Tag Archives: Treadmill

Just don’t do it!

stop symbolAs the writer of possibly one of the few blogs on the internet that openly celebrates the rather maligned state of “being shallow” I have always felt it important to share with those who are interested, how to traverse this one little life of ours on the shallow side of the road. No doubt, those of you who have been with me from the beginning, can recall the helpful life lessons presented in posts like “Forgetting, It’s an Art”, or the entire “Folk Fest” series, not to mention the little gems of advice found in “Shallow People Travel Too”, “Blasts from the Past” and/or “There is such a thing as a free lunch”. But lately I’ve been reconsidering my approach to self-help. Lately I have actually been thinking that there could be some value in sharing with you the things that, as a truly shallow person, I would never think of doing. Because knowing what not to do seems to me to be important too. So here’s a list. Not an exhaustive one but a list just the same.

Buddhist Meditation Classes: It may surprise you that this would be at the top of the list as it probably isn’t something one considers doing each day or even lands upon by happenstance. As a matter of fact, there may not even be an option for this type of learning experience in your place of residence, depending on how large and/or diverse that place may be. But suffice to say that in my hometown there is in fact such a class and one of my dear friends has opted to give it a shot. Don’t ask me why. The mere mention of it brought back long, repressed memories of team bonding exercises, all of us lying on the floor with our eyes shut while some self-appointed new age guru recited, in what can only be described as a “nails on the blackboard” monotone voice, relaxing mantras, cajoling us to conjure up images of where on this earth we would most like to be at that moment in time. For me that answer was easy. Anyplace but here. And while my outside voice responded to my friend’s news with “Good for you. I wonder if I’m free that night” the little voice in my head shrieked “just don’t do it!”

Join a Cult: When I was a kid in the “big city” there was lots of opportunity to pledge allegiance to an almost endless number of street corner deities. While the sales pitches differed, some were happy, some sad, others just plain scary, all welcomed new members with open arms. Looking back I have to admit that while the ones with the long black capes were “de rigueur” in the day, I think I knew in my heart that the whole cult thing really wasn’t for me. And it wasn’t just because this particular group (despite their appealing garb) tended towards what can best be described as “the dark side”, given their fixation on the fella down below. It was because no matter what the choice, whether it be the sun, the moon or the capes, belonging to a cult requires an enormous commitment. I mean all that fundraising, chanting and dancing in the street, well wow! It all takes so much time. And even then, even before I became the “shallow gal”, officially, I knew I wasn’t prepared to get into anything like that. And I was right. Shallow people just don’t do that. They don’t join cults.

Exercise: This one is a little more complicated. It’s not that shallow people don’t do exercise. I mean you know I do. As a matter of fact, I frequently go down to the basement to get on that treadmill of mine while watching a couple of my fav shows on the tube. So this one isn’t so much about “doing or not doing” but more about “why” you’re doing it. You see some people exercise because they know it’s good for them. It’s good for the heart, it’s good for the bones, really it’s pretty much good for all parts of the old bod. Shallow people, on the other hand, exercise to lose weight, plain and simple. You put on a few, you gotta do a little exercise to get ‘em off. So in this case I suppose it’s ok to “do it” just as long as it’s for the right reason.

Write a blog: Oops!

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Things That Irritate Me (Part 2)

carandbikeI made my bed so I’ll have to lay in it. It wasn’t much of a leap really from “stuff I don’t get” to “stuff that irritates me” and clearly I have managed to close that gap. Before I go on though, I have a confession to make. In my last post I believe I may have suggested that I could be “5 foot nothing and just shy of 105 pounds”. Well that’s not exactly the truth as anyone who knows me knows. It’s easy to see that, even in my bare feet I hug 5 feet and two inches. Slightly more problematic though is that “105 pound” thing because what would have been more accurate for me to say is that I would like to be just shy of 105. Which is why I’m back in that basement of mine sweating it out on the treadmill each and every night. Now it’s not being on the treadmill in and of itself that irritates me because, to be honest, it’s not a bad place to do a little thinking. And in some people’s homes it’s also a not a bad place to do a little watching, but not in my place. You see, in my basement there still exists a 27” flat screen TV. I’m not talking LCD, or LED or even Plasma. There’s no HD or surround sound in my basement. Nope, just a 27 inch, CRT flat screen TV which I’m sure you might still recognize if you bumped into one. And when I’m trying to get through that last kilometer for the sole purpose of shedding two (ok maybe three) of my extra pounds, I find watching that TV mildly irritating.

But not as irritating as the times when I’m driving down one of our roads paying close attention to the speed limit because in my city of choice, they have a nasty habit of playing “guess how fast you can go on this block” and I just hate getting my picture taken. Almost without fail, some yahoo (that one took some thinking) in what they think is a hot car, decides I guessed wrong and takes advantage of the opening to whiz past me most often on the inside lane, likely to make sure I’m paying attention. To cement his (well it usually is) superiority, he’ll subsequently cut in front of my car with just inches to spare. Now you and I both know what’s going to happen next because as kids we all read the story about the tortoise and the hare. He’ll weave in and out of the traffic for the next four blocks or so while I carefully make my way along the blacktop, and we’ll both end up spending about a minute and a half waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel to turn green. Which, I am pleased to say, will irritate him way more than it will me.

