Friday, June 18, 2010

This is core, strength and balance.

Remember how page 159 was "A school" and I got to pretend that I was a teacher and create a school full of things I would teach about?
Well This is Not a Book has come to life!.... kinda.

But, as I said in the last post, one of my new jobs is a gym group exercise instructor! This is something I have always wanted to do, because its fun, you help people, and you get to exercise at the same time! And now I get to teach 1 class a week (and might be teaching 2 once I get back from vacation in July).
I get to make up my own workouts, put together my own music, and design the class in any way that I want to. Which is sick.

The class that I am currently teaching is called "Core, Strength and Balance." Which basically sums up everything exercise-related. So I can basically do whatever I want in this class!

I've taught 2 classes so far, and although its nice to have some sort of routine, I tried to do different exercises in both so that people don't get bored and get a wide variety of exercises to learn. I want to put in more time to the class and really make up full routines that match the music and do research about the areas of the body and muscles that I am training...but I don't have the time! So for now I am just winging it...going off of my general knowledge from being an athlete for my entire life. Which has worked well so far. But I do plan on putting more effort into it and being a fully knowledgeable, helpful teacher and getting everybody in the best shape of their lives! While obviously having fun at the same time. Cuz you know me, I'm all about having fun :P

So for anybody in Amherst with a membership to the Recreation Center: Come to my class! Every Wednesday from 3-400 pm (minus next week when Im in Finland) and I promise to improve your core, your strength, and your balance like nobody ever has before ;)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This is work, believe it or not.

I am going to visit one of my best friends and roommates in Finland in 5 days! I am SO excited. But this is a rather expensive little vacation of mine and I plan on spending all my money once I'm there. So for the last month I have been working my butt off to save up my money. Working so much that I cant even blog!

I've been waitressing which, I think, is a lot of fun. And once you stop screwing up orders, you make pretty good money. So I do that about 4 days a week...they're short shifts though; 11-5am or 5-10pm. And then I work at the gym on campus. I only do 3 shifts a week but they are unfortunately at 645 in the morning! Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday! This wouldn't be so bad if I were adjusted to it; but with a night time waitressing job and a nighttime based college social life, its pretty difficult for me to wake up at 6 when I don't go to bed until after 1am and when my body has been incapable of taking naps since as long as I can remember.

And then two weeks ago I was also hired at the gym as an exercise class instructor. I teach a class every Wednesday and I will be starting up one on Fridays too!

So in total... I'm working about 40 hours a week; which is totally normal. But its not steady; its not Monday-Friday fact, I've been working 7 days a week because my two jobs like to schedule me on opposite days! But like I said... I want money for Finland! So I really don't care right now.

And although waitressing can be difficult sometimes when its busy, my job at the gym is SOOOO easy that I really cant even call it work.
In fact, I'm at work right now.
Yeah..I'm getting paid to do this right now :)
Every Tuesday I work the "equipment checkout" at the gym... meaning I get to sit down at a computer, go online if I want, read a book if I want, blog if I want... and all I have to do is give people a lock or a basketball or a bath towel if they ask me for it. Oh, and I have to fold all of our towels once they are done in the wash. So the only actual "work" that I have to do here is getting enough motivation to wake up and get here at 6 in the morning!! After that, its a breeze ;)
Wednesday and Thursday mornings aren't quite so easy, because there are no computers or books involved. I'm a floor supervisor; so I just walk around and talk to other people and workers and make sure everything is going okay in the gym. So I would say that the hardest part of that job is finding things to entertain me for over 4 hours!

"Working hard, or hardly working" Both seem to apply to me right now.
In fact page 177 and 178 is "A kit for attending boring events" and I purposely brought it to work with me this morning so that I could do it! The "Not a Book" had a crossword puzzle for me to solve, a picture for me to color, and a space for me to play a modified version of I-spy ... I think this page was meant to accompany somebody who was stuck at a boring event such as meeting, or waiting for a bus, or jury duty ... but for me it was meant to accompany me at work :) It honestly only helped pass the time for about 12 minutes. But hey, its better than nothing!

