Tag: Gym

Death by 1,000 Cuts

Death by 1,000 Cuts

I’ve come to really appreciate the gym as a solid source of stress relief on days like today.

Life can’t all be fun and polling places after all. I may have gotten an initial high by doing my civic duty and voting, but that was a very small fraction of the day right when the polls opened at 7:00 a.m.

Yeah, I finally got to pull out this joke I’ve been sitting on for a few months. Yeah, I’m proud of myself for deciding to actually do it. And yeah, I’m glad the Tweet and my identical post on Facebook got a good number of likes more than usual.

Not that it matters how much my things are liked, I just appreciate knowing that a number of my followers here and there have solid meme sensibilities.

I’m getting sidetracked.

Voting was cool, acknowledged. But after I did that I still had to go to school.

Which leads me to my next point: School kind of sucked today.

I went in for what amounted to a 20-minute long Sensation and Perception class where we reviewed for our upcoming test, but because my late class and study date were cancelled I had no reason to stick around.

Always a pleasure to drive around for a couple of hours so I can be in class for 20 minutes.

See we’re smack in the middle of midterm season 2 in Cal State Fullerton’s Psychology department. Tomorrow I have an exam in Learning and Memory, then on Thursday I have an exam in Sensation and Perception.

Plus, on the back-burner is the early deadline for my Learning and Memory research paper: Friday.

That theoretically matters less than the rest, but if I get the paper in before Friday I’ll have 4 points extra credit applied. Considering those points are the difference between a ‘C,’ where my rough draft stood, and an ‘A,’ I’m pretty eager to get it in.

It just so happens that I have no idea whether or not the professor is going to be on-campus Thursday or Friday. Which is why I’m pushing myself to finish the paper by tomorrow.

While also hoping to study for the exam in that same class tomorrow.

See why I’m getting on-edge?

Well hold your horses folks, because it gets more frustrating somehow.

My professor left tons of notes on the rough draft I turned in because he’s anal as hell and basically wanted us to write his essay, not our essay — even if something made more sense to us the way we wrote it.

… So I’ve heard from a friend.

When I sat down with the guy during his office hours to get clarification on the chicken scratch notes, the general take-away was that he wanted the early portion of the paper to have clear definitions, examples and statements on how those examples prove the definitions. It wasn’t good enough to have a definition followed by a “, for example xxx.”

That’s all fine and well… Until you remember that the paper as a whole has a page limit.

So the man basically strong-armed me into adding dozens of paragraphs and extended examples throughout the paper, and now expects me to cut down all of the extra space that came into the piece as a result.

It’s a Tantalus-level torture straight out of Hades if I’ve ever seen one.

That’s about where my headline today comes from, my resignation to the fact that I’ll be sitting here with my mom snipping off words and sentences from this paper where applicable to hit a page limit, despite the fact that I’m already sick of looking at it after nearly five hours of editing his comments yesterday.

Not the emotional place I want to be in while knowing I have to move into exam studying after for the same man that’s currently ruining my life.

But like I started this post off with, at least I had the gym to blow off some steam.

Even if not I feel like I’m passing out on the couch while working on my paper.

Because everything needs a trade-off, doesn’t it life?

Distractions

Is it ironic to spend time making a whole blog post about all of the things that are distracting me from the things I have to do?

Or is it just stupid?

Well either way I don’t exactly have a lot to talk about until Legendary Eirika drops in Fire Emblem Heroes tomorrow so this is what you’re stuck with. By the way, I know nobody cares but I’m very excited to see her get some more love so prepare for that.

For now, however, that entire train of thought just serves as yet another distraction mucking up my productivity tonight.

Normally I work pretty well with some distractions going off in the background. Some music, a YouTube video, a group chat, whatever it may be. Unless I get really invested in the content, audio tends to help me focus more often than not.

But right now every little possible activity and thought is getting in the way of the one thing I actually need to do: Reading another article for my Evolution and Creation class tomorrow.

Some of those things are the general senses of dread and/or inspiration in the back of my mind. Including, but not limited to:

  • That exam I have next week.
  • Remembering a study date(?) I have for that exam before next week.
  • All of the work I’ve done running around to schedule my classes for next semester.
  • That armor set I want to build in Monster Hunter.
  • The fact that Shantae Half-Genie Hero is still on sale but I haven’t bought it yet.
  • An interesting idea I have for my novel where I might try to incorporate mirror reflection bs into the reveal of a character actually being a dragon? But that’s a whole other story.

