Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Game On!

Okay, this Spinning thing has gotten completely out of control. I don’t know if it’s the New Year’s Resolution rush still in full swing or memberships to the gym just naturally increasing, but the spinning classes are the hottest thing at my gym right now and it’s popularity is totally messing with my plans.

A reservation of sorts, is required at my gym to get a bike in the class. One must sign up at the front desk for a bike ahead of time to insure a seat. There have been a few times lately, when I’ve arrived thirty minutes before class on a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon and I’ve been shut out.

Getting a bike in Spinning class has become more like getting to the theatre an hour early to see a new release, or the mall on Black Friday at 4:30 in the morning to buy an Ipod (which I would never do), or waiting outside the call box for an hour to buy concert or Broadway tickets. These things I expect in life, but getting to the gym so prematurely for a spinning class is making my gym experience a little intense.

I have on occasion pulled into the parking lot, spotted someone I recognized from my class and immediately pegged them as a potential threat to my workout for the day. I’ve been known to speed walk – like the middle-aged women who waddle-walk fast down the street with their hips swaying from side to side and arms flailing wildly – and I’ve been known to pick it up to a cool jog, kind of like a warm up before the gym, but I have never gone to the extreme of making a mad dash for the door.

Today, I did what I will refer to as a warm-up sprint. It’s 5:37 in the morning – only eight minutes until the start of class – and I spot TWO potential threats emerging from the same car just two rows over. My paranoia set in and all I could think of was, “I did not get up this early to be shut out of class,” so I grabbed my stuff and did a mad dash for the entrance.

When I approached the front desk, there were only two spots left. I signed my name and breathed a sigh of relief. As a headed up to the Spinning Room, I started thinking about the two people who came in behind me. What if they were a couple who had got up early, planning to do a little spinning together? What if I wrecked their plans? What if I ruined their morning? I sort of felt bad.

As I got my bike adjusted for the ride ahead, I happened to spot the woman from the parking lot preparing her bike. The man she came with was nowhere to be found and I felt bad about that for a moment. But then as the class started I found myself thinking, “You know what? Maybe next time, he’ll know better and he too, will make a mad dash for the door, and then we’ll have ourselves a race!"

Game. On!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chocolate Love or Toast Love?

Many people blow off Valentine’s Day as some Hallmark holiday, but I think it’s a great opportunity to take a break from our busy lives and appreciate ALL the love we have in our lives. To me, it’s no different than honoring our family and friends at Christmas with gifts, or giving special Thanks on Turkey Day for everything we have, or taking a moment on Memorial Day to remember all those who have fought for our freedom. It would be great if we thought of these things every day, but life gets too busy, so these mini-holidays are perfect reminders of what’s truly important.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who have found your True Love in life– I mean seriously, the one God had specifically designed just for you to meet, fall in love with, marry, and do laundry for for the rest of your life – if you’re one of those lucky monkeys, then this is not a day to take for granted. Love like that is what God intended for each and every one of us - some of us just have to wait a little longer than others to experience it. So, if you’ve found your True Love already, celebrate that today and do the laundry together!

If you’re one of those people who are dating someone and think that this might be the person you would like to do laundry for every day for all eternity, then maybe you too, have found your true love. But if you’re not sure, ask yourself this question, “Is this person chocolate or toast?”

Chocolate or Toast

For most of us, just thinking about chocolate can produce a physical and emotional response. We get giddy and excited just thinking about it. When we finally give in and have a taste, we find it hard to stop because we just can’t get enough – there's nothing else like it! When the chocolate is gone, we usually find ourselves dreaming of when we can have it again.

Now think of toast. You like toast, right? But I doubt that you crave toast or moan silently when you eat toast. Add a little butter and jelly and you’ve got yourself some tasty fiber, but I’m guessing your nights aren’t filled with dreams about the toast you‘re going to have for breakfast. And you know why? Because toast is just nice, but chocolate is pure magic! When it comes to love, you can either settle for the contentment of toast or hold out for the pure joy of chocolate.

So celebrate this Valentine’s Day by appreciating ALL the love in your life, giving a little love away, and honoring True Love by waiting for it!

Remember: When you’ve truly found great love, it won’t be like your morning toast, it will be more like chocolate fondue.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Plea For Mercy

Today seemed like the first reasonable day to consider running my little black SUV through a car wash. The weather was warmer, and from top to bottom, salt had named itself the new color of my car. Even my Life is Good magnet had lost it‘s sparkle under all the grit and grime.

As I drove up and positioned myself to get in line, I went through my purse, looking for my five dollar bill. The basic car wash used to cost six dollars, but then a while ago they dropped it down to five, which is so much more convenient than six – and cheaper, obviously.

As I slowly inched my way up, I noticed the prices posted on the billboard and it looked like the basic wash was up to six dollars again – shoot! Oh well, I had exactly six dollars in my wallet, so I was okay.

Another two car lengths forward and now the billboard and it’s ever increasing prices were crystal clear – eight dollars. Whoa! I didn’t have eight dollars. And now I’m sandwiched between two cars, with no room to escape because we’re lined up like cattle in a shoot – nose to butt – with no wiggle room. I start rummaging through my car looking for two dollars in loose change, which is a particularly big challenge for me because I’m an anti-change girl– I just don’t like carting it around.

Whenever I can, I dump my spare change into jars, waiting for it to add up and morph into real money. In Canada, their one and two dollars are coins instead of bills, which is right at the top of a short list of why I could never live there. Can you imagine lugging around all those coins? They call them Loonies and Toonies, which is hilarious, but not funny enough for me to carry around all day. I must say though, Canadian men are probably the only guys who have a legitimate excuse for being a sagger – a man who wears low, low, low rise jeans.

Anyway…….After some serious digging and praying, I miraculously found enough stray quarters, dimes, and pennies to add another $1.57 to the pot. After panicking for a moment over the fact that I didn't have enough money, I sat back in my seat, took a deep breath and realized that these people could not deny me this wash. Once I pull up to the starting line, the only way out of here is through that car wash. My car was going to get it’s much needed shower today and that was that.

Of course, when it came time to hand over the cash, my brazen attitude was long gone. Instead, I greeted the kind woman with a sheepish grin and a pathetic plea for mercy. I only had $7.57. “Please have mercy on me.” I said.

“Sure Honey”, was her reply, “just come better prepared next time.”

“Absolutely! Thank you!” That was sweet!

As I came out on the other side, four men came at my car with their super-duper rags and dried it until it was nice and shiny and black again. They even asked me to brake for a moment so they could finish the job, and that’s when I noticed the tip box outside my window. “Was that always there?” I thought to myself. “Buggers. What do I do? What can I do?“ I could roll down my window and tell these nice gentlemen that I truly don’t have one single penny to give them – because they would sooo believe that, or I could just speed off and let them get right to their discussion about the cheap lady in the black car who couldn’t even spare a penny for a job well done.

I chose option number two……………...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"It Doesn't Hurt A Bit"

"It doesn’t hurt a bit,” my patient, Maude said when she told me about the technique, called Threading, nearly two months ago. “It’s amazing! It takes four to five minutes, I don’t feel an ounce of pain, and my skin doesn’t react to it at all – it’s all natural and totally fabulous.”


I went the very next day to the mall and walked all the way to the very end, on the lowest level and found the little shop performing this technique called Threading. There was a lovely young woman of Indian descent waiting to greet me.

I assured the nice woman that I needed no explanation or instruction about this all natural, waxless, painless, hair-removing technique, as I jumped in the chair, leaned back to relax, and closed my eyes.

Within seconds, I felt the hairs being ripped violently from their follicles as a silent alarm went off inside my head, “Ooooh My Gooooooosh! What the hell kind of procedure is this?!” My right eye started producing tears at an alarming rate – you know the kind of tears that you can’t control. As freaked as I was, I also felt strong and resilient and knew I could handle this. But my eyes told a different story. They cried, “Ouuuuch! Make it stop!”

This concerned the nice lady, as she stepped back, apologized, and politely handed me a Kleenex. I explained to her that I was not really crying - my eyes just naturally reacted to the violent nature of the procedure. I wasn’t sure she understood me, so I just lied my head back again and waited for her to proceed.

When she finished, I sat up and took a look in the mirror. Not only was I pleasantly surprised by how great it looked, I was also really happy, because she spent so much time on my eyebrows that I was half surprised to see that they were still there.

Even though I found the technique biting and painful, I decided that this was officially going to be my new hair-removing technique. I was so enamored by the simplicity of using cotton thread, two hands, and one mouth to create such precision and perfection, that I reasoned that the pain was worth it.

Today, I headed back to the mall for more fun threading and secretly hoped that today’s experience would be less painful. It was the same lovely woman from last time and she actually remembered me, which either means she has a really good memory ( of her only crying client ), or very few people have yet to discover this wonderful, “painless” technique.

I’m sad to report that my one eye gave me up again today, as tears streamed down my right cheek. I think the first pass or two just shocks my system and my body feels the need to react to the perceived attack, because once she gets going, the tears stop. The pain was less this time, but I’m anxious and optimistic that I too, will get to the point that I’ll be singing the same song as Maude one day, “It doesn’t hurt a bit……..”

Monday, February 2, 2009

Who To Root For?

Wow! What a Superbowl! I told myself I wasn’t interested in watching it, but I couldn’t help checking in. I witnessed the 100 yard touchdown by the Steelers in the first half which got me hooked, tuned in for some Bruce at halftime, and then got distracted by Wipeout on ABC because that show cracks me up! Anything that makes me laugh until I cry gets two thumbs up from me.

I told myself and others that I was feeling neutral when it came to who to root for. It felt odd to say, being a Bengals fan and all – that I would even consider rooting for the Steelers. Yet, I felt like if I didn’t root for them, I would know it was because they took our Carson down and out two years ago and that might mean I was holding a grudge. I don’t want to be the type of person who holds a grudge.

So, I went in rooting for both teams like a girl. As the game really heated up in the fourth quarter, I found myself getting more and more involved in the game. Then, Fitzgerald of Arizona caught that pass for a touchdown with just a few minutes left and I jumped out of my chair, threw my hands in the air and yelled, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

After my premature victory dance, I sat down and started giggling. Apparently, I was rooting for a team – Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals! The Bengal fan in me came alive and I felt the anxiety level rise in me as Ben tried his best to ruin this SuperBowl for me. And ruin it, he did. But, hats off to Ben and his Steelers for making the big plays at crunch time to come out on top and thanks to Kurt and his Cardinals for hanging tough and making it so exciting to watch!

Mark my words though, the Cincinnati Bengals are going to rule their division next year. ( or maybe the year after that…)