Music

Teenage Wasteland

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Last week, I was lucky enough to go see Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and The Who live at the Barclay Center. In some ways, it was like a time machine, transporting me back to junior high and high school days, when I listed to both a lot more often than I currently do. In particular, I remembered that every one of our high school dances ended with Baba O'Reilly -- such a weird choice, in retrospect.  Every time I hear that song, I think of high school dances. Life was much simpler then . . .


An Ode to Musical Theatre

During the past week, I bought tix to see the upcoming performance of Little Shop of Horrors, with Ellen Greene (she originated the role of Audrey), saw Hedwig (again), and made an unplanned stop to Marie's Crisis Cafe, where I sang my little musical theatre heart out, including a duet of Suddenly Seymour. I was also reminded of this gem, from Avenue Q. Musical theatre was a huge part of my life for so long, and although it's not as much in the forefront these days, it's always in the background, deep in my heart.


Sweet Dreams

In the past few years, sleep has become more and more sacred to me. I regularly get about 7 hours; 8 on a good night, and even more on leisurely weekends. 6 or less and I get cranky, lack concentration, and have zero motivation to exercise. This effectively gives me a solid curfew on school nights these days of about 11, or maybe midnight if I'm close to home. Last night, I went to go see a band in Williamsburg with two of my law school friends with whom I used to go see bands all the time. When we first made the plans, we thought the band was starting at 8. Then we learned there was an opening band at 8 and our band was on at 9. This was perfect -- it allowed for a quick stop at home to walk Mox, and ample time to get to Brooklyn and catch up over dinner before the band started. Late in the day we learned our band was slated to start at 10.

Now, I'm the only one in the group that isn't married with kids, but one friend is (and never was) a night owl, and one of my friends had to deal with the additional schlep of a train back to Long Island at the end of the evening, so we weren't thrilled with the 10pm start. Of course, because we're dealing with a cool, hip band in Williamsburg, they didn't actually go on until about 10:50.  Let's just say I'm a little tired today, but it would have been worse if I had stayed until the band finished. I was the first man down -- pathetic, I know. My law school self would be terribly disappointed. 


Motivation

I'm not a competitive person. Not really. I have minor moments, like during the triathlon when I speed up to try and overcome someone in their 20's (everyone's age is on his/her calf), but generally, I'm not out there trying to win stuff, especially on the athletic front. Since I joined ClassPass a while back, I've had the opportunity to go to a number of spin studios in addition to my usual (Revolve). I'm noticing a trend -- most of the studios have the technology to track your performance during the class, and some use this information in an attempt to motivate you during your ride. One studio flashes your RPMs and energy output up at the front of the room at various points in class (you're only identified by your bike number). I don't mind this -- it shows me where I am in relation to everyone else and as long as I'm not at the bottom, I generally feel okay. Another lets you opt in to do the same. This is fine too -- even if I don't opt in, I can see where I am in relation to those who have.  Neither one of these display options makes me work harder, however. Since I'm not at the bottom, and I know I won't be up at the top, I just take notice and keep going. 

Yet another studio does something slightly different -- it puts you on a team. During various points in the class, it pits the teams against each other, either in a sprint to see which team is going the fastest/working the hardest, or to see which team can keep tempo the most consistently. Now, when there's a team situation, it changes my motivation entirely. I found myself pushing super hard during sprints -- I wanted to make sure I was carrying my weight and doing my share of the work. Our team kept winning, which made me work even harder. In fact, our team won for the class. Woo hoo! I was exhausted, but proud. Until I got home. This studio also sends you an email at the end of class with your individual stats. I was 31st out of 44 in the class (not bad, in my book -- probably about average for me), but 15th out of 16 on my team. WHAT?!  I nearly killed myself and I was at the bottom of my team?!  Screw that.

My most recent spin experiment was Cycle Karaoke, where you can sing along while you ride. Now *that's* my kind of motivation.