Monday, October 31, 2016

As Is

The Leaves
Missed out on part two of the mindfulness workshop at work because I was too busy. Asked one of my coworkers to take notes not knowing that she would be so mindful; I was touched because she did such a great job...

As I tried to wrap up the day, something unexpected came up and none of the people that I needed were responding but I stayed calm hoping for a favorable resolution even though I felt so alone with the problem. The situation resolved itself and I was proud for not panicking or being dramatic.

Went to yoga tonight and thought about Luther Vandross' Here and Now which is not the first time that this song has popped into my mind during yoga. Wish I knew why my brain frequently associates events with music.

Walked back to work after lunch. Perfect weather -- not warm and not chilly. I wanted to escape to Forest Park and just walk and walk.

While walking listened to a funny episode, Her Life For Ice Cream, of  The Sporkful with comedian Maria Bamford. Also finished listening to Dan Harris' interview with Rivers Cuomo on 10% Happier. I'm still trying to decide whether to download another episode of 10%...

Since I ready the article on Turia Pitt, I've started following her on Instagram where I found out that she did a Ted Talk; it's so inspiring and made me reset as far as having gratitude for my body as is.

Part of Coworker's Notes

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Was happy to see Candice back at the helm on Thursday. I fretted that the low attendance had gotten to her but it hadn't. The sub had reported back that the there was only one person last week and I told Candice that I had opted for the treadmill instead of a one-on-one session.

About two minutes into class, I was thinking that Zumba is much better than the treadmill and that's when Candice said Zumba is much better than the treadmill. Great minds...

There's a song, Cheap Thrills, that Candice plays and I wanted to build a playlist around it. Since Sean Paul sings in that song, I thought I would do a reggae-influenced list.

I like Busy Signal and saw that he is included in Reggae Gold 2015 so I ordered it from the library hoping to find other gold. Well, I found one other song that I like -- Oh Jah Jah. I was all kinds of confused because it said that the artist is Eddie Murphy and I thought it was just someone with a pseudonym and moved on until it kept crossing my mind. Imagine my surprise when I find out that it is comedian Eddie Murphy.

Went to Alisha's Zumba class today although the weather is extremely nice and summer-like but I thought, time-wise, it was my best move as opposed to a two-hour bike outing.

It was a cute class as some people came in costumes. Also saw Claudette who I hadn't seen in about three months. Claudette said that she has gained all of the weight back that she lost. I wanted to say Join the club and It's a battle or It's a journey... Either way, I feel her pain and struggle.

In other news I acquired a rock chip on the windshield of my seven-month-old car but found out that insurance will cover rock chip treatment. Made a claim online and was able to get it treated within an hour of the call. I would say that it's no money out of my pocket but I pay handsomely every month. Either way, I'm happy to have the repair out of the way before it gets cold.

Apparently, it's the month of glass because I also managed to drop my iPod hard enough that the screen shattered. Since I have a fifth generation iPod, the screen is not an inexpensive repair. The lowest price that I saw was $109.00 so I bought a refurbished one. Expensive mistake.

I care enough about music etc. that I didn't hesitate to get the new device. I did struggle with whether or not to get the six generation because it has a better camera but it's hard for me to throw financial caution to the wind.

One of the articles that I read before going to bed was about Aimee Copeland, the young lady who lost a lot of body parts to a flesh-eating bacteria which made me think of this quote You don't have any problems; you only think that you do.

Monday, October 24, 2016

I Am Not Those People

This woman...
I was torn between going bicycling with Alison or Patti on Sunday.

Patti has been inviting me to bicycle for a while and when someone asks me several times to do something, I think that they like my company or there might be another agenda. Patti also recently moved so maybe she wanted me to see her house. I said yes and met her for bicycling. Had the meeting point been closer, Alison would have gone.

I had to remind myself that it's good to mix-up things and do something different. I also got a glimpse of my past as I passed the exit that I used to take to go to hot yoga...

Patti offered me a helmet which I declined then she said that she didn't know what she would do if I had an accident and split my head open. I told her First, call an ambulance.

