Sunday, November 29, 2015

From the archives – where movies come from

Every now and then, those big Hollywood producers dry out their writers and run out of ideas. You know when this is happening because it will seem like all the movies coming out are remakes of previous movies that weren’t that great to begin with. When this happens, as it so often does, these producers decide to get inventive and put a call out for story ideas to the general public.  The call is not advertised in a big blown up way (like their movie premiers) but instead is done subtly to ensure authenticity of the idea they are trying to procure. The logic being you will get better ideas if people don’t know who they are pitching their idea to. Some people support this strategy because they think it gives the little guy a chance at the big times (who are these people?!) In the industry they refer to this strategy as “raping the sludge off the toxic waste dump called society”.  Regardless of your feelings on the approach for new movie ideas, here is how they do it. 

The Hollywood producers usually place these calls in the classified sections of popular writing magazines (e.g., Writer’s Digest, The Paris Review, American Drunkard). The calls are written for the obtuse and hidden somewhere between the advertisements for writer’s retreats in Costa Rica and the get rich quick schemes advertisements. The calls are usually worded like “get paid for your story ideas!” – send us your ideas and we will pay up to $10,000! Basically these ads are the types of ads everyone tells you not to answer and may help explain why there still seems to be a slew of lacklustre movies getting pumped out by the Hollywood machine. 

How this relates to me and my life? Well one day, like one of my Andrea version 1.0 days, I was flipping through my latest issue of my American Drunkard magazine and I came across one of these calls for ideas. Likely due to a mix of unexpressed creativity and drunkenness, I decided to respond to the ad. I called the number they provided and talked to a representative who told me they were looking for a sister bonding type movie, an idea that breaks the traditional sister movie motif of weddings, babies and finding husbands.
Seemed doable. Still drunk, I called my sister, who lived somewhere in the world at least 4 time zones away from me, to run my idea by her. 

The conversation went something like this: 

A: Ok, before you speak, just listen. So there are two sisters, one who is a dictator of a kingdom and is losing power over her people (apparently she is kind of controlling or whatever) and the other sister who ends up saving her by stopping the uprising of the people. 

Sister: Dude, it’s 4 in the morning here…what are the sister’s names?

A: Elsa and Anna. Elsa is the dictator and Anna saves her!

S: How does Anna save Elsa exactly?

A: Well that’s complicated. See Anna is in exile so she needs to get back to the kingdom, make some friends along the way and then lead an army and save Elsa.

S: Are there any guys in this story?

A: Not really but we could throw some in for Elsa and Anna to have sex with.

S: Ok, so this story is kind of like the Cuban revolution but makes way less sense?

A: Yes! Instead of Fidel and Che we have Elsa and Anna!

S: Great. So why are you telling me this story at 4 in the morning?

A: I’m pitching the idea and I need some backstory for the sisters. 

S: Alright. Answer me this, where do Elsa and Anna come from, what makes them who they are, and why is Anna in exile?

A: Oh that’s easy. You see, Anna spent the formative years of her life much like the good dictator Elsa. Growing up in Winnipeg with summers in the Hamptons, life truly was idyllic. Then they moved to Hamilton. The move to Hamilton impacted both sisters tremendously as life then cascaded into a haze of steel town pollution, skeezed out fashion victims, and of course humanoids of limited mental capacity (that may be a universal statement spreading much further than Hamilton, like to Scarborough).

The large difference in the outcome of the glorious Elsa and troublesome Anna was in 2003 when Elsa moved to a small country in the Caribbean and became their dictator. And Anna decided to take up with a gang of strung out speed freak strippers. Despite this divergence in paths, Anna finished medical school the following year with excellent marks (after all she is related to Elsa) and with numerous pornographic films under her belt (see www.Annagetsfreakyandyoulikeitbitch.com ).

After Anna’s medical school graduation she decided to travel the world by motorcycle and things got exceedingly worse. Stints in a Thai prison for drug trafficking and prostitution, a torrid affair with a married political leader (BTW not the one Elsa slept with), and an incident with elephant semen and offshore engineers which is best untold. 

After all of this traveling around, Anna missed her sister and decided to surprise visit her by crashing the 2006 world trade summit Elsa was hosting on her island kingdom. At first, the summit went alright. Anna was helpful in aiding Elsa in making some strategic connections with some key Asian business leaders and then refreshments were served. 

