Soooo, I’m a little late writing this IN-THE-MIDDLE-OF-MY-SIX-WEEK-WORKOUT post. Partially because I got so burned out in week two I had to disappear from everything for a bit, and partially because sometimes I just get tired of the computer, you know?

To re-cap, by the middle of week two I was done. DONE! Working out that hard every day really took a toll on my body, but not because I was sore or injured, but because I was just TIRED. Seriously fatigued. All over. Like I was made of lead and the earth was a big magnet. So I backed off the workouts. After a five day breather and a reminder from my pilates instructor that I didn’t have to go EVERY day (To quote her, “Dude, what are you trying to win?”) I felt ready to return with a new attitude.

What WAS I trying to win? I was trying to win the workout game. I thought since I signed up for six weeks I’d better use as much of that six weeks as I could to work my ass off (yes, literally). But IT won instead. I felt defeated physically and emotionally. I had failed the work out game and none of my over the top expectations were going to come true.

After listening to my pilates instructor’s wise words, I decided that I would face week three with a new attitude; work out every OTHER day, don’t push myself quite so hard during the work out, take a breather now and then, set personal goals to do maybe one more push up than the time before, to breathe a lot more, and to really focus on the joy that can be exercise, not the “work”.

And I have to say, week three breezed on by. My brain was saying “you can do this” during the workouts and smiling at the end of the hour. It’s a totally different ball game, now. Unless I just jinxed it all by writing that.

So now, in the middle of week four, the stationary bike doesn’t make me want to cry (the trainer dude even noticed that I was up out of the saddle for the “hill” climbing portion of the session and gave me a thumbs up), and my mental approach to every station is “you can do this” and with short breaks and modification, it gets done.

Today I decided that I’m going to sign up for the next six week course, because this isn’t about sprinting through a workout for six weeks; this is about re-learning how to enjoy exercise and transforming my body AND mind at the same time. Ugh, that sounds so lame. Next thing you know I’ll have it printed on a artisinal coffee mug for sale in my Etsy shop.

On another note, I come to work directly after my workouts and seem to always forget to bring something from home. One day it was undergarments (!!!), another it was shoes (thanks to Old Navy across the street for supplying some new ones), another day it was my dress (had to drive home and get it), and today it was my hairbrush. I have A LOT of hair and to not be able to brush it after a sweaty work out and try to look even sort of put together for work is pretty impossible. Thank god for French braids.






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Ballerina Julia Makhalina.

The head games in my work out process are working out at full force. It is day two, week two of this six week course. A “runners high” was not gifted to me on the treadmill today. The three rounds I did on the stationary bike were brutal. Stand up and pump legs as if climbing Everest? No. Not happening. The kind coach person said, “You can stay seated in the saddle and just keep moving your legs if you need to”. I needed to. I thanked him and then had to stop talking, because I thought I would burst into tears.

My body was just plain tired today. Heavy and tired. I could not ride the stupid bike at any speed other than slow, I could not complete the sets of the dreaded mountain climber movements, I wanted to quit half way through and all the while my mind was busy pointing out all these “failures”. I wasn’t having fun. My fear is that I will start dreading these workouts and stop going. The fact that I wanted to cry during a workout is not a good sign, right? How hard do we push ourselves? Did I do too much? Am I not doing enough? All of that over and over in my head.

At the end of the workout we were reminded by the head cheerleader that where we are right in this moment is exactly where we should be; no comparisons to how we were in the past, no thinking about where we should be, but to experience the present for what it is. She also said that the first time she had done that particular circuit session she threw up afterward. That made me feel a little better.

I stumbled out of the class and found my way to the car half blind from sweat and in an exhausted daze thinking I would get in the car and unleash the tears, but it didn’t happen after all. I drove to work, stripped down and sink-showered in the bathroom, changed into my work clothes noticing at the last minute that I had forgotten to include any undergarments in my duffel bag. So today I am wearing my work shirt with a sweaty sports bra and a mid-length skirt with nothing underneath. Nice.

