Recovery: inside, outside, and upstairs

Internally, I’m still stupid pleased to be a Golden Blades Champion. Wooooo!

Also internally, I had to spend the vast majority of April doing nothing in order to let my shoulder recover from the years of abuse I’ve heaped upon it. My doctor and physio guy know how long I’ve been complaining about the daily pain it would bring me. They smartly told me to stop being an idiot and actually rest it. Proper rest. X-rays and ultrasound showed that literally all I had to do was nothing for a while, and everything would sort itself out. Actual nothing. Not “nothing but some cardio”. No “and I’ll just carry this over there”. Contact sports were right out. Even had to limit “sitting around writing” because of my weird writing posture (working on it).

It’s now May. I go to sleep at night for the first time since I was a teenager without pain in my shoulder every time I roll over (which is a lot). MIRACLES. So, uh, listen to your doctor, kids!


Let’s recap the April Cooking Goals.

Goal the First: CREPES. Never happened. Never even bought the ingredients. Ended up redoing my meal plan to fit my sedentary April lifestyle and decided to drop crepes. Now that I get to be active again, I’m still leaving crepes out of the mix for now. It’s gonna happen one day, but maybe July/August. It’s gonna be a reward for accomplishing other goals. If my local market starts carrying the crepes you can reheat again, though, I will probably fold and get a bunch of those to freeze for when I’ve earned them.

Dammit, now I want crepes and have to not run to overpay for them at Cora’s. I can do this. Stay strong. Stick to the plan.

Goal the Second: MEAL PREP.  Partial Success! I didn’t go as all in as the pictures I linked, but I’m very rarely scrambling and have totally stopped the “screw it, I’ll just get drive through” days. I have a full mealplan to meet my nutrition and workload needs, which takes poor impulse decisions out of the equation (mostly) since I just need to stick to the plan. These days I even cook several meals at once to reheat later when I know I’m gonna be busy. It’s magic what a little organization and focus can do.

Tonight I’m gonna make salmon, veggies and rice for dinner. But at the same time I’m going to to bake two chicken breasts, make extra veggies and two servings of garlic pasta, then portion that out for two meals later this week. Simple and delicious.

Goal the Third: CUT THE POP. Actual success! It wasn’t a success in early April since I was sitting around being sad and, well, it was there in the fridge. Bad planning. Now it’s almost all gone but I’ve not touched it in weeks. I know I’ll enjoy them eventually, but later on as a reward for some milestones or something. Pretty thrilled I didn’t have any caffeine headaches from withdrawal. I’m very aware that even a little slip with this one is going to lead to more Dr. Pepper & energy drinks in my fridge :(

If you are looking for an easy way to track your foodstuffs — since I got bored of the Excel method a long time ago — My Fitness Pal is a decent free way to keep a log. Ever since Under Armour bought them, the app has gotten a lot better at presenting macro breakdowns. There are also a ton more ads, but so far just on the main feed page that no one ever looks at.


 

Though it was far from intentional, I spent most of April as offline as possible. I needed to regroup mentally as well as physically from the last while. Outside of hockey, 2015 has been awful. Never want to attend a funeral again, which is an impossible dream. I’m sad about the family and friends I’ve lost. But I’m actively working on it now. I’ve still got amazing friends and family that stepped up to make sure I didn’t just sit alone and cry for months and months. There’s so much I want to get done this year and it’s already freakin’ May! Enough hiding, it’s time to get back to work ^_^

Easter Weekend Recap

Everything went poorly. Quite poorly. Borderline exceptionally poorly.

Even though I both over and underslept and ate all fast food crap — with well over the number of pops I was hoping to have for the whole month — at least I saw a lot of terrible movies while trying not to move my shoulder much on the couch? Yay? It is honestly feeling better now though. I cannot wait to be pain free so I can play more video games, be ready for May hockey, and actually go to the gym again!

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April Cooking Goals

[ The following was not posted on April 1st for obvious reasons ]

If you’ve been following me on twitter for more than a few years (you brave soul, you) you’ll remember how my cooking skills were limited to makes a fine bowl of cereal then hovered around can successfully boil water and it was a rocky road to omg, this chicken is edible!

These days I’m reasonably confident in the kitchen, though I still check thick chicken, fish, and steak with a digital meat thermometer to be absolutely damn sure. I’m not terribly adventurous since I like pretty basic things and don’t get tired of staples easily. There were two solid years I had the same thing for lunch every day and it never bothered me, even though friends thought I was a little sad for it. Nuts to them! My lunch costs were approximately ninety cents a day (Canadian) freeing up more cash for gaming. Mwa ha ha.

