Transcript Wrangler

So I’m applying to grad school (remind me again why this is a smart idea?) and the most annoying part of my process is finding and sending all of my transcripts. I’ve attended four undergraduate institutions, and I swear it’s like pulling teeth to get these places (that I’ve already paid, mind you) to send my records to other places. Granted most have electronic systems now which helps, but of course I’ve got one straggler where the system doesn’t recognize me. Even though my name, birthdate, and social are still the same. Explain that, please?

So I guess once I figure out where I got lost in the Interwebs I’ll have that grad school thing on lock down.

I’ve been to a couple more spin classes, with plans for more, and I love it! I feel myself getting better in the classes already and my butt usually only hurts by the end of class. You guys, I might have a cardio addiction…


Curtain Up

In case you don’t watch PBS (or whatever your region calls it), they have a great series called Live from Lincoln Center. Since PBS is SO AWESOME, they also have everything available online. For free. For basically ever.

One of the more recent episodes was all about the School of American Ballet Student Workshop. When I saw the words “School of American Ballet” in my listings I almost peed from excitement then and there. Needless to say, I’m a Balanchine fan. But having never seen NYCB live (or even all the way through on video), I knew that this would be the closest I would get while sitting on my couch.

With my DVR set to record, I anxiously awaited the morning that the title would appear in my List. Settling down with my coffee, I devoured this program. To my surprise, the first number performed was Tchaikovsky’s Serenade, choreographed by Mr. B. Which, is my absolute favorite*. The moment I hear the opening chords, I get chills and have to stop what I’m doing to find out where it’s coming from. THIS. PIECE. IS. PERFECTION. The music, the costumes, the steps, OH ITS SO GOOD. And yes, I’m yelling it at you.

(*I assume that it would be my favorite if I ever saw it in real life. But either way I’m obsessed with it.)


Next up is sections from Coppelia, Swan Lake, and one of the movements from Western Symphony. All equally excellent (and choreographed by Balanchine), especially the excerpt from Swan Lake, because the part with Odette and the Cygnets is what’s up. But I was so blown away by Serenade in its entirety, that I have since watched the whole program at least five times. At least.

|Swan Lake!|

|Western Symphony!|
[source for all three dance stills]

These kids, because they are actually kids, are phenomenal athletes and artists. Do they need a little bit more depth in their emotion? Sure. Could they use a few years in the corps to refine? Yeah, why not. But they look and act like professionals, which is amazing to me.

|Rehearsal for Western, which literally looks like The Most fun.|

Just for you, I dug up the link to watch this online. You’ll find it here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Or hell, even half as much would probably be an appropriate amount. Even if you don’t love Balanchine, having a FREE 60 minute plus video of professional caliber performance is worth your time.


Holy Spin Class Batman


I went to my first ever official spin class this morning. I say official because I’ve been on the bike in the gym and I’ve done those virtual classes, but this was the first actual group class I’ve done.

It was fun! But holy moly my ass hurts.

There’s a place in town called CycleYOU and they offer all kinds of group classes for cycling, TRX, and yoga. A friend and I did the 60 minute Body Blast with Kai, who was very very good. At least I thought so from my limited amount of class experience. They turn the lights out and have flameless candles around the room, as well as people whose job it is to refill your water bottle and pick things up so you don’t have to unclip.


We parked in the back, duh.

Speaking of unclipping, they let the first time riders use their shoes for free, PLUS your first class is free, so it’s wins all around. You can also rent shoes per class or buy them.


There's Kai!

I have a Groupon for another three classes that I will definitely be using. After that I will make a decision about buying a package. But I really think I could get behind this place. It has the right kind of vibe for me. Plus the people are helpful but not in your face, which I like.

Have you ever done a spin class? How long until your ass gets used to the seats? Do you ride road bikes instead? How does it compare?

More updates soon. Plus some ballet people and I are talking about taking an aerial silks class next month, eeeeeeeeeeeeee!!


First Class of 2015

Thursday meant two things for me: 1. A day off. 2. Ballet is BACK! It was so great to get back to class after, what felt like months off. In reality I think it was actually just over two or three weeks. And man what a turnout we had! All of our usual class (there are five of us) plus FIVE MORE PEOPLE. Our class doubled in size over the break! I hope that at least some of them stay with us. I remember when we started last summer we were busting at the seams, but then it went down to four, then we gained one back in October or so.

Class was lovely. We started out back to the basic basic basics because several people were absolutely brand new to ballet or had not done it for years and years and years. I used the time to really hone my technique: pointing toes, pulling up, engaging core and quads, you know the drill. It made me realize that I let a lot of things slide when I do more complicated movements, and I even reached out to my teacher to enquire about additional lessons to focus on technique. I’m serious guys. Srsly.

A couple of girls and I in our class would love to do pointe work one day, and I know that using strong technique is very important, especially as an adult beginner. You need a strong foundation, even if you don’t progress to pointe, which is a distinct possibility for me.

