Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tips on Health/Fitness

If there’s one thing I’m comfortable saying about myself, it’s that I’m fit and healthy. I’ve got all sorts of medical documentation to prove it. In the many years I’ve spent maintaining my health, here are a few things I’ve learned:

DON’T go on a diet.
DO change the way you eat.

DON’T do a cleanse.
DO avoid cleanses at all costs.
Seriously, don’t ever do a cleanse.

DON’T worry about missing a day at the gym.
DO make sure that one day doesn’t turn into one month.

DON’T think of health or fitness as something you can achieve.
DO think of health or fitness as something you have to maintain.

DON’T keep doing a workout you hate.
DO try everything so you can find those workouts you love.

DON’T do the same thing every day.
DO change your routine frequently.

DON’T believe anyone who tells you it’s possible to lose X pounds in X days by doing/eating “this one thing.”
DO understand that fitness is a combination of many things to be done consistently.

DON’T try to get in shape in one day or month.
DO understand that fitness takes time and dedication.

DON’T forget that pain is an important way your body communicates with you.
DO learn the difference between soreness and injury.

DON’T completely deprive yourself of the unhealthy foods you love.
DO make your favorite unhealthy foods a rare treat or reward.

DON’T set one goal and myopically focus on it to the exclusion of all else.
DO constantly review and revise your goals based on your current level of fitness.

DON’T weigh yourself every day.
DO weigh yourself weekly if it’s a necessary part of tracking your progress.

DON’T punish yourself for not reaching your goals.
DO recognize the gains you’ve made.

DON’T be fooled into thinking that fitness is a way to extend your life.
DO understand that fitness is a key to a better quality of life.

If there’s one thing you take away from this, remember that fitness is not an activity. It is a lifestyle.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

A Revision Revision: My ND Football Preview

Last week, I revised my "Best Case Scenario" published in my original ND Football Preview. After the 31-0 blowout of the Skunkbears, I feel like I need to do another revision since I completely forgot to mention the defense. Here we go.

My original “Best Case Scenario”
Best Case Scenario
The Irish beat Rice, Michigan, Purdue and Syracuse to start the season and everyone stays healthy. We lose to Stanford, beat North Carolina and lose to Florida State. We finish with wins against Navy, Northwestern, Louisville and a banged-up USC squad to finish 10-2. No playoff.

My revised “Best Case Scenario”
Best Case Scenario
Golson scores five touchdowns every game, never commits a turnover, blows up highlight reels and keeps his regular season undefeated streak alive through 2014. He wins the Heisman, National Championship, Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony, World Cup, Nobel and Hunger Games. We crown him Forever President and his first move is to relegate Michigan to FCS status. The nation rejoices, crime disappears, and the world suddenly finds itself in an unprecedented state of complete peace and harmony. Sure, overpopulation will still be an issue, but no one’s perfect. 


My revised, revised "Best Case Scenario"

Best Case Scenario Addendum to "Revised Best Case Scenario."
In addition to Golson ascending to never-seen-before-heights, the defense -- even in its depleted state -- will set up camp in the opposing team's backfield, making fires and cooking beans right in the can. They will sack the quarterback approximately twenty-four times per game. When they are not sacking the quarterback, they will pressure him into making bad decisions so that our secondary (and linebackers, never forget the linebackers) will intercept nearly 90% of passes thrown. When a team is lucky enough to complete a pass, the defenders hit the receiver so hard the equipment managers will not be able to piece him back together. The defense will win every possible defensive award, both team and individual and Notre Dame will create its own version of the ACC commercial with all the awards. They will surrender only three points for the remainder of the season. Those three points will be scored only because Navy are good sportsmen and will ask us politely to let them kick a simple field goal so as not to completely embarass our country.

There. NOW, I've properly revised my "Best Case Scenario."

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Revision: My ND Football Season Preview

In case you missed my barrage of tweets on Saturday, the Irish destroyed Rice by hitching their wagon to Everett Golson and his seventeen touchdowns. Golson absolutely played out of his mind. He completely blew away all my expectations. I know it’s just one game, but I feel like I need to revise my "Best Case Scenario" for the Notre Dame football season:

My previous “Best Case Scenario”
Best Case Scenario
The Irish beat Rice, Michigan, Purdue and Syracuse to start the season and everyone stays healthy. We lose to Stanford, beat North Carolina and lose to Florida State. We finish with wins against Navy, Northwestern, Louisville and a banged-up USC squad to finish 10-2. No playoff.