Anna and Elsa had a reputation for enjoying their tasty beverages, which is just another way of saying when Anna and Elsa drank together trouble inevitably followed. From Anna spontaneous vomiting Texas Tang Doritos onto anyone within a 5 foot radius of her, to drinking so much absinthe she passes out on a dance floor only to wake up and try to start a fight with everyone she sees, including her unsuspecting sister tucked snugly in her hotel room bed (wait actually that last part was Elsa, and the first too).

Regardless of Elsa’s previous indiscretions, which are many, one thing was constant among all of them, the presence of Anna. The point is, at this business summit craziness will ensue, that Elsa will have no one to blame for except her misguided although loving sister Anna. Hence why Anna is exiled.

S: Right…is there anything you want to talk about?

A: No! I'm pitching a story, I just want to know what you think.

S: (laughs) simmer down drunkard. Ok, so what specifically does Anna do at this summit to get exiled?

A: Several of the business leaders end up in jail and need to be bailed out for indecent exposure and/or security men penis groping (see these are patented Anna activities that she blames on others). Anna also starts a fire in the palace kitchen when she tries to make grilled cheese sandwiches. And sure it was only a small and manageable fire it still caused quite a nuisance that a small fire extinguisher needed to be used in order to put it out. Anna will also continuously bum smokes off others (she never buys her own!) and she will constantly demand drinks from other summit attendees, who will easily be able to tell her they bought her a drink already because Anna will show up to the summit already drunk and drugged out. Oh! And Anna will encourage overdrinking in other guests because she will insist on singing that annoying LMFAO shots song at the top of her lungs throughout the whole summit.

S: Sounds like you really thought this through. 

My sister was impressed and told me to pitch the idea, so I did. Looking back on this moment, I’m pretty sure my sister just gave me that encouragement so I would hang up the phone and let her go back to sleep. 

Needless to say, the Hollywood producer did not purchase my idea because they were looking for something a little more family friendly. So Elsa and Anna never did make it to the big screen, at least not in the way I had drunkenly envisioned them.



 
Another movie with Elsa and Anna characters...very popular I hear.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A letter of love for you to read in times of pain


Dear you,

There are moments you will experience in life where there really are no words to describe the devastation you will feel. These are the moments where it feels like a bomb has been dropped on you, blown up and obliterated everything you thought you knew about the world. The type of moments that leave you shell shocked, make you question your belief system, the very core of your being.

We have all been there. All of us. It is important to remember this because the experiences of grief and loss are not unique to ourselves. These experiences touch us all.

When I'm faced with difficult moments like these I default into protective mode, I shut down emotionally and remove the focus from my feelings onto others. It is easier for me to think about others in times like these because if I think of myself, I have to acknowledge the incredible sense of loss I am faced with. The utter disappointment with life. And if I acknowledge it, I have to accept it. And in these moments that is last thing I want to do.

Typically when faced with these moments, I'm not alone and am surrounded by other people. They too will be experiencing the moment, maybe not in the same way as me but they will feel hurt, and bewildered and will need someone to lean on. In moments like those, I would rather be that person for them. I want to be the person to protect them, to hold them and tell them everything is going to be ok.

Truth be told, I need that person in my life too, I need that person to love and hold me and tell me everything is going to be ok. But in those moments I'm that person for others because other people generally need that person to be tangible. To be real. I cannot bare to watch others suffer.

For me, the person who supports me, loves me and tells me everything is going to be ok is me. My true self, my inner self, my soul. In moments like these I sit in silence and just be with myself. This is meditation for me. This is what brings me peace.

It's not like I just meditate and everything is better. It is a process. There is the moment of devastation, the fall out, the shut down emotionally, the giving of myself to others and then eventually I go to be with myself and sit. The meditation. I listen to myself. I express the hurt, i feel the pain, I sit with it, I let it have its 15 minutes. And then I let it go. It has had its say, it has made its point, I've heard what it has to say to me but I don't have to listen or take its advice. Instead, I will keep moving forward the way I know best. To thine own self be true.

Life is full of challenges and some of these will be easier than others, and some will make you feel like your life is falling apart and that the only way you will get peace is to give up. I implore you with all my heart and knowledge of a life full of these challenges, you will make it through this moment. The only way to survive is to go through it. When you make it through these moments, you will feel like your soul has been stripped away from you. And in a way it has, but you need to sometimes be destroyed in order to be reborn a stronger and more awesome version of your previous self.

