Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Namaste, Jackholes (see also: Why Yoga is Not For Me)

I'm willing to bet that half of you who read this are already thinking about how much you love yoga, and that you can probably convince me to love it, too. You may also do nifty things like use those spiral environmentally friendly light bulbs that don't put out any light, or eat things like meat substitutes and kale chips. Let me go ahead and forewarn you: my mind cannot be changed on this one. I still buy real light bulbs, and the only things I have ever purchased at Whole Foods are birthday cards and beer. I have tried to wrap my mind around why this bendy, stretchy stuff is so popular. As someone who is both impatient and a skeptic, I can tell you now that standing on one foot, concentrating on my inner being, and repeating "om" are never going to be a few of my favorite things.

Let's start with the fact that I hate to exercise and generally prefer to get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible, not taking ten deep breaths while I try to wrap my right elbow around my left foot. The whole yoga thing just moves way too slowly. My mind wanders to things like: how many calories am I not burning right now? Why is tangling my body in a human knot supposed to be peaceful? I'm bored. And, since everyone is barefoot, I also wind up assessing everyone's state of pedicure neediness (most of whom are in dire straights, by the way). Where is the jumping, the intensity, and my guilty pleasure Whoomp There It Is workout music? Frankly, I am suspicious of any form of alleged exercise during which I believe I could leisurely enjoy eating a doughnut.

Then, there are the poses. So many poses. The skeptic in me cannot be silenced while all these hijinks are going on. Let's examine just a handful, shall we?

 Chair pose: Has anyone ever actually sat in a chair this way? The only time I would ever sit down with my hands reaching for the sky is if Keeping Up with the Kardashians was on and someone was dangling the remote control over my head, refusing to let me change the channel. I would reach that high to get away from Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, and kompany. My own personal chair pose looks very much like someone reclining in a lounge chair with a daiquiri in hand. And I can hold that pose for quite lengthy periods with no problem. Talk about stamina.

Cow: Yes, there is a pose called cow. Really? Isn't it enough that I am here, standing on this giant place mat, trying my best to exercise and lose weight, putting up with all these yoga shenanigans? And now you have to go and call me a cow? This is doing some serious wonders for my self-esteem. For the next pose, why don't you have me squeal and roll around in some pretend mud and call it pig pose? Or put a saddle on my back, ride me around the room, and call it horse? Mooove out of my way, I can't take much more of this. As a side note, and for reasons I cannot explain, this pose also makes me think about chocolate milk every single time. I can't help it--it would go great with the doughnuts I could be eating.

Plow: Yep, you are seeing that position correctly. I have no idea why it is called plow, unless that is what they will have to scrape you up with once you're finished. To obtain this very relaxing pose, you just put your legs over your ears until your feet touch the floor. At my house, we also call this "broken neck," or "snap your spine." Doesn't that feel great? Kind of puts the "oh my" in om, right?

Reclining tortoise pose: Sure, this one sounds like it would be right up a lazy lady's alley. How hard can it be to make like a turtle who is lying down? Um, look at this picture. What has happened here? I prefer to call this one the Exorcist, since I am pretty sure that the only time I have seen someone contort like this has been in movies about demonic possession. I guess after you manage this one, you can tell people you worked out like a fiend.

Corpse: I almost hate to disparage this one, as it is one of the few poses in which I am actually good. Your trusty yoga guru will try to get all flashy and call this one savasana, but its real name is corpse pose (you can't fool me with your yogi mind tricks). See, you lie on your back like you are in a drawer at the morgue, and fitness ensues. You are literally being asked to play dead. Are you kidding me? I tell you what: since we already went through that cow name-calling incident, why don't you change the name of this one to beached whale and just say what you really mean? This one is so easy, I can do it in my sleep. In fact, I do.

