3/3 241.8 (-5.4)
3/10 236.4 (-5.4)
3/17 234.8 (-1.6)
3/24 233.0 (-1.8)
3/31 229.8 (-3.2)
4/7 228.4 (-1.4)
4/14 226.2 (-2.2)
4/21 224.6 (-1.6)
4/28 225.0 (+0.4)
Well, the first little gain had to come at some point. There are a few contributing factors to this week’s disappointing result.
1. The white scale I’ve been using so far, which has been behaving erratically for the last several weeks, finally bit the dust. When I stepped on it this morning, it gave me a number I knew couldn’t be right- 226.8. Then it went to 225, then 226.2, then 224.8 (all within three minutes!), and then back to 226.8 for good. So I stepped on the black backup scale, which is consistent, at least, but has been weighing me about a pound heavier than the white one (when it’s behaving). So I probably did lose at least a little bit of weight this week, maybe a half pound or so. But I need to transition to the black scale, so I will report here what it says there.
2. I got sick on Thursday morning, and I don’t want to gross you out, so we’ll just say that I spent a couple of hours beating a path between my bed and the bathroom. When I weighed in that morning, I was at 224.0, which was a great result with two more days before weigh-in. But my body does funny things when I’m sick, and after a day when I lose a lot of fluids, it’s going to hang onto whatever fluids it’s got over the next few days. So I’m definitely retaining water due to the sickness.
3. I have a little routine the day before a weigh-in, where I eat all of my meals as early as possible and wrap up my eating for the day by 6:30 or 7:00 pm. Last night, I was at my friend Heather’s rehearsal dinner for her wedding (next weekend!), and so I ate a couple of hours later than normal, and probably slightly more than I normally would the night before a weigh in. (In my defense, there was cake.) I didn’t eat an outlandish or out-of-control meal by any means- just a slightly larger volume meal than I normally would on a Friday night.
So I’m definitely bummed, but I know I didn’t do anything to cause the weight gain, and I don’t need to flip out or change anything about my routine. I’ll look forward to next week, when this week’s efforts will probably show up, and then I’ll be back to my happy chirpy posts with lots of pictures and positivity.
But before I sign off, the good news for the week is that we’re sticking to the Couch to 5K plan like glue so far. Our most recent assignment was “Walk 5 minutes, Jog 4 minutes, Walk 5 minutes”, and at the end of the jogging bit we feel like we’re going to die. But so far, we haven’t died. So that’s good.
A funny moment this week: my stepdaughter Natalie joined us for one of our “Walk 5 minutes, Jog 3 minutes, Walk 5 minutes” days. I figured that, being 7, she would be lapping us when it came to the jogging. And sure enough, she took off like a shot when I said “All right, time to jog!” She was really running. But after about a minute, she was back to our level, and halfway through the final minute, she was lagging behind and saying “You guys are going too fast!” So youth isn’t everything!
Sorry this one is short and a little depressing. Next week I’ll be back to my normal self!
Another busy yet fairly non-productive week. Sigh.
I finally met the potential band on Sunday. They play very well together and have a lot of potential. However, their music style is very different from mine. They are younger and play some very hard metal rock. They do it well but I just don't see myself trashing around the stage. Nor do I see the people who enjoy that music as my future audience. So the search continues......
This next week, I am going to start tinkering with the guitar. It is the one Spire goal I have done nothing towards so far this year. Based on my experiences with meeting these bands and talking to potential bands, being able to at least play some rhythm guitar may help get my foot in the door. Many want someone who can at least play a little bit on some instrument. If I learn to accompany myself with some basic chords, it would also allow me the go sing at some open mic nights.
I spent a few nights this week checking out some new karaoke places in the area. It is always fun to sing for new crowds. It also allows me to experience different environments, different people, different song lists, and try some new songs. Many professional singers began in church choir and/or karaoke. Every time I sing, I feel more comfortable on stage. Tonight, I am going to go sing with the Live Band Karaoke at a place I have never been previously. They want me to start hosting some weekends so there is a good chance I will host at this place sometime in the near future so I want to check out how they run the show and how the current host interacts.
My "diet" continues on NutriSystem. I dropped a couple more pounds this week despite cheating a couple times. I need to retain some sort of social life and a nice dinner with friends is part of that. Eating less, moderate exercise, and improved food choices makes all the difference in the long run. I don't consider this a diet, I consider it a life-long change in lifestyle.