So on and so forth.

As you can tell the ideas are fairly eclectic, but they’re also competing for space alongside other things like making sure dinner came out okay after Mom left it halfway through the process. Or catching up on a YouTube series.

Oh and let’s not forget about that nagging feeling in the back of my head that I should allocate some time to go to the gym tonight. Except it’s already close to 8:30 p.m. and I don’t know that I want to go to the gym this late, especially when I still have some homework to finish by tomorrow.

Also, if I went to the gym it would push off my window to write a blog post for the day further, and I’d really rather not avoid that if I can choose not to. Even if that means the idea I’m writing about might be hackneyed and silly.

But what hackneyed and silly blog post idea should I write about? I don’t know, how about I scroll through Twitter a little while I mull it over.

Sorry, what was that? I’ve been on Twitter for 15 minutes? How is that possible I don’t even enjoy that service that much, where did the time go?

In case it wasn’t obvious, yes, that tirade evolved into me actually just describing the process of how I came about this blog post idea stream-of-consciousness style.

Because obviously here I am writing instead of going to the gym or working on this homework assignment.

Yet even this distraction has distractions. Like my dad coming home, meaning I had to put my phone down to go move my car and let him in. Which then turned into sitting back and watching Bill Maher, as we are now.

So by virtue of T.V. time with dad and the fact that it’s 8:30 p.m., I might just skip the gym entirely until tomorrow.

I’ll just finish writing this and jump onto my assignment, try to focus on that hardcore.

With potential Monster Hunter time after. But that won’t be so much of a priority that it keeps me pulled away from my work more.

All that being said, I hope you enjoyed this distraction from a distraction that’s allowed me to realize what distraction I should move onto next. If it was a good distraction for you too, please feel free to let me know.

I’d like to believe I’m performing some sort of service with my hackneyed musings.

(Also be sure to come back tomorrow when I distract everyone further with more Fire Emblem stuff, okay? Okay. Cool.)

Hitting the books, hitting the sauce

I was a little lukewarm about writing something for the ol’ blog today. Pretty much my whole arc of experiences has included doing homework and recovering from staying up so late to watch the 18 inning Dodgers/Red Sox game last night.

Because yeah, I watch sports once in a while. Luckily I just happened to be watching a sport when a record-breaking game did its thing.

But even if I like baseball more than pretty much any other sport, I don’t think I can write about that for extended periods of time.

Pretty much why I’m not a sports writer.

In terms of homework, I did an assignment about infographics for my Visual Communications class, read a few pieces on the McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education court case for my Evolution and Creation class, sent out some emails to professors (alongside some work emails for Gladeo) and spent some time trying to come up with a title for my Honors project.

None of that felt particularly enlightening to write about here, though.

So my only other real option was possibly writing about the fact that I’m going to be getting an award real soon as I found out via Twitter and the Daily Titan advisor Bonnie yesterday.

Yet even there it doesn’t feel like the right time to go around and say ‘hey go check out the thing that’s getting an award.’ I’ll probably do that around the time when I actually go to an awards ceremony.

Assuming that’s a thing that will happen sometime soon.

With all those dead ends in mind, I took a break, ate some food, went to the gym and showered. As always, going to the gym seemed to spark some inspiration on what to write.

Guess I’m as much of a proponent of the gym being a good chance to relax and clear your thoughts as anyone now? For as weird as that is to say.

But to be fair, it wasn’t actually the exercise itself that brought about some inspiration. Rather it was the homework that I continued to do while I was power walking on a treadmill.

Because you know. I’m lame like that.

One assignment I’ve been pushing off is picking an image to examine for my Visual Comm class’s final paper. The professor gave us a pre-determined list so I had to pick something off of it. While looking through the list of images at the gym, I stumbled across this gem that will definitely be what I write my paper on:

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Just look at this 1950s 7-Up ad. It’s phenomenal. I’m not even sure where to begin talking about it.

Actually that’s not true, the obvious place to start is with the giant baby, an 11-month-old kid drinking a soda bottle as though it were milk. Not only is it a funny image, but it’s also a pretty striking one thanks to the color contrast.

