The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nice Evening

I am teaching a special series of lectures on "Organizational Biology" to a group of middle and high school science teachers this week and next as part of my service efforts to help bridge the gap between K-12 and university education. The group seems moderately interested. That is a good sign.

My wife and I and my baby brother and his wife and two kids went to a state park and ate a picnic dinner and walked along the beach. It was an enjoyable evening.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Weekend Roundup

I am a bit surprised my medical care essay generated no comments. I wonder if Blogger is not working well?

This weekend was fairly good overall. My wife and I and the kids spent a good deal of time together. My wife made a wonderful split pea soup for dinner and we went to Saturday Mass.

Sunday, I finally was able to gather the courage to clean my beloved mother's bathroom and pack away her belongings in the bathroom. Amidst a great many tears, I was able to put the clothes she left in there, her perfumes, and her various other items into two boxes and moved them to the storage room in our basement. I also spent an enormous amount of time pouring out her many, many medications (and past medications that the doctor had removed her from. I had perhaps a half gallon container filled with these pills when I finished. I have sealed them, and am investigating the best way to safely dispose of them. Flushing them down the sewer is very harsh on the environment, and yet there are not many (at least that I know of) facilities that will handle their disposal properly. I hope to figure it out in the next day or so.

Sunday ended with a dinner entitled "Chicken Marsalas" and then we took a brief swim and watched some television.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Head In Sand

I probably should not belabor the point, but very simply... anyone who thinks that the American Health Care system is "the best" unfortunately is either a) too enamored with his/her political party line, or b) has his/her head in the sand.

Our health care system... is composed of EXTREMELY good doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals... most of whom are denegrated and downtrodden due to the overload of work that is NOT of their training.... namely the enormous beuracuracy involved in getting insurance companies to pay for services needed by patients.

Our health care system... is a nightmare for nearly every patient. If you have no insurance, poor insurance (read 100% of HMOs and many other insurance systems), or inadequate insurance, you live in fear of being able to GET treatment. If you have adequate or even good insurance, you live in fear that the denegrated, downtrodden, and overworked health care workers will slip up and make horrendous mistakes in your care.

Our health care system.... is torture for anyone who has a loved one participating in the system (as a patient or a health care worker), for it turns your life topsy-turvey and shoots your stress hormones through the roof continually. I know, I live and lived the experience. I live it with a myriad of relatives who are in the health care profession (wife, sister, cousins, nieces), and I LIVED it most certainly in trying to help my beloved mother receive care. I had to be a nearly 24 hour a day patient advocate to get my mother the care she needed. I sometimes fear that she died because I WAS NOT at the hospital with her at 5am (I had been numerous times previously) and did not monitor her every symptom while I was there (like I had numerous times previously). I was not there at 5am because I was sleeping for a few, brief hours to try to get ready to teach my course and quickly get back to her hospital bed. Families should be COMFORTED that their loved one is being looked after and is getting adequate medical care if in the hospital. I never felt that way, after the numerous oversites, delays, and outright mistakes they made during the over 15 years I was my mother's primary care giver in terms of health care awareness.

I would gladly trade the above (which is DUE TO THE HORRID INSURANCE COMPANIES who step on patients and kick health care workers to increase their already enormous profits) for what they have in Canada, England, or France.

It is appaling.


Thursday, July 26, 2007


My wife and I went to see "Sicko" the Michael More film. It is an excellent film and points out the shameful way in which we as a nation deal with health care. It is enormously frustrating that health care is determined by your status in life in our country.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Short & Bittersweet

Today has not been the most pleasant of days.

1. An argument ensued between my wife and I because I became frustrated at her giving me "attitude" about a few things the last day or so. I tried to let things slide and tried to be supportive, but the third time "attitude" happened, I became angry. This resulted in roughly an hour being taken up in terms of first being mad, and then with agonizingly slow response, a gradual "meeting of the minds". Issues were resolved, but the cost in emotional and physical energy was enormous.

