Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Charles Staley Article 2
He's talking about different lifting styles and when they are appropriate.
Came in at 172.8. Will try to do cardio on Thursday as I know I won't be working out or eating well this weekend!
Overall things are OK. Trying to get back on even keel. I think feeling crappy about not feeling motivated keeps me in that cycle. So I'm just on low for awhile and I should be good with that.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
"I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot... and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that's precisely why I succeed."
And from the same article...
Here's A Short List Of A Few People That Once Failed:
The game Monopoly was originally rejected for containing 52 fundamental errors. Today the game is so successful that Parker Brothers prints more than $60 billion of Monopoly money each year.
Michael Jordan was cut from his High School Basketball Team for his lack of talent.
Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times (but he also hit 714 home runs)
Steven Spielberg dropped out of high school in his sophomore year. He was persuaded to come back and placed in a learning disabled class. He lasted a month.
Beethoven's music teacher once told him that as a composer, he was hopeless.
Winston Churchill failed the 6th grade.
John Creasy, the English novelist who wrote 564 books, was rejected 753 times before he became established.
Charles Darwin's father told him he would amount to nothing and would be a disgrace to himself and his family.
Walt Disney was fired by the editor of a newspaper because he, Disney, had "no good ideas".
When Thomas Edison was a boy his teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything.
OK, I'm getting over some cold thingy. I'm sore as hell - lower back, shoulders, triceps, and hamstrings.
The good news? The kiddos and I put up ceiling fans yesterday. It would have probably been easier to change the motor in the swamp cooler, but the fans were FREE. Only one wobbly one. A couple with a normal wobble. Upon taking the other light fixtures down it looks like my low-income home was builty cheaply, what a surprise!
Have rehearsal tonight, hopefully it will be quick and over on time.
Monday, August 29, 2005
August 29, 05
Did a deadlift workout today.
August 29th is Raza Memorial Day commemorating the martyr's who have passed in the struggle for Chican@ and other liberation movements.
Remembering Corky Gonzales, Ruben Salazar, Ricardo Flores Magon, and others who have gone before me.
I'm out today.
Will write more tomorrow!
Thursday, August 25, 2005
It was also good. Got to see a good example of someone taking care of himself as a Dad and as a musician. And another person taking the money issue serious. Made me wonder if I'm spending or making more money on the band thing, something to think about. With the kids I know I'll spend more than I make, but that's because its at a different level.
Kids were still up and things were kinda frantic last night. Didn't get to bed until 11pm. So I guess this turned out to be my week off of regular lifting. I'm gonna formulate different workouts so I can adjust based on how I'm feeling and the amount of sleep I get. I'll have the really heavy workout, a semi-heavy workout, a moderate workout, and a light workout based on getting a "pump" and trying to get me back on track. I'll do my best to stick to the "plan a" as much as possible, but that might not work.
I'm using a different scale now, one that isn't in a locked room as often. I'm at 170.6 today. Did some light cardio this morning.
* * *
It gets clearer to me everyday that our house needs a "home manager" and we aren't getting it with me at rehearsal 2-4 nights a week, plus a couple of meetings and the occasional gig. I've come to accept that my wife is not the homemaker type. I don't know if she's OK with my being OK with it, but can't do much about that.
My wife and kids think I'm in emotionally worse shape when I don't play music. This makes it interesting to figure out.
Keep Lifting and Keep Posting comments!
Charles Staley Article
On another note:
Bruce Lee called overthinking something like Analyzation to Paralyzation. I do that sometimes. Smacking called me on it! I heard it. Talked about it with M yesterday too kinda.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
8/24/05 Goal Setting
I did bench yesterday. Had the boys go out with me and spot me. I got up to 165 for two reps. Stopped there. I'll bench 140 for now, and go up 5 pounds per week. And including weeks that I may not go up I'm trying to see if I can get to 200 pounds by new years. I'm guessing that I will hit a peak around 175, but if I can get past that I will.
I'm going to squat and deadlift around 160-170 starting next week, and I'd like to clear 225 for new years.
See my grandmother in a week and a half. This is an unexpected expense and stress, but worth it.
Become a stay at home dad. So in the short term that means paying off the small credit cards, the van, and if possible the Chase Visa card (highest interest) by next May!!!
* * *
The guy that plays bass with two of the groups I play with showed himself a little more. It was good in a way. I was talking about figuring out an arrangement that Steve Jordan did for a song called "Coronelas" and he said, he'd rather do it "as written" than to do someone else's arrangement. Actually that he'd rather do an arrangement himself than to use someone else's is probably most correct. That would be good if he would bring arrangements, since he's the only full-time musician in any of the groups I belong to.
