Showing posts from July, 2009

Right Now. Now. And Now.

This week, I've been interviewing people for an article I'm writing on adoption. I'm hearing about the sorrow of infertility. Getting the call. Meeting a baby for the first time. All sort of amazing moments are happening all the time.

When Failure is a Good Thing

Now's probably a good enough time to define the "lifting to fail" part of the blog's subtitle, especially since I'm a little sore from doing just that (lifting, not defining). Strength training jargon turns at least two words on their heads, giving them opposite connotations from how they're used in regular speech: To fail is good. To become efficient is bad. When muscles become efficient at performing a particular exercise, they get a little bored. They've achieved the challenge before them, and now they're like teenagers in an afternoon biology class with eyes at half-mast--nothing short of dancing bears will convince them to do some work. Every six weeks or so, you need to wake up those bored biceps with a new routine. Efficiency=bad. Failure=good. Let's say that after benching the bar eight times pretty well, you can barely rack it on lift #9. You're fairly obsessive compulsive--you really, really want to do a set of 10 and not 9--

Sleepers Awake

The day I visited Degage Ministries to pitch my idea for a theatre class, most everybody was sleeping. The grill had just closed and the next program hadn't yet started; some folks were milling about on the second floor doing laundry and chores or checking mail, but here, on the main floor, it seemed that most people were slumped over tables snoozing. A lot of men, it seemed, which would make sense given that Degage provides overnight shelter for women only. Today, though, the place was bustling. People were friendly and talkative, a card game was in full swing in the corner, and only a few people were taking naps. When the reminder came over the microphone that "Theatre Games" would be starting in a few minutes, that's when I heard it: "Oh no." I've had my share of bad theatre classes, so I know that "oh no" feeling. There was the semester of Acting 2 that was spent solely in the text of "Green Eggs and Ham"; I don't think

Exercise Motivation

My poor child. Pulled away from the potholder he was weaving and forced to ride his bike. This is how he chose to express his frustration.

Latest articles

I had fun interviewing Northwestern College's maintenance department for this article . And visiting Compassionate Heart Ministry in Zeeland, Mich., to write this one (scroll down to "Recharged").

Pretend I'm Dead.

I first expanded on the idea of a "Pretend I'm Dead" website while at a graduation party. It was this same party, come to think of it, that I interrupted group conversation with a renowned philosopher to point out that, by golly, the bug in my palm was sashaying side to side like a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars." But in another conversation, and without any insects involved, I mentioned the idea that we should all have a place to hear our own eulogies. The current issue of Newsweek says that Ted Kennedy has been in that unique position since being diagnosed with brain cancer; and all personal opinions and lawsuits aside, surely Michael Jackson would have enjoyed reading some nice press about himself. Back at the graduation party, I was getting that same look I get from Greg when he sees a book of Sylvia Plath's poetry on my bedside table. The look of someone who's rehearsing the conversation they'll have with the reporter: Yes , there were

Well then.

Ahem. Of all the things I thought I'd never do but have--buy a giant hissing cockroach, enter a bench press competition, read Bill Clinton's "My Life" in its entirety--starting a blog was at the top of the list. Mostly this was due to my disdain for the careful navel gazing that goes on in many blogs, which I feared may be contagious. Also, I worried that relating to a mixed (as opposed to fixed) audience would be difficult. And that the next step was joining a women's book club. Then I thought, Ah, who cares. Let's do this. I've got stuff to say. So here we go.