18 February, 2008

More Fun Without Clothes

Today the weather was nice and warm, up into the 50's at least. It doesn't look like it'll last, even another day, but it was quite pleasurable to get even just a small taste of spring. I actually hadn't thought much about it, despite noticing the weather when we went out to dinner for yet another birthday celebration, but this evening, my brother came back, apparently from a walk, and informed me of the still-warm weather. It was still a bit early, but I went and checked it out. I was already undressed, and I just went out on the back porch, just outside the door, to gauge the temperature. There was a definite attractive feel to the spring-harbinging air, and it felt nice compared to the chill we've been having, but you know, it was still a bit chilly. The moon, heading towards full, was bright in the western sky, and the swatches of cloud were moving pretty quickly across the sky.

I went back in, then after awhile, I heard wind and rain. I checked again, and it was damp outside - probably better that I hadn't gone out for a walk earlier. The wind was pretty fierce for only a short moment, and I wanted to go right out, on the front porch, to experience it, but the motion-sensing light next door was flashing on and off - most likely due to the wind, but it was still too bad a sign for me to go right out. The light eventually stopped, which I take to mean that there's a decent chance somebody was up to shut it down. I waited a little bit, and it stayed dark, and then I just couldn't stay inside anymore. But I grabbed a dark blanket from my room to cover myself to be extra cautious. It's about the right size to cover me down to about my knees, when wrapped around my shoulders. It's quicker than putting on the ritual cloak, and it's also not as thick and doesn't cover as much, so it lets you feel a little bit more naked than having the huge ritual cloak wrapped around you. It's wooly, so it's pretty good for warmth, but also bad for generating my arch-nemesis, static electricity.

Anyway, I went out onto the porch, and things stayed pretty dark and quiet, so I was happy. My feet got wet right away, even just stepping onto the porch mat, but I was expecting that. I stood for awhile, taking in the atmosphere, as the wind and rain fluctuated, but generally stayed fairly calm. A couple times I stepped toward the edge of the porch, to the end of the overhang, and stuck my leg out to determine the rainfall, which I could hear, but was actually pretty light. I started getting ideas about going out into it, just for a moment. Definitely too cold for anything substantial, but looking at the few remaining patches of snow on the lawn that hadn't yet been disintegrated by the rain, I was possessed by the desire to step in one.

I've always wanted to dive into a snowdrift while naked, but as of yet I've been deterred by the thought of how cold that would be. This would at least be a small step in that direction. My feet were already pretty cold, but keeping them in the same spot on the porch mat kept them manageable. Stepping out toward the edge of the porch, the ground was colder. But I figured it wasn't too cold that I couldn't do it, even though the only snow patch large enough to step in completely was out and down the steps in the middle of the front yard, and then across the driveway, next to the basketball hoop. I knew that stepping into the snow would be really cold, but I judged that I could handle it.

A couple months ago, around Yule, I made a complete circuit around the house on a couple different nights, when the mood struck me, despite the cold. It was a chance to get outside, and going completely around the house made it significant, but it was quick enough that I could get back inside and warm up before I began to freeze. The one thing I remember most, though, is that with the ground as cold as it was (though without any snowfall), my feet got absolutely frigid by the time I made it all the way around the house. But in light of those experiences, I knew that I could handle this one - stepping into the snow.

My first instinct was to drop the blanket I had wrapped around me (well, hang it on the door knob perhaps, so it wouldn't get wet and dirty lying on the ground), so I could do it completely naked, but I was too cautious to do that. I didn't want it to get wet, but I figured the rainfall was light enough that it wouldn't be significant. So I went for it, with the blanket wrapped around me. I made the route out to the remaining snow patches, on the other side of the driveway. Stepping into the snow, it actually didn't feel too cold at first. I stomped around for a few seconds before the cold started to sink in - and it was cold! But not too cold that I couldn't keep my calm. So I considered myself victorious, and headed back to the porch. Now that my feet were freezing, I thought it was a good time to go in.

Back inside, I climbed up the steps, on my hands and knees, since I didn't really have anything to wipe my feet off with, other than the mat in front of the door. I crawled into the bathroom, and rinsed my feet off. One thing I've discovered from my experiences walking around barefoot outside, is that coming in and rinsing them off (especially with warm water when it's cold), feels great. In addition to the warmth, it makes them soft and smooth, which feels good on the carpet, just like when you come out of the shower.

To switch topics, anyone who really knew me in college knows that I used to play DDR a lot. I'm not gonna go into the whole history of that here - that'll probably turn up in one of my College Memories sometime in the future. But I will mention that I thought it was a pretty lame game, like most people, before I really got into it. Even after getting into it, there's still an inherent lameness factor, but the bottom line is, not only is it a fun game that you can play both alone and with friends, but, best of all, it's a great excuse to get exercise, in a thoroughly entertaining fashion. Although I do enjoy walking, it doesn't exactly happen everyday, and a lot less during the cold months. Although I may or may not have better instincts or base statistics than other people, the fact of the matter is, I'm not in very good shape. For the past two years, most of my days have consisted of me sitting at the computer. All. Day. Long.

