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Friday, April 29, 2011

I Love Daisies

"Hello darlin' nice to see you, it's been a long time. You're just as lovely as you used to be. How's your new love? Are you happy? Hope you're doing fine - just to know this means so much to me. What's that darlin'? How'm I doing? Guess I'm doing all right, except I can't sleep and I cry all night 'til dawn. What I'm trying to say is I love you and I miss you and I'm so sorry that I did you wrong." (George Jones)
Check it out here:
What I'm trying to say is that I've missed you and I'm kinda sorry that I haven't written in so long. Life has been passing me by. It's like a whirlwind of activity all the time, it seems. Since I was raised by country-folk and spent the first 12 years of my life listening to music that was created between the years 1900-1979 as long as it was country/Elvis/Beatles, and the next 20+ years listening to everything else, I thought I might serenade you with my best old-school 'I miss you' song. I know other songs that I'm sure no one in the world listened to except my family and the original artist.
Things have been happening!
Before Easter/Spring Break, I assigned a piece of work to my grade 10 English class. We are reading the controversial novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (I LOVE HUCK!! If anyone is reading this who is in a position to do so, please direct a new version of Huck Finn... yes, controversial, but a good time for it. Don't be afraid. Don't whitewash the truth about history! Racism & slavery are STILL problems!). Anyway, the assignment was to choose a portion of the text to illustrate cartoon-style.
At one point in the novel, Huck's father, Pap tells Huck that he didn't want to see Huck putting on any frills (i.e., becoming educated and moving upward in the world), as Pap considered 'frills' to be demeaning to him (Pap). In a panel on one assignment, a student had drawn Pap and Huck in the bedroom with Pap yelling, and Huck with a thought balloon over his head. In the thought balloon, Huck was completely befuddled, thinking of himself in a frilly dress, with the word "Frills??" added just in case I missed noticing his word confusion. Getting that assignment before I left for break was such a treat - we had a great laugh about it. Students finding humour in Twain's book while they are being taught the satirical background is fantastic. And they're reminding me that even the smallest things can have a bit of humour, too. Class act.
During the break, I started taking Harlequin on longer walks. We walked along the boulevard, down along the river, and eventually through Birchwood Trails. Before branching out onto the trails, I took him for a walk on our street. Last fall, I walked him on this route all the time. We were once nearly attacked by an angry black and brown striped dog that looked kind of like the one shown here. It was brought up short by the heavy chain around its neck, which secured it firmly to the tree in the front yard where it lived. There was also a lady in the yard who promptly yelled at the dog, and the dog watched us for awhile, and then Tiger Dog settled down. Scary stuff.
This time around, though, the Angry Striped-like-a-Tiger Dog was not firmly secured to anything except its own four legs. And those four short legs moved FAST. When I got near the corner of the street, I noticed that the guy ahead of us crossed the street before getting to her house. ALERT ALERT. So I tried to look at the tree to see if the heavy chain was moving around, but there was nothing near the tree except the lady who yelled at the dog on the day he tried to run out to 'play' the other time.
Tiger Tiger Burning Bright saw me at the same time I saw him. It was like in a movie, in a super slo-mo scene. He walked out from behind the tree just as I looked in that direction, and for a split second we just looked at each other, and then Mr Harlequin Fluffy-Chew-Toy must have caught the Angry Dog's eye.
And that bad boy came barreling across his lawn as fast as those legs could carry him. He might have barked once, maybe not. It seemed kind of like I was underwater, but I just kind of crouched down, scooped up Harley, and stood back up. It actually happened pretty quickly. It's a good thing H was right next to me. I didn't break eye contact once with the Tiger, and I was beyond terrified.
I've always heard that you should not fight an animal to save your pet, or something to that effect. I remember thinking that exact thought, but my body didn't do that, and my brain didn't agree anyway. I actually remember thinking that. I think maybe crouching and then standing, and staring him down, maybe made the dog think I was on a savage rampage (?), I don't know. He did turn away and put his head down just a little when he couldn't get H, but he didn't leave until the lady yelled at him a couple of times.
And I just kept staring him down.
I couldn't say a word. There were no words, no coherent thought - not one word.
Much to Harley's credit, he is as dense as a bag of hammers, so he didn't realize anything was happening. He sat in my arms like a fluffy teddy bear as I pulled him up and away from the Tiger Dog who would like to toss him around like a chew toy. Ol' Stuffing-for-Brains didn't know that, though. All he cared about was being outside.
The dog went back to his yard, and I went back on my route, but I didn't let H down until we were well on our way. I didn't need any sneak attacks. I bet Tiger Tiger Burning Bright was wondering why he didn't get the white fluffy teddy bear toy since he was such a good boy.
After that, Harley Barley and I stuck to the river walk and then we started in on Birchwood Trails. Harley prances when there is mud on the ground, so he needs to get used to being in the dirt more. The trails are good for him.
We have met quite the characters on the Snye. One day, one guy introduced himself and asked if Harley would bite. "I can't say for sure," I told him, "Harley does what he wants." I didn't lie. To this, he said, "Well, I have a pitbull. He's a nice dog. I take good care of him. You take good care of your guy, too." And I said, "Yeah, Harley's been chased by a pitbull once or twice in his little life." *sigh*
Another guy, when passing by, said, "Hey girls, you're out walking Fluffy, eh?" Poor dog, it's hard to get any respect when you look like a furry marshmallow.
In that respect, Harley kind of looks rather girly, and his habit of putting his entire penis inside his own belly by accident does not help matters. Yes, he did it again. I took Cookie Monster away from him. He got mad. I put it on the bathroom sink, so he couldn't get it. He sat by the counter and stared at Cookie. I told him off and threw Cookie in the bathtub. Harley went over, stood up and peered into the tub until I turned the light off in the bathroom and he couldn't see anymore. Now, if I say 'Cookie Monster' his head whips around to see where Cookie is. He is obsessed.
In addition to trying to get rid of the monster, I also started 'de-hoarding' my house. Over break, I sold 6 boxes of books and donated 3 bags of clothes, and threw away 3 more that were absolutely useless. I then managed to get rid of about 4 bags of trash. And that's just scratching the surface. I've accumulated a lot of stuff. I'm going minimalist. I'm claustrophobic in my own life.
I haven't worked out since Monday of this week but I did go 3 times last week. Monday was one of the hardest times I have ever worked out. I thought I was going to pass out but I kept at it. Spin is now officially over for TriClub, but we are going to join Holly's class on Tuesday nights so we can keep doing it. We can't just stop going on our little trips that easily!!
Speaking of, Jenny and I still have to plan our trip to LA. We have been so busy with our upcoming production that we hardly have time to do anything else. It's work, extracurricular, TryClub, sleep, repeat. Throw in some food, and there you have our lives. With the exception of writing, coffee/tea, incessant b!tching (whether at us :P or to each other :D ), grading, and sometimes going out for supper or shows with friends, life is pretty hectic with our work/volunteer schedules.
I received some mail by FedEx yesterday. Before getting it, I wasn't sure exactly what it was because I couldn't remember buying anything. I half hoped someone sent me a pair of Louboutins for a surprise. That would have been fantastic. One can only hope. But this piece of mail did not contain shoes.
However, I did in fact order a present for Mother's Day, which will have to be written about after my mother gets it. While my mother is not a net junkie, she may receive news via friends who are in the know. Sorry, Mom-Friends, you are in the dark until she receives it.
And as for daisies, I just love 'em. Any day on this side of the daisies is a good one, I guess. No real reason to say it, just givin' you somethin' to talk about. As long as my name is on the tip of your tongue, my popularity is on the rise. ;)
"You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies." (the social network)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Try-Athletes": Strip Club

