Thursday, January 27, 2011

A new set of gym rats.

I let my membership at the Old Lady Gym run out while I was away.  And when I came back I didn't have any money to re-up.  I made half-hearted attempts at exercise on my own - like brisk strolls around my complex and doing arm-toning exercises I found online - but let's get real - with my pajamas and couch in such close proximity, that wasn't going to work.  So I found a really cheap gym in the area (Thanks, Taryn!  I mentioned your name.) and signed up after work today and came home and put on my Flash Dance shirt and leg warmers and sweat band and headed back for a real workout.  One that did not end with me giving up after 10 minutes to go pour myself a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles.

Now, the Old Lady Gym wasn't restricted to just the 80 and over crowd but it was restrict to just women. So I haven't worked out with men in a while which means that I had forgotten one important aspect of it:  Men are weight hogs.  I could barely find a free set or machine to work with.  And they like to make big shows out of it with lots of grunting and veins bulging out of their beet-red faces. I imagine a hernia is a badge of honor for them.  Gone are the days of the Old Lady Gym where the weight room was more like a living room with uncomfortable furniture.  The elderly would gather around and gab about the cruises they'd been on and what nonsense their grandkids were up to while occasionally hoisting a 2 pound weight above their head.  I'll miss those gals.  I'll miss always being able to get on the leg press machine and listening to them shoot the breeze about support hose.  But I'm sure there's plenty of entertainment at the new place.  I mean, while certainly not anything to laugh out loud over, there is something inherently funny about a hernia.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My bathrobe is my boyfriend

Were it socially acceptable to marry an article of clothing I would take my pink bathrobe to a Dodger game and in between the 5th and 6th inning the camera would zoom in on us on the jumbo-tron and I'd turn to it and say, "Pink bathrobe, will you marry me?" and it would just sit there, because it's a bathrobe.  But in my heart I know that it would say yes.  Because there are times when I feel like the only thing that really gets me, and loves me, and understands that sometimes I just need to curl up and sigh deeply is my pink bathrobe.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

No Pants Friday!

1.)  Remember how I was complaining a few weeks ago about how cold it was (50 degrees at noon.  APOCALYPSE NOW!)   Well, the reason why I complain is because I generally live in what we're experiencing right now.  75 in January.  Beach weather in the dead of winter.  I buried my feet in the warm sand after enjoying tacos for lunch.  I was chatting with Amanda, who lives in the Frozen North, and she told me that it was -16 the other day.  And that wasn't even factoring in the wind chill.  Don't be jealous, Good People of the Frozen North.  We've all made our choices.

2.)  Camille and I drove past our alma mater - dear old Chino High School - as the kids were getting out and noticed that it was No Pants Friday.  Because every girl we saw was wearing what looked to be a pair of underwear disguised as shorts.  Coupled with a pair of knee high boots.  Keeping it classy, kids!

3.)  Grammar Confession:  I struggle with passed vs. past.  In the sentence above, when I wrote, "Camille and I drove past our alma mater" I originally used "passed" and then had to look it up to see if it was right or not.  It was not, but now I think I have the rule down.  And I'm that much closer to being an insufferable bore.

4.)  It's that time of year again.  Book recommendation time!!!!  Please tell me what your favorite books of 2010 were.  And you don't have to limit yourself to just one.  Mine:  The Grave Yard Book, The Hunger Games series, These is My Words, The Book Thief, Run, and, despite it's ridiculous title, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I will leave the cling wrap at home

You may recall how I went up to my church's young women's camp last summer as a cook.  Well, I think my enthusiasm for the whole enterprise has gotten me into a bit of trouble because I was asked to be the stake camp specialist.  To quote Camille, "The Upland Stake won't know what hit them."

Boy, is this true.  Because I have been known to start pillow fights in the middle of the night at camp.  And I don't know how appropriate that would be for a specialist to instigate.

Other ideas I'm going to have to suppress:

Food fight!!!
Let's put cling wrap on all the toilet seats!!
First girl to fall asleep gets her bra up the flag pole!!

Ideas I won't be suppressing:

Let's braid our hair tonight and make tomorrow Afro Day!
Dance party!
Snow cone machine!

I have always had a difficult time with finding a good balance between responsible adult and circus clown.  We'll see how this plays out.  But I'm pretty excited about it all.  And bonus, I still get to be the Primary president.  Well, bonus in the sense that I love those kids and would be pretty broken up about having to leave them.  I'm in denial about how busy the next 5 months could potentially get.  But it will be fine, right?  I mean, if there's a snow cone machine at the end of it all, it will be worth it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


How many spaces do you put at the end of a sentence?  Two, right?  Because that's what you were taught in typing class*, lo these many years ago.  Every single person I've asked so far (4) has said they put 2 spaces.  Well, there was an article in Slate by Farhad Manjoo who tells us that we're wrong and boy is he annoyed with us.  Typesetting rules dictate only one space.  It sends him into fits of rage when he sees the double space after the period.  So to him I say, "Suck it up ya big baby."  I've seen the documentary Helvetica, which means that I know exactly how ridiculous typesetters and people who care about fonts are.  Some of them will go so far as to equate the Vietnam War and the invasion of Iraq with certain typeface.  You will not believe the outrage they have towards this.  I thought it was pretty funny that people would care so much about a non-issue.  But here's the thing - as I was reading the article I found myself getting all panicky about the thought of not doing a double space.  Typing is one of my better skills and the double space has been such a solid rule to live by that I don't think I could give it up even if I wanted to. And suddenly I'M one of those people who cares.  And for the last 2 days I've been relishing that double space.  Like it's my declaration to the typeface regime that I WILL NOT BOW TO YOUR ELITIST SINGLE SPACE!  Unless, of course, someone wants to publish me, in which case I will simply ask, "Am I bowing low enough?"

*True story:  I took typing - using an actual typewriter, because I'm 80 - during summer school from a young male teacher who wore MC Hammer pants and a Dodger shirt every single day.  It was 1990.  I have no doubt that I daydreamed of Donny Wahlberg.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Four-Way Stop

Four-way stops are easy, right?


Using expertly drawn diagrams I will explain 

1.)  Opposite sides go together, with the left turns yielding to through traffic

Like thus:

2.  Then the other opposite sides go.  (ditto the left turn)

Like thus:

3.  Repeat

4.  If there's just two of you at perpendicular sides the person who got there first gets to go first.

5.  If you got there at the same time then the person on the right goes. 

It's the easiest thing in the world to execute.  Except for those stuck at the intersection of Mountain and Foothill this afternoon around 1.  The signal was out and there was a huge line up of cars on all sides and it was like Thunderdome.  Horns were blaring and fingers were waving and people were sticking their heads out of their cars and saying unfriendly things.  Cars would dart out when it wasn't their turn.  Or they would just sit there when it was.  Pandemonium!

Next weeks traffic lesson:  How to drive 50 mph when the speed limit is 50 mph and not 35 mph.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Is it too much to ask for someone else to fold my clothes?

Dear Wealthy Benefactor,

When you finally show up could you please bring along with you someone who will do my laundry?  Because, oh the drudgery of it all.  I won't go into the details of how I currently have to lug my laundry across the parking lot to the laundry room and pay a dollar a load both for washing and drying.  This will be a non-issue, as the house you get for me will be equipped with a very nice laundry room.  But someone is still going to have to put away all those clothes.  Someone is going to have to fold and iron and hang.  And I'd prefer it if that someone wasn't me.  I just can't bare it.  I don't mind other household chores.  I like to wash dishes.  I don't mind dusting.  I think vacuuming is kind of fun.  Cleaning the bathroom isn't my favorite but even that gives me some sort of satisfaction.  Not so with laundry.  There's something so tedious about an enormous stack of clothes that have to be put away.  The likes of which I am currently facing.  I trick myself into putting clothes away by dumping the entire load onto my bed so I can't get in and hide from it.  It's very effective in that it gets the job done but it also makes me want to cry a little.  So, let's remedy this.  Please put down Personal Laundress after Slurpee Machine on your list of immediate purchases.

Hugs and Kisses,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Also, to be funnier

Hey, remember when I used to be funny?  How I used to regularly post on this blog and we'd all laugh and laugh.  Boy, those were the days, right?  We'll look back on those days with all sorts of nostalgia and sighs and possibly a tear or two.  We'll nestle our grandkids on our laps, feed them some hard candy and say, "Why, when I was a child that blog used to be a riot!" and then they'll roll their eyes and scamper off to throw rocks at the neighbor's cat.  Yes, my friends, those were the days.

So I lose my funny from time to time.  It happens.  And when it does I generally just give you list of things that have happened and you can use your imagination as to how the Funnier Rachel would phase them.  So here it goes:

1.)  I went to see Cyrano de Bergerac last night at a theatre across the street from the Santa Monica airport so every 20 minutes or so a plane would buzz overhead.  And this weekend is the Cable air show which goes on just outside my bedroom window and the planes have been practicing all week.  Which may account for my dream that I had last night that I was stuck in London during the blitz.

2.)  While standing in line last night to pick up our tickets a woman, whose husband was at the ticket window getting theirs came up to me and smiled and said, "Hi!  You're fabulous!"  To which I said, "Thanks."  To which she said, "No really, you're FABULOUS!"  Then she turned to her husband who had finished with the ticket window and said, "Paul, come here and meet my fabulous new friend."  Paul then came over and shook our hands and said, "Yes, fabulous."  Then they both walked away.  They both had long grey hair and wore matching leather jackets.

3.)  Do you read GOOP?  Gwyneth Paltrow's blog?  You should be reading it.  Because it is the most ridiculous thing on the internet. This week she started her newsletter encouraging us to do a 21 day cleanse.  And then she had some of her friends share their New Year's resolutions.  Friends like Jay-Z ("Don't eat french fries every day") and Deepak Chopra  ("Flow") and Valentino ("Wear a helmet while skiing").  My personal favorite came from some guy named Phillip Otto:  "To usher in a new era of global peace, environmental stewardship, and general good vibes through the power of pressed, unpasteurized juice." 

4.)  My New Year's resolution?  To usher in a new era of global peace by learning how to lasso.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chris, you have a few months to make some baby ones.

Remember the dance my sisters and I did for Christmas?  Before we could take our gloves off after we'd finished my mom and aunts all said, "Wait!  We need pictures!" and without any thought or planning or an ounce of hesitation we posed like this:

Because what are we if not jazz-handing maniacs?  This is the very essence of being a Knecht Girl.

So it thrills me to say that Sam and Stacy are adding one more to our ranks.  Wee Baby Knecht Girl will have a lifetime of choreographed dance numbers and bedazzled gloves to look forward to.