Rump Shaper, Booty Blast, Shape Shaker – Ultimate Exercuses

Today’s topic, boys and girls, is exercise.  I’d love to be able to rhapsodize about it but honestly, I’m not sure I can.  I have more of a hate/indifferent/sometimes-like relationship with it.  You know what, though?  I’m going to give it a go.  Maybe that is how this post will end, one of those “you never know till you give it a try” sort of messages.  This might be the most positive thing I’ve ever written.  Is it scary that I don’t have an end point in mind yet?


Oh, this is gonna get wordy.  I can feel it. But I’m here to “Impart Wisdom” so let’s get to it.


How does one choose an exercise program, you ask.  Well, first you must be facing forty in a few years.  And you must have some extra curves that you want to get rid of.  It also helps if you have any kind of desire to actually BE healthy but honestly, age and fat will knock some sense right into you without all that “living healthy” garbage. 


There are many types of exercise programs out there.  You just have to pick something you like and that you can sustain.  Me, I get bored.  I try lots of things, most of which scare the pants off of me at first (not literally).  Currently I’m into the Body Pump/Spin/Running (read Jogging, slowly) phase of my life.  But I’ve gone through several phases over the last few years. 


You already know that I’m a devoted member of my local YMCA.  Before I joined the Y, though, I was the member of a girlie gym.  It was for women only and the program suggested attendance three times a week.  I enjoyed it, I suppose, and give them props for getting me started but after a year or so, I outgrew them.  I needed more.  Plus, the gym burned down so I guess my needing more really just meant I didn’t want to sift through the char and rubble to find a jump rope. 


I tried something called I Chi Chin (I think) with a former co-worker for a little while, mostly because he was completely stoked about it and asked me repeatedly to join him.  Let me kindly say that Tai Chi is not for me.  I felt like a complete dork what with all the hissy breathing.  Plus, people made fun of it (always behind his back) and that right there will cause an extra curvy, almost forty-year-old to have a re-think.  No, thank you.  Also, I have no desire to put my foot behind my head.  Ever.  So, pass.


Rickkster does a self defense-type thing.  The funny part about that isn’t the workout.  It’s what happens to him during the workout that makes me giggle.  Before we knew he was learning all these specific movements and tricks, we thought he was just getting lucky with a new girl because he had what looked like hickeys on his neck and we were all like, “Way to go, man.” But when he started coming in with bruises in odd places like the giant one on his forearm, we got a bit concerned.  “Rickkster – uh, is she large?  Is she mean? Beefy, maybe?” He finally told us that it was not a new girl but a self-defense class which in hindsight makes a lot more sense.  He’s scrappy but wiry so I think it is perfect for him.  Also, he mentioned that he might have been smushed against some girlie parts during the lessons so my guess is that Rickkster is completely happy with his workout choices.  Wow, total tangent there.  Anyway, self-defense is also not for me.  I don’t want hickeys and bruises and smushing up against girlie parts of any kind.  Plus I’m nearly 6 feet tall so I don’t really feel the need for any self-defense moves.  Pepper spray works just fine. 


For now I’ll stick with the running (jogging) thing.  I like it. And one day I will run a ½ marathon.  Just one.  I don’t want to get too crazy.


And what does one wear when working out, you ask.  I can tell you what not to wear, specifically if you are man.  If you choose running as your activity, the bicycle short is not for you.  Just no.  No.  N-O spells no.  Please.  I don’t care how seriously you take your running, there are no excuses in the world valid enough for you to showcase every nook and cranny, or bump, that you own in spandex.  Please, if you have any love at all for humanity, do not wear this garment and most especially, do not tuck your t-shirt into this garment. Same goes for those of you that wear the tiny flappy running shorts.  Imagination is a terrific thing. Let’s not ruin it by putting all you have on display, mkay?  Oh, and for the record, only Michael Phelps looks good in a Speedo.  No one else even needs to try.


And now for the ladies.  I can only speak with authority for the busty girl.  Get a harness, preferably one that does not skew uni-boob.  The objective here is to have something so tight and confining that you cannot breathe properly. Then and only then will you have enough support to not damage your eyes while running. If you have to sort of shimmy in and out of it with the help of some grease, even better.  You are now ready to tackle any method of bouncing, jogging, or movement you choose.  Oh, and get good shoes. 


Otherwise, I suppose you should just buy whatever you like.  I know I don’t look my best when working out but it does help to have a t-shirt that reads “You me” with the heart in red sequins. 


And who does one choose for workout partners, you ask.  Not the former co-worker who was so excited about putting his foot behind his head, I’ll tell you that right now.  Mostly because he has an odd grunting sniffle that sounds a bit like he’s strangling but that’s my personal hang-up, I suppose. 


Also, not people like Dammit Todd.  Dammit Todd can eat fast food for months and lie around on the couch being lazy for months and in one week will begin and excel in an exercise program that surpasses everything you ever wanted to accomplish in your entire life.  It isn’t fair. So to feel good about yourself and your accomplishments, let Dammit Todd go do his own thing while you go do your own. He currently subscribes to the “Body by the Hulk” program which was designed by a mutual friend who has arms bigger than my head.  I cannot sustain that kind of fortitude.


