Take a Chance cover

I’ve been having a think, and here’s what I’ve been thinking.

I’ve got an artist for the next TAKE A CHANCE story arc. I need to be able to pay him, tho.

If I can get my Patreon up to 250 patrons, at the average of $5/m that people are paying, I could afford to pay him for 4 pages a month. 300 patrons? 8 pages a month.

(I can’t afford to pay him very WELL, but I could at least pay him. :))

It’d be a sneak peek/early, probably B&W, one-to-2-page-a-week release of what would PRRRRRRRROBABLY be a graphic novel eventually published by Markosia, as the first GN was.

I mean, if the Patreon really went all-out, and Alek had the time to work around the rest of his schedule, there *could* be a graphic novel ready in time for Worldcon in Dublin 2019. But for 22 pages a month(ish) I’d need literally hundreds of more patrons to support that. (like, about 250. it’s not…*impossible*. I’ve got about…well, 3500 followers on Twitter, 2500 on Facebook, 2K on my mailing list, 400 on Tumblr & Goodreads, and an assumption that there’s a lot of overlap on the first three, so call it, IDK, a total of 3K or so people I can reach easily? And say 5-7% of them are Patreon supporters? Another 10% would pretty well do the trick.)

(I mean, the plus side of that would be that we could in theory just, like, KEEP GOING with Chance, at that point. I have a 60 issue story arc planned out! Wouldn’t that be AMAZING? Plus…well. I mean. I have a whole world’s worth of stories there, lads.)

Anyway, so it’s a thought and I’m noodling with it, and heck, if you want to see more Chance and also the other fic & bits I do for my patrons, you can do that at Patreon!

Well, my first personal trainer workout at the #fancygym this morning went really poorly.

I arrived slightly early and the PT was 15 minutes late. Furthermore, I’m pretty sure he was *only* 15 minutes late because I asked more than once about where he was. On top of that, there’s a verbal quirk in Irish English that probably comes from something in the Irish language, where people often end a sentence with “so” or “like” or “okay”. Normally I don’t mind that, but the guy who was trying to cover for the late PT ended everything not only with “okay”, but the upward inflection that made it sound like a question. He was not actually asking a question, but every time he said it I wanted to snarl that no, it was *not* okay, because I’m paying money for this service and I expect it to be delivered on time.

So I was really not predisposed to appreciate the workout by the time the guy arrived, and then it was…not a workout I expected. It wasn’t a bad one, except the back extensions…thing…it’s not a machine, it’s something you step into and do body weight with…makes my knees feel pretty awful, so I’m not gonna do that, obviously. It’s all a body weight workout except one set with weights for shoulders, and it’s fine, if not particularly inspiring. And it might have been perfectly inspiring if I wasn’t pissed off to begin with, IDK.

Then he was like “so the cardio, do you like treadmills or crossfit” and I, who had already told two people at this gym, both of whom had written it down, that I won’t use those machines, said, pretty fucking flatly at that point, “I will not run or crossfit. I will row or cycle,” and he gave me a rowing set that I may or may not do. I mean, I’ll row, but I don’t know that I’ll do the thing he wants me to, because, AS I EXPLAINED TO THEM ALREADY, I’m already (theoretically) biking there and back again, which is about all the cardio my fat ass self can handle right now.

And I don’t know if it’s because this whole thing had already made me really cranky or what, but there are a lot of Very Fit Women at that gym, sufficiently fit as to make me feel quite self-conscious, which is pretty unusual for me, so that didn’t improve my temper any.

And I walked home so I could figure out the shortcut Ted and Henry told me about, because I knew where it came out but not where it started, and I wanted to know that so I could *actually* bike. It was a pleasant enough walk, except I’d already just done a workout for the first time in A VERY LONG TIME and it took most of an hour to walk home (which is why cycling is the only really viable option for getting to this gym), so I’m pretty wrecked.

Anyway, usually working out makes me pretty cheerful, but I’m a goddamn crankypants right now.

I got a membership at the fanciest gym I’ve ever been in.

I didn’t really plan to get a membership right now, because the only practical way to get to it is on my bicycle, and I’m not very fit, so the prospect of biking there and back again seemed like enough. But then it turned out it has an obscene membership fee, and because December they had a special that reduced it by 75%, so I…got the membership. I can cancel after 3 months, if it turns out cycling to it is too insurmountable.

Anyway, it’s a massive facility, with a 50 meter pool (even I don’t need a 50 meter pool. 50 meters is a long, tiring distance to swim at once!) and a 40 foot climbing wall and a huge free weights area and an equally huge machines area and all, but the surreally fancy part are the cardio studios, which have Ginormous Screens, like, 3 of them on the back wall behind stages for the teachers, so you can do virtual classes or teacher-led classes. The spin studio has like a movie-theatre-sized curved screen on its back wall, and a “tour” setting for one of the spin classes where you, like, cycle ‘through’ a landscape that changes on the screen. It’s not quite a holodeck, but it’s pretty fancy. It’s certainly a living-in-the-future sort of gym.

Other fanciness includes part of the deal being a couple of personal trainer sessions and customized workouts and all that, so this morning I went in and got assessed, which includes the rather horrifying experience of being 3d scanned SO I CAN REALLY APPRECIATE MY BLOBBITUDE and the fact that I am basically a rectangle from shoulders to hips. Also it included doing as many pushups as I could (20, from the knee), planking for as long as I could (55 seconds, which was a lot longer than I expected), and also touching my toes a few times, which I could do but by my standards was embarrassingly poorly executed.

Saturday I go back for my first workout, which has theoretically been tailored for me. I explained that the hard part of going to the gym for me is GETTING to the gym, once I’m there I’m fine, and that because I’m going to be biking there and back again that I wanted a low-key workout for the first while, because I’m gonna be dead otherwise. However, tomorrow they’ve got an open day for their chiropractor and acupuncturist and possibly somebody else, so I’m gonna go in and try to get crunched and stuff, which would help my miserably aching shoulder.

