Living Below the Line Doesn’t Suck

Eye-opening. Surreal. Exhausting. Soul crushing. Unbearable. Mind-blowing. Uplifting.

Those are just a few words that describe it. Some are in the form of compassion, while others describe frustration as you attempt to rise out of bed without falling into the wall or slumping back into bed. Others come in the form of emptiness; emotionally and physically as your tummy rumbles at you with confusion of why you’re doing this. One should feel all of this to truly understand the reason behind it and grasp the concept of why one should put themselves through this for five days.

I am on my fifth day of Live Below the Line. My last day. That last hurdle to get past. By this time tomorrow, I will more than likely be eating my dinner, which usually consists of something unhealthy but still fulfilling. I will sit down with my great plate of food in front of me that contains a variety of goodies with plenty of potatoes and I will eat it in the same peculiar order as I always do. The only thing that will have changed in the ritual is my appreciation of it. The appreciation for the food I will have in front of me, that I can afford to have a great meal such as this and that I don’t necessarily have to worry about the next day or the day after that. Many don’t have the luxury to do this or feel this way. They live under constant stress of when their next meal will be and when it finally comes, it’s nothing more than a piece of food that could fit in your hand. I had to budget for my meals, count the cents and I saw how quickly food adds up. Unfortunately, each day I had to add in about .50 cents worth of my Glowing Green Smoothie. That took a huge chunk out of my $1.50 a day limit but I physically needed to have this drink because if I hadn’t, my stomach would have been in knots and it would have been horrible. I usually drink two large cups a day of that smoothie, so cutting back on it was hard but necessary.

It is true what was said by people who had completed this campaign before it actually started. Day three is when it really starts to hit you. I woke up several times the night before and when it was time for me to actually get out of bed, I couldn’t. I felt weak, disoriented, lightheaded, queasy and had a slight headache. My arms felt like they weighed 30 lbs. and I could barely lift them to do my hair and make-up. I stumbled into the kitchen to grab my hard-boiled egg and one piece of toast with a small amount of jelly on it and ate every crumb of it. I usually share some of my egg with my dog Henry, but not this time. As I got settled in at work, coworkers would say to me that I looked tired and would joke about me fainting or falling over. I personally believe I didn’t look that bad because I had enough make-up on to do a photo shoot and look half-way decent. But you couldn’t look past my tiredness, irritability or the fact that I wasn’t wearing my normal high-heels for fear I would stumble from the lack of coordination.

Day four came and it wasn’t any better. Even though I am skinny, I noticed that my tummy looked sunken in and I hadn’t known it was possible for something like that to happen so quickly. Driving to work was more difficult on day four. It’s not a long drive by any means but the sun played horrible tricks on my eyes and the other drivers were driving like maniacs. Probably not but that’s what it felt like. Since day three, I noticed I’ve been more edgy but I’ve been trying to put a smile on my face and not look miserable. Not quite sure if I succeeded with that. I have been a little uncoordinated with the simplest of tasks. While putting food back in the kitchen, I put the cold stuff in the cabinets and put the stuff not needing to stay cold, in the fridge. I took food to work and while packaging it into a container and carrying it to the car, I treaded very carefully. If I were to have dropped that container of rice, I would have had a complete meltdown in the driveway for all my neighbors to see. I also know, while sitting at my table looking down at the meniscal amount of food that lays on my plate, I could easily jump in my car, go down to a deli or an Ah-So and get food. The only thing that stops me is that I know I shouldn’t.

For the past five days, I have been explaining to many around me the concept and idea of what it means to live below the line. I told as many people as I could, whether they wanted to listen or not. Many just gave me blank and bewildered stares like I was some strange zoo animal they were trying to figure out. Some just cocked their heads to one side while attempting to blurt out some compassionate phrase, all the while looking at me as if I were a pitiful child. Then there were the ones that left me questioning the norms of our society. They didn’t have to say or do much to get this reaction out of me. They just looked at me like I was the biggest ass and said “That sucks!”.

