Friday, March 30, 2018

Random thoughts for late March

I will try to make the thoughts at least somewhat linked.

I am sick and tired of the lingering cold weather, particularly in evenings.  It often chases me to bed sooner than I would go otherwise, which in turn means I am a bit less productive than I would like to be.  On the other hand, I may be somewhat less tempted to eat that 4th meal in the middle of the night (which is probably from whence my weight problem really comes).  The temperature has crept up this week, but it has still been wet, which makes it feel colder.  Today may not be so bad, and Easter probably won't rain, which would be great since there is an Easter egg hunt, but it will be another week before it really gets nice out.

In part due to work and in part due to feeling the chills, it took a week longer than I had expected and/or hoped to get the next draft of my Fringe play together, but it is done.  I think it is getting close, though there are still a few more tweaks needed.  I think this upcoming week I need to wrap up the casting, so I can start thinking about who might direct it.  Fortunately, I did hear from one of the hosts of SFYS, and he will try to send me the name of the actress who I am hoping to cast in the role of Britney.

I am starting to get used to going to the gym, which is good, as it is still fairly cold out and I often have to push myself.  I won't have to push nearly as hard in the spring and the summer, and of course I will be biking much more.  That said, I did skip two days due to not wanting to go out in the wet and the cold (that is a combination that really saps my will power).  But I am heading out now for a morning workout (the gym is just about the only thing open in Gerrard Square today, though it turns out the AGO is open as well, and I may stop in).

I still haven't made enormous progress, but I am making steady progress.  I actually solidified the gains (or rather loss) even on the trip to the East Coast.  I almost always ate a bit less than I really wanted, and most days I walked at least 4-5 hours.  I am quite close to being down 15 pounds from when I got serious and am down one size and 1-2 notches on the belt, though of course it is depressing 1) how far I let myself go and 2) how much harder it is to lose weight as you get older.  My younger self would have lost more by now.  I hope to lose another 15-20 pounds by the late summer and go down at least one more size.  I think this is achievable.  I've definitely cranked up the will-power at work and have started rejecting donuts and even some celebratory cake.  Clearly I should have been doing this all along, but I just wasn't ready to be serious, and now I am.*

I recently wrapped up Gaskell's Wives and Daughters (I started this on the spring break vacation), not that long after reading North and South.  Of the two, I did prefer North and South, which is shorter, but also the characters were a bit more interesting and there were deeper divisions between the two would-be lovers which was harder to overcome.  Molly, in Wives and Daugthers, is not much more than a cipher really, a really good girl who does everything her father tells her (and almost everything her step-mother tells her, despite not really respecting her), who has long lingering illnesses at convenient times (convenient plot-wise, I mean) and basically has all obstacles in the way of marrying her preferred partner swept away without any effort on her part.  It is her step-mother and step-sister who are at least somewhat interesting.  All that said, Wives and Daughters was more congenial to me than Middlemarch, which I didn't care for at all.  It is certainly a shame that Gaskell died with only a single chapter left to write, though she did have some notes and had told family members how it turned out.  Thus, the audience isn't really left hanging a la Edwin Drood.

In any event, between these novels, Trollope's The Way We Live Now and Bennett's The Old Wives' Tale, I am a little burned out on really long novels.  I'll be switching to shorter fiction for the next little while.  It probably won't be until the fall that I tackle Rezzori's Death of My Brother Abel and Updike's The Rabbit novels.  Towards the very end of the year, I hope to be reading Musil's The Man Without Qualities, and that will be ambitious indeed.  But in the meantime, the focus will be on shorter novels, as well as on novels that I expect I will donate once I have read them, just to keep making progress on cleaning out the basement.  Oh just so many books...

I was going to write a bit about upcoming theatre, including the fact that I decided to go to the Overcoat after all, but that shall have to wait a bit longer.

* While I am impatient to make progress, I am also trying to set myself up for success.  That means not beating myself up too much for when I backslide and have a cookie or some ice cream (but of course not going out of my way to add temptation to my life either), and to come up with a sustainable plan.  That means going to the gym 3 or 4 times max. per week.  5-6 times per week is not sustainable in the long-term, at least not for me.

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