That's the newly slenderized me, toasting you in a photo taken last weekend at the WonderFest Reunion, an informal gathering of friends who enjoy each other's company, choice liquid refreshment, and the best sushi in the world. (Sapporo in Bardstown, Kentucky -- and it's not just me who says this; I also have it on the authority of sushi lovers from New York and Los Angeles and places in between, and I can personally attest to its superiority to what you can find in Toronto and San Francisco.)
Not that I would report it here, but I have no idea what I weigh at the moment. I stopped weighing myself because my weight loss seemed to hit a wall after I'd lost about 30 pounds, as my swimming regime started adding more muscle to my frame. It was discouraging to see the number on the scale staying the same, or sometimes going up a bit, so now I focus on those happy results that can be seen or measured -- for instance, I've gone down six notches on the belt I wore last summer. It was startling, in a nice way, to see myself in the reunion hotel's full-length mirrors, where I saw my former pear shape replaced by a midsection that goes pretty much straight up and down. Whatever I may weigh, it's my best weight in, I'm guessing, the past 20 years, and I'm in better physical condition now than I've been for most of my adult life. We haven't been back to the pool since we've been home (we're going back tomorrow), so I've been substituting a daily uphill mile walk on the treadmill and 100 abdominal crunches with a 40-pound weight, along with a few other exercises on the home gym.
I should apologize for not being here very often lately. Life is in the fast, interesting and sometimes stressful lane. We're far behind schedule on the next issue and will be jumping into another immediately after finishing. I'm taking a break from my work on the ME AND THE ORGONE screenplay to work on two outside writing projects, originally due in December but now due in January: a short story (that's turning into a novella) for an anthology of fiction based on the music of Nick Cave and a contribution to Filippo Brunamonti's forthcoming book about my dear friend Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni. My personal correspondence has also lately taken big chunks out of my days. There's so much to juggle that there's next to no time to do anything else, and to be honest, writing about movies has become something I only do when I absolutely have to do it. But I expect Video WatchBlog will be hosting another survey of VW's Favorite DVDs of the Year, which will probably start posting on December 15th, and you'll certainly see some other activity here before then.
In many ways, this has been the most amazing and transformative year of my life, and I have much to be thankful for, today: another blessed year with my adored and loving partner, and the unforgettable week in Los Angeles we shared; my core group of friends, mentors, muses and confessors; a new approach to living which has led to a renewed sense of inspiration, the production of good work, and an awareness of exciting things still ahead. I'm also thankful for the popular and critical success of the Bava book, for the awards it has won, for having finally made human contact with the Bava family by meeting Lamberto last month, for VW's ever-dependable roster of contributors, and for the millionth hit and visit to this blog!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.