Time has, of course, been speeding by, although this was the first weekend in a long time that I didn't need to go run lots of errands. I got laundry done, and my eyebrows. I went to the info meeting for the Austra!ia trip. The itinerary is brand new, and sounds awesome. It includes the Sydney, the Outback, and the Great Barrier Reef. All the big Aussie attractions. I hope I get to go! (I'm the most junior teacher, so I could get bumped if there aren't enough students.)
Today was a quiet day, watching tv and trying to book a hostel for Amsterdam. I totally haven't been thinking that the Christmas-New Year week is a very popular time to travel, and thus it is already tough to book a place for the entire time. I booked a hostel bed for the first three nights, in the hopes of one of two things happening: A) I go visit another city, since I get antsy staying in one place for more than four days; or B) I beg the same hostel for cancellation spots. The prices bump way up for those last three nights, too.
Boyfriend has a three-year-old digital camera, aka a dinosaur. It is really large, taking a huge memory card, and it even has a lens cap! Serious old school. Anyway, so in theory he's been looking for a new, updated camera. Every time we are in a store that carries them, we go play around and see what's out there. Recently he found a great one while at Target, a Canon Powershot SD600. He's probably going to get it around Christmas.
My own digital camera just turned two, and it's definitely showing its age. Spots are wearing off, and since I've dropped it a couple times on very hard pavement, the lens makes a grinding noise every time it turns on and off. It makes me nervous when I think about it, though now I don't think about it. At least until I see a regular one that silently whirres on. Recently, on occasion when I zoom in, the screen goes white, claiming "Lens Error." I have to turn it off and back on again, holding my breath that it still works. Ack.
So all the talk and looking makes me try to rationalize buying a new camera myself. On the one hand, it's getting old, as I just described. And it can't take night pictures to save its life. I'm going on two big trips soon, and I would be even more excited to take pictures with a shiny new gadget.
On the other hand, a new camera still runs around $200, give or take fifty bucks. And that's really not a lot of money, but I'm still not quite pulling ahead in my finances (though I should very soon). Especially since I have another plane ticket to pay for. My camera, rickety though it may be, runs on AA batteries, which are available anywhere in the world. And except for night-time, the pictures are pretty damn great. Especially since I discovered macro, which is awesome. And it's always fun to play with black and white. New cameras have all those features as well, but mine still works fairly well.
I have tried to compromise with myself and say that I can buy one after Christmas sometime, in time for my February trip. My Amsterdam lodging will cost at least the same as a new camera, so I really shouldn't buy anything big until things are more caught up, money-wise.
As part of my cable, I have a channel called FitTV. It's kind of cheesy, but I kind of love it. There are a bunch of daily fitness shows, of all different types--yoga, strength, cardio, etc, where every day it's a different routine. Plus there's a series called All Star Workouts, where every day is a different kind of workout. This summer I did a great episode of hip hop dance, which was a lot of fun. I record the morning episodes of Total Body Sculpt with Gilad, which is cheesy, but also fun, challenging, and best of all, short. Last week's lunge-heavy workout had me shaky for nearly three days. FitTV, along with the yoga (Bodyflow) tapes I have from a couple years ago, provides an effective and ever-changing workout rotation.
I've never been a runner, or a hardcore aerobic exercise fan, because I've never had great endurance. Whenever I do a big cardio workout, my face gets all hot and red and my head hurts. Ugh, it's awful. That was the case for awhile when I started taking kickboxing classes. I always felt weak and got a nasty headache. Eventually, though, the more I did the class, I didn't get all redfaced and achy! The moves were so fun, all the punches and kicks, and I came to love it.
Unfortunately, all the bending and jumping, combined with one tough weekend hike, my knees gave out in June 2003 and I had to give up all working out completely. Later in the summer I began walking at lunch and loving that. Since that was easily the best part of my day, and I always dreaded going back into the office after that, I knew I had to quit long before I actually did. Anyway.
So this morning, I saw a Cardio workout in the tv listings. I've been craving cardio, but have been wary to actually do anything. (Also, I'm lazy.) So I recorded this show, called Kick, Punch, and Crunch.
I turned it on around six, and saw that it was a kickboxing workout. Very quickly, the moves came back to me--the power, the footwork, the adrenaline. It was fantastic! The sweat came quickly and completely, which felt great in a gross kind of way. I got out of breath, but it still felt great. When I could, I sipped on some water, in hopes it would stave off any discomfort. Sadly, that didn't work. As soon as the workout went to the floor, the blood rushed to my head and therein arrived the nasty headache. But I made it through the rest of the workout, and then took a cool shower. I was relieved that my face wasn't nearly as red and blotchy as it could be.
The head pounding has faded a bit, and I can already feel soreness seeping in, in the chest and the back of my shoulders. Hoo boy, tomorrow I will not be wanting to lift anything! Regardless, I loved doing the kickboxing workout, and I hope that it will encourage me to keep on putting cardio in my workout routine. My muscles are getting better, but I always need to work on endurance. Wish me luck and lots of breath!
This week has two half-days of teaching, so I've convinced myself that it's okay I haven't done any work this weekend. I'll catch up on the off-time later. It would be a good idea to have some preliminary grade info for conferences this week, so we'll see if I can work on that. If not, meh, I've got my homemade gradebook.