Two Small Pounds

It started about a year ago… with two small pounds.

I’ve been drawing little self-portraits for a while.  A lot of people noticed that I tend to draw myself much fatter than I actually am.

“Naw,” they say, “you don’t look like that at all.”

So I’ve tried to draw myself ultra-skinny, like everyone else seems to see me, and it never looks quite right.IMG_0676Yeah.  That seems a little more accurate.

Some background:

When I was in high school, I weighed about 150 pounds.  I was 6’1″.  That put me about thirty pounds under my ideal weight, which, in some states, apparently means I was legally anorexic.  That was a trivia bit I heard somewhere.  I’ve never really validated it.  I assume it refers to Texas, because of course it does.

I remember the first time I walked down the stairs and noticed a “bouncing” in my chest.  It was weird – I had developed man-boob fat.  I was living in the Czech Republic at the time, and I sustained myself on a diet of lard-filled rolls and Nutella.  I’d gained so much weight it was noticeable – my friends called me “Fat Dancing Braddy.”

I won’t tell you where the “dancing” part came from.

Eventually, I figured out that eating nothing but fat and chocolate was bad for you.  My weight gain started to get a bit more under control.  Don’t think I ever lost my jigglers, though.

About a year ago, I took a health assessment, asking for my height and weight.  I provided the info, and the computer spat back the results:

Your weight:  190 lbs.

Ideal weight for your height:  188 lbs.

So I took up jogging – not much, and not often.  Maybe a half-hour, maybe twice a week.  I also maintained a steady diet of about six pizzas and a gallon of ice cream a week.  I took the assessment again last week and wound up with:

Your weight:  202 lbs.

Ideal weight for your height:  188 lbs.

For Christmas I got all new pants in an all new pants size.  It’s kinda depressing to put them on, but my legs don’t feel like sausages anymore.

And the weight’s noticeable now, in a way it wasn’t before.  I’ve got this tiny little shelf below my pecks – completely useless, too.  I can’t even balance the remote on it, but it’s there, like a little ledge for a tiny mountain climber to stand on until he can reach my shoulders.

Guess that’s what happens when you start getting older.  My prolonged second-adolescence is over.

Am I still too young for a mid-life crisis?

What Happened to My Air?

Despite it being the middle of January, the town where I live is currently basking in warm, almost spring-ish weather. I wear my winter coat day to day, more because it feels indecent to be outside without it than because I need to fend off the cold. Lately, I’ve decided that, since the weather has been so inviting, I’d take advantage of the pleasantness and go for an evening jog.

I don’t exercise often. I do maybe ten push-ups a week, and I force myself to hang from a pull-up bar in my room every few days or so (it’s a rare occasion when I actually manage to get my chin over the bar more than once). Still, I try to make it a habit, especially when the weather’s goot and the air is clear.

The air…

Last time I went out for a run, I managed a block, maybe a block and a half, before I had to pull up, gasping for breath. The wind rushing through my esophagus scraped along with a metallic ring. It tasted bloody. And brown.

The town where I live is full of bad air. Lots of commuters, lots of high mountains, and a lot of gunk spilling forth from smokestacks just north of town, but not far enough. Add to that the (still relatively) cold winter air compressing all that filth down into the valley, and those blue skies and sunshines don’t really do a lot for you.

Clearly, it’s the gunk that’s the problem, and not my diminished lung capacity from a lack of good cardio.


Beauty of the Horse

So this is a horse I drew:


I’ve been told that horses are very difficult for most artists to draw. I don’t find them to be too difficult, no more so than hands and feet. I don’t draw any of these things well, but one is no more difficult than another.

I drew this horse without a photo reference, although I’ve drawn so many horses while sitting at a computer with Google image search pulled up on the monitor I probably don’t really need to look at a photo anymore.  It seems that, the more a thing becomes familiar, the more readily we can reproduce its image, and the more beautiful it becomes to us.

I did, while drawing this horse, look at another picture I drew of a cow, to see if I got the legs right. I don’t even know if cow legs and horse legs are similar.

There was a girl I knew years ago.  She was tall and beautiful, and she had a long face with strong, slender features.  I saw her every week at church.  I always thought she looked like a horse.  I never told her that.

I saw her at the bank once.  She was standing in the line at the next window over from where I was.  I didn’t say “hi” or smile in her direction.  I didn’t tell her about the horse thing then, either.

I’ve been told that was a good thing.  To be honest, I’m not so sure.