Category Archives: hobbies & obsessions

12 Days of Christmas blogging: Day 6

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

Since I’ve already written about my New Years’ Promises{ I hate the word” resolutions”as when I resolve to complete a task I generally fail at the attempt.} I’m writing about music on my Ipod. Irrelevant? Probably, but this is my blog & I’ll discuss what I wat to discuss. :O)

Anyhow, I’m currently waiting for EPC to pick me up for our morning workout at the gym. I’m fairly pleased with the results of my promise to myself that I’d get fit in 2012, but I’ve still MUCH more work in that area of my life ahead of me. Fitness{ at lest to me} is a lifestyle choice–not a ” resolution”.

The Parental Units gave me a new much improved Ipod for Christmas. Currently { as I type} I am transferring a 3 Dog Night CD to my Itunes collection. Although I was born in 1976, m musical tastes lie mostly with the rock & roll music of the 1960s & 1970’s. :O) In my opinion, music of y parents’ generation is fa superior to the music of today. Although there are some bands & solo artists from te 180’s { my ” coming of age” years”} my tastes in music tend towards that of the vintage rock era. I’ll admit that I’ve some current ” pop music” on my Ipod…but its few & far between on my playlist.

I’m an “old soul” musically. :O)


12 Days of Christmas: Day 3

My brother & sister-in-law are here from Hotlanta for the New Year, so things are gonna be quite busy in my universe these next few days. Best Dude has to work this morning, so I’m hanging out with mi familia.

This morning my Dad, brother & I went to the gym. It was really nice to ork out with my family & I wish my brother et al lived closer t us so e could enjoy more such mornings. I worked my arms & shoulders today & I know I shall feel the fruits of my laboring in the gym this evening when I try to relax & settle in .

Best Dude & I will watch the second part of the Christiane Amanpour special_Back to the Beginning_ on ABC this evening. We are very much looking forward to this show.

The weather here on the Gulf Coast has surely been ” wintry”. We woke to a thin layer of frost on Best Dude’s truck.

Merry Christmas, every one!

Chrismas Day 2: Resolutions & Promises to Myself

Merry Christmas!

Last year I promised myself that I’d begin to get my physical body in shape. I’ve done really well thus far & intend to keep up with the gym & pool visits, eating better & making an effort to get enough hours of sleep per night.

Although I am not quite at my projected muscle-building gaols for 2012, I am proud of the functionality that I’ve gained in my quest to build stronger muscles. Since I am not as ” big” a I’d hoped to be by now,I am not entering the 2013 Panhandle Showdown in April. Hopefully I’ll be more ready for that sort of fitness competition by April of 2014 .

In 2013, my goal is to increase my self-confidence. I do not have much self-confidence at all, so I tend to overcompensate for this deficit. Currently I am not sure how I will work towards this goal, but I’m sure the answer will come to me.

I’ve never been one with self confidence–throughout most of my school years I was bullied badly by my peers. As a result of this schoolyard cruelty, I am shy highly suspicious of people until I get to know them better. Because ms of my schoolyard orentors were girls, I have a hard time especially trusting women. In 2013 I plan to further the ” Sisterhood” I already enjoy with my few female friends & also open myself to meeting new gal pals.

What are some thing that YOU wish to improve upon in 2013?

” In the Beginning…..

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am both a Biblical history buff and a HUGE fan of Ms Christiane Amanpour’s work. So, when found out that ABC News will air a two-part documentary on the Biblical history of Genesis, I internally shouted ” BOOYAH”.

The photography was amazing & Best Dude & I learned a lot.

I know a lot of people think Christiane Amanpour is an anti-American Muslim. This is not the case, she even stated that she is a Christian { Roman Catholic} with persian heritage on her father’s side who ALSO happens to be married to an American Jew{ Jamie Rubin} I’ve been a fan of her work for years { actually it is her work as an international correspondent that inspired me to study journalism in college} & generally watch all of her special reports.

Another interesting aspect of _In the Beginning_ is that Ms Amanpour took her 12-year-old son, Darius, along with her when she travelled around the world for this special. She hopes to , by showing people the common history that Christians, Jews & Muslims sar, that this report might spark some interfaith dialog among the three Abrahamic faith traditions.

