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Owning It


Ben and I are in the midst of our second "Recovery Week" on the TurboFire workout regimen. It's been a tough journey so far, and I'm constantly amazed by how sore I am the day following every workout we do. This keeps me motivated, as it means I'm actually giving it my all when I'm working out. The cardio/resistance/plyometric aspects of the workout really keep me going, and Chalene's got great taste in music. I think the number one thing that keeps me on track though, is the fact that I work out with Ben. Even when I feel completely wiped out and I don't want to work out, the fact that he's there doing it with me keeps me focused, and makes me want to try harder.

The toughest thing has been the dietary aspect of things. We're both not super finicky eaters, so trying to stick to a strict diet is unheard of for us. I'm pretty sure if we'd really kept on track with that, we'd have even better results than we do currently.

But results we have had. I've lost 2.5 inches from my waist and at least 5 pounds of fat. I say at least because my weight hasn't gone down very much, but my muscle tone has definitely increased. It's cool to look in the mirror and see definition where I only saw it when I was a tiny scrawny 19 year old speed freak - and that definition was due to not eating - this definition is 100% due to busting it every single day for 8 straight weeks.

Perhaps now that the Turnaround at work is due to end (this weekend is the last Saturday I have to work until the next Turnaround - which isn't until around December), I can spend a little more energy focusing on maintaining the dietary side of this program. I'd really like to, but when you have no time or energy left to prepare meals you aren't used to, it's almost impossible. You fall back on the things you know and love - pasta and veggies have been mainstays of our diet the past few weeks. We definitely don't eat poorly, but I know we could eat better. And yesterday I received my Shakeology order, so I'm sure that will kick things into overdrive as my new breakfast. I feel great... can't wait to see even more definition as the coming weeks develop. Nothing like looking super toned for a week in the desert.

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To Do List


Things I want to do once this damned Turnaround is over at work.

* Create my #@&$?! website, damnit
* Paint the family room
* Rent a carpet cleaner
* Clean the house top to bottom
* Landscape the backyard & work on my garden plan
* Fix front flowerbed
* Sew new can-can skirt
* Make some BRC clothing
* Plan kitchen remodel
* PLAY MUSIC

Holiday weekend... yeah, not for me. 1 more week of this and I will have my life back. I don't know how my Mom manages to do this. I mean, sure I make extra money, but it never fails that things pop up to fill the overage (dental emergencies, auto emergencies, etc). Does this mean if I didn't work 60 hours a week for an 8 week stretch that I wouldn't have any emergencies pop up?

All I want is my free time back - and the minor headache that I've had the past 2 weeks to go away.

Perpetuating Racism

asshole
You know what I think is totally asinine? This whole drama surrounding the Tea Party rep who superimposed an image of Obama on a chimpanzee baby as a joke.

And here's why: Who hasn't seen some version of this image before?

I get that there at least used to be this whole historically inaccurate opinion that blacks came from monkeys while whites didn't or some nonsense like that. People have believed some ridiculous concepts over the centuries. They used to think the Earth was flat, for God's sake. People might totally disagree with me here, but I think it's really important to recognize when the side calling foul is actually the one perpetuating the problem. This is not at all to say that there aren't times when my race (white) blatantly acts in a racist manner. And guess what? So do other races about whites. I lived in Thailand. I've seen that side of things. But it goes both ways. Sometimes a member of a particular race may inaccurately assume something is meant as a racial slur, when in fact, it's not. And I honestly believe this is one of those cases of mistaken racism.

Let's face it - presidents are government monkeys. Color, sex, party, age - they have nothing to do with it. It has more to do with their faux confidence and their rehearsed optimism in the face of looming disaster. They are marionettes of their governing body - the snazzy salesman for some lemon of an idea (costly for the middle-class & poor, always lucrative for the rich). Sure every so often someone comes along who doesn't fall into this category, but we all know what happens to those folks.

Can we please grown some callouses with regard to this whole immediate jump to racism? Sometimes a black man has mannerisms like a monkey - sometimes my very white friends and family have mannerisms like monkeys. Does that mean if I call a group of friends a bunch of monkeys, that the black friends in there are going to take offense? Should they? Where do we draw the line?

I honestly believe this wasn't racially motivated, which is saying a lot, since I would never, ever consider myself a Republican (I'm a liberal, though I wouldn't call myself a Democrat either), so it's rare I bat for their team. As thoughtless as it may have been, I have to applaud her, because she's one step closer to a world where it isn't always about race than a vast majority of overly-sensitive citizens of this country. Sometimes it's just about people being idiots - just like she thinks Obama is, and just like she is for not thinking about how people will respond and either owning her joke as not being racist, or not sending it. Hopefully someday we can all call each other a bunch of monkeys, and the only people whose feelings will get hurt are those who happen to dislike them as a species. Because really, we are just a barrel of 'em.

