workout plan

workout plan

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Aren't regular photos bad enough?

Good afternoon!

Well my friends, the week I thought would never end has finally done so and I am very, very relieved!  But before I retire to the couch to sit on a heating pad and sip a very dainty amount of pinot noir while watching Amazing Race, I have to share this with you.

Less sniffy...more drinky please!
Now, I'm not saying I don't like to be photographed....

Wait, yes, I guess I'm saying exactly that.

I loathe being photographed.  There's only one photographer on the planet who's been able to get a picture of me when I didn't look stupid, drunk, fat, or all three.  That photographer did my high school pictures, my college pictures, and my wedding pictures, and, if I could convince him to drive 90 miles every time someone wanted to capture a memory of me on film  (or digital now) I would pay him to do so.

As it is, we all carry around an image of ourselves in our brain.  My image is about 10 years younger, 50 pounds lighter, and doesn't limp.  Which means every time I see myself in the mirror or in a photo, it's sort of a shock.  "Who is that chubby old woman with the gimpy leg?"

Oh, wait, that's me.

HORRORS!

So no, I avoid having my picture taken.  And I've been good enough at it that some day my grand children are going to ask my children, "Why don't we have any pictures of Grammy Sarah from the day she got married until the day we tossed her ashes from the top of Raging Bull, the roller coaster?"  (yeah, that's another post for another day.)

Well, today I could no longer duck it.  Mostly because I'm not as aware of the endless abilities teens now have to snap pictures.  What once was an innocent telephone is now a weapon of mass photographic destruction in the hands of a 14 year old girl.

One of Peaches' friends took a bad photo of me to the very next level.  She has an iPod touch, which I didn't realize was created by people who hated fluffy girls.  Not only did she take a very close up shot of me...always flattering....then she was able to put it through a sort of fun house effect so that my double chin now looked ENORMOUS. 

She hit another button...like that was going to help matters, which made my profile look something like what you'd see on a cooking show...you know where the cook makes something so horribly inedible they are removed from the show?

Yes, photographic humiliation in the digital world.  Every person with a phone is now an enemy.  I have become the prey and I'm getting very skittish.

I'm not paranoid...I just don't like having my picture taken!

And now my friends, I have one tiny announcement....

I GOT FLOOR SEATS TO SEE RICK SPRINGFIELD IN MAY!

I will now be off until Thursday.  Peaches and I are going adventuring in the near north woods where there are no cameras allowed...ever.

Have a lovely few days without me, and I'll see you all on Thursday!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Laundry List Friday: Movie quotes you need to make you feel better!

Good morning!

Well my friends, I'm going to be honest.  I'm in the middle of the busiest, most frustrating week I've had in a very long time.  I won't bore you with the details.  Suffice it to say that every aspect of my life has gone supernova this week.  I'm just white knuckling it until 3 PM Sunday when it's all over.  There is a bright spot...today I get to purchase Rick Springfield tickets, and I'm really hoping this is the year I get floor seats.  Fingers crossed!

Anyway, since it's been one of those weeks, and since I've been frustrated, a lot of things have come to the very tip of my tongue to shout out loud.  Of course I don't because we live in a society and yelling certain things out loud is frowned upon.  However, I'd like to share with you some great movie quotes that really do make you feel better if you shout them at the top of your lungs, preferably in front of a large group of polite people.

5)  I've been blown up!  Take me to the hospital!  Take me to the hospital, I'm sick!  (The 'Burbs)

One of my top 100 all time favorite movies.  "The "Burbs."  And one of the best quotes from a very quotable flick.  And a pretty good way to signal to those around you that you've had ENOUGH.


4) "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."  (Gone with the Wind)

Now, while I would NEVER advise cussing...something about tossing this classic verbal hand grenade into the middle of polite society is making me giggle at the moment.  Best part?  Ya don't even have to use much energy with this one.  Just calmly let it drop on the person or persons making some ridiculous request of you and walk away.  Perfection!

3)  "I'm Bob. Would you knock me out, please? Just hit me in the face. "  (What about Bob?)

Granted, this isn't so much an angry quote, but it just happens to be my Face book status at the moment.  Sometimes just asking for this kind of help will get your point across.  Sometimes.  Then again, if you're to the emotional point where you're asking to be smashed in the face, chances are you're working with complete morons who simply aren't going to get it.

2) Are you not entertained? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???????? (Gladiator)


Yep, this one is the go to when those around you just aren't going to be happy no matter what you do or say. I'll admit, I've used this one...and had fairly decent results. Shut my kids up for about six minutes one hot summer day when I'd dragged them across God's green earth for summer time fun and they still wanted MORE!




1) Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.  (The Princess Bride  )

When feeling like the world is against you, wouldn't you just love to walk into a room full of people who have been making you insane and shout this battle cry?  And then proceed to share some of the sweet ninja moves you've been practicing since you were ten and some kid pushed you in the mud and you knew, you KNEW that someday you'd have a moment when the world was pressing down on you and you'd rise up, you'd RISE UP AND YOU'd TAKE CONTROL because you ARE A NINJA  and you RULE!


Um, oh wait, where was I?

So anyway, that's a list of five movie quotes everyone should have in their brain banks, just in case the right situation arises and you simply can't take it anymore....


BTW, secret message to everyone at Gold's....I won't be in until Thursday of next week.  I'm running away!  (But I'll come back...I'm responsible like that.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is this really something we need to spend time contemplating?

Good morning my friends!

I'm in the midst of a really busy week in my real life, so I do apologize for not being around much.  I promise you, the quality of this blog will increase after this next weekend!

Last night I was watching "The Biggest Loser."  I love that show.  It's inspirational to see really heavy people work hard and lose weight while picking up eating and cooking tips along the way.  There's a bit of game play, especially this season, but for the most part it's about the steps a larger person must take to lose weight and get healthy.  I love Allison, the hostess, who has been on TV her entire life in the soap "Days of our Lives."  She went through a weight loss nightmare of her own when she was younger.  It was very public, and very harsh, so I know every time she opens her mouth, she's been in almost the same place the contestants have been.  Plus, she gets to be the DEVIL on the show.  She's sort of the ring master when it comes to challenges and weigh ins.  Last night she said, "This isn't a prison, you get to leave whenever you want to."


Yep, I love the show.  I especially enjoy watching the show while snacking, generally on something buttery or chocolate filled.

Last night the contestants were separated into four teams from their previous two. This is important I guess because not everyone got the trainer they wanted or the teammate they wanted or the color t-shirt they wanted.  (Personally, I would look like DEATH if I had to wear the green T-shirts.  It's a really strong shade of green.)  They have two new trainers this season, Kara and...I think he's called Brett.  (Frankly, I just call him "the pretty trainer.")

For those of you not familiar with the show, the two trainers for the last however many seasons have been Bob and Jillian.  Jillian is a tough drill sergeant sort of person, all business, tough as nails.  She could possibly kill someone if given the chance.  Bob is a bit gentler, using a bit more humor and a lighter touch.  Brett and Kara are far more...existential.

Which is a disturbing direction the show has been taking of late.  Suddenly, the trainers are also psychologists.  I realize that being fat is far more complicated than just a person eating a lot and not moving.  I have a ton of reasons why I gained weight and I use all of them as excuses when I'm trolling for a snack at 10 PM.

But last night, the analysis of the contestants made me laugh so hard I almost blew Vernor's through my nose.  (And if you are familiar with Vernor's ginger ale, you know that blowing it through your nose is very painful.)

Brett, the pretty trainer, had his three team mates go to a quiet place by themselves, and stare out at the mountains in the distance and contemplate on what brought them there.

Basically, Brett, the pretty trainer, had given them the equivalent of a TIME OUT.  (Go to your space and be quiet for a period of time that is appropriate for someone your age.)

The visual of this unintentionally hilarious.

First of all, they weren't by themselves.  The team mates stood about four feet from each other, looking away from each other.  Second, how much contemplation did it take to realize you are on The Biggest Loser because you are FAT?  They don't put skinny people who eat healthy balanced diets on the show.  They put big fat gigantors who subsist on a diet of pizza and chips on the show.  How did you get to this place?  You ate your body weight in crap and got fat!

Which brings me to the point of today's blog.  I'm a heavy person, so I'm pretty sure I can say this.  If you are fat, there might be underlying reasons why you eat, but here's the real deal:

YOU ARE FAT BECAUSE YOU EAT TOO MUCH AND YOU DON'T PRY YOUR BUTT OFF THE COUCH.

If I were a trainer on "the Biggest Loser,"  I would spend a lot less time contemplating and a lot more time working out.    As a fat person I will be really honest with you.  It's not a secret why I'm heavy.  I know, you know it, KRAM at Gold's Gym not only knows it, but he gives me all manner of grief about it.  I'm heavy, like most people are heavy, because we shove endless waves of food down our pie holes and because exercise hurts.  I'm currently losing weight because I'm shoving smaller waves of food down my pie hole and exercise doesn't hurt quite as much as it did a month ago.

The Good: Bob, The Bad, Allison, who plays the DEVIL on Biggest Loser just to mess with the contestants, and the ONE WHO WOULD FLOG YOU WITH YOUR OWN ARM if she were allowed, Jillian
There are the strangest moments in "The Biggest Loser"   It's these odd, scripted moments between a trainer, usually Jillian, which is why it feels so odd because having her be quiet and, you know, NICE, is weird, and a contestant. This is when the contestant opens up about why they are fat.  Then Jillian gives advice like, "You are worthy.  You have to feel that."   or "You can't get well until you get real about yourself." 

I haven't brought this up much with the trainers at Gold's, mostly because they are generally working with people who are serious enough about fitness to pay them for their services.  Me, I just do the drive by training, like, "Hey, how ya doin'?  I'm great....should I be running at a 5 mph speed or faster?  OK, thanks!"   "Hey, I've been on the elliptical for 6 minutes and I can't feel my elbows anymore...should I take a break maybe?"  

Anyway, I haven't brought it up much, but I will say with my few meetings with KRAM, I'm thinking that real life trainers aren't all that interested in the issues you bring to the table.  I'm guessing that the following points would elicit the following answers from pretty much any trainer at Gold's.

1) Self esteem?  Yeah, you know what's going to give you huge self esteem?  GET YOUR BUTT MOVING!

2)  Issues?  You know when you're not focused on your issues?  WHEN YOUR BUTT IS MOVING SO FAST AND SO HARD THAT YOU CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING BUT THE PAIN IN YOUR BUTT.

3)  Don't feel worthy of some blessing you've received?  GET YOUR BUTT IN GEAR AND DO SOMETHING THAT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL WORTHY!

4)  Why can't you control your late night eating?  BECAUSE YOU AREN'T MOVING YOUR BUTT ENOUGH DURING THE DAY!

At least, that's what I would say, if I were a trainer...you know, on the Biggest Loser or something.

By the way, as for my own weight loss journey  (and are we tired of THAT phrase now?)  I've reached a special number.  I lost five pounds after giving up the anti inflammatory meds for my hands.  They weren't doing much for me except making me retain a lot of water.  I'm down five pounds, I'm two pounds away from a 20 pounds weight loss mark since November 1, and my BMI went down 8 points in the last two weeks.  My body fat percentage is still gross, but it's UNDER 45% for the first time in a long time.  (And it dropped something like 5 points in the last two weeks.)  I've managed to run almost three minutes in a row, missing it by only  a few seconds.  I know I kid, but if it weren't for Gold's, and the constant nagging...I mean, encouragement, of the people there, I would not have this progress.  Also, I would not have this blog, because what's more funny than reading about my less than graceful attempts at physical fitness.  (Which reminds me...I keep running into a very beautiful, young, fit lady from our church at Gold's.  I have to share that with you in a later post.)

I'm not where I want to be, but I'm in better shape than where I was!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A story from my childhood: Go Sniff Your Brother

Good afternoon! 

I know, two posts from me in one day?  Well, this is to make up for not blogging much this week and probably not blogging much next week.  So enjoy!

We were at Mother's house earlier this week and when Brother and I get together, we always wind up telling stories of our growing up.  This always results in Mother shouting something to the effect of "I wasn't that bad!" Generally, after that, everyone shuts up and goes home.

It's moments like these that make our holidays so much fun to look forward to!

Anyway, the story that came up this week was one from our teen years.  I'm four years older than Brother and while we've always gotten along pretty well, we've rarely had much in common.  In high school, I was a studious person who liked music and drama and didn't have many friends.  He was a tormentor of teachers, an all around average student, who had a ton of friends he was able to lead down the wrong path.

At the time of this story, however, Mother was still convinced that Brother was the one being led.

The town we lived in was split in half by a river that flowed into Lake Michigan.  This made for some fun moments when, as a teen, you'd race your car past the drawbridge barricades and get across the bridge before it actually rose.  (Of course, I wouldn't know anything about that...I never got the car.)  Near the river a few blocks from our house, was a funeral home and, next to the funeral home, was an old playground.  No one really knows why there was a playground next to a funeral, but no body asks those questions.  It was a dumpy little playground, the kind that has a frame for three swings, but one's all wrapped around the top bar because some jack wagon flung it around and around until it was stuck.  One swing is missing, and the final one is there, but there's always a big mud puddle under it.

Next to the swings was a climbing rig, a jungle gym of sorts.  Next to that was a merry go round, the kind where you'd push it and run and run and run and then hold on to the bar and try to fly while it spun.  Body mass and basic physics was beyond us.  Most of the time we just fell down and got hurt on those things. Which is probably why you don't see many of them around.

Anyway, Brother and his somewhat shady friend "Jack" liked to "hang out" at this playground.  Now, they were in 8th grade, beyond the age of someone who would enjoy playing on old playground equipment, so Mother was convinced, CONVINCED there was only one other thing they were doing.

Yes, she was convinced they were smoking.

My guess, based on stories Brother has told me in confidence, is that the were doing things far worse than smoking.  They could have plotted the downfall of Western Civilization, he and Jack, given their mental capacities and their basic loathing for the Establishment.  (Ironically, Brother is now a ridiculously staunch conservative.  As for Jack, I'm not sure.  I think I heard he was in prison...or he's a Senator someplace.)

Anyway, every time Brother said he was going to hang out with Jack at the playground my mother had a job for me.

"When your brother comes home sniff him."

I'll let that sink in for a moment.

How much fun is it to be known as the family snitch?  Not fun at all.  I already had the onus moniker of "goody goody" riding on me at school, I didn't need that reputation at home, too.  Sniff my brother?  I don't think so mom.

But open defiance was never part of my teen play book.  I was one of those quiet kids who went about her business and didn't cause trouble.  Life was good.  No one yelled at me.  I didn't want to rock that very peaceful boat because had I done that, then my parents would have taken far too big an interest in me and what I was doing.  For a teen, that's the kiss of death...or so my children would have me believe!

So, on the days when Brother would be at the playground, it was my job to meet him at the door and sniff him, and then report back to Mother as to whether I detected cigarette smoke  "or anything else."

I should share with you that, during my teen years, I had a very underdeveloped sense of smell.  Even now, I don't have a great sense of smell, but back in the day smells didn't register with my brain much.  Plus, I had no idea what "anything else" might smell like.  Oh yeah, and I wasn't going to rock the boat and rat on Brother.  Not that I didn't want him to get in trouble, the little goober had it coming and then some.  But when he was in trouble, the whole house was tense.  Dad would wash the dishes....the only time he washed dishes in when my parents were tense about Brother.  Mother would go upstairs and read her Bible.  (Again, the only time she did that was when she was tense about Brother.) 

So he'd come home after being at the playground and Mother would send me to the front door, "Go sniff your brother."

Weak sense of smell + love of peace + not wanting to be the rat + it was a stupid thing to make me do =

It didn't matter what I smelled, my answer was always, "Nope, he's clean."


And no, I've never made Peaches sniff Skippy.  Or the other way around. 

Laundry List Friday: Strange things that make me mad!

Good morning!

So I've had a couple of posts rattling around in my head this week, and haven't had the time to put fingers to keyboard.  Actually, since I just got a cortisone shot in my left hand, I've been a little crippled in the typing department.  But now I'm back and ready to share with you another fun list of stuff.

This time around, I'm sharing with you the top five things that make me mad.  While that might not sound like a funny list, as I was thinking about it, it made me laugh...which I guess should be another list:  Things that make me laugh that probably shouldn't.  Anyway, I'm not a person who gets angry about too much, so the fact that I came up with five things is also sort of funny.  But here we go.

1)  A ringing phone.

My kids will tell you that every time the phone rang in out house, I would spend the first three rings yelling, "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?"  before I picked up.  We solved part of that problem when we ditched the home phone and went to a cell phone only house. Now I just do it when my cell phone rings...or when my work phone rings...and since I'm a customer service rep, I'm sort of paid to answer the phone.  Which is why this is funny...I'm enraged roughly 8 times an hour.

2)  People who are supposed to be writing down what I say, but don't bother to pick up a pen until I'm done saying it.

Again, this ties in with the fact that I'm constantly giving out messages over the phone.  You know how it goes.  Someone calls and you have to give them an address or a phone number, and then you finish giving them all the info and THEN they say, "Oh wait, I need a pencil."  Yeah, that.  This happens to me roughly half the phone calls I get every day.  So lately I've been saying, "I will give you our mailing address.  GO GET A PEN AND A PIECE OF PAPER.  Then I wait.  And I wait.  Now the best one was a guy who made me wait several minutes, and then came back and said, "I couldn't find a pen.  Will a pencil do?" 

3) People who don't listen to everything I say before they start telling me I'm wrong.

My whole family and my boss would be guilty of this.  I know this happens to you guys, too.  The other night, Skippy, Hubby and I were discussing the recent closing of a local private school.  I mentioned that the school had two buildings, both the men in my house loudly informed me I was wrong, that they had one building and that the building I was thinking of had been a bank.  Yes, it was a bank, I said, then it was a school.

After several minutes of Hubby and Son informing me that I didn't know what I was talking about...we had to go to the grocery store...and drive by the building in question.  I pointed it out, "Is that the building?"  They both agreed it was.  Then I pointed out the name of the school on the side of the building. 

They both shut up. 

Somehow I'm not ever given any credit for having a brain.  Generally this doesn't bother me.  People who are funny are rarely credited with being intelligent.  But every once in a while, I wish the people around me would listen to all my words before they spout off.

4)  Getting my boss's personal mail.

My boss is either the most paranoid person on the planet, or he lives in a really bad neighborhood.  Since  I've been to his house, I can promise you, it's more likely the former.  He travels a lot and since he travels, he generally isn't home to get his mail.  So he asks me to get his mail.  Let's forget for a moment that his driveway is a 40 degree angle up and I can't drive up it most of the year, and focus on the fact that his house is on the opposite end of town from my house or from the office.  He tells me he can't get a neighbor kid to get his mail because he doesnt' trust his neighbors.  See, he truly believes everyone is out to steal his stuff.  We've now worked out a deal that if he expects me to pick up his mail, he's going to have to pay me to do it, and if it's icy or snowy, I'm taking his mail to the office. 

5)  People who park in handicapped spaces when they are clearly not handicapped.

I realize we are a society bent on evolving to a point where we have no legs.  But seriously, will it kill you to walk an extra seven feet so you don't park in the handicapped space? 

Just because the car has as sticker on it doesn't give you the right to park there.  The space is for a handicapped PERSON, not for a car that has a handicapped sticker.  The next time I see a perfectly healthy person pop out of a car parked in a handicapped space I'm going to lose my mind.

Better yet, I know the post office in Waukesha has lousy parking, but the other day there was a delivery van parked in a handicapped spaced, left RUNNING.  (That's two strikes...taking up a space and wasting fuel.)  I should have taken a picture of the van because I had time.,  The driver didn't come out for about five minutes.  Which completely destroys the "I'm just running in for a minute" argument.

People who park in handicapped spaces without being handicapped should be physically MADE to be handicapped.  Cut off a toe for the first offence, a foot for the second, until they legitimately need the spaces.

But that's just my opinion.

Got something odd that makes your blood boil?  Let me know!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Join me the geek dance of joy!

Good afternoon!

Ahhhh, it's that time of year again, my friends.  It's the time of year when the last of the dirty, crusty snow recedes to reveal the debris of 5 months of winter.  It's the time of year when my entire hometown smells like wet dog.  It's the time of year when the parking lot at the post office gets bigger because the snow left behind by the crappy plow guy they use is finally melting. 

And...it's the time of year when Rick Springfield announces he's coming to Milwaukee for FOUR NIGHTS  IN A ROW!

Yes, my friends, the end of this month I will have an opportunity to purchase my way closer to Rick Springfield!  And I'm sure it won't take too much convincing to have Dee right there at my side.  (We've been exchanging texts back and forth for the last hour.) 

Now it's about finances!  (See me begging?) 

While yes, I do have a serious case of the geek shakes as I'm typing this, I would like to put this out there:  Who are my fellow Rick fan readers?  Is there any way you can get yourself down to Milwaukee the last week of May?  I would love, love LOVE to meet you!

Meanwhile, my work day is over.  Not officially, I'm supposed to be productive for another half hour.

Oh yeah...that's gonna happen!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Laundry List Friday: My top five favorite places to go!

Good morning!

So I've decided to keep things fresh, I'm introducing a brand new feature here at the Sarah Show.  I'm calling it "Laundry List Friday."  Each Friday I'll just set out a list of things that I like, that I don't, whatever.  Since I'm a big fan of the Movie "High Fidelity" I will keep the lists to five items, and while they are numbered 1-5...there's really no particular order.

But let's start with something that's sort of bugging me...what exactly, is a Laundry List?  Seriously, where did that term come from?  I mean, you have laundry, you do it or you leave it in a pile to ferment with the rest of the laundry.  Do you really need a list for that?  Are there people who make a list that says,  "Laundry" and then  what, 1)  Whites  2)  Blues  3)  Reds  4)  multicolored clothes that are going to all wind up sort of looking gray anyway because no matter that anyone says, colors run in the laundry.  Do we actually have to write that sort of thing down?

Okay, enough of that.

So today for my first Laundry List Friday, I thought I'd compile a list of my favorite places to go.

1)  Las Vegas, NV

On the complete flip side of the coin, we have the bright lights and glitz of Las Vegas.  As a writer, this is a treasure trove of characters.  It's bright, it's shiny, it's completely devoid of conscience, and if I weren't afraid of the guys who stand on the sidewalks and snap fliers advertising "Girls delivered to your room in 20 minutes or less" I would sit on a sidewalk bench and just people watch all day long.

2)  Renaissance Faires.

Say what you want to...but I dig guys in tall boots, food on sticks, and people calling me "m'lady."    Jousts, sword fights, wicked double entendres, and cheese fritters...all GOOD.  (Especially the cheese fritters with mustard sauce!)

3)  Amusement parks.  (NOT Disney, because they cater too much to little kids and frankly little kids' rides make me vomit.  Ferris Wheels, Ferris wheels make me vomit.  Anything with a big boat thingy swinging back and forth makes me hurl.)

I like water parks, but I LOVE anything with big tall rides.  I think of screaming while on a roller coaster to be the best therapy EVER.  I want to be cremated and my ashes flung from the top of a roller coaster.  Any questions?

4)  Marie's House
Okay, most of you aren't going to be able to go to my friend Marie's house, but I'm sure you have a home away from home.  I've never been able to sleep well in the home of a friend or relative.  I have trouble sleeping in hotel rooms.  But when I'm at Marie's, I sleep better than I do in my own bed. 

5)  Rick Springfield concerts. 

Oh please!  This is surprise to anyone?  I'm getting a little nervous, it's starting to look like Rick isn't going to be hitting the Milwaukee are this year...which makes me sad.  But going to a Rick Springfield concert is like traveling in a time machine while drinking from the fountain of youth.  Going to a Rick Springfield concert, I'm 16 again, I haven't a care in the world and no one looks at me funny when I dance.   You can't put a price on something like that!

I guess some of you will note that going to Gold's Gym didn't make the list...well, think of it as #6, but since this is a top five list, there just wasnt' room.  Sorry KRAM and company!

So there it is my friends...my very first Landry List Friday.  If you liked it...if you hated it..let me know!

Now all this talk of laundry just reminded me...I've got a week's worth of dirty socks waiting for me at home.  Guess I've got my Friday night plans!  Oh lucky me!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hey, the Lady from Cost Cutters could be right about me...

Good afternoon!

I am growing a beard.

Got your attention, didn't I?

Yep, I come from  a hairy people.  I inherited a lot of great things from my Northern German ancestors.  I'm industrious, I love to sing, I have a loud hearty laugh.  But one of the less than great things is that I am a hairy person. 

When I was in my teens my mother sent me to a Swedish electrologist.  One thing you should know about the Swedes...they are NOT a hairy people.  So for a woman who never had one follicle of unwanted body hair to enter a profession based on unwanted body hair...well, lets just say she had no clue about how much current to fire down the hole, so to speak.  The other, more cruel reality is that electrolysis is not as permanent as one would hope.

So now I'm in my 40's, and my moustache is starting to make a comeback.  But more troubling is the beard.  That started as one prickly hair on my chin when I was 17.  Now, if left untended, I could raise a fairly reasonable goatee...

So I do what all American women do.  I pluck, I shave, I use chemicals to burn the hair off my face, and I've done the laser thing that pretty much cleaned out my bank account.  (I'm sure it's gotten better since I tried it ten years ago and if Ideal Image would like to make me their spokesperson, I'd work for free hair removal!)  Remember NADS?  I did that for a couple years on my whole face.  I don't know what sort of pain tolerance Australian women have, but every time I did it, it hurt.  It didn't remove chin hair at all, and I managed to remove my left eyebrow completely for a summer.  Meanwhile, all that's managed to happen is that the beard comes back, black.

But I'm not here to talk about my black beard.  I'm hear to talk about the irony that is old age...my gray hair.

Yes.  The hair on my face is getting blacker with every day.  The hair on my head is turning white. 

That started at a young age as well.  I was 22. It was my wedding day.  My mother's hair dresser was doing something so evil to my head I've never done it since.  and she, very nicely, pointed out my first patch of gray hair, along the hairline, right above my right eye.

Lovely.

In the 20 years since my weeding, that little patch has turned into a circle of white that I cannot explain.  The roots are white.  The ends of the hair is blond-ish.  The roots don't hold hair color at all.  The ends do.  Since I wear my hair short, and away from my face, this awesome sort of tri-color hair look is visible all the time.

And to answer your question, no, I haven't had my hair professionally colored yet.  I'm not ready to part with a ton of money for hair treatment just yet.  I need to learn to trust after the beard thing didn't work.

But yesterday I got a hair cut  (yes, I have a weigh in today...every ounce helps.) I go to Cost Cutters  because I can get in there any time and generally, since my super model days are over, they give me a look that suits my life style for the price I'm willing to pay.  Sometimes I get a really good woman doing my hair, as was the case yesterday.  Her name is Roberta.  I'm giving her real name because I don't want to forget it.  Although, with my luck, she'll quit next week and I'll never see her again.  That's what happens when I find someone at Cost Cutters that I really like.

Roberta looked to be about my age and we had a great chit chat about volunteering, church stuff, charities, and hair.  She worked well around my cow licks  (I have cow licks that make my head a challenge to cut.)  and did not mock my box bleached hair.  Instead, she said, "Well, I see you have a platinum blond halo going.  We could do some highlights to sort of blend with that."

Did you see that?  Platinum blond halo.  How pretty is that?

And then she said, "Well, that's just the angel in you shining out."

Oh yeah...she got a good tip.

Bonus, she said she could do something to make my hair look less...tri colored.  At a discount.

I might be willing to give it a go.

I wonder if Roberta is any good with unwanted hair removal.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I found my special purpose!

Good morning all!

I may have to change my mantra from "no good thing ever came from running"  to something...else.

Those of you who know me know that for the biggest part of my life I've been wrestling with the question:  What do I want to be when I grow up?

Some people just know.  I have friends who knew from a very young age that they wanted to be a mom of many kids, or a teacher, or a nurse, or a soldier.  They just knew right off.  Even Hubby knows his special purpose, though it's not realistic for him to chase it at the moment.  Recently he discovered his joy in cooking really good food, and now he would love to be a chef...if he had time to go to school and all that.  Which means that obviously my special purpose in life is NOT to be thin.  And I'm not positive, but I'm fairly certain I can't count "Rick Springfield super fan" or "Cheetos eater" as a special purpose.


Dr. Noah says "Cheetos might be a health food."  (IF ONLY!)

When I was little, I wanted to be a librarian/paramedic who raised race horses on the side.  Weird mix of goals, but that's sort of been where I've been my whole life.  I went to college to be a teacher...not because I particularly wanted to be a teacher, but because that's what my parents said I should be.  I did that for a while, and I liked it okay, but it wasn't my special purpose.

I knew I liked to write and tell stories.

Once I got married, my job history looks like a pin ball game.  I bounced from job to job not because I couldn't hold a job but because I couldn't decide what I wanted to do.  I've generally worked two jobs at a time for the last fifteen years.  The job I have now I don't particularly love, but it's a paycheck and I'm good at what I do.

All that time I've been writing and telling stories.

Well, yesterday I got two things that suddenly completed my search for my special purpose.

Yesterday I made a simple comment on Facebook about running on a treadmill at Gold's for more than a minute.  68 seconds to be precise.  I was very excited about the fact that I didn't drop dead after running.  In fact, I managed to run roughly four minutes yesterday on that treadmill.  But it was the first 68 seconds that were huge because those seconds gave me the courage to amp up the speed a couple more times.  So I celebrated by announcing my accomplishment...you know...not DYING...on Facebook.

I should explain something before I go further.  Facebook has been sort of a dicey place lately.  There's a lot of unrest going on both here in Wisconsin and all over the US and the rest of world.  Everyone has an opinion about what should be done about everything.  And, since Facebook is used by a big chunk of the planet, it's become quite the forum for debate...sort of. I managed to get into a couple of discussions with some friends of mine with whom I do not completely agree. As the discussions deteriorated I had to bow out.  I'm not built for long term rage.  Besides, I like my friends.  I'd like to keep them as friends.  Soem things are just not worth losing friends over.

So I've been sort of hesitant to post anything out on Facebook for a couple of weeks because, well, while I believe what I believe, I also don't want to give offense.  Call it the Lutheran in me. 

But last night, when I posted the bit about running, I got a response back almost immediately.  It was a from a writer friend of mine, I'll call her "AMY P."  She thanked me for making her day.  I wasn't quite sure how I made her day by announcing that I didn't die after running 68 seconds.  She told me that I brought a smile and a heartfelt chuckle to her, which she really needed.

Cue the warm fuzzy feelings.

Then this morning I received an email very early from someone who reads my writer's blog  (which you can access by clicking on the picture of the VERY handsome man there in the upper right.  Go ahead, click on him!)  thanking me for a well thought out, enjoyable blog that made her smile.

And suddenly, as if the thought had been there all the time, it was so very, very clear! I know my special purpose!

Friends, the one thing that I've always been able to to, the one thing that's given me joy in my life is making other people laugh.  I love making other people laugh! 

Not the snarky mocking "oh look, she's a moron" sort of laughter, that's not at all nice, of course.  No, I love bringing humor and laughter to those around me.  I'm not here to start a political debate.  I'm not here to prove I'm the smartest person in the room.  I'm certainly not here to be thin. 

I am here to give people a moment of respite from the battle everyone does in their own real lives.  Whether by writing in this blog, or by adding quirky humor to my fiction...or by being the person who's not afraid to look foolish in any given situation if it means someone else gets a moment of relief from the stress in their lives.

Friends, life is hard.  I hope that when you come here you find a break from the noise and you can relax and laugh as I share my own foibles with you.  If I've done that, then I've done what I'm here for!

And who knew...all this from running for 68 continuous seconds.  What will I discover about myself if I run for, say, two whole minutes?

More than likely, I'll discover that I'm not a runner.

Have a marvelous weekend all!  Here's hoping you all find your special purpose!






Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Yeah...She-rah is NOT impressed.

Good afternoon all!

Spring is attempting to pop its head out of the crusty snow piles here in Wisconsin.  Ah yes, early spring is a special time around here.  The mounds of snow we've spent all winter building now go through a melt and freeze cycle every day as temps fluctuate as wildly as my weight.  Warm, melting temps plummet to freezing in a blink.  The result is that the mounds of snow are now sharp, dirty islands of slowly melting rock ice.  There's dirty water everywhere, run off from the melting snow. Everything smells like a wet dog.  Best of all, as the snow recedes, it reveals the rubbish it's been covering for the last five months.  Lovely.

But enough about the weather.  Today I would like to talk about a new ingredient in my quest to be less lardy.  I've begun to lift weights...sort of.  Mostly I'm tired of having to try and read lips in Cardio Cinema because it seems like every time I go in there I wind up next to the person who has the iPod cranked well beyond eleven. Yesterday the woman next to me had it so loud that even though I was sitting under a speak, I could not hear the movie over her music.

I would have asked her why she's bothering to be in Cardio Cinema...but I'm thinking she might be deaf.  And if she's not now, she will be soon enough.  Who am I to stop anyone from doing what they want to do to themselves?

So, since I've been run out of the friendly confines of the darkness, I've started working out in other parts of Gold's.  The pool I reserve for Thursdays, if I've been good.  So the rest of my visits there are in the big middle area, the place I like to call the stable because that's where all the livestock is herded and then walked on treadmills.  And lately, I've been straying to the weight area.

Let me clarify.  Gold's has four areas in which you can lift weights.  There's Lady's Golds, which is a little room off the ladies' locker room. There are some treadmills and some weights and no BOYS are allowed in.  BUT, the TV situation in there is..well, I don't generally go in there.  Then there's a weight space between Ladies' Golds and Cardio Cinema.  This is a nice spot if you want to work on some machines, but you aren't hard core.  I see a lot of women over there, getting toned, working hard.  That's where I go. 

Then there's a mirror image of this area on the other side.  I've been there once, and only once and here's why...it's right next to area 4...THE CAGE.  The CAGE is the free weight room.  This is where super muscle bound guys spend entirely too many hours grunting and sweating and being generally scary to middle aged suburban mom types like me.  These are guys whose shoulders are bigger than anything else on their bodies...except maybe their necks.

This is NOT a place for me!

I think of that entire space as sort of a boys area.

Lately, however, I've noted that some of the grunting muscle heads have sniffed their way over to the other side of the gym.  While it's probably an accident because they were in search of water and there's a water fountain just outside of  Cardio Cinema, it's become quite clear that some of the more evolved beasts have discovered that WOMEN LIFT WEIGHTS HERE.  MUST GO WHERE THE WOMEN ARE!

Peaches noticed it first.  She was doing a little lifting one day,  minding her own business, when she could not escape the loud guttural grunting of the male next to her.  It scared her, this great show of force from the stranger on the next machine.  She's fourteen.  It's doubtful she'll emerge from Ladies' Golds again. 

I thought she was kidding.  Certainly there could not be that many big muscly guys in that very small weight space in the late afternoon. Guys, sure, I've seen some older guys, maybe some teens over there sort of getting started on weights, but big muscle guys?  Nah.   They have the entire OTHER SIDE of the gym.  There's no need to them to cross the stable, except to get water, and then go back to their CAGE.  But yesterday, as I was adjusting the weights on every machine from LOOK AT ME I'M A WEIGHT LIFTER setting to something female humans might be able to lift without breaking something, I could not help but notice that I was the only female in the space.  And, apparently, the males of the pack had taken notice.  


Seriously, if I made this up it would not be as funny.  So I'm sitting there, daintily pumping about 10 pounds of iron (which is all my hands can tolerate at this point) and all around me the males are trying to out lift, and of course, out GRUNT each other for my attention.

Guys, I'm in my 40s.  I'm overweight.  I'm MARRIED.  Shoo!

But that wasn't all.  When I took no notice of the mating calls, some of the more bold males began PREENING in front of me by way of FLEXING their muscles in the mirror.  As I moved around the circuit to machines closer to the mirror, more of them began to flex. The flexing was, of course, accompanied by grunting and, for reasons I cannot fathom, general comments of self congratulations.

Still, I took very little notice, (Except to note in my head that THIS was going to be my topic for blogging today) and then it happened.  The boldest of the males, the one who flexed so hard I thought he might rupture his skin...removed his pants.

Now, when I say removed his pants, I don't mean he stripped down to his undershorts so that I would get a better image of his "little man."  (I think I can speak for a lot of women when I say, frankly...we just don't want to see that.)  No, had he done that, I might have understood, and congratulated him on having the boldest mating ritual.  Indeed, no.  This pants removal was far sadder, and therefore more comical.

When you have to remove your pants in an instant...


He ripped off his tear away sweat pants. 

You know the pants with the snaps up the sides of each leg?  Yeah, this guy was wearing those.

Did I mention he was about five feet tall?


So let's review.  I'm minding my own business, doing a little weight training when I suddenly find myself in the middle of a show on Animal Planet.  Then, after all the grunting and flexing and failed attempts to attract my attention, the smallest, yet boldest of the males, rips off his snap on pants in a very questionable attempt to attract me to his lair to mate.

It's a rule at Gold's that you're not supposed to let the weights slam down because they might break.  And that, my friends, is the ONLY reason I didn't burst out in complete and uncontrolled laughter when this very over built, very short gentleman ripped sweats I've always thought were stupid right off his body.  I dare any of you to not laugh at that!

Ya know...Ladies' Golds is looking better all the time!







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 absu...