking back now, I’m trying to remember why it was so hard. Because it’s not that hard anymore. Because I regularly turn down pita and go for the salad.

But I was a disaster for a good portion of our 30-day stint.

Melissa says she was worried about me days 10-21. Something about my attitude. But I’m confident the more she gets to know me the more she will be worried about me every day.

Days 35 – 40 were the closest I came to the infamous Tiger Blood. I felt good. I even felt three degrees less foggy in my head. I could see people clearly and look them in the eyes and feel like there was a shared experience. I felt more purposeful with everything I engaged in. The value here took me to the next level of dedication.

For a while.

Without a firm commitment, we were bound to slip.

Little things caught up with us. We weren’t technically “on” the program anymore so if a friend just made fresh cookies it was kind of rude not to have one. Or three, in Alexis’ case.

We had a few big jobs and when we finished one we thought it would be cool to have a burrito for dinner. Because you know, reward yourself.

You can watch it happen in slow motion, us laying the foundation for our failure right in the openings of the conversation.

“Man, what a long day. I’m starving.”

“Me too. I don’t really feel like cooking.”

To consider the implications of a couple simple sentences like this – justifying the inevitable takeout food because we didn’t want to invest time upfront in preparing something ourselves – would put into perspective how often we misappropriate what actually saves (and costs) us time.

An hour later we were both on the floor holding our heads and stomachs. Victims of Thor’s hammer right to the dome.

But it was easier than cooking, right?

I’ve turned down a buttered roll and a tiny sized serving of ice cream on this flight so far and I’m not even three hours in.

#armystrong

I have a row to myself – which isn’t as cool as it sounds – because it’s an exit row and the armrests don’t fold up, so I can’t lie down. I do have infinite legroom. But it won’t be long before old Japanese men are doing calisthenics at my feet in their matching sweat outfits while waiting for the bathroom.

You can never get it all right.

Soon I am back in Malaysia, smelling the familiar smells and preparing for my bi-annual fight with the cashier at the airport Dunkin’ Donuts.

“Two waters please.”

“Okay, eight ringgit.”

I pull out my card.

“Sorry, no machine.”

I’m looking at the machine. I just watched it print a receipt.

“You have the machine right there.”

“Minimum ten ringgit.”

“Great. Charge me ten then please.”

She takes my card, pretends to swipe it – not even getting close to the card reader – and tells me the wifi is down.

“I just saw you…. nevermind….. You run a mediocre establishment.”

That was the best I could come up with this time.

It doesn’t feel good. Yet I keep going back.

Three and a half weeks of non-Whole30 foreign food followed…

I was scared to death about my trip to Malaysia. Not because North Korea’s President’s bro was just assassinated in the airport or the routine threats by ISIS on Kuala Lumpur, but because I was going to have to embrace the local diet.

What’s the big worry about white rice and chicken anyway?

To call it chicken by itself would be a bit insulting considering you’re more likely to bite into a nice chunk of cartilage or a kneecap than a breast or a thigh. Here, they suck the meat off the bones. Here, I don’t eat much.

Day after day – white rice, chicken tendons, and fish ball soup. I replaced much of this diet with a case of RX Bars, gluten free tortillas, and smuggled in avocados.

Do you have any agricultural goods to claim?

I was expecting pain and suffering at every meal. To go from my clean diet and toxin-free body to eating rat burgers and mountain spaghetti seemed harsh.

But it wasn’t that bad.

And here’s why.

I did not snack. And I did not over-consume quantity to make up for the lack of nutrition.

It was my most successful Malaysia trip out of thirteen in the last three years.

That dreaded trip turned out to be a blessing. It made it very clear that I would not die if I didn’t eat Whole30 compliant recipes. That my body was, in fact, very resilient. And I could remain calm in sub-optimal environments. I also didn’t gain back any of the weight I lost from the first month of Whole30. Which was a huge plus that didn’t go unnoticed.

But my god did I crave real food when I got home.

After some much anticipated sex it was right back to clean eating. Alexis has become a real master in the kitchen. I can’t even remember the time before she wasn’t natural there. I am now the one fumbling around trying to figure out the timing on all of the new recipes we cook. In the end, I kind of wish she wrote this blog because I think her experience growing as a human has been even more interesting than mine.

Oh, one more thing. I hate to admit this, but I’m back to shopping at Target. I know, I know… they towed my scooter and cost me $640. But it’s just so dang convenient.

I can’t say whether this is from the Whole30 or not but I’m much more aware of how likely I am to succeed at something if I have a specific plan to follow. I may go to the gym every day but if I’m just kind of doing whatever exercises I feel like in the moment I’m not getting as much out of it as I could. I start the negotiations after the second set. I’ll just do three sets. That’s totally enough.

The Whole30 isn’t about food or weight loss or thirty-seven pounds of frozen chicken in your freezer, it’s about following through on a promise to yourself. And gaining the confidence that comes along with that kind of follow through. It changes how you think about yourself and what you think you are capable of.

And it teaches you to make a mean home-made cashew milk.

If you want some company while you suffer desperately HERE is 30 days of Whole30 blogging that you won’t regret knowing about.

Whole30 Day 30 : This is Really the End

9:21 a.m.

The best way to stay in touch with Woody is through my Instagram. There is just no way around it. And to continue to read the blogs I post, as I will post many more blogs in my life, make sure you like the Kale & Cigs FB page. Those are the things I ask of you on this morning, our last morning.

It’s our last day of high school together. Most of us are graduating and 87% of us will be going away to college as we are a predominately white school. There are some that will do two years at the local CC because they are already in overbearing relationships, but they will likely change their minds by April of next year when they see that other, much more attractive and interesting people are away at school. I only wish that I was moving away from the baby cult rock band that runs the streets below me on early Saturday mornings.

I have a photoshoot today at a friend’s law firm (never can know enough lawyers) and Alexis has her first trunk show.

9:57 a.m.

I have just eaten some kind of sausage biscuit mcmuffin without any bread. I don’t know how she did it but it was amazing.

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*recipe here.

Am I eating too much salt? I am starting to have dry mouth after every meal. What does this mean? Someone please tell me.

10:45 a.m.

I gots ta go. Trying to help her carry her clothes and these nice chairs around the corner but also realizing that I hate being late and Woody destroyed his new toy in 12 hours.

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1:30 p.m.

On my way home from the shoot. Very hungry. Alexis is probably hungry too. Double accountability.

