Friday morning musings

On aging and injuries

I was planning to do the last WO in Julia’s contest series yesterday, but when I got out of bed (a Casper mattress still on the floor, because Podunk), both knees were sore. And I’d done a nice, easy one the day before! Not only that, but my left elbow was especially pissy, even aching when not exercising, and hitting the problem area. I know what that one thing was from. There was a move in Wednesday’s WO of holding arms OH w/ a band above wrists & pulling down. I liked the novelty of the move, and the pulling action, so I ignored the complaints.

I took a rest day, thinking I’d get to my last, “contest entry” routine today. But…, while the knees feel slightly (right) to much (left) better, the elbow is still annoyed. And this WO is upper body heavy. She starts off w/ a circuit that is snatches, shoulder presses and triceps. I’d want to use my 26lb kettlebell (with forearm guards!) for the first move, even though I can’t snatch it up OH directly. I have to clean & press-up. It’s something to work on. So I think I’ll reschedule again. I’m pretty sure they allow a week from posting to completion date for the contest. That means I could do it Sat or Sun. And let’s face it, a person my age w/out a lot of social media followers isn’t likely to win. It’s more for the point of personal follow-through.

Everything happens for a reason

She mainly just sits in the driveway, gathering leaves. I’ve been meaning to at least go put gas in her since Tuesday, lol. Busy with other things. Just had to ask Charlie what kind of gas she gets, again. Despite the timing, I can’t say I’m that sorry I bought her. She’s an inexpensive and unassuming car, and at 51½, actually owning an automobile tickles me. Saturday I’ll go get some gas! (Writes in agenda.) I need to incrementally woman-up to the idea of the bridge. That again. It’s a better route though. I always had a feeling I wouldn’t be required to go from the NW to the NE Industrial. My color judgments were just as good as the airquotes senior and ass kissing hater. I did pre-press color adjustments, back in the day, for the super high-end carpets I designed. We used better quality paper than in any coffee table, art book I’ve ever encountered. It was easy for me, with my oil painting, color mixing experience. I communicated in those terms. The Two made everything excruciatingly slow, self-doubting and meandering, but to be fair that was general company policy. #driving

Things I don’t want to do tend not to happen anyway. If I hadn’t launched on the India cycle, late 2005, I’d be a senior designer making 130/140K. That’s who I was hired to be! It would’ve come with overseas production trips, two to three times a year though. They were pretty brutal, and at the time, missing even two extra days of Astanga practice would’ve been earth-shakingly tragic. (The biannual trend shopping trips that evolved into being maybe five or six years down the line would’ve been easier to cope with, over brutally over scheduled, marathon factory visits.) When I started, my division was a newly acquired, formerly private, but smaller company. They’d finally moved into their new home base, about eight months after acquisition, two days before I started. I brought my own laptop for a few days, and those 17″ weren’t all that portable.

Unlike my last gig, Moret Group wasn’t cheap about maintaining decent work stations. IT had to order a brand new Mac for me, and were behind getting everyone else set up in their new stations. All the designers had their own USB scanners, which is as it should be. We had small group access to ink jet printers, for color, and also a color laser, for volume. We got to order lumbar cushions and wrist braces / exercisers if we needed. Also tablets! (I never used them in NYC, but the design style for most of what I was doing there, quite lucratively, was a much different animal from what I’m doing now. The Wacom bumps your digital design into fine art territory. They merge.)

Vs: The Office, Portlandia Edition That’s quite a different thing from being handed an 8½ year old, groaning old Mac and having to bring your own Wacom tablet, because your mouse isn’t fully functional. It skipped. Airquotes senior tried using it once and picked it up, to look at the underside, puzzled. “You should be able to find a mouse around here, somewhere…” she said later on, trailing off. Um, ya, thanks.

