condescending twatbags, mental health, music, narcissists, psychology

Say goodbye, not goodnight…

Beth Nielsen Chapman has a really moving song in her catalog called “Say Goodnight, Not Goodbye”. I happened to hear it the other day while I was listening to my “comforting” playlist on iTunes. I have a bunch of playlists I made when iTunes was more functional and I was bored and feeling compulsive. One of the lists is called “comforting”, and it’s a collection of really poignant and beautiful songs that are easy to focus on as I write. A lot of Beth Nielsen Chapman’s songs are on that list. I think she’s a wonderful songwriter. I like to listen to her songs, but I also like singing them. “Say Goodnight, Not Goodbye”, is one I would love to do someday. But I suspect that will have to wait until I get good enough at playing guitar to manage it.

I wish I’d stuck with piano lessons.

I see from the comments on this video that this song appeared on Dawson’s Creek. I remember watching the first season of that show, but I got out of the habit because it was airing at around the time I was in graduate school and I didn’t have time to watch a lot of TV. I also seem to remember that show was on the WB network, and the cable provider in Columbia, South Carolina stopped carrying the WB at some point while I was living there.

This poignant song is about loss, but ultimately, there’s a promise that the separation isn’t forever. Someday, there will be a reconciliation. Maybe after death. It’s comforting to believe that after the pain of separation, there will be a reunion of some sort, whether it’s on Earth or in Heaven or wherever else we go after our time down here is finished. I know Beth Nielsen Chapman has experienced a lot of pain and loss in her life, to include the loss of her first husband, Ernest Chapman, to cancer. She’s managed to parlay those losses into the most beautiful music. Even now, having just listened to that song, I feel a bit verklempt.

You might have noticed that I changed the order of the words to Beth Nielsen Chapman’s song as my post title today. That wasn’t an error. Sometimes, it’s really best to just walk away forever. Most people are worthy of a reunion, if both parties are willing. But some people really aren’t. And sometimes they reveal themselves in really petty ways that are laughable. You realize that someone who is well into middle age or older has, emotionally speaking, never grown up beyond the age of twelve or so.

The older I get, the more I realize that some people are just not worth the effort. And I don’t have to go away mad… but I do have to go away. It hurts a bit– kind of like getting a vaccination, which is painful and inconvenient for a short time, but spares the worse pain that could come if one contracts the actual disease. Everybody has their own ideas of what’s beyond the pale in another person’s behavior. For me, it’s when a person is blatantly disrespectful to me or flies off the handle. I’ll forgive that reaction in people I know well. I don’t forgive it nearly as easily in people I don’t know well.

A few months ago, I had a casual acquaintance on YouTube. We had an okay rapport on the surface. It was friendly and complimentary, as we’re both music buffs and have similar tastes. We even had some successful collaborations. One day, I made an offhand and somewhat off topic comment on a music video he’d posted. He took huge offense to my comment. He proceeded to tell me off in a really over-the-top, insulting, embarrassing way. Then, he said he only wanted me to comment on the music and nothing else.

It wasn’t as if I knew that he had this policy regarding comments on his videos. He hadn’t specifically told me that he’d only wanted certain types of comments, nor was there any kind of notice on his channel that he didn’t like comments that weren’t simple praise for him. I had made the comment completely innocently and was truly shocked and offended by his reaction to it, which was to lecture and shame me about the genius of Paul Simon, and then demand that I ONLY comment on the music. I think it’s lame to get mad and tell people what their reactions must be or dictate what they can or can’t say.

Basically, he was saying that he didn’t want to hear from me unless it was to tell him what a great musician he is. That told me that he wasn’t interested in being friends or getting to know me. He just wanted adoring fans to up his subscribers and hit count. I thought it was overly controlling and ridiculous, but it’s his page; so I just left him to it. And since I was also a bit stung, I deleted my comment and quit interacting with him. I don’t think he realized or cared that what he said was humiliating, or that I was actually pretty hurt. And usually, when people are hurt, they tend to slink away and lick their wounds for awhile.

Time went on, and I quit thinking about the incident and kind of forgot about him. Then last night, I was sitting alone at my dining table, looking through some old postings. I remembered that this person had commented on a lot of them. Do you know that this guy went through and completely scrubbed every single comment? He didn’t block me, which I found interesting… but he did remove all of his comments, which seems like an awful lot of effort, especially since I didn’t even notice until months later. I was amazed… and then I was amused. Because obviously, my decision not to interact with him anymore had really upset him. Then after thinking about it for a moment, I also wasn’t surprised. I had a gut feeling that he would notice my absence and respond in such a way.

