You know, I really ought to finally give up on my dream to be a surprise breakout dancer.
I never learn from past fails, because time goes by and I forget all about when I was drunk dancing and thought I was the sexiest, smoothest dancer on the dance floor, but then I see the video one of my asshole friends took and I just look like a meth head really enjoying some fresh meth*.
THEN, I see a movie, like The Greatest Showman, and BAM! I’m determined to be the next America’s Got Talent breakout star.
I’d totally be a viable contender on Dancing With the Stars, too, except:
I’m not a star.
I have as much rhythm as a flag pole.
My body is entirely incapable of quick movements.
Well, since I have dance-shame amnesia, I took a Zumba class with a friend on Sunday. The only saving grace this time was that said friend is just as coordinated as I am.
Not surprisingly, we claimed a spot in the back corner, behind some old mats and a mop bucket. Absolutely not in front of the mirror and definitely not where anyone else could see us.
The class started out promisingly well, because they turned the lights off and added some strobe effects. Even better to disguise ourselves.
As soon as the music came on, the instructor busted out moves straight from a Shakira/Rihanna/J. Lo/Zendaya collaboration music video, choreographed by the dance gods.
Back when I first did Zumba in Elko, the instructor would teach us the steps. I think she figured we were all inept, or maybe Zumba used to be more about actually learning a few moves versus trying to mimic a professional dancer with our strange, not-even-close movements.
Honestly, I think Zumba is now all about the instructors really feeling themselves and not caring that the fat chick in the back is 20 steps behind and looks exactly like Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers.
My friend and I just looked at each other and laughed, like, “NOPE!”
We tried (for awhile). We really did, but my hips do lie and they are never going to be mistaken for the hips of a gay Latin Zumba instructor.
During one of the songs, the group shifted so that half of the room faced the other half. Pretty quickly, I realized that we were taking part in a dance off.
Oh, hell no. Nope. NERP.
Not only did we have to engage in a dance off, the instructor started pointing at people, which meant, “OK, now let’s ALL look at this ONE person while they do a made up move they they come up with RIGHT ON THE FUCKING SPOT.”
I almost hyperventilated and fainted from fright right there.
For self-preservation purposes, I stood right behind a woman who looked like she knew what she was doing. I was literally on her heels and mimicking her every move so as not to be seen. I’m fairly certain a bead of her sweat flew straight into my eye, but it was worth it to not be called out.
Eventually, the asshole instructor was done giving the inept people cardiac arrest and the *dancers* moved back to their original spots.
That’s when I noticed him.
Now, I must preface what I’m about to say with the urging that I’m not making fun of this person. I’m really not. He just looked like the opposite of someone who would be at Zumba on a Sunday. This just goes to show that even when you look like you’d be the absolute worst twerker, you can really surprise people with your expert booty popping.
So, this awesome guy…he had curly, but thin-on-top hair and coke bottle glasses (on purpose). He was chubby, but it looked really good on him. He had on one of those “Straight Outta…” shirts.
I really wanted it to say “Straight Outta Nachos”, but when I finally got a good look, it said “Straight Outta Rehearsal”. That’s not even half as awesome.
He also could move his body in the most amazing way. I was jealous and felt instantly self-conscious. He was truly glorious and I was just a sack of potatoes rolling down a steep staircase.
I think what this all boils down to is that when you’ve got it, you’ve got it. When you don’t, it’s time to quit embarrassing yourself at Zumba.
*I have no clue what being on meth is called. Is it a trip? A high? Help me out, people.
The following are some really blurry stills from a video taken during the wine walk. We were dancing in a cage, if that’s not immediately obvious. It was the direct opposite of talented or sexy. In fact, we’re only allowed back if we promise not to drunk dance ever again.
I have an actual, honest-to-goodness post almost finished and ready for Friday. It was supposed to be my post for tomorrow, but, life.
All I have to do for this post is add pictures, links, and do some fact checking- all the shit that really sucks when you’re getting a post ready to *publish*.
Am I right?
Also, I’ve been wondering why I feel it necessary to “have to have a post done by *insert day of the week here*” like my life depends on it.
This isn’t a job. No one is supervising me. I won’t be receiving an evaluation for my work (or lack thereof).
I’m sure my loyal followers will be around whenever I decide to grace them with my presence. Or they won’t.
I keep seeing people all around me with incredible side hustles, and here I am just doing my regular full time job and blogging whenever the mood strikes me.
