Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day Exercise

I'm stretching on my pilates ball this morning as I gear up to face the world. It's crowded and unpleasant out there no matter how you slice it.

This is not a photo of me or my ball. My ball is green and my arms will never look like this woman's, but I can balance like this. Mostly I hang out on my back with my arms wide to open my heart and just breathe.

This song popped into my head. Actually, Dear Mr. Fantasy popped into my head, but I didn't feel like paying iTunes $0.99 to download that song. Back when I still had my good alimony, I downloaded lots of songs from iTunes. I already had this one.

I can't say that I've listened to any new music in years unless somebody else introduced me to it. Mostly, that somebody has been Velvet and nothing I've heard from his iPod has convinced me that I need to hear more. Now that I'll be driving to Tree Hugger University and back every so often, I may start listening to the radio again - but I doubt anything as long as this song is on the radio anymore unless it's on a station like Pirate Radio. If there is radio like that out there that I can get in my car without spending any money, I wish somebody would tell me about it.

The thing that got my attention about this song today is that it seems as pertinent to the socio-economic climate as it was back in 1972.

I'm not suggesting that all us old hippy types need to take it to the streets, but if everything revolves around PR and propaganda, progressives should have a campaign too. We could send money to kids who feels like piling into the National Mall in Washington DC. It would be great if they had pitchforks like a mob of unruly peasants looking for aristocrats to lead to the guillotine. An armed progressive militia would be a nice addition. It never seems to occur to Cracker Teabaggers that some progressives have guns of their own and know how to shoot. I would never suggest shooting Crackers or Teabaggers because most likely they have more ammunition stored in their homes than progressives, but a Menopausal Stoners Militia could be a disturbing concept whose time has come.

In addition to stretching on my pilates ball, I like to do arm curls with my great granddaddy's 1912 Remington. One of my favorite Mother role models is Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) in The Terminator. My arms will never look like hers either, but all moms need to be a bad ass sometimes.

Actually, if I'm like any Mom in a movie, it's probably the Katleen Turner character in Serial Mom, Beverly Sutphin:

I've always related to Kathleen Turner and, as it happens, it seems like her body and mine have similar tendencies. No matter what shape Kathleen Turner is in, though, she evidently knows exactly what to do with her body which is a good thing. Sadly, I believe that when she was appearing on Broadway in Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf, Kathleen Turner was described as a bovine drunk. Maybe she wasn't a bovine drunk at the time, but somebody said she had hit on the plumber while wearing a dressing gown and holding a bottle of booze. I admire Kathleen Turner and that is undoubtedly a vicious rumor. Nevertheless, it's an alarming picture that carries the warning, "Don't let this happen to you," which is why I'll keep doing arm curls with the shotgun. There will be no Bovine Drunks in the Menopausal Stoners Militia. Other kinds of drunks, for sure - just not bovine ones.

But back to Traffic, Steve Winwood and The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys. I don't know what The Low Spark of High-Heeled boys means. With the inclination and a dead line, a person could write an English paper about it, but the more pertinent message is in the main verse:

The percentage you're paying is too high priced
While you're living beyond all your means
And the man in the suit has just bought a new car
From the profit he's made on your dreams . . .

If you had just a minute to breathe
and they granted you one final wish

Would you ask for something like another chance?

Good words to ponder on a morning when we're supposed to be celebrating the discoveries and accomplishments of the bloodthirsty marauder Christopher Columbus.


Gail said...


Good words to ponder, indeed.

I am going to do my WII-FIT routine - starting with Yoga stuff and then on to balancing games. -like skiing, dodging soccer balls and walking a tight rope - and the WII talks to me - telling me that balance is not my 'forte' and other criticisms as well. :-) My goodness.
Enjoy your day

Love you

Utah Savage said...

I'm now going to start working on my arms. I agree with you on the Kathleen Turner character in that Serial Mom movie. She was great in that film. I used to tend bar in a fancy little French restaurant in Springfield MO. She graduated from South West Missouri State where my last husband taught. Kathleen came home every year and for the two years I tended bar, she sat at my bar and we talked late into the night. She's a great broad. She now has a wonderful part in Dexter on Showtime. Check it out.

PENolan said...

Gail, you're talking me into getting a Wii

Utah, sounds like a good way to pass time in Missouri and I love the way you say "broad"

intelliwench said...

