webcowgirl: (Default)
Wow - today I've finished my first book of 2011. That means that I've bought new books, seen a movie, squeezed in three plays, and bought a book (by Jasper Fforde, a kid's book I bet I'll really enjoy). That means all of the side links for this blog have been updated - I doubt most of you read them, but I've been tracking these three things for about seven years now.

Today I did some planning for my Easter travels, picking up a ticket to Palermo for Tuesday, April 18th. Irritatingly, I think the price doubled over the course of the day. Grr. My plan is to go from there to either Riga or Talinn on either Easter Monday or the Wednesday after. I'm a bit torn; I like Sicily a lot but I kind of think I'll be wanting to move by Monday. Then again, maybe I'll get bored in the Baltics after four days. It's hard to tell.

Meanwhile tonight was a quiet night of Pilates (first time in a month, actually did an exercise perfectly I'd never managed to do before, as if forgetting to think actually helped me do it smoothly), a dosa, and studying for the scuba class this Saturday. The video section is BORING. I think tomorrow I'll watch a few episodes and focus on the book. My guess is that I'm going to really be feeling the Pilates tomorrow.
webcowgirl: (Default)
This is going to be an insane week for me as I have four nights of shows coming up and then a Rock Band party and then another show. WHOOSH. I will have to bring my computer with me so that I can get my reviews done on the tube on the way home.

Tonight I went to Pilates, which was a good session but a failure for me. Something happened when I was doing "short spine," the thing where you lie on your back on a kind spring-loaded carriage with your feet in these elasticized straps then hold your legs up and curve them toward the headboard until the strength of the straps pulls your legs all the way up and over your head and you're balancing on your shoulders. At some point the pulling of the legs and the movement of the carriage and suddenly gravity WOO and I didn't know which way things were pulling and I felt really off balance and my back grabbed real tight don't want to fall over even though I've been doing that exercise for years and it's one of my favorites. I'm seriously worried I fucked my back up, lightly, in a way that will ache for days, but right after class I couldn't tell for sure because the rest of me was exhausted. I also had a massive brain fail when we were doing "stomach massage" (balance on your butt on the springy carriate with your toes on a metal bar about a foot off the ground, then push against the bar until your legs are straight, repeat) when it got all complicated with arm movements and I just could not figure it out, my brain died. Finally we were doing a "mermaid" (balance on your hip on a box on the springy carriage with your feet stuck under a strap, then lean away from the strap so you're hanging off the side of the box with your arm over your head) where my foot slipped out of the strap (I couldn't get it short enough for me) and my hip totally clenched up to keep me from falling off (sorta "yay" but ow). I haven't had such a bad session in ages: I was totally distracted and incompetent.

Afterward W and I went to Lupita's for some Mexican food and it was deelish.

Work was a mess today. I went to the gym and read Vanity Fair while I worked out: today I'm at page 492. And with that it's time for bed.
webcowgirl: (Default)
Last night I came home from seeing The Mousetrap and finished my review for Joe Turner's Come and Gone (currently playing at the Young Vic). I'd pretty much finished writing it but needed to research the national origin of the various performers to see to what extent the dialogue coach had scrubbed an "English" accent out of the actors rather than anything else. My hypothesis was right: only one of the people on stage was American, and he was the best performer of the night. He's also pretty famous in general, so maybe there's more to his performance than the ease with which he handled the accent of his character. Still, this had me up until 11:30. What was I thinking? I needed to get some sleep. This became even more apparent at 4 AM, when I started having a coughing fit. I got it down for an hour or so then lost some more sleep. Bleah.

I took my hacking and coughing self to work despite this (and very much due to not getting paid for sick days off work my first year). Woke up to some rather depressing tweets from people who'd been to the show I went to last night (the Mousetrap): one saying she was thinking about washing her hair to get it clean because it had been coughed on so much; the other saying she was "probably fighting off the cold Webcowgirl had given to me." It was really irritating. I have just had these colds settle in my lungs and I don't see myself as being communicable at day five; I don't have a runny nose or anything, just a dry, hacking cough. Hypochondriac jerks.