Sometimes, I feel insanely stupid for spending so much of my time doing something that yields absolutely zero income. I’m aware enough to know that money doesn’t always buy happiness, but it does pay off debt and allows for luxurious travel and isn’t that the same thing?
I have been really needing a side job, but I know that if I do, my writing and blog will suffer.
(Or, I just need to write a book, but how will that ever happen when I can barely get a new post out every week?)
Whenever I realize this, I feel utter panic. This blog, my writing, my incredible followers mean a lot to me. They mean everything.
Unfortunately, these beautiful, wonderful, necessary-for-my-sanity things aren’t helping me pay off my debt or save for my upcoming trip to the U.K.
Well, that was depressing.
Let’s move on to another topic.
Along with the supremely deep pondering I’ve obviously been doing, I’ve decided I have an unhealthy relationship with popcorn.
I’m not even joking.
I legit eat three mini bags a night. It used to be two bags, but that didn’t bloat my stomach quite enough, so we’re on to three effing bags now.
Also, I feel I need to be totally transparent-I don’t just eat the popped kernels…
I…I eat the un-popped kernels.
They are probably growing a massive popcorn tree in my bowels as I type this. I might as well draft up a will.
But, seriously? Is eating kernels hazardous to one’s health?
Another awesome thing going on right now is that I’ve mysteriously hurt my ankle.
It’s swollen and puffy and sore.
Almost two weeks ago, I engaged in a 5k for the program Girls on the Run. I say “engaged”, because I sure as hell didn’t run and “walked” sounds even more lame.
Looking pretty decent, but this was 100% because this was taken before the race started.
So, somehow, while merely walking I hurt myself.
As if that’s not enough, my eczema is flaring up. I have itchy splotches of diseased-looking rashes all over my already-gorgeous body.
There ain’t anything sexier to a man then, “Babe, can you come put some cream on the eczema I can’t reach?”
You might as well just take me and my popcorn-growing eczema guts out back, because what in the actual fuck?
Just in case we needed more proof that I’m inept and would be 100% useless in a survival situation. Happy Flashback Friday, folks!
It all started with this picture:
Actually, it started with Silver Donkeys at The Depot. Day drinking never, ever makes for a dull time.
Add some binge watching of Naked and Afraid, mix in my crazy friend, Alyssa, and you have our insane 21 Minute Naked and Afraid Challenge in the wilds of Oxbow Park, in the heart of Reno. It was intense.
In all seriousness, this started with her idea to spoof the above picture. Obviously, the woman above is quite talented and lithe. We are not. We are the direct opposite. She thought it would be hilarious to go out into nature and take ridiculous pictures of our pudgy bodies, attempting to contort into serious yoga positions. It was insanely entertaining. Either we are hysterical, or just really, really immature 30-somethings. Well, here are our yoga spoofs:
This is Alyssa’s version of the tree pose. It’s called, “Ride Em Cowboy”.
This one is called, “Smelly Poop Lip”.
I’m becoming one with Mother Nature. I need to work on my “serious face”, because it’s the same as my “pooping face”.
These are called, “We Can’t Believe We Didn’t Break the Bridge!”
These are “The Warrior”, but because it took us 10 minutes to get to the rocks we stood on, these have been renamed, “Take the Damn Picture, I’m Done, and the Rocks Are Burning My Fucking Feet”.
Now, at this point, we are incredibly winded and tired, but we have more poses to do, so we forge on. Along the path, we are accosted by flying insects and there are red ants everywhere. It’s hot, we are sweating, and our mouths are parched. Suddenly…it turns into Naked and Afraid (Except, we didn’t get naked. Getting arrested for public nudity is usually frowned upon amongst the responsible adult crowd I’d like to say I’m a part of).
We decide to make shelter, find weapons, and pretend to make fire, all in the name of survival. We know we would hardly make it an hour in serious wilderness, so we named our wilderness attempt, the “21 Minute Survival Challenge”.
We took photos of our attempt to survive our harrowing journey through a city park. Enjoy.
Just chilling in our shelter. We scored and found a busted guitar. It will provide great rain coverage. Two minutes in and we are really feeling the effects of dehydration. We are sweating too much. It must be 88 degrees, and the walk-in was exhausting. I don’t know if I can do this.
Attempting to make fire and I break a nail. I was close to my breaking point here, and if it wasn’t for Alyssa’s support, I would have tapped out. It was that close.
