8.27.2010

Squeezebox

For whatever reason, early this morning I had the strong urge to play my accordion. I guess I should start by saying, for those who don't already know, I studied the accordion from age 4-18. Music school played a huge and wonderful role in my adolescence. I loved playing the accordion and also formed some of my greatest friendships while in music lessons. I eventually stopped taking lessons when it was time to start college.

When I moved to Virginia, it was important to me to have my accordion with me. But the sad truth is, my accordion has only been out to breathe maybe three times. Which brings me to today. I can't really explain it, but I just really wanted to take her out for a spin. It is nothing like riding a bike! You can forget how to play, which can be so frustrating especially when I think back to how good I used to be. But while playing today, I saw glimmers of hope, little reminders that its still in me somewhere, and that was just enough to get me hooked. Hooked enough to practice for a solid four hours. And with that, I close with a picture of my arm with a bruise on it. For you volleyball players, you think you have it rough on the arms... try playing the accordion.

8.22.2010

Oberly Crabby

This isn't a post about me being in a crabby mood. Yesterday, Eric and I spent our afternoon with some friends at Maryland's crab and beer festival. You read that right, friends... all-you-can-eat crab and all-you-can-drink beer.


The event took place at the National Harbor, MD. When we arrived at the tented area, we got in line to  receive the above glasses to taste the various beers and wines available. We found an area under the tent to sit at, and sent the boys to get our helping of crab, corn, and coleslaw.

before:

after:

It was a lot of fun, the crab was delicious and needless to say, we made sure we got our money's worth of both crab and beer. 

8.07.2010

Life Playlist

I know a lot of people who are really into music and who are super proud of their collection of songs. I love my music too, but truth be told I'd be far too embarrassed to let anyone go through my ipod to see the randomness that is my itunes playlist. I am well aware that I like a lot of cheesy songs. But today, as Eric was away at drill, and I had the house to myself, I blasted my ipod and put it on shuffle as I was cleaning up around the house, and a series of songs came on, each that reminded me of a different time in my life, and I felt compelled to write about it.

"Water Runs Dry" by BoyzIIMen: Without a doubt, the II album started it all. My sisters and I owned the tape, and it was what was always playing in Chi Hai's powder blue 86 Corolla when she started driving. This album was what made 90s R&B my genre of choice!

"How You Gonna Act Like That" by Tyrese: Okay fine, this song doesn't really remind me of a time in my life as much as it is an inside joke between Bao and me.

"Watch What Happens" Stanley Turrentine: All instrumentals-- I know I downloaded this song because I remembered an accordion arrangement of it played at Martin Music Center, and loved it! So naturally, it made me think of my accordion days.

"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day: I can tell you exactly how the music video goes, because I watched it several times a day every day when I had my job at Hot Topic Headquaters, where TVs featuring music videos were on all day.

"So Happy Together" by The Turtles: I know I downloaded this song when my family had this short-lived idea to start a family band... we were "Too Fickle for a Name", hence the name. I spontaneously bought a drum set, Bao was on bass, An was on guitar, Chi Hai was on keyboard, and we had the Nguyens as our singers. I can't help but smile when I think of this time.

"Move Your Feet" by Junior Senior: A GREAT song to run to! I know this because it was a constant on my playlist while I thought I was half-marathon training when Eric was in Iraq. (I "thought" I was, because I actually never did run it...)

Anyway, the reminders of all these memories made me smile this morning, so I thought I'd share the happy thought with all of you. That is one of the many reasons why I love music so much.

8.04.2010

P180X

The burn-in on the screen of our plasma TV with the P90X logo reminded me to blog about my workout experience. Over 90 days ago, I made a public commitment to finish Tony Horton's 90 day workout. And no, I do not look like a body builder, but I'm happy to say I stuck to my workout commitment and it did do great things for my health and strength. So here are some of my thoughts on the program.

Sure, Tony Horton is somewhat obnoxious, and naturally you're not likely to like someone who tells you to do things that initially pains your body. But making a game out of the things he says and pushing myself to try my best and believe in the system was well worth it. Doing any physical activity an hour each day for 90 days will certainly make changes to your body, and this is a great way to do it. The program is based on "muscle confusion"-- just as your body is getting used to certain movements, the workout changes to focus on other movements. That said, there is a lot of variety in the workouts, and variety to me equals less boring. Out of the 13 disks, my favorite was the plyometrics disk, with Kenpo being a close second.

I was pretty good about this the first 60 days. Around the end of that time, I cheated on P90x with my new bicycle here and there, but overall I noticed the most change in my shoulders, arms, and legs. In fact, I'm getting ready to arm wrestle Eric. Okay, no I'm not, but I enjoyed it so much, I'm starting my second round of P90X. Now do you get the title of this blog post? P90X + P90X = P180X??... to my geeky friends, please don't give me a solution to that equation...

And on that note, free tickets to my gun show for all (and my buddy Jamie's):