I made it through day at work with only about two coughing fits. Got my tickets to visit my uncle in Munich before the end of the day. Then, cough or no cough, I had an appointment with my Pilates instructor today, so I was going hell or high water (you don't want to stiff people for these things). Her house was on the more northern end of the Northern line and decorated with what I thought was great taste: old rock posters carefully frames, freaky bobble-head dolls, sweet springer spaniels hiding in the kitchen. She took it easy on my ankle but had me doing all sorts of fun stuff that challenged me in various ways. At one point, I was doing an exercise where you lie on your side with feet braced against a bar and one hand holding onto a horizontal bar on springs, then curve your torso upwards, led by your arm. The set of reps on my left side sucked; but then when I did the final set, I finally understood that you lift using your torso and not by pulling yourself up by your arms. This is a big deal because I am weak with my arm muscles, but suddenly VROOM I was able to curve up just like I was supposed to. I was so pleased I did three more on that side and then went back to the other side and did another set just to try to get it right. It was totally different and cool. We also did some semi-uh, what are they called? It is this thing you do when you balance on your butt with your body in a v, your legs pointing in front and your arms up overhead. Anyway, you can do an exercise where you lay on your back and hold onto a bar over your head and kind of rise into this position, the bar curving an arc in front of you, your arms following the bar and your body rising up into this V, your butt curling underneath you to get you into the right position: oh yeah, "teasers" they are called. Anyway, they are hard to do, and I have not done one once since I moved here, but the muscle memory was there, the way your tailbone curves underneath you to get you into position, and doing them made me feel happy. Afterwards I felt a bit shakey from working out all of those poor degenerated muscles, but I had a glass of water and played with the dogs and saw that one of the rock posters on the wall was for a Siouxie/Love and Rockets concert I went to at Irvine Meadows back in 1986 (memories!) and felt pretty damned alright with the world. I get to go back next week. Yay. :-D

webcowgirl: (4CupsOfTea)
So much of the traffic has died off of LJ these days that I feel like I'm just sort of checking on a former pet when I come by here. I started using LJ for the community, but now my community appears to be living much more actively on Twitter. If I'm going to pour a lot of energy into writing, I do it for my theater blog. I still want to blog about life (when I dare) and work (which is interesting and fun), but blogging here is frequently really just feeling like diary keeping. It's no longer much about the community of it.

That said, I'm also busy, as ever. Last week I saw two classical music concerts as part of the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music (neither of which I wrote up, though for the record I thought seeing a classical music performance in Westminster Abbey was right cool) and two plays (both bad, though Ingredient X will more quickly be forgotten about than the Mandy Patinkin/Hal Prince giant mistake known as Paradise Found, rarely have two new shows so quickly made me see the value of going to see the classics but the Paradise Found review is far more scathing). I indulged myself with a day in gardening on Saturday (the weather was supposed to be gorgeous, and it was), followed by a night in watching Xanadu (which I enjoyed immensely). I also had my very first private Pilates lesson with Alison, my favorite instructor from the YMCA - it was hard work but it made me feel great. And J and I went to Walthamstow and saw the William Morris house on Sunday, because I thought it would be cool and so did he.

And, yes, Alison worked around my ankle, and, no, it's still not up to snuff yet. I suspect it really wants me to spend more time off of it, which is what I'm doing right now, sitting on the couch with my ankle elevated, drinking cold cider. It's just heavenly, I tell you, and the only thing that could have possibly made it better was finding an extra flan in the fridge that I made on Saturday to go with tacos (tacos and Xanadu, a perfect combination). It was icy cold and delicious and just the thing after the warm day we just had.

