musings, meditations, miscellany
my conversation with the woman at the dance store
me: i'm looking for ballet shoes?
her: okay, where do you dance?
me: i don't dance anywhere yet. i need the shoes first.
i realized yesterday that there was this dancewear store on the same block where i've been a million times. for some reason, yesterday was the day. i got this internal nudge, like, don't overthink it- dash in there and buy ballet shoes now. so i did. the salespeople were not that friendly, but even that was okay.
now i have ballet shoes. i put them on last night and demonstrated the 5 positions and tendu and degagé for mark in the kitchen. i am such a good ballerina in the kitchen. whether i actually try to take a class and dance in pseudo-public is another matter entirely. but at least now i have the shoes.
and sometimes the accessories make all the difference.
as we have discussed already, sometimes when one is feeling sluggish and uninspired, restless and uneasy, one needs to rest, relax, and ease up on all of the world's stimuli. other times, one needs to get up, go and do something new and get more stimulation from the world. for me, the way to feel better is always the second way, though all i really want to do is curl up on the couch much of the time.
so. i submit to you a little bit of armchair inspiration. these are corners of the internet i like to visit when i am getting ready to find something inspiring to do, and i need to give myself a little nudge.
pretty things to look at:
a year of mornings. my new favorite.
discovered when i was looking for a wedding photographer. so fun and lovely.
also a little wedding-y, but hopefully you'll forgive me. inspiring and yummy combinations of color.
projects to make, places to go, things to buy
when i want to pretend i am a hipster
is there anything better than make your own stickers?
my next project
i love the wish books!
nerdy internet delights
waste time at work!
waste time and feel a little smarter
waste a weekend
can't give away too many favorite poetry sites- must wait until april (national poetry month, of course). in the meantime, enjoy these
getting the koach back
i am, as they say, on the mend. i am mending. i am able to sit up and type now, and i can watch cooking shows without feeling nauseous (which is good because the only cable station we get is the food network-- more on that another time).
my parents are in town visiting, which is fabulous. so we are off to rick and ann's for brunch (where i will drink tea and watch the potato-cheese pancakes go by) and then maybe to 4th street or the farmer's market or to visit the chickens (much more on the chickens later). dinner will be at oliveto (where i will drink tea and watch the tagliatelle go by).
do you notice how, even though i am sick and not eating, i've planned the whole day to revolve around food? old habits die hard...
but more to the point of what i want to say this morning. there is a hebrew word, koach (both syllables are pronounced; it sounds something like: ko' (long o, emphasis on this syllable) - ach (insert gutteral hebrew sounding sound here). i believe koach literally means strength (ms. kotleba, can you confirm?), but in my house we use it to mean energy or inclination toward a specific task. "i don't have the koach to do the dishes, but let's go to the gym now, before i lose my koach." let it be noted that this is a completely inaccurate use of the word. but it suits us. more on the misappropriation of hebrew words in my house later.
one thing i struggle with often, as my dear husband can tell you, is finding the koach do things, both of the dishes variety and also of the fun stuff variety. it can be a problem.
so. since i have been sick, i have not had much koach for anything, but i am hoping that in a few more days i will again be excited to sew and explore and glue little bits of things to other things and finally learn more guitar chords and cook soup and read books and go to the gym and jump in some fall leaves. i get worried that that feeling of koach will not return, as it can be elusive sometimes. but i think i'm going to chalk this lack of energy up to being sick, and wait and see.
if you don't hear from me in a few days, send a search party.
i've been looking so long at these pictures of you
in first grade we talk a lot about making mental images, especially when we are reading. visualizing a story in one's head while reading or hearing a story is a powerful comprehension tool.
this blog has no pictures so far, so you have had lots of practice making mental images. good for you. you get an a.
however. i have actually been taking lots of pictures to show and tell you about, of the fire dancing class at the crucible, of the pies at lola's, of the cutest mugs you've ever seen (they have sweaters!), and of my favorite graffiti in berkeley. but these images are trapped on my camera because i lost the cable that connects my camera and my computer. rats.
so now i want to get one of those thingies where you can take your memory card out of the camera and plug it into the thingie which is plugged into the computer and it zaps your pictures onto the computer (clearly i am a computer expert, based on the number of times the word "thingie" appeared in the previous sentence). what are those things called? does anyone have one? does anyone have one that s/he likes and recommends? i'd be much obliged if you shared your knowledge with me, as i clearly have none.
i am sick. that is why i have not posted in a few days. i look forward to being able to sit up for more than 5 minutes at a time, and also to sharing more rambling with you.
in the meantime, the quote that keeps running through my head is the one from the devil wears prada: "i'm only one stomach flu away from reaching my goal weight!"
a spoonful of sugar...
on a completely self-absorbed and mundane note (as if the rest of this blog isn't?):
i have this thing about taking vitamins. i don't, because i really can't swallow pills. i am not like my younger brother who can put a pile of 'em in his mouth and they're gone in one fell swoop, no water needed. it takes me a long time.
and, due less to the fact that anything is particularly wonky internally and more because i seem go to so many nutritionally-minded doctors, i have quite an assortment of vitamins and supplements i'm supposed to take each day.
