workout plan

workout plan

Monday, August 21, 2017

5 for Friday (On Monday) Shocking Weekend Discoveries!

Good day all!

Sometimes the 5 for Friday takes a little bit because I'm in the middle of living my life and don't realize how absurd things are until I've lived everything in a certain time span. Besides...who can't use a little Friday on a Monday?

Anyway, this past weekend I make several shocking and funny discoveries and OF COURSE I'm going to share them with you!

5)  Bel-Air Cantena believes in education...even in the bathrooms.

Yesterday was Hubby's birthday (HE'S 50!) so I took him out for brunch at a place of his choosing.  He chose Belair Cantena, a sort of Cali-Mex place that's new to our town.  (And if you don't have one in your town...move.)  We've been to this place a handful of times and it's always been super crowded and quite noisy so when I have taken a chance and used the restroom, all I hear is crowd chatter.  Well, yesterday we were the first ones there for brunch, so there weren't that many people in the restaurant.  I used the ladies' room and what, to my surprise, do I hear than a Spanish lesson!  Yes, piped into the restrooms is a woman saying English phrases, (We had a meeting, nevertheless, he did not show up.") and then two forms of Spanish, the first spoken by a man, the second by a woman, follow.  Not that I learned anything, mostly because I don't believe I've every used the word "nevertheless," but I did try, which made my stay in the restroom far longer than normal (for me).  Hey, when was the last time I willingly spent quality time in a restroom?  (Well, except for Von Mauer, but that's another story.)

4) Who knew the key to my weight loss was racks of expensive clothing?

So my town got a Von Maur store recently and I've sort of mocked it for being a store that does not cater to to anyone but skinny rich women. And when people wrote posts on Face Book about how glorious the bathrooms were...well...I mocked them for that too.

Who knew this store would be the key to my new, and currently successful, exercise program?

For MONTHS I've been trying to get my body out of bed and go for a walk before work each morning.  Nothing has worked for me. I just hit snooze 11 times and then get up at the last possible moment to run from my bedroom to my office (in the bedroom next to mine) to start work.  BUT then I visited Von Maur and that all changed.

First of all, the bathrooms are not oversold. They are, quite possibly, the finest bathrooms public or private I've ever used.  They are bright, shiny, clean, there are shelves in each stall for purses and bags, and the stalls are ROOMY!  (They pipe the piano music from the store into the bathrooms.) I made a point of using one yesterday and I met a woman walking in as I was walking out. She looked at me, looked around at the marble appointments and the clean floors, and said, "I may not want to leave."

Oh yes, I get it.

But that's not what's getting me up in the morning. Nope, it's the promise of buying clothing there!  Yes, the prices are ridiculously high.  I mean, a blouse for $148 is WAY over my budget.  BUT the clearance racks are huge and generous and great for the penny pinching shopper.  AND...wait for it...the plus sized department is, relatively speaking, MASSIVE.  Sure, it's not as big as regular ladies' departments, but it's far larger than any other store I've been in and the clothes are PRETTY! They aren't tents, they aren't ridiculous, they are clothes made for actual people who would actually wear them!

So, faced with the NEED to shop there, I made a deal with Hubby. If I get up every weekday morning for two weeks and go for a 20 minute or more walk, I get to buy something from the clearance rack.

I am six days in...four more to go.  I CAN'T WAIT!

3) Is this a Farmer's Market or the Love Boat?

My mother has a boyfriend.  No, my father didn't suddenly pass away, but I realized this past weekend that my mother, whether she believes it or not, has an admirer.

See, my mom makes a point of talking to every veteran she sees at the Farmer's Market. That's admirable and I love hearing their stories.  But there's this one gentleman we see every weekend. He now stops by our booth every Saturday to chit chat. At first I thought it was cute.  Now,I realize he's not there to talk to US, he's there to flirt with my mom! He stopped by last weekend and Mom was on a food run (because everything at the Waukesha Farmer's Market is so yummy) and I told him she'd be back in a couple minutes, that we could chit chat. Nope. He was not interested, in fact, he was downright disappointed. And he walked away.

This weekend he stopped and she was there and OH, MY the smiles and blushes and happy little patter that they exchanged.  (Is this what it's like, for my kids to see Hubby and me talk romantically to each other?)  when he FINALLY left I teased her about it.  I mean, my parents have been married for 51 years and now she's flirting with this GUY?  Of course MOM denies anything, says that at her age she doesn't have the energy to do anything about anything.  (And of course, you know, she's MARRIED) All I'm saying is that I think the lovely older gent thinks he's making a love connection.

2) Apparently, Hubby thinks Scooters Detract from one's Sexiness

The age old question for adults is, "What do we talk about if we don't talk about our children?"  Well, I can sort of answer that...because apparently Hubby and I are now at an age where we can turn anything into a debate.