Three hours later there’s a soft voice in my head saying, “You did it. You went to class and you did it.”. And that just has to be enough.

I’m too tired to even proof this post correctly. So much for exercise giving one mental clarity! My brain is as sharp as a wet dish rag.




After working out for maybe one day a week for the last few months, I worked out HARD (oh my god so hard) five times this week and I’m still standing. I was going to work out tomorrow as well, but you know? My throat is a bit scratchy and my body feels very heavy and tired so I think I’ll take it east the next two days.

All in all I am pretty surprised by myself. I actually did it. It was hard and I couldn’t wait for it to be over, but I also had the endorphin rush on the tread-mill again a few times and I use that as a place to go back to in my mind when the rubber bandy things around my ankles are sabotaging my balance on purpose making me stumble in front of the class like an adult sized toddler.

What’s interesting is the personal challenge aspect of this whole experience. While I want to push myself, I also don’t want to hurt myself. While I want to keep going, it’s good to know when to stop. And yet… there’s a little voice in my head saying are you realllllly pushing yourself enough? Really?

If I’m in this is for the long haul then I should pace myself, right? There’s such a mental battle going on during these workouts – a battle for the balance of going juuuuust that much farther and knowing that I’ve had enough and done enough and am good enough right where I am.

The grossest part of the week is that I come straight to work from my work out. I camp out in the restroom for about 20 minutes trying to take a bath in the sink, but the results ain’t pretty. I emerge shining with sweat, my face nuclear pink and my hair is so gross I won’t even share about that. Eventually, I need to figure out how to work out and take a shower afterward because it can’t be good to stew in my sweat all day and I’m sure the general public doesn’t care for it either. Grossss.

This first week has been a complete 180 from where I was last week and that is more than enough. It just HAS to be. In the next five weeks I will push a little bit more on each activity (pump up the incline on the treadmill, pick up the heavier kettle bell thingy, high-five other participants with energy instead of a sweaty limp hand). I’m really looking forward to the mental battle subsiding and just enjoying the process.

This is all new. This is all different.




OLY137-THE+PERFECT+10Do you have those days or weeks when the same ideas keep popping up in front of you? Sometimes it’s just as unusual word that keeps inserting itself into random conversations with others. Sometimes it’s a whole phrase, sometimes a person or experience.

Two things have been throwing themselves in front of me in the last month; first the phrase, IF YOU WANT TO GET TO SOMEPLACE DIFFERENT THEN YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Secondly –  a person named JENNY who runs a fitness program in town.

I do want to get somewhere different primarily in the personal fitness department. And this lady named Jenny would seem to be the person to do it and do it differently than I have in the past, so I signed up to take her classes for 6 weeks. At the risk of turning this blog into a record of my fitness experience, which is kind of over-done, slightly boring, and totally self-indulgent, I’m going to have to say SUCK IT, blogoshpere. It’s important for me to write about this experience to keep myself accountable and also, to map the journey for my own curiosity. If you don’t want to read about it, I DON’T BLAME YOU! But rather than write in a regular journal, I thought I’d re-charge my cob-webbed blog and just put it all out there.

There’s a big birthday in my not so distant future and in the last few months I decided that rather than stroll across the line of demarcation from one decade to the next complaining of the pain in my knee and diminished energy level, I want to sprint across that line taking on whatever comes next while moving forward, swiftly and with strength.

They say the portions of a workout you dislike the most are the ones you need to DO the most. What do I dislike? LUNGES. I mean, does anyone really like them? I find them incredibly difficult and there is SO MUCH BURNING in the thighs. Dear God, the burning. Strangely enough (or not, really), my lower body used to be much stronger than my upper body. My legs used to be locomotives. My teenage-self goal was to have thighs like awesome-sauce gymnast, Nadia Comaneci (yes, I am dating myself there). But used to be’s don’t count any more (name that lyric), so I will take on the lunges with the goal of having NOT perfect-tenOlympicgymnast-with-the-power-of-a-locomotive-thighs, but maybe the thighs of a fit-ish nice lady powered by a Vespa.

