almost at the 5th stage: Acceptance (of what it means to go to the gym)

It’s been a couple of weeks since I started going to the gym again. I am less whinny about it now. Yes, almost. I have come to terms with the fact that some people will smell and that some guys are committed to the whole ‘if you love your balls set them free’ thing. I have also accepted that gyms are not clean places, that you will be in contact with other people’s sweat, and your sense of smell will be violated by the B.O. of the stubbornly unwashed.

I found the following graph to be fairly accurate so far. (click to embiggen)

what happens when joining a gymI have seen only a tiny improvement in my fitness because it is still early days but I wish I could see results faster so it doesn’t feel like I’m wasting my time. Well, I’m a Generation Y-er so the instant gratification expectations are almost assumed here. However, I’m trying to take advantage of this by trying harder. I just want to see at least a small change before the thoughts of giving up start creeping in.

It’s not meant to be easy, I get it. So I will continue to be a constantly sore wreck, standing in front of the internets, asking you to keep encouraging me.

at least he wasn’t an aggressive drunk

Someone rings the bell. Since the intercom isn’t working I figure I’d better go downstairs to open the door myself because I’d rather not just let anyone in the building. As I make my way to the floor below I see a guy leaning against the wall. No, not creepy, not creepy at all but against my better judgement I decide to keep walking towards him.

He sees me and smiles. No, not creepy, VERY creepy but I’ve made it this far so I might as well go all the way and face my fears. I am now standing right in front of him and ask: “Did you just ring the bell?”

He responds by offering to shake my hand and says “Merry Christmas!”

It’s not Christmas yet but why the hell not, so I reach to shake his hand. He squeezes and I’m glad neither of us is wearing any rings on our fingers as they’d be ruined at this point or permanently embedded to my bones.

I take my hand back and ask again “Did you just ring the bell?” to which he responds with “I’m from Africa!”. He offers another handshake which I take as a request for approval or a nice-to-meet-you kind of a deal so I go for it. He turns my hand into a throbbing mash and I take back the remains. By that point I am lost for words and there’s a second where I am just looking at him inquisitively. He goes “Awwww give me a hug!”

I have no way to defend myself so the only thing I can think of is to not anger the hand-squashing daemon and to play along. Either way, he grabs me and squeezes tightly. I get a little dizzy from the distillery smell emanating from each and every one of his pores and as he lets go he asks “Do you smoke?”

Now, I can see what’s going on. He’s just a drunk neighbour. I say yes and he responds with “Aaaah, disgusting habit”. So I decide to have a little fun of my own and say “and the worst thing is that I also bite my nails, quite the┬ábad combo” as if drinking like there’s no tomorrow on a school night is a noble pastime.

He tries to unlock the door to his apartment using his key chain and not one of the keys. He offers another handshake, this time with his left hand and I think to myself that this is his weaker hand and a good opportunity to end the madness. He turns my other hand to jam before I have the chance to take it back. I ask him one last time if it was him who rang the bell and he smiles and nods “yes”. I start to back away, “that’s okay”, “have a good night”.

aaaaand scene…

procrastination causes braindeadiness

The end is coming! It is! Blogathon will be ending soon! I don’t think I remember what life is like without Blogathon. I have been dealing with it since Thursday night, since my family kept me busy until then. Group emails, tweets, making some changes to the blog template, cursing because I broke the template, fixing it, more group emails, calls, instant messages…

It’s all for a good cause though and I volunteered to do this so I would never complain. In fact I’ve been enjoying this. It’s nice to do things you want with people who want to do them. This is only my second time participating in Blogathon as a blogger and this year’s experience has been much better than the previous. Plus, I don’t think I’d have made it to the end if I did it on my own. I’d probably have pulled out half my hair and destroyed my blog by now (I tend to break it by accident every time I’m in a rush).

This reminds that I discovered a bald spot in my left eyebrow. I don’t know why or how but I woke up and there was a bald spot! I have talked about how I am very clumsy and tend to discover scratches and bruises on me that I don’t remember getting but this is different. I’ve also been noticing other weird things. Lately I keep catching myself doing the stupidest things. What is happening to me? When did I become the person who cannot remember to not speak while he has mouthwash in his mouth? Yes, I made a mess.

