anotheranon: (exercisegonebad)
This week 2 things started going bad: my car and my feet.

Car: Part of this has likely been my fault; I went twice over the recommended mileage between oil changes so when I went in they had to do a lot in addition to the oil change: rotate tires, change air filter, replace rear light bulb, etc. all of which went well.

Things started going south when they unwittingly rolled down my "trick" driver's side window - beyond a certain point it always sticks and the only way to roll it back up is to take the inside door panels off and do it manually. Which they dutifully did, but it required a lot of time on both mine and the mechanic's parts.

This morning I wake up to find that something has shorted out the trunk latch as well. It won't stay closed, which means that even if the battery stays charged (increasingly unlikely) I'll likely get pulled over if I drive it.

I'm going to try and take it into the mechanic this week and get it fixed but I'm not too concerned about a long term fix because all of this is a strong indicator that it's time to get a new(er) car. Not how I wanted to spend the next couple of weeks, but this is a long time coming and can't wait anymore.

I'm looking at a hybrid because I like the ethics of extreme fuel efficiency, but much as I like D.'s Prius I don't like the lack of rear visibility when switching lanes so I'm not sure what I'm going to end up with.

On the up side: NEW CAR!

My feet: I do believe I'm developing a bunion on my right foot! I'm no expert but I'm definitely getting a tender bump and my big toe is developing an obvious inward angle. Neither side of my family has a history of bunions and I don't wear heels often so I can only suspect that this is another artifact of fencing. It doesn't hurt too much or look bad...yet. I've booked an appointment with a podiatrist to fix this before either happens: not only do I not want another painful circus like I had a few years ago with plantaar fasciitis, I am too young and too vain to have bony "old lady" feet yet :P (And I love my occasional heel, gorramit!).
anotheranon: (busy)
'Cos it was a busy one:

Saturday I made it down to the Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s exhibit. Last day + pretty weather + free admission = it was PACKED, and some of the posters and paraphernalia were situated in narrow hallways that were skin-scrapingly annoying to navigate. Having said this, I'm glad I went: I knew a bit about the DC punk scene but next to nothing about go-go or graffiti. Also got the nice hardcover catalog (natch) that will hopefully cover all of the labels I couldn't read because there were so many people.

Today I did the women's competition in the Cherry Blossom Open and did possibly the best I'd ever done at this always-challenging annual event: won one in pools but due to a lucky mismatch (? maybe I AM that good?) won my first direct elimination bout. I lost my second to an endlessly patient B-rated woman who I have fenced before: this time I lost 15-6 instead of 15-3, so I'm going to call that an accomplishment :) Also got to see [ profile] skill_grl who spectated and shot video for me (thank you for both!)

Health observations: it wasn't hot but the air was close, and my finicky lungs rebelled. I think my inhaler must be empty, as it didn't seem to have any effect. As I get tired I get kind of "punch-drunk": my coordination deteriorates and I tend to laugh to relieve tension - which isn't great when I'm already lacking air. I need to work on stamina but it is going to SUCK.

In other news: gloriously beautiful day! I'm sitting here with the windows open listening to the crickets chirp, and I think this time it will last :)

I've also decided what I'm doing for my birthday: I'm going to get a Thai yoga massage. It's supposed to be a combination of massage and yoga postures that helps heal and prevent injury and I keep saying I'll get some sort of massage to aid the wear and tear so it's time to just do it.
anotheranon: (craft)
Saturday was my much anticipated "craft day", a kind of trial-run for a proposed monthly "thing" for socializing and Making Stuff(TM).

It went well, I think :) Fencing buddies and costuming buddies got along and had things to talk about, there was enough food (I'm Southern, this is important. If there aren't leftovers there wasn't enough), 10 am to 4 pm seem to be good/manageable "open house" hours.

Some notes: good conversation really IS as stimulating as coffee! I was jittery, but in a good way, mostly I suspect because I've not had company of more than 1-2 people at a time since... I don't know when. Speaking of jitters, for next time, I should probably have some decaf beverages on hand.

On top of this I made noticeable headway on hand-finishing D.'s robe, which is no small thing as it's so huge I had to put tape on the inside to mark my place.

Sunday I woke with some dizziness and headache, which amplified as the day went on, despite a nap. I blame the cold, windy weather for making my sinuses hammer on me. Can't wait until spring, or for the weather to at least pick a season for more than a week.

