Ponderings for a new Decade

Last year In 2008 Vanessa gave me for Christmas one of those desk calendars where you peel off each page at the start of the day. It was called "The Action Hero's Handbook" and had daily advice on how survive a hit from a chair, jump through glass windows, minimise injury from stabbings and roll over speeding cars' bonnets - among many other things. It was only after peeling off the 31st this morning that I saw the final page: a large warning stressing that information is for entertainment purposes only and may not be safe or accurate.

I quite enjoyed this calendar, but I feel like this warning could have been placed slightly early in the calendar.

Fortunately nothing this year required me to follow any of the advice... actually, that's a little sad. Being a super hero would be awesome. Also today I found my thoughts wandering to my fantasy of becoming a private detective and once again cursed my conspicuousness.

Other achievements today:
- Wore a shirt for like the first time since Tuesday. And only because it got cold.
- Christmas is now in a box.
- The Archives just became slightly more impressive.

There were 111 entries last year, which is just over two per week. If I was a super hero do you think there would be more or less entries? Probably about the same amount but they'd be more exciting.


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Five Years of AudioScrobbling

Today marks my Five Year anniversary of using last.fm. Today I also uploaded my snapshots of most played tracks and artists of 2009. But I don't expect you to read those unless you are wicked bored.

I don't actually have anything I want you to read today. I took a couple of nice photos out of dozens of terrible ones today at the cricket, which is good to have something to show for an evening besides a half-tanned face. But I'm also going to endeavour to start the third incarnation of Photos of the Month so I'll save them for that.

Legible

I am stranded in esteem. Seeing that it's January it might be a good time to record the things I believe might pull me higher on the needs hierarchy. Why? You definitely don't want to go down the pyramid. So 2010, let's lock in my current esteem as my final answer and try and do the following:

-Write like no one is reading;
-Take photographs that don't suck. Take photos that do suck a lot until I work out how to take photos that don't suck;
-Rewrite a CMS in PHP with the Zend framework, in a way that doesn't seem like I'm cobbling together something complicated with only the most basic building blocks;
-Cobble together something inspiring in Lego with only the most basic building blocks;
-Write music reviews that come to me like prose instead of trying to stitch together rudimentary observations about songs into 300 words;
-walk for thirty minutes without requiring the same amount of time icing and stretching.

I think I might just need a big injection of creativity. Or cortisone. Probably both.

Pumped

I don't think I've ever counted down with increasing excitement the days leading up 'til an injection. Until 2010!


Like my words? Want to buy one of my books? I think you'll like this one:

If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?

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Perfection

Today I saw the best body I've ever seen.
It was beautiful; it was flawless.
It had perfect curves, straight lines and a catwalk closing expression.
It was me, in Lego minifig form.

image 630 from bradism.com


Look at that body. That's my body.
My back is perpendicular from ankles to neck.
Those wrists are capable of pronating and supinating 360 degrees. I'm so jealous.
That handsome, rugged expression.. Well I can do that.

image 631 from bradism.com


But seriously, look at those legs! This is architecture completely unconducive to joint injuries. You can't get ITBS without any knees.
Of course, I know that having a body like this is not feasible. Not without millions of years of evolution anyway. Perfect design like this has come from generations of natural selection starting from the day chimps first picked up tools.

image 632 from bradism.com


Alright, I'm concerned that I may be becoming hyper-aware of musculoskeletal principals due to my personal experience last decade. Not just hyper-aware, but also obsessed or preoccupied.
I'm slightly torn because I don't think it's good to think about these things too much in my head, but I'm also curious to the extent my art could develop with this as an increasingly eclipsing subject.
That said I don't want to be torn. And where I am torn, I want to be healed and then I want scar tissue to be minimised and functionality to return.
On a minifig personal note, I think I'm on my way to desensitising myself from these feelings. I'm just slightly paranoid then when I do go out somewhere and grab the bull by the horns it will end ironically.

image 633 from bradism.com


As a footnote, I did take my Lego avatar to a sports MD and I asked him about the surgical options available to reduce the differences between the plastic version and myself.
He said regarding current techniques my design for that minifig was unrealistic, but with some amputations something like this might be achievable.

image 634 from bradism.com

Increasing Sunshine

Weatherzone published today's forecast as "43°C Increasing Sunshine" which seemed a little understated.

It's pretty freaking hot, and as bland as it is to simply discuss the weather I'm going to make some observations about it seeing that I've pretty much spent the day hiding from it.

First thing I did when I woke up was hang all the dark sheets I could find over our main windows. Our blinds are supremely average and the bed sheets add extra cover, but don't reach the whole way down. So after that I laid some towels down over the tiles to insulate them, and stacked piles of pillows and mats over the rest of the gaps. This worked for me until around lunchtime, then I turned on the air conditioner. Mainly only needed because I decided to make a curry...

With all the doors closed the sight of a wall of sheets and pillows in the living room made me feel like I was in an adult sized blanket fort. And that's where I stayed the day, going to the study once to check if running the stove exhaust fan would help cool the house. It won't, and running the bathroom exhaust fan won't work either.

Writing Tips

Good writers read a lot. I got taught that in high school, but it's so true.

Mainly because it's hard to be lazy and read a lot. A few decades ago it wasn't, but in today's buffet of instantly gratifying, bite-sized entertainment morsels reading for hours on the daily is tough as. Obviously writing a lot is even harder, so if you're too lazy to read it's not a good start.