I knew it was a rotisserie I was after. It solves the most problems for the least amount of money and effort. Only I didn’t want to go to Whole Foods because it was technically out of the way. I swung by Albertson’s hoping they would have a naked rotisserie. Man was that a mistake. There was not a single thing in that store, minus the produce, that was Whole30 compliant. Just a bunch of boxed garbage coated in sugar. Bet it tastes good though.

My time saving maneuver ended up costing me another 45 minutes. I went by the house and then all the way up to Sprout’s because the local market didn’t have their roasts out yet.

And this Sprouts rotisserie was the size of a quail. I ate most of it before even getting to the salad making.

2:46 p.m.

Live from the trunk show bringing her a salad. Woody is hanging out eating all the plants. And laying in the sun. People want to be like Woody. He is good for business.

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I feel completely demotivated. What have I worked so hard for? What has really changed? It’s just me still, relatively healthy but completely psychotic and paranoid.

Tomorrow is the open field of choice and self-discipline and I’m afraid I’m going to fall flat on my ass.

4:40 p.m.

Michelle, Ryan, and J-Man stopped by to say hello. Jasper is using the force to steal my wallet. A new and exciting hobby for a four year old to pick up.

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But what’s more important than anything – The Shark has arrived.

6:07 p.m.

Our last Whole30 dinner. Tear. I would care more if our new vacuum didn’t just come in the mail. I vacuumed the floors with the upright base then the pillows with the handheld extension and then our duvet cover with the curtain attachment. The thing is like a transformer. Woody has been mostly barking at it and trying to eat through the cord.

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I am a vacuuming person and I am very happy about it. I can see pillows without dog hair and it gives my brain a familiar sense of peace.

7:03 p.m.

“Maybe I’ll go back to popcorn.”

I think we’re over it. And there’s no reason why. Why wouldn’t we just keep going if it is working for us? It didn’t break anything for me. It didn’t irrevocably change my relationship with food. The second I have just one bite of something – maybe a burrito, maybe popcorn, maybe a hot fudge sundae – the whole well will open back up. Because it’s all or nothing for me. I’m either on something or I’m off it. The only moderation I have is when I average the extremes that dictate my life. I am deeply interested maintaining this new, trim frame I’m carrying around however.

Dinner was good though. Cauliflower mash, roasted kavocha squash, and ground beef. I was tired of chicken. Plus I accidentally stuck my finger in the rotisserie’s butt and it made me feel weird and too personally attached to chickens.

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Woody is lying on top of my feet in a tight little ball. I wonder why he trusts me so much? Certainly makes me feel good.

After 30 days of eating like I imagine Jason Bourne used to in his prime nothing significant has shifted in my mindset. It’s like, I know doing yoga and meditating every night will help me arrive at a more harmonious level of living but I don’t do it. Some nights I walk right past my mat because I’m too tired or some other bullshit. I know cutting out sugar and grains had a significantly positive impact on my life. But tomorrow I’ll have gluten free pancakes with maple syrup and probably rub them all over my body by the time I’m finished. This craving to do what I know isn’t good or me long-term, but is oh so good in the moment – it’s not fixable. Make that course. Write that program. Teach me how to look at the things that benefit as exciting endeavors and not tedious work. And I’ll commit to another 30 days of writing.

7:52 p.m.

I have a headache! We need equipment to monitor ourselves 24/7. I’d buy it. This must be the salt. How can I be eating too much salt? There are people eating frozen dinner every night and they are fine. My grandparents lived into their 80s and they didn’t GAF about gluten or alcohol intolerance. I’ve been given the sensitive gene. And I hate it.

8:37 p.m.

Just finished the first round of edits on the law firm photos. I can’t share them just yet for legal reasons (ha!). But seriously, I can’t. These are important people.

I know you’re expecting something significant from me on this last day, but I’ll be honest – I’ve got nothin. We are low on groceries, low on morale, and our country is turning into, or rather revealing that it is, a racist pile of dookie right before our eyes.

9:24 p.m.

As far as continued Whole30 blogging goes, I’m undecided at the moment. I’m a coach that has just won the championship and really I can do whatever I want. I can go to Disney I can go to the Bahamas or I can stay home with my family and decide the best thing for us moving forward. I am interested to monitor our spending post Whole30. Will we actually spend more or less money without cooking every meal at home? And how long until I eat something undeniably bad for me.

As for tomorrow, we are talking about gluten free bread or gluten free pancakes to see how that impacts us. We might go out to breakfast. Enjoy ourselves a little. Celebrate if you will.

What did we spend in the 30 days afterall?

Week 1 – $480. Ouch, man. Couple of rookies.

Week 2 – $200. Hell of a trim job there, Alexis.

Week 3 – $394 (thanks to LA). $239 without the weekend getaway.

Week 4 – $264.

Whole30 Total Food Spend:

$1338

Bam. Take that one right in the dick!

Final Thoughts with Kirk:

I stand by an early assessment that we came into this thing as Californians. Non-drinkers and mostly healthy eaters. There was never a moment where I remember experiencing such radical transformation as to say this whole process was “life changing”. I know that at times I felt like it was changing our lives – the time spent focusing on foods, lack of socializing, prioritizing nutrients over taste, and different day-to-day stuff like that – but I don’t stand here today on Day 30 feeling touched. I feel more informed about food. I feel happy that I’ve lost weight and reduced inflammation. I know that Alexis is really pleased to have learned so many recipes and enhanced her cooking skills by 2,000 points. But I don’t feel overwhelmingly proud of myself. Sticking to things isn’t new to me. That in itself was an inevitability. I guess I just hoped for more. Which can’t be blamed on Whole30 entirely. As Greg said, “These are extraordinary times.” My focus has been pulled into many different directions. I’m fighting with people I don’t even know. Scrolling through media with pain in my heart. And feeling like my little yuppie food experiment is ultimately not that important.

I know we are supposed to spin things positively. It’s a thing we do in conversations.

“How’s work.”

“Oh you know, it’s not my favorite job. Buuuuuuttttt it’s been a great learning experience and given me and chance to practice a bunch of things I don’t necessarily like………”

I do this every time I talk.

“How are you?”

I’m in a fucking terrible mood.

“I’m doing good. How are you?”

“Good.”

Great, another wasted opportunity between people.

Anyway, I’m supposed to end this on a high note because that is what everyone would naturally expect. That’s what we almost need. But I can’t. I’m sick about our world and I’m tired of worrying about fucking gluten while people face such unbelievably unfair atrocities all over the world. If nothing else I’ve been humbled by my own privilege and freedom over the last 30 days. I’m glad we’ve laughed, don’t get me wrong. But I’d be lying if I said I felt like laughing right now.

So let’s wrap it up with my favorite food and Woody photos of the last 30 days.

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Okay, after looking through these I feel happier, more in touch with this experiment, and grateful for everything that has taken place. I get caught up sometimes. I just needed to rehash it for a second. Which reminds me of why I write in the first place – so that I can remember who I was and what I did and hopefully be inspired to do a little more and be a little better. It is such an effort to keep our minds right and our hearts filled with good intentions. But really an unparalleled reward when things are lining up.

A sincere, sincere thank you to everyone that has been following along and commenting through the process. It really means a lot to me and gives me a great sense of stimulation. I think taking a few days off from the blog will help this experience sink in even more.

And the biggest thank you to Chef Alexis for stepping up to the highest of all levels and taking on the cooking duties with such passion and interest.

Off to McDonald’s now 😉

Chowder.

 

Read Day 29 HERE.

Whole30 Day 29 : Get Ready to Say Goodbye My Friends

9:13 a.m.

I pooped so hard I wanted to grab it out of the toilet and use it to start building condos. Maybe one of those Pencils of Promise projects in Ecuador or something.

Breakfast was as quick as it was small.

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Have to get out of the house and make my follow-up meeting at the restaurant.

11:01 a.m.

Looks like they are going to want more work. Which is great because I need $20,000 for a down payment on a rental property in Portland.

11:23 a.m.

He’s a strange guy, the guy that cleans our windows. He talks a lot about electromagnetic fields and always tells me to drive carefully because, “There are a lot of crazy drivers out there.” He says things like, “It’s a crazy world we are living in right now,” but he never really elaborates as to why. I don’t know why I hired him, mostly because he was a total weirdo and having him around made my life weird too. And because when he is in the studio cleaning I get the familiar chill down my spine that I got in elementary school when the librarian, with her soft voice, would help me find a book I was interested in reading. The same sensation I get on occasion when a customer service agent goes out of their way to help me over the phone. I would spend all my days chasing this feeling if I knew exactly what caused it. Currently, it’s just this guy. That’s why I brought my computer into the studio to work while he talks about not being able to out-maneuver longevity and how he can fix my locks or install a screen door if I wanted because, “I can do that sorta thing, too.” Today, I told him to go ahead and patch up the handle lock. We don’t really need it fixed but it’ll keep him around another twenty minutes and I’ve got the tingles going on a major level.

11:45 a.m.

Lunch happened with a bang.

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Staple salad – chicken, cauli rice, cashews, spring mix, some other shit, avocado, and olive oil. Hits the spot every time. Except for when there’s a caterpillar in it. Which has only happened to me once, at Whole Foods. “At least that means it’s fresh!” The cashier told me. “Yeah, you’re still going to give me my money back.” Dipshit.

2:55 p.m.

“How do you want to feel?”

That was what Deepika asked me during our session. She reached out to me the other day and said she was confident she could help with my sleep and my poop. Anyone who is willing to take on those monsters is a hero in my book. Plus she is a legit Indian-American practicing Ayurveda. Not like a disgruntled white chick that felt a connection to the Himalayas after she went to Mysore for a month and decided she wasn’t going to cook with garlic or onions anymore. We went through my intake paperwork and talked about the things that trouble me (everything). And she said she was going to treat me pro-bono because I seemed like the type of person that is always trying to give to others and not very good at receiving. Fair enough. I guess she was right because I could barely just say thank you without wanting to offer her something in return. Shit runs deep.

Receiving something without offering anything back. A simple thank you was all I could give. And boy did that feel like not enough. Lesson one, on repeat.

She also had a toy for Woody.

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Now I’m waiting in the lobby while Alexis gets her treatment. This is a community space. Next to me is the door to the chiropractor’s office. He came out wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and a baseball hat. Casual, I thought. Now he is in the room talking with his patient about all the psychedelics he has done. They are both prone to dabbling in the blow from time to time. One of them really likes Molly while the other can’t go anywhere near amphetamines. These are often the conversations I imagine having while visiting with my healthcare provider.

3:14 p.m.

It is Whole30 hell to be away from home or a kitchen for more than two hours. We will be going on four hours by the time we get home. I had my second Rx bar of the month and an apple. Alexis jacked my cashews as I came out of treatment and she went in. We are not on the same page today. We got into an argument before bed and haven’t taken the time to resolve yet because today is really busy and we both have to do work that we don’t want to do for each other so it’s adding to the desire to be crabby back and forth. Our exchanges are four words or less and we haven’t made eye contact for more than a second. I’m sure if we just paused to look at each other we would hug and then we would be absolutely fine. But there’s something about being busy and having to do work that you don’t want to do that will make you hold onto a grudge just a little bit longer. It’s that displaced anger that spoils relationships that I mentioned the other day. Pride is heavily in the mix as well. I am not worried as we are too good of friends and too prone to communicating our feelings to each other to let this become a thing. I suppose that I technically owe the first apology and that is what she is waiting for. I’m not quite ready to be the bigger person but I’m sure it is coming soon. Hopefully it is coming soon. We have to film an event together this evening.

3:33 p.m.

This bar and apple business is pure shit. My muscles feel weak and my stomach is on edge. I could’ve eaten a quesadilla if I wanted to feel like this.

4:06 p.m.

Deepika just walked out of the treatment room and asked if I would come inside to speak with her and Alexis for a second. Da fuck did I do?

I’m inside and Deepika is saying something to me and Alexis casually mentions, “I’m pregnant.” I keep talking through it because I think this will somehow mean it never happened.

“Did you hear what I said,” she says looking at me. “I’m pregnant.”

To say that I looked like I saw a ghost would be a gross understatement. More like 3,000 knives were trying to enter my body simultaneously from different angles all being held by people that severely hated me and me trying to channel Keanu from the Matrix and dodge them all in slow motion. It got so warm. And then I became dizzy. And then I thought of three concrete ways in which I could knock myself unconscious. I wasn’t til eight or nine notches later on the reaction chain that the thought of trying to force a smile came in. We’re fucked was the closest I could come.

And then she cracked a smile. And then she started laughing. I reached for my chest to confirm that I was, in fact, still alive. I was. But she wasn’t going to to be for long.

“Gotcha,” she said with a big grin….very pleased with her self.

“You’re out of your fucking mind.”

“That’s for all the times you snuck up on me and scared me.”

Touchè you psychopathic monster.

But tell me for real that you didn’t just have major anxiety reading that shit? Yeah, imagine how I felt.

Deepika tries to get us back on track by talking about couples massage. I will have none of it unless it is Alexis massaging my weiner apologetically.

5:30 p.m.

I’m trying to get all this shit ready for the event tonight. It’s not even about art for events. It’s all technical (yes I spelled it wrong first) crap. Batteries have to be charged, memory cards have to be wiped, cords have to be accounted for, and every other tedious, non-creative thing you could imagine. I’m getting all this sorted while Alexis makes mango garlic chicken with squash, pineapple, and pieces of green wax.

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9:25 p.m.

Just got home from a lecture given by the EMDR woman that Alexis has started seeing.

My throat has been uncontrollably dry for the last 24 hours. Perhaps it is the non-compliant Chipotle chicken we ate or perhaps it is the sixteen or so pounds of sea salt I consume on any given day. Can’t be sure. My gas is so bad. Like, if I unscrewed the cap to the gas tank on my Volvo I could just let my ass breathe in there for a sec and get us at least 35 miles. I smell like Monsanto.

Which reminds me of a company I almost started called Jar of Farts. It was after I heard the song Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri. My company was geared mostly towards the Japanese traveling male. Attractive women from all over the world were going to fart in mason jars and seal them up and put them for sale on my site, jaroffarts.com (which was sadly taken). They would have to describe their diet and lifestyle. Eventually there was going to be a play for vending machines. It failed after friends and I sent test samples to each other in the mail and realized that after four days you were left with nothing. You know what they say, better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.

I was roped into attending this lecture because Alexis needed my help filming. It was a filmmaker’s dream. Small room crammed with people sitting in chairs. One old ceiling fan giving off fluorescent light. And a space heater rattling next to the microphone. We made real gold tonight I’m sure. To break the ice, I told all the women there that the backs of their heads would probably become famous after this video hit the internet. Only after it came out did I realize that I basically just called them all pornstars to their faces. Not so smooth considering they were there for relationship therapy. Another point deducted from the male side.

To answer Deepika’s question, I suppose I want to feel a combination of harmony and complete fuckin chaos.

 

Read Day 28 HERE.

Whole30 Day 28 : We Discover Chocolate Bars

9:59 a.m.

Woody partied his balls off at the park. We weren’t planning on going. We came up to the corner and he peaked over to see all the dogs running wild, then looked at me with a yearning in his eye, and I caved. And after an 18-dog game of fetch, which he was the prime motivator, he came back to me when I called and we walked back to the apartment to smell freshly cooked bacon. I mean, can you beat this morning?

We were so hungry last night. Talking about quitting. Fuck it, let’s just eat Cheerios. Yeah, and I’ll have chips. I was 60% serious. Not sure about her.

Instead, I came through in the clutch with a plate of turkey, sliced apples, and salted avocado. I handed it to her.

“Where’s the cashew butter?” she asked.

“I didn’t put any on there. This is a savory plate. No sweets.”

“No thank you,” she replied.

Sweet tooths change people.

I gave her a scoop of the cashew and she ate that and the apple and I ate her turkey and avocado. I guess we all won.

10:34 a.m.

Mother fuckin’ plantain tortillas !!!

How have we waited this long?

It tastes like a taco.

Alexis baked some and we ate them with bacon, avocado, and mandoline-sliced sweet potatoes and, I’ll tell you what, I’m a born-again.

11:25 a.m.

Off to take some portraits of a cute little baby.

2:27 p.m.

We stopped at Chipotle on our way home from a newborn shoot with one of my all-time favorite humans, Sarah Clark, and her cool husband J.D. Little baby Tenaya June. Anyway, we just wanted to eat something quick and tasty on the way back. Turns out, their food is garbage. All this time I’ve been duped by the chips and guac. Their chicken and lettuce tasted like cardboard and Alexis is already in bed with the tireds.

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4:09 p.m.

The doctor asked me if I was a weightlifter as he looked at my biceps. I flexed and said no. I ordered about 370 tests while I still have health insurance. X-rays on my neck and low back. Allergy test. Physical therapy. He gave me muscle relaxers for shits and giggles. I likely won’t even pick up the script, seeing as though I’m a bit of a sucker for painkillers. Or maybe I will and not tell anyone and just be extremely nice and affectionate for four straight days.

We have discovered Rx Bars. Chocolate Sea Salt. How is this not illegal? It tastes like a Kit Kat. Anyway, I don’t feel good about it. If someone is gonna try to give me shit about the panda bread (I dare you) and then feel fine about eating this chocolate candy bar then I call hypocrisy.

5:58 p.m.

A quick snack of turkey, sweet potatoes, and avocado before dinner. We are having Kairou (Kai – Row) over for dinner and she doesn’t get here til 7:30 which probably means 7:45 and then we’ll talk about life and politics and what everyone has been up to and the two of them will be smiling and engaged but I’ll just be wondering why no one is in the kitchen making dinner because eating is entirely more important than talking. It’ll be 8:30 before we sit down for dinner. Good thing I can eat fourteen more of these chocolate candy bars and not violate any part of the doctrine.

6:34 p.m.

Hoping for two black eyes tomorrow. I picked Alexis up to tackle her on the bed, a regular tradition before Woody, and as soon as I dropped her down he jumped up and smashed his skull right into the bridge of my nose. Felt just like a strong left jab. The sting, the tears, and the rage. Then he came over and licked my eyeballs and laid on my head. So who’s gonna stay mad?

6:51 p.m.

I’ve been really into the word “egregious” lately. I’m not entirely sure what it means but I think it means excessive and in your face.

6:52 p.m.

Okay, so it means outstandingly bad or shocking. Which is more or less what I said. Point is, no one except Vanessa or Joslyn would ever catch me for using it incorrectly. I have that kind of charisma. You just think I know the meaning of the words I speak. I mostly do. But not entirely. Mostly is all that matters.

7:05 p.m.

Well fuck, I deleted all the food pics from today. I cleared the memory card before the photoshoot and didn’t realize that the plantain tortilla mania was on there. It hurts because it was one of the best shots of the month. Alexis is sympathetic and said, “Looks like you don’t even care about the blog anymore.” I told her that kind of comment helps a lot with one’s own upsetness with one’s own self.

