March 17, 2014

Strange Adventures and Assorted Announcements




Photo:  X-ray Delta One

By Crabby McSlacker

So Happy Saint Patricks Day!  Although aside from a green shirt that makes an appearance in a photo or two, I'm afraid we're not doing much on that theme today.

This post is partly about seeking out "adventure!" But, if you are an anxious person, fear not. I haven't changed my opinion that there is absolutely nothing wrong with embracing your comfort zone, and staying way the hell away from "adventures" other people suggest if they seem too risky or otherwise unappealing.

However, there is still a lot of excitement and novelty to be had in the world from within your comfort zone.  And in fact, scooching up right to the edges of it can keep life interesting and keep your world from shrinking into something drab and confining and boring.

So how do you find an adventure that's right for you?


Some people are up for anything, but others of us are most decidedly not.

 No Thanks!
Planet Comics cover: wikipedia

Ideally, you'd probably like to seek out opportunities that are novel but don't totally scare the crap out of you, or carry too high a risk of untimely death or dismemberment, or cost so much you have to sell your children into slavery, or require you to hang out with disturbed, dangerous, obnoxious or horribly tedious people for prolonged periods of time.

Which, alas, rules a lot of stuff out.

You may be relieved to discover I'm not gonna offer up any specific advice about this, because it's all so subjective.  What's a "fun adventure" for some people qualify as a "horrifying nightmare" for others.

So how about I just plant the idea to keep your eyes and your mind open to Adventurous Opportunities, both little and big?  Plus maybe a little show and tell before I meander on down to the Announcements.

Little Adventure:

This last weekend there was a St. Patricks day thingy at the park and we went to hear some music. Which kinda sucked so we wandered away from the stage.  But guess what they had there?


I'd seen these before, and even though tiny toddlers jump right on, I hadn't quite mustered up the nerve to try it myself.  I'm a total coward when it comes to rides or slides, or anything that involves being flung, spun, tossed, flipped, hurled, or dropped from high elevations.

But this looked somewhat approachable and like it could be fun! So with some trepidation, because that's how I approach anything I haven't done before...

 

I threw caution to the wind!

First I got up-close and personal with the careful carney while he tried very hard not to do anything untoward while fastening the harness around my waist and between my legs...

 (He was cute too, which in my case was kind of a waste.)

...and then I grinned at my gal, so in case I died in a tragic bungee trampoline freak accident she'd have a recent photo for the memorial service...


And away I went, whee!



Though I gotta say, it took a fair amount of effort to keep going up and down and up and down and I ultimately found the "Work" to "Whee!" ratio a bit too high for any fantasies of a home version. But it turned out not to be the least bit scary and I was glad to have given it a shot.

Upcoming Bigger Adventure (Please Don't Hate Me! OK, Yeah, Actually You Can).

So you know how when something really awesome happens to someone who hasn't done anything at all virtuous to deserve it, you can have complicated feelings about it?

Like noticing that maybe you work hard and do the right things and no one is selling you a winning lotto ticket or giving you a surprise bonus or even cutting you two minutes slack when your parking meter expires? And yet someone you know who seems to do nothing but loaf around for a living announces yet another upcoming trip?

You might be thinking "WTF? That bitch is going off yet again on the vacation I SHOULD BE GOING ON godddamn it!" even as you are saying "wow, so happy for you, that's great, be sure to take tons of pictures!"

Well, um, in that spirit ... it does seem as though the Lobster and I are heading off for another fortuitous adventure.  Where to this time?

Here's a hint:

Sheena cover: wikipedia

And here's another one:


(I will spare you the shots of Cipro and Malaria pills as well the cute smiley bandaids we had on our arms from our Hep A and Tetanus/Diptheria etc shots).

Yep, we are going to Africa, or well, South Africa which is perhaps not as adventurous as some other African destinations but whatever. We're spending a week in Cape Town and 3 days on Safari in Kruger National Park.

