Speaking Of Snooty Snotholes . . . .

Want to know how my day started today?

Lady at the gym:  Are you working out with a trainer? 

Jimmie:  No.  But I’ve taken a lot of classes from Lynnette.  She taught me well.

Lady at the gym:  Well, you always work out really hard. Well done.

Jimmie: <preen>

Want to know how my day started yesterday? With jazz.  In abs class.  Who plays a jazz soundtrack for an ab workout?  Jazz makes no sense.  How are you supposed to breathe rhythmically to power through 600 bicycle kicks when you listen to jazz?  Everyone knows that you either play some sex music or some Adele in an abs class, because everyone knows you need to be motivated by some kind of sexy or raw emotion in order to not quit after ten crunches.  Ima have a word with the instructor, who by the way won’t be here for the next two classes because he’s going to a class reunion.  I’m pretty sure he’s going to walk around with no shirt on the whole time because I’m pretty sure a 50-something year old man with a stomach like a brick will win the prize for “Most Well Preserved”, and everyone knows that is the only reason you go to reunions anyway – to show off how good you still look and/or how much you have accomplished since you last saw each other at graduation.

And now, speaking of snooty snotholes, I have a story about a lady at the YMCA, where I used to go. Once upon a time, before Lynnette started teaching classes at the Y, I had never been to a Body Pump class.  I really wanted to go, though, so after much encouragement from Lynnette and assorted others I ventured to try it.  I went to the Greenway first and ran about five miles. I was pretty gross, but I didn’t worry too much about it as no one really expects you to be hawt at the gym, right?  I got to the class and set up all my equipment.  While the class was tough, I gave it my best.  One exercise required that we have partners and it seemed to me that everyone in there already knew each other so people already had established partners.  The instructor asked if anyone was solo, I raised my hand, and she asked another lady who was partnered with two other people to even it out and partner with me. 

The woman walked over towards me and we gave each other a look.  She had on some pretty tight spandex-y pants, a tiny little sports bra as a top, a giant well-manicured ponytail that had obviously been washed and styled just that morning, a full face of makeup including lip gloss and some giant hoop earrings.  Her stomach was as flat as a board, her butt perky, her boobs suspiciously firm-looking.  Etc.  What she saw when she looked at me I don’t know, but her eyes rolled from the top of my head down to the toe of my shoes.  She heaved a sigh and then called out to the instructor, “Nope, I’m good” and walked back over to the two people she had already partnered with. 

Needless to say, I never went back to that class until Lynnette started teaching it.  Sweet little old Lynnette who, while even being a hottie when she works out never makes anyone feel like crap about themselves because they sweat.

I was hopeful that my new gym wouldn’t have any snooty snotholes but unfortunately that is not the case.  There is a woman who I see nearly every day, in the gym and in the locker room (Ima call her Bianca which is totally a fake snooty name, in my opinion).  Bianca likes to kind of sashay around the gym, swishing her butt all around and then park on the elliptical machine for her allotted workout time.  She wears a sweat band (70s-style terry cloth) around her forehead and regularly makes unfortunate choices in workout pants.   When her workout is over, she sashays with her swishy butt into the locker room, gives me a once over as I am drying my hair and NEVER SAYS A WORD TO ME.  NEVER.  I know she speaks because I’ve heard her have conversations with others.  Yet there must be something about me she finds aesthetically unpleasing because she routinely ignores me as if I am not there.  I’m guessing that matching bra and panty sets offend her. 

There was a time when that would really bother me, when I could never let her beat me.  I’d do anything to make her talk to me, nay even like me a little even if only grudgingly.  But that was the old me.  The new me could give two rips.  Also, the new me will totally let her sashay around the gym with her swishy butt and never tell her that the unfortunate choice she regularly makes in workout pants really emphasizes the fact that her underwear is all wedged up in her butt crack and everyone can tell.  Suck on that, Bianca!

I’m so nice.

P.  S. Tony, I just want you to know that that other day when I was running on the Greenway, I saw four men IN UNIFORM running in front of me.  I’ll have you know, that phenomenon really did make me run further and faster!  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.  You’d better *bring it* next time I come out there.   

