July 21, 2008

Crabby's Shocking Night Life Revealed

[By Crabby]

It is rare that I write a blog post that is 100% enthusiastic about something.

And don't worry, it's only temporary--still no plans to change the blog's title to "Cheerful Fitness!" anytime soon. Nor do we plan to decorate our blog home with cute kittens, unicorns, or fairy princesses.

(This is more Crabby's style).

But it occurred to me that I have a favorite fitness activity that I've rediscovered, and I've been enjoying it immensely for the past couple months. Remarkably, this activity is (a) healthy and (b) fun and (c) free, so I have to talk about it!

(And no, this is not the healthy, fun, free activity that takes place in the bedroom. You all know about that one already.)

So what is this curious pastime that has me all cheerful and gushy all of a sudden?

Summer Evening After-Dinner Walks.

I LOVE them!!!

Oops, sorry--not sure how that happened! No perky cuteness is allowed at Cranky Fitness.

Anyway, part of my enthusiasm is probably due to the novelty of East Coast summers. Most of my summers had been spent in the San Francisco Bay Area--which means no yucky heat and humidity during the day (hooray!) but also: no warm nights to stroll around in. You can stroll, but, well, you better take a jacket and you're probably not going to have much company.

But now that I'm back east again, how can I justify sitting my ass on the couch and watching t.v. after dinner? It's so lovely outside!

(Damn! How the heck did that thing sneak in? There must be some kind of security breach!)

What was I saying?

Oh right. Summer walks.

As it happens, I'm lucky enough to live in a neighborhood perfectly suited for evening strolls. We're living in a resort town which is (a) scenic; (b) safe; (c) walkable; and (d) full of other enthusiastic evening walkers. Many of them are on vacation and so they're totally drunk off their asses in a very good mood.

Even better--well, this is Provincetown. Mixed among the eccentric evening parade of tourists and locals (we get ALL kinds here) are the paid entertainers, who must circulate energetically in order to sell tickets or earn tips. So we have a multitude of elaborately costumed drag queens; scantily clad male strippers; witty and/or loud-mouthed stand up comedians; earnest folk singers, and even circus burlesque performers, all out showing off and brightening things up.

(And we saw Martina Navratilova the other night, being all smiley and friendly! Tacky hicks that we are, we gawked. I'm not good at the pretend-you-don't notice-the-Famous-Person game. When the Lobster points one out (because I never see them first) I get ridiculously excited).

However, even when I've lived in other East Coast locations with no drag queens or strippers or lesbian tennis icons, I still enjoyed our warm summer evening strolls.

Why do I like them so much?

Well, some reasons are boring and practical: I don't crave dessert like I do when I'm sitting at home, wishing dinner weren't over already. I sleep better. And I burn a few extra calories without it feeling the least bit like a chore.

But I think what really motivates me is that I feel more a part of the physical world, and less like a passive consumer of manufactured, electronic entertainment. And perhaps it's weird, but there's something that feels vaguely transgressive about being outside at night. Maybe because as a kid, I was allowed to run free on summer days, but it was understood that all children had to be home by dark. Or else, unnamed bad things might happen.

So to be outside roaming around at night, even as a grown up? I feel like I'm getting away with something.

Does anyone else like to take after-dinner walks when the weather is good? Seems like there are a million reasons why they might not work for everyone. Kids, jobs, weather, chores, safety concerns...

Oh crap. I give up.

Anyone have any comments for our new blog, Cheerful Fitness?


  1. first, for some reason the mere mention of the words NIGHT LIFE made me recall that old disco song (anyone?) I LOVE THE NIGHT LIFE. I LOVE TO BOOOOGIE.

    and I do adore the after dinner walks with the bullmastiff dragging one arm one direction & the Toddler Tornado yanking in the other.

    good times.


  2. I too love evening walks. In Utah, this seems to be when the temperature abates a bit, though not much. I love how calm things feel. You get to see people on their porch, while your dog feels like right there is the best place to go pottie and you realize you forgot the doggie bags. I also feel this is a perfect time for talking with the better half and the kids. And yes, I like the few extra calories.
    I also love pictures of kitties, a lot... In case my blog hasn't given that away.

  3. Yup. There's not a better time for a nice stroll as after supper, early evening. Even my curmudgeonly self enjoys that.

  4. The Bag Lady loves the after-dinner stroll! Hers is probably slightly different, though, entailing as it does, avoidance techniques (do NOT place foot without scanning area first...) :)

  5. The evening walks are the best time for me to check out the neighbors landscape and ensure that my flowers are still the prettiest in the neighborhood. (I know I'm horrible but I can't help it!)

  6. I like to go out walking in the evening. My hubby and I had been walking every night and then we got busy and stopped placing priority on it. Just yesterday we said we need to get back at it.

