Tagged: awful

Quality vs. Quantity.

It has been a slowww day at the office, folks. I’ve been staring at this page for about an hour now. My office buddy and I have been listening to The Temptations on Pandora and dancing around the visitor’s centre as people walk by the large glass windows staring at us, but now she’s leaving and I have two more hours to sit here, so here goes nothing.

My blogging has been lacking lately. I’ve been uninspired writing wise. I’ve been busy. I’ve been kidnapped.

The reasons are fairly irrelevant, but the bare bones of the matter is that I’ve been producing bad content fairly consistently for a little while now. It’s hard to produce something funny or sharp or worthwhile everyday. Heck, lately I feel like I’m barely putting put something worth reading every week.

The truth is, I’m burnt out. I knew I’d get to this point, and I honestly got a lot farther than I thought I’d get, post-wise, before getting burnt out.

I’m seriously considering taking a day off of blogging a week.

I’ve been trying out the Wednesday Vlog thing to instill a little variety into my content every week, but let’s be honest, I’m a terrible vlogger (so far, anyways). Yesterday I couldn’t even get my video up on Youtube, which honestly is okay, because I rewatched it and it’s really bad. 

I haven’t made any decisions either way yet, but it’s wafting around in the back of my head. Still, I told myself I’d blog everyday for a year and I’m almost halfway there, so cutting down a day a week seems somewhat defeatist.

So now I’m writing this blog to… let y’all know I haven’t made a decision on anything yet.

Wowwwww.

This is why I only have 3 regular readers.

Manuscript Mondays – The Beginning.

This is a follow up to last week’s post about the book I writing. Because apparently I have completely lost my mind.

***

I have 25 days to finish the first 50 pages of my manuscript. Oh my god. Am I crazy? Yes. Yes, I am clinically insane.

First impressions of this process? This is way harder than I thought it would be. I don’t know what force of insanity gripped me last week when I was all like “yeah whatever I can write a book by March 15th”, but it is no longer with me. March 15th is a lot scarier this side of Valentine’s day.

I did get to the library and write about 16 pages last Wednesday, which made me feel better. The perk of writing a daily blog seems to be the newfound ability to pound out a few hundred words like it ain’t no thang. However, the process of actually planning the layout of a book seems to be beyond my humble abilities at this point, and I’m a little concerned that the plot I have written – if you could even call it that at this point – is irreparably juvenile. At this point in the game, however, I do not have time to scrap the whole thing and start from scratch. Luckily, I have an amazing writing mentor/ friend/ yoga student of mine who has graciously agreed to help me get my cards in order. His name is A. I’m meeting with him this Wednesday. I also have two hot, talented, amazing coworkers/ girlfriends who follow my blog regularly who I’m totally making proofread this thing for me before I send it in Varenka Pond and Scarlett o’Hara that means you two. 

…..

Oh my goodness, you guys. I can’t. I just reread everything I’ve written for this trying to find something worthwhile posting for y’all to sample and I can’t share any of this. It’s so bad. It’s offensively bad. It’s like a tween hipster trying to write ironic Twilight fan fiction.

Welp.

I guess it’s time for Plan B- scrap it and start from scratch.

Crap.

The Tale of Taco Tuesday.

Varenka wants me to write about her birthday, which happened on Tuesday. She turned 22.

Huzzah Varenka.

This is not a picture of Varenka. This is a baby goat jumping over a log. Don't worry about it.

This is not a picture of Varenka. This is a baby goat jumping over a log. Deal with it.

On paper, V had the perfect birthday celebration planned out. We were going to go to yoga (as we fitness fanatics do), then to a food place for Taco Tuesday, then to a whiskey tasting night. She was going to provide the friends and the entertainment. I was going to provide the excessive sarcasm and inappropriate that’s what she said jokes.

Yoga was yogic. Nuff said.

Enter Taco Tuesday.

I should note that I’ve been living in this town for upwards of 10 years now and that I consider myself a townie. I could name for you offhand at least 5 local swimming hotspots of questionable legality. I have been on the roof of almost every major building downtown. I could give you a brief but detailed history of the 6 restaurants that have occupied a certain building since I’ve lived here (all of them were various Asian cuisines, oddly enough).

However, there is wide swath of ground here that townies dare not go while school is in session, for perched on the top of the hill like a vulture is a major university that has, like a dying wolf, latched its jaws onto my hometown and refuses to let go. A school that swells our modest population by almost a hundred thousand people and turns our usually deserted streets into cramped traffic jams held up by idiotic freshman running across the road to class, with a thriving Greek community that makes a habit out of knocking our mailbox out of the ground and has a curious fondness for adopting Saint Bernards.

To avoid confusion, let’s just say that I live in Westeros and that this university is the King’s Landing. It’s technically a powerful entity that controls a lot of what goes on here, but it’s a stuck up pain in the ass a lot of the time.

If you don’t watch Game of Thrones, you’re irrelevant and you can make up your own analogies.

Anyways, there’s a bunch of bars near the university I never go to because they’re crowded and annoying and hip and full of people far younger and smarter than I am. So I had a good amount of trouble even finding where we were supposed to be. The joint was a tacky, moody hole-in-the-wall named after a famous dead guy who murdered a bunch of people, because common sense can pipe the fuck down, apparently.

