June 01, 2007
Things I've Been Doing and Why I'm Behind
Whew! May flew by like... something that flies by really fast, a run away freight train maybe? Here's what happened:
  1. I finished up my first semester of teaching. I am happy to report that all my students passed, most with mid to high Bs, a few As, and only one C. They loved me so much that across the board I got "review" scores (from the survey my students have to take to access their grades online) higher than a 4 out of 5. You can't see it, but I'm grinning like a fool right now.
  2. I graduated with my MFA in Creative Writing. Suffice to say it was a hectic time that involved balancing family obligations with graduation parties and my work schedule. No idea where to go from here...
  3. I got a second summer job (glorious work as a bookseller at Borders... I get 33% off items purchased, am interested to see how much of my paycheck actually survives).
  4. I turned old, though I don't feel old. My sister, the wonderful being that she is, not only took me out for a night on the town with some of my nearest and dearest Boston friends on the Saturday preceding my birthday, but she managed to put together a surprise party that I almost ruined! How great is she? Seriously, how great?

For my birthday, my mother and middle sister sent me this gorgeous necklace pictured below. It's made from glass beads and real wood and is totally hippy-chic (that prounouced "sheek" as in French for cool):
It is from this fabulous company called World of Good (http://www.worldofgood.com). World of Good, according to their website info page is all about:

creat[ing] opportunities for hundreds of artisan cooperatives around the world to share their best work with you by serving as a bridge to the U.S. retail market. We respectfully assist artisans by providing access to fair wages, safe working conditions and long-term economic sustainability. Learn more about the principles of fair trade. We also re-invest 10% of our profits in the artisan communities through our non-profit partner, the World of Good: Development Organization, a 501(c)(3)focused on strengthening standards for handcrafts in the international fair trade industry and also improving the lives of thousands of artisans through community development projects.

I love this idea of paying local (international) artisans--who I gather from some of the bios I read are by and large impoverished peoples--a fair wage for their work and then bringing it to the U.S. and ALSO re-investing in the community. I saw a lot of this kind of capitalization happening in my travels through India, a lot of "country bumpkins" making indigenous items that tourists just ate up. It was a great way for them to continue to practice a simplistic life, but also make some money. Plus, I'm a littly hippy, attempting this whole "going green" thing and these items TOTALLY feed into that vibe!

In other news, I am now writing book reviews over at Dust Jacket Review (http://www.dustjacketreview.com/). My handle is "tinapickles" if anyone is interested. I don't think the site is up and running yet, but should be in the near future.

I am also working on a few writing projects. I'm still trying to flesh out my novel idea, and I've re-examining a short story that I wrote about a teenage graffiti artist (and then subsequently turned into a script for a class). I'm toying with the idea of turning it into a YA book... we'll see though.

I've made a promise to myself to lose about 8 pounds this month for my sister's wedding. I'm not "fat" or anything like that. Rather, working a desk job since undergraduate graduation has lead me to become soft around the middle, and a little flabby in the arms and back area. Not to toot my own horn, but when I was in college I was in kick ass shape. I fluctuated between 125 and 130, which is an appropriate weight for someone my size and build (5' 6" and athletic with chicken legs). More importantly, I had a gym to go to free of charge which meant I could workout daily and attempted to do so (I cheated a little and considered the nightly dancing done at the bar as a form of workout). I was particularly proud of my arms, shoulders and back--all of which were well defined without being grotesquely muscular. Some how, over the past 6 years, I've let myself go. I've never had a washboard stomach or anything, rather I (used to) have a softly rounded belly bump that, while not obvious, was there and womanly. As of late, I've noticed this bump has begun to blossom into a gut. I don't want a gut. And those arms, shoulders and back muscles I was once so proud of, gone. It's not flabby back there or anything, just not tone. Also, I used to be able to run (on the treadmill) on a .5 to 1 incline at a speed of 6 to 7 for about 45 minutes and feel sweaty but great. These days, I'm lucky if I can jog for 20 without getting winded. So I want to be tone, and trim, and have a small waist again. I've started walking every morning (I suspect that being on my feet for seven hours a day at Borders may help with this) and am going to start jogging AT LEAST once around the Reservoir (about 1.25 miles). I've also come up with a abs routine that if done daily should help with the middle. As for the arms, I'm considering the merits of push-ups and light weights. I also play soccer two days a week, so I figure if I take off one day a week, I should be in (no pun intended) good shape. Wish me luck!

ALSO... wish Team HOT good luck tonight... it's our first game of the summer season!

posted by Tina at 12:34 PM
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