Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Cover

I'm taking another class via UNC.
It involves a hardcover textbook and I just couldn't help myself.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing

I'm in the home stretch of my Philosophy of Religion class at UNC.  We're in the "The Meaning and Absurdity of Life" section of the syllabus. 

I just finished up and article by Michael Smith called "Is That All there Is?"  He spends a lot of time taking issue with a different point of view held by Joel Feinberg.  So much time that I have to wonder if these two didn't go to grade school together and Joel beat up Michael.

At the end of the article, Smith uses the following song (lyrics) to make a point about acquiring evaluative beliefs but not being able to sustain any of them.  How to deal with this predicament?  It's in the chorus

Is that all there is?  Is that all there is?
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing

Fantastic idea, Peggy Lee.

Every now and then swing dancing gets me out of my head and into the moment.  A lovely feeling that is best obtained by not seeking it, yet allowing it.  At first I characterized it as an escape but now I've made it a destination.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Some things you push through, some things you don't do

Practicing handstands at CF followed by a WOD (workout of the day) with handstand push ups was a lot of time upside down.

Too much time upside down for me.

I might have made too much use of the support elastic bands for the handstands which prolongs the amount of time one can stay upside down. I might have a lower tolerance than others for being upside down. When I started to see black spots during the workout of the day I switched out hand stand push ups for push ups on the pull up bar structure. Almost considered push ups against the wall just to keep myself as straight up and down as possible (with my feet on the ground).

Too much time upside down does not a happy Jamie make.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

How awesome would it be to have Dar Williams around the campfire at Waukeela 90th reunion on August 26th?

Dar Williams is looking to visit camps where her fans were born.  In order to build an itinerary she's accepting submissions.  I've included a copy of what you might call my "cover letter" to Dar.  I've invited her to join the Friday night campfire on August 26th that will kick off the Waukeela Camp 90th reunion.

If you're a Waukeela girl please click here and submit a request to let Dar know how much we want her amid the pines of Waukeela.  Please list me (Jamie Foehl) as the contact.

Boom, Boom.

In the mid-nineties, I brought a Dar Williams tape to camp.  Clearly I was a fan.  I had a tape.

During “pre-camp” a few counselors were sweeping the floors to clear them of pine needles that would inevitably make their way back in as soon as campers arrived.  We don't do anything at camp without songs (either listening or singing) so I popped in the tape.

I distinctly remember the moment one of my friends paused and asked "Who is this?"  Selfishly, I was delighted.  Waukeela prohibited Walkmans.  In order to keep listening to Dar I had to get my friends on board.

A week later, I was driving with other counselors during our day off.  My car, my music.  Dar.  One of the counselors from Sweden asked “Who are Ron & Nancy?”  An hour later we nearly broke the tape deck with rewinds and fast forwards trying to figure out the words to Hallelujah.

The next day, I nearly broke the cassette making copies of it (I'm sorry - Dar wasn't available at the Camp Store and there was no i-Tunes or internet, let alone service in the woods).

We sing A LOT at camp and by summers’ end we were not only singing along with Dar, we were singing Dar.   “When I was a Boy” was the first Dar song to hit the non-denominational weekly appreciation service at Waukeela Camp for Girls.
We have a LOT of traditions at camp and Dar probably holds a record for becoming one in just eight short weeks.
Dar remained with us during the winter too (there are only two season’s in a Waukeela girl’s life – camp and not camp).  I recall leaving work two hours early to get tickets to a Dar show at the Chappaqua library the moment they went on sale.   I also recall becoming increasingly impatient with the librarian who wasn’t prepared for such a strong box office open (it was just me and she had no idea about the pre-sale).  We got to that concert before Dar (and before the library reopened, actually) and were thrilled when she waved to us from her Honda.  We were also relieved because her presence signaled we would get into the library soon to use the restroom.

During the concert Dar reminisced about a Chappaqua tradition - an annual school bus trip to Friendly’s.  The Chappaqua resident in the group visibly bounced when she learned she took the same bus as Dar. Our collective enthusiasm was such that folks in the row in front of us asked if we were related to Dar.  If only.

I’m concerned about a character limit here, but I’ll chance it with one more story.  Fifteen years later I remain an avid fan. Why else would I volunteer for the street team and hang posters Chapel Hill over the summer when temperatures are upwards of 100 degrees?  

To meet Dar, of course.