17 a day. for me, this is a lot. and i don't do it.
so last night, while watching planet earth, i dutifully counted all of the various pills out into my grandma-style plastic pill boxes and made a decision to try and take them all this week. and yes, i did the math. 17 a day times 7 days is 119 things to swallow. and if i get through all 119 this week, i want a Big Prize.
so now you know. hasn't your day been enriched by this information?
so zoe turned me on to a new yoga class. it is taught by a woman named sadie, who i find to be quite delightful. i like sadie because her classes are challenging without being impossible, because she looks like a real person and not some impossibly willowy yogini, and because she is constantly encouraging us to "get curious" about yoga poses and our bodies.
"get curious about moving your hips in down dog," she'll say. or, "i want you to get curious about how it feels to hold plank pose for a full minute."
there's something about this phrase, this idea of getting curious that sticks with me. i am someone who, in life and in yoga class, is constantly looking around to see what everyone else is up to, evaluating who is doing better than i am, and generally checking in to see how i measure up and what i'm doing wrong. something about the idea of merely getting curious seems to help me let myself off the hook a little. every time i hear sadie say it, i feel a little more space open up between my shoulder blades and in my mind.
i am intrigued by the idea that i might be able to explore new corners of life without any specific goal in mind, and without specific expectations for myself about how i should perform. if it's for the sake of curiosity, then maybe life becomes a little bit less of a competition in which i'm always worried about falling behind, and more of a grand experiment.
with that framework in mind, i've come up with a list of ten things that i am curious about getting curious about. this is different than a to do list, because i may pursue these items and i may not, and i'm trying to just see what happens. i think i'll give myself about a month to be curious about these things, and then check back in and see what, if anything, has developed.
i am getting curious about:
one. starting a new book (suggestions, anyone?)
two. finding a new class to take at the y (kickboxing? aikido?)
three. trying a nia class even though the thought of it is slightly terrifying
four. getting a bicycle even though i am a slightly wobbly rider
five. running a 5k
six. going to a meditation class
seven. making my first project with the sewing machine (which i just learned how to use yesterday! whee!)
eight. trying acupuncture (also a little terrifying)
nine. taking a beginning ballet class (scarier than acupuncture needles)
ten. getting more information about librarian school
what are you curious about?
p.s. my use of punctuation will be addressed in a future post. for now, let it just be said that i am in love with the comma and my writing is extra splicy. so there. hopefully you english teachers and copy editors will forgive me.
two folks, two blogs
i submit for your consideration:
sarah is a brave adventurer. she is and has been a: third grade teacher, a calligrapher, and a hog calling champion. read all about her year in the world.
read about the intersection of video games, contemporary culture, and saving the world. brought to you by the person who was able to make our parents finally break down and get us a super nintendo. watch his movie, too.
p.s. - is it not strange that my brother and i, without any prior discussion, each started a new blog the same week?
overheard in first grade
in which i present some of the whimsical tidbits of wisdom and strangeness that i hear from my students. this is definitely a perk of my job (good to remember that there are some).
"guess what? i was born on may 16, and my birthday is also on may 16! isn't that a coincidence?"
"i don't understand. why is everyone getting things from peru?"
it is a surrealist stew, i tell you.
on the other hand...
i have been thinking about this:
"of course, we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure)."
from eat, pray, love by elizabeth gilbert
"after an eight-hour day at my chosen profession, enough is enough. i'm ready to spend the next two or three somewhere else, preferably outdoors, moving my untethered limbs to a worldly beat...the opposite of work is play, also an active verb. it could be tennis or bird-watching, so long as it's meditative and makes you feel better afterward."
from animal, vegetable, miracle by barbara kingsolver
i am very good (and very well-practiced) at sloth. my default state is of the cereal-eating, tv-watching nature, and i'm coming to realize that it's something of a liability, or at least it is not very satisfying. so i'm looking for a different way to move through the world, something a little more active. something that makes me feel a little better. maybe making this blog will become my bird-watching. and/or maybe the process will help lead me to those things that feel restorative, playful, and more satisfying than tv watching.
i'm also curious about being a person who is somewhat introverted and also creating this blog thing at the same time. i'm not sure how it will be.
we shall see...
10 reasons not to have a blog
one. it is the height of self-indulgence
two. nobody cares anyway
three. it will contribute to my bad habit of using the computer for personal frivolity at work
four. people won't read it and i will feel bad
five. people will read it and i will feel embarrassed
six. navigating the computerspeak will be my undoing
seven. mostly i'm a hermit
eight. i'd rather stalk other people on the internet than write about myself
nine. maybe i should be doing something more productive
ten. i really don't have all that much to say