Perhaps more specific to me, reading something a lot tends to flavour my own voice with hints of theirs. Which seems to give some spice to otherwise bland writing. That's what I noticed today, after reading this for a few hours yesterday I then naturally wrote some Simmonds style Rip It Up reviews tonight. And then I looked through some older ones and found my Bill Bryson reviews, some Malcolm Gladwell reviews and a lot of no reviews. All these no reviews were from times I wasn't reading!

I'm not saying that all the reviews I write are rip-offs - the stylising is usually pretty subtle - and I'm pretty aware of my main voice. However I think this is an effect that helps make writing easier, especially about post-punk bands I don't really like. Thus something bland becomes more rewarding and therefore doing it is more appealing!

Also, a few weeks ago after seeing one too many FaceBook profiles with "Books: i dont read books lolz" I decided to add my favourite authors to my profile. This was a slightly out-of-character decision because aside from pictures of me at parties and weekend plans I try to keep private information off FaceBook (and instead push it into bradism.com!). But my little list of authors is something I like now, because it makes me feel smartish and better than people. And also because it encourages me to read more so list doesn't stay so piddly.

Tropicality

There were extremes of Summer today.

It was cold enough at one point to wear a jumper! (Either that or close a window, effort).

But then later I bought a rockmelon AND a watermelon for less than four bucks!

Bulktenber

Let's be honest the pun/call-back in today's title is justification enough for an entry.

I've set myself some unrealistic goals this year, one is to bench press 1440 kilograms on my 26th birthday (August 25). I did this for the first and last time on my 24th birthday (3x 6x 80kg) and it felt good. Not like "discovering the meaning of life" good, but more "endorphins are blocking the part of my brain that cares about finding meaning in life".

I've set myself a little path to get there (BULKTENBER!), it's a triangle offence that combines the predictable "chest exercise" with core strengthening and wrist rehabilitation. I managed to bench 15kg today! I used two 7.5kg dumbbells. I'm 18.75% of the way there! I also did 24 push ups (with a wide grip and on my knees like a lady) which was exhilarating! A fortnight ago I was struggling to manipulate 2.5kg with my left hand. Assuming I don't plateau I should be doing 80kg reps in about two months. More likely I'll be doing 6x 6x 40kg on my birthday.

But seriously, the full push up barrier is one I'm getting closer to breaking and I feel good about this. It will give me confidence going into the chin-up nightmare. It's this reoccurring dream I have where I'm just reaching the top of my first rep when I hear a rip and I look up to see my left hand still on the bar and slowly succumbing to gravity, falling past me on its way to the ground.

To Do:
- Find a gym;
- Eat lots of protein powder for no reason.

One Long Distance Call From Retirement

I saw an ad today for a romantic comedy titled "It's Complicated". This comes a year after "He's Just Not That Into You" came out.

I'm sensing a theme here. I've put my entrepreneur cap on for a moment and come up with some movie ideas, and I'm willing to negotiate a selling price for the following titles. If you're from a major Hollywood movie studio just use the comment form below.

Tom Cruise, Drew Barrymore and Jack Black in the delightful We Need To Talk

Ben Stiller, Roseanne Barr, Kathy Bates, Jennifer Lopez and Dustin Hoffman in the hilarious Does This Make Me Look Fat?

Julia Roberts, Amanda Bynes and - in his most serious comedy role in years - Jim Carrey star in Is She Prettier Than Me?

Bill Murray, Kirsten Dunst, Seth Green, Elisha Cuthbert, Will Arnett, Keanu Reeves and Julia Louis-Dreyfus head an all star cast in the riotous I Don't Want to Ruin Our Beautiful Friendship

Troubled Sole

I made a split second decision that I didn't want to get my shoes sandy, so I'd just walk through the car park barefoot to get to the beach.

If I'd gone the other way on this I probably wouldn't be posting an entry titled 'motherfucking fuck my shoes are sandy'.

Now I have a great big blister on the bottom of one foot, and a great big popped one on the other. I didn't pop it intentionally.. I Googled whether I should or not and I couldn't get a straight answer. I guess I will have a verdict in a day or few.

I was supposed to play basketball against people tomorrow! I feel like the universe is trying to work against me sometimes. Not just this, but I almost severed my left pinky (exaggeration) last Friday, and then a couple of days ago I almost broke my left pinky toe.
I'm going to hero it out tomorrow. Then suffer through Tuesday in a pool with some beers.

The universe can't be against me, I walked into Footlocker on Saturday and they only had one pair of size 14 shoes and they were perfect for me, and in my old team colours.

No Fate.

I Had These Thoughts Today

- People who video songs at rock concerts on point-and-shoot cameras with pissy microphones - what are they thinking? Do any of these people shoving their cameras into my eye-line seriously go back and watch these videos? I have a theory that this videoing is only done by short people so they can use their camera's LCD screen like a periscope to see above the crowd.

- I think it would be funny if there was a show about a single mum and her sons. And one of them became old enough to shave so she had to teach him. And the first thing she did was pull out a Venus Razor.

- I don't reckon a single straight dude has ever picked up a hairdryer belonging to a girl in his house, or while in a hotel room, and not immediately assumed that because they're a dude they'll need to use it at full power.

- Don't waste your time or time will waste you!

Dear Pepsi Max

Why do you taste so awesome out of a can but so terrible out of a bottle?