alliancesjr: (we are a Genuises)
If there's anything I have a weakness for - aside from Buffalo Chicken anything - it is a good chili. It's a relatively-recent obsession of mine, culinarily speaking, as I only had my first chili experience with Patrick, he who introduced me to the world of total non-sucking.

It's kind of a stereotypically Guy Food, chili. It's said that every guy has his own recipe, and will never share it with the world except when he's drunk, or really wanting to impress a girl. As false as this preconception is - most of my favorite chilis were made for me by awesome girls - the fact remains that it is as varied as the people who make it. Pat's chili, for example, favored heavily on the beans and lighter on the meat, and due to dietary restrictions was far more hearty than spicy.

Ever since then, I've sought out chili wherever I went. Sweet Tomatoes (also called Souplantation in other states) will often rotate between three different kinds, and once had all three available one frabjous day. When visiting Tessa before she moved up to Chicago, she took me to one of Cincinnati's three most famous chili places, where the chili is soupier and meant to be a condiment instead of a meal, and they give you funny looks for ordering just a straight bowl of chili even when it is right there on the menu, this is not like hot dog thing because Chicago doesn't even give you an option, no I am not still bitter about this.

(It actually is very good chili, despite my grousing.)

In any case, last week at work a box of chili mix was left at the front desk, and after a few days without anyone claiming it, I was allowed to take it home.


All things considered, it turned out pretty well. Two pounds of beef makes a lot of chili, and I'll have some for tomorrow. Thus begins my epic journey of chili-making; I plan on getting a slow-cooker (or registering for one for the wedding) and breaking it in with some Chili Around The World. It will be an EXTREME! EXPERIMENT!, in that I'll be researching a crapload of chili recipes from all over the internet, adapting and extracting and assimilating where I can.

Eventually, I will create the O'Shea Signature Chili, and when I do, internets, I will share it with the world.

It will be...



Dec. 20th, 2010 11:30 am
alliancesjr: (Wonderflonium)
I had a bottle of soda in my car, and I brought it in to work today. It was still perfectly liquid, not frozen at all, but it must have been at just the right temperature because as soon as I opened it, the depressurization caused it to instantly slush completely in my hands.

Science fucking rules.
alliancesjr: (Harmless Fun)
Morning Weigh-in: 225

Still going the proper direction. You may have noticed that it slowed a bit, and that I didn't check in last week. Adam ([ profile] skybreak_seeker) was visiting us, and we went out to eat more often than not - including a trip to the Melting Pot up in Arlington Heights, which is not conducive to anyone trying to stick to a diet.

(Unrelated side-note: Their Fiesta cheese appetizer is heavenly. It's as if a choir of angels swooped down, deposited a bushel of jalapenos on my head, and flew away whilst laughing their wings off.)

That said, I did at least try to stick to my portion control, though I've slipped a few times. I've also stuck to the diet soda restriction I've placed upon myself, no matter how many times I've been tempted to stray from this vile imitation.

In any case, I'm hesitant to declare that I'm tapering off, because of said extenuating circumstances. Once I do, however, I'll take a look and see what I can change of my diet next. One thing at a time, after all; I want to keep my eating habits as unchanged as possible while still achieving my goal.


In somewhat related news, I still need to upload the pictures and video from this Sunday's excursion to Pekin/Peoria, where my family and I attended the annual Pumpkin Chuck. There were trebuchets, catapults, and actual gigantic cannons, including the Illudium X-36 Pumpkin Modulator. ("Where was the gourd-shattering kaboom? There was supposed to be a gourd-shattering kaboom!")

I'll get them uploaded. IT WAS AWESOME YOU GUYS.
alliancesjr: (Harmless Fun)
This week, I begin Operation: Hip To Be Square! In my late-teens and very-early-twenties, I averaged about 180 lbs. It was mostly muscle, too; years of heavy lifting and long-distance bike riding kept me roughly in shape, even if it wasn't an athletic ideal. I wasn't chiseled by a long shot, but I was healthy.

Over the past year, I've been keeping stable around 235 lbs. Not healthy by far. Years of sitting at a desk job and overeating have gotten me, for lack of a better term, "squishy". The final straw was my stand-up video; the angle makes me look a lot heavier than I am, but it still makes me wince watching it.

My diet hasn't changed in the past eight years, but my activity and my metabolism have. I get a lot of walking done at work now, and a decent amount of heavy lifting, but my weight hasn't changed.

Now is not the time for drastic measures; far from it. I want to keep eating what I like to eat, but I've noticed a few key things:

  • I overeat. A lot, actually. I eat until I'm full, which is way too much. Trekkiegirl recommends eating until I'm satisfied, and then once my stomach settles I'll feel fuller. It makes a lot of sense; if you wait until you're thirsty to drink water, you're dehydrated already.
  • I drink waaaaaay too much soda. If I cut that out completely, I'll be well on my way.
These two things will make a huge difference in and of themselves. Simply reducing my portions and knocking out soda should get the ball rolling.