Oh but that’s not all. I hope you read through the text on this sucker too, because if you did I’m sure you’ll see why I love it so much.

First off there’s an ad for a totally different T.V. show just slapped in next to the baby’s arm for some reason.

Then on the bottom-left corner, where the bottle is among a collection of other children’s toys, the advertisers recommend you “avoid imitations,” completely lacking the foresight to know that in the future everyone just calls everything of that nature Sprite anyway.

But most important is the larger block of text which advocates for, and I quote, “Add(ing) 7-Up to the (toddler’s) milk in equal parts” because it’s a “wholesome combination.”

That’s fucking astounding in just how genuine they are in advocating such a disgusting act for new mothers to immediately get their children hooked on shitty flavored carbonation water.

And I absolutely love it.

It’s just such a product of its time that I’m actually really looking forward to writing about the image for my essay. So much so that I thought it would be worth writing my blog post today about it so I can spread the gospel to you, my loving readers.

As an additional note, I did also want to point out that if I wasn’t picking the 7-Up ad, I would have gone with this ad for fancy ties:

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I don’t think I really need to say why. Just the idea that getting a nice tie is justification for obscene misogyny (and making your wife love that same misogyny because it’s a ‘man’s world’) is such a great little time capsule.

Plus there probably would have been a lot to say about exactly what the implications are when you have your wife get down on her knees for something as innocuous as handing off breakfast in bed.

Because come on, look at his face. You know what he’s thinking.

But I digress, because soda baby spoke to me way more and I’m going with it.


P.S. — Just consider this post an open call for any other crazy old ads that could never have been made today with this kind of 50s aesthetic, because I think they’re amazing and would love to see more. Kay? Thanks.

Feeling Uninspired

Ironically enough, despite getting out of Fullerton almost three hours earlier than usual today, I can’t think of too much I feel like chatting about.

Like yeah it was great that my midterm was easy and finishing it within a half hour or so meant I could leave my otherwise three hour class right away. That was super cool.

But that’s about all I can really say about it.

Then I could also potentially talk about the fact that my Senior Honors Project is finally starting to move forward after finding who I believe will be my mentor.

But that seems like a subject which will be more interesting once my proposal is signed and ready.

So then what? The fact that I’ve begun planning out my spring semester schedule with the early registration deadline coming up? Venting about this one assignment I’ve been putting off that I have to do now? Talking about Monster Hunter again?

I don’t know. I’m not particularly feeling any conversation topic right now.

Honestly the only story I can think to tell is a funny moment on-campus today where I was stopped by some faculty asking me if I had registered to vote, because it was some kind of voter registration day.

I was kind of in a hurry to get to class and told them no because I already was registered while passing by quickly. Felt a little bad being so dismissive to them.

Except then I realized I was feeling bad about the fact that I had already registered to vote and didn’t need to waste their time. Which is kind of not at all something that I need to feel bad about, because it wasn’t like I lied about being registered.

So yeah. Go vote, it’s important.

But frankly that’s about all I can muster right now. I’m a bit tired and not too inspired to write much of anything, so this will have to suffice.

I’ll probably head to the gym, come home to work on that assignment and chill.

Hopefully I’ll have a bit more to talk about tomorrow.

Highlighting Photo Composition

Despite having finally gotten through my major roadblock of the week, the Learning and Memory unit 1 exam (which I aced by the way), I still have just. So much homework to do.

So I’m going to probably do some smaller, passing over-type posts for the next two days or so. After Wednesday I’ll be more free to do whatever, and that will be kicked off by another Fire Emblem Heroes post.

Because yeah. There’s another banner coming.

But this time it’s the Halloween banner.

I’m rather excited about that because Halloween rules. Plus they announced the characters and Myrrh will be there.

That’s quite literally a story for another day, though. About two days from now in fact.

For now I’m just going to do a quick update on a different assignment that’s somewhat more fun.

Remember the other day when I mentioned getting that project in my Visual Comm class that I’ve gotten three times in three different classes now? If not I literally just linked to the post in that sentence.

I’ve been trying to branch out and take photos that aren’t all centered on the Cal State Fullerton campus, which is what I did the other two times I’ve done this. The professor argued that we should be using the project to “look closer and see patterns in the world around us.”

