Friday, September 28, 2012

met Perez in pilates

It may surprise you to know that I stopped going to the gym in June and traded my daily work out for ice cream and sunshine. Now that it's fall and I can no longer justify a daily bowl of ice cream, I'm trying to get buff again. I opened up a membership at the Kroc center, and so far I have attended pilates/yoga, cardio hip hop, power (weights) and 20-20-20.

Being the new person in group exercise classes is a bit nerve wracking. You don't know how things run, you don't know any of the people, and you don't know what equipment you need. The first class I went to was pilates/yoga. I pride myself on my natural flexibility, but I knew well enough that being able to fold into a pretzel is not going to help with pilates. Pilates takes muscles that are hidden in the depth of your being.

Anyway, so there I am, taking my cues from the others in the room. I roll out a mat and take off my shoes. I do a few stretches and touch my toes. Pretty soon the guy next to me sticks out his arms airplane style and says something to me. I have no idea what he says, but he's pretty serious about his pre-class stretching. "What was that?" I asked. He repeats himself with a Cuban accent. My mat neighbor is what I imagine Perez Hilton would be like in 30 years, only less fabulous. He wants me to move over a bit because apparently I'm cramping his wingspan. I oblige. Clearly this little man is experienced at yoga/pilates. He probably does some very elaborate and advanced moves, what with all the space he needs and everything.

If you don't know who Perez Hilton is, you are a better person than me. Also, when searching for this picture, I found others of him very toned. Probably the results of Pilates.
The class begins. It's easy. I can reach everywhere and touch everything and balance fairly well. We start to do some more moves that requires more muscle work and flexibility. The guy next to me starts making puffing sounds. He starts sweating a bit. Here I am, trying to stretch and relax, and Perez Senior is over here sounding like he's gonna die of lung failure. Clearly he is not an expert. His fancy monogrammed mat and flying airplane stretches mean nothing.

I giggle on the inside, but then immediately sober up at the thought of having to give him mouth-to-mouth when his lungs give out. That's the problem with being CPR/first-aid certified. You're always on the lookout for people who might need saving. And it's never hot, single men.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Clever, sexy headline here

Hi Friends, I need someone to proof my eharmony profile before I post it. I want feedback. Thanks.

Emotionally independent 26 year old woman seeking man who likes her enough to admit it verbally or in writing. I won’t take up a lot of your time as I am used to being alone. Would like to find someone who enjoys playing Clue and Monopoly and doesn’t judge those who eat ice cream straight out of the carton. I like to take dreams and make them happen. I only give life 97%, because I'm storing the other 3% in reserve to use as a turbo boost when something really needs it.

Knitting, watching Lifetime movie originals, playing with my 12 cats, scrap booking, chatting on IM.

First date
Somewhere picturesque. Dinner. Dancing. Cake. I would feel more comfortable meeting you if I brought my friends, family, and ordained minister along. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

One Word for One Letter

Tell me one word that describes your life right now. In exchange, I will mail a hand-written love letter to you (or to a person of your choosing). These aren’t mushy romantic letters filled with scented stationery. If you think I’m crazy, then check out We’re changing lives.

If you want a letter, I need:
Your name and mailing address
one word that describes your life right now

If you are requesting a letter for a friend, I need:
Their name and address
one word that describes a struggle/hope/need/dream they have

Send requests on Facebook or to 
Requests accepted until September 30th.

I don’t sign my name on the letters. So if you request a letter for someone else, it will just show up mysteriously, which I really like.

Names and addresses of letter recipients will not be shared with anyone.

Also, I don’t write mush.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


My TV viewing frequency has really plummeted, due to the lack of shows that interest me and the increase in shows I like being cancelled. This not watching TV is probably unhealthy, as it obviously shows my lack of interest for life. Thus, I've been on the hunt. I just need one show. I was on last night and think I might have found something a bit interesting. Let me tell you about it:

It's on NBC and is called Revolution. Watch the pilot episode here.

I swear the writers just read The Hunger Games and The City of Ember series and decided to meld the books into a TV show. Because people are tired of vampires and are more interested in female characters who can shoot a bow with accuracy. So True Blood and The Vampire Diaries are out and Revolution is in.

