I’m starting this post as I stare at a green apple on my desk. I made it a point to purchase several of these apples to eat as snacks at work rather than munch on a bag of chips or chocolate candy which would taste far better. Since I picked up these apples at the grocery store I have eaten exactly none of them. Somehow having one on my desk makes me feel better even though I’d rather draw it a face and talk to it than ingest it. I typically go through periods where I make meager attempts at trying to eat healthy. These past few weeks has been one of those periods.
I joined a gym about a month ago since it’s started to get chilly here in New York and I won’t be able to run outside much longer. This is the first time I’ve spent a substantial amount of time in any gym and let me tell you… it’s been quite the eye opener. New York City gyms seem to attract a cast of characters at any given time of day or night. Each time I go I see at least one new individual who I’d pay to quarantine and study.
Let us start with the regulars who I would assume live in a back room somewhere deep in bowels of the gym or perhaps sleep standing up in lockers at night. Whether you pop in at 8am on a Tuesday or 11pm on a Sunday night there is going to be a group of men (and I use the term men loosely) standing about by the weight lifting machines. They are usually in packs of at least three to four and seem to lack any grasp of the concept of sleeves. Two of these men always look like they have misplaced their necks and one looks as though he may apply cooking oil as a daily moisturizing product. It occurs to me he may be loitering around because he has difficulty picking up weights with those oily butter fingers. This is probably best for all of us as he’s liable to pitch a barbell across the gym in an attempt to execute a curl.
Next in line, there is always at least one small female on either the treadmill or a bicycle who looks like she’s mistaken the gym for the North Pole. She climbs onto a machine fully clad in long workout pants, hooded sweatshirt, wool hat and sometimes gloves. This confuses me on several levels. Are you training for a marathon in the Arctic? If you have some type of eating disorder would it be simpler to just eat less rather can make the effort to run in that getup? I understand that people sometimes want to sweat out extra calories but geeze man, working out dressed as a woolly mammoth is not the only option.
Whenever I am running on the treadmill, I can always spot one male overachiever within reach. This is the man who purchases head to toe spandex to strut around in and runs so fast you think he may shoot off the treadmill or fling off an arm in the process. Odds are if he did lose a limb he would simply speed up and retrieve the body part at a later date. If you can get a glimpse of one of these overachievers’ pre-workout stretching routines you’ll never be the same. Men in spandex seem to have a fondness for stretching without bending their knees so be prepared if you are behind one. They usually wear an expression of determination as though they are in a Strong Man competition and preparing to throw a piano over the Empire State Building. Be careful not to get too close to one of these specimen as they may try to bite you for running fuel.
For me, working out is typically the easy part. It’s curbing my love of all forms of crap food that’s more difficult. If it came from a fast food restaurant, a box or a freezer, I’ll take two. I would compare eating an apple a day to eating scraps of paper I’ve retrieved from the waste basket under my desk as a snack. In my ideal world an orange would be peeled to reveal a ball of macaroni and cheese and banana peels would house an assortment of string cheeses. While we’re at it everyday household items should also be edible. I’d like to type this sentence on my keyboard and then eat the Shift button since it’s made of cookie dough. Willy Wonka and I would have made fantastic business partners if you ask me…. until I bought him out of the company and ate his office chair.
I’ll most likely post something in a few months about how I haven’t been to the gym in weeks and just bought a truck load of Velveeta to wash my hair with. But until I surrender the last of my self respect in exchange for a cube of cheddar cheese you will be able to find me running on the treadmill after work while laughing to myself at the three ring circus I am surrounded by.
“Instead of trying to fit an impossible ideal, I took a personal inventory of all my healthy body parts for which I am grateful: Straight Greek eyebrows. They start at the hairline at my temple and, left unchecked, will grow straight across my face and onto yours.”—Tina Fey, Bossypants
It is my personal opinion that a hard roll is the superior choice for the proper consumption of a bacon, egg and cheese if you want to enjoy it thoroughly. It’s not too thick, its flavors blend with that of the egg in perfect harmony and if you’re so inclined, you can mush it down with your hands to the width of a pancake before digging in. And don’t get all judgey because it just tastes better that way, alright?
While I can assure you that my opinion on this matter may as well be called fact, it has been brought to my attention that certain individuals in our society feel strongly that the bagel outranks the roll in the BEC department. I’d like to make it known that I in no way dislike bagels. I live in New York and we have some great ones so I enjoy them as much as the next person. Maybe even a little more because most of my favorite activities consist of doing stuff while eating things. But back to my point…
In case you weren’t aware of the laws of FOOD (uh, read a book why don’t you), the bagel is really only a device in which to transport/shovel ungodly amounts of cream cheese into your gullet or around your facial area if you don’t have great aim. Can you wipe your face? GOD that is GROSS! Come ON, it’s in your hair now! Please just go take a shower, I can’t look at you anymore.