Today, three friends have all chosen to move on the same day and I will be helping some for a couple of them. I also have two appointments to show a rental home that I need to re-rent so my "relaxing" weekend is anything but lazy. But it should help me lose a couple more pounds! :)
Until next week......
Well, life is still bonkers over here. Both Shay and I are only children, so the whole two kids thing has been a challenge. I know this is the highest period of need while Adessa is nursing so frequently, but holy crap, if one kid doesn't need something, the other does...if one kid is sleeping, the other isn't, and you start realizing that the ENTIRE day is gone and all you've done is juggle small-fries. And that's just when I'm HERE. I'm pretty sure Shay has a secret force of minions that she uses when I'm not here.
We love our kiddos, and God bless all of you that can do 3+, but I don't think my brain can take the stress of this first phase again. I swear the noises that this kid makes while she sleeps is going to give me a heart attack.
But in the middle of all the crazy, I have some exciting news! I have an OFFICIAL PROJECT to work on. One of my friends has been following my SpireSpire and has asked for an art piece for her family's wall! This is great!
So, now I get to walk through the process of narrowing down what they want for their house. It's kind of quirky because there's so many different options and while it's a thousand times more fun to create things for someone--there's a little part of me that wants to make sure they're going to love it, not quietly stash it in their garage when I leave and then never invite me over again. I think these things.
So here is the process, and a questionnaire for Amy and her fam. These questions help me frame out what a person is looking for and can maybe spark some ideas when they don't really know themselves (which happens a lot, actually!)
What is the approximate or exact size of the piece that you are looking for? Alternately, how big is the space where the piece will be displayed?
What material would you like the piece to be on? Plexiglass or wood?
Is there a shape that you want the piece to be other than a basic square or rectangle?
Do you want the piece to be split up over different pieces of plexi (or wood)? How many pieces/panels would you like?
Do you want this to be a piece to have a light element? (to be lit from behind)
Are there specific design details you want to include? Shapes? Images?
What colors/color schemes are you thinking for the piece? Bright colors? Muted? Cool or warm?
What do you want it to do in the space? Be a focal point, discussion piece, background piece, etc.?
What are some art pieces/visual design that you like or are drawn to?
What do you want this piece to say (about you, the group, the space or environment?) or is there a word you would like the piece to embody?
Now, a person doesn't have to answer every single question, but these give me some direction as to what a person is hoping for. Anyways, I'm super excited to start working on a new piece for Amy and her crew and it's nice to have some motivation past "gotta make some art before I post again" which is where it's kind of landing in the craziness of newbornlandia.
This week heralds a change of direction for my project. It's been a week of setbacks, details of which I will not go into here but largely the problem is scheduling. Reality check time. I simply cannot do a full time job, then come home to my second full time job, and do a film of this scope, of any quality, all at the same time. Why can't the days be twice as long? Ya know, I've put in a request for the universe to consider this push for change, but am still waiting to hear back. Damned ineffecient bureaucracy.
I don't usually waste time on moans, groans and griping. If there's a problem, the thing then is to figure out what you can do about it, and the wheels were already in motion the moment I realized this really might not work out the way I'd hoped. And very soon, I had my solution.
To be precise, it being 2012 (Already?? Crikey.), a podcast serial. "The Continuing Adventures of..." type of thing. I already had a look at the script and it'll lend itself quite well to the revision; naturally there are some lovely visual moments that will also have to change, dang it, but now they can be lovely aural moments
Scheduling. Problem. Solved. The main thing was being able to get somewhere to film, have time to set up, film everything necessary, and do tear down. This alone was looking like a steep climb, and then we were left without the safety ropes of rehearsal time. Recording will take much less time overall, so I can keep the scheduled "shoot" dates/times pretty much as they already are, and now I will have extra time on each day for rehearsal before recording, oh joy! The cast has been apprised of the situation in an e-mail I sent last night and I've had nothing but positive feedback so far, which is a relief- I was worried I might be strung up from the
nearest yardarm for wasting their time.
