Sunday, May 31, 2015

The absurdities of retail...

I don't know if I told you all or not, but I had a brief side gig as a sales associate for a plus-size retailer. I figured the 40% discount would help me economically update my wardrobe, while also bringing in a few extra bucks a month.

Granted, I ended up spending more money once I started my brief tenure because "It's on sale and I'll never get this dress for this cheap!"

Yeah, kinda shot myself in the foot with that one. 

Anyway. If you've ever worked in retail for any length of time, you're probably aware that managers can be a little… What's a delicate way to put this… Hmmm… Crazy?

"Would you like to open a store credit card?? You'll save $20 today but earn 28% interest every month!! LOL"
The assistant manager was great- she had a normal outlook on life and recognized that a retail job is just a job and we all need to calm down. It's not like the world was going to end if the shirts weren't perfectly folded to death.

The store manager on the other hand… She's only ever had retail jobs, so she takes them waayyyy too seriously. The company would set these ridiculous credit card application goals that no mere mortal could make (yet the store manager could, only because she.did.nothing.else. But I digress…), and then the store manager would actually credit shame us if we didn't make the goals.

There was actually this absurd list she'd print out of all the credits that were gained during the last week or 2, and then she'd scribble "Zero Club" on the side, and write all the names of those who didn't get credits underneath. That would usually be followed by some "motivating" speech that went something along the lines of "If we all had gotten just ONE credit per SHIFT, we would have made our GOAL! How are YOU going to turn it around??!!!"

I wish I could say the emphasis was mine. It's not. She did that. In red sharpie.
Please note that she would not post the Zero Club list if she didn't get any credits. Because then she doesn't look perfect, and we can't have that. ;-)

One of the last straws upon my camel's back that made me realize it was time to leave was the most ridiculous.

It was the thermostat.

You know, the little device that changes the temp of an area??

Someone was changing the temperature of the thermostat, and the store manager had a bona fide hissy fit over it. She got on the walky talky and was blasting everyone in the store for changing the thermostat and how it's so hot and blah blah blah. As she was sitting in the back room, the rest of us out front looked at each other like "Uhhhh….??"

"I didn't- did you? No? Did you? No?"
Sensing way too much tension, and having the tendency to make jokes at inappropriate times, I piped up with "…I don't even know where the thermostat is soooo..." One of the other girls looked at me and started laughing, and said she didn't know where it was either.

But, here's my favorite part, because of course this didn't stop there.

She wrote angry signs around the thermostat. Signs she angrily scrawled in black sharpie and taped aaalllll around the thermostat. Don't believe me?

How to make people not like you: Step 1….

Now that you mention it, I have *lots* of questions...


We're all adults, yet we're throwing a temper tantrum because of the thermostat? And we're claiming that people aren't working hard enough if they're cold…?


I fully commend everyone that works 2 jobs- you do what you gotta do. I decided that enough was enough, and I was probably spending enough money as-is on clothes, so I left shortly after. Granted, my day job was legitimately getting crazy, but the aforementioned events didn't make me want to stay and try to suck it up. Nooo regrets.

Solidarity to my homies still working retail and the homies working 2 jobs. Fight the good fight!

A Redhead

Friday, May 29, 2015

Different kinds of munchies

When I was a kid I used to take road trips to and from Wisconsin or Kentucky, depending on the family we were visiting. For me these trips were a green light to eat any and all the things.

Puffy pink marshmallow "snowballs".
Favorite soda of the month.
Canned vienna sausages….

Don't judge me. I was young and thought canned meat was normal.

Awww yeahhhh…. Pull that tab and let the fun begin.
Food has always been such an integral part of travel for me, healthy or not (though I think we can all safely ascertain it was not). I have vivid memories of picnicking at rest areas with my grandparents and cousins, and there was probably a can of the vienna sausages, Coke*, and inevitably moon pies or some kind of chips. #preservativesforall

So you can imagine then when the Bearded Wonder and I decided to drive out to Missouri from outside DC for my cousin's wedding, one of the first thoughts was "Ooohh! We have to figure out what food to bring!" Hey, it's a 16-hour drive; that was a logical jump to make. 

I think. 

At least it was if you're me.

Anyway. I'm long past the days of canned meat (bows deeply) and cheese puffs (most of the time). Plus I haven't drank a soda in mooonnnths and haven't looked back since, so now I had a conundrum. What to bring?

We're on kind of a tight budget, and we've been avoiding sugar [mostly], and most of my beloved preservatives. It's been pretty good, until we found Krispy Kreme today. 

Neither of us stood a chance.

Anyway. I present to you….

Pardon the janky picture + title. I'm trying to be cool and think I'm failing. 
I found this ginormo bag of dried apple chips at Wegman's for a few bucks. My favorite part? The ingredients list. It just says "apples". Wooo! I like crunchy and sweet stuff, so this was perfect for random midday nibbles
The pale yellow jar is filled with my famous [to me and beardy] egg salad. The red top container is filled with watermelon, and the bag of bite-size deliciousness?