We set out and what I noticed about Patti and her other rider folks is that they don't do much pausing and I am definitely a stop-and-smell-the-roses-then-take-pictures-of-them-kind-of-rider. I should also say that Patti clips into her pedals so I'm sure that's one reason that she doesn't want to do a lot of stopping.

We did about 17.5 miles. When I'm in the car and notice mileage, I always give myself a little mental pat on the back for the miles that I rack up on bike  all the time knowing that there are people who put much more mileage on their bikes. But I am not those people. Therefore, back-patting.

I sighed, not pitifully, a few times and I had to dig deep to finish that bike ride. I think another factor was not knowing the trail and, therefore, not knowing landmarks so that I could gauge how close we were to finishing our ride.

Had a little post-ride lemonade kombucha with Patti then stopped by Aldi to pick up fruit then headed home to make chili. More back-patting.

On another note, I am about to throw in the towel as far as uncluttering goes. I'm feeling stuck and haven't really started. I remember reading something about not being afraid to ask for help. Think it's about that time.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sounds About Right

Went to vote this morning then got sobered up by the number of people who had poured out of a shelter.

Since I was downtown, headed to Rooster but I could see that the windows were fogged up by all of the people inside. Plus, there were people waiting by the picnic tables outside even though it was chilly so I moved on.

When I got home, told Alison that I was on track to make it for Zumba and I'm so glad that I did. Walked in at exactly 11:00 a.m. and saw that Alisha, who is about 23 weeks pregnant, had on a Wonder Woman like costume. She looked so freaking cute. Why does she have more energy than I do and can still squat, bend and jump?

Went home and had coffee and lunch then headed to one of the bra shops that the other woman (who closed her bra shop) recommended. I walked in and the second bra shop woman, Heidi, was like What can I help you with? Um, a bra???

I told Heidi that I'd just been fitted for a bra and had the size and model and, as I talked, I could see her sizing me up and she kind of smiled and said I do want to measure you and, of course, she thought that I needed a totally different size than the one that I purchased at the other shop. I tried on about six bras. With some of them, it was like a wrestling match which was kind of funny and not.

When Heidi rang me up, I thought about my mother, aunts, grandmothers and great grandmothers who never dropped as much money as I dropped for a bra today but I consoled myself with the thought that I've had the same crappy bras for years and I've saved enough money by not buying bras on the regular. Yeah, that sounds about right, I guess...

Camouflage Bikini in Bra Shop

Bra Came with Reusable Bag

Thursday, October 20, 2016


View from the Dreadmill
Went to the gym for Zumba but when I peeked into the classroom, noticed that it wasn't Candice's profile. I was the only one who showed up so I told the sub that I was checking out. One-on-one Zumba, awkward.

Treadmill -- equally awkward. I didn't feel like putting my sweats back on to get my earbuds out of the car -- also awkward. Left my water bottle in the locker room and didn't go back to get it either. I just wanted to hit 10,000 on my Garmin.

Managed to stay on the StairMaster for about five minutes then got on the dreadmill. Read the captions for the annual charity dinner featuring the presidential candidates.

Didn't watch much of the debate last night because I was at Zumba but I caught up on Twitter later on and felt like Celeste Ng.

One of my favorite #trumpbookreport s:

Still can't believe that Trump called Clinton "such a nasty woman."

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Good Thing

Hit the pool and took my new toy. The guy in the next lane spotted it right away and wanted to know if it was a clock. I told him that it was a GoPro knock-off -- like way the hell knocked off.

After watching a bunch of You Tube videos and looking at reviews of other action cameras, I decided to go with the DB Power. It sounded like a decent camera and, if I destroyed it, I wouldn't have too many regrets. Of course, as soon as I hit the purchase tab, Amazon sent me other suggestions. I didn't even think about a waterproof housing for my Nikon. Live and learn...

The pictures are pretty decent. I cropped the one to the left so it isn't a true representation...

I was tired of swimming in an hour but the little boy who takes lessons was also done and I try to give his mom a chance to get him showered and dressed since there's no family locker room. I went seven laps beyond my goal of 20.

