Nov. 30th, 2016 03:02 pm
Did a 253 lbs (115 kg) back squat last week, and a 301 lbs (137 kg) deadlift today. That's a 20-pound gain on the squat and a 13-pound gain on the deadlift.

I've felt like such an old lady these past few months. The physical therapy, the 2-month break from skating, the change in seasons making me want to hibernate when I'd otherwise go out, the tension headaches that have been so frequent post-election... I know that I'm quite healthy overall, but it sure feels like it takes a lot more maintenance than it used to.

Being able to throw big weights around is a really, really valuable reminder that I have a lot of power in these ridiculous muscles of mine, and that my body *is* healing and getting stronger. I honestly wasn't sure I'd hit any new PRs in this 10-week cycle, because I had to back off of activity for that long, but I did, and that's great news.

And, perhaps it's also a good reminder that I also ask a lot from my body--especially now that I'm back to a full skating schedule again--and that maybe I shouldn't feel bad when I want to lay around and watch television instead of staying out late. ;)
batskeets: (j)
GUYS GUYS I DID A CHIN-UP TODAY. Like a for-reals, unassisted one. They are generally easier than pull-ups (which I still can't do yet), but I HAVE NEVER DONE A CHIN-UP BEFORE AND I DID ONE TODAY.

Also, I hit 230 lbs. on my back squat. Back in my Fat Years, I topped out around 230 lbs. Also, boyfriend-at-the-time had, unbeknownst to me, started jumping up-and-down upon and generally trying to mess up the scale, because he didn't want me to keep weighing myself and feeling sad afterwards. So, it's possible I was even heavier than that, but I basically stopped looking or caring once I hit 230, until quite a few months months later when I decided to actually, really try and lose some weight.

Still, today I put the equivalent of an entire Me-In-2002 on my shoulders and squatted it. That feels significant.

Pretty damned stoked, I have to admit. :D

SO, I did my first crossfit competition this past Saturday. It was an in-house competition, so just among people at my gym, but it was still fairly intimidating. Only four women signed up, but even among those four, I went in knowing that I wasn't likely to be the best at any one thing. One gal has me beat on raw strength--she can squat over 300 lbs and is a vegan with insanely ripped thighs, which is basically as rare as a unicorn--and although I'd never been in class with the other two ladies, the leaderboard told me they could both run a mile in ~6 1/2 minutes, which I just can't even wrap my brain around. I can run somewhere around a 9 1/2 minute mile, but only on a REALLY good day. And I've always found cardio to be aggressively dull, so it's no big shocker that it's not my forte.

The good news? I didn't die! ;) I spent a fair amount of time remembering how much I dislike running. (short answer: A LOT) And, I also spent a fair amount of time cursing whatever made me think it was a good idea to do the Thursday workout, because it left me with sore arms on the morning of the competition. Apparently, the amount of rest my body needs before a crossfit competition is more than the amount it needs before a derby bout, oooooops. XD

Anyhoo, here's all the terrifying/awesome stuff they made us do:

Event 1: 30 calories on the Airdyne bike for time (47 sec)

Event 2: Clean ladder, 25 sec at each station, increasing weights from 73 lbs to 133 lbs or failure (133 lbs + 8 front squats)

Event 3: AMRAP in 10 min (7 rounds + 5 reps):
--5 push jerks (65 lbs)
--10 deadlifts (65 lbs)
--15 box jumps (20" box)

Event 4 - For time (24:57):
--Run 245m
--50 Lunges per leg
--Run 400m
--50 Wall Balls (14 lbs)
--Run 800m
--50 Kettlebell Swings (35 lbs)
--Run 400m
--50 burpees
--Run 245m

In the end, I came in 2nd overall, which was better than I expected. :) I wouldn't have regretted it even if I'd come in dead last, though, because simply getting through all of this was not something I could've done a year ago. And, it's nice to be reminded that being pretty good at multiple things can still get you decently far, even when you're not-the-best at any one thing. I guess that makes me the Ryu of my gym? Heh.

Also amusing: the men's side of the competition ended in a tie, so they toyed with them a bit on the tiebreaker, making them think there was going to be some absurdly heavy prowler push, but instead, the top two guys had to do an egg carry. As in, put an egg on a spoon and walk around some cones. It was pretty hilarious.

I already knew that my gym has a nice little community built around it, but they take care of their people: I apparently looked so wrung out going into the last 245m run that the head trainer had my judge follow me for the whole 245m and cheer me on until I finished. XD Also, they had beer and cider at the ready and burgers on the grill by the time the competition was over, and oh my god, I'm not sure a burger has ever tasted that good in my life. MEAT FOREVER

Anyhoo, I felt pretty destroyed yesterday, but today I was back at the gym and I'm still incredibly sore, but I have to admit I'm pretty jazzed to get back at it. Derby off-season is coming up, and I won 2 Months of Unlimited Membership thanks to my placing in the competition, so that means more time to throw barbells around and get stronger. ;)

Photo-Making Month (2) - Real Sweat Gets Messy

Photo #2: Real Sweat Gets Messy. Cross-training is something I don't take lightly, especially after injuring my ankle last Fall. I'm usually sweating buckets by the end of a workout. And, unlike every sporting goods advertisement you've ever seen, real sweat isn't perfect little beads on skin, that came from a spray bottle in a light, gentle mist. It leaks out of every pore in a salty, sticky, shirt-soaking slop. Real sweat gets messy, but it brings a little dash of pride along with it.
batskeets: (j)
AND, I’m still a Meatie. I have occasional feels about it, but for the most part, they’re good ones.

