This girl is funny...not skinny.

This girl is funny...not skinny.

Monday, February 28, 2011

You see, Mr. Scott? In the water I'm a very skinny lady. (except in the hot tub)

Good afternoon!

I love water.   I love being in the water.  For as much as I grouse about swim suits, I love, love, LOVE being in the water.

It's worth it because my hair looks AWESOME!
So it's no surprise that I love the pools at Gold's Gym.  I reward myself each week with one day of "water work out" that doesn't count any water aerobics class I might get into.  Nope, my water work out day, generally Thursday, is my favorite day because I get to swim and float and jog in the water on my own.  Generally I'm alone, so it's peaceful, and it's the one place I feel thin.  Sort of like Shelley Winters in The Poseidon Adventure.  (The good one starring Gene Hackman and Shelley Winters, not any of the terrible remakes.)

If you recall, Shelley Winters plays Mrs. Rosen, a heft lady who saves the day with an heroic swim at a key point in the movie.  When she suggests that she do the swim and not any of the fitter folks in the group, she's met with ridicule.  But she's able to convince them all, and she saves them all.  (okay, I hope I didn't spoil it for you....but come on.  That movie is almost 40 years old.  If you haven't seen it, that's not my problem.  Go rent it right now.  You'll love it.)

Well, that's how I feel in the pool at Gold's.  My knees don't hurt, my hands hurt less, I'm graceful, even my hair is flowing and beautiful which is a real trick considering how short it is.

And then, after a good 30-45 minutes of solid work and self esteem building in the pool...I crush everything with a five minute dip in the hot tub.

I can see you're skeptical about this.  How can such a water lover feel fat in the hot tub?

Let's review the make up of  my swim attire, shall we?

I wear one of two swim suits.  A lady like top and skirt ensemble that flows like graceful magic in the water of the pool....and floats like dead fish on the surface of the hot tub water.

I also wear a one piece thing with a very sturdy top and a soft, thinner material on the bottom.  Oh, and it has pockets.  Now, in the pool this suit behaves pretty well.  The pockets tend to invert giving me a very weird looking bump on my hips, but everything stays pretty much in place.  Until I hit the hot tub where the legs of the suit and the pockets all fill up with air and actually make it hard for me to sit down.  If I try to force the air of my shorts....well, what do YOU think that looks like?

Yep, I've cleared the hot tub at Gold's more than once because those in there with me think I'm suffering from a hellacious case of gas.  No one wants to be around that, so, in an effort not to offend, I simply force myself down on the bench and allow myself to look....huge.  Really, really, REALLY huge.

I try not to let it get to me of course.  I've made jokes about my swim suits over the years.  Someday, I'd like to think I'll be thin enough that I can wear something that doesn't involve a skirt or shorts, but I know that fat is not the only reason I where suits like that, so it's very likely I'll always be the fat, gassy woman in the hot tub.

I can live with that...because I know the next time I get in the pool, I'll be thin and graceful again, and that IS a feeling I cherish, even if only for a few minutes a week.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I must crush you!

Good afternoon all!

I'm hoping this finds you all someplace snug and warm and nice.  If you live where it's generally warm...enjoy!  If you live, like I do, in the northern realms...Spring will come!  Eventually!

Let me start off with a small rant today:

I AM SICK OF WINTER!  I am sick of my shoes always being wet.  Of my feet always being cold.  I am sick of shoveling my driveway approach in the evening only to have the city plows go through at night and fill it up again with heavy, dirty chunks of ice and snow!  I'm sick of my car so glazed in ice that I have to smack the doors just to open them.  I'm sick of my windows being frozen so I can't use drive ups, I have to walk in everywhere, thereby getting my shoes and feet more wet and more cold.

MOSTLY, I'm sick to DEATH of having to do the "penguin walk" over the ice rink that is my office parking lot because the building management is too cheap to plow when it snows, even if that involves an evening or a weekend.  They only plow during the day...you know, when cars are parked in the lot and people are walking in the lot.  The result is the lot is an uneven, rutted, frozen mess. 

Okay, enough of that.  I generally don't complain about winter, but I've got yet another evening of fun shoveling ahead of me before I drive into my driveway this evening. Yay me.

Now on to my reason for blogging today.

In our society, there are words we do not use because they are evil, hate filled words.  There are words we don't use because they are nasty.

I'd like to extend that to the women's locker room at Gold's.  There are some words that should never be spoken in there...and some conversations that should never be had.  Here is an actual conversation between two young, pretty, THIN girls in the locker room last night  (the fact that they were both blond only helps my story be more funny.)

Blond #1:  Oh I just love tacos!

Blond #2:  I know, right?

Blond #1:  Yeah, with that great greasy meat...you know, like ground beef.

Blond #2:  I know, right?

Blond #1:  I love cheese.  Melty, yummy cheese!

Blond #2:  I know, right?  Cheese is so good.

Blond #1:  I think like I'm going to you know, like get tacos tonight.  Maybe a lot of tacos 'cuz I'm like sooooo hungry!

Blond #2:  I know, right?  Working out makes me hungry. 

Blond #1:  So yeah, like tacos.  Maybe Taco Bell?

Blond #2:  I like tacos.

Blond #1:  Oh, but Taco Bell is like, not real meat, right?  Like only a little bit of meat and what, like fake?  But still, so good!

Blond #2:  Are we done working out?

Meanwhile, I'm sitting there, wanting to scream:  "SHUT UP!  THERE ARE FAT WOMEN TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT HERE!"