I looked down, and there was blood everywhere... & I didn't know what to do.
I got to TriClub tonite and Brent had saved my bike, because of course, I was running late. I was so busy writing about my love of Louboutins that I barely had time to gulp down a spoonful of chicken pot pie before I could get dressed and drive to MacIsland. So I stuffed my feet into my shoes and chatted with Kirsten for a bit, as we both wondered where Lisa was, and then we hopped onto our bikes.
We started stretching and we were worried a bit about Brent because he was pretty quiet. It turned out he was feeling barfy, but at the time, we weren't sure if he was concentrating on rev'ing up for a big race or just ignoring us. We couldn't tell.
Holly asked where my partner in crime was... I told her "JENNY!" was on the East Coast, partying it up (with Marlene, no doubt... probably getting kicked out of WalMart or something. Marlene, if you are reading this, you better settle down!)
Before long, we were off to the races. We were working our butts off! Kirsten said she was itchy, right away. That's because the blood starts rushing to the top of her skin as soon as she starts working out. That's what makes her itchy, it has to be, plus all the sweat draining out of her pores.
She also looked like she went on a bit of an acid trip, because her eyes got kind of round and bright, so I guess things were alright on her end. She is doing well with the whole TriClub business.
We were doing one of our 'Stand up and sprint on gear 12' businesses when I looked down and noticed that my left hand was covered in blood.
And my world kind of stood still for a second.
I always wondered what I would do if something like this happened... if something totally odd happened at Spin/Swim, would you stop and take care of it? I wondered about vomiting, or falling off my bike but bleeding never crossed my mind.
"Nobody makes me bleed my own blood!" as Zoolander would say.
Seriously, though, I was bleeding.
I kind of stopped for a moment, then I put my hands back on the handlebars, then I kept pedaling.
And Kirsten said, "Oh my God, Terri, you're bleeding!"
"Yeah, I know. I wonder why I'm bleeding." Then I stopped pedaling again, and looked at my hand. I actually couldn't figure out why I was bleeding, where I was bleeding from, or when I had started bleeding. Most of the blood on my hand was dry.
Meanwhile, Holly kept the class up to speed, while my dazed and confused brain tried to figure out what to do.
I'm not afraid of blood. I could wade around in blood and not worry about it. I was dazed because I didn't know what to do about it - was I supposed to stop and clean my hand or just keep going and not interrupt the class?
What was the etiquette here?
If I was home, I would just go clean my hand, and get back on the bike. If I was at a friend's, I would do the same.
But I was at a class at MacIsland. Thank God there weren't a lot of people there. Kirsten said, "I have some hand sanitizer in my bag!"
Well, that made sense to me - keep the whole thing as quiet as possible. Plus, sanitizer kills germs. That would kill any germs on me and on the bike, right?
Never mind that I had a bottle of water and a face-cloth with me, right there ON THE BIKE.AS IN, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.
With a bloody left hand, I stared at Kirsten, and told her I couldn't touch her bag with a bloody hand, and she said, "Whatever, I probably have whatever you have, anyway!"
Fair enough - I got the hand sanitizer.
Hand sanitizer in an open cut hurts - a lot.
I have a big gouge in my finger. I don't know where it came from, only that it happened when I got on the bike. It took me a bit of time to clean it, too, using hand sanitizer and water. I biked for a long time afterward and I had to put pressure on that gouged finger to make it stop bleeding.
We checked afterwards but couldn't find anything on the bike that was sharp. Very, very strange. I had no idea that I could do that on a bike. In the 3 months I have been going there, I have never cut myself on a rubber handlebar of a Spin bike. First time for everything, I suppose.
Lesson: if something odd happens to you while on the bike, get off the bike and take care of business.
When I got back on the bike after all of that, I noticed that people were sweating profusely from the tough workout Holly was giving them. Well, I was sweating profusely, too, but that was mainly due to the hand sanitizer seeping into my blood stream. That stinging bit of pleasantry made me overheat just a little bit.
But it's all good. It kept me on my toes.
The other sweaty people started throwing off their clothes, though, so with all those clothes flying around, I felt like I was in the midst of strippers. Tri Club just turned into Strip Club! sTRIppers Gone Wild! I wanted to throw off all my clothes, too, because I was pretty hot, but I had nothing else to take off. If I took off anything else, it would have been a bad scene for everyone. The party would have stopped. I can just hear the sound the old record players used to make when the record ended and the little arm would come off the record to indicate that it was time to flip the record - game over.
Kirsten told me that she brought an extra pair of pants tonite just in case she ripped her first pair. You have to see K - she is a tiny little sprig of a girl, first of all, so I am not sure why she is worried about ripping the guts out of her pants. But sure enough, the extra pants were in the bag, along with the hand sanitizer. She said earlier, when she was getting ready, she had put on a pair of shorts for running, and the arse was ripped in them, so she didn't want to take any chances (there was no warning of not putting this in the blog, K, so I thought it was fair game :-P ). For the record, I don't know if she busted the arse out of the shorts while putting them on, or if it was a pre-bust kind of deal. Just sayin'.
* I have a friend, who will remain unnamed, who just started a book-club and has left her very first book-club book in a bar. She didn't read it yet, just accidently (?) left it there. I think that is priceless. That actually makes me happy, even though I am not sure why - I think it is the humour of the situation - there are too many grave things in this world... let's lighten up a bit.
I'm selling all my books tomorrow, in fact. I don't read them anymore... time to pass them on. That's how I'm lightening up... I've figured out what I want to do, and what my short term plans are.
-> making better meal plans - in progress
-> walking Harley everyday - in progress
-> de-hoarding the house - in progress
-> finishing the show - in progress
-> making a plan to get on my feet for running - in progress
I started researching a lot of stuff for running. It's going to be a slow process for me. There is a lot of info out there about running - it's not just: start running & it'll work itself out... I'm already making mistakes and I've only ran a few laps. No wonder I'm hurting myself. I'm doing it wrong. Yeah, you can run wrong. Some stuff I'm doing right - like, I run with a midstrike / frontstrike - I don't hit with my heels, which is good... but I have always been better barefeet, so I might do better if I had minimalist shoes rather than the ones I bought, the strong support ones, which is what I thought I needed. We'll see about it.
I'm going to buy another bike for this summer so I can do some regular biking around town. It won't be TriClub biking - those guys are too hardcore for me, yet. But I'll keep up the Spin class stuff and probably join a yoga class. Maybe I'll join a 'Learn to Run' class.
Yeah, I know what I am doing.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Falling in Love

