Wednesday, June 15

Maya and CSULA

Tuesday is my first day back with my Wii and the My Fitness Coach virtual workout game. I don't really use the Wii for actual games anymore; a majority of my interest is for My Fitness Coach only. This game helps you achieve a more active lifestyle by creating a "custom-made" workout regimen for you dependent on your fitness goal. These goals include weight loss, cardio, upper/lower/core strength, and flexibility. You can choose your personal goal, but if you're not sure where to start, the game has physical evaluations that test your fitness level in each category and tell you where you are weakest. For me, my weakest area is my upper body strength, meaning I have noodle arms. Although my workouts are aiming to help me build up strength in my arms and shoulders, the game doesn't at all neglect the rest of my body. Each workout session focuses on a different area so that you don't strain a particular part of your body and everything works in harmony.

The virtual trainer in My Fitness Coach is Maya, a very fit lady with short hair pulled back in a ponytail and a no-nonsense attitude. Maya takes no excuses and works you every minute of your session, and she doesn't let up. Then again, she's not real so she doesn't get tired. Lucky woman. Sessions last in increments of fifteen -- 15, 30, 45, 60, and 75 minutes, depending on how hardcore you feel that day, and there's a water break every fifteen minutes. Usually. Each workout comes with your choice of environments and music; more environments and music are unlocked the longer you stick to your workout schedule. It's pretty fun, considering it's a real workout, no punches pulled, and I think results are visible, if not gradual. Working out with Maya is fun, even if I complain and cuss at her while I'm struggling through pushups, and I hardly feel forced to keep going. Even though Maya's a fictional trainer made of pixels and good intentions, she can be really motivating!

This first workout back with her lasted for only fifteen minutes and focused on cardio, my second-weakest area after upper body strength. Before I stopped regular workouts with Maya I was capable of lasting through a forty-five minute session with plenty of complaints, but since I'd fallen off the wagon I thought it was best to start slow. Turns out I'm not as rusty as I thought I was, since the fifteen minutes passed like a few heavy breaths, so perhaps next Tuesday I'll try for thirty minutes.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011:
cardio for fifteen minutes, burning 39 calories

All photos courtesy of me.

On Saturday, the 4th of June 2011, I went with my friend to Cal State University Los Angeles to view an art gallery. The theme of the gallery was "Here Tomorrow, Gone Today" and featured work from student artists. My friend Tracy, who recently graduated from CSU Long Beach, is an art major. She was invited to view the gallery by one of the featured artists and invited me along; of course I agreed. This was my first art gallery and it was, without a doubt, very inspiring.

Plastic Surgery by Ryan Copriviza & Google 65 Roses by Dominic Quagliozzi

I wish I could say that each piece spoke to me; that every piece of work I saw was full of emotion and a message so strong it was branded in my brain and my heart and the very essence of me -- but that's just purple prose and I don't exactly have the eyes of an artist. I will say that the featured students were all really creative and I was impressed by the variety of mediums they used to carry their messages and interpretations of the gallery's theme. Being the daughter of a nurse and a nurse-to-be myself, I was of course drawn to these two pieces: Plastic Surgery on the left and Google 65 Roses on the right. Plastic Surgery's interpretation of the theme was strongest to me -- the artist took disease and its transmission through blood carried Ryan's message of: "Disease will always be here tomorrow, but you might not live through today." Dominic's piece held less meaning for me, though the message was similar, but I really admired the medium he used; it's not every day I walk into a gallery and see sixty-five balloons just dangling from the ceiling.

Deconstruction/Reconstruction by Wayne Michels & Untitled by Zoee Sciarotta

Although I could relate much better to the pieces above, these two works were actually my favorites. Deconstruction/Reconstruction shows the fickle world of an artist, and the constantly-changing world of art itself. Wayne uses ceramics to show how ideas evolve, shift, and are continually taken apart and put back together in newer, more innovative ways for the sake of that thing called "art." As for Zoee's work, I'm just a real sucker for photographs, and the way her pictures came out just held me. In the pamphlet given to everyone who came to view the gallery, Zoee wrote that she wanted to show the "pliability of human memory," which I connect to the haziness of her photographs. Sometimes, you can never really be sure of your own thoughts, right?

Captivity by Diana Madriaga & Winchester Bride by JadeMadeCouture

These were two of the most confusing pieces for me in the way that I just didn't understand how they connected to the gallery's theme, but I'm in love with one while mostly apathetic towards the other. Captivity charmed me in the way it was such an organic work; it was the only piece in the gallery that wasn't in the building. Instead it was down a little walkway just beyond the exit, little glass jars hung from the branches of a nearby tree. I didn't have to understand it to think of it as a beautiful and original work, and I only wish I had more time (and light!) to take more pictures of it, especially as a whole. Meanwhile, Winchester Bride just confused me, and the feeling remained even after I read its entry in the gallery pamphlet.

There were other pieces, two sets of paintings and another set of photographs, but I didn't have much interest in them to really photograph them. There was also a movie thing in a secluded part of the gallery, but it was way too much trouble to photograph moving pictures, not to mention it actually made me dizzy to look at it for much longer than a minute. Nonetheless, for my first experience in an art gallery, I was amazed by the student artists of my generation, and more than that, I was really inspired. Another thing I didn't realize was that they serve snacks during these things! Chocolate-covered strawberries? Score!

After we had our fill of art -- and perhaps strawberries -- Tracy and I went back home, stopping at her house to brainstorm over a restaurant for her birthday dinner and being treated to the Elephant Bar in Torrance by her mum. Thanks, Mommy! ♥ It was a very refreshing day in my usually humdrum life, and I told Tracy that if she ever felt like going on an art kick again, she could count on me to come along.

As it is, on Thursday our gang is planning to head down to LACMA to view the Tim Burton exhibit. Score! Will blog about how it goes, I promise.

Also by Diana Madriaga.

And we'll end it here with this charming wooden acorn left woefully alone in a corner of the gallery. Neither Tracy and I had no idea whose work it was...or if it even belonged there.


  1. The last piece, the acorn, was also done by Diana Madriaga. My sister.
    Laurinda Goulet
    Providence, RI

  2. @Laurinda: Thank you so much for letting me know! I'll credit her for the work right now. :)