Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Seedy Underbelly

Every small town has their small shops and stores that make you wonder how the owners make rent. You know the ones, Italian food by Pedro Gonzalez, western-boot repair, and the occassional inspirational gifts by Betty. I've seen lots of places like that in my 28 years of residency on planet Earth. I've often found myself wondering how Dave's Tennis Racket Repair is a legitimate functioning business or how the man selling battery powered light up wall art next to a used vaccuum retailer gain enough profit to make their entreprenuership worthwile. Then I came across a little place in Winter Park, Florida, whose name I must change. We'll call it... Aircraft Parts Supplier. In all the time that I lived out there, worked out there, and frequented the street in which said supplier was located on... it never seemed to have any customers.... during normal 9-5 hours that is. Maybe it was a coincidence, but whenever Mike and I would be coming back from the movies, or bookstore, we would have to stop for someone turning in to their parking lot. Even after midnight. It made me wonder if maybe this place that seemed to sell parts for aircrafts and satellites (because there's a huge consumer drive for those products) in the middle of the night was maybe just a front for... I don't know... a meth lab?! A crack den? A Burlesque house? It just seemed like some sort of cover up so all I do is imagine something seedy with sinister late-night goings on. Incase they have the internet bugged-- I am in no way accusing them of ACTUALLY being a crack den... this is all just speculation... imagination... what have you. Just something that has crossed my mind. This place boasts the traffic of 500 customers a day... but I can't imagine that many people in the Orlando area are desperately seeking wires or replacement parts for satellites. I'm pretty sure the people of Orlando are desperately seeking a beer and some bbq chips. Am I crazy here?
I must be. I have since come upon another entreprenueral anomoly. Its a little place right here in Georgetown called Beds, Beds, and More. They have weird hours that change daily and make little mattress TeePees in triangle formations on the front lawn.I have racked my brain to come up with reasons that this place could possibly be a functioning business enterprise. It is about thirty miles north of any sort of metropolitan area. It is a little out of the way shop that I can't imagine anyone going out of their way to get to. Not to knock them, I'm sure that they carry a quality product, I'm just trying to figure out the financial logisitcs of it. First of all, it is nestled on the outer edge of Wolf Ranch which boasts two high quality competing mattress chains and a sleepnumber superstore. Beds, Beds, and More displays many of its mattresses on the front lawn. Its literally a step up from buying your bed at a garage sale-- appearance wise. I can safely point out that as a consumer, when I was in the market for a new bed a few months ago, Beds, Beds, and More didn't make the cut of places to shop and I would by no means call myself financially well off. Georgetown, however, seems to be a town of people who are fairly pretentious and I'm not saying that to sound like a jerk. "They" have actually gone out of their way to perpetuate the "Georgetown" attitude by launching a T-shirt counter-campaign against neighboring Austin's: "Keep Austin Weird" slogan. Georgetown, with it's conservative and non-eclectic view of life proudly propogates "Keep Georgetown Normal" apparell. So, since Georgetown, in theory, is not a fan of the eclectic and Bed, Beds, and More is certainly of that genre... I am left again to wonder where their customer base is coming from. I seriously doubt that people are driving in from other towns to buy a bed off a lawn... so where is the revenue coming from? WHERE?!!!!
I have tried and tried to make sense of this conundrum, but the only thing my brain can come up with is crack dens and prostitution rings. I'm sorry. Either that, or I should open my own Pug Petting Zoo or something. Maybe I could make and sell toilet paper cozies out of old bubble gum wrappers? Either way, business must be good and I am missing out.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Brought Down by the BBQ

It has happened again, in a small, midwestern town, another family has been torn about by barbeque. My family.

It all started pleasantly enough on a warm, sunny, Texas afternoon at the dog park. Everyone was happy and relaxed when we got in the car to go home and my thoughts began to wander to lunch. What could I grab quickly on the way home. I would pass a handful of Chicken Shacks en route, but they have yet to sound the least bit appetizing. Then I remembered that The Pit Barbeque had a drive-thru. I had never eaten there before, but I figured I could grab some lean sliced turkey and share it with the dogs. I thought that would be really NICE of me.

So I did just that and the ride home got curiouser and curiouser. First I had the bag of meat on the passenger seat since both dogs prefer to ride on my lap but Maya had slithered over to the passenger side and was rubbing up against the bag like a cat does to a stranger's leg.

I moved the bags to the backseat and Maya promptly collapsed into a pile on the passenger seat-- playing dead-- where she remained until we got home.

Once home, I emptied several large pieces into both her and Midas' bowls and some onto a plate for myself. By the time I walked to the table Maya was already at my heels with eyes as wide as saucers, desperately perched on the tips of her toes.

Here's where I made the mistake of brushing her off and sitting down to eat my own food. Her little, tiny, kolache body exploded into a ferocious stream of smeeps and woofs and growls the likes of which I have never heard. I'm pretty sure that cussing was involved and also a musing over why in all the time we have lived here, she hasn't had fresh turkey slices before.