Highly Recommend, By Jimmie – Take Two.

Dear Readers,

I’ve done some fun stuff lately.  Lest you think I don’t have a life anymore due to job hunting and crying and re-budgeting and talking about my sexy hair, I thought I should write it up for you.  Following is my new list of things for you to consider doing: 

Rock Island Playdate – When your friends ask you to drive 2 hours to the coolest place in the world for a day of relaxation and fun, you go.  Do not think twice about it.  Pack up a cooler full of lunch, get some water, throw a towel in the car and take off.  Probably you should spend some real money on proper water shoes and also probably you should dress for hiking as well as floating (can anyone say “upper body support, i.e. bra instead of swimsuit”?) but even if you don’t, you will have the time of your life.  Take lots of pictures so that you can show off to all your friends. Post them on your blog.  Isn’t that waterfall nice? It was gorgeous! 

Not pictured?  The poison ivy I sat in . . . .

Gavin DeGraw – I, too, wish I could explain it.

Kayaking – I’ve waited my whole life to do this but I guess I didn’t know it.  I’d been saying I was going to go for months and last Tuesday was the first time I got to keep my promise.  I put on the ill-fitting life jacket (can anyone say “Stay Puft Marshmallow Man”?) and perched my poison ivy covered butt in that kayak.  After I ran into a couple of docked boats and a couple of my friends, I got the hang of things.  Now while most of you probably prefer the straight line method of kayaking in which you go from point A to point B in a linear manner, you need to understand that I prefer the Charlie Brown sweater pattern method of kayaking.  I like to zig and then zag and take far longer than anyone else to reach the destination.  It’s a much better shoulder workout, see.  Lynnette will be proud.

Maxi Dresses – go to Old Navy and get yourself one and wear it to visit Poppa.  After he asks you why you wore your nightgown to visit him, you’ll throw it in the trash.  (Can anyone say, “You look pregnant in that dress?”)

Urban Hike – for a few months I’ve been participating in something called an Urban Hike.  It’s a long walk through downtown Nashville in which we visit historic sites and landmarks particular to Nashville.  We also climb 248 stairs, ring the Liberty Bell and sweat like warthogs but it’s really quite rewarding.  What I don’t recommend, though, is missing a couple of weeks of the walk, especially when some key elements of the walk are changed (i.e. changing the route from five miles to six) and then not bringing water to the new and improved six mile walk when the temperatures have just peaked at the all-time high of 109 degrees.  Also not recommended is yapping excessively about how fantastic this walk really is to two men who have unreciprocated interest in you.  When you make it sound like the most incredible of hikes, do not be surprised when both of those men show up (uninvited by you) on the SAME NIGHT to walk with you.  (“Can anyone say, “Awkward”?)

Cakes from Freddie – This here is the cake Freddie made for my birthday.  It was delicious!  Because she makes such delicious cakes, she has started a little side business called World Piece Cakes.  Isn’t that cute?  Check it out here.

Planning stuff with Woney – I always like to end these Highly Recommend posts with something about Woney.  Have you noticed that?  Anyway, Woney has been working out with Tony now for a year.  Lemme tell you, she looks FIERCE!  That guy knows his stuff. (Can anyone say “This is hard” and “I’m tired”?  Cause Woney can’t.  Tony won’t let her anymore.)  He got her started on some new cardio routines too, and she’s running a lot now, much like I used to.  (le Sigh, but I’m getting there!) We talked for months about doing the 5K Color Run in Nashville and then somehow missed the deadline to enter which, with both of us being blondes and having lives, I don’t understand.  Anyway, we talked about it, got excited about it, missed the deadline and then gave up on it altogether.  Instead, she is coming to visit me *just because* in November.  Also, we are going to Ireland in a year or so to celebrate her birthday and now will begin ramping up those conversations and planning discussions.  It’s just too exciting! 

So now, in conclusion,

The end. 

