Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Looking for a Sign, part III.

Several readers were kind enough to comment yesterday about my quest to find or create an arbitrary symbol. Here is the design that was up for critique; let's call it Symbol #1:

Comments about it included that it looks like fire, that it looks like a French curve drafting template, that it didn't really seem symbol-ish, that it looks weapon-y, and that it looks like a jack-o-lantern face tipped over sideways. And I agree with all four of those points. In fact, it feels kind of like y'all put words to unconcious reservations I'd had with the design.

So today, I used a highly sophisticated piece of graphic design software -- it's called "Paint" -- to tinker and tamper with the Symbol. I started by twisting the upper left branch to the left, to diminish the flame/spearpoint look, and breaking the "donut hole" through the bottom, to disrupt the jack-o-lantern face and to try to make it more typographical. Here's Symbol #2.

Then, I put an indentation in the left side -- I wonder if there are words for this kind of thing? -- in an attempt to, again, make it less flame-y and more caligraphic. Here's Symbol #3.
Later in the day, I messed with it some more, twisting the old "spear tip" over and to the right." Here's Symbol #4. (by the way, don't worry about the color differences and ghost design lines; those are just artifacts of my having used the least possible sophisticated design tool.)
Thoughts? Votes?

...and other weighty matters.

I shall now introduce a new weekly feature that may well bring back this online variety magazine's original subtitle. Which was, you might recall, "Like You Care."

One of the purposes of the L&T is to keep me, michael5000, focused on my long term goals, projects, schemes, and hijinx. And there is a long term goal that I've never been able to do much about. That goal? To get rid of some of the weight I gained in my early thirties.

So here's the deal. Tonight, writing the Wednesday post, I weigh in at about exactly where I've been for the last five years. 213 pounds. Roughly 30 pounds over a healthy weight for a guy my height, particularly one who jogs a lot. So I've graphed out weekly target weights for the next two years, which seems like a fairly moderate time span. With every Wednesday post, for as long as this blog keeps plodding along or for the next two years, I'll note where I am relative to the plan.

The idea here is of course that I will either have to lose weight through a judicious application of reduced caloric intake and an active lifestyle -- or I will have to admit my failure to you, my readers. And if I fail, I encourage you to mock me for it. In particular, I encourage you to call me "Tubby."

So: WEEK 1: Target Weight: 213. Actual Weight: 213. Except, this first one doesn't really count as much of an achievement, for obvious reasons.

Isn't Wednesday Supposed to be Music Day?

Wow, you've really been paying attention. Yes, we'll get back to that next week.


fingerstothebone said...

Now it looks REALLY Central Asian-y. I'm not suggesting that that's a bad thing.

About your weight -- you'll be happy to know that Michael6000 (haha, just joking, really the Good Prince) guessed that you weighed in at 145.

But if you cared (like you do?), I think that what you weigh doesn't actually matter all that much. If you eat healthy (do you?) and exercise (which you do), and inherited good genes (albeit perhaps slightly plump ones), then you're doing ok.

fingerstothebone said...

The design is also starting to look more flower like, like a bud opening up.

If you don't want unsolicited suggestions, read no further.


Unsolicited suggestion coming up.

Last chance to avert your eyes.

Oops, too late. You can try closing the bottom so that the 2 pointy ends meet up, and then extending a downward gentle curve to reference, but not copy, the two curls at the top.

Karin said...

ooh! #4! I liked each one successively better. Could the right bottom tail begin to curve back, too?

hmm...i might like fingers' suggestion...i'd have to see it.

Yankee in England said...

Okay so I like the new design better than the unaltered one. I have no suggestions for how to make it better. That is not my job my job is to say it looks good or bad actually making changes is my husband,s job. I will let him know he has to hop over her and make changes. You think I joke, really I don't make the changes I just comment on them.