Funny story. When I first started walking in Nashville I was on the Greenway which is this really nice system of walking trails that run throughout the city.  Now this should come as no surprise to you, but I don’t meet a lot of strangers.  And one day I was walking along when a largish woman with a corkscrew-curl wig asked me if she could walk with me.  I had never seen her before but of course I said yes. I was fascinated by the wig and I like talking.  We plowed along getting to know each other and when we got to the big monster hill she started praying. She prayed all the way up the hill:  “Lord Jesus, help me up this hill.  Lord Jesus, please get me up this hill.  Lord Jesus, I need You now.”  It worked. She and I made it up that hill and still had enough breath to continue on.  I learned a valuable lesson that day.


Pick people that you like and that challenge you for workout partners.  I prefer Lynnette and Jane.  And Lord Jesus, seriously.  You should exercise with people that give you good encouragement and training.  Sometimes I call encouragement and training “yelling” but that’s usually when I’ve got PMS.  As you get better at it, it’s nice to be the one doing the encouraging and training.  It’s never called “yelling” then, but “motivation”. 


To end, I’ll tell you a story about my first and only 10K I’ve run thus far.  I had trained for it and really wanted to do it. But race day was cold and I was second-guessing myself.  Martie was there as were Coach, Lynnette, Jane, Pooh and Tigger.  And Martie gave me a scolding (which she calls “encouragement”) when I said that I would just do the 5K instead of the 10K because I wasn’t ready.  Because she’s the younger sister and because she’s bossy, I ran the 10K.  Towards the end of the race, I came to a sign that directed the 5K runners in one direction and the 10K runners in another longer direction, and right there I started to get teary-eyed.  I was tired.  I didn’t want to run anymore.  My chest hurt and my legs burned and I was wiped out.  But I didn’t cheat.  I sent up a tiny little prayer and I kept running.  I paused to walk about 20 steps up one hill but otherwise I ran the entire way.  And when I made it to the track for one lap around as the finish, I was just so proud.  I ran with all I had in me for that last lap and I crossed that finish line and I did not die.  And Martie, Lynnette, Coach, Jane, Pooh and Tigger were all right there, waiting on me.  We had all run races that day that challenged us, 1 mile and 5Ks and 10Ks. None of us died and we all completed our runs.  And it was amazing. 


See there?  I did get a positive message out of this after all.  And I thought I should share an email here from Quan, who I’m learning is quite wise:  I had a great workout last night…. Went home and took a 2 hour nap then ate pizza.  I feel great about it.


Sending best wishes to Jamie, Jane, Laura, Julie Ann, Judy, Ginny, Chandra and Christina.  Good luck on the half and whole marathons this weekend!  And full credit goes to Lynnette for the title of this here post.  Thank ya, baby!




Hey guys? Want to know what’s fun?  Roller Derby!  At least I think it is.  What could be more entertaining than a night out with friends watching a bunch of women kick each other’s asses  while wearing roller skates?  I’ll bet profanity is involved. 


You know what else is fun?  Meeting Freddie and Ian and Quan and dog-neighbor (who at this point should have a name – let’s call him Sanchez) at a bar and having some cocktails that look like a Frosty and taste like a Frosty but are actually chock full of alcohol, at least 5 different kinds.  I asked what was in it the last time I had one and lost track after Kahlua, chocolate liqueur and 151.  I know at least two more alcoholic ingredients were listed but since I had already ingested half of this tasty beverage, the ingredient list went in one ear and out the other.  As it is now, I am a complete lightweight and the full drink I had was more than enough for me, causing me to grin like a loon and weave my way down 2nd Avenue.  The official name for this concoction is called Bushwhacker.  Go have one and you’ll agree that it is indeed a tasty beverage and that for the average Joe, one is plenty.  So I’ll take two. (I kid! Probably that is a bad idea . . .)


Anyway, you know what’s not fun?  Realizing that you have 4 very bald, very dry rotted tires on your awesome blue granny car and spending all of your money to buy new ones.  And by all of your money, I mean all but $10.00 of your money.  I don’t think I’ve ever wiped out a paycheck so efficiently in all my life.


I had big plans for this weekend.  Cocktails?  Yes!  Roller Derby? Yes!  Profanity? Hopefully!  (I am a work in progress, after all.)  A night out with a few of my bestest friends?  Yes!  Unfortunately my plans somehow did not include being poor.


I texted Freddie:  Okay, I just looked at my money.  I don’t have any now because of car repairs so I’m going to skip tonight.  I’m such a grown up.


She texted back:  What? Boo!  I hate responsibility! It’s un-American.


That gave me pause.  Which countries are known for being good with their money?  Certainly not ours. We are trillions of dollars in debt.  I’d rather not add to that phenomenon on a personal level.


Jimmie: Actually, I propose the opposite is true.


Freddie:  Hmmm . . .  good point.  I’ll be sad if you are not there, but I understand. (Here I should mention that I luff her.  She gets it. Plus, she invited me over for Easter dinner which includes a bunny cake that she baked and decorated herself.  Need I say more?)

Jimmie:  I’m being a good Asian. Or European.  I’ll comfort myself with that.  (Surely one of them has a grip on their economy, right?)


Anyway, although I had a fun night out planned, I’ll choose being a grown up over getting myself into financial dire straits.  That is called being a “Good Steward”.  


It’s Easter weekend.  Good Friday has passed.  Easter is coming.  What a season of hopefulness, yet hopefulness tinged with sadness.  Our Lord is rising again.  You guys know what’s fun? That’s fun! 


Happy Easter, everyone!


Guest Posts?

