April 10, 2008

Not Sarah Connor

I've been going to the gym. I go in the mornings before work and I do a little cardio and then my PT routine. The PT routine is a set of rotating scapular stabilization and upper back/chest/arm strengthening exercises. I use a wussy amount of weight, and after a couple months, have not yet increased it, except for a couple of the triceps and lat moves. I'm thinking of increasing a few others soon, but basically I do the least amount of weight possible until it is so easy I can't stand it for a moment longer.

Anyway, when I first get there I do some cardio on the elliptical and while I'm chugging away with the "gym" playlist blaring I watch other people using the weight machines and generally freak out about their form. Usually I worry that someone is overextending their shoulders because that's my big problem. This woman today was really going for it. She was doing some kind of weighted arm raise (finishing with arms straight out to each side at shoulder height), and with each rise she'd strain onto her tip toes and throw her shoulders up and stick her chin out, and then jerk her arms up to the finish. Next she put her hands by her ears and started to thrust them up until her arms were going straight up to the ceiling. With each thrust to the sky, her chin flew forward, her back arched dramatically with her chest shoved way out, and again she'd jerk everything to get the hands up.

Maybe it’s a great way to get strong. I think it would kill me. I looked around for any trainers, maybe I could point one in her direction just in case, but there weren’t, and she disappeared.

Posted by allison at 02:02 PM

April 08, 2008

Humanity Scale

I keep my own scale of the humanity in my mind where I catalogue the ills of society. It changes based on who currently annoys the most. But generally the same set of items sit near the bottom as Most Offensive To All That Is Decent And Right.

Scents: somewhere in the middle of the negative arm of the scale, placed there due to the overly accessible, vast quantities that exist, are scented products. It is true that I do not want to smell you; I do not want to smell hairspray; I do not want to smell deodorant, fabric softener; I don't annoy the wafting bouquet of glade plug-ins, and I do not want to smell cologne from 10 feet away. But more than this, the chemical irritants in perfumed products are... chemical irritants; pollution that causes wheezing, runny noses, migraines, bleeding eyes, melting skin, exploding brains.

Rewarding irresponsibility: below scents, but above the lowest and meanest of ills sits the bailout of the irresponsible while the responsible sit by like polite fools. For example, a lot of people purchased homes they did not have the income to afford, with ARMs that they knew would reset to a rate they could not sustain. I don't mean those duped into it, but people who jumped in with a 0% down payment hoping to refinance in 2 years, thinking that the market could only ever go up. This in itself doesn't piss me off. It's a gamble that a lot of people took, and a lot of people lost. It happens. It sucks, but when it comes down to it, it was a bad investment. People make bad investments all the time. What pisses me off is this: aide plans where the lender would cut the principal of a troubled mortgage to 85% of a home's current, diminished market value, The FHA would take 5% of the new, lower amount as a fee, and homeowners would get the remaining 10% as equity to give them a stake in paying off the renegotiated mortgage.

You'd get 10% equity as a reward for making bad choices! What!? Awesome. Meanwhile, for those who decided against buying because it just didn’t seem like a sound idea, unspent savings now languish at wussily low interest rates, IRAs steadily decline, and food costs rise... ultimately penalized for not making irresponsible investments.

Deaf ignorance: that Celtic Woman/Thunder should be so low on a scale of societal ills should need no explanation. Do you think they sound pretty? I think their very existence is outrageously offensive. That so many people have so little understanding of the fundamentals of music that this crap satisfies musical appetites is astounding and horrifying. If you don't find yourself gesticulating wildly and spitting with anger upon hearing them, you need to take some music classes.

Willful stupidity: The lowest point on today's version of this index is the teaching of Creationism/Intelligent Design in public schools. Nothing pisses me off more.

Posted by allison at 02:06 PM