So after my big explanation, my attempt to get them to see the reasoning behind living below the line and my half-breathed speech of why I’m doing this and how it can build awareness and compassion for people less fortunate, this is what they leave me with? Some gave me a shoulder shrug or a roll of the eyes along with it. Still didn’t ease the hostility or frustration I felt, probably made it worse. Were they attacking me or the idea? Did they lack compassion for others so much that they were blind to see the reason behind it all? Were they so selfish that they didn’t take just one second to think of how a person living below the line would feel if they heard this? I could feel the heat practically radiating off of me and I wanted so badly to give them my death look (which I do quite well).

But then I had to take a step back. Not that I was going to harm them, but mentally take a step back and think about why they would make such a statement. Then I realized, these people aren’t aware of any of this. Not aware of any of the problems that are happening in the world in regards to food, clean water, access to vaccinations, health care or living conditions. I can’t hold them responsible for something they know nothing about. The lack of compassion comes from the lack of awareness. If one is not aware of the problems within the world, how can we judge them when they show no compassion for it? Not to say that I am aware of all that goes on around the world. I probably only know a quarter of the issues and that’s barely scratching the surface.

So, it may not be selfishness or lack of compassion that embodies them. It’s lack of knowledge. Not lack of understanding for which they know nothing about. What needs to happen is more awareness that reaches out to people. Awareness that they can relate to. The commercials we see on TV do almost nothing. Most get annoyed and turn the channel immediately. Awareness needs to come in a form that is familiar. People spend a good amount of time at work and school. Within the work field, there could be promotions or team-building events that focus around awareness and how their company could make difference. Schools could participate more with awareness campaigns. Not ones that bring the school money like they normally do, but ones that actually make a difference in the amount of knowledge these students are going out in the world with. Why are so many students being sent out in the world lacking the knowledge of how the world really is? It’s not all sweets and roses out there. There’s turmoil, suffering, hunger and corruption within the world and in this lifetime unfortunately, we will not see the end of it.

Living below the line gives a small yet eye-opening glimpse into this world. But it doesn’t suck. A better way to describe it out there is unfortunate, damaged but not done for, heartbreaking, cruel, distressing but most definitely hopeful.

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UFC 151 Cancelled

If none of you have heard from the news, TV, radio, Twitter, Facebook or whatever, UFC 151 has been cancelled.

UFC 151 was supposed to have the main card featuring Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson. Henderson got a slight tear to his MCL during training, so had to bow out of the upcoming fight. Totally understandable. So of course Dana White needs to find a replacement real fast. Calls a few guys, all but one turn it down. The best shit-talker in town, Chael Sonnen, accepted the challenge. He accepted it knowing that he hadn’t been training to fight Jones, he probably wasn’t at the time training for a fight anytime soon and even though he hasn’t stated what weight he’s at currently (fights at 185, Jones at 205), he knew he’d make weight in time. And then there’s Jones, who had been training to fight Henderson, but still has been training for a fight, regardless of who the opponent is, and I’m pretty sure he was good on making weight. The one who has the most advantage physically turns down the fight! Jones turns down the chance to fight Chael and the snowball effect starts to happen. I would have not wanted to have been 10 ft close to Dana when he got off the phone with Jones.  Dana cancels UFC 151. I don’t really know why exactly except since the main card isn’t happening, it must not be worth showing the rest of the card and just bumping up the co-main event. But apparently Dana and his crew know what they’re doing.

