Friday, April 19, 2013

I was the head lifeguard...

yes, me.

It's no secret that I don't look like the strongest swimmer out there...and, I wasn't. I was the weakest swimmer, actually. I also had the worst swimming time. I also looked and was the weakest, just in terms of general muscle health.

During a lifeguarding class, my lifeguard partner (who is now my best friend, Danielle) told me, while practicing her skills as I feigned drowning, that saving my life was equivalent to dragging a stick out of the water. She was concerned about how her abilities would hold up in a more real world scenario.

What was even more concerning though was my lack of any recognizable skills.

Every other lifeguard except for me had been on the swim team in high school. Every other lifeguard could swim 20 laps in under 10 minutes. I got 10:06, promptly slit my wrists and then tried again the following week. To be fair though, the lifeguard swimming next to me did most of his 20 laps using the backstroke...and, that was fine and allowed. Because, if someone is drowning and it's your responsibility to swim out and save them, the backstroke is clearly the best option for a successful completion of that task.

So, this all begs to question, why did I become a lifeguard and how did I then become the head lifeguard? Obviously that journey involved a whole lot of careful traversing which is now worthy of a blog post? Welllllllllll, not really.

The short version is that during my junior year of high school, my mom thought I'd make a good lifeguard. I believed her because I was decent at swimming, and I had made it all the way from "minnow" to "shark" during those lessons at the, there had to be something untapped there. Luckily, I was also very interested in sitting in a chair all summer long and working on my tan while getting paid a pretty high hourly rate.

The decision was made. I then went to a one week lifeguarding class, did a pretty shitty job the whole time and ended up as a lifeguard. I then continued to do a pretty shitty job for about 4 summers in a row and ended up as the head lifeguard for summers number 5 and 6. Apparently, seniority (and maybe the fact that I was responsible), instead of an unparalleled swimming skillset, is paramount when it comes to potentially saving the lives of drowning victims. This line of thinking is good news for my future career path.

It's important to note that I wasn't a lifeguard at a beach. I was a lifeguard at a cushy pool/lake in a man-made lake community in the northwest corner of CT. It was fairly small, so after a short while, you knew everyone and became familiar with all the kids' swimming abilities. Oh, he's fine, I don't need to watch him.

The lifeguards biggest issues here had nothing to do with saving lives. It was pretty much a whole lot of "no running" and "no flips in the deep end". But, we also mixed it up with:
1) Consistently making sure the mentally handicapped 40 year old had on his water diaper any time he came to the pool
2) Carefully watching the obese man, who used an oxygen tank, sit on his noodle (because none of us knew what the hell we'd do if............)
3) Helping the weekend New Yorker kids find their nannies when their mothers were no where in sight
4) Gossiping - that was also very important
5) Making everyone get out of the pool for 30 minutes at even the slightest sound of thunder

My biggest challenge as head lifeguard was getting teenagers to show up to work according to the schedule I made each week. Who would have thought teenagers would be unreliable? Ohhh, you got drunk aaaand high last night? What nerve I have for scheduling your shift at 11am...please, proceed with taking the day off. That's my bad. 

Turns out my actual lifeguarding skills weren't that important after all.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Well, yes, I do have what some might consider above average looks, but that's neither here nor there.

What I mean to say is:
Smoking cigarettes...
Gross! Vom! Uncool! Waste of money! Cancer! Smelly! Stupid! Waste of time! Puke! Ugh! Trashy! What year is it?!

These are pretty much all my non-deep, surface layer thoughts on smoking. 

I'm honestly baffled any time I see someone above teenage age smoking. Sure, I'm aware it's super addictive, and I'm not a smoker, so I don't reeeeeally know what it's like. But, I sure as hell know how effing stupid it is for a plethora of reasons.

Back in the day, before people really knew how bad smoking was, it was like, the coolest thing ever. When my grandmother found my mom's matches in her pocket one day while doing laundry, my grandmother was like, "Yay, now I have someone else to smoke with"...seriously. It still sometimes seems cool when I'm watching "Mad Men" or some sort of indie film...but, then I remind myself of the sentiments explicitly stated above, and I come full circle. Just to put things in perspective, I'm 30, and my mom was allowed to smoke cigarettes in her hospital bed while I, a newborn resting snuggly inside a Christmas stocking (because I was born on Christmas Eve), lie beside her. That was only 30 years ago!

And, you used to be able to smoke on an effing airplane. Because a flying object in the sky is a great place to have some sort of fire-y little torch in your hand. Planes stay up in the air by sheer magic and wizardry (at least I think so), so let's test our luck even farther.

At my job, I'm in a department of about 5 people, including me. So really, 4 people, excluding me. Why am I doing math? God, I hate math (not as much as I hate smoking though), but that little subtraction problem was easy.

Are they all fat chefs you might wonder (all fat chefs smoke, FYI...just watch an episode of "Hell's Kitchen" and prove me wrong)? No! Although, it would be nice to have 4 chefs around me at all times while I tend to the administrative duties. That'd be the life. I'd have a bunch of delicious food, and they'd all die an early death due to the smoking, and then I can take over and get a lot of money. Huh?

Wow. The point is, all 4 of these people smoke! WTF!?! They are all pretty much my age too. Am I the only one that got the fucking memo?? Where the hell am I? Central Florida? Oh, riiiiiiiiiiight. Touche, self.

At one of my previous jobs at an advertising agency in Connecticut, there were about 50-60 people that worked there, and not a single person smoked. I kid you not. It was the best thing everrrr. I was so happy everyone was so smart (at least in that regard).

