Thursday, March 28, 2013

Month-long-140.6 results

Me: "So would you rather see number of workouts, or total time per leg on my month-long-140.6 workout?"
Hubby: "WHAT?! I don't know. This is the most f**ked up training plan I have ever heard of!"
Me: "It's just a warm up, Jacka$$! You know I NEED TO VISUALIZE!!"
Ironman distance in a month's work of workouts

Week  Swim Bike* Run Total Miles Total Time
1 1.0 17 7.5 25.5
2 0 15 4 19
3 1.4 50 4.7 56.1
4 0 30 10 40
Total time
(# sessions**)

*I estimated a 60 min spin class to equal 15 miles biking.
**I ran a few bricks [bike + runs.]

the good
  • gave me back that understanding of stealing family/couple/me time to log. miles.
  • reminded me I love swimming
  • reminded me there's nothing like actually biking on a bike
  • kicked my ass in gear to start training for Broad Street Run  [it's weird when it's not your end goal and so you don't even train properly for it. no? just me?]
  • realized I am motivated by the prospect of time off for an early finish
  • gave me an understanding of how LONG that stinkin' bikeride would be.
the bad
  • the top of my right foot (instep?) started feeling crunchy again. That started during half-marathon training last Sept.
  • the left knee started feeling puffy in the last bike ride. But I HATE the stationary bike. I only did two sessions on the stationary; the rest were spin class. Gonna ignore. 
  • doesn't really jive with any other training plans...whoops...
  • gave me an understanding of how LONG that stinkin' bikeride would be.
So somehow I think this will help me prepare for 70.3 in a day
I know a LOT of people log a LOT more miles in a month, but...
gotta start somewhere!
This is what I chose. 

Inspiring me to consider...a 70.3 in a week's worth of workouts? 
That's 1 swim, 3 1/2 spin classes, 3 runs, typically, for me. 
Or maybe I'll cheat and do it Broad Street Run week. 
Could always bike to the race since I hear parking is a bitch...
Oh yeah - YAY! I did it!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Waiting for friendship to re-bloom

Rare though true love may be, it is less rare than true friendship.
- F. Rochefoucauld 

One of my best friends of over fourteen years, and with whom I shared many dreams and struggles, including the all-consuming struggle of infertility, gave me a hydrangea on my birthday one year. It was the birthday spaced perfectly between my finally becoming a mother, and her finally becoming a mother. The blue flowers were blooming beautifully.

Shortly afterwards, our friendship dissolved.

There are many reasons why it ended, and I won't go into them now, but the plant quickly became a symbol of my anger and resentment. After it started to dry up in the pot, I placed it on the far side of the deck outside, so I didn't have to look at it.

It was still standing at the end of the season, so I hurriedly transplanted the dried up stump in the ground during some outside playtime. I separated some soil around with my hand, threw it in the ground, and in a shady spot, even though hydrangea like a lot of sun. I didn't care whether it took or not.

The next year, it started to sprout green. I didn't water it much. In fact I swept a lot of the dried leaves that collected on the deck on top of it.

It endured.

So at the end of the season, I trimmed all the dead branches to prepare it for the winter, along with the rest of the garden.

The next year, it bloomed. It had been at least two years since I had spoken with my friend, and at least two and a half years since I had seen her. And that thing was blooming. How dare it.

A few months ago we contracted a landscaper to re-do our deck and discussed all the demo of the materials and plants surrounding it. I told my husband I would likely transplant the lavender, but there was nothing else of real value around the deck.

This week, we got word that the permit was in place and demo will begin. I went to the deck area and surveyed the situation. Everything was mostly dried out from winter still. A few tulips and daffodils were starting to sprout, so I could re-locate them without much detective work. The lavender could easily be transferred in its dry state, so that was a no-brainer.

But the hydrangea... had a few buds. It was as if it was screaming out to me that it was prepared to move. It wanted to be heard.

So I moved it. 

Kinda carefully.

And I fertilized it.  

I even found myself placing our beloved garden frog next to it.

Let's see if it will take in its new location.  

I can wait.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Embracing normal; Athena no longer

When I signed up for my half-ironman distance race in January, I discovered a little something.

