Sunday, March 20, 2016

Fat Day, Listicle Lament, Wolfpine Glen Update

I was gifted a Fitbit around this time last year, and it has sat next to my computer gathering dust ever since. I was too lazy to figure out how to set it up, and I was creeped out (and deeply bored) at the thought of tracking all of my food and exercise online. But alas, with the job transfer, I’m not getting my two-mile uphill walk anymore, and my weight creep has morphed into weight gain. Also, I can feel my muscles slowly softening and getting mushy. This morning’s scale number threw me into a minor crisis, further aggravated by some other things I was frustrated about. I slammed my swimsuit into my bag and marched out huffily to get some exercise at the local pool, but not before asking Mr. Typist to “figure out that stupid tracking device, would you?” When I came back, he had it all sorted, and I put the wristband on.

The first thing that irked me was that it automatically set a goal of 10,000 steps a day, without even asking me. In no universe do I recall agreeing to such an egregiously unrealistic number, but there it is, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to get rid of it or change it to something more reasonable. Secondly, when I entered my swimming session, it calculated that I had burned 119 calories. That is totally bogus! I was using weights and doing scissor kicks, I wasn’t just swanning around. I know damn well I burned more than the strangely specific number of 119 calories, but the Fitbit won’t let me decide that.  It stubbornly insists that its calculation is the correct one. So here I am, less than three hours into a new technology, and I’m already wasting time mentally arguing with it. I don’t know if I’ll keep using it or not. It is a truly creepy device, and I don’t trust it. I’m not sure what sort of biometric data it’s hoovering up from my wrist, and worse yet, it has no regard for how hard I work in the pool.

I was listening to my favorite podcast the other day, (TBTL), and the hosts were talking about that Ted Cruz listicle “25 Things You Didn’t Know About Me.” I actually read the list, and was a little disconcerted to find that he is on level 350 of Candy Crush. Personally, I am on level 17 of Bejeweled, and I realized with a shock when I looked at my stats recently that I have played for a total of 32 hours. 32 hours of my life has been frittered away on watching twinkling geometric shapes explode in a satisfying manner. What could I have accomplished with those 32 hours? That’s an entire punch rug, right there. So I’m a little concerned about Ted’s…problem. Then again, I liked him a bit more upon learning that when he’s away from home, he eats nothing but a can of soup for dinner, and has “dozens in the pantry.”  I am not a fan of Ted’s general political philosophy, but my heart did soften a tad at the image of him sitting alone and forlorn at the kitchen table, hunched over yet another bowl of Creamy Tomato. So, nice job, social media whiz who wrote the list: You made me feel a moment of tenderness for Ted Cruz.

I was hoping to have my first installment of “Wolfpine Glen” up today, but truth be told, it just isn’t ready. I don’t want to put up anything that I’m not proud of, and it needs more polish before it’s ready to share with you. I also have some decisions to make from a plot and structural standpoint. The last thing I want to do is put up a mediocre product out of a false sense of needing to hurry. But I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, enjoy some Jim Gaffigan.

--Kristen McHenry

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