Showing posts from February, 2010

Worth A Thousand Words

Theo's 100th Day of Kindergarten project, his idea. "If I had $100, I would give it to a poor family."

Public (Roach) Relations

The store where we bought our giant hissing cockroaches just posted a pic of Theo holding two of them. Dora and Chubby are featured again at the bottom of the page.

Bench Bias

There's a scene in Len Cella's low-budget Moron Movies during which Len sits at a typewriter, his hair sculpted into a fin and a cardboard set of teeth taped to his mouth. "I can type 90 words a minute, but nobody will hire me just because I'm a shark," he says. The scene, which I've just described in its entirety, is called "Shark Prejudice." I've been running into Bench Press Prejudice lately, myself. From my reading I knew that men on benches were generally a source of mockery, ignoring as they do most all other exercises in order to prove themselves while horizontal. But I didn't think the rules would apply to me, being a woman and all. Until a conversation I had yesterday with a non-powerlifting trainer. Not all exercise people are the same, I'm coming to learn, and they stand by the merits of their chosen path. Fitness experts know how to order and pace a set of exercises to produce maximum weight loss. Sports-specific people stick

Today, in the manner of Alexander McCall Smith

It's a great exercise to try to write in the style of an author you know well. I'm currently reading Smith's La's Orchestra Saves the World , and with his tone in my head, I thought I'd write about a little moment today as he would see it. This draft came to be in about 20 minutes and I like that there's a lot going on, though not polished as yet; feel free to offer literary critique to improve upon it. She entered the room containing the treadmills, stationary bikes, and other such mock transport, their users frantic in motion while remaining in place. Like much of life, she thought, as with the act of transferring a shirt from washing machine to dryer, to bare back and back again. It’s the action and not the journey that matters sometimes. Only the recumbent bike spared her knee from further duress, but today three elderly ladies perched on the gym’s three machines. One had just taken her post, and would surely not be releasing her turn soon; the woman

Bad Shopper. BAD. SHOPPER.

"Greg," I said. "The situation is getting serious." "I need clothes. Yes, yes, I know we don't have any money, but I don't have anything to wear. To church, and places like that. Places where you need to be somewhat respectable. I really need new clothes." He agrees. I go shopping. I come home with this and this: Now all I need to do is find a church for punk flappers, and I'm good to go.

Scenes from a Shelter

1. You are not an accident. TASHA: I found the most amazing tampon machine today. Seriously! It kept giving the quarter back. There was a time when I would have cleaned the thing out, but I swear I only took what I needed. I swear! A couple of pads, too. I used the quarter for a cup of coffee downstairs. 2. Even at the moment of your conception, out of many possibilities only certain cells combined, survived, grew to be you. JILL: This? I got stabbed in the hand. This woman I know, she's into drugs and all that, she thought I stole something from her. She stabbed me in the hand and smeared the blood all over my face. There was a razor blade in her mouth. Thank you. I'll be okay. Just keep me in your prayers. 3. You are unique. AMY: We're going to do an exercise called "I Am." You'll come to this chair, close your eyes and tell us who you are. What makes you you. JAN: I am an analyst. I observe people. I like to give advice and help. Anybody need anything?

What's 415 Pounds Between Friends?

My new wristwraps and a brochure for the bench press competition arrived within a day of each other. I guess it's a go. March 12 is the cut-off for early registration. I'll want to meet this deadline in order to receive a T-shirt and giftbag--one of my fondest memories from last year's competition involves me, the giftbag, and a man who benched enough weight to bend the bar. Flights of lifters are organized according to bar weight, which means that the person lifting the most is immediately followed by the person lifting the lightest weight. That put me in line after Gideon, who benched 525 pounds. In my memory Gideon is wearing a singlet and a swirly mustache, and he's walking around with a barbell labelled "10,000" at each end. In reality he was an average, if large, man, and his mustache, if not swirly, did stand out as the only hair on his head. Gideon, who hadn't registered early, sat bemused as I ruffled through the contents of my giftbag. I looked o

Foiled Again

I don't plan to do these things. Really I don't. In all innocence I wrote to Pixie Mate to ask about brewing techniques. The National Sales Manager and I struck up an e-mail dialogue, wherein I said intelligent things like, "What's the word for the lingering taste at the end?" and he wrote, "I think the word you're looking for is 'finish.'" But I couldn't stop there. I suggested that if I enjoy the free samples he's sending me, and if I win my upcoming bench press competition, perhaps I could help market the tea. You know, "High in Antioxidants, Good for the Triceps," I said. Yes I did. He wrote that they'd already thought of the muscle theme, and sent me this image: The good news is I stopped just short of offering to tattoo their logo on my biceps, a gesture I made last year at this time to Charlie's Soap . See, I had contacted them about their products, too, and, well, there was a competition upcoming then, as we

I Heart Boards Part 2

Here's me fulfilling my promise to show you a demo of the board press, which I went on about a few posts ago . Let me reiterate that it's the pause that kills you, as it's a bit trickier to push the thing up from a dead stop than if you've got momentum going. This video shows my 5th set with boards, and my tenth work set of the evening. The bar is loaded to 100lbs, which may seem meager unless you know that I'd just been doing sets at 105, 110, and 115 on the flat bench. I did one more set after this video, with 6 reps at 105. Am I bragging? Absolutely. With my various aches and pains, I hadn't expected to accomplish much this evening. So celebrate with me:

It Appears the Lid of the Cockroach Cage Has Been Lying Next to the Cage for the Past 24 Hours

A Shameless Act of Self Promotion

Here's the synopsis from a book proposal I recently submitted for review. It's turning out to be quite a beautiful book, and I'm proud to have my hand in it. If you have publishing connections and would like to see sample chapters or marketing information, e-mail me at amyATgregscheerDOTcom. Frames a picture of death, drugs and forgiveness Amy Scheer On August 21, 2004, at 4:45pm, Marilyn Jansma slowed her Honda CR-V into line to pay toll on a Chicago highway. Kevin Jansma, home in Iowa, played blocks with their son, Trey. A Chicago car mechanic, tired from a raucous all-night birthday celebration, left work and fell asleep at the wheel. The crash that resulted killed Marilyn, shattering the lives of all who knew this spirited church leader and budding clinical psychologist. And it forever changed the man who took her life. Frames presents a picture of this real-life tragedy and its hopeful end by letting the central characters speak fo

2.125 Inches

Just when I was sure my right arm was going to fall off, or at least break apart at the joints, I noticed my wrist. Little tiny thing, it is. I even measured it: two inches and 1/8 across. I'm asking these poor little couple of inches to support heavy weight, and in return, I hear complaining. That's why I'm buying these wristwraps. No, it doesn't bother me that they're called "Convict Pro." The other option was "The Strangulator." Another option would be to stop trying to lift heavy stuff. I've considered cashing it all in, as I do about every 3 weeks when I'm sure something is going to go snap. In fact, ever since I entered my 4oth year this past November, lots of parts have indeed rebelled. I periodically come home from the weight room and offer my last will and testament to my family: If anything happens , I say, know I was doing what I love . Then the violins cease their soaring, I grab an ice pack, and settle in until I can get back

Cockroaches Know the Power of the Dark Side