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NTKOG #114: The kind of health-obsessed model citizen who, when she wakes up half-dead from ingesting various toxins, immediately jumps out of bed to sweat. them. out.

I am: a Proustian aunt when it comes to hangovers. Just give me a nice bed and I’ll take it to it indefinitely, praying for death to come.

I am not: even amused by the idea that there exist people who prefer the gym to boozin’.

The Scene: Bleary-eyed in Brighton, the morning of February 15, reeking of chocolate fondue and sweating straight Merlot. I didn’t think I drank that much during Anglophile’s and my little V-Day voodoo sesh, but all the mental holes in our morning-after recap disproved that theory. (“How’d I get into my pajamas?” “You changed after you made us listen to Usher’s ‘Burn’ fifteen times.” “I hate that song. Oh jesus, tell me you didn’t let me text.”) After Anglophile scooted on her merry way, I was prepared to take to bed, spreading peanut butter on homemade bread with my fingers and mainlining equal parts water and Hugh Laurie. Instead, I remembered a killer blog entry by the lovely kk about how to kick hangovers in which she suggests hitting the gym after you hit the bottle. What did I have to lose?

After I’d arranged a gym date with Sister and actually exited the apartment, the list of things I had to lose became apparent: permanent use of my retinas; my balance; control of the nausea dragon wrapping its tail around my stomach. Ugh. And that was just from walking to the T station.

By the time I got to the gym, I’d have placed even odds on my vomiting on the elliptical. Set the timer for 30 minutes; for the first five, I cursed the gods; for the next five, cursed myself; the middle ten, cursed friggin’ kk, that ho; and then — everything stopped being so bad. Remains of the Day was on TV! Brookline water tastes awesome! I am alive and healthy and feeling moreso every minute! Hell, after the elliptical, I jumped on a treadmill next to Sister for the sheer fun of it for twenty minutes.

The whole walk to my Sister’s place afterwards, I sipped water and cooed over the success of the project (“I feel great! I feel awesome! Wanna go to the zoo and race some llamas?!”). For dinner, we made healthy choices instead of indulging in usual hangover atrocities (brie and roasted garlic sandwiches, anyone?). And then the foundation started to crack. Got a splitting headache and the only medication my sister had on hand was Tylenol PM. Popped two of them and started home. Unfortunately, the drowsy effects of the medication kicked in while I was still half a mile from home, my heart slowed down to 45 beats per month, and I literally stopped three or four times to consider taking a nap on someone else’s stoop.

By the time I returned from this miracle hangover cure, I was fit only to take to my bed, cursing the gods. It’s just the natural order, I guess.

The Verdict: There’s no denying that this felt significantly less pathetic than my usual program of eating junk food and lolling around miserably, but exercise is most definitely not a panacea. I mistook the endorphin high for significant improvement. Right the frig not! Turns out exercise is only meant to be supplemental to a strict regime of lolling, napping, and misery.

Also, a TMI word about dehydration? Apparently I’d severely underestimated either the sheer degree of dehydration inherent to a hangover or the prolificness of my sweating, but I realized about eight hours after the gym that I’d drank 70 oz. of water and hadn’t needed to pee. Thank you, body, for delighting and horrifying me.

TMI Thursday! Lilu! Archives! Lovely!! Lady took a polar bear plunge with some Hulk Hogan impersonators. Good frig! Hero of the day.Alzyby  

And for more NTKOG brilliance, do read this hilarious post

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If you haven’t entered my giveaway for an iPod Nano, do so by noon EST or forever hold your peace! Winner announced tomorrow! 

NTKOG #110: The kind of relaxed, centered guru who recharges after a long day with a stretch of yoga. 

I am: a Brain, not a Body. If I could exist as a floating sentient consciousness in a jar of formaldehyde, I totally would. Plus: wouldn’t have to shower anymore! 

I am not: good at listening to my body’s needs. Stretching? Destressing? Logging gym time? You’re not speaking my language. 

