Where’s My Film?

Hey CVS… 13 days… where’s my roll of film, bro?

I posted on an analog photography Reddit forum the other day asking for suggestions for film labs that operate online. Meaning, I ship my film to them, they develop it and send me scans of the images, or send scans and ship back prints (if I pay a little extra).

I book marked a few sites and made accounts at some of them. One had a page dedicated to expired film. There 30+ year old example was super dark. That’s what I expect the first of the two rolls at CVS to look like. My zeroth roll, if you will. The second roll and all that follow should be okay. I don’t really care about that. I just want to see some results. I want to know that the camera and the light meter and all of the stuff work.

I also spent some time recently looking for camera clubs to join. There’s one based in Andover that would be fun to check out but they are shut down for the summer. Thanks a bunch. There are some others in the general Eastern Massachusetts area, but they are kinda far away. Oh well.

My last research topic was free online photography classes. I found one through the Harvard Extension School! Awesome! I tried to sign up for it but when I clicked the “start class” button the link was broken. Sonofabitch! I’ll try again later. No biggie.

Unrelated note: Dinner tonight was 4.2 ounces of deli roast beef. It was delicious. When I was done I set a timer for one hour so that I could know when I would be clear to drink water again. 40 minutes later I changed my mind and went looking for a couple of ounces of grapes. I ended up with 2.5 ounces. Want to know how much that is in practical terms? It was 11 grapes. My dessert tonight is 11 grapes. This is a pretty goofy looking new world, ain’t it?

Post-Surgical First

What’s your favorite vegetable? Cool! Me? It’s broccoli. Nothing else comes close.

After having surgery, when I hit the phase three diet I thought I was good to go, but they suggested we stay off of green veggies for a while. I did what I was told.

Tonight though, Jen made dinner and on the side of the plate was 0.8 ounces of broccoli. I ate it. It was delicious. My stomach has not complained at all.

Now we are good to go, folks.

Lunch Break

I have nothing to say right now. It’s felt like a long day, but it really hasn’t been. It’s one of those days.

I just had 2.9 ounces of tuna fish for lunch. Isn’t that special? I’m up to 59 grams of protein for the day. The goal is 60 grams and I still have dinner to go. Sweet. I am feeling like I am on top of things today.

I want to play my guitar. I want the mental boost that I used to get from junk food to come from music, but there is so little time in the day. I want to play but I want to spend time with my family more. The band will help, but I don’t think I can try to get the band happening again until my parents are settled. I hope that will be soon, but who knows.

I’ve been having this thought go through my head about maybe starting a second band. I absolutely want Lizardfish to go on with the same four guys for the rest of time. I absolutely love playing in that band. It’s absurd how much fun it is. I was thinking of a second band that would play only original music, like we did back in the 90’s. I think I would like to do that, but I don’t think I would like to do the work to put it together, and I also don’t think I would like to be the only person contributing songs. So I doubt it will ever happen.

I thought that maybe I might want to start pretending to be a photographer again. I thought about sunrise pictures at the ocean. Could it happen this weekend? Probably not. The 10 day forecast calls for clouds for the next 10 days. There goes that idea. Maybe we could take a stroll through the Methuen Bird Sanctuary one of these weekends and see if we could catch a pic or two of some eagles. I don’t know.

Okay. Lunch break is over. Back to it, red head.

Fish is Good? What?

It’s so weird. My whole life I hated fish. My mother would cook fish for dinner and I’d feel like I was in hell. Gross.

A few years ago Jen wanted to try making fish for dinner and I was terrified. Fortunately my wife is some kind of culinary genius and she made a dish that I liked. I think it was cod… or haddock… or something like that. Something white. It was good enough that we both wanted to try a second time.

Jen’s choice for the second fishdish was salmon. Salmon actually looks good, right? You see some fresh salmon in the market and you’re like, dude that looks good. We both like salmon sashimi, so why not try cooking it? Turns out it didn’t live up to the hype. We both thought it was okay but it wasn’t nearly as good as the cod/haddock/whatever it was.

Now we are in post-gastric bypass land. At one of the diet classes they sang the praises of white fish because it has a ton of protein. Protein is currently my one and only nutritional goal. We had some the other night and it was good, and I’ve been eating tons of canned tuna. My fisherman grandfather would be pleased by the amount of fish I’ve been eating.