But here's what I have to say. When Charlie stumbled across the guy in the forest that was all "most people just say hello," I thought to myself Is he a part of the Quileute tribe? Because he totally looks Native American and is probably Jacob Black's cousin or something. Maybe it was the forest setting that really set off this thought. So after watching the episode, I Googled actor J.D. Pardo. Turns out he is playing a half-vampire in the next Breaking Dawn installment. My lack of knowledge on vampires and werewolves leads me to question "Can someone be half-vampire and half-wolf? How schizophrenic are Stephanie Myer's characters?"
J.D. Pardo in Revolution. I mean, is this The Hunger Games or Twilight?
Taylor Lautner in Twilight.
While I was watching Revolution, I thought to myself "Why does Miles look so familiar? Who is that guy?" Turns out Charlie's uncle is the same guy (Billy Burke) who plays Bella Swan's father in Twilight. Coincidentally, his character's name is Charlie. Only difference is, Miles doesn't have a dorky mustache like Bella's dad does.
Billy Burke as Miles, pictured here with niece Charlie.

Billy Burke in Twilight as Charlie Swan, with dumb mustache.
After viewing the pilot of Revolution, I realized that I had liked the show, even though it seemed like The Hunger Games and The City of Ember just got together and had a baby. Then I found out the TV show is produced by J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot Productions. After that, I was like "duh, of course I liked it." Because my favorite producer is J.J. Abrams. He's the one who created Alias and Lost, two of my favorite past shows.

I think this show's going to be well received*, because Katniss from The Hunger Games is popular, and the character of Charlie is basically a form of Katniss. Plus, I mean, she wears bad ass leather pants and carries a knife on her hip. Also, boots are really in this season.

*Revolution has not been well received by the scientifically minded. But the whole point so far is that science defied itself when the blackout happened, and nobody knows why.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Lazy Vegetarian

Recipe for Comida Perezoso

Time to prepare: 4 minutes

Laziness factor: energetic enough to use a can opener
Tasty factor: Yum!
Yields: 3.5 servings

1 can black beans
1 can corn (not creamed, yuck!)
1 can garbanzo beans
handful of cheddar cheese
your favorite salsa (I like Chachie's mango-peach)
tortilla chips (stale works fine)

good salsa

Open up all the cans. Drain them all. Rinse the beans with cold water. Mix black beans, garbanzo beans, and corn in large bowl. Put however much you are going to eat in a smaller bowl. Add in your favorite salsa and a handful of cheese. Microwave for 60 seconds. Eat with tortilla chips. Store the large bowl in the fridge so you can eat your leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.

Clean-up: Recycle the cans. Put your one bowl and one spoon in the dishwasher. Do a little dance.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

