Monday, April 30, 2007

Charlie's Angels Unite For a Second Year

For the second year, Charlie's Angels are walking in the Great Strides walk to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of St. Louis. Why do I raise money and walk in this event? (In case you don't care why I participate, wish to stop reading this post, and just want to make a donation, please click the post title above. It will take you to my donations page).

1. See picture to the right - how could I NOT participate knowing that Charlie has this disease, a disease whose research is underfunded. In the last 10 years the life expectancy for a CF kid DOUBLED with the limited research funding they had. Could you imagine if they had more money?

2. It's really fun. There's something about participating as a team that makes me feel very accepted. We all had matching t-shirts and there were a lot of alleviates some of that "picked last in gym class" trauma.

3. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has extremely low administrative costs. Of each dollar donated, $.90 of it is used for programming. Working at a non-profit (which also boasts low admin expenses) I appreciate knowing my money will be put to good use.

4. The staff and volunteers at the CF Foundation are FREAKISHLY nice. Working for a non-profit can feel very thankless at times - these people are amazing. Someone calls each walker the day before the race to thank them for their participation, ask if they need anything, and give a little pep talk. Also, they make donors feel good about their donation (very important in getting repeat donations). My mother hit a wrong button (because my email was kind of vague and confusing) and I didn't get credit for my parents donation. I emailed the CF Foundation asking if they could correct it and it was done within an hour - accompanied by a gracious email thanking us for everything and offering assistance in the future.

Alright, so those are my reasons for supporting the CF Foundation. If only you could find it in your hearts to find reasons to support me in my efforts. :) Do I need to post a cute picture of me? I could, and I will if I have to!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

What Is This World Coming To?!?!

Some of you may know that I joined the South City Family YMCA a couple months ago in an effort to rejuvenate my workout routines. Many aspects drew me to this facility - the pool, the location (if it were any closer they would have to pay rent to be in our yard)...and of course, the old people. I LOVE old people. I love being around them, flirting with old men, waving to my pal Esther as I enter the pool and she's leaving, etc. But at some point, these woman lost complete control.

There's an unwritten rule (in my opinion) that when someone is naked, or near naked, in the locker room it's bad form to initiate a conversation. As I was getting ready after my swim last week, an old lady energetically trots by and inquires about my underwear.

"Are those things comfortable - they certain don't look like it" - she says...AND PROCEEDS TO SNAP THE WASTE BAND OF MY UNDERWEAR!

If conversation is awkward in varying states of being disrobed, touching is completely out of the question.

My take: These women are reverting back to their youthful selves. I have never seen people act this way, barring teenage girls. They prance around the locker room naked, giggle, compare days, talk about lotions and hairstyles they like or don't like...and then there's the old man. There is one, rather handsome, 80-year+ old man that is the only man in their water aerobics class. This man is usually swimming fast laps of freestyle when I get there for my measly 36 laps and is still swimming when I leave. Usually as I walk out of the Y, I look into the pool area. He'll be lined up for a water aerobics class with 30-35 elderly ladies in their swim caps and skirted swimsuits. He bobs around, working the group. He doesn't stay in one place, but mingles amongst his lady friends. And that is where the whole "old ladies gone wild" started, in my opinion.

Ok, so I got off on kind of a tangent. This probably could have been two posts - one about the raucous old ladies in the locker room, and one about the "socially active" old man.

Even though I felt slightly violated at the underwear snap, it also felt good to be accepted. I love that these women are there every day - without fail. They have a recreational activity that makes them feel good about themselves and allows them to make friends and interact with them.

I believe I would continue going there even if one of the old ladies slapped my bare ass...mostly because I love to see them happy (and I guess I'm willing to sacrifice my own comfort for that? Weird.)

Her Hate Could Only Keep Her Around For So Long...

I couldn't bring myself to write about this last weekend. We had to have Luna, our sassy diva old lady, put to sleep last Saturday. I didn't have any idea how painful it would be. We had a mobile vet come to our house, so we felt a little better knowing she felt at home during the procedure. The vet was extremely caring and made all the difference.

