Sunday, July 22, 2012

Still don't do 'mad' well

I generally love people -- all kinds of people. I consider myself a "people person" and, for the most part, an extrovert.

There is one type of person, however, that really gets under my skin and that I cannot identify with in any way. That person is abrasive, caustic and makes a huge deal out of something of minor importance.

Yesterday (Saturday), as I often do, I went to a 7:30 a.m. cycling (spin) class at the Y. These classes are made up of folks of various fitness levels. We are all on stationery bikes and there is an instructor at the front, also on a bike, who plays music and gives instructions regarding levels of resistance, speed, cadence, etc.

There are four fans on the walls, positioned high above the bikes (the room has about a 20-foot ceiling) and the normal practice is for the instructor to turn the fans on about half-way through the 45-minute or one-hour class. They "oscillate" so the air moves around the room.

I am aware that there are conflicting feelings about the fans among the participants. Some like the fans; some don't. It has always been my understanding that the ones who don't are able to position themselves on bikes that don't get direct air from the fans.

But apparently I was wrong. Yesterday there was a guy on a bike next to one of the walls, right underneath one of the fans. After the fans had been running for about ten minutes, he motioned for the instructor to come over to his bike.

She dismounted her bike, went over to him, and a several-minute intense discussion ensued. While this was going on, the music continued to play but we received no instructions. We just pedaled.

When the instructor got back on her bike, she resumed making her calls to us, but we could tell she was upset.

At the end of the class, during the cool-down, she told us that we needed to come to some agreement about the fans, that she sincerely wanted to keep everyone happy, including the man who had called her over an had the intense discussion with her.

At this he began to address the entire class. He said that he knew that he was in the minority (being of the no-fan school of thought) but he had as much right to not have a fan blowing on him as those who would want air from the fan have the right to have it. I mean this guy was worked up over it.

Someone asked him if he could really feel the air from the fan on the bike he was using that day and he said yes, he could feel it on his back.

I asked him, "Is this really that important to you?" (Because I myself don't have a strong feeling about it and didn't know it was such a controversial matter).

His voice level escalated as he told me emphatically that yes, it was of great importance to him and that he was tired of "management" dictating that all the fans go on at the same time.

With the escalation and irritation in his voice, I became a little annoyed myself and I, quite uncharacteristically, decided to "take him on," explaining to him that I thought it was very selfish of him to take up class time and upset the teacher the way he did.

He said, "Tough sh__" and walked out!  Then the poor instructor began to cry!

I told her I was sorry, but that I was really coming to her defense. The whole thing with the fans is NOT her fault and if it's really so important to him, he needs to take it to the top of the house, not take it out on her. He also might want to check into one of those "hot yoga" classes.

I wrote a  post a couple of years ago about how I don't "do mad" well.

I still don't.


Our family trip to Kansas City was last weekend. We had a ball. Stayed at a hotel adjacent to the Hallmark Center (Hallmark Cards is headquartered in KC).  In addition to going to two Royals games, we did a tour over at Hallmark, ate some great barbecue and, on blog friend Michael's recommendation, visited the Country Club Plaza, a beautiful and hip shopping and entertainment district.

It was great to have some family time, with all of us there. It was too short, of course, but we made the most of it.

To see some photos, visit Daughter's blog: ("Delightfully Living" over to the right on my blog list).

Friday, July 6, 2012

Introducing . . .

A couple or so years ago I introduced you to my then future daughter-in-law's (FDIL) blog which featured funny happenings from her classroom.

She's now been my daughter-in-law for a year and has had both a location and career change. I miss her (and her husband) tremendously but they are both really good communicators, which helps soften the ache I feel from their absence.

She has started a new blog which looks like it will feature stories from her cooking and entertaining adventures. I can tell you with all modesty and pride that she is a terrific hostess and homemaker. And she writes about it in a way that makes you feel as if you're sitting right at her table.

So put this in your browser and get to know my sweet DIL:

You'll be glad you did! 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Heat and politics

It's hot.  We are talking flower-wilting, sweat-inducing, fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk, miserable kind of hot.

The only tolerable time of day is early in the morning. As the sun comes up between 5 and 5 a.m., until  7:30-ish, it is possible to be outside and not feel as if one is about to suffocate.

109 in our little 'burb on Friday, an all-time record. I'm staying in.


I don't write much about politics here anymore. Looking back over four years of blog posts, I can see that I used to weigh in on politics more than I do now.  I wrote a number of political pieces during the last presidential election.

I am still a political junkie of sorts, with great interest in the political process, but for the most part these days I keep my opinions to myself.

It's a policy that has evolved over the years -- one that has, obviously, changed a good bit even since starting this blog.  I used to be almost always willing to enter into political interaction and also willing to express my opinion without hesitation.

Today I shy away from those discussions, other than to make comments of a general nature. I don't display yard signs and/or bumper stickers.

I'll periodically write about politics in my column but I made a decision early on, after getting that gig, that I would make observations rather than voice opinions. 

I came to this place for a number of reasons. Some of them are:

-- I was getting way too emotional about it.  I didn't feel good after heated political discussions.

-- I would often voice opinions without having all the facts.

-- As far as possible, I want to be at peace with all. Debating politics was not getting me there.

-- Too many times I would equate my political views with Christianity. Although my faith is very important to me and plays a part in every part of my life, including my political views, I know that there is room for disagreement and differences of opinion among Christians. Jesus is not Republican or Democrat (as much as many in each camp would like to call him a member), liberal or conservative. There are some Gospel passages that would make him out to be both, by today's standards. In some ways he was radical and I want to be radical as he was, but I don't want to ascribe a label to him.
There's really  more to it than that but those four bullet points represent a large part of where I am today.

I have no problem with people who still enjoy a good political discussion or debate. In fact I welcome it, because those opinions inform me and give me food for thought.


With all of that said, I do have some feelings about the Supreme Court's heath care decision that was just handed down.  I'm going to mull over it a few more days, then come back and express some of those thoughts. Stay tuned.