Monday, October 31, 2011

So It's Not A Nice Day For A White Wedding?!

While there are many other topics on my blogging back burner that I have yet to write about, all will be momentarily paused for a moment of silence, as the union of one Kim Kardashian and Kim Humphries is now dead. Ironic, being that it's Halloween and all. Point... Kim?

While there have been rumors of a rift for months now, being a serious journalist myself, I choice not to believe the hype until I heard it from a legitimate source, i.e. US Weekly by way of a Ryan Seacrest tweet.

This comes as a great shock to all of us that thought that these two were different, and that they would defy all the crumbling Hollywood marriages that came before them, but alas, we must accept that this most perfect union is now over.

Who are we kidding. The jokes about these two write themselves. I once read that during Britney's mental breakdown, some magazine outlets already started crafting obituaries for her because that was the direction they thought that she was headed. I imagine they may have prepared in advance for this situation as well and probably have had their "Kim & Kris in Krisis!" articles prepped since before ink was dried on their prenup.

Clearly, no one thought this would last (including myself), although I'm sure that the execs at E! had hope to get at least a year and a baby Kardashian out of the deal at least. I don't think the question is "where did it all go wrong," as it was glaringly obvious to anyone who watched those torturous 4 hours of wedding coverage that these two people were not compatible in the slightest. I think the main thing about this whole thing that is super embarrassing is that everyone, including her own family members, Twitter followers and the majority of the general public saw what a sham this was. I don't know what's more sad- the thought that she was so blinded by the excitement of finally getting married or that she wanted to have said wedding so bad that she agreed to go along with marrying someone she didn't even like just to do so.

I don't personally think that Kim Kardashian is a bad person. Is she everything that's wrong with society? Pretty much. Does she not posses an iota of talent but yet is more famous than most creative people ever actually will be? Of course. But if you listen to her for 10 seconds talk with that weird baby voice you realize that she's really not even intelligent enough to do anything really bad on purpose because she probably couldn't even figure out how to do so. So deep down, I don't really feel that she went through all of this just to get paid for having her dream wedding. I think she's just not smart enough to know better and is clearly highly influenced by everyone around her.

What kills me about all of this is that throughout this whole thing, I think it actually made some of the other K's look better, which I was pretty sure was impossible. Take Kourtney, who everyone is begging to get married to her baby daddy Scott. She could easily have had an almost as expensive wedding as Kim with the same amount of media coverage, and she's choosing not to. I personally think it's because deep down she knows that Scott is a giant tool and doesn't want to be stuck with him forever (although I don't know why she would think that, as it's clearly not the case with unions in this family). I hate to even think this, but I sort of commend her. Yeah, she did things backwards and probably shouldn't have let herself get knocked up by a guy while he was in the middle of an alcoholic raging period in his life, but at least she has the sense to know that she shouldn't go and get married now just because she can.

And Khloe!!! Who would have known that she would have the example relationship in this family?! Everyone said her and Lamar wouldn't last after being engaged for 9 days, and it's been like 2 years and they're still together. Now I know that that is by no means a union to put your money on, but at least she and Lamar actually seem like they like each other. They managed to convince us during their wedding special and subsequent spin off that they were madly in love as we watched them slobber all over each other, unlike the painful, icy conversations we were forced to watch between Kim and Kris.

So where does this leave poor Kim? Well not that she'll ever be poor anything as she has a rock solid prenup. Unfortunately, we've already seen all the promos for Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Kris is definitely a part of them. Also they've been traipsing around NYC for the past 2 months so I'm sure he's already a big part of the footage. However, someone on a shall-remain-nameless Bravo reality show killed themselves and they still went ahead with their season as planned, so who the hell knows.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Strike a Pose, There's Nothing To It

For my birthday this year, I received my first ever big girl fancy camera. While I've been taking pictures with a professional camera since I was 10, I have never had a camera that was solely mine (i.e. that I did have to beg, plead and promise my dad my first born in order to borrow it).

I was so excited when I opened my new Canon Rebel T3i and all its trimmings. That excitement quickly wore off when my husband told me that the camera was not so much a gift as a business investment and that he hoped I would earn the money back in photography jobs to pay for it. Eeek.

Aside from weddings with my dad and a few bar mitzvahs, I haven't done a lot of other photo work on my own. So I decided it was time to get a little bit experience beyond the family business. My coworker Becky had been joking for months that I could "practice" with my new camera on her family. So we finally picked a date that we would all be off and starting thinking of a theme for our shoot.

Becky is a huge Bruins fan, and since their championship win this year, Becky was inspired to carve a Stanley Cup themed pumpkin. She worked diligently the night before, carefully carving "We Got the Cup" into a large homegrown pumpkin from her dad's garden. We would take the family photo outside in her yard with the whole nine yards- leaf pile, flannel and the pumpkin. Very fall.

