I went to AVAC today to exercise. I finally did weights as well as a machine. I can never remember what these machines I use are called, but I like them. I find them predictable and I find comfort in that. So I had been sticking to them, usually doing two different machines in a session, and I was ignoring weights. But because of last Friday evening I have been horrified and humiliated into getting back to doing not only machines but those darn weights as well. What did I do (or attempt to do?) Bowling.

Yep. You read that right. I tried to bowl. Now bowling is one of those things I think a lot of us like to mock. We might think that people who bowl don’t exactly read literature. They read TV Guide. They don’t drink a fine wine. They drink Bud. And they watch reality TV. Oh … and smoke.

Um. Okay. Maybe “we” don’s assume that. Maybe I kind of put those things with bowlers. I’m a really rotten person that way. I have these stereotypes, you see. (You should hear some of my other stereotypes. They’re really funny if you can lighten up and laugh at me. I laugh at me a lot. Trust me, it’s fun!) Mind you, I don’t truly believe these stereotypes, but I can joke about it, can’t I? So maybe I do think there might be a bit of truth in them or something. (Sorry, I am NOT making sense, am I?) Like the instrument stereotypes. Oh yes. They are at least close to true. Really.

But … back to the story … I bowled because I was chaperoning my son’s vocal jazz group. They sang at a “gig” (they love that word) and their payment was two hours of bowling with free and unlimited soda and pretzels. Woo hoo! Now I bowled for a semester in college; it was to fulfill the PE requirement, believe it or not. I would have done a second semester too, but we were told that we’d actually have to write a paper for the second semester so I dropped the class and moved on to archery. (Do you see a pattern here? I obviously love sports, eh?) I wasn’t a bad bowler, but that was a million years ago. So when I bowled three games Friday night I scored 127, 112, and … sigh … I was getting tired, you see … 56. Hah! But the incredibly sad thing was I was SORE the next day, and by Sunday I felt as if I could hardly move my left leg because my hip hurt so badly.

Thus. Weights today. And from now on. I hope.

Playing oboe isn’t exactly great exercise. I do a lot of sitting. The oboe isn’t heavy, so my arms aren’t benefitting from the hours I hold it. (But you should see the muscle between my right thumb and pointer finger—it’s really amazing. I think it’s from holding the English horn. It’s the one buff part of my body!) I probably have very good lungs, but that doesn’t help the thighs. I have strong mouth muscles, but I doubt that would impress my doctor. I’ve never been horrendously overweight, and I was actually almost thin at some points in my life, but now I guess I see myself as about ten or fifteen pounds overweight and extremely weak and unfit. (Even after over two years at the health club. Sigh.) I’m 49. Next November I’ll turn 50. (See how well I do math?) So I really must get my act together. And if I’m a good girl for long enough I might even try bowling again just to see if I can do better.

Today the weights were okay, although I had to go for lighter ones than I used to use. (I don’t do free weights, but I do machines. Yes. I like machines.) But I enjoyed myself, which is good. The only rotten thing was that, when I was finishing up, I got Teddy Bears’ Picnic in my head and it wouldn’t go away. Where it came from I don’t know. I still don’t see a connection to exercise.

In other news …
I like being backwards. I really do. Or I guess what I mean is that I like the way I look if I’m backwards. Of course that’s the only way I see myself unless I look at pictures. For the most part I try not to look at myself in pictures because I don’t care for my face. It never looks right. Maybe because I usually look at my “mirror face”. My mirror face is much nicer, I do believe. Yesterday I got a haircut and I thought about sending a picture to my daughter to show her the “new do” … but yikes! That person my digital camera displayed just wasn’t me! Sigh. Maybe someday I’ll be brave and post both the forward picture and the mirror picture. You’ll see what I mean. I’m much lovelier backwards. Or at least more acceptable. 🙂

So … there’s my ramble for the week. Or month. We’ll see. Sorry. Just had to get those things written. Because.

Meanwhile back in musicland I have Symphony Silicon Valley this week, a San Jose Chamber Orchestra concert next weekend, and in between I’ll play oboe with our younger son’s chamber choir. (We’re doing a work called “No Mark” by Effinger.) After that it’s Boheme time with Opera San Jose. So music is in full swing again. Nice.

Whew. This is one ridiculous post. Welcome to my world!


  1. I always get sore muscles in my back after I go bowling, even at the times when I’ve been in good shape.  Kind of how non-swimmers get all sore after they go swimming – you’re using different muscles than normal.

    I kind of know what you mean about looking better mirror-image.  One thing that I’ve noticed is that when I download pictures that I’ve taken with the camera held at a 90 degree angle, I think the pictures of myself look really good until I rotate them into their proper orientation.  So I think I look better sideways!  🙂

  2. Oh, I forgot to mention one thing.  You were talking about holding up the oboe, and it reminded me of an oboist I saw once who had this stand attached to her oboe.  It rested on her chair between her legs, so she didn’t have to support the weight of the oboe at all.  What do you think of using those?  Is that a common thing in the oboe world?

  3. Patricia Mitchell

    Answered in a current blog! 🙂