Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Working Out, Teenagers and Plastic Surgery, Etc.

What Pattern Are You?

Bloody hell. I'm going to have to give in and have Chris put my air conditioner in. It's just too damn hot. I guess it's trying to make up for last year when it was cool and rainy damn near all summer long. It was freaking 90˚F here yesterday and it's only June 8. Today's supposed to be just as hot along with some major thunderstorms and possible tornados. Gotta love Michigan – you never know what the weather is going to be like. It's only 6:00 a.m. and it's already 70˚F out there and humid as all get out (whatever that means).

The getting off at 2:00 p.m. is working out so far (two whole days into it) as far as my workout is concerned. I get to the gym before most people are off work and don't have to fight for a machine, so that's good. I get my 30 minutes in on the treadmill and the elliptical without feeling guilty that someone is waiting for it. And I got back into the weight lifting portion of my workout this week. As much as I loved my Great Grandma and really thought her flabby upper arms were cool (they were soft) as a child, I now know that they were not cool and I do not want her arms. And I get home in time to sit outside and enjoy the late afternoon sun by sitting on my front lawn and reading my book – where it's cooler than being in my apt.

I'm reading the latest book by Iain Pears called The Portrait. He wrote one of my favorite books, An Instance of the Fingerpost and so I watch out for his books when come out. Instance was basically a murder mystery set in Oxford, England back during medieval times with historical figures appearing throughout. For some reason I really find those types of stories really interesting. Don't ask me why, I just do. Anyway, he also writes murder mysteries with an art history theme, but I've only read one of those. I enjoyed it, just haven't had the opportunity to pick any more up. I'll have to get my butt over to my used book store (next to Switched On CDs, the best CD store in the metropolitan Detroit area – check it out). No reason to buy new when used read just as easily.

The Portrait is different in style. So far (and I have no reason to believe this will change), the only story is told by one person as a narrative. Shit, it's hard to explain. The little blurb on the jacket cover reads: "A perfectly rendered short novel of suspense about a painter driven to extremes." The inside jacket cover says this: "An influential art critic in the early years of the twentieth century journeys from London to the rustic, remote island of Houat, off France's northwest coast, to sit for a portrait painted by an old friend, a gifted but tormented artist living in self-imposed exile. Over the course of the sitting, the painter recalls their years of friendship, the double-edged gift of the critic's patronage, the power he wielded over aspiring artists, and his apparent callousness in anointing the careers of some and devastating the lives of others. The balance of power between the two men shifts dramatically as the critic becomes a passive subject while the painter struggles to capture the character of the man, as well as his image, on canvas. Reminiscing with ease and familiarity one minute, with anger and menace the next, the painter eventually reveals why he has accepted the commission of this portrait, why he left London suddenly and mysteriously at the height of his success, and why now, with dark determination, he feels ready to return." It goes on to say that once you turn the last page, you turn to the first page to start all over again to discover the nuances that you missed the first time through. It's quite intriguing so far.

Here is one view of the critic:

C: "Are you with me or not?"…"Whose side are you on?"
P: "Is it a question of sides?"
C: "Yes. A few friends, the rest enemies. That's the way the world is. If you don't destroy them, they'll destroy you. You'll learn that eventually." (Pears, p. 81)

I don't agree with that at all. I think it's a very sad and lonely way to go through life to think that you constantly have to watch your back, in fact, lash out first for whatever reason. I like to think that there are many friends and few enemies – unless you're a politician or something like that. But maybe that's what makes a person a critic, of whatever form art takes. It's just not in me to be that critical (unless you're short and a little heavy and wearing large horizontal black and white stripes – but then you're just asking for it.), as I think that at least the person is trying (then again, except for the last Star Wars film) and deserves some accolades for trying and being willing to put themselves out there for critiquing. There's a nice way to go about it and a not so nice way. But maybe that's just me. Maybe there are more people out there who view the world as a place full of enemies and few friends.

And here a couple of stories to make you cringe:

Parents allowing their teenaged daughters to have breast augmentation. Now there's a message…hell, my parents didn't even allow me to wear make-up until I was 18 (not that I didn't borrow friends' make-up in homeroom and put it on), much less pay to have me increase my bust size. The scary thing is that I wouldn't bet against my OS allowing my niece to do something like this. OS seems to have taken the opposite approach to my parents' form of parenting, and if the kids wants to do it, it's probably okay (except for drugs – my OS hasn't completely lost her flippin' mind). My niece has been wearing make-up since she was at leawst

And teenagers anthropomorphizing anorexia and giving "her" the name Ana and with the help of the Internet forming friendships/clubs to help each other stay on the true anorexic path. SCARY!!! People always accused me of being anorexic back in high school and early college, but I wasn't. I could eat like a horse and just not gain any weight. I had a metabolism I wish I had now. *sigh* It's just so sad that these girls haven't learned anything from Karen Carpenter (hell, they probably don't even know who she is) or Mary-Kate Olsen.

After my workout yesterday afternoon I decided that I needed to walk up to Merchants and figured why shower and get freshened up when I was just going to be walking in 90˚F heat and just sweating more, so I rubbed my wayward hair with a cold, wet washcloth, shoved a ball cap on my head and was out the door. I walked in and a guy I've never seen before says to me, "You can't go to the gym and then hang out at the wine store." I was startled and said, "How did you know I was at the gym?" And he said, "I saw you there." Whew! I thought I was looking particularly sweaty or something.

Jason had me taste a new wine that they're thinking about carrying (Zed from an Australian vineyard) and it was quite yummy!!! And the price will be yummy too – about $8 a bottle. I've been in a wine mood for the past month or so, and I don’t quite know why as I never used to like wine all that much. I'm still a white wine girl, but occasionally Jason recommends a red that I don't hate, so maybe my palate is getting as old as the rest of me.

The wimpy weights I lifted on Monday have my muscles expressing their displeasure at being abused so. I feel like the biggest loser when I go to a machine and take out the pin from 125 lbs (or more) and move it to the first weight – Woohoo!!! 25 whole pounds! I'm going to be ripped in no time – or not. ;-) I guess what matters (as I'm not looking to build muscles like those body-building chicks you see on espn2) is that I'm doing it and trying to get into some sort of shape – other than out of….


Post a Comment

<< Home