Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why I will never be a true athlete

When I was a kid, I was about as un-athletic as one could get.  I was always chosen last for any team, and whenever we played a game that involved bases the opposing team would yell "MOVE IN!" when I would approach the plate.  When we attempted vaulting, I vaulted right into the horse with a loud smack.  Then we tried shot put and I lobbed the metal ball directly into the metal volleyball pole.  It was known as the "clang heard around the world".  On top of it all, my glasses were like magnets for all flying objects.  If it was a ball and flying through the air, it always headed straight for my head.  The only thing I succeeded at in PE was running the mile and that was because I cheated and said I had done all four laps (I had only done two...I guess they believed that no one could be that slow.)

Ever since I took my last PE class as a high school sophomore, I have worked hard at avoiding all athletic activities.  I knew that anything I tried would be soon followed by humiliation.

Then I got a little older and decided that I could handle the humiliation.  Embarrassment isn't as scary as it used to be to my 13-year old self.  But because I had avoided all movement, I had also successfully avoided all injury.  Over the past couple of years of attempting various types of exercise I have managed to injure myself in very creative ways.  Yesterday I pulled a neck muscle in Zumba.  A muscle in my leg I could understand.  Or a muscle in my arm.  But my neck?????  Really????  I can't turn my head left or right.  I have to turn my entire body to change my vantage point.  I have an ice pack attached to my neck with a head band.  Only I could manage to break my neck in a group fitness class.

There are people in the class that twist their bodies in all sorts of unnatural ways.  Scientifically, they should just split in two from their dance contortions.  Yet I am the one that ends up unable to move anything but my eyeballs. 

My talents (or lack thereof) continue to amaze me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Madame Treasurer

Dear Homeowners:

Thank you for bearing with me as I have assumed the duties of treasurer.  Since I haven't actually balanced my own personal checkbook in a decade, I thought this job would be right up my alley. 

I want to thank most of you for paying on time which saves me the trouble of having to send you a certified nasty-gram asking where your money is.  I'm not really the "shakedown" kind of person and as long as you pay during the month it is due, I'm happy.  And to those of you that lose track of how many months are in a year and send multiple checks....yes we are enjoying the surplus in the association checking account.  We now have enough to get the exterminator a few extra times so that I don't have to deal with leggy thingies.

I understand those of you that don't want to waste a precious stamp to mail your monthly dues 50 feet.  That's fine.  But what I don't understand is why you decide to deliver your money the way that you do.  I get it; I am rarely home which is why it is difficult to deliver your checks in person.  But please don't give me a dirty look when you knock on my door late at night, scaring me and making Bailey morph into Cujo.  If I am in my pjs already, it's too late for visitors.  No, I will not invite you in for coffee, or tea, or a snack.  Just move on along.

Also, please don't get angry with me when your check turns up missing after you have left it in some odd location hoping that I would find it on my daily check scavenger hunts.  I have found checks in my bushes, under the bushes, shoved in the storm door, crammed under the sopping wet doormat, and just laying about.  It would probably be more secure to hand your checks to random people on the street.  I'm sorry if the birds that live above my living room window have turned your check into nesting material.  Maybe you shouldn't have left your money with them to begin with.  Do you see the week's worth of newspapers on my front porch?  That is how often I use my front door.  May not be the best place to leave cash...just sayin'.

I have placed a box on my back patio for you to leave your check in each month.  What?  You don't think that is safe?  That anyone could take them?  Fine.  Continue with your method of hiding them from me (but not from the birds) in front of my house.  Just don't be surprised when I send the lawyers after you for non-payment.

Thank you!

Your Friendly Treasurer

Monday, November 14, 2011

Leggy Thingies

I am not a fan of bugs but generally I can handle them without shrieking like a 5 year old.  Unless they look like this:

Then I shriek like a 5 year old.  (Note:  Just doing a google image search for these bugs from the underworld made my stomach twist into knots.)

We had these bugs in the house I grew up in.  I called them "leggy thingies".  Uber-scientific naming, I know.  These bugs range is size from an inch up to about 3 feet long.  Ok, not really 3 feet but close enough.  I hate these bugs.  And with 7 million legs, they run faster than a cheetah.

Thankfully, they are also very easy to kill.  All you have to do is blow on one and half their legs fall off.  But they can still run on 3.5 million legs and the detached legs continue to move like possessed string puppets.  Even the wild animals (dog and cat) leave them alone. 

I love living in a townhome because my monthly dues go towards a regular exterminator.  I have lived here for almost three years and have not seen a leggy thingy.

Until tonight.  In the bathroom.

