Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday workout, rules and ettiquette

Just got back from the gym. It's always really hard to get me there, I dawdle and procrastinate, but once I am there, I do try to push myself with the weights and I try to always go to the next level. I go for heavy as I can and 3 reps of 10, I don't mess around with little girly weights in many reps. What's the point?

Anyhow, I always end up getting PISSED off at the people in the gym. Norwegians are seemingly masters of creating a space around themselves where they honestly don't notice or acknowledge other people, it's like they are the only ones who exist. It's a truly unique cultural trait, I've never seen it anywhere else. They just don't see you unless they physically run over you, then they are surprised you are in their way. It's not specifically rudeness (though ohmyGOD it comes across that way) it's more a sort of self reliance and self-containment kind of thing. (People from America don't get this, and I doubt we ever will, as we are pretty much trained from birth to focus on the outside and pay attention to those around us.) This must be nice if you are the one inside the bubble, but it's INFURIATING when someone, say me, is at the gym and I just want to get on the one last machine I need to get on to finish my workout.

But on that machine is a blissfully unaware Norwegian guy, let's call him Mr Thousand Yard Stare. He does a few reps on the leg machine, then has a rest period. Does a few more reps, has another rest period. Gets out his iPhone, sends a text, has a rest, finds a song to download, whatever the FUCK it is when people dawdle on a machine. By now, I am hovering in a very obvious way. He's been on there 12 minutes. (I timed it.) He never once acknowledges my hovering, maybe offers to let me work in (do they even do that here? I doubt it as we don't ever talk to strangers in Norway) or anything. Just takes his SWEET EFFING TIME on the one machine I want to use, like it's an armchair, and then leisurely gets off it, leaving it sweaty and funky. He never acknowledges my antsy hovering. An American, from cultural guilt or whatever it is we have that makes us always refer to those around us, would've gotten out of the way and let me work in. No problem, easy peasy.

I wish I could say it's a one time occurence. It's not. It happens all the time. I get so frustrated when I go to the gym, because I like to work fast, rotating from machine to machine to free weights and around, in out and about, keeping up my heart rate and really pushing myself for that one hour. That's just how it works in the gyms I learned how to 'gym' in. I try to alter as I must, depending on who is where and the busyness of the place, but there is always one joker who thinks they own the damn gym and just dawdles. ARGH!

Drives me nuts.

Still, the benefits outweigh the frustration. I like the feeling of muscles in places that I really never felt muscular before. My butt is definitely firmer and higher. My hips are narrower. My stomach is really firm, I am having problems finding enough core ab exercises to challenge it. My arms are actually noticeably more shapely, there's definition and even some shoulder muscles happening. I feel stronger, I feel healthier and I have better stamina. My back doesn't hurt anymore (well, rarely) and oddly, I don't get heartburn anymore either. All this makes me realize that I am definitely of the body type that likes to build muscle. Aerobics never got me results like this, and never made me feel like this, either. So I guess I can put up with some Thousand Yard Stare people. (Barely.) What I really wish for is to someday have my own gym in my house, then I could go workout whenever I wanted, without having to put up with machine hoggers. Wouldn't that be nice?

Thursday, February 09, 2012

WEll, shit. Go ahead and make me homesick, why don't you, NYT?

Read this article and weep if you are a Texas expat.

Then, after you are done reading that, read this and cry some more, and then get really hungry for barbeque.

Damn. I seriously want some ribs.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The George, Liverpool St, London

IMG-20120207-01088.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120207-01088.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

Lunch at The George, Liverpool St. Strongbow and Fish and Chips. Really tasty. Good service, too.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

View of the Tower from the hotel

IMG-20120204-01057.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120204-01057.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr.

The Tower of London and the Tower Bridge at dusk. Great view from the bar on the top of the hotel.

Friday, February 03, 2012

london calling

Heading to London for a fun weekend tomorrow. Catching up with friends and family and getting to wander around my all time favorite city. I'm sharing a room with a girlfriend, and another girlfriend is coming in for the weekend, then I also get to meet up with one of my wonderful cousins and my favorite Auntie. Rich is staying here. He's giving me the weekend off. But he's gonna stay inside. Avoiding the cold.

How cold is it? THIS cold. That's fahrenheit, people!

I made sure, this trip, to pack BEFORE I had anything to drink. When we went to Berlin last October, I was slightly tipsy when I packed and ended up in Berlin with one pair of pants and 6 pairs of shoes, 2 of which were sandals. In October? I still have no idea WTF I was thinking, with that, but am pretty sure the rosé had some effect. So now I have a strict 'no drinking while packing' policy. Judging from my past performance, that is wise.

They are forecasting everything from sun to snow to rain in London, so I've packed a fairly brilliant yet compact wardrobe based on the one confirmed fact: it will be cold. Not as cold as here, in fact it will be about 25F warmer in London than here, which in normal circumstances would mean bikinis and a tan. But this winter, it means merely that I will still freeze my ass off, but not as quickly.

Brrr. Just, Brrrr.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

hearts of ice and snow

IMG-20120201-01055.jpg by karlakp
IMG-20120201-01055.jpg, a photo by karlakp on Flickr

Ice cold day in Oslo but some beauty to be had. Two hearts made from a car doing a three point turn.