Day 187: Weight and Heat

Having started this in the winter, I’m running into some new things that never occurred to me. One thing is that weight and heat are related, apparently. My weight has been fluctuating like crazy for the last few days, and I couldn’t figure out why.

Apparently, water retention can change with heat and humidity.

So that’s a relief, kind of.

Still running; the stressful news the other day was the I’ve been having recurring and acute pain in my right knee. The doctor kind of blithely said “it’s early arthritis” and sent me for an x-ray to confirm.

Which is depressing. I don’t want arthritis! I also don’t like pain.

So this is both sad, but also ups the ante for weight loss and diet. Obviously, shedding pounds is the best way to avoid making things worse. So on the bright (kind of) side: another motivator.

Weight and heat and motivation

It’s good that I exercise at 5:15 a.m., because I’d be a basket case if I was trying to do anything after work. I hate being hot, but I also hate that freon taste of air conditioning. Running outside would be a sweaty nightmare. Working out indoors would be an air conditioned nightmare. So morning exercise is really working out well for me.

It’s a crappy time to get remotivated to lose weight, because the heat and humidity are playing havoc with the scales. But the good news is that if I can get a good baseline now, I’ll be rocking it when the weather improves.

So I think I’m going to reset the 10-day challenge again, this time with arthritis in mind. After 36 hours of absorbing the information, it’s time to own it.

Also, in the spirit of really challenging myself, I’m going to try to bolt on good, regular water consumption. I have a water jug at work, and refill fountains that fill to 1.5 litres automatically. I think I can do the quasi-recommended 3 litres a day (based on some super shaky Internet science). So I’m’a try it.

Day 112: Do Easy

I’ve been thinking about Burroughs’ “Do Easy” philosophy for a little while now. It’s basically a very Zen-ish idea. Figure out which tasks are routine in your life. Then practice them with mindfulness until you can do them perfectly and unconsciously.

Which you’d think comes naturally, but it doesn’t. I flirted with DE back in my post-student days, but haven’t thought about it in years. It’s actually a recent album by Canadian artists Tasseomancy that have brought it back to mind.

(Incidentally, volunteering in community radio is great in some ways — a constant influx of new stuff.)

This isn’t a commitment.

Do easy is hard.

I’m not committing to Do Easy because my life is already pretty full. Taking an hour to zip and unzip a windbreaker doesn’t seem like a benefit. But the idea of that kind of simplicity is seductive.

Our life kind of resembles a weightlifting regimen. Weightlifters bulk and trim. They put on mass: eat a lot, lift a lot. Then they cut, losing weight to get rid of fat and define muscle.

This is kind of what my wife and I do. We “bulk up” with new ideas, trying new things, taking on new hobbies. And then we trim. It turns out that fixing small appliances is not in my skillset. Okay. Dabbling in photography hasn’t been super productive. All right. Home fermentation? Not our bag. But we’ve really gotten passionate about radio. Vegan cheesemaking is now my wife’s thing. I’m slowly improving on the banjo.

Do Easy is a great philosophy; I’m hoping to apply a little more mindfulness to some routine tasks this week. But our actual landscape shifts pretty often in terms of interests. So above and beyond baseline tasks, “do easy” may not be a good investment.

It’s a fun idea to explore periodically, though.

And now I have stray cats to feed and my class at the Leprosarium. I hope I find my way; the address in empty streets.


Day Eighty: Eight Years of Marriage

Last night was my wedding anniversary! It was a good time. Vegan burgers and fries at a downtown pub that my wife and I used to play trivia at. Oddly enough, a midscale bar here with not a lot of veggie options has the best vegan burgers in town. Go figure. Anyway, eight years of marriage deserves a good huge veggie burger.

It’s been a good eight years; as I was saying to my wife last night, it’s good to have a partner that ‘gets’ you. We both married pretty late in life, as these things go… it’s been eight years, and you can do the math from my birthday post last week.  I think one of the advantages of that was we were both pretty settled into our personalities by the time we met. So while we’re both still growing, there haven’t been any radical redirections.

Eight Years of Marriage; Eight Years of Compromise

Jesus, that sounds shitty. “EIGHT YEARS OF NEVER QUITE GETTING WHAT I GODDAMN WANT.” That’s not what I mean. It’s more that I think one of the helpful things is we both bend. When either of us is rigid on something, it means we’re pretty goddamn serious about it. Generally speaking, we can both flex to accommodate the other. Obviously it’s not always peanut butter and (dairy-free) chocolate, but generally speaking we don’t take life so seriously that everything is win-or-lose.

