Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to be a good air traveler

Even before I was traveling every week for work, as a family, the JMacs travel a good deal. So much so that when MiniMac was three, he told the man in front of us at security, "YOU NEED TO TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF."

If you do not travel much by aircraft, you might not enjoy my helpful tips. If you do travel by aircraft, you surely already know these tips but will certainly want to pass them along to one or two dumbarses you see.
                                    
How to be a good Air Traveler:

1. When you are packing your bag to go to the airport, and after lifting it you throw your back out, you need to reassess the weight limit enforced by almost every airline. Most bags have a 50 pound limit in coach and a 75 pound limit in First Class. So when you shove 14 pairs of shoes and 8 different outfits for your weekend trip, survey says: OVER the limit.  What is more hilarious is that you will take that heavy bag to the airport, crossing your fingers for a whim. You will not put it on the scale until you are explicitly told to do so. You will then place it on the scale with one corner hanging off. You will then act surprised when you are caught doing this by the agent. You will then act further surprised when your bag weighs 62 pounds as if you had NO idea. So do this smarty pants, tuck a shopping bag with handles in your suitcase so you can quickly pull out 12 pounds of your gear. The people behind you in line will love you for it.

2. When you go through security, can you PLEASE just follow the rules? Even my toddler knows you have to take your shoes off. When the TSA person tells you this again because you can't read or listen, do NOT ask them, "Are you sure?" The people working at TSA may not know how to add fractions or how to properly identify certain barnyard animals but they certainly do know you need to take your shoes off. Oh, and can you please take your laptop OUT of your bag? Why is this recommended? Because the TSA agents have repeated it 10x in the 15 minutes you were standing there. Do you think they are up there singing some kind of song with no beat? "Please take your laptops out of your bags. Please take everything out of your pockets." This is not a song with no beat or cadence. Its is called instructions.


3. Also, do not bring your blow torch in your carry on. I thought the list of non-approved carry on items was a joke. Oh no. If you use a blowtorch you are either a welder or some kind of awesome artist. If so, you likely have a reason to tote a blow torch around. Anyone else, wise up. You can't take it on the plane unless you are Chuck Norris.

4. When you arrive at your terminal and tuck yourself into a seat at the gate, do NOT spread all your sh*t around to take up three extra seats. Your bag doesn't need a seat. Your newspaper doesn't need a seat. Your giant latte and bagel from Starbucks do not need a seat. Streamline. You know who needs a seat, the woman traveling with three kids, people on their third leg of a trip, or someone older than you.

5. When they initiate the boarding process, they begin with Zone 1. When you are in Zone 9, do NOT clog the boarding area. Same for you Zones 3,4,5,6,7 and 8. Zone 2, pony up. You are on deck. Everyone else, park it. I understand you are super excited to sit in a dirty seat with your feet jammed up on your bag underneath the seat in front of you because there is no more overhead space but you can't stand up and block the boarding passageway like gate lice.

6. And can we talk about the overhead space? I am the first one to never, ever want to put my bag on the floor. Here is why: They don't typcially clean the bathrooms on the airplanes. We know this from a flight attendant in our neighborhood. So you walk in the filthy bathroom. Then you tuck your feet under the seat. Then you rub your bag all over the residue. Then you put that bag on the bed of your hotel room. The bed you sleep on. Oh, there are worse things on the bed? We are all well aware. Then you take that bag and shove it bag under the seat on your return trip. Then you put it on your kitchen table.The one you eat on. E Coli? YUMMY.  So I am a big advocate for using overhead space. Now, if you are getting overhead space, can you please not take up the space allocated for a large body with your COAT? Oh, it's winter? I know, Mother Nature. Put your coat on top of your bag. You know who is going to say the same thing to you only less nicely? The flight attendants who have to repeat this 20x per flight.

7. When you are boarded and still yapping away on your cell phone, know this: Your time on th e cell phone is limited. When the flight attendants say, "Please power down your electronic equipment", they do mean everything electronic. Don't act like you don't your cell phone is considered electronic equipment. You have a job don't you? You clearly aren't that daft. When they make this request and you keep on yapping, know this: You are a dbag. Unless you are Barack Obama, Peyton Manning, dealing with death or injury, or new parents leaving your child for the first time, you don't have a single agenda item that simply can. not. wait. You had plenty of time to wrap it up. The hints to get off the phone now came in this order: When you got in line to board, when you walked down the jetway, when you walked in the plane, when you sat in your seat, and the many times you were asked to turn your cell phone off.

