Sitting Here Timeless

A journal of one college kid's experiences. Entries are titled simply what time they were posted.

The Current State of Things

 So the holidays have passed, I’m over my viral smorgasbord, and I’ve signed a record deal and am working a bit with the great Sol Philcox. These are all happy things. A new semester is here, and I intend to make all A’s. I also need to demo the entire 8-track record, which likely means recording about 12 songs and picking 8 to cut. Also, I have to drop 40 pounds. A fat guy doesn’t sell records.

 While I was sick (sick enough to go to the ER), I stopped dieting and exercising. This was probably a smart thing; dieting while sick is a horrible way to get better. But I set a date for myself to start again, and stricter than ever: not even a morsel of a food that I have not specifically laid out that I can eat. Not one day off from working out. No cheating, ever, until the goal is attained: 165 pounds. I got to 210 pounds one bite at a time, one missed workout at a time. I’m currently at 202, and want to be at 195 by the end of January. Based on the fact that I was 207 nine days ago, I expect to attain this: it’s not unreasonable. 

 I’ve made a lot of lifestyle changes. I no longer enter a building that has a dining hall or food court in it for any reason, save for the bottom floor of the Fergeson Center to buy books. I have stopped drinking any more than 5 oz. of liquor in a day save for on the weekends, and even then I drink it straight or mix it with Diet Coke. Never beer or wine. I eat strictly vegetarian, mixed in with protein shakes, Carnation breakfasts, and milk, with multivitamins to get what I’m missing. I may branch out into eating the occasional eggs, nuts, and orange juice after a couple of weeks, actually: it would be good for natural proteins and vitamins B12/C. 

 All of the aforementioned lifestyle changes, combined with the grades and songwriting/improvement of my technical skills on the guitar and piano require a considerable amount of discipline, more than I’ve had since I was 16 and running a damn marching band by myself while taking hard classes. To this effect, I have largely isolated myself from my friends, and have told them why I’m doing so. They’ve been supportive and most said they would be there for me if I needed anything. I’m still amazed to have those kinds of friends. I have 5 other people that I allow myself to hang out with because they are closer to me than any others and will not offer me food that’s counterproductive to my goals, and I cherish them. As someone who had very few friends in high school, I’m still living a dream, even a year and a half later. 

 In other senses, I’m also living a dream right now for other reasons. I got a record deal and a publishing contract as well as co-writing sessions with hit writers at age 19. I’m so lucky that these guys would be willing to teach me what they know, and I’m still amazed at the stuff I’m writing these days (examples include an avant-garde song about redheads, a Southern murder ballad, a secularist jazz tune, and a beautiful folk song about a suicide pact). I want to write with the old masters who, though they may not be making hits anymore, can teach me so much about the craft: Ralph Murphy, Richard Leigh, Pat Alger. These guys had collectively about 50 Number One hits: they fucking know what they’re doing.

 I’m excited about the record. I’m excited about the semester. Hell, I’m excited about my strict diet and workout plan: I’m ready to finally be lean and have sex (and therefore commercial) appeal (that sentence meant something else before the parenthetical statement, didn’t it?). I’m ready to succeed, in other words. I can’t wait.

procrastination-inspired post.

 Dammit, I’m tired. I’m cold. I’m stressed. I’m ready to go back home and talk to my friend, mentor, co-producer, and big brother I never had about making a record that will turn the Nashville singer-songwriter scene on its head. I want to play live again and go on my mini-tour I have lined up for December and January. More than anything I need to rest. This has been a really hard few months in which I’ve developed what my closest friends have called a drinking problem (I’m not ready to concede that yet), killed my GPA, and gotten close to the edge of some really bad stuff mentally, closer than I’d care to admit. I need to regroup and get myself ready for January-May, which will decide a lot about my future. I need to be physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy for that much stress and hard work. And I need to write/demo this record.

 I have this strange, beautiful music in my head that I need to get out to the world. I’m doing it all myself. I’m making the beats. I’m playing all of the instruments. I’m writing the songs. I’m producing the record. I’m paying for most of the studio time out of my own pocket. This is going to be nothing less than the best record that I have the capacity to create at this point in my life. I look at the music I was making this time last year and recognize that it was important to my development as a songwriter, but am surprised at how much better a musician I am now than I was then. I need to make this record like I need to breathe. 

