In which I walk around the couch a lot and try to eat healthier (also, Chinese!)

So, as it turns out, working from home when it’s freezing cold outside is pretty nice. :D

Unfortunately, this pleasant new development also results in me not getting much in the way of exercise, so I’ve had to improvise. In my previous job, I was both incredibly stressed and receiving a crapton of exercise (lifting children, chasing children, chasing and lifting children at the same time, etc.), and this led me to achieve a quite low weight and the general wan look of someone dying of the plague. While I am pleased to no longer have the plague, it would be nice to achieve some sort of middle ground here, hence my **NEW HEALTH RESOLUTION** (TM).

Yes, friends, every day after my morning lessons, I have been…


While this may not sound like a revolutionary health resolution, given the shoebox-like size of my apartment and the eyelash-freezing temps outside, it’s turned out to be quite a good method of exercise. I downloaded a step counter app on my phone, and my general routine is to turn on a vegan documentary or health talk on YouTube and then walk around my apartment at varying speeds while the cats race around in front of me, confused but also at least getting their own exercise in the process.

It’s been going pretty well, and I managed to hit 10,000 steps both yesterday and the day before. I’ve also, as a result of all these documentaries, been reassessing the quality of the food I eat, and have been transitioning away from Junk Food Vegan to Hopefully A Bit Healthier Vegan. My diet wasn’t terrible to begin with, but I frequently overuse salt, oil, and sugar, and…yeahhh, I should probably not do that.

Cutting out/reducing sugar has been the hardest, so I’ve been making a lot of juices in my blender – water + fruit, essentially (this is what juice is, for those who were blissfully unaware of the process) – and experimenting with the use of dates to sweeten things, a practice made possible by the fact that Aldi now carries dates. :D

I’ve also been studying the absolute beginner basics of Chinese, because I’m teaching Chinese kids and it would be nice to have some vague sense of what they’re muttering to themselves during our lessons. Is it, “Teacher, you are the best ever and I love you dearly?” Further studies will reveal the truth, I assume.

I’m actually finding that Chinese isn’t as impossible as I initially thought, primarily because I’m starting out by learning the basic-basics: the four (technically five) tones, the general grammatical structure (which is quite similar to English, funnily enough), and the basic pronunciation rules. I still know barely anything at all, but what I am learning is actually making sense, and that’s something I didn’t expect.

So, yes. My free time these days is occupied by cooking, eating, watching documentaries, learning Chinese, and walking around my couch. Just your typical day in the life of a stay-at-home cat parent and ESL teacher. And, of course, I’ve allowed for a great deal of Cat Snuggle Time, because what is life without snuggles? Tis no life at all.

In which I venture into the outside world (and survive)!

HELLO, INTERNET. I have returned.

(I’m looking a bit like Lucille Ball these days.)

I haven’t been on the computer much over the last week or so, which is both (a) a very, very good (albeit surprising) thing, and (b) the reason behind my tragic lack of updates as of late.

But TJ! you say, because you often make exclamatory remarks to your computer screen. Is it even humanly possible for a person to be away from the computer for that long? Wouldn’t your head explode and your heart shrivel up and die in your chest?

Perfectly valid questions, dear internet person, which I shall answer thusly:

First, as it turns out, it’s possible to be away from the computer for a surprisingly lengthy period of time without any horrifying side effects (aside from a general free-and-easy feeling which I’m sure is most unnatural).

Second, there are actually a number of things to do in the outside world, despite my previous assumption that this could not possibly be the case.

So, rather than spending my time this past week scrolling endlessly through Facebook and searching Tumblr for new gifs, I’ve been out in the world, doing stuff.


First, my dear mother came for a four-day visit, during which time we walked, ate, walked, did touristy things, walked, ate, and walked and ate some more. And then, just prior to her leaving, she took me to Target and bought me stuff, because mothers are pretty freaking awesome sometimes. Also, I’m poor, and thus don’t generally worry about things like having enough dishes or a nice little kitchen rug or…you know, paper towels and fancy stuff like that.


Since then, I’ve been using my newfound love of the real world to take long walks around the city, visit the library, pop into some newly discovered book stores, and acquire a towering stack of books to read. (Because I may be turning over a new leaf, but it’s still a tremendously nerdy leaf.)

Of course, there’s also a less-wondrous side to my recent ramblings, mainly that today I have shin splints and a backache and had to do the Sophia Petrillo shuffle all the way to the grocery store and back. Turns out that there is such a thing as overdoing this whole walking around in the outside world thing; I just have to endeavor to find a balance between glued-to-my-computer-chair and Forrest-Gump-traversing-America.

In other news, as long as I’m on the road to self-improvement via the reduction of my internet time, I’ve decided to tackle some other things – mainly my diet, which has veered into less than healthy waters as of late.


(It’s a Lucy sort of day.)

Thus, today I limped on down to the supermarket and picked up some Healthy Food Items, after which I constructed a Healthy Lunch and Healthy Dinner, and even a Healthy Snack. Wow!

Currently taking bets on how long this new healthy regime will last:

1. Not long
2. Less than not long
3. I’m stuffing my face as we speak


Place your bets now!