Before I go there’s just one more “thing” to check off this list of mine and I do so at my own peril. But I’m putting my cards on the table ‘cause this one’s important, so listen up. By now you’re aware I have a deep seated belief that it’s not only important to know who you are but to be true to your convictions. Let’s face it, that’s not always the easiest thing to do but if the shallow gal can, well anyone can. I’ve said it before, and I’ll very likely say it again, I love my car but I know not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the horseless carriage. And because of that, I don’t mind that the road has been divvied up for those of you who prefer a non-motorized form of transport in an effort to minimize your carbon footprint. Don’t get me wrong, I reduce, reuse and recycle whenever I can. But when you hop on your ride, here’s the question you need to ask yourself. Are you a pedestrian or are you a vehicle because you simply can’t be both. You see, when you pull up beside me in the “right turn only” lane the only assumption I can make is that you, like me, are going to turn right because when you’re on the road you obey the rules of the road. When you don’t, well that’s not just irritating, it’s downright dangerous. So let’s make a pact. I’ll watch out for you if you watch out for me and we’ll both come out of this ahead. Because the alternative isn’t going to go well for either of us.

Well that’s that. The end of the “things that irritate me” series. I can’t say I’m sorry because, this whole exercise has been a little intense and the subject is, quite frankly, starting to irritate me.  Makes me think it’s time for this shallow gal to get out of that bed. Besides, to tell the truth, it’s starting to feel a little lumpy.

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Give Me an “A”!

Letters photo credit:mwookie, stock.xchngI had a feeling from the get-go that this blog could get me in trouble and, as luck would have it, I’m afraid that it has. Not only are some of my readers questioning my ability to remain shallow while being as introspective as I have been, I find myself wondering whether I have made a slight move to the dark side, as I like to call it. So I’ve been thinking that now might be a good time to take stock of the ways that I continue to live shallowly. Hopefully this will remove any shadows of doubt.

Since I have been steeped in academe for the past 20 years or so I decided the best way to approach this task was to identify key outcomes, set up some criteria by which to measure performance and finally, assign a mark to each. So here I go and I’m keeping my fingers crossed I get a passing grade.

TV: I watch a fair bit of TV which in and of itself may not add up to much since, as we all know there are plenty of PBS documentaries, Discovery Channel educational programs and political debates on the schedule these days. And if I was watching those I’d be concerned, but I’m not. Nope, and as much as it pains me to say this out loud, over the past few years I have learned a) how to lose 200 pounds in less than a year which btw, I sincerely hope I never have to do; b) how to outwit, outplay, and outlast which could come in handy should I ever find myself on a deserted island somewhere in the South Pacific with 17 strangers and; (perhaps least helpful and most inane) c) how to find the perfect mate by “getting to know” and systematically vetting 25 bachelors or bachelorettes over a period of 10 weeks all the while looking great for the TV cameras. (Do they really sleep with 4 different people in 4 nights just to be “sure”?) At first blush it looks like I could be in line for full marks on this one but since I have to be entirely honest to make this work, I must include on my list Jeopardy, “the thinking person’s game show” and Mad Men which, even though I watch primarily because Peggy and I have, or in my case “had” surprisingly similar taste in clothes, is likely the most critically acclaimed show currently on the air. A .5 deduction for each seems fair, don’t you think?

Grade: 4/5

Facebook: I’m on it which imho is worth about 3 points but I’m pretty sure I can score more than that in this category. My primary reason for going on FB was to stay connected with my nephew in Toronto which I know sounds like a contender for a significant deduction, but before you judge, I did so by becoming his neighbor in Farmville. After about 6 weeks he tired of the game and stopped playing and had I too called it quits at that time I could be underwater on this one. Fortunately, I stayed the course and continued to play for the next two and a half years, during which time I managed to recruit a number of my highly educated and sophisticated friends and colleagues. To solidify my rating I will now disclose that a significant number of my FB “friends” are actually FV neighbors who I don’t know but keep in the hopes that they will read this blog. Please don’t “unfriend” me now.

Grade: 4.5/5

The Treadmill: This one could get me in real trouble if I was actually going on the treadmill for the multitude of health benefits known to be associated with this type of activity. No doubt a woman of my age should not only be thinking about reaping the cardio advantages of a 5km walk but also of the potential gain in bone density that is known to be the result of vigorous exercise. However, since the sole purpose of my travaille six nights each week (I do go out once in a while) is to lose weight I think I’m safe. Just in case there are still some doubts, we’re not talking life saving, “you’re on the brink of serious health problems if you don’t slim down” kind of weight loss. No, this quest is to lose the one, maybe two pounds I need to get back into those designer “boyfriend” jeans I bought on a “skinny day” in California last year (of course everyone looks slightly more attractive in California…I think it has something to do with the mirrors). And really, while I can still squeeze into them in my present condition, I am simply trying to avoid turning into an uncharacteristic shrew (trust me, the world would be a better place if we all wore slightly looser jeans) while wearing them on the six minute drive from my home to my favourite Starbucks. Since in spite of my singular intention I will probably still accrue the aforementioned health benefits, I’ll concede to a .5 deduction here.

Grade: 4.5/5

The Blog: My initial thought is that I get full points here. I know there have been some inconsistencies and I have stuck with the blog for longer than I ever imagined I would. But let’s face it, surely anyone who spends this much time and effort convincing other people of how shallow they are deserves full credit for their efforts. I’m going with my gut on this one.

Grade: 5/5

So there you have it. I’ve scored 18/20 or 90% on this objective assessment. Yes, there’s room for improvement but there always is. For now I think I’m going to be just fine.

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