Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You spin me right 'round...

Lately, I've given the spinning classes at my gym, called RPM, a shot. My weekly fitness routine has been getting a bit stale and in an effort to change it up and confuse/trick my body into burning more calories, I hopped into the saddle.

I walked in to my first class and quickly realized I had no idea how to adjust the bike for my particular body. I fiddled with raising the seat, moving the handlebars back and forth, and shifting my weight in the seat. I pedaled a little. My first though, OUCH. Fucking OUCH. My ass...or more specifically, my Sits bones! Oddly though, as I continued on in my first class, the ass pain became less and less of an issue. But perhaps that's because I was close to death for most of the time.

"Your RPMs should be at about 130-140 right now!", Amelia belted out over the pulsating techno music. I looked down to see if I was within the range, because I felt like I was really giving it my all. 97. Really?! Only 97!?! Holy shit, how would I ever get my RPMs up to 130, I silently asked myself as I fought off another wave of nausea. Clearly, I'm not really cut out for this spinning thing, I thought. I should just stick to dance. So easy that would have been. But my competitive side will never let me give up that easily.

I gave it another chance the next week, this time with Michele teaching. I adjusted the bike as best I could and then climbed on. Immediately, I was reminded of the first ten minutes of my first class with a jolt of Sits bones pain. But thankfully, Michele's teaching style differs greatly from Amelia's, and I made it through without seeing black at the edges of my vision.

I spoke to Michele after class about the pain in the general nether-region and how best to deal with it, and here's what she had to offer, verbatim: "After a while, you build up a tolerance. You sort of...go numb down there." Now, I'm no expert or anything, but I'm guessing "down there" is not really somewhere you want to go numb. I'm just sayin'...

Anyways, I've kept up with RPM for several weeks now, and I have to admit, I'm really starting to like it. It's a HELL of a workout. I always end up totally drenched and breathless afterwards. I took class from Bryce tonight, and it was the best one yet. I actually managed to get my RPMs up to 128! Almost within the target range for one tiny part of the class! LOL! I'm making progress! Woot!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Calesthenics...Obama style

I'm currently watching our new President's speech, and I can't help but wonder...

...Were the men and women in Congress prepared for the leg work out they're getting tonight? Up, down, up, down, cheer, hoot, holler, up, down, up, down. On and on it goes. Not that I disagree with what the most articulate President of our time has to say. I'm as enamored and as captivated as the next guy, but sheesh, all that standing and sitting and standing and sitting has got to be a little tiring and hard on the old, creaky knees, don'tcha think?

And as much as I LOVE her, can someone please teach Nancy Pelosi how to clap? It's waaaay too rhythmic and looks a little robotic. And honey, that shirt!! That design on the front!! That color!! Ooof! No. No. NO.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My new hero

Ladies and gents, I give you Kunio Kato, who, in his Oscar acceptance speech, made me howl with laughter:

By far, the awesomest speech of the night. So unexpected! So awesome! Thumbs up!

Where technology pisses me off

I hate Twitter. I hate the word "Twitter". I hate that people subscribing to each other's "tweets" (which is a word I totally hate) aren't called "friends" but "followers". I hate that some of my actual friends have linked their stupid Twitter accounts with their Facebook accounts, such that anytime they "tweet" (Oh God, I can feel the chunks rising), their Facebook status has a bunch of random @ and # signs in the text, making the update completely unreadable. And I especially HATE that Twitter seems to be everywhere lately. Everyone who's anyone has a Twitter account with numerous followers. Some people tweet (barf!) four to five times a day to update their followers on every aspect of their incredibly important lives. I just think the whole thing is incredibly lame and way more self- indulgent than traditional blogs. I refuse to jump on board.

That is all.


...for the lack of posting lately. I seem to have picked up a particularly ass-kicking strain of the bug that's been going around lately. It's all but drained my will to live and writing is not high on the list of things I'd like to be doing.

Of course, because I am an idiot, I've been pushing myself too hard lately and am now sacked out on the couch, cursing my own stubborn attitude. In my mind, if I don't admit to myself that I'm sick, I'm not. That approach worked pretty well right up until my birthday party last night.

First off, Marc 49 is the coolest place ever. We occupied the entire back room and our waitress was unbelievable. The wine flowed, the company was amazing, and thanks to the heat lamps, I felt like passing out all night long. Aside from being sick and getting worse once I got home, I had a great night. I am convinced that I have the coolest friends in the entire world.

Today, I am miserable. Sitting on the couch is usually a very comfortable thing, but I am so achy and yucky that I can't seem to find a way to sit or lay that doesn't bother me. Advil and sleep sound good right about now, but I'll probably just end up watching all the Oscar fanfare. Yeah. And until I feel a bit better, there's not gonna be a whole lot of activity here. Sorry about that. My life is pretty dull these days, anyway...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sorry for the super late notice...

