pump, pump…pump it up

Everyone who enjoys working out has gym grips (etiquette, people in the gym, all that).  I’m no exception, of course.  I can’t stand people at the gym.  I’ve belonged to my fair share of gyms – my personal favorite being the Powerhouse gym I used to go to in Queens.  It was this big, two level gym that had weights.  And you went there to work out.  And it was run by these smokin hot twins who were covered in tattoos.  Sure, it closed down for a few days because of an “alleged steroid drug bust” (whatever) but they comped us those days…so I’m cool with that. 

Now, I’ve belonged to both gyms in the town I live in (not at the same time, of course) so I can easily compare the two.  I stopped going to one because the building we moved into had a gym, which served its purpose for a while.  After a while I got bored of watching pastey old doughboys bicep curl the 10 pound weights, grunting, sweating, and watching television.  Give me back my commercial gym!

  1. No One Cares What You’re Lifting.  No one.  Unless you’re making a friggin scene at the gym.  If you spend five minutes preparing to deadlift, and grunt while you’re doing it, and only have 2.5 pound weights on the bar…you’re an idiot and you deserve to get stared at.  
  2. Don’t get in other people’s way.  Its so annoying.  Its like when you’re walking down the street, and you just stop, and then someone walks into your back.  Pay attention to the people around you!  Don’t be an idiot.
  3. Don’t come to the gym looking like a hobag sweetie.  Cmon.  If you can come to the gym in full makeup, and not ruin it when you’re working out – either you have the most wonderful, streak proof/water proof/sweat proof makeup in the world – or you’re not working out and you’re trying to be cute.  
  4. Don’t stink.  If you don’t understand, then you’re one of the people who stink – get deodorant.
  5. A few weeks ago I was working out with a friend of mine and we were setting up the military press rack when some guy comes over.  “I had my water there, I’m about to use the machine”.  FIne.  We strip our weight, and step back.  Homeboy went and took his sweet ass time – about five minutes between each set.  He wandered around between sets, talked to his friends, all the stuff you do at a gym.  He didn’t let us work in with him and KNEW we were waiting….and then didn’t strip his weights when he was done.  Don’t do that.
  6. Put. Yo Shit.  Away.  Sure, I have OCD and my weights are all racked in order.  And I fix them.  But you don’t have to do that.  Just don’t leave them on the floor.
  7. Wipe. Yo Shit. Down.  There’s nothing more repulsive than walking up to a bench and seeing a big, wet, ring of sweat.  You’re disgusting.
  8. Unless you want to know what a 25lb plate to the back of the head feels like, sweetheart, don’t eyeball me.  That should actually be rule #1.  Oh!  And if you’re one of them shredded boys, take off your shirt when you do pull ups. Thats rule #1A.

mawwwwwwage

Recently I went to a friend’s wedding.  During the ceremony, and the reception there after, you could literally see the happiness shooting off this fella and his bride. If I had that hippy-dippy ability to read people’s aura’s, theirs would be a blazing hot pink surrounded by rainbows. It was great to see, and it made me reflect on the past few weddings I’d been to.

 

But the Background should be pink

But the Background should be pink

 

A friend of mine got married a little over a year ago.  And we had been friends for a really long time.  I’m talking, upwards of a decade.  In that situation, you really want nothing more than to be thrilled and excited your friend was getting married.  He found the person he wanted to share the rest of his life with, hooray!

(This sort of ties into my previous post, about my inability to sugarcoat things, and if I should even say anything…the quandry…blah blah blah )

A while before my friend walked down the aisle, I met his then-girlfriend-soon-to-be-fiancee.  I didn’t know her very well, but she seemed very sweet…funny, entertaining, in love – and she seemed to take good care of my friend – which is awesome.  We hung out a few times after that, and I truly enjoyed her company.

I clearly remember where everything changed.

::cue ominous music::

One evening, we gathered as a group to one of my favorite local restaurants that was doing this great event called a “Beer and Bourbon” night, where they close down the restaurant, create a special 5 course meal paired with craft beers and Bourbons.  Its so awesome.  So, SO awesome.  We were all having fun, hanging out, and my friend’s girlfriend peers over her beer and goes “JoJo.  I broke him”.  Confused, and assuming there’s a joke somewhere, I got “Well how come?  I didn’t know he was broken!”

“he’s going to marry me!”

::confusion is starting to settle in::

“…okay…that’s great!”