I’m currently on day 2 of this program with only(!) six more weeks to go. But I have to say, this morning I was doing sprints on the tread mill (one minute sprint, 10 seconds rest and repeat) and that glorious endorphin drug I remember from my days of running many miles at a time kicked in and I was smiling. Sweating, tomato red in the face, workout clothes straining to contain the jiggly bits, but smiling. It felt really f-ing good. It felt familiar and yet… different.

Lunge on, my friends.



I’m Thinking I’m Going to Live


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Instead of getting out of bed at 6am this morning to go for a walk, I sunk back into a dream.

I’d written a play – my first play ever titled I’m Thinking I’m Going to Live. It was making its debut at Santa Barbara City College in one of their studio classrooms, you know the kind with all black floors and walls. I was ushered in and took a seat in a comfortable rattan chair with cushions rather than a chair with a desk attached to the arm. A chair of honor. I was holding my daughter who looked to be about 8 months old, all cheeks and chubby thighs. She was sucking on a pacifier and I realized that I hadn’t given her any food for hours and that she must be hungry, but the play was beginning so she would have to wait. Pacified. We settled into our cushions and the lights dimmed.

It was clear from the first that the play was a huge hit. I was thrilled to see my written words brought to life for the first time by the actors performing – John Lithgow and Tilda Swinton. Their costumes were regular clothes, he wore a brown suit, she a yellow dress. The stage remained empty of props and sets.

Interviewed post-show by the organizer of the event, I declared that I now understood that actors worked hard to perfect the craft of acting, that they weren’t just reading words off of a page. The ability to bring words to life, to give them human nuance was a skill and a talent. It also didn’t hurt that Lithgow and Swinton were the actors. Him: a face of character continually changing and morphing. Her: fiery hair, ambiguous emotions, and elegance. It was explained to me that there was no director for my play, that after reading the script the actors had chosen the roles and directed themselves.

I handed my baby off to my friend Jennie, and left the room.

In a Starbucks, upstairs with a view, I was interviewed for a local newspaper. I reiterated my awe of good actors and how they really did bring words to life. They were the missing element in writing, were another dimension for words. I explained the play had no director. I explained that I was surprised I had written a play, when in fact I’d never even thought about writing a play. Something splashy for films with moving music and technicolor, yes, but not a prop-less, un-affected, stage play. Plays had always seemed so dry to me. So forced, so in need of filters and soundtracks. But I had written one nonetheless and it was a hit.

The interviewer took copious notes in long hand. She wrote in cursive, slowly, with a blue pen on lined, yellow paper.

Crossing the floor to look out the multi-paned window, I noticed the palm trees were swaying an awful lot in a high wind that must have just kicked up. The view out the window took in the coastline, south east, all the way to Rincon and there were at least six separate fires burning, six plumes of smoke rising into the sunset. I gasped whirled around to the interviewer and said, I need to get to Summerland, wondering if there was a fire in Summerland as well; I need to get home to get my cat.

The interviewer stopped writing mid sentence and looked blankly at me. Everything is on fire, I said. We have to go.

Turning back to the window I could see a fire had spread to a building across the street that housed tanks of explosive gas. We need to go now, I said. The building is going to blow!

She just stared at me, pen poised above paper and as I headed toward the illuminated exit sign I wondered what clothes I would put on when I got home. I wondered what was in the bottom drawer of my dresser that would be appropriate for a fiery, sunset apocalypse.



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I have this actual phone. For real. And it works.

I have this actual phone. For real. And it works.

Yeah, I’m a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to fully embracing the digital age, as my ten-year-junior colleague likes to remind me. His direct quote was, “You’re not an antique. You’re, like, paleolithic.”