8 minutes in and we are still in search of food. We are dying of hunger. The energy we are exerting in search of nourishment is depleting our fat stores. We can feel our body eating our fat. We also almost died crossing this dangerous canyon. It had to be at least 2 feet down. It was the most terrifying moment of our ordeal.
We decide to not expend any more energy in search of water and food. We cuddle in our shelter to stay warm. Except, it’s almost 90 degrees, and what was that? Your walking stick?
Red ant attack! Additionally, cuddling proved awkward.
Desperate for protein, we shamefully, hungrily consider the used condom caught while fishing. That was our low point. 12 minutes in, and things are bleak. Morale is low. Our stomachs are growling and our lips are cracking from dehydration.
Success! Alyssa catches a water-logged, half-eaten hamburger encased in its wrapper. It looks to be only a few days old. In desperate times, one must take desperate measures. We still have diarrhea, and we are afraid we have caught a sexually communicable disease from the river. This survival shit isn’t for the weak.
Weak from exertion and lack of food and water, I cannot make it back up the hill from the river. Alyssa uses her last bit of strength to rescue me. I thought she was a bossy bitch at first, but we have built a bond that can’t be broken through this experience.
Operation Retrieve Flip Flop was a success. We really needed this win for our morale.
Silly times! Look! We’re dirty!
Due to vicious red ant attacks, we resort to resting on a log. Lesson learned: red ants live in logs too. Only 6 minutes left. We are running on empty and are motivating each other by reminiscing about our favorite meals. What I wouldn’t do for some ribs!
My joints are stiff from lack of water, and it takes me almost 3 minutes to exit log. We are almost late to hike to extraction!
I have never been so happy to hear a train in my life! We are so ecstatic, we cry, and hug, and cry some more!
After our grueling 21 minutes in the wild, Alyssa and I have learned a lot about ourselves and nature. First, nature sucks, and it messes up your manicures and pedicures. It also makes you sweaty and dirty. Ick. Second, we are both confident that given an opportunity to travel to some remote location as a part of the show, Naked and Afraid, we would survive for precisely 10 minutes. Nature isn’t for the weak or lazy, and we are lazy as fuck.
The chick at Starbucks acted like we were rabid, or on crack. We forgot we smeared charcoal on our faces. Oops.
I was going to post a satirical piece about how I’d fare in a zombie apocalypse, but I felt that topic and type of humor would be in poor taste in light of recent events. To that, my thoughts are with those who have been forever affected by the shooting in Vegas.
I will save the zombie post for another time.
In its place is a throwback post about an experience I had with a friend in a Warm Flow yoga class.
This is a humorous post, and I’m choosing to share this, because laughter is what gets me through tough times. I wish no sufferers and family members of victims any disrespect, and I only hope that they find again some happiness and humor in this scary world.
Last week, A and I decided to give yoga at The Studio another shot, as our heated Vinyasa experience wasn’t the shit show we had envisioned it would be. We have a very limited availability while school is still in session, so our time frame in which to subject ourselves to exercise misery is tough to manage.
We have both admitted that if we went home prior to working out, upon entering our respective homes, the pull of our couches and fat pants would be too great.
Because we both understand the large scope of our eternal laziness, we felt it best to not even go home, but to drive straight to the studio. Do not pass “go”, do not collect any slurpees at 7-11 on your way, just get there before the tiny, minuscule flicker of desire has died. That’s been the game plan.
A different class was offered at our preferred time called, Warm Flow. The name calls to mind a nice warm bath, a calm breeze on a summer day, the natural ebb and flow of the tide. In fat girl speak, it sounded easy.
However, we quickly found out it was anything but. What I didn’t notice upon signing up, was the level of this particular class. The level was a 2-3. In case you aren’t yoga literate, that level means: DA-FUQ.
Yes, we attended a far too advanced-way hotter than heated Vinyasa-I’m glad I’m still alive to tell about it-yoga class. If heated Vinyasa was hot, this was the pits of hell unbearable. To make matters so much more uncomfortable, I noticed halfway through the class that we were directly underneath the heating vent. It was not even halfway pleasant. The only positive thing I could think of was, “At least I’m sweating my fat off. At least that.”
Now, as this was a higher level yoga class, the moves were embarrassingly out of reach for us both. A faired slightly better than I, but overall we were both sweaty piles of disgrace. With the heat and the impossible contortions happening, I was actually not even embarrassed that I spent 99% of that class in child’s pose, or sitting slumped over on my mat, in a stupor.
That was, at least, until the “Starer”.Yes, folks, we had an ogler.