I had a rough time in August in all parts of life, and I wasn’t doing my best work on the track by a longshot. I still have on-track communication issues to work on–my feedback is shifting from a mess of random things to a unified message: “Talk more.” I knew these things going into Thursday.

I wound up having a great week last week, on all fronts--well, aside from the not being drafted part, of course. I had a case of the jitters when I got to practice, but somewhere in the middle of my umpteenth footwork drill, it all melted away. I ended up having a pretty great practice, and when that wrapped up, and I geared down feeling calm. I didn’t rush to check my phone, and when I got the Hang-In-There Hug reserved for people who are passed over at draft, I knew I didn’t need to.

After all of the buildup and emotional gymnastics of the month leading up to draft, I headed out of the Hangar feeling strangely free and upbeat, which was weird. Joe was waiting outside, and insisted on hugging me and being all consolatory, but I wasn’t sure how to express that I didn’t really need it. Not in a way that anyone would believed. And hey, hugs are nice.

So, instead of being drafted, I got to scrimmage on Saturday against the Gorge Girls, a new expansion team in our league. They haven’t been skating for as long as I have, and haven’t had the chance to get familiar with strategy, but they did put up some solid defense for being so young in the sport. They were really happy to be scrimmaging against new people, after only playing against each other for months and months, and I could definitely relate to that feeling.

Overall, I have to say I was pretty effin' amazing. Jamming-wise, it was not my hottest day--I blame that on soreness from the Insanity program (more on that in a moment)--but I did decently well. I felt actually-good about the blocking piece of things, though, and that’s the part I’ve had to work harder for. The mental aspect of blocking was a much higher mountain for me to climb than that of jamming. I was in the right places at the right times, cycling up through the pack like a boss, and making solid offensive plays.

And, you know? It's been nice to have occasional bits of affirmation from other skaters, in the wake of draft--hearing that at least one team seriously wants to draft me, having girls from the Gorge team tell me that I did a great job, or that I was a constant thorn in her side when she was jamming.


AND, speaking of Insanity, yeah, I’m doing that workout now. I have just over a week's worth under my belt, and my legs are feeling it. So far, I like it all right--I think it’s going to do good things for my leg muscle endurance, it’s bodyweight-only and doesn’t require any equipment, and I sweat buckets by the end of it.

I’m not exactly a super-fan of the long, static stretch just after the (intense) warmup, since I prefer dynamic stretching at the beginning, and to save the static stretches for the end. And, I do wish there was a bit more strength training involved, especially in terms of focused core/abdominal work–they do work the core muscles through other exercises, but I’m starting to long for crunches and V-ups. Still, I’m going to at least stick it out for Month 1, even if I have to make a couple of adjustments to the schedule to make sure I get enough rest days. This AND derby 4x/week is a pretty tall order.

Anyhoo, YES. Last week was great. I have some great weeks yet to come. I feel it in my bones.

So, my eyes are looking forward. Next up? Ten weeks of butt-kicking for goodness. OH YEAH.
Okay, dudes. It's a new year, and it's time to make some goals happen! I actually did pretty okay at last year's goals, and although they didn't all go exactly as planned--because, really, when do they ever?--progress was definitely made on a lot of them. So, hey, the same format, because it's good to have ideas.

