I feel the need

I feel the need

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sarah's (semi) triumphant return to Gold's!

Good afternoon!

As many of you know I was in a car accident this past July.  Since then, my life has been a whirlwind of doctor's appointments, physical therapy, chiropractor's appointments, and rest.  Well, finally, last week, the physical therapist cleared me to go back to the gym...to swim.

See, the injury to my neck was sort of mysterious for a while, and now that they've figured out I won't die if I exercise  (which blows my theory about exercise) they feel it will be okay if I swim a little.

So, eager to be back at Gold's gym, I packed my bag and headed to the pool after work.

Here's the thing:  It's November.  It's Wisconsin.  It's COLD right now.  So I was cold when I get to the gym.  I was cold when I checked in, cold when I went to the locker room, cold when I changed into my new swim suit which looks fantastic on me  (well, it looks as good as a swim suit can on my body) except it has a snap at the waist band that keeps popping open.  It's not like it's a load bearing snap, it's just there and it pops open all the time.  Annoying.  Anyway, I was cold getting to the pool and really cold looking at the water.

I stood there, telling myself that once I got into the pool I would be okay.  I would swim a few laps and feel really good about myself.  So I stepped down on the first step into the pool. 

I'm not saying the water was cold.  Maybe my foot was already in the first stages of frostbite.  Who can say?  All I know is, sticking one foot in the water was quite enough for one day.  I decided we were going to take this return to Gold's slowly...baby steps...like today a foot in the pool, and maybe next month I'll go in up to my ankles. 

Perfectly satisfied with my progress for the day, I hit the hot tub. 

My time in the hot tub, because I have a weird form of eczema, had to be short as well, but being warm for the first time all day was sort of intoxicating, so I sat in the water a bit.  Two young women (I'm guessing they were young, women over the age of 30 and the dress size of 12 shouldn't wear string bikinis, but I didn't have my glasses on.) entered the pool area.  There was no one else in the entire space, no one in the hot tub, no one else in the pool.  Not wearing my glasses, I had a hard time really making out features and was shocked at first to think that one of the women was bottomless.  Then I realized that her string bikini bottom was the exact same pale pink as her skin.

The two women got into the pool and stood there.  Just stood there, talking.  Now, I've had a lot of conversations with friends, and many of them in the pool.  But I can't think of one time I had a conversation with someone in a pool while I was standing completely still, unless watching children was involved.  So here these two women are, in the tiniest of bikinis, each of them, standing in the pool at Gold's, doing nothing.  (Which, by the way, is completely different from me...I stuck a toe in and moved along.  That's doing nothing, but doing it out of the way of everyone else.)

I don't know if these women got annoyed that I was just sitting there, minding my own business, but I started to feel like they were not pleased that I was encroaching on their chat time.  (Gee, sorry.  Ya know, Starbucks is just across the parking lot, and THEY encourage people to do nothing and chat.)  After a few minutes of trying to just enjoy the hot tub while unable to ignore the fact that both of them were staring in my direction the entire time, (and seriously...it's a big space, you gotta look at me the whole time?)  I finally gave up and got out of the hot tub.

Now, pay attention here, because this is where Sarah starts to believe in Karma a tiny little bit.  See, I was feeling all superior to these women because, hey, I came, I did something, and I was going.  They were just standing there, doing nothing.  So I had a rare moment of feeling superior to someone in a bikini.  That doesn't happen often.

And it didn't last long.  Did I mention I was NOT wearing my glasses?  Oh, and if you have ever been to a gym pool, you know the doors to the men's and the women's locker rooms look waaaaaaaaaaay too much alike. 

Do I really need to tell you more?

Okay, so there I was, feeling superior to the two do nothings who were STILL STARING AT ME.  And, as I made the turn for the locker room, they burst into laughter. 

You guessed it.  I'd headed through the door to the men's locker room. 

