Category Archives: exercise

So. How You Liking Miami?

Over the last few days several people have asked me the same thing.  It’s always with hesitation they ask.

“So.”

l o n g        p a u s e      h e r e

“How you liking Miami?”

Then I swear they hold their breath and squint their eyes.  Waiting for me to sucker punch them or something.  It’s quite odd.

My response?

It’s fine.  Honestly, I have nothing to really compare it to logically.  It’s completely different from anything I’ve experienced in the last 18 years.  Below, I thought I’d take a moment or ten, to tell you what I think…..

First off.  It is the polar opposite of living in Juneau, Alaska.

  1. People here use umbrellas.  In Juneau, we use the hoods on our coats and tough it out.    A little rain never hurt anyone.
  2. However, the rain in Miami is a torrential downpour that floods streets and the car wipers don’t go fast enough.  Thunder, lightening and rivers…..30 minutes later and we’re done with the rain.  Out of Mother Nature’s system and moving on to better things.
  3. Lots of things I don’t need to see.  Such as that lady’s nipple, as she waited for the crosswalk signal.  Her bikini top was just a little off kilter.  Or that lady in front of me on my golf course walk, with the wrinkled and saggy skin…..with her short shorts tucked up on the sides under her thong (not kidding) so anyone behind her could see the loose bags of skin that used to be her butt cheeks…..but more like an overcooked potato skin….flopping around under her shorts.  She would have made a better impression keeping the shorts down and covering the cheeks.
  4. I’ve never seen so many BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, Lexus and Cadillacs in one area.  So much so that I have forgotten what a Subaru looks like, let alone a pick up truck.
  5. If you are trying to grow an alien out of your stomach, hip or butt…..please, encase that in spandex, we all need to see that.  And it’s better if you can encase it in spandex that has horizontal stripes.  See below:
  6. One day I went to work in a new work outfit.  Gone are the jeans and hiking boots.  I now wear dresses, skirts and platform heels.  I texted my cousin and said, “I think I picked the wrong skirt it seems tight and short.”  Her reply, “you are in Miami it’s all about butts and boobs.”  Noted.
  7. The land of 18 languages.  Russian, French, Czech, Yiddish and oh yeah… Spanish.
  8. Hey!  It’s not all Asian food here!  What a break!
  9. It starts to drizzle and the traffic slows down from 80 mph to 40mph.  I’m the only one weaving in and out of traffic at that point.
  10. Whole cases of freshly cut fruit at the grocery stores.  Not to mention the celebrity sightings there too.
  11. Beaches without rocks.  A novelty.
  12. Sunshine.  Lots of sunshine.
  13. I can get a manicure for $15.00 and a full service pedicure for $20.  Seriously.  With a massaging recliner chair to boot.
  14. Costco…..easily twice the size of ours.  I can get my prescription, fresh flowers, produce, gas, eyeglasses AND funeral casket all in one place.

It has been interesting.  Yes, living in the suburbs of Miami definitely has it’s challenges.  The traffic is something fierce but you learn to work around it.  The people aren’t always the nicest but you deal with it.  For example if I start talking to people in the grocery or Costco people automatically know I’m not from here and it either gets them interested in where I’m from or causes them to choose another check out lane.

My job is great.  I love my job.  It’s tough.  Every day is a challenge and you don’t know what’s coming next.  I’ve never slept so good – all because I’m mentally drained by the time I get home at night.

Working for a giant company is definitely odd.  The closest thing I have to compare it to is working for the State of Alaska.  Huge machine and we’re only responsible for the left big toe portion.  I’ve met two of the presidents, which is very exciting.  One of which thought I brought a great conversation to the table!  Okay!  Believe it or not he is British and I actually got about every third word he said —- rather than my usual every sixth word.

I laugh a lot every day and yet there are still lots of things I need to learn.  When the VP says, “DO IT.”  I at first think, “really?  He can’t be serious.”  No, really, he is serious.  This is soooo backwards from what I’m used to that it takes me a bit to roll it around before I swallow and say, “okay, well if he’s serious, then hell yeah!  Let’s do this.”

