Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Reputation

I had to have a conversation with my nephew last night on the way to the movie (Batman vs Superman, I wrote a review if you want to read it check out Binge-TV.blogspot.com).

The conversation was about reputation.

As you know, nightly I mix up a concoction I call my "Elixir of Ease" it helps me combat the inflammation and pain I would normally feel in my hands during the day.  Well, last night he drank from that elixir.  He didn't drink it all mind you, but he drank enough of it that was noticeable.  Of course, it wasn't the end of the world, but I was mad. I almost poured the rest down his throat when he was sleeping.  But, of course, less asshole heads prevailed.

He's been staying with me for five days by this point. And during these five days I had a task for him to do. His task was to organize my Magic the Gathering cards alphabetically and by type of spell.  If you know MtG you'd know what I was talking about. If not, no worries, he had a job organizing something.

For the better part of 5 days he worked on this and yet, when I got home in preparation to go to the movie he still wasn't done. *sigh*  I'll admit, I wasn't the best worker when I was 13, but damned if I wouldn't have been tickled pink to do something like this. The boy is also a fan of MtG so I thought this was something he would want to dive right into.  Anyway, I made him finish the rest right in front of me while I fixed some of the misorderings myself and we went to the movie.

On the drive there I let him in on a secret that many people seem to miss out on in life.  You only have your reputation. You can lose everything else in your life, but your reputation lives on.  When you do something that disrespects someone, your reputation with them falters.  In typical 13 year old fashion when I asked him why he drank the Elixir he said, "I really do not know what was going through my head." *sigh* we need to get this boy some mindfulness training.

When you ask to do something and someone tells you no, you do not do it. Full stop. Continuing to do the thing they told you not to amounts to disrespect for that person.  We have had numerous conversations about consent and I tied the respect factor into consent.

He has a long way to go. I think having something about mindfulness so he can read it over again and again and again might be helpful for him. Hopefully he can snap out of the stupid that is clouding his judgment.
*Note* Originally posted on the now defunct AzrielJohnsonAuthor.blogspot.com 03/30/16

Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst and a serial writer by night. He runs a small, not money losing publishing press and a weekly open mic with monthly features called Writing Knights Press and Writing Knights: Stark.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

SCREAM!

Saturday I debuted a poem based on a line I wrote on facebook: "I scream in my car to keep from killing you all". I used it as a slam poem and won last place at the Lake Effect Poetry team qualifier. W00t!  Go me!

I am not really concerned if I don't make the team this year. I never really score well anyway when I go up. I try to be entertaining and have fun with it.  Sky and I are still going on tour at the end of May/Beginning of June in preparation for landing in Columbus for the Rustbelt Regional Poetry slam.

Why I bring it up is because I did the Scream poem again for Monday night poetry.  I wish I had done it first because it quieted all of the bysitters in the shop and allowed the poets some peace as they read their work after me.  I mean, I'm not one to tell people what to do, but it gets loud in there with mofos just talking their fool heads off while we are trying to be poetical.

I wish I could have a sign somewhere that says, "Quiet! Creation is happening!" or something catchy like that to maybe influence the bysitters to shush, or at least talk lower.

My nephew and faux-niece attended with me and Sky.  My niece was surprised at how much fun she had and will hopefully come back in coming weeks.

We start the Stark Knights Tour on April 1st.  I'm excited! Thirteen shows coming and while I've already had people back out, I've gotten almost everyone replaced who has had to.

I'm trying to think of a new introduction for the poetry nights... I like the "hear ye, hear ye" intro, but it's always good to make some change... maybe a scream to clear the air...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Now don't you feel better?

Thanks for reading!
Az

*Note* Originally posted on the now defunct AzrielJohnsonAuthor.blogspot.com 03/29/16

Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst and a serial writer by night. He runs a small, not money losing publishing press and a weekly open mic with monthly features called Writing Knights Press and Writing Knights: Stark.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sun Coma

One of the things that regularly occupies my Sundays is feeding people downtown in a flat grass space they call a park. I have higher standards for my parks... namely more than just a few scraggly trees which surround the grassy area, maybe a pavilion (which would be helpful when we feed people during these kinds of days).

