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End of year survey - 2014 [Dec. 28th, 2014|01:09 pm]
Grant Walker
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1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Went indoor sky-diving.
Worked out in a gym. (Inlcuding jogging for 20 minutes straight on C25k)
Participated in a protest (March Against Monsanto).
Started playing Dungeons & Dragons.
Ate vegan for six weeks

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't really make a resolution, so much as just deciding to lose weight in earnest. I did well on that. Lost about 30 lbs, still going with it. I've got some goals for next year, but I'm trying not to deal in absolutes. I know that sounds trite, but it's helping me to think that way.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friend Kathy had a baby, but I don't think I'd say we're close.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My uncle George died. We weren't close, but I have fond memories of him from when I was young. He'd been kind of on a decline for the last 20 years or so. I was much more sad about Robin Williams dying although I don't really think that counts as being close.

5. What countries did you visit?
Does Little Havana count? If not, then none.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Peace of mind about finances. Either because we get more money, manage the money we have better or I just don't worry about it as much.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory?
I can't think of any specific dates that stand out, but I'm notoriously bad with dates.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Definitely losing weight.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not appreciating the things I have

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I've been battling depression the 2nd half of 2014. Kind of seriously.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably my trip to do indoor skydiving at iFly Orlando. Or perhaps a Jeni's Ice Cream sandwich. Life changer. https://jenis.com/flavors/ice-cream-sandwiches/salty-caramel-with-smoked-almonds/

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My son, Isaac. He has matured and improved so much. I'm so proud of him. He's really learning how to deal with anxiety and his own issues while being a really responsible person. He manages his own diet, not eating the things he shouldn't (corn, too much sugar, etc) probably better than Tina or I. We like to joke that he is the most responsible person in the house.

Also really digging what the new Pope has been doing this year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Floridian voters. I don't normally get involved in politics, but the mid-term elections in FL seemed important and we totally screwed the pooch.

Also the NY grand jury that didn't indict the officer that choked Eric Garner to death. I normally try to see things from both sides, but I haven't been able to find anything logical on the other side of this argument. It's on video and the guy is dead...

14. Where did most of your money go?
Probably food of various sorts. We spend something like $20k+ at BJs per year in addition to eating out various places all the time.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
In My Mind by Amanda Palmer. I made some progress on improving myself this year and also made some progress in accepting myself as I am.


17. Compared to this time last year, you are:

Thinner or fatter:

Richer or poorer: Feels like about the same, though I do have some major expenses looming over my head that are coming up. Looks like we might have to replace our septic tank. :\

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Appreciating what I have

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying and being depressed

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
At home with my family, pigging out.

21. What was your favorite month of 2014?
Honestly nothing sticks out. 2014 was overall a good year for me, but I don't know if there was a specific good month.

22. Did you fall in love in 2014?

23. How many one-night stands?
Goose egg.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Probably Silicon Valley or The Blacklist.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No, I don't think so.

26. What was the best book you read?
Really enjoyed Mentats of Dune, the latest in the Dune series. Also really enjoyed The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Appreciating Amanda Palmer or possibly Lil Dicky

28. What did you want and get?
A new phone. iPhone 6.

29. What did you want and not get?

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Guardians of the Galaxy, Grand Budapest Hotel or Trancendece (I know that's not from 2014, but that's when I watched it)

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I went on a road trip to Orlando and did indoor sky-diving with Jake. Turned 33, which feels significantly older.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having enough money that I didn't worry about it. Not 100% positive such an amount exists, but seems like it's plausible.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Slightly more refined

34. What kept you sane?
My wife Tina

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I'm not really into fancy-ing celebrities to be quite honest... If I have to pick one, I guess maybe Scarlett Johannson. Between Captain America 2, Lucy and Her I guess I had some interest...

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Medical marijuana legalization in FL. I've never tried pot, but more and more it seems like something that's really good for people. Or at least better than the current alternatives.

37. Who did you miss?
My dad

38. Who were the best new people you met?
I didn't meet very many new people in 2014.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:
Improving is better than not trying for fear of failing. Perfect is the enemy of good. I think I can do the things I want to do without allowing the to consume my life.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

'Cause sometimes you just feel tired,
Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.

-Eminem, Till I Collapse

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Animaniacs counts as educational TV [Jan. 21st, 2013|05:45 am]
Grant Walker
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Can I just say that I think Animaniacs counts as educational television? And my vote counts since we homeschool.

