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|Sunday June 29, 2003|
of the Day -- QotD Archives
You meet a lot of dumb people who went to college. -- Andy Rooney
No blog yesterday, and rather than doing my usual list of reasons why I missed a day, I'll just get on with things.
I will be cutting back to five updates a week sometime soon, I think. I'd rather do 5 a week with the 2 off days scheduled/announced in advance than do 5 a week with the 2 off days coming at random and by surprise. Surprise to you and to me. I wasn't going to do an update today either, after getting off the phone around 3am, and feeling all but asleep at that time. However I ate the last of some pasta I had made earlier, and that woke me up to the extent that it's now 6:30am and here I am.
So five a week... but which days to take off?
I suppose I should just do Mon-Fri and then off Sat and Sun, but that seems so commonplace and pedestrian. Real jobs are on that schedule, and the last thing I want is a real job. *cough*
So as of now I'm leaning towards doing updates Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat. Why take Thurs and Sun off? Why not. Though it seems like Wednesday would be a better day to take off, if only because DJs have that annoyingly juvenile and vaguely sophomoric in a double entendre sort of way tendency to call it "hump" day. And I could play up that reference by blaming Malaya for keeping me too busy living up to hump day to do an update.
See, I told you it wasn't a funny "hump" joke.
I also think I'd like to do this 2 days, then one off, then 3 days, then one off, and so on. I don't mind working on weekends, and I'll be working every day for hours and hours on my fiction writing, so it's not like the blog update is a break in my Bonbon eating and bourbon drinking and Jerry Springer watching. It's just a different type of writing, one that is more fun but less involving/satisfying, and definitely a change of pace.
That's as opposed to my current "work" schedule, which includes sporadic real life physical labor, packing/throwing things away in ongoing preparation for the move to Malaya's place in 11 days, and much wasting of time via viewing websites I really have no need to view at all, much less multiple times a day.
You may *cough* at this juncture if you feel the need.
Anyway, given my past success rate at sticking to planned blog format/style/technique changes, you probably shouldn't bet too much on me continuing on with this one. Wise readers may note that I didn't give an exact schedule, or even commit myself to following the inexact schedule I did give. Thereby allowing myself more weasel room.
Speaking of weasels, I subjected myself to the film Ice Age last night, after my dad had taped it off of HBO. We both found it very mediocre and just barely tolerable, but as I was about to write a short note on it and nothing more, I thought I'd check some online critical reaction.
Ebert inexplicably gives it a relatively positive 3 star review, and the critical mass as assembled on Rotten Tomatoes is also rather positive, with 78% approval noted. This surprised me, since I just didn't think it was a competent film for adults. Are they reviewing it in terms of how much children will like it? My take on it is pretty well summed up by this bit from one of the negative reviews Rotten Tomatoes quotes:
I would be surprised to hear that any adult found it more than barely-passable, but I can see kids liking it, assuming the vivid colors and funny animation was enough to keep them going in between the relatively lame action sequences. The dialogue was occasionally witty, but pretty uninspired overall, and I didn't care for any of the vocal talent, other than perhaps the baby's gurglings.
The plot is impossibly cliche and happily-ever-after, and overall the movie would have benefited greatly if they'd have bumped the rating up from PG to PG-13, with a corresponding increase in the action and violence. As it was, everything potentially interesting happened off screen, and the few scenes of conflict and violence were so cartoon-y that there was never any feeling of menace or desperation, other than an early "mother running from tiger" scene. Even the bad guys weren't really bad, and were easily and predictably defeated when the time came for them to be defeated. Most of the bad guys weren't even bad, just sort of prickly, or obviously waiting to be redeemed by friendship.
I guess that's the point, that it's meant to be happy and friendly and never-threatening. I would call it "Disney-fied", but ironically the film was made by 20th Century Fox's Pixar-lite animation studio. And while Pixar is affiliated with Disney, their CG films have been very clever, but also had actual emotion and interesting characters. Plus animation that's vastly superior to the look of Ice Age.
One thing I did like about Ice Age were the constant nods to various Looney Tunes cartoon conventions. Lots of scenes are direct recreations of Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons, with a bunch of Bugs Bunny stuff thrown in as well.
I suppose with a bit better/edgier writing, and characters who weren't such utterly-familiar clichιs, I might have liked it, rather than barely-tolerating it. But there's no telling if it would have been a bigger hit with the parents and kids who were the intended audience. I didn't dislike it, but I found it boring and only got through it since it was just 85 minutes, and the setting changed regularly enough that I had an, "I'll just stick with this another 5 minutes to see what happens next." feeling going the whole time.
And yes, that was about 4 paragraphs more than I wanted to write about such a mediocre cinematic offering.
No news today, and a couple of other things I was going to talk about will appear tomorrow. I assure you, none of them are in any way interesting or important.
aturday, for the first time in a couple of months, I got in a nice bike ride. I didn't realize how long it had been until I was suiting up for it and realized how unfamiliar my biking shoes felt, and saw how flat my bike tires were. As I detailed here in far-too-exhaustive detail, I rode my bike 2 or 3x a week for much of early 2003, both to get into shape for work, and to shed a few pounds to look better for Malaya. I was successful on both fronts, and since I get plenty of leg exercise at work, and have been out of town for all of my time off the last month, I hadn't had time/inclination for a bike ride for a while.