Case in point:  We were at a stop light near our house Friday evening.  There was a man riding one of those rally scooters, you know, the ones kids ride pell-mell through Walmart when no one's watching them...or the scooters.  Anyway, there was something about this scooter, it was red, and shiny, and new, and the sunlight hit it in such a way that it caught my eye.  (The man on the scooter WAS NOT SEXY. Let's just get that out of the way.)

I made comment that it was a nice looking scooter.  Hubby agreed. I made a few more comments, I have no idea what about, and then I said, "Yep, that is a sexy scooter."

"No such thing." says hubby.

I dug my heels in, because...I have no idea why. "No, I think it's sexy."

"Scooters are not sexy, ever."

And this is when the conversations whirls into outer limits.

"So you're telling me, if Heidi Klum or Tyra Banks IN THEIR PRIME sat on that thing, it wouldn't be sexy?"

Hubby says, "Not only wouldn't it be sexy, it would make whoever is sitting on it less sexy."

"So wait, Tyra Banks, in her prime...with the Victoria's Secret Wings, sitting on that thing, not sexy?"

"Nope," says Hubby.  "Not Heidi, not Tyra, Not Gisele."

I'd forgotten about Gisele.  "So not even Gisele, all glammed out, on that scooter...still not sexy?"

Hubby says, "Nope."

At that point we pulled into the driveway and I realized we'd been discussing this for several minutes.  I was relieved. At least I know now that we can truly talk about anything, no matter how stupid, and fill the time between now and when we both go to our great reward.

So I've got that going for me.

1)  Hubby has an epiphany in the bathroom.

How long have I been ranting about public bathrooms and how I think they need to be standardized?  Only forever.  Well, this past week, Hubby FINALLY understands what I'm talking about!

He was at Kwik Trip to get coffee and use the facilities.  (He's on the road a lot, so he has to make us of public facilities.)  While in there he noticed signs that the faucets were now touch faucets. You touch them, the water turns on.  Everything else, he said, had to be operated manually.  And then he said the words I've longed to hear for so long:

I finally get it.

WA HOO!  I've been griping about bathrooms for so long, and FINALLY my husband, my life partner, the guy I talk to more than anyone else (and he says he loves talking to me, but I'm fairly certain I wear him out some days) FINALLY gets what I've been talking about.

Such a giant weight is off my shoulders. Someone finally understands!

Can you see me doing a happy dance?

And then there's this honorable mention, because I'm sassy like that.

The Swingers all think Sue's balls are delicious.

As many of you know, there are two choirs in my church:  the pie eating choir and the wine drinking choir. Saturday there was a picnic for the wine drinking choir. We were all to bring a dish to pass, beverages and meat would be there.  It was a lovely time!  Really lovely and thank you to Mark and Rhonda who threw the bash. (And I'm so glad they only live a couple doors down from us!  We didn't have to fight for parking!)

Anyway, the hosts have a back yard swing that seats two or three so I sat there with another lady and after sitting there a bit, she announced that she and I were swingers. This little bit of naughtiness was met with a round of laughter (because clever wordplay is applauded in this group, especially if it's a little naughty) so we kept that joke going.

Then another lady brought her dish to pass:  yummy little nuggets of peanut butter, honey, coconut, chocolate and quinoa.  SO GOOD! WELL DONE SUE!

However...Sue formed these nuggets into balls.

And thus this comment was thrown around:  "Have you tasted Sue's balls?  They are DELICIOUS!"

So yes, a little naughty word play is allowed in the wine drinking choir...and yes...the swingers all through Sue's balls were delicious.

And I want the recipe!

Monday, August 7, 2017

L. L. Bean Disappoints: Random Woman in Line Does Not.

Good morning everyone!

It's an old rant, but there's a new verse:  Once again I was fat shamed at a national store, but this time with a twist.

Hubby LOVES outdoor stores:  REI, Gander Mountain, Columbia, Dunham's Sporting Goods, Duluth Trading Company, you name it, he loves them.  And I love Hubby, so when he wants to check out stores like that I go with him, knowing full darn well that there is NOTHING, NOTHING in those stores' clothing departments that's going to fit someone like me.  (Because apparently only women size 12 and under want to go camping and be outside. And while that's a very fair point in my case, I'm sure there are fluffy girls who would like to be outdoorsy and still look like, you know, girls.  And who knows?  Maybe I would like to be an outdoorsy hiking type person if I could find fun clothes that fit me.)

