The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal - August 31st, 2005

August 31st, 2005

August 31st, 2005
07:38 am

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Random Items... Of Doom!

1) Gini and I have been doing yoga for — well, hang on, lemme check my archives — three weeks now, and it's interesting. Depending on which yoga enthusiast you talk to, yoga is about breath control, or twisting toxins out of the body, or simply mastering both mind and body.

But to me, yoga consists of getting into the most uncomfortable positions you can imagine and staying there.

It's a trick, since after about five seconds your entire body starts to quiver. You're trying to keep your balance while your hamstrings are shrieking in agony, and you have to push up with your left arm as you extend your spine. Your muscles ache as you try to explode your body outwards, every limb reaching in a different direction. You're not doing any exercise other than just standing weird, but oh my God does it hurt.

Yet there comes a point where you "get" one of the poses, and everything clicks into place. I've often said that I burn off a lot more calories biking than Gini does, because even though we're traversing the same distance I don't have her efficiency. She knows all of the subtle tricks of how to pump her legs, when to apply force, how to shift gears on slopes, whereas I'm just flailing about. She uses less energy to go faster.

So it is with yoga. Once you "get" a position, it's still strenuous, but suddenly you know how you're supposed to stand. Before then, you're the driver of a carriage filled with exhausted horses straining at the bit, each of them trying to run off in separate directions as you frantically whip each muscle back into line… But after getting it, you're focusing your body towards a position, an ideal you pour your energy into achieving.

It's an interesting process, and it's a clear illustration of how mind and body are engaged. I'm not sure whether getting it is the mind or the body, but from that point onwards they begin to work in harmony.

And just as you're enjoying your strength, the instructor tells you to move into the next position — the one you haven't gotten. That bitch.

2) God willing, I am going to one of the special sneak previews of Serenity tonight, as a special send-off for my Joss Whedon-addicted daughter. (Thanks muchly to Julie Washington for getting me the tickets.) I'll give a comprehensive, spoiler-free review when I get back, but you'll have to correct for the inevitable "It's a new franchise flick!" high that taints every review.

Initial reviews are weird, because there are some films you enjoy but have no urge to see again, and there are some films you liked a lot but you were swept up in the hype. I've gone back and read my initial reviews coming out of the theater, and while they're right in the essentials, the weight is off. A minor complaint I had later swells to tarnish the whole film, or some nice little touch turns out to be the thing I remember.

I'll be glowing with fanboy enthusiasm (or worse, reeking with the betrayal of excessive hype), so crank the correction knob a few notches.

3) For sheer entertainment, check out this video by OK GO (sent to me by Devilishdestiny). I heard them on NPR yesterday, and the hook is that they practiced quite seriously for a week to do the dance routine for this video — but they're not dancers. There's something oddly compelling about watching people do a competent job that's nonetheless not very good.

I mean, I like 'em because they're obviously having a good time. But stick these guys behind, say, Britney Spears or Janet Jackson and you'll see how much you're grading on a curve.

Still, I'm gonna pick up the single on iTunes, if it's there. Creativity should be rewarded.

(26 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

TimeEvent
09:26 am

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Oh, The Conversations You'll Have!
FERRETT: "Wow, New Orleans is getting bad. Remember when you told me they were dropping three thousand-pound sandbags into the levee last night?"

GINI: "Levee?"

FERRETT (Not noticing): "Yeah, the levee. Well, they said it was like dropping 'em into a black hole and they've temporarily abandoned it while they try to find some other way of plugging - "

GINI: "No, I know what you're talking about - you're just mispronouncing it. You said 'lea-vee.' It's 'leh-vee'."

FERRETT: "You're right. How could I have forgotten the lessons of 'American Pie'?"

(For further discussions on words more read than said, check out this discussion from a year ago. Humiliation galore!)

(37 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

TimeEvent
09:47 am

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And Lastly, A Poll I've Been Meaning To Hold For A While
If you're an obsessive reader of mine (and heck, who isn't?), you may have noticed that my posts will frequently change between the time you first read it and the time you comment on it, particularly if you're an early commenter. That's because I tweak my posts relentlessly. Let's take a look at the ludicrously-miniscule changes made to my random post on Yoga this morning:

1. Initial posting.
2. Looking it over, I decide that using the word "body" twice in the same paragraph is icky. I look for synonyms, find none, but along the way I decide that "illustrate" is a better word than "way," and change that.
3. Realize that I have committed to purchasing the single on iTunes without having checked access. Frantic worry that I may be misleading people. Add the phrase, "if it's there."
4. Upon reading it now, I discover that I have left off the word "up" after "crank," and I will go back and change it.

That's three edits for a mostly content-free post... And that's not even particularly bad for me. On my serious posts - the ones I really spend my full forty-five minutes of allotted LJ writing time on - I sometimes go back eight or nine times to add links, clarify poorly-phrased statements, collapse paragraphs together (I have a bad habit of single-line sentences), and correct my various misspellings and grammatical errors.

I know other people do this, mostly from speaking to rollick - but on the other hand, the people I've discussed this with are mostly writers and editors, and we're all retentive about how we come off in print. And I know damn well that a lot of people won't go back to correct even the most trivial and obvious of errors, as evidenced by the always-amusing _fucking_moron. Many of you just don't give a shit if your latest thoughts look like a dyslexic has just vomited up a printing press. So now I must ask you: How often do you edit a post, and why?

For the sake of sanity, we'll define "a post" as "I have written words myself," and not "I have cut and copied words from other source, like a quiz site or a portion of someone else's writing." Poll #562274 The Editing Question
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 569

On average, I edit a post that I have already published on LiveJournal:

View Answers
Never.
10 (1.8%)
Once in a while, but usually never.
271 (47.6%)
Once.
117 (20.6%)
Two to three times.
118 (20.7%)
Four or more times, and oh God I'm so anal retentive I can lift a chair with my butt cheeks
53 (9.3%)


As to why you edit (or do not edit), leave me a note in the comments. In the interests of humor, I will not edit this post at all, even if it fucking kills me.

(153 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

TimeEvent
10:32 am

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Sorry, Guys; One Last Amusement
I was as surprised as anyone to discover that five of you have added "theferrett" as a LiveJournal interest. However, teh_muse - though she is one of the five who lists me as an interest - has a friends-only journal that I could not view, because I'm not one of her friends.

I guess she's not that interested.

(50 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

TimeEvent
11:03 pm

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A Curious Phenomenon
About a third of the conversations I have with people about their issues and depressions end like this:

"What do you need to accomplish this evening to feel like the day wasn't a waste? Uh-huh. Well, stop fucking around wasting time with me and go do that. Now."

Sounds kinda cruel, but it's usually good advice.

(46 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

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