Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Locker Room Ladies

I work out at a club.  It's not a country club.  It's a workout club.  It's not 24 hour fitness.  It's not a "gym".  Well, really it is.

There are exercise machines.  Fitness classes.  Mind/Body (stretching, yoga, Pilates) classes.  There are men.  Women.  Young.  Old.  Middle aged.  Only it's not a "top of the line fitness facility" - only it's nicer than a "gym.

There are towels for you in the locker room.  The lockers lock, and you just have to slide in your membership card.    An indoor pool.  An outdoor lap pool and recreational pool, whirlpool.  Racquet and handball courts too.

In the locker room, there is also a steam room, a sauna and a whirlpool.  (One in each the men's and women's). There is shampoo, conditioner, body wash, combs, hair spray, lotion, deodorant, tissues, hair dryers and curling irons. Oh, then there is a "family" locker room.  The family locker room is where those with children under the age of 13 are banished - unless your kids are in the "Kids club".

Yes, it a little pretentious.  I've tried other clubs.  One is closer - same price.  The gyms - I just can't do.  Part of my whole "workout" is my "comfort" level.  I don't need showy things, I just like nice things. 

Truth is the classes are better at this club than others.

I like to think of my life as "just outside the A group".  No need to be on the "A List".  Too much trouble.  My club is that way.  Just outside the A group.

As with all things though, there are groups within the groups.

9:00AM classes - I refer to these classes as the "skinny mean girl classes".  Except for the pregnant woman there is Power Sculpt today, well, I was the heaviest person in the class.  The class is not welcoming.  It is cut-throat and all the women look anorexic.  It's an awesome class.  The Body Pump class the other two days a week at the same time, well is the same group of women.

However, not everyone at the club is this way.  There are also the "Locker Room Ladies".

This would be my group.  We are definitely not all anorexic looking.  Although two of my dear friends from the locker room do have bodies to die for - curvy, fit, athletic.  I have older friends, younger friends.  Married.  Kids.  No Kids.  Grand kids.  Husbands.  No husbands.

I left this club for a year.  I tried another club.  It's closer.  Same price.  Same amenities.  I hated that place.  I arrived back at my old club:  literally:  the phrase was "where have you been".  You see, I'm friends with the ladies and they know tons about me and a few are friends on facebook, but really, we are locker room friends.

My two friends with the great bodies and I chat.  No non-sense - after all, we all three work, we are in there to work-out, visit, but no chit chat.  (and if I'm going to be really honest, sometimes I just go steam and get dressed).  Tell me what's going on:

In:  So, what's going on with your social life?  You still seeing that guy??

Me:  Yes, I guess we've been seeing each other for a bit now.

In:  You mean, you are dating.

Me:  No.  Remember, I have commitment issues.  I'm seeing him.

In comes, Th

In:  Hey, L is seeing someone

Th:  Dear God, please tell me he's over the age of 30.

Me:  Actually, he's age appropriate.

Th:  What???

Me:  And he's hot.  He looks like Bradley Cooper and it's been fun.

Th:  So, do tell......

Me:  He also does this CrossFit class - he goes three times a week.  He's got an incredible body.

In:  That's why we have seeing her more lately.

Th:  Oh....   Now I know why.... I've got your number lady.......

I needed a new goal.  This is actually a healthy one.  As I sit here with my beer - I only went to one workout class today.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


My kids attend public schools.  They attend VERY GOOD public schools.  Denver Public Schools.

We live in the city.  I got as close to the suburbs as I could get.  Technically, the suburbs start across the street.  Literally.  We live on the dividing line.  In our one neighborhood, you can either go to Denver Public Schools, Cherry Creek Schools or Englewood Schools.  In fact, you walk through the "Cherry Creek Schools" portion on the way to my sons school.

Technically, they now attend two different schools.  First I'm going to start with our neighborhood school.

Actually, I'm going to back up and start at pre-school.

My sons attended a Montessori school in "Five Points" for the first five years of their lives.  Yes, daycare, pre-school and kindergarten.  All at the same school.  What a wonderful place this is.

"Five Points" is one of the more "challenged" areas of Denver.  There are shootings. There is poverty.

Half the kids were to come from outside the neighborhood.  The other half were from the neighborhood.  I couldn't have asked for a better place.  My children were loved.  Cared for.  And both were bilingual in Spanish when they hit first grade.  The had culture and diversity in their lives.

I then moved.  A whole 4 miles away.

I'm still in Denver.  I still expose my children to all that the world offers.  Only I went from Yuppy-ville to "Stepford in the City".  My thoughts:

Can't stay inner-city - only 5 years after moving the elementary school around the corner, became really good.

