Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ow, OW, OWIE!!!!!!!

My left arm, just below the shoulder, is hurting. REALLY hurting. 'Cause I overdid it.
On Monday I started a new round of P90X. This is the third time I've attempted it. I've never finished the full 3-month program.
Because I ALWAYS overdo it!
I first started last summer. However, at the time, I was also teaching something like 9 pilates classes a week, subbing for other instructors who wisely went on vacation. Then my elbow started hurting, to the point where I couldn't lift weights. So I stopped.
I started again a few months later, but I was still teaching a lot, and couldn't figure out a way to do the program and my teaching without hurting myself again.
This time I had it all figured out: I teach 2 private sessions, so I'm not working out with my clients. I also teach 2 classes, so I scheduled the P90X workouts around those. Only problem was, yesterday my arm started hurting again. And last night, in my class, I think I either over-stretched or pulled a muscle in my OTHER arm. Of course, we've also been crazy busy with the kids, going on field trips, running errands, and doing all the regular, everyday stuff in addition to the workouts.
The thing is, I have workshops this week. Tonight I'm doing a voiceover workshop, which probably won't be too physically taxing. But Saturday is a day-long personal trainer certification. I have no idea if we're going to be practicing on each other, or sitting in a chair learning anatomy, or both. I'm hoping it will be an easygoing day. On the other hand (no pun intended), I guess I could be the guinea pig for working with a client who, um, doesn't always know what's best for them and sustains very minor but painful injuries.
You know, the person who needs to realize that she is turning 40 in a few months and, while she's certainly not OLD, she's not as pliable as she was when she was 20. That those aches and pains take a little longer to go away. That MAYBE doing intense workouts, 1+ hours a day, six days a week, should NOT be followed by 3 hours carrying a 5 year-old around an aquarium and staying up until midnight, when she has to get up the next morning and put said 5 year-old on a bus at 7 AM, get a 7 year-old to school by 8:30, then teach a 9 AM class, followed by a field trip to Chuck E. Cheese.
Yeah. That person.
So, I'm going to play it by ear. I figure this is God's way of telling me to ease up a bit. Slow down. Relax. Smell the flowers that are just beginning to bloom, thanks to all the rain we've had. I'm so used to feeling anxious and stressed that I barely notice it anymore. For all of my adult life, I've rushed from one thing to another, never having enough hours in a day. At first, it was because of external forces: work, school, a packed schedule, literally running from one end of campus to another to get to class on time, or running up a hill from the theater to get to the parking lot so I could send a VERY IMPORTANT PACKAGE by express mail before the post office closed (in the days before email). But I don't have to do that anymore! I think I'd gotten so used to living in a state of high alert that I forgot how to deal with down time. So I found things to stress myself out over. Like filling in the blanks with working out. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to work out, but not to the point of pain, and not to the point where everything else suffers because I HAVEN'T DONE MY CARDIO YET! AND IT CAN'T BE JUST ANY CARDIO, IT HAS TO BE WHAT'S ON THE SCHEDULE, 'CAUSE IF I DON'T DO IT EXACTLY AS SCHEDULED I'M GONNA FAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah. Not helpful.
So, I'm taking today off from working out. (Except for walking the dog, 'cause she shouldn't have to hold it.) I'm going to study for Saturday, take a nice warm shower, read, maybe medidtate a bit, and relax.
I'm bringin' it down to Defcon 5, people!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ski Week

