Don’t give up the fight

“Why AM I dehydrated and thirsty when I drink so much water?”

no standingIn that flurry of blog posts that Arthur wrote in December 2014 was one called Get Up, Stand Up, where he links to a video about how sitting too much will probably kill you. I relate to this greatly.

In my job at FantaCo (1980-1988), I stood at the counter, stood at the table where I did mail order, even usually stood when I did the bookkeeping. But in my current job (1992-present), I sit a lot at a desk, at a computer. It explains not just my weight gain, but more specifically why my bad cholesterol (LDL) was too high, even when I am exercising.

Obesity has been associated with numerous chronic medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, depression, and even certain cancers. Yet, there is so much misinformation in the media on weight loss from claims that everything from acai berries to costly supplements is the secret to obtaining a slim body. But truthfully, there is no quick fix for weight loss. Weight loss requires a very conscious effort to implement changes to ones’ habits and lifestyle. To get more tips, visit

Ever since I saw one on TV a couple of years ago, I have coveted one of those treadmill desks. But that’s not going to happen. The suggestions from the video – getting up regularly, drinking plenty of water – are good ideas that I know intellectually but can stand the reminder.

Someone recently sent me this article about magnesium deficiency, and it set me to wondering. “Why AM I dehydrated and thirsty when I drink so much water?” Hmm.

Anyway, I gotta get up and dance to Arthur’s Bob Marley’s reggae groves.

Rhythm, or inertia, or whatever works

If I can’t write something at least every couple days, it feels quite likely that I won’t ever do so ever again.

I always remember this conversation, over 15 years ago, with my friend Dorothy. She was suggesting blowing off going to church choir rehearsal so so I could hang out with her and my future wife. As tempting as that might have been, I declined. It is better for me musically to get as much rehearsal as possible. Moreover, it would easily become the case that if I blow off one rehearsal, to blow off another, and another.

That’s because I’m basically lazy, and would rather read all day, or visit with y’all.

For me, the rhythm thing has long been true of exercise. When the local Y closed a few years ago, my opportunity to play racquetball regularly, which I had done for over 25 years, went with it. There was some recent minor holiday when I COULD have played racquetball at Siena College nearby, but it simply never entered my mind.

It’s accurately descriptive of work. I check my e-mail and whatnot in the morning. That first reference question is usually the hardest to finish. Once I’ve gotten my “reference rhythm”, I can generate more reference, unless stopped by a meeting or some other force.

I was thinking on this because, prior to this year, I had a very regimented pattern of going to donate blood every eight or nine weeks, barring illness or other legitimate circumstances. I’ve donated over 18 gallons over the years. But I did the apheresis thing early this year, and somehow that’s thrown off my standard clock so that I didn’t donate again until June.

This blog is much the same way. If I can’t write something at least every couple of days, it feels quite likely that I won’t ever do so ever again. Whereas writing begets writing. When I get stuck scribing one thing – “why won’t it write itself?!”, as I am wont to say – and as of this writing, I’m really stuck on one particular piece, I’ll put together something, ANYTHING -even if it’s a puff piece like this one.

Deconstruction, in a good way

I have tried to make it clear that I’m not especially good at building things, or putting things together. But I felt really good about taking something apart recently.

We bought a new, much larger shed back in the spring because the old one, which came with the house we bought in 2000, was falling apart, even rotting in places. Still, it was built sturdily enough that I couldn’t just pull it apart. Fortunately, I called my friend Norman, who brought me implements of destruction: a crowbar, a sledgehammer, and a hacksaw. (He brought his son Sam, who I’ve known since he was a couple of months old; he now has a beard, which is a bit disconcerting.)

The Daughter actually used a screwdriver to remove the doors. Then I used mostly the crowbar and took off the front, sides, and top. I thought the back would be tricky, it being so close to the fence, but I was then able to tip the shed over without having it crush me. Once the back was removed, the frame pretty much collapsed. I thought I might have to use the sledgehammer more often, but I picked it up only a couple times, to separate one section from another. This took about three hours over two days; there is still disposal to deal with, with the 2 by 4s going to my in-laws. Still, it gave me a real sense of accomplishment, something I achieve mentally all the time.

I often forget that I love doing physical labor. It doesn’t happen at my current job very often. At my position at FantaCo back in the 1980s, I would haul in the new comic books or our publications. I’d wander around the store helping customers or work in the back room stocking inventory. But just doing exercise is boring to me; can’t watch video workouts. Riding the bike is good because it’s functional. The now-rare opportunity to play racquetball is fun. Using the stationary bike is OK because I can do something else (read, watch TV).

It’s this need that explains why I helped our choir director move last month. I LIKE moving other people; it’s good physical exercise but lacks the emotional angst of moving oneself. It was only the loading side. I had trouble with loading the truck, so I hired a top professional mover Las Vegas  to help me, and the three volunteers and I had to just unload the truck. As moves go, a piece of cake.

Picture from Treehugger

2011 Revisited

The zoo that is the Republican Presidential race. Quite entertaining.