I’ve thought recently about having people guest post here.  I think my friends and family have a lot of talent and humor and good things to say.  So consider this your invitation, friends and family.  This is as formal as it will get.  You write it and I will post it (with maybe only a few minor edits).  My blog is your blog. 


In a fit of silliness while I was thinking about guest posts, I wondered what my cats would say if given the opportunity to write a little something.  So Murphy and I had a conversation and after some time, he wrote this up for you guys.


A Guest Post, by Murphy

 The Smushy One belongs to me.  She came to the feeding place where I lived for a while with Seamus and she looked alright so I licked my paws and smoothed out my eyebrows and purred. BINGO!  She was wrapped around my little paw, just like that.  These dames – they are so easy. 


She took us to a new feeding place, one with rooms and beds and a scratching post.  There were also these big sheets of fabric hanging over the windows and let me tell you how much fun they were!  I would take a flying leap from the scratching post and land with my claws out on those fabric hangings and slide all the way down to the ground.  They must not make that stuff like they used to, though, because it just shredded under my claws.  And The Smushy One bought new fabric hangings and now when I try to take the flying leap onto them, she squirts me with a water bottle.  How rude. 


Clearly I had a lot of other exploring to do once I got to the new feeding place.  The cabinets were of particular interest to me.  It was difficult at first to get my paws in the door of them but after a couple of hours a night pawing and battering at them, I was in.  Someone should have told me that there was nothing of interest in there, only cleaning supplies and that bubbly stuff she washes her hair with. There was a lot of that. 


Sometimes The Smushy One ignores me and moves her mouth a lot and makes noise into a rectangular metal thing.  She does that a lot actually.  To me it sounds like “wah wah whah, wah” and then some laughing.  But I’ve got a trick for when she ignores me like that.  I’ll stick my paw on her mouth.  It is particularly funny when she has that shiny stuff on her lips.  When I stick my paw on them it leaves a lot of my fur stuck in her shiny stuff and it looks funny.  Har har. 


One night she was ignoring me with her eyes closed.  They had been closed for HOURS!  I was tired of being ignored with all of her eyes closed and her deep breathing and having to find a new place to sleep when she kept rolling over.  So I opened my claws and hooked her right in the lip.  Somehow that didn’t work as planned because instead of petting me she shoved me in the floor.  Maybe I should work on my technique and try more claws next time. 


And another time, oh it was such a good day.  My belly was full and I was sleepy.  I was slinking around on the bed, purring, looking for space on The Smushy One to take a nap.  I had the hiccups which was annoying but I wanted to purr and make biscuits on The Smushy One so I ignored them.  Or I tried to. It was slightly humiliating because I was purring then I would hiccup and then it would squeak.  Purr, hic, squeak.  The Smushy One brayed like a donkey every time it happened which just ruined my nap.


Despite that, I have a comfortable life.  The Smushy One does alright.  Every now and again I whizz on the carpet or eat some grass so I can puke it up directly in front of her, you know, to remind her who is boss.  We all need those reminders from time to time. 




And then Seamus and I had a talk and he, too, wrote a guest post for you. 


A Guest Post, by Seamus




I like under the bed.  I like food. I like Murphy.


The end.


So here ends my guest postings for this week. Anyone else want to give it a whirl?


Speaking of squeaking, the shoes I have on today are some of my favorites.  They are brown sandals and I wear them every summer as they are a perfect match for my cute little skirts and dresses.  It isn’t until spring rolls around and I dig them out that I remember why at the end of every summer, I vow to buy a new pair.  The right shoe squeaks and when I walk down the hall, or anywhere for that matter, I sound like I am rhythmically and systematically murdering a squeaky toy.  Awesome. 





Yesterday morning I got up at 4:30 so that I could take Body Pump and Spin with Lynnette.  It is a fight every morning.  I’m not big on alarm clocks and until this particular gym schedule started, I never used one.  But now I really do want to take these classes so I set my alarm for 4:30 and as soon as it goes off, I start praying. “Lord, please let me get up today.  I really want to but unless You send some sort of miracle, I won’t be getting out of this bed for another two hours.”  Sometimes I lose the battle, but yesterday was not one of those days.


I did most of the Body Pump. Lunges nearly killed me because suddenly I’ve got a creaky knee. This does not bode well for my career as a marathon runner.  I skipped that part and then went in for Spin.  Now I love Lynnette with all of my heart and I really admire her, but I will never understand how she is so excited to be up and moving on a Monday morning. And with such energy!  She thrives on it.  I get through it. That, I suppose, is the difference between the instructor and the student and why she has such great arms and I don’t.


Anywho, I sat next a new-to-me guy in the class.  I looked over and smiled and he ignored me.  I took no offense. It was Monday after all.  But a couple of times during the class, Lynnette would call out his name and instead of responding, he just looked straight ahead and never broke stride.  After a while I just chalked him up as a bit of a snob.  We were all panting and commiserating and rolling our eyes at ourselves but not this guy.  He just rode.


When class was over, he got up and cleaned his bike and did some stretches.  I think.  Honestly, I had written him off so I didn’t pay much attention. But when I saw him pick up his white cane and feel his way out the door, I realized that the only snob in there was me.  The guy was blind.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt like such an asshole before.  Go me.    


Yet Another Rain Story

What the frick is up with the monsoons already?  This weather is wreaking havoc on my hair which, honestly, needs no help to look like crap.  It can do that on its own.


I do have a story here.  For those of you who know me, you already know it will take me a bit to get there.  So here begins my circuitous route to the punch line.