What I would find even more annoying, if I weren't the one getting to go, is that this is an all-expense-paid corporate swankfest, complete with Business/First class flights and fine dining and upscale hotels and lodges and wine tasting and tours and shit like that.



Photo: Lion Sands

And what did I have to do to get in on this deal? Slave away for years and save up money? Compete in some incredibly selective contest and win a big prize?

Nah, I just married the most awesome gal in the world who happens to be a corporate go-getter. Well, somebody had to do it.

Note: it will be interesting to see what the folks in this Texas-based company will make of the big ol' dykey wife of the only female executive on the leadership team, especially during the dressy parts of the adventure.  As an introvert, and as a female who can not walk in a pair of high heels without a pratfall, who does not wear make-up, and who carries a purse as gracefully as someone taking a bulging bag of soiled cat litter out to the trash, I suspect the "fitting in" and "schmoozing" parts may prove a little challenging.

Plus, I have made great headway in my flying phobia... but yikes, LOTS of opportunities for turbulence and there will be... shudder... small aircraft involved.

But, well,  adventure is the spice of life, right?


Not This Spicy Though, I'm Hoping
Photo: X-ray Delta One

And Now, onto the Announcements!

Cranketeers--Any of You Up for a Guest Post?

With the South Africa thing, the long-ass flights involved, plus a few days stopover in the always exotic Frisco Texas, I'll be mostly spotty on the blogging from March 26th through April 11th.

If you have something to contribute, especially if it includes a few pictures, this would be an excellent time to give it a whirl, and I would be exceedingly grateful! My email is crabby mcslacker at gmail dot com.

Stay Tuned for an Awesome Giveaway this Week!

It's coming on Wednesday, open to Canadians too, and contains a very generous SIX prizes, so chances of winning are excellent.  We're talking 3 copies each of two great books, Rick Hanson's "Hardwiring Happiness" as well as "The Fit Bottom Girl's Anti-Diet Book." You will be hearing much more about both of them on Wednesday, so be sure to stop by!


Radio show!

This looks fun: the Fun and Fit gals are launching thier "Active Aging for Boom Chicka Boomers" on VoiceAmerica.com this coming Weds, March 19 LIVE 8-9am PDT (11 EDT). (It will also be rebroadcast and converted to podcasts in case you have some trivial excuse for missing it, like not getting fired from a job that feeds your family).

The topic: "Let’s Start at the Middle! Show Intro plus Midlife Weight Gain: What Can You Do About Hormones, Menopause, and Menopot?


Guest expert is Tamara Grand, whom you may know from her excellent blog Fitknitchick!

Here's the VoiceAmerica link, check it out!  But beware, sound plays immediately or at least it did for me, so turn your speakers down if you are sharing workspace and not wearing headphones.

So, any thoughts about Adventures or Anything else this fine Saint Patrick's Day?

47 comments:

  1. I laughed & laughed at the image of you carrying a purse like a soiled diaper!!! It is really just a grocery bag with extra pockets you know.
    I'm feeling really grateful today that I don't have to go on a cramped & lengthy flight to South Africa so that I can eat weird food and suffer the results just so I can suffer the flight back. Safari sound nice but not worth the price.
    I would much rather adventure with a good book while sitting in a comfy chair.

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    1. Love your take on the safari Cindy and it makes me feel less like an asshole for getting to go for free for no particular reason other than dumb luck.

      Good book + comfy chair doesn't suck either!

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  2. I think the Freebie Trip of Swank is ten kinds of awesome, and you oughta enjoy every minute of it. Seriously. Live. It. Up. I share your feelings about turbulence, and I can tell you that two or three non-drowsy (but really kinda drowsy) dramamine will make those flights much, much easier. That's how I survive business trips. No advice on the safari thing since I've yet to make it off this continent, but I really look forward to hearing about your experience. Blurry camera photos, go go! :-D

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    1. Thanks so much Heather, does the dramamine help with the Fear Factor or is it mainly about the barfy thing? Fortunately I haven't gotten airsick (so far, knock wood) but just can't convince myself the plane isn't going down every time we hit a few bumps. :)

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    2. Honestly, it helps me with the fear as well, mostly because I put on my music and go to sleep. Regular dramamine is even better if you don't mind snoozing for most of the flight. :-)

      I got airsick the first time I flew, at the ripe old age of 27. It was a regional puddlejumper flight to Dallas and we had to go through rough air above a thunderstorm. I was thoroughly mortified, but the flight attendant said it was no biggie, she'd seen it all. Just make sure you know where the baggies are!

