Monday, August 9, 2010

Today I Was Brave...

Today is a very important day for me. Today was the day I officially returned to regular exercise. A few years ago I’d go to the park with my dog at least 3 times a week and walk about 4 miles. But like many people, eventually our routine fizzled out. So now that I’ve packed on quite a bit of weight, I figured it was time (past time really) to get back out there and burn this fat off.

No, really, I can’t stress enough now much I should have done this month’s ago. Even my mini-dachshund, Caleb, was getting fat. The other day we were playing fetch in the house and the first time I tossed his tennis ball across the room, it took him 5 minutes to come back with it. And then he took an hour nap (ok, slight exaggeration, it was more like a 45 minute nap…). And of course I’m no better. I’ve gained so much weight I’m in that “miserable fatness zone.” The kind of fat where you don’t even untie your shoes to take them off or put them on. The kind of fat where if you drop something you don’t just bend and pick it up, you think about if you really need that item or not (I’ve left a few quarters on the ground lately). The kind of fat that if you lost 20lbs no one would even notice. The kind of fat that when you go out to eat you’d rather have a table than a booth. The kind of fat where when people look at you, you know they’re wondering if you’re pregnant (and you think to yourself, that if they ask you’re just gonna say yes to keep it from being awkward). The kind of fat where you make other fat people feel better about themselves…yea like that!

This morning I woke up at 8am and slowly but surely got ready for this morning’s exercise. I was half excited and half dreading the whole ordeal. I got dressed in my old workout clothes, which are quite snug now, and then got the dog and we headed down to the car. We got to the park and I stretched a bit before starting. It went pretty well. I walked a bit and then jogged a bit. Caleb and I made it to the end of the trail and then stopped at the lake. On the way back Caleb gets tired and I end up having to carry him for about a mile (he’s spoiled rotten). As if jogging isn’t hard enough, try doing it carrying an extra 10lbs of dog under your arm (don’t worry, he’s walking the entire thing tomorrow)!

By the time I got back to the car, I was drenched in sweat. But I do feel better. Whenever you see a special on TV or read an article about someone who’s lost a lot of weight, they are often referred to as “brave.” Until today, I didn’t understand why. Now, I do…it takes bravery to go outside in workout clothes that are too small, in the early daytime hours, jog when you’d rather be home eating cheetos, continue to jog even when you feel your knees are going to break (or that your ankle is going to snap at any moment), and carry your dog when even he’s given up. I’m happy to say, I was brave today!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Here's To You Big Brother...

Greetings! Wow it’s been a bit. I’ve had lots of topics in mind but little time to actually write. But after what happened today I had to find the time to tell you all.

Today was a great day. It was actually my day off but I volunteered for overtime and spent 8 hours working in the galleries. I sometimes enjoy it because the people watching is great but there are times we get “little terrors.” And I got one today.

A small boy of about 3 years came in with his mom, another woman and several other children. This little boy was running around and around and I did the best I could to keep him in line. Every time I saw him about to climb something or actually climb something I had to go over and talk him down or reach for his hand to get him to walk away from it. This little boy wore me out. You’re probably asking “Where was his mom?” well she was looking at the art and not paying her son much attention (this is typical in the museum, lots of parents pay no attention to their kids).
While my hands were full and my frustration grew with this little boy another boy in the group was watching carefully. He looked to be about 5 or 6 years old and every time the smaller boy gave me trouble he’d look at me and shrug his shoulders. It was like he was telling me “Yea we don’t know what to do with him either.” At some point the older boy told me that the younger one was his brother and that he runs everywhere. I pretty much knew this already but indulged him in conversation. I told the big brother that his younger brother should stop running because he could get hurt or hurt the art. He looked at me said “yea, he should.” I didn’t know it at the time but a hero was born right at that moment. The older brother wasted no time in starting to help me control this little one. I no longer had to pull and pry his bother off of things, he did it for me. I thought this was great, I had no idea what was coming up.

