Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ode to Lori

An ode to the greatest spin instructor on the planet, Lori:

I love you, Lori
Oh yes I do
I love you Lori
You kick my boo(ty)
When you aren't at spin, I'm blue!
Oh Lori I love you!

Now, I know that it is normal to love your family, your significant other, or your best friend. But I am not sure if it is normal to love your spin instructor as much as I love Lori. I am pretty sure that Martha and Ellen are with me on this..... Lori most definitely has a place in our hearts.

In a way, this shows that there is something wrong with us- that we have such great affection for someone who whoops us every Tuesday and Thursday. But there is nothing more satisfying than walking into spin knowing that I am going to get a great workout. AKA- there is nothing more satisfying than walking into spin and seeing Lori perched on the bike up front. It makes me happy to know that all of her CDs have one of my "faves" on it--- the waka waka song, burn it to the ground, lady gaga, ke$ha.

Today, when I walked into class, she wasn't there. I spent most of the class being irritated, because, well, I have been spoiled for 2 years with the best spin instructor ever in the history of ever, so I wanted her to be there. However, as we were cooling down, the new lady said Lori was taking a spin hiatus (as in a long time- at least long enough that I wont get to go to her class again before I leave for Yale) to heal her hamstring.

I kid you not- I almost cried. As I left the gym, I called Martha to tell her (almost cried). Called Ellen (def teared up a little). Then complained to my mom about how sad I was. (Lori- if you are reading this, note this is not a guilt trip but a way to show you how loved you are)

So, in honor of the best spin lady who has been so sweet to me, to marth, and to ellen, here is a list of things I love about Lori.

1. She is always happy to be at spin- whether she has torn her hammy in half, has a headache, or just isn't feeling well.
2. She picks music with beats that fit perfectly to whatever hill or sprint we are on.
3. She introduced us to the Waka Waka song.
4. She always wears cute exercise tops.
5. She doesn't go easy on us.
6. She turns the music up loud- and even though I have to wear my ear plugs, it still gets me pumped.
7. She always says encouraging words at JUST the time that you are starting to let yourself slack off.
8. We are facebook friends.
9. She takes the time to know the people in her class, and that makes us become friends too.
10. She takes the time to create fun classes- like the Tour de France class, or the BIG LONG HILL class.
11. She makes sure it's not too hot in the class room.
12. She always tried to make us burn 1000 calories in a workout (Marta has this calorie counter watch thing, and she promised us a pizza if Marta got to 1000 calories)
13. She is just cool like that.
14. She is funny! She always makes funny jokes or side comments, and I can't help but laugh even if i am pushing up a hill or have beads of sweat dripping down my face.
15. She is the best ever, and I am going to miss her classes. I can't wait for Christmas break when I can go to her classes once again.

If you haven't figured out how much Lori dominates from all of my previous blog posts, I hope this post shows you how I feel. This just goes to prove all the old cliches true- You don't know what you've got til it's gone, best things come to those who wait, kill two birds with one stone..... not sure how that last one fits, but I needed three.....

LORI. I (we) think you are the best there is. Heal that hamstring, but know how much you will be missed.

ultra love.

Monday, July 19, 2010

if i were the weekend, i would have just been owned by me

oh hey- whats up? what did you do this weekend? eat yourself into oblivion? lounge around? watch tv? well lemme tell you what i did.
1. Saturday Morning: 8 am - 10 am. SPIN- Tour de' France style. How does that work you may ask? WELL, if you should happen to watch the Tour tomorrow, you will watch the stage that we "did" in class on saturday. See, Laurie, the greatest spin instructor in the world, crafted a 2 hour class where our intensity (think: tension on the bike which mimics different hill grades) followed the hills for Tuesday's stage. It was AWESOME. One of the reasons why Laurie is so good is that she knows just when to yell encouraging things, just when to crack it up or down, and just when to let you push yourself. On saturday, she made it seem like we were really in the race- pulling one of our team mates, having to take over when he had to drop out, battling the "big names" up the hill, and trying to push past them at the finish line. We won the stage, in case you were worried.

