We're on tour...inside our house. There is a pandemic on, and it's not safe to tour anywhere else! So we tour at home.
It is winter now in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, and even though climate collapse means our winters are getting progressively warmer, they're currently still cold enough to make it unbearably cold in the subterranean PhooleOut Shelter.
So the show is 'on tour,' broadcasting from...UPSTAIRS, where it is much, much warmer.
I'll be setting up the cameras and audio equipment and computer-machines and lights in our dining room, affording tuner-inners and video-rewinders a view of our living room as we broadcast music and chit-chat live throughout the cold months on Friday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Central US time at slipmat.io/phoole, mixcloud.com/live/phoole and twitch.tv/phoole!
We last went "on tour" around the main floor of the house in 2021. In 2022 we didn't, and I can't remember why we didn't. I think I may have just been stressed out by too many other things to consider shifting all the equipment.
This time around, though, Tiffany will be the main roadie, instead of me, because I punched myself in the back on Monday. Not really! I will explain later.
‘2R’ is an alternative spelling of a Norwegian name that rhymes with ‘tour’ - and DJ2R has put together a GUEST MIX for this week's Phoole & the Gang, so it's 2R ON TOUR. See? IT MAKES A LITTLE BIT OF SENSE.
Stay Up, Tune In, Phoole Out
Tune in on Friday, 1 December 2023 at 6:00 p.m. Central US time at the links above - or just bookmark phoole.com/gang to always be ready to #StayUpAllThing with Phoole & the Gang! - and the dance party will be wherever you are! 2R is in the mix Friday with two continuous hours of house, indie dance, filter house, tech house, electro house, acid house and more to bring the club safely to wherever you happen to be. Stay home - stay safe - stay up - tune in - Phoole Out!
I Punched Myself In the Back
Phoole Patreon patrons already know about this, because the following amusing essay was provided to them already. Would you like to be in the know before the rest of the Phooliverse is, and be privy to some things other Phooligans might not get to know about? phoole.com/patreon is how!
I didn't really punch myself in the back.
What I did was I got realllllllly excited about two new workouts that dropped in Les Mills BodyCombat XR at the same time that I received a pair of Old Bones knee compression sleeves, which I had ordered.
The compression knee sleeves are EXACTLY what my sad ol' left knee needed to get me back in the ring, so to speak, which is actually just our living room, with the ottomans (ottomen?) moved out of the way.
I have been back at the BodyCombat workouts for a week and it's so good to be back. To get points in BodyCombat, you have to strike the targets with a lot more force and accuracy than you have to in Supernatural. It's a very serious cardio workout, with a lot of large-muscle-group activation, and it makes me feel GREAT.
Unless I, you know, punch myself.
I didn't really punch myself! I just think the idea of that is funny. What I did was this.
Over the weekend, I was punching away in the living room, and Tiffany, who was in the living room at the time, decided she would like to leave the living room, which is good and right and well within reason. But she didn't want to disturb me by asking me to pause my punching - she reckoned she'd wait for what seemed like a break between sessions and would just scoooooot past me.
Ha! THE BREAK WAS NOT VERY LONG.
I did NOT punch my wife, but I did jostle her a little as she shot past me while I was getting ready to punch virtual targets.
So this past Monday, I thought I would explore BodyCombat's "pass-through" mode, which is a mode that you can activate in some games that lets you see the actual room that you're physically occupying, while showing you the game you're playing layered over the physical room you're in. Some games make a portal appear in one of the walls of your room, and the game elements appear to come at you through that portal, for example. The newest Meta Quest headset, the Meta Quest 3, is supposed to do this really well.
The Quest 2, which is what I have? Not amazing at the pass-through thing. The physical room is greyed out and staticky and pixelated and warped weirdly. Objects are farther away than they appear.
But I figured I could probably get used to it if I just tried. I figured I should at least try to acclimate myself to a safety measure that could prevent me from accidentally slugging my beloved.
So I tried one of the new advanced-level BodyCombat workouts, called "ENDURANCE CHALLENGE 5," which is frightening enough on its own. The endurance challenges tend to reduce me to tears in any case. Endurance Challenge 4 left me sobbing the first time I made it all the way through it.
