Wednesday, May 21, 2014

i also used a weight machine backwards, but that's another story for another time

Well, Matt and I joined a gym last week.

That's noteworthy because I am not the least bit athletic and/or all that interested in fitness.  When I was a senior in college I had a knee issue that, according to my doctor, could be cured if I spent 40 minutes a day on a recumbent bike.  So I got myself a gym membership and rode that recumbent bike for the prescribed 40 minutes a day and not a second more.  And I didn't dare venture to the treadmill or the rowing machine or, heaven forbid, the stair stepper.  And then I graduated and that was the end of my gym experience.

Until last Wednesday, when Matt and I laced up our sneakers and joined Planet Fitness.  In the last seven days we have gone to the gym five times, which is more than I've gone in the last five years, so basically we have already gotten our money's worth.

On our first day we rode the bikes, but by day two I was drawn to the glamor and apparent grace of the elliptical machine.  So I climbed aboard, started elliptical-ing, and lasted four painful minutes until I determined that my sweet spot at the gym is probably on the treadmill, speed: 3.2, incline: 0.

After day two I was feeling fantastic and full of energy, so when we got home I decided to do a little apple cider vinegar hair treatment because it makes my hair so shiny and smooth and who doesn't want their hair to look healthy?  I wet my hair, soaked it in apple cider vinegar, and then folded some laundry and straightened up a little bit while the vinegar worked its magic.

I hopped back in the shower to rinse it out, and when I walked back out into the living room, Matt was just walking in the front door.

"Where'd you go?" I asked him.

"Something really smells weird in here and I cannot for the life of me figure out what it is - so I cleared the leftovers out of the fridge, and then took all of the trash out."

Well, mystery solved my friend.

I have half a bottle of apple cider vinegar on my head.


Not only do I want my hair to look great while I stroll on the treadmill, but obviously I need the right wardrobe.  So this weekend I got some fancy new fitness-style yoga capris, and last night I hit the mall to got myself a new pair of sneakers.   I've read it takes 21 days for something to become a habit and while I'm only a third of the way there, I figure I may as well look adorable for the next 14 days while we see if this gym thing is going to be a long term commitment or a flash in the pan.

I wore my new workout gear to the gym tonight for the first time.  I walked faster and with so much more pep in my step.  And after the treadmill portion of the gym experience I pranced around from weight machine to weight machine in my fancy new shoes feeling like a million bucks.

And then we got into the car and I crossed my legs and I spotted this.
 I had forgotten to take the tags off of my new shoes.

Listen.  I keep myself humble.  And marginally embarrassed.

Although if this gym thing doesn't turn into a habit in the next two weeks, I could still return the sneakers.

Silver lining.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Well, Matt and I have been married for two months today.  And in those two months of marriage we have purchased four new car tires which, let's be honest, is a pace we cannot keep up. 

On Tuesday I drove to a meeting about an hour and a half away.  The drive to the meeting was uneventful, but as I approached my highway exit on the way home, the low tire pressure light on my dashboard started flashing.

I guess I should have known something was amiss when I was singing along to the radio several miles earlier and it sounded like someone was pounding on my chest as I sang.  Here I thought I'd finally perfected my vibrato a la Carrie Underwood, but in reality it was a sign of a flat tire.  

Hindsight is 20/20.

I got off the exit and pulled right into the parking lot of an office complex.  I called Matt, and when he answered I said, "Hey, my low tire pressure light came on.  So I got off the turnpike and I'm now parked in a parking lot.  What do you think I should do?"

And he said, "Well, do you have a flat tire?"

"I don't know,"  I said.  "I didn't get out and look at the tires."

Note to self: When your low tire pressure light comes on, the first step is to get out of the car and actually look at your tires.

I performed a full four point inspection and while I didn't see an obvious flat, I heard what I thought was air hissing out of a small hole in the driver's side rear.  Matt wanted to come and change it but since he was an hour away and we pay for roadside assistance with our insurance, I called roadside.  And while I waited for the mechanic to arrive, I watched my tire flatten into a pancake.

And half an hour later an ancient, white, dented, beat up van that said "Home Improvement, Inc, NEW YORK" came pulling up to me and my little Ford Focus.  It was like the start of a horror movie, because 1-beat up white van, and 2-I was expecting a tow truck from Pennsylvania, not a home improvement truck from New York.  But the man in the van was very nice and had a tire jack with him so I guess he was legitimate.  He told me I had a nail in my tire, so he put my spare on and I headed slowly off to Pep Boys for a plug.