We’ve got a new-to-us guy in the office.  I remember what it was like being the new person in a new office in a new city where I knew precisely one person and that person worked ALL THE WAY ACROSS TOWN.  My new co-workers took me to lunch my first day but then I felt sort of lost and adrift for a few weeks until I established my own friend pool to go to lunch with.  I resolved then that anyone who might be suffering from New Person Syndrome would not suffer it long around me. 


A complete aside here (I know! Shocking!).  Dammit Todd and I used to work together.  Before that, though, he had to interview with our company.  I was the first line of defense for anyone coming into our office unsolicited, usually people selling their job placement services.  So when Dammit Todd showed up in a suit and tie, I naturally assumed that he was there to sell us something and I was no how, no way going to let him get away with that.  He asked for the big boss and I said, “Did you bring me a present?”  He got quiet and said, “No.” I replied, “Well, you can’t come in here without bringing me a present.”  And he didn’t say a word.  And then Lynnette (we also used to work together) came up to get Dammit Todd and said, “Oh, hi Dammit Todd.  Are you here for your interview?”  So, yeah . . . . I really did ask him to lunch on his first day and then introduced myself properly as “Jimmie, your favorite” and we have been fast friends ever since. 


Back to the new-to-us guy.  I like the name Quan for him.  I’m not sure why.  We, and by we I mean I, are (am) still getting him used to us as a group.  I must say, he fits in like he’s always been here so going to lunch with him is a treat for all of us.  Really, I just cannot emphasize enough how much we really like him.


On Tuesday we got a pile of us together for lunch and walked up the hill to the Mongolian BBQ place.  Have you ever been to one?   A small bowl costs you one price, a large another.  I love watching the people who can take the smaller bowl and craft a larger bowl out of it by lining the edges with snow peas and then stuffing it full.  Amazing.  We had a great lunch and talked a lot and got fortune cookies.  And then I learned that Quan belonged to us because he sent the following email when we got back to the office: 


PS – I shouldn’t have even gotten a fortune cookie … they always suck for me.  Mine said:  Others take notice of your radiance. Share your happiness.


What a load of crap. 


Isn’t that great?


Fast forward to today.  Because I tend to be a creature of obsession when it comes to food, I’ll wear a place out for about six months to a year before I get sick of it.   And it’s Friday, the day usually reserved for having lunch out with my friends.  Never mind that the weather forecasts called for rain and heavy thunderstorms and wind, my friends and I did not bring lunch from home.  We said we would go somewhere close and yummy and not worry about the weather. And we picked the Mongolian BBQ place.  Again.


Also despite the weather forecasts calling for rain and heavy thunderstorms and wind, I left my umbrella (that I stole from my boss – you would have too because it’s really nice and big) in the car. 


Also despite the weather forecasts calling for rain and heavy thunderstorms and wind, I wore a short skirt and sandals today which really has nothing to do with the story except I wanted to whine about being cold and wet now. 


I had no lunch, no umbrella, and no warmth but we were still going to the place up the hill for lunch because I was insistent.  I borrowed an umbrella from a guy on my floor, we walked out the door, and the wind immediately whipped that umbrella inside out.  My hair was ruined.  I wrestled the umbrella back into some semblance of order and continued on. Felix’s umbrella was also wrangled into a bit of a mess.  Quan’s umbrella did beautifully.  Lucky dog. 


Felix and I traipsed on, holding our mangled umbrellas low over our heads and sort of wrapped around us like plastic wrap. We could not see a thing but luckily for us, we only ran into one parked van and one large marble sign.  No injuries were sustained.  Quan just strolled on behind us with his perfectly lovely, fully functioning umbrella.  Jerk face.


I suppose I can let Quan have his perfectly lovely umbrella, though.  Today his fortune read:  You will soon receive a letter from a loved one.  Awful, isn’t it?  The guy already has the perfect umbrella.  He doesn’t get the perfect fortune too. 


And here is the point of my story.  I returned the umbrella to the guy on my floor after our lunch adventure.  It did me no good in the monsoon.  My hair is a mess.  It’s crunchy and flat.  I spent more time putting the umbrella back together as I walked than the umbrella did protecting me from the elements.  I told him all this.   I cannot understand why he is upset with me.  Really. Can you? 







This is why people don’t let me borrow their stuff. 

People of Interest; A Handy Checklist, Volume II

I don’t want anyone on this particular list to get all weird on me because I threw around the “L” word about them.  Some might feel awkward about it and shun me.  I don’t want that.  So let’s call this list People of Interest. You guys didn’t think I was done, did you?  I have WAY more people to share with you on this here blog. 


Family is only a portion of those who are assigned blame for my idiosyncrasies.  Someone today asked me if I was nervous about this part, putting my friends on here.  The thought never occurred to me.  They all know I’m doing this and for the most part, I ask permission before sharing too much.  I’m thrilled that they trust me enough to let me share them with the world.  Let’s see how they feel afterwards . . .


Phranke:  Ah, Phranke.  She’s been around nearly most of my life although we didn’t really become aware of each other until high school.  She was with me when I got giant boobs and had big hair.  She knows me.  She’s practically my sister.  I’m not entirely sure that I’m all fun and games for her, but she sticks around.  That’s what good friends are like. 