    Your timing was perfect, although I doubt we will see any drag queens or famous people on our walks. Although I must say, there is this one group of punk-y teenagers that look rather interesting.

  7. Your night walks sound like the best thing since the traveling variety show!! I am so jealous! Here in suburbia (disturbia?) we have no sidewalks much less drag queens. You just made me miss the city in big, big way. Sigh.

    Evening walks are a fab idea though and you may have just inspired me to try it again. Who knows? Maybe I'll see somebody famous! Like...Prince? He's from MN!

  8. the whole family had been going on walks out in the country.....about 2 miles....every night after dinner dishes were done. But the last few weeks here in the midwest it has been dangerously hot and humid so we haven't and I really miss it. I am so looking forward to a little cool down so we can start again. Instead, we turn on some tunes and dance in the living room ;) The kids love this too but man, I wish our living room was bigger....I trip over kids all the time!

  9. Celebrity spotting AND calorie burning? Gimme gimme gimme!

    Your walks sound idyllic - I wish it were like that round here. We have a beautiful park but at nightfall it is the exlusive terrain of crack dealers. Viva life in the city :0(

    TA x

  10. Yup, before breakfast, before dinner and sometime after dinner.. when Benny is around. Even without the dog, it's my time to get out and hope for some nice photos.

  11. Even walks after a steak dinner are great. In addition to fitness, it allows you to fart in the open air thus being less offensive to your companion and home furnishings.

  12. I too thought we'd see you rounding a stripper pole.

    Night time walks: what a great way to connect with your spouse too!

  13. Evening walks = mosquito bites.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky, doing her part to raise the Crankiness Quotient around here

  14. Theoretically, evening walks sound nice (though it would be even nicer if I had someone to walk with, but that's a whole other issue). But then, you factor in how late I normally get home on top of my television addiction (during the regular season I record about 25-30 shows a week), and I never make it out for walks. I just stick with my 15 minute walk to the train in the morning, and sometimes home, unless I take the bus. I have a very nice bike path by my house, but it's very dark and scary (and completely unlit) after dark, so that nixes that.

    So glad you rediscovered the wonderful walks though!

  15. Thanks Mizfit, now that song is STUCK in my HEAD. *sigh*
    I will walk again in the evening when the humidity goes below 1000000000%. Summer in D.C.! oh yay!

  16. Alas, most nights I am at work until nineish, which seems to be the cutoff for evening walks, because usually at that time of the night I can't get anyone to walk with me. But on the rare occasion I am not sitting at a desk at optimum evening walk time, I love going for walks at about sunset. Unfortunately, evening walks tend to set off a pavolovian response in my family for Dairy Queen.

    I've only been to Provincetown once, on Fourth of July a few years ago, and of course I'd heard about the goings on there, so it wasn't unexpected and made for some good people watching, but I wondered if it might be a bit exaggerated because of the holiday, but your evening walks make my fourth of July sound pretty tame.

  17. You saw Martina?! I love her. I saw her speak at a fitness industry convention once, and she was beyond awesome. I was close enough to read telepromoter and she went off-topic quite a few times, giving her real opinions of things. That woman is not afraid to speak her mind, and I love that.

    And yes, night walks are great! This time of year in the Midwest, it's the only time of day to get out. I went running at 6 am this morning, and even then it was a sweatfest!

  18. "Cheerful Fitness"? shudder
    And on a Monday, too. What is the world coming to.

  19. You said "we have a multitude of elaborately costumed drag queens; scantily clad male strippers; witty and/or loud-mouthed stand up comedians; earnest folk singers, and even circus burlesque performers, all out showing off and brightening things up."

    And you gave us pictures of a kitten and a unicorn??

    Crabby, your standards are slipping!

    When the climate is right, I love after dinner walks, and I don't mind the occasional before breakfast walk, although that is a much rarer occurrence.


  20. Totally. I'm all about the after-dinner walks. And for all the reasons you mentioned, plus, I get some quiet time with the spouse.

    Sadly, we get no drag queens or folk singers. We do, however, get our fill of neighborhood doggies of all varieties. Since we only have Cats, it's nice to meet a friendly dog with a waggly tail.

  21. I have legs, therefore I walk! Nice post, Crabby-not!

  22. I personally love mid summer night walks ♥ My neighborhood is so boring though...we live out in the country, but in town and in a subdivision thats not to big, so after about the 3rd lap around the neighborhood...it starts to look the same. I wish I lived in a big city, I think it would be so much more fun!

  23. i enjoy evening walks, but i liked the ones i took in boston while in college, better. maybe because it was a lively city and not just a boring neighborhood like now.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Hmmm.. so the chocolate/marshmellow ice pops aren't good for the evening walks huh?

    This isn't a bad idea, it's a good way to connect with my teenage children. Ok.. You've sold me on it. Every Mon-Weds-Fri (that I'm not about trapsing the town) I'll walk. Heck, I could probably take the little ones. I'll let you know how that goes!