It was always my understanding that yoga was a kind of private experience. I always thought everyone would be too busy “ohm-ing” and listening to their breath to notice the ineptitude of others. Well, the “Starer” did not get that memo.
When there were only 15 glorious minutes of the class left, the instructor told us we would have time to practice our hand stands. After a snort and an eye roll, A and I decided we would just continue standing awkwardly in the middle of the room. The instructor must have thought that wasn’t kosher, because she actually moved our sweaty mats to the wall in a you’re-gonna-still-try-ya-fatties way.
We tried the downward dog jumps in place of handstands, because, come on, I saw a broken nose in my immediate future. It was after this that we all found ourselves seated (yes!) on our mats, more or less, facing each other. It was at this point, I noticed the “Starer”.
The way this person looked at me was more “OMG I can’t believe I’ve just seen the rare Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth” and less, “Wow, it’s a fat person attempting yoga.”
The “Starer” seemed shocked, curious, amused, and slightly disgusted all at the same time. What I wanted to say to this person was: “I know I’m not your usual level 3 Warm Flow yoga participant, but maybe you need to worry more about yo’self and your breathing or that really painful looking camel toe you have going on.”
I knew saying that wouldn’t have made me any friends, and I still have eight classes left on my Groupon for The Studio. I would actually like to show my sweaty face there again.
And…I’ve discovered I actually want to continue this “yoga thing”. It seems unbelievable, but I used to be a fairly limber child. When I was just learning to get up as a baby, I would do the splits. My mom thought something was wrong with me, but maybe I’m just naturally flexible?
Before I got super awkward and tall, I did dance and gymnastics. My body actually used to be able to contort into a handstand backbend. I think I lost my flexibility, but Imma get it back.
So, to the “Starer”, just you wait. Just.you.wait. *fist waving in air*
“How Fatty Got Her Groove Back” my journey will be called.
As I was standing in the line at the grocery store, wearing my “Namaste In Shape” tank, I pondered how bad it looked that I was buying two pieces of cake, a bottle of Moscato and a bag of Cheetos.
I mean, I know people were judging the chubby chick buying, at least, 4,000 calories worth of junk, in a shirt that proclaims she’d rather stay in shape.
I’d be judging me too.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not delusional. I know this tank doesn’t magically make me look like a yoga-obsessed health freak. As much as I’d like it to camouflage all of my lumps and bumps, and be the fat person’s version of the magical Cloak of Invisibility, I know it’s not.
I just like the color and the fit. It doesn’t cling to my stomach and it doesn’t get wedged between my back fat rolls.
It’s the perfect compliment to my fat pants.
It just so happens to make a false statement. Extremely false. A bold-faced lie.
I’ve never been fit. Literally never. I’ve gone from baby fat to teenager fat to adult fat.
So, as I stood, balancing my evening of fuck-it-I-had-a-bad-week, I got to thinking about all of the ridiculous things I’ve done in my favorite tank o’ lies:
1. Walked to 7-11 to purchase chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes. At least I walked. (If you’ve never had these cupcakes and you like peanut butter, you’ve been majorly missing out.)
2. Stood in line outside at our neighborhood burger and wing stand. Drool stains. No bra. Zero fucks.
3. Sat on the couch with a paper towel bib as I balanced half a watermelon on my lap.
4. Made a tray of no-bake Reese’s diabetes bars that I hid in my sock drawer and inhaled over the next two days.
5. Rode the elevator up two flights of stairs to the gym, where I just used the bathroom.
6. Laid on the couch with Netflix and three beers, not getting up to do the dinner dishes or even to get first dessert.
7. Drove, not even two blocks, to mail a letter- a letter officially cancelling the gym membership I had for a year but never used.
It’s been super fun going over all the fun I’ve had in my trusty tank. Maybe, at some point, before it becomes more chocolate syrup stain than cotton, I’ll wear it to exercise.
If y’all ever see a shirt that says “Namast’ay Fat”, let me know ASAP.
Historically, I have never been the one who is known for her athletic ability, nor have I ever been loved for my adventurous outdoorsmen spirit. Because I do not possess either of those. Never in my life have I been asked, “Hey, want to snowshoe across Siberia with me this winter?” (Who fucking does that anyway?)
Despite this, I have really been wanting to get into walking local trails for exercise. Well, if we are being completely honest, I just really want to marvel at the beauty of nature while I sit my fat ass on a comfortable rock. Doing this while eating something, like a dripping slice of watermelon heaven would really just be the cherry on top.