Monday, May 24, 2010

This is a a wicked long title just to give you a preview of what is to come in the following blog post, you'll understand once you start reading it!

Page 148 is a System. I had to chose one word from each page of This is Not a Book to form a very long sentence.

This was SO hard. Especially because every page says almost the same words ... "This is not a book. This is a ***" Not many verbs in there. And since I'm supposed to make a really long sentence, it'd be convenient for some conjunction words to be available for use. Like and or but or, or! But no. This is not a book wanted to make it very difficult for me to make a long run on sentence.

But I have to say... I pulled it off pretty well. I tried to keep a theme going so that it made some sort of sense. It's not the worst. But certainly not the best either. Anyway, here it is:

A note is a mark of time, a challenge, thought; write notes immediately, permanently; write a blank page, profile, list, shape and fill a fat book; add message and stash your notes about something random to instruct friends to embellish facts, writing between comments with a variety of things well read is a transition, or a sentence, to describe a page; document a moment, go to a portable performance to list music your leader could write to.

Yes. Take my super long run on sentence's advice and write, write, write!!! But preferably not run-on sentences, because not only are they are grammatically incorrect but they also don't make any sense and are wicked annoying.

Monday, May 17, 2010

This is my obsession with flowers

A few days ago there was a page in the (not a) book in which I had to collect 5 things to satisfy each of the 5 senses.
It was a beautiful day so I was obviously sunbathing on my deck, enjoying the first few days of my summer vacation, soaking up the sun and being beyond content with life. So as I look around my pretty back yard the first thing that comes to my mind is:
I love flowers! They are so pretty. I want to look at them every day!
And then I move on to the next sense...

I love smelling flowers! They smell so pretty! I want to smell them every day!
And then I move on to the next sense...

I love touching flowers! The petals are so soft! I want to touch them every day!
And then I move on to the next sense ...

...well, there was this one time at my aunt's wedding where a flower was placed on top of our plates of very expensive and quite delicious steak; we questioned our waiter about there being a flower on our steak and he said they were completely edible (although mostly used for visual appeal). So my cousin tried it first. And my sisters, cousins, and I all followed with a small nibble shortly after... and hence:
So then I moved on to the next sense...

.... shoot. As much as I really love flowers, you can't really hear them :(
Oh wait! Flowers have leaves. And when the leaves fall off the flower and die, they get crunchy. And then you can crunch 'em and crunch 'em and crunch 'em and they make a GREAT crunching sound .... and hence:

Flowers have successfully satisfied all of my 5 senses. Meaning they are all you need in life. Not love, not money, not even food. Just flowers. (Well....maybe some chocolate too ;)
So for all of you boys out there who still refuse to understand why girls like getting flowers, and pull silly stunts such as:
a. Buying us potted plants instead of cut flowers because plants don't die as fast [a good idea in theory. And I would still like to get a plant. But only in addition to the flowers; not in place of them].
b. Only get us flowers on special occasions such as Valentines Day when we know you are only getting them for us because you feel like you have to.
c. Getting us a fake flower so that it won't die [similar to the potted plant theory. But it doesn't smell or feel real so it just doesn't have the same effect.]
d. Only getting us flowers when you are trying to apologize or win us over. Now they are "sorry" flowers, not "happy" flowers and every time us girls look at them we just get sad that something went so wrong that you had to buy us those just to make up for it...
e. (the worst possible thing a guy could do) Never give a girl a flower...

Now, I can only speak for myself.... but I know for a fact that every girl LOVES flowers; just possibly not quite to the same extent that I do...
But if you are a boy that does any of the above listed actions, I will tell you one time, and one time only:

It doesn't need to be a dozen roses. It doesn't need to be a special occasion. Just pick a dandelion from my front yard on a Tuesday morning and put it in my hair, and I will probably fall instantly in love with you. And if that freaks you out, don't worry... because it't not actually you that I's the flowers :P I really really really love flowers!

Monday, May 10, 2010

This is an apology

I have not blogged in 20 days!
Tino, thank you for always reading and for being angry at me for not blogging in so long :) So last night, after our talk two days ago, about how I'm slacking on my blog, the thought crossed my mind that I would blog tonight! BUT thennnn at about 11:30 pm my friend started talking to me and was like "So, are you ready for tomorrow?"
So I was like ... "Of course! ...What's tomorrow?"
- "Our final."
- "Huh? No, our final is Tuesday."
- "Noooooo it's tomorrow."
- "No its Tuesday."
- "No it's tomorrow."
- (look on Spire account) .... "Omg. It's tomorrow."

He was right. My final is tomorrow and I haven't studied at all! I thought I had a full day of studying. And instead I had a few hours...
SO the blogging was put on hold.
I crammed.
And in the end, it all worked out because I'm pretty sure I A-ced it. Which was necessary for my confidence since I felt like the dumbest girl in the world for almost forgetting I had a final in the first place! But that's besides the point.
NOW I am done with school an entire day earlier than I thought! So now I am blogging :)

But, about nothing of importance. I've done some things in this is not a book. But nothing too memorable. Plus its in the other room and I am way to lazy to get up and go get it. Its summer baby. Time to relax 8-)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This is my idea of learning :)

I had an awesome weekend!
So now I will brag :)

Last Friday I traveled down to Princeton NJ with the track team for a meet and stayed until Saturday night. Everything went pretty well, the meet was fun, and Princeton is gorgeous. Then Saturday night I saw some friends. Sunday I slept in late, went grocery shopping, then had a barbecue and concert at my house! The bands that played were awesome, we had a fire going, food...great time all around. Then Monday morning I went to the Boston Marathon with my mom and brother. It was a beautiful day and the spirits were high in Boston. My dad ran great and I am SO proud of him. I know a lot of people go to the marathon to get drunk and party in the streets (which sounds totally fun!) But for me its a totally different experience. My dad puts so much into running; he trains all winter long, putting in the miles early on a Saturday morning or late at night after a long day of work....we talk about his runs over dinner; he texts me with his splits....anyway, what I'm trying to get at here is that watching him run by me for all of 6 seconds during his 3hour and 30minute race is worth the trip every year.

Sooo that about wraps up the awesomeness of my weekend. Track is fun; love my friends; went to NJ and Boston; proud of my dad.
And now back to school. Ughhhh.

Page 159: This is School.
SERIOUSLY?! I am sick of school! I don't want to do all this work. I just want a repeat of my awesome weekend over and over and over again for the rest of my life! No more work. No more deadlines. No more projects. Just fun and happiness and sunshine and rainbowssssssssss!
But 159 says that if I could teach any class, what would it be? I get to make school whatever I want it to be? Maybe this isn't so bad. I guess in that case, I would teach a class about fun and happiness and sunshine and rainbows!

But seriously...If I could teach a class I would want to teach something that makes people happy. And out of my own personal experiences, what makes me happy is when I feel physically and mentally healthy. When I am free of physical pain and mental stress. When I'm clear headed and energized.

So I would teach a class that teaches people how to reach physical and mental peace.

I'd start off with nutrition. We'd do fun things about nutrition. Not just study it...we'd do it. We'd try all kinds of exotic foods and do sensory evaluations to see how it makes us feel. How it nourishes and energizes our bodies and how it satisfies our minds and cravings. Then we'd use our energized bodies to do something physical. Nothing physical that adds stress to our lives; but something physical that makes us feel good. I would definitely teach yoga because its a practice that uses the body physically to connect with your mind mentally; so that when you are good at it...they are not two separate things at all. The mind and body are one in the same.
In this class we'd study outside.
We'd make our own garden outside and grow vegetables and then we'd have cooking class using our own organic ingredients.

(hehe downward dog yoga while planing tomatoes. Thats so me)

Oh mannnn. School would be great if I could just chill outside with friends growing tomatoes and doing yoga. I'd be the healthiest happiest person ever :) who wants to be the first to enroll in my class? :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

This is what I do with power ... I let it go!

