Saturday, February 17, 2007

Vitamin S and the Other Vitamin E

I INDULGED IN THE first-listed nutrient above in greedy excess this morning. Or perhaps not so excessively. While talking to my supervisor recently, I referred to sleep as Vitamin S. She takes graduate courses in addition to a full week of work, so she has been deficient in this particular tonic for some time now. With Wednesday off to help WFMU stuff envelopes ahead of its annual fundraising Marathon, and poker night this Thursday, I too fell off my usual dosage schedule of Vitamin S.

This deficiency, combined with the continuing frigid siege of winter, found me nestled beneath three layers in bed this morning well past my usual rising time. With an extra day off this Monday and few chores that could only be done today, I saw no reason to rise before the temperature outside did. And rise it did, well past freezing for the first time in a while, so that my exit was accompanied by a chorus of drips and trickles off the roof of my building. Like glacial ice, the skies shone in piercing blue, and sun glinted from cars finally shaking themselves free of imprisoning frost.

I took a spin down to Men's Wearhouse to pick up three pairs of slacks I had purchased last month. Dad gave me two gift cards for the place last Christmas, and I had received a discount coupon in the mail, so I decided to stack my bonuses like a good ex-roleplayer and grab some work clothing. (Turned out they were also running a sale, so my plunder only deepened.) Alterations on the slacks took a few weeks, probably because every other man in Bergen County who received gift cards and the bonus coupon did the same thing as me after the holidays. These new clothes, along with my existing work duds, will be used on interviews and at the next job. I don't see the need to pay dry cleaning for clothes at the current salt mine. I could compromise and launder/iron the shirts here, as I do most of my work pants (which are cotton), but frankly, my time investment can be made elsewhere. At New Year's, I made the decision that T-shirts and Dockers are just fine for the final 2 months.

That resolved, I turned to another neglected nutrient, the other Vitamin E, exercise. With the foul midweek weather, I deviated from the usual regimen. Shoveling my car out actually didn't provide much of a workout. When I began attacking the frozen mound of plowed snow behind my car on Thursday night, the plow driver actually returned to tidy up the lot. I asked him to destroy the mound, which he did as only a multi-ton vehicle with a bladed hunk of steel can. Once I had backed out and headed to the poker game, the driver cleaned my spot completely. Today's sun made short work of any remaining chunks.

Seeing as I didn't have the privilege of bending my back in the service of snow removal, I resumed my exercise at the gym this afternoon. Lately, I've been hitting the gym on a solid schedule, to good results. On weekends, I can get cardio and lifting in on the same day, rather than choosing one or the other during the limited pre-work time I have on weekdays.

So today I went nuts. Thirty minutes on the elliptical trainer, while watching part of the Hitler Network's presidential biography marathon. I was pleased to catch Teddy Roosevelt's section. I wish there were more Republicans like him today. It bewilders me that he and the current crew of jokers can share that party name. (Hell, even TR picked a new one for his third run at the White House.) They easily could have done 2 hours on this great American polymath. As it was, during my 30 minutes, I caught the tail end of William McKinley, and the beginning of our most rotund president, William Howard Taft.

After my briefing on turn-of-the-century chief executives, I took a trip into the sauna, a luxury that, again, the weekday rush usually denies me. Too bad; I might have shaken the cold I got at the beginning of the year more swiftly had I availed myself of the steam room or the sauna more often. Scandinavians swear by them for that purpose. I took a small timer in so I could mark a 15-minute stay more accurately (the sauna lacks an inside timer or clock), and brought some poker reading, Sklansky and Malmuth's essential text, Hold'Em Poker for Advanced Players, and a bottle of water, to indulge in while I baked out the toxins. I usually play no-limit hold'em when I go to casinos, like my home game, but I like the limit form of the game as a relaxing change of pace and tactics.

Fifteen minutes zipped by swiftly, and the alarm jarred me out of a dissertation on how to handle synchronized flops when holding a single hole pair. Today's lifting schedule held back, chest, and biceps. The upstairs weight floor was fairly depopulated, and I was able to strain and grunt with few observers and minimal waiting. It has crossed my mind that my impending joblessness, however brief, will offer me the chance to become more of a gym rat, in time spent there if not in physique. Perhaps if my next job requires less of a commute, I can continue such an intensified schedule. If nothing else, I can at least guarantee that I can fit into my suit for the interviews.

That's more or less all that has transpired so far today. With the Monday holiday, I am granted some leisure in when chores get done. Frankly, after assisting my absent boss two days last week, filling the time with either constructive hobbies, job hunting (which is surprisingly difficult in the demoralizing atmosphere of the office), or fitness is its own reward. A trip to one of the casino emporia is tempting, as witnessed by my recent reading material. Not tonight; I've still got some Vitamin S to catch up on. I have the evening to decide if I'll do it at all. An evening of reading, in fact, is looking quite sweet as an option right about now.

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