So yesterday, after a somewhat frustrating and disappointing brunch at Cafe Hollander, (That's another story for another rant), Hubby wanted to stop in the NEW L.L. Bean store.  I knew this would be would like all the others, oh sure, they have an XL or an XXL for women, but it's never, ever going to fit.  But I love Hubby, so in I went.  And he loves and wants me to be happy, so he pointed me to the oh-so-stinkin'-cute womens' side of the store and suggested I find something fun.

I knew I wouldn't.  But I went because I wanted to make him happy.

And look there, joy oh joy...a pair of size 18 jeans!  AND THEY WERE ON SALE!

Now, sure they weren't size 18W, but I'm sort of between sizes right now as I'm still working on losing weight (I've stalled a but, but still hanging in there keeping 14 of the 20 pounds I lost last spring off.) so an 18 was going to be great!  Hubby walks over and said, "Oh those look really comfy!"

I agreed, but a tiny voice in my brain suggested I try them on. Just to be safe. This isn't Kohls. I'm not going to be here four more times this week.  So I went in and tried the size 18 jeans on.

Could. Not. Get. Them. Past. My. Knees.

Now friends, at my heaviest, which I am not at right now, I was a size 18W.   All of my size 18W pants are loose on me. Very loose. MUST wear a belt loose.  My size 18 regulars fit beautifully, and I even have some 16W's I wear on a regular basis.  

So yeah, not getting a size 18 pant past my knees was horrifying, disheartening, and made me wonder why I even bother to continue the fight to lose weight.

Thanks, L.L. Bean.  Thank you for snapping the tiniest thin thread of self esteem I'd managed to build for myself in battling to lose weight.

But that's not where the story ends.

Angry mostly with myself and my shortcomings and my failure to fit the mold of what a woman who wants to buy things at L.L. Bean needs to look like, I tried to be happy for Hubby, who found what he called, "The most perfect pants."

This is the great unfairness when it comes to shopping, and it's not hubby's fault, I blame retail stores and their focus on making life easier for male shoppers. Hubby has his own weight battles.  He's not super thin. And yet, he's never had to shop in a store for specifically plus sized men. He's never had to search high and low for the "plus" department mostly because there's no such thing as a plus sized department for men.  Sure, they have big and tall father who is 6'4" shops at them. But when it comes to big box stores, most guys don't NEED a big and tall shop.  Hubby shops in a normal human man department and he doesn't even have to try and squeeze into the largest size offered, oh no. Men's clothes are made for all sizes and shapes of men and if a guy wants a pair of dark blue pants and a white shirt in a size "super mega" he doesn't have to hope the designers deigned to make them in his size. Why?  BECAUSE THEY DID.

So yeah, Hubby can walk into any store he wants to and find a pair of pants and twelve shirts that fit and look great.

And he doesn't have to shop in a store that advertises "Selling plus sizes 14-30."  Again, because he can walk into big box stores, outdoor stores, pretty much any store, and find his size without anguish.  And again, not his fault.  This is the fault of US retailers and their notion of what women should look like and what they should wear.

So we're in line, waiting to purchase his magical pants and he's trying to be supportive and kind about my feelings. He asks if there was anything on the rack that would have fit me.  I say, "Sure, if I wanted to go to a 20 or a 22 those might have fit."

And then he says this...and bear in mind, none of this is his fault and I'm not angry at him and really he was trying to be nice, and really only plus sized women who are fighting to lose weight are fully going to get what this statement meant to me, but he says this:  "Well if it fits and it's comfortable, who cares what the number is?"

And that's when the woman in front of us, an older lady who was returning something, turned around, looked at him, then looked at me, roller her eyes, and shook her head.  

I bust out laughing, and so did she.  Poor Hubby was quiet for a moment and then he said, "I just got slapped with a look."

We chatted a bit, the lady and I, about her great "drop dead" look and I left the store feeling a bit better, if not about myself, at least about the battle I'm fighting.  Because it is a battle, and I fight and fail and sometimes I fight and win, but most of the time I lose, and not in a good way.  It's a battle that destroys a person in the worst and most complete ways.  It shatters our self image, it destroys people's respect for us (I've been told by an employer that I'm fat and therefore I'm stupid) and it shatters our desire to go, and do, and see, and be around anything and anyone. Oh and if you're fighting this fight, you know that it can be a matter or life or death, so you've got that added pressure hanging over you.

 Being fat is not about being lazy or stupid or gluttonous.  It's about a physical craving at 2 in the morning that won't be silenced. It's about looking at a $6 salad and a $2 burger and thinking about the $8 you have left in checking until payday.  It's about wanting to exercise but everything, everything in your body hurting so much that putting on shoes makes you cry. And you'd like to cut out food all together, because the whole "Cold Turkey" can work for some addictions, but hey, guess what?  If you don't eat you are going to literally die. So yes, you MUST partake of that thing that is your demon.  Also, cookies are delicious while brussel sprouts are not.