It’s question time. A daily ritual between the two of us.

“Would you rather kill a mean person or an innocent puppy?” I ask her. Basically lofting her an easy one.

“The person. Without even hesitating.”

“Okay. Who would you kill, me or Woody?”

“Come on, man! Don’t ask me that.”

“Say it!”

“Woody. I’d have to.”

“Really? Look at his sweet face and tell him that.” I turn to Woody, “She would just take you out like it was nothing.”

“Okay, thanks for that, Kirk.”

She doesn’t often call me Kirk, but when she does, it’s because she is not happy enough to refer to me by one of the many terms of endearment.

I am deeply, deeply upset to have lost the pics from this morning. Like maybe I should just hit my head against the wall for a second and we’ll be even. Me and the mistake that is.

7:11 p.m.

I just made myself stare at a pile of raw chicken for a while. I feel…. what’s the religious term… uhh…. repent! …. I feel like I repented.

7:22 p.m.

Alexis must have heard my cry for an on-time dinner. She is dialed up in the kitchen making moves and letting the nips hang. Bras are not necessarily designed for the house. If you can’t be comfortable at home then where is it even safe anymore?

7:46 p.m.

Kairou has just arrived. Notice the time. Notice the time.

8:05 p.m.

We are in the kitchen talking about politics, life, and what we’ve been up to.

8:26 p.m.

Sitting down to eat dinner now. Mango chicken, cauli rice (surprise!), green beans, and mushrooms.

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I came in late with a salad for dessert. Lots of fruit. Summer salad in the winter.

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9:54 p.m.

Kairou and Alexis are hanging out in the living room talking about an old yoga book. I am debating with myself if I have anything deep inside of me that I can write tonight. More like, can I write something meaningful while conversation is happening rapidly around me. I told Kairou tonight that I would rather sit five feet behind a social group and real-time write about the way they interact with each other than sit within the group and actually socialize. That is who I am. I can’t hear a word without interpreting the 200 words that weren’t spoken behind it. I am far more interested in all of the things we are not saying to each other. Not so much tonight, because we are all close and we are speaking freely, but social environments in general. So I’m slowly learning the art of getting other people to have those conversations without thinking I am actually Jeffrey Dahmer.

I’ll probably just go eat a Whole30 approved chocolate bar now for dessert because Woody is eating Kairou’s sock.

 

Ready Day 27 HERE.

Whole30 Day 27 : This Is Us

7:54 p.m.

When I’m happy, I’m really fun. It’s the reason people keep me around. Sure I go dark a few days every month but I mostly keep to myself and try not to take it out on anyone. We are all carrying around our daily battles and our lifelong battle wounds. But when I’m up I can sure leave a blazing trail. We visited eight different countries last year. Opened a new business. Drove 2,500 miles up and down the coast and camped all over god’s green Earth. Those are the things I will hold in my chest for those few days each month when I don’t feel very alive.

I’m back up though. I’m kinder, sweeter, more attentive, more helpful, more aware, and more engaged. I make jokes, I get erections, and I work like a gd fiend. I genuinely enjoy being happy. Thank you last two days.

Woody pooped in the house this evening. He was scratching at my leg and I thought he was just trying to lure me into another game of fetch. He went by the door and barked but I thought he was just enjoying his own reflection. Then he went into the living room and I looked over to see him in the familiar dog squat. He looked at me as three little lumps came out of his fourteen pound body and onto the cord that supplies power to my LED light.

On a bad day… maybe I yell at him. Today, I realize that it was my fault for ignoring the obvious signs. I clean it up. Tell him it was okay. And take him outside for a walk. If I’m ever a parent I hope I have this reaction more times than I don’t. It’s so easy to dip into the anger well when I am confronted with things that challenge my way of life. It feels better to be kind though. And that’s the thing I am most grateful for today – on Day 27 of the Whole30 – being kind is coming easily. For all the times I could have put in a little more effort to say something nice or do one very small gesture to help out, today I get to do those things.

I am really hungry though. We had salmon and kale salad for dinner and I bit into something hard half way through that almost sent all the food back up my esophagus and onto my plate. I had to fish through my mouth to pull it out. It was an inch long something, maybe a fish bone or maybe a hard piece of plastic. Either way, it gave me hot flashes. But I’ve learned that with enough salt you can get through anything. I finished my plate and now I find myself eager to eat fried chicken and waffles. Three more days.

Then what?

Then who will guide me? Who will cook all the meals? Who will be the one strong enough to not get in the car and drive to Kebab Shop for lunch because it’s mostly healthy and also we could get a small french fry and split it between the two of us.

Who is going to make sure that doesn’t happen?

When has self-regulation ever worked? It’s no secret why we are doing this protocol. This rigid-as-fuck thirty days of explaining yourself to all your friends or just not leaving the house at all. Woody forgot what it was like to be home alone because we have been gone for a total of ten hours in the last 26 days. We are doing it because if we leave it up to ourselves, if we leave room for personal bargaining, then we will fail miserably. I am getting anxious. I am becoming curious. I still remember french fries. And more importantly, I still want to remember french fries.

Alexis is doing yoga in the bedroom and Woody is basically trying to stuff the kong in her butt. If you don’t give the guy what he wants he can be very persuasive. She is laughing and screaming “ouch!” at the same time. A place I know well.

We had to get up early this morning. 7:30 a.m. You think we are spoiled millennials, I get it. I slept poorly last night. My streak ended as the nightmares came back in full force. We had our monthly business meeting with the South Park Business Association. Mostly just people come for free coffee and pastries. I go because I’m gunning for a board seat. They could use the fresh blood.

After the meeting I didn’t much feel like participating in the world. I laid in bed for two hours telling myself I was going to nap but really I just scrolled and scrolled and scrolled. At this point it is my own fault. But how can you not become consumed with this circus? We talked today about how to remove ourselves from the drama and become more involved locally. We talked about Big Brothers Big Sisters. We talked about Boys and Girls Club. We talked about monthly donations. But mostly I just want to punch someone in their gd face for an hour until I feel like the fucking over is a two-way street.

Needless to say, I took breakfast in bed.

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Leftover hash with some self-evident sidekicks. I could eat last night’s hash every day. Probably only like three days in a row actually. But you know what I mean.

Greg, Mijon, and Boston swung by the studio to say hello as they were just getting back from Florida. I like being in the studio and feeling neighborly. I let myself become a bit of a hermit during this 30 day challenge and you know how it goes, if you’re not going out and seeking life it ain’t gonna bother to come find you. The conversations and smiles from people passing by the studio were a resurgence.

