Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reassessing

If you're wondering why I haven't written about my P90X workouts in about a week, it's because I haven't done any of them since last weekend. This week was just too awful for me personally, and I missed the entire week of workouts. Of course, it was a recovery week, but "recovery" doesn't mean rest in P90X land, it means intensive cardio and core work without the normal resistance training. I don't know if it was a motivation problem (I prefer the weight-lifting videos to the cardio) or a stress problem, but I dropped the ball. So I've been hemming and hawing about what I should do, and meanwhile E has been wanting to start doing P90X with me... He has one more smaller test (the MPRE) to take this coming weekend, so he'll be studying a bit this week, but I'm thinking I might start over at Day 1 so we can be at the same phase at the same time.

It's kind of hard to think about pushing my goal date a month out, but I don't look at what I've been doing as wasted time--I made it three weeks without missing a workout, so I know I'm much stronger than I was when I started. I think it will be nice for us to work out together--he really wanted to before the Bar but he knew it wasn't a good idea. So I think my new "Day 1" is going to be sometime in the next two weeks. Have to try to time it so when we're in Hawaii I'm at a phase where I don't have to bring weights or resistance bands or anything with me. Of course, I fully plan to run in Hawaii rather than doing a video in the condo--so I'll be subbing my own cardio that week anyway. I'm really looking forward to running there. I'll also try to add in extra cardio this month like I was planning to try (like the "Doubles" schedule) on resistance days so I can start running again. I miss running.

Right now it's just after 7:00 AM and I'm the only one up at my house. E won't be awake for a long time--he outlasted me watching The Hurt Locker last night and came to bed at some ungodly hour--and the monkeys were up until almost 10:00, so they won't be up either.

[I'm watching CNN right now--they're reporting that Japan "saw a tsunami more than three feet in height." ARE YOU FOR REAL, CNN? It seemed like they were (embarrassingly) disappointed that a major one didn't hit Hawaii, but now we're reporting on 3 foot waves? Am I missing something? CNN, put your cameras back in Chile where something real is happening.]

So anyway, I'm thinking about going to Winco this morning before the monkeys wake up and before all the Yahoos show up and stand in the middle of the aisle. I really don't want to go shop, but I know I want to have fresh produce all week so it's kind of a must. Today's E's BIRTHDAY EVE so that's pretty cool. I'm hoping we can go out and shop for his present together even though I HATE it when he picks out his own present, but I can't really see a way around it this year. I've got two birthday boys at my house this week--E is Monday, and Hanko is Friday. Fun stuff.

Okay, this probably goes down in history as the most boring blog post ever, so I'll try to think of something witty and self-effacing to post this afternoon. There has to be some embarrassing story about myself I haven't told you yet. For now I've got groceries on the brain. Peace out.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chevy's and Survivor, or: Why I am stuck in the year 2000.

I've been carrying around a coupon for Chevy's for about three days. I know that doesn't exactly cry "spontaneity!" but I'm hopeful it's going to pan out. Here's the deal, though. I still love Chevy's even though that's so not 2010 of me. I'll shout it from the mountaintops: CHEVY'S IS SOME SERIOUS GRUB! Unfortunately for my ├╝ber-chic sensibilities about the pulse of society, I seem to be one of only three people left in the Chevy's fan club (shout out to fellow members Aunt Cath and Uncle Tom!). How did that happen? Come on, world. We used to love Chevy's. Remember the 90's? Chevy's was the bomb.

(Also not 2010 of me? Calling something the bomb.)

Now everyone's all it's not even real Mexican food. Um, were we ever pretending it was real Mexican food, guys? It's a chain restaurant in a small town. Are you under the illusion that TGI Friday's is haute cuisine? That when you go out for Chinese in a strip mall and order the #4 combo that you're getting a meal straight out of Beijing? And I know it is a sin to write this, but one of everyone's favorite places--Chipotle--is a far cry from real Mexican food itself. But being an imitation or a hybrid doesn't mean you can't be damn tasty. I submit into evidence: Exhibit C, Chevy's. I know all the haters have moved on to BJ's or some other flavor of the week and I basically can't ever find someone who wants to go with me to Chevy's, but I still love it. (Don't get me wrong, I'll hit up any restaurant in a ten mile radius. I just love food.) I love Chevy's. I don't care if that makes me a throwback. Give me a 32 oz. tub o' margarita and a Mixed Grill fajita and I am one happy camper.

Fun fact: I was a waitress at Chevy's after college, and people would come in sometimes and order a fajita, only they'd pronounce it fuh-jie-tuh. YEP, THEY SURE DID.

It follows, then, that I feel similarly about Survivor. Remember the early 2000's, when Survivor was all the rage, and all anyone could do was talk about what Colby did or how Ethan was too nice to win or Richard spent too much time being naked? Remember? Well I'm still hangin' on. Survivor is like a lousy boyfriend to me at this point--only good to me once every few months or so--but I can't let go.

I'll admit it, most of the recent seasons have been filled with nameless stereotypes: hot guy, bikini girl, alternative tattooed/pierced girl, etc. Last season's Russell was the closest thing to a character that's been on in a while but that felt forced by editing. Still, I watch. (Bonus points if you caught that Maya Angelou allusion. Pour Ms. Angelou. Didn't mean to drag you into my Survivor post.) I don't care that these people are chosen specifically to argue with each other. I don't care that Jeff Probst has been reading from the same script for ten years. I don't care that the viewer gets hit over the head with third-grade symbolism of fire and idols. I don't care. I'm going to keep watching.

But you know when I love Survivor the best, recently? When it's an all-stars show. (Now, "stars" seems to be a loose term when used in this context. I have my doubts about some of them.) The part of Survivor I generally like least in any season is the beginning when I don't remember who anyone is; I'm just waiting for the old guy and then the annoying middle-aged woman to get picked off first. I like the show once I get to know who people are and I get to watch them sneaking around lying to each other and trying to do simple math about votes. That's my fave.

The best thing about an all-stars show is that the personalities are built in. I'm digging Heroes vs. Villains. Jerri Manthey? Got it. Coach. Heck yeah, Dragon Slayer. Boston Rob? Bring your hat. Rupe? You go, Rupe! Work that beard. I'm thoroughly enjoying my anachronistic reality TV program, and I don't care if that makes me a cultural Miss Havisham.

I can still fist pump with the best of 'em.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What I can say...


What I can say is that I'm frustrated when I'm not trusted to do my job.

What I can say is that my profession requires me first to prove my own competence, then argues against it daily.

What I can say is that I don't owe anyone an explanation about what makes me uncomfortable.

What I can say is that teaching can be a parasitic drain on "normal life."

What I can say is that in order to survive in this job, you have to harden your heart. I can say that I see it change people by the time they retire.

What I can say is that I know I can't do this forever.

What I can say is that I wanted to make a difference. I can say I know now that it won't really happen, or it won't happen enough.

What I can say is that thinking you can do a job better than someone doesn't mean you should.

What I can say is that my job breaks my heart way more often than it makes me proud.

What I can say is that I know myself and what I can't handle.

What I can say is that I'm glad this week is over.



Since my tongue is tied by self-imposed boundaries of the specifics of my job, here's a wonderful blog post about teacher evaluation, the BS bureaucracy surrounding education, and someone else's view of what's wrong with our system. (Thanks, Dunn.)

Peace out, nerds.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Grr

Long, awful day at school. Frustrating, upsetting, anxiety-creating situation that I can't post about for a multitude of reasons.