Raise monthly business profits enough to live awesomely on them!
  • Outsource and/or delegate the things that I waste time on or generally suck at. Use time to focus on things that I'm an expert at, or would like to become expert at.
  • Try to capture more design work, not just web-site-only. Logos, packaging, catalogs, illustration?
  • Be more proactive about networking. Meet people whose work I admire, support local creatives with my dollars, start the conversations that will make them want to pay for my expertise!
  • Do at least a couple of test shoots or photo projects that push the boundaries a bit. Use them to make people go, "oooooo!" and give me money to shoot more awesome photos.
  • Benchmark #1: surpass monthly income at old job in Eugene
  • Benchmark #2: surpass monthly income at my last job in PDX
Eat better, sleep better, train harder
  • Go running at least 2x/week, work up to 3-4x/week as the ankle allows; adjust as necessary as derby is added back into the routine.
  • 8 hours a night of sleep. Get to bed early enough to wake with the daylight instead of an alarm. (it worked in CA, so hopefully it can work here)
  • Be a more devoted yogi. At least 1 yoga class a week, hopefully two.
  • Since my old gym closed, find a new gym for myself and Boyfriend. Join it. Go to it regularly.
  • Do anti-inflammatory cleanse diet to help with remaining injury healing and, well, getting rid of holiday handles.
  • Mmmmaybe go gluten-free for an entire month, just to see what happens.
Give more time to friends, family, and good causes
  • Being less absurdly-busy = inviting friends out to do things more often = not being a shitty friend = Happy!
  • Try to work out an extra visit to California, hopefully spring/summer. See family and friends. Bring J along.
  • Help with Alyson's bra drive over the next few weeks.
  • Likely donating web site redesign to Newberg Animal Shelter.
Get drafted to an RCR team
  • Keep NSOing, return to Wreckers in mid-to-late-Jan
  • Do GnR Pre-Meat bootcamps in early-Feb
  • Get back onto Fresh Meat at Feb 11th tryouts
  • Extra scrimmage time w/Wreckers, co-ed derby, and Vancouver league
  • Get MSR cleared, make teams love me, BOOM. DRAFTED. Hopefully May.
Play more games
  • Being less absurdly-busy = more solo time = finishing freaking Dragon Age already = Happy!
  • Adjust my living space in a way that's more friendly towards spending a few hours on a lazy Sunday with my XBox.
  • Get in on a good RPG campaign. I know of a few that are in the pipeline, but man, it's been a while.
  • Have board game nights semi-regularly? I like my friends, and I like playing games with them!
Spend less money on gasoline
  • More bike commuting, because in-town driving makes me sad or makes me want to hit things.
  • Get a smaller and more fuel-efficient car!
Read more, listen more.
  • Being less absurdly-busy = more solo time = finishing more books = Happy!
  • Read a neat article on the internet with breakfast, instead of derping around and/or being rushed in the mornings.
  • Podcasts. They're neat. Maybe take them out running?
And that's, "do-over," as in, "I want one."

This week has basically sucked from start to finish. I started getting sick on Sunday (possibly Saturday night, but it's hard to pinpoint), slept for half the day on Monday because I had a fever, and then shook that off by Tuesday morning, only to go to derby practice and bust my ankle on Tuesday night. The rest of the week has been a parade of snot, sinus pressure, and hobbling around like an old woman.

Today, I've managed to acquire a splitting headache, drop my 50mm lens (it's fine, thank jeebus), and spill water all over my desk. Yep, this week can TOTALLY be over now. XD

On the plus side:
  • My ankle *is* improving, at least, and I'm walking much more easily than I was two days ago
  • I geeked out on paper products and have started building some really cool packaging ideas for my client contracts and deliverables
  • My ghetto Bioware costume for tonight's birthday get-together is going to be hilaaarious
  • We're having J's birthday party at my place tomorrow night, which should be fun and easy because I'm doing basically no planning for it
  • I have a client shoot on Sunday that should be super-fun!
Also, I am determined to get my abs back. I've gradually been getting back into running once a week, and it's going surprisingly well. As soon as my ankle gets in line with that mission, ass-kicking will commence!

I still want to go to sleep, though. Just sayin'.
I now have my Shamrock Run packet in my hot little hands, so there's no bitching out now. I'll be getting myself out of bed far earlier than my usual, and running the 8K. I'm not sure how long it'll take, but I don't care; I'm just in it for the doing of it.

In light of that, it probably wasn't the most brilliant idea ever to stay for Wreckers today, because, uh, that's four hours of skate practice. On the other hand, it might be a good thing, because I could very easily pass out asleep right this second.

Well, at least waking up in the morning won't be much of a challenge. ;)
California beaches are a different animal from the ones we're accustomed to up in the Northwest. I'm sure that sounds like a wildly obvious point to be stating, but hey, it's true.

The family plans for today didn't pan out like we expected, so I headed down to Santa Monica, to skate the beach and snap some photos towards sunset. Sun, sand, ocean, people milling up and down the path, and 19+ miles of bike path ripe for skating? Yeah, I can go for that. No, I didn't skate the whole 19 miles, but it was still a kick in the pants, and I think I may have spied another derby girl skating the path, too. I probably should've just asked, but we were skating in opposite directions. (note to self: get more RCR swag to wear about town)

It was something of an exercise in people-watching, too. In Venice Beach, there are swings, rings, pull-up bars, and people engaging in various forms of physical conditioning on the equipment. Plenty of people on bikes and rollerblades, and people going on afternoon jogs passed by me; there were parkour tricksters in action, and even a guy or two running through Taiji forms. I probably should've just been happy for Taiji Guy, but I couldn't help mentally noting his awful flow and middling stance work. Because I'm a big jerk like that. ;)

The closest parallel I can think of for that phenomenon is, well, the parks in Beijing. It's not exactly a common sight to see so many people clustered together in the same area, doing conditioning on publicly available, outdoor equipment. Or at least, *I'm* not used to seeing it. That was something I saw pretty frequently in Beijing, though: exercising in the parks seemed to be something that practically everyone did, no matter what their age, and you'd see people getting buffed up on outdoor apparatus while cars flew by on the road, maybe 10 or 20 feet away. That continually struck me as unusual, while I was there.