My friend now interjects, and tells me this little story about how his girlfriend updated her Facebook status to “engaged”, spinning a little web of deceit.  He only found out after some of his friends started to text and congratulate him, looking to portray this is a funny joke.  A gag.  Now, I am not the girl who thinks its cool to drag your man down the aisle.  It is not a good look.  Not for me, not for you – not for anyone (and I can pull off orange taffeta).  I truly believe if you are going to marry someone, they have to want to marry you.  Enough to ask.  Of their own volition.  And if they don’t, or you have to trick them into it…you’re simply setting yourself up for failure.

As the evening goes on, she continues to tell me how there is a time frame in when they will be engaged, and then married, and then have children.  If the time frame gets delayed, she has a plan to move it along…by “forgetting” to take her birth control pills.

Hard Stop Number Two.

Yeah, that’s me.  Speechless.

At the end of the day, the only thing you can do is tell your friend the truth.  Which I did.  Afterwards, I continued to hear some horrible things she was doing, and saying about people I care a lot about – people I had been friends with for a very, very long time.  I could clearly see the kind of person she was underneath the exterior she was using to blind my friend.  He couldn’t – and it put a strain on our friendship.  It got to a point where he said to me (after one particularly ridiculous incident at their wedding – mind you, I’m trying to keep this story as vague as possible.  My friends know who I’m talking about, and so will he, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings with all the repulsive details about this woman) that he didn’t think I treated his wife with the respect she deserved.

I disagree, I think I treated her with more respect than she deserved.  If it were my choice, I would never have associated with her again, after I read a text she sent to a mutual friend saying she wanted to punch my friend out – for reasons that are so insignificant and immature – or told me she wanted to trap my friend into marriage by getting knocked up.  And we haven’t spoken, really, since his wedding – which makes me a little sad.

And this, friends, is one of the casualties of not being able to censor what you think of people.

Ain’t No Sugar Coats Here

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me for my opinion.  She prefaced it with “I am asking you this because I know you are going to tell me the truth, even if I don’t want to hear it”.  And she’s right.  While I never set out to hurt anyone’s feelings (friends and family), I’m not the girl you turn to if you want someone to “yes” you, or agree with you.

We all have those friends, or those people in our lives – and we need them.  Sometimes I just need someone to say “yes, Jo, eat that entire pint of Ben and Jerrys Nutella Core Ice Cream.  You had a salad for lunch and walked the dog today so it totally burned off those calories” not “eesh…thats like 1700 calories, you know its bikini season, right?”.  But when we come down to the important things – career, advice, family, financial, marriage – if you’re doing something stupid and you don’t want to hear it, just don’t involve me in your plans.  I’ll even listen to you after it blows up, and try to help you…I’ll never say “I told you so” but deep down inside I’m thinking “I wish you just listened to me in the first place”.

I’m not unreasonable.  I know that people don’t always follow logic.  I know that you are buying a new car for $60,000 and a $500 a month car payment that eats gas and costs an arm and a leg in insurance because you really, really want it…even though you’re on a tuna fish and ramen noodle budget…I just cannot physically tell you its a good idea.  My tongue will literally turn around, crawl down my throat and choke me before I tell you its okay to wear creamsicle taffeta overlay on a corset to work.

Not OK

Not OK

 

This can become a problem, though.  One that’s been detrimental to my friendships and relationships.  It has been, on more than one occasion.  Enough of a problem that I’ve considered biting my tongue sometimes and just not saying what I felt.

Considered…but won’t.  If I become that girl who censors herself because she might be afraid her friends won’t see it for what it is - straight concern for the people I love – then my friends won’t be able to put their faith in what I’m saying to them, all the time, is honest.

I still won’t break your horns for eating ice cream though.  IF you bring me a spoon and share.

The Focus Is On ME!

A few months ago, I was selected to be in a focus group.  Yea, you heard me right – focus group.  About the LIRR. Specifically, their bathrooms.

Yahtzee.  As we’ve discussed in the past, the Long Island Railroad – while vastly impressive in the number of people it hauls to and from the great City of New York, leaves a lot to be desired.

Some of the issues with the LIRR are not railroad problems – they’re people problems.  I could talk for days…and days…and days…about some of the freaks I’ve encountered during my 10 years (and counting) commuting from different areas of the Island into the City.  I’d type them all out, but I’m already terrified I’m going to get carpal tunnel, I know that will 100% push me over the edge.

