Words, Weights, Whatever

Thursday, October 20, 2005

***Joel A-Z (D)***

D is for dance.

I love to dance. I love the sensation of music and how my body and emotions react to a good, hard beat. It affects my choice of workout activities and even instructors.

And people respond. Back in junior high I found myself popular with the grrrls at any of the dances. They'd encircle me as I gyrated, leaped, and shuffled to the latest by Duran Duran (Wild Boys) or Michael Jackson (pre-molestation accusations). I didn't care; I just wanted to move.

I found myself dancing less from high school on. I became more self-conscious like my male peers. Only with my female companions did I venture onto the gym floor. It's no wonder I
preferred their company. (This changed later as I played role-playing games.)

I attended some clubs in college and dances afterwards but much of my enjoyment finds release when working out. No wonder I'm nearly fanatical about my workout times.

While I like to dance, I'm actually quite picky about my music. I prefer modern dance songs and--gasp!--disco. I don't dance to rap (jumping up and down is not dancing in my opinion) and rarely country even though I know a few moves. I love remixes of my favorite songs: Control, Vogue, etc. Thus, I partially keep abreast of current music just to see what DJ's have done to my favorite "oldies but goodies".

Look around everywhere you turn is heartache
It's everywhere that you go (look around)
You try everything you can to escape
The pain of life that you know (life that you know)
When all else fails and you long to be
Something better than you are todayI know a place where you can get away
It's called a dance floor, and here's what it's for, so

Come on, vogue
Let your body move to the music (move to the music)
Hey, hey, hey
Come on, vogue
Let your body go with the flow (go with the flow)
You know you can do it*

*Written by Madonna and Shep Pettibone. All rights belong to them.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

***Joel A-Z (C)***

C is for comic books.

I've been collecting comic books since high school freshman year year. I distinctly remember the issue: Uncanny X-men, with Colossus fighting Juggernaught.

The X-titles have been the mainstay of my collection. I would not expand my titles until after college and marriage when I started collect DC (post-Crisis) titles like Superman, wonder Woman, and Green Lantern. I noticed a split in my taste for Marvel and DC comics: the former were primarily team titles (e.g., X-men, Avengers, etc.) while the latter were primarily solo characters (e.g., Wonder Woman, Robin.)

I collect very few comics from independent ("indie") companies like Dark Horse. I collected a few from Image but found most of them, like Spawn or W.I.L.DCats, to be like weeknight television: all art, no substance. Yes, art's important for comic books (otherwise I'd read a book), but ultimately there has to be a story that moves those characters. Otherwise, I'd buy posters.

I don't know how many comic books I own. I've made attempts to cull them over the years and have only been partially successful. The industry has realized the need for more sophisticated storylines and characters which makes it difficult for me to drop a title. Right now I've narrowed down to Amazing X-men, Astro City, Green Lantern Corps, JLA, and Teen Titans. I started to collect Robin for the spouse but find the issues interesting myself.

I sometimes think of dropping comic books. They're costly and consume space. (I don't throw away issues unless they're badly mangled.) But I don't: I enjoy reading them and that's what counts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

***Joel A-Z (B)***

B is for balance.

Months ago my sister was complaining how she constantly felt torn in her life. Does she spend a few hours to clean the house or take a nap? Why does she waste time listening to people who complain about how unfulfilling their lives feel when she needs (and, sometimes wants) to work out.

I know the feeling. I constantly feel torn trying to decide what I want to do versus what I have to do. Do I spend the evening picking up the clutter around the house or do I hit the gym to get my weight under control? Do I participate in NaNoWriMo next month or devote the time researching decorating ideas? And so on. And these are "immediate concerns": I worry about the desire to rest versus getting a second job so I can purchase that new car/pay down debt/buy new clothes or more books, etc.

Sometimes I admire youth's single-mindedness or folks who can just absolutely focus. I've tried a couple of times and become even more frustrated as people--who were used to me running around taking care of their requests--think I'm now being selfish.

The "B for Balance" is to figure out a way where I feel I'm accomplishing most of my goals without throwing everything out of kilter. Already I note I'm responding to this imbalance by throwing up my hands and ignoring them.


Monday, October 17, 2005

***Weekend Words***

Saturday was suppose to be a relaxing day. I was to get up early, work out, then take R.'s car in for an oil change. We'd then meet to go out for lunch before working on errands throughout the day.

Then Ben Bova arrived.

I found out the venerable author was signing last Wednesday. R's been wanting to meet him for years. Well, he was visiting SoCal for a conference in L.A. and was making a special trip down in San Diego. We scrambled to get his books and woke early Saturday morning.

I was a bit surprised at the low turnout. Bova's a well-known member of the sf community and part of the early beginnings of modern sf. But all the attendees are fans of his work and he was a pleasant gentleman, telling wonderful stories of his peers who are major names in their own right (e.g., Jack Williamson, Frank Kelly Freas, etc.) His books sounds intriguing: optimistic hard sci-fi in a field getting pushed aside more and more by space opera, cyberpunk, and "soft" (primarily sociological) sci-fi.

We later checked out our regular bookstore haunts near Adams and the Hillcrest area before returning home before midnight.

R. was on-call Sunday. I, too, woke early to check out a local auto auction. Ugh. Dents, decay, and coughing engines nearly justified why they were on the auction block. I was surprised, still, by how high some of the vehicles were sold. A 2001 PT Cruiser with over 175k miles for over 5k? You've got to be kidding! (I also confirmed why I see so many folks driving high-end cars like Bimmers when they look like they can barely afford a basic used Kia.)

I checked out Carfaire, of course. It had been a few weeks. There was a goodly batch: a 2005 Jaguar XJ8, a 2003 Cadillac CTS, and a nice MDX. Even the Chrysler 300C looked good.


It was roughly this time the rains began to pour down. Yup. Rainy season is upon SoCal. I spent much of the evening prepping for NaNoWriMo and figuring out (finally) major plot threads for my current work-in-progress.

***All about Joel A-Z (A)***

My spouse recently picked up a book about a young man who, for a class project, wrote a biography of himself. Here's the twist: each major entry begins with a word corresponding to a letter of the alphabet. Intrigued, I decided to post similiarly with each letter and word revealing something about myself.

A stands for arse. It's one of my favorite parts to look at. Like most folks, I like them round and firm and slightly bigger that what that person should have normally. Looks best when held in either tight-fitting pants or gym shorts.

I myself don't have a fine arse. Yet. I learned squats work best for me.

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