Tag Archives: nephews

Extending the lesson

So many exciting shenanigans, I can barely keep up.  (Everyone please remember, I have a very loose definition of “exciting”.)  I went for a cottage weekend with various of The Girls last week, to celebrate our freedom from MLIS-dom.  I ate such a ridiculous amount of food, I am not joking.  If I ever want to become truly skinny, I have to stop being friend with people who are such good cooks, I swear to Christ.  But that would entail losing both wonderful friends and fabulous food, and I’m pretty sure I look awesome anyway, so I’ll just keep everything.

The cottage was lovely, even though I had to leave a day early for work, like a big big loser.  But I had some forest shenanigans.  I did nature yoga!  I did my tree pose on a rock by a still lake, then I found a rock in the middle of a running stream, so I did tree again on it!  It was harder in the running stream, because of the movement.  This is science with yoga I am doing, not fucking around in the woods on one leg.

Then I had to part with the most precious thing, my mother’s car.  Yes, strangely, after Mom got back from her Caribbean adventure she seemed to want her car back.  Also, her cat.  Madness.  I tried to make a run for it, me and the cat against the world, but I can only get places via Google Maps, so the cops can find me pretty fast if they just check my search history (“Come, Kitty, to the Amherst liquor store!  Then the New Brunswick border, and freedom!”).  Also, if I got lost (and I would), I would probably call Mom, which makes stealing her car a little unrealistic.

Hanging out in Truro was good times.  I again played board games with six-year-old Tyler, and again lost to him.  This time it was Trouble, so it’s less likely he was cheating, the little sneak.  Next time I go up, he wants to play chess with me.  God, as you may remember from this, I have played chess exactly once and did pretty badly (though eventually won).  And considering how much this kid kicks my ass, he’s probably going to be giving me pity do-overs.  I think I need to start studying my chess moves in time for my Easter chess beat-down from my tiny nephew.  I’ll play against the three-year-old after, to bolster my ego.  (He will eat my king and I will weep.)

Kickboxing on Friday!  We took a trip to Thai-land, as in Muay Thai, which is seriously fun.  The stance is different, with the hands out in front instead of up next to your face.  It feels very natural for punching, but defensively a little exposed, since I’m used to getting smacked for not having my hands next to my face.  Also, we were supposed to have our legs straighter and bouncier, but I’m pretty sure I immediately forgot that, the way I immediately forget my grappling stance in grappling, because apparently my legs only like to do one thing no matter how stupid that is.  So, we were blocking an overhand hook, grabbing the partner in a one-handed side-clinch, then kneeing him in the stomach.  Then, block the punch, push the face, knee the stomach.  Muay Thai apparently involves a lot of kneeing people in the stomach, which is a thing I can get behind.  We ended with a bit of the old spinning back-kick, which is fun to do once but hard to do, like, twelve times in a row.  I think I need to practice spinning without getting dizzy or something, if that’s a thing, Classy Erica probably knows.

Also in kickboxing, we did an exercise where we had five minutes for holding a plank.  You didn’t have to hold it for the whole five minute, but as soon as you dropped out of the plank, you were done.  My plank is so crappy, I usually can’t hold it for more than a minute, but then I go in and out of it.  So for this, I didn’t want to be the first person in the class to drop out, so I just tried and tried, and lost all track of the concept of time and anything else, and when I finally collapsed it was three and a half minutes.  Holy crap!  I thought I had the worst plank in the whole world!  That time isn’t the best by a long shot (a few people kept it for the whole five), but it’s way better than I ever even dreamed I could do, so I was pretty excited.  Apparently, according to the Plank Gods, if you can hold a plank for two minutes you are Officially Fit.  But the Plank Gods are kind of biased.

Saturday three-hour bootcamp!  Whoo!  We couldn’t go to the gym, so we did it at the club.  This just meant a little less weight-lifting, a little more whatever-insanity-Gerald-could-come-up-with.  The best insanity was a balance exercise where you stood on one leg with your other leg extended as high as possible, in front, to the side, to the back, while moving your arms up, to the sides, in front.  For a very long time.  Seriously working those balance muscles that I’m pretty sure just don’t exist on me.  My balance is so bad, I had to stand facing away from everyone else, so everything I was looking at was completely still.  I managed to zebra up my legs because I retarded when it comes to skipping ropes, as it turns out.  We also did piggyback calf-raises, and I actually collapsed when my piggybackee hopped on me the first time.  She was bigger than me, and my piggyback posture is apparently bad.  I’ve always been strong enough to power up from my bent back with partners my own size, but it’s different when they’re heavier than you.  So!  Long-time readers may remember my guide to being a piggybackee.  Now I will impart the lessons on giving a piggyback ride.

