ECCC: Day One

I took the train up to Seattle this morning, and it was fabulous.  Why was it fabulous, you may ask?   Because I got three-and-a-half hours of uninterrupted editing done on my Sleeping Beauty novel.  Heavenly.

I disembarked the train and hiked over to the convention center (getting stopped on the way to be asked for directions- this is a common occurance for me whilst traveling.  I'm not sure if it's my chameleon ways or just that I tend to Walk With Purpose) where I met up with my Katie and we proceeded to get our geek on.  I got to meet several web cartoonists I admire, as well as chatting up several cartoonist "convention friends" (my tattoos make me fairly memorable.)  And, of course, I spent The Monies.  But I didn't actually spend much beyond what I'd planned to (and less than my "I will kill you if you go over this" amount) and what I bought made me pretty happy (Dinosaur Comics dry erase board?  Oh my yes.), not to mention the joy of discovering a new favorite artist.

At the end of the day Katie and I curled up in our hotel room to jabber and watch the end of The Empire Strikes Back and the beginning of West Side Story, and all was right with the world...
Yes, I know Anita's skirt is a little too long.  These things happen.


Onward to the Emerald City!

First of all, this:

Yeah, that's right- Princess Ozma.  (Or Tippertarius, if you prefer.)  Done in honor of the fact that I'm off to Emerald City ComiCon for a few days, which means that although I'll still be doodling, I won't be posting until I'm back.  I expect to come back with an empty wallet, but lots of pretty new art for my walls... wheee!


Physics Does Not Work This Waaaaaay!

I am a frustrated woman.  Frustrated.  I have been working towards being able to do a full-on pull-up, and I've gotten super-close.  In fact, if I do a little cheat-start (ie, jumping up to grab the bar) I can totally do one (maybe even more than one??).  But I don't want to do it from a cheat-start, I want to do it for realsies, no fakesies.  So I work on it, as one does when one is determined to do a thing, and one of the ways I work on it is to do dead-hangs at the the rock gym.  So I was doing that today, and I thought, "What the hell- I will try a pull-up."

And then I did a pull-up.  And then I kept going into a second pull-up.


I was so excited by this accomplishment that I took a break and then did it again- and then when Nathan showed up to pick me up I made him watch me do it.  Excited, I tell you.

So what did I do when we got home?  Why, I tried to replicate the feat on our pull-up bar while Nathan took a video for posterity, of course (that's what people do when they find they can do cool things, right?).  I thought maybe I'd finally accomplished it because I'd had my hands so close together on the hand-hold, so when I tried it on our pull-up bar I put my hands next to one another instead of at shoulder-width.  I used a chair to get up, then let myself hang, and began to flex my totally awesome muscles.  I got halfway up...

...and no further.

That's right, I frickin' failed.  Failure!  Unacceptable!  And caught on frickin' video!  (And swiftly deleted, I assure you...)  And I was left frustrated and bewildered because... because I did it.  I did it multiple times, at the rock gym.  So why can't I do it at home?

The only rational solution I can come up with?

Physics works differently at my house.  Or maybe at the Source.  Anyway the physics, it apparently varies from region to region.  Super-annoying.

(the origin of my cool-kid title quote)



Sometimes I like to rework super hero costumes (don't we all?)  This is an example of how that sort of thing happens:

I numbered the sketches so you could see how they developed...
First I sketch out the original, and then I start tweaking.  For Cheetara (a childhood idol of mine, if not technically a "super hero") I had a couple of things occur to me.  The first is that I absolutely love her bracer, so I extended it to make it a little more useful as actual armor.  The second is that I am damn tired of heroic women in wedgie-prone leotards, so I decided to put her in a skirt- but she is a runner, so that might be a little restrictive, and thus I made it more like a tunic, with splits up to the hip (she's wearing leggings, so whatever).  Then I changed the boots to be a reflection of the new more armor-like bracer, bringing them up over the knees (but only in the front) to act as a greave.  I was staring at that when the thought occurred to me that it's really stupid to keep her in boots- she's based on a cheetah, the fastest land mammal and the only member of the cat family without fully retractable claws, which is part of how they run so damn fast.  So I killed the boot and left the greave, and turned her leggings into stirrup leggings (hey at least she's still not in a damn leotard).