This year, for some reason, the USAT, the official governing body of triathlon in the U.S., has changed its Athena sub-category weight requirement from 150 pounds to 165 pounds.

I am an Athena, no longer.

I don't mind revealing to you that I haven't danced below 150 pounds since my wedding. I was a proud 147 for about 4 days.

I hit 150 after the freshman 15 and never got back.

I hit much more than 150 during my study abroad experience in the Netherlands. had me at "Dag."

But 165 is not dancing weight for me. Especially during training season.

So I say goodbye to my possible podium once podium finish (3rd place Athena in my second Olympic-distance race)...and say hello to 'normal.'

Just. another. 'age-grouper.'

And it is a blip on the radar screen of my life. No trauma. No tragedy. No 'harumph.'

As you may have noticed, I like a little bit of attention. My poor husband has to sometimes give me the attention of an audience of 500 so that I can make it through my applause-less current vocation.

So when I signed up for my first triathlon, it was very enticing for me to think that I had a 'special' category for us curvy, 'big-boned' women. Images of extra medals and podium finishes started appearing in my pre-race dreams...there was a possibility I had a niche locked down. And with a cool name to boot! If I wasn't going to be performing full-time anymore, I could garner some pride and attention for myself with this extra little notion that I was a top athlete! In my category, of course.

But now, I'm just normal. I'm just attempting a half-iron-distance race and am just doing it...for me. For my own personal fitness, for my own personal life goals, just to direct my training...just to see this thing out...just to have something to work towards this summer year. To test out whether I have a chance of achieving my goal of possibly... [doing an Ironman before I'm 40.] I have to whisper it. It's kinda scary.

And I'm so happy to be normal.

As I approach that 40 age group, and yet it's taken me this long to get to, I'm really happy with my lot in life.

I don't need extra attention for being 'me.'

The twyns however. They're stinkin' cute and everyone should shout it...

Friday, March 22, 2013

My convo with the Broadway coach

If you missed the previous post about my adventure into video auditioning, click here.

Ok so I'll paraphrase [or quote shamelessly and keep the author anonymous] so you can help me read between the lines and determine whether my retirement career on Broadway in my 60's is a reality or not. I'm posting my read of between the lines on the right, just in case you are brain dead today  tired  lazy and need me to do it for  think for  brainwash you.

Nevermind if Broadway will actually exist in 25 years or if holographic CGI performances will be the new norm by then. It's gonna be awesome to hit the clubs on 8th avenue with my gray hair and twenty-something back up dancers after my hot opening night performance in the revival of Kiss of the Spiderwoman. HOT.

For this 'coaching' from Stagelighter I chose a woman, and an executive. I really need to see what casting directors and agents have to say about me, so I may pay for some more coachings. But I really wanted a woman for my first try. I was telling the service I think they should offer a pricing package for 3 coachings that's a little cheaper as a bundle. Also, they need to go back in time and give me this service like in the year 2000.

Let's get started:
Hi Ashley - pleased to 'meet you.' I think your headshot is terrific.  
Well, duh. I got them here. 
No, actually, that is really great to hear 
since these are my first IN COLOR.  [rolling with the times]
I do think I have a nice smile...
Great smile. I immediately see someone whom I would think 'this woman is versatile - could be a leading lady or character lady.' A great combination.