D. was at Schmoocon over the weekend; we enjoyed our social weekends but both being introverts, needed to shut down for awhile after it was over. I love that we get this about each other; nobody gets put out if someone needs "alone time"! He caught up in Old Republic; I caught up on Downton Abbey and Bomb Girls. Both episodes were depressing as hell but very good; I exorcized the blues with Red Dwarf and Dr. Who (because the silliness of dinosaurs on a spaceship improves everything).

Today's a day off but kind of bleak as I'm too unbearably cold to do anything. Another day of feeling like I'm spinning my wheels, brain too frozen to be inspired. If I were responsible I'd start my taxes but it's just too damn cold in the basement to type.
anotheranon: (exercise)
Yesterday I went to an introductory yoga consultation.

I've been dancing around yoga for awhile, if only because I know so many people who swear by it as a means of increasing flexibility/strength and preventing injury. I've tried doing it on my own with YouTube videos and websites but I came to the conclusion that I needed some instruction if I wanted to do it right.

The consultation wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but I think I can use what I learned.

I was hoping for a simple routine of stretches to do at home, but the main focus turned out to be on breathing and meditation techniques, which isn't bad as I was hoping to get some relaxation techniques out yoga as well. Everything was couched in words like "meridian", "chi", "water energy" and the like. I have a gut dislike for such terminology because to me they seem like they're painting an unnecessarily fluffy veneer over something that can be more easily described as "breathe from the belly" and "concentrate on the moment", but I guessed that if I went into a yoga studio I'd best expect such trappings.

The instructor stepped me through the breathing, so I know how it's supposed to feel and some rhythmic motions that will occupy my mind during meditation (instead of counting backwards like I've been doing).

I signed up for a limited membership that includes 10 practices, their workbook, and access to online videos for a year - I figure it's worth it just to figure out how to do this without hurting myself. I figure I'll try out the stretches/classes once I've got the breathing down.
anotheranon: (busy)
Been meaning to update, just... hadn't. So:

Last weekend [ profile] dustdaughter and I went to Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe, an exhibit up in B.more. I mostly went for lots of 16th century portraiture that I'd never seen, but as ever with history that's new to me the larger story was interesting too - how could it be possible that, for example, a Congolese delegation visited Elizabeth I's court, or Ethiopian priests studied in Rome, and I'd never read about it before? Recommended.

Also went through a round of veterinary visits with both cats. Kisia was diagnosed with high blood pressure, which explains why her pupils have been dilated for the past 2 months. We caught it before it could impair her sight and she's on medicine, which she doesn't like but has made a huge difference in her eyes and her friendliness in just a week.

Yesterday I competed at a moderately scary local fencing competition, and against all odds kept my head on and got to do 2 direct elimination bouts! I finished in the middle of the pack, and am pleased that I stayed loose and smart. Next weekend, doG help me, I'm in a regional Very Scary event, in which I'm sure to get slaughtered but I figure it's a good "managing the anxiety" exercise.

The library is coming along. The books are all on shelves, now it's just getting them on the right ones. And D. set our first fire last weekend :)

Sewing was/is on hold as I discovered that silk charmeuse facings just aren't stable enough on their own. I got some Touch o' Gold lightweight fusible interfacing, and will give it a go this week. Hopefully I can still do the rolled hem finish.

Still jumping rope 4 days a week, plus some weight exercises for fencing. I think I may have lost a bit of weight.

And after typing all this I'm suddenly very tired...
anotheranon: (Default)
No, not that kind :P

It seems I spent most of the weekend sweating, mostly because I didn't realize how warm it was going to be. I shouldn't complain, as the weather was BEAUTIFUL and I got to go out into it, I just wish I hadn't worn long sleeves!

I visited with my friend G. who I've not seen in a couple of years, though she only lives across town. She's just bought a house in a quiet, historic-y neighborhood that was once considered kind of sketchy, but due to low rents and abundant warehouse space has become something of an artist's enclave.

This weekend was the annual open studio tour so we walked down to a group of galleries near her house and drove out to studios further away. I enjoyed seeing the studios in their cluttered glory more than the somewhat antiseptic galleries because I like seeing the tools and "in progress" work, it makes it so much more tangible for me to know how these pieces came to be.

Many things were noteworthy but my favorite was an artist who works in unbaked clay and earth - the texture of her white-on-white unfinished clay/porcelain tempted me to touch, but I was a good kid and kept my hands to myself :P There's something about textured monochromatics that I keep coming back to again and again.