You may be asking yourself "What the heck is "Ski Week?" Which was the same exact question I asked 2 years ago when my son was in kindergarten and we were told he'd be off for a week in February, as well as for the regular spring break in, well, spring.
I was then told that the district took a week off in February because so many parents were pulling their kids out of school during this month to take advantage of the snow up in Tahoe that they decided to just make it official. Hence, ski week.
Now, I don't ski. I tried. Many times. My mother would drag me (sometimes literally!) to the slopes in new Hampshire, stick a pair of wooden planks on my feet, and push me down a mountain. At least, that's what it felt like to me. In truth, we'd all go up to some nice, snowy resort, rent equipment, and she'd buy me a lesson. On the bunny hill. And then we'd "graduate" to the hill where you actually had to take the rope tow up, except I couldn't get the hang of it and ended up face planting in the snow. Even when I DID make it up the hill, I usually got less than halfway down before I face planted into the snow and fell the rest of the way down.
I liked cross-country skiing, though. No, actually, I LOVED cross-country! I always begged my mother to let me go cross-country while she and my brother hurled themselves over moguls, but she insisted that once I learned to ski downhill I would love it.
Now, you would think, after the whole tennis debacle, that she'd have known better. Earlier in our childhood, my brother and I were force-marched to tennis lessons, as well as a week of hell-er-tennis CAMP every summer. For YEARS. My bro is a natural athlete, full of grace and ability. not. I sucked at tennis. I sucked at downhill skiing. I hated every minute of both. One year I foolishly went out for little league. Guess what? I sucked at that too, and ended up hating it!
Eventually my mother gave in to the fact that her younger offspring would never excel at sports, and she let me focus on drama and dance instead. So I had more time to ride my bike and my skateboard, and then, my ROLLER SKATES! Because the early 80's came along, "Xanadu" was released (I made my mother take my friends and I to see it 5 times-PAYBACK!) and everyone wanted to be Olivia Newton John. So I had my roller skates with pink wheels, and my friends and I spent hours threading ribbons through our hair clips. We spent most of our waking hours rolling instead of walking. Yeah, that's how we roll(ed)! Kinda like Roller Girl from "Boogie Nights." But shorter. And, y'know, without the sex.
But I digress.
Last year, when we changed from 2007 to 2008, we went to Tahoe with my in-laws. We hadn't been there in the winter for quite some time, and never with the kids.
I saw a distinct pattern emerging.
We took the kids out to go sledding. Our son took to it right away, and had the time of his life. Our daughter? Well, she cried at first. Then she walked around for a bit, observing all the crazy people shooting down the hill at breakneck speed on tiny plastic discs. Eventually she let Hubby sit her on his lap as he went down the hill. She did that a few times, and then she was done. Had had enough and was ready to back to the car. Or, better yet, back to the nice warm toasty hotel room.
And I was right there with her.
She normally loves being outside. And she liked going for walks while we were there. But anything involving snow, ice, etc.? Fuhgeddaboudit! She is her Mommy's daughter, and Mommy has had enough snow and cold to last a lifetime! See, the thing that ski vacationers don't understand is what it's like to LIVE in the snow! The shoveling. The cars that won't start. The ice. The slush. The months and months of cold, gray, wet that leave you depresed. Putting on six layers of clothes every time you go outside, only to take them back off when you go inside, and repeating the process 10 times a day.
So, we didn't go skiing for ski week, although I think our son would be a natural at it. Too expensive. Too crowded. TOO DAMN COLD!!!!!
So we hung out at home. Slept in a bit. Took the kids for walks in the city. Drove to Berkeley. Played outside when it wasn't raining. And had a great time!
If we ever DO decide to go skiing? Hubby can take our son on the hills, while I go cross-country with our daughter. Then she and I will go back to the hotel, sit in front of the fire, and drink hot cocoa.
Or maybe we'll just stay home!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I've always had trouble focusing. For as long as I can remember. I used to think I just wasn't disciplined. But I realized a few years ago that I was, in fact, OVERLY self-disciplined. To the point where I believed I could be punished for negative thoughts.
I believed I was a bad person. I didn't think well of everyone all the time. (In fact, I often had some REALLY NASTY thoughts about certain people. {In most cases, they totally deserved it.}) I couldn't quiet my mind. I couldn't cry at will while doing a dramatic scene. My emotions were buried, and I was a tightly-wound individual. I was BAD!!!!!!
Sometimes my emotions would explode out of me. Most often, though, I pushed them down. I ate a lot, then threw it up. Or I ate very little. I punished my body into submission, but it would always rebel and grow large again. And I was BAD, because I couldn't keep the weight off.
My brain, however, would NEVER submit.
I also prayed a lot. I still do. But a lot of my prayers were apologies. To God. Over and over and over until I felt better. I still do this, too, but not nearly as much as I used to.
I was always told that I was "too sensitive." And I was sensitive. You have to be, when the people in your life are unpredictable, and you never know from one minute to the next whether you're going to get a hug or an insult. Whether some slight, real or imagined, is going to blow up and cause WWIII. Being sensitive to others' feelings becomes a survival mechanism. Unfortunately, it also becomes a way of suppressing your own feelings, because they are not allowed. Nor are mistakes. (And I wondered why I couldn't access my emotions on stage?)
You learn to put everyone else before you, whether you have known them all your life or for 5 minutes. Their thoughts, feelings, opinions are what matter, not your own. Especially if it's a man. Or a boy you like. Don't disagree with him, 'cause he won't like you anymore. (Not that he did in the first place: why should he like YOU when there are so many other prettier, smarter, cooler girls around?)
So I accepted a lot of crap from a lot of people, for a long time, because I didn't know any better. I thought this was how everyone felt. I thought everyone was terrified to get up in the morning, to go to school or work, terrified of any misstep. I thought everyone had panic attacks, and times when they wanted to just end it all. Just drive that car off the bridge you take to work every day that goes over the river. (That way no one else gets hurt.)
And it's hard to let go of all of it. Even though I know better. When I've eliminated the Debbie Downers from my life, and left the career that had me shaking in my boots and dreading to go to work every day. When I know how worthy I am. When my kids come up to me and give me spontaneous hugs and kisses. When I absolutely, positively, DO NOT want to die, because I don't want to miss a minute of my kids' growing up. When I have a new career that I LOVE, a kick-ass husband, and the best dog in the world.
Sometimes, I feel UNworthy. I still have trouble focusing. And I still apologize to God. For what? Beats me. I've never told ANYONE about it, and I'm thinking I should let my therapist in on it. Because I still stuff my emotions down with food. Or exercise.
I've been listening to the song "She" by Elvis Costello (mainly 'cause Hubby is trying to learn it on guitar) and I just love it SO MUCH.
The last lyrics are:

