Wednesday, December 10, 2008

another long and drawn out post of a personal nature that will not interest you

my gym is sort of interesting. it's kind of a weird mix between a lame commercial gym and a more serious strength training facility. i have witnessed a lot of headshaking things. often times it's some well-intentioned, but misguided exerciser doing waste of time exercises like the chest press station or those hip abductor machines. or i see someone doing some exercise with obviously poor form. this often leads me wondering what i should do. as i mentioned in my last post, i want to be more helpful in everyday life. maybe i should politely point out their error in form or exercise choice and explain how to correct it. but then again, who the fuck am i? i'm not one of the trainers. i don't hold any certification in training (although i find most of the trainers in my gym to have very questionable certifications). i am getting in better shape, but am still fat. would i listen to me if i was someone else? its tough to say. nobody likes to look foolish or be told they are wrong. also, somebody who knows a little, but thinks they know a lot (i am referring to me) is way more obnoxious and potentially dangerous than someone who admittedly knows nothing. then again, i want to help and don't want anyone to waste their time doing stuff that won't work or may even injure them. and another thing...there are a lot of other people in much better shape and with more experience there...why don't they say anything?

when i am at the gym, i keep to myself. i have my headphones on and rarely get into conversations. i focus on what i am trying to do that day and don't make an effort to watch other people, but it just happens. here are a few examples of stuff i have seen recently that have left me shaking my head and wondering whether or not it would be appropriate to step in:

2 women lifting - there are these 2 middle-aged women at the gym that do the same things over and over again with no progression. their routine seems to be pretty solid in that they do a lot of free weights and stay away from lame lifting machines or even the smith machines. but they have 2 habits that drive me fucking insane. they both get into the only 2 squat racks in the gym and proceed to do bicep curls with just the bar and a 5 lb plate on each side. this is ridiculous in that if you are going to do bicep curls, you can do them anywhere else, why take up the precious squat racks? there is an area of the gym specifically for doing curls, but apparently that will not do. or they could at least just use one rack and alternate. secondly, they don't put the weights aways when they finish. they just make a mess with loose weights and extra bars laying all over the place and don't bother to put anything back when they go off and do something else. i am often the one waiting around to use the racks, and then end up havving to put all of their shit back to make room. do i say something? tell them to lift heavy or gtfo?

fat asian guy - there is this other fat asian guy who is more or less where i was before i started lifting. i've noticed him drifting around from machine to machine looking pretty clueless. i had noticed that he had started to try the exercises i was doing, but his form was awful and he was trying to lift too heavy to start out. i chose to just stay out of it, but thought that eventually i might say something to him. well yesterday he was in there working out with some fool wearing jeans. this guy also had no idea what he was doing, but was showing the asian guy exercises like he was a trainer. he was showing him the bench press, but put on way too much weight and was essentially doing bent over rows while yelling "all you!". the blind leading the blind. do i approach the guy and tell him to ditch his buddy? do i give him some unsolicted pointers? or will i basically just look like his jean wearing friend (a know-it-all who does not in fact know it all)?

new gym member with "trainer" - yesterday may have been the final straw as i witnessed the idiocy of one of the gym's trainers working with a new gym member. this guy was showing the girl box squats. while this is a very good exercise, he made no effort to show her how to do it with good form. he almost dropped a bunch of plates on her head when he was lifting up one end of the bar to lower the rack pins. in my first ever intervening, i rushed over and caught the plates seconds before they fell off the bar and onto her head. i checked the trainer's shirt. yup, it said "personal trainer" in big bold letters across the back. i went back to squatting. between sets i noticed that even though he lowered the rack pins, they were still about 3 inches too high for the girl and she actually had to get under and press the bar overhead to get it off. this is ridiculous and i stare in amazement in hopes that the trainer sees me and asks why i am staring. no luck and i go back to lifting, hoping that the girl does not get hurt while under the supervision of this guy who most likely got his certification after a 30 minute online seminar. should i have stepped in and suggested that he lower the pins? should i have explained that she should not be trying to press a weight she can barely box squat? should i have explained to the "expert" that she is not supposed to sit on the box for 5 seconds between each rep?

