Sunday, February 28, 2010

Life is about to change

Happy Last Day of Olympics!! (GO CANADA GO!)
I'm currently sitting in my living room, watching Canada play the USA in the gold medal game of men's hockey. It's intense!

I realized today I haven't blogged in 4 days. A lot has happened and of course, Beta has been keeping my fiance and I very busy. Here's how life is about to change....

Monday my fiance found out he will be going to site for work. Right now we both work our 9 - 5's and are home every evening today. That will all change tomorrow. He will be gone for 10 days and then back for 4. I'm very sad he will be gone. We don't spend a lot of time apart, and 10 days is a long time. He will always be home on a Thursday evening, and thankfully, I have a Friday off to match! We will get a full 3 day weekend together every other weekend.  I know I can do the time being apart. The part I'm worried about is taking care of Beta on my own.

Beta is a handful, and I am not a really patient person. She certainly knows how to test it. There have been a few times that I have sent my fiance out the door to collect her from the yard because she refuses to come inside. I guess this is where a leash will come in handy. I rely on him to help with her in the mornings since our schedules are staggered and in the evenings our times are perfect for one to play with Beta and one to cook supper. This will certainly be the biggest challenges with him gone.

I am scared of taking care of Beta alone, but I am also thankful that I will have her here to keep me company while my fiance is gone. She is funny and sweet and I am happy we have her.

GOLD!!!! WE WON GOLD!!!! (yes I sat and watched the rest of the game just so I could type that before I posted this blog post)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

13/25: Swimming to Catalina by Stuart Woods

Swimming to Catalina (Stone Barrington)I finally got through this book. It was very entertaining, as Stone always is. Swimming to Catalina is the fourth installment of the Stone Barrington series. He is a cop forced into retirement in his early-fourties turned lawyer/PI. In this book, he goes to Hollywood to find his missing ex-girlfiriend who's new husband has called Stone for help. Messed up situation, I know.
He winds up in LA, acting of all things, and getting involved with some down and dirty people.
Just another day in Stone's life.

For the WBC, I read this book for 15 points. Task: read a book who's author lives in a state you'd like to live.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pole for massage!

Pole class was fantastic last night. I feel bruised and battered this morning which is such a great feeling knowing where it comes from. Pole dancers are a rare breed that will try something over and over again even if it causes excruciating pain, because it's cool and looks pretty. I do believe we all have a small bit of crazy in us.

I went prepared to work on my extended butterfly last night, and ended up learning how to do a shoulder mount. Wow is that painful! To start it hurt and I was being stubborn. I have very tight shoulders to begin with, so putting bodyweight on that portion of my body against a round piece of metal was more than I wanted to handle. After attempting the mount several times, I realized that the move was actually loosening my muscles and I was able to do more. It was like a very deep tissue massage on one part of my body.

Of course to even things out I had to try both sides equally. I now have somewhat relaxed shoulder muscles that hurt to touch because the skin is somewhat raw. I've iced, heated and will ice again.  I can already see a bruise forming on my dominant side.

Even though I'm sore, I'm excited to have something new, but still know I have to perfect (or at least try to) the other moves I still have yet to get consistently.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Weekend Recap and Surprise welcome home

I love our puppy dearly. She is hilarious, cuddly and I can't wait to get home to see her every day.

Sunday we had family over in the mid-morning. We ended up going for brunch at this little dinner down the road. It was classic restaurant, straight out of the 50's. Our waitress even had a poodle skirt on. Weird... After brunch they came back to our house and met Beta. She was shy and kind of just hung out at my feet. I felt bad for them since they came over to see her and she wouldn't let them pet her. In all honesty though, she's only been in the house for a day by this point.
Later in the evening after my fiance played hockey, he arrived home with a bum knee. He hurt it playing and it was very swelled up. I'm now caring for two babies. hahaha

Monday was interesting. Beta is a little young to be left without being taken outside during the day. My fiance left for work a little later, and then went home at lunch to play with her and let her outside. He made sure she had some water and a clean puppy pad and put her back in her pen. I got home, opened the front door and was greated by a happy puppy! It was so nice! Until I realized she should be in her pen. She had pushed the pen a foot to one side and created a small hole she could crawl from the kitchen to the sunken living room. Smart puppy... stupid parents. She had a few accidents, but nothing that can't be cleaned up.

