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Posts from February 2009

Butt Echo

On Sunday afternoon I decided to start my exercise regimen. A friend made me realize that I shouldn’t fear running (do people jog anymore?), and so I figured this would be the perfect day to start my life as a runner. In the past, and I mean distant past as in when Nike was still using waffle irons to make the sole of its running shoes, I had tried jogging, but I was never comfortable with the activity. I thought the problem was the shin splints that I inevitably got, especially on my right leg. My friend convinced me that if I just get better running shoes and run past the pain, all would be well.

So there I was, on an astonishingly spring-like February Sunday, in the exercise pants I bought in the summer of 2004 for my day trip to the hospital to get my left ovary removed and the Champion cross-training shoes that I bought at Payless a few years ago when I still believed that going to the gym would transform my body, ready to make my pony tail sway from side to side as I swooshed above the pavement. (You can tell that I’m still on a bit of a high after my shoveling with no pain day.)

One step, two steps, three steps, STOP! Oh my god. It came back to me, the hidden reason for not running or jogging or whatever it is that you do when your body is going one way and your butt is going another. Yes, I had a butt echo. Seriously, I could feel my butt moving as if was separate from the rest of my body; I was down and it was up, and when I was up, it was down.

To those who are not in the know, I can best describe a butt echo as being the hideous feeling that all the junk food you ever ate is in a ball that is attached to the back of a belt, bouncing, bouncing, bouncing against you as you run.

I stopped, and resumed walking as if I hadn’t just had an epiphany.  And so my running career ended three steps into it. I’m thinking that running is not a sport for those whose body types tend toward balancing the weight in the front with the weight in the back, with the emphasis on picking up the rear.

So, if you see me running you can be sure that it’s because someone with a knife is after me or else someone’s dog with fangs is chasing me, because there are no other foreseeable reasons for me to submit myself to another butt echo.

Walking is such a lovely activity, how could I ever think something could be better?

Note: This is the first appearance of the term "butt echo," which I came up with to describe this bodily phenomenon. It might become more popular than some other terms I created, such as: leg sideburns (which are those pesky hairs that grow on some people's inner thighs) and splunch (which is an afternoon brunch). 

Butt Echo, copyright 2009 Laura G.


Is Grandma Okay?

This story was written in honor of my parents and their 54th wedding anniversary, which they celebrated last week. I might not have sent a bunch of flowers like my brother and sister-in-law, but I don't think they wrote a story. So there, mom. This story is cross posted over at +StoryRhyme, a great site for children's stories.

Corinna is a nine-year-old girl with dark dark brown hair that is almost black. She has very dark eye brows that sometimes make her look as if she is scowling when she is not because she is generally smiling since she is so very very sweet.  Her eyes are a soft dark brown that twinkle when she is happy, which shows that she likes to share, because that certainly is the best way to share your happiness.

Corinna lives with her mother and her older sister, Amanda, and her little white Maltese, Mr. Small Tongue, in Virginia. She likes to talk to her dolls about her day at school and look out the windows of her bedroom. Her best friend is Meghan, who lives down the street; they always wait at the bus stop together and talk.

One of the things that Corinna likes most is to visit her grandparents in New York City. Every summer since she was six she would spend a week with her grandparents. Her sister would go a different week and her mother wouldn’t go at all, which is what made it especially special. She would pretend that she was an only child that week, and be happy not to have to share anything with Amanda. For one whole week she would not have any fights with her sister. Their fights weren’t very bad and they always made up, but sometimes Corinna got tired of storming off to her room because Amanda would get their mother to agree with her, or else she would give in to Amanda because she didn’t want to fight.

Her week in New York was also special because her granma and granpa would always take her into Manhattan to do exciting things. They would also always have Chinese food at least two times (Chinese food is Amanda’s favorite). In their favorite restaurant they would always order soup dumplings which were so amazing because the soup was inside the dumplings. Corinna didn’t know how they did this, but the idea of biting into soup was quite exciting, especially since Corinna loves all kinds of soup. Her mother calls her a “soup nut” sometimes because of her love of soup.