Can't move to the suburbs - I can't play the game.  I don't care what you have.  What someone else has.  Or doesn't have.  (Of course, I've never lived there - this is my perception) I'm here to make this world a better place.

My compromise - I live in Denver.  My kids attend the best Denver school there is.  Hands down.  It wasn't "the best" when we got here.  It is now.  We are about to win a "Blue Ribbon Award" - a national award.  A national award several DPS (Denver Public Schools) have been nominated for - I don't think any elementary/middle schools have received.

Truly though, this is how I imagine the suburbs.  We are truly "Stepford in the City".  It's the parents that run this school.  Honestly though, I think in suburbs (once again, just my opinion since I don't live there), they let the "school" run itself.  Yes, they are involved, but the "establishment" knows best.  At our school, there is over an 82% participation rate in activities.  Seriously?

The EDUCATIONAL system will NEVER change unless the parents are involved.  Period.
We can't make people want to be involved.

Back to the school  It's a great, incredible, wonderful school.  It's small.  50 kids per grade.  One grade has 75 kids.  Everyone is white, upper-middle class.  We live in the city.

Wait!!  Isn't the whole purpose of living in old houses to provide the parents with easy access to the city (a life outside our kids and easy to get things with our kids) to show them what city living is all about?

I guess not.

This sums the diversity we have experienced at our school:

Two Asian girls - both adopted and living with white families.
Two "inter-racial" families.
A couple of foreign adoptions
A couple of kids with ADD
Two kids with two moms - whom should be the poster parents for all parents.  Period.
Some of the parents are divorced.

Yep, I think that pretty much sums it up.  This has been their exposure  to the "world". 

Which brings us up in time.  Until today.

I now have a high schooler.  In the state of Colorado, you can "choice" into any high school you want.  Not everyone gets in (unless that is your "home" school).

He attends a high school in "downtown" Denver.  Okay, so not RIGHT DOWNTOWN, but "in the city".  Literally, "in the City".

We are back to:  half the kids are, as I lovingly refer "over-indulged white kids" (although they aren't all white) the other half:  well, we live in the city.

There is a girl in one class whom has 8 brothers/sisters and her mom is 30.  There are 4 different dads.   A kid in one class is a freshman and has a tattoo.  There are piercings.  There are kids whom can't afford food.  The school gives away breakfast everyday.  Side note:  even though my child eats breakfast at home everyday, he goes and grabs a free burrito.  Keeps saying how happy he is with his school.  This is a big adjustment.  For all of us.

He's a little more skittish these days.  He locks the door between the garage and the house.  He's seen a couple of fights where the police have to come.   I have a glass of wine every night.  He doesn't want me to have any wine.  (I immediately fall asleep - he wants me alert).  He rides the city bus home from school.

He wanted to attend this school.  His teachers are incredible.  I've been very impressed.  He's impressed.  I'm not impressed that all your friends are still "over-indulged white boys"    He's right where he is supposed to be.

I told him:  "This is the real world".  Learn to play the game.  He can't believe you can graduate with high school with a "d". 

He said today in the car (he is a bit dramatic, btw) "I've just never been around something so different".

My response:  You don't have to like it.  I hope you will.  I hope you understand not everyone is like you or likes the life you live. 

He said:  You know what I have noticed?  It seems the people without "money" have really nice "stuff".  And I think I have money, but I don't have those things.

Me:  They have things that won't matter later.

Him:  The people with things, think things matter.  We don't think "things" matter.  Only people matter.

Maybe I'm doing okay.......

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Conversation Topics

Many of my stories come from people I know.  Only I change names and embellish, but the "ideas" aren't always mine. 

This topic, I will disclose, was not my idea, but I do think it's a great idea.  We have all been in situations where we start talking to someone new or someone we work with whom we don't know well or someone else's friend THEN we have to make a conversation. 

Standard conversation topics:

  • The weather?
  • Local current events?
  • What do you do?
  • How long have you lived here?
  • Blah, Blah, Blah

We now have new conversation starters and some new answers to the above questions:

  • I'm a Zamboni driver - what do you do for a living?
  • Did you hear that Mike & Ike broke up?
  • What is your favorite holiday?
  • I'm training for .............. (just fill in the blank) - it doesn't matter, if you are training or not, it will start a conversation.  Which brings us to all the things we could actually train for in life:
I'm training :

  • to be the worlds slowest quilter
  • to qualify to be on "The Biggest Loser"
  • for an Ironman Triathlon
  • to be a speed reader
  • my mouth not to talk so much
  • to be a Hula Hoop expert
  • to enter the Olympic Curling event.
Go for the shock.  It doesn't matter if it's true or not.  The other person will either have a fun conversation with you.  Or you will know this person can't handle a conversation with you, and move on.