I digress.  Focus, on the focus group.  Now, I’ve never participated in a focus group before – at least not a real one.  Telling everyone my opinion regardless of them wanting it can sometimes be considered “rude” or “annoying” (HELPFUL).  These people want to hear what I have to say, and they’re going to PAY me for it.  Effn.  Awesome.

There was one caveat.  We had to actually use the rest room in Penn Station and on the train before going to the group.

If anyone has ridden any train, or been in Penn Station, you know these are two places you do NOT want to go.  Especially not as a woman.  During rush hour.  Does it count if I sneak into Penn at 4am and go then?

My first stop was the restroom at Penn.  Now, I’m a bit of a germ freak, and I have a phobia of public bathrooms.  I hate them.  I hate the floors being sticky, I hate other people hearing me pee, I hate the thought of all the heineys that aren’t mine this toilet bowl has seen, I hate the idea I may or may not have toilet paper in the stall when I’m ready to go.  I mean – there’s a lot more that I can’t stand about public bathrooms, so this is the just the tip of the iceberg.

In any event, I’m not expecting much from this restroom (boy did they deliver!), but I am keeping in mind the fact that the restroom services so many people a day…it truly does have a very hefty job to accomplish.  With an open mind, I wait on the oddly long line for the ladies room (slightly before rush hour… I can only make so much progress in a week, guys).  As I approach the front of the line, I notice an entire wing of the ladies room not being used.  And a bathroom attendant leaning against the wall looking at her phone.  Word, I’ll go back here.

If you think public bathrooms are terrifying, public bathrooms with little light are even more terrifying.  Or better, I guess, because you can’t really see whats going on…so I rush in and out, careful not to touch anything…spraying hand sanitizer in front of me on the way out to block me from any airbornes…and walk directly into a homeless woman (I assume) washing her feet in the sink.

I’m out.  Sorry.

The one on the train…well.  I guess I’ll save that for another day.

No One Wants Your Opinion

 

…except Yelp!

For those of you that aren’t aware, I love Yelp!  I love being able to share my opinion about a place, and have other people read my opinion and use that as guidance in choosing a place to eat/drink/spa on, whatever.  I also REALLY love it when people seek me out for my opinion based on my previous reviews.  I think that Yelp! is a wonderful way for people to share what their experiences are – and I use to all the time in picking out places to go – without the threat of being bothered.

FALSE.

Now, if you’re curious and you’ve tried to find my yelp page, let me help you: joeygurl.yelp.com My reviews are hilarious, of course.  They’re not always positive – but hey, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, pal.  Yelp has given the consumer a little bit of power.  With that being said, I do find it highly inappropriate for owners to contact yelpers and offer them free drinks/meals, etc in exchange for a good review – that’s just shady.  I also think it’s so shady when owners will say “come in and ask for me, we’ll take care of you”.  No!  You should take care of everyone, not just the people who actively affect your business.

Which leads me to a recent encounter I had with a business owner.  Let me set the stage for you:

Two of my girlfriends and I try to get together once a month or so for brunch or dinner.  We like to ditch the men, and find places that we haven’t tried before, because we like to eat (sorry fellas).  Now that the weather is so lovely in our tri-state area, we’ve been looking for places outside to nosh at.  This particular Sunday we decided to go the Nautical Mile in Freeport, NY.  I had never been there before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect other than waterfront dining, a few cocktails and a nice afternoon outside.

We have our brunch, and its early, so we decided to head down the mile and check out another venue for a few drinks.  After walking a bit, we came across a bar that had seating in the back and inside, but an outdoor area covered, with a live band – and it wasn’t too crowded.  So we go, it wasn’t that great (should have checked yelp), and I review:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/wet-waterfront-dining-lounge-freeport?hrid=RYVBGUJbnvVm7jUXW_DLOg

Granted, my review wasn’t nice…but it certainly wasn’t the worst review I’ve written, and I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true…I just colored it up a little bit for entertainment purposes.

Holy Hell.  The owner of the bar wrote me back, attempting to refute what I was saying…and we engaged in an email conversation that lasted entirely too long.  I blocked him, and reported him…and he logged into a different account to continue to harass me, including a threat of a lawsuit for slander.

1. Give me a goddamn break

2. Stop bothering me

3. If you don’t like my opinion, don’t read it.

there is no chance in hell I am ever going to remove or change my review.  And there’s no chance in hell I will ever go to this guys restaurant again…and if any of my friends go…good luck my loves, refer to the picture of the fella that threw up after eating his dinner there.