Anyhoo, yes. Things are different here. The beach in Oregon always feels like a place I can go to lose myself, for a bit. It's colder, cloudier, and it's easy to just avoid all human contact, and let the salt air and the sounds of waves crashing on rocks take over. The beach in Santa Monica is very sandy, sunny, and pretty, and you basically *can't* get away from people for more than a precious minute or two. It's no wonder the seagulls seem less people-shy here than they are up North.

On a somewhat-related note, one of many reasons why we wear pads in derby: while I was skating the beach path, I ran into a drift of sand that was deeper than it looked, so I pitched forward and went into a double-knee fall. It was a proper, trained fall, but the impact alone still would've hurt like a bitch, without the pads, and this would've been my knee. Sand + scraping = hamburger flesh.

Christmas Eve-Eve was also amusing in a completely different way, but I'm going to thumb my nose at chronology and save that one for later. But, a sneak preview: My god, it's full of BABIES. They do make the best bacon, after all. ;)
Well, I got busy with photo processing yesterday and forgot to post about last weekend. And I should, because it was pretty great.

Friday night was wushu practice, as always, and I've been working with Master Chen on a new nandao form for the past few weeks. At this point, we have several good pieces, but haven't strung them together into a cohesive whole, yet, and there are parts that definitely don't come naturally to me. But with more practice, this form will be badass, and 100% worthy of advanced competition. I may never make it to Nandu Land, but having a new and personalized form is exciting. Working on this at demo team practice is basically the only thing that's truly motivating me to go to wushu, at the moment.

After practice, I came home and had dinner, took a shower, and then had my bedtime tea and read a fucking book. Being home alone was fantastic. <3

Saturday, I went to Derby practice, and it went pretty well! I realized after practice that I didn't fall down even once, which came as a complete shock to me, so I hope it was due to increased skill, rather than lack of risk-taking. I have felt like less of an uncoordinated slob in general, over the past couple weeks, so I figured maybe the previous weekend's practice wasn't a complete fluke.

But no, the highlight was just after practice, when guest coach Napoleon (who's becoming something of a regular coach; she's been there for several weeks now) told me I looked a lot more comfortable on my skates. (!!!) "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it." D'aaaww! I'd already stopped feeling quite so awful about how I was progressing, but it was SO nice to hear that from her. It's amazing how supportive and encouraging some people are in the derby community, and it's obvious that many of them go out of their way to do that.

After that, I went to IKEA and picked out my new couch, and was fortunate enough to save some dolla' bills by finding the comfy chair I wanted in the As-Is section. Of course, I spent that on some new curtains and throw pillows to go with, but I've needed to get curtains for that room for a while, so it was a legitimate and long-overdue expense.

Then, I had a delicious dinner out, which was, unfortunately, riddled with some disturbingly awkward and uncomfortable moments. But, I got to dance it off with [ profile] katlyn afterwards at Holocene, until we got worn out on the guest DJ's selections. We sat and chatted in one of the side rooms for a bit, until a bouncer suddenly ordered everyone out of the room. It looked like some guy had gotten in a fight/hurt himself on the dance floor, but we didn't find out any specifics. HOORAY DRAMAZ. :p

Sunday was much better and far less dramatic: my new couches were delivered, and hoshit, the living room looks at least ten times more amazing. I'm withholding photos until I have a chance to clean up a bit more, because I'm re-thinking the furniture arrangement and considering painting an accent wall, but I'm excited to finally be doing something respectable with the living room.

Then, I met up with [ profile] _dilate_ at Oaks Park for the Halloween Bazaar. There were some cool classic cars styled up in spooky fashion, incredibly cool steampunk jewelry and accessories that I was tempted to buy, and also some strangely adorable crocheted Cthulhu and Shaun of the Dead dolls.

We had a mid-afternoon nosh at the Muddy Rudder after that, and then I went to Get Fit class at the hangar, and all of us derby girls had our asses thoroughly kicked by the trainer. It's basically an hour of bootcamp/circuit-type training, and I've always done circuit training solo, in the past, so it was quite a bit different. But dude, I worked HARD, and I'm still sore today, and I LOVE IT.

In between, I did a lot of cleaning and tidying around the house, and working on photos. I'm still more behind than I'd like to be on the photos, but I'm getting there. I guess I wound up doing quite a bit over the weekend, after all, but I had the luxury of choice. I wasn't committed to be at a bunch of places at any particular day or time... it was nice to just decide spur-of-the-moment, for once.

Oh, and I completely neglected to mention this last week, but on Thursday night, I went to see the Corin Tucker Band at the Aladdin. It was interesting to hear what she's doing now, outside of the context of Sleater-Kinney; we agreed that she didn't quite seem like herself, early in the set, but she was rocking it out by the end.

Feh, how is it almost lunchtime already? Time needs to slow down.
Question: Where is your favorite place for Indian food in PDX? I have been challenged to come up with a good Indian restaurant by Saturday, and I've only been to one place in town, thus far. I *could* probably find it again if I wanted to, but I don't even remember the name of it, so I figure there has to be something around that'd make more of a positive impression.