I stared at them.  Yes, I did.  I stared at them, sitting a foot away from me, talking about tacos.  I stared at them and suddenly I felt like Drago from that Rocky movie  (Cardio Cinema recently ran all the Rocky Movies.)  Suddenly I was this tall, sweaty, Russian boxer, and I was towering over them, saying, "I must crush you."
Go ahead Blondies...keep talkin'!
And, since I was just finished working out, I had the sweaty part down.

So my friends, I'd like to make a companion list of words to the already accepted list of words that are too vulgar or profane to utter, and I'd like to call it, (in honor of the late great George Carlin)

SEVEN WORDS YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO SAY IN THE LOCKER ROOM

1)  Taco  (Taco Bell, Taco John's)

2)  Melty, melted

3)  fresh baked

4)  Ice cream, cream, creamy

5)  cheesy, cheese

6)  Butter, buttery

7)  Chocolate

Oh, and as for my quest in the Gold's Body challenge, my official weigh in was Saturday.  No weight loss...big surprise there.  But the shocking thing was I actually lost 12.5 inches from various portions of my body!  And not all them were parts I could suck in.  So that's something to be jazzed about, right?  I'm fat, but it's a far firmer fat!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm sorry...is it April fool's day?

Good morning!

I must have slept through a couple months.  It must be April first.  It must be.  That's the only explanation I have for the events of recent days.

Yesterday I got the diagnosis from the ortho doc.  If you recall, Dr. Dudley Moore...I mean my useless internist...took two days to look over my x-rays and informed me, through his nurse, that I was old and that the pain in both my thumbs was just something I was going to have to live with.

No, it is NOT arthritis, and no it is NOT Carpel Tunnel.  But be sure to take the anti inflammatory meds, you know the Naproxin prescribed even though naproxin makes you break out in a very itchy rash.

Go with God.

So yesterday the Ortho doc, a man so young I will call him Doogie Houser, spent about six minutes looking at my x-ray, another five minutes actually touching my hands and said, "Well, it's clear you have advanced arthritis and carpel tunnel symptoms.

Go ahead, read that again.

Then, Dr. Doogie said, "It's strange to see such advanced arthritis in someone so young."

I'll give you a moment to read this comment and then reread the diagnosis from Dr. Dudley.

We then talked about treatment options.  Surgery, of course, was the first suggestion.  But surgery in someone so young  (I think I've fallen in love with Dr. Doogie.) wasn't a great idea because no one was sure how long the effects of the surgery would last.  "I don't like to operate on someone until they're far older."  (If my hands didn't hurt so much, I would cradle Dr. Doogie's face in my hands and never stop kissing him.)

So then we talked about other options.  Dr. Doogie is a man of action.  "Live with it" is not in his vocabulary.

So he got me a thumb immobilizing splint for my right hand.  I'm to find the same for my left  (He's saving me money by having me find one for my other hand.)  These splints are sort of a fingerless glove in black neoprene.  Once I get both of them, I'll kind of look like Watts from "Some Kind of Wonderful."  (Since I have almost the same hair style...the only difference is, well I outweigh Watts by...enough.)

The next thing we discussed was Glucosomine Chondroitine.  I'm supposed to take it. I'm supposed to take it three times a day.  Have you ever taken this?  The pills are about the size of my pinky finger.  Three times a day?  With a big glass of water?

Well, it's a good diet plan anyway.

Then I got a cortisone injection in my right had.  I thought maybe for the $50 co pay I had to shell out to get in the door, he should do both hands.  After getting the first shot, I see the wisdom.  I'm not saying it's painful, getting a cortisone shot.  I'm saying it's in the top five of all time most painful things I've done.  And I've given birth twice.  It's like having fire shot into the most painful part of your body, and then having that part of your body turn to stone.  Stone that feels tremendous pain. 

The real pain didn't hit until later in the day, when I tried to...well do anything involving my right thumb.  Try any one of the following simple tasks, and while you're trying them, imagine someone firing a nail through your thumb with a nail gun.

Buckling a seat belt.

Turning your key in the ignition.

Zipping your jeans zipper.

Ladies:  Undoing your bra hooks.

Changing your clothes.

Meeting with a personal trainer.

Oh wait, that last one...yeah, so I had a meeting with KRAM yesterday.  I wasn't about to miss it.  It was a weigh in and I'd lost at least five pounds since our last meeting.  Or so I thought.  My official weight was less...inspirational.  Apparently I gained 3-6 pounds overnight.

It was more than I could take.  Kram meant well, I think.  I hope.  Otherwise he's the cruelest man on the planet.  He said, "Smile."   He said, "Get off the couch and get in the gym more."  He said, "Obviously meeting once a month isn't enough.  Be here in two weeks for another weigh in."

All I wanted to do was lie down and sob.  Which is pretty much what I did once I fled Golds and got into my car.  Buckling my seat belt pretty much destroyed me.  By the time I got home  (Driving with my semi crippled left hand only) I was in tears and unable to get out of my car because I couldn't UNBUCKLE THE STUPID SEAT BELT. 

With tremendous effort, I took a shower and put on my jammies.  It was 5:30.  I then spent the next couple of hours lying on my bed, watching a David James Elliott movie, which was actually pretty good.  (More on that in my writers blog  It's a Writer's World.)  Hubby came home with my prescription for anti inflammatory meds.

Oh yeah, the final point of Dr. Doogie's attack on my right hand.  It's not naproxin, because he listened.

I started reading some of the cautions because I really wanted a glass of wine and a Tylenol PM and I wanted to know if I could take that with this new medication.  The instructions for this medication is, I kid you not, six pages long.  Small print.  I'll give you some of the highlights.

