LGN 77: Heavy Cream

Inside: Heavy cream; Quality of life; The dark side of masculinity; I’m so hungry that I’m hangry; Effortless mastery

HEAVY CREAM

“Heavy Cream”, also the title of my upcoming unauthorized autobiography.

Uh oh. I’ve discovered the magical properties of heavy cream. In culinary terms, it is good for rocking one’s world. You can use it to kick any dish up a notch all the way to instant dopamine high.

Specifically, you can turn heavy cream into whipping cream with a little vanilla extract and sweetener of choice in about 20 seconds or less.

You can make alfredo sauce better than you will get in a store or most restaurants.

Creamy salad dressing.

Strawberries and cream.

You can pour heavy cream over your head after a run or workout and — well, that’s not true. I just wanted to see you try it.

I am NOT recommending this at all. There’s a lot of fat, which translates to a lot of calories, and it can quickly avalanche out of control. Probably some cholesterol stuff to think about, too.

I’m still losing, though, weight loss team. Makin’ ish happen, y’all!

I’m below 200 again. Just barely, but still. I think it’s my lowest weight since the early 2000’s?? I’m gunning for 190. I’ll see you on the other side.

Photo Aug 20, 12 18 19 AM

I don’t know what the instant big drop was, but I’ll take it.

QUALITY OF LIFE, QUALITY OF RELATIONSHIPS

Speaking of quality of life, I was thinking about something today. A lot of the older people I know don’t really have any friends. Have you noticed that?

Assuming that your dad, stepfather or uncles are alive and kicking (it old school), do they have friends? Especially if they’re married.

I know a lot of older people who don’t have a social life to speak of and it’s sad. That’s not how it should be.

Then again, I rarely see the friends that I do have. I have a lot of friends I would consider close but … not really. You know how it goes. The older you get, the more translucent those ties grow. The bonds are still there and they’re still strong, but they’re atrophied.

When we get together, we pick up where we left off. Instantly. You’d help each other out and support each other at the drop of a hat. But day to day?

That’s just life. Maintaining relationships requires energy and attention and proximity. Creating new relationships can be daunting and even exhausting.

I think of myself as passive responsive. I’m trash at initiating things but I’m highly responsive and available. There’s definitely a comfort zone thing going on there.

But I never want to be old, aging and isolated. I think that’s a death sentence. Or at least contributes to a precipitous decline in quantity and quality of life.

I never want to be the person who ages and gets more stubborn and taciturn. The elderly person who can’t or won’t adapt and wears a deep rut into the journey of their life such that they can’t escape it to explore, grow, stimulate their minds and bodies and get busy living.

So many are busy declining and dying and are comforted by the things that are killing them.

(Holy crap I am so %$@! hungry right now.)

UNSOLICITED ADVICE ON MEN

I have got to stop reading and watching the news. So much negativity. But here’s something for you. A trend or pattern. You already know this, but here’s how I codify it in my mind. This can be filed under “Advice I would give to my possibly some day children”.

Because you all asked so nicely (no one asked), I’m going to offer you some advice. Advice on dealing with men. You know how relationships, not to mention societies, can be a virtual minefield to navigate.

Well, this one’s for free. Because I care. I care about you and I want you to be happy. Happy and healthy.

Down in our lizard brains — which is not as deep down for some as others — every man wants to have a harem. Every man, biologically speaking, wants to be the head of a fiefdom whose sole purpose, other than survival and running smoothly enough to not require constant fighting for one’s life or dominance, is to provide him with things and people (consent is optional) in which to insert his penis.

There. You’re welcome. Oh. That’s not really advice yet. That’s more of a cynical observation.

Without fail, any society, organization, club, or whatever that is hierarchical and without checks and balances and greater accountability will result in rampant sexual and/or physical exploitation.

This is not to say that women aren’t sexual, but I can’t cite any examples of institutions led by women that seem to cater to their carnal appetites, much less with alarming predictability.

So my advice, if you want a fair shot at being happy and healthy, is to avoid any “cult of personality”. I don’t care if it’s an intentionally isolated Mennonite village, the whatever-the-heck-it-is around Bikram (the Bikram hot-yoga guy), a fraternity, a college sports franchise, high school sports cliques, a commune with a charismatic leader, a smarmy politician, a church, a youth group, a youth organization, prisons and jails, a relationship that is tightly controlled and cut off from friends and family, etc.

Never get involved in a situation with an individual or group that doesn’t allow sunlight to shine in. Otherwise, you are willingly walking into a dungeon or sending your children into a dungeon of one sort or another.

It is the dark, dank side of masculinity. It is very real. It is very bad. It is to be avoided or, better yet, nipped in the bud before it can begin.

Shine your light. Wherever you are. Whatever you’re in. Blow the roof off. That is to say, make sure every group and organization and relationship you’re involved in is open and accountable. Otherwise, stay away or sound the alarm.

Even if you trust. Verify.

CRAVING

I’ve been craving sushi. I don’t even like a lot of sushi. And light beer. What’s up with that? And miso soup. Steamed crabs.

This is what happens when I let myself get this hungry.

EFFORTLESS MASTERY

I never know whether I should back off or keep moving. Hm. That’s deep even though I didn’t mean it that way.

My hips and lower back are inflamed. I’m not sure why. Happens every once in a while. Some joint somewhere will decide to be sore. Eagle Eye Case noticed during a warm up stretch how tight I am. Pretty sure he has X-ray vision.

Should I rest? Do I need to move more/less? Stretch? Massage? Slam anti-inflammatory pills? I don’t know. Basically, I’ve been overdoing it and stressing those muscles recently.

I suspect that the combination of all this hip opening from yoga, squats, side squats, more bike riding, more sitting while working from home — it’s all combined to be a perfect storm of “ouch remind me not to move my leg like that”.

Whatever the case, I think I’m trying too hard. Y’know. Instead of doing I’m trying. I probably should be resting still but I went on a hike today because I figured that it’s not healthy to not have interacted with another human being since, what, Saturday morning?

I need to talk to someone about this effortless thing. What does that look like in one’s day?

There’s a book with accompanying meditative CD by Kenny Werner titled “Effortless Mastery”. It’s for jazz musicians. I’m not necessarily recommending it, although I do sometimes listen to the meditations/affirmations to knock me unconscious.

It leads up to acceptance and the ultimate now-ness of playing in and being in the moment. Foregoing the ego. Where all the notes that come out of your instrument are the right notes. Even the wrong ones. Fearless creativity.

The most triumphant moments tend to be effortless. It takes work, training, practice and discipline to prepare, but those great moments of performance of any kind come from, like, being here and now and the moment.

A situation/opportunity arises and all of a sudden you’ve scored the goal, caught the ball, played a stirring solo, written that chapter, given that speech, and so on.

But what does it mean to be effortless over the course of a week or month or the course of a planned strategy? What does it mean to practice effortlessly?

How can one effortlessly hold a plank when by definition there is painful exertion?

Not that one can exert one’s self into effortlessness, but — you know. Just thinking.

Oh well. I’m talking in circles now.

Time for go to bed.

Click here to see all of my LGN (I want to Look Good Naked) and functional strength training posts.

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