Accomplishing stuff

It was recently brought to my attention that all the links on my music page lead   nowhere…

But I fixed it 

You can find it HERE

So, back in the middle of July, there was an incident, and I ended up with a broken window. I called around for estimates and the lowest came in at around $200. The weather has been completely dry since then, so the motivation to fix the thing was in the range of low to non-existent.

However, we have a change of weather coming, and a soggy backseat is no fun for anybody. Having once repaired a much smaller window on Datsy way back in the day, I decided I could try the same approach on Colgate.

First, I took a trip to Home Depot and picked up some Plexiglas, a scoring knife, and some adhesive. 

I found some butcher paper and made a template by matching it to the other rear window. 

After I had the pattern, I traced the shape onto the plastic board with a magic marker and then used the scoring knife to carve through the pattern. Once the plastic was scored, I snapped off the excess Plexiglas.

Once I had the window shaped, I ran a bead of adhesive around the rim of the opening and inserted the plastic into the window well. I clamped the plastic in place with a pair of pliers and waited for it to set.

After the sealant set, I peeled back the protective film from the plastic and voila! $25 homemade window!

Now, I will admit, this fix has made this door unopenable. The only way to keep the seal watertight was to glue the plastic into the window opening. However, since Hodie rides in the front seat these days, and I rarely have more than one passenger at a time, I feel like this is a reasonable sacrifice. Also, I am about to buy a newer car and make Colgate my mountain/bitch car, so it becomes far less pressing to have 4 doors that work all the time. 

I was quite pleased with the results and myself, all things considered!

When I wander away from it for a while, I forget how much I love the gym. I tend to be rather various and inconsistent about fitness unless I have a routine, a plan, and a place to go. No matter my access to workout DVD’s, fitness channels, or muscle magazines, I can never seem to get into a rhythm that works for me without the gym. I seem to need the structure of a place to go, the inspiration of an expanse of machines, racks of weights, walls of mirrors. 

I was in a good routine, just starting to plateau, and considering what it would take to increase my intensity when I fell down and dislocated my tail-bone in a “I can’t tell if I was having fun unless I got hurt” episode. After that it was very difficult to get back in the swing, since I took so long to heal. Once I was recovered, I had moved to Eugene where there were, to my shock, no 24 hour fitness locations. This was most distressing, since I had a lifetime membership there. Trying to find a new gym was sort of a pain, and I couldn’t commit until it had been so long I barely remembered what it was like to lift on anything approaching a regular basis.

And this arm is not what it used to be

But with my Christmas bonus, and a bargain membership offered through the Gold’s gym here, I was excited to get back at the rack.

I have a tendency to overdo things after a long absence, so I tried to take it super easy the first day back. Minimal weight, short sets, only 2 of each. I stretched for at least as long as I had lifted, and apart from some chicken wing tightness, I felt pretty good. Second day back, I tried to maintain my plan, but pushed a little harder on the lower body than I had on upper body, just by virtue of the greater capacities of the muscle groups in question. I did some of the harder lifts in my repertoire with minimal weight, but despite my caution, I could still feel the strain even before my second set was over.

Today, I attempted a recovery workout. I tend to alternate days lifting focusing on specific areas: arms & abs one day, legs & ass the next. For a recovery day I do an all over workout focusing on movement, stretching, and simply creating bloodflow to the areas I think might need it. I usually come away from this feeling great and much less stiff and sore than I am if I just rest completely. When I left the gym today I felt pretty good, but by the time I was done with my chores…. mercy.

Now, I know they say “No pain, no gain” but today I feel like I was beat with sticks. It’s pretty clear I haven’t done myself any great injury, which is certainly an improvement over other starts, but every time I stand up, sit down, twist, bend, move or breathe, it hurts. I’m trying to take this as a sign that I activated all the muscles I wanted to and I’m well on my way back to super-buff status, but right now all I know is that I’d give my bad eye for some Ibuprofen, Aspercreme, a hot tub, and a massage. And the thing is, I don’t even need to, I have access to each and all of these things, it just hurts too much to move enough to get them.

To correct beyond what is needed, appropriate, or usual, especially when resulting in a mistake.

American Heritage Dictionary

Also, meaningful;

An over-compensation of a mechanical fault during the performance of a motor skill.

Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science & Medicine

I am full of myself. Vain. Arrogant. I have unwarranted self-confidence and an insufferable tendency to boast. Even the very exercise I am now engaged in, all too closely mimics mental masturbation, eh?

Ah, me.

But it is unquestionably the case that this is the result of a swerve, wild and desperate, that I have not yet gotten a handle upon. Meant to avoid remaining bedraggled and bruised, pitiable and pathetic, lost in self-loathing. It was a coping mechanism, not so unusual, to try and repair damage untold, as dealt by indifferent parenting and unenviable circumstance. But like most things meant to help us cope, if we rely on them too heavily, they create a host of new problems which must then be confronted; mastered.

I believe my braggodocio springs in no small part from an odd quirk of mine that developed as a result of my “mechanical fault.” While quite small I was functionally blind. I could see shapes and light and color, but nothing was in focus, and there was two of everything. It made it nearly impossible for me to navigate in the world. I wasn’t totally sightless, so I didn’t rely as heavily on my other senses as I could have. I was constantly running into things, falling down, tripping, and generally hurting myself repeatedly through my stubborn determination to get where I was going, under my own steam and at top speed.

My older sister, and mother, took to shouting warnings at me when I was about to run into trouble. Brandy particularly took it upon herself to follow me around and warn me when I was about to bump into something, when there was danger I might fall, or if there was something I could trip over in my path. As noble as her efforts were, I have noticed that it has instilled in me a need to hear something, before I can truly absorb it. I do not trust the evidence of my other senses quite so thoroughly. Additionally, it has created a tendency to rely on the assertions of other people altogether too much when evaluating my self-worth, circumstances, or correct course of action.

So, I say what I want to believe, that I can hear it and thus accept it as true. I say it to other people in hopes they will agree with me and give the declaration greater credence. My assertions are almost always uncertainty waiting to become assurance.

And I will not claim to have ever even tried humility on for size. I think I bridled at the notion of it, seeing it as somehow in conflict with my favorite virtue Truth. To fail to pronounce my strengths, as well as my many, sundry faults, would be to deny the truth of who and how I am. When I encountered the trait in people I admired, I always found it baffling:

“But, you’re awesome!! Why aren’t you telling everyone in earshot??”

Because it turns out, most people don’t require this kind of mechanism to believe good things about themselves. They just sort of do. They prefer to demonstrate their worth by their deeds, quietly and with grace.

Someone recently mentioned to me that their approach to life was to underpromise and overdeliver. I saw firsthand evidence of how lovely it could be to be on the other side of that course. The surprise and sense of discovery were profoundly satisfying. And it dawned on me that I have denied anyone who has ever met me the pleasure of that sort of revelation. I am so quick to tell them all there is to know about me, they have no chance to see and decide for themselves. This is especially important when I am forced to admit that not everything I “know” about myself is true for everyone else.

And I am tempted, for the first time, to try this humility thing after all. To pull the wheel slowly towards center, and proceed…

i went into the studio today and recorded this song. i don’t think it’s my best work. i had a bit of a sore throat and a scatterbrain. my playing, which isn’t my strong point anyway, was a little less accurate than average, and my singing, which is usually my saving grace, wasn’t.

which is too bad because i think the song itself IS some of my best work, and getting to the studio is tough. hopefully next time i’ll feel a bit better about the outcome.

How You Don’t

(if you click on the song title, it should play for you)

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