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Posts Tagged ‘Bright ideas’

Dear Miriam,

I thought we were friendly work colleagues. Why do you want to kill me? I can think of no other reason you would invite me to “Core Power Yoga.”

Core Power Yoga, aka Satan’s Clubhouse

I thought yoga was supposed to be this calming, centering, channeling-your-inner-Gandhi kind of thing.

But add the “core power” modifier, and this is some next-level madness.

I’m not sure why you go to this “sculpt” class at 6, right after the hot yoga class. That means the room is 145° at least.

But there I was, right on time, because of your invitation.

The class starts. I’m keeping up. What seems like two hours pass. I look at my watch through the waterfall cascading from my forehead.

6:16

I wish for death.

6:23

For those who don’t know what this class is like, let me describe it:

Mix the Jane Fonda workout with the calisthenics from eighth-grade gym class. Sprinkle on some Southern California namaste seasoning. Add an Imagine Dragons soundtrack. Set it on the surface of the sun.

6:32

My face is throbbing. I might pass out.

I leave the room to get air, water and the number of a medical professional.

I ask the lithe girl at the front desk how long this class lasts.

“Hmmm. Not sure if it’s 60 or 75 minutes. Let me check,” she says.

“75 minutes?!” I squeak.

“Oh it’s 60 minutes.”

Even so.

The exit was so close. Sadly, I had left the locker key in the pool of sweat near my rental mat.

6:47

I think it’s the cool-down phase. Not sure. All I know is my heart is racing like I just outran a bear.

6:51

I’m certain that I’m clinically dead.

6:54

I’m deftly performing the Patrick Star pose on my mat. I feel a slight breeze. Perhaps I’m on a gurney being rushed to the ER?

No.

The instructor is walking around the room flapping a towel.

She appears to be flapping more over me.

I’m sure it’s because she spotted my soul leaving my body.

7:00

The class is over. The instructor says, “Sorry it was hotter than usual, and the workout was more challenging than usual.”

Oh. How lucky for me.

I slither to the locker room on liquefied legs.

Time to survey the damage. Warning: graphic images (i.e., I’m hideous).

Let’s take a closer look, shall we? (Be thankful this blog doesn’t offer Smell-O-Vision.)

What’s that you say, Miriam? Show the air-conditioned, rested (i.e., sane) people at home the back? Sure.

That was Thursday. Today is Sunday, and still everything hurts. I can’t lift my arms. How can I have ribcage pain, Miriam?

I’m not sure what I did to you, but I apologize for whatever it was.

Please forgive me.

I’ll never do it again.

I also likely will never do this class again, despite the assurances from the instructor that I did “an awesome job for my first time.”

Sincerely,
Not downward dog but no thanks, dawg (aka Beth)

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Dear Readers:

You know how excited I get when I have a guest post. Today, I’m pleased to present one from Disgruntled Danny, a lovely-despite-the-moniker person I met while pursuing my passion for a particular U.K. band.

He’s pissed about the lack of road repairs in Chell Heath, the borough he’s called home for 12 years.

Here he is, in rare form. Enjoy!
Beth

 

“Harry Pothole and the Tarmac of Terror” and other tales
Guest post by Daniel Harrowven

Misery, frustration and disappointment. For most British people these are our default settings, but on a Friday morning in early May these emotions were amplified.

The reason? I had just read the results of the local government elections and, as feared, my local councillor had been re-elected.

For the last nine years, since my councillor was first voted into office, Chell has gone from being “a little bit rough” to a town that can now offer visitors an experience akin to Kabul circa 2003.

How did this happen?

Chell Heath is a Safe Seat. Many of the families in the area have lived here for generations and they always vote for the same political party. They are afraid of change. As long as nothing improves, they can continue to blame all their problems on former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (She was forced out of office in 1990 and has done nothing at all since 2013 on account of her being dead.)

I was inspired to act whilst driving home one evening. Listening to the latest CD by Jesse’s Divide, I suddenly felt my spine shatter, thumbs dislocate and the CD skip, causing me to wonder whether I had suffered a brief blackout.

No.

I had driven over one of Chell Heath’s impressive (and growing) number of potholes.

Danny recreates his death-defying drive.

In mainland Europe and the U.S.A., drivers drive on the right of the road.

In the U.K., drivers drive on the left of the road.

In Chell Heath, we drive on what is left of the road.

The following day, I went back to the pothole and had my long-suffering wife photograph me pretending to punch the pothole.

Disgruntled Danny, Superhero

I posted the photo to my Facebook wall and the Facebook page of my local council.

