Sunday, August 27, 2006

Karma has come full circle. In my last post, I said I was getting rid of "stuff" in my apartment and mentioned a drafting desk that I gave away. Just a day later, I read an ad on our neighborhood BBS for some you guessed it, free stuff. So, I looked.

Lately, I've been lamenting over selling my Schwinn spinning cycle, therefore leaving me with no way to cardio exercise in the privacy of my own home. I ended up selling that when I was going through my crash while I still lived in Los Angeles. I advertised it on Craig's List, and ended up selling it to a nice man who was a forensic accountant who at the time was working on the Nicole Kidman/Tom Cruise divorce. And no, the item up for grabs wasn't a Schwinn Spinner. It was the Gazelle Freestyle Elite, better known as the funny looking machine that the Screaming Ponytail Man sells on late night infomercials.

Shut up.

I said... Shut up.

To be honest, I was always intrigued by this machine. I know a bit about fitness, and by the looks of it, it seemed to provide a good cardio workout, incorporating the arms, or "above heart" areas that are very important and most neglected when people undertake cardiovascular exercise. Also, it's low impact. I mean, why rush sore knees, joints, and sagging eyelids and jowls? Can't say I'm in a hurry to gain those attributes.

I called the man, a total sweetheart who was moving to Arizona with his wife, and cajoled my stepfather into helping me retrieve it. All said and done, it's in my apartment and from several uses I can honestly say that the thing kicks ass. I'm not really a person who sweats a lot, or so I thought. A half hour on it and I'm dripping sweat. Even after a shower, I'm still sweating from my last half hour go on it.

I decided to try this out of desperation. My sleepless nights had gotten out of control. I was averaging going to bed at three to four in the morning and on many occasions watched the sun rise. Exercise helps regulate sleep, so I went for it. Plus, it was free.

It also spurred me to rearrange my desk/work alcove, where it fits nicely. Not only that, the arrangement is much more attractive. The machine is lightweight, and really doesn't take up any more space that I wasn't using before. I'd already weighed that option anyway and didn't give a shit. Being prone to depression and sleepless nights, I needed a jumpstart out of that cycle. Plus, I want to get back in shape. Mostly, to feel better and tighten up.

It's kind of funny because for extra money, I used to be a typist for AOL chats and other online chats. I only did one, but my training for it was with a girl who was you guessed it, doing a live chat with Tony Little. Even funnier, she had one of the most southern accents I've ever heard. Remember, I have relatives in Arkansas.

The way online chats work, is an AOL moderator fields the gazillions of questions that they get from users and picks the ones to feed to the typist. That is done via the chatroom, and is marked with symbols that identify it as a moderator question. The typist has the interview subject on the phone or in person, and he/she feeds them the questions and then types the answers. Following me? It's the typist's job to control the interview (meaning to moderate if the guest is talking too fast for them) and accurately type the answers. These were freelance gigs through a company that was a hot internet property before the second internet crash.

So, as anyone could imagine, I was anxious to see how this Southern Belle was going to handle the hyperactive Screaming Ponytail Man. Because she was training me, she made the call on speaker. A man answered who was slow spoken, mellow, and sounded like a stoned surfer dude. We figured it was Tony's assistant.

SOUTHERN BELLE: (looking at me) Is Tony there?

TONY LITTLE: (barely audible) This is Tony.

SOUTHERN BELLE and ME: (silence, looking at each other)

Only once during the conversation did he scream like the Tony Little that we knew. Otherwise, he was slow to answer and as energetic as a tortoise in a marijuana field.

My first chat was with The Monkees for Ticketmaster. I had all the Monkees on the phone, and had to type in their names and answers each time they spoke. It was hard, especially since I had to keep asking who was speaking. They were great though.

But back to my free items.

The other item the man was offering was decorative ceiling tins. They are 12x24 inches, with a repeat pattern. The great thing about tins is that they can easily be cut to any size. Luckily, I have a storage unit in the building where those are at the moment. I'd been wanting ceiling tins to add decorative detail to some of my furniture and other items.

But, I haven't given up my quest to minimalism. Looking at my apartment, that would be hard to guess. However, I threw out two contractor bags worth of junk this weekend. Small steps.

For now, I'll leave the larger steps for my new Gazelle.

No comments: