Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Depressing Thoughts

Some days, I feel so fortunate to have many friends, family members, professional contacts and acquaintances. Other days, like today, I feel like knowing more people means having more chances of having to deal with the deaths of friends and loved ones. I wish I knew why I’m thinking about something like this today, but I’m not totally sure. Maybe it’s because of some talk radio news stories (mall shooting) I heard on the way back from lunch, or the recent shooting death of Sean Taylor of the Washington Redskins. Maybe it’s just the general tip of “if it bleeds, it leads” in the nightly news.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christmas 2007: First Time Without Becks

I feel like Doogie Houser tonight on this Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The upcoming holiday reminds me of something I am soon to experience. Something new and different than most winter breaks.

This coming Christmas will be my first Christmas without my siblings. For 24 Christmases (actually—make that 22 since I was an only child until almost age 2) I have been amongst family.

No, I am not having to spend a Christmas without electricity in a foreign country or forced to work brutal hours at my office during the holidays. I have agreed to do the fair thing and spend Christmas with Dan and his family.

I really ought to go through all the reasons that this is the right thing to do. Dan spent last Christmas with my family in Raleigh and is set to spend this Thanksgiving with my family also. That means he’s staved away his wants and needs the last two big holidays…for my wants and needs. He didn’t see his father or brothers last Christmas—nor was it easy to coordinate. His two dogs, Roxxi and Harley, had to be boarded for several days (not cheap)—and he had endure the quirky personalities of my siblings, father and stepmother.

I look forward to doing something new [with Dan's family] but cannot escape "the old."

Sighs escape my mouth as I write and come to this reality. I am the oldest of my parents’ children, so it only makes sense that I would be the first to NOT spend Christmas with the family. Additionally, I am engaged; this means working toward creating my own family. Before you few blog readers get any ideas, we’re not planning on having kids any time soon. I only mean that by getting married, I am working toward having “my” family. Wait—our family.

Now I must share a few family Christmas traditions I’ll miss this year (but on the flip side, will enjoy the next time I get to partake in them):

  • Watching my siblings open gifts one at a time, meaning we get to see each other open gifts from each other—truly enjoyable!
  • Smirks as we all realize we helped our parents pick out one-anothers’ gifts.
  • “Pluck” cake, which is a delicious breakfast dish of cinnamon and sugar encrusted breakfast biscuit pieces baked in bunt pan—mmmmm
  • Breakfast casserole, something that must be prepared the evening before but is worth the wait. I can taste the cheddar cheese and fluffy eggs mixed with spicy sausage as I write this blog.
  • Staying up late with Anna, Ben and Paul, anticipating the Santa to come. Even after many years as siblings, we still enjoy speculating our Christmas gifts and losing time in conversation. I am one lucky girl.
  • Some kind of family argument of squabble, usually of minor proportion.
  • The smells of baking food, Christmas trees, hot chocolate and a warm fireplace—and sounds of busy wrapping paper, laughter, cheesy Carpenters Christmas music and clinking wine glasses.
  • Scrabble, Scattergories, Cribbage, Golf and maybe even Tripoly. We’re a family of dorks who sometimes favor Michigan tradition.

While I deep down know this is all about growing up, I am going to miss my siblings dearly this coming Christmas. Hopefully all know that I am there in spirit and look forward to the next holiday that we are all unbearably close to one another. Us all being together makes for a crowded couch—but a hell of a set of memories every time we’re together. I love you all.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Gym Woes

If you know anything about me, you know that I use disclaimers in my daily conversations. “Not that I am a relationship expert, but…” or “Writing critiques are welcomed because I am not the subject matter expert on die tooling or litho lamination…” You get the picture.

Well, this blog starts out not a lot different. Before you read the below, keep in mind that I have been to the gym once in the last week and that I am nowhere close to being in good shape. The words “I” and “good shape” shouldn’t even be within paragraphs of each other. Seriously.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm to exercise (or my lacking muscle tone and athletic breathing techniques), I still somehow manage to get angry with gym-related things. “How can this be when you so rarely set foot into the gym, Katy?” you may ask. Well, there’s no real explanation but here I go.

I think my biggest beef (and I realize this makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER) is with this lady who works out on the elliptical machine for about an hour. She’s at the gym near my office each and every time I go in there—which granted, isn’t often. I can’t even bear to be on a machine near hers because she frustrates me so. In a spandex sports bra and spandex biking shorts and the all important workout gloves, she so seriously works out on that elliptical machine. Trust me, too; she should not be wearing spandex clothing—yikes. (Disclaimer 4: I also realize I should not wear any spandex clothes and am really not one to talk.) With a look of sheer intensity, you can tell that she thinks she’s giving herself an overall body workout. And does she go do any exercises that she actually needs her gloves for? Nope. They are just to make sure that when she grips the elliptical machine, she doesn’t blisters. I wish so bad to tell this lady that:

- You are only supposed to be on the elliptical machine for 20 minutes when people are waiting

- You’re still going to have a gut no matter how long you stay on that damn elliptical machine

- The workout gloves are incredibly unnecessary—and they are NOT cute

When I am closer to home than to the office after work, such as in the cases of having offsite meetings or seminars, the gym seems barely an option. The one by my house is so insanely crowded that you spend more time looking for a parking space and waiting in line for a cardio machine than you actually spend working out. I loathe that location except for on the weekends.

Thirdly, with all the recent staph infection outbreaks, I find it really disgusting and irresponsible that the gym occasionally runs out of paper towels and sanitizer spray and could care less about restocking. And this is coming from someone who does not really sympathize with germaphobes. Can you guess what happened when I mentioned to the manager that it’s gross and unsanitary to not have the necessary tools to wipe down equipment? He said that he was not going to go out and spend his own money to buy paper towels when LA Fitness won’t pay him back. And that I would just have to “deal with” the scenario until the maintenance truck came on Monday morning with a new supply of paper towels. Gross.

So that is my rant for today. Can anyone tell that I need to get more excited about the gym and am really being creative with my excuses NOT to go? Maybe being a few months away from wearing a wedding dress will really get my a$s into gear.