  • Keep your back up straight.  You’ll want to lean forward, to equalize the weight.  This will actually throw off your balance!
  • Have your legs bent and shoulder-width apart, with one in front of the other for balance.
  • You are strong enough!  Booyah!

Today I finally got back to grappling.  I missed it for the past few weeks because of crazy homework and the like.  But I’m back!  We learned a really cool take-down called the head-snap.  Basically, you just grab the back of your opponent’s head and shove it down quickly, and then they’re on the ground!  And if they only go halfway down, then you choke them.  If they don’t go down at all, then I don’t know what to tell you, my algorithm has failed.  Then we did the Fireman’s Carry Takedown, which is fun as hell but really not something I plan on busting out until I practice it a little more.  You wind up in a weird position after the person flips.  At the end, rolling!  I used the head-snap, which is so simple and effective, so much love.

Last night I went with various (former) classmates to watch some archival footage from the thirties in a church.  It was strangely engaging.  There were home movies of someone’s honeymoon from 1932, documentaries about porpoise hunters, and also the greatest short, ever.  It was about burglars and mushroom casserole and it seriously needs to be remade by Jerry Bruckheimer as a summer blockbuster stat.  No one else in the church seemed to find it as hilarious as us, though, which is weird, because it had the most bizarre plot, but everything hung together perfectly.  Like a perfect short story, that ends with a pile of burglar corpses strewn merrily across your livingroom while everyone laughs.

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Filed under bootcamp, cool things, exercise, family, grappling, great ideas, kickboxing, shenanigans, useful, yoga

Maple Sugar Shack!

Went on a road trip up to the Sugar Moon Farm with Kathleen, Monica and Naomi for the purpose of eating maple syrup, with perhaps some things to wrap the maple syrup in.  Oh my.  We did the ‘pouring the hot maple syrup on the snow’ thing, which is the best thing ever.  I remember from my halcyon childhood, we would make it spell out our initials or whatever, but in this case we took a popsicle stick and made, like, a lollipop of pure, warm maple syrup with some snow mixed in, and it was pretty much just bliss, right there.  I got pancakes with maple syrup, and a hot chocolate with rum and maple whipped cream, and a biscuit with maple butter.  You would think this would be too much maple, but you would be wrong.  If I die by drowning in a vat of maple syrup, you will know that I died happy.

We also took a tour of the maple shack.  Sadly, we’re not quite in season, so it wasn’t really functioning.  That meant the Evaporating Room, rather than being a warm womb of maple steam, was actually just a freezing shack.  Not that I was looking forward to a maple steam bath OR ANYTHING!  The tour was really aimed at kids, so the four Masters students politely stood by quietly and learned about maple.

We also tried to go to the Anna Swan Museum in Tatamagouche, but it was closed, so instead we went to Big Al’s Restaurant, which had an Anna Swan exhibit and also food, because we totally weren’t planning on stuffing our faces completely full at the Sugar Shack an hour later, no.  We learned many important things about giants, human nature, and how Shannon just will not tolerate people mispronouncing Tatamagouche.  My theory is that people pronounce it like it’s French, when actually it’s Mi’kmaq.  And I just looked it up on Wikipedia, and it actually is from a Mi’kmaq word, so my half-assed folk etymology panned out!  Whoo!  Also, Wikipedia says I pronounce it right.  Justified by Wikipedia!  Man, that should be a new internet acronym.  jbw: Justified by Wikipedia.  I bet it’ll have a lot of application, once it catches on.

In other news, I have worked out Not At All this week.  Wait, no!  I did carry a table piggyback-style that Kathleen and Monica found on the side of the road back to their house after brunch the other day.  Does that sentence work?  I guess, more importantly, did you get all the elements from it, Internet?  Fine, good.  I carried a table down the street for a while.  It was a super-cute fifties-looking thing, and really little, just for two people.  And by the side of the road!  Surprisingly easy to carry once I got it into a good position on my back.  Piggybacks, man, I tell you, they make everything better.  I was really tempted to try to get on the bus with it, though.  “This is my brother.  He’s disabled.