    Oh, and those cutesy things will sneak up on ya! Spam blockers don't hold them back, I've tried!! :)

  26. Ohhh, LOVE the apres-dinner walks! (That's French. I'm tryin' to get sophisticated. Is it working?)
    We have a dog and a very walk-able neighborhood, so that's the perfect excuse for me to get up off my butt and walk. But we also like to go downtown, nearby, and walk the kids around. There are lots of people around, a bunch of restaurants with outdoor tables, and other folks walking around. And a farmer's market on Thursday evenings!

  27. All this talk about lesbian tennis stars as made me renew a vow to visit Cranky Fitness at least 3x more per day.

  28. We're now in a neighborhood that has a very small-town feel but yet has lovely bungalows to gawk at, so we love to take evening walks to check out the nightlife (or what there is of it). It is a nice way to wrap up the day, I must agree.

  29. Wish I could "drag" you all on my walks with me!

    Terrie, posting actual pictures would mean having to take a camera and remembering which end to point, so I guess you're stuck with unicorns.

    And Holly, the punky teenagers at least sound promising--do they still have Goths or is that over now?

    And Mary Anne, thanks for keepin' it Cranky so everyone knows what blog we're at.

    Nitmos, we'll have to see if we can keep up the gratuitious use of the word lesbian in every post, just to make sure the male strippers don't frighten you away.

  30. Hey Crabby,
    The other night I dropped my daughter off at Guides and was overcome by the need to do just that and, walking through the less trodden field in our local country park, I was amazed to see literally hundreds of cute fluffy bunny rabbits gnawing the grass in the fading light...just about made my night, till I happened upon some 'hoodies' trying to make off with the metal signs by the entrance...sigh...

  31. "Nor do we plan to decorate our blog home with cute kittens, unicorns, or fairy princesses."

    You know that if you did my daughter would demand that I come here more often.

  32. I live in the SF Bay Area (Santa Clara Co.) and love to walk after dinner. It's a good way to see what's new and changing in the neighborhood, and exchange pleasantries with other neighbors who we wouldn't normally see.

    Yesterday evening we walked to the elementary school down the street and hit some baseballs on the field with our almost 5-year old. We didn't walk home until 9PM when it gets dark. That was so much fun, he asked to go again tonight.

    You definitely need a jacket or sweatshirt though. Hot summer nights are really rare; I think I remember there were more of them when I was a kid.

  33. Suburbia is boring to walk in, but most evenings I take my cat for a walk around the complex. He loves it, I get eaten alive by mosquitoes. I don't imagine I burn a lot of calories - well until he gets spooked and then I have to run to keep from choking him.

  34. LOVE after dinner walks. Passionately. Also nighttime walks. And in the early morning... and at midday... :)

  35. I love the after-dinner walk, too! This summer, my husband and I have been taking them alone because the children are finally old enough to be at home by themselves for a short time. It's almost like we're dating again.

    The best part is that it's now become a habit. I consider it my daily bonus workout.

  36. Crabby doesn't seem quite crabby today! LOL

    I love evening walks to, but do not indulge at the moment. It was 102* at mid-day today, and the humidity is high here... I'm a wuss.

    (OTOH, I go out before dinner and rollerblade for my official cardio o'the day -- go figure!)

  37. "we'll have to see if we can keep up the gratuitious use of the word lesbian in every post, just to make sure the male strippers don't frighten you away"

    If we have both gratuitous lesbians and male strippers this will turn into Cheerful Fitness...for some of us anyway ; )

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  38. Barf on that cheerful b.s.
    Keep it real!

  39. I don't think I'd be drawn over here if it were cheerful.

  40. All this talk of evening walks makes me wish for summer. Maybe I should move to the north for half a year so that it's summer all year round.

  41. Yes, yes! I love after dinner walks. They're even better than after dinner mints... last longer too. :)

  42. We started going for after-dinner walks as part of my man's therapy for a torn achilles tendon. I hated going.
    Now, 8 weeks later, I actually enjoy going - even when we have to dodge doggy poop.
    The only problem is that we always seem to meet an ice cream truck and it takes all my man's strength to keep hold of my hand to stop me jumping in front of it!

  43. Summer walks?

    For that to work, we'd need a summer first.


  44. my husband and I have been taking long walks after dinner (about an hour after, so we don't upset our tummies) and I do love it. We can look at homes and daydream (nightdream?) about living there; get quality time together, get a bit of exercise; and avoid eating dessert...or at least put it off for a half-hour!

  45. Yay! I love summer walks, too!

    Of course, I sometimes combine mine with at trip to the local ice cream shop...

  46. My husband and I recently started after dinner walks twice a week because we're too lazy to do it more than that. Lately it's been so obnoxiously hot/humid here in the WashDC suburbs, that we've stayed inside and vegged in front of the TV.


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