A Delicious Thrill

The delicious thrill of receiving a customer survey from an organization that wronged you is so sweet.

About a month ago I attempted to pay and renew a particular subscription service well before the renewal date. The website appeared to be having issues as the result was the little spinner for a fairly long period of time followed by what appeared to be success. A day or so later, I noticed that the payment appeared to have been processed three times on my credit card. I didn’t have time at that moment to deal with that, so I put it aside and then of course, forgot about it completely. Until I received a notice that I had been cancelled due to lack of payment and to reinstate myself I had to come appear in person and pay a late fee. Bitch, please..

I research with my credit card company and they say, yes, it went through three times and three reversals were put through. I needed the service, so I went in and I paid the late fee because the hapless clerk said there was nothing she could do. Since it wasn’t her fault, I paid it. So I contact customer support and tell them my story. Their response was: you have to come in and pay to renew. So I respond again and say I have already done that, what I want you to do is refund the late fee because I did pay before the deadline, but you reversed it, three times. I don’t think I should be penalized because your website was having a glitch on that particular day. No response. The late fee is $22. How much time do I really want to spend just because I’m in the right?  But now I have not one, but two different surveys to fill out, one for each time I contacted them. So yes, I’m going to enjoy this, with no expectation of ever seeing my $22.

(also, I received surveys from about 5 different companies yesterday. What is up with that?)

Gym Locker Grifter

Every Tuesday, I decide I AM going to the 6pm spin class tonight! I AM! Tuesday nights fits my schedule. Sure it’s the teacher whose music I don’t like the best and he does lots of hills, but I’d prefer hills to tons of sprints. I hate sprints, I’m not a sprinter. Anyway, my intentions are always good on Tuesday night, but the stars of my commute must align for me to get to the gym in time (let’s not forget I have to park, not always a guaranteed spot with the post new year’s resolutioners still crowding the gym, get to the locker room, change, and get up to the spin room well in advance of 6pm or there won’t be any bikes left).

But last night…. the angels sang and all that happened. I even had time to go to the bathroom. As I was walking out of the locker room, I thought: did I put the lock on my locker? I return quickly to check and… there is a silver lock on my locker. Oh no.

Background on my insanity: a couple of years ago, I lost my gym lock. I searched high and low and could find it anywhere. I bought a new gym lock in hot pink. I can be seen from space. Also, easy to find when scanning the lockers because you can remember which one you put your stuff in. The combination to the hot pink lock is burned into my memory by use of a movie title with two of the combination numbers in it. The pink lock and I have happily been locking things up together all this time. About a year ago, I found in the way back of a closet my old gym bag and way down deep, in some unknown pocket was my old silver gym lock. So that is where you were all this time! I happily put it into my new gym bag as a backup, in case hot pink gym lock and I ever suffer a separation. I kept the combination on a note on my phone, just in case.

So here I was looking at my locker, locked with the silver lock and me with the following in my hands: water bottle and spin shoes. What do I not have, my phone. What is the combo? I have no idea. I haven’t used this lock in close to three years. What possessed me to grab this one in stead of my sweet girl, hot pink lock? I try a few combos. Nothing. I think it’s something like.. X Y Z. It’s not. Eventually, I know I am close because the lock feels close to opening. I look around at others in the locker room. Do they think I’m trying to break in to this locker? Am I a locker thief? No one is paying any attention to me. I continue on for a few minutes. Eventually, I must admit… I don’t know the combination. What I think it is isn’t it. Do I go to spin and return to deal with this all sweaty (because I sweat in spin, yo. Oh do I sweat in spin)? Will I be worried the entire time about this? My keys! My wallet! My PHONE.

I don’t think I can deal. So I approach the front desk. Surely something like this has happened before. It must be common place because they say they will send a woman to the locker room to help. This older woman appears with a tool which I don’t know the name of, but are, in effect, giant scissors. I guess we’re just going to cut the lock off. Ok. But do you just cut the lock off any locker that anyone happens to tell you is theirs?  I could be a crazy gym locker thief! Now, I’m not and I’ve been going to this gym forever, so they know me, but who knows, perhaps I’ve become a grifter. A gym locker grifter. Imagine returning to your gym locker and the lock has been cut off and all your stuff gone? The woman turns to me and says ‘you have to be very strong to cut the lock, I’m not sure if I can do it. Maybe you can’. Ok, I’m game. The gym locker grifter is going to cut her own lock. It’s is quite difficult, but I did do it. Is there any check that this is actually my stuff? No. She actually apologized to me that the lock was ruined. No need for apologies, this 100% my fault.

But now I know the combo to that lock: 12-36-24. So easy, all multiples of 12.