I think it might have to do with the fact that I haven’t been doing much with my brain over the past couple of weeks. I’ve been very lazy and I guess it’s true what they say. Your brain is a muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it and let’s just say that I’ve been finding myself with time to floss, time to clean, to discover that my duvet fits in the washing machine, etc.

Starting this Monday I should be getting back into my uni work. I have to start and finish my dissertation by the end of September. Although it sounds like a long time it’s not. There are a lot of things than need to be done. I have a lot of reading, writing and referencing to do. Preferably I should use half the time to research and write it and the rest to make correction/revisions and “last minute” additions which aim to improve the grade.

Having said all this, I know what I’m like and I can see myself procrastinating another week away. What do you tend to do when you procrastinate or get lazy?

deodorant, it does a body good

Wow! It is my last post for this shift and I already feel exhausted! It’s not easy guys! Especially when things don’t work the way you want them or when you have to switch computers half way through a post… Gah! Moving on but I might be a little late posting this.

Last week I had a bunch of family members coming over to stay here for a few days. That meant my parents, my brother and a cousin. My cousin is 24. She just graduated from Uni. She is going to be a teacher. She will teach French (as that’s what she was studying). She also loves France and everything French. And on the second day of her being here she casually announced that she doesn’t wear deodorant because she believes it is harmful. Also she stated that since she stopped using one she no longer smells.

It was such a short conversation and I was so tired when she said it that it did not register properly in my head when she told us. Until Thursday when I had a wake-up call. Or is there such a thing as wake-up smell?

Throughout the week I was asked to run around London to show her around (as if I live there) and take her to museums and other tourist attractions. I remember that I kept smelling things. Things that are not pleasant. Since I quit smoking my smelling sense has become better at picking things up so I didn’t think it was her. I actually thought it was me! I kept checking! Honestly! And it’s not a pretty sight when a guy lifts up his arm and smells his armpit in the middle of the National Gallery in front of Picasso’s “Child with a Dove”.

So at some point on Thursday I was burning a DVD for her with all the photos we took and she decided to come show me the ones she wanted. She decided to sit on my lap. I almost fainted. She kept moving her arms pointing at things in the photos and I could feel myself drifting away into a coma induced by the toxic fumes coming out of her pores.

I had to excuse myself and say I needed to go to the bathroom so I could escape my stench induced passing out. I think body odours that can be avoided, should. If you’re not going to use deodorant then at least wash every few hours. Spare those around you! We shouldn’t be dropping like flies because you smell bad.

a letter to my brother

Over the past week I’ve been mentioning my family being over and driving me nuts but there was a reason behind this lovely reunion. You see someone in the family was graduating… I’ve been meaning to write this since Thursday night

Dearest brother,
You’ve finally done it! I want to congratulate you on your success. Well done fatty, you did better than me! I know very well how hard you’ve tried and all the work you’ve put into your studies. I was there. You can’t lie to me and even if you try I can always tell. Like remember when you said you hadn’t seen my toy cars? I knew you had and we did find them in the VCR a couple of days later. That’s when you started referring to it as “The Garage” (after you had already tried stuffing a sock in it and before you put jam on one of the tapes and stuck it in there because “it was hungry” – oh and by the way that was the last time we sent it to get fixed, you are the reason we grew up without a VCR).

But that is all in the past and reminiscing about it is a bit like sticking your face to the microwave oven door while it’s doing its magic; simply pointless and somewhat dangerous. The truth is that you are a pain in the ass but I love you nonetheless. You are my friend and know everything about me. You are not afraid to tell me the truth and although you don’t understand me sometimes (I do broadcast on a higher frequency than you) you have always supported me. You don’t know what that means to me. I will trust you forever. I will forgive you everything and I will give you any of my internal organs if you ever need one (I really hope you don’t though because I hear it’s a rather unpleasant process).

What I am trying to say is that I am proud of you, little brother. I never doubted you could do it. I am sorry for being a pain sometimes and I am sorry that I am the reason you are in a place where you’d rather not be. I do believe it’s for the best that you’re here but I know what it’s like to not be able to make your own choices and be confined. Hang in there. Just one more year and then the world will be your oyster.

I love you with all my heart,
Your brother

PS: You’re still a doodoo head.