Old Dog Learns New Tricks

I’ve spent the last six weeks trying to expand my horizons, both physically and mentally. My desire to learn something new is partly due to malaise in the midlife of my career; partly it’s a reaction to Pittsburgh’s gloomy and unpredictable weather at this time of the year. Whatever the case, I decided to give this diverse group of activities a whirl. Really, I thought, what’s the worst that could happen?

(Actually, I attempted to trim my bangs for the first time ever and something did happen. I did a pretty good job on my bangs, but I guess my depth perception was off because I accidentally snipped part of my eyelashes. So, there you go!)

Anyway, onward!

Susan Means “Graceful Lily”. Seriously.

Three years after an impulse purchase at the now-defunct-Border’s bookstore I cracked open my Hula & Weight Loss for Beginners DVD set. Joe and I went to Maui and Oahu for our honeymoon in 2010, and we’d like to visit more of the other glorious Hawaiian islands for our five-year anniversary. What better way to get geared up than to learn the traditional dance? (Oh, I don’t know, save some money? Buy sunscreen? Pshaw.)

I’ve only done the workout once, but it was enjoyable and a nice break from the usual exercises I do in the morning…like, um, exercises. Bonus: my spaz factor was minimal! On the other hand, I will need to spend the next two years in a state of constant hula-ing, hair extensions and plastic surgery if I have any hopes of looking like my dear, hula-hips instructor, Kili. (Even then, I’ll look better hula-ing in the dark!) Whatever! Bring it on!

She Sew Crafty.

Last fall Drama Girl and I took two basic sewing classes at our local JoAnn Fabrics. We got the idea because DG really wanted to make her own vest for her Halloween costume. I thought it would be a good bonding experience, plus I had a project in mind.

At times I go off on rants about buying items that a) I know I could make if I had the time, skill and gumption, and b) are waaaay overpriced, thereby taking advantage of folks like me who don’t have the time, skill or gumption to make them ourselves. Crafty items fall into this camp — items like the decorative pillows I want for our living room sofa. So, instead of ranting and overpaying for some cheap polyester and stuffing, I borrowed my mom’s old Singer and decided to sew my own dang pillows. Really, how hard could it be?

Results to Date:  1 vest that was more bother than it was worth (and a size too big for DG even after measuring), and 2 “practice” pillow covers using leftover winter-holiday fabric. Let me just say this:

The seamripper is my friend.

Oh, and “I hate all zippers.”

And, “Why was I born a perfectionist?”

Next up will be the real pillow project using the more expensive, fancier fabric.

Kill Bill III:  Spazzy McSpaz Meets Uma Thurman.

Drama Girl and my son, T-Rex (who probably needs a new stage name now that he’s a tween), have been taking taekwondo for a little over a year. I always thought it looked like fun and, after DG moved into the teen/adult class, I could see it was a good workout. There were even more “old” people than teens in some of her classes. I admit it is inspiring to see women older than me breaking boards, doing jump kicks and going to town on a punching bag or sparring! Yeah!

So, the kids started talking to me about how cool it would be if I took classes. And, then one of the instructors told me about a woman who had gotten her black belt…in her 80’s. And, then the studio had a free promo for referrals, which would also enter my kids in a drawing to win some fancy equipment. Then I started watching The Walking Dead and fantasizing about being Michonne’s sidekick doing sidekicks and lopping off zombie heads using a weapon like this (or if you prefer to watch a shirtless guy demonstrate — and who doesn’t? — like this.)

You know where this is going.

I’ve taken five classes so far and I must say, it’s fun. I feel, well, kinda kick-ass! I’m in the free 4-week honeymoon stage and know it is quickly coming to an end. Then, we enter the “take my doe” stage of taekwondo…but I think I can make it work.


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