Oh.My.Lanta. They're a household favorite. They're called Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Bites. We use all-natural, no-sugar peanut butter, unsweetened flaked coconut, and we left out the chocolate chips this time. They're perfection. They kind of remind me of chick-o-sticks. 

Ironically enough, also a road trip favorite of my youth… I'm sensing a theme...
Have you guys had them? They're this weirdly perfect concoction of peanut butter and coconut. Don't knock it until you try it- that orange color tastes better than it looks! 

The peanut butter oatmeal bites have saved me many times when I was craving something sweet but didn't want to eat something terrible. 

There's also a loaf of homemade wheat bread (I know what you're thinking- I am kind of a domestic goddess. Just kidding. Plus the Bearded Wonder made the pb balls this time! Go him!), which is sweetened with honey. Sooo good. 

Overall I'm pretty happy with our choices. There's also a jar of peanut butter in case we get weird midnight cravings sick of egg salad, and obviously the bag of SmartFood popcorn. It was my one unnatural indulgence. I have no regrets. Plus it's a far cry from finger licking staining Cheetos or Doritos**.

A Redhead

*When you're in the South, all sodas are known as Coke. "Do you want a Coke?" "Sure!" "Ok, what kind??" "Uhh….??"
** All delicious crunchy junk foods end in -os. It's science.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Whatchu gon' do with all that junk inside yo trunk?

OK let's talk about athletic gear for a second. I don't know about you guys, but there are all kinds of things I don't want showing when I'm working out: namely my entire body. 

But seriously, I need to find clothes that are flattering *enough* so that I don't feel self-conscious. I know, I know- stop caring about how you look at the gym, blah blah blah. Buuuut if I'm already not feeling so hot about being there, a good set of clothes generally seems to help. 

Obviously by "good set of clothes", sometimes I just mean the baggiest t-shirt I can find and some "yoga" pants that have yet to see the inside of a yoga studio. 

I have this fabulous friend Pamela who founded an "independent film and theater company where all forms improvisation combine to create exciting… performance art experiences"- 4&9 Productions. Fancy, n'est-ce pas? As if she wasn't cool enough, she's opened a Teespring shop to sell some quippy workout t-shirts. 

Soooo when said fabulous friend contacted me and asked me to post a link to these flipping awesome shirts, I had to oblige. I love her. I love their mission. I. Love. These. Shirts. 

It also comes in white and royal blue. Ooooo Aaaahhhh
How cute are these?!! As someone who runs so slow that it's often mistaken for an actual crawl, these shirts excite and make me happy. Mostly because it gives me hope that maybe someone, someday will actually read this shirt… As I pass them. 

Hopefully not because I've given up and am lying in a ditch, but given how I feel about running, that's not out of the realm of possibility. ;-) 

But I digress... These shirts also come in a variety of sizes which I loooove, because Lord knows that all of this jelly can't be contained in just any ole' t-shirt. 

I believe in me. And I believe in this shirt. 

What's a blog post without a Nic Cage unibrow??
SO. Go buy a fabulous shirt, inspire yourself to move, and support my wonderful friend with her fantastic company. It's a trifecta of great reasons to do a little shopping. 

OH! In case you're not familiar with Teespring, you actually "reserve" a shirt until the quota is met, and in this case they need 3 more shirts. That's it. Just 3. Once the quota is met, they charge your card and send your awesome shirt!

Maybe we could all be dorks and take pics of us wearing our matching shirts. =P 


A Redhead

Thursday, February 12, 2015

All of it burns. All of it.

Sooo for those of you who don't know, I went to the gym yesterday! Woohoo! And just to prove it wasn't all talk, here are some pictures to describe how I feel today:

Yep. That's about where I am right now. It took a "little" longer than normal to sit on the commode this morning after I woke up, and I was cursing the day that we bought a townhome with 3 flights of stairs.

I've started tracking my workouts on Fito again, and I have to say it's really satisfying to get points. I mean, it's not like the points mean anything, but it still brings some silly joy when a robot calculates your workout and then you're awarded points which eventually lead to you leveling up.

Also as a point of accountability: behold my workout from yesterday! :)

That lovely little workout earned me 246 points and some super sore muscles. I'm going to go back today because I know working out more will help, but ugghhh. Not really looking forward to it. That being said, I know I'll be really happy in 3 weeks that I've started again. It felt so natural being back in there, swinging a kettlebell, doing squats, planking and cursing my stopwatch for not going faster… I loved going to the gym pre-wedding. I hated missing a day.

I'm getting back on track though. I will do this! :D

Anyone else trying a new workout lately?

A Redhead

P.S. - I already have fabulous plans of not going to the gym tomorrow, because I'm working my PT job until 9:30, and then still have to go to the swing dance because it's a big event. Not really looking forward to Friday for once. =\

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Starting Over...

Today is the day.

THE day.

Today is the day I start going back to the gym.


I'm equal parts excited and paralyzed with fear. I'm not sure why- I used to go to the gym 4-6 times a week and go swing dancing and go on long walks with my dog. I used to be a very active person despite my badonkadonk.

Maybe the key phrase is "used to be". 