It took forever, but I’ve finally nailed <protein> + <carb> + <vegetable> and having them all ready at darn near the same time. I still do a little party dance when I get it right, that’s how recently this has become a thing. Now I’m feeling cocky and it’s time to figure out some foods I pay other people to make for me.

Goal the First: CREPES

Crepes are the freakin’ best. When on childhood trips to visit my Grandfather, he’d get up mad early in the mornings to make the batter and have a truly massive stack of crepes ready for everyone when he kicked us out of bed. I can’t say “for when we woke up” since he was an early bird and I would have slept an extra two hours given the option. But his crepes were always worth it. I don’t actually expect to recreate those masterpieces since I lack talent, his recipe, his jennair* stove, and special crepe pan. I just want some reasonably edible crepes for myself for breakfast since there’s only so many bowls of oatmeal I really want each week. I’ve given up cereal, the only pancakes I like have chocolate chips in them (thus, a sometimes food), and I prefer eggs for lunch instead of breakfast. Bring on the crepes! I can stuff them with fruit for the rare times I’m not enjoying them plain with a touch of syrup.

I think I’m going to go with a slightly modified version of the Canadian Living recipe. Will probably add a bit of vanilla. Maybe a pinch of cinnamon if I’m feeling particularly bold. If you have an old family recipe (or something equally tried and true), feel free to pass it along!

Goal the Second: MEAL PREP

I’ve already started on this one a bit, though I don’t see myself going full out like this amazingly organised soul. Seriously, click that even if just to see the pictures. My meal prep goals are far less ambitious. I don’t need to cook a whole week ahead, but I should try for a couple of days. Last night I made salmon, linguine, and steamed green beans, while also cooking a chicken breast in the oven to have with the leftover pasta the next day. And some other chicken to mix with my eggs at lunch. See? Just simple little things.

 

Meal Prep Sunday Exampla

Seriously, look at that.

I need to keep up doing dishes almost immediately after eating, too, a habit I’m trying to clone from my brother. If I wait until the end of the day, it’s gross and a lot more work. Also, I only have a couple of pans so washing them frequently is pretty critical.

Finally, I plan to chop a whole bunch of vegetables on the weekend so I can just toss them into a salad. All the washing and chopping honestly dissuades me from making a salad when I should. Present salads per week: 0. Goal: 3-4.

Goal the Third: CUT THE POP

I’ve got no hockey for the month of April. None. Not even a practice. That’s not really related, but that’s the excuse I’m using to cut out the crap. This is one habit I have to keep RE-breaking. I have a great 3-4 months but then I snap and drink way too much coke/energy drinks for the next 2-3 months. This is gonna be the hard one :(


By the way, MarthaStewart.com has some pretty great videos for basic kitchen stuff that can otherwise be annoying to look up. Scroll down under the video to see other series like: knife skills, fruit preparation, seafood, vegetable prep, and meat & poultry. Wanted to link those separately since they cannot all be found from the main video page. It’s just nice to have quick well-produced videos that say “here’s how to do the thing” while leaving out “because you’re a moron that somehow made it this far in life without any kitchen skills whatsoever.”

 

*this is not why my name has two Ns, I swear.
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Golden Blades League Champions, woo! (hockey)

I’d like to lead off with a Muppet video. I’d like to lead off every post ever with a Muppet video, but this time it’s actually appropriate. “It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish”. If you are somehow anti-Muppet (you monster), have a version with Anna Kendrick instead.

CHAMPIONS, WOOOOOO. My team had a not-so-great start or middle of the season, but we knew we had amazing players with amazing talent and managed to pull that together for a big charge at the end to get us up to and keep us in 2nd place so we could challenge for the title at the end. This league is a bit of a weird one since it’s 99% “regular season” and 1% “playoffs”. By “playoffs” I mean “final game”. Holding on for 2nd place was critical and we had to do it against a team with Canadian hero and Hockey Hall of Fame player, Angela James. No big deal, eh? She was very gracious while I was profusely apologising to her for narrowly missing her face with the puck when I deflected a dump-in attempt.

Our spot in the finals assured with a record of 14-6-4 (it’s not like the NHL, we can have ties) we then had to take on a team with 18-5-1. AND WON, WOO. I am all of the sore right now but still extremely happy about our victory. I was really worried I wasn’t going to get to play after a rough impact the previous game.

My doc said that he’ll call if I shouldn’t play but if I don’t hear from him, it’s something to deal with during hockey-free April. No call — and I swear that it’s not because I completely ignored my phone that whole week — so I was good to go. Just. By midway through the third I was trying to take shorter shifts so I wouldn’t get caught out unable to summon the shoulder strength to get the puck out of our zone and thus screw my team over.

