An Experiment in Travelcise

I know I rag on Casey, The Queen of Pain, a lot. But she really is sweet. Except when she's causing you intense pain by insisting that you do things with your body that The Good Lord never intended--just so y'all know, the laws of physics dictate that I cannot put weights on this chest and do sit-ups. Or when she has the microphone and thinks of some bit of entertaining sarcasm at your expense. Frequently, the pain and the sarcasm are delivered simultaneously. But I digress...she's sweet, really.

Like just this morning, knowing that I am in a hotel room somewhere in rural Alabama and thus unable to report for torture, she emailed me a link to download Jazzercise podcasts, especially designed for the traveler. Frequently I have lamented to Her Royal Agony that I need a DVD of her toture sessions--I mean class--so I can Jazzercise while traveling. I knew it wouldn't be Casey (or Myra, Diane, Wendy, Julie, Donna, Jenny or Michelle) on the podcast, but I thought, "Hey, why not give it a try?" So I did.

The first obstacle was an educational one. I am (while not computer illiterate) somewhat behind the times. In my world, podcast = ipod = Apple computers. I have an IBM Thinkpad. So, I followed the link the QOP sent, went to the Jazzercise site, clicked iTunes, and got the scoop. I know, I'm behind.

It took me a while to download and install the software. Software that is Apple derivative has a somewhat different look and feel than that which is IBM derivative. Anyway, I got that done, went back to the Jazzercise site and downloaded the five available podcasts. So far so good.

It wasn't intuitively obvious how to start this stuff up after it was loaded, but finally, in a box so small I had to get out a magnifying glass, Shanna Missett Nelson, daughter of Jazzercise founder Judi Sheppard Missett, appeared. Now Shanna, like her mother, looks like your stereotypical aerobics instructor. Perfect, right down to the hair and makeup. At least that's how she looked in the little box with my magnifying glass. I tried making the box bigger, but every time I tried, the whole shebang locked up and I had to start Shanna over.

For authenticity, they taped these podcasts in actual hotel rooms. Shanna demonstrated the first exercise, using a hotel room chair. Now, her chair was not exactly like mine: mine has wheels--it's a desk chair. But I thought maybe it would work. This was foolishness.

I sat on the edge of the chair, just like Shanna demonstrated, and put my hands on the seat. But just as I lowered my VOLUPTUOUS derriere for the first of ten reps of some strange variation of a pushup, the chair rolled backwards, slamming against the wall, and I landed with a loud thud on the floor. The two ladies who were cleaning the room next door came running. They knocked on the door, yelling "housekeeping!" Evidently they couldn't hear me calling back that everything was okay--or didn't understand what I was saying--so they used the pass key and came on in.

By this time, I had picked myself up and was limping towards the door. They looked around the room a little curiously, and asked (I'm guessing here) if I was all right. Their English was limited to the words"housekeeping", "towels", and "have a nice day." My Spanish is limited to "taco," "burrito," and "chimichanga." I pointed to Shanna in her little box, but they weren't curious enough to come see what was on my computer screen. Who knows what they've seen on other laptops left open in guest rooms. They backed out of the room, no doubt wondering what in the name of common sense I'd been doing.

Okay, so my first session of Travelcise didn't go smoothly. But as soon as I purchase a tube (looks like a jump rope, only made out of rubber) --which I need for the next exercise in the set, I'll give it another go. Meanwhile, maybe I'll hop on that treadmill downstairs. After I finish editing a short story and ice my bruise. Maybe.

Peace, out...

Coming Up For Air

Hey y'all. Sorry it's been a while. I'm still writing, still VOLUPTUOUS, and still trying to grow in the former area and shrink in the latter. But things have been hectic lately. I'm a volunteer for the South Carolina Writer's Workshop, and we just had our annual conference this weekend in Myrtle Beach. Actually, to be accurate, I'm on the board of directors, and this year, my assigned task was door prizes and auction items.

Now, if you think about it--and I have, trust me, given this a great deal of thought--it is moronic to sell things to raise money to help support the organization while simultaneously giving stuff away. But we do it. Every year. And by golly, if I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it right. So this year we gave away a ton of stuff. And we sold a ton of stuff. And I'm exhausted.

Writer's conferences are a fantastic way to invest in your development as a writer. I've been to a few over the last several years, and it's incredible how much you soak up, especially from the social events. Just being around a bunch of literary types gets your creative engine all revved up. And it's amazing how generous successful authors, editors and agents are when dealing with crowds of writers who just have one quick question that takes 20 minutes.

Anyway, the conference was a success, and this week I'm traveling with Jim. We're in some corner of Alabama that I was previously unfamiliar with, about an hour outside of Birmingham. I plan to catch up on sleep, writing, and reading.

I'll catch up on Jazzercise next week. Hopefully I'll still be able to fit in my clothes by then. I've been stress eating a lot. Yeah, I know, Diane...There's no way I'll catch up now.

But we had a lot of door prizes.

Peace, out...