Thursday, January 26, 2012

How to Turn a 4-Mile Bike Ride into an X-Treme Full-Body Workout

I've been pretty good about exercising lately. Really good, actually. I've worked out at the gym almost every day for the last six weeks.  This is made possible in part by my finally allowing someone else (gym daycare--worthy of its own post) to take care of my kids for an hour or so at a stretch. I still can't run because of my herniated disc that refuses to heal, but I've been doing some cardio on the machines at the gym while listening to endless episodes of the WTF podcast. (I've never seen anyone else at the gym laughing out loud by themselves. I think a lot of people use headphones to listen to music or something?)

I don't do enough cardio at the gym though, because a) it's hella-boring; and, 2) it doesn't pump up your biceps and make your veins stand out so you can look in the mirror and go, "Exercise, fuck yeah!"  Smart, right? Because what I need to do is lose 20 pounds, and I've lost all of 2 lbs on this regimen, and everybody knows you need to do cardio to lose weight but I'd rather have manly triceps to go with my beer gut and borderline high blood pressure and probably impending diabeetus.  Also, I guess there's this thing called "portion control" that everyone's talking about now?  I should probably look in to that too.

But yesterday, which was the day off from my 3-days-on-1-day-off lifting schedule (based on an article I read in the February 1994 issue of Muscle & Fitness), I got an unexpectedly all-encompassing workout.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Latest Dread: School Days

As soon as we walk in, I get the familiar pang.  It's the smell, I'm pretty sure.  A mixture of linoleum, crayons, pencil shavings, industrial disinfectant, construction paper, musty books, and public restroom funk.  It's the same spasm I get with the first chill of autumn, or when I feel the days getting shorter.

There are kids all over the place.  Pushing scooters on the rooftop playground; cutting, pasting, coloring; marching from classroom to classroom under the supervision of their kindly-looking female teachers. 

This school isn't much like the ones I attended.  It's urban--surrounded by high-rises--and within spitting distance of the Pacific ocean.  Its physical presence comprises additions and annexes built in the sixties and seventies onto an austere brick church that dates back to the late 1800's.  In fact, there are religious messages and artwork posted through its labyrinthine stairwells and hallways.  My schools never had that.  But some of the toys, books, furniture, and certainly the architecture harken back to my own school days.  And of course, there's that old school smell.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Me at DadCentric: Trifling

They look nice enough


I never thought it would happen to me; but my kids have arrived at that age.

They used to call it the "Terrible Twos," but I've read a lot of literature (okay, blogs) arguing that three is worse, and four is even...um, more worse.  In any case, my formerly angelic 2.5-year-old twins have crossed the threshold.  They've always had the capacity to be fussy, of course; but now, with their enhanced cognitive and language skills, they can do so with much greater focus and intention.

Some days are better than others; and even on their worst days, I forgive them by the time they've been asleep for a couple of hours.  I even look forward to seeing them conscious the next day.

But some days are pretty bad, and I must say in all fairness, it's their fault, not mine.
 

The things they get hysterical about, the demands they make, and positions they refuse to back down from, are absolutely absurd.  They want Mom to get them out of the crib, NOT DAD--or vise versa.  They want the purple yogurt, NOT THE YELLOW.  And they don't want it stirred.  Or they do want it stirred.  They both want to look at the same picture of lettuce on the grocery store circular.  They both want to feed the dog.  One wants to take medicine.  One wants to be "nekkid guy" and streak through the house, leaving a trail of urine in her wake.  One wants to drag a chair across the floor, climb on it, and wash her hands in the fish tank.  They both want to see every step of the coffee-making process up close. They want the pink swirly straw, not the purple bendy straw; the big kid cup with birdies, not the sippy cup with Elmo.

Read more at Dad Centric

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And if you feel like reading some more, you can find out why I might convert to Judaism over at Aiming Low.  There's a pretty funny exchange happening in the comment section.

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