Eventually the little boy ran even harder and in multiple paths so the older brother and I were both trying to contain the little one. Well older brother finally got tired of little brother’s antics. I stood about 12 feet away and I watched the older brother as he firmed up his stance. He planted his feet and then opted for a wider stance and replanted his feet. I wasn’t sure what he was doing but he knew exactly what he was doing. Meanwhile the little boy is running back and forth past the older brother. Once the big brother got his stance, he jumped right in the little boy’s way. The little one ran into his big brother (hard I might add) and bounced off him and landed on the floor. It all happened in slow motion from my perspective. The big brother stood firm and was not even moved during the impact. Once the little one was firmly on the floor big brother stood over him and said “Now stop that running!” The little boy began to cry and big brother looked at me with a grin from ear to ear. He looked so cute and proud, that I smiled back and gave him the thumbs up! At that moment I realized that heroes come in all sizes. Here’s to you big brother!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

How I See It...

A friend of mine (Agiantsince82) recently wrote a blog posts about men not doing the things they should be doing and expecting to keep their women. It was well written and he’s absolutely right about what he’s saying. I’m glad he chose to express that it’s wrong for men to accept all the things women do and not give anything in return (even though he did get some backlash for that post). If you haven’t read his post you can read it here (it’s ok, I’ll wait).

So after reading Agiantsince82’s post I started wondering when did women just get used sub-par treatment. It seems that it’s in our nature as women to give and give and give some more. And while at work the other day, I started seeing the answer. I was working the front door, which basically consist of keeping count of visitors with a clicker in hand and making sure they don’t bring food or drinks inside. I saw time and time again men who didn’t hold the door open for women. What is this about? This was especially true of young couples (people under the age of 30). I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This is really the simplest of things a man can do. Yet as I stood there I watched as time and time again, either the woman opened the door and walked in and the man walked in after her (while he never touched the door) or the man walked in first and simply let go of the door and the woman was left to hold the door for herself. I even saw on two separate occasions, where a couple was exiting the museum while a group of people where walking towards the same doors to gain entry and both times, YES, both times the man walked out first and the woman stayed behind to hold the door open for the people approaching the door. I was floored. How on earth is this ok?

Now granted, I’m sure every man and woman that came together was not necessarily a couple. But that doesn’t excuse men from their duties. Here’s an example. Last week I went to lunch with a group from church. Well two of us went ahead while the others came about 5 minutes behind us. I rode with a male friend from church and when we got to the door of the restaurant he held the door open for me. We’re not a couple, we’re just friends (actually he has a girlfriend) but he was raised to know that’s what he’s supposed to do. I can’t think of any male friends I have that don’t hold the door open for me. It just seems like common courtesy. So why aren’t men doing it?

Men, this is not ok. While Agiantsince82’s focus was on men who are married or have been with their women for a long time, mine is on the dating process. Men do you simply not think this is important anymore? I can tell you it is important, and to people outside your relationship not doing these things makes you look selfish. Please remember that while women don’t consult their friends and family about getting into a relationship with a man, but they do consult them about staying in a relationship with a man. Rest assure her friends and family pay attention to things like these and it can be deciding factors as to whether she will stay with you or leave.

Women, I promise you, if he can’t even open the door for you it’s doomed. I’m keeping it real with ya’ll. I’m not even telling you to do anything I wouldn’t do. I know I’m 30 and single but I’ve passed up men for this very detail. I don’t even feel like I should have to express this issue to them, especially on a first date. Aren’t you supposed to be on your best behavior on the first date? So if he won’t hold that door open for me on the first date, there’s no need for a second, because as he gets more comfortable with me it will only go downhill from there. People could say a lot of things about my ex, but he did hold the door open, he did open my car door, and he always gave me his jacket. If even he gets it, I’m not sure why men aren’t getting these things.

Men you got to tighten up here. I don’t expect you to be perfect (we women are far from perfect ourselves) but be kinder, be gentler, in essence be gentlemen! Hold doors open for women; pull out their chairs, open the car door for them to get in and out. Don’t underestimate kindness when it comes to women. The women who can’t appreciate kindness in a man, doesn’t deserve a gentleman (they probably wouldn’t be kind to a gentleman anyway). Kindness is one of the best ways to a woman’s heart.

Women, we aren’t exactly blameless in this matter. The fact is that we’re accepting this type of behavior. If you’re a good woman you deserve these things. If you have a man who you feel is a good man but he doesn’t these things, speak up! I mean speak up directly because men can’t read minds, so you have to tell them what you want. The bottom line ladies is that men only do to us what we allow them to do. Let's tighten up.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What I Learned This Week...

