Thursday, December 01, 2011

Hot Yoga

I learned about Hot Yoga approximately 8 years ago from a show called "Dead Like Me". Due to that single episode which featured a class filled with trim, gorgeous women, I assumed for the longest time that 'hot' meant 'sexy' instead of temperature, so I avoided looking into trying a session, fearing I might be denied access and have my self-confidence shattered.

I overcame my fear after all these years and went to my first class today and I learned something very important. It's freakin' HOT in there. I should have known I'd be in trouble when I was at home getting ready to leave for class and I thought to myself, "it's sweltering in here" and it was only 68 degrees. Clearly I was going to do well in a 110 degree room while doing difficult yoga poses.

I told the friend that invited me that I might not be able to make it because I couldn't find any (clean) pants that I could do yoga in. She laughed and said, "oh no, you want to wear shorts". This troubled me because I find the idea of doing any sort of deep lunges as a shorts-wearing male to be risky business. Plus I recalled the last time I wore shorts to a class (a spin class), I nearly exposed myself. And I don't want to be like this guy.
I didn't have time to run to the store, so I had to make due with what I owned. 2 pair of shorts and 3 pair of boxers (that's right, no briefs and certainly no tighty-whiteys). I thought about doubling up on either underwear or shorts, but I figured it would kill my mobility, so I had to find some way to keep myself decent for the duration of the class. And let me tell you, I felt pretty weird sitting around testing to see if I could do a squat without my cash and prizes making an appearance. Not to mention that some of the phrases I googled to get advice on the 'situation' probably made me show up on some sort of national pervert list. In the end, I tried every possible combination of shorts and undies until I finally found a combination of slightly longer shorts with slightly tighter boxers that gave me the best chance of keeping myself covered.

Longer shorts. Tighter underwear. I had done all I could. The rest was in the hands of fate.

Naturally when I got into the studio, my friend had reserved us a spot in the very front by the mirrors. I was hesitant, needless to say. But I think I safely made it through class without showing off anything. I certainly was keeping an eagle eye on my shorts to make sure. I guess I could have asked my friend if she noticed anything, but I think that's probably a pretty awkward conversation to have. I'm going to assume the whole class managed to stay PG and make sure to buy some tighter shorts before I go back.

I doubt anyone paid me any mind, being so focused on their own workout, but if they did I'm sure they were wondering why the new guy in the front was staring at his own crotch in the mirror the whole time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I don't really post videos, but I had one that I felt needed to be shared with the world.

My dog Buckley is very well-behaved at home. He's mostly quiet, doesn't chew things, and was house-broken very quickly as a puppy and has an accident maybe 2 or 3 times a year, thankfully always on the hardwood in the same exact spot by the door. But when I visit my family, he acts like he has never had a day of training in his life

He's always been a little skittish and I believe that was because he was abused before I adopted him. I don't KNOW that he was, but it's just a guess from how he used to act as a pup. He's gotten braver over the years but he's still pretty timid at times, especially around guys that aren't me.

My mother has three little dogs; a 16 year old 2 lbs chihuahua, and two dachshund. And they also scare him, though you'd never really know it by watching him. He just acts like they aren't there. But sometimes their barking makes him nervous enough to cause him to tinkle (I have 5 nieces and a dog, so yes, I say things like "tinkle" and "potty") JUST a little on the carpet. My mother is not a fan of this. So she forces my poor dog to wear a diaper. I especially like when she puts on the tiger-striped one that makes him look like David Hasselhoff.

This is a video of what he does literally ALL day when he has a diaper on:

The weird thing is he does this dance even without the diaper, but only when I'm sitting down. He'll back up between my legs and then start doing the weird dance, bouncing the back half of his body between both of my legs like he's in a pinball machine. He's strange.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Awkward Moments: Doors Are Complex

I had a ridiculous moment this morning. I work on the second floor of a six story building. The elevator section of our floor has a balcony and overlooks one of the first floor entrances. As I was walking across the balcony, from one door to another, a woman who looked to be late 20ish walked in the entrance below. I gave her a quick glance of curiosity and that was it. It wasn't any sort of stare, despite her being cute, because staring is creepy. But at the instant I looked her way, she looked up and we locked eyes and she no doubt thought I'd been ogling her the entire time.