The other thing he did was give me some crap about a song he changed my part on last week. I had told him, it was what I was told to play, and he gave me a line about you should have heard it wasn't right. That it was out of key. His part was better but what was there before wasn't out of key. It's interesting to work with this guy. I'm learning lots, but also guessing that some of this process is hard on him. He was a pro musician all of his life and now he's in groups that don't work that regularly and with guys who don't know all of the songs he knows.
Kids did great this weekend, still working on vocals.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Couldn't sleep. Think it's because my Grandmother is getting put on hospice care. So I'm guessing I didn't get good enough sleep to lift heavy.
Will write more tomorrow.
Monday, August 22, 2005
8/22/05 Walking and weight...
I worked out yesterday and am SORE! Shoulders, upperback, chest, etc... Must have been a good workout.
This morning did about 25 minutes of walking. Not bad, but not enough to cut weight with.
* * *
Wife went back to work today. She looked bummed out. I told her, jokingly, that she needed to be a good "Happy Worker" role model for me. Obviously wasn't funny. I'm more and more pleased with the idea of being a stay at home dad, though I know that will be VERY challenging.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Nice Sunday Workout and realization
* * *
Also realized that my stress about work has more to do with something I really want but have avoided in order to be the breadwinner. That's a stay at home dad. I've always wanted to do that, but my wife makes less than I do. I'm gonna figure out if its possible to go to one income before my son gets to 12th grade. That means pretty much I have about a year or so to figure it out. Wish me luck!!!
I've noticed that lots of people are having tons of feelings about the concept. That's interesting, but I'm gonna try to not let that stop me. I'll probably still work odd jobs, contracts, etc. But more at my own pace and choosing. I'll probably also go back to work after the kids leave the house, or are both graduated at least.
I know its tough on one income, but I may be up for the challenge!
Friday, August 19, 2005
Violent Day In Albuquerque
We were coming home when this all happened. So we got to see roads closed off from I-25 to university Blvd on Central Ave. It was the biggest show of force I've ever seen the police do, next to the peace demonstrations prior to the official US invasion of Iraq. We saw what looked like a sniper, SWAT team members, city police, county sheriffs and eventually the helicopter. And go figure the guy they were looking for ended up being caught by my house!
I know it is tragic that these officers were killed, and all of my sympathy goes to their families and friends. But wow, I wonder what would happen if there was that much energy and resources brought to bear on every murder... would we be better or worse off? I mean a super large area of town was shut down, and that may have been before the officers passed away.
Its an interesting thing. Because three other people were found dead on the same day, two in a motorcycle shop and one out at the edge of town. I know its different because the police know when one of their own has been shot pretty close to instantly. But police were responding to a robbery when they found the two murdered people in the shop - they obviously didn't shut down that part of town to try and flush out whoever was responsible for that. Could it really be that power will defend itself that much more than the rest of us, even though that is its stated purpose?
OK Rambling too much. Again, my deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those who lost loved ones yesterday...
8/19/05 Rut Breaking!!!
But I did.
I ended up doing the three core powerlifting lifts; Deadlift, Squat, and Bench Press. I'm thinking I'll do this again Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday (since I'm out of town on Friday). I did 5 sets of each and changed the weight to try and figure out what I should stop at. For deadlifts I did 5 sets of 5 with 70, 110, 120, 130, then 140 lbs. The 110 felt really hard, but the 120 felt easier. But the 130 and 140 kicked my butt! All the muscles that bug me when I'm doing house or yardwork felt crappy during the lift. I hope I'm doing these right.
Then on to Squats. I've been doing these so it didn't start too bad. 5 sets of 5 also. First 95, then 115, 135, 145, and finally 155 lbs. The 155 was killer, but not maxed out. I'll know if I can walk at all tomorrow that I can go up! =)
On to benching with the bar. I haven't done a barbell bench press since April when I was told I had carpal tunnel. I've gotten up to 80lbs (40 on each side) with dumbbells. Here's what I got 5x65lbs, then 5x85, 5x95, 5x105. Then I put on 110 and was still feeling pretty good so I went for 10 repetitions!
I'll know tomorrow if this is gonna take me out of basic things like walking or breathing...
Weighed in at 170.8 today, see how I'm doing on Monday.
So, how was YOUR workout today? (for those of you wanting reminders!!!)
