Monthly Archives: July 2008


14% Less Storey

Categories: A Day in the Life, Tags:

No, the title isn’t a reference to how much less I’ve been posting lately. Ha ha. Long-term followers of my blogging will realize that it’s been down far more than 14% over the past few weeks. Suffice it to say the past few weeks have been “uninspiring” at best.

14% less Storey is actually how much less there is of me. Physically. Where there once were 148 pounds, upon my return from Chicago in April, there are now 127 pounds. I’ve shed 21 pounds in just over 3 months. I already discussed this at the outset, but I never really predicted success like this.

Having topped out at 150 and never being below 117 at this height, I’d say I may have actually gone a little too far. My goal range was 130-135, and 127 puts me both “officially underweight” and under goal.

I’ve already anticipated some objections in the prior post (linked above) from early May, but I will say that I needed to go on this diet to learn how to control my own food intake for the first time in my life. I also needed to make sure that, unchecked, my weight would not become a runaway freight train that would have me tipping the scales at 200+ by 2010. That may sound absurd to you given my history, but when one literally eats anything one wants (my life for 28 years), one never knows how well control can then be exerted. My previous dietary habits were a formula for explosion once my metabolism came back to earth. Which was exactly what was underway.

If you’re wondering, I’ve basically followed the self-prescribed diet of foods high in satiety and low in calories. The MVP of the diet was definitely FiberOne cereal, which my father makes fun of for consisting of cornhusks. Cornhusks or no, this cereal is packed with fiber (57% of RDA in a small serving), extremely filling, and tastes remarkably good for a fibrous cereal. It does have the slight drawback of looking like cat food, drawing many askance glances as I periodically bring it to meetings or eat it at my desk.

In addition to FiberOne, my diet has consisted of fruit, carrots, celery, broccoli, boiled potatoes, and one free meal a day to eat whatever I would normally eat for a large, filling meal. This is usually, for reference, Chipotle veggie tacos, a rice/bean or chile relleno burrito from one of the local taquerias, cheese enchiladas with rice, pad see ew jay, an omelette with toast and potatoes, or (very occasionally) a grilled cheese and fries. One of those per meal. Not all of them at once.

The question now becomes where to go from here. I have clearly figured out a sustainable diet whereby I shed roughly seven pounds a month. One would assume some diminishing marginal losses, but this would still put me in a really unhealthy place by Christmas. So clearly I need to stop the diet.

But how? Certainly not by reverting to my old life of eating unabated.

Clearly the answer is in that taboo (for me) land of the “middle ground”. Devising some compromise between my first 28 years’ habits and the last 3 months’. I do have the added comfort that if my compromise somehow misses and I start to balloon again, I have a surefire way of dropping weight again to get back to where I want to be. But still, it would be nice to have a clear understanding of how to proceed with caution.

Emily’s suggestion (the best and only so far) is to slowly add some snacks to make up for the calories I’m currently losing, without running away out of control. This is probably wise, though it’s sort of hard to merge snacking and discipline. Whatever I do, it should be slow and carefully monitored. Though now that my stomach has probably shrunk a bit, I might be able to relax on some of the rules.

Long term, the real next task is to figure out how to apply the same discipline and motivation to other areas of my life. Ha ha. Heh. Hoooo.

Perhaps if I can’t write a novel at the same time as working, I can write the next diet bestseller. FiberOne and Big Vegetarian Meals. E-mail me with a better title.


Cinderella Sweeping Up

Categories: A Day in the Life, From the Road, Politics (n.): a strife of interests masquerading, Tags: , ,

“Grandpa, tell me what it was like back in the old country before the fall.”

“Well, what do you want to know?”

“I dunno. What was it like just before the fall? Did anyone know what was about to happen.”

“Oh, I think some people did. Back in ’08, Grandma and I went up to Gold Country for a little trip.”

“Were you looking for gold?”

“No, no. We were just going to a place with a little history to celebrate our anniversary. We’d been married for five years at that point.”

“History? Like how old?”

“Well, the first night we stayed in the oldest hotel in Placerville. It had been built in 1857.”

“Grandpa, that’s not old! Everything here in _______ is older than that.”

“Not everything.”

“Just about.”


“So you really weren’t looking for gold?”

“I mean, we joked about it a little, but all the gold mining novelty shops were sold out of equipment. Too many other people were trying to find it.”

“What’s ‘novelty’ mean?”

“Hm. It’s like a knick-knack, or a little trinket. Something you don’t really need, but you buy because it’s cute or you just impulsively want it.”

“That’s weird. I’ve never heard of that.”

“Yeah. I guess not. Huh. There used to be shops full of them in America, before the fall. But not so much right before the fall. Most of them were closing.”


“Yeah. On that drive up to Gold Country, we passed all these half-deserted towns and suburbs. There were all these signs saying ‘For Lease’ and ‘Space Available’. But they looked like they were in the middle of nowhere. Places people had built thinking everything was always going to grow and expand. But then… it didn’t. And there were just shells of buildings.”

“Kinda like Gold Country, huh?”

“Yeah, I guess so. Old buildings and old towns that were kinda deserted. People moving on. I guess the difference is that no one knew where to move on to in the suburbs. Back in Gold Country days, there was always more opportunity just over that mountain.”

“Or so they thought.”

“Yup. So maybe it was the same.”

“When did the banks start failing? That was a big part of what started it, right?”

“Oh definitely. Let’s see, that was… huh. That morning, actually. I’m almost positive. I’d brought the laptop up to Gold Country and checked the news that morning and it said IndyMac had failed. That was the first one. It didn’t seem like much at first, but people knew then that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were going down too. And they were half the housing banks.”

“Why’d people choose such funny names for banks? They sound like people.”

“That’s a good question. I guess they wanted to sound friendly and helpful. ‘Like a good neighbor,’ that was one of the old slogans an insurance company had. Just like some regular Joe on the block who’s helping you out when you need it.”

“But can’t balance his own checkbook.”

“That’s pretty much exactly right. I’m not sure anyone in the old country knew how to balance their checkbook at that point. It was pretty clear that nobody really cared. Until all the banks started failing and then everything changed.”

“When did you and Grandma get out?”

“Of Gold Country or the old country?”


“Probably not soon enough, dear. Probably not soon enough.”

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