Jones turned down the fight because he feared losing his belt. All of his excuses, mainly one being that he doesn’t have enough time to prepare for a fight with Sonnen, doesn’t count in my book. Jones even stated through Twitter (tweet has since been deleted), that he has never turned down an MMA fight and never would. There has been plenty of fighters like Royce Gracie, Matt Hughes, BJ Penn and a crap load of other MMA pioneers that had no clue who they were fighting until maybe the night before or even right before the fight. So he can’t use this as an excuse, but since he is, that just shows that he is not deserving of the belt. Dana White stated that Jones knew the implications of what would happen if he chose not to fight Sonnen, meaning that he knew the card would be cancelled. Jones and his team still pulled the plug on the fight. If they don’t care that several other fighters, promoters, sponsors and coaches will be effected by their decision, then that shows how shitty their way of thinking is. And can’t forget to mention the fans. Yeah, I won’t be able to watch it from home or wherever, big deal, I’ll wait for the next one. BUT the people who already bought their tickets, possibly even plane tickets, hotels or places that were set to show the fights, they’re the ones that lose big. Yes, Dana and his crew are losing boat loads of money and that sucks but compared to the average joe who paid a lot for a ticket and maybe a plane ticket and got their hopes up high, that really sucks for them. Granted they will be refunded for the UFC ticket, but it still doesn’t replace the feeling of being able to go to the card, and then having it taken away from you. And since it was supposed to be in Las Vegas, I am assuming most people did pay to fly in and had to get hotel rooms.

I think it’s so funny seeing all of the tweets and articles defending Jon Jones (there’s not that many), but their only defense is coming from rooted hatred for Dana. They say it’s all Dana’s fault, or Dana acted too quickly or Dana has now ruined Jon’s reputation and possibly that of Greg Jackson. Jon did this to himself and Dana just told the world the truth through this conference call. It is a great call, about 30 mins or so, but you can just tell that Dana is about ready to burst with anger at any moment.

So, what all has happened and possibly might happen with this snowball called Jon Jones?

  • Cancellation of UFC 151
  • Other fights on card now at later date, which means the more money they may have to spend on training
  • UFC loses promo money
  • UFC has to have this on record as a “lost show”
  • Jon Jones loses purse and possible sponsor money for fight
  • Other fighters have to wait to get paid
  • Fox may have a bad view on the UFC now
  • Possible changes in UFC contracts
  • Ticket holders will be refunded
  • Ticket holders may not get money back for hotels or plane tickets
  • Prelims that were scheduled, FX will have to fill spot

And a crap loads of other corporate stuff that I don’t know anything about and there’s no way to tell where this snowball effect will end for the UFC. But the best for me is:

  • Jon Jones is now on Dana’s shit list
  • Chael Sonnen now has even more reason to talk shit

Thank you Jon Jones.

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Demanding Crown Jewels

“Hand over the jewels and nobody gets hurt!”

I didn’t think it could be that easy to “demand” the crown jewels, but apparently it is according to one of the many articles about this issue. So, after many, many (let me emphasis the many) years that have gone by since Edward Plantagenet was executed, the French are now stepping up to claim what they assume is theirs. Really? You wait this long to try and get the crown jewels? The French must be in the need for money or something because this is just ridiculous.

The French, or just the city of Angers, are coming after the British throne and demanding that the Queen and her subjects give the crown jewels back to them. They feel that they should be located, or owned, by the country that the Plantagenet’s came from because of the wrongful execution of the last legitimate Plantagenet heir. They want to be compensated for the wrongful execution of Edward. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always rooting for the Plantagenet cause, but in this case, not so much.

Let’s go back a little bit, actually a lot, to get to where all of this started. The name Plantagenet that they are using has origins in the French city Angers. It is the area the Plantagenet’s came from, and just to keep things simple, it all started with Geoffrey Plantagenet, who was the Count of Anjou. He was the big dog in the area that these French people are complaining from. Side note: can someone pull the financial records of that area, would be interesting to see if they’re in some need of money.

Geoffrey ended up marrying Empress Matilda in 1128, who was considered heiress to King Henry I of England. A whole bunch of stuff happened after Henry I died, like the time when Christ and his Saint’s slept and The Anarchy, and Matilda didn’t get to throne right away. Her cousin King Stephen took over, then Matilda came in for a bit. Then Stephen came back, in an effort to keep some peace in the already ravished land, eventually claimed that Matilda’s son Henry would be his heir. After Stephen’s death, Henry became Henry II of England and was the first of many Plantagenet king’s to reign in England.

