Thursday, April 30, 2009

What Do We Expect From Home Cheapo?

Oh, great, "May is Maytag Month". Does that mean all my appliances will stop working again this month? If by last long, you mean approximately five years, then I guess you could call that long - in fruit fly years or something. Download the Rebate Form? Why not save some time and just download the RECALL form? Oh, wait, Maytags are never recalled. Unless the U.S. Government forces them...


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Point of Origin?

"Olliver.. It's Pixlie on the phone... something about not having Arnold visit our house anymore or he'll start to fly..."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Adventures in Shopping

But they were free with purchase!

It's been a real roller-coaster of shopping experiences as of late.

Went the local Evil-Mart just before Easter and had a heaping cart of items. I rolled up to one of the few human checkers and handed my fistful of coupons over and proceeded to dump the merchandise on the sticky conveyor of germistan. I got the stuff loaded in my car and drove all the way home to my garage...where I saw the receipt peeking out of the top bag and decided to read it. Sure enough, checkout bimbo hadn't deducted ANY of my coupons, despite being presented them prior to checkout.

Furious, I jumped back in the car and drove all the way back - about, oh, five miles. Fuming, I stormed up to the checker and asked if she still had my coupons. Amazingly, she did. Was she going to use them herself? I was shocked she didn't slip them in the coupon slot after I left, leaving me little recourse. (Actually, I would have got the manager at that point and demanded the register be opened. Don't cross me over a coupon, bitch.) I frostily told her in no uncertain terms that I didn't enjoy having to drive all the way back and would appreciate it if she could remember them in the future. Went up to the service desk where I was apologized to profusely and handed seven dollars cash.

Steamed, I left a second time to go home and unload the merchandise I never would have bought were it not for a coupon.

Then this Saturday I had a furniture fiasco over at the local Farm & Fleet. Bought a four-piece indoor-outdoor fake wicker furniture set for the lizards, as the old set is starting to break down. Yes, that's right, for the lizards. They sit on them every bit as much as I do and the thought of plastic coating that wipes clean easily was a big plus.

Al goes to the loading dock to get the set while I check out with a few smaller items and meet in front of the store. We go straight home and he begins to unload the furniture. It's not until the packing is removed that we notice the love seat has a bent rear leg that is so distorted the chair won't even sit square on the floor. Never noticed it loading the truck, and it's not bendable. By this time I have the little table and a chair in the lizard room, and it's pretty obvious the color is too dark a brown for the room. Back we go for a refund. Sheesh.

Did much better yesterday. Had tons of coupons to redeem, and did pretty well. Over at Ulta they had a BOGO on Jergen's lotion and I had two $1.00 off coupons. Bought a few other things on Clearance and used my $3.50 coupon for the whole transaction, so I did pretty well.

Headed over to Bed, Bath and Beyond What I'm Willing to pay - only because of the $10 off any purchase $30 or more coupon. Normally they are much too expensive for me, but the thought of getting almost a third off my purchase if I played my cards, er, coupons, right motivated me. I bought a mango slicer for $12.49, a Vegetable-Fresh for the Fridge for $5.75 and a cutting board for $12.75 and qualified! Yay.

But it was Petsmart where I really shone..

The little teenage girl at the check out was so impressed with my purchase. She couldn't get over all my coupons and how I was 'so organized' by laying a coupon on each grouping of items as it came down the belt. Waved my Pet Perks cards for discounts, too.

Bought a bag of Pro Plan and received 4 free Pro Plan cans free. Reg $36.99- on sale for $29.59 ($4.14 for cans)

Busy Bone $2.19, $1 off

Beggin Strips $2.50, $1 off

Kitty treats, BOGO $1.00 each

Kitty treats, two for $1.59 each, $1 coupons for each

Mighty Dog Can, BOGO, 70 cents

Alpo, buy two cans, get one free - bought six, had two coupons, 58 cents each

I had about $11 off in coupons, and ended up paying $41.35 with tax. I think they owe me a free puppy for that transaction! Or at least one of those shelter cats along the south wall...

Mistakes On a Plane!*

Plane photo-op scares NYC workers

People "went into a total panic" said one trader

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he is furious that the federal government flew a presidential Boeing 747 and a fighter jet near ground zero. The incident on Monday caused a brief panic among workers, who said they were not notified in advance.

Bloomberg says the flyover so near the World Trade Center site showed "poor judgment" and was insensitive. He says he is furious that the NYPD and another city agency were notified last week, but did not tell him.