Someone will converse with you. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pregnant & Cheating

I received a "Spam" e-mail this week from the house owners in Hawaii.  The original trade house, not Joe's house.  From here on out the first house will be referred to as "the house owners".  The second summer house will be "Joe's house". 

There were only 10 of us whom received the "link to riches".  I let her know she had been "attacked".  We caught up via e-mail - she sent a really nice e-mail to all of us whom had received her "spam".  She thought it was the universe's way of telling her she needed to reach out to some people.  Made me smile.

They are doing well.  They are trading the house over the Christmas holiday's for a couple of weeks in  NYC.  Their son and daughter-in-law live in NYC.  I've heard it's beautiful in NYC over the holidays. I knew they were thinking of doing this.  She said she hopes these "traders" are as great as us and the boys. 

I'm not really the jealous type, just more of the possessive type.  What?  You are trading my house?  Yes, I do realize it's really your house. Yes, I realize I let someone else come live in your house here in Denver this summer, but really?  You are going to cheat on me and let someone else live in our house???? I should have known.  If you would trade with me, OF COURSE, I'm not the only one out there willing to trade.  I'll get over my jealously.  I'll forgive you that you are cheating.  Secretly hoping the whole time, you really will like us better. 

THEN, just when I was about to want to break up with you forever Hawaii house owners, you went and saved the best for last.

The daughter whom had the wedding.  Whom caused the house swap in the first place.  Well, she's having a baby next spring.  The boys had wanted her to have a baby "every summer" so we could keep going back. 

I told her, NEVER in the history of the universe (and I could state this with certainty) that no two boys will have EVER been so excited to hear someone was pregnant.

There are no plans yet for next summer.  Get through Christmas first.  Of course, Joe's house hasn't sold yet.  They can go cheat on us..... 

Who knows, we might have two houses to watch next summer......

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quitting Time

It's okay to quit.

No one else will EVER tell you this.  If you need to hear it again, call me.  I'll tell you:  Sometimes, it's okay to quit.

Has anyone ever told you it's okay to quit???

No.  We are told.  Sign up for this.  Try this.  Go for it.  See it until the end.  What if you don't like it?  What if you don't want to do it?

Pretty soon, people quit trying.  Want to know why?  Truly, it's easier to NOT do something, than start something and tell anyone you are going to quit. Instead of quitting anything.  We just quit trying anything.

Keep going.  Hang in there.  You can do it.  All encouraging words.


The complete opposite.

Why would you do that?  Isn't that hard?  What if you fail?

Is there no medium in this mix????

Can we not TRY something and if we don't like it quit?  Yes, it is FAR too easy to quit with long term commitments.  But, really, can't we admit we made a mistake???

I tried to like running.  Really, I did.  I ran.  I ran again.  I ran half-marathons.  I've run a marathon.  Truly,  I don't like to run!!  What I do like is a goal and an accomplishment.  What I don't like?  The actual physical running - oh wait, that's not true.  When I'm in shape, I LOVE to run..... Some how your body takes over.  Mentally, I'm not one of those people whom ever get the runners "high".  It's okay, I can quit running anytime I want.  I've tried running.  I keep "trying" to "be" a runner.  It's not me.  I run.  I'm not a runner.

YOU signed your 10 year old up for football.  He hates it.  The usual conversation goes:  Just finish the season.  Would you EVER imagine saying.  You know what?  "Thank for trying something.  Thanks for going outside your comfort zone.  Thanks for telling me: " I don't want to do this". You don't have to go back.  You can quit.

 It takes a bigger person to say "I can't" or "I don't" than a person whom just says "I do"......

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Go write down 10 things you like today.  I mean REALLY, REALLY like.

I'll go first.  Let's see if I can even come up with then things I like - and think I will like forever:

1)  My sons  (but 20 years ago, I didn't have sons - so this list would be different)
2)  My best friend Carolyn.  She was my best friend 20 years ago.  20 years from now too.
3)  Tomatoes (I don't like them in the winter though - they have no flavor)

4)  Swimming
5)  To be outside
6)  Sunsets  (always)
7)  Riding my bike
8)  Wine
9)  Chips and salsa
10)  The back side of Vail

Next lesson.

What do you like today that you liked 10 years ago.  Heck, even FIVE years ago.

Make your list.

That's a harder one isn't it?

What do you like today, that you liked when you were 5?

This is a very silly example, but today I like to eat eggs for breakfast.