Anyway I quit that gig, the first time, in January 2006 for my “First Trip to Mysore”, also my first blog. I still have the print out of my posts, somewhere. Not the comments I don’t think. (In those days I was widely read, and popular posts sometimes turned into lengthy chats in the comment section). If I’d stayed in New York, I probably would’ve never left The Hovel, my rent stabilized studio on East 4th Street and First Ave. Not even if the 10-year Astanga yoga fixation hadn’t happened, and I’d stayed on the management track. Nor would I have ever driven a car again!

I’m really happy to be out of that toxic swamp

They are all welcome to it! Too bad Cascade didn’t get printed though. That’d have been a hit, I am sure of it. That place was a thorough lesson in inept management. As I like to say, the old, 1-star Glassdoor reviews were still spot-on.

The universe was like, “Here! Have a friend instead.” Finally made a new one, and of course she’s an east coaster. I never had any problems whatsoever connecting with new people of wildly diverse backgrounds doing my 2-month India stints. Podunk is different. It’s small, provincial and hostile to outsiders. It’s professionally “mean”, in the petty sense of the word, and inclined for an outrageously smug mediocrity. We’re meeting up tonight, going to a thing downtown! Sketching will happen.

XX The Aeon
“Judgment” in other decks

Occupies the path between Hod and Malkuth. Hod is the seat of Human Intelligence as well as harnessed willpower whilst Malkuth represents the physical world. The Aeon Card connecting them implies the blending of energies between the two sephira so we have: The evolution of human consciousness and understanding (Hod) about the nature of our physical reality (Malkuth). Our consciousness becomes more universal as we see the Oneness behind creation. Older perspectives are burned away by spiritual fire.

1. A decision which has a major impact on your life. Examples would include lifestyle, career or relationship changes. In the upright position these changes would be positive.

2. Also life changing experiences which may be spiritual or a near death experience. These have a major impact on our life which forces a change in perspective and the birth of a new self.

3. Time to move on from a situation after seeing the bigger picture of things so we have endings and new beginnings.

4. Taking time out to review your life timeline and seeing what changes have happened over time and how you have grown. Reviewing the bigger picture.

5. A natural period of growth where you are experiencing a deepening in your understanding of yourself and the world around you. A time of deep change, reflection and evolution of your spiritual awareness. You may also be letting go of friends, and structures which are no longer serving you.

Ya that sounds about right!!! I’m coming to a new understanding about things which do not happen being unworthy of my time and attention in the first place. And now, it’s time to get back to my current “seamless repeat” design.


Summer Shred #8 & a full Astanga

First the Monday Zgym WO. I’d only previewed one before & didn’t want to spend too much time exercising. But today? I can do whatever.

The new beloved

Still getting to know my iMac & feeling inspired. I woke up this morning and, despite the quantities of good, red wine consumed during Charlie’s birthday dinner, immediately started design concepting. Working on uploading files carefully – in a very organized fashion – into my new, clean docs.

One thing on my list of “to dos” was to get my scanner driver on there, but it’s already there. First time ever for that! I’ll do the Wacom later. Since I’ve got three inputs on this machine I don’t bother bringing my tablet home from work every day, but actually I might want to for a 3-4 hour tile build session. I wonder if the pen works with my trackpad! I’ll check. I’ll bring it home & get that installed…

The Workout


Summer Shred #8

This was my warm-up. Time = 28ish w/ notes & breaks

x7 Round Ladder 8:35. Not sure if the first move was 1=1 since I previewed days ago but that was a long enough first part for me!

  • Frog Hop / Spider Knee 1=1 x10 Frog up fwd. Knee to outside same side arm. Frog hop & other side = 1. So u do it 70x.
  • Jump Lunge – ladder: 10 – 15 – 20 – 25 – 20 – 15 – 10

Jump rope: 30 sec side hops I’d thought this would be harder in terms of coordination but it wasn’t. Still the 2:40 set jacked me up so high I immediately decided on 15sec recovery time for the next one, w/ the DUs. / 30 sec high knees x 2
Z does continual intervals 30/30×2. I did 10/30×4-2:40min.

