I feel the need

I feel the need

Monday, July 31, 2017

Going to the gym makes me ________.

Good afternoon.

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

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

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

Well that wasn't the end of it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 21, 2017

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

Good morning!

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

3) It was a "Service station."

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

2) We only had orange carrots and we survived.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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

Good evening!

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

Which means something monumentally stupid happened to me today.

Here's how it happened:

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

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

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

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

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

Or so I thought.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Was I 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hello all!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NBM:  Why can't you fax anything?

PM:  The phones are disconnected.

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

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

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

PM:  I guess not.

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

NBM:  Did you just take a phone call?

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

NBM:  How did you do that?

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

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

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

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

NBM:  Then how could she take the call.

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

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

Thursday, July 6, 2017

I'm NOT making a political statement! I'm really this stupid!

Good afternoon!

As some of you know I have issues with public restrooms.

Okay, EVERYONE knows that.

Well I hit a whole new height this past week when I attempted to use a restroom at a local Starbucks.  Here's how this happened:

Generally Starbucks' restrooms are small: single fixture affairs where you lock the door and no one else comes in while you're in there.  So, when they changed Starbucks' restrooms from "Men's" and "Women's" to "Everyone can use either" it wasn't a tough change for them. Just put new signs on the doors.  Not like it mattered since it's a single person bathroom anyway.  No problem!

Now, I've been going to the Starbucks' closest to my house for years. We walk there, get a beverage and walk back.  Sometimes I use the restroom, sometimes I don't.  My point being, that I've been going into the restroom on the left (formerly the "Ladies" room) for the better part of eleven years. So when I had to use the restroom on Tuesday, I walked up to the door on the left and tried the handle. It was locked, and I could hear someone in there.

I stood for a moment, thinking about this. Well, I mean, the sign on the other door "formerly the "men's" room did indicate I could use it. I felt weird, but hey, it's a new day, everyone can use it, I needed it, okay, I'm going to use it.

I tried the handle. It seemed to be locked, like someone was in there.  I didn't want to be indelicate, so I didn't knock or anything I just waited.

And waited.

And waited.

After several minutes, I tried the door on the left. Still locked.  I could still hear someone making definite bathroom type noises in there.  I tried the door on the right. Door seemed locked, although I couldn't hear anything. But it's a coffee shop. There are noises all the time. And I didn't want to look like some creeper eavesdropping at the bathroom door. (Which would undoubtedly land me in someone else's blog...)  So I just waited.

And waited.


Still, no one emerged from either bathroom. At this point I'm sort of at a critical tipping point:  Either I get in a bathroom now or I cross the parking lot to Gold's Gym and pretend I still have a membership.  And that will definitely land me in someone else's blog...and the Gold's gym newsletter...and probably the police blotter.

Emboldened by need, this time I try the door on the left and it's very much indeed locked.  And the person behind that locked door is now coughing up a lung.  

I had a fleeting thought at that moment that someone might want to check on that person.  But you know...then I forgot it because I has having my own little issues.

I again tried the door on the right...this time I really put some pressure on that handle...


Now, if you've been to a Starbucks, you know that there's NO possible way someone might have sneaked out past me while I was waiting for a restroom to open up.  No...I just sort of forgot how to open a door.  So I stood there looking all dumb because here we are in 2017 and there are two unisex bathrooms and one of them is unoccupied and I'm standing there in the hall.  I may have just made some kind of political statement by not immediately using the restroom that had once been a mens' room.  And maybe I should cling to that...yes, I'm making this statement that I refuse to use a bathroom because even though there's a picture of a triangle person indicating that women can use the restroom, I won't because it used to be used by men.

Or I can admit I'm too stupid to know how to open a door.

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....