Direct Link to Vote for Me


If you haven't already - please vote for me for Neil Gaiman's audiobook of American Gods. If you have already, please vote again! You can vote once every day through May 2nd.

DIRECT LINK: http://tinyurl.com/66lf6ws

Thanks everybody!

Vote for me!

my headphones
So Neil Gaiman is doing a little contest to have someone read for a character in the audiobook of American Gods. Great book. So I used my sultry goddess voice - since it's full of goddesses... Ben said it doesn't really sound like me... which I suppose is good, since I'm playing a character.

Neil will only read the top 20 submissions - based on popular vote. So please go check it out and drop me a vote. I'd love to take part in the official reading for this masterpiece. At the given time I'm on Page 4, but the way they have it set up, it gets pushed back as people turn in submissions. Also - add a comment about how awesome my voice is if you're so inclined. ;)

http://tinyurl.com/6b2k6x5
android
I heard on KCBS this morning that Watson, the computer player on Jeopardy, blew away the human competition. My first response was "good." I think it's a step in the right, and perhaps inevitable, direction. At heart the truth is that I hope the computers take over the world.

I tend to think Agent Smith had it right in The Matrix when he said the human race was like a virus - a cancer. Something that may have begun with positive change (though I don't know if I even agree with that - our history is pretty morose), but soon goes rapidly out of control, ending in eventual & inevitable self-destruction. I feel like we've reached the pinnacle of development, and the fall is coming. I just hope it's in the Terminator/Matrix-esque form of computers taking over. It could be considered quite a dark wish, but somehow that possibility excites me. I guess there is a little goth girl still hiding inside my heart afterall.

I often think it's incredible we have lasted as long as we have, given the atrocities the human race has committed in the history we can recall. Horrors in the name of some unproven idea. God is a concept that can never be proven - it's written into the "code." God is its own holy grail. It's genius really - an idea meant to control and dominate - misusing the idea of faith by evoking fear in an already terrified species. I'm not an atheist - I believe in some idea of a higher power - but that is based on personal experience and has nothing to do with a book written by a bunch of men (or translated by a corrupt King) who have their own flawed beliefs. My idea of God is my own - I don't need 10 million other people to affirm Its existence. And that is all I will say today about my opinions religion.

Sure, the human race may have had the best of intentions, but at this point I don't think there's much hope for us. As a whole, we've become akin to the reason I hated saying I was American when I was traveling. People have a tendency to assume things about you when you say you're American - self-indulgence, wastefulness, and ego-centrism. No matter where you go you see these things, though. We humans think we are so smart - hey, we're the top of the food chain! The irony is some microscopic entity will likely lead to our extinction.

I just hope that we get computers up to speed so they may continue as life forms in and of their own right. Therein lies my secret darkness: The belief that we as a species are doomed... We're doomed, doomed doomed. I'm all for our destruction. Let's have a big reset, shall we? The funny thing is, it doesn't feel pessimistic - I'm not sad or anything. I actually like the idea. In the battle for saving humanity, I'll do my best to be what I'd like to see in the world, but my vote is to focus on creating a "sentient" machine. Maybe by building a computer in our own image we could create heaven on earth - at least for the computers. Haha.

Nostalgia


Watching The Social Network last night really made me miss the old days of Livejournal... before Facebook's world domination of social networking. Livejournal was always so much more creative an outlet for keeping in touch with friends and knowing what went on in one another's lives... I miss those days. I think mostly I miss having lots of interesting happenings to read on all my friends pages neatly stored in one place. I follow blogs sometimes, and I check FB's statuses and such, but man... I miss my Friends page on this site more than anything. Come back, LJ pals. Well, I guess that means I have to write here more too... oh yeah. :P

The Suicide of Bill Zeller


Read this today and I wanted, at his request, to repost on my own blog. It was quite intense and visceral to take in the very eloquent last words of someone who has taken their own life. It's unfortunate that the #1 thing that could have driven his darkness away was the #1 thing he said he would not do, and that was to stop holding himself hostage in the darkness, and talk to someone. As an open person I find it impossible to fathom the experience of being so closed off to everyone. I was also molested as a child - I don't really discuss it, but it's not something I'd consider a secret. I'd share if it was appropriate to the topic (like now). The memory of my own experience holds no power over me, though perhaps it was due to it being an isolated incident and not a repeated atrocity. While it is one of my earliest memories, it is just one in a thousand visions from my terrorizingly dark and intensely bright roller-coaster childhood. I have memories that have power over me to this day, sure, but definitely not that one - I find it difficult to imagine having something of that intensely "evil" magnitude hang over my head on a daily basis.