This is life. This is how we live. Continuous cycles of being reborn bigger and better versions of our previous selves. To stagnate and not live is to not experience pain, grief, loss. Which might sound alright at first, but you can't stop feeling the bad stuff and only feel the good. Artificially we can always feel the good (it's called getting drunk, hello!?) but to really experience joy, happiness, bliss, well you need to go through the pain. When you feel real bliss, the kind that comes from within not external to you, you can never go back to the artificial means. This means you can only drink alcohol for the taste not to merely get drunk and drink away your pain. You will notice  you will save lots of money and lose weight if drinking is how you used to deal with pain.

How do you find this true bliss? You work through your pain, you experience it, you stop hiding from it. You live your life and all its messed up experiences it throws at you and you live knowing that you were made for this. We all were. We are all meant to break, to crack open, to fall apart because that is how the light gets in. When we let the light in, the love, the love of our true selves, that is when we experience true bliss. You must always remember that in order to feel the bliss you must feel the pain because without pain you can't break open and you cannot grow into the beautiful awesome lovely amazing person you are meant to.

So please keep working on your self, on your pain. And remember I am always here for you, to support you, love you and tell you everything is going to be ok because I too am working through my own pain. I'm right there with you, same as you only in my own unique Andrea way. And I know that you are meant to experience your bliss, the love of your true self. How am I so sure? Because I've experienced my bliss, the love of my true self. And I see your true self, your beautiful and lovely soul and if you do the work, you too will see yourself the way I see you.

Love. Love. Love.

xoxo

Andrea


When the shit hits the fan...

Take a selfie!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

How to love when you feel that the world is full of hate

I'm feeling conflicted this week with today's blog post, part of me would love to write something random and ridiculous, something completely irrelevant to anything going on in the world around me and the other part of me feels like writing something that will likely make most of my readers uncomfortable.

And I've decided to go with uncomfortable...you're shocked I know!

So, Friday I was at work, trying my best to be mindful and "in the moment", as it was shaping up to be a day where I couldn't help but naturally slump into a low grade depressive state. I was feeling uninspired and really just wanted to go home, crawl into bed and go to sleep. Then I remembered I had previously committed to going out for dinner that night with a friend, which the mere thought of me being social made me want to curl up into the fetal position and die.  A tad dramatic I know, but it's me, so...typical.

As I was in the midst of trying to cancel plans with my friend, she asked me if I wanted to go to the ballet with her that night. Now, if anything was going to make me want to poke out my eyes with a rusty fork, it was me going to the ballet. My logic being, if I poked out my eye, I would probably have to go to the ER and get that fixed, thus missing out on the boring ass ballet.

Now I have to say, my friend who invited me (let's call her Yolanda), is like one of my favorite humans to hang out with. Me and her have an energy that just plays well together. Hanging out with Yolanda is like hanging out with me, except she is way more connected to the outside world than me and she is my grounding nurturing yin to my unbridled passionate displays of expression yang. So the fact that I wanted to cancel on her was my first sign I wasn't feeling to hot, ballet invitation aside.

My meditation coach is always telling me to turn towards what I fear most. Or turn towards the thing I'm trying to turn away from. Basically, my meditation coach is telling me to acknowledge the things I don't want to acknowledge. Why? Because this is how we grow. By being uncomfortable, and getting outside of our comfort zones, we have to change. We can't stay uncomfortable forever. And 99% of the time, this uncomfortable feeling is just that, a feeling. It is an impression of an event/person/thing that is fleeting and unsubstantiated by anything objective about said thing that makes you feel uncomfortable. Once you examine the feeling of being uncomfortable and the thing that elicits said response, it changes, and usually it disappears. So for example, my impression of ballet being boring ass feels to be true, so much so I would rather gouge out my eyeball than attend a performance. That's pretty intense. But what is that really based on? Sure it is probably based on an experience I had from childhood but I'm 38 now, so it is quite possible ballet and my said feelings about the dance form may have changed, if only I would give it another shot.

Maybe it is because I marathoned all my favourite shows on Netflix already and didn't feel like trying to get into something new that night or maybe I was totally embracing what my meditation coach had taught me (when I tell my coach the story, it will be the latter) but I decided to take Yolanda up on her offer. I was going to go to the ballet (for reals!)