As a child, I loved to eat eggs.  Scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, fried eggs, deviled eggs.  Yum.  At 5, YUM!  Then, and I'm not sure what happened or when, but I didn't like eggs anymore.  In fact, the smell of them would nauseate me.  I didn't like eggs.  Oh, for at least 20 years.  Now, slowly and surely, I like eggs again. I'm still very particular about my eggs, but I will eat them again.  And actually do like them.  I just don't "like them, like them". 

Someone told me a few years ago it had something to do with hormones and me producing eggs myself.  So, I guess maybe I don't have any eggs left in me...

Eggs are my example, but we all have those examples.  What do you like today that you liked 5 years ago?

It's a tough one. Not for only me either.  So, WHY OH WHY, would you put something on your body PERMANENTLY?

My friend Ed has his last name tattooed on his back.  That makes sense - that's not changing.  We all joke it's really because when he passes out someone will at least know his name. ;-)  (Maybe he should tattoo Richie's phone number in case of emergency!) :-)  Missy - the Olympic rings.  I get it.  As Nolan says; "What if I had the Ironman Tattoo when I do mine?".  Well, you earned that one.... You are also over 18......

I just don't GET tattoo's.  That's just me.  It's okay.

I thought I wanted one years ago.  I wanted the "sun" above my ankle bone on my right leg.  I wanted to own a bike shop in San Diego and name it "Sunshine Rentals".  That was a lifetime ago.

Granted, I do have commitment issues - at least long term permanent ones.  Because today, I might like it.  Tomorrow I might not. Where did we come up with idea we have to like something FOREVER????

There was another tattoo I always wanted.  I did want the "sun"  The sunshine outline.  The rays of the sun and a circle.  I wanted the blue/black in.  No colors.  None of that stuff.

I view tattoo's as a personal thing.  You don't get one for someone else.  Just for yourself.

And if I "caught the sun" where would I put it????  A place where it wasn't obvious.  Not a personal place.  A place hidden.  Yet, in plain sight.

 I would have put it on the bottom of my foot.

On each foot, I have a freckle.  In the same spot on each foot.  When you can see the one of the right foot is visible, you can't see the one on my left foot.  Vice verse.  (one fades, the other one comes out).

This summer, I fell off a board AGAIN.  Cut my foot open.

I have scar on the bottom of my right foot.  Ironically enough, it looks like the line for the Hawaiian islands.  My right foot.  As I joke, the scar on my sole...  Or was was that soul????

Someone thought I finally needed that tattoo on the bottom of my foot.....

Patience my friend.  Patience.....

Craigslist, I LOVE YOU

Really, I do. And this is from a woman with commitment issues.

You, I love.

I sold a fish tank once. Left it on my front porch - and when I arrived home. The fish tank was gone and the money was in the mailbox. And I can't even count the number of items, I've sold.

I've rented out my basement to some incredible people. Four summers.  Two of the four, I still hear from.  I still contact them. 

I needed a running buddy. Found the most incredible friends - that's a story in itself.

One time - I was trying to get rid of an old couch and chair.  I tried to sell it, but no no one wanted them.  They were red.  I go to the "Wanted" section - there was an ad "WANTED RED COUCH".  Seriously.  Single mom.  She and her Dad came and picked them up!

Once, even a LONG time ago, I went on a missed connection date - it wasn't my missed connection. :-)

I've NEVER tried the dating on Craigslist.  Maybe next summer?

I've had my haircut and colored by a woman whom had an ad.

I can't tell you the number of focus groups I've participated in. Let me put it this way - enough to pay for a trip to pay for my trip to run a marathon in Greece.

Resumes - I've hired people, I've had some part-time jobs from here too.

I've confessed to true love. And finally had the guts to send him the e-mail after it made "Best-of". And the best thing is, he still sends me quotes from my own 'tirade'!  (One day, I'll be brave enough to post it, with my name attached.)


I traded my house for a house in Hawaii......  FOR A MONTH!!!  As it turns out, the couple wanted to come to Denver - their daughter was getting married.  She lives seven blocks from me. All because of you.  Because I was trying to find a summer renter....

My dear friends,

It's not all fake, it's not all a scam - really, it's just like real life. Take a risk, be cautious, take a chance and maybe, just maybe, it will be ok.........

If anyone out there knows a movie director - I've got a film for you - forget "Craigslist Killers" - Maybe "Happy Moments from Craigslist" - someone can think of a better title.  We can make it a documentary.....

There ARE good things that happen in this world. The movie "The Holiday" - it does happen in real life.  Cute boys included.

For me, Craigslist, I love you. Mahalo for changing my life. 

(and I really love the fact you don't care, I don't know how to spell) :-)