On why you should not take your sister to Olive Garden

Last Saturday afternoon my mom was in town and she wanted to go to lunch with me and my sister. She let us decide where we wanted to go, and I made the dumb mistake of suggesting we go to the Olive Garden. Based on past experiences, I should have known better.
                I’ll let you see why.
                “Would you like a wine sample?” asks our male server.
                “Yes,” says Jessamy, rather enthusiastically. For how fast she pulled out her ID, you’d think she kept it up her shirt sleeve.
                “No thank you,” says my mother.
                “No thanks, “ I say. I’m not against wine with lunch, I’m really not. I just don’t like many wines. I’m also very uneducated when it comes to vino, so I don’t even know the names of the few wines I do like. Riesling maybe? Chardonnay? I really don’t know. I always do a sniff test before tasting, which is typically very attractive and is how I score most of my Friday night dates.
                The server pours my sister a sample, then goes to get our waters. We debate the menu. Our server comes back to take our orders. “Are you done with this?” he says, reaching for Jessamy’s wine glass.
                “NO.” She reaches out to protect the last swig—so possessive you’d think she stomped those grapes herself and labored to make the drink on her own. I’m feeling a bit embarrassed about this, but to make matters worse, she downs the last sip in record time and then hands the glass to the man. I die a little bit inside.
“You embarrass me every time I take you to the Olive Garden,” I say, once the server is out of earshot.
“Why?” she says.
“Because that just happened.”
“Why do you care?”
“Some of us are trying to find husbands.”
Jess raises an eyebrow, “And it was gonna be that guy?”
“Well not anymore,” I half-laugh.
It’s true. Finding a husband these days is rather difficult. I mean, I have a hard enough time trying to get someone to visit me at my house. You think I’m gonna be able to convince a guy to live here with me too? I don’t even know what the issue is, because I have a very cute, tidy house and the world’s comfiest couch. Maybe I should put that into my profile.
A bit later our salad arrives. This time a woman brings it. She asks if we would like extra cheese on our salad. Sister says yes. Lady begins to grate cheese onto salad. I’m talking to Jess for a minute, then I realize the cheese is still being grated. It’s like a snow blizzard has covered the salad. You know, if snow blizzards were short, stringy, room-temperature, and tasted like parmesan.
“Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. That’s enough,” I say to the server.
“Maybe that’s enough for you,” Jess says to me, clearly upset that I interrupted her cheese flow.
“I could put some more on your plate if you’d like,” the woman offers. I think it’s a joke.
“Yes, please,” says my sister.
She just did that. Got cheese grated directly onto her plate. And okay, I get that she loves cheese. Most people in my family do. We have a Swiss heritage. Cheese making used to be the livelihood* of our great-great-great grandfather, Peter-Fred Grossen.  People who are lactose-intolerant practically get smudged out of our family line. If Grossens had been raised Amish instead of Presbyterian, then not having cheese in your fridge would nearly deserve a shunning.  But even if you have a cheese passion, you need to act with propriety. 
These are my actual real-life living cousins. We celebrate our Swiss heritage with a parade every year.
 “You did that on purpose,” I say to Jess. Because clearly now she just wants to do every embarrassing thing she can. And we haven’t even gotten to the breadsticks yet.
Jessamy begins telling stories about work, and of how her new assistant, Elsa, has a very unique personality. Apparently whenever Elsa gets upset, she says “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!” Elsa also recommends that you lay with your head over the side of the bed for at least two minutes a day in order for the blood to rush to your head and stimulate hair growth. I guess one day Elsa bobbed her head back and forth and was all “I think my hair is growing a lot faster because I’m bending over so much at work.” So there’s that.
Our food arrives. I’ve ordered the never ending pasta bowl (fettuccine alfredo) and Jess went for the Zuppa Toscana. My mother decided to get fettuccine as well. We dig in. In case you were wondering, my sister and her husband’s first date together was at the Olive Garden during their never ending pasta bowl promotion. She ate three bowls and took one home. This is how it went down: Jess posted on MySpace (because that used to be a thing, back in 2005)“I need someone to go to Olive Garden with me for the never ending pasta bowl!” And Travis said he’d go. Then it was happily ever after.
You might suggest to me that I try this find-a-date-strategy with Facebook, but whenever I’m looking for someone to go somewhere with me, I usually only hear from the crickets. I guess trying to get a partner to help with my detective work sounds too dangerous. Or maybe it’s the mention of wearing disguises that really puts people off. So instead I’ve learned a better strategy is to post “first person to invite me to dinner gets $100!” Because then not only do you attract the go-getters, but your date is guaranteed to have some cash too.
At this point, we’ve all eaten one breadstick and there’s one remaining in the basket. I look up at Jess and observe her behavior for a while. I look back at the lone breadstick and regard it with the feelings one usually has towards a solar eclipse. See, every other time I’ve been at the Olive Garden, Jess will make sure all the breadsticks make it onto plates immediately, so that way when the server comes by she can ask for more. I was mortified at her 25th birthday dinner, because I think she asked for 8 breadstick basket refills that night. After that evening, the Olive Garden manager considered starting a policy where people get their wrists Xed out if they’ve had too many breadsticks. But then my sister started an Occupy Olive Garden movement, where she encouraged all the patrons to stay as long as they could, peacefully ordering breadstick refills.
Despite my sisters attempt to embarrass me completely, I’m in a good mood. I start to joke around, but then pretty soon the joke becomes a serious plan.
“You know. I could order some more pasta for you, and you could order a bowl of minestrone for me, and then we could eat each other’s food.” Because I mean really. Does it make sense to you? Should I eat three pounds of pasta, salad, and breadsticks, when instead I could eat a bowl of pasta, a bowl of soup, salad, and breadsticks? Either way, Olive Garden is out the same amount of food. It’s just different people would eat it. But rule breaking must be done discreetly. I slide a few noodles onto Jessy’s breadstick plate, telling her to eat them immediately, then I’ll give her more.
It’s kind of like feeding a toddler, really. Only you have to do it when no one is watching.
“We should keep ordering bowls and bowls of pasta, then we can both take some home and I can have enough to last until I am gainfully employed again**.”
My mother interjects. “They only bring you one bowl at a time, so you can only ever leave with one bowl.” Such a realist.
“Then this is what we do. Mom, you keep ordering more fettuccine, and we’ll dump it all into my bowl,” I break into laughter. I usually laugh the most at my own jokes, which apparently is a really annoying attribute. “Then we’ll get a mountain of pasta this high,” I raise my hand up to the hanging lamp, “and I’ll just be sitting here, eating pasta and acting like nothing happened. Then we ask for a to-go container.”
Only we didn’t carry out our brilliant plan. Instead I had a few bites of Jessy’s third bowl of soup, and she had a few bites of my second dish of pasta, and we asked for just one more basket of breadsticks. No one left with Mount Fettuccine. Also, no one left with a date either.

*Actually, I’m pretty sure his livelihood was dairy cows, not just the cheese.      
**Don’t worry. I have a savings account and can afford to buy groceries.
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