So we decided to meet up for dinner before the show at Chorizo & Co, this Spanish eatery on Fort Street, for 6pm. I head straight from work all pumped to be open to new experiences and shit and Yolanda arrives late and greets me with: "Did you hear what is going on in Paris?!"

Doubtful, seeing as I live under a rock and I've had my head in COPD guidelines all afternoon, also I don't get news alerts to my desktop and certainly do not get news alerts about a place that is on the other side of the planet from me. And let's point out that I also didn't even know that Dance BC was having their 30th birthday performance that night at the Royal theater that is located quite literally a 5 minute walk from my house, so no I probably have no idea what is going on in the rest of the world. Please tell me more.

Yolanda proceeds to tell me about the terrorist attacks in Paris, although she didn't have much to say because she just heard about it on the radio on the car ride over to dinner. So I pull out my iPhone and get on my Twitter news feed and see what's happening.

So I read Yolanda the Al Jazeera headlines and 5 minutes later we feel satisfied that we know just as much as we are going to at that moment and we order food. After all, we have a 7:30 performance to attend, and we don't want to be late.

I want to get into the food and how amazing it all tasted but I will leave that to @TheCesspit (which is actually @VicInPerson)- after all, his reviews generally leave out the bits about terrorist attacks. The food was quite delicious enough to make me forget that Paris was in a state of emergency so I guess that means the food was quite good or I'm really good at living in my bubble.

Seriously though, I'm not one for pretending things are fine but I'm getting better at compartmentalizing. No need to dwell on atrocities when there is nothing good that come out of me dwelling on them at that particular moment. So food was enjoyed and off we went to the ballet.

The Royal Theater is stunning in terms of architecture and ambiance. It is the perfect setting to be moved emotionally. And as I waited for the show to begin, I took in the buzz of anticipatory energy emanating from the patrons around me, and my thoughts went to Paris and one of the attacks at a theater. Knowing nothing really about the details, all I can do is imagine a night like tonight, hanging out with my good friend, about to experience some culture surrounded by the blissfully unaware people around me and in an instant that all changes. You either are killed by terror or get to watch it unfold in front of you in excruciating prolonged detail.

And that becomes your new narrative. You don't go back to blissfully unaware after that. It reminds me of how I felt after hearing about the bombings at the Boston Marathon and how since that day, I can't go to a race and pass the finish line without my thoughts going to that of bombs going off and lives and limbs being lost.

When I heard about Boston, I was angry and it effected me because I'm a runner and it felt personal. It also made zero sense to me but then again why should it make sense? With Paris, a city I've always held dear to me for the profound effect it had on me in shaping how I live my life, the effect feels different. There is no anger. There is no shock, like I felt after Boston or even 9-11, something else sits there inside me. Something I'm not even sure how to describe. But I think it may be compassion. A type of love and kindness, that I didn't really understand could exist in the aftermath of such tragedy. But now I understand that love, kindness and compassion are always there. These feelings have nothing to do with the events that unfold around us and it might be because they aren't just feelings but the energy we surround ourselves in.

And although, a younger Andrea would have been angry, I also know my anger doesn't get me anywhere. Doesn't mean I won't feel it (uh because I do!) I just don't want to feed it. I want to take that energy I would have given to anger and give it to love. And it sounds completely ridiculous to say all this but all I know is that when I love I feel better and I'm certain the people around me and who interact with me daily feel better too. Also, no one likes an asshole.

So I'm sending my love to Paris.
Source: lonely planet

As for the ballet...turns out it moved me, so much so, I cried during the 2nd performance. It was quite magnificent and I would definitely go again. 










Sunday, November 8, 2015

#12 Andrea's Frankenstein Breakfast Apple Bread

So this week #12 of the list of 20 things to try for 2015 is to consume breakfast daily. Now, I thought about posting a huge rant on how important breakfast is blah blah but I thought my readers know this, do they really need me to tell them what they already know?!

So instead I decided to share a recipe I created (which is really just a bastardization of a bunch of other stuff I found on the Internet). Yup, this Frankenstein recipe is for Apple Bread, which is the best breakfast ever. And it will help reinforce how important breakfast is, every time you bite into this yummy bread. Also, I have included a special bonus for all of you! I will share with you a tip I learned about how to interact more effectively (read: appropriately) with other humans.

