Thursday, May 19, 2011

From LiveJournal 4/2/09

My favorite part of the morning is walking into the empty store.  I knock on the glass and wait patiently until Mildred, the morning manager, comes to let me in through the front.  I always peer inside as I'm waiting and imagine that it's my home, that everything inside is mine.  I smile contently to myself and sip my tea while giving a little wave to Mildred.  She's not a morning person and rarely cracks a smile before 10am.  I , on the other hand, could not be happier when those large doors swing open and the light scent of...well, richness to be honest, makes it's way to my nostrils.  
I breathe it in deeply and give a small sigh.  I love this place.  
"Morning, Jude," says Mildred.  "You know the drill.  Get to it, please.  We have an appointment at 9:30."  
Mildred disappears into her office to start the morning's conference calls.  It gives me time to linger in the darkness with the sun beaming in through the street.  I graze my fingers across the displays as I slowly walk toward the back.  
Mildred has turned on the lights.  The room is bright with flourescence.  The crystal no longer sparkles naturally but shines brightly through the display cases.  
I clock in and stash my clutch in a locker.  Mildred has her office door cracked open.  She has put her call on speakerphone so she can take notes on the nationwide numbers of the day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kids Story

Once there was a little boy named Jack. He loved to explore his backyard. He would climb up the ladder of his fort and peak through the watch hole. Sometimes he would see pirates sailing across a wide ocean. Sometimes he would see explorers discovering a pyramid in the middle of a desert. Other times, he would find a huge T-Rex stomping through a tropical jungle. Jack looked through his watch hole today and only saw his backyard. He saw his dog sniffing around the grass. He saw a bird digging for a worm in the dirt. He saw his little brother in the sandbox shoveling sand into a bucket.

He looked up at the clouds and sighed. An airplane rumbled across the blue sky and disappear behind the white puffs. He looked down at the yard again. To his surprise, he saw something move. Some strange creature no larger than a cat. But it wasn't a cat. He watched through the watch hole to get a closer look. He saw the creature scurry down the yard toward Jack's brother.

"Hey!" Jack yelled. "Stay away from my brother!"
The creature looked up in alarm and disappeared under the earth. Jack hurried down the ladder and ran across the lawn to the sandbox.
"Are you okay, Bradley?" Jack asked. Bradley was only two.
Without looking up from his sandcastle, he responded "yeah".
Jack examined the sandbox. "Hey!" Bradley yelled as Jack dug under the sand.
"I'm just checking to make sure you're safe." Jack said. "Did you see anything go under the sand?"
"No. Do you want to help me build this sand tower? It has to be built before the army comes to destroy it!" Bradley said pointing to the army men toys lined up along the sandbox.
"I have a better idea," Jack said. "Why don't you help me find a creature? It's a magical creature that disappears and scurries around like a squirrel but isn't a squirrel. It's like nothing you've ever seen!"
"Ok," Bradley said.

Jack and Bradley started their search around the sandbox where Jack had last seen the creature. They searched all around. They searched and they searched. But found nothing. Not even a hole where the creature could have hidden in. Soon, Bradley got bored and went back to his army men and tower of sand. But, Jack didn't give up. He searched around the slide and the swing. He searched under the wagon and in the climbing tree. He still couldn't find it anywhere.
Jack sat down in the grass and started to pluck blades from the earth. He pressed a blade of grass between his hands and blew. A whistle sounded loudly in the air.
"Well, come on then!" Someone said behind Jack.
Jack jumped in surprise. He turned around and before his very eyes was the creature! It had grey fur and eyes the color of the grass he sat on. It stood on all fours but his front legs were shorter than it's hind ones. It had a short, puffy tail like a rabbit and whiskers like a mouse. A little straw hat rested on his head with a long feather poking out. A long red scarf was wrapped around his neck several times. Jack stood agog staring at the creature.
"What- Who-" Jack began several sentences but didn't know how to ask the question. He didn't want to offend the creature. "Excuse me, sir, " He started. "Who are you?" He shuffled toward the creature. "Please?" He added for good measure.
"Oswald, at your service." The creature tipped his hat. "I'm the summoner here in these parts. Now when you's go on a whistling like that. Well, I just can't ignore it. Summoners can't never ignore it. But, I got lots of deliveries to be doing so best be on our ways."
Jack looked at Oswald. "I'm sorry," he said. "I didn't mean to summon you. I've whistled with blades of grass loads of times. And so have my friends. Why haven't I seen you before?"

W.E. 04/04/11

"What I really need is someone to push me. I wish I had a personal trainer who could push me really hard because I know I can do better."
No way. I've always wanted to be a personal trainer!
"I can do it," I say to Lucy casually. "I can start training you."
Lucy eyes me up. "You can train me?" she asks. "Do you even work out?"
Ouch. "Of course I do," I say a little defensively. "I train three to five times a week, moving between cardio and strength training for sixty minutes." Ok, that's kind of a lie. But, I know that's what you're supposed to do.