US States and Capitols:

US Presidents:

The World:
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New Year Resolutions [Jan. 5th, 2013|09:54 am]
Grant Walker

First, a review of last years resolutions...

1) Procrastinate Less
Don't think I did this one. In general, I was more about action in 2012. However, there was still some significant procrastination that led to bullshit. I'm gonna count this one as missed.

2) Go to Sequioa National Park
I had plans to fly with Jake out to California using some airline miles I had stored up. But when it came time to do it, the money I was going to use for car rental / food / camping was all dried up and we couldn't go. I was pretty bummed about it and still hope to go with Jake somewhere, sometime... Just not sure how or when.

3) Do 1 building project from per month (Instructables.com, etc)
Failed this miserably. I didn't build shit in 2012. Mostly because I was so busy with work. 2012 was work crazy.

4) Travel to a state I've never been to
Done. Went to Maryland and Minnesota for the first time. They were work trips so I didn't get a lot of free exploring time, but it was still good and I enjoyed the trips. Actually, I'm headed back to Maryland again soon for an alternating back-and-forth schedule until I (hopefully) move sometime in the next few months.

5) Follow a budget
Ahhhh no. Just no.

6) Engage my children more often
I did this! Even though I was really busy with work and traveling, I managed to spend some quality time one-on-one with my kids more often in 2012 than I think I did in 2011. Still think I could/should be doing more, so I'm gonna roll this one over to next year.

7) Have more sex
Mission accomplished. Without getting into details, my sex life with Tina has been much improved, both in quantity and quality. 2012 was the sexiest year so far. Looking forward to 2013.

3 out of 7 is not a miserable failure, but I still feel like I could do better.

In general, I'm really proud of my 2012. I got a lot done professionally (including a significant raise and laid the ground work for another significant raise in 2013) and made improvements in my personal life. My mental status right now is ten times healthier and happier than I was this time last year. I feel much more at peace and able to deal with the challenges ahead.

So now for 2013 resolutions...

1) Engage my children more often
Few things are more rewarding than this for me.

2) Procrastinate less
Major change for me. I'm trying to see it as a path I need to follow rather than a one-time thing I need to do.

3) Follow a budget
2013 is the year that I MUST do this. I don't think I'll have a choice. This William Nilliam shit we've been doing has got to stop.

4) Go to Sequioa National Park
Did I mention I went there as a kid with my Dad? Fond memories.

5) Write more
This is something I really want to do for myself. I have such a horrible memory (at least in my personal life) that documenting things and feelings will really help me and satisfy me. I enjoy looking back through my journal to see what I've written and I wish there was more.

6) Be more creative
Music, art, rock balancing, photography, building things... Whatever. Just want to be more creative. 2012 was too much work and not enough play & creativity.

7) Move
I work too far away from my home currently. Every day I go to the office, I spend about 4-5 hours on the road. That's in addition to my normal 8 hour work day. I'm ready for that to stop and also looking forward to a new adventure. Pretty damn sad about leaving this house, but at the end of the day it's just a thing. I'd rather have more time with my family than things. I don't want to let my possessions hold me back. If things don't pan out with us moving to Maryland, we'll likely move to Ft. Lauderdale.

Anyway, I'm really positive and looking forward to an awesome 2013.
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Grant's Steaks [Dec. 1st, 2012|10:38 pm]
Grant Walker
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Made some steaks tonight. Everybody usually goes crazy-go-nuts for my steaks, so I wanted to share.

I grated white, yellow and red pearl onions along with a dozen or so gloves of garlic. Then add a bottle of Pirate's Gold marinade by West Indies Spice Co.

To prepared the meat, I sprinkle with seasoned salt and fresh cracked black pepper then use a meat tenderizer tool recommended by Alton Brown on both sides.

Quickly get the meat in the marinade and leave for 8 hours or so.

Put the grill on high and when it's above 400º, lay the steaks on for 3 minutes, the turn 45 degrees. After another 3 minutes, flip. Cook for 6 minutes (or so) and then put a couple of dabs of butter on top. When the butter is melted, pull them off.

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Wallet Poetry [Jan. 5th, 2012|11:45 am]
Grant Walker
In my wallet, I carry a few sheets of hand-written poetry from my wife. One is an E.E. Cummings poem she gave me a few years ago on Valentine's Day and the other is one she wrote herself recently. It is so sweet to have with me.