So that’s what I’m doing. Here’s what I’ve done so far:


Vertical Lines

A group of palm trees between the Kinesiology building and the Titan Bookstore. Likely going to be one of my only photos taken on-campus.


Horizontal Lines

A row of televisions set up at my Planet Fitness. Arguably some serious sensory overload, but I just pay attention to things on my phone anyway.


Diagonal Lines

Arguably two things: My household staircase or the ramp beside it. The latter is probably the more prominent element.


Alongside these lines, I also have to nab some pictures of shapes being prominent in pictures, as well as examples of the rule of thirds and of a Z-axis (in other words, something with objects in the foreground and background).

Out of everything I have juggling in my head right now, this assignment is arguably the easiest and most fun. So I figured the process would be worth briefly highlighting.

After all, perhaps it could help you also start to look at the patterns in the world you see every day.

Even though that’s super cheesy.

Implicit Exercise

Since I started going to the Gym this summer, I’ve slowly been building up my routine. Early on I just took a light walk on the treadmill for upwards of an hour to start building up my stamina after years of general inactivity.

But since then, I’ve diversified my portfolio a bit. At a much brisker pace, I’m now able to get about two-and-a-half miles in 45 minutes:

Followed by a bit of time lifting weights. Never did too much weight lifting back in high school gym classes because it always felt kind of pointless to me.

But I do want to be able to lift things. So it’s something I’ve picked up on more.

However, once school started up again, I found I wasn’t able to keep up the ‘every other day’ schedule I’d started over the summer. I’m more likely to skip over days when I find myself stuck on campus until 7 p.m. twice a week or doing homework.

Yet it seems as though my more exercise-driven mentality has managed to manifest itself in different places.

Now that I’m thinking about the fact that I’m trying to feel better, I’m taking more implicit exercise opportunities, as I’ve begun thinking about it.

For instance, parking further away from campus.

Parking is always a nightmare at Cal State Fullerton. It’s an unavoidable part of the commuter campus experience.

During the beginning of the semester it’s especially bad. Unless you get to school at 6:00 a.m., but that ain’t me. Everything starts to clear up around week three or four… It’s just that clearing up still means typically parking in the A-G lots on the far end of campus and walking in.

I used to find that to be a bit of a burden, but this semester it’s taken on a different air. The extra walk time back-and-forth feels a little healthier.

On top of that, I’ve also aimed to take the stairs more:

My two earliest classes are on the sixth floor of the Humanities and Social Sciences building. So, every morning from Monday through Thursday I’ve opted to walk up and down the stairs.

It’s still a bit of a drag, but it does feel better in a more cosmic sense than taking the elevator. Plus, it’s arguably a much faster means of travel.

My whole life I’ve been sort of a lazy bum, despite constantly hearing the ever-present cries of ‘diet and exercise’ being thrown around as ways to be healthier. Call it a side effect of my video game-centric lifestyle or what have you.

But I think I’ve finally come to understand what people mean when they talk about small lifestyle changes making a difference.

Even if I don’t actually get healthier from it, at the very least I feel better. That mentality is half the battle I’m sure!

The Shoulders of Giants

The Shoulders of Giants

Don’t have anything too crazy for y’all today. Mostly because I procrastinated doing this for a while.

Classes, the gym and a homework assignment I’ve been putting off that’s due tomorrow took priority, I’m afraid.

Sorry about that, blog.

But I can do something about procrastinating another day. Today I wanted to talk really quickly about something that came to my attention the other day while doing a different assignment.

Lately I’ve been reading chunks of Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” for my Evolution and Creation class. I actually mentioned it right at the beginning of my Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom pseudo-review yesterday, but we’ve been talking about natural selection and all of the details surrounding it for about two weeks now.

While reading the introduction to his arguably seminal work (which he calls an incomplete abstract in hilarious contrast to the fact that it’s nearly 500 pages), something very poignant struck me.

At one point, Darwin mentions a specific tenant of his theory: That creatures who have specific adaptations more beneficial than others will be more likely to live on and spread their genes, hence propagating that new adaptation.

Admittedly a bit distracted while reading through that part of the piece, I rolled my eyes and muttered, “well duh.”

Then I had to stop myself and reconsider my entire life.