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the evolution of this particular page in my sketch book.  Now I'm tempted to do a finished piece... but that will have to wait a while, as my schedule for the next two weeks is stupid-busy (but more on that later).


Puppy Power!

I had my annual review today- would you like to know my "key strengths"?  Sure you would.  I got "exceeds expectations" (four out of five stars) on everything except these four areas, which I got "outstanding" (five out of five) on:

-Attention to Detail

The only one on that list that surprised me (and didn't match my self-evaluation) was "attention to detail".  But hey- I'll take it!  I'll take it independently and with confidence, and then I'll tell you alllllll about it...


This evening we went to our first pit bull puppy romp, and it was fabulous.  There were four dogs there in addition to Isis; a male named Mac that pretty much matched her in age and weight; a smaller male named Wally; his bio sister (not yet adopted) named Maddie; and a more delicate female named Kate.  Mac and Isis immediately became BFFs, because they were able to romp full-force with one another.  Wally and Maddie were more timid, but eventually got in on the action (we were shocked to learn that they are only about two weeks younger than Isis- she is much bigger than them), and little Miss Kate did a lot of running excitedly around the others.  At one point Isis and Mac were wrestling, and suddenly there was a large blossom of blood on Isis's pristine white shoulder.  Mac's mom and Nathan both freaked out a bit (I did not, but then I have more experience with blood than Nathan does), but upon closer investigation it turned out that Mac had just lost a baby tooth and then bled all over Isis- no wound!  So we all had a good laugh about "puppy fight club"...

I added color, which rendered the helpful labels redundant...
One interesting thing that came up during the evening regarding Isis's size- her sire (who was about ten months when she was born) has finally come into his adult weight, and he's up over 80lbs.  So that's pretty darn big for a pit bull, and it may turn out that we have a "large" dog, after all... guess we'll find out!


Lunchtime Be Damned!

Willow Rosenberg is one of my all-time most favorite characters, Buffyverse or otherwise.  More than just liking her as a character, I really identified with her- as I've mentioned on several occasions (although maybe not in this blog, since I can't find the entry I was thinking of...)

Anyway, I was feeling a bit under the weather this Sunday, and as such I turned to Buffy for comfort.  In specific I turned to Willow-centric episodes for comfort, and thus ended up re-watching (for the umpteenth time) one of my all-time favorite episodes, DoppelganglandDoppelgangland, as we all know (and by "all" I mean all we Buffy nerds), features VampWillow.

Who is awesome.

"...and I think I'm kinda' gay..."


Love Angel Music Baby

Partially inspired by this song, which is from an album that I pretty much have on non-stop repeat when I lay down colors.

"And although I was burning, you're the only light..."


Saturday Adventures

I have had way too much sugar over the past two weeks (curse you, birthdays/low willpower), and I am seriously paying the price today.  When I woke up this morning (after less than seven hours of sleep- bad O!) the idea of going to Crossfit was a little bit excruciating... but I went anyway.


Two minutes each station:

Single Arm Whips
Row Cal (basically using the ERG but counting how many calories we burned rather than distance)
Bench Press
Rope Climb (my goal was about 10 feet up)
Double Unders (no single option- Aubrey was determined that today was the day we learned to do doubles)

Score = Total Reps

Apparently physics played a vital role in today's WOD...
My personal triumphs of the day included getting up the rope a grand total of three times (last time I attempted it was only one) and getting four consecutive double-unders. Yay me!  Also, my score was 317, which is annoying because I honestly feel I have the strength to climb the rope more times than I did, if only I could just get my foot technique right.

This afternoon Nathan and I took Isis on her first Portland Field Trip.  Our first stop was our beloved Seven Corners Cycles, because both of our bikes need some tweaking (and- snow days notwithstanding- it's well past time for me to start commuting again).  Nathan took the pup for a walk around the neighborhood while I proved how much strength I've gained since last June by casually taking both bikes down from the car rack like it ain't no thang.  Seriously you guys- I was so stoked that I was able to do that so easily, because when we first bought those bikes I had to have help getting them on the car, and getting them off the car was a seriously iffy proposition that pretty much only happened if I had a curb to stand on.  So.  There's your real-world fitness application for rock-climbing and Crossfit...