First off, what is the best way to never skip breakfast?! Make something so delicious you will never skip it!

Andrea feeling frazzled after being up all night creating her Frankenstein
My new favourite is Apple Bread.

Apples are such a great fall food, or so all my recipe apps tell me, and seeing as we are in the season of fall I should probably start eating like it.

So this week I finally made the transition to fall - vegetarian chili with squash (yum!) and apple bread!!

So the important thing about the apple bread I should mention is, it's vegan and has no refined sugar in it. So basically it is like super healthy, so you don't have to feel guilty if you eat an entire loaf of it (#justsaying).

So here is the recipe (adapted from MrBreakfast.com) - my changes are in parentheses
Apple Bread makes a great side to watching Master of None

Andrea's ADHD Apple Bread Recipe (good luck following along!)

Part 1
3 cups all purpose flour (3 cups spelt flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Part 2
3 eggs (chia seed egg substitute = i didn't bother grinding up the chia seeds, i just put them in a bowl with the required water and left it in the fridge for over 15 minutes - I'm kind of lazy like that)
1 cup sugar (1 cup mashed bananas)
2/3 cup vegetable oil (coconut oil melted)
1 tsp vanilla

Part 3
1 cup sugar (1 cup of pureed dates ~ 16 medjool dates pitted)
1/2-1 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamon

Part 4
2 granny smith apples chopped

The steps to awesomeness:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Take 3 loaf tins and grease using coconut oil and dust with flour
Take ingredients of part 1 and mix in a bowl together
Take ingredients of part 2 and blend together until puree is made
Add part 2 to part 1 and mix together (this becomes the base of your bread)
Take ingredients of part 3 (save water) and blend together, add as much water as needed to make into a puree
Add 1/4 of part 3 puree to the base and mix together (this now becomes what I call the base)
Layer one: the base


Add half of the base to each of the three loaf tins
Add a layer of part 4, equally distributing between all the tins
Add remainder of part 3 to the loaf tins, equally distributing so just to cover the apple layer
Layer 3: part 3 added to apples and base

Add remainder of base to top of loaf tins, equally distributing among all three tins

bake for 45-55 minutes. I baked mine for 50, then turned of heat and let sit in over for an additional 5 minutes

 wait 30 minute then you can eat it.

Now that we sorted out what to eat for breakfast, here is:

Weekly tip to avoid awkward moments

When you ask your friend to go to the movies with you, and said friend happens to be of the opposite sex, you really do not need to promise them that you will not try to make out with them during the movie.

Turns out it is unnecessary information to share. Truth be told, no one needs a reminder about how you are not going to make out with them, because everyone is well aware of your whole celibacy thing. And then there is that part where you carry hand sanitizer with you everywhere. SO even if people were thinking of making out with you (of course they are! you're hot) they know that you are unlikely to do so because they would have to not break any of the weird rules you follow, and in the unlikely event that somehow they didn't break these rules, you most definitely would not make out with said person in a place where your feet stick to the ground.

So really, not only is it unnecessary it is likely to make the other person uncomfortable. And yes even though you think you are hilarious, not everyone shares that sense of humour, especially if the punchline is them not getting sexy time with you.

So this week I gave you a recipe for breakfast loveliness and a tips for avoiding awkward moments. You're welcome!

What the recipe doesn't call for? Your dog's rotten teeth!


Sunday, November 1, 2015

#11 How to survive a winter Andrea style

The list of 20 things to try for 2015 is now at number 11...and you are correct, that #11 is nowhere near as exciting as what is happening anywhere else in the world...

And speaking of something more exciting, how about last week's blog post?! Tips to survive a weekend with Andrea, so continuing on with that theme let's talk about Andrea's tips to survive winter!

But first, the mundane, #11:

Get. More. Sleep.

I believe the punctuation used in this recommendation means we should take it seriously. Like we are all seriously sleep deprived and just need more of it.

Unfortunately like all things in life, it is a little more complicated than that. See you can get all the sleep you want but if it's shit quality, like Nestle chocolate, it isn't going to do much for you. Sure it feels good at first but then you are just left feeling like garbage afterwards...Nope you want your sleep to be rich and creamy, dark and lovely...like fine Belgium chocolate, the kind of sleep that makes you forget what time zone you are in or what day it is. Basically, you want your sleep to be like chocolate that's so good you forget that you miss mind blowing sex.

