Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mind Over Matter

I have returned from my first official function of the new academic year. It signals that classes resume in only another week.

I am actually eager for classes to start to give me a change. For many reasons, a malaise has settled upon my little cottage over the past few days.

Giving your emotions names in other languages always makes them seem a bit more interesting, don’t you think? Malaise sounds more regal, for instance, than the colloquial English “down in the dumps.” Using words in other languages implies that your feelings are profound enough to transcend linguistic barriers.

Then again, malaise also makes me think of Jimmy Carter (who, for the record, never actually used the word in the "malaise" speech). This makes me think of the gross Reagan presidency and they way that he told Americans it was okay to hate again. This just adds to the malaise.

There is something about the last days of summer that always seem kind of sad. It is the in-between time of summer and autumn. All of the trees and plants seem exhausted after giving their all. Yet, they are not quite ready to explode into the oranges and reds that mark their descent into winter sleep.

School children look unusually somber upon the realization that the good times have come to an end (Parents, on the other hand, look quite cheerful). University students start pouring into the town and I am confronted by countless tearful scenes of parents saying goodbye to their children (which is bitter sweet).

This time of year always also makes me miss New Mexico. It has been soooo long since I have lived there during the fall, but it was my favorite time of year. The god-forsaken heat will usually start to break. Then the air is filled with the aromas of various supermarkets roasting the green chile harvest. I am quite nostalgic about New Mexico.

Sigh – Then again, GayProf is nostalgic about everything. I yearn for the bygone times of this morning’s coffee. That was great and will never be again. . .

Or maybe my mood is a little out whack because I finally dragged my lazy carcass to a new gym. It took me a while to decide on a new fitness location in Midwestern Funky Town. After surveying a variety of sources, I determined that I would go private to avoid running into students at the university facilities. Sometimes it’s good to have a clear divide between work and private life.

Going back to the gym, though, reminds me of my love/hate relationship with the whole thing. Clearly, given the amount that I talk (and blog) about hating the gym, it is not one of my favorite activities. Yet, given the amount of time I spend there, clearly I must get something out of it.

I figure that it is a constant battle between mind and body. Or I have split personality. Whatever. Either way, this is pretty much how I imagine it going:

    Mind: Ugh – I need to be sure that I don’t balloon up to five hundred pounds.

    Body: Wouldn’t you rather rest and relax?

    Mind: No, we need to keep up the hard work. My goals at the gym are modest. I just want to stay fuckable.

    Body: Ugh – That joke again? Aren’t you tired of it? And didn’t you steal it from some other gay writer anyway?

    Mind: Probably. Now, lift!

    Body: You know – I could easily process a pint of ice cream instead.

    Mind: Yeah – Process it straight into fat.

    Body: It will be a cold winter. You'll want that fat come January.

    Mind: January will be even colder if I am not fuckable.

    Body: Yeah – Need I remind you of the singular gay bar in town? Your choices for warmth are either let me get fat or buy a space heater.

    Mind: There’s always Decaying Midwestern Urban Center.

    Body: Aren’t you supposed to be working on the Never Ending Project of Doom?

    Mind: Quiet, you.

    Body: You should be sitting at the computer right now. Not making me lift this shit.

    Mind: Lifting that shit is supposed to relieve the stress about the Never Ending Project of Doom.

    Body: Who told you that fairy tale?

    Mind: It’s all about you releasing endorphins.

    Body: Oh.My.God. You are going to exhaust me to the point where I am forced to drug myself to ease the pain???

    Mind: It’s healthy.

    Body: It’s sick. Let’s fry up some sopapillas instead!

    Mind: Hey – Didn’t you used to be able to life ten pounds more than this just last month?

    Body: Didn’t you used to read three books a week in grad school?

    Mind: Touché.

    Body: This new ab machine always gives me a wedgie. You suck for bringing us here.

    Mind: I thought a key benefit of boxer briefs was the avoidance of the wedgies.