E's done, and I'm glad I can put my worry to rest. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Out of my hands

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC

It was August of 1999. I was 20 years old and newly engaged. I had a busy summer as a new adult. I'd saved as much of my meager earnings as I could to make two ballet-related trips, one to Jackson, Mississippi to attend Ballet Magnificat's summer intensive as a counselor and take class for two weeks, and one to Vancouver, BC to take a teaching exam for the Cecchetti Method of classical ballet. I drained my bank account to make those trips happen; I also maxed out my shiny new Discover card. But for the first time in my life I did something that was just for me, and I did it on my own.

For the Mississippi trip, I had company. My friend Sarah and a younger dancer from our studio traveled with me. Mississippi was life-changing, and I really should post about just that trip some time. I wasn't home for long, though, before I had to catch a plane to Vancouver by myself. You know, out of the country. Of course it's just Canada and this was even before passports became a staunch necessity, but that kind of independence had a little scary in it. Also having a little scary in it was the fact that I was going to be flying, alone, which meant being scared of flying, and being alone. I took a Benadryl on my flight to try to make myself sleep, but rather than sleeping I just felt drowsy and uncomfortable. And ultimately, still scared.

One of the most vivid memories of my short trip to Canada is the flight in to Vancouver from Seattle. I took a smaller plane, and I remember flying over the water just at sunset and something about all the logs floating on that blush-tinted glass was amazing. Vancouver is nothing if not beautiful. I made my way to the exit and hailed a cab for the first time in my life and did four hundred mental checks to my American/Canadian dollar calculations about how much I needed to pay in American dollars since I didn't have any Canadian money. It was no short drive to Simon Fraser University, where I was to take my exam--probably about 45 minutes. I remember being really scared to be alone. The cab driver was creepy. It was sad to go to an airport for the first time in my life and not see someone--anyone--waiting for me.

I definitely know now that in my panic I overpaid the cab driver by a ridiculous amount. Anyone who has been 20 knows that one bad money mistake will probably cost you your next meal. I started to get worried about my food funds, but I was happy that once I made it to the college I'd be on the predictable cafeteria meal plan. Or so I thought. I didn't get a real meal on the plane--just half a sprite and some peanuts, so by the time I landed, went through checks, found a cab, and took a cab up the mountain, I was starving. And I spent a good chunk of my money on my attempt to not look like a cheap American to a shady cab driver who had silently ferried me up the hill.

The first time I saw the Harry Potter movies I was struck by how like Harry's initial journey to Hogwarts this trip up the mountain had been. Simon Fraser University sits atop a hill above Vancouver, in Burnaby. The winding road seemed endless as the awkward silence between me and the cab driver. On and on and on, it stretched. By the time I reached the college, it was dark, the cafeteria had closed, and not another soul was there for the conference or exams. You see, the teachers' exams were to be administered before the student workshop began. Unfortunately all the other teachers decided to go to dinner that night. Without me.

I pleaded with the dorm receptionist. "There's not a vending machine around here, or anything? A grocery store? Nothing?"

"Nope. You can catch the bus down into Vancouver if you want."

Eep. I swallowed my trepidation like a golf ball. Great. I finally made it up the hill and to my destination and I was going to have to leave again, descending that snake of a road back down into some unknown (foreign!) city to look for food. And I was going to have to do math in my head to pay bus fare and I was going to have to eat alone and find my way back. I wanted to break down and cry but my hunger exceeded my worry. I had to dance for this exam and I couldn't go skipping meals.

I took that bus, and I'll be darned if I didn't get off at the first McDonald's I saw and swallow my two cheeseburger meal in three gulps. Only the finest international cuisine for me. Back on the bus I went, trying to avoid eye contact with shady characters, and I made my way back up the hill without event. I was scared stiff the entire time. I have no idea what kind of a neighborhood it was where I got off the bus--I didn't allow myself to take in any details for fear I'd realize the danger of the situation. I'm lucky I didn't get robbed or worse that night. I wouldn't do well to take a bus into Sacramento at 11:00 at night right now, let alone some city I didn't know in a country where I couldn't keep pace with simple monetary exchange calculations. I was so afraid and so lonely.

I slept like the dead that night, and the next day I found myself completely alone and still wondering where I'd eat. Eventually, I found the cafeteria. The campus was sprawling and ominous--but empty. I've never seen a college like that, even in the summer. I had a full day to "prepare" myself for the test, which seemed like a great idea when I booked the trip but translated to time alone in my single dorm room with only a book, a Bible, and my own fear.

Vancouver was where I had my first anxiety attack. Looking back on it, it's no wonder I had one--I was stressed about the test and my jaunt into Vancouver proper didn't help. I was sick about my test and I had no distractions from my own head--no computer, no iPhone, no TV, no other people. I ended up having to work through it because I knew that in order to complete my exam the next day--a solo demonstration class in front of an old lady examiner, commanding a musician, and demonstrating an entire ballet class (memorized) by myself--I was going to have to pull myself together. I spent lots of time in prayer in that little room, giving that test to God, trying to release the thing that had a hold on me from my courage. I thought if I could give it up, realize that it wasn't mine, realize that I'd prepared myself as much as possible, if I took it out of my hands, I'd take away the fear.

It worked. I had a wonderful exam. My panic subsided and I felt a strong sense of peace going into the test. I was able to talk myself down from panic in the way that has become the model for how I get through anxiety. Of course it doesn't always work but it worked for me that weekend in Vancouver.

I was reminded of this today as I sat on the couch today, frozen temporarily by fear and anxiousness as I waited for E to call on his lunch break. It's so hard to let something go when it isn't mine to begin with. I found it hard to ask for peace when it wasn't my own worry I was clutching. I don't wish I could take the test for E, but it shows me that my greatest fear and the place I feel most uncomfortable is when I'm out of control. I'd much rather be alone in that dorm room, lifting up my own trial or about to walk into the test, knowing that I am the one who has to face it. Be it Addie or Henry or my students or E, it's so hard to know that someone else I love is fighting a battle. I feel powerless. All I can do is wait.

My experience in Vancouver showed me so much about myself and how I am able to handle challenges. I prepare as much as I can, and then I try to let it go and let them happen. This is so different. My role is a supporter. I can't do this for E, nor would I want to. As I told his mom the other day, not much I can do for him this week except love him and make sure he eats.

Parking lot dance party



Monday, February 22, 2010

Lamesauce

That's right, I'll have a blog post with a side of lame.

Look, I'll be honest. I'm having a hard time writing anything. It killed me to open this window and hit "new post." I think that's why I haven't posted it in three days. That was an attempt at introversion in what has been a very extrovert-demanding week. I feel like I've been trying to hide in the corner and reclaim my sanity for a few days.

I just didn't want to whine about how hard this weekend/week is, and that's all I've been able to think about. I'm exhausted. And I don't feel like being exhausted because your husband is about to take the Bar is in the realm of acceptable human experiences for blog posting. But it's also well within my side of the Venn Diagram of reality this week. I'm fragile right now, and nervous, and so proud of E and how hard he's worked, and tired. And it's that kind of sad tired.

Here's lookin' at you, person who asked why I don't post very many pics of myself. This is why. Pale, eyebrows worn off, mascara running down my face, sad-lookin' me. THIS close to tears at any minute. Henry captured it well, no? If my life were any more pathetic this week, I'd be one of the Walkers.

Today would have been one giant FML, if I was the type of person to type or say "FML" without giving second (and third) thought to the F part. You know, because this is the internets and I have to watch what I put on them. Anyway, my WASC report was due today (ended up being 10,000 words and about 22 pages--oh snap!) and I turned in my polished final draft promptly at 11:00 (so I could make a run for the border before my next class started), only to be simultaneously handed a copy of the previous draft full of changes that needed to be made. Which, apparently, hadn't been significant enough for me to receive before the due date. There I stood, all full of the excitement of finishing a project, and those edits just knocked the wind out of me like a punch in the stomach. To make matters worse, I didn't bring any food to work so the fact that I was going to spend my lunch editing and working meant no Taco Bell. The Taco Bell sealed it and I burst promptly into fifteen year old girl's first boyfriend dumps her in the quad on the same day she starts her period-tears.