I started thinking about what this meant. I’ve spent many years of my life trying to appease people who think they have the right to say and do whatever they want, but they don’t want to grant the other person the same right. It’s happened to me over and over again. I’ve wasted a lot of time and effort on trying to smooth things over when I overstep some imaginary boundary that I never even knew existed. I now realize that people who are that high-maintenance are probably not worth the effort, even if they do play a mean guitar. Life is much too short to walk on eggshells. There are other mean guitar players out there who won’t act like that. In fact, with every passing day, I get better at playing guitar myself. Someday, I hope to get to a point at which I won’t need to collaborate with anyone, if I don’t want to.

Please note– I’m not saying that people shouldn’t have boundaries. There’s nothing wrong with being assertive and telling someone when they’ve upset you or done something offensive. That’s how people get to know each other and determine what behaviors are acceptable. I’m writing about the practice of exploding at people over innocuous things, and then resenting them when they inevitably get offended by that over-the-top reaction. This would not have happened had he simply asked me what I thought of his music rather than belligerently shaming, belittling, lecturing, and demanding a specific response or deference to him. Especially when he never granted me the same courtesy. Let’s not have a double standard; one standard will do just fine.

There were other things I had noticed when we were still on “speaking terms”. Like, he’d often offer me unsolicited advice on how to run my channel. He’d tell me that I shouldn’t post more than one video a day, assuming that my goal is to get popular (it’s not). I often post videos that I make for my blog, so they go up when I need them for a post. Sometimes, I go weeks without posting anything. Sometimes, I’ll post more than one video a day. I also post them when I’m inspired. Would I like it if a lot of people liked my videos? I guess… although I have learned that being popular isn’t always a great thing. The more popular you are, the more shit you tend to get from trolls, creeps, stalkers, and negative people. In any case, I never asked for tips on how to run my channel. I suspect his goals are different than mine are, and that should be okay.

I also noticed that I would post every one of our collaborations on my page and promote his channel, but he only posted one of our collaborations on his page and didn’t promote mine. It got a lot of positive feedback, so I’m left thinking that maybe he didn’t want to share the limelight. It was a little Ike Turner-esque. And it’s not that he didn’t like our collaborations and was being polite by praising me but not sharing them. If that were the case, why would he keep doing them with me? He’d always leave me compliments on our collaborations on my page, but then he didn’t share the collaborations on his. So now I’m thinking he’s probably insecure and a bit jealous of any attention someone else gets, no matter how small. I’m sure it’s not just me, either. He probably does it to other people, too.

I notice a number of red flags…

In any case, as I’m writing this, I’m reminded of the many videos I’ve watched by Les Carter, a therapist who specializes in dealing with narcissists. I don’t know if my former YouTube acquaintance is a narcissist because I don’t know him personally. However, I do think some of his behavior is a bit narcissistic and transactional. He wanted me to be loyal and deferential to him, but wasn’t going to reciprocate. I’ve had my fill of dealing with those types of people. It never ends well. I suppose I could try to “make up” with him by leaving praise on his videos. Maybe he would respond in kind on the few I’ve recently done. But I think it would only be a matter of time before I upset him again and the same thing will happen. I don’t have time for it, and frankly I deserve better.

Anyway, I made another video yesterday. I think it’s okay. I’ll keep working on learning how to play my guitar.

I did this in one take. I kind of wish it had taken more time.

So… I’m saying goodbye, not goodnight. May we both have better and more satisfying interactions with others. There are plenty of wonderful, mature people in the world who aren’t simply about having transactional relationships. I’m going to focus on finding and interacting with those people.

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complaints, rants

It’s piqued, not peaked, dammit!

In the interest of not ranting about my recently usual topics today, I’m going to revisit another tired subject… people who can’t spell. Especially when they are pesky spammers!

They visit every day… and I can almost bet there will be spam waiting for me…

I have a persistent spammer. Based on the fact that I get lots of hits from China, I’m assuming that is where this spammer is coming from every day, even though the screen name is in Thai. And every day, whoever is generating this spam leaves the same message. It’s probably automated. Sometimes I get this very same comment on several posts. One day, I had eighteen of these very same comments in the moderation queue.

From my travel blog. Every day, I get this same message at least once, but sometimes up to eighteen times.

Now… I get that spammers are gonna spam. BUT– I don’t understand what the purpose of this particular spam comment is. There’s no hyperlink in it, and it doesn’t seem to be selling anything. It just says “Like!!” There’s not even a hyperlink to the blog this spammer supposedly writes, which I would never visit because I know the difference between “piqued” and “peaked”. See below…

Granted, I don’t know Chinese or Thai. I am not particularly gifted in any language, including English. But I do think that if you’re going to spam people in a foreign language and compliment them on their blog, you should at least write something in your zone of competency. On the other hand, plenty of Americans don’t know the difference between “piqued” and “peaked”, either. Nor do they know other quirks of English.

For example, the other day, I was hanging out in the Fender Community on Facebook and someone wrote a post referring to a popular strong coffee beverage. What am I writing of? Why, espresso, of course! But this person didn’t write “espresso”. Instead, she wrote “expresso”, which I see from the squiggly red line in my text is incorrect. I know… I know… I’m being very picky. It’s one of my many quirks. But when someone writes “expresso” instead of “espresso”, it’s like nails on a chalkboard.

Don’t even get me started on “discreet” vs. “discrete”, “per se” vs. “per say” (Holy fuck, that one bugs!), “faze” vs. “phase”, or “hellow” vs. “hello”. Okay, so it’s not very often that people write “hellow”. It happened yesterday, when I was on Recovery from Mormonism and someone wrote a post about a book they’re writing. First of all, the post was one big wall of text with no breaks between paragraphs. Secondly, the very first word was “Hellow.” And that is exactly where he lost me.

When someone complained about the “wall of text”, the original poster made an excuse about his equipment. It reminded me of an extremely exasperating Epinions (a defunct review writing site) member who had a habit of downrating people for typos and differences of opinion, but expected other people to cut her some slack because she didn’t have a proper word processor or some other such thing. She once called me “finicky” for rating one of her reviews “helpful” because it was a wall of text with many errors in it. And yet, she did the same thing to me because there was one typo. This incident occurred just a week or so before Epinions finally went down in flames, and at that point , I was getting really fed up with some of the more “eccentric” people on the site. I also blogged about it. In the interest of killing time, here’s an excerpt from that piece, which I wrote in February 2014:

“…every once in awhile, you run into someone who is a bit “odd”… The truly psycho people usually end up leaving or getting kicked off the site.  But those who are just a little odd often end up sticking around and even gain some clout on the site.  They are usually minor annoyances that flare up occasionally, much like a hemorrhoid or a cracked molar (which is also troubling me this morning).   

Yesterday, I wrote a review of Preparation H with Hydrocortisone.  It was a simple review, less than 500 words.  I’ve started using this product because I’ve been experiencing some itching where the sun doesn’t shine.  I bought it for the itching, not because I think I have varicose veins in my ass (though for all I know, I might have them).  I wanted something that wasn’t going to irritate my skin. 

Because it’s a review of an embarrassing product, I injected a little humor in my review.  Well, this morning I got  a rating and this comment from this rather odd Epinions member who, over the years, had left me weird comments and the occasional lowball rating.  She wrote that she can’t use steroidal products and has to treat her itches homeopathically.  She suggests that I use apple cider vinegar, adding that she “say[s] it works better” than the product I reviewed. 

I will admit, this is the first thing I read this morning as I was just opening my eyes and her comment annoyed me.  If you can’t use a product because of your own idiosyncratic body issues, how do you know how it works for other people?  I can use steroidal products if I want to.  If you can’t, because you have sensitivities, does that mean that I should automatically do what you do?  The person also said that apple cider vinegar burns, even if it is effective.  I prefer not to apply something that burns to my asshole.  I’m not into that kind of thing.  I left a polite response indicating that I prefer to use something that doesn’t burn and I was glad she’d found a solution for her issues.

But then I go to another review, which this person rated “helpful”.  In the past, I would have been annoyed by a “helpful” rating; but before the standards changed at Epinions, “helpful” was still considered a good rating.  I probably would have just let it go.  Since the dumbing down of the Epinions rating system, the “helpful” rating is now considered akin to what used to be a “somewhat helpful” rating.  And this person who left me this shitty rating did not leave a comment indicating why, so now I’m left guessing why she apparently didn’t find my review acceptable.