    Body. Yeah, there’s a real worthy inner dialog to be having. Wedgies suck – Let’s cruise by Dairy Queen, pretend like it’s somebody’s birthday, and buy an ice cream cake.

    Mind: If you work through this set, maybe I will.

    Body: You lie. Why do you lie??

    Mind: At least we had a month off from the gym. It should make everything seem new and interesting again.

    Body: Or old and still heavy. Wouldn’t you rather be having a Cape Cod right now?

    Mind: Yes – Damn it! When will I find a gym with a bar?

    Body: There's vodka in the freezer at home . . .

    Mind: This will add years to my life.

    Body: Years spent toiling.

    Mind: You’ll thank me when we are eighty.

    Body: Eighty??? That’s, like, forever from now. You plan to live that long??? No way, man. I am blowing out our heart at age 55.

    Mind: Eighty won't feel old if we keep exercising. Our quality of life will be great.

    Body: Look, man, out of the two of us, it's not going to be me who gives out first anyway.

    Mind: What do you mean?

    Body: I am not the one having imaginary conversations between two parts of himself. I am not sayin’, I am just sayin’.


Earl Cootie said...

Nothing wrong with nostalgia. I get nostalgic for places I've lived. Though often, I think, it turns out to be more about the times in those places. Because when I think of the places without the times, it doesn't seem half so enticing.

I have never gotten nostalgic about the gym. Not once.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I am always in awe of the way you can just do stuff and then get all poetic and anquished about it later - I really think you are ready to move to paris.

About the inner dialogue - well you have to do something to keep going during those sets - usually I don't promise myself sex or ice cream (I notice Ice Cream ended up on top in that lust factor) - but drugs - particularly now that I found out that the pain pills I am prescribed 100 a go in the words of the beautiful pharmacist (who later asked how deep into my vagina I apply cream - rowr!) "these are not only like T-3's but are opiates which directly stimulate your pleasure centre" - now that beats ice cream.

Bill S. said...

The problem I have is that once I started to work out regularly, I find that if I have to stop for more than a couple days, I start feeling like crap. And my goals are even less ambitious than yours -- basically, my goal is to avoid going completely spherical.

tornwordo said...

I only listen to the body when it says OW! That's the only way I will skip a workout. It still sucks every single time though.

Sarah said...

I always find the gym so excruciatingly boring. At least your multiple personalities are keeping you entertained.

A gym with a bar...that's what we all need. Though I'm not sure how well I would fare on the treadmill.

Artistic Soul said...

The days leading up to the beginning of the semester are often like that for me as least until the panic sets in. I still get nervous before meeting each and every class.

Alan said...

I'm always glad to have students back -- for about 2 weeks, then I get tired of them and want them to leave. :)

Cooper said...

Autumn is my favourite season, too. I hope it brings some new 'joie de vivre'. All the best with your new beginning ... school year, gym, happiness.

Marlan said...

mind: You know, those bears have it right. Not a problem with the extra few pounds. It's all about who you are, not what you look like anyway.

body: You know, those built bears look a lot hotter than the other ones.

Steven said...

It's a new beginning for you at your new Funky Town University. May the malaise and "mélancolie" subside so that you can welcome the bumper crop of semi-grown adults along with the upcoming Winter (forget Fall) season with open arms. :-D

Best Wishes!

pacalaga said...

This time of year has always been my favorite. I loved school, the fresh start, the new supplies and books, etc. (I hated it again a week after it started.) I think it also has a lot to do with the fact that I could feel a slight break in the crushing heat that is the southern half of Arizona. (Kinda like how you don't mind shoveling snow till after the holidays, and then it just sucks.)
Anyway, when you do find some lovely corn-fed farm boy to warm you up, you can tell your body "neener-neener, told you so" but I'm pretty sure it will be enjoying itself too much to hear you.

Chad said...

Yeah, I need to get myself to the gym as well. I justify delaying by saying I need to see how my new schedule for the fall pans out, but it's all a web of deception.

Of course, it doesn't help that my most recent experiences with men seem to be demonstrating that, no matter how I look, I'm not fuckable or even dateable.