And became an Internet troll.

Lately, my trolling has taken the form of movie treatments and posters fitting the pothole agenda.

 

Here’s a medley:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How much of a stir has this trolling caused within the council? Have I been asked to remove the posts? Been offered a meeting to discuss my grievances?

No.

I have had no response whatsoever.

Not even a “Sod off and bother someone else.”

But one person did take notice. Rathi Pragasam, the woman who ran against my councillor — the woman for whom I voted — found my pothole series amusing. So it came to pass (that sounds a bit biblical!) that Rathi visited me recently to discuss my rantings.

To be clear, she is not elected, has no power or authority in the ward, but within 24 hours she had contacted parliament (WTF!), arranged funding, and now the potholes are due to be repaired in the coming weeks.

All more than anyone on the council did.

I understand that there will always be bigger problems than some holes in the road, but little victories make life slightly more bearable.

And writing this has been a joy, because for 40 minutes I, a British person, have not had to talk about Brexit.

 

 

 

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Dear Lisa (aka Goat Yoga Lisa),

You are a great friend. One of the best. Not only do you play Bingo with me, write guest posts, and let me stay in your house all the time, but you also loan me your husband.

Well, Rob loaned himself, really.

And it truly was a shock to all of us hanging out in your living room.

When I said I needed a dress to wear to do the weather* because the chroma wall hated the one I brought, you said you would go with me.

But then Rob piped up and said, “I’ll go with you.”

You, Gunner and I swiveled to look at him. Silence. Two eye blinks each.

Me: “Wait. You will go DRESS SHOPPING with me?”
Rob: “Yeah! I’ll go.”

Maybe it was the wine talking. He vinoteered.

Or maybe he is jealous of all the blog space devoted to you.

Or maybe he just wanted to hang out with his pal Beth.

He might have regretted it in the morning. But then I brought him bacon in bed. (That sounds way saucier than it was. You were there. You made the bacon. You suggested I take it to him.)

He might have regretted it when we got ready to go. But then he filled a to-go cup with wine for fortification.

He might have regretted it when we got in the car. But then I put the convertible top down and fired up a great rock playlist.

Rob seemed to be having a good time in the store. This was his first selection:

img_8037

Thank God he was just joking.

Then he suggested a housedress with a belt. Ha ha, very funny.

We headed to the fitting room with three contenders. Rob, the fitting room lady and I unanimously chose the third option.

We were in and out of the store in 15 minutes. For real. He was in shock.

Rob: “It’s like a blur.”
Me: “You didn’t even finish your wine.”
Rob: “I was just sipping, but now I don’t need to.”

We did have to stop by the CVS on the way home. But Rob even helped with the ridiculous receipt.

We were back at your house just 30 minutes after we left.

Me: “Thanks for the date!”
Rob: “It was fun!”
Me: “Did you actually just say it was fun?”
Rob: “Yeah, it really was.”

I’m pretty darn proud of us.

To my additional astonishment (that Rob — full of surprises), he really took ownership of the situation. After my segment in the early newscast, you told me he said “his” dress looks great.

Then Gunner sent me this message:

And then the man, the myth, the dress baron himself weighed in after the later newscast:

So, I give thanks to you for the loaner spouse, and loads of thanks to Rob. He’s like my hubs away from home!

See you when I’m back in Savannah.

Love to you and the super shopper you married,
Beth

* I can’t believe I’m still filling in at the TV station after all these years.

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Dear IKEA:

I love you. I hate you. I love to hate you. I hate to love you.

Eddie and I entered you to get stuff to furnish an investment property. Let’s call this place a charming, evocative name — a name like “El Pozo De Dinero.

It will, we hope, be Eddie’s primary source of income this summer.

We had to get so much. But the quantity of necessary items was inversely proportional to my amount of patience.

I lost my will to live in the lighting section.

You didn’t care. You still made me trek through bath fixtures, throw pillows and plants to taste freedom.

I have so many questions:

  1. Why don’t you have the entrance on the main floor?
  2. Why don’t you have carts on the second floor where the showroom begins?
  3. Why don’t you have any staff on the floor?
  4. Why do you have to snake through the entire damn place to get from entrance to exit?
  5. Why can’t you get out of the café without going through the whole place again?
  6. Why won’t you open another register when you have 637 people in line?

Eddie contemplates death in one of only two checkout lanes open.

Even your oft-heralded meatballs are not enough to erase the memory of this torture.

We’re not done, though, so I’ll see you in a week or so.

