Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In which I go into far too much detail about stuff you don't care about

Getting my picture taken for the paper turned out to be very anti-climactic. I went downtown, found parking directly in front of the Journal-Sentinel's photo lab door, and went inside. There was no wait and I was quickly taken in back and given the option of sprucing up in front of a mirror. I'd been told to wear 'whatever' because the shot would be from the shoulders up, and so I wore a simple tan v-neck pullover and jeans.

I was instructed to have a seat on a stool in a very dark room, and for the duration of the shot the photographer moved around like a 3D silhouette, fully visible only in the brief flashes from his camera.

I joked that this was 'way darker than Sears Portrait Studios' and he smirked and briefly explained the technical reasons why this technique was superior. I didn't really pay attention, I'm afraid, but I was intrigued to discover the reason they took pictures from so many different angles.

It wasn't to find my 'better side' but to make sure that if, say, my column runs on the far right of the page they'll be able to go with a shot of me looking to the left, so that my pic doesn't give the impression that I'm staring off the page into space.


Then I had to sign a freelance contract with the paper. This isn't the real deal, but a copy I asked to keep for my (online) scrapbook, which I'm sure made me sound like a real pro.


I was in and out in under five minutes, which was a horrible waste of all the change I'd plugged in the meter.

All in all, I didn't enjoy it, and I certainly wasn't 'on' because I'm just very down lately. Issues with my parents/siblings, a financial crunch on the horizon, some squabbles at home, the bombshell today that my insurance might have been mistakenly cancelled, and my typical reaction to stress - eating - have all contributed to the blues.

On that last part, I think I've put on around ten to fifteen pounds in the last few weeks, enough to make some of my shirts snug. It's depressing. I don't mind being fat, so much as I hate being fat enough to want to jump off a bridge. The winter worries me too. I've been riding my bike regularly - I am in awe of how large I'd have become recently without it - but with winter here I'm scrambling for an activity to take its place.

One good thing: the difference in my fitness level between July and now is noticeable. On one of the last trips I recreated a two-mile ride I took with YaYa when I first bought the bike. At that time I huffed and puffed and had to stop often to complete what I felt was an 'accomplishment'. This time out I did it with two kids in the trailer behind me, added on some extra mileage, and still finished in a considerably shorter amount of time, with only a single stop (to 'rescue' a katydid from the sidewalk ,at YaYa's request, and deliver it to a grassy hill across the street).

So it did some good.

Argh, I have to cheer up soon. It's not right to be this handsome and wear a frown. It just doesn't look right to my fans.

- Dan


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I hope you can find a winter actity, maybe shovel the lawn or something :o)

I know we have a foldable treadmill and recumbant bike, maybe you could find a used one in the paper.

Slapinions said...

Thanks for the comment Ken. The trouble is I actually enjoyed biking. It didn't *feel* like exercise, and there's even a practical purpose (transportation). I've always said I don't mind moving a 1000 pound pile of rocks if it's for a job; but ask me to life an equal amount of free weights and I say 'no way'.


Beth said...

Dan, please don't rule it out! I'm not a fan of exercise myself, but I'm trying to do better, especially because I have osteopenia and need to build my bone density.

The recumbent bike is pretty cool because you can read while you're peddling away! Don't give up on your good efforts of this summer...please consider an alternative for the winter.

Don't think of exercise as being a job...think of your job as getting healthier and getting exercise.

Love, Beth

Joann said...

Dan, I still swear by "Dance, Dance Revolution" for inside exercise... but now the Wii has taken it's place in popularity!! Try it, it should be a fun form of exercise... I don't have one yet, but maybe one day!! LOL!!

OK, What's a Katydid (is that a kittykat??)?


Jeanne said...

I agree with the other posts, don't give up because it's winter...

You can come to my gym by my appartment and work out, I think there is a recumbant bike, tread mill and free weights...

But Dance is good, and I too have heard that the WII is a great thing, kind of costly...but could be fun

Estela said...

My son and I use Leslie Sansone's Walk away the pounds DVD's. And they work great! Mac has lost 17 pounds since Sept. He's down two pant sizes already. These tapes are great because they are NOT danc-y and everyone can join in with you. They range in length from 15 mins to just over an hour and the walk equivalent is between 1 and 5 miles. No weather issues!

Lidian said...

I really have to force myself away from the desk and make myself run around outside or walk or something. And it helps one feel better too, I think it might be endorphins (can you tell I quit my scientific endeavors in grade 11?). I know that it isn't tryptophan because that makes you sleepy (sometimes trying to think of what to write does too!)