Sunday, April 12, 2009

the secret life of knees

my knees have been working hard lately in my quest for breakdancing skills. i don't bruise easily, but even landing tricks on tatami has left every surface of my kneecap in various shades of purple.

i've begun lifting weights in earnest (i guess you could call it that); it's just no fun being too weak to catch myself as i hurl face-first toward the floor. my vocabulary and understanding of moves like windmills and flares has improved, but my poor "power" wrist is the weakest link. so many "power moves" require balancing all your weight on just one hand. my weedy wrists cry for mercy.
my body also seems confused as to whether it is fit or flabby; it's caught somewhere in between. some muscles are pulling in, some pushing out, some have yet to surface. it's a confused circus of fit-making. i just need a movie montage; that would make this process go a whole lot faster.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

WTF, japan!

april 2: thanks to the elusive genius of the postal service, i sent off my american taxes two days ago...and then received them (stamps cancelled) in my own mailbox! certainly the japanese stamps and return address, along with the "airmail" sticker, were enough to indicate it should actually leave the country. the other weird part was the envelope wasn't stuck in my mail slot like usual or on the floor below it, it was about two feet from there on the big step up into my it had been placed there. i can't even imagine how it got there; i hope desperately it was just a big gust of indoor wind, not some creepy (but clueless) postal worker.

also, the one time they ask me if i want bags at the grocery store (they seriously overbag here. my second complete japanese sentence was "i don't need a bag"), i have to say yes i need some because i didn't remember to bring any from home, and what does the guy do? he charges me 5 yen and doesn't give me bags. he gives me a stamp card for bringing my own bags, which i clearly don't have. invisible bags: not good for groceries! i took the basket out to my car and just plopped things one by one into the seat and drove off laughing nervously.
is april fool's a day later here? am i being punk'd?

well, whatever. i've been working out a lot (words i never ever thought i'd say), so i've been pretty relaxed. i am approaching a place i have never consciously been in my life: fitness. the muscles under my skin are beginning to feel taut, the sweating is making my skin smooth, and i'm getting some definition in my legs and abs. i mean, i actually have muscles under there? i keep wanting to touch them to ascertain they're really there. i'm totally going to turn into that guy who has his hand under his shirt all the time because he's feeling his pecs.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

auto-updates, the scariest thing since killer bees

this morning i was prompted to update my computer software, something i've been avoiding for months. auto-updates are the kiss of death. the last two times i have allowed them to run their course, my computer fell into a coma and had to be woken up in "safe mode," which feels far from safe. they should call it "get ready to panic mode." both times i was able to eventually reach my computer's consciousness again, but after last year's hard drive failure, i'm rightfully paranoid. however, updates are important for security and performance reasons, so i finally hurried through a photo/music backup session and clicked Go To It.

no blue screen of death? no endless restart? i think that's a first.

nevertheless, i'm having an oddly anxious day. i'm hoping to get a job in this small english school near nagoya, and i have an appointment to meet them in a week and check out the housing options they have available. that's one odd thing about japan. rather than leaving you to your own devices, many jobs have their own housing, which can either be a really good thing or really, really not.
i love looking at apartments, and i was actually really excited to find a cute little place that's right for me, but it could be a lot cheaper to go with what they have, and my japanese isn't great, so there you go. the persistent problem.
i had a nice anxiety dream about it too, or i guess it was an anxiety dream. in my dream i was worried about it, just like i am IRL (that's "in real life" for you grown-ups), but when they showed me the apartment, i loved it. an anti-anxiety dream? but when i woke up, i didn't feel any of the "phew, it was only a dream" relief.
on the other hand, i have been obsessively daydreaming about what it would be like to live a mere ten minutes from a major city! i have been wrapping myself in the sweet nectar of shorter train times and cheaper fares like a mosquito in lip gloss. i'll be half an hour (and $10) from places it would have taken me 3 hours (and $70) to reach from here! my life will never be the same again. i mean, i might actually have one.

shake n' break

here's the freeze i nailed this morning and without looking all exhausted and sweaty, either! can't say the same for all my practices earlier in the week. i definitely need to work on my arm strength, as i have now realized that being a woman, and therefore having a lower center of gravity, makes the power moves a lot more challenging because it changes the balance. i'm determined, though!

very dramatic! i love this shot; i just couldn't make it into position before the self-timer went off.

a much harder freeze: no knees!