Friday, 17 February 2012

Fitness Queen

My name is Sammee and I'm a "gym junkie."  Well, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration--more like I'm  a "wannabe gym junkie" who completed this twice weekly, 4-week course on how to manoeuver confidently around the cardio equipment and weight machines.  Thanks to my trainer, Tracey, I can step gracefully on and off the treadmill, Stairmaster, stationary bike and elliptical machines without looking like a total klutz. I know where to sit and place my feet on the vertical bench, pec dec, ab machine and seated leg press.  I have "worked out" in both public and private gyms. I would like to share with all of you my list of "gym facts" I have noted in all gyms.

1) Why are there so many skinny, spandex-clad blondes tackling the treadmills that conveniently face the huge front windows while their tight, sexy butts face the rest of us poor "shlobs" sweating on the incumbent bikes?

2) Why are the TV sets tuned to the Food channel at the Ladies Fitness Gym and tuned to the Sports channel at the "Guys 'n Gals" gym?

3) Why is it always my luck to follow behind a 7-feet, muscle-bound hunk of testosterone who lifts or pulls 300 pounds?  AND, leaves the machines set for his body and not mine!

4) The time limit on the popular equipment is 15-minutes and 5-minutes of my time is spent adjusting the height of the seat, the length of the pulley and the drop in weights. Hey, it's not my fault if one of the knobs on the "thingy" fell off while I was adjusting the seat to my 5'2" height.

5) Guys can be so macho when they do that male strut in the bar-bell corner. They love an audience even though they pretend they don't.

6) Why do we always feel soo-oo good after working our way through the "circuit," then spoiling it by treating ourselves to a warm "Jammy Doughboy" even though it is accompanied by a healthy carrot juice cocktail? 

7) Gals can do anything the guys can do especially when we have the advantage of spandex.  All that bending and stretching is great for the body, terrific eye-candy for the guys and most important of all can be distracting enough to give us extra minutes on our favourite machines! Hey, I never said we were stupid. . .See you at the gym.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Under New Management

What makes a good writer? I was thinking about this today because of my favourite place for breakfast. This place usually serves fluffy omelets loaded with saute diced ham, baby shrimps, mushrooms, chopped celery, parsley and sweet onions with a generous side of chunky panfries--the kind that's crispy on the outside and tender inside--plus the ubiquitous thick slice of toasted nutbread accompanied by a pat of butter and mini-pot of peach jam. Needless to say, my friends and I had our mouths and stomachs ready for this memorable feast, starting with the generous mug of fresh brewed coffee. The sign on the window should have warned us: "Under New Management." Our highly anticipated breakfast was "memorable" but definitely not in a good way!  Which brings me back to my original question, "What makes a good writer?"
There were some books I had high expectations on because of the writers' reputation. However, these books should have had a sign attached: "Under New Management."
I think even a well-established writer can have an "off" day.  I enjoy reading books written by a familiar name because I expect the books to be a few hours or days of terrific "escapism." How disappointing when you anticipate a good--no, a "great" read--and it isn't. I like to think even best-selling authors/writers can have a bad day at their computers.  I feel it makes them more "human"--even a tad more "humble" because the stress of producing something as good or better than their previous book plus their readers expectations--must be horrendous.  I like to think that the "not-so-good" pages that were painfully filled that day would be ruthlessly re-read the next and just shredded.  And, if it miraculously got to their editor's desk, then that person should have been honest--not awestruck--and sent it back.  Readers know what they like.  Surprisingly, we are loyal to our authors and if we have to wait a year or two or even three before the next book appears, then hopefully it will be worth the wait.  I appreciate the hours, days and months putting the right words together.  To be able to "grab" the readers by the eye-balls with the first few sentences; to  maintain that level of expectation we seek from the author; to satisfy our anticipation; that feeling of wanting more when the last page is read--then that truly is a good writer.