2. Saturday Afternoon: I sewed 2 dogs beds for Luna with my Grandmother! This isn't really a how-to blog, so I just took pictures of the "after" stage. How did this project come about? Well, I had some extra memory foam sitting around, and it needed to be used rather than dumped in a landfill where it would pollute our precious environment and contribute to global warming and killing dolphins with those plastic coke can holder thingys. So, Grandmother and I cut the memory foam- one to fit in her kennel and one to be more "decorative" around the house. The furry one is gonna go in her kennel, the pretty patterned one is the around the house dog bed.

(this is my grandmother's pool table- located in her rec room)
close-up of the furry one
close up of the patterned one!

It took up about hours to complete these two beds. We had some trouble getting our sewing machines working, but it didn't matter in the end since we just got to hang out and chit chat all day. See, I love my Grandmother. And, I love her house more than any other place in the world. It smells like all of my favorite memories and is still decorated in her orignal 70s style. See the evidence below.
This is my toy box, that she still has. Side note, Luna just joined me on the couch and licked my ear. yummy, i guess.
Grandmother's living room. She designed her whole house and decorated it.
Pretty bookshelf in the rock wall.
This was my Aunt Anita's room, and then my room when my dad lived with my Grandmother for a little while.
How awseome is all of this? I love this house. If i could live anywhere for the rest of my life, it would be this house. Hands down.

3. Saturday Night: went to a fancy dinner with my dad. then took the dogs on a walk.

4. Sunday- After church: i rush to workout with my dad and his trainer charles. Charles used to be a body builder. And he whoops you. You workout all of the major muscle groups, but its about intensity and keeping your heart rate up. Therefore, you do not get to stop between exercises. My personal favorite is the sled in the middle of the room that he loads up with weight and makes you push up and down the room.

5. Sunday: All day-- I cleaned out my closet. This was another task that took all day. I still have a few more sections of my room to go before everything has been cleaned out, organized, and/or thrown away. When that happens, i will show you the evidence. But not quite yet.

6. Sunday: 4:30-- I also went to YOGA. it was a packed class which made it really really really hot in there. Not a fan of full classes.

7. Sunday Night: cooked dinner with dad, kept cleaning my room, then took the babies on a walk.

yes. OWNED. and now it is monday, i just had a great yoga class, and i am POOPED.

ultra love.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I bake to control things in my life

like trying to find a way to get luna to stop dropping her slobbery tennis ball on my capslock key (she is quite accurate) when she wants to play fetch which is all the time.

but i digress...

in light of the "great move" coming in less than a month, i had a real hankering for apple crisp. THUS after a killer (in the good way) yoga class, i skipped over to kroger in my sweaty (and i do mean sweaty) clothes to buy some apples and other necessary things.

Here you go folks- how to make a delicious apple crisp. and don't worry, it's healthy because there are apples and oatmeal in it.

Step 1: Round up the most attractive assistants you can. I found two- see below.

Step Two- Preheat oven to 350 and butter up a dish. the recipe says an 8X8- but as you can see i just used what i had. it doesnt really matter. (please, do not stare at my midget thumb)
Step three: peel apples

Step four: Core apples and the slice into even smaller pieces. I did some long ways and some short ways just to "give it some texture." Frankly- i don't even know if that makes sense, but it sounded good to me at the time.Step five (and a few more)- lightly cover apples in lemon juice. toss. less lightly cover apples in sugar. dust apples with cinnamon. toss. put all of this in your buttered dish. hehehe.
Step six: make the topping. 1/2 cup (plus two tablespoons) of all purpose. 1/2 cup oats (the instant ones do just fine). 1/4 cup brown sugar. 1/4 cup regular sugar. 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. 1/4 teaspoon (or however much you want) cinnamon. Mix with a fork. THEN (this is the good part kids) MELT 6 TABLESPOONS unsaled BUTTERRRRRR! and pour it in your mixture, then stir until its alllll mixed.

Step seven: Crumble the topping over the apples. Pop in the over for 35-40 minutes.

Step eight: admire your sweet assistant.

Step nine- remove from oven and feed your family--- hey dad!

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm delicious. and remember, its healthy because it is made with apples and this was devoured by my family within 24 hours.

ultra love.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Apples to Apples

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had the chance to try out a different Yoga studio in DC. What I want to do right now (and what I WILL do bc this is MY blog and I do what I WANT, like hoodrat stuff with my friends) is give you a little run down of the differences, things i liked, things I didn't like, etc.