Page 141 is a "PLOT TO RULE THE WORLD."
If I Lindsey Pfau could rule the world, I would make the following changes:

Forbid anybody or any group to ever rule the world, including myself, now and in the future until the end of time.
Yes, I would not allow me to rule the world.

The world doesn't need to be ruled. It needs to be free. It needs to do its own thing. And it would be impossible for somebody to rule the world anyway. Not only can you have no control over the actions, thoughts, and life of another person...but you can't have control over the actions, thoughts, and lives of hundreds of billions of people! And never mind people; how many times have you woken up and the rain put a damper on your day; or the sun made you smile? How can you rule the world when it is actually the world that rules you?? ... think about it ;)

Page 141 reminds me of a prompt for a high school English paper. It's trying to get me to think and be creative. It's trying to give me the opportunity to express myself and let my ideas flourish.
And so some strict high school teacher may fail me for my realistic approach to the question and say that I should use this opportunity to let my imagination flow and let my thoughts be heard.

And so, I will defend my realistic approach by saying that it goes beyond the fact that I don't think I am capable of ruling the world (for a plethora of reasons. The first being that I am blonde).
But lately I've had this new appreciation for the world.
You know that feeling when you are standing by the ocean; just looking out; waves crashing at your feet. And whether you are alone on a private beach, or at a crowded beach with little kids screaming and building sandcastles right next to you ... you can take yourself away from life for a moment and just stand there; looking out at the ocean. And you get this overwhelming feeling of everything the world has seen and been through...
Who else has stood in this very spot that you are in now? Who else has looked out at this same ocean view? Who else is looking at it right at this very moment? Who will look at it in the future? What will be here once I turn around and leave? Will the waves still crash once I turn around? Have they always done this?

Sometimes people get this feeling when they are looking at the stars too. And questions beyond the earth arise. How long ago did that light from the stars shine down on me? Are those stars even here now in real time? What else is out there?

I think these are pretty normal questions that everybody asks themselves at some point. And the funny part is...the past few weeks I've been getting the same feeling as standing by the ocean side, or looking at the stars, simply by waking up in the morning!

I wake up and feel like "Wow-another day is here. And I get to live in it." Its MY life...but I live it in this world that is shared by all of us. And none of us own it. It does its own thing. And it allows us to live in it.

So NO, I do not want anybody, including me, to rule the world. I think the world should rule us. And we should be thankful for that. Its pretty generous of the world to let us live in it =) So as a return of favors to the world, for being so generous and kind allowing us to live in the world, I officially forbid anybody from ever ruling the world from here on out!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This is a Tool (hey now, thats not nice)

Page 143 I had to come up with 50 different ways that This is Not a Book can be used as a tool or a utensil of some sort.
1. it can be used as a paper weight
2. it can be used as a shield to protect yourself
3. it can be used as a mask to hide your face behind
4. it can be used as an inspirational tool for blogging
5. used as a placeholder for other things.
6. storage place to hold little things like notes and ribbons.
7. a bookmark for other books
Those are things that I thought of on the spot, basically because I've used it for those things before. And then I was thinking of all the things I've done with the book so far... like every page is something different. Because, lets face it here guys: This is NOT a Book. It's something else. Its everything else. Every page is something different!

8. it is a tool to pass notes back and forth with friends (like I did on page 50 with Brian Tino)
9. a recording device tool (page 2 and 124)
10. an extra tool-y friend (page 46)
11. a tool to test endurance of people (page 7).
12. an escaping tool (page 9.77,129)
13. A gardening tool for growing ideas (page 12)
14. A tool to annoy people who are tools ( page 14)
15. A desk organizing tool (page 16)
16. a tool to help make quick decisions and do spontaneous things (page 19)
17. a utensil to make things disappear (page22)
18. an artists tool (page 26)
19. a thought expressing utensil (page 37)
20. a utensil for performing physics experiments (page41)
21. a communication tool....
22. a research utensil....
23. an inventory utensil....

