Um, so I last posted on November 16? Time flies, huh?
So, thank you all so much for your input on hairstyles! I had not known such regional variation existed. I certainly wasn't trying to establish that my labels were definitive - I just realized that I'd heard all these variations and wondered whether I completely misunderstood what you were supposed to call them, or if there really were different labels in different places. I mean, I know all about pop and soda and coke and bubblers and water fountains, but had never heard about hairstyles before!
Interesting that some people both across the pond and here had the same labels that I did - I wondered if I could blame my British mother (did I ever tell you about how she told the eye doctor when I was a wee child that she was worried I had a squint, and he said no, I just had heavy eye folds? It was not until I was literally in high school that I figured out she had meant what Americans call a cross-eye (or crossed eye) and she and the doctor had talked competely across each other. Good thing my eyes ended up normal anyway). And bunches! I had completely forgotten about bunches! (I think my mom gave up on that label after we'd been in the US for a bit.)
Exercise update: I have kept going to yoga and spin classes! (Insert burbling paen to how much I like working 9-5 and NOT feeling like I have to work when I go home, which has enabled this unusual-for-me trend.) And this week I achieved two completely new things:
(1) I went to my first non-beginner yoga class, and did not suck! (not any more than I usually do. I can't do anything requiring significant flexibility, like a standing half split or whatever that is, or arm strength, like fancy backbends. But I have fairly decent balance. And I enjoy it.)
(2) In spin class, the instructor keeps telling us to get our watts up to our body weight. (One woman tonight said, "You mean our goal weight, right?") For the first time today, I did that! And kept it there, and went higher when pushed to do so. And it felt good!
The thing I've found interesting about this studio is that I feel like I'm regularly one of the oldest people in class (I know, I have a thing about age; you will just have to put up with it by now). The exception was when I took a Yin yoga class, in which, instead of actively stretching the muscles, you passively stretch the connective tissue, which entails getting into poses and holding them for 3-5 minutes (much longer than ordinary yoga) so gravity can do its work. This was not a high-energy class; I literally did not break a sweat. It was nonetheless one of the most painful things I've ever experienced. (Did I mention I'm not flexible?)
Anyway, the Yin class was, for a change, full of women older than me. But I find it weird that so few of them are in the other classes. I'd say the average age is late 20s-early 30s, and I was trying to figure out why that's so. It can't be that most women my age just don't want a high-intensity workout. Maybe it's that most women my age who live near this studio have too many other things going on in their lives (kids etc.) to take evening classes? Maybe not many women my age actually live near this studio? (It's quite small and probably draws just from the immediate area, which is a fairly young part of town.) Or, I wondered: is it because it's cheap? The studio is pretty small and not super fancy - for instance, in addition to the less than glamorous basement yoga space (which I've gotten used to) there's no real locker room; no showers, one restroom and one changing room that began life as a closet. This is not a problem for me because 1) it keeps the membership affordable and 2) I live 3 blocks from the studio so I can pretty much always go home to change into workout gear after work, and go home to shower/change after the workout. But I could see people with more disposable income than I have being willing to pay a bit more to have fancier facilities.
What else... Work continues to go well. I do find the gender dynamics and "mommy track"-ing in my court kind of fascinating, which leads to various musings on the tension between an enjoyable life and career success/prestige, but that's probably all I should say about that.
I'm volunteering at a local animal shelter, and each weekend I fall in love with a different cat - usually the ones who promptly climb in my lap and up my chest for hugs. Recently there's Boo Boo, whom I have lovingly dubbed Manic Kitten, because that's what he is. A long-haired brown tabby with white feet and stomach and big green eyes, he is absolutely nutso. But someone has to adopt him because he's gorgeous and sweet on top of being nutso.
There are hard parts of this, of course. There was one cat, I thought he was growling at me, until I realized he had such a bad upper respiratory infection that he couldn't breathe without making noise. Last week there was the young woman whose cat had got lost and she was just going through the shelter hoping she'd see him there, even though she'd checked all the lost and found cats and he wasn't there. (He was a black cat - they can be so hard to tell apart.) And then there was the guy with his little girl, who asked the name of one of the cats, explaining that he was starting his second round of chemo and had had to change his living situation, so had previously had to bring his cats to the shelter, and was just there looking to see if they'd been adopted yet.
So. There's a cheerful ending note.