Happy weekend everyone! It’s been a long week. Lately I feel like I’m always on the run. I had several ideas this week but none of them really seemed able to stand on their own as a post. So I decided to bring them all together as one mighty post about what I’ve learned this week. So pour yourself a glass of wine and come along.

Lesson #1: No Rest for the Weary
I’ve been working a lot of hours lately. I mean long, long hours, which is ok because I enjoy the overtime. My nights at work tend to be either busy or slow depending on what events we have coming up. Well lately the nights have been busy, sometimes I don’t even get enough time for a bathroom break. So one night this week, I finally caught up with all my work and running around. My rounds were done, my floors were locked up and I finally had some time which was perfect because I really needed that bathroom break. I get into the bathroom, into the stall, and I thought to myself, “Wow, my radio is really quiet. I can’t believe no one’s calling me.” Right as my butt touched the seat, I was being called on the radio, to go do another task. Oh well maybe next week I can get a bathroom break.

Lesson #2: Boogers…
I was in Harris Teeter and it was unusually crowded. Of course this is the time that booger that’s been sitting in the back of my nose wants me to know it’s there. I keep feeling it in the back of my nose each time I exhale. I wanted nothing more than to “pick” it but there were too many people around. I focused on that booger in the back of my nose so much, I forgot half the items I came to the store for. And just to complete this story, as soon as I got somewhere I could pick it, it no longer bothered me. So the lesson was boogers are felt most when you can do the least about them.

Lesson #3: I’m Not Gonna Know How to Handle All of Life’s Situations
Ok, for this lesson we gotta go back to the bathroom. I walked into the bathroom one day this week to wash my hands after working outside. One of my co-workers was in a stall having a bowel movement. I understand that when you gotta go, you gotta go. I hurried because I thought she’d want some privacy. From the sounds she was making, you’d think she’d eaten something that should have been thrown out of the fridge a good 3 days ago (not to mention the smell, but she couldn’t help that). Well she recognized my shoes and begins talking to me! Yes, she’s talking to me while grunting and pooping. It was at this very moment (while she telling me some story, but I can’t listen because I’m in shock that we’re having a conversation) I realize I don’t know what to do. Should I say, I have to go take care of something? Should I just back out quietly and hope she doesn’t realize I’m gone? Should I just blurt out “I can’t talk to you while you’re making those sounds!” I was in shock. I didn’t know what to do, but I went with the option of telling her I have to go do something.

Lesson #4: The General Public Has No Museum Etiquette
While earning overtime, I’ve spread my wings into working the galleries (also known as the floor). It’s working in the new bldg during the hours of being open. I spent 2 days in the galleries this week and it’s become clear that people lose their mind when they come to the art museum. My co-workers and I talk about this all the time. Why do people touch the art? What is it about the art that makes people feel the need to touch it? I’m not sure. In the past when I went places where there were valuable things, I knew NOT to touch them. When you are in an art museum, DON’T TOUCH THE ART. It is incredibly disrespectful to security. Which brings me to another point, security is hired to protect art, not people. We don’t just protect the art from theft but also damage which is what the public does when they touch it. While working in the European gallery a couple asked me if they could touch a piece. I stood there for a second (shocked that they would even ask) and politely pointed out that the piece they wanted to touch was over 600 years old. Then I asked if that piece was in their house would they be alright with me coming over and touching it. Of course they laughed and said “no” to which I had to reply “well I think you have your answer.” You know what? Maybe that’s the problem, people think our art here are just replicas. That simply is not the case. I have seen very few replicas here. The art is real people! And it’s old, so please don’t touch it. And worse is the kids, keep your kids under control and keep their hands off the art!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Still Haven't Found Him...

I’m single. I had a boyfriend and it didn’t work out between us. I gave him 8 (almost 9) years of my life. I won’t bore you with the details about why it didn’t work out. I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss him because I do. I expressed this thought to my sister a couple weeks ago and she quickly replied, “What do you miss? The arguments? The insults?”

This led me to really think about what I missed. I even took the time to make a list. I just thought I’d share it. Here’s what I miss…
1. When we’d watch TV and he’d grab my legs and put them across his lap.
2. Him putting his arms around me and kissing me on my forehead.
3. Corny jokes…I mean really corny jokes.
4. Stupid nicknames.
5. Private jokes.
6. Play wrestling where he’d let me win.
7. Splitting the housework.
8. Eating his incredibly lumpy grits.
9. Complaining about work to each other.
10.Not sleeping alone.