I want to enlist in the MSM! Maybe we can have basic training via Wii?

(intellikid can sit balancing cross-legged atop my exercise ball. Punk!)

PENolan said...

Cross Legged on top of the ball? Amazing.

If I hit lotto, we'll have MSM basic training somewhere fun where we can get high and shoot stuff. There's a preacher out in Denver who says he'll teach me to shoot any time.
Can you shoot, Intelli?

I'm betting Gail's intense neighbor can shoot the head off a grasshopper, but he's kind of odd and we may not want him around.

Who knows how to shoot?

JD said...

I like the combination of exercise and firearms. You might find other exercises that would incorporate the Remington, then make a workout video that would sell bigtime in our home state of Texas. Not to mention the Solid South. I'd want a small percentage on the deal as creative partner, but only enough to keep me supplied with my new favorite beer, Shiner Black Lager.

PENolan said...

Black Lager?
I'll be sure to try it when I'm down there at Christmas.

You may be on to something about the video. I expect we'd need pistols for free weights. You're going to have to do a lot of consulting because I don't know nuthin' about weapons (and means the world is a safer place for that reason)

danps said...

PENolan, Pimp Juice by Otis Grove has parts that sound like a classic Traffic jam (har) and the price is right.

For what it's worth I gave up on radio a couple years ago and went to MP3 sites that give away freebies from lesser-known artists. You have to wade through a lot of not-so-good stuff but the occasional gem makes it worthwhile (for me anyway). Here's my favorites from 2007 and 2008.

PENolan said...

Thanks, Danps.
I'll check them out after my nap.

Comrade Kevin said...

New music to me ceased to be listenable a few years back, but this is largely a result of me being close to thirty. The downloading revolution has deeply cut into the profits of the music industry, leaving us with crap in the interim.

It would be fantastic if we heeded the advice of that Traffic song, but many people are resistant to make change they will commit to. Change is not a passive exercise.

PENolan said...

Neither is stretching on that ball, comrade ;)

Holte Ender said...

Don't you just love Traffic, I saw them in Kansas City, before Jim Capaldi died. I am a massive Steve Winward fan, seen him three times. Great music.

PENolan said...

Hey Holte. Nice to see you.

Ritz said...

Ahhh you just took me back with that song. I forgot how much I love Traffic. Thanks for refreshing my memory.
The only new rock I listen to is my son Tony's band. Thankfully the kid's got the same taste in music as his mom and dad.
As for exercising...well I just got finished eating Texas BBQ and homemade mac n cheese. All I'm exercising are my fingers and even this is a bit much right now.

PENolan said...

Cue Homer Simpson:
Mmmmmm . . . Mac and Cheese

Anonymous said...

You need not invent an exercise, but trade your Remington for a "parade rifle" like the bands use now, and perfect the APFT rifle drill (there's video online).

Seriously. These exercises are not that hard, and will tone up your arms and shoulders and upper core.

or if you want something a little more actually useful (and a lot more beautiful, not to mention historically significant)

You too can look as fit as Herschel Walker! (Not gonna get as ripped as Terrell Owens, and that's ok. You wanna hang onto what you catch, not drop it then blame the quarterback or coaches for your butterfingers.)

Good basic easy arm exercises:

Start with 10 reps of each exercise.
You'll need a "slow count" pacer (doing these fast defeats the purpose; the downward motion should take a three-count, the back up a five-count, especially in the first two weeks. Then you can move to five-and-five.)

Stand arm's length from a solid wall, feet shoulder width apart. Place palms shoulder width apart on wall, raise on toes, perform a push-up against the wall instead of on the floor. Work up to 4 sets of 25 repetitions.

Get a tall can of Bush's beans (or similar) for each hand. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart in a clear space. Curl fingers around outside of can, balance can on hip. Breathing out, raise cans butterfly-style until your knuckles meet overhead (hold cans tightly enough not to drop on your head), counting one-thousand-one through one-thousand-five (yes, you raise them and lower them that slowly).
Work up to 4 sets of 25 daily. If you want to include a core builder in this workout, from the overhead position at the same pace lower the can to touch your (slightly bent) knee opposite, diagonally, the hip you lifted that can from. Work up to 4 sets of 25 daily.

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