Totally stopped by the store at 9:00 p.m. because I was craving kombucha. Good thing that I had my wind down time in the pool.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Better Version

The 'Fugee is not on Instagram and neither is my cousin, Chiquita, for that that matter so I often send them 'grams that I find moving. The 'Fugee's response to the one below. My friend...loves this. She's right. I love "this" kind of stuff...

A photo posted by Humans of St. Louis (@humans_of_stl) on

I had no biking companion today so I decided to go to Zumba then to the bra shop because I couldn't make it to the bra shop during the week.

Went home and took a shower then headed out. Knew that it wasn't a good sign when I saw a note on the door. The owner had closed the store earlier than the dates she'd posted on her Facebook page. That was disappointing.

Found myself remembering the words of my play mother who happened to be at the airport as my aunt and I were headed to Las Vegas one year. My play mother lost her daughter in a freak accident and I will never forget what she said at the airport -- We're all going through something; I just try to keep my face off the floor...

Just an hour earlier, post-Zumba high intact, I had been quite happy. Situations don't always align the way that you want them to and that's that...

All Smiles After Zumba
And here's one more 'gram.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

With A Single Lap

By chance I looked at the swimming pool's website and discovered that open swim time was slated to change today. It's no fun arriving at the pool early because the deck is hot and, you know, time...

Tonight was one of those nights; I didn't know if I'd be able to swim one lap.  After said lap, I noticed that this guy had climbed down into the lane. He asked me if I was swimming for time or distance and I asked him about his goals and he said that he planned to swim a mile.

The pool wasn't crowded so I wondered why he was still standing in "my" lane until he mentioned the water temperature which was a degree or two cooler than last week. It had taken me about five minutes before I found the courage to submerge. Glad that I paused before making assumptions about lane sharing.

It was good and energizing to have Mr. Mile in the lane next to me. His question about my intentions made me dig in and swim a little longer than I had planned to...

Saw an article about Turia Pitt posted on Twitter. She is all kinds of inspiring...

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Grape Exercise

We had a mindfulness training at work on Thursday. You know, how to be mindful in your life and at work.

The presenter, Greg, talked about organized forms of mindfulness like yoga and Tai Chi etc. We also did an exercise with a grape -- concentrating and observing it for about three minutes then eating half of it. While we were studying the grape, I kept thinking that if I ate mindfully more often, my clothes wouldn't be shrinking...

I've been feeling pretty confident about the whole take my front wheel off my bicycle but got to the riverfront today and the brake cable wouldn't cooperate. Thought that Alison and I would end up walking but this guy who looked like a hardcore cyclist tried to put it back together and it didn't work for him either. He suggested putting the cable together then deflating the tire which then made it fit between the cable mechanism. Inexplicably, the darn thing worked when I reassembled at home.

Around the five mile mark, we hit the rest stop and there were some other women there with Nutcase helmets on. We chit-chatted with the women a bit and one, a former trauma nurse, gave us a friendly reminder about wearing helmets and then her friend chimed in to say that when you crash, your body is still going 14 miles per hour. Obviously, she hasn't witnessed the speed at which we ride. The little lecture definitely gave me something to think about though.

Went for a float again. It didn't seem as relaxing as last time but I do like the whole ritual of showering, floating then showering again followed by a post-float time-out in the relaxation room. While it wasn't as relaxing, it still felt like a reset.

Float Tank, Filtration System Activated

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

That Avenue

Got home from Zumba at 9:20 p.m. Spent a portion of class eyeballing myself in the mirror and wondering how I arrived at plump again. It's not the first time and it won't be the last time for musings of that sort.

When my mind goes down that avenue, I also feel like a bit of an ingrate because I love to feel my body in motion and I'm doing that -- plump or not.

Saw Dianne Bondy repost the situation below on Instagram and it totally resonated.

When I went to the yoga event on Saturday, I was pretty sure that they'd be taking pictures and when I saw the camera on a tripod and a remote control, I cringed. Later on when I saw a picture on Instagram, I studied my image. I like the picture.We are all in action -- doing variations of a pose. I also like that it is not a staged picture. I don't like that I'm plump. However, I enjoyed the class. I was able to do almost everything. I laughed. I sang. I got high off of being around good people...

Original Photo by 314Yoga

Monday, October 3, 2016

Fiery and Feisty...