I won't bore you with reading all 50 things that I have used this (not a) book for because since I blog about it, you should already know everything I've used it for!

This book claims NOT to be a book. Which would make one wonder...if its not a book, then what is it? And instead of giving you a clear answer...I can give you 50!

But there are a few uses of This is NOT a Book that I find particularly helpful in my life and that I used quite frequently.
I often use it as a tool to think creatively and express my thoughts.
I use it as a tool to find inspiration for blogging.
I use it as a tool to do things for no reason but for enjoyment
I use it to combine reality and fiction
I use it as a tool for introspection
I use it to find meaning in the little things in life

And that's all that really matters to me. Whether it is a book or not. Or a recording device. Or a surfboard. Or a postcard... It's what I make of it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

This is random

Page 156: This is a Random Adventure

First off I'd like to say that my sisters and mom think that I say the word random a lot. Apparently I always think things are random. I personally don't notice it that much ... but I think that in general, I just find life's happenings random.

Webster's Online Dictionary of Random: Lacking a definite plan, purpose, or pattern.

As much as we try to make sense out of things ... as much as we try to find reason behind why people do things, why people feel things, how our blood flows, why the grass is green ... I truly and honestly feel like its all just random! It's just how life is.

Even if you have a plan for your day; a purpose of going to school to get a degree; or a pattern of waking up at 8am every morning ... everything that happens around these plans, purposes, and patterns is still random. You can plan to do things in your day, but the day will happen and play itself out randomly and you have no control over it. For example, you can plan to go to the gym at 2, but you can't plan that today running on the treadmill will feel slightly harder than it did yesterday and that your shoelace comes untied at mile 1.7 and a drop of sweet is falling perfectly at the tip of your nose, and you don't see anyone at the gym today even though you ran into 3 people there yesterday .... I think that all of these things are random. No matter how hard you try, you could never plan to have that exact same experience again.

I suppose that others (including my mom and my sisters) would just say that these things are normal. And I do too. They are normal. They're things that happen in life. And I think life is random. So that's why I say it a lot.

Moving onnnnn... like I said page 156 is a Random Adventure. At first glance I would say that this is not actually random because I am doing this adventure because the book told me to (a purpose) and I did exactly what it told me to do (the plan): I went outside, walked until I saw something red, took ten steps from that location, and looked down at my feet to describe what I see.

However the adventure itself is still random. Because I don't know what is going to happen here. As much as you try to stick to a plan, you can never predict what will happen along the way.

So as I stuck to this plan, my right iPod earphone randomly fell out.
I randomly sniffed.
And a few random cars drove by.
I have no idea why, I don't know the purpose for any of that happening, and I didn't plan on any of it happening.

Then when I reached my ten steps after the red street sign ... I saw a random crack in the sidewalk. It was pretty big. The crack spread all the way from the left to the right side of the sidewalk. The left side of crack was wider than the right. The shape was random. Its direction was random. It wasn't straight or smooth .... just a big old crack. Right in the middle of where I was trying to walk.

Isn't it kind of random that EXACTLY 10 steps led me to step on this crack? I think it is. I wasn't even a centimeter over or under. I didn't lengthen my stride or take baby steps. I just walked 10 steps and randomly stepped on this big crack.

And in my head, I just thought to myself, "yeah...I would step on a crack right now." Life is full of cracks. Bumps. Holes. Life is full of ruts that get in the way of your path.
And I can't plan on when they will come. I can't rationalize a purpose as to why they are there. And I don't show any patterns as to how I deal with them when they come or how I can avoid them in the future...

These cracks and bumps and holes in life just come randomly.
And then randomly, I decided that I had enough time dwelling on this crack in the sidewalk, and I continued walking.
I can't predict when I will decide to walk away from the cracks in life, because I can't plan on anything in life. But just as random as they come to me, they will randomly leave somehow...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

a REAL spring break?!