 Well that’s my rant. Now time to read.

The Fantastic Crazy Weight Loss Adventure: Week 3 recap

 Well, I got the flu. And I can’t work out for a while. But the good news is that I’ve lost 10 pounds! I’m down to 197 and I’m still going down. I’m shooting to get in the 180s again by Christmas, and I don’t think that’s unreasonable. This is a short recap, but it will suffice.

New Attitudes

 I was never a high school athlete. Not really. I was a middle distance runner in track and a midfielder in soccer, but my best mile was 5:52 and I never actually scored a goal, just a few assists. I was the guy that never really fit in with the athletes. Our high school football coach saw me throwing a tire between my junior and senior years and wanted me to join the team as a runningback, but I declined for two reasons: I wouldn’t be able to start my senior year except as a lineman (Does a short motherfucker like me look like a fucking lineman?!? I’m 5’8”.) and I hated the guys on the football team. Those were the guys that had humiliated me for years and years; high school was all I knew and these guys were my enemies, the ones I thought about while I ran 3200m’s and sprints, wanting to be an equal athlete with them. 

 But I’ve been watching the videos of the NFL athletes who care so much about what they do and their state of fitness that they don’t give two shits what they look like. They just care how they perform. I think there’s something very poetic about the athletic philosophy of seeing just how far the body can go. I’m not in high school anymore: I can’t play sports for my school just willy nilly, and I’m not about to try to walk on to the damn football or rugby or club soccer team. But I want to train like that. I want to be out there in the freezing cold running bleachers like I used to or in the weight room when nobody cares. Because now the athletes from high school are playing college football, unemployed, working for their parents, or failing out of school. One of those groups succeeded. I’m a musician; school is important to me because if I dropped out I would always regret it, and I want to become fluent in German. But now I get to take the helm of athleticism of my own initiative. And I want to become fit and in a better shape than my high school’s current athletes. I know that because of my age I have more potential than they do, but it’ll be vindication for me that I’m in better shape than the guys I hated in high school. I realize how I sound: bitter.

 But I’ve got someone to compare myself to. Michael Pitts, a lineman on the high school football team and a perpetual joke in high school for his weight has lost nearly 60 pounds since high school. He was a great guy sometimes, and sometimes an asshole. But he did it; he looks ripped and lean and handsome now. I don’t care about his personality: he did it. I can too. I know I can. It’s just a matter of hard work and dedication. This is about my dream for my life: being a pop/indie star. I’m always working on the music, but I have to remember that my image is just as important. I promise myself: I WILL get there.

Oh, Ranting Again

 I have to say a few things that are completely unrelated to one another. The first is that on a positive note I love how the weightlifting is going. I’ve pretty consistently lifted weights for while now, so I never lost too much muscle, but damn does it feel good to be making gains again! I just barely missed 220 on bench yesterday and can still squat 275 after not having done it for a while: not bad if I do say so myself. I haven’t been lifting for gains in about a year, so I’m thrilled to be getting stronger. I can see it in my arms and feel it in my back. I never was able to feel muscles in my back before, but military press and the rowing routines have been amazing for me. I’m getting stronger, guys.

 The second is that I will not post another picture for a month. I want y’all to see real visible progress. I want to see it too.

 The third (and most important) is more toward all y’all on the Tumblverse who are talking about losing weight and posting these pictures of girls going from thin to emaciated. I’m not doing this in moderation. But I’m also not eating 400 calories a day and calling it “a little bit over the limit.” If you’re counting your fruits and vegetables in your calorie count, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. I don’t mean that doing what feels right for you is wrong. What I mean is that nobody has ever gotten fat from eating too much fruit or too many veggies. This isn’t supposed to be about pain, ladies, at least not the bad kind. If you can’t feel good about yourself when you eat even the tiniest bit of food, that’s not you failing on your diet. That’s a warped and distorted view of the world that will only make you miserable. Getting the image that you want is a happy thing. Yeah, we all get depressed about it, but be happy in the knowledge that you’re a little closer today to that image than you were yesterday. And ladies, from a man’s perspective: if you have something more than a completely flat stomach, we don’t give a shit. You girls have to realize that you do this not for men, but for other girls. It’s the same reason that men get absolutely huge muscles and bench 500 pounds: to impress and intimidate other men. Whew…I’m tired from all of this ranting…

