Cutting Back on Services

I’ve decided to cut back on a few things. I’m not broke, but I’m not exactly rolling in dough. I just think that there are a few things that I need to cut back on a few services that I don’t use as much as I used to.

Hulu Plus is one thing that is nice to have, but I don’t have that much time to watch it anymore. I started going to the gym, so that takes up my afternoons, and I haven’t been watching Hulu Plus as much as I would like, so that has to go. I didn’t exactly cancel my subscription, I postponed it for 12 weeks. My next billing date will be December 26th. I’m not sure I will have enough time to watch Hulu then, so if I still don’t have any plans to watch then I will just cancel my membership until further notice. I was going to cancel Netflix, but my partner says he watches Netflix, so that stays.

My website, this website, is one thing that I don’t use that often. When you have to force yourself to post something just to get your moneys worth, then is it really worth the money? I think not. No one ever visits my website anyway, so I really don’t see the point in keeping it. I don’t want to lose all my blog posts, so I’m going to copy and paste every blog post I’ve written here onto my xanapus.wordpress.com blog. I plan on keeping my domain, and it’s only $13 a year to have my WordPress blog redirect to xanapus.com. I think $13 a year is better than $144 a year. If I were still getting paid to blog then that would be one thing, but I’m not, so I have to make a change.

One more thing I am going to do is to stop paying games for in game money. Like The Sims FreePlay for example. This month I bought $20 worth of Life Points, then ran out and needed more to complete a quest, so I bought $10 more worth of Life Points and STILL didn’t finish the quest in time. That is $30 more that I could have used for groceries. So screw that noise. I’ve decided that when you have to buy life points to be able to finish a quest, then perhaps it’s time to throw in the towel on that game. I’m just not going to play that one anymore for awhile.

I’ve stopped playing with my PlayStation for several months actually. I’ll get on it every now and then, like I’ll get on it the first Tuesday of every month to see what games are free for PlayStation Plus subscribers. Since I haven’t been playing, I haven’t felt the need to buy new games or new add-on’s for the games I currently have or like to play.

I am still interested in reading more of the Pathfinder Tales books, but I will wait to buy any new books. I have a lot of eBooks that I haven’t even read yet, so I should probably focus my energy on reading those. To my defense, most of those eBooks were free, so I didn’t have to spend any money on those. A ton of them were Nook Free Fridays eBooks from when I first got my Nook, which was a long time ago lol.

I also bought the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set and the Pathfinder Beginner Box, but haven’t had too much time to learn since I’ve been going to the gym. I will get to them, I promise. I just haven’t had the chance. I also don’t have a group of people willing to teach me or willing to learn with me. Hopefully that chance will come soon.

So there are a lot of things I am ready and willing to give up just because it’s unnecessary to have them. It’s nice to have them, but what good are they if I can’t enjoy them?

This is my notice that I am going to transfer all of my blog posts from here to WordPress and then cancel my hosting and redirect my WordPress blog to my domain. Let’s hope the transfer process is quick and easy.

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Copper Hands

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Carpal tunnel syndrome sucks, I know, I’ve had it for a decade. I got it from crocheting for more than 20 years and doing other crafts. When I found out that I had carpal tunnel syndrome, I was told by the doctor to just stop doing crafts, which was actually harder than you think. Crafting for some people is an addiction, and as far as I know, there are no rehab centers or crafters anonymous meetings in my town. I did manage to stay away from crafting for about 7 or 8 years. I got the bug back a couple of years ago with keychains and opened a Etsy store so I could sell a keychain or a pair of earrings here and there, but it was never meant to be anything big.

Recently there have been people asking for bulk orders. One company asked me to make tassels for their Ensenada bags, and that was an interesting experience. When their bags sold out, they came back for another order, then another, and that was fine because they didn’t order a lot, but it was still painful after so many tassels.

Someone asked me last month if I would be willing to make 100 mini DNA keychains, and I said I could do it, and I don’t mind making 100, but then he raised it to 150, then when he placed his order it was for 200. My hands are in agony, and I’ve only made 80.

Today I called Michael’s craft store and asked them if they had compression gloves for people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and they told me they have the “As Seen On TV” gloves called “Copper Hands.” I saw those at Walgreens, but I didn’t buy them because it says on the back that they are NOT for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Another guy was at Michael’s buying the same exact thing this morning. He told me that he has Carpal Tunnel from crocheting.