It was a really tense game! You could tell the other team really wanted this. As soon as the flood started they were all on their bench, ready to go. Meanwhile, in our dressing room, we were cheering that everyone showed up on time. Success! We did kinda sorta lie to some team members by saying the game was at noon and not 12:30. First time all season everyone was at least close to dressed before the flood finished. Go team. We even almost did a functional warm-up on the ice. Miracles.

Historically, we have a terrible first period and then start flying in the second. This time, my defence partner blasted a beauty from the point and we were up 1-0 early. Then 2-0. Then 3-0. Our second period went well since our forecheck mostly kept them in their zone or on neutral ice. Then the third period happened. While we were killing a penalty, my D partner broke her glorious and expensive stick on a clear and had to use a far inferior back up stick and ended up fighting the puck the rest of the game. I had to suck it up with the shoulder pain and fight along the boards to, if not clear, at least eat some clock since it became 3-2 in a hurry. This game couldn’t end fast enough.

It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.

And we finished as champions ^_^

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Riot Points Price Adjustment in Canada (and EU)

Do you play League of Legends? Statistically speaking, you probably do.

The game itself is free to play, but any cosmetic changes for your champions require Riot Points (RP), which means spending actual money. Some skins even change sounds and animations for your champion, and those cost more. Lots of ink was spilled over the new Sona skin: DJ Sona. Three skins in one and your teammates can choose to listen to Sona’s tune from her current state instead of the usual in-game music. It’s very cool, but I’m still all about Arcade Sona, thankyouverymuch. Probably buying that eventually.

Arcade Sona

Current — for the rest of the day — Riot Point prices are on the unofficial wikia. Here are the official posts regarding the change:

http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/riot-official/nWyb57Ti-rp-price-adjustment-in-canada

Here are the new amounts of RP you will receive as of 3/20/2015 for all payment methods:

5 CAD: 520 RP
10 CAD: 1100 RP
20 CAD: 2250 RP
25 CAD (prepaid cards only): 2800 RP
35 CAD: 4000 RP
50 CAD: 5775 RP
100 CAD: 12000 RP

http://euw.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/riot-games/announcements/rp-price-adjustment-europe

Uh, go ahead and click through for your region since it’s more complicated than Canada’s situation.

Yesterday I remembered that this was happening and decided to drop $25 on a prepaid card from a local store. I have learned the hard way that giving any gaming company my credit card leads to overspending or other bad things. For my $25 I got 3250 RP in return. Much better than the upcoming 2800 RP. That can buy a whole other champion if I didn’t want to grind out Influence Points (IP) for it.

And, hey, if you are thinking of getting into LoL and want to play with a clueless noob like me, feel free to use my Refer-A-Friend code since I like free stuff:

http://signup.leagueoflegends.com/?ref=4ad8055c0068f

Summoner Name: LadyGuardian (NA servers).

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Katowice Hype Weekend

After, um, a rough couple of months to start off 2015 — seriously, not sure I can take another funeral — I’m finally starting to feel like things are getting better. This weekend was really fantastic and now I’m pumped for the week. I slept well. More than once. Miracles!!

I tried to watch as much of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major as possible. ESL One Katowice really put on a fantastic event. As with all esports events across all of time and history, there are always delays and pauses, but probably a record low this weekend. Thanks to all the staff that probably didn’t sleep much through all the prep and live events. I certainly hope everyone bought them drinks afterwards, at least. It’s hard to pick out amazing moments from a tournament full of them. The finals between Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas were so close and full of tense moments. The last thirty minutes had the crowd just roaring and I was gripping my tablet as if that was gonna help anything.

I do want to highlight this moment from earlier in the tournament:

DAT KNIFE. For non CS players, the AWP (sniper rifle) has an extremely long reload time, and his CZ75-Auto (pistol) had only 2 bullets left after that second kill. This is why most of us are not pro. No panic from f0rest, he just whips out his knife and stabs the third guy in the face. Oh, then he AWPs the guy coming long for his fourth kill of the round. Just another day at a Major.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go weep for my own weak skills for a bit while watching the Intel Women in eSports panel that I missed since it was the same time as other games.

And, from reddit, showing off the other end of the CS spectrum, I love this Silver Hostage Extraction video. I don’t even care if it’s fake. <3.

Remember, you’ve only got until the end of the month to finish off your Operation Vanguard missions! Gotta get those extremely valuable Vanguard cases :(