I would like to try to do some progress points throughout the year. A little report card if you will. Just to show myself that I can improve, even if it is a small amount. I’ll be recording myself (after class or some kind of activity so that I’ll be the most warm) in picture form doing arabesque, pirouettes, and balances. I want to focus on form, extension, turnout and length of balances. I’m not a good turner. Some of the time I can maybe get one clean pirouette from either side. Forget about pique turns. But I am determined to improve my technique so that I can absolutely nail one perfect controlled turn most of the time. I think that’s fair. Oh! And I’m going to get my splits back. I used to be a gymnast as well, so it hurts my soul that I’ve gotten so out of shape that I lost my splits.

Do you look at specific points to note your changes? Do you measure progress or just feel things in passing?

I feel a little Type A by measuring things directly, but hey, you gotta do you.


Ice Cream Paint Job

So we (read: Joel) were finally motivated enough to finish painting upstairs. I had finished all of the rooms except the master bedroom and bath over the summer, and we picked out colors, just never got around to purchasing the paint. Sidenote: why do people say that painting is the cheapest way to redecorate? That shit is actually hella expensive. And we only got Behr. Which I guess is like top shelf at Home Depot, but it’s no Sherwin Williams or Porter. Or hell, Benjamin Moore would probably cost as much as a mortgage payment to cover one room. Anyway, I digress.

Joelle had some Christmas vacation to burn up, so he did most of the work this time, but damn if we didn’t do a ton of work the past few days. The biggest task being having to repaint the trim, since the previous owners painted everything off-white, which made it look dirty and gross. If you ever want to paint your trim off-white, friends, please don’t do it. You’ll thank me later.

So all that’s left is a second coat on some trim in the hall and the trim in the two small bedrooms. Joel did the master while I was at work the other day and all the doors. I did the bathroom today and we both worked on the trim. I hate painting trim because it’s so tedious and even when you’re finished you have almost no work to show for it. Ugh. Trim. Seriously, don’t do it.

The biggest impact was in the bathroom. It feels like a completely different room. Win.


Here's the before. With a cat face off, obv.


And the after!

Now I just need some art or something. Yeah. That sounds right.


Eh, Busted

This last week was a bust. I didn’t do shit. Sorry to disappoint. I’m in a pretty good cycle of feeling sorry myself and self-sabotaging my efforts. Just goes to show that you can put your goals out into the universe, but if you’re too lazy and blah to do anything about it, it won’t matter.

I’ve been getting these motivational emails about being active this month, but each email I felt more and more like a failure. Comparing myself to others, pissed at my current level of fitness. So to compensate, I sit on the couch and do nothing. I want to be better, but I’m really good at standing in my way.

So this is just a vent. If I’m not going to be honest it’s not worth it, right?


Weeks Two and Three


Super flattering selfie outside of tap class. Got my sugar and caffeine to make it through.

Alright. So there’s plenty of updates to be posted so let’s get to it.

Monday 12/8: Nada. Migraine = no soup for you.
Tuesday 12/9: Same.
Wednesday 12/10: Ballet, 1 hour.
Thursday 12/11: Ballet, about 30 minutes.
Friday 12/12: Barre, about 35 minutes. Can’t really count our ballet recital, because we only did the dance once (it’s like a 2 minute song) and I only marginally warmed up before hand.
Saturday 12/13 and Sunday 12/14: Nothin’. Fail.
Monday 12/15: Tap, 1 hour.
Tuesday 12/16: T25 Cardio, 25 minutes.
Wednesday 12/17: Yoga, 15 minutes.
Thursday 12/18: T25 Speed 1.0, 25 minutes.
Friday 12/19: Nope. I was sore and lazy.
Saturday 12/20: David Howard Ballet for Beginners DVD, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. I’m not really sure. You have to rewind most of the sections to do the other side and I also had to do it in two parts. Some of those sections are hard. The frappé, I’m not great at anyway, and I smashed my left big toe straight into the ground. The glissade and assemblé section, very fast. And I’ve already discussed how my body was not made for petit allegro. Give me adagio and grand allegro any day kgreatthanks.

So like I said before I probably won’t hit 40, but I’m super pumped about how much I’ve actually done. And this will be a good way to stay in dancing shape until we get back to class.

Later taters!


I’m Behind, but it’s OK

We had our recital! Yay! We also have another performance this week at a nursing home, which I think is really cool. The performance last week went well. No wardrobe malfunctions, but I still kind of hated our costumes.


Hey frands!

The one thing that our studio is missing is the fact that it’s not an actual studio. Since it’s just a floor and some mirrors, and that’s where we had our recital, we didn’t get to experience the pre-show rituals you normally would. Like everyone setting up backstage in front of a mirror to do your makeup, warming up backstage, peeking in on other groups rehearsals, watching the audience from the wings, etc. We basically had a room to the side where we had to hide. And there’s only one bathroom so we had to show up dressed and made up. I don’t know. I know it’s lame but those are just the little things I missed.


Look! I'm kind of turned out!


Just ignore the back of this dude's head, okay?

I’m still nervous though about what I’m going to do when our teacher leaves this summer, but I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.


He brought me flowers! Like a real recital!



Because of the headache I had for three days I am behind on my workouts. I came up with a plan at work where I would still be able to get 40 in this week, so it could happen, and I’ll try, but I may come up short. Oddly enough, I’m okay with this, but we’ll discuss that later.

