Friday, May 27, 2011

Next Costume: Halloween 2011

I was watching my roommates DVD collection when I came across an old gem. I have no idea why this show went off the air, or whether anything will ever again capture the manic comedy it exhibited.

I will be the Freakazoid.

Red leotard
White Boots
White gloves
Makeup (blue/black/white)

Super-teen extraordinaire
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!
Runs around in underwear
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!

Rescues Washington D.C.
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!
Unless something better's on TV
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!

His brain's overloading
It has a chocolate coating
Textbook case for Sigmund Freud
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!

Check out Dexter Douglas
Nerd computer ace
Went surfing on the internet
And was zapped to cyberspace
He turned into the Freakazoid
He's strong and super-quick
He drives the villains crazy
'Cause he's a lunatic

His home base is the Freakalair
Freakazoid! Fricassee!
Floyd the Barber cuts his hair
Freakazoid! Chimpanzee!
Rides around in the Freakmobile
Freakazoid! Freakazoo!
Hopes to make a movie deal
Freaka me! Freaka you!

He's here to save the nation
So stay tuned to this station
If not, we'll be unemployed
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!

Paralysis of Decision

I try to avoid reading Internet forums on lifting and exercise if I can. While I enjoy the constant blather and confusion among experts insisting a certain rep range of exercise X will make SWOLE brah (and of course, every self proclaimed expert has a different opinion, thanks biochemical difference), the overload of information does more to wear me down than educate me on my chosen subject. The more extraneous information I read, the less I tend to act. Rather, I will be come paralyzed over whether I am optimizing my training time, and completely change the program I am on.

While I feel that there is always room for experimentation in one's program, I find that the easiest path to staying the course is to remember why I am training.

Am I lifting to become an athlete, bodybuilder, or powerlifter?
Do I really care how much I lift (past tiny competitions between my friends)?
Am I still getting bigger and stronger?
Well? It doesn't fucking matter if I am doing exercise X then, does it?

You simply cannot copy someone else's workout and expect the exact same results. Use what you enjoy and what works for you. The rest can foosh itself out of existence.

See Daniel. See Daniel run. See Daniel use roids and pussy weights. See Daniel's workout work for you! Click here! You tard. You mushy spineless tard.

I enjoy lifting heavy singles and triples for compound movements. I enjoy some side hypertrophy work. I enjoy hearing the roided up douchebag tell me to do more reps. I also enjoy out lifting said douchebag on everything except the bench press.

Study the basics of natural weight lifting. Go create a program you like, or copy something from a person who has spent their life both studying and practicing your art. 

Fuck the forums, save the empire. Get stronger.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Current Training: May 2011

Squat (5x1, 5x3)
Clean+Overhead Press (5x1, 5x3)
Chinups (BWx8, Weightedx4x3)

Powerclean (5x1, 5x3)
DB Bench (3x5)
One Armed Rows (3x10)

Bonus Day
- this is a new concept, it only occurs if I have the energy on my rest day
- anything goes, really whatever I feel like
- if anything, a day dedicated to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy
20 Rep Squats
Curl and Press
Overhead Tricep Extensions (sets of 12)
Chinups (sets of 10-20)
Lateral Raises (God forbid)

Deadlift (5x1, 5x3)
Dips (BWx12, Weightedx4x3)
Hammer Curls (3x5)
One Armed Rows (3x10)

Behind the Neck Push Press (5x1, 5x3)
Pin Presses (5x1)
Chinups (BWx8, Weightedx4x3)
Front Squat (5x5)

Rest Periods
At best, I try to keep each rest period as short as possible. My goal is to shoot for 30-60 seconds between each working set (rest between warmups are sometimes a bit longer), but I would never start a new set if I was certain I would fail.

If I am able to complete all of the designated reps at a working weight, I add 5lbs the next time I do the same exercise. If the next weight used is too heavy, I complete the remaining sets at my old weight (and try the higher weight again the following week).

Example of success:
195x1, 195x1, 195x1, 195x1, 195x1
180x3, 180x3, 180x3, 180x3, 180x3
Next Week: 200x5x1, 185x5x3

Example of failure:
195x1, 195x1, 195x1, 195x1, 195x1
180x3, 180x3, 180x3, 180x1, 175x2
Next Week: 200x5x1, 180x5x3

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

3-D Movies: The End of the 4th Wall

David Mamet - the bells and whistles of film have become the reason films exist to begin with

Film is dead. It has been bruised by producers, raped savagely by profit margins, and left bleeding in the alleys of Hollywood after the stars and starlets are done with their vehicles. However, I feel that the advent of 3D is the final spike in creativity's groin.

