Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

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Things you learn in Denver while you're killing yourself

There's a reason that the series of events that I will label gasgate happened on Monday.* That reason is my truly horrific eating over the 30 or so hours that preceded it. I don't really want to talk about this, it's embarrassing and painful and an aspect of my life I've never been great at dealing with, but if this journal isn't about honesty and self-humiliation then I don't know what it is about. Vitriol maybe. Vitriol and making myself seem like a homosexual. A man can not live on vitriol and homo eroticism alone. I'm sure there's a fad diet out there suggesting you do just that, but it can't be healthy.

Before we delve into the cause of the gaseous eruption I'd like to talk about the big revelation I had over the weekend, and that is that I should not be in school right now. The process of my downfall was simple. I had a take home test and journal entries due on Monday. I hadn't done all the reading, as per my usual standard of behavior, and was still reeling over the election and everything else that's been going on. Sunday rolled around and I panicked. The grade in this class is important for me. It'll be one of two film classes on my transcript, and it's with a professor who I'll be relying upon for a recommendation. It got to Sunday and I hadn't done anything, and I panicked. I went ahead and got a bunch of food around noon. Ate straight through until the paper was due. Got it churned out despite some absolutely hellaciously boring work with a tool I don't believe in** I got the work done, although in a pretty shoddy way, and handed it in. I have no idea what grade it will receive but it should be at least a B I'd figure and I can probably recover from any damage I did with the final project, which is something creative and interesting that I will invest more time in and not be quite so unhappy about. On the other hand it was discouraging to fall back into old patterns of behavior from last year that were not productive, and I realized as I was writing the papers that I didn't care about what I was saying nor did the questions particularly energize me. At this point in my development I shouldn't be attempting to please an external source with my work but rather working towards developing my own ideas and style. It's one of the paradoxes of life that the only way you can really do something worthwhile for other people is if you do something worthwhile for yourself. Creative people have to be just a little bit narcissistic because you know your own tastes 100 times better than you can ever know anyone else's.

So I shouldn't be in school right now, and that's fine. I still have to finish off this class and hopefully not do a lot of damage to my future prospects in the purpose. It was because of this pressure and the unnatural feeling of doing school work that I regressed to old patterns. That meant a frenzy of work at the end, and food. Lots of food. I'll list what I ate over the course of that 30 hours, but I should warn you, it may alarm and even shock some.

1 bag double stuff oreos
1 bag Tostitos
1 can Tostitos salsa con queso
1/2 dozen Krispy Kreme chocolate frosted cream filled donuts
5/8ths of a large Newman Pizza (A) Large New York pizzas are MUCH bigger than large pizzas most places. B) A newman pie is a no tomato sauce pizza with mozzarella cheese, sausage, pepperoni, and ricotta cheese on top. It is very good. I almost ate the whole thing.)
4/5ths of a D'Agastinos Very Berry pie. So delicious. Best thing listed.
6 cans and 1 liter of regular coke
1 pint Hagen Daas Vanilla Mousse Ice Cream
1 V&T Meatball Parmesan sub
1 order V&T French Fries (probably about a quart)
1 order V&T Garlic bread with cheese (1 foot long baguette with LOTS of garlic butter and parmesan cheese)
1/2 gallon 2% milk
1 bowl Honey Nut Cluster cereal


It's pretty amazing to me that I can eat like that, but I can, and do so easily. On the plus side I got my annual football pig-out day out of the way. On the minus side, well, I don't think I need to go into that. The saddest part is probably that even as I started on this grotesque feast I knew it was a bad idea, I knew it wouldn't really help me with my work, and I knew I would regret it afterwards. It's an addiction though, and with all the stuff available it was way too easy to give in. Astoundingly easy. I sincerely wish it wasn't. In some ways the immediate regret and knowledge was a step forwards, I used to rationalize more. On the minus side it was distressing to be aware of what I was doing and still do it. I've eaten worse for a longer period of time, and I know how limited my self control can be. Like a lot of big eaters I've retrieved stuff from the garbage (if it's still in a box or wrapper then the surrounding environment isn't relevant, but it's a big warning sign, especially since one of the best methods of self-control is to chuck something in the trash.

Bad habits die hard, and it's really easy to slip back into old patterns when in familiar situations. I don't have a choice except to see this as a learning experience and an object lesson in my own irrational self-destructive behavior. Someone quoted Abraham Lincoln to me a couple weeks ago, or at least attempted to. The quote he was trying to reference is "It has always been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues." He was referencing the fact that I don't smoke or drink. I just looked down at my gut and laughed. Life is a struggle for improvement. The first step to improvement is understanding.

The next step is not to put 10,000 calories in your mouth.

I've almost got the first step down.

*Sidenote. It's not that I think I could have gotten anywhere with the woman from the class. I know I'm that guy who manages to make it to fat bald middle age with nary a whiff of feminine companionship, but that's not what these sorts of encounters are about. They're about maintaining hope in the face of crushing reality. That way in a couple Saturday nights when you're sitting home alone you can think about the girl in the green sweater and wonder what would have happened if you hadn't been gassy or in a hurry or misread the signals or whatever excuse you want to make up. So long as you have the little voice in your head saying "No, asshole, she wasn't interested. Conversation does not imply interest of any sort, and you have no idea whether she's married or a lesbian or whatever" you are prevented from doing anything creepy. One must both acknowledge one's place on the totem pole and avoid accepting it or believing it is a measure of worth. It's a tricky mental juggling act.

**It's a film analysis tool developed by my professor but it's web based and hellaciously slow and requires you to make frame by frame decisions about how to separate shots out, a process that can take 10-20 minutes per shot as you constantly have to reload the entire clip for it to do any analysis. It's just a pain in the ass and the mathematical graphs it produces are not nearly as helpful as he thinks they should be.
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