Today we have moved the pen where she can't push it over a ledge and get out. I will see what I find when I get home today.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Alethea Austin Virtual Workshop

Sunday I had the chance to do a Virtual Pole Workshop online with Alethea Austin. PoleJunkies got her to do two workshops, two sessions each. I was only able to sign up for the Flexibility and Floorwork session.
What a wonderful experience and opportunity! I learned some things I didn't know before, and now have some floorwork moves in my arsenal. My fiance is super happy about this.
The flexibility portion kicked my butt. I don't stretch nearly as often as I should, and the stretches we were doing to improve our splits has made me sore for two days. That proves I really need to get a leg up (ha!) on stretching more often.

Alethea is amazing, and I wish I could have taken her pole session as well. I will not miss it again when the opportunity arises. She is so sweet, explains things well and I am in awe of the talent she has. She looked beautiful and stunning doing some of the floor moves. I looked more like a fish out of wate flopping around.

Practice will make perfect. Someday I will look sexy and not like I'm flailing.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Welcome Home Beta

Yesterday we picked Beta up at her foster home. It was a 30 minute drive back to our house. Sadly she lasted about 20 minutes before she got sick. I don't think she's been in the car at all so that's expected. We kind of figured that would happen, so we had her crate in the car and had a towel down. No harm done! She was a little nervous when we got to our house, so we just opened her crate door and let her come out on her own.

The evening was interesting. She had two accidents. Once because I wasn't watching closely, a second time because both my fiance and I were watching the Olympics. She is really quiet so far and follows us around the house. She was very nervous and it took us a while to get her to be used to us. She came around in about an hour and now wants to cuddle on your foot while you sit on the couch. She's pretty good with her 'sit' command. If she's excited it takes her a minute or two to figure out what you want.

This morning I took her outside and we played in the snow a little. She wouldn't go in the snow last night, but now she's running and jumping through it. She also discovered that the bone she has squeaks. 

We are both so happy to be able to give her a home. I'm excited that she's been good so far and find it fascinating that she is learning so fast. I think she recognizes the sound of her name and will come fairly well when you call her. She knows "sit" and hasn't yet chewed anything but her toys, although we are watching her very carefully. I happen to like my shoes a lot.

Expect a lot of puppy posts over the next few weeks. I'm overjoyed and want to share that.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Epic Lenten Promise Fail

Yesterday I posted on my Lenten promises. No more than 30 minutes after I published my post, I was tested and failed horribly.
Work through a curve ball at me, and I couldn't stop from swearing at my computer screen. Then I went to my RCIA class. I held in my opinions until I arrived home. The class was the worst one I've had in a long time. It had nothing to do with content and it was very non-religious.

We spent the class going over the schedule of events we need to participate in for the next 40 days. On top of the regular Wednesday class and Saturday Mass, we have 6 extra full days of stuff. Given 3 of those are Easter and I'd be attending anyways, it's more like 3 extra days. So the problem wasn't the extra days, I was prepared for that. It was the way in which the information was delivered. 6 sheets of paper, which more information written than was needed. Confusing information at best. There were a lot of questions and confused people. I got home and took a sharpie to the papers and crossed out all the useless junk. It's down to 3 pages.

Needless to say, I was upset already before I even got to RCIA class, then I was slammed with information in a way I couldn't comprehend.  I got home and broke my promise several times.

Today is a new day. Same promises, just need to try again. I did better today. I think I only let one or two profane words slip. I caught myself several times and used a more appropriate word. (yeah me!)
I also called a friend and talked for a while tonight. It was nice to hear her voice and say I miss her.

Adoption Day!