Oh, Great! Right when I'm trying to buy Tamiflu futures, my stock broker goes running through the streets like chicken little. So much for my chance at fortune.

*stolen from the Daily Show. Wish it were mine.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Like What, Craigslist Doesn't Have any Attorney Listings?

BOSTON – The Boston University medical student accused of slaying a 25-year-old masseuse he met on Craigslist owes more than $130,000 in student loans and cannot afford an attorney, according to court papers.

Little No-GTO

Today GM announced it would stop producing new Pontiac models by the end of 2010. This is the end of an era for the once-proud performance brand, but it also leaves a lot of questions for car shoppers and Pontiac owners.

SOB!! I can't handle all this destruction. Sniff. This just really gets my goat. Go ahead. Judge me harshly.

Wettest Spring On Record!

Not rain, nor snow, nor gloom of night will stop us from infecting you...

Whee. We're number one. Wonder if my Corvette floats?

Infectious Thinking

STILL trying to figure out how to make Tamiflu from common household chemicals. You know darn well Rahm isn't going to approve any for me. Or you. He's hoarding it all for his little minions so they can take over the planet before we figure out this was a planned outbreak. To make us forget about the economy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eh, Don't Get My Hopes Up

Like my Xenophobia needed any help...

The Spanish flu pandemic, which killed at least 40 million people worldwide in 1918-19, also first struck otherwise healthy young adults.

Does FMLA cover 'cowering inside until most everyone else has died off ', and if so, how many weeks would you estimate that to take?? I have a vegetable garden, some Airborne, and a well.
Now all I need is a bit of Tamiflu, and I may just ride this one out.


Cutest Car Ever!

Chrysler LLC is surviving on government loans and has until Thursday to work out a joint venture with Italian automaker Fiat Group SpA.

Who ever thought Fiat would own Chrysler? Where's Lee Iacocca? Bet he sold his stock long ago.

First order of business: Bring back the X 1/9!!!
Former Fiat Owner

Friday, April 24, 2009

Excel-ent Idea

I think I need to make a spreadsheet of my shoes - then I could sort them by color, style, heel height... maybe even a column for last date worn so stock could be rotated properly. Is there a way to put photos in? It does seem to be a choice under 'paste special'.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Was Hoping for a Cookbook...

Just wanted to elaborate a bit on the book "How to Build a Dinosaur" by Jack Horner. I can't really recommend you rush out and buy the book, parts of it were downright somnifacient, but the central thesis was so intriguing, I really must discuss.

Horner explains the whole conceit of Jurassic Park - finding a mosquito preserved in amber that had dinosaur blood in it from which a whole new dinosaur could be created millions of years later - is a great science fiction story plot, but not necessary. Instead, he suggests efforts towards De-evolution: taking a chicken egg, a bird we know to be closely related to the dinosaur, and reprogramming the egg to grow not a chicken, but a much more primitive creature.

Well, this to me is about the greatest idea since intermittent windshield wipers. I can't wait to get started! Unfortunately, the book did not include do-it-yourself tips or recipes.

Scientists have studied the development of the chicken embryo and can pinpoint the hour in incubation where items like eyes, beaks, or wings are created. By going down to the molecular level of cell development and turning on or off the switches that create a particular appendage, it is possible to grow an arm where a wing would be, or a tail where the spinal cord would normally end. So instead of a modern chicken developing, we could go further back into the evolutionary tree and see... a dinosaur?

Perhaps. No one knows exactly what one looked like. We would have only the fossil record to compare it to, but it's an excellent suggestion and I say full steam ahead! I'd love a little Archaeopteryx or Deinonychus.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day (not really)

Planet: 1

Humans: 6,775,010,849

It's just not fair, and a crappy 'day' a year isn't going to make it any better. I'm sorry Mother Earth. I'd leave if I could, really.

Humans: 6,775,010,849

Habitable Planets in the Universe? At least that. Yay, let's go mess up some other innocent orb, kids!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just Keeps Getting Worse

The death toll of Polo Ponies has now risen to twenty one, and I really am thinking Conspiracy Theory here folks....

