Thursday, December 15, 2011
Not that that's particularly earthshaking...but it's something I haven't done in a long time, just settling down with a book, and reading for hours on end. In a way, I cheated, in that it's one of my favorite books, "Red Sky at Morning", by Paul Garrison, a fantastic thriller about the Chinese coming to visit New York City. But I own copies of a number of books that I'd consider in my top ten favorites, and I haven't grabbed any of those and just read and kept on reading for 6 hours like I did tonight, in a very very long time. Granted, a couple of those books, like, Forrest Gump (talking about the novel by Winston Groom, a different and just as compelling portrayal of the Gump character as Tom Hanks put on screen), or "Goodbye Mr. Chips" (I refuse to watch the musical they made out of this fantastic little book) wouldn't actually take 6 hours to read, but that's besides the point, isn't it? I actually sat down, eventually laying across my couch to get the best light, had Black Sabbath (the Dio albums) and a band called Seventh Wonder providing a faint soundtrack via Spotify, and just read.
In a way, it's sad how excited I am by that, as once upon a time I used to read a lot. There's a reason I had glasses by age 11, and it ain't TV. I kept up the habit through high school, and a bit of college, but then the internet was invented (well, not really, but I got to undergrad in 1993, just as the world wide web was starting to become generally accessible - sometimes I wonder about kids these days, connected essentially since birth to all the information - and disinformation - available out there, and wonder if they have it better or worse than when people my age were forced to -GASP!- go to the library for information. But I digress, and have abused dashes horribly while doing so) and I gradually fell off the reading wagon. Honestly, it was Harry Potter that got me back into going to the library, and I started reading things again about the turn of the century.
Can't say it's been a consistent ride, as I go through stretches where I'm not really actively reading a book (or an electronic facsimile thereof), and I really hate the way I don't have the patience for reading "good" literature, or a lot of non-fiction. But I suppose the fact that I'm reading at all, and getting pleasure out of it, is a good sign. I have too many friends, weighed down by work, or by family, who don't make time to peruse the printed word, not unless it's a scientific paper they're reading for lab, or a book they think might give them an edge at work.
So I take it for a bit of a triumph that I managed to read for 6 hours in a row tonight, never feeling like I was forcing myself to turn the page, wanting to get through to the eerily prescient ending.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
One thing I dislike about social media is the feeling that I can't just serially post the thinks that are rattling around my skull at any given time. As if each lucid piece of brilliance (hah!) must be given time to be fully appreciated by an audience that must surely be waiting with bated breath. (Like my rant about the phrase "bated breath", which is the correct idiom. I mean, think of the alternative, wrong phraseology, "baited breath". What, are you going around with worms in my mouth?)
Happily, that feeling doesn't exist about blog posts, where we are happily unloosed to prattle on at length about any topic we might like to discourse upon. Although, having a livejournal blog that is sadly ignored, I feel a bit guilty for posting these rambles here rather than there. But I do so for a reason, and that the gradual, eventual creep towards a topic that has to do with health and weight. Namely, my scale obsession.
And no, I'm not part fish, so take your mind out of the depths of a lake. Although, I must apologize if my comment about "baited" breath might have directed your thoughts that direction. Instead, I speak of a contraption that is surely the bane of many who might peruse these laments, that foul device that reports (and depending on how much loot you might have dropped on such an item, records) our unending battles with weight.
I've got two of the darn things myself, an analog critter that I've had for many years, and a more recent acquisition, a digital beast purchased for $12 at Bed, Bath and Beyond, the best use of their ubiquitous 20% off coupons I've ever pulled off. Floor model plus clearance, plus a battery, uh, liberated from an equivalent item on a shelf (hey, had to check to make sure the darn thing worked!). The analog is useful up to a point, but it's too easy to fool myself on it, too easy to lean one way or another to achieve a certain weight. The digital item is weird, in that it tells you your weight with a certitude. And then keeps sticking to a number even if you pick up a pound or two of stuff. It too can be fooled, a little, as it seems to have a tolerance of about 1.4 pounds built into it. You can take another shot, but be prepared to come in another pound and a half worse than the number you already didn't like.
To tell truth, the wii fit has a scale built into it, too, but that has already been used less than I anticipated using it (and believe me, I set a low bar for that toy, a bit disappointed in myself, frankly).
The real arbiter these days, is a monster I too seldom meet, the scale in the men's locker room at the gym I belong too, and go too far less than I should. That sucker has yet to admit I weigh less than 200 lbs, although I've probably handicapped my chances against that by wearing shoes and upwards of 2 pounds* of sweat when stepping onto that scale.