Perhaps because of the time off, I enjoyed it quite a bit. My legs felt really strong, stronger than they did in March and April, no doubt due to work, and my lung capacity was much the same. Hills that would either set my legs to trembling or my breath to gasping a couple of months ago still did, but to a much lesser extent, and I felt the strongest I've ever felt on my bike out in the steep Mission Trails Park hills. That's a time frame that extends back only about two years, so while it's not exactly a comprehensive comparison, I'd rather be in the best shape I've been in for two years than the alternative...
Before the ride I wasn't sure how I'd feel during it, but I did want to take along my digicam, to get some shots of the hills now that the dry summer has pretty well set in, and the hills are looking very brown, as they do most every year from about May-January. Unfortunately I forgot the camera, so while you can see them all green and lush in photos from earlier this year, you've got nothing to compare to in terms of how they look now. I'll probably go ride again Tuesday or Wednesday, to get some more exercise before my last five days of work start up Friday, and I'll try to remember the camera then.
The hills aren't quite as brown/dry as usual, since it was a very wet winter/spring, at least by San Diego standards, and some of the chaparral is still green, amidst the mostly brown former-vegetation. All the grass is long gone though, the trails are very dry and dusty, and the dirt is hard as a rock. I'm not sure what that makes the rocks are hard as, but they were damn hard. I was jolted and battered from side to side repeatedly, though I did manage to stay on the bike the whole time, and with my stronger than expected legs I could power up hills that forced me to a staggering walk in the past, and I needed fewer rest breaks while doing it.
I have no idea how many hills I climbed or how many miles I rode or how many calories I burned, but my heart was going very quickly for at least a steady 60 minutes, and when I finished my legs were really singing and sore; far more so than they are after a very busy night of miles up and down stairs at work. So it was a good work out.
Malaya has been hitting the gym every day for weeks, working hard to firm up and lose some weight, mostly to provide better eye candy for me, and while I'm in better shape than she is for now, I'm thinking I'd like to get really ripped and toned, and that I might join a gym for that purpose once I'm living with her. I'd like to do more "real" exercise up there, of the bike riding or running or swimming type, and outdoors I mean, rather than on a machine in a gym. Especially since she's working out at a women-only gym now, and I couldn't get in and jog away next to my sweetie. At least not without a lot of make up and wigs and padded bras of the low-budget movie type.
And since her gym is a short walk from her condo, and she therefore wears her work out clothing there and walks home to shower afterwards, I wouldn't even get the benefit of infiltrating the women's locker room in my disguise. So really, what's the point then?
If I were to join a gym, it would be largely to lift heavy things, and bulk up some more. That would be purely for cosmetic reasons, and since I'm in good shape now, and Malaya loves how I look naked, why should I bother? Good question.
She also wants to get into some martial arts training, and since I've been wanting to get into that since I was about 9, but never have done so, we'll be picking a discipline and getting into that, in the same class. I don't know how much exercise/work out that would be; I suppose it would depend a lot on how much effort I put into it and what sort of discipline we began to study, but it would certainly be some exercise, though I doubt it would do much for me in terms of weight lifting.
Though when you get down to it, muscles, smuscles, the real benefit is to be able to kill a man with my bare hands, just like Steven Seagal's stunt double does. Though hopefully I can dispense with the pot belly and greasy little pony tail.
While I forgot my camera on the bike ride, I did remember another piece of electronic equipment; my new cell phone.
I've long been a Luddite about that sort of thing; harboring no desire for a cell phone or PDA or other such hand-held electronic device, I enjoy Malaya having one, since I can send her text messages at any time. I now do them from my computer, emailing her via email@example.com. And no, that's not a valid email. She gets those mails on her phone as text messages, and her replies come to me, so it's quick and easy for all. Well, a bit quicker and easier for me, since I'm doing it with a keyboard and 10 fingers, while she's using her thumbs on a tiny Motorola phone keyboard. And now I am too, thanks to the new and tiny Motorola phone she got me as a birthday present.
I picked it up from the post office yesterday afternoon, and I am 26 pages into the small-novel of the instruction manual, and have figured out how to send and receive text messages, and could probably answer a call or even make one, if my life depended on it.
I've long thought I should have a cell for potential emergency needs, especially while riding my bike alone over very steep and treacherous trails in the rattlesnake-infested wilderness, at dusk. Yet previously such thoughts surfaced only very occasionally, mostly when I was far from home and it was getting late and I thought about calling dad to reassure him that I was up and pedaling homeward, rather than being dragged on my way to Tucson, imbedded in the grill of some redneck's pick up.
So yesterday was my first ride with a phone handy for emergency back up, and perhaps predictably, my mind was pretty well consumed with thoughts and mild-worries about extremely painful but sub-fatal accidents. Trucks were about to swerve into me, my front tire would taco and hurl me into a huge rock head first, I'd get a flat tire 10 miles into the hilly trails, terrorists would do me like the WTC, etc.
Of course nothing bad happened, but I found it funny how now that I finally had a phone backup, I was just sure I'd need it in some gruesome and painful way. Ahh, the human nature of a pessimist
More about the new phone and some other stuff tomorrow, once I've learned a bit more about how it works. It's sort of funny to have it here, since Malaya got it up there with a 925 area code. Of course, since I'll be living up there come mid-July. But it's odd to have a phone here that has a 925 number; when I pull up Malaya's phone number or vtext.com address I just see the 7-digit number with no area code, even though her condo is 500 miles away.
Yes, you've all noted this 500 times. Hey, I'm new to the whole cell phone thing, and wouldn't even have gotten one if not for my impending move to a strange area and my ongoing need to communicate with my sweetie at every possible instance. More than likely I'll get lost driving a few times and be able to combine the two cell phone reasons into one solution. Or something like that.
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