“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Evil is Super Cute and It Bows Down to Me!

Well, not really, but get this.

 I was coming home from my run this evening (3.3 miles, yay me!) and a Black Cat crossed my path. It crossed my path, then doubled back, came back towards me and flopped itself at my feet, belly up. I bent down and scratched his belly and his ears, talked to him a little bit then went on my way back home. 

About one house length later the kitty followed after me, then with a tiny burst of energy, got in front of me and flopped down again, belly up. Once again I talked to the kitty and scratched his ears and belly, told him goodbye and went on my way. 

Once again he followed me, but just when he caught up to me he stopped, turned into a neighboring yard and watched me as I walked by. I said "bye kitty," he meowed and we parted ways.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Health Coach - The Re-MILF-ificaiton of Andrea

About a month ago I started seeing a health coach.

It started like this . . . . . I went to the doctor for a reason that has no bearing on this blog post. At my appointment the doctor decided to give me some blood tests. The results of the blood tests indicated that I might benefit from the help of  a health coach.

Oh, who am I kidding? Any of you who know me know that in the last 7 years I packed on the pounds like nobody's business. For a while a bunch of it came off after The Boy was born and I spent a good share of my maternity leave imprisoned in the hospital with an infected gall bladder. Then, as luck would have it, I had some good old-fashioned postpartum depression to deal with so the weight came back even faster with the help of the little blue mood-altering pills called Zoloft.

Today I'm free of both my gall bladder and the little blue pills, but have found myself heavier than I was when I was when I, well, heaver than I've ever been, ever before.

I started seeing a Health Coach at Kaiser. He told me that it wouldn't be such a bad idea to lose 80-100 pounds. It took me a few weeks to wrap my head around that huge number, but now that I've accepted it I'm on track.

I think my Health Coach's approach to me getting off the weight is do-able. I think it'll work. I think it'll be hard work, but I think it'll work.

Here's how it works: I get a new goal after every session I go to. I work on that goal until my next appointment, and then slowly build upon those goals, changing the behaviors that got me to where I was and create new behaviors to get me where I want to be. His philosophy, so far, is that to make drastic changes all at once is to set myself up for failure. Changing a little bit at a time, and adding to my list of goals and changes will produce better results. It might take a tiny bit longer than I want it to, but in the long run I will be more successful, and have less chance for failure.
In addition to changing my behaviors little by little, I had to find two people that would keep me on track, call me out on my bullshit and keep me accountable. I'm confident I've found two good ones and am truly thankful that they have agreed to help me in this.

So, although I don't plan on making this a super regular feature on this blog, I hope to touch upon this topic from time to time and use this as an avenue to hold myself accountable in this journey that I'm on.

I can do this.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey Trot

Yesterday I ran in the Turkey Trot at Golden Gate Park and let me tell you, I kicked that Turkey in the ass. I know I kicked it in the ass, because I came in last. So last that the Turkey was packing up its gear and walking away from me. The Turkey's ass was the only thing I could kick. OK it wasn't that bad, but almost. I'm certain I came in last place. I know I ran 5 miles, because my GPS on my phone said I did, but by the time I got to the end, the local high-schooleres turned route support had all but gone away, the markers to the finish line were trampled over, any discernible finish line had been removed and  the award ceremony was over. All I could do was grab a bottle of water before it got put away by tired race support who were ready to go home.
When I got back to the car I felt defeated and had to sit in the car and talk myself out of my funk of coming in last.
Here's what I came up with:
One year ago I was unable to run even one mile without stopping, now I can run 6. I'm far from the fastest, but I can do it.
Six months ago walkers passed me as I was running, once in a while, towards the end of my run, walkers still pass me, but a lot fewer than when I first started
Overall I'm stronger than I was a year ago.
Next year I'll be in the top half of the bottom third, I know it.

The event itself has a great atmosphere. People were dressed up like pilgrims, indians, turkeys, beer. It was also super muddy as it had rained a lot the night before. Here are some pics from the event.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hula - A Great Spot Remover

Yesterday was a weird day. I was glad when it ended.

I was wearing a skirt that's sort of a silk-type fabric. I like the skirt a lot. I like its burnt orange color, I like the waistband, I like the way it hangs. What I don't like is that today it got a little stain on it.

I noticed it right about the time I noticed my backpack was pulling my skirt up and up and up until my ass was hanging out (Thank the Maker for spanx that look like bike shorts). When I first noticed the stain I thought it was just some water that splashed on me. Long after enough time had passed for the water to dry I noticed the spot was still there, that it wasn't water, it was a stain of some kind. By this time I was at work. I went into the ladies room, put the bottom of my skirt into the sink, added soap and tried to scrub the spot out. I scrubbed until I couldn't see the spot. When I was finished I discovered that the water had carried itself across my skirt. The whole right side of my skirt was sopping wet. I went back to my desk, turned on my little floor heater and proceeded to dry my skirt. It dried pretty quickly but when I looked down to inspect the fruits of my fabulous attempt at turning my work's bathroom into a laundry facility, I noticed the spot was still there! The whole day, no matter what I did,

The Spot Wouldn't Go Away.

Unfortunately the incident with my skirt served as an allegory for my whole day. I just couldn't get the hang of yesterday. I'd expect that of a Thursday, but not a Wednesday. My day was filled with incidents that I couldn't wrap my head around right away, then once I did, something else happened that I had to figure out. I guess this kind of day happens to the best of us. I'm not unique in having a bad, or at least annoying, day at work.

Fortunately, being Wednesday, I had hula to go to. And let me tell you, hula hit the spot.

This November (I think I mentioned this before) we're combined with the other Wednesday class and learning some new stuff. It's pretty challenging. We are learning a new kahiko, a new oli and a new 'auana; a little bit of each every class.