The Fantastic Crazy Weight Loss Adventure: Week 2 Recap

 It’s been a while since I’ve updated, but I’m very busy these days. If this Thanksgiving week has taught me anything, it’s that I understand my weaknesses and still think it’s okay to indulge. I gained 3 pounds this week and am back over 200. I don’t blame Thanksgiving: I used it as my cheat day and did everything a man should do on Thanksgiving, which is to say I drank 12 awesome beers (Sam Adams Winter Lager and Sweetwater IPA, for my fellow beer fanatics) and at 3 gigantic meals that left my GI track screaming in pain. The problem was not Thanksgiving. The problem was that I ate nachos/hot dogs/popcorn at Iron Bowl and almost a whole large pizza at Hungry Howie’s yesterday with my boys. There is one common denominator here and in almost every overeating experience I have: social interaction.

 I am a social eater. I feel as though I have to be laid-back when I’m around people, and thus I get the stuff I want to eat. When I get what I want, I don’t eat just a plate. I get 8 or 9 or 10 helpings. Using the pizza example, I didn’t just eat a couple slices of pizza with my friends: I ate a whole 15-piece pie. If I was able to eat one or two, I wouldn’t be going as hardcore as I have to on diet. But I can’t moderate myself. So I have to make my rules even stricter: no eating with friends or family save for on my cheat day: Sundays. On Sundays I can eat 5 chicken biscuits for breakfast, a whole pizza washed down with 12 beers for lunch, and Grammie’s Sunday feast for dinner if I want. But for the other 6 days I have to be absolutely and totally abstinent from anything but my salads, protein bars, and small amounts of lean meat. I do drink a lot of vodka, but I need to ramp up the intake of my other vices if I want to control the food addiction. I know vodka isn’t conducive to weight loss, but if I’m highly strict it shouldn’t make a difference. I will beat this and get the image I want. 

 I have to do this. If I fail here, my potential music career could be in jeopardy. I must lose no less than 30 pounds over the next few months. I have to keep remembering that: it’s for my dream.

I think I may have gained this week; Thanksgiving and those nachos at Iron Bowl didn’t help. Off to the gym.

I think I may have gained this week; Thanksgiving and those nachos at Iron Bowl didn’t help. Off to the gym.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

alyeese:

Look, Roark, there’s one thing about you, the thing I’m afraid of. It’s not just the kind of work you do; I wouldn’t care, if you were an exhibitionist who’s being different as a stunt, as a lark, just to attract attention to himself. It’s a smart racket, to oppose the crowd and amuse it and collect admission to the side show. If you did that, I wouldn’tworry. But it’s not that. You love your work. God help you, you love it! And that’s the curse. That’s the brand on your forehead for all of them to see. You love it, and they know it, and they know they have you. Do you ever look at the people in the street? Aren’t you afraid of them? I am. They move past you and they wear hats and they they carry bundles. But that’s not the substance of them. The substance of them is hatred for any man who loves his work. That’s the only kind they fear. I don’t know why. You’re opening yourself up, Roark, for each and every one of them.

I thought a few days here would be enough to take the hero worship out of you. I see it wasn’t. Here you are, saying to yourself how grand old Cameron is, a noble fighter, a martyr to a last cause, and you’d just love to die on the barricades with me and to eat in the dime lunchwagons with me for the rest of your life. I know, it looks pure and beautiful to you now, at your great old age of twenty-two. But do you know what it means? Thirty years of a lost cause, that sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? But do you know how many days there are in thirty years? Do you know what happens in those days? Roark! Do you know what happens?

I want you to hear. I want you to know what’s in store for you. There will be days when you’ll look at your hands and you’ll want to take something and smash every bone in them, because they’ll be taunting you with what they could do, if you found a chance for them to do it, and you can’t find that chance, and you can’t bear your living body because it has failed those hands somewhere.

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I’m at 199 now! Fantastic week. I can’t really tell a difference but it comes slow.

I’m at 199 now! Fantastic week. I can’t really tell a difference but it comes slow.