Good luck on your weight loss/getting fit. I know they say that for every decade a woman ages she put 10lbs on just through her metabalism slowing down. I don't know if this is true for men or not. I will come and only make positive comments on Wednesday because I feel that anyone who is really truley activly trying to loose weight is doing a good thing.

gl. said...

"But if you cared (like you do?), I think that what you weigh doesn't actually matter all that much. If you eat healthy (do you?) and exercise (which you do), and inherited good genes (albeit perhaps slightly plump ones), then you're doing ok."

i'm with fingers, though i think height/stuff is bunk, especially as you age. if you want to feel better, eating right & exercising more might help with that. but it probably won't have any effect on your weight in the long term, so don't worry about the number on the scale. (and i'm also with yankee: only positive comments. who -is- that handsome man over on that side of the screen? he looks like he's just had a birthday!)

also, i think the symbol really looks like a flame. #4 is the least flame-looking.

The Calico Cat said...

Do you remember when you asked about drinking a gallon of Coke a day...

This is yet another reason to give it up cold turkey!

Diet tip of the day. Along those lines eat your calories - don't drink them. As in you will eat fewer calories in an orange than you will in drinking orange juice. (the "normal" glass of juice holds more calories than the orange) & There isn't any funny stuff in the orange...

d said...

i like #4 much better than the original. it is now more flower-ish than flame-ish though. not that that's a bad thing—it will look great on a quilt.

i wish you luck with the weight loss thing.

Rebel said...

Honey - re: the weight issue... just move to Asia. I'm pretty sure I've lost at least 5 lbs without even trying.

Rebel said...

btw - I really like the figure you've come up with... I'm not sure you can call it a sign, or a symbol if it doesn't actually represent anything. Whatever you end up calling it - it's awesome.

karmaSartre said...

I find it pleasing albeit pointy: it looks a bit like someone could peel it off a quilt and fling it at someone as a weapon (a la Bruce Lee), doing major harm.

If you go with it, you might consider changing your name from Michael5000 to the symbol.

Diet secret tip: chew every bite 40 times. Oh, and cut out the Martinis.

Elizabeth said...

But you're jogging, and obviously a stud, so that means I'll have to call you "Stubby".

Ditto on liquid caloric intake advice.

If you're planning the Symbol to be in scarlet, do you think that in your quilting hindbrain you might really want it to be flame-like anyway, hence the color? I like its last incarnation.

Michael5000 said...

@Fingers: You'll be happy to know that your joke made me hoot.

What you weigh matters when you exercise by running. Thirty extra pounds is a lot of pressure to piledrive on to ankles and knees.

And, "unsolicited suggestions"? How could I have been any more explicit in soliciting suggestions, short of coming to your house and begging?

And, thanks for the suggestion.

@Karin: Your suggestion made it start to look kind of fleur-de-lis-ish to me, so I deep-sixed it. Sorry. You can see what I did with Fingers' suggestion over at State of the Craft.

@Yank: Thanks for the vote and good wishes.

@gl: As above. And, it's looking less and less like a flame or anything else, and I like that.

@Calico: The connection between drinking oodles of diet cola and weight gain, although it has been suggested in recent high-profile studies, is not nearly as direct as the connection between drinking oodles of regular cola and weight gain.

@d: Sweet!

@Reb: Finally, a practical suggestion!

@karma: I might consider that indeed.

You forgot the most important part of the diet secret: chew every bite 40 times, then spit it out.

But "CUT OUT THE MARTINIS"!?!? Are you MAD?!?!?

@Elizabeth: You may call me "Stubby," but only in weeks when my weight is over the target figure.

If the Symbol is too flame-y, it can't be scarlet. I think I DO want it to have an ascending energy, but not necessarily a firey energy. You dig?

DrSchnell said...

Careful with the revised symbol! It inadvertently spells out "Buddha is Allah and Jesus' Love Child" in an archaic Sanskrit writing system.

Bridget B. said...

I say, the more spirals the better.