It worked out--a friend brought me a PB&J and I finished the draft with the new old changes, but the emotional toll had already hit and the rest of the day felt swollen and drunken with that post-cry haze. I'm typically an emotional person, but I'm not proud of the fact that my eyes welled up in my principal's office. But I just saw it as inevitable that by the time I made it back to the privacy of my room, I sat down and let the tears pool on my cheeks like blood into a syringe. I needed the release. I needed to extract all that emotion. I'm reminded of a recent episode of House I watched where he plunged a giant syringe into a girl's chest to pull fluid from her lungs so she could breathe. But I didn't want to be that girl--you know, the one who can't take anything at work and so leaves and cries. Confident women don't do that.

I also knew enough about me and my special brand of crazy to know it wasn't the draft or the frustration that made me spin on my heel and charge toward the protection of my empty classroom. It was the tail-end of several long weeks, the unwinding of the yarns of worry I'd knit together. It was the inevitable revelation that my brave face is a facade to get me through.

I'm scared. I'm not worried that E won't do his best; I'm worried because I want this to work out for him. It's been a string of rejection for him--all on the heels of our near divorce--and the dude needs this for himself. I'm nervous because I can't do it for him, and I want it so badly for him. I'm covetous for that win. Homeboy needs a break.

The stress of crying at work and reshaping myself back into the mold of "respectable educator" weren't bad enough, apparently. I came home and got the third episode of migraine aura this week. I'm seriously just waiting for the real migraine to hit now. Oh, and I've got some serious pre-Crazies. And did I mention that I burned my thumb clean off this morning with an ill-directed reach for my comb that landed square on the ceramic plate of my flat iron?

FML.

I plan to self-medicate tonight with brownies. Don't try to stop me. I'm beyond help.

Friday, February 19, 2010

PDawg: Displaced. Again.

Mom, Luke, and Roo. Hangin' with the extended fam this weekend. (Although this is a pic from Christmas. Sorry. Sue me.)

I kicked myself out of my house this weekend. E's batch'n it as we speak, cramming the last few drops of Constitutional Law into his overwhelmed neurons. Or something.

I'm at my mom and dad's which is actually only about five blocks from my house, but it feels like I went away for the weekend. Anything that requires packing counts for being away, no? I spent as much of tonight as possible at Chick Fil A with Lis and her monkeys, and then in the aisles of TJ Maxx--but dragging two complainy kids through aisles of discounted designer jeans is just not as much of a rainbow and sunshine-fest as you'd think. Hard to look for bargains when you have to deal with twenty five "I have to go to the bathroom"-s per minute. And then they wanted a drink. Does the cycle never end?

Upside of shopping: I am hopelessly in love with all things baby again--whoa there sport... not for me--because my lovely SIL, April, is expecting this September. So I actually got to look at all of those things in the baby section that I don't let myself look at anymore for fear of setting off a hormone chain reaction and initiating a launch sequence of baby-wanting that I'm incapable of halting. Anyhoo, I got to LOOK tonight, and they had the cutest Boppy with little pale zoo animals all over it. SIGH. Don't know about Boppys? Allow me to enlighten you.


This is a terrible picture and it looks like some kind of plush toilet seat but I promise it's not--a toilet seat. Yeah.

A Boppy is not, as I would have thought pre-kid, related to the 1980's teen magazine, Bop, from whence my equally treasured tear-out posters of Uncle Jesse and Milli Vanilli came. Have mercy. It's just this roundish 3/4 donut pillow that you put on your lap so you can balance the kid and properly place them on the... well... um... milk delivery device. HA. Bet you never called your girls that. It helps keep everyone more comfy while nursing and saves your back and your c-section scar if you have one. Anyway, I got April a cute one tonight. The Boppy was one of those things I was like "boy, that looks dumb" about before I had a newborn, and then I was literally attached to it at the hip. (I should mention, they make a million versions under various different names. They're probably all the same.) By Hank, we had two so I didn't have to move it from room to room. Lazy, I know. Also, Ad's got kind of worn out and disgusting. But we kept it. Probably too lazy to throw it away. (And then I'd have had to carry a baby and a pillow from room to room. Too much.)

Oh, and the Bops are good for propping up your kid in front of the TV if you're a video game-playing husband who's staying up so your wife can please just get two damn hours of sleep because she is a little hormonally unstable and a little crazy and has had quite enough of being a dairy cow and what the heck happened to her body, it used to be so cute and stop looking at me like that, I'm not nuts, I just want to get some freaking sleep, you did this to me and I just wish you could understand that I don't feel like MYSELF RIGHT NOW. Yep, good for Daddy video game time and good for propping up a kid while they take a bottle so mommy can put in her earplugs and sleep.

Have I ever mentioned that before? Another of the things that I'd suggest to any new mom is a pair of earplugs. I was incapable of sleeping at all if I could hear my babies fuss (I'm talking when they were new new new and fresh outta the hospital) so the only way I'd get any sleep at all--even if E had them and was helping me tag team the feedings--was to earplug myself. Then I could sleep like the dead. For all of 45 minutes or whatever until I woke up sore and in two cold little puddles... but that's a topic for another post. The human body is an amazing thing.

So I'm at Mom and Dad's right now and they're not home yet. It's cold because they live in a big house. It's the same at E's folks'. I'm used to our little house that heats well. I think I'm sleeping in between the kids in the guest bed tonight though, so not only will I be warm, but I'll be well-pounded by elbows and feet by the time I get up tomorrow. So... yeah. That's what's going on. And I think I'm getting sick. And E takes the Bar in 4 days. So I really don't want him to come near me. Only I do. And I have the final WASC report due on Monday. Basically my entire life can resume on Thursday. How do you say? Zis next week, she is going to suck.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Welp.

Here I sit, unable to blog about Survivor (my super-secret Thursday night plan) because I failed to set the Tivo to record it. I was doing the yogas with Tony Horton while Survivor was on and I didn't think twice about checking to see if it recorded. What I got was two rooms of Project Runway and no rooms of Survivor. To a TV-enthusiast and a Survivor-obsessed crazy head like myself, this is a great tragedy. I'm so sad. No Liz Lemon, no Community, no Survivor. Lame. Somebody better make this night better. I'm looking at you, Real Housewives of OC.

Anyway, Aunt Cath and Uncle Tom--I tried. Next week, hopefully.

I'm exhausted. This week my life has been everyone else's, not mine. I've been running all week, and I'm just done. I want to sit in a quiet room with the lights off for about three days. I'm just overloaded. Every lunch, free minute, evening, and morning has been spent doing something for or with other people. Gotta love 'em, but this introvert needs to crawl back into her alcove in Cargo Bay 2 and regnerate.

Yoga felt great tonight but now I'm sitting here tightening up. Not in a good way. In a rigor mortis kind of old-lady, osteoporosis, curved-spine kinda way.

So E's taking the Bar exam in less than a week, and we're ten shades of crazy over here. We've been fighting like cats and crazy dogs... I'm having a hard time separating my emotions from the fact that I know he needs to be left alone; he's having a hard time paying attention to anything that's not in his Bar Bri book. Guess what? Apparently I'm not in his Bar Bri book. We're both just not great people right now. I feel really strange this week. I can't even imagine where he is, mentally. So basically you might want to think two good thoughts for us this week: #1, that we make it to Tuesday without any extreme demonstrations of embarrassing discord in our marriage, and #2, that the E man is able to bring it this time he takes the Bar. Thanks.