So Many Ideas, So Little Time

Last night I watched Jane Austen Book Club, the movie. “Jane Austen is the perfect anecdote… to life!”, Bernadette declares in the films in which six people take on reading each of Austen’s six novels, one for each person. I love this premise so much and immediately want to take on the same project, re-reading all of Austen (though in truth, I’m not sure I’ve read Northanger Abby. I think I just think I have, I must have at some point, right? But I thought the same thing about Middlemarch a few years ago, and discovered that no.. I was sadly wrong. So perhaps I have a treat left out there for me). I own all the books, some I own multiple copies of, beautiful editions that make me smile at my bookshelves. Why not? Sadly, I also wanted to take on this project when I first saw the movie about ten years (ten!) ago, and it’s yet to happen.  Desire to do is not the same thing as doing. What a sad, sad statement. Will I actually do it? Who knows. I’ve got 250 pages left of my current book club book, then the book my friend lent me, unprovoked, and now there is pressure for me to read it, the audio book I’m in the middle of, the library book I put aside when I decided to listen to the audio book on whim because an author I loved raved about it, and then my whole other TBR, an unspeakable number long to which I just added the Ursula LeGuin novel recommended in the Jane Austen Book Club, which compete with making six Jane Austen novels my next thing.

I am the sort of person who comes up with these great projects, gets excited about them, but then they languish. I just over the weekend completed a project I started over a year ago to frame and hang up some photography to jazz up a bare wall. Why can’t I just decide on a project, do it, and move on to the next rather than attempting five projects at once and making little progress on each, until some just whither away? I know that focus on something is how to will something into life. I just can’t stand to let some ideas die away, or have to be put on the back burner, but in doing so, most of them end up on the warmer burner where they slowly burn and have to be thrown away (ugh, that was horrible, sorry). Yet, the thrill of completing things and the process of doing so (for you journey is the destination folks) is so lovely. I need to commit to projects and see them through. I don’t know if it will be re-reading Jane Austen because I want to prioritize first.

How do you decide how to spend your free time? What tools, if any, do you use to keep track of all your ideas?

Up with the sun, Gone with the wind

I have always had trouble getting up in the morning. Left to my own devices, I would stay up late and get up late, but that isn’t the way our society or my life works. So the battle to be awake is fought each morning. Recently, I discovered a new kind of alarm clock (well, it may not be new, but it’s new to me). Rather than a screeching, jarring, hateful sound jerking you awake at a prescribed time, and taking years off your life, uses light, dim at first, but getting increasingly bright until the time of your alarm. It eases you into your day, like the sun does.

The experience is so lovely. Slowly waking rather than terrified out of slumber. Genius, right? Yes, and also something that occurred for millions of years before electricity and an entire sector of society whose job it is to create and develop products which we may or may not need. How innovative, working with your bodies natural response to stimuli. It seemed so obvious, I began to wonder why we been waking up any other way all this time. Why are we fighting nature when whatever you believe, that it’s a perfect design or has evolved to this place, nature works. Literally for all of time, nature has worked. Why do we make things harder than they have to be?  How can we start making things work for us rather than against us?

Not Even Close to Normal

I can see from my site stats that people like when I talk about my Whole 30 experience, but I can’t do that today because:

In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

 

I feel as if people aren’t as shocked as they should be. Basically this says that the President of the United States was (is?) under investigation for being an asset of a foreign government. I’m sure many people have long assumed this to be true, but to see it out there in print. It’s stupefying, even in Trump adjusted terms. And we all just go about our business. It’s like on September 11 around 9:30, we’d all kind of figured out what was going on, but my office hadn’t told us we could leave, so we were all sitting at our desks. I remember saying to my co-worker: are we supposed to sit here like this is normal day?  I have to hope that somewhere someone is working to do something about this. Maybe it’s Mueller, maybe it’s people in Congress. But this can’t stand. It really can’t stand. It brings into doubt everything about the United States and what it stand for.

Side note for any conservative readers I may have. I respect your views. We should have a respectful debate on these things. My perspective is you can live your life however you want, but you don’t get to impose it on everyone else, but I can have that conversation. However, this is not your guy. This is not the person you want pushing your views. He’s corrupt, he’s awful, he has no empathy. He’s dangerous. Find someone who does it because they are a believer, not someone for sale to the highest bidder.

Fold This!

Last night I folded shirts, Marie Kondo style, while simultaneously watching Hoarders. Both had the desired effect of making me feel better about myself. So much better! I’m organized! I can see all the shirts in the drawer! Also, I don’t have black mold, nor have ever approached the level of mess and unsanitary destruction in a hoarders home (sometimes they find dead animals among all the stuff). Folding shirts this way was strangely soothing. Though it took longer, it made me feel like I was really caring for the shirts. It also made painfully clear which of the shirts did not deserve this treatment and could possibly be donated. Sure, in Marie’s process you should have discovered that the shirt doesn’t spark joy before you started folding, and she also says to go through the process big bang style, not one drawer at a time, but I do what I want and what I have time for. Small things can improve your day.

Later I’ll tackle the table which seems to have become storage for junk mail and other things that have no home. Everything needs a home, Marie Kondo would tell you. So it shall be.

 

Starting a New Exercise Routine?

Ever year the gym is crowded with new year’s resolution-ers, people who want to change and be healthy who use the start of the new year as their kick start. Here is my pro tip:

Find the exercise that you like, that works for you that makes you want to go. 

You don’t have to do what your friends do or what you see on tv or what your favorite celebrity’s routine is. Just get moving and if you try something and don’t like it, don’t do it. You will find what works for you. Your body wants to move. It wants to be healthy. If you have signed up for a gym with all the classes and equipment, try them all until you find something. Don’t be afraid of looking dumb in a class because you’re new. Everyone was new once and they remember what that was like. Also no one is paying attention to what you do. Everyone is looking at themselves in the mirror, not you. If some gym rat does cop an attitude, fuck them, they are an asshole. Assholes are everywhere, what are you going to do? Why should you not become healthier because of some asshole? So get out there and Zumba, spin, walk, run, use the elliptical, take Step, lift weights, bike, take yoga, play basketball, play soccer, swim, dance, kick-box or whatever makes you happy. Stick with it. You will not regret it.

(obviously I’m not a doctor, so if there are any medical issues or concerns, check with your doctor first!)

 

Three Quarters 30 – 1 week in

I made it through one week of my Three Quarters 30. Whoop Whoop!

fireworks

Photo by ViTalko on Pexels.com

The sugar hangovers are gone and I feel good. I even feel what I called a little de-puffed, which means some of my post-holiday bloat has receded. It’s all good news except for the one nagging cheat I had. Over the weekend, I met a friend for a movie, then we grabbed a bite. This particular friend is the type of person who has a hard time with people who don’t do things the way she does them. She loves meat. I am a vegan. On the surface, she is supportive, but she acts a little put off by what I order. She once told me she feels guilty eating meat in front of vegetarians, so perhaps it is a dislike of having her choices curtailed, though I assured her she should eat whatever she wants.

So the thought of explain to her that I am both vegan and doing the Three Quarters 30, which in practice means there are very few options in restaurants, was just not something I wanted to do. So I decided to just try to find something on the menu that would work for me. Which was all fine except we had gone to a craft brewery. She was waxing on and on about them making their own beers there and how good they were the entire time we were looking at the menu. If I told her I wasn’t drinking, I know she wouldn’t want to drink, either and she clearly was excited about it. So I ordered the smallest beer with the lowest alcohol content. Go along to get along, right? But I feel guilty. I cheated on myself. Of course all of it is my own fault. Possibly if I had told her about Three Quarters 30 outside of deciding on this movie, it wouldn’t have been an issue. I should really try to avoid eating out entirely for the duration, it’s so difficult. But I didn’t, and now I have to live with the choice I made. But, all you can do is get up, start again and be better today.

A National Emergency

I’m really not sure how we got to a place where our leader is threatening a national emergency (it’s not) because he isn’t getting his way from Congress. Well, I do know, what I really don’t know is why no one has stopped him. The checks and balances found in three branches of government only work if there isn’t corruption in the system. Someone has figured out how to jigger the system, and exposed a weakness in our society, that we will turn on each other if we don’t all get what we want exactly when we want it. It’s not a pretty site.

If there is a national emergency, then he should declare it. Holding such a threat over the heads of people having budget negotiations is just a tactic. People’s livelihoods shouldn’t  be a tactic. Having a functioning government shouldn’t be a tactic. Our security shouldn’t be a tactic. We can’t be governed by a person that uses threats just to get his way. Look at some of the things a President can do when an emergency is declared, per The Atlantic:

 

“the president can, with the flick of his pen, activate laws allowing him to shut down many kinds of electronic communications inside the United States or freeze Americans’ bank accounts. Other powers are available even without a declaration of emergency, including laws that allow the president to deploy troops inside the country to subdue domestic unrest.”

 

All of that is scary in the hands of our current president (and by the way all of that happened in The Handmaid’s Tale), but that that last one… whoa. Let’s say people protested a ridiculous emergency declaration. He could basically declare marital law and impose his will. I know I sound like I’m wearing a tin foil hat. The rule allowing a president to declare an emergency assumes that the person will act accordingly, in the best interest of the country. Nothing about our president’s behavior tells me this is the case here and I find it very disturbing.