Thoughts on performer's resume:
Easy to read - well laid out. Could be larger font for names of shows, roles, etc. Particularly in an audition room where your listeners start to go blind after a while !!
I hear ya, I hear ya. 
However, there is SO MUCH I have to say about my VAST experience...
hard to fit it all in....and all the fabulous directors and venues....
people really need to know ALL THAT SH** about me. 
What to cut?? Ah yes, The Ren Faire....
dance recital from 9th grade...
got it.
Thoughts on video:
First I have to say, I really love the timbre of your voice. I listened to 'As We Stumble Along' several times. It's a great choice for you, as I certainly see you in roles that Beth Leavel has done (Crazy for You, Mama Mia, Baby, It's You). You also impress me as an artist much like Lindsay Mendez and roles she does (i.e. leading + character), Grease, Godspell, Dogfight).
I don't know Lindsay Mendez. Oops. 
Timbre's a good word. 
Or is it a euphamism for 'weird'??
I'm not sure the choice of tempo for the number is right. As I'm sure you know, in the show this is a 'rousing anthem' (to alcoholism !!) and the tempo for the first and last sections were very upbeat in contrast to the middle section. I'd aim for more 'blowzy' and less contemplative. It should be more 'show-stopping' and less ballad.
Note to self: don't actually drink before performing this number.
Be careful of your pitch end of A section as you go into the break ('bluebird, and 'along). You find the right pocket later on with 'Plumble,' and it sounds great. Just work on that break issue. I also think that with more of a tempo contrast you'll discover a physicality that has more energy and contrast. The highball is really like a second character !!
Should act. along with singing.
What else?
You say you sing legit to high C and would love to hear that part of your voice.
Me too.
So many roles come to mind in addition to the Leavel and Mendez roles. I'd love to hear something more contemporary, maybe a song from 'Violet' (a great role for you), maybe 'Why Can't you Behave' from Kiss Me, Kate, or one of Rosabella's numbers from 'Most Happy Fella.' (Also a great role for you).
Oh! My coach just gave me one from 'Most Happy Fella.'
Contemporary, Schmntemporary... 

My "Extra" Question for Coach: "What's my freakin' type??"

Both leading and character combo. You're very attractive, but I also sense there is an innate comedian inside that I'd love to see more of.
I AM hilarious...true...
attractive... um....
that's a new one.
Should I be going for ANTM?
On a side note, it was interesting to see that you were with the [X]. [So-and-so] and I have worked together many, many times and I conducted two productions with the [X] some time ago. Great teacher and person, I'm sure you agree.
I am SO networked.
This is why you can't lie on your resume!!
Of ALL the line items, she pulled this one. Crazy. 
That's always the way...

Whaddyathink, folks? 
Broadway bound, or 
'don't call us - we'll call you...' ??

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What you're sleeping with

Little guy, tonight you fell asleep in your bed with: 
  • your Mickey Mouse pj's on
  • your  green tiger
  • a pink ball
  • a counting book
  • a four foot shark
  • a small Finlandia flashlight that is sure to come back to haunt me someday
  • your planet sheets
  • your Lightning McQueen blanket
  • a blue Afgan knitted by your Daddy's Nan
Little girl, tonight you feel asleep in your bed with: 
  • your "guitars and stars" pjs that should be two sizes too small for you
  • your princess sheets
  • "little blankie"
  • "big blankie"
  • a hidden water bottle you don't think we know about
  • your custom jelly beans and purple flowers pillow case
  • and all just beyond your feet but not falling off the bed: two little white seals, one huge gray seal, a unicorn dream light, a pink pig I bought won for you at Dutch Wonderland, a polar bear, a pink tiger, a pink dolphin, a brown teddy bear, little lamb, little pink doggie, big pink doggie, purple penguin, parrot puppet, and crazy bear.
Most nights you take a bath, take your vitamins, brush your teeth, and get chased into your pj's and eventually, your bed. You get a book and a snuggle, and you're off to dreamland. 

Sometimes you take Daddy along with you...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Does this stone make my rear look too big?

Let me explain why my husband has been driving around town with a paver stone in his trunk and stopping in front of random people's houses, taking it out and placing it next to their retaining walls. 

Hold on, no. I can't explain that behavior.

OMG seriously no series of conversations between me and my husband have been this intolerable.

Is this how a man feels when we ask him about that "red" shirt but not the "red red" one, the "kinda reddy red one"?!?!

The following statements are his. Mine are the ones in quotes...and this is only a snippet from this weekend...we started this for it...October. AND...go:

There's definitely brown in that Golden Dakota.

See this picture has the Coventry cut of stone but not in the Golden Dakota blend, only the Dakota blend, so there's more gray and less brown.

But I think the Bristol cut will have more brown so we could get away with the Dakota blend wall and maybe a mix of the two maybe with a different wall type the Tudor... a more tumbled look...

Because these two don't look as dramatically different here in this finish, but if you look at these two pictures...  
"Yeah it's all about the lighting of the pic...the time of day..."

[see, I'm helpful...]

And then there's the Brisas stone...the contractor said he thought it's a cut that's trendy right now but we aren't going to like it in a few years...