This doesn't mean there won't be a visual aspect. Quite the opposite: eventually, the group will have a website, with art, character photos, possibly some filmed promos, etc., etc. (I'm still brainstorming here). AND I can still make films. I have many other scripts (yes, shorter ones), some in a steampunk vein, some not, but I now have the time, so there is more possibility they will get made. Any steampunk films that happen will also be posted on the website as well.
So, for this coming week, my goals are:
1. Get recording equipment! I need a couple of podcast suitable tabletop mikes, probably a mixer and software. As sound effects can be put in later, that's all I need to be starting with, at least as far as I know (if anyone thinks of anything I've forgotten, please let me know). Not worried about mixing either; I may have a film degree... but my husband has an audio degree. And knows his stuff. ...I should probably ask him if he'll do it. :D
2. Get in touch with my Conrad. Yes, Conrad has at last been cast. Yippeeeeeeeeeee!!! I just have to let the guy know; easier said than done, honestly, I am a beezee little rabbit these current couple of days and barely have time to write this post let alone anything else. But I'll git r done, poor guy's waited long enough.
3. Keep amending my script into radio format. Funzies! Writer at heart here, so that's one of the best of all these good times to come.
4. Take a little longer to bask in the amazing relaxation I'm feeling just by making this change. *AAAAHHHH*
"And so we close another week's post. Join us next time, when we find out why Rebecca believes she, of all people, may be peculiarly suited to making a radio drama!"
*I forgot my movie quote last week, mea culpa! Despite the format change to the project, I intend to keep
these going, but I'll have to wait until next week to think of one, because the TV just got turned... on....
...I'm sorry, what were we talking about?*
One of my favorite Portuguese-speaking memories from Brazil is when I wrote a short homework essay for Ian (it wasn’t like we got graded on homework or even on the class so it wasn’t a big deal). I don’t even remember what the topic was, but I was writing about how he had bought his Brazilian swimsuit before we came down and how excited he had been. Male swimsuit in Portuguese is “sunga” while the female kind is “maiô”. Well… I didn’t know that. So I wrote maiô. And Ian read aloud to the class about how excited he was to have a bikini! And our instructor cracked up. J Just wanted to share something silly.
Anyway today has been a really good, productive day (which, let’s be honest, is so unlike me!). First of all I started my new job today! I. Love. This. Job. I am so excited! I’m teaching English as a second language to a Chinese woman. I guess I should start off by saying how nervous I was and how I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. The company I’m working as a consultant for sent me photocopies of an instructor’s text book and gave me a few instructions over the phone but it was pretty much just jumping into the deep end. So I showed up at this complete stranger’s house this morning with no idea what to expect – and she is the sweetest woman ever! And she has a thirteen-month old son is so flipping adorable. Anyway her English is very good, like way better than I expected (and makes me feel that much more inspired for my Portuguese) and she made me feel so at ease. I was going through the exercises with her and she was like “you don’t need to be so formal! We just talk and that’s how my English gets better.” I just love her. And I love this job. And it makes me think that TEFL is what I want to do for real when I go down to Brazil.
I also had my internship today, which is going just as swimmingly as normal. I’d really like to stick around there for the summer and maybe (hopefully) get paid; that’ll be a goal for later down the road once we hit summer and once the organization knows what they want to do with their interns.
Whilst I was running around Naperville today I also went to a thesis presentation meeting type thing (I’m not really sure what to call it). At NCC all students who are planning n writing a thesis need to take HON 300 which is a pre-thesis writing class. And today this class invited some students who are currently writing their theses as well as some supervisors to attend and talk a little bit about the experience that they can expect. We were there to inspire them, but I think I actually got reinspired for my thesis, which, honestly, I really needed. I do wish that we had had an opportunity to talk to the students without the professors present (and give them the REAL deal on what it’s like to write a thesis without trying to sound like we’re perfect students who are doing everything we’re supposed to aka NOT procrastinating or doing what I’m doing…) but I do think we were able to answer some of their questions and hopefully help them onto a good start for their year-long journey.
I’m also feeling on the ball today because I’ve been listening to my Portuguese podcast. I have such a difficult time with this in particular because all I want to do when I’m driving is put on music and sing my heart out (people like me who can’t sing only have limited places we can belt it where no other living human being can hear us). So I’m particularly proud that I’ve worked through two more podcast lessons. Only like two hundred and ninety four to go!