"Because of the very rapid onset of sickness and death, state officials suspect these deaths were a result of an adverse drug reaction or toxicity," Florida's Department of Agriculture said in a statement announcing its investigation.
"At this time there is no evidence that these horses were affected with an infectious or contagious disease," it said. Famous last words before pandemics

The Lechuza Caracas team is owned by millionaire Venezuelan banker Victor Vargas, who has been playing polo since he was 24, according to the North American Polo League's website. Vargas was re-elected president of the Venezuelan Banking Association in April. Hmmmm. How did he piss off Chavez? Made loans to U.S. interests? Seems his fleet was poisoned.

Will F-f-freeze for F-f-fifty Cents

This morning's forecast? Snow.*

But neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night can keep me from free. Or BOGO. Or cents off.

Shivering, I ran from the nice front parking space I scored at the local Dunkin Donuts and dashed inside. "I don't care how cold it is," I declared, shaking out the collar of my shearling jacket.

"I want my fifty cent Iced Coffee," I said, presenting my coupon with a flourish.

The owner laughed while I tossed my head to remove some precipitation from my curls. "Cream and Splenda, with a low-fat muffin," I finished.

Sure, hot coffee would have tasted better. But the Iced offer was only good today. Take that, Mother Nature!!

Then I found out it was FREE last year. I've been clipped!!!

Damn you, Dunkin Donuts. You got me this time. We'll meet again in the coupon pages, mark my words.

*Yeah. April 21st. The Midwest sucks.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Da Vinci Follow Up

NEW YORK - The book world has a stimulus plan: a new Dan Brown novel.

Six years after the release of his mega-selling "The Da Vinci Code," the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group announced that Brown's "The Lost Symbol,"* a thriller set during a 12-hour period and featuring "Da Vinci Code" symbolist Robert Langdon, will come out in September.

The first printing will be 5 million copies, Knopf Doubleday said, the highest in the publisher's history but well below the opening 10 million-plus print run for the final "Harry Potter" book. "The Da Vinci Code" has sold more than 80 million worldwide and inspired a spin-off community of travel books, diet books, conspiracy books, parodies and religious works. Awfully optimistic in this economy...

By Monday night, "The Lost Symbol" was No. 1 on Barnes & and approaching the top 100 on In a sign of likely price wars to come, both sites were offering discounts of 40 percent and higher for the $28.95 novel. Did anybody READ the other two novels??

Eager for success, but unprepared for obsession, Brown became increasingly reluctant to make public appearances or talk to the media. His reserve was only magnified by a copyright infringement lawsuit that was decided in his favor, but not before Brown was forced to testify in London and prepare an in-depth brief about his career, writing process and the fury he faced when promoting "The Da Vinci Code." I see him enjoying a cigar with Salman Rushdie...

Inspired in part by the commercial fiction of Sidney Sheldon, Brown is an Amherst College graduate who has said he long gave up on the idea of being a literary writer and instead wanted to write novels read by many. No one can accuse this blog of being too literary...

*Plot synopsis: A band of marauding musicians marches on the Vatican seeking the return of relics from Jesus' All-Apostle Orchestra - no, wait, that was the Lost Cymbal...

Wait For It...

Associated Press

WELLINGTON, Fla. - Veterinarians were waiting for test results Monday to find out why at least 14 polo horses fell ill and died in a short time before their match at a Florida tournament.
The horses from the Venezuela-based Lechuza Caracas team were being unloaded from their trailers Sunday afternoon when two of them collapsed and others acted dizzy and disoriented, according to a statement from the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
"They started getting dizzy," polo club spokesman Tim O'Connor told The Palm Beach Post. "They dropped down right onto the grass."
Veterinarians already at the event quickly tried treating the horses, inserting intravenous lines and trying to cool them down with fans and water. Observers hung blue tarps to shield some of the horses from the crowd's view.
Seven of the horses died on the polo club's grounds and the rest died after they were taken elsewhere.
The match in the U.S. Open Polo Championship was postponed and an exhibition game with a substitute team was held in its place.
The carcasses of at least 14 horses were taken to a state agricultural laboratory for necropsies to learn the causes of their deaths.
"It could be the water, hay, bedding. We just don't know. When we find out what it is, we will take all the necessary actions," John A. Wash, the polo club's president of club operations, told the newspaper.
The polo grounds in Wellington, a wealthy equestrian and golfing community in central Palm Beach County, hosts the U.S. Open every year.

Perhaps they died of....Polio??

Oh, admit it, if I didn't say it, you would have. But really, this is horrible. Not to mention the thought that they were on U.S. soil means what ever they had could now be floating around our country... A little biological warfare from Chavez? Hmmmm....

