7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 219)
I got a SOLID three hours of sleep last night, which was a nice addition to the four hours I got the night before, so I am in the perfect position to write something and put it out there for everyone to read right now. Seven Quick Takes: So-Tired-I-Can-Barely-Operate-My-Keyboard Edition, let’s do this!
Joe took the kids to “movies on the lawn” last night, an awesome event where this friend of his sets up an outdoor movie theater on his lawn, complete with catered movie-style snacks. I wasn’t able to make it so I couldn’t take pictures, but here’s a shot from the last one, which I talked about here:
This is the same friend who occasionally hosts the salon dinners where everyone gets together over a meal to talk about some big issue facing society. The dinners feature a speaker to address the topic at hand and get the discussions started (for example, John Taylor Gatto came in to talk to us about education reform one time), and everyone is given a pamphlet with short bios of all the other attendees so that we can get to know one another better. These events are so fun and interesting — we need more things like this in the world!
I tried Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred on Tuesday, and I’m excited to report that I am slowly beginning to regain the ability to move some parts of my body. Also, I was smart and bought it as an Amazon Instant Video, which I think I’ll do for all future exercise video purchases. I have been driven to the edge of sanity on more than one occasion when I finally overcame my unfathomably deep tendency to sloth and got all motivated to do some killer workout video, only to open the case and find the Barney Schoolhouse DVD in there instead.
Anyway, I had watched clips of 30-Day Shred on Youtube, and in a moment that screams HUBRIS ALERT!!!! MAJOR HUMBLING LESSON ON ITS WAY!!!!, I thought, That doesn’t look that hard. What’s this, some jumping jacks? A few sit-ups? Whatever. I can hang.
Let me just fast forward to the part where I realize that I cannot, in any way, hang. I have never felt so weak in my life. Frankly, after my humiliation at the hands of this DVD, I am amazed that I have the strength to pick up my toothbrush each morning. My son was doing the workout with me, and since we only had eight-pound and five-pound weights I gave him the lighter set. Halfway through I had to steal the five-pound ones from him, and after we were done I did a limp of shame over to my computer and ordered three-pound weights on Amazon.
If I don’t update my blog for a few weeks, assume it’s because I can no longer move my arms because I kept doing this video.
Here’s my biggest issue with all of these types of workout videos: squats. Squats are an urban legend. They are not possible. I know you might think that they are because you’ve seen people do them in exercise DVDs, but they are actually a huge practical joke being put over on us by the fitness industry. If you move into a position like you’re sitting on a chair without actually having a chair behind you, you will FALL DOWN. This is not my opinion; it’s the opinion of the LAW OF GRAVITY.
You laugh, but history will prove me right! One day someone is going to take a closer look at one of these videos and notice wires holding up the fitness experts as they do their “squats,” and the whole thing is going to come crashing down.
I found myself surprisingly inspired when I stumbled across this cover of Maroon 5’s song Payphone, by Walk Off the Earth (the band that did the one-guitar version of Somebody that I Used to Know):
I am so amazed that there are people in the world who can just do that, who can sit down and make music at will. This is something Joe and I talk about a lot: we love music, but neither of us can do much to create it, and we’re amazed by people who can. We have this idea that if we had musical talent, we’d basically sit in our garage every night and record awesome songs for Youtube videos, like a nerdy suburban version of Pomplamoose.
I’m sure that’s all easier said than done, but the main point I’m getting at is: if you have musical talent, USE IT!!! Very few people have been given the gifts needed to write or perform songs; if you’re one of the few, don’t let that gift go to waste. The rest of us need you if we’re going to have good music to listen to!
Another inspiring thing about that band Walk Off the Earth, from their Wikipedia entry:
Walk off the Earth is a Canadian indie band that formed in 2006 in Burlington, Ontario, and has gained success around the world by making low-budget music videos of covers and originals. The band built its fan base independently with no help from record labels, booking agents, or management.
That’s another thing we should all remember: here in the internet age, you don’t need an institution’s stamp of approval before you begin a new project. If you have an idea that you’re passionate about, just do it! If you can’t get an agent or a manger or a publisher or a label or whatever else you think you need, do it anyway! Create great work, put it out there, stick with it, and you’ll very likely gain traction.
I am now officially typing while the baby is asleep, which means that every character you see from this point on represents a millisecond that I am choosing to BLOG instead of doing that SLEEP thing that I’ve heard so much about. So, on that note, I wish you all a great weekend, and I’m going to go pass out.