To be completely honest, I believe suicide is one of the highest forms of cowardice. I know it sounds harsh, and there are a ton of people who'd say I'm out of line feeling that way, but it's how I honestly feel. I understand those who kill themselves do so as the lesser of two evils, believing whatever else they are dealing with is worse than the prospect of death. I do think that if one takes that option, that's their decision, and they have a right to it. At the same time all the sympathy I would have for an individual thinking about suicide dies with the completed act. It's a paradox of emotion for me - If you feel you can't win, then you should be allowed to stop playing the game, but you won't get any pity from me for forfeiting.

When all is said and done, it's a choice... and the fact that you have a choice generally means that there is indeed an alterative solution - you just have to find it. If you're feeling suicidal... keep searching. Be strong. Death is not the only option, and often you may feel like telling someone will be worse than death - but just remember how many times you've thought you'd hate some food and then loved it once you tried it. The envisioned act is never the same as the actual act. Help is out there. Sure I've had dark and evil feelings, and I've gone to the brink and back for very different reasons, but I never stop believing that there are multiple solutions to every problem and more importantly: If I've felt this, there are others out there who have felt this as well, and as cliche as it sounds - I am not alone.

For Bill Zeller - it was sad to read you endured so much anguish, and it's unfortunate this was your choice... You sounded like a great guy from what I've read about you. I hope whatever comes after this life that it's not an experience filled with regret.

~*~
Last Words of Bill Zeller

I have the urge to declare my sanity and justify my actions, but I assume I'll never be able to convince anyone that this was the right decision. Maybe it's true that anyone who does this is insane by definition, but I can at least explain my reasoning. I considered not writing any of this because of how personal it is, but I like tying up loose ends and don't want people to wonder why I did this. Since I've never spoken to anyone about what happened to me, people would likely draw the wrong conclusions.Read more...Collapse )

"into the wild... on with the mission..."

Pretty In Pink
Thus begins the madness that is the annual Dickens Christmas Fair season. The opening meeting was this past Saturday, which was quickly followed by Cancan Bijou rehearsal, Music Hall rehearsal and Panto rehearsal. My calves still ache from a multitude of kicks and flips and pointing toes. It's a nice sweet pain.

I've fallen quite in love with sewing. It's nice to be able to envision a costume in my mind and then create it. I'm getting closer to having the end result look as lovely as the image I hold in my head.... It's so difficult being an artist and not having the outcome reflect your intention. I suppose I can only keep at it until I can create flawless pieces of wearable art... or at least lots of fantastical costumes that I can make for friends who want to come check out the festival. It's got to feel pretty cool seeing something you created on someone's body.

My cancan dress is ALMOST finished. I put the entire piece on last night, and the corset-like back made my tummy all giddy with delight. Just a few finishing touches - some hems, some trim, some gathering ruffles... and I will officially have a cancan dress. Dances are coming along nicely - can't wait to be on Mad Sal's stage!

Now I just hope there's nothing I overlooked when I go meet the costume approval lady. Come watch my spanky-panted high-kicking awesomeness starting Thanksgiving Weekend! www.dickensfair.com

Costumes and destiny

dirty!
Today for work I decided to don my Halloween costume - it's pretty simple, as I just had to rummage through some stuff for all my gothy goodness. badbluebomber had a lot of makeup to do. We dressed as Lydia Deets & Beetlejuice. I dressed as Lydia Deets once... a long time ago. I was 14, and the film had come out a few years back, and I was on a Winona Ryder kick with my incessant love of the film Heathers and the fact that she was such an awesome anti-hero for a teenager who felt horribly out of place in the popular crowd. I sprayed my hair black, donned a hat w/ a veil and a camera, and went to a party with some friends. My date at the time had dressed as a surgeon - nobody got my costume at all.

In hindsight, the oddest thing about that costume was that it would be the type of garb I would revisit 4 years later as I became saturated with all the dark and brooding clothes and music that were offered up by what was called the "goth scene." There are several times in my life where I've seen this - where looking back I can see the progression of things leading me in a particular direction - like hints of a trail of breadcrumbs that's been gobbled up by hungry birds. Being the only person in 8th grade who knew that Robert Smith was the singer for a band called The Cure (there was a reference to him in a play we did for drama class). Then of course there's the story my Mom likes to tell about when I was 2 or 3 and my Grandmother had chickens she called "Dominickers" but I always referred to them as Dominatrixes. The path of destiny becomes clearer and clearer the further back you are able to look. I guess aging does have an upside sometimes... unraveling the tapestry of threads that make up my fragment of the universe is interesting.

Happy Halloween!