Sunday, September 28, 2008

Moral Support

I'd like to make a little call out to my peeps of the canine and feline variety. I spent the day painting and staining my new doors (or more to the point trying not the stain the paint or paint the stain). All day Otto and Daisy had my back with their moral support and constant supervision. You'll notice frequent changes of position and don't be put off by the posturing of utter boredom.



Pull up, notice the body swinging.

How will I ever squat like that.

So I started a new work out called crossfit. It's a thing, as in not just my new gym does it, but people crossfit throughout the US. I guess you might describe it as a very dynamic form of weight lifting. You lift heavy weights - in the form of dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells - but you do it quickly and you use your body to do it. So, for example, if you want to get weights from shoulder height to fully extended arms, you bend at the hips and use the energy from straighting your hips to help push the weights up. If you're swinging a kettlebell, you don't use your arms to push the weight, instead you use your body, bending your legs and your hips to move the weight. Instead of just lifting, you lift very quickly engaging your entire body and it ends up being a cardio vascular work out as well as just a weight workout.

I have lifted weights since I was 18. If anyone is counting, that's a very long time. I am strong. I did 36 pull ups on friday. I think if you break atheticism down to three components - speed, strength and flexibility, I will always get the strength easily but have to struggle for the other two. But, I have always lifted weights, done pullups, push ups, and dips, very deliberately.
Sometimes I'll do lots of reps quickly with light weights, but usually I try to lift heavier weights slowly, focusing the full range of motion. Also, with most weight lifting I have done, you use specific body parts for each exercise, not using your legs or core to help lift.

Crossfit is different. Many of the workouts we do are timed, so you're trying to do things quickly Also, the emphasis is more on using your entire body (mostly core) to help you lift so you can do more, more quickly. So it's essentially learning an entirely new work out. Things that seem like they should be pretty easy, are suddenly really hard when you've done three sets of rowing, combined with quick dips, combined with throwing a medicine ball up a wall. Oh and crossfit requires lots of squatting. I can't squat.

So it's fun and it's very hard. I'm learning something new. And I have a few goals for the year. First, I want to try to climb a rope up to the ceiling (20 feet). I have no idea if I can do this now or not, but I want to try. Secondly, there is this thing they do (it has a name but I don't know it), you do a pull up on rings, then you get your body up and over your hands and push yourself up so your arms are straight. This I know I can't do at the moment. Dave, my trainer, said he's not sure any women in the gym can do that. That's goal number two. The third is to do a hand stand with no wall. I've been trying this for years in yoga and can't do it for more than a couple seconds.

So now I've written down my goals. We can touch base in 6 months and see how they're going.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I want Nau now!

Back last spring, I stumbled upon the company Nau (pronounced now). Nau makes clothes. And they have concentrated on making every step of their company clothing production, development, and selling as ecologically friendly as possible. They make their clothes out of really cool stuff like yarns recycled from post-consumer and post-industrial polyester waste, soda bottles, the overflow from a plastic injection-molder, a frilled tuxedo shirt from a 70’s prom. AND, the very best part of all, their clothes are super styley. I bought a coat last year, and EVERY time I wear it I get tons of compliments. And (yes, there is more) they make their clothes to be used. A lot of their clothing is designed with biking, climbing etc in mind, so you can move in them and they last.

After my third Nau purchase in a matter of weeks last spring, I was completely smitten. And then, just as I was getting ready for their spring line that had been promised for May 5. They very suddenly went out of business and closed up shop. It seems all the media attention wasn't translating to sales in our tanking economy.

But then, they came back! I guess someone liked their style and business mojo and decided to fund them with the same business model, but with only online sales. Can you imagine the excitement. There was great cheering in the streets, or at least a mild buzz. Their website promised new clothes by August 1.

Then, (can you handle being jerked around with more emotional upheaval), on August 1, it turns out that they were just preparing their new website for their new clothing launch, mid October. And so I've been waiting and it's almost mid October. They now have a couple teaser items on their website. I'm ready, I've been ready, I want more Nau clothes Now! Or maybe just that cashmere dress! Visit

Monday, September 15, 2008


So, on Friday night I attended a party thrown by my neighbor. At said party I met another, newer, neighbor by the name of Sav. Sav informed me that he would always remember my name because it was the name of his favorite Billy Joel song. (Okay, Sav walked right by me two days later and when I said hi, there didn't even seem to be the slightest bit of recognition in his eyes, but if he remembered me, I'm sure he'd remember my name).

Anyhow, I digress. Billy Joel's album Streetlife Serenade came out in 1974. On it there is a song called Roberta. Now how is it I've never heard of this song? You'd think sometime in the last 34 years (good god) someone would have mentioned that there was a song floating around with my name in the title!

Now, perhaps it's not quite on the level of some name songs such as Suzanne by Leonard Cohen. That song is a masterpiece and rumor has it that is how my sister got her name. And perhaps no one would ever chose Roberta as a love song with which to woo me (it is actually about a, well shall we say, lady of the evening). But it's a very pretty song. And Sav (who seems to know quite a bit about Billy Joel, having won his lady over with two Billy Joel albums and a zebra striped water bed) considers it one of his personal favorites.

I had to go out and buy Streetlife Serenade and now I can have Billy Joel woo me 24/7. I'm very happy with my song. I even like the fact that it makes me a little, uhm, risky? Thanks Sav

Any other songs I need to know about?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'm back!

Le Porch.

Obligatory art shot.

For all you suckers living in the MW and the NE suffering torrential downpours, it's summer in Seattle. (We have to revel in our two minutes!)

Obligatory Otto shot, meow!

It has been brought to my attention by my 100s of fans (okay maybe two of them), that my lack of blogging has left folks bereft and disconsolate. How could I be responsible for such horror? There is already so much sadness in the world, I must do my small small part to bring happiness to my peeps. So, I have drug myself away from the house cleaning I have been dying to get to and here is a new blog, complete with pictures of the now completed porch!

And what else to say as Seattle latches on to the last days of summer with a true summer. Oh, yes, the best news of all, and probably the lack of knowledge on this particular issue is what has caused the most grief. TOMATOES. Yes, the tomatoes survived August in Seattle and now that it has turned summer in September are actually turning red. Yippeee. I have eaten two and they were delicious. I have another one almost ready and maybe, just maybe will get another two or so. Of course, I ate them with cheese, which contributed greatly to their perfection. Now I'm two weeks without cheese, and perhaps, well, they'll just be different.

Now, anyone and everyone reading this can sleep contentedly. I will try to keep up with the blogs and keep the people happy.