But salmon… at the store last night we were looking at the fish counter and we both thought that maybe salmon deserved another try. If it was meh then so be it. We could say we gave it a chance and can then move on with our lives. If it turned out good though… well, that’d be something else entirely.

Jen cooked some salmon in the air fryer tonight. I had 2.5 ounces. Remember up above when I said my wife was some kind of culinary genius? The dinner she made tonight was so good. We both thought so. It was fantastic. It was delightful.

The guy who grew up loathing fish now somehow really likes fish. All different kinds. Holy mackerel!

Getting Close

It seems contrary to everything else, but during this period of preparing myself for weight loss surgery I have avoided weighing myself too often. At my first consultation appointment they gave me a goal weight. They wanted me to drop 5% of my tonnage in order to make the surgery a little easier to perform. I have my second appointment with the dietician tomorrow so I figured today would be a good day to step on the scale.

If the rudimentary math skills I acquired during my days earning my Bachelors Degree are correct, I have lost about 4.2% of my initial bulk. I don’t feel any different, but my jeans do feel a smidge looser. I haven’t been doing a very good job with all of the things the dietician asked me to do during our first meeting. I have been trying to implement new things one at a time so that I don’t drive myself nuts and lash out against it by eating the whole town. Unfortunately, one of the things I started working on was really difficult and took me a while to get used to. Then we spent two weeks without a kitchen. I’m trying to track my meals but I’ve failed the last few days.

I don’t expect that tomorrow’s meeting with the dietician will clear me for surgical take off, but I am hoping it won’t be too long before I get the okay. I am thinking another month, but not being a dietician and never having been through this before, how the hell would I know? It doesn’t really matter though. The point is I am getting closer. I feel pretty good about that.


The age of Taking Vitamins has begun.

There are four vitamins I need to take post-weight loss surgery and the dietician suggested I start now. I will now be taking three pills with breakfast and two each with lunch and dinner. I think I need a pill caddie, babie.

I took the three with breakfast today even though I don’t eat breakfast. That’s about to change too, but for now I just took the three pills. I had a moment of brain fry with lunch. I have to stop drinking anything 15 minutes before I eat and 60 minutes after. I made myself some lunch and started eating. Then I remembered the pills. Okay, so today’s lunch pills will be approximately 60 minutes after lunch. I’ll figure this out.

The food log is still going, sort of. I haven’t started measuring yet but I am keeping track. I also haven’t started working off the meal plan the dietician gave me. I think that starts next week. I’m also supposed to replace breakfast with a protein shake. I have the shake mix but I won’t have fat free milk to mix it into until over the weekend, so the shakes start next week too.

I still haven’t had any caffeine or soda since February 3rd. That’s going well. The no drinking with food thing is a serious bitch. I keep forgetting about that. It’s resulting in me drinking less water and it might be resulting in me eating less food, but it’s also a pain in the ass to keep on top of. I’ll get there though.

My next appointment is next week with the Psych folks. Oh, am I looking forward to that.*

Okay, back to work. I am just over three hours away from a full week vacation and I really, really need it right now. Freedom is close, but there is a lot of work still in the way.

*Sarcasm. Or #sarcasm, if you prefer.

Absent Minded Doof

Two things.

First. On Wednesday the dietician told me to wait an hour after eating before having anything to drink. Three hours later I am sitting at my desk having lunch and the minute I was done eating I was guzzling a water bottle. I was still gulping water when I realized what I was doing. Like… dude… she just told me! Yeah, that one is going to take some getting used to. I managed to do it right all day yesterday, but come on. The first day!

Second. I’ve been using the CPAP machine every night since, what… early 2019? Years. Literally years, plural. Like… multiple years! Every night! The only exceptions being nights where I was sleeping in a room that the CPAP machine wasn’t in. I can probably count them on one hand. Last night at 11:00ish, I put down my iPad and curled up in bed and went to sleep. I woke up an hour and a half later and thought that it was weird to wake up that quickly. I woke up again at a little before 3:00am and realized I never put the damn CPAP machine on. It was sitting on the table next to the bed looking all lonely and dejected and ignored. Years! I’ve been doing it for years and I just plain forgot last night. I even woke up without it on and it didn’t register! What the hell, Robert? Years!