Aaand off I go – I am literally spending the rest of the day glued to my computer working on this thesis while I’m still inspired from my afternoon meeting. My goal is to have five to seven more pages finished by tonight and I’d love to get more but I need to be realistic. This will continue to be my goal for the next week.
Also midterms. I have midterms this week. L I can’t wait for school to be over so I can actually focus on important life things!!
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”- Mother Theresa
As much as I adore updating about my progress in my own life, I feel the need to step outside of that this week. A big part of my life is the dance community, specifically the Chicago dance community. I decided that I would share my outlook that I believe in as an artist. With that said, here is my rant. Cue Prince's hit song 1999- " I was dreaming' when I wrote this, so sue me if it goes astray…"
A supportive attitude is a characteristic stemming from a place of love. Love is absolutely everything I live by. Every fiber of my being is made to give love, to accept love, to be in love, and nourish love. Love can come in many forms and is distinctively unique to each individual who is experiencing it. Love, to me begins from a place of acceptance for something or someone. Many people have lifestyles or careers where it isn't always easy to express love. I feel grateful that who I am as an artist is a full reflection of my love and passion for it. The entertainment world is capable of giving and nourishing love so easily, it's called support.
Artists, to me, are not only defined by someone skilled in a particular craft, but are also passionate about it. In turn, an artist's mindset should always come from a place of love first. We have the ability to see a distinct beauty in everyone and everything around us. Artists can appreciate ALL forms of art and are supportive to ALL individual's passions. Artists know how to take a compliment as well as stay humble enough to know that the inspirational, learning, and growing process is a never-ending cycle.Something that distinguishes artists from just "talented people" is that they have zero room or time for judgement on other people's work. The day an artist allows themselves to do that is the day they need to turn in their "artist cards."
I want to give some backing to where my opinions come from based on a collection of my experiences in the dance community. Originally turned onto acting, I joined dance at the later age of 10. I fell in love with expanding to another way of expressing yourself. The ability to work hard at something unique and physically feeling progress in my body. I loved how easy it was to uplift and support one another through words, music, team comradery, or even just the energies that one another would exude in a room or on stage. Compared to other circuits, growing up on the Chicago competition dance circuit was very competitive. I would not be alone in saying it is often turned into a negative atmosphere for artists.
Instead of dancers driven by their own passion for growth and support, a lot of dancer's pursued a cardboard cutout perfection just to beat out other companies. Every season I would witness dancers who would hop around from company to company bad-mouthing wherever they were last in attempts to get themselves ahead. There was a consistent lack of loyalty to their dance families. All too often you would experience company rivalry get out of hand. When one company would beat another, the dancers would have too much pride to congratulate one another and find ways to publicly trash the winner's dancing, artistry, or talent. Don't get me wrong, I am all for a healthy competitive spirit and team pride. In the more recent years dancers replace motivating and challenging one another to push their limits and abilities to the next level with gossip, not supporting everyone, and a major lack of humility in their character.
What's even more disappointing, is that it is not only in children that we see this type of behavior. Like I stated in last week's blog, I had the opportunity to perform alongside several dance crews from the Chicago area in a hip hop showcase recently. I, personally, had the privilege of experiencing a lot of positive feedback and supportive comments. My favorite one was after viewing a video of the performance someone said, " Whoa, at 5:15 Amanda makes me feel like I don't have complete control of my life and I'm actually in someone else's palms!"
Unfortunately, not everyone got feedback like that. In fact, earlier this week there was an "outbreak" of negative gossip regarding the Vicious family. A lot of hurtful words and rumors were said from other dance crews that are in Chicago. Needless to say, it was disappointing to know that grow "artists" have the time to act from a place of hate. The judgmental and analytically based remarks truly baffled me. I am proud, however, to be a part of a small intimate dance family that is Vicious. We have two things in our mind at all times- our passion for this, and our drive to be legendary.
No one who became legendary got there without having some backtalk, being gossiped about, or hated on. The only thing we as a family can do is what we already have done: stay humble, love every second of what we do/experience together, and work our butts off. Passionate people come with the price of having extreme emotions- that includes ALL emotions negative and positive. If people don't understand that without that sort of passion in our work and in our livelihood, that we wouldn't be Vicious at all. The reason we are a collective is not because we have the same dance ability, not because we all are the same body type, and not because we have the same strengths. It's because every single one of us has fought some sort of battle in our life, small or large, that has tested our character and tenacity. And because of that struggle or journey that we went through individually, it gave us the ability to come together and share the gifts that we were given, no matter how different, and support one another. And that's Vicious. There's nothing more to it. We dance. We work hard. We feel. -- and love every minute of it.