Continue reading "Is Grandma Okay?" »


Ready to Get Arrested

Yes, that’s right: I am ready to get arrested. I took a practice mug shot the other day, which tells me that I am ready because there is no way that the passport photo I took could be construed as anything other than a mug shot. No one’s going to let me into their country with that picture, it’s the slammer and that’s it. What was I thinking not putting on makeup and doing it at the end of the day? Yes, my punishment for not taking this picture seriously enough is the picture I got.

It has not always been this way. On September 12, 2001, I went to donate blood (the Pentagon is not far from where I live). But the Red Cross was only taking blood from approved donors (or at least those who already knew their letter). Since I couldn’t donate blood, I stopped at the DMV that was on the way home. For some reason the picture they took that day was the best photo that I have ever taken from a machine. Last year when I renewed my license they took my picture away; they made me take another practice mug shot. I wanted to keep the picture as a reminder of 9/11 and, well, for vanity’s sake. But it is gone.

The passport photo, it’s not as if I’m planning a vacation on some exotic beach or a stroll in Paris, it's just that in my current passport I still have my old married last name and I want to be rid of that name. I am who I was before I was married (at least in name), and my passport needs to reflect that reality. Unfortunately, the picture is a bit of reality too. I told the cute young guy working in the store that I look horrible in it, he said it’s okay. Yes, I wanted to say, for a mug shot.


Two Annoying Women

Two women have gotten on my nerves lately. That’s not a lot, but generally I don’t focus on people who annoy me (except exman and even that I am trying to curtail because I don’t want to waste any more of my thoughts on him). I don’t even know these women, which makes it even more annoying to be so annoyed by them.

One woman commented on someone else’s blog that another commentator shouldn’t bother to check out my blog because I am a “bitter divorced woman.” Notwithstanding the fact that I don’t think that I am a bitter divorced woman and I don’t think that that is the come-away from my blog, but even if I were and I acknowledged it—what’s with the discrimination? Are bitter divorced women to be robbed of their voices and cries just because other people might find them uncomfortable or pitiable? What’s with the lack of compassion?

And woman number two has only been on the guest list of annoying people since Friday morning when I read her extremely nasty (may I say hostile) email to her son’s English teacher (that would be me) that darling wonderboy did not get credit for an assignment because said teacher is, in all intents and purposes, unable to live up to said mother’s stellar standards. Oh, yes, on his progress report sonny boy had a blank next to an assignment instead of a 10 and, mind you, there wasn’t even a zero so it did nothing to negatively impact genius’ GPA. Later that day I sent a rather benign response email to said mother, but she picked up on my stating that I can’t remember the precise details of checking the homework that one morning out of all the other days I check homework or assignments for my 125 students, and therefore should give sonny boy the benefit of the doubt and give him the points. Or, tell her the date the homework was due so that she (efficient woman that she is unlike you know who) will check her calendar to see if darling missed class that day because his braces were getting tightened (as if it weren’t enough to have an annoying mother, he also has to have a pain in his mouth).

I’m trying to figure out what about these women has gotten to me. Is it their, basically, determining who I am and telling me what to do, two things that I resent. Have I told you that I hate when people make judgments about other people, such as: “she’s smart,” or “she’s not the brightest bulb in the room.” Perhaps the thinness of my skin is what is most evident here, and not the grating personalities of these women. Or the thinness of my self-esteem that any external scratch to it sends me into endless ruminations. But I think I’ll stick to: lately, my life has been filled with really nice and caring people and so when nastiness pops up I am unprepared for it. Yes, I like the sound of that.

I’m thinking that I will just ignore the latest email from superhelicopter mom. And Carrie, wherever you are, it’s not nice to speak against other people, didn’t you ever learn how to be a polite?