Many times people have asked me, “what do you do on the weekends?”  I am here by myself and it makes people worry about my sanity and social life.  The first thing I tell people is this is the SECOND time I’ve packed up and moved somewhere I didn’t know anyone or anything.  How do you think I ended up in Alaska for 18 years?  I’m a Philly girl!  Come on!

Second thing I have to tell people:  I’m an only child.

I was taught to fend for myself since third grade.  True.  While others in this world need outside people to complete them….I am comfortable doing my own thing, on my own time at my own speed.  Often times people are dumbfounded when I tell them I do all kinds of things by myself.

I take myself out to dinner and not just fast food.  Sit down, order a glass of wine, salad, dinner etc.  When I walk up to the hostess stand I always tell them, “I am a giant party of one.”  The facial expression is priceless!  What a relief!

I have gone to movies and art museums by myself.

I have even gone to theatre productions by myself in major cities.

It’s no big deal to me.  I can do it.  Contrary to what is difficult to lots of people in this world…..I am very, very comfortable being with myself.  By myself.  I don’t need a giant circle of people to validate me or my actions.  Here I am….love me or not….it’s not my problem.

Yes, I have a small circle of friends, around this globe and they are what matters.  I don’t need a huge friend base of 200 people to make me feel valued or accomplished.  I’ve been doing this since I was 8 years old and I’m proud to say I’m quite independent.

So when people are astonished I can do this life in Miami, by myself, I am perplexed because to me, this is a huge adventure.  I may take myself on a 3 mile walk and enjoy my thoughts or music as I go.  Maybe I will drive to Barnes & Noble and get lost for a few hours in the shelves of books.  There’s a great movie out….maybe I will treat myself to snacks and a glass of wine then hit the movie.  I have signed up for Conversational Spanish at the college and have a GroupOn for pole dancing lessons – all on my own.  No big deal.

I go to the gym at work during the week – first thing in the morning.  Do my work, on the third floor of the 1080 building until 6:30 or 7:00 at night and head home.  At home I cook a nice healthy meal, watch some tv or read….play Words with Friends and then off off to bed.  Rewind and repeat the next day.

The complex I’m in has a pool, if I should choose to jump in, but that’s not for me yet.

Yes, there are massages and nail appointments.  My new hair stylist Greta is great!  I have been to the beach once in all my time here….go figure.  But have enjoyed my balcony and potted plants just as much.  I have my usual weekly chores and food shopping to get through.  Snore.

It all comes from how you were raised.  My mom made me a strong and very independent person – which I am proud to be in this world.  Yet there are times when I think, “what the hell?”  Those moments come from not having experienced this life style before and just having to get used to the flow of things.

When I moved to Alaska I had no clue what Xtra Tuffs were – and I have my second pair with me now.  My co-workers are often teaching me about local customs and flavors, which is fantastic.  “OH, you have to try this Cuban dessert.”

I truly enjoy my coworkers sharing their local knowledge – especially the Cuban side of things.  As it turns out, my great-great- great grandparents were from Cuba.  They owned a tobacco plantation.

So see, I’m not so foreign in this land after all!

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Did I Already Tell You About…..

Years ago…. like almost 8 years ago….I got divorced and bought a cute little condo out in Auke Bay, Alaska.  It was a tiny little place.  So small you had to go outside if you wanted to change your mind.

It was all mine.

All 600 square feet.

I could sit out on the deck and watch my favorite birds – Blue Herons – fish in the wetlands.  When bored, just throw some herring up in the sky and watch the Bald Eagles come swooping in to pick up their snacks.  Talk about excitingly scary!  It was awesome.

When I moved in on a Saturday morning a bunch of people came to help me carry in the boxes.  My new upstairs neighbor happened to arrive during our moving chaos.  I yelled out a hello to her and introduced myself.  We’ll call her Mary.  Right about this time one of my oh so funny friends decided it would be hilarious to loudly inquire where to put my box of sex toys.

I nearly swallowed my tongue.

MY —

WHAT?

We all got a good laugh out of it.  Mary didn’t know what to say and immediately went inside her condo.