As I was finishing up in the shop, I asked one of the guys if they had any recommendations for a good restaurant with gluten-free options within walking distance.  He rattled off a few grocery stores near by, and then someone else yelled, "Oh!  Papa G's!"...

Why yes, my shirt DOES say, "Bacon is Rad, Gluten is Bad"

Needless to say, we did not eat there.  Instead we went to the further away (but highly-recommended) Edelweiss to get our Nom on.  And let me tell you, I am a bit snobby about Bavarian food (I come by it honestly), but the bratwurst I had there almost brought me to tears.  (Or maybe it was the fact that I really really wanted rye bread and couldn't have it...)

We walked Isis around that neighborhood, too, and then headed over to REI, so a) I could exchange a shirt and b) we could get Nathan his very own harness and climbing shoes.  (Possibly I was even more excited about that than he was)  Once we finished up there we took Isis for yet another walk, this time a very very urban walk, with way more distractions than she's ever had to deal with (traffic, pedestrians, other dogs, etc).  She did pretty dang well, too, and passed the heck out on the drive back.

She perked up little once we got home, however, and played out in the yard while Nathan and I laid on the bench together to watch the clouds scuttle by...

And now Nathan is calling me to come eat the tandoori-spiced pork kabobs he just grilled for me.  Yay life!



I had a birthday this past week, and I got a lot of very sweet cards.  One such card was from my uncle, who knows just the sort of thing I like, and thus it featured She-Ra.  As a result, today I did this:
Princess-in-Voluntary-Exile Adora

Because let's face it, even without the Sword of Protection turning her into the Princess of Power, Adora was pretty freakin' bad ass.  Force Captain of the Horde under a powerful dictator?  Check.  Ditched that dude to run a rebellion for people who weren't even her own?  Check.  Adora was definitely a woman who knew her own mind, even if she did have questionable fashion sense... (and really, who can be held accountable for what they did in the 80s?)


My Kind of Crazy

The following is an actual event from this morning. The lead-up to this exchange was Nathan getting up at 0400 to let the dog out... and then not coming back to bed. At 0750 he came in to check on me because I hadn't come downstairs, in spite of the fact that I need to be at work by 0800.  I immediately demanded a hug, and here is the conversation that followed...

Hormones, Ladies- amIright?  Let's all go eat some chocolate...

...what I didn't tell him was that I hadn't gotten out of bed because I'd worked myself into a sort of terrified paralysis about exactly what I mention in the fourth panel of this comic- and as long as I didn't go check on him, he couldn't be dead.

And so you see, Nathan does pay for the privilege of being married to this much hotness, because he is also married to this much crazy-pants. I'm not totally sure how he deals with it, I'm really not... But I'm glad someone can.


Title Goes Here

I wanted to write something smart and funny tonight, but everything I've started has been less than pleasing.  Possibly this is due to my eye-crossing weariness (don't ask me why- I have no excuse), or possibly all my cleverness is being drained by the sleeping puppy in my lap.  After all, she did graduate puppy kindergarten today, and she was told she'll be a good candidate for agility training (once she gets past her spastic puppy stage) because she's so fearless and smart.  Since I find that hard to reconcile with the same dog who stares at me like, "What does 'sit' mean?" as we stand in the rain waiting to go inside, I have to believe she is siphoning cleverness from somewhere...

I also wanted to put up a good little drawing for you, but everything I've done has been (you guessed it) less than pleasing.  So instead you get a haphazard sketch of the puppy draining my smartness...

Sacked-out puppy as seen from above.



If you had asked me even six months ago if my idea of a good way to kick off my birthday included doing eighty-four burpees, I'd have said,

"What's a burpee?"

And then, once you'd explained it, I'd have said,

"Ninja you crazy."

By which I'd have meant:

"Oh hell no."

And yet...


21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3
Kettlebell Swings

"Just look at it this way," said Jack.  "Each round you do will the the longest one you'll have to do for the rest of the day."