When I came home and tried the first glove on, it was so tight that I thought for sure I got the wrong size. I bought L/XL which was the highest size they had. I checked the size chart on the side of the box and my hand was the perfect fit for L/XL, so I knew I had the correct size. I finally got the glove on and put the other glove on. They were very tight, but that’s what compression implies, right?

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They are so tight that the seams are splitting, literally. I’ve only had them one day and I’m already seeing wear and tear. I’m pretty sure this isn’t supposed to happen.

I am so disappointed in these gloves. Not just because they are splitting at the seams, but because they don’t help me at all. I know, they’re not for carpal tunnel syndrome, but aren’t they supposed to help stop pain? They are so tight that they actually cause pain and my hands go numb. And what the hell is the copper for? Or is that just a gimmick?

I’m just in so much agony and I almost feel defeated. I have 80 out of 200 keychains made. How am I ever going to make 120 more keychains with this much pain? Why the hell did I agree to this?

Pathfinder Game Arrives

pathfinder box.jpgCall me a happy nerd, because my Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Boxcame in the mail today.

pathfinder soloI’m really excited to learn this game, but what makes me really happy is this. It says:

“If you are on your own, but still want to experience an adventure before reading the rules of the game, grab the Hero’s Handbook and turn to page 2. Inside, you will find an adventure you can play by yourself that teaches you the basics of the game.”

YES! That’s what I wanted with the D&D Starter Set. I want to be able to learn on my own without having to ask strangers to teach me. I’m not exactly outgoing, I’m the kind of person who likes to do things alone, you know, soloing. When I play video games, I play by myself. I’m not anti-social, I’m just an introvert.

What I want to do is learn the basics of the game so that if and when the day ever comes when I can start a group at the Bakersfield Gay & Lesbian Center, I’ll know exactly what to do. They don’t have a D&D or Pathfinder group that meets there, they told me that if I wanted to start a group, I could, but I’d have to find some people who also want to play the game, otherwise, I’d be there by myself once a week lol. But I figured if I am going to start a group, I should at least know how to play the game. I can’t expect a bunch of people to show up and not one of us has ever played D&D or Pathfinder. If I can’t find anyone who has played, then it is up to me to be the Dungeon Master, so I will not only have to learn the game as a Hero, but I also have to learn to be a Dungeon Master as well.

The instructions in the Hero’s Handbook are easy to understand. It’s like they wrote this book specifically for me to understand. Then again I haven’t really read the entire book yet, so I’ll save my judgement or review for later when I’ve actually read the entire book(s) and have played the Solo Adventure. But from what I’ve read so far, it is like they knew that D&D was hard, so they made it easier for people with a learning disability to understand and remember. At least I hope so.

So let me read and play the solo adventure and I will get back to you. Otherwise, if you want to learn Pathfinder, this is a great place to start. Click the image or the link above and it will take you right to Amazon.

Planet Fitness Day 1

Screenshot_2015-09-13-16-29-18Today was my very first day at Planet Fitness. I rode my bicycle and it took me 25 minutes to get there and I logged it into the Planet Fitness app manually and that was 275 calories burned.

When I signed in, I bought a gym bag because I needed something with a zipper. I saw they were only $10 on the PF Store in the app. I also asked for a pair of earbuds and a neoprene armband to hold my Dell DJ, but they didn’t have that. Instead, they showed me that they had a sale going on the gym bag with a pair of earbuds, a sports bottle, a combination lock, a hand towel and a rubber band bracelet with Planet Fitness written on it. Well, I had already bought a combination lock from Albertson’s and a sports bottle that was actually better than what came with this special, but I went ahead and bought it anyway. You can never have too many locks. The sports bottle would have been okay if it were better than what I already had, but it was worse, WAY WORSE!

The hand towel that came with it was a white towel with the logo printed on it. Well, you know what happens when something white with something inky gets wet? Just imagine putting in a red shirt in a load filled with white socks and white underwear. The ink runs all over the towel. Well, when you are wiping it all over your sweaty head for an hour, guess what happens. You get the ink all over your skin. My forehead looked like I had a major sunburn.

After I bought the bag with all the stuff I really didn’t need, besides the earbuds of course, I used the Total Body Enhancement chamber. Oh, I had to go back to buy a pair of “Peepers” to protect my eyes from the bright red light. They would’ve given me a pair to use, but I figured if I’m going to be using this machine every day, and possibly the tanning bed, I might as well own a pair and not use something someone else has used. The Total Body Enhancement was pretty cool. It vibrated my whole body. I honestly don’t know if it did anything, but I liked it and I’m going to do it before every workout. I asked if it’s before or after and the guy said you can use it either before or after, it doesn’t matter.