Didn't make it out of bed before 10 on Saturday or Sunday which meant that I didn't make it to yoga on Sunday but that was okay since I went to yoga on Saturday which I don't normally do and that practice sustained me. Dianne Bondy was in town and I went to a class that benefited Operation Backpack.

Dianne is a little firecracker and I enjoyed the class that managed to be fiery but gentle. It was a playful practice and I also liked the feisty soundtrack.

I don't know Dianne but I miss her. It gets lonely at yoga sometimes. Think Sharon Old's -- My Father Snoring:
...there were none of his kind around there anywhere.

For the bulk of time when I don't see anyone in yoga class who looks like me, I remind myself that I am surrounded by good people with good intentions and move on.

I also realized during a pop-up yoga event that I really like this teacher who jokes during class so, apparently, I like my yoga with a little of laughter and playfulness on the side...

It was really cute tonight when the woman next to me said Oooh, let me concentrate on relaxing. I think Monday is the only day that she comes to yoga so she's serious about making the most of her time on the mat.

Saw this poem on On Being's Instagram feed and it has been very comforting of late.

"Relax" by Ellen Bass Bad things are going to happen. Your tomatoes will grow a fungus and your cat will get run over. Someone will leave the bag with the ice cream melting in the car and throw your blue cashmere sweater in the drier. Your husband will sleep with a girl your daughter’s age, her breasts spilling out of her blouse. Or your wife will remember she’s a lesbian and leave you for the woman next door. The other cat– the one you never really liked–will contract a disease that requires you to pry open its feverish mouth every four hours. Your parents will die. No matter how many vitamins you take, how much Pilates, you’ll lose your keys, your hair and your memory. If your daughter doesn’t plug her heart into every live socket she passes, you’ll come home to find your son has emptied the refrigerator, dragged it to the curb, and called the used appliance store for a pick up–drug money. There’s a Buddhist story of a woman chased by a tiger. When she comes to a cliff, she sees a sturdy vine and climbs half way down. But there’s also a tiger below. And two mice–one white, one black–scurry out and begin to gnaw at the vine. At this point she notices a wild strawberry growing from a crevice. She looks up, down, at the mice. Then she eats the strawberry. So here’s the view, the breeze, the pulse in your throat. Your wallet will be stolen, you’ll get fat, slip on the bathroom tiles of a foreign hotel and crack your hip. You’ll be lonely. Oh taste how sweet and tart the red juice is, how the tiny seeds crunch between your teeth. [Image by Megan Leetz, via Flickr] #poetry #relax
A photo posted by On Being (@onbeing) on

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Giving Myself Credit

One of my aunts texted me last night to see if I wanted to go to the Sista Strut. I didn't even know that there was such a walk but declined. It had been a long week and I knew that I would not make it downtown by 8:00 a.m.

As it turned out, I crawled out of bed at 10. Nixed Zumba because I didn't have that kind of energy but I did walk in Forest Park for about three miles.  

Forecast at Forest Park
Last night dreamed that someone knocked on the door twice and I told them to go away. Later, I went outside and saw that there was a car that had been hit and on the other side of the car,  people were practicing yoga. When I looked at my car, I could see that it had been hit and that the person who knocked on the door was the obvious hitter but he took off upon spotting me. I was able to get the license plate number but not the make and model of the car. Weird dream...

Before I went to the park, I went to the bank and wanted change a specific way but the woman only had part of what I wanted and I told her that I would accept "x" instead of "y" but she said I'm going to give you what you want.

Sometimes the simplest of responses resonate with me. I really like the notion of getting what I ask for and I'm going to work on not settling.

Listened to an episode of The Moth as I walkedI don't want to give away the whole story but it, "George Lombardi & Mary Navarre," was, in part, about getting what you want. This Moth story gave me goosebumps as did two stories in the Phone Call, Flamenco, Surprise Party. The story that really shook me to the core was Auburn Sandstrom's; I found it so moving...

On another note, I'm not going to do a month-end review but will say that I am proud of myself for swimming a mile, getting back on my bike and going back to the climbing gym. My first visit to the climbing gym was god-awful so I'm definitely giving myself credit for going back yesterday.