Thursday, May 28, 2009

Well THAT's Not Right

Yes... Not Right... capital N, capital R.

OK... in a couple of weeks I'm going on a trip.  Yes, it's paintball-related, go fig.  No, D is not coming with me (as he has a prior commitment), and I'm going with some of the guys from the team.  We'll be in 2 vehicles... in one will be 2 of the co-captains and their wives.  In the other will be me and 4 of the other guys from the team.  Interesting enough.  Throw in that it's a 17 hour drive (with no stops... so add some to that, since they'll have to make pit stops for us ladies ;) )... and that we're leaving at 1:00 p.m. in order to arrive at the event in the morning to spend the full day on-site.  Also add that the vehicle in which I'll be travelling is a mini-van (not the most comfortable for sleeping if you happen to get stuck in one of the centre-row seats).  And... just for laughs... add in that when I don't get enough sleep I'm a bag of toys (entertaining, but really not good for much)... and with little enough sleep (generally anything less than about 5 hours) my entire system organizes and stages a rebellion that starts with me being extremely cranky and goes downhill rapidly from there.

Sounds like fun, no? *laugh*

Ok... so in an effort to combat all of these entertaining prospects, I figure I'll do some investigation into energy drinks to find something that doesn't turn my stomach, doesn't turn my mouth inside out, doesn't trigger hives, and might keep me somewhat functional.

Attempt #1:  Red Bull.  Good Lord!  Blech.  Excuse me while I take a scrubbing brush to my tongue.  Yeah... not going to work.  Fails miserably on point #2, leading to a fail on point #1.  2 sips and that test was done.

Attempt #2:  Full Throttle Unleaded (sugar free) Citrus Flavoured.  Ok... I went "unleaded" because... well... I'm down 30 lbs, I know darn well my eating habits for the 5 days I'm gone will be hellish, why add to that with a crapload of sugar?  Hmm... yes... well, not a concern, as it turns out.  Popped it open, caught a whiff and said "uh-oh".  Took a tiny sip, and promptly handed the can to D.  Why?  Grapefruit triggers point #3... and this gem would definitely fail on that point.

Ok... moving right along...

Attempt #3:  Monster Khaos (the orange one).  Ok, very tasty orange flavour... passed on points 1, 2, and 3... but sadly led to significant stomach & abdominal pain.  So... no go there, either.

Hrm... this isn't looking good.  So when I was doing groceries a couple of days ago, I picked up a few more to try... all of them "Beaver Buzz" brand... one citrus (which again, will have to be tried when D's around just in case there's a grapefruit component), one black currant (yumm... I LURVE Black Currants... it better live up to it ;) )... and one "Premium Buzz Green Tea Energy".

Well... today I was feeling less than perky, so I figured I'd give one a shot. 

Attempt #4:  Reached for the Green Tea one... has Green Tea (good)... has Ginseng (good)... has the usual energy drink crap (less good, but that's expected).  *phist*  Ok... non-carbonated, that's good.  Tastes like various green tea iced teas I've had... also good.  Passed #'s 1, 2, 3... no pain... but sadly it seems to be failing miserably on point #4.  Which seems a little counter productive, and leads to the title of this entry.

Now... when I did the test with the Monster brand... I was tired when I finished it... I was downright sleepy shortly after (and I do mean shortly)... but it was also a long day of driving (ok, so I was the passenger, but still), and a lot of 'fresh air' and sun, so I didn't relate the two... now I'm beginning to think that I should have.

Back in 1st year, I used to hit the Engineering tuck shop before heading to my Algebra tutorial.  It was routine.  Routinely I'd grab a big cookie and a bottle of Jolt (all the sugar and twice the caffeine of regular colas).  Routinely I'd fall asleep in the tutorial.  Now, back then I had low blood-sugar and my doc told me that's why caffeine put me to sleep.

I no longer have low blood sugar... and regular tea/cola has no effect on me... but it seems that the combination of stimulants in Energy Drinks might well still be tripping the wrong switch in my brain *sigh*

3 more tries to see if that's actually what's going on here (2 more Buzz drinks, and a "5 hour energy")... just under 2 weeks to see if one of them will work for me.

So... anyone out there have similar issues?  Caffeine put you to sleep?  Gravol make you jittery? (yeah... I'm a freak on that score, too *laugh*) Got any other suggestions???

'k... think I'll go crash now... Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

No Title Today

Ok... I had this big long post drafted up for Mother's Day, but I think it's a little too close to the bone to post.  Suffice it to say... don't forget to hug the "forgotten mothers" in your life today.  The ones who don't (for whatever reason) have kids to call/send flowers/give cards.

And instead of that big long post, I have to fill the space somehow... and since yesterday was the team's first "Big Game" of the 2009 paintball outdoor season, I'll prattle on about that for a while ;)

To start... yes, I know I'm a probationary member of the team.  Yes, I know that technically I've played paintball before.  However, I can say, having experienced yesterday... I had no idea what it was really like.  In a good way. *grin*

D and I got up in the early hours (yes, boys and girls, they make a 5:00 in the morning on weekends, too) and were on the road to procure food, gasoline, and money (not necessarily in that order) and hit the road for Flasc Paintball's field down the road from the Hamilton Airport.  There had been weather uncertainty and much sky-watching all week wondering if the weather would cooperate and stay dry for us.  Well.. there was some rain during the week... making the ground wet enough that I started to wonder as we pulled in to park if, perhaps, we need to investigate getting a 'paintball vehicle'.  Certainly, we were very glad that we'd brough my car and not D's.  And that was at the START of the day.

The team recently did a very large gear order in the hopes of getting us all kitted out with the uniform before taking to the fields as a 'unit'.  Some hiccups to that plan, but it worked well enough that we looked like a team when we all rolled onto the field to start the fight.  But first, we had to figure out how to change into it.  Thank goodness for friends with heavily tinted mini-vans *laugh*.  Side-effects was kind enough to oblige when I asked if I could borrow his van... with D standing guard because 6 feet of me wouldn't quite fit in the van with all the gear and stuff that was still there *laugh*.  So we geared up, checked in, grabbed our bags and paint and headed into the 'dead box' to get sorted out.  There were a few mud puddles, and generically damp ground, but it wasn't too bad.  There were some skids lying around, and tarps to cover gear, so we took full advantage while we chronied and got some pre-game instructions.

And then the heavens opened.  A good half-hour of solid, steady rain.  A note for future reference... rain inside the mask before you put it on... Bad Thing.  This leads to fogging... and difficulty spotting targets between the rain speckles.  Mosquitos inside the lens?  Also not good.

D and the rest of the probationary members (except me) were instructed to stage a mass charge as soon as the game began... and they did, taking the opposing forces completely by surprise, flanking them, and taking control of their base within the first 5 minutes of play.  I was assigned to body-guard our general. I'm cool with that.  I probably took far fewer hits than I would have otherwise... and it meant less stress on my less-than-fully-functional knees *laugh*  I got to try out the APEX that came with the marker set-up we bought from another team-mate for me, finally (it's a but much for indoor, really)... I had a blast.  Our general didn't get shot-out until after I was gone, and I lasted a good long while before that happened, thankfully.  I was so proud of myself... I made people duck!

I know... that sounds pretty lame.  But bear in mind, when playing indoors (until yesterday my only experience), I was a bit of a 'paint magnet'... I rarely lasted longer than about 30 seconds and posed little or no threat to anyone on the field.  So seeing people duck away from my firing line... it felt damn good.

So, yeah... playing outside is a COMPLETELY different experience... but I'm still hooked ;)  It's gonna be an awesome season!!