I went to visit her this weekend and as usual, I dug through all of her cabinets, drawers and closets. I’m not sure why I do this but she lets me.  I would let her do the same thing at my house. Anyway, I just had to share this picture with you. This is a shelf in her closet:



I hee-hawed over this for a good five minutes as she explained how each one is in a precise order, from newest to oldest.  They rotate. 


Below is an email exchange I had with her one day.  It’s one of the many reasons why I luff her. 


Jimmie:           I’m sad and it’s been here since Sunday.  I can’t seem to shake it and I’ve been crying every day since then.  My eyes look like crap, sort of like sand bags except wrinkly sandbags.  Is it the holidays?  Maybe so.  I dunno. 


Phranke:          Don’t you hate it – I can’t cry for 5 seconds without looking like someone beat the shit out of me all the next day.  Don’t forget to tell anyone who asks that it’s a new style of eye makeup that’s all the rage in California: faux-misery.  It was originally created for people who are all botoxed up and can’t feign emotional responses, but then it just caught on and everyone’s doing it.



Dammit Todd:  Dammit Todd is the reason I have the name Jimmie.  We were on a boat on a lazy Sunday a couple of summers ago and he had had a few beers.  (Honestly, we had all had a few beers.)  I was on a float, out in the water, minding my own business, when out of the blue he said, “I’m going to call you Jimmie.”  And it stuck.  I have no idea where that came from and neither does he.  I won’t embarrass him by telling everyone that sometimes we go shopping and I make him turn around so I can check out how his butt looks in his jeans.  (Mostly it is for him, so that he knows if they fit right but I would be a liar if I told you there was nothing in it for me.)  But I’m just not that kind of friend, to embarrass someone like that.  One random Saturday morning I received the following texts from him. 


4:02 am

Dammit Todd:             And I must say . . .Viva de casa de waffle


4:08 am

Dammit Todd:             You’re a pansy cuz w8 –


4:09 am

Dammit Todd:             You’re a pansy cuz u won’t pub9 –


4:10 am

Dammit Todd:             You’re a pansy cuz u won’t stay up and text us all maggi –


4:13 am

Dammit Todd:             You’re a pansy cuz u won’t stay up and text us all night . . .  Finally.  Sorry.  I’m drunk as hell. Better see u tomorrow for supper.


See why he is interesting?


Lynnette:  Lynnette is the instructor at the YMCA.  Remember her?  She’s the one who tries to maim us during class.  She has the best muscle definition in her arms and if I maimed myself like she does, I’d probably have those arms.  For now, I’ll just settle for being jealous.  She’s the one I credit with keeping me on track with my gym attendance.  When I’ve been lazy or absent for too long (maybe a day or two), Lynnette sends me the sweetest messages like, “Are you okay?  Just tired?  I was worried about you.” I genuinely luff this about her.  Happy was the day that we met and I will have her forever. 


Pee-tah:  Pee-tah belongs in my heart.  I can’t imagine life without him.  I’ve almost seen him naked and we are still friends!  That is true friendship, right there.


Freddie:  She has the best laugh.  We are kindred spirits.  Don’t believe me?  Go ask her how many kids she wants.  I dare you.  We both ascribe to the philosophy that children are fantastic little creatures, but birthing them from our bodies is an idea akin to flaying open our skin and pouring alcohol on it just for kicks. 


Kindle:  A favorite of mine.  We went to a concert over the weekend and there was a moment when the audience was asked join hands with the person beside us.  So we did with some reticence.  It lasted for about a minute and both of us were slightly awkward about it.  So after a bit, Kindle said, “You know I have love for you, but I’m not going to hold your hand anymore.”  Agreed.


Felix:  Drink mixer master.  Drummer.  Arteest.  I am hopeful that if I surround myself with all of these talented people, eventually some of that talent will rub off on me.  He wrote this poem for me and Freddie before we took off for the beach:


Manis and Pedis for

Your fingers and toes,

Lipstick, eyeliner and

Powdering your nose,

Hair coloring, highlights

And a little bit of bleach,

Suntan lotion, martinis,

And heading to the beach!


That’s what big girls are made of. 


Bootsie:  If you could meet her, you would understand in an instant why I call her Bootsie.  She is the epitome of a Bootsie – she’s crafty and trendy and adorable. And short-ish. She would not hurt a bug.


We used to work together.  A while back, she was leaving that job in an unfortunate way.  She’d been with the company for 6 years or so when they downsized, leaving her in the lurch.  She was packing up a few things and had this old hammer that apparently had some kind of value, at least to the co-worker who was admiring it.  She stood there looking around her space and then said, “Can I see that hammer for a second?”  She grabbed it out of his hand and in one smooth move, whacked it against her five year plaque, shattering glass and paper in a lovely spray of glitter and shards.  And then she calmly handed the hammer back and said, “Thanks.  I feel better.”  See why I luff her?


Woney:  She’s one of the biggest surprises of my life. How do you meet someone who lives clear across the country and become such fast friends despite not meeting each other face to face for months?  Yet, it happened. We travel.  Lots.  And we are perfect roommates.  Any excuse to pack up and go somewhere, and we are on it!


Lorne:  This girl gets full credit for naming this here blog.  Extraordinary?  Yes, I wants it.  Ordinary?  Yes, I gots it.  Only she put it together for me.  I regularly get little pick me ups from her in the following format:






She gets me.


Rickkster:  He’s awesome. The end. 


