Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fitness Progress

It was right after coming back from the Dominican Republic for my brother's wedding that I began to work out. I saw photos of my pale self in a bikini, belly hanging out, playing chicken and I thought, hmmm better fix that. So from as soon as I landed back in the good ol' USA (and had conquered my bout of food poisoning) I hit the gym.

(You bet I untagged myself from these)

When I first walked into the new redesigned Johnson Fitness Center on campus I was afraid there would be troves of sorority girls on treadmills and lax bros lifting, but they weren't all there at 10 am on a tuesday. So I popped in some headphones and brought my baggy t-shirted self over to the stair master. That's when I noticed my friend Nina there. I confessed I didn't go to the gym often (the only time I went was freshman year with my roommate. It was the only time we hung out and she was crazy athletic) and if she wouldn't mind showing me the ropes. I tagged along watching as she showed me the machines, how to use the free weights, kettle bells, crunches. We then made a pact to meet every tuesday and thursday morning that semester. And you know what, we stuck to it. My friends Sam and Karyn also slowly became my other gym buddies and I was so motivated that I was practically going everyday to the gym. By the end of the semester we were noticing that exercises that were once difficult, we were pushing even harder for and we were starting to get muscle tone.

Then school let out and I headed out to Texas to visit Gerred for two weeks. I decided I would keep the exercise and the healthy eating up while I was there and he supported me. We would head to gym on base and he like Nina would show me new moves to work different muscle groups. The next day Gerred said, "let's go for a run on the beach." I took on the challenge and turned on my Strava app and we ran from his house, across the street, and to the beach. We ran the stretch as I listened to Backstreet boys and Spice Girls. He kept me motivated when I was ready to pass out from the Texas heat, telling me to run and slap his hand. When we finished the race I saw the achievements I unlocked and how faster I raced.

When I got back home on June 1st I noticed that Strava had updated the app with challenges. The challenges all had different specifications to help motivate you and see how you stack up against competitors. Essentially this is my lonely person's gym buddy. I can run with friends anywhere they were, see the work we did and give kudos and motivation. Naturally I signed up for three challenges: The June Doogle Run, The June Doogle Bike and The Any Way 10k.
The June Doogle is essentially challenging you to run (or bike depending on the challenge) as many kilometers as you can during the month of June. So far I'm at 33km for the June Doggle run and an improperly logged 10km (it reads 0km for now) from the bike ride I did with my dad on the Piney Orchard Nature Trail.
The Any Way 10k challenges you to run a 10k as fast as you can between June 15th and June 16th. I completed this today and I'm really surprised with myself since I've never run a 10k before and I all of a sudden up and ran it. Basically I owe my completion to the entire fitness journey I've gone through since February. I got myself to the gym, on a bike, and running as fast as I can. I'm proud of myself and ready to continue on. I have lost 10 pounds since January and would love to see where I'll be by next year.

P.S. Do you guys have Strava? If you do follow me here.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Maryland Country Adventures

My dad races bikes. He recently did a 60 mile in the backroads of the Maryland countryside. When he got back from the race he told me he saw lots of interesting barns and sights and that the next day he would take me out to see them. So we did and we had a photo adventure together. I got to try out my new camera and he practiced using my old one as we poked around little farms.

Honestly, I am in love with my Canon Rebel T3i and I really enjoyed spending the day exploring with my dad.
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

College Art

I mentioned I took a Creative Process class this past semester where I mixed stories, watercolors, and portraiture. It wasn't my first art class in college I took for fun. During my first semester at Washington College I took a beginning drawing class and produced some of these pictures. I happened upon them when I was organizing iPhoto and I thought I'd reflect on them. Caution: Nude pictures up ahead. Calm yourself, it's art.

This was a picture that I was allowed to do whatever I wanted with. I used chalk to draw and had a fun time with all the colors. I don't even know what the meaning of this is. I think I just drew what was a dream turning into a nightmare.

Ah, nude models. There was a creepy man that came in and posed in a million different ways. I then was assigned to do a large scale drawing of five different poses. I wound up with this. I remember not wanting to draw the penises at all so there are mostly blue shadow ken doll areas.

The assignment for this one was to take a photo from a magazine, cut it up and come up with what the rest of the photo would look like using oil pastels. I used an Annie Leibovitz photo from Vogue of Lady Gaga and Lily Cole and Andrew Garfield from the Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

DIY Laundry Board

For the longest time my mom would and I would put the laundry out to dry on top of couches, chairs, tables. They would wind up with plenty of orange cat hair on them and no one would be able to sit. I decided one day that this whole issue could be avoided if we jut had a designated clothes line or laundry rack. I began to look them up with my parents and found a beautiful one, but it cost way way too much. So we thought back to the DIY headboard project we did and thought "hey, why don't we just make our own laundry board?"

2 chains
1 beat board
4 wooden planks
1 clasp
2 hinges
12 dowel rods

First assemble it...yes I came into the game too late for this one. Basically, you need to build a frame that measures exactly to the beat board. Then space out the dowel rods throughout and secure them in place.  Attach hinges at the base to connect the wooden frame and the beat board so that they open like a book.  Once done, paint the wood.

The second task is to attach the chains so that when extended the board can stay up to dry the clothes. Lastly attache a clasp on the side so that you can keep the board lying against the wall when you're laundry isn't being dried. I'm not sure when that time would be though. It seems that laundry is a constant.