Granted these 10 things aren’t enough to build a solid relationship upon. But they do fight off loneliness. It’s understandable why women hold on to men who are sub-par. I’m not condoning that, just saying that I understand why it happens. The overwhelming majority of my friends are in relationships, engaged, or married. It seems that they love to complain about their men. It makes me wonder if they remember single life. You know, the lonely nights, soup for one, salad for one, your voice sounding like you just woke up at 3 in the afternoon (not because you just woke up but because you haven’t spoken all day!!) your life built around your TV schedule, and worse of all your bed feels like the biggest, coldest place in the world. Being single can be a great experience for awhile but it soon gets old. Especially being single while the biological clock begins to tick louder and louder. Before you know it you’re sharing your home with 8 cats, just trying to fill the hole in your heart.

The people who care about tell me to relax, my future husband is coming and I’ll finally be happy. But when I go to bed at night, I’m forced to face the reality that today is another day I didn’t find him. I’m sure he’s out there, but who knows how long it will be before I meet him? So I will continue to wait for my Prince, but until he gets here, don’t complain to me about yours.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

But Those Aren't My Brownies...

You know since I’ve started this blog, I’ve had difficulty finding amusing things to write about. It’s as if my co-workers know I’m blogging and they’re not going to say or do anything funny because they simply don’t want to become a post. So I have to find the humor in the smallest of situations. So here we go…

The other day I’m working the access desk (where employees sign in at the beginning of their shift and sign out when they leave) and the restaurant staff was leaving. There’s always one guy who leaves last. He’s very sweet and I can tell he makes an effort to make me laugh every day before he walks out the door. To be honest even though we speak almost every day, I don’t know his name, but in the back of my head I call him “Spoony.” Why?? Ok, stay with me now, remember back in the day when you got those small individual cups of ice cream (like back in elementary school when they allowed class parties?) and it would have that tiny wooden spoon for you to eat it with? Well he looks like that spoon. No really, he looks like a small wooden spoon. So for the purpose of this post we will call him “Spoony.”

So Spoony is leaving work and he’s signing out. We’re talking as usual and having a great laugh, when suddenly he says, “What is that?!!” I didn’t even have to turn around to know what he was talking about. One of my co-workers brought in a huge tray of brownies. I mean the kind of platter that has 3 tiers and all 3 had brownies on it. But because it was late in the day, a lot of the brownies were gone. Before I could even answer Spoony, he says, “Are those brownies?!!” I already know where this is going, so I say, “Yep.” So he looks at me with those big brown eyes and his face is lit up in anticipation waiting for me to offer him a brownie. Believe me I would love to offer him a brownie but the truth is those aren’t my brownies! But I didn’t want to disappoint him and I’m pretty sure my co-worker would not have cared. So I said, “Would you like to…” and before I could even finish, his hand was out. I gave him a brownie but in the back of my head I had a fear that as soon as I put that brownie in his hand my co-worker would come around the corner and say something like, “What are you doing? Those aren’t YOUR brownies to give out.” Luckily she didn’t come around the corner and Spoony got his brownie. You’d think he’d bring me something from the restaurant in return, but no such luck…oh well.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hard To Say Goodbye...

Hello all. I know I’ve disappeared for a bit but I’m back. I’m not bearing good news though. Many of you know I work at a museum, which has increased my love of (almost all) art. Well at the NC Museum of Art, a wonderful piece called “To See Jennie Smile” created by Steven Siegel is being taken down on May 18, 2010. Granted, I haven’t ever seen the piece before I began working here but getting to see it regularly is a delight. It’s a piece you can stare at for hours and walk away feeling as though you still have not absorbed it all. Unfortunately, the piece has began to lean and rather than allowing it to fall into the creek below, it is better to let "Jennie" leave with her dignity intact. The pictures at the top are sort of a before and after. As you can see the piece has some serious leaning going on. There’s still a week left for all of us to say goodbye to “To See Jennie Smile.” The piece is located on the walking trail, on the park grounds behind the museum. We have plenty of maps inside to help anyone locate it. I encourage everyone to come and see “Jennie” smile for the last time. The NC Museum of Art is located at 2110 Blue Ridge Rd in Raleigh.

Here are a few links you might enjoy.
The museum website:
Artist Steven Siegel: