Things Not to Do in a Communal Showering Environment

swimming

I go swimming at the “Y” in the mornings before work- partially for health reasons and partially for sanity reasons.  It’s a stress relief most days, and gets my joints moving.

Most of the time I have a quiet and uneventful morning.  I get there at 5:30 when they open so I can do my laps and strength training in the pool.  Then I shower, dress and get ready to go to work all right there in the locker room, which keeps me from having to deal with babysitting Jerry in the mornings instead of getting my own stuff done.  It’s a lot more efficient than trying to go home and shower and put makeup on while Jerry is doing his morning shitting, showering and shaving in the same bathroom.

Most of the time I am one of the first ones in the shower.  I try to be very conscious of those around me.  I try to take my shower quickly, efficiently and with the least amount of distraction.  All I want is to get clean, get dressed, and get out.  I do dress behind the curtain as I believe there are some things no one wants to see in the light of day, things which include my unclad ass hanging out of a towel.

We do have a few rude girls in the showers though, and there are things I observe that I consider to be very poor shower etiquette.

howler

The Moaner:

I know it feels good to take a nice hot shower.  The problem is when you choose to articulate your satisfaction with the hot shower by moaning like the girls’ gym teacher in that scene from Porky’s.  Did you bring your dildo to the shower?  It sure sounds like it.  Does being in a communal shower with others of the same gender turn you on?  That is creepy beyond words.  I have to wonder- but please- keep those kind of noises to yourself.

summerseve

The Doucher:

Some people do rinse out their hair with vinegar, which to me is sort of weird, but it’s even weirder if that vinegar smell from the next shower over is from someone doing the douche.  If your nether parts get that skank nasty just from a morning work out, there is probably something funky going on down there that Summer’s Eve is NOT going to fix.  I’m all about feminine hygiene, but that’s one of those kinds of things that should get done at home.  Better yet, if in spite of regular bathing, the old cooter keeps on smelling like last week’s catch was left out in the sun,

rotten fish

you might want to seek medical attention of some sort.

just a towel

The Streakers:

I don’t want anyone in the locker room to see me naked.  It’s more courtesy than anything else.  I don’t want to see any female naked.  I would make an exception for hot, buff dudes.  I would assume that most women really don’t want to see other women naked either, and if you are one of those women who like to stare at other women naked, I don’t want to be the one giving you a thrill.   So the courteous thing to do is not to run around the locker room “clad in naught but air,” or with nothing on but a towel that leaves your ass hanging in the wind.  The little cubby in front of the shower with the curtain is there for a reason.  Get dressed behind it after you shower, so nobody has to see you naked.

Of course, bodily noises in the shower are always in bad taste.  I know sometimes farts slip out, but it is possible to take a shower without cutting a few big, lusty, long, juicy rippers all during it.  It also is possible to get through a shower without hawking up a lung, or blowing one’s nose (that is just a nasty thing to do in the shower.)

The last thing I want to worry about in the shower is sliding around on someone else’s snot.  I wear shower shoes, but still.

 

Cats and Dogs, the Natty Impaired, and Physical Fitness

petting chartI love this chart, because for the most part, it’s true.

Most dogs are not terribly body sensitive.  Sheena is a bit head-shy, but I think that’s because she’s deaf, which means she’s highly reliant upon what she sees and she doesn’t want anything to obstruct her vision.  Lilo is extremely body sensitive (don’t even try to touch her feet or tail without giving fair warning) for a dog, but she’s an exception rather than a rule.  Clara must think she’s a cat, because she adores having her butt scratched as much if not more than a typical cat.

Isabel and Jezebel (the two black cats, and the oldest and youngest) are cling-on cats.  They love attention, seek it out, and can’t get enough physical closeness, petting, cuddling, etc.  Fanny (the behemoth silver tabby and white) and F.B. (Fluffy Butt, the tortoiseshell Angora) are both more selective about who they want attention from, for how long, and when.  They have their moments of wanting attention, but they also have their moments of being downright anti-social.  Especially Fanny.

jezebel isabelMe (Isabel- right) and Mini-me (Jezebel- left)

Jezebel is not going to be a terribly large cat.  Isabel is very small for an adult cat (just over 5#) and Fanny was bigger than her by the time Fanny was three months old.  Jezebel is about 18 weeks old at this point and is maybe 2 1/2- 3#.  Jezebel will likely grow and fill out a bit after she’s spayed, but I doubt if it will be by much.  Isabel’s spayed too.  Cats do most of their growing before their adult teeth come in.  Jezebel already has her adult incisors and canine teeth (yes, cats are carnivores and therefore they possess four elongated canine teeth, like all other carnivores) and it likely won’t be long before she gets the premolars and molars too.  An interesting (nerd alert) aside- a cat is actually more of a true carnivore than a dog, because a cat is an obligatory carnivore that requires meat in their diet to survive, whilst dogs can survive without meat in their diet.  Cats cannot manufacture their own taurine, which is an essential amino acid that has to do with vision and regulating heart beat.  Dogs (and humans) can manufacture their own taurine, but cats can only get taurine from meat in their diet.

Vegans beware- put your cat on a vegan diet and it will soon go blind and then die- so don’t impose your meatless lifestyle on your cat.   Or on me for that matter.  I may not need meat to live, but I sure do like it.

snickersF.B. is a beautiful cat, but she despises cameras.  I was lucky to get this one.

F.B. is probably the quietest and most unobtrusive of my cats.  She likes attention if it’s one-on-one, and she loves to just chill with the other cats. For the most part she sits back and observes, and sleeps.

fanny2Fanny was aptly named.  That’s what I get for listening to Queen.

Fanny is huge.  17# for a female cat is big.  She has big bones, and she has big meat on the big bones also, which is ironic because Isabel and Jezebel- each- eat more than she does.  They are tiny and svelte, yet they are eating machines.  Fanny is a fussy eater who eats only a very few things, (for instance Fanny refuses Vienna sausages, which the other cats adore) and she slowly and methodically chews each bite.  I feel for Fanny and her metabolism.    She also has a bit of a jealousy complex and an attitude.  She was not at all happy about Jezebel coming in and taking her position as the young petulant indulged one, even though Fanny’s four years old and should be over it by now.

claranlilo1Clara and Lilo have always been close.  Sometimes Lilo will get into Clara’s crate with her.

Clara (top) and Lilo (bottom) have been close ever since we got them.  Clara had been with us a few months when we got Lilo, and they are only a few months apart in age.  Even now that they’re older (Clara’s 10, Lilo’s 9) they still occasionally play tug of war with their toys and play-fight with each other.

tugofwar3They still enjoy this, even though Clara’s bigger and usually wins.

sheena311Sheena is well, Sheena.  She is her own dog.

Sheena’s part Husky.  Sheena has a number of flaws that are consistent with inbreeding- severe hip dysplasia, deafness, gross motor deficits (may or may not be related to HD) and she’s downright goofy.  Maybe some of her cognitive deficiencies are related to the fact that she used to live at the Tetanus Farm which was also a puppy mill and (suspected) meth lab.  There’s a reason why it’s a bad idea to procreate with first degree relatives, and that applies to dogs as well as humans.  But Sheena’s endearing in her own weird way.  I have a soft spot for rejects and misfits.  That must explain Jerry.  A warning to women: if a guy’s 38, straight, and never married, there is a good reason why.

Today begins Jerry’s fitness program.  He’s the one who wanted a membership at the Y and actually gave me money to pay for it.  This is almost scary in a way.  I can’t imagine Jerry in work out clothes, on a treadmill or elliptical, or lifting any sort of weight over 12 ounces.

He will be so disappointed when he discovers the only fluids available at the Y are water, diet soda and fruit juice, and there are no beer holders on the cardio machines.  But I will be happy if he at least goes and gives it a try.

On the other hand, I am anxiously looking forward to enjoying the indoor pool, being able to swim laps starting at 5:30 in the morning, and being able to work out on the ellipticals. Swimming and elliptical machines are two modes of exercise that allow me to get the cardio and strength training I need without destroying my joints even more than they are already.  The Y also has nice showers, so if I choose to go there to work out before work instead of working out at home, I can actually swim laps, do some cardio, and then shower and go to work from there. Nice.

jerry richard simmons

Hopefully he won’t think this is what I mean by “work out clothes.”

Cosmic Crap Shoot, Happenstance Cathedrals, Everywhere and Nowhere

If Asthma cigs are so great, why deny the kiddies?  Or do they just have to suffer from the paroxysms like the brats they are?

The more that I study the evolution of science, I am amazed regarding how much we don’t know, and how much of what we thought we knew that has been proven wrong.  Personally I would like to see if any of those three-pack-a-day Camel smokers from 1950-whatever are still alive, or if they all ended up dying from emphysema like Aunt Sam.  Aunt Sam (short for Samantha, no, she was not a former dude, even though her voice was so trashed and raspy she sounded like one) died back in the late ’70’s- thankfully she didn’t take anyone out with her.  She went out presumably the way she wanted to go: gagging on an unfiltered Pall Mall as she lifted up her oxygen mask to take another hit.

Sure, Sam, you keep on smoking these mo-fos and you’ll live forever!

Then again, not so much.  Aunt Sam was only 59 when she died.  She looked about 318.

Medical science has evolved quite a bit in the last century, but it’s too bad that a good deal of that crucial knowledge came too late for some people.   Jerry’s Dad still believes that kerosene is a hemorrhoid cure, and he’s also under the assumption that women have prostates.  I can only hope that he doesn’t think you have to buy boxes of Tampax to go swimming and horseback riding.

I could only safely wear white after the hysterectomy- nice try guys!

A good number of astronomers, physicists and other scientists who have achieved notoriety or academic acclaim (because they could understand the math that I just am not wired to get) are atheist or agnostic in their belief systems.  Even Carl Sagan, who had so much insight on astronomy, was a self-described agnostic.   Cosmology (not to be confused with cosmetology or cosplay) is the science of the origin and the evolution of the universe.  I would have to attribute the origin of the universe to something other than random chance.  Maybe it’s just me, but whenever “random chance” is involved in my life it’s never a good thing, and is almost always indistinguishable from Murphy’s Law.

Perhaps to maintain my mental stability I have to trust that there is a higher power or a supreme being, because I could never get the math, but even I get enough math to understand that the odds of coming up with the universe, life, and Steve Perry in spandex are pretty much so astronomically high as to be statistically impossible.   I find it hard to believe that a cosmic crap shoot is all there is, even if the placement and timing of the universe and life could be proven to be random.  Tell me, Who is throwing the dice?  Perhaps it is my own human limitation to assume that if something is created, that it necessarily had to have a creator behind it in some way.

I don’t necessarily take the Garden allegory literally, (and I don’t believe the Genesis account was meant to be taken at face value,) but it would have been cool to wander about naked in a garden all day with wild animals.  Just sayin’.

I don’t necessarily take the Flood story at face value either.

Blaise Pascal (and I’ve outlived him by four years so far) was a mathematician and also somewhat of a theologian.  He put forth the notion (Pascal’s Wager) that even if you can’t prove that God exists that the odds that He does are strong enough that it’s worth your while to live as though He does.

The only problem with living like there is a God is that it’s impossible to do so aside from His grace.

This being said, I am definitely not the greatest example of piety and selflessness out there.  Mother Teresa, I ain’t.

I tend to connect more with things spiritual in happenstance cathedrals- places that seem unlikely and that are often temporary.  If it’s quiet, if it’s secluded, and if there’s a sort of chaotic beauty, those are the kinds of places where I feel closest to God.

I loved places like this abandoned railroad bridge.  It was destroyed in the early 1990’s for its scrap iron.

I’d have to say there is some kind of solace in the chaos of entropy, and in the patterns to be found in the disorder, as strange as that sounds.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been to one of those convergence points that seems like everywhere and nowhere at the same time.  There are simply some places where time isn’t what it is everywhere else, and I find those places to be amazingly spiritual and amazingly renewing.  I don’t have an explanation for them just as I have no way to effectively convey how I know God not only exists but is present in and through everything.  That’s just about how metaphysical I can get, and then I simply have to say I don’t know.

Humor Me, Breathing is Fundamental, and Anytime is Naptime

I love it.  My granddaughter is already learning the art of the stink-eye.

I think gradually, ever so painfully slowly, my sorry carcass is beginning to get the picture that drowning me in snot is rather counterproductive.  I’ve been on the Allegras for a little over a week and they do seem to help- that along with the saline rinses (now there’s a really fun activity- spraying salt water up your nose to rinse out your sinuses) and the homeopathic nasal spray made from capsaicin (capsaicin is what makes hot peppers hot) that burns like hell right after you spray it-  but it is effective, and at $11 a bottle, I can afford that. So far it’s working better than the steroid sprays that cost $100 + per script and as an added bonus, can give you glaucoma.  I’ve used the steroid sprays before, and they are effective, but I can’t afford them, and since I’m already at risk for glaucoma, I think I’ll steer clear.

Of course, as always, I have a sick sense of humor, even though it has been temporarily stifled by misery and fatigue.  I hate being so tired, but the word “tired” does not capture the depth of the sloggingly slow, painfully apathetic state I’ve been in.  The snots have subsided enough to allow me at least some sleep- but no matter how much sleep I manage to get I feel like I can always use more.  I hate dragging my ass through life.  I would love to wake up hyper- in a good way- with something fun to do that I actually have the energy for.  Maybe I’ve just been sleep deprived for so long that there’s no possible way for me to catch up. 

I do have to go next week and get my blood drawn for labs.  I wonder if yet again something is out of line with my funky-assed body chemistry. In the past I’ve had fatigue caused by low iron (that shouldn’t be an issue since the hysterectomy,) and low potassium (I have to take a supplement for that.)  I’ve had my thyroid stuff checked in the past and it’s been normal, but Grandpa had low thyroid, and he was virtually narcoleptic over it until the Drs found it and started medicating him for it.  Maybe my thyroid has gone south.  It would not surprise me.  I am the repository for most of my family’s genetically transmitted diseases after all.  I can only hope that if that is what’s making me want to sleep 24/7 that they actually run a thyroid test on my blood.  I have no idea which blood panels my new Dr. is going to run.  If I were him I would run everything known to man, because Murphy’s Law would indicate that I have a greater chance than most of having obscure and bizarre anomalies and diseases, especially if they are inherited. 

As a kid it always pissed me off that the world “wastes” so much time sleeping.  Back in the day I could run on four or five hours’ sleep and be wide awake and ready to go.  Now I can sleep on and off for 10-12 hours and still be dead tired.   Perhaps it is a bit of cosmic justice for being so wired as a kid, or punishment for all those years of chugging coffee, chain-smoking and taking all that mail order speed.  Pseudoephedrine and caffeine pills were easily obtained back in the 80’s and 90’s.  I could stay awake for days. Now I wish I could sleep for days, but even then I’d still wake up dead tired.

Maybe I don’t have enough excitement in my life.  Maybe I had too much excitement earlier on, and I’m so jaded I can’t get enthused about very much.  Then again, the odds of waking up with a hot young stud in my bed are next to none.  I wake up with dogs in my bed, but that’s not quite the same.

Clara manages to get herself in the smallest of spaces to sleep- while the other two dogs like to take up as much surface area as possible.

Here’s Lilo- all stretched out as usual.

Sheena doesn’t even try to get into the beds with her bad hips- but she can sleep on the couch- and just about anywhere else.

I force myself to exercise- 30 minutes a day of strenuous cardio most days- and supposedly that’s supposed to make one more energetic.  It’s done wonders for my upper and lower body strength- but not a damned thing for my energy level.  I can go through a workout and then turn right around and go back to sleep.  I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way but it does for me, and some days it takes everything I have to get through 30 minutes.

I think someone could make a killing if they could find a way for people to workout while they sleep.  Just hook me up to the marathon running machine while I’m sleeping.  If I could sleep and run a marathon at the same time, then I would be well on my way to a buff bod.

I’ve always liked the idea of stealth exercise.  Swimming is the closest I’ve ever gotten to it.  You feel great while you’re swimming laps, but don’t realize how much energy you’ve burned up until you get out of the pool.  Unfortunately I don’t have easy access to an indoor pool.  It was nice when I had the “Y” membership but Jerry whined and cried about it every time I went to the “Y,” because every minute I was at the pool was a minute I wasn’t available to fetch beer or otherwise cater to His Nibs. 

To hear him talk about it, I think somewhere back in the reptilian part of his brain he might have thought that other guys were “looking at” me in a bathing suit.  I think it’s funny he assumes that because I’m female that my partially clad body would cause other males to lust, (??? I’m not really lustworthy material by any standard????!!!!) but he fails to realize two very important truths- 1.) I purchase swim attire that affords me the most coverage I can get,  because 2.) there are laws in this country against cruel and unusual punishment.  Subjecting others to the visual of my incredibly pale, scarred skin is just plain nasty- nobody wants to see my stretch marks, surgical scars, varicose veins, burn marks, etc.  If I could find a swim top with sleeves I’d wear that too, so nobody would have to get an eyeful of my meaty arms.  As far as I can see, the visual of me in a bathing suit would motivate projectile vomiting rather than provide fodder for a hand party.