In other news, I went to the Scissor Sisters show after wushu last night, and it. Was. AWESOME. They sounded great, they knew how to perform and had a great flair for the dramatic, AND they got the whole crowd dancing like crazy by the end of it. Portland shows seem to have a way of being very sedate, so I was prepared to be all disappointed if this completely danceable set didn't get their booties shakin'. But, much to my surprise and pleasure, PDX stepped up. So, so fun.

I also went to a Run and Yoga class yesterday morning, at this place near 43rd and Hawthorne, and I *loved* it. I've been spotty with keeping up on running, and I've been meaning to get back into doing yoga at least semi-regularly, so this kills two birds with one stone! And, ~45 minutes of stretching and restoring after a solid stretch of running is basically the best idea ever.

My shoulders and upper-back are still wicked sore, though. I think spending all of PAX weekend with various bags over my shoulder didn't do me any favors. :/ But, I'm starting to feel better mentally, at least.

And finally, this day of the meme is lame, but here it is:

Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.

1. XD
2. :o

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever).
Day Seven: Four turn-offs.
Day Eight: Three turn-ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.

Day Ten: One confession.
batskeets: (spoon)
Working last night, working through lunch, working the weekend, work, work, work. Not much time to think, outside of that, but at least to blow off some steam at wushu tonight, and stay home afterwards. I think I may be clenching my jaw in my sleep, though, so that's a sure sign that this all needs to stop, and soon.

Circuit training was brutal this morning; every muscle in my body was in agony. I'm in dire need of a good massage; I'm pretty certain that the right-hand-side of my trapezius is visibly more knotted-up than my left, and that's never good. And good lord, it's been days since derby practice! When will my inner thighs stop hurting? WHEEENNNNN?! I shake my fist at the heavens!

Yeah, I complain too much, but don't get me wrong: I secretly love finding new and exciting ways to beat the hell out of my body. Except, you know, without the "secretly" part. The fun part is rebuilding it for improved levels of awesome. I'm constantly amazed at the abuse this human-shaped suit of mine will put up with.

OHJEEZ I need to get back to work. Uuuuggh.


Jul. 14th, 2010 04:04 pm
Not feeling very wordy today. Lots of running around town to various meetings for upcoming weddings, and now I'm kicking it at the ol' coffee shop, telecommuting for The Job. Today's amusing coffee shop patron is the guy at the next table over, working a very '80s pink polo shirt and a *serious* mullet.

I am also annoyed because my grand plans for taking PTO have been somewhat thwarted, seeing as I'm telecommuting today, and have to go in for part of the day tomorrow. BOO-URNS. Other people's vacations should not be causing me such grief!

Here's a photo from last week: (jeez, was it really only last week? Heh.)

Pilings )

I did have my first really good wushu practice in at least a month, yesterday, and an initially-painful but ultimately-good run this morning. I feel like I'm *finally* getting back into the training groove, and it feels good. And this Saturday? ROLLER DERBY TIME with [ profile] marykae. <3

And, I'm spent.
Well, I'm now up to two bike commutes this week, which is more than I've done in a single week in quite a while. I'm already consistently using higher gears on the ride than I used to, and not having to downshift for the hills. This fills me with joy, because this *must* mean that at least some of my gym time is translating into functional strength. YES. List item #10, I'mma get you!

In other news, I realized last night that I've never actually asked a guy out to his face. It's always been via text message or e-mail, and even accounting for the Passive Female social construct, that seems a little sad. I suppose it could be argued that I'm ahead of the game by even asking them out at all, but it still feels silly to be shying away from the direct approach, especially now that I'm 30-freakin'-years-old.

Maybe it's just a unique-to-Portland phenomenon, but being direct seems to be an increasingly difficult challenge in the existing social context. And I certainly don't exclude myself from this sample: even without particularly meaning to, I apparently make myself at least as unapproachable as anyone else in this town. (hence, why people rarely hit on me) I do tend to gripe about those who don't say what they actually mean, so I'd ideally like to be able to say what *I* mean. But, it's almost as if directness happens so rarely that nobody is prepared to accept it when it *does* happen.

Anyhoo, stayed out late last night after LOST at the Bagdad, for beer and Pita Pit, and it was relaxed-and-groovy fun. I need to make better friends with the Hawthorne area soon, because I haven't actually *been* to that many bars or cafes along there. Oh, and last night's LOST episode had me laughing in the best way possible. Oh, Doctor Linus!

Tonight is Two Gents rehearsal, which should be good. I'm half-contemplating memorizing my dialogue, but knowing me, time will probably get away on that front. Eh, maybe I can steal an hour during Hood Canal to work on it.

And, the brain fog has finally left me. Not a moment too soon!
Here's the rest of that list. Again, in no particular order:

16. Get digital piano and play the hell out of it.
Oh lord, do I want to play. So much. I'm watching Craigslist like a hawk until a deal on a good keyboard pops up.

17. Stimulate the local economy.
This is something I've always wanted to do more of, but I didn't feel I could afford it. Now that money is more free-flowing, I could really take this on, and still have quite a bit left for savings. I've always been a fan of farmer's markets and locally-produced foods. I'd love to focus my girly spending on locally-made wearables, because I know great people who produce such things, and I want to support them. I've also sometimes been able to support local businesses by going to them for my own business' needs, too, and I love that and want to do even more of it.

