Author Archives: jennifernastu

The Solution to Midlife Blahs: Bruises and Other Body Pain (Plus Dancing)

You may remember my decisions to join a roller derby and learn to play ice hockey awhile back. While thrilling to think about, I never followed up – and unfortunately I used my lack of follow-through to beat myself up for being an unmotivated hot mess, especially since I haven’t really exercised on a regular basis since I broke my ankle three years ago. Then I tried pole dancing, and that was great but it made me nauseas and I never went back. Well, I’ve got a new obsession. And it’s the superest invention in all the world. (Superest should definitely be a word if it isn’t already.)
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I Am Way Sexier than College Girls (and Also More Nauseous) 

I want my life to be this.

I’ll jump right in: The three other newbies in yesterday’s Intro to Pole class were, as feared, young, thin and relatively athletic looking. They were college friends, and when the instructor, Tausha, asked why we wanted to learn pole dancing, they said they wanted to “dance against a wall” for their boyfriends. Huh? Tausha asked me what aspects of pole was I most interested in – athletics, strength, dancing, sexiness, acrobatics – and obviously I said acrobatics. Because if I could learn to hang upside down from that pole and do other cool circus kind of stuff, that would be my jam.* Continue reading

Did I Really Just Do That? Oh, Help…

I’ve been looking for a fun new exercise regime. Actually, I have been pretending to be looking, which means for about two years I thought about looking. Finally – yay, me! – I actually bothered to type “fun exercise class” and my city into Google and found an article about a couple of unusual local classes, like one that has a bunch of cowboy gates and all the exercises are somehow done on the gates, like maybe how cowboys climb over rodeo fences to hop onto those cows – wait, bulls? – that jump around and try to throw them off. (I mean, I guess that’s what it like. I don’t actually know. The article wasn’t too clear on that.)
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Why Snails Have Ears (if You Like Music, You Really Should Know This)

Quick background: Liz and I went for a drive today to listen to Disney music and sing (we’re actually both 6) when the song Under the Sea from Little Mermaid came on. In the song, the crawfish/lobster guy, Sebastian, is singing about his “hot crustacean band” and all its members. Liz heard the line “each little snail ear*, know how to wail here…” and she wondered why Sebastian is singing about snails’ ears. As a singer, she needed to know the truth about this – she might need the details for, say, a test in later life. In case any of you other musicians aren’t familiar with this obscure but important time in the history of music, here it is (as told by me to Lizzie via text):
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Something Good May Come Of This (but It Still Sucks)

You know what you get when you get complacent? A kick in the ass, that’s what.

Say you love to sing – like, really love to sing – and you take a singing lesson every Tuesday and it’s the highlight of your week, and your singing teacher is a close friend, and you talk about show tunes and you sing show tunes and you introduce each other to new show tunes, and you get better at singing and you both get excited about that, and when you hear new songs on your Broadway radio station you get excited to tell your friend/singing teacher about them and maybe to work on them with her, and when friends ask, “Are you doing anything with your singing?” you say, “Not really, but I take lessons and do a couple recitals a year and I love it and that’s really all I need,” and you sing in the church choir but not consistently because you have a hard time committing to getting up early every Sunday but even that’s okay because you still have your singing lesson every week and it’s still the highlight of your week, so you don’t pursue singing in any other way, you don’t go out of your way to find other singing opportunities because your Tuesday singing totally fulfills you so you’re perfectly content and complacent with the way your singing life is proceeding… and so what happens then is that out of the blue you get an email from your friend that she is MOVING TO MAINE and that you won’t have her or your weekly lessons come May.
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How to Talk to Your Kids about Sex. And Snacks. And Other Stuff.

One of the reasons parenting is so exhausting, in addition to all the usual running around, is that you’re giving your all (and then some) to teach your kids how to live. I was struck by this thought today: it’s all up to Paul and me. Yes, other people come into play: grandparents, friends, teachers, other people in the line at Starbucks. But for the most part, the shaping of their character — the teaching of right from wrong — is in our hands. With newborn babies, our main job is simply keeping them alive. But later on? You have to teach them how to be.
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