these are the types of issues that i struggle with most days i am at the gym. again, i do not consider myself an expert in lifting or exercise science. i think i just know a little more than the average joe gymdude. i did work in physical therapy offices throughout college and i do nerd out a lot, reading stuff at work, because i find it very interesting at the may have taken up the hole that was left behind after i stopped caring as much about fantasy football. speaking of fantasy football, i am matched up against laura, whose team is ridiculously hot as of late. i am pretty sure that i will lose, but you never know.

back to lifting and training...i do really enjoy lifting with people i know and like helping them learn if i happen to know more than them. starting tomorrow i will be volunteering at the special olympics powerlifting group, so that should be fun. i wonder if i had begun lifting in college, would i have chosen a different career path? i could see myself enjoying this kind of work, even though i am sure the pay is pretty shitty. i think i would become very knowledgeable since i actually find this stuff fascinating. i dunno. part of all of this thinking is based on my current hatred of (or at least extreme lack of enthusiasm towards) my stable, decent paying office job. i know i will eventually need to reexamine my career and find something that i care about, but it's all very overwhelming and scary to think about. in the meantime i will slack at work, continue to try to get in better shape and probably just watch in horror as people do dumb stuff at the gym.

Friday, December 5, 2008

i want to do good, but i also want to complain

so if you read this blog at all, you probably get the sense that i am trying to make some general improvements in my life and part of that is being more giving and helpful. i have made some concerted efforts to help in areas that really strike home with me and i have also been more open to randomly helping people who ask for it.

although i have missed the last few events because i had other things going on, i have been volunteering as a runner for prince george's county spca. i obviously love animals and just thinking about animals needlessly suffering is very upsetting to me. i always have a good experience when i volunteer during their low shot clinics. i have met some nice people and a few weirdos, but overall, it is fun and i feel good about helping. now, let me complain a little. the clinic is half an hour away and i always get lost either going to or leaving there, and it is always a different way of getting lost. they have these events on sunday afternoons, which is when i would normally be watching football. overall rating of this experience - 9.5/10

a few weeks ago, i went to fuel up my car. as i step out of my car, an oldish man suddenly approaches me and asks if i have jumper cables. a few things flash in my head.
  • we are at a gas station that has a repair shop...why wouldn't he ask them?
  • it is fucking cold outside
  • i have jumper cables, but i kind of have a bunch of stuff to do.
  • he won't know that i have them in my trunk...i'll just tell him sorry, dude.
  • wait...that is what my normal selfish self would do...
  • just tell him you have them and can help.
  • this could be annoying.
  • oh well.
so i fill up my car and then turn it around to face his. i pop my hood and get the cables when i notice him vigoroulsy reading his car manual for his old as oldsmobile. i tell him that i have done this a few times and tried to remember what dave told me last time we jumped a car. he refused my advice and kept reading...for like 5 minutes. i just stood there holding the jumper cables, freezing my ass off and getting annoyed. eventually we try to jump based on the manual directions and it does not work. i just get out and set it up the way i knew how and voila! his car started. i began to unnattach the cables and leave...while still waiting for some sort of thank you. he kind of gives me this annoyed "thanks" under his breath. i leave feeling good about helping someone, but annoyed with that person cause he was an asshole. overall rating of this experience - 3.5/10

i had agreed to be part of a malaria study for the red cross since i had traveled to the dominican republic this year. last night i went and drove all over columbia looking for this building, when all of the buildings looked the same. i had to ask 5 different people for help and nobody seemed to know. finally i flagged down a fed ex delivery guy and he directed me to the building, which was a good 5 minute walk from where i was. when i got there they kept me waiting for a while and i definitely contemplated just leaving. they finally saw me and the blood withdrawal process was pretty quick, although i realize that i am not a fan of needles at all. i couldn't even look when they did it, even though i barley felt it. they will be sending me a $45 check for my time, which is nice i guess. i can start donating blood in june, which i will hopefully do. overall rating of this experience - 7/10

next up is my first meeting to volunteer for the special olympics. i am pretty excited about this, but based on the little annoyances and hiccups from my other efforts to help, i am going in with reasonable expectations. if if do end up going through with this, i could help coach athletes in basketball (i will be crossing them up left and right), bowling, weight-lifting or swimming. i have worked with people with special needs in the past and it is usually a good experience, but this will be my first time with this organization. one strike against it already is that this meeting is on sunday afternoon. i will keep my fingers crossed and complain about my experiences in a future blog.

stuff you should see

here's another random roundup of stuff (pretty animal-heavy) you should check out on the internet.