My parents both smoked for about 20 years, and now you'd never know it. They don't seem like smokers at all. Nowadays, they're into juiced kale, chia seeds, Dr. Oz, gluten free diets, they have 15 bikes of different varieties, etc. But, like I said, back when they were younger, it didn't seem nearly as bad, and everyone smoked.

I've tried smoking. I used to smoke 'socially' at some points in college while I was drinking. But, even then, it was because I was already kind of drunk and looking for something else to do...because smoking makes perfect sense under those circumstances. I never got to the point where I actually enjoyed it though, got anything from the nicotine, or bought my own packs. It actually would give me a headache a lot of the time.

I'm not a genius, but I'm assuming that's the way it starts for many people that still smoke up until now. It's just that, they probably have more addictive personalities than me, persevered a little more, maybe had some issues going on, got a little more into it, started buying their own packs, etc. And, then they're hooked before they know it. I mean, I do get why it happens.

It's just that, once you get to the age of say 25 or so, for the love of Mother Nature, fucking quit!!!!!!!! I know you have to be "ready" and it's hard, but have some self control and self respect and do it. It's worth it for so many reasons!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Controlling Birth

By the looks of Facebook (with people in my age group), particularly this time of year with babies dressed up as bunnies or sitting in a basket full of eggs, you'd never think birth control was even an option. But, it is, so most people in my age bracket are obviously having children willingly? That's a new concept I'm getting used to as I embark on my journey of being 30!

No, seriously, I know some people want to have kids and think they're a blessing and all that jazz. Take Mrs. Duggar, for example...who is not my friend on Facebook, nor anyone's friend, nor a good example of pretty much anything. But, still, look at the woman. I think she just had her 18th kid or something heinous like that. Well, now that her whole vagina has exited her body simply by being too flappy and just falling right out, she wants to adopt. I swear, I heard this on the radio recently. So crazy. This woman looooves kids. Who the fuck cares that population growth is exponential, your children will likely follow the same bad example and have millions of kids themselves, there's no way you can possibly give 18 kids everything they deserve in life, your newest kids are actually being raised by your oldest kids, etc.? Who gives a shit about all that? Minor details. This woman thinks she's going to heaven, but she'll be going straight to hell. Her husband too.

Anywayyyyyy, the point of this post is birth control. Since I don't intend to have a child of my own sitting in a basket full of eggs by next Easter, I'm a big fan of birth control. Aaaaand, seeing as I just went to the gyno for my annual (well, when I say "annual", that implies I go annually, but I hadn't gone in two years, so yeahhhhh, shhhhhh...), I decided to ask about birth control while I was there.

Can I just mention that my gyno's office was bright pink...because women go there, and all women LOVE pink and vaginas are pink. At least, these are the reasons I imagine were specified when they were trying to decide on the building color.

So, I was on the pill in the past for a few years, and I hated it. I hated having to take it every day, I hated putting fake hormones into my precious body, I hated having a fake period, I hated not living on the edge and being surprised each month (jk). So, off the pill I went, and condoms were the next easiest answer...super easy answer for me actually, haha.

Anyway, when I was at my "annual", I was asking about birth control options aside from the pill. I know there are tons these days, but I made the mistake of not googling any of them first. Normally that's the first thing I do (doctors loooove that..."well, I read on that you're silly goose and your 8 years of extended schooling!"), but birth control options isn't exactly the funnest google search in the world, so I was probably volunteering drinking/having sex the night before my appointment instead.

Here are the horrible birth control options (some of them, anyway):
~ Well, there's the pill...terrible
~ Condoms...terrible
~ Women's condoms...uhhhhh? nope
~ Shots...not only do you have to get a shot every 3 months, but you'll most likely get fat from them
~ way, that's just a fancy way of saying "sticker"
~ There are plenty more I'm leaving out (like the NovaRing) that are equally as bad

Ok, so those listed above are the worst ones. But, this one also sounded pretty bad...the ParaGard Copper IUD. The way this little gem works is it gets inserted up you WHILE YOU HAVE YOUR PERIOD, and the device causes an inflammatory response in your uterus. Already, this sounds great. Essentially, this inflammatory response then makes your uterus so inhospitable to sperm that a baby could never possibly grow in such a god awful environment. That's convenient because I love to poison myself and bonus, cancer usually has a lot to do with an inflammatory response in the body, so let me willingly go ahead and do that. Also, it'd be extremely comfortable to have a device inserted into me while I have my period. That would be so fun! Sounds like a well rounded example of everything I enjoy.

It kind of reminds me of those commercials with a million random, horrible, side effects that makes you wonder why you'd even take the drug in the first place. Like this:

Sadly, the best option sounds like Mirena...which is another device (that looks extremely similar to a chicken wishbone) that gets inserted up you, but instead of causing an inflammatory response in your uterus, it uses hormones (like the pill). It stays there for up to 5 years (and when you take it out, it's supposedly reversible), and the hormones make your uterus so thin, that again, a baby would never be able to grow and thrive in such an environment. A lot of women don't even have their period while they are on it because there is hardly any uterus to shed. Now, not having to worry about birth control and not having a real period for any length of time sounds awesome, but maybe I'm just old school or a hippie...because something about having a foreign object inside me for YEARS and something about my body not having its normal period, just doesn't sit right with me.

P.S. Please do not take my thoughts, opinions, or "medical advice" seriously...however, I am a, there's that.