Saturday, July 15, 2006

Learning the Tai Chi Way

I've been doing a lot of research about Tai Chi and those associated with it. My favorite reference nugget thus far is an interview with Grand Master Alex Anatole, who runs the Center of Traditional Taoist Studies outside of Boston, MA. He was interviewed by our local Cn8 network about his book, The Truth of Tao, hardand the newscaster began by saying how it seemed in his book, Anatole was saying that for most people, life sucks and then you die.

"No, for all of us." Anatole clarified.

His facto reminded me of the woman I heard of who awakens every morning and prays, "whatever," then goes to bed at night and prays, "oh well."

Tai Chi is softness turned against hardness. There's some of that in every philosophy, religion, or dogma, I suppose. But it's amazing to take that to your heart and mind, and then create a physical manifestation.


Friday, July 14, 2006

Salad Nights

it's what's for dinner

One hundred stomach crunches this morning: two sets of 50. And last night, for dinner, I ate SALAD. For dinner. Yeah! Granted, after Protein-a-Go-Go the night before, my body was crying for green leafy goodness. The exciting thing is, I complied.

Throughout the whole week I've been drinking troughsful of water -- at least two litres a day. I'm hoping that it will help clear up my skin, which is going through a rough patch. Lots of rough patches. We'll see.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

High Steaks


Yes, this will work around to the Rhythmball content of the day, but woman does not live by Rhythmball alone...

Darling Husband (DH) and I received a $100 AmEx reward certificate for Morton's the Steakhouse back in January that was suddenly due to expire, so we called a sitter and made dinner reservations. Sitter was 45 minutes later than expected, and Nick and Em were ready to drop everything to come watch the baby, and then the sitter arrived. I find that it usually just takes a moment of panic in order for everything to work out OK. We were very excited to rush out in the rainstorm to drive to one-hour-away Hartford, capitol of insurance, and did so with great glee. By the time we hit our onramp we'd finished talking about eBay for the first time in four days (exaggeration!) and concentrated on having a fun married date. The only nice clothes I had to wear were from the pregnancy, and I'm pleased to announce that they fit considerably larger than last time I wore 'em. I ended up tucking in the blouse and folding over the wide waistband, which I belted with a satin bathrobe sash. Very Project Runway. Hey, I ironed it first.

After combing a three-block radius, we found parking and wandered the food court till we went outside and found the entrance. We were seated in a lovely booth, perhaps the worse booth in the place but better than the places restaurants usually try to stick us. It's OK, the sous-chef was natty and I liked the French tile.

Our waiter started with the name Owen but later switched to Noah. Or maybe I just didn't hear him right the first time, which is possible because in the adjacent booth sat this man whose voice was so deep it could have carried water. His date was 35 and much more attractive than her date, which made me inclined to like them. We couldn't help overhearing him as he explained how Amsterdam works, with the coffee bars and such. The lady was incredulous, and either she was a really good actress or else she was the most sheltered woman on the planet.

Owen/Noah told us about the tableside soufflé, and I asked him if they made a Harlequin one, and then I told him that's a swirl of chocolate and Grand Marnier, and Chef said OK, which was great.

Deep background: Back in 1994 John and I were at our legendary Best Friend Christmas Dinner at Il Fornaio in San Jose; I ordered the biggest steak that they had, and now whenever John tells the story he increases the steak's weight by another 8 ounces and never fails to end it with, "and she ate the whole thing, and the waiters were afraid."

Last night, (DH) read from the menu board that a 48 oz. Porterhouse was in the offing.

"For two," he clarified. So we split it. The tuxedoed head waiter carved it tableside and his bow-tie was askew the rest of the night.

Somewhere during the meal I overheard her: "are you stoned?" him: "yes." her: "all night?"

I went to the restroom and the date next door was washing her hands.

"I don't know how long you two have been seeing each other..." I began.

"Yes?" Her surprise evinced her New Englandness.

"You're adorable."

As they left, the guy raised his eyebrow at me as a showing of thanks. I was happy to help.

Why am I telling you this? Because I need to do my crunches, and it's already the next day. But I DID show Nick and Em my Basic Sets Rhythmball routine, and they were super-impressed. They even said "oooh!" when I completed three consecutive under-the-leg throws. So apparently my practice is indeed making perfect. And my old maternity clothes need to be stitched into something that fits, so it’s beginning to pay off where it really counts: my childborne hips!

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Rhythmball=Rain Dance???

I went to my garden this morning, Miracle-Gro in one hand and Rhythmball paddle in the other. After talking to my garden neighbor Susan, who enjoys betting people a dollar that they can't guess how old my baby is (nobody's taken cash from her yet), about the community's disparagment about M-G (lots of organic types around, apparently), I dosed my veggies and sat in my donated chair, watching things grow and weeding within arm's reach. After I finished my coffee I decided to put my Rhythmball skills to the test: I went to the central area of the garden, near the tool shed, and started swingin'. This was the first time I'd Rhythmballed in public and I have to say, I surprised myself with how well I did. Even managed some under-the-leg tricks! And, by the time I was done, I'd made it rain! Hope it doesn't wash all my Miracle-Gro away!

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Monday Monday

Superyard. Baby sold separately
Where did last week go? Oh yeah. Baby care. On Thursday we went to Hell and back, otherwise known as Connecticut. :) That's the site of the closest Babies'R'Us store. One is opening in our mall come August, but our baby has outgrown his swing and his playpen (all this at seven months, yes) so we had to buy some new items. He is now the proud owner of an exersaucer and a Superyard, kind of like a dog run but for babies. He's very pleased, and I'm delighted that it limits the amount of childproofing we'll have to do. NOTE: the baby pictured is not my baby. I think he's sold separately.

I'd been doing most of my Rhythmball practice while baby naps, but yesterday when he was exersaucering I figured I'd give it a go. I started swinging my arm and letting the ball catch a little air. Baby was not only transfixed, but promptly began laughing his little bottom off. Hi-larious. I'm also practicing left-handed Rhythmball so I can tone equally, but I'm not doing that while baby's in the room because my coordination is not quite childproof.

In additon to Rhythmball, I've set a new goal of 500 stomach crunches a week. That works out to about 75/day. I've done it for the last two days and am already sensing improvement. I was able to do 40 in a row this morning, rather than 3.5 sets of 20. Whoo! Feel the burn!

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