Under normal circumstances, I usually ignore people like her.  I make a point of not engaging and won’t read or rate their reviews.  But this morning, because I was so irritated, I did go to her page.  I read her latest review, which happens to be a music review.  She had a string of inflated ratings, some of which I personally didn’t think she deserved.  I noticed her review was kind of hard to read, with no spacing between paragraphs and too much bolding.  She writes that it’s because she’s typing on a word pad instead of her computer.  That’s an explanation, but it doesn’t change my reading experience.  Besides, if she has her standards, then I must be entitled to mine. “

I ended up leaving her the same rating she left for me, and somehow I had a feeling that she’d take exception to it. And sure enough, I was right. Here’s an excerpt from a follow up post from that same time period.

A couple of days ago, I wrote about Epinions and an encounter I had with a rather odd person who annoyed me by suggesting I put apple cider vinegar on my asshole and rating a review of mine low without any explanation.  In my post, I explained that I’ve had a few encounters with this person and usually ignore her.  I find her a bit strange.  Others seem to have a similar opinion of her.

I made the mistake of reading this person’s latest music review.  I rated it “helpful”, and while my rating may have originally been inspired by early morning annoyance and the desire to take revenge, in actuality, I did not find her review to be very good.  Because she didn’t leave a comment for me explaining her low rating, I didn’t feel the need to leave one for her explaining mine.  I figured I’d probably hear from her and, sure enough, I did.  She sent me the following email this morning…

Hi fellow Epinions writer,

I was just curious why you were the only one that rated my CHERISH by David Cassidy a helpful . . .

What could of made it VH or Expert in your opinion ?

Have a nice day !
sharing the light, 

And this was how I responded to her. Bear in mind, Epinions had gotten very annoying by February 2014. If it hadn’t tanked days after this incident, I would have probably quit writing there. By that point, it was no longer worthwhile on any level.

Hello,

I rated your review helpful because I found it hard to read. There was a lot of bolding and no spacing between paragraphs.

Also, I didn’t think you offered much analysis of the music on the album. There is a lot in the review that came from the album cover, but not so much about the music itself or what you think of it. I realize you might have been trying to make your review fit into the lean and mean promotion going on this month. Personally, I find writing lean and mean music reviews difficult. Perhaps if you want to make the review under 500 words, you could remove your discussion of Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy, which doesn’t really have much to do with the music on CHERISH. That would save you some words which you could then use to offer more of your opinion of the music.

All the best.”

Below is her response in italics.  My comments are in bold.  Given my complaints about excessive bolding in her review, I offer apologies in advance to anyone who finds the formatting hard to read.  😉  While I am somewhat tempted to respond to her email, I realize it would only cause a back and forth that would probably lead nowhere.  Unfortunately, I am still left with the desire to communicate, so I will respond in this blog post.  If she happens to read it, so be it.

Hi,

I had a comment written from myself explaining the inability to space properly after four edit attempts the paragraphs properly and using the bold where it was necessary (I did remove that comment before you came in and rated this) the final published draft now a review does look terrible but the platform of Epinions WOULD NOT and still won’t let me edit using proper spacing.

I did actually see the comment she left before she removed it.  My perspective comes from that of a reader, not as a fellow Epinions writer.  A visitor to the site is not going to know or care about her problems with the Epinions platform.  They may not even see the comments section or bother to read it.  If she’s going to explain why the formatting is not right, it would make more sense to put that information in the review where people will have a better chance of seeing it.  But anyway, while I do empathize and her inability to format correctly is regrettable, it’s not my problem.  It’s not an Epinions visitor’s problem, either; but it would likely affect their experience on the site.  

I do not have a word counter anymore as my old computer tower crashed (due to possible virus threats that came through last month and December in Epinions before my tower crashed) and I no longer have a Word Program that counts such things so if it does not make the lean and mean grade, so be it. 

Again, computer issues… not my problem, nor is her inability to count the words of her piece.  In all honesty, I don’t even care how long or short the review is, as long as it adequately covers the subject.  The only reason I mentioned the Lean and Mean promotion is because she mentioned it at the end of her review.   But the review’s helpfulness or lack thereof is entirely based on its content, not how many words are written.   Whether or not the review counts as Lean and Mean is of no concern to me.  Moreover, I bet if she looked online, she could find a word counter.

However if that is what epinions rates on instead of merit for knowing the material and knowing it well, then so be it also.

Knowing the material and knowing it well is very important in a review.  Based on what I read in her review, I was not convinced that she did.

The album CHERISH was and did have a lot to do with his dad and step-mom, which is why I added that info. I have been following davids career since I was 16 and have seen him twice in concert, I thought it would provide more oomph to the review. 

Okay, if the album’s concept really does have to do with David Cassidy’s relationship with Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones, then that information certainly is useful and should be explained in more detail.  But in her review, I didn’t see much of a discussion as to why that information was important.  And again, include the information or don’t include it.  It’s her choice.  I honestly don’t care.  

My suggestion to omit information was simply to give her a way to economize on words so that she could add more of her own opinion while staying under the word limit challenge this month.  In my view, more of her own opinion would have made her review much more useful.  I would have also advised her to leave out the information she included on the artwork and liner notes.  Again, that would be simply to keep the review under 500 words and qualify for the sweepstakes.  Any other month, I wouldn’t have even mentioned word count.  

Instead it gets downgraded by only one finicky Top Reviewer . . . 

I’m really not that finicky.  In fact, I consider myself a very fair and even an EASY rater, the vast majority of the time.  This person’s analysis of the music on David Cassidy’s album consisted of a list of album tracks with four or five vague words about what each song sounds like and very little about her opinion.  The review told me almost nothing about what was actually on the album and I found it hard to read besides.  I stand by my rating, finicky or not.  

oh well epinions is not as much fun as it used to be and the rating guidelines have seriously changed the incentive to keep on plugging away on reviews EXPERTS find fault with.

I completely agree.  Epinions is not as much fun as it used to be.  I don’t consider myself an EXPERT, though.  I am just another Epinions user and reviewer.  Moreover, a few days ago, when she left me a “Helpful” rating on one of my reviews with no explanation, I didn’t go whining to her in an email demanding her reasons why.  In fact, she has left me many lone lowball ratings over the years with no explanations.  I have never once complained to her about them.  

Besides, the overall rating of her review is still “Very Helpful”; other members gave her high ratings.  In the long run, my rating means nothing anyway, other than an insult to her pride.  Would it make her happy if I just went back and changed my rating?  Maybe so…  It sounds to me like she cares more about ratings than the actual quality of her work.

And below, in italics, was my conclusion. Fortunately, since Epinions died just days after this incident, I didn’t have to make the decision myself.

Before anyone brings up the obvious, I do realize that my decision to go to her page and rate her review led to this.  I should have done what I normally do when it comes to this particular person.  I usually ignore her and seldom read what she writes because I don’t want to encourage interaction.  I probably would not have even noticed her rating this time if not for her comment that the product I reviewed was inferior to putting apple cider vinegar in my ass, even though I’ve read that it is a “miracle cure”.  I’d rather not exchange an itchy ass for one that burns.  But lesson learned.  I won’t be reading or rating any more of her reviews.  It’s too much trouble.  

Anyway, this is probably a sign that I need to take an Epinions sabbatical.  I’m going to give it some serious thought. 

I used to spend hours writing for Epinions. I actually made a significant amount of money there, too– I think it was about $12,000 over eleven years, which when you consider that I was just reviewing stuff around the house, wasn’t an insignificant amount of cash. Especially since I joined the site a couple of years after its initial heyday, when people were getting a penny per view, or something like that. I made some good friends writing there, found some good products, went to some fun parties, and scored plenty of schwag besides making some income. It was a great place for writers and it had surprisingly high standards. But yes, I did run into some strange folks… and some of them couldn’t spell or wanted to apply different standards to me than what they applied to themselves.

I’m sure the lady who inspired my rantings in 2014 was crushed when David Cassidy died a few years ago. Maybe it even inspired her to break out the apple cider vinegar and apply it liberally to her asshole or anywhere else the sun doesn’t shine.

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viral

Are women’s nipples obscene?

Five years ago, I had never heard of Planet Fitness. When I read a story about a woman who got shamed for being too buff. I wrote about it on my old blog. Apparently, at Planet Fitness, members aren’t allowed to show off. There’s a dress code that is supposed to prevent fitter members from intimidating less fit members. And Tiffany Austin, the subject of my first post about Planet Fitness, got a talking to for wearing a tank top with spaghetti straps that showed off her “toned” body. People complained, and a staff member asked her to cover up. While she was waiting for a t-shirt, another staffer approached and asked her to cover up. Naturally, this annoyed Ms. Austin, who went to the media with her concerns and canceled her membership.