It's All About the Shoes

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Harry Potter and the Blatant Babe Promotion

Check out this post over at The Illuminated Dungeon! It seems Hollywood has finally recognized the real reason Harry Potter movie tickets are sold - Alan Rickman!!
Oh, and I'm sure my cease-and-desist order from AP is in the Cybermail...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fingernail Friendly!

Look, it's a really long story, and you're not even going to believe major portions of it, but here goes...

Awhile back I had been hearing about how great a deal you could get on a car, since the Big Three were in the throws of bankruptcy, so I did one of those 'find this car' types of Internet engine searches. Specifically, I was seeking an Atomic Orange Corvette Convertible. One hitch - I want a manual transmission. After quite a bit of searching, I did find one - less than 50 miles from my house. Skeptical, I sent an email asking if the car existed. They claimed to have it, but also had 'no haggle pricing'. I don't care for that set-up, but instead use their price to go someplace else and shoot for less than their price so I can feel like I've received a 'deal'. Whatever.


Saturday, Al suggests going to this car dealership so we can look at the Vette and he can check out some trucks. He needs a new car desperately. Sad to say, his last Chevy Silverado only lasted ten years, and not because of neglect. He took very good care of it and it has over 200K miles on it, but a rear quarter panel is starting to rust and funny clicking noises are now the norm from the dashboard.

Fine. I agree to go, especially due to the huge outlet mall next to the car place and down the street from the Jelly Belly Factory. At least a bag of belly flops will make the trip worth my while.

Al looks at every truck carefully outside with the salesman while I whimper inside due to lake winds. At the end a a few hours, I ask if he is going to test drive anything. Yes, he says. The Vette.

What? I thought I was here for moral support in the purchase of a pickup.

The Vette is lolling like a house cat in a corner of the tiled showroom, it's bright orange exterior nicely complemented by the "Cashmere" tan upholstery. The doors are so easy to open - a little button - none of the manicure-wrecking chrome torture devices found on my '68. Once in, the car is rather spartan, but far beyond my vintage (read: pre-Nader) experience.

Since it's freezing out, and hearing the interior cabin noise with the top up would be a good opportunity, we ask that the roof be raised. This suddenly entails four clueless sales people looking for the automatic top button. They aren't really listening to us experts regarding the fact this one doesn't come with that feature. Soon all are milling around, looking under seats and behind the steering column; one has the manual in hand (need I note that was the woman?) I lean over to Al and state: I can't wait until we have to bring it back here for service...

Finally, a button is located to pop the top up. Again, this is so much better than carving my hands raw as I do presently on old metal levers teeming with lockjaw. The only real objection I had to the whole car is it seemed difficult to get the top secured down on the front windshield. There was a handle, but it was unwieldy, and I'd really like to see an electric model in motion for comparison.

Al went first, said he heard some wind noise and felt the wind pushing against the car. I have no idea, as on my test drive I was too busy hitting 75 on the expressway while trying to figure out if I was still in third gear. The gears are incredibly tight and I seemed to hang too much on the clutch in first - something a little practice would take care of, but upsetting when you aren't feeling smooth. Overall, very comfortable. I could see long trips in this car.

Trunk space? Non-existent. Golf clubs? Try a putter and one sleeve of golf balls. Shopping? Four shoes. One dress. Nothing bulky from the Megalomart, like cases of soda or laundry baskets.

Bottom Line: a good deal. Original MSRP: $57,500 No Haggle Price because we can't get rid of an '08 and it's well into '09: $44,815. Hmmmm.

Al is like ready to buy the car. Starts talking details with Mr. Salesman. Whoa. Excuse me? Aren't you the one telling me your tech job may evaporate any second now? What happened to the truck? I think that wind noise you heard were actually the Sirens...

As my artist friend observed, it was like a Freaky Friday scenario: there was someone losing all perspective in a new car showroom and it wasn't me! It was him! Yes, that's right, I was the lone voice of reason standing next to a sports car. Spooky.

Did I mention the polished aluminum wheels?

Knute is So Cute...

I just wanted to go swimming with him...

An amateur video shows zookeepers in Berlin trying to drag a woman from the water after she supposedly jumped into a polar bear exhibit.

Amazingly, Americans have not yet cornered the market on 'idiot'...

Onlookers said the polar bears playfully tugged her while she tried to escape. The woman suffered bites to her arms and legs.

Other news reports described the attack as 'brutal' - after viewing the video, I'll go with playful. In the way only a thousand-pound wild predator can be.