One of those year in review quizzes from Jaquandor.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Technically, I didn’t make any, in that I didn’t write any down. But probably not. Haven’t figured how to do more exercise without it feel like exercise. Probably played racquetball a half dozen times in 2011; used to play 200 times a year before the local Y closed, but dropping off the daughter at school then needing two buses (or a bike and a bus, if the weather’s decent) to get to work has made getting to play at Siena College difficult.

I keep threatening myself to stop blogging; what I HAVE done is to blog (slightly) shorter, especially in December.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Actually, yes. My co-worker/fellow librarian Amelia and her husband Brian had baby Charlie on October 9. I won the office pool. Charlie was due October 8. I picked the 9th day of the 10th month of the 11th year at 12:13 pm; Charlie arrived at 12:51 pm. My pick REALLY ticked off the guy who picked 12 noon. “Who picks 12:13?”

Did anyone close to you die?

Well, yes. There was this guy named Chris Ringwald. We weren’t close, I suppose, but his death affected me deeply.

Robin Ashley was a guy whose house we’d go to every Christmas and sing carols. He developed ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) two or three years ago. One of the rather neat things is that he had this machine that would type words by him looking at the particular letters. It was slow, and exhausting for him, but it was a way for him to communicate when he otherwise could not.
And then there was my mom.

What countries did you visit?

O Canada! (see several posts in September.)

What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

More massages, more patience – might be a relationship there.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I reached out to the alumni at my library school, and they invited me to participate in some workshop.

What was your biggest failure?

I did a couple of webinars on Census’ American Factfinder for work and had techno difficulties each time. I realize that I HATE doing webinars. I prefer doing things where I can look at people’s faces.

What was the best thing you bought?

I bought a couple of older Hess trucks from my friend Mary that used to belong to her late husband Tom. It was a nice connection with him for both of us.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

Arab Spring people. The fuzzily focused, but necessary Occupy people, who at least drew attention to the disparity of income.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Congress generally. I mean they can’t pass a budget, hardly ever, just a series of continuing resolutions.
Birthers, climate change deniers, any number of conspiracy theorists.

Where did most of your money go?

The house, in repairing the roof, insulating the attic, fixing the foundation. Jaquandor: are you SURE you want to buy a house?

What did you get really excited about?

The zoo that is the Republican Presidential race. Quite entertaining. And, speaking of zoos, the trip to Canada, including the Toronto Zoo.

What song will always remind you of 2011?

The Afterlife by Paul Simon

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

Sadder. I’m an adult orphan.

Thinner or fatter?

More or less the same.

Richer or poorer?

Slightly poorer because the Wife is working fewer extra hours, which is good, and because of the aforementioned house and my mother’s funeral, which is not.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Going to movies, for sure.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Thinking. Melancholy. Insomnia.

How did you spend Christmas?

Went to church, bifurcating the gift thing.

Did you fall in love in 2011?

Yes. One of the best things that happened on Thanksgiving is that the Wife and I stayed in bed, TALKING, for over an hour, with no interruptions; what a luxury. Grandma had fed the Daughter and her cousins, and she could hang with them.

How many one-night stands?

As many as last year.

What was your favorite TV program?

The Good Wife, The Closer, CBS Sunday Morning, The Daily Show.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No, but I have a lot of contempt for Newt “let’s get rid of child labor laws” Gingrich, Herman “which one is Libya” Cain, and Rick “the third department is…” Perry, greater than last year at this time.

What was the best book you read?

Complete Peanuts, 1950-1952.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Adele. OK, so I’m behind the curve; so sue me.

What did you want and get?

I wanted music, both singing and buying recordings.

What did you want and not get?

Some dedicated time to blog. It’s still catch as catch can.

What were your favorite films of this year?

The Muppets; and Midnight in Paris; and Crazy, Stupid Love.

What did you do on your birthday?

Not work. Went to an Indian buffet.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

“Fashion” is silly.

What kept you sane?

Writing; singing; listening to music; learning new stuff; and then I suddenly realized that the question ASSUMES that I AM sane, which may or may not be the case.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Gabrielle Giffords; Jon Stewart; the CBS Sunday Morning reporters; Scott Pelley of CBS News.

What political issue stirred you the most?

The gay marriage vote in New York. Actually watched the end of that vote in real time on TV.

Who did you miss?

I miss my mother.

Who was the best new person you met?

I “met” a few interesting folks online this year.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:

Do what you think is right; the rest of the world might catch up, or not.
Democracy may work, eventually.
Libraries are wonderful.
I have better relationships with some people I’ve never met face-to-face than I do with people I see nearly daily; that is fascinating to me.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age’s most uncertain hour
and sing an American tune
But it’s all right, it’s all right
You can’t be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow’s going to be another working day
And I’m trying to get some rest
That’s all I’m trying to get some rest

-American Tune, Paul Simon

Legendary albums from a world dominated by kittens…Photo recreations by Alfra Martini of aymvisuals.

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