Because I had just ‘well duh’d’ the man who literally invented the concept I was brushing off as obvious.

A concept which he only brought into popular consciousness less than 200 years ago.

Just starting to imagine that such a ubiquitous idea in modern science is so relatively recent is kind of mind-blowing. Schools teach Darwin’s ideas of natural selection and evolution as the first two paragraphs introducing a chapter in Biology 101.

The casual air with which we treat these, frankly, revolutionary and recent ideas is kind of stunning. It’s amazing how much one can take for granted that old tenant that we stand on the shoulders of giants with regards to the sciences…

But also with practically anything else on Earth today. Seriously, even things that we consider wholly modern like social media or 3D printing can see roots traced back to town criers in a pre-mass literate era and rudimentary use of electricity brought about by pioneers like Benjamin Franklin.

Honestly I think that’s the kind of mindset I’d like to hopefully instill in all of you with this quick post.

Even if you don’t agree that Darwin was a revolutionary figure (as I recognize that much of my reverence comes from a liberal-leaning Western education and an understanding of how hilarious the man was from reading his works directly), there are tons of things you use every day that you could think about in terms of which developments have become ubiquitous in making them a now casual idea.

So go on and think about all of the cool things you use that would be unthinkable just decades ago, and let me know what sort of interesting things come to your attention.


P.S. — When I say Darwin was hilarious, just know that in the portion of Darwin’s “The Voyage of the Beagle” that covers his trip to the Galápagos, he spends a page-and-a-half describing how he repeatedly threw the same iguana into the ocean to see how it would return.

That’s the kind of man I would party with.

Temporal Contiguity

I’m trying something totally radical today. Instead of writing this post after my trip to the gym, I’m writing it while currently at the gym!

Using the treadmill, to be specific.

About 10 minutes into my run and I’m already beginning to suspect this whole split mindset is a mistake. But overall I’m very interested in killing two birds with one stone, because once I get home from the gym I’ll have to study for this quiz I’m dreading.

Somehow we’re only a week into the semester and have already covered two whole chapters in this class. No idea how the quiz is going to go because it’s uncharted territory and this is the class where I don’t feel totally confident in my notes, so…

Yeah.

Should be fun.

That’s another story, though.

This blog post isn’t necessarily meant to be about me writing it at the gym. That would probably be weird.

Instead I figured I would try to write something positive about school considering yesterday’s post was so negative.

During my Learning and Memory class this morning I learned about something really cool which put words to a thing I’ve always thought about:


Temporal Contiguity

Occurs when two stimuli are experienced close together in time and, as a result an association may be formed.


I think this just about explains itself honestly.

I’ve talked about this same subject probably countless times before, particularly concerning my nostalgia for certain games being intrinsically linked to different locations.

Playing Pokémon Sapphire and the first run of Shovel Knight on 3DS while in Florida with my grandparents.

Playing through Pokémon Firered while in New York many, many years ago for my cousin’s Bat Mitzvah.

Playing Fire Emblem Fates (Birthright specifically) while in New York for a journalism conference.

Playing Pokémon White 2 in a Target near the Del Amo Mall by my house.

I could go on and on with this list frankly, and at least 80 percent of the examples are clearly Pokémon inspired — in case you ever needed a good reason why the series is my favorite of all time.

But I think you get the point.

Before you think I’m a total loser though, just know it isn’t all video game examples running through my head. Even if those are the most prevalent.

For instance, I remember finishing Wilson Rawls’ “Where the Red Fern Grows” while riding our family exercise bike when it was still in my parent’s room.

Followed soon after by bawling uncontrollably all over our family exercise bike when I finished the book.

Screw you Rawls. I’m still not over that.

This writing on the treadmill thing actually kind of sucks so I think I’m going to cut things off here. Try not to kill myself on exercise machines and give myself some closure to focus wholeheartedly on stressing myself out over a quiz later.

Just figured it would be worth sharing this cool new term I learned today that gave me the words to describe a phenomenon I’ve noticed quite often.

Have you found any sort of terms or words like that recently?

Or, if not, what sort of temporal contiguities have you experienced that really stuck with you?

Let me know down in the comments!

Goodbye homework, hello monsters.

Okay so on the off-chance any of my professors wind up snooping on this post, I’m not actually going to forego my homework this semester.