Sunday was my weekly fencing lesson, but due to the humidity I was a sweaty mess before I even suited up. I didn't drink enough water to compensate so within an hour of my lesson I was so wrung out that I felt like I was going to fall asleep on the strip :( Left 1/2 hour earlier than usual, had an extra cup of coffee to muster the energy to get to the grocery, and took a fitful nap in the afternoon.

I think I need to seriously look into getting the A/C in my car fixed, especially if this summer threatens to be anything like last year's.
anotheranon: (Default)
..was an eventful one:

I had my last fencing lesson of the year this morning, with an exciting new twist - working on my lunge. As in, lunging and then shifting my weight back and forth between my back and front legs. While doing bladework. And keeping my back upright, legs stable, and no bobbing up and down. This is necessary for reach, stability, and injury avoidance.

Con: besides being technically difficult it hurts like a mother_)*(!_! Coach mentioned an ideal of being able to do splits(!) at which I laughed because I couldn't even do those as a child! Pro: this is something I can do while I'm at home/traveling without equipment. And I'll force myself to do it, because I won't be on a fencing strip again until January.

D. and I went to see "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" in the afternoon. Wow.. it is good, but so subtle, all of the acting is in the facial expressions so it takes careful viewing. I had some difficulty keeping track of characters and following the plot and I suspect it's easier to follow if you've read the book (I picked it up on the way home). ObCostume: The costumes and sets were straight from the seventies. I noticed no obvious shortcuts (like bad wigs) or anachronisms; the latter admittedly may have been easier because most of the actors were older men who are presumably less hung up on adding Hollywood style glamour where none is wanted. Go see it, but read the book first if you can!

Off to finish up Boardwalk Empire. And laundry.
anotheranon: (busy)
What I'm up to:

  • Closet purge, this time keeping a list of what I donate so I can claim it on taxes

  • Fencing smarter, if not better. Made a workable target by draping the folded-away exercise machine with a heavy rubber mat.

  • Vest continues slowly. I've been thumbing through Fit for Real People and they have solutions for more than just bust measurement: wide or sloped shoulders, wide AND rounded shoulders, sunken chest, uneven body. I'm optimistic about results.

  • Made an appointment for an scratch/prick allergy test to better treat my allergies/asthma. It's time to stop putting out fires and figure out some preventive care.

  • Concert next week, seeing [ profile] geekchick and [ profile] nminusone for the first time in an age

  • Renn faire real soon now. Leaning towards this weekend because it will be cool enough to wear costumes in comfort
anotheranon: (790)

As a child I was all about summertime. Waking up to screeching cicadas, heat so high my scalp prickled, my uncle's pool, and best of all NO SCHOOL.

None of this really applies to my adult life. No school to be off from, not trusting the cleanliness of public pools, non-functioning A/C in my car and acclimation to a more northern latitude means that high summer is solid misery.

It's not even the heat so much as the effect heat has on the air. We've had code orange for days on end, and it's been affecting me so badly I thought more than once that I was getting sick, only to bounce back by morning. I've been taking allergy meds off-label for management but I was still wheezing all over the fencing strip today and had headache and sore throat yesterday.

Which is a damn pity because the extra daylight in summer makes me want to be more active and social until I set foot outside my door. I'd feel worse about "wasting" prime vacation season except I'm not much of a beach person so perhaps it's better to hide in the A/C and catch up on reading and sewing.
anotheranon: (exercise)
I'm almost 3 months into 2011 and I'm at least partly on track:

  • Eating more fruit: we got a blender and I've been having a fruit smoothie for breakfast at least twice a week. So far I prefer blueberry and strawberry, but as most of the flavor comes from vanilla whey powder (lactose free!), I think I could eat almost any fruit blended regardless of whether I enjoy the whole version.

    Also still eating apples at least twice a week, or if I'm craving something salty, nuts. I'm successfully avoiding the snack machine :)

    I'm aware that these are far below the recommended daily allowance, but I figure "some" is better than my previous "none".

  • Trying new things: in the past 6 months I've been 3 places I've never been before (Las Vegas, Gatlinburg, Detroit) and at least partially rolled with it instead of letting the "out of my cave" feeling scrape on me. Tried a new spa this weekend (ahhhhhhhhhhh), tried some new recipes. These are small things but I think they count. What other new things should I try?

  • Meditate more: er.....not so much :( Counting my breaths while trying to fall asleep doesn't exactly count; neither does focusing on the target while fencing because I'm still thinking. I'm still trying to wrap my head around scheduling time to do nothing.