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    3. Crabby - I totally get where you're coming from on the turbulence, small aircraft thing, BUT - there are great ways I've discovered to deal with it (one of them is going 1st class - it truly DOES help). I suspect that the long hops over and back may well end up being the most lovely, boring flights you've ever taken and that the biggest problems will be making sure the flight attendant actually wakes you for some nourishment and getting your full quota of free 'beverages' :)

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  3. Marrying in works wonders! My husband isn't necessarily a go-getter, but his company is creating a support team in Sydney, and lo and behold, as a support team lead, he is going to get sent down there to help get the team set up. YOU KNOW HE ISN'T GOING TO AUSTRALIA WITHOUT ME. So I am all about the corporate tag-along. I doubt it will involve ME getting any flight benefits, but it makes the overall trip to Australia cheaper, since we wouldn't have to pay for his flight there!

    Anyway, that will be an exciting trip, and I look forward to a trip report.

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    1. Australia? YAY!!!!! OTF, that sounds like a superb adventure, and I'm sure he'll be much happier with you there. Can't wait to hear all about it and hope you're bringing a camera!

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  4. Wow, a trip to Africa, cool. I didn't hate you until you mentioned FIRST CLASS AIRFARE! I've been to Europe 8x not in first class! Long, long flights. I've been to Egypt once (so technically I've been to Africa!) Please tell me you are getting one of those chairs that converts into a bed on the plane. I'm so jealous. Have a blast. happy to hate you for a reason other than beating me at fitness.

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    1. Yep Bob Ben, I'm told the seat goes all the way flat, which is the only hope in hell I have of getting any sleep! But I've been jealous of your cruises and adventures too so we're even! (But always happy for ya too!)

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  5. You lucky thing you!!! I am green with envy…or maybe St Paddy's Day beer? I recently became aware that I was a LOT more adventuresome than I ever thought I was. My husband has a chance to spend a couple years in China. He's not wanting to go, I would love the challenge! We've also contemplated getting an RV again. Sadly, hubby's job doesn't allow for real vacations. I, on the other hand, am having thoughts of learning to drive a big ass RV and taking off this summer with my 13 year old and the big dog and traveling to see friends and relatives. (I haven't seen my sister in 16 years!!!)

    I think that if you are not doing something horribly dangerous to yourself or others, that adding a little adventure in your life keeps you young and invigorates you! You risk becoming stagnant if you don't. And 'adventure' can be as simple as taking a class in gourmet cooking or Karate. It can be as grand as a trip to South Africa!

    I'm looking forward to living vicariously through your photos and blog postings as you travel! Wow, just Wow!!!

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    1. Sherri, whoa, RV adventures? China? Both sound like awesome ideas, I hope hubby changes his mind, or that you do the RV thing! Both are actually more adventurous than going on a corporate sponsored thingy with all the hand-holding and coddling that entails.

      If not China, you GOTTA take that cross country adventure! Or at least I'm hoping...

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  6. Death Ride GrandmaMarch 17, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Wow! What a great adventure. I dreamed of going to Africa when I was a kid. Now I am a little nervous about it, but everyone I know who went had a wonderful time. Can't wait to see your pictures. I'd make a point of staying far from Uganda, though. It makes Texas look like a blue state.

    I am jealous of the trip, but almost more jealous that you actually got to go on that trampoline thingy. It looks like so much fun! Gonna watch for one of those.