Let me give you a visual of Mary.  About 5’3 and probably about 150 pounds.  Thick calves.  Outfit of choice?  Skirts and colored tights.  Shoulder length corse black hair – wavy.  Coats two sizes too small.  Probably mid-late 20’s somewhere in there.  Works half the year for the government and half the year at a bank. Sure.

Got it?

Good.  You’ll need it later.

Along with the sex toys.

Six months went by or more.  One day I look out the window and I see Mary coming up to the building wearing exercise tights.  She had obviously gone running.  Huh.  Okay.  Well, I’m not a runner so good luck with that one.

A few days later I notice Mary with a guy.  We’ll call him Josh.  Now you need a visual of Josh.

Think Hobbit.

That should do it.

Okay, you need more visual assistance?  He is about 5’3 also.  Wears baggy sweat pants and t-shirts.  Constantly has that Don Johnson 5:00PM shadow going on.  His laugh is atrocious.  Down right ridiculous.  Like a hyena.  This guy thinks he’s all that and a bag of chips….sadly he isn’t even the stale pickle (without snap) on the plate.

Not to mention he walked around like a Neanderthal.   I mean really Hobbit Man can you do something about those lead bricks you call your feet?  Even elephants don’t make that much noise.

The guy made me weary and I never actually met him.

Over the next few weeks the Hobbit comes and goes from her condo.  He’s obviously visiting from somewhere else and isn’t local.  He’s always over visiting on the weekends. I’m thinking maybe he’s a fish processor or miner.  Maybe he works on a barge or something.  Who the hell knows?  I don’t care.

Suddenly one day the Hobbit shows up and he has a beat up Toyota truck.  Rusty and a total POS (please read as Piece of Shit).  He’s here for a week and gone for a week.  Here for a week and gone for a week.

One night I hear him on the phone – cause he’s stupid loud.  Now, he’s just pissing me off. Going on and on about starting up some business.  Later, out at the dumpster I see boxes and cartons from some manufacturing company for “Buzz Bites” energy bites.

Hobbit + POS + Buzz Bites = you have to be kidding me.

Please note:  You are going to need to reflect back on both of their visuals, the idea of Buzz Bites and yes, the sex toys.

Finally, one day I go upstairs and knock on their door.  The music was so loud, even the people in my head were vibrating around.  The Hobbit answered the door as Mary wasn’t home.  I politely ask him to turn down the vibes before my chandelier becomes a nightlight.  I also explained how the noise travels very easily and if he / they could be a little more considerate that would be fantastic.

Oh, yeah, sure.  Not a problem.  Sorry.  Sorry.  Sorry.

Weeks go by and I’m sound asleep in my snuggly little bear bed one morning.  Slowly I drift out of my sound slumber and I’m like, “what the hell is that noise?”  I am half asleep and it starts again.

What the hell?

*More noise*

Now I am sitting up in bed.  The noise stops.

Huh.

I lay back down.

*Noise starts again.*

Wait.  One.  Minute.  You.  Pain.  In.  My .  Ass.  Neighbors.

I am fully awake.  The Hobbit and his thick calved girlfriend are screwing.  After a yodeling like crescendo….the Hobbit yells a Tarzan like yelp:

“OUTSTANDING!”

Then….Hobbit leaps off the bed (I know this because the change in my piggy bank rattled on the floor and I’m pretty damn sure T-Rex is extinict) and takes off running for the bathroom with her right behind him.

Good lord of mercy give me a break.   You have to be kidding.

On my way to work, I go upstairs and tape a note to their front door.  I left no doubt in mind what I was talking about as I simply wrote, “Good morning!  Just so you know I do hear EVERYTHING downstairs.”

Being kind and polite can go a long way.  Emily Post and Sarah Lee both think so as does Dear Abby.  I am certain this will solve the problem.  Don’t we all want to be good neighbors?

A couple days go by and guess what….I am sound asleep….in my snuggly bed…..again.

T   H   U   M   P

*

*

Thump.

Thump.

*

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.Thump.

 

“I’M THE MAN!” 

 

Oh my god.  News Flash: No, you aren’t.