...but if you all are interested in sports dynamics with a special emphasis on development and youth sports, I highly recommend that you tune in to hear my wonderful internet friend Kirk Mango's interview on The Sports Doctor on February 19th at 6:30pm CST on 90.9 WDCB FM Radio (if you click the link, you'll be connected to the live stream).

Kirk has recently written a book called Becoming a True Champion and his talk will cover the book, his daughters and youth sports training in general. He and I met through Bleacher Report and have shared many interesting conversations regarding all aspects of youth sports, including psychological and physical development.

If you're at all interested, please tune in and check him out. Kirk is a great guy with some very astute observations and viewpoints on striving to be the best athlete and person that you or those you coach can be.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New shoes! YAY!

Man, its been a while since I've done a new shoe post, and that's mainly because I haven't really bought any new pairs for months. But the recent email from Beverly Feldman and my upcoming birthday inspired me. That brings us to my newest shoe infatuation:

I never knew I could love a pair of shoes so much! I smile every time I pass them in the hall. These are the same beauties I posted about here, and once I started thinking about them, it was all over. I couldn't resist. So, happy birthday to me! And despite the 4" mega heel, they're actually really comfortable. At least that's what I'll keep telling myself. In reality, I've been out of the practice of walking in shoes like this long enough that my ankles feel weak and teetery. It's tragic, I know.

About 6 months ago while I was still gainfully employed, I bought several pairs of dressy shoes for work, knowing full well that most of my coworkers wore running shoes on a daily basis, and some didn't even bother to tie the laces. I could have succumb to the comfort of my New Balances, but life's just too damn short to look frumpy, ya know? So, even though they're not nearly as glamorous as the previous pair, here's a sampling of the shoes that I picked up for "work":

Although the heel measures only a mere 3", I still really like these. Best of all, they're from Naturalizer. Bet you never would have guessed that one, huh? Yes, Naturalizer actually makes *gasp* cute shoes. This next pair is also from Naturalizer:

Although most people seem to equate Naturalizer with dumpy, instantly comfortable nurse shoes, these guys were anything but. I actually had to stretch them with shoe trees for about a week before I could tolerate a whole day without kicking them off under my desk more than once a day. (Note that I generally wear these with pants and trouser socks, so they might look a little strange in the picture. Actually, they're really cute. The gray material is flannel and offsets the shiny patent leather nicely.)

Anyways, that's it for now. I'm gonna be strutting around my house for the next few days wearing the first pair with socks in an effort to break them in a little before their debut at the wine bar on Saturday. Hopefully, my ankles will remember how to walk in 4" heels by then!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Songs I'm liking lately

I'm not sure why, but I've been listening to a lot of radio lately. Not internet radio, or satellite radio. No, I mean that thing that is sent out over the airwaves. Strange, I know. I usually HATE things I hear on mainstream, homogenized, Top 40-centric radio. But lately, a strange thing seems to be happening. A few musicians have been putting out some pretty decent music. Grab your coats, people. Hell just might be freezing over. Srsly.

Here's a quick sample of several songs I'm really loving lately and just can't seem to get enough of:

I loves me some Mary J. Her voice is strong and confident and this song always manages to pull at my heart a little. "I'm here to make peace...I don't wanna fight...I just wanna make everything right..." Yes, I know that feeling well. This is just an all around beautiful song.

I slammed Coldplay pretty hard the other night for "allegedly" stealing Joe Satriani's music for their song "Viva La Vida" (and then winning Grammys for it), but the truth of the matter is that I love them. I ADORE their first album, and most of what I have heard from this one sounds pretty damn good too. Especially this song. I play it over and over and over. It's music to my ears.

I get to hear this one every week in my dance class. It's one of the songs in between the salsa piece and the house block designed to give us a little break before the real cardio comes along. I love it. It's totally funky and full of attitude. I always sing along. When I'm dead tired and feel like I can't dance another step, this song comes on and keeps me moving. (note: this is only the 30 second preview. If you like what you hear, click through to imeem to hear the whole track)

Who is this Adele person and where the hell did she come from with that voice? I can't even tell you how much I love this song. I could listen endlessly. So sultry and sweet all at the same time. (again, a 30 second snippet. I highly suggest listening to the whole song with this one. It will blow you away)

Mmmmmm...John Legend. Me likey. This is just a fun, catchy sing-along song. I turn the volume up every time I hear it and rock out...usually in my car.

I know it's weird, but there's good stuff on the normal radio these days. Give it a shot. Who knows...maybe you'll find your next favorite song.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Wine bar WIN!!