After that I went to the treadmills and got on one and did 30 minutes. It did a 5 minute cool down which is why it logged as 35 minutes in the Planet Fitness app. I plugged my earbuds in the machine and was able to watch I Am Cait on the E! channel. It ended in the middle of my workout, so I switched it to Naked and Afraid lol. When my workout was complete, I used the PF app to log my exercise and the app has this feature that all you do is tap Snap a Workout and you choose your machine then take a picture of the summary on the screen. It processes and eventually posts your workout in the app. Pretty cool eh? I didn’t have to enter anything manually into the app.

I didn’t stay to do anything else because my back was really hurting halfway through my Treadmill workout and it was agony when I finished. I went to the desk to sign in to use the massage chair and the guy gave me 2 tokens and that gave me about 5 minutes in the chair. It was a heck of a lot better than the Shiatsu massager that I have for my desk chair. It does a lot more than even the massage chairs at the mall. It helped a lot. I forgot to bring ibuprofen with me, so while I’m thinking about it, I better put the bottle in the gym bag now. I’m in absolute agony so I’m going to take some now as well.

I considered taking a shower before I left, but I figured I’m going to ride my bike home, why would I take a shower when I’m just going to have to take another one when I get home. I bought a bottle of water on my way out and rode the same distance, only it says 4.03 miles and I rode for 29 minutes this time. The reason is because my legs were so exhausted from riding the bike, then walking on the treadmill, then riding the bike again. I was really dragging ass on the way home, but it will all be worth it when it conditions my legs to allow me to do more at the gym in the future.

Tomorrow instead of using the treadmill, I think I will use the elliptical machine. It’s too soon for me to even think about the stair machine. There’s really no point in using the bicycle machine since I ride one to and from. It’s a bit redundant to ride the bike, then hop on a machine that rides like a bike, then ride my bike home. It would be like walking there, then getting on the treadmill and then walking home.

Anyway, I had a fun time and tomorrow I plan on tanning and using the hydromassage bed instead of the massage chair at the end of my workout. I hope to burn many calories and lose a lot of weight so I can be a skinny bitch again.

Planet Fitness Membership

20150912_195052What has 2 thumbs and a Planet Fitness Black Card membership? This guy!

Yes, I finally went to Planet Fitness and bought a membership. My partner and I both walked around the gym to see what machines they had and what the massage chairs and hydromassage beds and tanning bed look like. We also saw the Total Body Enhancement “chamber” as I like to call it. I asked what that was and the guy said everyone asks the same question. Well I mean, it begs to be answered. He said it vibrates your body, increases blood flow, opens your pores and does something with the red light to help burn fat. I don’t know exactly what he said, but I certainly want to know more about this machine.

Now when he mentioned the red light, of course what came to mind was watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta when Kim rented some machines with a red light, and oddly enough an attendant who rubbed this lotion on its skin… oh sorry, had a flashback from the Silence of the Lambs. Anyway, it rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again. Ugh darn it, I’m sorry, it’s a jerk reaction. Anyway, the red light was a totally different light from what I saw in the Total Body Enhancement chamber in Planet Fitness. Theirs is just a thing you stand in and it has red lamps and from the video I saw on YouTube you have to stand there for 12 minutes or so depending on the level you are on. I honestly don’t know how to work the machine because I haven’t been there yet, but a woman on a video shows you how to work the control panel and it was so fast I had to watch the video 3 times and I’m still not sure how to use it, but all I know is with the pain I feel in my back, standing there for 12 minutes is going to be torture. Another woman said she does it before she does her workouts.

The guy at Planet Fitness who registered me today told me that I have unlimited guest privileges and I pointed to my partner, and he mentioned that as a guest he can use the facilities with the exception of the massage chair, hydromassage bed, tanning bed and torture chamber, er um I mean Total Body Enhancement torture chamber. He didn’t care, but I kind of felt bad because how awful would it be if he were sitting there waiting for me to finish my massages while he’s sitting there like gee thanks for nothing. I mean, I wouldn’t be too happy, but then again he doesn’t really care to go to any gym at all. We are polar opposites. I like exercise, he doesn’t. I like science fiction, he prefers documentaries. I like Facebook, he likes Fox News.