I just might procrastinate on some of it these first few months because I’ve got some sweet monsters to hunt!

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Check out that Valstrax, baybee

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a huge fan of the MH series. Started with 4 Ultimate on the 3DS and sunk hundreds of hours into that and Generations, also on the 3DS.

Unfortunately when the big groundbreaking HD open-world Monster Hunter World came out, I didn’t have any consoles to play it on. So I missed playing it, which was a shame considering a lot of my friends who had never played the series got into it for World.

But now there’s a Monster Hunter game on Switch. A direct improvement to the already fantastic Generations with many more monsters on a console that all of my friends own.

It’s quite literally a dream come true.

One thing I’ve been contemplating since the game was announced is whether or not I should port my Generations character into Generations Ultimate. Because that’s a feature, you can literally keep your character going.

But I think I’m going to air on the side of not porting my character over. It would seem a little cheap to start the game with end-game armor and weapons, especially considering my friends are jumping into this pre-World realm for the first time. Might as well grow alongside them, right?

These are the kinds of thoughts that have been echoing through my brain these last few weeks, by the way. Like non-stop. Especially since that demo happened.

So hey, cut me some slack. I survived the first week of school. I did my due diligence by going to the Honors Program’s Welcome Back Event. I went to the gym. I sent out some emails. I scheduled my yearly physical for tomorrow, right after which I’ll be leading my first Gladeo meeting.

If I don’t get to creating my binders and such until Labor Day, which we conveniently have off the first week after school starts, so be it.

Because baby my Hunting Horn itch is going strong and I’m ready to tear some massive beasts apart to wear their skins.

A Nintendo licensed game.

What? Why are you still here? That’s all I have to say.

I’m off killing monsters right now, you can go home. Actually I’m probably gathering a bunch of mushrooms and stuff since those are always the early missions.

But my point is still the same.

If you’re expecting something deeper about the first week of school or whatever, that already exists. It’s here.

So leave me to my cavern of darkness and beasts, that way I might one day be able to grace you all with amazing hunt photos.

Musical Space Filler

Musical Space Filler

I’m not sure how I forgot to write this until 11:00 p.m., especially considering I was looking to base it off of something that ended at 7:00 p.m. the whole time.

But if I’m being completely honest, I’m a little checked out right now. So I’m just going to go into the Aly band stuff I wanted to talk about real quick and move on. Try to get something out into the world before midnight.

As school quickly creeps up for me, it also creeps up for my sister. Thus, she and the Redondo Union High School marching band have been starting to rehearse their field show for the year. Traveling around to watch marching band competitions have become a pretty common activity for us since Aly started seriously doing high school band stuff.

We’re so early into things that I can’t actually talk about the show without breaking some kind of contract because something something secret high school band espionage?

I don’t know, it’s all a little over the top in my opinion.

So that picture up there in my featured image is just the band standing in a half-circle doing their pep band songs at the parent preview today.

Because that is what I’m talking about, by the way. The band puts on a preview for parents on what they can expect to see at competitions and such as the year progresses and a show slowly comes into maturity.

It was basically an hour of listening to the band play a few songs that they’d do during football games, then show us the first draft of a couple of overall show things.

I’m not entirely sure what I expected to be able to write on this subject considering I’m not really allowed to go into detail. But hey. I supported Aly and her band stuff today, it offers another opportunity to lament school coming and I have something to discuss that isn’t related to going to the gym.

Which I also did today.

I’m willing to bet that’s a good part of the reason why I’m so tired and out of it right now. So I hope you weren’t expecting anything cognizant and of significance tonight. Because I don’t have it for you.

If you want you can go check out the Gladeo Spotlight I did on the RUHS band director, Ray Vizcarra. That ties into this. I got to meet his husband today and they were both very pleased with the piece I wrote so I have that going for me.

Also something something new job callback.

Look I wish I had something else for you guys but I’m honestly, truly beat. Spending most of tomorrow with my friends for one final summer 2018 hang out as well so I can’t promise anything substantial until Monday when I’ll likely say something about my first day experiences for the semester.

But until then, please cut me some slack. I think I did pretty good with he whole one post a day thing this summer so I’ll just imagine I’m afforded an easy day or two now and then so long as I get something out before 12:00 a.m.

Yeah.

Later, man.