1. The yoga instructor brought her son to work with her. Think: cute little 6 year old cherub with blond hair. My oh my was this child a talker. He took it upon himself to show Jackie and me a few of the yoga poses- Rabbit and Camel, for those of you who care. He also made SURE to remind us that THERE WAS NO TALKING IN BIKRAM YOGA.

2. Their studio had this strange floor- it was like plastic astro turf but more squiggly than grassy. I think that a few years ago there were some flip flops that had this stuff as the base... I cant decide whether this stuff is more or less sanitary than carpet (like the Memphis studio). Sanitation aside, my feet slipped less on this stuff than the carpet. The plastic-y-ness gave you better grip than Memphis' generic office carpet.

3. DC smelled way better than Memphis. Though I have found that the smell in Memphis is not as bad if you go in the morning. By the 6:30pm class, it is almost unbearable. almost, but not quite.

4. The DC studio holds the camel pose (see below) about 3 times as long as the Memphis studio.
(ps. this is DEFINITELY what I look like when I do this pose.
Serene expression, body that lacks any sweat whatsoever, and sunkissed skin. MOST def)

ANYWAY- this pose, as you may be able to guess, is rather difficult. It has alot to do with your head position and the amount of strain on your chest as you stretch. I am just now getting to the point that I can 1) get into the pose and 2) hold in during my Memphis classes. The DC studio held it for a full minute the first set and a minute and a half the second set. I almost keeled over because this pose makes you dizzy. In general (at least in Memphis, in general) the second set of the pose is supposed to be shorter than the first. big time FAIL and BOO to DC on this one.

5. At the end of the class, the instructor walked around and gave everyone an ICE COLD wash cloth that was soaked in lavender (i think) water. It was extremely refreshing. THUMBS UP to DC on this one.

All in all, it was a good experience. I do like the Memphis instructors the best. Even though Dc was very good, the Memphis peeps give that extra bit of instruction that makes all the difference. The Memphis studio is also a good bit cleaner than the DC one, and it feels safer in terms of "protecting your valuables." As far as the class, it really is fundamentally the same wherever you go. Each instructor may add a phrase here and there, but the script and the poses don't change. I like that.

Ultra love.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

an Ultra American Fourth of July

This past weekend, in honor of America, I went to the land of my college years (Washington, DC) to visit someone. This someone happens to be my best friend. Somewhere in the twists and turns of fate, God saw fit to let me spend 4 years living with my "womb mate." It's kind of like we were born to be rommies and besties, and that hasn't changed even though we have lived in separate cities the past two years.

ENOUGH of the sappy stuff. On to the manly, bestial part of our visit.

FIRST- we went kayaking on the Potomac. I have pictures to prove it.We had so much fun, minus the part where our arms got kinda tired from all the paddling.

This is my artsy picture of our paddles and our alma mater in the back ground. Beautiful, eh?
But really- we had so much fun out on the river. It reminded us of the days when we were on the crew team together- rowing down the Potomac at 6 am with a slight mist/fog covering the water.

THEN- I convinced jackie to go to Bikram Yoga with me. We went to the studio on Capitol Hill, and overall, we had a great experience. See, Jackie had been to a Hot Yoga class a few years back, and left with a bad taste in her mouth. See: way to hot, ended up army crawling out of the room so she wouldn't vom. This time- I let Jackie in on a few secrets and mentally prepared her for the class. We hydrated like crazy the day before. We had a little orange juice for breakfast so we wouldnt have anything to throw up. We wore the right clothes. We brought ice water.

The end result? I think Jackie actually liked it. Now, I dont think she will go on her own. I am pretty sure that she would want me/someone there just in case something goes wrong. But all in all, if someone doesn't run screaming bloody hell after a class, you have done something right.

I could probably write a more in depth post on this, but really the only thing that sticks out in my mind right now is how much fun we had. It was a fantastic weekend- filled with all the good things in life, like naps, waffles, pools, books, life discussions, southwest chicken salads, ice cream, st. mary's friends, jorts, and ultra happiness.

I leave you with two pictures from America's Birthday Celebration on the National Mall:

Ultra love.