TAKE WITH FOOD  (awesome)

TAKE WITH A FULL GLASS OF WATER  (Kram will like that.)

INCREASES YOUR RISK OF SERIOUS STOMACH OR BOWEL PROBLEMS.  (ooh, danger.  Cool.)

MAY CAUSE SENSITIVITY TO THE SUN  (Well, I spend a lot of time indoors anyway.)

DO NOT TAKE IF YOU HAVE HAD SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION TO NAPROXIN.
(wait...what?  Define "severe"  Skin shredding rash? )

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS:  Drowsiness, dizziness, (okay)  constipation, diarrhea  (how can it cause both?)  gas, hearth burn, nausea vomiting  (fun) CRUSHING CHEST PAIN  (um....)

DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL!
(NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO)

Well, pain is pain, and frankly, I wanted to end the pain. Take the pills or cut off my hands.  So I pulled the packet out of the pharmacy bag.  And I instantly wanted to cry again.

Seriously, is it April Fool's Day?  The package the pills came in a flat package...something sort of like a birth control packet.  To open the pills, you have to push one end of the plastic packet with your thumb and pull the other end with your other hand.

Both thumbs number apply simultaneous pressure to get the pills out.  Then you have to apply more pressure to pop the pill out of the foil blister pack.

So let's review:

Dr. Dudley was exactly 100% wrong. 

Dr. Doogie thinks I'm young.

KRAM thinks I'm lazy.

I can't unbuckle a seat belt, zip up my pants, or put on a bra.  I can't blow dry my hair.  I'm a vision of hotness right now, I promise you.

The medication I'm supposed to take will probably kill me.  If not by the side effects or the fact that I can't have my glass of wine...then just getting the stupid pills out will kill me.

April Fools! 

Right? 

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Story about a Valentine's Day hero : 1991

Happy Valentine's Day!

There, we got that out of the way.  Don't let the fact that I write romances fool you:  I LOATHE Valentine's Day.  I have always loathed it.  I have several very solid reasons why and NONE of them involve a younger, bitter version of me sitting on my couch eating ice cream from the carton and watching sad movies.  I don't do that on Valentine's Day.  I do it almost every other day of the year, sure...but not on Valentine's Day.

Here are my reasons for disliking this stupid made up day:

1)  You just got over the pressure of having the "BEST THANKSGIVING" and the "BEST CHRISTMAS EVER" you spend a month shoveling snow and now you're expected to crap out ANOTHER "BEST WHATEVER EVER?"

2)  If you need an actual day to force your partner into admitting he/she loves you...you may want to take a look at your relationship.  I'm just sayin'.

3)  I've always had a significant other for Valentine's Day.  Seriously.  Since I was about 14 I've never been dateless for Valentine's Day.  That said, I think it's rude for the entire planet to celebrate a big honkin' romantic day and rub it in the face of those who are miserable and alone.  They know who they are.  We shouldn't need to paste a gigantic sign on them once a year.

4)  "You have to bring valentine's cards for the entire class."  Enough said. 


Those are valid points, I'm sure you agree.  However, I am not a heartless piece of stone, regardless of what my children will have you think.  I am a romantic.  Big time.  I know almost every lyric Barry Manilow ever wrote by heart.  I've watched "PS I LOVE YOU" about a dozen times.  I dream of John Cusack holding up a boom box outside my window.  I use candles as a primary source of light in my office when I'm writing. 

Oh yeah:  I'm writing a romance novel!

I think my relationship with Valentine's Day can be summed up in the story I'm about to tell you.  So sit back, grab a heart shaped box of chocolates and enjoy!

The first year we were married, 1990-91, Hubby and I didn't have a lot of money.  (We had more than we have now however...)  He was a parochial school teacher, and he worked across the parking lot from the house we lived in.  I worked as a data entry clerk five miles from home.  To save money, we had one car, which I used during the work week.

That first Valentine's Day we agreed, as we have every year since, that we weren't doing anything for each other.  However, my husband and a gigantic romantic  (eat your hearts out, ladies, he's all mine!)  and I sensed the morning of Feb 14 that he might want to surprise me.

I did not want to look like the schnook on our first Valentine's Day together.

I figured I'd get a card at least.  I left for work early that morning, and took the back roads so that I would pass by my favorite grocery store on the way to work.  (Yes, I have favorite grocery stores.)  It had snowed the night before, but nothing serious.  The biggest snow of the season was long since cleared to the sides of the roads.

Driving our shiny new 1990 WHITE Honda Accord, I set out to get the card and get to work.  About halfway there, I hit a patch of what we in the Northern States know as "black ice."  This is an ice patch you simply cannot see, day or night.  I hit it, and started spinning.  Since I was on a two lane county road, I was spinning into oncoming traffic.

Those who don't believe in a God or Angels have never spun out of control into oncoming traffic.  I was helpless to do much of anything, since it all happened so fast.  I spun once, twice, three times, careened back to my side of the road, and wound up in a ditch, smacking my car into two trees.  One was directly next to the drivers' side door, so I couldn't get out of the car that way.  The other, a much larger tree, I hit first with the passenger side rear bumper and then again with the back of the car. 

There was a horrifying shattering sound then it was silent.  I opened my eyes in silence, realizing  a couple of things right away.

1)  I was unhurt.

2)  I couldn't get out of my side of the car.

3)  I didn't want to look at the rear window, which I was convinced was shattered.

But look I did, and the rear window was intact.  The shattering sound was the pile of change I keep in the dashboard ashtray flying all over the car on impact. 

