Sunday, November 27, 2005


I have to say I've been pretty and jaded in regards to love and meeting new people lately because of a heartbreaking relationship that ended this summer. To be honest I thought she was going to be the "one" because of how we reacted to each other and mostly because of how she would make me feel everytime I saw her...even when time were bad. After we broke up I began to think a lot about passion and love and true love, etc and wondering if it would ever happen again and pretty much deciding that if it happened again it would probably not be for a long time. You see I'm not someone that has a particular type of person I'm physically attracted to it's usually their presence and eventually their passion about something that wins me over and then the physical. Everyone I've dated save 1 or 2 people have attracted me in that way. To top things off my work schedule has played complete hell with my social life and I've had a hard time meeting new people aside from friends of friends which has been nice. The point being is that I've pretty much figured that meeting someone else that attracts me in such a way would be fairly limited these days.

So...yeah. I get into the gym today for my workout, it's a cold rainy day and I've been under the weather so I'm not particularly motivated to be there. I'm on the treadmill doing my cardio and lo and behold she walks in and right after getting a good look at her I literally tripped all over the treadmill in that ridiculously slapstick way that I'm sure completely took any cool points I might have had initially and squashed them. I mean wow. My heart just literally leapt out of my chest. I don't know how to explain it...she just walked into the gym and BAM!!

I don't really know how to describe her except to say that I couldn't keep my eyes off of her and the whole time I was on the treadmill or doing my Lower Body Workout I kept sneaking glances at her in the mirror and I caught her looking at me. It started getting a bit high schoolish because we moved beyond the mirror and started actually looking straight at each other. At one point I lost her while I was doing legs presses and looked all the way around the gym and she was right behind me and I got caught no only looking at her but turning all the way around to find her. How embarassing. To say the least I had no idea how to act since most for my friends that are girls have told me time and time again NEVER NEVER NEVER hit on a girl at the gym because it's terribly cliche and frankly it's not me.

So while I was thinking of incredibly witty things to say or some non-sketchy way to approach her she finished her workout and went home. So in (hopeful) anticipation of seeing her again at the gym I posted my plight to the ladies on BFL tracker to get some ideas on non sketchy ways to introduce myself to her without seeming to eager. So far a lot of the responses have ranged from humorous, to inane, to very good :) Anyone else that has some constructive advice help me

Friday, November 25, 2005

One body two different arms

Well I was getting worried about this two weeks ago and now I'm getting more than a little worried. I'm right handed yet my left arm is a lot stronger than my right arm. This is weird because as I said I'm right handed, but it's starting to affect my workouts because my right arm is seriously dragging behind my left. Does anyone have this problem or know of anything that might fix it??

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Well I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. I'm having to work the NOC again today so my dinner will be eaten at my desk most like while troubleshooting some nebulous network problem that probably will need to be resolved Monday...but hey we're a 7/24/365 center and the internet backbone sleeps for no one. It looks like week 6 is shaping up to be similar to week 5 in the workout department. I might get in 4 workouts this week if I can finish strong over the weekend (gym is closed today of course) which would be one more than last week. It's not that I'm not motivated, I'm eating clean and journaling and doing all of the right stuff. It's just that I'm working a ton of hours these past two weeks and my schedule combined with the gym schedule has left my workout options fairly limited. I may by a jumprope or something of that nature so I can work out at home. It's funny...I'm actually stronger than my dumbell set at home so it's hard to imagine staying in and hitting 10's with that...oh well. I'm still eating clean and living healthy so that's the most important thing. Well that's it for today just wanted to update since I hadn't been able to in about 4 days just to let you guys know I'm still kicking :)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Tommorow will be interesting...