I fall in love pretty easily. Head over heels, just like that *snap fingers*...
I was online a couple of days ago, it may have been yesterday, I don't know - my heart was broken so the time has begun to mash together...
I'm a bit of a fetishist for accessories. You wouldn't say it to see me, because I don't wear them, but I'm like a rat or crow for those shiny, beautiful things... I love shoes and bags and stuff. I love the artistry and design of 'things.' And it's not just accessories - it could be a nice jacket, or skirt, or whatever. I just like things that are well put together. It's ART. I like to look at them. They're pretty.
So along comes the Louboutin website. Check out the red shoes - the 'Devalavi'. I want to wear them. I want to put them on my feet and look at them all day.
Check out the blue and white shoes - the 'Double Noeud'... how pretty would they be at a picnic? They are even beautiful in brown.
And last but not least, the other shoes, the '3 Fibbia'... my little lovelies. Seeing these makes my heart soar. I'm sure little kids get excited about unicorns the same way I get excited about these shoes.
So I went on eBay. If you know about Louboutins, they are pricey. As in, $1000-$2000/pair.
I bid on a pair of Louboutins... going for a much discounted price... I was the highest bidder.... I went to bed at 5am... and got an email in the morning saying the item was removed because it was suspected to be counterfeit. I suspect it was suspected counterfeit because the outbidded party was really upset about being outbid.
And my heart was a little bit broken.
I love holidays. I can't wait until summer break. I don't even know what I will do with myself. I would like a front porch, lots of long days, some tea, a nice fenced front yard and a computer. Looks like I might be writing.
I'm on twitter: TeresinaBenoit. I haven't written anything yet, but I'm there. I have to think of something good to be my first post - can't throw it away.
This is the funniest blog I have read in awhile:
Harley loves the daily walks but gets tired after an hour or so. He tries to get up, which is funny. He is like a kid.
And now I am off to the workout races to pedal my arse off just a little bit more.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Try-Athletes": Guess Who's Back?

