Tuesday, July 28, 2015

That ONE person in the gym

My current workout establishment is the small little gym at my apartment complex. It consists of (2) tread mills, (2) elliptical, (2) bikes, (2) weight machines and (1) rack of free weights (Yeah I know you were expecting there’d be 2 but apparently they don’t do everything in pairs) to say the place was small is almost an understatement. It’s considered “crowded” when there are 4 people using machines.

Now usually I work out in the morning because it’s “less crowded” and also lately it’s been pretty hot in the afternoons and with the lack of AC and airflow in the room I prefer to only sweat like a pig and not like a horse after a Triple Crown race. But I was too lazy yesterday morning and went in around 6pm to work out. Luckily I was the first of the crowd to get there and I had my pick of the good treadmill that can actually function to go up a hill rather than pretend it’s moving but only stay at one incline-FLAT. Just behind me was this tall lanky guy who’ve I’ve encountered before in the gym…….he’s the one who likes to sing to his music. Which I don’t mind so much since I have my own headphones in and can’t really hear him unless is decides to hit that Justin Timberlake high note. Shortly after came in a couple that occupied ALL of the ellipticals.

Absorbed in my watching of The West Wing (which is indeed a great TV show, I’m only in the 2nd season but thoroughly enjoying) I didn’t take much notice of the others in the room, eventually the girl on the elliptical hopped off to go lift weights and somehow Mr. Karaoke had slipped out the door but another girl had slipped in and perhaps I didn’t notice because I’m sure she’s just above the height of a legal Little Person but she got onto the machine next to me and I could tell she was no stranger to working out. Her biceps (which were about the size of my forearms) were defined and I think cellulite is afraid to reside on her legs for fear the muscles might eat them. And so she started her little workout on the elliptical. I continued my climb uphill and after I had finished I went to the back wall to stretch and the mighty mini muscled woman was continuing her workout by doing handstand push ups against the small wall between the windows.

I almost laughed at the spectacle. It’s great that she is keeping those bitty biceps toned and however she works out is her prerogative but is it really necessary to do a handstand push up…..in a small apartment gym where no one is impressed or there to comment on your physical aptitude? I feel like an acrobatic move such as that should be reserved for those HUGE complex gyms where girls run in bikini’s to try and impress the protein powdered pecs in the room. I think she accomplished 3 of them………it seemed to be a bit of a struggle and I’m sure she wouldn’t want to explain to her friends how she ended up with a broken nose from falling on her face.

But I judge……….maybe next time we cross paths I can offer to hold her legs steady and ask her if this is what she usually does on her off season from toy making. 

P.S. Did you know they found Kermit in the jungle?

Online Dating is a JOKE!!!!

Lately I have been asking myself, “Is online dating worth the time you put into it?” At this point I am leaning towards, NO.

About 1-1/2yrs ago I decided to try my luck at online dating after attending a conference in DC and sitting through a session by an online dating coach (unfortunately the session I really wanted to go to was filled and the online dating was the only one that still had seats left) The woman who presented gave us pointers on how to fill out an online profile. Gave us tips on what types of pictures to upload; no more than 5, don’t have other people in the photo, do both up close and full body and probably include an active photo. She also gave us ideas on how to write our online profile, how to be clever and informative and ALWAYS include a question that can be answered so the person looking at the profile has something to ask you about.

With these tools in hand I figured, “Yeah, this ought to work.” WRONG!!!! In that nearly 18 mos I have had 3 dates, yep count them on one hand………1…………2…………….3. That’s it. Of the 100s of dudes I’ve messaged, flirted, winked, liked and chatted with from the internet I have only managed to make 3 of those interactions turn into an actual physical meeting and of those 3 NONE of them included a repeat date.

So of the HOURS I have spent setting up a profile, filling in information, uploading pictures, perusing other profiles, wondering if my information is enough to catch any interest or if my messages warranted a response I only have around 9hrs of date to show for it. If this were an investment I would cut my losses and move on with life the ROI for this is not really adding up.

So what is it? Why is online just so difficult? I found that many of the guys that did respond would only give one sentence answers and never ask follow up questions in an effort to ACTUALLY get to know more about me. And when I even suggested meeting in person for lunch or something the line went dead. Um………..hello? Is thing on? The best is when I had a previous thread going with a guy and then months later he’d send me a flirt as if this were the first time he’s seeing my profile. REALLY???? You don’t remember the empty conversation we had 2 months ago?

