Archive for February, 2010

I’ve been exercising lately – some light weights and situps/pushups – and my arms are beginning to get some definition (but only noticeable to me when I lift them – the bat wings just take over).  I can also feel the beginnings of a ‘two-pack’ beneath my tummy fat.  But none of that is ever going to show with all the fat on top of it.  I would dearly love to get rid of the belly fat (just my luck it’s the hardest fat to shift) which I’ve had sitting there all my life.  Just my luck also that I have a slow metabolism.

My ideal would be to look toned and slim(mer) by Labour Day weekend when I have the combined birthday thing.

So, I’m going to have to do more aerobic exercise and cut down on calories (and here I am sitting at the computer again), particularly as my job involves sitting at a computer all day.  Sigh.  I’m very lazy when it comes to doing any form of aerobic exercise.  I hate running so that’s out.  I have exercise videotapes from the 80s which I got fed up with in the 90s.  What I should do is practise belly dancing every night (or at least 5 nights a week) for about an hour.  If I include the class night that’s only 4 nights a week.  Can I get my butt off the chair for an hour each night?  I might have to make a list of moves to practise so I don’t just aimlessly do brush step for every piece of music (typing as I think, here).

I don’t like exercising/dancing in front of my daughter so it’s going to have to be in the tiny space in my bedroom or an hour in the morning before work.  I don’t think I can get up that early, particularly if I haven’t slept well.  The tiny space in the bedroom is probably going to have to do.  That’s currently where I’ve been doing weights and situps.

I’m also going to have to be firm and resist all muffins/chocolate/cake offerings at all the work morning teas.  I’m going to have to cut down on bread and beer and drink much more water.  At the moment I’m only drinking about 500 ml a day.

Sigh.  Damn those people who stay slim no matter what they eat or seem to lose weight at the drop of a hat.  Even when I was 71/2 stone in my 20s I still had belly fat.  I’ve never ever had a flat stomach.  Can I shift it?  With a hell of a lot of work and determination… maybe.


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Dammit. I was sitting in the staffroom with a colleague and I mentioned to her the horrific story I’d just read in the paper of a woman starving her toddler to death because he didn’t say ‘Amen’ and the woman believed the boy would be resurrected. What I should have done at that stage was to check who was sitting next to me. Instead I go and mention Richard Dawkin’s viewpoint that shoving your beliefs onto children is child abuse and this was the ultimate child abuse in the name of religion. My colleague (who happens to be a druid) then went on to say she was lucky her parents let her choose her own path at age 11 after attending church and Sunday school, etc etc. I said I was also lucky in that my parents were not religious and did not go to church so I was spared any of that. Only then did I realise that a Christian was sitting right next to me and another Christian was sitting just down the table a bit. Oops.

And then I thought, dammit, why can’t I talk openly about my viewpoint and beliefs when all my life I’ve had to listen to Christians spouting theirs. The person sitting next to me works in my section and her face looked a bit sour as we walked back to work. I thought it might affect her conduct towards me but she just came up to ask about something just now and she seemed ok. Anyway, why should I feel bad or guilty? Because Christians take offence so easily. Bugger it.

One of my fantasies is to aim a rocket launcher at the giant cross above the city clock tower. I feel offended by it but the beliefs of non-christians are never considered.

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Dance practice

Well, I wore the belt to belly dancing practice last night and it stayed together. I didn’t try out the bra but will do at home. I need to practice the cane dance as I haven’t done it for a while and I forgot a couple of bits last night. Still rather nervous about the improv dance. I’m not very happy with my moves but it’s a brief time to come up with something interesting anyway. Last night our teacher got us to come up with 4-6 moves in 16 beats (that’s not much) and to do it in pairs. It worked out alright and got us thinking towards varying our usual repetitive moves we always do. By pairing, one of us comes up with something the other doesn’t usually do. The idea of the exercise is to put them together to add to our own solo dance music. The trouble is (and this is where I think I find the improv dance difficult) is that the music doesn’t match. Sometimes the music pauses or goes slower and the moves you’ve worked out don’t fit. I get what she’s doing though. It’s more of a thought exercise than sticking rigidly to one choreographed set (and having something up your sleeve if you forget).

All is fine at work, although I only have two “projects” on at the moment which are similar and both rather tedious. Going online to briefly check news or blogs, etc, are my only respite. I actually timed these little breaks that the boss objects to – I spend about 20 seconds (if that) on one site at a time, so buggered if I’m going to feel guilty (when others around might spend half an hour chatting to each other).