On the subject of flight attendants, can you please not aggravate them? Oh, I get it, not all of them are nice. But most of them are and they likely hate repeating the same thing 10,000 times a flight.

8. The bathroom. I think a prison bathroom at Leavenworth is cleaner and more inviting than this tiny closet O' urine spray. Can we put an instruction on the door? Can we request you please aim for INSIDE the bowl? Why does it look like a giant wet dog shook itself in there? This is unsavory. It is work when the floor is as sticky as a NYC nightclub at 3 am. As I hover in there in my heels, I keep telling myself, "It is only kool-aid, it is only kool-aid" but we all know it is not kool-aid.  I have seen less urine in the bathroom of my son's school and those kids barely know how to aim.

9. If you really need a snack, pack your own. If you don't like the slim options on the plane, guess who wondered your opinion? No one. I think it is so interesting that people take the peanuts or pretzels and then complain about the peanuts and pretzels. Its not prison where you simply must eat in order to garner the strength to dig an exit passageway with your spoon. Nor are you Hansel & Gretel who have no other sustenance but bread crumbs which you must eat to find your way home. Eat the free snacks or don't but please do not complain.  Same rule shall apply to the free drinks. And this is my favorite:

Flight Attendant: What would you like to drink?
Idiot: What do you have?
FA: Well, we have Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Ginger Ale, Milk, Water and a variety of juices.
Idiot: Do you have Snapple?
FA: No sir, we do not.
Idiot: Do you have Gatorade?
FA: No sir, we do not.

Really? Let's be clear that when you are given the list of products, they don't secretly leave some out to surprise you later like its your 6th birthday. They also don't hide a stash in the back to break out later in case we play an onboard game and prizes are needed. Listen to the list, pick it, sip it, and then zip it.

10. I would like to put an entry here for people who cough, sneeze, snort and hack to the point that others around you need a SARS mask but I can't. These people will always travel so wash your hands people. Wash them really well.

11. Can we talk about proper plane voice volume and etiquette?  Or how loud your volume is on your iPod as you are listening to the new Ludacris song. Turn it down, Junior. Those words are pretty filthy and while Mamacita loves to get her groove on, I certainly don't want to hear club beats and back that arse up at 8:15 on a flight to a work meeting. Neither does the sweet elderly lady on the other side of you. Lucky for you she likely thinks "back that ass up" is a reference to a manger scene.

12. When the plane lands and you taxi to the jetway, the magic sound you are listening for is the bell that indicates you can jump up like Criss Cross and get your bags and giant coat stuffed in the overhead compartment. When you do not hear the bell, do not jump up and grab your bags and your giant coat. You will be admonished. Via loudspeaker. In front of all. I know there is stress at times because of connecting flights, but unless you really are a grasshopper, Daniel-san, you aren't going to be able to run over all the backs of the people ahead of you. If you are really, really pressed for time you can certainly ask the flight attendant to request that others who are not connecting remain seated. This never works but you can at least ask so you are not the betch on one of my last flights who caused a scene on the plane because she was going to miss a flight only to be made to sit down and wait. Like a 8 year old.

I am boarding a plane in minutes. I will keep all of these rules in mind. Have a great week.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Take A Bite Of: JennyMac's Spicy Carrot Soup

I am not fond of carrot. And by "not fond" I mean "ICK". I think a carrot is like an oddly flavored stick, with a weird texture, dipped in a rainbow hue. Put that together and I will pass. As far as foods go, it is my arch nemesis.

You can imagine what happened when I was young and a mere cube or sliver of carrot presented itself in my food. No one said I was a dream child, friends.

So ironically, a few years ago at a fab restaurant in Seattle, the server said their best recommendation that night on the menu was carrot soup. He was pretty convincing. I tried one bite of my brother's. It was actually delicious. Primarily because it did not taste like carrot! A month or two ago, same scenario, different restaurant. Then I decided I could certainly work some carrot into my own life if I could master this soup. So I set out to conquer it. And let me tell you, this soup has become one of my favorites. AND, I passed it along to some friends and I got some great reviews yesterday. Even an endorsement from a 9 year old who also has a strong distaste for carrot.

