Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
My usual workouts at the gym are never all that strenuous, but I do make sure they're challenging enough to get my happy chemicals flowing, and that extra dose of self-esteem always makes my days feel a bit more accomplished. Lately, though, I've been losing a little of that muscle pumping motivation.
"Gymania," as I've previously called that strange place reeking of moldy weights and recycled air, has definitely taken its toll on me. See September 2009…
While in the past I at least had the consolation of going to the gym whenever time would allow, it's become so crowded there lately that the culture of "Gymania" is more overwhelming than ever.
Therefore, I've decided that March's installment of "Things I'm Gonna Do This Week" will be dedicated to the wonderful world of exercise.
Have you ever seen the infomercials for those intense workout DVDs that promise dramatic before and after photos? No, I'm not gonna order them...I'm way too concerned about my downstairs neighbor to do power jumps in my living room. But the concept of those DVDs is that you need to constantly change up your exercise routine in order to surprise your body to greater results. And to me, that makes a lot of sense. There are so many great workouts out there besides lifting weights in "Gymania," so this week I'm going to explore them.
This era of uninspiring exercise is over! It's time to ring in a new phase of bodily exhaustion. And by next week, as long as I can still move my fingers enough to type, I'll have a full report.
View the results of Creative Workout Week
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
It was laundry day. My newly purchased Tide detergent was ready to declare war on a hamper full of clothes. I gathered everything up to take to the Laundromat, but as I stepped outside my apartment, I caught sight of a man strolling down the sidewalk. He was dressed normally for a sunny afternoon in Southern California. In fact, everything about him was normal enough except for the fact that he was aggressively yelling at a person who wasn't actually there.
This, of course, immediately stopped me in my tracks, but the reason it did may surprise you. What I found far more alarming than the actual peeved pedestrian was my reaction to him. My first thought was NOT, “Oh boy, maybe I should wait until he leaves.” It was NOT, “Bless his heart, I hope everything’s ok.” And it was NOT, “Pff…psycho.” Instead I thought, “He’s probably on the phone.”
This reaction would have been different in high school. Back then, seeing a man walking down the street talking to himself would have brought to mind a mental disorder of some kind, ala Sally Field in Sybil. After all, we spent three days watching that film in Health class. Three days.
By the time I made it through college, however, I realized that the traumatized and/or unbalanced weren’t the only ones inclined to talking to themselves. This epiphany occurred when I caught myself rehearsing a Eugene O’Neil monologue aloud while walking across campus to my next class. At first I was embarrassed, but then as I gazed around, I realized everyone else was doing the same thing in his or her perspective fields of study. I wasn't so loony after all.
And now in 2012, the rules have changed yet again! Thanks to the ever-constant advances in technology, all previous definitions for traditional insanity have been thrown out the window! Inventions like the "Bluetooth" (which literally puts voices in our heads) have launched our society into “a whole new kind of crazy.”
It's a "crazy" that hides behind the façades of communication, interconnectivity, and social networking. It's a new class of modern day disease so contagious it's reaching epidemic proportions! But do not fear. It's also a "crazy" that is 100% curable. So if you recognize any of the following symptoms, rest assured. There is still hope!
Privacitis- Privacitis is a condition, or state of being, in which individuals may be convinced they have complete privacy and seclusion when in reality they are on their cell phones in the grocery store checkout line. Symptoms usually include the desire to share various tawdry details about the drunken escapades of the previous evening with the entire grocery store.
Manic Message Disorder- MMD, as it's more commonly known, is classified as the extreme highs and devastating lows of email users who log into their accounts and discover either too many messages to sort through, or none at all. Thoughts may include, “Holy Smoke, fifty-six!?” and, "My empty inbox means I'm a bad person!”
Password Dementia- Password Dementia is reserved for individuals with quite a bit of internet experience. After signing up for various accounts on various websites, an individual with PD may struggle to recall which password goes with which account. This often leads to the patient needing to provide previously chosen answers to security questions in order to retrieve the forgotten password, but alas, they have usually been forgotten as well.
Narcirexia- People suffering from narcirexia slowly become more and more convinced that the details of their daily menial tasks are important enough to post online. Some of these postings may include when they are going to the gym, personal commentary on celebrity deaths and politics, and the regularity of their digestive tracks.
Now while I have no medical degree to speak with authority on any of these illnesses, I admit that I can speak on them with a degree of experience. You see, I too have fallen victim to each of these psychoses at one point or another. Embarrassing? Perhaps. But it's the truth.
The good news is, however, that the cure to all this megabyte madness is really quite simple. Human Interaction! As powerful as the World Wide Web might be, it can't hold a candle to the power of connecting with people. So, if you find yourself frustrated with facebook, go to lunch with a friend. If you're glued to a computer screen, shop at a store instead of online. And if you can't stop holding your phone, then it might be time to hold a hand.
It seems as though the world we live in continues to find new ways to make us crazy, but I find it comforting to know that no matter how nuts we may seem, at least we’re all together. No one is alone. Not really. And if anyone tries to convince you otherwise, they might just be insane.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Yes, you read the title correctly. I like ironing.
My mom says I inherited it from my dad. Early on in their marriage, he made it clear that he ironed his shirts in a very specific way, so she decided it was just easier to let him do it himself.
As for me, I started ironing as a form of teenage rebellion. I know, I know, not exactly the most popular outlet for adolescent angst, but I was embarrassed that my mother did my laundry. So to declare my personal independence, I decided there and then that I would wash and iron my own clothes. That'd show her!
I soon found that I actually enjoyed ironing. It was strangely gratifying for me to see a shirt that was once a wrinkled mess steamed to perfection. And everyone at home knew it.
On Sunday mornings, my little sister would take advantage of my weekly ironing station by storming into the kitchen ten minutes before we had to leave for church with mascara and sleep smudged halfway down her face. She'd hurl a dress at me, and yell "thank you" as she ran into the bathroom to brush her teeth. This became such a tradition that when it came time for me to go to college, my little sisters gave me a matching iron and ironing board to send me on my way.
Even more amazing than these ironing themed graduation gifts, however, is the fact that while my family knows that I like to appear wrinkle-free, I know they love me even when I'm not.
Showing people your "wrinkles" can be a little scary sometimes, especially when those people are the ones you love the most. That fear can often create loneliness so terrifying that it shakes the very foundation of your personal safety. But no matter how much ironing you may do to avoid them, wrinkles are a part of life.
We all live with a fair share of proverbial seat belt marks on newly ironed dress shirts. Sure, the wrinkles may not seem ideal and may even threaten our idea of perfection, but we all must eventually trust that life would be far less lived if the seat belts weren't there at all. And if some people can't or refuse to understand that, then "home" must be the place where they do.
As I continue to hear stories of teenage suicide back in my homeland, I can't stress enough how vital it is to have a home where every family member is valued and loved, no matter how wrinkled they may seem. There is no excuse for it, and there is no substitute.
Every life has value, dear friends, so please, let us value every life.