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I finally have a proper complete belly dancing costume!  I bought one late last year but it needed fiddly alterations – the bra straps were too long and there were no fasteners on the bra or belt.  Sounds simple, n’est-ce pas?  Not for someone who’s crap at sewing.

Last weekend I made the underskirt for the see-through skirt part of the costume.  Earlier, during the Xmas/New Year holidays I unpicked the bra straps, shortened them and marked where they needed to be sewn back.

This weekend I sewed the bra straps back and worked on fastening the back of the bra.  I had to remove some sequins and beads at the back in order for the straps to overlap properly.  Hooks and eyes are a real pain! Well that took most of yesterday.

Today I finished up sewing on the eyes or hooks or whatever and tried it on.  It seemed ok although I had to strengthen the sewing a bit after a try-on.

Next, the belt.  It came in two pieces so I first had to join one side and attach fastenings to the other side.  Note to any beginners like me out there.  Don’t alter a belt after trying it over a pair of jeans!  I actually put the skirts on first this morning to figure out where to put the fasteners and discovered the joined bit needed to be tighter.  Sigh.  I never ever seem to do any sewing without having to unpick and re-do.  Next the bigger hooks and eyes normally used for trousers.  I did these after adding a bit of material for the eyes to go on and tried it on.  It was too loose by about a half centimetre.  Unpicked the eyes once again and re-placed them.  Finally!  It fitted properly!  OMG.

I will try it out on Tuesday night and see if it withstands some dancing.   Below is the lower half of the costume.

Now I’m all set for next weekend for the performance.  I just have to practice the moves a bit more.

I also have Spanish starting again this week.  I haven’t done any revision.  I’m actually regretting having agreed to continue because I can’t really afford the $340 it’s going to cost this year (compared with $160 last year).  But I can’t pull out because the costing is based on the number attending and the minimum is 8 (including me).  If I drop out I jeopardize everyone’s chances of doing Spanish and the cost goes up.  Damn.

I feel hot (it’s humid today) and exhausted and the weekend is now basically over.

Back to work on Monday to a new regime.  The boss has retired and the other senior member of staff will take over – her work ethic is a lot stricter – she expects everyone to work as hard as she does (no breaks except those allowed) which also means no browsing the internet or answering personal email or going for a stroll to take a break from the computer. If so, you make up the time.  Fair enough but those times I am “browsing” or answering email usually take up less than a minute each time and it provides a welcome break from tedium.  There are two opposing viewpoints here and I’m of the belief that a bit of “mucking about” as some might call it actually makes you more productive.  Besides, part of my browsing is work-related (if not directly) and I read about the latest developments or technology.  But obviously some take it too far and one particular part-timer has made it obvious that she spends far too much time on Facebook and email (and has been complained about).  Damn her!  Hmm, I might have to upload some music onto an mp3 player and listen to it at work.  Surely that will be allowed as I don’t have a customer desk to attend.  We’ll see, I guess.  Some people also seem to the think that you can’t work and listen to music at the same time which is utter bullshit.  If the new regime requires an obligatory monk-like silence, I’m definitely listening to music.

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Combined birthday celebration organising has come to a standstill. After initially kicking off the suggestions for Labour weekend, one of the women (F) suggested setting up a page where we could chat and exchange ideas, so I set up a Facebook page (as we are all members of Facebook) and invited them all. “Cow” wrote back to say she doesn’t go into Facebook, has forgotten her password and suggested we stick to email and phone. Fine. I deleted the page. F made other suggestions which we responded to positively, except for D who seems to be averse to any form of communication (although she did join the Facebook page). F mentioned a band and I responded with a suggestion of a suitable band that my daughter knows and actually sent her a link to a Youtube video of them which it took me one-and-a-half hours to upload. No response. I sent out a further email to everyone with another suggestion for the weekend and asking for ideas or feedback. No response from anyone. FFS. I give up.

Meanwhile, the belly dancing improv dance for the Esplanade performance is a mess. We’re going to need as many practices as possible. I think the teacher’s got the timing wrong (for our individual bits).

This constant greyness and rain is extremely depressing.

Sometimes I wonder if I should rename this blog “The Grumpy Cow”.

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Friday was a write-off.  I didn’t go to work because I got no sleep between 2 and 6am and felt shit, as well as having a sore throat and headache for most of the day.