I am so not even kidding – I nearly fell right out of my bed with laughter and disbelief.  Yes, he yelled that.  Out loud!    Did  I fall down an acid lined rabbit hole when I wasn’t looking and I’m on a trip?  What the hell….can I rewind that?  What did you just yell?  Really?

Am I on Fear Factor?  No, wait it’s Candid Camera.  Oh – wait…I got it!  I’m on America’s Got Talent……. Snap.

I’M

THE

MAN

!!!

 

Who says these things?  Buzz Bites…..heavy calves….baggy sweatpants….

Really?

That’s it.  I’m ready for the next event.  I have my game plan.  You ignored my note.  I tried to be nice.  Now, I’m putting on the latex and grabbing my whip.  I’m so excited I feel like I should be the one yelling out.  Let the games begin.

Tick.  Tock.  Tick.  Tock.

It didn’t take long.  That night I climb into bed and before I can get into my dream sequence involving the ocean and floating along with the currents….BAM.

Hit the rewind button from earlier….

T   H   U   M   P

*

*

Thump.

Thump.

*

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.Thump.

Cue the yodeling.

Cue the Alaskan Minxy:  FINALLY – MY MOMENT HAS ARRIVED!

I leap up out from under the covers.  Standing in the middle of my bed…..jumping up and down like a two year old….I begin a rousing round of applause while yelling at the very top of my lungs:

“BRAVO!  BRAVO!  GOOD JOB!  BRAVO!  BRAVO!  EXCELLENT JOB!  BRAVO!”

Silence.  Cue the crickets.  Silence…………………………………………………

Then a burst of laughter for like two seconds – then silence.

Problem solved.  Never another peep.  Every time I ran into Mary from there on out – she never made eye contact.  Well, what’s awkward for you, is not awkward for me.  Thank you very much.

Lesson:  don’t mess with the Minxy.

Answer:  What?  No, I’m not telling you if I actually have a box of sex toys.

 

She’ll Be Coming Around the Golf Course….

Sunday I got up, threw on my exercise clothes and headed out the door to walk 3 miles.

My complex sits along side a golf course and you can walk all the way around the course on a paved trail.  The trail itself is 3 miles however, I was just going to go down to the light I turn at to go to work and back.  I marked it out in the car and round trip is 3 miles.

Perfect.

It was about 10:00AM and by 10:10AM – out on the trail- I was sweating.  Not because I was over exerting myself but the humidity was fierce.  I had a sweat mustache that was turning into a sweat beard.  This was the least of my worries as I thought, “dear lord don’t let my ass sweat so much I get visible crack sweat.”

Passing other exercisers I pondered….

A.)  I’m the only one carrying a water bottle.

B.)  Nobody else looks hot.  (Except for the woman who was carrying a towel in her cleavage.  Yep.  Swear.)

The trail is also popular for people and their dogs.  It wasn’t long until I encountered my first couple walking their furry kid.  The parents were both sporting shorts and tank tops while busily chatting about the upcoming day.  However, it was their dog that caught my attention.

The pet.

Was wearing a sweater.

Apparently, when they bought the dog it was a full sized Doberman Pinscher but for some reason, over time, it began to shrink and now was a pocket sized pet.  That’s embarrassing.  When you heat things up that shouldn’t really be heated …..they tend to shrink.

Think:  washing a wool sweater.

Continuing on my way, I encountered some of the local wildlife.  The crazy ass ducks.  There were precisely TWO cute white feathered ducks with the yellow beaks.  The rest of the herd were these oddly  poka-a-dotted, red headed, as large as four footballs kind of ducks.  They come up to about my knee.  I’ve see them all the time as I drive along this stretch of the road –  they enjoy the greens of the course.

Today, there’s about 14 of them in the middle of the trail.

About 25 paces ahead of me is a man.  Not an enormous man.  Not a small man.  Not a skinny man.  Not a fat man.  Just a man.  He approaches the herd.  I’m thinking, “this will be interesting.”  Next thing I know he’s flapping his arms wildly over his head, while yelling at them:

“Go Away!”

“Go!”

“Get out of here!”

Some people are afraid of cockroaches.  Some people don’t like cats.  This man obviously thought the ducks were going to knock him down and attack him him like a band of rubber soled mall cops believing he shop lifted something from the As Seen On TV store.