Well tommorow I work for the brand spanking new AT&T, Inc. Well I mean I'm not leaving one company for another...I currently work for the company formerly known as just plain AT&T. On Friday the State of California gave it's approval thus clearning the last hurdle for the merger of AT&T with it's long lost child SBC communications. As many of you may or may not know AT&T was at one time a regulated monopoly up until 1984 in which it was broken up into the Regional Bell Operating Companies for local services and AT&T retained the right to the Long Distance Services. However, by 2001 AT&T and the other RBOC's (Bell South, Verizon, SBC, etc) had all found ways to cross over into each other's territories and wound up competitors that began eating up the competition and pretty soon each other. SBC acquired AT&T and tommorow will be a brand new AT&T. Verizon will more than likely finish it's acquisition of MCI sometime in the new year and very soon I think you'll see Qwest and Bell South making a bid for Nextel/Sprint just to stay alive in the new era of the new Uber-Telecom. I don't really know what the future is going to hold for me...I work in the Business Services Area, focusing on Data Networks which is something that SBC doesn't have a large footprint in and what was a large part of AT&T's business near the end. In this new environment there are talks of wireless data networks for large residential areas, rolling out television broadcasts and even more products. It's definitely dog eat dog out there and it will be a rather interesting place in the future. I wonder where the steps my new company takes tommorow will lead me.

Living vicariously though my blog friends...

I've been noticing lately that everyone seems to be having a more fascinating time in their lives lately than I am. People are off meeting music legends, jetting to mexico and there is just FAR too much sex going on around here that I'm not a part of :) Seriously though it's amusing reading a lot of your entires because they are becoming little soap operas that I'm becoming addicted to!! I'm curious about the in's and out's of everyone's lives. It's become addicting and each one of your entries is almost a cruel cliffhanger making me want to know what happens next!!

Will Bev's Fireman be her true love, what kind of strange adventures will Suzanne and Dub have in Mexico, Will Karla's husband ever clear custom's, will Karenna keep from smacking the sister in law?? Of course there are lots more but overall it's seems like everyone has all of these interesting subplots going on in their lives that I read about. It's weird to me as I'm used to being the one with all of the interesting stories and now I'm getting the play by play while eating pot roast at work!! Maybe I should have started my BFL last year when I first started dating my ex...there would have been excellent fodder for all of you to enjoy. Car chases, crazy ex's, road trips, crazy sex, animals of all kinds, crazy sex, bad attempts at drawing writing and singing, crazy sex...well you get the picture.

I stop for a few months to take a breather and the world just passed me right by. Well no more...after I eat dinner and watch Harry Potter tonight I'm going to my local bar, starting a fight, picking up a woman with a mysterious past, driving to Florida to rescue her long lost brother and then collecting the reward money. Okay I'm probably just heading to bed with a class of skim milk and a small purr box named Charly...but I can dream :) Glad all of you are having interesting times it makes it so much more enjoyable to read than seeing what you eat or how much you've've all truly given me the gift of friendship here if only in the digital format :)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The update...

Well I finally made it back to the gym for the 2nd day in 5. Overall I've eaten clean so I'm not feeling terribly guilty buy damn I've really let the workouts slide...but I did have some fun tonight brought some friends back from some fat free cheese, whole wheat, fat free sour cream and salsa vegetarian quesidillas :) Okay that sounds a little weird but for some reason they opened my fridge and found a ton of healthy food and made the best of it lol

Okay this week I ate the whole EFL pot roast, turkey sandwiches, whole wheat toast with peanut butter, chicken, potatoes, brocolli, carrots, cottage cheese, yogurt, grapes, almonds and salads. You should all be proud of me!! Okay...yes I'm a little sauced right now but that's okay :) Overall I'm really proud of myself though. I've actually lost 2 lbs and I'm weighing 195 today under the 197 plateau I've been at for about 3 weeks. I'm actually seeing some pectoral muscles coming in with some bicep and tricep tones. I actually went out tonight and had a few of my girlfriends feel the tightness...okay I was showing off a little but hey what can I do :)

Tonight's workout was a little different...I mixed HIIT elliptical trainer with my biceps workout which was another different exercise (preacher curls...really like them actually) and hammers which I don't like but I'll deal with. I'm going to do legs, shoulder and back tommorow and then another HIIT cardio sunday. I've been pretty bad about working out this week so I'm sort of catching up neart the end. I guess I'm feeling like the weekends lately are the only times I get serious about working out...weird...i know. Okay I'm going to head to bed and wake up and get an early start tommorow...going to check out Harry Potter 4 and maybe start sketching and cleaning up this place a little more. Hopefully everyone is having a nice weekend...don't have too much sex ;)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Week 5 Chaos

Well I've missed 2 of the first 3 days for working out this week so it looks like I'm bucking up from here on out. This week has been pure hell at work as it seems that every damn thing that could break it breaking. For those of you that don't know what I do it's fairly simple to explain: I monitor customer networks for AT&T. Site at a desk and when something breaks I either fix it myself or work with a group of people remotely to fix it at the site. A large part of my troubles are due to power, weather, natural disaster, a jackass with a backhoe, faulty network tranport equipment or just simply someone tripping over a wire and not plugging it back in.