Fast forward to 1475, when Edward Plantagenet was born. He was the son of George Plantagenet, the younger brother of King Edward IV. Well, eventually George gets executed for treason and soon King Edward IV dies. King Edwards son, who happens to also be named Edward, is king for a short period of time, but the throne is eventually taken by his uncle, Richard Plantagenet, who was the youngest brother of King Edward IV. Fast forward to 1485, Richard dies in battle and the Tudor, King Henry VII comes to the throne. King Henry was very skeptical about letting the young Edward be out and about since he was a potential heir to the throne and was considered a great threat to Henry, so he imprisoned him until 1499 when he decided to execute him. With Edwards death came the end of the legitimate male line of the Plantagenets. So sad when you really think about it.

Now all this time, until the 17th century, there had been crown jewels that had been passed down to each King and Queen. Those jewels are the ones that the Plantagenets had possession of, and other English monarchs to follow including the Stuarts, until in the 17th century a man by the name of Oliver Cromwell had the majority of the jewels melted down and/or sold. Literally all of the crown jewels today have come into possession of the monarchs after the whole Cromwell era. These are the jewels that the French want? I really don’t get how they didn’t know this fact or just don’t really care. The crown jewels of today would NOT represent the Plantagenets in any way, so what would they gain from getting them besides getting the benefits (money) to have them on display and for tourism?

I am assuming that they are forgetting that it was the French who won (or took) lands from the English, mainly during the Plantagenet era. It was those lands that originally had belonged to the Plantagenets that they speak of, so their ancestors took from the Plantagenets way back then and obviously didn’t show any respect or love for their “countrymen”. They have been more than compensated. If compensation is what they are looking for, for the execution of Edward Plantagenet, look to the country of Wales, specifically. Because that is where King Henry VII, the one who ordered the young Edward to be executed, hailed from and claimed as his home land.

Well, if they want the current crown jewels, which never belonged to their lovely Plantagenets in the first place, then I think it’s only fair that they give back to the English what was lost to them in the Hundred Years’ War. This war happened during the Plantagenet reign, so it was the Plantagenet king’s who lost a lot of land to mainly the same people who are trying to get the crown jewels, the French. So, it’s either the crown jewels or the land, which would include Calais, Bordeaux, Rouen, Angouleme, Rennes, oh and Angers! And a few other areas too. This is a good example of the lands owned by who throughout the war.

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Physics and English History

Back to school again. Let’s just say I did not want to get up this morning, even though it wasn’t all that early. Went to my first class, a writing class, very excited about this one. Next one was physics, not looking forward to this one. It seems interesting, I think I’ll do OK in the class, but the information that I was given on the first day was totally out there that I had no idea what the guy was talking about. The teacher seems to know what he’s talking about, and hopefully he can convey all of this to me so that I can eventually understand it.

Anywho, the teacher was going on and on about the 7 fundamental physical measurements and saying how they can be transferred into the derived measurements. Most of this makes sense, and it will make more sense once I get the book (just ordered it on amazon). I do wish I already had the book, especially since I have homework due on Friday. O_o

As I was literally about to start crying because I did not want to be in this class, I hear the teacher say some interesting words that make my ears perk up faster than the speed of light, in physics terms.

“You know, one of the King’s of England actually created some measurement laws.”

WTH?! This class is finally getting interesting to me. I couldn’t believe I just heard the term “King’s of England” in my physics class. I was all smiles for the rest of the class and couldn’t wait to go ask him the name of this King. When class finally ended, I go up to him, “Hi, could you tell me which King of England you were speaking about?”. All flabbergasted, he laughs and says “Oh I don’t know, go google it!” Dude, seriously, you’re a physics teacher, your brain is supposed to be like double the size of every one elses. How could you forget this little piece of information.

As soon as I leave class, I get on google and look it up. Such crap I got to look up information that this teacher should know, especially if he mentions it in class. After looking through about 3 different sites, I figured out who he was talking about. He was referring to King Henry I of England. Not a Plantagenet, but close enough for me because the Normans are interesting also. Henry came up with a couple interesting measurement ways. The best one was coming up with the term “yard” or the 3-foot standard. He claimed that while his arm was stretched out, measuring from his nose to his thumb, was considered a yard. This was just by the measure of the king’s arm, so obviously it would differ from man to man. It’s also said that it was a measurement from his nose to his fingertip, not specifying the thumb.