Planet Fitness, the gym that allegedly focuses on “not judging” other people, is giving people something to talk about again. This time, I ran across a viral post on Facebook written by Diane Newberry, of Grand Forks, North Dakota. Ms. Newberry shared a picture of herself in a tank top. She’s not wearing a bra, but she’s quite slender and probably doesn’t even need one for support. She’d only need it to cover those “obscene” nipples of hers.

Apparently, while she was working out at Planet Fitness, a manager approached her and said there had been “many complaints” that Ms. Newberry wasn’t wearing a bra while exercising. Newberry asked the manager if she was breaking a rule by not wearing a bra. The manager admitted there wasn’t a rule about bras, so Newberry brushed it off and went home. On her next visit, she told the manager that she thought it was inappropriate for staff members to shame women for not wearing bras. The manager replied that this topic had been one of discussion lately and they were looking into seeing if their dress code was specific enough. Newberry responded by canceling her Planet Fitness membership and joining the YMCA, where bralessness isn’t an issue. I’d say that was the right response on Newberry’s part. Planet Fitness obviously isn’t for her. I’m glad she found a place where she can wear what she wants, and truly has the freedom to work out the way she wishes.

Naturally, Planet Fitness is a private business and the corporate powers that be have the right to set rules regarding dress codes. However, while women are expected to wear bras to cover up their nipples, men also have nipples, and sometimes they even have breasts large enough to rival those of women. We don’t expect men to cover their nipples; why is it considered immodest when women don’t cover theirs? What is so obscene about a nipple? It’s got a purpose– primarily to feed babies. What’s the big deal if you can see the outline of them under a shirt? I think it’s time Planet Fitness and society at large take a look at this attitude and consider changing it.

Clearly, Newberry is guilty of breaking a social more. It’s a more that probably should be challenged, especially in this age of women fighting to be able to breastfeed at will. It’s ridiculous to be alright with a man showing his boobs, but not a woman. I understand that men find boobs sexually exciting, but that’s really their problem, isn’t it? Breasts were not meant to “titillate”. They were meant for feeding babies. And I see no reason why a nipple should be offensive, in any case. It’s just a little piece of darkened skin with a knob on it. Big whoop.

While I’m all for not “shaming” or “judging” people who are trying to get healthier through exercise, it seems to me that Planet Fitness is hypocritical in its advertising. They claim to be a “judgement free” zone (and they spell judgment the British way, which makes me judge them), yet they have a “lunk alarm”, which is a siren that staffers set off when people do something against the rules.

The Lunk Alarm… um… isn’t this a bit hypocritical? No judgment, but that alarm is all about humiliation, isn’t it? According to these ads, you can work out the way you want to… as long as you don’t break any of Planet Fitness’s many rules.
I would think that siren would be enough to turn off all the other people working out. Talk about PTSD flashbacks! I also found a story about a guy who “grunted” while squatting 500 pounds at Planet Fitness. It ended with staffers at the gym calling the police.

I guess this business model works, since lots of people still work out at Planet Fitness. It has cheap membership plans at just $10 a month. But who wants to be lectured about their workout attire? They claim to not want to intimidate or judge people, but I think I would be mortified if someone on staff complained about my workout attire, especially involving undergarments. For a “judgement free” zone, that seems awfully judgmental.

I get that Planet Fitness doesn’t want people to feel ashamed or intimidated, but they seem to be violating their own policy when they insist that women wear bras, but they don’t ask men to wear them. Reminds me of that cute comic by Scott Metzger, starring topless Helen and her equally endowed husband, who tells her it’s obscene to go on the beach like that. Why is it okay for him to show his manboobs, but Helen has to cover up? Makes no sense.

Anyway… I prefer to get my exercise climbing up church towers and walking my dogs. It’s done nothing to slim me down, but I did learn that my heart still works yesterday as I ascended 328 steps at the church tower in Frankfurt. On the other hand, I was also reminded of a certain scene in In Bruges.

I’m not nearly as big as these folks are, but I will admit it was a challenge for some of us to pass each other on the narrow, winding stairway at the church tower, yesterday. The Frankfurt church tower doesn’t have many wide spots for passing zones.
A lot of sweating, swearing, panting, and praying went into capturing this image… I’m glad we did it, though. The weather was perfect and the views were amazing, even if my knees were throbbing at the bottom.

Well… after that humbling experience, I suppose I’d better make a point of walking the boys today. But I’ll wear a bra, because after you hit your 40s, gravity kicks in.

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