2. I butted my head up against another of the myriad of assinine rules that my University has for the spending of money. I very simply wanted to order some supplies for my lab to help get ready for the next big push in the Fall. Idiot me, I did not realize this damnable University has set an assinine policy where the credit card our laboratory technician uses has a monthly maximum that can be spent. This is not determined by the ACCOUNT the funds are coming from... it is just an OVERALL limit. Because of this b*llsh*t, my $200 order must wait until the first of August before it can be ordered because all of the other accounts by the various other people in the Department already hit the $6000 limit. Stupid, damable, arbitrary, b*llsh*t nonsense that does absolutely nothing but impede work and progress and give some son-of-a-b*tch*ng assinine administrator an inflated ego and sense of purpose for doing absolutely nothing of any merit whatsoever.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What is the Meaning?

I am in a rather philosophical, psychosocial mood tonight. I have been trying to feel a need or a drive or a purpose to my existence. I remember during various stages of my life a true sense of purpose, a vivid goal, a reason I needed to do what I was doing in life. A few examples:

1. In graduate school, I knew I needed to have the goal of graduating with my Ph.D. in order to do the work I wanted in life (teaching, research, service), especially because I wanted to be at a university accomplishing those things.

2. During the application process for my professorship at the University, and the various rewards accrued along the way... tenure, promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor, promotion from Associate Professor to Full Professor, the various applications for sabbatical, the campaigns for a variety of elected offices at the university or at regional and national associations related to my research, etc.

3. The caring for and the monitoring of the health of my beloved mother during the last several years of her life.

I find myself now, without a goal, without a purpose. Please do not get me wrong... I still love my wife and my family and I love my job. But I seem incapable of doing anything other than simply drift from one moment to the next, never feeling a drive or a need to "do" or "accomplish" or "strive" for improvement anymore. It feels so odd, and also so empty. I used to think of myself as a "Don Quixote" and I have several essays about the sense of urgent goal and purpose in previous entries on this site. Yet, I no longer feel that. I feel adrift, almost akin to a void in my soul, for I do not feel that passion to ACCOMPLISH something.

Sure, I could find a hobby (rebuild another car, write another article, take another stab at writing a novel), but that seems hollow and unfulfilling. I could give more time to service (perhaps join more committees, work more often at the soup kitchen (for the poor and/or homeless), etc), but that effort, while noble, does not ignite that feeling of a NEED for ME to exist.... and a NEED for me to STRIVE. I could also take more controlled risks (I could go skydiving again, renew my scuba diving adventures, again become balanced on the old unicycle I have)... but why? To what purpose?

I do not like this nebulous state. I miss feeling driven towards a goal. And adopting some arbitrary goal is simply a poor substitute for having a real goal.

Perhaps it is my age, perhaps it is my state in life, perhaps it is depression? Who the hell knows. I just wish I could figure it out and fix it. Is there any real meaning to anything I do? Was there ever any meaning or value to it? Is there any value in this blog? Is there any meaning or value in me? I wish I knew.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Birthday Celebration

Yesterday, we and our kids celebrated the birthday of my mother-in-law. We planned a meal along with my wife's sister and husband and son. My wife's brother, his wife and son elected not to participate for reasons that are a bit nebulous and unresolved.

I prepared two types of macaroni and cheese... traditional, and a second version which I call my Southwestern Spicy Macaroni and Cheese. My wife hand made two different caramel dishes. We also had hot dogs, hamburgers, taco salad, watermelon, cantaloupe, cake, and ice cream. It was a very pleasant way to spend Sunday afternoon.

When we returned home, I spent the next few hours cutting the lawn. Earlier in the day we cleaned the house stem to stern. My particular duties in cleaning were to vacuum the carpets on all three floors, work on the laundry, and to clean the cat boxes.

It felt good to have the work accomplished.

In the evening, I and my wife both felt sad thinking about my mother. These milestones... birthdays, holidays, and the like are days that are especially challenging to try to stay even keeled emotionally.

Before we went to bed, we watched two rather inane television shows... "Big Brother" on CBS and "The Next Food Network Star" on the Food Network. I am going to have a final pipe before bed.


Friday, July 20, 2007

20 Weeks

It has been 20 weeks since my beloved mother passed away. I miss her.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Organization Leads to Happiness?

In an effort to pull myself out of the doldrums and the sadness I have been feeling acutely again, I decided yesterday to utilize a simple "To Do" list approach. The list will have items I wish to accomplish in the evening prior to bed and also the items I wish to accomplish in the work day the following morning. I have approximate time lines as well.

