Well I did it. A couple of weeks ago I got back on the horse. It really wasn’t nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be and I am so happy to be back at it. But there’s a down side. After interaction with a girl at the front desk I somehow signed up for 3 sessions with a personal trainer. She was, shall we say, very adept at the “hard sell”. I do believe, judging from her appearance, that her main role - perhaps her only role at the gym is to sell. So the last couple of weeks I have enjoyed some weight lifting classes along with my 3 sessions with David, the trainer. Tonight I had my last one hour session with big D and let me tell you it was a good workout. But, there’s a down side. Or should I say, there’s a side to it that both puzzles and annoys me all at the same time.
We worked out for 45 minutes and then he led me into the “conference room” where he explained all the wonderful ways in which he was going to build my strength, help me lose 10 pounds, make me more energetic and make me look like Jennifer Aniston. Okay well, maybe he didn’t include that last part. But after going on and on and on he finally got to the price. “So, let’s see,” said David, “that’s 84 sessions over 11 months and it’s $54 per hour so that would be (click click click on the calculator) $4536. Plus tax that is $5125.68. Today you leave me with a 10% deposit, that would leave $4613. You can pay that in monthly installments for $419.37 per month. Oh and I’m not going to lie to you, the financing charge is 10% so the monthly amount would be a little higher than that.” Well let me just say I went totally stiffy goat.
When I picked myself up off the floor I explained to David that, should I win the lottery at any time in the near future, I’d be back to sign up. Seems to me, it’s hard to do anything these days without someone trying to squeeze every last penny out of you. In the meantime, I think I’ll stick to my own plan.
Do you like challenges? For the most part, I don’t. They remind me of that game “Truth or Dare”. Being rather shy and insecure as a kid (I know – shocking, isn’t it?), I never liked that game – way too much pressure. So it is with great surprise and horror that I just did something that is comparable to accepting a dare. I joined the Blogging from A to Z challenge. This challenge entails writing a post for every day in April except Sundays. As the title suggests, the posts run through the entire alphabet from A to Z. Other than that, there are not a lot of rules. As long as the post concentrates on something that begins with that particular letter of the alphabet then I’m doing it right. I was so hesitant to click the “join” button but I finally realized that if I can’t complete the challenge, nothing is going to happen. It is not like I am risking a paid job. Plus, I got a badge for my site just by joining. And I think you all know how much I love badges (small things amuse small minds). In fact, I wonder if I really want to do the challenge or if I just wanted another badge on my footer. So, what the hell! I joined. Now I have to start thinking. I already have an idea for B and for P. Only 24 more letters to go. Hey! To make this thing a little more interactive, why don’t you pick a letter and give me a word or topic for that letter. I know the 5 of you don’t like to comment very often but come on, speak up – throw me a bone would ya?!!
Hi. How are ya? It’s been awhile. You look good. New haircut? Lost some weight? Okay, I totally stole that opener from another blog. Do not fret, that site will get full credit in the post that follows. First though, I need to tell you to pull up a chair if you are going to read this to completion. I was wondering what to write about and, as usual, tons of ideas went through my head. I tried to write and well, it all sounded lame. In the last while or so I have discovered a few things that have really made me laugh or smile or say “cool” right out loud. So today, my faithful readers (all 5 of you) I am going to do my very first “list” post and share with you what I’ve been checking out lately. The reason I say “pull up a chair” is because some of them are links. This will require some time. And, being more than just a pretty face (haha), I realize that time is the most precious of commodities these days. We like things quick and fast. Well, most things. Anyway…… if you give up some of your valuable time, I think you’ll be glad you did. Personally, I think that every link is well worth the click. However, I’ll leave the clicking up to you. Pick and choose as you like.
Ten Things I’ve Discovered Lately That Made Me Laugh, Smile or Say COOL
*listed in no particular order
1. This song and the video that accompanies it is trés cool. It is done by a friend but I am not telling you to watch it just because I know him. It is really good. Really. And, at the end, you are going to say “cool”.
2. I decided to look up top Canadian blogs (because I am patriotic like that) and I found this one. It is SO funny. I read a few posts and even the next day was laughing out loud thinking back to some of them. I’ve returned more than once and you will too. And the blogger, also known as the CEO of the company, despite being busy, is accommodating to requests. Register using your email. I asked him to put that there and he kindly organized some low level staff to do it. So use it. I hope he can keep the business going. With the winter being as it was this year it can’t be easy to keep up a profit Snow Shovelling in Canada.
3. This one’s really easy, requiring no clicking at all. I got an email today from FatCow - my hosting account for this site. It explained that all the electricity they use is produced by wind power. I am not at all one of those over-the-top green people but something about wind power fascinates me. And FatCow was offering a choice of a few different “badges” to add to my site to advertise their eco-friendliness. Adding a new “badge” to my site gives me a huge THRILL! (I don’t get out much.) Scroll to the bottom of this page. Go do it. I’ll wait……Did you see it? Not sure about you, but when I saw it I really did say “cool” right out loud.
4. Speaking of wind power did you know that if Canada and the US had enough wind turbines they could produce all the electricity they need and then some. Kind of begs the question so why don’t we have more turbines? I think it’s because people don’t like what they look like. So ridiculous (insert rolling eyes emoticon here). But….that’s a topic for another post. The science blogger I learned this from sends out a couple of blogs per day and many are short “science facts of the day”. Maybe you are saying to yourself wtf is she talking about? Just trust me on this one. I find myself sharing these little scientific tidbits with whoever is around me. Even if they’re strangers.Try it. You’ll like it. And you may even make some new friends. Science-Based Life – Promoting the Public Understanding of Science
5. This is the blog that I stole my opener from today. Another Canadian blog. I found it very entertaining! So take some time and read about Sex, Drugs & CT Scans.
