Don’t you hate it when someone thinks they know how to do something better than you, except that they’ve never really done it themselves, and you’ve been doing it for about twenty-five years straight?
That’s the way my husband is with the laundry, and I should know never to complain about it in front of him, like when it’s piled up in the laundry room and I say, “Oh my God, I’m never going to get caught up with this mess.”
If he happens to be walking by, he’ll hear me and answer, “It’s the way you do it. If it were me, I’d do it different.”
I hear those words, and I roll my eyes. As if I don’t know the best and fastest way to get this hellish job done. I’ve tried every damn option. “Oh yeah, and how would you do it, big guy – oh lord of the laundry?” Like he’s going to have the answer I’ve been waiting to hear my entire married life.
“I’d simply do it once a week. That way, it’ll only occupy one day out of seven.”
I pause because he doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about, but I like to give him ten seconds to think he does.
“OK, well there are a few things wrong with your plan. Number one, if I waited for an entire week, no one would have any clothes, and that includes you. Sure, we may all have enough things to get us through the week without me washing anything, but everyone has their favourite items to wear – you have your track pants, your boys have their t-shirts, and your daughter would just complain that her options have been severely limited. That’s not even the biggest problem though. If you figure I do about two loads a day now, waiting until the end of the week would mean fourteen loads, not including stuff like blankets and sheets. Do you know how long it would take me to do fourteen loads of laundry? Take into consideration that I have other things to do during the day, that I can’t do loads of laundry back to back to back. Even under the very best of conditions, I could do about five loads. If you do the math, then I’m still doing laundry for three days solid.
“You could let the kids do their own laundry. They are big enough.”
Ah, the next brilliant man suggestion. “I could, but you saw what happened with the dishwasher. We’ve had it less than two years and we’ve had to have it repaired three times. And the blender? It died a horrible death. The washing machine would end up another broken appliance if I let those maniacs touch it. And I don’t know about you, but there’s no way in hell I’d ever let them wash MY clothes. Everything would end up one colour. Nope, that’s not going to work.”
“I could do it.”
“Really? Maybe for the first week, to prove to me that you contribute to the household chores, but after that, it would be game over.”
He knows I’m right. “So do it the way you are doing it then.” Whenever my husband and I have this type of discussion, he always ends up surrendering.
“So why did you ask for my help?”
Why do men always think that because we speak, we are asking for help? “I didn’t.”
“So what you are saying then is that you like to complain.”
“You call it complaining; I call it venting. And I guess I do.”
“Women.” My husband shakes his head and walks away.
Secretly, I cheer. I’ve won again.
A study has recently come out that could change the way many people think about exercise. It was done by scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. It’s being called the “The Scientific 7-Minute Workout”. Basically, the premise of it is that a few minutes of high intensity interval training produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.
To put it plainly, if you are the type of person who jogs, bikes, or goes on any of those cardio machines at the gym, in an attempt to get fit – you could be getting the same benefits for your body by doing rapid succession (and in essence, more challenging) strength training moves over a shorter period of time.
First, think about your goals. If you happen to LIKE riding your bike, or jogging outside, then I say you should still do it. If however, you are only doing it because you are trying to lose weight or get fit or change your body composition, then yeah, maybe it’s time you made a change, or at least, incorporated this recommended type of training into your routine.
High intensity interval training has some great benefits. Because you are doing strength training movements – pushups, squats, wall sits, step ups, etc. – you are building lean muscle mass, which in turn, increases your metabolism, which helps your body to burn calories even when you are NOT exercising. Also, because you are doing these moves in rapid succession, you are getting the benefits of a cardiovascular workout as well.
This is what the workout looks like. Do each movement for 30 seconds and give yourself a ten second rest in between. You should be working at about 80% of your max during the active phase. It will be hard. Expect it.
One other word of caution: just because the 7 minutes is equal to an extended period of steady-state cardiovascular training, that does not mean it’s all you need to do. People are not made to just sit. People are made to move. So go out there and do stuff. Do this stuff. Do other stuff. Just be active.
There is the common misconception that fitness is about trying to fit the most amount of activity – or get the most bang for your buck – into the least amount of time. It is if you don’t HAVE the time, but I’d say that people also need to change their priorities. Fitness is about moving one’s body often, and in lots of different ways.
I will tell you this: people who are very fit – who look fit, and who are capable of doing great physical things – exercise for way longer than seven minutes a day, it doesn’t matter what they do. This is like a bare minimum. In fact, it should be considered a comparison rather than a recommendation.
I guess the bottom line for me is, if you haven’t tried this type of workout yet, you should. If you are attempting to make changes to your body, and up until now, the things you’ve been doing haven’t been working – AND you haven’t tried this – then do it. What have you got to lose? Nothing but some fat. Once you can do the seven minutes, go for longer. Do it again. Add more intervals. Just keep going. Don’t start by limiting yourself.