While you are channeling your very best dead person, you will inevitably be told how important this last pose is, to ready you for going back to the real world. Someone will tell you to clear your mind, and at this point my very bored brain starts singing very un-yoga like songs such as that 90s song by En Vogue, Free Your Mind, or Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I believe this serves as final proof that good ol' yoga is not for me.
There are so many more things about this zen craze that drive me just plain crazy, but I don't want this post to feel as long as a yoga class, so I will spare you the details. And I'll pass on any more yoga, until they decide to embrace the madness and let everyone eat doughnuts and drink chocolate milk during class. Then it might just be the kind of workout that helps me open my third eye (which, like my other two eyes, probably needs Lasik). That, and replacing "Namaste" with "Frankie said relax."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Star is Born

Watching the pre-Golden Globe coverage Sunday night, as the celebrities from TV and the big screen made their way down the red carpet, I listened to interviewer after interviewer comment on all the freebies, gifts, and perks that these celebs enjoy. They pointed out what a great life it is to be someone in Hollywood, and gushed and oohed and aahed over star after star.

But the more I consider it, my life is really not that different than those A-listers. I mean, what benefits do those famous faces have that I don't enjoy as well? What kind of special treatment does Julia Roberts get that I don't? Let's consider.

First, we know that being a celebrity will get you swag, also known as free stuff. Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I cannot grocery shop in Harris Teeter without being bombarded with offers of a free slice of bread or a sugar cookie (hey, the container clearly says free to kids of all ages, and I fit the bill). My dentist practically showers me with goodies every six months--I haven't left his office without a toothbrush and some floss like, well, ever. And just last week I got a free sample of Pantene shampoo AND conditioner in the mail for absolutely no particular occasion. I'm doing my best to not let it all go to my head, but it's not easy.

You can also always tell a star by their entourage. Oh, I've totally got this one. Cotton, my little blind bichon frise, follows me everywhere I go. Most days I can't even have bathroom time alone without him following me around. Same goes for Clint--at least it does when he needs or can't find something, which is most of the time. See there? Entourage. Boom.

How about preferential treatment that comes in the form of discounts? Yep, all the time. Mine usually come in the form of 55 cents off Duke's mayonnaise with a coupon I clipped out of USA Today Weekend or a BOGO roast beef sandwich at Arby's, but still, by George does this girl get deals all over the place. I haven't paid full price for anything since, well, yesterday. But who's counting?

The Hollywood elite also never have to wait in line. As for myself, I occasionally (read: all the time) find myself stuck in the absolute slowest line possible at the grocery store, Target, Walmart, the bank, the drugstore, and/or department stores. However, there have been many several a handful of times when a cashier has opened up a register just for little ol' me. How's that for being singled out for being special? Line 4 is open with no waiting...if your name is Susie. Don't mind if I do.

Practically every celebrity worth their salt also has their own personal trainer. I am certainly not one to brag, but I do workout with celebrity fitness trainer Tony Horton. And it only cost me three easy payments of $39.95 (because of my infamy, no doubt). Not everyone has access to the P90X3 DVDs--I know, because the infomercial clearly stated that there was a limited supply and demand was huge. Thank heavens for the perks I get, or I wouldn't be able to workout in my spare bedroom five mornings a week while the dog naps on the bed.

It is such a glamorous life that I live. I routinely get asked for my autograph--specifically, as the cardholder agreeing to pay the charges on credit card receipts, and it is inevitable that I will have my picture taken when I go out (usually because I have handed someone a camera and asked them to take a photo, but now we are just splitting hairs). And because I am so humble, I won't even go into detail about the numerous awards which have been bestowed upon me (those non-details would include Big A Elementary school Star Citizen, fifth grade 4-H club President, Most Improved Dancer at Jazzy Jane's dance studio circa's been going on my whole life).

Adoring fans, I would love to stay all day and chat, but I'm afraid my schedule simply does not allow it. There is a VIP lounge waiting, just for me. And by that, I mean the customer waiting area at the car dealership while I am having service done--and hey, they have even offered me a loaner if I so choose. If you need more quality time, be a doll and have your people call my people and let's do lunch.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Replacements

They say confession is good for the soul. Heaven knows I do a fine job of dishing on the stuff other people in my life are up to, but I guess it's time I tell on myself for this last one. If you dish it out, you have to be able to take it.