This week, for the interested (as I'm not likely to blog any more before the weekend), is a free trip to see Salome at the Richmond Theater (because theater blogging is working for me), a Sekrit Event on Thursday with Jason (it's the anniversary present I bought for him, but he won't find out what it is until we walk in the door of the place we're going to), a visit with my friend Amy, then the funtasmagoria that is a three day weekend, with extra added Showoff Piano Bar, Eurovision, Lady Gaga (EEE!) and even a trip to Bletchley Park with [livejournal.com profile] wechsler for 40s Day. Really, you can see why I don't have time to do this, right?> I mean, it's already past my bedtime, and tonight was already burned at Pilates (not private) and the Assa (where I had dinner with Josh). Really, I am trying to live my life so fast that I can't remember the bad bits.

And for those who were wondering, my houseguest is on his feet at last and has a place of his own. It's a bit quiet around the place without him, but I'm happy to say that someone who showed up with neither home nor house now has both. (And for those of you who didn't know I'd had someone living here for about five weeks - you're probably just not keeping in touch. But hey, that's what Facebook is for, right?)
webcowgirl: (Default)
Right! My review of Blaze, the street dance thing I saw at the Peacock, is up now. Who'd think I'd be doing ballet and street dance, but I do really enjoy the action and the energy. And it's great to be in a theater full of roaring teenagers.

Tonight we continue our Shakespearean Madness Week with a trip to Macbeth at the Barbican. This is the complete opposite of last night, which was Hairspray with [livejournal.com profile] booklectic and two other friends. It was a really cheerful show and fun to see again. It was also really nice to see [livejournal.com profile] booklectic, and between her and [livejournal.com profile] babysimon I am finding myself psyched for the costume party tomorrow night! But first ... work ... and this is the day I need to get in early. Yesterday I took a very long lunch and went to Pilates at the Y, which was good but did NOT have my favorite instructor running it. Today will be catchup day ... after I leave, which I must do now!
webcowgirl: (wind)
After a blah day at work (blew most of it self-training and waiting for the work to hit), my evening was spent in the company of the inestimable [livejournal.com profile] lovelybug, to whom I fed caponata and pasta alla carretiera, receiving in exchange wine and Ben & Jerry's. I told her she was lovely and calming, she praised me for being generous (as well as loyal). We caught up on each other's lives and made plans for the future. She was consoling and supportive; I was enthusiastic and inquisitive. It went late; it was great.

Today work is boring again (same problem as yesterday) but I took advantage of it and went to Pilates at the Tottenham Court Road YMCA. We did a new move today; the intermediate mermaid with side extension. Sitting sideways on a reformer, you put your hand on the bar, then push yourself away and arch over with the top hand, like a normal mermaid; then you move the other hand to the bar and pull your whole body into the bar with your back arched. You push yourself back out until both your arms are straight, then raise up your chest so that you're curving your back in the opposite direction from before. Then I think you pull back in and re-curve your back out, then lift your "top"/far hand off the bar and lift it over your head back into the original seated position. It was really fun to do something new and I got a great back stretch out of it, too.

Tonight is Carlos Acosta, and tomorrow is the day where I may figure out what's happening with the rest of my life. It should make for an interesting day.
webcowgirl: (Kayak)
I know what I want to do in late September now.

EEE! Time to start saving!

Pilates last night was a load of fun. I think next week J and W and I are going to go to the Wednesday night "reformer" class, which will be a load of fun. J's rejoined the gym and what with him riding his bike to work yesterday, the three of us are ALL getting a lot more exercise. I think I'd like to look at rejoining the gym downstairs just to do cardio again, but I wish there was a nicer gym closer by I could use instead..

I'm also considering seeing Don John April 17th at the Battersea Arts Centre. Anyone interested? I'm afraid it's kind of pricy, £22-27, but I'm trying to get details about the pricing structure there as I can also see £10 seats and those are much more my style. LATER: £10 seats are available, though there in the back. Still, works for me!
webcowgirl: (Blythe)
Wow! I went to Pilates at the Y today and it kicked my ass. I am shaky all over the place. And it feels great! I can really tell that I've been putting some muscles on doing the "gym" stuff as I was able to handle things that involved not just supporting my upper body weight with my arms but using them to move my body (as I was on a sliding platform) ... and it went fine! One of these exercises involved standing up on the sliding platform, bending at the waist to grab a bar at knee level (in front of me), then moving the sliding platform with my stomach muscles - and I was even able to do that. (This is called "the elephant" for those who care.) Man, I'm feeling so chuffed I want to take the instructor out to lunch.