On Saturday I felt better and went ahead with the planned costuming projects.  The underskirt seemed the easiest thing to attempt.  (It will go under the see-through skirt of the costume).  All was going fine until I attempted to change to a zigzag stitch to do the edging of the seams when the sewing machine had a spazz and refused to sew properly.  I was getting loops and skipped stitches all over the place.  I tried to change tensions but this didn’t make anything better.  It took me a good hour to work out what might be wrong, trying everything.  I resigned myself to edging the seams by hand and this took about another two hours but at least I had the Winter Olympic opening to watch while I did it.  But I then needed to sew the elastic casing and buggered if I was going to do that by hand.  Eventually I just replaced the bobbin with another one loaded with the right cotton and the machine behaved itself!  By evening I’d finished the underskirt and tried it out with the other skirt on top and it looked ok.  I was going to shorten the top skirt because it’s too long but I figure if I just turn over the top it will be alright.  It was too fiddly to unpick it all and remove some of the fancy edging.

Next I have to do the bra and belt.  I also wanted to quickly sew another overskirt to go over my black skirt.  A while ago I bought some shimmery material which I couldn’t resist.  All I need do is put some elastic on the top and some edging of some sort to decorate it.  Well even doing the elastic casing is easier said than done.  The material keeps curling under at the edge.  Sigh.

I went into town to Spotlight to: get some material to join the two bits of belt together; get some fancy edging for the planned overskirt; get some fastenings for belt and bra.  The scrap bin had nothing suitable for the material so I bought 20 cm of a heavy navy blue material which should be strong enough. I bought a couple of packets of fastenings not sure which would be good enough for bra and/or belt.  I also looked for some fancy braid or something to edge the overskirt with.  All they have is sequins and ribbons!  There’s nothing else except boring wads of lace and rick-rack.  How tedious.  Some other bits which might have done (but were actually too narrow) were just the wrong colour.  I’ll have to take in a piece of the skirt material and see what might be appropriate.  Looks like it will have to be sequins.  Disappointing.

I figured while I was in town I’d look for some silver earrings to go with the bright silver necklace I have for belly dancing.  Equipe in the Plaza was hopeless.  They had nothing except diamante-type bling.  Tried the other similar jewellery shop – again nothing in silver.  Pagani wasn’t too bad and I nearly bought a pair of earrings but thought it was just a bit dark – it had bits of black in it.  Next stop K-Mart and I found a couple of contenders and ended up buying the cheaper pair.  When I got back home I realised how very bright the necklace is so I could’ve gone with something brighter but never mind.  It will do.

Then figured I’d go to Ezi-buy to look for tops while I was at it and headed home via that side of town.  I should know by now that Ezi-buy is going to disappoint.  Every single time I go in there I come out empty handed.  It’s like an old ladies’ shop.  The tops are boring and shapeless with kacky colours.  My daughter moans that I just have blue or turquoise tops.  That’s because that’s the only colour on offer year after year which isn’t white, pink, kacky green, yellow or brown!  Where are the reds and purples???  I did see a couple of colourful items but they were just horrid styles – shapeless and round-necked.  I get so sick of the tedious bloody styles and colours and my daughter comes back from Aus with three items of clothing which are just beautiful and they were cheap.  Oy veh.  I so hate clothes shopping.

Right.  I’ve had lunch.  Time to do the overskirt and I think I’ll leave the bra and belt, fiddly as they are, until next weekend.

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Thinking and moving

I was driving along this morning thinking (as you do) ‘Sometimes I think too much’ and that leads to rambling in a blog when perhaps I should keep such thoughts to myself and then I told myself to stop worrying. It’s difficult to get clear and concise feedback when it’s just you.

I went to belly dancing last night, finally. I discovered that we’re performing at the Esplanade Open day in 2 weeks. Mild panic. One of the dances we’ve done before a few times so no worries there – just a bit of practice. The other dance is basically improvisation. We all go out in a line and do a mini solo of about 4 moves then go out in twos or threes to do another 4 moves, etc. Hmm, will have to see how that goes. The teacher had us practising 4 moves in an exercise beforehand so we had 4 moves to do when the time came but not knowing what was in store my four moves won’t quite fit, so rethink needed there. One of the dancers there wants to wear her costume she bought in Wellington, which is just like mine which I bought from the same place. So she encouraged me to finished altering it so I could wear mine as well. Slightly more panic here. I have 2 weekends to do so. I might concentrate on the skirt alteration and worry about the fiddly bra alteration later. Will I manage it? I’ll tell you Monday how I went. That’ll teach me to not undertake a project I’d promised myself I would do over the time I had off.

I had sore arms while belly dancing. That’s what you get for not practising it for weeks on end. I didn’t get sore hips though – all good. But this morning I feel better physically. I might just get enthused again.

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