Back to my point of love. I find it a lot less difficult to accept someone as they are without reason behind it and love them. Love them unconditionally in hopes of watching who they are molded into, and be a part of someone's life in a positive way. On the other hand, I don't comprehend why so many individuals have the energy or time to judge and give reason behind their judgments, or "hate" someone. I can only continue loving the way I know how and hope it rubs off. With the recent drama and disturbances within the chicago dance scene, I find myself at a loss for words. Art is so beautiful when supported, accepted, and motivated. I cannot see how judging others helps our community and this facet of sharing passion grow. Maybe it's my lack of reason and overly accepting nature that is blinding me. But then again, love is blind. Conveniently, I came across this article backing my idea on love/hate. Feel free to check it out. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-prove-it-really-is-a-thin-line-between-love-and-hate-976901.html
In conclusion, CHECK YOURSELF! If you consider yourself an artist and read through this, reflect on how you reacted internally to this. If you were rebelling my opinion then you already have proved my point and I thank you. I am in no way saying this is the right way to think, or the only way to think. I am simply stating my opinion and hoping to give insight. I would choose standing up for an opinion and vulnerably sharing it, over keeping quiet and never developing a sense of self. Consequently, you as readers are more than entitled to your own opinion on all of this. Please share it! I encourage you to. I will never expect everyone I encounter to think, feel, believe, or do what I do. Most importantly, I am always willing to embrace your perspective from a nonjudgmental place. I am very passionate in thinking the entertainment world could better itself as a community if we all just took the time we used to judge others and spend it accepting instead.
Till next time….
I've spoken here before about the capricious nature of composition, and for probably the third or fourth week in a row that seems to be the theme here. Fortunately, though, it seems to be working in favor of my SpireSpire goal for once! I've started my subgoal of writing a brass quintet. One of my biggest problems with writing instrumental music is constructing enough themes that I can weave them together into a cohesive, full-length composition; I think the reason I write so much vocal music is that it's so much easier for me to follow an already written poetic form than to blaze my own trail. To make this transition easier for myself, I'm basing the quintet off the beautiful though somewhat obtuse John Donne poem "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" (which you can readhere
if you're so inclined). I've had a few melodies that fit the poem kicking around since I first encountered the poem a few months ago, but it didn't feel right as a vocal piece, so this seems like it'll be a good solution. Plus, it provides an interesting, cohesive form, while still giving me the freedom to deviate from the exact text of the poem (since I don't need to use it for lyrics).
I thought it might be interesting to talk about some of the influences and circumstances behind the quintet. (If you don't feel the same way, feel free to skip this paragraph. I repeat Amy's warning from earlier this week: the following paragraph may cause drowsiness!) First, I've always been fascinated by slower-tempo brass chorales in symphonic works-- Wagner's "Overture to Die Meistersinger von Nuremburg"
is full of them, but they're fairly common, especially in late-Romantic works. My school's orchestra also recently played the Grøndahl trombone concerto
(as beautiful as it is unpronounceable) in our annual concerto showcase, and now I can't get enough trombone. Weird as that may sound, it's a surprisingly beautiful and expressive instrument when it's played well, especially in slower, more soloistic passages. (Last year the concert featured a clarinet soloist, and I've been fascinated with the clarinet ever since... there's something about living with an instrument's timbre-- its specific tone color-- in a concerto setting that makes it so much more compelling to listen to and write for.) Coincidentally, I'm friends with the trombonist who played the solo for the Grøndahl, and he's been extremely helpful in guiding me through the logistics of playing and writing for brass instruments. He's even offered to teach me some trombone over the summer; I've had a French horn player offer me lessons as well.
