‘Tis the Season

I find this time of year pretty hard. The world winds itself up for Christmas and the retail hell that that entails. Exercise that I’d promised to have started months ago has finally, belatedly, lurched into action. (What’s that? Eat less? Eject the person who said that this instant.) And projects that I’d hoped to have finished already recline in various corners of the cave, sighing heavily, and I try to attend to them when and where I can, very, very aware of the remaining days hours of 2008 flicking by with alarming speed.

But when I step outside the house, and The Dog’s on her bestest behaviour because we’re either a). going for a run or b). I’m about to play fetch with her, the warm perfume of jasmine envelopes me and I can’t help but inhale, and smile. For thirty minutes, I need only worry about a). moving one foot in front of the other or b). keeping The Dog from hoovering up chicken poo.

Afterwards, when I return to the house, I have more immediate concerns like chest- and leg-pains, or a canine who collapses in places where I’ll trip over her. I remember that if I don’t leave the cave, I won’t be caught up in the season’s rioting. I’ve assuaged my exercise guilt. And the projects lean forward, body language quietly screaming Pick me!, and things don’t look so bad after all.




Hundredth post.

I may not have written as much as I wanted to since 1 January 2007 but I’ve –

  • run a total of 558kms (97kms of that sans mongrel);
  • picked up 170 books, comics and scripts, and read 137 right through;
  • and sat down to watch 128 films, DVDs and TV series, and watched 105 right to the (sometimes bitter) end.

‘S not bad. And because it’s that time of the year, I give you a list of notable and recommended reading and viewing experiences (in strict alphabetical order):

As for the running, I do it only so that I fit my clothes.

Happy new year.


Asking For It

Four years ago, it seemed like a brilliant idea: it would help my motivation, it would be great for the family as a whole, and our overall security would be taken care of.

Quite a job description for a mere mongrel.

Pic courtesy Howie B

Four years on, we can leave the house in her paws, safe in the knowledge that if she doesn’t leave teeth-marks in uninvited visitors, the neighbours will investigate any ruckus she makes. The honeymoon period of family outings for/with the dog are long over – come to think of it, it lasted as long as she looked and gambolled like a puppy.

Which leaves my motivation. I need to run regularly. The Dog needs to be exercised regularly. Hey hey: a running buddy.

The thing is, I hate running. Always have. Always will. But there’s no other form of exercise where a good pair of running shoes is all you need. Biking means bike maintenance. Walking’s too slow. Swimming means a half-hour drive (and costs). One could say it’s a low-maintenance high-intensity kind of exercise. I still say the hell with that – I hate it.

It has some pluses though. It’s supposed to be good for me. It clears my head, though this shouldn’t be surprising considering the din of my desperate wheezing, a drumrolling heartbeat, and a thought-process as primal as just to the next corner… okay, just a little bit more to the next telephone pole… ihatethisshit… now just to that red car…. On occasion, it feels good when I’m huffing about out there and I think, I’m-a goin’ places, yessirree… oh yeah, feel the flow, baby… but these are rare moments, fleeting enough that I seek them like some narcotic high.

Writing’s like that sometimes. I’d be sprawled across some project and, despite the writing pains, a liitle voice whispers how about… just one more set-piece/subplot/pay-off, hm? like, how hard could it be? Rare flashes of creative joy as words are thrown up on-screen in search of a story.

By the end of it all, whether I’m running or writing, I’m glad to (still) be alive, there’s the satisfaction of having done it and, if I’m not careful, thinking that wasn’t so bad – let’s go again.