If questioned, plus sized people will tell you that it's not about genetics or some blood disorder, or whatever else the weight loss community is trying to sell to us as the cause of being overweight.  Most people who are my size will admit it's all about the deliciousness of food that's not at all good for us, and the fact that exercise is never as fun as lying on the couch with a bag of chips and a bowl of dip.  But food issues, like everything else, never starts out as an  eating marathon on a Saturday night.  It starts simply, quietly, and without any sort of warning signs.

For me it was about not wanting to waste food. I baby sat when the kids were little and those kids usually didn't finish their lunches.  Rather than just tossing the leftovers out, I grazed away, finishing this chicken nugget and that mouthful of mac and cheese, all before eating the lunch I'd made for myself because I was raised to believe wasting food is sinful.

While the kids ran around and burned off lunch and any snack I might produce, I didn't because I was babysitting and also working a telemarketing job from home.  So I'd send the kids to the back yard to burn calories and I'd sit down for a couple hours while my double lunch turned into a bigger pants size.

Every heavy person has a story about the starting point.  Maybe you had a baby and couldn't get that baby fat off.  Maybe there was a death in the family and you turned to food for comfort.  Maybe you had an injury that kept you sedentary for an extended period of time. It doesn't matter. It doesn't take much to turn a normal sized person into a plus sized person.  The siren song of food and leisure is strong.

I joke about being fluffy because it's my defense against what I just know people are thinking, even if they never say it out loud.  I need to beat people to the punch, so I laugh at myself, but the reality is that I hate looking at myself.  I hate buying clothes, which is why I return half of what I buy. I hate what plus sized clothes look like most of the time.  We're heavy, we're not blind.  Plus sized women want to look good too, and we want selection. We're even willing to pay extra for it, but hey, it would be nice if a 2X actually meant a size larger than a 12.  

Stores are going the wrong way in this fight.  Case in point, the 2 Kohls in my town have all but removed plus sized fixtures from the store, and has filled the space with clearance racks for normal sized women.  I'm not making this up...I went to two separate Kohls this weekend and the selection for plus sized was half of what it used to be (which is saying something since normally the selection is about a fourth of what's available for misses sizes) and the space was full of misses clearance.  I actually asked the cashier if they were getting rid of plus sized and she said she didn't think so because (and this was her reasoning)  "They're so excited about the men's big and tall shop."

Like what they do for men has anything to do with what they do for women.  So yeah, not reassuring.

But to bring this around back to something fun, if I ever see that lady again, I'm going to hug her, because she did give me a bit of boost when I was really down. And when you're trying to lose weight, like I am, every tiny thing helps.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Want to laugh at my misery for FREE? FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY!

Good morning!

So, this weekend, I'm offering downloads my office humor book, "Not While I'm Chewing" for FREE!

No strings.

Seriously...just click on THIS LINK and download the first volume of Elsie W's office antics!  FOR FREE!

No Kindle?  No can download it to your computer.  Seriously...FREE!

I'm trying to build my reader base, and the best way I can think of is to have people read what I write, and the best way I can do that is give away one of my books.  So click on THIS LINK FOR A FREE COPY OF "NOT WHILE I'M CHEWING!"

This is my one non-fiction book.  (Which is why the names have been changed to protect the me.)  Every word in this book is absolutely true, although some people have a hard time believing Elsie W. is a real person.

Believe me...I lived it. She's real.

This is the FIRST volume of stories I've written about my time working with Elsie W.  My second volume will be out the beginning of September. So...jump on this FREE OFFER and get the fruits of my hard labor for FREE!  JUST CLICK HERE!

I'm not sure I can make it easier!  LOL

This offer is for this weekend only. Sunday are out of luck!  So hurry!

Thank you! Enjoy!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Going to the gym makes me ________.

Good afternoon.

This is going to be quick, like a band aid. Just rip it off and get the worst of it over quickly.

I have come to a certain conclusion...and the evidence is perfectly clear.

Last week I blogged about how I actually got LOST on the way to the X-perience fitness, a drive that takes roughly nine minutes and covers maybe three miles.  

Well that wasn't the end of it.

I went to the gym again, mostly to prove to myself that I could drive there and back without getting lost again.  (Bear in mind, this a  gym where I've had a membership for two years and yes, I have gone quite often.  Not recently, my attendance has been spotty, but I've been there enough to know how to get there.)  I had a lovely little workout in the pool, where I walk/swim laps with the rest of the geriatric folk who are plagued with arthritis.