The day itself was beautiful. 75 degree high. Lots of people hungry, more than we usually get on a holiday as most holidays people go to spend time with their families, even if they are having housing lack.

I wore my usual Sunday shirt which says: "gay? fine by me."  I do it because I like to remind people to be tolerant. There is one of the fellas who tries to make me feel bad about wearing it, but today I was not in the mood to deal with his crap.  I am usually more jovial and "oh Pete, you silly thing" about it, but today he looked at me with such disdain, he barely got the words, "I can't--" when I snapped at him, "Damn Pete, stop being homophobic for just today.  It's Easter! Jeez!"  Not that I'm a particularly Christian person, but he keeps citing the bible when he tells me why he thinks it's wrong.  The bible also says not to judge.

As I said, the sun was high and I didn't have a head covering.  A mistake on my part as I'm fairly sensitive to the sun, especially on my alopecia.  I stood facing the line of servers and the hungry with a trash bag.  We had plenty of people to help serve so trash bag duty was my lot for the day.  In small doses, the sun helps to energize me, but if I'm out in it too long I start to get crabby and discommunicative (as in, I'll still communicate even be nice, but I don't want to).

The picnic ended, we fed some people and made our way to Easter meal with Sky's parents. I ate and talked and whatnot, but I felt drained.  I tried to eat to offset the lack of energy, but it didn't help.  I tried to be social, but failed as I went into the living room and conked out on the couch... for about two hours.  My lover tried to rouse me by sitting on my crotch, but unfortunately I was halfway to comatown by then.  My nephew woke me by sitting on my stomach, to which I gave him a hard shove to the floor.  I didn't hurt him... or if I did he didn't cry about it.

When I was finally able to get up, I found him laying on the ground asleep. Point for boring Tio knock out of the 13 year old. :)

I hadn't had my detox all weekend, I just didn't make time to make the tea or take the elixir in the morning, but I think a break is good. I don't think it has to be solid every single day to be optimal effective.  There are a couple more days left of the nephew helping out around the house and organizing my Magic the Gathering cards so I need to be on my best health.

Oh, I think my abdomen is getting a little smaller. I'll take a picture for tomorrow if I still think that.

Thanks for reading!
Az
*Note* Originally posted on the now defunct AzrielJohnsonAuthor.blogspot.com 03/28/16

Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst and a serial writer by night. He runs a small, not money losing publishing press and a weekly open mic with monthly features called Writing Knights Press and Writing Knights: Stark.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Too Much Information Ahead

Well, this detox is definitely having an... effect...

You see with a mixture of fatigue and bipolar there are certain things which occur in the body... lack of appetite (no), over eating (tried not to), lack of desire to do the things you normally enjoy (certainly).

The thing that affected me the most unfortunately was my lowered libido.

Now, I don't know how Skylark felt about it, but I was not happy about not "feeling the urge" as often as I have been known for at one time  (Skylark's feelings are her own business, but I'm sure if you asked her she could tell you).

I used to be a wanting to sex machine.  All the time.  Like a teenage boy minus face acne.

Of course, as a guy gets older he loses some of his libido, but the fatigue dropped it way too low.  I mean, 34 is NOT old, I should have still been chasing tail (just the one) more than I had been.

Now, when the urge did arise, I could perform.  Haven't had a problem in that area, but most of the time I would just ask (with my body), get to business, close business and go to sleep.

Let's just say, times they are a'changing...

As I wrote this entry, I've thought about sex to the point where my member has come to attention at least twice, I've had to pause and think about something else to get it to go back down.

So if there's one thing to say for the detox... it's got me horny....
Who to do... who to do...

Thanks for reading,
Az
*Note* Originally posted on the now defunct AzrielJohnsonAuthor.blogspot.com 03/25/16

Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst and a serial writer by night. He runs a small, not money losing publishing press and a weekly open mic with monthly features called Writing Knights Press and Writing Knights: Stark.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Going Back to Move Forward

I'm feeling less fatigue now. I'm still tired, but it isn't the same kind of DRAINING tired I've been feeling these past few months. So that's good.

I read a bit online that said detoxes aren't really necessary because the liver and kidneys kind of do that already, but if someone is making me feel better, isn't that worth doing it? I'd stop if it felt like it was killing me.  I'm certainly not a person who believes in "no pain, no gain".