I meant to start yesterday, but I basically set myself up for failure and didn't have my gym bag or lunch packed the night before, and there's pretty much no hope of doing it in the morning. I don't know about you guys, but morning are just so hard. So. Darn. Hard. I tried to find light and happy songs to use as alarms, but after awhile I start to dread them and want to throw my phone across the room. Basically my last few months has looked like this:

Mornings? Nope. 
Both please! Throw some carbs in there and I'm good to go!

Angelika just gets me.
Winter's always just hard too because you don't want to be outside. It's not like I take my sweet time when walking Zoey. Heck no. It's more like "C'mon and do your business 10 minutes ago!!" Then we run back to the house while I whine about how cold it is. Anyone else feel me on this?

So. I'm going back to the gym today and I'm going at lunch because I know that that is just what works for me. I can't possibly go in the mornings (see above- ha!), and I don't want my evenings consumed with it, so lunch time is the best time. Plus I really enjoyed it back in the day of my fitness craze. Just getting back to it is soooo hard. And painful. And hard.

It's on the blog and I've told some people at work, so I am essentially forcing myself to go. I'll feel like a jerk if I tell all of you that I am and then don't. It also helps that the Bearded Wonder will be joining me. :) He's a gym rat though so he likes going to the gym. Weirdo.

I know George, I don't get it either. 
I'll let you all know how it goes later!

A Redhead

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

True Confession Tuesday

Let me start by saying that I feel like overall, I have a pretty diverse taste in music. I used to crank the classical to do my homework, I've seen ACDC in concert (still one of the greatest nights of my life), I can throw down in a 90's music sing-off, buuuut what you may not know….

I really. Really. Really like rap music.

I mean to the point where I've made it a goal to memorize Eminem's lyrics from songs that are suitable for radio play.

So when my husband texted me from our living room to say "Missy Elliot's on!" during half-time*, I threw a sweatshirt on and hustled down to see The Queen doing her thing. Too bad by the time I got downstairs I missed it and Katy Perry was back to, well, being Katy Perry.

Is that a… shark…??
I ended up watching the full half-time show, and I swear when I heard the opening beat of "Get ya freak on", my little heart soared and I smiled like someone handed me a big ole' cookie (I like cookies. Shut up.)

I may have been in an office chair, so I had to do subtle chair wiggles. But inside?

I was hoping black lipliner would materialize on my lips at any moment...
It's not just Missy- I love Eve, had a crush on Ja Rule in high school (even with the tiny 'stache!), rapped along in the car with Eminem, and watched DMX rap at the top of a skyscraper.

It doesn't matter that I can do The Carlton with the best of them or that I've seen NSYNC & BSB in concert.

I just wanted you all to know that I really freaking love rap/hip-hop/r&b and kind of have a vocal crush on Usher** (whaaaat?).

On a completely different note: I'm still trying to do the FABulous February workout. I missed it yesterday, but the way it's laid out I can do day 2 today, then day 3 tomorrow, and it'll catch right up. Beardy is doing it with me, which is nice for the support, but I kept yelling "DON'T LOOK AT ME!!!" as I fumbled through mountain climbers.

I don't care what our vows said, this wasn't going to be pretty...
Anyone else have a confession they wanna share?? You can post anonymously! :) 

A Redhead

*Note: I don't do football so I was in our bedroom waxing nostalgia watching 101 Dalmatians. :) 
**Note pt. 2: Ok but seriously, who doesn't?? Does anyone make a better slow jam?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Something new for February

I think over the many, many, many many many years I've been working on some type of weight loss or body improvement, I've come to the realization that I can't say "I'm starting tomorrow!" or "I'm starting Monday!"

I just can't do it.

If I decide I'm starting something, I basically have to start the second I decide, or I'll talk myself out of it later. Or I'll forget (yep, that's totally happened). Case and point, the 90-day challenge I joined with some ladies back in October happened on a completely random day, and even though I found myself going "Wait uhhh what but cookies!", I still started making changes to my diet right then.

So for February, I found this link on a friend's Facebook page for "FABulous February". I'm going to try it, because you start out doing 5 sit-ups (oh Lord…), 20 mountain climbers, and 10 jumping backs. That's doable, right?

Imma let you finish, but shut it Kanye.
You get 2 rest days a week, and do a different routine every other day. Since it starts "small" (the mountain climbers scare me. a lot.), I think it will be easier since it's not like this is going to take forever. Every little bit of movement helps, right?!

I just don't feel great a lot these days. I have a part time job now (helloooooo discount!) which is great, but I'm finding my back and knees sore a lot more because I'm standing for hours at a time. If I could strength my bodaciousness, it would probably help with discomfort.

Sooo that's where I'm at. I'm too lazy to print the chart, so I have it set as my background picture on the laptop. I'm using Youtube to find proper form for stuff like the mountain climbers and back extensions.

Sidenote: homeboy in the mountain climbers video makes it look too easy. I don't trust him.

Regardless of your political leanings, you have to admit Michelle gives a mean stink eye.
Anyway. That's me. How's everyone else doing?

A Redhead