Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Alexanderish

Feeling a bit like Alexander today...

End of year luncheon at work today, which served as a recognition luncheon for those people who reached a milestone year (5th, 10th, etc.) as well as a farewell luncheon for the people who are leaving. Great people choosing to move on is not unusual in education, but that doesn't make it hurt any less when inspiring colleagues whom I respect deeply are the ones leaving. I had known about all of the departures except one, but the one that I didn't know about was like being punched in the gut. I pictured my corner of the building devoid of some highly experienced and calm-exuding colleagues, and I went to my classroom and started to cry. Actually, I started crying going up the stairs. I'm going to miss them so much. I was also emotional because I realized that my students didn't know about that last departure yet, and it would hit some of them really hard when they found out.

Chicken and salad for lunch, fruit and a brownie (1" cube) for dessert. But overall not enough calories, not enough protein, not enough H20, and way too much emotion.

A couple of my students came by today also. Most, thank god, before I got weepy. Next year I'll make sure I have tissues and foundation on hand before I go to the year end luncheon. Live and learn.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Insomnia

So here I am at 3:40am, unable to sleep. By the time it gets this late (or early), I don't want to fall asleep because my alarms are set to go off in two hours and I'm worried that I'll sleep through both of them. Fortunately, this non-sleeping thing happens to me rarely.

I spent most of the day at work, and got kicked out of the building (nicely) at 5pm, as it was closing early for Memorial Day and the guard needed to set the alarm. I was not happy, as I still had about three hours worth of work I'd planned on doing, but there wasn't anything I could do about it, so I smiled and left. My usual free wifi coffee shop was closed, so I headed to a quiet Starbucks and got work done there.

I think I'm going to read about anatomy and physiology until it's time to get ready for work. A few weeks back, based on EC's resource page, I bought myself an early b-day present in the form of a used copy of the Marieb book. I'm planning on having this body for a while, may as well learn more about it.

If you're up at this hour, here's a beautiful Memorial Day article (found via Instapundit).

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Fight Report Later

I went to the local bar to watch the fight. Remember that the first time I went to watch ufc there, they put me next to a nice young couple, the second time next to an annoying drunk, the third time behind a pillar, and this time they managed to forget about my reservation entirely. I can hardly wait to see what they'll do for the next card. I really should acquire some friends who own a tv and get them to host a fight night. I'll bring the crudites and protein shakes.

I had made the reservation in person on Friday, and it was right there on the laminated chart: "MC - one person - paid", but according to the puzzled folks at the door, either the person who created the seating chart forgot to add me, or they added me but a confused waitperson gave my seat to another party who needed the extra chair. Lovely. Trying to solve the situation, blonde waitperson with an overly short skirt sends me to the table at the farthest corner of the room, claiming there is space there. Fortunately, the nice people at that table informed me it was full. Back to the reservation geniuses at the front door. Thanks to a different waitperson, I got a seat at a table closest to the largest screen. Actually, way too close to the largest screen, so that I spent the evening with my head tilted back at an uncomfortable angle, but at least it was better than the corner.

I am super-tired, so the report will have to wait till tomorrow. I can't say I'm happy with the results of this card, but I did enjoy the bouts and I like the unpredictability of this sport.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sisters and Mindset

I have the most amazing sister in the world. She not only sent me platemates for my birthday, she also sourced them from a supplier right here in Kansas. Since I already solved the incremental plates issue, I drove there yesterday afternoon to exchange the platemates. It was a long and confusing drive and I got lost twice. This is a good thing. If it was easy to get there I'd spend way too much money with them; I want half their catalog. I found my way thanks to a nice landscaping/construction guy and a very helpful shift manager at Einstein Br0s. I am now the proud owner of an uber-fancy foam roller and a Fitball Sport stability ball. If you're wondering what to do with a foam roller, TN had a good Cressey/Robertson article on the subject back in 2004.

The other day, I clicked through to a blog I rarely read and found a post directly related to what's on my mind at the moment; how mindset and perspective affect performance. I'm 4th or 5th on the local library queue for Mindset, and I'm looking forward to reading it. Seems to me it would be useful for improving my teaching techniques.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Burning the Laurels Part I

For most of my adult life, birthdays were depressing days that ended with me making lists that said things like "tomorrow I will start losing weight" or "next year I will be 50lbs lighter / have a new job / have higher grades / whatever", then eating ice cream and going to sleep. I'm no longer depressed by birthdays, nor do I think about all the things I could/would/should have accomplished by now, nor do I compare myself to my more successful but not necessarily happier friends.

I did do a little quiet reflection, however, because this has not been a good year in terms of exercise and nutrition. I cut myself too much slack. I allowed other people's priorities to come before mine. I forgot to take my own advice about being selfish and putting my exercise and nutrition needs first, and my performance declined accordingly. I miss the mindset I had last year: the joy I felt when squat day fell on my birthday.

My heaviest recorded weight isn't on the front page of this blog anymore. That weight doesn't matter; it belongs in the backstory. I'm having a big bonfire and burning the laurels. My current fitness level is only good if I compare it to the fitness level of the me who ate ice cream from the carton, but I haven't been that person in over two years and I have no business using her as my point of comparison. She is so far removed from my current mindset we may as well be two different people.

