The Diet has calmed down to the point that it doesn’t constantly torture me, at least not in my own home. We’ve established a tentative truce, though lasting peace negotiations are still underway. I did have one episode today in which it became absolutely necessary to consume something I could call junk food. That turned out to be a veggie chili dog without the bun. Put the veggie dog on the plate. Cover it with veggie chili. Cover that with sauerkraut, pickle relish, mustard, and (if you must) just the tiniest dusting of cheese.
J. Alfred Prufrock must have been on a diet when he said, “I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.”
Me too, man. I feel your pain.
The veggie chili dog, however, was really very tasty even if it did need more cheese.
And then I had one of those oh-my-god-school-starts-next-week-and-my-house-is-a-disaster moments. One of those I-need-to-do-two-months-worth-of-cleaning-in-one-hour moments. I didn’t quite make my goal. I did about an hour’s worth of cleaning in one hour, but I wrote it down on my diet journal as an hour of exercise. Oh, yes. I did.
That put my exercise tally up so high for the day that I was low on my calorie tally, and I had to have a key lime yogurt to make up for it. At this point, that’s almost as good as peanut brittle Ben & Jerry’s.
But enough of that. I want to tell you about my system for heavy cleaning that doesn’t yield so much in heavy results. I listen to an audio book while I work. This is for motivating purposes. If I had to think about what I was doing, I’d have to quit and do something else. Housework lies outside my field of expertise.
So I have two iPod docking stations and two iPods. On one end of the house, I had The Time Traveler’s Wife going. On the other end of the house it was The Lost Symbol. You can’t do heavy reading on a heavy cleaning day.
I listened to a few minutes of one, hit pause, went to do something in another room where I listened to a few minutes of the other, hit pause…and so on.
Pretty soon I found myself wondering why Robert Langdon’s future self didn’t warn him about the mess he was walking into chasing after those symbols. I also wondered why Dan Brown keeps writing the same book over and over and if the answer might be that he hasn’t yet been to his own past.
But I figure I burned 50 calories alone today just hitting pause and play buttons, and I can say that if you ever need to trick yourself into working outside your field of expertise, the two iPod system is not the worst thing you could try.