Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Barre Burn: ballet let by drill instructors

Welcome back everyone! Or should I say no one, as I suspect no one is reading this blog that lapsed into insignificance twice over five years ago?
I could have used the "circle" to draw this face, but opted for artistic integrity. I think it really works.

Regardless, I'm going to try something new. In an effort to turn my current Play-Doh-and-bones physique into something resembling human, I joined ClassPass.1 To encourage my own participation, I'm going to blog about the weird and wonderful classes I try here.

Week 1: Barre Burn 
Lava BarreArlington, VA; 12:15 - 1:00 pm, January 18th

What I expected: Something like my elementary ballet classes, only with less getting yelled at for zoning out and maybe more rock-and-roll music.

What it looked like: The space looked exactly like a ballet studio, but with intimidating extra equipment set up at the barre. This included a super thick black mat, about half the length of a yoga mat; two sizes of balls (ha), both of the kickball variety/weight; a black strap, like a webbed belt; and a pink strap, made of a futuristic material I could not identify.

How I spent the 10 minutes before class started: Unsticking the pink futuristic strap from itself, staring at out the window at people's feet, wondering if you should stretch for what I assumed was a stretching class.

What I thought at the beginning: This is like ballet... if the ballerinas were high on speed, like Jessie Spano on Saved by the Bell. Also, I might be the only person in this room who would even get that reference:

What I thought in the middle: Oh shit, we're using all the muscles I DESTROYED earlier this week doing Jillian Michaels videos and running for the first time in 6 weeks. This is going to be rough. 

What I thought at the end: OH YEAH I LIKE BIG BUTTS! Sir Mix-a-Lot really made the last move, where we did the bridge pose from yoga and then shoved our pelvises (pelvii?) around in circles much more pleasant. Also, maybe the instructor WAS old enough to remember Saved by the Bell after all. Or she was a hipster.

Final assessment: This was a legitimately tough workout on the muscles, though I sweated so little that I didn't even shower before returning to work. On the other hand, I have my own office, and I also ate beans for lunch after that, so maybe my standards for smelliness are not the same as everyone else's. Also, we barely used the barre in this "barre" class.

Recommended for: Toning, particularly if you're not already doing any lifting or circuit training. People who want a midday workout but not a midday shower.

Not recommended for: Working up a sweat, getting an endorphin rush, etc. Also, it was pretty hard on my hips at some points, because I am not a flexible person.

So that's that. Tell me in the comments about your barre experiences, or recommend other weird workouts for me to try!

1. I was NOT paid for this endorsement, for reasons that will probably quickly become clear.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In related news...

I'm working on a few illustrations to fill in gaps on "Dreams," but when that's done if you want a PDF of it or whatever, let me know.

In related news (get it, that's the title?) do you know what's really really good for your mental state only not really, but the opposite? Sitting at home all day watching a Law and Order: Special Victims Unit marathon with a migraine. Something about the combination of the physical sense of doom created by crushing pain and the psychological sense of doom created by watching everybody be really really not nice to each other leads to severe paranoia and a craving for bread pudding. Check my Tumblr tomorrow for the consequences...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dreams: The conclusion


Roger and David put an ad in the paper. "Vintage Thrift Store Finds for CHEAP!" it claimed. They gave their phone number and their address, and people came from all over the city to buy the "classic" trash until the apartment was nearly empty. David was saving his Keebler Elf for last, and after three days they were down to a Barbie lunchbox and a green plastic flamingo besides.

On the third day they began to receive menacing phone calls about the "value" of their items, and they disconnected their phone. On the fourth day, a knock came at the door. David stood, motionless, and stared at Roger. Roger stood motionless and stared at David. Slowly, quietly David crept to the door and put his eye up to the peephole. He took a step back and looked to Roger, who nodded in return. David opened the door.


Finally, Barbie Lunchbox’s dream came true. One day the crack of light came again, and instead of a thump or a thumpthump or even a thumpthumpthump, she heard a rustling. Every day after that and sometimes more than once, the crack of light appeared and piles of junk disappeared.

And finally, she herself was brought out of the bedroom and allowed to sit with an elf, a plastic flamingo and two men at the supper table. Just then there was a knock at the door.

The door opened, and miracle of miracles, the lovely Queen of the Plants entered. She ran from the door to the table, scooped up her beloved Barbie Lunchbox in her arms and spun around three times, laughing. Barbie Lunchbox laughed as well. Barbie went home with her beloved, and they lived together happily ever after.


David stepped back from the door to let in a tiny tornado that spun toward one of his last relics, grabbed it, and spun away again, just as fast. He looked at the woman in the door. Karen looked at Roger. "How much?" she asked.

“Two bucks," answered Roger.

"And you can have the Elf for only a dollar more" added David.

Karen paid the men and left. Roger and David threw the flamingo out their fourth floor window, and they lived together happily ever after.


Karen took her purchase home, and set him on her coffee table. She cocked her head to one side and said "Hey there."

The Elf smiled and offered her his plate of cookies.

The End.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Part 11: Lonesome

Part XI: Lonesome

"Whaddya want?" growled David as he opened the door. Before him stood a very rumpled man in a brown suit and a white hat that read "SweetMan." David chuckled despite himself.

Roger began to cry. "I don’t know!" he sobbed.

David stopped laughing. He stood back from the door to let Roger in, and directed him to the couch.

Roger looked around the room. Nearly every inch of floor space was covered with decaying, decrepit, broken, busted junk, and on the coffee table stood the Keebler Elf, smiling sarcastically at him. Roger shuddered.

"What’s your name?" asked David.

"Roger," sniffled Roger.

"Mine’s David," said David, and shook Roger’s hand.


When they left the store, Karen’s car was gone. She stood in the spot where she had left it, looking down at the iridescent puddle of oily water and wishing she had put on shoes. When Karen looked up, she saw a handwritten sign on the tree in front of her. "Vintage Thrift Store Finds for CHEAP!" it read, and it listed sample items, one of which was a pink, plastic, Barbie lunchbox.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Karen drove with her tiny guide into the heart of the city where they wandered for three hours without finding Elm Avenue. Finally, the little Queen turned to Karen, and said, "STOP!"

Karen sighed. She looked down at the Queen of the Plants and said, "This is ridiculous." The Queen looked up at her and frowned. She stomped her foot and said emphatically, "stop Stop STop STOp STOP!!"

Karen stomped on the brakes. She looked down the street. She looked up the street. She looked across the street. Then she looked beside her and saw, to her surprise, The Warehouse Thrift Store.

Karen parked and walked in, and her tiny companion followed.

The two walked up to the elderly clerk, and Karen stared at her with her mouth hanging open. The woman stared back with two of her chins on her chest.

The Queen of the Plants piped up, "WHERE’S MY BARBIE LUNCHBOX?" she demanded.

"Look fer it yerself," warbled the clerk, and turned away.

Up and down the aisles the Queen wandered, and Karen shuffled behind. Through 43 dumpsters of clothes and toys they sifted and came up with nothing.

The Queen (predictably) pouted. She stomped her foot again, and said, “GO!”

Karen left the store, wondering where she was to go, and the Queen followed close behind.