The me who came home from the gym happily exhausted six days a week, who looked forward to leg day, who ate cottage cheese from the carton, that me looks at the current me and shakes her head in dismay. I should be doing multiple pull-ups, making smoke rise from the rowing machine, grilling chicken breasts in my sleep. Instead I'm coasting on mediocrity, buoyed by compliments from people who gasp when they see my before picture. I thought having that picture around would be good for me, but instead it makes me satisfied with the present, and I don't want to be satisfied anymore.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Soon

Lots on my mind right now, but the following things are interfering with my plans to turn what's on my mind into posts:

1. I'm still grading the exams my students wrote on Friday.
2. My internet service is dead again, having worked for all of six days. Technician #4 is coming to try and sort it out.
3. The logic board of my laptop is having firmware issues and will have to be replaced.
4. It's my birthday.

So, I ask for your forbearance for another day or two. Hope all your techie bits are working fine.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

One More

One more pic from the City Museum.


I'll be back on May 22nd.

Chains


I took these at the City Museum in St. Louis, a fascinating place I plan to re-visit.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Zoo

This picture is not me. Well, maybe me when I don't get enough sleep... :-) When I took this picture the bear had emerged from the water and had just finished shaking itself dry. The field trip was great but it did tire me out. I think walking around the St. Louis Zoo was the main culprit, but it was fun, and I took several pictures. Of course with the shutter lag it took several attempts before I finally had ones of the bear and the bird that I liked.
Today I actually sat down a couple of times while teaching, which I almost never do. My seniors wrote their final exam today; everyone else's exams start the 18th. Fortunately my exam is the first one on the schedule. Last semester it was among the last. This time I plan to grade all day Sunday and enter all my grades on Monday.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

St. Louis Field Trip



Just came back from a three day middle school field trip - a gaggle of amazing 7th graders, two very cool colleagues, a competent bus driver and beautiful weather. Who could ask for anything more? The pic above is a section of the stairs we climbed at Cahokia, and the one below is a chain on the St. Louis riverfront.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

On and Off Part II

After much to-ing and fro-ing I've decided to skip tonight's DLH-FM fight. The local bar is charging $15 for a reservation, and I'm not sufficiently excited about it to go. It seems to me that the marketing for this fight has focused exclusively on the main event. When I go to the local bar to watch UFC, I'm interested in the entire card, not just the main event. Mind you, I'm the sort of person who'll stay after the main event to watch a previously-recorded undercard fight.

In addition to my non-excitement, I need sleep. The school year is winding down: I've got finals to create, assignments to grade and return and lessons to plan for next year. Nutrition, training and sleep have all been atrocious this past week, and I need to do damage control. Spending three hours in a smoky bar and getting to sleep after midnight tonight would not be useful in this regard.

My internet service is kaput yet again. To recap, installer came and installed, it worked fine for a week or so, then died. Technician came and checked, said everything was fine, and of course it worked while technician was in my house. An hour after he left it died again. Second technician came, exchanged the modem and claimed the original modem's transformer had been the problem. So here I am a couple of days later and the new modem is dead. If I had a dollar for every time the customer service reps apologized to me, I'd be a rich woman. Blogging will be sporadic until this is sorted out.

In the meantime, here is some good reading elsewhere:

I've been thinking about my gym in Jerusalem (less than ten weeks till I'm back there!) a lot since I left. In particular, I've tried to quantify what made it so great. Man-in-charge and the guys who trained there, obviously. But beyond that. Over at Dynamic Fitness there's a post that summarizes the characteristics of good gyms. The old gym meets all his criteria, except perhaps "recognition", but it isn't really necessary. The recognition you get from the other people there is sufficient, not to mention the compliments from your friends when your transformation dawns on them.

You know that fitness summit I didn't go to? Coach Mike has a recap of all the wonderful things I missed.

Lastly, a quote from EFS. Indelicate language at the other end of that link, but well worth it.
[W]hat kind of genetics do you need to lay on a goddamn bench and press a barbell?
All you need is a torso and some arms. Get with it, people.
--J. Wendler, EFS

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Seminar Chicken

I'm gotten to be quite an expert at not going to seminars. The LA Strength Seminar in Sept 06? I wanted to go but didn't go. The JP Fitness Summit earlier this month? Ditto. Some of it was timing and some of it was budget, but let's be honest here: some of it was laziness and some of it was trepidation. Enough is enough. I finally got off my butt today (or, more accurately, sat down on my butt infront of my computer) and signed up for this. Maybe I'm getting in over my head, but that's one of my favorite ways to learn new things. And it will make for interesting blogging after the fact.

The funny thing was that, having made my decision, I went through the shopping cart app and discovered that they don't take my credit card. Since this was the last day to get the early bird rate, I called and asked if I could mail a check, and the nice gentleman at the other end said I could and if it was postmarked tomorrow I could still get the Early Bird rate. Whew. So in short order I typed up and printed a letter, wrote the check, found an envelope and a stamp and drove off to find a mailbox. Envelope is now in the mailbox, waiting for the USPS to do its thing. Now all I need to do is book flight and hotel.

Modem was replaced today. According to the technician, the problem was not in the modem but in the transformer. So now I have internet service and it seems to be problem-free.

During the intermittent times that my modem was running last week I managed to do a bit of shopping. Bought the Liftstr0ng cd because the article excerpts and authors interested me. The charity aspect wasn't a factor in my purchasing decision. CD arrived today; I read two articles and then forced myself to put it aside as I have a pile of grading to do tonight. I think that next year I'll make the assignments slightly larger but assign fewer of them.