College spring break. In March.
For those of us who have lived in New England their whole lives, we know... March is NOT spring.
Last year for spring break, I went to Florida. It was the greatest thing ever to get to nice weather for a week. But this year it didn't happen. But I feel so overwhelmed with school, trying to find a job, money ... that the truth is: going home and doing close to nothing was everything I ever dreamed of. And to top it off, the last three days have hit 70 degrees.

70 DEGREES! In Massachusetts. In March. I'm pretty sure it snowed on Easter last year...and yet it was over 70 today. Who needs Florida when I can grow my freckles right in my front yard! (Yes, I said grow my freckles. They grow in the sun. Or are re-born. They just hide for the winter time and then come spring/summer/March they POP back out!)

Anyway.. I took advantage of this beautiful weather by being outside as much as possible. So yesterday I went to the park for a nice walk by myself.
A) I needed to blow off steam after being rudely talked to by a CVS worker, but wasn't ready to exercise yet because I just ate breakfast and
B) I really had nothing else to do. Mom and Dad were working, brother in school, friends non-existent ...

I brought along NOT a Book because I had a page in mind I could do:
page 133-134:
1. Go to a place you would like to explore
2. Open This is NOT a Book flat
3. Place on ground. Spin
4. Move in the direction of the arrow (there was a giant arrow on the page saying "Go this way")
5. Repeat whenever a choice of direction presents itself.

So I did. Which is risky in a big forest park. It was surely an adventure. The first choice I came across was a 3 way stop in which there was a paved road of the path well traveled; a paved road which was blocked off; and a dirt path leading who knows where...
And the arrow pointed me to the dirt path leading who knows where.
Well after 5 minutes, you know where it lead??
Some body's backyard. Ya. I turned around, and followed the paved road of the path well traveled.
Next there was a really cool looking dirt path...but the arrow told me to keep on the paved road of the path well traveled.
Next a T in the road. Arrow told me to follow the road leading to "Trestle Pavilion". Which I did, until the next directional change where the arrow led me to the restrooms.
I was appreciative of the arrow to consider my biological needs on our adventure.
After a quick restroom break, the arrow led me to the pond, which was actually a very very sad dried up measly little pond. Then to a parking lot, to a path into the woods, to a bridge, to another bridge, to the riverbank.
I had to turn around at the riverbank, and went further into the woods, up a steep steep hill, and was stuck at a dead end at the remnants of a concrete bridge.

I dillydallied here and then took out my ITINERARY on PAGE 120:
1. Go to the closest park ... check
2. Spend 10 minutes looking at the sky. What do you see?
.... ummm I saw the sky.
.... there were no clouds, leafless tree tops were partly in my view.
3. Document yourself standing under a tree ... check
4. Arrange something you find into a circle
.... I made some weird circle out of little sticks, rocks and acorns.
5. List the number of people you see ... I saw 12 people and 3 dogs total on my park trip
6. Leave something of yours in a secret location

... well all I had with me was my cell phone, camera, and NOT of book. NONE of which I was going to leave behind. Otherwise, I had paper, pen, plastic comb ... that would all be trash if I left it in a park!! BUT then I remembered that page 118 was a: PUBLIC SPACE, where my friends were allowed to add anything they wanted to the page. And one of my friends attached a candy cane. (Yes, I've had a candy cane inside my book for over 2 months now). So I broke off a piece of the cane and left it in the middle of my circle because its food, so its not littering. And I hope that maybe some cute lucky squirrel came across it and enjoyed a special treat :)

Anyway, it was about this point were I honestly felt a little bit lost in the woods. And I decided that its probably not a good idea to take full direction from an arrow on a book that's not even a book. So I used my own brain, and backtracked and made my way safely out of the woods.

Well, its my last day of spring break and I'm already stressing about school work again :-/
Which is why I'm going to go to bed thinking about my walk in the park. Thinking about how no matter how much homework I have... the trees will keep growing, The ground will always be under me. And, no matter which path I choose to go, I will always have the choice.