Spot removal started with the ride to class. I carpooled with a hula sister and got to complain a little (OK, a lot, thanks hula sis for listening to me) about my day, then I got to hear about her life since the last time we drove to class together.

Warm up was pretty swift. At the tail end of warm up we usually do a few hulas we know pretty well. One of the hulas we did was Kai A'o Mamala. I always get a little dizzy during the "kou kino noho malie ah ha hana  . . ." verse.
When it became my turn to be in the front line I was willing Kumu not to say "Ia oe ka la." Man I am not pa'a with that one. I should be, because we've been doing it long enough, but I just can't get it. Thankfully Kumu didn't tell us to dance that one. He told us to get our pu'ili so we could dance Alekoki. Not my strongest dance, but markedly stronger than my Ia oe ka la. I made it through Alekoki without embarrassing myself. Yay me.

We spent about a third of our remaining time on the kahiko, a third on the chant and the rest on the 'auana. It's challenging learning 3 different things on the same night. I'm getting through it OK, though. Still, true to form, the oli is proving to be the easiest of the three. I've always been stronger at learning the chants and the words to things than I have been at picking up new hulas.

Then hula sis and I drove home. The drive home served as a nice bookend to the evening.

When I got home I popped my head in The Boy's room and found him awake. I crawled into his bed, talked for a few minutes then sang him his favorite song. Then I went out to the living room and hung out with The Girl for a little while. I missed her. She was at a sleepover the night before so I hadn't really spent any time with her in a few days. I may have kept her up later than she should have. After she went to bed, Hubby and I hung out, watched some TV and went to bed.

My whole spotty day was washed away and made better by a good night at hula and some time with The Fam.

Friday, November 4, 2011

October Wordle

Wordle: Untitled

Book Review - Shiver, and Reminising About "Page 148"

I'm just about finished reading Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. It's one of The Girl's books. She was so wrapped up in it when she was reading it I decided I would give it a whirl. The book's got just about everything a tween / almost teen could love. There's forbidden teenage love, best friends, absent parents.

Perfect fantasy for a kid her age. Or so I thought . . . .

Spoilers abound - I don't censor.

Shiver is about a girl who was attacked by wolves when she was 11 years old, only to be saved by a special wolf who took a shine to her. Flash forward to present day, we learn the wolf becomes human when its warm out. The wolf boy and the girl fall in love and she has to try to figure out a way to stop him from morphing back into a wolf before it gets too cold for her to stop it. In the meantime the she sneaks the wolf boy into her house at night to sleep and stay warm, while he snuggles her close and recites Rilke poems to her, all the while her parents are oblivious to the whole thing. There's a pack of other wolves who weave in and out of the story. Some are nice, some aren't, most are just non player characters in the book. Reading level is about 6th grade, but the story is just entertaining enough to keep me engrossed throughout my entire commute on the train to and from work. All in all, I can see why a 13 to 16 year old girl would like this book.

There are a few moments in the book where was questioning whether or not some of the subject matter might be a little more than PG13, and perhaps will steer The Girl away from reading the next 2 books for a while by making her read what's on her school reading list. That should buy me a least until summer.

To me, though, it was not much different than stealing away with a copy of Forever or Tiger Eyes when I was her age. And what girl born in the 70's hasn't read and re-read page 148 of Petals on the Wind?

Seeing the world through the eyes of a 41 year old mother of a (almost) teenager is different from seeing the world through an innocent young woman, though. I think I'll stall and hold off on her reading the next two books in the series.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hello? Operator? Is Hula There?

Tonight was not my best night at hula. I suppose it happens to the best of us. It shouldn't, but it does. Tonight, as much as I didn't want to, and as much as I tried not to, I dialed it in. I was not totally present in hula tonight. Chalk it up to the crazy goings on in my head, the day I had at work, the overwhelming amount of housework I have at home . . . I don't know what it was but I didn't take advantage of hula class tonight. I wasn't dialed in. I dialed it in. There was a point in class tonight where I snapped out of it, but still, I wasn't totally present. Bad me.

This month in class we're joining forces with the class that takes place right before us and learning a few new things. I arrived late tonight so I missed warm up. I had The Girl's parent - teacher conference this evening so I was a little late. I missed warm up. I joined during the 3rd verse of the first hula we did. I contemplated waiting until the hula ended, thinking it was weird to join in the middle, but I joined in the middle anyways.

First we learned the first two verses of a new kahiko. Last March-ish we learned the 'auana version of the kahiko we started learning. We learned the first 2 verses of the kahiko version. There were a lot of na 'uwehe tonight. My thighs hurt.
During table time we learned the first couplet of a new oli. Kumu chanted the whole thing. The chant is going to be pretty darn challenging. But after Kumu chanted the oli he said yes, it's hard, but we could do it. We could do it because we had to do it. This chant was written for our halau by Puakea Nogelmeier. Not only could we do it, we had to do it. When Kumu said we had to do it I took it to mean two different things. #1 We had to do it - meaning he was going to teach it, we had to learn it. It was required. and #2, we had to learn it. It was our kuleana to learn it. This was written for us. It's  gift. We have to learn it.
It was about this time I let go of the weird funk I was in and decided to join the class, fully for the night.
After table time we started learning the first verse of a new 'auana.
Tonight my 'auana skills were far superior to my kahiko skills. It's probably due to the weird head I was in at the beginning of class. Next week, hopefully, I'll redeem myself.

Welcome now my friends to the show that never ends

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Nice Pictures - Where'd you steal them from?

Some of the pictures in my blog were taken by a photographer called Julie Michele. Some of the pictures were either taken by me or someone I know. Some of the pictures were ripped right from the internet, mostly from google image searches from photographers to whom I may or may not give credit.

Rest assured I make no money from any of it.