 

 

Never Met a Bigger Bitch Than Sandy

and I’m not talking about my old Landlord – but she was IN the running, fo’sho.

A little over a year ago my quaint little beach town was attacked by Super Storm Sandy.  Life on Long Island is pretty tame, and we don’t generally have these knock arounds by nature (sure, we have a nor’easter every so often or we lose power once in a while, but nothing of a massive proportion).  Once we got hit by the storm, though, things changed.

Cars went burning, buildings got flooded, people lost everything.  Driving through my town was like driving through Beruit – we had to navigate burnt out cars and houses and dodge the National Guard.

The weeks following Hurricane Sandy, two things that became adamantly clear:

  1. Never underestimate people – they can surprise you with their generosity
  2. They can also surprise you with their overwhelming selfishness

My friends and I did a lot of work around our island – people I hadn’t spoken to in years came from the weeds to donate time, goods, money – whatever they could – to the families that lost everything.  It truly was a sight to see.

Other people, however, were awful little fuckers.  And I have the memory of an elephant.  So I tucked some of those memories away for a later date…which will come. 

One of the best things that I got out of the storm, though, was my Beefcake.  We had started seeing each other about two months before Sandy hit, and quite honestly, if he hadn’t been around during the storm I most likely would have cussed out a lot more people than I did.  He picked me up and took me to assess the damage at my apartment, he helped my friends with their homes – he helped complete strangers with their homes -, he let me take his sweatshirts and when I needed to be mad at someone, he let me be mad at him.  He took me to dinner (dirty, exhausted, sore, and in the only pair of clothes I took with me when we evacuated…in purple crocs) and told me I looked pretty…and two months later when he mentioned moving in together….well, we haven’t looked back since.

And he doesn’t know how to use the interwebs so he’ll never know I was gushing.  BAM.

I’m BACK bisches

I’m BACK bisches.

My SUPER Super.

Let me start out by saying that my Super is genuinely a nice person. And I feel a little bit guilty about the post I’m about to write, and then I think back to how annoying he is, and I’m over it.

So I’m a pretty private person, in a lot of different aspects.  I mean, I REALLY value my privacy.  And there are a lot of things that I really don’t like – for example, I don’t like that I have to make small talk with the same person every single day even though we have absolutely nothing in common and nothing to talk about.  Literally, nothing at all to talk about.  I don’t like repeating myself over and over – if I tell you you’re allowed to use my BBQ – I mean it.  I don’t need you to ask me every single day if its okay, just fire that bad boy up and make yourself a hot dog.  If I am carrying a basket with 15 pounds of laundry in it, I don’t want to discuss the weather, I want to get inside and fold my clothes.

My super, like I said, is very nice – almost, overly nice.  He does things for me that I haven’t asked him to do, and while I appreciate it, I almost feel like I have to be nice to him because he’s constantly cleaning my grill and my windows.  And table.  And putting potted plants in front of my apartment.

My God I’m a jerk.  All those things sound great, right?  Well how about 5 o’clock this morning and I have to roll out of bed and walk my dog.  Guess what?  I don’t want to chit-chat, I want to walk my dog and go back to bed.  Or over the weekend, my friends came by and we had a BBQ – I’m not a TOTAL jerk, I invited him to come by if he wanted to join us, I had plenty of food and beer and everything…it just spiraled into a barrage of texts offering to go to the store and buy beer and food and all sorts of stuff for us.

No, Super, I simply want to give you a burger, have a few beers with you, and enjoy my friends.  I don’t want 85 different texts asking me nonsensical questions.  And, how are you getting to the store?  Not in my car, that’s for sure.

i’m a little bit country…

….and about 33% White Trash.

That’s the beauty of being me – I have a diverse enough background to allow me to make fun of just about any group of people (all in jest) without offending anyone.  White Trash?  Sure, I got some of that in my family.  Boricua?  Yea, I’m a little Puerto Rican.  We have con artists, connoisseurs, bikers, business men…the whole lot in my clan.  So I have a free range to say whatever the heck I want.

I’ve been having an internal battle the past few days trying to decide what my 70th post should be about.  Something funny?  Something serious?  Something about doing good for others?  A family story?  Work?  nahhhhhh lets talk about some history….

A few years ago, my old roommate and I decided to go to a party in Pennsylvania.  It was thrown by a friend of hers who wanted to create a new tradition.  Enter the First Annual “White Trash Bash”. 

