Showing posts from January, 2010

Amy's Top Ten Favorite Barbie Peekaboo Petite Doll Names

1. Deirdre Diamond 2. Belinda Blue Bell 3. Courtney Carnation 4. Chocolate Crissy 5. High Heel Hillary 6. Sandal Sally 7. Open Toe Tamara 8. Evening Bag Elina 9. Shoulder Bag Sheila and 10. Change Purse Chandra

I Heart Boards

New favorite exercise: board press. For a good time, pile plates onto the bar. Strap a piece of plywood to your chest. Lower the bar to the board, pause, lift back up, and repeat. Add an additional piece of plywood, additional weight, and do it again. Add board #3 and more weight, and repeat. It's a sight to behold, I tell ya. I'll try to film a demo so you can see for yourself. Boards help you push through sticking points, which I've addressed before . Usually I work sticking points on a smith machine that holds the bar for you. You can let the bar land at a desired height above your chest before you push it back up again from a dead stop. It's the dead stop part that's the killer. Momentum is everything. At the smith machine, you wait, then just attack the bar--which is on a fixed path--with everything you've got. That's fun. But boards are fun in a different way. With boards, there's still the dead stop and start. But when you stop, you're balanci


There's a scene in the film "Julie & Julia" where Julie, who is cooking and blogging her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking , has an intense argument with her husband, Eric. He stomps out of the apartment, stopping only to turn around and yell something along the lines of "And don't put this in your blog." Tricky, these blogs. I spent a recent Thursday evening hanging out at the homeless shelter where I lead theatre on Mondays. While taking in the second annual talent show of poetry, dance, and song over some mouthwatering ribs and cornbread, I had a moment of Oh No. Something about eating and talking and calling each other by our stripper names (an ongoing joke; mine is "Night Jugs") made me stop and think about the ways I reveal these women's lives in my blog. Of course I change the names. Of course I alter sensitive circumstances. But would I write in the same way about a friend, who, say, revealed somethin

Add 40 Pounds To Your Bench Press In Just Six Weeks!

That's the claim of Shawn Phillips, whose bench press program took him from a max of 350 pounds to 405 in just six short weeks. He can do math--he knows that's a 55 pound difference--he just doesn't want to get your hopes up. My teacher at the YMCA suggested we start this program on Monday, when class resumes. I'd been using a pyramid workout every Monday since early December and had passed to the 125 pound level (twice, as I could hardly believe it the first time); to continue it now would mean I'd be attempting 120 every week, which would get pretty tiring. Phillips's program looks good. It emphasizes frequency instead of mere intensity. Where I'd been lifting at max in the middle of each pyramid and lifting to fail at the end, now I'll be doing low rep, low volume, high intensity sets--and benching two times a week instead of one. There are periodic rep tests, as well. "The more frequently you can perform a lift, the smaller each increase in re

Cockroach Bingo (or, "What They Do When We Step Out")


And Now For the Front

...or at least a description. Had a little accident in the weight room today. A resistance band broke in two and snapped me in the face. Yes. Looks like I'll be having matching welts under my eyes and a slightly larger nose. Crooked glasses, too. Stick to the view of my back (previous post) while I ice the other side.

Picturing the New Year

Happiness. That's what he called it: Happiness . I love Augusto Boal's names for his Theatre of the Oppressed exercises. English crashed into his native Portugese and resulted in names such as "How Many 'A's in One 'A'?'," "Natural and Ridiculous," and "The smell of hands" (which is exactly that). Part Two of Boal's "Legislative Theatre" is called "The No One Here Is An Ass Book." In June of 2007, Boal ended a New York workshop with "Happiness," and introduced the game this way: This is Theatre of the Oppressed , not the Depressed , so the goal of any and all workshops is to end with optimism. We are often good at identifying our oppression but not at identifying our dreams. He asked us to sculpt images of happiness, of our dreams and ideals. Groups of six or more gathered, creating what was often a picture of freedom, or release from some oppression--this was a room full of activists, after all