The Scene: Healthworks Cambridge, a palatial all-women’s gym that looks like propaganda for a Brave New World hippie commune. I took advantage of a great Groupon deal for 24 day passes, including access to all classes, and Anglophile and I were psyched to try something out of the ordinary on our inaugural visit. Unfortunately, the incompetence of the MBTA got me there too late for our first choice — beginner mat pilates — so we waited around for the 8pm Restorative Yoga. 

When we filed in, flanked by lots of 20somethings and some very fit older ladies, I got psyched for a physically challenging experience. Stretching ’til my muscles gooified, exotic poses; afterwards, flopping sweatily to the mat and hyperventilating for a spell. Serious dang exertion! 

This lasted for the three minutes it took to get inside and grab a mat, then — why’s it so dark in here? Are they handing out blankets?! Half the regulars around me lay on their backs, covered with blankets, rolled washcloths covering their eyes. Um, nap-time anyone? 

The instructor started in dulcet tones to talk about our consciousnesses and awareness and — oh god, who even knows. Her voice was dripping morphine. She told us there would be two options for every pose: one for those who were high energy, and one for those who were low energy. If you’re feeling high energy, she sweetly droned, wrap yourself complete around your bolster, crossing your ankles, hook your left elbow under your right ear and roll onto your right shoulder (or similar masochistic Twister). If you’re feeling low-energy, lay on your back. 

Don’t think I need to tell you which one I chose. 

Lay there for ten minutes, breathing deeply. Kind of soothing! Long pose, though. Surely any moment she would — “Let’s raise our awareness to our minds for a moment. If you are feeling anxious, lengthen your exhale. Or don’t, if you don’t want to. Whatever makes you comfortable.” — and ten more minutes of the Napping Toddler pose. 

“Okay, if you’d like your body to make another shape, slowly do that. If you’re in the high-energy position [step-by-step instructions for folding body into origami crane].” And if you’re in the low-energy position…? You apparently stay on your back for fifteen more minutes. I tried to let the calm atmosphere soothe my mind and, per the advice of my instructor, “listen to my body.” 

I’ve got news for you, guys. I tried listening to my body. That dude doesn’t have shit to say. I mean, my brain is a fine specimen: distrusted by men, admired by women — when my brain walks into my bar, everyone calls out its name, Cheers-style. My body is just a piece of furniture it owns. Like a TMNT Krang situation: 

Heroes in a half-shell, turtle style!

I'd like to think I'm just a teensy bit better looking than Krang's physical casing. That said, I'd totally love to score a pair of those sweet-ass metal epaulets.

 

Cross-section of my mind, thirty-five minutes into the Suicidal Turtle pose: Okay, dude, focus on how soothing this is. It’s like a bubble bath for your soul. Jesus, remember that episode of Full House where Michelle puts her fish in the bubble bath and it dies? I don’t want to die. I chose the wrong path. Maybe I should have gone to Dartmouth after all. 

Just then, a radiant patchouli-scented goddess hovered over me. “Is your body soothed?” she whispered. “Uh, yeah, I’m cool,” I coughed as quietly as possible. She smiled a moment then hummed like a beautiful machine and her hands flew above me. In the space of a moment, she had taken off my glasses, refolded the wadded towel covering my eyes, stretched my legs, put a blanket under my bank, and fixed my hair. I wondered if I took her home, whether she’d brush my teeth for me. 

“Doesn’t it bring you peace?” she breathed. Yeah. Yeah, I could kind of imagine how it would. If the rest of Yoga Nap Class was barely conscious, at least it was spent in a pleasant dream. Until immediately after the session, when Anglophile and I caught eyes for the first time then had to bite our cheeks ’til they bled to keep from laughing. ’cause I mean, dude, hippies. 

The Verdict: Okay, obviously this class — ideal for pregnant women, recently injured people, and the elderly, as noted on the course description — wasn’t for me. I nap just fine on my own. That said, I did enjoy the calm in the room and the almost farcically constant affirmations by the instructor. Want to lay on your back for a full hour, as almost half the class did? That’s okay. Want to roll on your belly and stare up at the ceiling? Okay! Want to piddle all over the floor like a puppy? We love you the way you are! Namaste! 

It’s nice to be allowed to feel good about yourself every once in a while, just as, y’know, a special treat. I foresee some more yoga in my future — but preferably of a slightly more physically punishing nature.

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GUYS! It has already been established that I am unambiguously the worst dancer in the continental United States. Here’s where you profit from it.

NTKOG #102: The kind of loyal blogger who is so appreciative of her (badass) readers that she showers them in gifts beyond her means.

I am: broke.

I am not: above peddling my physical charms (ha!) for the masses to earn said gifts.

The Scene: Agganis Arena, Friday night, watching the Terriers men’s hockey team facecrush UMass. Near the end of the second interval, my favorite moment of the games: the dance-off for an iPod! I won one of these with my STELLAR flailings a few months back, during a not-so-packed basketball game, and — though this is totally pathetic to admit — I was hungry for another victory.

I will not confirm that I practiced my most horrifying dance moves before the match, nor that I donned my trusty fedora for extra stand-out effect. And any rumors that I deliberately sneaked into a less populated area of the stands so the camera would have an easier time finding me? Are vulgar. And, um, accurate.

I danced my spastic heart out and the camera found me right away — not that I knew because I was watching the jumbotron, oh no, I could just hear the difference in the crowd the moment I popped up on the screen.

The biggest proof that I truly am the worst dancer in the world? Not that the whole student section was on their feet shrieking and guffawing for my dancing skills — not that the camera shook from the cameraman’s laughter — not that the universe has given me not one but two iPods just to stop me from dancing. The real proof is that none of this surprises me.

I don’t know if 5,361 people have ever laughed at you — at you — while you just kept rocking your middle-schooler heart out, but I was doing it for you, guys. I was doing it for you.

HOW TO WIN A FRIGGIN’ iPOD NANO

Details: Brand new red 8gig iPod Nano — one of the sexy new ones with the big screens; gets radio and shoots video as well. Comes with earbuds and USB 2.0 cable. Although, full disclosure, BC alumni: it does have “Go Terriers! http://www.agganisarena.com” engraved on the back. But, dude, free iPod. Just pop for a cover if it bugs you.

How To Get Entries: For the sake of my Excel headache, please leave a separate comment for each entry type. And make sure all comments have a valid email address attached so I can get in touch with you if you win. Giveaway open to international readers as well (let’s be pen pals! mail me foreign candy!).

One Entry: Leave a comment telling me a song I should download on my own (very old) iPod.

Two Entries: Follow me in your RSS reader, then comment to let me know. If you were already following me, just comment to let me know that as well!

Two Entries: Tweet a link to this giveaway, then comment here with the URL. Maybe something along the lines of: “Win a friggin’ 8gig iPod Nano from @WhatKindOfGirl. Dude, how are you not clicking this link aready?! http://notthatkindofgirl.net”. Or, y’know, a less Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle phrasing…

Three Entries: Become a fan of my blog on Facebook by clicking here and hitting subscribe. Comment here to let me know you did it.

Five Entries: Blog about this giveaway, then comment here with the URL. (And total bonus point if the entry includes an awesome pic of you too being a terrible dancer.)

Giveaway ends at NOON on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12!

That way, you can get your cute red iPod in the mail right after the Valentine’s Day chocolate high wears off. So spread the word! Tell your friends and fam! I’ll be busy updating my resume to include “two-time award-winning dancer”…

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NTKOG #97: The kind of stridently intrepid sportnik who scrambles up the face of a wall with no harnesses or hesitations.

I am: terrified of heights.

I am not: embarrassed to admit that walking on the second floor of a shopping mall is enough to jack up my heart rate. Those glass barriers do me in, guys.

The Scene: The rock-climbing wall at the Orwellianly-named FitRec at BU, where I sneaked in under the auspices of a WinterFest alumni event. All afternoon, Sister, Hot Hands and I watched dismayingly adorable toddlers in their Dora the Explorer underoos scurrying up the wall like cockroaches, shrieking with sticky-faced glee. I turned to Sister: “Hey, if little kids can do this, I certainly can, right?”