I'm showing Romeo + Juliet this week. You know, the weird Baz Luhrmann one. I totally don't like Baz or his whizzing camera work and flashy lights. Just sayin'. But I do like little teenagey cute Leo, and there's no awkward boob/butt action that I have to fast forward through like the Zeffirelli version. I think this is the closest thing to a cool video I've been able to show kids in my teaching career so far. Well, except for that one time I showed episodes of So You Think You Can Dance to my jazz classes.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

P90X update

Quick post tonight, since I have a family birthday to attend and we're out of TP. (What I mean by that is I will have to shop after the birthday party. What did you think I meant??)

I thought I'd give you an update on my P90X status. Not that you were asking.

Days since I started P90X: 17

# of workouts completed: 17

Days missed: 1 (doubled up yesterday to make up for missing Monday, so I didn't miss the workout)

Pounds lost: 0-2 (somewhere in there, depending on the day)

Most notable positive changes: slight (I mean, SLIGHT) difference in the firmness of my arms/ shoulders, upper waist seems to be more tight. Slight (again, very) appearance of definition on upper abs. Increased leg muscle definition. Definite difference in stamina, pull-up ability, and upper back/shoulder/chest strength in pushups and yoga maneuvers.

Most frustrating non-change: hangy-skin mama belly and super-awesome muffin top. So far no real changes there, although I guess one could argue I'm less bloaty looking. GROSS! Sorry.

Diet: Hard to follow (fell off the wagon big time this weekend at the in-laws) stage 1, but I'm trying. Hard to get in all that protein and hard to have enough energy with the lower carb phase. Plus I'm president of the Carbs' Fan Club, so it's hard not to indulge like I used to. But I'm trying to stick to it because I don't want to undermine my results. It's easy for breakfast and lunch and snacks away from home. Once I get home, the carbs start to call my name.

My opinion, so far: Even if this doesn't end up doing what it promised to do, I love it. I think it will be a nice compliment to my running. Next month I want to start "doubles", which means adding cardio in on the lifting days. I like the videos, even if I turn Tony Horton off most of the time. I don't need to listen to most of his BS, but it's a good workout and he seems like a good guy. Kind of amazing that a set of videos can hold my attention, but the rotation keeps it interesting.

No matter what, doing this consistently is going to have a positive effect on my body. I'm sticking with it. 17 days down, 73 to go.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

To ML

Takin' it way back to 1997, high school buddy. :)

ML, you're a treasure. You're everything about having a friend that is good.

"A friend is one to whom you can pour out the contents of your heart, chaff and
grain alike. Knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what
is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away
."
~Anonymous

With you I'm thirteen again, but also thirty. I'm so lucky to have you still in my life. Your kindness is so unique. I trust you without a doubt. I respect your opinion so much. You're always supportive, never cruel. I admire you so much for how you face life and accept whatever God gives you, your head held high and a smile on your face even though I know you've faced more than your share of challenges. You're such a good person to have on my side. Such a proven friend and a blessing.

Thanks for a great dinner out last night. I hope you know how much you mean to me and how much I hope you're always in my life.

Modern day ML on my bulletin board at work, with the B man and C man.
(I think I need a new picture, since C is almost 4!)

There's nothing like a good dinner at Paesano's. Love you lots, friend!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Your questions

My Formspring experiment was a success! I have so many good questions to answer. Thanks to everybody who sent me one. I think I'm going to use them and answer them here, but you can continue to ask anything you want to know and/or want me to write about. Here is the first batch.

I think this is kind of neato. Very cool to get anonymous questions--it's like the first day of school when some teachers would let us ask anything we wanted on a little slip of paper. I loved that day when I was a student. It was a peek into the mystery that was a teacher's life. Ha.

1) If you could create a new Olympic sport, what would it be? Winter or summer.

Oh, lawd. Whoever asked this question must not know that I am so un-sporty, it's amazing. I'm not a good spectator of sports or player of sports. I kind of hate most of them because I get so BORED watching them. There are bits of things I find interesting, but I will tell you that even though I sat and watched five or six hours of Olympic goodness yesterday, that had much more to do with my love of my in-laws and my trepidation about changing the channel at someone else's house than my patriotism or enthusiasm for sports. You'd think that a love of sports would somehow transfer over from my admiration of the physical discipline of dance or my new found love of running... Yeah, you'd think that, but it wouldn't be true.

So my answer would be... I don't know. Because I'm not even sporty enough to think of a good answer.

2) How did you hold up getting through Valentine's Day? Was it a happy day or a conflicted day full of emotions?

V-day passed in a pretty uneventful way. After all my talk about what it meant or not, it ended up being completely ordinary. I didn't even see E except for a few hours at breakfast, and the breakfast was for his dad's belated birthday, not for anything related to Valentines' Day. I missed E but not with any more intensity than any other time when he's been studying and I've been away or vice versa. In fact, I think I was a little more relaxed. I hope that's what came through in my V-day post. I'm not so worried about him having to "prove" something on that day to me or anyone else. He sent me and the kids a text that night that said he missed us and loved us and it made my month. I know he meant it, and I know he's doing what he's doing right now (studying for the Bar again) because he wants something secure and amazing for our family.

One thing about Sunday that was on my mind was that I am blessed that I have such an amazing support system, and I'm blessed that even with all of the trials and difficulty that E and I put our families through a year or so ago, there's not one change in how much they're willing to do for us or how much they continue to show us how much we're loved. His parents were gracious hosts this weekend, but when I'm there it doesn't even feel like I'm away from home. It's just comfy and I feel so loved there. I spent most of Sunday just feeling lucky I had great kids, a great husband who was working hard at home, and great in-laws who make me feel so at home.

3) What is the hardest thing about being in a relationship? And what are things you can do to try to ease this challenge?

I can only speak for me and E. Based on our experience, I think the hardest thing in a relationship is communication. In our experience, it's how we say things to each other that ends up being difficult. I can be yelling--yes, shocking I know--through tears at him about one thing, but it's really another thing that's on my heart. He can be ignoring me, but it might be because he's feeling frustrated about something he has a hard time saying. I know I'm a broken record with the Retrouvaille thing, but it really helped us to figure out how to talk to each other. We've been talking to each other for over half our lives, but there were some pretty big dysfunctions built in. It gets hard to break patterns and habits, particularly when they've been around since the beginning of your relationship.

For a long, long time, we both believed that if we just got our relationship to the place where we didn't fight, yell, ignore, grump--if we could just keep things calm--then we'd be able to be okay. The thing is that we're both complicated people with opinions, emotions, fears and frustrations. We are always going to fight, and it's silly to pretend otherwise or to assume that if we fight, it's over. We're never going to completely keep the peace. But knowing how to communicate our true feelings in healthy ways has been such a blessing. I know that sounds like a lot of hippy dippy BS, but when we set about the process of repairing our broken marriage, we followed some very specific steps as far as how we could start to communicate again. The biggest challenge for me is to communicate my feelings without blame or judgement, and to really listen without making assumptions. I'd venture to say it's the same for E. I think it's what we all want in any relationship--to speak and be heard, and to listen and understand.

Things you can do to try to ease this challenge? Remove distraction when you're talking about something important. Stop the cycle and do something different than what you've always done. Don't leave. For us it helps to write down what we're feeling separately and then switch, read, and discuss. That's from Retrouvaille. As far as the specifics of what we do, the "dialogues", I can't really describe them easily. But if you're interested (or if you think your marriage needs help), check out http://www.retrouvaille.com/. It taught us to be better humans, not just better partners in our marriage.