Other than that, Reading Week, I’m all over the place, no working out to speak of, eating candy and pancakes all day.  Oh my, this is not good.  Well, I’ll get back to the club soon enough!

I hung out with my nephew and made good on a promise to play board games with him.  I had expected Trouble, because Trouble rules, but apparently a six-year-old is capable of losing a Trouble game (how?) so instead we played the Pokemon board game, and I got my ass so kicked.  I was baffled as to how Tyler could be beating me so badly at a game that was all chance, but my brother just told me that Ty cheats, the clever little thing, so now I feel better.  Of course, now the question is how a six-year-old was cheating me without my noticing.  I’m stupid no matter how you cut it, is the basic issue.

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The Waterpolo that wasn’t

I was all het up to play some innertube water-polo tonight, and I showed up and our team wasn’t on tonight!  So sad!  I swam precisely one lap anyway, because my bathing suit was new and it was getting wet, goddammit.  Swimming in the Dal pool is less fun than the public pool with the nephews, because everyone swims in polite lines and I’m freaked that if I screw up a line someone will yell at me.  All I want to do is a cannonball.

Kickboxing!  This week is my week of learning new kicks.  On Tuesday I did some crazy hopping-on-one-foot kick that is really powerful once you get over the fact that you look like a cartoon character.  Tonight we did a variety of side kicks, which I was rocking pretty hard at.  Gerald was trying to get me to kick him with full power at chest-level, which is really hard.

In yoga, the instructor, Shanna, got me to try the sleeping yogi pose.  I almost got it, too!  I think I had my feet behind my head (honestly can’t remember), and I think if I give myself more time to work at it, I’ll actually be able to get my shoulders through my legs.  Sweet-ass!  It was so weird, anyway.  I was struggling really hard to get my shoulders through this circle made by my thighs, and just as I thought, “Holy crap, this is like I’m giving birth to myself” Shanna said, “Give birth to yourself!”  So I guess that’s the point of the pose?  I think the other point is that, if I ever get it, I need a photo of it to immediately become my new Facebook profile picture.

Some discussion of the art of job interviews, lately.  Some interviewers purposefully say mean things to test the candidate’s response to stress.  I think I should never perform interviews, because my version of this would be something like, “As soon as you sat down, and I looked in your eyes, I knew it was true love.  Fuck the job, just marry me.”  What else could I do?  Oh my, this could be fun.  “I need a kidney.  No, I’m not sick.  No, I don’t work for a charity.  Kid, stop asking questions.  Either tell me your blood type or get to the nearest homeless shelter with some ether and a hatchet.”

Also, if anyone reading this is ever in a job interview, and it’s going really well, and the interviewer says, “Well, informally, you have this job”, I will pay you money if you fart right there.  Juvenile, yes, but that’s what makes it so delicious.

Made valentines today in a crafternoon-type setting in the common room.  It will surprise no-one that my valentines are as ridiculous and stupid as everything else I make, but they have glitter glue, and dammit that is what’s important.  It’s the thought that counts.  And all my thoughts are of glitter glue.

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Whatever Christmas!

I’m safely ensconced in my apartment after my Christmas familying.  It was lovely, of course, but it is nice to get back to my own bed with my own shower and my own kitchen.  Spent the day organizing gifts and not a hell of a lot else.  The news keeps talking about Boxing Day shoppers, which is a cruel joke to Nova Scotia.  I have gift certificates, dammit!  Why must I wait 24 grueling hours for SportChek?!

Did my Christmas Baking-stravaganza with my awesome grandmother a few days ago, so I had gifts for people in the form of baked goods.  I only ate one of my own cherry surprises this year, and gave the rest away, which needs to be a goddamned Nobel Prize or something.  Maybe if I gave them to Osama bin Laden, and the pure deliciousness caused him to give up terrorism.  (And now my blog is on several watch-lists.  Worth it~)

Ah, it’s been so long since I updated, I’ve forgotten the nuances of the process.  How do I properly convey my delightful witticisms?  How do I get four to six entertaining paragraphs out of absolute inanity?  Should I start drinking now?  I have a blog, it’s like I’m a writer.

