Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Random Stuff

1. Running. This is kind of a "tip of the hat" to my friends Mike and Lisa who have taken up running in recent years. I myself hate running. I always feel heavy & awkward, and a little part of my brain keeps whispering to me "You KNOW this is horrible for your knees/hips/ankles, don't you?". But, I HAVE run for about ten years now, because it's about the ONLY exercise I'll actually do. It's easy ( the door & go) and it's cheap (pretty much the cost of shoes), and I can do it without a lot of thought. I have my father's damn physique, which while not precisely "heavy" still means I have a nice A-cup set of man-boobs goin' on, and we all know how hot that AIN'T. So, I need the exercise, because clearly I enjoy what I eat far too much. But...well, I'm just not a big fan, and so I get really picky about WHEN I'll run. That is to say, pretty much when there isn't snow on the ground. Yesterday St. Johns hit the mid-70s, and so I wanted to get out of the fitness center I've been frequenting this winter and actually put shoes to pavement. Ugh. I'm shocked to discover how little going to the gym has upheld my running stamina! I have drastically reduced lung capacity (despite regular time spent on elliptical machines) and a shameful lack of muscle (even though I always rotate among several different weight machines). I got through about HALF of my regular 3-mile run, and I was beat. So...a hearty virtual "high-5!" to my friends, who now run circles around me as they train for their various marathons. "Hooooo-WAH!"

2. Spring weather. Yeah, I know...we're due for snow this weekend, and even by the CALENDAR spring is still a week away. Whatever...with the sun & gentle breeze yesterday, and the fact that I was HOT outside in just a t-shirt & shorts, spring was all I could think about. I've discovered that I really enjoy watching spring develop via the bulbs I planted the previous fall. I'll usually put down 80-100 a year, which actually doesn't take that long: maybe a couple hours. Having done this for 3 autumns now, we have a nice crop of crocuses that are already flowering, as are the little snowbells over by the driveway. Our daffodil hill (daffohill?) is completely covered with little sprouts coming up, poking their way through insulating leaves & a scrim of snow. The day lilys by the OTHER driveway are sending up greenery, even though they won't bloom until nearly the time Roslyn gets here. And the tulips...well, we'll just have to see what the squirrels didn't get. I try to plant anti-squirrel flowers nearby, and I always put a little cayenne pepper in the hole with the bulb...but them critters, they don't take "NO!" that easily.

3. Northern Exposure. We're both big fans, and the seasons just keep getting better! We recently completed the 5th and have started on the 6th season. (The FINAL one! *sniff!*) I can't help but watch the show & wonder that it ever made it onto TV at all. Toward the end of Season 5 there was a wedding...between Ron & Eric, the gay owners of Cicely's B-&-B. Radio host & resident philosopher Chris Stevens (John Corbett) married the guys, even PRONOUNCING them "married." I just kept thinking "Wow, this was before the whole gay-marriage fiasco even became hot, politically speaking." I doubt that such a scene could even BE shown on TV today, without some knuckle-headed "fundamentalist" pipe-bombing the station. (Didn't Jesus preach to "love thy neighbor" and save his most dangerous anger for religious hypocrisy?) Anyway...the show is just a joy of humor and deep meaning and existential hoo-ha. Good. Stuff.

4. Being calm. Without getting into TOO much detail, let me just say that Miss Tessmacher & I are doing a concert series with friends in the Folias Duo; this is titled the Latin Dance Project, and one of the pieces calls for me to play a bombo leguero, which is a large Andean drum. I did a buy-it-now through eBay, from a seller who lives in California but acts a representative for a company in Bolivia. The drum didn't show up when the item description stated it should, and I sensed that the seller was being a little too reluctant to answer email questions. I started the dispute process through PayPal and eBay, but through it all I stayed calm & pleasant. There were no words of recrimination ("Where the FUCK is my drum, you nitwit?!?") and no posting of negative feedback. I'm a big believer in standing my ground when I feel like I'm not being treated fairly by a company, whether an eBay seller or Target or Verizon...whatever. BUT, I also feel like too often people just get all bent out of shape and throw harsh words around, and then NO ONE feels good about the process. So, the seller & I went back and forth a few times, but nothing was getting done and I was JUST getting ready to up the ante in the dispute process, when...lo and behold, the friggin' drum showed up yesterday! I have NO idea why it took so long to get here, but documents indicate that the seller DID ship it when he claimed to, so I quickly ended all the disputes & left him positive feedback. See? Now I feel good, HE feels good, and there's more positive energy in the universe. Remember that the next time you feel like you're being shafted.

5. Baby shit. Not LITERALLY "baby shit," which I'll post about with great regularity come August. No, I mean the crap you can and/or need to buy for your baby. Tess & I are big non-believers when it comes to those sorts of industries that seem to exist only to ensure their own continued existence. Weddings come immediately to mind. There is SO...MUCH...SHIT you can spend your money on for a wedding, and most of it is just SO unnecessary. The wedding industry exists to make sure you feel guilty for NOT spending money on all this crap, that it's NORMAL to spend money on all this crap, and that spending money on all this crap is what you've DREAMED about since you were a little girl. Bleah! So, baby shit looks pretty much the same to me. Tess & I spent a delightful afternoon last Friday going out & about town to window shop for Roslyn. We pretty much found the crib we want, and we now know we should do beaucoup research on car seats, which at this point all pretty much look the same to me. Ditto strollers. I HAVE to pay some exorbitant amount for Precious Moments sheets? Why can't I just buy PLAIN sheets for the crib, preferably in an unbleached organic cotton? (Turns can! Yay for!) I just don't like the concept of "buying into" all the crap that mainstream retail stores are peddling. I can pick & choose a few items from store shelves (a Björn baby carrier is high on the list), but I rather suspect we'll be doing most of our shopping from online merchants that cater to folks who view Wal-Mart as the devil.

That's it! A random brain-purge! Now, where's that corkscrew...?


Blogger L*I*S*A said...

Thanks for the nod, dear friend. No worries about decreased lung capacity or aerobic fitness. (Methinks that quitting smoking would help that tremendously, though). You're getting out there and DOING IT, and that is the most important aspect of all.

As for the baby shit, I agree wholeheartedly. I never understood why we feel the need to bombard ourselves with all the 'extras'. To be sure I did some of that extra shopping, but when all was said and done, I needed about 1/8 of it.

If you and Tess are interested in cloth diapers, I have a friend at work who SWEARS by this certain kind. I'll get the info, if you'd like. They are GREAT!

8:42 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

nice posts and thanks for the nod.

don't forget we're running the 8 miler on the isle this fall.

Right on, on the Jesus anger stuff. i'm becoming more shocked that the most christian acting people and the ones who actually know what's in the good book aren't regular church goers.

i didn't even know the show lasted 6 seasons.

3:38 PM  

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