6. I’ve been grooving on this song lately that makes me smile every time I hear it. It makes me think about when I was young. Upon viewing the video, some of the images are also reminiscent of when I was young(er). Yikes. Have a look and a listen. And remember back to when we were young and we thought we could set the world on fire. Enjoy.
7. My son posted this on his Facebook the other day. Considering the boy lives his life on wheels I thought it was rather profound that he posted this picture with this quote. Made me very proud of his courage. And his attitude.
“It only hurts when I’m not laughing.” – Jackie Chan
8. Angry Birds. I’m late to the game I know but I installed it on my new smart phone. My friend and co-worker developed a strong addiction to this game last year. Now I know why. Try it. It’s never-ending fun.
9. I’m no prude and normally I enjoy half-naked men. But not necessarily as they are walking down the street pushing their child (grandchild possibly) in their little plastic car. And not necessarily while out on the driveway sudsing up the car. The unseasonably warm weather and sunshine have gone straight to some people’s heads. And chests apparently. Made me smile and think wtf? all at the same time.
10. Do you think journalists phrase things in a certain way kind of, sort of, on purpose? Do you think they smile when they do it? I do. Newspaper article, second paragraph, first sentence. I’ll let you decide.
Hope you enjoyed my first list post. If you check out any of my links or if you have something you’d like to share that makes you say “cool” then please, do share in the comments section below!
*I’ve been consumed the last couple of days with a criminal trial going on in a town fairly close to me. It involves a child and bad things and, although this is NOT about violent details, if you are the type that would rather not hear anything about stories like this then I’d advise you not to read it.*
Are monsters born or bred? The trial began this week against the man who, with the help of his girlfriend, kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered 8-year-old Tori Stafford. The girlfriend is already serving a life sentence having pled guilty in a previous trial. But she has been on the stand the last couple of days and many in the courtroom describe it as meeting evil face to face. Someone on the radio today was asking people to call in to give their reactions to what they’ve heard about little Tori’s last few hours on earth. I will not print the details here – they are easily attainable elsewhere - and they’re not my motivation for writing. Suffice it to say the girl suffered. A lot. The feelings and emotions upon hearing of Tori’s fate are not easily explained. If there were an emotion that was a mixture of deep sadness, horror, sympathy and sickness all rolled into one that might come close to describing the feeling.
So many questions roll around my head in a situation such as this one. First off, the girlfriend – who has admitted to being the one to lure Tori and the one to actually murder Tori. She was the beginning and the end. A “favour” for her boyfriend. They had been dating only 3 months. 3 months. At what point in time did it ever become normal in this girl’s eyes for her boyfriend to casually mention he’d like to kidnap someone? Why did she not find it dangerously creepy when he asked her to help him get someone young. And that ”the younger the better” as they were more “easy to manipulate”. Was this not the first clue that the guy was beyond anything even remotely approaching normal? What makes a young girl go along with such a thing when in fact she should be running straight to the police and reporting him for even vocalizing such a thing? This is the first of many things that baffles me.
Reportedly, she was happy to finally have a boyfriend who was “a good guy” and who “had a job”. How desperate had her life become? Adopted at birth, then apparently bounced around a few foster homes, trouble with the law, detention centres – her life was no picnic I’m sure – but to stoop to this level of gruesomeness? At what point did her conscience shut off? And if it was something in her unstable upbringing that tilted her toward such heartlessness, how come no one ever noticed? It is abhorrent that one person’s upbringing can be someone else’s demise. The number of times this woman could have set Tori free, let her out of the car, told her to run – they stopped for a coffee – a coffee for God’s sake – and still she participated in the little girl’s imprisonment. What was she thinking when Tori innocently said she wanted to go home and that she promised she wouldn’t tell anyone? The poor little girl. She obviously knew she was in trouble – that being taken away in a car like this represented something that needed to be kept secret. Imagine. Eight years old and trying to strike such a bargain. It is torture just thinking about it.
And what now of Tori’s parents? Her closest loved ones? It’s easy for people to watch and listen and be horrified at what happened but Tori’s parents have entered a prison from which there is no escape. The conviction and sentencing of these two monsters does only one thing – it protects others who may have met the same fate at their hands. It is the law and it is a consequence. But it is not closure. At the end of it all, everyone else goes home and back to a life they’ve always known. Tori’s parents will never be so lucky. There is nothing, nothing, that will erase the fact that she is gone forever.
I never knew Tori Stafford. But I spoke to her today and this is what I said:
I’m not sure why but having read the details of your last few hours I feel the need to tell you how sorry I am. I am sorry that you left this world while staring into the face of evil. We give so much thought to how human beings enter this world and not enough sometimes to how they exit the world. You were only 8 years old with your whole life ahead of you. I am sorry you had to see the worst that humanity can be. And that you left this world surrounded by monsters. Children dying is never a pleasant topic but for you to have not just lost your life – but to have had it taken from you by other, older people in pursuit of their own “pleasure” – it is, quite simply, unbearable to even contemplate. At 8 years of age you had to endure wickedness that most people never experience in an entire life time. Those two poor excuses for human beings will most definitely spend the rest of their lives in jail and yet, even if they were to be killed for what they did to you – as many would like to see happen – even if they were killed, it still wouldn’t be enough. There is no compensation for what you experienced in your last few hours on earth. And nothing brings you back to the parents that love you and to the innocent world of which you were a part. I am so, so sorry you had to see what no child should ever see. I am so sorry you experienced adults who pretended they could be trusted but who, instead, took you and lied to you and scared you and hurt you. I am so, so sorry. Rest your soul little one. Yours is a story that won’t soon be forgotten.