The Tuesday prior to the NC concert I found myself in the ER/ICU due to a cerebral hemorrhage.  The night of the concert I was tethered to an IV in Raleigh.  I rarely play the “brain card” (everything is fine now, so there’s not really anything to play) but if the tale of my unredeemed meet and greet/concert ticket puts Waukeela in the running for a Dar visit it’s a card that will bring joy to many, and therefore, a card well played.

2011 marks the 90th anniversary of my beloved camp.  Over a hundred of us, representing generations of campers and years of attendance (13 summers from me) will gather at camp at summers’ end.  Please consider this letter an invite.

The event starts on Friday August 26th and having Dar join us for an evening campfire would be the perfect way to kick off the celebration.

I like to take credit for introducing Dar to a generation of Waukeela Girls. 

I would love to take some credit for getting her to reunion.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

-Jamie Foehl

I always thought OR would be a nice place to live. Apparently it's also an OK place to die.

Not easy to watch but somehow felt important to do so.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Page One

 "Some day, will be learn to think through and outline bigger pieces. Until that happens, I will just type until it becomes writing."  David Carr Tweet 4.5.11

Friday, April 15, 2011

Another reason why I love Taboo

Sometimes, if I'm talking about something, er, tricky?  nuanced?  touchy? I struggle to find the word best suited to describe what I'm talking about and take a long Harold Pinter like pause to access it (let's just say it's because my inner-dictionary is a big fat book).

One thing (among many) I love about Taboo is that I can take pause to find a word and people just assume it's because I can't say the word I really want to.

What the hell is aTurkish Get-Up?

At first I was confused when I previewed the Cross Fit workout of the day.
What the hell is Turkish Get-Up?
The mall rat in me beat out the gym rat and I thought "Wardrobe?"

Then I watched a video and was thrilled.
Here's a still of this move in action (is a still of a move in action an impossible object?)

I haven't been able to do any swing dancing aerials this year (UNC class conflict) and I'm antsy to fly.
Having someone lift me off the ground and hold me over their head would be close enough.

I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I walked into the gym and people were lifting kettlebells, not people.  Well, as soon as someone is ready to lift 125 pounds of something many times the size a kettlebell with no handle (or love handles for that matter) I'm game.

Compare the image below the the image of me to your right.  The similarity is striking, no?

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I already have three triathlons on the books (= registered and paid) for the season.

I'm curious how Cross Fit (there will be other blog topics, I promise, but this is my blog) will affect my performance.  In describing it's many attributes, Cross Fit indicates it improves performance in activities/sports you don't necessarily do at CF. Like, biking (and dancing?).

The first Tri is Ramblin Rose (ladies only) in Raleigh on May 22nd.  I will do some swimming, riding running in advance but for the most part I'm going to focus on cross-training via Cross Fit.

The second Tri is the Doughman with the famous fourth leg.  Eating.
It's a relay race (me and my food aggression will just have to deal with it).
I'm the bike rider.  I also have to eat the most.  Let's just skip the question of why I was asked to do this leg.
I'm not sure how to train for a tri that DQ's you if you puke.

The third tri is Smile Train Sprint Triathlon in Wake Forest.
This is actually the first Tri.  My first Tri.
Two years ago a pal quit smoking.  Decided to do a triathlon to get through it.
I said "I'll do it with you."

And here we are.

You know you're hungry when you don't realize this isn't actually a bakery storefront

Until you see this

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The lifecycle of a haircut

In college, a male friend explained the life cycle of guy's haircuts.

Week One - Overly Shorn
Week Two - Nirvana
Week Three - Shaggy

I have short hair and have experienced the same life cycle, perhaps in two week increments. I thought I was having bad hair days and then I just realized I needed a haircut.

Short hair, it took some time, but I like you. People compliment you. You look good with big dangling earrings. But, you are not easy. I need to blow-dry you, occasionally use product and cut you every other month, at least.

Short hair, if we were in a Facebook relationship I would have to change our status to "It's Complicated."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jamie and her mesmerizing skirt of two colors

I attended (and sorta organized) a dancing "Feedback Session" tonight.
Pretty informal.  Dance, record, discuss, watch, discuss, repeat.

What did I learn?  That my black and white "house skirt" is moving to the "Swing Dancing" section of my closet.
If I ever compete I will wear this skirt to make my opponents dizzy.

Monday, April 11, 2011

You betcha

I'm nearing the end of the "Philosophy of Religion" class at UNC. Today we reviewed Pascal's Wager. I was already familiar with it but after weeks of thinking about the existence of God I know I "took it in" differently.

