Friday, June 18, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 21: June 18th, 2021

Obviously, when a lot of people think about working out, they think about it in physical terms.  Wanting to lose weight or build muscle.  Trying to be healthy.  Things like that.  And it makes sense to think about it this way, since it's a physical act.  But there is a mental/emotional component to working out too.  Pride in your accomplishments in the gym, confidence from looking and feeling your best are two big mental aspects; I know that I personally feel off all day if I skip a workout during the week.  I've been able to get around that feeling on weekends, which is great, but if I don't lift before work, it takes a whole lot of mental energy to stay on top of the workday with a good attitude.  I've had coworkers say to me "No workout today?" because it's that pronounced; I'd like to say I'm getting better at it and maturing to the point where I don't let it affect me like that... but I'm not, and it's a whole lot easier for me to just not skip a workout than it is to skip one and then deal with the fallout.  But there's another emotion that I routinely find driving my workouts, and it can definitely seem strange: Fear.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 20: June 11th, 2021

Things are finally, slowly starting to open back up after fifteen months of pandemic (I know, it feels like fifteen years).  The Durfette and I went golfing with her dad and his girlfriend when they were in town, and then we went to a local restaurant, sat on the patio, and had a glass of wine.  I went into the coffee shop that I stop in after grocery shopping, and didn't wear a mask as I picked up my americano to go.  We had friends over - in person - for a barbecue.  Major league sports are operating with full crowds, which may not be the best example, because they would have done that all last year if local governments hadn't forced them to put safety above profit.  We still have a ways to go (and it would certainly help if everyone got on board), but for now things are certainly trending back toward normalcy.  And the icing on that long-delayed cake has been trickling out of the baker's bag for the past couple of weeks: real, in-person, honest to Dio concert announcements.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 19: June 4th, 2021

Last week was one of those weeks where every second seemed to be packed to the gills with stuff to do.  My job was working ten hour days in the hopes of getting Friday off to make it a four day Memorial Day weekend (we succeeded).  The Durfette saw her job kick into overdrive in her second week back from maternity leave, and one or both of the Durflings decided it would be fun to bring a little head cold home from daycare.  Additionally, the Durfette's dad and his girlfriend came in for the weekend, so there was a lot of work to be done to get the house ready to host people who aren't used to living in the squalor that is two children under three.  So yeah, that's why you didn't get a Durf's Weekly Workout last week; honestly I'm amazed I had the energy to wake up and lift.  But after a terrific Memorial Day Weekend, I'm feeling well-rested (which will last about an hour, I imagine) and ready to go, so now we're back and hopefully better than ever.  Of course, I'm still writing this at the last minute, and then I spent too much time writing about a very surprising album, so some of these entries may be a little short.  Don't let that deter you.  Onward!

Friday, May 21, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 18: May 21st, 2021

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I've been dealing with another Crohn's flare up recently.  I wrote about my Crohn's disease in more detail a few years ago, and since that post nothing and everything has changed regarding my disease and my approach to treating it.  However, after getting out of the hospital eight weeks ago, I felt like I wasn't quite healing as fast as I had in the past, despite a pretty high dose of prednisone (and also tramadol, which I felt was highly unnecessary, and didn't really take).  So I thought about it, and did some research, and kept thinking, and kept reading, and then took some pretty drastic steps, all in the name of health. 

Friday, May 14, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 17: May 14th, 2021

Next week is the Durfette's last week of maternity leave.  Aside from being amazed that it's already been almost three months since The Durfling Strikes Back was born, this means that I'm going to have to stop being a deadbeat during the week and help out when he wakes up and needs to eat.  So far, I've been taking weekends to let the Durfette get some uninterrupted sleep then, and she's been doing the week so that I can get a good night's sleep before work, but now the schedule is being upended.  And you know what that means: It's time to change up my workout routine!

Friday, May 7, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 16: May 7, 2021

When I first decided to do this post every week, the idea was simple: I wanted to listen to more music than I had in years past, and I wanted to write more.  Durf's Weekly Workout is literally just the easiest way for me to do both, incorporating music and writing into my already daily routine of working out.  So now that it's been almost four months, I figured it was time for a check-in from me/update for you on how that's all working out.