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Squat(use the strength cycle)
Olympic Squats/Pause Squats 1x3(alternate)
Leg Press 4x6(heavy)
Leg Extensions 3x10(moderate)
Leg Curls or Seated Leg Curls 3x8
Seated or Standing Calf Raises 4x15
**Squat Walkouts(1x1) and Rack Squats(3-4x2) can be done in place of squats
Bench Press(use the strength cycle)
Incline Bench/Decline Bench 3x10
Wide-Grip Bench Press 1x10
Dumbbell Bench Press 3xfailure
Behind-the-Neck or Front Shoulder Press or Seated Press 4x6
Lateral Raises or Bent-Over Lateral Raises 3x10
Barbell Curls 3x8
Hammer Curls 3x8
**Bench Press Lockouts(3-4x2) can be done in place of bench
Deadlift(use the strength cycle)
Good Mornings 3x10
Behind-the-Neck/Front Pulldowns 4x6(heavy)(alternate)
Cable Rows, Dumbbell Rows, or Machine Rows 3x10(moderate)(alternate)
Close-Grip Bench Press 3x10
Triceps Extensions or Dips 3xfailure
Heavy Cheat Curls 2x6
Hammer Curls 3x8
**Rack Deadlifts(4x2) can be done in place of deadlifts
Recipe Link for Chicken Sausage Tostadas
Still got a long way to go for my "six pack" but it seems very likely to happen. An old goal I had was to get to a six pack by my 40th birthday. I have 15 months and am sure that at this pace it will be a go.
* * *
Figured out that I am gonna go to a 4 day work week. I just don't know when. I want to try and "live" off my wife's income for a little while. What I proposed yesterday was to use my current income to pay things with interest rates. Then we can see how we do with just her check. The problem is that she's off for 3 months in the summer. Since she's not a stay at home kinda person it gets tricky in that she's out spending money usually. This summer she was good at being frugal.
It will take some work. I'm trying to grow beans in areas where our yard is barren or weedy. Beans fix the nitrogen in the soil so this should be good for future growing.
Oh, by the way, did YOU do YOUR workout today? (some of you want reminders)
After a lifetime of study of the rise and fall of the world's civilizations, historian Arnold Toynbee concluded that the measure of a civilization's growth was not to be found in the conquest of other people or in the possession of land. Rather he described the essence of growth in what he called the Law of Progressive Simplification. True growth, he said, is the ability of a society to transfer increasing amounts of energy and attention from the material side of life to the nonmaterial side and thereby to advance its culture, capacity for compassion, sense of community, and strength of democracy.
Duane Elgin author of Voluntary Simplicity
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Single Mom Figure Competitor
Depressing Quote of the Day! 8/17
We got rid of them in order to save nine bucks on a hair dryer. We threw away uncountable millions of dollars worth of civic amenity in order to shop at the Big Box discount stores. That was some bargain.
This will all change. The future is telling us to prepare to do business locally again. It will not be a hyper-turbo-consumer economy. That will be over with. But we will still make things, and buy and sell things.
A lot of the knowledge needed to do local retail has been lost, because in the past the ownership of local retail businesses was often done by families. The knowledge and skills for doing it was transmitted from one generation to the next. It will not be so easy to get that back. But we have to do it.
Education is another system that will probably have to change. Our centralized schools are too big and too dependent on fleets of buses. Children will have to live closer to the schools they attend. School will have to be reorganized on a neighborhood basis, at a much smaller scale, in smaller buildings -- and they will not look like medium security prisons."
8/17/05 Another Good Workout!
Beat my calf PR Zone so I'm going up in weight next week. Next week I'll workout on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday in order to deal with some travelling.
The week starting with the 29th I'll change to more of a powerlifting routine. Boredom and lack of development is draining me with this workout I'm doing now.
Monday's I'll do Bench Press. I'll start with 105 lbs and go up from there. It will go up fast the first couple of weeks while I figure out what the right weight is. Then I'll go up 5-10 lbs a week. Wednesdays will be Squats and Fridays will be Deadlifts. I'll do the same routine as with benching but probably start at 125lbs.
I'll be going for 1 warm-up set of up to 12 repetitions. Then three working sets of up to 6 reps, and a cool down set of up to 12 for a total of 5 sets.
Then I'll do an A-B Split. "A" will be Barbell Curls & Cable Pulldowns as a superset 4 times. And Calf Raises and Shoulder Press for another superset 4 times.
"B" will be Pulldowns and Flyes as a superset. Followed by Wrist Curls and Reverse Wrist Curls.
This, except for the wrist curls, will be with heavier weight than I'm used to. But since I don't try to go to muscle failure it should be fairly safe.
That should take care of me for about 8 weeks, then I'll do a moderate weight program for 4 weeks and figure out some new cycles for the new year.
* * *
Had a good rehearsal last night. Had a good discussion with the kids about the band. It seems to me (my perception) that my wife has been "naggy" lately so we were short with each other. I'm trying to watch that, but oh well.
At rehearsal I noticed that the guitar player was trying to get part. I played it, but he only listened to the bass player. I guess that's what happens as the youngest musician in the group. But during break the bass player was giving me all kinds of compliments on my abilities and growth as a "lead man." Interesting stuff.