"That is a great way of looking at it," I said.  "Let's see if I can keep doing that by the time I hit the 9 round."

(I totally did.)

So yeah, that's what I did with  my (birth)day off from work- I went to Crossfit and did some freakin' burpees.  And as an added birthday bonus, I was not the slowest person.  Woo!  Finally!  I've been going for over a month, and this is the first time I have not come in dead last.  (We will ignore the fact that the one person who was slower than me was using a significantly heavier weight...)  Of course, I was the slowest person in my two-person session, but the other guy totally cheered me on through my last two rounds, which I so needed.

Man I love this stuff.

And now a preface to today's doodle: Jack and Aubrey have a very sweet, very mellow greyhound who occasionally hangs out at the box.  Today was one of those days, and she was being (for her) pretty excited, doing short little sprints and happy little leaps.  Jack explained that that's because she gets fed at 1000 (I went to the 0900) so she always perks up around that time of day.  Well after we finished our workout and were recovering, I found myself the subject of an adorable Greyhound Stare.  Adorable until I realized what she really wanted...

...because she wasn't going to get her breakfast until we all left!  Hah!  So I did, and broke my fast in the ultra-indulgent manner of bacon-wrapped chocolate (seriously you guys- it was so good).  See, there is a birthday tradition in my household of chocolate cake for breakfast, but throughout the years I've occasionally had to substitute various items (the year I had my wisdom teeth out I had chocolate pudding- Cosby approved, either way, amIright?).  Hence, in light of my new dietary lifestyle... chocolate-bacon for breakfast.



Here is a page full of doodles:

These are some very wise foxes...

At one point during the evening Katie leaned over and said, "Why so many tails?" (which you may also have been wondering)  There are so many tails because I was drawing Japanese kitsune- which sometimes have up to nine tails.  They are one of my very most favorite mythological creatures, in no small part because I am so awfully fond of non-magical foxes to begin with.  And nine tails is an interesting design problem, to boot, sooo... they are perfect for doodling!


It is Late and Possibly This is Being Phoned In

I found an old pen today... old and un-used, which was awesome, because it was my favorite kind of doodling pen... and thus did I doodle.
We at it again...

(If you do not realize that this is a doodle of Rihanna, you need to educate yourself.) (or maybe I need to get better at drawing?)


This is Not a Crossfit Entry...

...because I did not go to Crossfit today.

I know, I know.  I'm sorry.  I really am.  But the dog was having poop-related issues which resulted in Nathan and I getting very little sleep, and when 0730 rolled around going to work out seemed like the far, far greater of two evils.

But here is some progress that I have made on a thing:

Her left thigh needs more shadow... buh...
And so you see, I've added some preliminary shading.  And some highlights.  And more are  yet to come...


Doing it More Often

And here is another dude!  I strove to make him a distinctly different face from That Other Dude (or, "Dad-looking-guy", as Nathan called him), and this was the result:

...I ended up inadvertently drawing Chris Isaac?  But with more hedgehog-like hair?  I guess?

(You guys, this is why I draw girls.  Seriously, you guys.)


I'm a Dude!

Okay, well, I'm not a dude, but this guy that I just drew totally is:

I drew him because I have a hard time drawing men, and thus need the practice.  I should probably do it more often...


Change Their Minds... And Change the World!

Do you remember how utterly fabulous the opening song for Wonder Woman was?  I didn't, until I went and watched it to get a catchy title for this blog entry.  Fabulous, I tell you.

Fabulous like high-waisted booty-shorts.
Her arms are a bit scrawny for my personal Wonder Ideal, but hey- it was just a doodle, so I don't feel too bad.  Her thighs are appropriately meaty, anyway...


Is That Incense?

Initial colors, with no real shading beyond a bit of low/highlights on the metals.  (And the hair, which I am not at all satisfied with.)

She's not telling
 I did not intend to get this far in the process, and I should have been in bed about an hour and a half ago.  Stupid motivational music...  In case you're wondering, the pattern on the fabric is supposed to be irises, and the embroidered trim is persimmon flowers.  And my choices have significance, I assure you.