At Pep Boys, I told the man at the desk I wanted my tire plugged and handed over my keys.  And ten minutes later one of the mechanics came into the waiting room and said, "Hello miss, I looked at your car and I actually recommend four new tires.  The ones you have are six years old."

Little did he know that I am NO EASY SELL.

"First of all, the car is only five years old and these aren't the original tires.  Second of all, I'm not here to buy new tires today.  I don't understand how everything was going along fine and I hit one nail and suddenly all four tires are bad.  I'd like the tire plugged and that's it for today, thank you."

Well, Mr. Mechanic came back in a few minutes later and told me that due to the way the nail punctured the tire, a plug wouldn't hold.  Half of me thought he was telling the truth and half of me thought he was trying to make a few hundred bucks out of the deal, so I called Matt again and he told me to just go ahead and get the two new tires because MY SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT.


And that's how I became the owner of a lovely set of Hancook tires for the moderate performance driver, because apparently the tire salesman and I have differing ideas of what constitutes a high performance driver.  

I naturally consider myself a very high performance driver because I have an almost perfect driving record and I use those turn signals like a boss.  The salesman considers a high performance driver someone who drives at speeds in excess of one hundred miles per hour on a regular basis in a car with sport handling.

Tomayto, tomahto.

And so instead of a fancy dinner date for our two monthiversary, we gazed out into the parking lot at all of our new tires, and had a music night where we played all of our favorite songs and made a giant batch of chocolate chip cookies.

And when I went to light the candle for dinner, I saw this written in the wax.

The best things in life are free.


Monday, May 5, 2014

april showers bring may flowers. and hopefully they don't drown them.

Last week was a rainy one around here.  On Wednesday, I came home to discover that we suddenly had waterfront property. 

Unfortunately our front door is right in the middle of that river.  Since I didn't have a raft with me, I stopped on higher ground for a minute while I weighed my options for getting myself to the front door while staying as dry as possible, and not ruining my clothes.  After some thought, I decided that my best bet would be to take off my (lovely, brand new, cream colored, very poor choice for a rainy day) shoes and roll up my pants legs because DESPERATE TIMES. 

I was about to do just that when I heard a voice yell, "DON'T WORRY, LADY, I'LL HELP YOU."  And I turned around to see Matt, my knight in soaking wet gym shorts and waterproof hunting boots, walking down the sidewalk.  He had already been outside playing in the rain trying to clear out some clogged drains, and he picked me up and carried me to the front door.

Luckily, the rain and flooding has subsided in the past few days and we haven't had to invest in either a wet vac or a boat.  However, I am worried to death about the status of the flowers that I planted last weekend.  I am worried that they got too wet during the storm and then too cold and that they're not hearty enough and maybe they'd be better off with a sheet over them at nighttime and SHOULD I GO OUTSIDE WITH A HAIR DRYER TO WARM THEM UP A BIT?

I am just so proud of my little garden. I know the saying is that pride cometh before a fall, but in this gardening story, the fall actually came first.

I decided that last Saturday was going to be planting day, and since I had a 40% off coupon to Michael's Arts & Crafts burning a hole in my pocket, I decided I'd have myself a perfect Saturday morning and stop there and and then go to the Home Depot right next door.

Not only does that particular shopping center have a Michael's and Home Depot, but it also has an Ikea and BJ's Wholesale Club, so that joint was jumping on Saturday morning.

Because I have a rocky relationship with reversing out of parking spaces on busy Saturdays, I drove around the parking lot until I found a pull through spot.  I grabbed a cart from the corral in the lot, and then headed straight for the racks of plants and flowers on the sidewalk outside the store.

I walked up and down a few short aisles, but was disappointed in the selection.  It was surprising because I got my flowers at Home Depot last year and there were so many more choices.  I picked up one pack of yellow marigolds and a set of gardening tools, but decided I'd drive over to Lowe's for the other things I needed. 

I headed inside to pay, and as I walked through the first set of doors, an older gentleman standing there said, "Good morning, miss.  BJ's card?"

"No thanks," I responded quickly, and, obviously, without thinking.

Because a half a second later, it hit me.

He wasn't trying to interest me in signing up for a BJ's card. 

I had actually been shopping at BJ's.

Not Home Depot.

And I am not a member of BJ's.

I abandoned that shopping cart quicker than you can say petunia and practically ran to my car.  Which is when I realized that in my quest to find an easy, pull through parking space, I had driven out of the Home Depot section of the lot and into the BJ's one.  And when I got out of my car I was so focused on the flowers that I didn't look up at the sign of the store I was heading towards.

After that experience, I really hope that my flowers pull through.  If they don't, one thing is certain.  I will be going to Lowe's to buy the replacements.