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The Total Lack of Perspective Vortex
a real life game of Hungry Hungry Hippos
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14th-Sep-2010 09:43 pm - fit?
Get down!
My quads (the muscles on the front of your thighs, for those of you who aren't insane exercise freaks or students of human anatomy) are so bloody sore I just had to pull out our marble rolling pin and roll them out.  GUH.

It's a good sort of sore, though. A bunch of my friends have been raving about Crossfit for years now, and at the beginning of the summer darwins_fox and I decided we needed to do something about how out of shape we both felt. We decided to get a trainer, as whenever it's just been the two of us, we enable each other terribly; more often than not, the "do you feel like going to the gym today?" question elicits the "meh, not really" response. So we signed on with Clea at Ithaca Crossfit, who, by the way, is a perfect fit for us.  And with a third party to hold us responsible, we actually found ourselves hitting the gym three times a week without fail except in cases of illness or travel.

It hit us back. Hard. I knew I was in terrible shape, of course, but I really didn't know exactly how pathetically out of shape I was until I started doing Crossfit and ended every workout laid out on the gym floor gasping for breath. And there were a ton of days when Clea told me "I'm worried you're going to hate me for this," to which I replied "nah, haven't you ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome?"  But here's the thing. I liked the way the workouts were structured, I enjoyed learning how to lift free weights way more than I ever thought possible, and sometime over the course of the last three months, I actually started to like working out despite the fact that I am still on the gym floor making sweat angels at the end of every hour and feeling so sore I move like an old man the next day.  I have somehow become someone who exercises. It's damned peculiar.

I have not managed to lose any weight per se, as I'm still hovering uncomfortably around 180, but a noticeably higher proportion of that is now muscle. Heck, for the first time in my life, I'm starting to develop pecs. I like it. Now I just have to deal with the flab around the midsection and the cholesterol and things will be peachy.

Sore, but peachy.
30th-Apr-2010 03:59 pm - The Spy Who whaaaaa
Big Papa Smurf
Last year, bargain hunter that I am, I managed to snag the entire James Bond movie collection on Amazon for under $100, and darwins_fox  and I have been watching them in sequence every few weeks. Neither of us were ever terribly fond of the Roger Moore movies (though as a kid I always enjoyed seeing For Your Eyes Only pop up as the ABC Sunday Night Movie*), but one of the great things about the Bond collection was that Sir Roger Moore came back to do a commentary track for each of his Bond films. We’ve really been enjoying his stories of the people and places associated with him and his time as Bond. Our most recent viewing, The Spy Who Loved Me, always struck me as the quintessential Roger Moore-as-Bond movie: chock full of silliness, beautiful women, a discotastic soundtrack, ridiculous gadgets, and an over-the-top “save the world” plot. Time and a fondness for Moore’s reminiscences have actually softened my opinion of his Bond films; if you take them for what they are, artifacts of the 70s and the culture thereof, they’re quite well-done. Hell, even Moonraker isn’t too bad until you they start firing frickin' lasers.**

Recently, I re-read most of the Ian Fleming novels; I skipped The Spy Who Loved Me, as it’s easily the worst of the lot. It’s told from the perspective of the Bond Girl, and if you have ever read Fleming, you know that empathy for anyone who’s not a white male is not exactly one of his strengths. It has absolutely nothing to do with the eponymous movie. I was intrigued to find out that Christopher Wood, one of the screenwriters of TSWLM, did a novelization, and on a whim I picked up a copy for a buck on eBay, figuring that it couldn’t be any worse than Fleming’s book of the same name.

To my surprise, it is considerably better. Wood not only strips out all the cheese-and-cornball sensibility out of the movie, he actually does quite an astonishing job of writing it in Fleming’s style. It’s all there— M’s gruff briefing, the backstory of the villain’s fiendish rise to power, the loving descriptions of travel to exotic locales, the taut action, even Bond’s sexist ruminations. Hell, he brings back SMERSH, for pete’s sake. I’m sure that if copyright wasn’t an issue, he’d have made Stromberg a member of SPECTRE. I just started, really; I’m about nine chapters in, past the bit at the Pyramids and where Bond meets Major Amasova for the first time, and while the skeleton of the plot is the same, the story is a completely different animal. So far, the only concession to the silliness of the movie is the ski pole and the parachute jump of the teaser, and even these were written in as hard-boiled and straight-faced a manner as possible. He's not 100% Fleming; Wood tends to be a bit more brutal and sensationalist. ("Hey, let's throw in graphic descriptions of gory murder and torture!") But it’s made a strong enough impression for me to blog about it. Sure, it’s pure pulp, but pulp Fleming style— which is to say darn enjoyable.

Wood also wrote an novelization of his other Bond screenplay, Moonraker. It says something about how good and Flemingesque his version of TSWLM is that I’m actually considering hunting down his take on Moonraker.

* way to date yourself, dude.
** okay, so I forgot about the gondola hovercraft, which I'm sure was later ripped off by the European branch of M.A.S.K..
4th-May-2009 09:31 am - Breaking the silence
Sad, Ashley Riot
Linda, my mother's best friend and a wonderful, funny, sweet, kind, generous person, passed away last night after a year-long battle with ovarian cancer. I will miss her dearly.

To all my female friends, especially those of you who aren't planning on having children: there's a very simple test for ovarian cancer. Take the test on a regular basis, because by the time symptoms start showing, it's usually too late. And to everyone else: treasure your friends.

Love to you all.
27th-Feb-2009 02:16 pm - I live.
L and I, Cute
I've been incredibly slack about updating lately, but I do still exist. Here's a brief taste of what's been going on:

1. I didn't get into grad school. Disappointing, but it's been a couple of weeks, so I'm pretty much over it. I'm going to get in touch to ask what I steps I should take to make my application more attractive next year. I'm already planning on auditing some classes in the department starting in the fall. In the mean time, it's back to the Job Hunt Of Doom.

2. Two excellent concerts on consecutive days; darwins_fox and I went to see Cowboy Junkies a couple of Thursdays ago, and I went to see Stars on my own the following night. Both of them were incredibly fun, and great shows. Margo Timmins' voice is still pretty much the sexiest on the planet, and Stars just lit the entire State on fire with their passion and energy and gorgeous indie rock love. I was amused to note that L and I were slightly on the younger side of the Cowboy Junkies demographic, but I'm pretty sure I was one of the ten oldest people in the Stars audience. I managed to get seated next to a couple who was probably about five years older than me, and a few seats down were a couple in their 50s/60s. It was a comforting island in the sea of Cornell/IC/IHS hipster kids.

3. Deviled eggs: delicious.
Deviled eggs + tuna: more delicious.
Deviled eggs + tuna + bacon: most delicious.

Yeah, okay, that's two goings-on plus an assertion, but I stand by all of it. Now maybe I'll get caught up on all of your posts.
7th-Jan-2009 01:43 pm - A quick update
Thumbs Up, Master
Happy New Year, everyone.

My right wrist has been hurting a lot lately, between trackpad useage and fake guitar playing, so I went to see my primary care provider yesterday. The LPN diagnosed me with tendinitis; I'm now wearing a wrist brace, avoiding activities that will further strain my wrist, and taking 600mg of ibuprofen every six hours.

Considering that ibuprofen makes me really drowsy, I think I'm pretty much going to spend the next few weeks in a coma.

This is also not making my current task any easier; I'm applying to grad school at Cornell (development sociology), and I'm down to just needing to study for and take the GREs and write my personal statement, neither of which is really helped by varying degrees of chemical haze. I'm not sure why the personal statement is proving to be so hard; it's really just talking about yourself. I'm very good at talking about myself. Hell, I've kept a blog for long enough that I ought to have enough life credit for a Ph.D in self-discussion by now.

Back to it. Wish me luck.
22nd-Dec-2008 06:42 pm(no subject)
Big Papa Smurf
There are rumors going around that Frank Miller has his eyes on making a Buck Rogers movie. I'm sorry, but I really do not see this as a terribly good idea considering what he's doing to The Spirit (a.k.a. Sin City 1 1/2). I mean, I liked Sin City and all, but the man is... how can I put this delicately... batshit insane, and pretty much obsessed with violence and the hypersexualization of women.