Also had a good talk with a friend about becoming self-sufficient and figuring out how not to work for someone else. Oh yeah, and there was business class last night.
I guess I talk about more than my weightlifting but hey, that's why it's my blog.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
8/16 Aerobics Again...
Felt pretty good. Not great and sweaty, but better than nothing. Came in at 171.0 today. I will hopefully get to somewhere between 145 and 155 by the new year.
* * *
Mortgage is late, no excuse just didn't keep on it. That's what happens when one of use is fully in charge, we usually forget something. It's been about 5 years since we made a late payment on the house. We should be alright.
They are waiting for a specialist to see my grandmother and let us know what her options are.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Had a great workout this morning. Pumped up the weights some. My wife and kiddos say that it looks like I stopped growing. In September will do something more like powerlifting.
School started today. That means the alarm goes off at 5:30 instead of 6:00. What fun! But I was going at it better before it became summer. Maybe this will help me. I'm still down 14 pounds from when I started, so that's good. maybe I'll get another digital camera so I can take more pictures. Then I'll actually have to post them.
* * *
Must be a better guy than I think because people use me as a reference often. For loans, for jobs, even for the military! (I feel bad if anyone doesn't get high security clearance for having me as a reference, but not if they don't take you at all!)
My Grandmother is in the hospital. They found lung cancer so I don't know how that's gonna go. Gotta make calls tonight. Trying to stay positive. Noticed I'm more positive the better I'm doing with playing music.
Friday, August 12, 2005
8/12/05 Another Good Workout
I'm off to meetings and errands. Gonna go try and jam tonight.
Not quite in a good mood, but had a good rehearsal with the kiddos last night. We're down to two people doing melody on songs now, and moving towards one lead singer. I gotta get a list together for my homie, and he's gonna tape the melody and harmonies for songs and then we can practice that way. We figured that my daughter and nephew have the best match together. My son would be great for Johnny Cash songs as his voice is deep. I fill in wherever I'm needed. Some rock and funk songs will use all four of us. That and we'll probably work on an acapella for "amazing grace" for whenever that's appropriate.
My body feels good, just gotta get my brain to catch up. Think I'm also going through organizing withdrawals on top of other stuff.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Has this escalation anything to do in a family way with the odd remark attributed by a national magazine to Marine Major Craig Tucker, of Ft. Leavenworth’s Battle Command Training Program, that "a time may come when the military may have to go domestic"? I guess that’s what he was taught at Ft. Leavenworth."
John Taylor Gatto
The Good, The Bad, and the Fugly
The bad, just really feeling crappy. Really crappy. Unhealthily crappy.
Had rehearsal last night, and we started a song. This song, I've asked what chords are missing more than once, but felt ignored. So we have a new guy and he says, these chords need to go here, an voila! The percussionist is stressed because that's "holding up" practice, but that's what I feel like when we spend 15-30 minutes working on a harmony line for a song, and then at the next practice we still have to review that. It's slow, but its just a part of learning to get really good.
The night before the bass player was showing the guitarist some chords, and I'd ask him what chord it was. He would point the bass at me and hit the string really loud. Its like when someone speaks louder because you don't know the same language. It just doesn't help, and is sorta patronizing.
My family was gone after work before rehearsal, no note or anything like that, but its usual. When I got home from rehearsal, still no fam. They came home around 9:30pm. Had been out running errands and lots of different stuff. She checked the back and the dog had dug up half the garden that we had been growing this summer! I just kinda sunk... last straw kinda thingy.
Wife wanted to talk, so I just kinda burst out about not wanting to work, feeling that I can't get stuff together, dog tears up stuff outside, cat inside, people want me in all these different directions, yada yada...
She gets really bummed out and says "well I guess I'll have to work for the school district" (she's a headstart teacher now). I tell her, did you notice that feeling when you felt bad that you HAD to go work for more money to be the main support. I said you may have only felt it for a second, but that's what I feel everyday. I get up and go to work to be the main "breadwinner" and its a HAVE TO. And I've had that feeling for the last 12 years at least. (Before then we made close to the same amount.)
At least I figured out what's eating me...
MORE TO COME...
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
A society without a state. If the only value hard reading had was to be able to tune in on minds like Quigley’s, minds free of fetters, sharp axes with which to strike off chains, that alone would be reason enough to put such reading at the heart of a new kind of schooling which might strongly resemble the education America offered 150 years ago—a movement to ennoble common people, freeing them from the clutches of masters, experts, and those terrifying true believers whose eyes gleam in the dark.
Broke both of my PR Zones for the day! Probably sweated out some weight because I came in today at 171.0! I was drenched. On regular blog reader says he works up a sweat by reading this blog!!! At this rate I may be close to 165 at the end of the month.