As It Relates To Job Hunting

Y’all remember when I got lambasted for not having pearls to wear at an interview?  Look here at what Auntie Anne sent me.  My grandmother’s pearls!  Every last strand of them!  She sent them as a birthday gift with a note that said, “If you don’t want to look like a lady, wear them all at once.”  That is just like her . . . I plan on taking her advice and wearing every last strand of them over to the staffing place that was so snooty about my hair and while there, I will swan about with my brand new paycheck.

Speaking of hair, I have a story. Surprise.

A few years ago, when Boss and I were still a team, we ran into a travel snafu of sorts.  He had an evening meeting in St. George, Utah on a particular night and an interview at the Nashville airport the very next morning at 9:00.  I don’t know if you are good at geography and/or math but you should realize that getting from Utah to Tennessee in just a few hours is no easy feat.  Boss had to take a red-eye, get off the plane, and almost immediately go into an interview for a job we really wanted.  Because no one is pretty after an all-night flight and because no hotel will accept a reservation for 7:30 a.m, Boss had to find a place to shower and shave and generally get presentable.  The only logical choice was my house.

Our receptionist picked him up at the airport and drove him over to my house so that he could ablut before doing his dog and pony show for the airport executives.  When he came back to the office after his interview, we all noticed that he smelled a lot like girl and grapefruit and that his hair was exceptionally volumized.  After making fun of me a whole lot for the array of hair products I had in my bathroom, he swilled down some Red Bull, propped his eyes open with toothpicks and sat in his office pretending to work.  The staff, in turn, spent the day walking by his office, tossing around comments about his fruity scent and his poufy hair, and pretending to work.  (Coincidentally, we all got huge raises that year.) 

Before I finish my story, let me share another photo.

This here is my hair stuff.  And I think I see the problem.

We did not get the job at the airport.  I did not get a job through that staffing agency or even a single phone call from them.  What are the chances, do you think, that the snooty snothole over at The Hadden Group was right – that one will never get a job in Nashville if one has sexy hair?   Hmmm.  I’d believe it if I hadn’t been offered a job THAT VERY SAME DAY.  Obviously some people are enamored of my big sexy hair and want to pay me to bring it to work every day. 

Your loss, Airport.  Your loss, snooty staffing agency.  I’m not sure you could have handled us anyway. 

I Love My New Job

Let’s talk about my new job for a minute.  I’m pretty happy in my new digs.  I’m a pretty happy person overall, so it isn’t a surprise really, but it is very hard to leave your *people* and adjust to new surroundings.  If anyone can do it, I surely can mostly because I don’t meet strangers.  Also remember that I’ve done this before. 

When I came to Nashville lo those many years ago, it was for a job in an engineering firm.  I had been working in the insurance industry where you had to be “people-oriented” but was now ensconced in an engineering firm where “people-oriented” was more of a foreign language.  I learned quickly that I had made an excellent decision in choosing to work at this particular firm but I also learned quickly that engineers think differently than I do. 

I can hear some of you saying, “EVERYBODY thinks differently than you, Jimmie.  Not everyone wants all glitter, all the time, nor do we spend copious amounts of hours pondering the rigid, bulging muscles in Dwayne Johnson’s arms.”  I give you that although I really feel like my head is a nice place to be.  BUT here I’m talking about fundamental differences, the very core of our thought processes.  Let me explain.  Engineers think in waffles.  Their thought process is very structured and organized and everything has its place.  That’s how they think.  I, on the other hand, think in spaghetti.  On the surface it looks like a jumbled mass of goo but really it is very tasty and filling.  It gets the job done.  Often you have leftovers and those are even better the next day! That’s how I think.  

While working at my first engineering firm, I ran across a nice man, Chuck, who was a good engineer.   We chatted often, agreed that I was his favorite and eventually he moved away for a better opportunity.  Before he left, though, he gave me a parting gift.  Except I didn’t know it.  See, I came in to work one day, logged onto my computer and tried my very best to get down to business.  I kept having trouble with my mouse, though.  It wouldn’t track much and when it did it would fly wildly and jerkily all over the screen.  Because I am not technically inclined, I called our IT department to figure out what was going on.  (Let me say here that the first thing I do in any new job situation is to bake the IT department cookies.  I realize that I break an awful lot of stuff and ask an awful lot of stupid questions so to butter them up before I even get started, I feed them.  It works well.  You should try it.) 