18. Learn bike maintenance.
I know at least a few people who maintain their own bikes well, so why not me? Every time I ride my bike and look at my screwed-up back tire, it fills me with sadness.

19. Do something that scares the crap out of me.
No, this does not mean pursuing the realm of "extreme" sports. This is about confronting fear, and gaining strength from doing things I would previously have avoided, no matter how ordinary some of them might seem to others. Some of the things on this list could fit the bill, but I imagine the real triumph will be something very personal, and fairly difficult to quantify.

20. Tap dancing class.
Of all dances I've tried thus far, tap is probably my favorite. There HAS to be a tap class for adults in this town (EDIT: that does not also conflict with wushu practice). I've looked for this off and on with no luck, but confound it, THIS WILL HAPPEN.

21. Try out kettlebell and/or CrossFit.
I was reading about both of these things off and on, at the height of my fitness frenzy, and I wanted to try it, because functional strength training is fantastic. This might be a good opportunity to do so. I think I might be too wimpy for CrossFit, but maybe kettlebell would help me work up to it?

22. Aesthetic improvements for my house.
My bedroom is already well into this process, but the rest of the house essentially looks like a bunch of random crap haphazardly thrown together, because... well, that's what it is. I *would* like to get some paint in the walls, and then some art to go with it, and maybe some furniture, further down the line.

23. Art prints for my home, and possibly yours.
I've procrastinated on getting my own art prints sorted and printed, largely because doing that before I'm done painting didn't make much sense. But I have a lot of shots, and a lot of bare walls, and maybe you have bare walls that need prettying, too.

24. Doctors and dentists.
Because I'm the sort of person who doesn't seek medical care unless I'm having a problem, I still don't have a primary care physician or a dentist, after living in Portland for three years. This is dumb, and I should fix it.

25. Give more gifts.
I think I fell out of the whole gift-giving thing during college, because I had no money to spend. Still, when Christmas shopping time rolls around, I'm consistently reminded that I enjoy finding the perfect gift for people I care about, the thing they'd love but wouldn't expect. It'll likely be a thing I do when I'm struck with a great idea for someone, but I already have a couple ideas for upcoming birthdays and am putting them into motion, and I hope to make this more of a habit.

26. Leave room for spontaneity.
My calendar is taking over my life, and I do not like it. I'm something of a Plan Monster, and most of my major goals require me to be, and I'm usually assailed by raging guilt when I promise something and then fail to follow through on it. But, it *is* possible to leave room for large, unplanned blocks of time, and I must learn how to do so without becoming a flake.

27. Stop hating my job.
This could manifest in several ways. I could learn to accept the boredom and frustration, because it is only temporary. I could somehow alter the shape of my job so it becomes *less* boring and frustrating. Or, I could quit The Job entirely and do something else that I love much more. Which of these things it'll actually be? Biiiig question mark.

28. Teach an after-school program.
After shooting for an article at The Job about after-school programs and meeting some of the volunteer instructors, I had the thought of running an after-school wushu program. I'd be teaching older kids, *and* spreading the gospel of wushu. Of course, now that I might actually have time, the school year is almost over, but there's always this coming Fall.

29. BAKE.
I have not baked nearly enough, largely because this tends to run counter to goal #4. But hey, maybe doing this will teach me the meaning of moderation.

30. Let the right ones in.
Yes, I Have Trust Issues, but it doesn't have to rule me. There are people worthy of my trust, and I should know when to give it to them.

And, even though it has already been stated previously, an extra one to grow on:

31. Play more games.
The D20 campaign is starting off on the right foot, and this weekend, I am officially buying myself an XBox 360 and a copy of Dragon Age: Origins. Throw in monthly game nights and other such gatherings, and I'm already pretty well on my way with this. W00t!
So I heard about this "30 Before 30" thing, and naturally, I like it, because I like lists. But, I'm already 30, so making such a list for myself would no longer be possible, right?

WRONG. I now declare this the 30 DURING 30 LIST. Here is the first half, in no particular order:

1. Read at least 30 books.
There are way too many things I want to read, and I'm also hoping that, if I read more, maybe I'll re-learn how to digest books quickly the way I used to. I figure, if I have to do one a month for book club, that's 12, so the rest is up to me.

2. Get myself a damned art show.
You know what? I *have* the photographs. And I'm taking more and better photos all the time. I don't care if it's a rinky-dink thing at a local Starbucks, I just need to get my work on display. This is long overdue.

3. Backpacking Trip.
I have never done this, partly due to lack of gear, and also partly due to doubting that I'd have the stamina for long hikes with gear on my back. Clearly, a few day hikes are in order before I can do this. And learning how to pee in nature without making a mess out of myself would probably also be a prerequisite. ;p

4. Lose 20 lbs.
The eternal goal, I know. Stupid body. But I got halfway there last year. And then I went to China and gained some back because, duh, vacation. And then I got back to the halfway mark again. And then my knee decided to start being a jerk, and around the same time, most other parts of my life went straight down the crapper. Medicating with food and alcohol is bad, but I think it's finally behind me. I can do this.