Workers distracted the bears by throwing meat and pushing them away with sticks. The woman was treated at a nearby hospital.

Why? It was 'feeding time'. Dead fish gets dull pretty quick, and zoos seem to have some strange issue about keeping the seals and penguins in separate enclosures, so what's a massive carnivore to do?

It's unclear how the woman got in the water, but a witness said she just jumped in.

Perhaps it was part of an Animal Enrichment program. Caged animals get quite bored and can suffer stress. This was the coolest thing they had seen in quite some time. They'd like to welcome their new playmate back soon. Tell those guys with the pesky poles and life preservers to stay home next time.

Collecting Animosity

Nothing wholesome here! Looks more like a Bond Girl.
Specializing in miniature horses?
Specializing in wealthy sheiks? Is that a tiny mint julep in her hand?

Would this bitch stay home already? She's already made me insecure as a Corvette owner and Veterinary school dropout, and now she has to show up at the Kentucky Derby?
As the owner of the winning horse, I'm sure.

Moral: If you have impossible proportions made of plastic, the world is your oyster.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I see Blogger has a new feature - you can decide how to display pay-per-click ads on your blog.

So - does anyone know how this works? Have you used ads in the past or are you currently seeking revenue from your blog? Do you get to pick advertisers?

I mean, what if my blog was VeganTimes sponsored by Oscar Meyer or KFC? Do advertisers get to pick you?

In other words, if I say... had a blog... and on that blog... were some personal anecdotes... about my experiences with a certain appliance company... and if said company signed up for Google Ads... and they didn't READ any of the blogs in question... would users potentially come to a landing page all about how MAYTAG SUCKS... and then there was a little picture of the Maytag Repairman on the sidebar asking you click here... and my readers were every bit as sarcastic as myself and clicked it...

Could I get a revenue check from MAYTAG? For outwitting them???

Just wondering. Oh, if you're keeping score, this blog isn't even in the top 25 hits on Yahoo! or Google for Maytag Sucks. That's how many other sites are out there saying the same thing.

Jurassic Easter

It's all fun and games until someone eats the cellophane grass...

Bo Knows

Where the bodies are drowned

Helloooo.... Am I the only one finding the irony in Ted "Chappaquiddick" Kennedy raising dogs trained to act as couriers from ship to shore??

Bo is very cute. However, he's no First Lizard. By the way, are you buying any of that 'second chance' shaggy dog story? Supposedly Bo was previously owned, but relinquished. Yeah, by a Washington insider who puppy-sat for a month as the Obama's got ready to announce the dog on Easter for a feel-good photo-op. That way the President could get the good press of a 'rescue dog' rather than admitting "I'm really powerful, and people will trip over themselves giving me rare puppies to curry favor."
Air Force One - Cadillac One - Piddle One?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Am I the Only One?

Enrolling in Basic Korean at the community college??

Why Did the Turtle (Unsuccessfully) Cross the Road?

Because the evil developer was too cheap to dig an underpass.

A sign is not going to work!!

Seems McHenry County officials think putting up a few "Turtle Crossing" signs is somehow going to save the lives of endangered Blanding's turtles. Read the whole article here.

The marsh, home to the state's second largest colony of Blanding's turtles, is part of a 250-acre nature preserve that abuts Algonquin Road, where traffic zooms by at 40 m.p.h.The turtles prefer laying their eggs on dry ground up to a mile away from water, and their homing instinct tells them to return to their birth area to build their nests.Before development, it was an easy trip. Now, strip malls, subdivisions and roads can make it deadly, which is one reason officials said they will soon be elevated to the state's endangered species list.

Letting them get run over is not the way to move them to the endangered species list. Why not dig a tunnel beneath the road for them? This should have been required when the development plans were approved.

When a developer built a strip mall nearby four years ago, he had to ensure artificial nesting sites were built in the preserve to try to keep the turtles away from the traffic. But some still tried to plod across the road, so when the county widened it to four lanes two years ago, the state asked it to post the "Turtle Crossing" signs.

So now what? Dig the tunnel. Erect Turtle Toll Booths to charge each car a nickel. That way, the toll isn't oppressive and the tunnel will be paid for the turtles. Also, no open road tolling. Everyone must sloooww down for the booth.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Points to Ponder

Majoring in Eligibility?

