Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 30: Try An Energy Drink

     Oh the fad of energy drinks. Those addictive little aluminum cans filled with ingredients that I cant pronounce. Their cleche brand names, logos and (worst of all) douche-tastic adrenaline craving market. They're corny, and smell like microwaved poop (probably). I've have proudly strayed away from the energizing beverage and the twitching and crashing side effects, for as long as they have been around. I've resisted the urge to indulge in the crazed drink mainly because it resembles radioactive battery acid. The fact that each can would run for $2.50 didn't help their cause as well. So I have yet to taste the forbidden (energy) fruit (drank), well, until today. I went out and picked up the least intimidating drink I could find, a Bing. I went with Bing cause I'm a bit put off by these IN-YOU-MOTHA-LICKIN-FACE drinks, the ones that are a small step down from a soda/crack hybrid. Who needs that kind of a kick? If you think that you really need 12 constant hours devoted to getting totally pumped for your office meeting (as depicted in the last energy drink advert), you might want to consider a career change. A full day of your heart trying to escape through your mouth while sweating out the urine of Chuck Norris doesn't sound like my cup of tea (Er, um. Redbull I mean). Bing, it looked fairly harmless with its lack of overly-bold font and modest use of flames and skulls (none).
      I would describe the taste as if you sent an electric current through your brand name soda. It wasn't bad, and there was basically no bite in the after taste. Just enough to let you know "Hey! get energized, get motivated". It was pretty tasty actually, I finished almost the whole can by the time I reached the skatepark. I skated around for a while and couldn't really tell either way whether the drink worked or not (my heart was still encased in its cage). It was only a couple minutes after downing the last drops that I felt like moving, a lot. I was all over the park, jumping off shit and cutting little kids on scooters off. It was pretty awesome. I did some basic things, only faster and without any conscious thought of it. And I did some new things that I'm pretty excited about. I was skating fast and eating shit. It was so much fun. Not to take anything away from the idea that the drink made the skate sesh, but I skate kind of like that anyways. I like to skate fast and spontaneously, I just think that the drink may have given me more sugar to keep skating fast and spontaneously. I might have been twitching out the whole time but its not like I was going to notice it with my music blaring and me constantly cruising around. Now, if I had foolishly tried the Bing or some other form of liquid adrenaline 10 minutes before my History of Jazz class, we might of had some problems. I would be shooting paper footballs, making fart noises or drawing random nonsense on my notes (or anything else that I already do but way louder and more obnoxious). Point of the story: Energy drinks are not for everyone or every occasion. Defiantly not for a class as boring as The History of Jazz.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 29: Cook Chicken and Baked Potatoes

     I'm not going to say that I made dinner tonight. I was supposed to, but it wasn't me that made the meal. I did help out a little though. I checked on the chicken and flipped them when necessary (roughly five minutes after they started to burn). I cut open the meat to judge if it was cooked enough to feed to my family (which I'm still not too certain about). Yeah, I admit that it was a lame goal, but things have been pretty hectic lately. I'd argue that testing if the chicken is edible should count as a decent goal, cause thats some useful know-how.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 28: Requesting a song

     I tried to request a couple of songs on a couple of radio stations yesterday. It turns out that song requests are not as practical as I previously thought. I kept getting that constant beep-beep-beep noise that indicated that the line was busy. So, I tried again, and again. Then I tried a different radio station, and the same thing happened. I ended up simply emailing them my request (long Cool Woman by the Hollis) and politely asking them to pick up their phones next time. And that was that.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 27: Cigar

     Sooooooooo,  I tried a cigar tonight. I had the whole thing planned out; I was going to go to this fancy cigar shop that my friend told me about and get some first had info on the activity. I was going to pick out a prestigious looking stogie. I would cut the end with professional clippers and I would look totally sophisticated while I puffed. Thats all what I was supposed to do, but none of that happened. I didn't get the chance to even browse inside the cigar store because we pulled into the parking lot 8 minutes after closing time. That kind of sucked, but  that little hiccup wasn't about to ruin the evenings agenda. I was planning on smoking a cigar and dammit, thats what I was gonna do. Mouse and I drove to a Walgreen's to settle with their private label brand of cigar. We both picked up a Blenders Gold for $3.90 and proceeded to research the art of cigar smoking via Google as opposed to the friendly/knowledgeable salesman at the closed cigar store. We got the jist of it and lit up at the skatepark. It was colder than a witches tit so we decided to do what the cool kids do; cruise through town while enjoying a Blenders Gold. I was getting the hang of it. I read not to inhale but to simply suck in and enjoy the flavor. I also read that you should puff about once a minute to really enjoy it. I was focusing more on how the cool factor of how I held the stogie. Mouse's cigar wasn't burning quite as evenly but he was hangin in there. We drove around town till it became all too apparent that my town sucks. Thats when we headed down to Boulder to say "hey" to a couple friends. We arrived at their house and indulged in the laughs and good times. The cigar wasn't that bad, and I can see myself partaking in one when something calls for a celebration.
I am sooooo cool lame.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 26: Donate To Charity

     What can I say? That whole ordeal at the blood donation center yesterday put me in the giving spirit. I felt good donating blood (well I actually felt a needle stabbing my arm, which didn't really feel that good at all) and I felt good about it afterwards. In fact, I still feel good about it (and sore). But I didn't want this charitable goal to go down in vain. I didn't want it to be that one-time-feel-good-fluke. So I decided to spare what I could financially, and donate anonymously to the Habitat for Humanity charity. I guess that it defeats the anonymous factor if I blog my accomplishment, but thats not the point dammit! I gave what little money I could part with (10 dollars, being broke isn't as fun as its cracked up to be) to an organization that hopefully will do some good in the world. I don't think that 10 bucks will get um far "but its better than a sharp stick in the eye". It feels good to do good.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 25: Donate Blood

     I donated blood (blooooooooood) today! I did something good, felt good about doing it and (my favorite part), I got as much apple juice and trail mix that I could possible stomach for doing it. I started to make a list of possible to-do-goals last night and out of the 60 or so ideas that I brainstormed, I choose to go with the blood donating. I talked my mom into accompanying me through the extravaganza, which she was more than willing to do. So we got their and filled in an info sheet or two, answered a couple personal health questions, waited in the "Waiting Room" (which was more of a corner than a room) and then I was called into a small room with a plaque that read "Interview Room" (which really was a room). The lady pricked my finger and filled a narrow tube with bloody redness. The prick was barely noticeable and the tube resembled the small container that holds the lead found in a mechanical pencil. She placed the tube in what looked like a large Jello mold, closed the lid and pushed a button which made the machine spin the shit out of the tube and produced a mild revving noise. Then she did some more basic looking tests (take my temperature, pulse and weight). The Jello blood machine had finished its routine and she took out the tube and said that the plasma/blood looked good (it looked the same either way to me) and that I could go have a seat in the designated pump-your-blood chair.
      My mom was already out of her "interview" and sitting in the chair to the right of me. She had some blood colored tube pumping out of the inside of her left elbow as she gently squeezed what looked like a heart shaped stress reliever. Within minutes I was in the same situation, the foamy heart toy in hand, the connecting tubes, and an apple juice bottle at my side. I was instructed to softly squeeze the heart every couple minutes and to just ask if I needed another juice. the designated poker (I don't think he was a doctor but a nice guy either way, so I'll just refer to him as the poker) cleaned of my future puncture wound and assured me that this is totally safe and  I wouldn't die or anything. I wasn't scared but maybe I gave him that vibe, or maybe he just gives the same speech to all his puncturees. He kept going on about how I can stop if I don't feel comfortable (which is hard to do in those chairs) and that there is no obligation. He asked me if I wanted to look away when it came for him to stab me, I said that I would enjoy watching. So, I tried to change the subject by asking him what determines your blood type. He gave me some answer that was convincing but never actually answered my question and then busted out the needle. He described it as a pinching feeling, and in hindsight, so would I. The blood was being pumped smoothly as I gently gripped the little sponge heart. I asked some more questions and drank some more juice and donated some more blood. This went on for a good ten minutes. Once a pint was reached, the poker clamped the newly red tubes and asked which color bandage I would like. Green, of coarse. He thanked me and I thanked him and I went to eat some trail mix and drink some more apple juice. I sat down with my mom who was drinking water and sporting a sweet purple bandage bracelet. It was a great experience that made me proud of the project. We did something good and learned a little about blood. Now I'm a little light headed and might go take a nap. Goodnight.

Good ol' Mama

Day 24: Make Huevos Rancheros

     Made a Mexican dish with Mouse last night. Don't be fooled by the fancy sounding name (I was), huevos rancheros was a simple meal even by my cooking standards. All you do is get some eggs, beans cheese and green chili and cook them. Then you place all that crap onto a tortilla and eat it. Its basically just a breakfast burrito. But it was delicious non the less.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 23: College Homework

     Today was pretty uneventful. I did my homework, worked, then worked out. Thats about it. Because I have class early tomorrow morning, and I don't feel like running around all night streaking or cow tipping or any of the other possible new things I haven't (and proud of) done yet, I am going to say that me completing my fist assignments for Front Range Community College is going to have to count. Maybe if I streak into a field and then proceed to tip the cow, I'll get double points.

Day 22: Lacrosse Game

     Let me tell you something that I learned about lacrosse last night, its probably the most entertainment that you can buy with 5 dollars. I went to a Mammoth lacrosse game at the Pepsi Center last night with my brother and mom and had no idea what to expect. I didn't even know how the game worked or what the rules and point system were, so sat in my nosebleed seat with an open mind. Thats about when the fireworks and motorcycles carrying cheerleaders drove onto the field with a blaring heavy metal soundtrack roaring in the background. The noise was insane and the bright colors being emitted from the jumbo-tron were server enough for me to be thankful that I wasn't epileptic. Motorcycles and hot rods were revving around in circles around cheerleaders in the middle of an elaborate routine with shit at all corners of the arena were ether shotting off explosives or already engulfed in fire. Aimless spotlights and adrenaline induced base lines filled the stadium. And the game hadn't even started.
    That all came to a stop and the eccentric announcer passionately screamed out the players out one by one as they ran onto the field, wielding their weapons (Er, I mean lacrosse stick things). After he yelled out the home teams names, he proceeded to mumble out the names, numbers and positions of the the opponent as the crowed booed and cursed extensively. Then the game started and it was apparent that lacrosse was a mix between hockey and rugby and simply hitting people with sticks. I saw like two fights within minutes of the start of the game. I think that fighting is encouraged in the sport, by the fans anyways. The home team was winning for a good portion of the game which kept the spectators happy. After a few more goals and a lot more fights, it was half time. They had a wing eating competition on the field were the man who ate the most wings in 5 minutes won 2,000 dollars. I was disgusted and intrigued at the same time. The winner was a hefty man that went by the name on Mondo, now a 5 time wing eating champion and a proud owner of two grand and a very exhausted toilet at home. The game continued and some more points were scored by both teams and some more fights were provoked by team mates. One of the players from the other team got decked so hard that he lied motionless on the field in some mangled pose for a while. I was considering the possibility that he could in fact be dead while my fellow fans continued to call him a pussy and curse his mother. He finally got up at started to walk towards the bench when the announcer called him out saying "Oh, so now he's magically OK.". The jumbo-tron got a close up of his bloody, sweaty bruised face, which only provoked the angry mob of an audience. The lady behind me screamed "Its probably the altitude that gave him that nose bleed". We ended up loosing 9 to 10 and the spectators weren't to happy about it but they seemed to forget about the whole ordeal once they started to file down the stairs of the arena.
     It was defiantly a strange experience, fireworks, semi-dressed biker cheerleaders, barbaric fans, 5 dollar sodas, wing eating as a spot and dudes wacking the shit out of each other with sticks. Totally worth the five dollars for a ticket. It was a lotta fun.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 21: Cook Without A Recipie

     Another busy day today. Filled with calls to a credit union in Georgia, scooping ice cream, opening a new bank account, trying (but failing) to buy my books for school, and me blankly starring at my homework for like twenty minutes. I was on the go all day and I gave no thought as too what my new thing was going to be. I was hungry so a food challenge was the obvious route to take. I was toying with the idea that I could drink a blenderized happy meal (Its a tribute to a vlogbrothers punishment/challenge) but McDonald's did not sound edible at the moment. I decided that cooking a simple new dish would suffice. And so, the birth of my improvising days as a cook began.