That being said, I'm moving back into doing yoga again.  Instead of doing my exercises with the bar and small weights.  I'm trying to prepare my arms for doing plank by leaning against the wall and putting pressure on my wrists.  I feel like my arms are strong enough to do hand stands (once upon a time I could do them), but I'm afraid of my wrists breaking.

http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/upward-bow-or-wheel-pose/
On breaks at work I've been hand walking a backbend down the building wall, like a wheel pose and I get pretty close to the ground.  Then I get scared and walk myself back up.  I know if I reach out I will touch the ground, but I am also not confident in my balance and my wrists to do it.  That'll be a good day when I get the confidence.  Also maybe some less slippy shoes.  If I had someone to take a picture of me doing it I would post that instead, but this guy has a massive bulge so that'll work.

I don't like feeling weak.  My hands and wrists have started hurting more lately. I'm wondering if I need to put more drops into my elixir in the morning to help stave off the pain. I used to have a bottle I took with me every day and slug a drink whenever there was a twinge, but I didn't want to be dependent upon it so I stepped down to one drink in the morning.  I don't want to go back up. I don't like feeling dependent on something. The pain isn't debilitating, but it comes and goes about a 3 on the pain scale. I think I can deal for now.

Thanks for reading,
Az
*Note* Originally posted on the now defunct AzrielJohnsonAuthor.blogspot.com 03/24/16

Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst and a serial writer by night. He runs a small, not money losing publishing press and a weekly open mic with monthly features called Writing Knights Press and Writing Knights: Stark.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Temple Renovations

There bible verse which says that the body is the temple of the holy spirit. If by holy spirit you mean, my body is the thing I use to make orgasms happen, then absolutely holy. :)

At any rate, this is the only one I have until I can get some replacement parts (calling Dr Frankenstein).

My top priority issue is what appears to be carpal tunnel's less successful cousin. I say this because it isn't severe enough for me to get an operation to fix the problem. I realize it isn't as severe as some people I've seen, but well, I've lost a lot of range of motion... here let me show you.

A real person's wrist can bends like this.

Here's my left wrist.

My right wrist does a little better.

This is why I take the anti-inflammatories, because I'm trying to alleviate the pain and lack of mobility associated with this issue. This is also why I'm exercising at work because I'm trying to build my body up so it doesn't happen anymore with any other part of my body.  I haven't lost range of motion, but my left ankle constantly pops, especially when I stretch.  My shoulders have felt like they are falling out for the past 6 months.  My elbows pop whenever I try to do pushups.  Thank the gods for yoga because I don't have to move to exercise my body.

I'm actually thinking of starting to do some light yoga at work instead of my bicep curls etc.  I don't care if I look stupid doing it, I just don't want to do a plank on the concrete out in the parking lot.  *shrug* I'll figure it out.

I don't want this to be an entirely complain-y entry so let me show you something I'm proud of.  Remember when I said my leg game was on point?  Here is a picture of my calf.  It's a bad picture, but seriously, hard as a friggin rock dude.  Feel that shit! :)

Thanks for reading!
Az
*Note* Originally posted on the now defunct AzrielJohnsonAuthor.blogspot.com 03/23/16

Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst and a serial writer by night. He runs a small, not money losing publishing press and a weekly open mic with monthly features called Writing Knights Press and Writing Knights: Stark.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Azpothecary

The placebo effect hath endeth.  I'm not mad about that though because now I know that when I'm getting any energy boost it is because the detox is working.  I know it's ended because despite my best efforts I dozed off on the way home today.

I'm going to try to remedy that by not over sweeting tomorrow. I had two packages of machine cupcakes which, while delicious, probably have way too much sugar than any person should consume and sugar might be my problem in general.

Poetry went well. We had a couple features which rocked our mic. After the features the open mic kind of devolved into chaos, but that's fine.

Here are the new ingredients I've added (or will be adding) to the Elixir of ease in the morning. I'm not sure what the difference between regular Echinacea and Super Echinacea is, but I reckon I'll find out when the Echinacea I have runs out.  The Milk Thistle, as I mentioned before, is for liver health and the Cinnamon flavoring (with actual flecks of cinnamon) is for inflammation.