1. jones big ass truck rental and storage - just trust me...and make sure to watch the commercial.

2. the talking goat - you will want to rewatch this. believe it.

3. upside down dogs - after living with jessie, i realize the potential of the upside down dog

4. this dog is awesome - i enjoyed this song a lot

5. zero gravity dog - i wonder what this dog was thinking

nintendo 8 - like old nes games? like to waste time?

7. old louis

Thursday, December 4, 2008

just keep it to yourself, i am better off not knowing

i am not at all a vain person. i honestly do not think about what i look like very often. people like to joke about my muscles and my wearing tight clothes, both of which are severely exaggerated, but my goal is usually to just look normal and blend in with the crowd...beyond that i don't give it much thought and i generally walk around blissfully unaware. with that in mind it is always upsetting when i am out in public with friends and while trying to hold in their laughter, someone points in a direction and is like "hey look! it's kevin!" without even looking, my immediate reaction is negative, for i am well aware of what i will soon see:

see...i bet you fuckers are laughing already

it's one thing for someone to spot some beautiful ninja and scream "it's nam!" or be watching full house and asking out loud, "when did nick get the role of uncle jessie?" making those beautiful-to-beautiful comparisons are both amusing and not embarrassing to anyone involved. not so much when someone sees someone that i resemble.

now, even though i have been getting better, i know that i am not in great shape and am still a good 30 pounds overweight, but as i mentioned above, how i look is not usually on my mind, so when something like that is brought to my attention, it's a hurtful reality slap in the face. the same goes for photos. i have accepted that i am definitely not photogenic, but pictures cannot really be avoided. pointing to the other fat asian guy in the room and jokingly calling him my twin can and should be avoided by those who care about my mental well-being.

this little rant was not spawned by any specific event, but just a buildup over the years of slowly breaking me down until i get to the point of complaining and whining about it on my blog. so next time you see some guy that you think looks like me, and i also happen to be there, i ask that you contain your giggling, make a mental note if you wish and wait until i go to the bathroom or something before making the comparison known to everyone else.

cleaned-up nick? why not? no harm done.

nam. they're both elegant and they both fight.

i suppose i never noticed it before, but dave does resemble han solo, but it's cool, harrison ford is a good-looking guy.

seriously's not cool.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

she & me? it could happen...

it's been a little while since my last post, although not nearly as bad as my slacker friends. today i wanted to mention my newest celebrity crush, zooey deschanel. i remember seeing her in elf and thinking she was really cute and had a nice voice. i don't really remember seeing her in a lot of other film roles, but i did kind of always remember her would hear her name every once in a while. well earlier this year, she joined up with m. ward to form she & him. they recorded what i am pretty sure is my favorite album of the year. here is there video for "why do you let me stay here?":

everything comes together so perfectly. the song is super catchy, zooey is looking ridiculously cute and the video itself is very fun. i think there's something particularly appealing about the expressions she makes and the little mannerisms she has in the video. also, how can you hate on that cowgirl outfit? adorable. now i realize she is more cute than celebrity-level hot. phil may complain about her non-latinaness. whatever. she just comes off very likeable, smart (i have no actual proof of this, just a hunch), not crazy and obviously talented. those aspects make her even more attractive to me.

i have held off on discussing my celebrity crush list that has cultivated over many years. it had escalated into an unweildy beast and i realize that it needs to be trimmed down to a more manageable 10 or 20. even with that, there's lori and then everyone else. welcome to everyone else, zooey.