4) What do you like about blogging?

I like so many things about blogging that it's hard to enumerate them here. I like that for a toe-curlingly nervous person like me who shakes at the thought of too many people looking at her at once, it provides a forum for me to express all of the things that are spinning around in my head all the time. I love that I've met so many people who I never would have otherwise. I love that people connect with small bits of what I say and email me to say that they've been through the same things. I love getting comments. I love that a lot of people in my family know about what's going on in our life and family when I might not think to bring up certain subjects. I love that it's brought me closer to my parents, who both read it all the time. I love that I've managed to keep it honest and realistic without crossing my personal line of what's acceptable to share. I love that I'm documenting our daily life and all the reasons I love my family. I love that it helps E understand me better.

5) Do you stretch for your runs, dance, etc.? before? after?

Eep. Stretching. I think people think that since I was a ballet dancer and a dance teacher that I'm a stretch goddess. I'm so not! I was never naturally flexible, and every bit of flexibility I've ever had, I had to really work for. I don't really like to stretch and I don't do it as often as I should, unless I'm teaching. I like it when I'm dancing because it makes my body feel better, but when I'm out of the studio I don't really think of it. When I'm dancing I do stretch before class--a set of stretches I've created over time that I know will wake up my legs and back and open my hips. Basically I stretch then just to get the joints moving (I do a lot of hip circles and hip stretches since I have tight hips) but not that much to increase my flexibility until I'm already warm.

I'm not a great stretcher when it comes to running. I don't like to stretch cold so I usually don't hit my first stretch until the first stoplight, which tends to be about a mile in. Then it's usually calves and hamstrings, and I keep going. I should stretch when I get back, but I usually don't. Maybe a quick butterfly or hamstring stretch, but then I get in the shower. Sometimes I lean on the shower wall and press my heels down alternately, but I'm no model of post-run stretching. If you're looking to increase flexibility I recommend a little bit of loose movement to get your blood flowing first, then stretches. After exercise is the best if you want to be really loose and not worry about injuring yourself. But again, I'm kind of lazy when it comes to this. I know how and when to push myself but that doesn't always mean I do.

6) What is your favorite memory of E, Addie, and Hank (individually or together)?

Ooh, this is a toughie. They are so cute and so much fun that I have a hard time narrowing it down. I'd say the best, hands down, was each of their respective births. Well I mean the kids, not E. Wasn't there for that. Specifically the kids' first cries were amazing, emotionally charged moments for me. I can remember holding my breath waiting for that cry that signaled everything was okay. You can read the story of Henry's birth here and Addie's birth here.

Other favorite memories of the kids: Baby Addie at her first trip to Disneyland, riding around with her feet up on the tray of her stroller, sucking on a giant dill pickle from the fruit stand outside the Jungle Cruise. Henry's "drooly poolies" and constant wet t-shirt from the time he was born until he was about two. Snuggling both of them in my bed when they were teeny little infants. Nursing. Rolling Henry into a tight burrito. Addie's first day of Kindergarten. Staying up all night the night before her first birthday to make a scrapbook and crying because I couldn't stand the idea of her being one already. Henry pointing at everything and exclaiming "mm! mmm! mmm!" because he didn't want to talk yet. Addie learning making animal noises. Too many to count.

With E? Kind of the same deal. Winter Homecoming was a pretty good night--trying to slow dance without touching too much because we were nervous. Driving his parents' van back home from SLO the weekend we got engaged. Scuba diving in Maui together. Watching Rome together in perfect HBO-inspired silence. Buying our first TV together at Wal Mart at 2:00 AM because we were bored. Donkey Kong on the Nintendo 64. Fish and chips. Hospitals. Churches. Grandma's backyard. Reading in bookstores. Donuts that say I heart U.

7) What was the most hurtful thing about your separation from gluten free e?

What a complicated question--but good. I guess it depends on how I take your meaning. The most hurtful thing I dealt with on a daily basis was living in a house, alone. I didn't know how to do anything without my other half, and I was lonely. That hurt. I missed having someone to tease and try out my jokes on. I was bored. I was tired. I missed co-parenting. I was terrified at night. The most hurtful conversation I've ever had to sit through was E telling the kids that we were not going to live in the same house or be married anymore. Awful. Gut-wrenching. Heartbreaking.

The most hurtful thing between the two of us was dealing with the idea that I wasn't enough for someone, that I wasn't worth holding on to. I had a lot of shame relating to what I felt was a failure on my part to keep our marriage together, or to do my part to do that. Once we were separated, it was hurtful to have this person who I'd grown accustomed to sharing every part of my life with suddenly not there. I missed knowing what he was doing or being able to tell him about my day or cook for him. Once he moved out, it was hurtful to know that he was moving on, and that he was free of a connection to me. It hurt me to think about him going out, meeting people, looking. You get it. It all hurt.

The entire thing was hard, but it allowed us to get to the place where we could fix what was wrong between us. Did it suck? Yeah. Was it worth it? I wouldn't say it works like that, but things ended up the way that they were supposed to.

8) Why do you post so few pictures of yourself?

Mostly because I'm always the one taking pictures around here! I don't have many of myself because I'm usually behind the camera. In addition to that, I'm self-conscious. I know better than to take a picture of myself right after I've worked out or at the end of the night when I have brillow pad hair, because that's when I'm usually blogging. I'll try to post more, if the opportunity arises. Sorry you've been missing out on so much of me in my sweats. Most times when I'm blogging I try to take pictures of what I see from my perspective, like this pic of the mountains above Hwy 50 I may or may not have taken while driving this weekend.


9) What is your ideal job?

Stay at home mom.

Thanks for the questions! If you want to know anything else or you want me to write about something, ask away. Click here to go to my formspring page and ask me anything anonymously.

Peace out.

Oh geez!

This was a busy weekend of living life rather than writing about it. I was up at the in-laws for most of the weekend (love them so so so much!), mostly just taking it easy and watching lots of the Olympics... today E and I had a short little bike ride and lunch at Red Robin. Basically I've been off the healthy food all weekend. Tonight I had dinner with ML--I'm so full of things I could write about right now, I could burst.

Keeping it real: In addition to the indulgences of food this weekend: french toast, pancakes, mashed potatoes and ham, chocolate chip cookies, hamburgers, pizza--which is a hard list to read--I didn't do my P90X today. I don't have a good reason. I have high hopes to double up tomorrow and do two days' worth. We'll see. I'm two weeks in and this is my first oops. Hopefully I can get back on track.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ask me anything.

Enough of that serious stuff. (Well, unless that is where you want it to go!)

Something new...

I have a Formspring page. Basically it's a blank box where you can ask me anything anonymously. Check it out. If I get some good Q's, I'll give you my honest A's. :) Come on, ask me anything.

You can click here or you can enter something in the box below.





That's some bangin' hair.

So, apropos of nothing... I had the weirdest dream on Wednesday night:

I was me, now, but I was scurrying through the streets of Disneyland trying to make it to the parade start so I could meet up with our school band (not that I've ever been in a band). I had my arms full with a heavy blue polyester band uniform, and I eventually tracked down my administrators and some band parents, who were waiting at the start. Once I found them, I found out I was late for the parade. We started to track up a busy main street through a heavy crowd (along the ice cream parlor side, for you fellow Disney nerds). I made my way up to the front of the street, where I found Jonathan Anton waiting for me in a salon (right about where Walt's apartment is above the fire station). Jonathan was going to make me over, and he started with injecting my gums and bleaching my teeth. Total grossness for a dream. I hate tooth dreams. Anyway, right before he was about to color my hair, I woke up. The end.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The day has no power.