Sumo / rockstar / sumo / jump tuck x10

Weighted reverse burpees to plank rows x10 15s, but not doing the punch up OHs like Z, who’s using 12s. Kept weights down by sides for a squat hop. Kicked my ASS. Did ½ leading w/ LA row & then took a break to sit down & write this.

Jump rope: 30 sec Double unders / 30 sec scissors x2 15/30×4-3:00min Extra rest didn’t help for the DUs. Even though is early is 77 muggy degrees in the office. It’s a suddenly high, hello July level of humidity (for PDX). I got 6 in the first round and only 3 in the 2nd. LOL. But I tried! I’m better when not as hot.



Poses Comments
Suryas & Standing Fundamentals w/ standing arches in the 5 Surya As – no weights. Two 5-breath handstands @ the end
Primary+ Skipping 4 poses of primary w/ added LBH
Ardha Matseyendrasana, var through the legs bind
Shalabhasana A, B
Bhekasana, 1/2 & full
Dhanurasana A, B
Laghu Vajrasana
Urdhva D come to standing
Dropbacks 3x
Ticks 3x
Finishing with 5min savasana

2 sets HIIT & a stretching session

Woke up with a stiff neck!
Got a shitload of stuff done though.

  1. Daily cat care & got ’em both outside for a long stretch (since there’s no one here to get them out during the weekdays for the next 3½ weeks.
  2. Did a load of laundry. I’ll put that away tomorrow probably.
  3. Fed fish.
  4. Cleared recycling in bathroom & kitchen & took bag to bin & bin to end of drive.
  5. Watered – greenhouse, herb garden, roses & strip of grass on that side of house.
  6. Scanned & posted (3 places) latest window film compositional sketch. I had to scan it anyway to use it for drawing at work! We haven’t gotten a flatbed scanner yet & printer scanners just don’t capture nuance. They’re ok if you’ve inked something before scanning, but are terrible for sketches in pencil or charcoal.
  7. Started a new album on Flickr, Surface Design, PDX. I realised it’s really good for me to do this, so I can add periodically, because if few designs make it to production and that takes a long time, it’s easy to feel as if you’re not doing anything! But if I continuously make process images, then I can see my design & thought processes together. I can get a sort of overview idea of my current body of work.
  8. Had a magical find, in the form of something physical. Put it in a safe place for further evolution.


BodyRock – Full Body HIIT

  • Previewed, made a few changes & did from breakdown.
  • WO starts after 11:20. I did it (15/50), broken up into 2 sets of 16 w/ a 2min rest in the middle = 36:40 min (plus however long I took w/ one pause to get wrist weights on)

Full Body HIIT-1.jpg

Flexible Strength #5

  • This was intermediate & she goes much slower than usual. But it was good. I’ll do next time w/ breakdown (probably skipping the warm-up)

Warm Up Flow x 2

  1.  Pass under squat (x5) / Clean & Press X 6 sets 26lb kettlebell – did this faster than vid & had time to make notes. Could use forearm guards!
  2. Clean / Archer’s Squat Slide x 4 alt. sides 26lb kettlebell – very challenging to get back up w/ only strength of the legs but I could do it! Maybe do 3x ea side next time.
  3. Hanging Leg Raise to Push Up x10 5
  4. Uttanasana  2min This’d be better as uttana 1min & ustrasana for 1min
  5. Kneeling Chest to Floor Stretch – 2 min
  6. Hanuman, front heel elevated on block  – 90 sec / 90 sec
  7. Vertical Shin Quad and hip Flexor Stretch 90 sec / 90 sec
  8. Handstand Front Split x 3 5 breaths ea leg
  9. Laying Spine Twist



Weekend workout!!! Brutal Shoulder and Leg Freestyle Workout

Well, the kitties are used to getting fed by like 6:05am now, and they woke me in shifts three times before 6:30. I stayed in bed until 7:30 though, dozing lightly at the end, and then procrastinated a nice, long while before starting my WO.