During Henry’s reign, the 12-inch foot became an official measurement. They adopted this from the Roman tradition. Henry went through the right steps to make this all official, or just told people this is how it’s gonna be.

Another King, who happens to be a Plantagenet, helped come up with the term of the inch. King Edward II, one of my least favourite kings, tried to help out farmers and whoever else would listen to him, about the length of an inch. He ruled that an inch was equivalent to 3 grains of barley, end to end. This might be one of the most interesting, and funny, facts that I’ve heard about him.

Did you guys know that the word “inch” actually means “thumb” in many parts of the world? An inch was usually considered the width of someones thumb. I’m guessing they usually used a mans thumb to go off of because I don’t think mine measures up to that..

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Enter the blogging world

I have finally jumped on the bandwagon and got (not only got, but bought) a blog site. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I will learn the in’s and out’s of this as fast as I can. Not only did I never think I would get one of these, I also thought that I never really had that much to talk about, that I would need to get one of these. Still not sure if I do, but this is progress in the right direction..

While explaining to one of my members (I run a gym in Arizona), why I decided to get one, I came up with a few good reasons.

1. The most typed about topic that you will get out of me is history. Not just generic history, but more emphasised on the Plantagenet and Tudor era.  I love talking to people about it and I feel sorry for the souls that get stuck for hours hearing me ramble on about stuff that they don’t know the first thing about. But I’m trying to educate people, bring them into my world just a little bit and hopefully maybe spark an interest. Or atleast have them look into the stuff so that maybe the next time I talk to them, they will have some information to come back at me with. No such luck there yet. So, in all, be prepared to have me bitch about people not understanding certain things, upload links that seem to be intersting and possibly a blog or two, or three, about just random history stuff. And if you say Braveheart is the best time period movie, so help me God.

2. I love BJJ. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. MMA. My boyfriend trains at a place here in Arizona, I used to work there and love my BJJ family very much. Let’s set one thing straight first, I do not practice BJJ, I leave that to the boyfriend (which btw he got his purple belt recently) and my friends. While I love it, I guess I’m too much of a prissy princess to go rolling around on the mats. But I love to watch it. So I will be mentioning a lot of stuff about the sport on my blog. Since the London olympics, I’ve been looking into a lot of other bloggers sites, and a lot of BJJ and MMA sites, that are trying to push or “petition” to get BJJ at the olympics. Or if they’re really dreaming, to get it to the 2016 olympics. I will more than likely talk about this a lot, maybe even start a petition against petitions that are for getting BJJ into the olympics. It infuriates me that these people are so ignorant of the IOC rules and that they don’t really understand the effect that it would have on their sport if BJJ ever did get into the olympics. See, there I go. I will have to leave some of this ranting for later blogs.

3. I love photography. If I could leave school and work and go photograph shit all day long and work on photoshop all the time, I’d do it. But, I’m a total ametuer, but I do appreciate other photographers work and would like to spread their news and photos.

4. Any news that interests me, you will see on here.

5. Finally, anger management issue. Yes, I have come to realize, especially in the past few months, that I may have anger issues. Maybe I should take up BJJ? Either way, I thought maybe this could be a prime opportunity for me to relieve some of that through my typing. If it works, great. If not, well a pox on all bloggers.

So, after all that, I think that I have some good reasons to start my own blog. I would like to think that my style of writing is somewhere between educated and Tucker Max. If you’ve never heard of him, here’s his website, some good reads. http://www.tuckermax.com/ 

I don’t think I am anywhere near as crazy as him, but it’s just the writing style that may have some similarities. Or atleast I believe so. Oh, BTW, by reading my posts, becoming a follower or whatever, you agree to putting up with stupidness, cussing and random crap that will sometimes make you shake your head. I may not always make sense, esp if I’m really adament about something. Spelling and grammer, may sometimes be a problem but I’m working on it. #abcspellcheck And I hate to use capitilaized letters. It’s a nuisance for me, so get used to all lower case in most situations.

So, about 775 words in, I think I’m done for my first blog. Bye!

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