... back again... Holly's back... back for Spin!

I thought I was heading down to MacIsland for a grueling night of negotiations again, and figured this time, my luck would probably run out, but the girl is back in town, the girl is back in town!

And she made us work, too.

Jenny said this was the hardest she ever worked, until I reminded her how hard the first week was. Then she re-evaluated her situation and amended her statement. This was the second hardest time she ever worked at Spin, she decided.

I got out of rehearsal late and had to "dirty boot'er" home, as Jenny likes to say. I think this means "go quickly" in Nova Scotia language. I am from Newfoundland and we use "boot'er" to mean "go somewhere" and this also can mean you are going somewhere relatively quickly, so I guess adding "dirty" at the beginning means you are going at supersonic speed, or something.

I drove home as quickly as I could, given the speed limit and road conditions, since it is winter again in Fort McMurray. Yes, it is April 11, and just 26 hours before, I was out in shirtsleeves, taking my dog for a walk, so it was quite warm the day before. But when I drove home, there was snow on the ground and people were whipping around like maniacs. And I may or may not have been one of them.

I got into the house at 6:10. I threw a frozen M&M chicken breast into the microwave and set it to defrost for 5 minutes. I ran into my bedroom, changed clothes, and came out to put the chicken to cook for 2 minutes. I ran back to the bedroom, put in contacts, ran back to flip the chicken for another 2 minutes and get Harley his chicken dinner. I grabbed everything else I needed and was off to the kitchen again.

I ate like a seagull, as my grandfather would have said. There was no real chewing involved, more like huge gulps of hot chicken, and I'm not 100% sure that it was fully cooked but I'm not dead yet so it might have been ok. I did have some pain in my abdomen on the bike, but more about that later.

I grabbed water and was out the door in a shot, leaving the house at 6:26... not bad - I saw Harley for less than 16 minutes in the last 13 hours. I'm such a good Mama. No wonder he humps everything.

I drove downtown and soon got stuck behind someone who was trying to turn left by the bank next to Earl's on the way down to Franklin. Seriously, people... when traffic is heavy, turn left at the lights on Franklin and then backtrack around. Otherwise, you hold up traffic right to the highway because the Franklin traffic doesn't care that your one lonely vehicle is trying to cross two bustling lanes of traffic. Use common sense, and stop holding up traffic. So I went around all this traffic because my patience was wearing thin.