I really think that 145 is probably my optimum weight with the little bit of muscle I have right now. I'm hoping that I might eventually get to a cut 165. Funny huh, going all the way to 145 just to come back up. But boy will that be a different look!
OK K, I know that "sexiness" isn't a thing about the scale and such. But hey, if my body ever arouses imaginations on its own, I would be able to live with that objectification!
Gonna call the homeschooling people today. My nephew is dropping out of school and I don't know if my son will eventually go that route. He wants to.
So many good quotes, I have a hard time keeping up, but I'll post more later.
* * *
Had a great rehearsal last night. I figure I'm stuck in three bands because they all give me something different. I get to sing in two; one is really pretty; one is good at cranking out songs we haven't all played together; one is really experimental in English and Spanish; one is flexible on Chicano music; one really focuses on harmony, well you get the picture.
I'm gonna make a list of songs that I want to sing for one of the groups.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Education and Colonialism Quote
Lord McCauley in his speech of Feb 2,1835,
"I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar or who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values & people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage.
And, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient Education system & her Culture.
For if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture. And one day they will become what we want them, A TRULY DOMINATED NATION."
Gotta figure out my "motivation" issues. I did go out and water and work a little in the yard last night, but mostly just forced myself to stay awake until 10:30 and then passed out.
Same thing at work. In many ways this is a perfect job for me but my motivation is anywhere from 1-5 on the scale of 1-10. Same with practicing at home. Part of it may be that my most productive time seems to be between waking and around 9am. A small window and I spend it getting settled in at work or getting ready for work. By the time I get home in the evening, I'm fairly brain dead.
If I calculated my pay by the time I spend getting ready and winding down from work I wouldn't get paid much. But that is how YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE calculates your wages.
My goals for today. To fill my File 13 and meet with someone for a presentation. Tonight I have a youth meeting and then rehearsal.
On the bright side a couple more people talked about my looking different. That's always nice.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Weighed in at 171.8. Since I'm temporarily without camera I'm using the scale more than I'd like to. That and I'm on the 5 pound challenge with Reneegetsfit (see sidebar for link). My waist was at 39". I'm wearing a t-shirt I haven't worn for a long time, and I tucked it into my new pants that were just hemmed up because they fit closer to correct! Wooo Hooo!!!
Did legs today and broke my PR Zone. Slept a lot last night, and gonna try and get extra sleep this week. Also still trying to get into the cardio, but not getting very motivated...
* * *
Played a lot this weekend. That was cool. When we started the kids band, I tried to get them a kid bass player, but 3 or 4 of them have fallen through so far. So I'm skipping that for now, because I'm enjoying playing with them and also enjoying the bass right now. Family bands have always been a part of Chicano culture, and now our current culture likes to segregate people by age and stuff, so its been cool.
I'm also liking the effort to get lead singers for the songs. Originally they all sang, so that the boys just didn't bail on trying to sing. My daughter's always liked singing.
What's nice is that the kids are really bringing songs to learn and its less me. The group will start to develop its own personality that way.
I want to find more time to practice so that I can really hit what I'm shooting for. I feel like I'm leaving all three groups a little short. There isn't a band that I really want to bail on at this point.
It'll work out how it needs to.
Friday, August 05, 2005
A Good Friday
Didn't workout today. Called in sick and planted two trees -a baby chokecherry and a small plum tree.
Figure that counts for my aerobics of the day. Watched a movie last night before rehearsal. The movie, called the Devil's Playground is about the Amish youth during their passage of deciding to stay Amish or not.
Got into an argument with my wife about it. Somehow she had gotten the idea that I am more interested in the Amish than following traditional indigenous culture. I've joked about becoming "Chamish" but I think she took it too literal. Obviously, anyone who knows me knows I'm no where near Christian enough to become Amish!!!
But there is something about what they have accomplished around family, community, and cultural maintenance. Some of it is because they are "white," they haven't been persecuted in the US the same way indigenous and other non-whites have been. But there IS something to be learned there. Just totally haven't figured out what.
Anyway, some people are happy that I've chosen to focus on being a musician for the next period of my life. Others are concerned. Funny, huh?
I'm still trying to figure out self-determination on a practical level, becoming a better musician, singer, and example to my kiddos.
Singing is definitely where I'd like to get more going. I get hurt sometimes that it doesn't even come up around certain people, but oh well.
Will try to check in tomorrow after my lift...
Thursday, August 04, 2005
The following is some historical resistance to schooling I was unaware of. Not mentioned in any of MY history books!