Two good things about this soup: VERY healthy. And VERY easy. From my kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite. And if you don't like carrots, get on the bandwagon. I will make a believer out of you.

JennyMac's Spicy Carrot Soup

In a large pot ( I use a dutch oven) pour 2 T olive oil over medium low heat. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/2 chopped onion. Sweat the garlic and onion for about 5 - 8 minutes. Add approximately 1.5 to 2 pounds of carrots. You can peel and chop them OR you can buy the uber convenient 5 lb bag of pre-washed, baby carrots from Costco for about 5 dollars.

Saute the carrots for about 10 minutes. Cover with liquid stock (I use chicken or vegertable.) Simmer until carrots are tender 25 - 45 minutes depending on your level of heat. Using an immersion blender, begin to puree the carrots. Add stock as needed to modify the consistency. 

Add 1 T. cinnamon
1 t cayenne pepper (and increase to taste. I am a spicy girl so I of course add twice as much or more.)

Add 1/4 cup milk. Blend. Drizzle 1 - 2 T of olive oil over. Stir. 

When serving, add 1/4 cup greek yogurt, stir.

Say, "MMMMMMMMMMMMMM."  And then spread the carrot love. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Is that a dog in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Ok. We will talk about the New Orleans trip next round. I flew back from NOLA and then my family and JMacs family were here to celebrate our beautiful son's 5th birthday. More on that to come as well. I am boarding a plane for the West Coast today for a 2 hour meeting but in short, we had an awesome weekend. And everytime I am with my family, it is story-telling time galore. And there are two all-time favorite stories in my arsenal about my Mom. Here we go again:



After sharing the family beaver story with you, I had a big laugh with my Mom. You would think it a recent memory for the volume of comedic value I derive from it. But in my arsenal of great family tales, the beaver story has a friend. Another story, born during a sweet and innocent scene one summer I was on college break.

My parents were living in Alaska. I went up for the summer and was befriended by a group of nice Norwegians. Two of them, brothers, were helping me learn some rudimentary phrases in their native tongue. I would practice with them on our fairly frequent run ins, and I would share my tiny handful of wisdom with my parents. My mom got a kick out of practicing these phrases along with me.

My mom was running a full time business, and doing an incredible job. She was successful and smart and so it is with total respect I share the following scenario. One day in her lovely and light-filled office, a group of businessman came in. The two brothers were amongst the group and my mom was ready to intro her practiced pleasantries, this time, in Norwegian.

One of the easy phrases they taught me was "Gu Dag, Hvordan ar du det."
Which sounds like "Guh dah, vor dahn are doo day."

As she addressed the group, she said very slowly with perfect diction:
"Good dog, vord ann hard on today?"

The room went silent, briefly. One of the men responded, "Not quite yet, M, but if it changes, I will let you know." And then the large group burst into such a raucous laughter. And I thought I might have an accident of the urinary explosion kind. My mom, simply trying her best, looked at me and asked what was wrong.

I laid my hand gently on her arm and said, "Well, I'm not entirely sure but I think you just stated something equivalent to a good dog having a hard on today. " Some of these men were having a little trouble breathing. Primarily because my mom never talked like at work, and frankly, I thought it was a riot.
Her poor face. More red than classic Chanel No. 5 lipstick, honey.

She went ahead and left the room. At least until the laughter died down.

Oh, the laughs these stories have provided. And they have been told and retold. And surely someday my son will tell similar stories about us. I look forward to it and hope I take it as well as our Mom does.

So watch your words today. And I'd avoid that dog if I were you.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

I am in New Orleans this week for work. You read it correctly. New Orleans. For a WEEK. For work. Things I will not be doing:

Hydrating with vodka.
Staying out late Prince-style and partying like its 1999.
Accruing hangovers like they are Valentines.
Eating entirely healthy.

Now, I will share I have spent time galore in New Orleans. I allegedly spent time there during Mardi Gras as well. Incidentally, were you aware you can buy those beads for about $1.00 each? Yes. You don't have to show strangers your cans for a string of beads you can simply purchase for $1.00. Oh, that isn't the point? Thanks, Hugh Hefner. I am well aware.

