To Continue, Breathe In, Breathe Out

As usual, my “regular writing” attempt has turned into a yawning chasm of laziness. Not that, I am sad to report, much has been happening: I have been working, running, and occasionally performing spectacular feats of sloth.

This year is one more year than the last year!

2014 didn’t so much end as simply slide into 2015. I’m not sure when I stopped paying attention to New Year’s and resolutions; probably when I started college here in the US, because the end of the year only means the end of one semester.

Either way, this year I didn’t even bother with resolutions. I have a couple of general rules anyway:

  1. Exercise enough that you don’t hate yourself
  2. Don’t eat so much chocolate that you don’t want to eat it anymore

Except those aren’t really rules, let’s be honest. They’re more like… guidelines.

What have I been doing in the interim, you ask, dear reader 1.5? Many things. I shall now enlighten you.

Running aka The Prolonged Inevitable Fall

I’ve mentioned my love/hate relationship with running in some distant blog post or the other, but now that I’ve picked it back up again it feels —

— no, just kidding, it feels exactly as bad as it always does, but I think my attitude’s beginning to improve.

Much of it is simply detaching my mind from the process of running. Music helps, but sometimes I just check out, which distracts me from the excruciating lactic acid buildup.

Recently I’ve tried just… breathing. Paying attention to how I hold my breath, expel it, focus on the current breath and step, not worrying about how far or fast I’m going. Somehow with this slowed down technique I’ve shaved off upwards of 30 seconds. Which I understand for a marathoner is small-time stuff, but I’ll take anything I can get.

Of course my favorite part is finishing. Not because I’m glad it’s over, but just because I made myself a goal and reached it. Nothing else that happens that day will undo the fact that I ran those 2 miles.

All My Reading Has Been On Screens

One day — soon — on this blog — I will write something poetic about how my literary pursuits have been going. But currently all my reading has been digital, and while I like to think I’m learning something about ISIS, or bacteria on New York subways, or how to correctly dice onions, I haven’t exactly lost myself in a good book recently.

I’ve been told the Expanse series is a good one to get started on, but oddly enough I’ve been craving a good spy thriller. Possibly because I re-watched the most recent Tinker Tailor. It’s a good effort, but it made me want to re-watch the original BBC series. As good as Gary Oldman was, he’s really not Alec Guinness.

Speaking of which, what I can do is fill out my bookshelves with books: Tinker Tailor, obviously, and Dune, which I can’t believe I still don’t have. Also about half of Terry Pratchett.

That should be a good two weeks of packages arriving in the mail.

Abs Arrow

This is the worst show I’ve ever subjected myself to willingly, and not just for the laughs. Well, sometimes for the laughs. The lead is — well, I can’t remember the actor’s name — but Oliver Queen, protagonist, is an elaborately muscled playboy-turned-superhero, who’s been stranded on an island for five years and picks up enough skills to get him into the Russian mob, through the Chinese civil servant examination, and around every law of physics currently known to mankind. The only reason I put up with his acting is the fact that the show’s runners clearly know where his strengths lie, and shanghai a shot of his spectacular abs into whatever scene they can.

Like I said: I’m not complaining.

But then Felicity Smoak came on the scene, and I knew I’d root for her forever. It’s fairly obvious fairly early on that she has a Thing for Oliver. Also, the last episode I watched was a season finale in which Oliver tells her (inaccurately) that he loves her, purely to thwart the Bad Guy’s plans. She figures it out, but it’s also obvious that she’s hurt. And I can’t really forgive Mr. Awesome Abs for that, because Felicity is amazing.

She’s smart — brilliant, in fact, and creative. She’s awkward, but she’s cute, and she cares a lot about her friends. She’s not a jerk. She wears pretty clothes and jewelry, because she wants to (although I resent the way the showrunners decided to make her exponentially sexier in the second season; what were they making up for?) and doesn’t have to look like the cartoon-drawing version of a geek for herself to be taken seriously. The men around her — Diggle and Oliver, mainly — treat her with respect and affection.

Summary: I like Arrow for the abs, and for the brains.

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