     Eggs, eggs are in like... everything, right? Right. So I started off by whipping up 4 eggs and a dash of milk. That was cooking on the stove while I dug through the fridge, desperate for delicious inspiration. What I found was the bowl of pudding and zip-lock bag of tofu from my past challenges. There wasn't much to choose from, but I kept digging, and I found a little. A bag of shredded cheese (cheddar and mozzarella), some lunch meat, tortillas, hot sauce, and my gut instinct. I heated all that crap up and added some sea salt and pepper. The dish sure did smell good and I was optimistic that my healthy hot sauce portions would make dinner a bit more enjoyable. The egg thing was done cooking so I lined my tortilla with some more turkey/ham, cheese and hot sauce and stuffed some eggs in it. It was sort of like if a lunch sandwich and a breakfast burrito had a baby. Then I ate the brunch baby with my trusted brother along side me. I had him judge and critic, which wasn't much of a help. He was totally neutral on whether my dish sucked or not. I think its because he hasn't had enough good food to be able to tell if he is eating bad food. I guess that I haven't ether, cause I thought it was pretty good. Not bad, not great, just pretty good. It would have been better if I could have found something other than lunch meat but other than that, I liked it. Success!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 20: Ice Cream Sampler

     So I recently got my job back at Baskin Robbins and, between that job, my other job, and school, I have been trying to juggle paying for student loans and completing this little project of mine. My life is pretty busy, which is good. Busy is gooooood, just, a little overwhelming at times. So I was working (Baskin Robbins), trying to remember exactly how to do my job (it's been roughly a year and a half since I worked there) when a costumer suggested an idea that was all too familiar to my past experience at that shop. An indecisive couple came in and were browsing through the flavors for some time. And then I said something like "would you guys like to sample a flavor?" and the man replied with a comment that I consider a bit cliche. After a good 2 years of service at that humble ice cream shop, I've served a lot of people, and I've scooped a lot of ice cream, and I've had a lot of conversations with the guests (mostly small talk but not limited too) so its hard for me to fake a genuine chuckle of agreement when I hear some wise guy say "what would you do if I asked to sample every flavor". It wasn't even moderately funny the first time. Its just a way for me to uncomfortably nod my head to keep the transaction moving. That line (and others that are quite similar to it) are on my short list of pet peeves for that job. I hate dealing with dill weeds thinking they're clever by stating the obvious (example: if its cold outside/ snowing and people walk in and say "great weather for ice cream eh?"), or kids that are too scared to order their ice cream by themselves (example: kids that look no younger than 13 that whisper their order into the ear of their mother {while standing feet away and holding eye contact with me}and have her tell me, really?), or obviously dealing with morbidly obese sugar raged costumers. But, other than that, my job is a piece of cake (sorry about the cake pun, I don't think its funny ether).

     So anyways (sorry about the tangent), I was working and some guy says that line (you know: "what would you do if I asked to sample every flavor"). And I awkwardly chuckled and he chose his flavor and I rang him up and he left. Well, I decided that the only way to never have to reply to that question with an awkward chuckle was to actually sample every single flavor. And so I did. I got a cup and 48 taster spoons (I know I know, Its Baskin Robbins 31, theres only supposed to be 31 flavors. Welp, Baskin Robbins actually has over a thousand flavors that get circulated and discontinued and we have enough room for 48, so, I tried 48 samples). I tried them one-by-one and dumped them into the designated used spoons cup. I tried to savor and assess/rank each flavor because I had yet to try some of the ice creams. Mainly the unappetizing sounding ones like gingerbread and mustard (if mustard was in fact a real flavor, I guess I would have to try it outta curiosity). But the moral of the challenge is this: its not worth it. There is too much clashing of flavors to really enjoy any of them and you get kind of disgusted with it. My suggestion is to simply sample a flavor (love potion 31, its the best), then continue to sample it. Say that you couldn't get a descriptive taste or that you want a sample with  a caramel chunk. Or just ask, I'll do it. There's how you get free ice cream for life. Your welcome.

Here's the list of every single flavor: Gingerbread, White Chocolate Yogurt, Chocolate Overload, Vanilla Yogurt, Raspberry Chip, Lemon Blueberry, Tropical Ice, Daiquiri Ice, Rock N' Pop Swirl, Rainbow, Bubblegum, Orange, Carmel Turtle, Wild N' Reckless, Aloha Brownie, Peachy Raspberry, Peanut butter & Chocolate, Oreo, Reese's, Snickers, Cookie Dough, Butter Pecan, Gold Medal Ribbon, World Class, Jamoca, Jamoca Almond Fudge, Pistachio, Coconut, Apple Pie, Love potion 31, Chocolate Mousse, Mango, Pralines N' Creme, Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Mint Chip, Rocky Road, Cherries, Black Walnut, Quarterback Crunch,Chocolate Escape, Chocolate Almond, Icing on the Cake, Chocolate Fudge, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Red Velvet Cake.

Day 19: College

     Yesterday was my first day at Front Range Community College in Westminster Colorado. I have to admit that this isn't my first day of college in general. I attempted to attend Metro last year. I lasted like two months and dropped out and have been paying my loans back ever since. I hated it there, I hated every single thing about that place. I hated the the hour plus commute at 7 a.m. I hated the pretentious students that crowded the campus, trying to isolate themselves from any human interaction by constant eye contact with their computer screens and blaring music coming from an Ipod IV. I hated it, and so to my parents disapproval, I dropped out.
     But this time its different, I'm prepared and ready. And most importantly, I'm not going to college because its what I expect its what my parents want me to do, Its because I've spent the last year being a piece of shit and I want to change that for myself. I have only been a nineteen year old part time dishwasher college dropout for the last year, and I hate that, more then I hated Metro. I'm doing this for myself, and thats why its a new challenge. I'm going to make something out of my life, and it starts with little things like this (enrolling in a community college or this project as a whole). I'm excited and optimistic. But I gotta go so I can get some binders, notepads and folders. Later!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 18: Make Pudding

Although I have been fooled before,
this is pudding, not mayonnaise.
     I was craving some pudding at work tonight, which was convenient because I had never made pudding before. As it turns out, every aspect of pudding is convenient. I just picked up a box of instant pudding at the convenience store, conveniently mixed the two ingredients (that pudding powder and 2 cups of milk) in a bowl  for a couple minutes, and let it it cool-set in the fridge while I watched T.V. (which was probably the most convenient step of all). It was pretty tasty, and time efficient. And I'm all about being good with time now because school starts tomorrow and I've got two jobs to juggle in. So that may mean that I need to do some lame goals for a couple days (kinda like this one), or at least until I get in the flow of being busy as all hell. Verdict: Pudding is delicious and convenient, and I don't have any time to spare.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 17: Learn To Grill Wings

     It was an utterly beautiful day today and I took full advantage of it. I got up early, went and skated for a couple hours and went to play some basketball (I kinda suck at it). My friend Joey and I were dicking around with trick shots and thats when I thought of a full court shot to be a practical daily challenge. I tried for a while and got oh so close on like two, but my shoulder was starting to bug me and it didn't look like I was going to make the shot. After an hour or so of me embarrassing myself trying the shot, I decided to settle for an easier goal that we all could enjoy.
"Its not goal tending,
just a damn good defense"
  Chicken wings! They're sure are tasty and, as I just found out, easy as hell to make. Simple. Just defrost those frozen birds, marinate them in a zip-lock bag with the flavorings of your desire, fire up the grill and rotate the wings every 5 minutes or so. My dad has this lemon pepper seasoning/ marinating juice thing that we used. The wings weren't quite finished cooking the first time I plucked them off the grill but a good 10 extra minutes of grill time took care of that. Dinner was good and fully cooked, making the the challenge (and the day) a success. I learned some basic grill techniques and plan on utilizing them a lot this summer with endless BBQ's and grill outs. I like these food challenges because they (for the most part) are pretty simple, yet the ability to make foods (not including things like cereal and sandwiches) is necessary to me not dieing of hunger once I move out. Plus, if I'm having a hard time thinking of a new thing to try, I can always thumb through a cookbook and find a new dish or meal to make. Thats probably going to be a "just in-case" challenge for me several times throughout this project.
The final product

Day 16: Cheeseburger one bitter

     Like seafood, fast food isn't particularly high on my desirable foods list. I cut back almost completely for about the last 6 months. I found myself at a Taco Bell a few times when money got tight or when I decided to make a bad decision. But for the most part, I was fast food free, and it felt pretty good. And so I disregarded all of that today, when I attempted to stuff an entire McDonald's double cheeseburger into my mouth in hopes of completing the cheeseburger one bite challenge.
     Its a challenge that my friend Kevin suggested while at work today. I've seen a couple friends try it, and fail, and I think I've even had the pleasure of watching one of my friends successfully consume a CD sized meat patty sandwich in one bite. Its inspiring stuff, and it was my turn to be one of the greats.
     So I went to a Micky D's (first time in a while) and picked up the food, along with some for Kevin, and mentally prepared myself to be disgusted. The challenge didn't last long and was not a success, kind of like basically all of my previous food challenges. And thats a discouraging thought because if I cant complete these novice edible challenges, how the hell am I going to hold my own when the time comes for me to try the biggest pizza challenge or the 50 piece Mcnugget challenge (which I'm not looking forward to). So it went a little like this: I unwrapped it, stuffed a little bit over half of the sandwich into my face, and then it was apparent that my jaws weren't able to chew and my throat wasn't about to let me take that whole thing down. Thats about when I tried to shovel the rest of the sandwich into my mouth but there was no place for the surplus of food to go. So I failed, I spat it out and was grossed out (mildly because of the thought of even trying that). But at least I did better this time then I did with that damn peep's challenge. I'm starting to notice the trend that has been going on with me and food challenges, mainly, I suck at them. But there is some good news, that challenge has renewed my faith in not eating fast food. That stuff is gross.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 15: Try Tofu

     I found myself strolling through the isles of the Pacific Ocean Market with my brother earlier today. Its a heavily oriental influenced market place where everything is in Japanese (or Chinese or some other language, I have no idea, sorry). Its a very interesting market, filled with strange aromas and of coarse, suspended carcases of dead animals. The glass casing with all of the iced fish heads was a favorite for my brother. I was there because I assumed that a store as bizzare as that would surely hold some "new thing" potential. I figured that I would eat a brain or something just as absurd. But, I had no idea how to spell brain (still don't) in whatever language this marketplace had adopted, and I didn't want to eat brain bad enough to ask any employees. So, I did the next best thing, I bought some tofu. It may not be as interesting as brains, but its new just the same. Plus I think that I owe it to my stomach to fill it with something other than peeps.
     So I got the tofu and I looked up a video on how to make a tofu meal. The meal in the video was garnished with exotic spices and bases and looked pretty appetizing. From there, I figured that since I don't have any of those obscure sounding flavor intensifiers (probably because I'm not vegan {or even vegetarian for that matter}), I decided to to simply eyeball it and do my best to throw in whatever scarce ingredients were left in the fridge. This is a big step for me, actually using my gut instinct on cooking a meal. I mean, I had a goal last week where I just cooked burritos for my family and I felt a little out of my environment on that, so imagine how unprepared I felt about "eyeballing" on a project like this. So I followed what little instructions I could from the video and heated up some oil, diced the tofu and cook until it started to brown. Thats about when I looked towards the fridge and cupboard for flavor inspiration. I rummaged through for a while and picked out some things like sea salt, balsamic vinegar, Frank's Read Hot (hot sauce), garlic spice and pepper. I threw a "dash" (however much that is) of this and a "pinch" (see last use of parentheses) of that in, and then proceeded to pour way too much balsamic in. Things were looking good, the tofu was soaking up the delicious juices, the aroma was pleasant and I was fairly appetized. By now the experiment was done cooking but before I tried my creation, I set up a control. I saved a couple pieces of raw tofu that I was going to use to gauge how much better or how much worse my version of cooking with tofu turned out to be. I gave a piece to myself, brother and dad for us to try. My dad described it as "kind of indescribable". It didn't really have a taste, just a tasteless cube of mush. So we tried my version which looked and smelled pretty good (just sayin'). It was defiantly describable, just not by much. Basically, it just tasted like sea salt and hot sauce and garlic spice and pepper (which is not that bad at all). That wasn't the only taste but those were the most apparent. So the conclusion: we all decided that tofu isn't really that great but at least my cooked version of it is (by a mild margin) better then it's raw counterpart. I do plan on trying a real dish of tofu sometime though, ya know, with all that broccoli and what not.
Tofu: "Its pretty alright"