At that moment I reached the other door and went to open it and somehow failed to succeed. Rarely daunted by failure, I tried again, pulling mightily this time, but to no avail. Then I realized the problem; I wasn't turning the doorknob.

To be fair, the opposite door I'd just come from, while the exact same design, doesn't have to be turned and you just pull on it and in you go. I'm going to pretend I was still in that mindset and not that I just couldn't figure out how to work a door.

Regardless, I'm sure all she saw was some dude staring at her and then being defeated by a door. I decided I had to play it off to save a little of my rapidly depleting dignity, so I KNOCKED on the door. I will point out that this leads to a hallway and there's no one around to hear a knock. But the girl below did not have any clue that this was the case, so I knocked. And I knocked again. I waited until she was JUST out of my line of sight before I opened the door, and then said aloud, "thank you!" so she'd think someone had opened the door for me and I was politely thanking them for it.

Who knows, maybe I made her day because she thinks she was looking so good today that she caused a random guy to stare and forget how to turn a knob.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


I've been having an odd few months. I spent my 20s going to college, then moving to a new city and creating a career for myself that had absolutely nothing to do with the things I did in college. I did pretty well. I'm certainly not a wealthy person, but I don't need to be. I can afford to do the things I enjoy for fun, I sleep comfortably and warm at night, I never go hungry. Not everyone can say that. Yet I feel more and more unsatisfied with my life, and that's an impressive feat I think, being the type of person who is nearly always positive and upbeat and able to find fun in the little things.

I am realizing that the things I do for a living don't matter. Sure, somewhere down the line they matter, but they don't matter to me. I always just assumed I'd do something important with my life and I didn't notice that I wasn't until that fact presented itself to me by surprise one day. I'm 31 now and that's still young in the grand scheme of things, but I'm not gaining more time and I have no road-map on how to do the great things that I, when I was much younger, just knew I'd be doing by now. I don't think I even know what I consider to be important or great. Even if I had that map, would I know what direction to head?

We won't even get into my relationship woes. I'd need a book for that. It weights on me the most, though. The world has been trying to kill the hopeless romantic in me for the last decade and at times I thought it had succeeded, but on rare occasions I will meet someone who stirs that part of me and makes me realize that I'm still clinging on. Or I will remember; and in doing so realize that while those things I recall - sometimes fondly, sometimes painfully - didn't work out, that there's still a chance new and possibly greater things will.

Considering the state of the world, I really have no room to complain. Things could be a lot worse. But realizing things could be worse doesn't mean I can't wish things were better. Or at least, different.
Tell me it's nothing-
try to convince me that I'm not drowning
Oh, let me tell you; I am.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Only in East Nashville…

I just saw a family (mom, dad, little boy) walking down a busy section of road in my area. The mother was wearing some sort of denim dress in an...unusual way. You know how people roll up their pants legs so they can walk in the ocean ankle deep without getting their pant legs wet? Well she had rolled DOWN the top part of her denim dress, due to the heat I'm guessing. Unsurprisingly (at this point), the mother was bra-less. Man, child, and topless mom were all walking down this busy street acting like everything was normal.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Awkward Moments: Public Dancing

Someone, though I don't recall who, was asking me about the "dancing incident' I sometimes refer to when I'm in perilously close to being forced to dance. I figured I'd share publicly here, because if anyone knows how to laugh at their own misfortune, it's me. I've had plenty of practice. This incident is the reason I don't dance in public. Ever.

Around 10 years ago (ugh, so old) I went to a birthday shindig at this place called Mr. C's, a blues lounge, back in Huntsville. It was the birthday of my friend Laura's sister Lindsey. We had a pretty big group, with about 10 girls that went, and then 3 or 4 guys total.

The dining/dancing area of Mr. C's is a standard rectangular room, with a large rectangular dance floor that almost cuts the room in half, and then 3 tiers of tables that go around the dance floor in a 'U' shape. We sat in the farthest tier away from the dance floor, which suited me just fine.

Everyone ordered their food and then all of the girls headed out to the dance floor. After the food was brought out, they would all come back, eat a little, go back to dance, then repeat. Now, normally this wouldn't have mattered at all to me, but the main reason I was there was because my first love/high school love (who I'd not seen in a few years) was there, and the more time I could spend with her the better. One of the older guys with us must have seen some pining in my eyes each time she left for the dance floor because he started trying to talk me into going out there to dance, which I naturally declined to do.