But instead I'm back at work, wolfing down my leftovers from last night (this has been the week of tiny budget for me) and wondering where, oh where, did my prepaid Pilates card go? £30 pounds of fun, lost somewhere - maybe in the floor of the other gym. Boo.

Tonight, my fourth night in a row at home, only this time I'm going to remember to pack, really.
webcowgirl: (London Biker)
I went to the gym today and had a lesson on how to use the triceps machine. I did better today than I have been - 2:35.7/split, unsurprisingly resulting in a 160 bpm heartrate. I also came in at 30 SPM, so I keep rowing faster.

Truth be told I didn't need to go to the gym today, but thanks to Gat Xino's screwup I'm thin on cash this week and eating lunch at work. So I figure if I'm dining al desko, I might as well do something with all of the time I have left to entertain myself, which in my case involves sitting on an exercise bike reading Laurell K. Hamilton, which only requires the exact amount of brainpower I can put out while I'm on an exercise bike. Vampire killers at the gym, yep, it's all full of irony. I will try to improve things for me by going to a pilates workout at the Y this week, which would make me very happy. With luck I'll have better developed muscles than the last time I went and I'll be able to handle the exercise better than last time.
webcowgirl: (London Biker)
I've really been working to get my money's worth out of my short term gym membership and, hopefully, get my heart rate improved in time for my appointments (one this week and one next) at the cardio clinic. Today was the usual ten minutes of rowing and ten minutes of biking. My heart rate was 160 after the rowing - possibly too high, but we'll see what the doctor thinks I should be aiming for when I go in. For those who care (rowers?) my split was 2:35.2, which is a continuing improvement (so I guess I care - I'm keeping track to see if I get faster over time) and my strokes per minute rate was 28.

Why am I doing this? Because I'd like to see if I can control my heart rate though exercise, NOT diet, and not medicine, in part because my diet is actually really good. And, clearly, if it's just exercise that's making my heart so weak and flabby, then I want to make sure it's getting what it needs naturally BEFORE I try medicine.

Anyway, I made it three times easily last week and maybe even four (I can't remember), but I did also make it to Pilates on Friday for the first time in three weeks and it kicked my butt so badly that I was still feeling it (on the outsides of my thighs) on SUNDAY. Still, that means it must have been good for me - and as long as I'm feeling it in my muscles and not in my back, I think I'm doing alright.
webcowgirl: (Theater)
Thanks to everyone who pitched in to get me a membership to the Donmar. I've now succeeded in getting tickets to the Ewan Macgregor Othello! I am excited! You guys rock!

Also: damn, I've got a lot of Shakespeare coming up in the next six months!

PS: Pilates at the downtown YMCA ROCKED!
webcowgirl: (Clematis)
I rode my bike to work today, figuring I wouldn't have too many more opportunities to do so. It was fun, no yappy dogs with grumpy owners getting in my way in the park. My knee got more aggravated, though, so I decided it was time to look at doing physio again. Amazingly, I could get an appointment with the one who is Pilates certified this very day, so I left work an hour early and biked in for an appointment. I left the office feeling rather chipper. I'm going to go back once a week until this job is through. Yay!

I went looking for a tuxedo coat for a possible Greta Garbo costume, then decided I couldn't really pull off the look without a lot more shopping and was reconvinced that it really was going to be Sally Bowles this Saturday. With great luck, I found not one but three pairs of packages of unopened fishnet stockings in the "miscellaneous" bit at the TRAID store. Blacked seamed hold ups or red to the waist, which should I wear? I also got a pair of regular hold-ups in "vaguely black," which seem like another possible option.