I got to MacIsland and chatted wth Kirsten, Brent and Nancy. Then Jenny arrived and we all had a yarn. That means "chat" in Newfie-speak. I figured I threw in some Nova Scotian lingo so I may as well even out the East Coast terminology somewhat. I don't really know anything particular to use from PEI or NB, though, unless you want me to talk about potatoes, Anne of Green Gables, the Acadians or the Miramichi.

Lisa showed up and got out her hardcore Athlete Gear. She has all this because she actually used to be an Athlete. So she just busted out all of her old stuff, whereas we wear stuff from WalMart and just sweat out all the MacDonalds and pizza and chicken wings and donuts. Whatever, our arses are there.

Jenny said she started acid-trippin' right away. She said after awhile her vag was busted so badly that it felt like it was turned inside out. She is worse than Harley and his turned-inside-in penis.

Kirsten seemed pretty happy to be there. She had a smile on the whole time. I think she enjoys it, and her facebook status said afterward, "I am a tri-club rock star. Our crew is awesome. Just sayin'." So I think it is going well from her perspective. That is good - not everyone likes it enough to stick with it.

I didn't find it that difficult on the bikes, although we were givin'er (now THAT's the Newfie term) for over an hour. It was hard... make no mistake about that. The song Sandstorm will forever remind me of two things: (1) the 2010 grad: the kids had a lack of voter turn-out and it nearly ended up as their grad song, and (2) biking on the Spin Bike when Kirsten got the giggles and Holly made everyone go up a gear because, as Holly said, "If you can laugh, you're not working hard enough!"
Sandstorm stresses me out because it means business: I think cadavers would get amped on Sandstorm.

Check it out:

Jenny went to get water and came back, and effectively started her bike over, just as she always does, because her bike is possessed. It constantly flicks through the gears (although it stays in the right gear, the number just doesn't register on the little screen properly), nor does it give the kms correctly. It always flicks back and forth on her numbers. So we could be biking an hour, and Jenny might have 'biked' 4km. Meanwhile, she has voyaged halfway around the world and back, and her intestines are hanging out on the floor.

Kirsten said she is going to do the 'Try the Tri.' This actually looks perfect for us when you see it in print. We won't be ready for this year's TtT, but Kirsten has / had it in her head that she will be, so she is game. Jenny and Lisa asked her if she had her bike ready, and she smugly replied, "You don't need a bike. It's at MacIsland. Where are you going to ride it - around the library?" She obviously thought they were going to use the Spin Bikes. Oh no, they made it clear: there is going to be a track outside for the TtT. That's a different story, then.

Jenny of course, had to make fun of her, and of course, I had to join in, and Lisa had to laugh. Jenny said she could just see Kirsten now, with her little tricycle (TRIcycle), streamers blowing from the handlebars, little bell ringing, beads on the spokes and all. That would be perfect.

After nearly 65 minutes on the bike, I had completed 20km (I know that's not much after 65 minutes, but give me a break here) and I felt like I had legs of lead. I actually started to hallucinate through some of it, and when I was looking around I was wondering why I was seeing so many bright colours. I snapped out of it a bit and realized it was because so many people wear bright shirts. It's like a kaleidoscope of flowery brightness in there sometimes.

I started to get a pain in my side and I was wondering if the chicken might have been uncooked, but then I realized that food poisoning might take a little longer to set in. But then I wondered if vigorous activity would make it happen faster, and I wasn't sure. Then my knees started to give out. Then Jenny said she thought she had lung cancer because she found it so hard to breathe, and that maybe I had knee cancer, and she got mad at me because she said I put too much pressure on my knees with the bike.

Holly basically told me to shut up.

Sweet Lord Almighty.

At about 8pm, people were starting to leave in droves. I told Jenny I thought the gym was closed and she started laughing so hard, I thought Holly was going to come over and knock us out. So I turned away from her and pretended I didn't notice her laughing her arse off. If she gets caught, fine, but I'm having no part of it. I'll choke myself before I make everybody work harder - I don't know if they would kill me or shake my hand. I can't really tell with that crowd. If they want to work harder, well then I will raise a little hell back there.

We were supposed to go for a run and Jenny and Kirsten took off but Nancy and I got to chatting and ended up walking. Then we did stretches and core stuff. It's all good.

I think it's nice to switch up Coaches once in awhile - the same way as it's good to switch up teachers - it doesn't hurt to get new perspectives and change is good. It keeps you on your toes.

So Holly, welcome back :)