“You?! Climbing a wall?!” she cackled, oozing schadenfruede from every pore. “Oh, I’ll pay for the shoe rental. I have the feeling I’ll get my money’s worth.”

Sister has a point. Things I am good at navigating: word processing software, tricky menus, tables of contents; things I am bad at navigating: MY PHYSICAL REALITY. I’m bad enough just operating on the X-axis, let alone throwing some Y action into the mix.

All of the action shots of me climbing are obscured by the ZOOM MARKS of friggin' five-year-olds scampering along the wall. Bastards.

The rock wall in question. We're -- we're not exactly talking Everest here, people. My head was, at the highest, about a foot below the black line.

First few attempts upward were total non-starters. Grabbed handholds, swung one leg up, then stopped to think too long. In the background, a Disney-villain chuckle ground steadily out of Sister’s throat. Finally steeled myself to scramble up a few footholds and — my god, I didn’t die! I spun my head to smile winningly at Sis and Hot Hands, then turned back to the wall.

Just then, one of my feet started to slip. As I frantically adlibbed a few feet to the left, it occurred to me: my sasquatch feet are eighteen times larger than a good three-quarters of the foot rests. My head is more than a story over the ground. Why are my hands so goddamn slippery?! No big deal, though — I came, I climbed, I will blog — no shame in heading down now. Except–

Except.

When I looked back at the wall, all the handholds seemed to scramble like a CGI rendering of dyslexia. I was a single trembling sun in a vast, empty galaxy. Not one potential handhold or footrest existed within my grasp. My heart ratcheted up to a techno beat; I hyper-hyperventilated. I knew it was really bad when Sister stopped laughing at me.

Fun fact: there have been three times in my life when I knew I was going to die. Once, lying in a hospital bed with a fully collapsed lung; another time, stunt-driving 80mph backwards through a closed train-crossing arm with the locomotive three car-lengths away; and now, six fucking feet off the ground with five-year-olds scampering up the walls on either side of me. Panic attack is, I think, the mot juste? “This will be my inauspicious end,” was certainly the mantra.

If I didn’t cry, it is only because every ounce of fluid in my body was gushing out of my palms. “I’m going to fall!” I cried. “Is that okay? Will I die if I fall?”

Hot Hands looked down at the tiny protective spring mat, then back up at me. “Just … just don’t fall.” Fuck. There went Plan A.

Plan B involved me clinging to the wall and cursing, loudly, as though my life depended on it, while Sister and Hot Hands called out a demented vertical game of Twister. “Put your left hand on the green one!” (the green one is in fucking Rhode Island) — “Get your right foot on the purple!” (it’s the size of my pinky toe!). I have literally no recollection of how I managed to clamber down, but it must have taken ten full minutes.

Once I was back on solid ground, Sister let loose the laugh that had been brewing the whole time. “You’re so red you’re blushing through your shirt!” she laughed. “I’ve never seen you like this!”

I tried to flick her off, but I was still shaking so hard it looked like I was waving hello.

The Verdict: Well, now you know where NEVER to throw me a surprise party. My chest literally broke out in hives again writing this post. As for rock-climbing walls, you can leave them for the six-year-olds, with their tiny feet and cheerful disregard for mortality.

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NTKOG #81: The kind of grizzled pawn of lady luck who slumps over the blackjack table, chain smoking while growling “hit me” through the tube of her oxygen tank.

I am: the product of ten years in the Las Vegas suburbs. Therefore…

I am not: a gambler. At all. I’ve played penny slots for free drinks once in a while, but never sat at a table.

The Scene: Sunset Station, a super-ghetto locals casino in Henderson, along with Brain Doc.

With Brain Doc’s encouragement, took $40 out of the ATM — with an absurd $4 surcharge, god bless America — and sat at a Double Blackjack table.

After a brain-scrambling lecture about pushing and buyback busts, promptly left a Double Blackjack table.

To recharge the ol’ synapses, stopped at a roulette table to put $5 on red for sandyb (holla, girl!). Fun fact about roulette: it’s exactly — but exactly — like dropping cash in the toilet, pulling the handle and watching it spin around. Same result too. (Sorry, Sandy.)

Against all of our misgivings, Brain Doc and I filled the last two seats at a normal blackjack table, crowded with a chain-smoking Chinese woman whose mouth was swallowed by a faceful of wrinkles, a gnarled old trucker, and a twitchy-eyed twenty something who kept muttering he’d been at the table for four and a half hours. A five-dollar table. High rollers, guys.

I bought two $5 chips and put on in the little circle. Dealer smacked me 13. Bad feng shui: I was sitting to the dealer’s left, and she glared me down while I shook like a chihuahua.

“Uhhhh, hit me? Can I say hit me? Do I say that?” The dealer just shook her head.

“You do it like this,” High Roller said, scratching his finger across the felt in a
come hither gesture. So I come-hithered a seven, stopped at 20 and — dude, what?! Five bucks for nothing?! Gorgeous.

Next hand was much the same: hit-me gesture; eighteen; dealer busted with an embarrassing 26. Another five bucks! I was starting to feel sorry for the big mean casino!

Third hand threw me for a loop, though. Nine and a five. I started to come-hither a little more free money from the universe, when Gnarled Trucker stirred for the first time: “Stay. You don’t need to go bust. Let the dealer go bust.” Clearly the dude was a tobacco-reeking angel sent from heaven: dealer just barely busted at 22, giving me a hat trick.

Quick mental math: even including my roulette failure and the absurd $4 ATM fee (unless your name is Andrew Jackson, when you gamble with the banks, you always lose), I was still up $6! Beating the friggin’ odds!

I hesitated to post this pic because it contextualizes just how really huge my bearpaws are. You can't even imagine the hell I go through trying to buy gloves. Might as well just wrap them in garbage bags. ...sorry, this tangent took a turn.

Money for nothing just barely beats out cigarette vending machines for reasons my hometown makes me PROUD TO BE AMURRKUN.

Even though I don’t know when to hit ’em, I do know when to fold ’em. Asked the cashier to magically transform my chips into money (yes, I phrased it exactly that way; yes, she looked at me like I was drunk), and used my ill-gotten gains to buy Brain Doc and me vending machine socks for bowling. Where, for the first time all day, I was a total loser.

The Verdict: All those very special episodes of 90210 were for naught! I now know that gambling is when you sit at a table and someone gives you free money! Can you smell a 12-step program in my future?!

Seriously, though, this was fun for novelty, but I doubt I’d ever do it again. Playing penny slots for free drinks is the only way to win in Vegas.

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NTKOG #78: The kind of girl who gets her Carmen Sandiego on and actually boosts some items from the general populace.

I am: well recovered from my  pre-teen shoplifting phase; generally law-abiding.

I am not: actually pickpocketing anyone, so get your finger off your 911 speed-dial.

The Scene: Agganis Arena, for Friday night’s hockey game against RPI (close ’til they scored two rapid-fire goals on us in the last two minutes). Sister had won four free tickets, so we invited along Picasso and his fiancée, Hot Hands. The reason for her hot-handedness apparent in a moment.

We arrived right at game time, and only then realized that our tickets came with Club Lounge access for food before the game. We rushed in and were braced by the embarrassment of culinary riches. Of note: a fantastic cheese platter decorated — just decorated — with half-pound wedges of brie. The whole place was actually done up with every attempt at turning a sweaty, sterile environment into a winter wonderland. Little evergreen trees sprouted from silver tablecloths; poinsettias, er, wilted at every turn.

Problem: within the ten measly minutes we were in the Club Lounge, we missed the first five minutes of the game and the FIRST THREE GOALS. wtf, right?

Sister: We should just walk out of here with stuff.
TKOG
: Oh my god, that would be unbelievably tacky. … okay.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes a blogger is lazy and tired and pictures are all you’re getting anyway:

Nothing classes up a sporting event like smuggled sandwiches made of half-pound blocks of stolen for-decoration-only brie.

Once Hot Hands cleared out her purseful of stolen rolls, she did us all proud by sneaking back to the scene of the crime for a second heist:

Hot Hands with the liberated Christmas tree.

The Verdict: I’m going to go on record as saying I totally approve of some light-hearted semi-thievery, and chalk it up as another case of: “nobody cares when you do embarrassing stuff, so just go ahead and do it, champ.” Although in this case there is the caveat that this is all stuff that would have gotten thrown away slash had no monetary value.

I will further admit that this jocular banditry might have extended to a full-out spree this weekend, wherein Sister and I possibly liberated further winter decorations from a shopping center in Deadham. But that one I actually felt terrible about. Until I decided to pretend to myself that the giant glittery snowflake picks probably would have been stolen by juvenile delinquents anyway. Aaaahh. Much better.

Giveaway! Today! Enter by midnight! And if you blogged or tweeted about it but haven’t left me a comment letting me know yet, please do so!

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NTKOG #73: The kind of embarrassingly enthusiastic girl who gets up and dances her friggin’ face off to the horror and delight of everyone in the arena.

I am: being so honest with you when I say I shouldn’t be allowed to dance in public.

I am not: really well-suited to getting my face broadcasted fifteen feet high. Especially when it’s my white-girl dancin’ face.

The Scene: Agganis Arena, watching the BU men’s basketball team terrierize (ha) Bucknell. At the end of the first half, they announced the dance-off for an iPod. Last time I was at Agganis, for an ice hockey game, I was captivated by the dancing fools during the competition and vowed that one day my face too would grace the Jumbotron. So even though I swore never to dance again, the champ came out of retirement for ONE LAST DANCE.

The game was fairly sparsely attended, so not many people jumped up. One of the few was a friend of my sister’s who we were sitting with and, well, looking at her dancing compared to how I knew I looked — guys, I am not merely affecting self-deprecation when I say that I am truly the worst dancer I’ve ever seen. Comically bad but then, after watching this trainwreck for a few seconds … kind of uncomically.

I didn’t even look at the Jumbotron while I spastically flailed, but after a while, I noticed my sister’s friend sit down, so I went to sit down as well. “Keep dancing!” my sister hissed. “You’re on!”

Sure enough, there I was on-screen, doing The Sprinkler. ‘Huh,’ I thought, ‘I really need to invest in a more supportive bra.’ Then I looked away and kept ROCKING THE FRIG OUT, thrilled to have achieved my goal.

A bit later, people started clapping. Congratulations! the announcer boomed, You just won a free iPod! AND HOLY SHIT, GUYS! Up there on-screen? It was TKOG, seizing like the final spin of an industrial washing machine. After a horrifying victory spaz, I picked up my stuff, grabbed Sister, and ran upstairs to collect my gorgeous Terrier-red special edition 8 gig iPod nano. Holy shit, guys.

It didn’t dawn on me how truly, truly horrific I must have looked up there until, as I climbed the stadium steps, everybody sitting on either side of the aisle started clapping and hooting, still laughing from my performance.

TKOG: Dude, Sister, be honest with me. On a scale from one to Kathy Bates naked in the hot tub in that one movie, how bad was it?
Sister: It was. Um. Your. There was a lot of boob going on. It was honestly pretty bad.
TKOG: At least I was only on for a few seconds, right?
Sister: Uh, you were on for a long time. The camera kept going back to you. It was bad.

But whatever. Free iPod.

The Verdict: GUYS! Now that I have tasted life on the Jumbotron, I can never go back! I’m already planning some choreography for my next dance-off attempt. I mean, okay, so I actually neither needed or even wanted the iPod (merry Christmas, Sister!), and I was literally shaking from mortification until well into the second half. But it was hilarious and wonderful.

Then, as though that weren’t enough goodness: Sister and I were there as part of a BU Alum event with a raffle which featured quite a few good prizes — chief among which was a set of front-row tickets to the Weezer concert tomorrow. WHICH WE TOTALLY WON! OMFG! Just to try our luck, after the game we picked up $5 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets and actually won $6 back. No clue what I did to rack up such killer karma this weekend, but thank you universe! Between this onslaught of random winnings and seeing Barenaked Ladies from ten feet away on Saturday, this was offically A Weekend Of Note!

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