So far the status has been quo as far as pain management. Since the orthopedic surgeon doesn't want to do the surgery that would hopefully alleviate my wrist/hand issues I have to deal with it on my own... another goal of the detox.

Our roommate saw me mixing drops of each of the extracts into the bottle I use and called me an apothecary. I'm not against this. :)  It's sort of true anyway.

I've been writing more lately. Nothing ground breaking, but fun.  I'm working on a collection of Sleep related pieces. I'm not sure if I would call them poems or prose poems or what, but I'm sort of just word vomiting on the page for now. But it's good!

Thank you for reading,
Az
*Note* Originally posted on the now defunct AzrielJohnsonAuthor.blogspot.com 03/22/16

Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst and a serial writer by night. He runs a small, not money losing publishing press and a weekly open mic with monthly features called Writing Knights Press and Writing Knights: Stark.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Still going

No picture to speak of today, but I'm still feeling surprisingly well. I didn't take the detox tea for Night 3 (I just had too much else going on to fix it up), but today I had it warm instead of cold as per my usual.  The taste wasn't any different really.

I did have an annoying headache today. I don't know if I can blame it on not having my tea the day before or not. Tylenol kicked it out of my head so it wasn't a caffeine headache (my caff headaches don't go away so easily).

I started to notice I was getting a bit of an upset stomach. I hope this isn't a continuing trend and that my body gets used to it.

I added a couple new herb extracts to my Elixir (I'll take a picture of those for the next entry) They are Milk Thistle and Cinnamon. Cinnamon is supposed to help with inflammation and the store where I buy the extracts at didn't have cayenne. Milk Thistle is supposed to help with liver detox. I just looked it up on Wikipedia and I realized I'd seen it before. I thought it was just a fancy way of saying Dandelion (roasted of which I include in my detox tea).
okay I lied about no pictures


I just did the calendar math and realized at the end of my second detox round Skylark and I will be starting our Road to Rustbelt tour. Superb timing right? Now granted, it'll be 10 or so days until I can resume, but the detox says I should take at least a week off between rounds anyway, so it works.

In general, I'm slowly building more energy. I never thought I would be so glad my insomnia was back. If there is one thing I can say about chronic fatigue, at least I can get to sleep easier. Honestly though I'd rather the insomnia, because it's creative insomnia for me.  I wrote a piece based on a quote from my Facebook.

I'm feeling good. Maybe not 100%, but I'm looking for a journey not a destination.

Thanks for reading,
Az

PS - Happy Day after Equinox!
*Note* Originally posted on the now defunct AzrielJohnsonAuthor.blogspot.com 03/21/16

Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst and a serial writer by night. He runs a small, not money losing publishing press and a weekly open mic with monthly features called Writing Knights Press and Writing Knights: Stark.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

the Workout

Not posting a pic of myself today, the ones that were taken were either blurry or made me look like a creeper so no.  I will post a picture of the exercise equipment I use. 

Like I said before, I don't go for super workouts. I'm not busting out 500 pounds of iron. I'm just doing what will keep me active.  It's building muscle slowly.

All of the arm exercises I do with the 2lb weights hanging off my hands and using the aerobic bar.

I will do press ups and press outs, bicep curls, tricep presses (I don't know the names of these exercises by the way, I just make up the ones I don't know). Then I also do squats and calf raises. I have to say, for an amateur my leg game is pretty on point. I just touched my calf without flexing at it's pretty solid. haha

I want one day to be cut. I don't want to be bulky. I want the muscles I have to burn a sufficient amount while I'm resting, but not look gross.  This is a long term goal. For now I'm just looking to get myself back into shape.

As far as the placebo effect, I don't feel awful today, so either the stuff is actually working or there is still some of the placebo. I am staying skeptical.

That'll do for now.

Thanks for reading!
Az
*Note* Originally posted on the now defunct AzrielJohnsonAuthor.blogspot.com 03/19/16

Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst and a serial writer by night. He runs a small, not money losing publishing press and a weekly open mic with monthly features called Writing Knights Press and Writing Knights: Stark.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Placebo Effect

I've always been susceptible to the placebo effect. I've always said if someone gave me an M&M and said it could make me fly and I believed them it would work... okay I've never really said that, but I should have.  Anyway, when I start a new thing it always works at the beginning. Whatever it is, it boosts whatever hormones it needs to boost and it makes me feel good.