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    1. Yep DRG, Uganda is NOT on the agenda! And hope you find the trampoline flingy thingy too and get to give it a try. Probably not as thrilling as flying down a mountain on your bike though....

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  7. OMG - I'm so super excited for you (and maybe the tiniest bit jealous but mostly happy!!) - South Africa is going to be amazing!! And, the safari?! I CANNOT wait to see your pictures from this trip - including the dressed up ones!!! What an incredible trip!!!! Enjoy every single second!!

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    1. Thanks Kim, and if I could look even 1% as classy as you did in your recent dress up pic, I'll be more than happy!

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  8. Crabby, that's wonderful. I totally get the heels and purse business. You'll be fine and it will be exciting in the good way. Smooch one of those big wild King Pussycats --carefully-- for me, please.

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    1. Um, VERY carefully Leah! Like from maybe a few hundred yards away through a telephoto lens I'm thinkin.

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  9. You are going to have a blast in South Africa! It's been a bit quiet around here, but that usually means the kids are up for another adventure soon. No telling when or what, but the waiting is an adventure in itself, in a sense.

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    1. Between kitties and kids, seems like you have no shortage of adventure messymimi!

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  10. Safari sounds SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO exciting!

    My husband is the world traveller in our family. I'm much more of a homebody. I'm supposed to go to Paris the first part of April, but I'm seriously considering cancelling the trip.

    Make sure you note which way the water drains!!! ;-)

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    1. Lucky Mama, April in Paris was a movie, wasn't it? And a song? Which always made me think there might be something cool about being there then. Or it could be all crappy and rainy, I have no idea. Haven't been in a couple of decades, and I think it was fall, but as I recall it was wonderful for the food, museums, food, the adorable neighborhoods, the markets, the food, and did I mention the food?

      If you do decide to go, would love to hear all about it!

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    2. lol Crabby! You've picked up on a main reason that I'm considering cancelling. I don't want to do anything to lose my groove. There will be other opportunities and right now, keeping my groove is much more important than going to Paris.

      There's always Vienna in June... ;-)

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    3. Ooh, Vienna in June sounds lovely too!

      Otoh, Paris was great for fresh food markets and there are definitely healthy ways to enjoy the food there. But totally understand about the temptations!

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  11. Crabby:

    You will be fine at the corporate dress up. While I am married to a guy, I also have never worn make-up or high heels and never felt uncomfortable at dress up events for his company as the wife - nor, actually, at dress up events in my own jobs for both a big company and in the legal profession - be yourself and they will love you. :)

    -Mary

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    1. Thank you Mary, I find that very reassuring!!!!

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  12. I went to SA for three weeks!!! Best trip I ever took! Capetown is my favorite city in the world! Stayed a few nights in the bush also (as well as Jo-berg which was a necessity as that's where the surgical meeting was, but better to go to Durbin on the east coast if you can. There's a world famous drive along that coastline.

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    1. Sorry I missed this comment earlier Dr. J! It's great to hear you had such a great time. The first 4 days in Capetown we're on our own, using hotel points, and are hoping to do a lot of exploring before we have to join up with the rest of the folks. Will be curious to find out what your favorite things were!

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  13. # 1 - WHY did not you give the cute carnie my number! I love his luscious, long flowing locks
    # 2 - The mailman must have lost your invitation to South Africa. That's okay, just tell me the dates and I'll book my tickets ;)

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    1. Gigi, the invitations for you and Carla that got lost were actually for a Virtual Safari where I send you guys out to take fantastic pictures of any exotic creatures you see in your respective 'hoods foraging in their natural habitat, and you send them (the pictures, not the creatures) to me and I post them on my blog and people flock to Cranky Fitness as a result. Doesn't that sound FUN!?

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  14. hmmm
    I thought I had an email here somewhere where the lobster said I ROCKED and was welcome to be a sisterwifeSHERPAanything if you all ever went to south africa.
    I need to find that :-)

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    1. See above :) !