Now, I'm not real concerned about losing weight. I wouldn't mind if it happened, but even now, I'd say I have healthy proportions, and I wouldn't go out of my way to get any thinner. I don't really care about muscles, either. Again, I wouldn't mind having more strength, but it's never been all that important to me, and I wouldn't go too far out of my way to bulk up (weight-lifting has never seemed all that attractive to me). The one thing I am concerned about is having a healthy heart. Having endurance. Being able to exert myself physically over a period of time without exhausting myself prematurely. It seems rather pointless right now, since I don't really do anything like that, except for walking, so it seems like I don't really *need* to be in better shape. But I like the idea of doing those sort of things, sport-like things, just for the sake of fun - because it makes you feel good. Kind of hard to do things like toss a ball around when you're on your own, I guess, but there are still things you can do without a team.

Anyway, I always come back to the idea of playing DDR to keep me in shape, since it's fun, it's something I can do by myself, and it doesn't matter what the weather's like, either. Of course, I have yet to commit myself to any kind of regular regimen. But you know, it keeps coming up in my mind. Part of the problem is that there is that lameness factor to playing DDR, making me feel silly at the thought of being caught playing it - which, really, is rather ridiculous. I happen to have some dance pads left over from my college days, which I think still work at least relatively well, if not perfectly. Pads can be a pain, since they always seem to be breaking down and responding wrong, which really throws off your game. But you know what? If you're just playing for exercise, it doesn't really matter if you use pads, because the important thing isn't to get all the notes right, but just to get yourself moving, and the game provides a pattern for you to follow. I guess the only other real potential problem is the fact that playing DDR involves jumping around a bit, and that can cause structural stress in the floors, as well as potentially cause a lot of noise, thumping around at night. But I think it's at least worth another try.

Staying within the overall topic of this blog entry, I'll obviously have to try playing DDR in the nude. Not that it would be the first time. Actually, there was a marginally-related incident that I feel kind of bad about, in hindsight. One day back in college, two of my friends were playing DDR in our dorm room. Instead of playing, I went out for a little bit. If I recall correctly, it was because the weather was nice, and I had already decided to go out with my guitar for a bit before the sun set. Although that could have been another day. But for whatever reason I left, I came back later, only to enter the room and discover to my surprise two guys practically in their underwear, dancing about, playing the game. They were obviously only trying to keep cool, but you can imagine my surprise. And I feel bad about it, because I was judging them then just the way I fear people might judge me now. But then again, context is an important factor with these sorts of things.

One other physical activity I've considered doing nude is practicing kendo. Certainly, they put on a lot of armor, and if you're actually sparring with someone, it would be immensely dangerous. But I mean just on my own, practicing forms and such. I'd have started doing it a long time ago, if it were something I could do in the privacy of my room. But alas, the confined quarters (even considering the size of my room), make swinging a sword around quite unreasonable. There's always the backyard, but the problem I've had so far with practicing kendo where someone might see me (even if dressed), is that, based on my anxiety issues, I don't feel confident about going out and swinging my sword around. I feel like I'd stick out, and people, if they saw me, would naturally focus their attention on me and maybe want to ask me questions and watch me practice, and then there would be tons of pressure on me to act like I know what I'm doing, you know? Regardless of whether the reaction is positive or negative, that kind of attention makes me uncomfortable. Even in the dead of night, when I'd love to be confident enough to go out and practice without even wearing clothes, when the weather's nice, I still can't shake those anxieties about the slim chance that someone might be awake, and they might glance out their window, and see me. And under those conditions, it'd be even worse, because swinging around a sword at night is generally suspicious, and doing so naked is even more alarming and questionable.

At any rate, I thought about finding something special to wear, that would let me blend in with the shadows better, giving me more confidence to get out there and practice. You know, something vaguely ninja-like. Skin-tight, black, covering the arms and legs. If it helps me get out there, it'd be great, but I don't know how great I feel about ordering a unitard from some dance company. But I don't want some expensive, pop culture ninja get-up, either. Just something simple and effective.

Anyway, just some things I've been thinking about.


  1. I hate those lights our neighbours have that turn on when someone goes past. They should at least have it so the lights don't come on until you're so much as on their frickin' property. I always go past and the lights go on and I'm like "What do you want? I'm completely within my rights and reason to walk on the street in my own neighborhood, I hope your light doesn't disturb you because I'm never going to stop walking past it."

    Uhh... anyway... I once had a great experience with the cold. One of the several nights in Fall Semester where I could not sleep, I ended up going outside in just my robe during one of the nights when it was the absolue coldest nights they had while I was there. It was freaking cold but it felt so good and liberating in the wind. The only problem was that I was in bare feet, and it nearly murdered me. My feet were so so cold on the icey pavement for some reason. If it weren't for my darned feet, I would have stayed out there all night, I had a book ready.

  2. P.s. nice new layout and damn that welchmers stuff is me to a T...