Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bootcamp vs. Housewives

The one thing keeping me sane during the job hunt here in Mobile is the same thing that is killing me.  Two months ago I joined Bootcamp with Bodies by Cindy.  I love it for a few reasons:

Its outside.  As an adult, (I guess that’s what I’m considered to be now since I don’t qualify for the student discount anywhere anymore), how often do you get to play outside?  At bootcamp, we get to roll around in the grass and run through the woods.  I didn’t think I would like this as much as I do, especially when I started in August and it was 100 degrees, and now it’s 40 degrees and dropping.  But somewhere in between the extremes I love it.

It works.  Since my usual workout/eating plan were not getting the job done, I added on bootcamp twice a week.  At the beginning of each one-month session, we get measured and weighed.  I won’t go into detail about that but I will tell you that I have lost 7 lbs and 13 inches (from my arms, chest, waist, hips, and thigh) thus far.  Not too shabby.

It’s a group thing.  The classes average about 10 people per class.  Not only do we get to motivate each other, but we also get to laugh with each other about how ridiculously hard the exercises are.  After sharing dripping sweat in the summer and dripping snot in the winter, I should also mention that it is definitely a bonding experience.  On one occasion, Pam, one of the instructors and I were complaining about our runny noses while running.  She finished before me then met me after my run with tissues for me to blow my nose very quickly before beginning the next exercise.  After I filled up my tissue she held her hand out to take the tissue from me... I guess you can say that’s when we bonded.  All of the instructors are pretty awesome…not to mention pretty awesome to look at.  I have met a lot of really cool people through bootcamp and it makes it worth coming back to get my ass kicked once again.  

Back home, in South Florida, the people that surround you while working out are a bit ridiculous.  Let me explain:  The average woman at the gym in South Florida is scantily clad with her hair done, a full face of makeup, wearing every bit of jewelry she owns, and her huge, newly inflated tatas on display.  When I go back to that gym, I feel like I am on a bad episode of Housewives of Miami.  These women, in their 50s are trying so hard to look like and act like they are 20.  Forget it sister, you look like a fool.  Example:  While setting up for a spinning class, one of the housewives moved her bike near the mirror to set up.  My mom asked her if she would like us to move over so she could be away from the mirrored wall.  She replies, “No, I like to be able to see myself when I workout”.  She wasn’t lying.  Throughout the one-hour class, she kept a solid eye on her body through that mirror. 

At bootcamp, everyone shows up dressed like they are going to work out – not like they are going to a fashion show.  Everyone gets sweaty and gross and acts their age….for the most part.  We do turn into a bunch of crybabies every so often, but that’s beside the point. I like it this way.  Besides, I bet the Housewives wouldn’t hold my snot-filled tissue.

Friday, November 19, 2010


David is a coworker and friend of Jaron’s.  He was born and raised in Alabama, and has taught us a thing or two about being Southern. 

1.  He insists that there is absolutely nothing wrong with overalls.  I have yet to see him wear them, but I have a feeling that it has something to do with his wife, Hilary. I don’t blame her.  (David has mentioned getting Jaron a pair, but thankfully, I don’t think his Miami roots will allow himself to step into them).

2.  David is a living example of the love that people here have for SEC football.  SEC football is what the men here talk about 98% of the time.  Last week we all went to dinner and Hilary, David’s wife, mentioned how sick and tired she is of hearing about the most recent football scandal.  Everyone, including the men, agreed - which then turned into a 25 minute conversation about said football scandal.

3.  David has a baby.  Not a human baby, but a car baby.  He bought a 1980 Jeep to fix up and it has become his project.  I’m not generalizing this to the whole state of Alabama, but many guys here have an old Jeep to play with.  I guess they use the Jeeps to go off-roading and drive up all the mountains here – except there are no mountains here.  When I asked Jaron for an explanation, he said, “It’s kind of like Hot Wheels for adults”.  Ahhh, riiiight.

4.  David introduced me to my all-time favorite Southern quote:  “He was more scared than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.”

I am really having a lot of fun learning about the cultural differences here in the South; but David, keep the overalls far, far away.  I’m not ready for those just yet.  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Rough Life

As I previously posted, I am very lucky to be able to have taken a 2 month break after graduation.  I convinced myself that it was OK to do a whole lot of nothing for 2 months because I deserved it after the stressors of grad school and before entering the real-life working world.  I knew that 2 months would be a perfect amount of time!