The most notable aspect of this rioting was its source in what today would be the bottom of the bell-curve masses...and they were complaining that school was too easy! What could have possessed recently arrived immigrants to defy their betters? Whatever it was, it poisoned the promising political career of mayoral incumbent, John Purroy Mitchel, a well-connected, aristocratic young progressive who had been seriously mentioned as presidential timber. Although Teddy Roosevelt personally campaigned for him, Mitchel lost by a two-to-one margin when election day arrived shortly after the riots were over, the disruptions widely credited with bringing Mitchel down. In all, three hundred students were arrested, almost all Jewish. I identify their ethnicity because today we don’t usually expect Jewish kids to get arrested in bulk.
Holy Hamstrings Batman!
I'll be surprised if I'm not sore tomorrow. I weighed in at 170.8 today! How cool is that! OK, I'm excited. And not just 'cause a VERY sexy woman called me sexy. It's that I'm starting to let myself see the changes other people have commented on.
We have some Muscle & Fitness Hers magazines and there was an article on "the fat mind." It talked about how you can still see yourself as fat even when you are not. Maybe that's where I'm at.
My garage is one of those with boxes stacked to the ceiling. My wife was surprised that I made enough room for the home gym. Well since today I used the olympic bar for the first time since I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel it had to be interesting. I moved the bar and was loading it up. It was like the movies when I was putting the weight on the bar (making some noice), I heard something moving. I stopped, it stopped. OK, figured it was the cat. Next thing I knew one of the piles of boxes fell on the floor! It was being held up by the bar.
I was going to buy an aerobic step because my bench is high enough that I can't do seated calf raises correctly. Actually maybe its cause I'm short, nope gotta be the bench's fault not mine. So I did the one calf at a time as my superset.
* * *
Did a presentation at a media literacy training yesterday. They asked us to recommend a reading. I recommended Against School. Of course there was a whole row of teachers there. They were pissed! It was great.
Someone challenged us on "this isn't about media at all." I got to reply that since school gives people a message on a consistent basis for 12 years of their life it is a form of media we don't challenge. I said it gives all kids messages all the time. And as a colonial institution it gives Native, Chicano, and other kids different messages that "white" kids don't always get.
The youth we took to the presentation loved watching the adults act childish about their point of view being challenged.
But I'd still like someone to think about paying me to dance in my briefs!!!!
There is a point of buffness that looks ugly to me. Now that I'm experimenting with controllnig what my body looks like I want to get just this side of that.
But I'm still blushing by people who think I'm sexy anyway. =)
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Oh, and here's the quote - I've heard the comment (mainly from one person) that this book is too pessimistic. I think it shows exactly what's going on in schools from my experience in working with them. You decide for yourself.
"In the past Man has been first. In the future the system must be first."
John Frederick Taylor
Mas Skool stuf
I haven't gotten much feedback from other parents but what I've gotten is amazing. Generally we feel powerless and I think my growing desire to become CHAMISH (Chicano Amish) is coming from this hope to break free from as much of the crap as I possibly can. I figure its better to do that than resign myself to being a "good citizen."
Amor y Rebeldia!
Freakin Power Outtage
So I'll have to make up today tomorrow. Its OK because rehearsal went late last night. The Wild Bunch seems to be going well. Have two gigs coming up at the State Fair.
I think I'll take the first week of September off of weightlifting. Depends, could all be just the summer schedule. Now that school is about to start again it's possible that everyone is loud and awake late because they know all that will end soon.
Well at 171.6 today. I think I'll get to 165 by the end of the month. Just want to get some of this gut off.
OK, so secret... I started all of this because I didn't want to die young or anything like that. But now, I sometimes think it would be cool for some of the women I know, and even ones I don't know, to look at me and say "I'd put a dollar in his underwear to dance around." I don't really have the desire to run around with a lot of women, but I'd like to know that I inspire some thoughts in that direction at least. May be my insecurities or whatever, but what the hell...
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Decided that I need to be a better example to my kids. (No, I dont' think the above paragraph contradicts this one!) I know some people say I'm too hard on myself, but that's OK. It's gotten me to where I'm at. I might go to 4 days a week at work sooner than I had originally thought. Just don't like how programs with money and staff are able to pull in people without regards to other projects.
I'd like to get more housework done. That's one place I'd like to be a better example. The other is to have more energy to practice, learn and write music. I like picking out the horn parts to funk songs right now. I'm also learning slap bass and funk guitar - and trying to figure out funk parts for the keyboard. I figure the kids like rap/hip-hop and Funk is what is musically closest.
Definately think I need to get better at singing. Told the Wild Bunch to keep an ear open for songs they think I should try and sing.
The kids' group (Mezcla Experience) does well except we all sing the melody. When they were 11 and 12 getting them to all sing was important because I didn't want anyone of them to miss out because of shyness or coolness issues. Now it's time to work out the kinks and tighten up the vocals. They've come a long way musically.
