Monday, March 23, 2015

50 in '15 #43: Go an entire day without talking.

I think that the idealized version of spending a day without talking is that it would be seen as a form of extreme meditation: just me and my thoughts for 24 hours. Over the course of this day I would get in touch with my inner self and come out the next day as a slightly better version of myself.

Spoiler alert: None of that actually happened. The lesson learned is that I really enjoy talking. More importantly, if I went more than 24 hours without talking I'd most likely go crazy.

But I did it, and I suppose I should talk about that experience. I knew that the best time to accomplish this goal would be when I was away on business. That way Katie wouldn't have to suffer through a day where we just stare at each other. Second, you have to be prepped to do such a task. I bought a bunch of food so I wouldn't have to talk to anyone to order. I informed Katie that we would not be having our regularly nightly call.

And then I just settled into my hotel room for the day. There was frozen pizza. There was March Madness. And there was a whole bunch of quiet.

This was my view for almost the entire day (except when I forced myself to go visit the hotel's gym where I crossed my fingers and hoped that no one would come in and want to strike up a conversation while working out on the treadmill next to me—which, thankfully, never happened.)

I can now say that I have gone a full 24 hours without speaking a single word out loud. This is bound to surprise nearly anyone who knows me and is an experiment that I will gladly never repeat again as long as I live.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

50 in '15 #1: Send a secret to PostSecret.

Here we are at my second list challenge and this one popped up again. It's like they knew that I skipped this on my last list and really wanted to make sure I did it. I'm not one to upset the Day Zero Gods, so this time I made sure to get my secret put on a postcard and shipped out as soon as possible.

Most times I do any sort of art project it turns out nothing like I envision. This time was different. It turned out so well that I didn't want to send it in. Here's a little glimpse of the card...

I'm kidding.

If I shared it here it wouldn't be a secret! But I can tell you this, I sent it in two weeks ago and it hasn't ended up on their website yet. 

Honestly, I don't expect that it will. I don't have any secrets from Katie, and I have pretty much none from anyone at all. I'm an open book. 

Oh well, at least I did it.

50 in '15 #39: Do a full body detox.

We had just returned from a long weekend back home to Iowa/Nebraska where we ate all of the worst foods a person can possibly eat. There were giant plates of fried cheeseballs, onion petals and mushrooms from Bob's Bar in Martinsburg. I personally ate about a dozen spring rolls in one sitting in Cherokee, IA. The first night we were in town we ate huge plates of goodness from our favorite restaurant, El Ranchito. The last night we needed something fast and we ate stuffed crust cheese pizza from a Pizza Hut (yuck!). Throw in about 15 pounds of banana bars and we gained a dozen pounds over the course of our very short trip.

As you can imagine, our bodies were in need of some very clean eating upon our return to Florida. Since completing a full body detox was on our list, there wasn't going to be a better time than this.

Since I'm not a big fan of the idea of doing one of those crazy juice cleanses, we set the parameters of a “full body detox” to mean the following:
  1. We'd be doing all of the below-mentioned items from our return date of February 2nd through February 13th due to the fact that we have Neil Gaiman and a nice dinner already booked for the 14th.
  2. Ultra-healthy eating, i.e. no processed foods, tons of vegetables, minimal dairy. We pretty much ate like we did when we were crazy vegans, if not a bit healthier.
  3. Tons of water. Katie wanted to try drinking a gallon of water a day this month, so we worked that in.
  4. No alcohol. This one was tough! I love a good craft beer and Katie likes to have a nice bourbon after a long week, so nearly two weeks was impressive for us.
  5. Work in some exercise. We had the plank challenge to do, some long walks, a little pickleball. Basically, we just had to do some sweating to get those ole toxins out.
  6. Make sure to meditate. Because your brain is part of the body, so it wouldn't be a full body detox without getting your mind right.
  7. And finally, dry body scrubs and a massage. Because one must take care of themselves. Full body scrubs are mentioned all over the Internet when you search any detox and a massage because, well, just because they are awesome.
And we actually accomplished what we set out to do...almost. We cut the detox short and finished on the 11th instead. It was still a whole lot of days, so we felt good about it. We didn't do the meditation like I wanted to and we didn't do the dry body scrub thing, even though I went out and bought special scrubber thingies. Other than those, what I consider minor, things, we did it.

I won't say that it was easy. After awhile we really just wanted something carb-heavy to put in our stomachs. And the alcohol...that was tough. We basically just had to stay inside and hide so we weren't tempted.

The good news is that we lost all of the weight we had gained over the long weekend home (and then some). The bad news: when we were all done Thursday we craved junk so bad we went all out. We had drinks and dinner out and we probably undid the entire benefit of the detox in one evening.

50 in '15 #44: Go to five new restaurants.

Five new restaurants? Is that supposed to be a crazy challenge? I knew right away when I saw this goal come up on the ole randomizer that this would not be one of the items that we'd actually have to try and accomplish.

Since you are reading this blog about how I love trying new list-based things, you can probably guess that we are into checking out new restaurants. As a matter of fact I've often talked to Katie about trying less new restaurants so we can become a regular somewhere!

Anyway, as expected, it did not take long to try five new restaurants. We didn't set out to try and get this done fast, but here we are just under a month into 2015 and we can now tick this one off as completed.

The five lucky new restaurants were (in order of when we checked them out): Tryst, The Station House, Kobe Sushi, Jimmie's and Gateway to India.

Two of those were from Tampa Bay Times Top 50 list (The Station House and Gateway to India), one was a friend's birthday party (Jimmie's) and two just happened to be in the area at the same time that we happened to be hungry (Tryst and Kobe Sushi).

And how were the five new restaurants? I don't think that any of them are going to enter our limited rotation, but I didn't hate accomplishing this one.