In other news, February is continuing its theme of being a dick. I think we’re up to three instances where a super warm day was followed a day or two later by a legitimate snow storm. It was in the mid 60’s on Wednesday and today, two days later, we’re getting a foot of snow. Nice. Way to be a dick, February.

In other news that is actually important to the future of human civilization, I am sad to realize how little I know about Ukraine. They were a Soviet Republic and an American fascist tried to use them to rig the 2020 election and got off scot free because the United States government is broken and getting close to the point where it’s not worth saving anymore. I thought they were to the South of Russia but when I looked at a map I realized everything I thought I knew about Ukraine was probably actually about Georgia. Wikipedia just confirmed that. I thought Eduard Shevardnadze was the first post-Soviet president of Ukraine, but he was president of Georgia. Shit.

I keep reading stories about heroic stands by the Ukrainian army. They took back a city, they took back the airport in Kyiv. Things like that. Every time I read something good I try to find reports to back it up and I always find one report confirming and one report confirming the opposite. In the age of instant knowledge, I really hate not knowing what’s going on.

I have a huge confirmation bias regarding this war. It’s Russia. The superpower that stood against us for all of those years. The only nation that could match our massive military machine. How can Ukraine fight them off? It’s impossible, right? Then I try to convince myself otherwise. The Soviet Union I was so afraid of is gone. Sure, Russia retains most of that might, but Ukraine was a Soviet state too. They were part of that military. Who knows, maybe they were a bigger part of it than I realize. I’m wrong about everything else so why not that too? Then I read that the US government expects that Ukraine will fall within days. Damn it. Sometimes, not often, I hate being right.


I just leaped over another hurdle. I had my first meeting with the Dietician. It was a Zoom call. We talked about how I eat and how much I eat and how I’ve made some changes already. So much more to do. She’s going to send me a meal plan. I really think that will help tremendously. I need someone to tell me what to eat because when I choose for myself I end up eating everything there is.

One thing she wants me to do now, because I will have to do it post-surgery so why not get used to it ahead of time, is no drinking while eating. I never even imagined that would be required. I also never imagined how ridiculously difficult it would be.

I am always drinking something. It used to be soda, now it’s water. The new rule is to stop drinking 15 minutes before eating, and then to not start again for 60 minutes after eating. That’s going to be tough for me, but I’ll figure it out. The timer on my Apple Watch gets used pretty much constantly already. Once I have to time when I can have a glass of water it’s going to be used so much it might catch fire.

I also have to start keeping a food journal. Oh Google Sheets, I’m coming for you!

Bio-Break Blues

One thing I’ve read* about drinking soda is that it dehydrates you. I’m pretty sure it’s the Carbon Dioxide in the carbonation that does it, but caffeine might play a role too. I could Google that but I’m lazy. The effect of drinking lots of soda all day long is that you are drying your insides out. Sort of.

So what happens when you stop drinking soda? I suppose that all depends on what you replace it with. In my case, I have replaced it with water. So what happens when you stop drinking soda all day and start drinking water all day?

Well… you don’t get dehydrated, right? Okay, so what does that mean? It means a lot of things, none of which I know anything about what with me knowing dick about biology. One thing I do have a lot of knowledge about is… well… it’s embarrassing and well into TMI territory but…

…I am peeing all the time. I am living in Urination Nation right now. I’m really lucky that there is a bathroom attached to the room I spend all day working in because I only have to take about 8 steps and I’m ready to go. I am most definitely not taking the piss when I say that every five minutes I am taking a piss. It feels like every time I manage to drain the main vein it is full again within 20-30 minutes.

The math seems to work out: Drink water all day = Taking a leak all day. Even Geordi La Forge would understand that**.

*Maybe if I had proof read this post I would have noticed that there was a typo on the fourth effin’ word. I fixed it, but come on, Robert.

**Remember that scene from Star Trek First Contact when Zephram Cochran has to explain to Geordi what taking a leak means and Geordi thinks it’s the funniest thing he’s heard in years?