But here’s the thing;  I LIKE paper. I LIKE rotary phones. I LIKE getting up to change the channel on the television by twisting a  knob that frequently comes off in your hand.* I still write checks and personally deposit checks in to my bank account even though I was informed (by the aforementioned colleague) that this does not need to happen anymore and that it all can be done with my phone. Ugh. I LIKE writing checks and going to the bank. My phone does not offer me hard candy after every transaction. So suck it, junior.

SIDE NOTE: I don’t even like hard candy.

My significant other gave me a kindle for Christmas to gently ease me into the world of digital books, but also because it is a gadget and he is very gadgety. It’s very cool looking with a hard shell case that is a groovy orange color. It’s light. It fits in my purse and doesn’t need to take up space on the already full book case. It makes me feel tech savvy-er. But here’s what I’ve noticed about reading on a Kindle;

First and foremost, lack of author recognition by my brain. Without googling it, I can’t tell you the author of All the Light We Cannot See, a brilliant and beautifully written book that I’m currently reading. It’s become apparent that when reading paper books I spent a lot of time flipping back and forth from the page I was currently reading to the cover to check out the art, to the back to scan the brief reviews, to the inside page to see what the ISBN number was and when the book was published, all while subliminally recording the artist’s name in my brain for future reference.

On the Kindle there is no book flipping. If I hit the home button, there is a tiny image of the cover of the book, but the type is so small I can’t read the name of the author even with my extra strong reading glasses on. Sad face.




Yesterday, someone asked me what I was currently reading.

“All the Light We Cannot See” I  said softly, knowing what question was coming next.

“Oh, that sounds intriguing! Who wrote it?”, she asked.


SIDE NOTE: After writing this post, I have now committed the author’s name to memory.

* We have an actual remote for our TV, I mean come on!



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Note: This post was originally written in 2012 when I first subjected myself to this book (talk about Masochism!). In “honor” of the movie’s recent release, I am reposting this post. I only read the first book at the conclusion of which I had zero desire to read the other two. I’m thinking I will go see the movie, however. Which is sad. :(


I have a headache. Either from the flying bug repellent that someone just sprayed and is now wafting through the open door, or from reading words that pierced my brain like so many non-acupuncture needles, or rolling my eyes at every other sentence. Or all of the above.


Fifty Shades of Grey, which I am about half way through, is surface material. But not good surface material like frosting on a giant cupcake that is meant only for you. It’s surface in the sense that it skims across the black-top of an empty parking lot with no people or even any litter to make it more interesting. I’m fine with the frosting-like surface that novels can have. I DEVOUR some of them like a cupcake that is meant only for me.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY is not like this.

Basically Fifty Shades is a study in adjectives. If you’re looking for the many ways to describe eyes in particular, then this is your go-to book!

The “heroine”(???), Anastasia Steele, is so prone to blushing and biting her lower lip that at the end of the series I imagine she will have self-inflicted permanent rosacea topped off with a giant lip scab.

And the “Hero”(???), his name is Christian Grey, is an uber wealthy businessman and CEO of Grey industries or some crap. This surname of GREY is not to be confused with Christian’s GRAY eyes which spend of lot of time glancing, piercing, and smoldering. There was one line, let’s see if I can remember it:

“… his gaze was a smoldering molten gray.”

Yes. Really. Smoldering AND molten. Who knew such eyes existed?

Not Christian Grey or showing his eyes, but what the heck. It’s a good photo.

Although, I have to say, Christian Grey sounds kind of hot, even though he is fictional. I like a man who wears white linen shirts, blue jeans, has adorable bed-head, drives fast cars, and has a really big….. helicopter. He’s a freak though, with his sadistic Dorian Grey (Gray?) persona hidden in the closet or the Red Room of Pain. Oooooh! Titillating. Yawn.

