Category: warning! these blog posts contain no images whatsoever! not for the faint-hearted!

it did move, it really did, I swear!

Yes, I admit I’d need a state-of-the-art, ultra-high-tech piece of measuring equipment from MIT or NASA to prove that there was actual movement, but STILL! There really was!

You see, a couple of weeks ago I set myself a goal: To do one chin-up!

This isn’t the first time I’ve decided to make myself stronger, but who knows? Maybe THIS TIME I actually will!

First: Inspiration! I saw my almost-18-year-old godson do pull-ups. He just grabbed whatever was handy and pulled himself up so effortlessly, no, effervescently, transcendentally! Sure, beads of sweat appeared on his forehead, but then he just went on to something else as if he’d done nothing more than take a sip of water. WOW!

Second: Research! I went online to read articles and watch videos and came to the conclusion that a weakling like me has to go SLOW. Which means just hanging from a bar. Vs. hanging out in a bar, ha ha!

ANYWAY, one trainer said the first goal is to be able to hang from a bar, arms straight, for 30 solid seconds. I set upon that goal with gusto! About seven and a half seconds later I was moaning and whining with pain.. My hands, ouch ouch ouch!

Oh boy, I’m EVEN weaker than I thought: Not even an ant could stumble on my pain threshold! I’m not sure even level zero is low enough in my case.

Oh well, I will simply go SUPER slow! And I have: For the past two weeks or so I’ve been hanging from a bar almost every day. I’m not exaggerating one bit when I say that I HAD TO take a couple of rest days. (Ouch!)

My personal record in hanging from a bar: 19 seconds! Wohoo, ALMOST two-thirds of the way towards the first goal! And it’s getting a bit boring.. So today I decided to make the hanging more interesting by first doing some abs by lifting my knees up, and then I thought that I might as well try to pull myself up, just a tiny little bit.

Well, like I said, I don’t think it qualified as “tiny little bit”, but stage 3: First glimmer of SUCCESS! Muscles in my arms and core WERE activated and I felt my arms bend and my body lift up!! Just for an almost imperceptible moment, but the movement started with my feet already in the air so it wasn’t a case of me mistaking tippy-toeing with actual lift-off so WOHOO!

Yeah, yeah, in terms of actual chin-ups I have no reason to keep my head high and chin up, at least not in a way that can be seen with the naked eye, BUT I once saw a World’s Strongest Woman competition where the contestants had to pull a little HOUSE set on tracks and I couldn’t see the houses move one bit! I did see the ladies really struggle, though, and official results showed most of them HAD pulled the house an inch or so! SO!

SO with all that I wanted to say that others may mock you, and maybe NOBODY understands the significance of your achievements, but you DID make it to the top of the mountain! Even if you were there only fleetingly, almost imperceptibly, you DID scale your own personal north face of the Eiger! And you’ll keep going even higher!

(Whether I’ll ever be able to pull my chin above a bar is a different matter..)

remember Leonardo DiCaprio’s secret, fat girlfriend?

You know, the one I wrote about quite a while back?

Well, I’m now convinced his latest secret, fat girl has to be Lady Gaga! At least based on how some people have been commenting on her Super Bowl show where she dared – gasp! – to reveal her apparently less than perfect midriff. (!!?) There must be something seriously wrong with my eyesight because I can’t see the “pot belly” those people are so disgusted by. All I see is a beautiful woman, but hey, I’ve been wrong before so let’s roll with this fat-a-gaga theory!

After all, these days, if a woman doesn’t have rock-hard abs covered with nothing but flawless skin, she is considered FAT. In other words, Lady Gaga is perfect for the closeted fat-lover Leo! FINALLY he has something he can really grab and squeeze and hang on to! And she can finally relax and feel worthy! To think that to this day she’s only had talent and hard work to fall back on!!

Quite a while back I also wrote about my decision to lose weight. I haven’t talked about that since so you guessed it, I haven’t lost all that much weight. In fact, I’ve gained – not any weight, but insights into the whole women and weight and stomachs and pressure thing that makes so many people go gaga. And one of the most astonishing discoveries I’ve made is how even people I thought couldn’t care less about people’s looks or weight in fact care a great deal more than is healthy for them! On the other hand, some people who look like their lives are all about looks actually live lives filled with a much deeper purpose.

All that has led me into writing about the subject. I am currently working on a story about one woman’s panic-filled Saturday night in which I explore all those issues. More about that later this year! In the meanwhile I wish Leo and Gaga all the best!

 

with all your might

Click here and you’ll get to know Balkissa Chaibou, a young woman who had the courage  to say ‘no’ to marriage, the tenacity to work her way to medical school and the grace to help other girls turn their lives around.

Balkissa is right:

you have to fight!

you have to study!

until your face is ruddy!

even if you’re muddy!

study!

study!

study!

and blow Balkissa a kiss:

she’s one incredible miss!

two quirky letters to the editor in an Irish newspaper proving the great Irish literary tradition is as strong as ever!

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one of those moments which would have gone viral

I’ve heard that there actually are people who only do things if they can take a photo of it or video it in order to publish it on social media. I’m not one of those people, which is why I just went to the bathroom without taking a camera with me. Which is why I am not at this moment the latest youtube wonder.

I reached for the toilet paper. And suddenly froze. Right there on top of the roll was a spider! I used to be terrified of spiders, but I’ve come a long way so I went right ahead and started to pull the paper out. And the spider started to move backwards in order to stay on top of the roll. Which means that I had just turned a roll of toilet paper into a spider treadmill!

It was so funny that I just kept on pulling more paper out, but after about 10 seconds the spider decided to step out. Can’t blame it, running on a treadmill is so boring! Except, of course, when the treadmill is a roll of TP and the running is done by a spider!

*The best videos in life tend to be the ones which never become videos.

what a honker! (and no, i did not say that out loud..)

I sat on a park bench yesterday. A woman sat down next to me holding a tiny baby in such a way that I could see its side profile. Wow! What an impressive nose that baby had, a true windbreaker! It was statuesque, regal even, not words I’ve ever used before in connection with a baby.

Now, the thing is that I had thought that all babies have “baby noses” and the final shape of the nose develops later. Not that I’d actively thought about it, it’s just that my surprised reaction revealed that I must have had that assumption hidden somewhere in my subconscious.

I stand corrected: there’s obviously no such thing as a universal “baby nose” (which then morphs into the “real” nose.)

Except there is! There’s the undeniable, indisputable fact that all baby noses are ADORABLE! All babies are as cute as buttons!

Unfortunately, as we outgrow our cute baby clothes, our looks will be scrutinized, judged or even ridiculed, which is great news for the cosmetics, diet pill, plastic surgery and therapy industries, but there’s nothing great about that baby, twenty years from now, feeling depressed and contemplating a nose job because of too narrowly defined beauty ideals and the emphasis on looks even where it’s completely irrelevant (and let’s face it: mostly it is.) and because people can be so insensitive and impolite.

Which is only human, of course. After all,underneath the (hopefully!) glimmering surface of our minds there are vast depths of primitive reactions, prejudices, flash judgments and other such creatures, which can be useful, save our lives even, but which in most cases should not be let out (of our mouths..)

Keep the im out of polite, people!