We get there and enquire about the tacos. Apparently they are 75 cents each, but only after  10:30. It’s 7. We’re not going to wait for it. We order off the regular menu. There’s 8 of us, so it takes a while to get our food. Meanwhile, a bunch of random middle-aged people dressed in slacks and button downs are causing a ruckus at the bar… getting shitty… at 7pm… on a Tuesday. This proves to be more sad then entertaining.

The food comes. Varenka ordered a burger with sprouts and guacamole on it. Her boyfriend Rory also got a burger of some sort. I got a depressing looking pulled pork sandwich that was definitely neither fresh nor homemade.

It was bad. Like, really bad. But I choked it down on the promise of drinking to be had. Varenka ate hers and claimed her stomach was upset about twenty minutes later. No one was surprised by this information.

We end up going to get Pepto-Bismol in a sad little Quickstop that absolutely hasn’t been mopped since the start of the semester. Most of our gang takes some. Then it’s off to whiskey night.

None of us had been to this thing before, so we didn’t quite know what to expect beyond, I don’t know, drinking whiskey. We go into this posh like restaurant and are handed a pretentious little menu and are told to wait until 9 to go downstairs, which means we have to wait for half an hour pretending not to watch people out on first dates that are not going well.

Eventually they let us go down into the posh cave that is their basement. It is way too hipster for my liking. There is a man that looks like the guy from Portlandia sitting near me. Someone was wearing a fedora. It was awful.

We are told it’s going to be 16 bucks for the evening and that we were going to be tasting four 1 ounce pours of “infusions”. The first was a jasmine tea gin (hello? whiskey night? no?) that smelled like someone poured nail polish remover on a bed of roses. It tasted about as good.

There’s an hour of this. The pour girl is blathering on about tannins and proportions. At some point Varenka goes and pukes up our rancidly awful dinner. Rory does as well. I drink approximately none of the crap they offer me and note with dismay that I don’t get service down in the hipster dungeon. The bacon infused whiskey in every way resembles bottom shelf booze with lard poured into it. There’s a hops whiskey that is essentially a terrible IPA in a shot of lukewarm Jameo. They close with a cinnamon sherry that is admittedly good BUT IS NOT ACTUALLY WHISKEY. FALSE ADVERTISING.

My soul died.

Never again, internet.

The WORSER worst date I’ve ever been on.

Seriously. I just posted a blog about the worst date I’d ever been on. It’s barely been two weeks since I wrote the blog.

Oh, but internet, just last night the worst date I’ve ever been on was gloriously and theatrically upstaged. It was the Emperor of worst dates. If worst dates were Disney villains, this was Scar. If worst dates were Doctor Who baddies, this was Dalek Caan. If worst dates were unfortunate situations, this date was freshly buttered toast dropped upside-down onto a fraternity floor and you’re out of bread. 

You get the picture.

I have a part-time job as a caterer for a local catering company. I get to do a lot of things for this job, but I’m generally put on the bar because I’m both over 21 and a fairly decent multi-tasker. Last night, I was working the bar for a reception at the local university. It was some big-shot symposium on sustainable architecture or something, and most of the attendees were students and grad students enrolled at the school. I get put on architecture gigs a lot for some reason, so I knew the building and a lot of the students and the professors and it was a pretty relaxed event. I got to chitchat a fair amount with the people coming in.

So this guy kept coming over and I had to open his beer bottles and whatnot, and we had a choppy conversation, but the conversations I had with people were sort of running together because I had to interact with so many people. He was kind of cute, but not really my type, and at the rate at which I had to keep opening bottles of cabernet, I really was not paying attention to what he looked like anyways.

At the end of the night, I was breaking everything down with my coworker as the remaining 5 or so people were straggling out, and he came over (let’s call him James Franco) and said to me that there was a party at a bar downtown that he was going to and his friends egged him on to ask me out to it. Usually I go out with my friends to our usual bar where we sit in the same corner and drink the same drinks on Saturdays, but heck, why not. So I said yes.

After the van was unloaded and the catering business was put to bed, I got home and called my girl Varenka and convinced her that she really needed to put pants on and be my wing-girl, so she convinced her man-toy (let’s call him Rory) to come out with us for an hour. I texted James Franco and he said he was going to the club with his friends at 10 and he’d see me there. Cool beans.

V-renks and Rory and I rolled in around 10:30. No James Franco. It was pretty dead for a Saturday in there and it was NOT our scene. It was like walking into one of those crazy posh theme bars they make fun of in sitcoms. Everything was artfully grunged and buffed and destroyed and polished and painfully hip, and there were two 40 year old virgins playing techno in the corner surrounded with so many strobe lights they both had to wear sunglasses. Yet we persevered and ordered a very overpriced round of weak cocktails with lots of fancy garnishes on them.

This dude didn’t even show up until 11:15, which you may note was over an hour late. He came solo and mistook another Asian girl as me, which was as painfully awkward as you could imagine. He shook Varenka’s and Rory’s hands and sat next to me on a very hip vegan leather couch and balanced his tiny cocktail on the very hip patina’d metal chest that was there instead of a table.