Your best enemy,
Beth

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United States Olympic Training Center this ain’t.

Dear H2Oldsters,*

Now that I’ve lost the equivalent of nine five-pound bags of sugar (!), it’s time to firm up what remains. Taking on those wobbly bits means I take on water — aerobics in the YMCA pool.

Why that and not some other group exercise class?

  1. I don’t like to sweat.
  2. It’s easier on the joints.
  3. I feel like a badass when I can do all the exercises you can’t.

Sorry. (Not sorry.)

Yes, I’m about 30-40 years younger than you. Wet behind the ears, even. (Yuk, yuk. Sorry. I am sorry.)

But it isn’t that.

Here’s the thing:
I bet you COULD do all the exercises if you would SHUT YOUR BIG YAPPERS and try.

Elderly avengers assemble!

From the moment you get in the pool, you do not stop talking. The class begins, you keep at it. People like me who are there to GET STUFF DONE have to swim around you.

Why you gotta be like that?

For real: Why are you there? Why bother putting on a bathing suit? Just meet the other crones at Starbucks or whatever. Or hang out in the Y lobby and chat. There are comfy couches there. Easy on the bones.

At the very least, go to the other end of the pool.

If you do, all this will be water under the bridge. (Sorry. I can’t help it. It’s too easy.)

Yours through hell and high water,
Beth

* Come on! That’s a little funny, no?

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Dear Trish,

Hope you and Irv are doing well. I miss seeing you on a regular basis, trying new beers, playing Cranium, and complaining about Ed.

I do want to take this opportunity to say thank you for inviting me to your wedding. It turned out to be the catalyst for an important journey for me.

I didn’t realize quite how fat I was until I couldn’t squeeze into the dress I brought to Sedona for your big day. This dress had always been my go-to dress. (Full disclosure: It’s a maternity dress. It doesn’t look like a maternity dress. Nothing maternity about it except that it has an empire waist. I just like it because it’s a pretty green silk.)

But I had a rude awakening when I was getting ready for your event.

Houston, we have a problem.

The dress must have shrunk at the drycleaner, right?

My Spanx waved the white flag.

I’m sorry I ruined all your wedding photos trying desperately to either avoid the camera or hide behind my children.

Look here. Dominic is not large enough to cover me:Let’s take a closer look:

Yes, yes, I know this is counter to the whole body-positivity movement. But let’s be honest: We all know when we are not the size we should be.

No one wants to feel like their seams are screaming.

The week I got back, I went out to dinner with my friend Kim. She had dropped 30 pounds and looked great. We have the same feelings about diets and working out (i.e., hate them with a white-hot passion). She shared her secret (and I will too if anyone wants to DM me), and I was off and running immediately.

I started my program the last week of September. This week, I hit my goal weight.

I’ve lost 45 pounds. That’s like losing a first grader.

And three dress sizes for me.

Here I am in the wedding-attendance dress that I now need to have altered. (Dominic has changed considerably too.)

Here’s the side-by-side before-and-after image for your viewing pleasure.

And here’s one of me the day I started this journey next to how I look today.

I feel so much better about myself.

It’s not a physical thing — I could always do stairs and whatnot.

It’s a mental thing. Being about to reach deep into the back of the closet and grab pre-kid jeans? That’s some real joy right there.

This is not PC (Kate Moss even regrets saying it), but it’s true for me:

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

So thanks, Trish. Inadvertently, you started me on a better path.

Congratulations on your eight-month anniversary coming up.

Your not-so-fat friend,
Beth

 

 

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Dear Pat,

As much as I admire your gumption to keep working long past retirement age, I think it’s time for you to consider calling it quits.

Monday was rough, but I thought our tax-prep nightmare was over.

I was wrong.

Yesterday, you sent this:

Eddie drew the short straw and went to get the new forms to mail.

As it turns out, your words were misleading: We still owe lots, but we now owe less thanks to your fix. Great! Thanks!

But why would you tell him that we should now call the IRS to find out exactly how much we owe? Come on, Pat. Isn’t that your job?

So I’m going to subtract the “refund” from the old amount and send a check for the result.

Pat, this experience has, quite frankly, sucked.

And we had to pay for the sucktitude. At least it wasn’t more:

No charge for your mistake? How generous.

You could have at least tried to make it up to us with another free pen.

Pat, I’m afraid it’s time for you to hang up your spurs. Go enjoy fruity drinks by a pool somewhere. Aren’t there great grandkids somewhere who need you?

Please, think of the children. And my sanity.

All my best,
Beth

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