Because getting anyone I know to just sit in nature with me, without sounding like a total lazy loser, is a hard sell, I have been trying to be adventurous by engaging in hiking.
Well, I can most assuredly say that hiking don’t want my fat ass. Hiking wants me to just stay at home with my Halo Top ice cream and Netflix. Hiking does not play.
I’m going to detail three times I failed on the trails recently. Really, this could also qualify as a “This Is Why I’m Fat” post, because almost anyone would have given up after the first failed attempt. So, I hope the Trail Gods are listening. Ya’ll have some work to do…
A week or so ago (I’m a teacher on summer break, so I have no idea what day it is), a friend and I went on a much-needed girl getaway to the Point Reyes Seashore in California.
It was gorgeous, but strenuous. We did a lot of walking, trailing, and huffing and puffing.
1. The Stair Climb of Doom
Our first order of business was almost dying on the stairs to and from the Point Reyes Lighthouse. The climb is equivalent to 30.flights.of.stairs.
30 flights, ya’ll.
I just thought I’d reiterate in case you missed it the first time.
I’m 1000% sure my friend didn’t let on to that fact beforehand, because she knew for certain that it’d be a hard pass from me.
Despite the fact that an elderly man passed me on the hike up the stairs (do you see him in the picture?), and I had to stop at every rest point, it was actually totally worth the sweat-drenched pits and rat’s nest hair (it was so windy, that my phone almost blew away several times).
2. Cataract Fall-Down-The-Hill-Trail
The day after almost needing to be airlifted from the lighthouse steps, we did some more adventurous trailing. I figured, “Why not? Might as well work on another bunion!”
The first few trails were quite easy, as there was no elevation or climb whatsoever. It was absolutely grand. Because we didn’t have to expend energy on moving our bodies up a steep hill, we had energy to climb trees and crawl into reproductions of Native American dwellings. I felt like an obese kid again (I was actually not obese as a child, strangely enough).
It wasn’t until we thought it would be a good idea to try to find the Cataract Falls did we have problems. This is also the part in my story where I’m going to be putting All Trails on blast.
Not only was the following hike not “easy” as it was mistakenly rated, one of the lengths of the “loop” was not a trail at all. It was a grassy hill, and we almost broke our asses more times than I’d like to admit as we stepped/slid at a snail’s pace the whole entire way down.
(I was also insanely afraid a mountain lion was going to come up behind me. Do you think that was irrational?)
When we made it to the bottom of the hill and the actual trail, we found that our pants, socks, and shoes were positively filled with foxtails and these terrible poky stickers that were absolute bitches to get off of our clothes and shoelaces.
If this wasn’t bad enough, when we got to our first trail marker, nowhere did it say “This way to the waterfall”, and the names of the available trails had nothing to do with the trail we thought we were on. We went the wrong way for 30 minutes before we got service on our phones and could see where we were on the trail.
When we finally found the waterfall, after a huge descent into what looked like middle earth, it was stunning and worth the trials we went through to get there. Well, it was a beautiful experience until I realized that’d I’d have to climb back to the car at some point.
Honestly, at one point during the hot, sweaty, and ugly hike back, I questioned how much it would cost for Search and Rescue to retrieve me from the trail.
It was so bad. And hard.
3. Jones Creek Loop Trail AKA Call For Help
After being back home for a week or so, I decided that I would try hiking again (Why? Maybe I am a masochist, or I feel I deserve punishment for past transgressions?). So, the boyfriend and I looked up easy trails in the trees. Shade FTW!
We settled on the Jones Creek Loop Trail because it was rated as easy and only 1.5 miles.
We used the All Trails’ directions app, and it took us right to the trail head.
After a little trek that was almost all uphill, we came upon a sign. It said, “Jones Creek Loop”, and it had two arrows pointing to the right and to the left. Considering it was a loop, we figured it didn’t matter which way we went, as it would just bring us right back to where we started.
We seemed to be hiking quite awhile when the boyfriend remarked, “I think 1.5 miles seems longer when we are on a trail, because it’s not just a straight stretch?”
At this point, we were getting a little apprehensive. We also realized that our “loop” did not seem to be looping back to where we started whatsoever-we just kept heading further and further away.
We saw a man coming off of another trail (I will get to the myriad off shoots of unmarked trails in a minute…) and we asked him how to get back to the parking lot. He said we needed to go in the direction we were headed in, but for three or four more miles.