The girls would return and he'd eyeball me but say nothing. When they would depart, he'd start in again, "come on Nick, just get out there". "You can do this, go for it" and on and on. He must have said something more inspiring than simply "get out there" because I actually started thinking, "yeah... YEAH... I CAN do this" which I'll spoil the ending for you now and tell you that was some heavy self-deluding, because it turns out I absolutely could NOT do it.

But there I was, starting to nod my head and tap my foot to the beat, thinking "even I can dance to this." The ladies returned for another bite of food and then started to head back out when the ex high school love stopped and said, "well, I want to go back out there but I don't want to keep leaving you here by yourself" to which I replied, "I'll go dance" with the attitude of "pfft no big deal I do this ALL the time". She was clearly surprised but didn't try to stop me, so off we went.

I strode towards the dance floor with great confidence. I was about to...I don't know...bust a move? Get funky? I was about to do SOMETHING. Whatever it is people do when they dance, that's what I was going to do. I was about to make it rain up in there. But as soon as my foot hit the dance floor, the song changed to something I felt considerably less confident about. I tried not to let it unnerve me, but I was a little shaken. I was in the middle of a giant circle of pretty girls, so I should have been feeling like some sort of crazy dancing pimp (without the hat) but my boldness was rapidly draining. Everyone else had their hands raised above their head, yet mine seemed paralyzed near my chest, never straying from their comfort zone, doing the painfully obvious "white guy who can't dance" move. My motions became even more jagged and ghastly and I could see the unease in the face of the guy who talked me into going out there, clearly realizing he was now reaping what he sowed and it was indeed a bitter harvest.

I turned back to the circle and tried to pull myself together but it was far too late. Usually you can pinpoint a person who has no idea how to dance, but they tend to be having a good time so you don't think anything about it. Not only could I not dance, but I obviously was not not enjoying myself. A moment later I felt a tapping on my shoulder and I turned around to come face to face with my ex's mother, who had come along (she was one of those "one of the gang" type of moms). She stood up on her toes and pulled my head down so she could whisper, "just go with the music."

Oh God, this was the end. I knew I had been doing bad but I had no idea it was THAT bad. The smile on her face, plus her making the rather long trek from our table to the dance floor, told me all I needed to know.
When I turned back around again, the circle had CLOSED on me, with almost an audible "SNAP". So now I looked like some sort of random creeper trying to dance up on a circle of girls. At least I wasn't air-grinding.

It was about this time that a spotlight hit me. And only me. A freakin' spotlight was pointing me out to everyone who already hadn't seen me making an ass out of myself. Someone in the A/V booth had a sense of humor. I happened to look to the corner of the room about this time and I noticed two people I'd not noticed before; the parents of my best friend. Huge smile on their faces, they simultaneously lifted their glasses of beer my way.

I figured it was time to get out of there as fast as possible. I'd like to say I calmly walked away from the dance floor, but I'm pretty confident I almost sprinted. And so embarrassed was I that I couldn't bear the burning, judgemental eyes for a moment longer, I got to the table and sank so low into the chair that only my eyes poked above the table, like a crocodile peering out of the water. I should mention this wasn't OUR table and I was nearly half a room away from being back at the table with my friends.

The next day I happened to run into my friend's parents, who I'd actually not seen in several years at this point. Did they say "good to see you" or "how have you been?"

They said "nice dancing last night, Nick."

Friday, June 10, 2011


One of the ways I realize I’m a dork is that I recently had a really long email discussion with a friend about the differences in the way people from the north use the word 'anymore'. I’ve realized for a long time they use it in ways I wouldn’t but I had a hard time pinpointing exactly why, which was a problem because no one I ever mentioned it to had ever noticed it.
I’d never say “I’m so tired anymore” like northern people do.
I’d say “I’m so tired these days” or “I’m so tired lately”, even though the phrase means exactly the same thing if you use ‘anymore’.
We decided that down here ‘anymore’ is used in the negative (“I can’t drink dairy anymore”) but only in combination where ‘anymore’ can be interchangeable with ‘these days’ or ‘at present’ except, as with pretty much every “rule” in English, there are exceptions where this isn’t the case, and in some of the exceptions ‘any longer’ can be interchangeable too but only in cases where ‘any longer’ couldn’t be interchangeable with “from now on”

The point is, my friends from up north need to stop using the word weird so I can devote my time to things less ridiculously trivial.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Darn Kids

I realized I was getting old this weekend when I nearly wrecked a teenage and thought to myself, "take that punk kid!".