Wait, I forgot this guy:


Boss:  This guy gets some credit.  Our relationship can best be described as odd. I mean, he’s the one who lets me trash talk him on a regular basis and call him names.  And he gives as good as he gets.  Not many people can put that on a resume.  This is a phone conversation we had recently:


<Ring> <Ring>

Jimmie:          Good morning, this is Jimmie.

Boss:                Okay, go to www-

Jimmie:          I’m not getting fired for this am I?

Boss:                <Pause>  Are you done yet?

Jimmie:          I don’t trust you.

Boss:                Yes you do.

Jimmie:          <Sigh> Yeah, I do.


These are just a few of the people I have had the good fortune to run across. I will keep them for my very own for as long as I am able.  And now you get them too!  Lucky, lucky, lucky.  Rather, blessed.  I realize that I’ve got the good stuff. 






People I Luff, Family Style; Or, A Handy Checklist

Okay, I can see where this here blog might get confusing in a short while.  I have a lot of people in my life, and as you can already tell,  these people will feature regularly here.  I’m just so popular . . . . It’s a tough job, but someone must do it.  I’m also very modest.  My everyday life is good fodder for run-of-the-mill discussions as it is.   But I’m also smart enough to surround myself with funny, smart, snarky people and therefore, my life is even more exciting.  It doesn’t always work so well for me (read: pencil lead in knuckle) but for the most part I am entertained.


Extraordinary lives require extraordinary people.  Makes sense, no?  I can view anything as extraordinary, I suppose, with the right attitude and lots of creativity.  For example, I was in downtown Nashville last night for a band competition and I walked by one of the karaoke bars.  I heard a woman in there murdering a Joan Jett song.  It was awful. Truly terrible.  But she had on a tiny skirt and a really nice spray tan and lots of hair dye so every man in there was completely enthralled.  It was extraordinary but maybe not in the positive, motivational way I am trying to embrace. 


But back to the task at hand.  I felt it was time to provide a handy list to guide you through the people in my life.  This volume is dedicated to my family.  I have them to blame for most everything.  Any dysfunction or weirdness I got was inherited directly from them.  I take no responsibility.  Plus, I’m the boring one.  I mean, yes I’ve got some personality, but I gots nothing on these people.  Shall we go down the list?


Madre:  Well, she’s Madre.  I couldn’t luff anyone more.  I’ve never seen anyone her age (or younger, for that matter) who can sling herself around on a horse like Madre can.  Once, when we were teenagers, Martie was upset about something and said to Madre, “You always liked Jimmie better!” To which Madre replied, “Of course I do.  I’ve known her longer.”   


Daddy-O:  Again, Daddy-O.  Not a lot of explanation required.  Awesome and super talented.  Wish I would have gotten just a smidge of that.  Sigh.  He laughs a lot which makes me happy.  After reading my first two posts here, he sent me an email that said, “You need a drink.”


Martie:  My younger sister, Martie, now she’s extraordinary.  She’ll be on here a lot so you should know about her.  The girl can sang.  She’s funny.  And she’s the pretty one.  My high school crush talked to me once, in Geometry class, and I was so excited! He came over to my desk and said “hey” and I nearly passed out from the giddiness.  I was already gearing up for a huge note-writing session to all of my girlfriends about this conversation in which the Cute One talked to me.  But right after he said “hey”, he said, “So is your sister dating anyone?  Cause I think she’s cute.”  So much for that fantasy.   Looking back, though, I realize that I was fortunate to not connect with him in any romantic way back in the day.  He still looks exactly like he did in high school.  I’ll let you infer what you will about that.  Anyway . . . one of my favorite things about Martie is that she signs her emails to me in this fashion:


Love you so very smooches,



Isn’t that cute?


The Squirt:  My youngest sister is The Squirt.  She’s the cute one.  She does all kinds of neat stuff like speak Spanish fluently, builds houses, and travels on a budget.  I’m not sure how often she’ll make an appearance but I luff her. 


Pooh:  Pooh is my older niece. She’s amazing.  She has these gorgeous blue eyes and all of this dark thick hair.  She’s wicked smart and has a super trendy fashion sense.  I can’t wait to see what kind of person she grows up to be.  A lot like me, I imagine.  And everyone knows that I’m your favorite so I’ve got high expectations of her.


Tigger:  Tigger is my younger niece.  She’s also amazing. And slightly bossy.  It’s cute.  Following is a conversation I had with her a while back, about the state of my hair.  It was curly and all over the place because I was too lazy to do anything else with it. 


Jimmie:                 Hi Tigger!


Tigger:                  <Eyeing me with horror> “What happened to your hay-ar?”


Jimmie:                 It’s curly is all.


Tigger:                  <not buying it, nostrils flared slightly> “It’s wi-yuld.”


Jimmie:                 Yeah . . .


Tigger:                  <sincerely> “What if someone laffs at you?”


Coach:  Coach is the husband of Martie, father of Pooh and Tigger and brother-in-law of Jimmie.  Poor guy. That’s a lot of chicks.  Plus, he has our Madre and his own Madre.  I’m not sure why he hasn’t croaked off already from the estrogen overload.  One day he will have an absolute freak out and run screaming to the nearest gymnasium and throw himself amongst the teenage boys playing basketball and beg for some drugs, or testosterone.  As it is now, when we have a family get-together and other men will be present, he’s no more put the car in park before he’s sprinting to the man section of the house, looking for beers and guns and camouflage.  I babysit for Martie and Coach fairly regularly and he always makes sure I have a key and code for the house.  His latest note with code read:


Oh Jimmie!  You came and you gave without taking . . . Now press the code or the police will take you . . . . 