I noticed that Parliament/Funkadelic sings a lot of voices on the melody and not too heavy on the harmonies. But that is their own style, works on certain things.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Quote for 8/2
In 1900, in his book Corporations and the Public Welfare, James Dill warned that the most critical social question of the day was figuring out how to get rid of the small entrepreneur, yet at the same time retain his loyalty "to a system based on private enterprise." The small entrepreneur had been the heart of the American republican ideal, the soul of its democratic strength. So the many school training habits which led directly to small entrepreneurship had to be eliminated."
Same book! Just thinking a lot about our small business class with some youth today and this quote hit me like a ton of bricks!
8/2 School Quote
8/2/05 Bitchin' Time
Then realized the cat had scratched a hole in the carpet and got more cardio activity chasing her around in an attempt to decide her fate. Now I'm just grouchy.
I'm realizing that if I want my house a certain way, its gonna be up to me. I may get some help, but pretty much its up to me. Also thinking that playing music is more fun and fulfilling than organizing.
I figure if I can figure out being more self-reliant, as much as possible in an urban setting, then maybe I'll figure out some other things. After new year my retirement will be "vested." Then I'll have some flexibility about less hours at work and such.
So consumerism and the nagging feeling of overwhelmedness are my enemies for today. Worse part is I see how they are related to my "problems."
I think my workout plan change is gonna go well. I'm weighing in at 171.6 today. 0.2 is not bad. But small changes like that are not indicative of much. If I'm at 171.4 tomorrow that would be the beginning of a good trend.
Monday, August 01, 2005
REJECTING A PRE-PACKAGED LIFE
How many things do you do because you're supposed to, because your relatives and neighbors expect it, because it's easy and you don't have to think about it? How many of those things are taking you and your kids in a positive and healthy direction?
"Changing paradigms" is an option! If you're operating on one plane, with one set of rules and expectations, it is possible and often advisable, to shift and see things differently. It's just thinking. It won't hurt you.
Is school the center of children's lives? Should it be?
Is the only acceptable goal of adult life having the most expensive house and furniture credit will buy?
It doesn't take much of a shift to consider house and education secondary instead of primary. What might be primary then? Health? Joy? Togetherness and love?
Part of the pre-packaged life Americans are issued is the idea that happiness comes after college, after home ownership, after the new car. The stick that holds that carrot will not bend. If happiness depends on performance and acquisition, how long will it last? How long is your car the newest on your street before unhappiness returns?
Here's a little paradigm shift for you to practice on. Perhaps happiness shouldn't be the primary goal. Try joy. Try the idea that it might be enJOYable to cook, to set the table, to see your family, rather than the idea that you'll be happy after dinner's done and cleaned up. My guess is that such happiness might last a couple of seconds before you look around and see something else between you and happiness. Joy, though, can be ongoing, and can be felt before, during and after the meeting of goals.
Enjoyment--that word itself is hardly used. Enjoyment is seen nearly as a sin for some people. "You're not here to have fun, you're here to work." Why can't work bring joy? Any tiny moment can be enjoyed: the feel of warm running water when you wash your hands; light and shadow on the floor; pictures in the clouds; the feel of an old book. If you see an old friend that can bring pure, tingly joy for which there are no words.
If you practice noticing and experiencing joy, if you take a second out of each hour to find joy, your life improves with each remembrance of your new primary goal. You don't need someone else to give you permission, or to decide whether or not what you thought gave you joy was an acceptable source of enjoyment.
Can learning be fun? If it's not fun, it won't stick. Can laundry be fun? If you have to do laundry and you choose NOT to enjoy it, an hour or more of your precious hours on earth have been wasted. Can looking at your child bring you joy even when he needs a bath and has lost a shoe and hasn't lived up to some expectation that only exists in your mind? If not, a paradigm shift could help you both.
Your life is yours, and it is being lived even as you read this. Do not wait for approval. Do not wait for instructions, or for a proctor to say "Open your lifebook now and write." Have all the joy you want, and help your children, neighbors and relatives find some too. Joy doesn't cost anything but some reuseable thought and awareness. Tell your kids it's recyclable. They'll love that!
A RADICAL THOUGHT
Never tell a child "Go look it up." Parents, teachers, friends and countrymen, how would you like it?
When a child wants to know why flowers have a scent, they want someone to say "To attract bees" not "GO LOOK IT UP."
"Go look it up" tends to mean "I don't know" or "I know but I'm not going to tell you." What's the advantage of that?
Either a child will opt NOT to look it up (and the trust in the parent will erode a little) or he will, under duress, perform this task which might be difficult for him, or might take so long that he doesn't care anymore (and the trust in the parent will erode a little).
I'm NOT saying to discourage kids from looking things up. I never said not to show kids how to look things up. I mean don't treat it like something parents won't do, parents don't have to do, but that kids do, or that kids have to do, because they are powerless kids.
Encyclopedias should be alluring, not forbidding. Dictionaries should be a playland, not a dark, scary place you dart into for one thing and slam shut behind you. If you believe they ARE fun, you should look things up in front of your children, often, and with enthusiasm. That will teach them how to use reference materials, and will make them want to do so, because they will see it as something useful and enjoyable that adults do. If you believe dictionaries and encyclopedias ARE dark, scary and forbidding, why on EARTH would you send your children there?
Advice to someone considering homeschooling:
Don't rush. This is a hard but crucial piece of advice. Rush to take him out of school but don't rush to replace it with anything. Bring your child home, don't bring school home. You don't even have to bring their terminology and judgments home. You can start from scratch, brush off the labels, and find your son where he is. Forget school. Move to life.
Let your child have a break. You too. You'll need some time to get used to all this. At first just goof around, play games, watch videos, go to museums and out to lunch. Drive out of town (mountains, woods, desert, whatever you might have) and just talk. Not about school, not about the future, just about now. About the mountains, woods and desert. About friends and relatives and hobbies and food.
It can save you much money and grief and frustration to take a couple of months or more to decide how you want to proceed. That time will not be lost or wasted in any way. The best way to waste time right now is to jump into some curriculum and schedule which you will end up abandoning.
[In New Mexico, parents have 30 days from the establishment of a homeschool to declare their intent to homeschool.]
"I'm totally overwhelmed by how much CALMER our house actually is now. I realize that some of the tension between my boys and me in the past (not that there was ever a lot) has been due to their dealing with the stress of having been in public school all day, then riding the *big yellow monster* home for an hour."
Denise, I'm glad you worded that so well.
I try to tell people this, but either they can't hear me, can't comprehend it, or think I don't know what I'm talking about because my kids weren't in school.
I've had custody of other kids who WERE in school in the past (my brother, at two different ages, and another couple of kids), and I've taught Jr. High.
Much of what parents think is normal kid behavior, or normal behavior for THEIR kid, is a reaction and response to the kids' very real desire NOT to go to school. Even kids who like school, relatively, or who can tolerate it, would rather be home in many cases.
The dread and fatigue and irritation and the burden of homework, and the worrying about the attitudes and teasing of the other kids (with whom they're locked up and can't shake loose) is a constant background "noise" for schoolkids. They HAVE to act it out some at home.
Parents, too, I think, have pressure without knowing it about the separation from their kids. They don't love making kids do homework, often can't help them, or see that the assignment is assinine and they begin to resent the teachers, or they've met the teachers and might not like them, but they have no real choice about aiding and abetting the schools to torment their own children.
The cure for those things is sometimes to mentally and emotionally separate oneself from "the problem," and the problem often involves the parent/child relationship.
My mom didn't like my saying "nothing" when she asked what I'd learned in school. Often the true answer WAS "nothing" but always the thought behind it was, "I want to think about anything BUT school now that I'm home, thank you very much."
Having homeschooled kids at home is nothing at all like having school-kids at home between school days, or on weekends, or in the summer. Every day of a schoolkids life is defined by school. He's home on Saturday because the school system deigns to allow that. He's home during vacations because those vacations were ordained and established by the school board. Which days belong to the school family?
NONE of them.
Which days belong to the homeschooling family?
ALL of them.
Changed my workout today. I'm doing 2 Personal Record Zones instead of 3. And I'm going to do them in an "A-B split" fashion. So this week Monday and Friday get A and Wednesday gets B, next week it will be reversed.
A is: PR1 Pulldowns and Dumbbell Bench Press, PR2 Dumbbell Curls and Cable Pressdowns.
B is: PR1 Squats and Leg Curls, PR2 Standing Calf Raises and Seated Calf Raises.
See if I can get back on track with the cardio! I'm at 171.8 today. Been told by several people that I look buffed out. (think there's a lotta crack smokin going on myself, but I'll just try and take people's word for it!)
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On another note, wondering if I'm too easy on my kids. They are starting to sound like spoiled brats. Maybe that's normal. Trying to remember what it was like for me.
The positive side is that we've had rehearsals for 3-4 nights a week the last couple of weeks. We had a good friend come by and give some pointers on vocals. The kids loved it, they want him to come back!!!
On Saturday I got a wild hair and went to seek George Clinton-Parliament-Funkadelic in DVD form at 10pm. Found it! Watched it and to my surprise the kids got into more than I thought. We had a discussion around the definition of the word Eccentric!
Last night at rehearsal we kinda grooved an improv kind of think around some of the things they had heard from the DVD on Saturday night, was hella fun!!! We have rehearsal again on Thursday, I have rehearsal on Tuesday and Wednesday as well. Then I have a gig on Friday and two on Saturday. No wonder I don't get enough rest. Oh well, this is actually a good life.