Thursday, January 26, 2006

An Open Letter to Fitness Celebrity John Basedow, of “Fitness Made Simple”.

Hello there John!

I have spent the last day and a half pondering the logic behind what makes someone a “Fitness Celebrity”. Surely someone who is in fact a celebrity in the fitness world, such as Richard Simmons, Susan Powter, Billy Blanks or Jack LaLanne would not need to preface their name with “Fitness Celebrity” on all of their ads and press releases, right?

Unfortunately there is a bit of a logical & semantic black hole with your use of the phrase “Fitness Celebrity”. If you are, in fact, a “Fitness Celebrity”:

1) I would probably think “oh yeah, that fitness guy” just by hearing your name on it’s own (sans phrase).

And more importantly

2) I probably would have been aware of your existence before you introduced yourself, initially, as a “Fitness Celebrity”.

The only way I can piece together any rational behind this is that the title is an exercise in self-actualization. Maybe I should give up my maiden & married last names, replace them with my first and middle names, and finally replace my first and middle name with the phrase “Intellectual Goddess”.

Folks are blind-sighted by titles all of the time. Lord knows I see it at work. Arn't we all just actors, trying to convince our friends, co-workers, lovers and families that the reality in our heads should be true in your head too? So if I can effectively convince people that I’m the best, I will be – at least in those heads. And if those heads also have wallets that are full and waiting to be emptied in exchange for my “Genius”, then what more do you need (especially if there are enough folks with enough cash to pay my bills)?

It appears that you have inadvertently developed a new self-help program - “Actualization Made Simple”. Sell Sell Sell. Convince Convince Convince. If there ain’t an impressive title that suits you and your goals, make one up. Someone is bound to believe you. Which means someone out there is bound to believe me.

Your pal,
Literary Genius Aj

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Mia is back in her box.
The mold that developed on her bum grew across her fur, and she was beginning to smell. The root system on her back grew down to the drip tray, so I lifted the roots and the entire sprout coat came up with them. I had no idea that Mia would be so easy to clean off! I'll try growing another coat closer to the spring, to see if the seeds sprout any differently.
Unfortunately, having an office Chia has given way to new plots. I believe I may begin experimenting with other "office friendly" organisms.

I once again have the urge to raise Sea Monkeys.

Sea Monkeys, or Brine Shrimp, are bizzare-ass little creatures. They come in packets of "seeds" which are in "suspended animation". The Sea Monkey owner gets to play god and decide when they will be born, unless the owner can't add the right amount of growth powder and measure persicely 10 oz of water - then it may take a day or two for any excess H2O to evaporate and the birthin' to begin. I had Sea Monkeys in a jar as a 13 year old, and in my twenties-still unable to measure 10 oz of water-I had decided to get the "Sea Monkeys on Mars" kit and give my shrimp hatching aspirations another chance (the kit also featured a water level mark on the side of the tank. Sweet!).

I had better luck on that second attempt. They grew quickly. And long in length. And icky. There were quite a few of them in there, and I often found them mating. One night I had friends over, and one of the guys picked up the tiny tank thinking it was a snow globe. Not many of them survived. The problem is that you cannot change the 'Monkey's watery environment (penelty, death to all!!!), so you end up watching the little corpses breakdown as the survivors frolic in the muck.

This being said, I still think I want to start a new colony.

I went to a couple of toy stores today, and saw the basic sets on sale for $8.00. I went on ebay and saw the same basic kits for $1.00! But who knows what can happen in 3 days worth of bidding...The most frightening part is that the auction had 76 hits. But how many really have their eyes on the prize? Maybe more frightning is that there are 76 people in this world actually interested enough to look. I knew I should have saved that Mars habat!

I am really inspired by the "Official Sea Monkey Executive Kit". Gold and silver detail. Sea Monkey figure on lid. Super-duper Aqua Leash! $21! I don't think I can bring myself to do it.

But they would be my subjects. They should be living someplace nice. A beautiful tiny tank which would coordinate with my "Arts and Crafts" inspired office cubical decor. Alright - I only have one Frank Lloyd Wright calander. But mark my words - someday my cubical will have a decor!

I digress. The decision is made! The Sea Monkey colony will be born!!! Maybe if I get the basic 'Monkey digs, I'll be able to afford the Sea Monkey "Mini Tank" Locket set - a necklace like that holding a big 'ole shrimp would look fantastic with a button-down shirt and blazer.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Mia's not doing so well...
She'll be scrubed off next week. Hopefully the next batch of seeds will last longer

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Report from Reality - Stew Leonard’s

Last weekend I made my first visit to the famed "Stew Leonard’s". It had been described to me as supermarket meets amusement park meets Ikea. When my in-laws have described it, you could easily envision the trip to Stew Leonard's as a pilgrimage to the suburban foodie's Holy Land. I had a good idea of what awaited me, or so I thought (insert lightning crash here).

It was a Sunday. The parking lot was not full, but enough cars were there that we had to park a bit away from the main entrance. At the entrance we were greeted by a woman serving little sample cups of 4 types of soup. Great soup.

Strawberries and bread were up front. Beautiful. All on sale. All lovely. I'm cool.

Then I entered the back with the cheeses.

There were two large dog figures standing on a stage high up on the wall back by the Jarlsberg. One was dressed in a confederate uniform, the other union. A couple of moments went by, when suddenly the confederate began to sing and play banjo.

This moment marked the beginning of my downward spiral.

Stew Leonard’s features an amazing array of food. One stack of produce is more beautiful than the next. The prices are great and the quality amazing. But the isles are like mazes and they get smaller as you move further into the belly of the store. More "experienced" shoppers don't care that there's a fake chicken singing and dancing by the eggs. They pay no mind to the animatronic banana tree hiding around the corner, ready to scare the crap out of an unprepared newbies.

If you know my parents, you know that the fact that I manage to leave the house in the morning without craving a sedative is remarkable. They are extremely high-strung people, and when they operate as a tag-team (i.e. family events), the ripple effects are palpable.

Suddenly, there in Stew Leonard’s, I realized how much I am like my parents.

The carts were whizzing around on brick floors, which only made the rattling of the carts louder. People were moving faster, like they were competing in a food sample-driven roller derby. People were giving me dirty looks for hanging out by the chicken sausage lady, who was handing out apple chicken sausage samples on pretzel sticks (which I still managed to observe as pure brilliance). Hey folks - I was just taking a pause...I wasn't out to eat all of your sausage. Shaking, I grabbed onto the cart and breathed deeply. My husband grabbed another sausage-chicken-pretzel thing and tried to talk me down as the itching on my arms began. I let him lead the cart as I stared dumbfounded and frightened at the giant 2% milk carton that was singing to a giant 4 pack of butter (which of course began a duet with the half and half carton playing drums). Only when I got to the checkout line and saw a person dressed as a cow harass a 15 year old for a "high five" did I begin to come down from the dizziness and paranoia and let out a sigh.

Panic attack aside, I did like Stew Leonard’s. No doubt that it is a wonderful place to shop and eat for those who can deal with overstimulated supermarket shopping. For those who can't, I would not advise going on a Sunday.

Friday, January 06, 2006


My desk, right now. Time to go home.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Mia is near out of control.
She has made so many friends at the office - they are even considering putting her on the company site! Mia is by far the best of the best when it comes to a cubical mate. Feeling lonely at work? Get a Chia Pet (or Sea Monkeys - they're pretty fantastic too).

I'll be back to my standard posts soon. This week, it's all been about the pet. I can't help it. I love destractions.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

AAHHH! Give her 3 days alone in a plastic bag and look what happens!!!