A little bit of evening culture

Today my legs were still sore from running MacRitchie at the weekend, so instead of going for a run after work I went home, and put my wallet down in the wrong place in the apartment, and then spent an hour looking for it, while my wife watched Sherlock on TV and I mumbled about how Kim Newman’s The Hound Of The D’Urbervilles’ was superior.

However, guilty about not getting enough exercise, I signed up for a lunchtime spinning class at a place just down the street from the office. This is a good thing because lots of people from work go, but also a bad thing, because lots of people from work go, and thus they might see me redfaced and sweaty, rather than the consummate professional that usually lollops around the office.

(I had a review this morning, where I was told everyone thought I was very approachable, which surprised my wife when I told her. This is because she thinks that I do two things at the office: drink coffee and yell at people. This is manifestly untrue: I drink coffee and then look at obscure websites, and then diffidently point out to people that their ideas of statistical significance may be slightly misguided. So it’s easy to make that mistake.)

On Thursday, hopefully fully recovered from Sunday’s self-inflicted assault, I’ll spend 35 minutes on a stationary bicycle while some lunatic plays techno and wears a leotard (I’m guessing here – who knows the truth?) when what I really want on a weekday afternoon is a short nap. But since the evenings are for baby wrangling, and the weekends likewise, the only real opportunity I have to keep fit is lunchtimes.

Speaking of babies, today I finished reading The Apocalypse Codex to my daughter. I started on the 13th of July, so it’s taken just over two and a half months to read her 368 pages. That means if we start on The Lord Of The Rings now, we’ll be done by the time she’s two years old. Although then she’ll have some funny ideas about trees, dwarves, elves, etc. Maybe I should stick to reading Lovecraft-espionage-bureaucracy mashups instead.

La Serpiente Aquatica Negra enjoyed The Apocalypse Codex, failing to eat any of it. I’m still not sure whether to start her on The Rhesus Chart immediately, or something lighter first. But there are no more Dortmunder books to read in electronic format, so our choices are a little constrained.

Today I clicked on an advert for youcandobetter.sg, a site that seems to encourage self-improvement in Singaporeans. And of course, the first thing that happened was that I got offended. The site asks you various questions, and the first one it asked me was how many (on a scale between 0 and 400) bestselling books had I read. This seemed a breathtakingly philistine approach to take to reading. Are books only worthwhile if they’re commercial successes? Is there no other quality to judge them by: a elementary school textbook that sells the same number of copies as a romance about vampires as a memoir of a kidnap survivor are all equivalent to one another? How do you figure 400 is the number to aim for? How do you even figure out which books you’ve read are best sellers, unless you wander around making a tally ("What did you do today, darling?" "Oh, read five best selling books, moved a pallet of boxes, the usual"). What if a book about the true story of two gay penguins adopting at a zoo turned out to be a best seller? Incensed, I abandoned the site in disgust.

And so to bed.

One response to “A little bit of evening culture”

  1. How are you supposed to know whether a book you read is best selling or not?

    It kept giving me the question on swimming. You can do better! But why do I need to swim more than 300m in one go? And their advice was rubbish, longer strokes doesn’t apply to breaststroke. (Can’t do 300m of front crawl, I start to panic and fear drowning after 2 lengths.)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.