I like to make a note that when people go off campus for work meetings, why are these meetings never located in a cabin in the woods or some small unassuming city? Never. They are often in places like Vegas, San Diego, FL, or New Orleans not only for the pleasant weather but there is always sign tie to a city full of potential debauchery. A friend from work said he wished our meeting was in Vegas because NOLA is "Dirty and seedy." Vegas is also dirty and seedy. It's just a prettier more slick version of dirty and seedy.

I can't wait to eat at the dirtiest dive I know: Acme Oyster House. Scary to walk in but OH the food is AMAZING. I am also participating in a fun race this week. At the crack of dawn one morning. If that is not incentive to " Go to bed early" I don't know what is.

And no I will not be going to Cafe Du Monde. Oh, the fluffy beignets are amazing. I don't need them. And I don't drink coffee. And coffee with chicory doesn't sound intriguing. 

I hope you have a fantastic week. See you Saturday with a tasty recipe to counterbalance the sinister Sinnamon rolls I posted this past weekend. Which by the way, I made again for breakfast at some good friends and I want to hate the Sinnamon rolls, but I never, ever will.  And the Sinnamon rolls are the reason I am skipping fresh delicious beignets this entire week.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Take A Bite Of: Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls

I found this recipe in O Magazine. Now, you know Ms. Oprah likes her treats. I like cinnamon rolls but they tend to be too dense and chewy for me. I was intrigued by a recipe that has vanilla pudding IN the dough. Well, I ate four of these on Christmas Eve. FOUR. They are pillowy, light, decadent, and should be called SINNamon rolls. But I have made them about 4 times since and they are a huge hit to all the recipients. It is cold outside, you need something to do, don't you? And you already worked out this week, like I suggested, right? So get to work on these. From my kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite. 

PS: According to Oprah, this recipe makes 12 rolls. Ummm, I think you like the XXXXXL size cinnamon roll, Oprah, because this recipe made over 2 dozen. See the pics below, I baked some free standing and some in a pan. The pan version is my preference and I now cut this recipe in half to make 12. Enjoy! 

Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls  

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 (¼-ounce) packets active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix, prepared according to package directions and made with whole milk
  • 24 Tbsp. (3 sticks) unsalted butter (8 Tbsp. melted and cooled, 16 Tbsp. at room temperature), divided, plus more for greasing
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 cups bread flour, sifted, plus more for dusting
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

 

In a medium bowl, combine water, granulated sugar, and yeast; set aside until very foamy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a large bowl with oil; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat prepared pudding, 8 Tbsp. melted and cooled butter, and eggs on medium speed until well combined. Add yeast mixture and beat again until combined. Add salt and then flour, 1 cup at a time, incorporating it first on low speed, and then working your way up to medium speed, mixing well after each addition.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface, dust with flour, and knead to form a smooth ball, 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to prepared bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Next steps: Grease a 9x9 pan for 6 rolls, or 13 x 9 for 12. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Transfer dough to a large, floured work surface and divide into 2 pieces. Roll out each piece into a 12- x 16-inch rectangle and spread 4 Tbsp. butter over each. Scatter cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over dough, and then snugly roll up each rectangle, starting with the short side, to form 2 (12-inch) logs. Cut each log crosswise into 6 rolls and transfer to prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a light kitchen towel and set aside in a warm spot until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake rolls until puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make frosting: In a large bowl, beat remaining 8 Tbsp. butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until well-combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and beat again until creamy and combined, about 1 minute.

OR: You can easily find the copycat recipe for Cinnabon cinnamon roll icing which is what I used.

OR: I also made a simple honey glaze for one batch: Tupelo honey, powdered sugar, milk to thin = amazing.

While rolls are still hot, drop a large dollop of frosting over the middle of each one, spreading it out a bit with the back of a spoon. They are delicious warm or at room temp. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Making fun of others..

Oh, an early afternoon post? My timing is all of kilter. Work = ass kicker as I have said many a time. It is not any less true today. However, I did get an awesome early am work out in today. And since I shared with you the other day some recent observations on gym hooligans, it was a flashback to earlier observation of gym hooligans and how easy it is at time to make fun of others. I am not saying it is kind, people. I am saying the opportunities abound.  Let me share one of my favorite gym posts of yesteryear. LHAC is going green today and recycling a post. Oh, and you should get yourself to the gym today for a workout because I am laying down some treacherous baked sinfulness on all of you on Saturday.

_________


I don't know the general consensus on gym etiquette, but let's vet it out shall we?