Not sure where that analogy came from, other than the obvious, I'm ADHD and yesterday was Halloween, and chocolate is typically consumed on that holiday and I'm pretty sure I was home studying, not eating chocolate or having mind blowing sex but I think at one point I thought about walking over to my favourite upscale vegan restaurant (Be Love) to grab some vegan cheesecake but decided against it because it was Halloween and no doubt I would have to see adults dressed up like children and I just didn't feel like I could deal with that, so I didn't bother to leave my house. Why doesn't Be Love deliver?!

Sometimes I reframe my inability to leave my house and deal with the world as a positive, like I have some amazing restraint and self-control to not eat vegan cheesecake every day of the week. Yeah, that's it, I'm very disciplined.

Truth be told, I don't generally do well in winter. And no that doesn't mean I'm going to fall apart and kill myself at any moment, it means, I'm a bit more down than usual is all. It is winter, and I believe this is generally a time of year that is good for rest and relaxation. And if we look to Chinese Medicine (yes that is the course I'm currently studying for!), winter is ruled by the Kidneys. And kidney represent your essence. Essence is kind of like your life force. When it's gone you are dead.  So if you want to support your Kidneys, your essence, you do that in the winter. How do we support the kidneys? Don't deplete your essence.

How do we not deplete our essence?
1. Don't ejaculate (check! I'm a woman, not a problem)
2. Don't have babies (check! I'm a woman who is more than the sum of the lifeforms I choose not to push out of my uterus)
3. Don't overwork yourself or endure long periods of stress (I'm trying not to do that)
4. Don't get old (I'm doing that but that's kind of what happens when you are alive)

So, out of those 4 activities there is really only two that apply. One is controllable and the other is not. You are right, we can totally control whether or not we over work ourselves or put ourselves through long periods of stress. So we focus on that one. Or you can be a totally inefficient and ineffective person and focus on not getting old...good luck with that.

Guess what is a good way to combat overwork and stress? Probably lots of things, but I'm going to share with you what I do.

1. Meditate - yes, I know you think you can't do it blah blah but seriously figure out how to do it and don't stop trying to learn until you actually do it daily.

Meditating isn't like a little break it is a lifestyle. It is becoming mindful of everything. Once you accomplish mindfulness, everything becomes way easier. Mostly because you move into the realm of doing rather than thinking and obsessing over doing things you haven't done yet. And I don't know if you ever noticed, but when you stop making excuses/putting off the things you need to do, you realize how easy it was to actually do them once you started doing them. It is true we waste a lot of time complaining about having to do things, time that if we just spent doing the things we need to do, we would be done with them all ready and on to the next thing.

2. Focus on building a foundation of good sleep, eating, and exercising.  Once those three things are accomplished, you can pretty much tackle anything. Problem usually lies in achieving that balanced foundation. Everyone is different and as such has different needs when it comes to those three things. So you need to experiment quite a bit before you find the right fit. And then of course that will change, like how the seasons change. For example, it is winter, and I'm going to need to sleep more than I do in the summer. Just the way it is. So instead of me taking a bunch of stimulants to fight nature and stay awake all year round and be super productive, I can listen to my body and do what it needs and because I'm living in harmony with my body and my environment I become super productive and much healthier doing so.

3. Time management - organize yourself the way you need to be organized in order to function. Maybe you are super organized by nature (who are these people?) or maybe you have an assistant who organizes you, or maybe you are me and have an iPhone and set up reminders in your calendar for every little thing? Still to this day, have no idea how I functioned before the iPhone! Whatever works for you, find it and do it and for the love of god stop wasting everyone's time with your poorly organized self.

So those are the main things I try to do to combat stress and overwork. Kind of high level wasn't it? And not really clearly connected to surviving winter...

So I will summarize:

Best way to survive winter is to know, accept and respect yourself.  And yes that is pretty much how you will survive anything but in terms of winter I can tell you this, I'm more low energy, I need more sleep. Instead of fighting that, as I historically have been known to do, I will instead respect it. I will sleep more, I will take on less activities, I will look after myself, I will rest and recover and prepare myself for when my energy comes back again.

And until then, I will go study!

My kidney is so going to kick winter's ass!