Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 2010 Books and Movies

Three in a Bed
Carmen Reid

Hands down, the worst Carmen Reid book I've read so far. Enough to possibly turn me off her work for good. This time, the protagonist, Bella is a career woman who is desperate for a baby. She secretly gets pregnant, drinks and smokes throughout the entire term, and of course, has a baby with no problems. She herself isn't able to adjust as perfectly to motherhood, and then there's a little infidelity thrown in for good measure. Needless to say, I didn't like the plot and the whole book felt completely indulgent, like she was trying to tell the world how bad pregnancy can be. Definitely not for me. I had so much trouble finishing this book that I had to renew it 3 times and only managed to read one book this month. May have something to do with my crazy busy schedule though... :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Laila Biali

Went to see the Laila Biali trio (Laila Biali - piano, vocals; George Koller - bass; Larnell Lewis) at the Glen Gould Studio Theatre tonight. It was pretty great. I love that she covers popular music in a jazz style. Tonight she did Sarah McLaughlin, Feist, Imogen Heap and Joni Mitchell, along with a few standards and original tunes. My only teeny complaint would be that she wasn't very diverse dynamically. All the selections seemed to start soft, build in the middle then end with soft "tinkling" (for lack of a better word) piano. Larnell was incredible though, and I still love her vocals. I can't believe I used to watch her at the Rex. Looking forward to her two new album releases later this year!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Fitness Goals

Today I went for my first run since my 5K at the end of September. It's absolutely shameful (as useless an emotion as that is) that I've let it lapse as much as it has. I haven't been a total sloth, I've done some walking, mostly home from work, which is 4K away and, before it got to cold, biked to and from as well.

I did 2s and 1s with a final minute sprint followed by upper body weights, crunches and push ups. It was very difficult to get moving but felt really good when I'd finished.

I've come to three conclusions after this morning's workout.

1. I've lost a lot of the gains I worked so hard to achieve. I've put on weight, I've lost muscle mass, endurance and energy. It's depressing and demoralizing.

2. I am FAT. This is not a bad word. The only reason I've put it in bold here is that I've got to stop kidding myself. My whole life I think I've seen myself as skinnier than I actually am. I'm the total opposite of the women on "How to Look Good Naked". If I were to do a Gok line up, I'd probably ruin it for him and the show by putting myself in the line where I thought I belonged and then be too big for that spot! Last night, I was playing Wii Fit at my sister's house, and after the body scan informed me that I was in the obese range based on my age, weight and BMI (it's really sad, your Mii character balloons out to reflect your reading) it wasn't the greatest feeling. True, I have a lot of muscle mass but I also have a lot of fat. I carry it mostly in my upper stomach, directly where the pounds pile on when I've been over-eating and exercising infrequently. I know I'm supposed to practice body self acceptance, but if I'm really honest, I just don't like the way I look these days. That and the fact that I have mountains of clothes in my closet that I would wear, if I wasn't quite so apple shaped. It's not that I want to be a size zero, in fact nothing is further from the truth, not to mention that it's just not possible for me. I just want to be more hourglass than apple.

3. I'm going to try to get back to my previous level of fitness by running three times a week, do more weight and strength training, go to Yoga (another thing that has lapsed dreadfully) and run the Sporting Life 10K in the spring.

Hopefully I won't be sidelined by injury or illness and I'll be able to pick up a few co-conspirators along the way.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Bad Plus

Tonight J took me to see The Bad Plus at the Glenn Gould studio. They are a free jazz trio (piano, bass, drums) out of the U.S. Midwest. It was an experience to say the least. While I admire their great musical skill and really appreciated certain brilliant musical elements and experimental ideas, a lot of the performance left me twitchy and uncomfortable. They really stretch the boundaries of music and their instruments. They are definitely a band I would have to listen to a lot more of to really appreciate their unique styling. I am glad I went even though it certainly isn't a concert I would have chosen to attend. It stretched my boundaries and got me talking passionately about the elements I liked and didn't like afterward.