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 14: 13 hour days

     I left to go to work at 5:45 a.m. and I got home at 6:53 p.m. Thats the longest shift I have ever worked and I'm counting it as my new thing. I don't care if its lame or not. I'm exhausted and kind of pissed off, and I'm going to bed. Goodnight.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 13: Peep Challenge

     I never liked peeps. You know, those colorful little seasonal marshmallow easter treats? Its a sugar-coated-self-induced-diabetes-snack.Well, I told my friend (Mouse) about the peep challenge on a road trip a couple years ago and convinced him to try it.
     The Peeps Challenge: Simple, just eat 12 innocent peeps in 3 minutes, no water or puking.
     So I completely failed my last edible challenge (cracker and bread challenges) and I wasn't about to let this one defeat me. I (again) was pretty confident that I would utterly destroy this challenge, which (again) was a bad idea. I'm slowly figuring out that these over simplistic challenges are sometimes the hardest ones to complete unscathed. I know all too well the consequences of the last edible challenges (a night hunched over the toilet, hawking my guts out). Mental note: Stop being overly confident towards challenges that seem simple but involve food, and stop puking afterwards. I had the challenge and I was building my confidence the throughout the entire trip to the grocery store. Once I had the two boxes, I began to visually strategize my approach. They didn't have the original duck shaped peeps, so the heart shaped ones (I'd argue that the hearts were way bigger than the ducks and I should be given a medal for trying such an intimidating and potential harmful task) would have to do. The clock was set for 3 minutes and the wrappers were off the boxes in hopes of shedding a few seconds off of my time. The countdown started and I ignited with intensity. I tore through the first three with no signs of slowing down. Peep number four is the one that really slowed me down a bit. It had been a mere 50 seconds in and my stomach was already trying to take over the autopilot. After a bit of work, I took down the fifth and went for the first half of number six. By now it was a good minute an a half in and I was not feeling great. I imagine that when that amount of sugar hits your body at once your stomach is just awestruck at the complete disregard you have for it. I barely managed to get the first half consumed when the clock hit two minutes. By now I knew it was over. I was barely half way to my target when hurling seemed like a pretty reasonable option. I stopped before the time ran out and before I could dare finish number six out of respect for the well being of my body. I failed the challenge and developed a minor stomach ache but I got a taste (pun) of what professional eaters have to deal with. And I still hate peeps.
    The aftermath of the heart shaped peep feast. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 12: Pocket Ninjas

     I was still in the movie watching mood today and so I made my challenge movie themed. Simply put, I decided to watch the worst movie ever made. After a little bit of research and a fair amount of controversy, I found a list on the Huffington Post's comedy section of the top ten worst movies ever. The list consisted of obscure titles and it didn't seem like it was in any particular order. And that got me thinking, would you rather be famous for directing/ acting (though if any actual directing or acting had taken place, the movie surely would have escaped the fate such a list) the in the worst movie ever, or the second worst movie ever. I think that I would go with being know for making the single worst film, not just the runner up. I mean hey, if your going to suck, you might as well not suck at the sucking part, am I right? The movie I ended up watching was the 1997 martial arts classic, "Pocket Ninjas". Take a look at the trailer...
     This is a real movie. Somebody actually put effort into this crap. I couldn't believe it either. I sat through this monstrosity about crime fighting preteens on roller blades and wrist guards. It was laughable at some points (not in a good way) but I'm not about to say that I'm proud that I watched it. If you've got some time/ brain cells to kill and feel like making a horrible life choice, I suggest that you watch this diamond in the rough. I'm honestly dully amazed that I even made it though the film.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 11: Movie Marathon

I think that it goes without saying that I felt like shit today. If you have already read my previous entry, you would know that I had the pleasure of barfing my guts out for all of last night. I wasn't feeling too hot and didn't really want to do much of anything. I sat on the couch under a large blanket with a near by just-in-case-you-need-to-hurl-again trash can watching movies for most of the day. I kept watching until that turned into all of the day. Thats the only thing that I've done today, watch movies, which, is new I guess. I've never just wasted an entire day on movies.
I tried it once, in the backyard of my neighbors house. We wanted to break the world record for the longest movie marathon. So, about 5 of us 12 year olds stocked a small tent full of Zebra Cakes and Cheeto's with an even smaller T.V. in hopes of breaking a record and bringing pride to our small town for making constant movie viewing history. If I recall correctly, I believe that we made it through about half of the first movie (Liar Liar with Jim Carrey) before the snacks ran out and our attention spans ran out.
So I guess my movie marathon will have to suffice because I wasn't feeling up to doing much more than being awake and the crappy weather outside made me feel better about wasting my day in front of the boob tube. I'm feeling better now so tomorrow's challenge shouldn't be so pathetic.

Day 10: Edible Challenges

Its safe to say that the edible challenges were not, I repeat, were NOT a good idea. I was at work last night trying to think up my new thing for the day and I came to the conclusion that the "saltine challenge" and the "bread challenge" were O.K. to try.
Saltine Challenge: Eat 6 crackers in 60 seconds without the help of water.
Bread Challenge: Eat one slice of bread in 45 seconds without the help of water.
Seems easy right? Wrong. I felt confident before my attempt, I almost thought that the challenges were going to be too easy to count. I mean, Thats ten seconds for each cracker, this was going to be a cake walk I thought. 15 seconds and half a cracker into the challenge, I knew that I greatly underestimated the power of the dry saltiness of the saltine. At around 40 seconds I had two crackers down and it was apparent that my failure was secure. In a last ditch effort, I crammed the last of the crackers in my mouth, but that was futile, I had lost the challenge. The bread challenge ended up, for the most part, the same way. Although I was closer with the second challenge, I still lost.
Losing sucks and all, but its not as bad as barfing periodically throughout the entire night (which is how I spent my night). I felt terrible and couldn't sleep. I cant say for sure if it really was the edible challenges that caused me to hurl, but it is enough proof for me to not ever do either of those challenges again.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 9: Front Flip