She agreed, yes! We start training tomorrow morning at 7:00am because I suggested Lucy start the day on the right foot. How else will she meet her goal? Now, I just need to pop over to the shops and get some gear.

Gosh, I never realized how much workout equipment there was! There are tons of really intimidating machines called things like the Boflex and Matrix then there are bikes, treadmills, ellipticals, step machines, and some weird thing that looks like two skis sliding on plastic slopes. Lined neatly on racks according to size and color are the free weights. I pick up a ten pound weight and start to flex my arm toward my chest. Wow, this really hurts and I've only done it five times. Maybe I should try the five pounds? Yes, that's much better. I've already done ten reps. I grab a set of five pound weights and put them in my buggy. I'm already feeling lighter and more fit. This will be a synch.

My alarm goes off at 6:15am and I crawl out of bed. I hate waking up when it's still dark out, and the bedroom is freezing. I shiver and pop into the shower. I could stay under the hot water for hours. When I was in high school, I had to get up at 5:30am every morning. I remember sitting on the shower floor and just let the water fall on me. I even fell asleep a few times and my mom would bang on the bathroom door yelling something about money and trees. Now, I had no one banging on my bathroom door. Henry was fast asleep and wouldn't be waking up for another two hours. I slide down the shower wall and close my eyes. A few minutes go by. Why did I agree to wake up so early? I pry my eyes open. That's right! I'm a personal trainer. I am very fit and active. I, Anna Brody, am a tough, high-energy, motivating personal fitness trainer!

At 7:05, I pull into Lucy's drive. It took me a little longer than I thought to pull my hair back in a headband and ponytail. It's difficult to make bangs look cute when working out. Lucy looks so cute, though. She's wearing a black sports bra with purple and pink stripes and black leggings with purple piping. Even her tennis shoes match with the same pink stripes. Her blonde hair is french braided, why didn't I think of that?, then tucked under the nape of her neck. It looks more like an up-do than a sporty french braid. Lucy's eyes are bright and she starts jogging in place.
"Ready for a few warm up miles, trainer?"
"Sure," I croak, "I'm ready." Did she say a few miles and warm-up in the same sentence?

I'm dying. I really 100% feel like I am going to die. My legs are aching and I'm having trouble breathing. Sweat is running down my face and my Adidas tee is sticking to my back. I look over at Lucy and she has one single drip of sweat beading up near her temple. Her hair is still perfect.
"I think this might be enough, Lu," I say and trot to a holt.
Lucy looks at her watch. "But, we've only gone a half mile."
What?! Oh God. "Well, I'm quite warm. Aren't you?"
Lucy starts but I cut her off, "As your trainer, I feel it's necessary to boot up your metabolism with a variety of exercises. I have a lot planned and I want to start engaging your core so that you can build muscle and burn carbs throughout the day." Engaging your core is by far the phrase used most in exercise magazines.

Last night I bought Self, Oxygen, Women's Health, and Shape. I cut out the "Flat Belly in 10 Days" plans and the "Shed Five Pounds in Five Days" exercises. They looked pretty simple. Squat here, lift there, roll on the big ball and hold it for a few seconds. I pasted all of the various workouts on a large poster board and numbered them. There are about twenty different exercises so I figured we could run through them two or three times and Lucy will be spent by the end. And I'll be a genius! A personal training genius! And all the magazines say that if you do the exercises three days a week, you will see results within five days! I'll be such a star, Lucy will recommend me to everyone she knows!

We walk back to the house and I pull out my chart pointing to various places and explaining which part of the body the exercise targets.
"Take for example, this one." I point to the girl squatting down with her back against the wall, "This exercise works the buttocks and thighs while engaging your core."
Lucy nods enthusiastically. "And look at her thighs! I'd die to have my legs that toned." She says.
I look down at the picture. She's right. I'd die to have the girl's slender legs too and they're so tan that it looks like she lives on the beach. I've always secretly wanted to be a surfer so I could have gorgeous tanned and muscular legs like Kate Bosworth in Blue Crush. Maybe we should have gone surfing instead? That would be so rad, carrying surfboards onto a Hawaiian beach and everyone looking at you like you're a pro. Ugh, I wish I were in Hawaii right now.

"I don't know though, Anna. It looks pretty intense," Lucy says wiping her brow.
"Not at all! Let me show you." I move over to the wall and press my back up against it. I squat down and shrug. "See, it's easy and it's very effective. Now you just have to stay here for two minutes." I adjust my weight and ask Lucy to time me.

"How much longer?" I squeal.
"Another minute and a half, I'm afraid."
I look at her gobsmacked. I've only been squatting for thirty seconds? Thirty! Seconds! I can't take it. My thighs are burning so bad that they've started to shake and, to be honest, I'm starting to feel a little faint. Did I eat anything this morning?