I’ll recap last week with this week (once it’s over) since it was short an uneventful. BUT THIS WEEK IS GOING TO BE AWESOOOOMMMEEEEEE.


Week One in the Books



Here’s a day by day breakdown of how this fitness went down.

Monday: Tap class, 1 hour
Tuesday: Yoga, 15 minutes
Wednesday: Yoga, 15 minutes
Thursday: Run, 2 miles; Ballet class, 1.5 hours
Friday: General dancing and carrying on at our unit Christmas party
Saturday: Nadda. I didn’t plan so it didn’t happen.
Sunday: Yoga, 15 minutes

So that’s seven workouts so far. Not too shabby. Typically if I work I just settle for some pre-bed yoga and don’t stress out about it. I walk a lot at work anyway. Duh. It’s in the job description.

How is your December going? Keeping up with your goals?



I’m an avid fan and follower of Bangs and a Bun, so when I read about her #80MileMonth I was intrigued. (She is also offering a virtual training buddy program to go along with it, FYI.) She makes every December an #80MileMonth so that she is accountable (by putting it online) and ready to jump start the new year ahead of time. You know, instead of waiting until January like everyone else. Kind of smart if you think about it.

So my version of that is going to be a #40WorkoutMonth. It’s not feasible for me to run every day before work. I know myself and even putting it on the blog and in the internet space will not make me wake up prior to 5am to run on subsequent days. Plus, I’m still struggling with 2 mile runs every other day, so getting 2.5 (at least) every day is just dumb at my current fitness level. So to make it work I am going to push myself to do some kind of fitness activity every single day and more than that on my days off. You’ll hear all about it on here, and I’ll probably complain about it on Twitter too.

Each activity has to be at least fifteen minutes, and in order to include two of them a day they either need to be totally different (i.e., running and yoga) or separated by a substantial amount of time (i.e., thirty minutes of yoga in the morning and thirty minutes in the evening). This way I won’t just do three different fifteen minute yoga classes to cheat. I promise, if there is a way to cheat the system, I will typically find it and exploit it.

I think this is a great idea. For me, making it a “workout” goal instead of just running helps me to meet my terms. But it still pushes me to get active and not just lay around all month. I have been running more recently, so I will be glad to incorporate that into my days off.

So you should probably join me. Make it whatever you need it to be to work for you. I want to succeed, and you should too!


May the Wind Be Always at Your Back

You know those perfect days where no matter which way you turn there’s just a slight breeze at your back? Guiding you along and providing some relief from the heat? Today is not one of those days. I woke up thinking the house was caving in, and then when I tried to run outside a little later it was like the wind said, “eh! Eff you!” The temperature is nice enough but the gale force winds are another story.

I wanted to change up my route (you know, so I don’t get murdered) and then I ended up doing a little loopy thing instead of out and back. Which would have been nice if I hadn’t had to walk some of it because it was like pushing a car uphill. Geez. I make a lot of rookie errors when it comes to running outdoors, but at the same time I feel like I don’t have a choice. Because if I didn’t run now I wouldn’t do it, so I guess I just need to work on my beastmode [please note that my phone changed “beastmode” to “beagle”, so maybe I need to work on that instead].

How’s your Monday shaping up? I hope you have a great fucking day, my friend.


Artsy Fartsy


Nope, I didn't paint this. My actual artist friend did.

A few friends and I did one of those painting things tonight. You know, where you go to a little store and they give you a canvas with a plate for your paint and then all the type A – OCDers (aka us) immediately start to dry heave. There are no rules, they just give you a guideline and Bob Ross your asses as they “teach” you how to paint.


Some actual blue grass.

I will admit that I really thought I was going to fuck this up. Especially when I saw the painting we were supposed to be working from. But it turned out alright. Plus they’re all, “hey you want to do a butterfly? Cool! But your friend doesn’t? Cool! They can do a moon! Or a caterpillar! Or whatever the fuck they want!” Except they did get a little testy when I tried to switch plates because we had a group coming but they didn’t seat us right. That was the only part of the night that had rules.


Mine is on the left.

Our group leader friend picked a non-holiday themed piece, which I didn’t understand at the time, but now I realize that if you actually made a painting that looked nice you wouldn’t necessarily want a reindeer or a snowman adorning your walls all year round. So I appreciate that decision. At $35 it was a bit expensive, but it was nice to see all these ladies outside of work and be able to make something nice together.

I may have also discussed putting a TARDIS in the middle of mine instead of a butterfly, but just stuck with the program.


However, the TARDIS would have looked great with the Dalek.

I think I would do this again. And I would invite more people. They do private parties that don’t cost any extra, so that might be nice for a birthday or something fun with a large group. Although all of us collectively, friends and strangers, basically complained about how bad we were at painting, so there’s a nice group atmosphere as well.


Of course my eyes are closed.

Have you done something like this before? The only other thing I’ve done like it was a pottery painting class, which may be a little less stressful for your type A’s, since there’s more structure. Still fun, I promise!


My painted blowfish with his broken tail.