One of my absolute favorite parts of being a composer is that composition gives me a good excuse to learn basically anything I want, as well as potentially a place to use it. Any aspect of music history, theory, or performance-- from trombone partials to Schoenbergian Sprechtstimme
, from jazz improvisation theory to the logistics of playing a double-reed instrument-- has the potential to make me a better composer in some small way. What's more, extramusical pursuits can often be just as useful and inspirational, if not more so: I've discovered many new poets and poems to set to music through English class, and many great composers have written incredible works based on epic poetry
, orhistorical figures
. A composition professor from the University of Illinois is known for basing many of his compositions on scientific theories like the Big Bang. There are great compositions based on folk songs and national anthems
, and even the composer's own life
. Richard Wagner wrote a cycle of four operas based on Norse mythology (no, I won't be linking to this one; it's fifteen straight hours of late-Romantic opera, and while Wagner wrote excellent music, fifteen straight hours of ANY composer is a serious undertaking, and Wagner in particular is by no means easy listening). A violin professor might frown upon her performance students adding extra majors or elective classes, believing that only hours in a practice room or a symphony rehearsal can a great performer make. Few composition professors, however, would frown upon their students pursuing interests outside of music; the more general knowledge you have, the more potential inspiration you have.
I do have one more announcement to make before I finish up this monster post: my "iron composer challenge" from last week is FINISHED! I couldn't be more excited with the way it turned out, and from what I hear the performers love it too. It's being performed May 5th at their recital, so check back in two weeks for a video of the live performance. In the meantime, I apologize for the obnoxious MIDI rendition of the piece. (It's supposed to sound like soprano voice, piano, and English horn-- a type of alto oboe-- but right now it just sounds like bad synthesizers.) Computerized sounds are especially strange with vocal pieces since they completely ignore the lyrics-- I've provided them below, so feel free to follow along.
I sang my songs for the rest,
For you I am still;
The tree of my song is bare
On its shining hill.
For you came like a lordly wind,
And the leaves were whirled
Far as forgotten things
Past the rim of the world.
The tree of my song stands bare
Against the blue --
I gave my songs to the rest,
Myself to you.
I’m on such a roll! 1.6 pounds lost this week, for a total of 22.6 since March 1st.
3/3 241.8 (-5.4)
3/10 236.4 (-5.4)
3/17 234.8 (-1.6)
3/24 233.0 (-1.8)
3/31 229.8 (-3.2)
4/7 228.4 (-1.4)
4/14 226.2 (-2.2)
4/21 224.6 (-1.6)
Some big news this week!
The Freeze, otherwise known as the best ice cream in McHenry County (yeah, I said it), has re-opened for the season! I’m so glad the diet I’ve concocted allows for occasional indulgences. Chris and I have promised each other that we’re not going to go there more than once a week, because last summer was ridiculous. But I can enjoy that once-a-week visit, guilt-free.
My favorite: a cotton candy dipped ice cream cone. Doesn’t it just look like summer, and everything wonderful?
Okay, that’s actually not the big news (although I certainly consider it newsworthy). I finished my first exercise challenge! I completed 10 days of 10 minutes of exercise, and then 15 days of 15 minutes, and then 20 days of 20 minutes. That means I spent 45 days in a row doing something good for my body (and my mind, frankly). The exercise I chose was not always the most challenging- I confess that one day I found a “Healing Yoga” workout on Netflix that was probably intended for arthritic seniors.
I was totally channeling Lindsay Bluth.
But I recognized that if my heart rate did not go up even a little bit, it was probably a stretch to call it exercise. So I only did it that one day.
Well, my NEXT exercise challenge will definitely be that: a challenge. Inspiration comes from the unlikeliest of places… I was browsing on Pinterest when this photo jumped out at me.
Something clicked. Honestly, I’ve tried to do this a couple of times and wussed out once I had to do more than one solid minute of jogging. But I have two things I did not have the last time I made this attempt.
1. I have my husband, whose response surprised me in a wonderful way when I showed him the chart: “I’d be up for that.” So we’re going to try this together, and keep each other accountable. I have someone to drag me out there on the days I just don’t wanna, and so does he. If we manage to stick to the schedule and build ourselves up to 3 miles of jogging, there’s a 5K in Schaumburg on June 24th, about ten weeks from now.
And we’re gonna look just like this on Race Day.
2. I have you! The SpireSpire readers! I had a hunch that weight loss in a public forum would be a good fit for me, and I can use that same “people are watching” motivation with meeting my exercise goals. Whenever I’ve been tempted to cheat/skip my exercise/fall off track, I’ve thought about you. I’ve thought about what I would write to you if I had to admit that I’d failed.