"She may be the reason I survive
The why and wherefore I'm alive
The one I'll care for
Through the rough and ready years
Me, I'll take her laughter and her tears
And make them all my souvenirs
For where she goes, I've got to be
The meaning of my life is She"

See, when I was in my early 20's, I honestly believed that men weren't really capable of love. Not real, deep love. Like? Sure. Lust? Absolutely. But true love? FOr anyone? A lover, a child, a friend? Nope. No way, no how.
Then I met some men who were. Capable. Some had wives or girlfriends, and became true, real friends to me. (And still are.) I watched them with their partners and their families. And I learned. And this song just kills me! Because loving someone is loving them the way they are. (Unless they treat you like garbage.)
'Cause I also thought I wasn't lovable because I wasn't perfect. But it's the IMPERFECT parts of us that make us even more lovable, don't you think? There's another song, by Gershwin:

"The way you wear your hat
The way you sing off-key
The memory of all that
No no they can't take that away from me"

(This was sung at my dad's memorial, and everyone laughed, because my mother is famous {infamous?} for LOVING to sing but not being able to find a note with GPS.)
Ok, I'm starting to ramble. Suffice to say that it's probably better to get stuff out on paper (er, computer screen?) than hold it in. Or vomit it out.
So that's what I'm doing.

Monday, February 9, 2009

We're Going Backwards

By now you may have heard all about the Chris Brown/Rihanna fiasco. They've been dating for a while, showed up at the Grammy awards, sat together, but canceled their performance together. A few hours later, police were called to a domestic dispute. They found "an unidentified woman" covered in welts and bruises who said that Mr. Brown had beaten her. Chris Brown was later brought to a police (or turned himself in) station and charged with assault.
Now "sources" are saying that it was, in fact, Rihanna who was the victim.
OK. Celebrity gossip is not usually my thing. But when it concerns a man beating a woman to a pulp, it's not just the usual trashy celeb talk anymore. And when infotainment websites are filled with comments from both men AND women saying that Rihanna "must have done something to provoke him," then I get worried.
And REALLY pissed off!
Because we've learned nothing .
WHY do we continue to blame the victims for crimes?!?!?! WHY do young men and women think it's OK to beat someone into a bloody pulp if they say something that makes you mad?
Well, YouTube, for one.
I love YouTube. I can sit and watch the cute animal videos all day. But when you have a case of girls ambushing one of their friends, beating her up, then POSTING IT, we have a problem.
When students start cyberbullying classmates on FaceBook, we have a problem. When THEIR PARENTS get in on the act, that's f**king sickening! Especially when it leads to the suicide of a 13 year-old girl!
See, it's not just FaceBook and YouTube and video games. It's parents who not only don't monitor what their kids are looking at, but ACTIVELY ENCOURAGE THEM TO BE NASTY!!!!!!! WTF?!?!?!?!
Listen up, parents: your kids don't need another PAL. Another BUDDY. They need PARENTS. Yes, they will hate you at times, but you're the adult. ACT LIKE IT!!!!!!
That means that, no, you can't accompany your minor child, even if she is a celebrity, into clubs. you can't buy the alcohol for their parties. If they're screwing up in school, you need to take away the phone, blackberry, TV, computer, whatever, and make them study. Maybe they need to get a job, instead of you subsidizing their shopping sprees. That way, they might actually learn that designer duds DON'T make them better than anyone else.
But I suppose that when the parents are screwed up, there,'s not a lot of hope for the kids.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mommy's Cranky!