Now I need to trot off to Woolworths for some green nail polish and fake eyelashes, then to the Sainsburys for the ever important Food.

I'm liking this short timing stuff. I can't wait until my last day.
webcowgirl: (Default)
I managed to get out of work at a quarter after five today work rant. )

Anyway, the fun bit here is that Pilates was a blast. I got a good workout and because there were only three people there the instructor actually came over and helped correct me. Looks like I don't keep my feet straight and I'm prone to locking my elbows. Oops!

Arr, matey, cockhats ahoy!Home again and J was fresh from biking in from Fitzrovia and (gasp!) hadn't bought the food for dinner yet! This means we made the mistake of going shopping while we were RAVENOUS. I don't normally pick up lemon tarts and those carmel filled waffle wafer cookies, but my defenses were down, and the cookie I ate on the walk home was very nice.

Afterwards we went to a nearby pub and played Cartagena. I really want to try it with three people, but it's pretty fun anyway and a good choice for a drinking game. And while my day at work was a trial, everything after I left was great. It's nice having [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy back.

I actually talked with a recruiter about a job I applied to today, which made me happy.

As for The Demotivator and his "testing in anger?" More like testing in stupid if you ask me. It's FRagile in action (great comic, thanks [livejournal.com profile] wingedelf. And here's to many, many more phone screens and some red hot interviews. (And why do I like Mondays? Because I leave work, get exercise, and have nothing more to do but have dinner for the rest of the evening. Very relaxing!)
webcowgirl: (Default)
My voice lesson was decidedly the high note of my evening. Stop me if you think that you've heard this pun before. Also ... )I talked to the woman that would be the hiring manager for the London office today and she wants me to send her my resume again. That'll give me a chance to polish it up before it goes out - apparently they lost all of their mail for a day so she never got it the first time. Things are looking good both for an interview while I'm there AND for maybe getting a more challenging job than Localization testing. Huzzah!
webcowgirl: (goddess)
Today has left me beat! Home at 7:30 after going like gangbusters since my laaaate wake-up time, I found myself eating two plates of spaghetti and then looking around the house for some fruit juice. The 4:30 Ozu silent I saw today was great, a genuinely funny film, and the folks who did the accompaniment were good enough that I've decided to go see "An Inn in Tokyo" on Thursday just because they're going to be doing that one, too. Then we ran right off to Pilates, and for some reason Echo decided it was Kick Their Asses day and did just that. Ugh! I mean, sure, it's great that my upper thighs and abdomen are achey right now, but, jeez Louise! And now it's bedtime. [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy's got the day off, but software folks don't get banker's holidays, so I'll be in at the normal time tomorrow ... and off to see another silent movie tomorrow, Male and Female, as part of the Silent Movie Mondays at the Paramount. As for the house ... well, I can always clean it when I'm dead.
webcowgirl: (disco ball)
It has been an utterly fantastic day, from the very "getting out of bed super late" start. We did make it to Jackson in time to see the lion dancers going at it, right in the middle of the block - deafening firecrackers, billowing smoke, and little bits of red paper in my hair. I thought it was great how the last thing they'd do was get the envelope of lucky money from the doorway of each of the shops they were performing in front of. Me, I went and spent some lucky money on some pretty earrings, under the "it's Valentine's day and who do you love, baby?" rubrik. The shopkeeper was highly pleased with my choice of "Chinese bag" (silk with zipper) to put my star twinkle in: "Red for good luck!"

We were of course late getting to Pilates, but it was a pretty good workout - I'll spare the details - and then we achieved unity with the infinite and were immediately seated for a spontaneous brunch ("Hmm, doesn't that look good? Hey, why don't we eat?") at Crave, which never happens, because there's always a line. Always. Then it turns out not only that they've put green chile home fries with cheddar on the menu, BUT they're serving Morning Glory chai, AND (should I buy a lottery ticket?) they were playing Hunky Dory on the stereo. All that and a window view outside? It was heaven.

