Twits and Such for 2007-07-30

  • got muscle soreness from yesterday and today, ate too much breakfast, yadda yadda yadda #
  • my hair is starting to feel long (which I like), going for hippy long #
  • getting a new project tidied up and ready is always tedious #
  • I’m really sleepy too #
  • @quanza it’s the other way around, work has me busy but Twitter’s better to unload than surfing for a break #
  • my brain is more or less on the verge of being spent, not much use on Mondays #

Twits and Such for 2007-07-26

  • finally got a perfect migration setup for all my hotmail into gmail. #
  • now all I have to do is wait for gmail to import via POP in batches of 200 whenever they feel like it #
  • ah the wonders of sleep, I don’t think I’ll start nodding and dozing at the desk today #

Twits and Such for 2007-07-23

  • breakfast in the morning just makes me hungrier at work #
  • had to stand on a packed train thanks to a big delay. Muscling for breathing space against grown men is not my idea of a good start. #

Weekend Gym Rat

Since starting work, I tried jogging in the morning but quickly realized that this wasn’t going to work after like one attempt. I had to wake up an hour earlier to make a hectic routine even more hectic. I always end up running to the train station anyways. The first ten minutes of my morning commute are punctuated by me dripping sweat profusely on a crowded Japanese subway. It’s no wonder the seat next to me is the last to go. I really need to wake up earlier.

So aside from calisthenics in the morning and night, the weekends are the only chance I have to catch up. That’s not enough to keep in good shape but perfectly fine by me if it’ll help me keep status quo.

I usually head over to the local gym with a liter of refrigerated filtered water in a sports bottle then pedal away on a stationary bike for a full hour. At the end of the routine I’m drenched in sweat and ready to waste all the calories I burned on a beer and stuff my face with food.

Today as I was pedaling away in my personal pool of sweat I saw some dude walk in. He had a white T-shirt, shaved head but no chains. He walked with a gangsta slouch and shot a mean look at me as he cruised by my bike (probably unintentional and just an intense gaze). He had a certain gait to his walk. He was also somewhere around 70 years old. Dude just walked right past the yoga mats and jumped straight onto the stairclimber without so much as a warmup. He just cranked out a 30 minute cardio routine, took a 5 minute break in front of the TV and then hopped on the bike next to me!

Dude was hardcore. I will say that he had the distinct smell of a sweaty old man but I smelt like someone splashed a bucket of piss on me so that was par for the course. He also seemed like a nice guy too. Wasn’t short of breath when I left after my routine. Now that’s a role model!

Book Nostalgia

Every now and then I get a really strong feeling of nostalgia for books. You know, the dead trees and all that. Unfortunately, I know have the attention span of a hamster on amphetamines so I doubt I’ll ever get into books again. That and Tetris on the DS Lite just makes things worse.

I never seriously read books until college. One of the unfortunate things about my early school life was that I was not only lazy but I could get by (no straight As but Bs were like my Cs). I had an allergy to all forms of thinking and even exercise. When I was little I came up with a theory that the more you used any part of your mind or body, the quicker you die.

It also didn’t help that the majority of teachers up to high school were essentially low-level local government bureaucrats that not only didn’t care about their jobs but were apathetic or downright hostile. Their job wasn’t to teach but to babysit. And it doesn’t surprise me now, reflecting on it as an adult. Most of these teachers were regular college graduates who probably didn’t have a passion to learn much less teach.

Of course, being a lazy bastard only made it worse. In college I got the shock of my life when suddenly we had professors that were obsessed with the pursuit of knowledge. They of course taught to pay the bills because they’d rather be researching or reading. Yet they had an enthusiasm that caught on and an awe inspiring passion for knowledge. They literally couldn’t stop talking at lectures and it caught on.

I started by reading fiction since I figured it would go down easier than non-fiction. I had to look up words in the dictionary often to see what words really meant. It was a task but one that paid off well in the years to come.

For some reason I started off by reading Roots by Alex Hailey. It was a (I now realize) mostly fictional story of an African-American family starting with an African dude jacking off with his brother in the brushes along the coast only to be kidnapped by European slave traders and sold to America (which is pretty much what North Korea does to random Japanese in this day and age, funny how little changes). After that I spent some time reading classic works of fiction like Crime and Punishment and any other great literature I could get my hands on moving into history and non-fiction. I mostly read a lot of self-improvement and health books after graduating which I now realize is just a bunch of regurgitated garbage.

