Friday, July 27, 2007

Ella

Many thanks for the sympathetic and delightful comments on my last post!  I apologize for not responding to each commenter individually.  (Cotton, your comment was particularly fantastic, and you pose a very good question: why can't it ever be Hugh Jackman in a speedo?  Why must it always be strange hotel-dwelling men in g-strings?  And Emily - getting hit on at a ward pool function?  Yipes!)  

The reason for my up until now non-responsiveness is thus: I believe I may be on the brink of carpal tunnel.  Or tendonitis.  Or some kind of overuse injury of the arm, wrist, and hand variety.  As many of you know, this is nothing new: I had all sorts of problems with these ailments as a young lass, but have been blessed with a reprieve for a few years now.  I don't think there's any cause for alarm, but I have decided to play it safe and back off the whole typing thing for a bit.  I'm already suffering withdrawal (which may be why I'm still typing . . .)

Before I take what I hope will only be a few weeks' leave, I'd like to share one last special thing with you.  Whilst aimlessly flipping through channels a few days ago, I came upon a music video for a song called Under My Umbrella.  This song is sung by someone named Rihanna.  I didn't know anything about Rihanna before I saw the video, but I learned a lot in the few minutes I spent with her.  I now know that Rihanna is a singer with asymmetric hair who likes to wear fingerless leather gloves and dance around in various extremely skimpy outfits singing songs with lyrics such as:

"You're part of my entity
Here for infinity"

and 

"When the war has took its part
When the world has dealt its cards
If the hand is hard
Together we'll mend your heart."

And a chorus that goes like this: 

"When the sun shines, we'll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a friend
Took an oath I'ma stick it out till the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella)"

Once this chorus got stuck in my head, I couldn't get it out.  For DAYS.  And so, of course, I did the only logical thing: I found the video on youtube and made my husband listen to it so that the chorus would be stuck in his head, too.  

And so it was that, for a while, we both wandered around the apartment singing "Under my umbrella, ella, ella, ella . . ."  Then, yesterday, as Steve and I were doing the dishes together, I heard him quietly sing the following lyrics:

"And I hope you don't catch rubella
Under my umbrella."

"Um, babe, did you just sing something about rubella?"

Since then, we've come up with some other alternate chorus lyrics, such as:

"And I hope I never poison you with salmonella
If I do I'll give you sasparilla  
Under my umbrella"

Okay, I really have to stop now.  Did I just tell you I have carpal tunnel, and then proceed to write the longest, most random post ever, even though my fingers are going numb?  I believe I did.  And so, if you'll excuse me, I have to go ice my wrists.  And sing a cappella.  And watch a movie starring Frank Langella. 

(Under my umbrella.) 

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Close Encounters of the Chlorine Kind

When you look at my gym's pool through the windows that surround it, it looks fairly unobjectionable.  The tiles are a little worn, perhaps, but I'm fairly certain that's because the gym was built in the year 1827.  Although advertised as a 24 Hour Fitness "Sport" (with the fees to prove it), the interior is dimly lit and musty, and the only special amenities it boasts are 3 televisions with poorly-spelled closed captioning.  If you want to hear the sound, you have to tune in to a specific AM radio station.  You know, with that transistor radio you're always carrying around.

Anyway, I wouldn't have really considered exploring my gym's aquatics were it not for the fact that, as soon as summer hits, half the population of Orange County converges at my apartment complex pool.  And they don't leave until after midnight.  

I briefly considered giving up swimming for the summer, but there are only so many knee-friendly, low-impact exercises one can do.  (The other two being yoga, and sitting on the couch watching So You Think You Can Dance.)  

So I went.  And as I walked across the faded tile and slipped into the tepid water, I was pleased with myself for having made the effort.  Preparing for my first lap, I looked over to find an older man in a teensy tiny speedo settling himself onto the bench next to my lane.  Smiling, he said:

"Well, hello there!"  

"Hello."

As I completed my first lap, I had the feeling that I was being watched.  Sure enough, Mr. Speedo was still sitting on the bench, looking down at me.  At the end of Lap 2, there he was. Still staring.  Lap 3?  Still staring.  Lap 4?  Staring and grinning.  Lap 5?  Yup.  Still staring. 

It was at this point that I decided to get out.  I briefly thought of calling it a night,  but I was not about to let an old man in a tight speedo spoil my swimming plans!  So I walked over to the hot tub.  Surely he won't follow me over here, I thought.  That would be too creepy!

 As soon as I sat down, there he was.  

"Do you want me to turn on the bubbles?"

"No, not really, I . . ."

He disappeared around the corner, and the bubbles appeared.  Reappearing, he hopped down into the water.  

"So, what brings you here?"

What brings me here?  Did he really just say that?  

In my head, I responded:

"Well, I was hoping to meet an old, creepy man in a tiny speedo, so I guess today's my lucky day!"

Instead, I told him that it was time for me to go.  And I haven't been back since.  

I guess it's time to buy myself a transistor radio. 

Friday, July 06, 2007

Lost In Space, Perhaps?

For the past three years, my husband and I have celebrated our August wedding anniversary at a Snowbird ski resort lodge. The first year, Steve surprised me with the trip (with a little guidance from my mom). I would never have thought to go to a ski resort in the summer, but it was absolutely gorgeous up there. Each room has a little balcony that faces the mountain, and every evening a storm would come sweeping over the peaks, bringing with it booming thunder and the delicious smell of mountain rain. Am I sounding too much like a Snowbird brochure?

This year, however, I want to do something different. Something special. Something new! And I think I've found just the place: the Anniversary Inn in Logan, Utah. Problem is, I'm having trouble choosing a theme. I've narrowed it down to six, but I'm hoping you can help me make my final decision. You know, weigh the pros and cons; the potential benefits and detriments. Stalactites versus, say . . . an Egyptian tomb. Or an octopus. Below is my list. Click on the name, and you'll get a tour of the room.

Just so you know, I'm leaning toward Lost In Space.

Arctic Journey
**Penguin

Mysteries of Egypt
**Giant Snake in Bathroom (click on the tub photo)

Sultan's Palace
**Partial Elephants

Dodge City
**Checkers

Neptune's Cave
**Octopus

Lost In Space
**Bathroom Space Pod

** Benefits