We bought all the things we needed beforehand and read a few books and numerous articles online. I'm hoping that we are at least a little bit prepared for bringing our puppy home today.

We are driving up to the foster home tonight to sign all the papers, pay the adoption fee and take Beta home with us. It will be her first car ride with us and ours with her. I am so excited to finally get her and bring her to her new home.

There will be a follow up post tonight or tomorrow with pictures!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

I'm a little late getting this out.
Olivea from The Sweet Life gave me this award. I was so surprised and happy! I just started following her blog and have made it one of the blogs I read daily. She's a sweetheart!

The Rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
2. Pass the Award on
3.Contact Blogs and let them know you gave them an award
4. Write something about yourself

My winners....
That's Life...
blogging my fitlosophy
Ms. Manda's Madness
Cogitation On Meditation

Something about myself:
I am a pole dancer and love it. It is my passion
I am engaged to the love of my life.
I am new to blogging
I believe that happiness means more than money
I will become a Catholic this Easter

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday / Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday. As I am in the RCIA process, today is a big deal, not just for me, but for Catholics. Today marks the beginning of Lent. A journey of 40 days that leads us into the Easter celebration.
I am not all too familiar with Lent and where it comes from and what all the significant means yet. What I do know is this: Jesus gave us the ultimate sacrifice. Himself for us. During Lent, we are to sacrifice something in return, even though it will never add up to what he gave for us.

In the spirit of sacrifice, I have decided I will participate in Lent this year, as it will be my first one, and I am becoming a full-fledged Catholic this Easter. (I just realized that means in 40 days!!) It is a perfect way to prepare myself for the end of my long journey, and the beginning of a new phase of my life.
I realize my sacrifices aren't the greatest, and they aren't very difficult. Give me some leeway here, it's my first time. I have also decided that since I will be sacrificing something of myself, I also want to give to those around me.

Sacrifice: I will give up verbalizing profanity. (you're laughing... I know it) When I am angry, frustrated, injure myself, or am running super late for something, I swear. It's a bad habit, and I'd like to kick it. I'm sure my fiance would love for me to get rid of it as well.

Charity: I will make a phone call each week to a friend. I have many friends who I lived in close proximity to that I am now no where near. We are in different provinces or different sides of the one I'm in.  They are important to me, and I don't think I truly show my love as often as I should. My biggest excuse? I'm too busy to make a phone call. It's a lame excuse since a simple phone call could be 20 minutes, and it's more than enough to say "i miss you and thanks for being my friend"

Grip was the issue? really?

Last night's pole class wasn't all that productive for me in terms of moves and fun. It was however, very productive in figuring out why I can't hold a butterfly and move towards extending it. The issue was not my body position, not my strength, but my grip.

My bottom hand was not in the correct wrist position. I was cranking my wrist out of neutral position, and not only causing discomfort for myself, but also losing my grip. My top hand was another problem. I was not gripping correctly up there either. It seems I prefer to use my finger tips rather than my hand and that's just no good.

My goal now until the end of level 8 will be to fix my grip and concentrate on getting my hands in the right positions. After I have that and am comfortable, I will certainly be moving onto not just the butterfly, but extended butterfly.

Monday, February 15, 2010

12/25: Complete Idiots Guide to Puppies

Yes you read that right. I have completely read the entire book and hoping that it helps.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to PuppiesWe are getting our puppy this week (day TBD still). I figure that the best thing my fiance and I can do it prepare ourselves with as much information as possible. Weeding out the useless information where possible.
This book was simple to understand, and easy to learn from. I think I've got a good idea on how to train Beta her basic commands. I feel a little more prepared for our lives to change drastically. There will be tons of triumphs and tribulations and they will blogged on.  The most important thing I learned from this book is that puppies have a very short attention span. 5 - 10 minutes a training session is about all they are able to handle. They need to play, but not too much since their bones and ligaments are still young. They need attention and love. I think we should be able to do all these things.

I will be keeping this book around for a while and not shelving it because I think we will be referring to it often. I realize it's dubbed down, but for a first time puppy owner, it's exactly what I need.