We started on Wednesday, so we’ve completed the first three days, and let me tell you, the “two minutes of jogging” is torture for me right now (slightly less for Chris). Tomorrow, I have to do three minutes. By the time I write to you again, I will have done five minutes.
Essentially, by the end of this Couch-to-5K experiment, I will have either had to confront my first failure on this SpireSpire journey … or I will have become a runner. I can’t wait to find out which it is.
Things I’m proud of this week:
Remember that dress I bought for my friend’s wedding (in two weeks now!), in a size 16, that didn’t quite zip up when it arrived a few weeks ago? It totally does now. It will look better in two weeks, because I’m currently kind of spilling out of the top of it (which Chris says isn’t a bad thing, but I don’t trust his opinion on this one)… but I could decently wear it now if I had to.
Got my first “Hey, you’re looking skinny in that outfit”, and it was from a coworker who knows I’m losing weight, but isn’t necessarily on Team Sheri. When I get compliments from Team Sheri, I almost take them with a grain of salt, questioning whether they really see a difference or whether they just want to see a difference because they are rooting for me, you know? Not to put a damper on the encouragement I get from Team Sheri! I love Team Sheri! But to get a compliment from a coworker who is not very generous with positive feedback in general… it made my day.
I have not yet gotten bogged down thinking about how very long this journey will take. Apart from the occasional wish to just fast forward to my goal weight, I have been content to just put one foot in front of the other and do this thing one day at a time, one meal at a time, one choice at a time. Even if I kept up the 2-pounds-a-week average I’ve been dropping the last five or six weeks (which I won’t, it’s going to slow down)- it would still take me until the end of 2012 to get back into the 160s. But I’ve kept a positive attitude about how long it’s going to take. It really doesn’t matter to me how long it takes, as long as I know I’m not doing anything to slow it down. I’m proud of that attitude!
Ooh, and I decided what my reward will be for getting under 200 pounds! A new pair of Vibram Five Fingers. I already own a pair and love them to bits and pieces. You wear them just like sneakers, but they are far more comfortable.
We wore them on our wedding day! My mom was horrified.
Here's the pair I plan to order once I hit One-derland!
Since this has already been a very picture-y week, I'll close with one more. Thanks for reading!!!
This week I promised myself I would post on time. So I am writing this at 2:00am to be sure!
So....... when I set my SpireSpire goals, I was afraid I was being a little too easy on myself. I mean, compared to writing a symphony, or starting new and moving to a foreign country, or going on tour, I simply wanted to join a band, learn a little guitar, write a couple songs, and lose a little weight. Well seven weeks into this, I am realizing that even my little goals will be a challenge. Life often doesn't seem to have the same goals we do. Why is that? Why can't everyone help me accomplish my goals? The truth is, everyone has their own goals and they don't always care for yours. Often times, people want to see you fail. Not because they are evil but because many people have no goals and those that have goals don't pursue them. So when you succeed, it makes them feel like a failure. Therefore, they wish you won't succeed. And some people are just evil. Ha!
Then, other times people interrupt our goals without even knowing it. For example, I have a new band I am talking with. We were supposed to meet Sunday. Then things happened and we postponed to Thursday. Other issues and now we are meeting this coming Sunday (hopefully). There goes another week. Don't get me wrong, I am still talking to and constantly pursuing other musicians, bands, and possibilities. I am not wasting a week waiting to meet this one band. But this happens repeatedly.
NutriSystem week 1 was a fairly good success. I am down about 8 pounds total over the past 2 weeks. The weight kinda falls off the first couple weeks until your body adjusts. Then it becomes a little more difficult to drop. The food is good and simple to follow. This should be the easiest of my four goals to succeed well before the end of the 12 months.
I have finished the lyrics for two songs. I think they are good. I haven't had much time lately to work on the music for the songs but I have it in my head.
My largest accomplishment this week wasn't really part of my actual goals but it will hopefully help. As I talk to these potential bands and musicians, everyone wants to hear samples of my singing. So I have officially launched a website. It needs a lot of work but it is a start. I need to get more professional photo(s) and hope to do some professional studio recording soon. Until then, my website has some recordings from my living room and links to a couple live performances. Check it out: (you are among the first to see it) www.stu-allen.com
Goals for the next week:
1 - Meet the band on Sunday
2 - Continue NutriSystem
3:00am. Good night my Spire family!