I imagine his Buck Rogers as going something like this:

AERIAL VIEW OF A FUTURISTIC CITY IN BLACK AND WHITE BUT MOSTLY GREY. IT IS RAINING, BECAUSE, COME ON, WHEN IS IT NOT EVER RAINING?

BUCK (voiceover): The future. The future is my whore.

SLOW ZOOM IN ON BUCK ROGERS, STANDING ON A ROOFTOP. EVERYONE ALWAYS STANDS ON ROOFTOPS.

BUCK (voiceover): The future is my mother and my whore all at the same time.

FAST ZOOM INTO A FULL BODY SHOT OF BUCK, BACKLIT AGAINST THE RAIN. HE IS A BLACK PROFILE EXCEPT FOR THE ANTENNA ON HIS HELMET, WHICH IS GLOWING RED.

BUCK (voiceover): There are some people who say I've got woman issues, but there's no law against fucking a whore. Who is also your mother. Not in the future. Not in *my* future.

CLOSE SHOT OF BUCK'S EYES AS HE SCANS THE STREETS BELOW.

BUCK (voiceover): And make no mistake, this is *my* future. But somewhere, there is crime. Crime against whores. Crime against mothers.

REVERSE SHOT, BUCK IN PROFILE AGAINST THE GRIM, GREY, GRITTY ALLEYS OF THE FUTURE.

Buck (voiceover): And I will fuck that crime. I mean those whores. I mean my mother. I MEAN, I will stop that crime. Why? Because I'm motherfucking Buck Rogers.

HE LEAPS DOWN TEN STORIES, LANDING IN A CROUCH AND CRACKING THE PAVEMENT AS HE LANDS. OH, WHOOPS, HE'D PROBABLY HAVE A JETPACK OR SOMETHING, WOULDN'T HE. OH WELL, NOT USING IT JUST MAKES HIM MORE BADASS.

Buck (voiceover): And this is my future. Did I mention that?

HE RUNS OFF TO FUCK A CRIME. I MEAN A WHORE. I MEAN STOP A CRIME. WITH HIS FISTS AND A FEW HUNDRED BULLETS. OR MAYBE LASERS, SINCE THIS IS THE FUTURE AND ALL. ...WAIT, LASER BULLETS. YEAH. I AM SO BADASS.
12th-Dec-2008 03:22 pm - On a related note
Big Papa Smurf
You know what's good exercise? Shoveling eight inches of snow off your driveway, especially when there's nowhere convenient to put the snow. Arms, back, legs, cardio... it's all getting punished pretty severely.

Well over an hour in and I'm halfway done. Needed to come take a break. Must. Not. Collapse.
10th-Dec-2008 08:14 pm - Corollary to previous post
Big Papa Smurf
Alternately, if anyone would like to aid me in my *other* plan of kidnapping Daniel Craig and transplanting my brain into his body, I'd be grateful for the support in that endeavor.

It's just as likely to work, really.
Chair-leg of truth
I hate exercising. Hate hate hate hate hate hate hATE hAtE HATE it. It has never once given me an endorphin rush; instead, it makes me feel exhausted, sore, cranky, and completely inadequate. On the rare stretches when I've stuck with it enough to actually make a difference to how in shape I am, I've still never actually enjoyed it.

You know what I hate more? Looking pregnant and/or dying of heart disease in my 40's. So I will stick with this, no matter how much I fucking detest the whole horrendous process.

Emotional support and encouragement will be greatly appreciated.
20th-Nov-2008 10:11 pm - Okay, seriously, universe
Big Papa Smurf
What did I do to piss you off so badly that I am now allergic to APPLES?

APPLES? Fresh ones, that is. I can have cooked ones; heck, I can even have unpasteurized/unfiltered cider. And it's not a pesticide thing, because this was an organic Jonagold from the same place we get the cider. It's the same reaction I get to fresh peaches/cherries/anything with a pit/stone. The addition of apples to the list displeases me GREATLY.

In other news, I finally got around to watching the Live at Red Rocks DVD that came with the Under a Blood Red Sky reissue, and it is SO good. The rain certainly works to their advantage in that Bono's hair looks far less ridiculous much better after a good dampening. Dammit, where's a TARDIS when I need one?
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