And then, it rained.

Not just a little bit of rain, but like pouring awful buckets of cold, cold rain, sandwiched in between some of the nicest fall days you can imagine. It was so unfair.

But not to be dismayed, we started thinking of our other options. So I called the New England Sports Center in Marlboro and asked if it would be okay to do a mini photoshoot inside one of their 6 rinks. While I'm not quite sure that the elderly man who answered the phone understood what I was asking, I was 70% sure he gave us permission. And that was good enough for me.

On the way to the rink, we were determined to take a picture outside somewhere with the pumpkin. One of the locations Becky suggested was a covered bridge on the way to the rink so we could all stay dry, as cameras and rain do not mix, and neither does 3 1/2 year olds and rain either. As we pulled over to the side of the road, we were greeted by some not so friendly creatures: two of the ugliest, meanest looking geese I have ever seen. They were enormous. Like if they were professional athletes, you would test them for steroids because they were so much larger than any of their other goose cohorts. They were a nasty gray color and had a look in their beady little eyes that said, "don't you dare get out of that car." At this point, we thought it would be funny to open the window and have Becky's son Tyler yell at them to go away, to which they promptly honked back at us with a noise that I can only describe as resembling a fog horn on a cruise ship. This was not fun for Tyler and he quickly begged us to drive away. We relented our only outdoor location option, as the geese were clearly not moving and we were sufficiently freaked. I wish I had been able to get a picture of them to illustrate how awful they were, but I was fearful of our lives and was totally okay just booking it the eff away from there.

Since we were forced to take our photo shoot indoors, neither of us could really figure out a good way to get the pumpkin inside the arena. So the pumpkin stayed in the car, but Becky, Tyler and I continued on.

As you can imagine, I have never taken pictures inside a hockey rink (at least not beyond the photos I take on my iPhone at the Bruins games from the balcony) and I also don't have a whole lot of experience photographing children beyond flower girls at weddings (and anyone who knows me knows exactly how I feel about that). So this was a lot of firsts for me, especially shooting with a brand new camera that I still feel like is smarter than me. But overall I was way happy with how everything came out, and Becky and Tyler were awesome first victims... I mean subjects. Here's a few of my favorite shots of the day:




We even got a special tour of the Zamboni cellar (who knows what it's actually called) where Keith the driver taught Tyler all about what happens to the snow that gets scraped off the ice!




Thanks to Becky and Tyler for being such awesome subjects, and to all the people at NE Sports Center for totally looking the other way while we trespassed through their location.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Know You'll Catch Me Before My Feet Hit The Ground

I know I have fallen off the celebrity scandal train lately because there are more interesting things to talk about in my life, like oversized ship wheels that may try to kill me and the art of shoe cleaning. Okay it's more like there hasn't been anything crazy lately that has really inspired me. Britney is in a healthy relationship with an actual person instead of Starbucks. Glee has been on a month long hiatus due to baseball. The girl from Twilight that isn't Kristen Stewart marrying a loser from American Idol is the biggest celebrity wedding I've heard about in weeks. Yawn, yawn, snooze.

But yesterday, something rocked the Twitterverse that could not go unnoticed. One of my former favorite celebrities and current hot mess Jessica Simpson tweeted this photo of herself:


At first glance, it may not seem like there is anything crazy disgusting about this photo other than the fact that it's a picture of someone on a toilet. Until you find out that:

THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN IN A PUBLIC RESTROOM!

Okay, so it was Bergdorf Goodman, where the restrooms are probably cleaner than the table that I eat off of and the decor costs more than my parents house. But still, ew.

I just have so many questions. First of all, why is she barefoot?! The caption accompanying this photo was "short girl problems," but even if she took off her shoes to further illustrate her point, where are they? More importantly, how did she even take this photo of herself? Was someone else in there with her and she was like here, take my Blackberry and have at it?

There's just so many questions that I don't have answers to, and probably wouldn't want to know anyway. More importantly, is she pregnant or not?!

If you're the type of girl that will let the Internet see you pee, you should also be the type of girl that does a 6 page "Finally, A Baby for Jess!" US Weekly spread for a hefty "charitable donation." Just sayin.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kick the Junk Off My Sunday Shoes

I consider myself pretty self-sufficient, despite the fact that I cannot cook, clean or launder without guidance from an expert. And by expert, I mean the Internet. Or my husband. Or my mom. Okay, so maybe I'm not as smarty and independent as I would like to be. You would think that I was one of those girls that went straight from living at Mommy and Daddy's house to being taken care of by her husband, but that is far from the truth (besides the taken care of part, I mean, I do need to eat). I actually lived by myself (with a roommate) for almost 2 years (or 15 months) and survived (more like got parking tickets and ate Spaghettios a lot). I'm forever grateful for my "swinging apartment in the city" (Mom's words, not mine), but I still feel like there were a lot of things that I never learned how to do myself and I'm not sure why.