*highly approximate guess
Still and all, I have a new immediate goal, to make that gym scale admit I'm below the 200 lb threshold. I suppose I could cheat and make it so by taking off my shoes...but somehow, that's one item I want to have to admit the 200 barrier has been crushed, but allowing me that win when the rest of the world (or scales) is tiping somewhere closer to the 195 Mini-goal (which I achieved and had to resuscitate due to Thanksgiving).
Friday, December 02, 2011
So Thanksgiving weekend, I forgot, deliberately, to pay attention to anything. Had fun, ate and drank a bunch, went to a Badger football game as if I were half my age...went into the student section, acting more like an undergrad than even when I WAS an undergrad trekking over to the Big House. Good times were had, there, and in Chicago, and at the Thanksgiving meal I went to. Gained about 4 pound from the fun, but was a bit loose in my diet this week, too, so I'm slowly starting back on the right path. All in all, I'm still 6 pounds lower than the peak, so that's a good thing, but it's also a harsh reminder of how freaking easily I gain weight, as opposed to the more or less one lb/week loss I'd been averaging over the past 2.5 months.
I'm glad of that, since looking ahead, I can see a few stressors upcoming, beyond just the fact of it being winter, and the associated holiday weight creepage.
I'm going to keep the original goal in place, even if I did reach it once already, just to give myself an 'easy' win to try and grab in the next three weeks, before I head home for a bit and get fattened up by my mother.
Ok, time to end the rambling and take another stab at sleep. The first try failed miserably, which is how I came to start scribbling at 2 am. See if I do any better this time. I managed ten hours of solid sleep last night, which might be the first time I did that in many months. But then I was still exhausted all day, regardless. Try and see if the more usual 5-6 hours makes for a more normal feeling day. Then again, I'm not entirely sure I'm not just getting a bit run down. Haven't got time for that crap, but that crap doesn't usually care for our convenience, does it?
Thursday, November 24, 2011
The ten pound first goal I'd set for losing has shown up on the scale three days in a row. Scale checking obsession aside, I'm calling it official...and I'm also not setting a new goal quite yet, since the next three days of holiday festivities will likely make it a goal to reach once again.
Sticking in Madison this Thanksgiving, rather than going home, as I was out in Michigan twice last month, and plane tickets are rather ridiculous (and yes, I know, in 5 years we'll look back and think, "Wasn't it wonderful when we could fly a whole state over for less than $500? Those were the days!").
Doing the holiday meal with friends, fellow refugees in Madison, with whom I've shared this meal a couple of times before. We have an Alaskan, a Californian, a couple people coming back to Madison from where they now live in Texas (a German and a Belarussian), a Lebanese couple will stop by at some point in the evening, a couple of Russians are a maybe, and then there's me, an Indian guy from Michigan. Truly, an all-American gathering :)
Between the overeating incumbent this evening, and the trip to the Christkindlmarkt in Chicago planned for tomorrow (with many of the same people), with its imbibing of Gluhwein and the traditional trek to Bucca di Beppo to pay homage to the plethora of kitsch on the walls, and a Badger game on Saturday, this might be a weekend where I gain back about half the weight it took me ten weeks to lose.
But it'll be worth it :)
And then I'll go back to doing the things which got me down the ten lbs to start with.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I'm really frustrated in navigating the Spark People site because useful, and relevant links/information are not organized particularly well. You'd think there would be a easy way to post a blog, prominently featured on the communities > blogs page. But there isn't. You'd think that a start page would be a home page. But the "my spark people" page is NOT the one you get to when you got to the spark people site. That little bit of customization, being able to choose what to be able to access when visiting (which, granted, is easy enough by bookmarking a particular page and using a bookmark to get there), that would reduce annoyance a great deal. I'm not an internet idiot, and heck, I know a thing or two about computers (I work in qa for a software company), so I'm fairly well convinced that it's not entirely my fault that I struggle to find my way around the site just about every time I visit.
I suppose it's possible that I could be wrong about that :)
Anyway, I've been scouring teh google (all typos here are deliberate!), trying to find a favorite cartoon from my youth, that has to do with Opus from Bloom County stepping onto a scale, but so far no luck. But I did come across the following gem I'd forgotten about.
Pretty much says it all, eh?
And now to see if the copyright police come a knocking at my door. Or browser.
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