Somehow we got onto the wrong trail, but we had not taken any of the unmarked trails that veered off of the main trail.
At this point, my stress began causing my asthma to flare up, and I saw images of us, emaciated and half-eaten by mountain lions, in front of my eyes, like a mirage.
We decided to just keep walking and hope the guy didn’t know what he was talking about.
Ten minutes and almost all of our water later, we saw another guy coming off some other trail. I tried to stay calm when I asked him how we could get back to our car. While I was asking him, the boyfriend was off admiring some bark, pretending he didn’t belong to the sweaty girl who was in a near panic.
The guy said he was headed to the parking lot, and we could follow him.
A half mile later, we saw what looked like civilization and our spirits rose. We came upon a parking lot, but we quickly realized, stomachs sinking, it was not our parking lot.
As we were looking at the posted map and trying to look cool, like, “We meant that”, the guy waved us over.
He realized that he had led us to the wrong parking lot. He offered us a ride back to our car, three miles away.
We had somehow ended up on the 9 mile trail called the same damn thing as the 1.5 mile trail.
So, we ended that trail fail crammed into the cab of a tiny truck belonging to a very kind man. The whole way back to our car, I was trying not to reek of sweat and defeat.
We massively failed on the trails again only yesterday, and I was going to write about that fail too, but I have already gone on long enough.
I will say, though, that the most recent fail is not entirely our fault. What in the actual eff is up with All Trails and their “easy” loop trails? Not only are they not easy, whoever is creating trails that feed off of the loop ought to be taken out back and given a stern talking to. In my mind, a loop is just that, A LOOP. Yet, every single trail we have tried is not really a loop, but a maze of deviating trails that go off in every fucking direction.
Really, it is no small miracle that more people do not get horribly lost in the woods on “easy” trails.
We are just utter idiots, and we need to take a “Trails For Dummies” course.
Tell me: Have you ever gotten lost on trails? Is it just me who can’t seem to find my way on “easy” trails? Help a fatty out! Let me know in the comments.
Last week, my boyfriend and I went on a quickie road trip up through Portland and on to Mount Saint Helens (I almost typed “Mount Rushmore”, and that’s where I said we went when the gas station attendant asked us where we were off to the morning we left. It’s a wonder I can even function).
Mount Saint Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Washington state, about 50 miles northeast of Portland (thanks, Wikipedia). It last erupted in 2008, but it’s most famous eruption was on May 18, 1980. Growing up, I heard stories of how the ash from the 1980 eruption found its way nearly 400 miles to the deck at my grandparent’s cabin on Coeur d’ Alene Lake in Idaho. My mother said the ash blocked out the sun and it looked like the end of days.
Since I always heard the stories of the eruption growing up, and I teach my students every year about the cause and effect of volcanos, it was decided that it would be our summer destination.
We left Reno around 7:30 AM, stopped in Klamath Falls for some Taco Time lunch and a Dutch Bros. coffee, and arrived in the Portland area around 5:30 PM. It was a long day of straight driving, but it was the start of our vacation, so there was no bloodshed yet.
We stayed with my aunt, who was gracious enough to host us. She had her pool ready and raring to go, so we definitely took advantage of that luxury. Our TBs (tired butts) were very grateful.
The next morning, we were up early and excited to see Mount Rush..Mount Saint Helens (See? There’s something wrong with my head).
We stopped at Tom’s Pancake House to fill up, as we planned on doing some hiking (to be honest, I was really hoping there’d be less hiking and more sitting in a scenic spot, eating the “hiking” snacks we packed). When I saw that Tom’s had an option to top your waffle with Oregon marionberries, it was an easy choice! I’m not really sure what a marionberry is, but since we don’t usually see them in Nevada, I had to try them.
When we got back into the car, we used Google to get the directions to the mountain.
Before we had left Reno, we did a small amount of research and knew that there was an observatory and plenty of hiking trails to choose from on and around the mountain (I liked the sound of the 1.5 mile one and the one that had no incline).
So, back to Google. Via maps, we were given the directions to Cougar, WA. So, we merrily made our way to where we’d hoped to find a spunky grandma who’d take a picture by the town sign.
After we wound our way through a quaint rural community, the road became very twisty and turny (yes, that’s a word) underneath a thick blanket of trees. We were climbing a mountain, just not the mountain we had come to see.
The landscape was not at all what I had expected. We also saw not one sign indicating we were headed toward the mountain, an information center, or the observatory. In fact, there were some signs, but they were stangely covered up.