See I like the Golden Dakota but there's not yet a matching wall stone. It has to be either the Dakota blend, which might be too gray, even though I like gray, I don't think it matches the house, even though we are going to have to paint the exterior of the house at some point, but I don't think we will ever take it in a gray direction, because it's stucco, and stucco always looks more appropriate in Earth tones, which leaves me to the Harvest blend, which is looking a little too orangey, and the contractor said it could look washed out. But even the Harvest blend wall is not exactly the right fit for the Golden Dakota flooring, so maybe we should just stick with what actually has a matching wall stone. It would have to be Harvest-Harvest.



"That sounds good..."

Did he notice I'm not listening yet? Sh**...

"Well what does your gut tell you?"

"What if we cinch it with a brown belt? Then it'll pop!"


Aha...ok let's ask the contractor which brown is in the line with the Harvest blend stone and if we need to look at the Coventry line or Cobble line or could we stick with the Tudor line...

"Ah yes...which brown..." 

"We'll want a brown but not a brown-brown, right? I gotcha..."


Thursday, March 14, 2013

And for her, how to swim

I taught my son how to fly a kite, and now, my daughter seems prime for swimming.

"You're ready. You're going to be swimming this summer", I tell her.

"Swimming?" she asks. Like she's never been introduced to it before. Or been a part of hundreds of dollars of lessons over the last two years.

"In the pool. We'll have a pool to go to this summer."

"We have. A pool?"

"Yes. And just what you were doing in the bath, holding your breath and moving your body, you do in the big pool, only, your legs don't touch the bottom."

"Ok, but I don't want you to let go."

"Ok, I won't let go. I'll hold onto you for a long long time until you tell me you are ready for me to let go."

"Ok... But don't let go."

"Ok sweetie. I won't let go."

She grins.

"But I'll be ready."

"I know you will."

" have to hold on to my legs."

"I will. I'll be there the whole time, I won't leave you, until you tell me to."


Big breath...

Big pause...

Big thought...

Big smile.

"Watch me mommy!"

Oh I am.

Here is her first dance show. She set up the chair for Daddy and 
asked me to accompany her on the piano. Twist my arm...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Springing forward

Here's what's going forward.

Got that audition video for Stagelighter done. Really worked through the song (and this particular cut of the song) quite a bit. Altogether successful.

Here's the intro bit they make ya do.

I'll let you know how the Broadway people respond. May be good fuel for a 'f**k-it-Wednesday' post.

Started 140.6 in the month of March workouts as I'd hoped I would. Feels a little daunting, but then you remember the pros do it in 7/8 hours. Or is it 6? Wtf gladiators. Figured I should be halfway done by March 15, no? Currently at a whopping:
  • Swim: 1.4 miles left
  • Bike: 80 miles left
  • Run: 17.7 miles left
Hopefully, I'll get there. It's good motivation because:
  • It puts that long bike in perspective
  • It gets me to put mileage on whenever possible, and
  • It motivates me to finish early so I may actually have a few days off on spring break at the end of the month

After the week of consequences after this little incident, the little boy and girl are starting to "get" consequences. He was especially rocked by the lack of juice, and going forward, I'm going to stick to a one juice a day rule as I may have seen a slight improvement in his listening skills during his juice fast. The little girl, by default, had to give up TV as well so she is constantly afeared of another event. A little fear is not going to add to the future therapy bills in this case, so says me.

Here what's going backwards.

A little public service announcement: should you decide to instruct hubby to "add a little more Oxiclean powder to the spray bottle" when he wants to clean all his baseball caps, he's going to overshoot it. And, in turn, the bottle will come shooting like a cannon out of the cabinet and Oxiclean the hell out of
True story.

You've been warned.

So....Who's it going to be on The Bachelor tonight?? You watching??? Hubby thinks that letter is from Emily. I think it's from Ashlee, giving him the talk she didn't have after he dissed her. Either way, it's of no consequence to his choosing of????
I'm thinking Lindsay is the better longterm match for him, but Katherine is his crush. 

He'll obviously make the right call. Duh- he's on TV.

See ya suckers! 
[funny story about that phrase. 'Nother story for 'nother day.]

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Celebrating the boy

So I have been remiss with my sewing posts lately....

Not that I have been remiss with my sewing!

But I'm obsessed with a new blog, Behind the Hedgerow, so it got me maneuvering.

I say, maneuvering, because I can't sew clothes! But I'm starting to try. Really, really, try.

I finally figured out how to use my serger after taking a lingerie class here with this lady.

 [It was really.really.GREAT. by the way, thanks for asking]

And then Behind the Hedgerow started posting her part of a "Celebrating the Boy" series that this blogger has started.


But alas, not temperance, nor patience, nor planning. Nor time...

I'll leave you with, my attempt at some cotton pants for the boy, but with a St. Patrick's Day flare. 


Monday, March 4, 2013

The Disney App you want

Psyched to slip a side note of self-celebration: last week I hit 100 sales on ETSY, 100 posts & 10,000 hits on the blog, and [hopefully] soon to be 100 likes on the Facebook page.  Join the fun here.

Now back to business. 
Diz Biz, that iz.

Here is my current Disney folder. It's lookin' a little empty. 
I'm gonna need to expand my world a little soon.
But for now, it'll have to do...

Disney Parks is the one.

I could not even get Disney World to load every time I tried for the first day.
I wondered why my husband was having such good luck with it and could pull up the wait times for a certain ride and the map to get to it in 2 secs flat.
Oh. It's cuz he had already loaded a better app. It's also known as "Disney Mobile Magic."

Super simple; intuitive; easy to navigate. 

You start with where you are...

Once you choose your area, you get an overview of the day's events, 
another menu, and the map:


As I mentioned in my previous post describing our last trip, hubby and I got the whole system down with the help of this app. We'd see Dumbo had an hour wait, so I would run to the fastpass location to get tickets for Dumbo while he and my mother-in-law would hit the teacups; I'd join them and we'd see how much time the wait was at Winnie the Pooh and then go back to Dumbo to use our fastpasses.

As with most map apps these days, you can zoom in and out seamlessly. The little gray bubbles or drops-of-water-looking things would have a number inside them with each ride's wait time. But because I'm no longer in the world, sigh, they are not populating in the above pic.

You can also see everything in a "list" format organized by name, 
wait time or fastpass availability.

You can even search what's happening at your Resort, 
if you are lucky enough to be staying at one!

Lastly, I mentioned the DISBoards app. It's for all those forums you like to browse when you are in the planning stages or when you are seeking advice for a more detailed question. Someone will invariably create a thread for your visit/trip such as "Feb 2013 DIS'ers" or "Disney Fantasy Sailing May 3". They will use those crazy abbreviations and acronyms I detailed here. They will also often link to a fb group, and you will also often make friends with which you'd want to exchange fish extender gifts on your cruise and then you will need one of these. Just sayin'.

Now I do have a profile, and I am a part of some threads, 
but I'm currently just a stalker, not a poster. 


Let's see how long I last...

Have a magical day!

[Disney freak mom freak]

Friday, March 1, 2013

Punishment Options, including: singing

My husband and I have been going back and forth about strategies for punishment for that little incident earlier this week. He thinks I never say 'No', and I tell him, that usually works in his favor. 

Every time the children would say "I want" something, he wanted me to respond: 
"I want a couch without red marker all over it." 
But that's just not my way! I tried it the first day anyways, and they didn't really get it.

We tried spankings, but I pinch their cute little butts so much that I think they are de-sensitized. 

We took away juice, candy, TV, video games, snuggle/story time, treats, options at meal times [I'm normally a short-order cook, am now a fine dining establishment apparently]...made them clean up and do chores with me all over the grid...threatened to cover his favorite toys with red marker....

but still - more naughtiness -  and no real understanding.

I should have just sang my most recent audition song over and over again, causing irreparable damage as every time I sing to him he covers his ears and says, "TOO LOUD, MOMMY."

Best punishment/rehearsal ever.

Today I was supposed to be recording a professional video of this song with my musical theatre friends at PRO-files to submit to Stagelighter, a new video audition/coaching submission site featuring Broadway casting personnel. 

But my musical director/accompanist got some callbacks that conflicted.

[Stupid, gorgeous, talented, biotch.]

So a few days ago I recorded, a capella, a little rehearsal. It sucks. But, you get the point. Please ignore neglected laundry in the background. Enjoy.

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