So tell me guys………….what’s the deal? Do you have these online profiles in an effort to show your nagging family that you’re “actively” looking for a girl to date? Is it just another way to boost your ego and have ladies flirt and message you while you literally sit on your butt? Or is it just a virtual bar where you hope to find the one “hottie” in the room in hopes she looks your way and agrees do go home with you that night?

After 3hrs of sleep and incidentally reading a ridiculous book about a girl going on a date with a guy she met online. I decided to be a bit bolder in my message to a guy and see what happened. So a guy I had messaged once before I messaged again and basically said, “Hey I think you’re cool. If you don’t think the same then let’s call it a day.” The reason I picked this guy is because he had viewed my profile 19 times which is the “in life” equivalent to staring at someone across the room for 12 hours and never making a move. 

And what happened? Well surprisingly he messaged back and his reason for not messaging before was because he was nervous. WHAT!!!!! You have GOT to be kidding me?!?! An online message has to be the most non-threatening form of communication ever invented. Unless we start sending smoke signals again and then the only danger is catching yourself on fire which seems much more hazardous than someone ignoring your message.

I was flabbergasted. Online communication is an incredibly PASSIVE form of exchange. No tone of voice, no confusing facial or body language, you can take time to write incredibly smart or funny messages, and if you want to stop talking well you stop writing. What’s there to be nervous about? Are the nerves so bad that when you go to type the message your hangs shake and you can’t physically type? Or the sweat pouring from your elbow pits shorts out your keyboard and then your laptop? And don’t give me, a “fear of rejection” answer. Seriously!!!! 

I can understand having trouble typing a question or message since an online profile takes out the art of small talk. Most profiles already include: where you’re from, what your degree is, where you went to college, your interests, etc. Which is the very definition of “small talk” but I’m pretty sure there is no spot for weather listed on the profile or favorite ice cream flavor (well maybe that one is listed on some but I haven’t seen it yet) but that’s still a weak excuse. I’ve typed “Hey, how’s it going?” to several guys, granted it’s not an earth shattering question but it gets a conversation started.

I heard a statistic once that 85% of guys will ask a girl out only if they have had previous interaction with them before. Perhaps this is the road block to online dating.

Or maybe I should have never posted that picture of myself at Halloween dressed as a troll under a bridge. 
Alright I’m pretty sure when I went down to Best Buy to get a digital antennae for my TV the clerks at the store were judging the fact that not only was I NOT willing to pay for cable, I also own an old flat screen TV that doesn’t have the digital converter built-in.

I figured I’d give digital TV a try since it has been 4 years since I’ve had either cable or TV and because I think cable is really just a waste of money, (any show I desire to watch can be found online, plus cable is really a bunch of trashy reality shows) I decided it might be worth it to pay the upfront costs of the TV antennae.

When I was looking at the antennas at Best Buy this nice young clerk comes over to help me and of course tries to convince me that the highest priced one is the “best buy” but even better was they could get me a deal for cable. I gave him my argument as to why cable wasn’t worth it for me but he didn’t seem too convinced and probably just thought I was cheap (which is true when it comes to cable) and told me to come back if it didn’t work out.

Well he was correct in that I did have to come back because my TV is old and needed the converter, so when I went back to the store instead of being able to just quickly grab what I needed and get out I actually had to ask the staff where they sold the converters and it also happened that the same clerk I had talked to earlier was coming back from his lunch and we ran into each other again, “I guess it didn’t work out?” “Not really, turns out I need the converter.” “Oh man, I’m not sure if we even have those anymore? Hey Dan do we have any converters left?” “Yeah, I think we have one left” He hands me the box, “we don’t really carry these since most TVs have them built-in” “Yeah, I realize that.” “You’ll be back for cable………..” “I doubt it.”

So there I was being judged by the youth of Best Buy. Am I now that old lady who doesn’t embrace new technology because I think it’s possessed by evil spirits and will slowly take down the very structure of society I’ve always known? Or am I just that cheap?

Well either way, I haven’t regretted my decision. I am now able to listen to the news while I cook dinner and find out a food truck in Portland has been buying meat from druggies who steal it from grocery stores and shove it down their pants only to be resold at a discount price to a Chinese man who just thought he was helping out someone who was struggling and selling meat out of his backpack.

And if I ever need a spiritual list there are like 5 televangelist stations and 2 Spanish stations in case I need to brush up on my foreign language. Plus a bunch more I have never even knew existed but the best is I have 3 different PBS stations. WOO HOO! Never missing a Masterpiece episode again. But if I do it doesn’t really matter because I have the PBS app on my phone that has all the episodes.

I embrace technology, I just refuse to pay for crap entertainment. If I wanted to see bad reality I’d move into a trailer park. Where this Rastafarian spider lives. 

Why I need a leer jet.

I know it seems ridiculous to want a private jet because it’s a huge waste of money and resources but when it takes all day to fly across the US you start to wonder if the rich people have it all figured out. The reason people buy cheap tickets is because they have limited funds and can’t afford the extra $200 it takes to purchase a non-stop flight but these airlines are apparently bent to make the poor people suffer for budget flights.

Here is my tale of woe:

At 8am central time I left the Northwest Florida Regional Airport, which is this small little airport with one terminal and two gates. The first leg of my flight was to Charlotte, NC where I had a short layover of about 45min. The seat I had was one row behind the emergency exit and I had the window seat which was the usual cramped space but it was also incredibly cold, even with my wool pea coat wrapped around my body I was still shivering. I once asked an attendant why they no longer have blankets and pillows and she said it was because of the swine flu. Ok……….so every other time there was the flu season it was fine to provide the infected blankets. But once it’s labeled after an animal it becomes more dangerous. If only the Natives had been told they were exposed to Buffalo pox instead of small pox, then maybe they wouldn’t have taken those blankets. But you know you has disease free blankets and pillows? First class, all wrapped in plastic bags sitting on their seats just waiting to be opened.  

After dozing on and off through the ride I arrived at Charlotte and had just enough time to make it to my next gate for boarding. This is when I’m incredibly thankful I packed a bunch of food, since I didn’t really eat much breakfast on the way out and the snack boxes for purchase are reserved for when you are so desperate for food you think you might pass out if you don’t pack more in your stomach than free beverages and a snack mixes that is usually protein free since this peanut allergy is out of control. I actually had one flight specifically ask that passengers try and refrain from eating any peanut products on the plane and my pilot aunt said they have even discussed having peanut free seating. RIDIC!!!!

The next leg of my flight was to Chicago O’hare and this is where I move up to the roomy seating for the remainder of the journey. For whatever reason when I checked in online they happened to have the exit row seats open and available for no additional cost. Feeling like I had hit the jackpot, I picked the exit row for my 2 remaining seats and these were the AWESOME exit rows where they have extra room for the jump seat so your legs can’t even touch the seats in front of you. AND these seats even lean back which is usually not the case for the emergency row. OH! I was in coach class heaven. I had so much leg room I could actually stretch out and rest my feet on the jump seat ottoman style. And even better, no one was sitting next to me. It was luxury from here on out.

Once at Chicago I again had a small window to make my next flight but had enough time to buy an overpriced salad of iceberg lettuce, a few raw onion rings, 3 cucumber slices and one olive. As I was scarfing down my salad I looked at the ticket counter and saw that the flight read PHOENIX, AZ. Wait…………..WHAT!?!?! I’m going to Portland, OR……………..am I at the wrong gate? I quickly check my ticket and the flight numbers match, to double check I look up my itinerary and notice that I have a stopover in Phoenix. HOW did I MISS that? SERIOUSLY!!!! Oh…………….I thought I was almost home, only to realize the bargain ticket I bought had slipped in this incredibly unnecessary detour. And this is a stop off where we don’t get off the plane!!!! At least I had the exit row to seat again, I board and take my place on the aisle seat and notice that the other seat in my row is empty. YES!!! Once again a comfy flight. But wait, where is that incredibly large man going to sit? Yep, right next to me. Now this wouldn’t have been too bad had the guy just been tall but he was also wide and there I was stuck between being smothered by his oversized triceps or having my shoulder constantly bumped by the attendants and service carts. I had to spend the flight at this weird angle in my seat to use of my arms but kept my shoulder out of harm’s way. Needless to say this flight down was less than pleasant and my legs and hips were starting to ache from all the sitting.

In our 30min stop in Phoenix I stood the entire break and stretched a bit to get ready for the last leg of the flight. By now I was getting to the point of desperation for food and ate the last of my snacks hoping it would tie me over till I hit the tarmac in Oregon. The next guy sitting next to me was tall but much thinner so I could actually sit normal in the seat but he smelled as if he hadn’t washed is underwear in 3 days and woke up on a park bench that morning to head home. By the end of this flight I was in pain and nauseous. I basically ran out of the airport to the fresh air. My stomach was on the verge of upchuck from the stale smells and turbulence of the flights. I landed at 7:42pm pacific time, in total it took me over 12hrs to get home.

Now can you see how if I had a personal jet how many of these issues would be solved? I would never be hot or cold because I could set the temperature to my preference. Or have easily accessible blankets. I would never go hungry or thirsty because the plane would be stocked with food and drink. My legs and hips wouldn’t go numb since I’d have a bed I could lay on or perhaps a couch. There would be plenty of room for everyone to sit. I wouldn’t be bombarded by rank smells or diseased breath. My flight across country would definitely take less than 12 hours. The plane would have a table to have meals, play cards, chat with friends and a TV for inflight entertainment. I’d also have a disco ball and lights just in case I wanted an impromptu dance party and I would always offer to take my friends with me so I wouldn’t waste the space or I’d let them use it at any time.

I think I might uploaded a Kickstarter fund for this. Kaliska’s Private Jet………….yeah, this will work.

I kind of like this one.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

No Coupons for YOU!!

My sister and I took a trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics to pick up some craft supplies for some lamps shades I am painting for her new baby's room. (They are turning out adorable BTW.)

But this isn't about my amazing craft skills but about the crusty old lady in front of us at the check out line who apparently has a prejudice against young women with a need to craft.

As my sister and I approached the check out line I turn to her and say, "Oh! We should have looked for coupons. They always have coupons.................Maybe they have some by the cashier, sometimes they leave them up there."

"Oh yeah, we'll have to take a look."

Now this woman in front of us was probably in her 70-80s. All white hair, leathery tanned skin and outdated makeup. She kept making these half turn around moves where she seemed as if she was gazing at the items on the sides of the isles but appeared to be listening to our conversation. And at one point during her turn around she makes eye contact with the lady behind us and offers her a 50% off coupon and the lady graciously accepted it.

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (yes that's exactly what I was thinking)

"Did you just see that?"


"She JUST handed that lady a coupon?!?!?"

Now I could almost be forgiving about this obvious snub but my sister and I had JUST talked about needing a coupon as we were standing behind her in line and we weren't exactly quiet about it. But then I thought, "Wait, maybe that was a friend of hers and she was holding some coupons for her."

Ok, cool.............she wasn't being rude just helping out a friend. But then if they were friends why didn't they talk after that exchange?

Now the line was moving REALLY slow because there was only one cashier and apparently this flood of 15 people was an unexpected rush for their little store.

We inch towards the cashier and as we're making the last turn before the registers I see the old lady make eye contact with the 2nd woman behind us in line and offer HER a coupon. The lady declined and said she already had one.

WHAT THE...........!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! ARE YOU SERIOUS!

Now I KNOW we were purposely excluded from this coupon giving granny. I was half tempted to tap the woman on the shoulder and ask if perhaps we might have one of the precious coupons since they were obviously golden tickets that let us into the chocolate craft factory or maybe her neck was injured and she couldn't quite turn it all the way around to see my sister and I standing behind her with my sister's 9 mos pregnant stomach taking up as much room as a 3rd person.

But we didn't miss out on the 50% off. OH NO!! they have these new fan-dangled things called cell phones where you can have coupons text directly to your number. So I did save that $3.25 despite the old ladies effort to deny our chance to save some coin on those ever precious craft supplies.

But you know what else is precious? This puppy. I want to snuggle it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Your hands are to carry stuff

Today I went shopping to take advantage of the 50% off Christmas sales and figured I didn't need a cart since I was only planning on picking up a few items and indeed I found some gems. When I took them to the register the following is what transpired with the cashier.

"Do you have a rewards number?"
"Yeah sure, let me give it to you. Oh, and I don't need a bag."
"You don't want a bag?"
"No, I don't need one."
(Looking at me with a blank stare)
"But how will you carry your stuff?"

Now........I wanted to say, "Well, I'm obviously going to use my pack horse, don't you see it behind me?" But instead.

"I carried it up here I'm sure I can carry it out." (smile to the cashier)

She rings up my items and as the receipt is printing out I grab the loose ornaments and garland with my right hand, take the boxed ornaments with my left, put it under my right arm and then grab the receipt from the cashier with my once again free left hand . As I grabbed the receipt the lady just stared at me with this flabbergasted look as if she's never seen anyone use their appendages in such a way. Perhaps she's never seen people utilize their limbs.

I've decided that perhaps I should do a quick tutorial on what body parts can carry items, this is only an abbreviated list as the options are endless;

Hands - these are great for carrying small items, like keys, phones or baby chickens. You can also use your fingers to carry things, like clothes hangers, or loop ornament hooks over them and even carry multiple six packs. (I usually like to use my hands to feel six packs but they don't sell those kind at department stores)

Arms - these are great because they can hold very large items. You can hold a large box, carry a load of wood or bear hug a baby kangaroo. What's even better is your arms bend and have these things called "crooks". These can hold multiple grocery bags, purses or a python.  

Shoulders - ever heard of the fireman carry? Well if you ever need to carry a fireman feel free to try it out. And the always useful over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder, (mine are more like pebbles but none the less shoulders are needed)

Head - if you have a large item you need to move through a crowd this can be very useful, I'd recommend using your hands to steady it but if you've been to Africa you know that's just for the amateurs. Here's an article that further explains head loads Load with caution.

Hips - now I don't want to say these are exclusively used by women since they have been found to be a great spot for tool belts but there is a reason that men usually wear suspenders for function instead of fashion.

Back - piggy back ride, horse back ride, backpack, baby-got-back. The uses are endless.

Mouth - I use this in extreme cases of overload. Sometimes you just gotta put your money where your mouth is when all your hands are full.

I hope this helps those who are confused as to why a bag isn't necessary in all situations of purchase and if you need some further instructions on life saving carries then check out this Lesson Page. You never know when you might need them.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Homeless Encounter #1

I suppose it's expected that when you move to Venice Beach that you will encounter a few homeless people but i didn't anticipate it happening while i was on the beach.

Since i live close to the beach i frequently take bike rides down to the ocean and take time to relax on the weekends from a busy week. I like to go mid morning because most people are still in bed and not many like to be out because it's usually cloudy, which is my favorite time to go because you are almost alone in the sand. However one weekend i was gravely mistaken to think i would be able to lay and listen to my music and read my book in peace.

I had set out my beach sheet (Yes! take an old bed sheet to the beach, not a towel,  you will thank me for this later) and had laid down on my back, put my headphones in and started reading my extremely none thought provoking novel about vampires (No, it wasn't Twilight, my taste in books isn't that bad). As i am enjoying the solitary time i hear a man say, "Hi friend." I of course assumed that this greeting was meant for someone else as any friend of mine would have called me by name and not by "friend" so i made no effort to acknowledge him. A few seconds later i hear again, "Hi friend." And i see out of the corner of my eye a young man standing there in a hat, jeans and no shirt. I quizzically look at him and he continues, "Hi, remember me? We met a few weeks ago." "Um, I don't think so.........i haven't been on this beach in a couple months." "Well I'm Ben, so now we can be friends." "Um, ok." "Can i sit on  your blanket?" "Uh...........i guess"

Now i realize i should have just told this kid No and that i have a highly contagious disease and he should probably stay away unless he wanted to catch a rash that would make his skin itch for months. But i was caught a little off guard.

I  don't remember the details of our conversation, because i kept reading my book while he assumed i was listening to him ramble but here are the bits i do remember.

He had moved here from Nevada and couldn't believe the chief wouldn't give him a job as a life guard, to which i responded, "well it's not tourist season and that's the only time they have life guards at the beach." He at some point ran around the Santa Monica library naked, i wasn't sure if this was inside or outside but in any case he thinks everyone should just walk around without clothes. He studied some school but "it just wasn't for him" although he was really interested in aerospace and said that he intended to build a flying car. He met some girl from Mexico and apparently had a romantic rendezvous in which they "smooshed" with each other and he hoped he could find her again. He really liked my ipod, phone and water bottle and wished he had some of his own.

The only conversation we really had was when he asked what i did for a living and i told him construction management and he asked if i worked with solar panels and i confirmed that indeed my company did sell solar panels for residential homes. He said he had an uncle in Michigan that had his own solar business, "Oh really? Why don't you work for your uncle?" i asked, "Uh............" was all he could muster.

I finally said i had to leave and meet my boyfriend but that didn't stop him from giving me his phone number in the off chance i wanted to hang out with him. Interesting he didn't have a place to live but yet still had a number. "Hey yeah girl, let's hang out you can come by my place under the pier." "Awesome sounds like fun, maybe we can hope to catch food as people drop it."

I haven't encountered any more homeless on the beach because those that are really homeless tend to hang out near the boardwalk and on the grassy hills because their shopping carts are really hard to push through the sand.

But check out this funky fish. It comes with lipstick already done up.