Smelly Gym, Smelly Gym

What are they feeding you? We went into the Gym this week, Bea had recently but it had been my first time back since I started martial arts. We decided to wait until the 5 – 7 rush was over and headed there after 8. The smell when we walked in was unreal. I am not sure if there was 2 really smelly guys or if there was a witches brew of body odor that just got stronger over time.

Gyms are always somewhat smelly, but I swear this was worse than locker room after a team practise The thing is that other than leaving the place, the only thing we could do was find machines away from people and just try to get used to the smell. Most deodorants say that they can work all day, but people if you head to the gym after work, apply a little more… for everyone else that has to breathe.

Help the Parents

I first heard about 40 and 50 year old moving back to their parents house from a TV reporter. I then did a little digging (read, went to google) and found this article attacking the poor writing of the AP article. Both of them are good to read, but they still fail to address the human factor in the story.

Why is it so negative to get help from your parents?

The American mentality of individualism and independence has made the family structure so negative that people are ashamed of living with their parents. I have laughed at the jokes about Tony Kansas City living in his Mom’s basement and the constant harassment in the internet of anyone that is a male still living with his parents. I can assure you with great certainty that if I had not had to move out when my parents got divorced, I would have lived them for a while longer. It is financially smart to either help your parents out or let them help you. Financially I have done both, I have helped my parents out when they needed it and I have also been helped immensely by them after I moved out.

One of the most bizarre things that I heard when I first moved to the US was the common theme amongst my classmates in High School about wanting to move out. Not just to go to college move out, but to move away from their parents as soon as they could. I placed most of it to late rebellion, like kids that pack up their toys and want to run away but just go around the block. Then I got a little older and started to hear from parents that talked about their kids like products with an expiration date. Many of the people I knew that had kids referred to the day when their kids finally moved out as the day their real life started.

I then realized that it is a reality of the American culture to kick the little birds out of their nest so they can learn to fly on their own. Even though we are mammals, the American culture does not think of family as a pack.

One of the scary trends that I have wanted to talk about for a while and will hopefully have time to expand on is how many of the people I know feel that their kids are going to be a burden to others. I grew up with kids around me, cousins over at my house or all of us over at our grandparents was the thing to do in the weekend. Kids tend to entertain each other. Here though, every time someone is going to spend time with us and they have kids they start apologizing in advance for their kids, and that is even if they have the courage to overcome the guilt of having other people be “bothered” by their kids.

Serious, people feel like their kids are their problem and they will bother others so much that they should not have a social life. A kid is going to act out the first time they start feeling comfortable in someone else’s place… but as long as they parents start setting some rules that go with the homeowner tolerance it should work out. I am pretty flexible, as long as the kid is not pulling the cat’s leg they are pretty much ok. I don’t have any ancient Chinese vases that will be irreplaceable, and if there is something I am in fear of getting broken… I just put it away.

Before this starts feeling like it is going in a tangent I will make the connection. I feel that the American culture has deviated from what a family is really supposed to be. If you start feeling like your kids are a huge burden that need to be babysat at home so you can socialize you have the wrong picture. Your friends, even those without kids should grow up beyond the I have a house that belong in an ikea calendar (see Fight Club) and have you over WITH your kids. If they are your friends it is time for them to get to know your kids, they are not going away or moving out for at least 18 years.

On the other side of that coin I see more and more of my peers being “burdened” by the thought of their parents or grandparents getting old and the guilt associated with having to put them in a nursing home to take care of them. I think that if more 40 and 50 year olds had their parents live with them so they can take better care of them it would solve that problem… I think that is what most of the rest of the world does it… so why is it so taboo here to actually take care of or live with your family?

Cigarette hangover

If I had drank I would have totally blamed the killer headache I had yesterday on alcohol, but I only had one beer and it was only after a good dinner. I had one of the worse headaches in a while purely due to alcohol.

I have smoked before, and quit completely a little over a year ago. I knew how bad cigarettes were back then, but I chose to smoke them because I was addicted mostly mentally. I had quite before for years at a time, but was always pretty willing to light one up during social gatherings.

Kansas is now mostly smoke free, but the Missouri side still has places where you can light one up. I had complained before that my clothes smelled bad, but that was the only side effect that I could complain about after being around smoke. I did not say anything to the people I know that smoke because I did not want to be labeled as one of those people that used to smoke and now bitches about it.

After you give up smoking, you realize how much you are missing when it comes to being able to taste food properly again. You are also able to smell other smokers as soon as you enter into their cloud. It is amazing how much that smell lingers on your clothes. I had always thought that bars should be places where people should be allowed to have a smoke specially because I was a social smoker, however now I am glad that most of the watering holes around me are smoke free.

Do the Fridays Feast

Come and dine with me.

Appetizer
Given the choice, would you prefer to live in the country or in the city?
I am still wrestling with this question actually. I do not mind the suburbs but love the proximity to all the entertainment and restaurants that the city has. Not having neighbors and being able to have animals is a great appeal for the country. The cool thing is that I might be able to eventually get a little out of both. City does win though if it was one extreme or the other.

Soup
Who is the cutest kid you know?
Its a tie between all of the kids from my sister’s kids and Bea’s brother’s kids. They are all super cute, and you can see them in our flickr accounts if you are our friend.

Salad
Fill in the blank: I couldn’t believe it when I heard ___________.

That leasing a car is actually not a very good money decision.

Main Course
If you could star in a commercial for one of your favorite products, which one would you want to advertise?
The Nintendo Wii for sure… maybe Animal Crossing Wii coming out.

Dessert
What type(s) of vitamins and/or supplements do you take on a regular basis?
B Complex supplement, a Multivitamin, and Fish Oil.

Using Cash

I have recently tried to start using cash instead of the debit card. At first it seemed like a huge inconvenience having to go to the ATM to take out cash when I could use the debit card pretty much anywhere now. If I bought a coffee, I just passed my card, if I bought gas I just passed my card.

Money management has been a huge issue for me in the past. Thankfully it has been years since I had a bounced check, but it was a very stressful situation every time I did not know how much money I had in the bank. The internet helped that a lot because I can check my balance even via phone. I have also learned to do things a lot differently than I used to.

Taking cash out has helped tons. It really hurts to see a 10 dollar bill disappear by just a single visit to the coffee house. Then I start to remember that the banks have a huge marketing machine that has made it uncool to pay with cash.

I remember a conversation I had with someone I know makes a lot of money and owns their own company with revenue in the millions. He told me a story about someone that had wanted to pay their employees just once using cash. He would give them the before take home amount, and then make them go through a series of booths where they would have to pay all of the deductions from their paycheck. I think may people, myself included, rarely check out their pay stub specially if it does not change amounts. We learn to live on take home and don’t realize what percentage of our check actually goes to all the deductions.

The first time I saw a commercial about using the check card as a credit card I thought, very cool, no more checks or cash. Now that I had time to think about it, I think it just really disconnects you from your hard earned dollars for the sake of convenience. It makes it almost painful to have to create a budget because you think having the information online is enough.

A little known fact about check cards is that they are not protected like credit cards are. If they are stolen and your bank account is wiped clean, it can take months to get that money back if you are lucky. I am not advocating the use of credit cards because I think debt is the devil, but I am advocating you try to use cash. Don’t buy into the marketing that banks have so cleverly disguised as a well choreographed dance that you will interrupt once you pull out cash.

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