I actually did two drawings of Inara Serra today, and this is the second (and more sketch-like).  You'll see the first later, once I start laying in some color.  One thing I wanted to point out is that you can see where I initially started to doodle another left-facing-person, then caught myself and started over to the right (see, I can change!)

I don't know what those hair-part-decorative-jewelry-things are called, but I kind of want one...


Happy Birthday Lil' Bro!

Yay!  At last I can post the card I made for my brother's birthday!

(Probably only funny to people who do Crossfit)
And I'm glad that I have that for today, because the other bit of "art" I did is pretty much boring (converting an icon into a cross-stitch pattern).  (The towels that result from the patterns will probably be worth sharing, but the scratchings on graph paper?  Not so much...)

PS, in case you were curious, here's what "Mary" looks like


"...What's a 'Prowler'?"

That's what I asked Jack this morning when I looked at the WOD:

15 min


A prowler, as it turns out, is an instrument of torture.  We didn't do quite what the guy in the video is doing, however- we were to push it to one side of the gym, run back to the start point, and then use the heavy chain (that we'd been dragging behind it) to pull it back to the original side of the gym.

So we had three people, and three stations, and whoever was at the prowler station was in charge of time- once they'd gone down and back they'd call "switch!" and we'd all move to the next station- where we'd do either as many burpees or pushups as possible until the next person yelled "switch".  I will say that knowing my poor fellow-crossfitters were doing burpees gave me the strength to really dig in harder on that damn pull.  No one should be forced to do burpees for longer than necessary.

Except I didn't ACTUALLY strike a pose- I sort of flung my shirt haphazardly to one side and continued my (modified) pull-ups.
Oh, what's this?  A little bit of stripping?  Yeah, that's right- my workout got serious, because on about round three (of four) I had to stop and whip my shirt off.  It was a major relief to be able to do so and know that I wasn't going to be oggled.  No one goes to Crossfit to get their swerve on.  (Not that I've witnessed, anyway.)  Pretty much everyone is there to focus on kicking their own ass.


A Drawing for Chris

This one goes out to my buddy Chris, who sent me a note saying, "I've noticed that the majority of your drawings are facing left to right, unless they are under some type of emotional duress... Is it because you are right handed, and it is more natural to draw a face that way?"

Before I get to my response, I want to say this: I went through every last entry for this year, and 90% of the right-facing drawings are a) of me and moreover b) of me doing Crossfit.  And so I say unto you, Chris, those expressions are not so much emotional duress as extreme physical duress, thankyouverymuch.


Anyway, here's what I said in my actual email to him:

"My drawings tend to face left just because that's what naturally flows out of my pen. If I had to guess I'd say it's because I'm right-handed, which makes the curve to the left (like a C) easier than the curve to the right, and since that's the curve I use to start my profiles, that's the direction they end up. I do occasionally make an effort to draw the other direction, just to make sure I still can. Same reason I make myself draw men from time to time- I'm not as comfortable with it, so it requires more practice.

There's also the possibility that I draw them that way because we read from left-to-right, so by facing a character in that direction it's almost like I'm drawing your attention to their eyes, to make contact, whereas if I draw them facing right your eyes follow their eyes to whatever they're looking at. That IS something that I consciously take advantage of when I'm doing comics- remember the Valentine I made for Nathan? The character is facing to the right because I wanted your eye to move that way, from the girl to the baby. If I'd drawn it the other way it would have read baby to girl, and it wouldn't have made as much sense to your brain. It would have been stilted, because you'd be seeing the action backwards and trying to piece it together."*

So how's that for an art-school-y answer?

Anyway, as a result of this little exchange, I made it a point to draw Barbarian Princess (a character who's made appearances in my sketchbooks since 2003) facing to the right.

To really keep with the spirit of the challenge I should have drawn a man.  Oh well.

*I line-edited my response to post it here, because apparently I was have a particularly dim-witted day when I wrote him back, and blathered on about reading "right to left".  Whoops.


Do You Want to Touch My New Callus?

I'll admit- I've been in a funk these past couple of days.  A lots-of-naughty-words kind of funk.  But all that changed today, and I'm pretty sure I know the reason why.

"Reasons", I should say.