Anyway, I was on the phone with my favorite IT guy and he kept saying, “Jimmie, it’s very hard to hear you.  Can you speak up?”  So I did, increasingly so as the conversation progressed because he was having great difficulty understanding me.  The louder I spoke the better it was but it was still a difficult conversation.  So now you have the picture: me, yelling into my phone for an inordinately long time about my stupid spastic mouse in a manner where everyone in the office could hear me, and trying to explain in Jimmie-terms what I thought was wrong with it.  Do you know how long it took for someone to kindly point out that my phone and mouse had been taped?  About ten minutes.  Do you know how long it would have taken me to figure that out on my own?  Forever.  Swift on the uptake, is what I am.  Anyway, Chuck fessed up to it and I was never more shocked in all my life.  Sweet little old waffle-thinking Chuck had played a practical joke on me.  Hahahahahahahahaaaa!

Then I moved over to the next engineering firm with Boss and that’s where someone played the Hall and Oates joke on me.  Sweet little old waffle-thinking Sean, I suspect, who is about the nerdiest/nicest person you will ever meet.  And sweet little old waffle-thinking Keith kept moving my pink sparkly dragon everywhere. Hahahahahahahahaaaaa!  Engineers.  A constant surprise.

Now I work with people in the corporate office of a home health agency.  A lot of my co-workers are of the accountant persuasion and I suspect that like engineers, they think in waffles.  Lovely people, really very nice, but I’m not so much of a numbers person as I am a words person and I can only imagine how they feel about the whirlwind that is me invading their very structured, very quiet space every day.

Last week the office manager sent out an email requesting people to clean out the fridge.  If you wanted to keep something you had to name it and date it as your own, otherwise it was going in the trash.  I launched myself to the kitchen to preserve my lone container of yogurt, and then later, she and I dumped everything else into the trash.  It was very liberating.  Kind of like throwing a planned hissy fit with food.  Afterwards, I lovingly placed my named and dated yogurt on the empty shelf in the empty fridge for a later time.

Monday afternoon was the perfect time for my yogurt, I decided, but when I went to retrieve it, it was gone.  I scoured the three items left in the fridge to no avail.  Someone took my yogurt.  I immediately emailed my friends about it with the question, “What is wrong with people?!”  I never suspected that any of my nice new co-workers would steal my yogurt and I was really quite offended.    Steal my chocolate cake?  Yes, I get that.  Steal my sugar-free, fat-free yogurt?  Not so much.

Do you know on Wednesday afternoon I rummaged around in the now fuller fridge and found my named and dated yogurt?  Y’all, I promise you it was not there Monday or Tuesday.  There is no way I could have missed it amongst the three items that were in there.  Yet there it sat.  So I immediately emailed all my friends about it.  Lynnette, smart cookie that she is, suggested sweetly that someone had played a trick on me?  And now that I’ve thought about it, I think she may be right.  Once again, I was blinded by waffles which should really just become the euphemism for my life.  I now have a strange and growing respect for these accountant-type people, much like I did for the engineer-type people.  Who knew that numbers and words could get along so well!

A final note about why I love my new job.  Two Thursdays ago I had a meltdown.  A bad one.  I’m thrilled beyond belief to have a job that I enjoy, a paycheck, and to find that things are getting back on track. But I’ve had a rough couple of months and I guess the relief combined with lingering worry and my squealing brakes (another story) just took over.  I threw the mother of all tantrums, then cleaned up my wonky eyes and went to work.  I guess that my 40-year-old face does not recover as quickly as my 20-year-old face used to and all day, co-workers kept checking on me, asking if I was alright.  I didn’t take my tantrum to work but the evidence was still there apparently.  So on Friday, two of the nicest co-workers evah played another trick on me.  One of them walked me down the hall to “talk” while the other put this on my desk: 

How nice is that?  I think that like me, they too think in spaghetti and I must say, it’s nice to find some kindred spirits. 

I’m kind of hongry now.  Italian, anyone?