Saturday, February 10, 2018

Quick progress report - Feb.

It feels like I should say early Feb., but only another few days and we'll be hitting the midway mark!  Anyway, it has been a snowy and somewhat cold Feb. so far.  It does look like it will hover around freezing this next week or so, but there is still quite a bit of snow in the forecast.  I'm getting a bit tired of all the shoveling!

I did manage to get to the gym a couple of times this week, even going through the snow and slush.  I might upgrade my performance to C+, and if I go tomorrow for a short visit on the way back from Richard III, then it will go to B-.  I'm kind of hovering around B/B- for the exercising at home.  But the main improvement is at work where I skipped the weekly snack break (called a "fika") on Thurs. and then on Friday I passed up Timbits and some fancy Italian pastry!  So that's an A- for the week.  I guess I finally got tired enough of being fat to make that last change of giving up the bad eating habits (at work at least).  Again, I'm trying not to expect too much visible progress until the late spring/summer, but it feels like I am on the right track.  Most importantly, I think I have a sustainable approach.  I've always hated those shows like The Biggest Loser, since they put these people on diets that are simply too strict to be maintained after the cameras are off and put them in the gym 6 or 7 days a week (as if normal people can keep to that regime).  It's hardly a secret that almost all the contestants end up putting the weight back on again, even if they are at least more active than they used to be.

I closed out the week feeling particularly productive.  We wrapped up a memo on freight planning that had been languishing a bit.  Of more interest to me, I completed and submitted a plan of future work that would last at least 3 years, so I'm waiting to see how that goes over.

While I have two plays to see this weekend (Richard III and Bang Bang by Kat Sandler), my main goal is to finish the rewrites to the script.  I only managed to get a few hours on it over the week, but now that I don't feel I have as much work work hanging over me, I think I'll have the required mental energy.  Fingers crossed.

Today I will launch into Arnold Bennett's The Old Wives' Tale.  In a way I am glad to finally have gotten to this one off my reading list.  This was a book I was assigned literally decades ago in undergrad; I had too many reading courses that semester, so I just skipped it (and sort of bulled my way through the discussion of the book that week).  So it is a way of getting around to some unfinished business,* though at least for the time being I will just be reading on the train/streetcar or while at the gym.  After I get my script edits done, I can focus on reading the book in earnest.  That's it for now.

* I'm sure I would have found the novel worthy back then, but it really is about the progression of time (and one only escapes from growing old by dying young), and I suspect I will take it to heart more now that I have to fight off the effects of growing old (see above: diet and going to gym...).  In any event, this was a book that had gone out of print back then.  The professor actually debated substituting another book, but we managed to find enough used copies to go forward.  However, one must remember this was pre-Web and wasn't even an idea (even email was just in its infancy and mostly only used by researchers and university students).  My mother was living in Ferndale, just north of Detroit, and was able to pick up 3 or 4 copies of the book from local used book stores (after we had exhausted the Ann Arbor shops), which was quite a help for us.  So the guilt I have always felt about not reading the book goes just a bit deeper than letting down the professor; I felt that I turned down an offering from my mother.  I suppose the most surprising thing is that I didn't find the time to get to this novel much sooner, say when I was teaching in Newark and read well over 150 books.  But I have reached it now and look forward to crossing it off the list -- and essentially paying off that minor debt to my mother.

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