11/25: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)"Catching Fire" is the second Hunger Games novel. It picks up about 9 months after the first one and is the same whirl wind excitment as the first. I refuse to give spoilers for this series, so this review will be short and sweet.
The characters are wonderful and I could relate to them. The new characters pulled me in, and the old characters surprised me and made me fall more in love with them all. The story was incredible and took a turn I did not expect. "Catching Fire" was a wonderful second book that set up a whole third story to take place.

If you have not read the Hunger Games, I suggest reading it asap and buying the second one at the same time. But remember, the third book doesn't come out until August 2010!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

10/25: Stiff - Mary Roach

I finished reading this book and I will be participating in an online discussion of it next Tuesday.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human CadaversMy overall impression of this book was good. I enjoyed it, but I highly suggest not eating meat, french fries or fruit while reading it. Just my opinion....
Mary Roach gets down and dirty when it comes to her novels. She researches the heck out of them and goes deeper into her subjects than most authors I've read. For a non-fiction, research novel, I loved it.
Never will I think of the dead in the same way. I don't even see my own death the same. Not the dying part, but the being dead part. This book put a different spin on things and really makes you think about what happens to your body.
The history and awful things that cadavers have had to and still do endure amazes me! Who knew 'crash-test cadavers' were/are really used! I had no idea that throughout history, experiments on the dead were done to the extent that Roach uncovers.
I learned a lot of interesting facts that someday I hope to use in conversation somewhere and not appear like a complete weirdo. Until that time comes, I will hope a question about disection or cremation comes up in Trivial Pursuit and I can put my new knowledge to the test.
On another note, "Body World" was mentioned in the book and I am completely enthralled with finding out when the show will be in Calgary or Edmonton soon. I plan to go when I find out now that know exactly how the bodies in the show got there.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Beta Loot

In preparation for our puppy arriving, we have decided on a name, and got some loot.
Beta will be joining our family late next week. (Thursday or Friday) Since we are very busy during this weekend and early next week, we needed to do some shopping before her arrival.
We went to Walmart and were very disappointed in their selection. FI didn't really want to use a pink leash, so we went to Petland. Not the first choice, but short on time, we didn't have a lot of options in the location we were shopping. Next time we'll go to Pet Planet.

What we bought:
  • Crate and Bed
  • collar (green), retractable leash (black), ID Tag (Which I got in pink!)
  • chew toys (hard and soft, one that is pink)
  • food (for now, we'll go to Pet Planet for a bigger bag)
  • Stain/Odor remover
  • brush
  • treats
  • food and water bowls
Here's a pic of the loot:

We still need to get a pooper scooper and probably some more toys.  I mention the things that are in pink in the above list because I really hard to try hard to get FI to go for pink things. He doesn't want a 'sissy dog' as he says. I say, she's a girl, she needs something pink... and I like the color.

Please vote!

Blog readers, I'm calling on you to help promote my passion! Pole dancing is the best fitness and most fun I have working out. To help promote it the dance studio I am with is having a competition on youtube. I had mentioned this in a previous post, but never got around to posting the video link.
Watch the video below. Then go to each linked video and watch them. Once you've done that, please go back to the original video and cast your vote in the comments on it.

PoleJunkies Weekend Challenges january Promotion

ps... I'm Stella ;)

We are officially adopting

If you read my previous post about adopting, you'll remember it's a fairly lengthy process.
After having a phone call last week and putting in our application we weren't sure how long it would be until we heard back from the rescue society.  We got a phone call last night, and drove 30 minutes across the city to meet the puppy we want to adopt. She is absolutely adorable!
We played with her and hung out while she played with some other puppies for a good half hour, then made a decision. We called the rescue society back and told them we would love to adopt her.