But I was in a go-kart at the time so that probably cancels my oldness out.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Quirks (that Facebook aggressively forces upon me)

I have always been a fan of social networking, since way back when Myspace was actually relevant and not just a way to get yourself email spammed.  And I'm not a fan simply because suck sites cater to my sometimes ridiculously introverted personality, and not because it's probably the only way I could possible keep up with friends these days, but rather because it allows me a voyeuristic (yet totally legal and completely un-creepy) peek into some of the quirks my friends have.  Which is also a reason I don't tend to post much at all on Facebook; I'm aware enough of my many, many ridiculous quirks and odd habits that I don't want to call attention to them, let alone make them forever available on the internet to a plethora of individuals.

I find that I never really pay much attention to the news feed on Facebook these days.  If I'm wondering about a specific friend, I'll just check on them directly so I don't have to wade through all the people trying to trade me cabbage or salted pork on Farmville or whatever is popular these days. And I tend to block a lot of people.  In fact, I likely have 90% of people on there where their posts don't show up in my feed. I've left my best friend unblocked, who never uses Facebook anyway, a few other close friends, and perhaps a girl I'm pining over so I can be heartbroken when "such and such is in a relationship" pops up on my screen.

The odd thing I find is, a lot of the people I tend to block I specifically will go to their page to see if they are doing any of the strange stuff I blocked them for in the first place.  It's one of those train wreck situations, except instead of not being able to look away, I was able to look away, drive down the road where I discovered a better route to take so I never had to go the original way again, but then I not only take this new way but keep circling back to check the site of the wreck again to see if another, possibly even worse wreck has taken place. And there always is.

It's not even that I mind their behavior/posting habits, it's just sort of that I want to keep certain things organized in a given way. It's almost like I'm trying to organize information that gets pushed into my brain like I would with bookmarks. Do I want to see a person constantly complaining about their spouse?  I have 3 friends I can check out for that. How about if I want to see some funny videos that everyone has already seen about 4 years ago? I know who posts that stuff in present day. And maybe I want to see all the posts that scream "mid-life crisis"?  I know where to go for that too.

What made me actually start this post before I got extremely side-tracked was a friend's photo post that got me laughing.  It was as if this person was trying to fit ever possible manly stereotype into a single photograph. Let your imagination paint this for you.

The photograph is a self-taken photograph.  Even if later evidence didn't make this obvious, it just had that look to it.  The distance from the subject and the angle. If it had been a teenage girl in the photo, she'd have been making the duck face.

In the photo, the guy: 

- has sunglasses on.
- has headphones from his iPod in.
- is actively drinking from a beer bottle.
- has a giant cigar (picture Baby in Roger Rabbit) between his fingers in the same hand that is sipping the beer.
- has a newly purchased sports car in the background.
- ALSO has a grill in the background, on which steaks are cooking.
and has on a sleeve-less shirt but I'm not sure if that adds or distracts from the overall image.

The only thing missing is a hot girl in a bikini and the big game playing on a giant TV.

Honestly I have to say I'm pretty impressed he was able to fit all of this in a single shot by taking an arm's length self-shot cell phone photo. That takes skill. Or a lot of proper placement and practice.

Oh and as far as HOW I know it was self-shot.  You could see him holding his phone in the reflection of his sunglasses, which I found oddly hilarious. The best part is you could also see several people sitting at a table watching him take this photo, which makes me wonder why they didn't do it for him. Maybe they didn't want to be involved in something so ridiculous. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Awkward Moments: Harry Potter

A friend was reminding (i.e. mocking) me about a shameful moment I'd once had and I figured I'd share it with everyone.
I like the Harry Potter books.  That's right, I said it.  But this isn't the shameful part believe it or not.

An old boss of mine got me into reading them back in 2001 I believe it was.  I was interested in reading them but not near interested enough in buying them to read them, so he let me borrow the first 4, or however many were out at that time.  I continued to borrow them up until book 6 when I was at the point where I enjoyed them enough (and was invested enough, time-wise) that I bought them myself.  The 6th I waited for paperback but, not number 7.