In the quest to find a decent place to host my little birthday get together, DJC and I had decided on a wine bar called Franklin Square in downtown Oakland. It's owned by the same folks that own Luka's Taproom across the street and since we like that place (for the most part), we figured that Franklin Square would be equally as cool, with a respectable wine selection. We'd decided that we were going to try it out on Friday night after a movie. Then...then we read the Yelp reviews.

Most times, I don't take too much stock in what Yelpers have to say, because I feel that most of them are washed-up hipsters that will slam places that they secretly love without hesitation just because its what hipsters are supposed to do. But every now and then, I pay attention to what they're saying, and in the case of Franklin Square, we steered clear of the place. It just seemed so...generic and yet pretentious all at the same time. Not at all what I had in mind.

A little discouraged, I did a bit more Yelp searching and came upon a place called Marc 49. It's also located in Oakland, but in the uber-trendy (read: hipster-infested) Temescal area. I balked at the location, but all of the positive reviews won me over in this case. So, after seeing "Gran Torino" (SO amazing, BTW) on Friday night, DJC and I checked it out. Now you can, too:

Aaaah, this is more like it! This is actually the back "room", which has open windows and heat lamps overhead. It's cozy, warm and perfectly charming. I really dug all of the wood. Actually, the whole place is charming. The wine was great and the food was more than passable (tasty panini sandwiches and salads) with excellent service. The only downside was that the back room got CROWDED. And loud. And the tables may have been a smidge too low for the food. But those things are small when compared to how much I really loved the vibe and feel of this place.

I reserved the entire back room on the way out the door. A great wine bar in Oakland? WIN!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


There are a few shoe designers that I am extremely partial to. Beverly Feldman is one of them. Her shoes are quirky, unexpected, and unique, while still being very wearable. Normally, her inventory is priced just slightly out of the range of what I can justify or afford, but every now and then I get a glorious email announcing a sale. Today, I got a big one with "UP TO 75% OFF!" as the title! Yeeeee!!! Shoes!!! I can feel my heart rate increasing!!

I clicked through, browsed the offerings and picked out four pairs I desperately wanted before coming to grips with the fact that I don't have a job and I need another pair of shoes like I need another hole in my head. I mean, I need these when most of my daily activities involve slogging through the campus of the local junior college:

The hard truth is no. But damn it, my birthday is coming up soon, and I really, reallly, REALLY love these:

Holy shit, they are beautiful. But they might be a little much for a pharmacology class. But even if the first two pairs are pretty over the top, there are these, which are understated, classic and easily wearable:

You see my dilemma. What's a jobless, junior -college-attending shoe whore to do?! Maybe I will treat myself. My birthday is coming up, after all, and everyone deserves pretty things that make them happy on their birthday!!

(See what I'm trying to do, there? I'm trying to convince myself that I need, naaah, deserve a new pair of frivolous shoes. I'll keep you posted on what happens!)

If you're in the market for a new pair of funky shoes, hit up Miss Beverly's site. She won't let you down!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Greatest. Story. EVAR!

God, I love the internets. Where else can you find hilarious, I-was-doubled-over-earlier (not kidding) stories such at this one? No place else...that's where.

I've also marveled at how credit card machines always seems to accept whatever chicken scratch I lazily enter, although I've never gone as far as to attempt "Crotchy Crotchington" or to simply doodle genitalia and see if it flies. Genius.

Kingpin, I salute you, sir. You are a true innovator, and its this kind of ingenuity that keeps America moving forward. I can only dream of aspiring to such greatness...

(I'm seriously laughing uncontrollably. So freaking incredibly epic, I swear. Well done!!)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My weakness is now in my home.

I love coffee. There. I said it. Yummy, delicious, foamy, sanity-saving lattes, to be exact. But as much as I crave these tasty beverages sometimes, the hassle of getting in the car and going to a Starbucks or a Peet's and then standing in line and coughing up $3+ has always mostly been enough to deter me from making my love for vanilla lattes a serious problem.

DJC recently received a moka pot for Christmas. Since then, he's purchased a french press and a serious coffee grinder. We've been experimenting with various coarseness of the grind of the beans, water temperatures and how long to leave the coffee in the press until it's pressed. I've been experimenting with the blender and milk and the vanilla Torani syrup I picked up a while back. See, the blender has this whip function that makes the milk light as air, and this morning, I made the most deeee-lish vanilla latte ever! Check it out:

Perfect, frothy, vanilla heaven in a cup. I'm so excited to be able to make my own, better-than-Starbucks lattes like this without having to leave the comfort of my own house and my sweatpants and glasses. is good.

The Devil Wears...

"But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then … Yves Saint Laurent … showed cerulean military jackets. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin."

Ridiculous. Comedy. The clothes. THE SHOES!! Love it. Perfect for a Sunday morning hangover, although I kinda want to strangle Meryl Streep, ya know? That feeling might still be the last double IPA talking, though... ;)