When I got back in the car there was a text from Hubby who was working at home that day and wanted an iced coffee from the new Caribou/Einstein Brothers place.  I hadn't eaten lunch so the idea of stopping for a quick bite and some iced coffee was a good one. I got in the Cube and headed out of the parking lot.

I then drove for at least two miles, looking, looking, looking, for the eatery.  Granted the NEW place hasn't been open long, but we've been there at least four times in the last six weeks.  (I love me my bagels and schmear.)

Don't ask me how long it took for me to remember one key about where the bagel/coffee place was.  the answer is:  TOO LONG.  I took a moment, in the process of a U-turn, to bang my head on the steering wheel.

See the sign?  That's outside the coffee place. See
the brown roof to the far left, next to the Rogan's Shoes?
Yeah, that's my gym.
See, the Caribou Coffee/Einstein Brothers Bagel place....SHARES A PARKING LOT with X-perience Fitness.

Therefore, my friends, I can only surmise this:  Going to the gym makes me STUPID.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Five for Friday: Young 'uns Just Don't Understand.

Good morning!

So something that's made the rounds on my Face Books feed this week was a picture asking that we note something from our childhood that someone younger might not understand.  Then answers ranged from technology to social differences between my generation and my childrens', and I got to thinking about how much is really, really different.  I decided to avoid the obvious for this week's list, which makes the list not only more challenging, but I think funnier. Bear in mind, I'm covering my experiences from about 1977-1985, (My junior high and high school years) so here we go.

5) My mother had to plan dinner before she even got out of bed in the morning.

One of my most vivid childhood/teen memories was waking up in the morning and hearing my mother say, "What am I going to make for dinner tonight?"  She often wouldn't get our of bed until she'd run through everything we had in the house and decided on what we were going to eat some twelve hours later.


Well, not only did she not have a microwave (so anything she had in the freezer had to be set out to thaw) there was also a wild lack of food delivery places.  I was late in my high school career before Domino's changed the restaurant landscape by providing pizza delivery to the masses in fly over land. Getting something delivered simply wasn't an option.  Very few restaurants had take out (again, this is in the Upper Midwest. I'm sure the cool people on either coast had all of this) and even if it had been available, eating dinners not made at home by mom (or someone else in the family) was just not a common thing in my growing up world.  Moms were stepping into the work force in bigger numbers, but someone still got home in time to whip something together for dinner.

We had fast food places, like Mc Donald's, but those were places where kids met after a school event, not a place to pick up family meals, not on a regular basis.  In fact, the town I lived in from 1977 -1982 didn't even HAVE a McDonald's or a national chain restaurant of any kind!  (A shocking realization my mother came to the day we moved in and she sent Dad and me out to get some burgers. Took us a full hour to find the one place in town that made fast food...and wasn't a bar.)

4)  Night time was a lot darker...and quieter.

I realized a few weeks ago when the power went out and my kids and their friends were trying to get dressed and pack, suitcases in my basement, that there is no such thing as darkness anymore.  I mean, sure, if you want to go camping (ummmm, no thanks..that involves being outside) you can probably still get some semblance of dark, but that's assuming you aren't packing a cell phone, laptop, iPod, iPad, or some other electronic thing that not only gives off light, but hums as well. (And if you're camping, it's a good idea to have at least one of those things with you. Remember the guy who had to cut off his arm because he was trapped without a cell phone?  You don't want to lose an arm do you?

This should have been called, "Take THAT
Nature Guy!"

 Back when I was young, the only thing that hummed at night was the fridge.  For those of us with a digital alarm clock, there was a small source of light in our rooms after dark, but very few people had TVs in their bedrooms and no one had a phone screen or computer screen that went to a screen saver at night, but still glowed and hummed.  My house is not what you'd call a hub of technology, not compared to many, but upstairs we have two computers (of the three) that rarely are fully shut down at night, plus it's a safe bet that there's a TV on in either the living room or our bedroom.  And of course, who turns their phones all the way off?  Move to the basement and the kids, with their computers and phones and video game systems are never fully in the dark.  Even Skippy's windowless basement room isn't completely in the dark ever.  And, hand in hand with that, nothing is ever completely silent.

3) It was a "Service station."

Remember when gas stations sold gas...and maybe gum..but you could talk to a mechanic and get your car fixed if you needed to?  Remember when you were more likely to to buy engine oil and not olive oil at a gas station?  Now it's all about convenience grocery stores that sell anything from chips and candy to dairy products, fresh produce and...yes, here in Wisconsin anyway, beer and WINE.  Wine from the gas station.  (Which goes nicely with the rib eye steaks I buy there.)  The people who work at gas stations today are all about retail and not about mechanics.  They can tell you all the details about the 750 different kinds of scratch off tickets they sell, but they aren't going to change your oil. They can make the donuts (not kidding, I actually worked at a gas station convenience store and my job was to make the donuts) but they aren't going to fill your tank.  (Remember full service gas stations?)  Most young people these days would run in horror from the gas stations of my youth, the places where the bathrooms were cleaned...oh who am I kidding, they were never cleaned...and if they sold soda (pop) you had one choice:  Coke or Pepsi.  And it came in bottles that you got from a machine outside the gas station.  You want hot food?  Go to McDonald's.  

2) We only had orange carrots and we survived.

One of the biggest things I've noticed that's different from my childhood to my children's is that cooking shows are now the mainstream.  Cooking competition shows seem to be more popular with younger kids than cartoons. I don't blame them. I never really liked cartoons and these days I really don't like them at all.  Well, except for "Bob's Burgers" and "The Simpsons," and, if I'm being honest, "Family Guy"...but THAT'S IT!

Cooking shows, thanks to the Food Network and Cooking network, have brought an entire universe of cooking options into everyone's homes. Now kids raised on cooking shows are competing on cooking shows and doing things like butterflying a pork chop or braising rabbit.  When I grew up, unless you lived on a farm that raised sheep, you ate three kinds of meat:  Beef, chicken, and pork. Turkey was purely for Thanksgiving.  If you were a hunter, you got venison and goose, but only in the fall.  No stores just sold goose. or duck...or seventeen kinds of shell fish.  Lobsters were RIGHT OUT!  (We were vaguely aware, here in Middle America, that people ate lobsters, but that was something people in far away, exotic place ate.)  Now, not only do we watch people cooking all kinds of fun proteins, we watch people catch-raise-hunt-fish for exotic proteins.  ("Deadliest Catch" anyone?) 

Yes, you're in fourth grade. Now...braise those golden beets in
duck fat and be quick about it!
How on earth did I survive all these years and NOT know what happens to meat when you sous vide it?  I grew up in a terribly poor childhood, one where I never saw a perfectly seared scallop or a black chicken coq au vine.  

We had orange carrots, and we were satisfied with that. But it's rainbow carrots, white carrots...we can't just have ORANGE CARROTS!  We must have four kinds of beets, all of them different colors.  (and all of them tasting gross in my opinion.)  We must not just have eggplant, we must have cooking shows where 9 year olds are cooking six different kinds of egg plant and if they don't get it right they are CHOPPED.  (Honestly when I was a kid, eggplant was the thing everyone grew in their garden, but no one ate and they'd dump truck loads of it on our front porch in the dark of night.  You know, because the Lutheran School principal wasn't actually paid in money, he got paid in eggplants and zucchini.)

1)  Plan ahead...nothing is going to be open.

My parents had to plan ahead before weekends so they'd have enough cash in case they had to buy groceries or something.  Why?

No ATMS. Banks weren't open.  And they didn't do credit cards at the stores.

My parents also had to plan ahead for holiday meals, one was open on Christmas. and by no one, I mean NO ONE.  No fast food places were open on Christmas.  No gas stations sold food.  ( I remember driving from Detroit to Milwaukee on Thanksgiving Day in 1989 thinking I'd hit up a McDonald's or something on the way. Nope, I wound up celebrating with a candy bar from the gas station in Paw Paw, Michigan because they were the only ones open (and he was in the process of closing up shop when I pulled in) and that's all they sold was candy.  I went back recently and it's a mini mart selling fresh produce and hot food. and it's open 24 hours.

But the younger folks now have no concept of worrying about 'what's open" because EVERYTHING IS OPEN and everything has an ATM machine.  3 AM Christmas morning and you need gifts and food for dinner?  No worries...Walmart, Woodmans and Meijer are open (along with countless other regional places).  Need cash at noon on Thanksgiving Day?  Just drive up to any bank, gas station, grocery store and and you have cash in hand.  

Now granted, there are still many places that aren't open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Skippy,
Now we don't have to wait until Monday to buy
that machete.
who walked in while I was working on this point, debated with me that he could get everything he wanted no matter the time of day or the day of the week.  Sure, his favorite record store isn't open at 3 AM (and yes, he loves playing music on vinyl.) BUT if he needs food, clothing, soda, basic auto repair items, toys, housewares, health and beauty items, or a MACHETE (which he got late one night at Walmart) he can go out into the darkness and get it.

I wonder what my mother would have done with that kind of access to everything?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Life's multiple choice question where all of the answers make me look dumb.

Good evening!

Not often do I blog twice in a day. Sure, by rights this morning's post was simply a re post of something that happened six years ago, but still...this is my second check in with everyone.  

Which means something monumentally stupid happened to me today.

Here's how it happened:

I was on my way to X-perience fitness, where I'm told I have a membership. (I'm told that by way of the fee they jam on my already full credit card every month.)