It was just another day which meant another challenge. But today was a cold, sleepy, snow covered day, and so today's challenge was cold, but mild (at least compared to some of the other challenges) one. I planned on making a snow sculpture in the backyard. I thought it would be a fun way to get creative and take advantage of the snowy wonderland outside. I researched some pictures of sculptures constructed completely out of snow to get an idea of what I should try. It was apparent that these elaborate and highly intricate pieces were too complicated and time consuming for a rookie like me. I was a bit intimidated but not yet ready to give up. I went to the back yard and started to pile the snow into a huge mass before I would attack it with furious creativity and what not. I shoveled towards my soon-to-be-masterpiece, building it up to a 3 foot long by 2 foot deep blob. The mess of snow was ready to be molded into pure awesomeness but the anti-packable properties of the snow proved to be problematic. It would collapse and crumble as soon as I laid a finger on it. Poop. The snow sculpture challenge was over before it even started. So, I did what any other self respecting teenager would do... I jumped in the pile. It collapsed instantly and snow was everywhere. Thats about when that whole "destruction breeds creation" rule came into play. Since the snow was so fun and comfortable to jump into, I decided to return to an old challenge that I had failed a while ago (before this project even started up). The challenge was to front flip off the retaining wall in the backyard. I chickened out last time out of fear of me braking my neck. So I repacked the snow next to the wall to make a cushion and talked my little brother (Sean) into test trying the landing. He jumped and flopped on his back but didn't complain or even hint that it hurt. His willingness and successful test flight gave me some confidence, so I did something that I had never ever done before, front flipped off something (I don't count trampolines or diving boards cause thats lil' kid shit). Jump. Tuck. Flop. I landed straight on my ass and was surprised how close I got and how pain free the process was. Sean and I took turns attempting to land the flip and each time we would both get within farting distance of sticking the maneuver. But each time, we failed. This went on for probably a half hour; running, jumping, flipping, repacking the snow, repeating. Pretty soon we realized that our pillow of snow wasn't as comfy as it used to be and we were numb in the fingertips. We were sore and cold and tired and still out of reach of a flip. We couldn't get it, and I still haven't gotten it. The front flip has eluded me once again but this time, I consider the challenge a success. I may not have landed the flip still, but that wasn't the challenge in the first place. The challenge was to try something new and I did that. I gathered the courage to try the front flip, which is waaaaaay farther than I got last time. I tried it, and failed, but the important part is that I tried something new. Maybe I'll actually land it sometime.

Day 8: Homemade Pasta

I woke up pretty late today. I figure that my body was recovering from the self inflicted tattoo fiasco that had taken place the night before. My late start got my daily routine a little outta wack, so I decided to do an easy goal today. I thought that talking with a British accent for a full day would be easy enough (its a pretty lame goal I admit, but I didn't feel too energized, so I felt that it would suffice). Its sad to say, but I have tried this goal (not for this project) on several occasions, and have yet to make it a full 24 hours impersonating a Brit. It happens every time, I get so close and then something screws it up. I either get caught off guard and mutter out something in my American tongue, or I meet someone new and don't feel like my fake pronunciation is believable so I switch over to my familiar accent. But 9 times outta 10, I just realize how stupid of a challenge is, thats when I simply give up. Was today going to finally be the day? Would I actually make it? Well, lets just say that today was one of those "9 times". I failed miserably. It was probably worst attempt yet. I broke character within the first two hours and was no where near completing my daily challenge. I went on doing close to nothing (watch youtube) for a while, and went to the grocery store with my dad. On the way back I got a call from my mom, who invited me to make pasta at her house. It was that simple. I needed a challenge, and she offered me one (a delicious one if I might add). I showed up at her house shortly after and we started almost immediately. Making the actual dough isn't the hard part (but its not like I would know, I missed the dough making process because I drive slow). Its just flour and eggs, that you then let sit in a bag for some time. When I finally showed up the dough was already in its little bag, doing whatever it needed to do to become pasta. My job was to feed the cubed dough through what is best described as a silver, mid evil torture device. The hand cranked machine would first flatten the substance and then, on a second hand cranked part of the contraption, would cut the stretched out mess of dough into long, easy to handle strands of noodle. We then coated them in cornmeal and suspended them on the drying rack that my mom painstakingly made. The noodles are drying as I blog and will be ready to eat by tomorrow night. It was fun making the pasta and all, but for the reasonable price that pasta is, I think I'll simply buy it next time. But I it is good to know my way around pasta because I am cautious nudging towards making lasagna from scratch for one of my goals. Maybe I'll settle for a more novice Italian dish. Who knows.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 7: Stick n' Poke tattoo

Today marks the end of my first official week of this project. I have done/tried 7 new things/experiences in the last 7 days. I think that the project is going well and all, and I'm excited to find out what I will be forced into trying in the nearing future. I believe in this project, I really do. It goes without saying that this self assigned assignment is going to open my eyes and broaden my view, which is probably good. Thats why, today I, along with my friend David, gave ourselfs whats referred to as a "stick n poke" tattoo. Its basically just you, a needle, and small bottle of "India Ink". To get started, you want to draw out your piece (I went with a skateboard, but keep in mind that this shit hurts so, for your own sake, maybe choose a small and/or simple tattoo to draw) on wherever you see fit (I choose my inner thigh because I was told that its not as sensitive in that area, and of coarse, its job friendly). Take your shiny new needle, dab it in the ink, and be sure to get a fair amount on it. Then, as you probably assumed, the "sticking and poking" portion becomes relevant. Simply take the dripping needle and trace the blue prints of your tattoo. Now when I say trace, what I really mean is to violently stab your flesh with a sharp metal object. A lot of this may sound stupid, and don't think that your weird for thinking it. In fact, your not the only one who thinks this, your body does too (Its impressive how much your body doesn't enjoy being punctured). I started out with mild, modest jabs but it was clear that these sissy stabs were not going to get me my inner thigh alteration (or worse, my "daily new thing"). So, I stepped it up a notch and did some damage. Its not as painful as you may think, its that whole going over the same spots for like the third or fourth time that seems to bring out the sensitivity in your skin. It came out really thin and dull but it at least it came out. Which makes me the proud owner of my fist and only self inflicted tattoo.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 6: Sushi