I did feel for Miss Steele, though. At twenty-one years old she chooses to lose her virginity to Mr. Grey, a man whose moods she cannot read, whom she describes as mercurial, who is one man at one moment and another the next. Being with a man like that is Effing exhausting, constantly trying to decipher what is really going on, feeling like you are responsible for his mood swings, all while being sucked in by his charm and delicious physical embrace. Even though it’s fiction, I felt bad for her knowing the hell she was going to have to go through bound to someone like that. Not that I’ve been there or anything… mmmm-hmmm.

The insult to my headache injury is that the “erotic” parts weren’t even that interesting. I’m assuming this book reached it’s #1 NY Times best-selling status from the erotic bits, not from the over abundance of “smoldering” and “molten”. So when the erotic episodes fail to move me, that puts me in the minority category, which is where I would rather be in this instance.

I am yawning, I am so bored by this erotic moment.

I haven’t reached the part yet when, I’m assuming, Anastasia agrees to sign the long legal document reprinted in the book, that will open the door to a world of S and M delights. But since that’s not really my thing, my hopes are not high for a rousing conclusion. All in all, an unsatisfying erotic romp, for this jaded lady. The whole thing elicits a big grey (gray?) Meh.

Part of me feels guilty for bashing this book. I mean Ms. James wrote a popular novel, a steamy, runaway bestseller that is not literature, but it was something she believed in enough to see through to become a trilogy. It will be made into a movie, she will make lots of money. Could I have written it? Sure. And in some ways I already did at age sixteen, when for 20 some pages, I waxed romantic about a teen romance on a Greek Island, but more romantica than erotica. Would I write one of these money making books now? No. Because I only do it for love, not money. Riiiight.

Stay tuned to hear more about The Lip Biter and Mr. Smoldering Molten. Yes, I will finish the book, but first I’m-ah git me some more Advil fer the pain.

Miss MoL



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Song lyrics make up a majority of my blog post titles. The title for this post comes from one of my favorite Annie Lennox songs, A THOUSAND BEAUTIFUL THINGS. I’ve quoted it before in this previous post. And this one, too.

The lyric is: Every day I write the list of reasons why I still believe they do exist; a thousand beautiful things.

Beautiful things are important in this world and even more important to acknowledge on a daily basis. While it’s important to stop and smell the roses, it’s just as important to acknowledge the beauty of the rose itself. Beauty is a balm, a calm shot of positivity in an increasingly (it seems to me) negative world.

This post was inspired (if not required!) to be written by an unfortunate Facebook event yesterday. I was scrolling through the usual vacation selfies, cat memes, and birthday/baby/wedding announcements and happened upon a video that had been commented on by a peripheral friend. Facebook has changed so that now when scrolling through the feed you don’t need to click play on a video to have it play, it does so automatically.

First of all, I didn’t have my glasses on, so I couldn’t see exactly what was in the frame. Then I put my glasses on and the next three seconds I saw a man in an alley beating a white cat with a baseball bat until it was dead. In the beginning the cat actually tried to fight back. Dear God, it was horrific. I scrolled down to the comments and the few I read were all political about how arabs were such a violent people and blah blah blah. Somehow a nightmare video of one man savagely killing a cat, which was bad enough, morphed into a disgusting hate diatribe directed at women, religion, animals, God and everything in between.

It was difficult to fall asleep last night as that video kept replaying against my closed eyelids. I tossed. I turned. And it was still there, like a silent nightmare when I wasn’t dreaming. To combat it I began to list off the things in my life that I am grateful for, things that I acknowledge as beautiful; My daughter, my GRAND daughter, my family, G, twin embryos happily gestating (not mine), my cat Carlos, Summerland, my boss, my health, the beach, and on and on until I fell asleep counting my blessings (another song lyric).

This morning I woke up and thought, okay enough. Enough Facebook-feed crap. Enough front page news. Enough allowing myself to be subjected to the very things that give me anxiety, subdue happiness, and eclipse beauty; tornadoes, earthquakes, toxic drinking water, drought, plane crashes, melting ice caps, drones, fracking, Fukushima, tsunamis, etc.