In last night and today's efforts I did succeed in following my list, I worked on a specific amount of organizing of files last night, and looked through a few texts I received via inter-library loan for photocopying. I also packed clothes so that I could awaken early and simply head off to exercise. That too went smoothly and I also accomplished all the office/lab work I had on my list and left the office only 10 minutes late after the "To Do" designated time for today of 3pm.

It felt good. It has not negated my sadness but it has tempered it so it was less of a focus for today. Now, technically because I have accomplished my goals for the day, I am free until my next "To Do" list kicks in late this evening at roughly 11pm.

Hopefully this will become a habit and will prove helpful for me.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday Update

I am not sure if this is a real pattern or not (I sure as hell hope it is not.) but I seem to be having some rather challenging weekends that then bleed over into Monday and Tuesday of the following week.

Here is a rundown of events... none of which are actually bad, but all of them ended up leading to my very, very rough, emotional day on Monday:

Saturday... a pleasant overall day. My wife and I made some pea soup for dinner and at a big salad with this and a multi grain roll. It was quite good.

Sunday... We attended my wife's family reunion on her grandfather's side of the family. It was held at a distant cousin's home about 2.5 hours from our city. It was nice... good food (I ate mostly enchiladas and a lot of fruit and vegetables), pleasant company and fun activities (raffles, bingo, toy walk, etc.). We had a nice drive home as well and a comfortable evening including black bean toastadas my wife fixed when we returned home.

Monday... The storm of emotional turmoil began brewing on Sunday now that I look back in hindsight. The nice time we had at the reunion unfortunately triggered a wave of saddness in me about the loss of members of my side of the family... especially my mother, but also my father, very special Aunt A, very special Uncles C & K and my niece R. Most of Monday was spent FEELING very sad, but struggling to try to pull myself out of the horrible, overwhelming doldrums and utter despair I felt deep to the pit of my soul.

I have said this before, but it bears repeating because I still feel these emotions and am at a loss on how to work through them:

During the passing and deaths of all those relatives so close to me... my father, very special Aunt A, very special Uncles C & K and my niece R... I was very sad... but I was also able to cope fairly well in the knowledge that I NEEDED TO HELP those in my family who were hurting "more" than myself. For many of the above, I had to be strong to help my mother work through these very heart wrenching deaths... deaths that while hard for me, were much harder for her because of the closer lineage. Helping her during those sad time inadvertenly also helped me to heal and to cope with my own sadnesses. NOW, with my mother's passing, it is I who am at the pinnical of the harshness of hurt from the death. I do not have anyone to help, and I am the one who apprarentlly needs the help the most. While it is not as frequent as it had been, I still feel this overwhelming loss and despair frequently enough that I feel at a loss on what to do. On Monday, I must have cried at least 6 or 7 times, and my energy and focus were close to zero. Believe me when I say I tried numerous ways to pull myself "up", my wife and I took a short day trip, we went to a cheese factory, we went to very large fruit market and while those things were wonderful and spending time with her was wonderful, I could not shake the heavy blanket of sadness that was smothering me.

Between Monday and Tuesday, while sleeping, I had a horrific nightmare. In this nightmare, I was offered the opportunity to make some extra money by teaching an endocrinology class to a group of 72 students on a different campus from my University... in another state. My wife and I agreed I should do this, and I went down there and found a room in an apartment with 5 other people. The odd thing was that I actually only met one person of the five others, for our schedules were so varied and hectic that none of us was there often and our paths crossed even less frequently than that. The enormous class (72 students in a 400-level course) was filled with students who seemed a chimeric blend of all the most agrrivating students I have had in the past... this entire group was foul mouthed, tempermental, and quite slovenly. Two or three students stood out in particular for being cranky, one student, Brad (who looked a lot like this fellow), worked as a meat packer at the local grocery store and was trying to complete pre-med courses so he could apply to medical school. Another, Jen (who looked somewhat like this) was a stuck-up "Valley Girl" type who came to "talk" to me every single day to complain about everything about the class that was keeping her from getting the "A" she "deserved" and tried to argue every single point of each and every exam given (her average was roughly 40%).

After a week or two of the course, there was a report on the news about a gruesome murder of a professor on campus. This man had been brutally vivisectioned... his head had been chopped in half and his torso split open from throat to navel with his various body organs and entrails eviscerated from his body and strewn about the scene.

This unnerved everyone on campus and it was even more difficult teaching. Then a second professor (this time a female) and then a third (male), and a fourth (female) were found murdered in the same fashion as the first each of the next several weeks.

We moved ahead to the last day of class prior to the final exam. I had a blinding headache from having had to listen to the harping of Jen for three hours that afternoon. I felt so horribly hurt and sad and angry. I just wanted to go back to the apartment and sleep. As this was a fairly well-populated city, as I was walking back to the apartment I kept walking past various coin-operated newspaper boxes. The paper on display in each screamed some sort of new headline about each of the grusome muders and what the police were attempting to do to find the killer. About two blocks before I reached the apartment, I took a slightly different route down a side street and happened to stumble upon a few shops I had not known about previously. The first was a little, tiny hole-in the wall type tobacconist, and I purchased an ounce of a apple tinctured burley, and next door to that was a liquor store. I walked in and purchased a small pint of gin and a large bottle of tonic water, and proceeded to the apartment.

As usual, no one was in the apartment, and I quickly went to my room after getting a handful of ice cubes from the kitchen and a glass. I sat on the bed and was pouring myself a gin and tonic and set it aside so the ice could get it nice and cold, and filled the bowl of my pipe. Setting them on the desk next to the bed, I layed down for a moment to try to relax. I heard rustling in the apartment and knew that one of the others in the apartment had come home as well. The soreness and discomfort I felt behind my eyes from my headache was just starting to lessen a bit, and I sat up and reached over to my glass and my pipe, when the door was violently kicked in to my room and there stands Brad, with a shinny meat cleaver in his hand and a look of rage in his eyes. All at once, I suddenly knew Brad was one of my unseen roomates, and as he charged into my room, I knew my life was over. He wrestled me back onto the bed and was just swinging his large meat cleaver down to my skull where it would have easily split my cranium apart much like a walnut shell... when I woke up.

I was covered in sweat from stem to stern. I was also feeling panic throughout my body. I layed there a moment and tried to relax but could not. It was stiflyingly hot upstairs and I was feeling so out of sorts I did not know what to do. My wife stirred quietly next to me and groggily whispered to me "What is wrong?" I told her I had a nightmare and could not sleep. I got out of bed, went downstairs, and sat for a few moments in the family room. I could still not relax. I went into the basement and layed upon the futon and cried myself back to sleep.

Tuesday... The nighmare of the evening before did not allow me to get much rest at all. After crying myself back to sleep, I slept very poorly and awoke at 7am feeling more tired and sleepy than before I went to bed Monday night. I would have stayed on that futon all day I believe, but fortunately my sister and her husband had invited my wife and me to a round of golf with them, with a tee time of 9am. The four of us had a very very nice time. I did well, having not golfed in a very long time. I had one par, three bogies (one over par) and two double bogies (two over par). On the remaining three holes (the first, the seventh and the ninth) I had very poor concentration and focus, and hence did not do as well. But, in the end my brother-in-law and I both tied for first, and interestingly my wife and my sister were both only 2 strokes behind us. It was quite fun. The four of us then went to a rather unique craft shop tucked away in a nearby town and housed in an old barn, and then had lunch. I ordered a chicken taco salad, my wife ordered a chicken oriental salad, and my sister and brother-in-law each ordered a cheeseburger basket combo.

The day with them helped me feel quite a bit better.

Today (Wednesday)... I slept much better last night, and therefore I am hopeful that my extreme doldrums were simply a 24 hour affair. I do not feel actually fully chipper and enthused at the moment, but neither do I feel utterly lethargic and hopeless. It is a big improvement over Monday and Monday evening. My goal today is to do some further laboratory organization and then spend time working out.

Wish me luck, please.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Lethargy, but Fighting Against It

I am feeling quite lethargic today. I do not have much focus to accomplish anything, nor do I have any strong desire to play "hooky" and go off and do anything exciting. I did manage to force myself to exercise, so I am happy with that.