I'm not a fish person. Some people don't like dogs and some don't like cats, but I, don't like fish... well eating them anyways. Maybe its simply because all the fish that gets flown out here from the worlds oceans losses a considerable amount of freshness by the time it reaches suburbia. Or maybe its just that fish, in general, taste kind of shitty. Whatever it is, its stopped me from eating it for years. I've happily avoided fish and the subcategories of fish like crab, lobster and sushi since I was like 7. So, naturally, I decided that tonight, I would have my first taste of the raw sensation that is, sushi. Everybody I know seems to be very opinionated on the subject. "Oh.My.Gawd" someone will tell me, "You've never had sushi? You need to get some NOW". Or "I'm addicted to it. Like seriously addicted". But sometimes I get opposing testimonies. Like "Ah, its sooo disgusting"
So as you can see, I went to Tokyo Joe's with a wide range of plausible outcomes playing in my head. I went with four rolls of the cheapest sushi they had (you get what you pay for I guess) along with the usual, a teriyaki bowl of chicken. Now, I'm not going to say that it was "bad". I'll put it this way, I don't see myself paying $3.40 for more of those rolls anytime soon. The fishy aftertaste was a bit off putting but the wassabi seemed to counter act it a little. To tell you the truth, I didn't like it, but thats the point. Thats the whole reason for doing this project: to try new things and see if I like them. So now at least I know that sushi isn't my thing (welp, cheap sushi anyway). But don't get the wrong idea, if you know any sushi or sushi related foods that you think I "need to try", let me know. After all, I need as much help coming up with new things to try as I can get.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 5: Random Road trip

Sweet baby Jesus I'm tired. Today was defiantly a success in terms of takin' names and kickin' ass. I was so busy getting my financial aid and classes figured out that I was afraid that I wouldn't have enough time to complete a 'new thing' for the day (or at least a half-way decent one). It was pretty late by the time I met up with Mouse to brainstorm possible challenges, and that wasn't going smoothly. We drove to the old Westy Mall (a run-down shopping center that has been converted into a rotting carcass in suburbia) to find inspiration. We walked around, talked to a couple of store employees in the middle of their closing routine, but the mall didn't pose many challenge worthy options, so I settled with purchasing a novelty hat. Mouse and I decided to try eating some sushi but the "hours of operation" graphic on the front door of Tokyo Joe's informed us that they had been closed for forty minutes. Things weren't looking good.
I'm not even sure which one of us proposed the idea (but I'll take credit) but we decided to take a mini road trip (It was our only idea left, making it our best). A road trip to Wyoming. I'd say that we were a good 80 miles from Cheyenne, which is long enough for me to feel the need to stop at a gas station to fill up on edible goodies. So we left Thornton with candy bars in each hand and Animal Collective blaring through the speakers. We kept each other amused with stories and jokes. Mouse utilized his talent of holding his breath. He went four miles straight on one mere lung-full of air, and if you don't think thats impressive then I politely suggest that you shut up and try it yourself. I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel after one mile. It wasn't long after that when we crossed the state line and completed the goal. We stopped and took some pictures of the giant WYOMING sign (I touched it), drove to a combination Denny's/gas station/gift shop to pick up a couple souvenirs and use the bathroom, and then I did a tre flip in the parking lot of a closed down McDonald's while in my moccasins. We had seen enough (It was getting late and the wind chill made skating less than enjoyable). So, we headed home. Driving through Fort Collins, we stopped at a gas station so we could pretend that we were from out of state. I told the man that sold me a losing scratch ticket that we were on our way to New Mexico. It was up to his imagination to fill in the blanks as to why we were traveling there. And then I came home. That, for the most part, is just about all of the notable occurrences of the evening; Dillon's oddly large lung capacity, Touching a massive sign that advertised the state we were in (which coincidentally was the same shape as the state as well), pretending to be tourists and having a stock pile of candy. Thats what road trips are about, and I think thats why I enjoyed the night (and the challenge) so much. Road trips are so simple, its just what ever you want to do, wherever you want to do it. I could have everything that I had done in Wyoming, in Colorado (maybe not the whole Wyoming photo shoot part). I would have saved a considerable amount of time and money doing so also, but it wouldn't have been the same. Even though I have done a lot of tre flips in a lot of McDonald's parking lots in my day, I've never done one like that, not in that situation. And thats what makes it notable. Thats what makes the contents of this entire blog entry notable, the fact that it was a spontaneous excursion, or the breath holding competition. Its nothing life changing, but it somehow made the night really god damn fun (even if it does sound pathetic). Random road trip...completed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 4: Fixing Dinner

Its kind of pathetic when I think about it, but I realized today that I hadn't made dinner for my family in all of my nineteen years (yeah, I know). I had yet to even prepare a decent meal for myself. I just didn't know how. That all changed tonight when I made burritos, a classic, yet basic dish that will probably make up the high majority of my meals once I move out (along with pizza and day-old-pizza). I consider the dinner a success, I mean, no body puked yet (I think), and I felt confident enough to try a second burrito. I think I need to ease up when cooking though. I was completely paranoid about burning everything and forcing my family to share a take out pizza from little ceasars while we watched our house go up in flames from a kitchen inferno (maybe thats a little exaggerated, but these things happen ya know). Thats about it, nothing really notable happened (other than the meat tasting like it had freezer burn {which it did}), the house didn't go up in flames and everybody survived. What more could you ask for? Mission complete.
I'm clueless as to what new thing I can do tomorrow but I'll think of something.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 3: Internet Entrepreneuring

