I've been working out a lot lately. This is kind of big news, because "get in shape" is usually on the same level as "learn Czech" for me -- something I'd like to do, but I'd also prefer to just wait around until someone invents a way for me to instantly get in shape/learn Czech. But over the past couple months I've been pretty good about it, to the point where I made it onto my gym's "honor roll" for last month, something that I'm kind of ironically and kind of unironically proud of.
In addition to making me less fat, it's radically changed my music-listening habits -- prior to this I've been more jazzy/country than anything else for a while, but now it's all metal/hardcore on the iPod. Two of my all-time favorites, Son Volt and Steve Earle, have been purged from the device for now. Why? Not aggro enough. If it doesn't make me want to start swinging fists, it's not gonna be on there.
It's also reintroduced me to an old pal: Corrosion of Conformity more or less dropped off the map for me when I got a review copy of one of their mid-'90s albums, but goodness me "Animosity" is one astounding album and I should never have let it lay fallow. (I also gave "Wiseblood," the offending review copy, a new chance. Just... no.)
Also getting a new life in my playlist: the Bronx. Loved their first album, hated the vocals on their second. Still am not crazy about that one but it's not bad stuff for working out.
So a quick survey shows the top workout bands are: COC, Entombed, Speak 714, Die Kreuzen, Crucifix, Cult Ritual (thanks Brushback for bringing them to my attention a while back), and Kiss it Goodbye. All pretty tough stuff. It goes well with the steroids.
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In other self-improvement/overdue notes: I've set myself a deadline of September 19 to have a first draft of my book more or less set. This comes with some possibility of sliding, but not much (and hence this public notice, so that I feel like more of an asshole if I fail). The absolute ending bit most likely won't be done, but the rest should be. So feel free to post angry comments on September 20.
I'll also be looking for volunteer readers, so start coming up with excuses now!