And the weird thing is, is that now that I'm married, I constantly feel like I am straddling a fine line between being able to do things for myself at home and becoming a 1950's housewife. If you're a woman and you express that you want to become more advanced in the areas of cooking, cleaning or anything housewife-adjacent, immediately people think that you want to learn how to better serve your husband and your household. My feeling about this is that it's 2011, and while I don't have to throw on an apron and start vacuuming in pearls just because I'm married, I do need to learn how to do some things on my own so I don't always have to ask my husband for help. So when I talk about becoming more domestic, don't get all feminist trippy on me and say I'm sending women back 50 years. It's not about becoming a housewife, we're talking basic survival skills here. And let's face it, between Steve and I we can clearly tell who the better housewife would be.

Lately I've been stumbling across little projects that I want to accomplish but haven't gotten around to yet. Like the bag of clothes in my hallway labeled "Fix" (buttons, zippers, etc.). Or the basket of laundry in my room that specifically can only be hand washed (which I used to throw in with the regular laundry anyway but I am grown up now and therefore read the washing instructions).

One thing I stumbled upon while I was simply trying to unpack my weekend bag was a pair of white patent leather Jessica Simpson peep toes that I got for $40 at TJ Maxx. Now clearly, it is not white shoe season (as I was FORCED as a child not to wear white shoes past Labor Day even though I desperately wanted to) but it totally irks me that I have worn these shoes once and they were covered in black scuff marks.

Like many of my other household endeavors, I asked the Google gods to answer my query. And what do you know, they have an answer for everything! I found this and my shoe prayers were answered.

Now granted I wasn't working on Loubs here, but let's be real- $40 was really pushing the shoe budget for me. After all, you've heard my sneaker story. I was shocked to discover that the answer was as simple as:

Head to your local drugstore or Target/Wal-Mart and purchase the cheapest bottle of nail polish remover you can find. Dip a Q-tip in the remover and apply it to your scuff, gently rubbing the mark off.

How could I not have known this all along?! I mean, I once got a subscription to Real Simple for an entire year and never learned this, and they taught me how to make earring backs out of pencil erasers. After getting over my initial shock of the simplicity of it, it was time to test the Budget Fashionista's tip and see if she knew what she was talking about.

First, I assessed the damage. Not cute.

ignore weird shoe lumpiness.

Next I armed myself with one of my favorite products- Walmart brand nail polish remover. I use this stuff to clean everything, especially my computer keys. I have probably killed a million brain cells scrubbing tiny objects with a Q-tip soaked in remover, but now they shiny. Oh so shiny... pretty... wait, what were we talking about?

Oh, right. Shoes.

scrubby scrub scrub

And miraculously, it worked! Well, sort of. It definitely took me a while to get in a rhythm with it. I found that if I scrubbed too much, it just smeared the scuff deeper into the shoe and stained it what appears to be permanently. Sad face. After a little bit of trial and error, I found it worked the best to use a new clean Q-tip on each scuff (I know, annoying, right?) and to lightly rub it in circles until the scuff came off. It was definitely an improvement for my Banished to the Closet Until Easter shoes, as they now look like this:

unfortunately, nail polish remover can't rub off the cheapness of the shoe.
lumps forever.

I was pleased with the results, despite the face that I felt like I was murdering baby seals with the amount of Q-tips I used in the process.

pretty sure you can't recycle these

Yes, I realize there is a giant hair on those Q-tips. I know, gross. Clearly it came from my head. I didn't notice it in the photo until after I threw them all away, and I'm certainly not digging them out of the trash to re-photograph. Because do you know what's in there? MORE HAIR. Yes, I am a shedder.

Like many projects I discover in lieu of finishing the existing project I was working on in the first place, I became obsessed with cleaning every pair of patent leather shoes I owned. Lucky for me, that is exactly 2. However, I was particularly obsessed with a certain pair of shoes that were in desperate need of cleaning just to see if I could conquer their mighty scuffs:

AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!

I know what you're thinking. Lindsay, where did those FABULOUS shoes come from?! An amazing vintage store? An underground thrift shop? Picking with your husband? Okay, maybe you weren't thinking any of those things. Maybe you're like my mother and just thought, "interesting." Regardless, these shoes are a zillion years old and they're from Payless. YOU HEARD ME. The best part is I didn't even BUY them- I found them discarded in my sister's closet and took them when I needed to dress up like someone from The Depression at work. Don't ask.

this look is coming back, promise

Needless to say, I have always thought they were cute in a vintage-y way, but could never think of what to wear them with, other than a costume. Plus, they were scuffed up to all hell. I tried my second favorite cleaning product, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (which I am convinced is going to make me barren or give my future children three heads or something because I don't know what kind of chemicals are in that thing, all I know is that it WORKS) and it did nothing!