It doesn't take long to explain. So Instructor was pretty funny about it. She drew "the matrix" and said "Ok, so believe in God." One student raised his hand and asked "So, what was the point of this whole class?"

My so called life in Ohio

For the first time in nine months, I actually had to buy toothpaste.

To be clear, I have been using toothpaste this whole time with 2x daily frequency at least. I just wasn't paying for it as I had stashes courtesy of the Hyatt.

Maybe this marks the official end of my so called life in Columbus?

Nah, when I lose all my hotel/airline points and status, that's the end. Those were perks, and I'm still enjoying them.

Perhaps if I return to the State Street Hyatt and Shuttle Dave doesn't recognize me - that would be the end. He was the Hyatt driver who took Helen and I to the Client site almost every day and was very welcoming and friendly and remembered the nature and structure of our lives out there. I miss shuttle Dave. Now, only NPR keeps me company on my way into work.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Michael WOD - my hero or nemesis?

 Some of the Cross Fit WOD's (workout of the day) have names.  I think they are called Hero WOD's.

This morning I met Michael.

3 rounds for time
Run 800 m (just a shade under a half mile) around the neighborhood
50 Situps
50 Superman's

I did this in 30 minutes and 16 seconds.  Rx.  Slow in comparison to the others and quite far from the "time to beat" but I'm competing with myself and my goals were to run the whole 800 (instead of take a walk break) and just push myself a little harder than I have been.  Also, this is the first WOD I have done RX - exactly as prescribed (no modifications).

Kurt Cobain set the pace for my first 50 situps (they have music in the background).

On my last 800 I saw a guy take a leak - Was that Michael?

The last 50 sit ups were a bitch (or maybe bastard, since this is Michael's workout).  My head felt really heavy like a bowling ball but I cranked them out.  Not much grace.  I think I might have grunted.  And I know I cursed.  I got the occasional "C'mon Jamie" from the Coach (who used to be a marine) and I channeled a little inner GI Jane.

Someone counted out my last 50 Superman's and I know I would not have gone that pace without that.  Whoever (whomever?) you are.  Thanks.

I can't wait to go back tomorrow.  I guess you could say I'm drinking the Kool-Aid.

There's something else playing into my desire to push myself and own how I move.  I watched 127 Hours last week.  It's the story of Aron Ralston - the adventurer who amputated his own arm to escape from a boulder that had him pinned in a canyon in six days.  I was inspired by his psychological and physical strength.  I don't know that I could summon the former under the same circumstances and I'm sure I don't possess the latter.  

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Pasty and Pale

I'm a fan of Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer. It's about as close to foundation as I'm ever going to get. I ran out of it a few weeks ago but only today was able to summon the energy for the make-up area in Nordstrom.

I didn't think my skin could be any paler than it already is or that there was a shade lighter than "nude."

I thought wrong.

You've got to learn how to fall before you learn to fly

Indeed Paul Simon, you do.

So, I took a bailing class at Cross Fit.  To learn to fall and to get the barbell (and yourself) out of the way if you think you might drop it on your head.

Unless I'm falling into water (surfing/diving) I do have some anxiety about hitting my head (for good reason) and it makes me a little more cautious than I might be.  Having the Coach push our backs on his own timing to practice the front fall made me laugh (lots of Cross Fit things make me laugh, like being upside down) and alleviated some of that anxiety.

I did notice an almost twinkle in the Coach's eye when he was leading this exercise.  He waited a really long time.  I have the attention span of SQUIRREL! and got distracted by what was going on at Motorco across the street. Then pow, I'm down and my wrist bore the brunt of the fall.  Exactly what you're not supposed to do.

Throwing a barbells around also cracked me up.  It was especially enjoyable in that throwing barbells seems like something you're not supposed to do (like jumping on the bed) but damn it's fun.

Friday, April 08, 2011

DAUGHTER: Mommy, where's Daddy?
JACKIE: Running.
DAUGHTER: From what?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Friday, April 01, 2011

There's a hole in the plane, dear Southwest, dear Southwest.

Did people actually put on their own masks on before assisting others?
They always say that. I'm not a parent but I can imagine the instinct to get your kid air might override the logic that you can best assist your child if you are breathing yourself.

Also, have they revised the safety scripts?
I don't know that the airline attendants, especially Southwest ones, could say "In the unlikely event of the loss of cabin pressure" without giving themselves away.