Eventually, we made our way to the first hiking spot. We were hoping there would be further information at the trail head that would help us glean where the heck we were. But, no such luck.
Also, the hike was an eight-miler, so that was a no-go.
We got back into the car and continued up the mountain. Not long after, we got sight of Mt. Saint Helens and it was glorious, but, worryingly, still pretty far away.
While we were admiring the volcano with our 10x magnifying binoculars, a friendly German couple came up to talk to us.
They remarked on the beauty of it all, and we asked them if they were headed to the observatory. The woman said the road to the observatory was closed due to a late winter.
(The jury is still out on that).
We felt pretty defeated and downright lost, as we had zero service on our phones and no paper maps to help guide our way.
We decided to get back into the car and continue further. Almost at the very end of the road was another spot to hike. We decided it would have to work.
I’m sure by now you’re realizing that we were lost or just completely mixed up. Well, right you are!
It wasn’t until we headed back down the mountain and to Ape Cave did we come across an information kiosk/gift shop where people with factual information could be found.
When I asked how we could get to the observatory, the young man working the gift shop said it was some three hours away, but we could still make it, as they didn’t close until six.
Three hours away.
We were on the complete opposite side of the mountain.
We had spent our entire day, dedicated to seeing Mount Saint Helens, like total dopes on the wrong side of the mountain.
So, how did two college-educated individuals mess up so royally?
It’s all Google’s fault. Yes, just like a tattletale seven-year-old, I’m blaming it on someone/something else.
When you Google, “Johnston Ridge Observatory”, Google has you go to Cougar, WA.
Notice how, in the first website under the egregious misinformation, it says, “Toutle, WA”? Yeah, that’s (closer to) where the observatory is.
Our trip wasn’t all in vain, however. The hike we took was through utterly stunning terrain (honestly, I think it was way prettier on the wrong side of the mountain). We also went in Ape Cave, and I crossed a suspension bride just like the one in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It was just like that one (don’t listen to my boyfriend. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about).
We decided against driving another three hours (one way) to see the observatory, so we drove back into downtown Portland for some sightseeing.
We hit up the world-renowned Voodoo Donut and the Deschutes Brewery.
Donuts and beer totally made up for not getting to the observatory.
So, kids, learn from Aunt Fatty. Do not rely on Google, it’s not all-knowing. Go to the actual website for the location/landmark/attraction you are going to visit. Do some damn research before you go, and don’t rely on your phone for everything-you might not have service where you’re going!
Know before you go:
Johnston Ridge Observatory, last stop on HWY 504, 52 miles from Castle Rock. NOT in Cougar, WA.
I am, quite possibly, the laziest, weakest bish on this planet. You think you might be the crowning winner of this coveted title? Just wait, you will be voting for this fatty real soon.
I was sitting at a work training a few weeks ago. As usual, I was eavesdropping. Two super fit women were discussing this free app that follows you through a seven minute workout. Seven minutes.
Gurrrrrl, that’s so my kind of workout. Forget those hour long, sweat and puke sessions at the yoga studio. Forget the bike rides around the block that take me the rest of the night to recover from. Forget spending my hard-earned Netflix and chill with Ben & Jerry time on being uncomfortable and sweaty. Eff.that.noise.
So, obviously I downloaded the app and gave it a whirl.
I imagined myself looking exactly like the fit chick in the video, because in seven minutes I can do anything.
Actually, seven minutes is a long time. I can’t do anything in seven minutes.
Well, I did something, but it looked nothing like the stupidly svelte girl in the video. I didn’t look a thing like the girl who didn’t even break a sweat. The girl who doesn’t even need to do seven fucking minutes of fitness.
This was the breakdown of my seven minutes of shame:
Oh, this is easy!! I can do a million of these over-the-head-body-ball-things.
I can feel my abs growing stronger and stronger. Also, my arms are stupid strong.
Actually, my arms are limp noodles and I don’t like this.
My arms are going to fall off and I’m going to die.
*looks at app timer on phone*
No effing way it’s only been 45 seconds.
My timer has to be glitching. *spends 30 seconds checking*
Oh, phew! The next exercise. Thank God. I almost puked.
Um, I can’t balance on a ball on my side and lift my leg. Like, that’s humanly impossible.
*awkwardly spends entire time devoted to ball balance exercise trying to get on ball*
What a friggin joke. I’d like to see anyone but Extreme Exercise Girl balance on a ball like that.
Oooh, a lay down one! I totally rock the socks off lay-down-fitness.