The first is that, after a week of eating not-so-clean, I've gotten things back on track these past couple of days.  Also I got back into going to bed at a reasonable hour, which means that I've actually gotten full nights' sleep these past few nights.  This morning I got up when the sun woke me, at 0645, which is what time I'm supposed to get up, but never do.  So I had almost eight hours of sleep and felt fantastic, and I didn't have to rush out the door which meant I got my sun sals in, and even had time to drink a cup of tea with Nathan.  I mean luxury.

Work was work, but my afternoon walk was glorious- it was warm enough that I didn't need my fleece.  In fact it was so warm that after work I changed into my climbing clothes (t-shirt and a pair of yoga capris) and walked down to the gym that way.

I'd have to say, however, that climbing was definitely what pushed today over the top.  I got there and had a friendly chat session with my favorite lady worker, then did a 5.9 on the auto-belay that had thwarted me last week.  As I later explained to Nathan, doing it wasn't "easy", per se, but it felt right.  I felt in control of myself and my movements, whereas last week I just sort of scrambled and flailed (and didn't make it to the top).  So that was a really great way to start out my session.  Once I got down I chatted with my friend again, this time about the women's technique clinic she's going to be teaching (and I'm going to be taking) and then a fellow climber (who'd admired one of my yoga poses earlier) came over and offered to be belay-partners with me.  That was really nice, because he was much more advanced than I, and I was able to observe him and learn- plus he coached me some (after asking if I wanted it).  So I got in quite a few climbs today, and felt like I made some real progress (although I really need to get to the gym more than once a week if I really want to improve).  And then when Nathan came to pick me up he signed up for the belay class, because his birthday gift to me is learning to be my belay partner.  Hooray!  What an excellent husband!

I did eventually give up on that 5.10 (for now), but not until I'd swung around on the rope for a great deal longer than my belay partner probably thought I would...
On the drive home I was chattering about today's good experiences, and I said, "Look!  I got a new callus on my pinkie today!  Do you want to touch it?  Go on, touch it!"  (he did not want to touch it).  C'mon: I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who gets stoked about new calluses (in fact I distinctly remember my fellow college crew teammates being super stoked about calluses).

Dinner was fabulous (thanks again to excellent husband), and afterwards we went down to REI to pick up my new hiking shoes for Ireland.  That's right, Ireland: we're going in September.  Hooray!


Let Sleeping Puppies Lie

I had to take Isis to puppy kindergarten by myself this afternoon, since Nathan was stuck working.  She did fairly well, in large part because the instructor took pity on us and brought her high-energy puppy to class so that Isis would have someone "on her level" to play with.  I was so grateful- I feel bad when Isis overwhelms the other puppies, but for Pete's sake, one of the main points of puppy kindergarten is to socialize, so I feel like I shouldn't constantly have to pull her away from playing.

Anyway it wore her little butt out, and she fell asleep on the drive home.

A tired dog is a good dog.


I Go, We Go, HuGo

I watched Hugo tonight,and enjoyed it.  Beautiful, stylistically speaking.  I preferred the book, but still... a nice little film.  And it led to this doodle:

Yes, I do wish I could rock that haircut.


Good Things From the French

Here we have a page from my sketch book, in which I begin to explore ways to illustrate a French proverb:

The proverb (if you can't read my chicken scratch) is "praise the god of all, drink the wine, and let the world be the world".  Nathan clued me in to it, and we both like it a lot, so I said I'd make it into a sign for our house (you know, like "home sweet home", only more along the lines of "tend your own affairs").  I'm still deciding if I want to draw/paint it or embroider it...


Progression With Puppy

Isis had a pretty big day today.

This morning I took her for an extra-long (for her) walk, and then this afternoon Nathan and I took her down to the waterfront.  I was a bit ... not anxious, exactly, but definitely steeled for a Less Than Agreeable Experience.  Turned out I steeled myself in vain, however, because Isis did quite well.

Not perfect, mind you.  She definitely lost her damn fool mind a few times near the beginning when she saw dogs she wanted to go be friends with- but after a while she settled down to a reasonable level of Excitement.  The best part was that she got to interact with more people, including some well-behaved children (with parents who understood about puppies).  I must say that I'm very grateful that people who Know Dogs take one look at her and know she's a puppy: it makes her behavior less embarrassing (pulling on the leash, etc).  Although it was funny when one woman said, "Oh how cute!  What is she, about eight months?"