Then pull out that laundry board and hang your clothes on it!
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tech Spring Cleaning: The Phone

Spring is almost at its close with Summer just around the corner. Now that I'm done with school and my big New Mexico/Texas trip, I'm cracking down on my spring cleaning. I'm not just including the classic cleaning out of the closet. I've also tacked on tech spring cleaning where I'll be going through the files on my computer, photos on my phone, deleting old e-mails and making sure to back up everything. Today I'll be talking about the phone primarily.


The first thing to tackle is the phone. For awhile there I could barely do a thing on my phone because I didn't have the space for it. After sorting and going through all the old photos and contacts I don't need on my phone any longer I am much happier. 

Plug it In || Update the software on your phone and back it up. Back it up. (apps, photos, notes, etc.)

Photos || Delete unnecessary photos. The best way to do this is not to click on camera roll but to go to photos. Edit and select the photos you want to delete. I went through what was 1,000+ photos and narrowed them down to 484.

Texts || Mine range back to 2010 and have never been cleared. I'd wipe the whole slate clean.

Apps || Go through and delete the apps you don't need and update the apps you're keeping (plug it in if you have to.) Organize apps into folders. Put games with games, all social media in a social folder, and fitness and health in their own folder and so on.

Notes || Have any old grocery notes? Reminders? Random ideas? Delete them. I keep a few lists for travel ideas, movies I'd like to see, restaurants I've eaten at, blog post ideas, and my favorite books and what I'd like to read.

Voicemail || Record a new voicemail. For about a year I've had the default greeting so I thought I'd make the change. "You've reached Shannon Kirby. I'm not able to answer my phone right now, but leave a message and I'll call you right back." Also delete old messages and recent and sent calls.

Contacts || See any names you don't recognize? Placeholders that don't make sense (I have in here "Some British Guy") See people you knew from middle or high school that you sure don't talk to anymore? Ex-boyfriends? Delete them. Once you have the ones you want to keep put them into groups.

I hope that these tips help you have a much more organized phone with lots more space for photos and music!
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Monday, June 3, 2013

New Mexico (With a hint of San Antonio)

After 2 1/2 weeks my vacation is over and I'm back in the blogging world. I am incredibly grateful for my future in-laws to fly me out to New Mexico for Geralyn & LisaMarie's wedding. I had really done a lot of flying this year (Florida, Dominican Republic, and Florida again) so I was afraid I wouldn't be able to fly out but they made sure I did. And I'm so glad I got to go out and spend some time with Gerred's family (before he flew out for the wedding on Saturday.) So from Wednesday onward I spent time with Majella, Larry, Gerome, Geralyn, and LisaMarie and enjoyed myself.

Uncle Gerred || Gerred's an uncle to Adam, Aaron (and now Adena now that Geralyn and LisaMarie are married.) He's an incredible uncle, as soon as his nephews and niece saw him they all jumped into his arms at once and shouted "Uncle Gerred." I'm not an aunt yet, but when I get married I will be. Or you know when Ryan and Jenn have kids (can I say that? I just did, oh well.)

Jameson + Green Tea || Gerome and I headed to a dive bar in Downtown Albuquerque and I asked if they had any good drinks that did not involve beer or vodka. She asked if I liked whisky and if there was a camera present I would've broke the first wall and replied "Do I like whisky?" Of course, all I said was "Yesssss" and then she said I know just the thing. She handed me a jameson and green tea and it tasted fantastic.
Hanging with Gerome || We played pool, saw The Great Gatsby. (Side note about the film, it was a great Baz Luhrmann film with a great selection of Jay-Z approved songs, but I'm not sure it was the real F. Scott Fitzgerald adaptation I was looking for which honestly how can anyone do that. Fitzgeralds words are poetry! Overall a good movie though.) I got to see UNM and walk on the catwalk, see a play and meet a bunch of his friends. It was a nice bonding experience.

Literary Rogues || I got to finish this book that my cousin, Tom, got for me. It's all about the rougish lives of authors all throughout history and details their alcholism, drug abuse, wierd sex events, jail time, murder and what not. I loved that I recognized most of the writer's the book mentions and that I was surprised by all that I learned. Good read if you're an English major that always enjoys hearing the interesting biographical points that are often skipped over in lectures.

Geralyn & LisaMarie's Wedding || Saturday May 18, 2013 Geralyn and LisaMarie were finally married at the Rio Rancho Inn. New Mexico hasn't legalized gay marriage yet, but when they do they'll be signing the marriage certificate. Their wedding was touching to see because these women truly love one another. And they weren't just marrying each other, they were celebrating a union of a family with the children. The kids got to go up for the sand ceremony as LisaMarie poured in her pink, Geralyn poured in the purple, and all three kids poured in Teal. Geralyn, LisaMarie, Adam, Adena, and Aaron are all family now and I am happy for them.

Cake & Recpetion || The rainbow cupcakes were unique and tasty. I also really enjoyed dancing with the happy couple, the bridesmaids I befriended, the kids (Adam is a fantastic Michael Jackson dancer) and of course, Gerred.

Flying to Texas || The next day after the wedding was over and the happy couple flew out to Hawaii, Gerred and I hopped on our own play and made our way to Texas. We flew into San Antonio, Texas. We initially were just going to drive the 3 hours back to his home in Corpus Christi, but we decided to spend some time in the city and explore.

Margarita's on the River Walk || We explored the River Walk and enjoyed some delicious Margaritas while overlooking the river at night. It was great to finally share a drink at a bar with my fiance and well to spend time with him again.

My third time in the land of Enchantment was wonderful and I'm so blessed to have the Steckel/Olona/St.Clair's as part of my future family.
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