I thought it was great how Bruce Fieler was also interviewed extensively for this report. Years ago I read Fieler’s books _ Walking The Bible_ & _Abraham_ I highly recommend both of these ooks…the author does an excellent job of writing these nonfiction tomes to read like an adventure novel. :O)

Ms Amanpour’s documentary ” flowed” like a good movie. The theme of it seems { so far, as Part Two airs next week} to be that all three faiths share much more than we realize and that we’re all People of The Book.

I am a child of interfaith parents { Christian & Jewish} & am sick of all the interfaith violence . In my opinion, all these ” holy wars” are & have ben fueled by misunderstandings among the three monotheistic faiths. My Jewish heritage has never undermine my Christin faith— in many ways it has enhanced what I believe as a Christian. I’m not too familiar wih mainline Islam, but I try not to pre-judge Muslims when I hear of acts of violence committed in tha name of God.


Puffy paint wearable art

I’ve rediscovered the joy of creating wearable artwork using ” puffy paint” .

I used to do quite a bit of visual artwork, including using puppy paint to decorate otherwise plain-looking denim. I’ve come away from my fine artwork hobby these past few years { mostly because art in the past has been a form of therapy & I do not need therapy anymore, thanks be to God}

Anyhow, I am almost done with a pair of painted jeans{ that were gonna go into the rag-bag} into a work of self-expression. Since puffy paint dries slowly, I am adding to the piece in stages. Tonight I finished the back legs of the jeans … & the centre point of my jeans is a rendition of my red crowntail betta fish, ‘Duncan’. Normally I am not one who brags about my own art, but I *am* impressed with the way the fish rendition just sets off the rest of the { relatively simple} design of the pants.  Tomorrow I’ll finish off this project with a ” memorial” rendition of  my first betta fish-boy ” Argo”. I do have all the colors needed to complete the portraits of both my betta fish.

Hopefully I will find either an inexpensive denim jacket or vest on which to paint.  one of my cousins ave me the idea to make my own ” torn” shorts from cheap denim jeans, but as of right now I’ve no more jeans that are old enough to turn into a customized pair of designer shorts.  

Puffy paint is fun!

My first competitive 5K walk in 10 years.

Best Dude & I are competing in a local charity 5K race on Saturday , October 13. { our priest is getting married that day also, but the wedding isn’t slated until 6 PM}

I have not done a competitive walk in over 10 years, so I’m a bit nervous. I’d elected to compete in the walkers’ division, since I’ve not run 3 consecutive miles since high school * and* my left knee is still recovering from the hiking accident.

Best Dude & I are both fast walkers & I think there is a good chance that both of us will place in our appropriate age/gender divisions. :O)

To prepare for the 5K, I’m concentrating on training my legs more for these next two weeks. Swimming helps we build speed, but I also need to build endurance by doing squats, leg presses & sit-ups.

Perhaps I’ll add * some* leg-pounding cardio my indoor routine, bu I do no want to re-injure my knee. When I got hurt, my doctor told me to stay ut of the gym & pool for one week–and that one week was mental torture for me. Perhaps next October I’ll consider running this 5K- but for now I’ll err on the side of caution.

Movie & Book Review: “Sarah’s Key”

I love Netflix. For about 8 dollars per month, I have access to a wide plethora of TV shows & movies on demand.

This week I watched the film ” Sarah’s Key” based on the novel that I read several months ago on my NOOK. I thought the novel, as a whole is an excellent story about a little-known piece of pre WW2 Europe. I also enjoyed how the main protagonist, Julia, uses her journalism skills to find out the truth behind an apartment that her husband’s family has owned since before the Second World War.

What was a bit disappointing for me was how the author turned some of Julia’s story into a soap opera. As one reads the book & sees the movie, one realizes that Julia is trapped in an unhappy marriage. The story could have progressed without the interpersonal drama between Julia & her husband.

Julia discovers that the Jewish family who owned the apartment were among the thousands of French Jews who were arrested & eventually sent to the death camps.

At the beginning of the subtitled film version Sarah, locks her little brother in the bedroom closet & promises to return . Throughout both the novel & the movie, Sarah keeps the key to this closet on her person.

The family arrives at the concentration camp where the women & children are separted from the men.

