Neil Gaiman says:

Neil Gaiman says:
pic by Allan Amato

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Watching and Weighting

I started putting together this post last week.. and got busy! Which I think is normal for most folks. But, I have a wee bit of time, so here goes! After being diagnosed with gallstones in September, my diet changed radically. No longer able to indulge in my love of onions, or to work on achieving connoisseur-hood in the realm of chicken-wing sampling, the diet shift had unexpected results: I dropped a couple of pounds. Cool!

I thought I'd run (so to speak) with it and joined Weight Watchers (again!) with my buddy Myra W. from work who also wanted to tackle the challenge. Now, losing weight isn't easy and I have attempted it many times. I am also diagnosed with PCOS which means my hormones are out of whack :-P So it makes it triply hard! What fun.

Anyway, since I hit puberty (around 11 or so) I put on weight like it was going out of style. Wait a minute, it IS! Darn, should've been born in an earlier century I suppose. At the age of 12 I tipped the scales at around 147 lbs. or so. Ironically, this is the goal weight that I'm shooting for (using the Body Mass Index & my height and age.) {Calculate your own BMI here!}

Here I am around age 15 , weighing between 155-165 lbs I'd guess. Just an idea of what can change in you given 20+ years! Anyway, numbers aside, I'm going to be occasionally posting & charting my weight changes here for y'all to enjoy.

Right now, I weigh about the same as this lovely computer/ office desk!

I'm following the WW "Core" Plan which involves eating healthy foods from a particular list, balancing carbs, protein, veggies & fruit and trying to avoid fats (duh :-) So far it's going ok. The hardest thing is to keep a good variety of grains happening along with the veggies and protein. So far I've had kasha, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and oats. Yum!

I've cranked my veggie intake with salads, frozen veggies & just noshing on raw unsuspecting carrots :-) Fruits are good too--I mean I've always loved fruits, but now our fridge is bursting with sacks of varied apples, pears, as well as frozen berries in the freezer (that go on my oatmeal in the morning.)

By following this, drinking LOTS of water and enjoying my weekly belly-dancing (lots of laughing, sweating and jiggling cardio--!) I've managed to drop the equivalent of my cat Arlo in weight (about 8 lbs.) Hurray me!

How far do I have to go? Well... To reach my goal from where I am right now, I think it would be reasonable for it to take a little over 2 years. That's healthy, steady, no fad, genuine sane eating. And yeah, there'll be a few beers and the odd splurge in there too! I'm human, eh?

To give you an idea of my goal (and to help me visualize too!), I have a sample of what a pound looks like:

Now, here is a photo-collage of objects that weigh about the same as what I intend to drop.

Pretty scary eh? Anyway, right now I'm all enthusiastic and hepped to go! But there'll be times I'll post when I feel lousy and in the dumps. That's when you get to add comments like GO SUE GO! And YOU CAN DO EET! And STAY AWAY FROM THE DEEP-FRIED ___________ (fill in the blank.) Thanks in advance guys & gals! More news as it occurs!

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I was deeply saddened by the news that we lost Basil Poledouris--one of my favourite composers. Check out Ain't It Cool and the Basil Poledouris msg board to leave messages if you want to. I'm going to play my Conan sndtrk til the laser chews through the CD. *sniff*

What evocative scores.. I am a veteran Role Player (for those of you with no clue at all, it does not involve leather and whips [unless you're role-playing Lord of the Rings or something!].) I started when I was round 11 with TSR's Dungeons & Dragons with my cousin Todd Burley & pal Frank Hollington and also with my buddies Vicki, Fiona & their older brother Chris (who incidentally killed all of our 1st level characters in our beginning adventure in one fell swoop.)

Undeterred, we went on to play many MANY adventures over the years, in many game systems (Rob introduced us to Palladium), using all kinds of polyhedric dice, occasionally cards, and sometimes miniatures. I even enjoyed a LARP (Live-action rpg) or two as a teen, with my buddies, running around in the woods behind our old place on Carp Rd. They were games fueled by imagination, the cameraderie of fellowship and yeah, cause we got kicked out of the house and told to "go play" ;-)

It was only in my 20's that I discovered you could play music while rpging and it would help create a specific mood & atmosphere. I was in Montreal, visiting my pal Andrew & I got to sit in on an ongoing game for a dude who was sick. I got to play with complete strangers (a first & last experience!) The DM (Dungeon Master) put on Clannad's "Legend" on a turntable, then would send various players off to change records during the game. Great music, including Jethro Tull's "Beast & the Broadsword", some classical, Steeleye Span and back to Clannad, helped to draw the imagination of the 5 of us into perfect unison. It gelled the game & it was a moment I've never forgotten.

I would like to thank Keith S for helping to introduce me to MORE of Basil's music than I could've possibly discovered on my own, and for taking music + role-playing = incredible experience to an entirely new level. A great story-teller, and avid sndtrk fan, he totes his entire collection around compressed electronically on a massive iPod and can drop whatever tune is required into the game at a moment's notice. Thanks dude.

Basil Poledouris' music helped to provide the backdrop to so many games that I can't start listing them here...tempting as it is. Oh ok, I'll indulge. From Blackcomet, Abraxia & Mallory ( "Starship Troopers" sndtrk) to Atalanta the Gladiator & Magna ("Conan the Barbarian"), to Bekka, Angelfire & Bad Penny ("Robocop & Robocop 3"), games sprouted full-formed from Clayton's head & characters exploded like Athena bursting from Zeus to stomp around and keep us in thrall for months at a time. (Sometimes even years.)

He will be greatly missed.
But I know his music will live on to inspire more games, movies, animation and other crazy creative projects. Let's take a short moment to reflect on the fellow who brought us "The Anvil of Crom" and "Klendathu Drop", to name just the top two of my favourite Poledouris tunes. Here's the theme from "Lonesome Dove" too: spectacular!