Amazed that I wasn't dead or worse, I got exited the car out the passenger's door and directly into hip deep snow.  (Remember, I'm in office clothes.  A skirt, dress shoes, nylons....)

Since my first cell phone was roughly seven years away, I had to go door to door to find someone home to call Hubby.  Since I was on a county road, this involved significant walking.  I finally found someone home, and I called the school where Hubby taught. 

Remember, we only had one car.  And that car was sitting in hip deep snow.

He borrowed another teacher's car and got to the accident site in about 15 minutes.  Not one single car passed me in that time.  It didn't take much for him to drive the car out of the ditch.  He asked me if I wanted to go to work or go home.  I felt fine, and I wasn't hurt, so I wasn't about to miss a day of work.  (I have always had this sick need to go to work no matter what.)  So I got back in the car and headed on.  I did NOT get the card.

When I got to work, I was almost half an hour late, so I stopped at my boss's office and let him know what happened.  Dave was a good boss to work for.  He was a fun guy who knew what he was doing and was very gentle in all things.  I haven't worked for anyone that good since.  I really liked working for him.  Anyway, he took one look at me, my nylons were still wet, and asked if I was okay.

"I'm fine."

So I went to my desk.  I turned on my computer, picked up the work in my in box, and sat down.

And immediately began to cry.

You know that kind of crying that's sort of silent at first and then kind of explodes into a full body shake, but you can't breath because if you do you'll make a noise so loud and horse like you'll scare small children, woodland creatures, and your office mate?

Yeah, that.

After sobbing at my desk for about five minutes, I turned off my computer, put all my work back into my in basket, stood up and went to my boss's office.

Still sobbing.

"I-can't-work-today."

Dave was a very sympathetic guy.  "You want to go home?"

I nodded because, well, tears and snot were running down my face and I would've gotten a mouthful had I opened up.  Plus I was still holding back that really awful sobbing noise.

"Are you okay to drive?"

"N-n-n-noooooooooooo!"

If you can picture a small child in some horror film coming face to face with the monster, that was sort of my response.

Let me put this all into perspective.  It's a Monday.  It's the morning.  We're busy doing what...we do.  And I'm in my boss's office basically asking him to take and hour, and drive my car and me home.  Which means someone else has to take time and follow him so Dave has a ride back to work.

And he did it. 

I am so sorry to say I don't remember the name of the man who followed us.  I can still see him, though.  He followed Dave driving my car.  They drove me all the way back home, made sure I was in my house safely and went back to work.

Dave told me later that they drove by the accident site.  I'd missed hitting an electrical transformer box  (You know, one of those things that has all the "HIGH VOLTAGE KEEP AWAY" signs on them?)  by about two feet.  He told me that if a SCUD missile ever came toward Waukesha, Wisconsin  (This was during the First Gulf War.  Scuds were a big deal.)  he wanted to be standing next to me.

Twenty years to the day later, I still think of Dave, and of the guy who helped get me home.  Of course we no longer have the car, I don't have that job anymore, and Hubby and I have moved several times since that snowy Valentine's Day.

But I still have my memories of a regular guy who was a hero to me. 

And that would make February 14 1991 one of my very best Valentine's Days.

Here's hoping you all have a great day, whether you're in a relationship or not.  Keep and eye out...heroes pop up when you least expect them, and when you most need them!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

If I actually do the splits will I get a GOLDS star?

Good afternoon.

I'm supposed to be working on my new novel, but I'm thinking I'll lock myself in my office at home in about an hour, so I'm catching up on my blogging.

One little thing:  I'm guest blogging on Sunday over at Goddess Fish Party pavilion and Long and Short of It.  They are both having Valentine's Day events going on.  Stop on in, you might win a Nook!   You can get there by clicking on those nifty black boxes there on the right...your right.  Go ahead click.  Well, actually click now, familiarize yourself with the site, then click again on Sunday and read my brilliance. I'm talking about celebrity crushes, brunettes, and first kisses.  How can you miss on that?

Okay, now let's talk about working out.

After taking a week off to nurse my anguished knee I returned to the gym.  Mostly I returned to the gym because, after cancelling my meeting with KRAM on Tuesday because I had the flu   (does it ever end with me?)  I promised him I would be in on Thursday.  I am a woman of my word.  SO I got there.

Now it should NOT be any surprise to anyone that I do not like to be viewed in a swimsuit.  I've got at least 85 pounds to shed before I'm going to be excited about people seeing me in my suit.  SO I generally don't do the pool thing unless the pool is empty or I'm in a class.

So last night after waiting around...I mean working out on other equipment for an hour, the pool finally cleared out and I was safe to swim.  I like being in the water.  I feel thin and graceful.   Maybe I was supposed to be born a dolphin, I don't know.  But I like the water.

What I do not like is the deck around the water.  Seriously, can we somehow develop a material that isn't super slick around pools?  Every pool I've ever gone to has a "don't run" sign hanging up.  But every pool I've been to also has a deck made of the most slippery when wet materials EVER.  How about something the is less like ice when wet?

Or maybe something soft and foamy.  Had there been something soft and foamy around the pool last night, maybe I wouldn't have crippled MY OTHER KNEE.

Yes, this is how I...or it...went down.

I walked slowly into the pool area.  See, there's this little hallway that leads from the women's locker room to the pool. Right next to it is a little hallway that leads from the pool to the men's locker room.  Do I wear my glasses when I swim?  No.  Have I nearly walked into the men's locker room on more than one occasion because the little hallways look exactly alike?

Of course.

So last night I walked slowly from the locker room to the pool.  I picked up a kick board because I like the kick boards.  They are fun.  They are also foamy.  I rounded the far end of the pool and walked toward the stairs.  See, the pool isn't very deep so I can't dive in, and since I'm still dealing with two bad hands and a bum knee, using the ladders isn't the easiest for me.   So I use the stairs and I sort of stride in to the pool like some glorious Egyptian queen or something.

As I'm approaching the stairs, moving at a slow, fat lady in a swim suit pace, I hit a patch of I don't know, WATER on a SLIPPERY  surface and I come very, very, VERY close to doing the splits.  I managed to not fall, which is good.  See I spend a lot of energy NOT falling down.  When a fat woman falls down, first of all it hurts, second of all it's hilarious and I wasn't in a mental space where I felt like being the funny fat woman last night. 

The upside is no one witnessed my graceful movements.  That's a good thing...until you think about the what ifs:

What if I had fallen, hit my head, slipped into the pool and drowned?

What if I had fallen, hit my head, and remained unconscious until they locked up?  Then I'd be in there all night...in my swimsuit.

What if I had fallen, hit my head, was knocked out, in my swimsuit and they had to put me on one of those special stretchers and cut me out of the pool because I'm so big?

What if I'd fallen, but hadn't been knocked out and had to listen to the people outside the pool looking through the windows laughing at me?


So I didn't fall down, I wasn't humiliated, but I did, yes, manage to twist my other knee.  Which means I now have two very tender knees which aren't handling just the basics of walking right now.

Awesome.

The very good news is , however, tomorrow I am spending the day in a gym at Peaches' cheer competition.  My unsteady knees up and down bleachers all day....

Double Awesome!

Maybe someone will videotape the moment one of my knees finally gives up completely and they'll send it in to America's Funniest Home Videos and I'll win some cash.

Which I'll use to replace my knees...and my thumbs...and a stomach stapling...liposuction...an eye lift...professional hair coloring...

THAT'S IT!  I will fall down!  I will fall down and be able to fix everything that's wrong with me!

Well it's good to have a plan anyway.

Meanwhile:  Good luck Peaches and the rest of the team tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sarah saves Cash Strapped School districts with her brilliant idea!

Good morning!

The TV told me the other day that I shouldn't be afraid to talk to my kids about drugs or sex or alcohol.  I'm not.  I have two teen aged children.  Every day, since they started school, I've said the following to them:

Don't Drink

Don't smoke

Don't do drugs

Keep your clothes ON

And then I send them out into the world, confident that they will manage to stay out of major trouble if they follow these simple guidelines.  And, while their lives certainly haven't been perfect, we have managed to avoid being guests on the Maury Povich show.

Yes, we do watch Maury Povich.  It comes on about the time I get home from work.  The kids are just home from school, and the three of us sit down, watch, and have very frank discussions about the problems folks could avoid if they follow my four step program.  (Hubby does not watch with us...the human waste that makes up Maury's guest list sort of sickens him.) 

If you haven't seen Maury, here's a short summary of about 95% of his shows:

He introduces a woman.  The woman tells us a tall tale of woe, generally involving "her man."  Sometimes her man is cheating on her.  Sometimes her man is denying the baby she has.  Sometimes it's both.

Maury gives the man either a paternity test or a lie detector test.  Then, in front of  a crowd not unlike the ancient Romans watching Christians being used as chew toys in the Coliseum, he reads the results. 

"You ARE the father." 

This will result in howls, cheers, the woman will almost always jump up and shout some sort of Shakespearean poetry at him.

"You ARE NOT the father."

Again, this results in howls and cheers, only this time it's the MAN who jumps up and shouts forth great poetry at the woman, who has run off the stage and is now in the back, sobbing and howling on her own. (this is especially fun when, moments earlier the woman says she's 1050%  (not a misprint) certain the man is the father.  Not only is that a shocking lack of understanding about percents, it's really, really funny when she's proven wrong.)

In the case of cheating, it goes like this:

The woman, always a Mensa member, explains to Maury how she's found proof that her man is cheating.  The proof is always something icky, like "sex stains" on his underwear...or my favorite...his private bits always smell clean when he comes home from work.  (Seriously...a woman actually said that!)  Then the man swears he's 150% in love with her.

Then Maury reads the results of the lie detector test.  In watching his show for about 5 years, the cheaters are about 400 to 1 against the non cheaters.  Basically, if you get hooked up to a lie detector test on Maury Povich, you are a big old sack of lies and you're about to get outed in front of a very vocal audience.

But back to the Paternity results.  I love the shows that involve paternity because these are the shows that really high light the knowledge the average Maury guest has about science and basic biology.  Here are some actual bits of wisdom from men denying the children:

"That baby can't be mine because I can only have boys, and that baby is a girl."

"That baby looks white.  I'm black."  (The mother is white.)

"That baby isn't mine because I already have 7 babies." 

"That baby isn't mine because I'm only 17."

"That baby isn't mine because I only had sex with her one time."

"That baby isn't mine because she has kids from two other guys."

Folks, you might be shocked that I watch something so completely devoid of morality.  You might be shocked that I watch it with my kids.  But ponder this, my friends.  The above statements prove one thing very, very clearly to me:

Sex ed in our schools is NOT working.

Which brings me to the point of today's rant:  If sex ed is so obviously not effective in our schools, (given the vast lack of knowledge people seem to have about sex and the results of sex) and if schools are struggling with budget cuts, how about we cut sex ed classes out of the school and instead offer episodes of Maury Povich?

TV entertainer or the best sex ed teacher EVER?  You be the judge.

Think about it:  You could have rooms full of students, turn on the TV, and for 44 minutes you've got a great life lesson in what stupid (and skanky) looks like.  For no extra charge, since most schools already have a cable subscription, you can have lessons on basic genetics, on why drinking affects your common sense, on how the use of birth control might just slow the conception of babies  (this for the guys who have multiple babies from multiple women...there was a guy on Maury last week who was taking paternity tests on his 29th child.)  and how, if you already have two kids from two different guys and you can't remember which two guys, you might want to cut down on the orgy weekends, at least until you pinpoint the fathers of the two kids you already have.  (This for the woman who was on the show for the 5th time with her third kid...and she hadn't found a father for any of her kids yet.)

No actual teaching would be necessary. 

I don't have raw numbers on how much this idea would save school districts, but I'm betting we could SAVE THE MUSIC, and then that would streamline the Grammy shows and maybe they'd go back to actually playing music on the music TV stations.

So it's a win/win situation all the way around!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wearing the swimsuit backwards and other stuff I managed to do at Gold's this week.

Good morning!

I was in the pool at Gold's last night, sort of pondering the last two weeks.  I've been in the body challenge for four weeks and the first two weeks I managed to lose five pounds.  And then in the last two weeks I gained four of them back.  So I went over my past week, searching for a reason for this unfortunate fluctuation.

This week actually started last week Thursday when my doctor, Dippy Dudley and I believe I will be calling him from now on, informed me that I'm old and my hands are just going to hurt, but here's a prescription for something that hasn't been working, will probably shut down my liver and by the way, I'm probably allergic to...if the heinous rash on my collarbone was any indication.

I didn't work out Thursday.  I did get Skippy signed up for a membership, at his request.  He hasn't actually been there yet, but it's a good start that he asked for it.

I didn't work out Friday because  I had the weekend free and was writing.  Skippy and I shared pizza and a nice family moment while Peaches and Hubby drove across the state to eat vegetarian fare and smelt.  (That's a fish, for those of you who aren't sure.)

Saturday, I went to Gold's, feeling great and fully intending to work out big time.  As if the gods of Gold's had smiled upon me, they were playing "ROBIN HOOD" in Cardio Cinema!  SCORE! 

Unfortunately for ME, some dingbat female decided that she needed to SHARE her iPod selections with the rest of the group.  Sharing is only good if it involves chocolate, toys, and a bottle of wine.  If you really look at things you shouldn't share, I do believe music from your iPod is one of them.  And how deaf is this woman going to be when she hits 25 if she's got it blaring in her ears so loud that I, sitting ten feet in front of her and focused on the movie in front of me, can only HEAR HER MUSIC? 

Now, I'm not a combative person by nature, I spend a lot of time trying to avoid conflict and keep from falling down.  In this case, I thought perhaps the music was coming from overhead.  So I asked the lovely folks at the front desk to maybe check on that, please, when they had a moment.  It never occurred to me that an actual person in Cardio Cinema would 1)  be using an iPod...after all, there's a MOVIE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!  and 2)  be using an iPod so loudly that not only could we all hear it, but it was actually LOUDER THAN THE MOVIE. 

When I realized it was actually the woman on the elliptical behind me, I knew I wasn't going to say anything to her.  I tried to give her my very best death stare, and then I left.  I left and I went home and I watched Robin Hood on my own TV with a bowl of popcorn and a Vernor's.

Sunday afternoon I was going to go to Gold's, and then I didn't.

Which brings us to Monday.  Monday I actually gathered up enough self esteem to go back to water aerobics class.  By this point I'd been off the Aleve for five days.  My rash was definitely better, so I felt confident that I wasn't going to infect anyone in class with it.  (I still have claw marks on my arms from scratching, but everything else has healed.) 

I don't know who the instructor was.  I don't wear my glasses in the pool, so I can't really see faces.  (I can't hear well, either, but we've covered that.)  Anyway, this was a lady who I hadn't had for class before.  She seemed really nice, but really, really, REALLY focused on a couple of moves that she had us do over and over and over and over and over....

Yes, the suspended jumping jacks.  My nemesis.

To her credit, the instructor did look concerned  (I think so, again, I couldn't actually see her face or hear what she was saying.)  when she realized I wasn't gripping the wall with my hands when we were supposed to kick in the water  (ala every swim lesson you ever took as a little kid.)  and she was relieved when I told her it wasn't her fault.  So I was able to make her feel good, which was nice. 

I will say this:  It was a good work out.  I felt like I'd done something positive, plus, I finally figured out how to do that rocking horse move.  Now if only I could coordinate the suspended ski thing she wanted us to do.  Really I just sort of flail around on that one.

Tuesday I was going to go, but then we started the big giant blizzard which carried over into Wednesday.  Now Wednesday I did spend a couple hours shoveling snow. For those of you who have never shoveled a pile of snow, this is a serious workout.  Especially in our case, since there was so much, we really had few choices of where to put the snow we were moving.  In shoveling out the driveway, we carried the snow across the street to the lane divider in the middle of our boulevard.  So it was scoop, walk, fling, walk, scoop for about 90 minutes.  Solid work out.  Of course, by this point I'd been off the aleve almost a week.  My hands swelled and the pain was so intense by the time I stopped I actually toyed with the idea of drinking my coffee through a straw.  The good news is that since I can't grip much of anything, I can only eat what I can pick up with my fingers.  Very small pieces of food only...

Which brings me to yesterday.  Yesterday Peaches and I went to Gold's.  I was going to get on the bike, but the movie in Cardio Cinema was "Step up 3" and since I hadn't seen 1 or 2, I figured I would be lost in the plot.  So I hit the pool.

Ah, something you should know, if you haven't figured it out, I hate shopping for swim suits.  HATE it.  Almost as bad as shopping for jeans used to be.  The difference is that now I know what jeans fit and I can just go and get them.  Buying a new swimsuit involves hours of humiliation.  So, instead of subjecting myself  to the bad lighting of a fitting room, I get my suits online.  And, since I'm CHEAP  I get them used...on eBay.  (Oh don't get all "EEEEWWWWWW"  The suits are clean.)  I found two really great ones this year.  One's sort of a one piece top and shorts with a tummy control panel.  Nice for water aerobics, but not great for the hot tub because the shorts fills up with air or water and then I just look like I have really unfortunate fat pockets...which would be okay if the air didn't the release...then it just looks like I have horrifying gas.

The second suit, my "ladylike" swim suit, is a two piece tankini deal with a dainty skirt.  Okay, dainty might not be the word for something involving as much material as that suit does, but I feel somewhat dainty in it.  There are no tags in it, since it was second hand, but it's very comfy and I like it.

Since Peaches was with me, I changed from my warm clothes to the suit in a stall.  No need for her to see what time and love of Cheetos has done to me just yet.  Wait til she's my primary caregiver.

Do you know...bathroom stalls really don't have a lot of space for changing clothes. No, I don't use the handicapped stall because that's just rude...unless I really have to and there's no other stall open, of course.  But regular stalls are really sort of tiny.  Hey, I change clothes whilst sitting on the toilet all the time...which you probably didn't know, but whatever.  But changing in a public place where the stalls are little, that's a challenge.  I'm saying this because I'm trying to explain why, when I emerged from the stall, it was abundantly clear to me that I was wear the bottom of my swimsuit backwards. 

In my defense...oh whatever.  The bottoms were on backwards.  In walking back to my locker, I gave myself a delightful spandex wedgie.  I fixed it and went for a swim.

Dee was working last night so it was nice to chat with her for a couple minutes after my swim.  And by chat I mean she gave me a pile of grief for not working out more.  I do love that woman! 

Anyway, in chatting with Dee, (I have a rule about getting naked in front of someone when I'm discussing our kids and their teachers.  I try to avoid it.)  I delayed changing back into my street clothes a few minutes.  Peaches wasn't in the locker room, I figured I had time to get dressed without fighting my way around the stall.

I thought wrong.

Poor Peaches.  She'd rather die than say a word to hurt my feelings or admit she was embarrassed.  But I don't have to think to hard to recall the time I saw my mother's bare fanny....I was seven.  I walked in on her in the bathroom.  The image is burned in my brain.

So...

So in the car on the way home I took the bull by the horns.  "I'm sorry you say my bare fanny."

"It's okay."

"I didn't realize you were coming in so soon."

"It's okay."

Then we went home, made grilled cheese sandwiches, and watched episodes of "Quantum Leap" on Netflix.

So in review of my week at Gold's.  I managed to get Skippy a membership.  I shot a death stare at a rude iPod user.  I lived through a really hard water aerobics class.  I put on my swimsuit on backwards.  I let my daughter see my regal rump.

The only thing I didn't manage was to lose five pounds.

Will I be there tonight?  Well no, and here's why:

After a really good swim last night, hubby asked if I would join him in a futile search for a roof rake.  (Again, for those of you who don't get snow, this is a tool you use to get heavy snow off your roof before it crushes you in your sleep.)  I say futile, because if Vicki  (her real name) at the Home Depot is to be believed, there were no roof rakes available all day and shame on us for being too stupid to buy a roof rake BEFORE we needed one.  "I tell you people to come in before the storm or during the storm because we aren't going to have these after the storm.  Why would you wait until after the storm to buy this?"

Well, after that stellar customer service, we walked back to the car and, in getting into the car, I managed to twist my good knee.  Today, I cannot bend it at all.  I think that having two hands I can't bend and a knee I can't bend is God's way of telling me to stay home and watch a movie tonight.  (and we bought a roof rake at Menard's across the street.  sure it was the last one, but a very nice lady whose name I did not catch helped us find it.)

So KRAM, if you're reading this, I want you to know...I gave it my very best this week, I really did.

Oh, and I'm going to need to change my appointment next week to a later time.

(Maybe an extra hour or two will give me enough time to hit that weight loss goal!)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why I sort of envy Jack Torrence.

Good afternoon everyone!

The rumors of my demise have been exaggerated.  The rumors of the snow dumpage on my home state, have not. Here's a picture of my front door:



The pile you see there is a drift as it sat before we started shoveling.  I wish I had a picture of the garage door before we shoveled, but we had to dig out of the garage just to get this shot.  Waukesha got something like 12-15 inches of snow.  Other communities around us got almost 2 feet.  It was the drifting after the snowfall that nearly got us though.  And yet, here we are, 24 hours later, back to work!

Last night Peaches and I celebrated the end of a long snow day by watching that winter classic "The Shining."  Peaches loves scary movies, and, while she's really not old enough to be watching Rated R flicks, I justified it with the fact that I was watching along with her and saying, "If I ever hear you use that word, I'll ground you until Nick Jonas grows facial hair." 

Anyway, for those of you not familiar with the Stephen King classic, I'll summarize.

