Friday, October 28, 2005

Eye of the Tiger

Jogged the full three miles to and from the beach today, without stopping. A personal best. I jumped around with my hands in the air and sang the Rocky song. Actually, I felt like I was going to throw up. But it felt good to feel that way.

Since the weather was crappy I hadn't been running in days, so it was nice to put some miles on my feet. I need to buy some foul (fowl? I forget which -- there are lots of ducks and geese and swans out here, so maybe either is appropriate) weather running gear (been saying that for weeks now), and I need to take advantage of the nice weather we're supposed to have thru Monday. Viva la weather!

I read in Runner's World (my mom got it for me! hooray mom!) that you shouldn't try to increase your running distance more than once a week, so I'll probably go shorter distances over the next few days, then push for an increase, then even out at the full three miles for a week or so after that, and then push again. If I could get up to five miles a day, 20 miles a week, I'd be thrilled. Plus, my main motivation for jogging, other than that I want to look good naked, is I like to pig out every once in a while. So the higher I can push my metabolism, the better. Viva la pig out!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Gay Blogging

Those of you who aren't reading Absorbascon are missing out on one of life's true pleasures. It's all about crazy comic book stuff, but you don't have to be into comics at all to laugh at it. I haven't read a comic in ages, but I still can't get enough Absorbascon. The "Superman is a dick" series, and the "Loneliness of Aquaman" week were personal favorites.

Anyway, I'd been reading the site for weeks before I realized that the dude who writes it is gay. In 99% of the posts, sexuality is a non-factor, but every now and again that 1% pops up where he makes no secret of his gayness. In today's post, he's trying to get hooked up with a designer at DC Comics. (Is that redundant, Detective Comics Comics?)

Anyway anyway, this has made me wonder if the dude's gayness effects his readership at all. Based on the number of comments, I'd say his site is pretty popular. But are there people being turned away by knowing this guy is a homo?

I especially wonder because comics are very masculine, yet very sensitive. The heros, like WWF wrestlers, are symbols of hyper masculinity. The women are drawn as sexily curved and scantily clad as possible. Yet the comic book audience is stereotypically your shy loner kids who can't get girls in high school because they genuinely like girls and don't act like dicks to them. And comic book story lines often reflect this sort of conflicted adolescent complexity, sensitivity, and general nonjudgmental attitude that lets one in ten of their friends come out as gay without fear of being abandoned.

I'd like to believe that in 2005, everybody was cool with the fact that some people are gay. But I know there are still tons of people who'd love to get back to the dark ages of burning witches and stoning homosexuals in the public square. I'm especially curious to know which percentage of each group makes up the comic book reader demographic.

Like Shaking Hands with God

Banged out a few thousand words of the new "fantasy novel" almost instantly. It's a great feeling when the words and ideas just flow, as if from nowhere, each burst of imagination giving life to another and another. Vonnegut described this phenomenon as "shaking hands with God" (in his small book of the same name). It's an amazing experience and it's the reason why I think everybody needs some form of creative outlet in their lives. I sit down with maybe a sentence or two in mind, type them out, and then a third and fourth sentence follow with no planning on my part. At this point in the writing process, I'm out of my own control. I don't know where it all comes from. It's creation but with no act of conception (an immaculate conception!) Later, I'll dig in, sculpt and refine, word by word, thought by thought. But for now I just open myself up to whatever force, internal or external, drives this creative process.

I used to have this feeling all the time when I wrote fantasy in junior high and high school. My head used to keep me up at night imagining everything I wanted my characters to be and do. Somewhere during college I lost the ability to write like this, however. I don't know where it went. Maybe it's a product of writing "serious fiction." I wish I could experience it more often while working on my memoir, which, at this rate, hard as I work on it, will soon be dragging far behind the fantasy novel. In any case, I'm glad to be able to shake hands with God once again on at least one of my projects.