August 19, 2009

Just Like Sorority Recruitment But With More Spandex

Well, I did it.

I re-joined 24 Hour Fitness the other day -- and for like the 900th time! Always with the breaking up and getting back together, we're like the Sean Penn and Robin Wright of fitness, I swear. Since doing so I've been trying out some of the different classes at the Carmichael location to see if I feel like joining any of them because that's what keeps me going back to 24 Hour Fitness. That is their evil lure over me -- I'm sort of a Group Fitness Groupie. Well, that or I'm Fitness Co-Dependant. You see, when it comes to methods of exercising I much prefer sweatin' to the oldies with others than I do by myself. I love me some yoga and I adore Step classes (Yes I know it is no longer 1996, but I like Step so shut up!)If you tell me about a geeky dance class, or some kick boxing club I will certainly try and shake and kick with the best of them. Obviously I am capable of exercising by myself, but the bottom line is I don't.

***As an aside, whenever I do exercise by myself it always seems like I end up on the elliptical machine that is parked 2 feet in front of the television playing the Food Network and Paula Deen is always deep frying something delicious and what the hell, health club? Why can’t you subscribe to the same shitty cable plan that you find in every hotel across America that is full of News Channels and Spanish Channels and nary a Food Network nor Bravo in sight? WHY? **********

So the other night I wanted to check out one of the Step Classes, and on my way to class I started to feel this weird sense of anxiety that I haven't really felt in years. I couldn't quite put my finger on it until about a minute before the class started, but then I finally looked around and figured it out -- going to a Step Class for the first time (or any class for that matter) reminds me alot of Sorority Recruitement -- except (for better or worse) EVERYONE IS WEARING SPANDEX!

It started before I even got there. What time should I leave? I didn't want to be too early -- because is there anything worse than being the first person to the party? In a giant mirrored room I wasn't even sure I would know what direction the class faced! God forbid I set up my equipment backwards! Luckily when I got there I was the second person there, so I could just cooly slide my Step to the back center of the room. Ha! I knew all along where the front was. PSHAW! But then all these groups of people started walking in together -- friends, co-workers, sisters -- and then of course there were those girls who set up their own station along with a second station to "save" for their friend who would be joining later. Jesus, Does everyone already know each other? What am I doing here? Holy shit this is exhausting and we haven't even started to exercise!

Oh, Right! You are here to exercise, Holly. Don't get insecure about stupid shit.

Ok. Insecurity Crisis Averted.

But then because God is merciful, in the midst of my Temporary Insecurity Crisis, the first fashion victim showed up. You know who I'm talking about. The older woman with the red terry cloth sweatband (with matching wrist bands!) and the bright purple pair of KangaROOS. The outfit hollered 1984, and so you know in a moment of weakness I thought to myself, well at least my outift is normal, so I've got that going for me. I know that's an awful thing to think, but sometimes in sticky social situations I get desperate. Sue me.

After that marched in the girl who was just Trying To Hard. You know, the one who is wearing her spandex just a bit too tight with her messy ponytail that is just a bit too tousled? You know she probably just wantes to fit in like everyone else, but the results are more hot-mess than they are hot-ness. She's already been on the elliptical for a while so she's rockin the unsightly sweat marks even before class starts. And once again I sort of feel relieved that I am not standing out for any of the above reasons. (This is just getting worse and worse)

But then OMG what if I am? Standing out, I mean. What if someone else is looking at my /clothes / hair / outfit / terrified look on my face/ and it's making them feel better that they are not as (insert negative descriptor) as I am. Oh, the horror! But before I can get too wrapped up in that thought A PREGNANT WOMAN walks in wearing matching spandex with her toned arms and thighs and only the enormous bump to tip you off that she is with child. Ahem, shouldn't she be out eating a cheese steak sandwiches somewhere (Hi Nat!) I mean what the hell? Oh, apparently she knows everybody in the room so I guess she's been doing this alot. But she's pregnant? Like Reeeeeeeally Pregnant. Oh man!

And it was like that with the mental chatter for about until the music started. And do you know why? Because folks, music is the great equalizer. Everyone looks like a giant asshole jumping around a big plastic bench with weights in their hands while the Black Eyed Peas shout "Mazel Tov" in the background no matter how cool or collected or fitly pregnant they were when they walked in the room.

In the end as some of you know, Sorority Life and I didn't really click. After about a year I couldn't take it anymore -- I just wasn't really into cultivating an environment (like Recruitment, ACK!) that made people stand around staring at each other sizing everything up. It just sucks the fun out of everything! So the other night after leaving class feeling fantastic after an hour of unadulterated frolicking and certainly looking ridiculous -- I decided I will never again play the size up game at an excercise class. And I'm hoping against hope that the ladies who were in my 24 Dance class on Wednesday did me justice and did the same because let's just say...there was A LOT of Black Eyed Peas.

August 04, 2009

Chili Calamity

Lest you go on thinking that every meal in my house is a wonderfully successful treat, I feel the need to tell you about my dinner last night. To briefly describe it I will say only this: I was cooking outside, but ended up setting off the smoke detectors inside.

Martha Stewart: Fail.

So Garrett has been craving a GIANT BEEF BURGER (Yes, in all caps) because I torture him a lot, you see, by serving him ground turkey things like turkey burgers and turkey chili and turkey meatloaf. And Oh! The Horror! Where’s The Beef? and all of that business. I mean holy moly is there any graver sin that a big beefy looking meal, made with -- ha! I tricked you, it's turkey! According to Garrett, no. So to assuage my carniverous companion we picked up some ground chuck and I scoured through some cookbooks and ended up finding a recipe for Chili Cheddar Burgers that sounded pretty good.

Now, I feel the need to interject for a minute that at first the name sort of turned me off. Because even though we all know how much I love chili, many of you may not know that I am absolutely NOT a fan of other foods covered in chili (see: fries, burgers, etc). It’s sort of like chicken on pizza for me. They are two great tastes that should just NEVER get tasted together. ICK. Yes, even if there is cheese involved. Yuck.

Anyway, back to the chili burger. So this burger was not actually smothered in chili but rather contained the flavors of chili on the inside. It had jalapenos, onions, garlic, chili powder, and cumin all mixed in and then, as if it could get any more cute and clever, it called for cubed up cheddar cheese to mix in. How could this go wrong?

By putting them on the grill that’s how. Because do you know what happens to cheese when you put it on a grill? It melts. And do you know what happens when dripping cheese pours into a fire? It smokes. And do you know what happens to smoke detectors when the lovely Delta Breeze blows the smoky billows inward towards the house?

Well I’ll tell you this, it’s not the Mormon Tabernacle Choir ringing in your ears.

So we pretty much let the burgers just char out on the grill, brought them into the house, dressed them up, then sliced them in half only to discover that they were TOTALLY RAW on the inside. So RAW, in fact, that I thought someone from the WWE was going to come into my kitchen and put me in a headlock over a dinner so botched. But alas, they did not, so I just finished cooking them in a pan and a few minutes later we ate them; however, not with any of the planned side-dishes, because I was too busy doing BBQ triage to prepare any of them.

In the end, a valuable lesson was learned by all, and the moral of the story is this – don’t get cute with chili-burgers. Have them the way nature indended, or don’t have them at all.


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