Poppa:  Husband of Madre.  All around general good guy.  Martie, who works in a salon and does my hair for free (score!), dyed my hair red once.  I had begged for it for a long time. I went to Madre’s casa to show it off (and visit) and Poppa took one look, grunted, and said: “Not your best look, is it?”  Well. 


JiJi:  Wife of Daddy-O.  One year for Christmas I asked if she would organize my cabinets for me as a gift. Sure enough, right after Christmas she showed up with some roundy shelves and some common sense and got me squared away.  What a woman!


Boo and Bear:  Brothers, with assorted wives and children. Gorgeous families and good genes and talent out the wazoo.  I’d hate them for all of that but I have big luff for them, so I suppose hate is out of the question.  We don’t connect all that often but it sure is nice when we do.  Unfortunately I have no funny stories to share about them, mostly because all the good ones happened in elementary school and we would all be mortified to revisit that particular era what with all the bad hair and excessive eyeliner and tobacco products and high top tennis shoes.  Yikes. Moving right along . . .


And finally, me again.


Jimmie:  When I checked the mail Saturday morning the lone piece of stuff in there was addressed specifically to me, not to “Resident” and said:


The Ultimate Outdoorsman Action Pack!

Enter to win your choice of a FREE Ruger Rifle or a PSE Deer Hunter Bow!


And the back said:


The 100th Anniversary of the 1911, Designed by John Browning. Life’s too short to shoot an ugly gun!


What the hell?!  Now this weekend alone, I have waxed poetic about girlie drinks and pedicures that include painting sparkles on my toes and pigtails, not ponytails, and did make up for the girls in our corporate band.  Is there something about me that says “Yes, I want to kill foodstuffs with a gun and/or bow and arrow and serve dead animal carcass that I shot all by myself”?  I don’t get it.  Boo, I blame you.


This, people, is the story of my life. 


I have many more people to introduce you to.  I felt like this list was enough for one day.  It’s mind boggling, isn’t it?  Personally, I’m thrilled to have all of these people at my back.  I’m a lucky woman!


Just for fun, I’ve added a picture.  I took this while on last week’s chocolate run.  Doesn’t that just make you smile?


Stuff I Learned: Beach 2011

So, I’m back from my beach trip.  It was awesome.  The end. 


Snort.  If you know me at all, you know that is nowhere near the end. 


Freddie and I had a fabulous time while on our trip to the wild blue yonder. The entire weekend was perfect.  We were lazy and girlie and covered in sunscreen which meant that we did not have to spend any days in misery lamenting over our lobster skin.  We taste-tested some adult beverages and tried new restaurants and rode bikes and read books.  We also planned a lovely evening of chick flicks, wine and pizza.  See? Perfect!


I think you should take something away from every experience you have in life, and I have given this concept a lot of thought since we returned.  I don’t want to bore you with the details of the trip, especially because they lose something when you weren’t there to share it. Also, I don’t want to feel like I am showing off because Freddie and I had such a nice time.  I did learn some fun things, though, and you guys are lucky in that I want to share them with you.  I call it “Imparting Wisdom”.  Without further ado, following please find my list of Stuff I Learned: Beach 2011.


  • Sticking my feet in the sand and the ocean grounds me.  When that happens, I am one of the happiest most peaceful persons on the planet.  I have always known this but it bears repeating.  So that you can also remain happy and peaceful, I will not include any photos of me in my swimsuit.  You can, however, see me naked in several locations on this trip.



  • When you want drink recipes, ask Felix.  We did that on our first day down there thinking that we would mix our own and gaily traipse down to the beach with them every day. Holy Moly, did we hit the mother lode.  That man is a genius when it comes to liquor. Somehow we never made our own drinks, though. 


  • Responding to your co-worker’s question “Which person is wilder, you or Freddie?” with “We are both perfect angels.” will make him shoot Coke out his nose.


  •  There is a reason why the fruity drink in the Irish pub was named “Three Sheets”.


  • When you take a picture of your “Three Sheets” cocktail and text it to all your friends at 1:00 on a Friday afternoon while they are still working and are more than ready to go home and start their own fabulous weekends, don’t be surprised when you receive this text in reply:




  • Saying the two words “my husband” will make the stranger whose mental state can generously be described as “burnt” run like a scalded dog. This would have been handy to know before his two-day assault on our lying-in-the-sun-relax time.  Honestly, the guy was friendly enough but once a conversation has run its course, the next logical course of action is to go away.  Somehow he never made that connection and spent quite a lot of time offering us his phone number, suggestions for restaurants and invites to local activities.   Lucky for us, we discovered his Kryptonite after two short days.  That would be Freddie’s husband.  Let’s call him Ian.  I think Ian would be strangely proud to know that he is someone’s Kryptonite. 


  • There is a trade off for good stuff that happens.  We had perfect weather in Florida.  Absolutely gorgeous.  We had hideous weather when we returned to Nashville.  Dreadful.  We flew in during another freaking monsoon and had to circle the airport a few times to avoid landing during the storm. Normally I’m great on planes and the turbulence does not bother me, but this time?  Oof.  I wanted to varmint. 