I think staying pretty fluid in a relationship is important; I’ve known couples where every single thing is a deadly serious game of chess and it seems exhausting.

Lucky to be together, and happy, and healthy

All of this happiness is happening in the sad context of an old friend of mine going into hospice today. He and his wife are my age, and we’ve all known each other since university. Not close friends, but meet-for-dinner-when-I’m-in-town friends. It’s profoundly sad. They’ve been together for a quarter-century, one of those young couples that made it work long-term. So it’s a sad and haunting thing to see this happen to somebody you know.

Kind of a bum note to end this on. The upshot is I’m lucky, and grateful.

Day Seventy-Four: Birthday Insomnia

I started my forty-fourth year awake. A classic case of “busy brain,” no crises but just a lot of pains in the ass rolling around in my noggin. Mostly work-related, some volunteer-related. So I’ve been up off and on; from 11:30-12:30, then from 2:45-6:00, and got up at 6:50. I figure I’m running on about four hours of sleep. Yay birthday.

Exercise today was just stretching, partly tiredness, mostly time management — I still need to do this, have breakfast, shower, and be out the door.

Happy birthday, I guess

This is not the best way to have a birthday and start a year, but there are far far worse. Hung over, fatter than I am, and so on. I might be tired, but at least I can look at myself and say I’m making positive moves this year, which is nice.

I also got a really nice card from my wife, waiting for me on my keyboard, which is awesome. Also kinda passive aggressive “you only love your computer”  if I look at it a certain way, but I’m sure she didn’t mean it like that. I think she just knows I do this in the morning and wanted to surprise me.





Day Sixty-Four: Will You Still Need Me?

Ha ha ha! I screwed up the production of the silence and the outro, and now I’m late for work! Enjoy my idiocy. It’s Day Sixty-Four of the podcast! Which calls to mind Mssrs. Lennon and McCartney’s grim reminder of our relentless march toward death. Will you still need me? Will you still feed me?


I’d be lying if getting older wasn’t a major instigator for this project, though. Not only in the “get my life on track” sense, but this project qua project in a “what am I doing with my life that makes a mark?” sense.

Not that I expect this to ever make a mark, in a “change the world” sense. But it’s nice to think about this being a thing that might go on for quite a while, and over time become a body of work. Maybe not a great body of work, but a body of work.

The thing about the Beatles song is that it isn’t just about aging pleasantly, but about aging pleasantly with a partner. Which I’m fortunate to be doing right now. I’m also one of the lucky people that have parents who are still together, and hale and hearty, after five decades. Good role models there.

My wife has been a big supporter of this, both the sobriety-fitness-diet thing and this whole podcast/blog project, from the get go. It’s a good motivator for me to stay on all of it.

Will you still need me today, let alone in 21 years

We’re settling into a good symbiotic groove where we encourage each other to stay on top of exercise and diet (she’s far better at logging and tracking than I am). We’re not always 100% in agreement on this stuff, but we agree more than we don’t, which is lucky.

It’s weird to think that I’m past the two-thirds mark to 64. I still feel in many ways closer to the first third than the last third. This all seemed impossibly far away when I heard Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for the first time. I remember that kid. I liked that kid. Sixty-four seemed ludicrously old to that kid.

Sorry, kid. It’s coming on faster than we think.

Day Fifty-Seven: Younger People

I had an amazing time at a LAN party on Saturday, with a bunch of younger people, by about 10-15 years. This was a bit of a hang-up for me. I tried not to let it get in the way, but man, getting older is a bit less fun sometimes.

This is, by the way, entirely my bad head. They were great. No fun was made and nobody was, like, mean or anything. I just have a complex about being older than people when I’m around people who are, well, younger.

Part of the issue is having younger hobbies, which in turn relates to not having kids. My wife and I are child-free. We’re absolutely for kids. Love ’em. Go ahead and have ’em. But we’ve chosen not to. And for that reason, we tend to hang out with other people who don’t have kids, and those people tend to be younger.

I’m also really interested in stuff that keeps me youthful, relatively speaking. Video games. Audio production. New music. This all keeps me current, in a way. As opposed to whittling and hitting hoops with sticks, or whatever.

Younger people are awesome.

And I like people in their 20s. They’re energetic and engaged and exploring. Nothing irritates me more than the now-typical people my age (40s) going on about millennials this and millennials that. It’s an age-old thing. Plato was doing it. The kids are all right.

But none of this keeps me from getting all into my own head and feeling old when I’m around younger people. Which is, again, entirely all in my own head.

No solution to this; observing it will hopefully be enough to inspire awareness, and ideally change.