My revised “Best Case Scenario”
Golson scores five touchdowns every game, never commits a turnover, blows up highlight reels and keeps his regular season undefeated streak alive through 2014. He wins the Heisman, National Championship, Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony, World Cup, Nobel and Hunger Games. We crown him Forever President and his first move is to relegate Michigan to FCS status. The nation rejoices, crime disappears, and the world suddenly finds itself in an unprecedented state of complete peace and harmony. Sure, overpopulation will still be an issue, but no one’s perfect. 

There. That’s my revised “Best Case Scenario.”

(h/t to @IrishMoonJ for the suggestion. Follow that guy if you've got the Twitters.)

 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Notre Dame Football Season Preview

Author’s Note: This post contains nearly 100% football content. If you are Football Intolerant, you may want to skip this one.

On Saturday, Notre Dame plays its first football game of the season. It’s probably the one thing I am most excited for every year. It’s more exciting than Thanksgiving or Christmas for me. Thanksgiving tends to get in the way of watching football and it’s hard to get too excited about Christmas when you don’t even buy the premise. So the beginning of Notre Dame’s football season is my favorite time of the year.

It also often brings me much pain.

I suspect this season will bring much pain. Why? Well…

…look at this schedule:
8/30 — Rice
9/6 — Michigan
9/13 — Purdue
9/27 — @ Syracuse
10/4 — #11 Stanford
10/11 — #23 North Carolina
10/18 — @ #1 Florida State
11/1 — @ Navy
11/8 — @ #19 Arizona State
11/15 — Northwestern
11/22 — Louisville
11/29 — @ #15 USC

(Notre Dame is ranked #17)

October is going to be rough. There are only five teams on this schedule we should definitely beat (Rice, Purdue, Syracuse, Navy, Northwestern). There are a few more we should beat (Michigan, North Carolina, Louisville). The rest are either toss ups or losses. That’s before I even consider…

…we may be without our best wide receiver (DaVaris Daniels) and our second-best defensive player (KeiVarae Russell) and another starting defensive lineman (Ishaq Williams) due to academic misconduct. These guys were going to be key cogs to a successful 2014. They’re not practicing right now and it doesn’t look like they’ll be available for Rice. Who knows how long they’ll be out — if they even return at all.

Add that to the fact that we already had an inexperienced defense learning a new system under our new defensive coordinator (Brian VanGorder) and we should expect some major mistakes and big plays to happen against this squad. Which means…

…there is going to be a TON of pressure on our offense to score lots of points — which is entirely possible, IF a few things happen:

1) The offensive line — which lost its best player in a decade and a second player to the NFL — is as good or better than last year. I mean, if you think unproven but athletic dudes can step up and fill the shoes of two of the team’s best players from a season ago, this can definitely happen. I’m not holding my breath.

2) Everett Golson is significantly better than he was in 2012. Sure, he sat out last season but no one ever comes back rusty after something like that. I’m sure he’ll be refreshed and perfectly accurate and make all the right decisions.

3) Our special teams improves. Aside from the kickers, special teams have been pretty sad under Brian Kelly. This is the area where I have the most hope. We have a roster full of good players and we should be able to put some athletes on our coverage and return teams who can make a difference.

I’m painting a bleak picture. I hope I’m wrong, but I see too many things stacked against this team right now. This will not be a great season for the Fighting Irish. It could end up being a very good season or it could be an awful season.


Predictions

Best Case Scenario
The Irish beat Rice, Michigan, Purdue and Syracuse to start the season and everyone stays healthy. We lose to Stanford, beat North Carolina and lose to Florida State. We finish with wins against Navy, Northwestern, Louisville and a banged-up USC squad to finish 10-2. No playoff.

Worst Case Scenario
We beat Rice but lose to Michigan. We bounce back to beat Purdue and Syracuse only to lose three straight to Stanford, North Carolina and Florida State. Injuries start to pile up. The defense is depleted. We squeak by Navy, lose to Arizona State, beat Northwestern and lose the last two to Louisville and USC to finish 5-7. Everyone freaks out and people start calling for Brian Kelly’s job.