Anyway, these shoes were covered in scuff marks. Like every time I thought I got rid of the last one, three more grew in its place. But I persevered, and after many minutes of gentle Q Tip scrubbing, I ended up with this:

be careful- you may need sunglasses

And the clouds opened up and the Hallelujah chorus rang out from above, as I now have another pair of functional shoes.

But no outfits to go with them.

If you wish to contribute to the cause, you may purchase me any item from here.

Or if you're on a budget, here.

Happy Shopping!

~L

PS- If you're looking for other tips/deals/shopping guides, check out the rest of Budget Fashionista. I especially liked the How To Shop section. As if I needed help in that area.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

If I Had A Boat... I'd Put It In My Bedroom

One of the hardest things about cohabiting with a member of the opposite sex is merging your decorating styles together. Personally, my style is very girly, modern, light. Recently, I was flipping through a Pottery Barn catalogue and this photo made my heart stop:

there's a gift-wrapping station. *swoon*

Unfortunately, Steve's idea of the ultimate home office may differ slightly compared to mine:

you're welcome, Pottery Barn

Needless to say, our decorating styles couldn't be more different. I like clean lines and he likes a color palate of black and gold and/or things that look like they're from 1853.

So when we finally moved in together, it took FOREVER to decide on a theme for our bedroom. The hardest thing to figure out is how you can color palate that works for masculine and feminine, and how you can merge things with a whole other person and still retain parts of yourself.

Originally we were leaning towards a light blue tone, which in my brain was accented with white and silver. For him, not so much. I don't know how it happened, but when we were in Home Depot one day trying to choose between colors like Blue Cascade or Crystal Water, Steve turned to me and said, "what about navy?" And somehow, it just clicked.

Once we figured out that a nautical theme was the best way for both of us to be happy in our abode, we registered for things that would compliment our newly agreed upon motif.

However living in a 700 square foot offers up its own set of decorating challenges, as you're not so much focused on feng shui as you are feng "what can I use to hide all this crap." It's been over a year since we lived here, and I'm finally starting to feel like it's an actual bedroom and not a staging area for things that don't fit in the living room.

I had 2 days off in a row this week which was a total shock to my system. I decided I was going to use that time wisely to try to complete projects that I have never actually started. And let me tell you, I was a lean, mean, cleaning washing organizing dusting decorating machine. And since my room has never looked so good, I figured what better time to take really nice photos of it with my new camera to show off... I mean share... with all 17 of you?!

these are actually super annoying because they always clack against each other, but HOW CUTE?!

yes, I live in fear of that ship wheel... but it looks good so it's totally worth it

A few things going on here you need to know about (yes, NEED!).
- The navy coverlet and shams are from Crate and Barrel. Clearly nothing I could ever afford on my own, but who needs money when you have an Uncle Peter?
- The duvet is my first and only purchase from Pottery Barn. It was ON SALE for $79. That one hurt a little bit.
- The picture over by the window is a painting of a boat near a dock next to a barn or something in the winter. This is one of the finds scored by Steve and Mark on one of their "picking" excursions (i.e. yardsale).
- The ship wheel clearly completes the room, but not without a price, namely my sanity. The backstory on that is that Steve and I discovered this gem at Home Goods when we were "picking" (or just you know, shopping regularly) for nautical items for the room. It was some crazy price like $140, which is higher than I think I've ever spent on all the items I've purchased at Home Goods ever in my entire life. We knew it was way over our budget, but continued to visit said HG about once a week essentially stalking the item. One day I came home and Steve surprised me with it, a STEAL for $80 on clearance. In purchasing it though, we discovered just how damn heavy it is. Steve and Mark got it up on the wall somehow, but when I got home they didn't seem like they were exactly confident in their handywork. Cut to me and Steve sleeping at the foot of our bed for 4 days so that I could be positive it wasn't going to fall on our heads and kill us. My theory was that if fell on our feet, the worst that would happen is that we would break our ankles or something. If it fell on our heads, we'd either be dead or brain damaged, and I just felt it was really early on in our marriage to be testing that whole "for better or for worse" thing. But it's still up, so... victory!

my nightstand

One of my favorite things that I registered for was that bedside carafe. Why? I don't know. It just makes me feel fancy. Chelsea Handler and remotes? Less fancy, but necessary.

Steve's nightstand

So what's wrong this picture? Historical books, check. Nautical bowling pin looking thing, check. Picture of your wife when when she was 14 years old?! Yep, you read correctly- that is a school photo of yours truly when she was a freshman in high school, complete with braces and an uneven haircut that I swear was supposed to look like Christina Aguilera (pre-Dirrty days). You may think this is super creepy, and you're totally right. Steve always used to laugh at this picture at my parent's house because he claims that I closely resemble the youngest Hanson brother. So this year my mother framed it, wrapped it, and GAVE it to him for Easter! Like as a gift! And now he keeps it on his beside table just to bug me.

