A Blog about Everything

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bowling for Dollars

I haven't been bowling for years. So many years, in fact, that I don't remember how many. But on Sunday, the temperature was very low, and my boredom levels were very high. So, along with my spousal unit, we went to the local bowling center. In the world of bowling, I remember smoking being common, along with drinking beer and loud cussing. Also, cheating on your score was possible because you had to guess how many pins were still standing and then try to remember the arcane scoring rules.

There have been lots of changes in the past x years since my last outing. The rental shoes were not as repulsive as I expected. There were no ashtrays in sight, it was a family environment, pin counts were done by some kind of laser, and the scoring was computerized. Another thing that has changed is the price. When we had completed 3 games, we called it a day and went to settle up our bill. The guy at the desk said "that will be $29.75, please." That's about twice what I remember an afternoon of bowling to cost for 2 people.

One thing that hasn't changed is my lack of skill at avoiding the gutters.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008


This post isn't going to be all about me. No, this is about all the other denizens of the gym. Working out indoors in a gym can get pretty boring. All the TV sets on the wall are tuned into ESPN Sports Center. The view out the window is of Wal-Mart and the interstate highway. So for entertainment, I turn to people-watching.

The most noticable of all is "Hefty Bag guy". He always wears a garment that appears to have been fashioned from a trash bag. It is unclear whether he thinks he can sweat off fat this way, or is just making a really poor fashion choice.

Then there are the guys who try to lift more weight than they are really capable of, and compensate by grunting in a loud, obnoxious manner. Or they try to compensate by using poor form; jerking the weights and leaning backwards instead of isolating the muscles they're trying to train.

Other bits of entertainment: loud cell phone conversations; visible boxer shorts on guys; guys who come in pairs and monopolize one weight machine for extended periods of time while they trade-off doing sets; guys not re-racking heavy weights, MP3 players turned up so loud you can hear them 3 treadmills away.

Of course, I am the epitome of gym etiquette, decorum, and good fashion sense. Except for when I put on apparently clean clothes at home, drive 5 minutes, and realize half way through my work-out that my shirt has a nasty spot on it, my sweat pants have cat hair stuck to them, and I feel a sneezing fit coming on. Someone is probably blogging about that right now.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wish I was a fly on the wall.....

It's winter in Indiana. The days are short, there's no snow for skiing, it's too cold to do anything else outside, and the doldrums are in full effect. So when I saw an orange flier on my mailbox advertising a wall-climbing gym opening in my neighborhood, I paid attention. Perhaps this would shake me out of my depressive state. I contacted my good friend who had expressed interest in wall-climbing before but I had always said "no". This time we set a date when we would be ready to "climb the walls". I've never tried this before, but how hard could it be, I thought. After all, I've been spending some serious time lifting weights and am in MUCH better shape than your average middle-aged woman.

We arrived at the climbing facility after I had a hectic day at work and I was mentally exhausted. I started to worry when I didn't understand all the words on the waiver. What does "belay" mean? They fitted each of us with a harness that fits over the pelvic region and for which I needed assisstance to adjust properly. I'm glad I didn't drink any coffee this afternoon, I thought to myself. They proceeded to give us a safety orientation, for obvious reasons. The guy who worked there was showing us how to tie the knots in the rope, thread the rope through some kind of device that keeps the rope from slipping, here's how you correctly belay, ect. I finally figured out that "belay" means you stay on the ground and control the safety rope (i.e. keep your friend from plunging to her death). The rest of the details were a little much for my fatigued brain to grasp, but I did my best.

I looked around. Little kids were clinbing successfully. I can do this!

My friend decided to climb first while I stayed on the ground. She sailed to the top without too much distress. Then it was my turn to climb. I quickly discovered that this was much more difficult that I anticipated. The holds were much too narrow for my extra-wide feet. My upper body strength did a disappearing act. I went as far as I could and asked my friend: how far up am I?

About four and a half feet, she said.

I thought it was at least five feet.

After about four more low-altitude efforts on my part, and successful trips to the top on her part, we were ready to call it a day. Then the safety-orientation guy came back. I see you're having some difficulty, he said to me.

Ya think????

Try this other wall, he said. The holds are wider, so I could get better leverage with my feet. Which was true, and this time I may have cracked the 10-foot elevation barrier. Then I got to the part where the holds were farther apart than my reach, and my progress stalled. I swung out from the wall supported by the pelvic harness, said I was done, and was gently lowered to the ground. This time we did call it quits for the day.

Just like shopping for clothes and shoes, this experience has convinced me that the world must be populated with tall people who have narrow feet.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Resolution Revolution

An update on progress with the New Year's resolutions (Hint: not much progress).

1. The food journal didn't start until Jan. 2nd, and already I'm having problems. By 4 pm yesterday, I was already 222 calories over my target, and still extremely hungry. By 8 pm, I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep without more to eat. So after 2 more yogurts and 2 more string cheese sticks, I was WAY over my target calories for the day. But at least I lowered my risk for osteoporosis.

2. Attitude at work: yesterday I had a good attitude. Of course, it helped that there were no phone calls and my boss was gone all day. Today, unfortunately, was business as usual. And once again, I was in a bad mood by the end of the day.

3. Organizaton-haven't even started on house, but did manage at work to find file for project for which boss wanted to tell me (after the fact) how the data should be handled. Directly related to Item # 2.