My recommendation: put on some of your favourite music while you are at it. It helps. For me, music is what makes it fun. Good luck, and let me know how it goes.
In Canada, getting your driver’s licence is a three-step process. First, you get your G1 which is a written test, or what I remember as a “beginner’s licence”. Next, you get your G2, which is the driving part. With that, you can drive on your own, and if you are anything like I was, it’s a scary thing. Also, you are limited to the number of passengers you can have in your car between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. Probably a good idea. Then, you get your G, which is pretty much the same as your G2, but with no limitations.
Anyway, my oldest son just went for his G test – the final one. He passed no problem. I expected that – he’s a good driver. Counter to his hyper personality, he takes his time in the car. In fact, both of my boys are like that – from what I’ve seen anyway. They could be hell on wheels when I’m not around, but I don’t think so. They were very cautious learners as well, neither of them too eager to get out onto the street until they were good and ready. My daughter is the opposite, but that’s another story.
(Note: “licence” is spelled with a “c” not an “s” in Canada. I had to look it up because the WordPress spell check kept telling me I was wrong. I knew I was right.)
When my son came back from his test, of course, I asked him how it went. “What did they make you do?”
“I had to drive around the block, drive down Bronson (which is a semi-highway in our city), and parallel park behind a cement block.”
“That’s it? Sounds pretty easy.”
“It was OK,” he replied. And then he stopped. I knew what was coming. “Hey, didn’t you fail your test?” Someone always has to bring that up.
“Yeah, but when I was young, it was WAY harder.” I started in with my sob story. “When I had to do mine, the test was a good forty-five minutes, at least. The guy made me drive downtown during rush hour traffic. Some person ran out into the street. I nearly ran him over, so I failed. But what could I have done? He darted out.”
“Maybe NOT almost run him over,” my son chuckled.
“Sure wiseguy. You laugh, but you would’ve done the same. You wouldn’t have been able to help it.”
“Whatever you say, Mom.” My son walked away. I knew I’d been defeated.
The competitive and sarcastic nature of my family aside, it’s true. The kids these days DO have it easier in many respects. OK, so some things suck, like global warming, pollution, the speed at which society is moving, but there many other examples of how life is so much more convenient. And as a person of the older generation, I like to rub it in. I think we all do. You know that old saying – “Life was harder when we were young. We had to walk twenty miles to school, uphill both ways, in a snow storm, with no boots on, and we liked it, dammit.”
There are lots of other examples too…
When I was young, if I was watching television and I wanted to turn the channel, I actually had to get up and walk across the room. It wasn’t as simple as pressing a button either. I had to do this turny/twisty movement with my hand. It could be hard on the wrist.
If I wanted to watch a movie, I had to go to the store and rent one. Sometimes, the lady working there was mean. If I didn’t return it on time – fully rewound – she would give me shit. Anything rated 18+ and I needed my parents to get it. As if I was going to ask them to rent me Porky’s. That would’ve been so embarrassing. I don’t know how I ever managed to watch it. Suffice it to say, I just did.
If I was doing a project for school, I either had to write it all out – by hand – or if I was lucky, I used a typewriter. If I made a mistake, we had this thing called “white-out” – it was like a miniature bottle of white paint that you used to cover your mistakes. Yes, really.
If I wanted to listen music, I had to play my cassette recorder. Changing to another song meant rewinding or fast-forwarding the damn thing. It took minutes, not milliseconds, which meant people rarely skipped over stuff. It was too much hassle. Unlike the youth of today, I know the ending of every song I’ve ever played.
If I ever wanted to read anything, I had to go to the library. It was a building outside of my house, somewhere in my neighbourhood. They still have them, in fact. Finding things there involved asking people, or using this big box-like contraption which kind of resembled a multi-drawered dresser. It was called a card catalogue. It would tell you the location of things in the rest of the place. You then had to go find stuff amongst the thousands and thousands of books that lined the stacks. No, the library wasn’t a place you went so you could hang out with your friends and “say” you were studying. You actually HAD to go there, or you wouldn’t get anything done.
If I wanted to talk to someone who wasn’t sitting right next to me, I had to use the telephone, not to be confused with a “cell” phone. Telephones were NOT portable. They were attached to the walls in your house by long curly cords that often got tangled up, sometimes around your neck. That meant, if you were out somewhere, and you needed help, you were kind of screwed. For instance, once I got into a car accident with my best friend Julie. We had to walk – yes, walk – down the highway to find a house to call a tow truck. We almost got killed in the process. The old days could be very dangerous, and not simply because of guns or bombs either.
Lastly, if I wanted to warm food up, I had to use the stove – the ACTUAL stove. You know, the big thing with burners. There were NO microwaves. There was none of this “I feel like eating a burrito, so I’ll grab a pre-made one out of the freezer, warm it up for three minutes, and head out the door to hang with my friends and do nothing”. Things like burritos took hours to make.
These are the kinds of examples I give to my children when I want them to stop whining. It doesn’t matter what I say though, they still do it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to knit myself a sweater by hand. OK, no I’m not. I’m not that talented. But I give credit to people who are. Some things are still worth doing.
I’ve decided that there are a few things in this world that a person just SHOULDN’T do.
For example, a person shouldn’t masturbate in a public washroom, especially if they are a guy and they are doing it with another guy standing right beside them at the urinal. My son and his friend (both young adults) came to the gym with me a while ago, and there was this weird guy doing weird stuff…well, you know what I’m driving at. Some strange shit goes on in the men’s change room sometimes. The guy was lucky to leave with his teeth still anchored in his gums. My son and his friend seem reluctant to come back to the gym with me. I wonder why?
A person shouldn’t drive their car with three dogs on their lap either. I don’t care how little those dogs are, it’s still distracting.
A person shouldn’t get a tattoo of a giant penis tattooed onto their back. However cool it may seem – LOL - I guarantee that one day, they are gonna regret it.
I didn’t really see that, but I can totally imagine it happening.
For the past few days, I’ve been tidying up my blog. In doing so, I came across a post from a year ago that I thought I’d share with you. I wrote it as my alter ego “Fern DeVilliers”, remember her? She is a little crazier than I am. She exaggerates more too. Just keep that in mind as you are reading this.
People – and here I am referring to some of my husband’s friends – are always asking me, “So, what do you do for a living?” Most of them are doctors, lawyers, and big business owners – a real “fun for me is working a hundred hours a week” kind of crowd.
To which I reply, “I am a writer.” Come to think of it, I probably work as many hours a week as they do, if not more. For me though, not only do I write, but I am also responsible for most of the housework and family responsibilities. I mean, it’s not like I eat bonbons all day long. I barely get a chance to sit down.
Anyway, those friends, they usually start off interested. “Really?” they say. “What do you write?”
“I have a blog,” I answer. I’d like to tell them that I’m some sort of 50 Shades of Grey or Harry Potter anomaly, but I’m not – yet.
“Oh…” It is then that their enthusiasm starts to fade. Some – but very few – continue on with the conversation. Most simply excuse themselves to the washroom.
And I am left thinking, Why is it that what I do holds such little meaning? I’m somebody, aren’t I?
Yes, I AM somebody, goddammit. And I’ll bet you didn’t know this – no one really does – but I’ve even won some pretty prestigious awards over the years. OK, so none of those awards have anything to do with writing, but whatever. I am STILL special. So in case you were wondering, “Who is this woman and why should I care if she lives or dies,” please consider the following accolades…
The police officer was too cute – a cascade of curly brown hair popping out from under his hat, his lips ripe for kissing. I don’t understand why he got so mad when I “oopsed” out of my tank top. Most guys like that kind of stuff.
And you would too, if every time you did something for someone – like cooked them dinner or bought them clothes for school – they responded with, “What the heck is this crap?” Cats never say anything bad. Even when you don’t have time to pat them all day long, they still come and watch you go to the washroom. They are like the cutest little creepers ever.
What the heck was all the fuss? I looked hot in that outfit, and my stilettos were NOT seven inches high – they were six. Sure, they had clear heels, but seriously, do you want me to dress like I’m ninety?
So there you have it, a few really convincing reasons why – if it comes down to it – you should choose me for your “the earth is exploding, and only a few of us can fit on the space ship outta here” crew.
Don’t pick my husband. The best he can do is cut you open to fix your knee if you break it. When there are no antibiotics to stop the infection that ensues because of the dirty working conditions – as if they have sterile operating rooms on Mars – then what?
Everyone in my neighbourhood is having trouble with their lawn. The grass is either being eaten by grubs, or overrun by dandelions, or just plain dying.
I won’t spray my grass. I don’t care how many dandelions I get. I just think, why are we fighting it? We want our yards to look nice – I get that – but to have this huge expanse of green perfection, it’s almost like we are going against nature by trying to keep it that way. Is there some sort of standard that people are supposed to have lawns? Who made that rule?
It’s kind of the way I see relationships. For me, it’s less about control, and more about figuring out ways of allowing what is to exist. I love this quote from Jada Pinkett Smith. I think her and Will probably have a marriage much like my husband and I do.
Note: what I am about to say will be a little out there for many of you readers, but if I’m anything, I’m sarcastic, liberal, and honest. You don’t have to agree with me. This is just my opinion.
Now, go read my article over at Huffington Post entitled “Breaking All The Rules: A New Way Of Thinking About Marriage“. You can comment/slay me here or there. Either way, I’ll answer back. I was a philosophy major remember? I like discussion and debate.
Lots of food for thought this Saturday. Have a great day everybody!
And if you don’t know who Dan Savage is, you will find out in this next article. It’s a bit long, but wonderfully done. Well worth the read.