I've always been interested in entrepreneuring. Ever since I can remember I have been saving what little money I had, and focusing on how I could make more. Garage sales are where its at if your looking to test the waters of individual sales. I frequently go garage sailing looking for strange oddities and treasures at dirt cheap prices. In fact, I consider myself a "garage saler" (get it? I'm sailing to garage sales. Now thats clever), combing the cul de sacs of suburbia for things that I "have got to have". House-side-sales are wonderful for sharpening your negotiating skills just because of how unsanctioned everything is. That price tag may say $35 for a mildly weathered novelty Simpsons lamp, but if your persistent and willing to haggle a little, that asking price goes out the window. I mean hey, everything that you find at a garage sale has been put in that limbo category, its not quite trash, but not worth keeping. Monetarily speaking I wouldn't spend more than 15 dollars on a single item at a thrift store or garage sale just because of the old one man's trash rule. For instance, Everything in that drive way is there for one reason, they don't want it (or maybe they just didn't have enough space. But even so, they had to choose what possessions stayed and what ones they didn't want enough to keep).Just keep that in mind before you let some grandma rip you off for that vintage golf club.
Because I'm oh so interested on the inner workings of the entrepreneurial world, I decided to make todays "new thing" relate to selling. I chose to start selling random trinkets and novelties that I don't care for on eBay. It was kind of surprising to me when I realized that I had yet to even attempt to sell anything online (even craigslist) considering how much time and effort I spend bargain hunting on the internet. I started off test run sale, just to get the feel for how the selling portion of eBay worked. I posted an old Polaroid camera that I picked up from none other that a garage sale. The bidding has started at a mere $.99. I never used it, wasn't sure if it even worked, and didn't want it in my room which makes it my trash. Hopefully someone will see it as a treasure.
Heres to making a fortune, one misunderstood piece of trash/ treasure at a time.

Day 2 Ice Blocking

Today, like yesterday was another last minute, super rushed sort of goal. I'm finding out that the hardest part of this project is simply thinking of semi-decent never-done-before goals to actually attempt. I had my heart set on trying to make a full court basketball shot for a good portion of the day, but some complications (I don't own a basketball) arose. So I ditched that idea and moved on in the brainstorming process. I tried to think of practical experiences that I had yet to experience. I thought about how it had just snowed a couple days ago and how everyone was taking full advantage of the fun activities that winter made readily available. Everyone was out sledding and having snowball fights. And although I have participated in both of those activities on many occasions, it occurred to me that I had not ever went ice blocking. Ice blocking is, in a sense, sledding on a large ice cube. I see people do it all the time in the summertime on the grassy hill behind the skate park. From what I hear, its a lot more fun to do in the summer (I assume that the scorching heat may be why). I didn't Let the arctic air scare me. I strapped on my designated doesn't-matter-if-they-get-ruined clothes and shoes on and drove over to the grocery store to pick up a 10 pound block of ice (conveniently priced at $1.99 with a club card). I met my friend Dillon (I coined his nickname "Mouse") at the top of the hill where I would expect to see fellow ice blockers if it were mid July, not 9:37 P.M. on a frigid January night. To the surprise of both of us we ran into several sledders, a man on a snowboard, and a couple of people with, you guessed it, ice blocks. We took turns trying to make it down the hill with little success. That block of ice seemed enormous while I was inspecting it in the store, but it really gets put into perspective how small it really is when you are trying to balance your entire butt on it while your being catapulted down the slope. Its actually kinda hard. We both got a couple good runs in before throwing in the towel. We were both soaked and shivering when it was over, but I'd call it a success. Ice blocking is fun, and I cant wait to try it in the summer. Day 2, check!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 1 Raw Egg Challenge

It was more of a spur of the moment thing I guess. I was just sitting in the dish pit at work with a fellow dish washer thinking about my newly proposed project of trying new things (thats what this blog is about) when it became obvious that brainstorming things that you have never done but could still try while at work and not get fired, was pretty hard. We came up with things like the cinnamon challenge (look that one up) and learning how to juggle things that were on fire (that one would probably violate the "not getting fired" thing). Nothing sounded like it had much potential. That was until I found inspiration in the walk-in fridge, there I saw a box of eggs. Needless to say I thought of that classic scene in the Rocky series where he is downing raw eggs and punching frozen meat corpses. And so the raw egg challenge became my first accomplishment of this project. I just cracked an egg, tossed the icky stuff into a glass, made sure that the camera had a good view of it (I filmed it, and I'll post it if I can figure out how) and took the shot. I'm not gonna say that it was terrible (The equivalence of raw spaghetti-o's), but it certainly wasn't worth trying if you could just as easily have cooked into an edible omelette. the egg itself was almost flavorless, the slimy texture is what will make your face pucker up and your muscles flinch. That was it, nothing life alternating or life threatening, just a new experience. Day one finished.

The "New" Project

SO, I had a sort of epiphany a few months ago. A small one, a semi-epiphany. It was a simple truth, a truth that seemed to lay a contagious batch of eggs in my brain. The eggs have started to hatch and now tiny infectious hatchlings are crawling around in my head, eating tissue and destroying cells. Not to worry, these are no sifi brain eating zombie eggs, oh no, they are a bit more practical. These eggs, are ideas. My epiphany (to segue back a bit) was this, "I, Kyle Garlock, am a turd". Its a bit harsh, but its the truth. Right before graduating high school my expectations were sky high, and for good reason. I had everything going for me, I was a soon-to-be-graduate, I was 18 years old, I had a great job and I was going to be a college student next fall. Things were looking good... I thought. For reasons I don't feel like typing at the moment, I was laid off of my job and I lasted a solid month or two at college. And now that I think of it, I'm not even 18 anymore. I've got nothing going for me now... right?
To bring you up to date: I am a 19 year old college drop out who washes dishes part time. I still live with my dad and I've been broke for way too long. Whew, feels good to get that off my chest. So, anyways, don't get the wrong idea. It's not like I'm the biggest failure and my life sucks or anything. I mean, at least I have a job, and at least I'm going to be back in school this spring it's just, I want to make sure that I do not end up a failure in the long run.
Which brings me to this, The "New" Project, a simple way (among many others) for me to make sure that my life doesn't turn out like crap. Its really simple. All i have to do is make sure that I have to preform or experience a new thing everyday. That new thing could range from skydiving to piercing my ear with a stapler. As long as its worth mentioning and I have never done it, its fair game in my book. I plan on working on this project for the next year. One new thing every day should hopefully account for 365 days of memorable new experiences. Its all about getting out there and seeing what the world has to offer. Lets do diss!