Mar 13

Spiritus

When I was younger, I used to not care much for music like this. Music that celebrated life? Why? My life was pretty harsh. As I’ve gotten older, my life changed, got better; I’ve tried to raise my fists less, put down the saber, back away instead of striking out. I’ve never been a macho guy, defending my honor at all costs, but I’ve always been fearless (some say reckless) and ready for battle. Armor always on, shields always up. Never letting anyone get beyond the titanium veil.

Hard, hard way to live. Sometimes I backslide. But I try to be over that now, beyond that. In some ways, it’s the harder path, defenses down — but it’s far more rewarding in the end.

What I love about Lisa Mitchell is that when she sings, even though she doesn’t have a great voice, all her defenses are down — in those moments, she’s utterly beautiful (and would be even if she weren’t already lovely). Everything is revealed; not one bit is held back. There’s nothing more alluring than passion admixed with intelligence. Nothing more likely to shatter the universe. Nothing more likely to better the world.

My place in the world might not be the same as hers. If the revolution comes, my posting is and should be in the militant wing. I know this. The leopard cannot change its spots so easily, not completely. But this leopard does enjoy putting away his spots in the spot drawer until they are needed again. Lisa Mitchell helps with that.

She’s not used to singing in the studio. She doesn’t like not being able to hear herself. It’s why she moved the headphones back from her right ear.

Teleporters! Ha! (But interestingly, if teleporters were available, a bottomless suitcase would be unnecessary or at the least a fait accompli of that tech.)

Mar 09

Mitchell

This is a simple song that takes some interesting musical risks, with a really great video.

Though I’ve liked the song for a while, I had not the first clue what Lisa Mitchell looked like until I watched the video today, but she’s about as a cute as a thousand fluffy kittens. Wish they didn’t mostly hide her freckles.

I believe there is also a polyamory reference in the song, too. “Bed for three?” Yep.

Mar 07

Awww YA

This is a great post.

Here’s how we solve the OMG SO MANY GIRLS IN YA problem: quit treating women like secondary appendages. Quit treating women’s art like it’s a niche, novelty creation only for girls. Quit teaching boys to fear the feminine, quit insisting that it’s a hardship for men to have to relate to anything that doesn’t specifically cater to them.

Anyone who’s not reading YA right now is missing the fuck out (no, I am not talking about Twilight). The best-plotted, best-written fiction in the world right now is being written there. There is no competition, not among literary fiction (which is mostly terrible), not among adult fiction, and not in sf or fantasy.

And wonderfully, it features any number of interesting, relatable and capable female characters.

No wonder it’s attracting so much hatred of late.

Mar 07

Pop

I’ve never cared for the music of Iggy Pop or The Stooges, but I do like what he does sometimes.

One time he came out on stage in a purple dress, and when an interviewer asked him about why he’d play a show wearing a dress, he said something like, “I don’t think there’s anything shameful about being a woman, so I liked the dress and I wore it.”

Right on.

Mar 07

One last thing

When I looked at the odds of long-term weight loss being 10 to 1, I thought to myself, Shit, I beat longer odds than that my whole life. I can beat 10 to 1 odds in my frickin’ sleep.

Perhaps arrogant?

In my view, it ain’t arrogant if you actually do it.

Mar 07

On losing

Below, about losing weight, I don’t want to make it seem easier than it was.

It was not all that easy, especially at first. My comparisons are off, as my partner frequently reminds me. My definition of “easy” is far from other people’s, due to my background and proclivities.

Many times, my definition of “not that hard” amounts to “did not lose any limbs or major organs.”

Probably not what most people’s definition is, I am guessing.

But sometimes, even now, I am still hungry. The other day I was thinking about Kate Miller-Heidke’s music and then about the singer herself. Due to eating even less than normal I was quite hungry, so my thoughts drifted unconsciously in this direction: Hmm, Kate Miller-Heidke, she’s cool, I wonder what her favorite food is?

In other words if you can’t stand being hungry, you will probably not be able to lose weight. Me, I can stand about anything if I want to, so there’s that.

Mar 07

Quacking

Though I disagree with some parts of this, in the main I think it is correct about the self-delusion and general harm done by this sort of thinking about obesity.

But their overriding problem is that the attempt to uncouple obesity and health/well-being/longevity has the same goal as that of global warming deniers: to convince you that the vast majority of evidence, as well as the medical and scientific consensus, is wrong.

As the piece points out (and with which I fully agree), it is wrong still to persecute and discriminate against obese people. But ignoring evidence that is really quite clear and tossing aside well-established medical knowledge is not the path to wisdom and is harmful to everyone, obese people included.

Study after study confirms that obese people have worse health outcomes, and also that they are beset with more chronic health problems, even if they don’t turn deadly.

Some anecdotes (yeah, anecdotes aren’t data, yada yada….).

At work, two extremely obese people broke their ankles on the stairs at around the same time. One was out for weeks; one was out for months. This is not a normal recuperation period for a mild ankle break, and it’s far less likely either break would’ve occurred at all if BMI had been in the normal range.

If I’d broken my ankle at work, I likely would’ve been back the next day, or more typical of me, in about 10 minutes. “Uh, yeah, I think I broke my ankle on the stairs, I’ll go to the hospital after I finish building this server.” That seems a lot easier when you aren’t packing an extra 250 pounds.

Second, I used to be straddling the line of obesity. Over three years ago, I lost 27% of my body weight. I now feel much healthier, can hike much further and my knees have gone from barely-working to fine. I also seem to get sick less and in general just have had a great improvement in personal well-being.

Yes, losing weight is hard and I am an outlier, but it wasn’t even as hard as I expected, so it can be done and is very much worth it.

Also, this comment about losing weight made me chuckle.

So yes, it’s possible to lose weight by constantly monitoring yourself and enforcing caloric deficits by eating less and doing more. It’s also really goddamn hard to do because your body thinks it’s dying and will fight against you.

I was a paratrooper in the US Army. Who gives a shit what my body thinks about anything? When something is tough here’s what I do: I fucking deal. What do other people do?

Yeah, I know, it makes me sound like an asshole. I’m really concerned about it. Sometimes, that is life; you just have to toughen up and do it.

Or not, as the case may be.

 

Mar 06

Quid

If Quidditch were a real game with the rules of the Harry Potter universe, the optimum strategy, given the extremely high value of the snitch, would be for everyone to be seekers (If allowed by the rules; I am not a Harry Potter expert. Even if the rules didn’t allow, having everyone act as seekers while nominally holding other positions would probably be what actually happened).

It’s not a very balanced game, needless to say.

As a corollary, that would mean that most teams would be nearly all girls, as they tend on average to both be lighter and more flexible, meaning they would on average also be better flyers and snitch-catchers.