It has now been 3 months and 10 days. 

The reason for the extended period of time being that the job search, frankly, sucks.

I am very thankful for my stress-free break from the real world.  However, since I have taken on this “break”, I have also taken on the role of stay-at-home-girlfriend.

Since Jaron works long hours, I took on the responsibilities of cooking and cleaning.  Besides, I have nothing else to do, so it will be no problem, right?  HA!  Here are the new found stressors of being a stay-at-home-girlfriend:

Cooking.  I have never had to cook for anyone on a regular basis before.  Throughout college, I was fine with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or scrambled eggs for dinner.  But now, I have to make real meals.  So I’m kind of new to this.  I do, however, have to thank my friend, Hilary, for convincing me to buy a crock pot.  Life changing, I tell ya!

Laundry.  I have two problems with this.  1.  How much laundry can two people make?!  2.  Boys are really smelly.

Cleaning.  There are only two of us and I feel like I am constantly picking up around the house.  God help me when I have children. 

Luckily, Jaron does not expect extravagant meals nor does he expect the house to be spotless every day and for that I am forever grateful.

Some of you may be thinking, “She needs to quit her bitchin’! It’s not like she has a family to look after! She should be thankful!”  Don’t worry.  I am.  I really really am.  

I need a job.  Fast.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Southern Hospitality and the Unemployed

Throughout the job search, I have called more places than I have fingers and toes…. so I lost count.  It’s getting a bit ridiculous -  Not a single place is hiring!  

See every one of these numbers?  Not hiring.

However; it hasn’t been a complete failure…yet.  In my desperation, I called, left voicemails and/or emailed some therapists who are self-employed and explained to them my situation which went a little something like, “I just moved to Mobile, do you know of anyone who may be hiring? Help I’m desperate HELLLLLLLPP!” or something like that. 

I was truly expecting not to hear from any of them but I actually got responses!  Three different therapists called me back to let me know of openings that they heard of, one invited me to the local speech and hearing association, and one even offered to meet with me at a Starbucks to chat!  This brings me to my point:  Southern Hospitality! 

People here (for the most part) are WAY friendlier than those in South Florida. (One point for Mobile).  Of course not everyone goes way out of their way for others here – I’m not trying to make Mobile sound like a mamby-pamby land where everyone loves everyone and we have chocolate rivers and it rains candy – but there is a lot more kindness here than what I am used to.  People are polite to each other.  Nobody honks within the first .00002 seconds of the light turning green and in line at the deli counter, people actually wait their turn in a civilized manner – and you don’t even need those paper numbers! 

I find myself chatting with strangers here all the time.  Sometimes I can’t help but laugh to myself when the mailman or the receptionist goes on and on and on when I just had one simple yes/no question.  But I am definitely not complaining.  I know it’s not like this all of the time and in all places here, but I like it when I see it…correction….I love it.

Here is one example:
My parents were in town for a few days and we went to an amazing restaurant for lunch - Panini Petes.  (Jaron and I heard about it from Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives…This was for sure, a dive.  With the best paninis.  Ever.) This dive had very limited seating and the rain limited outdoor seating leaving us with NO seating.  A woman, eating by herself at a table large enough for all of us, insisted we sit with her.  She was chatting up a storm and I was thinking to myself, “WEIRRRDO”.  Then I quickly gave myself a mental slap on the wrist.  Nothing she was doing or saying classified her as a weirdo.  Just because she was talking with us – total strangers – I felt like she was making a social no-no.  Back at home in south Florida, if Complete Stranger A were to ask Complete Stranger B to share a table with him/her in an overcrowded restaurant, Complete Stranger B would think they were a creep, pretend he/she didn’t hear A’s offer, walk away, and most likely sit outside in the rain before sitting with A – It just doesn’t happen.  I was disappointed in myself that I was so quick to judge, but at the same time, so glad I continued my conversation with her.  Turns out, she used to be a speech therapist in the area and she even dropped a few names for me! 
It’s kind of sad that we so quickly hesitate when strangers go out of their way to help us.  I think I can get used to Southern hospitality.   Kindness rules!   

At Panini Pete's post meal.  Photo taken by waitress.  Great waitress.  Lousy photographer.

Disclaimer:  Our moms had a point (different from mine) when they told us it is not OK to accept candy from strangers.  That is still not OK.  Also, please do not sue me if your complete stranger turns out to be a creep.  You won’t get any money.  I’m unemployed, remember?