I am at least doing fewer things. I finally realized the reason I couldn't get organized was because I had too much on my plate - or rather, D. pointed out that I was so busy I was never home, and usually harried when I was. Much as it chafes, I simply don't have time for SCA/historical "unpractice" anymore.

It was hard to drop because I was afraid of disappointing others, reluctant to give up something so interesting, and unwilling to admit that I was trying to do too much, but it was slicing both my week and Wednesday nights so perfectly in half that I felt like most of my time spent at home was either getting ready to go back out or getting ready for bed after coming in. I'll still fence rapier at events (and with more at home time I might feel more inspired to get out and about on weekends), but just can't do a regular practice right now.

I am doing cardio crosstraining at home - it's repetitive, makes me gulp for air and sweat even without wearing 10 pounds of cotton canvas. But I gotta if I want to outlast those freakishly fit young things on the other side of the strip.
anotheranon: (fencing)
This past weekend was the 2nd leg of my March travel marathon, to Detroit for a North American Cup.

NACs happen several times a year and have a similar national scope and size as summer Nationals, but don't require a separate qualifying competition. As such, I'm eligible for more than one event and as I'm not sure if I'm going to SN this year, I thought I'd let this be my big fencing trip for 2011. For a variety of reasons NACs aren't always in the most glamorous locales, and this one was in Detroit.

Locale/venue, and tales of good customer service )

fencing foo )

It occurs to me that I've been to 4 cities in the past 2 months, and while for some that's life, it's unusual for me and I'm rather looking forward staying put for the next few weeks. This weekend: sewing and a deep tissue massage.
anotheranon: (Default)

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  • 23:52:39: Just catching up on Twitter, news, Libya, NZ. Turns out I can miss a lot by having my head buried in fabric for 3 days.

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anotheranon: (exercisegonebad)
I hurt.


Not in a fun way.

Saturday was one of my irregular attendances at fencing advanced/competitive class and the subject was "cross-training".

Tiny footwork backwards and forwards, and jump-lunge step-lunge exercises (?? "ay-la" and "la-ay") were hard enough, but included on the circuit were climbers and ab wheelies.

I went through the series around 5 times.

I feel "ripped" for non-washboard abs values of ripped: my back and midriff are angry and tight. My shoulders feel like there's no meat insulating the tendons from the bones. Sitting up from reclining invokes teeth clenching. [ profile] shemhazai visited Sunday-Monday and asked "are you ok?" more than once so I guess my discomfort shows.

All of that strongly suggests I need to do more climbers and wheelies, but I can think of almost anything else I'd rather be doing.

Ow. Ow.
anotheranon: (790)
Am fighting off a possible kidney infection. As of now only feeling like heck and am medicated/resting but I know the hell to which it can escalate, so I'm angrily staying home from work.

Angry because I need to be busy this time of year, angry because I want to fence my last lesson of the year tomorrow and must be able to fly comfortably on Friday. D. has been an angel, getting me every formulation of cranberry juice under the (weak, cold, winter) sun and Spice has been sympathetic enough to let me have repeated pets. C'mon Cipro, come on...

Not all is lost - I've had the chance to read (Changeless, On Monsters), and was even inspired to pick back up the Regency gown after watching the Lord of the Ring costume design extras. I may not want to costume for money, but I wish I had Ngila Dickson's resources (her own dye house!!) I was further along than I remembered and will likely finish the dress soon after the new year.
anotheranon: (Default)

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Oct. 17th, 2010 11:46 pm
anotheranon: (790)
Some observations:

  • My allergies are driving me nuts but it is so, SO beautiful out I just can't leave the windows shut. Seriously, we are having a long, cool, mostly sunny fall and I've finally reached a stage in life where it doesn't depress me. So I eat my Claritin and smile.

  • Evidently I can have 3 working blades, but not 4. Ever since I got my 4th electric weapon, one is always on the fritz.

  • The hand bone's connected to the wrist bone, the wrist bone is connected to the elbow bone... and so on up to my shoulder. Net result: sleeping on right shoulder makes my right hand go to sleep. Bad mouse, bad!

  • Every time I handwork buttonholes it's like learning it all over again: the first couple on any project look gappy and pulled, but by the 3rd or 4th they start evening out. So clearly, I can do a nice one, I just need to cement my memory between projects.

  • Hey, I got to do some sewing! Also some reading, napping, and hanging with D. I'm gonna call that a good weekend :)
anotheranon: (Default)

  • 22:56:19: #fencing today, short version: arches went "spang", leg muscles still spasming "spangspangspang". Brain did not go spang - yay!

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