Next up?  The Alaska Minxy.  I approach the herd.  My take on the scene was completely different.    Just like a Wood Nymph from the forest, I greet the ducks and wish them a pleasant day.

“Morning everyone.”

“Excuse me. Pardon me.”

“Have a good day.  Stay out of trouble.  Good to see you.”

I weaved my way through the knee high nippers (while trying to avoid the ones with the creepy red heads and turkey like neck things) all the while conversing with them.  They had plenty to say and it was all very important to express whatever it was.

Honk.  Honk.  Squawk.  Honk.  Beep.  Squawk.

Finally, I was on my final approach to the gate of my community, I spotted a giant tree, which would be perfect to sit under to do my cool down stretches.  I really enjoy this time of my workout.  It’s calming and relaxing for me.  My music plays in my ears and I’m very content.  Having drank my entire Nalgene bottle of water…and sweating like a UFC fighter….I carefully check to make sure there’s no dog poop or snakes in the grass and begin my stretches.

I’m sitting on the ground, legs stretched to either side and I’m leaning over each leg, stretching.  Ahhhh.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a figure to my left.  Okay, well just ignore it.  It will go away.  La. La. La. Laaaa.  La. La. La.

I bend to the other knee and WHOA, what the hell?  The figure is now pretty much within arms reach.  I look up at this man who could have easily been my grandfather, standing there with his hands on his hips, his mouth is moving…..Really?  You have to be kidding me.

He’s obviously trying to tell me something so,  I take out my earplugs and think he must be trying to tell me that he wouldn’t advise sitting in the grass because of snakes or lizards….right?

Wrong.  He says, “are you stretching?”

No, I’m actually looking to see if ants have dandruff and am checking this crab grass for evidence.  WTF?

He proceeds to tell me that I’m doing it all wrong and I should be doing it this way.  And it’s all about breathing.  Yatta.  Yatta.  Okay, got it.  Thanks.  You can stretch how you want to stretch and I’ll stretch the way I want to stretch….now please move on so I can continue to check on the ant dandruff.

Then, it becomes obvious he’s determined to change my ways and proceeds to show me a better stretch using the tree.  Fine.  By this time I am sweating so much I learn that:  no really, when sweat runs into your eyes it burns.

It actually burns A LOT!  First one eye.  Then the second eye.  Luckily my third eye was still at home soaking in the anti-ache third eye solution.  I think my sweat is actually melting my contacts to my eyeballs.  All the while grandpa here is showing me the proper hamstring stretch.

Then he stands up and says, “can you bend over?”

I said, “Excuse me?”

He replied, “You know, touch your toes.  A lot of people can’t touch their toes because they don’t stretch properly.  Like this.”  And he proceeds to aim for his toes.

I turn to the side and throw my hands on the ground.  Yep, I’d say I can touch my toes….no problem.  Got it.  Check.

My eyes now feel like I’ve put Frank’s Red Hot in them and I really just need to go through the gate on my left.  HOWEVER.

As I begin to make my exit, Grandpa is telling me how I should really take up yoga cause it keeps woman looking young.  I tell him the company I work for actually offers a yoga class every week at the company gym.  He was shocked and asked where I worked.

I’m thinking come on…buddy, if I give off any more vibe of “I’ve got to go” I’m going to disappear in a giant puff of smoke.  Not to mention I need to get the sweat out of my eyeballs – now I can barely see due to the triple vision in each eyes and my nose is now running.

I tell him I work for Royal Caribbean cruises and his response is, “It’s terrible what happened to all those captives.  Just a shame.”  I couldn’t figure out if he was referring to employees or passengers.  Then he says something about being stranded out there and being held captive.

As I make my way to the gate I yell over my shoulder that wasn’t Royal Caribbean, that was Carnival cruises.   Thanks for the stretching advise and have a good day.

I slam through the gate and exhale on the other side, “freak.”

What I learned on my walk:

Some men are afraid of duck herds.

Doberman Pinschers shrink when they get hot.

Stretch inside the gate.

Carry a hand towel in my cleavage.

Learn how to say, “I don’t speak English” in Pig Latin.