[WORK] To my credit the first thing I did was make some scans for work. We have only a printer scanner, but these are not good for pencil drawings and lighter images. In NYC we always had a laser scanner, but most of the designers used their own flatbed scanners. If I need to use one a lot I’ll just bring my page-size Canon with me. It’s one of the super light kinds that doesn’t even need two cords. You don’t need to plug it into power, in other words. All you have to do is connect the USB. Wish they made them affordable in tabloid-size.

I tried working on a drawing that was a little larger of a proportional size though, 16×20. I don’t think I’d do that again b/c it’s too hard to piece together with my little machine. I’ll stick to 8×12 for pencil comps, unless we get a tabloid scanner at the office.


Brutal Shoulder and Leg Freestyle Workout

Warm-Up 10/40 2 Rounds (Do Mon night as 15/50, 3 rounds)
1. Clean & Press 20s
2. 2x Plies Pulse to Jump Squat Burpee Push-up 15s
3. Light Squat to Light Good Morning 15s
4. 2x Skier Swing to 2x Overhead Pull w/Jump Lunge 10S
5. Squat w/Overhead Alternating Twist 20s this was a challenging weight for me, but I’d already decided to go lighter later, on the reps.
6. Burpee to Low Jack w/Bicep Curl

Circuit 1: 3 Rounds √, √, √
1. Bench – Raise up over chest & circle around to thighs. Come back around and over chest, then down to thighs 12x 1st rnd – 10s. Count on the “down to thighs (the hardest part)
2. Standing Up-right Row to Front Raise 12x 1st rnd – 10s
3. Clean & Press – hold overhead – Reverse Lunge  both legs 10x 15s Leading 5 w/ one leg & 5 with the other. This was plenty heavy for me w/ an OH move. I took a break bet sides too!

Alternate Side Lunge w/Squat in Center 10x/side 1st rnd – 10s

Circuit 2: 3 Rounds 32:43 √, √, √
1. Arnold Press – Open out to side & Shoulder Press 10x First rnd – 12s. Next two rnds – 15s. I did only 1 press up per rep. Up/down/open out/ back to start.
2. Side Lunge Right (Left hand tap foot) Turn Left to Reverse Lunge. Pull Left Arm to side (Flye) 10x 1st rnd – 12lbs on working arm
3. Other side

Bench Jump – Hop Down – Plank Push-up/Hop feet in & repeat 10x

Circuit 3: 3 Rounds √, √, √
1. Shoulder Press to Overhead Tricep Extension & Chest Press 10x 12s
2. Right FWD Lunge & lower weight to front. Step back & bicep curl. Rev lunge same leg. Step FWD & press weight up 10x 15
3. Other side
4. Press up. Halfway down, arms bend, fwd rotate. Back up & squeeze elbows10x 1st 2 rounds – 8lbs. Last rnd – 10s

Reverse Lunge to Bench Step Up Knee Lift (Twist weight to Knee) 10x 1st rnd – did 10 per leg so doubled up accidentally. So I skipped the 2nd round. Could’ve done it anyways! But nah. 15

Bonus: Abs 10/50 2 Rounds @1:04 (I was at like 90min here b/c of lack of preview but that’s A-ok. Weekends I can work out as long as I want.)
1. Right V-Crunch Knees in to V-up
2. Right Leg Lift (Right elbow to Knee) then lower overhead Right Arm twist over head 2nd round I changed this to side plank hip dip & reach under.
3. Left V-Crunch Knees in to V-Up
4. Left Leg Lift (Left elbow to Knee) then lower overheadLeft Arm twist over head
5. Butterfly Sit-up
6. Buzz Saw Plank
7. Right Side Plank (Feet on bench) Pull Bottom Leg Knee in Crunch
8. Other side
9. Hyperextension
10. Reverse Hyperextension

Too funny, M has a longer than usual stretch & cool down for this WO, she says. I always do my own, but I got to the end of the WO part right about the length of the video time, 1:54. Did some minimal stretching. Tomorrow I should do Astanga w/ a jump rope warm-up. Weekends I can exercise 2.5 hours if I want to! Next week will be my second week or working & I’m going to try to incorporate at least one half-hour to 45min WO & see if that feels worthwhile.