"No ma'am- she hasn't hit four months yet."

"Oh my!"

Yeah, we know.  But she did get lots and lots of comments on how beautiful she is, so at least our toddling terror is attractive...

Speaking of attractive, I made two birthday cards today.  One of them is so specific to the person that I'm going to hold off posting it until the birthday in question (but I will post it because I like it quite a bit), but the other one doesn't give any clues as to who is was drawn for, and thus I feel safe posting it today:

Is this birthday card FOR YOU?!  Who knows!  (Well, you will, in a week or two...)
Yeah, that's right- another angel.  After I got started I wished I had a larger card to work with, so that I could extend the wings out.  Ah well- perhaps next time.


A Gimpy-Knee Safe Workout

My knee has been extremely painful for the past few days (for the first time since changing my diet) and I wasn't totally sure I'd be up for Crossfit this morning.  But then I decided that the whole point of having a personal trainer for every session is so that they can tailor it to your abilities and needs, and that includes the much-reduced abilities of my right knee.

I got to the box and explained to Aubrey what the situation was, and sure enough- she modified the WOD to take out everything that involved a bended knee.  As such, my personalized WOD looked like this:

2 min @each station

Back Extensions (although after watching that video I now realize I've been doing Hip Extensions)
Monkey Bars (40 sec mark)
Good Mornings
One-Legged Jump Rope (only I did it left-legged the whole time)

("Basically," said Aubrey, "Your back column is going to be thrashed.")

(You can go to Crossfit Epiphany's website to see the unmodified WOD)

I will admit- I was a wee bit afraid of the monkey bars.  The last time I tried them it did not end well, which I chalked up to having a greater mass than an eight-year-old.

Imagine my delighted shock when I was not only able to "do" the monkey bars, but actually managed to traverse the entire thing three whole times in my two minute window.  I chalk that up to the past two months of rock-climbing (yay grip getting stronger!).
All this, and MORE!

We had about a minute left on our last stations when Aubrey announced (in an entirely too-cheerful voice) "Okay guys- I want you to go back to your first station!"  And so we went through the entire thing twice.  I was pleased that my numbers didn't fall too substantially (except on that damn jump rope), and after I spent half an hour recovering (sometimes cardio just jacks me up, it really does) I felt pretty good.

Now, however, I have started to feel the "thrashed" that Aubrey promised me.  My hamstrings and back are like, "Why?  Why?!"  I'm trying not to think about what that's going to translate to over the next two days.

Anyway, today was the last day of my free month (thanks again, baby bro!) so now I have to start paying for my pain.  And I'll do so, gladly.  Can't afford a true monthly membership at this point, but fortunately my box offers a punch-card, which I can certainly work into my budget.


Not By the Threads of Our Chinny-Chin-Chins

Here's another page straight out of my sketch book, with a collection of unrelated images.  The only interesting story here has to do with the sketch at the top:

That is a sketch of the Three Little Pigs as the Three Fates.  I'm currently letting that little story seed germinate.  We'll see if it turns into anything worth sharing...


Doodle With a Dying Pen

It's funny how tax-time simultaneously makes me feel both incredibly dumb and incredibly smart.  Dumb while I'm doing them, smart once they're done.  Also, it never ceases to irritate me how complex taxes are.  Isn't it a basic rule of business that you should never make it difficult for people to give you money?  Then again, I think a lot of people end up giving more away in taxes than they need to because they just give up trying to learn all the deductions and such.  I know I've definitely done that in the past.  But this year I made an effort to save receipts, and thus I emerge from the Great Tax Battle victorious- by a whole $8 (after paying to file).  Woo!

Dying pens are the WORST.
By the way, Janelle is not the name of this sketch; Janelle is the name of the Turbo Tax employee who helped me figure out why the heck my employer had sent me two W-2s.  But then again, I suppose there's no reason it couldn't also be the name of the lady in my doodle, which was inspired by the music of Citizen Cope.