He told me that he would not mind going if the doctor told him it was ok, and naturally when we went to the doctor on Friday, he “forgot” to mention going to the gym, so of course I mentioned it to the doctor and he said that he is 100% in favor of both of us going to the gym. So there you go, the doctor said do it, but start out slow for the both of us and work our way up to whatever you are comfortable with.

Anyway, I am totally excited. I made a new keychain (image above) that is purple and yellow to match the colors and I went to the store and bought some empty shampoo and body wash containers so we can shower after our workouts. I also bought 2 new puffy thingamabobs. That’s the technical term. They’re both purple for Planet Fitness’ colors lol. I also bought a brand new combination lock for $5 and 2 sports bottles so we can drink some water during our workouts. Oh and I also bought new purple shoe laces lol. My old red ones from Bank of America were worn out and I needed a change anyway.

Tomorrow when I go to the gym, and I am going to the gym tomorrow even if I have to ride my bicycle in the heat, I want to go to the cashier to buy a new gym bag with the Planet Fitness logo because they are $10 on the website. I’m assuming they are $10 there too. At least I am hoping. They have a neoprene armband for your phone, which I’m going to use because I don’t want to keep my phone in my pocket during my workouts. I have a new pair of headphones from the Sears outlet right next door to the Planet Fitness with a cool flat wire and a volume control on the wire along with a on/off mute button. It has a mic, so maybe it’s a mute for when I’m on the phone, but when I’m just listening to music maybe it turns the volume on/off. I really dig that flat cable though lol. The headphones are also for listening to the TV while I’m doing cardio.

I’m excited to go to the gym and I plan on taking a buttload of pain meds just in case. Right now I’m in absolute agony. No, seriously, it’s torture. I used the shiatsu massager that I have that sits in my desk chair 3 times today and I’m still in pain. I can’t wait to use the hydromassage bed and the massage chairs. I really do need those and I am really glad I got the black card membership instead of just a regular membership.

Planet Fitness

planet fitness bakersfieldAs a child I dreaded going to gym class. I hated sports, but the exercise part didn’t bother me. I actually enjoyed the exercise part because it didn’t involve me being hit in the head by a dodge ball, or a baseball, or a football, or a tennis ball. I just really hate being hit in the head by balls. Well…

I used to go to the gym when I was in my early 20’s and I loved it. I stopped going for many years, but I started going to the gym again in 2005. It took me 2 1/2 hours to get there on the bus because we didn’t have a car. I only went there for maybe 3 or 4 months. I stopped going because I went to a friend’s wedding in Colorado Springs and I got my right ear pierced. My left ear was already pierced, so I evened myself out and started wearing earrings again on a regular basis in both ears now. When I came home and went to the gym, one of the female trainers who was so friendly with me that we were practically best friends asked me why I pierced both my ears and I told her the story of having my left ear pierced when I was 17. I also divulged some personal information that she wasn’t expecting. I told her I was gay. I made a joke about it and said “well I am gay…” and you would think that someone had just shot her dog. After that she stopped talking to me, she wouldn’t even look at me. That was when I decided to stop going to the gym.

So fast forward 10 years and I saw an advertisement on Twitter for Planet Fitness. I’m thinking of what happened to me at the last gym and I don’t ever want to have to go through that ever again. It was so depressing to be judged like that by someone who I considered to be a friend. I am very guarded and naturally want to go to Facebook and ask if anyone in the Bakersfield gay community has gone to that gym and one person told me that she hasn’t had any bad experiences. I’m taking her word for it, and I trust her, so I might take a chance. The only problem is, the plan I want will lock me in a 12 month contract.

Planet Fitness has 2 plans. Their $10/mo plan has no commitments, but you get very little benefits from it. This is what you get with their $10 plan.

  • Unlimited access to home club
  • Includes T-Shirt
  • Unlimited fitness training

Their $20 plan seems to be more what I am looking for because you get so much more.

  • Reciprocal use of all Planet Fitness® Franchise Locations
  • Unlimited guest privileges at any Planet Fitness location
  • Unlimited Hydromassage
  • Use of Tanning
  • Unlimited Total Body Enhancement
  • Unlimited Use of Massage Chairs
  • 1/2 Price Cooler Drinks (Restrictions may apply)
  • PF Black Card T-Shirt
  • PF Black Card Key Tag
  • Unlimited Fitness Training

I really like the hydromassage and the massage chairs. Well, my back will like them more. I have scoliosis and I am in constant pain every waking minute. I’m in absolute agony right now as I type this. I have a shiatsu massager that you put on a chair, and that does work, but when I am at a gym working out, I want to get in the shower and then sit in a massage chair. If I’m paying $10 a month and I can’t sit on that massage chair, I’m going to regret even being there. I would much rather pay the extra $10 every month to be able to get a few more benefits. I also wouldn’t mind getting a tan every now and then. Oh and half price cooler drinks? Yes please! I don’t know what total body enhancement means, but if it’s unlimited I’m so in. Oh and a black card t-shirt and key tag? Yes please!