Before I left for Truro, I went to the Tuesday night kickboxing class at the club which is, as it turns out, not taught by Gerald.  It’s taught by Ray, who I never really met, and I was totally thrown for a loop because he was ever-so-slightly different so I had to rethink all these basic things I already knew.  Like, side kick, I know side kick, I’ve thrown a million side kicks, but Ray explained a side kick and suddenly I was flailing around like some beginner.  So embarrassing.  But different styles are fun, too.  Like, Ray apparently loves doing take-downs, so I learned about four new take-downs, and they are ridiculously fun and easy.  Just, how to smash a bastard to the ground, in one easy step.  Step one: Put that bastard down.

Hung out with my uncle from Montreal this week, which I always enjoy.  He always has the best perspectives on things.  He made me watch Winter’s Bone, because he figures that would’ve been our family if great-grandpa hadn’t escaped the Ozarks hillbilly tribes to become a Nova Scotian hillbilly (still hillbillies, but at least it’s freezing goddamned cold!).  Later I was tasked with the job of asking Grammie questions about… whatever… while being recorded so we could get good memories down.  I got some scandalous stuff about an arsonist just as Christmas supper was being set down.  In retrospect, I should’ve asked about the hillbillies.  Those guys are always gold.  You just put people on a hill, shit automatically gets scandalous, there’s no helping it.  It’s the altitude or something.

Oh yeah, I finally got the wherewithal to weigh myself.  The last time I weighed myself was last January, and I’ve lost 40 pounds since then, which is pretty cool.  Really, 40 since July.  Probably going to gain some back with all the chocolate and loafing happening this December, but whatever, Gerald will whip me back into shape come January.

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Low-key Week!

I learnt something new today, because I was all, “I had twelve discrete dreams last night” Nikki was like, “Don’t you mean distinct” and I was all “I KNOW WHAT I SAID” and anyway the something I learnt was that the discrete I meant and the discreet she thought I meant are spelled differently, which you know because I just spelled them, but I didn’t know because I was saying them and I can’t see sounds NOW CAN I, INTERNET?

One of these dreams, by the way, was that stupid thing where I dream I wake up and go to the bathroom, then I wake up and go to the bathroom, but that’s a dream, so I wake up and go to the bathroom, which is a dream… and you see how this is going.  I was pretty annoyed.  In one iteration, possibly the reality but who even knows, I was ranting to myself, like, “I could be fighting Flying Battle Slugs high above Mega Tokyo with my Rainbow Gun, but no, I’m stuck in a loop of the most mundane thing I do.”  My subconscious is such a tease, some days.  Why introduce Flying Battle Slugs and not develop them?

Mom came up yesterday with sister-in-law Brittany and cute nephews Tyler and Gabe.  I got to eat out at a decent place in the first time in forever, which was fun.  I don’t have the stuff to cook properly for myself, so it’s been a lot of peanut butter sanwiches and spaghetti, supplemented by apples and granola bars.  I need to make peace with getting groceries on days other than Tuesday, or I will get rickets.  Oh!  I switched to that “good” peanut butter, the kind that’s just peanuts.  I’m still waiting for it to stop tasting like death.  My big problem, really, is spreadability.  It doesn’t spread!  Bread is ripped, words are said, war crimes are committed.

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Turkey dinner! Also, you know, family and love and whatever

Went to Truro for some food and also family love (fooooood).  Ah, but I kid.  The nephews were great, but I’ll have to make peace with not getting a hug from the three-year-old until he’s, like, in grade six, I’m pretty sure.  He freaks out as he enters a house, and he freaks as he leaves a house, so that leaves this middle period for Non-Freaking Time.  And he’ll play with me, sure, but that involves pretending to shoot each other.  So, camaraderie, but no hugs.

Hung out with Grammie, who said she approves of my life.  I approve of her life, so this is officially aces.

My brother Matt takes Kenpo Karate, so we were trading martial arts stories and comparing types of punches and whatnot.  I made a joke I’m pretty proud of, which I’ll share with you.

  • Matt: The other day, I did a handstand and a reverse handstand.
  • Me: Isn’t a reverse handstand just standing normally, like I’m doing right now?
  • Matt: … I’m going to your club and kicking your ass.

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