I’d hoped to do that last week but I was just too caught up. I’m going to make good on my idea to repeat parts of Michele’s WOs though. I’m really into her style lately…

Closed w/ like 5min yoga.

LAM Aphorism of the Day: Spiritual health is basically the same thing as psychological health

I’ve been thinking on & off of starting a separate, meditation journal, as a way of reaching out to others who practice or want to, but then I thought, No. Mind body. As above, so below. It belongs here, with the rest of my fitness program. 

I’m going to talk more about meditation, I’ve decided, though I probably won’t post about it daily, or after each and every session, like I do with physical exercise.

So… I’ve been trying to get in a 40-day run of a chant to Laksmi

which I do after my traditional, seated in padmasana, 22min meditation. Even for someone with a too flexible schedule, it’s one of the hardest disciplines there is, in my opinion. I still use an old, Holosync track! Whatever makes it happen, is my thinking.

First try

I’ve dropped the ball twice so far. I started the first attempt on March 10th, the day after my birthday, using my beautiful, new mala that I designed & put together with specific hermetic, astrological intentions in mind. I made six consecutive days & then missed four.


Second try

Started on March 20th and made it twelve days. That’s better at least! The last day I was up in Abbortsford for the first day of my last cat show, and I only did the chanting part, which takes about 4-5 minutes. Charlie arrived that evening. We had another show day and then a six hour drive back. I’ll do it when I get home, never happens, even if you get home way earlier than expected. We’d stopped for dinner in Vancouver and we still made it home around 9pm.

Third try

Then I didn’t practice again for an entire week, and it’s been an incredible stressful time, not because of the lack of meditation, but… It’s time to batten down the hatches.

batten down the hatches.jpeg

OK that’s enough. It’s time to get back to work on the test project. Scanned my pencil & pen drawing this morning, in two pieces. Put them together in the Illustrator file. Next I’ll start the vector drawing. I’m going to draw it in Illustrator & then transfer to Photoshop for some filter effects. I DO keep a separate art blog on WordPress, so I’ll post design & process visuals there later.

I’ll heat up what remains of my coffee and get going.


Random Friday musings

Took a rest day yesterday, because I ended up cooking a spontaneous, quite gourmet meal for Charlie and I. I’d been obsessed with getting a balsamic reduction right, based on having had a really good one, homemade by a friend, many years ago. To achieve this I followed the advice on one website and got a 10-year aged, Italian brand. They advised at least 5-7 years. Delicious!

I have an appointment downtown this afternoon, and I might take a second rest day. Not because I need it! Thursday’s Astanga totally fixed up the tweakiness in my right side. I’m SO grateful I have these body tuning skills in my toolbox. Anyway I  might get back too late to want to exercise. I’ve long been a morning person in that way…

It’s pretty cold out again, and I’ve checked the weather. Initially I was thinking I might scout out a late afternoon oil painting location. This is the painting date I’ve already postponed once. Unfortunately I’ll be out of town at what looks like the next good day for it, and landscape situations can change pretty quickly.

But maybe I’ll take bus 15 from my appointment to New Renaissance books & have a mosey around. I always enjoy the vibe of that place…

I’ve been greatly entertained all day by the Don Jr divorce news

Uncontested = hide the assets = he’s obviously in some very deep shit. I couldn’t be more pleased.

It’s a game I play, to remind myself of what’s going on at the highest level of US government, whenever I feel sad about my financial situation, which is, of course, too fucking frequent.

I’d put the stuff below on Facebook, but I think I’ll put it here too. I’m bored, yes, but not bored enough to Netflix.





Therapeutic, slow Astanga yoga

I was going to go back on my promise to practice today, but in taking a look at a lifting routine breakdown I discovered I felt like doing weights even less. Didn’t do the jump rope either. Nor did I put on any music. It got me back out of bed anyway. I’d been journaling…

I was feeling all sorry for myself about things winding down with SF client, but low & behold a yogic illustration project is reawakening. I’ll have a deadline in the next couple weeks, and it’s better than corporate keynote presentations (even if I was having a good time working on that deck before I lost the rest of it due to being unavailable for two days).


