Monthly Archives: January 2012

Hey how about those __________

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So I don’t post anything specific about work, and I’m not going to start now, because a girl could way get fired that way and then who’s going to pay for all the debauchery around here?

But I’m just going to say: gosh darn it some people are difficult to work with.  And I’m not even talking about the people we serve.  Or my coworkers, who are almost without exception a pretty exceptional bunch.  (See what I did there?)  I’d narrow it down more but that might give something away, and like I said, I enjoy being employed.

But if everyone around you has to watch their back and you have a certain reputation for being difficult, well, chances are good at least some of the blame (*cough cough or maybe just about all of it cough cough*) lies on your own shoulders.  Just sayin’.

There are some days, thankfully quite few and far between, where I come home nearly giddy from relief at just not being at work anymore.  I had one of those recently.  And I was glad that I could go home and leave the stress at work where it belongs.  The rest of my evening was such pure absence of the difficult person that it was like being in heaven, if heaven looks like sitting on my living room couch watching sitcoms and playing stupid games on my phone.

Please let me never be someone’s difficult person.

Monday again?

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So it’s Monday again.  I’d really like to speak with whoever’s in charge about how the weekends fly by and suddenly it’s Monday and I didn’t get half the shit done I meant to do and now I have to go to work again.

It started oh so fantastically with waking up abruptly and realizing that there was light filtering in around the bedroom curtains.  Um, why didn’t my alarm go off?  Oh of course!  Because my phone decided to turn itself off in the night, and that way the alarm wouldn’t go off, and now I’m late for Helga.  Dammit!!  Lucky for me Helga, although only a minor demon in the grand scheme of things, still possesses the ability to reschedule gym appointments for slightly later in the morning without regard to the usual rules governing time and other peoples’ schedules.  This isn’t the training session you’re looking for.

Okay, fine, he didn’t have any other appointments until later in the morning.  But my version is more fun.

While bench pressing a bar with ridiculously tiny weights perched on it, I came up with a great idea: instead of these very dense itty-bitty petite little weights that look like Minnie Mouse is taking up powerlifting, they should make an outer shell you put over them to make them look much larger and more impressive.   Because really, these weights looked like little birds, like tiny sparrows resting on the bar.  Tiny cheerful little sparrows that announced to the entire gym that I am weak and pathetic.

Of course the drawback would be that someone with real strength might accidentally fling them up and hit a ceiling light with them, but a certain amount of discreet maneuvering should keep them out of the hands of brutes like these.  And, says Helga, you could use them for flotation when you do water aerobics.

Poetry in Motion

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So I went to the gym again today.  It’s starting to become some kind of habit or something.

Helga made me do the usual unspeakable acts, and afterward I retreated to the safety of the DeathMaster.

Now, I’ve been sick lately and you’d be surprised how much it takes it out of you to have a Chronic Digestive Ailment That I Am Mercifully Not Describing in Detail, You’re Quite Welcome.  I go to work and come home and sit like a zombie for the rest of the evening.  Probably this is how The Lovely Rhonda got me to watch the first episode of Glee; first hit’s always free and now I’m hooked.  But that’s another blog post.

So I fires up the DeathMaster and I punches in the info: program, weight, level, time.  Enjoy your workout! it tells me.  I begin to trudge.

Silly me, I thought I could just suck it up and continue on at my former pace as though I had not spent the past three weeks in hedonistic indolence, eating nothing but processed foods (doctor’s orders!).  Twenty minutes?  Ho ho!  It is to laugh!   I completely bonked at eleven minutes, even after pausing the machine twice for a quick breather.  I toyed with the idea that I could just turn it down a level, but no.  Almost without conscious thought I found that I had turned the machine off and dismounted.

Speaking of the dismount, is it just me or is there really no graceful way to lob one’s carcass onto and off of the DeathMaster?  This is partly because of the exercise-related accessories that I find I simply must have: water bottle, small towel (for sweat-related issues, ew!), and MP3 player with headphones.  There is no way to hold these many things in your hands and grip the handrails firmly as instructed per the very detailed litigation-prevention decal pasted prominently on the DeathMaster’s sleek metal  carapace.  So it’s a clumsy sort of hyurk! that happens and with luck my various accoutrement don’t get ejected in the process.  Then may I place my items in their appointed places and the trudging can commence.  The dismount is no better.  The lowest step tilts at a weird, ankle-threatening angle and so I must perform an ungainly reverse-hyurk! to get down from the second step which is at roughly chin-level.

It’s ever so much more wonderful to do this with one’s back to the glassed walls of the racquetball courts full of sweaty old guys in terrycloth wristbands whacking their blue balls around.  (Heh.)

First world problem of the traditionally-built gym member, yes.  I know.  May this be the worst of my trials.

 

Scapulas of fire

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So Monday marked my first day back with Helga after this flare of Uncomfortable Embarrassing Chronic Digestive Malady.  He went easy on me, uncharacteristic of him, but I think it’s just a ploy to keep me alive longer.  So he can torment me more.

We did the usual carefree skipping about, punctuated by pushups on the bar — which he set fairly high, miraculously — and this new thing.  Bar is about shoulder height, grip it at the shoulder width with an outward-facing grip like you’d like to wrap it around someone’s neck.  Certainly not your trainer’s neck, nooo, but some other ne’er-do-well.

Place your feet far ahead of you so that you are now almost hanging from the bar.  Unavoidable reference to “Hang In There, Baby” kitten poster popular in 70’s middle school lockers.  As if middle schoolers have actual problems, CHUH.

Proceed with sort of weird reverse-pushup thing.

The next morning, avoid any activity involving raising arms above waist, as scapulas are no longer on speaking terms with rest of body.

Oh I forgot

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So when we got home from the beach, we found that the planets had all aligned or something and all of the cats were lounging on the bed. Like, at the same time.  Almost touching, even!

I'm not sure if this has ever happened before.

Later I found the most curmudgeonly, Grandpa, in a compromising position with Heals’s back legs around his neck.  I tiptoed out and didn’t ask any questions.

 

Snowmageddon 2012!

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So these were taken last week, but I’m lazy.

Snow! Finally!

It started snowing at 9:30pm and stopped by morning.  In fact it was already raining by 8am.  But that didn’t stop the kids from playing in it.

Rhonda's oldest

Delia

The youngest child took one look and was all, Yeah, you guys have fun, I’m staying in where it’s warm.  Suckers!  She did go out later but not for long.

By the end of the day it was gone completely, but I had enjoyed looking at it in the night.

Around midnight

Birthday Fun!

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So The Lovely Rhonda turns an undisclosed, youthful age today, and to celebrate this we repaired to the beach for grown-up time.

This almost didn’t happen because some child-care arrangement plans fell through, but my adorable cousin Carmen agreed to come stay the weekend with our children.  Despite having met them all before.  We cannot thank her enough, but I do aim to try.

It was especially an issue since the room was prepaid through one of those internet things, but it wouldn’t have been the end of the world.  It would have just felt that way as we squatted in our hovel surrounded by our grubby, ill-behaved children, visions of gamboling the days away on the endless sunny beaches…

But I digress.

It turns out that January is not the peak season for beach excursions in the northern parts of the Oregon coast.  And it turns out also that the many and diverse storm fronts that have moved through the region, really attacking it from all directions in the past week, make for some interesting driving conditions.  We were fortunate in that the worst of the downed trees, icy roads and power outages were resolved before we embarked on our journey.  However, the rain did monsoon and the wind did buffet our valiant minivan around, and the highway was littered with tufty evergreen twigs and the occasional car in the ditch (facing the wrong way, even).

Nevertheless and against all odds, we arrived, barely, in time to eat at Mo’s as is customary.  When we opened the doors to the van they blew open very dramatically which made us laugh and shriek like the little girls we are.  The server obliged with free ice cream on TLR’s dessert and we sang the birthday song despite the fact that there was only one other table of customers in front of whom to be humiliated.  Tradition must be upheld!

The night at the hotel was uneventful, although I did make the desk clerk laugh.  She asked what kind of car we had and at first we had difficulty remembering the make and model.  In our defense, it was late and we were tired.  Finally I told her that if the Titanic had been made into a minivan, it would be ours.  It turns out that this is good enough for hotel recordkeeping purposes.

The next day we finally emerged around lunchtime to uphold another tradition, the Storming of the Outlet Mall.  I did not photograph this. You’re welcome.

Lunch was had, and we made our way to the beach for the obligatory Stroll on the Shore.  It was actually quite clear and very windy and you could totally see how stormy it had been.  Lots of foam and the beach was rather scooped away.

Lincoln City, OR

After dutifully admiring nature’s majestic splendor for at least thirty minutes (per regulations) we made our way to a coffee shop and obtained beverages and a nifty pack of playing cards emblazoned with pirate facts.  Also some hats, which The Lovely Rhonda models for you here:

Tide's coming in.

We sat and played rummy and absorbed heat from the gas fireplace for a time, then hit a store for comestibles including a bottle of wine.  I do not care for wine, but TLR does.  Off to the hotel!

Sadly, the pocket corkscrew TLR travels with was not up to the challenge and broke off, necessitating a trip to the front desk for some tools.

The monkey pokes the anthill with the stick and licks the ants off, thus demonstrating use of tools.

I am happy to report that the wine was successfully opened and TLR enjoyed it immensely.

Today we revisited the seawall and found that it was raining and windy, and the tide was coming in to the point of splashing over the seawall.  We parked facing the seawall and watched for a while, as did many others.  Next to us was a family in a large beefy manly truck.  Mom and Gawky Teenage Son got out to look while Dad stayed in the truck and occasionally locked Mom out, apparently for his personal amusement.

At one point Mom returned to the truck and emerged with her laptop, which she then used to (evidently) capture some video of the Big Angry Ocean, as we had taken to calling it.  We were deeply impressed with this and so I had to snap a few shots.  I kept waiting for the wind to catch it and sail it into the ocean, or at least dash it to bits on the wet, sandy seawall, but no.  Luck favors the idiotic, so it seems.

As Darwin spins in his grave...

I waited patiently for a moment when the sea would splash over the wall, and in the meantime saw a small be-sweatered dog reluctantly enjoying a brisk stroll in the driving rain and wind.

A fine day for a constitutional!

Every time I tried to get the shot, the stupid kid wandered into the frame.  WHY MUST I SUFFER FOR MY ART.

"Gawky Teen with Seawall, 2012"

At last, victory was mine!

Finally! The Gawky Teen got the hell out of the way.

Then we drove home in yet more pouring rain, the end.