That is all.
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2012 Resolutions [Jan. 1st, 2012|12:15 pm]
Grant Walker
1) Procrastinate Less
2) Go to Sequioa National Park
3) Do 1 building project from per month (Instructables.com, etc)
4) Travel to a state I've never been to
5) Follow a budget
6) Engage my children more often
7) Have more sex
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Codependency Recovery Activity [May. 20th, 2011|01:32 am]
Grant Walker
[mood |hopefulhopeful]
[music |Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition]

So I'm reading this book "Codependency No More - How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself". Thus far it's not doing a great deal of difference, but I'm hoping there will be some tools to help me understand this shit and get through it. Just understanding that I had this problem and it's so right on was amazing.

In case you're not familiar with co-dependency, there is a perfectly-me description of it here: http://www.planetpsych.com/zPsychology_101/codependency.htm

I'm at the end of Part I and there is this activity to write some stuff. I figured it makes sense to do that here. It is following a huge list of character traits of codependents which I went through and rated if I identified those as never a problem (0), sometimes a problem (1) or frequently a problem (2). I got a lot of twos. :\

Anyway, the prompt is this: How do you feel about changing yourself? What do you think would happen if you began to change? Do you think you can change? Why or why not? Write several paragraphs answering these questions.

I feel excited and hopeful about changing. I feel like it's a huge weight than can be lifted from my shoulders. Finding out about codependency and all the shit that comes with it has made it obvious that Tina couldn't really be in-love with me in that state, mostly just a shell of a person. Changing makes me hopeful for our relationship. Just understanding the unhealthy habits I've developed because of codependency has made a huge change in our relationship. I feel like I don't have to hold her in this cage, afraid of her flying away. Part of that is the feeling of having nothing to lose, anyway. Things between us are so much better, but I also feel like undoing my codependency will make it so that if she does leave me and whatever, I may be able to find a healthy relationship with a person that has the capacity to love me the way I deserve. Even though I still have trouble feeling like I DO deserve it. That's part of codependency that I struggle with...

Part of me is afraid if I change too much of the codependent characteristics and I'm not the selfless caretaker anymore, I'll just be some asshole. I feel like giving so much and doing so many good things is part of what makes me a good person and what makes people like me. Even though I guess I've been doing it all for the wrong reasons. It concerns me that I might not be able to find a good balance between giving everything to the point that I don't take care of myself and only worrying about myself. I guess it's good that I am aware on on guard for that.

I do think I am capable of change. I didn't used to think so, but part of that was just because I didn't exactly know what was wrong. I knew the symptoms, but I didn't understand my behavior. Tina and I had talked about co-dependence before, but we always thought of it as this depending on each other, NEEDING each other thing, not so much of the other bullshit. Well, I thought that at least. Not sure about how Tina understood it or didn't. Now that I understand what I'm up against, I think I can make changes in my life so that I am happier and actually more capable of making the people around me happy. Though I am trying to be focused on the first part of that. :)


I'm thinking I'd like to start writing here more often. I think recording my own thoughts and feelings are really important to this process.
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Baked Penne w/Meat Sauce [Mar. 20th, 2011|08:50 pm]
Grant Walker

Baked Penne w/Meat Sauce, originally uploaded by ItsWalkerTime.

Baked penne with meat sauce. Topped with shredded mozzarella & cheddar,
grated asiago & parmesan, sliced provolone and fresh basil & oregano from my
lil garden. Yep, it was good.

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Chile Chicken Tacos w/Homemade Lemon-Lime Slushy. [Mar. 13th, 2011|04:34 pm]
Grant Walker

Chile Chicken Tacos w/Homemade Lemon-Lime Slushy.

Sharp white cheddar cheese, yellow onion, roma tomatoes, romaine lettuce and
pasila pepper strips. I ended up adding sour cream and jalapeno to this
after the photo, but I was too hungry to reshoot. :P Hopefully the slushy is
not lost on those who don’t live in the 80º South Florida weather. I
sweetened it with turbinado sugar and it came out pretty nice.

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Grilled Italian Beef Pinwheels [Mar. 6th, 2011|09:31 pm]
Grant Walker

I took some thin top round steak, pounded it flat, covered in asiago pesto cheese & fresh grated garlic, topped with fresh basil and either sliced portabello & spinach or sliced bell peppers, rolled it up, skewered it and sliced into pinwheels. Grilled and served with pasta & fresh tomato/onion/garlic/mushroom (with a little lemon) sauce. Garnished with cracked black pepper, sea salt and fresh basil.

It was actually better than it sounds. Seriously.

Some creation shots... +2Collapse )

I'm hoping the deliciousness of the picture will distract from the horrible grammar or whatever. I'm still a little hypnotized from eating it.
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