Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Under cover

I have been keeping up on the workout in spite of life conspiring to trip me up. Getting on the scales I discovered that I am once again redistributing my weight. While it turns out I have not lost any weight I have noticed my pants fit a bit better, though some shirts are destined for the thrift shop, since they are getting a bit too snug through the chest.

All in all, the change in gyms has worked out pretty well, even though I went from working out in one of the straightest gyms in the city, to what may well be THE straightest gym in the city.

This has been fine. I have not run into any homophobia and to be honest, the guys at this gym have more to worry about from me than the old gym ever did. While there is a good age cross section and probably half the guys that go there are in my age bracket, by and large the tend to go from "in good shape" to "smokin'!".

Which is why the locker room at the new gym sort of puzzles me. I am encountering a lot of modesty. I mean a lot. Like neurotic.

When people head for the showers, I have seen them cover up with towels to take off their drawers. There is a certain amount of furtive scuttling to the shower stalls and people seem to get into their clothes in record time. It all just struck me as a little odd.I have not seen so much concern among guys for making sure that their junk was covered since freshman gym class.

At my old gym people didn't seem to have too much trouble with wandering around naked. As a matter of fact the rule of thumb about the less you wanted to see, the more likely you were to have to look held true. There was of course the exception of my old locker neighbor Kevin, a tall, handsome and incredibly well set up fellow of about my age, who on more than one occasion would get into a conversation with me as I was sitting down to take my shoes off all the while with his rather impressive wedding tackle at eye level with me.

Nothing like that has happened to me at the new gym and people seem to keep themselves as covered as possible. Though the oddest example of extreme modesty was today. There is one fellow who I have seen on the gym floor and to be honest, he doesn't do much for me. As I was exiting the shower, he was coming out of the sauna. He was wearing his gym shorts, but that isn't all that odd. What was a little strange was he got in the shower with his shorts still on. And on they stayed. I was just finishing up brushing my pearly whites when he came out of the shower.

I can safely say now that a pair of sopping wet nylon gym shorts leave nothing to the imagination. I can also say that while this lad may not win any beauty prizes, he has nothing to be ashamed of.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What do they call that....

All was not gloom and doom while I was talking with Doris last night. She had me on the phone for a solid hour and I swear the woman never stopped to draw a breath the entire time.

I suppose she is grateful for the audience since my dad in her words "is deaf as an adder".

It would seem that one of Doris functions at the age of 82 is to serve as a combination clearing house and sounding board for my numerous cousins. I have to tell you, Doris gets into some interesting conversations with the distaff side of the family.

Doris: "You know your cousin (name redacted) got remarried. No? Well, she did. They've moved to ---. Well, I guess she's happy and he seems like a nice guy but you know what your cousin is like. She's happy enough, but she keeps complaining she isn't getting it enough. And then there's this whole business with, oh what do you call it. You know what I'm talking about it's that business where you get tied up..."

Me: "S&M, Mom?"

Doris: "Yes! That's it, well I guess that her new husband just isn't into all of that and..."

Somehow, it is a great comfort to me to know that my 82 year old mother is having racy conversations with her nieces about them getting their kink on. It gives me hope for my own impending old age.

You do what you can

I am thinking about Jane Austen. Aside from the fact that she is one of my favorite authors, I was thinking about a piece of criticism that Eudora Welty wrote where she mentioned that one of the complaints about Austen that some critics level is that while Austen was living in the tumultuous times of the Napoleonic Wars, she barely alluded to them. Instead she concentrated on everyday life in English villages and towns and the lives of the middle classes.

Welty's point was that we always live in unsettled times and few of us play a role in the great schemes of the world and so our concerns are about such mundane things as paying the bills, our relations with our neighbors and occasionally falling in love.

Currently, the economy seems to be falling apart, we are in the midst of a nasty presidential campaign here in the U.S. and we have been involved in a poorly thought out, ill advised and illegal war. I can't do anything about these problems other than fret.

On the personal front, I found out that 2 different friends of mine have cancer, one has had surgery and is recovering before she starts chemo and the other is going in for surgery next week. I can't do anything about this either, other than fret.

Last night I called up Doris only to find out that they have been plagued with trouble as well. First their TV died, then their computer died, the new pellet stove they had ordered to replace their wood stove is sitting on a loading dock because the truckers that were contracted by the stove company quit and then one of my sister's hen houses burned down.

They got a new TV, my cousin is fixing the computer and from what I can gather they have made arrangements about the stove. Once again I can't do anything about that either.

Out of all this mess, there is only one thing I can address. I can buy my sister some new poultry. So, with the aid of the internet and a phone call to Doris to find out if the Bantam chicks can go in with the broody hens (they can't, not enough room) I am going to be buying chickens as soon a the new coop has been built. 25 of them.

Considering the state of the world, it is an insignificant thing. It is not ending war, fixing the economy, curing cancer or bringing the country together. All I am doing is helping out a middle aged woman who I find myself often annoyed with and who I am frequently impatient with, but who has taken on the rather onerous task of caring for my very difficult parents in their old age. Goodness knows that in her world which is even more circumscribed than mine, her Bantams loomed large and their loss was a real blow.

It ain't much, but it is one thing I can do and it's making me feel a little less helpless.