Why is it when they put up a college athlete's stats on the screen, Grade Point Average is not included? I think I have a right to know who's getting an A in Remedial Art History, Rope Jumping for Beginners, or Shaterisims, Season Two.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad...

Why on earth three Derby prep races had to be held on the exact same day, I'm not quite sure, but I successfully selected two winners.

At Santa Anita news of The Pamplemousse's scratch caused me to select Baffert's colt, Pioneerof the Nile.

Normally, I would penalize any pick that was in such blatant disregard to the rules of grammar, but, hey, can't argue with Baffert's skill. I was vindicated.

In an interesting aside, the number two horse was named Chocolate Candy and owned by weight-loss mogul Jenny Craig. No word on whether she would have ate the horse if it performed poorly. (Low Carb! Mmmm!)

I hope The Pamplemousse gets better. I understand he had a sore leg and was unable to run. Railbirds seem to think Pioneerof The Nile is 'learning how to run' and I'll be the first to admit he ran an awful race, despite winning. I interpret it not as immaturity, but rather a willingness to listen - he was in the lead, pulled back, and then urged forward and maintained the lead for the win. It was a strange race that just didn't go the way the jockey and trainer wished it to, yet he won. But the immaturity angle has a solid basis, he's much younger than the other horses and supposedly lost two teeth in the race! Awww... baby teeth. How cute. Glad he didn't choke on them or something.

In the Illinois Derby, I kind of liked Al Khali (Plecher), but it was Musket Man for the win. Really, though, can I trust ANYTHING that takes place near Cicero, IL?? Not really.

But over at the Wood Memorial, great things were happening, and I wish NBC had televised that one as featured instead of Santa Anita. One glance at the card and I had picked my horse based soley on his name: I Want Revenge. I mean, really, how could you not bet on that? Only after a closer inspection did I learn of his great pedigree and home: the same stable that owned Big Brown. I Want Revenge had a tough race and came back from a slow break to penetrate a wall of horses at the end for the win. I was very impressed, and right now he's my Derby pick. Amazingly enough, he lost his first six races but flourished when he was moved from a synthethic track to an old-fashioned dirt surface.

Seems the jury is still out on whether synthetic surfaces reduce injury. I'll be watching for more data as it develops. I want to get over to Arlington more this year, but at the rate the weather is going, I will never see sunshine, much less pull my Vette out of the garage. Right now? April fifth? Big snowstorm. I hate the Midwest. Is there a little anti-heart symbol for that??

I Want a Derby Victory!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Club Med(ical attention needed)

Still going to the health club. Still not seeing results!! (I mean one Pixie... that should work off easily, right?)

Attending diligently, despite the fact the place is so germy I think SARS goes there for Spring Break.

For starters, I hate the parking. If I wanted to walk long distances in the cold fresh air I wouldn't be paying you people, now would I?? The parking spaces are too narrow. I'm sick and tired of businesses thinking they can cram in extra parking by making each space teensy weensy. SUV's are huge, people! The 'general public' has no parking skills and even less regard for how wide they swing their car doors.

I go in and request "my" locker. They don't have enough to actually rent them out, it's get issued a key at the door and take potluck. Ew. I got stuck in a moldy creepy corner with a bunch of wet toddlers exactly once before I started getting assertive at check-in. I pointedly ask for a locker on the end so I can cringe away from the hubbub. I take one of their threadbare washcloths they are trying to pass off as "towels" and brace myself for the petri dish that is the women's changing area. Who puts indoor-outdoor carpeting in a locker room? Is that the most unsanitary thing you have ever heard? Forty gallons of chlorine bleach couldn't help this place. Yick.

Wednesdays are Kick Boxing night. Participants are exhorted to punch at their own noses as reflected on the wall of mirrors at the front of the room. Perfect for the self-loathing narcissist like myself!

An announcement is made that the Friday Yoga Class is now moving to 5:30 a.m. Yes, I heard that correctly. Five-Thirty A. M. .... Like how is that relaxing? Am I allowed sleep on a mat Thursday night in the multi-purpose room?? Because that's the only way I'm getting there that early, that's for sure. Namaste must secretly mean "weed out the wimps".

On the way out I noticed a closed-circuit TV behind the desk. Four views of various areas of the club were broadcast simultaneously. "What's that," I ask. "The Klutz Cam? So you can see if someone falls?"

I imagine the call over the loudspeaker now: "Potential Lawsuit on Racquetball Court, Stat!"

It troubles me no cameras are pointing at any thing important. Like my car.