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  15. Well that looks like a blast.. the bungee trampoline thingy. Good for you for trying. And do banish any of the guilt you might be feeling about this trip. It sounds like an amazing opportunity. Enjoy, take lots of photos and great tales for us. How thrilling. :)

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    1. Thanks Hilary, and I will TRY to let go of the guilt thing. I'm not Jewish or Catholic, so don't know where it's coming from!

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  16. Nice on the trip to Africa!!! So excited for you and can't wait for some epic and classic Crabby pic dumps! This will take weeks for sure! I beg of you, please have a bath in that tub and post a pic.

    I like that you embraced adventure, let a stranger get near your parts and wheeeeeee'd it up. Sweet!

    I am going on an adventure as well...the day after my final exam (still waiting to find out when that is). There will be flying (hate, hate, hate it), a lot of Ativan (love, love, love it), a very brief cruise and tons of fun!

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    1. Yay Kimberley a cruise!! Sounds like a grand adventure and I can't wait to here all about it!

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  17. You sure did marry well! ;) Have fun - what an adventure for sure!!!!!!!

    LOVE your jumpy pics!!!!!!

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    1. Ain't my wife da bomb? Thanks Jody!

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  18. This will certainly give the camera phone a workout. I'm with Mary: fear not the dressy stuff. Purses are quite unnecessary if you have pockets (although I am seldom seen away from home without mine, and I insist on pockets TOO!) and so are makeup and heels. I have no spouse to drag me to corporate things, but I'm sure I'd survive.
    It sounds glorious, and I've always wanted to go to Africa. See a lion for me.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    1. Mary Anne, I will try my best to see a lion for you, and thanks for the pep talk on the dressy stuff!

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  19. Do not be guilty, have a great time!
    And instead of makeup just wear that smile we see here. And please dump lots of pictures. I want to experience SA vicariously. Then you're going to have to call yourself brave, well I will...traveling FAR from home, facing lions, and gasp, smooozing. (id rather swim with sharks)Those are all well out of my comfort zone.
    As for marrying well, I knew you'd done that when you asked "what's your reaction when you run into your spouse unexpectedly." That ? Is now my benchmark of marital health. Have a safeand happy trip.

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    1. What a sweet comment AA96726! (And if your name is at all related to a zip code, well, you know something about beautiful exciting locations many people would long to travel too!)

      I love that you actually read and remembered that observation about marital happiness, because I'm so lucky that I genuinely can't help smiling if I run into her unexpectedly "in the wild."

      And I suspect you probably do many things that are out of my comfort zone that you wouldn't even think twice about! We all have our little quirks. :)

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  20. I am SO excited about your trip! I can't wait to hear more about it. Sam

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    1. Thanks so much Sam, and I know you are very busy and productive now--but hope you have some exciting adventures in the not too distant future too!

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  21. I have had one free trip (Dominican Republic) and one free plane ticket (Japan) due to Husband's work travels. I think it's pretty awesome!

    I always love the idea of traveling until I start thinking about logistics and all the things that could go wrong. Even when it's just planning a trip home to Nova Scotia, which is something we do at least twice a year, and is really an easy trip for us thanks to the ferry terminal that is a 10 minute drive from our house. It always ends up being worth it though.

    Also, my one and only experience flying in first class happened because of a problem...A flight that I was supposed to take got delayed/cancelled (I don't remember), so they rerouted me from Saint John to Montreal (instead of Toronto), and I ended up flying first class from Montreal to Vancouver. It was pretty nice, I gotta say. Probably will never fly first class again. Ridiculous prices.

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  22. That looks like a blast! I wanna do it but only if a cute carny can touch me inappropriately. Have fun on your next adventure and yes I'm totally jealous.

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  23. Fantastic - delighted to hear you're getting to enjoy this trip! I am late to the party on these comments and everyone else has made a lot of good (and funny) answers - so I just hope you enjoy it and that the corporate-spouse-expectations bit is not as bad as you fear.

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