Why would someone pursue a leisure activity that wracks them with sobs? It is a fine question. I was raised in a family that didn't just not engage in sport or exercise - my parents openly disdained them as being the pursuits of the dull and unintelligent. Now, at the very same time, my mother (who is no longer alive) was a ballerina, model, and figure skater, blessed with sufficient metabolism that all fitness required of her was that she show up. I received no-metabolism from my dad's rounder side of the family, sentencing me to a life of really needing to put in a lot of effort in order to derive any health effects at all.
So sometimes, my rational mind knows that, in order to get the best value out of a workout, I will have to work harder than I am emotionally prepared to work, push through utter fatigue, and train my muscles to endure, even if it makes me cry. I don't actively strive to make myself work out until I have an emotional breakdown. But sometimes you have to show yourself you can survive. Therefore, endurance challenges, and tears.
Within the first few minutes of starting the first track in the workout in pass-through mode, I misjudged how far away the TV was on my right. I thought it was RIGHT NEXT TO ME, based on what pass-through looked like - it was actually five feet away from me.
But "feeling" that it was very close caused me to sort of "choke up" on a forceful uppercut, keeping my elbow locked to my side as much as I could - and I felt a kind of "pop" in my ribs on my right side, and then felt a sort of line of pain zing horizontally across my back.
I immediately stopped that workout and thought, "Huh, that's weird!"
I did not think, "Maybe you should just put the headset away for today and try again in a couple of days," which would have been a much more useful thought.
I switched to Supernatural and did what I thought was a relatively-light boxing-and-knee-smash workout; it got my heart rate up, not as high as BodyCombat does, and the pain wasn't much at all, almost gone by the end of the workout.
I skipped working out yesterday because it was a Tuesday, and I have to go downtown Tuesdays, which means a lot of rigamarole and racing about putting things in my briefcase. Which I own. I have a rolling business case for my laptops. Like a normal human grownup. I never get used to this weird adult human life.
My back sorta ached just a little bit all day.
Yesterday morning, my back felt FINE. Just fine! LET'S GO PUNCH, I yelled to myself! BACK IN THE RING! PUNCH ALL THE THINGS!
I went back to Endurance Challenge 5 in BodyCombat, and, as expected, it made me cry. I scored above 80% in all but one track of the workout, and in that one I still did a not-terrible 77%. Heart-rate bonanza, sweated to death, sobbed after the last punch and through a cool-down. Back didn't hurt at all.
Then, ZZZZANG. It HURT. Just seemingly out of nowhere. Was it the adrenaline of the workout wearing off? Pow. Line of red pain right across the middle of my back, more on the left side than the right. Now I can't turn my torso much past 45 degrees on either side or take deep breaths.
Fortunately, I already had my annual physical exam appointment booked with my doctor for yesterday morning. I crawled into a Lyft and tried to explain to my doctor (who is half my age) why I did this to myself. She poked my back in a lot of places; none of the poking elicited any pain at all, but climbing up to sit on the exam table and climbing off of it were not fun activities.
She definitely thinks I'm crazy, and she's not wrong. But also, no punching for two weeks, and no heavy lifting.
I am addicted to the punching, I know. I derive a lot of joy from it, I channel a lot of perimenopause unbridled murderous rage into it, I savor its holographic encouragement, I crave the endorphins afterward. I love sweating hard and using all my muscles and feeling strong.
But now I must not punch for two weeks, and I would like to punch someone about it. This is a conundrum!
I will ask Tiffany to help me bring up the studio equipment from the basement so that I can do shows reclining in the dining room and living room for the rest of the winter - I promise not to try to lift my monitor speakers and subwoofer myself. Those are the heavy fellows - those and the box of all the cables. The rest is all very light.
That is the story of how I punched myself in the back, sort of. Do not let this cautionary tale dissuade you from getting a little exercise. Maybe just don't ignore a popping feeling in your ribcage and then do Endurance Challenge 5, is what I'm saying.