Jack Torrance, former school teacher, present writer, full time nut, takes a job as the winter caretaker for the Overlook Inn in a remote part of the Colorado Mountains.  It's a 6 month stretch that involves complete isolation from the outside world due to the the narrow mountain roads and snow volumes.  Jack loves the idea of the isolation, since he's writing a novel.  (And all writers love this idea...complete silence, no outside bothers, no children yelping at the doors for food, homework help, juice boxes....

So Jack moves his wife and kid and his kid's imaginary friend into this huge and, ultimately haunted  (or cursed, so of depends on how you look at it,) hotel.  As you can imagine, hilarity ensues. 

Sitting there with my daughter, I tried to explain to her why the isolation was so complete, and therefore why the movie was so scary.  "This was before email, before the Internet, before cell phones, before Face book, before video games, and before...GASP...movies on DVD."  I always feel like such an ancient when I talk about things I didn't have as a kid that my kids have now.  And then when I tell them about the time there was a blizzard and my mom tied ropes around my cousins and me because the adults in the house were SICK TO DEATH of us kids and frankly, we needed to go outside...well, then I just sound like I lived next door to Laura Ingalls Wilder.

"Well mom, this must be a very old movie."

1980...yep, a very, very old movie.  I was her only a touch younger than she is right now when it came out.  Egads.

Watching the movie, however, I did find myself so of envying Jack Torrance.  Oh no, not for the whole, chasing the wife around the hotel with an ax and getting bashed in the head with a baseball bat by said wife.  And no, I don't envy him his ultimate demise....wait, you're yelling "spoiler alert?"  Please, this movie is 31 years old!  Sorry...didn't mean to ruin the plot for you!

What I do envy, which was shocking to me as I pondered it further, was the isolation! 

Think about it, from a mom standpoint:  No phones!  (I have a love/hate relationship with the telephone.  I love my ring tone.  I hate to answer my phone.  My children will tell you, I spend the first three rings of every call yelling, "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?" at my phone.  Unfortunately, I do that at work, too.)

No phones, no texts, no one calling you or expecting a call from you.  Just thinking about eases my desire to shriek.

Emails sort of fall under that same category. Oh I definitely prefer email to phone calls.  (I almost prefer texting to phone calls.  Almost.)  And yet there are emails I could definitely do without.   For example:  I don't need to enlarge my penis, I don't need to refinance my home.  I don't need a car insurance quote.  I have never played the Irish lottery, so it's doubtful I've truly won.  And, really, I'm honored that some prince in a far away land needs my help, but no thank you, I'm not giving anyone my bank number. 

And then there are the emails I'm supposed to read and don't...I won't go into that.

Then there are the emails I'm supposed to read and I do...and it just aggravates me.  Emails from my kids' schools.  Really, wouldn't a phone call be easier?  (Oh, wait....)  Emails from my church, which are fine, except I get the emails so I don't have to have the printed version of anything in my mailbox at church.  Then it turns out I miss having something to read during the sermon...oh, wait, I mean during the offering, DURING THE OFFERING, so I pick up the printed version anyway.

Then there are the political emails I get.  How on earth did I get on some of these mailings lists?  Seriously, I know I lean to the right a bit, but frankly, I'm not quite ready to join forces with the groups that keep sending me these urgent emails about the evil those on the left are trying to do.  (I file those emails right next to the ones from the Nigeria prince who needs my bank account number.)  I don't believe I'm going to save the world by reading angry political emails any more than I believe I've won the Swedish lottery.

And then there are the emails from my mother.  These generally consist of reminders to send cards to various relatives, which I would do on my own thanks, I'm not a child!  (Oops, I did miss a birthday recently) but my favorite ones from my mom are the forwards.  She forwards first of all, all the political emails I've already deleted.  So I have to delete them twice.  Then she forwards all the emails that have been making the rounds for about ten years.  (Bill Gates has NEVER given me a dime for forwarding emails, I've never gotten a thing from Walt Disney's kids, and Apple bee's owes me roughly 200 dinners.)

Basically, I read emails from my close friends, and I love those survey things that ask you if you like bacon bits or croutons on your salads.  (Of course, that would imply I actually eat salad...)

So phone and email...out!  NICE!

Kids...well, I'd have to take them along, I suppose.  then again, maybe not.  I mean, they're pretty old.  I could just...leave them at home.  What harm could befall a 14 year old girl and her 17 year old brother if left to themselves for 6 months?  Really.  What harm?

Cats....no cats. 

Boss...nope.

Husband...well I MIGHT take him along.

I should note that since I started writing this blog yesterday, the following has happened:

1)  My cats set their whiskers on fire. (I'd feel sorry for them, but all three of them did it in the span of about three minutes.  I had a candle going, they jumped up stuck their noses in it, scorched the whiskers.  You'd think the first one would warn the other two.)

2) I helped shovel 24 inches of junky snow from my driveway

3)  I came to work. 

4)  I solved four website related issues, two boss related issues, answered five phone calls and just now had a text conversation with Dee.

5)  I called two teachers, texted both kids.

6)  Just got a phone call from my boss telling me, in ten minutes or more, that he was going to shovel his driveway.

It's taken me 36 hours to write this blog!  (Which is almost fine, since I've changed the topic at least twice.)


Still, I watched "The Shining" last night and a big part of me envied the wide open writing time he had.  How could a writer go insane when your biggest job is to WRITE?

It's what we all dream about! You know, minus the ax murder thing and all that!

The difference between a Meijer employee and a heart attack? Not much.

Good afternoon everyone and Happy Holidays! When I was little I lived in Michigan, home to a wonderful store called Meijer's Thrif...