Later on, she is separated from her mother & sent to a part of the camp that houses only children. Along with an older girl, she escapes from the concentration camp & rescued by two kindly French citizens. Sarah grows up & sheds her Jewish identity. Eventually she emigrates to the United States & Julia tracks down her paper trail and ends up in New York.

Both versions of this story were good, but as an avid reader I much preferred the novel over the film version, This was the first film I’d viewed that employed subtitles & that hindered my understanding of the movie. It is hard for me to keep track of the dialog on the screen. The only American actor in this film is Kristin Scott Thomas . I thought she did a fair job of playing the lead character of Julia. But to me, the star of the show was the child who played young Sarah.

As a Christan with Jewish roots, this story was a tough one for me to read/ watch . But I am glad that I did, as the story of Europe’s Jewish citizens during the reighn of Hitler. I am a proud Christian but choice, but my Jewishness is a gift with which I was born & one that I fully embrace.

Guys of Autumn

Ah, September, how I’ve missed thee!

It is not as bloody HOT as it was since May here on the Gulf Coast. Storm season is { almost} over & one can expect to enjoy fresh air in the morning without worrying about inviting in the humidity into the home. School is back in session, so my workout time at the gym is much more efficient. :O)

But to me, autumn really does not start until FOOTBALL season officially commences.

Last night Best Dude & I watched The University of Alabama CRUSH ” That School Up North” in the household’s first SEC football game of 2012 on TV. I am a huge football follower but he is not.Thankfully, Best Dude has a lot of patience with me during football season.

Next week , however, is STEELER SEASON 2012. To we Pittsburgh-area native games on Sunday afternoons are almost{ but not quite} sacramental.

Here we go! Play ball!

diet versus eating plan

I am not a fanof the word ” diet”.

I do, however, watch what I eat. But to diet is to deny oneself , and I will NOT do that to my body.

No. That is not happening. I love my body & am at a place in my relationship with food hat I do not worry about calories anymore Instead, I focus on the QUALITY of food I eat. Truth be told, I probably consume moe calories than most women of my size, but I also work hard to build lean muscle. Many womem at the gym I attend have weight-loss goals, but I am among the minority who attend te gym to BUILD muscle.

I do not diet. Instead, I eat responsibly. I don’t go to the gym in order o punish my body— I work out to improve my physqiue.

My eating plan consists of a lot of protein , good carbohydrates, and produce. I DO supplement my meals with protein shakes after a raining session , and I do eat dessert{ although a moderate amount} ….I’m careful of portion control regarding sweets.

Eat well, but eat as “clean” as possible. Fresh , whoe foods are imperativ : avoild pre-packaged meals as much as possible. Choose carbs wisely. Practice portion control regarding desserts.

“Fitsperation”: good or bad?

Any fitness enthusiast has seen the ” motivational” posters that float all over social media. My fitness friends post them all over Facebook & I’m also one who ” shares” & posts my own fitspirational messages.

You all know of what I speak. For instance: today on my Facebook page i found one such image that says” Success isn’t given. It’s earned on the track, in the field or in the gym. With blood, sweat & the occasional tear.”

I also posted one awhile back that shows a very fit young woman doing some sort of gymnastics move with the words” Strong is the new skinny”. { which, by the way, is now my motto.}. To me, such slogans & images inspire me to build the best body that *I *can. Recently I read a recent article in a magazine that says that such ” fitspiration” messages can be as damaging to women as are the trend of ” THINSPIRATION” { Thinspiration , a movement by the pro-eatingdisorder underground community, post & shares photos of girls & women who are emaciated…along with weight-loss inspiration slogans.

I’ve dealt with my own eating issues I surely DO NOT wish to return to that lifestyle. Finally, I can sy that my relationship with food is healthy. Yet I can see how ” fitspiration” images on the Internet might be misconstrued by girls , women & even some men whose mindset is focused on ” thin” rather than ” healthy”. Since I am mindful of those who suffer from disordered eating, I take extra care to ONLY post slogans/images that portray a goal of a _healthy lifestyle_. I do not approve of the pro-eating disorder movement, but at the same time I know how deep their pain is how hard it is to completely change one’s attitude about food & fitness.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Let us begin a dialog.