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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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riding in cars

(updated 9:10 am EST)

Jeff and I went to see "Riding In Cars With Boys" last night at the Paramount. Okay flick, but I was generally disappointed.

Plus, this time I actually timed all the preamble before the movie, and found that we had to sit through TWENTY MINUTES of commercials and previews before "Riding" actually began. I don't mind the previews so much as the commercials and the short-but-overloaded-with-effects promo clips for various types of sound systems and theatre chains. The commercial I despise the most is the one with the Stryker family and this is Canadian-only. At least they're not showing the one for Fantasia anymore (fun to watch the first time, tortuous the 2938th time).

Lots of rain in Toronto this morning. I can barely see Metro Hall through the heavy mist and drizzle. Jeff opened the blinds in my home office while I was gone, and I've been too lazy to close them. So instead of working in my usual dim cave-like environment, I actually get natural light! Downside: the office workers in Metro Hall can see me typing away in my jammies (Secret Fact: I don't usually get dressed in the morning until I've been working for about 3-4 hours, I'm so bad). I'm currently clad in my fave pajamas, my flannel sheep pjs (lots of cartoon sheep endlessly grazing on a white background).

Work journal:

Started interviewing an illustrator for Applied Arts magazine, started research for a Harp Column magazine article. It also looks I might be doing some work with F&W Publishing (the people who published my book as well as Writer's Digest magazine), which should be fun. Working on my YA novel today. I'm finding it really difficult to do half-days with fiction writing, so am taking full days instead, interspersed with other types of writing. And as I mentioned in an earlier Blathering, I have to be offline. No "just checking e-mail one more time"... :-)

So after I finish up today's Blathering, I'll be off to a coffeeshop or public library, laptop in hand.

Cooking and health clubs

As you all know, I am not a cook.

Or at least I haven't been cooking much since I got on the Web in 1995. :-) Now that my sabbatical is over, however, I'm determined to start cooking at home more. Positive side: cheaper to eat at home, can eat more healthy foods. Downside: I have to cook.

Anyway, I pulled out my Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites cookbook (despite my fear of cooking, I love cookbooks, go figure) and tried my hand at making "Spinach and Mushroom Frittata" last night, inspired my Andrea's frittata out in Cincinnati. And frittata actually turned out to be edible! Really! I think I'll follow Andrea's example and try baking it next time instead of cooking it in the pan -- it was quite the challenge flipping it over.

Yesterday I also quit my old health club and joined a new one at the Skydome that was half the price. Jeff's already a member of the latter, so I was able to join at the family rate. It's a 10 minute walk away instead of 1 minute, but heck...I can use the exercise. I had my initial fitness assessment yesterday afternoon, by a good-looking young fellow who was obviously quite bored with the whole thing. He measured every part of me (including my body fat, yuk!), put me through flexibility exercises, cardio, sit-ups. Turns out I'm average in cardio, below average in everything else, and about 10 pounds overweight. He even took a "before" picture, I assume so I can revel in the amazing transformation months from now.

Not a big surprise to me...I haven't been keeping up my workout schedule while travelling, and have also been doing more indulging than normal. Looking forward to getting back to normal! I've never been one for constantly weighing myself; I tend to go by how I'm feeling. If I find myself more tired than usual, or find that I can't fit as comfortably into snug-fitting clothes, then I know I've been slacking off. :-)

Anyway, though I appreciated the fitness assessment, I wasn't that impressed by the overall marketing approach of my new club; they're obviously heavily pushing extra paid services like nutrition counselling and personal training. I asked if someone could show me how to use the weight machines (which aren't the same as the ones in my old gym) and was told I needed to hire a personal trainer to do that. The guy doing my fitness assessment gave me a list of fitness areas I need to work on, like abdominals, but didn't give any hints on how to go about this...I needed to hire a personal trainer. I have the advantage of already being familiar with the basics from my old club, but I have to wonder about the wisdom of sending potential newbies off to figure out how to use the weight machines and cardio equipment on their own.

But hey, the new club saves me about $600 per year. Just think of all the chocolate I can buy with that amount of money! ;-)

Have a great weekend, everyone.


- I've added Khaos' journal (Terence) to my list of friends' journals.

- I've also added Seanan's journal.

I was curious about the fact that both of the above use LiveJournal, so checked out the main site. Looks pretty interesting, though seems to require somewhat more technical knowledge than Blogger, for those that care. I'd be interested in hearing a review from anyone who has tried out both.


- Brittle Starfish in the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

- Jeff Bohnhoff in his living room. Note how the guitar is pretty much the only object in focus. Jeff's an incredible guitar player...I'd give my right arm to be able to play half as well as he does. I was lucky enough to hear some tracks (unmixed) from his and Maya's new album, by the way. I WANT THIS ALBUM. I'm trying veryvery hard not to keep bugging Jeff about when it'll be for sale.

Today's Poll: (Courtesy Anonymous User)

Would you be willing to trade comfort and security for a chance at true happiness?

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