Let me preface this little story by saying I think all the junk food I've been eating may have turned my mind to mush. Christmas through New Year's and on through this past weekend, we have indulged in every food our little hearts desired. Clint said he has purposely looked at menus and tried to find the most decadent and sinful thing listed and order at least one of it. It's been fun, it's been filling, it's been fattening. I knew it would have to come to an end for the sake of good health (and being able to wear real, non-elastic waistband pants), but now I am starting to believe that gluttony can actually make you a dimwit.

Maybe the eggnog killed too many brain cells. Or my body is working too hard to digest all the food I've been shoveling in it to give my brain any energy to function. Because I have been scatterbrained. Absent-minded. Okay, downright dumb. A couple of weeks ago, I grabbed a sandwich bag to put some leftover cheddar cheese in for storage. The next day, I opened our drawer where the bags stay and found that I had indeed put the cheese in the bag--and then left the bag in the drawer, instead of putting it in the refrigerator. There have been a couple of occasions where I went to the store for one thing, then came home with three or four items and not one of them was what I originally went to get. My vocabulary has been on the down slide and I've been using brilliant expressions like "thingamajig," "what's its name," and "whosywhatsy."

As an example, over queso and chips Friday night, we were talking about classes we had taken in college. I remembered being told as a freshman that the easiest science to take at Clemson was, "what do they call the one where you study rocks?" Clint stared at me, wide-eyed. "Do you mean geology?" Um, yes. I seem to have forgotten how to speak (and if you know how much I love to talk, that is some feat). Is it stupid in here, or is it just me?

For my 30th birthday, Clint gave me a gorgeous pair of gold and pearl Chanel earrings. Classics which would never go out of style. For the past five years, I wore them with practically everything. Bad days don't seem so bad when you have your Chanel security blanket with you (or on your ears). But a few weeks ago, I went to garnish my outfit with a dash of Chanel and found only one of my earrings. I could not find its sibling anywhere. I thought I might have left the straggler behind at my parents' house over Thanksgiving, but it was not to be. I worried that I might have left it in Virginia on our anniversary trip, and while I love the Homestead, I did not want one of my earrings living there without me. I cleaned out my jewelry box and searched the bottom of my closet like a dog digging for a bone and still: not to be found. I had a Chanel orphan situation on my hands.

After apologizing and mourning and pouting, I moved into the acceptance stage of my grief and started looking online to see about finding a replacement pair. Sure enough, I came upon a website with tons of people selling pre-owned designer duds and saw the same earrings for sale. I even managed to talk the lady down on the price. The only thing better than Chanel is Chanel at a bargain price. Count me in.

The earrings came Saturday. I brought the package inside and, with trembling hands, opened it to find my replacement earrings. My Chanel second string. Thank goodness! I immediately went to my jewelry box to put those babies away for safe keeping, where I noticed another pair of earrings looked tangled, so I picked them up and...oh. My. Stars. The previously mentioned missing earring was caught in the back of this particular pair. My missing child was there the whole time! And now I found myself horrified. I heard Clint's footsteps coming down the hall and my heart raced. I was holding two identical pairs of not very inexpensive earrings. Bless my poor, non functioning brain.

I confessed, and he warned me that he was leaving the room so as not to say anything he might regret later. Cue more apologizing on my part, head shaking on his part, and both of us feeling flabbergasted. This whole thing leaves me feeling like I have lost my mind, but I'm afraid that if I buy another one, I'll find mine and be stuck with two of those, too.

So off to eBay I went. My spare pair are up for auction and at this point, all I want to do is break even quickly, so that this debacle can die down and the jokes about my being off my rocker can lessen a bit. My dear hubby is also offering to get me the Lumosity app for my phone so that I can work on sharpening my brain age, and he has chivalrously promised to put me on one of those kiddie leashes and lead me around should this problem get so bad that I am just wandering aimlessly.

For safety and sanity's sake, I'm now highly motivated to cut back on the food that is making me dense (in both senses of the word). Hopefully, getting back to my normal routine will get me on the road to clear thinking again. I have to hand it to him, Clint summed it up best when he told me, "Women. You can't live with them, you can't sell them on eBay." Man, I hate it when he's right.