Essentially I am part of a team that monitors about 30,000 networks devices all over the world and when one breaks then I've got to nurse it back to health any way I can. Well this week we've had tornados, rain, people cutting major fiber optic cables and any other number of issues and with the possible finalization of our Merger with SBC looming as soon as this weekend everyone is going nuts. Additionally I've taken on a supervisory position of which my promotion is conditional on how well I do in that capacity. I've been told I'm next in line for a promotion but the paperwork, merger related crap and the usual red tape are holding it up. Needless to say I've been coming home wired and until I detox a bit I can't get to sleep until 3 or 4 am and since I'm usually out the door headed to work around 1 pm I haven't had a lot of time to sleep, make my meals and cram in a workout here and there. It's nights like this that make me wish I had joined a 24 hour gym instead of the local YMCA...but overall I like the Y better for the extras that other gyms around here don't offer.

Despite the missed workouts I have been eating very well though. Keeping everything close to 40/40/20 and keeping the calories around 2200-2500 depending on whether or not I get time for the 6th meal. My saving grace has been my turkey sandwich, my two protein shakes, whole wheat toast with peanut butter and the spare moment I can reheat that pot roast. I'm going to try a few new recipes this weekend and hopefully will another successful dish. I've been lucky with the potroast as I think it will survive one more night and then it's all gone :)

Hope everyone is having a safe and sane week...reading your blogs it sounds like everyone is too busy having sex!!'s just like college...everyone is getting laid but me!! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Tao of Charly (Chuck)

Well since everyone else is posting pictures...and I bend to peer pressure with things like that I figured I would introduce everyone to my roommate Charly. Charly is 6 months old and was raised along with her brothers and sisters in my closet. She is the daughter of my ex girlfriends cat, Omen, and with a few slight differences is a spitting image of her mom both physically and in character. Overall Charly is like most young kittens, brave, adventuous and has absolutely no subtlety with her claws or teeth. Everytime I've "Charly Proofed" the apartment she finds new and interesting ways to break down what I've done. She's always wake me up in the morning if she thinks I've slept to long and although she doesn't always sleep in the bed with me at night she's usually in the room on top of my dresser keeping an eye on me. She's no longer following me everywhere I go but she definitely checks in from time to time. Her favorite places to sit on me are either my chest when I'm in bed, on my lap on the couch or across my shoulder in the office chair. Her purrs are like a small put powerful engine that seem to really astonish my friends her pet and love on her.

Likes: The red striped ball, shoeboxes, plastic bags, coins, paper, water of all kinds (weird), the television, IMing and chatting with Daddy's friends while he's not at home (I stay logged in, people say hello and amazingly she jumps across the keyboard and responds), flies, Daddy coming home after work, cooking with Daddy and hanging out in the shower while Daddy gets clean. Jumping into the fridge or the dishwasher and the top of the computer monitor.

Dislikes: Daddy going to work, gym, being out of eye range completely. The crazy squirrel and beaver that come up to the porch. The blender, the alarm clock and the phone.

New Exercises...ouch

Well it's the second set of 4 weeks and I'm mixing it up again. Instead of Flat Dumbell Press and 1 set of Flies I'm doing 5 sets of flies (ouch) and 1 set of Decline Press (holy ouch) and using a rope tricep pullover (may need to change to bar) and triceps extensions while standing vs the tricep pulldowns and overhead extensions on the high point. Man I'm hurting today. I'm glad that I've been dividing the upper body workouts over a period of days rather than all at's really helped my strength gains and to help keep me on track. I do chest and triceps, then shoulders and legs and then biceps and back. I do Abs on my cardio days in between.

