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May 10th, 2016

Odds and Ends

A random potpourri, in no particular order:

  • I'm now nearly halfway through my once every decade rereading (listening to the audiobook, in this case) of 1984. This marks the fourth time I've gone through the novel, and once again I am amazed at the new insights I gained on each successive reading. At the same time, I'm also working my way through Amazon's adaptation of Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle. It's doing wonders for my outlook on the world right now. I almost feel as though a rereading of Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is now also in order.

  • This past Sunday marked the first heavy metal concert I ever attended. Admittedly, Ghost is at most borderline-metal, but their sacrilegious occult shtick has garnered them a following in metal fandom. Anyway, I had a hell of a time (sorry about the pun) and look forward to seeing them live again. I'm sure my enjoyment of the show was only enhanced by the venue -- the Hippdrome near Baltimore's Inner Harbor. I feel like I should post a photo or two I took of the interior before the show started, but in lieu of that let me just say that the oligarchs of the late 19th century Gilded Age did one thing right: they didn't spare any expense on the buildings they commissioned. Today's newly crowned oligarchs could learn a thing or two from their predecessors.

  • Just so I have it more readily accessible in the future. a Facebook status I posted as I was leaving for the Ghost concert:

    Sally: "You don't look very metal."

    Me: "Quick -- give me the eyeliner the kids gave you this morning for Mother's Day. No, wait... That's goth. Never mind."

  • Pinkish Black, the opening act for Ghost, was quite possibly the worst band I've ever heard play live. They were aggressively, unapologetically, in-your-face bad. They were a two-person act, with just drums and synthesizers, and frequently it seemed like the two of them were just doing their own thing with little regard to what the other guy was playing. While listening to them, I was suddenly filled with the certainty that liberal use of a theremin would only have enhanced their music. I'm fairly confident that previous sentence has never before been uttered or committed to paper or pixels in the history of the English language.

  • One final tidbit from the Ghost concert: as my friend Dave and I sat in our seats, one of the teens next to us just said, "Now I feel like my dad is here." At that moment, I couldn't imagine the evening going any better.

  • Today marks the 14th straight day of measurable rain in the DC region. This stretch has easily eclipsed the previous record of 10 consecutive days with measurable rainfall and is very likely to continue for another few days at least. I suppose the silver lining is that we haven't had to turn on the air conditioner once yet.

  • From the end of 2011, after I initially removed all the excess weight I had been carrying for years, through the end of last year, my weight has fluctuated in a 30-pound range -- which I'm certain runs somewhat counter to my goal of taking better care of myself. However, in the five months since early December I've kept it within a much smaller 10-pound ban-- this is the longest stretch of stability at a relatively healthy weight in my adult life (I've had longer stretches at far less healthy weights.) This range is still roughly 5-10 pounds where I'd like to maintain, but in the grand scheme of things I don't think I'll be disappointed in myself if I don't manage to make that particular adjustment.

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