We let her have whatever last day she chose. We locked the boys downstairs (the boy cats - not kids) and she had the run of the house without a kitten assaulting her all day. We fed her turkey and sardines, and The Boyfriend took a nap with her (oh the things he'll do for the happiness of our cats...I'm sure that nap was such an inconvenience).

After everything was done with the vet, The Boyfriend buried her in the back yard about 3 feet deep and put our concrete pagoda on top. Truly, though she was sometimes pure evil and the most self-centered creature you could ever IMAGINE, we'll never find a cat like her again. She loved us SO much, and her greatest joy was being as close as possible (even if that meant waking up in the middle of the night with a 3 pound cat sitting on our chest, her face 2 inches from ours - purring loudly).

As time went by, our 17-year-old duchess slowly withered away - barely recognizable as the cruel alpha cat who had once ruled the boys with an iron paw. As her health got worse, we shuddered to think of her having a painful decline right after we left for work, only to find her when we got home 8 hours later. We feel comforted in the fact that she had an amazing life, and her death was dignified and quick.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Moondog Cured My Bloggers Block

I've had serious blogger's block for AWHILE. I have 3 or 4 partially written posts saved, but I haven't published any of them. The deal with blogging is that when you go for a really long period of time without a peep, it becomes kind of like when you're slightly estranged from a friend, and you keep meaning to call...but you never do...and then it seems like it's been too long and you just write the whole thing off. Maybe other people don't have that happen, but that's how I feel right now. I have the same amount of interesting things going on in my life, but my written accounts don't seem very post-worthy. If I could just break the seal and post something...I know I would have a glorious comeback.

And then last Saturday night happened. I'd heard through the grapevine about a pro wrestling organization in town. The Boyfriend and I are always looking for new and "different" things to do on the weekend - so we headed down to the South Broadway Athletic Club.

We entered the club carrying fancy-pants coffees, fulling expecting to have to toss them. The raspy-voiced man at the door, holding a cigarette, looked at me like I was crazy, as if wondering what sort of establishment would make you throw away a drink you wanted to take in with you (yeah, EVERYPLACE). We gave him our $8.00 and gratefully walked in with our coffees in hand. We noticed some seats had names written in black Sharpie - "The Lumberjacks", "Shaft", "Moondog", etc. They were the floor seats, nice and close...and there happened to be a couple seats in that section that weren't reserved just begging for us to occupy them.

We sat there, basking in one of the most amazing opportunities to people watch that we've encountered in quite a while. A guest referee was introduced, and the show began (but not before I had incredulously paid a total of $2.00 for both a bottled water and a box of popcorn).

You may be picturing WWF-type wrestling, and that's exactly what we got, but on a smaller scale, with lots of smoking, and homemade costumes. There's not enough time in the world for me to tell you everything that happened, so let's highlight Moondog Rover, from the swamps of Louisiana (he's from St. Louis...but the whole swamp thing works for him).

To set this up, this guy looks just like Santa Claus. That's all I can really say - same size, same beard, same hair...Santa. When he came out, he was wearing a pair of cut-off jean shorts that were tied with a piece of rope and hanging dangerously low. Oh yeah, he also had an enormous dog bone.

He was wrestling a little guy whose gimmick was I guess just being really muscular and not unattractive (too muscular in my opinion...but that's just me...although The Boyfriend made a couple comments indicating he didn't believe me when I said it). They threw each other about, Moondog with a crazed grin and look in his eye. To our left, we heard a woman in her 60's start yelling.

"Bite 'im! Bite 'im Moondog!! Get 'im!"

We later realized this was Mrs. Moondog, and she was aggressively cheering her man on (I'd like to think that The Boyfriend would be that supportive if I were a pro wrestler). Her chanting became frenzied as he closed the deal. The pretty boy in a speedo was on his back underneath Moondog's hulking stomach. The victor stood up, pretended to beat the loser with his bone, lifted his leg over his opponent in mock urination, and began to bark.

He barked all the way out of the ring.

We have already decided to go back next month.