I emailed that sentence to myself today so I'd remember to roll it around in my brain like a marble. The day has no power. No holiday, anniversary, date, time or birthday has any meaning other than what we assign to it. I know, how existential. That idea repeats in so much of what I see this week, a refrain in my universe begging dissection:
Valentines' Day looms, cloying and large for high school students unsure about what it means in their hormone-drunk lives.

Bloggers wax poetic about their significant others and daydream about heart-themed Etsy crafts.

A friend tweets about her first solo V-day after a courageous choice to move
forward with independence to find herself.

A mother who lost a son talks about how she managed to keep moving past each date once her son's life abruptly came to a halt.

A year passes since E and I separate, visit Retrouvaille, renew vows; we march steadily toward the 10 year anniversary of our original wedding.
It's on my mind. How much meaning does a day hold? Is it a symbol, meant to be decoded, or just a numeric oddity to be spectated as it skims by, a ship on the horizon? How much meaning is there in the repetition and celebration of our greatest pains and triumphs, and the inevitable passing of dates that we don't even control?

I can tell you the date of our engagement. I can tell you the date we moved into our first house. I can tell you the date of my miscarriage. I can tell you the date of the day we conceived that baby. I can tell you my birth date and those of my children. I can tell you the date Addie learned to read silently. I can tell you the dates of some of my greatest regrets, transgressions, successes, and milestones. But what does any of that mean?

A little over a year ago as I stared down an unknown future of single parenting, the dates scared me: holidays, birthdays, anniversaries to be spent alone. When I was pregnant with Hank and Roo, the date (in weeks) of my previous miscarriage scared me so badly that I wanted to pass it--that would mean conquering fate. Is that logical? Not at all. But was it prominent in my mind? With a pinpoint of terrifying certainty. I almost feel the inverse as we pass the ugly milestones of our separation. The anniversary of something doesn't hold any promise of it happening again, but we often fear the date, or feel guilt for the gap between memory and reality. I have family members that fear the age that their parents were when they died--anything beyond is borrowed time. Why do we do that?

Of course I know, to some degree. Birthdays, anniversaries, milestones--those are all little presents, little bits of glee that we anticipate with joy. Their impending nature means that we live life as a series of connect-the-dots, threading the doldrums of daily life together with hope for what's to come. This approach means that to the one who's missing a significant other, a family member who has passed on, financial stability, lost feelings, there's an inevitable comparison and a painful stab to the ego. It's the dark side of the coin: dates, a two-faced Janus--beginnings and endings together, wadded into a clumsy rubber band ball. Accepting joyous memories of fleeting bliss is also accepting the idea that the bliss might be gone by the next year.

This has been on my mind as I think about what I want our Valentines' Day to look like. It feels sophomoric to hope for a special Valentines' Day this year. That's not meant to be critical. I mean for myself, it is. Do I want to know E loves me? Sure. On Valentines' Day? *Shrug.* Sure, but on Thursday, or Tuesday, or while I'm sleeping, or cooking dinner while he tinkers in the garage... any time, any place. It's not linked to the day anymore. For me, real love, pain, joy--it's in the moment. It's in the work. It's in the fights and the days where nothing happens or the worst happens. It's in the ordinary.

I feel the same about our nebulous anniversaries. It's good we got married ten years ago, but the date is no finish line; it's just a road sign passed with regularity so we can casually remark, "cool" to each other. Does that seem distant? Emotionless? It's not intended to be. I love E with more depth and I've simultaneously loosened my grasp on externally defined dates. I'm at a place where I can accept that on any given day, E might not feel love for me. Our commitment since a year ago is to choose to love each other, in spite of how we sometimes feel.

Phew. That's kind of a mouthful. Or a handful, since I'm typing.

I'm definitely influenced by whatever I'm teaching in class. Can you tell I've been teaching existentialism? I had a conversation recently with my students about the human expectation of emotion--grief, mourning, celebration, etc--that comes along when we watch others from afar. We criticize others for not outwardly displaying emotions we deem important on holidays, dates, occasions when we believe they should feel something, or for not moving on with the speed or appropriateness we define from the outside. It's simultaneously intriguing, unavoidable, and frustrating. Do we assign meaning to a date or just let it pass? Valentines' Day feels like a requirement for the world, not me and E.

Oh I really hope I don't come off like an embittered old hag here.

What do you think? Am I off? Have you had to live an anniversary that hurt? Have you felt like you "should" feel something just because the world expected it? I'm curious.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine Facebook Meme

E and H, on their way home from senior Grad Night at Disneyland. 1997.


Why? Because I can't say anything in 120 characters or less.

I know you've had enough of the Facebook status meme, bra colors, celebrity look-alikes, et al... but I thought I'd make a complete 180 from last week's Facebook rant and use a status idea for a post idea. Because... well just because.

I like telling our story because it's not straightforward. Yes, we were high school sweethearts. We have a cute little story about how we met when we were kids, but it doesn't end there. If you've read this blog for any amount of time you know about how much work and trouble we've had in our relationship. Because it's a REAL relationship. No, I don't go around telling my students that it's a good idea to marry the person you're dating in high school. It worked for us, but it's been WORK. To be truthful, sometimes it's been awful. We've had our share of crappy. We got married young so we had to grow up together and there's so much friction that comes with that. But we belong together, and the story about how we met is still a good story.

E and I will have been married ten years this April. Of course, not ten years straight through with no problems or separation. I've written about our separation plenty of times, and my struggle to decide what our anniversary means in light of that separation. But E's encouraging me to move forward and celebrate those ten years, speed bumps and all. I realize we can't claim that anniversary the same way other people can who've managed to hold together without the break in commitment, but it's still a big deal. We still celebrate our vow renewal from last year as another milestone in our relationship--a different, more mature and knowing commitment ceremony--so basically there's just a lot to be happy about. But as far as our history: we've known each other since we were fifteen--going on sixteen years now, and we've been dating/together basically since December of 1995. E has now been in my life longer than he was not.

So how did we meet? Welp, it all started in the tenth grade. He was the pale, skinny kid who sat in front of me in Biology all year and in World History for half the semester. Of course overcoming both of our crippling fears of the opposite sex took us the entire year. I stared at him from afar, and by a lucky arrangement in Biology involving rotating rows, I got to sit behind him for about five out of every six weeks. He was lab partner to our friend Mike, and I had been relegated to lab partnership with this snooty girl (well, she was nice to me, but E thought she was snooty because she had a lot of money). I was a total opportunist when it came to in-class partnerships, suppressing my own personality just to be accepted by whoever looked the least weird. She fit the bill, so she was my partner.

I'd try to be clever for E, he would try to get me to laugh; it was a good arrangement. One day he told me he could do the middle splits and I called BS on that. We made a bet, I lost. He busted out middle splits right there in the middle of the science room. His years and years of karate had given him abnormally flexible hip joints. But even though his humor and quickness to turn beet red at the slightest embarrassment captivated me, I was too afraid to make any overt attempts to get him to notice me. I was a nerd--a shy one at that--and I'd never had a "real" boyfriend yet. Little did I know he was equal to me in nerdiness and shyness. I heard his name all the time (of course no one could pronounce his last name, so a lot of it was like what's that guy E's last name? How do you say it? but word on the street was that he was cute.)

Cut to the next fall, junior year when my friend for life, ML, and I had the amazing fortune to have a week as camp counselors for sixth graders in our school district. We got to miss an entire week of school and hang out in a cabin supervising children. No adults, just me and ML. It is one of my favorite memories, ever. ML and I would sit up late eating the junk food we'd smuggled in, discussing life in a way that I'm sure I've never rivaled in level of detail. Of course the conversation inevitably turned to who I liked, and I admitted with trepidation that I liked that guy E who had been in my Biology and History classes. I mentioned this with the added caveat that I hoped she wouldn't say anything to anyone.