The next step is a little wishy-washy. The actual adoption could happen one of two ways.
1. They come and do a home inspection and the adoption takes place at our house.
2. The come and do a home inspection and we drive the 30 minutes to adopt from the foster home.
Either way, it will be happening next week! Thursday or Friday are the days we've gotten for everything to happen.
So, now we have some shopping and internet surfing to do.
We need to pick a name. It's down to three at the moment. Beta, Karma, or Mocha.We need to buy: a crate, chew toys, bed, food dishes, food, collar, leash, wow the list goes on and on.
I am borrowing some puppy books from a friend so that will help.
We will need to look at places for obedience training, vet clinic (there is one in our neighbourhood!), doggie day care if we need to, groomer if we need, etc etc.

I'm over-the-clouds excited! I will post pictures once the adoption is official. Expect many blog entries as my fiance and I go through teething, the 'teenage years' and having an additional family member in our lives.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

9/25: 300 - Frank Miller

I read "300" for the "read a graphic novel" task in the WBC. This isn't so much a book review as it is a book vs. movie review

300I have seen the movie adaptation of this book at least 6 times and can't get enough of it. The story, the graphics, the actors ;)!! I thought I'd pick this particular novel mostly to see how different the story was from the movie.
I am IMPRESSED! Ready the novel was like watching the movie in print. I could not believe that the filmmakers honoured the novel so closely. They even honored the way the characters locked. While I was reading it I told my fiance that it was as if they took the novel and put it right into a screen.

Since seeing the movie for the first time, I knew that picking this book I would love the story anyway. I read it mostly just to see what the differences were, and I couldn't find too many. Obviously the movie added in some entertainment value and extended this seems a little bit, but the basic storyboard is the same.

I must make time this week to watch the movie again.

8/25: The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I read this book for the WBC for the task "read a book written in letter form".

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle)It took me a little while to get into this book. There's nothing fancy about it. Nothing that will suck you in and hold you. I enjoyed reading it because it was light and quick. The letters were interesting, and written in a time well before mine, the end of World War II.  I felt like this book was a part of a bigger story, but I was happy with that. There was a little piece of someone's reality that I could share in. The letters back and forth were filled with deep relationships. Most of the relationships were built on a single letter that turned into something great.

If you're looking for a quick read, I would recommend this one. It's funny, heartwarming and easy to get through.

Adopting a fur child

My fiance and I have been wanting a dog for a while. We never thought it would fair to have a pet in an apartment, so we never got one. Now that we have a house, a fenced backyard and a dog-park a block from our house, the timing is good.

We have been to the pet stores, wandered around and had a look at dogs in places like Petsmart and Petcetera.  We've decided to adopt a dog from a rescue agency here in the city. There are numerous ones, so we've put applications into two different ones. Arf and Misty Creek Dog Rescue. I've had co-workers who have adopted from both of these places and said they would do so again. We have been looking at the dogs on these sites that are already in foster homes. Most of them are house trained and because they are in a home already, they are fairly used to kids and love people. Both very important things for us since I have 4 nieces.

It can take a couple weeks to hear anything, and then there's meetings and day trips with the dog.
I've told people this is our practice child. lol

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Triples, Quads, Quint's and an online competition...

Last night's pole class was fantastic!!
On the Polejunkies forum, my instructor posted a thread on swing combinations. I printed it off and took it to class last night, in hopes of learning and trying a few. That spurred on some great creativity and "ooo try this" and "that looked great, what was the combo?" I enjoyed every minute of it and it took me forever to fall asleep last night since I was so excited.
We started with combos that were triples. This was what my printed off sheet consisted of. After doing a few of the ones on the sheet, we decided that an extra spin at the end could easily be added on. I think our greatest achievment for the night was that of a 6 swing combination. Not the prettiest move, but we did it, so it counts.

Another nice surprise was my instructor asking to use one of my Polejunkies Challenge videos for an online competition. It's to get people more involved on the forum, and get people more interested in this amazing form of exercise. She's collecting challenge videos from various people that have them posted, and created a place for people to vote on. The person with the most votes wins. I will be calling on you my dear followers to vote for me when the time comes. I'm not sure when the videos will be up, but I'll let you know.