Well mixing it up definitely has me feeling pumped and most likely VERY sore tommorow which is good. I'm glad I changed it up as I felt a lot of different muscles getting worked out today that didn't get their attention the first four weeks. I'll have to figure out what I'm going to eat in a little bit as I have to do some work here at the house for work and may have to just make something on the fly...pot roast is looking good yet again :)


Dumbell Flies
Set 1 - 12x30
Set 2 - 1ox40
Set 3 - 8x50
Set 4 - 6x60
Set 5 - 12x50
High Point Set - Decline Dumbell Press
12x50 (Holy HELL what a 10)


Overhead Extension using a rope
Set 1 - 12x30
Set 2 - 10x40
Set 3 - 8x50
Set 4 - 6x60
Set 5 - 12x40
High Point Set - Standing Tricep Extensions
12x25 (WOW That burned)

Monday, November 14, 2005


Okay so I'm officially eating the pot roast, carrots and potatoes for dinner right now...I mean RIGHT THIS SECOND...and I'm having to break and tell you that it's GOOD!!

Okay back to food...

Week 5 begins...

Week 5 begins and I'm back to work after a week's vacation. I'm not terribly bitter...really. All told I'm actually in a pretty good mood so I don't know what's up with that but I'll take it. I'm still feeling slightly under the weather and chose a little extra sleep and rest over my UBWO today so I might run when I get home tonight if I'm feeling up to it and do my UBWO in the morning.

Meals today are

M1 - 2 slices Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and 1 banana
M2 - Turkey Sandwich (Turkey, lettuce, tomatoe, low fat cheese and lettuce) and Bananna
M3 - EFL Pot Roast, Carrots and Potatoes
M4 - Cottage Cheese/Almond Halves/Yogurt mix (almost like a dessrt)
M5 - Protein Shake

According to it's 33% Protein, 41% Carbs and about 26% Fat and right at about 2,100 cals which is about where I want it.


Last night I put in a rather large piece of rump roast, carrots, potatoes, onions, beef broth and water into my crock pot and this morning? VOILA!!! EFL ROAST!!! Holy cow I woke up to that smell and had a little taste myself :) That's right I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for learning a new meal *Does crazy manly victory dance around the kitchen in my t-shirt and shorts*

Sunday, November 13, 2005

week 4 pics...before and after shots

So here are my week 4 before and after photos. I'm actually a lot more please now that I see these side by side. I'm most pleased with the back and the love handles and although you can't see it the quads and calves and toning up quite nicely. The biceps, triceps and deltoids are rounding out nicely but no real tone yet...hope to have that by the end of the challege. Overall I need a lot more work in the stomach and chest area so i'll have to watch what I'm eating more and definitely do more ab work as well. Also don't make fun of the hair...I'm purposely growing out the hair and the beard so I can hide the transformation a lot's my cocoon remember? :) After the new year I promise I'll look a lot more human.

Back to business...

Well it's Sunday and it's the last bittersweet day of Vacation. I've not had as restful of a time as I would have liked due to personal drama (dating sucks) and a bit of the cold/flu bug hitting me near that end. But I've also find that idle hands are the devils playthings in terms of being on my own most of the week leading to a week of bad eating despite making it to the gym 5 out of 7 days. But I will be back on track this week and have already either made or planned out my meals for the week and that's a great feeling. I'll be posting my 4 week pics on the tracker as soon as my camera battery recharges. I'm thinking about posting them as combinations of my week 0 and week 4 pics side by side to see the progress. I'll have to fiddle with photoshop a bit for that but I don't think it will be too tough but if anyone knows a quick and dirty way to do it please tell me!!

On the blog side I have managed to add those of you that have posted or responded to my comments on my links list. If I've missed anyone or you want to be added then let me know...I think I have the hang of it now.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sick but fighting the good fight...

Well I'm still pretty under the weather but I renewed my effort to finish the weekend eating well. Last night in a fit of flu inspired madness I cleaned out my entire fridge as temptation still harbored itself in the form of two beers, 3 digornos pizzas and just some old leftovers that needed to go. I then went to the local Harris Teeter (that's the local supermarket here in North Carolina) and bought about 150 dollars worth of food. Now for a single male thats a shitload of food. I think most of it was the usual stables I find on the BFL site concerning my first weeks groceries. Amazingly I had most of the spices which are usually 3-6 dollars a pop when you buy them individually so that saved some moolah there. I mostly bought yogurt, cottage cheese, some fruit mixed nuts and dressings to go along with the usual meats and veggies.

I was getting pretty bored with a lot of what I had been eating the first four weeks and knew I needed a change. I've been reading more of the EFL book and joined that fitday website as well which blew my mind on how much I needed to adjust certain parts of my diet in terms of the 40/40/20 range of eating. So this weekend I'll be making the EFL roast, a few of the chicken dishes (even saw one from GymBeamin on the BFL tracker that looked good) and will mix in more yogurt, fruit and nuts into my daily regimen again to make things interesting. I know that in the past, boredom has killed me on eating right so I have to shake it up a bit. Hopefully I'll learn a for more dishes...I mean come on...chicks dig a guy that can cook...or so I've read in Cosmo...errrr...I mean Playboy...yeah that's it.

I'm pretty sure I won't see the gym until monday as my head still feel's like it's in a vise, but if I'm lucky I'll do some HIIT cardio tommorow and take my 4 week pictures. I feel pretty good despite making alcohol about 25% of my intake ;) Overall I'm about the same weight wise and I'm happy with that at the moment. I'm seeing my body reshape itself depsite the weight and my chest for the most part is sticking out further than my stomach...that in and of itself if reason for celebration. I'm heading back to the couch to finish the ton of DVD's I rented.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Man I don't know what this's not an allergy but it doesn't quite feel like a cold. Regardless I've either been in bed all day, on the couch, or binge eating as I haven't felt like doing anything. Bleah. I'm really hoping to get over this soon as the vacation eating hasn't been the cleanest and now that I'm eating crap overall today I'm worried about Monday. I'm not having any temptations to quit the program I'm just feeling...well crappy today.

Ugh...possible cold...

So I've been fighting a possible bug the last few hours and now I'm completely stuffed up...prognosis is not good. Maybe for EFL chicken soup is in order. I may do my cardio tommorow and skip the LBWO this week in order to clear my head up a bit. We'll see. Anyone having this issue right now?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Crossing the Abyss has been a solo flight...

So I'm on vacation this week...not by choice but because I had to use it or lose the time off for the rest of the year. Well no one else has been around during the days so I've been spending a lot of time watching movies, working out...and...eating. Overall it's been rather boring and my workouts have been less spirited than usual and I think that's also in part to some rather bad eating on my part. I have had a few personal setbacks outside of BFL this week as well so that's another things that's weighed me down a bit as well. Overall it seems that everyone I know either wants to go out drinking, see a movie or just lounge around on the couch. I on the other hand am wanting to go out and get out of the house and do something active, take some photographs, go on a road trip, go hiking and then...maybe end it with a movie, a drink or too and then lounge on the couch. It's heartbreaking to realize that a majority of the friends I made were as a result of the old lethargic Jeremy and now, like the new clothes I'm having to buy, I may need to start looking for some more friends.

I was reading Jim Shelton's Blog and noticed that he was having problems relating to a lot of his friends that he had had for 17 years and realized that perhaps I'm going through the same thing. I'm meeting a lot of wonderfully active and interesting people through the online forums on the bodyforlifetracker as well as the individual blogs, but overall none of them live less than an hour's drive from me and thus it's fun to interact online but I would rather get some time offline as well. You folks are wonderful, don't get me wrong, but unless I'm actually hanging out and interacting with you online, there is still an element, a closeness of interaction that you miss that you normally get with your close friends locally.

I'm happy I've made the decision to go, I feel like I've made a choice to join an elite and disciplined group of people and thus my past life is going to be shaken up by that. But I'm still sad that as I'm moving into a different area of my life that I'm finding myself shedding some deep rooted parts as well and that hurts a bit. I'm finding that my mind and emotions aren't always changing as rapidly as my physical body and thus I may begin to look like a different person on the outside I do realize that I still have some work to do on the inside.

I love you guys and I hope that you are all having a great day :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Woo Hoo...

...I can bend down and not only touch my toes but I can actually put my entire finger tips on the floor!!!

Vacation week...temptation...heartbreak...drama...who needs TV?

Well it's Wednesday already and my vacation is over half over. I've been good about working out although the eating is slipping this week but not terribly so but I may not be able to have a free day until 2008 :) Also this week I found out the evil's of blogdom: I was dumped via blog. Yes I've hit a new low...well not me necessarily I feel it's just that I'm less a bad judge of character but still dating the people I used to date when I was still a depressed individual and not allowing myself to realize that I needed to move up the ladder instead of standing still. Essentially she posted her concerns about dating me again (we dated 4 years ago and the situation just wasn't right) and said that overall she just wasn't interested in going further. Okay. Fine. I actually deal with rejection, constructive criticism, etc very well. I'm not expecting to be what everyone is wanting.

Big problem...I read her blog entry before I got the fact I read the blog entry 2 days after she had apparently written it and STILL hadn't heard from her up to that point. Well needless to say I was more than a little embarassed on top of the sting of rejection. So we spoke about it and apparently she has the option on her blog to set certain entries to be private or for certain friends only. Honest mistake but still doesn't really excuse that fact that I was getting the cold shoulder the whole time. Oh well lots of fish in the sea...although I guess I'm more concerned about the fact that it was really out of character for her to be so muted about something as she tends to have an opinion about many things and has no problems expressing them or being confrontational when asked to defend herself either.

I think I'll hold off on the dating for a least until after the holiday and my first challenge is over as I have a lot on my plate with my job, the usual holiday stress and just reigning in all the temptations I have around me during this initial phase of transformation from the old Jeremy to the new Jeremy. On a happier note I was able to wear my favorite T-Shirt today around town and for the first time my chest was sticking out more than my stomach so I was incredibly happy about that. Little victories...little victories.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Gym Etiquette

So I'm at my gym today which is the local YMCA. Great place and 95% of the people there are wonderful and friendly...except for the boys 16-22 that just go there to lift weights in front of the girls who are working out on the treadmills. Now hey...I'm a guy and I want to impress the ladies too but I came to workout. So these guys are picking up the heaviest weights they can and trying about 3-4 reps a piece with the veins popping out of their heads and even worse they are standing in the way of my weights between sets.

Now I'm very willing to give room and space and I find that most people are in the zone when lifting so I try to be cognizant of that and wait until they were finished. But these little bastards would just work out right in front of my weights and were frankly in the way the whole time...why? because it was in the line of site of the girls. So of couse I would say excuse me the first few times while getting around them for my next weight set. Of course I waited until they were done but they just wouldn't move. So finally I just stopped saying excuse me and just started getting around them whether they were working out or not and when they were done asked them to please work out on the floor not in the way of the weights. Well hey...I'm just some old man and they just gave me the whatever and started talking and gawking at the girls. Well I'm too into my workout to stop now so I just keep going.

Well I've tried being nice, I've tried being MAD!!! HULK ANGRRRRYYYYYY!!! So I start getting to my high points and start grunting like a madman...I'm mean I'm really having a great workout. This boys look at me like my skin is turning green and I'm going to burst out of my clothes in a rage because I'm huffing and puffing so much. Well I think that did it because about that time they gave up and left and I had my free access to the weights.

Well later on I'm stretching and listening to the sounds around me and I hear the girls the boys were gawking at and I hear them laughing and saying how stupid the boys were and that the guy that was making all the noises was someone they should have been asking advice from instead of making fun of.

Man that felt good to hear. It's hard going into a gym when you're out of shape, it's harder to deal with rude people when you're trying to improve yourself and sometimes even over the long haul you have those little victories that don't have to appear on the scale or in the mirror...sometimes it's just getting respect.

Hope everyone had a great day today

Who Ya Gonna Call....

Ghostbuster 2
Originally uploaded by idiotsworld.
So Halloween was fun this year. Went to a fun party, actually had women talk to me (thanks to the slim down) and not talking to the guy behind me. Even talked one of the girls into a date which I went on last night...but most importantly...I rocked the house as a ghostbuster which I think everyone will agree was a good call.

Idiotsworld presents the BFL Blog for Havlow...

Hey everyone it's Jeremy/Havlow from the BFL Tracker. I decided to start this blog to join this community here as well as the tracker as this allows more space for personal reflection, silly pictures, track my progress and maybe get to know people a little better. I'm currently finished up week 3 of my first challenge and hope to converse with many people from the Body For Life Tracker as well as anyone else that find this journal worth reading.