Added: Of course I wanted him to know. Of course ML and I hatched a plan to find out how he felt, and even though my nervousness overcame me, we did the thing where we made sure he knew that I was interested just so the water could be tested.

A week later, our friend Mike knew, and about a day later, E knew. To my extreme glee and nervousness, he felt the same. He asked me to go to the mall and a series of movie dates over the course of the next few weeks. And on one fateful day about a week or two after he found out I liked him, as I stood in my grey Mickey Mouse sweatshirt and frizzy, ponytailed hair outside the C-Wing, he asked me if I'd go with him to Winter Homecoming. Huge deal. We went, he was a perfect gentleman, and the rest is history.

Complex, arduous, but beautiful history. :)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Oh, Augie.


"Augie, where's Jake?"

"He's dead. He was riding his horse and he fell off a cliff." *sniff, sniff, sob*


Where better to watch AMC's 25th anniversary showing of Silverado than a Chinese spa? Of course that dialogue's completely made up, because I've never really watched Silverado (save for 45 minutes the other night) and I don't know Augie or Jake, but I shared some contemplative moments with them from the comfort of one smooth black massage chair at the Chinese reflexology massage place. The glowing screen of a Vizio existed in such dichotomy to the quiet spa music, the trickling fountain, and the dim lights. That Vizio, a proud juxtaposition of East against West, was funny only to me. I went there for a beatin' and I had to wait a while; Augie and Vizio were my spirit guides.

There's this little shop in town across from Wal Mart where you can get a massage for pretty cheap--don't worry, everything is on the up and up but nobody there speaks English very well (I could care less) which is, I believe, the reason the prices are so low. I was drawn in last summer by the promise of a $20 foot massage. The foot massage really turned out to be a face/neck/ arm massage, followed by scalding water and what I can best describe as the process known to a well-pounded chicken cutlet, followed by a (clothes-on) full body beating in one of those weird massage chairs--where your face goes in a leather doughnut and you hang, hunched over like a brown bear hunting for salmon.

Good times. Good times.

After my first week of slow torture at the hands of Tony Horton, I knew I needed a massage. Not only am I to massage as Brittney Spears is to Cheetos, I was really jonesin' because I'd worked my muscles so hard all week. When I was dancing full time I, all I'd have to do was push my feet in the general direction of E and he'd commence with the major eye-rolling and whining because he knew the request that was coming. E's great at foot rubs, but he makes a lousy partner in this regard. He's too ticklish for me to return the favor--nary a back rub or a foot rub from me will be had at this house because if I even give thought to touching him, it will send him shrieking into the next room like a 12 year old girl who saw a spider. (Sorry, honey.) So there's really no asking someone like that because if there's no promise of even steven, there's no reason for one nice person to keep pounding away at the feet of the demanding, harpie, she-wolf wife. I mean, not on a regular basis. Not when the addiction is this strong.

So every once in a while E will size me up and decide that a good massage is worth the monetary loss because I'll leave him alone for a while. Saturday night was such an occasion. I dropped by the reflexology place, knowing that it would hurt but hoping that it would provide some relief to my aching muscles. I love a place that will take you in first thing, but then sit you in front of AMC for 45 minutes while you wait. You know, it could have been worse, and to be honest if I was at home I'd just be sitting on a couch watching a glowing TV anyway.

I hate to sound annoyed, because I wasn't. I figured that the money I was saving by being in this cheaper establishment was worth the wait. That gave me more time to contemplate/prepare for my beating, anyway. I sat there and gave myself (and Augie) a little mental pep talk. In truth, the anticipation of the beat down was worse than the reality this time. Last time I went, I had the owner--a man--and this time I had a soft spoken woman named Anna. Anna didn't have it in for me quite as bad as the guy did.


Of course it hurt, but I tried not to be a baby. The soles of my feet are tough as heck from dancing and walking everywhere barefoot from about April to September. The one that gets me is the slapping and the punching (yes, I'm serious) of the calf muscles at the end of the foot massage. Lordy. Those things were sore, and they were scared as they felt Anna's nimble wrists go out for the ol' one-two. Got through it though. It was like labor. Or so I hear. I sat there and wondered with each poke which internal organ was being called to attention. Is this the part where you connect to my spleen? Is that supposed to make my gallbladder relax?

Every time I get a massage I also wonder about how choreographed the movement is. Each job I've held from coffee girl to waitress to smoothie schlepper has held a choreographed set of moves that I try to navigate with grace, efficiency, and a natural flow. I can't help but wonder as I'm being massaged--whether it's legs or back or face, anything--if the movements are ingrained, if they're a rote dance performed each day by the massage therapist no matter what shape, size, or hairiness the person is beneath her palms. These are the things I think about when I'm getting a massage. No empty mind for me.

A series of complicated maneuvers followed that involved Anna's elbow working into my shoulder muscles like a railroad spike, and all I could think each time that she crossed over my left shoulder was I wonder if she feels my scoliosis. I wonder if she knows this side of me is wrong, and almost always in pain. If Anna made any discoveries about my anatomy, she kept them to herself. Thank God. I didn't need another awkward conversation like the day in junior high we all had to pile into the showers one by one and stand in our bras to be analyzed for crookedness. Yes, I'm crooked. I've managed to lead a very normal life. Thanks for being a lamb about it, Anna. But could you maybe not drive your elbow through my back and out my shoulder? Maybe? Aw, never mind.Do your thing.

Anyway. Anna didn't try to make small talk or any talk--which I hate--and didn't require my consciousness at any point during the foot/shoulder/back massage, which made for a pleasant, mildly painful beating. I left feeling like I'd been asleep for two hours, and at the same time like I'd been the mortar to the pestle that was Anna's ulna. It was an interesting combination of relaxation and pain.

I'm glad Kevin Costner was there to share it with me.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Day off.

Not much to say tonight. I was a bit of a hermit this weekend and pretty much just withdrew into my home. It's totally become my happy place and this year I've really changed--I don't feel guilty at all for wanting to be all about home, family, cooking, and rest.


E and I discussed our mountains and mountains of debt tonight, who we're paying off first. That makes us sound like we have to pay off our bookies or something, but really it's just people who were helping us get through.

Monkey bath time. Yes, they do get washed every once in a blue moon.


Miss Roodle. My hands still smell like coconut from washing her hair with monkey shampoo. :) It has been a great little lazy day.

Things I'm musing about/ working on:

New Unsolicited Advice, a day late and a dollar short
My trip to the Chinese Reflexology Massage Place, where I got beat on for an hour
Several of our latest fights (yes, working on the fights and the posts about the fights--err--discussions)
Eating well/ being cranky

Have a peaceful Monday night!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Week 1 in review

One week down.

It felt good to check off that 7th X on my spreadsheet.

Here's a little end-of-the-week update for ya. Week 1 of P90X is in the bag. Not that I'm committing to 90 days yet, but if I were, I would be one week closer to my 13 week goal. I think it sounds much more manageable when you speak of it in weeks, rather than days. But it isn't called P13X. Not that I'm committing to anything. Yet. You know.