I don't know if my nerves can take hanging one more heavy thing on the wall

Steve scored these buoys from his uncle and I am determined to use them but I have no idea how. So for now they are serving the very important role of doorstop.

my dresser- where the girly things still live

I'm a big believer in that if you have pretty accessories, you should act like they are part of your decor and display them. I have more jewelry than I could wear in a year. If I didn't show it in my room, I would never see it. And that collection is worth tens of dollars.



too much? okay I swear I'm done with the jewelry

I lied! suckaaahs

I've been storing my earrings like this for years, because I frankly just don't know what else to do with them. I keep all my earrings on the cards they came on and hang them on tacks. Same with long necklaces.

This is my first ever walk in closet. Although it is getting increasingly difficult to actually walk in there because I keep filling it with stuff. Did I mention that this a shared closet with my husband? I did give him two drawers in that dresser. The smaller ones.

headbands are like tiaras for poor people

I have all my headbands in cylindrical clear vase for storage/display. I got the idea for this after I saw an article in People about the costume designer for Gossip Girl. If it's good enough for the gay guy that gets to dress Blair Waldorf, it's good enough for me.

you never know when inspiration will strike

I want to keep everything I have in lucite. It just makes every thing look better. Right now I only have this rectangle holder for my perfume from The Container Store. I really want to upgrade and get some for my makeup too. All I need is one bajillion dollars.

And last but not least, I leave you with... the dress closet.

hello, girls

no wire hangers! only white, always

The dress closet is one of my favorite purchases of all time. I picked up this baby on sale at Ikea for $36. That's right, three-six. Unfortunately, it is practically made of paper and suffered an injury during the move. Steve has already started warning me that it will not make it through another move as it is balancing on three legs right now. I plan on throwing myself on top of it and refusing to leave it, like Kate and Leo in Titanic. I'll never let go...

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Always Feel Like Somebody's Talking To Me

I know what you're thinking.

I swear I will not only be posting about my lame attempts at an exercise routine (maybe not so much a routine, just a general butt-shrinking in order to fit into my bridesmaid dress) for the rest of my blogging life. It just seems that no matter what I do, I can't seem to stick to anything, and something about sharing via the Inter-web sort of makes me accountable for keeping up with it. Even if I am boring everyone senseless.

Don't worry. We will get back to all the juicy stuff eventually.

So today I was determined to get back on the workout wagon. Since I have yet to create Lindsay's Ultimate Calorie Burning Playlist, I was really counting on being able to watch hour 53 of the Kardashian wedding special. However for the past three weeks now ALL THREE REMOTES in the gym have been missing. MISSING! Like stuck on Court TV missing. I always bring a backup book or magazine in case other people have beat me to it and commandeered the TV and have it set on something stupid, but I really do not enjoy reading while exercising because I feel like my eyes are bouncing all over the place.

When I got the gym I saw that there was one lone woman walking on the treadmill. I was just grateful that it wasn't A.) WL Man or B.) a super teeny fit skinny lady. However I was less enthralled when less than one minute after entering she stated "they really need to get an ab machine up in this place!"

I looked around, confused. No intro or anything, she just started talking to me like we were old pals halfway through an hour long convo. "Yeah," I laughed nervously. "I guess that's the only thing they don't have."

"I really need to do my ab workouts. I used to be in here all the time and I haven't been lately and I'm trying to get back into it," she continued.

"Uh-huh." *Put headphones on get on elliptical*

"What do you think of the elliptical?" she asked.

"What?" *Is this seriously happening*

"Like do you think it works?" Wait, is she calling me fat? Like she's implying the whole 3.5 hours I have spent slaving over that machine aren't immediately visible to the common gym goer?

"Um, I don't know. I'm really the wrong person to ask. I only do this because I hate running."

I stupidly thought that I was in the clear after that. Headphones on, book open, didn't matter- she kept going.

"Do you know how to work these thing?" she asked, pointing one of the three remotes that miraculously showed up at one TV and another one turned on instead.

This is the part where I pretended I couldn't hear her. "Um, what?"

"I can't get these things to work. Like I'm pointing at this one and that one turns on instead. What is going on?!"

"I have no idea. I don't even know how to use those things because they are normally never here." I glanced at her machine. 1:13 left. Thank God.

"Well this is just crazy. I don't know what to do with these things," she said. I glance again. 1:46 left. What, wtf?!

Somehow by the grace of God she finishes her workout and then begins the most thorough treadmill wipe down I have EVER SEEN. Like she was getting all up in every nook, cranny and appendage with that Purell wipe.

"Okay, I'm going to go now. Bye!"