We slapped on our most redneck comparable gear, loaded my mongrel into her black, three door Saturn and began our journey.  When we got to the party, it was pretty much exactly what we expected – loads of people drinking cheap beer in lawn chairs wearing cut off jeans and wife beaters, with a pig on a spit.  The host had activities planned (egg toss, nail-in-the-log, flip cup, beer pong, keg toss, blowing stuff up), and we settled right in, tying my dog to a tree and playing games.

*note* my old roommate was kick ass at the nail in the log game – which I hated – I won the female division of the keg toss (and immediately called my mother to tell her – boy was she proud), and we joined forces in Flip Cup, winning several heated games and the overall tournament until the other patrons kindly asked us to stop playing. 

As the night went on, we grew more and more tired.  I decided to retire to the car and take a nap – with my dog.  I should probably mention that it had rained, and we were both pretty dirty.  PeeWee and I meandered down the block to where my old roommate had parked the car, climbed in the back, pulled the Navaho blanket (wait, where did that come from?) over us, and settled in for a nap.

We were drifting off into a sweet, blissful slumber…when my phone started ringing.  “Brown Eyed Girl“, the song I used as  my old roommates ring.  “What the hell does she want?” I grumbled to myself, ignoring the call.

And she called again.

And again.

And again.

Finally I answer and ask her what she wants.  “Where are you?” She asks.

“I’m asleep in your car. What do you mean?”

“No you’re not”

“yes I am”

that banter continues for a few minutes, when I open the door to show her that I’m IN her car…and she starts laughing.  “oh man.  Get out of that car!”

So apparently at some time during the evening, my old roommate moved her car to the other side of the street.  And I was sleeping, with a dirty dog, in a complete strangers car.  Here’s the kicker – it was the same make and model as my old roommates car.  The only differences were the color (it was a dark red, hers was black, but it was night out and there were no street lights) and there were antlers and that bizarre blanket I had curled up in.

Needless to say, neither of us has gone back to the White Trash Bash.  We did host our own the following summer – but it wasn’t quite the same.

what happens in Vegas….

…stays in Vegas. 

I hate that saying.  I really, really do – because its not true.  In fact, its silly.  If you go to Vegas with the intention of misbehaving or acting like a dipstick, chances are whatever you do there will follow you home.  Pictures?  Yea, people can take pictures with friggin PENS and load them to facebook, tag your wife, and send it out to the entire INTERWEB thanks to Al Gore faster than you can put your shirt back on.  Herpes?  I’m pretty sure they don’t stay on the Strip after you’ve had a tryst with a hooker, and I know for a FACT that if you get married in Vegas, when you go home, you’re still married!

Ain’t that a kick in the pants.  They’re valid across state lines!

Anyway, every so often I like to increase the balance in my Karma bank by doing good stuff, specifically with charity.  In fact, I would have a lot more money in the bank if I wasn’t addicted to giving it away to different fundraisers – or, at the very least, I’d have a few more tattoos.  But hey, I like to share.  This season I’m doing another century ride with Team in Training called “the Ride to Montauk”  (http://pages.teamintraining.org/li/montjune12/jgerold4420) and I’ve raised about 1200 dollars (so far – my goal is 1600) for the LLS.  I like to limit myself to one event a season, mainly because the training occurs on Sundays and that seriously affects my social life in the summer (hey, I live in a beach town, and I like to drink PBRs on the beach with my friends without having to worry about being dehydrated on a bicycle in the middle of a 75 mi bike ride in 98 degree weather).

That being said, the team is going to Vegas for the fall season.  That’s right, Vegas. They’re going to do a 118 mile bike ride, through the desert, in Vegas.  And they think I’m going to go with them!  The minimum is really low, which makes it really inviting, but I’ve never been to Las Vegas before.  I don’t really have much of a desire to go there, cause I don’t really like the suffocating heat and I don’t really like being hung over, and being hung over in the suffocating heat sounds like the 7th circle of Hell for me.  I also don’t gamble, but if the opportunity presented itself, and I DID happen to go to Vegas, you can bet your Lilly white behind it wouldn’t be to ride a bike.

In fact, I’d probably come home married to transvestite sailor named Bubba.  With a new tattoo.  And a lot of pictures documenting the whole, beautiful ceremony.

Now what to write about for my 70th post!  How exciting.  I’ll try to make it a good-un.

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