I have to move now.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bailey, the canine trash compactor

Things Bailey has eaten in her lifetime (so far):

  • A kitchen floor (in a rental unit!)
  • Numerous toys
  • A pin cushion with the pins still in it
  • A hairbrush
  • Shoes
  • Sand (this is the only thing so far that has required emergency surgery)
  • 1.5 squirrels
  • Bugs
  • Tomato plants
  • Maybe a bird (she was sitting in a pile of feathers with a couple hanging from her mouth...the evidence points to bird snack)
  • Human thyroid medication
  • A Thermacare heat wrap

Things Bailey has eaten in the past two weeks alone:
  • Tissues
  • 2 loaves of bread
  • My razor
  • 2 stuffed toys
  • A rawhide bone that had been buried for quite some time (the bone's remains have since been buried in my underwear drawer in the closet...yes, that was her choice, not mine)
  • 3 metal tips for decorating cakes (don't tell my mom - these were borrowed from her!)

You would think that by the age of 11, some of this would have settled down.  You would think I didn't feed her.  I'm afraid she missed her calling as a sword swallower and performing on "America's Got Talent". We could have been millionaires instead of spending small fortunes at the vet!

I still love her though....

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm a success!!!

I did it!  I got my first response to one of my articles that are published in a local monthly magazine.  And it  was hate mail! 

Now, everyone who reads what I write knows that I tend to be a little on the sarcastic side and a little less on the warm and fuzzy side.  I wrote about extreme couponing and how people are basically greedy for hoarding coupons so they can turn around and hoard items they will never use.  I was not making negative comments about strategic couponing (where you collect coupons from different resources so you can buy items you will use), or feel-good couponing (where you buy stuff to donate).  No, I wrote about the lady who bought out an entire store's mustard supply because she got a great deal on it (and she hated mustard!).  I could have taken one of those smiley, happy people angles and how we can save society through couponing.  But I didn't.  I made fun of people who have forced stores to create very long and hard to read coupon policies.  I also made fun of myself. 

And as a result I got my very first piece of hate mail.  My column was called disgusting and I was called selfish because I don't use my coupons.  My complete lack of organization makes couponing very difficult for me and the fact that I pay full price at Kroger means that millions of people (and animals!) are starving.

Here is the article in full:

Extreme Couponing Craziness
I was in the grocery store the other day and noticed that the store had placed a full sheet of single spaced rules regarding coupons.  I didn’t read it because my attention span won out (as well as my strong desire to get out of the store as quickly as possible – I despise the grocery store).  I assumed these new regulations were due to people who hoard coupons like some people hoard cats.
I watched the TLC show “Extreme Couponing” one time and decided that the people featured on that show should really be featured on “Hoarders” instead.  Who needs six million jars of mustard….when you don’t even use it?!  I personally know of one woman who stockpiled a pantry full of Hamburger Helper when neither she nor her husband liked it.  Why you ask?  Because she had a coupon!  Well, evidently she had multiple coupons.  Women were featured on the show that displaced their children’s belongings in order to store multiples of whatever useless crap they had bought at the store. 
These women would shudder to know that I throw away my Sunday coupons every week.  These coupon zealots would probably have a stroke if they knew that I didn’t feel the need to shove grocery items into every square inch of my home.   I tried clipping coupons.  I really gave it an honest effort.  But due to my complete lack of organizational skills it turned into a disaster.  I remember as a kid my mom had a little basket that she would keep her coupons in and every week she would go through them based on what we needed.  I attempted that method.  First I would pull the sections from the newspaper and leave them on the coffee table for a week.  The next step was to go through them and cut everything out in order to leave it in a cut up pile on the coffee table.  I would then head out to the store completely forgetting about my coupon stash because the cat had scattered them up under the sofa.  I decided to refine my methods and kept an organizer in my purse for all my coupons.  I crammed coupons in there every week.  But then my hatred of being in the grocery store would overcome me and I would rush through and not touch my little organizer.  When the organizer literally burst at the seams (although I had mastered putting coupons in, I had not mastered removing expired ones) I gave up. 
Couponing is not a sport.  You can’t letter in it in high school or get a scholarship into college because you have mastered saving money on stuff you don’t use.  Extreme couponing is the epitome of greed…buying obscene amounts of stuff just because you have a coupon is greedy.  The woman who bought all of the mustard off of the store’s shelves because she had coupons was selfish, not smart.  I love a bargain, but not at the expense of sanity. 
So there.  Maybe not Pulitzer Prize winning writing, but it is hate mail inducing.  I did respond to the hate mail writer telling her I appreciated her feedback and I was sorry that she missed the point of the column.

I haven't heard back....