There are a litany of things I observe at the gym I find foolish and unnecessary. While so many people there are just normal people trying to be fit, there are others who, well, you know.

The loud grunting is annoying but so is the constant dropping of weights on the floor. Didn't you just lift that 15 times? I am certain you have a fraction of energy left to calmly place that barbell back on the floor then. Oh, and the sunglass wearers. Really? You are indoors. You look silly. Overhead light just too bright? Stop it Jamie Foxx.

But my least favorite are the cell phone chatters because the sunglasses, grunts, careless and exaggerated hurtling of weights to the floor don't directly impact me. However, the cell phone chatters impact everyone around them.

Two weeks ago a girl, let's call her MegaLipShine (because she reapplied it 10 times in an hour) gets on the elliptical next to me. Oh, she has plenty to chat about with her friend on her bedazzled, beglittered pink phone. I don't think you need to chat on the phone while exercising, and certainly not while you are exercising in my vicinity. Look around. No one in the whole cardio machine sector has a cell phone in use. However, if you have an emergency or a con call you must take since you are "working from home" that day, fine. If you have to check on childcare, dog at the vet, grocery list, I get it. Most people do this before they begin their work out but perhaps there are extenuating circumstance. But I assure you, MegaLipShine had none. MegaLipShine did however have plenty to say to friend on phone about Bessie.

MegaLipShine: I can not believe Jay won't call me back. I know he is dating that Bessie woman. She is a new doctor in his building. His neighbor told me all she wants to do is have sex. She is such a whore.

Hmmmm. First: Would any man call that a whore? Or would he call it "Near Perfection". What next? Bessie doesn't like to talk about her feelings? Oh boy...if so, Bessie will soon be the most popular girl in the world.

Second: Bessie is a very uncommon name. In fact, I know of no woman named Bessie. Especially Bessie the Doctor. You give too many details, MegaLipShine. Therefore, if you are talking about Bessie the Doctor in a large open-air environment with hundreds of people, it is likely due to her unusual name, someone here may know her. Smarten up. If you are going to subject the crowd to your salty rage about why Jay would rather date a doctor who loves sex as opposed to you with your resplendent, pink sparkly phone, use code. PS: You sound dumb.

But I simply turned my iPod on and drowned out MegaLipShine. And I had forgotten about it until yesterday.

I was at the gym in a rare hour of virtual emptiness. There are 30 exercise bikes and I am the only one using them. Until another person comes and sits down on the bike right next to me.

And then gets on his phone and loudly tries to explain to the person on the other end that he "never actually said I was a partner at the firm" and that it was all her boozy haze that had somehow misconstrued "salesman" for "practicing attorney". And he was loud. And it went on and on.

I am trying to read my new book, Olive Kitteridge, and since there are 28 other bikes open, must he sit adjacent to me? Does he not need more privacy for his nauseating conversation? At first, I decided to move. And then, I remembered I was wearing my bitchybritches, I decided to do something else instead. I started whistling. A merry tune. Raising the decibels in micro amounts. He suddenly says into phone, "Yes. I hear it too. Yes, it IS very irritating....OH, its the girl next to me." The volume of my whistling growing in direction proportion to my mounting immaturity.

He turns to me and says, "That is rather irritating."
Me, in deadpan disbelief look him in the eye and say, "Oh, is it?"

He got up then and only then did I realize he is wearing tight black bicycle shorts with his t-shirt tucked in. My retina stung from looking. I simply can not take a grown man with a shirt tucked into bicycle shorts seriously.

But more importantly, please do not select the bike next to the only other person over here and carry on a loud and rather mundane conversation on your cell phone.

So, when you feel all aglow with so much news to share, maybe just maybe, you can wait until you are done exercising. Some are here to actually work out while some are simply here to annoy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Put that on your feet, sassy...

I remember buying my first pair of Louboutins. It was divine. Men, for those of you not familiar with the cult of Christian Louboutin shoes, it is kind of like getting your first fast car at age 16, only much, MUCH better. It is not the shoe itself, it is the way the shoe makes you feel. Ladies, if you don't believe me (which I know many of you already do) go to a fabulous shoe store, pick something out, put that on your feet, sassy. And then tell me how you feel.

Recently, I overheard two men at the bar. Man 1 bought his girlfriend a pair of shoes. Man 2 said, "That's crazy. I wouldn't even date a girl that obsessed with shoes. It's too superficial." This made me think of many things:

1. Because someone has shoes doesn't make them obsessed. She has to put something on her feet. This isn't Clan of the Cave Bear.
2. Awesome job Man 1 ponying up some cool shoes for your lady.
3. Hey Man 2, if you think shoes are a big deal, you have not a clue of the litany of other rituals, processes and procedures women will go through to impress you, other men, or their friends.  Enjoy the first time you discover eye-brow threading or waxing.

But, I want to share a story about a well-known theory involving women and their shoes. Yes, I am telling it again.  And zip it, you know you have a story or two you love to tell repeatedly too, smarty.

There was a young woman who lived for a shoe:

Ahhhh...who doesn't love a great pair of shoes?

Now, some of you see a pair of shoes like this and say to yourself,
Oh, those are FMPs.
Not familiar with this acronym?

Well, for the sake of public decency, let's say "Fornicate Me Pumps" and just replace Fornicate with your favorite sailor word. I think you know what I mean. The F Bomb. Yes, some people have a special code names for shoes like these. Oh, I am sure you never use that word. And I, of course,
say it often
use it so sparingly I have trouble pronouncing it at times.

But the sister to the FMP is the DFMP. As in Don't F with me pump. You have seen them, I know you know what I mean. Heels you put on to feel invincible. The ultimate power shoes. And I can't be the only one with a pair or two.

I have several pairs of shoes that immediately empower me. Oh, that's a lot of stock to put in a shoe. I know. But they do. It's like putting on Superman's Cape. And I love it. One pair are 4 inch heels I bought in Italy. I love them because they make me 5'11 and because I love where they came from. Oh, just ask me.If you say, "Wow...I love those shoes." Then I will be sure to say "THANK YOU, I bought them in Italy. " It's never lost on me that you have not necessarily asked me where they are from.

And another pair, the first time I wore them, JohnnyMac said, with a very sultry look "Those shoes are hot." My reaction? Very close to Meg Ryan in Top Gun: Take me to bed or lose me forever.

And my favorite pair of all time. A black patent open toe slide with 3.5 inch Pucci covered stacked heel...mmmmm....yum.

Oh pretty shoe, why did I wear you to that filthy dirty bar in Spain? WHY. Why did I drink all night and dance you to your near-death? WHY WHY WHY? Those shoes suffered some scars. Nothing looks good with martini splashed all over it. Not you, not your liver, and certainly not your Pucci heels. Peter Dundas would have likely maced me had he known of my transgression.

And there is no need to have fabulous shoes that make your feet hurt. Boo. Lest you are so uncomfortable you must remove them before your evening ends. And what is the point of that? I am all for barefoot and fancy free. At the beach? Barefoot reigns. Your friend's wedding? Not exactly.

A friend wore bad shoes in NYC and ended up barefoot on the street at 2 am. Catch that? Barefoot. On the streets of NYC. You may save yourself a blister but enjoy walking around in who knows what AND contracting plantar warts. Even the bar of soap shuddered and thought "I don't want to go near that mess". Ergo, keep your footwear on in sketchy places. Streets of NYC at 2 am are the epitome of sketchy.

So here's to putting something fabulous on your feet.

If clothes make the man, shoes make the girl. Don't believe me? Ask Cinderella.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Oh let me guess, one of your New Year's Resolutions is "go to the gym".

Happy New Year friends. I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season. Ours was splendid primarily because it was guided in by the 4 year old in this house. This age = true believers. I will spare you the numerous stories about his delightful antics because you either 1. have your own kids 2. know someone's kids and have to listen to all their stories or 3. you don't like kids.

BUT, I will share this: Departing my huband's parents house the evening of Christmas Eve, we see a low-flying plane with a blinking red light. In all sincerity and earnestness, our son saw that and literally shouted, "We have to HURRY! SANTA and RUDOLPH on ON THEIR WAY TO OUR HOUSE!!!"  It was absolutely the sweetest thing.

But let's get down to some more salty business. I love the flooding of resolutions that take place each new year. A list of positive goals? No one can frown at that. A majority of these lists include a sentence or two in which the word "gym" is center stage.

I will join a gym.
I will start going back to the gym.
I will think of the gym while resting my arse on the couch as I play Xbox or GTA.

I am all about the fitness, health and wellness. I applaud anyone who wants to improve their health or fitness even if for only one day. It does get a little extra jam packed in the gym the first few weeks of January but trust me, that will all even itself out by Valentines Day. But with the influx of traffic at the gym, it is a keen time for me to make many observations. Shall I share? Indeed.

I have previously mentioned the indoor-sunglass-wearers and the cell-phone-yappers. Here are some other friends at the gym to be on the lookout for:

1. Sir Sweats-a-lot. I think its great your body is ridding itself of all the toxins. And all the rest of the moisture in your body right down to your spinal fluid.  If it is your first day here, I suggest you bring a towel. You know what makes me think you know this already? Because you have met yourself before.  You didn't start being this much of a liquid fountain today. Yesterday I was stretching on the community mats (community skank planks) and the sweatiest man I have ever spied laid down next to me and actually slid on the mat. He SLID. ON THE MAT. He had no towel. So after his brief stretching period which looked more like bad break-dancing, he hopped up and scurried off. I wanted to mark the area with crime scene chalk so I would know to NEVER NEVER sit here. And do you know how many times I have done child's pose on those mats? MANY. I hope my face enjoyed dried booty sweat. Egads.

2. Thong Leotard Lady: For the love of HAYSOOOOS, take that off Suzanne Somers. I know this is Atlanta, the only cool metro area in the South besides Miami but even the dames in Miami are not wearing thong leotards like its Audition Day for the "20 Minute Workout." Do you remember this show? It was basically porn. Or Jamie Lee Curtis in the movie Perfect. That is the last time I saw someone wearing a thong leotard and thought "well, that makes sense." It was 1985. A lot has happened since 1985 my friends, can we please kill the thong Leotard.

3. Aggressive Trainer:  Ok, I get the trainers have a goal. That goal is to have as many clients as possible. Can you please not stalk people down in the gym like you are the Lion to my Gazelle. I don't like that you try to talk to me while I am running on the treadmill. I don't think the other 20 people running on the treadmill like you to talk to them either. How do I know this? Am I clairvoyant? NO. It is because they are RUNNING ON THE TREADMILL.  Like I want to whip out my earbud during an awesome throwback Van Halen song for you to ask me how I am enjoying my workout. I am not enjoying it because it is not a 1. tickle party 2. back rub  or 3. Day in Cabo San Lucas. I also enjoy seeing you making the weirdo forced eye contact with people trying to start a conversation. I think that makes people uncomfortable. If people want to inquire about your services, won't they come to the desk beneath the giant banner reading "Get your Personal Training questions answered here." No one thinks you are doing auto repair or couponing over there. Practice the Field of Dreams motto: If you build it, they will come.

4. Boobylicious girl: If I was endowed, I would likely flaunt those girls here and there. But not everywhere. Places I would not flaunt them: My child's school. My place of work. The gym. Big cleavage on display at the gym doesn't actually blend in well. Oh, I get it. You are not trying to blend in.  And cleavage, well, I know some people can't help what they are given. But an abyss that looks like Apollo 13 could fit in and be devoured? Well, that is excessive. And not everyone has heard of these crazy devices called "Tank tops" or "T-shirts" which also serve to cover up the chest sector. Shake what your Mama gave you but its not South Beach.

5. Ball scratcher: I don't spend an inordinate amount of time with my eyes on the cash and prizes region of male gym visitors. But there seems to be a public ball scratcher in the mix quite often. Oh, I have heard they need to be "adjusted" like your nuts and bolts get all out of whack by merely walking. If your parts get twisted up doing a sit-up or two, you might need professional help. Oh, I don't have these parts so I really can't say? I live with a man and rarely see him handling his goods to the extent I have witnessed at the gym. Maybe I should go to the gym with him just to test my hypothesis.

I have parts. They dont need constant management. Maybe because they don't dangle? If having dangling parts means you have to scratch them like they have fleas, well, thank you Baby Jesus for the blessing.  Yesterday, I saw a guy with one leg up and foot resting on a weight bench while he talked to his friend. Entire time handling his junk. WOW. If I was chatting with a girlfriend and she was cupping her ta-tas the entire time, I might pause and walk away.

Since none of you fit these descriptions, I hope your gym experience today is fantastic. And have a great weekend.