Anonymous said...

Everybody hates advice, but I just can't help myself. I personally love working out and I've turned two boyfriends on to it who hated it before meeting me. How did I do it? I gave them very short work outs (nine sets, bang, go home) that give them dramatic results in a short amount of time. Anyway, I love this blog and your adorable mind so much I thought I'd break my lurkery silence to mention this (in case you want to hear more). If not, carry on as before!

Kai in NYC

David said...

Since if I could live at the gym I'd be happier than a pig in shit, I'm probably not the person to be commiserating with about this.

jp said...

Thank God my multiple personality has found someone new to torment. Do not give him back to me. You may send him somewhere else, but I do not want him. He has caused problems round these parts, and I'm sorry he has become your burden, but as much as I love you, I'd rather it be you than me.

lost in france said...

Somehow the fear of being mistaken for a whale at the beach this weekend has made me go back to the gym. And, of course, it is too late to do anything about this weekend!

vuboq said...

Smart men are always fuckable. I don't think you need to worry.

I hope you have a wonderful first semester :-)

bardelf said...

LMAO at your mind-body dialogue!

Honest to god, gayprof, I used to belong to a gym in Durham, NC, and there was a 'down-home, soul-food' sandwich bar in it. It was unbelieveable. You could order hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue sandwiches, and such.

I can't believe that I have not visited your website until now. It is so freakin' funny, insightful, inspiring, thought-provoking...oh hell, it's just cool.


Curtis said...

I thought I was the only one who had conversations between his mind and body. I loved that!

Marius said...

LOL. Great post. Hm, are you a dualist? I hope not. Well, I guess there's nothing wrong with being a dualist. I'll still read your wonderful blog. :)

GayProf said...

Earl: Yes, but I have no nostalgic recollections of Texas. If anything, my memory of the place is getting worse.

Elizabeth: Yeah -- The drugs are good, but then I worry they counter-act the workout. My inner dialog can get tricky.

Bill S.: When I miss a work out, I feel oh-so-guilty (and then imagine that it immediately shows on my body).

Torn: When does your body not say "Ow?" Or do you only mean a debilitating "ow?"

Sarah: If the gym really did have a bar, I doubt I would even bother with the tread mill. Actually, the whole place would just annoy me. Maybe I don't need a gym at all. Maybe I just need a better bar.

Artistic Soul: There is something anxious about meeting a new class. Will they like you? Will you like them? Each course has its own personality.

Alan: I am more anxious for their parents to leave. They are kinda grumpy when one is out at Meijer.

Cooper: Thanks.

Marlan: It is interesting to me the transformation that "bear"
underwent from hairy, beefy and muscle to hairy and little pudgy. More power to them, though.

Steven: No Fall??!! They promised me foliage.

Pacalaga: I did not love the first day of school. Indeed, I dreaded it and expected the worst. Rarely was I disappointed.

Chad: I tend to disagree with your self-assessment.

Kai in NYC: I am always open to hearing suggestions. Can't guarantee that I will take them, but I would probably give things a shot.

David: Why -- WHY?? -- Would you want to live at the gym? I mean, aside from the hot men.

JP: How do you know that GayProf isn't just another one of your personalities who takes over while you sleep? Has anyone seen us together at the same time?

Lost in France: Public shame is the number two reason that I go to the gym.

VUBOQ: Smart men are always fuckable

That's an interesting theory...

Bardelf: I can't believe that I have not visited your website until now.

Neither can I. What took you so long?

Curtis: Apparently we are a little nuts.

Marius: As for being a dualist -- Hard to say. . . I think that I would need to take a poll and see if it was a popular view before I would commit (I am thinking of being a Democratic candidate for president).

James said...

OMG!! STFU already about the GYM. Get yourself one of those hot, hot masochistic army sergeant trainers that put you through the work out every morning and make you lick their boots (maybe). Atten-SHUN!! What you lookin' at son! That'll get you up and going and in shape too. I guaran-goddam-tee it.

GayProf said...

James: It seems like you are applying for the job.