Yesterday was by far the toughest day for me. It was Kenpo X, one of the cardio workouts. I think a variety of factors contributed to my demise at the hands of Tony Horton. I was ruined by the time I finished. The first factor is undoubtedly my girlie punch skills and wet noodle arms. It's been a long time since I've been in weekly ballet classes, and my arms/back are just not strong anymore. I think my body's accustomed to daily kid-lifting, and the newness of that wore off long ago. Yesterday was a lot of punch, punch, punch, barf. It was so hard for me. I was feeling it in my back within hours and I was a BEAST yesterday for the remainder of the day. I mean, I was just mean. I know 85% of that is hormones, but I was just physically and mentally exhausted by the time I started Kenpo--by the time I finished I was a giant pile of human suck.

Ouch. All of it.

I know from dance that the thing one dreads the most is most always the thing one needs to do more of, so I'm just noting that in my mental file cabinet and moving forward. I'll keep pressing play, but I'm not looking forward to next Saturday, at all. I'm glad that the soreness is in my upper back--that means I was using my body the right way, which I was trying really hard for--but dang, I'm hurting today.

This is day 7, which is a rest or stretch day. I opted to do the Stretch X video, which wasn't as much of a vacation as I was hoping for. I was picturing something like laying on my back in corpse pose for an hour, and it wasn't really that. I know my bod will be glad for the stretching and it will help with the soreness. Ad worked out with me for the second day in a row, taking breaks occasionally to read her Bunny book. Adorable.

At the end of week 1 I feel tired. I feel like I'm doing some good work, but I wish I wasn't quite so worn out. I know that this next week will be easier simply because there's no fear of the unknown for me about the videos--the next two weeks are a repeat of week 1. At least I know what I'm getting each day. I haven't seen any major changes in my body, but I feel like my upper arms/ back are a bit swollen, so that gives the false appearance of a little bulk. It's making me laugh, at least. The same swelling is not really helping me see any weight loss benefits yet. Though I am down from 157 before I started to 154 now, the same shift in my weight is normal for this time of the month. I have a pretty big range in a normal month, anyway.

I found the videos to be easy to follow, and I like that you're encouraged to pause when you need breaks, adjust weight, etc. It was much easier to customize to my fitness level (or lack thereof) than I thought it would be. The Ab Ripper video, which you do 3 times in the first week, was killer. I was able to build up reps of each exercise, and the third time I was actually able to do all 25 of each of the 11 core exercises. Killer, though.

I never cleaned the house yesterday, so there's a big stack of laundry and a big stack of dishes waiting for me right now. Can't wait to get to that! Hope you're having a nice little Sunday.


Saturday, February 06, 2010

Yoga with Henry (video)



Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday Finds

In the spirit of Twitter's Follow Friday, (are you following me yet?) here are some Friday Finds in blog world. I love blogs. I love being able to wake up every day and read a customized "newspaper" of articles, journals, and perspectives that I choose. I am always updating and changing my Google Reader to reflect whatever suits my lil' fancy. I thought I'd share some of the sites with you that I always read first. Here are some oldies plus a few new goodies:

The Liz Army
Liz was a fellow student at my high school and though we weren't close, we had overlapping friend circles. She is quirky, hysterically funny, and so smart. She brings all of this to her blog which details her life and treatment for brain cancer. Though you might have doubts about reading something that seems so heavy, she brings a natural curiosity and sense of humor to her posts that makes them so interesting for me to read. I find myself drawn to her story.

Happy Owl Crafts
This isn't a blog, but it's also by a former high school classmate, Erin. She just opened an Etsy shop full of adorable, Anthropologie-inspired head, hand-crocheted headwraps. She lives in Alaska and she's an awesome Yoga-doing, crocheting, teaching, bohemian mommy. Be sure to check out her new Etsy store.

Sola Fide
I guess I'm on a roll of posting blogs from people I know. Tonja's blog is well-written, honest, and funny... it chronicles her quest to get healthy--and who among us can't identify with that? She just started blogging, but I've been a faithful reader ever since. She's currently doing some kind of uber-healthy cleanse... scary. Work it out, girl.

The Kind Life
Of course this blog is totally not from anyone I know, but it's one of my new loves. Alicia Silverstone (of Clueless fame--as if!) has a blog where she details her crazy healthy life--she's a vegan superhero, but there are enough things there for us omnivores that I find a lot of inspiration too. She was on Oprah the other day and I stumbled upon her blog from there. I like it.

Dispatches from the Island
And while we're on the subject of celebrity blogs, here's Jorge Garcia's--you know, Hurley from Lost?--which I totally enjoy. Jorge seems like a cool guy. His posts are usually short and I just dig them.

The Everyday Food Blog
Yep, by MARTHA. I love the magazine and cookbooks. The blog is just more of the same.

While My Boyfriend Was Sleeping
Heidi, who calls her blog "Lance" because she doesn't like the word blog. One of my faves. A definite "read first" for me. I will link to her even though she's not "Lancing" lately very much since she's writing a book. Well la-ti-dah. Just kidding, Heidi. I still love your Lance.

Travelin' Oma
a book lovin', travelin' grandma + a blog = wonderful. So thoughtful. Such good writing. Such a nice person!

Tracy On the Cheap
Tracy On the AMAZING, you mean. Simple fashion posts on a shoestring. Love it.

Cake Wrecks
Yes, Cake Wrecks. Again. Just in case you weren't paying attention to the rest of the world for the last year. Funny.

Brunch At Saks
Cutie patootie Annemarie, a former student. The one who taught me how to write code for websites. And oh, she's so stylish and polished. Love her blog.

That's a good list to get you going, right? What are some of the blogs you read first every day?


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Stretch, I will.

Oh wait, it's Yoga, not Yoda. Day 4 of working out like a beast: Yoga X. 90 minutes of Yogocity. I am both looking forward to it (because it's not bouncing around or lifting weights) and terrified of it (because it's 90 freaking minutes long). I know that no matter what I'll feel better when it's over. Working out every day is making me feel kind of exhausted. I got almost 9 hours of sleep last night and it was not enough. I have high hopes for some rest tonight after Yoga X. If only I didn't have to make dinner too. (Just as I typed that I realized I didn't put anything out for dinner. Shoot!)

Anyway, I promise not to write about just working out or TV today.

I may or may not have had a hormonally-induced snippy outburst today during the staff meeting at school. Whoopsies. It's not really a good time for me to talk to anybody, if you know what I'm saying. I got my grades done this morning and I'm trying to let the peace of that wash over me like a gentle wave. Unfortunately that peaceful wave is no more than an annoyance to the bulldozer that is my current mood. Did that even make sense? I feel like a Mack truck today, big, loud, and like I'm going to run over anyone who gets in my way. I'd say that's not a good place to be.

We're nearing E's next try at the Bar exam--it's only weeks away--and I'm starting to feel ready to have him back full time. I really hope he passes this time for his sake, but also for all of us so we can be rid of evening obligations and we can eat and relax together as a family. I'm just ready. It's not even that he's been gone that much this week to study, but I know he still has this one more giant obstacle before he can finally relax and put law school behind him. I know that once he gets that done, we can all put that time behind us and keep moving forward.

I'm wearing my new Blowfish flats again today and loving them. If I had to wear only one brand of flats for the rest of my life, that would be it. I love the little round toes. They hide my long, weirdly skinny feet.

I'm so over everything today--over freshmen throwing things at each other, over them asking me 800 times if I want to see/listen to/do this or that, over them asking me if I like whatever thing they're wearing/drawing/singing/doing, over kids who draw on the board every opportunity they get, over seniors who can't take criticism on their essays, over meetings where all we ever talk about it how kids are failing and it's because we're not working hard enough, over kids who clearly don't want any help, over cloudy days, over kids asking me how to spell things when there is a dictionary under their seats, over people posting pictures of hot celebs on facebook (no, she is not your doppelganger!), over making lunches, over cooking dinner, over wearing shoes or makeup, over counting calories, over cleaning up, OVER IT.