Nowadays most of my reading comes from blogs and esoteric APIs. I long for the days when I simply curled up to a good book.

Coffee and Softdrinks

These days I like my coffee black. Before that I couldn’t imagine coffee without gobs of sugar and loads of milk. I could have easily invented Starbucks as a child if I knew that it wasn’t just my personal quirk. It’s easy to get hooked to sugary coffee if you ever spent any time in Japan because they come in all varieties sold in tiny little cans at any vending machine.

The of course I realized that maybe all that sugar isn’t good for anything but wiring you up for a good 10 minutes before you go scurrying for more like a helpless rat being experimented on.

I never really had an affinity for soft drinks either though I used to drink some every now and then. I do like the carbonated fizz but would rather pass on ingesting the enamel-peeling acid and industrial strength chemicals. I could never understand how people trick themselves into thinking that slapping “diet” on the chemicals and replacing harmful corn starch (even worse than sugar) with some “might give you cancer” sugar replacement makes anything better. There are diet drinks that benefit your health called water and tea.

I guess we’ve all been conditioned since childhood that the only way to “refresh” ourselves is to wire ourselves up with over-priced sugar water loaded with chemicals. The problem is it works every now and then I guess.

I’ve been drinking loads of coffee lately to the point of wondering if it might affect me even without the sugar and milk. My sleep patterns are screwed either way. I guess there’s only one way to find out…

Now I’m off to the gym after drinking a cup of black on an empty stomach and a liter of water for the stationary bike. It’s kinda funny that since I now work in tech (though I haven’t done anything yet), I write more “bloggish” stuff. Definitely, the next one.

The Stallone Syndrome: Aging Gracefully or Not?

If there’s one thing about celebrity in the internet age it’s the fact that people are more disposable and interchangeable as ever. Celebrity was always youth driven to an extent but there was still room for finely aged talent. You might not be as explosive or fresh but you learned things along the way that more than compensated for that with experience and development as an artist. Nowadays, people are fighting age tooth and claw. So much for the notion of aging gracefully.

The thing is we’ve got so a lot of technology being refined to the point of art to support these endeavors. Photoshopping and photoshopped are now accepted as a verb and adjective. Plastic surgery, medicine, and natural therapies are all being refined to the point of art where new technologies and insights are giving us new ways to trick the clock.

Of course, the catch is you need to be rich to enjoy these things and the sad reality is that it still requires a LOT of work and always will. In fact, I’d say this is the full-time job of most celebrities: “staying young and attractive”. The downside is we all die anyways and the fact that these experiments can go horribly wrong if you take the wrong advice or do a bad “procedure”.

Then of course there’s the sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll route to premature aging but that’s another story or maybe a footnote.

It also doesn’t help that the hottest industry, IT, is really youth driven as well. Combine smart kids that grew up on the internet with the cheapest entry costs of any industry and you have youth worship to the hilt.

Unsurprisingly enough, this youth worship meets precisely at the intersection of IT and celebrity worship: the celebrity gossip blogs. Stolen images with snarky captions are a guilty pleasure of mine and it’s easy to see how such publishing platforms take celebrity and youth worship to new heights.

The unfortunate thing about all this is you can use all your money to look younger than your peers but you will never have that “hotness” quality and it’s a fine line even for the actually young. Lindsay Lohan still has it despite her drugged out escapades while Britney Spears clearly lost any chance of redemption. Of course, there are many who manage to stay hot for a remarkably long time like Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Madonna (though she’s showing mileage lately), Janet Jackson (pre-nipple malfunction), and others. The rest have photoshop.

Of course, the new frontier may some day be to freeze our moving images in whatever form or level of hotness we’d like but I doubt any technology can capture the ethereal nature of being young and hot simultaneously. At the end of the day you can try to keep that carton of milk fresh for as long as you want but fresh milk is fresh milk.

Sometimes I wonder though if the seemingly extended youth we see is correlated to the prolonged mental immaturity we see in people who should be “good adults”. For those who yearn to really relive youth there’s always grand children and the phrase, “when I was young”.