I just want to be able to walk in and get on the treadmill or elliptical or even the stair climber and do cardio for an hour and then start building muscle which will help me burn fat faster. I also REALLY need to work on my butt. When I lost 70lbs a couple of years ago, I looked at my butt in the mirror when I got out of the shower and it was flat as a board. I don’t want to ever see a flat ass on myself again. If I am able to lose some weight, I want to have a nice bubble butt that is all muscle and no fat. Although, if I do get fat again, I’m gonna have a HUGE ass.

This $20 a month deal includes a $39 a year membership fee, which I honestly don’t mind, and a 12 month commitment. If I am committed to a year, then I will have no excuse to not go, in fact, I will feel obligated to go. And the $20 plan includes a unlimited guest pass which I am hoping will get my partner in there for free. So we’ll be working out for the price of one. Although, he may not get the benefits from the massage chair and bed or tanning bed. I’ll have to see how that works.

I’m really looking forward to going to the gym now. I’ve seen pictures and they have TV’s, so you can watch TV while you are doing your cardio. I was thinking of buying a bluetooth transmitter for my Dell DJ. I have bluetooth headphones for my phone, but my phone’s bluetooth doesn’t work. I’m sure I won’t need to listen to my own music if they have TV’s. And I’m sure they have very loud music, so you may not even be able to hear the TV’s lol. Then again, I haven’t gone in there yet, so I don’t know how they work. They may have headphones for the TV’s. Who knows. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

Anyway, I really want to go and I hope I have the opportunity. I’m broke this month, so I’m afraid I will have to miss the special they have now. I hope they will have this sale next month.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box

I am very excited because I finally bought the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box. I bought the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set: Fantasy Roleplaying Game Starter Set (D&D Boxed Game)in July, but it didn’t have everything that the Pathfinder beginner box has, which is probably why the Pathfinder beginner box was more expensive.

The D&D starter set came with 2 books, 1 book was the player handbook and a quest book that teaches you how to play the game up to level 5. The Pathfinder beginner box comes with a Hero’s Handbook, Game Masters Guide and a transition guide to bring your characters into the Pathfinder world. I assume that means to bring your D&D characters into the Pathfinder world. Both come with dice, D&D has 6, Pathfinder has 7. What sets the Pathfinder Beginner Box apart is the 80 full color pawns of heroes and monsters including a dragon. Pathfinder also includes a huge map to play on that you can also write on with dry erase markers and a blank map on the reverse side to create your own map.

The problem that I had with D&D is that I couldn’t understand what I was supposed to do. I asked for help and people answered my questions, but I do better when I’m in a room with people who are teaching me face to face rather than reading in a book or reading someone’s text. I learn by doing.

I know of a store in Bakersfield called “Otto’s Video Games and More” who have game nights, but I would feel more comfortable with people I can be myself around. You know what I mean? I am sure the random people who go to a video game store are good people and you have to get to know people before you judge them, but I don’t know that they or one or two aren’t homophobic. I’ve had many experiences in my life where I have tried to do things with people who turned on me when they found out I was gay, so I would much rather find a group of people who are gay and gay friendly and join or start a D&D/Pathfinder group at the Gay and Lesbian Center here in Bakersfield. It’s just easier to go where you know 100% that you are accepted and you aren’t judged, well, unless you wear the wrong belt with the wrong shoes of course. Just kidding.

I have already asked someone at the Gay and Lesbian Center and they said that there is not a group like that, so I would have to start one. I think it would be a great way to get people who have the same interests together to play a game for a couple of hours every week. I think it would be fun. Even if people aren’t interested in that kind of game, they could try it and see if they like it. And no one has to bring anything because I have spent a few bucks here and there on D&D and Pathfinder stuff and I can even bring all the character sheets and blank note cards and I already have 2 sets of dice and the Pathfinder Beginner Box will have a 3rd set. I also have a bag full of fake gold and silver coins, and a box of pencils and a bunch of erasers. I’m all set lol.

Now it’s just a waiting game and I hope to find people who are interested in starting a D&D/Pathfinder game night. I think it will be fun.