Trekkiegirl, although wanting me to stay a "snuggly bear", is very supportive and has practice setting up nutritional plans. She's going to go over my average weekly diet and suggest some replacements, keeping in mind what I like to eat and how finicky my palate is.

Stay tuned for updates.


Jul. 29th, 2010 11:10 am
alliancesjr: (Falcon)
I ate'nt dead. The tops of my forearms feel like it, though.

My cousin from Seattle1 came in town on Monday; she hadn't been to Chicago since she was 2, so she didn't remember anything about it. (Besides, she had only come to our house at the time anyway.) I took Tuesday off work, and the five of us - Cousin, myself, my parents, and Cheer Sister2 - went down to the city. We stopped by Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park, and checked out the observation deck at the Sears Tower3.

(The girls all went out on The Ledge - those new extensions on the deck that lets you stand in a bubble outside the building and look 103 floors straight down - but my father, who is terrified of heights, was content to take pictures from the safe carpetted area. I took one step and realized that I was becoming more and more like my father every day.)

We also took a Segway tour of the city. We actually covered a pretty fair amount of ground of the South Side - Millennium Park, The Island Formerly Known As Meigs Field, through the Museum Campus and Soldier Field, and roughly Grant's Park. A three hour tour, all on Segways.

I know what you're thinking. Segways are ridiculous. And yes, they are. I looked completely foolish on it. But regardless of how ridiculous they look, they're wicked fun. We were pushing 15 miles an hour on those things.

So, one week until I do stand-up comedy in front of a live audience. Tickets are still on sale, online and at the door. A class of nine, plus one professional opening, one professional middle act, and one professional closing act brings the total to twelve comedians. For a twelve-dollar ticket (plus a two item minimum), that's a great deal for an evening's entertainment. Details are here, including a link to buy tickets online if you don't want to wait and get them at the door. (Made of Fail listeners, feel free to come! It'd be great, plus I think I'll be sticking around after the show and you can come up and say hi.)

  1. Well, one of them. The older one.

  2. Who is incidentally back in cheerleading this year, making my referencial name to her valid once more.

  3. What? No, the legal name isn't something else. No, you're imagining it. Go back to your own cities, you ketchupped hot dog eating crazies.
alliancesjr: (Bishy 2)
So, I haven't really been in a self-flagellating mood lately. (DAYNA SAY NOTHING.) What with one thing and another, I've been in a bit of a funk.

HOWEVER. What with New Moon coming out next week, and me having to drag both Roommate and Melissa (I'm thinking Saturday, guys, probably the matinee 'cause I have to be at my parents' house by 5ish) (I AM NOT SEEING THIS ALONE. IF I HAVE TO SUFFER, SO DO YOU.), I probably should continue.

I also subjected Roommate to the Twilight DVD, though I did concede to sanity a bit and had the RiffTrax going.

@alliancesjr: So, yeah, RiffTrax made it watchable. Even so, that was the most fun game of Horrify The Twilight Noob ever.

You guys demanded it, so here we are.

Chapter Four
alliancesjr: (Dice)
Roommate and I went out yesterday, just to get out of the house. I figured that as long as we were doing that, and as long as we've been living here for...six months now, we should probably know where the local comic and gaming stores are.

Found both of 'em. There's a Comix Revolution near the library, and an independantly-run gaming store not too far south of there; right across the street from the Metra station. Both in downtown Mount Prospect, which is a gorgeous area anyway.

I went out on a limb and bought Tessa her own dice set and a really nice purple-and-black velvet dice bag from the shop. Those were an early Hannukah present, so she's not getting the big final-night gift from me. I told her that she should take eight dice out of the bag and give them to herself, one every night. (I'll probably pick up some gelt for both her and Dayna, though; Dayna will be here for the first couple nights of Hannukah)

Of course she was a total girl about it and had to spend half an hour comparing dice colors and styles before making a final selection. Although I can't really blame her; it is an important decision. Shopping for your first set of dice is almost like shopping for jewelry; you have to compare and waffle and waver and go back to your first choice and then put them all back and ask to see something completely different and then the gold-and-silver or crystal sets get spotted and then it's back to square one.

She's taken her first step into a larger world, however. Now she just needs her own copy of the Player's Handbook; now that we're customers of the store, we can probably hang around a lot and see if there are any local games we can join. If not, Debbie said that her friends Kelly and Steve game, and I might try to get them to do something with us.
alliancesjr: (Bishy 2)
@alliancesjr: I'm up early, I'm grumpy, so I'll go ahead and do Chapter 3 of Twilight.