"Um, bye." I couldn't even pretend I was going to wait for her to fully exit the building before I leaped off my machine, grabbed THE CORRECT REMOTE and switched over to E! the second that KK's Fairytale Wedding Special Event Extravaganza began.

I did 30 minutes of cardio, on Level 3 (that one's for you, Steve), ROLLING and 4 sets of 10 reps (that's right, I have learned some gym vocab) on some sort of arm press thing. And then I came home and immediately stuffed my face with a pita pocket pizza. Don't worry- it was whole wheat. And I only ate three handfuls of shredded mozzarella out of the bag. I am totally gaining self control over my binging. I'm in a much better place in my food consumption.

That and Steve saw me sneak it into the bedroom and decided to hide the bag from me.

Whatevs. I plan on waking up skinny tomorrow.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

That's Right, Put In Work

So after The Great Nike Acquisition it was time to put my money where my mouth was ($36 to be exact) and actually you know, use them. So on Friday morning, I awoke bright and early (otherwise known as 8:30 am) and forced myself to go to the gym.

After picking out my "First Day With New Sneakers" workout outfit and loading up my Lululemon aluminum water bottle (just using those words makes me feel more athletic) I headed over to the tiny gym in our apartment complex's clubhouse. I was elated to find it empty, as one of the biggest things that has kept me from going to the gym in my lifetime is that I hate working out around people, specifically men, more specifically, sweaty gym men.

There are multiple reasons I feel ridiculous at the gym. In no particular order:
1. I can never quite figure out how to use any of the machines.
2. I am fearful of being judged on the amount (or lackthereof) of pounds I am lifting
3. I like to put all three tv's on different crappy shows

Since I was alone, I felt the need to have photographic evidence that not only did I make it to the gym, but I coordinated my workout accessories with my new kicks!

sans makeup and sans shame. you're welcome, internet

Side note: Huge bummer because ALL THE REMOTES WERE MISSING. Three TV's and no remotes. It's like I was being tested by a higher power. I cried a little. Gym=fail.

So even though my psycho trainer/husband was not there to push me past my usual limits, I voluntarily did 25 minutes on the elliptical at Level 3. Thank you, thank you. I would have done more, but due to the amount of time spent putting together said workout outfit I lost some of my actual workout time if I was going to get back and shower and get ready for work in time.

However, at the near end of my Level 3 rolling intervals, I started thinking about using one of the machines that does arm things. Okay, I know there's a lot of those but I clearly don't know what they are called so I'm just going to say it's the one with the long bar that you pull down a bunch of times and you try not to let go of it so fast that it springs up and bangs against the machine. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

And then I saw him. Walking over to the gym with his odd girlfriend in tow like he was going to own that place. I panicked as I glanced at the time left on my machine- one minute of rolling and a two minute cool down left?! I'd never get off the elliptical in time to stake a claim on that machine. And sure enough, less than a minute later, I was face-to-face with him- Weight Lifting Man.

In case you don't know, WL Man is a particular breed of man gym rat that only works out his upper body. Now I know virtually nothing about exercise or anatomy, but I'm 99% positive that it's not really that healthy to do absolutely no cardio and pump iron EVERY DAY.

Our specific WL Man is a rather odd character, at least to me. We have never spoken, but I've completely made up a back story about him that is completely unfounded. He comes into the gym everyday around 9:30 wearing jeans, black almost like crappy dress shoes, a black fleece jacket, a weight lifting belt and weird little gloves. Top it all of with a black Under Armor skull cap and you have yourself a hell of a looker.

Needless to say, WL Man is enormous on top and relatively small on the bottom. Every time I see him, I literally have to stop myself from going up to him and asking him why he only works out his arms because I'm so dumbfounded as to why a normal person would want to look so unbalanced on purpose.

The main thing that is annoying about this breed of gym rat is that he uses 3 or 4 machines at a time for what I'm told is "circuit training." Now I think something like this would fly in a large gym that you actually pay for, but in a tiny clubhouse gym the size of my living room, you're taking up a quarter of the equipment that no one else is allowed to use. Not that I would ever ask, because I clearly don't know how to use any of those things and I'm afraid that he would like, bark at me or something. Again, this I am assuming because I have never heard his voice.

And of course a man like this can't work out in silence, so there is a fair amount of grunting that comes from trying to lift/press double his body weight. Of all the things I dislike about gyms, that has to be the absolute worst. I could spend my entire life studying men's brains and will still never comprehend the need to grunt while doing things, especially in front of people, like I don't know... women?! And I'm sorry- I'm not saying that I am by any means worthy of being stared at in the gym (see exhibit A above) but when there is a man behind me that I can't see and I'm sweating and elliptical-ing and he is grunting and making other odd noises, I cannot help but get freaked out.