Realistically, the Irish will win 7 or 8 games but I can easily talk myself into either of the two scenarios above. Or I could talk myself into an even worse scenario where we lose to Navy and everyone in our defensive front seven walks away from that game with a major knee or ankle injury because, you know, Navy, and we don’t win another game. Brian Kelly is fired, the stadium is razed, they paint the dome purple, denounce Catholicism as a sham and revoke all alumni degrees. 

So, yeah, that’s where my head’s at. BUT I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS SATURDAY.
 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Keeping Up the Good Work

It’s been nearly three months since I’ve posted anything on this blog. For two and a half of those months, I thought no one cared. Actually, I thought no one noticed. That two-and-a-half months of no posts almost turned into forever of no posts. Then I went to a party. Well, not a party so much as a wedding but it was also a party. A party where someone got married. At that party were many of the people who read this very blog. It also happens that many of those people are not people I get to see regularly in real life. I was happy to get to see those people. (You know who you are.) And then something weird happened.

People started talking to me about this blog. I did not prompt them. In fact, it didn’t even occur to me that they even read this blog. They brought it up themselves. They talked about my Dad’s Art Review videos. They talked about some of their favorite posts. They talked about the blog in general and how I should “keep up the good work.” 

It’s that last comment that really got me. “Keep up the good work.” He said it like I was about to post something new any second. Which I wasn’t, of course. I hadn’t tried to write something for the blog in over two months. I had basically given up. I was definitely not keeping up the good work. He reminded me that I missed writing for this blog. That the extra effort it takes to come up with something for this site is worth it. Not because people say nice things to me about it but because it’s good for me to get this ridiculous stuff out of my head for others to read.

I won’t tell you that I’m going back to a regular posting schedule because I’ve proven that I can only sustain that for so long before I disappear for three months. I will try to get something posted to this blog at least once a week. Hell, maybe I’ll even jump back in to reviewing terrible reality shows. Who knows?

Anyway, thanks for reading and thanks for saying kind things about this blog without being prompted.
 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The New Job

As I mentioned before, I recently started a new job. I’ve been at the new job for almost a month and I have a few observations: 

The quickest way for a corporation to gain employee support/loyalty is to tell them they can wear jeans every day. Americans go nuts for wearing jeans to work. 
Side note: Jeans are NOT comfortable. If you want to wear jeans, fine. Don’t tell me it’s for comfort reasons. Men’s dress pants/khakis are much more comfortable than jeans. 

The one thing I miss most about my old job is the cafeteria. I was spoiled by how great that cafeteria was. The cafeteria at my new job is like a poorly wiped butt in comparison.

When I run into people I worked with during my previous stint at this company, they are usually all, “What are you doing here?” My response is typically, “I snuck past security just to surprise you! Surprise! Okay, see you in eight more years.”

For those of you who don’t know, I returned to work at a place I once worked at before I worked at the place where I previously worked. 

Slovenia is nice. You should go there sometime. I felt like I knew the people there. I didn’t know any people there before I went but now I know some people there. I still feel like I know the people there. Probably because I know people there but also because all people are familiar.

I drive more with this job but I walk more, too. To be clear, I drive to work and walk at work. Walking to work would make me late every day. So late that I would miss the entire day of work. Driving at work would be quite dangerous and destructive. Plus, my car would not fit in my cube. Anyway, the drive is long and the corporate campus is large. 

I get to see my wife every day at my new job. We make eyes at each other — but only in the most professional way.

My favorite thing about my new job is that my office is often my home. On these days, I drive hardly at all and walk much less. The cafeteria always serves exactly what I want and nobody wonders what I am doing there. There is no dress code and there are no familiar Slovenians, but eventually my wife shows up and we make less professional eyes at each other. 


Friday, May 16, 2014

Dad's Art Reviews is Dead

I've decided that Dad's Art Reviews has run its course. There will be no more.

There are many reasons, but the main one is that you get it. As soon as you saw the first one, you got it. The rest didn't really add anything. They'll remain out there for your viewing pleasure. So enjoy.

And thanks for watching.