  • As much as I love vacations, I love coming home more.  Well, mostly.  But coming home to a cat who expresses his displeasure at your absence by peeing on the carpet will put a damper on your enthusiasm rather quickly.  Murphy.  Sigh. I wondered if he had some lingering resentment over Seamus winning the battle of the suitcase snuggling, so I’ve left it in the middle of my bedroom floor for them to nap on in turns. 


  • When you ask Louis the Security Guard if he noticed that you were gone and if he missed you, he will say, “Yep, I knew you were gone.  Want to know how I knew?  Because it was quiet.  I didn’t hear a flea.  That’s how I knew.”


  • Freddie and I can take a trip together for three concentrated days and still like each other when we return.  At least I still like her.  Strangely, I have not seen her much since we’ve been back.  Huhn. 


BONUS WISDOM: Randomly – this has nothing to do with this weekend but my mother called after reading my post about the crab apples to tell me that those apples are the perfect base for pepper jelly.  I had no idea . . .


Also, I have yet to discover that I left something behind.  Maybe I have learned my lesson?


Well that was unexpected

So we all agree that I’m a chick, right?  And that I like boys.  Cute ones, specifically, with fabulously big arms that are just scored with muscles or with blinding white Chiclet teeth (For those of you interested, I am completely and totally hot for the Bee Gees boys, specifically Barry with those gorgeous choppers.  I do not care that they are 90 now, unless of course, they no longer have those teeth and then in that case they can go blow smoke.) or with foreign accents and some height on them.  I’m not embarrassed to admit that I am still very much a school girl in that I plaster pictures of cute boys all over my walls (desktop).   My co-workers, mostly male engineers, just love this. 


For the longest time I had this yummy picture of a shirtless Dwayne Johnson staring back over his shoulder.  It was a side view and you could see the muscle definition in his arms and the tattoo and the chest.  Oh, the chest.  Sigh . . . that man is just pretty.  Today I have a black and white of Michael Phelps, shirtless natch, and he’s also looking off into space, muscles rippling. And the hip rip is on full display, right above the shorts that are just about to fall off . . . . . .      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Oh, sorry.  I wandered there for a minute.   

Anyway, a few weeks ago I had the Clive Owen up.  It was a small picture and he was hot and staring right at you.  The picture was tasteful and again, small.


I went to lunch, and trusting soul that I am, I left my computer unlocked.  I work in an engineering firm and yes, these people are amazing and wonderful but rowdy they are not.  I’ve never questioned my safety or integrity while working with these fantastic people, nor did I ever expect them to step outside the world of numbers and plans to stoop to my level. 

I came back from lunch, sat down at my desk and was working away when one of my co-workers dropped by to tell me that he and his wife are expecting another baby.  He had the sweetest picture to show me: his daughter wearing an “I’m the big sister” shirt. That’s how they announced it.  While I looked at his picture he got a puzzled look on his face and said, “I thought it was Clive Owen this week.”  I looked up and to my horror my







was replaced with this: 







Sure, I suppose Hall & Oates were hot back in the day but the porn ‘stache has never done it for me. 


Because I can keep nothing to myself and because I apparently love to throw myself under the bus, I sent this chain of events to all my friends via email.   

And Phranke joyfully replied.  (Because I am not all that creative or uptight about writing rules, just know that the below was all done in email. One day I will get it together and make this look professional but understand that I just figured out spacing on this here blog.  I’m telling you, I’m good . . . )


Phranke:          Is someone calling you a maneater? 

Jimmie:            I’m not sure. This is a travesty.


Phranke:          I would have used THIS ONE






Jimmie:            Oh, the fur! Ew! 

Phranke:          Private Eyes “clap, clap”, they’re watching you, they see your every move . . . . .


Phranke:          I can’t go for that, ooohhoh, I can’t go for that, no can dooo-ooo, No, I can’t go for that 

Phranke:          Because your kiss (your kiss) is on my list, whoa-oo, Because your kiss (your kiss) I can’t resist


Phranke:          You make my dreams come true, oooh ooh ooh, I’ve been waiting for you girl, you, you, you-ooo 

In the meantime, I received a phone call on my office phone.  It was a song.  Maneater.  Of course. A line or two played, and then the call was disconnected. I’m fairly certain it was the print room but I have no proof.


And then again, Phranke . . .  

Phranke:          Is this at all annoying yet?  Because I could do this all day. They had a lot of hits back in the 80s you know. 


Hahahahahahahahaaa!  So we all had a good laugh over it and it was funny and I changed my picture back to Clive Owen and all was right in my world again. 

And then two days later I went to lunch and did not lock my computer (yes, I know) and I came back to this:







Har dee har har!  This picture was meant to be a joke but my super fabulous,  not-at-all rowdy co-workers played right into my grubby little paws.  Little do they know that George Michael and I are soul mates and that one day he will realize it and ditch the boy toys and come my way.    I have always had a thing for him and yes, when I was 13, I wallpapered the ceiling and walls of my bedroom with pictures of him ripped out of Tiger Beat that I made my Daddy buy for me.  There might have been an incident, also when I was 13, where in an effort to prove him wrong and prevent my heart from shattering into a million pieces, I punched a guy who called him gay.  And that guy had a pencil sticking out of his pocket and I whacked my knuckle against it, breaking the lead off into my skin which then left me with a permanent tattoo to forever remind me of my love for George.  See, soul mates!  Ha! Ha!  That man is mine. 


 Photo credits, as best I know how:


Yummy Clive – go here 

Hall and Oates # 1 – go here


Hall and Oates #2 – go here

My future lovair, George – go here