So, I think I’ll hang out on my blog for a while, create some more of the Thousand Beautiful Things and put them out into cyber world to help balance out the damaging, cat killing nightmares.

Things like this:

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and this:

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and this:

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Peace out.






Since I seem to have nothing to write of my own on this blog (although the amount of thoughts and ideas that are percolating keep me awake at night and drag my attention from what I’m supposed to be focusing on, like work or driving while texting), I’m sharing someone else’s creative brilliance with you.

I stumbled across a blog the other day called Bitches Gotta Eat and I fell in love. The amount of well-placed profanity mixed with an “I could care less about what you think of me” attitude, a giant dose of wit and the foundation of intelligent writing style are what I wish my blog could be. Or maybe what I wish I could be. Whatever.

How can you resist a post titled, MY PARTYING DAYS ARE OVER, MOTHERFUCKER? But maybe that’s just me.

I’m thinking all my craftmatic* brain percolating will have to erupt at some point and you will then be subjected to reading it ALL. But seriously, in my timeline of life goals, I only have 16 months left to get a book published. So I’d better get on that shit.

In the meantime, BITCHES GOTTA EAT. Yes, they do.

*I don’t know. The word just seemed to fit. Is it even a word? Maybe it should be the title of my book.

I’ve Looked at Clouds and They Don’t Have Sides



There is a funky black cloud hanging over my life right now. This cloud is fuzzing with my clarity and general life perception.

The Black Cloud - by Steven Kenny

The Black Cloud – by Steven Kenny

Let me start by saying – I get it. I get that in a time when people are hurting for jobs, living in ugly places, going through trauma and depression, fighting cancer and hunger and malaria, living as refugees and physically tortured individuals – I get that my really nice life in a beautiful town with a well paying, enjoyable job, living in a healthy body with the person I love are gifts. I get that I just spent ten days in Hawaii, a luxury some people never get to enjoy.


So why the black cloud? Why this feeling of dissatisfaction with my job? Why the feeling that what I have is not enough and it’s my fault that it’s not? Why the anxiety that everything (life, the world, my relationships with people I love) is about to fall apart even though my brain knows that is not the truth? Why is the knee-jerk reaction to take out my frustration on myself – such as if I worked out every day I wouldn’t feel this way; if I was 15 pounds lighter I wouldn’t feel this way; if I had a finished draft of a novel right now I wouldn’t feel this way; if I had a secret stash of one million dollars I wouldn’t feel this way and that I don’t have all these things is a direct result of my own failings as a human.


Why am I not feeling content in this moment right here and right now, when for the past few years I have been happy and very present in the moment? I can’t figure it out. I also can’t figure out if I should use semicolons in the above paragraph or not and I don’t have the energy to check. Sorry, grammar police.


This lack of clarity has seeped into my brain erasing all creative thought and original thinking. It feels like mush in there. In here. There must be a way out of it, but I’m not sure what it is. I’ve tried soaking in nature (the usual remedy), reading, movies, alcohol, pizza, chocolate, exercise, staring into space, listening to music, sleep, writing and still there is fuzz. It’s so fuzzy I can’t even say exactly how I feel and it’s been said that really embracing what you are feeling is the best way to move through it. So now I am adding to my failings that I’m not even a capable enough human to define my own feelings. Great.

I felt a bit lighter this morning and actually laughed to the point of tears (maybe mild hysteria?) when I read a favorite blog that showcased Kim Kardashian’s ass. The blogger also posted a photo of herself with the quote “She’s taken to bed with martinis, Xanax, and Turner Classics” and I thought, “Maybe that’s exactly what I need.”


How is this physique humanly possible?

If a Kardashian is bringing me some joy, obviously I need an emotional intervention. Or maybe just a day in bed with martinis and old movies. Here’s hoping the cloud lifts soon and I can get back to my regularly scheduled clarity of contentment.



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