As of April 30th, I had listened to 164 albums, EPs, splits, and singles; by the time you read this, there's a very solid chance that I've surpassed my 2020 total of 176 albums listened to.  So it's hard to complain about anything there.  I was curious when I began this quest as to whether or not increasing my musical intake would just lead to my listening to more trash, but quite the opposite has happened.  Sure, there's been a few duds, but the amount of solid or great music that I've listened to this year is almost overwhelming.  My fears of not finding anything new by listening to more music appear to be as dumb as they sound; there is SO MUCH great music being produced right now, and so it makes perfect sense that listening to more music in general would reveal more of that great stuff to me.  I've also become a lot more open to a few genres (hello, grindcore!) that I've normally shied away from, which is definitely a cool feeling.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 15: April 30th, 2021

This was one of those weeks where I have absolutely no idea how I got to five workouts, let alone how I found time to write about the five albums I listened to while getting those workouts in.  Small miracles, man, small miracles.  Anyway, because of that, I'm skimping on this intro a little, by which I mean it's now over already, and we're on to the lifts and music!

Friday, April 23, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 14: April 23rd, 2021

A couple of weeks ago, I was minding my own business, doing nothing in particular, when I stumbled across this.  I was intrigued, and then confused, because it all seemed so familiar, and yet so different.  I feel like there's already a pretty definitive blog dedicated to workouts and metal, I just can't quite remember where.  Maybe I should ask Decibel about it; they clearly found this other, superior blog post and then tweaked the idea to fit their needs...

Friday, April 16, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 13: April 16th, 2021

With spring here in Idaho in full bloom, the weather is starting to warm up and the yard work is starting to begin.  Outside of the difficulties in wrangling a toddler while trying to pull weeds, or finding energy to get some work done on a random Wednesday after a ten hour day, I really enjoy working in the yard.  It's incredibly rewarding to see the results of a day (or hour's, sometimes) work, and I can feel myself totally slipping into the Wranglers of a washed, mid-thirties dad who takes way too much pride in his yard because he's convinced himself it's a hobby since it's the only thing he has time to do on the weekends.  But I digress.

Naturally, 90% of my yardwork is done with headphones in, listening to either Tigers games or music.  This year, I'm going to add yardwork to commuting and working out as "Time When I Can Listen to New Music," but I'm not as confident in that sticking as much as it has with the other two.  For whatever reason, when I step out to mow the lawn or trim the hedges, there is a certain je nais se qua that I'm looking for in an album, and I have turned off the lawnmower to switch albums mid-mow, despite being certain that what I was listening to was what I wanted to hear.  It's weird, man.  And it's definitely albums, not bands; Khemmis' Hunted is probably my all-time favorite yardwork album, but none of their other albums have it.  Sunbather and Ordinary Corrupt Human Love have it; Roads to Judah and New Bermuda don't.  Metallica's first four albums have it in spades.  Kanye's The College Dropout is an amazing yardwork album; My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a much better album but doesn't hold up as well to the grind of the grass.  You get the idea.  Anyway, as I start mowing the lawn again, and looking for new music, maybe I'll find some new classic yardwork tunes to add to my rotation and then talk about them here.  Or maybe I won't, and I'll just listen to Ride the Lightning again and keep it to myself.  Try not to let the suspense bother you.  On to the workouts!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Paysage d'Hiver - Geister

Black metal in its purest form, which I associate with the Norwegian, second wave mold, is an area that I've never spent a ton of time deep-diving. I've listened enough to appreciate the contributions its had in metal's evolution, but aside from A Blaze in the Northern Sky, the rawness of this sub-genre's sound has never connected with me on the primal level you often hear it being touted for. That all changed for me when solo project Paysage d'Hiver emerged from obscurity last year with his release of Im Wald. Though one would understandably think an album with a two hour runtime would be a bit of slog, Im Wald managed to cultivate an aura that elevated it from "just" a black metal album into an all-encompassing journey. It made clear to me that Paysage d'Hiver's 20+ years worth of demos was something I had to dig into. I have yet to take that plunge, but the project's second full-length endeavor, Geister, is here to remind me of how that procrastination is, for lack of a better word, dumb.