Ow. These hurt my virgin tailbone. 3 is good.
Yussss! Another lay down one and all I have to do is lift my legs into the air as I hold myself up, balancing my gut on the ball.
OK. That was a barf burp.
I’m feeling insanely sweaty. I’m gonna skip the push ups to take off my bra. I don’t want to sweat in my bra. I just washed it two months ago.
*exerts more energy in taking off sweaty bra than in the entire workout*
I’m feeling much better. That break gave me the oomph I needed to get me through.
I bet I only have a minute or two left. I can do this and finish strong!
*glances at phone*
It’s been three fucking minutes????
I think I’ve given this all I’ve got. Besides, I’ve worked so hard, I’m literally seeing stars.
I bet it’s not medically safe for me to workout.
Well, I think I’m done. Seven minutes is the maximum amount, and it takes time to get to that level of endurance.
I’ll get there eventually.
Guys, I half-assed my way through three minutes of a seven minute workout.
I couldn’t even make it through seven minutes of physical activity.
Just today, I thought I’d finally join in on my student’s Just Dance brain break video. They always ask if I’ll dance with them, but I just say, “Oh, I don’t want to scare you.” That seems to make them stop asking, so I can continue to sit like a fat lump, wondering where my childhood energy and zest for sudden movements went to. I don’t know what came over me today, but I wanted to Kung Foo Fight like funky Billy Chin for some reason.
It was a terrible idea. When I started “swinging with the hand”, I knocked over a stand, my coffee, and stumbled into the map on the wall, which made it roll up with a deafening, thunderous roar.
All of my students stopped dead in their ninja tracks.
Their eyes said it all: My teacher is so not cool.
This is why trying to find my non-existent moves is best when behind closed doors.
I’m just so glad I didn’t let anyone talk me into joining the teacher talent show group.
Behold, my last attempt at Just Dance:
So, my boyfriend has been going to personal training kickboxing three times a week (he’ll probably look like a white, mustachioed Oscar de la Hoya in a month-f*%#ing men), and while he’s gone, I hork out on junk and watch Netflix.
It occurred to me that it’s not really in my best interest to get even fatter while my boyfriend beefs up. It’s one thing if you’re polishing off a package of Oreos, together, in stained, oversized t-shirts, in front of American Horror Story, and a whole other nasty animal to glutton alone, while the other is being punched in the stomach by an MMA fighter. It’s kinda not fair.
So, I thought- what better time to drag out my dusty yoga mat and bust out a couple sloth-like moves.
Side note- anyone remember the reason I started this blog-the yoga journey I kicked off like a bat out of hell? Or, more like a fat girl with no real idea that it would require an immense amount of effort I wasn’t ready to give? Yeah…that’s not embarrassing or anything.
So, my yoga mat wasn’t just dusty from little use, it literally was crusty-hard from old sweat from my last yoga session, 45 years ago. It actually almost cracked in two.
Well, I promptly threw it back into the closet and about gave up, until I remembered that I’ve always meant to be a breakout dance star, a la Flashdance (or more realistically, MTV’s Made). So, what better idea than to Whip/Nae Nae my way to fitness?
I don’t really have anything to say about my solo dance party, other than if you’re going to sweat it out to Just Dance, and you have as much rhythm as a flag pole, close your blinds, your curtains, and turn your lights off. Ain’t no one ready to see what you think is “dancing”.
My Whip Nae/Nae looked more like “Quick/Call 911/I Have Whip Lash.
FYI: flexibility is a prerequisite to whipping your whatever.
I fear I’ll never be able to turn my head, freely, to the right again.
This is why eating the rest of my Mom’s cream cheese pumpkin bars was a better idea.
I almost forgot to post a #FBF post, so this one is coming to you late. It is almost time to dust off the old bike that I have used a total of five times. I can’t wait for the spring-I-am-totally-riding-my-bike-this-year-except-that-is-a-boldface-lie-season. Whoohoo!
While living in Elko, I tried various workout classes and regimens, for no other reason than there was literally nothing else better to do. I did Pilates for nearly two years (yup, this fatty). I took a weights class in the old high school gym. I tried Zumba numerous times, despite being a spastic with no rhythm. I took a Body Pump class and very nearly died. Lastly, I took one kettle bells class, and almost knocked the instructor out cold (whoever thought swinging heavy metal balls between between your legs was a good idea, anyway?). Despite my utter failures with fitness, I wasn’t giving up. I had yet to do spinning.