If that wasn't odd enough, he also has a girlfriend/wife/significant other who comes to the gym with him BUT NEVER WORKS OUT. That's right- she sits on one of the machines (something with round thing that goes on top of your legs that you push up... I don't know it's the best I can do) and either reads or plays on her phone. It's not like she's his personal trainer as they exchange no words the entire time. It just makes no sense to me, and I probably end up burning more calories in my brain trying to examine their relationship than I do actually exercising with my body. The story I've concocted thus far is that they've had a tumultuous relationship but are trying to move past previous issues, however, WL Man still does not trust her and therefore makes her go with him EVERYWHERE so he can keep an eye on her. The more I see them, more details are added to this story in my head, so stay tuned for further developments.

I figured once I saw WL Man I knew my workout was pretty much done. I hopped off that elliptical, wiped down my machine and hightailed it out of there, with the slam of the door behind me silencing his all too familiar grunts.

So basically all I got out of this was 25 minutes of mild cardio and the realization that I absolutely cannot go back to the place until I make a new "Workout Playlist." I mean I almost didn't go because I didn't feel I had an adequate upbeat track list to provide the soundtrack to my physical transformation. But it was a lot for me, because I forced myself to go when I didn't want to and could have stayed in bed and no one's life would have been better or worse because of it (well, except for mine). So yay, me. A tiny, baby, minuscule step, but still- something.

But that was Friday. And I haven't made it back yet... and I ate fettuccine today... for lunch. And dinner. And I binged ALL DAY on Saturday and drank very sugary girly mixed drinks in honor of bachelorette whose bridesmaid dress I would like to fit into someday, otherwise known as less than 2 weeks from now.

But hey, tomorrow's another day.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumped Up Kicks

This all started because of a bridesmaid dress.

A bridesmaid dress, that I purchased willingly in a size smaller than what the consultant recommended because I am a woman and therefore am defined by my dress size. For some unknown reason, bridal designers want you to feel like crap when buying the most expensive garment you will ever wear (for the shortest span of time) and their sizes run notoriously small. I don’t know why they don’t trade with Banana Republic, because I know I would much rather pay more to feel skinny than to pay less for my clearance chinos that for some reason I can fit into a size 0.

Anyway, the minute I tried on that dress I knew breathing would be difficult. After an exhausting battle with a zipper for ten minutes that I eventually won, I found myself being strangled by a dress that I had dropped a sizeable chunk of change on. I knew this wouldn’t do, especially for an 8 hour day of standing, posing, dancing and more importantly, drinking.

Needless to say, Steve has been pressuring me to adopt an exercise routine ever since. Now, many women would be like “giiiiiiirl I wouldn’t let no man tell me I was fat,” but that’s not what this is about. Steve is a practical man (i.e. cheap) and his worst nightmare would probably be me telling that I can’t fit into a dress that I paid that much money for. So for him it’s an investment, really.

So finally, I gave in and went to the gym with him. There are plenty of couples that I know that run or hike or other athletic things together that I have virtually no interest in. I am not one of them. I just about died when he put me on the rolling setting on Level 3 on the elliptical, because anyone that knows me knows that I am strictly a Level 1 girl. Now I am a notorious workout starter, and I’ve been on the elliptical Level 1 probably once every two weeks since I’ve lived at my apartment, and this was the first time I ever sweat. Ick. If you know me you also know I am not a sweater, as I barely exert enough energy to create even a droplet of moisture.

As usual, I vowed to go to the gym at least 3 times a week. I wasn’t looking to drastically alter my body, but just being able to breathe in the dress would be a welcome change. As a naturally smaller person, I figured if I started any amount of regular exercise I could at least slim down a few inches.

But again I quickly fell off the wagon. I went 2 days in a row, and then skipped 5. Even with said dress hanging in my bedroom, I just never felt the motivation to put on my workout clothes and make the long trip across the street. Okay, fine it’s not really a street. It’s more of a half of a crosswalk… 20 feet out the door. Happy?!

And then I had an epiphany. Maybe the reason I wasn’t athletically inspired was because of my heinous white and lime green sneakers. Not only were they heavy, but they didn’t match any of the cute workout clothes I purchased the last time I promised myself I would become a gym rat. Technically they weren’t beat up or anything, despite the fact that they were 4 years old, because they hadn’t seen enough action to warrant a scratch or fade. But still! How could I be expect to glide swiftly on Level 3 with ugly heavy sneakers weighing me down?!

I decided that a new pair of kicks would be best way to get me back into the working out on a regular basis. If I had something cute that I was excited to wear, I would probably look forward to hitting the gym. To further illustrate my point, a few weeks ago I borrowed Alisa’s sneakers when I stupidly forgot mine on a day where I would be working outside all day in a tent… in the rain. She presented me with her hot pink Nike Shocks, which immediately transformed me into an athletic goddess, at least in my own head.