Yesterday, my wife purchased for me a surprise gift. In the bag was a heavy black t-shirt (with a pocket) and a motorcycle bandana similar in shape to this one but black with yellow flames. I laughed and was delighted!

So, what did we do? Well, I changed out of my clothes from work at the lab, and put on an old pair of jeans, the black t-shirt, and the bandana, and my wife and I went to an afternoon film. It was funny observing people's reactions to me. I attempted to adopt a slightly more brusque demeanor as well. For the most part, people did not respond much differently, but I *felt* different and it was very enjoyable.

What movie did we see? "Wild Hogs" of course. The movie was rather silly, but fun and enjoyable. We both laughed greatly.

I am not sure what we will be doing this weekend. My wife has a family reunion on Sunday, so we shall be attending that. But, otherwise the weekend is rather open.

* * * * *

Today also is sadly the 19th week anniversary of the passing of my beloved mother. Here are the things I have been thinking about concerning her lately:

"Mom, you know how I miss you. You do realize how truly I wanted to make things right and ok for you. I know that I failed, but it was not for lack of trying. We all miss you enormously and I still hope for you to speak to me now in a way that I will *know* is from you."


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Biker Mustache

Yesterday afternoon, after starting work on cleaning my lab, I drove to my barber and had my hair cut and my beard and mustache trimmed. As I typically do, I had him leave the mustache alone, and even asked him to let each side of the mustache extend down to my chin. It took him a few minutes more to trim around the longer 'stache appendages, to trim my chin and neck and cheek and jowl areas, but the end result was fun. I now have a true "biker" mustache (albeit with my beard as well, but the mustache stands out because it is thicker and fuller, not shortly trimmed like the beard). I do now officially have a bit of the Paul Teutul Sr. look. Now, all I have to do is start a more strenuous weight training regime and get a few tatoos.

My wife rolled her eyes (but also grinned) when she saw me after the haircut. It shall be fun to watch people's reactions the next few days.

I really need to go puchase a bandana of some sort (perhaps like this fellow), so I can wear it around town as well (Note to my wife: rest assured, I will not wear it on campus.).


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Days Missed

A myriad of things have gone on the last several days that have kept me from posting. I shall use today's post to catch up:

1. Saturday - a good day, I have trained my handlebar mustache nicely and received numerous grins about my "silliness" in this endeavor.

2. Sunday was also a scorcher of a day with high humidity and temperatures in the upper 90s. We ate talapia fish for dinner. As I am not a huge fish eater, I was a bit questioning if I would enjoy this, but I must say it was delicious. My wife cooked said fish in a potato and parmasean cheese encrusted toping, baked it carefully in the oven and we topped it with lemon juice. It was extraordinarily tasty. I told her I would willingly add this to the menu regularly.

3. Monday was a fruitful day with a significant amount of work accomplished in the lab and office.

4. Tuesday was a very rough day. I had been having a great deal of sadness about my mom during the weekend and it came to the surface on Tuesday. I thought I had been going along, pretty well, focusing on things I *could* work on and *could* change, and have even been keeping up with eating well and exercising. On the way home from the University, a heavy thunderstorm came through and the rain was exciting and beautiful... I was thinking of the fun of running through heavy rain storms in my youth. When I arrived home, however, the power was out (again... a long story, it seems my neighborhood alone will have a power outage anytime someone at the power company sneezes). This threw me for a loop and I had a horrible evening. I broke down cry and sobbing and was wholly inconsolable for at least an hour. Added to this was the myriad of tasks my wife and I were planning to accomplish that evening, including a very nice dinner, including attending the monthly grief support group meeting, and other things. I was utterly overwhelmed. I did all the tasks necessary to set up the generator for this ANOTHER power outage... the second in as many weeks, and was nearly hysterical. To make a long post shorter.... I accomplished all the things I planned to do... went to the meeting (not valuable, I was unable to listen well)... had dinner etc. But the evening was shot. I could not bring myself out of my gloom and despair. The power came back on around midnight. I shut down and put away the generator and tried to get everything back to "normal" and went to bed utterly exhausted.

Today, I awoke and still feel a physical exhaustion from the sheer range of emotion and terror and sadness that gripped me last night. I am going to go exercise strenuously and try to shake off these "blues" even though they are far more than "blue". I would say "deep, impenetrable indigo" might come closer to my emotions.