5. Run a 9-minute mile consistently.
I can bust out a 10-minute mile pretty well most days, as long as my knee isn't giving me grief. And, according to Mr. Treadmill, I've done a 9-minute mile once or twice, but it was sandwiched between two miles at a slower pace. To keep a 9-minute pace through a whole run? I WANT THAT.

6. Register for and run a 10K or possibly a half-marathon.
Whether it's a 10K or a Half depends entirely on my knee. I can do a 5K consistently, so a 10K would still be a challenge. But, if my knee holds up well enough for #4 and #5 to happen, I am absolutely going for the Half.

7. Japan.
This has needed to happen for what, ten YEARS? I think this year may be the one.

I am SO going to try this. Some Saturday, I'm going to buy the pads and such, and then go there and roll around the track crashing into things spectacularly. But I'm convinced it'll be fun.

9. More bike rides that are not my current morning commute.
I really enjoyed my bike wanderings a couple Sundays ago, and when I take the "long way" home from work, I love it so much more. Biking down Hawthorne to work, with cars whizzing past me? Just doesn't compare.

10. Get better at biking.
Yeah, I know, I've been saying this for a while. But I should make it happen. Maybe then, I could A) go on longer rides, and B) take a less-direct and more enjoyable route to work. And maybe even C) have fewer knee problems because it will give me Quads of Steel.

11. Grow edible things in my yard.
Even though it was not my construction project to begin with, that greenhouse in the backyard has been sitting there unfinished long enough for me to know that it's obviously not going to be completed unless I make it happen.

12. Learn to Fight For Reals
I'm still not certain if this'll be in the form of traditional kung fu, or muay thai, or something else entirely. But, if I'm going to jumpkick the heads off of undead creatures when the zombie apocalypse hits, I'd better know how to do it right and proper. ;)

13. Take more photos of friends.
This is kind of a hard one, at times, because it's difficult for me to enjoy being in a moment while I'm photographing it. But, it's also wonderful to look back at those spontaneous moments of happy. Finding the balance will be tricky, but I suspect it'll be worth it.

14. Audition and get into a play.
We've been rehearsing for the Two Gents reading, and I've been having a *lot* of fun with it thus far. And it is, of course, making me miss acting. Whatever show I get into doesn't have to be anything big, I'm just in it for a fun ride.

15. Accumulate enough events to compete for All-Around Champion at Berkeley.
Assuming next year's tournament isn't scheduled after my birthday, this *should* be doable, if I nag Master Chen enough. I already have Nanquan and Nandao, and even if my Nangun form isn't competition-length yet, at least I've worked on that skillset. So, all I *really* need to learn from scratch is an additional empty hand form. My odds of winning the title are probably close to zero, but it'd be so fantastic to simply be able to say that I went for it.
OKAY. Time to revel in good vibes.

--Actually had a decent wushu practice on Friday. As in, one where I didn't feel super-tired and didn't feel like I was struggling the whole time. It's progress!

--Got the all-clear to start doing a weeknight of Taiji instead of Saturday Wushu. I've missed the last 3 Saturdays due to photoshoot bookings, so it's good schedule-wise. It'll also be good for regaining body awareness (which should help with the knees/hips) and generally staying mellow.

--Snow shoot went really well. We wound up having to go all the way up to Timberline Lodge to find snow, so that added a half-hour or so of driving on both ends of the trip, but the Lodge exterior gave us a lot of cool options. Shooting with snow is pretty fun! I can't wait to photoblog about this one.

--Board Game Night apparently didn't work out so hot, but I had a nice chat with Scott for a bit, at least. And, that also freed me up just in time to go catch The Fruit Bats show with Amy and Travis. I was completely new to The Fruit Bats, but I enjoyed the show, and it got out early enough that we had plenty of time for drinks and Rock Band after. :D

--Went to a free yoga class last night, and [ profile] katlyn came out to do it with me! I also definitely noticed an increase in my upper-body and core strength since the lhast time I did it, which is AWESOME. Circuit training FTW.

--Sat down and played Disgaea on the PS2 for a couple hours after the HD Fail, which at least mellowed me out to the point where I could sleep. And I also have a copy of RE4, thanks to [ profile] veiravx, so I can play that soon, too!
My weekend is looking fairly empty... which, honestly, is good, because I could use some rest. And holy kamoley, my arms are sore. I'm finally well enough to start getting back into training, and it's kicking my butt. My ankles are *super* cranky today, too.

Well, the pain should pass, if I just keep at it and be patient. Too bad I'm not very good at patience. ;p

Tomorrow afternoon, we're doing a SNOW SHOOT! We're heading out to Mt. Hood to do senior portraits in the snow. I freakin' love this kid for sharing this thought with us, because we were all over it. :D

I should be back from that mid-afternoon, so I should be going to board gaming day. On Sunday, [ profile] veiravx will likely drop by for fitness stuff, but otherwise I got nothin'.