Ashley swung by to work on her new blog, Rosemary & Rags, while Alexis steamed clothes for her trunk show this weekend.

Then it was a gigantic lunch that was so big I already conceded to leftovers before I started.

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That’s chicken, turkey, salad with bacon, avocado, cauli rice, roasted squash, and strawberries.

I ate the whole gd thing. I’m an animal what do you expect?

Woody was having none of it today because the sun was back and that means only one thing for a dog.

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Our friend Julia came by the studio for some headshots. She is transitioning away from the ‘peaceful yogi’ look to something a little more natural and clean.

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She was a great model. But I couldn’t have done it without the very professional help of my very professional stylist.

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And then the salmon and its plastic friend came for us.

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Looked good on paper.

Everyone is watching that new show This Is Us and saying they love it. Well, this is us.

 

Read Day 26 HERE.

Whole30 Day 26 : Three Straight Nights of Good Sleep

8:08 a.m.

I slept well again last night. This could be it. The thing I’ve been waiting for. Sleep is my nemesis and if I start wracking up these peaceful nights with deep rest I think it’s going to change my whole life.

I did also think about the different reasons I could use for cancelling my boxing lesson the very second my eyes opened this morning.

Time to put on my white girl clothes and take the doggie for a walk. 47 degrees they are saying.

This was Woody on the day we picked him up,

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Now he’s a giant monster.

8:25 a.m.

There was a woman outside in shorts. Another in a basic long sleeve shirt and jeans. How are they not freezing?! I’m thinking menopause? I don’t know, not sure how that stuff actually works. All I know is that I’m barely holding on inside this traveling comforter I am wearing as a coat.

8:40 a.m.

I can still cancel this session.

8:45 a.m.

There is an unspoken battle happening in regards to the location of the toothpaste (best toothpaste in the world, btw). It has been kept in a mason jar along with our toothbrushi (plural – high five if you got that on your own) since the beginning. But now that I realized it stands up on it’s own, due to an ingenious flat-head design, I’ve been standing it next to the mason jar. Hence, allowing more space for the little tooth cleaners to breathe. Every evening I place it outside the jar and every morning it is somehow back in. Now, it’s possible it’s such a hard-wired habit she doesn’t even realize change is on the horizon. But if that’s not the case, if she preferred the old method and is being defiant, then we gonna have a some trouble round here.

9:55 a.m.

I was pretty strong in my boxing lesson today. Energy was good and no repulsive burp-gags despite eating breakfast just ten minutes before leaving the house (9 out of 10 doctors recommend).

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My trainer, Mike, told me I had meaty thighs today. That’s the highlight of our time together so far. He was wrapping my meaty thigh with an elastic band because of my torn hammy. I guess it’s called Voodoo Flossing. Tight compression and then light mobility training to repair damaged tissue. It’s a very new technique. I like to think it’s experimental from Amsterdam, but more likely some guys in Silicon Valley who were on a light dose of LSD while doing Crossfit. Anyway, after about three minutes of exercises my hamstring felt brand new for the entire workout. It’s back to being a little bitch right now but the relief was nice.

We have a meeting next door in five minutes and there’s no way I’ll have time to shower so I’m going to take what we in the industry like to call a whore’s bath. A splash of soapy water in the pits, quick rinse of the face, and an undercarriage scoop and swipe. Two minutes tops. Brand new person.

11:25 a.m.

Unfortunately, my bathing technique was not enough to prevent the giant ass streak from appearing on my chair when I stood up to greet the client. #classy

12:30 p.m.

I’m hyper. Which means I’m coming out of the depression cycle and into the manic one. Alexis doesn’t seem to be amused as she has a lot of work to do today and I am inventing new words and doing an interpretation of the I’m Blue, Da ba dee da ba da techno song while following her around in the kitchen and awkwardly touching her shoulders and butt cheeks.

Anyway, this is a story about personal triumph and I will continue to blossom as an individual regardless of how well it’s received by others.

1:00 p.m.

I just let Woody out on the roof. He’s a puppy, the whole world is intriguing. He ate a dead bee, drank rain water out of an ashtray, and walked through a puddle with a power cord lying in it. I’m going to buy myself one of those #1 Dad mugs. Now he is eating one of our plants and, oh wait, carrying around Lambie with a pair of my socks stuffed in there for good measure.

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1:16 p.m.

Lunch was tremendous. We (actually we) mixed the greens with the sunshine sauce from last night and added avocado, cashews, blueberries, and a lemon squeeze.

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Alexis made dark meat chicken and roasted butternut squash. She found it very difficult to prep considering the whole squash was a disagreeable and ungrateful tyrant. But we’re all about results here at the Hensler-Asquith household. And the squash was roasted.

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1:59 p.m.

Alexis made a blind sale to a stranger via Instagram. Her shop is going to take off I think. She is going to get a crash course in business development and organization. Pretty soon I’m just going to be eye candy in her voyage to the top.

2:45 p.m.

I walked down the street to the park to meet Ashley and Caira. Caira saw me and immediately said, “Wood?” as she, like all of you, is obsessed with our dog. The look of disappointment on her face when I said he was at home was not easy to overcome. Still, we partied on the swings and the dinosaur and the stone steps.

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4:30 p.m.

I need a snack. I want a sandwich. BLT. Knaw what I mean?

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Sweet potato toast, bacon, mixed greens, and some turkey.

A wonderful treat for the ten seconds it lasted.

Now I want pizza.

One thing I miss about snack food is that you can buy an entire bag of something and then just sit there and eat the whole thing. There is constantly stuff in your mouth and lots of chewing and even if you’re binging out of control it lasts for a good twenty minutes.

6:59 p.m.

We are back from yoga. Wanted to mix it up from home practice so we took a class at the neighborhood yoga studio, which also happens to be my old rival studio. It wasn’t long ago when they were referring to me as a sacrilegious and fake “yogi” because I also taught martial arts at my studio. God forbid these people wanted to punch some things on occasion. Guess that wasn’t “zen”. Years later, their star teacher was alleged to have used his status as a yoga teacher to prey on his female students. Not sure what was ever confirmed but the guy’s poster came down in a heartbeat and he was removed from the schedule completely. Did I mention that I was 7+ years in the industry without a single scandal? But yeah, totes legit sacrilege.

Anyway, you can imagine the smile I carry on my face when I walk into that place these days.

“What did you think of class?” I asked Alexis.

“It was okay. She talked a lot.”

“God, they always do,” I replied.

“I know. Can’t they just let us breathe for a second?”

“Yeah. We had a gd moaner in our row though. Could you hear her?” I continued.

These moaners in yoga are trying to prove just how good yoga feels to them while the rest of us are just trying to talk our minds down from wanting to kill half the room.

“That was me,” she said.

“Oh.”

7:43 p.m.

Dinner is almost ready. I’m about to get tapped to make the salad. We are having brussel/mushroom/pork hash from our Nom Nom Paleo meal plan.

8:46 p.m.

My god, the rabbit holes I am going down on FB lately. If I could hook up a brain and stress monitor while I scroll I bet I could actually see cells dying. What is one to do when there is nothing you can really do?

On a Whole30 note, I feel so nourished from dinner. Alexis is somehow starving. I complemented her on the hash and she complemented me on the salad. It was a joint effort and there is joint admiration on this fine evening.

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9:05 p.m.

“Have you ever had strawberries with peanut butter?”

Alexis continues to peak over at me to see if I notice each consecutive spoonful of the cashew butter.

 

Ready Day 25 HERE.

Whole30 Day 25 : Our Dogson is a Narcissist

8:35 a.m.

I am so dizzy this morning. Last night I could have fainted.

I experienced my first food dream. Of course, it was nachos. Thousands of them. And every dip you could imagine. Melted cheese, salsa, guacamole. There were dips hanging from the walls and entire tables made of cheese. It was a glorious dream and something I hope to realize in my own life.

9:15 a.m.

Big breakfast this morning since I can only attribute the dizziness to starvation. I’ve been eating just as much as every other day. Maybe I didn’t consider the burn of my workout during portion selection?

Eggs over medium, ground ginger chicken, sweet potato toast, and avocado. And a little smurf spectator hoping for a chunk of something to fall off my plate.

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11:03 a.m.

Monday’s are usually my power day. I set up at my desk and check out my Rolling 9 list of things to do, and I do them. It’s my chance to have a big four hours that set me up for the rest of the week. But lately I’ve been fighting myself over every simple decision. Do I really want to be doing this right now? I’m not sure where this question comes from, likely having too much “freedom”. Since I work for myself and make my own schedule I’d say I spend just as much time critiquing my time management skills and self-motivation as I do actually working. There is a sweet spot between freedom and requirement. There is also the theory that freedom only truly exists when you have no choice. Ignorance is bliss or something like that.

In other news, I forgot to brush my teeth yesterday. Not yesterday morning or yesterday night, just, yesterday.

11:18 a.m.

I think when I run for city council in eight years with the help of Ben I will have to use most of my campaign funds to hire someone to go through all my old blogs and red flag any that might come back to hurt me. I don’t personally think there will be any as I am happy to own and explain every single moment of my life. I am living a life after all. And part of that means making mistakes and having strong opinions. I’d trust me and all my swearing and absolutes over someone with a squeaky-clean background.

There are a couple articles, though, that might put me in some hot water. The one about hookers, for instance. It was a harmless entry in the 500 Words A Day writing experiment I launched years ago. One thing led to another and it got picked up on Twitter by the hooker community. Excuse me, sex worker community. That was one of the big lessons I learned after being grilled by prostitutes for the better part of a week –  they refer to themselves as sex workers. Another huge mistake I made was assuming they were all ridden with STDs. Apparently, they are not because they undergo tests weekly and never have sex without a condom. Lesson two. And the biggest offense I made was not acknowledging them as compassionate people that are offering a service to those that might not be able to have sex on a regular basis. One women told me about the amount of disabled people she transacts with and that, without her, they would never get touched.

You make your own judgments. Needless to say, this one might have to come down. Or fuck it, maybe not. I hate the thought of censorship and the sex worker population can’t be high enough to swing an election, can it?

11:46 a.m.

A is off to the grocery store. That’s how she spends her Big Monday. She says she worries sometimes when she’s shopping that I’m going to be mad about how much this whole thing costs. I assure that we are spending less money in the long run.

Although, we did just sign up for this meal plan and grocery list subscription through Nom Nom Paleo. I actually think it was money well spent. And genius on that person’s part.

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On the way, she will drop off some more of the wedding thank you cards. What an endeavor that whole thing is. We got married in October. This is the second of probably four rounds of writing and mailing cards.

Pretty amazing night though. We made a movie about how we met instead of having a whole big ordeal and a bunch of people that don’t really know each other or how the two people getting married even met.

I do warn you that if you watch this you might laugh or cry or both. My mom was hysterical crying behind me the whole time 🙂

I’m not saying we’re the greatest couple of all time or anything but we did have a hell of a meaningful night and this video was the piece that got everyone feeling warm and connected.

1:12 p.m.

Still working. Alexis just called to give me the five minute warning. I should start cutting up the chicken and then head down to help her unload groceries. Or I can have Woody do both.

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1:38 p.m.

In your opinion, does salt count as a food? Not salty food, but just actual grains of salt. Maybe a snack at least?

1:48 p.m.

With all the animosity going around the globe right now Alexis and I realized there isn’t a lot of representation for refugee produce. We decided to set up a bit of a camp for fruits and veggies that feel like they have no place else to go. In our minds, a place where an onion can interact freely with an apple without fear of judgment. I think it’s the little actions of individuals that will turn things around.

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Anyway, lunch was good. Salad with left over pulled rotisserie. I threw some blueberries, cashews, and avocado on mine. Olive oil and salt for dressing.

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Alexis had to head out quickly to this new form of therapy she is trying called EMDR. It was brought to my attention by a FB friend so I passed it along to her. It supposedly helps a lot with people who’ve had some trauma in their childhood. It seems interesting to us because of the level of potential science behind it. A lot of therapists offer conflicting advice on how to process certain difficult emotions and this feels less subjective. I am curious about anything that claims to work with the plasticity of the brain – the fact that our brain constantly rewires itself to perform regular tasks with great success and efficiency. The implications that could have on rewiring traumatic events and removing the negative physical association is both nerdy and exciting.

I’m mostly left handed. I write with my left hand. I bat left handed. But I box, throw, and kick with my right. So I guess I’m mixed. An ambi. Which means my brain is naturally more cross-wired than 90% of people on Earth. I’m not bragging, these are just facts. Not even alternative facts. It’s like having two personalities always fighting each other. Fun, right? I am both incredibly rigid and completely opposed to structure at the same time. When I put on my shoes I put my right one on with a right hand pull on the heel. I switch my hand orientation for the left one and use my left hand to pull the heel. I’ve been doing this every day for two years. Two years ago I could barely pull with my left, it felt so awkward. Now, I’m not certain which one is more natural. This might not seem like a big deal to some of you but to me this is the realization of an entirely new world. I started writing and drawing with my right hand to see how far I could take it. After about three minutes it felt like there was a warm gel swishing around inside my skull. The sensation trickled all the way down to my lower back. As if I could feel my brain firing.

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2:59 p.m.

Okay, my farts smell like broccoli. Which is weird because I haven’t eaten any. I just farted and it gave me a craving for soup. What is happening?

I’m trying to get the house in order while Alexis is gone. I made the bed.

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Cleaned up some toys.

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Folded the clothes and put them away.

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She is working a couple hours tonight too so that seems like a good opportunity to make dinner for her. If only we could always be the people we wanted to be.

3:47 p.m.

Sometimes when Alexis cooks some stuff burns in the oven or the toaster oven. I get upset in my head and wonder why she would let something burn like that. I was just heating up some chicken in the toaster oven and it started to burn. That’s why she would let something like that happen, because it just happens. And until I acknowledge that it happens to me too, that it is inevitable and not specific to my partner, I will continue to harbor things in my brain that simply are not true. I often stand offended by things I probably do myself. The person on the freeway going 45, the guy at the gym using three pieces of equipment at once, the person casually texting at their knee below the steering wheel. I have gotten upset with all of these people. And I have been all of these people.

I cannot explain it other than anger must be 90% related to the self and 10% created by external circumstances. Would you be mad if someone cut you in line if you were standing next to the love of your life for the first time in three months?

4:05 p.m.

Alexis just called.

“Hello, who is this?” I asked.

“Hello. I am Alexis. I am your wife,” in robot voice.

“So the therapy worked?”

4:09 p.m.

According to this woman, slow digestion is linked to being in a constant state of fight or flight. When you are engaged in that manner it is impossible for the digestive system to function properly. Key note – this is regardless of diet.

4:49 p.m.

Ah ha! Just got off the phone with my accountant. I did file a Final Return in 2011. Those bastards are trying to screw me, per ushe. I am going to send them a picture of my dick now in a letter entitled, “Please enjoy my form of payment.”

They send these letters and people just pay up because they are scared. I’ve heard so many stories of people contesting the bills only to have the IRS or the FTB says, “Whoops. Yeah, looks like a clerical error on our part.” And somehow there is no punishment for them.

5:07 p.m.

Me and the Woodson walked Alexis to work.

With all this rain and wind there have been so many fallen branches. His pile is outgrowing our house. There is a trail of tiny tree bark scraps from the bottom of the stairs straight into our bed.

My rain walking outfit is amazing. Leather mid-top Frye boots, lululemon sweats tapered at the ankles, a baggy knit sweater, and a long black trench coat. I’m the whitest girl this neighborhood has ever seen.

5:52 p.m.

The owner of the restaurant we shot the commercial for just reached out and wants to talk about future projects. Booyaa!

I talked myself out of going to the gym. I have to revamp our website and I have a boxing lesson in the AM anyway. In my mind I’m saying I’ll do an extensive yoga practice tonight but in reality we just started season 5 of Breaking Bad last night.

6:03 p.m.

A giant, 18 inch continuous log just came out of my butt.

6:42 p.m.

Ah Christ, there are a lot of steps on this recipe. And it’s just for sauce.

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I’m texting her.

“Where are the dates?”

“Dates?”

“The sauce recipe is in the book babe. I marked it.”

“Oh. The peanut sauce one was on the stove.”

Wrong recipe.

I’m off to a good start.

6:46 p.m.

Upon closer inspection, there was a note in the Whole30 book. All the ingredients are already out. The garlic clove is even peeled. She prepares for me like you would, ah never mind, it’s not even cool to make the kind of joke I was about to make. #2017.

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7:19 p.m.

I mean, I mostly dominated the sauce.

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Now I’m going to take Woody for a walk and come back and help with dinner. I know you’re thinking, But you said you were going to make dinner… and to that I tell you Alexis asked if I would rather make the sauce or the chicken and I said sauce because raw chicken is more disturbing than accidentally seeing your friends’ infant daughter’s vagina when you aren’t yet a parent yourself.

A whole sink full of dishes from the sauce alone. I had to use three different spoons. Love the learning curve though. Next time I won’t put the sunflower butter in the bowl first. Shit sticks to the sides of everything.

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7:28 p.m.

I put on my North Face subzero rated parka. It’s 52 degrees. Hold your judgments. I have twenty years of Michigan winters under my belt, thank you very much. I have been waiting for an excuse to wear this thing. Hasn’t been since my trip to Boston two years ago for Snowmaggedon. It performed beautifully if you’re curious.

7:41 p.m.

I’m sweating through my ass crack.

But I looked weather-prepared. Lots of people in their Chargers hoodies acting like they’re not cold.

I will admit though, I didn’t pick up his poop on this walk. Before you have a shit storm just please listen. I always pick it up. I’m psycho about it. We have a box of 9,000 poop bags from Amazon in our kitchen. But there’s this one yard that is just not up to neighborhood standards. They don’t mow their lawn, the exterior is rotting, and the blinds are always down. It really bothers me because it could be a beautiful house. So when Woody poops there, and he’s done so in some tall grass, I just leave it. Is it noble? No.

8:51 p.m.

Dinner came and went. An hour of prepping and cooking, three minutes of eating, and twenty minutes of clean up. A grand endeavor indeed.

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9:20 p.m.

I made a donation to a friend’s thing tonight. She’s a really good person and wanting to do a lot of good for her students in class. I made the donation anonymously because I didn’t want it to be shared all over FB and I thought I was big enough to not need credit. But after I realized that she wouldn’t even see who it was from I had great remorse. I mean, I wanted at least a little acknowledgement for caring about good stuff and good people. Now if I message her and say I was the anonymous one I look like an even bigger tool than if I just put my GD name to begin with. What a mess I’ve made.

In other news, Woody has discovered his handsomeness. And mirrors. And more often than not you will find him sitting in front of the mirror, staring at himself. Just sitting there. Sometimes for up to ten minutes.

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*Photos were taken at three separate times throughout the evening.

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.