Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Year, New Me (Sort of)

I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore, mostly because I wind up being more disappointed in myself than I already am on any given day (which is to say, a lot). I can make a list and check it twice, but will inevitably find that, by the time December 31 rolls around, most of the items on that list will remain untouched.

I found it to be much more effective to forego the list and just go ahead and make adjustments in behavior. Not wholesale changes--not right away, anyway--but tweaks here and there designed to make things better in the long run.

Example: At the beginning of 2012, I was drinking soda one or twice a week, and always with meals; by the end of the year, I was drinking soda every day, whether I was eating a meal or not. I'd buy a ginger ale to drink with my lunch, then buy another right after. I'd buy a 2-liter of RC and finish it before that day was out.

I know why that happened. 2012 was not my best year. Too much work. Not enough play. Olivia's kidney failure diagnosis. A perpetual shortage of cash. And the ongoing Mojave desert that is my sex life. (You don't want to know how long it's been since I got laid. No, you don't.)

As a result of this depression-fueled soda spree, my body chemistry began to change--and not for the better. I felt sluggish, my mouth was perpetually dry, I had to go to the bathroom even more frequently than I usually did (I've always gone frequently), and while I did not gain any great deal of weight (I started the year at 260), I didn't lose any of the weight I was carrying, either. Throw in a couple of gallons of milk a week, and you can see where this ws headed: My body was speeding toward a breakdown, and I was stepping on the gas.

I say "was," rather than "is," because, with the new year, I've cut way the hell back on my soda intake. I haven't cut it out entirely--I still have a can or two of RC when I visit Mom for dinner, and I sometimes have a ginger ale with lunch during the week, though I usually just drink water. And milk? That's down to no more than one gallon a week (less if at all possible).

The results, like the changes themselves, are incremental, but nonetheless impressive: My mouth is no longer dry, I don't have to piss nearly as often, and my weight currently stands at 252--nowhere near where I'd like to be (220 would be much better), but headed in the right direction.

The adjustments don't stop there, though--nor are they confined to the strictly physical. Some attitude adjustments have been necessary as well.

Like this one: Get over hating pictures of myself.

I have never, ever liked looking at pictures of myself; listening to the sound of my own voice is painful as well (and considering how much I talk, that's a lot of pain to endure). But other people tell me they do like to see my face, even if I don't, so I recently posted this on my Facebook page:

Do I like this photo? No, I do not. Do you like this photo? Maybe. It is, I'll admit, tolerable--which means others may actually enjoy seeing what I look like for a change. And, judging from the comments on Facebook, people do.

New Year. New body chemistry. New attitude. New me? We'll see. But if you don't try to change, you'll still change nyway--for the worse.

And who knows what can happen--I might even gat laid this year.

(Okay. No need to go overboard with the optimism.)

Today for Lunch

Poor PBJ sammich. The blueberry jam was more like blueberry syrup, so the bread looks like it's been beaten with a tire iron.

On the Way to Work This Morning

My footprint after crashing through the ice in the alley.

On the Way Home Last Night

Remember: 24 hours earlier, the temperature was in the low 60s.

Every Picture Tells a Story 1/31/13

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This Week's Travel Reading

Ever hear of Lyle Talbot? Don't be unduly embarrassed if you haven't. He was never a major star in movies or TV, despite the fact that he worked in Hollywood from the early 1930s to the late 1980s. I first encountered his work in the dubious films of Ed Wood. Before then, he'd been a leading man in Poverty Row films; after that, he was a character actor, especially on TV (he was a regular on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet).

The Entertainer, though, isn't a straight biography, not is it a memoir of Talbot's daughter, Margaret, who wrote the book. It's more complicated, more textured than that. It's really a look at a man whose life spanned nearly all of the 20th century (Talbot was born in 1902 and died in 1996). Margaret looks at the relationship between entertainment and society (and how they influenced one another) through the prism of her father's experience. It's a fascinating read.

Every Picture Tells a Story 1/29/13

I have no idea what is happening in this picture.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Week's Travel Reading

With the latest adaptation of one of Donald Westlake's Parker novels set to open tomorrow, I was in the mood to slip back into the world of heists gone wrong.

Butcher's Moon isn't the novel the movie is based on--that would be Flashfire, one of the later Parker novels--but it was obviously intended to be the last Parker novel when it was published in 1974, with lots of characters from previous novels turning up to give the heister a proper sendoff.

Happily, Westlake returned to the character 22 years later and produced eight more Parker novels, including the aforementioned Flashfire.

Every Picture Tells a Story 1/24/13

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

At Lunch Today

The stack of tickets pictured above is sitting on a counter in the lunchroom.

COWORKER: Wonder what makes it "extreme"...

ME: Chainsaws?

Every Picture Tells a Story 1/15/13

Friday, January 11, 2013

On the Way to Work This Morning

Stripped of its lights and its star, the Christmas tree in Daley Center Plaza waits to be taken down and turned into mulch.

On the Way Home Last Night

Two questions:

1) When did Gemma Arterton's breasts get so big? (Or is that just the push-up bra?)

2) When did Jeremy Renner's standards get so low?

Every Picture Tells a Story 1/11/13

I drank this bottle on New Year's Eve, and I have to say: Drew makes a mighty fine Pinot Grigio.

Thursday, January 10, 2013