When I went back to the kitchen for a glass of water, I broke down and gave them each a few more pieces by hand. Like a wide eyed, mechanical duck, Maya slurped down the pieces without even considering chewing.

We haven't spoken since her little outburst. She is sitting in the corner giving me the stink eye and occassionaly checking the contents of her empty food bowl.

It is a sad and tragic thing when families are ruined by the wonders of barbeque. Maybe Maya will come around... but most likely she's going to have the Turkey Trots.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Short and the Fat of it.

The drawstring is one of those amazing inventions that appeals to the dog on so many levels. I couldn't tell you what a single one of those levels are, but the appeal is there, none-the-less, and so came an end to yet another pair of gym pants.
Actually, that's not completely true. Despite the fact that I had apparently interrupted an intense game of tug-o-war with my pants the other night, the damage was pretty minor. Thing 1 and Thing 2 had managed to create a hole the size of a quarter where the drawstring used to feed through the top of my pants. Does anyone really like drawstring pants anyway? As long as I continue to wear my pseudo mu-mu as the top half of this fashion don't, no one will notice that I am in fact, a hobo. I also have two other pairs of workout pants. One of them is a little tight. The other is a classic capri which shows off my other fashion dilemma-- socks that bulge out of my shoes because I never seem to have any pairs that actually fit.
It took me three days of convincing myself that I needed new workout attire and then reconvincing myself that I'm not going to the gym to make friends, and what I have is fine. And so, the angry hobo in me lost and I made the trek out to the outer excrement of Round Rock to "shop."

I forgot how annoying and frustrating it is to shop for gym clothes when you are a short person. First of all, what happened to the good ol' days when you could go to the store and buy a pair of sweatpants? Sure, they aren't fashion forward, but what does one do in sweatpants? Clean the grout in the bathroom, lay around with a runny nose, go to the gym. This is an essential "feel sorry for me" piece of attire and it has most definitely gone by the wayside! Now what are you faced with when you go to the store? Cute little gym "outfits." I'm sorry, but I never ever see anyone at the gym with the "matching hoodie." I don't know where these people are working out, but the athletic wear section is filled with these items. Next you will be overwhelmed by the selection of $50 workout shirts. I'm at a loss for how to even describe these to you.

Who is wearing these? Generally, I'm surrounded by people in old "paint the house" T-shirts that say things like: "I got a hot carl at Carlsbad Canyon Cafe."
But anyway, I came for pants. Now workout pants typically come in three sizes. Small, Medium, and Large.
It doesn't matter which size I choose, the fit will be exactly the same but the legs will get longer. Because people who work out aren't fat-- just really, really tall.

In most places I can go try on a pair of jeans and if they aren't "petite" they will undoubtedly be a little long on me. But not workout pants. Noooo. Gym pants are insanely "don't try walking in these suckers" too long for me. When I try them on, it makes it look like I am missing a portion of my leg. Fortunately, that isn't too much of a problem, because apparently, the cool, hip thing to do today-- 200-freaking8-- is wear capris!

This is truly awesome because the length problem doesn't go away just because I'm now wearing a size small capri pant-- oh no. Instead of coming mid-calf, they skim just above the bulging socks.

(*Bulging Sock-- a. Condition where the heel of your sock falls somewhere around your ankle, creating an odd sock-bubble-formation when combined with shoes. Most likely the result of accidentally wearing your husbands socks to the gym. b. Condition thereby which an unfortunately endowed male creates a fake crotch bulge by way of sock to be used in much the same way a peacock's plumage display would attract a mate.)

Even if I happened, on the off chance, to be wearing socks that actually fit me, these pants put the whore in horrifying. And there you have it folks. While you can find these pants in a stunning array of polyester, thermal mesh, and just plain cotton, the length options leave much to be desired for a girl who can still wear high heels without making men in the same room extremely uncomfortable.

So, I broke down and went to the "petite" section of the store. I HATE this section because apparently to the retail buyers, "petite" is synonymous with "shrinking old women." It doesn't mean "short" it means "osteoporosis." The clothes on display in the petite section are only meant to be seen on the bodies of little old women who wear plastic sun visors and spend their days at Tuesday Morning. Naturally, in said department's one rack display of "athletic wear" I found a colorful array of sea foam green track suits which boast several features including: flame retardancy, water resistance, and a shiny top coat. For added style, a cotton white racing strip is added on the side of the pants and on the (wait for it) (wait for it) matching hoodie. Annnnd they are capri pants.
Granted, the pants from this department would have the correct mid-calf fit on me-- but I still don't feel I'm ready to dive headlong into sea foam green.

I spent an hour looking for exercise pants and finally... FINALLY found a decent pair. ONE decent pair. It was in the juniors department. I'm not even sure what that means. I know I shopped there when I was in high school. But anways, they are navy blue with a yellow stripe. I wasn't exactly going for a color scheme, black or grey would have been best, but these pants fit and I could walk in them. SUCCESS. Maybe they will be the ones that help me shed 300 pounds. Then I'd probably feel great just wearing gym shorts... and that's a whole other ball game.

Pay Attention: