I got a SOLID three hours of sleep last night, which was a nice addition to the four hours I got the night before, so I am in the perfect position to write something and put it out there for everyone to read right now. Seven Quick Takes: So-Tired-I-Can-Barely-Operate-My-Keyboard Edition, let’s do this!
Joe took the kids to “movies on the lawn” last night, an awesome event where this friend of his sets up an outdoor movie theater on his lawn, complete with catered movie-style snacks. I wasn’t able to make it so I couldn’t take pictures, but here’s a shot from the last one, which I talked about here:
This is the same friend who occasionally hosts the salon dinners where everyone gets together over a meal to talk about some big issue facing society. The dinners feature a speaker to address the topic at hand and get the discussions started (for example, John Taylor Gatto came in to talk to us about education reform one time), and everyone is given a pamphlet with short bios of all the other attendees so that we can get to know one another better. These events are so fun and interesting — we need more things like this in the world!
I tried Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred on Tuesday, and I’m excited to report that I am slowly beginning to regain the ability to move some parts of my body. Also, I was smart and bought it as an Amazon Instant Video, which I think I’ll do for all future exercise video purchases. I have been driven to the edge of sanity on more than one occasion when I finally overcame my unfathomably deep tendency to sloth and got all motivated to do some killer workout video, only to open the case and find the Barney Schoolhouse DVD in there instead.
Anyway, I had watched clips of 30-Day Shred on Youtube, and in a moment that screams HUBRIS ALERT!!!! MAJOR HUMBLING LESSON ON ITS WAY!!!!, I thought, That doesn’t look that hard. What’s this, some jumping jacks? A few sit-ups? Whatever. I can hang.
Let me just fast forward to the part where I realize that I cannot, in any way, hang. I have never felt so weak in my life. Frankly, after my humiliation at the hands of this DVD, I am amazed that I have the strength to pick up my toothbrush each morning. My son was doing the workout with me, and since we only had eight-pound and five-pound weights I gave him the lighter set. Halfway through I had to steal the five-pound ones from him, and after we were done I did a limp of shame over to my computer and ordered three-pound weights on Amazon.
If I don’t update my blog for a few weeks, assume it’s because I can no longer move my arms because I kept doing this video.
Here’s my biggest issue with all of these types of workout videos: squats. Squats are an urban legend. They are not possible. I know you might think that they are because you’ve seen people do them in exercise DVDs, but they are actually a huge practical joke being put over on us by the fitness industry. If you move into a position like you’re sitting on a chair without actually having a chair behind you, you will FALL DOWN. This is not my opinion; it’s the opinion of the LAW OF GRAVITY.
You laugh, but history will prove me right! One day someone is going to take a closer look at one of these videos and notice wires holding up the fitness experts as they do their “squats,” and the whole thing is going to come crashing down.
I found myself surprisingly inspired when I stumbled across this cover of Maroon 5′s song Payphone, by Walk Off the Earth (the band that did the one-guitar version of Somebody that I Used to Know):
I am so amazed that there are people in the world who can just do that, who can sit down and make music at will. This is something Joe and I talk about a lot: we love music, but neither of us can do much to create it, and we’re amazed by people who can. We have this idea that if we had musical talent, we’d basically sit in our garage every night and record awesome songs for Youtube videos, like a nerdy suburban version of Pomplamoose.
I’m sure that’s all easier said than done, but the main point I’m getting at is: if you have musical talent, USE IT!!! Very few people have been given the gifts needed to write or perform songs; if you’re one of the few, don’t let that gift go to waste. The rest of us need you if we’re going to have good music to listen to!
Another inspiring thing about that band Walk Off the Earth, from their Wikipedia entry:
Walk off the Earth is a Canadian indie band that formed in 2006 in Burlington, Ontario, and has gained success around the world by making low-budget music videos of covers and originals. The band built its fan base independently with no help from record labels, booking agents, or management.
That’s another thing we should all remember: here in the internet age, you don’t need an institution’s stamp of approval before you begin a new project. If you have an idea that you’re passionate about, just do it! If you can’t get an agent or a manger or a publisher or a label or whatever else you think you need, do it anyway! Create great work, put it out there, stick with it, and you’ll very likely gain traction.
I am now officially typing while the baby is asleep, which means that every character you see from this point on represents a millisecond that I am choosing to BLOG instead of doing that SLEEP thing that I’ve heard so much about. So, on that note, I wish you all a great weekend, and I’m going to go pass out.
Summer is off to a rolicking start here in the Fulwiler household, and by that I mean our TV is about to explode from overuse. Every weekday I announce dramatically that we cannot spend one more day sitting around the living room, solemnly promising that there shall be activities, starting tomorrow.
Then, the next day, I wake up and count on one hand the number of hours of sleep I got the night before. I think through the logistics of getting myself and six young children out the door, and my brain starts melting around the time that it occurs to me that we’d all need shoes. Long story short, I throw some crayons and paper on the table, they spend five minutes drawing before I have to shut it down because everyone’s fighting like the rats in a cage that we are, and we end up spending another day sitting around the living room.
I did sign the kids up for some real activities like art camp and swim lessons; in fact, at one point I worried that I’d overbooked us. But then I calculated that there are approximately 60 weekdays in summer, each presenting me with a breathtaking 12 hours to fill, and realized that a couple of kids going to a couple of morning camps is not the life-saver I’d hoped it would be.
It’s all good, though, because now I have plenty of time to surf the web while pretending like I don’t hear “I’m booooooored!” over and over again in the background. Here are some of my favorite finds:
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- More proof that cilantro is the most vile substance on the face of the earth: it smells like bedbugs.
- You need to read Sarah’s post about the birth of her son, who was diagnosed in utero with spina bifida. Personally, I find that the mix of profound insights and heavy profanity give the piece a refreshingly candid feel. I know that f-bombs aren’t everyone’s thing, but you won’t be sorry you read this post.
- Want to inspire your kids to clean? Try taking before and after pictures.
- Some inspiration for summer workouts: 16 fitness experts who used to be overweight.
- More inspiration for summer workouts: this website lets you pick music by the beats per minute. You can even tell it how long it takes you to run a mile and it’ll find the tunes with the perfect beats!
- Sock buns: someone who has talent with hair styling needs to try this and tell me if it works.
- There are a lot of “advice for new moms” posts out there, but this one is particularly good.
- Dude builds Stonehenge in his back yard using only primitive tools to demonstrate how the original creators might have done it (video).
- Brandon Vogt’s new project, Strange Notions, is getting a lot of buzz. It’s a forum where atheists and Catholics dialogue about life’s big questions. They did a very nice announcement video too:
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That’s it for this round! I need to get back to pondering at what point “stir crazy” becomes “actually, seriously, throw-us-all-into-a-padded-cell crazy”.