James Franco did everything wrong. Everything. Even forgetting that he was an hour late and his friends never showed up. To sum:

– Tactless Asian jokes he tried to justify by indicating amount of time spent with Asians- check.
– Lying about his age (27) – check.
– Conveniently forgetting to mention he wasn’t a student here- check.
– Telling me he was only in town for four days and that he was “looking for a good time”- check.
– Asking me where I lived and how I was getting home (!!!) – check check.
– Being boring and awkward- the most checks.

Varenka and Rory left around 11:30, and I tried – really I did try – to not hate the entire experience, but between the awful music and the awful atmosphere and the fact that he bought me a Jack and Ginger instead of a Jameo Ginger and kept inching closer to me on the awful couch, I just couldn’t do it. So I pulled the Midnight Cinderella routine, refused the company back to my car (!!!), and lit outta there like the prizewinner at the Kentucky Derby.

The clincher, I think, was the follow up text I got this morning asking if I was around to “hang out” tonight. No, James Franco. I moved to Siberia. Find some other floozy to unimpress.

That’s the last time I go out to a hipster bar with a lying, pervy architect. Ugh. Never again, internet.

Women’s Strength Training Anatomy – a review.

I was at the library looking up a few anatomy questions I got asked during yoga class and stumbled across an absolute gem of a book called Women’s Strength Training Anatomy by French author Frédéric Delavier. I picked it up hoping for a quick and easy refresher on proper wrist alignment and modifications in plank, which is a ridiculously common exercise used by pretty much every exercise trainer on the face of the planet. What I ended up with was half an hour of stifling giggles in the library as I kept flipping back to the title page thinking There is NO way this book wasn’t published in the 1980’s. This CANNOT be a real thing. 

Oh yes, internet. It’s a real thing. I present to you Women’s Strength Training Anatomy, published in 2002, a real life guide for women who like their workouts sprinkled with a dash of Misogyny and a sprinkle of Racism.

Also butts.

Also butts.

Now before I continue, I will admit that Delavier’s book has some incredibly good information in it, and does make some accurate points regarding the differences between male and female anatomy. The exercises he lists are good ones, well described and accompanied with detailed, fantastically rendered drawings of what to look for. However, as many to the Amazon reviews for this book point out, you may as well just get the original Strength Training Anatomy (for men) by Delavier, because the praise for this book ends here.

The author starts the ball rolling with a brief chapter on fat deposits in women. He points out that women tend to have more fat deposits than men because our bodies are geared towards pregnancy and the extra fat reserves serve as an energy source for Baby. Sure. Fine. Okay. Then he says:

For various reasons, different fat distributions occur in women according to climate. In hot countries, the fat is localized on the buttocks (black Africans), on the hips (Mediterraneans), and around the navel (certain Asians). This distribution avoids covering the woman with a hot coat of fat that would be difficult to bear and inefficient for thermoregulation during hot periods. In cold countries, the distribution of fat is more uniform, which provides for better protection during rigorous winters. However the fat is distributed, its main function is for the survival of the species as it provides for survival of the woman and her offspring during times of scarcity.” (8)

Wait. Stop yourself, Delavier. This seems cray cray. This seems like one of those statements that you read and at first you think, huh, okay and then you think about it and go waittt a second, no. I tried to find another source on this and I couldn’t come up with anything, but if someone finds a legitimate study on this published any time in the past decade, please let me know and I will retract my statement. Otherwise I’m calling shenanigans, D, because you then go on to point out that the fat between the thighs “plays an important aesthetic role in that it fills the space between the two thighs” (10) and that is just a super unnecessary thing to say.

Another thing, D. I get that all of your illustrations show perfect, beautifully in shape women with perfect hair, smoldering bedroom eyes, and huge, perky breasts, because let’s face it, modern workout photos and videos do exactly the same thing. I very much appreciate the extremely detailed drawings of musculature and the highlighting of the working muscles. Fabulous. But will someone explain to me, please, why the model’s clothing just gets smaller and then completely see-through and then it just falls off? Honestly, about halfway through the book, the drawings are just naked. Is this an artistic touch of some sort, Delavier? I get that you’re French, but was showing me the aureola on the lady demonstrating cycling obliques really necessary? Your target audience is women, D, I’m pretty sure we know what boobs look like, and contrary to popular belief, we rarely do our abs section au naturale. 

IMG_0758

Not pictured – Clothing.

I’m not even going to touch on the mysterious lack of upper body exercises in this book, because my delicate feminine sensibilities can’t handle the mere mention of arm exercises. I just get my harem of tough, dependable manly men to do all my heavy lifting for me, which is fine, because I’m stuck in the 1920’s and there isn’t anything heavy in the kitchen anyways.

As a helpful workout guide, I’ll give Women’s Strength Training Anatomy 3.5 out of 5 for having pretty good alignment cues and descriptions for the abs, back, seat, and legs. I omitted a full point for the lack of upper body exercises.

As a female athlete, however, I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.