Fun Links for Wasting Time

Today is the annivesary of  9/11, and I’m just not quite feeling it for a perfume post, plus I’m packing and trying to get work stuff tidied up before I’m away, so let’s find some ways to waste time with a few of my favorite newfound links.  I promise to be back next week with reviews on the new Guerlains and hopefully the new Serge, just waiting for them to show up!

 In what will definitely be our only nod to politics in this election year, Amazon has an interesting feature that shows what people in each state are reading in political books from the red and blue books. Does it tell you how clueless I am on reading about any of these books that I haven’t heard of 3/4 of them?

This link is a lot more fun, but a little more brutal.  It juxtaposes death in the insect world with some really great quotes on life and death. Make sure to click on Page 2.  A couple of my favorite quotes:  “While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.” – Leonardo da Vinci  AND “You only live twice. Once when you are born and once when you look death in the face.” – Ian Fleming (You Only Live Twice).

I really think the blog poster should make a book out of this and expand it to the entire animal world.  I’ve always thought that our society’s insulation from death numbs us to life’s fragility and the very natural and always eventual end in very detrimental ways.  Growing up where I did, death came daily to something on the farm, and you didn’t become hardened to death, but accepted that it comes for us all and it was an intrinsic part of living.  I can’t really say why the insect death pictures touched me, but they did because they are beautiful and fierce and real.

Yesterday was my first horseback riding lesson, after having not rode in a few decades. It was more fun and harder than I thought it would be.  We’re just working on the balancing while riding bareback with no reins part, which is harder than you can imagine, but a great way to get a feel for the gait and pacing of the horse.   Any riders out there with tips for any way to practice for when I can’t get to the stables?

  • gina says:

    Hey Patty – in regards to riding, strong thighs. It’s already been mentioned, so I won’t go into it again. Anything you can do to work your thighs is good. I have been riding most of my life, English style mostly, I did hunter-jumper, though I can ride western, love riding bareback…how exciting you’re doing this again!!! I will own horses again in my life, it’s pure, simple joy.

    Your thighs will look hot, too. ha.

  • lunarose says:

    hi olfacta:

    “Wide-Stance Squats (lovely name, I know)…”

    i do these as well. mr. rose refers to them as ‘vaginal squats’!#!

    (he does have a way with words, must be the irish in ‘im)

    have fun with the horses. can’t wait for the ‘event report’ on the scentsation! everyone should have a great time. happy sniffing, lunarose

  • Disteza says:

    The only recommendation I can add is try doing everything you’re already doing while wearing 3-5 lb ankle weights. There’s nothing better (well, worse, perhaps :(( ) than using ankle weights to do ab exercises, and provided you watch out for your knees, they’re great for lunges and leg lifts as well. Make sure you start out slow–otherwise the exercise might leave as sore as the horse.

  • tmp00 says:

    I’m already pretty sick of the whole election year thing with the rank cynicism so I am metaphorically sticking my finger in my ears and going “La, la, la” until it’s over for good or bad- especially any self-aggrandising 9/11 speeches…

    As for riding, I know people who sit at their computer on one of those big ball things: you get the core strength while doing something you’d do anyway.

  • Melissa says:

    I rode as a child then gave it up in high school when my social life took on more importance to me. Years later, I decided to have my then 8 year old son take some lessons and of course I got back in the saddle. I was shocked at how much I had lost, despite being in excellent physical condition. Training methods had changed and muscles that I hadn’t used in many years despite squats, lunges etc reawakened rather grumpily.

    Still, the thrill of riding outweighed the sore muscles and my feelings of chagrin at how much I had forgotten. That, and all of those lovely aromas in the horse barn, which probably contributed to my love of fragrances with leather and hay.

    • Patty says:

      I hear ya. There is nothing else that smells like a horse. The closes perfume smell to it is Dzing. I’m thinking of wearing that next lesson.

      After riding as a kid some, then I took an hour ride when I was about 17, after quite a while off the horse, and I could barely walk for two days after, and that’s way back when I was in excellent shape and wafer thin. My trainer insists that a lot of the soreness problem is how you sit. If you sit too far back in the seat, you will have a ton of soreness for a while. If you put up from your belly button in a straight line, focusing on your center, letting from your belly button to your knees move with the horse, you have far less. So far, he’s been right.

  • Olfacta says:

    Since English riding (I’m assuming you’re riding English-style, sorry otherwise)requires strong thighs: (this was taught to me by a trainer who was a bodybuilder, and can be done anywhere just about):

    Wide-Stance Squats (lovely name, I know)

    Sit down on an ottoman or bench with legs and feet comfortably far apart. Put a barbell (I use 20 lbs but it can be less) upended on the floor in front of you. Pick it up with both hands and slowly rise, then slowly lower your hips just until your, uh, nether regions touch the bench, and slowly rise again. Repeat. The idea here is not to “rest” on the bench. Do sets of 8, as many as you can.

    Have Advil ready, as this will work your quadricep muscles and inner thighs like nothing else!These are precisely the muscles you use to grip the saddle with. (I used to ride, too.)

    Have fun on your trip!

  • Kristy says:

    Have you maxed out your Lunge repetitions on the WiiFit? That’s what I’d recommend!!! 😉 I have to do my 20 as my last leg exercise for the night, it’s so exhausting for them! 🙂

    • Patty says:

      Well, I need to do that anyway! I ordered the new Wii fit thing coming out in october from Gillian what’sherface, the one on The Biggest Loseer, the trainer? And the new dance dance thing, which is supposed to be better than the old one. 🙂

      • Kristy says:

        You’ll have to let me know how it is! I am looking forward to WiiYoga, and I really hope they come out with a rhythm aerobics game, that is my favorite part (along with the rhythm boxing!!)

  • Catherine says:

    Crazy…I have no tips for horseback riding (as much as my Kentucky upbringing informs everything else in my life), but I’ve just made plans this evening for being on a horse for the first time in decades, too. Isn’t it grand! Just the thought is grand. Horses are such mystic, intelligent creatures. We’re planning the avenue of getting away from the “bit”. I don’t want to control a horse as much as work with him or her. Feel him or her. So…next weekend, after Chicago sniffa. Ecstasy!

    Take care in the saddle!

    • Patty says:

      Oh, we need to discuss in Chicago! My trainer says putting a bit in eventually is fine, but he likes his students to learn without it so if they use it down the road, it will be a very minimal usage in reality and they won’t rely on it to control the horse, which makes sense to me. I had no idea the bit always hurt the horse!

  • Louise says:

    Hmmm, I wonder if “Goodnight, Bush” would make a nice gift for a 19 year old?

    The insect photos were fascinating, though I don’t believe I’d go for a coffee table book of the shots /:)

    I rode horses from an early age, and took up riding again in grad school. I think the fear of imminent death was a fine distractor from the stress of comps and dissertation writing…your teacher seems totally on track with the no reins, no saddle approach to helping you get your “seat”. Outside the ring, I found getting my thighs strong (squats, lunges, bicycling) helped a lot, as did tons of core work-balance is key.

    Have a blast in Chicago :d/

    • Patty says:

      He told me that if I sat the horse correctly, my tenderness in my glutes, etc., should be minimal. and so far today, he’s right. No soreness at all, just a teensy bit right in my butt where I was sitting. I tried not to tense up my thighs at all. It’s just weird on the balance thing. It doesn’t seem like it would be that hard, but every time the horse shifts pace or changes it in any way, you have to rebalance.