Yes, baby steps back to the gym. Like maybe next time I get the courage to go in there, I DON'T go to the men's locker room.  That would be a magnificent next step.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Noelle C Thinks we ALL should have a Life Coach.

Good morning!

Like most people this time of year, I've been busy with holiday preparations.  I won't bore you with my Thanksgiving story...you can hear that when Bob and Brian start reading their Holiday Horror Stories.

No, today I want to share with you the wisdom of Noelle C.  You see, she just got back from vacation where she took a three day painting class and now believes she not only is a master painter  (and wants to sell her paintings of flowers and pumpkins for anywhere between $25 and $5000 dollars...and I'm not saying she's a bad artist, I'm saying I've seen similar work emerge from a 6th grade school art class) but that she now holds the key to happiness and peace.

Oh yeah, this is going to be good.

Lets' start with the painting class.  I'm not an elitist.  Not even a little bit.  But she informed me yesterday that since she's taken this three day class, and since the teacher of this class  (I don't use the word "pyramid scheme" all that often, but boy howdy, does this smack of it) is trying to get make the class a college credit...somewhere...that now she, Noelle C, is a college student.

I hate to tell her it sounds more like she's the victim of a traveling snake oil salesperson, but hey, we all have to find that out for ourselves.  Besides, if it makes her happy and gives her something else to talk about other than how miserable her entire life was to this point and how much she loves Lumbergh  (and you can hear that whole story, too, every day, if you say something to her like, "How was your weekend?"  or "Good morning.") then I'm perfectly fine listening to how she's going to be able to retire on the sales of her paintings and on the money people are going to pay her to teach them how to paint now that she's a Level One instructor in this painting method.  (Three days...and she's an instructor.  Does anyone else see this for what it is?)

Anyway, that's not why I'm blogging today.  No, today I have to share with you the wisdom Noelle C gleaned from a Life Coach she met in Florida.  Well, really, she heard about this woman from the guy who picked her up in an airport shuttle the last day of her vacation.  See, he used to be married to the woman who is now a life coach and shares her secrets to a happier life online.

And people think I'm gullible.

So yesterday, after a 45 minute profanity laden diatribe against everything from the temperature in the office (which is always cold) to her new computer monitor  (which Lumbergh bought while she was on vacation and now she feels she doesn't deserve it) to her career in the medical field to her former co workers to the fact that she, and I'm quoting here, "has never worked in a setting where she had to interact with people"  (I'll let you digest how someone who used to work in the medical field as a nursing assistant AND was a model AND worked at Initech for a year has never had to interact with people.)  she shared with me her new found secret to life.

Don't blame me...all I said was "good morning" when I was on my way to the bathroom...and apparently that turned on the launch sequence.

See, the guy who picked her up in the airport shuttle apparently picked up on the vibe that Noelle C isn't completely happy with her life.   Probably because he said "hello"  and she spent the next hour listing all the things that were wrong with her past and how she's now all alone, having declared her siblings "dead to her" recently.  (She says they were ignoring her at a recent family gathering.  Realistically, she probably couldn't hear them talking since she's so deaf and won't do anything about it.)

Being a woman willing to try...and believe, pretty much anything except that Lumbergh is not going to fire her...Noelle C checked out the woman's online affirmations.  And now Noelle C's decided this will also be the key to my personal life happiness.

"You have to do a daily affirmation with this woman,"  she cheered while I was doing the "potty dance" in her doorway.  (Why did I not just leave?  Because I'm super polite and was trained well to show my elders respect no matter what.)

"You go online...and I don't remember the woman's name, but she's wonderful.  She says life is three pronged and you have to get in touch with all three sides to life.  You have to tune in to your spiritual side, your creative side, and your practical side and make everything work in harmony by doing these daily affirmations."

All I can picture is Stuart Smalley from "Saturday Night Live."

So that's the secret to life.  I have to find this woman, who's name I do not know, and listen to her daily affirmations because her ex husband picked up Noelle C and told her to do it.

No, you know what the secret to my happiness is?  The idea that one day, when I've completed the books about the whackadoos I have to work with, I can quit my job and all this will be a faint memory.

But I couldn't tell her that.  I didn't have time for another diatribe.  After all, I did have to hit the bathroom.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

It's Thankgiving! Let the joy and dysfunction begin!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Here in the US, we take a Thursday late each November to put our lives on pause for a moment and share a meal with family while we count our many blessings and watch football.

Let's take the animal with the least flavorful
meat and stuff bread up its butt and
call it dinner
Every grade school child is told that we eat turkey, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie to commemorate the first meal shared by the Pilgrims and the Natives.  Personally, I find it very unlikely that these two groups of people had the time and the ability to make a meal like this, given the limited cooking capabilities and actual food resources each group had.  Oh, and marshmallows hadn't really been invented yet, so there's that.

Note the bottle of wine in front of the CHILD.
Thanksgiving dinner...not for the
faint of heart.
What Thanksgiving has become in reality, is the gateway to five weeks of insanity and dysfunction wrapped up neatly with a night of complete debauchery on December 31st.  I think we actually have to have New Year's Eve simply because by the time we've survived multiple family gatherings  (BUT YOU HAVE TO BE THERE...IT'S  CHRISTMAS AND WE'RE FAMILY) we need a night to drink away the images of the uncle who set his house on fire while deep frying a turkey or the grandmother who made everyone cry with her "What I'm thankful for this year" speech at the dinner table...mostly because her top thing was that she was thankful she was old, and wouldn't have long to live with the ingrates and losers her children had become. 

Don't believe me?  Check out Bob and Brian's Holiday Horror Stories.  They'll start reading those soon, and every year there are more than enough stories of family dysfunction to destroy your faith in humankind.

I believe in Thanksgiving, I really do. I love the idea of everyone taking a day to breath and think about what's really important.  I like the idea of multiple generations of family gathered around a lovingly prepared meal and sharing their reflections on the year.  I like the idea of pie.

Reality, however, is that 2012 sort of sucked for my family.  Let's review:  Hubby lost his job in January. Skippy and I totalled two cars.  Peaches was involved in a very serious personal drama that lost her a friend. I spend more time at doctor's offices these days, thanks to my car accident, than I do at home, it seems. That's a lot to absorb in a short 11 months. 

But there have been good things, too.  The car I totaled wasn't paid for and not having the payments each month is a good thing.  Hubby is happy in his new job.  Skippy learned more about people while traveling 20 hours by bus from Montana to Minnesota than he may learn the rest of his life.  And Peaches realized that her parents might not be the worst judge of character when it comes to her friends.

2013 is going to be a much better year for us.  As I always say, "It can't possibly get worse...right?"  All we have to do is make our way through the minefield of the holidays these next few weeks and I'll be sitting at my friend, Linda's, house on New Year's day, sharing our own holiday horror stories.

Today, we dine with family, tonight, we go out and try to find the best bargains we can for Christmas gifts.   I'm a purist, I'm not leaving my house before 3 AM to shop.  Stores that open at 8 PM today should be ashamed of themselves...unless they are always a 24 hour store, that's different.  But retail folks need time to experience family fun and dysfunction while stuffing themselves with overcooked holiday fare, too.  Anyway, tonight we shop.  And tomorrow, Friday, after the shopping is done, and the taste of dry turkey and burnt stuffing and pumpkin pie made accidentally without sugar are all a distant memory, we look forward to the joys of the Christmas season.

God help us all.

Have a happy and Safe Thanksgiving everyone...and if you're looking for a great Thanksgiving themed movie to watch today, there is none better than "Home for the Holidays."

Fun Fact Friday: Now that it's dead, Sarah reveals a childhood dream.

Happy Friday all! What do you want to be when you grow up? That's a question we ask little kids...and I haven't a clue why....