And that was what today was.  Today was me trying a new thing and feeling good.  For the first half of the day I finished my last bit of soda (Dr. Pepper, if you must know) so the caffeine in there mixed with the caffeine in the tea I drank and kept me going.  I sometimes have a problem with dozing at work so I have to do different things to stay awake (get up and walk around a minute, etc), but there was none of that necessary.  My eyes were clear and bright and things were good.

The teas I am trying are as follows:


This is NOT a sponsored blog for Yogi brand, but I think they should totally shoot me a few bucks if this goes well, what do you think? :)

Anyway, each of these teas has a different effect on the body. You can search them on the Yogi website.  Search Yogi Detox teas.

The afternoon was less good, but still not bad overall.  I stayed on task.  Got work done.

I had to do an errand before going home and the drive there was also fine.

Now when I drove home from the errand I started to lose steam, which is part of my problem.

I'm honestly not safe on the road in the afternoon about 1 out of 8 commutes home.  If it gets too bad I'll stop alongside the road and try to clear my head before continuing.  I'm just so drained from whatever is doing me in.  I've never passed out behind the wheel, but my head will bob and this is not a good feeling.

This time there was no bobbing. I caught a second wind and powered home for some clean up of the old place.  We just moved to a new place and I'm super excited about that. I'm not super excited about having to use bleach on the tub though. Curse you soap scum!

Anyway... there are projects in my head I need to start writing, but I can't let The Black God (Dragon's Bane Volume 3) get pushed by the wayside.  This is one of those cases where I would like to have a second me to be working while I'm writing.  Lately I haven't felt like I could power a second me to do this so the placebo effect is definitely in full swing.

Thanks for reading,
Az

*Note* Originally posted on the now defunct AzrielJohnsonAuthor.blogspot.com 03/18/16

Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst and a serial writer by night. He runs a small, not money losing publishing press and a weekly open mic with monthly features called Writing Knights Press and Writing Knights: Stark.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Night 0

This is where I start.

Since November, I've been working out on breaks almost every day 15 minutes twice a day. Nothing too strenuous, just something to get my body moving and my blood pumping.  The idea is to make my body stronger. I'm not expecting a change overnight, but I feel exhausted everyday and this needs to stop.

This is my detox.

I'm weaning myself down from junk food. Today is my last swig of soda for the near future.  I won't totally rule it out, because sometimes things happen, but the idea is consistency.  The goal is more energy all around.

I've been eating better for the past few years, but my energy levels have dipped gradually.  I tried to go without meat for three months, but my energy levels got even lower. So far my diet is about 85% vegetarian, though I reckon I'll be eating less and less dairy.  I don't know if I'll leave eggs behind because they do have protein.

I've got problems with inflammation and pain in my hands and wrists so I've been treating that with varying degrees of success with my "Elixir of Ease" basically extracts of cayenne, California poppy, and something called Trauma Drops.  Lately I've added Echinacea with Goldenseal, but that tastes awful so I added peppermint to take the edge off.  I am going to step down the ingredients.  I'll have a choice between Trauma Drops or California poppy because I haven't felt a significant lowering of pain using both.  I want to incorporate Asian Ginseng when I can.  I drink the Elixir every morning with 12 ounces of water.

Why am I doing this?

Because I have things I need to get done and less energy than I would like to do them all.  I have a deadline for my next novel to finish writing that I'm going to miss.  I have a poetry tour coming up in April that I'm going to need all the energy I can generate.  I was told keeping track of the journey helps one stay focused.

I will provide pictures of the teas I'm using in the next entry.  I don't know what I'm going to do about chronicling the weekends... I'll think of something.

Also, as far as blogs go, I'm going to pare this one down a bit... cut out the fat... maybe put the entries down in a different form somehow... maybe exercises in creative writing. Who knows?

Thanks for reading!
Az

*Note* Originally posted on the now defunct AzrielJohnsonAuthor.blogspot.com 03/17/16

Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst and a serial writer by night. He runs a small, not money losing publishing press and a weekly open mic with monthly features called Writing Knights Press and Writing Knights: Stark.