It was hot today, and humid, and I thought a dip in the pool with my old know...the old people who go to the gym pool at 1:30 in the afternoon on a weekday...would be just the thing to help jump start (again) my fitness program. 

I got in the Cube, which I've been sharing with Peaches the last two weeks because her far finally gave up the ghost at 325000 miles and the car she bought needs a little work so hubby is, at this very moment, lying on the driveway in the hot and humid air...oh and we're under a severe thunderstorm warning until midnight...and he's putting on new belts or flux capacitors or something.  ANYWAY I got in the Cube, my gym bag full of swim gear and make up and all the things a person going to the gym in the middle of the day might need.

Obviously I don't have a ton of experience in that...was bringing four sets of clothing and a gallon of night cream over packing?

ANYWAY...right, I was in the Cube on my way to X-perience. Now, this is not the first time I've driven the route. It's not even the fiftieth time.  I know how to get to the gym.

Or so I thought.

I could blame it in my iPod, which I had on "Shuffle" and which chose the song "Don't Tell Me You
Love Me" by Night Ranger to play while I drove to the gym.  (I challenge all of you to find a better song than that one to drive to.'s a pedal to the metal, no holds barred, roll down the windows and sing like you're a rock star song and I can ONLY listen to it in the car because my neighbors can't handle my awesomeness when I hear that song.)  I'm halfway through the song and halfway to the gym when I look around and think, "Hm I think I turned too soon."

That happens sometimes.  The route to my gym is bordered by a local university and there are two intersections covered in white stone buildings and sweat pants wearing college kids between my house and the gym.  Sometimes I undershoot my right hand turn and have to make an extra left to get back on track. No biggie,

Except today I'm driving along, looking for my usual left hand correction (and still singing "Don't Tell me You Love Me" and I can't find the street.  No worries, pretty much all of these side streets open into the street I'm actually looking for, so I just took a random left and started driving...while still singing. In fact...I restarted the song. 

Some six blocks later I realize I haven't found my proper cross street and now there's a good chance I've driven way too far in the wrong direction and missed my corrective right hand turn.  So I make a random right and figure I'll click in to another main road which will get me to the gym.

I made a wrong choice.  Again. This time I clearly crossed over the street I was supposed to turn left
on and now I was heading back to the original scene of the wrong turn.  Except...

In actuality, I hadn't made a wrong turn at all in the beginning...I was simply rocking out too hard to recognize the houses and I thought I was on the wrong street.

In short the trip that normally takes me eight minutes took me eighteen and by the time I got to X-perience I was ALMOST TOO TIRED to bother going into the pool.  However, I'm currently losing a weight loss challenge to Skippy this summer and owing him money is reason enough to haul my rear end out of the car and into the gym.

But here's the thing:  I realized that I had a seriously multiple choice question regarding my lapse in driving memory.

Was I 

1)  Getting senile?
2)  Becoming cripplingly direction handicapped in my own home town?
3)  Just really that stupid?
4)  All of the above?

See?  None of those choices make me look smart!  There isn't a single choice I can make from those answers that doesn't make me wonder if I am maybe losing my cool, awesome, edge.

(That sound you hear is the sound of my family howling with laughter at that last statement.)

Well guess what?  This is my blog so I'm going to add one other choice to those answers! How about this:

5) I was rocking out too hard to be bothered with things like directions because I'm super cool and I'm an awesome automobile singer.

And just in case you aren't familiar, here's the video to the song that started it all:

On this day in History: How did you not fall down more before you hired me?

Friends, six years ago today I had completed my first week at what I would later call (lovingly...) Stuff, Installed.  These were my notes from my first day, as I posted them on July 19, 2011. Those of you who work of have worked at Stuff, Installed, I hope you see the humor!

Hello all!

So I've now been at the new gig 7 days, and I have to ask this question:


Let's just recap what's happened in my first 7 weekdays:

Monday:  First day...was handed a large file of paper and told to schedule plumbing inspections.  Was not told what, exactly, was being inspected, or where the phone numbers for the plumbing inspectors were.  Also, was held responsible for the fact that one of the municipalities had raised their permit fees and therefore permit requests were being returned...slowly.

Tuesday:  Was offered sort of a promotion...since a position just opened up.  No talk of money, but was sent immediately to another desk where the disgruntled employee who was leaving was to train me.

Wednesday:  Learning far more about the New Bossman than I really wanted to.  And not all that jazzed about it.  NBM leaves empty cereal bowl on my desk after he eats his breakfast.  Figuring, since the bowl is sitting next to the plaque that says, "Director of first impressions"  I probably shouldn't have a crusty, milky cereal bowl on my desk, I take it and wash it.  Rest of the office folk scold me for failing the "bowl test."