There's an old Irving Berlin song, the lyrics of which go:
"We never get seasick sailing the ocean,
We don't object to feeling the motion,
We're never seasick,
But we are awful sick of sea!"
Ah, Irv. They don't write 'em like you anymore.
That's how I feel at the mo. At sea, and sick of it. Sick of waiting. Sick of posting about stuff I'm going to do
instead of doing it. Even worse, there doesn't seem to be any reason to feel this way; the pre-production phase of filmmaking has more than enough to keep the worst of workaholics busy. I don't feel I'm doing enough. I'm not doing enough. But then, there's only so much I can do...
This week, I:
1. (warning: technical stuff ahead) Ordered gels for the lights. This should help with the color temperature issue. I did research online and found that the halogen work lights I have should work just fine; I simply need to get an extension cord, stand, rig up substitutes for barn doors, create a softbox, and also get something to use as a reflector to bounce the light off of. So. That's all...
2. Ordered a second greenscreen. I don't know if I'll need it, but it's good to have a back-up. I also don't know
if it would work properly, but I'd really like to use it on the floor. We'll see if that works after tests.
3. I was able to talk to several cast members and confirm that they have good possibilities for costumes, and am eagerly waiting to see what they've come up with. Also went to Goodwill and got a few costume pieces, as well as two chairs to use in the first scene we will be shooting. Now I just need a table/desk, lantern, rope, etc., etc.
4. Got in touch with my cousin- shoutout to the seriously rockin' artiste Kathleen Jordan- to create maps for said first scene. The scene is on the Captain's airship, where he is supposed to be plotting a course, but something else has snagged his attention. So the maps are peripheral, but still integral. Can't wait to see what she comes up with.
5. Cleaned out my garage!!! Yes!! I am the Queen of Clean! ...Until I fill it up again, with props!
I also went to a barn sale because they had farm equipment and etc. advertised. Sounded really cool and I couldn't wait to check it all out. I went out with my son, found the place all right, didn't have much as it was their last day, but still some neat things; I started looking at the smaller stuff first, saving the actual equipment and such for last. Nice people. The man there was regaling me with the tale of his father, who had recently passed away, and was a home movie enthusiast, so there was some neat 8mm stuff around. The story was just starting to get good, when my son started crying his head off. He had picked up an old strand of Christmas lights (the kind with the larger bulbs), and one broke in his hand. So the rest of the visit was spent cleaning the poor little guy up and hoping the bleeding would stop so I wouldn't have to drive back from the boonies and on to the hospital. Thank goodness it finally did (and he got a donut, which made everything better), but by then I just wanted to get home and make sure he wasn't going to need stitches, so no farm equipment for us. C'est la vie.
Other stuff... Conrad, ah yes, Conrad. WILL BE CAST BY THE END OF THIS WEEK. Still waiting for a couple of possibles to get in touch. I want to give people every chance I possibly can... but this is getting just a
Goals for next week, besides the ever-present Conrad thing:
1. Plan a time for testing said equipment at the location. VERY important. Much as I wish everything would just magically fall into place on the day of shooting, I must admit this is rather unlikely. :(
2. Get a crew lined up! Already asked an interested couple of parties, must follow up and get people locked for May.
3. Get remaining props, at least, the ones I can buy. There are a couple that will have to be made. On those, I
must decide if I am able to make them or if I need to get someone else who will do a much better job.
4. On the above note, learn to delegate. This would be my Achilles heel. If anyone used one word to
describe me, it might be... "weird"...or... "crazy"...or... "annoying"... But, if pressed, they might then eventually come to "independent". Yes. That's me. Fiercely. But I am also a realist, and a film project, as I noted at the start, is more than one person can do on their own- at least, a project of this scope. Note to self: Remember, it's ok to ask other people to do things. Worst they can say is no. And then you'll cry. And wind up doing it yourself anyway... see how my thought process goes? I just skip the middleman! Ah, efficiency!
So, things are frustrating. And overwhelming. But I just gotta keep going. The shore will soon be in sight. I'm just not close enough yet.