Might start doing my taxes, since I got my last bit of documentation from the mortgage company yesterday, and I hope to throw in a bit of it for FINALLY getting my trainer certification, so I can start helping people with fitness fo' realz and fo' moneyz. And, YES, I am considering the XBOX 360, too. (if there are dangers to buying one used, please share!) But even with those two things, I should probably have a good-sized sum left over for being uber-responsible with... hell, the certification is at least quasi-reponsible, because it'll give me a nice way to potentially make money.

I am also doing nothing tonight, which is nice. I'll probably be blasted after wushu, anyway. Boy put on an amusing Benjamin Franklin documentary last night, but I had to go to bed before it was over... might be worth finishing tonight.

I'm feeling mellow today. Not energetic, but that's okay. This is good enough for now.

Feeling gay

Nov. 6th, 2009 10:53 am
I finally got off my tuchus and cooked last night. It was more Spiced Chicken Stew, and I love that stuff. It's the perfect way to burn through a variety of veggies. And there's still tons of the stuff for me to eat over the next few days. I heart soup and stew!

Speaking of, I am also trying out Soupcycle next week, to see if it's both tasty and cost-effective enough for me to do regularly. I like that they use whole and organic foods in their soup, and holy hell, I am having mad soup joneses these days. And supporting local, bike-powered businesses? Hells yeah. If anyone else wants in on this, let me know; we can totally do a group order or something.

Oh yeah, and I got up early yesterday to go to Acro Strength class at DoJump with Amy! I still have a massive mental block about handstands, and I don't have a very strong grip, so all the stuff that involved being upside-down while supported only by my weak hands and spindly little arms? Well, I basically went back and forth between being irritated at how much I sucked at it, and freaked out that my arms would give out and I'd drop myself on my head.

But, Amy is one of the most positive and supportive people in the entire freakin' universe. So that helped. :) And the rest of it was good training.

Dancing tonight at Goodfoot is a definite possibility. My shoulders are sore as hell from yesterday's class, and wushu might beat the hell out my legs this evening (as it often does), but if not, I'll be shakin' my booty!

Saturday is open, but I will probably spend at least part of that building a DIY beauty dish. (I got all of the components last night) Sunday is a senior portrait and a steampunk shoot, both of which I'm looking forward to.

Overall? Good vibes. Well, except for the fact that all I *really* want to do right now is sleep, but I'll get over that eventually. ;)


Oh, and for those who didn't see this on Twitter last night: "Not sure why, exactly, but I'm a little bit gay for Anna Torv. A LITTLE. XD"

That fact bears mentioning, because I am by far the straightest girl I've ever known. (with the possible exception of [ profile] pyrobaby who is probably not reading this) I don't begrudge anyone else their gayness, but eh, tits are just not my thing. So, even a little gay is a big deal, coming from me. ;) Seriously, holy damn. I might actually make out with Anna Torv, if the opportunity were to ever present itself.

BTW, if you're not already, you should be watching Fringe. It is the radness.

Being Emo

Oct. 27th, 2009 12:57 pm
I think I'm going to be Tired Emo [ profile] skeets all week. All I feel like doing is curling up in warm blankets and sleeping. Fortunately, I don't have a lot of plans until the weekend, so I have license to be chill.

I'm eating very sparingly this week, which is HARD, because there's friggin' candy EVERYWHERE. But, I'm doing it. No sodium, few carbs, not much fat and it's all non-animal fat. It actually feels pretty good to not eat sugar and refined flours, because I haven't had much luck staying away from them since... probably PAX? Maybe after a week of this, I won't keep running back to that garbage all the time. The lack of carbs is definitely making it tough to train, though. I'm still debating whether or not I should lift today, or just go to wushu and call it good.

In other news, Nina fitted me for my costume on Sunday, and I got to take it home! It turned out so freakin' awesome. I also picked up the necessary Manic Panic to purple-ize my hair for it, and I'll get the final costume component from [ profile] spiralshannon hopefully on Wednesday. THIS IS SO COOL, YOU GUYS. I am excited.

After I got back from there, we went to Amy's concert, and it was really nice. We were late, so we had to listen to most of the first piece from the hallway, but they did a cool Brahms piece after intermission. Then Travis offered to make his awesome chili, so we went to their place to hang out, eat chili, and watch C.H.U.D.

Vendor event on Saturday went fine. Attendance wasn't as stellar as everyone hoped, but we still met some great folks, got great comments on our art prints, and sold a couple of them, too. Boy's not-so-secretly hoping to do well in the art photography realm, so that was encouraging. And at least one of the vendors wants to work with us on a new headshot.

Friday night was lovely, too. [ profile] matrixleap pulled a whole gaggle of Doomies together for a relaxing evening of Apples to Apples. I was only expecting a couple other people, so it was a nice surprise! It was really good to see everyone, it's been way too long. I'm looking forward to the Halloween Party on Saturday even more now.

Anyhoo, I think I may be keeping my head down this week and not post much. I'm a bit out of juice, both physically and emotionally. But I *am* reading your posts. :)

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