The PT did concede that the week before Christmas was not a great time to start a weight loss plan, but told me about the classes she thought I’d enjoy, and when I said it was the fanciest gym I’d ever been in, laughed and whispered, “It’s the fanciest gym I’ve ever worked in.” :) She also, heh. She also said during the assessment stuff, when I said I was 45, “You don’t look 45,” and I started to say, “Thank you,” but I stopped because, like, I don’t MIND being 45, and in fact, I do look 45: this is what 45 looks like on me, and the whole ageism thing that says Looking Younger Is Better and just, everything, you know? Yeah. So I’ve got to practice saying “haha but i do, this is what 45 looks like on me” or something, IDK.

I’d say all of this is prompted by the asthma diagnosis, but that’s not exactly true. What may be true is that having gone back in after a couple of weeks and gotten the next step up in inhalers, I’m breathing so much more easily that maybe the prospect of trying to work out seems more plausible. There’s also been an absolutely epic amount of stress going on (I would like that to stop, please: this is year three of the absolute worst of it, and year five or so of just fundamental strain), and probably hitting something or pushing heavy things around would help a little. And I did a little cycling this summer and was reminded how much I *miss* the 20+ mile bike rides I used to go on almost daily in Anchorage, so although I remain perpetually disappointed by the lack of cycling culture in Ireland, I want to try to get back into that.

If I’m awesome, I’ll report back on Saturday about the workout. I can tell you what, though, tomorrow I’m gonna be feeling those pushups and planks… o.O

Aquaman Picoreview: Someone said it was your average Marvel Phase One introductory superhero movie. I don’t think it was as good as any of the Phase One films, which were all tight in terms of storyline, but it was better than I expected. Granted, my expectations were very low, but still: better than I expected.

The special effects were good, Amber Heard’s wig was absolute rubbish (why. why. why. do you spend $160 million on a film and use a wig that looks you got it at a Halloween fright shop discount????), and Jason Momoa spent a great deal of the film wet and half naked and also occasionally got to act (I’m frustrated by the parts he’s cast in post-Game of Thrones, because I know from his Stargate: Atlantis days that he’s really a quite good actor, and he rarely gets to show it). There were some *very* bad lines, most of which were, for some baffling reason, featured in the trailers. It’s like they wanted to show you how badly a bad line could be delivered, even by a good actor. And honestly, I don’t know why the lines were so bad at all. The “redheads, eh” line should just have been cut, but the “what can be more powerful than a king” or whatever it is was just…I mean, you can rewrite that line REALLY EASILY to make it not suck, and they didn’t. o.O

It could have been 20 or 30 minutes shorter by 1. spending a little less time glorifying in their very, very pretty set designs & special effects, and 2. cutting a storyline & character that they absolutely could not cut without being pilloried by fanboys. Even so, I could have written that storyline to be shorter and still made the rest of it work.

There was a *lot* of satisfying fan service. I’m not even particularly an Aquaman fan, but have absorbed enough of it over the years to have recognized a lot of it clearly enough to go yay! every time something I knew showed up, and Ted, who *is* an Aquaman fan, recognized far more of it than I did and was really happy with the movie.

Temuera Morrison is terrific as Arthur’s father, and after they put a crown/helment on Dolph Lungrun’s distractingly bad hair he looked HOLY CRAP DEAR GOD WHAT THE HELL DUDE FANTASTIC.

I’ll probably see it again in the theatre, maybe even in 3D, because I bet the Atlantis scenes and other underwater vistas are pretty amazing in 3D.

Oh! And also, you only need to stay through the mid-credits. There’s no post-credit stinger. :)

SO APPARENTLY I HAVE ASTHMA which seems to be mostly weight-induced and probably explains being unable to breathe well for the past 18 months.

I’ve had these kinds of asthmatic problems in the past when I weighed this much, but never really actually thought I was asthmatic. But my night time breathing has been so bad I finally went in to the pharmacist next door and she said (to paraphrase) “jesus i can hear you wheezing now, get yourself to a doctor before that asthma turns into a chest infection”, so, uh, I did. And the nice doctor lady listened to my descripton of the symptoms (worst at far at night, who knew that was an asthma thing?, somewhat exercise-induced, etc) and then my breathing, and said “yeah, almost certainly asthma, have a prescription and call back around in a couple weeks.”

She also had me blow into a breath-measurer thing, which I topped out easily because ironically, of course, yesterday I was having a perfectly fine breathing day, and she was obviously very pleased that I was able to do that and pretty sure I didn’t need an exciting steroidal inhaler, just a regular one. Use it 4-5 times a day as needed, she said, although she also said if I needed it that much I needed a higher level one anyway.

I am actually feeling weirdly positive about this, because I’ve gone to the doctor and gotten a prescription for an inhaler, and if I can BREATHE I’ll be able to SLEEP BETTER, and if I sleep better I’ll be more able to EXERCISE (and you know, not get winded/wheezy/light-headed (oh shit that’s probably what the weird moments of light-headedness have been!) WHEN i exercise) and if I exercise I find it easier to EAT WELL which will help me knock off all this weight I’ve piled on and then THE ASTHMA WILL GO AWAY AGAIN.

So I tried the thing last night and IT WORKED. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THIS THING CALLED BREATHING, GUYS, IT’S AMAZING YOU SHOULD TRY IT! I slept well and then when I had to pee in the small hours of the morning I had a faint wheeze and I thought “eh well that’s not so bad” and then I thought “BUT WHY SHOULD I SUFFER” and had another dose, AND BREATHING IS GREAT, GUYS!