When you’re preparing a bagel, lets keep it away from my glorious egg and cheese as it’s liable to try to suffocate other items with its overbearing doughiness. No matter what you’re trying to pair it with, it’s going to try to take center stage. It’s the Christina Aguilera of baked goods. OH quit staring at me you stupid selfish bagel, you know I’m right! Now take off that sequin onesie, it’s too small and you just look silly.
As this is an argument I have had with several of my friends, I have also had the pleasure of getting my father’s thoughts on the debate. Below is the U.S. history lesson he shared with me as to why he feels strongly about hard rolls as well. It’s interesting to say the least…
"The debate regarding the hard roll vs. the bagel has actually been raging for many years now. It all started in 1931 in the Chicago kitchen of Mabel and Jasper Fekelberg. Mabel was cooking two cheese omelets for her and Jasper and she was nursing a near deadly hangover after sharing a gallon of Thunderbird wine with Jasper the previous evening. She had toasted and sliced a hard roll on her plate, but when she attempted to put the omelet on the plate it fell onto the two slices of hard roll. In her poor condition, she just said the hell with it and folded over the roll onto the omelet and started eating. Jasper walked in and saw what she was eating and was immediately intrigued. Jasper was a food lover from way back, as his 5’4” 375 lb frame attested to. Mabel had taken the last hard roll so Jasper just grabbed a bagel and threw the omelet on top of it, downing it in two huge bites.
From that moment the debate raged on, Mabel loved her omelet on her hard roll and Jasper on his bagel. Jasper did improve on choice by later slicing the bagel in half, thus enabling him to stuff bacon, sausage and ham in along with the cheese omelet. So this was the actual start of the hard roll vs. bagel debate. It was also the start of a sad decline for Jasper, as he became addicted to bagels and had to have them with everything he ate. He had gravy bagels, ice cream bagels, pizza bagels and even I am sad to say, deep fried bagels. This addiction sadly led to an early death for Jasper. He died at the young age of 44 after having ballooned up to 675 lbs. His legs gave out when he reached 550 lbs. but he would still roll his wheelchair down to the bakery every day. I guess the moral of the story would be stay with the hard rolls, you never know if you could be the next bagel addict.”
Who here has ever felt personally victimized by Regina George?
When I was 12 years old, to put it in the simplest of terms, I was what some would refer to as a mean girl. I know what you’re thinking… oh no I’m sure she was just young and probably very sweet. Well, that would be incorrect because like most middle school girls in sixth and seventh grade, I was exercising my right to act like a four foot tall demon with bangs. Uneven bangs I might add. I’m not sure if the average male is aware but girls between the ages of 11 and 14 spend these years waging war… against enemies, friends, cats, dogs, low flying airplanes, really anything they can get their hands on.
During the sixth grade, back when rocking Adidas indoor soccer shoes made you cool (pretty sure it still does), I was best friends with two girls in my class, Amber and Janelle. It might be better to say I was only friends with one of them at a time as we spent most of that year ganging up on the third person on a weekly basis. One week Janelle and I were so over being friends with Amber. I mean, she talked to Frank in the hall without consulting us - WHAT was she THINKING?! The following week Amber and Janelle would, oh so rationally, decide that their friend plates were full so I wasn’t needed. Then a few days later, Amber and I remembered that Janelle had a pink lava lamp in her room and so did Amber, which obviously meant Janelle was trying to copy her and that was absolutely. unacceptable. YOU HAVE BEEN SHUNNED JANELLE!
This went on for most of the year and also included several if not many angry hand written notes passed back and forth between the three of us. These notes were always folded into neat little shapes like footballs, for obvious reasons of course. They also included many very deep meaningful questions such as, “Why would you wear those pink socks when you knew I wanted to buy a pair of pink socks?” and “Did you three way call Bobby last night without asking me first?.” Little did SHE know Bobby made eye contact with me TWICE in the hallway yesterday which most likely means he’s in love with me. So suck on that!
Seventh grade didn’t get much better. I made the HORRIFYING mistake of buying a jazzy pair of red patent leather Airwalks from none other than the Contempo Casuals (which sold a variety of ‘wash this once and it will disintegrate immediately’ styles of clothing). I was unaware that Jenna, whom I was not great friends with, had also purchased this exact same pair of sparkling shoes. I was also not aware that we would wear them on the very same day in the very same math class in two desks next to each other. Although, she matched hers with a pair of, what I’m assuming were, very expensive black pleather pants so she probably looked much cooler than I did.
All I know is later that day, Bobby told Sarah who told Sally who told the principal who told the janitor that Jenna said I bought my shoes because I wanted to be like her. Really Jenna? Do I? DO I?! WELL MAYBE I DID! Maybe I wanted my own pair of black pleathery pants to crunch around school in too. Or maybe I just liked the god damn shoes and your 11 year old ass is CRAZY! So why don’t you take your black curly hair and your stupid pink backpack and SHOVE IT!
Ahem, sorry I lost control for a minute there. I’m counting to 5… ok, I’m ok now.
I don’t know if boys act irrationally at this age also but I’m fairly certain they aren’t conniving little gremlins like girls are. If Michael took Henry’s soccer ball Henry would just punch Michael in the stomach after gym class and be done with it. If Melissa took Amy’s soccer ball Amy would start a rumor that Melissa made out with her dog over the weekend and LIKED IT! And Amy doesn’t even play soccer!
So why are girls so mean? Why don’t we take out our aggression in other ways? Personally, I would suggest instead of talking behind each others backs we just beat the shit out of each other on a weekly basis. How about Wednesdays at 7pm? Or would 8pm work better? If girls thought more like boys it might make our every day lives a whole lot easier. If you go for that promotion I want I am going to come to your house and I am going to cut you Melissa. And I’d mean it too.
So how about it? I’m pretty small ladies, but I’m fiesty so BRING IT ON… sluts.
Alright, who else here spends an abnormally large amount of their time protecting themselves from the inevitable run in with a blood thirsty serial killer? Hmm? Just me? Well, despite what people have been telling me for the past twenty or so years, I’m going to be ready for it people. Just like a run in with your ex on the street, it’s bound to happen sooner or later.
I’ve been an avid watcher of horror films for as long as I can remember which may or may not have contributed to this obsession I have created with keeping an eye out for danger. Even at the age of seven I knew without a shred of doubt that it was my responsibility to look under the bed each night to make sure Jason hadn’t slipped under there while I was busy making faces at myself in the bathroom mirror (don’t act like you didn’t do the same thing). After confirming there was no psycho laying in wait under the bed, I would then move on to the closet. Hiding in the back? No. Behind my dresses? No. Is there a possibility he’s become some type of shape shifter and can now fit into my toy box? Hmm… well, mayb… no. I was clearly naive as a child and unaware that shape shifters are a category all their own… obviously.
As a teenager, my childhood weeknights spent watching episodes of Unsolved Mysteries, this preoccupation with the murdering kind only continued. The trees lining my parents’ driveway were planted in a straight line and the perfect shape and height for a male of ill intentions to lurk behind. Um hello mom, are you trying to have me killed? I created a stellar plan which entailed keeping my headlights on until the very last moment, leaping from the car and booking it to the front porch as fast as my little legs would take me. This worked for all four years of high school and some of college as we all know serial killers prefer to walk at a leisurely pace to build up additional drama for a scene. Whomever was eyeing me from behind those bushes knew that they simply could not catch such a gifted lawn sprinter.
Here in New York City, not much has changed. I still continue to peer under my bed hoping I don’t see a face staring back at me. I still continue to brush the clothing in my closet aside to make damn sure no one is hanging out back there. I lock my bedroom door every night as an added safety precaution. I no longer have a car so I don’t have to worry about those trees as much but about a year ago my parents purchased a second house out in Pennsylvania. Now I’m still not sure why they fail to consult with me on such important decisions but this new home is surrounded by miles and miles of woods. If this is not a breeding ground for maniacs, I don’t know what is.
The first time I visited them I made the mistake of going for a run around the neighboorhood. Several miles from the home I realized, ‘oh hey, I have no idea where my parents live’ and proceeded to jog in circles for about 45 minutes. I was so tired out from searching for the street that I thought was theirs I had slowed to a walk and wasn’t paying attention to the trees as I should have been. The moment you lower your guard is when they attack. In the middle of day light he stepped out onto the street and as I turned around we made eye contact. We both stopped walking and a stare down ensued. “What do you want?,” I yelled. No response. I wondered to myself, ‘who is he?’… ‘is he going to hurt me?’… ‘should I run into the woods?’. He made no movement. I began to back away very slowly while not losing his eye. I was fully prepared to run if he revealed a weapon or made any type of menacing gesture. As I backed down the road in a crab-like manner, I became aware that my parents’ road was only a block away. I managed to turn the corner and back up the driveway without incident. It was only then my father revealed to me that deer in these parts do not attack nor harm human beings. I remain unconvinced.
As I grow older, the odds of me purchasing a home outside of New York City only increase. Owning a house will provide me with a new set of terrors I can only begin to imagine including numerous closets, more than one room and endless hiding spots for the new Dennis Raders of the world. I wonder if it would be possible to find a dwelling absent of walls and any storage space. Perhaps I will move into some type of reinforced metal barn with my family. But until that day comes, I am content knowing my bed is low enough to the floor that Freddy is going to have to lay off the McDonald’s in order to wiggle himself under there.