Anyway, I did some yoga. I’m back to not putting my feet on my head, for the time being, and some timed poses before back bending. All I wanted for today was some relaxation, and I achieved that.


Here’s a rare, NON “exercise-routine-detailing” post

It’s a new moon in Aquarius today, at 1:05pm PDX time. I’d been sitting here, wondering what I’ll do with myself today. I’ve been working in oils… I was actually happy with a sketch I worked on Tuesday. I’d done what was supposed to be a value-tones underpainting already, but then I changed the time of day from late morning to late afternoon. I never worked on capturing real light, when producing my city scapes in my mid 20s. Didn’t have the time or resources for that. This was before the internet and YouTube too!

It’s a rest day after all

I was originally thinking to take today off, after a nice Mon-Wed run. Then had a 2nd thought maybe I’d do another Astanga. Then saw on FB it’s a new moon.¹  Now I’m thinking maybe I should take the first afternoon bus downtown & force myself to crack open my sketchbook. Have been making very lazy journeys into cat gestures… Might be good to take a break from the mysterious, maddening oils and use some watercolor too. I need to keep drawing… I need to log more hours just plugging away. I can’t let the highly sporadic possibility of remote design distract me. I’m not going to keep filling in availability hours. They know where I am. Finally got around to posting a new Craig’s List this morning. I should have at least one of those up every month…

I should restart the Drawing a Day thing, today

Charlie had gotten going on a 100-day challenge, but petered out after a week or so. I was only aiming to finish up the 6-weeks from where I’d left off, day 11. It’s a watercolor assignment & you’re supposed to leave your house, lol. I kind of feel like going to NW 23rd, the bookstore… Even if I just work with ink pen in the shop I could sit down at Barista later & add some color. I’ve gotta see if that new tree of life sketchbook can handle water media. That’s the leather bound one that was supposed to be “part 2” in the witchcraft / hermetics / magick journal. Same same, I think.

There’s leftover marionberry pie from jam night. I’m going to have some of that for breakfast, since I didn’t partake in the evening. Then I’ll take care of a t-shirt logo revision for a friend & get my field trip supplies together.









¹I never paid attention to the moon when in the thick of The Cult, especially during the later, post studio years. I’d rest when I needed it most, not according to the calendar. I’ll admit I have a tenuous belief that practice is better on full moons than new…

I finally got my laptop back!

Note to self: NEVER try to do anything at Apple Pioneer Place, that doesn’t involve giving them money, around the holiday.

I’ve never had a problem there before & people have seemed really helpful, until Christmas 2017 and Jeremy.

  1. I got badgered into signing a release for them to ship it off to a service center, to have a battery changed, after I’d just watched it pass all diagnostic tests but battery.
  2. The next day I realised I’d be out of town Friday. We live at the end of a blind drive, that’s long and windy and goes uphill. The kidz had had a situation where the UPS guy didn’t want to deal with their new fridge, and it spent five days on the truck, marked as “out for delivery” on the tracking all five of those days. I decided to call & back out of the shipping agreement.
  3. I spoke with Heidi, who did her corporate bid to dissuade me. Finally I said, Look. I don’t want it shipped. I’ll need to come pick it up by Thursday at the latest. If you can do it before then, fine. If not I’ll reschedule. 
  4. I thought we were done, but no! Jeremy called the next day, interrupting my workout, sounding peeved and trying to pressure me back to my original position. First I said, I went over all of this with Heidi last night, and then finally, in frustration, I don’t want to waste your time. What I meant was MY time.

FFS Apple, it’s a fucking battery goddamnit! I’ve bought five Macs for myself over the years, about seven iPods and I’m on my third iPhone. Honor your fucking AppleCare contracts without torturing your consumer.

That was the first time I’ve ever experienced badness there. I guess it’s the holidays, but still… We poor consumers don’t get to decide when the equipment and insurance we bought needs to be used.