Keep me in your thoughts that I may return to my "new normal" by mid-afternoon. I want my energy back, I want to not feel so spent.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Handlebar Mustache

Since I am not currently teaching, I decided to have a bit of fun with my appearance for at least a few days. I have been due for a haircut and beard and moustache trim for roughly a week now. All are a bit longer than I typically wear them, but not tremendously so.

Last evening, I decided to start coaxing (twirling) my mustache into a traditional "handlebar" shape that typifies the look of many men in the early 1900s. Like the fellow in the link shown, the look gives me a perpetual sort of grin on my face. My mustache stands out well from my beard so the look is pleasantly noticeable. My wife laughed when I showed her and told her I was planning to wear it this way at least through Wednesday of next week (when I may have time to get a haircut). She told me I look like I should be singing in a barbershop quartet.

I like throwing a bit of eccentricity into my manner. A large number of people equate "eccentric" with oddballs, but for me being a tad eccentric is all part of the benefit of being a professor. There are many ways in which I am likely unintentionally eccentric... my pipe smoking (some say), being a professor in the first place (again some say), being a scientist (again a stereotype). I have typically found people that society proclaims "eccentric" to be amongst the most interesting and entertaining people I know.

The next option, again, probably on Wednesday, may be to have my barber leave my mustache alone when I have my haircut and facial hair trim. I often do this as he is rather aggressive with the mustache and I prefer to trim it up myself. The last several times when I had him leave it alone and trim my beard, he cut around my moustache and left it in a manner that gave me a very "agressive" biker mustache sort of look. I laughed each time and then trimmed it carefully back into submission at home. However, perhaps this time, I shall leave the "biker" look intact at least for several days. Perhaps I should find my pair of perscription sunglasses and also find a bandana to wear atop my head like the fellow above (Paul Tuetel Sr.). It would be entertaining to observe the looks of people on the street, and hell, it would be even more entertaining to see how the people at the University react to my new appearance. I think I shall.

I will end this post now, for I do think I shall head down to the University and see how people respond to my "handlebar" mustache.

Have a grand weekend folks, and please if possible, leave me a comment. I miss hearing from all of you.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

18 Weeks

Tommorrow (on Friday) it will sadly be 18 weeks since my beloved mother passed away. I miss her.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

How It's Going

I am just about to start day 3 of my juice fast. I actually feel more alert and actually feel no hunger. I do have an urge to chew... and a significant desire to consume snacks, because it is such a part of my routine. I did accompany each of these first two days with a brisk five mile walk and even trained on some Nautalis machines at the University to keep and perhaps build muscle tone.

63Mago asks me in yesterday's comments section, "It seems to me an excercise of will. What do you want to prove?"

I find that a wonderfully intriguing comment. My initial response was that "Heck, I am not trying to prove *anything*. I am simply attempting to improve my energy and motivation."

However, that may not be the full truth. Perhaps a part of me is undergoing this juice fast to prove to myself that I *can* be in control of SOMETHING, although it is not particularly meaningful. With all the chaos around me of late, perhaps that is a factor as well.

So, I think I want to a) lose some weight, b) re-establish good notions about portions of food (which went out of kilter during the last year), c) prove to myself that I can control SOMETHING, d) "cleanse" my body by breaking the habit of eating... out of habit and regaining the sensation of when my body is hungry, and e) hopefully give me a better psychological/mental/emotional outlook on life.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

24 Hours

By sheer will and cussed determination, I stuck to my plan of only a single glass of juice as my food for each meal. I also with even more angry determination went walking AND even drummed up the gumption to also go to the University gym to "pump iron". I must say that I feel less tired, less lethargic. I am not particularly hungry either. Though, I did have a few moments (especially later in the evening while watching television) where I wanted to snack on food. I hope I can stick to the exercise routines. Philosophically, I am trying to prove something to myself.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Starting the Juice "Fast"

I have decided to undergo a 5 day juice "fast" where I have a glass of juice for breakfast, another for lunch, and a third for dinner as my only sustainiance. Other, non-caloric beverages (coffee, water, diet soda) are also permitted.