Thursday:  Really starting to wish people would remember that I have been here four days, not four years.  Find out more interesting info on the Boss...and am starting to think I work in a daycare center, given how much tattling there is in the form of furtive phone calls to Human Resources.  Starting to feel that same heavy feeling when I come home from work.  Oh, and though the new position is triple the responsibility, NBM informs me that my raise will be $1.50 and hour from my previous agreement.  Not sure it's worth it.

Friday:  Can't take the pressure of the hurried training any more.  I can probably do the job, but between NBM's constant pressure to know everything NOW and the rest of the office telling me how awful he is and how hard the job is, I've decided NOT to take the offer.  NBM did not take it well.  Informs me that he knows EVERY ASPECT of the position and that the woman doing the job is simply slacking because she likes to create tension.  Having sat next to this woman for four solid days, I have my doubts...but I don't care.  My soul is worth more than $1.50 an hour...I think.  I feel remarkable happy again, in spite of the fact that NBM, in a hissy fit, drops another file of paper on my desk and says, "Fine, then do this."  Again, no explanation about what I'm supposed to actually do with I sort the papers into a nice alphabetical order and put them in my desk.

Friday PM:  After long talks with NBM, the other woman decides to leave a week early and never return.  She spends an hour on the phone with HR, and then walks out.  She does leave her keys with the other lady in the office (the one who shrieks and cries when she can't figure out something on the computer...which is pretty much every half hour), as well as a note for NBM.

Monday:  Did I mention that the lady who got the note and the keys doesn't come in until 11 AM?  When I arrive at 8 AM, the office is in chaos...and suddenly I am the answer lady.  Turns out, NBM knows NOTHING about the position in question and between him and the production manager, they haven't a clue how to carry out the most basic tasks in the company.  At least the production manager says please and thank you when I am able to help them out.

Yes, I've been here less than 6 days.

Oh, the office is relocating, and no one seems to know exactly which day we're supposed to show up at the new location.  I ask this question and it turns out that today, Tuesday, I'll be at the old location one more day. Which is funny, since I happen to know that the phones are being switched to the new location today.  NBM also informs me that I'm responsible for packing up and moving my office computer.  Really?  I wasn't aware that I was covered under the insurance policy for broken stuff.

Also, while there are 7 company cars and vans in the parking lot, apparently not a single one of them is stocked with a pair of jumper cables.  While we in Wisconsin don't worry about dead batteries so much in the summer, jumper cables are something most of us carry in our cars.  However, when I return from my lunch break, sales guy asks if I have jumper cables because his company car is dead.  I do...but seriously?  How did these people manage to stay upright without me?

Bigger do I keep falling into these situations?  Is all of corporate America simply this comical?  Am I being filmed?  Is that Rick Gervaise behind the shop door?  Am I on The Office?

My company picture.  The only on
missing is the woman who weeps
when the computer make her mad.
Finally, today.  As I expected, the phone guy showed up at 8 AM just as it had been mentioned about the office for at least...7 days.  Guess who was COMPLETELY SHOCKED by the news that we were not going to have any phones available to us all day?  If you said New Boss Man, you'd be right.

But the bigger funny, the one that made me run to the bathroom for a private guffaw.  The production manager, you know, the one not allowed to schedule production appointments, was not quite understanding why he couldn't fax something.  The following is a real life conversation between the two men who are now giving me orders:

PM:  I can't fax anything.  I'll bet that's because the phones are out.

NBM:  Why can't you fax anything?

PM:  The phones are disconnected.

NBM:  Why wouldn't you be able to fax anything?

PM:  Isn't the fax line connected to the phones?

NBM:  Oh, that's right.  So....what you're saying is that we can't fax anything?

PM:  I guess not.

I mystified them all by answering a phone call in the middle of this meeting of the brain trust.  Apparently, the phones hadn't quite been turned off.  Here is that conversation:

NBM:  Did you just take a phone call?

NGS  (New Girl Sarah):  Yes.  From one of the sales guys.

NBM:  How did you do that?

NGS (fighting the urge to reply in a smart alecky way):  I guess the phone isn't completely disconnected yet.

Phone Guy (who is about ready to shoot someone in the face):  Okay, all your phones are disconnected.

NBM:  They can't be...she just took a call.

Phone Guy:  Right...and then I disconnected the lines.

NBM:  Then how could she take the call.

NGS:  Excuse me...I'm just going to run to the ladies' room.

It's a real place...and I work there now.  God help us all.
So now we are in our new location.  It's a lovely big top with lots of music and clowns running around.  Me...I'm the bearded fat lady in the corner, taking notes and writing my next novel

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