This past weekend, Tom and I saw the sketch comedy group Kasper Hauser, hilarious as always, at the annual SF Sketchfest, preceded by Elephant Larry, who are from
My favorite moments included Rob playing a CEO who says to his shareholders, “Remember, my door is always open to you—not literally,” and his description of how poodles can sometimes have a holier-than-thou attitude, in which case you might need his company’s Poodle Shaver, to bring them down a notch.
Also great was Dan, in his role as a motivational speaker, describing how he became disillusioned with Judaism and so was having his foreskin reattached. Before the surgery, the anesthesiologist said the one thing you never want to hear your anesthesiologist say: “I gave you the wrong shit, hippie.”
I saw Blood Diamond, which was very upsetting but a fine movie that powerfully illuminates the misery that accompanies African diamond mining. Leonardo DiCaprio was terrific. He’s a wonderful actor, going right back to What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Djimon Hounsou was also splendid. Jennifer Connelly seemed to be playing her character, while the other two leads seemed to be their characters.
On Saturday night, Tom and I saw Letters from Iwo Jima, which was good, and then we went to The Red Poppy Art House to see the pickPocket [sic] Ensemble, which plays original music inspired by European café tunes. We enjoyed it. During the show, I looked over and saw Tom swaying gently to the music with a sweet smile on his face. He has such a nice face because he never thinks an unkind thought about anyone. I went to music school with Greg, the pickPocket Ensemble’s bass player. It was lovely to see him.
I was talking to a fellow recently who was describing another fellow as a womanizer. I asked how he knew, and he mimicked Fellow B saying fulsomely to a new female acquaintance, “Just let me know if you need help with anything.” Fellow A added that Fellow B was “trying to get the opening-round punch in.” Not particularly romantic, but a colorful way of describing Fellow B’s eagerness to get into the game.
My back feels much better today, thank goodness. By the end of yesterday, I was having pain-related personality change. Maybe I have unfairly maligned my mattress. Maybe it is a matter of keeping up with my stretching and back-pain-prevention protocol, key elements of which were passed on to me by my father.
My mother periodically reminds me to lift weights, which supposedly makes the difference between being able to get out of bed or not when you’re 90, and so I have a reminder to do this weekly. Over several years, the amount of weight I can lift has increased not at all, probably because I skip doing it nineteen times out of 20, and also because I’m opposed to undue exertion. My mother avers that if your strength is going to increase, you have to try to exceed your known capacity now and then.
I have a nice grid which shows how much (i.e., how little) weight I’m using for a given exercise, and I think part of the reason I avoid the entire thing is having to change the number of plates on my dumbbells several times during the process.
So, per something I read not long ago, I decided to abandon this approach, and just leave the same amount of weight on the dumbbells all the time, so I can do a few basic lifts whenever I happen to think of it, which is nearly every day. It’s probably not the way
Other personal reorganizational measures: I decided three or four movies/other entertainments per weekend is probably excessive and that I’d like to spend more time writing. I have begun meditating soon after I get home from work, because if I leave it until the end of the evening, it is likely to be truncated. It’s the most important thing I do, so I’m trying to treat it as such.
In general, I’m trying to do essential tasks soon after getting home from work and then using any time left over as desired, instead of immediately sitting down with Newsweek magazine and thinking, “There will probably be time later for washing the dishes.” In fact, there probably won’t be, unless I stay up past my bedtime.
Instead of writing routine tasks in my calendar book (“Take fish oil.” “Take more fish oil.” “Do qi gong exercises.” “Do more qi gong exercises.” “Play with Hammett.” “Stretching and back exercises.”), I have made a separate grid so that my calendar shows only actual items of interest and leaves room for same.
Killing a few moments before a meeting the other day, I sat down in a coworker’s guest chair, announcing, “I’ll have a seat in the lounge while I wait.” My coworker turned over a clear plastic thing that is a cross between a lava lamp and an hourglass and said, “Here, you can watch our video presentation.”