Chapter Three
Grumpyyyyy )

End of the chapter. We'll get more into it again later.
alliancesjr: (Bishy 2)
Okay, here we go. The Sparklening Part The Second.

Chapter Two

Day and a half later. Seriously. )

Okay, this chapter seemed shorter than the last one. Taking a break, regardless.
alliancesjr: (Bishy 2)
(I think Rene's "HEY KEVIN IS SPARKLY AND BISHY" usericon is appropriate here, don't you?)

Ladies and Gentlemen, these are not going to be Twilight Recaps. You want those, I know someone who has done it way better than I could ever possibly do. What these will be, however, are reactions. Partly copied from Twitter, but partly written directly here. I will be reacting to things as I read them and not go back and edit later.

Let me also preface this by saying something that may possibly shock you (or it may not, whatever the case may be): I don't hate Stephanie Meyer. I can't stand her writing style, and I think these books are total wastes of paper, but I hold no grudge to the woman who wrote them. She's hit something here, and she's obviously doing something right, and even if I personally cannot stand it I can respect her for it. Like Cleo said, there was a need and she filled it, and she deserves every cent she gets out of these foolish girls and their mothers.

The girls and their mothers, however, should be ashamed of themselves. But hey, Buyer Beware. Nobody forced them to read the books, and nobody forced them to like 'em. I also hold no grudge against Twilight fans - provided they're not the completely insane Twilight fans who think I deserve to have a miscarraige because I don't like their favorite new fictional universe. (And yes, I am aware of the hypocrisy. I can't stand rabid fans of any kind, ESPECIALLY when they share a fandom [or a Warcraft character class] with me. YOU ARE MAKING US LOOK BAD[, STUPID HUNTERS].)


Are disclaimers all set? I think they are.

Chapter One
What have I gotten myself into this time? )

Okay, I think I can only handle this one chapter at a time before I do go mad. This'll continue...sometime later.
alliancesjr: (Artoo - RAM)
I've tried rebooting my laptop multiple times at this point. Take it any way you want, really: I'm a masochist, I'm overly optimistic, I'm really really stubborn - whichever you think fits best, that's probably what it is.

I've pronounced Felix dead at 2228, Monday, and all attempts to Igor it back to life have failed. Wednesday night, I packed it up and will Shelve It Indefinitely once my new computer comes in. 1

Speaking of which, the monitor arrived yesterday! It actually came in while both myself and Tessa were at work, so the nice FedEx Home Delivery man took it next door to the really sweet old couple in the unit next to us. They signed for it and held it for me until I got home from work. They're really nice people, and one of these days I'm going to actually ask them their names.

I'm going to set up the monitor tonight when I get home, to prepare for The New Computer.

Speaking of The New Computer, it was supposed to have been built today. Turns out the queue was smaller than the website predicted, and it was built (and shipped out) on Wednesday. The tracking number says Estimated Delivery: August 15th, which confused me since FedEx doesn't deliver on Saturdays unless you pay extra and I went with the free Standard Shipping, but then I remembered that Home Delivery operates on different rules.

The New Computer should be put together and running smoothly tomorrow night, but I'm not going to actually give it the name I've picked out until I know it's working properly. Likewise for any date estimates on the next episode of Made of Fail - Dayna wanted to know when I wanted to reschedule the episode we were supposed to record tomorrow3, and I really don't want to give her a date until The New Computer is working. Having watched [ profile] cleolinda over the last two weeks has taught me to wait and see if The New Computer even turns on.

Whenever we do record it, however, it'll be pretty awesome. Getting back to basics. Jillian's even agreed to do a regular Music News segment, which she'll prerecord for us if she's not able to make the actual recording date. (That might even work better in some cases, so that I can just say "And now, here's Jillian with the Music News", and drop in her segment during editing.)

EDIT: Tracking number now says that The New Computer arrives on Tuesday, not Saturday. Bit of a change there, but I guess it's still better than my original estimate of next Friday.

  1. I'm using the tag "bow down before skynet" to refer to all Compocalypse2 entries I have.

  2. The term "Compocalypse" coined by [ profile] cleolinda who is having a REALLY BAD MONTH so give her lots of hugs.

  3. You know. Before half the people on my LiveJournal friendslist had their computers die on them. I'm not even exaggerating on that; for the last couple months I've seen nothing but "MY COMPUTER DIED" all the way down the page.

alliancesjr: (we are a Genuises)
So, Saturday I am going to science with Melissa. I'll bring my camera and record every bit of it.

If things go well, we'll have some really awesome photos and video to share. If things go not-so-well, we'll have some really awesome photos and video of explosions to share.

It's a win/win situation, really.

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