When a Bob’s coupon arrived in the mail for 20% off all footwear INCLUDING clearance, I took it as a sign from the shoe gods, whom I worship very seriously. With a looming expiration date, I knew I needed to act fast.

I hit up my local Bob’s after work, and let me tell you, that place has got to be one of my least favorite places on earth. Almost every item of clothing they carry is hideous other than New England sports paraphernalia and athletic wear. I mean, when was the last time you found yourself jonesing for the latest fashions from YMI Jeanswear or Unionbay? I made a beeline for sneakers and tried to put up my blinders to avoid the sheer amount of overly thick fleece pajama pants adorned with frogs (I swear I did not make that up).

I was at a slight disadvantage from the get go as my money conscious husband begged me to spend no more that $50. Why is that, you ask?

Reason 1: I didn’t care what kind of sneakers they were, I just knew I wanted them to be pink. Apparently this is not the criteria in which athletic shoes should be judged.

Reason 2: Every workout item I have purchased has been used for maximum 10 hours. See previous workout clothes comment.

Reason 3 (and this seems to be the response I hear on a day to day basis for everything): We are poor, don’t spend any money.

Well, for someone who knows nothing about exercise, I know that even Skechers aren’t that cheap and that I had my work cut out for me. But I love a bargain challenge, so I quickly got to work scanning the racks. Steve claimed that all the “girly” sneakers would be more expensive. Unfortunately he was totally right and even totally white boring pairs with a splash of pink were in the $70-$90 range.

Onto clearance. Sometimes I make out like a bandit in clearance shoe sections because I have abnormally large feet for a small person. Apparently they are not abnormal enough, because every fun pair I found was in the size 10-11 section.

It was then that I realized how horribly unprepared I was for this whole charade. I came from work, so I was wearing flats, i.e., no socks. I have long feet, so those Peds are basically useless to me, but I put them on for the sake of cleanliness because let’s be real, this is Bob’s we’re talking about. If my feet were not awkward enough I also have special inserts for flat footed people that I got FROM A PODIATRIST that I am technically supposed to wear all the time but I never do because they don’t fit in any of my shoes because I always forget to bring them when I try on shoes. Needless to say those weren’t kicking around in my purse that day.

The first pair I tried on were black Avia’s with pink accents. I was 90% positive that these shoes were crap because they were a whopping $24.95 and I have never in my life heard of the brand Avia. They were just eh.

The next pair I tried were white Reebok EasyTones with red accents. Not quite pink, but red is actually my favorite color and I remembered the shoes from the commercials with all the girl’s butts and thought that I maybe my butt would have a chance to be like them one day. Slight problem? They are crazy hard to walk in. Imagine being forced to walk everywhere all the time on a balance beam. I guess those butts don’t come easy. Considering I can barely make it up the stairs without falling at least twice, I imagined I be in the ER after 10 minutes in these things on the elliptical. Goodbye, future tiny bum.

This particular Bob’s offered hardly a bench to sit on, so every time I found a pair I was remotely interested in, I ended up plunking all my crap down on the floor and lacing up on the dirty gray carpet. Jesus, what I won't do for a sale.

However, it was on the floor that I found them- a pair of charcoal gray Nikes (which at this point, sounded like Versace to me after being surrounded by all the unrecognizable brands of crap) with a HOT PINK swoosh and other accents, size 9 ½. I never would have found them if I hadn’t been sitting on the floor, because they were on the bottom shelf of the size 11 section. I’m not a particularly religious person, but when I find a hidden deal I literally feel like it’s fate and that some other-worldly being was keeping them special just for me. I tried them on, and it seemed like they fit, but due to the Peds, I was skeptical. I usually border between a 9 and a 9 ½, so I figured that the little extra room would be plenty of space for my socks. Who wears thick socks to work out anyway?

I figured this was the part where I was supposed to put them on and run around the store to make sure they really fit. This is where the Hallelujah chorus withdrew and I was thrown back to reality, as my beloved Nikes were tied together. That’s right, about 7 pairs of clearance sneakers were tied together and my pair was one of them. Not one to back down from a challenge, I proceeded to run around the rack with one shoe on at a time, with the attached mate whacking into me every time I lifted my foot. I still wasn’t sure these were the correct pair for me, but who can ever be sure when they’re forced to only wear one shoe at a time?! At that moment I knew that I was done. I would have to trust the shoe gods that they had delivered to me the pair that I was meant to have.

Oh, and how much were they, you ask?! $36.99 with my coupon, a mere three hours before it expired! Suck on that, Bob’s!

sweet deal!

I left the store content, not only for my bargain but because I was getting the hell out of that place.

On the way home, my post-bargain high began to wear off as I realized that now I would actually have to you know, use them. While exercising. In the gym.

But that’s another day.

Freedom!