"Well, you've got the point. Right?" I say slowly unhinging my knees. "Easy as pie."

Lucy presses her back to the wall and bends her knees. I hit the stopwatch and root her on.

"Brilliant, you're doing very well. Keep it up," I say enthusiastically. Finally, the watch hits one minute. Lucy's legs are starting to shake and she's resting her hands on her thighs. She bends forward.
"How much longer? I can't take much more," she says.
"You're done! You did great." Well, I think a minute and ten seconds is pretty great. "Let's go on to the plank pose."

We check the poster board picture and I instruct Lucy to lay on the floor.
"Ok, now up!" I say and Lucy tries to raise her hips off the floor.
"I can't!" she says frantically.
"Just lift!" I raise my arms in the air. I watch Lucy struggle to lift her behind in the air. She gets it an inch off the ground then collapses. "What's the problem?"
"Ha!" she huffs. "If you think it's so easy, why don't you try it? Miss Personal Trainer."
Well, alright. If she's going to be snooty about it. Oh God. This is hard. I just can't seem to lift my stomach off the ground more than an inch. I'm pushing my brows together tightly and willing myself to do it. It's like when someone has their arm bitten off by a shark and they have all that adrenaline and determination to swim five miles back to shore. If someone can swim five miles with an arm bitten off, surely I can will my bottom to rise off the ground a few inches.

"Huh ha!" I say as I'm finally able to lift myself off the floor and stay in the plank pose. "See, Lucy. Simple." I look up to find Lucy storming out of the room. So, maybe personal training your best friend isn't the greatest idea in the world. But, as I hold my body in the plank pose and stare down at the carpeted floor, sweat dripping down my face from effort, a smile spreads across my face. Take that, Lucy!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


She always did this thing, this clicking thing with her mouth. I could never figure out how she did it, but it was so annoying. It would always happen when she was deep in thought, times when we were both working real hard to get the job done. I would be sitting there folding cloth napkins and all of the sudden hear it from across the room.

Monday, April 27, 2009


The snow fell sporadically as Sarah Ring stepped out of her home onto Primrose Path. She made her way down the lightly powdered path heading north toward Davenport. As most winters came, the air was dry and bitter leaving all of Essex to their crackling fires and boiling kettles.
Sarah, for one, was apt to explore during these times- by no means using cold weather as an excuse for neglecting fresh air. No. Young Sarah felt fresh air was exactly what she needed during the tiresome winter months, especially when Andrew Payton occupied her family's estate. He was an arrogant boy of nineteen who felt it his duty to inform Sarah just how unladylike she was.
"Milk in your tea, Ms. Sarah," he had asked her this morning.
"Oh yes," she replied, "and two lumps of sugar as well."
"Have you no self-control?"
"On the contrary," Sarah said. "I have reduced my intake by thrice."
Looking back on that moment, Sarah recalled Mr. Payton smirking. She couldn't understand why he would smirk at the amount of sugar she took in her tea. Why on earth with that be humorous? Sarah did think herself a clever girl however, not so clever as to understand this particular smirk. Sarah shuffled her way to Ms. Annabelle Scott's cottage whilst contemplating this mystery.
"He is a rather odd boy, wouldn't you say?"
Annabelle bounced William on her knee. He gurgled softly, his large rolls jiggling with every bounce.
"I believe Mr. Payton to be a fine young man. You must tend to your manners, Sarah. Father would disapprove of your negative thoughts toward your guest."
Sarah grunted and turned her attention to William, who was now had developed hiccups. She pulled on his pudgy finger and allowed him to grab her hand.
"May I hold William?" Sarah asked holding her hands out for him.
"Please. I must get the stew started for supper. Just make sure you keep bouncing him." Annabelle placed the baby on Sarah's lap. He felt very heavy on her skinny legs and she had trouble balancing him. After adjusting him a few times, she finally resorted to bouncing him on both legs which faired to be far more extraneous than she would have cared for.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Once there was a girl who caught lightening in her pocket.
She would reach deep inside, pull one out, and stuff it in her mouth, crunching hard and long. She would then swallow it with a gulp and reach in her pocket for another.
When she was angry, every hair on her head would stick on end. When she was happy, her teeth would glow a silvery white along with her fingertips and toenails.
The girl was a rather odd creature. She would wander the streets chewing contently on her webbed lightening bolts. No one knew where she had come from or where she presently lived.
In fact, they all knew very little about her.


That's life.
That's just how life be sometimes. Sometimes things happen that be out of your hands, whether you like it or not.
That how it be for me and that'd be why I'm here, sitting in jail as innocent as a baby with no one standing by me and telling them they're wrong.
Cause they all dead.
I know it don't sound good on my part. But if I tell you I ain't lying then I ain't.