Technology and Art
Some films are made to be an orgy of technology splashed with some dialogue. As Tron did in the 80's (and Tron Legacy horribly repeated in 2011), new ideas and experiments were attempted and lauded as successes even though the movies themselves are worthless.

One of the reasons I have come to love film is that it is no one man's effort that creates a final product. A perfect film is a culmination and artistic display of hundreds, sometimes thousands of individuals contributing one effort into the conglomerated whole. Given direction from the head, the cells that work for a film can either make or break the organism (Unions, hookups, and set drug use are other variables, alas another conversation for another day).

Some of my favorite techniques are employed by director Wes Anderson. He sets life up like a stage, almost double framing every event that occurs within his movies to the point where even the surreal is completely believable (see The Life Aquatic for my favorite examples; the lights and dock where Steve Zissou stands while his wife flies away overhead, and the way Steve and his endless gun clips charge headfirst into a barrage of pirate gunfire). His films utilize his own blend of storytelling, color, and framing created with the aid of hundreds in crew, and creates a mesh between technology and art.

The 4th Wall
Film maintained its independence from other forms of media (mainly television) because it operated with a 16:9 aspect ratio across a large screen. When combined with a pitch black room and encompassing sound, what is called the '4th Wall' can be erected and maintained over an audience. The 4th Wall is used to suspend an audience's disbelief where as the film and its story is concerned. If the cast and crew did their job well, your mind pieces together the film as an actual event (or at the very least, a nice play with silly jump cuts), and you are able to enjoy the film as if you were there watching the events unfold themselves.

a. Used for Good
A good director can use and abuse the 4th wall to their advantage. Easy examples of comic use of tearing down the 4th wall would be when Ferris Bueller or Wayne and Garth turn to the audience to speak to you directly. At that point, the wall evaporates so the actor on screen can have a one way conversation with the audience. Alternatively, the wall is also preserved through this method, as the audience can begin to understand this breach of normality as a believable piece of the story.

b. Used for Disruption
Slight changes in continuity can clue the audience into something going wrong. This can be as subtle as a perceived change in color from the camera lens, or as disconcerting as switching the picture's horizontal axis 180 degrees (i.e. switching the x-axis position of everything on screen).

c. Used for Evil
Shitty continuity problems (not intentional). Most are not seen by the audience, mostly because your mind is not looking for subtle continuity errors. They are in virtually every movie, but the audience 'edits' them out of mind for the most part. If these types of errors are so blatant that you can notice them, they will tickle your sense of humor and punch your sense of rage.

3-D Films
When you put on 3-d glasses, you painfully aware that the 4th wall doesn't exist. Hollywood is actually giving you a device to see through the wall itself. Oh, your eyesight through my bullshit good enough? Here, take these glasses and pay me twice as much. The story, editing, and cinematography are no longer key components of selling a movie. Punchlines and imagery reign supreme. You can point out the lines and scenes where a producer though, oh, that might be cool, let's add that. Art is ruined by the cool, and our industry has disappeared into a chorus of Michael Bay splosion! Boom! Zwang! Kapows!

My greatest concern is that while several people my age (although not the majority) share my disdain for the 3-d phenomenon, I realize that we are not the target. The next generation is. These years are acceptance testing so what is foreign to us becomes the house standard in the future. The 4th wall is gone, and while I pay to keep my eyes wide open, I can't see a thing.

Monday, May 9, 2011

FF7 and Making Out in Basements

I don't know what special attachments people have to old games. Personally, some of my oldest and distinct memories have their roots in electronics.

Super Mario Brothers - I used to call my dad downstairs to handle the long [sic] jump in level 1-1.

To be fair, everything looks huge to a 5 year old

Secret of Evermore - Set up almost as an escapist type of dream. I would return to Prehistoria nightly to meet my friends and slay some raptors. If you have known me for any appreciable amount of time, you have probably been a part of this dream.

Although everyone usually bails at this part

Final Fantasy 7 - My first kiss is forever linked to Barret's Big Shot limit break. The moment he blew his load on Air Buster's back, both Kristen and myself could no longer contain our sloppy lips. As Cloud tumbled towards a certain death through the cascading shrapnel that was once a Mako Power Plant, I was getting choked by a tongue. Thanks puberty!

Here, right here