When I start thinking of ways to kill the idiotic talking heads on TV, it may be time to take a step back, a deep breath (hence the title of the blog), and take on an extra meditation session. And to leave the TV in the "Off" mode.
Yesterday I watched "We Are Marshall" on HBO. The movie based on a true story about a small town that loses its college football team in a plane crash, then re-builds the team from scratch. And I cried. Through the whole thing. Not pretty tears rolling gently down my cheeks, mind you, but huge, great gulping sobs. To the point where the dog came and sat next to me, the way she does with the kids when they cry.
Yeah. PMS, much?
I ended up having to put on makeup (horrors!) because we were going out to dinner with my SILs and their families, and my eyes were red and puffy. As in, I-can-barely-open-them puffy.
It didn't help that I'm also experiencing PMS-induced insomnia, along with a cold. Or that our son has been crawling into bed with us in the middle of the night and SLEEPING ON MY HEAD.
Or that my anti-depressant scrip has run out, and I have to make ANOTHER appt. with my doc, (including ANOTHER $40 co-payment) who doesn't want me to stay on them long-term (I've been on them for a year) even though they help with my horrid emotional PMS (which lasts 2 weeks, fer cryin' out loud!) and I'm thinking I need a new doctor.
No wonder I'm cranky!
I think I'm gonna go soak on a nice warm tub. With bubbles.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Drat This Blogging Stuff! Oh, and Ads SUCK! (Lots of bad language, here)

All week I've been thinking "I should write a new post on my blog," which is quickly followed by "Hmm...what shall I write about," which, in turn, is followed by the sound of tumbleweeds blowing across a vast, dry, empty plane. (Plain?)
Ladies and gentlemen, my brain at work.
Of course, last week WAS a bit nuts...I subbed a bunch of classes and, oh yeah, had my credit card number STOLEN.
The good news is, we know what the guy who stole it looks like, and what kind of car he drives. The bad news is, none of the security cameras were able to get his license plate #. There's no way to ID him right now. BUT, the $200 gift card he and his girlfriend bought at Wal-Mart has been voided.
Plus, he's got people gunning for him now, and he damn well better watch his back.

OK. On to the Superbowl ads.
Um, when did we become a nation of horny-toad 12 year-old boys?
Oh. Right. Silly question.
Some were fine. (I particularly liked the Death goes to see his accountant one, even though I will NEVER, EVER use H&R Block again. Really? I owed $500 in a year when I made $10,000?!?!?!)
But, eating Doritos and causing a woman's clothes to come off? Really? And WHAT was up with those Danica Patrick ads?!?!?! "I suddenly feel the urge to shower on camera!" And the other one that has her surrounded by idiots with implants talking about "enhancements?"
OK. so we have the first female NASCAR champion, and the only way to make her acceptable in that VERY much male-dominated sport is to reduce her to a sexual plaything.
Yeah, thanks!
Are these guys REALLY so insecure that the only way they can accept a female winning out over the men is to have her take her clothes off?
Pardon my nastiness here, but what they're really saying is "Yeah, she may have won, but she's still just a hole!"
And people wonder why rape is still so prevalent.
Well, when you turn people into objects, it's easier to mistreat them. When women succeed at something and you're so fu**ing insecure that you can't handle it and treat them with borderline violence (which, sorry, is EXACTLY what those ads do), then it's a short step over the line into actual violence.
Fu** you, Madison Avenue!
And Danica? Have a little fu**ing self-respect!!!!!!!
(Sorry for the language, but I'm SO MAD!!!!!!!!!!)