Things continued to be utterly stellar as we went to Chinatown, got the last remaining 2 hour parking spot in the entire neighborhood without fuss, then trotted down King Street to find ... another set of lion dancers! These were red/black and green/yellow, a different kung fu club, and we got to see them toss the cabbage back and forth to each other for what was apparently their last stop of the day. And when we made it to Union Station, I kid you not, Starbucks was giving away free samples of their new hot chocolate in perfectly sized little cups. What more can go right today? Can I take this day and put it in a little box and look at it forever?
webcowgirl: (ActionFigure)
I fled the boring day at work for the haven of the Y and sixty minutes of getting lost in the complexities of body, breath, and balance. I went from there to the library, hoping to find a score and recording of Patience, succeeding also in procuring a book of short stories by Gene Wolfe; a graphic novel called How Loathesome; two CDs of classic (dark) ballads of Britain, one of Rameau's Platee; and something by a woman I sincerely hope is a Fado singer.

After a delicious open-faced turkey sandwich, I got to work on my story, or, in this case, interviewing [livejournal.com profile] xxxlibris over the phone, which only served to 1) make me wish I'd spent more time with her over New Year's 2) make me miss my London friends (we could at least commiserate on this). Now it's time for writing ...
webcowgirl: (Default)
I was pleased to find out that I got an A in the Japanese class I took last quarter, given what a struggle it was for me. I've still got the vinegar in me 10 years since I left college for the last time, even up against the undertaxed, highly adaptable brains of the four high school kids in the class.

Work, however, continues to be highly irritating today. I'm looking forward to getting to Pilates at the Y this evening, picking up the music I need for the audition at the library, and writing up a storm once I get home. Wait, let me be clear: the part I'm looking forward to is the part where I leave work early. Grrr.
webcowgirl: (Jizo)
While today may still be a twelve hour work day, it will not be from 9 AM to 9 PM as, behold, I am still at home. I got to sleep late (thanks to doing "volunteer work" on a website), then woke up at two AM and was ... up. LA LA LA I am not sleeping damnit! Finally got in some Zs on the couch ... I'm also noting that there's a knot the size of the 520/405 interchange between my shoulderblades, which I'm convinced was brought on my a move we did yesterday in Pilates called "The Tower." ("Okay, lay on your back with your head toward the vertical bars and grasp the bars for balance ... put your feet on the horizontal, spring-loaded bar ... now roll up from your waist so that you're resting (*is this possible?*) on your shoulders with your feet over your head ... GO! GO! GO!") I didn't HURT myself, but I do this to RELEASE tension!

It's supposed to be sunny today, maybe I can go for a walk on the campus up the hill from work.
webcowgirl: (Default)
After my crappy Monday I'm glad this week is turning out better than it started. I made it to Pilates (advanced, creamed me), then to [livejournal.com profile] miss_villanelle, then with her to lovely downtown Seattle. We had a wonderful afternoon: browsing the Wednesday organic farmer's market, buying tea (still no Makaibiri second flush but they promised to call when it came in), eating gelato. We hit the library on the way back so I could get some sheet music for tomorrow night at Sorry Charlies, and then I stopped back at her lovely lower Capitol Hill apartment to pick through her discarded clothes and see if there were any treasures for me.

Then the day took a turn to the left, although it was still going in a good direction: I had three people coming over for dinner and Catan. Dinner (enchiladas) was late, but everybody enjoyed it and 2 of the 3 people were also late so it wasn't a big deal. Then we all played Catan until about 10:30. We played very competetively and the game seemed very evenly divided. My sister in law to be won, and we were all, I think, happy about it as none of us were creamed and it was damn competetive up until the last roll of the dice.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to have lunch at Paseos. I hope I sleep better tonight.

Magic Number15
JobSporting Great
TemperamentAll Bark, No Bite
SexualJust Say No
Likely To WinA Place On The Bench (For The Reserves)
Me - In A WordEvil
Brought to you by MemeJack


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