I've read so many long series over that years that never seem to have a conclusion (still waiting on the final book of a series I've been reading since the mid-90s), so I was pretty excited to bring at least ONE series to a close. And while I wasn't eager enough to stand in line in some sort of themed outfit with a fake scar on my forehead, I did order the book and have it delivered overnight so I'd have it Saturday morning.  And yes, I finished it in nearly one sitting, long before Monday rolled around.
The usual UPS guy who had been delivering stuff to me for 3 years at this point arrived early that morning and as I'm signing for the package he starts to make small talk as he always does.
"So, you like those Harry Potter books eh?"
Naturally, I tried to play off this outrageous accusation.
"Uhhh... they are alright I suppose," I said as straight-faced as I could.  "I hear the new book comes out pretty soon.  I'll probably borrow it from someone one of these days."
He stared at me for a moment and I felt he didn't believe me for some reason.
He rolled his eyes and said, "Yeaaaaaah," and then walked away without another word.
It was only then that I noticed the package that he handed me was a custom box COVERED in Harry Potter quotes and images, with a giant warning label that said "ATTENTION MUGGLES: Do not open until July 21st".
So naturally I had to move.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Awkward Moments: Tornados

The weather in my area has never been especially consistent. It's freezing out one day and then hot enough for short-sleeves the next, all the while the clouds may randomly drop some rain without a moment of notice and if things get really crazy it might turn into snow and hail. Lately we've been enjoying some near spring/summer days even though it's still February, which is the kind of inconsistency I can handle.  Being used to all of this, it wasn't much of a shock when we had to suffer through tornadoes last week, with more on the way as I type this. If we have some southern deity who controls the weather like Apollo does with the sun, he's completely drunk and the horse that pulls his chariot only has two legs and is hitched backwards. I'm a tornado vet having been through many over the years, proudly showing off my wounds from surviving each. All psychological. There have been some unsettling moments over the years, but nothing worse. This was the first time I expected to actually die in one. I hadn't been paying a bit of attention to the weather, assuming as always that ignorance against bad weather would be my shield should it strike at me. 
I was in the shower when it first began, otherwise I might have noticed that unsettling silence that always falls first.  When I stepped out of the shower, I heard the wind louder than I'd ever experienced, roaring and shaking my house like a train was passing right by.  I peered outside and I couldn't see more than a few inches out of the window.  It put me in mind of when I was a kid and I'd open my eyes underwater in a dirty lake and all I could see was brown-ish green.
I decided it was a good idea to evacuate to the lower level and hide out (manly-like) in the only 'safe' place I have, the bathroom.  About this time there was a huge crash and I thought something had hit my house.  Something thrown from the tornado or perhaps the twister itself. Immediately after, the power died with that slow, powering down sound like in horror movies.  I anticipated at any moment that zombies would break into my house.  Or raptors.  Or zombie-raptors.  Regardless, I braved the darkness and not recalling where my flashlight was, I used the soft, feeble glow of my phone to find my dog Buckley, scooped him up and then made my way downstairs to the bathroom.
The guest bathroom is a pretty small space, so it reminded me less of a safe spot and more of an upright coffin with a toilet.  Buckley was oddly calm if rather indignant that I had picked him up earlier, putting on a brave face and looking bored.  I had my pitiful excuse for a pillow perched atop my head, which is barely good enough to rest my head on at night, let alone protect me from falling debris.  We sat there huddled in this small cramped space, literally freezing my butt off on the cold tile floor, and all I could think was "I'm going to die in my boxer shorts, how humiliating" followed closely by "I hope the toilet water doesn't spill on me if the house gets hit." The rest of the time was spent trying to decide which friend I trusted enough with the knowledge that I had polka-dot boxers on to ask them to try and cover up my indignant corpse should the house flatten me.
Thankfully my worries were for nothing and then as quickly as the storm began it was over, as is always the way.  Like with the big flood last year, I was quite lucky.  My house sustained only minor damage.  My neighbor's car was crushed but somehow the fallen behemoth of a tree had managed to avoid all of the nearby houses.  The tree I must assume is what made the amazingly violent crash that shook my home earlier.  Down the road, another neighbor had her entire house demolished when a tree landed on it, leaving only one room intact, which happened to be the room she was hiding in.  I didn't ask if it was the bathroom or not.